Saturday, December 31, 2011

Charcoal Images of Night

Christmas and all it brings are now behind us for another year.

Eve Online rolls on and by now you should have received your invitation to apply for the DUST514 beta test, if not then head on over to DUST514.com and check out the details there.

The new alliance we are in is embroiled in the war with or against the goons, it matters little.

Every operation is a CTA (which basically means you must be there), at shitty times on shitty days with shitty fleet commanders.

I'm not saying they're incompetent, but if I want to find out how wrinkly a scrotum us I'll inspect my own rather than hear about it in graphic detail from some goonswarm pre-pubescent 'tard who probably doesn't even shave yet.

The time of year also doesn't help, organising this stuff around Christmas and the invasion of interruptions that attracts is insane.

Though it'll be the same for the other side.

I've hardly seen the front line as I seem to be perpetually just behind it.

I hear the battle reports, listen to the tense combat on comms, watch some ships limp back from the battle, some of them on fire, and then have to log for some RL activity that seems to have little to do with mirth and more with endurance.

Now I'm off to attend some meeting with more endlessly talking meat bags who'll try and convince me that 2012 will be a great year, certainly better than 2011.

Happy new year.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Which One's Sarge?

The Gallante is so posing

It seems the news about DUST514 continues to increase with Dropsuits now highlighted on the DUST514.com web site.

This was released a couple of days ago but being "busy" with the latest goon offensive at the orders of Mittens I missed it.

Of some interest is the fitting relationship between space ships in Eve Online, vehicles and now suits in DUST514.  While the system will look very familiar to the grizzled space veterans I cannot help but wonder, with some amusement I must add, how the instant gratification ADHD kiddies will understand the system with all its permutations.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

DUST514 and Eve Online Interaction

You might want to keep an eye on dust514.com as soon, perhaps tomorrow, CCP will be releasing the first of two articles explaining how Eve Online and DUST514 will interact with each other.

Also it seems that attendees to Fanfest 2012 will be given beta keys to use with DUST514.

This will be parasitical as it can only rob (or borrow) players from Eve Online, but it will give those players, who lets face it have a vested interest in DUST514 if they know it or not, a taste of the new shooter.

Assuming they have a PS3.

Also assuming they stop playing Eve Online, Battlefield 3, Call of Duty Current Version, generic shooter, etc etc long enough to give it a go.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Forum Gems

Typically the Eve Online forums are full of trolls and useless topics rehashing old events, this is doubly true of General Discussion.

However occasionally, just occasionally a gem is posted.

This is one of those gems from Kolomogorow, have a read below.

I'll tell you a story I heard from an uncle's his friend's son's second account, and it is true:

"I am a high sec miner. When I mine in high sec I feel a strong union with matter, mind and the universe. My mining laser beams are the wire to a godlike entity. It sits in the asteroids and his power emanates from there flowing through the laser beam back to my barge, into the control panel (through various other devices I cannot all count here) and into my eyes filling me with massless absinth. (This metaphor for the unenlightened.)

Sometimes lovely creatures approach me and sacrifice themselves and their war ships, worshipping me and my illuminated wire to the holy asteroids. As a sign of my graciousness I transform myself into a glimmering rain of salvage wrecks. Swimming in a warm sea of blessedness, they are happy and often write exalted greetings into their communicator, sometimes confusing and mispelling the words under the massive pressure of their gladness. Not rarely I read "ph-uck" when they meant "l-uck". And I answer in their own language to not break the enjoyment of being close to each other.

Occasionally I guide them to a group of other hard working and silent miners. They are my enemies and the war ship pilots are happy to serve me by destroying them (<- the enemies) and themselves (<- the war ship pilots) with great delight and they cannot wait to return with a new ship (asap and oaoa (<- over and over again)). In all their excitement they mess who is friend (<- me) and who is foe (<- the silent miners). Once they have destroyed my ship by an unfortunate accident and in the heat of the moment I am silent this time (resulting in their belief that is was not me they destroyed, so to speak) to not catapult them into desparation and self-reproach.

Yes, they are servants unknowingly and without will. But it is an exploit without pain and for a better world (<- includes asteroids)."



He is a high sec miner and he knows what he says. Thank you for reading and I'll send him your greetings.

Friday, December 9, 2011

DUST514 Weapons and Beta Delay

Some more DUST514 news in the space of a week?

We are not worthy!

This time it's the infantry weapons getting some exposure.


Looking good, but how about some more game play footage?

However we also have this...


Which seems to suggest the beta will not kick off until the first quarter of 2012, which could quite easily push back the full release date.

Time will tell.



Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Compare Similar Items

Imagine my surprise when I found out this little gem was not common knowledge!

Choose a module, for this example I used the very popular 425mm AutoCannon II, click on the Variations tab and then down the bottom select the Compare button.



Another screen will appear with the various versions of the module and some display options on the left hand side, select some of them.


Now we have the various versions of the 425mm AutoCannon showing their usage of power, CPU, etc etc.


Pretty damn useful if you ask me, much better than clicking back and forward to try and compare whatever statistic is the most important at the time.

Monday, December 5, 2011

DUST514 Vehicles

Another drip in the trickling intravenous tube of DUST514 information has been released, this time showcasing some of the vehicles to be used.

Unsurprisingly their fitting options are similar to our ships in Eve Online with places for modules, power, CPU, etc.


They all look pretty good but I shudder to think how well they'll perform on the increasingly ancient PS3 as the example of the Captains Quarters in Eve Online is a shuddering  disaster, albeit on a different platform.

