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Friday, December 30, 2011

What will 2012 bring?

It's the last day of 2011 and that means everyone is doing their end-of-year wrap-ups. One tradition is to prognosticate on what's going to happen over the next year. I don't claim to have any special insight or anything like that. All I've got is decades of gaming experience both with and without computers. Based on that, here is my take on how 2012 is going to go for CCP and for EVE Online (in no particular order.)
  1. There will be (has been?) a brief uptick in subscriptions, but the trend throughout the year will be flat. That means CCP will not get a revenue boost from EVE Online. I say this because there will be nothing done to actually pull new players into the game. The same old game play will rule and the same type of person will want to play. But frankly, EVE Online already has about every person that wants to and can  play Internet Space-wars subscribed and birth rates are declining. The game play just doesn't appeal to most gamers. People do not want to log in and not have fun. For all those that say the undock button is a PVP authorization, think about that last bit good and long. You are correct, EVE as it stands today is a PVP permissive environment. I like that. You like that. But buddy, let me tell you, most people who pay good money to relax playing a game after a hard day at work/school don't. They'll take their $15 a month elsewhere thank you very much (and evidently do.)
  2. Dust514 will debut to lackluster sales and anemic subscription rates. Do a search for most anticipated games of 2012. Dust514 barely even gets mentioned if at all. Add to this that Xbox 360 will dominate in 2012 and you've got a pretty good recipe for disaster. What, you say "no way" to Xbox domination? Think again. Xbox isn't just about games anymore. It does movies now. It does music now. It integrates with your T.V. subscription now. It does On Demand now. It does Facebook now. Oh, and it plays games. This is Microsoft's best kept non-secret. Forget Windows 8. The Xbox with voice controlled software and Kinects is the box of the immediate future. When people have to decide what to spend their one splurge on, the Xbox or PS-whatever, the Xbox will win - especially first time buyers of a console system. CCP will be hard pressed to staunch the blood flow from Dust514 AND reinvigorate EVE Online.
  3. Sovereignty mechanics will continue to suck. No, I have no experience in it.  However, since I began playing EVE Online almost 4 years ago, everything I've ever read from those that have lots of experience in it has said sovereignty mechanics suck. I don't think it's fixable. Even if CCP manages to pull of a drastic change, it will still suck. Almost no one will be happy with it. That's just what nearly-bitter-vets are like. They won't like it. They're like grumpy old men - nothing satisfies them. I'm just saying...
  4. CCP will implement some form of Walking in Stations. Whether you are for or against, walking in stations is necessary for Dust514 to work. Without it, there is no uniqueness to that first person shooter and #2 will be even more dismal than I've predicted. Get ready for it, I think the work's already been done. Full body avatar is just the beginning. All they have to do now is pull the trigger - and they must for Dust514's sake.
  5. Micro-transactions are still coming (and you will like them.) All the work CCP has put in to V3 is for the Noble Exchange - not ship beautification. Logos and custom skins on ships are not possible without it and those are the most desired micro-transaction among the current player base. CCP will need the revenue stream (see #1 and #2)  so they will want to bring this out sooner than later. Once they do, there will be a rush to buy. That will help CCP hold the line until they figure out how to attract a new type of player to EVE Online.
And that's what I see for 2012. You may agree or disagree, but regardless, this will be a make or break year for CCP and for EVE Online. It will be an interesting year. I just hope it doesn't turn into that old curse about living in interesting times. However, though I'm a cynical optimist, I'm an optimist nonetheless. By this time in 2012 I believe things will be no worse than they are now, and CCP will have an entire year to make 2013 the most exciting year yet in the story that is EVE Online! I'll still be here and I hope you are too, all of you. Have a safe and very Happy New Year!

Fly careful.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

You are killing the thing you love one noob at a time.

I just read My Loot, Your Tears about a noob gank. At the end the ganker crows, "My new friend rage quits. That is the cherry on top." Cherry on top? You "valiantly" nuked his Domi with a Tengu. What did you expect to happen, the noob say, "please sir, I want some more?"

And people lament over the fact player growth is flat. They all blame CCP for their inept handling of Incarna. They think more Crucibles will solve the problem.

They are wrong.

Play-ability will solve the problem and I mean specifically for noobs. Your play style AKeeFa is part of the problem, not the solution you noodle-brain. EVE will never start growing again so long as new players, barely able to fly the easiest T1 battleship to get into, are squashed by Tengus... TENGUS for cripes sake. Your strategic cruiser cost how much more than everything that noob had? You needed that faction armor repper how badly? Pffft.

There is no amount of EVE improvement that will make a griefed noob want to continue playing a game where s/he are is humiliated at every turn of the ship. When any player can engage a Domi flown by a noob with a Tengu and face no repercussions for such an anti-social act, there's a problem. Then there's the fact the encounter was in a .9 system. What the hell are you hanging around there for AKeeFa? Aren't you supposed to be playing in null with the big boys instead of hanging around .9 systems for "excitement" in the form of griefing players who don't even come close to your SP?

That sort of behavior hurts us all by hindering the revenue stream CCP so badly needs to continue producing Internet space ships. No more Crucibles will come to fruition without money. You are killing the thing you claim to love one noob at a time.

If anyone in the CSM reads this, I'd like you to ask CCP one question. How hard would it be to take the entire insurance payout of a noob's ship from the wallet of a griefer like AKeeFa? The parameters would be simple. The popped player would have to be less than 6 months old. The kill would have to be in high-sec. That's all. If CCP really wanted to make a point though, they could make all noob ships automatically max insured at no cost to the noob. Pop a noob, take an ISK torpedo!

Wouldn't that make the griefers think twice? Then wouldn't the tears flow backwards? And it just might help to save EVE.

Fly careful.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

"The first theme is going to be War..."

There's a big change as outlined here. This will no doubt be analyzed to death so I'll spare everyone. The one thing I would like to say is,

Smells like profit!
Eh, eh, eh. Looks like I need to double down on the arms market. So be it!

Fly careful.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I'd like to introduce to you...

...the newest member of Mabrick Mining and Manufacturing (MABMM.)

The SGT York
Would anyone like to guess how he's fitted? I'll give you a hint. It's all about the name. Good luck!

Fly careful.

PS: Damn, he's a beauty to fly. Turns like a ballerina and burns like Chicago!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Now isn't that nice.

Logged in this evening and found that all my UI settings were gone. Frack!

Fly careful.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Not much going on, even in the war next door.

It seems that things have quieted a lot around the old home system. Besides taking care of business, not much has been going on. There are lots of rookies flying around. I count that a good thing.

A couple weeks ago I got a warning from a friend that Important Internet Spaceship League [BDEAL] was declaring war on General Tso's Alliance [3XXXD]. The main corp in General Tso's is Sardaukar Merc Guild [SMERG]. I've had a few run ins with them and I can't say it made be sad to hear they'd pissed off BDEAL.

