Sounds all the same

The new warp sound changes I remarked on were only recently added.

EVE Version 19.10, patch 2021-11-09.1

“Updated ship engine audio making the sounds of all engines more contextually dynamic and linked to velocity.”

Now that I have flown a few different ships around, I have found (surprisingly) it is another change that breaks my immersion. The sound itself is cool – but it is basically used under Mircowarpdrive or in warp for all ships. There needs to be different sounds for small, medium, and large hulls. Hearing my Orca making similar sounds in warp as my Malediction ends up not working for me.

Other patch notes I noted

EVE Version 19.10, patch 2021-11-16.1

“Updated the Alliance Tournament Monument in the Manarq system with a new structure honoring HYDRA RELOADED’s victory in ATXVII.”

I have never checked that out. Given it happened to be close to where I was at the time, I ran across to look.

Cool enough.

There were also 4 new exploration sites introduced – 3 found via scanning and 1 escalation.  One is in Poochyen and 3 in Low Sec.  They seem to be high end content for capital and super capital components.

“Added the option to sort and filter the content in the redeeming queue. It will also no longer select all items by default upon opening it.”

These changes are good and removed a mild irritation with the feature.

Fingers do not fly

There are warp engine noises I am suddenly hearing in EVE. They sound sort of cool – somewhat Star Wars like. They are however a bit disconcerting, since there are mini explosions in the soundtrack. I expect I will turn the sound down on them sooner rather than later. I am not sure if they are a recent addition, or I am only just noticing them as I adjusted sounds to increase the chance I hear when my cargo is getting scanned.

I’ve read some of the commentary regards CCP’s changes to mining. I need to do a lot more reading before I have a proper opinion. My initial view it is negatively impacts solo play – and is a continuation of CCP trying to force people to play EVE the way they want them too.

I purchased a PS5 the other day. These have not been advertised in stock since November last year. Retailers get small allocations at random times with no warning, so generally operate store by store waiting lists. Last weekend I was in an Electronics store looking for Christmas Gifts when I remembered Grand Turismo 7 was coming in 2022 so I asked the Salesperson if they had a waiting list for the console. He said they unexpectedly got several units in that morning, and I could have one if I included some extra purchases (I grabbed an extra controller and a couple games).

Our main TV is 4K and has a Sound Bar, and the PS5 looks and sounds great on it. The kids were delighted, but it was meant to have been purchased for me. I am starting to wonder however if I am just too old for it. It comes with Astro’s Playgroup – a simple but enjoyable 3D platform game designed for you to get used to the DualSense controller. The kids fly through it – but I am just not getting the coordination right. I also got the W2C 10 Rally game. I can’t yet drive the cars precisely enough. Even when I get things half right, some of the tracks are so tight that there is absolutely no room for mistakes – and I make mistakes. I had been practicing my handbrake turns for 20 minutes on a test track when my daughter asked to try. She beat my time on her second lap, and despite never playing a rally car game before was sliding and drifting and power steering better than I was within minutes. Last of all I got Call of Duty Vanguard. My initial forays into that last night did not go well.

I will continue my 20 minutes practice each night after everyone has gone to bed to try and improve.

A $181.52 mistake – or was it

After 260+ days of accumulative lockdowns we were allowed to get haircuts and go into retail stores again. The kid’s schools, sports and activities restarted – often with clashing overlaps as they all try to salvage some face time before the end of the year. While very much appreciating the freedom, the adjustment to the new level of extreme busyness has not been easy. Nor has carrying the dispiriting shadow of individual lockdowns that hang over you any time you cross paths with COVID. With our schedule, it is not a matter of if, but how many times that happens.

In amongst the chaos, I knew my EVE subscription was coming to an end and had set my mind to let it lapse. I no longer get value for money from it and have not for some time. I had previously cancelled my automatic payment and while I tried to do some preparation by moving a few ships and assets about, I mostly lost interest.

To my surprise CCP then cheerfully told me that they had automatically renewed by subscription for another year. A $181.52 charge at current exchange rates. They no longer warn you that they are going to do that – an irritation I have remarked on before, obviously designed to reduce the chance people cancel their payments.

I logged in to see I had not cancelled the payment. I could have sworn I did – but must have been my mistake. So, I cancelled the payment, and put in the reason that I did not like how they did not warn about automatic payments going through. I hit submit and it accepted it. Then I double checked – and found my automatic payment was still active. I repeated the cancellation – but this time with no explanation, and it went through OK. It looked like I could only cancel my payment when I did not tell CCP why.

