Monday, February 27, 2012

Future WIS Musings

Introduced with the Incarna update Walking In Stations (WIS) was a long promised expansion to the game of Eve Online that should have expanded the options available to game play and the amount of players in the game as a whole.

As we now know WIS was more or less DOA, the new currency known as Aurum (AUR) was mostly useless with items well over priced and without much function, and the lack of development for the space ship part of Eve Online was very evident.

Things went bad.

However to their credit CCP have recognised they dropped the ball, have reorganised the company and seem to be kicking some goals of late with the Crucible update and subsequent mini-updates.

Lurking in Eve Online we still have the Captains Quarters, the only Walking In Stations part of WIS actually released.  Called that room Walking In Station is quite deceiving but it sounds better than Trapped In A Small Room I suppose.  We also still have the NEX store and the Aurum currency.

This week CCP announced they are continuing with work on WIS, and by extension the NEX store and Aurum.

This is fair enough as WIS has the potential to expand the player base as it will cater to a new audience, while Eve Online Internet Spaceships has on average probably grabbed the most amount of players it will.

So CCP have dedicated some staff to figure out the best direction for WIS to take, which also pretty much confirms the last four years of WIS development has been mostly pointless.

So CCP needs a direction.

How about a shared corporation room so the avatars of my corp mates can gather.

Then a map showing our sovereignty space and surrounds, then a scrolling news board that displays the corp bulletins.

Then perhaps some mini games, they don't even have to be new creations, like chess, or go, or whatever.

But you can gamble ISK and/or AUR on the mini games.

Then have a common area that people of the alliance can meet in, with much of the same stuff as the corp rooms.

All this rolls out over time so CCP can keep pace with the updates and also deal with any major issues as they arise.

Finally we arrive at public areas, and by this stage the DUST514 folks should also be able to participate in some way.

What about a complete free to play option.  People will be able to play DUST514 free as it will be a F2P title, but what about Eve Online?

The F2P folks can wander the station, take part in some activities, play some mini games, etc, but they cannot undock a ship and enter space as they don't have a licence, a PLEX.

They can then purchase this PLEX using real money or even ISK they have obtained somehow, undock and explore the wonders of New Eden.

Then the F2P player has been converted into a potentially paying Eve Online space captain, and if you looked back far enough we'd have Incarna to thank.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Idiocy in Local

You've gotta wonder, or at least I wonder, at the intelligence of a (assumed) guy who posts in local chat the text of a warning he received from CCP for language and/or content posted previously in a public channel.

Which of course the local channel is.

Then he proceeds to discuss the text of the post with another person in local, who may have been trolling him, and then they pick apart one by one the things he said or did last time in the hope of what?

Justification?  Absolution?

I have no idea!

Thankfully it was nobody in my corporation but all I can see arriving from an exchange like that would be another warning from CCP, perhaps for both parties, and maybe some type of ban.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Hiding on the Sphere

Sometimes I orbit a gate or another object while cloaked to provide intelligence that the corporation and/or alliance may find useful.

Typically I'm on the telephone or otherwise at the computer but not able to provide the sort of concentration required for roaming, etc.

That started me wondering how likely it would be I'd be de-cloaked and caught while orbiting, so I broke out the math.

First we have to make some assumptions.  

I'm orbiting a stationary central point ( a jump gate) at a constant distance of 250km.

This allows me to keep an eye on the gate while also being able to warp to the gate or away as the situation requires.

So we need to work out the surface area of a sphere, now as we don't know the exact figure that Pi (π) is we will use 3.141592 which is close enough for this purpose.

So the surface area of a 250km sphere is approx. 785,398km, the de-cloak range of my ship is 2.5km.

All of which adds up to a very small chance of being caught!

Roughly 1 in 157079 ¹ ².

¹ To do this properly I would work out the odds of a single enemy ship entering my ships sphere of influence  also while orbiting at 250km and/or at plus or minus 2.5km (possibly 3km to be safe), differing speeds would also have to be taken into account. Maybe someday I will, however don't hold your breath.

² Very roughly.

Friday, February 17, 2012

5th Column

Sometimes during a battle the enemy within can be just as dangerous.

Last night we were trying to destroy or at least remove some reds from our home system.  Now these reds were actually pretty good at running us around and to be honest we should have realised this sooner and just docked up until they found somebody else to annoy.

However the fleet was called, we formed up, and tried to take these guys on.

Heading towards them we deploy drones and then a corp member does one of the more bone headed, mind numbingly stupid things I've ever seen anybody do in Eve Online.

