Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Long Time Ago...

So with the last beta patch and play, Bioware has unlocked restrictions on being able to talk about it, so I’m going to let you all know about my experiences so far. Just as a fair warning, this is a non-EVE post. And it’s not for lack of EVE things to talk about. CCP has been doing a remarkable job on this upcoming expansion and it looks better and better with each new dev blog that comes out.

This makes me wonder wtf they were doing all this time. All of these advancements in the game we love in what, 2 months? You’re kidding me. How baddass would this expansion be if that’s what CCP was focusing on THE ENTIRE TIME.

But that is really a discussion for another time. There have been so many good things coming out of the land of CCP I haven’t even attempted to write about them here in my blog. Really they don’t need analysis. It’s all good. If you want to read about what someone else thinks, read some of the other very well written EVE blogs that go into depth.

For the moment though, let’s talk about Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Terror of the Trailer Park

Yeah so I was wrong.

I'm man enough to admit when I made a mistake, and this was a pretty big one.  I somehow managed to confuse tier 3 with tech 3 and it all went downhill from there.  Funny how I had about everyone telling me.

Anyway, there were still some good points in that article, but nobody could seemingly get past the mistake so I'm pulling the entire thing.  It would take too long to edit it out, so I'm just salvaging the stuff I want to get across and posting it back up.   Look for it in a few days.  Despite the mistake, there really was a few good points in there.  Usually I'm pretty good about checking my facts and whatnot, but this was a base error I made that compounded itself thoughout the article.

Sheesh.  Sorry.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Poking through the Hilmar interview that Eurogamer did I found an interesting comment/revelation.

The question was posed to Hilmar about the CSM. I found the answer very interesting.

First, the question, posed to Hilmar by Eurogamer:

“The Council of Stellar Management (CSM) has been increasingly vocal and rebellious in recent months. What’s your relationship with them like at the moment – your personal feelings and those of the company as a whole?”

And Hilmar’s answer?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Burn Notice

My name is Shadai… I used to be a spy, until….

Interesting changes afoot at the CCP offices. It starts with a heartfelt letter of apology and a “you win, here’s what you want, happy now?” set of blogs. Then a few days later, the true cost of the revolution comes about.

Cuts and layoffs.

No one likes losing their job. It’s like Jimmy Fallon asking the rhetorical question on the Capital One commercial “Who doesn’t want more cash?” And as someone who’s felt the sting of job cuts and downsizing, I know it sucks.

So my heart goes out to those of you who lost their jobs. I know you are in a difficult time right now, and me telling you that on a no-name blog you probably don’t even read isn’t going to change your situation. And I hope that you swiftly find new fulfilling employment doing that which you love.

To those of you who didn’t get fired, I feel for you guys as well. I’ve been in that situation before too. Where you are glad you didn’t get fired, but you feel bad for the ones that didn’t make it. It’s a general crappy feeling of survivor’s guilt that sticks with you for a few days and just ruins you for the week.

And no, you really don’t get it or understand what it’s like until you are there.

What does this mean for CCP?

Rumors of My Demise….

….are greatly exaggerated. Yeah so I’m back. I should first apologize, and oddly enough I don’t really know why. After all, I don’t owe you wonderful intelligent readers who clue into my blog each week anything; but I feel like I do. Over the last year of my maiden voyage into blogging, I felt like I was producing cutting commentary, helpful tips, tricks and how-to’s just for each and every one of you. Each comment I got was a blessing, a sign that someone out there in the wilds of the interwebs read my rambling article and took something away. And each page view meant that much more, as someone was looking over my work appreciatively (or unappreciatively) and/or just stealing my pictures I rightfully stole first.

So I don’t owe you anything, yet I feel like I do. And for being absent for the last few weeks I apologize. Personal life has kind of been busy for me, and I had a vacation in there where I was away from my computer for a while (I’m still recovering from the shakes, tyvm… the doctor’s think I’ll be back to normal after a few marathon gaming sessions). Again, no excuses, but I keep having this nagging feeling like I’m letting someone down.

Besides, like most of you I’m drowning in Jester posts. Good lord, he makes me look terrible. Whereas I’m about good for one really decent post a week; he’s about good for one really solid post a day. It’s an average I can’t even begin to match up with, let alone try and beat.

So as my extended apology and as a way to goad people to come back to my site, I’m posting a flurry of posts. Well, a flurry for me. A flurry like Jester would put me in a coma. My flurry will be 2 to 3 posts in as many days as I “catch up” to the time that I missed. For some of you it will be old hat by now, but I hope you enjoy it anyway. Also I’ll have my thoughts on the new ships and what they mean for those of us that don’t have to deal with Incarna at all, and maybe a wormhole exclusive or two.

For those of you keeping count here on Sleepless, I’m reaching that magical one year of blogging. When I stop and think about it, it really kinda blows me away. I started this blog hoping I wouldn’t make a fool of myself as I gave it the ol’ college try. Never in my wildest expectations did I think Sleepless would become as popular as it seemingly has. I will certainly strive to continue that as we move forward. But in the meantime I think I’ll probably have a “year in review” post as I highlight the stuff you may have missed.

So on we go.

TL;DR: I’m back, I’m sorry, Jesters a robot, New posts coming, Happy happy birthday to me

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Winter is Coming

CCP, Sun and Stars

So as time marches on this ridiculous pace CCP has set for itself, winter heralds a few things for the majority of us.

While not being as ominous as in George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones; after all I’m not about to be invaded by frozen zombies for lack of a better description. There are some certainties that I’m forced to look forward to. I am going to be snowed in. I’m going to have to drive on shit roads. I am going to be cold. And sometime before Christmas I’m going to have decisions to make. Not “what do I get my adorable niece for Christmas” kind of decisions, but a more earth shattering gaming type decision looms for me, especially since I’ve started this blogging thing.

