Missteps at a snails pace

I remarked back in February how my Alt account kept training an Omega skill after it had switched to an Alpha state.  The support ticket I had opened was simply closed without explanation.

https://evehermit.wordpress.com/2017/02/14/closed/

CCP has finally gotten around to doing something about the apparently well known issue – but messed up the process.

https://community.eveonline.com/news/news-channels/eve-online-news/skill-queue-issues-2017-06-09/

They have a special talent when it comes to missteps.

Speaking of missteps, sorry, balance changes, sorry sledge hammer adjustments.

https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=6968205

I’d expect balance tweaks to be in the 10% or less range.  20 to 30% nerfs (and I assume even more when it comes to the Rorqual) show the initial implementation got it wrong.  That ends up annoying the people who raised early warnings, annoys the people making use of the initial rule changes who are now getting seriously nerfed, and it annoys people on the outside looking in at the excessive ISK their contemporaries had been enjoying for a while.  Obviously something had to be done – but the whole process has been cringe-worthy.

I’m not suggesting CCP gets it wrong all the time.  They have made a large number of small ship balance and role changes in recent years that they have got right, with only small tweaks required here and there.  I get the impression that when they get it wrong, sometimes it is because they let their own enthusiasm get the better of them.  If they hear themselves thinking “this change will be cool”, then they probably need to stop and reevaluate.

I passed an online social media bio of an EVE player the other day which stood out for the wrong reasons.  In it, they stated their goal and joy came from griefing high sec players and making them quit the game for good.  They seemed genuinely proud of themselves – ridding the game of undesirables.  If without the excuse of a mental illness, that person seems like a right old turd.  God there are a lot of them out there.

WoWS – Numbers

In a recent World of Warships battle I found myself on the wrong side of the numbers game. My spawn location dictated what capture point I moved towards in my battleship, and I was joined by only three others, a Destroyer, a Cruiser and another Battleship. The remaining eight ships in our fleet went to another capture point. As our enemy showed themselves it became apparent our squad of four would be up against eight, and our squad of eight would be up against four. This sort of split is common, as is my ability to be on the wrong side of the numbers. I resigned myself to an unpleasant early demise.

I didn’t pay much thought to the rest of the fleet, instead concentrating on my closest allies as we began a fairly hectic battle. Our enemy kept passing behind large islands which afforded us cover from their shells and meant our return fire tended to be more focused on those fewer ships in the open. When I took a breath and looked up from my gun sights, our squad had captured the point with the loss of the Destroyer and Cruiser, sunk six of the enemy, and forced the remaining two into retreat.

I had a momentary thought that the battle was in the bag when I stopped to wonder at the status bar across the top of the screen. Our second squad of eight was down to one, having only sunk one ship in return. Our three remaining ships – two badly damaged, were spread out. The enemies five ships were all together, steaming through the capture points, and focusing fire.

I still had my unpleasant demise, it just took longer than expected.

If not on the wrong side of the numbers, I keep finding my Tier VI and VII Cruisers are ending up bottom tier in most of their battles, up against Tier VIII and IX. In one battle my poor La Galissonniere landed 50 main shell hits with her 152mm guns, and did a grand total of just over 500 points damage. Yes – I changed targets, where I was aiming, and shell type, but everything shattered or bounced against the primarily Tier IX opponents. The ship was put out of its misery by just two shell strikes, taking off 90% of its hit points.

In another battle I was impressed to see half our fleet were in the same division and obviously knew each other. They then proceeded to yolo troll the chat channel, shoot each other down to 1/2 health, then suicided themselves into the enemy.

I am still intrigued by the game, but the reoccurring theme over and over is just how random the battles seem to work out. I am just as likely to come out of a battle with a win when I am ineffective and sunk within minutes, as I am to lose a battle when I play a (rare) faultless game and do everything right.  I assume it plays a little nicer if you are top tier.

1K EHP

For the first time in two months I undocked my EVEHermit Alt. That was the toon I created using the bonus dual training time CCP gave out in a subscription promotion. (The low SP, no ISK alt I had ran the new tutorial and career agent missions on, then moved to an 0.5 High Sec system ready to do something – only to find there wasn’t anything I wanted to do.)

Anyway, the other evening, I was feeling unusually meh about my normal entertainment options, so I grabbed that Alt and thought I would do a little mining.

Soon after I started munching on some rocks two NPC rats turned up, worth a measly 8K and 9K ISK respectively. What followed was a near death battle that came close to overwhelming EVEHermit’s Venture. Ahh, that’s right – low SP.

I had a look at my Venture in PYFA.

[Venture, Initial]

Mining Laser Upgrade I

1MN Civilian Afterburner
Civilian Shield Booster
Civilian EM Ward Field

Miner I
Miner I
Salvager I

[Empty Rig slot]
[Empty Rig slot]
[Empty Rig slot]

Hobgoblin I x2

It was configured with whatever I had found during my initial missioning. This gave me:

1K EHP
5 HP/s tank
18 dps (Drones)
4 m3/s mining yield

It also took a lot of time to fill its 5,000m3 Ore Hull.

