Out with the old – Someone else can do it

In a couple hours CCP will be shutting down EVElopedia at https://wiki.eveonline.com/.

http://community.eveonline.com/news/news-channels/eve-online-news/evelopedia-shutdown-2016-02-29-09-00/

They didn’t give much notice.

While the Wiki was out of date, Google searches often landed me at the site when I was looking for EVE answers. I found it useful.

In a move that I find odd, CPP now recommend using third party wikis, specifically at EVE University ( http://wiki.eveuniversity.org/Main_Page ) and Brave Newbies ( https://wiki.braveineve.com/ ). They are entrusting a very important player resource to third parties.

The static data served by EVElopedia is still available via CREST – but unless you dabble in programming and have some spare time, you are again going to have to rely on a third party to access it.

I’m not sure that is entirely the right approach to take.

I did want to grab some data from the wiki – such as information on COSMOS sites.

CCP is allowing you to download a SQL dump of the wiki. I grabbed that on Saturday, installed MySQL, and imported it ok. While the table structure is relatively simple, the data you want to access / search is in BLOBs. I decided extracting the data in a useful format would take much more time than I was willing to put into it.

I then figured I would just cut and paste the pages of particular interest, and dump them into my EVE OneNote file. It turned out there were more pages of interest than I expected, and I spent more time doing this than I am willing to admit.

Finally I wondered why I didn’t just look at some of the myriad of tools that allow you to download websites to read offline. A quick Google search and I installed the first open source software returned (HTTrack). A couple quick tests, and I then managed to grab copies of the Anomalies, Data, Relic, DED, Exploration, Escalations and Gas sites, and all the Mission pages.  All told there would be well over 1,000 pages.  If I made mistakes or missed something, I won’t have time to go back and grab them again.  While I will now use one of the third party wiki’s, at least I have a local repository to work off.  Interestingly going through this process flagged a ton of content I have never run, and will have to look into.

Second CSM X Summit Notes

The meeting notes from the second summit in Iceland for CSM X are available.

http://community.eveonline.com/news/dev-blogs/the-second-csm-x-summit-meeting-minutes-included/

Like recent summit notes, these are timely and contain plenty of interesting bits of information.

It seemed to have a somewhat antsy vibe at the start and a problematic session or two between the CSM and CCP, but overall it read as more positive as it went along.

I also noticed an “expansion” tone in CCP’s conversations. They seemed less dynamic – they were all busy with their time already scheduled and booked out, so they couldn’t really respond to much outside of the Expansion. It was one of CCP’s faults in the past – where they would concentration so much on each new expansion that they dropped the ball on fixing issues with previous expansions. It will be interesting to see if CCP can balance the different mindsets of monthly against expansion releases moving forward.

Some of the things that stood out for me:

Page 3 – CSM raised concerns about what the road map would look like after Citadels. Personally I am hoping CCP are just waiting for Fanfast to wow us, but I fear not.

Page 4 – CCP Seagull commented that she believes the game ecosystem was not healthy at this stage (I assume particularly talking about Null Sec)

Page 8 – CCP thinks if you disable the dynamic field of view and the speed center offset, the new camera operates similar to the old. For my situation, that view is very inaccurate.

Page Unknown – I had a note that CCP said it was not tenable to keep the old camera alongside the new. I don’t think I am a particularly dramatic person, but I’m not sure I could keep playing if my only choice was the new camera as is. It saps my enjoyment when undocking.

Page 20 – New Drone miners were mentioned for the Rorqual, along with the idea of an invulnerability button to protect it and its fleet – locking them in place but giving time for a defence fleet to get there to help. A sort of notion that laughs at solo players.

Page 20 – There will be NPC Capitals in future designed to be attacked by player Capital Ships.

Page 22 – We can expect redesigned Heron, Griffin, Executioner, Vigil and Mining Barge hulls at some point

Page 27 – CCP do want to review / iterate on jump range and fatigue – although this might be moving space where needed as they did for FW instead of changing ship stats.

