Saturday, October 30, 2010

Preaching to the Choir

Online advertising is the funny thing.

I play Eve Online (we know!), so I visit Eve Online web sites from time to time for the usual things.

Then I visit other web sites for whatever, but those sites have looked at where my browser has been, so I get adverts for Eve Online.

What is the point of this?  To remind me I play Eve Online? Does Eve get cold if I’m away for too long?  Is it a Zen thing?  Does Eve not exist if I’m not playing it?

Would it not make more sense to look at the browsing history and compare that against the ten biggest MMO’s out there at the moment, I can only name one the other nine you’ll have to help me with, and then show ads for Eve to THOSE people?

So to try and get new players into the game rather than telling people who already know about Eve, that their is this game called Eve?

/me shrugs

Thursday, October 28, 2010

CSM and Micro Transactions

Dense Veldspar has a short article about the CSM Dev Blog, the blog and then the comments are worth a read.

The Dev Blog talks about the meetings they had with CCP and also some of the processes that occur during the regular meetings that are held between CCP and the CSM.

For those late to the game the CSM is a representative body voted for by the capsule pilots to provide a conduit between us and CCP, the folks who make Eve Online.

The comments section of the Dev Blog post is what has interested me the most as the continuing delusion and stupidity about micro transactions (one word or two?) continues.

It is this simple.

We already have micro transactions (two words looks better).

You can currently, legally, with CCP’s blessing, use real life money, or US dollars which is close enough, and use them to buy a time card, this time card can then be transferred into in game ISK via the PLEX system.  You now have ISK which once was real life money.

Use your new ISK to buy something, I don’t care what you buy, Megathron or even Mizara’s Doll (This doll is old and well-worn. It still smells faintly of brown sugar.)

The only thing that micro transactions will do is simplify the process.  For instance I could login to the Eve Online store, purchase a Megathron, fitted or un-fitted perhaps, pay my $7.95 for an un-fitted and then use that ship when I login to the game after a hard day of <insert your profession here>.

All that can be done now, just not as neatly.

The problem I can see is if these transactions are also allowed for buying of skills, skill remapping, etc etc.

Come Incarna, or whatever it will be called, complete stores like as exists in Second Life could spring up in the stations, Eve Online could become Second Life as it should scale much better (I hope) and will certainly look much nicer.

So by that stage a multi faceted game would exist, the space part much as it is now, Incarna for the Second Life and Sims crowd, and Dust 514 for the console ADHD kiddies.

To me it sounds very interesting, and it could turn out well, but I’m under no illusion that we have plenty of pain between now and then.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Do you want to know more?


I’m not sure if I’ve done a post before that has nothing to do with the Eve universe, and this may also not be one, but as I don’t want to trawl through 70 posts I can neither confirm nor deny.

So about half the time I use an Ubuntu computer for my Eve Online and other things when my main machine is busy, typically with work.  The machine has an AMD Phenom 9550 quad-core CPU, 4Gb RAM, 8500GT Display card and other stuff that makes the machine run, including a TV Card for those POS hits.  Using WINE as we don’t have an Eve Linux client anymore (and it sucked) it runs pretty well, especially after the recent o/s update.

I was previously using 10.04 LTS which is the long term supported option, reliable but slower.  So once 10.10 was released I (arguably) updated to that from 10.04 LTS.  After the update I had a few issues, not unknown after an update.  Mostly the issues revolved around display problems, which I subsequently narrowed down to x server doing something strange, quick modify of that and change to Nvidia’s TWINVIEW and my display problems mostly went away.

One of the Eve issues I had with the 10.04 LTS install was sometimes Eve would start slow.  It was easy to see when this happened as on the login screen several objects move quickly in the background to give it some kind of dynamic look.  When it started “slow” those objects would be much slower than normal.  I would than have to restart the Eve client several times to get back to normal speed mode. Now with 10.10, the more recent Nvidia drivers and using TWINVIEW it runs much better.

For chatting most of the common chat clients have a Linux equivalent so no issue there, though I have run the chat client on the Windows machine while the game was running on the Linux box.  However the Eve sound likes crashing WINE, especially the Jukebox so I run Eve with no game sound, not a real problem.

I said the display problems mostly went away as MythTV, a program used for watching TV (OMFG really?) decided to crap out after the upgrade, probably caused by the upgrade, so Google a fix, turns out it is a configuration thing in MythTV, fixed that and all good.

So to wind this up, why do I use Ubuntu?  Well I still have a Windows machine, but use Ubuntu on the second machine, and on a laptop.  Essentially it is because I don’t need a Microsoft operating system for those computers as they are used for web access, skyping and Open Office for the typical office tasks.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The long drawn out wail

So finally the best known and highest profile Eve bank failure, EBANK, has called it a day. The saga is long and involved and I cbf linking to all the posts and all the drama, so I’ll provide a concise explanation.

I was going to say incompetence, or scamming but it is neither of those.  Essentially many unsecured loans were given out in the early days, which had no real hope of being paid.  The main person/s involved then left and EBANK had to pick up the pieces.

So fast forward a year or more until now and after some very hard in game work the remaining members, three I think, have made enough to pay back the investors a percentage of their money.

