Dropped

Previously I’ve done small posts on each of the 2019 August through November EVE Economic reports. I looked at the split of NPC bounty payouts between Null, High and Low Sec, with commentary on the impact the Chaos era (particularly the introduction and removal of the Null Sec Blackout) had on in-game activity.

The December Economic Report is now out.

https://www.eveonline.com/article/q43vbb/monthly-economic-report-december-2019

Unfortunately, it dropped the graph I used for details on the split of bounty payment across types of security space. While I could probably work it out from the data files, I won’t.

The total NPC Bounty Prizes paid out is still available. In December it was 43.9B ISK – an increase over November of 5.8%, but still below the 23-month average of 55.8B ISK.

The eve-offline.net statistics have also improved a little, the average daily online user counts for the:

Last 12 months has been 29,000
Last 6 months has been 26,000
Last 3 months has been 23,000
Last 1 month has been 23,000 (22,000 last month)

That is certainly better than the 20.2T ISK of bounties and 17,000 average user count back in September, when the Chaos influenced activity drop got to its lowest levels.

While there was a big bounce in October and smaller improvements in November and December, by these simple measurements, activity in game has still not managed to return to pre-chaos levels.

I hope the improvements continue, but at the moment CCP seems to have lost players they have not been able to entice to return or been able to replace.

Oddly, my home systems have been busier than usual. This has included the return of several Corporations I had not seen around for years. The income from my POCO has also increased notably. My quiet backwater seems to have bucked the trend.

Unless something changes drastically, I probably won’t do these particular posts again.

Your own EVE Video

If you have been active in EVE between January 1 and December 1 in 2019, and had an Omega Sub for a month or more, you might have received an Email inviting you to watch your own personalised EVE Video.

https://www.eveonline.com/article/q3cdsy/watch-your-personalized-year-in-eve-video

214,712 other email addresses would have received the same email..

.. and it appears lots of them have already tried clicking on the link.

 

Distractions

I was reading Wilhelm Arcturus’ post on his Games of the Decade and was triggered to go look at some of his recommendations.

https://tagn.wordpress.com/2019/12/23/my-games-of-the-decade-a-look-back-from-2019/

This led me to pulling out a plastic box of all my old favourite games that had stopped working years ago, but which I could not bring myself to throw away.

This led me to installing the Steam Client on my PC and logging into my old 2004 Steam Account.

This led me to spend $70.

With the Steam sales on there were a bunch of my old favourite games available for between $2.50 and $8.00. I picked up:

Total Annihilation
Star Wars Galactic Battleground
Blitzkrieg 1, 2 and 3

I also grabbed a couple newer titles:

Defense Grid – The Awakening
Factorio

The old games have held up well but were not quite playable. Whatever Steam has done to wrap them up to run on Modern PCs doesn’t quite handle multiple screens / mixed resolution / 4K / notifications all that well. I resorted to trying to run them on the Laptop I use for study and work, but then had some issues with sound. I’ll have to keep at them.

The tower defense game is fun, and I will get many hours of entertainment out of, but Factorio is going to be a very big distraction.

Nothing to report in EVE. I collected all the Christmas Gifts, including the final 500K SP on my two subscribed accounts. There was also an interesting Dev Blog post from Team Talos, outlining their changes since they came into being, and some of what is coming up in the future.  Worth a read.

https://www.eveonline.com/article/q30yr2/seasons-greetings-from-team-talos

Who’s to Judge

If you are logging into EVE, you will already know about the Naughty or Nice festive event. It includes 13 days of daily log in gifts.

https://www.eveonline.com/now/naughty-or-nice

I have been mindlessly dumping these continual giveaways over the last couple months into a container and ignoring them. I went through and sorted them the other day.  There were some great skins I quite liked and ended up activating, and both my paid accounts had received over 1M free Skill Points. That adds up to Billions of ISK value if I was to use injectors to get the same.

I have been recently using the Triglavian HAC – the Ikitursa. It can be fit with a decent cap stable dual armor rep tank and does a lot of damage once it spools up. Very expensive to buy and fit though.

