I think that is the last of them

Just to prove I can finish a topic, I think these are the last of the current Dev Blogs that I wanted to remark on.

 

http://community.eveonline.com/devblog.asp?a=blog&nbid=73491

So CCP put some of the Faction Warfare changes in early and with minimal warning to Nerf income levels.

I’ve read the Dev Blog and various player blogs, but I have to admit I don’t really understand the expected incomes from a before and after perspective. I think the theoretical income levels are still high, but the reality is that they won’t be achieved on a regular basis.

Overall I’m glad CCP didn’t just let this continue until the next expansion. It would have seemed like they were asleep at the wheel if they had done that.

 

http://community.eveonline.com/devblog.asp?a=blog&nbid=73439

Players will have to build all the various container types and the last of the Quest, Discovery and Gaze Survey Probes themselves. That is a good thing.

I grabbed a couple Freighter loads of various containers to stockpile. This is not to make miraculous amounts of ISK since CCP tends to be on top of that sort of market speculation. It just allows me to seed my local markets going forward. All told it did not cost that much anyway.

 

http://community.eveonline.com/devblog.asp?a=blog&nbid=73448

There will be new rounded target overlays and various changes to locking signs and the like. Some look nice; others (on the Video clips I’ve seen) look messy. Overall, anything that improves the look of the overview is a step in the right direction. It might just not always be a step forwards.

 

Nothing much to report from within the game.  A few trade and PI runs, but otherwise RL has been my focus the last week or two.  My main is working on the last of the Shield Compensation skills to V.  My main Alt has 3.5 days left on Industrial Command Ships V, to finish off maximising his mining boosting.  My Empire Alt has just finished off training all the Ore processing skills to rank IV, to allow the use of all the T2 mining crystals.

Sounds Familiar

Worth a read:

http://aggressivelogistics.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/putdownability/

While not as busy in real life, it rings true for me. I have similar restrictions on the capacity in which I can play the game. (I often feel compelled to apologise here for not being able to play properly.) I also worry at the signals from CCP that suggest they want to nerf the play style I am restricted in having.

Yes, why are you here?

Today my blogging schedule has been interrupted by Jester’s Trek.  (It is probably my EVE blog of choice – for a variety of reasons.)

His well-known Alliance, Rote Kapelle, have declared that they are fed up with type of PVP being offered up by many of the residence of NPC 0.0 Syndicate, and that they are setting out to have a long campaign to eject anyone they don’t deem to be worthy.

http://jestertrek.blogspot.com.au/2012/10/why-are-you-here.html

I completely agree that Rote Kapelle are within their rights to ”..make absolutely miserable the lives of people who live in Syndicate..” They should also be – boredom aside, capable of being somewhat successful at it.

http://jestertrek.blogspot.com.au/2012/10/play-style.html

Ironically Jester had only just posted about his positive experiences in Guild Wars 2, and remarked on – quite rightly, how the Culture of EVE players can be even more off-putting to new players than the steep learning curve.

http://jestertrek.blogspot.com.au/2012/10/all-for-won.html

Rote Kapelle’s sense of entitlement and self-righteousness was a nice parallel to this, and elicited a good belly laugh from me.

I have to confess that Syndicate is the NPC 0.0 location I refer to in this blog. I expect my Alliance is one of those that Rote Kapelle would deem as undeserving. While I don’t tend to spend much time down there, I will ensure to jump down if Rote Kapelle come knocking to force us out.

I am happy to leave my characters either siting in station day after day, or cloaked up in deep space. See – I enjoy wasting the time of PVP Gods, denying them the kills and the sort of fun they want. I figure if I force them to spend minutes trying to scan me down, or troll my AFK butt into doing something silly, then I am in effect providing a community service. I spared some other poor unfortunate those wasted minutes.

See Jester, there are nice helpful people in EVE after all.

 

(I do suspect I will have to stay behind to perform this, given my Alliance would probably just get bored if put under pressure, and will likely just move to another location.)

Next…

I spent two hours doing Hi Sec exploration on the weekend, ending up with around 9M ISK in total rewards. Unlike Helena Khan the loot gods were not smiling.

I also updated my PI (a couple days late) and checked all my Trade Orders. Oddly, out of my relatively quiet 25 orders, only 2 needed adjustment. None of my competitors had updated their orders over the previous week.

My minor forays into the Implant market has worked out to be moderately profitable. (Yes, I read Greedy Goblin too. The low range items haven’t turned over, but there seems to be a sweat spot in the middle tier of implants. I will have to grab more stock, although will do so at buy order prices. It won’t make me a fortune in my current little backwater, but is mildly interesting.