So now I have an active account until October next year.

I note there were riots in Jita again. I saw the call for it in one of the EVE Facebook groups I am a member of. It was about mining changes. I figured 7 people would turn up, but apparently, they capped out the Jita population. I might have to look into the mining changes when they hit Tranquillity. There is no rush, I have another 11 months.

I wonder why

I’ve set myself the goal of keeping on top of reading the patch notes.  I have already assumed I will fail.

As I go through a copy of the notes, I generally highlight relevant or useful or interesting lines in either pale yellow or pale green. 

Pale yellow is to remind me to investigate, action and/or follow up.

Pale green tells me that I have noted, investigated, actioned and/or followed up.

The next pale yellow entry in my OneNote document is:

EVE Version 19.08, patch 2021-09-14.1

“Completed the construction and opened for Capsuleer visitors the new Pator IV (Matar) – Thukker Council Halls of Liberation station in Pator.”

I use one of my Shuttle Maledictions and fly the 20 odd jumps to check the station out.  It does not take very long – the ship flies.

I fly around it, dock and undock.  I presume it is using a different Skin.  There are other stations already in the system, and I am not sure what this one’s purpose or meaning is.  I must have missed some EVE Lore related post or comment or YouTube video. 

I fly back to my staging system.  Again, it does not take long.

The sparkle in your eyes

A couple of months ago EVE had a visual update.

EVE Version 19.06, patch 2021-07-13.1

“The Bring Out EVE’s Colors update is live and introduces a range of huge visual improvements”

I’m not sure if it is just me, but I found the impact to be hit and miss.

The interior and exterior of stations seemed to improve – they look to have more depth and detail.  Likewise, some planets seemed to be sharper and more eye-catching.  A lot of my ship hulls however now look flatter and duller.  They stand out from the space around them, but not in a good way.

Lighting seems to play a big part.  The Gnosis above has this great looking rear, but then the front is awkward in comparison.

I will be warping through space and the ship will be lit in a certain way and really look great (as above) but as you slide further past the sun you are back to looking flat.

Nothing earth shattering, and it does look as if in the long term it will be for the better.

15

The other reason I have had a flurry of EVE activity – Elmis turns 15 today.  5,479 days of continually paid subscription.

He has 327M Skill Points – an increase of 23M from last year.  That was all from normal training and login / activity bonus handouts.  The handouts really add up, and he has a bunch of unallocated points.  On the occasion a new skill is released those unallocated points generally allow me to train them to Rank 4 immediately.

All the skills he uses in game are already at Rank V.  The training queue was 197 days long, with skills I don’t use and am unlikely to use.  Currently being worked on was Torpedo Specialization V.  I added a bunch more skills in the process of writing this entry, taking the training queue up to 475 days.  I hit a limit (I assume 500 days). 

Elmis has around 125B ISK in cash and 15B ISK in assets (approximately).  His wealth increased a little over the last year, but I made no specific effort to do so. 

Interestingly my Bitter Vet levels dropped.  That has however been because of caring less. 

If it wasn’t for COVID lockdowns it is unlikely I would have been writing this post.  I would have fallen further out of the habit of playing and slipped quietly away. 

The end of my EVE playing would not have been through the actions of CCP or other players.  It would not have been because I play a Hermit game instead of a social game.  It would not have been because I found a new game to invest my time in.  It would simply have been caused by an overly busy real life.

I will fall back into some new level of overly busy life next year.  Without change I will be back in the same boat, sliding quietly out of EVE. 

We have made some huge sacrifices for our kids in recent years.  They have had some amazing opportunities as a result, but outside of lockdown I spend many hours every day driving them to and from places and waiting for them in between.  I cannot announce that is all going to change because they are taking too much time away from my online space game.

I do find when I log in to EVE that I am spending too much time on housekeeping and trying to catch up.  I have always had a very organised but large collection of ships and spares.  They allow me to cover a great deal of contingencies when I play.  With CCP’s constant small changes however all this preparation tends to end up less than optimal or even obsolete.  I log in, spend an hour or two trying to rectify, then log off without doing anything.

While I have this extra time, I think I will try to balance undocking to do things I am interested in, with trying to really simplify what I keep in game.  Maybe that will help me be around for birthday 16.

