Maximised Rock Munching – nearly but not

EVEMon flashed up a notification just before – Mining Drone Operation V completed.

I don’t generally use mining drones, but I put aside the training time just to complete the final step in being able to say I have a max’d Miner.

No particular reason for ths – it is fairly rare that I actually mine.  It just seems appropriate if I am to call myself an Empire Carebear, then I should play the part.

So my Alt has Industrial Command Ships V, Capital Industrial Ships V, Warfare Link Specialist V, Mining Foreman V, Mining Director V and a Mining Foreman Mindlink – giving perfect mining boosts in either an Orca or Rorqual.

My main has Mining Frigate, Barge and Exhumer skills all to V, and now Mining Drone Operation V.  He has all the mining related skills to V -Astrogeology, Mining, Gas Cloud Harvesting, Ice Harvesting and… oh crap.  Deep Core Mining is only II.  I won’t find Mercoxit in Empire, do I really need that?  He also has the MX-1005 Mining implant to maximise yield.  Oh crap again – there is the Michi’s Excavation Augmentor which he doesn’t have.  Those are going for 1.57B in Jita at the moment.  I am not going to spend that much on just a tiny amount of bragging rights.

Ok – I have an almost Max’d miner – he just needs Deep Core Mining V and the Michi Implant.  Actually, it looks lame when you have to explain it that way – it also doesn’t have a nice ring to it.  I might just admit defeat and sideline this mini-goal.  If anyone asks, I’ll just say I can mine pretty good…

Nothing much to report

Real life has been a pain again, so EVE sessions have only been sporadic.

I did my first PI run in 3 months. Most planet resources were in the same place / under extraction heads as my last run. It doesn’t look like I have much competition in my little corner of Empire. I’m still only producing Robotics and Coolant. I have just about finished the PE research on all of my POS related BPO, so will consider producing some of those, more just for the interest.

One of the systems in my Trade zone must have a Dust Starter station. It is odd suddenly finding an extra 100+ glowing blue dust helmets displayed in local.

I’m not picking up any hulls with my buy orders for Tier 1 Battlecruisers (which will be more expensive to build after the next patch, and likely more useful). They are not something that has historically turned over well anyway, so I can’t say I am surprised.

I have picked up a dozen Ventures at 200K ISK buy orders, but only sold a handful of them at around 700K. Only minor profits there, but enough to keep me amused.

I have been flipping mining barge hulls lately. I tend to come and go from this area of the market as competition really ebbs and flows. At the moment I am making around 19M on each Covetor I flip, which turn around quickly. I was flipping Hulks for a while – but was making less profit on them. Procurers also have a nice profit margin – but they don’t sell particularly well.

I checked the rig market out for the common ones I always need. The margins on manufacturing seem to be around 10 to 20% – although there is a fair bit of competition. I probably won’t bother.

I’ve been playing around with EVE ISK per Hour recently:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/eveiph/

My initial use has been pretty simplistic – but I need to start checking out tools like this so that I can speed up my research into what items are worth manufacturing or trading in.  My old spreadsheet is getting too big and complicated.

Wanting to Undock

I wanted to quickly note a comment I made on Ugleb’s blog – it ties in with my comments on the CSM minutes about War Decs.

I’ve raised the statistic that the majority of current War Dec’s result in no loss of ships – suggesting they may be failing in one aspect to generate PVP.  I wanted to repeat my suggestions here in the hope they provide the examples I needed to explain my train of thought.

The question – What can be done to increase the number of people defending themselves in War Decs?  This is something you can’t force – but what can be done to encourage it?  I thought of two quick examples:

. Allow the creator of a War Dec to optionally select that PODs are not covered by the declaration. This might increase (slightly) the number of people willing to undock and fight back.

. Allow the creator to optionally declare the War Dec will cease at the destruction of a certain number of hulls – 5, 10, 20 etc. This would exclude shuttles and rookie ships, and the total would be counted from the losses of both sides. So in effect a Corp is rewarded for fighting back.

