Monday 29 April 2013

So what's happening with ice?

Among the big resource shake-ups revealed at Fanfest were the changes to ice distribution in the New Eden universe.

Next we turn our attention to mining of a cooler kind. Ice mining provides the materials used to fuel New Eden’s thousands of Starbases, and the movements of massive capital fleets across the stars. These materials play a crucial role in EVE’s economy, but the mechanics around ice harvesting have not created a dynamic or interesting feature until now. New Eden currently enjoys a massive oversupply of ice, which stifles competition and emergent gameplay with the notable exception of a few specific organized ice interdictions performed by some very ambitious players. At current levels of ice product usage, all of the ice needed for the entire game could be provided by only four ice belts (one of each ice type). We at CCP want ice harvesting to be a lucrative activity that encourages players to relocate and compete for a piece of the pie. However we also must be careful not to cause the price of isotopes to rise beyond the means of most Starbase operators. We put a lot of thought into how we would walk this tightrope, and we believe we have found a strong solution.

When Odyssey is released, the current static (and massive) ice belts spread throughout space will be removed from the game, and replaced by a series of Ore Anomalies that will spawn and respawn only in systems that previously contained the aforementioned static ice belts. These belts will respawn in exactly the same system four hours after they are completed, to ensure that players from all time zones will be able to partake in ice harvesting and enjoy the spoils. The amount of ice found in these sites will be tuned to ensure that most, but not all, of the ice needs of the New Eden cluster can be provided by high security belts. At our current numbers, the maximum supply of ice from highsec (assuming that each belt is mined out completely five times a day) would provide approximately 80% of the game's ice needs, ensuring that at least some of the ice mining must be undertaken in lower security space. For context, this means that highsec will still be a large exporter of ice products, being able to generate eight times the volume of isotopes used by highsec control towers.

To counterbalance this reduction in ice supply and to provide a slightly more rapid gratification from the activity of ice harvesting, we will also be reducing the cycle time of all ice harvesters by 50%, which will result in a doubling of ice yield over time.

With the exception of some systems in the territories of the Amarr Empire, Khanid Kingdom, and Ammatar Mandate, all systems that currently contain ice belts will have at least one instance of these new Ice Anomalies. Some systems, mostly those that currently contain two or three ice belts, will contain multiple instances of the Ice Anomalies. A full list of Amarrian highsec systems that will contain these new anomalies can be found in our companion blog, so that players can determine if their home will still have ice after the patch.

Combined, these changes are designed to make ice harvesting a valuable activity that players will engage in both cooperative and competitive gameplay to benefit from. We will be watching the results of these changes on the EVE market and on player activity very closely following release, and we may make tweaks to the respawn rate or ice composition of the new sites as needed in order to ensure a balanced feature that provides for the ice product needs of the game.
Further details are given here.

We were told that the amount of ice coming from high sec will be approximately 80% of what the market needs.There are some problems with the 80% figure. First not all isotopes are equally wanted. Caldari towers are popular for their high cpu, minmatar have the best combat towers and Gallente have the biggest silos. If we use the market information for the Goon hub at VFK as a guide we can see that the market uses the following isotopes in a week:
Oxygen Isotopes 4.28 billion isk
Helium Isotopes 2.49 billion isk
Nitrogen Isotopes 2.24 billion isk
Hydrogen Isotopes 1.56 billion isk

Looking at Jita volumes for the first week of the month:
Oxygen Isotopes  706 million units
Helium Isotopes  590 million units
Nitrogen Isotopes  1,229 million units
Hydrogen Isotopes  271 million units

There's also an uneven distribution of safe belts. Gallente, whose section of the Empire contains a great many low sec systems only has 17 high sec ice systems, 2 of which are cut off from the rest of high sec by dangerous space. Amarr has much more, even with the patch reducing the number there will still be 24 high sec Amarr ice systems.

So if the 80% figure is right for each different ice types that implies different size icicles in each faction's space. Minmatar will have smaller icicles quickly mined out, Caldari will have large icicles that will produce a larger amount of ice (80% of 1229 million per week if we take the first week in April as typical volume).

If on the other hand it isn't separated by faction then we will see Minmatar and Amarr over-supplied and Gallente and Caldari seriously under-supplied. (Amarr for example would need to find 590 million units from 24 systems compared to Gallente which would need to find 706 million units from 15 usable systems).

