Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Look at the History of Expansions - Part Twenty-Three

A Look at the History of Expansions

Previous Entry: Intro to Incarna

2011 is a year of change. Eve is nearing its second decade and as an eight year old game it has to change things up a bit to keep in the running. The development pace of the last two years has been a frantic ride of features and additions to the universe. They are moving fast. Very fast. Incursion has just finished being released in January of 2011 due to the new developmental schedule which allows point releases. There is cleanup to be done but in truth, the entire focus of development switches to Incarna. The long awaited future of Eve Online.

On Febuary 11th, 2011 CCP Zulu wraps up Incursion with a Producer's blog. He announces the introduction to Incarna with the first blog about the Captain's Quarters written by CCP Chiliad, from the Alanta office in the United States.

Eve Online has never had avatar gameplay. The player has always started in a ship or capsule. Their only interaction with their physical body was when they first created their pilot. After that, their world was defined by the spaceship that they slipped into. Incarna is going to change that. Players will be catapulted from their spaceships into reality with a set of rooms, interactive three dimensional tools, and a sweeping vista to look upon their ship from.


It is a missing piece of immersion. The place where the player becomes the pilot and the pilot becomes the ship. The Minmatar quarters are up for early looks into what will be available on the test server. Speaking of the test server, the usage rules have been updated in an attempt to make a smoother process. The test server is there to test upon and CCP wishes for the players to test things there. However, they do not want them trying to break the game just for the hell of it and rules such as no mass stacking and mass production are put in.

It is not all about avatar gameplay. Exploration DED Complexes are being added to the game. There have been static sites in the game for a long time. Many of these static sites have been stolen and used in other places. For instance, the 6 of 10 and higher sites were taken from the static spots and added to sovereignty as a PvE bonus. CCP will be filling in the missing sites and adding new modules that will only come from these dead space locations. One of the most interesting notes is that these are designed as group content but they are not as severe as incursion content.

Quietly, in the background the Eve Gate project is progressing. The forums are within its reach and an entirely new forum will be coming to Eve Online. The goal is for a better interactive experience. The old forums will be archived. At the same time, as they look at better ways to interact with customers in a more effective manner such as the changes to Singularity and improved forums, CCP has added Hours for PLEX.

PLEX (Pilots License EXtension) have done well. The demand is high and CCP received stacks of petitions every day asking for accounts to be activated so that players can access their PLEX to subscribe or buy one off of the market to reactivate their account. There has been no measure built into the system before this and requests were handled by hand. Hours for PLEX will create an automated four hour window for a PLEX to be purchased and used. It is one time per deactivated account. Unfortunately, the feature was disabled for a short period of time after some players used the activation of their accounts to vote for the Sixth Council of Stellar Management.

Incarna does show an uptick in development blogs. 2011 hosts 177 dev blogs compared to 2010's 104 and 2009's 99. It is an important time because several threads are being tied together. Game development is moving forward and introducing avatar gameplay. That means the back end has to be faster and the machines better. CCP has been fighting a war against lag and information storage and access. The database rework that started in 2010 is ongoing.

Duality, a public facing event server is launched. Unlike Serenity, the current test server, Duality is for scheduled events and will not be available on a day to day basis. CCP is also continuing the little things initiative, adding photos to things like conversation requests and trades, you can strip fittings off of ships you are not sitting in, way points are highlighted when selecting a route, along with a handful of other little changes in day to day convenience. There is also some flexibility added into the character customization that will allow players to change their portraits whenever they wish, something that will be important with the usage of Avatar's in more day to day gameplay.

CCP is also bringing a PvE change to null sec. The goal is to make space more desirable. One of the little things added was the status of a systems true sec. A system before showed as 0.0 security or null security giving rise to the name of null sec. However, those systems have a hidden security status that ranges down to -1.0. That hidden status was accessible by the game API and CCP went ahead and handed it to all players. Now, the anomalies in null sec will spawn based on the true sec of the system. This will make some places more lucrative to live in and thus give reason for conflict.

In April, the old Eve Forums close down and bring rise to the New Eve forums. This is right in time for the first tests of the Captain's Quarters to be released. Featuring the Minmatar racial style they also come with new tutorials. It will also be a debut event on Duality. What caught my attention most about this development blog was CCP's usage of the infamous learning cliff jpg in their dev blog.

This is all complimented by an update to the in game browser.
 Bear in mind though that our rule of thumb for IGB functionality is not to provide functions that cannot be performed manually in the game client itself.
Players have been creating tools for years that interact with their client through their game browser. These tools make it easier to buy things, list things, check things, and keep track of the ocean of information that Eve Online provides.

While things have been steaming ahead there have been unfortunate hiccups. The new forums came down for a bit due to security and access holes. This is a serious mistake and it is addressed by a development blog written by the security team to discuss what happened and what is being done to correct the situation.

A major change has come to the game. It is one that will change everything for any group that has ever tried to wage a major battle. It will become both a relief and an utterly hated addition. I find it interesting that it is not in Incarna's feature list. That may be because for all of its scope, it is a highly technical change that players will understand. CCP introduces Lag into Eve in the form of TiDi (Time Dilatation). It is a brilliantly horrible solution that will change the face of every major fight in the game.

Happy eighth birthday Eve. It is May 6th, 2011. CCP celebrates by giving every player a super chemical mixed soda by the Quafe Corporation. The feeling of togetherness is followed up with a new feature to the buddy invite program. Now, when someone subscribed you will have the chance to gain a PLEX as your reward for the invite.

For contentious changes, CCP has decided to change how jump bridges work. Jump bridges are an item only available to a group that holds sovereignty in null security space. Along with the earlier change to anomalies this is an enormous shakeup in how null sec alliances move around and what they invest in the space that they hold.

Changes keep flowing in. The little things inititive has grown a bit and is bringing forth a new wave of features. Things will be easier to use like probes and the fleet window. Some changes make sense, such as not showing anyone who walks by what your standings are to any group, player, or NPC. It also brings a huge change to PvE play. Agent quality has been removed and all agents are for the most part, similar. The divisions have also been cleaned up so that players who wish for combat missions will no longer be able to clear asteroid belts in a calming session of mining. Also for a moment, bookmarks were going to be added to the overview.

It is now May of 2011 and Incarna is only a month away. Things are going well with the captain's quarters. The tutorials are better, 3D holographic images of ships are available. Character movement has improved (the male characters are getting the fine details first) and there will be no more right click menus to interact with things. And with character's comes CCP's new virtual good store, the NEX Store. The Nobel Exchange will have every bit of personalization a player could want for their new avatars. Only, they will cost real money. However, they can also be sold on the market, so like PLEX players will still be able to use in game currency for these items. In the Dev Blog by CCP Zulu he explains:
So how will it work?
There will be a store, and it will have all kinds of stuff for sale: clothes and accessories for your character, custom paint jobs or logo placement on your ships or a fishtank/stripper pole for your Captain's Quarters. You'll browse through the list of items available and, when you're ready to make a purchase, you'll use a new currency called Aurum (AUR).
Eve Online: Incarna is arriving June 21st, 2011. It is no longer about dreams and concepts. It is now a thing of pure reality.

This video of Incarna features the rich depth and gorgeously illustrated graphics. Without some of the fine details. It is being supported by the CarbonUI that CCP has been working towards. This will give the UI greater customization and move away from the endless clicking and menus. It will also bring in better blueprint sorting and usage for both players and CCP. From little things like changing the color of blueprint copies to a lighter scuffed version to how the game processes the players endless stacks.