Perhaps with Crucible now out of the way the DUST514 information supply will increase, especially as the closed beta is due this month and full release in about six months.



Friday, December 2, 2011

Historic Crucible Landing

After downloading the update from CCP's rather slow servers, finding out my update didn't install properly, running the repair tool which ended up working quite well, dealing with a few long DT's for mini patches and finally we possibly arrive at a safe place post update.

The thing to remember with Crucible is it doesn't offer much in new gameplay, new things to do, but what it does is polish Eve Online to a sheen not seen for years.

The first thing you notice is the new font.  While it made my eyes water for a few minutes while I digested the change after using it for a while I'm very happy with it.  If I had any criticism it would be the decimal points are not clear enough when viewing market prices.

The Tier 3 battlecruisers are now in game and the amount of theory crafting going on in the various chat channels I lurk in is amazing.  My opinion is they are a fleet ship, solo use and especially PVE use will be short and terminal.  I'm looking forward to seeing where they end up in the overall scheme of things but that will be a while.

The new warping graphics are simply gorgeous!  The warp tunnel is back, the warp effects on other objects outside the tunnel is really cool and the first time you warp through a planet is amazing.  I know of at least one person who has re-subbed just on this feature alone.  I even had somebody pass me in warp yesterday!

If nothing else does then the new warp effects improve the game immersion factor by quite a margin.

Following on from that the new option to jump automatically when you arrive at a gate is very handy, much more than I thought it would be.  As I'm relocating a few ships at the moment it reduces the mouse work load by about half, pretty good when all up I have about one hundred and eighty jumps to do.  Being able to set a station as a destination and then autopilot dock there is another nice feature.

Planetary Interaction has some folks up in arms though.  With the tax change, which we knew about, and the adjustment to the base value of the goods, which we didn't know about, the sky is apparently falling and the world will end soon...or something like that.

However what it has done is create a wonderful market opportunity for the more savvy industrialists and marketeers of Eve Online, I'm enjoying the change immensely.

Engine trails!  I didn't realise I'd missed them so much until they returned, even one of the demon spawn mentioned they looked cool.  Wasn't expecting that!

The nebula are pretty good.  I'm happy with their balance as I was concerned CCP had gone more Liberace and less Philip Glass with them, it seems to have worked out well and also helps with game immersion.

Gallente buff is nice, not sure if it's far enough but at least it's a start.

Finally the removal of insurance payouts if you are Concorded, should have happened ages ago.

Yep that's about it for now, overall quite happy with the update but starting to think about what will come next, especially when the next one is due about the same time as the launch of DUST514 and can CCP perform two major operations at the same time?

History says no.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tier 3 Battlecruisers


A rather neat video showcasing the Tier 3 battlecruisers, engine trails and the new warp effect that are being introduced in the Crucible patch/expansion.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Milestone

A few days ago this blog turned two hundred and fifty.

The posting frequency has been erratic but trending towards some sort of stable regime in the past year.

On the 22nd of May 2009 I created the first post on this blog, and it was a re-post from the 22nd of December 2008.

At that time I was in an alliance called The Reapers who were great folks but everything comes to an end.

I was writing bits and pieces here there and everywhere and it was fast becoming unwieldy so obviously the next step was to amalgamate everything worth saving and create this blog.

Well not quite.

What I created was two blogs, one for fiction and the other a more typical style format.

I soon realised this creates double the work, so after about forty eight posts the two were amalgamated.

This blogs continuation is at least because of two things.

Often in game I'm asked the same questions time and time again, so those were soon turned into posts and now I can just link the URL and once they've read it deal with any unforeseen follow up questions.

The other is this has become a written memory of sorts, plotting the evolution of the game, my activities, the people I've met, etc etc.

These days it's on the list of blogs that CCP maintains on the Eve Online website, a sometimes contributor to the Blog Banter project and the traffic is on the rise.

That's all fine.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Strange Avatar Activity

Zooming around in New Eden I've noticed something strange, especially the closer you are to Jita.

Characters with the same first and last name, like muzshr muzshr or sajimnb sajimnb.

Using those two as an example, though others are around who are the same, they joined the game at about the same time, they created their own corporation on the same day, it's a single person corporation and they are not at war with anybody when I checked.

In addition we have ghtsg who only has a single name, hasn't been in the game as long as the two above, is also in a single person corp ( just gained some new members today, like nwywhs ) created on the same day.

Furthermore we have zzhbnj and jjkkmmx who are also in single person corps, created on about the same day as each other but they both joined the game on the same day.

At the moment I don't know what to make of this.

What have you seen?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Crucible Changes

Amid the back slapping and general happiness surrounding the impending Crucible expansion it must be remembered we are not sitting on a peak and rising.

The peak is behind us, we are in a trough, only now are we beginning the long climb up the next one.

I have about 224 people in my contacts list for various reasons.

At any one time only five, or on a good day ten, of those people are logged in.

So being generous the most I see is five percent of my contacts online at any one time.

Those are the sorts of figures that Crucible needs to change for the better.

Will this happen?

It has a good chance, probably the best chance of any recent expansion.

The doom and gloom merchants are always braying about how Eve Online is dying and the end is nigh but this could genuinely be a crossroads for both Eve Online and CCP.

I'm both enthusiastic and apprehensive about coming events.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Crucible Roaming CCP

The Crucible expansion is about to land in a few days.  Obviously CCP are hoping for a boost to paying subscriber numbers once the expansion has settled.

I have to say I'm glad they finally picked a name as calling Crucible the "Winter" expansion was getting old when I'm sitting here in low thirty degree Celsius temperatures and have two fans on constantly.