The current standard war dec remains – I am not looking to change that.  I am just looking at optional variations of a war which might promote more PVP.  Any other suggestions that might work better?

** EDIT 23.01.2012

Noticed this idea on a comment on Jester Trek’s blog here

. Put a percentage of the War Dec Fee into Concord Escrow, and at the end of the war return 75% to the winner (most ISK destroyed), and 25% to the loser.  If no damage is done, all the money goes back to the aggressor.  Careful selection of fights with T1 frigates could see the defender lose more hulls, but win the ISK war, and maybe profit from the experience.  It would at least add another dynamic.

Who needs the Oscars?

Blog Banter 43 – Celebrating the Nation of EVE

“For Blog Banter 43 I would like to invite every participant to nominate their peers for whatever awards you think they deserve. Let’s start the year with some EVE-flavoured altruism and celebrate the best and the worst of us, the funniest or the most bizarre, the most heroic of the most tragic of the past year. They could be corpmates, adversaries, bloggers, podcasters, developers, journalists or inanimate objects. Go nuts.”

Inner Zone Shipping Catalysts

Inner Zone Shipping Catalysts

My favorite blogs are listed on the roll to the left.  They cover a wide range of EVE topics from lots of different perspectives.  They all enhance my gaming experience in one way or the other, and each of them deserves awards.

However, like more than one participant of this particular banter, I don’t feel comfortable tackling this logically and judging these various blogs on their positive merits.  Instead – these are my irreverent and tongue in cheek EVE Blogging Awards.

In no particular order:

“The Most Misleading”

http://www.tigerears.org/

This one was easy.  No matter how many times I have visited Wormhole space – it has not been the target rich or as interesting environment as prolifically portrayed by Penny in this blog.  Scanning is also nowhere near as quick or as easy – and if I find 30 Signatures to sift through in a system, I don’t just go straight to the wormholes by feel, I am far more likely to go back the way I came crying.

 

“But it’s not EVE!”

The Ancient Gaming Noob

I struggle to read all the EVE blog posts I want (I currently have 150+ unread in Google Reader) – so I have to stay focused and not get distracted.  Yet I find myself reading every one of Wilhelm Arcturus’s posts on Hillmar in Rift, or his decision making process in World of Tanks – both games I have no intention of playing.

 

“The Best Use of Eye Candy”

A draw between Tgl3’s excellent

Through Newb Eyes

And  Drackarn’s equally as good

Sand, Ciber and Spaceships

This is for the most appropriate use of pictures to explain and enhance their blog posts.  This could also have been called the “Ooh Pretty Colours” Award.

 

“The Ruination of To Do Lists”

Jester’s Trek

Out of all the blogs I read, it is Jester’s who has me adding the most ideas or things to try out to my ever growing EVE To Do List.

 

“The Most like Me”

Ardent Defender

For the blogger who is probably the most like me.  I can’t say this is a good thing – but it is rare I don’t nod my head in agreement to a comment, or think –  yep, done that or had the same experience in EVE too.  (What was surprising was the number of candidates for this particular award.)

 

“Proof I’m not doing it right” or “P3nis envy”

K162space

Ardent Defender was a close second here, but Blake’s blog posts remind me that I am playing in the toddler pool of industry and not making anywhere near the ISK I could be if I was doing it right.

 

“The most Self-Assured”

Greedy Goblin

Another award with a number of contenders, but in the end it was a clear win for Goblin for the most posts where he is adamantly convinced of his own logic.  I might not agree all that often, but I do appreciate the perspective and the level of success he has achieved with his self-belief.

 

“Almost makes politics interesting, almost”

Poetic Discourse

Yet another award with multiple contenders, but Poetic Stanziel  wins this year for his more political bent posts that show little fear in giving his perspective, while still managing to make it a worthwhile read.

