Wednesday, July 25, 2012

War, ATX and Minor Surgery

The past month has been full of some crazy times.  After departing Amarr Faction Warfare and joining Eclipse Navy, I pretty much had 3 days in the corp before we went to War in Delve.  After being somewhat bitter about large scale war from my previous nullsec experience, I have to admit that this deployment was really a lot of fun.  Sadly, all good things must come to an end and (after a massive 100+ frig/cruiser friendly FFA) we have been called back home.  Time to relearn what non-war life in nullsec is like now.

Hopefully this also means my posting will increase.  I have found it to be rather awkward when attempting to write posts during war time.  Either I'm not too sure if I should be posting information or something is already posted everywhere.  I risk either getting booted from the Alliance or posting yet another take on a subject that already has a lot of coverage.  This peace time should give me a chance to find my "groove"

I feel like I've found a really good crew to fly with.  All of the Eclipse Navy fellows have been very helpful and a blast to chat with on Mumble.  If any of my thousands of readers are looking for a null corp to join, we are currently accepting apps now that the war is over.  App forum can be found here:

ATX.....  I don't even know where to start.  This has been the first year I've found myself knowledgeable enough in Eve PvP to feel like I could not be lost the entire time.  I really surprised myself with how much I've learned over just the past year.  I was even comfortable enough to put money against HUN in the finals, knowing their VargTrain couldn't last forever and Verge of Collapse having some extremely impressive matches.

I'm going to do a breakdown of all the finals matches from my Super Not Pro Vision™!  Look forward to that in the next day or so, should be fun to write about.  I will say two things though.  1) I really expected Pandemic Legion to go all the way especially after taking out DarkSide., who took PL out of AT9.  2) I was really hoping to see Rote Kapelle make it further.  If you're going to go out, might as well be from the opponents that end up taking it all.

Actually, three things: 3) Anyone else got a bromance for WarGod?

Hopefully someone else remembers Rocco
And finally, this past Wednesday saw me on the operating table.  Tuesday around 9PM, my side started to hurt.  It kept getting worse and I wasn't able to sleep until around 5AM when my girlfriend ordered me into the car.  Fortunately she lives like half of a mile from a very good hospital.  We got to the ER, got a bed immediately and they pumped me full of pain killers that would make an angry rhino take a moment to REALLY enjoy this Pink Floyd track.  Like... really enjoy... maaan.

After a CAT scan that caused a crazy copper taste and some not nice prodding by the nurses, they informed me that my appendix wasn't looking too great and they were going to take it out.  The first thing the nurse asked after giving me the news was, "Didn't your doctor come to talk to you about all this?".  No, in fact he had not.  This would be a reoccurring theme for the day with 5 people asking me if I talked to my doctor before I actually talked to my doctor (which was about 2 minutes before my surgery).  Not a big deal but I thought it was funny.

So the past week has been me recovering from that whole mess.  Been doing well, just having issues getting to sleep still.  The nurses mentioned that it might take me two or so weeks to feel 100% like my surly self again so Eve will be taking a back seat until I can spare the extra mental bandwidth for it.

It did allow me to watch the final weekend of the Alliance Tournament unimpeded though, I guess that can be the ray of sunshine.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Moseyin' on Down That Dusty Trail

After somewhere around 2 years of loyal(ish) service to the Amarr Militia, I have departed from the Amarr Retribution and all of Faction Warfare for greener pastures.  That's not to say that Faction Warfare isn't green, it's just not the type of green that I'm looking for at the moment.  I had a lot of good times and a few not-so-good times but all good (and no-so-good) times must come to an end.  

So what caused this sudden jump out of Faction Warfare?  There are a number of things I have been frustrated with over the years.  I was really disappointed that when the entire revamp for FW came, NPCs were left untouched.  It's one of those obvious issues that players have been complaining about for years and not even a slight change but now those NPCs have to be dealt with for system control.  Minmatar wasted no time strapping some 10mn ABs onto frigs and speed tanking Amarr plexes.  And when a change finally does come for FW NPCs, they just remove all EWAR from them, allowing everyone to speed tank.  That single change was the one that made me say to myself, "Self, it's time you did something else."

