Fanfare – No Choice For You

I was chatting to a friend on Facebook earlier when I heard this strange fanfare music building in volume.  It took a few moments before I realised it was coming from my EVE client, which was logged in at the time.

On the client was a notification box congratulating me on being an Omega Account.  I thought that was rather odd – but shortly after I got an email saying my EVE subscription renewal was successful.

Has CCP always processed renewals without sending a reminder first?  I thought I always received a notice.  Maybe I only got emails because the card had expired, or the account was active but not subscribed?  Had I just rarely gone through an automatic renewal because I would pick up sub extensions when they were on special and not run out before?

Also – why had they renewed my account for 3 months?  I have almost always paid for 12 months at a time on my main account, including most recently?

Now I am left wondering if this is some deliberate business decision from CCP to trick you to stay subscribed, or just my failing memory?

Regardless, I feel a little irritated.  I have two Active/Omega Accounts and one Alpha Account.  I will unsubscribe both Omega accounts so that I can pick and choose if, when and for how long I resub in future.

I have had to take a very neutral attitude towards EVE for some time now.  You could say I am one step back from being ambivalent.   I try to ignore the decisions CCP makes as they double, tripled, quadrupled down on their belief that focusing on PVP players and loss will save and grow their game.  I do little things in game that amuse or interest me, even if they are nothing to write home (or blog) about.

It is on days like today however that I have to stop and ask myself just what am I doing.  What does it say about me that I play a game that I find a little more aggravating than it is fun?  A game I have to maintain a level of disinterest in, else I get too frustrated and rage quit?

Anyway – I’ll have to think about it more in three months, when I am reminded that my unsubscribed account is about to run out of Omega time.

Which basket to put the Eggs in

The only real thing on my To Do list now is to get into a position to be able to respond to any invasion of my home system by the Triglavians.

Most Hi-Sec systems which have fallen are in dead end locations or border Low-Sec. While I have historically lived out of dead-end systems, I am not currently. That gave me a moment of comfort, until I realised Raravoss was neither a dead end nor low-sec border system.

For the most part my answer is being able to flee. With a small effort I got my main Alts in a position to carry everything they owned in an Orca. Since they all have an Orca, that had them covered. My remaining niche Alts tend to only have a couple ships and a small collection of spares. I am working on ensuring they can all move in one or two trips. If two trips are required, I have ensured a Jump Clone is available.

That leaves my Main. The loss of my POCO made the task easier. I ended up being able to sell off 8 ship hulls that were setup just for defending the POCO, leaving a couple PVP ships laying around, just in case. I still had my unused BPO collection, and all the Gift and collectible Memorabilia, and a bunch of ships I do not use but are keepsakes. These I have decided to move into a Trade Hub.

No guarantee they are any safer there, but given the uncertainty, it seems a slightly better choice over any other option I can come up with. When I have finished that process (almost done) I will review what is left and try to get everything into a couple Orca.

As always, this decluttering is cathartic.

Not for the first time I was listening to a newly returned player last night who was in shock. They logged into the game to find they had lost everything but the ship they were sitting in. Think about that. Lost everything. The rules around their Hi-Sec Citadel had been fundamentally changed while they were away from the game not paying attention, and it had been looted. Another person in the channel chortled and gloated over the obscene wealth they had pillaged in High Sec.

I got the impression the returned player become an x-player while I watched.

On the home front we are halfway through a second COVID19 lockdown that will inevitably be extended. The kids are back to remote schooling. We remain comfortable within the house and have been able to adapt to the ever-shifting rules. The normalcy has however taken substantial effort and chunk of spare change, something the kids seem to just take for granted.

Safe is a word

I have always thought (and occasionally remarked) that because I write a public blog on EVE that I should leave myself in a position to be War Dec’d. Just in case I annoy someone that much.

To be eligible for the war declaration system in EVE you need to have a structure anchored in space. These are all the Upwell Structures, POS, POCO or Sovereignty Structures (iHUB/TCU).

With the loss of my POCO, my Alliance / Corporation can no longer have war declared against them. Similarly, I cannot declare war on anyone else.

I have considered what I could do to rectify that – but I think I will have to overturn my rule. I am not a fan of the Upwell Structures or mechanisms for solo players. I used an Azbel and Astrahus for a while, but they were not a positive addition to my day to day game. I could hunt down a POS, which are still on the market, but that will be a short-term fix. I thought they were already meant to have been phased out.

