Space Junk

The next thing on the September release patch notes I figured I would check out was:

“revamped all debris structures found in missions giving them a new luster”

I wasn’t sure if this covers all debris, or just the ones in Missions. I grabbed my Exploration Legion and ran some Level 2 missions.

When I first viewed each debris, there would be a short pause as it downloaded the new graphic assets. This short moment gave you the opportunity to compare the old and new look. The pictures below are the new look of a couple items.

There is a noticeable improvement, although the examples I checked were just sort of ok, and had no wow about them.

I hunted around and found an old screen capture from 2012 with a couple of debris in it for a very rough comparison.

This is an odd area when it comes to improvements. It is worthwhile, it makes a difference, it moves the game forward. However, aside the rare occasion, most people will not see it or pay it any attention.

I guess that is probably the point of it. If they let the appearance of things such as debris fall too far behind the rest of the game, people might notice and point at it negatively.  People having no need to pay it any attention might be an acceptable outcome.

So Many Skins

There are an astonishing number of skins in the game now.  The list in the client goes on and on.

As you can probably see, I have been relatively selective about what skins I’ve activated. I tend to only grab them if I both like them and the hull they are used on.

Just looking at the very long list of skins available though, I suspect CCP must have been making good money on them to have put in so much of an effort.

I did something today that I can’t really justify in any logical sense. I spent the equivalent of 2.5B ISK of PLEX to pick up the new Spectral Shift SKINs for the three Sisters of EVE Ships.

A fool and their money is easily parted I guess. Having said that, if you have ISK, you might as well spend it on something that helps you enjoy the game a little more.

They do look nice though, and those ships are amongst the core I fly consistently.

Eleven

It wasn’t on my radar and I wasn’t watching for it, but I noticed I was coming up to my EVEversary when checking out my skill queue the other day. I’ve remarked before how your subconscious seems to draw you to milestones.

I started playing EVE on September 17th, 2006 – eleven years ago today.

It’s an odd thing that – playing a game for eleven years straight. (Or I guess more accurately, I have maintained an active subscription for that long.) What does society think of that? Is it something I should be proud of? Probably not. Let’s just go with it being somewhat unusual.

I still use my very first character as my Main. He is currently sitting on 219M SP, although the meaning of that is somewhat muddled nowadays with injectors. (Up 25M SP from last year.) He has always been a somewhat unfocused Jack of All Trades – but with time that has meant ending up with Skill Points in all aspects of the game aside T2 Capital Weapons and Super Capitals. Difficult to justify that sort of training for solo play.

I’m not sure I can trust EVEMon or EVEBoard at the moment given their lack of recent updates, so I will keep the Statistics to a minimum and use the Character Sheet.

It appears my Main – Elmis, has 412 of the available 432 skills. In a few hours, he will pick up Remote Reactions, to make it 413. He had 399 skills last year. Around 227 are at level V, 23 up from last year. 174 are at level IV.

Most skills are in Spaceship Command – 71 of a possible 75 (missing Titans), with around 63M SP in total.

The most recently completed skills, aside the Moon Resource and Reaction ones I just added, were

Caldari Strategic Cruiser V
Minmatar Strategic Cruiser V
Command Ships V
Amarr Strategic Cruiser V

I have about 4 more days of training allocated to the new skills, then will go back to finish the last 10 days of Gallente Strategic Cruiser V.

When the majority of what you train for takes at least two to four weeks, you tend to get a bit unfocused. You throw, somewhat mindlessly, twelve months of training into your queue at a time and then forget about it.

The API data suggests the account has logged in 6,678 times – an increase of 264 over last year, or about 0.7 logins a day. More than expected, but less than the 1.75 Logins a day I averaged in the first decade. More telling is the number of hours I was logged in – a total of 389 hours over the last year. An average of a touch over one hour a day was much lower than my previous decade average of 2.4 hours a day. Again though, that doesn’t include the number of hours I have spent reading about EVE.

My Account will still be active this time next year, unless it gets banned for threatening other players in real life, so I should reach the twelve-year milestone. Almost into teenage years, and all the trouble that can bring.

Laser Fire

The next of the September Patch changes I wanted to check out was this:

“Renovated turret firing VFX resulting in improved visuals and client performance of Hybrid, Projectile and Laser turret firing effects.”

I primarily use Lasers and / or drones, so I undocked with interest to view the new visuals.

I realised three things.

First – I never zoom in to look at my lasers firing, so I couldn’t really tell if they looked better now or not

Second – I wasn’t overly wowed by the laser fire

Third – I wouldn’t really be zooming in to look at my lasers firing in the future.  It isn’t good for your situational awareness.

