Sunday, July 31, 2011

Times are Changing

So for want of a better description lets call it the "flu".

I had that, got over it.

Then my computer died, seems to be a motherboard, which of course you cannot source anymore.  I have a spare computer but that took some time to setup.

Then the "flu" Mk II "This Time It's Personal!" decided to rear its ugly head and almost flattened me, I still have it.

During my infrequent visits to my remaining computer I've been keeping an eye on the Dotlan figures for our alliance.

Our numbers have halved, corporations have left, sovereignty has halved, as have outposts.

On the plus side the alliance still has three outposts, eight sovereignty systems, seven corporations and five hundred and eighteen members.

Is this enough to sustain the alliance through this rough patch and start building again on the other side?

I don't know, we'll see.

What I do know is other alliances and corporations are actively trying to poach members, I've had two offers so far from interested parties, I'm sure other people would have had more.

We live in interesting times.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


We had a nice home once, but we should have known it was temporary.

In our ignorance we destroyed the local NPC's, formed fleets, roamed against our enemies.

Things were good.

Over time the nature of our enemies changed, moving from a combination of colours to only one.

Our kills against them grew but also did their strength.

Soon our structures were under attack, enemy super capitals and titans seem strewn around our home systems.

It's all happened so quickly.

The leadership calls for evacuation, many of the individual members have already started moving their gear out.

My ships and equipment appeared stuck in our staging station, camped by hundreds of red ships, seemingly never to leave.

Twenty four hours later and the systems were clear, I have a narrow window of opportunity.  Myself and some others move our assets to Fountain while other pilots, more fortunate in having already moved or even lost their assets, run a fleet to protect the on-going evacuation.

Arrived panting and exhausted on the shores of Fountain with the red hordes once again closing in on our previous home in Delve, thankful anything of value is now safer than it was.

Rest, re-arm, re-load, undock.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Escapist Micro Transactions

I agree with most if not all of this.

It's stunning, in hindsight, how badly CCP managed to screw up micro transactions.

They need to release plenty of low cost items, worth a few dollars at most.

Then a gift to the player base of a small amount of Aurum, both as a sort of
apology and a way to kick start the player experience of Aurum and the Noble Exchange.

This should happen in the next few weeks at the most, I'd be very surprised if it did.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Yosagi Gets Angry

We had a Call To Arms (CTA) tonight to deal with some timers that were coming out.  We expected a fight, we certainly got one, they outnumbered us and outclassed us so we left the field.

A couple of pilots questioned this as they wanted to throw their ships on the pyre for some unknown reason.

Morale is very important in an alliance.  If morale drops, pilots logging in also drops and soon you have many less systems because you cannot defend them with whatever logs in.

Picking your fights, finding the fleets you have a chance against can help morale, not to mention the logistics chain.

Constantly replacing ships can be tough the deeper into null security space an alliance is.  This is also usually a cost to the individual pilots, it certainly is in most cases for us.

Maybe the larger alliances can afford to lose fleet after fleet to a superior enemy on the day, but the smaller alliances just cannot afford this in lost morale or ISK.

When a CTA is called in our corporation the tax rate is set to 100% and reduced back to normal level after the CTA is done, this is reasonably normal across New Eden.

Tonight we had a corporation member who was in high security space, we are supposed to be a PVP corporation, asked us to reduce the tax rate so he could shoot "rats" and he "doesn't gave a f**k" about the CTA.  Membership gold right there.

Then another guy pipes up about wanting to leave his seven alt's logged in during the day!  You have got to be kidding me!!

Having to explain why that's a bad thing is just stunning!  In a carebear mission running corporation sure that would be fine, but a PVP one?  The corp needs to know who can be called upon on short notice, if Mrs Palmer and her daughters are off thumping out some knuckle babies this doesn't help the corp when a red fleet enters without knocking!

The need to explain this stuff probably means it'll be never understood by the pilot on the receiving end.

I'm getting a drink.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Door!

Continuing with the theme of the Captains Quarters and Incarna we have a spoof video focusing on the mysterious door.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Japan and the end of DT?

As mentioned previously downtime (DT) is annoying the hell out of me, and the subsequent long DT's for patching.

However the light at the end of the tunnel may not be a train after all.

CCP have announced the addition of Japan to the Eve Online empire with a localised client.