(Note that Jita trade volumes, especially now when the market is volatile, do not necessarily reflect the actual use volumes as much trade is speculators gambling. Still it's the best stat I have available to me).

The next question is will players mine the full 80%? Well there will be a strong incentive to. If you're mining ice now for a fraction more effort (clicking Analyse on your scanner) you can mine more valuable ice at double harvesting speed after the patch. So let's presume the motivation is sufficient.

What we don't know however is how effective miner ganking and miner bumping and other harassment tactics will be. It's quite possible that null sec interests like the Goons might pay incentives to high sec griefers to go annoy miners in one specific faction of space. In any event focusing on one faction makes sense as it puts more stress and pressure on the people trying to mine there.

It's also possible that due to neglect, happenstance or timezone some systems won't be mined, especially high sec islands surrounded by low sec space.

So what will happen in null and low sec?

In low sec ice mining is going to be tiny. Low sec is so aggressively patrolled by pvpers that it's unlikely that many people will be able to set up ice mining operations. You would need to both be a pirate and a miner, a rarity, plus you'd need to feel safe enough from the predations of your neighbours and the mockery of your peers to be able to go out in the Mack.

Null sec mining is big business. However null sec miners will be receiving a considerable boost in the form of changes to the composition of the rocks they typically mine. In order for them to switch to ice they would have to make more isk/hour mining ice than mining ore. Ice is quite bulky so in order for them to mine ice for export the ice price would have to cover freight costs of around 37.5 isk per isotope. (It's 250isk -300isk per cubic metre to move stuff to Jita from where I live). It can be compressed and export costs will be less if this is done.

Null sec mining could become quite significant as it can be done relatively safely, allows Rorqual boosts (which are better than the boosts from the high sec boosting ship, the Orca), and has a richer variant (eg Enriched Clear Icicle rather than Clear Icicle).

There's little incentive for alliances to encourage mining as it's not taxable and, unlike ratting, the skills that make you a better miner don't make you a better pvper. It's also quite easy to interdict by afk cloaking.

What this means is that ice is likely to be far less dependable in supply. If ice runs out bad things happen - capitals can't jump, towers go offline and jump bridges stop working. In other words people WILL buy ice at almost any price. So the incentives for playing the market, buying ice when the price is low then interdicting supply in an organised way will be very high for null sec alliances.

I'm predicting the Goons will launch a third Gallente Ice interdiction on June 4th.

(Or maybe I'm just trying to sell you over-priced Oxytopes).


I'm changing the style of my titles in this blog. Instead of using Eve: ice products I'll omit the game name for Eve as most of my posts are Eve posts. I'll still add game names when I talk about other games.

Thursday 25 April 2013

Eve: what pvp feels like (NSFW)

Someone linked it in fleet tonight. Best summary of Eve pvp I've seen.

Monday 22 April 2013

Eve: Test scout, best scout

Scout: "ahhh... I got popped."

FC: ???

Any sign of them, scout?...scout?... scout?

So next time your FC asks you to +1 feel free to use our patented milintel scouting procedure!

Wednesday 17 April 2013

Eve: BB46 Player Driven Story

The excellent Mat Westhorpe has this for the latest blog banter:

With the return of Live Events such as the Battle for Caldari Prime, clearly the prime fiction of EVE is back in favour as part of this new thematic approach to expansions. However, EVE's story is very much a tale of two playstyles, with an entirely player-driven narrative unfolding daily in parallel to the reinvigorated backstory. Often, they do not mix well. How can these two disparate elements be united or at least comfortably co-exist in a single sandbox universe?

So here's my take:


Eve is a science fiction game I'll grant you but the spaceships, odd-looking people, monstrous space drones are simply dressing for what is at heart a competition between players. Eve could be set in a World War 2 environment, as a football game, as a fantasy game or in Ancient Rome and would have the same basic character and story type. The Goons screw over BoB, the HBC ground down -A- in a long defensive dull war of attrition, the Guiding Hand Social Club social engineers its way into positions of trust then robs people. What is needed for this is an extremely hands off approach by the game developers and a flexible game where mechanics and complicated and open-ended enough to allow people to devise unexpected ways of using them.