The new forums are back, again. This time they should be more secure but they are again in a testing stage. Preformance is a buzzword around players. With the changes to loading and starting that Incarna brings with the Captain's Quarters, players have asked what will they do when they are using multiple copies of the game at the same time. CCP Zulu addresses this by announcing the decision to allow players to not load the Incarna environment until they can figure out a way not to kill older graphics cards with the demands.

The last wave of development blogs are released on launch day. Incarna will include an all new agent finder that compliments the changes to the agent system. Players will be able to find agents without seeking help from a hermit atop a mountain. Also, everyone undocking and going into battle will find that they have received a turret upgrade. Not only are they cooler looking but they coincide with the high slot position they have been fit into. And as if Eve Online: Incarna is not a grand enough venture, CCP announces that Dust 514, their First Person Shooter will arrive in 2012 for the Play Station 3.

It is June 21st, 2011 and Eve Online: Incarna is launched. It brings with it a new game of Eve. One where the player can fully submerge themselves into the virtual world they have entered into.



Resources:
Eve Online 2011  Dev Blogs
Eve Online Patch Notes

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Blog Banter #65 - What is Interesting?

Blog Banter #65 - Attributes and Skills
Does Eve need attributes? It's been discussed a lot recently. Unlike other MMO's your characters attributes don't make a difference in day-to-day gameplay. They simply set how fast you train a skill. Is it time to remove attributes from the game or totally revamp their purpose? Do they add a level of complexity to the game that is not needed? If you really need to use a 3rd party application to get the most from it should it be in the game? Should they be repurposed with each attribute adding a modifier to your ship? Are attributes a relic from the past or are they an important part of Eve - You make your decision and deal with the consequences? 
It is a worn out stick and a well beaten horse. Eve isn't a young game. Its twelve. That's a good thing. It is a fabulous thing. In a world where games barely make it into their third and fourth years it is a spectacular thing. Being unique is great. It keeps us in a game. It is fun being special. But it also comes with negatives.

One of Eve's best resources is the veteran player. Love, treasured, known, vets add a value to Eve that cannot be easily explained. They are the history of the game. You can sit and talk with them about game changing battles that happened ten years ago. Their knowledge and experience can easily accumulate into centuries. It is a rather intimidating thought.

But, there is a downside to veterans. That is the fact that they are veterans. Things are not new. That is fine. The fact that Eve can be played because it is interesting instead of bright and shiny is one of the aspects of the game that I love so much. However, familiarity breeds contempt. It is a natural process to forget our times of ignorance. Ignorance is not useful. Knowledge drives us forward. But, with it comes contempt and complacency. Those are dangerous things.

I may be in a somewhat rare position. A side effect of it is that I talk to a lot of people. I talk to people who would not normally interact with me. I meet and have discussions with people who would never know I exist or I they. And one thing that often rises to the surface is that aspects of the game are put onto the table for removal because they don't add any value.

But, I think what is often being said is that they don't add value anymore.

The old and the new can exist in the same place at the same time. It happens every day in the game. Eve has the unfortunate spot of trying to tie these two into a coexistence. But experience changes us and it changes what we do and how we respond. Today the topic is attributes. Remove them! I have heard. They have no value! They have no place.

But was not there a time when they did have value? A time when they did have a place? A time when sitting, figuring them out was new, exciting and thrilling. When it captured the imagination and plans spun on the exited dreams created because there was no experience to lean on? And then later, when experience comes and interests change, when knowledge has wrought its work upon our mind and changes upon our heart they had less value and less purpose. In fact, they seemed somewhat pointless and not something that was cared about any longer. It was not needed. It was known not to matter. So remove it.

I'm not sold yet on the idea of ripping things from the game because the absolute born of knowledge comes into play. When something is no longer needed it rapidly loses its value. The training wheels of a bicycle. The large, lined paper that I wrote my first letters upon. If someone where to give me training wheels for my motorcycle or large, lined letters for me to write my work reports on I'd find these objects useless to my needs, interest, and abilities.

But, there was a time when they had great value.

I'm torn on attributes in Eve. I think that attributes are a core part of creating a character. Customization has always appealed to me. There are few things that we customize in Eve. I've been playing for four years and Sugar sits over seventy million skill points. There is little that she needs and more that she can gain. Customization in Eve is simply how we approach something not what we are limited to doing. We can fly everything. We can do everything. It is just about how we decide to do it.

I like that part of the game. I'm not one for restrictions that we cannot overcome. I first made a Gallente character and it would be sad for me to learn that Minmatar was my home as a PvPer while trapped in a Gallente body.

I am also not good with my attributes. I have not remapped since sometime in 2013. Most of my characters do not have attribute implants in at the moment. I know, absolutely, that I am not optimized and I do not care. But, I do not care because that is an aspect of my personality. What keeps me on the line of this subject and not defending the small, unique qualities of attributes is those who are my polar opposites. Those who are so trapped by the need to maximize progression that they cannot exist in a state of comfort and relaxation without their attributes. They lock themselves into progression paths that last for months or years because of the gains they would not make if they approached the situation in a more casual manner.

I do wonder... would this topic be so fierce if we had more remaps? Remaps every quarter or six months instead of twelve? I wonder if we are approaching the wrong part of the topic? Do attributes bother us or does the specter of time lost drive this discussion?

Purse Strings

The problem with ISK in the wallet is that it does start to itch sometimes. I was looking at Eve Hermit's picture of his Astero and I could taste it a bit. Jealousy. Jealousy for his blue ship. I don't even like the Astero but turn a ship blue and my interest immediately changes. "Maybe the Astero isn't so bad," I found myself thinking. "Look how cute it is in blue. How can it be bad?"

It can be bad by half a billion ISK is how.  Well, three hundred and eighty million at the lowest. It is the Stratios skin that hovers just under half a billion ISK. A few years ago that would have been a PLEX. With PLEX hovering just under a billion ISK, I can't use that excuse anymore.

Still! My goodness. Cold water to my lust was that price check. I'm pretty sure my price is sub a hundred million and probably sub fifty million at that. I'm still a bit of an ISK miser.

No blue Sleipnirs as of yet. I don't think that I'll be tempted into the valley of 500 million ISK skins, but I can't say that for sure. I mean, blue makes a ship better. It makes a ship worth flying. I'm absolutely, 100% shallow and the look and name a of a ship can make me decide it is all that I want to fly.

I've probably never said that what drew me to Jaguar's was the name. The same for the Wolf. By then, I was well into a deep and passionate love for shield ships. The Wolf and its amazingly cool name fell by the wayside.

Looking at skins on the market also made me stop and ponder my set of Quafe skins. I have the Tristan, the Domi, the Mega, and the Vexor. I vaguely wish I had sold my Quafe Mega back when they were worth almost ten billion. I could have purchased another with the price down to two and made a profit. But, I always see that later. As for now, I'm still debating sell or keep on these four so the skin tokens sit in my hangar for now.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

CSMX - Post #20

Summer is here and CCP is very much out of the office. Sion made a good point in wondering why everyone leaves Iceland when it has its best weather. What it means is that all is mostly quiet on the dev blog front. There are some things happening but the dev blogs and news announcements have not yet happened. The skill points were delivered on Tuesday so yay for unallocated skill points.

Over in CSM chat, there has been a lot of back and forth about sov and measuring the impact and success of things so far. I can say that CCP and the CSM are watching it. The pros and cons are coming in pretty hot and heavy. Some are being looked at now. Some have to see how things are going and if and how the direction needs to be tweaked.

