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.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

War Dec Twilight Zone

Recently, not long after I re-joined Walking Ghost Phase, we were involved in a war declaration with a small industry corporation.

We assumed it would be the normal thing.  We'd camp them in station, they would do what they could while we were logged off, maybe try and catch a straggler of ours, etc etc.

Little did we know how strange it was about to become.

We knew most of their names so we knew when the active members were online.

A couple were online and we tracked him to a high sec system, but couldn't find him in the system.

I was coming back from many jumps away in the frigate fitted as a taxi, so no real help.

As I jumped into the system he was in I saw him at the gate, I warped away quickly but relayed the information to a corp mate who had a PVP ship, he arrived at the gate I had just left.

To find the war target still sitting there, AFK mind you, in a Caracal Navy Issue.

It died and so did the pod.

Sometime in the next twenty four hours we received a complaint mail from the war target angry that we had destroyed an AFK ship.

You have got to be kidding!!!

The following day the same corp member destroys one of their haulers, a Badger Mark II, again doing nothing to avoid us, again the pod was killed.

Then finally I'm able to get in on the action as the same guy who was flying the hauler has been located in a noob ship, the Ibis, I find him auto piloting to a gate and that ship dies exactly one hour after the hauler did.  Once again he is podded.

Two days pass.

The same corp mate who destroyed the Caracal and Badger destroys the noob ship and pod of Ibis man once again, but this time we know where his clone medical facility is.

So I camp the station fully expecting him to sit there for hours and hours.

He undocks in a noob ship.

I destroy it and pod him.

He undocks again in another Ibis.

I destroy it and his pod.

He undocks a third time!

I once again destroy the Ibis but this time he makes an attempt to warp away in the pod and gets away.

I'm in close pursuit behind him to the same gate he warped to, to find he's autopiloting the pod which I then destroy.

He seems to give up for the day and logs off.

Three more days pass, they've been offline for almost all of that time.  We spot one of them in a system in an unknown ship, the other we discover soon, coming through a gate in a Drake.

We ignore the Drake for the moment as we have bigger fish to fry.

Using some probe magic we discover the war target name in a Noctis, the Drake has already left system by this point.  The prober warps in, points the target and destroys it before I even arrive.  The Noctis made no attempt to safe up and it would seem his comrade did not warn him of our obvious intention.

Not long after this the war dec spluttered to a halt as shooting fish in a barrel has zero appeal for me.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The CQ, TISM and Angry Rabbits

According to this dev blog inserting your own choice of videos onto the CQ big screen is now legal.  So since the day of this announcement (such a liar - Roku) I've had the below rotating from time to time amongst the ads for RMT and other stuff I have no interest in.