Carrier Blues

A very nicely written article over on CZ had a negative take on making carriers more active and skill based to use. This may be an oversimplification, but when the article talks about going from AFKtars to 4b isk carriers to combat ratter hunters, it sounds a little bit like whining about being unable to AFK to me. The article does bring up the idea of how changes to the game can impact players wanting to play the game. I don’t agree with one of the underlying pretenses of the article: Isk making should be an activity that by and large should be low risk. By low risk, I mean the article implies that in most cases, a player should be able to make isk without losing more isk than they make in the process. The comments about the progression of nullsec home defense and escalating cost of ships needed make this pretty clear in my assessment. The writer is worried that making carriers more like RTS games (higher APM makes a better pilot) will push out some older players or players that do not want to devote full attention to the game. Each player in Eve should be free Continue Reading →

Trading Traps

I flew an Onyx in combat for the first time last night. So I might as well type it up. The corp was running around, one group out searching and scanning, the other running sites to feed our insatiable hungry for isk. The call comes out over comms: “I’ve got two Dominixes in the C3 off lowsec. Running a site. Looks like they are repping each other.” Carebear fleet slams on the brakes, reships into things with pointy sticks and tackle, and we get in position on the LS>C3. I am sitting in my Onyx, trying to pretend I know how to bubble. We notice an Anathema jump through into the C3, but it is a third party so we don’t pay too much attention. The Domis are being annoying, warping around and being spread out. In the time it took us to stage they finished the wave they were on. We have two cloakies in the site, manuevering for initial tackle. The our FC says “All tackle jump and warp to site”. My braind someone decides that an Onyx is tackle, and I jump and warp. Then FC says “Hold cloaks”. Well crap, I just entered warp. “Ah shit, Continue Reading →

Blog Banter 72 – This is the Road (map) to…..

This month’s suggestion comes from Jakob Anedalle. “What do you think about using Sugar’s recent blog post as a kickoff for a Blog Banter. I think it’s a great open-ended topic:“ You know what? That’s all it needs. A great open ended topic! Banter on! I think a lot of intelligent folks are going to write about citadels, capitals, and the tantalizing new space CCP Seagull has teased, so I’ll focus on two other things: Immersion and Growing Eve. Immersion I play a lot of games, from silly throw-away titles to super-nerd-fest time sinks like Dwarf Fortress or Aurora. One thing that really drives my ability to get lost in a game is how far you can get lost in the setting, and the simple joy of being in the world the game offers. A few years ago, I would have said Eve was doing very well at providing an immersive space. But times change. Games like Elite: Dangerous are out, Star Citizen may be coming, and a host of smaller games like Rebel Galaxy have been trickling out. The spaceship genre is no longer just Eve. Eve is no longer providing a compelling, butt-in-chair experience, at least af far Continue Reading →

Sword Art Online Season I Review

Every few years I get sucked into watching an anime. This time I blame multiple corp mates in Eve for it. The show this time around is Sword Art Online. I finished season one, and am working on season two now. This piece is just about the first season, and not the second. I’m not going to go very in depth on the plot beyond a recap, but I will likely spoil things, so be forewarned. Premise / Plot The basic premise of the show is that a VR MMO, the eponymous SAO, is released, but on the first day the players are trapped in the game, and if they die or disconnect in-game the VR headset they are wearing will also kill them in real life. The goal of the game is to clear all 100 floors of the vitrual world. Doing so will release any remaining players from the game. The first half of the show deals with this setup and the hero, Kirito, gets the job done. The second half of the show involves the real life players coming to terms with what happened, and the main love interest, Asuna, being trapped in a coma in a second Continue Reading →

Skillpoints… What to Do?

CCP dropped a dev blog.  It’s a bit of a doozy, or nothing all that important.  Since I am writing today, you can safely assume I think it is a bit of a doozy.  At the core, the dev blog proposes that players be allowed, for a fee in Aurum, to take skillpoints out of their characters, and then sell the resulting skillpoints on the market for isk.  I am not a huge fan of this, and said so in the threadnaught.  But I want to explore the reasons behind my opinion.The image above is a bit of online gaming culture at this point.  The point is that Eve is really hard to learn.  That has not changed much in the last few years.  But that graph isn’t really relevant to the discussion of skillpoints (SP) in Eve.  A more appropriate image would be this: What this image shows is how many skillpoints a character can attain over a given time frame, at a few different rates of SP per hour.  I’ve given the time scale as 0 to 12 years, with pretty much encompasses the entire history of Eve.  This is relevant to buying SP because your maximum number Continue Reading →


Not too long ago I got Elite: Dangerous.  After a few days of playing the game I realized I wanted to play the game using a HOTAS setup.  I quickly ordered a Thrustmaster X-HOTAS to try out the interface.  A week later I had some birthday money and a desire to blow cash on trivial things, so I bought a Saitek x55 Rhino HOTAS.  It was great, but I realized my desk was not configured to use any HOTAS set up for any length of time.  The problem is that a conventional desk is built for the height of keyboard and mouse, not the height of a throttle and joystick.  Using a HOTAS with your arms at 45’ angle is just asking for neck, shoulder, and back pain.  After looking at how much various flight and racing sim seats cost, and other peoples’ approaches to custom cockpits, I decided to make my own custom HOTAS chair. Choosing a Throne A quick search of the internets showed that most home-brew HOTAS chairs use one of three approaches:  Clamps or brackets on armrests, clamps on desks, or a PVC “super-structure” to which a HOTAS is mounted and then you slide it under Continue Reading →

A New Fort: Ancientbrass Continues (Part Two)

A River Runs Through It The centerpiece of this fortress is the double tower straddling the river.  So the big challenge is getting through the river to create the central stairwell.  There are many way to do this, but I’ll cover two, because I used both. Dam It All When I started the map, I had no idea if the water would freeze, because I am terrible at using biomes.   I initially used a strategy that works, but is very CPU intensive:  Damming the river.  There are a few ways to do this, mostly variations of pumping out the river or causing a cave-in to block the river.  I like the pumping method, as it makes your dwarves stronger.  Take a look at this picture below to get a basic idea of how this works.  The pump bridge is at the bottom. You build a bridge across the river, followed by a bunch of screw pumps, set to pull water out of the downstream side of the river.  Then you build a receiveing channel, so to the water doesn’t just fall back in.  Finally, you tunnel out a chute to the edge of the map to drain water of into Continue Reading →