In my corner, I'm starting to gather things together. The summit is in seven or so weeks. In between then and now I need to gather up my question list and write down a few topics of discussion. I'm starting now because I have personal vacation at the end of August and my job has decided that I need to take half a dozen certification classes over the next month. It will make things a bit busy and the evenings full of typing.

On productivity reports, I've been gathering together faction warfare information and working on my list of pain points with CCP Affinity. All of this needs to be finished before the Summit to the best of my ability so that we can sort them and create the lists of what can be done, will hopefully be done, and won't be done in the development time allotted. It ties in neatly to my normal summit documentation which I've started work on.

Interesting things are starting to show up on the test server. Is the Dominex ever going to be updated? The first whispers of the redesign were in 2013. I swear it popped up at Eve Vegas that year. Then there were pictures at Fanfest in 2014. Now, finally, you can step into it.


If everything is online at home, I'll host at least one talk tomorrow evening GMT. I was also invited to talk to Signal Cartel in two weeks, but they want me for my market building.

Oh yes... have you tried Eve Gate on your cellphone recently?


Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Empress Speaks

The nice thing about being free rolling is that my alts are no longer set up in strategic locations that will allow me to fall back upon a support cushion of my own creation. So, when twitter reported that Empress Jaymal was undocking in Amarr I decided to go and look at what was happening.

I used Chella because I know she is set up in a cloaky ship. Quickly, I undocked her. She was only ten jumps from Amarr. Not a big deal for a blockade runner. I dropped into warp and flipped through my gates.

On the way through Niarja I passed through a cataylst gank squad. I knew they were not there for me. I was warping off as they decloaked for their fleet warp to their victim. Through the next gate I hurtled through space at a pleasant rate and made my way for Amarr's undock. But, due to paranoia mostly, I dropped out of warp 10k from the undock and cloaked up.



The side effect of this is that now I do have a use for a Dramiel. Warping through high sec to an event like this would be a nice little niche role for the ship. I hated being in a 'shoot me please' ship lick a blockade runner.

I was late getting into Sarum Prime. I had expected them to land on the gate but they didn't land. That confused me. I'm new to the live event thing so I missed the start. It then took me forever to realize where they were. But I caught up.



[19:58:03] Jamyl Sarum I > The Lord spoke, and blasted a hole so large in their racial memory that they will not dare again to tread foot on these hallowed grounds.

[19:58:21] Jamyl Sarum I > We continue to protect our borders from the unjustified aggression from the Republic, as their warmongering leader continues to beat the drums of war.

[19:58:51] Jamyl Sarum I > We continue to provide for our people, God’s chosen, as those who attempt to defy the Lord continue to fail in their attacks on our way of life.

[19:59:18] Dentric Crendraven > BOB IS THE ONLY TRUE GOD

[19:59:36] Jamyl Sarum I > Today however, we face a new threat. A threat far greater than the foolish aspirations of a lesser race who remain unwilling to accept their true place as servants of His will.

[20:00:04] Jamyl Sarum I > A threat not created of the Lord’s work. An abomination that reared its head as one of our oldest and most valued capsuleer loyalist organizations, Curatores Veritatis Alliance, celebrated while at ease from combat duty.

[20:00:38] Jamyl Sarum I > While we do not yet understand the motives of this force, their intentions, or their will, the Drifters must be regarded as a threat, and the Empire must ensure that her borders remain secure.

[20:01:59] Jamyl Sarum I > The presence of so many of our finest loyalists here is a sight to behold. A sight that fills the hearts and minds of the people of the Lord’s domain with hope.

[20:02:22] Jamyl Sarum I > For your support, the Empire remains eternally grateful.

[20:02:40] Jamyl Sarum I > Together we will show those who attempt to defy His will that the Wrath of God is immense. His Justice is swift and decisive. His tolerance is limited.

[20:02:57] Jamyl Sarum I > Through our hardship, through our struggle, and through the tests that the Lord places before us we will persevere, and we will find our salvation.

[20:03:16] Jamyl Sarum I > Together, we will face this threat as a solid wall. Unwavering. Unswaying. Resolute. Immovable and unshakable. Through our defense of our hallowed ground this threat will find no breach.

[20:03:36] Jamyl Sarum I > We will embrace this threat with faith as our fire. With our belief in the word of God we will consume it, burning away the evil until only we shall remain.

[20:03:46] Jamyl Sarum I > A god’s chosen our faith will be our weapon, for within it lies the path to salvation.

She then screamed "Amarr Victor" and people spammed it cheering off my screen.

[20:05:04] Jamyl Sarum I > Mentor Raish? What is your purpose here?

[20:05:55] Peviad Vamai > We are investigating potential existential threats under the terms of the ninth condicil to the Yulai Convention.

[20:06:01] Hassin Khara > ATTENTION SOCIETY OF CONSCIOUS THOUGHT VESSEL - CEASE AND DESIST WITH ALL SCANNING ACTIVITY IMMEDIATELY

[20:06:27] Jamyl Sarum I > Under whose authority do you operate?

[20:06:29] Peviad Vamai > Our activities are lawful and essential.

[20:07:19] Peviad Vamai > I repeat the ninth codicil to the Yulai Convention authorizes investigation of potential existential threats.

[20:07:32] Hassin Khara > ATTENTION SOCIETY OF CONSCIOUS THOUGHT VESSEL - CEASE AND DESIST WITH ALL SCANNING ACTIVITY IMMEDIATELY AND RETREAT TO SAFE DISTANCE OF 100 KILOMETRES FROM [EF] SERAPH

[20:09:30] Jamyl Sarum I > Raish. Respond Immediately. WHAT ARE YOUR INTENTIONS?

[20:10:00] Peviad Vamai > Their communications have ceased, Empress.

[20:10:08] Hassin Khara > ATTENTION SOCIETY OF CONSCIOUS THOUGHT VESSEL - REPEAT - CEASE AND DESIST WITH ALL SCANNING ACTIVITY IMMEDIATELY AND RETREAT TO SAFE DISTANCE OF 100 KILOMETRES FROM [EF] SERAPH

[20:10:51] Matshi Raish > Empress Jamyl,I say in public that our presence and actions here are lawful under the terms of the ninth codicil to the Yulai Convention.

[20:11:13] Hassin Khara > ATTENTION ALL AMARR NAVY AND LOYALIST VESSELS - STAND TO - WEAPONS READY

[20:12:02] Hassin Khara > MENTOR RAISH - CEASE AND DESIST SCANNING, AND RETREAT TO SAFE DISTANCE - ONE ZERO ZERO KILOMETERS. AKNOWLEDGE IMMEDIATELY.

[20:13:37] Jamyl Sarum I > Mentor Raish, you leave me no choice.

[20:13:49] Jamyl Sarum I > Amarr Navy escort, engage at will.

So then one of the dudes goes flashy yellow and everyone attacked them. I guess you don't scan the empress.


[20:16:06] Akami Mieyli > We dealt with him, Empress.

[20:15:58] Renegade Heart > Kill: Matshi Raish (Capsule) oh yeah lol

[20:17:27] Jamyl Sarum I > Commander Vamai - Do you have full transcript and readout of comms from Mentor Raish?

[20:18:28] Renegade Heart > to all those who are disloyal to the empress we'll be comiung for you next!

[20:18:49] Peviad Vamai > Yes, my Empress, all relayed communications have been sent to Throne Worlds Fleet HQ for analysis.

[20:18:55] Jamyl Sarum I > Very well - Report to Grand Admiral Sundara on return to Safizon for full debriefing.

[20:19:11] Peviad Vamai > By your will.