Actually, I was hoping for some nice fireworks. SMERG lives in Seyllin, one short jump from my home. I've been over there several times since the war started and I've seen on Harbinger wreck on the gate and it belonged to BDEAL. In Seyllin itself, nothing untoward seemed to be going on.

After doing some investigation into the alliances database, I did see a possible effect of the war dec. 3XXXD membership dropped in half right after the war dec. It seems that Universal Discovery [UN.DC] saw this as a good time to un-join 3XXXD even though they'd just joined the alliance. It seems it took three kills at the hands of BDEAL to convince them to leave. I can't say as I blame them. Still, I think I would have preferred to see scorched wrecks strewn all around the Seyllin in-gate.

Ane has seen some BDEAL action. There was a POS bash there on the 5th. But I've no reason to go to Ane these days. It's been a long time since I've had to run courier missions.

The new tax structure of Planetary Industry is bearable. It helps that prices for Wetware Mainframes have stayed elevated. They are still selling for double what I could get for them this past summer. I hope that holds. It'll still be several more weeks before I'm ready to make another Jita run. Of course, I know exactly how long until I make that run. But after all the nice things I said about SMERG, I'd rather not be too specific.

Sorta on the SMERG topic, Hulkageddon time is fast approaching. I won't be in my Hulk for that. I haven't been in my Hulk for many, many months. However, I'll be flying cover for any rookies in my home system. If you find yourself in Aporulie and see me in local, let me know. I'll cover your 6. However, last year SMERG was flying very cheap Catalysts and insta-popping Hulks. I saw it with my own eyes. They weren't leaving much time to lock them up and stop them. I encourage all Industrialists to tank up and remember, buffer is FAR more important than cargo space when you're being hunted.

Fly Careful

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Polaris message deciphered!

There's a lively discussion going on over on the Eve General Discussions forum Authorities have revealed they've intercepted a strange transmission from Polaris. The coded transmission was partially deciphered. Here is what it contained: cc.sup.lye.avan.

Many capsuleers are trying to figure out what it means. It has become a public debate. So far just about everyone agrees the first part translates to "CCP Supply" but there is much disagreement over the last part. It reads "e.avan." where the periods are missing characters. Not everyone agrees the final period is an actual missing character. It could simply be a period. It doesn't matter though.

As I was looking at this I realized that there was only 2 to the 26 possible combinations for the missing characters. Aura quickly helped me construct a possibilities matrix.

Looking through all the possible combinations, most quickly fall away as unlikely. However, that doesn't mean impossible. Those that remain may be a single "word" or multiple words - there were no spaces in agreed first part meaning. The best we can really do is identify those that seem most likely to contain pertinent meaning.

My favorite second character is "T". This makes for a nice 3-letter acronym: ETA. That just seems to resonate with the "CCP Supply" portion of the message. Now, the "CCP Supply ETA" is what? That's the 64 billion ISK question isn't it. Here are the choices.

eta vana - eta vanb - eta vanc - eta vand - eta vane - eta vanf - eta vang - eta vanh - eta vani -
eta vanj - eta vank - eta vanl - eta vanm - eta vann - eta vano - eta vanp - eta vanq - eta vanr -
eta vans - eta vant - eta vanu - eta vanv - eta vanw - eta vanx - eta vany - eta vanz

None of those seem very promising to me. However, if the final character IS a period, one stands out bold and clear - Van, a 0.3 security system in the Aridia region of the Amarr Empire.

CCP Supply ETA Van - could it be? We'll need another intercept to find out.

Fly careful.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The true expense of the new PI tax rates.

I did a comparison between last Monday night and tonight's PI maintenance. The only thing different between the two is I decommissioned 2 Spaceports and connected the Extractor Control Units directly to the main complex Spaceport on one planet and moved an Extractor Control Unit on another.

Here is what it cost me tonight to complete my PI maintenance, which yielded 6 Wetware Mainframes and and some thousands of extra Reactive Metals and Water.
Post-Crucible PI Maintenance
And this is the PI maintenance from the last night prior to Crucible's launch.
Pre-Crucible PI Maintenance
The difference between the two is an extra 2,365,309.55 ISK or approximately a 258% increase over pre-Crucible taxes. If I drop the construction fees from both side (which I include as part of the maintenance overhead) the increase is even more: 673%. Either way, representing it as a doubling was misleading the player base - at best. Communications still seems to be a problem. It seems the crucible wasn't that purifying after all. Schade.

Fly careful.

PI tax rates have nothing to do with smelly-fish explanations.

So yeah, I noticed the PI tax rates were far higher than CCP lead us to initially believe they would be. Jester has a fine rundown on it here. It cost me 4 million ISK last night to do my PI with my projected revenue at 11 million ISK (6 wetware mainframes produced x 1.8 million ISK each.) I did not file a petition about it. I'm not a whiner.

Evidently many did. Here is CCP Guard's response. The part in this that really got my attention was this:
"By repairing the taxes to be... a) Based on market value"

Look CCP, I really don't mind you killing off the 99% profit margin. I felt like I was getting away with robbery anyway - not that I was complaining. But you base taxes on TODAY'S market rate? That doesn't work. We don't sell our PI goods every day. Hell, I don't sell them every week even. Here is the problem. What if the price drops before I bring my goods to market? My effective tax rate will be even higher than you state. Yes, it is true that if prices go up after I manufacture something I'll make a better margin. So I should wait, right?

Fine, I'll wait. That creates a whole new problem: artificial lack of supply. If I wait, everyone will wait. The markets will dry up. That should make prices rise no doubt. It will also mess with a whole lot of other game features making them unfeasible. If Wetware Mainframes aren't on the market, who's going to build all those Customs Offices your so keen on? Did you think of that? What about all those other things that need Wetware Mainframes? You're jerking the market around badly and for what? So some Empire Carebears like me can't make 99% profit? Hey, I wasn't making that much profit to begin with but I'll cover that in more depth below.

I can't believe you ran this past an economist. You can base a sales tax on current prices because it is assessed when the item is sold. You cannot charge a lift service fee based on current prices for goods that might not go to market for weeks. That's a completely unfair tax!

One other thing, how do you calculate the current market price? We all know that the Eve market is gamed to death. Buy prices are always set way low by people trying to scam other people. Sell prices are often inflated. Median, mean and average barely mean anything on Eve's markets. I see a lot of problems with this if your calculation doesn't weed out the out-layers. Does it? I think you owe us a more in depth explanation. I want the details if I'm going to have to live with this arbitrary and capricious tax.

