Tuesday, February 24, 2015

CSMX Endorsements

I told myself I wasn't going to get caught up in the CSM endorsement deal.  But here we are; I'm writing this post and you're reading it, so I guess we better get on with it.  :)

My ballot will include;  Sugar Kyle, corbexx, Mike Azariah, and Jayne Fillion, not necessarily in that order.  I'll do more reading and may flesh it out more, but my ballet may stop with those 4 names.

I look at big pictures.  I'm looking for candidates that represent the under-represented areas of the game, even if those areas aren't places that I spend a lot of time.  Sugar is lowsec, corbexx is WHs, Mike is missions, and Jayne is NPSI roams.  Meanwhile, I assume that the null blocks will do their thing and get their candidates in - the candidates above fill out the council and provide some counterbalance.  That's not my entire criteria, but it's where I start.

I don't know corbexx, Mike, or Jayne except by reputation and what I read on the internet.  I don't listen to podcasts.  I do read Mike's blog.  I read the minutes, and forum posts.  And I'd like to meet some of these guys if I can make it to EVE Vegas this fall, assuming they're there too.

Sugar will be my #1 vote on both my accounts.  I'm not the only blogger to say that (see here and here and here), and I'll try not to repeat what others are saying (even though I agree with them).  Sugar's the exception to my roster because she's the one candidate that says hello to me when I login.  She's listened to me ramble on more than one occasion with patience and good grace.  To be clear, I'm an old highsec carebear and not her target audience.  But I've always felt welcome and not a "lesser" player because of the career path that I take on.  And months after a random chat with her, I see things I said showing up in her meeting prep notes or my questions being asked in the meeting minutes.  Everyone says she's a hard worker (and I think that's true).  But there's more to it:  She's organized. She pays attention.  And she listens.

Don't overthink your vote.  Don't assume that Sugar is a "lock" and put her lower on your list.  If she's truly your #1 or #2, then make her #1 or #2.

The magic of transferable ballot math will take care of the rest.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Changing Tempo

When the new unlimited skill queues were added to the game, I did what I think everyone did and loaded up all my characters with a big crazy wish list, and then let it run.

I go back into Aba's from time to time and optimize and re-prioritize, but for the most part it's been a hands-off part of the game.  (Whether that's a good or bad thing could be a whole 'nother post).

For my primary alt (that I call 'M' here), the skill queue consisted mostly of things that will be useful in supporting burners.   She has a great foundation in engineering and navigation, plus perfect squad boost skills, but was missing some of the basic frigate combat skills.  Over the past many weeks, that's been corrected, and she's now on par with Aba for most burner-sized things.

Around Christmas, I made another pass at her queue.  The idea was to try to get ahead of the game and position her to assist with Cruiser-sized burners, should they ever be added.  The good news is:  I think she's nearly done - she was already strong in HAC and BC skills and the combat support skills for frigates of course translate up the list.  February has been about making some minor adjustments.  Her skill queue ends on the 28th, and as I was looking through things last night I realized that she might be "good enough" to let sit idle awhile.

And that means I can get back to training up my lowsec alt on that account for some lowsec shenanigans.  I had him on yesterday running (of all things) courier missions in low.  Was pretty fun slipping in and around the Saturday afternoon roam fleets; I expected to land on a camp at every gate (I should be more careful, but was betting on speed and a disposable ship rather than discretion).  So it's time to fire up his queue again; he's a few days away from interceptors, and then a few more days for cloaks and then it's the long soak for recons.  Should be pretty fun.

From there, I'm actually thinking about doing lowsec PI on him, but I'll admit I'm pretty ignorant on whether that's a good idea or not.

This is all a little silly; I could do all of these things with characters I already have.  But a) I like building characters, it's an aspect that fades a bit with time in EVE and b) I like having guys pre-positioned to save travel times.

What's Playing:  TOOL, Aenima

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Creating Monsters


I hear other players talking about them.  There are a lot of little things in the game that are semi-passive and fully-passive income generators.  Things like Planetary Interaction, running your own POS (i.e. BPO copying, Invention), mining, industry/building, and R&D agents.