[20:19:13] Jamyl Sarum I > I'd like to know his intentions.

[20:19:52] Gavriel M'el > Empress Jamyl Sarum I was merciful to allow him so many warnings... justice was served by his own choices.

[20:20:10] Jamyl Sarum I > The Empire will not tolerate threats to our security, and will continue to protect our borders to our full capability.

[20:23:12] Max Singularity > Jamyl Sarum I Was he under arrrest?   Was  he being detainted my web and scram?  What justice is this?

[20:24:57] Jni > People get ganked and killed nearly two jumps from this system, and some of you are up making such a big deal over one guy who repeatedly wouldn't obey a directo rder from the Empress herself? Geezz



[20:25:49] Max Singularity > Jamyl Sarum I There was no diplomacy.  This is rogue justice.  There are questions to answer?

She left with no answer to Max. Interesting.


Friday, July 24, 2015

Drifting Along

I have not been playing much. I have not been trying to play. By play, I mean log in and run around with Sugar or an alt doing something directly in the game world. I log in to chat but I've been very busy outside of Eve doing Eve stuff. In fact, with my vacation coming in a Month and the summit two weeks after, I will start buckling down and coalescing the information I've been receiving so that I have it on hand.

Today, however, is a day of computer stuff at home. We are starting the process of giving my husband the basement room as his work room. The first part is moving the server rack. It sounds easier then it is. He purchased a new rack a few months ago and we had to get that in the house. It is nice and tall with shelves and he is very happy with it. After that, hes had to drill a few holes in some walls and sit down and decide how he wants to rack all of the servers. We're also having a circuit run for the rack itself so that other house circuits don't trip it but that won't happen this weekend.

I get to help with the heavy lifting and the dusting and the room layout stuff. We're then moving our desks around upstairs since he won't need his work table anymore. Also, where my desk sits is over the front door/foyer and it gets cold in the winter. He is always warm so it makes sense for him to have the super cold floor. My bookshelves also have to move and in general its been a pretty productive day.

In a way it echos my slowly evolving self in game. I've been liquidating most of my life. As I get through each level I find it is easier to get rid of more and more stuff. I have more liquid ISK in my personal wallet then I ever have with a bit over twenty billion hanging out from all of the ships and modules I no longer needed or wanted. I haven't even touched TCS but I did get curious enough to run my value through JEveAssets. I'm worth about 130 billion which is nice considering I have a few inactive specialty accounts with assets not included. I've made it over that hundred billion point but I do wish it was in liquid ISK and not just my value across all of my accounts.

The only thing I want to do with my liquid ISK numbers is chortle and increase them. I don't have a project quite yet to use it on. Its nice to know its there but I want to feel quite selfish and hug it. I've been out of the ISK making business for quite some time now and it makes me feel very poor not to make ISK regularly. This is my pre-CSM life washing out. It is interesting to see what I earned.

I do want to shake off this oddly, unproductive lethargy that has fallen over me. Yet, I find that it won't be as easy to do as I think with my other game obligations bearing down on me. I do find NPC corp life to be strangely charming. Sometimes I answer questions but mostly I watch the ebb and flow of a very different game.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Because, Because, Because, Because, Because!

Somewhere in my pondering stuff came the question of value of that stuff. The value that stuff has to me and that value that stuff has to others and what value should it have. That is the question of accessibility vs status.

I've never played World of Warcraft. I understand, in a vague way from hearing other's discuss it that the gear you wear in World of Warcraft is super important. I know that in Diablo you are supposed to care about some high end gear that I've never cared about. Getting this gear is something that is brag worthy. In Eve it often translates into someone buying plex and making an officer fit Drake because in other games high value equipment improves you more than anything else does.

Last year I worked to get escalations redone. This improved the number of escalations which caused an uptick in modules found by exploration. This brings more modules to the market and thus their price crashes. However, there are more of them so while the individual price goes down the number the player can gain offsets that price crash.

But, along with that came complaints that finding these modules no longer felt special. That getting these modules was not so exciting. That is true but at the same time the use of the modules increases as the cost comes down to what more players consider within their expense ranges.  They become more accessible and people are willing to take a more expensive step.

So, the accessibility is increase and the status is decreased because it is more common. Common things are not exciting things because everyone has that. But the accessibility seems to be worth it to me.

Some of that comes down to the why are we playing aspect. As players play their interests and tastes change. I often come back to the killboards because there is so much focus on them. The amount of destruction that one player visits on another is the way that many define their actions in the game. Status is created by that cost and as that cost decreases the value of that kill decreases.

Are we attacking players or attacking stuff? That may be the question to look at. Are we fighting for the fight or just trying to destroy someone elses things? For those engaged in actions with such questions, they know their own answers. But, I think these questions and topics get tied up in the greater aspect of the game.

What game are we playing? Eve is a transmutable creature. It is part of the appeal. But it cannot support each style to the exclusion of others. It is very easy to get trapped inside of our own game and wrap ourselves within self imposed rules. After all, Diablo is about getting epic gear and WoW about end game raiding? So Eve is about expensive pvp kills...?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Back to Cleaning

I stalled out on my moving efforts. Kind of like unloading your moving van only to realize you have to put it all away and going to lay down instead. I'm partially moved and I'm probably moved well enough to get things started but I had decided to get myself moved fully.

But, I'm tired of writing contracts. I'm also tired of hauling things. I've developed this deep paranoia of being ganked in my freighter. I'm so damn helpless in the thing. I've also been waiting to get hit by inspiration for what I want to do. My backup plan is to spend some time grinding missions. It is something that I have never done so I'm somewhat fascinated by what it will be like.

As for my freighter, if I lost it I'd just get another one. I don't over stuff it and none of the items I've been moving are of great value. I'm not moving through any of the common ganking chokepoints. My freighter pilot is in a NPC corp. Yet, I twitch and my heart rate increases when something red or yellow or Machariel colored lands on grid with me.

At this stage of liquidation, I'm past the simple things and moving onto piles of stuff. Do I want to keep them? Liquidate them? Move them? For now, I've shoved TCS into a container in the corner to deal with later.  My personal stuff has become a weird assortment and tonight I found myself staring at my pirate frigates.

I've had a Daredevil and a Dramiel for a long time. I find the Dramiel to be quite attractive. I have no idea what happened between the Dramiel and the Machariel to make the Cynabal so weird looking. The ugly stick must skip sizes in some pirate factions. Anyway, I've never really flown them for as long as I've owned them. I never felt ready to fly a pirate frigate or good enough to do so because when you lose them someone comments on how much they cost.

So, hangar ornaments only without a story or background. I decided that I'd toss them into the liquidation pile as well. I don't have anything against them. I just don't think they are worth my flying them at the present. That is calculated by my worth which is mostly defined by interest.

The fun part about liquidation is that I've never had so much liquid ISK in the wallet. I do like that feeling.

Monday, July 20, 2015

... and the reason is ...

"When I grow up I want to be..."

I never 'wanted to be' anything when I was a kid. I wanted things. Safety. Comfort. Books. Food. I was willing to do what was needed for those things which ment work. However, I didn't have a future goal for myself that I followed or failed at. Later, I started to develop interests and those interests led to things I wanted to pursue, do, and experience, but I've never had a title for what I wanted to be when I grow up.

Eve is much the same way. I was chatting with Psinah the other day and he commented on how he enjoyed having mercenary contracts. They gave him goals for when he logged in and helped him set up what he wanted to do.  It made me realize that I don't have a goal in Eve. The closest I have come is wanting to make lots of ISK. I can't call that a goal. It is more a desire. I've done so little to support it. Hell, I dropped ISK making outside of TCS once I joined the CSM.

