24 December 2013

New Pilots Rejoice

It has been a long time since I was a new player. I still remember the feeling of being totally lost in a massive universe with no signposts or direction to help me. Back in 2005 there wasn't a Certificates system (now replaced by ISIS) to help me figure out what I should be training. Ultimately I failed to understand EVE and didn't last past my trial. The same happened in 2007 when I tried EVE for a second time. By the time late 2009 swung around the certificate system had appeared and I had guidance what to train. There are other things to consider in my sticking around, but I believe the jump in user-friendliness introduced by the certificate system played no small part.

Click the image to read the guide

Today in the 'Latest Announcements' section of the launcher I noticed a link for something purporting to be a new pilot FAQ. I decided to have a skim through it and see how helpful this would have been for me if it existed back in 2005.

The guide is split into two main sections - "What is EVE" and "What can I do in EVE". The first section gives a brief but decent introduction to the main races of New Eden. It touches very, very briefly on how New Eden was populated by humans in the first place. This first section then goes on to introduce the concepts of skills, clones, system security ratings, the role of Concord, markets, and player corporations. The second section leaps right into PvP and, thankfully, notes that avoiding PvP entirely is not possible. Missioning, Mining, Trading, Exploration and Faction Warfare are all covered in some detail and with no obvious omissions that I could see. The one error I noticed was to do with Ore sites needing scanned down which hasn't been the case since summer 2013. The end of the guide is given over to a very brief couple of pages showing what the UI looks like when docked and when in space, something which could definitely do with more explaination.

All in all this is a decent guide for the newest arrivals to New Eden. Hopefully CCP are going to link this pdf in an email when new players sign up to EVE Online. As far as I could tell it covers all the opportunities and dangers someone may encounter in their first while playing EVE. At 38 pages long it is likely to encounter a lot of "tl;dr" and this could probably be avoided by splitting the single 'New Pilot FAQ' into two separate booklets, one for each of the main sections. If this happened it would hopefully allow CCP to expand on the UI explanation. Hell, the UI could probably do with a several section booklet all of its own.

No doubt people will bitch and whine about CCP dumbing down EVE without ever having read through this guide. They will be wrong. CCP have pitched this exactly right highlighting the opportunities and dangers without really going into too much detail about how to reap the rewards or play in safetly. People who know about the dangers are less likely to quit in frustration when those dangers come to get them.

11 December 2013

CCP Endorsed Wormhole Alliance

Did you watch the CCP telethon for the Philippines PLEX for Good initiative? Sadly I was unable to but I went back and watched the first hour or so of it on twitch.tv. CCP Dolan's cries of pain were pure delight. Not that I have anything against CCP Dolan - I was just glad it wasn't myself experiencing such pain. Anyway, during the 'Ask Me Anything' section, CCP Guard was asked a very important question regarding the official word on which wormhole alliance was the best. Let's listen to what he had to say...

That's right, you heard it direct from CCP Guard - Illusion of Solitude is the finest wormhole alliance. Ignore all that head shaking nonsense, just listen to the words coming out of his mouth.

On a more serious note, the Philippines PLEX for Good initiative raised almost $191,000 for the Icelandic Red Cross to use for the disaster in South East Asia. Each and every one of us should feel proud to be part of such a generous internet community.

10 December 2013

Nasty Wormhole Tune

It is often said that CCP hates people who live in wormholes. This is usually in reference to the heavily aged POS code and the inability to refit T3s in W-space. I generally ignore and possibly mock people making these complaints about wormholes being hard to live in from time to time. Sure the POS mechanics could be heavily improved but I don't ever want them to reach a level where everyone has their stuff segregated into personal storage. If I did want that I'd live in K-space. The T3 issue was a little more problematic given T3s are born in wormholes, but CCP have now addressed half the problem - refitting subsystems in wormholes - so this, too, can be swept aside and ignored. CCP do not hate wormholers.

... or do they...

The other night it was quiet in the hole. EU timed people had left and US timed people were yet to appear. I was alone. I decided to turn the volume up on the music. As that particular slider stiffly moved to half volume I was greeted with the sound of a very nervous cellist scratching away moodily at his cello. Very dark sounds for a very dark area of space. I waited with baited breath to see where this dark intro was going to lead. How would this moody piece of music develop to emphasise the solitude and danger hidden in these reaches of wormhole space?

An hour later I realised I was still listening to the cellist with the nervous twitch. Possibly he was just cold and shivering. At any rate I was of the opinion he should just give in to the cold and die so I didn't have to listen to this single track any more. CCP does hate wormholers, or at least the subset of us who actually turn the music on from time to time.

(sidenote - I miss the jukebox. At least with that I could have picked something worth listening to)

1 December 2013

CCP's other hard game

The Danger Game is the board game created by CCP in order to fund their dream of creating our beloved EVE. Although it arrived ages ago with my collector's edition box set I only just got around to setting it up and reading the rules.

Only the beginning...
I'm sure it's one of those games that will benefit massively from playing to learn the flow of it. At least, I really hope so because right now I am as lost as if someone asked me to FC a fleet fight.

Alliance (and friends) December Roam

Our industrial division kindly donated 50 Drakes to the alliance with the insistence that they be whelped on some foolishness. I added a handful of Ospreys I had lying around and we had ourselves a theme roam. For reasons unknown to me CVA have us set as "Kill On Sight" making destination number one obvious - Providence. I took a bunch of screenshots over the course of the roam but one of our Interceptor pilots was filming the whole thing and spliced together the Providence incursion while I slept.

With various people having to head off we went back to hisec for refreshments before discussing where we would go next. Nobody had any bright ideas so instead we started looking for hotspots of activity in the in-game universe map. While that was being trawled we set off in the general direction of Barleguet, home of Brave Newbies Inc. They seem to be a fun bunch always up for a fight so if we were going to dispose of all these surviving Drakes somewhere it would be a certainty that they would help do just that. En route to Barleguet our scouts discovered a hive of activity in Aulbres. It appeared to be a massive frigate fight was happening so all we could do was fly right in and give them something bigger to shoot at. And shoot us they did.

Primary is, um, shoot things...
All in all it was a really fun night. The only problem we had of the evening was the form-up time of just after midnight. This confused a whole load of people who took "Just after Midnight on Sunday" to mean "Sunday night". This meant people were going to be 24 hours late. Oh well, next time we know better. Thanks to the scouts, logi and of course the FC for making this a fun night. I love it when my alliance gets together and does stuff. This is what makes us more than just a gaggle of corps who happen to fly under the same banner without actually knowing each other.