Just about no one cares about the backstory, cares that 10 Caldari scientists got kidnapped by Gallente agents. The only reason people read that stuff is to glean hints about future mechanics changes or to figure out what to shoot to complete their mission.

In games like WoW and EQ2 we saw very clearly that players don't want to read quests They skim until they spot the important part - eg, kill ten rats - then race off to do it. They don't want to stop and read about the history of the war between the rats and the gnomes or whatever. Player app developers made an addon called questhelper that allowed you to skip even skimming the quest and it proved one of the most popular addons in WoW's history, later being subsumed into the standard game mechanics because it was so popular.

Same with Eve's missions - it doesn't matter what the story of The Anomaly is, you just need to know collect the dude, drop the quality street thing off in the box, deliver the dude into one of the floating drop boxes. Who cares about professor this and drones that?  Just about no one doing the mission.

The thing with games is that once we gamers put our game-faces on we're in a different psychological state to the state we're in when we passively absorb entertainment like TV or novels. We're antsy, our trigger fingers itchy, poised to interact. We don't want to be read to, we're too hyped up for that.

And that's why backstories about Caldari Prime etc leave most of us cold. Want to know the stories players got excited about? Who scooped the loot.

Friday 12 April 2013

HBC: the fallout

So the dust is settling over the latest drama.

Cuddly badgers

Sort Dragon's corp from Pandemic Legion has left that alliance to help him in his role as leader of the HBC. That gives him the ability to lead the coalition as a blue while leaving Pandemic Legion with the option to reset the rest of the HBC for a more target-rich environment.

TEST have found out that certain behaviours and traditions that have been part of their modus operandi aren't in fact standard and universal in Eve. Then gone back to writing porn fanfic about it.

Pandemic Legion seem to be doing some soul-searching. The organisational philosophy that suited them when they didn't log on all that much and got rich off passive moon income may not be suitable for the coming Eve where nullsec alliances get their income from legions of ratters and ring miners. They're the last and perhaps the greatest of the old elite pvp alliances like BoB etc and we're seeing what an amazing juggling act their management has performed to keep them diplomatically successful while retaining their rottweiler personality.

DAWWW (TEST's feeder alliance) has been tidied up with some inactives purged and some of the busier corps making the grade to move on up. I'm delighted to say that our corp SEDNA is one of the ones joining the big boys' alliance.

I'm really pleased, feels like a reward for a big effort. Some fleets we've had 5 in and there's only been 20 others from the rest of the coalition. And that's with 10 of us logged on, 5 of which are non pvping alts.

And the random violence is set to intensify as management keeps hunting for new and better ways to find us fights.

Tuesday 9 April 2013

Eve: mental amount of politics in the HBC

My coalition seems to be seething with bitterness and frustration. First Jadecougar got fed up that the coalition leader obviously considered him an arse, the final straw being a dumb post on the Test forums that got 100 neg rep, making it clear most of Test considered him an arse. Then Thorn and Raiden squabbled over space so bitterly that Montolio said "fuck this" and threw in the towel. This didn't stop the squabble escalating and in the end Thorn stormed out of the HBC furious. Tribe fell out with Troll over who deserved the Paragon Soul region more after the Zombie Ninja Space Bears suddenly noticed that the alliance was only one dude and had been thus for months.

Now Nork, an ex-Test corp which had been using Test as a feeder corp to get into PL, went nuts when set read only on the Test forums and starting shooting Test, both while they were neutral and waiting to get auth-ed into PL and as soon as they turned blue. They somehow managed to lose a super doing this. Test has reset Pandemic Legion and the two are neutral at the moment. But the Pandemic Legion guy is still head of the HBC.

I feel sorry for the dude from my corp who they awoxed. I don't think he had even heard of any of these corps and alliances (except Test).

Have no clue what's going on. Am hiding somewhere quiet exploring mag sites until it's a bit clearer that a blue in local isn't someone about to attack me.

Monday 8 April 2013

Eve: the battleship revamp


Abaddon - unchanged

Apocalypse - cap use bonus replaced by a large laser tracking bonus. Gains grid and cpu. Loses tank, total cap and drone bandwidth, gains speed, sig, targeting range and cap recharge.

A really good deal for a ship that was already one of the best battleships. Expect Apoc-based doctrines to be popular in nullsec big fleet fights. Will be rough flying logi against these things (as logi rely on being hard to track to survive).

