Tuesday, April 23, 2013
It's been an interesting few weeks. I've unfortunately not had a whole lot of time to play, due to an upcoming major release at work, and a scheduled move across the country in a few weeks. (Packing your whole life and moving 1,500 miles away takes a considerable amount of time and effort, believe it or not!)
I haven't been paying a lot of attention to Warzone Control, though a quick look at the map tells me the Minmatar are still very firmly maintaining upper tiers. With all that LP flying around, I bet it won't take long after the June expansion before you're seeing those faction Hurricanes around every corner of EVE. ;)
The Amarr are not doing very well at all. Predator Elite's corporation left. He did not represent very many numbers, but he was the primary force in Kamela --the closest Amarrian stronghold near our own home. Pred's group didn't leave, as some may guess, because we took Kamela, but because he apparently wanted to shoot Fweddit.
Before I went semi-inactive there was a huge diplomatic incident, where Fweddit took down neutral capitals who were actually assisting the Amarr militia. Not a good way to make friends, by any means. But from what I know, an honest mistake. While Fweddit and Predator Elite's group never shared much love, an all out Amarrian civil war was just one more thing to add to laundry list of things going wrong for that faction.
I love my alliance. We're too lazy to have much drama these days. We did lose a corp because of some difference of opinion. But, there wasn't a whole lot of drama about it from what I could tell.
Anyway, I better unmute my speakers and see what my alliance mates are shooting at. But, before I do....100 million skillpoints! <does a little dance> Sadly, I wasn't training anything interesting when I rolled 9 figures. Some compensation skill I've been procrastinating on. But it's still a fun milestone. I wonder where I will be, and what I will be doing, and what I will have done when I roll the next 100.
Monday, April 8, 2013
I’ve been working on several ‘projects’ lately, mostly of the business kind.
The alliance shop has been expanded somewhat to include several new ship types. Some of these came from suggestions and requests, and others came from a look at some killboard stats. A few of the new ships seemed to be a big hit. Some of the others haven’t seen a lot of movement, so I probably won’t restock. I want to focus my efforts on stuff people are going to actually use, and if something turns out to be a dud, I find something new and move on.
I’m toying with the idea of having some kind of fluctuating stock. Perhaps a ‘ship of the week’ or different ship types that are only offered once in a while.
I’m starting to hit hard limits on contract numbers. Unfortunately, while you can setup 500 contracts to your corporation with no skills, you can only set up around 60 to your alliance from your corporation with maxed out skills. Oddly, setting up a contract to your alliance essentially counts as setting up a public contract, and counts against the limits you have for setting up public contracts.
When you’re supplying an alliance, 60 contracts isn’t very much. It seems like there should be more available, especially if you’re operating as a corporation supplying an alliance –a common scenario.
I’ve run into some other problems also. Right now, I keep all the inventory in the different divisions within the corporation hanger I’m using. There is no other way in the inventory system to sort, or divide ships. And, I had to be able to keep my ‘shield thrashers’ separated from the ‘armor thrashers’ without individually renaming each and every ship each time.
It seems like someone wanting to provide such a service to their alliance shouldn’t have to create an entire corporation just to sort inventory, and have enough contracts slots.
The contract system is an entirely other story. I never thought about it much before, but now that I set up dozens (if not hundreds over the course of a month) of contracts, the ‘wizard’ process seems very tedious. There’s no shortcuts, or ways to select defaults so that I don’t have to select the same options over and over again. And you have to go through all the pages of the setup for each and every contract.
I wish I could just click a quick link or hot key, and have a one page item exchange popup where I could simply drag and drop stuff from my inventory if I wish. It would be easier for the alliance shop, and for simply giving loot to people by dragging it directly out of my ship’s hanger and not worrying about it getting mixed up in all my other assets. A sort of trade-contract cross over.
Also, looking through the records of what has been sold is interesting. I have to hover over each and every record to see what it was, since all I see is [multiple items] for each and every one. There’s no column for how much the contract sold for, and no column for the Description. And, even though it acts like it might let you sort by a certain column, it still only sorts by date. You can’t sort by client to see all the contracts a certain person has bought, or by description to see all contracts you’ve tagged a certain way….etc.
Hopefully, the contract system is something CCP is planning to visit at some point because it could definitely use some TLC. I’ll probably be writing a more thorough post about contracts at some point.
Other projects I’m working on are trade projects, the details of which I will keep to myself since I don’t want anyone stealing my ideas. The one trade project is netting me a sizeable amount of ISK per unit. My biggest concern was being able to move the stock –and not just accumulate a ton, but that hasn’t been a problem at all. I move quite a bit of it over the weekend and probably made a quarter of a billion ISK. When the entire project dries up I’m hoping to have made a good 2-3 billion from the one project alone. Not bad for something that just takes a few minutes once in a while of adjusting various orders, and a freighter trip once in a blue moon.
