Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Keeping Up Appearances

The much vaunted ( as seen below) seems to have stalled.  The forums are very quiet and the last post on the front page is all the way back on the 20th of June 2011.

After the dummy spitting exit from and then a celebrated opening of an "alternative" it appears to have become too hard for the sites administrators.

Call in the receivers, it's done!

Meanwhile over at things have been improving, surprisingly, but with articles from Kesper North and other new contributors things could be on the up and up.

Finally at CCP Eve Online forums the "threadnaut" continues with over 1.1 million views for the "request to parley" article.

The user base rage, partially misguided as it is, continues.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Drama Roundup

Now that I've found which computer was spewing its bile across my network I can post again.

Over at Massively they have a rather good article providing a roundup of the current drama.

Well worth reading.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Digital Exchange

It has been difficult to ignore the gorilla in the room that is the Noble Exchange.

As you can see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here the reception to the micro (macro) transaction system has been less then well received by Eve Online gamers and the worldwide gaming public.

What must be remembered however is the items, while stupidly expensive, are vanity only, entirely optional, and will not be viewed by anybody but yourself for most likely a substantial time.

So is all the e-rage pointless?

Not at all as this provides a disturbing foundation to further very expensive items which at some point will not be vanity items.  Once improved ships, ammo, purchase of skill points, etc, appear on the Noble Exchange then Eve Online will have become a "pay to succeed" game officially.

Un-officially with the amount of Real Money Trading (RMT) rumoured to be going on this is already the reality as some individuals, corporations, and alliances artificially inflate their destructive power.

Considering the information released in this article has been confirmed as true we may only be looking at the tip of the iceberg.

CCP have posted here with a request for dialog, the response is fifty pages of anger and rising.

CCP need to clearly say, and soon, that the Noble Exchange will never be used for anything but vanity items. The fact they have not done this at this time is clearly made the forum user base concerned and hence the thousands of angry posts.

People need to understand what the "Fearless" document is.  It's a "what if" document meant to promote discussion and hence will have some far out ideas that in all likely hood will never see the light of day.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Roaming For Bricks

Moving aside the current drama with the Captains Quarters, Noble Exchange and the Fearless document for a moment, last night we went on a roam.

Though to be fair it was a roam in response to a Brick fleet that passed through our home systems, we wanted to engage and destroy them.

So a fleet was called, it was slow in forming but eventually gathered enough numbers with the correct support ships.  By this stage the Brick fleet had moved on, seemingly out of range of the intelligence network as they were giving us nothing.

Our composition was good so leaving our home systems we headed towards their last know location, which of course they've left by now.

Jumped the fleet around a few systems, finally gathered some good intelligence and headed for the appropriate jump bridge.

Now with the Incarna expansion the jump bridge network has changed to one per system only, so we are still figuring out where all the new jump bridges are.

The fleet jumps through to the target system, then a couple more gates and sets up the camp.  Intelligence has the Brick fleet trapped in a pocket, they must exit via our camp.

We wait.

And wait.

And wait.

Finally some gate fire!

Some unlucky Brick Squad member has decided to head for bed on his own and jumped into our camped system flying a Sansha cruiser.  His ship is destroyed and via the pod express system can now log off earlier than he expected two minutes ago.

Not long afterwards the Brick fleet decides to jump through the gate and into our camp.

They break cloak in dribs and drabs, none of them try to engage us and they all re-approach the gate as fast as they can and jump back through the gate.

Their fleet is about the same size as ours, we don't really understand the reasoning.

It was quite rightly pointed out that Convicted in the same situation would most likely jump through into the camp, hold cloaks, then de-cloak as one and engage.  Likely losing some ships but also taking as many down with us as we could.  Given the composition of the Brick fleet that tactic probably would have worked.

Then it dawned on us.  They had no logistics.

No logistics!

You may have been able to fly around a couple of years ago with no logistics ships but in this modern age it's basically group suicide.

Maybe it was the Brick B or even C team?

I've been on the receiving end of a Brick hit squad and I thought they were better than this, how times change.

We waited for Brick to get their act together and fight like men, it was not too be.

Finally sick of waiting we headed home and docked up.

The effect of the current drama on good old fashioned roaming and fleet operations?

