Round Two

After only a two-week absence, COVID returned to our household. This time my wife has it.  It is a miracle it took this long for her to catch it.  She mixes with a reckless number of people and groups every week.  Her symptoms have been mild so far.

I am slowly working through my new PC configuration and resolving issues.  I think the 3070 Graphics card I got for it is faulty.  On random days one or more of the 4K screens attached to it will flicker off for half a second, every half a minute or so. There are no error messages to be found.  A restart or removing and replacing the cable will generally resolve it for a day or three, but then it will return.  Since I am using two cards and six monitors, I have plenty of options to swap cables and screens and the ports I am using.  Still – it is an awkward problem to get technical support on.  I am going to test the system with a 3060Ti I picked up today – which will eventually make its way into my Daughter’s PC.

I am still not logging into EVE – and articles like this makes that an easy state to remain in.

When CCP introduced structures, they made some assertions regards their safety and usability.  Since then, they have been nerfing them over and over, making them easier and more profitable to kill, and harder to defend.  CCP calls them “improvements”.  They were meant to be suitable for Solo use – and I went through the process of building, anchoring and using some of them, but it was borderline if it was suitable.  That was many iterations ago – now you would be foolish to use them solo.

Still, I am trying to gather up some enthusiasm for what might be announced at Fan Fest, but the talk of NFTs, Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies, pay to earn and so on fills me an with an overflow of Meh.  Somewhat more interesting are comments about a UI unification project, and a Feature Preview system. 

Drama Drama Everywhere

Call me Nostradamus. We had COVID visit our household shortly after my last post. My 13 year daughter picked it up at school. A week of isolation for the family, with my Daughter further confined to her room and the adjacent bathroom. Copious use of masks, sanitiser and disinfectant, and communication through phones, video chats and yelling at doors, and we got through the week without anyone else catching it. My daughter had moderate cold symptoms for a day, mild symptoms for a couple of days, and then has been fine. I however foresee more isolations in our near futures.

I have my new Desktop PC. I splurged a little more than I might usually, getting some of the latest 12th Gen / DD5 etc tech. I have been reminded about why I don’t historically get the latest and greatest – with little niggly issues and unfulfilled promises. In some cases I am stuck waiting for resolutions to randomly turn up in firmware updates. Meanwhile my Son got his first Desktop PC that he sized and paid for himself from his two part time jobs. He took my sage advice and got 11th Gen / DD4 etc tech, saving himself $1,000 on his build and having it all work effectively straight out of the box.

I installed EVE and Pyfa on the new PC, but have not taken to logging back in regularly. Turns out however that you don’t need to play EVE for there to be plenty of drama to peruse. I am of course talking about the Blackout campaign in protest against being able to buy a Retriever via an Account Pack.

I don’t need to write much about it – Wilhelm Arcturus at The Ancient Gaming Noob covers it well:

To selectively summarise, there are a small number of players protesting, a small number of players championing it, and a “great uncaring mass of players who likely don’t know and probably don’t care either way“.

CCP has been conjuring up ships out of nothing for years. Look at all those special edition give away ships, such as the Praxis and Gnosis from the Society of Conscious Thought. You got extra of these if you were a paid subscriber. I am pretty sure I got extra through purchasing some of the special EVE books – although I stand to be corrected. Those hulls are much more impactful than Retrievers.

While I get the focus on the ship being conjured instead of made by players – people have long been able to conjure up stuff for themselves in game by buying things like PLEX and converting it into ISK. It is not like the game is some pure microcosm.

Having said that – it is worth being mindful of one of Mr Arcturus’ quotes on the possible mindset of some protestors “If you don’t push back today, tomorrow the company will do something worse“.

Meanwhile in the little I have read on this topic, I note this from CCP:

We hear your worries about the continued escalation of this kind of sale and want to reassure you that our design will remain directed towards new players finding their footing in New Eden.

One of the topics for Fanfest is a new project that we’re in the middle of developing, that will transform these and any future packs – a paradigm where packs of this type will be supplied by players, ensuring that any ship we offer to new players through sales, will have origins from actual player work in New Eden

A possibly complicated solution to a problem that may not have needed to be solved.

Now I return you to your regularly scheduled program.

First One

Welcome to the first post of the year.  Time slips quietly by on the blog, while in real life it is more like a screeching out of control freight train.

Last year a lot of my posts had comments about COVID; on how lockdowns gave me time to play EVE, and a need to play for the distraction.  After a couple years of imposing heavy restrictions to suppress COVID, just before Christmas our State flicked a switch and went in the complete opposite direction.  Now we live with COVID.

At the moment we were allowed out our front door, my EVE time vanished.

My wife went berserk.  Concerts, shows, social events, activities, outings for her and the kids – every day out of the house, usually multiple times.  I wasn’t pleased at the extreme risks she took – but she ignored me.  As much I would like to use the word irresponsible – it was more a mental health reaction.  For her, living is being out of the house doing things, and she had just spent two years not living.  That was not good for her.

We went from not knowing anyone who had COVID, to half our friends and colleagues having had it.  My wife and kids have had so many close calls that it is unfathomable as to why COVID hasn’t been through our house yet.  I expect it sooner rather than later.

My wife’s rampaging made my normally busy schedule worse.  Add a chunk of busyness around my daughter moving from Primary to High School, a sibling being diagnosed with cancer, and my father needing care after an operation, and I have ended up more tired and fed-up than my normal high levels of tiredness and fed-up-ness.

So, EVE.  I am not playing it.  I am so busy – or otherwise brain dead, that I really need something to spur me to login, but there is nothing that interests me enough to want to do it.  I thought I might have a look at the Dr Who event.  I watched some of the introduction videos and blog posts, but it was just old game mechanics with a different skin.  It has been the problem with EVE for a long time – tweaks and rehashes of the old.  If something new is added – it tends to be focused on you losing ships.

I have recently ordered a new custom PC.  My Desktop gets turned on most days at around 6am and turned off after Midnight.  It is used constantly, so I normally replace it every 5 years, to try and keep in front of any catastrophic board / Power Supply failures.  This time I am replacing it after 4 years.  Over the last two years the availability of PC Parts has been poor and unreliable.  It was just starting to improve but now Mad Man Putin is reminding the world that placating megalomaniac bullies entrenched in echo chambers of their own making was never a good idea. So, before the parts disappear again, or even worse happens, I have an i7 12700K / DDR5 / Liquid Cooled / 3070 based system on the way. Maybe that will get me to log in?