So, for the moment there will be no wars for me. Suicide Gank if I get too annoying.

On the plus side I had an extra 10 ships sitting around prepared for POCO defence, repair or take down. Selling those off will make it easier for me to flee a Triglavian invasion.

(As an aside, I did send an Alt over to check who anchored replacement POCO. It was the attackers. I have noticed a lot of POCO are owned by Pirate / Merc organisations. I said when I first took the planets that they were already on borrowed time. It took 7 years and a third War Dec for their time to run out. Much longer than expected.  The pirates are charging 6% additional taxes.  Cheaper than the average 10% everyone else is in system.)

Missed Content

I logged in today for a few minutes.  I noticed a strange red crossed swords symbol in the corner of my EVE client.  Turns out my Alliance had war declared on it a few days ago.  The aggressor’s BIO suggests they can do mercenary work, while their kill-board suggests they don’t do a great deal of it.  They had reinforced my POCO and about 30 minutes before I had logged in destroyed 3 of them.  Missed content.

The last POCO comes out of reinforcement tomorrow.  Not sure why the timing was so different – it shouldn’t have been.  There were 14 Leshaks, a Nestor and Damnation on the kill mails, and the the POCO were taken down in around 10 minutes.  Not much I could have done about it even if I was aware it was happening.  Maybe I could have got some screen captures?  Never mind.

I have remarked many times that I earnt little ISK from them.  The tax rates were set very low, the minimum possible (just so I could see who was using it) if anyone asked for standings.  Actually, I think it was barely higher than that anyway.  For quite a while the 4 of them combined would only earn 1 or 2M ISK a month.  I haven’t paid them any attention, and I haven’t used them myself for quite some time.  Looking at the Planetary tax income it looks like I made 40M across the four of them in the last month.  That could have been a record.  They might have finally paid for themselves!

I am partially bemused by this turn of events; and slightly embarrassed that anyone relying on them will be inconvenienced (and likely charged lots more tax).

Hiatus

I am still not sure what the final impact is for systems that fall to the Triglavians. When I last looked, the only systems which have fallen either bordered Low Sec or were dead end systems. I suspect the fear of major trade routes being broken were unwarranted. (Not that I would take what I have said as gospel – I have not been paying close attention.)

I am still not doing much in game. Mostly I just log into my character selection screens, do the daily bonus/es, then log out without entering the hanger.

I have had a look at the new Vorton Projector weaponry.

 

The new EDENCOM ship hull prices were OK, but many of the skillbooks were unavailable and modules and especially ammo were ridiculously expensive. I set up a Skybreaker frigate – but found it relatively pointless solo. A Stormbringer cruiser might have been more interesting, but I was literally unable to fit one yet.

I still have a bunch of stuff to sell off, but I lost interest in playing the market games.  I will get back to it at some point.

CCP have released a training boost bundle for sale.

https://secure.eveonline.com/packs/details/?pack=training-boost-bundle

I mention it as in the not so distant past this would have been something players would have been up in arms over. A pay to win sellout that would have filled the forums with spite and anger. I glanced around for some drama and tears, but mostly I just saw people pointing out it was overpriced.

Currently I am getting my gaming fix by playing Minecraft.

..

Outside of the game, we have just entered a second COVID19 lockdown where I live in Australia. Do not be concerned – Australia has a heavy suppression, maybe eradication approach to COVID19. While I accept the reasoning behind this disappointing turn of events, I have found myself frustrated by the inability of most Australians to do math.

In Australia, our COVID19 testing coverage has been like the US. About 11.6% of the population has been covered, compared to 12.3% in the US.

As of today, 0.037% of people tested here have come back positive. In the US it is 1%. You are 27 times more likely to have a positive COVID19 result in America than you are in Australia.

Because the US has around 13 times the population of Australia, it means for each person testing positive for COVID19 here, there have been 350 positive cases in the US.

In the US around 413 people per million have died from COVID19. In Australia it is 4 people per million.

It might seem like it – but I am not actually judging who has done it better or worse. History will decide that, and it will not just be about death rates. What I am doing is putting context around our situation.

Australia is isolating itself from the world, Australian States are isolating from each other, and COVID19 hotspots are isolated even further. The country is waiting on the assumption a workable vaccine will at some point become available.

So – what was the point of the math and discussions on context? In Australia there is widespread fear, panic, and anger. People are quick to turn on each other and cast aside their morals. I cannot fathom if you stop and think for yourself, why you would behave in that way.