 

On to the next DEV blogs:

http://community.eveonline.com/devblog.asp?a=blog&nbid=73413

CCP is updating the AI for all NPC’s, aside Incursion, Concord and Sleepers. They will switch targets, go after drones and have a preference for targeting their own hull type. The idea is to make PVE more engaging and close some exploits.

This could be a rather noticeable income nerf for some players. Gone (or modified) will be the pattern of warping in a tank to agro a pocket, then bring in glass cannon DPS ships to clear everything. Mining ops outside of Empire where you tank a belt will no longer be viable. The common tactic of inviting low SP Corp mates into L4 Missions to help with their standings grinds and income generation won’t work either. It should also hit AFK drone boat mission running. It probably won’t impact those who zerg certain missions, or make the PVE content any more interesting! I don’t see it impacting me on a personal level, aside from losing the occasional drone. I over tank my PVE ships anyway.

 

http://community.eveonline.com/devblog.asp?a=blog&nbid=73443

As is heavily being blogged about at the moment, CCP is updating the Crimewatch (Aggression) system.

I have two problems with the current aggression rules – they are unclear, and they are used to grief newer players. I’m not entirely enamored by the new icon based flagging system, but it should at least be somewhat clearer. There are basically 4 flags – Weapons (which prevents certain actions like docking and jumping), NPC (which prevents your ship from disappearing upon log off), PVP (prevents your ship from disappearing upon log off), and a dual Legality Flag – suspect, which allows anyone to attack you, and criminal, which will additionally see Concord attack you.

Reading through it made relative sense. There are a couple of tables linked to in the Dev Blog which stipulate actions and consequences, which is worth a read. Overall the changes make it more dangerous to get a Suspect flag – which could either see less people being aggressive (unlikely to my mind), or overall trigger more PVP (more likely). There will certainly be some game play changes, for logistic pilots, suicide gankers, can flippers and so on (even those trying to have supposed 1 on 1 frigate fights outside of trade hubs).

I then started to read about all the different grey scenarios, so I am left a little worried about the unexpected consequences and exploits we might start seeing on day 1 of its release.  Another one of those – needed to be done, but I wait with mild concern to see the outcome.

So unkind

Time to re-read some of the most recent DEV Blogs, starting with the Bounty and Kill-Right changes.

http://community.eveonline.com/devblog.asp?a=blog&nbid=73446

I remarked on the bounty system update previously. In summary – bounties can be placed on any individual, corporation or alliance, they don’t give kill rights, and payouts are based on the value of the damage done to the target.

I can see areas where it could be exploited and played, and in some ways it gives the rich an almost consequence free method of griefing people. As I’ve read in a number of blogs, it could also work as a replacement insurance payout for suicide gankers, just targeted against those with bounties. Despite the Carebear probably being more on the receiving end of this, I like the idea. EVE is meant to be a sandbox, and this mechanism promotes the generation of game content between players.

The blog also covers kill right changes – which has seen a whole heap of rage, tears and tantrums in the response from some quarters. Previously you got a kill right if someone illegally destroyed your ship. There are a lot of people who get kill rights who have no real practical way of exercising them – new players, low SP, purely industrialists and so on.

The changes mean that if someone illegally attacks you in Empire (successfully or not), or pods you in Low Sec, you will be able to sell the kill rights. (I assume you don’t get the ISK, and that it just goes to Concord.)

A player with available Kill rights shows up on the overview. Those rights can be purchased on the spot in space. Now here’s the odd thing – the rights are not just taken on by the purchaser, but instead the target is flagged as a suspect for the next 15 minutes, meaning anyone can attack them. If they are killed, the kill right is spent. If they escape, and continue to do so, they can be flagged again repeatedly until 30 days passes.

Now I must admit that surprises me. I’d have thought it would only be a one on one type basis. I can understand why people are upset by that. But then they open their mouth and vile Carebear hatred spews forth. *

Apparently this makes Empire too safe. The reality is the change does no such thing – you can still perform all the same actions as before, it is just that now there a notable consequence for doing so. If you can’t handle having to look over your shoulder for the next 30 days, then the problem lies with your risk aversion, not Empire.

The baser, more immature aspects of my personality are amused by the blubbering angst being generated. Apparently some want PVP, but only when the opponent is unaware they are about to partake in it, generally are flying ships that can’t fight back, and mostly can’t effectively seek revenge.

Now the truly badass pirate might in fact welcome these changes. Imagine all the ill-advised Empire dwellers trying to exercise kill rights on them. It could well generate a whole lot of extra PVP.

I also like the fact that the group of players who like to follow the Police / Sheriff type role now have a mechanism to do this within.