Keep playing EVE Online or scrap it for The Old Republic.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Mythbusters: More Scan Probes

It’s the activity we do the most. It’s also the most dreary, boring, lackluster activity you can do in game. And we do it, all the time. We don’t have a choice really. If we want to know what’s out there, or we want to know where the exit is, or if we just want to know where that Hulk is stupidly mining, scanning is a necessary evil that we have to put up with. So of course, one starts trying to figure out how to make said dreary activity faster so they can get back on with the fun stuff.

The majority of us get by with a standard 5 or 4 probe setup. A few patches ago, CCP “unlocked” the other probes allowing for more probes to contribute to signal strength. But does it matter? Do more probes actually increase the speed of scanning, or does the hassle of dealing with more probes actually take longer to deal with?

Time for a little Mythbusters, Sleepless in Space style.
What's that smell...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cyno-oh Baby!

She may be ugly kid, but she's got it where it counts.  I made a lot of "special modifications" to her myself.

A while back Kirith Kodachi asked for some wormhole fits for the new issue of EON magazine.  I submitted 3 fits that I had lying about with explanations.  He seemed impressed, but due to space concerns he only picked one.  For those of you that have the magazine, you know that my overpowered Tengu fit was the one he picked for EON.   If you don't, I suggested you pick it up.  There is some pretty good wormhole information in there, especially for those of you new to wormholes.

One of the fits he didn't list was my (as he described it) hit-and-run Cynabal.  As one of the fastest (if not the fastest) cruiser hulls in the game, the Cynabal has the advantage of range dictation.  This is similar to the Dramiel, although the Cynabal has a bit more HP for buffer in case a mistake is made.  With its damage and falloff bonus to autocannons, the Cynabal can spit out some impressive damage at impressive range.  Combined with its speed, the Cynabal is virtually unmatched among cruiser hulls.  However, it's an advantage you have to pay for, as the Cynabal clocks in as the most expensive T1 cruiser hull you can fly.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Death of a Legend

After five seasons, Jade and Jayne are calling it quits.


To be fair, I think this one is for keeps.  Last time they "quit" the community rallied around them and they decided to give it one more go.  This time I feel its a bit more permanent.  Jade left a post on the Lost In Eve website explaining his decision.  In it, he explained that he had come down with a nasty fever that just wouldn't let go.

I'm certain juggling a full time job, kids, wife, Eve, and oh yeah the podcast where him and Jayne were for all intents and purposes on opposite sides of the world didn't help.  But now he's looking at surgery, and he just doesn't have time anymore.  For not just Lost in Eve but Eve Online as well.  He's unsubbed his accounts.

Jade I salute you sir.  o7

The Lost in Eve podcast was a staple for many of us, especially those of us in wormholes.  While we chuckled at Jade's buzzard story, we cheered as he got his revenge.  We rolled our eyes at Jayne, who sounded every bit like a typical American on every show.  But for the most part we listened.  And sometimes we learned something.  And sometimes we shouted at the radio when they were getting something wrong.  And sometimes we just enjoyed the banter.

Thank you Jade, Jayne for 5 seasons of content.  Thank you Jade, for allow this humble blogger when he was virtually unknown to appear on your podcast.  I was and still am honored for the privilege.  I apologize for not being more available so we could have worked on the future segment.

There are things more important then Eve and a podcast.  If you don't have your health, you don't have anything.  Get well soon Jade, and good luck on your surgery.  You will be missed.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sticks and Shenanigans (Blog Banter #28)

In recent months, the relationship between CCP and its customers has been the subject of some controversy. The player-elected Council of Stellar Management has played a key role in these events, but not for the first time they are finding CCP difficult to deal with. What effect will CCP’s recent strategies have on the future of EVE Online and its player-base? What part can and should the CSM play in shaping that future? How best can EVE Online’s continued health and growth be assured?

This set of questions set forth by the new overlord of the blog banter comes at a fortuitous time. I was actually going to write a piece about this as my next post. As you notice, I did not post anything last week, as I was hoping the minutes regarding CSM’s emergency meeting would have been released by now. Sadly, this is not the case and we seem to have inadvertently been reset on course for the very disaster we narrowly avoided a few months ago.

First some background, for those of you living in a WH for so long you don’t get out into K-Space much. As most of you know by now or have heard, CCP hasn’t been the best when coming through with communication to the players. And by communication I mean actual meaningful conversation. The kind of conversation your girlfriend wants to have with you before you blow her off to play EVE. In fact, CCP even pledged to do better in this regard.

However, someone at CCP forgot to toss that skill in the Que. We haven’t been getting any communication from CCP, more like communiqu├ęs that tell us what they think they want us to hear. And worse, our only link with CCP, the CSM, has gone deceptively silent.

Well, until now.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Versatile Loki

The final entry in my four part series about T3 improvements has me highlighting the Minmatar Loki. This week I wrap up my thoughts on the T3 strategic cruiser as a whole. While I’m not deluded to think that the T3’s I envision here in this blog to be anything close to what CCP is/might/probably do, it’s nice to get my ideas down. Who knows? Perhaps I’ve inspired a dev in the bowels of CCP HQ to do something impressive.

For those of you who have been following my blog (bless you!) you’ll remember I already wrote at length about the Loki. The Loki is one of my favorite T3 ships just because of the versatility factor. I will continue that theme in the changes I feel need to be made. The strength of the Minmatar people as a general rule has been that versatility, so to move away from it detracts from the ship as a whole. While I don’t expect it to do the damage of a Proteus nor have the range of a Tengu, I do expect it to have one thing over the others. Speed.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Pro-fessional Proteus

For the last 2 weeks I’ve been posting proposed changes to the T3 strategic cruiser platform. These changes are based on my experience in wormhole space, the very place the strategic cruiser is designed for. The first week focused on the Legion and how underwhelming it is. Last week it was the opposite side of the spectrum with the Tengu. This week I’m going to focus on what I consider to be the zero point for T3 strategic cruisers, the Proteus.