I digress.

Usually after an expansion the number of concurrent users online has a boost, sometimes to about 60,000.  After the Incarna "expansion" this didn't happen due to the extreme weakness and disappointment of that release.

For those reading this in the distant future the first release of the Captains Quarters was a disaster.

In time we'll be able to judge the success of Crucible but it should eclipse at least the Incarna update, with any luck also Apocrypha.

CCP have also decided to throw some employees into pods and have set off from Polaris, the last remaining bastion of Eve TV, tournament videos that update quickly and useful Christmas ship gifts.

After years of coping abuse on the forums for all manor of things they've finally snapped and have decided to hunt down and destroy those that have wronged them in low and null security space.

Or not.

At the time of writing we really don't know what they are doing, perhaps some of them are playing the game for the first time, seeing what this funny little spaceship game is all about.

Maybe they are going to defend Chribba's POS from whoever thinks it's a good idea to shoot it this week.

In due course all will become clear.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Clear Skies Killer?

The folks at Rooks and Kings make Eve Online videos apparently, well this is the first one I've seen.

Grab the 1080P version, watch it on the 52 inch and be amazed.


They've done a fantastic job.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Redemption

CCP Grayscale has written a dev blog about the changes to anomalies that will be released with the Crucible expansion.

To me the more interesting item was a post he made in the comments thread attached to that dev blog.

"Also, a couple of things I'm expecting people to ask about that I want to clear up in advance:


First, this blog was entirely my idea; the original implementation was badly designed and I have no problem admitting that. We make mistakes, we learn from them, and we do things better next time around.

Second, yes, there was a huge angry forum thread for the first blog and I ignored it. That was also a mistake (obviously, in retrospect). This happened partly because I was too focused on looking for reasoned critiques to appreciate the significance of the huge outburst that it generated, but mainly because I've been increasingly withdrawn from the forums for the last year or two. It's a pretty draining experience reading page after page after page of angry posts, about all kinds of topics but all ultimately driven by the same core concerns of abandonment and neglect, and agreeing with those concerns, and not being able to do much of anything about it. As a result, I've been avoiding listening to the forums and focusing on doing the best work I can, but the former occasionally precludes the latter. On the bright side, it feels like the mood on the forums has been improving hugely in the last month or two, and I'm making an effort to read and post more as a result. Whether or not this is a good thing is of course a matter of personal opinion ;)"


Quoting the surprisingly frank and truthful part.

"and agreeing with those concerns"

Either CCP have really turned over a new leaf or they still have discontent in the ranks.

Time will tell.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Blog Banter 30: Stealth Storefront Implementation



"With the Winter expansion possibly being named 'Crucible', it certainly is a melting pot of refinements and tweaks aimed at making the EVE experience smoother and more wholesome. If the developers suddenly found themselves some spare resources and approached you for an additional feature to include before release, what single concept would you pitch them and how would you implement it?

For bonus points, the one thing lacking from this "patchwork" of iterations is a cohesive storyline to package "The Crucible" together. How could this expansion be marketed to potential new customers?"


Well we now know the "Winter" expansion will be called Crucible and with approximately fifty changes to the game announced so far it has the potential to be a good one.

However what would I change that has not been announced so far?

Well many things but something which I believe would be obtainable is influenced by the "Winter" expansion changes to the Customs facilities.

In high, low and null security space the markets let you buy and sell, with some scamming potential thrown in for good measure.

However what if you could modify your prices based on the standings that individual, corporation, alliance has with you or your corporation?

While I believe this would be of more use in null security space it could certainly be used all over.

As an example I wish to sell some 425mm Railgun II's at a station somewhere in null, but I prefer to supply my friends rather than my enemies.  So a discount of 20% will be given to those who are +10 to me, and 10% to those who are +5.

Now the discount figures are not linear so a dastardly Goonswarm pilot tries to buy out all the stock and resell for profit, or just to deny our magnificent men and women in their flying machines some shiny guns.

I, seeing this as a potential problem, have Goonswarm set to -10, and I have a 100% surcharge for those lucky enough to have that standing, so while I cannot totally deny the sale I will make more ISK from his action which helps me and maybe my corp/alliance.

Certainly you could not set standings, discounts or surcharges, and you may move more product or make more money, but the option would be there if you wish.

--------------

Tying the Crucible expansion together is tricky.  I considered the selling point of:

We listened, we changed, we delivered!

However this could be a little too much like the NGE or some pizza chain.

Otherwise some sort of storyline which includes Concord and Interbus updating various systems including the Neocom could be implemented?

/me shrugs






Crucible Video Goodies


Cilayin from the forums has posted a video displaying most of the visual changes coming in the Crucible expansion.

Good work that man!

* I assume Cilayin is male IRL, I base this on the typical Eve Online player male to female ratio.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Random Crucible Images

Some random Crucible images dragged from the web.


Crucible Splash Screen

Map Options...Jump Bridge Routes!?!

Huge Session Timer....Compensating?

Estimated Training Time in Prerequisites

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Crucible is Go!


We have a date, November the 29th, we have an official web page outlining the changes (patch notes to follow naturally), a proper name (Crucible), and some quotable quotes.

Like...

"RE-IGNITE THE FIRE"

and;

"This is EVE re-forged."

Etc etc.

Believe it or don't but I think CCP might even realise this expansion is a make or break deal, especially when they are giving away Christmas gifts this season that don't appear to be totally useless.


Repairing Love

Damaged modules are a pain, their is no current way to tell if anythings damaged apart from selecting all and repairing all.