Perhaps it is why I have done such a poor job of integrating myself into a group in the game. While I am not directionless, I do not start with goals I develop them. I tend to want to be productive and effective at what I do. What I do however, meanders about as things catch my interest. I may want to try something but it is up in the air if my path will wander in the right direction for me to do so. I'm very curious about things but my curiosity is broad and I cannot do everything that might tempt me. I say, "I would like to try," instead of "I want to be."

In Eve, I can indulge myself in this behavior. I'm serious about what I do but I also know that I'm playing a game. For me, that involves indulging my personality. I wander, I sample, I get distracted and I very much enjoy all of that because I cannot behave in that manner in my every day life.

I'm not sure where that puts me in a game full of created goals. It is why I cannot anchor myself to some behaviors. Killboards, min/maxing, being a great fleet commander, or what have you. I have wandered into so many things. Piracy, markets, internet spaceship politics. I'm happy where I am and I do the best with what I get myself into but I don't have goals other than, "Do this thing I like or believe in well." And I mean well. I'm not a perfect person. I'm a creature of flaws, failures, and successes. Some things I cannot do and other's I can. I won't know until I try and I'm not going to be the best at everything but when I am doing it I will put all of my energy into it. But, not being driven by the desire to win, be at the top of a thing, or be better then someone else who may be doing something similar leads me in an odd place.

It may be that my goal is to not have a goal. To indulge in bohemianism. Every day, when I wake up, I have to be mature and make good choices. I've always considered myself to rational to be a starving artist but not enough to do the right things in society. In Eve, I can exist and indulge my random whims even if that whim is not to be productive at all. Yet,  I'm to intense about what I do like to consider myself casual in my play.

For now I will leave it that I do not start with a goal. I find one along the way.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

CSMX - Post #19

Deployment hiccups anyone? The smoothness of Tuesday was good. To good it seems with the main hiccup being a confusion of sov bills as Concord was displaced by the Secure Commerce Commission. No more paying the cops. On Wednesday Eve went down for just under twelve hours while a bug was hunted down and exterminated. CCP decided to gift the players with skill points for the inconvenience. This surprised me. I'm torn on it. It goes into my pool of reimbursed skillpoints I've managed to gather. I don't think it was necessary. I do know some groups lost their complete play time that day and some players displayed a level of rage that I consider grossly disappointing. I think it was a good move on CCP's part as a company but I'd not have been writing angry posts it if had not happened. 

This is a wide, sweeping changes and brings with it bugs. Tower anchoring notifications in sovereign space vanishing is a bug. Sion pounced on it quickly and the bug was confirmed and we hope that it will be fixed shortly. There was an issue with vulnerability timers as well.

One thing that I have heard questioned is the value of public facing timers. Timerboard.net is up and active. Like the wormhole mapping programs, it brings information once gathered to the fingers of any interested. It is easy accessibility to what was accessible before with a bit more work.

Over in Tweetfleet Slack CCP Nullarbor mentioned the current plans to allow supers to dock in XL Citadels. 
CCP Nullarbor [9:53 AM] we've talked about this in blogs that we are considering it, and haven't heard any good arguments why we shouldn't do it
Last year before the power projection changes were announced, I knew we'd be discussing the future of capitals, supers, and titans quite often. One of the information gathering things I did was to see how people felt about supers and titans being able to dock. It is yet another split field. I've never been fond of the coffin in space and because of that I've never wanted a super. Even if I could dock it I'd not want one now. However, this isn't a potential future that is about me.

On the side of keeping things as they are some discuss the 'cost' of maintaining a super. Various aspects of this cost, from dedicated accounts to hoards of cyno alts, often come up. My personal concern is about supers in low sec. They are already a powerful tool and this gives them a bit more flexibility. Yes, I know capitals need to be rebalanced. Yes, I have heard people say that there is now absolutely 100% completely and utterly zero use for them in game. Those frustrations do not negate the fact that they are used and being able to dock them will change things. An organization that is housing supers will be able to anchor XL Citadels at pretty much any budget point.  I feel that this has a more impact then anchoring a Large POS and housing the super fleet. Other's disagree. I've presented all sides of the argument that I know. It is a big change with a lost of questions and I'd like to thoroughly examine it now. I have been addressing super usage in low sec and common points such as catching supers. At the end of the day for those against it, CCP Nullarbor wants a good argument and 'because it has always been' is not.

For those curious: Things I will not ever support for low sec. Bubbles. Bombs. Removing gateguns so that it can be just like null sec with sec hits.

How about this jump clone bug? What do you think about it? Like it? Feel devalued? I think its interesting and opens a door to see how players feel about something once hidden behind a barrier like standings being this, casually open. It has already been accessible with the switch of a corporation but a corporation switch even for a reasonable thing such as jump clones is not one made casually by many.

This week I did not make the weekly meeting. As always, I can only make it every other week. There was another marketing meeting thrown together at a moments notice which was quite nice but also on a work day. I'll have recordings to catch up with on my days off. As for talking to people. I aim for next weekend, probably Sunday to hang out on coms for chats. I tend to announce in game and on twitter.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Names or Soup?

I noticed a Mazda CX-5 in traffic today. I noticed it because of the name. What is a CX-5? Is that a name that you remember? I have a Honda CR-Z and a Yamaha FZ-8. Whole my husband has a Toyota Sequoia and a Suzuki V-Strom. I've always wondered in that idle way where you don't care enough to look deeply into the question what made some cars get named alphabet and/or numeric soup and others a word for their name. It turns out, after a bit of time on google that it is a mixture of marketing and word choices.

Eve has empire space and everything else. Save for Thera and Poitot, Eve tends to leave Empire space to have word names. Null sec has alphabet and letter soup and wormholes J numbers. I struggle with null sec names. I listen to people go on about a timer at DASDA492 and a battle at 24GD52 with a supple ease. I on the other hand am always stuck in null trying to remember if they said CDS or 3AD or TZ3? Ugh.

I'm a visual type of person. I can read a map but I'll use landmarks as well. I tend to store enough in my short term memory to allow me to recognize something latter. I just can't remember what mix of letters and numbers means what.

Empire space is far from perfect. Outside of amazing systems like Cat most of Eve's map is a conglomeration of horror for me. I cannot pronounce a damn thing. As I stumble and trip and insert extra letters I find myself wistful for a bit more lingual ability. However, I can recognize system names well enough. I can't spell them but the words, despite my failure at saying them, anchor me better. Of course there is the other issue of crazy wormhole people naming their wormholes and expecting everyone to know what they are talking about...

It is one of those things that is so clear and sensible to me and when I have complained about it I get funny looks. It probably falls into the same murky fog of war that fleet doctrine names do for me. I have this stupid, stupid idea that a fleet would be named 'shield artillery jaguars' or 'armor artillery machairels' or nano hurricanes (hahhahahah not really anymore ahh the pain the pain... gimmie a minute to weep).  That seems to be a silly thought on my part. For some reason Mac&Cheese fits and SongCat Fleets make more sense.

I have to admit, I'm firmly on the side of names and informative descriptions.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A Bit of a Stumble

I get to write about a popular topic of the day. What happens when the game goes down?

I was fortunate. While today is my day off, my mother had already claimed the majority of my time.  I didn't get back home until 1600 my time and the server was still down. So, I talked to people on Tweetfleet slack and have spent some time writing things up and playing Minecraft.