None at all.


Friday, June 24, 2011

Thinking Some More

As mentioned here CCP are planning to charge commercial third party developers, web sites, etc, $99 and force them into a legal agreement.

Posted yesterday is this dev blog explaining that CCP have looked at the negative responses and are revising their intentions.

The legal agreement is the big worry, especially how restrictive it will be on freedom of speech, particularly if what I potentially write here impacts my in game character with suspensions, bans, etc.

Keeping an eye on this one.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Something Is Wrong

Well I've experienced the Captains Quarters (CQ) for the first day.  I found it a little distracting at first but became used to it soon enough.

The handiest thing I've discovered is how to walk properly, if you hold both your left and right mouse buttons down the avatar will walk forward and by moving the mouse you can steer.

Other experiences may differ, but on my machine I am experiencing no reduction in speed of the in station actions I want to perform, so CQ can be embraced or ignored and operational speed is not negatively impacted.

Some strange things about my CQ though.

The bed looks very uncomfortable, plus their are no sheets, covers, etc etc.

Their is no bathroom, no kitchen, I cannot change any of the channels on my screens, the door to the hanger doesn't close after me so the room, I assume, would be very cold and also insecure.

It doesn't look like a place anybody has lived in, or could live in.

Perhaps it's a subtle hint from CCP or CONCORD that I should be piloting my starship and not watching endless repeats of CONCORD's greatest hits on the big screen?

/me shrugs

In local channel somebody, I'm sorry I should have recorded the name, posted this image.


Also while mucking about with the graphics settings in Eve Online on my Ubuntu computer I managed the following.


Pray you don't meet her

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ending It All In The Captains Quarters

One of the few advantages that living in the land of VB, Kangaroos and Burpengary is the timing of expansions for Eve Online.  Generally they happen overnight and while I'm blissfully asleep desperately gathering as much unconscious time as I can the small furry rodents at CCP are busy making the expansion happen.

This one went overtime, which was not unexpected.  In the end it was only a few hours late, so I did a few things around the house, and once GtkEveMon reported rising Tranquility numbers I started downloading the expansion the manual way for installation on both computers.

741Mb later, and then a small client update for each machine and we are go.

Firstly the Ubuntu machine.  Knowing that Incarna was going to hit sometime this year I updated the video card a while ago, and now I'm very thankful I did.  Performance in the Captains Quarters (CQ) is okay.  The colours on the avatar are a little strange, fluorescent eyebrows and hands, but otherwise fine.  Some playing around with the graphics settings could change this, not a big deal either way for me.

Outside the station it seems a bit slower, again not a big issue as that machine is mostly used to keep an eye on market orders and other administrative tasks, once again I'll fiddle with some graphics settings and see what happens.

On the Windows machine which runs the main account the CQ, with the graphics settings all at max, was a little slow, and also the visuals, particularly of my avatar, was a little too sharp.  Funnily enough I dropped the graphics settings to medium across the board and this improved the look of the avatar and sped up the CQ experience also.

Thankfully all the usual control buttons have been left in the game so the CQ could be totally ignored if you wish. Once the initial exploration has been completed I'll probably use it in that way, especially as the grey on grey on grey "colour" scheme is quite depressing.

I took some screen shots!

Graphics on high showing the infamous mirror which can be used to modify your appearance or just admire how sexy you are.
Graphics on medium showing the mirror once again, at the moment my preferred setting.

A view of the hanger area showing my currently active ship, a Myrmidon.

The couch.  Enables viewing of the central propaganda screen (I cannot find the remote control to change the channel), corporation screen on the left and planetary interaction screen on the right.  The central screen has some hot spots like news items but they open the In Game Browser (IGB) to display the information rather than it appearing on the main screen.

Then something strange happened.  While I was logged in using the market girl avatar I changed the graphics settings and this happened.

The mystery of the invisible body or floating hair!

So the hair floated to the door that enables station access, only to be told the air was not good enough to enter quite yet.

Then the hair floated out along the walkway to the hanger bay.

To view the mighty power that is the Minmater Rifter in all its glory!

With the hair now podded up and controlling the Rifter, now slightly more agile due to the sixty five kilogram weight reduction that having no body provides, viewed a local miner and his weapons of ore harvest.

