Not a patch on me

What a strange experience the Galatea update patch was.

The first time I started the launcher it didn’t seem to successfully identify the game client needed patching.

The second time it started a 25MB download, but stopped on 17MB for a very long time before giving me a long error text. I’ve never seen that before.

The third time told me I needed to run the repair tool, which I did without issue.

The fourth time it again started a 25MB download – stopping and starting as it went. A little later while I was looking at the forums I noticed the launcher was no longer running. This is not uncommon for launcher updates though.

The firth time I started the launcher it again downloaded a patch file, a couple hundred MB if I remember. This process also had long pauses at various times. I went away and did something else, and by the time I came back the game was patched and I was able to log in.

Other people were having similar issues – and were complaining about them in the forums. Again – the level of vitriol directed at CCP seemed to be all out of proportion to the situation. Surely it must be aggravating CCP staff.

(As if to add weight to my thoughts, we just had an earth tremor here.)

I am having to make a conscious effort at the moment not to be dragged down by the melancholy that seems to hang over portions of the EVE community.

The back story takes a turn

The death of Empress Jamyl I was announced today:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46aRYr0IZi0

http://community.eveonline.com/news/news-channels/world-news/court-chamberlain-confirms-death-of-empress-jamyl-I/

If the Drifters are going for an Amarrian headshot, I wonder if they will attack Dam Torsad in Amarr Prime when the heads of the armed forces and government arrive for their meeting.

An interesting development of the back story.

A sandpit doesn’t entertain you, you entertain yourself in a sandpit.

My six year old daughter comes home from school most days with dirty clothes and shoes filled with sand.

She loves spending a lot of her free time playing in the Sandpit. She has no compunction to play there alone if her friends happen to be doing something else. With a bit of effort (often collaborative), imagination, plus some twigs, leaves and rocks thrown in for good measure, she finds a world of seemingly endless entertainment.

I asked her this week why she didn’t use the playground equipment more. I was quietly thinking it would save me a lot of washing. She remarked that it was boring because it was always the same.

I think she will like EVE when she gets older, and have the right mindset for it.

Bits and bobs

A small collection of links I found interesting over the last day or three.

. http://nosygamer.blogspot.com.au/2015/08/a-new-protest-in-jita.html

The Nosy Gamer mentioned some Russian Alliances were protesting in Jita over the Sovereignty changes. That is useful to know if you are planning a shopping trip. Ironically they seem to be protesting that the changes are having the impact they were designed to – making it harder for Alliances to hold huge sways of space that they do not actively use.  CCP Goal achieved?

 

. https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=5964850#post5964850

CCP Nullarbor mentioned the capital rebalancing has gained some momentum. They may have a role around controlling a grid, impacting the Entosis link mechanism.

 

. https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=5966867#post5966867
https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=5965199#post5965199

CCP Ytterbium suggests Cyno Beacons might be put in space near Structures, while CCP Nullarbor suggested they might be moved to Gates.

 

. https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=5965058#post5965058

CCP Nullarbor indicated the medium structures should take around a week to destroy, the larger structures longer.

 

. http://denofiniquity.net/?p=70

I first noticed this linked to on Sand Cider and Spaceships.  While I don’t agree with every comment, it is a very reasonable overview of a lot of issues flagged around Fozziesov and suggested solutions.  I will say one thing – a lot of these were flagged by players well before the mechanism was introduced.

 

** EDIT

The first set of changes to Null Sov have been announced.  A step towards what some players have been asking for.

https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&t=441365

Caravanning

I’m back in my home station with my travelling Orca. I have several hundred million ISK worth of loot to sell and some ship fittings and spares to fine tune and update. I also need to continue with my general asset reduction.

My Orca roam was a success, and I plan on moving out again in it shortly. I’ll start with visiting the Bleak Lands. The only issue I’ve really had was the discomfort I felt hauling all those ships through Niarja or Uedama. Every time I relocated I passed through one, the other, or both of them.

A follow up on something I mentioned at the end of June. I am still employed. I listened to middle managements ideas on generating more work, but could see they would accomplish little. (Why do so many people in that position take inspiration instead of irony from Dilbert?) I then went to the MD and had a candid conversation about the future prospects of my job. There is unlikely to be much work for me in the medium term, but they consider the service I work in to be strategically important to maintain.

