Watcher

Last weekend my wife and I dropped the kids off at their grandparents and went away for our 21st wedding anniversary. We try to do this each year. The accommodation we choose tends to have similar ingredients – a cottage somewhere in the countryside, views, a comfy area to sit, a fire place and a big spa.

I had planned to play some EVE each morning while my wife slept in – but the cottage was 10 metres too far down the valley to receive mobile coverage, so I read a book by James Dashner instead.

In the past, this might have bothered me. I might have hung my wireless broadband device from a nearby tree and set my laptop up by a window. Today, the situation barely warranted a shrug.

I wasn’t sure I’d ever truly reach the point, but today I could comfortably and without regret walk away from EVE.  Happy with what I got out of it, happy to move on.

I am not going to – as simply I don’t need too.  My Main account is subscribed for the rest of the year.  In the meanwhile I quietly keep an eye out for any announced game changes which might re-enthuse me, and try to log in every other week to ensure the client is kept up to date.  I can’t really call myself an EVE player at the moment.  More an EVE watcher.

I did unlock the other day to check out the new look Suns. Very swish. I like them a lot.

In the meanwhile – fly safe all.

Happy 14th Birthday EVE

It is that time of year again – where EVE gets one year older and CCP hand out some free stuff via the redeeming system.  (On both Alpha and Omega Accounts – you have about two and a half weeks to grab them before they are removed.)

https://community.eveonline.com/news/news-channels/eve-online-news/new-eden-turns-14-happy-anniversary/

Not one of their more creative or unique offerings, but the price is right.

What does 210 mean?

My Main EVE toon has passed 210M SP. In the New Eden of skill injectors, I’m not sure what meaning that number has. I certainly don’t pay it the sort of attention I have in the past.

At the moment Elmis is training skills I don’t really need but which were previously only on his Main Alt. He grabbed Shield Command Specialist V, is half way through Mining Director V, and is lined up to do Armored Command Specialist V after that. Since you no longer need to be a in fleet to use command bursts, I might find some interesting T3 or Command ship PVE fits to try.

Looking at my training history I have also picked up Neurotoxin Control V and Neurotoxin Recovery V.

At the moment Elmis has 3 rank III skills, 184 rank IV skills and 222 rank V skills.

I’m not entirely sure what I thought of the PvE presentation from Fanfest.

There are aspects I find interesting, cool even. There do seem to be some large risks associated with a final move to this sort of idea though. They are pushing for PvE to be like PVP – which won’t suit all players. I would assume they would need to balance bounty payouts – as it would likely take longer to kill NPCs. I would also assume coordinated NPC rats will mean some content you can solo now won’t be available to solo players afterwards. They also have to get their logic trees and programming right. I wonder if CCP have contemplated hiring bot writers to help them out.

Show me the Money

I realised the other day that I have spent more on World of Warships in 7 months than I have spent in EVE in over 3 years.

Both games can be played for free. In EVE you are restricted to a relatively small subset of skills, ships and fittings on a free account. In WoWS I think you can basically do everything on a Free account that you can do on a Premium account, the only difference is the premium account earns 50% more XP and Credits.

The grind in WoWS is real, especially if you are silly like me and tend to train all Destroyer, Cruiser and Battleship trees for all Nations all at the same time. Premium makes sense.

A year of premium time in WoWS is around 20% cheaper than a year’s subscription in EVE, but I have never paid that full price. I picked up 7 or 8 months on specials with reasonable discounts, plus more recently another 12 months at 50% off.

I have purchased extra port slots in WoWS – also on reasonable specials. This was required as I train so many ship lines, plus I have a tendency to keep my favourite hulls even after I stop using them. I have however picked up enough free slots from containers and the like that I now actually have too many.

I have picked up extra reserve slots for Captains – again on special – and again I have since picked up enough free slots from containers and the like that I also have too many.

I have purchased Credits and Doubloons – again always on special. The Credits get used on Ship upgrades – freeing me up from some of the grind. The Doubloons have been used to purchase some permanent camouflage, but mostly they get used for converting earnt XP from Elite and Premium ships into Free XP.

I have purchased flags packages, again always on special, and primarily for those focused on standard and Captain XP boots.

I also purchased some of the Christmas containers.

Mostly however I have purchased Premium ships – yet again, always on special. Some of these are kind of pay to win – the Murmansk, Belfast and Scharnhorst are particularly effective. Most however tend to be harder to play than standard ships. They might have a party trick or two, but they require more skill than average to make the most of them. I have purchased more of these Premium ships than I had any need too as I simply like trying many of them out. I might also have been caught up on occasion by the collect-ability / rarity of some of these hulls that might only turn up once a year.

I wonder how much more money CCP would make selling special edition collectable ships for limited periods of time from its store, instead of just the skins. They would have to be balanced very carefully. Probably won’t be worth the player upheaval, but Wargaming has been able to extract a lot more of my money than CCP has been able to.

Eye Candy

My EVE logins have been pretty light on so far this year. I have commonly gone a week or more between play sessions. Some of the hype around Fanfest though might have rubbed off as I have been logging in regularly over the last fortnight. Nothing to comment on as I am not doing anything worth posting about, but I am at least getting a return on my subscription money.

I’ve been doing lots of hauling in my Exequror. I am quite a fan of how it looks wearing the YC119 Guardian’s Gala Spirit skin

 

Rose-coloured glasses

My wife was sitting opposite me in the living room the other day. She was browsing her Facebook feed on her iPad, her expression half engaged in what she was doing, half relaxed.  She was bathed in glorious soft late afternoon light and my heart skipped a beat to what was in my eyes a quintessential, picture-perfect scene. After a while I quietly got up, grabbed “the good camera” and took a couple quick photos before my wife became aware of what I was doing.