Lunch time.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I Stopped Caring

Alliance Tournament 9 has been run and won by somebody.

To be honest for me it was in the totally wrong time zone, the recorded matches were made available on Youtube long after i stopped caring and the final turned out to be rigged.

Even the official web site was returning 404 errors only a few hours before the first round matches.


Incarna 1.0 is being rolled out right now, as I type CCP have taken the servers offline for the patching process.

So i'm looking forward to the influx of The Sims and World of Warcraft players starting tomorrow.

The only worthwhile change that I can see which isn't fluff or bug fixes seems to be the jump bridge modification.  From tomorrow only one jump bridge per system will be allowed, thus making multiple jump bridge travel longer and more dangerous as now many more system gates must be negotiated.

A welcome change as far as I'm concerned as the jump bridge network has been over powered for a long time, though hypocritically I've used it extensively.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Get Your Graphs Here!

The more discerning Eve Online player, bereft of partnership, healthy food, an even tan, or even basic social graces loves a good graph!

Once again CCP have delivered!

Here is the link to the dev blog explaining the process.

Quote, "In the days after this change, the CPU-per-User metric across the whole cluster dropped by approximately 8%."

Considering the past couple of weeks have not been the best for CCP, for a variety of reasons, this is a good positive story.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Insert Rage Here

Last night was pretty quiet in game.  I think the server being flaky all day caused a major disruption to the red patterns as we couldn't find any of them and none visited us.

Went to bed relatively early for a change.

In the morning I woke to this news:

Starting this summer you will be able to charge people for usage of your applications, websites and services for EVE Online.
This new system was introduced at the Dev Track and discussed at the Fanfest round tables. We got a lot of good feedback at Fanfest and would like to get more before finalizing the service.
  • Simple process - Sign up on a webpage, get started straight away
  • Inexpensive - $99 per year, no other fees
  • Developer-friendly - Very few restrictions
  • Open-ended - You can charge subscription fees, receive donations, sell your app in an app-store and more
  • Non-commercial websites and apps will now require a (free) license

Last I checked the comments section was 18 pages of hate and climbing.

In theory, if I understand CCP's text correctly, for this very modest blog, if I asked for donations in real world money or ISK, I would then be a "commercial" site, I would then "have" to pay CCP $99 per year (I assume US currency, so about $94 AUS for me) for the right to continue existing.

In the early days of this blog I decided to not bother with options like Google ads as the visual pollution they produce compared to the four fifths of fuck all money they provide was not worth the trouble.

So as the site stands I believe the free license for a non-commercial web site would apply.

However I use the web services of Chribba, Battleclinic, Eve Kill, JB Route, DOTLAN, and others, as an essential part of existing in the Eve Online universe.  

What will this do to the game if they were to disappear?

I assume CCP will block the access to the API which is required by those sites, if they don't cough up the money.

If this happens it will damage Eve Online, not strengthen it. 

I can see a valid point for smart phone apps like Capsuleer for example.  The reason Capsuleer was discontinued was due to the fact the developers could not source a legal agreement from CCP about payments for the product.  It would appear this is a knee jerk reaction from that situation.

Though a quite arthritic and doped up one due to the massive passage of time since the demise of Capsuleer and now.

They have the potential to create some profit, though in reality I don't believe much profit due to the small Eve Online user base and the dilution caused by similar apps, both paid and free.

So what is going to happen now?

Well I expect some back pedaling from CCP, if you wish to wade through the comments section this has started to happen, and perhaps a complete retraction.  Their timing couldn't have been worse as it came during the effects of the Lulz DDOS attack.  

To finalise and quote a passage "We got a lot of good feedback at Fanfest"

Anybody that told you this was a good thing at Fanfest was high.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hackers, Downtime and You.

The server was down for about 5 hours after CCP realised what was going on, the link to the CCP post is here.

Downtime for me was about an hour as most occurred in the wee hours of the morning.

I was able to login for a short time, then a message appeared saying the server was going down in 5 minutes and it should be back online in about 20 minutes.

At the time of writing the servers have been down for longer than that,  explanation is here.

While I'm not happy at the servers being down, why would I be?  It is by far the better solution to make sure no other problems exist after the DDOS attack, especially regarding account security, credit cards, etc.