Where I live, around 1 in 30,000 are known to have active COVID19. If I limit going out, pay attention to social distancing and hygiene, my risk of exposure is tiny. This is not a complaint about the most recent lock down – the situation in the US shows what can happen if the virus gets a foothold in a population. But it is not something I need to currently be bat-shit scared about.

So far this year in Australia 9,359 people have been diagnosed with COVID19, and 106 have died. Over 400 people have died on the roads, 30,000 people have attempted suicide, more than 1,500 committed suicide, and some 75,000 people would have been diagnosed with Cancer (if we had not all stopped going to the doctors).

(It is funny, but my least liked subject at Uni – Data Analytics, was probably the most useful in real life.)

Now I should be happy with the lock down in the sense it should mean more gaming.  Unfortunately it has had the opposite effect.  Trying to keep my wife and two children from killing each other while maintaining some sort of order and neatness has been more than a full time job.

 

 

 

Single Digits

Another system has fallen to the Triglavians. I have not noticed anyone remarking on what the final impact of this will be. I have not had any system I use invaded yet, but I have recognised a few system names that have. I expect it will take a long time for all High and Low Sec systems to have their turn.

As I remarked, a while ago I consolidated my assets into a single system again. I had let my Asset List get cluttered and spread out all over the place. The new system sits conveniently just off the trade route between Amarr and Jita.

I completed the second phase of the move – reviewing and consolidating all my assets and fitted ships, putting aside any unnecessary or unused spares. I am almost done selling off this excess. It has been worth more than 10B ISK so far.

I am now into phase three. This relates directly to the Triglavian invasions. If I had to abandon my current system at short notice, how would I (somewhat) safely and quickly move everything?

Most of my Alts own an Orca, so for them I am trying to ensure all their ships and supplies fit in it, at a value level not likely to be ganked. My main has three Orcas, a Bowhead and a Freighter, which don’t hold anywhere near enough capacity to cover everything he has. With a more critical and sharper eye, I am finding lots more unnecessary assets.

Through this process I have been adding and modifying hundreds of market orders.  I am finding some changes to the Sell items window extremely irritating.

The first is if you try to sell to a buy order, the client automatically adds a digit to the sale price so that it exceeds the buy order.

Here I am mindlessly selling off some trash to buy orders. There is an order for 3,552.00 ISK per unit of Polytextiles. When I right click and press sell, the price is filled as 3,553.00 ISK. If I hit sell, it will be added to the Market at 1ISK above the buy order, instead of just being sold. I thought I was being caught out by market bots, but that wasn’t the case. That means every time I want to sell to a buy order, I have to manually modify the sale price.

That brings me to the second irritation. Let’s say I want to increase my sell price by 100 ISK. If I click between the 3,000 and 500 digits and press delete, sometimes the 3 is deleted, sometimes the 5 is deleted. I thought it related to the comma’s, but it can seemingly happen anywhere. I do not know if this impacts everyone, or it happens to be a consequence of my higher screen resolution, small font sizes, and UI scaling. It means you must pay close attention, otherwise you make frequent (and costly) mistakes.

It has driven me around the bend.

On a more positive note, the roaming Triglavians have not appeared on my overview for some time. It appears “safe” to return to the High-sec belts and POCO. I have got out of the habit though. Also positive have been the visual improvements from the clear vision update. It has really made a notable difference to how the game looks.

Meanwhile – what the hell is happening to the world? Normally it is Dictators, Autocrats and Tyrants who destroy, hide and rewrite history – but now we have the people doing it. I cannot fathom the level of dumb required to stand over a broken statue of someone who died 50, 100, 200 years ago, and insist they be judged by today’s standards. You learn from history. You use it to better yourself and the future. When you mold history to suit yourself, you throw away all those hard learnt lessons.

Breaking Immersion on Jump

The new jump animation is live.  Watching your ship scoot down the warp tunnel is one of the dumbest, immersion breaking visuals I’ve seen in the game.  I detest it.  Sadly I couldn’t find a way of turning it off.

The first system to fall into the Triglavian Final Luminality status is Raravoss.  During its move through Escalating Liminality and initially into Final Liminality it was given an effective security status of a Low Sec system.  I looked then, and the security was being reported as -1.0.  Null Sec now?