I don’t have any way to confirm if the client performance has improved, but I’ll take CCP on their word and be pleased for it.

While underwhelmed, I did get reminded as I cleaned up after my testing that the Noctis, even when dirty, is a really great looking ship model.

 

Taking a step outside

I noticed in the September release patch notes that there were 9 new skills being introduced to the game in preparation for the Lifeblood expansion next month.

https://community.eveonline.com/news/patch-notes/patch-notes-for-september-2017-release

They are all under the Resource Processing Group.

Four relate to running reactions: (Name – Price – Each Rank Gives)

Reactions – 1M – +4% speed
Mass Reactions – 5M – +1 extra reaction job
Advanced Mass Reactions – 25M – +1 extra reaction job
Remote Reactions – 15M – start remote reaction jobs +5 jumps

Five relate to processing the new moon Ores – each provides +2% reprocessing yield for each rank for a set of new Moon ores: (Name – Price – Moon Ores)

Ubiquitous Moon Ore Processing – 10M – Zeolites, Sylvite, Bitumens, and Coesite
Common Moon Ore Processing – 15M – Cobaltite, Euxenite, Titanite, and Scheelite
Uncommon Moon Ore Processing – 20M – Otavite, Sperrylite, Vanadinite, and Chromite
Rare Moon Ore Processing – 25M – Carnotite, Zircon, Pollucite, and Cinnabar
Exceptional Moon Ore Processing – 30M – Xenotime, Monazite, Loparite, and Ytterbite

While unlikely, I could use these skills, even if I wasn’t personally involved in moon mining.

To give me an excuse to undock and do something in EVE, I grabbed my Interceptor Shuttle and flew around and grabbed all 9 skill books.  I found them in two separate stations.  146M ISK later.

I’m training most to rank III, but will skip Advanced Mass Reactions for the moment.  I purchased the skill book and stored it away, but don’t expect I will train it unless actually needed.

I noticed something today that I hadn’t realised before.  The skill queue now shows what training a skill will unlock (new skills or access to new equipment):

That’s a neat enough feature.

I also noticed the new market ticker introduced with this September release:

Seems interesting enough.  Apparently you can hide it if it annoys you.  My only concern was when I first opened the market window it took almost a minute to display all the panels.  Hopefully that was just a once off thing to download components, and doesn’t happen every time I start a new session.

And with that small effort to do something, it seems I played EVE for a bit.

Pace

I find my life overly busy, rushed and complicated. If I am to be honest, I don’t find that much joy in it. I would much prefer a slower pace.

Outside of divorce, there is not a great deal I can do about it. My wife has a pathological need to fill life with activity that can’t be sated or reasoned with.

When it all starts to feel too much, I tend to resort to physically decluttering. I’ll sort, I’ll neaten, I’ll clean, I’ll throw stuff away, to end up with a little area of calm in the whirlwind that my life can seem like some days. Often it will just be my computer desk – and generally it doesn’t last long.

For many years I would escape to EVE Online for a few hours, but we know how that is working out at the moment. Now more often EVE is coming up as a possible target for my decluttering endeavours.

I need to salvage my interest in EVE, else I take back those 1 to 4 hours a week (mainly reading) that it distracts me, and have my wife spend them on what she wants. There is always some new or return activity on her mind. My Daughter has been asking about doing gymnastics again, to add to her soccer, athletics, roller derby, swimming and karate…

The Nature of it

There has been some drama in EVE that has reached the gaming websites again.

I noticed it mentioned on Facebook initially. Wilhelm Arcturus has blogged about it and provided a useful list of links:

https://tagn.wordpress.com/2017/09/12/the-imperium-buys-a-keepstar/

In short summary, The Judge – a senior leader in the CO2 Alliance, has performed possibly the biggest theft so far in EVE history, misappropriating funds and selling or turning over alliance assets to their enemies. The leader of CO2 apparently threatened real life retribution, and has been permanently banned from the game by CCP. Meanwhile CO2’s enemies are falling with glee upon the wounded, possibly dead Alliance, ensuring misery for as many of its line members as possible.

With some references to deserving some reward for all his hard work with the Alliance, there are no explanations, excuses or justifications that The Judge can now provide that will paint this as truly altruistic. It is just another case of someone finding the price they are willing to hand there integrity over for.

I am not saying it was wrong or right. EVE is a game. I just find this sort of thing confronting.

Half of me cheers the drama and amazing possibility that the game EVE offers up.

The other half reflects somewhat sadly on the nature of us humans.