I assume at some stage in the future CCP will release some more information about the attack and also the unscheduled downtime's.

The message thread is here, probably to become very long.

Watch this space.

In The Deep End

My usual morning routine is a login to Eve and check out last nights activities via corporation and alliance messages, market sales, trending prices for those items I'm interested in etc.

Except this morning I was not able to do this as a DDOS attack has rendered the Eve servers offline, apparently pulled by CCP themselves for security reasons.  I'm now hoping the CC info is secure.

Last night, when the game was working, we went on a small roam a few jumps away from our home systems to try and keep the reds off balance.  The fleet was slow in forming and less than ten finally joined so we camped a gate for a short while, missed out on a red Hound which turned up just as we were setting up, and then nothing else came through.  The Fleet Commander (FC) then had a phone call and could somebody else FC the fleet.  We didn't have any other "official" FC's in the fleet as it turned out.

So with no objections I took over the duties, the now absent FC had given us a destination and a mission, so we proceeded a few jumps and then camped another gate.  I sent a scout in each direction to see what they could see.  The first scout found no ships in his four jumps away from us so he returned, the second scout found a couple of reds and nuets in the system next door, and then the mother load of reds in the next system from that, about sixty of them.

So the situation at that time was our fleet numbered ten at best, we had a red system two jumps away of sixty plus, and we had a neutral in our system most probably reporting our location and composition to undesirable elements.

It was time to leave.

Happily the trip home was uneventful, the fleet mostly followed commands, and what was a standard roam turned into something slightly more interesting.

Monday, June 13, 2011

War Is Coming

We live in interesting times these days in Delve.  It would seem every man and his dog has moved, or is moving into our little slice of heaven, with typical results.

Luckily I was able to consult my Magic 8 Ball several days ago and I amalgamated my "stuff" into the main station, as previously it was strewn across at least three.

Today has been the first day we've seen major red fleets rolling through, by ourselves, not in our prime time, we can only hope to pick off small groups, stragglers, or bolster existing blue fleets.

It has been busy!

I managed to get a final shot on a Thorax and Omen last night in a small corporation roam, was pretty quiet which could be an issue as that's our prime time.

Delve is so confused at the moment it could take a while to settle down, we even shot up a Brick Squad iHub recently, they are a long way from home!

Evenews24 have a pretty good article on the history of Delve and what is happening now, and what may happen in the future, it is worth a read.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Rock Paper Shotgun

From the Rock Paper Shotgun site comes an interview with them and CCP about DUST514.

Courtesy of CCP we have two articles about DUST514 from The Wall Street Journal and Games Beat.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Web Page Updates

Using the address will now show a correctly formatted site for mobile devices like iPhone, Android etc etc.

You'll also notice the addition of the DUST514 label due to the volume of news generated by the FPS.

I still need to replace some of the linked inactive blogs, so if you could suggest some good active ones that would be fantastic.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

DUST514 Further Information

According to a Sony link I'll post below CCP are saying a Summer 2012 release date, which could mean approx June-July 2012, about a year away.

The closed Beta should be available in approx December.

The links:

Sony Playstation DUST514 Release Info

The Comments Section Press Release

Sony E3 DUST514 Presentation Video

The CCP Eve Online DUST514 Dev Blog

and last but not least, the first DUST514 Chronicle!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

DUST514 & PS3

The countdown at has completed.

Now showing is the Sony presentation from E3.

So DUST514 will be on the Sony PS3 platform which is nice, although if it was available on both platforms it would bring the niche game to a larger potential audience.

The introduction mentioned that most if not all of the games showcased during the presentation would be playable at E3 afterwards.

Potentially this means DUST514 is now in a playable state and possibly ready for release. (Sadly no, see below)

More information as it's available.

Edit - So far the presentation has showed 3D and is currently show casing the Move games.  I hope DUST514 is not a Move game.

It is remarkable how good some of the games shown so far look.

Fall 2011 (my Spring) seems to be the common date for availability.

Edit 2 - Hilmar!  Here is the DUST514 news!  

It will support the Move controller, but my interpretation is you can also use normal controllers.

The presentation video looked good, crowd didn't make much noise before or after.

