Fanfest from afar

(First a quick update – I mentioned the pilot Charlot theHarlot a week ago using kill rights and insurance to profit from the destruction of their ship. I ran an example of the profit they would make with a 500M ISK kill right, but had not actually taken note of how much it was.  I passed them again today on my way to Jita as they sat in their flashing Orca.  The Kill right was 500M ISK minus an ISK or two.)

I’ve watched parts of the Fanfest Twitch feed and followed CCP’s official channels. I perused any Fanfest related posts on my blogroll (although found surprisingly few) and kept an eye on the EVE News sites. I’ve even skimmed the EVE forums and the EVE Subreddit.

Initially, and mindful of my limited exposure from afar, there has been little announced that I am feeling enthused about or that positively changes my game. (Actually, there was little announced about EVE that I wasn’t already aware of.)

There was a place for solo / casual players to use POS, but I personally find the defence and un-anchoring mechanism of a Citadel means they are not suited. The rehash of details at Fanfest did not change my mind. Maybe it will be different for the Industrial Arrays, given CCP has apparently said they will be significantly cheaper than Citadels.

The increases in Broker Fees and Transaction taxes will go ahead, but are only being incrementally increased now as the Citadels won’t be fully operational. (Initially 3 instead of 5% and 2 instead of 2.5% respectively). I still won’t use them for markets, and this hasn’t changed my current focus on selling off assets before they are implemented. (Although I am obviously running out of time with that, I have cleared more than 50B ISK of assets so far.)

I’ve been quite aggravated by this tax change. Not for the ISK cost – but in the way CCP is trying to force us to use a particular feature, and because each time I hear about it I am reminded how they still don’t seem to understand their Hi-Sec player base. (And if they end up removing all Player Null Sec stations to be replaced by Citadels, it will show how little they understand any of their Non-PVP focused players.)

One of the things I put up on the market today was my Rorqual. I have enough information now on their new role and use that I know it won’t be suitable for my solo game style. Anchoring myself in place with an invulnerability timer isn’t much use if no one is available to come save me. I liked that they will become the highest mining yield ship in game through use of special excavation drones. You just need plenty of friends around before you would want to use them.

I am not really enamored with the capital changes. I have historically used a Suitcase Carrier to haul my ships around Low and Null Sec. I fit them for trying to quickly clear tackle and bug out if caught. If I am not successful in the first couple minutes, I am guaranteed to be dead. I’m not sure how that will work with no drones and the new squadron capabilities. I am leaning towards selling off my last Carrier and just sticking with far fewer ships so I can move them one by one.

There was an interesting comment from CCP about the introduction of a cap on the time taken to go into warp. If you are not tackled, it will never take more than three minutes. I expect that is aimed at helping people (primarily in Hi-Sec) who might be griefed by bumpers for extended periods of time. It may or may not help with freighter ganking. It would depend on if that 3 minutes reset or not each time a pilot was tackled.

I remarked a couple posts ago that it felt (illogically) like I was hoarding ISK and getting ready for some big upheaval in the game. There was nothing I’ve come across so far in Fanfest that will particularly impact me in that way – my game style will remain boringly unchanged.  Citadels could have a big impact on the game.  Initially they should give some quality of life improvements for those in more dangerous space.  Moving forward it will depend on how many are planted, the percentage that get destroyed, how players react to that, and how CCP react to the players decisions.

Bedtime

It is 1:16am here and I need to get to bed.

I’ve just finished watching the EVE Fanfest Keynote on Twitch (thanks to CCP announcing when their coverage first went live in game, and for providing a steady stream of updates on their Facebook Page).

There were some interesting Stats on where the assets are stored in game, such as there being 3,070T ISK on all active player accounts, 467T of it in the Jita 4-4.  The impact of Skill point trading on daily trading values was and remains surprisingly huge.

I was.. horrified is probably the word to use – at the low voter turnout for the CSM elections, and the mix of representatives (or lack of mix) that it resulted in. Wilhelm Arcturus was quick to post the results here:

https://tagn.wordpress.com/2016/04/21/csm-11-announced-xenuira-wins-at-last/

On May 6th EVE will turn 13.  It will be called Capsuleer day and the gift will be Pod Skins and the usual festival launchers and fireworks.

There will be a new book released with technical diagrams of the Frigates of EVE.  It will be a while away.

