Stop Buying Skins

EVE Vegas is on – so I’ve been keeping an eye out for new information on game updates and where things are heading.  Some of the official announcements have been added to this CCP News piece:

https://community.eveonline.com/news/news-channels/eve-online-news/news-from-eve-vegas/

Of note is that you should stop buying skins from the New Eden Store immediately.  There will be new skin types released soon after Ascension which can be applied to all hulls, including those racially different.  This will allow you to have mixed fleets that have a consistent look – if that is the sort of thing you felt you were missing.  The example shown was some sort of Captain American type skin.  To celebrate there will be a massive sale on all existing skins with the release, with examples of 75 to 90% off shown.  Mildly annoying as I had just spent some of the Aurum on my Second account (that I will be letting lapse) on full priced skins!  That would not be as annoying as it would be if you are a skin trader though.  They didn’t say how long this sale will last for, or what price these new skins will be.

You can watch the Keynote speech here:

Thanks to http://nevillesmit.com/ for highlighting this link.  I presume there will be an official CCP release of it shortly on their normal channels.

Most of the speech was about Ascension.  CCP Rise did an interesting short presentation on his experience using an Alpha Clone character for three weeks on Tranquillity.  CCP Ghost showed some video of the new “New Player Experience”.  It will be called Inception, and is focused on telling a story with a tutorial support system behind it.  It looks to be an improvement, although just listening to the instruction about clicking here and using the radial menu there, it was a reminder how clunky the game interface can be.

CCP Fozzie then came out and talked very briefly about Engineering Complexes. He said the Raitaru – the smallest (medium) Engineering Complex will be a perfect home for small organisations or bold solo industrialists.  This aggravated me.  It is not a bold solo industrialist who anchors a Raitaru.  The structure won’t defend itself unless you are online – and what defence it then provides is pitiful and pointless.  The unanchoring process requires blind luck that no one else notices and steals it from you.  To anchor one of these solo you are saying – “Hi EVE, here is some of my ISK, destroy it whenever you feel like it, there is jack shit I can do to stop you”.  That is not bold, that is stupid.  I certainly appreciate how cool it is that a solo player can now basically anchor their own station – but for the love of god, allow the thing to defend itself like a small POS can now.  Of course it is unlikely to make a difference to the end result, but it requires at least a little risk and thought from the attackers.  (It is my same old rant – but CCP really don’t seem to understand their non-PVP players.)

CCP Fozzie then moved onto more pleasing things, briefly touching on the mining updates (which I am finding intriguing); the new ghost fitting option (useful, but as Fozzie pointed out – brilliant for new players unaware of the third party fitting tools), and the next round of balancing for T3 Destroyers (which he did not outline, but from what I’ve read elsewhere sounds reasonable).

CCP Larrikin then came out to talk a little about the new NPC and PVE.  The asteroid belt encounters / mining NPC were discussed with a bit of detail – how they react and will work together.  If CCP get it right, and apply it to many more areas, it could make for some very interesting game play.  To try and get players to be involved, the Haulers can carry strongboxes which can drop interesting loot.  Again for me though – the impact on standings is a killer.

CCP Seagull then returned and showed a short feature video for the Ascension expansion – which also reminded me about the Sunesis Destroyer and of course the Porpoise Industrial Command ships which I am looking forward to flying, the skin changes I have already mentioned above, a new EVE merchandise store (available November 15th), the new EVE Online Portal Mobile app (also available November 15th), changes to benefits for new players recruited via other players, and the possibility for Corporations to get in on that process in future.

There is actually a lot of stuff in this release – although little that particularly enthuses me personally.  It was worth watching.  As an aside, I found the crowd to be a little more subdued that previous gatherings, but the yelling a little more obnoxious.

 

Who has been eating my Ore?

There was a forum post the other day indicating the new NPC belt mining operations are on SISI now.  These are part of the new procedural PvE destined for the game.

https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=6686600

They empty the belts like players do – so are in competition for that resource.  They are apparently fit more for PVP, can be found everywhere but wormholes, and scale based on system security.

