Invalid Space

About 34 minutes into the first “o7” – the EVE Online Show, there was a discussion with CCP Greyscale and CCP Nullarbor about Sov Null Sec.

http://www.twitch.tv/ccp/b/572060538

To quote CCP Greyscale – “It has got kind of stagnant out there, people have, the major coalitions have basically solved the game and figured out how to win, and now they are winning and now it is boring for everybody”

CCP are working on fitting in some changes in the short term to try and have an impact on this. The initial steps should be detailed in a DEV Blog out around the second week of October, and will be based around movement and force projection. They mentioned capital ships, jump drives and clones.

I’m guessing at jump drive cool down timers and maybe range limitations on jump clones.

CCP indicate the CSM were mostly onboard with the changes, with some suggesting the changes don’t go far enough.

The people that have won EVE subsequently put out an open letter to CCP on what they think must be included in changes to Sov Null Sec.

http://themittani.com/news/null-deal-statement-sovereign-00

It pays to be circumspect when listening to the propaganda of the Null Sec Lords. It is not difficult to see how they try to control the narrative of these discussions and debates. A classic approach is to say if you do not live and breathe Null Sec, your opinion shouldn’t be heard, and doesn’t matter.

At the forefront of the suggestions is to add NPC Null Sec space to every region. That will make it easier for people to stage offences into Sov Null Sec. It seems to have merit – until you stop and think about it. In a new world where Capital ship movements are restricted, it allows the current Null Sec Lords to leave caches of Capital fleets all over the map, safe in NPC stations. It allows them to bypass new force projection rules. It allows them to more easily harass other groups or defend themselves.

None of the suggestions will shake up the current status quo – it won’t open Null Sec up to new powers, it won’t topple the current winners of EVE.

Blastradius posted a similar warning on his blog:

http://blastradtales.wordpress.com/2014/09/29/hmm/

If you are interested in EVE, you really need to be vigilant in reading between the lines when it comes to Sov Null Sec changes.

As I have remarked before, the current Null Sec Lords have done a brilliant job. Even CCP agrees they have won EVE. A part of me feels uncomfortable about just arbitrarily handicapping them for their success, or throwing away all their achievements and starting all over again with new rules. CCP is however in effect being forced to do something. The players at the very top could have done something to shake things up – but they have become too comfortable behind the diplomatic accords that ensconce them in their thrones.

Even risk adverse solo players who hide away in Hi-Sec can have an opinion on that.

Now the trick is to be patient, and do your best to enjoy the ride.

The EVE Schadenfreude Community

A few days back there was a long article posted on The Mittani written by James 315, looking at the latest round of account bans attributed to real life harassment.

http://themittani.com/features/new-teamspeak-harassment-policy

James 315 has a remarkable silver tongue, and it pays to remember you are reading propaganda. Regardless, it was an interesting commentary.

There were two points that I wanted to remark on.

First – despite what the EULA might say, it does not sit well with me that CCP is not more transparent with their bans. People can invest a great deal into this game – and it is disturbing to think you can find yourself thrown out without a clear explanation or any trustworthy mechanism to have the decision reviewed. It seems to lack natural justice.

I am not suggesting CCP get into a debate with every person they ban, or that they should feel compelled to have to justify themselves. I’m also mindful that they don’t tend to publically discuss cases and we only hear the version of the aggrieved. They should however have the faith and conviction in their own decisions to be able to provide a clear summary, such as “You have been banned due to threatening another player with physical harm”. There should also be a clear mechanism for a player to be able to state their case, and have the ban reviewed by a second (senior) GM.

The second point – I can’t help but wonder if this situation exists in part due to the success of James 315 and his ilk in gathering, focusing and emboldening a community of like-minded individuals who gain pleasure in EVE from antagonising other players.

CCP could ignore the random and sporadic complaints about such behavior – it even gave the game some flavor. Over the last year or two however they have been faced with coordinated, methodical, visible and wide scale harassment of players, and it might be forcing their hand in situations like this.

