22 January 2013

Bounties As Intended

The new bounty system has been hailed as a success by everyone as far as I can tell. The people placing bounties are happy that their ISK won't simply be claimed by the person they are putting the bounty on. The people out hunting for PvP are happy as they earn a little ISK doing what they enjoy and if they are good enough might even make a living from it. The only people that seem to be unhappy with this change are the random people who acquire bounties just by happening to be in the same system as someone with ISK to burn.

Last night I was told by a corp mate that someone he knows had been placing bounties randomly on people who didn't already have one. I think this is a fairly common thing to happen, my industry character has 100,000 ISK on his head just for docking at Jita 4-4. In case you don't know, 100,000 ISK is the minimum that can be placed on a character in one go. This is how much was put on Nadori Lynn's head just because she didn't have a 'Wanted' sign across her portrait. Unfortunately Nadori Lynn took offence to being bountied in this way and complained.
I hope you realize you're a CEO who encourages and engages in pathetic harrassment of random strangers by placing insignificant sums of bounty on them just to annoy them for your own twisted satisfaction. I pity both you and your members. You do however not strike me as the type who wants people to place a bounty on you in return so that you may feel like a bigshot wanted pirate, and seeing as you're a lowsec mining corporation, perhaps it would serve to make your days a little more interesting if I were to put a real sum on the heads of your entire corporation as a little karma for you. Continue to pursue this harrassment at your own risk.Sincerely,Nadori Lynn
Very quickly this email was passed widely around so everyone could share the enjoyment of this person's tears. Of course with New Eden being the place it is when others discovered the outrage Nadori was suffering at being bountied they did what any good capsuleer would do and add to the bounty. When I was told about this message her bounty had already hit 50 Million ISK. I logged in to check this morning and found it had increased a lot further.
Bounty: 855,700,000 ISK
The effects of her complaint being posted to Reddit are obvious and will probably see the bounty rise past the billion ISK mark. There is still a very long way to go before Nadori makes it in to the top ten most wanted people in New Eden. I strongly suspect this thing will blow over long before that happens. I also suspect Nadori just learned an important lesson about nourishing griefers with tears. It's probably going to be a little while before they whittle that bounty back down to zero. Might be a good time for Nadori to get more involved with the PvP side of her corp.

21 January 2013

BB44: Only Fools Remove Local

In the best tradition of what a blog banter should be, the almost defacto blog banter numbered 44 reads:
“The local chat channel provides EVE players with an instant source of intel of who is in the system. With a quick glance you can tell who is in system and what your standings are to them. War targets, hated enemies, friends and corp mates all stand out clearly. Is this right? Should we have access to this intel for free with no work or effort? Should the Local chat channel even exist? Should normal space be more like wormhole space where the Local channel appears empty until someone speaks?”

There has been a few times since I started playing EVE where the topic of removing local has reared its ugly head. Generally the suggestion looks wistfully to wormhole space, sees the different playstyle and how much fun it is, then makes the foolish assumption that the rest of New Eden would be a better place without local. To add weight to their argument these people usually jump on the bandwagon of 'this doesn't make sense in the setting' and then goes on to discuss all the ways life in New Eden would be better without local.

They couldn't be more wrong!!!

Life in New Eden would not become the realistic sci-fi playground that the anti-local-ites would have you believe. Instead EVE would be a barren wasteland with almost nobody exploding anyone else simple because they couldn't find anyone to explode. All combat would need to be prearranged by either two FCs getting in touch and arranging a game of 'chess' (we each bring 40 battlecruisers, 20 battleships and 2 titans and kick each other's knees until we fall down) or provoked exclusively by the exciting pastime of structure bashing. Yawn! Gone would be the ability for people to log in for an hour or two to go roaming for fights or to surprise the unsuspecting miners and PI runners who life safely deep in nullsec.

Funnily enough, it is often exactly these nullbears who are the most supportive of losing local. With no local they could simply mine away happily until a gate scout reported inbound traffic. They could then warp to a safe a short distance from their belt happy in the knowledge that nobody knew they were there Using d-scan would show them but almost nobody would bother scanning out a single mining ship. Anyway, if combat probes were seen the miner would just warp around his network of safe spots until the probes went away and outbound gate activation was seen. The miner would then go back to mining happily and raking in the ISK.

Except they wouldn't be raking in ISK. With no combat there would be no exploding ships and no hurling ammo around. Prices would crash as unpurchased good flooded the market. As prices of manufactured items crashed so to would the price of minerals. Miners would make less ISK and move on to more lucrative activities. Suddenly mission running becomes worthwhile but the quality of the missions in EVE are terrible and people instead leave to play other games. Of course that's just the industrialists. All the PvP players left for Firefall or Planetside 2 already.