And something else I did.  I went to freaking WAR!

My future, I head out to nullsec again.  My previous venture there was when Vitha was sub 10M SP, making it rather difficult to be effective at anything out there.  I have joined up with Eclipse Navy, a corp in the Get Off My Lawn alliance.  LAWN, as you may know, is a part of the CFC which has gone to war with just about everyone who currently lives in Delve.  I've bought a few ships in the area and I've been on a few roams now.  Still getting used to everything and slowly getting over the new corp jitters.  They seem like a bunch of good guy, it's been a nice fit so far.  

After I left Amarr Retribution I started moving all of my ships from lowsec/Minmatar stations that I have been locked out from for the past month or so.  Jesus do I have a lot of crap!!!  Everything from Frequency Crystals that have had a single shot put through them to corpses I have collected are taking up space but, more importantly, taking up stack counts.  I quickly learned that Eve has a 200 stack count max on all courier contracts, making my two contracts blow up to four because of this "feature (there are a lot of "features" in Eve).  I cut that down to three contracts, deciding I don't need THAT many small non-faction laser crystals.  People need to stop using those on pvp ships I shoot at.

Seriously, that's pretty lame.  It would be nice to either get rid of that stack count or allow damaged crystals to have their own stack system.  I know some will mention that you can add items to a container and that will count as one stack.  While that works A) I know a good number of freight services frown upon the use of containers and B) when a system is that easy to circumvent, why bother having it at all?  The 200 number just seems a little arbitrary to me in the day and age of Eve that we live in.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Goons Alter the Tide of War, Profit Immensely

With the recent FW changes, it appears that a group of Goons have exploited the "LP gained from PVP kills" to an amazing extent.  An estimated 5 Trillion in Isk has been gained and CCP has learned a valuable lesson about half-assing features for ever and ever.

Apparently the Minmatar have been boosted up by Goons this whole time.  While they assumed they were just being their awesome selves, it must suck to realize that you're not as awesome as you thought.

As for Amarr, we're apparently not as terrible as we though!  *REJOICE!!!*

Congrats to those in Goons who found this "feature".

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Eve Idea: Mastercrafted!

Poetic Stanziel over at Poetic Discourse had a nice write-up of a player-run skillbook market.  I really enjoyed the idea; I think skillbooks should be able to be crafted by players with better learning stats than just what comes stock.  If done correctly, I believe it could be a bigger money sink for experienced players while remaining easy, if not easier, for new players to get a leg up on the basic skills.  This brought up an idea I've had for a while now which I've been meaning to get down on paper.  While I never expect CCP to ever actually implement Poetic or my idea, it's a fun little thought to ponder on.

Let me be hoest, I don't craft in Eve.  While I have played and have crafted in many MMOs in my time, Eve's crafting system is something I don't want to undertake half-cocked.  One day, when the time is right, I would like to make an alt for industry purposes.  And when that day comes, you better believe I'll be ready.

In the MMOs where I have partaken in the joy that is crafting, I have come across a lot of different mechanics that range from overly complex to overly simplified.  No matter how good or bad the overall act of crafting is, I've found very few games that don't have at least a single good facet buried in a mountain of terrible.  One of my personal favorite crafting features in a good number of those games would have to be any chance-based/critical bonus success.  These features would usually create a rarer item in the place of what was being crafted.  Example: Getting a blue item instead of a green.

How awesome would this be if applied to Eve?!