 

“It would be ok to die under this Pirate’s Fire”

Eveoganda

I usually make a point of focusing on avoiding PVP, but if I was caught out by a wiry Pirate, I would like it to be Rixx Jaxix. Not only would he likely be flying solo, without neurtal logistic support, he would likely kill my Exploration Legion while flying a Condor.

A Picture of a POS, just because

A Picture of a POS, just because

 

I better stop now – but there is one last thing I would like to note.  There are Bloggers who make a point of commenting and referencing other blogs, and by doing so provide encouragement and help foster the EVE blogging community.  Ardent Defender, Serpentine Logic, Turamarth, Helena Khan and Red Neckromonger are a few that stand out for this particular Blog.  I guess you can blame them in part for my continued enthusiasm and frequent posting.

Oh god, only up to page 70

I have a dozen half written blog posts and lots of half neglected projects in Game – but Real Life has been keeping me too busy lately.  I am pleased I took the time to read pages 54 to 70 of the CSM minutes tonight though.

First a couple small notes on Data cores.

Two step asked about the future of RP and datacores.  Soundwave indicated that he would like to remove research agents but there needed to be a way for Industrialists to get datacores through non-conflict gameplay, and they needed to figure out what to do with the skills.. he was unsure of how many accounts that would affect

I collected over 1,200 datacores on my main the other week, which were barely worth 100M on the market.  The thought of losing that last bit of passive income is now less aggrieving.  Having said that – the grind required was frankly the worst thing I have had to do in EVE – and having that effort thrown out irks me a bit.  I also wonder at just how well faction warfare will continue to meet the market – but so far, they are doing a great job of it.

 

SoniClover mentioned there are a vocal minority of players who ..  are angry they now get a “wanted” label on them and asked the CSM if this is an issue. .. Soundwave clarified that he doesn’t mind people being bothered by it, because no EVE player has the right to be shut off from the rest of the world.  Ripley chimed in that .. so far the number of people that have petitioned that the bounty system is harassment has been 40. The general feeling from CCP is that if bounties are not causing people to leave the game then they aren’t likely to put resources on to a problem that doesn’t exist

I remarked before that I think the common practice of putting a 100K bounty on anyone who happens to chat in local is lame.  I’d like bounties to be set at a minimum of 1M or the like.  You might also want to change the protrait overlay to read bounty instead of wanted.  Those two things might placate most people.

 

SoniClover .. said out that suicide gankers are already feeling pressure with the new <killright> changes .. went on to affirm that suicide ganking is needed to make sure highsec is not completely safe.  Solomon relayed that prior to Retribution, only 1% of kill rights were ever used, and that if Retribution got that number to 5-10% he’d consider that successful.

What an interesting statistic.  If only 1% of people who got a kill right were able to use them, that would suggest a very high percentage were weak targets that were incapable – or felt incapable, of seeking revenge.  It would seem gankers and griefers were very risk averse in their targetting, almost always going for those who couldn’t retaliate.

 

Kelduum raised the issue of being able to place bounties anonymously at additional cost.

Interestingly I would drop bounties on other players if I could do it anonymously – but I am risk averse like that.  I don’t agree with the suggestion however as I feel it basically removes the chance for the target to retaliate.

Solomon said CCP would have to keep an eye out for this in the future so that a situation doesn’t develop where the vast majority of the game has a small bounty on them and the feature loses its impact.

Good.

Overall there was a very common theme of wanting more control over who can claim bounties and kill rights, including by standings, or removing shuttles / rookie ships etc.

 

Masterplan then announced plans to decouple Security Status from CONCORD standing

That seems like a real gem of information, as it opens the possibility up for more interaction with Concord going forward.

 

Masterplan began to describe “Tags4Secs”, which would possibly be part of a May release. This feature would allow players to hunt rats in low-sec belts and exchange the looted tags for a security status gain.

This was generally well received – particularly as it encouraged people rat in low sec and opened up a new mini profession.  CCP warned they needed to balance it so that it didn’t just allow the removal of all consequences of illegal behaviour.  I think it is a good idea.