Now I'll take issue with this part of the post:
"With the old tax levels it would be nearly unfeasible to operate a Customs Office and most of our goals with the feature were at risk of being missed."
I think what you really mean is:
"We needed a mechanism to force players into destroying NPC Customs Offices and replacing them with player built Customs Offices. Therefore, we set an unbearable tax rate to encourage that behavior."
Did I miss the mark by much? You know, if you'd just come out and be honest about it I'd probably respect that line of reasoning. I am, after all, a realist. Why does CCP still feel like they have to lie to us about their motives?

Now, let's talk about that bit above concerning not making all that much ISK to begin with. I find it hard to believe that CCP was all that concerned with high-sec carebears making tons of ISK from PI. Are you serious? My PI chain makes 6 Wetware Mainframes a day. That was less than 6 million ISK a day before the Crucible speculation started. That's all my planets can handle. They don't produce enough level 1 resources for more than that. THAT was our penalty for taking no risks.We got far less ISK for the same amount of work. I've scanned wormhole and low-sec planets. Wormhole worlds produce so many more resources than that it isn't even funny. They gush with ISK potential but there is also great risk.

How can you tell me with a straight face that you were really all that concerned with high-sec carebears making low risk ISK? Get real, you'd already clamped down on that ISK faucet by giving us resource poor planets. BTW, I can make 6 million ISK a day mining in Empire, with little risk, and at a 99% profit margin. BTW, I can run missions in Empire, with little risk, and at a 99% profit margin. BTW, I made 100 milion ISK from Datacores last night, with little risk, and 99% profit. Your rationale stinks of rotten fish.

No, this tax thing has nothing to do with high-sec carebear profits. It has to do with making low-sec more valuable and re-configuring null-sec sovereignty mechanics. Those are the squeaky wheels these days. They have been for a very long time. That is what these changes are really about but for some reason you won't admit it CCP. You expect us carebears to just go about our business. We don't squeak. Evidently, we just take it.

Fly careful.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Immersion gets a much needed boost.

T plus 24 hours and at least one blogger, Rixx Javix, has unashamedly declared his love for Crucible graphics. I will not disagree with him. It is truly lovely and I'd be lying if I said I didn't take my nano-fit Tristan, Speed Racer, out and do a little dancing myself.

But while I wasn't out there, I decided to see how far the dev team got on increasing the immersion level in Eve Online. Here are the results.

I warped to a Customs Office I knew to be on the other side of a gas giant.
The light at the end of the warp tunnel was frankly awesome! Later, while conducting business in Oursulaert, I had an opportunity to warp through a moon.
Most excellent! Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of warping through stations. They still clip just as badly as planets and moons used to. It also pains me that we cannot warp through stars yet either, at least I've not been able to. If someone has I'd sure like to see the other end of that tunnel.

One other thing I noticed, which was not really immersion, and may have been there all along, was a line, like a small ring, around my first PI planet. As I pondered what it was, I soon got my answer.
I don't know what mechanic this would serve so for now I'll just lump it in with new immersion upgrades.

While there is more to do, and I hope it's being working on already, the new New Eden look has me smiling and... well... dancing among the stars. Good work CCP!

Fly Careful.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Fair well Incarna, you were profitable but you won't be missed.

In 2.5 hours, Incarna will be relegated to the dustbin of history. So long; I've no tears for you though your legacy will live on - as it must.

As my last act prior to Crucible, I loaded up Keiko and I made the 12 jumps to Jita. No, I've no interest in visiting shot up monuments. That's a waste of time. I was there to sell  a month and a half of hard work. Honest labor brings honest rewards and mine were good. Wetware Mainframes doubled in price as I hoped they would (and said as much here.) I also had some extra PI goods to sell as well. All totaled it was a tidy profit.

And I didn't have to blow anyone up to get it. That's the icing on the cake. I'll sleep well tonight with that thought in my head and extra ISK in the bank. Count on it.

To all the capsuleers that read this, I wish you luck and good fortune in the days to come. The universe evolves. We must evolve with it or perish. I've no doubt that I'll manage. Mine is a simple life. May your troubles be few and your gates not camped.

Fly careful.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Forget pirates, you should be emulating the mafia.

As I as reading through this morning's blogs, Mord Fiddle's article on low sec PI got my attention. I think that's understandable since being a PI industrialist is a good part of my business. Specifically, what really got me thinking was this statement,
"Ninja industrialists will, of course, be restricted to NPC offices unless they can cut a deal with a lowsec entity willing to provide them with access to a player owned structure and free passage to use it."
There's a name for that. It's called a protection racket. Organized crime has used it since time immemorial. It evidently is quite effective. And then it hit me. The problem with low sec isn't the real estate. All real estate is valuable. The problem with low sec is it is badly run.

Pirates are notoriously ill organized. They are, by their very nature, extreme individualists who place their own welfare above all else. The same might be true of the mob, except they keep their own in line. They reward loyalty handsomely and punish disloyalty immediate and with extreme prejudice.
So what is it about the mob that allows them to be successful in their racketeering? In a word, control. The mob controls their territory with ruthlessness and high-grade carbon-steel pistol barrels. In their heyday, it was the Thompson submachine gun. The Tommy Gun was a beauty and legal to carry on any street in the U.S. for a time.

If those in low sec want it to be more than it is today, they must make it that way. It will not be easy. Concord will be against you just like Elliot Ness was against Al Capone (pictured above in case you didn't recognize him.)
But Eliot Ness never had enough evidence to nail Capone for his gangster activities. He nailed him for tax evasion. There is a lesson there to any low sec corporation I think. The rules for being a true mafia and not just a roaming pirate gang are clear.

  1. Be visible.
  2. Control your territory with an iron fist.
  3. Make your territory safe for your "friends."
  4. Invest in your territory to make it more valuable.
  5. Protect those who pay for it at all costs. 
  6. Rough up those who do not until they too start paying.
  7. Never provide a free lunch to non-family.
  8. If they (other gangs) kill one of yours, kill two of theirs.
  9. Be ruthless.
Always remember, thieves have no honor but mobsters are not thieves. They're business men. You must act like one. Honor all ransoms. Always keep your word. Though you may be a ruthless tyrant, your "friends" must trust you. Acting arbitrarily and without a predictable code of conduct will get you nowhere.

