Friday, April 27, 2012

The Linux Inferno

As you may know from previous posts I use a flavour of Linux to run Eve Online about half the time.

However for quite some time CCP have not been officially supporting Eve Online on Linux so it came as quite a surprise when CCP Snorlax appeared in the CCP wasteland that is the Linux part of the forums.

"This seems to be an issue in how Python under Wine deals with file descriptors - opening a file with and closing it with os.close causes this error.

The Python source code has a comment indicating that this is handled in a hacky way, using internal structures of the Microsoft CRT.

I'll see if I can achieve the same thing in a different way, but I don't have a way to test under Linux, nor should I technically be spending time on this, this being an unsupported platform and all. Still, I don't like seeing EVE crashing.

Hopefully this gives Wine developers a clue, nonetheless."

Since Crucible and now also with the beginning of the Inferno update, running Eve Online with Wine and Linux has been more "interesting" than previously.

The latest issue seems to be displaying the T3 ships like the Tengu etc, whenever they appear on grid or even if you view their model in game Eve Online will crash.

A solution exists, and is mentioned in the forum post I linked, but it's ugly.

I have every belief the Eve Online Linux community will come up with a better solution given enough time, hopefully before the next update breaks something else.

It is nice though that CCP, at the very least CCP Snorlax, hasn't abandoned the Linux community completely.

Edit: This is post 300 for the blog.  Cake and reminiscing to follow.

Edit Edit:  If the python error appears when trying to run either the Launcher or Eve Online then use Wine config and change msvcr80 and msvcr90 from Builtin then Native to Native then Builtin.

Some experimentation may be required but if it works one way for the Launcher then you'll need to reverse those settings for Eve Online.

Worked for me, hopefully it will for you.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Rough Notes from MC6-5J Turkey Shoot

As promised previously here is the rough notes from the MC6-5J Turkey Shoot.


Local at 559.
Sitting on Titan.
Two fleets - Mael and Drake.
Red fleets expected 200+.
Reinforced or killed tower and modules over the past few hours.
Ran into T3 gang who mostly ran - killed a few.
Still waiting - tension.
Graphics to minimum - brackets off.
An hour until DT - hope DT is short.
After DT action is expected to be long.
Hurry up and wait.
On comms - reds have 17 Titans plus support.
So they say.
Drake fleet left system. (I'm in a Mael at this stage)
Target system has 750 at the moment.
Still waiting on Titan - local at 425.
We swap Mael's for Drakes & still waiting on Titan.
TiDi (Time Dilation) at 30% - slowly recovering.
20 minutes to DT - finally Titan bridged!
Another Titan - trying to hustle.
I spot "Mr Primary" - a lone Mael in our Drake fleet.
Titan bridged again - TiDi at 50%.
909 in local - No TiDi as yet.
Some guy tries to take a "run up" at the POS shields to get through.
Warping in!
Warp away! Align back!
Waiting again.
Tried to engage fleet - range issues.
Was able to take out a couple but nothing decisive.
Past DT sounds like it'll be a FFA (Free For All).
Other Drake fleet was being bombed as DT hit.
No TiDi during big fight but client slow.
Not unusable but approaching that.
Waiting for end of DT to try and login together.
FC (Fleet Commander) not sure how agro mechanics work across a DT.

DT over.

We login En Masse - they don't.
Quickly form fleet and anchor on FC.
We take them out one by one as they login. (I ended up with 75 kills for this engagement, 95% of that was ships)
Local suggests we are DDOS'ing their comms.
Many of their ships are dying alone.
The reds try some sporadic bomb runs with little effect.
Spamming the scanners to find who the next victim will be.
No TiDi at the moment - none noticed since DT - 475 in local.
Moved to test POS - putting into reinforced.
Only six hour timer! (On the POS)
Back to turkey shoot site.
Our orbiting Drake swarm reminds me of the hunter killer robots in a Matrix movie.
Shot on other POS.
Warped to enemy fleet.
They are close!
Name - target - guns - dead - next!
This goes on.
I'm hit! Call for reps - get some.
Enemy Titans in the distance - ominous.
I don't know how many enemy ships I've destroyed.
Had to remove corpses from the overview.
Bad guys melt away - we hold the field.