There will be an official EVE iOS and Android app.  It will have customisable notifications from the game, EVE Mail, EVE Calendar, support multiple characters from multiple accounts, and enable you to see and spin the ship you currently have active.  It will also allow you to directly buy PLEX and game time.  This last bit was met with a slightly awkward silence.  That will also be a little while away.

They had a nice indication of their focus on trying to retain new players – by giving them a story / narrative that they can get involved in from the start.  Sounds like a good idea.

There were lots of in game changes mentioned – but I had heard most of them already.  Nothing on initial view stood out as a wow.  You can check out http://updates.eveonline.com/ for details of everything they announced.

When the stream finished I noticed there were some 8,332 people watching.  I’m not sure if that is good or bad, but seemed like a reasonable number.

 

 

Into but not playing

Good Game is a local (Aussie) TV show about video gaming that has a good following.  They do a regular YouTube short Pocket edition.  Today’s upload included a segment on video games they like to read about or watch, but don’t actually play.  EVE got a look in.

Linked here just for interest:

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

A link to the bit on EVE:

https://youtu.be/uanmmpznLgY?t=611

Broking

A couple weeks ago CCP shortened the new red kill feedback animation. I find it now all works much better.

The new camera is still not as good as the old, but I’ve found in heavy use over the last fortnight that it is workable, and only occasionally niggling.

Both of these fixes have come as a bit of a relief. I found the game less enjoyable with their initial versions. I’m not sure why the developers didn’t see their shortcomings before the players complained.

I’ve been undocked a lot – focused again on selling off assets. How often do I seem to say that? The problem is it is such a chore moving and selling stuff that I never get all the way through the process. Then my hangers slowly fill again with different ship hulls to test, more loot and the leftovers from finished (or unfinished) projects. For example, I’m selling off the last of my 3 complete POS set ups, the left over fittings from the two carriers I sold, the hangers of the two characters I terminated, plus billions in manufacturing materials that I won’t be using any time soon. There is a long list.

It has been the changes to the broker fees that have given me a real impetus this time to clear all this stuff out. It might only be a few percentage points on each transaction, but when you have many billions to sell it really adds up.

At the moment I am sitting on the most liquid ISK I’ve ever had, with more inbound as I shuffle between Jita and Amarr continuing the selloff process. It makes no logical sense, but it feels like I am preparing for some big upheaval in the game, getting myself into a more nimble and flexible position to adapt.

I’ve already said however I don’t think Citadels will have much of an impact on Hi-Sec, and I am not aware of anything else coming that should cause this feeling in me. I think it might be the vibe I am getting off my traditional circle of bloggers I follow. Lots have gone quiet or their tone has changed. Whatever it is, it seems pertinent to have some ISK stashed away under the mattress.

If you haven’t already, it might be worth a trip over to the Amarr trading hub to check out the circle of Titians.

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Solo Hi-Sec Carebears might not get too many opportunities to get up and close to such things.

Is there anything else I am missing

It is not that uncommon to find people with available kill rights sitting in haulers on trade hub undocks or on the gates of well travelled trade routes. Charlot theHarlot was the most recent example I passed.

https://zkillboard.com/character/94742955/

Now I assume the scam is as follows:

Charlot theHarlot fires one shot at an Alt, generating a kill right.

The Alt makes the kill right available to the public at a suitably high price, lets say 500M ISK.

Charlot theHarlot buys an Orca with a basic tank fit for 740M ISK and fully insures it (Platinum) at a cost of around 220M ISK (30%)

Charlot theHarlot sits in a well travelled path until someone / a group of people activate their kill right.

They die.

Expense

. Some Security Status for shooting the Alt
. 740M ISK for Orca and Basic Fit
. 220M ISK for Platinum insurance
—–
960M ISK

Income

. 500M ISK to Alt for activation of Kill right
. 740M ISK Insurance payout
—–
1240M ISK

Profit from this example
—–
280M ISK

In this case the pilot has lost 198 Orca’s so far, one, two or three every day or two. The profit from my made up figures above would be over 55B ISK.

The player could increase profits further by sourcing the Orca’s as cheaply as possible (buy orders instead of sell orders), so ensuring the insurance payout is even greater than their cost.

The worst thing that can go wrong is that the kill right is priced too high and no one activates it. Charlot theHarlot seems to have got it right as they are activated regularly. They also sometimes fly around with plenty of extremely cheap items in the cargo hold so as to make themselves look more like a legitimate target.

The second worst thing is that you are killed – giving you a profit.