It’s an amusing thought.

Whale Mastery

My main Alt picked up his next Ship mastery – this time for the Orca.

ehimg420

Next should be the Astarte and Eos, in a bit over a month if I remember correctly.

Pretty sure aiming for such achievements in EVE is probably not looked on too kindly. I’m sure it isn’t playing the game right. That is probably why it amuses me.

Just out of interest I went through the ISIS and checked just what Ship Mastery my 7+ year old 143M SP Alt has:

. All four shuttles

. The Orca

. The Caldari Bantam, Osprey, Heron, Kitsune, Blackbird and Falcon

. The Gallante Navitas, Exequror, Vexor Navy Issue, Ishtar, Myrmidon, all T1 and T2 haulers and the Obelisk

. The Minmatar Burst and Scythe, and all their T1 Haulers

Not much when you consider it, and next to none of them “just happened” by chance.  An indication that a lot of the skills and required levels are not what I would have naturally trained.

Sparks

As I remarked recently, there isn’t anything particularly compelling that I feel like doing in EVE at the moment. I’ve been pondering that a bit lately, and wanting to mull over a few thoughts here. Don’t worry (or sorry), but this is not a bitter vet exit post.

For quite a while now I have used Exploration as the catalyst to get me undocked and interacting with the environment. It doesn’t matter if that part of my session lasts for 5 minutes or an hour, that first step normally gets me in the zone to make the most of my EVE time.

It seems obvious, but undocking in EVE is important. The other week I undocked to pick up some researched BPO from my POS. While in flight I noticed a Covert Research Facility site in local. After finishing my task I swapped to a Stratios to run the site. Once finished that I figured I would scan down the signatures in the system. There wasn’t much of interest, but I did find a Hi-Sec to Hi-Sec wormhole that I peered through, checking if the other end was anywhere near Jita or some of the assets or my Datacore sites that I have spread around the place. It wasn’t, but I had gone from logging in to do a simple task and ended up “playing” EVE. I have lost count of the number of times that has happened.

While I still like the unknown aspect of what you are going to find during exploration – I am getting tired of doing the same stuff over and over and over again. My EVE sessions are suffering from that lack of ignition. Working through my BPO research has helped a little, as shown above, but it is not as effective. I’m not sure what there is to replace it.

Getting bored of aspects of the game is of course nothing new. There are many areas that I have investigated, skilled up and tooled up for, played, then put aside as they became more of a chore than fun. Missions, Trading, PI, Mining and so on. For all the focus on EVE being a sandpit MMO, in the end it does have an underlying reliance on theme park mechanisms, especially for those of us who play solo.

In most regards it is impressive the game has kept my interest for so long.

So while I am in a bit of a rut, I need to go back to ticking off items on my EVE to-do list.

. I am thinking of buying a totally unnecessary and expensive hull to celebrate my 8th year in game

. I really need to fit and undock that Rorqual I purchased a while ago. I want to use a Clone Vat Bay for the first time. (I might have to fight through my inclination to park Capitals while playing solo.)

. I got a Worm and Garmur for the new burner missions, but I can’t force myself to grind Level 4 missions to get one. I might start by fitting them out.

Eight

I glanced down at the odometer yesterday in my car and realised it had just hit 100,000km. I never pay attention to the odometer, but it is uncanny how often I seem to focus on it at the exact time it clicks over a milestone figure. I presume that while you might not be consciously aware of the figure, subconsciously a part of your brain is.

It is the same for how many Skill Points my main Character in EVE has. Again I don’t really pay it attention, but I suddenly seem to be aware of it right as it clicks over each 10 million. It is the same again for in game birthdays. I opened my character sheet and for no obvious reason my eyes were drawn to the birthdate.

I turned 8 in EVE today.

