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 →

Account Sharing

Sugar Kyle put up a post about account sharing. Reading the comments, I saw a few pain points that cause account sharing: -Titan and supercapital sharing -Managing corp assets, roles etc… -Skill queue issues for mobile individuals or individuals with life schedules that cause long periods away from a computer to access the character -Family/Friend account sharing I may be naïve, but two and a half of these have game mechanics or EULA conditions that are being ignored, or that directly forbid the activity. Sharing any hull in the game is possible. You can do it in a couple of ways. Set up a POS and park an undockable ship inside. Set up SMAs in a POS with access levels. Use corporate hangars in a station. I understand that those first two are not popular, but they exist. If your concern is sharing the hull, you can do so. If your concern is sharing the character that can fly the hull, that’s too bad. Saying it is ok to share accounts to share pilots that can fly titans is like saying I can share my account with Bob because we want to trade skillsets. That’s not how the game is Continue Reading →

Have a Little Faith

Just a super quick post tonight.  There is a lot of serious business in Eve.  Lots of serious topics, in game and out.  We rage about the game, we rage about what people do in game.  We rage about what people do out of game.  We take everything so damn seriously. Despite all the seriousness, two things have happened recently that I think highlight how positive the Eve community is despite all the negative press. First, when I came back from about six months or so of complete absence from the game, I was a bit worried about what I would find waiting for me on the first log in.  Much to my relief, I was still in my old corps on both accounts.  When I logged in, instead of bitching about me be gone or having been kicked (a common occurrence of being gone for even a week in some other MMOs I have played), the players simply said hello and welcomed me back.  No drama, no bullshit, just a few “Hey, welcome back!” posts. Second, in the midst of some evemails with people who don’t know me from Adam, and who I have been hounding a little bit, Continue Reading →

Slippery Slopes

Before we start:  I feel like half of my posts are just responses to Ripard Teg, but the guy writes so much and on so many topics that I find my self not caring.  Just a throwaway thought before I get down to it. Read this.  And then maybe the thread associated, and maybe some of the previous articles.  This is the internet, I can wait. Now we can start.  Most of the debaters in the the topic of what kind of players play Eve and how CCP should treat them seem to accept that both the “Bonus Room” scam and player perpetrating are despicable examples of human behavior.  If something like this happened in your work or your family life, you would cut ties with the person and tell others to avoid them.  That is a relief.  It means that, as I have long suspected and occasionally written, most players of Eve who also participate in the out of game community are either decent people, or are decent enough to recognize truly atrocious behavior.  What I find disturbing is that many of those same people think banning players who conduct “Bonus Room” style behavior will somehow start a slippery Continue Reading →

Trees vs Choices

After spending some time with Diablo III, I was reminded of maybe the most fundamental change between D2 and D3, and in “old” Bizzard and “new” Blizzard.  Most of you are probably aware of the skill trees in Diablo 2.  Some of you may have played World of Warcraft.  Both had skill trees that looked like a flow chart: A Diablo II skill tree. An “old” WoW talent tree. Both operated on the idea that at various experience levels you gained points to spend in the trees.  These points either improved abilities or unlocked new ones.  Diablo 3 and the new WoW talent trees both dumped that approach in favor of unlocking core abilities at certain levels, and then providing a small number of choices.  In D3 this takes the form of glyphs that alter a given ability.  In WoW, the system is a little more convoluted, but at each talent tree level you generally get to choose between three additional abilities or modifications. Picking glyphs for a skill in Diablo 3. The “new” talent tree in WoW.  Another major change in the system was that in the old point-based system respeccing your skills was either impossible or incurred a Continue Reading →

Necessary Force

Only three things in Eve are certain.  Death, taxes, and rage. Ok, death and taxes may not actually be certain, I’m not really sure.  But one thing that can always be counted on is player rage.  This week’s ragefest has been a nicely simmering stew of CCP missteps, player reaction, and CSM posting.  If you guessed that I am referring to the Ishukone Scorpions, you win a tritanium! Up front, I don’t give an Ibis about what CCP did, if it is favoritism, or any of that.  But the facts of the story and the apoplectic response to it are fascinating.  Here is my best understanding of what happened: CCP decided to give some ships to SOMER Blink’s staff and some tournament organizers as a way of saying thank you for their efforts in creating content in New Eden.  CCP did this secretly and SOMER advised their staff to keep things on the down low to not draw undue attention to the gifts, as they presciently assumed it would rub some players the wrong way.  CCP has also given comparable gifts to other various players and organizations.  Some CSM members, due to affiliations and relationships in game, knew about this Continue Reading →