Armageddon - previous bonuses replaced by drone damage and hit points and neut/nos range bonus. Faction heavy neuts will reach 43.5 km. This takes the classic neut Domi and brings it back strong in an Amarr hull. This will be exceptional for small gang work - heavy neuts are beastly.
It also changes to a 5 launcher 5 turret set up so flexible with options for any gun or missile. I can see people using torpedos on these boats. Loses grid, gains CPU. Gains lots of tank, lots of cap, a huge drone bay upgrade and will be harder to jam. Penalised slightly on sig and speed.

I predict this will be one of the most popular battleships in low sec and high sec pvp. We may even see null fleets of geddons taking on slowcats by neuting and torpedoing them. Or blastergeddons!


Rokh - unchanged

Raven - gaining a mid and losing a high, also gaining 1500 grid and 50 CPU.
Losing some tank and drones, gaining speed and sig radius bonus.

I'm unsure about this. A slightly faster slightly slimmer waddling duck is still a waddling duck. I don't know how much help the agility will be and whether it justifies losing the tank. Still we've also been told they'll try to improve Cruise missiles for Odyssey. Very nice to gain the mid, I guess that slot could be used to compensate for the reduced shields. Overall a definite buff.

Scorpion - gains a little tank and cap. In practice the use of this ship won't change much.


Hyperion - gains a low, loses a mid which is very good for an armour tanking brawler. Promises of local armour tanking being revised at some point.

The real problem with the Hyperion is that buffer tank is just so much better at the moment in a fleet of any size. If I take out 20 dudes, some in battleships I'll probably have several logi ships (maybe t1). A ship with a +resists ship bonus boosts their reps and this ship, with its bonus to self-repping, doesn't boost the logi. And if it's fit for local tank then it doesn't have enough buffer to last long enough when shot by a dozen comparable ships. So it only works in very small gang and in Eve a small gang is usually bait for a larger one.

Megathron - gains a mid and loses a low. The idea is to support creative fits like dual prop (hell, we may even see triple prop MJD MWD AB megas get used). Its bonus to large hybrid damage is changed to large hybrid rate of fire, a slight buff (as reducing the speed of each volley to 75% is a greater than 25% damage buff). It loses one heavy drone and some armour but gains speed sig, cap and a little bit of shield.

Not overall a great deal for the Mega, it's likely to remain rarely used.

Dominix. Loses its hybrid gun bonus for a bonus to drone optimal and tracking. Gains a ton of tank and some cap, but it's fatter and heavier. Really good times ahead for this popular ship. We may also see alternative turrets being used ie projectile or laser turrets since the ship no longer prefers a certain type.


Maelstrom. Unchanged.

Tempest. Gains grid, a ton of tank, cap, targeting range and sensor strength. Sig penalty. A great ship just got a lot better.

Typhoon. Ship bonuses will be missile rof (unchanged) and explosion velocity (replaces projectile rof bonus). Loses a high, gains a mid, adds a launcher slot for an underwhelming total of  launchers. Gains cpu, tank, cap, agility, targeting sensor strength. Drones reduced, sig penalised.

It's an improvement to take it away from split weapons and it's picked up some small buffs. Maybe some people will prefer it to the Raven, especially if they want to armour tank it. We'll need to see the mentioned cruise missile and armour changes to properly evaluate this ship.

Eve: a sample after action report

 I've been FCing fleets and to make it more fun I asked my corp for sponsors, got 180 million which is enough for half a dozen fit Fed Navy Comets and then started running police themed frigate roams. These are great fun and people have got quite into the light roleplay of it. I'll say things like "there's a four eleven in progress at the junction of NOL and PR tack", all units proceed to destination and off we go looking for people to fight.

Here's my after action report on the roam I led tonight. We raced all over Fountain looking for trouble and we certainly found it!

Fleet was slightly late starting due to a defensive fleet against a Darkness. T3 cruiser gang, Pizza gang DnD gang all around NOL-FWST area. Police roam was unable to engage these fleets due to a lack of supporting SWAT teams. So when we did form we proceeded to Fountain.

Fleet patrolled as far as 3WE when an Algos was spotted in pursuit of an act of criminal trespass. A trap was set on the 4-E gate but suspect eluded capture and got into warp. All units engaged in hot pursuit finally apprehending suspect in DB-.

