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 (, 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

--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 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, 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...