The Value of (In)security

I got to reading a bit of the forum thread for the SVT ballot dev blog.  There are some wonderful quotes such as “TEST vote, please ignore.”  (I love that.  Sorry TEST.  It’s just funny, in a dark sort of way.)  There is the usual tinfoil hat-ery going on, even though null blocs didn’t sweep the elections.  There is the important idea that no voting system can represent people who cannot vote.  Most interesting to me is the sentiment that null bloc candidates are bad.  I’m not a null bloc guy, and don’t currently want to be one.  But I don’t understand the sentiment. Sharing time:  I’ve had the fun experience of talking with a wide range of Eve players, with some serious conversations with people from all areas of the game aside from WH space.  But I’ve dipped into that area enough to know a thing or two about it.  There seem to be a few major types of players.  High sec carebears, in the bad way.  High sec carebears in the “I can’t be bothered with that paranoia” camp.  Low sec FW.  Low sec Pirates.  Null players.  Give-no-shits pvpers. Out of all of these groups, one particular mindset Continue Reading →

My Little Corner of the Cluster

So ice changes, they are a coming.  Not sure how this is going to shake out.  Jester wrote an interesting take on why it might be a good idea to remove ice from high sec in the long run, and why it’s ok for prices to go up.  I disagree. First there is the problem of POSes.  For small group and industrial groups working in non-null space, the cost and effort of maintaining POSes is not insignifigant, and any real consideration of running one has to balance the cost of fuel against the potential profits from running said POS.  For a medium or large, this is already a bit of a constraint for some players, at least from an initial setup and first few months of run time.  Especially if you live in HS or LS.  In high sec you can only do so much at a POS, and in low sec you have to manage the supply chain of getting the damn blocks to your towers.  You don’t have the same intel channels and blue donut protecting you.  You also don’t have the same level of juicy targets to distract would-be attackers. Second, you have the issue of inflation Continue Reading →

CSM 8 Results, Fanfest, Stuff

10 for 14 on my picks.  Not bad, even if a few were shoe-ins.  What surprised me more was the balance of who got in outside the bloc vote.  Mike Azariah but not Unforgiven Storm?  To me that was the biggest shock.  Nice to see Mike get a seat after so much time, though.  Apparently persistence pays off, even in spite of the Null Bloc ballots. So this thing called Fanfest happened.  I didn’t go.  I followed the news as best I could.  Lots to talk about.  Too much to talk about, really.  So I’ll spin out some threads in my head. Mining This was at the same time awesome and disappointing.  Removing grav sites to a simple system scan is a small boon to finding the things, but a huge smack in the face to anyone who wants to mine in them, especially in non-HS space.  CCP has essentially turned grav sites into FW plexes, and that will not entice any miners who want to keep their ships for long.  The one nice thing about signature-based sites in LS is the small window of obfuscation they provide for ships that are designed for some sort of PvE instead of Continue Reading →

Reasonable Foreseeability

In the wake of Burn Jita 2, I have a few thoughts: Who plays Eve, but ignores the metagame? How do haulers, one of the most at-risk groups to events like BJ2, manage to ignore it? What responsibility does CCP have to players in regards to known events that CCP is not actually causing? I’m fairly sure the answers to the first two are something like “many” and “through dumb luck”.  But the anser to the third is not clear.  One very angry pilot posted the following in part of a draft letter he plans to send CCP, and posted on the forums: “Lack of capacity in Jita causing a large amount of ships (likely on autopilot) containing vast wealth to be stuck on the gates around the system.” In the larger context of the letter, he was implying CCP’s lack of ability to meet player demand for access to a system was responsible for a large number of the deaths in Burn Jita 2.  This made me stop and think for few minutes.  What we have here is a player trying to apply a real world legal principle to Eve online, a game made on a pile of interconnected Continue Reading →