Safe at POS in system for quick BIO which I use for Scotch Whisky.
One warp in before was almost a disaster as their bombers were close.
Switched off MWD as bombs approached.
Took half shield damage.
But safe now.
FC says he hasn't slept in 24-36 hours.
Holding at POS.
700 in local - no TiDi.
Fighting - shooting T1 after T1
Suddenly Titans! - numerous - going for bumps.
Targetting - shooting!
They move inside shields and enemy cynoing out.
FC says three tech moons taken today.
672 in system - no TiDi - 12 to 15 FPS.
Shooting POS into reinforced - done.
What's next in this epic night?
It's over - heading home!
TiDi warping/jumping home - molasses - but good.
TiDi at 30% - slow!

Quote for the night, "Drake fleet is Darwin fleet.  Those at the back die!"

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Expensive Mistakes

I don't usually post kill mails as one is more or less like the rest.

Occasionally though we generate a kill mail from some poor victim that leaves the head scratching for days afterwards.

To set the scene.

We have a gate camp that's been operating for a while at a known camp spot, so its existence should be well known.

At this camp our small fleet kills the usual this or that as they try their luck at our gate.

Then our scout in the next system reports a lone Drake has approached the gate, jumped and a second scout reports he's in warp to us.

Our bubble goes up and he lands short of the gate.

The Drake tries to approach the gate at high speed but a pro bump from yours truly stops him in his tracks.

He then decides to target and start shooting at me of all ships, I was in a Tornado, but he wasn't doing much damage.

His ship is destroyed shortly followed by his pod.

Firstly to look at his ship fitting.

No drones for a start, light missiles and the mid slots are messy.

His setup is designed to attack small ships, not large ones and certainly not a nine man fleet.

If he had a more normal setup would his ship have survived?


Secondly we have a look at the pod.

As you can see the pod is one of the more expensive ones I've seen recently, our kill board shows the value at 1.05 billion ISK.

Certainly the implants he had fitted did him no favours, though once again versus our fleet a fitted or an empty head would not have changed the outcome.

According to local chat, before we podded him, he said it was his first time in null sec.

This much is obvious as he entered null sec solo, in a poorly fitted ship, a very expensive head, and no experience in avoiding gate camps.

His mistake was made when he undocked, it just took a while to reveal itself.

Edit: 17/10/12 - The killboard this linked to died, and the new killboard uses a different numbering system.  I've looked through it but cannot find the kills this post is referring to.  So you'll just have to imagine some terrible Drake fit from my description, and implants worth about 1.05 billion ISK at about April 2012.

Monday, April 16, 2012

LEGO Rifter!

Who doesn't like LEGO?

A fellow named Czar has designed a Rifter which could be made into a proper LEGO production item if you vote for it at the below link.

I think it's cool and have voted.

Get voting!

Quote from Dev Forum post:

"Rifters are pretty serious business in EVE Online and have become equally serious business for Czar who has created an amazing recreation of the Rifter using LEGO which was displayed during Fanfest 2012. We are over half way to getting a review from Lego and need you guys to visit the Rifter page and lend your support.

Have you clicked and supported the project? Nice work, now read on.

Czar is also looking for your favorite frigate in EVE and will start a separate project to recreate its likeness in LEGO form. Submissions will end on Friday, April 27. We will be holding a similar poll on the EVE Online Facebook and Twitter pages.

Please reply to this thread with your frigate of choice from each of the factions as follows:


In the coming weeks we intend to have a second poll which will look at your favorite ship overall from all ship classes. Please note that Minmatar is not an option in this poll as the LEGO Rifter already exists."

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Updated the Shiny

Recently CCP offered some Nvidia display cards for Eve Online PLEX.

This was generally well received by the residents of New Eden and the available batch of cards was sold out in less than two minutes.

My ISK is tied up at the moment but it made me think about my own display card, and how old it was.

The card was a 8800GTS 320Mb PCI-E which was about four years old.

For Eve Online it's not too bad, in space it was mostly fine, but for the Captains Quarters (CQ) it was woeful, not that I use the CQ anymore.

The clincher was when I searched for the card on Ebay and found that on a good day with a trailing wind it's probably worth $50.

