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”?


And I am back online.

It took 15 days of disruption and outages to move from ADSL2 to FTTC (Fibre to the Curb) Internet. In the end my feedback (complaining) got to the right person at my ISP, who gave the issue to the right technicians, who within a couple hours had fixed something behind the scenes and we had the new Internet access finally working.

It was a frustrating experience – primarily due to an offshore helpdesk. They were quick to answer the phone, relatively easy to understand, and well scripted – but completely hopeless once you strayed from that script.

Anyway, to celebrate I purchased the three basic Precursor ship skillbooks for Frigate, Cruiser and Battleship, and the three basic Precursor skillbooks for small, medium and large weapons.  338M ISK later..

I then ran into an unexpected nuisance. I had filled my Training queue with more than 600 days of training. Soon into adding these new skills I was told I had hit the maximum number of entries in the Training Queue – 50. I had to go delete lots of my long-term training picks to fit in the 24 entries related to getting these new skills all to rank IV.

Hunting Partner

My father has given up on Duck Hunting and has not been out the last couple seasons. While his hunting retirement relates to health issues, it occurred without an announcement. I had to piece things together from his rude disinterest and disparaging comments when I discussed going hunting with him.

It has had an impact on our relationship. My father is a selfish cantankerous man with anxiety issues and a penchant for insular views that he rudely pushes. He has greatly influenced the person I am today – through a long list of actions and behaviours of his that I’ve sworn never to mimic. Hunting was the way we stayed connected. I put up with him more than I might naturally be inclined, and he wasn’t quite as abrasive around me. Without hunting I am sure I would have had an estranged relationship with him from my teenage years.

I have been hurt by the change in him – but as I think I might have already mentioned – someone did offer the explanation that he might be grieving over the loss of his hunting. Others suggest his increase hostility and more erratic behaviour might be the beginnings of dementia.

Now, after 35 odd years of almost always hunting with my father, I am having to hunt on my own.

Hunting on your own is a lot harder. Two people can scout more locations, keep each other motivated, keep each other alert on the long drives, share resources, work together in the field, discuss the decisions that must be made, and see the highs and lows and be part of each other’s stories. Two people is also a lot safer.

Hunting solo you need to be better prepared, more aware of your limitations, keep yourself motivated, and understand those special moments – a brilliant Sunrise, and beautiful double taken over decoys, won’t ever be truly shared.

Yes, there is an obvious EVE analogy in there. I’m clearing out some recent half-finished posts from my blog notes that I figure I won’t ever finish, but there seemed enough of this one to post anyway.

Turning ugly

This WordPress site was created back in January 2011. In August 2012 I spent $60 to remove ads and allow some custom changes to the theme for 12 months. I spent the same in 2013 and 2014. In 2015 the cost went up to $78 a year to achieve the same thing. I paid that, then again in 2016 and 2017. This year WordPress has moved to site plans. To remove ads and keep the same customisation choices will now cost $120.

I can’t justify spending that much for my own vanity – just to have things looking a little neater.

I’ll see what I can do – but if you are one of the few regular visitors here, I apologise that things are likely to shortly turn ugly.

My internet access woes continue. It has been two weeks today. I received a FTTC Network Connection Device for the house. It is meant to connect over my old Copper phone line to and power a FTTdp device in the phone pit down the street. The connection behind the FTTdp is Fibre. Unfortunately, the NCD hasn’t been able to establish an initial connection. Someone is scheduled to come and look at the issue today. Meanwhile we still have no phone, and unreliable and very slow Internet.

I did risk undocking the other day and managed to get to Jita. Hazard a guess as to what I was doing? Yes, that’s right – picking up a few ship skins.

When the choice is taken out of your hands

9 years ago, the Australian government embarked on a national program to upgrade our Internet infrastructure. This was done in part as an economic stimulus in response to the GFC, and to position Australia better in the future online world.

The goal was to replace an ageing copper network with (initially but upgradable) 100MBps Fibre connections to the majority of homes, with 25MBps wireless and satellite services covering the more country and remote areas.

Unfortunately, imbecilic politics and politicians got in the way, and a change of government announced the performance specifications were excessive and too expensive. The new government, lead by a technophobe and spite, embarked on finding ways to do the implementation on the cheap.

The result was a continually delayed project, decisions made on price over function, and the use of a mishmash of technologies that all seems to have ended up costing just as much money but with a poorer outcome. It also risks unexpected competition and obsoleteness from emerging technologies like 5G.

After all this time roughly 7 million of 12 million premises in the country can connect to this “new” network. Some suburbs are broadband winners, some are losers – depending on what sort of technology was rolled out to them.

Our suburb was earmarked to have Fibre to the Node installed. This is where new Fibre was run to little roadside node exchanges dotted around the suburb, and you connected to those over the existing copper phone lines. Your theoretical speed dropped dramatically the further away you were from the node – and plausibly you could end up having a slower connection than the existing ADSL2 most use.

That is what the suburb next to us got – but thankfully because the whole rollout was taking so long, we have ended up getting a newer and better option of Fibre to the Curb. This is where Fibre is run to the phone pits in our street, and only the final 10 to 100 meters uses the existing Copper lines. In theory we are much more likely to reach the 100MBps speeds currently on offer.

Having a pre-order in for the connection I was kept informed on the status of the work. This was meant to be ready in November, sorry December, sorry February, sorry May, sorry June, sorry a date at the start of June, sorry a date at the end of June, sorry some unknown time from July.