So using the new power I probably shouldn't have this has been created.


I'm not sure how well this would cater for the colour blind but visually for me it would be an obvious pointer towards those modules that need some repairing love.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Neon Pointers


This video recently released by CCP highlights a few things that should be available in the "Winter" expansion.

Namely engine trails, the warp tunnel and visual distortions caused by the warp tunnel.

Particularly when the ship passes through the planet.

I don't think everybody will be rejoicing at the re-introduction of engine trails, especially those ships trying to escape a gate camp, but to me this all looks pretty good.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Most Important Expansion

So I was trying to figure out how many changes CCP have said they are or might be going to make with the "Winter" expansion.

Then I started considering the work involved in listing all the changes but that sounded like work so trawling the forums I found a post by Iam Widdershins who has already done it.

Here it is!

Looking through the list even I was surprised at the amount of changes planned, and also a little concerned.

From a balance point of view I'm worried that this amount of change will provide a massive unforeseen imbalance and then the patches to correct the issues will rock the game for a while creating an unhappy user base  again, for a while.

However I hope it will be awesome, I think CCP needs it to be awesome.

This could very well be the most important expansion in the life of Eve Online.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Captive Audience

To the new reader who is now following my shambolic ramblings.

Welcome!

Congratulations to the existing followers who have put up with this for so long.

To all the lurkers, yes you know who you are.

Comfortable?

Good.

Lets continue.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Eve Information Portal

After numerous days of winning CCP have released a dev blog introducing the Eve Information Portal (EIP).



WOW I wonder WoT gave them that idea?

Eve Online is not an onion, it doesn't need extra layers, I don't want yet another screen extolling the virtues of the game I already play, the choir does not need to be preached to, I have enough Kool Aid.

It would seem the idea behind the EIP makes it easier for CCP to release fast updates, live access to major updates etc.

Expect adverts.

This is not a good thing.

As has been shown several times in the past (boot.ini, etc) getting an update early is not always wise, even when it's been officially released.

I prefer to utilise some other members of the Eve community as my test subjects and then if no major forum objections are forthcoming off to patch installation land I go.  The happy coincidence is this testing procedure happens during my regularly scheduled unconscious time.

With luck now we have the new and improved super happy fun time CCP they will provide an option to switch it off, or never switch it on for the Linux users which is me half of the time.

I suspect the EIP is also another vehicle to make the game more accessible to new players, something a bit friendlier than the current splash screen, but how far do we change the game until it's something else?

The EIP is an unnecessary frivolity and I see no valid need for it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Winter Expansion has a Name?

That name could be Crucible!

Or it might not be.

Evidence!

The real deal or Photoshop?
Who knows!!

Of all the names it could be this one would be suitable considering the issues of the past few months.

The Winter expansion aka Crucible (?) could create the alloy that forges a stronger Eve Online.

Or it's just an excuse to write some corny crap and feed the voracious blog for another day!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

POS Polishing

The Winter expansion juggernaut of announcements rolls on!

Today we have some news of a revamp to POS's.

If you have to deal with a POS or two then after reading the dev blog you'll be saying stuff like "Holy Crap!" and "OMFG!".

First cab off the rank is the introduction of Fuel Blocks for the four races as seen below.
Jello shots for POS's
Now looking at that image I don't know which Fuel Block is for which race, so spending thirty seconds in The Gimp I came up with this...
Mmmmmm yummy Cherenkov radiation!
Much easier, moving on.


"Setup/Takedown Timers

The current timers for anchoring, onlining, offlining and unanchoring structures are suboptimal from a player-experience perspective, so we optimized them.

Here are some fun changes:
Jump Bridges now take 30 seconds to anchor (but are otherwise unchanged)
Cynosural Generators now take 10 seconds to anchor and unanchor (but are otherwise unchanged)
Cyno Jammers are unchanged
CSAAs and CSMAs now take 30 seconds to anchor, 3 seconds to online/offline and 10 minutes to unanchor
Turrets, launchers, EW batteries and hardeners now take 5 seconds to anchor/unanchor and 120 seconds to online/offline
Every other structure not already mentioned in this list now takes 5 seconds to anchor/unanchor and 3 seconds to online/offline."


One of the biggest pains with a POS is setting it up, changing the setup etc etc, apart from being able to queue the changes (which you cannot currently do and is not planned at this stage) these timing changes will make the process much nicer.

"The CPU and Power load will no longer have any impact on your fuel needs - all towers now need the same amount of fuel, regardless of configuration."

This is also a great help as the POS will use the same amount of fuel whatever is on, pretty much a high security space buff as corps/alliances can just leave the guns online outside of war decs, and then if you attract a war dec you don't have to online anything, another time saver.

The fuel cost to run a POS will be about the same or a bit less than it currently is.  Initially we'll see the typical cost spike as the supply chain gets into gear but later on it'll calm down.

One of the issues at the moment however is the implementation for the more pimped out towers like a Dread Guristas small/medium/large tower.  Previously those types of towers would use less fuel than the T1 options and thus be cheaper to run.  Come the "Winter" expansion (give it a proper name already!) they will not be cheaper to run, but will have a larger fuel bay so you'll be able to fuel them for perhaps 45 days instead of 28 days.

This solution is sub-optimal and needs to be changed, one suggestion is to also increase CPU and power for those sorts of towers.  We'll see what happens.

One item I didn't mention so far is the removal of passwords from jump bridges and relying on standings, a common sense change that was long in coming.

To wrap this up.