It still shows as a 0.6 system, just with an additional icon and tool tip that indicates CONCORD has reduced its security status.  There was also apparently an invulnerable EDENCOM Cyno Jammer in system, stopping anyone jumping in capitals.  That makes me wonder at its permanency.  Having said that – CCP posted an image on Facebook of the system’s Blue Sun looking very unhealthy.  Maybe the system will be destroyed?  Lost forever?  Time will tell.

 

Early Stages

There is a little bit of initial information (or misinformation) available to be gleaned about the final stage of the Triglavian invasion.

As before, you can find the sites (closest?) in the Agency.

The systems targeted for invasion start in the Stellar Reconnaissance phase. There are EDENCOM and Triglavian assets in the system. You pick which side you want to fight for and go find / kill the opposite faction.

As you can imagine, there are plenty of Capsuleers lined up to fight for the Triglavians, wanting to shake things up in the game. Initially the Triglavian side won a number of the Stellar Reconnaissance phases – but the Triglavians then seemed to immediately pull up stumps and depart.

There were suggestions that it might be buggy, but CCP indicated via Social Media that it was behaving as expected.

There has been at least one system where the Triglavian side won the Stellar Reconnaissance phase and moved into the Escalating Liminality phase. This is Raravoss, in Domain.

The security status of Raravoss is now reported as being 0.3 – or Low Sec. That will make it more difficult to fight on the EDENCOM side. Of note, Raravoss has a Blue Sun.  It has been reported / alluded to by some of the Lore players that the earlier Triglavian invasions favoured such systems.

We do not as yet know what long term impact a Triglavian win will have on the system, if it becomes permanent, or if it can be liberated later. Given a High Sec system has been turned into a Low Sec system, even if temporarily, it suggests the stakes are higher than I thought they might be.

Meanwhile EDENCOM have two systems in the Fortress Phase.

I flew over and looked at Seiradih. From the outside the system looked like it was still being invaded.

There were a couple Triglavian cruisers on the Jove Observatory, but otherwise the system was empty. There were suggestions that there would be EDENCOM structures around the system, but after ensuring I was not missing anything in my overview settings, I could not find any.

Again we don’t know if a Fortress System means the Triglavians will never again attack it, or if it is just some temporary status.

So what impact will it have if the Triglavians only try to take over systems with Blue Suns?  I looked at all systems in Domain, and many with Blue sun’s are a little off the beaten track or can be side tracked. Some however are choke points, such as Niarja, and the little system called Jita.

I could imagine a real effort would be made to have Niarja fall to the Triglavians. Imagine if the Amarr / Jita trade route was permanently Low Sec, or Abyssal Space, or some other variation of not as “safe” as it now.

If your home system has a Blue sun, you might want to consider where you leave your assets until the invasion is better understood.

Build Named YC Month Version

Wilhelm Arcturus remarked on CCP’s changing Patch Note titles in one of his recent blog posts.

https://tagn.wordpress.com/2020/05/26/the-forsaken-fortress-update-comes-to-eve-online/

For many years now I have stored information about EVE in Microsoft’s OneNote. Looking through the list of patch notes I have saved, there have indeed been many changes to how they are named. Early on the patch notes referenced the Build number, then the release name, then the out-of-game date, then the in-game date, then the out-of-game date, then both release name and out-of-game date, and now CCP have moved onto using a version number.  Quite the OCD trigger.

The patch notes for version 18.05 – Invasion Chapter 3, are long but rather light on.

There was a long list of name changes for Shield and Armor resistance modules. They are now called Shield Reinforcers and Armor Reinforcers, plus the easier fitting / lower capacitor T1 variants picked up the standard Prototype Compact and Experimental Enduring names.  I would not normally remark on this, but there were a lot of changes (up and down) to the effectiveness of various faction modules. Worth revisiting your fitting tool to check for any impact on your tank.

Usefully CCP have now added a History tab to the Market Orders window. Less useful is the initial history did not include a date.

The change to make un-fueled structures easier to kill is now live. I do not imagine that required a great deal of coding.

What I assume did require plenty of coding is this one line entry:

“The next chapter of the Triglavian Invasion will unfold over the coming months.”

I wonder how many players engaged with the first two chapters of the Triglavian Invasion? How many are going to engage with this one? If you do not go out of your way to look for it, is it just going to pass you by?  (Aside whatever consequences someone else decides for you?)  I wonder just how much bang for its development buck CCP will get.  Time should tell.