Having watched the physical infrastructure going in over the last 7 months from my study window, I knew the switch should be somewhat soon. Unexpectedly however last Wednesday night I received some more automated messages about my pre-order, indicating it has been installed 40 minutes earlier, and that my phone number was being ported soon. This was a bit of a surprise as I had been given none of the hardware required to make the connection.

Predictably since then my Internet connection has been dropping out as often as every 5 minutes, is fluctuating at around 15% of its normal speed, and my phone line is buzzing and losing dial tone with a massive amount of interference.

I called my ISP the following morning, and they worked out the unexpected porting of my phone number had removed all codes for my ADSL2 connection from the exchange. They had no idea why I had any sort of internet connection and advised not to turn my modem off as I’d not reconnect after. They have now couriered the new hardware out that I require, but seemingly on a premium but very slow-moving camel.

When it arrives, I am to plug it in and see if my new broadband connection works. I am not feeling particularly confident as while I have an email saying the connection was installed, my ISP shows it having a status of still being provisioned. I’m also not sure how – if the line had been switched over to a Fibre port, how am still getting internet or phone (be it bad).

Unfortunately, I must wait and see. My ISP can’t log any support calls for my existing Internet as technically my ADSL2 connection no longer exists. They would have to ask for a new ADSL2 connection – but that option is blocked at the exchange as all new connections must be through the new broadband infrastructure. They can’t log a support call against the new connection either – as it doesn’t have a status of active yet. Welcome to limbo.

I am mostly bemused and resigned to our current fate. I’ve heard so many horror stories that our example so far is mild.

Now EVE. While I have not been especially active in EVE, I am logging in a couple of times a week to undock and do stuff. For the moment however that choice has been taken out of my hands.

Recently I did run over to Jita to pick up a few Abyssal Space Filaments for use later, and to check out the prices on the related skill books and new ships. Still a massive premium, particularly on the skill books, so I did not look to buy any.

I had planned to try the latest event called Federation Grand Prix. In this event you fly various routes to iconic sites, systems and wrecks in known space. You gain points in the Agency for each course you complete that can add up to various rewards.

My immediate thought was CCP will be leading unsuspecting players into Low and Null Sec systems where it would be a blood bath. Sure enough, soon after the event started I read on various sites of smart bombing battleships wiping out participants heading to the obvious sites. The event doesn’t seem to be about exploring and getting to know space better, or pitting player against player (as smart bombing interceptors and shuttles isn’t really a two-way thing) but is about losing ships and getting used to it.

CCP is still working on the idea that if people lose ships (even if tricked into it unexpectedly) they will suddenly become PVP fanatics and want to stay with the game for longer. I assume a small number of people do just that.

I was going to try a few runs anyway in a throw away clone and ship at a quieter time, hence I logged in last Wednesday night with a couple hours to spare, only to find me being disconnected every few minutes.

What can you do.

Unexpected Reward

Unexpectedly (from my point of view), Collector’s Edition Mystery Code holders have been gifted four Concord skins and a couple combat suits.   Details here:

They will only remain available for 90 days, so if you are a Code holder but not currently active, you might want to log in and grab them.  I presume they will be accessible from an Alpha state account.


A few weeks ago, I went duck hunting. It was a 12-hour effort to pack, drive, hunt, drive and unpack. I went mid-week – which is not ideal if you want other hunters to be around to push up a few birds. I went out at the wrong time of day – starting around lunch when birds are not likely to be moving and coming back in before sunset, where there is a window of opportunity of catching birds moving to roost. I went out in the wrong weather – a clear windless day, which reduces the chances of birds moving. Last of all I just walked the relatively open swamp I was hunting – out in the open with minimal chance of success. I had everything stacked against me – and was rewarded with an empty bag.

As I wearily got back to my car the Warden of the private hunting property I was on drove by and tactfully pointed out I was doing it all wrong. I agreed – but said I had a very small window of opportunity to get out of the city, and a bad hunt was better than no hunt at all. He remarked that I might have had more luck if I hadn’t come in so early. I agreed – but said I had to be home to take one of my children to an activity. I then said what I was really doing was scouting for a future hunt, watching the flight paths the birds took, working out where I would setup. I recounted what I had observed, and he was able to confirm what I had thought and gave additional information about where other hunters often went, adjacent wetlands that birds travelled between, and the different behaviour of some of the common species on the swamp.

A couple days ago, I went duck hunting. It was a 12-hour effort to pack, drive, hunt, drive and unpack. I had planned to go earlier but the weather was too calm, so I delayed the trip. This delay also increased the chance other hunters would be about. I was on the road at 3:30am to ensure I arrived and was setup well before sunset. Instead of finding some random spot, I waded straight to the location I wanted to hunt in the dark, under the intersection of two flight paths I had earlier observed. I put out a small set of decoys. At this point in the season birds were weary of landing in anything but larger decoy spreads, so this small grouping was more about confidence and explaining my calls. As the sun rose the wind picked up noticeably and other hunters started to shoot. In very tricky conditions I had an enjoyable and successful hunt and came home with a good feed.

When you hunt solo like I have been the last couple of years you can sometimes stumble into a very successful hunt by chance, but mostly, it requires a lot of preparation and effort to have some semblance of success.

This playing EVE analogy was brought to you by the wild duck stew I will be eating tonight.