Friday, April 29, 2011

Clearing the Area

Now that the alliance is once again carving out its own portion of space the pilot numbers are rising.  A certain percentage of these new comers will be "fair weather friends" as they are here for the space, not for our own unique form of companionship.

Some new corps have joined, most corps have boosted their numbers, and the industry corp has left.  It seems the industry corp liked their taste of PVP and fragmented with some members going to other corps in the alliance, with the remainder staying on and leaving the alliance.

With luck we'll pick up another industry corp soon, hopefully one a bit larger and better organised.

Getting back to our own space we've even turned up on the sovereignty map as a white thumb print in the bottom left corner which is pretty cool.

The sovereignty grind has been fairly relentless though as we clear our local space of the I.T. remaining structures, with luck it'll finish soon.  On the plus side as some of the new friends have moved down already the fleet sizes have been larger so these targets are going down pretty fast.

On comms some of the new folks are remarking that this is the first time they've seen some of the larger ships which is interesting, more than a few of them are a bit green I'd say.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Upgrade!

As mentioned in The Sunday Chip Fiasco and Do You Want to Know More? I use a Linux machine to access Eve Online about half the time, perhaps a bit more.

Over time I'd noticed a bit of graphics performance degradation while playing Eve, this is caused by Eve updates, operating system updates or a combination of the both.

The display card was a Gigabyte 8500GT 512Mb with passive cooling.  A nice quiet card and fast enough when I bought it three years ago but as mentioned above getting a bit slow.

So over the last couple of months I'd been putting in low ball bids on Ebay for a better display card, either a 9600GT or a GT240.  The reason for the low ball bids was I didn't really need a new card, I could soldier on if I had too (such a first world problem), so I couldn't justify spending much money on the card.

After about three months of unsuccessful bids I finally snagged a GT240 for about $35 AUS, a bargain!

In a week the card arrived, a GT240 with active cooling (but quiet fan), and 1Gb of memory.

The upgrade procedure couldn't have been easier.  Simply exited Ubuntu, switched the machine off, pulled the old card, replaced with new, booted machine and a working computer.

Tested the new card with various things but also Eve of course and we once again have smoothness.

If you are interested here are the current specifications of the Ubuntu machine:

O/S:Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick)
CPU: AMD Phenom 9550 Quad
RAM: 4Gb
Display: GT240, 1Gb, PCiE
etc, etc, etc.

Monday, April 25, 2011

First Look at the Captains Quarters

I must admit when I first saw one of the now many Youtube videos showing the alpha version of the Captains Quarters I was quite underwhelmed,  to me it just seems like a long winded way to perform our current tasks.

With luck when the beta and full release comes out the look will improve, I'd be very surprised if it doesn't.  The "win button" will come when I can invite another pod pilot into my quarters, or even just stroll along the promenade and view the other pilots doing the same.

This is a step in the right direction of which will be a long journey.

Posted below are some images taken by a corp member of mine, Opije, and his thoughts on the alpha version of the Captains Quarters.

Also have a look at the probably superior blog Diary of a Pod Pilot for some more views and another perspective.

From a Corpie (Opije):

I took a little field trip on to the new Duality server to test the new Captain Quarters. I decided I would take a few screenshots just to show others what it was like at this point. Ill be honest I was even happy I got these screenshots, the client is so buggy it took me at least half hour to get what slightly looks like a man standing in complete darkness. After relogging a few times it finally decided to behave and this is what is shown below.

There is still obvious lighting issues and lot of texture bugs but I guess all will be fixed soon™. Man do I love seeing my ship from that perspective though. 








Friday, April 22, 2011

My Sansha Incursion

Emerging from the medical wing I walked, still in a bit of a stupor, towards my quarters.  The medical wing is some distance from my abode, my route also takes me past my favourite bar, but after jump cloning I'm rarely in the mood to imbibe in my favourite consciousness altering beverage.  Nearing the door of my quarters my newly inhabited brain finally caught up with the surroundings, the usual raucous noise from the bar was gone and the station had a green tinge from some sort of hidden lighting.

Suddenly the synapses kicked into gear and breaking into a run I charged at my door, entered the room and accessed the computer terminal.

"Damn! It's a fucking Sansha Incursion!", I yelled.

I'd known about the Sansha problem for some time but we'd never had an issue with them so close to Jita, in fact looking at the star map the boundary of the incursion was only two jumps from Jita.

"That must be making the scum and villainy of Jitters nervous", I chuckled.