"Localized services for Japanese players will enable them to access the game in their native language through the Tranquility server, which currently plays host to over 350,000 subscribers from around the world in three languages: English, German and Russian."

Now when I read the dev blog quickly I assumed, incorrectly, that Japan would have their own server like China does. However while I was ice skating (true) I remembered that China has its own server for political gaming reasons and not technical ones.

So I read the announcement again and sure enough the new players from Japan will be added to our server, Tranquility, to eventually form their own Titan and Super Carrier juggernauts moving through the universe laying waste to all before them.

Before they become our inevitable overlords one thing has to change, and that is DT.

In Australia (+10 TZ) DT happens at 9pm, later for those states that have the sanity to observe Daylight Saving Time (DST) in the Summer months. Japan is in the +9 time zone and does not seem to observe DST, so their DT will be at 8pm, every night of the year.

This I believe will be unacceptable for the new Japanese gamers, Nexon the gaming partner in Japan, and CCP themselves.

Way back in the mist of time, in the heady days of optimism and whimsy, or late October 2010, CCP posted this dev blog.

"As a part of the Carbon initiative, cluster management is being re-architected. It is our goal that sometime in the not too distant future, EVE Online will have no daily downtime. How awesome will that be!"

Now I'm not sure how far into the future the "not too distant future" is but I hope it's soon and not soon (tm).

So what I put to you is this.

In the near future Japanese players will be able to experience the Eve Online universe in their own native language so it will be available to more than the English fluent ones, which combined with the Nexon partnership will greatly boost Eve Online pilots in Japan.*

With their entry of Japan to the Eve Online universe DT will be at a bad time for a potentially lucrative new audience, thus I can see DT either being moved (hopefully earlier by several hours) or removed soon (not soon (tm)).

Australia will then be able to profit from this as now the time zone percentage of players in the +9 to +11 zones should increase, players from Japan will begin with the Noble Exchange system of hyper priced goods from the very beginning and maybe, just maybe, this will provide the critical mass to stop the Australian problem that is Eve Online's downtime.

Thus downtime will be gone, or at least gone for us.

Crazy talk?

* this paragraph edited in later after discussion in comments

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Competitions Downunder

CCP released this video showcasing how one pilot can make a difference in a fleet fight, also the depiction of combat is much closer to the reality than previous efforts.

Well worth a look.

However, in the comments section, linked here, is this text;

"We'll also have two side voting contests on best still image and best video. There will be some freegraphics cards and a high end PC as prizes for those. If you live in Australia, you're not likely to be able to participate - your laws are real damn hard. We promise to do a contest just for Australia at some point though, because their laws are just that damn hard."

At first when I read it I was all "Cool we get a shout out", but then soon afterwards "What the hell!".

We are shafted with DT every night, shafted when patches are released which cause a long DT, and now shafted with competitions.

If it's hard CCP then you need to try harder!

Admittedly our population makes up less than 3% of the total Eve Online numbers but dealing with these issues because of our geography is bloody frustrating at times.

Good thing our dollar is so strong otherwise I'd be really pissed off. :-)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Moving On

In the interests of underlining and moving on from the Noble Exchange fiasco, the Fearless letter and far too much computer internet space ship pilot internet rage we have the responses from CCP and also the CSM.

I hope to never speak of this again.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The D-W Turkey Shoot

It had been a busy night.

The first fleet was called to intercept a combined Brick and Morsus Mihi (MM) fleet which had passed through our home systems and was now a few jumps beyond.  We managed to gather a fleet that was slightly less in number than their fleet but was clearly outclassed in quality, they had slightly more logistics and some T3 ships.

When we couldn't wait anymore the fleet left home and headed towards their last known location.  After a few minutes we found where they were and camped the exit gate they had to take to get back home.

We waited.

One of their scouts jumped in, cloaked up, and kept an eye on our gate camp.

Another of their scouts jumped in and did the same, we waited some more.

MM and Brick are not known to take on enemy fleets similar in composition so we were not sure if they would engage or just run out the clock until downtime (DT) and try their luck afterwards.

Surprisingly, at least to me, our scout on the other side of the gate, the side with the red fleet, said they were jumping into us, local started filling with reds.

They broke their cloaks at pretty much the same time and started engaging us, they hit our logistics ships first.  We tried hitting theirs and then switched back and forth to their DPS ships and back again, we managed to kill quite a few of their forces but the tide of the battle was increasingly against us.