We then proceeded in an orderly but swift mannner to YZ- where we apprehended an Enyo who was caught red-handed committing unspeakable crimes against innocent space goats.

Unfortunately our lawful and righteous arrest attracted the attention of other members of his criminal gang who attempted to waylay our heroic officers. We valorously defeated a Tempest but several officers gave their lives to bring him to justice.
Tempest kill:
Battle report:

Their sacrifice will be remembered.

This time picking the Most Valued Officer was super hard. Navicerts did some great work scouting for us. JubbadahuT and Nordika put out great deeps. Arlaya DuSharpe got a fantastic tackle on the Algos and its pod and held point on the other two ships. And Hiu Dark got the kills on the Tempest and the Enyo and tackled the Enyo.

The only possible decision considering we had two such outstanding contributions from Arlaya and Hiu was to award two prizes. Grats to the winners!

Great job everyone!

Saturday 6 April 2013

Eve: DUST514 bonuses

EVE bonuses for owning districts:

Since this information only exists in random posts around the forums and a video I wanted to get it in a more central and verifiable location.
There will be three EVE bonuses, one for each SI. The bonuses will be as follows:
  • A bonus to the manufacturing time of Player Owned Starbase (POS) around that planet.
  • A bonus to the fuel consumption of POS around that planet.
  • A bonus to Planetary Interaction (PI) output on that planet.
We are not at this point ready to disclose which SI these bonuses are attached to, their exact percentages, or how the stacking of them will work.
We can say that the bonuses will apply to all members of your corporation and the other corporations in your alliance. As in yes, these are alliance wide bonuses. :)


Oh my. DUST514 just got real for Eve players.

Friday 5 April 2013

Eve: CSM endorsements

The Eve Online player council, the CSM, is becoming an increasingly relevant and important part of the game, influencing decisions on how the game will be designed and how various interest groups will balance. It's really important that we don't leave veteran affluent titan owners in charge of representing the players to the game designers. These highly vested players are the default simply because they care the most about the game but it's only good for them if Eve returns to the "glory days" when they could solo 200 other people in their uber-ships.

I don't like candidates with lazy campaigns. Lazy campaigns suggest a lazy rep and a lazy rep won't get anything done. It's even worse in a bloc candidate because it suggests a "I don't need a manifesto as I'll just push what my masters tell me to push" attitude.

I don't like vague campaigns. If you can't think of a way that the game can be improved please don't occupy the seat of someone who can.

I don't like single issue campaigns. Yes, yes we all know the POS UI is crap. If that's all you plan to talk about for the next 12 months you're not much use though.

This post will be in 2 parts - the list first (for the TLDR crowd) and the analysis second. One interesting thing I learned doing this was that I couldn't find more than 12 people I thought were decent candidates. If you play Eve and are on the fence about running then if this year is indication we're short of people who are willing to put a decent campaign forward.

Endorsement list (with rating) 

Ripard Teg A
Malcanis A
Sort Dragon A
Trebor Daedhoow A
Mangala Solaris A
Banlish B+
Sala Cameron B+
Unforgiven Storm B+
Ali Aras B+
Artctura B+
Riverini B
Steve Ronuken B
Awol Aurix B-
Chitsa Jason C
Nathan Jameson C

Candidate Analysis

Progodlegend - decent FC, spy and meta-gamer.C

Unforgiven Storm - sensible and down to earth industry guy. I'll admit to an anti-Goon bias, not least because they're gaming the voting but he's still worth endorsing despite being a Goon because he'll help create a better Eve. B+

Artctura - bloc candidate but one of the better ones with a great blog and a genuine love for Eve. B+

Roc Wieler - good writer and blogger but disappointingly vague. His platform seems to be vote for me because I'm awesome. No idea what he thinks about any Eve issue. E

Malcanis - possibly the best analyst of the game in the player community. Outstanding thinker, noted for Malcanis's Law which is a very important statement of theory for those of us who like to champion new players in Eve. Despite being a bloc candidate his intelligence, analytical ability and newbie-friendliness make him a must-vote. A

Mynnna - one of Eve's cleverest players but a cynical metagamer who is using the CSM to advance the economic interests of his alliance. Don't trust him as far as you can throw him. E-

Ayeson - POS-obsessed wormholer. D

Nathan Jameson - decent wormhole candidate. C unless you live in wormholes.

