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:

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 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.

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.


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.


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).



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.)


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:

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.

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.


You can see the original’s here:

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:

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:

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.



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.


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.


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.

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.


Third Party

It is not something I am going to put too much thought in to, but CCP’s decision to close down ISK related games of chance warrants acknowledgement.

Wilhelm Arcturus is a little less reserved about his opinion than usual, but his blog post includes plenty of links covering different points of view.

Gambling to me is one of those things in life that requires us to Adult. If you only spend money you can afford to lose, and consider the loss a fair price for the momentary entertainment, then it is all good. However, without effort I can immediately think of four, no five people in my friend and family group who are or have been gambling addicts. Around them are lots of people who are victims of the consequence.

That is not to say it should be banned for the majority to save the few, but that it needs to be treated with some care and caution.

I’ve had little to do with gambling in EVE – aside the undocking type. I did put some money into a SOMER Blink account at one point during one of their anniversary giveaways to see what the fuss was about, which I blogged about at the time. It was mildly amusing. I spent the money I was willing to spend without regrets and then moved on.

There are a few things I do find interesting.

On one hand I did not have any real qualms about gambling being available in EVE. On the other hand, I found it really disquieting that people running popular sites were able to drastically influence the political environment within EVE without actually having to play the game themselves.

I am sure there are shonky operators, and I am sure there were honest ones. Given past examples, I am not entirely confident in CCP’s ability to accurate distinguish between them, or manage the related public communications fairly.

There is a surprising amount of passion in the community about this change – on both sides.

While I don’t view it as anything that should sway the argument for or against the change, I do wonder at the cost to the community events that gambling sites sponsored.

Last – the specific use of the term “Third Party” makes me wonder if we will see CCP introduce in game gambling themselves. Could they get away with it?


I’m in a bit of a quandary with EVE at the moment. The reality is I am no longer playing the game.

Oh I log in at times to run the latest event sites, but that is not really playing EVE. That is just making short use of the latest theme park content. The sandpit aspect of the game requires you to be chasing goals of some sort, which I don’t have, and haven’t had for quite a while now.

A part of the reason for this relates to where and what CCP have focused its development efforts on for more than a year. I distinctly dislike the new space homes for solo use, and little else has been of interest to me or how I play the game. Part relates to simply having played the game for so long – 10 years now, and the been there, done that feel. Part relates to playing solo – and not having the option to sit back and allow others to generate content for you.

I am in a glass half full mindset about this – appreciative of the time and entertainment I have got out of the game instead of feeling bitter or wanting to go all pyrotechnic. I’m comfortable and happy enough to keep my main account subscribed for now – I am still reading the latest Dev Blogs, various social media sites, and keeping myself informed. I am undocking and doing things in game at times. I can see myself getting a half day of fun out of the game here and there, enough to justify the continued subscription. I’m not sure however I can ever see myself getting serious hours out of the game anymore.

Now here in now lies the predicament. By my own measurement, heightened by currency changes over recent years that make the game 30% more expensive, I really should let my second account lapse. I have used it literally only mere hours productively over the last 12 months.

I have two characters on my second account. A 39M SP Industry Alt and my 187M SP Main Alt.

Do I just let the account lapse and leave the two characters dormant? I can PLEX the account if I need for a month here and there. I could always log into the account after November in an Omega Clone State, although in a practical sense there would be no need or value in doing so.

Do I move one or both characters across to my main Account? My main can do everything my Industry Alt can, aside from creating Alliances, so that move is not really necessary. My Main can also fly everything my Main Alt can, with the only glaring omission is around 9M SP in leadership skills. That won’t really be useful playing a single account, so moving them is also probably note required.

I thought idly if I should try and register myself as an EVE Fan site, and have the second account costs covered. I’ve been blogging about EVE consistently and for long enough, and I certainly seem to contribute as much or more than many of the Fan sites I have previously looked at. I did try once many years ago, but at the time the staff behind the scheme were changing and I never got a reply. In the end however that felt disingenuous giving my state of mind. Also – I might feel slightly awkward speaking my mind, or feel forced to make posts, if I felt beholden to CCP in some way.

When I went from 3 to 2 accounts I shuffled a character around and biomassed two others after extracting skill points. One was my secondary Industry Alt, the other a PVE/Scout toon. I have missed neither. Do I do the same here? Move to having just one account and one toon? A true Hermit so to speak?