A few years ago I'd have been all fretful with my game addiction. I've reached the point that I can put Eve down fairly easily. I also had nothing planned which helped. Then, add on the skill queue changes and there is little need for me to log in today other than simple pleasure of logging in and chatting.

It does remind me that I need to get back to resettling myself. I've somewhat learned not to play and I have to teach myself how to do so again. I've spent a long time docked up because it was safe from making mistakes that would get me ridiculed. Now, off on my own to wander around again it doesn't matter what mistakes I make. I wish it hadn't mattered before but unfortunately, it did. That is a side effect of doing things with others. It is no longer my singular perceptions that matters.

It leaves a lot to think about. But those are thoughts that move slowly in the back of my mind. I'm more occupied with work. Rob posted, "Enjoy your day off the CSM." I chuckled. I rolled over this morning around 0730 as I am wont to do and checked my phone. I immediately started bad typing into a discussion and then fell back asleep. The CSM is on several different mediums and I've been gathering thoughts and opinions and writing my opinions and reading ideas and reactions. If anything, I'd think there would be less to do if I did more in client. As is, I can easily not log in and still fill my day directly with Eve.

But now, the servers have come back up. I'm going to finish my tomato and get to answering my in game mail now that I can access it.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Bills, Bills, Bills




For some reason the confusion over Sov bills made me image a stack of bills as alliance leadership ripped out their collective hair.

Also, Concord has handed over their duties to the Secure Commerce C omission. I find that only fitting. For some reason we've been paying the police agency licensing fees for gates, local, and I guess the people staffing the stations?

Unfortunately the handover was not smooth. Maybe Concord has been pocketing cash? If things are at an unrest in the empire their removal from this leaves one to wonder.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

CSMX - Post #18

Tuesday was patch day with the first half of the July release. How do you like the NPC/Player/Friendly NPC changes? The issues thread is up. It was a bit bumpy for a bit with skillbooks not populating and the new blueprints not showing up. Now, we have another release this Tuesday that will be the second half of the release and it will also bring us Sov.

CCP Fozzie released two development blogs this weekend. One is a general discussion of transition and deployment. The second is an update on PvE and upgrade changes for sovereign null. The entire null sec deployment has been a strange mix of whirlwind activity and hurry up and wait. I have no idea what to make of it. I hear a lot of fear and worry in the words of players who engage in this part of the game. There have been a lot of last minute tweaks to address various problems. Some have caused unhappiness and some conflict of opinion on what the change even means. Things feel tense and unhappy to me from the null sec CSMs. They had another meeting over null sec this week. I was unable to attend because it was on a work day.

And then somewhere in the middle of all of this, Corebloodbrothers stepped down and decided that he could not balance the CSM in his life any longer. Gorski Car stepped back up. This year he has his knowledge from last year to let him get up to gear quickly. I wish him good luck. He is already gnawing on the missile changes. Gorski and I do not see eye to eye on much in Eve nor do our personalities mesh well. Yet, I will freely admit he is damn good at what he does and I am happy to see him working with the developers about balance again. He brings a valuable skill set to the table.

Let's talk low sec.

CCP Affinity opened some discussion doors in the Faction Warfare Chatroom on Tweetfleet Slack on Friday. Now, I can discuss a little bit of what I've been up to while null sec's changed have taken center stage, front stage, back stage, and most of the side stages. But after Fanfest she came to me and told me that some revamps would be coming at the end of the year. I've been sitting on that and trying not to be mildly insane with excitement over the possibilities.

CCP Affinity said at Fanfest that she wanted to do some work on Faction Warfare this year. She has confirmed a few of the plans in the design right now. This is not the final design the team is building off of but it will give a general idea of the direction planned for December's changed to low security space. We are working together to bring what she would like to do, what the players pain points can be addressed in the development time. We will work out the outline at the Summit in September into a cascading list of importance. Before then, I'm collecting all of the bits and pieces and wrapping them up into defined points. Proposal writing is more work then it seems but its worth it for the potential outcome.

Two currently released plans are:
A 4 way warzone. No more allies. Everyone is an enemy and the entire warzone is a battlefield. I like this idea a lot and I've received a lot of good feedback from it. During this, I hope to look at, such as warzone access (gates and connections). I'm not fond of bottlenecks and I've already had a few brought to my attention.

Suspect flagged for all players entering a faction warfare complex. This request is one that I first saw before I ran for the CSM while reading Susan Black's blog. Over the years and since joining the CSM I've discussed this general idea for people from the role players to those who do not wish to tank their security status. It was pointed out to me that it will affect the group of neutrals that keeps their neutral status and who will lose advantages that gains while carrying around a flag. I will ask about the viability of decreasing the duration of the flag from fifteen minutes. That has come up a few times.

What about non-faction warfare low sec? Last term I was able to get small changes introduced that improved the viability of low sec life in general. But none of those were big sweeping changes. I'm still hoping to find some of those and sell them to a team before CSMX is done. I'm also hoping to get smuggling addressed somewhere in this. I don't want non-faction warfare low sec to become faction warfare low sec. Nor will I support pirate faction warfare in non-empire faction warfare low sec. I'd like to see something focused on smuggling and piracy and the pirate factions using things like the Drifter menace to claw their way deeper into empire space.

And yes, T3 Destroyers need to get out of small complexes.

There has been a lot of discussion about Citadels in the FW chat room. What they will mean. What the docking rights should be or should not be. Cost, abilities, and locations of these structures are also discussed and I've dragged it all before CCP Nullarbor.

And when it comes to Eve in the outside world...
Eve Vegas is going strong but there has been a hiccup with the pub crawl venue. Tickets are being refunded by eventbrite I have heard and it seems that CCP is working on alternate plans. It is quite disappointing. I was just about to buy a ticket myself the day before the closing.

I made it to one of the two meetings this week. I'll probably host an open Q and A in two weeks. I'm going to rustle up one of the Null Sec reps to answer the null sec questions Corbexx and I have been getting. I don't mind saying I don't know but I'd prefer to have someone there who does know.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Hands Free

I've been productive today. Productive in a way that makes me chortle with delight. But, I'm also tired. So, after all the things that happened today I decided to take a break in rookie chat for a bit and help out. I don't get to go in as often as I'd like but I see that the helpers are still going strong.

In one of my conversations a very new player, a few hours old, was trying to figure out Crimwatch and how to kill people. I answered his questions as they came in. Sometimes vague, sometimes with links, it all depends but I answered them because he asked. At one point someone pointed out to me that he was a few hours old and not strong enough to really kill anyone.

I found that I did not care. I was more interested in answering his questions and letting him come to his own decision then discouraging him from trying to kill someone because he'd probably do a terrible job. It was because I did not feel that it was my place to discourage him. I was there to give him answers and whomever else I could answer during the time. I do not enjoy telling people what to do. I'd prefer to suggest they use caution with unfamiliar things but allow them to make their own decisions.

What it did remind me of was how many different worlds there are in Eve. Often, I stare at the movement and activities of null sec and shake my head. It doesn't feel real to me. I'm not a part of it. But that is a world that is happening. Over in another room I listen to Faction Warfare players dismantle their game and in another I listen to people helping others. I have PvEers planning a fleet elsewhere and soloers making kills. There are so many rooms in Eve, rooms of thought, opinion, taste and activity, that it is easy to forget that there are other rooms.

It is why I find rookie chat reinvigorating. They need to know how to get a new Ibis and that is their whole world. Next week, they will be a different person and they may start heading somewhere else in Eve. But, when everything is strange and new and confusing it is a very interesting moment for me to participate in. I don't want to tell them what to do. I don't want to tell them what they can and cannot do. My history will weight in.

