Burning bookmarks

In a move which shouldn’t have surprised many, the Goons launched their Burn Jita campaign early.  I would guess to both try and head off the impact of War Dec’s before they went live, and to catch more people unaware.

I watched Jita local with my docked price check alt, and the view outside the 4-4 station via a couple of live feeds.  It held a somewhat morbid fascination.  The kill board’s suggest it has been successful, but the attackers have not had it all their own way through active War Dec’s and various forms of resistance.

While it is certainly interesting, I’m not sure how much of a real impact it will have – aside a few people rage quitting.  It seems to me that the Goon’s Ice Interdiction, and their current Technetium price squeeze are of longer and harder hitting consequence.  The timing of the later couldn’t have been better– coming right at the point of the mineral supply nerf with the markets already jittery.

I don’t think CCP would mind if Jita burnt for a year.  Having a relatively small cartel growing obscenely rich by controlling one of the key ingredients in all T2 manufacturing might however force their hand.  We might see the planetary ring mining (or something alike) for moon goo implemented earlier rather than later.

I spent a good 4 hours in the game today – doing nothing but warping around the home NPC 0.0 constellation making safe, undock, station and gate bookmarks.  (With a few pauses here and there while having to wait for hostiles to pass through.)  I’ve done very little since moving into the new home – finding it overcrowded and too regularly camped by cloaked hostiles.  I’d been questioning why I was there – but after today have decided to base myself out of one of the quieter systems.  At least there I should be able to do exploration or NPC stuff once in a while.

On and off the market wave

The local markets were very busy this last weekend, probably the most competitive I’ve seen them since around the time of the Crucible release.  While I ended up making 250M ISK, it took a lot more work.  Lots of 0.01ISK order updates – which I don’t really enjoy that much.  I will probably sit back and relax more now, waiting for things to settle after the impact of the escalation release.  (Which is just about to be implemented)

The Corp bank balance is over 1.6Bil – which is an increase of 1B in around 6 weeks.  (It got to a low of 600M with the costs of getting into T2 invention.)  Given it took almost a year to make the first Bil, I might have learnt something from the process after all.  I have a reasonable stock of minerals and T2 ingredients so can ride out of the next few weeks without having to gamble on the markets if I want, and I don’t have any risky speculative stock on hand.

The other thing I did on the weekend was to finally re-do and re-start my PI installations, which have been dormant for most of the last two months.  It took a substantial amount of time.   I researched the markets to pick 3 new items to produce, and while I am still doing Robotics, it is only at around 30% the volume.

I’m short one planet to cover off all the ingredients, so will have to train up Interplanetary Consolidation from IV to V on my main industry Alt once the invention related science skills are all completed to rank IV (in about 6 days).

Who owns your game?

I was speaking to a friend yesterday about some of the current upheavals in the game, the mineral nerf, the power of the Goons, the upcoming Burn Jita and Hulkageddon, and so on.  He’s an ex-player, and remarked with a touch of bitterness that once again the casual Empire player will suffer the brunt of things.

I am not sure that is really accurate.  The main people who will suffer are new players, and those who play EVE “their way”, in isolation to whatever is happening around them.  While I suspect there are many who would suggest everyone in Empire is just such a brainless Carebear, I’m not so convinced.

There has been a mixed response in Corp.  While there is certainly some frustration and annoyance at the impact, management is busying itself in a marketing campaign to get the Carebears down to NPC 0.0, while the theory crafters discuss ship fittings and approaches to minimise the risks.

I can’t work out if this is all just a perfect example of a sandpit, or proof that in reality most of us are just reactive pawns and that only a handful of powerful entities really control our game.

Like a good little pawn, I have been focusing more on my Empire Industry alt for the last couple weeks.  In the back of my mind I am thinking she might be sidelined until it becomes clear what the impact from the player empire incursions have, so I am making hay while the sun still shines, so to speak.

I made another 200M odd on the markets this weekend, again for just a few hours’ work.  The markets are active, and there are plenty of opportunities to earn ISK (even in a quiet backwater).  From my blog reading, others are making an absolute killing.

 

What public identity?

Blog Banter 35: The Public Perception of EVE Online

Now approaching its tenth year, the EVE Online player community has matured into an intricate and multi-faceted society viewed with envy by other game developers, but is frequently regarded with suspicion by the wider gaming community. Is this perception deserved? Should “The Nation of EVE” be concerned by its public identity and if so how might that be improved? What influence will the integration of the DUST 514 community have on this culture in the future?

[Unrelated and random bonus question sponsored by EVE News 24: What single button would you recommend be included on an EVE-specific keyboard?]

EVE Who?

I read two mainstream computer magazines each month – both of which have gaming sections.  Over the last 6 years that I have been playing EVE – some 140+ editions, I have only seen EVE online mentioned once.  I’ve never seen it mentioned in the IT Tech sections of the couple national papers I read, or the occasional episode I catch of a computer games related TV show.  Whenever it has come up in conversation, next to none of my circle of friends, colleagues or acquaintances have heard of it.

World of Warcraft and franchises such as Halo, The Sims, Super Mario, Call of Duty, Angry birds and so on are frequently mentioned in main stream media.  While EVE might be technically respected and have a solid fan base, it seems pretty much unknown out of the MMO sphere.

 

Ah, that EVE

Those few people I come across in real life who have heard of EVE tend to show disdain for the game – it is too complicated, or the interface is too poor, or there is too much repetition and mouse clicking.  Those with interest might look wistful, but always seem to indicate that they just can’t imagine themselves spending the time and effort to really get into the game.