Time to get a new card then.

The cards that were on offer from CCP are the Nvidia 560 models, also during a recent Nvidia Eve Online technology demonstration they mentioned the 560 is the most used card in Eve Online.

I went searching for this card and found some Gigabyte 560 Ti 1Gb PCI-E cards for a good price, bought one and two days later it arrived.

Installation is quite straight forward as it was simply a case of remove the old card and insert the new as my PSU and display card power cables are compatible.


In Eve Online the difference is noticeable, for example I can now run all settings at High, and the frame rate is also consistantly higher than before.  I tried out the CQ to see what the difference is, the frame rate is much higher than before but well below that of being in space, I switched off the CQ again.

I'm not sure how it will go in major fleet battles as client lag can also be caused by non-display card issues, but even on the normal low graphics settings across the board which are typical for the big fights I'm hoping for an improvement.

Time will tell but at the moment I'm very happy with it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

MC6-5J Turkey Shoot

With a bang, not a whimper, our latest campaign is over.

The day was already a long one for me, I almost logged after being blue balled for most of that time, but decided to give one more fleet a go.

Glad I did.

Our fleet eventually ended up in MC6-5J about half an hour away from Down Time.

We had at least two fleets, they had at least one.

The fleets met for some glancing blows before down time, but it rapidly approached and with my Drake desperately firing missiles at an enemy Phobos the screen goes black.

Down Time.

A quick bio, grab some Scotch Whisky and wait.

The Fleet Commander (FC) is on comms describing the process we'll take after Down Time is over.  Essentially login together, fleet up, anchor on the FC and deal with the situation from there.

Down time ended, we logged in, did the above, the enemy didn't.

Our fleets swelled rapidly, but the reds only logged in with ones and twos, which of course warped into our midst and were destroyed.

This went on for quite a while, our pack of Drakes cruising around and playing "Whack a Mole" on the often lone reds that would appear from their DT slumber.

After some time this slowed down so we went looking for more reds in system, which we found, engaged and mostly destroyed.

Conversely our losses were very light, I was targetted a few times but our logistics were on the ball and I managed to survive the whole fight.

For the night my ship kills were over seventy in a battle which raged across a DT and was quite fluid after that for a couple of hours.

Very enjoyable.

I have some raw action notes I made during the battle I'll type up and make available in the near future.

Edit: Here they are!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Amarr Shuttle T3

Well this is a bit weird, it appears to be a fan video made using textures and sounds from Eve Online.

At first I thought it was an April Fools video from CCP themselves, but that doesn't appear to be the case.

The graphics and combat sequences are pretty good, I would like to see him do some more, but perhaps keeping it more true to the game.

Anyway, enjoy!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Penny Arcade! Again!

CCP CEO Hilmar practising Vienna from Ultravox on an Air Piano
Penny Arcade have posted another article about Fanfest 2012, DUST514, Eve Online and some of the issues over the past year or so.

I find it interesting that now is the time CCP and Eve Online are being focussed upon in the more main stream press, certainly the more cynical part of me thinks this is part of a marketing strategy by CCP, not necessarily a bad thing.  What seems to have been the catalyst is the impending release of DUST514 as the masses should be able to connect more readily to the CCP shooter if they haven't already with Eve Online.

A quote from the PA article:

"Dust represents a huge shift for a company that’s dependent on a hardcore PC game. The biggest change is the platform: Dust 514, for the time being, is a PlayStation 3 exclusive. “I think if you were to put it on PC we would have brought with us all the complexity of EVE into a shooter-style, and we would have ended up with something like an Excel shooter,” P├ętursson said, poking fun at people who characterize EVE Online as being a game about flying spreadsheets. “It has been really helpful to make it for consoles, to make sure it is simple and intuitive and all the sort of rules and expectations that a console product has have been helpful to make sure when you play it, you think this is not difficult to get into."

With luck DUST514 will be successful, perhaps because it isn't just another generic first person shooter, and this will also have some bleed across to Eve Online.

However the success of DUST514 may have a cloud on the horizon with the news Sony's new Playstation will be released before December 2013, and will not be backward compatible.

I'm sure CCP are aware of this but the potential to shorten the life of DUST514 is certainly there if this news turns out to be true.