So how does this translate to New Eden? Rather easily I think. Here is what I'd do if I wanted to be the New Eden Mafia.
  1. Recruit from all time zones so that an enforcer(s) was always online.
  2. Enforcers must continuously visit all territory assets eliminating rats (including those who would mine your roids without paying protection money) and keeping "customers" safe.
  3. Camp gates - always. Web and scram anyone who enters your territory. Extract protection money from neutrals. No exceptions. Blow up any who do not pay but DO NOT POD THEM. After all, you want to rough them up so they'll change their minds; not kill them.
  4. Pod rival gangs in your territory without mercy. Expect them to treat you the same if you raid their territory.
  5. Build customs offices in orbit of all your planets. Blow up anything you don't own. Charge high taxes.
  6. Protection money only keeps you safe. It does not allow you to use the customs office for free. Get it?
  7. Make sure you have enough legitimate business to properly launder your ill gotten profits.
  8. Be sure to reward your "family" lavishly.
This is just a short list. I am sure that any sufficiently creative boss can think of more ways to maximize the value of their territory. There really is nothing that needs done to post-Crucible low sec to make this possible. 
There is one thing that I'd like to see CCP do in low sec to make this more tenable though. No gangster worth his salt doesn't have a few of the local law enforcement on the dole. To facilitate the concept of territories, Concord should look the other way - for a sufficiently high payoff. This would, in essence, cede the system to the gang that pays the bribe. It would enable gang enforcers to operate with impunity within their own territory. Of course, there'd have to be a mechanism for allowing another gang to muscle in on the territory. Concord would have to see the old gang as sufficiently weak to warrant a new arrangement with a new gang. I think that if a gang's customs offices were all taken out, it would allow them to make a new bid for the territory to Concord. Of course, the price always goes up. This upward spiral could only be broken if all gangs stop paying bribes. Then Concord goes back to shooting gang members until a new gang builds customs offices around every planet and pays Concord off anew.

Fly careful.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Exploration for Fun and Profit

I had some available time in between business concerns and decided to take Space Ghost out for a look around the home system. Truth be told, the prospecting bug was gnawing at me me and I was hoping to find a nice fat gravimetric site. No such luck, though my scans did turn up three wormholes, a Chem Yard and a radar site.
The Chem Yard wasn't anything I was interested in but wormholes always make me want to know what's on the other side and the radar site had profit potential. I decided to checkout the wormholes first. It turns out they were all type R943 which I found a bit peculiar. Maybe they come in flocks.
Diving into the first wormhole I quickly established that it was occupied with a Tengu and a Raven being the biggest things in local. A Heron was the only other ship showing. There was no need to look around, it was a small system and completely within range of my directional scanner. As I was going through the DS list, I noticed my velocity was higher than normal. I'd seen that before. As I looked up through the canopy, the cause loomed large above me. It dwarfed the wormhole I'd come through.
I admired the Blackhole for a few more minutes and headed back through the wormhole. I didn't have an unlimited amount of time. I moved on to the next wormhole. As I emerged on the other side, I found myself in another heavily occupied small system. It immediately got my attention. It was unlike any system I'd been in. Many of my instruments were going crazy like they'd been on a three day bender. As I looked up I saw why.
It wasn't the system start, but a nearby monster. It was a Wolf Rayet, a very young and energetic giant star, vomiting its gases into the surrounding void at significant fractions of C. It was a very long way away so those stellar gales did not buffet Space Ghost as hurricanes did sailing ships of old. It would have been an interesting experience but when I attempted to plot a course for the wonder, Aura informed me it was not possible. Whether that was by design or physics I didn't ask. There was no profit in sailing those solar winds so I turned for the wormhole and left. I had one more to scout and then a radar site to check on.

The last wormhole system turned out to be mundane. It was again small, only five planets orbiting a midsize yellow star. There was a control tower and a couple cargo containers in the system. One of the containers was transmitting the message, "Used control tower for sale cheap because of unfriendly Horror BLRD neighbor." That's an odd message. I quickly located the tower around moon 1 of the outermost planet, a terrestrial. Sure enough, it had all the seeming of a tower abandoned. I didn't uncloak of course. Rule number one, everything's a trap. Start from that assumption and you'll live a long life - at least longer than not following that rule. I'm not in the market for a wormhole system. I turned for the K162 and returned home.
The radar site promised more than a supposedly abandoned wormhole system to my current business. As I warped to it, I wondered what I would find. I didn't expect to have to throw my arm up in front of my eyes.
Who the hell could work in those conditions. There was nothing relaxing about the site. It was like being inside a lamp it was so bright. I located a single information shard on my instruments and approached it while cloaked. I took to studying the broken asteroid along my route to give my eyes a rest.
I named it Humpty Dumpty after a story my grandmother used to tell me. After a few minutes of max burn, I reached the shard. In no time at all, I had it hacked open.
It was a tidy profit for about an hour of my time and I had some fun getting it while seeing something I'd never seen before - a Wolf Rayet. It was a welcome break from the daily routine. I hope I get time for Space Ghost again soon.

Fly careful.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Crucible Brutix with a blaster fit as promised.

Here are the next two-thousand words in the pre-Crucible versus post-Crucible Brutix fits. I swapped out the rails for seven (7) Heavy Electron Blaster IIs to give an idea of what the post-Crucible benefit will look like.

Pre-Crucible Blaster Fit
Post-Crucible Blaster Fit
Fitting blasters gives me an 8.3% overall drop in cap use or under 3 GJ/s. PowerGrid usage decreases by 103.2 MW overall, a nice increase but only a bit over 7%. As for CPU, I get a drop of 10.55 overall: 1.98%.

For all the great sounding changes to hybrid weapons, it appears the actual benefit is of minor consequence. Gallente ships are a little faster. They get a smidgen more power, CPU and usable capacitor. But for most pilots of limited SP, these increases will not make blaster ships much more viable than before.

Fly careful.

PS: Happy 100th post to me.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Pre-Crucible and Post-Crucible Rail-fit Brutix - and a surprise.

This is Brutus. I've used him to solo Incursion beacon sites. He'd be really bad at it, if he weren't so hard headed. I won't bore you with a whole lot of fitting details. A picture is worth a thousand words. So, here are two-thousand words for you.

As you can see, Brutus got a nice new paint job. I especially like the Gallente Federation emblems on forehead and the top of each wing.

As for the rest, at first you want to believe there's not much difference in the CPU and Power Grid between the two. However, a closer look at the numbers shows that capacitor use is down from -32.23 GJ/s to  -28.9 GJ/s. That's approximately 10%. Brutus also picks up nearly 80 MW on the power grid. And this is a rail fit, it doesn't even get the best bonuses. The blaster fit will follow tomorrow. Unfortunately SiSi went down for maintenance before I could swap guns.

One last thing I noted while on SiSi tonight. I had to jump 2 systems to get more ammo for the rails. (I wanted to see how the DPS calculation looked.) As usual, I found what I wanted on the market and did a right-click, location, set as destination. Man was I surprised when my autopilot took me all the way to 10 km off the station. That's correct, it didn't disable after the last gate. It dropped warp 10 km away from the station, approached and DOCKED. I guess I missed that in the update notes. It was a real surprise, let me tell you.