For the uninitiated, the Proteus is the Gallente version of the T3. I call the Proteus my zero point because it’s at the power level I think all T3’s should be. Good for PVE, good for PVP, but it doesn’t take the place of the specialty ships. Whereas I consider the Tengu a wee bit overpowered, the Legion a wee bit underpowered, the Proteus is that bowl of porridge that is just right. But that doesn’t mean I can’t tweak it.

First of all, I’m going to suggest you read the Legion article, if you haven’t already. The Legion and Proteus are very similar in their subs so much of the same thought there will apply here. This way you understand some of the changes without me getting carpal tunnel by typing it all out again.

Friday, August 12, 2011

E Tu Tengu

Continuing my series on T3 changes, this week I focus on the Caldari Tengu. I feel that this is the week I get relatively unpopular as well. Unlike the Legion that I feel needs some buffs, the Tengu is on the opposite side of the spectrum. The Tengu is arguably the best T3 cruiser of the four. Name me one ship that can hit for long range with authority, get in close with blasters as well as any Gallente ship, tank like a Drake, and ECM like a Blackbird. And therein lies the problem.

The Tengu, unlike some of the other ships, actually is in need of a nerf. Now, before you start flooding my comments about nerfs and blah blah blah Caldari’s only good ship, hear me out. I’m not a fan of nerfs. In fact, I never have been. I would rather see the other ships get buffed up to where the Tengu is. However, to do that creates a problem. Raising the other ships to the over 9000 power level of the Tengu would make the strategic cruiser the ultimate power in the universe. Okay maybe not the universe, but in the cruiser oriented combat of wormhole systems it would be.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Fixing a Legion of Problems

In last week's blog I mused on CCP's decision to re-balance ships.  While it would be interesting for them to actually do something useful, I really don't trust them or our Null-Sec friendly CSM, who clearly don't know shit about wormholes.  I graciously offered my assistance for the idea part of the re-balance, and started typing down some ideas I thought I would share with you all.  In the end, I damn near had a white paper on where CCP had gone wrong and exactly what they needed to do to fix it.  So instead of slamming you with a wall of text that was even longer then what is before you, I've helpfully broken it up into sections by race.  I'll start with the Amarr Legion and post another one on the other ships later.

Of course, please feel free to let me know what I got wrong or right in the comments.  And if any of you know any CCP devs, feel free to forward this their way.  I'm sure I'm off their collective Christmas card lists.

The problem with the Legion, while great for PVE, it is generally considered to be extremely lacking in PVP. Additionally, users are looking for a great deal more flexibility in their T3’s, especially wormholers. The goal then is to redesign the T3 subs to make more combinations possible, introduce more utility, all while retaining the flavor of the strategic cruiser.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Good Side of the CSM Minutes

Wait... isn't that... Nah, couldn't be

Really the only thing most wormholers took out of that CSM minutes document was how ignorant the current CSM leaders are, with the exception of a few intelligent people. For most of us, we can stop right there. For the most part it seems we aren't going to get any help, and the best content CCP has created to date is going to get nerfed at the hands of our Null-sec friendly CSM. Sad really. So despite the terrible news on the CSM minutes, is there anything good in that document? As a matter of fact, there is. And a few good hearty chuckles to go along.

Join me, won't you?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

CSM Ignorance: Our Worst Enemy

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous then a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” -MLK

And in our case, nothing is more dangerous to us, the player base of EVE Online then an ignorant and almost stupid CSM.

Let's take the case in point.

I was reading over the minutes and found some shocking information within. Allow me to share. First, I'll direct you to Jester's blog, as he writes about the CSM ignorance and stupidity regarding the Art department. Since he's pretty much saying what I would say, I'm not going to bother to type it out, as he has already put it as eloquently as can be done. And correctly, I should add.

Which is good, because it allows me to focus on the truly shocking thing for us wormhole residents. A direct attack by the ignorant CSM on our space.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Lessons Learned from AT9

I love the alliance tournament. I love it for the very simple reason that to me it is small gang PVP perfected. And before you say NOOOOOOO, think about it. The concept is simple. A small group of ten or less pilots taking on another small group of ten or less pilots in more or less a realistic setup of ships one might actually see in the game. Granted, it isn't something that you would see in 0.0 space, but in wormholes its pretty much par for the course. And while the individual ship setups might changes, the concept is still the same. Bring as much power to blow up the other guy.

That being said I don't watch the AT9 with interest in who is going to win. That was settled a long time ago in backroom dealing. It is the fleet setups I study and try to learn as much as I can. After all, this style of combat is what we see in wormholes often, so it is important to see what works and what doesn't. So what did I learn this year?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

And Now Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming...

So it has been an interesting week in eve.

It all started with the release of Incarna, and the player base doing its best "What is this, I don't even..."

CCP of course exacerbated the situation with an unfeeling, uncaring, and generally unwise Dev blog that will forever live in the halls of infamy as one of the most terrible answers to honest questions we'll ever see.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Eve is a Game

...and CCP is a company that makes money.  At the end of the day, there it is.

I've been really enjoying my popcorn out here in WH space where I don't have to deal with Incarna at all.  Its actually been very amusing watching EVE burn.  I could link the several blogs, forum posts, and other stuff I found insightful and amusing but by now you've probably read them all, and like me you are all anxiously awaiting an official response.

Before I set everyone straight, I did find this really amusing:

If you don't think CCP is in full spin mode right now I have a few jump bridges to sell you.  With 10% off discount.

