29 March 2012


The final result is in for The Mittani's punishment against his ill advised comments at fanfest. To limit the damage Mittens had already apologised to the victim, as he should have, and donated a significant sum of ISK to him as well. Additionally Mittens decided to step down from the position of CSM chairman with the intention of retaining an ordinary place on the CSM.

It appears this plan had failed to succeed to appease CCP. Yesterday CCP issued a statement that Mittens would be receiving a 30 day ban as per their Ts&Cs. As a result, Mittens would not be eligible to sit on CSM7 at all.

So, what does this mean for the CSM? Well, CCP and the CSM just lost one of the most successful CSM members to date. They have also just removed the single most popular candidate ever, regardless of behind the scenes machinations. Let's look at the numbers:

This CSM had the highest turnout of any CSM vote so far at 16.63%, which equates to 59,109 votes. Mittens himself received 10,058 votes which was more than double any other single candidate and around a quarter of the total successful votes. With Mittens' participation excised from CSM7 we might as well cancel out all ten thousand votes he received meaning a equivalent voter turnout of 13.8%.

This equivalent voter turn out is less than the turnout for the highly effective CSM6 but still more than the less effective CSM5. The main thing I understand from CSM5 is that they apparently built a solid foundation for CSM6 but did little else other than mass-resign. So, let's see if CSM7 has the player support to actually do something useful this term now that CCP has removed 23% of their influence. It will also now be interesting to see who takes the position of Chair - Two Step or Trebor.

27 March 2012

Serious Internet Business

So there has been one hell of a shit storm kicked up in the aftermath of the Alliance Panel feature of Fanfest. The issue in question is that of a drunk Mittani's questionable content during his presentation, and the later suggestion that people may want to go grief a certain player into taking his own life.

There have been calls for Mittens to resign from the CSM, which he has offered to do but so far has not. These calls come both from the player base at large and also from a certain CSM alternate who almost wasn't (umadbro?). In my opinion this whole situation has been blown up to a ridiculous proportion for no particularly good reason other than pretend politicians politicking for their own perceived gain or players who think "Goons Are Evil" ™.

Now it was definitely wrong for Mittens to go down the route of naming this player and suggesting others go gank him to push him over the edge. It is questionable whether Mittens should have included the content at all, but this is the internet and people who air their private lives to people they don't know shouldn't really expect privacy. Mittens himself says being drunk is no excuse and he's correct. Traditionally throughout the drinking world more allowances are given to people who're inebriated unless someone has an ulterior motive to suggest otherwise.

Drunk or not,though, we do need to accept blame for stupid things we do. I bet nobody calling for Mittens' head on a stick can claim to have never ever done something stupid and hurtful to someone else, drunk or otherwise. To expect Mittens to resign off the back of this is somewhat hypocritical.

If you are one of these people calling for his resignation you need to ask whether you want him to resign because what he did is genuinely wrong (and you need to be sure you've never made such a mistake yourself - ever) or if you just want him to resign because he's the head Goon. If the former applies then is it really more harmful to the game to have him on the CSM considering the potential positive benefits he brings to the table? If the latter then you clearly don't actually care about Eve and are just looking to grief Mittens and are, thus, just as bad as the Goons themselves.

Just to be clear, I am not a Goon nor have I ever been one or plan on ever flying with them. I do not agree with their method of playing the game by ruining everyone else's game. I do find their antics amusing from time to time, even if they adversely affect me. I also did not spend any of my votes on Mittens, not that he would have needed them in any case.

What I do think is that Mittens has been good for the CSM and unlike a certain friend of mine I think the CSM does have a role to play in the future of Eve. If CCP use the CSM as a sounding board it is probably one of the most effective ways for CCP to determine if the next great feature idea is actually a great idea or yet another lemon. The big problem is the 'if' is not certain. What is certain is that CCP will not use the CSM if the CSM does not exist or is ineffective at what they are meant to do.

I'm going to leave this now but if you want a much better analysis of this whole issue then Jester has written a long post about this whole situation with even more links to more discussion.

26 March 2012

On Building T3s

After a long training queue, Dhal is finally in a position to start building T3 subsystems for Tengus. The skill for building the actual T3 hull, Cruiser Construction, is a slightly long one so is on hold for now while I get the skills to build all the different faction T3 subsystems.