Fly careful.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Blog Banter 30: Noob Rescue Standing Increases

Blog Banter 30 asks the following:
"With the Winter expansion possibly being named 'Crucible', it certainly is a melting pot of refinements and tweaks aimed at making the EVE experience smoother and more wholesome. If the developers suddenly found themselves some spare resources and approached you for an additional feature to include before release, what single concept would you pitch them and how would you implement it? 
For bonus points, the one thing lacking from this "patchwork" of iterations is a cohesive storyline to package "The Crucible" together. How could this expansion be marketed to potential new customers?"
One idea that I've had rolling around inside my head for awhile has to do with standing. There are many ways to gain and lose standing. As most pirates know, about the fastest way to lose standing is to attack someone in Empire. I would not change how this works. I've never heard anyone call it unfair - except the poor noob who gets blasted. However, the equation is unbalanced and nature demands balanced equations.

I would recommend that CCP devote their spare resources to balancing this equation. I'd point out to them that the cruel world that is New Eden requires noobs have someone to stick up for them. But some noobs don't want to rush into a corporation they know nothing about. Other's can't meet the requirements for the corporation they really want to join. Others, like myself, just prefer the lone-wolf lifestyle. That doesn't mean they don't want help from time to time.

Therefore, any player coming to the assistance of a true neutral (defined as someone not in your alliance) who is under attack should get a boost to their standing with Concord . This boost should be equivalent to eliminating the same ship class rat. If the Good Samaritan is in a militia and the pirate they attack is their mortal enemy, Concord doubles the standing increase. Furthermore, should a player lose his ship in such a rescue attempt, Concord should double the insurance payout for the lost ship (providing the ship was insured.)

There should be no limit on the number of increases a player can receive in a set period of time as with rats. That is the bonus for taking on a pirate. They are generally very good at what they do and the deck is already stacked in their favor - they chose the place, time and manner of the attack.

In accord with my own code of conduct, no increase should ever be given for popping a pod.

As to how you sell Crucible to potential new customers, I think that's OBE (overtaken by events) with the Eve Online Newsletter vol. 68. However, there are trailers to come. I think they should harp the, "where players really do make a difference" mantra. CCP should take their capitulation this summer and turn it into a positive. "The players rioted (cue Jita monument footage) and we listened. Your actions will not only shape what goes on in the game, it will shape the game itself!" Now, I really don't think that's going to get a lot of new players. However, it should bring back some lapsed players and that'll give CCP some breathing room. It's the best of a bad situation. Next year will be better...

Yeah, right, who am I kidding. I'm a cynical optimist: I hope for the best but know the worst is yet to come. Until the bitter end!

Fly careful.

Monday, November 14, 2011

PI on SiSi is a non-topic, but while investigating it I got a win.

Once again, the upcoming winter expansion is mostly all about pew-pew. I'm not complaining mind you. So long as everyone keeps blowing each other up, I"m in line to make a tidy sum. I know what butters my bread so to speak.

But for all my carebear brethren out there, I present the impact of the PI update.
Link Change
As any Planetary Industrialist can see, a single initial link can now handle seven (7) extractor heads, while using only 25% of its capacity. Prior to the link upgrade, this extractor required a single upgrade and I could only deploy six (6) heads due to power limitations. 

I am underwhelmed. This will not even come close to offsetting the increased freight charges in the update. All it does is allow me to waste less time upgrading links. Though I am thankful for this, as well as for the increase in orbital storage, I'm not going to throw any parties about it. The null folks will get the most use out of this. Their productivity was seriously hampered by having to upgrade links past the point of sanity. Enjoy null-bears!

However, while doing this "research," it gave me an opportunity to check out the new nebula. They are as awesome as every other blogger out there has said. But nebula aren't all that we got. And no, I'm not talking about the warp effect. Check out these before and after pictures.
This IS the same view. Take a look at the old bright stars and then look at the secondary stars in the new picture. You can most easily make out the tall triangle of stars below Keiko's bow in the before shot and just above it in the after. I didn't get Keiko in the exact same spot because of the variation in launch vectors, but the patch of space is the same for certain.

Back in my What Eve Really Needs to Make it Real - Part 1 post, I gave a list of interstellar objects that CCP should add to increase immersion. The last thing on that list was Globular Clusters. They look like a giant snowball in space, which this certainly isn't. But, just below that was a picture of the Pleiades, which is an Open Cluster. An Open Cluster's what I see above. I'll count that as a win thank you very much.

Fly Careful.

EDIT: Interestingly, I took the two screen shots above with the same computer and the exact same graphic settings both in and out of Eve. The improvements are impressive!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Then there's the old adage, "Never negotiate with terrorists."

Something's been on my mind, bothering me frankly, since Mr. P├ętursson made his statement about CCP's mistake in direction. It grated against something in the core of my being; something I've known for some time both personally and due to my former profession. You don't negotiate with terrorists. Let me explain.

We all know the history of the past 6 months. There was Incarna. It wasn't well received by capsuleers.  They objected vociferously. CCP relented after understanding the errors of their ways. CCP is now back to "the good old CCP" and devoting all its resources to FiS - as it should have all along.

Is that what really happened though? Let me give you an alternative description.

There was Incarna. It wasn't well received by capsuleers. They rioted. They canceled subscriptions. They threatened to bring Incarna down around CCP's ears. Corporate espionage was leveled against CCP. Confidential business documents were made public. Capsuleers leveraged this information to rake CCP over the coals in the forums and in the media. Physical threats were made as things spiraled out of control with the assistance of many helping hands. CCP had a lot of real world capital riding on the expansion. All the upheaval made their business partners nervous. CCP's business partners called in their markers (virtually or for real the affect was the same.) CCP had no choice but to capitulate to the rioters.

Now things are great again. CCP is refocusing on FiS and that's what keeps us happy. The threats have stopped. Capsuleers are singing CCP's worthiness again. Now it's all behind us. We won.

But did we? What happens after the winter expansion, life becomes all wine and roses? New Eden becomes the paradise we always dreamed of and we bask in the glory that is the life of a capsuleer?

What a load of fertilizer. Here's what's going to happen. Some large group of EvE players are going to decide they don't like the way CCP has implemented X. It doesn't matter was X is. Some people won't like it, like the Goons, whom I single out because they've already shown they have the will and organizational chops to orchestrate such a grandiose gank. They start bitching loudly about it. They decide to force the "issue." They pull their alts out of the game. They hit the web. The convince a lot of pilots to riot. They dig up as much dirt on CCP as they can get and throw it to the wolves that are the media. CCP has another season of rage on their hands.

