I could get used to this

Day three of the CSM Winter summit minutes are out.

http://community.eveonline.com/news/news-channels/eve-online-news/csm-winter-summit-minutes-day-three/

http://cdn1.eveonline.com/community/csm/Meetings/summit/CSM9-WS-D3-F.pdf

I think if this sort of turnaround continues in future summits it may help give the CSM a little more legitimacy and value in the eyes of some players.

On a more negative personal note, I didn’t like the “nerf” vibe I got from the CSM in these minutes. They don’t like Fighter assignment, strength of Sentry Drones, Stealth Bombers, Tengus and so on. While individually these might have complete merit, I’m not a fan of falling straight into the nerf / ban / restrict approach. That is what society in general seems to do now. I know it is simplistic, but to my mind that means you are looking to subtract or remove something – to make it less than what it was before. I think that should be the last resort, not the first.

The two most interesting sessions for me were “Sovereignty & Nullsec” and Structures. Both fell heavily under the NDA hammer, and we will have to wait for the Dev Blogs and (probably) Fanfest to get a gist of what was covered. We were given this quote:

“CCP Ytterbium .. covered the overall goals of the changes: it should support and enhance existing gameplay, should be accessible, feel like a home, make combat more exciting, be visually aspirational, be extensible and future proof, create more interesting locations in systems, be as simple as possible, and create relationships between all space structures.”

The other bits and bobs:

. CCP seems to have more flexible statistics and reports now on player PVP, ship and module use.

. CCP Fozzie agreed that Tengus are too strong at the moment. He elaborated that they’re penciled in for a rebalance in the next few months

. CCP Fozzie wants to change how rigs work on T3 hulls, either by allowing them to be swapped, or by removing rig slots and balancing the ship accordingly

. CCP Fozzie indicated that the Effective Hit Point (EHP) affecting sub-systems will be toned down.

. CCP Fozzie added that medium rails are a bit too strong at the moment as well

. CCP Fozzie indicated Cyno’s have not been discussed

. CCP acknowledges there are a few battlecruisers that need some love

. CCP Rise indicated Sentry Drones were being looked at, but rather than just straight nerfing them or Ishtars that he would prefer to try and expose the weaknesses of drones. They were thinking about Drone bay size or a highly delayed drone reloading system. The CSM talked about AOE weapons to attack drones (errr smartbombs?) or drone specific EWAR (interesting). CCP hasn’t settled on an approach yet.

. CCP Fozzie confirmed they had no concrete plans at the moment regards Supers, but that would like to avoid removing them and refunding related SP

. CCP has been considering removing fleet warp, but nothing has been decided.

. CCP Spitfire and CCP Falcon indicated the CCP Mystery Code was being handed over to community and how they are going to be putting out more items over time.

And again

Day 2 of the CSM meetings are out.  Once again it is so timely it is worth reading.  I am not sure how much work is going on in the background – but well done to those making the effort.

Here’s the announcement:

http://community.eveonline.com/news/news-channels/eve-online-news/csm-winter-summit-minutes-day-two/

And here’s the link to the pdf file:

http://cdn1.eveonline.com/community/csm/Meetings/summit/CSM9-WS-D2-F.pdf

 

Aside the game related information, it is interesting to note the more active on location CSM members, and also to get a sense of tension between some CSM members and CCP staff.

The bits that stood out to me and my game focus:

. CCP are happy enough with Wormhole space statistics now when compared to a year ago.  The changes they have made haven’t killed wormhole space as some prophesized.

. CCP might look at stopping Wormholes from spawning in Tutorial systems.  I actually think they should remain – as a source of wonder and a lesson to new players that they shouldn’t just assume everything they can access is safe.

. Apparently the number of wormholes being collapsed due to exceeding maximum mass has decreased – as you would expect

. CCP Affinity indicated they would likely introduce NPC Pod killing, but with a twist.  They won’t warn you when the change has been made.

. There were interesting bits of information on the Circadian Seekers and how they can all warp to the one location and act like an organised fleet.  They are slowly turning on some of these functions to allow players to get used to them.  There is no immediate plan to move some of these new features into standard NPC/Incursions.

. Suger Kyle suggested new small random events with these new NPC’s, such as them fighting Faction Police on gates.  I like the concept.

. CCP definitely want to move away from static belts

. They discussed the concept of achievements – as a way of helping players set goals.  A tracking system for Corporations was raised – like a task list with rewards that members could work on.  This was considered a good idea but the focus now is on the new player experience.

