Sunday, January 29, 2012

DUST514, SONY and You

Some more game play footage from DUST514 is now available from the Sony Playstation web site here.

Once you manage to swallow the rising bile from the overly gushing and frankly quite bloody annoying presenter a small amount of DUST514 game play is shown alongside other games and news.

A Spring release date is mentioned, so sometime towards the end of June 2012 is expected, as has been for a while.

The action looks fast and frantic which is fantastic as this was my main worry.

I'd almost convinced myself that CCP were going to use the graphics system from the aborted Eve Online Captains Quarters for DUST514, thankfully this short demo once again reminds me this isn't the case.

While I will not be playing DUST514, I look forward to its impact on New Eden in Eve Online and hope that CCP have done a good job with this integration initially, and are not hoping to catch up as the weeks and months drag on after the DUST514 release.

We can only hope.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Blog Banter 32: The Foundations of Eve

This month’s Blog Banter comes from Drackarn of Sand, Cider and Spaceships.

"A quick view of the Eve Online forums can always find someone complaining about being suicide ganked, whining about some scam they fell for or other such tears. With the Goons' Ice Interdiction claiming a vast amount of mining ships there were calls for an "opt out of PvP" option.

Should this happen? Should people be able to opt-out of PvP in Eve Online? Should CONCORD prevent crime rather than just handing out justice after the event? Or do the hi-sec population already have too much protection from the scum and villainy that inhabits the game?"

With consensual PVP Eve Online would become something else, you might as well change the name as all the past foundation and aura of the game would be gone.

Sit down and let me tell you a story.

One day Yosagi was walking around a shopping center Out Of Game (OOG) In Real Life (IRL).  Yosagi was observing the people wandering around oblivious to the world around them, only interested in buying a frilly piece of this or some liquid of that.  Yosagi was walking around because his Trouble And Strife (WIFE) was looking at things to spend Yosagi's money on, sometimes useful things but often not.

Soon Yosagi spied a store he had some interest in, a gaming store.  While he was content in his own gaming choice he was interested in what the people around him might be playing as being in Eve Online for several years had left him out of touch.  Upon entering the store and finding the section dedicated to console and computer games he was confused.  The selection seemed all the same, one shooter game seemed much like the rest and alas his beloved Eve Online was nowhere to be seen.

Within a short time one of the staff approached Yosagi, against all convention this staff member was clear of face and had a voice that wouldn't annoy dogs.  This staff member tried to interest Yosagi in this game or that but soon realised he was wasting his time, then he did something unexpected, he asked Yosagi what he played.

Yosagi replied that for the last four years he had been playing, nay living, in the Eve Online universe.

Just then it turned quiet.

The lights seemed to dim a bit.

The staff member lowered his voice and asked in a slightly reverent tone if Yosagi had said Eve Online.

Yosagi replies in the affirmative.  

The staff member then asked many questions in rapid succession about how hard core Eve Online really is, if the scams are true, if it really is essentially like one big server.

Yosagi tried to help him with some answers but explaining everything to somebody who hasn't experienced the game had some difficulties.

Some time passes and Yosagi leaves the store.

Some months later Yosagi once again finds himself in the same shopping center, again waiting on the eventual purchase of frilly things and various liquids.

The gaming store is gone.

Yosagi suspects he has moved to New Eden.

So in conclusion most of the above is why consensual PVP in Eve Online is a bad idea, the rest is shopping.

Monday, January 23, 2012

I Made Your Destroyed Ship!

I enjoy the manufacturing part of Eve Online almost as much as the combat.

Figuring out where the profits are, and the forces, both internal and external, that drive them is a great way to while the hours away before the next unconscious break.

"Hi I'm Yosagi and I've been clean for four years."

About four years ago I stopped playing that MMO whose name should not be mentioned in Eve Online discussions.  One thing I did like about "that game" was the item crafting, especially the creators name being attached to the piece.

It would be cool if in Eve Online when I make anything the name and corporation name, at the time, was attached to that item, and then on kill mails we could see who made the items that dropped or were destroyed.

For instance it could say [Hurricane, constructed by Yosagi Yojimbo of PKME Corporation].