Page 34 – T3 are high on the list for rebalancing after Capitals.

Page 35 – CCP are considering an Industrial Command Destroyer – like a mini Orca for Mining / Expedition Frigates. If you could use that to support deep / long range exploration ships, that there would possibly be the most exciting bit of information in the entire document for me.

Page 39 – In reference to Citadels, possibly only in wormholes, it seems like they will allow you to store more than one clone, letting you swap between them without getting a jump timer. That is something I’ve wanted for a long time. You will lose them though if the related module is offlined, or the Citadel is destroyed. That could be very expensive. I’m also not sure how you would move them in and out – I assume only 1 at a time with the jump timer, meaning you wouldn’t want to leave too many clones in any one Citadel.

Page 55 plus – more information on Citadels. They want to increase taxes in NPC stations, to make it cheaper to use markets in Citadels. Not a fan of being forced to use something in a sandpit game. They would like it to take a week to unanchor – then allow it to be scooped by anyone. That means as a solo player once I plant a Citadel, I won’t ever unanchor it. I didn’t think there would be a valid reason for me to use Citadels in my game – and I am even stronger in that view now.

Page 72 plus – CCP still haven’t got their New Player Experience right. One of their new ideas is a medal system that new players can be awarded as they achieve key training objectives. I actually think that is a good idea.

Anyway – there was plenty more. I obviously just concentrated on things that might impact my own game style – which I guess were a little light on.

NPC Null V Low Sec for the Solo Carebear

I like to have some sort of base outside of Hi-Sec with a couple Jump Clones and a collection of suitable ships that I can visit when I want to. I enjoy the challenge of staying alive in that sort of harsher environment, and being able to experience the different content available there.

Historically that location would be in Low-Sec. In recent years however I have struggled to find a Low Sec area that was quiet enough to allow me to regularly undock and mine, rat or run exploration sites. Between Faction Warfare, changes to Exploration, the movement of large groups from Null to Low, and the rise of large organised pirate alliances, even out of the way Low-Sec systems are much busier than they used to be.

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Recently I’ve operated out of a NPC Null Sec constellation instead. While it requires patience, I do have the place to myself at times and I am able to undock and “get things done” on a semi regular basis. Having been there for a while now I’ve decided overall, NPC Null Sec is actually a rather poorer cousin to Low Sec.

. Generally, it seems like there are less stations
. Generally, it is a fair bit more difficult to access Hi-Sec
. The market tends to be poorer
. There are a lot less anomalies
. There are a lot less wormholes
. There are less exploration combat sites
. While content can be more rewarding, it can take noticeably longer to run
. You can access similar mining options in Low Sec through Anomalies
. There are no tag rats
. You have to contend with bubbles and bombs (not much of an issue)
. In Low Sec other Carebears tend to be less likely to attack you due to security loss

The positives – aside being more quiet, include that Pirates seem to hunt you for much longer and more persistently in Low Sec, and there is a lot less competition for on overview resources in NPC Null Sec.

Shifting focuses

From birth, our first child cried a lot and would not sleep more than 45 minutes at a time. We took on board all the advice and instruction available and tried everything we were meant to, but every 45 minutes he would wake with a cry. After a ruinous amount of time, and with our peers casting judgmental looks upon our parenting skills, my wife gave up and moved into the nursey to allow our baby to sleep next to her. She would go to bed early with him, and every 45 minutes when he stirred she would pop his dummy back in, sooth him, and they would both go back to sleep. With a couple of breast feeds required overnight, the initial routine logically fell to my wife – but before long my son would accept no one else in that role.

This left me with long and free evenings. It was at this time that I started playing EVE. In the early days I could get lost in my sessions, trying to earn ISK, train skills, and experience the seemingly endless possibilities the game offered. I flew with the real life friends who had introduced me to the game, and I even spent a couple months in Catch with IAC, although it turned out it was too early in my career. (I wasn’t able to earn enough ISK through lack of appropriate equipment, skill, and the ever present Outbreak.)