I’m not sure why I did not put one and one together – but this first iteration will be made up of standard non-pirate NPC Corporations.  (So Caldari, Amarr etc.)  Killing them will negatively impact your standings with those Corporations, and influence how they will react to you in future.  It would also impact your ability to do missions for them.  I’m not sure if it will also reduce your Factional Standings, but it doesn’t read like it will.

There will apparently be more information from CCP Larrikin at EVE Vegas, including information on an incentive to attack them.

On the basis of what I know so far I won’t attack them.  It is easy to reduce your standings, but a pain in the backside to improve them.

I’ll have to wait for the suggested Pirate mining operations to make an appearance before I get to interact with this new game feature.

CCP has been alluding to the fact they will be looking at Faction standings at some point in the future.  I’ve been waiting a long time for details on that.

 

WoWS – 400

I’ve passed 400 Battles in World of Warships. I continue to be intrigued but somewhat frustrated by the game.

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I don’t feel particularly good at it, but the trend seems to be an unhurried climb towards mediocracy.

I am working through all the Tech trees at the same time with the exception of the Carriers. I tend to use a ship until I get its daily 50% XP bonus for its first win, then move on to the next ship. This doesn’t do my win-rate any favours as it means I use ships I am less effective in more often. It also makes it more difficult to perfect the various ships nuances, weapon systems and tactics as I keep swapping through them.

Sometimes I can err in thinking my win rate relates to bad luck in how the teams are randomly put together. In reality however I tend to rank around the middle of the field, contributing, but not being pivotal. I rarely carry and win matches by myself, so am more susceptible to the impact from other team members. Should I say reliant on them?

I am mostly in Tier IV and V ships at the moment. I struggle more in the Tier V matches as you are often up against Tier VI and VII ships. I’m not sure how much of a statistical disadvantage this places you at, or if my discomfort is more psychosomatic.

Speaking of statistics – I find it interesting to see how often they don’t seem to add up.

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The ship I have Captained the most is the US Tier IV Battleship the Wyoming. I enjoy using the hull and feel I am reasonably effective in it, generally finishing in the top third of my team’s rankings. My win rate however is a very low 37.8% (the average is 49.5%). You would expect my statistics to be poor with so many matches ending in defeat, but they are generally within a stone’s throw of average except for the damage I do (35K against 28K) and the average experience I get (837 against 629).

 

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Another ship I enjoy Captaining is the German Tier V Light Cruiser the Konigsberg. I feel like I am effective in it. My win rate in this hull is a much healthier 56% against the average of 51%. The experience gained each match is also a health 1,028 compared to the average of 756. I also survive 44% of the matches against the average of 30%. That all looks good – until you lo0k at the other stats which are really poor, such as average damage of 17,017 compared to 27,180 and average kills of 0.4 against 0.8.

I would have to play this game very differently if I was focused on statistics, compared to if I played based on effectiveness, compared to if I played the game based on level of fun.  (At the moment I take the less impactful hodgepodge approach.)

Stench

A few weeks back there was a story about an EVE player being trolled to commit suicide after posting to the Broadcast for Reps channel.  There were plenty of commentary about it, this being one of the earlier ones:

https://theneocom.com/2016/10/04/her-name-is-Olivia/

It seemed to smell a little odd, so I didn’t remark on it here.

After some basic Google Image searches, the Imperium news website was able to cast doubt on the whole story.

https://imperium.news/olivia-suicide-scam-exposed/

True or not true, the trolls come out winners.

 

 

Not so deadly

With hours of flying around in space comes more EVE related thinking and reading.

I came across this set of graphs via Twitter the other day, which showed Citadel losses by type and system security, based on zKillboard data.

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You can see the original’s here:

https://www.adam4eve.eu/stats_citadels_mia.php

Interesting enough, but it got me thinking.  One of the key things I dislike about Citadels is the requirement for their defences to be maned.  To my mind it is a big backward step from POS, especially for the Solo or Casual player.  So I went looking at the data on zKillboard for Citadels and Control Towers. Now this is not scientific – there are obviously kill mails which would be missing, they don’t differentiate between friendly fire and what not, loss values are just approximations, and my maths is not the greatest.  With that in mind..