Checking to see if Roku is on the net I sent a chat request and wait for the connection, which is not long in coming.

"Yosagi my old bean how the hell are you?  Haven't spoken in weeks, I hope everything is well down in null sec", Roku said with far too much enthusiasm.

"Yeah cut the crap, I've just JC'd back to high sec and now I've a sore head.  Why didn't you tell me about the incursion?", I said fairly grumpily.

"Oh that?  Well I didn't think you'd be coming back for another week and with luck the locals will have them cleared off in that time."

"So how is the "clearing off" going then?"

"Ahh...not well, they thought it could be cleared from Olo in about four hours but it's been a couple of days, they can't get their shit together for some reason."

"Okay.  Well how does this effect production?  I'm assuming negatively?", I ask.

"Well it doesn't make it any easier", Roku said jovially.  "Token and I are mostly just running the production facilities until empty and then waiting for the Sansha to leave before undocking Sushi Train."

"Yeah that Orca would make a nice target for those guys.  Where is Token by the way?"

"She went back to her bolt hole when these guys turned up, she'll be back when they go I'd say."

"Yeah fair enough.  Well I have some manufacturing to catch up on so I'll chat up with you in a couple of days.", I said, accepting the situation as something I cannot do much about at the moment.

"Talk with you then.", and with that Roku broke the connection.

So the Sansha are going to slow down production, but probably for everybody in the local area.  I would prefer to have production slowed down than risk large expensive hauler ships at the moment, so it's probably a good time for maintenance of the PI facilities.

In the mean time I need to make some Maelstroms, get some real sleep, and then jump into something dangerous and see what I can do about these Sansha folks.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Eve Online Web Sites I Use

Over time I've collected a set of useful web sites that help me navigate the Eve space lanes, you may also find them worthy of a visit.

http://eve-survival.org/wikka.php?wakka=HomePage < Helpful for those mission runners as it helps plan your damage resists and ammo selection, not to mention the structure of certain missions.

http://evemaps.dotlan.net/ < Want to know what's happening in New Eden or even just your own alliance? Then go here, you'd be amazed the information available.

http://evenews24.com/ < One of the Eve Online news services, the web site can have some flaky availability times but it's well worth the read, even if only to view the responses to the many posts.

http://routewithjb.appspot.com < Does your alliance have jump bridges?  You don't really know where they are?  What about the blue jump bridges?  Well this site can help plan your route once your limited API has been entered.  It will also let you know about ship kills on your route to try and warn you about bad times ahead.

http://eve-kill.net/?a=home < One of the two sites I use to check up on a pilots kill mail to learn more about them.

http://eve.battleclinic.com/index.php < This is the other one.

http://www.evetools.net/ < PI getting you down?  Every man and his dog is making what you're making and the price just goes down and down?  Then have a look at this, change your ways and make that wallet more green than red!

http://eveolution.de/portrait.php?user=yosagi+yojimbo < Damn you're sexy!  Now you can view yourself in several resolutions and also other people if you must.

http://omg.la/bs/ < Chribba's site that improves on the current Eve Online forums with included images and a search function that works.  Also has the Agent Search site to find those agents that fit your needs better than a velvet glove.

http://www.eveonline.com/ < Last but not least, when you've exhausted all the above options you can visit here, it is the official site after all.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Creation of a BOV

Quoted below is the text from a post on the new old forums by Evelgrivion (pictured left) (Last Edited by: Evelgrivion on 11/04/2011 16:28:08) that outlines how a Bitter Old Vet (BOV) is created, either by the changes made by CCP or the lack of vision by the player to embrace the evolution of the game.


While I agree with some, perhaps most, of his post I can see a future where Eve Online is a space simulator and not just a space ship game.  The space ship part will certainly still exist and hopefully an evolved form of it, but also the other things like ambulation Incarna and DUST514 all work together to make a more complete simulation of a future space existence.


I believe CCP have some bridges to mend with the forum community, though it should be noted the majority of Eve players do not visit the forums, but the forum posters are the vocal majority who if given the chance by continued CCP failures could find a way to mobilise the masses and take the mountain pass before Winter comes.


Or perhaps just inform the Care Bears and other residents of high security space they should stop enjoying the game and get angry.


Question.  If a person is enjoying the game "as is" would it be a disservice to point out the various problems?  This would be akin to showing the serfs the Wizard is just a guy behind a curtain with some fancy machines.  Would that make their life better or worse?


Tangents are fun!




