Repayment at last

The next monthly release is apparently going in tomorrow.

We will be getting two versions of a combined Data/Relic Analyzer – called Ligature and Zeugma. You can check the stats in the patch notes, but Jonnypew did a review of them here:

There will be no more Dust514 items on the market. That coincides with there being no more Dust514. I had a momentary thought that I would go collect some of the stuff, just for interest, but then I realised I had no interest in it at all.

The Force Auxiliary skills and the ISK paid for injected Force Auxiliary skills will be repaid (finally). That will give me a couple Billion ISK extra and a few days worth of SP.

They are introducing the right click – pan feature in the new camera. That was something I was complaining about just recently. I will be glad to see it back.

Oh – and the old camera is being disabled.

I’ve been using the new camera for a while now. I still prefer the old – but was living ok with the new. That is – until some of their recent tweaking. The zoom is odd again, the camera is resetting strangely, and it is irritating me at times. It still feels like a downgrade.

That was about it.

The Citadel losses are up to 213 odd.

It depends on the day, but most appear to be dying in Wormhole Space. I’d have to assume that a lot more than that have been planted, so maybe CCP will be viewing their introduction as a success.

Oh, I sold that Tornado – I wouldn’t gank someone, even if they annoyed me.

No EVE for a week

I spent a long weekend being a tourist in Sydney with my wife – celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary.

This is us back on our wedding day.

I had more hair but less of me back then.

There was a lot about our wedding that set the foundation and direction of our marriage.

Aside small but appreciated contributions from our parents, we saved and paid for the wedding ourselves. We organised and agreed to everything together. We carefully picked just 60 odd guests we were really happy to have attend. We ignored trends and went for a more timeless look. Uncommonly amongst our friends we had a morning wedding with a lunch time reception, with a pianist and then string quartet playing in the background. While this was our preference, it also allowed us to use a beautiful old Reception Centre that might otherwise been out of our budget.

Despite spending less than half that of many of our friends, I believe we had one of the nicest weddings, and seemed to end up being one of the happiest with our day. We still look back at it very fondly – it was a fantastic start to our now 20 years of married life.

I remember at the time a couple family members quietly alluded to us being somewhat selfish by not following more of their suggestions. I guess the admirable trait of independence could look like that.


Reoccurring Opportunities are here:

My Empire Alt has sat 17,000 SP off Advanced Spaceship Command V for some time now. Once done she can train ORE Freighter. I had not bothered swapping skill training to that character to finish this off, but figured once I heard about Daily Opportunities I would instead use those to get her across the line.

Logging in today I realised she didn’t have a single ship suitable for killing NPCs, and not many skill points allocated in offensive areas. After a bit of playing around in EFT I ended up with a very basic Coercer fit (Amarr Destroyer) which I purchased and put together in Amarr.

A quick visit to a space anomaly (because it can take much longer to find Rats in Hi-Sec Belts) and she had 10,000 SP.

Day one success for CCP – I spent an hour playing EVE that I would not have otherwise done. Subsequent days should only take me a few minutes to log in and collect the 10K SP, but that is better than not logging in at all.

Where the Praise falls

JonnyPew broached a question in a recent YouTube Video on how do you define what playing Solo is.  (The video has since been removed.)

He remarked that he tried to be objective, but his strong opinion was evident. He came down on the side that playing EVE Solo was when one person used only one Character to achieve their goals.

I – with my two accounts and 4 Characters, would not be playing solo.

Funny enough, in my recent malaise over EVE I’ve considered dropping down to one account and one character. I went through the impact – such as Capitals probably never being an option again, how I’d be stuck in Trading hubs if I was selling lots of stuff off, if I focused on manufacturing or PI again how it would limit my game play options, how I would have to play blind in Null Sec and so on. I would be playing a more inconvenient and restricted game of EVE. I would likely be playing a less enjoyable game.

JonnyPew suggested the community would decide on the definition of Solo through the praise they give. If they praise a single player using multiple accounts for their solo work, then that will have to be the definition of solo. If they instead criticised such players, then his definition would be right.

I’m not sure that works given the community rarely agrees on anything.