Chitsa Jason - another solid wormhole rep. C+ unless you live in wormholes. 

Kaleb Rysode - a Goon with a platform of "lol, I'm getting in cos I'm a Goon." Xander's interview with this clueless bandwaggoner was painful. E-

Cipreh - another wormhole candidate probably less interested in CCP doing any work on any part of the game outside wormholes than the others. D

James Arget - another wormholer, again too wormhole focused in my opinion. D

Riverini - the controversial editor of the EN24 site. Despite being from a bloc was left off the bloc 14 list no doubt due to Mittani's rivalry with him. Would be an effective voice and would disrupt the wall of solidarity that the bloc candidates may present. Add him on your list if you want the pot rattled. B

Trebor Daehdoow. Veteran of 3 previous CSMs noted for hard work. Would add important continuity and knowledge of the processes if elected. The effectiveness of the committee could be seriously undermined without this hard worker. A

Korvin. Veteran of 2 CSMs from a couple of years ago. Small gang pvper. Pretty half-arsed campaign, seems lazy. D

Psychotic Monk. High sec knobhead. Vote for him if you're outraged that your Catalyst can/t solo suicide gank a skiff any more. E-.

Greene Lee. Lazy and ineffective member of the last CSM who for some strange reason wants to carry on. Don't let him. E

Daehan Minhyok. Member of "no boobies" corp Multiplex Gaming in my former alliance, Li3. Say no to sexism. E.

Banlish. Dedicated industrialist from Test. Bloc candidate but a good one with fantastic expertise about industry in null sec. Slight worry that he may not be forceful enough to carry his points in charged meetings. B+

Steve Ronuken. Industry candidate who has done a lot of third party app work who will be very useful for this year's CSM as CCP introduce the CREST api development system. Would be a useful asset. B

Mike Azariah. Solid writer and blogger but disappointingly vague in his CSM campaign. Sees himself as a Casual Player candidate which is something of a Barnum statement ("vote for me if you don't like long boring POS shoots," well gee). C

Travis Musgrat. His campaign is literally "vote for me so I can whine about my titan." E (also please awox his titan).

Sort Dragon. New leader of my coalition and he's started great. Instead of these passive aggressive jabber-warriors his solution to problems is usually get us all in ships and go blow someone up. He's a delight to play with and his no bollocks direct approach will be great on the CSM. Bloc candidate (in fact one of THE bloc candidates, the HBC have him top). A

Corebloodbrothers. Provi bloc FC with a rather half-arsed campaign platform that seems to be just cribbed off what everyone else thinks. D.

Awol Aurix. Test IT guy who has made some awesome tools for his community and has great technical expertise. Came across in Xander's interview as underprepared and lacking in confidence and communication skills. I'm sure he'll get in as a bloc candidate but I hope he takes it more seriously and comes out of his shell once he's on board. B-

Mangala Solaris. Red v Blue FC, very good candidate with a real appreciation of pvp and newbie issues. Has the RvB vote, deserves yours. A

PsychoBitch. Running on a vote for me and I'll personally fix everything platform that looks like a troll. Silly. Probably only in it for the free plane trip. E.

Ripard Teg. Writer of the Jester's Trek blog and with Malcanis one of the best writers in the player community. Very newbie-friendly despite being an expert veteran pvper. A.

Sala Cameron. Supercap FC, once for the NC, now for PL under Shadoo. Null-focused with a very good understanding of why so much of nullsec is blue and risk averse and what might fix it. Bloc candidate. One fault is that his platform is too specialised. B+

Ali Aras. Provibloc candidate with a focus on new player issues. Inexperienced in Eve which would actually be an advantage - would be good to see someone who is not on top of the learning cliff looking down on the CSM. Good interview with Xander. B+

Kesper North. Pretty standard null sec bloc candidate. Vote for him if a buffed nullsec is in your interest. C

Further reading/listening:

Xander's candidate interviews on Crossing Zebras. Exhaustive, very professional interviewer.

Eve O Jita Park Official forums

Eve: emergent ship fitting

One thing that's notable about the HBC is that people are very quick to scoop loot from the fallen. Large pvp battles often litter the field with wrecks, many containing valuable tech 2 or even faction modules.