What, you don't think so? Try this Goon quote (1) on for size then.
I am but a humble elected representative of the people.
It just so happens that the people love war, murder, scamming and sadism. vOv
Still don't think so? Your fooling yourself. The moment "the people" The Mittani speaks about above decide they don't like something, they're going to do exactly what got them what they wanted the first time. And he'll be right there to lead the charge I'm certain.

This is not something CCP can prevent. There will always be bugs in code as complex as EVE's. In every change there are winners and losers. Small gang PvPers win with tier three battle-cruisers. Carrier pilots lose. Gallente pilots win. Caldari militia lose. Those who manage space stations win. Those that make a living supplying them lose. Nerf a weapon and another becomes more powerful. Raise the value of some space and the rest becomes less valuable in comparison. It's a law of nature: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Capsuleers are going to bitch no matter what. Before, such bitching was just so much hot air. Now CCP has shown that it can be bullied into changing course. The precedent has been set and it's a dangerous one. If CCP puts their foot down and says "NO" to future demands, they lose more money. Their investors might pull the plug. If they don't, they continue to be vulnerable to player blackmail. They'll have lost control of their own company.

It's a no win situation for them. In the end, it's a no win situation for us players as well. What do you think they'll do when faced with losing money or losing money after a whole lot of hard work to satisfy a bunch of petulant, dare I say murderous-scamming-sadistic brats?

If the pain is too high, CCP will end it. They'll stop wasting resources. They'll close down communications. They'll redirect programming resources to more profitable and less antagonistic demographics. They may continue running the servers but EVE will be dead.

And that's not the worst of it. I'm sure CCP the company will go on in one form or another, but we've already seen what happens to the rank and file. EVE is far more real to them than it will ever be to us. Think about that the next time you feel like grabbing your torch and your pitchfork.

Fly careful.

1: I want to thank Jester from Jester's Trek for bringing this quote to my attention. It's precisely what this post needed!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What Eve really needs to make it real - Part III

Basement Ben provided part two of the art update that CCP Guard has been facilitating. There were two things that got me thinking again about how Eve could be made more real - or in other words more successful. Those two things were V3 and engine trails.

It is no secret the the Noble Exchange (NEX) was a dismal failure. There has been a lot written on why and how NEX went wrong but I've known for a long time the simplest answer is usually the cirrect one. The NEX just didn't have what capsuleers want. If we really wanted a monocle, the price wouldn't matter. "Must have" trumps budget every time. Take a look at the state of the real world's economy of you doubt that simple truth. The fact is, we don't give a crap about what our avatars look like. Eve isn't about biology. It's about technology. Our egos are wrapped around us in layers of titanium and pyrite. That's what we care about! That's what the rest of the Eve universe sees when we undock.

"So what's this got to do with making Eve real?" you ask. Well, to make Eve more real we need the ability to express our individualism. In the real world no two people are alike - not even clones (known euphemistically as identical twins. *grin* ) We spend the majority of our lives trying to differentiate ourselves from our siblings, from our school buddies, and from our coworkers. Humans are driven to stand out. This truth is self evident in the current fashion trend of tattoos and piercings.
For Eve to be real, CCP must enable capsuleers to be different; to stand out. That is what V3 better be about; engine trails too!

Yes, there are some few who've managed to do that through blogs, the CSM or what not but that does not address the needs of the other 99%. They too must be able to feel like they matter. It also must be done inside the game. That way, every other Eve player has a chance to see it.
Putting a cool paint job on your ship is one way to allow individualism. Eve players desperately crave the ability to customize their ships. I know I do. If you say you don't, I won't call you a liar but I'm also not going to get near you. Such a statement flies in the face of my human experience and I'd have to label you a loon.

But just skins for ships won't go far enough. Here is a list (incomplete I'm sure) of what I think should have been in the NEX from the very beginning:

  • Ship logos both personal and corporate.
  • Kill markers to go below the cockpit.
  • Ship skins to contrast with our logos and kill markers.
  • Colored engine trail modules.
  • Custom POS shield colors.
  • Custom warp bubble colors (why not?)
  • And while we're at it, how about custom drone skins?
  • How about the ability to buy back lost, one of a kind ships that CCP has given out over the years so long as you don't already have one. Would anyone object to that? It really doesn't affect game play but it sure as hell would gut the collectors' market.
  • And the piece de resistance, a personal, anchorable billboard that can accept my OWN recruitment ad or whatever else I want on it!
  • Oh, and I want my damn SNOWBALLS back!
Now, is any of this stuff something a capsuleer would spend real money on? Oh, you betcha bubba! Had the NEX been about FiS rather than WiS, this last summer could have been completely different. CCP would have a new revenue stream and most of the pieces in place to do all those other things. Eve would be more real and FOR REAL again. It's not too late.

Fly careful.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

So, they ARE working on warp effects!

It's in there (time mark 2 minutes, 10 seconds.) Now I only hope it's not just a fix to the tunnel not always showing up - "definitely." It'd be nice not to see planets swoosh by.

In development: CCP's Art Department part II
This also gives me another real (i.e. successful) post but I'll need to think about it awhile.

Fly careful.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

What Eve really needs to make it real - Part 2

Speaking of unreal elements within Eve Online, another thing that has always broken my belief suspension is the manner in which ships take damage. I can't think of a single instance in real naval combat where a ship functioned perfectly right up to the moment it blew up (HMS Hood not withstanding.) The Bismarck, allegedly, never had its main armor belts pierced by the British. Salvo after salvo and torpedo after torpedo failed to sink the mighty Bismarck.The ship was, however, doomed by a "lucky" torpedo drop that damaged its rudder. The Germans had to scuttle it in the end.

In Eve, our ships go through three phases of damage - shields, armor and structure. Yet our heads up display functions perfectly up until the moment our pod pops out - and even after that. We have target locks until the bitter end. The computer connections between processor and display never fail. Hell, we can even warp out unless actively prevented no matter how much damage the ship's sustained. That's not very realistic. Why can't we have system failures as our armor gets blown off bit by bit?

It certainly would add an interesting bit of realism to the 1x1 PvPs where the victor limps away with 10% structure. Wouldn't it be exciting if his tactical display went out half way through the fight and he had no idea if the pilot he'd just vanquished had friends on the way? What if his navigation computer was knocked offline and he had no idea where the gate or nearest station was? The Bismarck had no choice but to make straight (pun intended) for Brest though every bit of armament on that battle-wagon still functioned perfectly.

Why doesn't this happen in EVE? It would make everyone think twice about attacking someone else. If there was a risk that they might not get home with their loot, even if they were successful, would they still choose to engage? Sure, pilots can overheat modules risking a burnout but the pilot chooses to overheat. He accepts the risk. What if the risk was there whether she wanted it or not? Would that not be more real?