 

To mark this momentously vague occasion, CCP released a set of skins so that you can show your support for the invaders or defenders. I quite liked the look of the Kybernaut Clade (invader) skin range – for their visuals, not who they represent; but starting at 250 PLEX they were too rich for me.

I have never quite worked out how CCP prices their skins. Obviously the larger the hull, the more expensive the skin tends to be. If a skin covers only a small range of hulls, it also tends to be more expensive than a skin that covers a wide range of hulls. And of course, the more fancy / brighter / garish the skin, the more it can tend to cost. That all makes some sense, however the price rarely seems to line up with how nice the skin is. I know that is subjective, but there are some crappy looking skins that cost a lot of PLEX.

I remarked recently that my first Skill points from the disappointing long-term daily log in bonus campaign failed to be applied to my characters. It was remarked on in the forums as a bug. The skill points were meant to have been added recently, although I am not entirely sure they were. The useless SP containers have however been converted into an amusing collectable:

I chuckled at the thought of someone trying to extract the skills of a Fedo.

Promising just what

The Forsaken Fortress release should arrive tomorrow.

https://www.eveonline.com/article/q9ayo4/forsaken-fortress-coming-26-may

As per its name, the keynote feature is an addition of an Abandoned State to Structures. If fuel is not consumed within 7 days, a structure will move from Low Power to Abandoned. In that state it loses all reinforcement phases (so can be destroyed in one sitting), tethering stops, and asset safety is turned off.

I have remarked before that I do not believe 7 days is long enough. That makes it too easy for someone on holidays / a casual player to lose large proportions of their assets just by being away from the game for a relatively short period of time.

The loot pinata aspect will ensure plenty of High Sec War Dec’s will be coming.

I guess the lesson is to only use NPC stations for assets.

I have already unanchored my structures. I have a Raitaru and Astrahus, with fittings and consumables, in storage, but have sold off most of everything else.

I am not sure on the exact timing, but we will also be getting Chapter three of Triglavian Invasion story. In this one CCP has been promising player influenced, game changing impacts. I am intrigued but a little dubious. There can be a disappointing gap between what CCP promises and what CCP delivers.

From what I can remember, a conglomeration of CONCORD, the Empires and Upwell have created EDENCOM to develop the mechanisms and means to defend against the Triglavians. Part of the 17 years of EVE celebrations involved players defending EDENCOM sites from Triglavian attacks.

https://www.eveonline.com/article/q9nv4n/17-years-of-eve-a-huge-birthday-celebration

Over a number of months players will be able to pick a side to support and earn standings with EDENCOM or the Triglavians. During this time EDENCOM will be releasing technology to help defend systems, and the Triglavians will release technology to help attack systems.

The outcomes of player involvement will “change the landscape of EVE forever!”.

https://bleedingcool.com/games/ccp-games-reveals-chapter-3-of-eve-onlines-invasion/

I can envision the sort of things CCP might be thinking about here.

There is a suggestion all types of players can get involved. If the stakes are high enough however, such as changes to NPC Station safety, it is likely the handful of Null Sec Superpowers will decide for the rest of us what path is taken.

Weekend

I have better post something. WordPress starts doing odd things when I try to like or comment on other people’s blogs if I have not refreshed my login credentials.

It is after 8am Saturday morning here. There is a beautiful clear pale blue sky. The forecast is for a sunny top of 17C. We are about halfway there, with the temperature slowly starting to rise after getting down to 4C overnight.

My wife and son are sleeping in, while my daughter is playing Roblox upstairs. I hear her chair clunk and bump against the desk as she mindlessly wriggles and squirms. I am logged into EVE, although not undocked.

I am looking at the skill points I was awarded from the Omega Daily Rewards Logon Campaign. They redeemed into my hanger, but I do not seem to be able to allocate or use them. I have made derogatory comments regards the login in campaign being a troll.

The day I got the unusable Skill Points I also got a Tier 4 Omega gift. This was a Signal-25 ‘Needlejack’ Filament. Unnecessary for a solo player, so I intend to sell that. It was the first thing even partially worthwhile handed out during the campaign so far.

I was reading the Ancient Gaming Noob earlier, who did a post on having to think about ISK generation again.

https://tagn.wordpress.com/2020/05/14/time-to-earn-some-isk/

Yadot made a comment which matches my view for what a casual player needs to do.

“I think the key to Isk generation is consistency. Not specifically what you are doing, but making sure that you are always doing something.”