It is an interesting question. I defend how I play EVE in this blog, and I reflect on changes and updates to the game and how they relate to my style of play. At the same time, I don’t personally care if I am praised or condemned. I view my success in EVE by if I am having fun or not. I think I will stick to calling myself a Hermit / solo player, and JonnyPew can take the Hardcore solo player mantle.


JonnyPew suggests everyone should take breaks from EVE if you want to survive in it long term.

I think that requirement comes more down to your personality than something EVE specific. I’ve never really taken a break from EVE – I do have times like now where real life gets so busy I can’t log in as often, but I don’t really put it aside.

Sunrise Aigele wrote an interesting post.

Some really resonated with the way I have played EVE – “a series of self-appointed, self-motivated projects”, and “little windows of time in which to advance them, and the additional thrill provided by the possibility that someone will come along and interrupt me”.

I’ve been following the Citadel kills with some interest:

It is not a complete picture – but there are many destroyed in that 15-minute unfitted vulnerability window after their long anchoring finishes, and lots of them being destroyed in Wormhole space. There was an interesting article here about the experiment and fall of a Citadel in Perimeter that is worth a read.

I still feel the success of Citadels in High-Sec will come down to so many of them being anchored that the carnivores simply tire of killing them unless they have reason. The protection gained from being in a very large herd. If the novelty of killing them doesn’t wear off, the carnivores might find themselves with sparse hunting grounds and CCP might need to look at the balance and mechanics. It is going to take a while to see.

I been eyeing off a Tornado Battle Cruiser that I have stored away.  It is set up to Suicide Gank – mostly if someone annoys me enough.  It is a nice idea, but I am just not sure if push comes to shove I will ever use it.  I should sell it as well – I’m just not finding that conclusion as easy to come to as I would have expected.

Lights Everywhere

I grabbed 20 of those Upwell pod skins cheap. I’ll leave them stored away for a few years to see if they increase noticeably in value or not.

While flying around collecting them I took to leaving the structure browser open. I figured if I passed through a system with a Citadel I would do a flyby / dock up / check it out. It took quite a lot of zigzagging across Domain before I happened across one.

There are currently 22 of them reported in the region – some are in familiar systems such as one in Niarja. I’m not sure if that is considered a lot of them or not. Most however are in systems I don’t particularly recognise, so I expect they are a bit out of the way. I also originally saw a couple in Low Sec, but they are no longer reported.


It is odd seeing the tethering connection when you approach a Citadel – and I wondered why it was also repairing me as there was nothing on the ship to repair. I assume it was transferring cap.  The effect icon disappeared shortly afterwards.



After docking, I found the interior looked a lot like the Minmatar station I had just come from. That’s a little disappointing. I would have much preferred something more unique, given how different Citadels look from the outside.


The option to view outside the structure was cool enough – particularly as the menu options remained and allowed you to then click undock.  They should do that for normal stations, but I guess it is one more carrot to try and get people to use Citadels instead of normal stations.


I’m also not a big fan of all the lights around the Citadel.

Anyway. It was an interesting 5-minute distraction from my task for the day.

Bad behaviour

There was an interesting article published the other day about some of the ugliness in the EVE Online Community.

It finished with the line:

“We should figure out how to do something about that.”

A throwaway line maybe, but how complicated is that one sentence?

I was writing a long post about my experiences in EVE, in other games, and with social media generally over the last 25 years.  I just couldn’t get it to all flow nicely.  My conclusion was that I am not sure EVE is especially worse than other competitive games where players directly interact, and that the problem of people not respecting others is a much wider social issue.  It would have been a very convincing post, my best ever.  You will just have to take my word for it.

One or the Other

Just a short comment today, I’m trying to spend my limited free time undocked.

I’ve appreciated the comments to my last post, and the discussions I am following on various blogs. Nicely done Neville. It is interesting seeing the different way people view the same situations, and the in-depth philosophies some players operate under.

There is one thing I am finding particularly perplexing.

Why do so many players seem to think if you try to improve PVE, that it has to come at the direct expense of PVP? The question can also be reversed.

It isn’t this absolute one or the other.

I would like PVE to be improved, not because I want some safe Carebear environment, but because I want as many players as possible paying for the game, and being logged in and undocked.

I’d love there to be twice, three times the variety in exploration content. Make it more interesting across all areas of space. I’m not thinking that would break the game for PVP pilots, I’m thinking it would give them even more targets.