This is a positive change, the math is pretty sound though some people on the forum need to double check their figures before rage posting.  I'm concerned about my Dread Guristas tower regarding the fuel cost/usage but considering it's sitting in a hanger at the moment, and has been for a year or more, I can't be too upset.

I'd like to see the Fuel Blocks be a different colour like I illustrated above, this would avoid the situation we had for years with BPO and BPC confusion.

It remains to be seen how the rabble will accept the change but for me it's mostly a good solid move forward.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Rokh me Baby!

CCP have released an image of the last ship to be released in the "Winter" expansion, assuming no Christmas useless ship is given away.

The Caldari Naga as seen below in all its glory.


The interesting thing about this ship is it was imagined as a battleship by the creator David L.  CCP have decided re-purpose the design as a battlecruiser and make it similar to the Rokh.

The Rokh is one of those ships that has a dual purpose, a jack of all trades but master of none, so therefore isn't used very much.

During a roam, which are typically a couple of hours punctuated by short, sharp fights, if we see a Rokh in space we'll more often than not comment on it.

Common they are not.

So hopefully CCP will not be unleashing a battlecruiser sized Rokh upon the population of New Eden.

Nebulae!

CCP are re-vamping the look of the universe and are updating the nebulae effects.

I'm concerned they are going towards the shiny and not portraying space as a vast dull emptiness to cater for the ADHD, oh look a shiny thing, crowd.

One of my fellow bloggers has done the wonderful service of cruising around the Sisi test server and has posted some images, view them here.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Begone Mentor I want an Oracle!

Seemingly another day, another new announcement from CCP.

This time it's the new Amarr battlecruiser formally known as the Mentor in the Deviant Art competition, it's new name is the Oracle.

Stay for the beauty, ignore the stats.
Now this ship screams Amarr, when I saw the Mentor (now Oracle) as part of the competition it looked like it was already in Eve Online, obviously it isn't yet but it just seems to belong.

As usual CCP have not released any firm stats on the ship yet, some figures have turned up from the test server but these are subject to change, and have at least once from their first appearance.

Official Oracle CCP image that is subject to change

Only one more ship to be revealed and less then two months until 2012, but finally...

Evidence that huffing paint may be more of a problem at CCP than they know




Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Use CFL's!

It's been a long time coming but CCP have decided to once again walk along the tight rope balancing on one side a leopard and the other some hand grenades, they've announced a Gallente re-balance.

The number one item that caught my attention.

"Reduced Capacitor usage:
All hybrid turrets: -30% capacitor use"

No longer will my ships have the capacitor of a three year old iPhone 3G, gone will be the days of the mouse pointer dance of imminent death as I have to tightly manage power usage.

Well not quite but it will go some way towards improving the terrible power usage of Gallente ships.

"Power efficiency!  Bah!! Yeah we've heard of it.", a probable quote from a Roden Shipyards ship designer.

"Tracking Speed Increase:
All blaster turrets: +20% to Tracking speed"

So you mean my guns might now know where the enemy is and not where they were? Nice!

"Damage Increase:
All railgun turrets: +10% to Damage modifier"

Will people shift away from the Hurricane towards the Brutix or even the Myrmidon?

I'm not sure but at least Gallente battlecruisers could be considered as a viable option once again.

Some other stuff in the linked dev blog including a small CPU usage reduction to hybrid turrets, a small speed boost to most Gallente ships, inertia modifications, etc etc.

I assume this will be a first step from CCP towards balancing the Gallente quarter of the universe, and these quoted numbers are probably provisional, but it is a very welcome first step.

Maybe, just maybe at some point in the future a suggestion to bring along a Gallente ship on a roam will not be met with derision and scorn.

We can but dream.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Hideous Theory Crafting Exercise

Yesterday we reached the final milestone of the Eve is Real desperate support/advertisement/propaganda program and received the final 2000 Aurum.

Moving on...

An image of the new Gallente fast battlecruiser has been released, as seen below.


It will be called the Talos, and was previously known as the Seraphim from the Eve Online: Create a starship contest from seemingly a very long time ago.

As with the first release no actual details are available of the ships capabilities apart from its apparent ability to masquerade as a non-Gallente ship.

With luck a coloured and rendered in game version of the Talos will look more curvy and Gallente.

Already the forums are aflame with speculation and counter speculation in a hideous theory crafting exercise that can only end in frustration, but it keeps them busy.

Quote:

"The Talos excels as an “in your face glass cannon”. It will be a particularly dangerous blaster boat, especially with the hybrid rebalancing kicking in at the time of its birth. Think of it as a smaller, more expendable Vindicator, if you will."

The Vindicator is an expensive ship, but this now potentially shows the new battlecruisers should be less expensive than a Vindicator.

It'll be interesting to see where the price for these things finally rests, and the impact it will have on the current darlings of the PVP set, the Drake and Hurricane.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Q and A

Courtesy of the Eve Online forums.

Q1.     Are you really asking why people shoot miners?

Q2.     Really?

Q3.     I am though, why kill a miner?


A.     Why do people aim for the fat kid during dodgeball? Because he's slow, and easy to hit. It also makes a nice "WHAP" sound.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Crash Reporting

This morning CCP are reporting, via the rather unfortunately named CCP Redundancy, all about the new crash notification feature.

Why this wasn't in the game years ago is a wonder but here we are in the year of the Metal Rabbit (!) and CCP can now fix more of those pesky bugs.

Behold a graph!


Looks like they have a few to fix, but knowledge is power!

Progress!!!

Some quotes;

"We’re noticing a number of graphics driver crashes. As a general bit of advice, we’d suggest making sure that you are running on the most up to date stable driver releases from your GPU vendor."

