I’ve set myself the goal of keeping on top of reading the patch notes. I have already assumed I will fail.
As I go through a copy of the notes, I generally highlight relevant or useful or interesting lines in either pale yellow or pale green.
Pale yellow is to remind me to investigate, action and/or follow up.
Pale green tells me that I have noted, investigated, actioned and/or followed up.
The next pale yellow entry in my OneNote document is:
EVE Version 19.08, patch 2021-09-14.1
“Completed the construction and opened for Capsuleer visitors the new Pator IV (Matar) – Thukker Council Halls of Liberation station in Pator.”
I use one of my Shuttle Maledictions and fly the 20 odd jumps to check the station out. It does not take very long – the ship flies.
I fly around it, dock and undock. I presume it is using a different Skin. There are other stations already in the system, and I am not sure what this one’s purpose or meaning is. I must have missed some EVE Lore related post or comment or YouTube video.
I fly back to my staging system. Again, it does not take long.
“The Bring Out EVE’s Colors update is live and introduces a range of huge visual improvements”
I’m not sure if it is just me, but I found the impact to be hit and miss.
The interior and exterior of stations seemed to improve – they look to have more depth and detail. Likewise, some planets seemed to be sharper and more eye-catching. A lot of my ship hulls however now look flatter and duller. They stand out from the space around them, but not in a good way.
Lighting seems to play a big part. The Gnosis above has this great looking rear, but then the front is awkward in comparison.
I will be warping through space and the ship will be lit in a certain way and really look great (as above) but as you slide further past the sun you are back to looking flat.
Nothing earth shattering, and it does look as if in the long term it will be for the better.
The other reason I have had a flurry of EVE activity – Elmis turns 15 today. 5,479 days of continually paid subscription.
He has 327M Skill Points – an increase of 23M from last year. That was all from normal training and login / activity bonus handouts. The handouts really add up, and he has a bunch of unallocated points. On the occasion a new skill is released those unallocated points generally allow me to train them to Rank 4 immediately.
All the skills he uses in game are already at Rank V. The training queue was 197 days long, with skills I don’t use and am unlikely to use. Currently being worked on was Torpedo Specialization V. I added a bunch more skills in the process of writing this entry, taking the training queue up to 475 days. I hit a limit (I assume 500 days).
Elmis has around 125B ISK in cash and 15B ISK in assets (approximately). His wealth increased a little over the last year, but I made no specific effort to do so.
Interestingly my Bitter Vet levels dropped. That has however been because of caring less.
If it wasn’t for COVID lockdowns it is unlikely I would have been writing this post. I would have fallen further out of the habit of playing and slipped quietly away.
The end of my EVE playing would not have been through the actions of CCP or other players. It would not have been because I play a Hermit game instead of a social game. It would not have been because I found a new game to invest my time in. It would simply have been caused by an overly busy real life.
I will fall back into some new level of overly busy life next year. Without change I will be back in the same boat, sliding quietly out of EVE.
We have made some huge sacrifices for our kids in recent years. They have had some amazing opportunities as a result, but outside of lockdown I spend many hours every day driving them to and from places and waiting for them in between. I cannot announce that is all going to change because they are taking too much time away from my online space game.
I do find when I log in to EVE that I am spending too much time on housekeeping and trying to catch up. I have always had a very organised but large collection of ships and spares. They allow me to cover a great deal of contingencies when I play. With CCP’s constant small changes however all this preparation tends to end up less than optimal or even obsolete. I log in, spend an hour or two trying to rectify, then log off without doing anything.
While I have this extra time, I think I will try to balance undocking to do things I am interested in, with trying to really simplify what I keep in game. Maybe that will help me be around for birthday 16.
While the Lockdowns have dragged me somewhat back to EVE, I have been more focused on the value of them after the first death of someone I knew which was impacted by COVID.
We met his family in the maternity ward when our sons were born and have regularly caught up in the 16 years since. Our sons have been friends from a very young age, and currently go to the same High School.
The man had been feeling unwell but delayed investigations during the early COVID lockdowns. Initial appointments and tests were further dragged out by COVID restrictions. When he was diagnosed with Cancer, subsequent appointments, treatments, and surgeries were all impacted by COVID restrictions. When it was apparent the prognosis was poor, he spent most of his remaining time confined to his house, unable to do what he might have wished or to see friends or family. His time in palliative care and who could visit was impacted by COVID restrictions, his funeral is impacted by COVID restrictions, and the grieving process will be impacted by COVID restrictions.
It was a rare and aggressive cancer, and I do not suggest his life expectancy would have been any different without the COVID impacts on his health care. But his remaining life was made so much poorer, and I hope such a price was well considered and completely justified.
More distractions needed.
EVE Version 19.07, patch 2021-09-01.1
“New Caldari landmark sites can be found within the New Caldari and Urlen systems.”
I travel over to Urlen from New Caldari, cringing at each Gate session change.
Again, there are two Celestial Beacons in the system – one labelled an Abandoned Caldari Outpost and one the Urlen II Provist Riots Memorial.
I warp to the Outpost to see what the older Landmark looks like.
