A camera not so flash

I am about to head to bed, but I thought I would try the new Camera Controls updated with the latest release.

I’ve tested them before, and while they had some gimmicky value, I did not find them as smooth or as efficient as the original ones.

CCP has now turned them on by default (although they give you a choice to opt-out).  I figured I’d give them another go.

Excuse the French, but what the fuck.

The old camera was consistent and – well, reliable.  The new camera zooms and swoops and settles on objects in a theatrical way that frankly feels unnecessary.

The way it offsets itself on your ship is odd – you can’t do a quick visual alignment for D-Scanning.

The way you track objects now is – frankly, shithouse.  The original camera you just turned on tracking and then selected objects in the overview.  Want to track a new object – just select it in the overview and you would swing around to it.  It was quick and easy to D-Scan a series of moons, belts and what not.  Now it seems you have to select the object in the overview, then select the track icon in the selected item panel.  Want to track something new?  Select it in the overview and then again click on the track icon in the item panel.  Why require this double step now?  It is a step backwards.

If I read it correctly, tracking now won’t follow a warping object.  I’ll have to test it – but if it works as it reads, it takes more functionality out of the camera settings.

I’ll have to re-read the Dev blogs, I assume I must be missing things.  That will have to wait until I go back to Hi-Sec, as I de-cloaked myself twice in 0.0 space with hostiles around trying to put the new camera through its paces.

I’ve Opted out for now – although annoyingly the tracking isn’t working at all with the old camera.  I presume / hope that should be fixed by a restart of the client.

As you might be able to tell from my unusual language, I’m finding the situation a little aggravating.  Maybe it is just me – and people prefer this new change.

The Waiters

I finished collecting the carrier fit into the one location. Between moving the old fits, picking up new items from all over the place (thanks to eve-central) and extra caution on the values I hauled, it took an inordinate amount of time. It was a sort of engaging process, but hard to explain to a non-eve player. It certainly wouldn’t make for a good EVE game trailer.

I am going to have to wait for a fortuitous Wormhole chain to get it all down into my NPC 0.0 Home. Probably more than one. That could take quite a while.

Again there were active Gankers on the trade route to and around Jita. I don’t normally see them as consistently as I have over the last week. It makes me wonder if it is an organised / concerted effort. However, I haven’t flown much over the last month or so – so maybe this is the new norm.

Feeling somewhat productive when that task was complete, I jumped down to 0.0. I searched the entire constellation for travel routes back to Hi-Sec, but only found the one wormhole to a C5 which I did not explore further. There seem to be a lot less wormhole connections in Null-Sec than I usually find in High-Sec.

I am finding the NPC 0.0 area busier than when I first moved in. Initially I had the place almost to myself, but after a while I kept seeing regular pilots from one Alliance turning up during my morning sessions. I knew from their behaviour and killboard that they were happy to target Explorers, so I have to be cautious around them. Cautious means waiting for them to move on or log off.

More recently pilots from a different alliance have started turning up during my evening sessions. Again I know from observation that some of them camp Exploration sites, so again I find myself regularly waiting.

Yesterday’s session was particularly unsatisfying – I was logged in for many hours across the day, but ended up with minimal opportunities to interact with stuff in space while I waited, and waited, for cloaked pilots to dock or move on or log off. At one point I was sitting cloaked 200km off a Data site for so long that it disappeared from my scanner list then the cans all exploded.

I guess I could have risked running sites regardless, but I knew they had them scanned and bookmarked, and I am just not inclined to give away my kill mails so freely. It is however the negative of playing a solo Carebear game in 0.0. If you want to operate out of a system with a station, it isn’t just a case of logging in and doing something when you want. You have to wait for your opportunities.

I could just leave my Main Alt there, and use them when the opportunity exists, but otherwise stay in Hi-Sec with my Main. It makes sense – that Alt has 171M SP and like my main, is a perfect skilled Explorer. I’m not sure if it is just me though, but I never really use any of my Alts except in direct support of my Main.

I did try to collect some of my market and contract purchases. Unfortunately, three systems out and in pipe I had no choice but to travel through I stumbled across a couple dozen Goons. That put a stop to that idea. I’ll have to wait and try again. There is lots of waiting in 0.0…

A new Ore Mining Drone

Here’s the image of that Mining Drone I mentioned yesterday. I was too busy (maybe lazy) to link to it.

ehimg526

The original link:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BBacdwzgcQr/

The early comments in Facebook and Instagram that I read were hopeful this might be a capital sized drone for the Rorqual. We will have to wait and see. I like the idea, but I can’t see me (a solo player) sitting in a belt with one in Low or Null Sec.

I was back to hauling Capital fittings today. I only have one, maybe two loads to go to centralise it all. It might have just been timing, but like yesterday there seemed to be more than the usual number of Gankers patrolling the trade routes. I halved the value of my loads, meaning doubling the number of trips I needed to make.