I’m dabbling, and testing the waters in a few other things. I’ve found some interesting opportunities with trading across regions –especially with meta items. The Jita – Amarr connection is interesting to watch. You can make a lot of ISK buying in Jita and selling in Amarr on some things. And then for others, it’s better to buy in Amarr and take to Jita. However, in most of those scenarios you need to move a significant amount of the item before you start making the kind of profits that tempt me, and I’ve found I don’t really like dealing with high volume stuff. You have to babysit it way too much.
I’ve also learned to play off other people’s manipulation. It’s hard to identify when the price of a certain item is being ‘controlled’ if you haven’t been paying close attention to it for a while. But occasionally I find something that obviously is being manipulated. Sometimes, I can find it significantly cheaper in another region that hasn’t gotten ‘hit’ yet, or simply buy the materials and build it myself. This is really easy to do for things like rigs…
Also, buy orders are my friend! People sell all sorts of things to interesting prices on buy orders, I’ve found. Even in remote places. 100K Damage Control IIs? Yes, thank you. Come again with some more please!
Anyway, I guess all of this makes me a bit of a carebear at heart. I’ve never been interested in mining, or major, full-scale manufacturing operations. But I do like the business and trade side of EVE.
And, it gives me something to do when there's nothing to shoot.
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
It’s that time of year again. The time where every blog seems packed with over-analysis about every CSM candidate, and where the forums chirp with discussion about platforms and carefully orchestrated propaganda put forth by lobbying hopefuls.
After the election is over, Fanfest will arrive and the winners announced. Some of them will roll up their sleeves and get to work, whether publicly with the community, or behind the scenes as invaluable grunt men. Others will disappear –the warmth, attentiveness, and community spirit they shared during election replaced by the cold reality of indifference. Until, such yammering yahoos as Poetic Stanziel insult and degrade them to the point they burst forth once again into the community eye to forcibly defend themselves.
I have my concerns about this election. The idea of ranking more than a dozen candidates seems daunting to me –a pirate who would rather blow things up then dig through treatises and long manifestos trying to make an educated guess on who will make good CSM representatives. And if it is daunting to me, then it will be even more so to many of the people I fly with –who do not even attempt to keep up with blogs and steer clear of the forums altogether. Many of them will not vote at all this year.
Furthermore, as I glance and skim and try to get the gist of what people think without burying myself I am increasingly frustrated. There are so many agendas. Wormhole candidates. Nullsec candidates. And the idea of running on some sort of a ‘platform’ seems so…important to people. But, I’ll be honest with you, voting for such a person makes me think I’m going to get a fraction of a candidate.
It seems critical that candidates understand things on a much broader level than simply lobbying agendas to ‘fix wormholes’ or ‘improve highsec industry.’ One thing I learned, in the discussion over the last year for all the Faction War changes is that what happens in low-sec….and in Faction War….doesn’t stay here. We can’t just throw up an upgrade for cyno jammers without completely understanding the implications for nullsec groups. We can’t just ‘do what is best for Faction War’ without considerations for many other aspects of the game—the economy, how the game is presented to new players, how our gameplay touches high-sec and neighboring regions, and etc.
I don’t mind candidates who have specialized experience within the game, but I’m uninterested in voting for candidates with horse blinders on –unwilling, and possibly unable to discuss the further reaching implication of their suggestions and ideas.
Furthermore, I hate the ‘us vs. them’ feeling I get when people talk about bloc candidates. "Why vote for them if they’re going to win anyway?" "Stay away from their sekret agendas." Some small-gang pilots and bloggers sometimes give no other reason for not voting for someone than that they are in a big alliance. As if, this is all the explanation needed.
Am I somehow betraying my low-sec brethren by voting for a bloc candidate? Am I voting against small-gang interests if I put a Goon on my ballot?
The Goon who is ‘running independently’ amuses me greatly. What does that even mean, exactly? Why should I vote for someone who seems to want to distance themselves from their own alliance, and why do they even feel the need to do so? How is an ‘official’ Goon different from an ‘unofficial’ Goon…from the perspective of a general outsider? I realize that within Goons, being official or unofficial might mean something, but to me?
The whole ‘I’m a Goon but not really’ was amusing, but the bloggers and forum posters who talk about voting for him with the idea that ‘ehh…he’s a Goon, but he’s running independently so it’s okay’ makes me laugh aloud.
What does the fact that some dude is or is not endorsed by his alliance have anything to do with the quality of the job he will do on the CSM?