Urlen

While the Lockdowns have dragged me somewhat back to EVE, I have been more focused on the value of them after the first death of someone I knew which was impacted by COVID.

We met his family in the maternity ward when our sons were born and have regularly caught up in the 16 years since.  Our sons have been friends from a very young age, and currently go to the same High School.

The man had been feeling unwell but delayed investigations during the early COVID lockdowns.  Initial appointments and tests were further dragged out by COVID restrictions.  When he was diagnosed with Cancer, subsequent appointments, treatments, and surgeries were all impacted by COVID restrictions.  When it was apparent the prognosis was poor, he spent most of his remaining time confined to his house, unable to do what he might have wished or to see friends or family.  His time in palliative care and who could visit was impacted by COVID restrictions, his funeral is impacted by COVID restrictions, and the grieving process will be impacted by COVID restrictions.

It was a rare and aggressive cancer, and I do not suggest his life expectancy would have been any different without the COVID impacts on his health care.  But his remaining life was made so much poorer, and I hope such a price was well considered and completely justified.

More distractions needed.

EVE Version 19.07, patch 2021-09-01.1

“New Caldari landmark sites can be found within the New Caldari and Urlen systems.”

I travel over to Urlen from New Caldari, cringing at each Gate session change.

Again, there are two Celestial Beacons in the system – one labelled an Abandoned Caldari Outpost and one the Urlen II Provist Riots Memorial. 

I warp to the Outpost to see what the older Landmark looks like.

There are some rat wrecks on the structure that I salvage while I look around.  It is hard to find a photo worthy angle.  There is not much information to be had – something about it being a ruined Guristas site of some kind.  Or maybe the Guristas ruined it.  I’m not sure I would make a good tour guide.

I warp over to the Memorial.

Again, the new landmark is visually pretty.  The description of the site is less pretty.  It is a Caldari State memorial to citizens killed by terrorist acts enabled by the at the time de facto leader of the Caldari State.  Or something like that.

Some real life to push and a single line in a patch note and two dozen jumps later you have played EVE.

New Caldari

For a long time, I just resigned myself to our Lockdowns.  We were told over and over that they were saving lives and protecting our health systems from being overrun.  As time has gone on and on, I find myself less amenable towards them.

When compared to the rest of the world we do seem to have saved lives.  How many will have to be calculated after we have moved to living with COVID and deaths spike.  Then we will see what our expected 280-300+ days of city-wide Lockdowns have paid for.

So, distractions are more and more important, and EVE offers up a little of that.

EVE Version 19.07, patch 2021-09-01.1

“New Caldari landmark sites can be found within the New Caldari and Urlen systems.”

I do not generally check out new landmarks – but I decide to do so this time.  I head over to New Caldari in a very dirty Astero.  I have been spending a lot of time in Pyfa, revisiting again what might be the best Hi-Sec Data/Relic Exploration hull now that the Pacifier is in the mix.

There are two location beacons in system – Derelict Ruins and Landfall Kutuoto Miru Orbital Center.  I presume the second site is the new one.  I’ve paid little attention to Landmarks outside of Cosmos systems, so I check out the Derelict Ruins first.

Not much to see and no real description.  There are some Rats on the object, and I clear them out to collect my bonus Skill Points for the day.

I then warp over to the Orbital Center.

A bit more development effort has gone into this one and the description is several paragraphs long.  I will leave it for you to track down the details, but in summary it is a Caldari Cultist Education Camp floating over a big Graveyard.

You could create an EVE blog just by visiting and documenting all these landmarks… You could call it EVE Travel or the like… 

Flung down the Rabbit Hole

The City I live in is some 40 days into COVID Lockdown 6.  I think we have been in Lockdown for 225 days now – and projected to remain in lockdown for least 60 days more.  That is when we should reach 70% of the population being double dosed vaccinated.  We don’t know what freedoms we will get back at that point – so it is not clear if we will remain in Lockdown or not.  In 80+ days we should reach 80% double dosed vaccinated, when more freedoms will be returned.  I am left with the impression that the Leader of our State has no other ideas.

It does leave me with more time for EVE.

I still loath the Gate Jump transition.  I am irritated by it every single time.  I go through the client settings once a week hoping to find CCP has added the option to turn it off – to no avail.

I am trying to get back into the habit of reading the patch notes.

EVE Version 19.07, patch 2021-08-10.1

“Increased the maximum volume level in-game videos can be set to. Set the default volume of videos to be at max volume.”

