Balance tends to mean Nerf

CCP announced some balance changes in the October release.

It was suggested these are outcomes of the CSM Summit.  Given some of the items, the cynical side of me wonders if this is a direct form of appeasement towards some of the louder player rabble.

First – ECM. If someone gets an ECM jam on you, you will still be able to lock / fire upon that pilot. It will only stop you locking other pilots. If you already had a lock on the ECM ship, the lock won’t drop. To compensate, there will be some slight buffs to ECM ship fittings and tank, and in the longer term, ECM strength.

That should please the ECM haters.

While there is an interesting elegance to the idea, it takes the ECM Ship option away from solo players (as it will seemingly be pointless). It relegates these hulls to a couple niche fleet roles. It will still work ok as a possible counter to Logistic Ships. It can still be used in small gang PVP – where a Tanky ECM ship can take the fire of a single or small number of targets, allowing the other ships in the gang to be configured as glass canon DPS. It might still work for a solo player dual boxing a hauler with an ECM guard, although it means the ECM ship will more likely die if you must use it.

Unless the extra tank and fitting options bring up new uses of the ECM hulls, I doubt I would have a need for owning one any more.

The use of ECM drones isn’t nerfed as hard. If I read right, the jammed pilot will be able to lock the ECM drone, but it didn’t indicate they could lock the pilot using the drones. I will have to confirm that.

Second – the Interceptor nullification is being looked at. Another thing I’ve noticed many players hating on.

CCP have indicated the original change increased the number of people roaming, so they did not want to remove the option. Instead they will remove it from the Combat Interceptors (Claw, Crusader, Raptor, Taranis) but leave it on the fleet Interceptors (Stiletto, Malediction, Crow, Ares). I use a Malediction as a out of Hi-Sec scout / shuttle, so it will still be of use.

Third – there will be changes to Heavy Interdictors, and possible small changes to the FAX, with future Capital balancing. None of that impacts me.

Fourth – there will be a balance change to the Triglavian Damavik (Frigate), moving one low slot to a mid to hopefully increase the number of people who use the hull.  I don’t use those ships as yet, but I might down the track.

Limited Fundraiser for another Loss at CCP

As part of a fundraising initiative for the family of CCP Mankiller (who passed away in July from Cancer), CCP have released 8 skins.  Once $20K USD of these have been sold (all to be donated), they will be forever removed from sale.  I expect that means they won’t be around for long at all.

They are at a nicely priced 60 PLEX each.  I grabbed a couple for my own use.




The “group of three big financial investors” who own CCP are selling her to a Korean MMO developer, Pearl Abyss.

The release talks a lot about us – you / your is mentioned 11 times, community is mentioned 5 times.  Excited is thrown in twice.

You can see some of the initial feedback on CCP’s Facebook page and in this official thread here:

It seems to be an even mix of Pearl Abyss being horrible for how it approaches pay to win, EVE is dying, or what an exciting opportunity.

I don’t have a view on if this is a good or bad thing.  I did raise my eye at the comment that CCP will continue as a “wholly owned independent subsidiary”.  That didn’t make much sense.  The only way CCP would be left entirely independent was if it was a safe and secure cash cow that gave a great rate of return on investment.  If that was the case, it wouldn’t have been sold.  In every company I have worked for that has been purchased “wholly”, the new owners have always moved to extract their profits from the purchase.  The only question is how long it takes, and if their influence is for better or worse.

Overall I am of the mind that change is probably a good thing and that EVE needed it.  Whether it turns out good for EVE or not, I am not so sure.  Whatever, it should take a while before we see real evidence of what will happen within the game.

Not so ugly

I remarked back at the start of July that this blog might be turning ugly. It appeared from the WordPress spam I was receiving that the account options I used to remove ads and allow customisation were being combined in a more expensive subscription that I was not willing to pay for.

Wilhelm Arcturus from suggested the old account options were still being billed for him regardless. That has turned out to be the case for me as well. I must admit some of my blogging enthusiasm had been sapped by the presumed loss of those options. I prefer the site looking – in its own way – neat and clean.

The next in game EVE event, starting in 5 odd days, is one based in the Abyss pockets.

It is probably just a jaded perception, but I wonder if this is a random idea from CCP, or if they feel like they need to try and get more people to use the sites. Aside some statistics provided during EVE down under, has anyone heard if the Abyss sites are considered a widely used success, or have they become another niche sub-part of the game?

I still have a small collection of Filaments in my main hanger but have yet to use any of them. I have purchased and trained up all the Precursor hull and module skills to rank IV – but again have not used any of them. I just haven’t been enamored by some of CCP’s design decisions around this newer aspect of the game. Maybe I am just a recalcitrant old man now.

CCP have also continued their recent tradition of lots and lots of sales on PLEX and Game time purchases. Most of the bonuses on offer relate to extra ship skins or attire, which I find very underwhelming, but the other day they offered their Value packs with notable discounts. These are packs you can buy only one time for each account.

I picked up the Galaxy Pack for half price on one of their sales – for $70 AUD I received an extra 90 days of Omega game time (~$54) on my account, 1100 PLEX (~$55) for skin purchases, 2 Multi-Pilot Training Certificates (~$55), 5 Skill Extractors (~$35), and 7 ship skins and a couple clothing items. The multi-pilot training certificates and extractors I will put aside for a rainy day.

There have been some large battles in EVE recently, with lots of Titans and Supercarriers fielded. During some of these there have been Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks on the game infrastructure, impacting a lot of players negatively. Whether triggered by one side or the other trying to give themselves an advantage, or some look at me oddity trying to make themselves feel important, I don’t know. More interesting has been the vitriol directed at CCP for not being able to entirely mitigate the impact, or about how some apparently innocent people are unable to log in as their IP addresses fall into a range blocked by the anti DDoS service CCP is using. It seems very much like Victim blaming at times. More and more often the vocal part of the EVE community seems to be a whiny little shit.