Anyway, I’m eventually going to have to choose people to actually vote for. So, what am I looking for this election? I think I have some criteria narrowed down:
1. People skills, and a sense of humor.
Yes, the number one thing I’m looking for in a candidate has little to do with EVE, and a lot to do with how the candidate communicates and conducts himself. And I’m not talking about the ability to produce flowery speeches, or how much ‘forum time’ they have done.
How do they deal with people who really don’t like what they have to say? Are they too stubborn to consider other ideas and opinions? Are they wishy washy –changing their opinion to whatever happens to be popular at the time?
Can they let their hair down and crack a joke? Does it seem like they enjoy EVE and will enjoy being on the CSM, or are they a grumpy bitter vet setting out on a mission of some sort?
If all you’ve ever experienced is wormholes, I’m not going to vote for you. If you’ve never spent a day in null-sec, I probably won’t vote for you either. I realize EVE is a vast place, and that not everything is for everyone. I don’t expect candidates to be experts at everything.
But on the same token, EVE is a vast place, and in order to take educated suggestions to CCP, you have to know the implications of those suggestions outside of the small narrow, world of a specific aspect of the game.
If your experience is limited, I would suggest you go enjoy the game some more before trying to change it.
3. General Philosophy.
Like anyone else, I’m going to vote for people I agree with. But instead of looking at ‘specifics’ I want to know what their broader thinking is. How do they view EVE as a whole? What do they think it means for EVE to be a sandbox? Do they bend toward open, interacting mechanics, or closed off mechanics? What are their views on all the intersections between game mechanics –where Faction War players affect high-sec mission runners and pirates affect null-sec sovereignty holders and wormholes affect economics and etc?
Some other, more specific criteria:
1. If you have the attitude that you’re going to ‘dictate’ things, ‘take back’ the game or ‘fix what CCP broke’ you’re no longer on my radar. This is not a democratic governmental position where you tell CCP what to do –and I’m not voting for anyone that I think will not be able to communicate with, and work with CCP.
Most likely, you will do more harm than good.
2. If you have a very specific game mechanic you are championing, I will probably ignore you. If you have a really good, specific idea, that’s what forum posts, and blog articles are for. You don’t need to go to Iceland for that.
Anyway, I’ll know soon enough who I am voting for. I might tell you. Or, I might have more important things to write about.
Monday, April 1, 2013
“Where is Tea?”
“We want Tea!”
There’s nothing like being fashionably late to your own birthday roam.
Late Night never plans much of anything, but for the birthday of one of our FCs, Tea EarlyGreyHOT, we had something very special planned. For over a week, we planned the remote rep vengeance roam to null-sec. Around thirty people showed up, which is quite a lot of Late Nighters in one spot.
This time, they weren’t just any vengeances. Many had dead space reppers, and Navy hardeners--A shiny birthday fleet with almost everyone fully aware that we’d probably all die.
And all die we did, shortly after bus riding it out to XHQ. A group of sev3rance tackled our bonus Loki, and we all warped to the gate and jumped through to see if we could save it. It died before most of us loaded grid, and as we all poured into local, a fight broke out with the sev3rance BCs and cruisers on gate.
Being a bit spread out from jumping into them, and being significantly out shipped, we didn’t stand much of a chance. Their DPS plowed through our light reps, sometimes before we could even lock the fleet member taking damage. We managed to hold up a few people, but as they carved away at our fleet, we quickly ended up with too few people to set up a sturdy enough spider tank.
We took a few with us, before most of our fleet died.
It was only about fifteen minutes into the roam, so the fight merely wet our appetites. Everyone charged back to low-sec to reship.
We took a quick detour to kill a trio of Prophecies on the Huola gate, who had ganked one of our guys attempting to reship. And then, a second detour to bridge on a lone maller who had aggressed on the Kamela station. We left local with the Amarrian Maller pilot spouting and spewing in local. I’m not sure I’ve seen a Maller die so fast, and he was very, very angry about it.
“More remote rep vengeances!”
It was Tea’s birthday, and he wanted to try the fight again –hopefully this time with us better set up and organized.
“I don’t have another vengeance.”
“Yeah, I only had the one set up specifically for the birthday roam…”
I had toyed around with providing the vengeances for the roam for free –but almost everyone was already set up for the first wave. I still had at least a dozen sitting on my alt –ready to be thrown up on contract for the alliance store.
What the heck. It IS a birthday party after all…
“I’m giving out reships for free. Anyone who needs a vengeance, open up a trade window with my alt.”
There was a happy noise on coms, and I quickly had a bunch of trade windows. Goodby vengeances. It was nice knowing you.
I knew that if any of them lived for longer than a half hour, it would be a miracle.