CCP, the players are outraged at you for one reason.  You have been lying to our faces since this entire fiasco started.  We could give a shit about $60 monocles or walking in stations.  Overpriced virtual goods won't sell, and they just make you guys look like idiots.  We don't care about walking in stations.

But Shadai, it will bring in new players.


Oh it might.  Pretty graphics always bring in the most shallowest of Hals.  But  they won't stay.  You know why?  Because the game isn't about pretty graphics or your avatar or even your captain's quarters.   Its about internet spaceships and PVP.  And the same shallow players who didn't like EVE before for that reason aren't suddenly going to like it now because they can jerk off to their avatar.

CCP where is the development of internet spaceships?  Where are the new ships?  Where are the T3 improvements?  T3 frigs?  Where?  Why is it in the last few things done in eve been superficial graphics shit?  Why is this shit in my game about internet spaceships?  Truly, the only thing you have added to internet spaceships was incursions.  That is really it.

At the end of the day, it's internet spaceships that determine if the new players stay or go.  Being impressed with graphics is not enough reason to stay and play a game you hate or don't like or don't understand.

And then there is the multiple client/cpu thing.  If you have an ATI card (I do) you're pretty much fucked.  CCP, you have marketed this game to players to have multiple clients.  Power of Two remember?  You encouraged the players to have more then one account so doing things was so much easier.  Don't pretend to be outraged when we can no longer take advantage that we paid for in another subscription.

CCP the lying to our faces has to stop, or you might as well drop all subscriptions and just go full micro transaction.  That should completely and utterly destroy everything you've so carefully created in EVE.  You know, the market, the players, and your free subscription ride to World of Darkness bliss.

To the players I say everyone needs to calm down.  Seriously.  Stop with the "Free Helicity" bullshit, that guy got what was coming to him.  If someone threatened to kill me in real life I'd boot his ass out too.  He's not a martyr.  He's an asshole.  He had the opportunity to say and do the right things and yet he chose to go the opposite way.  That is not the guy I want leading the charge.  So do us all a favor and knock that shit off right now.

Don't be just another mob member.  Be smart.  Be a person.  THINK before speaking.  The second coming of Summer of Rage is coming to all, and this time once we have a hold of CCP's ear we need not let go.  But we need to be smart about it.  Don't be an unthinking mob member, caught up in the rage, looting and burning so much that you forget why the fuck you are doing it in the first place.

On the other side of the coin, to the players defending CCP and Incarna, first, Welcome to EVE; and second, I'm sure there will be a job opening at CCP soon.  You need to relax too.  You only serve to whip the mob into a frenzy and really that's the last thing we need right now.

CCP the ball is in your court.  Only you can prevent player rage, and so far you have been utterly incompetent at it.  We don't want the moon.  We just want spaceships to take us there.  And instead of that you guys are giving us a doll.  We don't want a doll.  We want our internet spaceships back.

Because at the end of the day, this is a game about internet spaceships, not WoD beta testing.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Incarna: Priceless

T3 Ship...

Thirty-four dollars on Debit Mastercard.

Faction Fittings...

Thirty-four dollars on Debit Mastercard.

Pirate Implants...

Thirty-four dollars on Debit Mastercard.


Fifty Dollars on Debit Mastercard.

The look on CCP's face when Summer of Rage II: The Sequel kicks off...


There are some things money can't buy.  For everything else your EVE character needs, there's Debit Mastercard.

The look on my face during the entire thing:

Thursday, June 16, 2011

CCP Banking the "ISK"

So if you haven't seen it yet, CCP just released a new dev blog.  Usually these are oh so informative and helpful things that CCP is bringing to the game for the benefit of us players.  Sadly, they seemed to miss the latter part and someone, some dumbfuck intern (ie Hero to us on the outside) managed to post an internal memo:

CCP's new money making scheme!

I'll let you read that a couple of times so it really, really sinks in.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Eve's Art of War

Around the 6th century BC an influential manuscript was written on bamboo slips about warfare in China. As part of the Seven Military Classics, Sun Tzu's Military Strategy, known more widely as the Art of War is the most popular book on strategy of the Seven. Translated roughly over two hundred years ago by a French missionary, the Art of War has made the rounds throughout the West as an influential source of knowledge on military strategy. Since its discovery and subsequent translation, the teachings held within have been sought out and studied by all manner of people, from Napoleon to Nazi High Command to Japanese businessmen during the 80's who engage in “corporate warfare”.

Regarded as China's oldest and most profound volume on military strategy, nothing comes into question more then the man who credited with writing the Art of War, Sun Tzu. Some credit Sun Tzu as actually Sun Wu and the writings the preservation of his stratagem and tactics during the violent Five Dynasties period. Others doubt the existence of the man himself, believing the Art of War to rather be a collection of thoughts from various generals at the time in one comprehensive volume. Regardless of the who, it is the content of the Art of War that continues to make it one of the most important manuscripts studied by scholars and military commanders to date.

So what can a manuscript about warfare in China during the 6th century with swords, horses and chariots teach us about excelling in combat spaceships?

The answer may surprise you.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Black Eve Down

So if you haven't wandered over to the Eve online site in the last few hours, you'll be met with a fun surprise:

While funny, it brings into light something very serious.

Who the hell is in charge of the web development team over there?

Ah Eve Online Web presence.  Let me count thy fails.  Oddly, they all seem to revolve around Eve Gate.  Wasn't Eve Gate going to be the be-all-end-all?

Chat with corp members in game while out of game... uh yeah, kinda, after several false starts
Eve Forums being moved to EG... oh wait they are back again.
Live Dev Blog... not so much?