When my son was around 16 months and still not walking, an instructor at one of the classes he attended suggested we take him to a Baby Chiropractor. We asked around and were sternly advised against it, but after hearing some personal testimonials we gave it a go. The chiropractor said our Son’s neck was out – probably from the natural birth, causing him constant pain. When his sleep cycle moved into a lighter phase at around 45 minutes the pain would wake him. On the night of his first manipulation our son slept for 3 or 4 hours straight, and within a day or two he was walking. After a second manipulation the chiropractor said the issue had been fixed.

The damage however had been done. Our son would not sleep without his mother next to him, and my wife, after 16 months of stress and literally never getting a proper night’s sleep, was no longer the same person. Her ability to cope and how she reacted to adversity were changed, and still are, for the worse.

While I saw my wife more often now during the evenings, she still had to sleep in the nursery, so I still had plenty of time for EVE. I was ready for my second attempt at Null Sec, and I moved out to Providence where I focused on training for official fits and 0.0 Industry.

When my wife was pregnant with our second child my free uninterrupted time diminished. Aside helping more around the house, I was kept particularly busy weening our son off his need to be constantly attached to his mother. My EVE time suffered, and I had to leave Providence and return to Hi-Sec. I focused on Carebear activities and perfecting my skill in them.

After our daughter was born and as the routine looked to be getting better I went back to Providence. I lasted until AAA kicked CVA and its Holders out of the region, but with renewed demands on my time at home I moved back to Hi-Sec instead of following the Alliance to new grounds.

Our daughter had no problems with sleeping, but she had a fiery temper which turned into huge tantrums from about the age of one. Since then, almost six years now, we have been dealing with her atrocious behaviour. It permutates all aspects of our lives, and while I find it wearisome and difficult to manage, my wife doesn’t cope particularly well with it.

I tried to get back into the real EVE – I really liked the drama, intrigue and teamwork of Null Sec, and joined a low fuss Corp with a base out in Syndicate. I hated however that I was always being interrupted by real life and could not be relied upon, so after a few months I decided I would just have to admit defeat and play a solo hermit game, where I wouldn’t have to let anybody down.

For quite a while I would play to build up my self-sufficiency, or to collect things such as BPO, or to achieve small technical goals – like trying out new functionality, or fly some new hull, or to maximise my skills in a certain area. Sometimes I would play for the back story or just to explore. Sometimes I played from habit.

I’ve been thinking of late about why I am still playing EVE after so many years. One answer was obvious – it continues to give me an accessible and reliable downtime and a break from the trials and tribulations I have at home. I don’t want to overstate these – life could be so much more difficult and extreme, but EVE has given me an escape and allowed me time to recharge my batteries. It is selfish but needed me time.

Another answer is apparent if you have read this blog for long enough. It has given me the opportunity to reflect on how and why I behave the way I do – to social situations, to conflict, to change, to politics, to trolling, and improve on them.

The third answer however surprised me. One of my long running underlying focuses has been to avoid non-consensual ship loss. Looking at my combat history on my main, in over nine years I have lost two ships to PVE, five to consensual fleet PVP, and two to consensual solo PVP. (Consensual meaning I was in a combat ship and not avoiding a fight.)

You could read that as I never undock, or that I am one of the horrid risk-averse players. But I’ve spent years living in Low and Null-Sec (including currently), spent plenty of time visiting wormholes, had multiple POS and POCO anchored over the years, and fly gankable ships and haul gankable cargoes in Hi-Sec. It turns out – just like someone who loves to log in to PVP, I get a surprising level of enjoyment in undocking and facing the challenge of keeping my hull safe.

It has been interesting how much my EVE life has been intertwined and directly influenced by my real life, and how it serves more of a purpose than just a game.

Where are the wormholes

There was a EVE meeting in Nottingham this weekend. There were a couple photos from CCP’s presentations on my twitter feed which were interesting.