My main worry (again) is for the gaming and exploiting of this type of system, but overall I think it increases the options for player interactions, and is a good thing.

The blog goes on to say they will be adjusting the ASB modules, implementing the Micro Jump Drive previously suggested (just not sure about how useful those will be), and bring in Salvage drones.

So – Bounty and Kill right System changes- I’m happy with both concepts.  (Even if I end up on the receiving side of them!)

(* Oh – truth be told, I do think it seems too harsh for a kill right to be converted into a suspect flag for 15 minutes. I guess the difficulty is in how to make a kill right expensive enough to stop someone just buying it for themselves and using an Alt to remove it, but not so expensive as to stop anyone ever buying them.)

Raking in the Millions

I’ve been testing my theory on AFK Mining.

(Apparently I just can’t stop harping on it – or to put it in a better light, I wanted to put my own views to a practical test.)

I used a Retriever fitted with T1 Strip Miners, a T2 Survey Scanner, T2 Damage Control and two T2 Mining Laser Upgrades. EFT gives it a suggested yield of 1,002m3 per minute.

I stuck with T1 Strip Miners as this was meant to be as AFK as possible.

I solo mined in a 0.8 system with an Alt skilled enough to have maximum yield. The belts tend to get hammered, so the re-spawn size of the rocks wasn’t always great. I worked on full belts, using ideal bookmarks for maximizing the number of rocks in range, mining from the highest return rocks down, and warping back to a fresh position each time I have to dock to empty the Ore Hold.

I left the Strip Miner to deactivate on its own as each rock depleted about 80% of the time. The remainder I manually recycle to maximise yield.

I ignored D-Scan and Local, and would not have noticed someone trying to suicide gank me. Instead I worked on financial paper work, or read blogs and news sites, or watched downloaded shows. I even wrote a blog entry or two.

It wasn’t a comfortable AFK process, but I did go for periods of time where I would only glance at EVE when the voice prompts alerted me to an asteroid being depleted. The effort should however fit within the sphere of what people are calling AFK mining. I generally didn’t have to concentrate on it too hard.

So the end result over multiple sessions was that I earnt on average 7.4M ISK an hour.

I could have dropped the Damage Control for a third Mining Upgrade, which would have seen the income increase to around 8M an hour. Given I suspect I wasn’t as AFK as I should have been; I’ll stick with the original figure for what is relatively low risk, AFK mining in Empire.

Is that income level a problem?

Again – with real EVE examples, that is not the source of income nirvana that many people are crying so hard about.

I was however surprised by how relatively close the income was for AFK mining when compared to concentrating on the screen and optimising each mining cycle.  (See my notes here)  Basically I was getting around 80% of the return for about a third of the effort.  That didn’t sit entirely right with me.

Will this be my new form of mining?  Probably not.  Interestingly time did pass quicker with this approach, and it would be easier to mine for longer time periods.  However it wasn’t particularly satisfying, and I prefer my EVE sessions to be a little more immersive and distracting from real life.  I can see why others would do it however.

So maybe the result of this effort wasn’t quite as I expected after all.  Not silly income, but maybe not entire right either.

Moving NPC 0.0 homes

I thought I had finished all my asset shuffling and moving – but I was wrong.

The Corporation announced that it is relocating its NPC 0.0 staging system. In reality someone with more fighters and better ships wanted the old location, so it was somewhat compelled to move.

Since I played no part in trying to harass the new comers, I certainly can’t complain or point a finger about the outcome (unless it was to point it at myself).

The new home station looks to be in a rather busy spot that you can’t really defend. You are also easily camped in. However it does have medical services, so I can set my clone there. I’ve been watching the dotlan statistics, and the traffic volumes were surprisingly low. Hopefully it will work out ok.

While my assets in 0.0 can fit within my two carriers, those said carriers were resting in low sec. (I was forced to store them there as there were no medical facilities in the old station I was basing out of.)

To get the carriers back down to 0.0 and move everything into the new station required a rather convoluted chain of clone jumping, Cyno’s, flying and patience.

My Main and his Alt had a Jump Clone each in the old 0.0 Station. I started by Clone Jumping my Alt down to 0.0, and Clone Jumping my Main into his Wormhole Clone (both Clones being relatively cheap with +3 Implants). I grabbed a Shuttle for my Main and flew the 20 odd jumps to the Low Sec Station where his Carrier was stored.

As things were quiet my Alt was able to open a Cyno, and I jumped the Archon into 0.0. It only took a few minutes to load it up with most of my Assets.

I then flew my Alt across a number of hostile systems and into the new home.