Maybe even with the updated graphics all the ships are eventually receiving we could have a "makers mark" on the hull to signify who made the ship.

A more sinister side could also emerge, targeting the manufacturer or his corporation.

Assuming that this system is only applied to ships, upon seeing the same name or corporation upon many vanquished ships, the source could be attacked or at least inconvenienced in some way to try and disrupt the supply chain.

You could even see who was selling to both sides.

As an idea it's certainly one of them.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Action at 0LTQ-C

Our fleet formed up due to a strange CTA vacuum.  We ended up having a few Hurricanes, a couple of Scimitars, a Curse, a Drake, and a Sabre.

We left on the roam, checked a few places out but it was pretty quiet, found a few neutrals but they were docked up or safely tucked away somewhere.

Our Fleet Controller (FC) logged, and also another Hurricane so our small fleet became smaller.

By this stage I was scouting in my 'cane, jumped through a gate to find in local fifteen or so nuets, holding cloak and using the directional scanner to try and find their fleet composition. Which turned out to be pretty redundant as they started landing on the gate with what seemed like two of every battle cruiser, a logistics and an assault frigate.

Suggesting to our fleet on the other side of the gate they may wish to get safe, I attempt to re-approach the gate at speed.

The bad guys were still clustered close around the gate, they'd not spread out to try and find me, which is what I had hoped would happen as I'd jumped in before the first of them had landed on the gate, but now my thirty second cloak timer was running out.

Adjusted the testicles, selected the gate, hit approach, switched on the Micro Warp Drive, and other modules and waited to see what would happen.

It would seem I've surprised them as it's a quarter of the way to the gate before the first yellow boxes appear,  building up speed and halfway there when the first damage starts hitting the shields. Expecting a bump from their faster ships at any second, or the soul crushing double web, but rather surprisingly hit the gate having taken only twenty percent damage and jumped through, they don't immediately follow.

Our fleet leaves the gate for the relative safety of a planet, the FC creates a safer warp position a couple of hundred kilometers further on and we align to a station.  Not long afterwards one of their 'canes warps in on us, we then warp to station.  The rest of their ships warp in and the order is given to dock up.

Bio break!

Refreshing! Hey look a blue is in local.

Then many more blues as local fills up, deciding this could be a good time to make a break for it we undock and warp somewhere to get off station.


In system the reds have entered combat with the blue gang, outnumbered about five to one they are destroyed, but like bad prawns they don't know when to give up.

Wearing the scout hat again I warp to the out gate only to be caught in a bubble, destroying the bubble another fleet member also becomes caught before the bubble goes down.  Deciding sitting where a bubble was about 130km from gate is a substandard situation I start burning for the gate.

About a third of the way there and the reds start landing at where the bubble was, my fleet mate is not with me and soon becomes swamped by half a dozen reds.  Their smaller faster ships start burning towards mine, I'm closer to the gate than my certainly soon to be destroyed fleet mate, the reds getting closer, I'm shooting "over my shoulder" to discourage them when the rest of our fleet arrives where the bubble was.

The rest of our fleet attacks the reds while madly repping the previously outnumbered fleet mate.

At this stage we are probably outnumbered and outgunned, the reds have re-shipped faster than a fat guy reaching for another donut but local still has plenty of blues, who start arriving at the battle.

Never have I been more happy to see a bunch of Goonies than now, but their fleet composition seems to be mostly frigates with some battle cruisers.

The battlefield is long, stretching about one hundred kilometres from near to the jump gate back towards where the bubble was.  The outcome of the battle seems assured but with the blues so stretched out local pockets of reds are still dangerous, you could lose your ship while surrounded by blues very easily at this stage.

The FC calls out targets, but I'm well out of position compared to the rest of the fleet.  Spotting a Jaguar fairly close I put a few shots into him, going down fast he's soon travelling home in the pod express for the second time tonight.

Suddenly the FC hands fleet control over to me as he's too busy to FC at the same time, by this stage though only three red ships remain, a 'cane and two Drakes.