That item gave me a mini-heart attack.  The Videos had sound?  I had visions of how Facebook inserts Video Ads at 100% volume (or 50% volume if you find and turn on quiet mode).  I immediately went looking for how to turn this down.

But there was no setting.  I think it is just the World Level volume.  I have that set to a low background mumbling, and there seemed to be no impact from CCP’s update.  Crisis adverted. 

Matters Not

The system of Uedama lies between my current home system and Jita. When I want to go to the game’s biggest Trade Hub, I need to pass through it.

Uedama has a security level of 0.5 and is a suicide ganking choke point. In my unscientific observations it seems to be much more regularly camped now that Niarja was ripped out of known space and into Pockven by the Triglavians.

I have never lost a ship in a chokepoint system – or a trade hub for that matter. I have always made deliberate and careful decisions around the size of the ships tank and the value of fittings and cargo I move through such systems. I might end up making twice as many jumps, but I try to find the point where I am not worth the effort to Gank.

With CCP’s big economic adjustments over the last year or two, they have both reduced the general income in the game and made larger ships much more expensive. In Hi-Sec that has seen the Orca price increase to around 1.7B ISK, and Freighters to increase to over 3B ISK.

Out in NULL sec, the new price of Capital and Super Capital ships has apparently seen a reduction in the willingness to risk such assets in a fight. A sort of own Goal by CCP, although I am not suggested they did not need to do something about wealth generation and inequity.

In Hi-Sec the increased hull prices of capital ships seems to have triggered a psychological change in Suicide Gankers. I keep any eye on the killboards for Uedama and other choke point systems. I am seeing a consistently larger number of empty Freighters being ganked than what I would expect. It seems an empty and unprofitable 3B ISK Freighter kill is worth it – because they know it will hurt the pilot, and it pads the Killboard.

What it means is that if you pilot a Freighter around Hi-Sec, there are no deliberate or careful decision you can make to give you a comfortable risk verse reward calculation. You are at real risk while doing nothing to generate ISK.

This is not a cry for a risk-free EVE, or a demand for more income in game or less, or wanting ships to be cheaper or more expensive, or ganking to be easier or harder. It is an acknowledgement of an aspect of the game where your decisions now matter less, and randomness matters more.

Meanwhile I finally got around to undocking and looking through my EVE Assets. I had four Orca’s – purchased for between 600 and 800M ISK. I sold two for 1.7+B ISK each.

To exist

We are in our sixth COVID lockdown here. More than 200 days of dispiriting personal, education and business confinement and restrictions since the pandemic was declared in March last year.

In Lockdown 1 to 5 our leaders could gloss over the notable costs by looking at the final successful suppression of the outbreaks. Lockdown 6 however has not been so successful, with the Delta variant slowly spreading and growing regardless.

There is little hope being offered up, just a perpetual lockdown for the rest of the year until Vaccine supplies improve. Our response to COVID has been directed by Medical Bureaucrats, who understandably try to save every single life regardless the cost. I have friends who applaud it. The result however is that we exist, but do not live.

I went through my EVE Game logs earlier. I have mostly remembered to collect the daily rewards. It has been around 6 weeks however since I logged into a Station, and 12 weeks since I undocked. I have thought to play a couple of times, but it is almost like I am hesitant to do so as it will break my run of not playing.

It was an email from World of Warships offering me free Premium ships if I returned that got me thinking about EVE again.

I did start up my gaming laptop tonight. I had in mind transferring some assets between my Main and an Alt on an Alpha account. You can not run an Alpha and an Omega account at the same time on the same computer, but you can (shhhh) on different computers at the same time. The problem is it had been more than a month since I last started the laptop and I spent 60 minutes on and off applying Window, Intel, nVidia, ASUS, Security and multiple game patches and updates. My interest waned. Maybe next time.

I did allow the automatic payment of my WordPress upgrades to go through. I obviously haven’t quite given up just yet.

Will it make you log on?

We found ourselves in a fifth COVID lockdown over the last couple of weeks. I think the characteristics of the Delta variant will mean frequent lock downs from now on until someone makes the decision to move into the COVID endgame.

No one is really talking about the endgame here. The point where everyone who wants to be vaccinated is vaccinated. When the hospitals and funeral parlours are prepared as they ever will be. The point where they let COVID spread.

There will be a harsh reality at that point. A statistically horrific number of people will die. Maybe 1 in 500, or 1 in 1,000, or 1 in 2,500. It will be thousands of deaths. However – society will cope and function. Most people won’t personally know someone who dies of COVID. That would be the brutal reality of it.

