No more walking for you

Captain’s quarters will be removed from the EVE game client in the August release.

https://community.eveonline.com/news/dev-blogs/preparing-for-the-future-retirement-of-captains-quarters-twitch-integration/

You will still be able to see the carefully chosen apparel you wear. You (or anyone else) can just do a “Show Info” on your character, click on the Profile Picture, then click on View Full Body.

There you can spin the image of your character, just like you can spin your ship in a hanger. Not quite as quickly, but doable. CCP could even add a counter for how many rotations you do – just like they did in the hanger view.

(Speaking of that ship spin count – is that still in the game client? I just looked then and couldn’t see it.)

I’m not overly fussed by the removal. CCP completely messed up the implementation of walking in stations, and then made things worse by running away from the feature without making any attempt to salvage it. There were plausible ways they could have added value.  Nothing to be done about it now.

I wonder how much space will be freed up in the client install? Will the code removal make the client start up any quicker? These are probably statistics CCP could have bantered around to make the change more exciting.

I was first alerted to the change by the ever-busy blogger Wilhelm Arcturus – the announcement didn’t seem to reach CCP’s social media profiles I watch. It looks like he will be keeping a list of links to some of the community feedback, like an impromptu blog banter.

https://tagn.wordpress.com/2017/07/12/captains-quarters-soon-to-be-gone/

Late to the new T3 Party

Reading the July Patch notes finally got me off my backside and into doing a little preparation. This involved buying up one of every T3 subsystem and Hull so I can spend some time playing around with new fitting options when they go live. I know some of the subsystems will disappear / be reimbursed, but I couldn’t be bothered working all that out.

Doing this so late meant I tended to pay 10%+ more than if I had been more organised earlier. A handful of the subsystems were not available in Jita or were at double or more of the usual price. I had to fly across several regions to pick some of them up.

Of particular note, the Imperium News site suggested

“The only way to get the new support offensive subsystems, and covert defensive subsystems will be to have their precursors (The defensive ‘warfare processor’ and offensive ‘covert’ subsystems, respectively) fitted to hulls when the patch hits… or you will have to wait for them to be built and hit the market”

https://imperium.news/development-updates-patch-notes/

That is something to keep in mind. I dummy fit my four new T3 new hulls with those particular subsystems.

I’m not sure if there will be more of these gotchas or not. I am intrigued by some of the initial commentary I’ve read about the new T3 approach, particularly making the Covert subsystem a defensive instead of offensive one. I expect to get a quite a few hours out of looking at the fitting options.

While jumping around space I made some changes to my overview settings. I’ve created a new travel type view that excludes Citadels. My goodness do they fill some systems up.

I note that CCP has announced that they will be soon focusing on the defence / offence balancing of Citadels. I expect from the all the complaining that the goal will be to make them easier and quicker to kill. Even more reason for me not to use them.

Hindsight heh

There has been a theme running with my posts over the last 10 odd days.

Gaffe’s from CCP, thoughts on the resulting dysfunctional reactions and interactions from both CCP and the players, and the journey towards appeasement and resolution.

Today yet another DEV blog from CCP:

https://community.eveonline.com/news/news-channels/eve-online-news/concord-hulls-the-future/

They explain their mistakes and lessons learnt around their CONCORD Hull gifting, what they will do moving forward, and their plans with how and roughly when these hulls will be accessible in other ways.

It all seems reasonable to me, but I’m not invested in any of the rage so can’t say how this will placate those carrying pitchforks.

Mostly I find myself coming away from many of these CCP / Player clashes with a sense of awkwardness. CCP’s mistakes can be a bit silly, and obvious with hindsight, but the player’s reactions can just as often  seem too excessive. You end up feeling both sides have got it wrong.

Maybe closer to the truth

I’ve sprained the posterior cruciate ligament in my knee. The damage was done while digging out Rose and Black Berry bushes on a steeply sloped garden last Friday. It is only mild, but warranted a visit to the doctor this morning.