It is the same if you give more mission options, or mining options, or whatever else might please a Carebear. Balance it properly, and all player types benefit.


I was thinking about Neville Smit’s call for an Occupy New Eden movement. What sort of critical mass of EVE players would it need for CCP to pay enough attention to change their development plans?

I think it is fair to say that a notable proportion of players don’t involve themselves in much related to EVE outside of the game client.  I don’t however have any statistics to back that up.

I notice the EVE Online Facebook page has almost 290,000 likes – which seems reasonable, yet on average only a few hundred interact with any of their posts. Most of CCP’s official YouTube videos are viewed less than 20,000 times, their Twitch TV stats are even lower. Their trailers are the exception – but then they are often linked to from Ads and various external gaming sites. Most of the threads in the official EVE forum are viewed less than 1,000 times, including revisits. And of course you can look at the number of accounts that vote for the CSM.

Circumstantial, but to my mind it paints a picture.

If I am right about the possible audience, it seems unlikely that Neville’s idea would be seen and certainly not actioned by sufficient players to make a difference.

That is not to say it could never have an impact – if enough recognisable players, bloggers, tweeters, reporters, podcasters and what not all got behind it, CCP would listen.

I’ve read many of the initial responses from that group of players, and generally found them to be more thoughtful than expected. If you break them down however we return to a rehash of the well-trodden Hi-Sec Vs Everyone else topic. What’s the chance of getting any sort of consensus on that?

So I came to the conclusion Occupy New Eden won’t get to a wide enough audience or result in any sort of large enough common voice to make a difference. This assumption carried more weight after Neville made it clear this was more about provoking discussion than a ground swell movement.

As I kept reading responses I came across this related blog post from Talvorian Dex –

It is a common idea, repeated often. In harsh summation it is the suggestion that people stay subscribed to EVE longer if they get out of Hi-Sec, and so while Hi-Sec should be fun and engaging, players should be encouraged to move through the game to the next step. I think it is fair to say CCP subscribes to a similar view – they seem to try and steer players towards the conflict game styles that their statistics show keeps them engaged longer.

I can see the logic – and you might get some to transition, but mostly – in the most obvious and common sense way to me – that has and will continue to fail.

I think this is actually the crux of the issues Hi-Sec has. It isn’t their slice of development time, it isn’t what part of space CCP is focused on, it doesn’t need a player uprising. The problem is relatively simple and straight forward – CCP, and (sorry) the like of Talvorian really do not understand them. Conflict is not the driver that will keep most of them in EVE longer.

I don’t have statistics, and I am not sure how to convince people my view on this is accurate. I am going to start with just one somewhat topical example.

Have you noticed the derision Hi-Sec miners tend to get? There are groups devoted solely to griefing them, to try and force them to play a different sort of game. I read suggestions that they are saving these players from themselves, and that they deserve this lack of respect.

The Griefers can’t see why someone would like to spend years maxing out skills, and ship equipment, and ship hulls, and refining, and boosting, and implants, and hauling just to get to the point where they can say their mining yield is at the absolute maximum possible. Or why they take that further by bookmarking the optimal positions in each belt to maximum asteroids reached with the least amount of moving, or use survey scanners and PC stopwatches for each mining laser so that they can minimise the length of unproductive cycle time, or the satisfaction they get for totally strip mining a belt by themselves. And they do all this for some of the poorest ISK returns in the game.

The people and voices driving EVE’s development at the moment do not seem to understand why people would do that. I understand – because that is what I spent a couple years doing.

There is certainly a couple years of play in that – assuming the player remains goal oriented and sticks at it despite the contempt sent their way. What can CCP do to extend this?

Update the Rorqual so that it has the largest mining yield possible in game through fighter sized mining drones, and put an area effect superweapon on it that gives a short period of invulnerability for the mining fleet so the Calvary can ride in and save them if attacked?

How many Hi-Sec miners do you think that will entice? How many will stay subscribed for another year to train up all those skills and get the related in game assets?

What if they make a Hi-Sec version of the Rorqual. I’ve mentioned it before. Give it a mining yield marginally better than a Hulk, and balance the crap out of it so it cannot be used as a non-Ore hauler or be safe from War Dec in an NPC Corp. How many Hi-Sec miners would set a goal and spend more time subscribed to achieve that?

