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Friday, May 31, 2013

Exploration Revamp is a Win-Win

My friend TurAmarth and I agree on many things, but not this time. In his latest blog post, Slowest Kid in the Class FTW!!, he blasts CCP's changes to probe management as the stupidest thing CCP has ever done. I couldn't disagree more. I think it is brilliant.

The first thing I want to say about this is actually throwing something back at Tur. In a comment on my post about corporate economics last week, he said this:
"You need to read and then relate this to Ripard's Magic Box post...
Fascinating Intricacy or Useless Complexity?"
Tur, you need to go read Ripard's Magic Box post again. Probe mechanics as they are now is a useless complexity. In a civilization as advanced as New Eden's, why in gods' name can't we program an auto-return subroutine into our probes? If the probes are smart enough to identify ships from cosmic signatures, don't they have enough computing capacity to know when they are almost out of fuel? And since they are constantly communicating with the ship they came from, don't they know when that ship is preparing to jump?

Maybe that last's a bit of a stretch for the probe to sense, but the ship knows. With the things the ship must do to get ready to jump, can't one of those hundreds of checklist items be, "recall all probes?" I am sure there are hundreds of adjustments the ship must make, hell, just stowing the guns would require dozens of adjustments. Calling probes back is simple by comparison. They do most of the work. If I were programming a scanning system, I sure as hell would make that a priority. Why must the capsuleer waste his time doing such a mundane task? These are the types of tasks which are best automated, like stowing the damn guns.

I think having truly automated probes lends MORE immersion to the game. It does so from two perspectives. The first perspective is the, "we are so advanced our probes can almost think for themselves" view. You know, like our ships. Aura already can think for herself. It's in the lore. She's an AI. Wouldn't it be immersive if she said, "Preparing to jump. Recalling probes. Stowing guns. Jump drive engaged!" The second point of view is that this change allows the player to concentrate on exploring rather than probe management. What is more immersive than looking out your screen at the beauty that is New Eden rather than constantly checking a probe timer? Let Aura do that. It's what she's there for.

I've also run through a bunch of the new mini-game puzzles that come with exploration now. It is easy to forget you have probes deployed when you start working these little puzzles. Losing probes because you're immersed in the mini-game would be the stupid mechanic in my opinion. Every new bro that loses probes because they were playing the mini-game will hate it for distracting them. This doesn't include the concentration needed now to grab the loot. It would have nothing but negative affects on their desire to continue playing the game if they lost their probes for playing the game.

Because frankly, exploration is a new bro activity. It is one of the carebear play-styles players can start straight away. It was the thing my son wanted to do after coming back to Eve Online. He loves the idea of discovering things while flying around in his Internet spaceship.That is immersion for him and it's what keeps him in the game this second time. The first time he tried Eve Online he choose Amarr, which put him on the opposite side of high-sec from me. He wanted to mine with me so he tried to fly from there to Cistuvaert. I bet you can guess what happened. Yeah, he lost his most valuable ship, his mining barge, to a gank. He stopped playing the game for two years. It was a rage quit for sure but it was lost revenue to CCP. This is how we eat our young. When I finally convinced him to give Eve Online another try, he took on exploration because the ship was less expensive and no one ganks a frigate - usually.

So I see this change as a win-win for both lowering the useless complexity of Eve Online and for making an already popular new bro occupation more new bro friendly. I'll gladly turn over probe management to Aura for that trade off. But there is one problem with the change that is coming. Several bloggers have already mentioned it. The probe market is going to crash. I don't see any way to avoid that outcome as things stand now. There is something CCP could implement that would address this issue and perhaps it'll assuage your ire.

I'd like CCP to make probes destructible when in use. We need a way to pinpoint probes, or at least get a reasonably good location on them. To this end, I want CCP to create a smartbomb probe. This is a true combat probe. It would launch from an expanded probe launcher and it's only mission would be to find and blow up other probes. It would not normally detect ships or ever detect cosmic signatures. But it would have the ability to hone in on the communications stream constantly running from another's probes back to a ship. This would have two effects. First, you could locate the other probes and detonate your smartbomb probe to eliminate them. Second, you could locate the scanning ship based on the communications streaming to it - even if it is cloaked. Think about that for awhile. I'll leave further details up to CCP.

Fly Careful

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

CONCORDOKKEN, Destroyers and the War Dec System

This is one of my mumblings. I've decided to record it. I get curious about things and that leads to other things and that sometimes leads to interesting insights. These insights can lend evidence to past conjectures, but they also help me understand what's going on in New Eden as a whole.

To help with these mumblings there are lots and lots of data available. New Eden has it's own Big Data source to be sure. One of them is Eve-Kill. Did you know Eve-Kill keeps stats for CONCORD? They do, follow the link. Of course, not all CONCORDOKKEN get recorded I'm sure. But I'm also sure there are enough records to be statistically relevant. So what does EVE-Kill's CONCORD statistics tell us?

Well, there were 11,939 CONCORDOKKEN recorded for the month of April. Here's the breakdown.
Of all the CONCORDOKKEN, 88% of them came down on destroyers and battlecruisers, with destroyers being the far more prevalent offender at 72% of all ships CONCORDOKKENED.
Now, if I click on the destroyer ship type (I've provided a direct link,) I can see exactly which destroyers were destroyed. On the first page of 50 dead destroyers, 45 are Catalysts, one is an Interbus Catalyst, one is an Algos and the remaining three are Thrashers. It's not until page four that the ratio changes appreciably. On that page, alot of Thrashers show up. But on the next page, it goes back to being very predominantly Catalysts.

Huh, looking down the list of involved alliances, it reads like a who's who of null-sec: lots of dinosaur and insect icons. It certainly looks like those icons appear more often than general census statistics would dictate. Let's ctrl-click on the link to bring up the alliance kill records for each in a new tab. Interesting, Goonswarm lost a total 2627 destroyers in April and Test Alliance Please Ignore lost 2889. I must calculate percentages! Wow, these losses account for about 25% of Goonswarm losses and about 15% of TEST's losses in April.

That 25% figure sure is intriguing. One in four ships lost by Goonswarm in April was a destroyer? I know of no sane fleet doctrine in null-sec that calls for destroyer fleets. Still, I wouldn't want to assume all the losses were in high-sec. I quick rundown of the first 50 destroyer losses from April for Goonswarm should give me an indication of what's going on. Hm, it shows nine destroyers were actually lost in null-sec. One was lost in low-sec. That leaves 40 destroyers lost in high-sec. Let's do a quick spot check of those high-sec losses. Those not listing CONCORD as the Final Blow deliverer do show CONCORD as the top damage dealer in most cases. And page two and page three look much the same as does the last page. Interestingly the second to the last page shows many Cormorant kills in null-sec. Evidently there was a battle in DP-1YE - between Goonswarm and TEST according to the victim and killer columns.