To be fair, I wasn't at the live dev blog so I don't actually know if went off without a hitch and the back log of all the people there caused this little crash in the first place.  I found it ironic that they put out a nice Dev Blog about the changes to API that are available RIGHT NOW ON SINGULARITY... HURRY HURRY HURRY! then the web service and API go down for the count.

Anyone else feel like this?

I just feel confused really.  Does CCP think this is a race or something?  Guys, take your time.  Make sure the shit is right before you launch it.  In general, the gaming community (which oddly enough includes Eve Online) hates Hates HATES buggy launches.  We don't want emergency patches to fix emergency patches to fix the shit that should have been right the first time.

But for some reason, I get the nagging suspicion that CCP is just rushing to get this out.  Is the World of Darkness launch date pushing you guys along, and the beta testing in Eve isn't going as smoothly as you planned?  Is the Dust due date making the multitasking difficult to push both Eve and Dust at the same time?

Honestly guys, we want less of this:
And more of this:

Currently at the time of this posting the services are still down.  Thank the gods the game still plays.  If not we might have a riot.  Or at least a long worded bitching session on Failheap.  Whatever.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Patch Notes: Scanner's Delight

In the latest update, CCP has given those of us who play in wormholes a few helpful additions.  Sadly, still no swapping subs and putting together T3's at POS's.  We've been promised that for so long (and so long ago) its beginning to feel like it's CCP's version of Duke Nukem Forever.  And I just ran outta bubble gum.  Its like the WH version of the white unicorn - really pretty to talk about, but seeing not so much.

And we didn't get the bookmark thing.  Initially we were going to get the scanning improvements which consisted of a harder faster stronger on-board ship scanner, probe UI improvements, and the ability to see bookmarks on the overview (cue Hallelujah please).  However there seemed to be a problem with the bookmark thing, so it is promised for a later patch which could be the next one but like with the T3 thing, I'm not holding my breath.

So what did we get, and does it really work?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Basilisk: Dependable Like a Rock

For most wormhole corporations, shield tanking is the norm. What better way to abuse the dps and range of the Heavy Missile System which is easily the most unbalanced weapon system in the game? For some pvers, they don't even know what armor is, or even how to use it. This is usually reflected in the EVE Quarterly reports when they do race breakdown. Caldari is the most populous race every year, although I suspect its because everyone has a Caldari alt to watch the market at Jita.

But I digress.

Generally, shield tanking is performed by Caldari ships which for the most part are considered excellent for PVE. Proponents of shield tanking over armor besides gloating about the range and damage of the usual weapon systems also know that sleepers have no shields. This means when blowing them up in a system that penalizes armor but buffs shields (Pulsar) is a faster, safer way to that big payday. So it isn't hard to understand why it is the more popular way to Op in a wormhole.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Salvage Ships for Wormhole Operations

The majority of money to be made from sleeper sites is not in the actual blowing up sleepers. No money is made that way, as they don't have bounties. Anyone doing wormholes sites knows this already. The real money, therefore, is in the salvage. Thus, the most important job is the one of the salvager. Because without it being done, no one gets paid.

One would automatically think the Noctis would be the best ship to salvage. And they would be right! However, WH space isn't safe, ever. Remember the rules I went over last week? They doubly apply here, as the salvage guy is the most vital and often unprotected guy in your op.

The way most corps do business is warp off as a squad, clear site, warp to the next and start clearing while another guy warps to the first site in his Noctis/destroyer/whathaveyou and starts salvaging.

Houston, we have a problem.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Intelligence Gathering 102: Defensive Scouting

Welcome to part two of my EVE intelligence gathering operation. In this segment I will talk about how intelligence plays a role in not just scanning but when a corp runs an Operation as well.

Mastering the techniques I've talked about in 101 will help here in 102. You should know right now that defensive scouting is INCREDIBLY boring. However, it is an absolute necessity for the security of your fleet when running various ops whether they are combat or mining oriented.

Be sure your corporation pays for this job. Some give an equal cut, others do not. If you don't have anything to do it is easy money. However they will be happy they gave you a cut the minute you give early warning and the fleets gets away safely.

In my opinion, an Op that is not scouted is destined to fail. Maybe not now, or tomorrow, but eventually it will end in tears. You should never assume you are safe. In fact, assume the opposite. Even when you are running sites and have 6 or 7 ships, never assume you are safe in the anom shooting sleepers.

What you learned in IG101 holds true for IG102. Rule 1 - You are never safe; this will hold true even when you have a fleet. If you haven't read IG101, go back and do that now.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Intelligence Gathering 101: Effective Scouting

The most important aspect of wormhole life is intelligence. New awesome ships are cool and all, running ops and making isk is sweet... but all of it flares up into a momentary lapse of death and nothingness without good, proper intelligence.

Intelligence is not just the backbone of a well run op. It is everything in wormhole space where the lack of local means extra steps must be taken to insure the safety of the fleet. There are some corporations who do just enough, and then there is the truly successful ones that excel at it.

Like money, you have to have it to make it. And there are effective ways to scout and plan while being the eyes and ears of your corporation in a local-less place.

It all starts with scouting and effective information gathering techniques. This will be a two part series. In this first part I will talk about gathering information as a scout. In the second, I will go into scouting and running operations.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Point of EVE

So yesterday I was talking to a co-worker where I work. He noticed my EVE Online background I had put up instead of the standard boring blue backdrop that comes with Windows. Turns out the guy was a gamer, much to my surprise. Now, he plays mostly console games, so like all console gamers he has never heard of EVE Online.

The next few minutes were filled with us talking about games. He started to ask me questions about EVE. What was the ship on the backdrop; is that planet Saturn; what happens when you blow up; what kinds of ships; what kind of things do you do; etc etc. All questions that showed he was getting interested; questions that had definite answers any of us who have played this game for longer then five minutes can and would answer.