. There was a discussion around the Co-Pilot project – basically a video series showing players how to do the most basic things in game.  The first should cover corporations and missions.  It is a good idea although frankly – call me a sceptic, I can’t see it being completed or kept up to date.

. The entire “UI Modernization Project” session is worth a read to check out some of the vague ideas CCP is following up on regards their UI.

There would be more interesting parts in there, depending on how you play the game.  Still impressed with this approach and effort.

 

 

That’ll do pig, that’ll do

So the CSM Winter summit is on, and CCP has quickly released the meeting notes for Day 1.

No, I’m not joking, you can read them for yourself here:

http://community.eveonline.com/news/news-channels/eve-online-news/csm-winter-summit-day-one/

http://cdn1.eveonline.com/community/csm/Meetings/summit/CSM9-WS-D1.pdf

Being so timely, they are suddenly a whole new level of interesting and useful.

Bits and bobs I found interesting on first glance (note these are usually wishes and ideas, not always concrete plans):

. In a response to questions about player manipulation of the PLEX market, CCP confirmed it happens like just about any other item in game.  (There’s a challenge for us, there are items to find which are not being manipulated on the markets!)

. CCP wanted to move away from people directly buying PLEX and instead buy AUR.  AUR could then be used to buy PLEX from the NES store along with everything that currently uses PLEX, moving away from a three currency system to a two currency system.

. CCP Seagull indicated it was more probable that there would be some kind of in game tool to create logos or skin designs

. Redeeming store purchases in space should be coming (so that wormhole residents can get their stuff without returning to known space)

. Removal of attributes was mentioned, but the idea is still in quite an early stage. It’s something CCP want to do – both so people don’t get locked into training skills in a non-optimal order to maintain optimal speed, and as learning implants disincentive PVP

. CCP Fozzie went over a social groups feature that they still have on the table, though not in active development at this time. This would allow people to do things like a have chat room, mailing list, personal standings, allow things such as fleet finder adverts to clubs and so on. It would also allow you to belong to multiple clubs, and would have no impact on your corporation membership.  I agreed with Sugar Kyle’s suggestion on that a little while ago.

Anyway – that was what stood out for me.  Very impressed with the meeting notes being available so quickly.

Edit.. just in case the title doesn’t make sense, it relates to the end of the movie Babe, and in effect indicates a job done well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjQtzV9IZ0Q

Changing Skins

The latest o7 episode is now available.

http://www.twitch.tv/ccp/b/611474797

The production quality was down a little – whispers and quiet voices in the background, and it had a more stressed / breathless / rushed feel at times.  I did like the quality of some of the new player made Ad’s however, and there were titbits of interesting information.

We should see some changes to ship skins in the future.  Instead of being attached to a hull (an awkward approach that over complicated the market), they will instead be attached to a character.  They showed a somewhat clumsy looking mock up, but I think the approach is better.

We can expect some “little things” improvements to the Corporation UI – custom messages on an application rejection, mail list limit increased from 3,000 to 5,000, extra ways to un-rent Offices, and something about more options when writing a Corp description.

They are looking at improving the Corp Role UI – which we may see in two releases.  The view was that it could be made much more logical and simpler.

A big item – maybe coming in February, is a way to turn off friendly fire in your Corporation.  Glad that will be something you can turn on or off.  A nice to have item is they are looking at allowing people to scale the number of divisions they have in their Corporations.

So nothing too major, but a few things to look forward too.

 

iPads

*Non-EVE related Post*

My son got an iPad for his 9th birthday last year. He saved his pocket money for 12 months to pay for half of it, and we matched his contribution as his present. It was a lesson for him about the value of money, setting goals, and saving.

Not long after my 5 year old daughter’s Speech Therapist strongly recommended we use a Word Articulation App for her, which was available only on the iPad.

Here we were caught out and given a lesson of our own. We couldn’t insist our son allow his sister use of his iPad as he had paid for half of it. We also couldn’t just buy an iPad for his sister as he had to save for 12 months for his, and it wouldn’t be fair.

In the end we purchased an iPad for my wife on her Birthday, and installed the App on it for our daughter. (Thankfully the app was as useful and effective as suggested.) My wife wasn’t overly impressed with this, but it seemed to solve our quandary and to smooth things over I arranged a subscription for an online newspaper for her, connected it to her Facebook and Emails accounts, and to the NAS holding our music and photo collections.

I patted myself on my back for my problem solving skills.