Just the fact that they are getting some or most of their money back confirms that EBANK was no scam but a genuine, if brave attempt, at introducing a bank into the Eve universe.  Was it doomed to fail?  I don’t think so, if run properly from the beginning then I believe it had every chance at success.  However their is a massive amount of trust involved and should even one of the EBANK directors wake up one day and decide, “You know what? Fuck it I’m gonna take the money and run!” then it all falls down.

I personally found that risk to be unacceptable and did not invest in EBANK or any other bank for the same reason, many others did.

According to a post from Ray McCormack linked above their are 1574 verified investors and 5690 non-verified investors, for a total of 7264 investors.  The total ISK remaining is 1,299,822,557,648.67 ISK and 626,956,849,110.37 respectively for a grand total of 1,926,779,406,759.04 ISK or nearly 2 TRILLION ISK.

30 Day PLEX at the moment are selling in Jita for a rounded figure of 360 Million ISK, EBANKS ISK would buy 5352 (rounded) PLEX (30 day $17.50 value as 60 day is $35 in the Eve Online store (doesn't include their ludicrous freight charges)) for a street value of approx $93,660 US dollars.

These figures obviously assume doing that amount of PLEX trading would not skew the PLEX market (it would) but I have to applaud the efforts of Ray and others to stick it out so long in the face of so much opposition.

Who said internet spaceships isn’t serious business?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

One more than four


So we have now had the fifth optional patch, which was subsequently removed due to text formatting issues.  So if you actually installed the fifth “optional” patch, it would then be removed.  One piece of good news is they are getting closer to my guesstimate of seven optional patches, I should buy myself a prize.

My rage has diminished into resigned acceptance of the fact they’ll not get in right until 2011.

In other news the alliance is now a member of the Northern Coalition (NC) which gives us even more blues to fly and fight with.  However the alliance is going to [removed by corporation CEO – CEO]. 

So that should outline the total war plan of at least our corporation and the alliance as a whole.

Finally please support the number 53, share so that they may numerate.

Monday, October 18, 2010

National Unity

I have always found the call for “National Unity” from the leaders of the day to be interesting, mostly as it forecasts the coming of some dark days.  Who knows, things COULD get better!

Alas it seems the “optional” patches have abated for the moment so lets outline some of the positives in the Eve Online pipeline.

Eve shortcuts revamped shows us we will soon be able to use almost any key combination for function remapping, and also the other buttons on the mouse.  This is the one I’m particularly excited about as my Logitech Mx510 (awesome mouse) has some more buttons I can utilise.  I’m guessing one will be for an automatic double click to help with the PI clickfest, and then probably some combat functions.

Next we have PI Revamp and the Future which with luck will give us an improved PI experience come the expansion.

CCP have announced an upgrade of the game graphics which will obsolete some very old graphics cards.  Not a real issue to most people but could be worth a look.

Finally for now we have the just finished competition for a new ship design, the winner has not been announced yet, and the appearance of the new ship is unknown but follow the link to check out some of the fascinating entries.  A couple of examples below:



Some of the designs on the site are probably not technically possible and balancing issues will always cause problems, otherwise we end up with another useless hanger queen ship (*cough Zephyr *cough) but I would love to see four new designs introduced to the game.

That’s it, fly safe and kill reds.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Continuing Fail

So we now have the fourth “optional” patch installing tonight. 

Whatever CCP says it looks bad.

I’m now wondering how many patches we’ll end up with, I guess seven. 

CCP are taking the piss, every week they sit around a boardroom table and come up with some new text for the patch blog.  Nothing written there actually makes any difference to the game except for Icelandic lols.


So current topics in General Discussion are lag, plex for neural remap, game is dying, etc.  Next week, next month, next year will be much the same.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Forced Optional

So we have another optional update only a few days after the last optional update.  This time if you decline to install the update, but did install the previous one, the new optional update will remove the previous update while not installing itself.


Clusterfuck – Noun

(vulgar) A chaotic mess that might be compared to group sex, in which participants are so intertwined and intermingled that they might penetrate each other rather than their intended target. Its more precise usage describes a particular kind of Catch-22, in which multiple complicated problems mutually interfere with each other's solution. The looser usage, referring to any chaotic situation, probably prevails.

‘Nuff said.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Optional Patches

So we had an optional patch recently to fix some issues that some folks had with a previous patch to that.  I must say I had little of the issues that others had, the only one I saw was in the LP store the descriptions were not showing up.  One of the advantages from the patch before the optional patch was the speed increase of PI, that helped as I’ve had a love-hate relationship with PI for a while now due to the click fest it is.  It seems to have sped up the initial exploration of the extractor and then you can choose the time period cycle, 23 hours is my usual.
So getting back to the optional patch, why release an optional patch?  All you do is get questions from thousands of users who have no idea if they should download the patch or not so they ask question upon question in the forums and probably also petitions to the GM’s to find out if they need the patch.
If a patch is released make it mandatory like every other patch, if a user has an issue it will hopefully fix it, if they have no issues then with luck it will not do anything.  Optional creates too many questions and breeds uncertainty.
The optional patch process was done differently to the non-optional patches, it was done in game and didn’t require the external torrent like program to fetch the file and then install it.  Two advantages to this was the process is faster, and it also worked on my Ubuntu machine without having to manually download the patch file and install it under Wine.  That was a nice surprise.

Site Change

Merged the Gallente Exile blog with this one today, seemed like a good idea as both blogs were similar so this should help with the frequency of posts.

Over the coming days I'll change a few things to better reflect what is happening here so let me know if something isn't quite right.