Monday, August 23, 2010

They will live for a score of years

I was listening to Leo Laporte and Paul Thurrott in episode 170 of Windows Weekly in the Twit Network.

In a previous rant/post of mine I mentioned the imminent death of the xbox360 and PS3 gaming platforms, which as it turns out is incorrect.

So in that TWiT episode they said both platforms will have another five years of official life left, for a total life of ten years.

So this post is to correct that error of mine, however, I still firmly think DUST514 will sink without trace which will be a shame for a variety of reasons.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The mission wall


Yes I finally hit the mission wall, again.  We were doing AE or something and we discovered that none of us were paying any attention to the mission at hand.  I was reading on another computer about the Dakota wars in North America during the late nineteenth century.  Another member was playing Bejewelled and the third was playing with his new Samsung smart phone.

None of us were actually using the bulk of our attention to mission.

After we discovered this together and we all admitted to it we all agreed the missions, while required for ISK making, were killing us and the love for the game.

So last night we went low sec roaming, eventually.

For a corp that is supposed to go low sec roaming often we found that none of us actually had ships fitted for the task. So with us all fitting out ships and waiting for a member to come back from afk one hour went by before we could move out, annoying but should be better next time.

So eventually we all arrive in our high sec jumping off point for the entry to low sec, I send the scout in, who is learning, and get intel of a Drake sitting on the gate and about eight more people in local.  I ask the scout to see if the locals are in the same corp as the Drake, so I am then given all sorts of information except what I asked for.  So after asking for the corp information a couple more times, the scout at this stage has warped away from the gate at my request, we jump in anyway.

Fail scout.

The Drake is no longer there but a heap of my old corp mates from Sto-vo-kor are the ones in local.  Knowing how these guys work that Drake was a bait trap and it was good we didn’t try and shoot him up.

So they are camping one of the two other gates in the system, we chat in local once they discover I am in local but we are also trying to find out where they are as we might be chatting but that could also be the precursor to an attack.

It all seems good, the threat of attack seems to diminish, but we are running out of time as DT is approaching, we say our goodbyes and leave system.

Heading a few more jumps into low sec and it would seem one of their scouts is following us, or maybe just going to the same place, as our destination system is soon crawling with Russians bent on mayhem and destruction, too many for us which means the night is going to be a wash.

At least we were not missioning though.

Twenty minutes to go and we make our way out, leaving low sec with no issues, and then the private chat windows chat appearing.  The end result is unknown at the moment but we could be going blue with the alliance they are in, or perhaps even joining the alliance.

So while our roam was a bust it may have been a very successful night after all.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Stealth Bombers!


So on the blog A Merry Life and a Short One I read an article about stealth bombers which is well worth a read, so here is the link:

Stealth Bombers


There we go, another post done, this is easy!

Friday, August 13, 2010

It’s gone Jim.


Walking back to my quarters from the Hanger with Roku we had a chat.

“So my new corp roles have come through”, I said.

“Yeah? Cool, probably just means more work though”, Roku responds.

“Work means opportunities. Something interesting is now I can see more of the corp background movements, which includes ships destroyed and killed”

“Uh huh”, Roku says warily.

“To my surprise I see my Megathron, the one I loaned you on the destroyed list.  Care to tell me what happened?”, I ask.

“Yeah sorry about that.  We had a short war with some folks, forgot who they were now, have to look it up, and we attacked a couple of their Battleships.  We killed an Armageddon for the loss of the Megathron and a couple of Battlecruisers.  Considering the fit of the ‘geddon we were ahead on ISK.”

“So you were going to tell me about this when?”

As we approach one of the bars to pass by the noise becomes too loud to hear each other, once we are past we continue.

“I was trying to find the right time because of something else.”

“What is this something else?”, not liking what I was hearing.

“Well it’s like this.  In the rush to fit the ship how I like it, undock and attack them I forgot something.”

“What did you forget Roku?”

“The insurance.  So I was only paid the basic amount.”

We arrive at my room. Gesturing vaguely in the direction of my drinks cabinet Roku gets the idea and makes two drinks. While he is doing this I force myself to sit.

While rubbing my temple with two fingers of my left hand I ask, “So let me get this straight.  You lost the ship I loaned you, it was also not insured and given what I know now about more recent activities it gets worse doesn’t it?”