I'm hands off. I've never had the desire to tell other's what to do. Learn. Decide. If you want me, I'll be right here.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Sense and Slatering

I could start by saying, "We all have that favorite battleship..." but that'd be a lie. I know plenty of people that can't stand the things. Besides, what is a favorite thing in Eve? For me, many of my favorite things are nothing but my appreciate of the way they look. For others, its all about stats. But this is about my weird tastes.

The other day I discussed my liquidation efforts. They are going quite well. I'm narrowing down on just cleaning out items that I don't plan to ever use. I've also started decreasing what I have. I don't need 100 gyrostablizers. If I need more then the 30 I kept, I will get them.

But, then I have things like my Bhaalgorn. It has no special story. Snuffbox created a Bhaalgorn doctrine and I greedily purchased one. I've never assembled it. I've never fi it. I'm not attached to it. I'm more excited to have it just to have it because I think its pretty.


I've always found Bhaalgorn's stunning. Something about that paint job and the shape of the ship jsut work. Yet, I have absoutly no use for this ship. What to do?

Bhaal's like the other pirate battleships used to click on at over a billion ISK. Their price has been trending down and I can take a bit of credit for that's a side effect of getting exploration content opened up. There is a very steady decline from November on in graph after graph. Whoops?

Is that accessibility bad? These ships have gone from a billion ISK to under five hundred million. People are flying them more and more. It used to be that undocking one would cause a feeding frenzy for an expensive kill. That almost made pirate battleships useless in some situations. In low sec  people would do amazing things to try to land one due to their high value.

But lordy, its pretty. I didn't buy one. I couldn't justify it. Then, I had enough ISK and couldn't find a reason for it. Now, I have it and have no need for it and I'm convincing myself to sell it because its useless and in the way and I can get another one later if I need one but I doubt it because I've not needed one for four years already.

But its so pretty.

But I will only keep it in a box in Jita.

But pretty...

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Eve Vegas 2015 - Pub Crawl

Today, CCP announced the tickets are opened for the Eve Vegas Pub Crawl. The Pub Crawl is one of those things that seems to change and mutate each year. The general idea is that people wander from bar to bar consuming some set number of drinks and socialize some how.

I've attended this once for Eve Vegas 2013. It was different but I was bored, lonely, and my shoe broke so I got a cab and went home early. I didn't participate in 2014. Now, its 2015 and I had no intention of participating until the News Article today about the Pub Crawl.

They are more having an open bar party down town at an arcade bar type thing. It will be exclusive to Eve Players for a three hour period with an open bar that looks like it will have juice and soda, not just alcohol.

On one hand it is kind of like paying for an exclusive drinking party of Eve players. On the other hand, its an organized social time and that went very well last year and I had a lot of good CSM discussions with people. Unlike my first two Eve Vegas' trips, my third one was filled with socialization. I expect that will happen this time around too.

Of course, its a hundred dollars. That is what has stopped me from pressing that particular button. I'll think about it for a few days. At the worst, it is sold out before my decision is made.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Hello? Hello?

I've been selling off stuff. For a long time I prided myself in always being prepared for fleets. I'd have at least two and often three ships for popular doctrines. For uncommon ones, I was comfortable with one. After all, if I fight went down I'd probably not have time to refit and come back. If I did, it would be in a support ship. My endless supply of those spoke to what my tastes were.

And what were my tastes? My assault frigates and interceptors had been supplemented by a company of Cynabal and Vagabonds. I even had my dakka dakka Talos for those DPS calls because I wasn't into battleships. I was yelled at a few times for responding to calls for help in a Talos instead of a battleship but I kept it up because even though it has steps on its forehead, its a fine looking machine and it was agile enough that I didn't mind it much. Closing in lobbing null at something was always a lot of fun.

I got battleships for fleets. My first battleship disaster as a month old newbie in a Dominix was a disaster. I didn't lose it but it was not very fun. I decided to wait to fly them until later. Now, seventy two million skill points later, I still don't find them fun. I've never been in love with doing damage. Oh, its useful. But I'm the type that picks the mage or the rogue, the thief or the healer. I'm not the one that picks the barbarian or the paladin and never, ever the knight. I guess T3s are more like monks. In some games and not in others. I never cared for that as well. Graceful, flexible, good at hand to hand but able to be a jack of other trades. Never the monk ether.

I've been pretty proud of my stable. It was a sign of my ability to be self sufficient in game. That was one of the things Ender charged me with. I had to be able to take care of myself. I used to take that to mean I could afford to lose whatever was asked of me. That habit continued and my stable was full of ships I might one day use for situations I might one day be in. With battlecruisers nerfed my ships got smaller. I've never gained the taste for bigger ships. I prefer kiting to brawling. I love flying around because flying is amazing.

Anyway, I sold most of it. I didn't want it. I don't think I've ever had so much pleasure getting rid of stuff in Eve. It was a burden I didn't realize I was carrying. Thing after thing. One after another until I was down to my beloved, memory filled Machariel and a handful of beloved ships.

Most of them shield.

Most of them projectile weapons.

Ahhh! That is what I remember enjoying so much. This is who I am. I don't have beautiful breakdowns of mechanics for others to enjoy and learn from. I'm sorry about that. It just isn't me. My joy is here. In derp around in my fast and agile ships that just work for me even if their numbers are not the best. I'm not the best. I've never had the desire to be so.

But I do desire to be happy. And, I found myself quite so as one after another the ships and the modules vanished.

Somewhere in there is who I am. I think I'll be able to find her again. I just have to call a little bit more.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

CSMX - Post #17

Tuesday is the first part of the July release. The patch notes, as always, should be read.There is a new ship, some new modules, and some changes.

A few days ago I was wistfully asked if we'd see T2 SKINs and more skins. Yes says the patch notes. We often discuss skins, weigh in on colors and encourage large amounts of exotic and interesting skins to let a player personalize their stable.

The wormhole spawn changes are coming in late. This has spawned from usage of wormholes to mitigate distances which is one of the most intricate and interesting uses of wormhole space. We even have corporations such as Signal Cartel dedicated to ease of access for general use. Power projection then becomes too easy/common/simple/accessible pick your theory. While this hits null sec spawning holes it also ripples back on the wormholers in general. They to use these exits and entrances. Plus, what will the change do for the rest of their exits? I am quite worried about untended side effects.

The missile modules are going in as is and we will see how that goes.

This is only the first half of the story. The week after, on the 14th the Sov Null changes will be released. And hopefully there will be a dev blog going over everything and then, I dunno. Duality's testing is done. People are waiting. Bets have been made. Dice rolled. Everything seems strangely frozen and utterly frantic.

CCP Rise made me quite happy when he wrote a post on reddit addressing several threads and topics that had come up recently under areas he was working on. People have asked, "Is CCP thinking about..." and I will say, "Yes. It has been discussed," but there are few to no details that I can give out. Now he was kind enough to open that particular door and laid out some of the issues we have been discussing for the last year (from CSM9 into CSM10). It has spawned a lot of conversation about the future of entry into Eve and progression. It is easy to cling to what I did when I started playing but my own history series has outlined how many times entry into Eve has changed over the years. It does not have to stay static nor be the same as it was in my childhood.

Last week I noticed that petitions vanished while I was talking with Mark726. I figured it was a mistake with whatever new customer service site they were putting together. It turns out that I was correct that it was part of the customer service site but incorrect that it was a mistake. Now you are directed to your desktop browser to write a petition. Customer Service has written a dev blog about their changes. While I am glad that they are updating their processes and systems I am very much against moving the ability to petition out of the client. To be more exact, I believe that the ability to enter stuck petitions, mission resets, and things like graphic exploits should be able to be done within the client as they possess an immediate need. Unfortunately, I was not aware of the change until after it was implemented so my concerns and points are only just being voiced now.