He deploys a bomb, from (as evidence later seems to suggest) a Drake, causing damage to most of our MWD'ing fleet and also destroying a good percentage of our drones.


So after this Chernobyl of a screw up I'm incandescent with rage at the pilot in question as this is not the first time he's done something so stupid that I've wanted to hijack the TARDIS just to buy his great grandparents two tickets on the Titanic.

So we charge around the system a bit, align to station sometimes, chase the reds some more, etc, etc.

Hindsight being the wonderful vision tool it is shows us we should have kept the fleet together and not become strewn across hundreds of kilometres, or just docked up.

By this stage I had been alternatively chasing the reds or aligning to station as the Fleet Controller (FC) required, when I'm pointed and destroyed, and then podded.

Rather obviously I was out of range of the repping ships, though no word was said of this at the time.  To be fair we were spread over a large section of space.

We eventually got a clue and docked up after losing several ships, corp text chat and voice chat was very quiet.

If I had to describe last night in one word it would be frustration.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

DUST514 Interview

The assumed fellows over at have interviewed CCP Praetorian and CCP CmdrWang about DUST514, their play testing of the game, and what features we may see in DUST514.

The interview and transcription is here.

Some quotes from the transcript.

"CCP CmdrWang: Yes we can. Yes we will support the mouse and keyboard for DUST514 including in-game shooting. And I just want to add that you know we are aware of how critical this is to get it right because we've seen other games try to attempt this and there were some problems. But we are dedicated considerable amount of resources into this particular feature because we want to do it right and we want to make sure that our players when they use the mouse and keyboard they will have a very good experience comparable to what they're used to on the PC."

Well this may confirm what has been previously reported, it would seem the keyboard and mouse control system will be available to players of DUST514, how many PS3 owners have a keyboard and mouse connected to their console is an unknown figure though.

"CCP Praetorian: Yea, exactly. And just like my assault suit, my dropsuit, it's pretty weak on the defence side so it's good to have a friend that remote armour reps. You know, spider tanking."

Remote armour reps, spider tanking?  Sounding very Eve Online.  What I'm wondering is how effective heaps of guys all remote repping some big bastard with a huge gun will be?

"CCP Praetorian: Yes. We share EVE's passive skilling or the overall concept of passive skilling. And then that is modified with active skilling, or success in battles and other PvP can speed up your skill point accrual. There's a lot of nuance that I don't think is possible to dive into right now but we have a dev blog very soon explaining this properly."

So this essentially sounds like a reward system for doing well in a battle and other combat, to reward the player and also speed up their training somewhat so they don't languish too far behind.

"Grideris: Basically from one of the fitting screens that you released as a screenshot, there was a particular module that was a Minmatar faction module. But it also had imposed on the screen saying that there was a particular achievement or level you had to get in service for the Minmatar Republic to be able to use the module. What was the deal with that?"

This may tie in with the above in that you have to meet some sort of achievement before it will let you fit the more advanced modules?    What happens if a bunch of geared up guys go against some new players to the game?  Maybe some sort of match making system will exist?  Or can it considering this is corp based combat? Questions, questions, questions!

"CCP Praetorian: Ejyo is really good by the way,"

Well at least we now know why the quarterly economic reports stopped.

"Grideris: So you'll be able to stand on the ground in your dropsuit and basically talk to the guy in the Dreadnought up in orbit shooting at the other guys. Directly?

CCP Praetorian: Yep"

Direct communications using the in game system between the DUST514 players and Eve Online is pretty cool, of course I don't know of any alliance that actually uses the in game voice system.  I suppose we could use that in addition to Teamspeak for the occasional times we need to order a ground squad to do whatever it is they do. 

For full disclosure I have only read the transcript and not viewed the video as taking 18 minutes to watch a video when I can read the text in 2 is not a great way to use my time.

Not much new information here to be honest but all the same it is handy to have much of this in the one place.  I look forward to the various videos they say are being worked on at the moment.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Summer Display Card Massacre

The idea was to jump clone out to high sec for a day, do some stuff, jump back when the timer runs out and all would be good.

It turns out my computer had other ideas.

Bzzzzzt!  Frozen computer!

To back track a bit.

The display card has been getting quite hot during my very warm days, the fan doesn't seem to be spinning like it did before as it approaches the twilight of usefulness.


I grabbed a program to modify the cards cooling characteristics to try and reduce the issue, this worked fine for about fifteen minutes but then the computer started freezing.

