When you become known on first name basis – the Brisc saga

Most EVE Players who pay any attention to social media would be aware of the Brisc Rubal saga.

On April 8th (2019), CCP Dopamine published a since removed Dev-blog, announcing Brisc had been removed from CSM 13 and had all of his accounts permanently banned from the game after being found to have shared confidential information. Two members of his Alliance were also given one-year bans.

CCP Dopamine went on to say it was the CSM itself who alerted them to Brisc’s lack of integrity, that CCP valued the CSM, and that they would put extra procedures in place to reduce the chance of this happening again.

I did not know Brisc Rubal from a bar of soap – but I did not take what CCP had said on face value. I’ve wondered previously about the quality of their investigations and the level of natural justice in some of their public banning’s.

So, I took the time to read what was being written on the blogs, forums, social media and gaming sites. The general impression I got – right or wrong, was that Brisc was more actively engaged with the EVE community than some of the other CSM members, and that there was some genuine surprise – and even doubt – about the situation.

There were also plenty of detractors – many gleeful about the situation – but none seemed to be saying anything compelling.

Then Brisc Rubal spoke up. He said he had not been aware of the accusation until CCP had published their Dev-blog, that they had not spoken to him as part of their investigation, that he denied it, and that he was waiting for someone at CCP to respond to his urgent queries.

It is seemingly becoming a lost art – but I still find it possible to put myself in the shoes of others. I know how I would feel if I was suddenly banned from EVE after many years of investment – in time, money and social interaction, possibly unfairly, without any opportunity to defend myself.

On April 17th (2019), CCP, via their communications team, released a new Dev-blog. This stated that subsequent to the banning they had held “further” discussions with the affected parties, and that they would be conducting an internal review to substantiate the evidence available and to evaluate their handling of the situation.

https://www.eveonline.com/article/pq436e/interim-statement-on-brisc-rubal-follow-up-investigation

The court of public opinion seemed to have made their own conclusions by this point – but the conciliatory tone of the Dev-blog suggested at CCP feeling the situation might not have been as black and white as they had first alleged.

Last, on April 26th, CCP Grendel announced in a Dev-blog that CCP had too hastily acted upon unsubstantiated assumptions, and that their initial findings and actions were incorrect. None of the players punished had breached the rules as suggested.

https://www.eveonline.com/article/pqiubr/final-statement-on-brisc-rubal-follow-up-investigation

CCP apologised, restored the accounts and assets of the three impacted players, and would provide appropriate rectification. That was to be their final statement on the event.

All’s well that ends well.

But of course, it is not. Understandably Brisc subsequently resigned from the CSM, and opinions and reactions from the EVE player and once were player base have flown thick and fast. Another (to some extent) damaging own goal by CCP.

Up until now I had not planned to remark on it. There was already more than enough thoughts and comments available online, but then I read an article on EVENews24 by Seraph IX Basarab.

http://evenews24.com/2019/05/11/a-brisc-redemption/

I will paraphrase using selective quotes.

When Brisc Rubal was removed from the CSM and banned from Eve I avoided rushing to judgement

CCP back tracked its claim regarding Brisc and the two other players in question and unbanned them all completely

Brisc has resigned as CSM as a result.

Here is another possibility

Maybe Brisc and company did knowingly take advantage of privileged knowledge

Maybe CCP had enough evidence to ban them by CCP standards. Question is would they have enough evidence to stand up in a real life court of law?

so CCP officially forgives/unbans Brisc while the deal is made that he resigns as CSM

there’s really not much else to address on the matter specifically

Lots of maybes, but a bucket of defamation thrown anyway.

Conspiracy theory, fake news, insightful truth? Who knows – but it is a noteworthy example of what I found wrapped up around the situation Brisc found themselves in. A diverse and complex narrative, different agendas, and a community disinclined to stop and put themselves in the shoes of others.  Equal measure of fascinating and disheartening.

Yet another one

April joined a string of ridiculously busy months.

EVE barely got looked at, aside the obligatory two minutes daily log in to check for War Declarations. I might have managed one PI cycle, and one short BPO shopping trip. Everything else ran down to idle, including one of my training queues.

I think I’ve only had one battle in World of Warships in months. I haven’t done anything in Dungeon and Dragons Online in months. I haven’t kept up with my iPad games for months. Writing anything for this blog has been a struggle for months.

