Beating the old Drum

Yinmatook kindly commented on the last post and provided a link to the EVE Vegas presentation relating to PVE / the new Forward Operating Bases.

https://go.twitch.tv/videos/181166320

The more interesting bit starts at 10:42.

It wasn’t mentioned how many sites would appear in Hi-Sec at the same time.  I assume there would be lots more than Incursions / Shipyard sites.

Hi-Sec will be divided up, so one part will get Blood Raider Forward Operating Bases, the other part will get Guristas bases.

They will be a bit more common in systems with a security rating towards 0.5, a bit less common in systems with security ratings towards 1.0.  Regardless, they could turn up just about anywhere in Hi-Sec.  (I assume specific systems are excluded, like the big trade ones.)

You have to scan them down, but there will be clues they are there.  The NPC Mining Operations in that system will instead be the Pirate Faction.  You should also see special ships flying around.

If they are not addressed after a few days, they will head out and shoot players with bad standings towards them (that would be almost everyone), and attack vulnerable structures.  I didn’t hear any specific reference to gate camping, or how many people would be required to deal with these roaming ships.

The actual Forward Operating Bases are designed to be tackled by between 10 and 50.  By comparison, the Shipyards are designed for a minimum of 75 players and scale up as required.  Apparently up to 1500 have tackled one before.

There will be no capital BPC drops – as you would expect, but there will apparently be some new special drops that will occur from time to time.

Most of the reward will be in Concord bounties placed on the actual Forward Operating Base.  The Fleet doing the most damage attacking it will get the bounty, scaled and spread equally across the fleet members.  That would mean if contested, only one fleet will get paid for clearing the site, the rest get nothing.

It doesn’t sound quite as bad as suggested – but again, I need to wait for more concrete information.

While obvious and already apparent – it was made quite clear in the presentation that the goal of these sites is two fold.  First, to get Empire Players together into fleets and hopefully trigger in them a new, co-operative based passion for the game.  Second, to train players in PVP like tactics through the new NPC AI, in the hope they will then go out and fight other players.

This is apparently the only solution CCP can find for retaining players in EVE.  It seems us solo players just don’t hang around long enough..

The Witless

I found a few sources of information covering the first half of EVE Vegas, but then it all seemed to go silent. I’m not sure why.

I noticed a fair amount of gleeful zeal from the Anti Hi-Sec brigade, relating to the proposed new NPC Hi-Sec Occupations. Apparently, Blood Raiders and Guristas Forward Operating Bases will start to pop up in Hi-Sec. They should use the new NPC AI and be some lite and much less rewarding version of the Blood Raider and just announced Guristas Shipyards. To mix things up a bit, if nearby players don’t deal with a site, the NPC’s will start to roam. They will hunt players, attack structures, and camp gates. These roaming groups will require fleets of around 10 players to defeat.

I would expect if it is as dangerous as it sounds, that a small number of people already running incursions will farm these sites and everyone else will just ignore them. If the rewards don’t make sense, then they will be mostly ignored. If that results in people being randomly and without warning ganked by NPC’s when they traverse Hi-Sec systems, then there will be tears, then a proportion of those players will stop playing.

Nothing so far in this admittedly vague outline will result in more people playing EVE for longer. If CCP thinks otherwise, maybe the line of Anti Hi-Sec cohorts energetically self-stimulating their genitals will raise a warning flag. Or maybe not.

Anyway, I’ll have to wait for DEV Blogs to be released with specific details and timeframes. It seems unlikely I’ll by choice be able to interact with such PVE in my Hermit play style.

Of more interest I noticed that EVE Down Under will be an official Fanfest event in 2019. My Subscription currently gets me to February 2019. Should I set myself a goal of attending? Or will the witless have finally pushed me out of the game by then.

*Edit – Lazy blog posting from me.  Looking into it, the Forward Operating Bases will come on October 24th.  They are available to check out on Singularity.  Initial player feedback has been pretty light on, although apparently some have soloed them in a Marauder.  There are too many hours of CCP Twitch videos from EVE Vegas for me to go away and find the original quotes from.  Seems odd such game play hasn’t been announced, maybe the extra danger above was the wishful thinking for future versions of the sites.