While their reasoning is valid, I do quietly wonder if that strategy includes having me on the books as a sacrificial lamb the next time the International Accountants come demanding head count. Come what may, the job is convenient while it lasts. I’m just not sure if it will be for a week or a year.

Too much to ask?

Without trying to add to the drama, and mindful of the solo focused way I play EVE, I did want to remark on a concern I have about the Entosis mechanism.

It expects pilots to be consistently available to play EVE in certain windows of time. Step outside of Empire or want to use larger structures, and those windows grow in size.

It puts casual players defending at a distinct disadvantage.

In 2014 the average age of the EVE player was around 32. That is a prime time to be managing a career, marriage, kids, mortgage, and all the responsibilities of adulthood. I have a suspicion that many EVE players are actually more casual in nature, with limited free time and flexibility.

I currently only have one semi-reliable window to play EVE each week, between 10 am and Noon on Sunday. I manage to play then maybe 50% of the time. The rest of my EVE sessions are a sporadic 30 minutes here, 60 minutes there. I commonly only spend a few hours a week undocked. There is no way I can cover even the most basic of vulnerability windows.

Boohoo, it’s tough to be me.

What if the 4 or 5 real life friends I’ve historically played EVE with returned? They are busy like me. What sort of vulnerability window would we be able to reliably cover as a group? A medium structure in High-Sec should be fine, but we wouldn’t manage a large structure in a wormhole.

How many casual players would I need to get together to do something in Null-Sec?

The Entosis mechanism should work ok for a large, well organised group of defenders – even if mostly casual. They will have their procedures documented and down pat, suitable doctrine ships available on contract, and a critical mass of pilots. Even if only a couple percent of them are online during vulnerable periods, they can put up a suitable defence and not burn out.

But these same groups were able to exist comfortably enough under the Dominion Sovereignty system. I didn’t want to join them then, and I don’t want to join them now.

For defending groups without that critical mass, I can see a situation where their pilots quickly tired of having to align their play time and in game focus just on the Entosis Mechanism.

Thinking at the smaller end of the scale, I don’t think there should be such a focus on pilots being online. A POS can currently automatically defend itself – so should sovereignty and player structures. Make a player have to configure them appropriately, and accept a loss of utility for this defence. Obviously also make such a defence more effective if manned, like POS are now.

I don’t like the idea of being trolled out of assets because I don’t have hours of free time to sit around, not having fun, babysitting them. I am far more likely to put the time and expense into using mechanisms like this when I feel attackers have to make some non-trivial risk and effort to remove them.

It is hard to say all this without looking like a tool with a large sense of self entitlement. I don’t expect EVE to cater to my unique circumstance. Hopefully I am wrong and casual players are in fact in the minority. If I am right however, I’m not sure the current mechanism as is will be healthy long term.

Is CCP asking too much of its players?

Looking for excuses

The removal of all NPC stations was raised in some recent comments. While it is not something I expect is on the drawing board, it got me thinking – how would I play EVE in that sort of environment?

A scenario I could imagine it might happen in is during the twilight years of the game – when it was just being played by a small niche group of hard core capsuleers.

I expect there would be player own destructible structures you could use instead. I would not however use them to store assets.

I would sell the vast majority of my ships, supplies, collectibles, loot, BPO etc, and retain most of my worth in liquid ISK.

I would have three Alts on my second account logged off in space. One in an Orca carrying supplies, assets and a small collection of fitted ships, another in a Bowhead with more ships, and the last in a Carrier. I would use those as mobile hangers, although I suspect I would not move them around much.

I would have to find my inner minimalist.

I don’t relish the idea, but I think I could work with it.

Without meaning to be preachy, I think when it comes to EVE it is important to look for excuses to play, instead of reasons not to. I’m not suggesting you become a doormat and accept whatever you are given. Just that you take your bat and ball and go only after you have considered all your options and found none workable.

This thought has been brought to you by me reflecting upon my approaching 9th year anniversary in game, and wondering how the hell I have managed that.