Archive for May, 2013

Suicide in public areas is strictly prohibited

And there goes another month. Between some Real life issues in early April and Fanfest consuming Late April, it’s gone by in a breeze. Although Fanfest was great fun, its not all been great though. I get my monthly playtime logged by Raptr and in the past have hit weekly averages of around 35-45 hours. This month not so much.
Last month I averaged 18.5 hours of games per week with 2 hours per week in eve itself. The issue is that my areas of eve are either dedications of large chunks of time, or being on call for short notice operations. Being out of the country or having work done on your house doesn’t exactly play well with that. I’m making excuses really, but the long and short of it is that its no wonder that my corporation has told me the ship up or ship out.
This week I have chosen the former. After chatting with my other half I got permission to be “on call” whenever I am at home, dedicating myself to being able to respond to fleets all the time. Which has resulted in a quite few fleets this week, including my involvement in the Flight of 1000 Rifters. I hope that I have already secured my continued service with my corp, but never taking things for granted I intend to keep up with the high availability thing for the rest of the month (i.e. how long I was given to shape up). Already I have scored a good 17 hours in eve during this first week of May.
In other news the CCP marketing campaign has worked, and after hunting around a bit I managed to secure a cheap PS3 with which to play some Dust, so expect some Dust posts on here in the next few weeks as I get used to the game and form some opinions. First impressions have been excellent, although there is clearly some room for improvements. But that’s a detail for another post.
Not all that much to write about this month, at least not that hasn’t already been posted in the Fanfest and CSM sections of the Blog.
Fly (and walk) as much as you can
Hark

SISI Odyssey Data Dump

I managed to get a hold of a wild odyssey data dump yesterday and spent the train journey to work today perusing it for information. A few things jumped out at me instantly:
Neut-o the NOS
I want to suck your blood… and slow down
your repair rate.
If I am reading the dump correctly Energy Draining modules are going to get a bonus which gives them a
chance to delay repair modules. This is a very interesting move which could have a good effect on small gang and solo combat. Looking at the numbers it looks like the NOS will get the greater chance over the Neut. The Neut is already the module of choice for most PvP’ers for utility high slots (unless they are RR or RE). So we could see them being used a hell of a lot more than they already are. Would this be enough to make the NOS an actually competitor to the Neut? I don’t think so, but we will see.
[EDIT: turns out that this was a stat which was used to reduce the rep time on NPCs (simulating lack of Cap) which has now been removed. Thanks to Martijn Vellinger in the comments who helped clear this up withe Fozzie]
Sec-ond thoughts
Tags are going down the pan…
Sec Status fixing. Looks like the nerf to Sec Status farming is going to hit hard. Not only are ratters going to
be stuck with only one tick per 5 mins they are also going to find that rats are going to give a LOT less standings per kill. It would appear that CCP are scrapping the “Size Matters” mantra and simply making it so that every NPC kill will give a flat 0.028 standings change. Let me say that again. It won’t matter if you kill a battleship or a frigate, the standings increase will be 0.028. To give you an idea of the scale of this one, some numbers:
Prior to Odyssey the largest increase you could get to standings was at around 0.24, and the lowest was 0.032. So the new flat standard of 0.028 is less than the lowest previously. In terms of generalisation it’s a 39% drop in sec status gain per kill. Owch.
You know just the other day I was in Low sec (Floseswin) where I engaged in rather a lot of PvP. At the time I watched my sec status drop and thought, “ah well, I don’t really need it any way”. Right now I’m starting to think I might need to raise it back up again before the patch hits; rather than forking out a large sum of cash or farming for even longer than is currently necessary. One thing this does mean, is that Tag farming is going to be a very viable profession.
Fly of the Dump
Hark