"The start that we’ve made isn’t hugely impressive - we have a lot of catching up to do, but we’re actually able to start that and judge both our progress and the results as we patch Eve over time."

This can only be a step forward for CCP and Eve Online.  The increase in crash reporting and subsequent fixes will do much to improve the experience for every starship jockey.

Unless you're a tinfoil hat wearer of course.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

He's Behind You!

In Star Wars it's The Empire (or The Rebellion from a certain point of view), in Firefly it's the Reavers, in Doctor Who it's the Daleks (amongst others), in Rocky and Bullwinkle it's....well you get the idea.

In every narrative where a side is perceived as "good" their must also be a "bad", as you struggle to have one without the other.  Sometimes it is quite obvious who the bad guys are, sometimes not.

Real life, at least on a world stage, mirrors this with recent baddies being paraded on our television screens on a nightly basis for consumption in-between shows of Worlds Worst , reality this or that, and generic police or medical shows.

In Eve Online we currently have Goonswarm, perceived as many to be the ultimate of the bad.  They are led by The Mittani, or Mittens if you prefer, who is half a step away from completing the transformation to megalomaniac with the required long haired white cat as is the EU requirement.

Those cats must shed terribly as Summer approaches.

Recently Goonswarm have pushed the prices of some items to previously unheard of amounts.  This is seen as evil and dastardly by the general populace, but what if you sell those items, especially if you're not in Goonswarm?

You'll think that all your in game prayers have been answered at once and provided they don't gank your mining barge where is the harm!

However I know of players who have left the game, or taken a long break, because their mining barge was ganked, players who have left null sec due to the seemingly unstoppable juggernaut of massed fleets, players who have more or less given up due to the increasing hold they have over the game and potentially CCP.

Do I think that Goonswarm has a hold over CCP?  No I don't but they certainly influence them, especially in these times of weak subscription numbers and the beginning of the return journey to greatness, but everybody influences CCP to some extent or another.

I'm not a fan of Goonswarm and especially not of "The Mittani".

However the game would be poorer without them.





Tuesday, October 25, 2011

No Real Reason

Except it's another very nice ship design from Baranha, enjoy.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Navigator Says No!

Seemingly confirmed as not one of the upcoming new battlecruisers the Naru-Kami is still a nice design IMHO and well worth a look.


The description by the author has a very Terran Trade Authority feel about it also.

Ahh nostalgia you are a cruel mistress.



Saturday, October 22, 2011

All Hail our New Glass Cannon Overlords

Title shamelessly ripped from Efraya of the Eve Online forums!

Today, or a recent day very much like it, CCP have released some more information about the new ships we'll see in the "Winter" expansion.

"We couldn‘t just give the Minmatar a new ship and leave the other factions out (NPC military escalation doesn’t work like that), so, in the spirit of mutually assured destruction, each of the factions have sent their best engineers and scientists to the drafting boards and will also be rolling out a new tier 3 battlecruiser."

Post is here.

In what appears to be from left field the new battleships that were coming are now going to be battlecruisers, but able to fit battleship weapons probably with some sort of power and CPU percentage reduction for the large pews pews.

This was not expected but it will throw the cat amongst the pigeons!

Right now the greatest minds in the game, and Goonswarm, will be scrambling to try and figure out the implications this may mean to their hellcat, smellycat, dogcat fleets.

As yet no hard information has been released, and no other images for the remaining races so any speculation is just that.

Enjoy your speculation theory fitting discussions!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Awesome Damage Control

In was is possibly an attempt at damage control after the last couple of days CCP have released some more information about the Winter (Summer for me) expansion.

"In the forthcoming Winter expansion, we’re adding a much-requested piece of additional information to capsule killmails: They will now list the fitted implants of the unfortunate victim."


Also;

"CCP Navigator wrote:
Let me give you guys a little more information on what is coming. Starting next week we will be producing a series of 'In Development' video blogs which will look at what the various teams are planning for Winter 2011. I want to stress that these videos will not contain release dates as we are aiming to provide a lot of stuff and do not want to commit to a date we cannot keep. These will include:

Engine trails - Yes, that's right we are adding engine trails to EVE and we will show the work in progress so far.

New ships - Recently we featured a shot of the Tornado, the Deviant Art contest winner, on the EVE Facebook page. We were not happy with just giving out one ship so we will be showcasing all four new ships.

New nebulae - These new background sin the EVE universe are stunningly beautiful and will add to the immersion and feeling of being in deep space.

Team BFF - This team should be Best Features Fullstop and CCP Soundwave will give an overview of what his team has in store. Capital ship balancing, balancing hybrids, assault ships bonuses and much more will be added during winter.

Customer Relations - The Lead GM's will talk about changes to how petitions are handled, more options for Stuck petitions and how we aim to deal with your issues as fast as possible.

We are not just going to stop there. We will bring you more video blogs about what is in development for EVE Online."


To borrow a saying that all the cool kids are using, this is full of win!

Being accurate however it should say CCP are re-introducing engine trails as they were in the game a very long time ago (3-4 years?).

From what we've seen so far and with more news to come the "Winter" expansion looks like it will be worthy of the name.

Winter is Coming

and it might be bringing at least one new ship with it...


Or it will be a bad haircut, a guy smelling his finger while wearing a questionable jumper, a Yoda doll or a strangely crinkled left hand.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Start of a New Beginning?

CCP released the news today they are downsizing staff by twenty percent worldwide, but it seems a sizable percentage will be in Atlanta.