 

There was a long 8-minute Scope video released a couple weeks ago.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riOCXfxwhXc

There have been more changes to the new Triglavian PVE. Apparently, it is now possible for players to pick a path that allows them to support the Triglavians. I wonder how many people are using the new PVE?

Now with the introduction of the new Triglavian Dread and related skill books, I can no longer fly and fit every ship and module in game. I’ll rectify that – but not any time soon. The prices were astronomical when I last looked.

Last quick note is this little disruption announced after release by CCP:

https://www.eveonline.com/article/q2tmpn/resource-distribution

Big changes to Null-Sec ore availability and quantity. A bit of Chaos that might have a useful impact if balanced right.

A flat bounce

The EVE November Economic Report is out.

https://www.eveonline.com/article/q2981h/monthly-economic-report-november-2019

In November the bounty amounts collected were:

93.9% in Null Sec (39.0T ISK (against 70.0T in 11.2018))
5.3% in High Sec (2.2T ISK (against 3.8T in 11.2018))
0.8% in Low Sec (0.3T ISK (against 0.3T in 11.2018))

Back to eve-offline.net again, the average daily online user counts for the:

Last 12 months has been 29,000
Last 6 months has been 25,000
Last 3 months has been 22,000
Last 1 month has been 22,000 (20,000 last month)

So, it looks like the downward trend was arrested by CCP with taking the chaos out of chaos and a regular flow of login giveaways. This rebound however has plateaued at or just below where it was before the start of Chaos. Not yet the overall rejuvenation being looked for when they started down this path.

Scooped

I have looked at the new Hypernet Relay several times. Oddly it has been positioned under Finance in the NeoCom.

I find the interface awkward. You can’t resize it; you can’t change the number of raffles that are shown. You get 12. I am not sure if they are the closest 12, the newest 12, the oldest 12, or a random 12. If you want another 12, you hit refresh. You can’t go back to the first 12 though. There are little forward and backwards icons that appear to give you that functionality, but they instead just move you through the Browse / History / Create tabs if you have previously looked at them.

You can filter the raffles to specific items, but for me personally, I am not likely to come to the Hypernet Relay to look for something specific. I want to look at a big bunch of random raffles for things I didn’t know I wanted.

On occasion I have seen some cool stuff.

There was a T2 Nemesis blueprint up for raffle. It had an asking price of 352M ISK for each of 512 tickets. That’s an overall price of 180B ISK. That was cool to see.

Almost every other raffle however was shite. Most creators are looking for 50 to 100% higher return for their item than what they can get off the market. Looking at the image above you have 80M for a 60M Astero, 1,100M for a 500M Ikitursa, and just cropped off 1,250M for an 865M Large Skill Injector. There are costs to run a raffle – and risks if you price things wrong and it doesn’t succeed, so I expect a margin on top. I am just not that inclined however to fill the pockets of the greedy.

I thought it would be better.

Speaking of things I thought would be better – I recently made a concerted effort to look for Abyssal gear for some of my ships. I have a couple items I picked up by chance which have cool enough stats, but here I went looking for specific modules for specific purposes. You find lots Abyssal items on Contract and on the Hypernet relay. The vast majority of these however appear to be failed upgrades people are trying to get their money back on. The rare good item you come across in a sea of crap tends to be stupidly overpriced.

Anyway – it seems too easy to find things to gripe about, so let me answer the question you never asked, why did I anchor an Astrahus?

Because, I did something I said I wouldn’t do – I unanchored my Azbel.

It is a shitty mechanic for solo play, but I figured I would give it a go anyway.

The actual process is straight forward. You open the Structure Browser, select the My Structures tab, right click on the Structure and select “Decommission”.

The status of the structure changes to unanchoring, and you wait for 7 days until you can scoop it up from space. In this case – it required a Freighter.

I had thought you could scan the unanchoring structure to see its timer, but that was apparently false. Unless you witness the status change, the only way to know the time is by having the appropriate roles to see it in the Structure Browser.

That means with the appropriate precautions, it is not as risky a process as I had thought. 7 days is still stupid.