I know it is a common complaint from me – but this year my wife has surpassed all her previous efforts in making our lives unnecessarily busy. It has long since crossed over into pathological.

I have been playing a bit of Minecraft of late – the only gaming I have managed to fit in to my life. I had an odd situation where I stopped having monsters spawning anywhere near my home. In the end I found several waterholes filled to overflowing with water zombies. I used 3 full stone swords to cull just a fraction of them and started having mobs spawn again in the area.

I also managed – just once, to get out and harvest a meal of wild duck.

Mostly however I see no light at the end of the busyness tunnel.

Mood Lighting

The April release has just gone live. This item is immediately noticeable:

“Graphics:
This release sees the first update of an ongoing iteration of hangar visuals. Hangars have now been moved over into our Space Object Factory system, which improves maintenance and allows easier updating of the visuals going forward. What you will see is brand new lighting! The lighting has been reworked with a focus on the ship, with more contrast, color and life being the order of the day.”

https://www.eveonline.com/article/pphodr/patch-notes-for-april-2019-release

First impression is that the background now looks a little too dark.  A bit like how the game can be I guess.

 

Not today

While hauling goods in a Bustard (Deep Space Transport Ship) recently I jumped into a system to find 6 Tornados and several Destroyers sitting on the gate.

I did a quick recalculation of the value and mix of goods I was carrying and thought I should be safe. Regardless, it seemed to take an inordinate amount of time to align and warp away, which I did safely.

Before I had landed on the next gate many of those pilots went criminal, with flashing red skulls against their names. Their chosen victim must have been just behind me.

There have been a lot of DEV Blogs recently, many which I have started to blog on but not had the time to complete the post.

https://www.eveonline.com/article/pnn778/eve-64-bit-and-directx-12

One is about the move to a 64-bit client and DirectX 12, and the possibilities that might bring to the game.

While I am happy enough about the move, I did notice this comment:

“we’ll be increasing then minimum memory requirements for EVE Online from 2GB to 4GB when we release the 64-bit client”

That might impact some players, particularly those with multiple accounts and lower spec hardware.

I can’t think of a title today

I am still here – just extraordinarily busy in Real Life.

The Azbel is also still here, or there, in space.

It forces me to log in at least once a day to check for War Declarations. That, if I am to be entirely honest, can be a touch irritating. It can be refreshing not to log into EVE for a day or three, and a chore when you feel you are being forced too.

The vague justification for anchoring the Azbel was to allow me to flesh out and fully research my BPO Collection. I have been accumulating BPO for more than a decade and had more than 850 of them. I might justify them as part preparedness, part self-sufficiency, but mostly it is OCD.

I carefully went through my entire collection, looking for any that were not fully researched, and for any I was missing. This took quite an effort. I currently have 885 BPO, all fully researched or in the process of getting there. There are a further 64 I must fly around and purchase. It is not exciting but has me undocked.

Some of my BPO are for POS and their modules, which CCP are working towards withdrawing from the game. I presume I will get those taken off me and reimbursed at some point this year.

There were a lot of BPO I do not plan to buy due to cost. I was able to comfortably buy all the BPO I needed to build and fit a couple variants of small POS. The price of Structure related BPO however is substantially higher – to the point it seems unlikely most casual players could ever be able to justify buying them for their own use. CCP seems to have priced them for Null Sec players and corporations who are fat on the teat of anomaly Supercarriers and belt Rorquals.

I wish there was a level down in the structure tree – the equivalent of small POS – for the less wealthy players. I don’t feel I will see that unfortunately.

The standard training on my Main continues. He has most recently completed:

Precursor Destroyer V
Precursor Battlecruiser V
Precursor Battleship V
Black Ops V

He is currently working on Marauders V. This latest training is more for bragging rights than anything else. I still haven’t used the SP he purchased. I am not sure what way to go with that.

What else have I been up too..

I have finished stockpiling ships to be able to mount a defense if my Structures are attacked. I will only throw these away if it is viable that I will get something worthwhile out of the experience.

I have been playing around with dual box mining again – first with a boosting Porpoise, then a boosting Orca. They drone mine a reasonable amount by themselves and give an impressive helping hand to the second account. From memory the Strip Miner range went from 15 to 27km, and the extraction cycle dropped from 167 to 112 seconds. There is still a little room to move there to improve. I put that on hold however as one of the locals came under War Declaration and I did not want to parade myself around as a suitable next target for the attackers.