Over time, I've marked many of these off the list.  A couple years back, I was a mission runner (and sometimes Incursion runner) and I thought "I should set up some PI, it won't take long and it's passive income."  So I did, and I ended up hauling once or twice a week.

A little bit after that I said "Wow, I still own all these capship BPOs and stuff; I should set up a POS so I can fire up the copy printer."  So I did, and I ended up hauling fuel, or jumping back to manage the output of the process once or twice a week.

For awhile, I was doing a bit of mining, and was using the output to fuel a factory.  By filtering the mining yield through one of my capship component part BPOs and selling the resulting parts, I could add on 3-10% on my mining yield for very little work.  But I still had to go buy the higher end minerals to fill out each order, so I ended up hauling mega and zyd here and there.

I'd like to say that this entire empire ran itself and I loved every minute of it.

But no, I was quite an idiot about this.  The PI system I chose was different than the POS system which was different than my mining/building system.  Each system was chosen for various reasons (moon PI composition, proximity to ice belts, number of asteroid belts, proximity to trade hub, proximity to 0.4 space, etc.) but it was horrible from a comprehensive point of view.  Very quickly I'd log in each night, realize I had a chore to take care of, find a different ship, make 6-20 jumps in a slow Impel or Orca, and once done I'd need to logoff instead of completing the instead of the mission or joining the Incursion I'd wanted to do.

EVE had become a job.  I was making decent isk for very little time logged in, but I was locked into a schedule.  It was a monster of my own creation, sure, but was still a monster.

I write about it because I'm still amazed how easily the chores list sneaked up on me.  Each addition was small, but the total impact to my play time was huge.  

This went on for a few months, and then the POS came down and the PI went untended.  I briefly considered consolidating my operations (duh) but I was tired of the whole "chores" aspect of it all and went off to find some red icons to shoot instead.  If real life ever settles down (haha) maybe I can try again and make it work.  Until then, I'll intentionally keep my schedule free.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Universe is Awesome Sometimes

Saw this snippet in one of my newsfeeds today.  Not too long ago (in human terms), astronomers discovered a star relatively close in our stellar neighborhood.  When plotting its trajectory, they discovered that not too long ago (in geologic terms), the star (actually a binary pair) zipped past our sun and through our outer Oort cloud.
The star's trajectory suggests that 70,000 years ago it passed roughly 52,000 astronomical units away (or about 0.8 light years, which equals 8 trillion kilometers, or 5 trillion miles). This is astronomically close; our closest neighbor star Proxima Centauri is 4.2 light years distant. In fact, the astronomers explain in the paper that they are 98% certain that it went through what is known as the "outer Oort Cloud" - a region at the edge of the solar system filled with trillions of comets a mile or more across that are thought to give rise to long-term comets orbiting the Sun after their orbits are perturbed.
The universe is awesome sometimes.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Drifter Spoilers

EN24 has a pretty good article on our new faction.

Spoilers are reasonably well marked if you just want to check out some of the screenshots and NOT read details from the test server.


If you've not seen them, the patch notes for Tiamat are up.  Looks like Tiamat will hit us in 2 days on the 17th.  (And while I don't play D&D, I did watch the 80s cartoon as a kid and will forever associate the name with the picture above.  :)  ).

I'm pretty excited to see the Lore behind Drifters (new NPC faction) get revealed.  This story has been dragging a little bit, but that's probably just my nerd impatience showing. 

I scanned the patch notes as usual for impacts to burners and other missions.  I'll paste in the Mission-centric section and put some emphasis on the minor change to Anomic mission text.