Okay sure not a big problem, I'll just reverse what I'd done and we'll be all happy.

Nope, even with the program removed the computer would still crash entering any game I tested it with.

The next step was to repair the display drivers, no help, then complete uninstall, reboot, and custom install of the drivers, this time removing any of the old settings.


Well so far anyway.

Once again I've been reminded of the old saying, if it's not broken don't fix it!

Given enough time I'll probably forget that again.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Felicia Day Amazeballs

It seems that Felicia Day has discovered the character creator in Eve Online, and by logical extension her nearly 1.9 million Twitter followers are now more aware of Eve Online.

I'm not entirely sure if this is a good thing but the cat is out of the bag so what can you do.

It's a pity we don't have a fully realised "Walking in Station" as opposed to "Trapped in a Small Room" as I'm sure the Felicia Day Twitter crowd would appreciate the character creator and then the ability to wander around and do stuff (tm).

For the current citizens of New Eden CCP's direction appears to be the correct one.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Q Ships

The Mighty Iteron V, combat ship of New Eden!

Well sort of.

You might have already read this, if not then have a look, I'll wait for you to return.

Iteron Owns Megathron

Yes it's most amusing, but not the seemingly once a year event you may assume it is.

Witness the wonders of Twitter.

So we can see that the mighty Iteron V managed to vanquish at least 701 ships in 2011, of which 59 were battleships.

Mighty indeed!

The final words on this workhorse of New Eden are from our friends at a Japanese Eve Online web site, translated via the ever helpful Google Chrome.

"Final form Garento transport ship. Long as if they were freed at once the force because MarkIV. Really long.
When you are really broken so softening times head.
Cargo capacity is up to the maximum length was only proud. Approximately 25000m3, 38000m3 to reach to about three plug in an extension should be filled with cargo cargo rig without even the Low rig."

I think that says it all really.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Approaching the Truth

A new video for Eve Online was released yesterday and apart from over selling the action a little bit it is by far and away the most truthful promo video released by CCP in recent times.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Superior Control of DUST514

Yesterday in the world of Twitter this happened...

While I'm not entirely convinced this is an actual "official" official announcement it is possible that keyboard and mouse support for DUST514 may be a reality.  With luck at the Fanfest we'll find that out for sure.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Dusting the Potential Account Issues

The DUST514 closed beta sign up is now finally with us, more information and a link to the sign up page can be found here.

Also a couple of interviews have been made with CCP about Eve Online, DUST514 and World of Darkness.  The interviews are fairly light on information and very little new information has been released but one educated guess has been confirmed.

DUST514 will be playable at Fanfest 2012!

That will be very interesting as for the first time we'll hear from actual gamers about DUST514.

I hope CCP have it working properly for the sake of everybody.

Some other news regards the updating of the Eve Online web site, this will be a multi stage process and seems geared more towards helping new players understand the game and what it can offer, rather than the grizzled veterans grousing about a 0.25 second delay in activating some module that only three other guys in the game use.

It's also that time of the year when my Eve Online game play account is due for renewal.  For some reason this was a drama last time and it would seem we are heading towards the same problem this time.  Anticipating some issue I started contacting CCP about the possible impending situation more than a week ago via the petition system.  I was then asked to contact somebody else, fair enough, but after two emails I'm still waiting for a reply.

On the plus side I've recently bought a Kindle, so I'll be better catered for entertainment wise should I have forced downtime.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Queue and Official Corporation Forums

Over the past few days, perhaps a week or so, I've been hitting the login queue.  What I'm not sure about is what it means.  Is it caused by increasing characters logging in thus creating a traffic jam of sorts, or is it just CCP server issues?

CCP are doing some more to help the community, especially the younger corporations with an optional addition to the forums.  This addition provides a type of sub forum which is only accessible to members of the corporation, read more about it here.

Of some interest though is this...

"Neither CCP Staff nor the Volunteer Forum Moderators will monitor your Corp Forums. As the proprietors of the database, CCP staff will have emergency access in case something terrible happens that we need to verify, but Volunteer Moderators will under no circumstances be able to gain access."

With the current amount of racism, anti-semitism, discussions on exploits, bots and general ass hattery that exists in some of the various un-official forums, voice chat etc I'd be rather surprised if CCP can ignore that should it become endemic to the official corporation forums.

For these reasons I'm not entirely sure this new official forum feature will see much use, or its uptake will be very slow, but as each corporation forum is walled off from the rest we'll probably never know for sure.