I have used the term Osmosis earning, although it is not really a great analogy. The gradual, unconscious, accumulation of wealth. I might spend 5 minutes a day running one or two low level exploration sites, do 10 minutes of mining, then play with a couple items on the market. Day to day the ISK generated is trifling. But you get the occasional good drop, and because you are active in the game you come across the odd opportunity. Without realising you are earning a few hundred Million ISK a month. Not enough to PLEX your account, but enough to have some fun with.

I have not been following those rules of late, but I have had some luck. My experiments with building and using Structures turned an unexpected profit. My Azbel for example sold for 1B ISK more than I spent on building it. While I came late to the party, I flipped some of the minerals I stockpiled when it became apparent CCP was moving into a phase of resource scarcity, for another 1B+ Profit. Plus of course with moving to a new home in EVE, I have been selling off some excess ships that I had tested or experimented with. Some of the Faction modules I used have doubled or tripled in price.

I will continue to tinker in EVE a bit this morning, but I believe we are going to visit my wife’s parents this afternoon. They live about an hour away, but we have not visited them since the start of the year. My father in law had a heart scare and operation, but we could not visit him afterwards as his immune system was compromised. Then COVID-19 suddenly became a thing. We can visit now – if we maintain social distancing and really, really, really need to do it.  The look on my wife’s face suggests we do.

One last thing.

Stupid Pop Vinyls. I only purchased one to see what all the fuss was about.

Day 10 and still being Trolled

The daily login in prank continues. I have taken to not redeeming the items. A silent, unnoticed and ineffective protest – just because.

It seemed I timed the removal of my Astrahus well.

https://www.eveonline.com/article/q9ayo4/forsaken-fortress-coming-26-may

On May 26 with the Forsaken Fortress update, all those abandoned Structures will become easier to kill loot pinatas.

Structures that have not had any fuel consumed by a service module for 7 days will move from Low Power to a new Abandoned state.

In this abandoned state there are no reinforcement phases – so it can be destroyed in one session. It will not provide tethering, and there will be no Asset Safety.

I hope the killboard operators bump up system resources before then.

I do not understand why CCP did not do this earlier. In fact – it should have been in place from day one.

I do have two concerns with the change.

The first is the 7-day period. It should be 14 days, possibly a bit longer. Allow for people to make the mistake of not fuelling a structure before they go on Holidays. 7 days is however a very CCP type of time frame.  I guess they also don’t want the system to be played, where people bring a module online for just an hour (costs 3 days of fuel from memory), to extend the low power period.

The second is the lack of a viable smaller tier of structures for solo or small corporation use. I find the current structures are not really a viable fit for casual play. It is hard to consistently generate enough planned content from them to justify the ongoing cost (or risk). This change makes it even less viable.

I prefer this change to exist than not to exist, but I do wish there were smaller, limited and scaled down versions of structures. At the very least, to allow me to flag my Corporation / Alliance as being able to be War Dec’d, without having to maintain one of the current structures.

Day 2 and Trolled

Day 2 of the latest Login Bonus Campaign and I was surprised to see a Frigate Blueprint being given to my Omega Accounts, and a Frigate Module Blueprint to my Alpha Account.

The gift read as, and in the redeeming system looked like, a BPO.  That turned out to be a CCP troll.

What was redeemed was a non-researched, 1 run BPC.

In other news, I safely unanchored my Astrahus.  Have I ever mentioned how much I hate the 7 day unanchor timer?  Once or fifty times you say?  It had just been sitting idle.  The experiment was done, I used the structure fighters to kill some Triglavians, and I had nothing else left to do with it.

It is still a somewhat stressful process – trying to remember about it 7 days later for starters, and making sure it is not obvious what you are up too.

I have almost finished my move.  I have a bunch of fuel to shift, a couple of Alts, and a few clones.  I’ve been frequently scanned while going through Gank choke points and left alone – so my level of caution has so far paid off.  (At the cost of so many more jumps.)

I saw another somewhat scam during my move.  Passing through a system in my Freighter I had someone try to initiate a private chat.  I dismissed the request, but a few seconds later another popped up.  I thought to myself “I wonder what he wants to talk about” – then realised the second request was not a plead to please chat – but a duel request.  If I had not been paying attention and entertained his chat request, I would have been down one Freighter and 700M ISK of Fuel.  An obvious trick, but I hadn’t had it tried on me before.

 

When a log in bonus is not

CCP has started yet another daily login reward campaign.

 

This one has been changed / adjusted yet again.