I've posted various links below but the main victims appear to be staff at White Wolf, some people working on World of Darkness (WOD) and CCP community staff.  Annoyingly it has been reported that CCP Zymurgist is one of the redundancies which if true is a lost contact for me and also the blogging community.


People losing their jobs is never a good thing, for them.  However this has the possibility of strengthening the core product which is Eve Online by slowing down development on WOD by re-purposing staff or saving resources.


Cutting a sizable percentage of the community team can only be seen as a cost reduction measure as it reduces contact with bloggers and reduced (or no !) policing of the forums cannot be a good thing.  Now bloggers will be more in the dark and they've handed the keys of the asylum to the inmates?


Not a great plan CCP.


CCP has once again stated their renewed focus on the core product which is Eve Online, while also saying DUST514 will ship as normal and development will continue at a reduced pace on WOD.


You can see in the below links some of the industry reaction, while a percentage of it is just news release regurgitation, it's clear the move from CCP is being seen as a company in financial trouble.


However CCP has time to correct matters.  


Should they actually concentrate on Eve Online, fix the bugs, release new content rather than just talk about doing it, then subscription numbers "should" rise again.  It's my belief that most Eve Online players never quit the game, they just take a rest to rejoin at a later date.


The full release of DUST514 in approx July 2012, with private testing beginning in a couple of months, in conjunction with Sony will (I hope) be a winner for CCP, especially if promoted by Sony.  It remains to be seen if the novelty of the Eve Online and DUST514 games existing in the same world will prove to be a draw and make DUST514 stand above the current glut of FPS games.


To many the downsizing news will be unexpected and shocking but in this climate it wasn't totally unexpected and it may help improve the game we love.

--------------------------------------------
CCP's announcement  http://www.eveonline.com/news.asp?a=single&nid=4769&tid=1

White Wolf announcement http://forums.white-wolf.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=1195521#post1195521

Message and farewell from CCP Fallout http://www.almaroc.com/?p=1896

A yet to be confirmed partial list of sacked employees:

(Link)

Some industry reporting:




By the time you read this...

It will probably be gone but I noticed on Steam this morning that Eve Online Incarna was listed in the specials section.

This has most likely happened before but I haven't seen it.

Is this a good thing?  It sure is as new players attracted to the game, even with the issues it currently has, cannot be a bad thing.

Unless they start spamming local in Jita, post anything in general discussion, become a member of Goonswarm, like Mittens (The Mittani) in any way or equip disco laser fits.

So it's probably a good thing.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dirty Laundry


Darius III, a member of the CSM, decided it would be a good idea to air some allegations against him in public via General Discussion on the Eve Online forums.

The text is below:
------------------------
#1Posted: 2011.10.18 11:53


I have been accused of breaking the Non Disclosure Agreement that I signed when I was elected CSM. I will be addressing that accusation in this thread and hopefully shed some light on what really happened.

At no time did I ever leak anything to anyone. I have never shared NDA protected Skype logs, nor any information therein nor have I shared anything from the CSM official forums. In fact I do not answer many questions from corp members, friends or any media unless I am 110% certain that my answer is NDA safe.

The 'evidence' that people use claiming I broke the NDA shows my innocence. The alleged leak shows the name"mittani" in chatlogs. Notice the lowercase 'm'? If you have ever had a discussion with me in any chat-take note that I always capitalize peoples names, locations etc.

I understand that this does not "prove" that I did not leak anything, however it is stronger evidence than that which has been used to indict me.

I ask you to apply the same standard of evidence to my defense as used in my prosecution.

What really happened? I honestly do not know, but I have taken every step I can to disprove the allegations. I think that either:

A: There never was a leak and the whole thing was manufactured, or

B: I was set up to be made to look guilty by another member of the CSM. (Vile Rat is a lazy typist who doesn't bother to capitalize peoples names.....)

Why would someone do this, you may ask? Well it is public knowledge that I am Goons public enemy #1 ever since I trolled them regarding "Freeport Delve".
http://www.evenews24.com/2011/09/23/meta-gaming-darius-iii-brix-deceives-goonswarm-leadership-into-buying-the-fall-of-delve-amidst-propaganda-war/

After which they dedicate two paragraphs to me in one of their internal releases:
http://www.evenews24.com/2011/09/28/endie-goonswarm-federation-alliance-update-september-28th/

Now they have wardecced my Alliance and sent down fleets numbering 500+ pilots to take our space. Sounds like 'They Mad Bro'
If I had leaked anything I would be a man and step up and admit my error. I knew I had pissed GS off but never expected them to stoop to such lowly tactics.

GM Note: Please do not lock this thread as it is relevant and there are @100 posts in various Eve-O forums claiming I breached the NDA. As long as those posts are allowed to stand-in the interests of fair play-my rebuttal also should stand.

To the players of Eve: I apologize for being enough of a douche that people would actually believe that I would do something like this and thus, making someone think that they could frame me in such a manner. D3


------------------------

This can only end well.......

Monday, October 17, 2011

Blog Banter 29: Immersion

Blog Banter 29: Immersion

"EVE Online is renowned for its depth. Its backstory, gameplay and social aspects are all qualities that draw players in. What does immersion in EVE Online mean to you?"

Losing myself in the moment, losing track of time.

For me this has not happened much in Eve Online, the only times I recall have been during PVP, once when I was trying to evacuate a battleship from null sec (it survived) and the other time flying a cruiser and we ambushed an enemy battlecruiser gang (they died).

Just flying around space doing "stuff", for me, doesn't provide the total immersion experience.  Don't get me wrong I quite like doing those things but on the whole the outside distractions of life, the universe and everything just prove too strong.