My thoughts on how this could work: any time an item is crafted, there is a 0.001 to 3% chance (based on the amount of minerals required for that specific item) of it being a Master item instead of the standard item.  So instead of a Omen Navy Issue, it would show up as a Master Omen Navy Issue.  How the Master label could affect some items:
  • Ships
    • Any Master ship could have a bonus to CPU, PG and/or better starting resists
    • If you want to get into a crazy level of suggestion, a Master ship could give a +1 level to the main skill needed to fly that particular class of ship.  So if a player had a level 5 in Amarr Cruisers for the above Navy Omen, the Master version would count it as Amarr Cruiser level 6!
  • Turrets & Bays
    • Turrets: Speed up the base RoF / Damage Modifier by 5% or reduce the base Heat Damage taken per cycle.  Even adding to the base Structure HP would be a nice buff from the standard mod
    • Missile Bays: Pretty much the same, RoF bonus or Heat Damage reduction
    • If the above "+1 to level" were applied to anything besides a ship, it would have to only affect damage/tracking/etc for that single specific module
  • Drones
    • This one is tough.  You could just add to their damage and many would be quite happy with that.  I think something more for speed in the case of light drones would make things much more interesting.  Malediction gets a tackle, the tackled ship pops out 5 Master Warrior IIs that are fast little buggers.  It would require some adaptation if encountered.
And you can keep going from there.  One of the most important factors to control would be the percentage chance to craft one of these Master items.  It should be an extremely rare occurrence to see a killmail that has a Master ship with all Master mods loaded up.  If they become the new T2, it would really lose a lot of the "Whoa!" factor which I think is extremely important in Eve.

While I don't think every single item should have a chance to process a Master item (eg. ammo), I do think this would be a really interesting mechanic to have.  It seems like this would add another layer to what is already a very large onion but it would be a pretty sweet layer.  It would definitely jump start my plans for a construction alt.  Something fun to think about for sure.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hulkageddon Will Continue... Indefinitely

The Mittani posted on Twitter today confirming rumors to what some hoped and many others feared.  Hulkageddon will not be ending at the end of this month or the next.

With very little actual information floating around, it's difficult to say if there will be monthly prizes or "just" the 100 Million Isk payout for each Exhumer kill.  For more PR, I could see a monthly prize being given.  Any press is good press when the results are so astounding.  1.4 Trillion in ships lost and 19.8 Billion handed out to players, the top killer having received nearly Three Billion Isk for their participation.

Personally, I think this is amazing.  The Mittani/GoonSwarm have single-handedly created an entire profession that a two week old player or a seasoned, grizzled veteran can partake in.  I believe it won't be long until people start seeing it as such.  I would be lying if I said I hadn't considered shifting one of my alts to a destroyer and hunting me some Hulks.  With Hulkageddon continuing on until further notice, all the more reason to when Faction Warfare is quiet.

Now we just have to wait and see how the mining community and, more importantly, CCP reacts to this news. If word of this doesn't spread with a quickness (Even though some players who had been ganked multiple times had no clue what it was to being with) and most believe Hulkageddon to be done at the end of the month, we're about to see a massive spike in both losses and hate threads in the EveO forums.  I'm curious to what will happen next but whatever it is, thank you Goons for making the universe a more interesting place for us all.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Eve Online Inferno Patch Notes!

The Inferno patch notes have been released and wow is that a lot of text.  I'm only going to have a few items here but the full notes can be found here:

Ship Changes:
It will be nice to fly more than just a Rifter for frigs now.  I really love my Rifter though
  • Inferno will be the first-step taken into removing the Tier system out of ship classes; please refer to the Dev Blog, 'Rebalancing EVE, one ship at a time' for more details.
  • The first batch of changes affect the Tormentor, Punisher (eeeeeeeeee!), Merlin, Incursus and Rifter frigates