Low

Over the years I’ve read many a good idea from bloggers about changes to EVE which would work well for the Solo player. I’ll let myself enjoy a moment of wonder at the possibility, then I’ll try to forget about it. You’ll never likely see them in the game.

I’ve read a few such good ideas over the last couple weeks. I suspect bloggers are getting excited about EVE Vegas and wondering what announcements we will get to hear.

I’m rather ambivalent about what we will learn this weekend. I’ve set my expectations very, very low.

I wasn’t able to log in for about 10 days. When I did I found just 12 hours left of the Warzone Extraction Event. I looked at the ships in my hanger and checked out the Gila fit. It should have sufficed for running the event site. The local system however was very busy, and I wanted to just relax, not be competitive, so I did not end up running any of them.

My basic training of the new moon related skills had completed, as had Gallente Strategic Cruiser V. That rounds out the set of the four Strategic Cruisers all at level V. I found myself working on Electronic Attack Ships V for no apparent reason, so moved Interceptors V into the top training slot instead. At least I fly those on occasion.

I noticed in some older patch notes that the in-game map had been updated. It had been a while since I looked at it properly.

The normal map view takes into account relative distances of systems on the X and Y scale.

 

Alternatively, you can select an abstract view, which somewhat flattens the map and system spacing.

 

This abstract view had been changed. I can’t remember exactly what it looked like before, but it did seem to be more workable than last time I played around with it.

 

Still not anywhere near as good as Dotlan for giving you a clear picture of where you are in a region or your travel path options, but it will work at a pinch if you just want to quickly look at what systems are nearby from within the client.

Playing around for a while I found the map was still a little buggy. I got the occasional white flash or map shake as I zoomed in and out, but it always seemed to settle quickly when I paused moving. I also found oddities such as when you were changing settings you would often lose focus on systems. You would zoom in after making a change and find yourself looking at blank space as the system you were previously focused on had been deselected. In a similar vein, any orientation of the map would reset between closing and opening it.

Anyway – all told, it seemed to have improved a bit.

I also noticed in the August Patch notes this – “Moved all medical clones, which were incorrectly located at Upwell Structures in Wormhole systems, to their school headquarters.” I thought medical clones were allowed in wormhole space now? Not to jump or be podded to, just to swap to while in the same Citadel. I thought that was a good option. Maybe I heard wrong.

*EDIT* – Should have read that closer.  It said Medical Clones.  Those were not meant to be in Wormhole space.

Last random thought from my blogging notes – coming in Lifeblood this month will be Personal and Corporate Mining Ledgers. It should start with historical data CCP have already been collecting for a while. It is not really necessary from a solo point of view, but I wouldn’t begrudge the development time. It could easily enough become source of solo goals in game for miners.

https://forums.eveonline.com/t/lifeblood-personal-mining-ledger/20386

https://forums.eveonline.com/t/lifeblood-corporate-mining-ledger/24249

Warzone Extraction

For those hiding under a rock there is another one of EVE’s time limited PVE events running at the moment – Warzone Extraction. It is meant to tie in with the release of EVE Valkyrie – Warzone, although that requires a stretch of your imagination to envision in any practical sort of way.

https://community.eveonline.com/news/news-channels/eve-online-news/a-new-live-event-the-agency-warzone-extraction/

CCP have combined Opportunities with Open event sites in space again.

There are a few guides around, with warnings the NPC’s use webs, scram’s and heavy cap neuting, so you need to fly a passively tanked hull.

You fight against less dangerous Drifters, which might result in some comical losses for more ignorant players down the track when they mindlessly tackle the more dangerous Drifters floating around Hi-Sec.

This sort of thing is suited to Solo play, with the obligatory competition for the sites.

I haven’t had the opportunity to try the event, and am probably not going to. The “problem” with Opportunities is that you need to play a certain number of hours and days in a set time period to achieve all the goals. Between an upcoming holiday and losing 24+ hours of time a week to study at the moment, I haven’t been able to log into EVE or World of Warships.

Third world problems.

Still – it is content suited to hermits, so I had to acknowledge it.

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.