This would revolutionize game play in a way that more cap and less mass ever will. What's the real difference between an armor and a shield tank? One melts fast early and one melts fast later. That's all, a big fat nothing in reality terms. Sure, shields regenerate on their own and armor doesn't but BFD. Armor tanks get extra allotments for armor repairers. Their designed for it. Now, if damage to armor and structure cause component failures the whole game changes.

Shield tanks might have less of a chance of loosing components so long as their buffer holds. This makes them superior early in a fight. However, once they dip into armor the failures come fast and furious. Armor tanks may loose components relatively early in the fight, but not at as high a rate as shield tanks and probably not the most critical systems. Also, armor reppers could have a chance of repairing a damaged component. It'd change the basic nature of both tank types in ways that would make combat more real. Shield tanks would have to have hull reppers for battlefield repairs. Some damage should only be repairable by hull reppers regardless of tank. The useless becomes useful if properly employed. Hull reppers might be the difference in a fleet staying in space and winning the day...

...or limping back to space dock with their slagged components between their legs.

Regardless of how it's done, there will be an emotional satisfaction that can only come from believing you were in a real spaceship with real problems to solve. There would be no "best" fit. Every situation would dictate whether your fit passes muster or not. Chance would ensure your honesty. Even the baddest ass Super-Cap fleet could succumb to fate. Even a Titan could lose it's ability to maneuver and wouldn't that be something?

Eve must become more real to survive. They need to not only scrub the art and the mechanics of space travel, CCP also needs to add Murphy back into the game. No fleet fight should ever be a sure thing. No POS bash should ever be a simple matter of calculator and timing. No 1x1 should ever be predictable regardless of what is flown or the experience of the pilot. It's easy for a pilot to know his ship's capabilities. It's real when she doesn't know if those capabilities will be there when she needs them most.

Lastly, with Murphy back in the game, nerfs become unnecessary except in the most extreme cases. Balance is achieved through fate, not programming. Nerfs are like scientific discoveries. For every question answered, two more arise. For every ship balanced, another takes its place. Drake fleets, HAC gangs, Super-cap fleets, Dramiels and the list goes on and on and never ends. Next up are the tier 3 battle-cruisers.  That's cool, but it's not the answer CCP. Eve needs a real element of chance.

What do you think could be done to make Eve combat more real?

Fly Careful.

Friday, October 28, 2011

What Eve really needs to make it real - Part 1

There are a lot of opinions about what Eve needs to make it real - which I hold is a euphemism for making Eve successful. One idea that gets short-shifted it seems is the idea of immersion. Most player see it as a role playing issue and since RPers are a small part of Eve it doesn't matter. I feel that is a mistake.

Immersion is perhaps the most important part of the game - to everyone. What people do consciously isn't what cements the love in their heart. It's all about how they feel subconsciously. It's an emotional cement that no new battle-cruiser or change in PI could ever evoke. No matter how much I get into flying Keiko through space, that enjoyment is invariably ruined when I warp straight through a planet. Logically I know that's the reality of the graphics engine. Subconsciously I scream, "That's not possible!" The mood is lost. The cement it seems doesn't have enough lime.

Warping through planets has been a long standing RP complaint. It's one that may not be fixable. Who knows. I doubt CCP has spent any time trying to resolve it. They too seem to feel like more ships and bigger guns and better fleet fights are what really satisfy Eve players. That's fun for sure, but in the long run it's not satisfying.  It's not enough to keep most people playing long term. If you are reading this and have been playing Eve less than six months, look deep down inside and ask yourself what you'll do when you've done everything. Will you stick around? Most don't. That's been an acknowledged issue for a long time.

It's easy to say it can be fixed with continuous "stuff to do in space" expansions. I think that's a misdiagnoses. Until the last expansion, CCP did a good job of that. However, there are many who complained that things were broken. This needed fixed and that needed fixed and all these other things needed fixed. CCP finally created an entire dev team to deal with them. But was this really a need to fix the mechanics of the game? Or, was it a need to fix the "feel" of the game. If the second, that has immersion issue written all over it. With every expansion, the immersion problem has gotten larger and larger. It's now the biggest gorilla in the room, but it's one CCP still finds too easy to dismiss.

In fact, they've been paying it lip service for so long that I'd started to believe that CCP didn't really get it. I've been secretly preparing myself psychologically for that day when they announce New Eden will end. While I take care of my carebear chores, I am already grieving because I didn't think CCP was capable of pulling it out. That is until the latest art video blog made me do a rethink. Here it is.

Did you catch the key statement made by Basement Ben? It blew me away when he said it. I had to rewind to ensure I'd heard it correctly. He said, "It will give you a much better feel for where you are in space." (Emphasis mine.)

Whoa, that's the most awesome thing I've heard a dev say yet! Seriously, what would a space game be if you didn't "feel" like you were in space? It's be a bad one, that's what it'd be. We are all in love with the beauty that is Eve. But let's be honest, it doesn't make you suspend disbelief. No sci-fi or fantasy will work until you get the reader to suspend his or her disbelief. That is rule number one of the genre and those that write it know what I'm talking about. If you are going to tell a story about Internet Spaceships, you better damn well make your player believe they are in a spaceship!

The idea about being able to identify where you are in space by the stellar objects excites me in ways Eve never has before. If man were to really build an interstellar spaceship, how would it navigate? Okay, how would it navigate in a region of space no one had ever been to before? It's easy to say men would just put out some navigation beacons for everyone to use. That isn't very believable in a whole host of scenarios. What if Sleepers blew them up? What if the system had been fought over for so long that all the maintenance intensive beacons went offline? How would you navigate then capsuleer?

In full belief of being in a spaceship, I'd try and navigate by those objects I could see with my eyes or my instruments. What's the first thing we do when we think we're lost? We start looking for landmarks. We try and get our bearings. What sort of objects are those? They're unique. Their easily distinguished from the other objects around them. They're familiar. In space there are many things that fit those needs. Here is a list of some astronomical phenomenon that would work.

  • Nebula
  • Pulsars
  • Magnetars
  • Quasars
  • Other Galaxies
  • Globular Clusters

A talented capsuleer could identify all these items and use them to navigate. Ship instruments could easily identify them. Honestly, beacons are not needed in space. Space is full of awesome and unique space-marks. Why can't Eve use those too? It would certainly make Eve more real. It would also go a long way in getting players to suspend their disbelief.

Fly careful.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sometimes it's just about making the ISK.

No matter what a capsuleer purports to be, it's always about making the ISK. I'd love to chat but I've a business to run. Have a look at the blogs in my follow list. They've time to chat it seems and there is much goodness there and plenty of thinky-think thoughts. For me - for now - it's all about making the ISK.

Fly careful.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Why I won't walk away from EVE until the bitter end.