These fools who want rid of local forget that EVE Online is a PvP game. Anything that makes life harder for combat pilots is a bad thing. Not that life should be too easy for them, but something like local at least gives a tantalising taste that combat may be in the air. Not everyone who plays EVE wants to work hard for a fight but they are just as important to this game as people who spend ages hunting in wormhole space before using probes at the last second. Possibly even more important as there are more of them. Wormholes only have a fraction of the numbers found in other areas of New Eden. There is a reason for that. Not everyone wants to play EVE in hard mode.

Keep local, screw realism (realism in a sci-fi game - LOL), let things die.

Other Banterers and relevant links

Unbreaking Local - An EVE Intel System Proposal by Rhavas @ Interstellar Privateer
Getting Rid of Local & More Local by Poetic Stanziel @ Poetic Discourse

Found on D-Scan
Local Banter

17 January 2013

CCP Abandon POSs

In case you missed it, the CSM summit minutes are out. You can go read the 113 pages of minutes if you like. I can't bring myself to read something as verbose as that so I'll go with the digested output from others.

The first rage inducing thing that has come out of these minutes is CCP's position on the POS rework. Bizarrely, CCP has the opinion that only a very small number of people who play EVE are impacted by the terribleness that is the POS management system. The last time I checked there were POSs in highsec, lowsec, nullsec and wormholes. For sure the terrible permissions system does not impact the teeny little corps who have a single person managing their POS. As soon as you try to have any sensible level of hierarchy in a larger corp you run face first into the limited flexibility of the massive number of permissions available.

Bob help us wormhole dwellers who actually have to live in a POS. The POS security is probably the single largest sticking point for corp recruitment. Before I can recruit someone I need to form as good a picture as possible of who that person is and what they are likely to do to the existing members. Is this person a nice guy? Is he a total asshat who's going to steal all our ships? Is he a spy who aim is to offline the POSs as soon as he gets the rights to react some gas? While this is all part of living in wormholes, I would also like to be able to relax some and take many more people in to enjoy the first-class content we have access to in W-space.

CCP started to go down a route of removing complexity for the sake of complexity. This problem still exists in spades with POSs. If you've ever done gas reactions you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. If you have ever been unfortunate enough to set up titles for reasonable secure hanger tabs or to allow people to have the correct permissions to make them useful without giving dangerous levels of access you'll know what I'm talking about. Unfortunately CCP only see this one side of the problem - the person making the permissions.

The other side is the inconveniences the rest of the players who have any interaction with POSs have to endure. Many wormhole corps have a POS per small group of corp members. This means the whole corp has to deal with getting in a ridiculous quantity of POS fuel on a regular basis, taking time away from more enjoyable activities. POS passwords became slightly less annoying recently, but the fact we need them at all is a pain.

Two Step has a forum threadnaught up to show CCP just how small the affected player base actually is. There are 79 pages as I write this. I suggest you go add a message there to show your support to fix this embarrassingly broken aspect of life in New Eden.

Or wear the t-shirt to Fanfest

12 January 2013

AAR (ish)

I wrote this for my alliance forum but I figured there was little reason to not also post it here.

This Fight Wanted You
Where Were You?

It was a quiet evening and I was settling down to do some industry stuff to pay the bills. Suddenly Jabber lit up with the news that there was a hostile battlecruiser sitting on a K162 with a second one on the other side ready to jump in. "Screw Invention" I thought to myself logging into my main and seeking a situation update.

Schaff and Tex were on running intel on the interlopers. One inside Shirley and one outside. As I logged in the ship inside Shirley departed and they left both sides of our hole. I initially changed from my scanning loki to a bomber before settling on a Drake. I decided I wanted to be in something that could take some punishment in a fight rather than a paper-thin torp boat. After some self-debating both Tex and Schaff did the same.

The PvP fit Drakes in Shirley aren't all fit the same. I believe the fit is a 'best-of-what-we-had' type fit so can give unexpected results when boarding one. After a little tweaking from the spares hanger we all had reasonable fits but Tex found he couldn't launch his drones. This made him the obvious choice to jump to the red side of the hole to act as bait.

Time passed...

More time passed...

A tornado warped in and targeted Tex so he jumped back to Shirley but nothing followed.

More time passed...

