Echoes

A couple of my recent posts were caught up on the edges of the Null Sec change maelstrom and garnered more attention than usual.

The first pointed out that change was coming, and rather presumptuously reminded people to be discerning when reading the related discussions.

The second took a moment to consider the emotion shown by those being directly impacted, and indicated I thought change was necessary, and at a high level why and what impact I would like to see.

Light-weight stuff focused more on the mechanics of the discussion than the mechanics of the subject.

The second post generated a somewhat curious discussion on Twitter,

https://twitter.com/evehermit/status/517298355785826304

It was triggered by this comment from current CSM9 member @FunkyBacon

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My Favourite answer – in the “I wish I had thought of that” way was from blogger @Kirithkodachi

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This is of course one of my main pet topics on this blog – how EVE players do themselves no favours with their inability to properly debate topics. (Obviously that is more of a worldwide phenomenon, not just confined to EVE.)

While it pays to be succinct when debating, twitter probably takes that too far. I mostly just watched the discussion from the sidelines. I figured I should be thankful that for a brief moment in time a few people had stopped to consider the topic.

To take it a little further though, just who should be allowed to have an opinion on the Null Sec changes?

I have been playing EVE for 8 years; I have lived in High, Low, Sov and NPC Null Sec space. I currently day trip into Wormholes and Null Sec, own 3 jump capable capital ships, pay a reasonable level of attention to what is going on in the game, and would consider returning to Null again in the future.

Is that enough? Who do I ask to judge and give me a star or a stamp or label which says I am allowed to have an opinion?

The answer is obvious. Anyone with an interest in Null Sec is welcome to their opinion. Whether it is worth listening to or not should be judged on its merits. Trying to define who is allowed to voice an opinion is a transparent attempt to stifle or control the debate. It also means you fail to take the opportunity to educate or exchange ideas.

There are of course people who you just can’t be bothered listening to. For example, I know I’m right on top of my wife’s list.  I am also not suggesting I have anything of note to say.  (My wife would agree.)  Unlike some though, I am not stubbornly unreceptive to new ideas, so am happy to have my opinions refined and improved from the input of others.

I do wish CCP the best of luck in finding the most useful inputs into this discussion from amongst the avalanche of feedback.  I expect the concept is set in stone, but I am confident they will tweak to improve or and to reduce unexpected consequences where players can raise the suggestions coherently.

I do have some specific thoughts on how the new jump distance and fatigue changes might impact me, and they will, but I want to undock instead of write more.

Suddenly there is excitement

I was astonished by CCP’s latest DEV blog, outlining jump travel changes coming likely in the next release, and giving the sort of very rough path they are looking to take with Null Sec.

http://community.eveonline.com/news/dev-blogs/long-distance-travel-changes-inbound/

That has the capacity to be a real game changer, both obvious, and in ways I’d never likely consider.

After contemplating the huge weapons caches the current Null Sec Lords will likely spread around, my next thought was of an old pony express style situation where instead of changing horse at each station, a new pilot without cool down timers will step into a ship. Obviously that is only in the realm of those with great resources, but already I find the mind racing at all the possible ways players might unexpectedly adjust to this.

Now – frankly, you are not going to get insightful analysis on this from me. (As the pony express idea clearly shows.)

It does not change the ability of the current Null Sec lords to retain their power. They might not be able to respond as quickly, but an unassailable Capital armada moving via gate will still ruin the plans of any smaller group to hold space.

It makes the life of the Null Sec grunt more difficult. It almost forces then into wide spread Null Sec industry. It makes some space more valuable and other less desirable.

What I am really waiting for is to see how the current Null Sec lords respond. Do they take the opportunity over the next 6 weeks to punish CCP by scorching the earth, leaving no one else with any sort of foothold in Sov Null? Do they kick off one of the biggest wars in history against each other to try and get the upper hand over their rivals before it hits?

For the first time in a while I actually feel a sense of excitement about a change coming in EVE. Of course, all I have to do is consider where I want to park my 3 capital ships sometime over the next month or so. In the long run I think this sort of change will make for a more interesting and healthy EVE. In the short term I can see a lot of very unhappy people.

For them it is not broken

I was reminded yesterday that for a reasonable number of players, Null Sec is not broken.

They are living there, facing its perils, gathering resources, and fighting in fleet battles. They are having fun and enjoy the game.