Left Right Left Right

January was a total bust when it came to undocking in EVE. I was constantly on edge, listening out for the beginnings of my daughter’s next meltdown – needing to be able to immediately try and interject. The irony of finishing my job, yet finding myself working harder than ever was not lost on me.

Then school went back and it was like someone flicked a switch in her head. Her behaviour went from extreme back to its normal difficult. The Paediatrician who coordinates the various services we use for our daughter (at ridiculous cost) was not surprised. It is apparently common behaviour for her high functioning clients in the autism spectrum. They find comfort in the clear and consistent routine that school gives them, and act up worse when outside of it. At least we have some ideas for next holidays.

My wife and I are still rather rattled, but I’ve finally been able to cautiously start enjoying my unemployment. With the help of YouTube, I’ve been tackling some of the home maintenance items on my To-Do list, such as repairing the drywall my daughter has damaged. I have also been able to undock in EVE.

I feel a little precarious in my NPC Null Sec home. I can log in and have the place to myself for an hour, or I can find one of the local Corps active and not able to do much. The location is still good, but as I mentioned previously I do need to be able to relocate everything at short notice if the situation changes. For that I need a Carrier (until Capitals are reworked anyway). I had two of those, but they were on the other side of the map. I spent some time mulling over how to get one or both of them into the area. The distance however was just too far, with too many dangerous bottlenecks to try and get through.

I thought about trying to build my own carrier, and purchased an Archon BPC set towards that goal. In reality however I’d likely have to move out many times before that hull became a reality.

In the end I stripped my old Archon and Thanatos and put them up for sale. In a process that required far too many Star Gate traversals, I hauled their old fits out of Low-Sec and back to my Hi-Sec home. After watching for a while I was able to purchase a new Archon hull that lies within one Cyno jump of my NPC home.

Next I spent a long time in EFT and looking at Killboards, making some notable changes to my normal Archon fit. Given I fly solo, if I am caught a strong active tank will just delay the inevitable. No one will be coming to rescue me. I’ve now gone for a bigger buffer and some tools to try and shake off initial tackle. I’ve purchased everything I was missing for the new fit, and am almost done collecting it in one place in Hi-Sec. Again this required a lot of travelling.

The next phase will be trying to get 50,000m3 plus of gear to the location of the hull (in a busy and hostile system), and then move the hull across to my NPC Null home all without losing anything. I’m not sure yet on how I am going to manage that. A long wait for a suitable wormhole I suspect.

Here’s the new fit I will probably go with:

[Archon, Transport v2]
Capital Armor Repairer I
Imperial Navy Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane
Imperial Navy Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane
True Sansha Capacitor Power Relay
Reinforced Bulkheads II
Reinforced Bulkheads II
Damage Control II

Shadow Serpentis Warp Disruptor
Sensor Booster II, Scan Resolution Script
Sensor Booster II, Scan Resolution Script
Dark Blood Cap Recharger

Drone Control Unit I
True Sansha Heavy Energy Neutralizer
True Sansha Heavy Energy Neutralizer
Shadow Serpentis Large Plasma Smartbomb
Large EMP Smartbomb II

Capital Transverse Bulkhead I
Capital Transverse Bulkhead I
Capital Transverse Bulkhead I

I’ve also added another new ornament to my hanger – a Bhaalgorn that I will probably never use in anger. For no good reason, I’ve always wanted one. Given the price of the hull is now well under 400M, I didn’t go overboard with the fit.

ehimg525

On the way home from Jita

I’ve kept my Rorqual while waiting for news from CCP about what changes they are going to make to it. They posted a teaser image to their Instagram page recently of what might be a capital mining drone. I expect that is what the Rorqual will end up being – an in-belt booster / mining platform. I can’t imagine a situation where I would do that as a solo player, but I’ll hold off selling the hull until its direction is confirmed.

Today I even flew the Victorieux Luxury Yacht for the first time in an age.

It has been good just getting out and about, well – in EVE. That of course requires not getting out of about as much in real life.  That has been nice too.

Hold on

I was watching the latest o7 show yesterday ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=maVjcmXuMUw ), and they had a segment on the new Fighter Control Interface in development.  The example was shown via a camera recording a computer monitor – as you can see in the capture below:

ehimg524

The Inventory Window had a long list of ship hold types down one side.  Obviously there isn’t a ship in game with that mix of holds, and I don’t expect we will see one in the future.  They would all be visible as part of CCP’s development work / testing.  Most of these I am already familiar with, but in addition to the Ship Hold and the Industrial Ship Hold were Small Ship, Medium Ship and Large Ship Holds.  That could add interesting dynamics to hulls used to haul fitted ships.  Or might we see Fighter squadrons launched and controlled from Citadels, which might have a mix of holds like that?  Just an idle thought.