In the meanwhile, we will be in lockdown limbo for the foreseeable future. On the plus side both my wife and I have been fully vaccinated now. The statistical odds should be in our favour, particularly as the Government has already ordered supplies for a 3rd booster shot next year.

The last lockdown gave me some extra time in EVE. This time I’ve just been watching the Olympics. I log in for the daily rewards, but I don’t enter the station. I have effectively stopped playing EVE. I don’t know if that will be permanent or not.

So why am I posting today? To rant about the COVID situation here? No – what triggered my post was the latest limited daily login campaign giveaways.

235M ISK for subscribed accounts if you log in for 5 days over The Grand Heist event.

I am not going to look a gift horse in the mouth and will endeavour to remember to log in to claim it. 235M ISK is still a noteworthy amount for me.

Maybe CCP is hoping it encourages people to log in and do something with the ISK in an easy come / easy go manner. I am not sure what to think.

I do know I preferred the old days where you would get skins that you could inject, trade, or store away in hope of a windfall years later, instead of just ISK. I find it all very odd.

2B ISK ORCA’s!

For around the 20th time, COVID19 has escaped hotel quarantine in Australia, and the city I live in finds itself back in its fourth lockdown as they pursue the eradication of community transfer.  On the bright side there is suddenly a much greater interest in vaccinations and the opening of eligibility (my age group is now allowed to get them, so I am booked in on Saturday), and I have 20+ extra hours free a week because I am not transporting the kids too and from school, band, karate, roller-skating, hockey, or the myriad of other activities they are involved in.  The result has also been that I have undocked in EVE a few times.  Go COVID.

I do not think I have remarked, but I have finished my move away from Domain.  I do not have a single asset or jump clone there anymore.  One of the last things I moved was my BPO collection.  It has an in-client value of more than 5B ISK, but that does not factor in that almost everyone is fully researched.  I took all of them in one trip using an Interceptor. 

I would not like to calculate how long the entire move took me.  With 38 jumps between my old and new home, it was a laborious chore.

CCP did finally introduce the ability to store multiple Jump Clones in the same NPC station.  I moved some 25+ clones across several accounts into just a couple stations.  That makes the management and use of them much easier, although I am mindful of the danger of a Triglavian invasion version 2 and possibly losing a heap of clones.  At the moment, convenience trumps risk.

With the latest patch that went in last night there are four new gates in EVE.

Hykkota (The Forge) ↔ Ahbazon (Genesis)

Irgrus (Metropolis) ↔ Pakhshi (Genesis)

Kenninck (Placid) ↔ Eggheron (Solitude)

Saminer (Tash-Murkon) ↔ F7-ICZ (Stain)

I checked in game, but it seemed to have made no difference to the Hi-Sec route between Amarr and Jita, or Amarr and my new home.

I did not involve myself in the gathering of resources for the new gates.  I did not even manage to get all the login bonuses, which might be the first time that has happened for an event.

What I did notice in my latest COVID endorsed undocking was the price of ship hulls.  With CCP’s continued reset of the game economics the humble Battleship is now up around 300M for most hulls.  My long-term favourite ship – the Orca, is now up around the 2B ISK mark, and the humble Freighter around 3B ISK.  That is a big step up for newer players.  It also makes the Hauling or Roaming Home Orca that much bigger of a target.  It doesn’t really matter what you carry – you are a juicy killboard padding target empty. 

I think I have 4 Orca’s in my fleet.  Most would have been purchased at around the 600-800M ISK mark.  All are now worth 2-3 times more.  It does seem to be the way.  The rich get richer, the poor get poorer.

There are rumours the lock downs will ease on Friday.  I will see if I can squeeze in some more undocking before then.

EVE’s 18th Birthday

Another 7 weeks passed between posts – where does the time go? I am not playing EVE, but it is not just EVE’s fault. Real life is smashing me to smithereens. I have been saying that for years, but it just keeps on getting worse. The extra job I reluctantly took on before Christmas has resulted in a stupid amount of additional hours, far too much I am not paid for. My wife – whose scheduling of our kids lives long ago passed child abuse levels, has gone berserk. There is no room for EVE. There is no room for me. It is all just very unpleasant.

On a more cheery note, EVE has now turned 18. In Australia it can buy and consume alcohol. I wonder if it would be the type to be responsible, or go off the rails?