CSM of my Heart

Well here we are, with the Dust (pun intended) settling post Fanfest, one of the realities we must now face is who we have voted into CSM for the next year. The results ballot has been out for a few days already, but I have heard a rumour that there are still some surprises in store yet. Firstly I have heard hints that Ripard Teg Finished way higher than anyone expected (especially not The Mittani). Secondly it was picked up by our radar like ears is that there was a very close run between a few candidate places. All this was picked up through hints and whispers, and as such is totally unsupported, but interesting none the less.
Before we go any further we should first take a moment to thank and congratulate every candidate for the CSM. Just caring about out little game to run for CSM is enough to earn my respect. I look forwards to listening to you again next year.
Without further ado, here is the full list of CSM8. I have highlighted in green the candidates I put on my ballot:
–          Ali Aras
–          Chitsa Jason
–          James Arget
–          Kesper North
–          Korvin
–          Malcanis
–          Mangala Solaris
–          Mike Azariah
–          mynnna
–          progodlegend
–          Ripard Teg
–          Sala Cameron
–          Sort Dragon
–          Trebor Daehdoow
[8/14] placed
Looking at that list, I think I should be pretty happy (and well represented) with and by CSM8. It’s worth noting that despite the chest beating of the CFC and the HBC (helped in no small part by the political engine that is TMC.com), only 4 HBC and CFC candidates made the list, although the list is still very heavily Nullsec weighted (as it should be :P).
It’s worth point out first though that my ballot was based purely on who I thought best represented me (alongsidea few other factors), that does not mean that my ballot was my dream council. As there are 14 seats on the council, and 14 STV positions for each voter, it’s easy to equate a STV positions to “whished” council seat. This is a false assumption.
My ideal CSM is one which is made up of a fair representation of good candidates from all of eve demographic (which I believe we got). My ballot on the other hand was concentrated at ensuring that mydemographic was represented correctly.
I think I have really already discussed the candidates enough through my Impressionableposts in the last few months so I won’t go into any details on my feelings about candidates here. The people in green have had my support from the get go. However for the people not marked in green above, for the most part, I would like to say: you may not have been who I voted for, but I marked most of you as good candidates who didn’t represent me. My congratulations to you all.
Finally a few messages:
Ripard – As the first choice on my ballot, I am really pleased you got in. I met you briefly at Fanfest alongside Roc (who is also a stand up gent), and you confirmed the impression you give through your blog of a well-thought, well-spoken man. If the whispers I have heard are true, double congratulations are in order for your stunning position on the CSM.
Mynnna – At the very beginning it would be fair to say I was lukewarm towards your run. However since them you have done nothing but build yourself in my standings. I am very pleased (if not at all surprised) that you made it on. I offer you too my congratulations.
Trebor – Another candidate I met at Fanfest who turned out exactly as expected (a gentleman to the highest standards). I am very pleased you were dragged back into the council (kicking and screaming as I understand). You’re a needed connection to help build the new relationship for this CSM and the CSM of tomorrow. My congratulations again go out to you.

Closing Fanfest 2013

I think we have ended our spate of posts from Fanfest now, and I guess its tie to try and sum up my feelings for the event, as well as its comming effect it could have on the game. The event itself is the easiest bit, it was great. We all had an excellent time and cant wait to do it all again.
To elaborate further the event was pretty much what I had imagined  based on the live stream from last year and my trip to Iceland in October. The presentations were great and the round tables were very interesting (as were the people we met). The venue itself was very interesting, nestled on the shore in among the rocks and jetties; and for the most part it served it purpose well. My only complaints were that the larger round tables could have benefited from a microphone system (for CCP and the questioners), and even better, an electronic “Hands-up” system. It seemed to me that asking a question was at the mercy of the eyesight and vocal ability of the devs. But lets face it, that’s a pretty minor niggle.
For us as the players part in the round tables the community needs to learn some patience and politeness. I lost count of the number of grumblings I heard about people not getting asked a question for a long time (yes it annoyed me too, but there is no need to start swearing about it). Worse were the one question wonders: People who seem to turn up for a round table and ask a question, then disappear of to do their next thing. Seriously if you care enough  about a section of eve to want to make you opinion heard, maybe you should put in the effort to listen to others who care as much as you? Instead of sperging your load over the Devs before running off to try and correct another part of the universe. Worst of all were the  people who spent an age telling CCP how to fix the game and then not even bother to listen to the response.
Needless to say I did meet as lot of very interesting and informed people during the round tables, as well as hear some perspectives which I found new and interesting. So enough of my whining, let talk about the presentations. Starting with the Dust 514 Keynote: I want a ps3 now, if only it didn’t cost an arm and a leg. Enough said? No? Ok well it was a pretty good presentation which gave a good idea of where CCP is going with dust and how they intend to make it popular. Certainly. As a side note I managed to sneak past

a cordon at one point and try a Dust with a Razer keyboard and mouse for a few seconds before I was politely turfed out. I was pretty amazed at how good it felt tbh. This was pretty important especially as any hope I had of getting it on PC were dashed with the announcement of dust mobile on the psp vita. It looks like Sony and CCP are getting pretty far under the sheets together (as evidenced by the PlayStation logo all over Fanfest), and I really doubt Sony would appreciate a competitor to Planet Side from a partner.