"The Forum Fiasco of 2011 is an object lesson in the birth of the Bitter Eve Online Veteran; the ongoing evolution of Eve Online's core player base into a disenfranchised group of customers and ex-customers who have had their enthusiasm for EVE Online chiseled away one little piece at a time by a continuous chain of failure to deliver on customer expectations for product quality. It is the dawning awareness that CCP cannot be trusted to deliver on their product's potential that creates the Bitter Vet, and as indicated by the deafening silence from CCP's free advertising, publishing and public awareness arm of core customers, a great many new Bitter Veterans were born into the world last weekend.

EVE, like any game, needs a strong core usergroup which sticks around far beyond the typical retention timeline. Every service model game that focuses on being an immersive sandbox requires makers and shakers, just like CCP said at Fanfest during the discussions of the cases of EVE and Dust 514, and the commercial focus of Dust 514. Just the idea of letting core user groups develop a subscriber addiction curve into bitterness and disenfranchisement is anathema to the continuity of the product dynamic. Yes, customers and core users can be replaced, but at an ever increasing cost of acquisition and with a growing necessity to compensate for the loss of publicity trends and events that were formerly created by the core groups of users.

And it is becoming ever harder to trust you to do something about it; everywhere we look we see in the media more and more messages of incompetence, more and more about the huge gaps between what CCP presents and what it delivers. I am having an increasingly hard time convincing people to join EVE, because these disparities are what they see on the internet when they start looking at the game.

You are not the celebrity in this endeavor, CCP. EVE Online is the celebrity. Yes, we love and respect you for what you made. But Eve Online is at the point where your core community of customers and the image of the game on the internet are facing a serious challenge in perception. The reason why your core user groups are here is because they chose EVE Online as a mutually enjoyed rallying point; we did not choose the company as a rallying point. But, for the foreseeable future, we're stuck with you, CCP, until the game and intellectual property become fodder for an Electronic Arts buyout, which is something that has, unfortunately, already been on the table once . If we could get Eve Online away from your well earned reputation for incompetence and the inevitable Kiss of Death Buyout from Electronic Arts that will turn Eve Online into World of Warcraft in Space, we'd do it in a heartbeat.

But I am still here. Like many others, I haven't given up on the potential that EVE Online still has. I, like many others, haven't given up hope that EVE Online can become the all encompassing science fiction simulator that CCP wants the game to become. But with each passing year, each failure to deliver on expectations of basic competence, and each expansion's worth of continued neglect of the core dynamic that has kept the core customer base here, that glimmer of hope becomes dimmer and dimmer. Please, CCP; wake up before it's too late. Eve Online begins, and ends, with griefing people in internet spaceships."

Friday, April 15, 2011

Create a Starship Competition

I was going to write a long diatribe on how CCP have once again failed to deliver on a promise regarding the Starship Competition that would have filled todays post quota, and then the buggers go and announce the winner.

Normally I would then create another diatribe about the lack of consistency at CCP etc etc etc but I'm too tired for this today.

So here is the link to the forum post announcing the winner and the various runners up and below this is the image of the winner which "should" resize to maximum if you click on it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

CCP Excellence is a Veneer?

As you may know CCP recently rolled out the new forums after what they called an extensive testing process.

Not long after the new forums were online at least one user found a vulnerability, allegedly tried to contact CCP about the issue, then when frustrated with the response after an unknown amount of time used this vulnerability to cause mischief on the forums.

CCP then took the forums offline, allegedly banned the whistle blower, and left the new forums offline for a period of time while the problem was fixed.

Finally the new forums were put online but only for a short time as they were taken down again.

Not long afterwards the old forums were reinstated to their former "glory" and the flaming from the users began in earnest.

To quote CCP:


"reported by CCP Wrangler | 2011.04.10 00:43:39 | NEW
It has been an interesting weekend so far. Our shiny new forums haven’t worked quite as expected and they have been going up and down a few times. We have opened up our trusted old forums for your posting pleasure and we will be keeping the new forums down until they can be sorted out. There will be more information on this on Monday. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you and we thank you for your patience and understanding."

To probably state the obvious most, if not all, other MMO companies manage to have functioning forums.


Why cannot CCP do this?


* An EVENEWS24 post with more information on the subject, including examples on how wrong it could have gone.

Monday, April 11, 2011

QEN for 2010 and some Math!

The final QEN for 2010 has finally been made available here, obviously this is being delivered late but it would seem CCP wanted to time the release with Fanfest.