Until this year Dhal had pretty much been wandering the universe with no point or purpose. Even though he's been a capsuleer for many years he had yet to focus on any single career. With Orea moving away into wormhole space it was time to actually focus on some other aspect of the game and industry seemed a good choice.

The interesting thing about low skilled industry is the margins are generally quite low. Randomly picking something to start building can be a bad decision and I quickly discovered there is nothing to be made building frigates or cruisers. Even if you do all the work from scratch - mining, refining, research, building, selling - the return on time is rather low.

To actually make decent ISK from the manufacturing venture I had to sit down with spreadsheets and work out potential profit per month. This was a very organised method compared to the fail method of randomly picking interesting things to build and giving it a go. Ammo is the eternal cash cow and by sitting down and making a proper plan I now turn a tidy profit. All of which has been funnelled back into the T3 business.

Unlike last year, Dhal now won't be seen anywhere near an asteroid belt or near a refinery. I now just buy materials as and when I need them. I guess the next plan is to start using buy orders to further improve the profit margin.

23 March 2012

Visions Of New Eden - IX

No, I'm not flying Minmatar. Yes, that is a wreck.
Cloud Ring provided a really nice background to fly towards. So much so I wish I'd taken some shots on the way there. Once landing in 6-4V20 I was greeted by some friendly members of Pandemic Legion who took some shots of me. You can see the smoke trails above.

21 March 2012


It has been an interesting time in the corp recently as we've been recruiting. Recruiting is always an interesting time as, for me, it gives equal measures of intrigue and trepidation. Are the new people coming into the corp genuine? Do they want to steal all our ISK (not that we have vast sums)? Are they just wanting to mess with us? It's all the fear of the unknown, of course, and completely irrational (maybe).

This time we are being very aggressive. We normally only recruit between three and five new members, expecting only two or three to stick around. This time we are going for closer to 30. I imagine that we expect about 20 to stick around and this represents a significant increase in corp size.

So with this in mind I shouldn't be too concerned when I turn on comms and don't recognise a few names. At least getting chatting eases my concerns as these new recruits seems nice enough. I really don't spend enough time socialising with everyone recently due to other commitments so I guess I shouldn't be too hard. Well, maybe just my normal level of taking the mick - no point giving a false impression now. Anyway, I should have an evening of drunken piloting coming up real soon so they new guys will get to know me better then...

So, interested in wormhole life? Join the "Z3R0 Return Mining Recruitment" comms channel and come chat with us. We're almost at the end of this round of recruiting but it's always better to come find out about us in advance.

19 March 2012

Atmospheric Flight

So, being stuck out in hisec I decided to refresh my atmospheric flight skills. Handily I had been shopping in Jita and the best Temperate planet I know for atmospheric flight has to be New Caldari Prime which, funnily enough, is in the New Caldari system right next door to Jita.
Small Blue Marble
It was relatively trivial to hire myself a small aircraft for my little challenge. I registered a little surprise at a capsuleer booking such low-tech transportation, but I guess that's only to be expected. I also assume I was grossly overcharged but the extra cost probably means more to the owner of the aircraft than me so that is also not a problem.

Once on board the airplane I had to undertake a series of manual checks. I mean, I'm not in a pod so if this baby goes down it's probably going to hurt... or worse. Everything seemed to check out fine which is what I would expect when paying good money to hire something All that was left was for me to taxi to the runway and take this ship, sorry, plane up into the air.

I really enjoy the extra mental challenge required by having to balance real forces against each other. In my Tengu I pretty much point and click where I want to go (mentally, of course). In the aeroplane I have much more to consider: speed, altitude, attitude, am I upside down?! There actually feels like some skill is involved in just flying this thing. I would dread to think of the extra workload required to do all that whilst also getting involved in combat. Now that would be some challenge, eh?

Clearly I survived my little jolly otherwise I wouldn't be regaling you with this tale, but I'll leave you with the following set of pictures to ponder just how I managed it. Now, who want's to try this in a Rifter?

16 March 2012

Visions Of New Eden - VIII

Sleeper Information Sanctum
Living in a wormhole system we find many opportunities to visit Sleeper sites. The residents are not usually too happy but if you look closely you can see the wrecks which indicate how well we treat them.