How about the eve keynote then? Well first off I was enthralled by the history lesson from Hilmar. I did a little light research on the games history back when I wrote this piece on an alternate vision of eve. Hearing it from Hilmar was great however, and it really told me two key things: CCP has never really known how far the rabbit hole goes, and that the people who run the company are not all that many miles from me or you.
In terms of actual content, I feel like we have a mixed bag. Lets say upfront that the new gate animation is sexy as hell. Soundwave prefaced his demonstration of it but telling us we were all about to get nerd boners, and he wasn’t wrong. Even having seen it the day before at the art panel I was amazed by it. Sure gate animations aren’t the most important thing in the world, but its just a little thing which makes the world more immersive more tangible, more real. Loading bars break the immersion; and when you have to jump 10 or 15 jumps to a destination your going to spend less time immersed than not with just a loading bar between gates.  So good job on that one.

The exploration mechanics were also pretty awesome. We saw in the prototyping session that the original idea was to give the mechanic to miners who could increase their yield by being active and catching rocks while mining. But i think its been well placed in the exploration area as well. I certainly intend to give it a go at some point post release.
But the fact of the matter is that I was really hoping to see more to shake the nullsec snow glob. The resource rebalance is a great start, but really I don’t think its enough. I could be way out on this, I think we will see some jostling between the CFC and HBC to gather up a roughly even value of R64 moons, and then they will get back to swimming in cash ala scrooge mcduck. It will be an interesting proof of who was telling the truth about why Nullsec is quiet at the moment. With no changes being made to structure grinding if we do see major combat for a prolonged period of time: it will prove that the “Why fight when you can just collect cash?” camp was right, and the “Structure Grinding is to hard”/”We have perfected Sov warfare” camps were deluded or lying.
The final keynote was the CCP Presents session, which was apparently another name for “Dust 514 Keynote Part 2”. We spent far to much time listening to Dust stuff which would have been far better placed in, well, the Dust keynote. I seriously don’t get the whole expansion, wait 1 week, then go live with another patch thing. Why not put all the features together, label them uprising then go live with the expansion at the same time as releasing the game all on the 5.14 date they clearly wanted so bad?  I just don’t get it. In all honestly, if I didn’t know better I would have said they were filling time. After what felt like hours of intricate details about Dust stuff we could have guessed (well golly gosh CCP you released a Minmatar and Caldari pistol and you intend to release a Gallente and Amarr one too? Strike me down I didn’t see that coming! You’ll tell me your releasing all the suit sizes for all the races next!) CCP Seagull came out and pretty much said “all that stuff we told you yesterday is still true and still mystic, woohoo”. I guess its pretty hard to follow an hour of facts about a release, with just the incorporeal plans for the next 5 years.
The merchandise stuff was pretty cool (if presented with a good dollop of American cheese). I did feel that they left the biggest question unanswered which was “can I upgrade my main character to a collectors edition?” I’m guessing so as he hinted it was all done through codes (but 150 Euros is a lot of money to gable on a guess). All the books and comics sounded great, I will certainly be trying to sneak a copy of eve Source onto our coffee table, or failing that into the magazine rack in the bog.

Our coverage wasn’t exactly how we expected it to be. We were hoping for some more Round Table video, as well as some chats with Devs along the way. Sadly although we secured all of these things on a HD video camera, some kind of overheating or firmware issue caused it to corrupt all the video we captured. Needless to say that recorder will be going back to the shops some time soon. We did we some pictures and video via a camera phone, and I cant thank Lore enough for putting the effort in to pull us out of the fire. But with the best will in the world, a camera phone will never quite match a proper HD recording device. Still I believe what we got was very worth while.

Well its almost touch down time now so I’d better sign off. In closing Fanfest was great fun, and I cant wait to go again. I’m still pretty disappointed with Odyssey, not so much for what in it, but more for what is not. Lots more to talk about resulting from this so expect a fair few more posts from us soon (although maybe not at the rate we have been chucking them out). Without the pressure on to get things out as soon as possible, we may even start proof reading out posts now (did we ever?).
Fly home,
Hark