 

Two step inquired as to whether it would be possible to add wormhole polarity timers to the small circle timers that were added as part of the Crimewatch UI.

Another good suggestion.

 

Next was an interesting conversation on War Decs.  Solomon noted that in 70 to 80% of War Dec’s between Corporations that there were no losses recorded.  He asked if the mechanism was a failure were The strong prey on the weak, but the weak aren’t responding, and nobody’s getting particularly fun or nourishing gameplay out of this”

As you can imagine there are people jumping up and down over this – crying that the game will be ruined if you make safe zones for players.  First – that is not on the cards:

SoniClover: And it seems that some are clamoring a lot for the game system to protect them. And we’re trying to minimize that as much as possible. EVE is never going to give you complete game system security. And we’re never going to go that route

So I hope people can get over their rush of panicky short sightedness and really look at this question for what it is.  What sort of options might there be which increases the amount of PVP generated by War Decs?  Don’t just cry that risk adverse will never undock anyway.

Alek pointed out that the conversation should be about giving players more reasons to undock to begin with.

Hans did raise an interesting related comment

Hans: One of the values of high-sec warfare is that it’s one of the few places where you can engage in PvP and control the size of an engagement to a certain degree

You can’t with neutral alts, but I get what he is talking about.

 

Last of all a summary of some of Soundwave’s ideas:

* Turning High-sec Faction Navy responsibilities over to the players.

* Providing paths for players to progress from High-sec to Low-sec.

* Methods where faction success lead to High-sec effects.

* Connecting features together instead of making them standalone islands

. .. like to provide opportunities for action; he gave the example of ..  <give> FW members the ability to scan for contraband and trigger flags if they were discovered. He would like to see 4 or 5 such activities available to FW players. He later noted that this kind of player enforcement activity didn’t have to be FW-only.

So overall I found a lot of interest.

 

Only up to page 54..

I don’t think I will read another CSM Summit Minutes in this overly detailed format. I must admit that the nuances that come across between participants is informative and useful, but it is a long task full of stuff that will never hit tranquility. I could be spending my limited time on better EVE pursuits.

I got the impression while reading the Null Sec related conversations that CCP were only really listening out for certain answers. Aside the leading questions, they kept swinging back to topics the CSM did not appear that focused on. Such as..

Soundwave added that the alliance structure as it exists today needs to be reworked.

Later

Soundwave asked the CSM about alliance management tools

For the most part it was more of the same, the CSM raised force projection, blobbing, unused space, difficulty for new parties to enter, destructible stations, industry, limited influence of small gangs, lack of wonder and so on.

Seleene .. null-sec is currently too predictable and well-known.

Trebor – Living in a place, he argued, should be based on the ability to use the space as opposed to blowing up structures and alarm clocking

Two Step – general theme of null-sec having a unique industrial resource or a vastly more efficient one

Kelduum went so far as to note that he believed the exercise was a waste of time (due to lack of any value out of previous such discussions with CCP), and Seleene mirrored that – although apparently less politely.

I found most of the discussions were aimed at the current state of play / current inhabitant (instead of getting more solo and small corps out there), however there was this quote:

Soundwave’s – null-sec should include a venue for many playstyles.

That was followed up by mentioning they had measurements on the different user demographics in 0.0, but unfortunately it wasn’t able to be quoted.  Maybe they will spread the love.

There was plenty about making 0.0 more valuable and trying to stop the process of importing everything from Jita. Super Veldspar, special mining options, scaling refining to be more effective in a fully upgraded 0.0 station than anywhere else.  Mostly however it came down to wanting to reward people who use their space, and reward small hostile gangs for attacking space – but with no real standout ideas on how to do it.

In the end I came away with nothing I was excited about, and nothing I thought would increase the general population in 0.0.

This is stealing my game time..

