Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Finally, In The Year Of The Monkey!

CCP have eventually decided they own the rights to the game Eve Online and are taking control of the third party space around the space based Excel simulator.

Announced today, the unimaginatively named Eve Online Portal is available in beta form for both the Apple and Android products, albeit in a limited form with more functions to be added over time.

Hopefully soon in human time and not CCP time.

The appearance of this app is quite timely as with a recent update to the Apple IOS the much loved Capsuleer has finally stopped working.


In other news we should have the in game ship fitting tool with the mid November expansion/patch.

Truly the end of days.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Things I would like to see in Eve Online in no Particular Order

Kinda hard to get past that snappy title but I wanted something that was descriptive, and here we are.

  • Make yourself exempt from Fleet Boss
This one would be fantastic!  It pretty much explains itself but for the slow or Goons I'll explain it some more.  You would choose an option that would make yourself exempt from Fleet Boss.  Explanations are easy!  Why would you want this?  When you logout of the game, the game assigns a new fleet boss based on an unknown algorithm.  Usually what happens is the AFK guy is assigned the new Fleet Boss, the advert is automatically removed at this stage also, and the bitching begins as the standing fleet is no longer available.  Hopefully if a person was going AFK or just didn't want the Fleet Boss they could set this flag.  Assuming they aren't an inconsiderate bastard.

  • Share Text on Items in Game between Buddies, Corp Mates, and Alliance Mates.
Pilots, corporations, etc have a field that you can enter your own notes about that entity.  What I think would be handy is the ability to also share that info with my buddies, corp mates, alliance mates in game.  So if anyone of them viewed the same item my text would appear next to my name and a time stamp.  I'd say the text length would have to be limited and some control could be exerted by the higher ups in the corp or alliance but it would be a handy information and or intel tool.

  • Slow Hull Replacement
For me immersion in Eve Online is important.  It irks me when items in game just change, it takes me out of the moment.  Lets assume the design of a hull is changed for a variety of reasons.  When this happens the very next time you login the ship is magically totally different!  Uurgh.  What I propose is a gradual change of the hulls over a period of time, so at the end of that time all the hulls are replaced.  Various game mechanics could be used for this, you could force the change by travelling to a particular station, Scotty, the docking manager, could be paid to hurry up the exchange, etc.  I realise their are a few issues to implementing this but it would make the hull transition so much nicer.

  • Everything is Moving!
Space is not static, everything is moving.  We are on a slightly flattened sphere that is spinning, orbiting the Sun, the Solar System is moving through space, our local group of stars are moving also, our Galaxy is moving in its own direction etc etc.  In Eve Online everything should move, stations should orbit planets, bookmarks could be made in relation to an object and then the orbit or direction of that object taken into account.  Our space ships essentially fly like a submarine in water.  They should only stop when thrust is provided in the opposite direction.  Would this be a pain in the arse?  Yes it would!

  • I Dislike you but I'll sell you Stuff Anyway.
When I put something for sale on the market I would like the ability to set the eventual sale price based on my standings, or the corps standings if being sold by the corp, towards the buyer.  I don't think a buyer with terrible standings should be banned from buying my goods, but perhaps they would pay a percentage penalty.  Obviously the reverse would be true, if I had excellent standings towards someone they would obtain a discount, because I'm such a great guy.

  • Fleet Boss Again!
The fleet needs the ability to vote for a new Fleet Boss.  This would have to be on a cool down, and the current fleet boss would need a veto, which would also be on a cool down, but the Fleet Boss going AFK in large fleets is rather annoying and this would help prevent it.

Monday, October 17, 2016

The EULA Obscurity

The interesting thing about the recent drama regarding the EULA changes and, at the same time, the banning of third party gambling sites is the ignorance.

The EULA is the backbone of Eve Online and any other game you play, especially ones that are online.

The line in question says that accounts and the contents of those accounts may be deleted if no payment is made on those accounts in ninety days.

Now the interesting thing about that is the fact something similar to that has been in the EULA for quite a long time, but the time period was six months and not ninety days.

Most people don't read EULA's!

What CCP are trying to do is have the ability, and the right, to delete abandoned accounts made by the free accounts of Alpha's that join the game once Eve Online goes Free To Play (FTP).