You can understand why they can get passionate when told by outsiders that it has to change.

This is not just for the pilots within the handful of super powers ruling Null Sec. There was an interesting “leaked” statement from Corebloodbrothers posted on the EveNews24 site. He is the CSM member and head FC for Providence.

http://evenews24.com/2014/10/01/leaks-corebloodbrothers-sends-out-a-internal-statement-about-the-null-deal/

You would garner that there are a reasonable number of vocal Provi-block members who are scared about the as yet undetailed changes, and angry at their CSM representative for, well, I’m not entirely sure what.  Again from the outside, you would have thought this was one of the groups which would likely benefit from CCP’s changes.

I’m from the outside. I spend most of my time in Empire and I play the game solo. It has been more than 4 years since I have lived in Sov Null Sec, and almost 2 years since I lived in NPC Null Sec. I think it is important for the game to see changes in Null Sec – but when I put it like that, I can certainly understand why people happy in Null Sec are angry at me for even offering up an opinion.

I don’t generally do in depth analysis on this blog. I’ll see some small point or different angle on a topic I find interesting, such as this, and I just mull over my thoughts. I am not here to try and convert the masses to my way of thinking.  What I will do is just remark on why it seems obvious to me that Null-Sec needs change.

At the moment, I agree with the view that there are only a small number of people who control Null-Sec. They have agreements between each other to limit any conflicts of consequence that have held for a while now. There is no probable way for new groups to independently take space away from them, and even less chance they could subsequently hold it. This becomes even more unlikely as the ensconced powers build almost unassailable fleets, and treat smaller entities as play things.

I would like to see a situation where the sphere of influence of the current super powers is reduced enough so that there is plausible room for many new groups to make homes for themselves. I’d like this to be possible without having large fleets of Titans and Super Carriers.  I’d like there to be more dynamic conflicts of consequence.

I don’t know how that can be achieved, although the concept of limiting force projection makes some sense as a starting point. I don’t believe such changes will necessary change the day to day life in Null-Sec of people who are already enjoying the game there.

Saline water

I crossed paths with the noted blogger Wilhelm Arcturus today – of Ancient Gaming Noob fame (http://tagn.wordpress.com/). He responded politely to the greeting in local, but I was distracted by my kids trying to kill each other again. I have probably stumbled across a dozen notable EVE players in local over time, generally in unexpected places. I wonder if they regularly come across starry eyed fans.

Oceanus has landed. The deployment was unusually (for recent times) extended, so I had to go to bed before the system was available again.

http://community.eveonline.com/news/patch-notes/patch-notes-for-oceanus

I visited the Issues and Feedback threads this morning in case there was something I needed to be weary of. There were anecdotal suggestions that the new cloaking effect might impact how long you are visible on grid. Otherwise the threads seemed to be filled with more vitriol about the changes, or lack of changes, than usual. My wife has a very bad head cold at the moment, and you can smell the sickness on her. That was what the forum visit was like. I left as soon as I could.

There wasn’t a great deal in the release of note for me.

I spent probably half a day in game recently doing preparations related to Oceanus and future releases. I purchased 219 different cheap Meta Modules in stacks of between 1 to 150 each. In total this 20,000m3 haul cost just 25M ISK. I expect if I pay attention I will make a profit on some of them when they are rebalanced. This was done as a distraction – not something to specifically make worthwhile ISK over.

I changed the name of my jump clones on my main. Useful – assuming it doesn’t carry over to your capsule name. That is not the sort of intel you would want to give away.

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I turned on the optional notifications system. I can see it being useful.

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I’m not entirely sure about the need for larger icons in the station sidebar, or defaulting to the agent list. The skeptical side of me assumes this is a performance related decision. It does give a slightly more polished look.

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Last of all I of course tested out the cloaking effect.

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(Note I am using a Falcon to demonstrate. I picked the hull as I know many people dislike it. That is my version of trolling.)

At some angles and ranges the new effect looks great – at others, not so much. Overall it is an improvement. I’ve noticed more than one person complaining about the development time put into it, but I am supportive of efforts to continually work at improving the game visually. It pays off in the long run. I happened to look at some 8 year old screen captures of the game recently, and boy has it come a long way.

That about sums up Oceanus for me – I’ll glance at the new wormholes when I next day trip there, but there is not much else on my To-Do list related to the release.