It can be a bit of a rollercoaster reading the December CSM / CCP Meeting notes, with bits that you cheer for, and bits that make you want to unsubscribe. Various thoughts from my reading so far (be warned I am selective quoting):

 

. A common theme in my blogging is that you don’t specifically need to be in a Player Corporation vying for SOV space to actually be a part of this game. It is my belief that solo players have their place. More commonly however it is a game style which is complained about. I noted this little exchange:

Two step cautioned that some of these lurkers never truly engage the community, playing exclusively solo.

Unifex replied: Yes, but does that player that is completely on their own, do they buy anything off of the market? Because that is a form of community participation as well. When we talk about a social game, it’s not always about having lots of conversations with people. We have to broaden what we consider social participation in a game like EVE.”

Seagull – make sure we’re addressing a cross section of player types (within themes)

That gives me some comfort.

 

. I noted a comment on a MMO article today which indicated it was difficult to get into meaningful Corporations in EVE as a new player. It would seem CCP is thinking of ways to help address that:

Unifex – the barrier can be high to accessing player organizations.. he wants to turn this around by creating more things that corporations would want players to help them with

 

. A question which doesn’t inspire confidence!

Unifex: Once we have a theme, we can begin to thread the issues you’ve identified as needing to be prioritized into that theme. … Am I crazy here guys? Am I out of my skull, or what?

Yes, you would be a little crazy to rigidly stick to a theme for the sake of the theme. I understand the cohesiveness, but an expansion doesn’t have to be 100% about the theme. It could be as little as 51% of it.

 

. A lot of discussions about what the CSM and CCP should be able to do to members who are not pulling their weight. There were some worrying undertones in the conversations.

Trebor: Let me be absolutely blunt. I have now served on 3 CSMs. In each of them, 95% of the work was done by 6 or less people. Okay?

Two step: I think if we look at the current CSM and who might get removed, I think most of us would agree on two people who have not participated at all, Meissa and Darius, and I’m perfectly happy to say that. It bothered me no end yesterday when Meissa dialed in and talked, because he hasn’t earned the right to talk”

Hans: Until there are some changes to the institution, I don’t think we have the power to exclude him.

UAxDEATH: It’s always politics, it was never fair and it never will be. People will vote for the same guy over and over again, doesn’t matter how it was achieved. If people voted for Darius, they voted for him, not for you or you or you.

Alek wanted to be able to vote to recommend CCP take action against a member who is not pulling their weight, and Two Step wanted criteria up front that indicates what a person must do, else they can get kicked off.

Now I understand the annoyance in business of people who are not pulling their weight or getting a free ride – but do you know, the CSM is not a business, it is a political mechanism. It is meant to be a representation of the people who vote for it – with all its nuances and weaknesses.  If someone doesn’t pull their weight, let the players decide on the consequence during the next vote.

 

. In a similar vein, there were lots of discussions about who should be able to go to Iceland and who shouldn’t.

Trebor: I will point out that a big factor here is that until now, the CSM has been the haves who get to Iceland, and the have-nots who don’t. It was not so bad when it was 9 and 5, but now its 7 and 7, so there’s a huge premium in getting on the top 7. But if we change it so that it’s mostly determined by how much work you do, then there’s [less incentive for election gaming].

Trebor: The compromise would be, “CCP picks 5, CSM picks 2”.

Alek: That’s a question for the voters to decide, not CCP.

I couldn’t’ believe this conversation was serious. You might well end up with a more focused, harder working and appropriately experienced group in Iceland – but it won’t have the buy in of the players. That is because the CSM will have gone from a player council, to a bunch of handpicked CCP lackeys.  (Even if it is out of a pool of player selections.)

While I can certainly understand the merit in various arguments and comments, I think what it comes down to is that I don’t really like the direction some of the CSM are trying to head in.  They want to turn a quirky and aspirational player mechanism into a semi professional lobbyist group which is not contrained as much by the democratic vote.  And when you put it like that, it isn’t something I support at all.