What's the Eve-Kill listing for DP-1YE show I wonder? Ah, there was a TEST versus Goonswarm battle on April 4th. Looking through the listed kills shows around 100 losses in DP-1YE that day - almost all of them destroyers. Goonswarm looks to have killed TEST destroyers with a variety of ships, tending to be attack battlecruiser heavy. TEST seems to be very fond of the Talwar for some reason. Spot checking several of their kills show only Talwar in the participating ship list. Isn't that odd! I need to look at other dates for this system. Ah ha, there was another large scale destroyer destruction in DP-1YE on April 25th between Fatal Ascension and TEST. TEST again lost a lot of Talwar with heavy Talwar participation in the kills they did get. Fatal Ascension was, like Goonswarm, attack battlecruiser oriented. Being pets of Goonswarm, I'd expect nothing less.

I'm getting sidetracked here. Time to go back to the Catalysts. The fracas between TEST and CFC spilled over into high-sec quite a bit in April. Lots of Talwar and Cormorant losses in the list. However, the Catalysts remained CONCORD fodder for the most part during the month. Was no war declared? If it had been, CONCORD would not have been involved. That makes me wonder if both sides are dispensing with the expense of declaring war because it's cheaper to lose thousands of destroyers than pay the war cost. This more than anything confirms to me the whole war price mechanic is an absolute failure. It only prevents small groups from declaring war on big groups. The big groups don't even bother it seems.

They prefer to gank, I think (LOL.) The catalyst numbers strongly indicate this. Does that mean high-sec did become a gankers' paradise. Perhaps. But overall it indicates TEST is containing costs by flying a lot of inexpensive ships (and losing them,) Goonswarm has an attack battlecruiser doctrine (derp,) catalysts are still the preferred gank ship (duh) and ganking for Goonswarm is still an equal opportunity pastime. When CONCORD didn't deliver the last blows, the pilots who were awarded that honor are from all sorts of organizations. Too bad I can't get a breakdown by destroyer variant by location. I sure would like to know the percent of Goonswarm losses that were just Catalysts in high-sec. I should take the time to do that manually another day...

Well, that was an interesting mumble. I think it laid the seeds of another mumble later. I'll give it a rest for now though and see how curious I get. Until then there's a business to take care of.

Fly Careful

Monday, May 27, 2013

It's Memorial Day

This is an OOC post and a bit of a downer. If you don't want introspection then you should probably just move on. But there is something that needs said so at least read the next paragraph.

I have a problem with this day - on a couple of levels. One issue might involve you so here it is. This is a day to remember those who gave their life in the service of the United States while wearing the uniform of its armed forces. I don't care what your politics of the day are, these are people who believed so strongly in defending a worthy ideal they gave their life doing so.

Yet so many have turned this into just another holiday with a parade and a party, as if it were some sort of circus come to town. For most this weekend now seems to be about a paid vacation day, the BBQ and the campout rather than remembering those who died ensuring we could have a Memorial Day. The best of these people at least pay them lip service before popping the cap of their beer bottle. Many do not even think about it. That saddens me to contemplate. Those who died for our freedom deserve a better remembrance than that.

The other thing that disquiets me on this day is I do remember those who've died while in uniform. They were my friends and I miss them. So I am dedicating this next section to formally remembering each of those I knew personally who've died serving us. Most of them were young; full of hopes and dreams when they died. I couple were older and full of hope and dreams. They sacrificed those hopes and dreams for something they thought was more important - us. The least we could do is say their names out loud. Please take a moment to do so.


Matthew Damian Cashin

Charles Patrick Moses

Wayne Martin Locklin

Christopher Douglas Kurkowski

Tommie William Bates

Frank Melvin Kennedy

Willie James Childs

John Michael McHugh


There are many, many others to memorialize. As I said though, these are the men I knew personally. If you personally know someone who died in the service of your country, I frankly don't care which country it is, please list the name in the comments of this Memorial Day post. I'd like to help remember them - to speak their name out loud. It's the least we could do for the most they've sacrificed. Then we can go to the BBQ and celebrate that which they have given us.

In Memoriam

Friday, May 24, 2013

Connecting the Dots Known as Anoikis

During her Fanfest presentation, CCP Seagull referenced 1-year rolling plans, a 3-year road map and a 5-year vision for Eve Online. It was during the 5-year vision talk that she mentioned things like "space colonization" and the "right kind of stargate." This has echoed in the back of my mind ever since.

One reason is because it made me want to shout, "Hey, there already IS space colonization going on. It's call Anoikis. We colonized it. Something you thought we'd never do, but we did." That statement is true. I live in a wormhole system with a whole lot of other capsuleers. It is ours. We have colonized it.

Of course, I didn't shout that at my monitor while I watched Fanfest. I'm not that far gone. But I have also never stopped thinking about it. Most players see this space colonization possibility as referencing new space. There are plenty of hints to that effect. I don't disagree with such speculation. There will eventually be new space for capsuleers to explore, conquer and call their own. I think the vision goes so far as to allow for completely capsuleer run empires out there among the stars.

But what I want to know is will CCP do this for currently colonized systems as well. What could this mean for Anoikis? Part and parcel to this colonization vision, which is fait accompli in Anoikis, is the "right kind of stargate" thing. For a group of capsuleers to get to these new colonization areas, they would have to build a new type of stargate. It would be a huge undertaking but it would open up these new frontiers. Would CCP allow them to be built in Anoikis? Why not?

Gates do not currently exist in Anoikis for a variety of reasons, the biggest one being the Sleepers. I am certain they would destroy any gate before it was completed. But that was before capsuleers started colonizing Anoikis. In our system, we have the Sleepers firmly under control. They are not a threat. The sleeper argument is moot.

The other issue I see with stargates in wormholes would be the strange weather we have. Black Holes, Wolf-Rayets, Cataclysmic Variables: they all have to play hell with current gate technology. That's now however. In the future, gates will be more advanced. Why couldn't enterprising, intelligent and dedicated capsuleers research and develop gates that compensate for Anoikis weather? I am certain Sleeper technology holds the secret to that technology. Let that sink in a moment. With advanced stargates and wormhole technology we could built stargates in Anoikis space.