The kill statistics for all Citadels is reported here:

https://zkillboard.com/group/1657/

The Monthly averages since May 2016

Citadels lost – 177
Attributed ISK lost – 731B (Assume Hull Only)
Attributed ISK inflicted – 64B

 

The kill statistics for the POS group is reported here:

https://zkillboard.com/group/365/

The Monthly averages since May 2016

POS lost – 1,083
Attributed ISK lost – 277B (Assume Tower Only)
Attributed ISK inflicted – 157B

 

Because the statistics for POS changed noticeably with the arrival of Citadels, I also noted the Monthly averages for all POS in 2015 for comparison.

The Monthly averages for 2105

POS lost – 1,447
Attributed ISK lost – 259B (Assume Tower Only)
Attributed ISK inflicted – 321B

 

So, even if these statistics are only rough estimations, they do paint a picture.  It appears that Citadel losses are on average substantially more costly than POS were each month, while they inflict – both in outright terms, and more so as a percentage of their losses, substantially less ISK damage than POS.

 

Shattered

I’ve been a little bit busier in EVE since my decision to move back to one account.

I started by looking closely at my Industry Alt, Ilesha Rose.

For a year or two now Ilesha has done nothing aside hold my Corporation / Alliance, and on rare occasion sell some loot on the market. I started by handing over the reins of my Corp from Ilesha to my Main Character, Elmis.

Elmis is able to do everything in game that Ilesha can, aside creating an Alliance. I don’t need this ability, and I don’t expect I will ever create an Alliance again – but the symbolism of losing this felt oddly wrong. In part I tend to view my Main EVE Character as the sum of all of my EVE characters. I could have just left Ilesha unsubscribed with the skills, but there is more to this whole process than just saving a few dollars each month. There is an aspect of cleansing to it, and in my mind it seems unlikely that I will use that Alt again.

So with that admittedly not entirely justifiable mindset, I extracted 34M SP from Ilesha. I used what was required to upskill Elmis to Empire Control V – allowing him to create Alliances, then sold the rest on the market.

What was left of Ilesha is an each-way bet. She can still fly and basic fit a lot of ships and can do some trading. Many of her more technical skills are only a Skill Injector or three away from being available again if I need.

Ilesha, and a second Scout/Cyno Alt I haven’t used for years, then cleaned out most of their hangers and both left Corporation. For the moment I will leave them dormant.

The next order of business was to downsize my NPC Null Sec home. I had Clone jumped my Main Alt Jack down to Syndicate a week before, and was logging him in once every day or two to scan down the constellation looking for Wormholes. I had remarked that the area had gotten a lot busier during the Casino / Anti Goon war, but with that over it seems to have become much quieter again.

I had no real luck with my scanning until today (Sunday). I found a single Wormhole in the back of the Constellation to a C3 Shattered system.

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After having a look around I scanned down the 15 Signatures available, finding two Wormholes to Low-Sec, both quiet systems, both next door to Hi-Sec, and both (just) under 20 jumps from my Hi-Sec home. This gave me the choice of two equal routes to move most of my gear out:

NPC Null (Station) > NPC Null > NPC Null > Shattered Wormhole > Low Sec > Hi-Sec > Hi-Sec > Hi-Sec (Station)

To make it slightly more difficult to catch me doing the same thing over and over – I used both Low Sec routes, running them over and over again with both Characters until my Null Sec home was left with a single jump clone and a ship for Elmis to run about in when he wants.

Unlike Ilesha, I do expect I will use Jack again at times. I downsized his hangers a bit, but he still has a couple Command ships waiting to test out the changes to gang links in November.

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A few hundred Mil ISK worth of NPC Null loot and spares making its way back to home base.

Not really pink

I expect most readers would already be aware of this, but CCP are doing charity pink ship skin package deals (say that aloud 10 times quickly) with proceeds going to the Iceland National Cancer Association Pink Ribbon Campaign.

https://community.eveonline.com/news/news-channels/eve-online-news/rosada-dawn-pink-skins-now-available-in-support-of-breast-cancer-awareness/

It relates to Breast Cancer Awareness.  Most of my ORE ships now have splashes of (almost) pink bits on them in homage to my Mum, who was treated for Breast Cancer and has thankfully been clear for 7 or 8 years now.