On Day 1 my accounts got random Boosters.  You have 14 odd days to use them, and once redeemed, they are automatically applied.  My Omega Accounts gave +3% Boosters, the Alpha Account +2%.  The first increased Armor Repair bonuses, the second added to the Optimal Range for something, and the third, I don’t know what it did, I stopped paying attention.   I think they last for all of 15 minutes, plus whatever extension your Biology skill provides.

My Omega accounts also got 6,000 of 150,000 Skill Points, which would only be allocated when the full amount of points was accumulated.  The Alpha account got 2,000 of 50,000.  If the amount remains static, that would require another 24 days of logging in.

How many Login Campaigns can you do before you have done too many?  Is it better to have no login bonus campaign than to have one which is completely underwhelming?  These are questions I would like CCP to consider.

 

Surgery with a hammer

The Ancient Gaming Noob stole my thunder with his faster posting, pointing out the mismatch between the Surgical Strike name and some of the changes it introduced.

https://tagn.wordpress.com/2020/04/15/ccp-launches-a-surgical-strike-on-new-eden/

I had written some related witty critiques, but they now seem all too second hand.

I wrote down the pre-nerf EHP of about 25 of my more commonly used ship hulls. With Pyfa having been updated quickly, I’ve been able to go back and compare pre- and post-surgery figures.

Almost every ship has lost Effective Hit Points, but generally in around the 5-10% mark. I may be able to claw some of that back with fitting changes. The patch notes point out that the resistance nerfs –

     Does not include resistance rigs or damage controls.

I might be able to add Extenders and Plates and move some resistance to rigs.

 

There were however some – Oh Good God – impacts.

My Bustard (Deep Space Transport) EHP dropped from 115K to 93K.

My Impel (Deep Space Transport) EHP dropped from 118K to 99K.

My Obelisk (Freighter) went from 419K to 503K.

My Orca was hit to a less extent, with EHP dropping from 520K to 493K.

 

Unfortunately for me my most used hauler is the Impel. I’ve done some early refit investigations, but the results are not looking good. What a massive nerf.

The Obelisk buff is noticeable, but I don’t tend to fly it that much. Mostly only for high volume but cheap cargo.

All the above is obviously remarked on from my biased perception around how I play the game. Capital owners – where the initial impetus for these changes was kicked off from, will likely be gnashing their teeth somewhat more.

Most oddly, the higher number of Suicide Gankers I was noticing all Easter Weekend went – at least initially – quiet immediately after the update.  We shall see how long that lasts.

Undocking so CCP Success?

I have been more active in EVE the last few days than I have been in the last few months combined.

I’ve had a quick look at everything I currently fly (I have 50 odd ships on my main) and I think there are only two that won’t be impacted by the Shield and Armor resist nerf. My Obelisk Freighter only has Hull tank modules. My Noctis Salvager is also only hull tanked, but it does have a Damage Control fitted. I assume it will have reduced effectiveness for Shield and Armor – but the overall EHP difference on the Noctis shouldn’t be that much.

I use three other Hull tanked ships – my Orcas, Porpoises, and the recently purchased Bowhead. While primarily Hull tanked, these also have secondary shield tanks, particularly while travelling. It won’t be a huge nerf, but I will have to revisit their fits.

Everything else will need to be reviewed carefully. I have a bunch of niche / fun to occasionally fly hulls that I suspect will no longer be viable. Particularly some of the PVP hulls I have turned into PVE ships. A lot of these might end up being discarded.

Further to these initial Pyfa reviews, I have also been busy consolidating almost all my ships into a single location, with a collection of spare modules, and easier access to a trading hub. This will allow me to update their fits as required. I expect it will be a long, time consuming task to get through them all.

I am also mindful that my Mining ships and most of my Haulers will be easier to gank. The lower EHP combined with the 15% buff CCP is giving to short ranged ammo types are a Gankers wet dream. I can adjust by hauling cheaper loads and using my Orcas more often, but it is going to take a while before I find out what the new tank / risk balance is.

I have also had to stop and consider where I have been based in game. My current home has two frequently used ganking systems between it and Jita. One is so close it impacts my in-region shopping and trading runs.

While the current home has been good while I’ve used my Custom Offices to build and play around with several Structures, it has gotten busier over time. Exploration content is regularly cleared and more recently, belts stripped.