Eventually he got to the question I'm sure all of us who have talked to anyone about this game to people who have never played it get:

So what's the point of the game?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Solving the Rubix Cube of UI

One of my biggest complaints with the game of Eve online is the user interface. It a word, it's terrible. Actually it's beyond terrible, but to accurately describe it requires more then one word. Or paragraph. Or book.

In the latest episode of Lost In Eve (season 3, episode 10), Jade and Jayne introduce two new co-hosts that I'm still adjusting to. Without spoiling it, lets just say the ego on that show has multiplied by a factor of 500. I'm still not sure if that was a good move or not. Regardless of how I feel about it, the four hosts took shots at our new elected leader of the CSM, the one, the only, the arrogant, The Mittani. I use “took shots at” reluctantly. The tone of the interview was very standoffish at the beginning, but near the end it almost sounded like they wanted to kiss him. And while The Mittani sounded like he had crash landed on Earth from the plant Arrogance, I found myself developing a healthy dose of respect for the man. For now I think he's perfect, but I reserve the right to change my mind later. The Mittani really comes off as a man who has no middle ground. Either you like him or you hate him; only time will be able to tell if this was a good move that will continue to move the CSM in a positive direction or one that will backfire and blow up in all of our collective faces.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Loki, Trickster God of Mischief

Being April Fool's Day, I enjoy a good laugh as the internet tries to fool me every year. However, I decided against doing the same... coming up with lame stories or untrue facts just to poke fun at my readers. Some people just can't take a joke, and if in my fabrication I get someone blown up because I told them you can solo sleepers in a particular ship or with some expensive mod, SOMEONE is bound to try it. Then they will come crying to me.

By the by, one of my favorites in Wormhole space was one I believe the goons perpetuated. The way it went was if you had a Nemesis bomber loaded with therm bombs, you could launch them at the hole, MWD there and jump through. If you did it correctly, it would instantly close the hole. The trick was it only worked on the side you wanted to close, so you had to jump through fast. The goons referred to it as “Scorching the Hole”. Anyone who tried it found out exactly who got scorched, and it wasn't the hole.

So instead of any of that nonsense, I'm going to focus my trickster sense of being toward a true trickster in wormhole space, the Loki.

Loki was the trickster god of Norse mythology. It was said Loki could change shape at will to anything he wished, and he used this ability to cause chaos for others. While we here in Eve don't get to change our Loki's at will until CCP does something about that subsystem thing, the Loki is the closest thing we have to a true shape changer.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Fanfest 2011 - Things of Interest

Since I work full time and somehow am still poor, Fanfest is not an option for me, neither time nor moneywise.  So I sit here in the States, waiting for college baskeball to start and refreshing my computer to read up on the goings on in the Land of Ice.

I picked out some of the more interesting things from the liveblogs.

First of all, from the PVP Round Table by Eve News 24:

"Are dramiels OP?"

Yes.  Yes, yes and more yes.  Any frig that is an instant win for most combat, or at the very least easy to escape combat you can't win is my definition of OP.  The thing of interest here is Eve News reported that "not many hands going up".  Perhaps the majority there all fly them.  No one wants a nerf for any ship they fly.  And a dram allows you to win a lot of fights without losing a lot of fights.  I find it interesting to note that while some people claim "I don't care if I win or lose, I just want to find a good fight", most generally prefer to WIN.  And any fight you can't win in a dram you can most of the time easily escape.  So yes, its a bit OP.  Its a bit OP that with an afterburner, a dram can obtain speeds equal to any other frig on a MWD.  Let's just call it what it is guys, not being honest with ourselves doesn't improve the game any.

I found Michael Bolton from TEST's comment to be the most enlightening: "Dramiels only die because people get overconfident and stupid".  That is the razor line between the OP arguments and the not OP arguments.  It can be taken both as a comment towards how OP it is, and against how OP it is.

Fix Gallente RAWR!

Selene calls for Blaster/Rails fix.  Wants to add an action bar for drones.  And wants gate and station guns to ignore drones.

I'm 50/50 on this.  First of all, as a Gallente pilot our ships do need a buff.  Even non-gallente pilots can agree with me on this one.  Blasters is the first thing that need work.  For an incredibly short range weapon, they simply don't do enough face-melting dps to justify their terrible range.  On top of that, they don't track as well, only having a slight point hundredth of an advantage over autocannons.  Anyone who's flown in any combat knows that when you are on top of a ship because of range issues, speed and tracking issues become magnified.  Its why small frigs and orbit close and get under guns of a battleship.  I don't know what the answer to fix blasters is, but everyone is pretty much in agreement they are the worst weapon system in the game right now.

Where I like the idea of a blasters fix, I'm kinda on the fence about rails.  Rails are already the longest distance turret-style weapon in the game.  The tracking is terrible, but all long range turrets are.  So I don't really see how these need to have attention more so then say, blasters.

Action bar for drones, hells yes.  I've been calling for this for ages.  Hell, I think I shouted this out in my first appearance on Lost in Conversation.  Right click for drone actions is incredibly tedious and half the time in a bang-bang PVP situation you forget all about them.

But now I'm against Gate and station guns ignoring drones.  Why do we need this?  Is it really that hard to recall drones?  As a wormholer who is used to doing the "drone dance" I don't really see the issue here.  Is it maybe because drones get pounded giving the controlling ship time to blow people up without having to tank the guns?  I'm not really sure the angle here other then Yarrrr buff.

Nerf Drake!

This got interesting.  The devs were asking if the Drake is OP.  I actually don't think that, I think buffer shield tanks are a bit OP and that heavy missile system is a bit more OP.  The players disagreed with the devs that the drake in itself is OP.  They said instead that is has too much buffer (which is true).  So the devs respond with a possible nerf to buffer tanks by only letting you fit one rig of each type.