Again I ask, why not? All worm hole systems have their random connections. After living here for some time, I've come to understand they really aren't all that difficult to manipulate. We do it all the time. Need a good pipe to high-sec for loot movement and the current pipe sucks? Roll the static and get a new pipe! Don't like that K162 from null-sec? We can mass close it in seconds. We control our wormholes just as assuredly as CONCORD controls high-sec stargates. We just have to go through a few extra steps to do it. It really is not that hard.

Currently there is one thing that is damn hard to do in Anoikis: conduct multi-system operations. There is no guarantee that once a capsuleer organization expands into another wormhole system they'll have access to that system again once the connection dies. Eventually another connection would be found. In fact, we do similar connection finding operations already for other reasons. But it's damned dicey, takes time, and isn't a lot of fun.

If I could build a stargate to connect two wormhole systems together, I'd be very, very tempted to do so. Does that constitute an extreme risk? Yes, it does. There is the time and ISK involved in building it in the first place and the cost of having a "direct" line of advance into your home as well. Is it a game destabilizing change? I doubt it. It just makes easier what we already to. As with all things, the pros and the cons must be weighed - but I am certain there are those in Anoikis who would build stargates if for no other reason than to reduce the complexity of that black box Jester wrote about. It would be nothing more than the Anoikis version of a super-capital and jump bridge. It doesn't ruin null-sec so I doubt it'll ruin Anoikis.

So if stargates are allowed in Anoikis, what could they connect to? Could a C6 connect directly to high-sec? Why not? I would say this must be allowed under the "in for a penny, in for a pound" philosophy. But don't make it easy. In fact, a stargate from Anoikis to known space would be the most difficult, and most expensive, stargate to build.

Anoikis Stargate Tech Tree
If I had to formulate a technology tree for Anoikis stargates, this is what I would envision. Like known space, there would be different sizes of stargate to get to various types of regions. Constellation stargates would be the smallest and easiest to build. Stargates to known space would be extremely hard to build. The construction of these stargates would also require sleeper technology to compensate for the nature of wormhole space. This would be different than "normal" capsuleer advanced stargates. That would make these gates a T3 technology. Standard advanced capsuleer built gates would be a T2 technology leaving the current gates as the T1 versions.

So what do you think? Should wormhole denizens be allowed to build stargates should CCP's vision come to pass? I'd like to read arguments from both sides of that question. If yes, why and how do you think it would affect Anoikis? If no, why not and who would it hurt? With CCP looking to make the sandbox even more engaging, I can't imagine they would really want to just dismiss this possibility. For the same effort they will invest anyway, they could create an entirely new challenge to some of the most hard core and dedicated players they have. That's gotta be worth consideration.

Fly Careful


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Corporate Economics and a Real World Solution Envisioned

"Every man, as long as he does not violate the laws of justice, is left perfectly free to pursue his own interest his own way, and to bring both his industry and capital into competition with those of any other man, or order of men." - Adam Smith, Chapter IX, p. 749, Book IV, The Wealth of Nations

Over on Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah, Kirith Kodachi fingers a long simmering issue for corporations everywhere. How do you fund the organization? It's a serious issue for many corporations and for the economy as a whole.

Kirith correctly points out that it is all too easy to create inflation in the economy. Economic management is a tricky balancing act made less easy by too many hands in the pot. New Eden's economy, for all it's vaunted similarities to the real world, is still a highly artificial economy. I count this problem with taxation as symptom of that larger malaise.

No doubt CCP could treat the symptom. One thing corporations do is earn profit. From that profit they pay bills, some of which are employee paychecks. I would not be opposed to a change in Eve Online where all ISK made by a corporation member goes to the corporation. A percentage of that gross profit would then go back to the employee as a wage, determined by the corporation and the member based on that members abilities and contributions. Call it reverse taxation if you like, most people just call it a paycheck.

If you don't like that model, you could use the American Medical Association model, or any other model used by organizations with large voluntary memberships. Let's say a person wants to be a member of Goonswarm. There are many benefits Goonswarm provides it's members. That's never been something anyone could deny, not even me. Goonswarm could (should) charge pilots to be members of such an organization, flat out, no tax system needed. If someone doesn't pay their dues, kick them and set them red. Confiscate all their assets first if you like. Either way, if they don't pay they don't play.

Those are just two off the console ideas. There are many hurdles to clear to implement either of those suggestions, I won't deny that. It's easy for me to sit here and throw out suggestions. That's not the point though. What I really want to get across is the current taxation model is the wrong model. When CCP sits down and looks at a major industry revamp, I want them to consider making the current corporate model parallel the real world. That's where we need to go to correct this issue.

It's been written many times that the Eve Economy is unlike any other MMORPG in that it works like a real economy. So should our corporations. When I go to work for HBHI and SYJ, everything I make should go to them and for that I should get a paycheck. That might include housing allowance (POS space) and health care (clone reimbursement.) When on official company business, I should get paid mileage (ship reimbursement.)

This is already done in SYJ to a large degree. The alliance, no, let's call it a mega-corporation, takes possession of all sleeper loot. That's the mega-corporation's gross profit. The mega-corporation then pays each participating pilot a share of that profit. That's our paycheck. We have insurance. It is a ship reimbursement fund, the ISK for which comes from PvP loot. If we lose a ship on a mega-corporation job the insurance kicks in. It works quite well and it is all handled by our mega-corporation leadership using financial books (spreadsheets!) done outside the Eve client.

It would be nice to see some controls built into Eve to make it possible within the client. Is it a lot to stick into the game? Yes, it is. Will Eve Online ever be exactly like RL? Probably not, but any move in that direction would be a good move in my opinion. The models already exist for all of it. CCP would have to invent nothing. They'd just need to insure the game follows the models already guiding stock exchanges throughout the world.

And that's something else I've been mumbling to myself about. I'd like to see a New Eden Stock Exchange. The NESE would allow corporations and mega-corporations to become publicly traded entities. Expand those "shares" listed on the corporation page. A pilot wouldn't have to be a member of Goonswarm to get a piece of the Goonswarm financial action so to speak. Goonswarm would benefit from cash inflow. They would pay dividends, make quarterly reports, and all those other things mega-corporations do. If they don't, investors will take their ISK elsewhere. Supply and demand would control this market just like it does the current commodities market in New Eden.