14 March 2012

Bad Combat - Requiem

I couldn't really just leave the failed attempt at combat to my loss of a corp-mate's ship. Whether it was the late hour or the alcohol imbibed, I decided that I would take a run out to hisec to replace the lost Nemesis. En route I decided it would be even more amusing to build a perfect replacement to his ship but store it in the ship hanger under my own ID. Ho! ho! What could possible go wrong.

The two jumps through wormhole systems were now quiet and caused me no troubles in my pod. Even the lowsec system of Tama, which provided the entry point to empire space, was quiet. That just left me with five jumps to Jita and a world of shopping hell.

Being the late and somewhat incapacitated hour, it took longer that it ought to have to buy the components to replace the ship. During that time I speculated on how useful it would be to have the ability to drag a killmail into the market interface and generate a list of items to buy. Hint hint!

Eventually, with a new ship built and a few more beers sunk in the notorious den of Jita I set to space in my new Nemesis. Another five quiet jumps took me back to Tama and I jumped back into the C2b. Our C4a was next on my list and I arrived there to find the system quiet just as a corpmate had reported 10 minutes prior. Landing on the K162 wormhole home I had the annoying surprise of empty space. Bugger!

Even in my reduced state I had enough clear head to get out of W-space rapidly, given I had no probes. So back to Tama, then Jita I went. I started to muse the possibility of utilising our other route via nullsec. The entry point was C9N-CC which sounded familiar for some reason. I set off on the first of the 50 jumps musing the familiarity of the system while another corpmate confirmed the route viability.

I was informed that the route no longer existed at almost the same time I realised why C9N-CC was familiar. That system holds the wreck of the first titan ship to die in New Eden - Steve. I had been there before. Oh well, guess I wasn't going to visit Steve again just now as there was no point. With a heavy heart I set the autopilot for the sleazy bars of Jita 4-4, had another few alcoholic drinks and went to sleep.

12 March 2012

Bad Combat

"Quick, get on comms, we've some action happening next door. They've already killed a hauler".

This was my first indication that I should board my ship and get into action. Up to that point I had been watching a holoreel about an ancient world where a great warrior once lived and fought other warriors with swords. Well, now was my turn but I wasn't going to be swinging a bit of metal around.

"Get into my Nemesis" I was ordered by a corp mate. Well, that works for me, means I don't have to risk my own ship. I was still a little unsettled when I started to receive orders on where to go. An unfamiliar ship and no chance to get my own head online properly contributed that feeling.

Jumping into C4a was easy enough as the targets were in a Hawk and a Jaguar inside their POS bubble, and this was out of range of the entry wormhole. I wasn't in long when they warped off from their bubble. Possibly it was random, but more likely it was to engage the bait drake we had just jumped in and parked near a planet. "Warp to me, they've engaged" confirmed their manoeuvres were less than random.

Warping across took no time and I landed at range and started trying to get a lock which never came. "Gah, what's going on? Why won't this damn thing... Oh, I'm still cloaked. Bugger". I realised too late and decloaked just in time to see the last ship warp off. "Oh, well that's probably the last we'll see of them".

"Let's just see about that came the FCs reply".

We could still see them on d-scan yet they weren't at their POS. Clearly they were jumping between safe spots as probing them out proved tricky. After a few minutes of these jumping games they returned to their POS and the Jaguar pilot reshipped to a Myrmidon. Oh, did this just escalate a little? Well, they're not moving so who knows.

"Looks like these guys aren't moving now" I said over comms after watching them for a few more minutes. Our bait drake was parked near the C2b but they we're interested or at least they weren't interested initially. Then they warped right over and the Myrm engaged. I warped the SB over and joined in, remembering to decloak this time.

I landed closer than I meant to, got a good lock, scrammed, painted and tracking disrupted the Myrm. The Drake was eating through the Myrm reasonably well by this point and clearly the Myrm wanted my point removed so set his drones on me. I noticed the damage coming in but wasn't unduly worried. I aligned out and started thinking about warp. That was when I insta-died and started spamming warp to get the pod out in one piece.

What had I done wrong? Well, when I landed I noted only one enemy ship on the field - the Myrm. I promptly forgot that a Hawk was anywhere in system and never noticed when it joined the fight. I guess he landed, locked me up and popped me so the Myrm could flee. Oh, well about time I lost a ship as it's been quite a while - best part is the ship wasn't mine. Sorry, Epi.