I must say that comparing the immersion experience to past games I've played Eve Online is by far the leader.

However...

Incarna, in particular the single Captains Quarters we now have, is a massive immersion breaker, before I switched it off every time I entered that room the glaring oddity of my surroundings and the general uselessness of the current concept just screamed WRONG WRONG WRONG!

So for that and performance reasons it is now off.

Last night I quickly explained to a corp member why the various NPC corps exists in the areas they do, and while doing that also had to explain some of the back story, which in Eve Online is pretty deep and varied.

Sometime I wonder what it must be like for the new player who is seeing New Eden for the first time, learning how to navigate the dangerous and murky waters of the known universe, Jita and general discussion on the forums.

Does Eve Online have immersion?  Yes it does, but your experience may vary.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

CCP, Lies and Duct Tape

Recently CCP reminded the PS3 and gaming audience in general that DUST514 is due for a Summer 2012 (Winter here) release.

Brandon Laurino from CCP was "interviewed" by James Gallagher who is the blog manager from SCEE, a part of Sony.

The text of the article is here.

The article is worth reading, also the comments, but lets look at a quote from one of the questions.

"The EVE universe is comprised of three experiences: one is the classic EVE Online play, “flying in space” or what we call FIS; there’s WIS or “walking in stations”, where you can now get out of your ship and explore the interiors of space stations; and the final piece is DUST 514 and we’ve nicknamed that SIF, or “shooting in face”. "

Now lets drill down into that quote, "or “walking in stations”, where you can now get out of your ship and explore the interiors of space stations".

This, and I'm being generous, is 95% a lie, a fabrication, at the very least it's very very misleading.

Currently, and for the next six to twelve months at least, you cannot leave your Captains Quarters.

Very soon we should have the other racial quarters as we are currently stuck with Minmater decor whatever station you're in.

You cannot "explore the interiors of space stations".

The existing quarters (the other three have not been released as yet) provides nearly zero extra function to the game.  It looks like a room designed by somebody with no interior designs skills.

I cannot leave the room so where is my food? Some cereal packets on the shelf? My bed looks like some plywood with a sheet over it, the same can be said for the couch.

The big screens display the same monotonous information, I have no ability to change this information except via a simple hack to insert my own videos, which take an age to convert out of game.

Considering the interview was in the main about DUST514 why does CCP try to deceive potential gamers, does this Brandon not play Eve Online?  

Does all his information come from press releases which seem to reflect the future imaginary vision of Eve and not the reality?

I must admit I switched off the Captains Quarters a while ago.

The motherboard in my Linux machine died, so I bought a new one, reconfigured the computer and took the opportunity to re-install Ubuntu after changing much of the hardware. I've reverted to the 8500GT display card from the GT240 it had as another machine in the house benefits more from the GT240.

While I was configuring Eve Online after re-installing the speed of the Captains Quarters was poor, so as a trial I switched it off and was then amazed at the performance increase (performance while in space was already quite good) and the massive speed up of the in game functions while docked up.

Seeing this I have also switched it off on my main machine (which has an 8800GT) and once again the speed increase is stunning.

Will it be switched on again?

Not likely as what's the point?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Eve Dark Elf

Obviously another glitch from the character creator or customiser.

This one was posted by Milton Davis in the forums.

A race in Eve should look like this.

Friday, October 7, 2011

48 Hours


A deluge of CCP contact in the past couple of days.

It started off with CCP Zymurgist sending all the bloggers a mail stating they'll do more in the future to promote the blogs, details to be announced in the near future.

I see that as a double edged sword, more readers would be nice, but the horror of hordes descending upon a small blog like locusts on a farmers field gives me some pause.

Then overnight we have the dev blogs from CCP Hellmar and CCP Zulu.

Linked for your viewing pleasure.

Paraphrasing CCP Hellmar's blog it essentially says that he screwed up, lost focus, tried to do too much etc etc. While I believe it to be a genuine message we know from bitter experience that actions mean much more than words so we'll wait and see. However it's a good reboot to build upon.

The more interesting of the two dev blogs is the one from CCP Zulu, showing my racial bias I'll cherry pick the announced features for the Winter (Summer for me) expansion.

Hybrid weapons balancing

Factional warfare

Assault ships

Capital ship balancing

New T2 modules

New EWAR-Drones

T2 Rigs manufacturing

Time dilation

So in order we may see Gallente, especially short range ships, become a force once again. Couldn't come soon enough as rust proofing my Minmater ships is proving expensive.

Factional warfare re-balance, or addition, or something? Many people moan about factional warfare so at a guess I'd say CCP will make it more relevant?

Assault ships! Even more cryptic than the above. A re-balance maybe?

Capital ship balancing could not come soon enough. Blobs of titans, supercaps, etc swarming around the seedier areas of New Eden (I don't mean Jita) has ruined null sec warfare. Re-balance the merde out of them I say.

New T2 modules and EWAR-Drones. Cool.

T2 Rigs manufacturing. Well the only way this can go is to make them cheaper to make.

Finally we come to time dilation. To combat against players making the blog ever bigger it will slow the combat down intentionally and making sure most if not all of the server calls are processed properly. Your twelve second module may take twenty four seconds to activate but it will (should) activate every time, compared to the lottery it is now. Will this work? Time will tell.

So the "Winter" expansion will be with us "well before Christmas" according to the dev blog.

In my land of houses with no chimneys, highways named "Bruce" and local Santa's almost dying from heat stroke it cannot come soon enough.