There are 8 days of daily login birthday gifts, including (apparently) 450,000 Skill points if you have a paid account.

Worth launching to the log in screen to collect.

EVE in a Browser

EVE Anywhere – which allows you to play EVE in a browser, has moved into Beta.

https://www.eveonline.com/news/view/eve-anywhere-enters-beta

It does not require a download, it works in the four main browsers, it runs in the cloud, and displays at 1080p and 60FPS.

The Beta is only available to US players at the moment who meet connection speed and browser requirements, which counts me out.

There are a few interesting comments.

CCP indicated in the early trial that first time EVE players using EVE Anywhere stay for longer, with higher numbers converting into full-time pilots.

CCP also said this Beta test will explore “the potential of wider availability in the future”. That does not entirely inspire confidence. A surprising number of CCP’s endeavours never get past the Beta stage.

While Beta testers will get to try EVE Anywhere for free, it is apparent that if released, Alpha accounts will need to pay something to access it.

I think this feature could have a surprisingly positive impact. If you have plans and goals and are playing the game regularly, it could be a very useful tool.

Sorry February

It has been 7 weeks or so since my last post. I’m not sure there has been a gap that long since I started this blog back in 2011.

I’ve not been playing EVE. CCP put back in that abysmal “feature” of seeing your ship shoot through the warp tunnel. While they have improved it over the first iteration, I still find it an unnecessary, jarring immersion breaker. It irritates me, and leaves me reluctant to log in.

I have at times done the daily login campaign, but I mostly close the client before entering a station. I have not been getting a good return on my two active EVE subscriptions.

I also fell even further behind in my EVE related reading. So what did I miss? Discounting their sale price to Pearl Abyss by 47%, Expert Systems, Skill Point Resurgence, a new quadrant called Reign (is it coming to an end?). Oh CCP, it is like I never left.

My absence from EVE is not all CCP’s fault. My wife has stretched the family schedule to well beyond sanity, and there is little time for EVE. Well – no time at all.

I should write something positive. Umm. The colours on the new monitors are more vibrant than the old – so it gives the EVE login screen a visual boost.

Six

My view as I sat down to start this blog entry last night –

The new monitors arrived early.  I am now running six screens, three 4K and 3 FHD.  Windows and some applications do not handle mixed high resolution displays all that well, so it takes a bit of tweaking to get things to work nicely.

If it is of interest to anyone, I set the 4K screens with 125% scaling, use the NVIDIA Control Panel to align them, DisplayFusion to manage having different backgrounds on some of the screens, Desksoft’s WindowManager to automatically move and resize certain applications, and BarRaider’s Stream Deck Window Mover to manually move and resize certain applications.

I also updated the TV in my study – from the old 32” FHD to a 43” 4K, along with an upgrade to 4K Blu-Ray and a small but effective Bose Soundbar.  The result was better than expected.  I have enjoyed watching the last couple Cricket Tests on it.

A substantial amount of research and patience went these upgrades – comparing, measuring, selecting stands, watching prices, and waiting for sales.  Strangely I have COVID to thank for the upgrades, and the substantial savings made last year on expenses like petrol, tolls, entertainment, and travel.

To juxtapose that story, my mother just came out of the hospital today.  She got a fever, but her doctor refused to see her until she had a COVID test.  By the time that was done and came back negative a few days later her infection had turned into Sepsis.  I do not make light of the impact COVID has.

The new screen setup is a very pleasant and productive place to sit, particularly for running multiple EVE clients.

I noticed this difference between my Omega Accounts:

And the Alpha Account I keep:

It looks like you cannot use a client theme with an Alpha Account.  I would have thought making that limitation would have taken more effort than it was worth.

I really do not have anything to report regards EVE.  I am still logging in most days, but not for long and I am not doing anything of note.  It lets me occasionally have some mindless downtime, and sometimes that is all it needs to do.

Presents to myself

We went two months without a locally acquired COVID19 case in our state – but that came to an end yesterday. While it was to be expected, the news felt like a palpable physical hit. Only three of the last nine months have had any semblance of normalcy, and the thought of yet more lockdowns is extremely unpleasant. Now we wait to see if the contract tracing systems have been fixed enough, and how much luck we collectively have, or do not have.

Christmas has come and gone. Presents to myself included another 12 months sub on my main and making use of the discounted 3 Month Sub / 3 Months Multi-Character training bundle CCP has been advertising. I am using the time to flesh out some training on my Alts and complete their move from Domain to Essence to meet back up with my Main account.