9 March 2012


I just realised it's Friday. There should be a screenshot from around New Eden here but clearly there isn't. To be honest, I've not spent much time undocked this week to facilitate the taking of interesting images from around New Eden. So, what have I been doing? Well, in one word, invention.

And what a time sink invention can be. I like to batch up my invention runs to give me a month of runway. I have about 160 BPCs to turn into about 60 T2 ammo BPCs and do five at a time. With a 40 minute wait between invention runs this basically means I sit at a POS running these with not enough time to go do something else productive, but too much time to feel like I'm being involved in the process. As a result the days just fly by.

Also, I tend to zone out and not pay attention to external interactions indicated on my pod interface. Each time I stir to set another round of invention on the go I find unanswered convos blinking at me. Often the convo initiator has given up on me ever replying. Saying 'hi' seems pointless after 20+ minutes of inactivity.

It would be nice to set a queue of invention tasks up - simply drop all the required materials in the right place and set it running - hint hint. Then Dhal could sit back and relax and Orea could get on with the serious business of stealing liberating Sleeper technology.

7 March 2012

PI Revisited

Hmm, I appear to be a bit late with this post. Must be two or three hours time delay between W-space and K-space. Well, that seems like a good excuse for slacking off so I'm sticking to it.

Since some changes were made to the capacity of the storage buildings available on planets I decided to try a different layout on my extraction planet.

Compact Layout
This new layout isn't a million miles away from the previous layout I used. In the old layout I used the launchpad as a central hub for all storage. The main drawback from that was capacity and lost product if space ran low, which it did from time to time. With this new layout I funnel all extracted materials into a storage building. The storage building is then used to feed the eight basic factories. Finally, the basic factories deposit their product into the launchpad ready for export.

This new layout means I now have a constant storage capacity for both factory input and output rather than an ever decreasing capacity for input depending on how much output was stored. It also means I can wait twice as long before doing an export run to my planets - with the old set up I would starting thinking about collection when the launchpad got to about 50% capacity.

I envision a similar layout for factory planets. All input materials will be imported and moved to the storage facility where they will go through the same pipeline and be ready to collect from the lauchpad. The only difference should be in the number of factories, although I may require more than one storage building. More about that once I've tried it.

5 March 2012

Catch A Can

Some kind soul decided to leave a little present during some brief visit to our wormhole. Clicking d-scan several days ago revealed a new contact - a small container with an identifier of  '(^o^)'. Thus far I had ignored it, as had my companions in the wormhole system, but today I had nothing better to do so I decided to hunt the can down.

I quickly ascertained the can was quite near planet one and in the direction of planet two. I had expected the can to be anchored deep in space and not in line with two celestials so this looked like it would be easier than I had anticipated.

It took more attempts jumping back and forth between ever nearer bookmarks than it ought to have. I didn't feel too bad though given this was my first attempt at hunting down an annoying jetcan. Warping back and forth, back and forth, edging closer and closer until I got down to just 1200 km away from the can. At this point I decided to slowboat towards it as that would probably be quicker than jumping a couple more times and also required less attention.

I set my d-scan to a narrow 5% and powered on the microwarpdrive on my scanning Tengu. I didn't even have to make minor adjustments as long as I was in line with the planet. Quite quickly I saw the can appear on my overview and I initiated a warp to cover the last 500 km.

Even though the can had been there many days I was still cautious as I approached it. I set myself on a vector which had me aligned for a warp out as I scooped it. Nothing appeared from the shadows to kill me so I engaged my cloak again and examined the contents of the can. What would I find? Free PLEX to convince CONCORD to let me pilot my ship in W-space? Something better? Nope, it was empty. Boo!

Warping back to the POS to drop the can in my hanger I felt quite satisfied with myself. Not the most exiting way to spend time but at least the annoying can isn't on d-scan anymore.

2 March 2012

Visions Of New Eden - VII

New Beginnings
It's only a couple of years since I first undocked in one of these ships. To be honest, I've done quite a lot in my time as a capsuleer so I can barely remember struggling to earn that first few ISK which let me buy a real frigate. I hear the training and initial agent gifts have improved a little since then.