  • A text issue in the mission Portal to War 1 of 5 has been fixed.
  • A typo in the mission The Test Of Competence - Utrainen's Reports (1 of 2) has been fixed.
  • A text issue in the mission Cliene Veine - Fixing the Problem (1 of 2) has been fixed.
  • A typo in the mission: Evacuation has been fixed.
  • A text issue in the mission: Balancing the Books 7 of 10 has been fixed.
  • An issue with the completion requirements with the mission 'Not Gneiss At All' has been fixed.
  • An acceleration gate is now named correctly in the Evolution agent mission.
  • Typo in Industry career path description has been fixed.
  • Typo in the Crimson Hand Supply Depot dungeon pop up has been fixed
  • Some NPC have had their security standing boost lowered.
  • In some cases NPC would get stuck on a object in Massive Attack, this has been fixed.
  • Small Asteroid Cluster dungeon contained overlapping Dark ochre this has been fixed.
  • Fixed a typo in agent text for mission 'After the Seven (4 of 5) "Ruse".
  • The mission text for the Minmatar version of "Anomic Team" now includes information about the Mjolnir Rockets that the Burner uses.


Friday, February 13, 2015

The Vocal Minority

Customers have departed, but I am exhausted.  So I'll write another good ol' days post while I rest up a little.

I've never written about the first collapse of Pukin' Dogs with the amount of detail contained below.  There may be 1 or 2 old Dogs reading this that may learn a few tidbits that they'd never really known.  Of course, it all happened over 10 years ago, so they may not even remember. :)


At the end of yesterday's post, I had taken us to the point of EVE launch, the shenanigans of opening weekends, and the establishment of Pukin' Dogs Corp.

What evolved was a reasonably close knit group of folks from the US and UK that played mostly in highsec in the north parts of the map (Caldari, Amarr zones).  We were not rich, or powerful, but as a group we had enough depth of industry, loot drops, and hauling to be nearly self sufficient.

But as the weeks wore on, I noticed that we were struggling a bit.  Many from the original crew were beginning to burn out and leave.  Those graybeards that stayed were pushing me, via public and private convos, to push out of our comfort zone and establish ourselves as a "world power" i.e. to get into null politics.  To them, it was time to grow up and move to the "endgame" that the galaxy had to offer.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Early Days

I have a customer (and longtime friend and former coworker) in town this week.  That's meant long days at the office talking through very important office politics and going out to dinner every night like we're 27 years old (although when I was 27, I didn't have the money to go out every night.... but whatever).

Instead of logging into the game tonight, I'll work on this post.

Like most characters born in early 2003, my employment history is all jacked up.  It begins with my time in VentureCorp [VNTR], and omits my time in the noobcorp (about 3wks) after launch, as well as my initial ~18mo stint as CEO of Pukin' Dogs.

Abavus was born on 2003.05.10 00:52:00 (May 9th US eastern), a few hours more than 3 days after EVE's original launch of 06 May.

EVE launched on a Tuesday.  There were server burps and other issues.  I had played beta and preordered a copy of the game, but this was well before the notion of launch-day-delivery and download on demand was more or less a pipe dream.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Depth of Endurance

Non-EVE content.

I follow the Surly (bike company) factory blog.  I own one of their bikes and love it.  They seem like an eccentric but fun group of guys (and gals) and generally spin a good yarn in their posts.

One write-up in particular that I look forward to every year is the report on the Arrowhead 135.

It's a 135mi bike race*.  In January.  In northern Minnesota.

Read that again and ponder the implications.  People do crazy things in the name of fun.

Anyway, this years' article has appeared, so here's a link to it.  I thump my chest and say that I do Triathlons, but the things I have done are nowhere near the depth of endurance and tolerance for discomfort as this. /salute.

*Actually, you can bike, run, or (assuming there's snow) ski the course.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Blog Banter #62 - Rebel Without a Cause

I'll summarize the question for Blog Banter #62 thusly:  "What is and/or should be the future for walking in stations?"

Ahh, Incarna.  Walking in Stations.  The feature without a purpose.  The rebel without a cause.  The game's single most infamous feature, never finished and left to rot in full view of everyone.  Sigh.

Incarna, if it had been done as part of the game's original development, could have been cool.  Case in point:  Earth and Beyond had WiS back in the dark days of 2002.  And it didn't suck.  You docked.  You walked over to the job terminal, or you walked to the npc vendor.  Maybe you stopped to /disco with your friends.  If you were in a hurry or doing repetitive tasks (trade runs) it was perhaps grindy, but so are a dozen things in MMOs.  It was part of the game, one of the fundamental truths of the game, and (imho) the tedious-ness was outweighed by the aspects of social interaction, attachment to an avatar, and checking out the nuances of each station layout.