Hell – add two versions of Mining Titans, one Hi-Sec, one excluded from Hi-Sec, if you really want to stretch out the end goals for such players and keep them subscribed.

I’m not championing this as a solution – it is just an example. If the idea annoys you because you think it will take away possible new targets, then you probably don’t get Hi-Sec. Don’t worry, you are in good company with CCP.

It seems like it should be easy to fix – just sit down with CCP and explain what Hi-Sec enjoys about the game and why a sizeable number won’t ever be taking steps out of it, no matter what they do.  Give transition options, but concentrate on keeping them subscribed longer doing what they want to do.  Maybe the Council of null Sec influence and Management (CSM) can speak to them?  Or maybe not.  At the moment we have a PVP focused group thinking they understand and know what’s best for the Carebear focused, and they at not getting it right.

Occupying the Citadel Patch Notes

I spent part of yesterday carefully going over the Citadel Patch notes.

There was this glorious entry for version 1.3:

“Projector and Doomsday super-weapons no longer affect ships in invulnerable states (POS shields, tethered, gate jump cloak)”

Can you imagine the delight of the Super pilot who first worked that out?

There was, as I expected, not that much of note for my particular style of game play. That is not to say there is nothing for solo players. I am aware, particularly after reading some more enthusiastic bloggers, that there is the potential for a great deal of game content.

I checked through all the new BPO but I did not purchase any. I’m not interested in getting into the manufacture of citadels and their fittings – although it could keep a solo manufacturer busy for quite a while. Similarly, solo resource gatherers could be looking at increased demand and prices if citadels really hit off. They are also viable for a solo player to anchor and use – particularly as I expect I am in the minority with my strong dislike of their defence and unanchor mechanics.

I’m not sure how long we will have to wait to see how successful they are. Plausibly a year or more.

Similarly, there would be profits to be made producing the new Capital modules, especially in the early days. I have dabbled in various parts of capital manufacturing, but decided in the end it did not really suit. I also passed on buying these new BPO.

The patch notes had links to the EVE Online Help Center; a resource I haven’t really been aware of. The structure pages were easy to read and a good starting point. The site covers some of the game play information I thought was lost when the EVE Wiki was shutdown. The site is worth remembering:

With changes to in space objects you will of course want to double check your overview settings:


As expected, the new structure objects were not selected by default. Strangely though the Force Auxiliaries did seem to be.

You might also want to add the new structure browser to your Neocom. I expect once Citadels find their way across New Edan that this little app will get a lot of use.


I’m not a huge fan of the new v5 station hangers. I initially had some stuttering performance issues, but they seem to have been resolved (either by CCP or by resource downloads finishing). While I don’t mind the overall look, it just seems easier to see flaws in the various textures, at least in the Amarr stations I am tending to use.

The first stage of the tax increases are now in. My sell off allowed me to avoid around 1B ISK in extra tax, so was worth doing. I think I am down to under 5B ISK of assets now earmarked to sell, although I could (and may) cull even harder. I am still of the mindset, right or wrong, that moving forward it will pay to be able to be nimbler in game. Destructible homes won’t matter quite so much when you have little to store.

The new 900K cost to jump between clones in NPC stations is in – as I was reminded when I had to pay it yesterday as I jumped my alt out of NPC Null. Meh.

I’m reading the occasional complaint about the new NPC Capital ships. People are finding they can lock quickly, scram from quite a distance, and apply heavy damage to small hulls, so they are losing PVE ships to them. It will be interesting to see if this will just require an adjustment to solo fit and tactics, or if it ends up being if you rat in Null you need to do so with the backing of a group.  That later result would be a nerf for solo play.

I did run around and make sure I had all the new skills injected and trained to basic levels. These were mostly structure or fighter related. I might not plan to use them, but it always pays to keep your options open.

I noticed last week that CCP said the refund of SP and ISK spent on the Force Auxiliary Skills has been delayed. I am not sure when that is expected.

I do find the new tactical overlay is cool enough.