I had to wait a while for visitors to the old and new homes to clear before being able to open a Cyno and jumping in my Main’s Archon.

The new station seems to have a large docking radius – or I get lucky on positioning the first Cyno. Soon after docking the system has more visitors, and I lose my first Cyno ship in over two years. That does not bode well. Never mind.

I don’t actually do much in 0.0. A bit of trade, a bit of NPC killing, a lot of Intel posting, so arguably I’m not much use to the 3 or 4 dozen odd of my Corp mates who do try making a home there. I had thought I would try to do a bit more PVP, but I’ve resigned myself to the fact I am just not that inclined to do solo PVP, and the few times a week I can play without much fear of being interrupted, the 0.0 home is very quiet and no group roams are run. I’ve thought long and hard about just pulling out of the area, but I do get a perverse pleasure of moving about and living there on occasion. At least I hope the Intel posts are of some value.

The next step was to get my Wormhole Clone back out to Empire, leaving the Carrier with my 0.0 Clone. This is not immediately possible as when I log in later the system has half a dozen neutrals active, and no one from my Alliance. I stay logged in until a few people leave the area, before slipping out of the station in a Helios.

I quickly make undock, station watch, and safe spot bookmarks, before heading back to empire space. I pass neutrals in a number of systems, but no one is camping any of the gates and I get back to empire unhindered.

I then Jump my Alt back to his Wormhole Clone in Empire, and make the same Journey to his Carrier in Low Sec.

While that is in progress, my Main grabs a new Falcon with an updated fit and a few spares, and trades it to my Alt, who stores them away in his Carrier. My main then flies all the way back to his Wormhole Loki, and Clone Jumps down to the old home in 0.0.

The system is too busy with Reds and Neuts, so I log for the night.

The following morning, just before the kids head off to school / childcare, my Main manages to open a Cyno for my Alt, and he jumps his Thanatos down to the old home in 0.0. My Main then trades the remainder of his assets to the Alt, who stores them in the Carrier, along with his own spares.

Later in the day I move my Main from the old home to the new, skirting around a couple of Red interceptors.

I notice a Corp mate asking for a Cyno in the new system. I Convo him to indicate he can use mine when I jump my Alt in. He had some extra ships to be moved from the old system, so my Alt spends 10 minutes ferrying them from another station and loading them up in his carrier.

After waiting for a number of Neuts and Reds to move through, I finally open a Cyno and both my Alt and Corp mate jump their Carriers into the new system and dock up. This time I don’t lose the frigate. Assets are returned to their rightful owners.

I log in later and get all the gear organised in the new home. I now had to fly my Alt’s Wormhole Clone back out to Empire. The only problem was I didn’t have any spare ship I wanted to take out, and there were no T1 frigates on the market. After going over the handful of spares I did have, and what was for sale in the system, I ended up buying and fitting (slightly strangely) a Claw interceptor.

 

My alt was then able to quickly fly out of 0.0, drop the claw off at my Central Storage, and return the Wormhole Clone to its rightful place.

All of this happened over a number of days (to allow for Jump Clone timers and for various systems to be quiet enough to move capitals). The end result is that I now have both Carriers and all my related assets in the new 0.0 staging system, along with a matching Jump Clone and my Medical Clone.

In future I will ensure I stick with NPC 0.0 stations with medical services, so that I don’t need to leave the carriers elsewhere.

Now if you have read this far, you might be wondering why on earth I documented this process. It just seemed to stand out for me – how many other MMO’s are there which require this sort of effort? I didn’t make money; I didn’t advance in XP or levels, I didn’t collect new loot. There is no acknowledgement for a job well done.

I was forced to move out of a home by other players. I had to move assets that if lost would not re-spawn, and would take some 200 hours of effort to replace. I had to think what if I died, where would my Clone end up, how could I ensure easy access to my assets? I had to plan, make calculated risks, put in place logistics for fuel and Cynos. Through the entire process you are testing yourself against other players – even if they don’t always realise that you are.

I have remarked many times that I think people are clueless when they think Empire is an AFK ISK maker’s paradise. But this is one example of where I do agree that Empire is living in AFK mode in comparison to Low Sec or 0.0. It answers my question above about if I should keep a presence in NPC 0.0 or not. I can’t play in hardcore mode; I can’t claim a patch of space for myself, instead having to slink around in places no one else can be bothered to take. But I can appreciate the seemingly unique nature of the environment. I can find a real reward in not dying and just watching the trials and tribulations of those around me who are more dedicated.

I even followed all this up by going on a roam, getting on a number of killmails, and not dying. But I might remark on that another time.

Fly safe.