The desire to develop Incarna came from a noble place.  New players especially have complained for years that it's easier to identify with a human avatar rather than your ship.  New player retention has always been a problem, putting systems in place to aid player retention isn't an evil thing, especially if it adds fun things for bittervets too.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Can't Stop the Signal

Massively officially shut down today, but here's the spot where the refugees are landing:

For those who missed it:
We're starting fresh as Massively Overpowered.
We'll be at http://www.massivelyop.com -- it's not up yet, but when it is, mailing list.
Kickstarter soon.

Can't stop the signal!
By breetoplay

 Looking forward to it.

Edit:  Looks like some of the WoW insider guys landed here:  http://blizzardwatch.com/

Monday, February 2, 2015

Massively is Shutting Down

Yesterday I read the news that Massively was shutting down, as well as the sister sites Joystiq and WoW Insider.  This made me sad.

In years past, these sites were the first I visited in the morning and the last I visited at night.  During my WoW heyday, the Insider (and MMO Champ) were the centers of the proverbial universe.  Articles published there spawned great nerd debates in corp/guild chat, and around the printer at work (we don't have a water cooler in the main room).  Although my time at WoW Insider has since subsided, my browser says that Massively is still in my top 8 sites every time I open a new tab.

Massively's coverage of EVE was sometimes hit or miss, but during my times away from New Eden, it was the coverage at Massively that kept me in touch with the major events as they unfolded.  It was Massively and WoW Insider I had on my RSS feeds at work.  It was Massively and WoW insider that I checked on the phone during meetings.

Along a similar line, I'm going to have to figure out how to keep tabs on the useful GW2 news now.

Good luck to the Massively staff.  If there's a silver lining in this, it's my hope that the writers will relocate somewhere new, free of corporate jerks.

Vengeance on the Team Vengeance

I'm writing this on Sunday, but will delay the post until Monday AM.  

The random number generator gods are being more kind, and I've seen more offers in for burners in the past 8 hrs than I have in the past 3 weeks (give or take).

I pulled the Team Vengeance this afternoon and got settled in to tackle it.  This is the one burner that I dual box.  I send Aba in with the Garmur and I send my primary alt in with a Kestrel for dps support.  In the past I've called this Kestrel fit the Mortar Team.

I had always meant to see if two Mortar Teams could down the Vengeance.  It seemed plausible, at least without specifically running any numbers.  I had some time today so I cloned the Mortar Team, handed it to Aba and the pair of Kestrels set out to take on burnerville.

Bad news first:  Dps was too low to crack the first logi.  I fiddled with overheat a bit, but eventually saw the writing on the wall and hopped back for the Garmur.  The Garmur is a beast and the Vengeance died without significant effort.

Next step is to change both Mortar Teams out to T2 rigs and see where that gets us.  I'd like to find a reasonable alternative to the mega-isk Garmur.

What's playing:  Star Wars Rebels on DisneyXD.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Dead Worms

I pulled the Guristas Worm just a few minutes ago, and kicked his teeth in.  This was the first time I'd seen him since Proteus launched last month (hey, look at that it's February).  I didn't have any great anxiety over him as I'd read the Daredevil fits seemed to still be working, but reading it and doing it are sometimes two different things.

So, I've updated the Worm battle reports to reflect the updated status.

I did run a link ship, I almost always do.

I realized this morning that I owe a Burner Stats update, but to be honest it's not going to be very interesting.  Between other distractions, highsec anoms, and a really bad string of lvl4's where no burners were offered, I didn't run very many this month.

I'm updating the Anomic Agent Info page (link in the menu bar above) to include the Enyo fight.

Happy Superbowl Sunday!

Alpha State

"Everything that has a beginning has an end."  That's one of my favorite quotes from the Matrix 2.  It has to do with the ...