But let's forget about Goonswarm for a moment (yeah, I know, that's difficult, but do it anyway.) Let's talk about all those Indy Corporations who live, work, and die all over New Eden. They may be a high-sec corporation or a renter corporation out in null-sec. They may be into T3 manufacturing or drugs. It wouldn't matter. If you could invest your ISK into those companies based on projections of possible future profit, how cool would that be? Forget about station trading, the real money is in the stock market! Do you hear me Gevlon?

This is a sort of dream I have. CCP, when you get around to thinking about how industry and the markets should work at the end of your five-year vision, take a look at the London Stock Exchange, the NYSE and  the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Allow New Eden companies to work like RL companies. Let us leverage our assets off. Give us the opportunity to become the next IBM of Wetware Mainframes or the next Solyndra of Nanite production. Either way, it'll be because of our economic chops (or lack thereof.) Give us that and you truly will make gaming history.

Fly Careful


Monday, May 20, 2013

Beginner's Luck

There's not much to discuss for the weekend. Friday night I managed to add six (6) more kills to my kill board, including another capital ship. That puts me at 21 kills and 10 losses (and yes, that's in five years, LOL!) If someone didn't know better, you'd start to think I was a PvPer.

However, this was (mostly) home defense. Friday night we had a good high-sec pipe. As is often the case, we had transports lining up to take things out and bring more things in. This night was no different. When I logged into alliance comms it was full of chatter about scout reports and worm hole mass statuses. As my cloaky Tengu came to life, I joined the home system fleet and tried to catch-up on operational statuses.

A few minutes went by when over comms came the excited voice of one of our Loki scouts. He had just spotted a battleship, a Bhaalgorn I think it was, being escorted to another system's K162 (or some such.) That system alliance command knew was occupied by Polarized I gathered as the comm channel quickly lit up. While the CTA went out, I kicked my Tengu into warp as the Loki pilot engaged the targets.

Though combat in Anoikis is never unexpected, the timing of this combat was less than optimal. Many alliance members where watching PvP of a different sort.
However, the response to the CTA was more than commendable if not a little, well, kitchen sink like. Have a look at the battle report and you'll see what I mean.

We had everything from T1 battle cruisers to Archons involved in the fight. Our fleet ended up being about half armor and half shield. The engagement escalated to capital ship level as triage carriers arrived along with a Dreadnought. We lost 10 ships. They lost 9. We managed to explode their Archon. In other words, it was a perfect meeting engagement.
"A meeting engagement, a term used in warfare, is a combat action that occurs when a moving force, incompletely deployed for battle, engages an enemy at an unexpected time and place."
Other than having to warp out briefly to break a target lock by the neut Bhaalgorn that was threatening to cap me out, I took no damage during the fight. That's got to be beginner's luck. Or the fact we were fighting in a Cataclysmic Variable system and a passive tanked Tengu was the right ship for the system. It was hella fun! GF, Polarized; thanks for bringing it on!

But there is one thing about the fight that I really, really kick myself over. In my rush to get there and the ensuing mayhem, I completely forgot to FRAPS the damn thing. ARG.

Fly Careful

Friday, May 17, 2013

Odyssey Launcher, Undock, and Hacking

More Odyssey features have made their way onto Singularity, the test server. Tonight I ignored the CTA (Sorry Pell) and took some more video of what you can expect to see just two and a half weeks from now.

The first thing I'd like to cover I couldn't actually get a video of so I took a couple of screen shots. It is the new launcher redesign we appear to be getting come June 4th. Here it is.
The first thing I see is what appears to be a Single Sign On (SSO) in the upper left corner. There is also a rather prominent Latest News in the lower right sort of pop-out area. Not so prominent is the row of options across the top right including a drop-down localization selection which includes English, German, Russian and Japanese. Except the news for all the non-English sections seems to be in Latin and says something like,
"We will be sure to post a comment. But who can not get soft loans lake. Home education, math teachers improve vehicles, ..."
and,
"We will be sure to post a comment. But who can not get soft loans lake. Recent cartoon, funny hairstyle sauce"
Weird. Moving on, the most prominent feature of all though is the little box just above the Latest News. No, the one that says EVE TV. It's a button actually. So I clicked it. This is what I got.
The launcher now has a YouTube client embedded in it tied to CCP's channel. That is very snazzy CCP. And speaking of YouTube videos, here is another in my series on Odyssey features, including the new hacking mini-game! Enjoy!



Fly Careful

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Re-evaluating the Meaning of Being Mabrick

I am a carebear by temperament. But I live in the deadliest space in New Eden. I am a lone wolf by disposition. But I am part of a 500 man alliance. To say this is dichotomy is the grossest of understatements. To state it has nearly been psychosis would be closer to the truth yet is hyperbole. The fact is I have had to think hard about my place in the Eve Universe, and re-evaluate the meaning of being Mabrick.

It began with a war-dec. I choose my words carefully and they found their mark. There are those who say you should leave sleeping bears be. But I've little patience for demagoguery and it isn't freedom of expression if you're intimidated into remaining silent. You could say my soul searching, if you would, started back then. I made my choice and that set me on a path I'd rather not have taken but principles would not let me ignore.

When the war ended, I agreed to join HBHI in their old C3. The path I'd set upon I could not drag others down. They were new bros, too young to be traveling my road. They needed a chance to grow up and I took the opportunity to part from them when it was offered. We all defend our homes, our families - those of blood and those of choice. That is human nature.  I handed over my corporation and it's asset and left for unknown space. That was the best way I could defend my new bro family.

HBHI became my family of choice. I was to be their carebear, helping them make the ISK needed to maintain our home. Part of me hoped that would be all I ever had to do. That it would be enough. I contested any probing of our home or raiding of our resources, but I stuck to our system and only entered connecting systems as scout. I did not attack others outside our home system and that gave me the illusion of carebeardom if nothing else.

But I soon learned that in Anoikis it is not a matter of if you are forced to PvP, but when. Intellectually I knew it would eventually be necessary when I agreed to join HBHI. The reality of it didn't really set in until we were hard camped by mercenaries. And though I only proved I could DIAF with the best of them, I shipped up and warped out with my chosen family nonetheless.

Perhaps that as much as anything has led to this dilemma in my capsuleer life. Regardless, the situation has changed immensely since that night. HBHI is now part of a bigger vision. It is a vision we as a corporation democratically decided to pursue. That vision is not one of simple defense. It encompasses violence for hire as well as for fun. Perhaps I did not appreciate this aspect of our devil's agreement when I voted to join Surely You're Joking.