So what am I losing by going to one account? I won’t really be able to use Capitals any more – you can’t light a Cyno with an Omega Clone. I stopped using them when the jump range was shortened, but I did just read in the last day or two that apparently the range of normal Capitals was going to be increased from 5 to 7 Light Years in November. That might make them a little more interesting. I won’t be able to use the various Leadership skills – or command bursts or whatever they will be called now. I have only used them a few hours over the last year, so again no great loss. It will trap me in my Alliance – if I wanted to move into another Corp. I could however just skill up a basic place holder Alt if I really needed. I will lose my Out-of-Hi-Sec scout – useful for when I play around in NPC Null Sec. I am not really doing that however because of that annoying 10-15 second blank screen on first undock each session. I also won’t be able to mine as effectively – but I don’t mine often now, and I certainly don’t do it for ISK any more. I will also lose some convenience of not having another account to haul or sell goods, although I could do that using a spare slot on my main account.

At this point I will probably Biomass my Industry Alt, and leave my Main Alt unsubscribed for the moment.

Doing a comparison, my Main has all the skills of my Industry Alt except Megacorp Management (3 against 5) and Empire Control (0 against 5). These skills were used to create my Alliance. I don’t specifically need them, but it would feel odd going backwards in capabilities. To get my Main upskilled to rank V in Megacorp Management requires 903,765 SP, and then rank V in Empire Control a further 1,554,595 SP. I think I will use SP from my Industry Alt to do this.

I can extract 33.5M SP from my industry Alt using 67 Skill Extractors. That will cost around 18B ISK.

My main only gets 150K for using a Skill Injector. It will take 17 injectors to train up the missing skills, 8.5M SP burnt to get 2.55M SP, losing almost 6M SP. Not ideal, but it feels the right way to use the Character’s legacy, and I certainly don’t want to spent time retraining those two skills.

That leaves 50 injectors to sell on the market, making roughly 30B ISK, or 12B ISK profit after the cost of the extractors. I will need some sort of very basic hauler and trader on my main account who can hold my Corp and Alliance if required, so I might see if I can mold that Alt into what I need, or use the extracted SP to build a new purposed Character. I also thought I might also be able to use the second account once it is lapsed to develop a new Alpha Clone character.  They do get Corporation Management 1, which might be enough?

Just for interest I looked at what I would need to do to inject the skills my Main is missing from my Main Alt. There are around 25M SP – 6 in Gunnery, 9 in Leadership, and 10 in Spaceship Command (mainly a lot more rank V skills).  25M SP would take 165 odd Skill Injectors. I could farm 360 from my Main Alt. The extractors would cost 97B, and selling the remaining ones would earn around 117B ISK, leaving a profit of 20B ISK. Seems a somewhat sad outcome for the character.

That leaves me one other dilemma to contemplate. About 30% of my worth at the moment is from ISK gifted to me from departing players. Should I spread that around to some of the other players and organisations who are more active than I am and will be?

Even winding down in EVE is far more complicated than most other games.

(One last thing before I forget, this is not a rushed process where I need to fear doing something I will regret.  I’ve been waiting more than a year for EVE to tickle my fancy again, but it hasn’t.  It is time to bite the bullet.)

Another No

CCP has outlined the new Engineering Complexes (formally known as Industrial Arrays) coming in the November expansion (called Ascension).

There are plenty of pictures to check out.

The Medium is called Raitaru, Large – Azbel, and XL – Sotiyo.

They use the same anchoring process as Citadels and work in much the same way aside different bonuses.  That again means I won’t use them for any sort of serious solo game play as they are not suitable for it.

They will cost less – 40% lower than Medium Citadels (~0.7B), 60% less than Large Citadels (~5.2B), and 90% less than XL Citadels (~30B), have 33% less Hit Points, and require longer vulnerability periods (9 hours for Medium, 18 Large and 36 XL).

They are a little more restrictive in what ships can dock – the Large won’t dock Capital ships (aside Freighters, Orca, Bowhead), and the XL won’t dock Supercarriers.

You gain benefits from using them out of High-Sec, from a couple percentage points for manufacturing material input to up to almost twenty percentage points for manufacturing or science job speeds.  I’m not sure how this relates to the current situation with NPC stations v POS v Player Outposts.