While in the waiting room I read the news on my phone. At one point the harsh chorus of noise in the place got too distracting so I looked up. The ladies at the reception were talking, there was a TV on, a young child was watching an episode of Fireman Sam on an iPad at full volume, a bloke in his 20’s was watching what sounded like some comedy segment on his phone at noticeable volume, a grandfather was watching or listening to some Italian show on his phone, and the lady next to me was watching some Arabic video on her phone, tutting at the difficulty of hearing it, and repeatedly turning up the volume.

It was a perfect snapshot of the state of courtesy in our world.

I’m sure it wasn’t as bad as this 10 years ago. Maybe our youth with save us?

My kids attend Karate lessons once a week after school. The Instructors provide plenty of balls for them to play with between when school finishes and the class begins at 4pm. A bunch of kids have taken to kicking the balls against the walls immediately above where the parents sit. Invariably a miskicked ball will clock a parent or two in the face or knock a phone out of a hand each week. At best the child might give the parent an inane smile, but more often they just stare blankly then walk off. Two minutes later they are back doing it again.

The other night my wife and I heard strange rolling noises on our roof. I went outside and found two neighbouring kids under 12, standing in front of our house with a tennis racket. There were stones laying on the ground around the front of the house. When I asked them if they were hitting stones on to our roof I got blank stares and “no we didn’t” replies. I suggested stones seemed to be flying around by themselves, so they had better go home before they got hurt.

Every week I come across a dozen little moments like this. I’m starting to think EVE might not be quite the dystopian environment I thought it was. It might be a little too accurately representing the direction society is heading.

Rogue Swarm Nests

Living close to Jita can be a pain with regards to how busy the systems are and the higher population of griefers. It makes doing anything in space less relaxing, and as such I tend to spend less time undocked.

Earlier today while returning from Jita I noticed a couple of the Rogue Swarm Nests in my local system. These are the most recent date limited PVE event sites, this time based around Drones. Given it was after midnight in game and things were quiet, I decided to run them in my Legion (set up for Event Sites). I managed to do so without being interrupted.

https://community.eveonline.com/news/news-channels/eve-online-news/rogue-swarm-alert-get-involved/

The sites are slightly different in the sense the NPC’s warp in, they drop a slightly wider range of loot, and if you wait a minute after killing the Swarm Overmind, you will get another spawn. Apparently, this additional spawn can be a Battleship, but I have not seen one. Instead I’ve always got around 8 small drones, although once got around 16, and in the last site I ran there were around 24.

The site looks nice, and they are simple to run. Warp in, kill 3 mixed spawns of Frigates, Destroyer and Cruiser sized drones, then kill an Swarm Overmind. Even the NPC warp ins seem to be placed so that you don’t have to worry about getting hung up on structures.

I had noticed CCP was keen to advertise these sites could be run by anyone – and they have done this by giving the NPC rats pretty anaemic damage. I have been comfortably passive shield tanking them in an Armor tanked Zealot, with what Pyfa suggests is around 2.5K Shields and a 7 EHP/s regen.

After the first two sites, I decided I’d fit up a Zealot, and slowly head off randomly towards quieter regions running them as I go. This is the fitting I am using:

[Zealot, Event]

Damage Control II
Heat Sink II
Heat Sink II
Heat Sink II
Tracking Enhancer II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Medium Armor Repairer II

50MN Microwarpdrive II
Sensor Booster II, Scan Resolution Script
Dread Guristas Stasis Webifier

Focused Medium Pulse Laser II, Scorch M
Focused Medium Pulse Laser II, Scorch M
Focused Medium Pulse Laser II, Scorch M
Focused Medium Pulse Laser II, Scorch M
Focused Medium Pulse Laser II, Scorch M

Medium Energy Metastasis Adjuster II
Medium Energy Metastasis Adjuster II

To make the sites as relaxed as possible, you want to be quick. Quick to warp around, quick to lock up the rats, quick to kill them, and be quick enough to rush loot drops when contested. It also helps not having to carry much ammo, be able to mindlessly tank the sites, and have enough cargo space for plenty of loot. In the dozen sites I’ve run so far, the Zealot has hit the mark well.