If I'm honest about it, it's taken some getting used to - more so than I was completely comfortable with admitting to myself. In secret I questioned if I had made the right choice. I doubt that I am cut out for this new life. The capsuleers I deal with on a daily basis are decidedly not like me. I am quiet; they are loud. I am polite; they are not always. I am reserved; they are in your face brash and bawdy enough to make a whore blush at times.

But for all the rough edges they don't mind rubbing against others,  they are good people. They'd burn out their ship's engines to save your pod. They'll hold the static open for you so you can get home. They'll share their hard earned wisdom with you solicited or not but always when it is most certainly needed.

So it has come to pass that I've fought along side them in three Alliance fleet actions. The first was consensual combat between two C6 alliances. The second was an ambush of two capital ships clearing a sleeper site. The third was last Thursday when we hot-dropped another alliance in Yiratal.

There could have been a fourth, but the unsuspecting capsuleers were flying Mackinaws. There is no fun for me in blowing up an out gunned capsuleer. It's like shooting fish in a barrel. "Where's the sport in that?" I ask myself. And that question, more than anything else, helped me solidify my new understanding of the meaning of being Mabrick.

I'm a carebear by temperament. I don't steal. I don't pod kill unless you're James315. I don't fire on innocents. I don't often PvP. But when I do, I shoot combat ships. That's just the way I am. If this makes me weak in your eyes, please try me.

This is my own personal code of behavior. I expect no one else to follow it. I pass no judgments on those who fly with me if they do what I won't. But don't expect me to warp scramble pods or ambush Mackinaws to teach the miners a lesson. You'll be disappointed with me if you do - but that's better than me being disappointed with myself.

Fly Careful

PS: This is NOT a recrimination of anyone I personally know or don't personally know. It is a personal choice I've decided to share with my readers. I respect your right to act by whatever code of conduct you choose to follow. And understand that when I use the term "do it like a man," I am stating it as the most interesting man in the world would. I am not implying you are not a man for blowing up miners - unless you're James315.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Surely You're Joking

Most of you should know by now that I live in a C6 wormhole along with a bunch of other capsuleers organized under the ticker HAHA or, if you're more inclined to words, Surely You're Joking... or just SYJ if you like. There's a story to the name but it's not for me to tell. Anyway, moving on.

Last Thursday night, at the appointed time, my ship woke up and I got to work. However, it was not your average Anoikis night. Our home was nearly empty. This did not surprise me as I'd received a few alliance messages while the ship hibernated. The alliance had arranged to execute an operation with friends deep into low-sec. All SYJ pilots were encouraged to participate.

As my ship came to life around me, I quickly located the corporation bookmarks. I headed out of our static to see if I could make it to the fleet in time. The fleet was already forming up in the staging area or so alliance comms informed me. Just before I jumped through the static, I officially joined the fleet. It was a big one - over 60 pilots.

Our pipe exited four jumps from Jita that night. As I already had stuff at that station, I decided to leave my Tengu there (this was a T1 cruiser op for regular pilots like me) and jump-cloned into one with no implants. I should have checked where the staging area was first. The only jump-clone I had without implants was in Ardallabier. That was the clone I made when I first joined HBHI in the original C3 quite some months ago. It was 30 jumps from the staging area in Zinkon. I grabbed the only battle cruiser handy, a Drake, and got moving. The fleet was just leaving the staging area as I got underway.

As they were making their way into low-sec, I was catching up with my corp-mates on fleet requirements.
[ 2013.05.10 03:43:08 ] TurAmarth ElRandir > Mab what you flyin?
[ 2013.05.10 03:43:23 ] Mabrick > Don't laugh... a drake. It was close and I just grabbed it.
[ 2013.05.10 03:43:42 ] TurAmarth ElRandir > Uh oh.... Armore T1 fleet, no shield reps...
[ 2013.05.10 03:43:46 ] AINeumann > we are armor just so you know
*HEAD-DESK* 
[ 2013.05.10 03:43:54 ] TurAmarth ElRandir > can you buy n fit an armor T1 on the way...?
[ 2013.05.10 03:44:09 ] Mabrick > Oh, I could go to Jita
[ 2013.05.10 03:44:41 ] AINeumann > or amarr is on the way
[ 2013.05.10 03:44:53 ] TurAmarth ElRandir > just buy n fit n fly FAST!
Fortunately Amarr was in my route to Zinkon. I asked what everyone was flying.
[ 2013.05.10 03:45:03 ] AINeumann > Throw Me
[ 2013.05.10 03:45:14 ] Strigon Leader > Reaver Commander
[ 2013.05.10 03:45:32 ] Mabrick > Amarr it is
[ 2013.05.10 03:45:46 ] TurAmarth ElRandir > =Nostradamus=
From bottom to top, something with neuts (nope,) something laser (nope) and a Myrmidon (hell yeah!) I've actually not had a chance to fly a Myrmidon in all the years I've been a capsuleer. Weird that but there you have it. I grabbed the fit and when I docked in Amarr it took less than 12 minutes to buy and assemble it. I was soon on my way again in a shiny new neutron blaster, 1600 millimeter tungsten plate, scram and web fit Myrmidon. I checked in with the guys as I warped to the first gate.
[ 2013.05.10 04:09:10 ] AINeumann > mab you might still be able to make it
[ 2013.05.10 04:09:31 ] TurAmarth ElRandir > Run Mab RUuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuNN!
[ 2013.05.10 04:09:52 ] TurAmarth ElRandir > This shit is TOO effin COOL!!!!!!!
[ 2013.05.10 04:09:53 ] Mabrick > Just leaving Amarr. I copied AI's Myrm.
On comms, the fleet had arrived in the target system.
[ 2013.05.10 04:10:23 ] TurAmarth ElRandir > Edilkam
[ 2013.05.10 04:10:26 ] TurAmarth ElRandir > we are here...
However, the opposition was nowhere to be seen. This was fine by me. It gave me more time to get there. I warped and jumped on contact as fast as my console would accept input. The Postosuchus, as I'd named the Myrmidon, was getting a hell of a shake down cruise.
[ 2013.05.10 04:19:02 ] AINeumann > how far out are you mab?
[ 2013.05.10 04:21:55 ] Mabrick > Zinkon
The enemy was still unseen. I warped to the low-sec gate... gate-camps be damned. I was either going to get there or I was going to be the first ship lost that night! I lucked out, there was no gate camp. My luck held through the next gate as well. By that time, scouts had finally located the enemy fleet. It was trying to "sneak" around the SYJ fleet and come in by another gate. Fortunately SYJ are not new bros. SYJ continued to wait patiently and I continued to fly through gates as fast as Postosuchus could align and warp.
[ 2013.05.10 04:25:55 ] Mabrick > 4 out
[ 2013.05.10 04:26:20 ] Mabrick > where are you?
[ 2013.05.10 04:26:25 ] TurAmarth ElRandir > SCHWEET>>  Hurry!!
[ 2013.05.10 04:26:26 ] AINeumann > Yiratal
[ 2013.05.10 04:29:22 ] Mabrick > 2
[ 2013.05.10 04:30:05 ] TurAmarth ElRandir > yer gonna make it man!!
I was incredibly lucky. I didn't run into a single capsuleer through nine low-sec gates and arrived at the fleet location just as it was given the order to align to the Balas gate. The enemy fleet landed on us before we warped but that was no big deal. We were ready. Here's what followed.