Faction Warfare Changes:
Too many to list really, some that caught my eye though
  • Destroying enemy player ships will give LPs to the player giving the final blow (Unless in a fleet)  
    • I take this to mean that if a player is not in a fleet but gets the final blow on a carrier kill, they get all of the LP.  This is kind of a terrible feature to have.  It may be equal parts skill and luck to be able to get the final blow but , in my opinion, this shouldn't even be a factor.  It may be difficult to do but when it happens for the first time, there are going to be a lot of angry people.  Note: If the final blow happens from a fleetmate, the fleet splits the LP
  • Holding and upgrading Factional Warfare systems now have an impact in a faction success as a whole. Number of systems and upgrades hold in the same War Zone (Amarr/Minmatar or Caldari/Gallente War zones respectively) are counted as part of points, then used to unlock War Zone Control tiers
    •  I've had a small issue with this since I heard it.  It would be nice to either see the losing side get an okay bonus or no one get a bonus/nerf at all.  We will have to wait and see what is more profitable, being on the losing side or the winning side.  As the LP cost of a ship goes up, so will the isk price.  200 Million Navy Omens?  It's not out of the realm of possibility
  •  It is now possible to upgrade a solar system owned by your own faction by spending Factional Warfare Loyalty Points (LPs) into the respective Infrastructure Hub
    • Without the Cyno Jammer upgrade, I could care less about this feature.  Hopefully we'll see that soon.
  • All stations located in enemy Factional Warfare systems will now deny docking to the opposing militias. Neutrals are not affected by this change and can still dock anywhere they please
    • The shot heard round the world...  I'm rather happy for this change.  I just wish that they would have changed the victory points per Plex with the last patch when this change was announced.  I wouldn't be surprised to find out that Minmatar knew about this a long time ago with how obsessed some were with capturing Plexes when it meant nothing.
New Modules:
  • The Reactive Armor Hardener : A low slot module that adjusts resists according to incoming damage. You can only fit one, but it lets you fight lazy!
    • I have high hopes for this mod, this could change the game of armor tanking as we know it
  • Extrinsic Damage Amplifier: A low slot, drone damage module which allows your drones do more damage
    • Hoestly, I'm terrible with drones.  It's easily the weakest part of my PvP game.  I pretty much launch them and send them off to die.  We were in a fight recently vs a Dramiel and a Crow in my mission Drake with Flyinghotpocket in a Hookbill (Which didn't turn out too well for FHP but I was able to get out, ty FHP!).  I had no idea my drones were even under fire until my Drones window vanished...  Time to start flying more Arbitrators, make me focus on drones a lot more.
New missile launchers and launch effects: 
If you have seen these, I really don;t have to say anything.  For those few people that haven't seen them, they're freaking awesome!  I really like the new bomb explosion graphics, unique for each damage type.

Unified Inventory
The inventory change has been needed for a long time.  I started in 2009 and I have been frustrated with the inventory system ever since.  Searching is nice and all but why can't I just view all modules and not every single laser crystal that has had one volley shot through it and now can't be stacked?  Now, I totally can!  (Hopefully)

All in all, a damn good looking expansion.  I just hope that this isn't the last time they will look at Faction Warfare.  I can see a few things being terribly broken and they really haven't addressed the bugging of plexes (which I have witnessed on several occasions).  Even though some of the changes aren't optimal, at least it's change.  And change is good for the soul.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

RE: Evolution

This started out as a reply to the Dev blog posted pertaining to the FW changes but since everyone and their mother was posting about it, I decided to hold off for something I could get a bit more passionate about.  Susan Black has provided that spark.  Originally this was going to be a comment on their blog but quickly warranted it's own post here.  Susan's original post can be found here, I would advise giving it a read before continuing on:

Adaptation can be a hard thing for some.  For the past 2 weeks, I've heard so many of my fellow pilots screaming that Faction Warfare is dead or CCP screwed it up even more and they're taking their football and going home.  I for one can't wait for this change.  Yes, it might suck.  Yes I might get locked out of my main station and lose all my ships.  Yes, I might absolutely hate it.  But it's change, something that I and many others have wanted for a long time.

If I were to get upset at this change and tell CCP to go to hell because I don't like something, what reason do they have to change anything in the future?  If people can't even wait till the changes are Live to start the hate train, it's not unimaginable for CCP to say "Screw it, FW is dead to us".

At least give it a chance, that's all I'm asking.  I'll be sticking around and if things do get too terrible, I'll go do something else for a while.  What I won't do is go directly to the forums and spout about how CCP owes me something since I give them money.  This is a game you pay for, you can do whatever you want.  Don't expect everyone else to conform to your wants when there is an entire universe out there full of other things besides Faction Warfare.  Step out of your comfort zone, go see the rest of that universe.  From what I hear, it's a pretty big place.