There are some rat wrecks on the structure that I salvage while I look around. It is hard to find a photo worthy angle. There is not much information to be had – something about it being a ruined Guristas site of some kind. Or maybe the Guristas ruined it. I’m not sure I would make a good tour guide.
I warp over to the Memorial.
Again, the new landmark is visually pretty. The description of the site is less pretty. It is a Caldari State memorial to citizens killed by terrorist acts enabled by the at the time de facto leader of the Caldari State. Or something like that.
Some real life to push and a single line in a patch note and two dozen jumps later you have played EVE.
For a long time, I just resigned myself to our Lockdowns. We were told over and over that they were saving lives and protecting our health systems from being overrun. As time has gone on and on, I find myself less amenable towards them.
When compared to the rest of the world we do seem to have saved lives. How many will have to be calculated after we have moved to living with COVID and deaths spike. Then we will see what our expected 280-300+ days of city-wide Lockdowns have paid for.
So, distractions are more and more important, and EVE offers up a little of that.
EVE Version 19.07, patch 2021-09-01.1
“New Caldari landmark sites can be found within the New Caldari and Urlen systems.”
I do not generally check out new landmarks – but I decide to do so this time. I head over to New Caldari in a very dirty Astero. I have been spending a lot of time in Pyfa, revisiting again what might be the best Hi-Sec Data/Relic Exploration hull now that the Pacifier is in the mix.
There are two location beacons in system – Derelict Ruins and Landfall Kutuoto Miru Orbital Center. I presume the second site is the new one. I’ve paid little attention to Landmarks outside of Cosmos systems, so I check out the Derelict Ruins first.
Not much to see and no real description. There are some Rats on the object, and I clear them out to collect my bonus Skill Points for the day.
I then warp over to the Orbital Center.
A bit more development effort has gone into this one and the description is several paragraphs long. I will leave it for you to track down the details, but in summary it is a Caldari Cultist Education Camp floating over a big Graveyard.
You could create an EVE blog just by visiting and documenting all these landmarks… You could call it EVE Travel or the like…
The City I live in is some 40 days into COVID Lockdown 6. I think we have been in Lockdown for 225 days now – and projected to remain in lockdown for least 60 days more. That is when we should reach 70% of the population being double dosed vaccinated. We don’t know what freedoms we will get back at that point – so it is not clear if we will remain in Lockdown or not. In 80+ days we should reach 80% double dosed vaccinated, when more freedoms will be returned. I am left with the impression that the Leader of our State has no other ideas.
It does leave me with more time for EVE.
I still loath the Gate Jump transition. I am irritated by it every single time. I go through the client settings once a week hoping to find CCP has added the option to turn it off – to no avail.
I am trying to get back into the habit of reading the patch notes.
EVE Version 19.07, patch 2021-08-10.1
“Increased the maximum volume level in-game videos can be set to. Set the default volume of videos to be at max volume.”
That item gave me a mini-heart attack. The Videos had sound? I had visions of how Facebook inserts Video Ads at 100% volume (or 50% volume if you find and turn on quiet mode). I immediately went looking for how to turn this down.
But there was no setting. I think it is just the World Level volume. I have that set to a low background mumbling, and there seemed to be no impact from CCP’s update. Crisis adverted.
The system of Uedama lies between my current home system and Jita. When I want to go to the game’s biggest Trade Hub, I need to pass through it.
Uedama has a security level of 0.5 and is a suicide ganking choke point. In my unscientific observations it seems to be much more regularly camped now that Niarja was ripped out of known space and into Pockven by the Triglavians.
I have never lost a ship in a chokepoint system – or a trade hub for that matter. I have always made deliberate and careful decisions around the size of the ships tank and the value of fittings and cargo I move through such systems. I might end up making twice as many jumps, but I try to find the point where I am not worth the effort to Gank.
With CCP’s big economic adjustments over the last year or two, they have both reduced the general income in the game and made larger ships much more expensive. In Hi-Sec that has seen the Orca price increase to around 1.7B ISK, and Freighters to increase to over 3B ISK.
Out in NULL sec, the new price of Capital and Super Capital ships has apparently seen a reduction in the willingness to risk such assets in a fight. A sort of own Goal by CCP, although I am not suggested they did not need to do something about wealth generation and inequity.
In Hi-Sec the increased hull prices of capital ships seems to have triggered a psychological change in Suicide Gankers. I keep any eye on the killboards for Uedama and other choke point systems. I am seeing a consistently larger number of empty Freighters being ganked than what I would expect. It seems an empty and unprofitable 3B ISK Freighter kill is worth it – because they know it will hurt the pilot, and it pads the Killboard.
What it means is that if you pilot a Freighter around Hi-Sec, there are no deliberate or careful decision you can make to give you a comfortable risk verse reward calculation. You are at real risk while doing nothing to generate ISK.
This is not a cry for a risk-free EVE, or a demand for more income in game or less, or wanting ships to be cheaper or more expensive, or ganking to be easier or harder. It is an acknowledgement of an aspect of the game where your decisions now matter less, and randomness matters more.
Meanwhile I finally got around to undocking and looking through my EVE Assets. I had four Orca’s – purchased for between 600 and 800M ISK. I sold two for 1.7+B ISK each.