Even though I love the game and have played it for years, I don’t try and sell it to my friends.  I know it requires a learning curve and effort, in an environment that is often unforgiving and immoral, that most of them won’t appreciate.  My friends who did play have moved on, only able to go a couple years before it just required too much effort for a more casual gamer to progress further.

The small public identify EVE does have seems to be that it is a deep and complicated game that isn’t for everyone.

Still – it seems to be profitable with a slow but steady organic growth, so maybe there isn’t really an issue.

 

Sell EVE

When EVE is in the MMO media, it seems to be for two reasons.  First is a level of fascination at the politics and scope of the events which occur in game.  While good, I am not sure how many new players it encourages.  It is not as if they can pick up the game and be instantly involved.  They generally have to work through an apprenticeship which can take years.

The second reason to see EVE in the MMO media is for less savory drama – player revolts, CCP mess ups, the Mittani’s faux pas and so on.  Such drama is not good.  People play games for fun and to escape – and such coverage suggests EVE might be more hassle than it’s worth.

A common theme – from me as well, is that to make EVE more appealing to the masses, CCP will have to make changes which would likely break what makes the game special in the first place.  The age old suggestions of making things less complicated, or cutting down on the ability to grief and be nasty.  While I was going to ramble on in the same vein, one word in the previous paragraph jumped out at me – fun.

If CCP want to increase their subscriber numbers, they should focus on making all aspects of the game fun.  It seems obvious, but I have found many aspects of game play are interesting to research and get working, but then are almost immediately boring.  You don’t even have to master it before mining, PI, most of the PVE content and so on are no longer fun.  I am not sure how you fix that – but that should be a goal.

 

Dusty EVE

Dust might throw a spanner in the works.  I have no real interest in the FPS genre, and I don’t follow it in the media.  The numbers suggested as having access to the free DUST download via their PS3 however are just mindboggling.  If CCP manage to pull off a half acceptable game, they could have a huge number of gamers exposed to the EVE world.

What they will find is not just the same maps to play over and over – the maps they will influence instead cover thousands of solar systems and tens of thousands of planets.  To be successful they need to work with player corporations and alliances.  The environment has longevity and consequence to it.  I don’t envision large numbers of those players then deciding to subscribe to the space ship component, but if the game manages to get into the mainstream media more often, then those unique people who could carve a niche out for themselves in EVE might have an easier time finding the game.

EVE should continue along happily enough regardless what happens with Dust.  If Dust is successful however, it could have a huge impact on the EVE subscription numbers.  It will be interesting to see.

 

Bonus button

I was going to say a drone launch button – but that becomes more complicated once you have multiple drone types.  I use a Logitech G110 keyboard, and the EVE key macro I use the most is [CNTL] W (to select all).  It’s boring, but still gets used in lots of places even after the loot all button was added.

 

A list of participants (that will be updated by the owner as time permits) can be found here:

http://freebooted.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/blog-banter-35-public-perception-of-eve.html

Change

Passing through a system on the weekend I caught part of a conversation between two new players – one was being told by the other that he could earn 2Mil ISK an hour with missions.

It might have been a while, but most of us did have a time in our EVE game where that was a lot of ISK.

I’ve been watching the markets go haywire in response to the incoming mineral nerfs planned for in the Escalation release.  I finally spent a few hours on the weekend with a mix of buy orders and purchases of minerals, and resold the lot a day later at a trade hub for a 150M profit.  I was pleased with the quick turn over and the fact I wasn’t left holding stock.  I am somewhat uneasy at the thought of how long the current market speculation bubble will continue, and then what the final prices minerals will settle at.

CCP Greyscale made a couple of interesting remarks on the forums yesterday about the mineral nerf.

https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=1106977#post1106977

To paraphrase out of order – “We’re already committing to a mineral supply “shock” in this patch”… “Our plan for this is basically to make the changes, see where prices end up settling and then potentially make further adjustments (to the game as a whole) to react to this.”

It is an important statement – CCP are quite deliberately throwing this upheaval into the game without knowing just what its impact will be.  Reading between the lines, I get the impression if the end results are unpalatable that there won’t just be a reversal of some kind, but an attempt to fix with a more complete adjustment to the game.

Forcing change upon the EVE community was part of the theme of the latest EVE video blog, this time with Jon Lander (Senior EVE Producer).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVFToHN15QQ

He remarked that the ship balancing and lots of new modules coming up in the next two expansions were aimed at trying to force change into the old cookie cutter fittings and fleet doctrines.

There’s an element of risk with the overall approach, but I’m inclined to give CCP leeway when mayhem and unsettling the status quo are their stated objectives.  Adjusting and adapting is part of the fun.

Moved In

 

Unexpectedly, the hostiles were absent from the new NPC 0.0 home for the start of the Easter Holidays.  I was able to complete my move and setup Station, Undock, Cyno, Gate and Safe spot bookmarks.

I also jumped down a dozen odd BPO for my Industry Alt, and was able to queue them up for ME research with minimal or no delays.  While I need to be mindful of fuel costs and risks, having access to 0.0 Station Labs might work out to be rather useful.

Meanwhile I took my Alt’s Orca into Jita with the excess supplies from the old 0.0 base, and have been selling them on the market.  (This seems a less annoying process than in Amarr – my usual selling point.)

I am not entirely sure what to make of the markets.  Like many, I was surprised to read that CCP will be drying up the mineral supplies from Drones and Rat loot.  That will have a dramatic impact on the game – especially for the higher end minerals only really available in 0.0 or Wormholes.  I might hedge my bets – sell off half my stocks at the current inflated prices, but leave enough to cover my ad-hoc manufacturing for a while.

There would be a fortune to be made in this sort of market, if you were so inclined to spend the time.