I haven’t quite got the panning and moving option working reliably, but I can see – for the first time in almost a decade of playing, that I will start using it for better situational awareness. It goes well with the option to now press Q then click on a spot in space to fly to and stop. That would have worked well in those event sites were I would try to stop my ship where the final rat spawned, but kept over flying it if I wasn’t paying attention.

Last of all I would like to flag a post by Neville Smit – on the notion of #occupyneweden

There is a lot of merit in the idea, and a lot of the manifesto I agree with. I do truly believe CCP thinks they understand and are catering for that 85% of pilots outside of Null Sec, but I find their actions suggest that they simply don’t get us at all.

Having said that – I’m on the fence with how much I should support it. Part of the reason I’ve been able to play this game for so long is that – in the end, after having my say here, I try to step back from the drama and concentrate on just what I can personally do to adjust and adapt.

I am not sure I want to leap into something that comes with the clear likelihood of aggravation and frustration. I’m not sure I see EVE is in so much trouble that it needs to be fought for – just yet.

I will have to think on it.

When a review is not a review

There was a video review of EVE posted on YouTube recently which has been doing the rounds of social media.

It goes for 30 minutes, but I found it an easy watch.

While it is a better and more encompassing review than normal, it does have its faults. Primarily it tends to be dismissive of game styles that don’t align with what the Author likes. This is the problem I find with most comprehensive reviews of EVE – most people who know enough about the game to talk with some authority, do so with bias.

I managed to get my PC apps such as EVEMon and EFT working again with the new network environment. I’m not entirely sure why – one of the many changes I tried / rebooted for yesterday might have decided to work after the PC slept on it overnight.

Today I am going to try and read the Citadel patch notes and spend some time in space.

The black art of networking

I’ve had an unpleasantly busy but seemingly unproductive week that has kept me away from EVE.

I had reason to update my resume, which has turned out to be a much larger and longer task than I expected. I’ve put several days of effort into it, and while I am nearing completion there are still some hours of polish required. It turned out the last version of my personal resume was 17 years old! It has been quite a rigmarole to condense the last 20 years into a clear and easy to read narrative that didn’t pigeonhole me into just the one type of job.

I also lost a couple of days to an IT crash at home. For quite some years the center of my home network has been an old workhorse Billion ADSL modem router. A few features had degraded or died over the years, and it ended up with a switch and a wireless router attached, but it had managed the current network requirements of a desktop, 7 laptops, 4 iPads, 2 Android tablets, 2 Android phones, a NAS, a printer, 2 PVRs, a PlayStation and a number of other devices such as TVs. Had being the operative word.

I switched it off for 24 hours as I trialed an alternative setup around the newer wireless router. That turned out not to be 100% stable under such load – with one particular iPad game the kids play causing it to reset a number of times. I swapped the old router back in, but after being off for the longest period of time since it first went into service, it decided there would be no more working Ethernet ports for me. I replaced it, but after more than a day of full effort I still haven’t ironed out all the issues. Some have been particularly aggravating, such as the wireless router only being able to access the internet on its 5GHz network and not its 2.4GHz, with no apparent configuration which would impact such a thing. EVEMon, EFT, Trillion and my ISP usage meter also stopped working.

My annoyance was just a small shadow of that of my children. My god you would have thought the world was ending with how much they were complaining about the flaky internet access. Even my wife looked a bit exasperated at times that she couldn’t get onto Facebook.

Throw in a couple high school tours, multiple big exhausting meltdowns from my daughter, and my wife having a couple job interviews, and the week has been a total bust with nothing seemingly being finalised yet.

There was something about EVE that I read and found interesting – an interview with CCP Seagull published after Fanfest.

She said CCP had made an effort for Citadels to be accessible for individuals and smaller groups. I almost fell off my chair in disbelief and I am sure I stammered and frothed at the mouth. If I wasn’t so busy I would have run straight to the blog in self-righteous indignation. With some time to ponder however I guess I can see why CCP might think that. You can certainly anchor and use them as an individual. In some locations such as wormhole space they will be a game changer. I must just place more weight on being able to defend or unanchor them. If I thought of them as throw away assets, I might have been more enthused.

CCP Seagull goes on to give an idea on her mindset with current and future developments. She also acknowledged some people were feeling as if there was little in Fanfest for them – but suggested there would be some PVE related stuff coming for the non-PVP / non-Null Sec guys.

It is worth a read.