 

I looked around at my options, realising I had few. (My wallet only had 700K ISK in it, the regional market was poor and I wasn’t near any of the normal trading hubs.)  I mined a couple more loads of ore, refined it to minerals, and along with some collected loot went to Dodixie. The total income from selling these off was 1.3M ISK.  My new Bank balance allowed me to purchased a T1 upgrade to my tank and a couple Miner Laser II’s. The next problem was I then realised I could not fit the new lasers, so I had to wait more than half a day until the skills trained.

The new look Venture:

[Venture, First Upgrade]

Mining Laser Upgrade I

1MN Civilian Afterburner
Small Shield Booster I
Limited ‘Anointed’ EM Ward Field

Miner II
Miner II
Salvager I

[Empty Rig slot]
[Empty Rig slot]
[Empty Rig slot]

Hobgoblin I x2

This upped the stats too:

1K EHP
21 HP/s tank
18 dps (Drones)
6 m3/s mining yield

The first time I look her out I ran into 3 NPC rats, worth 10,10 and 11K ISK. It was another very close battle, but I managed to kill all of them without needing to warp out. The capacitor is empty warning however got a real working over, along with the alarm bells for very low shields.

All up it provided an hour’s worth of entertainment, and some reminiscing about the old days, when everything in EVE seemed difficult and an effort.

How strategic?

Last week there was an initial DEV Blog about the changes coming to Strategic Cruisers, tentatively scheduled for July 11th. (I’m assuming it will be later – unless they have already made most of the structural code changes and only need to play test and tweak parameters.)

https://community.eveonline.com/news/dev-blogs/strategic-cruisers-and-you/

I’ve used Strategic Cruisers for Exploration, PVE, and Wormhole visits – in more Recon / nullification and Assault Cruiser sets ups. Some of the stated goals of these changes is to stop Strategic Cruisers overlapping with Recon and Assault Cruisers, and to nerf nullification (along with other areas). It doesn’t bode well for how I use them.

The party trick they pick up is that you should be able to swap in and out rigs without destroying them.

They will also be simpler, with 4 subsystem slots (instead of 5), with 3 choices in each (instead of 4). That will reduce subsystem choice from 20 to 12.

I assume overall, they will be less effective than they are now, but that you will be able to properly refit them. The scenario that comes to mind is I could do Exploration through Null, find a PVE site I want to run, drop a mobile depot and swap rigs and subsystems and turn it into a proper PVE cruiser, or a PVP cruiser, or whatever.

Tricky to know if that will make up for the current value / use I have for them.

Episode 23 of the EVE o7 show was shown the other day, and is now available on YouTube.

I watched it, but – like a broken record, did not find anything particularly interesting. There was a EVE Scout Rescue Ad half way through that I found cooler than I probably should have.

Watcher

Last weekend my wife and I dropped the kids off at their grandparents and went away for our 21st wedding anniversary. We try to do this each year. The accommodation we choose tends to have similar ingredients – a cottage somewhere in the countryside, views, a comfy area to sit, a fire place and a big spa.

I had planned to play some EVE each morning while my wife slept in – but the cottage was 10 metres too far down the valley to receive mobile coverage, so I read a book by James Dashner instead.

In the past, this might have bothered me. I might have hung my wireless broadband device from a nearby tree and set my laptop up by a window. Today, the situation barely warranted a shrug.

I wasn’t sure I’d ever truly reach the point, but today I could comfortably and without regret walk away from EVE.  Happy with what I got out of it, happy to move on.

I am not going to – as simply I don’t need too.  My Main account is subscribed for the rest of the year.  In the meanwhile I quietly keep an eye out for any announced game changes which might re-enthuse me, and try to log in every other week to ensure the client is kept up to date.  I can’t really call myself an EVE player at the moment.  More an EVE watcher.

I did unlock the other day to check out the new look Suns. Very swish. I like them a lot.

In the meanwhile – fly safe all.

Happy 14th Birthday EVE

It is that time of year again – where EVE gets one year older and CCP hand out some free stuff via the redeeming system.  (On both Alpha and Omega Accounts – you have about two and a half weeks to grab them before they are removed.)

https://community.eveonline.com/news/news-channels/eve-online-news/new-eden-turns-14-happy-anniversary/

Not one of their more creative or unique offerings, but the price is right.

What does 210 mean?

My Main EVE toon has passed 210M SP. In the New Eden of skill injectors, I’m not sure what meaning that number has. I certainly don’t pay it the sort of attention I have in the past.

At the moment Elmis is training skills I don’t really need but which were previously only on his Main Alt. He grabbed Shield Command Specialist V, is half way through Mining Director V, and is lined up to do Armored Command Specialist V after that. Since you no longer need to be a in fleet to use command bursts, I might find some interesting T3 or Command ship PVE fits to try.

Looking at my training history I have also picked up Neurotoxin Control V and Neurotoxin Recovery V.

At the moment Elmis has 3 rank III skills, 184 rank IV skills and 222 rank V skills.

I’m not entirely sure what I thought of the PvE presentation from Fanfest.

There are aspects I find interesting, cool even. There do seem to be some large risks associated with a final move to this sort of idea though. They are pushing for PvE to be like PVP – which won’t suit all players. I would assume they would need to balance bounty payouts – as it would likely take longer to kill NPCs. I would also assume coordinated NPC rats will mean some content you can solo now won’t be available to solo players afterwards. They also have to get their logic trees and programming right. I wonder if CCP have contemplated hiring bot writers to help them out.