I’m overzealous when it comes to crafting the family photo album. If I take 100 photos over an outing, I’ll keep only 3 or 4 that best trigger our memories of the day. If I capture 20 perfect photos of the same person or scene in one sitting, I’ll keep only one. I tend to be very proud of the collection of photos I retain each year. In amongst those carefully selected slices of our life will be just a handful that grab right at our souls. The perfect representation of a person, a moment in time, a trigger not of a memory, but a flood of them. A photo you cherish for a life time. That was the sort of photo I was confident I had captured.

When I downloaded the photos later that evening I was instead a little disappointed. Technically they were good and captured the scene, but my wife was not the glowing beautiful woman that had taken my breath away just hours earlier. Your eyes were too easily drawn to the wrinkles, and posture, the not quite right hair, the slight hint of a dour edge to her expression. Instead what I had was a photo that would be looked at fondly as the years progressed. The sort of photo my wife would look at in her 50’s and remark that she always complained about her appearance in her 40’s, but now she realised she looked alright, and wished she appreciated it more at the time. The sort of thing she says now in her 40’s about photos taken of her in her 30’s.

Technically I could have swapped to a faster lens and used a much shallower depth of field to soften the photo, but the candid nature of the scene would have been lost to the set up. The expensive camera and lens did what it was designed too – captured a very large, sharply in focus image.

The reality is I see my wife through rose-coloured glasses. It is a consequence of not just loving her – but of being in love with her. It is a selective filter on what you see in your mind’s eye.

Now if you have read this far, you might be wondering what this has to do with EVE. I’ve been aware for a while now that I’ve put down my rose-coloured glasses when it comes to EVE. I love the game – but I am no longer in love with it. I felt this keenly as I watched, read and listened to the details coming out of EVE Fanfest 2017. I really needed some sort of inner predisposition to be happy with whatever I was being shown, because when looked at it objectively, there was very little to look forward to or be enthused about for the Solo player.

I feel like a broken record in this regard – but it is the game style I play and the primary focus of this blog.

The new PVE AI in the new PVE site sounded like it could be interesting – but there will only be one instance of the site in the game at any one time, and it will be defended by hundreds, maybe even thousands of NPCs. Obviously not content suitable for solo use!

I had a glimmer of hope when on one slide about the upcoming structure work CPP mentioned they were looking to support a wider variety of player types than they have been so far. Then I realised it would just be the need to have miners in the new moon goo collection process.

One of the few things relevant to me was CCP Seagull alluding to new content coming to Empire Space in the Winter Expansion. I got the impression it was PVE related, would be big, and that she wanted the players to find some of the details out for themselves in the game when it was released. I assume it relates to the NPC AI changes. If I had rose-coloured glasses I would be excited for the possibilities, but instead I’m left contemplating CCP’s apparent lack of understanding of their Empire players, and wondering if we would be as excited about this new thing as they are.

While it doesn’t really impact game play, CCP is continuing to try and improve the look of the game. There were several art concepts pictures shown for what CCP wouldn’t mind moving the in game space scape towards.

I like the idea of it, but at this point I’m over desperate instead for some worthwhile game play changes.

EVE and WoWS – Charge

The Total Net Worth indicator has been added to the EVE client:

https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&t=513617

I’m worth about 167B ISK apparently.

 

CCP have given an overview of how the Upwell Refineries / moon mining might work going forward.

https://community.eveonline.com/news/dev-blogs/introducing-upwell-refineries/

There is plenty to like about it, but again, nothing really for solo players.  You can’t even Ninja mine the Moon chunk asteroid belts without the Refinery Owners getting a detailed log about what you were up to – or likely being able to shoot you in the Belt from the Refinery.

CCP did a second Structure blog which was more self-congratulatory than informative, but there were some statistics and a link to a survey worth looking at.

https://community.eveonline.com/news/dev-blogs/the-advancing-world-of-upwell-structures/

 

Unless you are hiding under a rock, you would be aware PLEX changes are inbound.  I’m not going to talk about the mechanics, but I think it is a good idea to get rid of Aurum.  I’m not sure why CCP made so obvious miss steps in their initial Dev Blog.  The first and follow up Dev Blogs are below:

https://community.eveonline.com/news/dev-blogs/plex-changes-on-the-way/

https://community.eveonline.com/news/dev-blogs/plex-rework-follow-up/

 

The CSM 12 elections are in full swing (or at least I assume they are).  This year I think my vote will have slightly more value in not being used, so I will be skipping it.  CCPs and the CSMs version of “all play styles” has been proven for many years now to be too limited in scope.

 

I haven’t looked at the new scanning UI changes – most of my MMO time has still been spent in World of Warships.  I continue my fascination / dislike of the game.  After finally reaching the heights of a sad 50% odd success rating I then lost something like 10 out of 12 battles.  This happened immediately after I purchased a year of premium time – sort of like karma laughing at me.  There were some obvious reasons for this – I was finding matches more difficult again as people came back from ranked battles, people adjusted their play to the new skill options, plus I moved into some new Tier VII ships and onto new maps I’ve never played before.  Despite my wining streak coming to an end, I am finding if I am not sunk in the very first push forward that I often rank towards the top in many of my battles.  I’ve found a particular liking for the US Tier VI Battleship New Mexico.  The tri-turrets seem to work better for how I aim, and it is so slow that it is more difficult to overextend.  Actually – by the time I reach battles it will often be at stalled flanks, and I’ve been able to push my side forward by moving past them in my own version of a charge.  The New Mexico can take a pounding and seems particularly deadly in closer combat.  I’m sure some of these lessons would help me in EVE PVP.