I'm expecting, and hoping, the addition of the FTP model will drag some new faces into the game, the rather excellent Eve : Valkyrie and to a lesser extent Eve : Gunjack will also point some players in our direction as they wonder about the parent game that provides the content for their shooter.

The concern though, is what sort of player quality do you get with a FTP model?

They will be investing little money into the game, hence the FTP, so are they going to play seriously or just try and stomp around creating havoc for the paid players?

Will this be a bad thing if they do?

Content is king and the influx of new meat may cause ripples in the New Eden pond for quite some time.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Continuing Discussion About the Introduction of Alpha's

CCP have another wodge of information and reply in response to their post of yesterday, ish, about the introduction of the Alpha account characters.

I'll post it in full below as that's a wonderful way to bulk up an otherwise content lacking blog post.

However I'm not sure they are ever going to silence the critics on this one, certainly not the foaming at the mouth vocal minority who are always up in arms about something.

The introduction of the Alpha accounts seems to be the only real option now that brings new players into the game.

Of course time will tell.


Original Post

Wow, what a day! After our Clone States announcement, we watched as EVE players, future EVE players and media engaged in a massive discussion about what this feature would mean for New Eden. Needless to say, it feels great to see our community embrace the concept in such force. In less than 24 hours you have started developing 3rd party support for Alpha skill and fit planning, suggested marketing strategy for us, and of course looked for ways to improve the design. This has all been fantastic to see and now we are just eager to get the details right as we move towards that November release.

The internet is a big place and while we did answer some questions yesterday, there was no way to respond everywhere so we want to use this opportunity to highlight some of the biggest points of feedback so far. We aren’t ready to lock in any changes or solutions just yet, but know that these will be huge focus areas for us over the coming weeks.

Probably the clearest point to emerge so far has been a request to limit simultaneous log on for Alphas. The concern here is obviously justified as swarms of free alts could potentially have any number of negative effects on the game. That said, there’s significant complexity here, especially on the technical side. We are exploring options to address this and also consulting our security and customer support team, as most of the negative behavior would depend on multi-plexing or automation, both of which are big no-no's. But, when you guys say you will find ways to break it we believe you, so, we’re looking at our options and will update you when we settle on an approach.

Coming in a close second is suicide ganking and other forms of high-sec harassment. As we mentioned in the Q and A, we know we can use the safety system to ensure there won’t be a problem if we need to, but we still aren’t sure if that will be necessary. This write up does a good job showing why Alpha Clones may not make ganking more prevalent. It’s a tricky topic and we look forward to talking it through with the CSM as well as watching more of your feedback over the coming weeks.

After those two stand-outs there are a number of areas that have been mentioned consistently but without quite the same urgency.

We know there’s some sensitive gameplay areas like faction warfare, combat alts, wormhole scouts and a few others that need a look over. 

We know there’s plenty of ‘what if’ questions that still need answers such as how to handle characters with fancy implants or corporation ownership who fall into Alpha state.

We know we need a good plan for what information to expose in the API about your clone state and what kind of access Alphas have to the API.

We’ll be working towards answers on all these topics, with your help, and will do our best to keep you up to date through our progress.

Another common area of discussion has to do with the New Player Experience (NPE), other supporting features for clone states and the November release in general. What I can tell you is that this will be a full blown expansion release and we have some of its content already described on EVE Updates, with more to come soon. We are also working to include the first phase of Team Genesis’ new player experience improvements alongside clone states, keep your eyes out for updates from them on that work.

Finally, we want to emphasize that a lot of the impact from Clone States will be impossible to predict. We’ve seen questions like ‘what will happen to the market when returning players suddenly reclaim enormous amounts of assets’. Well, we don’t know exactly! For now, we want to work towards a position where we can comfortably react to emerging needs after launch.

Let us extend a giant thank you for all your ideas and enthusiasm. This is the best gaming community in the world and it’s awesome to see how excited you are to help us make it bigger.

Look for updated plans from us over the next few weeks.

Until then,

Fly safe,
Team Size Matters

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Beginning of the End, or the End of the Beginning?