“Sorta yeah as the ISK I’d saved to pay you back was then lost when my Battleship, the Hyp was lost in the most recent war in that weird attack of theirs”, Roku explains.

Staring out of a window of my room I think about what to do.  Not much point in chewing him out about it. The first attack was a success on paper and the second was strange, not sure what any of us could have done.

'”Yos?”, he asks.

Turning back towards him, “Okay here is what’s going to happen. We’ll work a bit harder to replace the lost Battleships, I want to change the roles here anyway so after talking with the CEO earlier today your role, amongst others, is going to change.  I’ll let everybody know more soon.  I need to get some sleep, you probably do also so we’ll catch up tomorrow, okay?”

Roku stands up to leave, “No problem”.

Just as Roku is almost to the door, “Oh is Token in station, or even system?”

Roku turns back, “No I don’t think so, I’m not sure she’s even in this region.”

“Okay thanks man, catch you tomorrow”, I say as Roku leaves.

Reaching for the communicator to fire a message off too Token for a face to face meeting.  She’s not online at the moment and probably not even in this region so it could be a few days. With that done I kill the lights and fall onto the bed, sleep comes very soon.

PLEX, Botting and You!

So this week we get the news that some numbnut has undocked in a small ship from Jita 4-4 with approx 70+ PLEX is his hold, a local has scanned him, destroyed the ship and all the PLEX was destroyed.  The approx total value was $1300, US dollars I assume but cbf checking into that some more.

That is quite a large amount of money for the average gamer to be playing around with, so with suspicions of more behind it I did some snooping around.

Botting seems to be rampant in Eve at the moment.  From the various comments on the forums and also chatting with some people I know they have said it appears to be on the rise. 

Botting is the control of your in game character by a third party program with the intention of levelling that character up or making in game money, which can then be exchanged for out of game money, Real Life (RL) money using a variety of methods.

So one of the botting programs, it would seem, looks for the name of the character being mentioned in local chat and then if the name is seen the program either shuts off leaving that person floating in space or it disconnects the game.  I suspect a variety of options are available to the botting player and the most popular one chosen is the former.

So a small game has developed where you mention the name of the people in local channel in suspected botting systems and then see how many either disappear or shut down their ships for a period of time.  I can see this making a very short progression to a drinking game with much success.

So where does the ISK go?  At the moment the ISK generated is still in game currency and can be used for the many things available in game, but if the botting is being used for RL money generation then that fake money has to somehow become real.

One of the ways could be the selling of ships to another character at heavily discounted prices.  So it could go like this.  Person A wants a fleet of cheap ships, so they pay Person B, the botter, some RL money via Paypal to provide those ships.  Then Person B sells the ships in game to Person A via contracts or even direct in station trade at a discounted rate, but probably not too low to attract attention from CCP.  Person B obtained the ships from selling the minerals, mission loot and ISK from missions (they can and are all being botted) and then made them available to Person A.

I’m sure other examples exist.

Every once in a while CCP bans a swathe of accounts and, so they say, the botting stops for a while, it would appear this needs to happen more often than it has as the market is being artificially manipulated by these outside forces.

Deploy The Ban Hammer.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Waste or Waste

To state the obvious, waste is waste.  Waste here or waste there, it’s all still waste.  So with this in mind I was thinking about World of Darkness (WoD), DUST514 and Duke Nukem Forever (DNF).
One of the problems with DNF, apart for that acronym also spelling out Did Not Finish in sports land, are the changes that had to be made to the game as time passed and technology changed.  From memory the game was torn down and reborn at least two times and eventually, as we all know, the weight of its past caused it to implode.
According to CCP DUST514 is almost ready, I would like to see the game released, some calls have been made to put the game on hold, fix bugs with Eve Online and then get back to DUST514.
This will not work as the lesson of DNF shows us, DUST514 would become old, the graphics engine outdated and we are approaching the end of life for the XBOX360 and PS3.
However it should not be rushed either.  CCP are in the unenviable position of juggling three games, one an established hit, if such a term can be used for the niche crowd it has attracted.   WoD which may find appeal with the Twilight crowd and DUST514 which could go either way.
So the waste issue is this, do we waste the development that has already been made on DUST514 and others or just get them done, as they tie in with each other anyway, and move on?
The problem with DUST514, as mentioned previously, is the current and probably future glut of FPS games on gaming consoles (Wii not included as a gaming console as it’s in a different league).  Why should the ADHD, sugar addicted, twitchy FPS gamer look at DUST514?  Surely those people are not suited to the much more sedate, planned, lifestyle of Eve Online so not much crossover will happen there.
Sharing technology is what it’s all about people!  Incarna (Walking in stations) for Eve Online, DUST514 and World of Darkness are all going to share the same graphics engine.
I have a plan.  WoD can be set on the surface of a planet in Eve Online and Eve pilots can access this planet in all its black nail polish glory, so I can stab one of those fuckers with my spoon!
Gives them something to be emo about.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Saddle Up!