Couple of things here.  First, the players responded (as we typically do) with a NOOOOOOOOOOO don't nerf my drake!!!!  Just buff the others OMG.

But the more I think about it, the more I actually think this a good idea.  Typically when fitting ships I try to spread out my rigs anyway, and at the most I'm only doubling up on something.  The only time I triple stack a rig is when I (wait for it) stack buffer.  3x Field Extenders for shield buffer tanks.  3x Purgers for recharge.  3x trimarks for armor.

Here's a novel idea.  Why don't we change the calibration cost?  Those buffer extending rigs cost a paltry 50 calibration.  Make them cost more so players are forced to actually, you know, think when fitting ships?  If you think its a problem, make them cost 200 calibration so at the most they can only fit two, just like the weapons rigs.  Or better yet, 150 so it gives them some wiggle room to fit something else.  That way you can restrict them without actually implementing a one type of rig per ship rule that no one is going to really enjoy.  And therefore those of us that double stack current routers or gravity cap upgrades don't get hosed out of the really important rigs to double stack on.

Not that I'm arguing against buffing the other battlecruisers, mind you.

The PVP round table ended with a discussion about AFK cloakers.  Apparently they are boogeymen who kill kittens while afk.  Honestly people.  Grow some fucking balls.  Or better yet, come to WH space, where AFK cloakers will never bother you again in local.

Next live blog I found interesting was the Eve Keynote:

For those of you who are as fluent in the tech world as I am, the Eve keynote was a lot like watching an Apple Keynote.  Lots of patting themselves on the back, lots of this-is-what-we-did-ain't-it-grand, and only a few small its-about-fucking-time things that drove the crowd rabid.

One of my favorite things was Team Gridlock coming up to talk about lag improvements.  It ended with a statement in quotes from Eve News so I'm assuming someone from Team Gridlock was actually arrogant enough to say this: "Won the war on lag".


I'm sorry.  I'm sure you have made great strides in trying to figure this problem out and correct it.  I'm sure its working too.  But the minute I no longer have to tell you IN ADVANCE that hey, we're gonna have a big battle in this system wouldja couldja please spare some server power so we don't lag out? kthxbye, THAT will be the time you can flaunt that statement.  Seriously.

They talked about a new UI (about fucking time) and apparently there were pictures?  I really wish I was there so I could see it, the UI being my number one bitch lately.  A new readable font is coming too.  And here I thought it was just me getting old.

So on to that small section of new stuff after much back-patting and look at me, look at me.  There are changes to agents coming that sound promising.  Not from a wormholer perspective, but how do you think I raised the capital to get to WH's in the first place?  Apparently CCP is going to destroy the agent tables, and if you want a "blow shit up" mission you simply go to the "blow shit up" guy and get it.  Which is nice because nothing sucked more then going to that guy and getting a mining mission.  They are also apparently taking a blaster to agent quality.  Hopefully that will spread mission runners out a bit instead of them all leeching off the same guy.

Another small improvement I found interesting was the improvements to the "built in scanner time" mentioned by Eve News.  I'm assuming they are talking about the ship's On board scanner, which, actually, does indeed suck.  Apparently they are making it faster so its more useful.  I'm for this, as a wormhole guy it makes it faster for me to find the anoms you may be hanging out in when I'm in my bomber and don't want to alert you with probes.  Perhaps they can give it more range as well?

And finally, we can change subs at the POS.  All I have to say is its about fucking time, and how much longer do I have to wait?  Then I can see my dream of a true nomadic corp come true like I wrote about last week.

The one thing coming up that has been talked/bitched about a lot in the Eve Community is the Captain's Quarters (CQ).  PC gamer's liveblog was all a glow about this but that's because those guys love graphics.  New player retention, it is argued, that is what CQ will bring to the game.  I think Eve News had an interesting observation.  They noted the long time it seemed to take and combination of everything in station burning up his laptop.  Eve News wrote: "From a(n) UI standpoint, and from an efficiency standpoint, this sucks."

Now, I haven't actually seen what he was looking at.  But he brings up an excellent point.  If it takes as long a time to walk into the CQ as it does to fit a damn ship, CQ is actually making us take longer to do simple tasks.  Great, glad the new players have a reason to stick around, but you are killing the older players who will prefer the faster way if it was indeed faster.

Perhaps not all of Eve's future is rosy.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Changing Nature of Wormhole Space

So a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...

EVE Online: Apocrypha Uncovers a New Version of the Universe Itself

CCP's massive free expansion slated for March Release

Reykjavik, Iceland: January 8, 2008 - CCP, one of the world's leading independent game developers, today announced the launch of the tenth free expansion for EVE Online, its popular science fiction massively multi-player online game (MMOG). EVE Online: Apocrypha is the most ambitious EVE expansion in the game's over five year history and it coincides with the March 10th, 2009 release of EVE Online as a boxed product through a partnership with Atari.

The fabric of space itself will be transformed as vast, unpredictable wormholes open to connect previously unexplored regions of the universe to the stars of New Eden. The seeds of advanced new technology await inside of these cosmic anomalies for those brave enough to explore them. This infusion of technology will enable production of the most dynamic vessels ever: Tech 3 modular ships with an astounding amount of customizability that can fill any role from skirmish muscle to industrial support.

Furthermore, NPC agents in EVE Online: Apocrypha will be authorized to assign Epic Mission Arcs to the pilots of New Eden. These branching, far-reaching mission strings are full of meaningful stories and more intelligent and deadly adversaries.