However the Drake's are very close to my ship, one of them is running a NOS or Nuet, my cap is dropping faster than a heavy thing. Rather selfishly I call the closest Drake as the primary target and belatedly the other Drake as the secondary, their 'cane died during the FC change over.  Pretty soon both Drakes are down and the battlefield is ours!

Exchanging much love to our fellow Goonies in local, who seem to be doing the same to us we back slap for half a minute and then start making our way home, arriving not long afterwards.

These are the fights we hope for when joining fleet.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Incoming Update and Continued Drama

January the 24th brings us the release of the Crucible update version 1.1, details here.

With items like a Neocom you can customise, an option to reduce the pilot tags in local and another reduction in session timers (amongst other updates) it looks like a worthwhile update.

In other news the Goonie juggernaut rolls on, though this time with a twist, I actually saw some real live enemies in local for the first time!

It took me a few seconds to realise what was going on as I looked at local, saw the numbers were high, then had to look again as it suddenly dawned on me some of those pilots were not "blue".

They didn't stay long as "we" started forming a response fleet pretty damn quick but it's a welcome change from endlessly destroying their POS's, TCU's and SBU's with no hint of a defense fleet, at least not in my time zone.

Talking about drama, and this next one has heaps of it, the long drawn out saga that is EBANK continues with some more dividends being paid out with the obligatory trolling by some members of the forum community that don't know when to let a subject die.  Though now I guess I'm one of those also, ahh well.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

January, Gankers and the GUI

As I'm an active blogger, well semi-active, okay lets say occasional and leave it at that, CCP have offered me two tickets to this years Fanfest in sunny Iceland.  While this is a nice gesture it unfortunately doesn't include the approximately four thousand dollars I would need for the round trip, so I will not be freezing my arse off in Iceland this year.

The war helping the great Satan, aka The Mittani, has mostly ended with some roams heading out to harass targets of opportunity and also move ships back to Cloud Ring.  The campaign seems to have been a success, I certainly racked up some kills, but perhaps I've suffered a couple of casualties as a result of the campaign, time will tell.

CCP are having another look at the GUI.  Now I'm not one of those who thinks the GUI is broken but their are plenty of users who fervently believe it is, going so far as to foam at the mouth and mutter obscenities every time the GUI is mentioned.  It would seem that CCP also think it could use a change, perhaps just to modernise the  look rather than a massive change in functionality.  Interestingly they are not testing the changes on the Sisi test server, the changes will go live on the main server sometime in January, which could lead to tears.

Now that the war has mostly wound down and CTA's are less common I've jumped back to high sec for a couple of days for various activities, however null security space had a general feeling of safety compared to The Forge.

It seems that on every gate a ship or two is scanning cargo holds for some juicy loot, then further down the line a hit squad of the new Tier 3 ships are waiting to take out the potential ISK whale and divide the bounty.  Freighters and Orca's are no longer as safe as they were, although some common sense fitting of the Orca can make it much tougher, at the expense of cargo capacity.

Null security space, at least our area, is "blue" nearly all the time, I don't have to worry about the itchy trigger finger of some guy looking to score the contents of my cargo.

High security space is like going to an over crowded, dangerous city.

I cannot wait to jump clone away.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

CTA's and Post Crucible Funk

Yesterday, after the various interruptions of Christmas, New Years, etc had passed, I finally managed a maneuver too the thin edge of the wedge and participated in the current round of rolling Goonie CTA's.

While the political and other views of the controlling FC leave much to be desired it was good to see the logistics operating in the staging system, then cyno'ing into the target system, destroying the target, and then the move to the next target.

This went on for a while and then some folks went offline waiting for downtime and others, myself included, cyno'd back to the staging system as I wasn't able to do much more that night.

The total firepower employed was fairly impressive with only a few minutes spent on each target, more time was spend travelling between targets than taking them down.

The war appears to be going well with little resistance reported, with any luck it'll only last another week or two.

Though the vanquished will not disappear forever, to me it seems to be a game of Whack-a-Mole, they may be knocked down for now but rise they will again.

The post update funk seems to have set in as players now realise what the Crucible update really provided and now the next event will be the Fanfest and then, I assume, the "Summer" update.