We have been sitting near this moon for what seems like days waiting for our war targets to show themselves.  Roku and I have been piloting Stealth Bombers, staying hidden and trying to keep our enemy off guard.

We are outnumbered and outgunned, as I did not join the corporation until after the decision to declare war had been made I was not there to decide.  Given the situation we are now in I would have wished for a no vote.

However here we are, defending another corporation that is unable or unwilling to defend itself, we are barely able to provide an attack ourselves given the beat up nature of the corporation at the moment.  I’ve been promised the situation will improve but you fight with the tools you have available.

We have a war target in system, he is sitting outside one of the stations trying to goad the industrialists to undock, I am also trying to convince them to undock and together we can attack the ship, a Rattlesnake, a faction Battleship.  Our fleet is a motley affair, two Stealth Bombers, a Drake and an unknown combat ship, perhaps some of the other members of the industry corporation will undock and fight when it begins, I certainly hope so.

Minutes go by, I am anxious to attack this thing, Roku is almost making his bomber bounce with anticipation, he is on the comms to me constantly.  The industrialists are taking much convincing, all this time I am worried the enemy will leave the station or maybe the system.  One of the things keeping him there is his confidence, his arrogance, something I’m hoping will be his downfall.

Finally I get an agreement on a battle plan, however tenuous it is.  So the two industry corporation ships will tank with some attack and we in the bombers will be all attack, we have no damage mitigation.

“Here it goes”, was the only message I received from the primary tank pilot in his Drake, he sounded tense.

We warp to the station, the Drake is taking the damage well, also hitting the Rattlesnake for some damage.  The enemy has deployed heavy drones, just as we appear.  Both Roku and I target the Battleship and let loose volleys of torpedoes, the damage on his shields accelerates rapidly.  He pulls in his drones.

I chat with Roku, “Lookout for light drones, he’ll go for one of us”.

“Yep on it”, replies Roku.

The bastard targets me, drones come streaming out, flashing red as they target and start attacking the ship, I’m still attacking the Battleship but looking for an exit, somewhere to warp to, I choose a destination and warp away, almost in hull, I’m out of the fight for now.

The warp tunnel collapses and I immediately set warp back to where I came from but a little further out, engage the cloak and head back. The warp tunnel collapses once again and I can see how the fight is progressing.

Roku is now being attacked by the same drones and also warps away, though doesn’t seem as badly damaged as I was, he’ll be back soon.

“Don’t break my cloak when you come back”, I request giving him directions on how to avoid my now invisible ship.

“No worries.  While you were gone one of the indy ships undocked in a Frigate and flew away”, Roku said.

“What the fuck! Who was it?”, I yelled.

He told me, I was not happy.  So our promised local support was gone, non local support was too far away to help, though coming very fast.  However on the plus side the other guy acting as the tank was doing a great job.

We both un cloaked and re entered the battle, this time doing slashing attacks, I noticed the heavy drones, which he had brought back out to attack the Drake, were expensive ones, so I targeted them, he soon brought them back into his drone bay.

He was disengaging and trying to leave the fight, as we both had him warp jammed the only way was to dock up, at least thirty seconds away.

The tank pilot signalled he was shutting down the launchers and will disengage, I asked why but saw why at the same time.

Some local nobody had seen the attack, decided the Rattlesnake was in trouble and started repairing his shield using heavy reppers, his shields were coming back quicker than normal.

I called off the attack, told the Drake pilot to dock up and both Roku and I warped away to a safe spot, disgusted as we had the damn thing.  His shields were going down, he was trying to disengage and some local prick ruins what would have been a great war kill.

The rest of his corporation finally turns up a few minutes later in system, they are quite happy and tell everybody about it.  They regard it as a win.  They do not realise, and I would be surprised if their ‘snake pilot told them, how close he came to being destroyed if it were not for the random hand of fate.

We leave system and head home.