Last of all the Astrahus build continues – but I’ve missed weeks of PI cycles due to busyness. I’ve gathered above 76% of the total P1 requirements.

Anchoring.05 – Turning the lights on

If memory serves me right, when the structure was in the final stage of 15 minutes of repairing, I could dock and take control, but I could not fit it and the Shield and Armour were at zero.

At least that would explain the above screen capture.

Finally, without fanfare, cheers, or anyone else seemingly noticing, 24 hours and 30 minutes after first dropping the Azbel into space, it was anchored and online.

I started by moving in the fittings, consumables and fuel.

Aside from remembering to take control of the Azbel first, you fit it much the same way as you fit your ships. I think that approach works well. Taking control also gives you access to the Ammo Hold, Fighter Bay and Fuel Bay.

Again, I came across something I found a little odd. When I plugged the Research Lab in, it seemed to be immediately put online, consuming the required starting fuel and putting the structure into powered mode. While that was my intended course of action, I had assumed it would initially be offline when I plugged it in. I held off plugging the refinery in, in case it too automatically was put online. (I want to leave it offline until a War Dec.)

So, this was the result as I first undocked from my Azbel once it had an online service and was in powered mode.

My Corporation Logo festooned on either side of the undocking bays, and crowned by my (default) Alliance Logo

So here is Hermitville in all its glory, with the undock alignment working as hoped.

Goal complete, much to my own amusement.

The odd thing about this process is I know that the level of preparation I put into could all be ignored. Assuming you have the ISK, you could just blindly go about it without a care in the world and trust in luck to carry you through to success. That doesn’t seem like as much fun to me.

Now just one last image to finish off this series.


I’ve had a short play around with the structure fighters. Interesting. I’m not sure yet how to send them off to a random area of space to loiter. Actually, I’m not sure about lots of things with them. Another goal to work towards.

Anchoring.04 – Out in Space

Compared to the effort required to safely procure the Azbel and thoughtfully decide on where to locate it, the actual anchoring process was almost anticlimactic.

I did a slow warp in my Freighter from the station to my bookmark, aligned to the direction I wanted the station undock to face (mid way between the home station and inbound gates), then I right clicked on the Azbel in the cargo hold and selected “Launch for Corporation”

The process is adequately documented by CCP and available to view on various YouTube videos.

You align the structure on a tactical overview with your ship at the centre.

The controls were easy enough. The only odd things about the process was that your ship blocked the deployment of the structure, making you move it further away from you, and the further you moved it away, the trickier it was to get your camera views just right.

I had already found other Azbel in the Structure browser, and done test undocks in various size ships to check if there was anything special about the different undocking points. There wasn’t.

Once I was happy with its alignment and selected the position button, I named the Structure, and set its reinforcement hour (which the game varies randomly +/- 2hrs) and its final reinforcement Day.

Once satisfied I selected Anchor, which put the structure in to a 15 minute “preparing to anchor” status. It is during this small window that someone could have given the Alliance a War Dec. The chance is small, but as I said in the last post, I waited to start the process when I had the system to myself.

Not wanting to leave a Freighter floating in space inviting questions or investigations, I then warped away, leaving an out of Alliance Alt cloaked and watching proceedings.

And this is where things got a little strange. After the structure had finished preparing and started to anchor, this is what my out of Alliance Alt saw:

An anchored but low power Azbel with my Corp and Alliance logos on it. (That is, I must admit, a little cool.) It did show the structure was anchoring and how long it had to go.

And this was what my Main saw when he warped back some time later – the version of the anchoring structure I was expecting to see:

Slowly over the next 24 hours my Main saw the structure come together. Unlike what my Alt was seeing, my main saw an “off” version of the structure, without undocking lights or my corporation or alliance logos.

It turned out – despite my nonchalance towards structures, I did find due to a small level of excitement that the anchor process seemed to drag.

Once it anchored the structure visually “turned on” and went into a 15-minute repair period.

During this time, I could not fit or fuel the Azbel, allowing anyone who had an active War Dec on me to kill it more easily.

The last step was to move in supplies and power it up.  I’ll show more pictures of that process next time..