ISK amounts were put on the body armour of soldiers, vehicles and other things, looks like I have to start saving up.

This assumes the video has any relation to reality, something CCP doesn't have a great history with.

I feel the video and Hilmar could have explained things a bit more but if E3 is held at the same time in 2012 then a more detailed presentation could be given as the release of DUST514 would happen at about the same time.

Spring (Autumn in XXXX land?) 2012 for full release and closed beta at the end of 2011.

The presentation video is here!

Edit 3 - The Street Fighter 3 vs Tekken game received the biggest gasp and then applause after the display video.  So perhaps this was not the best audience for Eve Online and DUST514.

Uncharted 3 was easily the best display video and game from the entire presentation, though the latest Little Big Planet looked awesome from a choice point of view.

The "post game" presenters mentioned DUST514, but then said it is a playable game like the others on show which is incorrect.  I would be VERY surprised if attendees were able to play DUST514 in the arcade section of the Sony E3 "booth".

Many of the games were talked about, their display videos repeated, DUST514 was not mentioned any further.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

A Quiet Sunday Afternoon

Logged on to word of an alliance carrier under attack about six jumps away, he was pointed and could not disengage.

Fleet forms up, not as quickly as we'd like.

Fleet comms channel also starts filling, people keep asking the same questions.

Fleet composition is poor, too much time is wasted.

The carrier is destroyed.

Fleet keeps filling so the Fleet Commander (FC) decides to try and chase them, to make them pay.

We finally leave the system but the bad guys are running, after chasing for a few systems they get away.

One of our blue alliance friends reports contact with a different group of reds.

We ask if they need help but the response is long in coming.

After making our way back to base the blues then ask for help, the fleet heads for the first of the Jump Bridge (JB) points.

The blues are now in combat, we are three JB's away, fleet burns for destination system.

Just as the bulk of our fleet is due to arrive the reds disengage, we form up and wait for instructions.

Finally our fleet merges with the blues, we are now one entitiy.

Bouncing around gates the now engorged blue fleet finally stumbles upon the reds, but they are already warping away.

We quickly turn around and are told to warp to zero on a red gate and wait for primary and secondary targets.

The overview fills up with red and orange names, targets are called, I can't find them initially so just choose the closest ship I can hurt.

Then I start finding the called targets and switch to them.

Approach the anchor ship, micro warp pulsing, targetting and attacking targets.

My drones have to be told several times to attack a ship, lag is a slight problem.

Bubbles go up, not sure whose, I'm out of the bubbles and also too far from the bad guys, re-approach the anchor ship.

We seem to be cherry picking their logistic and expensive ships, they go down.

The reds leave via the gate, we have the field, wrecks and abandoned drones are everywhere.

The blues are in disarray, I pull my drones in, my ship sustained no damage.

We re-approach gate, some are busy looting wrecked ships.

Suddenly the warp command is given as the reds have been spotted again, ships warp leaving their now abandoned drones behind.

We harrass the reds through a number of gates, sometimes targetting a few of them, destroying one or two.

Our fleet now badly outnumbers theirs.

We finally meet their fleet again, few if any of the reds try to engage, they know their day is done.

The reds jump through the gate and are gone.

We pushed them from each battlefield and won the day.

Losses were light.

DUST514 Maybe News!

At the time of writing a countdown clock has appeared at 

This is probably counting down to some announcement at the E3

More info as it appears!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Annoyances #BDR529

Why cannot instructions like this just be queued instead of forcing me to wait a fraction of a second before I click again.

Seriously! Once Incarna comes along, in say 2014, I'm going to kick Scotty in the nuts.

Not because he's responsible but he'll be the nearest most valid target.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Incursion 1.6 Aftermath

No real issues.  Some items look slightly different, the capacitor display when in space is a different colour.

According to a post I saw from CCP that I now cannot find it is a bug which will be fixed soon (tm).

Some other issues have been reported which it would seem can be fixed by clearing the cache.

Eve Online does seem snappier, not sure why but a reasonable explanation would be the Carbon UI update.

From my perspective and opinion of course.

I would expect over the next week a small patch or two which, hopefully, will fix the various small issues.

Now we start holding our collective breath until the 21st of June for Walking in Station Lite aka The Captains Quarters.