This is how it started. I know. I was there - well, I was watching it on the T.V. live you should say. I was 5 years old. I remember it vividly. Since that day, it has been my fantasy to be out there, flying between the stars. It's a condition of my generation and I make no apologies for it.

In the year 1985, I was a young man starting out on my own. Times were tough, and I needed an escape from the reality of where I was.

 I spent hours nearly every weekend on the Apple IIe in Washington Hall indulging my fantasy as best I could. Elite was my favorite. This was so far from where I was, it was easy to forget the hardships. It was my first taste of flying ships in space. I still remember how hard it was to manually dock at the Coriolis station. It took a long time until I was able to afford the auto-docking computer but I never gave up. I crashed time and again. Nothing could deter me! I knew I wanted more - much more.

My next dose of ships in space came in 1993 with Privateer. This game rocked! Getting a trade route setup and making it to each stop without getting blown up was always a thrill. Many a time I went in with guns blazing, though at heart I was always a simple trader. I can't even recount how many times I slid into dock with everything smoking except the cargo. This was also the first game where the universe started to look as it should. It was exhilarating!

The much anticipated sequel to that fine game came in 1996 - Privateer II. In many ways it was a worthy successor. The Heads Up Display finally arrived. Gone were the Star Trek like consoles. In their place came sleekness and a wide open vista! This game really made me feel like I was in space. I so loved it, I wanted VGA goggles and Bose headphones so I could block out the real world. I had life denial bad in those days. It was a time of great disappointment and even greater change. Privateer II was my constant companion and never let me down. It got me through those dark days.

In 2002, the great change that was my life had run its course. I'd weathered the storm and the next was still beyond the horizon - out of sight. My perseverance was rewarded with a fantasy come true (or so I liked to think.) Earth and Beyond was that reward. Now I could fly with others. I was no longer alone in the universe. Finally, we had Internet Space Ships!

It did not last long but it was glorious. There were so many things wrong with this MMO, yet there were so many things right. To be sure, EA didn't really get Internet Spaceships. They thought in terms of hack and slash fantasy gaming, and their game mirrored that limited mindset. But it was gorgeous and it was Internet Spaceships. I gladly drank the cool-aid though it was over far too quickly.

It took a little known company from a volcanic, snow-covered island called Iceland to figure it out. CCP released Eve Online on May 6, 2003 and it was astounding!

From the beginning, it was obvious this company got Internet Spaceships. Expansion after expansion proved this, even if they weren't always completely bug free. The game grew in subscribers and in legend.  I became a capsuleer in 2008. It was the fulfillment of an 18 year quest to be out there, among the stars, with an entire universe to explore. I'd finally made it and the 5 year old inside me squealed with glee.

That is why I will not leave Eve. It is the dream that comes from watching a man step onto a world he was not born on.

Fly careful.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

PI is changing and what it means for this carebear.

You can read all about the coming changes to PI <at this Dev blog>. I will not repeat what it says. You can read it there - go ahead, I'll wait (how many times have you read THAT in an Eve blog. *LOL*)

It is very easy, at first, to get all up in arms about change. We all saw what went on this summer. Somehow I think these changes will not illicit the shooting of monuments in Jita. However, it will affect the wallets of everyone, including nul-sec PvP pilots and maybe even pirates.

Null-sec will see yet one more expense for holding sovereignty. It may cause an increase in taxes. That'll be up to each corps. Only time will tell. If this dampens the desire for PI in non-empire space, pirates may have fewer opportunities to plunder. It could happen, but I'm not banking on it.

Personally I don't really care about the changes to Custom Offices outside empire space. I'm a citizen of the Gallente Federation. There is no better place to live. 'nuf said.

However, the fact that every Customs Office outside Empire will now be player run (and player destroyed) makes be smile broadly. I manufacture Wetware Mainframes. I see an increase in demand in my future. I'm fairly certain that will mean an increase in gross profit. It'll be nice to see them over a million ISK each again. Of course, that will happen only so long as other's don't switch their production. That may happen but Wetware Mainframes are not currently the number one choice of industrialists in PI. I just like building computers I guess. *grin*

That should offset the increase in cost to heavy lift. Even if it doesn't, I'm not going to cry foul. It's the end of a good run but honestly, the costs of getting things off planet was always a joke. Those costs were never a real consideration in the profitability of my PI. Perhaps now they will be. I'll have to see how much of that increase is offset by a higher gross profit.

The change in how things are gotten in and out of the gravity well is also welcome, but is not a party moment.

What really did get my attention was this statement:
"Oh and one more thing, we have increased the bandwidth on all planetary links by a factor of five!"
Hot damn! Now THAT will be very nice indeed. Some of my links in Empire PI must needs be upgraded twice. That quadruples the link bandwidth (doubled doubled.) This one sentence at the end of the blog could mean an extra couple of extractor heads per extractor or even a basic factory. It'll mean I won't have to re-position Space Ports as often on large worlds - like gas giants. That alone could save millions a month, while allowing me to continue plumbing the depths of the most productive hot spots. Yes, that one line is a welcome announcement in deed.

The last thing I'd like to say is this:

To everything - spin, spin, spin
There is a reason- spin, spin, spin
And a time for every purpose in the hanger 
A time to be cloned, a time to fit
A time to stack, a time to split
A time to buy, a time to sell
A time to LOL, a time to troll 
To everything - spin, spin, spin
There is a reason- spin, spin, spin
And a time for every purpose in the hanger 
A time to invent, a time to process
A time to research, a time to fail
A time to sit on a couch
A time to stare at doors in anger 
To everything - spin, spin, spin
There is a reason- spin, spin, spin
And a time for every purpose in the hanger 
A time of war, a time of peace
A time of chat, a time of block
A time you may undock
A time to refrain from undocking 
To everything - spin, spin, spin
There is a reason- spin, spin, spin
And a time for every purpose in the hanger 
A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to fight, a time to burn
A time to taunt, a time for tears
A time of GF, I swear it's not too late!

Hooray for ship spinning!!! Thank you CCP!

Fly careful.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

I was mistaken. That's all.

I don't really read Twitter. However, once in awhile I get curious. This was in response to my post, "The Goons screwed up."

Andrew WigginMabrick You're aware that the speculation is ending just before supply runs out, right? Hint: You're stupid  

A troll! Yee-haw! It's a new milestone. Of course, I could have been trolled before and not even noticed. I don't care about such things. Everyone is entitled to an opinion - even an obnoxious one. Nevertheless, I'll count this as my first official trolling. Thanks!

BTW, I was wrong. Prices climbed again a few days after my post. Evidently the Goons didn't screw up.
Good on them! This does not make me stupid however. I unequivocally am not and know it. It only makes me mistaken, and we are all mistaken from time to time. That's how we learn and grow as human beings. I'm good with that.

Fly careful.