In the end I decided to move again, consolidating several bases into a new location. It seems to be a little quieter and has adjacent systems which also tend to be quiet. It also gets me past the nearest ganking system. I have had a sense of urgency to move as hauling is likely to be more dangerous from now on.

I got a reasonable proportion of the assets moved in over the Easter break, but there were a surprising number of pilots out ganking. I had to resort to using my Orca loaded with lower value cargo than I would normally have. In the end I made many more jumps than I was expecting too, and still hadn’t finished. All the important stuff has been moved. The rest can wait.

Sucking lemons

Three days ago, I sourly pointed out that CCP were going to reduce the effectiveness of all Shield and Armor resistance modules by 20%. I immediately knew it would have a big impact on the risk verses reward calculations I do in EVE. My Haulers will be easier to gank. How much less value can I now (relatively) safely haul? My mining ships will be easier to gank. Does this make certain fits or hulls less viable now? All my PVE ships will be easier to kill. What content might that impact me running? Does it reduce how much bling I fit to those ships now that they can be ganked easier?

I will have to review and likely change the fit of almost every ship I own (aside maybe some of the Hull Tanked Ore ships).

CCP has since put out a follow up Forum post.

https://forums.eveonline.com/t/surgical-strike-update-follow-up/231061

In it they indicated it was not their intention to make suicide ganking easier or cheaper. That suggests they did not foresee that consequence. Anyway, I’ll have to shake my head at that and move on. They are planning to increase Freighter HP and will investigate the state of High Sec ganking to see if they need to make further changes. That means if they remember to look at Industrials and Mining Ships, and you lose enough of them, they might do something about it down the track.

CCP also said they were concerned about the viability of high end PVE after the Nerf. They are assuming people will have to swap out damage mods for more tank, and as a result income generation will come down. They are going to monitor if this is all that happens. That means if you lose enough PVE ships, they might do something about it down the track.

So once again the game is changing in a way you suspect the developers didn’t really think through.  If it upsets enough people, they might revise their changes some time down the track.  It seems a very odd business model.

Meanwhile I have been flying around a new toy.

The Bowhead can be flown using the MWD / Warp trick, so doesn’t feel as cumbersome as a Freighter. It can also be tanked better. It does bring up the quandary though – what value of ships is somewhat safe to haul in it?

Strangely it is so large that it doesn’t seem to sit nicely in the hanger. I can’t scroll in or out with it, and because my hanger is offset, at certain angles it won’t all fit on the screen

Celebrating Generosity with Generosity

As mentioned a post or two back, the latest bonus for logging in event starts shortly.  Details are here:

https://www.eveonline.com/article/q8gya2/capsuleer-generosity-celebration

You can see a picture of some of the skins on offer, which I quite like the look of.

In game I am consolidating some of my assets.  I am grabbing them before all my Haulers become easier to Gank.

I’ve also started to gather some of the flotsam I’ve left laying around from my various projects and whatnot.  This includes lots of ships I really can’t be bothered reviewing the fits of.  It is amazing how quickly these things start piling up.  I will sell most of it off.

EDIT.. Unusually, the Frontier Safeguarder skins are activated automatically, and are not placed in your inventory.  I am not sure I like that, especially given some of the skins you get will be randomly allocated.  I am guessing they might add them to the New Eden store later for PLEX for those wanting the complete set..

PLEX for Good

EVE’s PLEX for Good is back – this time to support the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

https://www.eveonline.com/article/q87rxe/plex-for-good-covid-19

It will be interesting to see what sort of response it gets.

I donated as I usually do for these things, but I am going to have to rethink that moving forward.  The Australian / US exchange rate is really poor, so my money will stretch much further (and be tax deductible) if I support something local instead.

 

Death will be the life of us

CCP continues down the path of thinking that if everyone dies more often their game will be resurrected.

https://www.eveonline.com/article/q8f2l8/surgical-strike-coming-15-april

To that end in the Surgical Strike release on April 15, they are reducing the effectiveness of ALL modules that increase shield or armour resistances by 20%.

They start off by vomiting some crap about how it will improve Capital balancing and reduce Logistics effectiveness, but who it will mostly hurt are solo players.

If I had any doubt about the wisdom of the change, there were the magic words from CCP – “There is excitement here about this approach”.  Most times CCP get giddy with excitement, they are about to do something that damages their game.

Anyway – as you can see the bitter overflows.

On a brighter note, CCP have some log in bonus going on between April 9 through 16 that give out some nice looking emergency vehicle skins.