BB71 – The Harbour Crush

BB71 – Are there too many Ships in EVE? Is it too complicated to remember them all and what their traits are?

Earlier on in EVE ships (and modules) were generally Tier based. The higher the tier, the more effective (and expensive) it was. This linear approach was easy enough to understand and keep track of, but inherently hurt newer players with less SP and ISK, and meant lots of lower tier ships had little use other than a short term stepping stone.

I’m not entirely sure about the timeline, but I think from around early 2012 within the Crucible releases CCP started on a process called Tiericide. In effect it was the removal of these linear tiers, and replacing them with groups of hulls with distinct roles. These were balanced through different strengthens and weaknesses into a complicated game of rock, paper, scissors. While some are more niche than others, almost every hull in game now has a use.

(This Tiericide process is still ongoing.)

It is still possible to have tiers of power within a role – with a mix or all of T1, Faction, T2 and T3 Hull versions available. It is not always however a straight forward step up through these Hulls. Some are more powerful in certain niche circumstances, but weaker in others.

During this same time frame CCP has added new hulls to the game, sometimes filling in gaps, sometimes adding completely new roles.

I don’t doubt that this has made EVE a more complicated game for solo and small gang PVPers, particularly those who roam long distances. It is harder to identify ships, understand the appropriate tactics to use against them, and maintain a suitable mix of ships in your hanger to allow you to maximise what you can counter.

Do I think this is a problem? No. I think it is a glorious thing. It has made space a more complicated and vibrant place.

While that answers the BB question, I don’t think the situation is all a bed of roses.

Trying to balance so many hulls and roles would be very difficult. I think in most circumstances CCP have done an amazing job of it, but it seems to have come at a cost. Personally I have felt the Tiericide process has pushed players towards more cookie cutter role related fits. While it is still possible to surprise others through smart and unique ways of fitting a hull, it is not as easy to do it well. I can understand the necessity, but I read multiple bloggers who when they undock can pretty much preordain which fights they will win, which fights they must run from, and which fights will be close. It might be a complicated version, but a game of rock, paper, scissors will still become boring.

Sometimes I think there is only an illusion of choice. When you really sit down and look at what role you want or need to fill, you can end up with only a very limited number of options. It is also true if you want a more Generalist or Jack or All trades hull. It just takes you longer to go through all the hulls available to come to that realisation.

Obviously it is also a steeper learning curve for new players, and more difficult to keep on top of for established players. It also requires more effort to collect and maintain the ships you store in your hangers.

Having said all that – it has still made for a better game than what we had when we had less, tier based hulls.

Other Blog Banter posts on this topic can be found here

Plugging in good and bad percentages

As I remarked, I’ve tried to spend time recently reviewing the implants I am using across my characters. It is a task I’ve started and stopped over the years, but never finish. There are a mix of reasons – having some 35 different clones to update across my accounts, the time it takes to swap between each one, and the complexity in the choices available.

I’ve been using EFT to check effectiveness.  You expand the Boosters\Implants section for a ship fitting, and drag and drop implants into it from the equipment bar.  (You can do the same in Pyfa.)  As I’ve gone through my spreadsheets and notes I was hit by just how big, or how little, difference these things can make.

ehimg523

 

Above I was looking at increasing my Sensor Strength on my Golem against the Guristas Jams, and was looking at the Talon Implant sets.

My current Golem fit has a Sensor Strength of 16.8

A complete Low-Grade Talon Implant Set (Alpha to Omega) would cost around 80M ISK and increase the Sensor Strength to 25.2.

The offset to using Low-Grade would be that they only provide +2 bonuses to my training attributes.  I could instead use the more expensive High-Grade implants, which would increase that to +4.

The High-Grade Talon Implant Set (Alpha to Omega) would cost around 447M and increase sensor strength to 29.5.

Now to put that into perspective – I could alternatively fit one ECCM Gravimetric II for the cost of 1M ISK and some tank, and would end up with a Sensor Strength of 32.9.

Based on bang for your ISK, you might discount this implant set for PVE.  Things do however get more interesting when you add both implants and modules – the complete High-Grade set and one ECCM give a Sensor strength of 57.8, substantially higher than the 16.8 default.

When reviewing there are a whole heap of implants that – when you plug them in and look at the statistics, just can’t be justified.

Then there are some which really punch above their weight. The EE-602 (+2% CPU for 6M) and EE-603 (+3% CPU for 20M) allow me to squeeze all sorts of my favourite fits onto a Hull.

Speaking of Hull – there are also implants that only work in certain circumstances

MC-803 adds 3% hull. For the most common ship I fly – the confessor, that equates to 67 EHP for a 2.5M spend. That is certainly not worth it.

There are three ships however that I primarily hull tank. The MC-803 adds 324 EHP to my Retriever, 10,528 EHP to my Orca, and 63,282 EHP to my Rorqual. Those are all quite reasonable increases for such a relatively cheap spend.