Fly Careful

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Odyssey Scanning Follow-up

I got a Twitter reply from CCP Paradox reference my comment last video about re-sizing probe spheres using the list. He recommended I try using the on-screen graphical re-sizing: clicking-hold-drag the edge of the sphere rather than using the list right-click menu. Of course I had to check that out! Here are my findings, along with a few other mumbles and discoveries. My apologies for the volume of the background noise.



Fly Careful

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Odyssey Scanning Changes and Gate Effects

The first of the Odyssey builds is now on the test server. I logged in today and checked it out. I made a 16 minute HD video for all of you showing what the new d-scan is like, how scanning with probes is different and ending with several gate jumps because they are cool!


I hope you got some good info from it. There will be more later.

Fly Careful

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Rivive Il Duce

I think it is fair to say Goonswarm is not a democracy. There may be some trappings of the republican ideal when it comes to Goonswarm politics, but is there anyone out there who really believes that if The Mittani or any of the other Goonswarm directors said "no" their veto would be overridden? If you believe this you are naive or worse, in denial.

No, Goonswarm is not Athenian democracy nor is it Roman republicanism. Now, there are many out there saying, "hey stupid, it's a military hierarchy! Derp!" Yes, all military organizations are by necessity authoritarian command structures. Democracy get's people killed on the battlefield. In Eve Online it not only gets ships exploded but capsuleers podded. Thus it is that any PvP corporation, alliance or coalition naturally gravitates to an authoritarian structure in time of conflict. That is the nature of the beast.

But that only pertains to combat. Goonswarm is for the most part not involved in an alliance wide war. They have enforcement actions ongoing but more about that later. That's where the military explanation ends. Random acts of violence do not negate the mootness of the argument. So how is the CFC ruled in this time of peace? In short, by an authoritarian regime.
Authoritarianism is a form of social organization characterized by submission to authority as well as the administration of said authority. In politics, an authoritarian government is one in which political authority is concentrated in a small group of politicians. [1]
So what defines the characteristics of an authoritarian system and how can we be certain Goonswarm is ruled by one? Well, according to Wikipedia, authoritarian regimes manifest thusly.
  • Authoritarianism is characterized by highly concentrated and centralized power maintained by political repression and the exclusion of potential challengers. It uses political parties and mass organizations to mobilize people around the goals of the regime.
  • Authoritarianism emphasizes arbitrary law rather than the rule of law, it often includes election rigging, political decisions being made by a select group of officials behind closed doors, a bureaucracy that sometimes operates independently of rules, which does not properly supervise elected officials, and fails to serve the concerns of the constituencies they purportedly serve. Authoritarianism also tends to embrace the informal and unregulated exercise of political power, a leadership that is "self-appointed and even if elected cannot be displaced by citizens' free choice among competitors," the arbitrary deprivation of civil liberties, and little tolerance for meaningful opposition.
  • A range of social controls also attempt to stifle civil society, while political stability is maintained by control over and support of the armed forces, a bureaucracy staffed by the regime, and creation of allegiance through various means of socialization and indoctrination.
The emphasis is mine and highlights those areas that I know, oft times from personal experience, are manifest within Goonswarm. Who out there does not believe they have a highly concentrated and centralized power structure, that it is a select group, and it has little tolerance for opposition? Don't even get me started on the entire third bullet concerning the stifling of civil society. HELLO, Ministry of Love you knuckleheads who refuse to see it.

As for the rest of the characteristics, I can't say for certain they have or have not manifested themselves. As far as we know, not one has tried to depose The Mittani. I also can't speak to the Goonswarm bureaucracy's internal workings or any desire members of Goonswarm may have to affect a change in leadership. This does not necessarily prove Goonswarm is not ruled by an authoritarian regime. In fact, it opens the door for an even more onerous political formation.

You see, there are many gradations of authoritarianism. We who live in Roman style republican states often lump all authoritarian forms of government into one bushel basket of bad apples. We fail to see there are different forms of authoritarianism that have arisen for various reasons. Just because the Goonswarm political system doesn't hit every single point of the authoritarian spectrum doesn't mean it isn't suffering under a specific form of authoritarianism. Let's consider totalitarianism [2] for instance.

So how does one tell the difference between generic authoritarianism and totalitarianism? There are several categories one compares to make the distinction. Here they are straight from the Wikipedia site.

Does The Mittani not have high charisma? Have they not "functionalized" his leadership by not only creating TheMittani.com website, but admitting the name is now more a role carried on by the ruling few rather than one person? And oh boy, does Goonswarm have an official ideology! Their use of terms like Goon-born and pubie show their disposition toward limited pluralism. Five certainties out of seven (and the other two most probably.) That's gotta be some sort of record. But what really caught my attention were these two explanations of key differences between totalitarians and authoritarians:
(1) Unlike their bland and generally unpopular authoritarian brethren, totalitarian dictators develop a charismatic 'mystique' and a mass-based, pseudo-democratic interdependence with their followers via the conscious manipulation of a prophetic image.
(2) Concomitant role conceptions differentiate totalitarians from authoritarians. Authoritarians view themselves as individual beings, largely content to control; and often maintain the status quo. Totalitarian self-conceptions are largely teleological. The tyrant is less a person than an indispensable 'function' to guide and reshape the universe.
Sansha Kuvakei's balls if the first one doesn't describe The Mittani to a nano-particle! I also see "indispensable 'function' to guide and reshape the universe" as particularly damning as well. Oh, but wait, it gets worse. There are further sub-types of totalitarianism responsible for innumerable heinous crimes against humanity. Compare this definition to Goonswarm and you'll understand the true nature of the situation.
Fascism is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism that came to prominence in mid-20th century Europe. Fascists seek to unify their nation through a totalitarian state that promotes the mass mobilization of the national community, relying on a vanguard party to initiate a revolution to organize the nation on fascist principles. Hostile to liberal democracy, socialism, and communism, fascist movements share certain common features, including the veneration of the state, a devotion to a strong leader, and an emphasis on ultranationalism, ethnocentrism, and militarism. Fascism views political violence, war, and imperialism as a means to achieve national rejuvenation and asserts that nations and races deemed "superior" should attain living space by displacing ones deemed "weak" or "inferior".[3]
The emphasis is mine and the meaning is clear. I could quote goon after goon leader who has espoused fascist ideals, but I really don't need to. Every line of goon propaganda, every goon denunciation, every war declaration from the Ministry of Love proves my point. Goonswarm is a fascist organization and The Mittani is their Duce. But it's okay, Eve Online is just a game. Live with it. Revive il Duce!