Almost all my Pilots have accumulated pools of unallocated Skill Points. None of these were purchased, but all handed out by CCP from free logon, undock and event bonuses. Most have more than 500K, with a couple into the Millions. I am surprised at how impactful these points are. Several Alts ingested a dozen odd skills each, and it took very few points to immediately increase their ranks from 0 to 3.

Once again CCP has provided a mechanism to create a unique video of your 2020 EVE year.

https://www.eveonline.com/article/qljaod/create-your-unique-eve-video

This time you are limited to only one pilot on each account, and a selection of 5 topics out of a dozen or more. I had no issue with generating or downloading the video.

As you might have seen remarked, the statistics do not seem entirely accurate. My main gained 20M Skill points for the year – in the top 4% of players. (That is the consequence of almost always having +5 learning implants in.) I was within the top 6% of players for Stargate Jumps, Systems visited, and warp drive activations. I was in the top 9% of players for time spent in space, and (cough) the top 3% of players for time spent sitting in station. You could be mistaken for thinking I was a particularly active EVE player in 2020 – but you would be wrong.

The second video I generated was for my Industrial Alt on my second account. They gained only 4.2M Skill points for the year – which was in the top 22% of players. They were in the top 27% of players for systems visited – at only 24. They spent only 7 hours in space in 2020 – which was in the top 30% of players.

So – if I was being kind, the statistics suggest 3 pilots per account, with 2 alt pilots rarely being used. As such if you were doing anything with a pilot, they tended to be reported as being in the top 30%. More likely there were a whole heap of pilots considered as active in 2020 that did not play for much of the year.

I find the video an interesting idea – but it brings up more questions than answers.

I did hit an interesting hurdle when trying to ensure my Main account had a years’ worth of training in his skill queue. I have seriously run out of things to train. Every skill I use is at rank 5. I scrounged and added a bunch of skills that I have no interest in and are not likely to ever use. Arguably I should switch training to the Alt on that account – but I am ashamed to admit I like accumulating Skill Points for the sake of a High Skill Point total.

A Stack of Probes

Life has continued to open-up here.  We have had 40+ days without a locally acquired COVID19 case in our state, with restrictions being further eased.  It has however made me extraordinarily busy.  The kids summer sports have started up, while the winter sports they missed during lockdown have put on special summer programs.  Additionally, my Son started his first part time job, my daughter has been doing extra performance hockey training, and I am onboarding for a second part time IT job.  Scheduling conflicts galore.

My sanctuary at home continues to evolve, with the next upgrade (thanks to Cyber Monday Sales) due to arrive in the new year.

I am still dabbling away at EVE.  I mostly fly the Kikimora, Pacifier, Noctis or Ikitursa.  I find the Daily Campaigns (when you get skill points for killing NPC rats) tends to get me undocked and active in game.  The Daily Login Bonuses – not so much. 

I am enjoying Empires of EVE 2.  Early on it discusses the symbiotic relationship between the wolves and sheep in EVE, their dislike for each other, and how they need each other.  That is a topic I have covered several times before.  There was however one line that stood out. 

“CCP Games vowed to judge no one’s playstyle.”

That is certainly no longer the case.  For a while now CCP has been trying to force Capsuleers into play styles that their statistics indicate generate the most income.

I was listening to a conversation last night about the impact Quantum Cores will have on Structure Ownership amongst the sheep in game.  Ruination is the thought. We shall have to see how much of the current in-game activity relates to CCP’s cleverness, and how much is due to the COVID19 lockdowns and the latest War on the Bees.

I note CCP have finally brought in T2 Salvage Drones.  They are one of those things I thought I always wanted, but now that I can have them, I do not see a use for them in my current fleet.

Another small change I have found far more useful is that recalled Probes now automatically stack in the Cargo Hold.

Empires of EVE Volume 2

This arrived today.

I supported Andrew Groen’s Kickstarter project back in May 2018.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sciencegroen/empires-of-eve-volume-ii/

Andrew did a good job keeping backers informed on what was happening since then, and so far I am pleased with the results.

It seems to read well – although I take a lot of my EVE related knowledge for granted. I am a little suspect of the spine. It creaks and groans as you turn pages, and feels like it might not have enough glue. I will have to see how it stands up over time, but it is not as if I am likely to read through it too many times.