Ideally however Charlot theHarlot escapes. They get the 500M ISK payment for the kill right activation regardless if they die or not. Their Orca fit is just a damage control, bulkhead, and a rack of shield extenders. Do they attempt to jump through the gate and flee once attacked? I’d have thought they would have fit a prop mod for quicker warp off and a cloak once they get to a safe. Do they use ECM drones or do they instead have a suicide Alt in an ECM T1 Frigate, who jams a smaller group of attackers and lets the Orca warp out as the frigate is killed? Or as it appears from looking at examples of their losses, do they just accept their current profits as worthwhile? That way they can AFK auto pilot between trade hubs until they are killed.

If you look at the kills and losses for Charlot you can find what other account they work with and see evidence of earlier versions of scams. I didn’t notice related kills however, so I am not sure they are making much effort to try and escape in their Orca.

Is there anything else I am missing here? If you activate a kill right do you just get a limited engagement flag, or is there a suspect flag? Is there some other aspect to the scam? Still – 200-300M ISK profit an hour is nothing to sneeze at. If I see the pilot again I will have to think to check the price of their kill right.

Taking bat and ball

I’m in my 40’s now and am well versed in how dishonest and untrustworthy people can be. This is of particular note when it involves money, power, idealism or the news media. Convert this seemingly common sense but possibly conspiracist view into EVE, and you often find all these elements combined.

Although I am not in a position to know how factual or fanciful much of it is, reading about what is (or is not) going on in EVE at the moment around the war against the Imperium is fascinating.  From the staid maps and timer lists, to the commercial quality propaganda, and the personal blogs in between.

Even though it is huge news, I haven’t remarked on it a great deal here as I was expecting it to have fizzled out by now. I assumed the Imperium would have either paid or fought their way out of the mess. They are up against a somewhat loose coalition with some key members not known for sticking at long term grind gameplay. I figured all the Imperium had to do was consolidate, then bring big numbers to battles day after day for a few weeks. They have done that in the past. They didn’t even have to win – just ensure each battle took many hours, and do enough damage to the attackers to make it hurt. In the meanwhile, they would keep a sharp eye out for mistakes or openings, and cheaply roll back hard fought advances whenever the opportunity arose. I thought they would easily outlast their opponents in such a war.

Instead the Imperium’s allies were systematically steamrolled and the Imperium forces moved out of home promising the mightiest vengeance for a lost war that they don’t seem to have properly fought, or technically lost yet.

Gelvon suggests it is because they are actually weak.

http://greedygoblin.blogspot.com.au/2016/04/the-long-march-to-deklein-angels.html

Maybe, but I’m not convinced.

The Mittani – figurehead of the Goonswarm Alliance and Imperium Coalition released a War Update a couple of days back.

https://www.themittani.com/features/war-update-forging-goonhammer

I know it is propaganda, but it reads like a well-spoken toddler’s space tantrum.

In one way a sizeable Imperium on a long coordinated and sustained hunt for retribution would generate a lot of game content for some time to come.  Much more game content than if they had remained ensconced in their space.

Part of me is even hoping we are being trolled – as I presumed with the twitter suggestion yesterday that Goon’s were told not to attend EVE Fanfest or be kicked from the Alliance. Maybe there will be some big battles coming after all. Or maybe not.

Did the Imperium just view the situation as unwinnable given the array of forces against them? This approach allows them to retain much of their combative infrastructure for when their enemies disperse?

I get some impression that they might be rushing (a little too quickly) into a self-proclaimed defeated underdog status, just so they can again arise from the ashes in all the Goon obnoxiousness possible.

Then you have plenty of references to their many pilots who have not gone through such trials before. Maybe they did not have faith that they could. Maybe they hope this will cleanse and galvanize those who remain.

It will also be interesting to see who and how many try filling the space apparently left by the Imperium, and just how long they remain. If the Imperium with their numbers and coordination don’t feel like they can defend Sov, won’t the new owners be in exactly the same position?

I don’t know what I am talking about – but it doesn’t’ really matter. It is this sort of drama and conjecture that keeps me playing EVE. It is this sort of story that Solo players need to pay attention to and enjoy. Appreciate when – like I mentioned the other day, the big wars impact on your quiet little backwaters. Appreciate if you want, the opportunity to go look at things for yourself like Jakob Anedalle has.

http://evechecklist.blogspot.com.au/2016/04/the-fizzles-not-in-sov.html