From the December patch, depending on how the initial Engineering Complex release works out, the plan is for you to no longer be able to deploy new Outposts or Outpost upgrades. Those that already exist (plus POS) will continue to operate as they currently do.

Speaking of POS – you can plant a small POS for a bit over 100M at the moment (before fitting).  It is plausible for you to anchor and remove them solo, and they provide a useful and interesting tool for solo play.  So far CCP hasn’t provided anything similar in the move to Citadels.

Odd match ups


This was a rather odd match up in World of Warships – a 4 v 4 Domination Match (where you have three capture points to contest) instead of the usual 12 v 12.  While I have had some odd 2-4 v 2-4 battles, I’ve never had one with Aircraft carriers.  The match was decided by the Hosho – who both boldly went for Capture points on his own, and smartly prioritised his targets.  The Phoenix and I managed to dispatch the Carolina and Karlsruhe, and the Nassau with help from the Langley took out the Myogi.  The Hosho first took out the fast moving Phoenix, then the damaged Nassau as he made his way across the map taking two capture points.  He then took out the Langley who had steamed off on his own instead of trying to combine both of our anti-aircraft capabilities.  This left me steaming at a slow 20 knots across the map trying to get in range of him – but I was sunk on his 6th Torpedo squadron attack.

There is something I’ve noticed in the lower end (Tier III and IV) Battleships – it seems more important to angle to allow as many of your guns to fire as possible than to angle for protection.  In the battle above the South Carolina always carefully kept themselves straight on – but this meant they could only bring 2 turrets with 4 guns to bear.  I on the other hand was able to bring 6 turrets with 12 guns against them.  I would usually fire the first Turret to ensure my aim was true, then salvo the remaining 5 Turrets.  Whatever extra damage I was taking for being aligned to allow all guns to fire was easily outstripped by the larger amount of damage I was applying.  This has worked out with all the Battleships I have used.



I did something I haven’t done in quite some time – I “threw” a game down in disgust and walked away. I had a run of 8 straight battle losses in World Of Warships. Only one of them even looked like a win – but we managed to snatched defeat out of the mouth of victory by not staying in the cap zone.

I am finding Tier 5 ships, especially Cruisers, to be very frustrating to play. I haven’t found a way to be reliably effective in the Tier 5 to 7 battles. I have lost count of the number of times I have been one and two shot off the map by some Battleship 437km away from me, or had some Carrier pilot find me in the first 30 seconds of the game and perfectly bracket me on all four sides with 214 Torpedoes.

Yes – much frustration.

I went back to (lower tier) Battleships to get some idea on how I should try to avoid these quick deaths – but I can plink away at a broadsided cruiser all day and rarely get a citadel, yet it seems almost every bracket that lands on my Cruisers take 15,000 to 20,000 hits. I can twist and I can turn, I can follow the tactics of the ships I myself can’t hit at range, but I’m still getting nailed time after time.

Yes – those are tears. Enjoy them if you wish, they don’t seem to have the same impact in World of Warships as they do in EVE.

Some of this is bad luck. I always seem to end up in the numerically inferior force when running down a flank or towards a capture point. Some of this is me not listening to my inner voice. It is common for my last thought before being sent to the bottom to be along the lines of “This is probably not a good idea”. I am also, obviously, making mistakes. When you are advancing and dancing in and around Islands, you need to think about your next 3 or 4 major changes in direction, else you stumble unable to maneuver out into the open in front of the entirety of the enemy force. Still – and this is the crux of my frustration, it feels like my game play is being punished too harshly.

After starting the day 0 wins and 8 loses and walking away, I came back to complete a further 11 battles. I came away with a more respectable 7 wins and 4 loses. In a number I managed to keep my low health Cruisers alive and causing damage for far longer than I had a right to, and in three Destroyer battles I managed to accumulate 5 Carrier kills.  That included a very satisfying pair that involved dodging multiple attacks then firing a Torpedo salvo from one side of the ship at one, then immediately a second salvo from the opposite side at a second, sinking both.  I then got sunk by one of the Carriers torpedo bombers after getting myself aligned perfectly to escape them, then somehow hitting the full ruder turn and killing myself.  Never mind.