So, my observations for solo unanchoring:

. It is safer if you first anchored the structure in a location where it was not visible from any station, or belt, or planet, or moon, or gate or so on (tick)

. It is safer if you haven’t previously allowed any other players to use your structure (tick)

These two measures mean no one should be observing the structure by chance. They will need to have probed it down as it won’t have appeared on the system wide overview. If you were even more paranoid than me – you could try a deep space location out of D-Scan range and not in alignment between any space sites. Out of sight, out of mind.

. This is obvious – but pick your time for the unanchoring. The system should be quiet or empty when you decommission it, and at your best guess is likely to be the same in 7 days’ time.

. Also, obviously – ensure you will be available when the unanchoring process finishes, and don’t forget it!

. If you suspect the process might be compromised, cancel and try again in a few weeks or so.  It is easily done via the Structure Browser, but the process resets to 7 days

. Don’t act all suspicious like

Don’t change your in game behaviour. Don’t make it obvious that you are emptying the structure of fittings, ships and assets. A steady stream of pods warping off from a station then coming back with ships, over and over, may be noticed. Don’t have an army of alts sitting in combat ships on the structure in the hours leading up to the unanchoring. No one should be curious about what you are up to – it should look boring and routine.

. Have your hauler at least 250km away, so you can warp to zero on the drops.

 

So, this is what I did.

I picked a time the area was generally quiet.

I used an out of Alliance scouting alt to keep an eye on the comings and going of people in system, and to be available to use combat probes to scan down any freighters that might be in space if I was concerned at the last minute.

I left the structure in power mode but stripped it of all assets and fittings aside one service module and a bit over a week’s worth of fuel. I did this when no one was around to watch.

I moved my alts and suitable combat vessels into place well in advanced, leaving some logged off.

I was able to use my Astrahus as a staging location. (It was the replacement.) I parked my freighter and spare combat ships in it.

I only logged in my first Alt four minutes before the unanchoring finished. I warped them down to the Azbel in a combat vessel with three minutes to spare, watching D-Scan.

I logged my Freighter pilot in a couple minutes left to go and undocked with one-minute left. I aligned to the Azbel maintaining the full undocking speed, and fleeted with the other Alt. I used an Overview that showed everything – just to ensure I would see the unanchored and dropped items on my overview.

I hit warp (from about 1,000km away) as soon as the Azbel and container of fuel and the service module appeared on overview.

A few minutes later they were scooped, and I was docked safely with the Azbel, likely no one else any the wiser.

7 days is still stupid.

Welcome

The Raznaborg NPC’s have had a surprisingly negative hit on my EVE play time.

I abandoned finding a Gnosis fit that could Combat Scan and Tank / Kill 5 of them. The fittings were getting too expensive. I ended up with a Claymore Command Ship with a dual rep Shield tank. That enabled me to kill them safely and easily – when I could find them. (They have a knack of turning up when you don’t want them, not when you do.)

As expected however their salvage prices quickly tanked, and there is little incentive to clear them as they just immediately respawn somewhere else in the system.

I think I read a comment somewhere that suggested they might have been nerfed a bit, but they still appear to hit hard enough that it isn’t worth mining anymore. The regular interruptions and damage dealt make them far more irritating than other players.

Similarly, I stopped doing PI. The Raznaborg Triglavians also hunt Custom Offices. Using a Transport Ship means you can tank them fine as you turn around and warp away, but my lower SP Alts have trouble in their T1 Industrials.

Mining and PI were both casual endeavours that tended to hook me into proper play sessions. Without them, I play EVE noticeably less.

Woe is me – the nasty NPC’s require me to concentrate 100% of the time undocked in High Sec. The thing is, I regularly need to step away for a minute or two. I am forever at the front door seeing family members off or letting them back into the house. Life is full of short interruptions and I need to be able to walk away from the game for a minute or two. The cycles of docking and undocking end up being too much of a drag.

I also anchored a second Structure – an Astrahus, 1,000km off but aligned with the Azbel.

Welcome Solitude to the Hermit Collective.

Solitude also racked up my first Structure kills – working unlike the Azbel did to clear Raznaborg NPC’s when I notice them.  (Yes I know the target painter would help, but I was checking the logs for just how much of a difference there was with using it and not using it.)

I regularly find them shooting at my Structures – giving them odd little red paint jobs as they subsequently repair themselves.