We are now overdue for the first QEN of 2011, admittedly by only a few days so far but if past performance is anything to go by we'll be waiting a while.

On page 18 of the final QEN for 2010 is some interesting figures.

Combining ISK in active accounts and also corporate accounts gives a total of 291 trillion ISK as of the end of December 2010.

PLEX at the same time was 250 million ISK.

We know from the Eve Online store that a 60 day PLEX is $34.99 in US dollars, so a now mythical 30 day PLEX would be $17.495 in US dollars (I didn't round it for a reason you'll soon see).

So doing some simple math we divide 291 trillion by 250 million which gives us the figure of 1,164,000 PLEX's, multiply that by the $17.495 and we arrive at the figure of $20,364,180.00

So in game at the end of December 2010, ignoring inactive accounts, was over twenty million in US dollars assuming you convert all that into PLEX and then into US dollars.

Which you cannot.

Interesting all the same.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Mittens!

The pseudo intellectual blow hard known as Mittens, or "The Mittani" if you prefer, is already trying to step into the limelight with an "interview" on the www.evereport.com

The direct link to the article is here.

The Eve Online forum response (via Eve Search) is here.

The contradictions in the "interview" are remarkable, if Mittens serves his full CSM6 term I will be astounded!

Somebody would have to be running a pool or a sweep on how long he's going to be in office surely!

The one thing I do agree with however is the official and un-official Eve Online forums and the various blogs do not represent the majority of the Eve Online player base, merely the vocal minority.

Also note that only about 11% of the total Eve Online population voted for anybody in CSM6, and of that 11% a much smaller percentage voted for Mittens, as mentioned here.

A fraction of a fraction does not a mandate make.

As CCP has the next year or more mapped out all the current CSM can hope to do is nudge CCP in a direction and hope for the best, I suspect this will not sit well with the current Chairman.

Should be interesting then.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Roaming and NAP

As mentioned on other occasions I don't usually post about nightly roams as essentially they are all the same and unless something notable happens they're not worth the virtual ink.

However a couple of nights ago we fleeted up and left home for a target system about 25 jumps away, didn't see much on the way, our fleet numbers and composition was good so discretion being the better part of valour the few we did see did not engage.

Eventually we arrived in the penultimate system, organised who was going to bubble the station, who would warp to the belts, and we all warped in, to find the system empty.

Rather a letdown, but we laughed about it.

We headed back and only a few jumps had gone by when we received word a ship had approached the gate in the next system and had jumped into ours.  Bubble up!

With the bubble up we launched drones and orbited at optimal range waiting for the bad guy to uncloak, and he did, in a shuttle!

Talk about an anti climax, we destroyed the shuttle and then the pod.

We had probably a couple of billion ISK worth of fleet and so far we've destroyed a shuttle.

We are awesome.

So we had another laugh about that and headed for home as it's getting late.  About six jumps away from home, after once again seeing not much on the way, stumbled across a Hurricane and Muninn which we proceeded to destroy for no loss, which rescued the fleets status for that night as only a shuttle kill would have been embarrassing.

The most interesting thing from the roam was at some point we passed through a system with some Bruce guys in there, who immediately contacted our higher ups to organise a non aggression pact (NAP).  They didn't even try to fight or talk with us in whatever system it was they were in.

They sound like a great target to make their life a misery.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Incarna Mounts!

Even though this was CCP's April Fools joke for 2011 a small part of me wants this when Incarna hits.

"1. Smaller pets that will initially live in your Captain's Quarters. In time, we will allow them to venture out into stations with you, remaining within a certain user-defined radius of your avatar while you're out and about, with a chance-based risk that they will run away. 

2. Larger pets which are true mounts, and can be ridden, raced, and used in combat scenarios in specialized station environments. Unlike pets, these mounts will have hitpoints and an array of combat or performance-centric enhancements swappable via a simplified fitting screen. "

The rest of the post is here.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Fanfest 2011

The Fanfest has been run and won by the lucky folks who dragged themselves to Iceland and joined the CCP celebration.

From what I've read their is little from the event that we can look forward to for the coming year.

If I had to stretch I'd say the Captains Quarters looks promising, but it's a building block of more to come.  The other item is this new server CCP has bought, a reasonable assumption would be the expectation this will reduce lag or improve the game in some respect.

For your browsing pleasure have a look here, and here, and here for more information.

I'm disappointed we didn't see any real information about the time frame of Incarna, DUST514 or even World of Darkness, however we can now forget about Fanfest and return to some local space activity.

In the next post.