Lore joined our Drake fleet with yet another Drake. We put Tex back inside their hole and after a little bit they warped a cloaky scout into our hole. This pretty much solidified that they wanted to fight. Now we were equal on intel with scouts on both sides. Only thing left was to see what they would bring to the fight. Did they want a close fight or a curb-stomping victory? Well, the kill report at the top shows the answer to that, but I'll continue anyway.

Tex reported the Astarte on d-scan and we decided at that point we were going to fight pretty much regardless what landed on us. The scout reported the Astarte, Broadsword and two of the Sleipnirs landing on the hole and jumping through. I started laughing at this point and we went for what kills we could get. I was already wondering what I would do when I got to highsec. The Broadsword was first to decloak and we just waited to see what would be next. It took a while for anything else to shed their session cloak so we started shooting at the Broadsword just because it was all we could. Finally the Astarte shed its cloak and it became primary. We got the Astarte to half armour and it jumped back through the wormhole so we switched to one of the Sleipnirs.

At this point I started moving my Drake to get out of the Broadsword's bubble to maybe save my pod. Schaff was taking too much damage so jumped through the wormhole to try and save his ship only to be met by the Astarte and killed, getting his pod out safely. Having little impact on the Sleipnir we went for the Drake to see if we could kill one thing before going down in flames. Around this point Tex died and lost his pod shortly followed by my Drake exploding. Thankfully I'd gotten out of the Broadsword's bubble and with some judicious use of spamming 'warp to' got my pod to safety.

Good fights were exchanged in local while the invaders extracted themselves. We were told that Schaff could take his pod home but an inspection of their side of the highsec hole showed the Broadsword sitting waiting so he decided to take some highsec shore leave instead.

What did we need to make this fight more fun?
More people, of course!

Edit: The opposing FC told me he would have honoured the offer of safe passage for the pods. I believed him at the time but my corp mates weren't so sure. This ehonour thing part of what I love about wormholes. We were enemies for an hour or so and after that it doesn't matter anymore.

7 January 2013

Wandering With Geo

Style was never
a priority
It has been a while since I mentioned my PvP alt, Geo. To be honest I've just been spinning my wheels with him. From time to time I head out and have fun on RvB Ganked roams. Indeed that is where 99% of Geo's kills have happened. Unfortunately these roams only happen once a week, at the weekend, and I'm rarely able to take advantage so I had to find something else to do.

Something else would be Bombers Bar, but for a lack of skills. Thus, I have been getting Geo trained up for the recommended Bombers Bar Hound fit. At the time of writing this it will be only another 14 days and I'll be flying a pretty mean bomber. But two weeks is two weeks so what could I do with Geo in the mean time.

Back in November I wrote a post about where I'd visited in New Eden. One thing that really stood out to me from all my maps was the big empty section that cut a swathe down the east side. As I had never visited anywhere over there I thought it would be a good idea to do so now.

Starting in the spiritual centre of EVE, Jita, I plotted a route for OE-4HB. This took me up through Lonetrek and popped me into Goon space via Taisy. I wish I'd taken a picture of the Taisy gate in M-OEE8. Bubbled just doesn't convey how covered this gate was in warp disruption bubbles of all sizes. Thankfully for me there was only a couple of ships sitting on the gate so I easily managed to get my Stealth Bomber cloaked up and safely away. The rest of the route through Tribute, Venal and Tenal was quiet with only a couple of warp bubbles on gates and almost nobody in space. In fact the only thing that slowed me down was gate rats as I'm also making myself a useful set of tactical bookmarks on the gates I travel through. Rats on gates meant I couldn't make use of my Microwarpdrive to burn to a warpable range, instead having to slowboat whilst cloaked.

Courtesy of evemaps.dotlan.net

The second leg of my journey took me out of Tenal and all the way through Cobalt Edge. I guess Razor Alliance are fighting with Intrepid Crossing right now as there were a large number of Territory Claim Units and Sovereignty Blocking Units across the systems I visited. I don't know anything about Nullsec sovereignty mechanics but systems listed as 'Vulnerable' or 'Contested' hints strongly at what is going on. I hung around for a while hoping to see some massive battle but the only action I saw was a 16 ship -RZR- fleet jump past me on their way into IRC space. I never saw them again.

Eventually I found myself in Outer Passage and in Solar Citizens space which is where I still am. I'm really tempted to hang out and see if I can bag me some miners down here. I'd love to know if the stories of bots abound are true. I'm also starting to think I could go right the way around the outer edge of New Eden. I've done about one eighth already so it shouldn't take that long...

Interestingly, in Outer Passage I found my first unclaimed system, and then another and another. I didn't think there would be any of these just lying around. Maybe someone could fill me in on why these don't have owners? Awaiting new rental agreements maybe?