A new record maybe

(Version 2 of this post)

It has been over five weeks since I had posted – possibly an inauspicious new record. I hadn’t noticed.

I’m still logging into EVE once a week or so but doing little other than playing the skin collecting game. I have on several occasions really wanted – needed – to be able to do some mindless mining. The reality is however you need to pay attention when mining now, and that defeats the purpose of using it to relax.

I noticed that someone has picked up the EVEMon project and moved it off the old API. I haven’t tried it – but it is available here if anyone wants to give it a go:

(Edit.. changed link from current version on GitHub to the EVE Forum post that gets updated to the latest version as it is released:)

I am sporadically playing World of Warships. I tend to play a ship until I win its first battle of the day – which gives an XP bonus, then move onto the next ship. A consequence of that is I tend to end up with a large collection of ship lines all at the same Tier. At the moment that tier is VIII. I have been stuck at this point for a very long time – generally only around half way to Tier IX. To make matters worse – I find myself in Tier X matches more often than not, and even when I play at my very best, I have very little impact on the finally result.

I am only getting to Dungeon and Dragon’s Online once a month or less. I am meant to have Wednesday Night off to play, but my wife scheduled an activity for my Daughter on that evening.

Most of my gaming now is a session or two a day of Hay Day and SimCity on the iPad.

The main reason for this lack of free time is that I spend the vast majority of my days as a taxi service for my two kids – School, Karate x2, Soccer x5, Roller-skating, Youth Group and so on, plus doing all the shopping, cooking, cleaning and the myriad of other tasks that keep a household running.  For those unfortunate enough to read my earlier whinging version of this post, you would know I am not particularly happy with my circumstances at the moment.

EVE – even if I could find something new and interesting to do – just can’t get a look in.

New Recruitment Program Can of Something

CCP have announced that they will be changing the recruitment rewards program:

The basic concept of the recruitment program is that if you introduce a player to EVE who subsequently subscribes, you can get paid a kickback from CCP.  You identify the players you recruit by having them click on a personalised recruitment URL.  (You will often see them on EVE Blogs, YouTube Channels, Twitch Streams etc.)  The program has changed over time, but the most recent rewards have been either 30 days of game time or 500 PLEX (currently worth around 1.6B ISK).  The person who subscribes at some point after clicking on your link also gets some additional rewards, which I think are Skill points at the moment.

I don’t recall using the system myself – but I believe people have used the system when creating their own alts, and I’ve heard plenty of comments over the years to suggest it is gamed by SP Farmers / Botters.

I wouldn’t have thought much about this change, but I noticed CCP said they were “super excited”, and that they had given very little notice of the change.  It made me wonder if they were trying to hype up something they anticipated a crap storm over, or maybe it was done to try and minimise the gaming of the old system.  I headed off to look at the related forum thread to see if there was anything interesting to read:

The commentary in the thread (at least so far) wasn’t too overwhelming.  There were remarks about how the old system was gamed, that the suggested rewards sounded underwhelming, and that it was not clear what happened after the initial 40 referrals were done in the new system, which could impact some people.  For that last point, it was said some individuals generated substantially more than 40 referrals (such as I guess EVE famous content creators), and would it make such people less inclined to recruit in future?

It is interesting to consider just what is classified as recruitment, and how much wealth some players generated via this mechanism.

Elsewhere in the forum topic there was the expected “I can not in good conscience recommend EVE” / “You must fix ‘A B C’ before I can recommend EVE” posts, and then the obvious trolling replies.

One particular troll stood out for an interesting name:

The definition (that they helpfully linked too):

“..a cognitive bias in which people of low ability have illusory superiority and mistakenly assess their cognitive ability as greater than it is.”

Given the quality of their trolling, this was a great name if they meant it as a self-deprecating jibe.

Also interesting was this:

These were other forum users who habitually liked The_Dunning_Kruger’s posts, and the main users he liked the posts of.  It looks like an obvious circle jerk.  I assumed they might have all been from a flock of Trolls (what do you call a group of trolls?), but only one of the other ones regularly troll posted.  A couple actually posted a high volume of inane nothingness which you would assume a troll would hate.  I’m not sure of the end goal – collecting forum badges?

There is just so much going on in EVE that you wouldn’t know about..

Broken Eggs

The July 2018 release is scheduled for Tuesday. Reading through the patch notes..

.. and I noticed this:

“The standings penalty for podkilling a player in an NPC corp has been reduced significantly”

My immediate thought was why was CCP was making it less costly to pod players in NPC corps!?  Then I realised the penalty reduction was for NPC Corp standings, and nothing to do with Security that I had mindlessly thought.  I wasn’t aware, but if you pod a player in an NPC corp when you are not free to do so, you took a massive standings penalty against that NPC corp.  I can see it impacting the White Knights just as much as the Griefers in game, so probably a worthwhile change to I assume a very old mechanic.

I also noticed this:

“In high/low security space, scooping an unanchored structure that does not belong to your own corp is now considered a suspect act. It will require you to set your safety accordingly, and will trigger a suspect timer.”

What!?  So that was how so many people stole unanchoring structures, because whomever scooped it first was protected by the EVE security system.  What a horrible design choice.  Glad they are changing it.  (Even if I wasn’t aware of it in the first place.)

Last – there is a CCP developer video about the release.  I think it was one of their more professional and well done ones.

Oh, how long have they been signing off with “Fly Free” instead of “Fly Safe”?