Remember, if you like lore now is your chance to become part of the living story. I listened to a complaint this week where someone notes that a handful of players keep cropping up in the lore and event news and they'd like to see more names. For that to happen people will have to enter the story as others are done. This is a living story and it is reacting to what players do such as the case of Dr Tukoss' corpse.

Last Sunday I got to do one of my chats. Corbexx was also there as he always is and we had about forty people and talked for about two hours about anything and everything including gardening. I'm happy to talk but I'll toss out the reminder that I have to be talked to. I don't bite often. Honest.

Fall is coming. I'll be at Eve Vegas for those who have asked.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

And Then Some Real Things

Yesterday, I opened up my Minecraft server to a few interested souls who'd like a quiet, casual place to build random things. Today, I was at work and in the course of a discussion had someone say that it is unnatural for someone to want to spend all of their free time on the computer.

I don't fit many societal roles and I am okay with that. I don't feel a desire to fit in. I'd like to be accepted for who I am. That often drives me. But I'm not interested in giving up the things I enjoy, want to do, and find fascinating to fit into the group. I'm okay with being an outcast. I'm also not ashamed of what I do. I'm not ashamed of my gaming. I'm not embarrassed that I've met most of my friends on the internet. I still roll my eyes when people say that it is strange to meet people off the internet. Understand, I met my husband on the internet twelve years ago and I'm still pretty fond of him so I'm a bit opinionated in that direction.

In October, I'll be going to Eve Vegas. I was talking to a few people who are planning to go for the first time and soothing nerves. Many of us are introverted on some level or another. We're normal, functioning people in normal productive jobs. We pay bills, have relationships, some even have kids. But many of us are not casually social in our free time. Social interactions come in bits and pieces.

I've never understood how people can go out every night and hang out places. They don't understand how I can stay in all night curled up at my desk. We both go out to work. My co-workers think that its strange that I travel for video games. Yet, if I was travelling for quilting they would understand more. Its the stereotype of it and the classic 'games are for children' concept. The same one that says we have to give up things and change to adult behaviors when we get married.

Perhaps, I have spent to many years working with people and saturate my work life in strangers. Eve players are people with hobbies, Ernestine, and the daily trappings of humanity as much as anyone else. Yet, today I looked at this person and said, "I am one of those people who spends their free time on the computer."

There are times when I write about my gaming and such and in the back of my mind I contemplate the fact that some people will find me pathetic or a waste of time and energy for what I choose to do. I do write about a fictional game and the very real effects that it has due to the simple fact of interaction. Sometimes it gnaws at me. Not because of embarrassment but because of the exhausted knowledge that I will be tried, judged, and sentenced without anyone ever looking beyond a stereotype.

"Hello. I'm Mel. I manage to become an elected Representative of a community to the developers of that community's consumed product. I travel to Iceland to discuss the companies product with them as one of several voices for their product." That may sound well and good until I change Mel to Sugar and add gaming instead of product.

Yet, the same thing that drove me to the CSM drives me to challenge people who would so casually judge me. Its that defiance factor of mine.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Some Other Things

I Minecraft on and off. It is something that I can do when I am doing other things in Eve, often reading. I have several large projects in Minecraft that simply require mining and not a lot of attention but a lot of time. Often times I play as I write because I find it mentally soothing enough that I can process things that I want to say. I can also check my stress level by how creative I feel at any given time.

World map.

At the moment I am building random structures that I am slowly linking into a greater complex. I have no idea what it will evolve into. Others make neatly planned out beautiful things. I have a habit of making everything asymmetrical and build organically as my fancy calls to me.


Anyway, I like Minecraft. My server's been humming along in a vanilla version of the latest thing. I realized that it has been a while since I really commented on Minecrafting. Back then I had a few people interested but I was keeping things pretty close because of the crop. These days there are only a handful of us and it is more a friend of my friend type thing.

So, if you are looking for a laid back survival server that builds sculptures and pretty things, hit me up. We're looking for a few more members. Not hundreds. We don't PvP. We don't steal from each other and we don't destroy each others work. We have a few co-op projects (our road across the world for example) but normally we just settle somewhere and do whatever strikes our fancy.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Here to There

I made Vov an offer. He turned me down. It was a simple enough thing. He is sprawled atop a stack of Cynabal blueprints and hates to go through the process of building and liquidating. I don't mind the process of creating and selling. I offered to buy his recliner of blueprints but he has decided to lay upon his hoard for now.

The value of stuff in Eve is one that has often caught my attention. I am an ISK lover. My wallet balance soothes my soul and my asset balance leaves me with a different type of comfort. Assets do not always go up, such as the story of pirate battleships. ISK stays the same and inflation and such changes its value some. When I started a PLEX was above 400 million ISK and wobbled around five hundred million. Now it is firmly entrenched at the bottom of nine.

Eve is full of conversion processes. Moon goo has a value for instance but that value is often better spent reacting it into fancier products to build tech two ships. I've always been excited to find blueprints in my loot but blueprints do not often translate into ISK directly. They must be sent to market and placed on contracts. Larger, more elaborate ones are better sold on the forums. All of this takes time and energy to convert thing into ISK and much longer then it takes to convert ISK into thing.

I've been thinking a lot about conversion. What is valuable to someone? Is it the ISK? The item? Is it the tangible now or the potential for later? I have PLEX to liquidate but should I? I have the TCS stock I'm sitting on but it has more value if sold at a markup away from Jita.

What is more rewarding to someone? The ISK? The potential of ISK? The convenience of now or the game play of creating it? For me, I like to putter. I won't be building Vov's blueprint hoard now... but who knows.. maybe later?


Once Upon a Time

Prince of Persia: Warrior Within is one of my favorite games. I've not played it in years but it is one of the few games I purchased and played from start to finish. It is early world open sandbox puzzle. The story lets you wander freely and you open more area as you continue on. You have to figure things out and remember what to do through a complex map. I learned that there were often secrets hidden in places that you assumed that you would die and I would often leap off of cliff faces because finding them was exciting. My husband would ask why I was leaping off of cliffs and I would tell him as I spied an intriguing ledge invisible to the safe area above.

I've started to wonder where that player went. When did I become worried about trying things? Where did my boldness go? Who was I now that I held myself so close to caution for fear of repercussions?

It is an unpleasant question to ask oneself. Often, we are far down a road before we realize that we are on it. And like any well worth and defined path it is easy to stay on it. Each day can slip into the next and in the warm fuzz of familiarity and comfort. The familiar has its own rewards.

But sometimes, no matter how wide and clear the road is... no matter how well marked... you can still be lost while knowing exactly where you are. And I hate being lost. It is not the same as experiencing what is new. Its that hollow, empty feeling as everything seems to fit but it is none of it is right.

I remember being a bolder person. I didn't worry about failure. I was comfortable in silence but I didn't hide in it. I remember that I rarely walked on roads. My curiosity would pull me in one direction or another. And somehow I started walking and stopped looking around.

Fortunately the path always has sides. Sometimes one climbs them, and others you jump down. It may be underbrush to wade through or a fog so thick who knows what is on the other side. But, I've always been good with finding my way and I think I can remember the simplicity in not worrying about what others thought of my choices. After all, there is exactly one person that has to live with the result of what I do.

Me.

It's something that I am remembering.