We died to sev3rence a second time. They knew exactly what we were bringing, as we sat waiting for them for at least fifteen minutes. What did they bring? Battlecruisers and at least one Battleship. Not exactly what I would have chosen to take on assault frigates, but not entirely unexpected. We don’t exactly go to null-sec to get fair fights.
They had a huge fleet, and a pile of battlecruisers, but we fought them anyway. We held reps for a little while, but under the battleship neuts and heavy BC DPS, we broke. But not without taking down a bunchr of them with us.
We scurried away in pods, back to low-sec just as our scout announced that Pandemic Legion had arrived on the scene with a crap load of caracals and shield logi, doing quite a number on the sev3rence fleet and forcing them off field. Some of us giggled a little to hear that.
It was getting late at this point. We had lost billions worth in ships, a tier 3 cruiser, and at least one slave clone. So we did what any LNA drunken fleet of birthday rousers would do –we reshipped and went back!
This time, we ditched the remote rep vengeance idea, and jumped into kitey, range ships. It’s another favorite comp of Teas –sometimes five or so of us will harass a large Amarr fleet with a few kitey ships. It’s often worth it just to see the Amarr rage, though now they seem more inclined just to run away, knowing that several of them will die, and they probably won’t catch us.
We bridged back to Providence, but ended up in a situation where we’d need to jump into them. Not exactly a good thing for tier 3 BCs, and rangey ships.
But, we did it anyway. We uncloaked a drake first, hoping to distract them. Most of us got to range, and grouped up, and we started picking off their lighter targets that burned out to try to catch us.
We fought quite a bit that way, taking out any tackle that got in range, and some of their larger ships. We had been fighting them for ten minutes or so, and were doing pretty well, when the cyno lit, and Pandemic Legion once again started piling into local.
Sev3rence fled almost immediately. There was no way they were going to fight LNA and PL.
Our FC also called a bail. “A large fleet of caracals could volley some of us before we even lock with our own logistics.”
I personally think we could have easily taken PL. They only had a dozen or so…but I think people automatically assumed they had the huge fleet of 20 caracals from earlier. By the time we gained more intel on exactly how many they had, most of us were back in low-sec.
It was also kind of sad sev3rence ran away so fast. It could have been a very interesting three-way, though playing with two fleets of kitey stuff was probably not on their docket for fun.
Oh well. Next time, PL. Next time.
By then most of us were whipped and called it a night. We had blown up enough. (And died enough) for one day. But we all had a lot of fun.
Happy Birthday, Tea.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
I’ve been busy lately.
PVPing of course. And attempting to do Faction War missions and failing miserably, yet again. Being at tier 4, I have this unshakable urge to farm something. After making it through a single level three mission last night, I decided, once again, that missions are horrible and that I HATE them. And that I would never do them again and that I’d rather put pins in my eyes and dip my fingertips into hot acid.
Okay, maybe not that bad. But I would rather do almost anything else, and am decidedly far enough away from being poor for it to not be worthwhile.
I’ve also been busy with the alliance shop, having expanded with a bunch of new ships. I’ve sold over 830 ships since the middle of January, and it seems the more I give them the more they want. “Susan, how about fitting up a bunch of THIS ship?” “Susan, could you please fit and sell some of THOSE?”
“SUSAN, there are no more [Insert Ship Name Here] on contracts and I neeeeed one!”
I feel like a Spaceship vending machine some nights.
The Amarr have been more quiet then usual as of late. At least, on the PVP front. They've been less than quiet in other places, but I won’t get into that.
There’s been a lot of speculation about why the Minmatar are winning so thoroughly. It’s this group or that group. It’s because the Amarr are terribad.
I have no idea really. I don’t know if the Amarr aren't as active because the Minmatar are winning or if the Minmatar are winning because the Amarr aren’t as active. I don’t know if some big group is taking over and farming us (I’m sure there’s probably more than one) or if the speculation about a big group farming the Minmatar has made the Amarr give up trying, since they think the situation is out of their control.
I don’t really care either.
And then of course we have the whole CSM 8 election. I should probably say something, or provide some analysis or opinion about the various candidates. If only I knew who they all were…lol I know the dude that spammed me last year is running. I know the dude that writes a lot and makes people mad is running. I know a Goon is running. And a bunch of other people.
Granted, I only have three votes. And, I don’t even pretend to be influential, though I’d love to throw support behind someone I think would make a good candidate. Right now, I just don’t know. I guess I should start reading up on these guys. Ugh
Anyway, alliance contracts are waiting to be put up, and Amarrians are waiting to be blown up.
And promises to keep...promises to keep.
And AUs to go before I sleep. ;)