I had been pretty lucky so far, only one ship targetted me and the ECM drones took care of him, once his lock was broken they then went back to ruining the day of some enemy logistics pilot.  However the bad guys were dropping warp bubbles everywhere to stop us getting away, I aligned for the jump bridge as the situation was deteriorating and leaving was soon going to be a priority.

Suddenly two thirds of their fleet targets me and I start taking shield damage, with our logistics almost certainly destroyed by this stage, and I've moved out of the bubbles, I warped away to the jump bridge.

My intention was to warp back and re-enter the fight, but just as I'm about to leave warp the FC calls for the fleet to "get out", so no need to go back then.

One third of our ships survived the battle compared to about half of theirs, but we lost the ISK war.

The remains of our fleet then went back home but we had an advantage.  Our home is further along the path the red fleet had to take to head back towards their own home systems, so we would get another bite at the cherry.  However we could once again field a full fleet but the red fleet was depleted and no reinforcements were coming.

We camped the choke point and waited.

This time they didn't risk attacking our camp and did run the clock out until DT.

DT finished a bit early and they are making a run for it, but not as a fleet, at least four of their ships are destroyed by our waiting camp going some way towards improving the result of the first battle.

We hang around for a while but it's obvious the remainder are not going to try and leave anytime soon so the fleet stands down.

Soon afterwards it's stood back up again as a T1 cruiser fleet for "goodtimes", essentially a suicide fleet.

I have a spare rupture I can throw onto the pyre, so quickly grabbing some modules to fit it out we undock and head out.

Not far away we arrive at the D-W gate, our scouts are reporting another good size fleet, this time mostly Brick Squad with a few others.

They jump through with their Drakes, we don't engage and after enough Drake's have jumped in we cross jump them into D-W where the rest of their fleet is.

Then their fleet dies.
slightly polluted by some reds on the blue side of the kb

It was an intense fight that once again I survived, lets hear it for the letter Y!!!

One of the best nights I've had in Eve Online for a while.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A Mule in Eve

For my two hundredth post I must, unfortunately,  point out the death of a fellow blog.

A Mule in Eve has decided to call it a day, the perceived direction of CCP being the driving force.

Sorry to see you go.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Living with Incarna

It has been a difficult week or so in the Eve Online universe.  With Incarna finally arriving, the fallout from the Noble Exchange, the Fearless document and then fallout from communications relating to those issues, it has been a trying week.

Quite accurately most of the rage is nothing more than mob hysteria, misguided and generally impotent.  Diary of a Pod Pilot has written about it at length, longer than I wish to write so have a read.

Incarna has, so far, been a disappointment.  I know it's a foundation and more will be built but I think CCP should have tried very hard to introduce more than a weird little room with little form and no real function.

From my point of view lets look at the advantages and disadvantages of Incarna as it stands right now.

The new agent finder - this is actually pretty good, and looking at the redistribution of pilots I'd say a winner.  Of course of less use in low and null security space but the bulk of pilots are in empire.

The remodeled weapons - a borderline advantage as they visually look much better (if zoomed right in) but in typical use are almost invisible.  The changing of the weapon images in the hanger has really slowed me down as I now have to check each and every one to see what they are, I knew them visually before and I cannot do that now.

The Captains Quarters, at the detail level I wish to run the game at, is slower, everything I do there is slower.

Every time I enter the room the wrong design, the missing items just leap out and scream their absence, not great for the OCD.

About 20% of the time while docking the game crashes.  I suspect this happens during the change over from space to the Captains Quarters.  CCP have mentioned in a previous patch note this was a known issue and has been addressed.  The problem is still there.

I cannot now easily open the cargo hold of my ship.  I do not wish to walk here or there to do this, I just want to click a button.  Now that the game runs slower my process is now to press the ship fitting button, then the hanger button (while the ship fitting is opening), and then click (subsequent to this post a corporation mate reminded me of the ALT+C shortcut to open the ships cargo) on the cargo hold button in the ship fitting tool.  This is rather annoying.

The amount of long Down Times (DT) has also been very disruptive as they push the return from DT well past midnight.  This has happened a few times in the past week or so, makes it very difficult.

I don't know if CCP will fix these issues, apart from the crashing problem I'd say the design direction they wish to align themselves with would not allow it.

I wonder if the new pilots in Eve Online will be as frustrated as I am?