People are also judged to some extent on killboards so getting a hit in as ships die is prized.

Eve of course is a game which evolves in line with player creativity so it was not surprising that someone eventually came up with a cruiser fit with:
2 tractor beams
2 salvagers
a gun for getting on killmails with
2 cargo expanders
2 salvage rigs.

Sadly this paragon of inventiveness was brutally commissared by an unsympathetic fleet commander.

"Don't loot while we're fighting" he said

His ship may be dead but hopefully his fit will live on in immortality.

Wednesday 3 April 2013

Eve: Corporations: scum villainy and goodfellowship

A few days ago Sonoran Scotsman asked me this:
I don't know if you take requests, but I'd love to hear about Corp life a little. I've been in a mostly PvE Corp of about 100 members for 2 weeks, and recently we've been declaring war or having war declared on us by veteran PvP Corps over and over again. Ultimately it seems like our Corp got changed into a PvP corp overnight. Our CEO and Founder just transferred control to someone who hasn't been online for at least a few months, and then he resigned.

Sure, I do requests :)

The deal with game guilds/corps is the deal with any internet gaming community - it's transitory. There are some few exceptions but the vast majority of in-game friendships are with people we've known less than a couple of years and won't know any more in a couple of years times. Layer on top of that the ferociously competitive nature of hardcore achiever-subtype gamers and you have social nitroglycerine.

The larger the Eve community the more volatile the community. So the ones that endure make an art of riding the wave of nerdrage.

Pretty much every large nullsec entity in Eve has some pretty appalling characteristics including hazing of newbies, casual use of hate speech and an appetite for griefing outsiders, especially those in high sec. There's also a lot of fun to be had there if you don't let that bother you.

I don't like it that it's "normal" in Eve to share comms and chats with people who can't complete a sentence without saying faggot or nigger but I feel that it's a battle that's already lost, just like an earlier generation must have felt when "damned" and "bloody" became ordinary expressions.

In addition there's a fashion for sensationalism. Someone shooting the mob you wanted to shoot is a SLAP in the FACE, the WORST thing ever, must be SORTED out NOW!!! And the worst of it is the people who sensationalise other people's over-sensationalisations turning complaints into guild-splitting dramas.

Naturally some people respond to events by stealing everything they can then leaving under a cloud creating new waves of drama. Eve is specifically designed to allow people to easily steal from and mess with their friends, it encourages the kind of fascinating gaming train wrecks that have made its name. (Although that's becoming less true with features like the Crimewatch safety toggle and the just announced personal pos hangars).

OK, I've got the bad stuff out of the way - what's the good stuff?

Well the advantages of playing with others in Eve are several:

- foremost is having online friends to share the experience with. Here's a NSFW video of us all being dicks to some miners and giggling about it. Maybe that's your kind of thing - it certainly is mine I had a great time. My CEO is running the fleet, I'm the one stealing the mining barge. I have a great laugh with these guys, I'd quite happily be still playing with them in 5, 10 years time maybe in Eve maybe in a different game.

- next it opens up a ton of possibilities that simply aren't available to the soloer. I'm now fleet commanding for my coalition as a trainee FC. I can just decide to pick on and hunt people and dozens of other people will come along and help kill them. I get to make moment to moment tactical decisions that lose or kill hundreds of millions of isk (and later on billions if I move up the ladder). FCing in Eve has been called the best RTS one can play.

- the drama itself is pretty entertaining. We just had some guy rage at us because he couldn't get his own way all the time, then rage-steal an Apoc which the goons blew up on his way to high sec. It was pretty good fun taking the piss out of him, especially as he takes everything super-serious and gets really irate over nothing all the time. If you play Eve it's quite likely you were sucked into this crazy universe because of some massive drama and they're more fun at first hand.

- it's worth a ton of isk. Most corps give free stuff, alliances give ship reimbursement and if you're new and poor people will usually help you or give you stuff. You can ask your mates for help - one guy asked me for help with an officer rat, a special high end rat found in null sec, so I helped him and we shared a module worth 3.5 billion isk. He wasn't able to kill it on his own.

Lastly if you do want to join us out in nullsec then here's the advert for my current corp. They're a laid back cheerful bunch that I'm having a lot of fun flying with.