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https://twitter.com/wacktopia/status/701065006138445825

The first shows the new Carrier fighter controls, which appears to include modules you can toggle on and off for each flight.

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https://twitter.com/wacktopia/status/701062705826938880

The second are changes to Watch Lists. Unless both parties have each other watch-listed, you will not be notified when another player logs in or out. That makes me a little sad as I tend to use Watch-Lists all the time to monitor local pirates, but in all honesty the change makes sense. I can see how it makes EVE safer and more dangerous at the same time.

(Should be interesting to see if anyone I watch-list is watching me..)

Otherwise I had an usually productive day in Null.

It started with scanning down the constellation for Wormholes – but unfortunately not finding any. I branched further afield, but also had no luck.

I then set out to collect three hulls that I had picked up off contract, spread around the place and including a mining barge and a battleship. I managed to get all three back to my home constellation without incident, including moving the battleship from a staging system of a well-known PVP alliance.

I then set about clearing the Data and Relic sites I’d come across while looking for wormholes. There were pilots online and moving about during the process. I’m normally very cautious, but the pilots were from an Alliance I have flagged as Neutral, and from observation, view as unlikely to hunt me unless I make myself a particularly obvious target.

Finally, when that was all done I figured I would do some mining. I then realised my newly collected barge lacked suitable crystals, and I couldn’t buy any off the market. Another day maybe.

Another successful session avoiding in game interactions.

Short reprieve

CCP Turtlepower posted to the New Camera feedback thread indicating the old camera will remain for an extra month as they work through a sizable task list.

https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=6350616#post6350616

We won’t see what this work will include until their March Release. Holding off updates worries me some – CCP have been well off the mark with the new camera, and I would prefer seeing regular iterations that they can get feedback on.

I’ve wondered why some people seem happy with the new camera – it is so jarring to me. Reading through the thread it is possible some of the issues I have relate to the large resolution of my client windows and mouse CPI setting. Both are configured to work well with dual 4K monitors, but might not suit the formulas CCP is using for the camera acceleration, zooming etc. Or I might not know what I am talking about, and am just inclined to complain more than most players.

Almost weathertight

I revisited the Citadel Prototype construction site in Anjedin after the patch notes suggested the sites had been updated.

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I was glad to see CCP did this. I imagine it would have “wasted” a bit of the art departments time creating it, but I think it was worth it. It was interesting flying around it, getting a feel for its size and look.

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I hadn’t thought about it before, but anchoring one of those for yourself might give you a bigger gut reaction than a POS does.

One of the excuses CCP has used on updating the in-game camera was that the old one would not work properly with the sizes of the Citadels. It seemed to work fine for me on initial viewing.  (Too snarky?)

The new camera worries me. CCP have been responding to concerns – you can now toggle tracking using [SHIFT][C], and you can D-Scan by using [V]{clicking on an object}, which improves its usability. However – it doesn’t change the fundamental issue – it just looks and feels wrong.

I put some video together to show the difference between tracking with the old camera and tracking with the new. It is not a direct comparison as the new camera includes off horizon objects and is zoomed in closer to the ship, but it metaphorically shows how I feel between the old (smooth and consistent) and the new (jarring and all over the place).

Old

New

For me part of the game is about its visuals, and when those are messed up for you, the game is messed up.

I suspect however I might be in the minority with my complaints. The feedback thread on the EVE Forums has gone relatively quiet, which I expect CCP will take as approval to switch. Maybe if you don’t use tracking / d-scan much, and zoom out, it doesn’t bother you. I do encourage you to give constructive feedback – either negatively or positively, here:

https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&t=468482

I got a warning yesterday from EVEMon that my main account was about to expire – so I added 12 months to my subscription. That will take me past the 10-year mark. I was then going to unsubscribe last night – just to ensure the account would not automatically renew next year.  That is a logical move – I need to carefully consider my options at that point in time.  However – while my rational mind will probably win in the long run, last night my heart wasn’t ready to take that first tiny step.