In addition, we are offering an entirely reworked New Player Experience for those joining (or rejoining) the game, giving them better insight into how to thrive in a truly limitless universe. We've already launched EVElopedia (http://wiki.eveonline.com/wiki/Main_Page), a great repository for information on all things EVE where our players are also building their own living history of the previous five years of Alliance warfare, political intrigue and nostalgic recollection

"Just this past week we broke our concurrent user record with 45,186 people flying unbound in the same game world at the same time, a huge percentage of our quarter of a million current subscribers and a true testament to EVE in our sixth year of operation," said EVE Online Senior Producer Torfi Frans Olafsson. "Today is an unprecedented time to start playing, as you can get ahead of the curve before Apocrypha releases in stores and our hard work hits the server cluster. It'll be easier than ever to get 'lost in the wormhole' that is EVE with what we have planned for the future of our expanding universe."

Leading up to the release of EVE Online: Apocrypha and the boxed version of EVE Online in stores, we'll be revealing more features on www.eveonline.com.

--NextWeek@ Thursday, 8 Jan, 2009

And thus CCP created wormholes. And it was good. Then on the seventh day they rested. And it was good. On the eighth day they rested too. And the ninth, tenth, etc, etc, etc.

Apocrypha ushered in a new age for those pilots brave enough to undock and (to steal another catch phrase) to boldly go where no man has gone before. But then CCP rested. And forgot about it. Wormholes are perfect, they seem to be saying, move along, nothing to see here.

But are they?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Art of Closing Wormholes

Pst. Hey Shadai.

Sorry folks.

Shadai, dude, wake up.

He'll be right along. See, he sat down to play Dragon Age 2 on Tuesday and he's been in this comatose state ever since.


Wha...? what? What day is it? Shit, Saturday? Already? Well damn. Last thing I remember is sitting down to try Dragon Age 2 and.... oh my, I don't really remember what happened after that. I certainly don't remember drinking.

Um right. Wormholes!

Today I'm going to cover the art of closing wormholes. Those of you who get a terrible exit and log off thinking, “Well, maybe tomorrow will be better” pay attention. The great thing about WH space is if you don't like your exit or the neighboring system, you can close it and get a new system. Generally there are a few easy ways to do this.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Blog Banter #25: Moar Low Sec!

Welcome to the twenty-fifth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week or so to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to crazykinux@gmail.com. Check for other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!
This month's topic comes to us from @Tetraetc - "Tetra's EVE Blog" - who asks: "Have Alliances and the sovereignty system limited the amount of PVP and RP potential in Null sec? Imagine a Null Sec where anyone could build outposts wherever. Would the reduction of the alliance game mechanic, and the removal of the sovereignty game mechanics (or the modification of it from Alliance level to Corp level for that matter) force more PVP into Null sec, or would giant power blocs like the NC still form themselves?"

I preface this with the fact I don't live in Null Sec.

I'm not sure I can say it any better then Mord Fiddle in Fiddler's Edge. He is pretty much my go-to guy on anything Null Sec.

All that being said.

I don't believe the sovereignty system hampers either the PVP or RP potential. If nothing else, it helps it flourish. Small gang PVP in Null Sec is not dead, hell I read every Wednesday in Rifter Drifter about Wesley's Wasted Wednesdays and enjoy those stories immensely.

So I guess I have to ask, why would you want this to disappear?

To me, the sovereignty system is the one thing that truly defines Null Sec and keeps it very clear you aren't in Low Sec anymore. We really don't want Null Sec turning into Low Sec, right? Low Sec has their power corps that band together to hold or roam. I'm sure the death of sovereignty would bring about this same thing.

Would getting rid of sov mean more PVP in nulsec? That implies there isn't enough right now. I just looked at eve-kill.net, which is about as comprehensive a resource as possible for PVP kills. I had to go to the third page to find a single kill that wasn't in nulsec and that was a classic lowsec special, 4 pirates in battlecruisers ganking a T1 frigate flown by a newbie. That's the kind of PVP we need more of?”

I feel inclined to agree. That kind of PVP is especially no fun for the gankee, and realistically no fun for the gankers if they are truly honest with themselves. I doubt very much that giant power blocks would form, but wasn't that exactly what goonswarm did back before sovereignty anyway?

And besides, don't we have enough of Low Sec already?

  1. Who cares about Sov? - Hands Off, My Loots! ~ well sorta like an entry! :p
  2. More to come...

Friday, February 25, 2011

CSM 6: Burning Balance

With the elections looming and candidates jockeying for position and rank to be heard, I have some thoughts and questions of my own before I decide on who to vote for. 

Now is (without being too dramatic) the most important time for the CSM.  While previous CSM's have done good work or got great achievements to add to their gamer score, the game is far from over.  And although the Pickled Fish! achievement is pretty awesome and all, its one of the gimmie ones anyone can get with a trip to the Land of Ice.

So without further delay, here is what I'm burning on....

Friday, February 18, 2011

Upgrades for the Love of the Game

In the latest Lost In Eve podcast done by Jade and Jayne, they bring up for the first time in what seems like ages the Wormhole Idea Factory. Or as I usually refer to it, the Terribly Unnecessary Ideas that might or might not apply to wormholes.

Jade and Jayne intend to take the top ideas to the new CSM to share with CCP. So if you haven't looked at it yet, take a few minutes and poke around.

Its not like I think they are all bad, in fact, I'm going to go over some of my favorite ideas. These aren't my favorite because they make the wormholes more profitable or easier, nay! These are my favorite because they are generally great ideas that not only make wormholes better, but the make the entire game better. And all this at the low low price of CCP to implement them. Team Best Friends Forever? Are you paying attention? Because I'd rather you implement these things over “cleaning out my character sheet” whatever the hell that means.

But before I dive into my top 10, I'll list some of the stuff that makes the Idea Factory more like the Terribly Unnecessary Ideas no one needs. Some of these clunkers are voted really high and I'm still scratching my head as to why.