I've been thinking for a while about how to attract new players to Eve Online.  Eventually it all boils down towards the high barrier of entry being an obstacle against new players obtaining a foot hold in the game.

For quite some time we have had the thirty day trial period but with many other MMO's going the way of free to play (F2P) then it was almost inevitable that Eve Online would follow that model.

Yesterday, a date that may live in infamy when we look back in the years to come, CCP announced Eve Online was going F2P.


Well...maybe, but probably not.

Eve Online has seen a decline in players numbers for a while.  This has been due to many factors and it would be difficult to pin the decline on the one thing, but the increased options for space based MMO type games would be a good place to start.

The potentially going to be completed one day Star Citizen, the promising but still under cooked Elite Dangerous, and to a lesser extent No Man's Sky amongst others have diluted the potential player pool that Eve Online draws from.

So what to do?

Eve Online goes F2P (sort of )

Yes we will now have two classes of pilots in Eve Online, the Omega's, who are exactly the same as the paid subscribers (Cash, Card, ISK, PLEX, etc) we have now.  In addition we will also have the Alpha's, who are F2P and have reasonably harsh restrictions on what they can and cannot do.

Read the above link for the details, however at least one thing bothers me.

Suicide ganking.

The barrier for entry to suicide gank someone is already quite low, and will be easily reached by an Alpha pilot.  So what stops clouds of Alpha pilots suicide ganking some expensive shiny ship of an Omega, that Omega becomes rather pissed off at the loss of their stuff to nobodies and leaves the game forever?

It also gives us the potential convoluted case of being Alpha'd by Alpha's using alpha damage to destroy an Alpha, or Omega.  That'll give some online commentator a headache while they try and wrap their head around that one.

November is the expected release date for this change, I expect many words and much hand wringing will happen between now and then.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Embarrassing CCP!

I know they're only Tweets, but at least try.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

And it's gone!

It is with some irony that after I leave the cave and manage a post after a break CCP then decides to cancel the feature I talked about, but they do have some good reasons.

My post > Boosting Side Piece

CCP's post > Forum Thread

"Good day!

I'm here to let you know that on Tuesday, in the 118.6 release, we are planning to remove the recurring opportunity "Thrill of the Hunt".

Our hope in releasing this feature was to gain insight on how direct, daily rewards might effect and improve engagement in EVE. I can't go into too much detail about results but I thought you guys might like to know a bit about what did happen after it launched. The biggest conclusions we can draw so far (though we are still gathering and analyzing data) are that recurring opportunities did have a significant effect on player activity in game. We saw a pretty big bump in the share of folks heading out to kill something each day, and we heard some feedback that this in turn led to some pretty funny situations (read: kills). On the other hand, we saw very little change in login behavior, i.e. if you weren't planning to log on anyway, the 10,000 free SP boost wasn't really going to change your mind. This is really important for us and by collecting solid data with a fast and simple feature like recurring opportunities we will be able to make better decisions as we work on larger things in the future, such as the Shadow of the Serpent event, which begins on Tuesday in the 118.6 release.

I want to thank all of you for taking the time to talk with us about the feature, both online and in person at Fanfest. While there were certainly concerns from you guys, the conversation stayed mature and productive which is fantastic for us and we really appreciate it.

Until next time,
Fly safe,
CCP Rise for Team Size Matters"

My experience was much the same, I certainly didn't login more than before, and the 10K skill point boost was very handy, but it was not a make or break situation for me.

However if I was a new player in the game, and I could shoot a next to nothing rat and gain 10K skill points every day I would be pissed at this feature being taken away from me.

This is how the young learn about the harsh world of Eve Online I suppose.

Perhaps a future version could provide this boost for the younger players, but it tails off over time once they near or exceed a threshold of SP?

Just a thought.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Boosting the Side Piece

Another potential interesting thing about the new daily missions, apart from the obvious boost of nearly four million skill points per year, is the fact it can be used as a stealth training device for your alts.

Say, for example, you have your main character who hoards the training time, but you also have an alt that has some training requirements, but they're not urgent.

What you can do is use that alt to perform the daily mission, gain the ten thousand skill points, and you can then apply them while your main is training their own skill points, you don't even need to pause his or her training.

I thought it was pretty cool.