It is not a real accomplishment within itself. You don’t achieve in EVE just by paying your subscription for years. It is instead an acknowledgement to CCP – for the game they have created and keep evolving. It is an acknowledgement to the community around the game. It is an acknowledgement to – I will put it kindly, my perseverance.

I thought I’d mark the occasion with a moment of nostalgia.

Best Memory

Taking part in Providence’s failed defence of D-GTMI. From a mechanical point of view the slideshow and totally unresponsive client showed a broken and unfair game. But that didn’t seem to really matter – it also showed just how amazing the possibilities were within EVE.

Worst Memory

The weeks after the Incarna release, a poor implementation of walking in cabins, over heating graphic cards, and the now iconic static image of the Captain Quarter door.

Favourite Ship

Strangely enough, that is probably the Orca. I loved being able to roam around in them carrying whatever you needed to be self-sufficient in a nomadic lifestyle. Being able to scan the Fleet Hanger and Ship Maintenance Bay put end to that, although the Transverse Bulkhead rigs now make it a more of a viable possibility now.  I have also loved just about anything that can fit a Covert Ops Cloak.

Favourite Feature

Exploration

Least Favourite feature

Not so much a feature, but the general feel that PVE content is not dynamic enough.

Most wanted little changes I’d like for my EVE birthday

I’d like more than 5 overview tabs; I’d like to be able to move Clones in ships and store more than one in a station, and I’d like ship skinning to be changed to a removable rig like slot, as having individual entries in the market place for each skinned ship is unnecessary.

Now let see how many more years I can get out of this game.

Time off does not mean time in game

I had last week off. I normally do 32 hours of paid work, so I thought I would end up with around 15 hours of uninterrupted downtime for myself across the three days were both kids were at school and kinder. That should have meant some good EVE sessions, but that did not eventuate. I ended up with only 6 hours of downtime, and spent most of that in DDO mucking around with a solo Swashbuckling Bard (splash of Rogue) that I’ve been finding amusing.

I realised that I am not a working professional who fits in Dad duties during the week, but instead a full time Dad who squeezes in paid work. I am not entirely sure how I feel about that distinction.

I also realised that EVE is not especially compelling at the moment where I can have a week off with so little extra time spent in it.

I am however still logging in every day.

My blueprint research continues, with my count of fully researched BPO increasing from 270 to 390 over the last fortnight.

I have pulled the Medium POS down. Everything is now going through the Small POS. Whoever decided these things would have 20+ minutes of un-anchoring time was a sadistic so and so. While I understand the reasons, it was a nervous wait. Oh – and a tip, remember to bookmark them before they finish un-anchoring. You can’t warp to them afterwards.

My second Industry Alt completed the training required to perform 10 Science jobs at the same time.

My POS equipment sell off is on going, but the prices are progressively falling. I really burnt myself there.

Hyperion arrived and there wasn’t anything worth a full blog post on. I glanced at the market tooltips, looked at the extra items in the New Eden store for a couple of minutes, and smiled when the Scan ID’s didn’t change over downtime.

I have spent a lot of time trying to finesse my overviews. Thanks to a bug from CCP I lost my Main Toon’s overview settings so started from a clean slate. I have really appreciated being able to set up everything on the one client and then send an alliance mail with a link for my other Toons to just click on.

I’m not sure why they had to use two Share options – the one at the top of the Overview Setting window that only transfers the tabs and associated presets, and the one under Misc > Export Overview Settings, which allows up to 15 extra tab presets to be exported.

ehimg419

And speaking of Tabs – FOR THE LOVE OF GOD CCP, GIVE US MORE THAN FIVE OF THEM.

ehimg418

I have currently settled for two travel tabs – safe and unsafe. The second doubles as a PVP overview. I have a third tab for PVE, one for POS related stuff, and a Run-To tab. I really need several more tabs to minimise the need to swap presets in and out, such as for Mining, and an extra two for PVE and PVP.

I also ran a few exploration sites – so I guess I have been a bit busy.