The range of polished apps and games available for the iPad is truly astonishing, and I found myself rather intrigued by some of the games my son was playing. After a while I idly thought about installing some of them on my wife’s iPad.

Here my plans hit a new snag. It turns out my wife loves her iPad; it is by her side and in use constantly. I could install whatever games I wanted, I just wouldn’t be able to play them when she was awake.

My wife – in acknowledgement of my notable efforts over the last 6 months, has been pushing for me to spend some money on myself. (I suspect she has a bit of guilt as she played a part in the implosion of her last job, which had such a negative impact on me.) I don’t normally take her up on these offers, but she was more insistent than usual and I ended up indulgently purchasing an iPad for myself a couple of days ago.

I have started out playing Hay Day and Boom Beach, both of which I am finding amusing if distracting.

It was interesting comparing my progress against my son’s. He seems quite adapt for his age at games such as Clash of Clans, and learns through his friends, mistakes and watching battle replays. In Hay Day however I surpassed his month long effort within two days. It was a reminder that he relies on goals set by example and mimicking the behaviour of others. That serves him well in many combat type games. Hay Day however rewards production planning and efficiencies, maximizing profits on your sales and so on, but doesn’t give you a clear way to learn how. At his age, my son doesn’t really grasp the intricacies of the concepts.

I always find examples like this curious. It is easy to get caught in the trap of seeing your child as being much older than their years. In many ways they are far more educated and capable than we were at the same age. However various aspects of that are an illusion – as tantrums and tears remind, and as does Hay Day.

Now I am facing a new dilemma. My daughter is upset that everyone else in the house has an iPad except her. I was thinking we might get her an iPad mini for her birthday, so that my son doesn’t feel too hard done by as the price is roughly what we matched for his birthday. Unfortunately my daughter has been complaining about the size of her Nexus screen, so that might not be a solution after all.

Such are the trials and tribulations of 1st world problems (and boy has Apple profited from them).

Get out the vacuum cleaner

I am not entirely convinced about the new Asteroid belt effects (which you have to turn on via the ESC menu and then only see the next time you warp into a belt).

ehimg443

The local belts were very, very messy looking.

I found they looked better in pictures (even the ones I took myself) than flying around them in game.

It seems to make it more difficult to click on asteroids in space – although that might have just been me miss-clicking more than usual due to the speed of the ship I was flying.

On the plus side, with admittedly just the one client running, my frame rate only dropped from a constant 60 fps to 59 fps, which was good to see.

Also a positive, flying through the debris field works well.  You don’t physically see them passing through you ship, which was one of my initial concerns.  Instead they seem to slide / slip nicely by.

I am going to have to read the Patch notes the first opportunity I get.

 

Ghosts

I appreciate the updated skill queue. Obviously it makes it less likely that you will lose training time. For me however its biggest benefit is that it makes it easier to stay focused on training plans. I am less likely to get distracted and head off on a different tangent every time I update the queue because; well frankly I rarely update it.

It has however come with a negative consequence. I seem to pay much less attention to the new skills my characters are picking up. My main two characters can now fly the Bowhead and Confessor – but I haven’t theory crafted possible fits because I didn’t really notice when it happened. My main picked up Frequency Modulation V and Long Distance Jamming V, and now has Certification V in the Falcon, Blackbird and Griffin. I didn’t let out a bemused cheer because, well, again I didn’t notice.

Overall I think the longer skill queue is a positive change – but it might have made us a little less engaged with our characters.

I continue a fairly mundane routine in EVE. I log in, work on my BPO research, check my for sale market orders, maybe move more volume into the trade hub, and then do any of the exploration content in my home system. While doing this I am generally trying to keep up with the various bloggers I follow. I know it is not exciting, and I have wondered if I am only going through the motions because it is just the routine I am used to. I keep coming back however to the fact it is serving the function of allowing me to forget about Real Life for a period of time and get some valuable downtime.

Having to look at the markets daily again is wearisome. It is painfully apparent that the market for several of the items I am trying to sell off is controlled by bots. Day after day, morning, noon or night, every one of my price changes is undercut in between 5 and 10 minutes. I know you can be up against a no lifer, but the pattern on these items is so persistent and goes on the same way for week after week. It is in such stark contrast to the other 95% of items I am selling that I can’t believe it is not automated.

For all the commentary and interesting stuff CCP does to try and remove automation and RMT in EVE, it still doesn’t seem to be that hard to find your game being negatively influenced by it.