Just kidding... except for the fascist part.

Fly Careful

*Note: comments on this post will be heavily moderated. Those comments that do not contribute to the discussion will not see the light of day. You are warned.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Targets of Opportunity

Today is the 10th year anniversary of Eve Online. I have been a capsuleer for over half that time. To say I've been a carebear that entire time is a gross understatement. My bio pretty much says it all in that regard so I'll not belabor the point.

But that's a choice, not a compulsion. I do have my compulsions. The CDO runs deep in me. What's that you ask? CDO is just like OCD, but the letters are alphabetical... as they should be. So when I run PI, I attend to it every fracking day to maximize the ISK earned. I just must.

However, my CDO does not control me nor does it dictate what I am capable of doing. I am in control, not my eccentricities. If I want to not act like a carebear, I am more than capable and willing to do so.

So it was about a week ago that a message went out through alliance channels. It'd been a long, tough day in the coal mines and I could have easily begged off yet again. But there's been far too much of that type of tail-wagging-the-dog realities around here of late. I decided to heed the call. I joined the fleet just before it pounced.



These were the first capital kills of May. You can review them here and here. Congratulations SYJ, another fine mess you've made for someone else. Well done! And remember dear readers, when you live in Anoikis you must ALWAYS secure your hole before running sites and keep a probe active to watch out for new K162s - or don't. We really like it when you don't.

Fly Careful

Friday, May 3, 2013

Thoughts on Odyssey Industry Changes - Part 2

In part one, I took a look at how the Industry changes in Odyssey will affect Eve Online in the short term. I had to think about them for a few more days before the long term ramifications all started to gel in my brain.  I am not certain that process is done but it's done enough for this post. I'm sure we'll have opportunity enough later for more thoughts.

Hopefully you saw, or since heard or read about, CCP Seagull's Eve Online vision piece at the end of last Friday's keynote. On Saturday she had another spot where she discussed how CCP now conducts product planning. They are, for the first time according to her, using a 5-year vision, a 3-year road map and a 12-month rolling plan. At least that's where they want to be by the end of this year, and we're already a third of the way through it.

According to her, this new process began when she became Senior Producer. She confirms the Odyssey expansion has been part of this process from the start. I translated her statement thusly: anything coming in Odyssey is going to comply with this new planning process. These changes will enable the 12-month rolling plan, support the 3-year roadmap and enable the 5-year vision.

More succinctly, these changes are not happening in a vacuum. They are part of the plan, the map and the vision. They aren't there to make you happy. They are there to ensure Eve Online's future and only part of that future is about making you happy.

So how do these industry changes fit into all that? The tl;dr is it makes building super-gates in null-sec possible. Giving null-sec direct access to low end minerals starts the process. Increasing the industrial capability of Outposts realizes this possibility. The moon-goo changes, and this includes Alchemy, means every null-sec entity can do it - not just the Technitium Cartel.

Facing reality and the fact that past performance proves future actions, the space colonization vision is not viable under the current New Eden economic realities. Those that currently try to manipulate New Eden through its economy would try and manipulate the vision for their own gain. I am quite certain T2 products will be involved in super-gate construction so this would likely succeed to some extent. I'm not saying the intent would be to deny access to these new colonization areas and monopolize them - though I'm sure there would be a temptation to do that. I'm saying those manipulators would try and become New Eden's highwaymen, exacting a price from every capsuleer who wanted to be part of the new space colonization phase. Their past shenanigans more than support this supposition.

CCP understands they can't let that happen. If they did, this new vision becomes just another failed null-sec. In order to make it work, it has to be equally available to anyone who makes the effort to build a super-gate. Stopping your foes will require a fleet, not an embargo, and that's good for Eve Online. Eve Online is not a game about embargos. It's a game about blowing up ships. Even this admitted carebear accepts that premise. It really is a shame that much of this game's power playing isn't done with fleets but with diplomats and large wallets. That's not a vision CCP has ever had for Eve Online no matter how much they talk up emergent game play. How ironic is that? You could interpret it as, "Mabrick rues the day the super-carebears took over null-sec."

Well, they did and I do. The really good fights should be happening in the wholly capsuleer areas of New Eden. High-sec should be a learning ground for new capsuleers, not a stomping ground for gankers and industrial alts. CCP has always maintained the vision for null-sec was capsuleer empires beyond the control of CONCORD, even if they didn't effectively communicate it. They thought veteran players would go there to test their mettle against each other. What they got instead was a big blue donut and veteran capsuleers making all sorts of excuses as to why they have to return to play in high-sec.

Add to this the fact that mass quantities of low end ore could only be found in high-sec and you have plenty of reasons why players gravitate there. Gevlon likes to say that's where the money is. In truth, that's where the game play is and the ISK is just a result of that fact. Bottom line, there is no incentive anywhere else in New Eden to encourage experienced players to leave high-sec and play elsewhere. What little there was the big blue donut squashed. These pilots therefore remain high-sec oriented and that smothers the noobs in their crib. Now isn't that an unlovely analogy? Not ugly enough? How about this one? We eat our young.

That is not what CCP wants to have happen with the next Eve Universe vision. As CCP Seagull said, "We don't want to open new space in Eve Online that's just full of the stuff you already know." That works several ways and includes the big blue donut to my way of thinking. Odyssey is the first step in that direction, and these initial changes to resource allocations are necessary to insure it works. But it's just a beginning  That's why they seem disjointed. There is more to come I'm certain - thank the gods. The coming adjustments will change the very nature of New Eden, shake up its economic hubs and hopefully shift the balance of gameplay out of high-sec once and for all.