I am just using Scorch, which does 372 DPS out to 31+6km which covers the rat range profiles until the loot drops. I can switch in Multifrequency Crystals for 466 DPS to 11+6km, but it is not required.

Anyway – not sure how many sites I will end up running, but at only a few minutes each they should keep me amused for a little while.

Oh

The plot thickens.

There have been some follow ups to the Ghost Training Exploit by CCP on Reddit. I don’t tend to read Reddit – too toxic for my liking, but EVE News24 mentioned the comments in this article:

http://evenews24.com/2017/06/16/ghost-training-discussion/

The direct link to the thread is here:

http://www.reddit.com/r/Eve/comments/6hf3ca/eve_news_exploit_notification_ghost_training_ccp/

(Sorry, this link won’t open a new window, or might need to be cut and pasted.  If I leave it as a normal valid link WordPress automatically creates a large thumbnail to the Reddit article. Not sure how to stop it. It does the same with YouTube links.)

So – back to the original notification here:

https://community.eveonline.com/news/news-channels/eve-online-news/exploit-notification-ghost-training/

I had the assumption that since CCP was specific about the date and time Ghost Training was being declared an exploit, that any use of it before was not being looked at. That is why I was confused about why they would just look at it for a week.

I was wrong. To paraphrase some of the Reddit comments of GM_Lelouch:

“To clarify: We are going after past abusers.”

“..our objective is to go after those who intentionally abused this exploit.”

“You have nothing to worry about if you just happened to benefit from this exploit on accident … There is a pretty clear distinction between this and a skillpoint farm that’s been set up to benefit from this issue.”

“I want to take the opportunity to urge anyone who intentionally abused this issue to come forward by submitting a support ticket.”

And some more paraphrasing of comments by CCP_Falcon

“We now have solid methods for identifying and dealing with the people who’ve been actively abusing this, while protecting those who simply stumbled upon it by accident. I have full faith that our CS and Security teams will take care of this appropriately.”

“I’ve just been speaking with our customer support team, and they’ve confirmed that as part of the reprimands issued against those who’ve been abusing Ghost Training, the CONCORD ships that were issued, or the ISK that abusers of Ghost Training have received from the sales of them, will be confiscated as part of any reprimands that are issued.”

I’m not sure about the accuracy, but some of the comments in various locations on this topic suggest some EVE players have been abusing the exploit using 50 – 150+ accounts.  It is a unique game, with a unique collection of players.

Still doesn’t explain why it was left for so long, but judgement day finally appears to be near.

Huh?

For more than six months CCP has been aware of, and has left unaddressed, a mechanism in the game where you could train Omega (paid) skills on an Alpha (free) account.  I did it myself by accident back in February, logged a support ticket when I noticed, and had it summarily closed.  It has been called Ghost Training.  I ensured I didn’t use the mechanism again, but needless to say some people went out of their way to exploit the situation.

A week ago many people found their skill queues had stopped.  It turned out to be caused by a script CCP had run in relation to this Ghost Training.  I called it an awkward misstep, but in hindsight maybe it was indicative of the problem being hard to solve, hence why it had been left around for so long.

Then today I read this little article:

https://community.eveonline.com/news/news-channels/eve-online-news/exploit-notification-ghost-training/

Ghost training is now considered an exploit, which should be fixed / stopped next week.  If you knowingly use it between now and then, you will be accordingly punished as per the EULA.

I’m not sure why CCP has opened themselves to the obviously dangerous premise of deciding if a player is “knowingly” or “unknowingly” using it.  It is an exploit that can easily be used unintentionally.  After taking so long to address it, why hasn’t CCP just said nothing until it was fixed next week?  They must have known there were risks with this approach being contentious, because they specifically mention involving the CSM in the decision.  I wonder at the cost / benefit analysis which was done on this one.