I can't wait! It is very exciting to contemplate  It's been a long time coming. There is plenty of evidence that these changes are not only needed but long discussed. Take a look at this Google search. Read some of the blogs it reveals. I really liked Adding up the cost of Nullsec - Part 3 on A Scientist's Life in Eve from June of 2011. Have a look at the issues with null-sec industrialism he lists. Now line up his issues with announced plans for Eve Online: adjusted mineral compositions, moon goo changes and super-gate construction with its potential for conflict.

That's point, set and... well, we'll just hold off on the last part of that cliché until more details emerge. In the end, it requires that capsuleers not only support the changes but also act on them. That's the big catch. As CCP Fozzie clarified, CCP doesn't want to force anyone out of their preferred play-style, and for many (most?) that's currently high-sec. But if Eve Online is to thrive and shake off the stale status quo currently afflicting it, we need to embrace these changes. And frankly, CCP needs to highly encourage us to do so even if that requires unsubtle methods. In other words CCP, don't force anyone to change, but make certain they have no viable alternative - please. Do so and I predict CCP will realize its vision for the Eve Universe and we will all prosper in the next decade.

Fly Careful

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Thoughts on Odyssey Industry Changes - Part 1

For those that haven't heard, Odyssey will usher in a change to the mineral composition of high end ores. These are the ABC ores (Arkonor, Bistot and Crokite) as well as the midrange ores Dark Ochre, Gneiss and Spodumain. You can read the whys and wherefores here and you can get the actual numbers here. Please take a moment and review them now.

So first off, putting all game concerns aside, I personally like these changes. It's a real pain in the ass right now to gather the appropriate resources for what I'm currently manufacturing. For instance, I've been making ammo for corporation use running anomalies. That's one less thing to have to haul to deadly unknown space. Taking medium hybrid antimatter as an example, I need 404 Tritanium, 375 Pyerite and 6 Mexallon for one batch of 100 rounds. This change will make it much easier on me.

How's that you ask? Well, as a miner in Anoikis I have two choices. I can mine for profit, which means go for the ABCs. Or, I can mine for production. That means go for Veldspar and Scordite because I need a lot of Tritanium and Pyerite to make Tech 1 ammo. After this change I can do both at the same time. The only non-ABC ore I'll have to worry about is Gneiss so I can get my Mexallon. At only 6 units per batch, one ore hold full of Gneiss will set me up for a long time and I'll still make some ISK. So as you can see, making things and making ISK at the same time is far more preferable than having to choose between one or the other. Anoikis carebear life just became that much less of a hassle and I know that'll translate fairly straight across to null-sec carebear life.

Now onto the meta-game ramifications of this change. There are several industry affecting changes happening in Odyssey that separately don't make much sense. To make sense of them I needed to think not only about everything CCP is doing in Odyssey, but about their vision for the next decade of Eve Online. When viewed in that framework I see astute reasoning involved.

It was said by one blogger I read that these changes will end the "greater rewards for greater risk" philosophy CCP has had for a long time. I don't see it that way. The rewards are still there. They haven't taken any minerals away from these ores. I will still make the same profit for the same risk. But I am in Anoikis where everyone scans routinely and whether it's a gravimetric site or an anomaly makes no difference. I just won't have to give up profit for production's sake. The risk may increase in high-sec and low and more on that in a bit.

The locations these high-end ores occur in hasn't changed either. They are still a very long way from the high-sec market hubs. Some other bloggers I've read have worried this will cause the market to collapse. It isn't going to happen. There is not enough ISK in New Eden to make me want to haul an Orca's worth of Tritanium to high-sec to sell it. These extra minerals are not likely to saturate the markets of New Eden. Even if they did, the inundation will be met with increased demand when CCP unleashes Dust 514 item manufacturing. That is coming. CCP said so during Fanfest. It is only the timing of it that is in question.

There is only one thing "worse" than hauling Tritanium to the market. That's hauling railguns from the hubs back to the POS. There will no longer be a need to haul Tritanium out of high-sec once these changes go into effect. In that light, these changes actually shift Tritanium out of the hubs having an overall lowering effect on market availability in high-sec. It could break either way.

Now let's throw the next piece of the puzzle onto the table. Outposts are getting a major manufacturing boost. For the first time in the history of New Eden, a null-sec carebear should be able to mine and manufacture in a single system - or constellation at the most.

That will probably lead to a loss of population in high-sec. As many have pointed out, one of the safest places to mine is alliance null-sec. It is arguably safer than high-sec. I know several people who mine in null-sec. They can attest that there is nothing safer than deep null-sec when intelligence channels are well run and miners have ample warning to bug out. And to a person, all these acquaintances have multiple alts in high-sec to mine low-end minerals, manufacture railguns and haul them back to null-sec. There are many small high-sec corporations that are nothing but a single person's carebear alts. I know this is a fact because I know the real people. After Odyssey, they will no longer need these alts in high-sec nearly so much. They can all move to null-sec and become rich while also maintaining their manufacturing lines - in null-sec. That is a big part of what I believe CCP wants but more on that in a bit.

If we see the above population shift as more likely than not, it brings the gravimetric sites moving to anomalies, and why CCP did that, into perspective. Yes, it may make high-sec and mining riskier. I don't think it'll do squat to the risk in low-sec. Like Anoikis, low-sec is routinely scanned and since they know you're in local... yeah, same risk as always. But, if all the alts leave high-sec for the now greener pastures of null-sec, who does that leave in high-sec? No, it isn't the gankers I'm talking about though they will likely remain. It's the new bros I'm thinking about. And I don't mean the new bros playing today. I mean the new bros who are going to sign up in the future.

Think of it this way: the new, beautiful scanner isn't for us old timers. Those man hours were invested for future players. It improves the new player experience. It's more intuitive. When I first started playing I expected to see scan results on the HUD and was flummoxed by the list I actually got. Do you know it was over six (6!) months before I even learned there were gravimetric sites in New Eden? I read lots and lots and lots of stuff about how to play Eve Online, and I never came across that juicy tidbit. After Odyssey, that will not happen to new bros.

You see, noobs really only need two things: time to learn and a way to make ISK. However, there is something else that's needed to meet one of those requirements. A noob can't make ISK if he has no idea where to start. Moving gravimetric sites into anomalies that are detectable by the pretty and easy to understand new scanner should do that. To my way of thinking, that's worth a little more risk. I know I'd have welcomed it when I was a noob.

***

As this is already pretty much a wall of text, I have split my thoughts into two parts. Part two will be my next post. In it I will look at more reasons for these changes, and why they are critical to the future of Eve Online.

Fly Careful