Category Archives: MMORPG

CCP Clarifies Miscommunication on POS System

CCP Responds to POS Issue

CCP Seagull responds and try’s to clarify CCP’s position on the POS System threadnaught. Took 2355 comment postings to get a clarification. What took them so long.

Will have to wait till late February to get any future plans on the system. I don’t really have high hopes CCP can jump that high a bar and deliver an awesome system that would likely be spread out over several expansions. It would be a huge task to undertake and complete no less.

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Operation Lucky Star Ends

Operation Lucky Star

Well I never said it began, but that it has now ended.

So for the last 7 months or so I was running a Research POS. That was how I finally got all my assets of Blueprints all ME Researched, as well thousands of Blueprints copied for use in T2 Invention. Enough to keep me supplied for any needed Invention for quite a long time.

Currently I have somewhere a bit over 500+ various Blueprint Originals that have all been researched and over 9000+ Blueprint Copies all made from the originals all intended for T2 Invention use. I don’t know If I will ever end up using all those Blueprint Copies for T2 Invention use, but that was and still is the plan for intended use.

About 7 months or so back my best friend Paul whom I’ve known since my first day in my very first Corp had decided to set up a High sec Research POS for his small Corp intending to do Blueprint Research. It never did work out that way, as plans soon changed after the POS was setup.

At the time I was getting Blueprint Research done in two ways. One was I was utilizing a few slots of the Corp in our Corp/Alliance POS to complete some my Blueprints ME Research. Getting Blueprint Copying work done wasn’t really an option since I was doing Remote Research from system station to the POS. To perform Copying jobs mean I needed to submit the job at the POS and that wasn’t really an option as the POS was owned by another Corp in our Alliance. So little by little I did Blueprint ME Research that way, a few blueprints at a time without using up all of the available slots since it was for Alliance use.

The other way I was getting Blueprint Research done was, I simple paid someone else to do it. Meaning I was contracting out my Blueprint Research needs to known contract researcher who did very good reliable work. I was already paying this researcher to do my research needs somewhat regularly for quite a number of months with various sets of blueprints. And I had a reliable and honest contract researcher as I never lost a single blueprint that was contracted for research. And though it costed me money to get them done that way, it was an arrangement that worked for me. I made enough profits via Market Trading that I didn’t consider it that big of a deal. But it was still costing me money.

So when my friend Paul deal to utilize the POS he had set up wasn’t going to work out as planned, I decided that I could have one my trained research alternate make good use of the POS he had for a while. Instead of him taking down the POS I’d use it to do some Blueprint ME Research & Copying. I would now do a mix of both Copying and ME Research at the POS. As I took to doing ME Research at the POS, I no longer relied on getting my Blueprints researched via the Contract Researcher which worked well in arrangement for the time it did. That saved me a bit of extra money.

BPC Container's for InventionAs I got closer to overall completing most of my Blueprint ME Research needs I spent more of the time doing Blueprint Copying overall. From time to time I’d buy a few more blueprints and get them researched at the POS while mostly doing Copying work overall. That greatly increased the amount of Blueprint Copies available for T2 Invention to occupy at last count roughly 11 Small Secure Containers. Containers have a limit of 1000 items.

For the most part, use of the POS was supposed to end  right before the Retribution Patch. And since there were several new ship blueprints for Retribution I figured I’d just extend the POS use using it for another month or so ME Researching the new Teir 2 Destroyer & Venture Blueprints. As well researching a few extra blueprints I had added to my ever growing collection of Blueprints.

Eventually I decided I was pretty much done with what I had needed the POS use for and told my friend Paul. I had thought of well maybe I could keep the POS up and maybe use it to acquire and research some Capital Blueprints. But that idea didn’t sit well with me to do that and I discussed that with my friend Paul. One the main reason it didn’t well with me was, when Paul had setup the POS he had set it up in a non station system. Which mean it was very risky having Blueprints in the POS labs for Research. As well risky blueprints back and forth to the POS for Research. And the idea of having to move much more expensive blueprints to such a POS, setup in such a system wasn’t a good idea to me either for future use.

So with the last blueprint in for longer term ME Research, a Sycthe Blueprint I slowly winded down the research time no longer submitting any more ME Research jobs. I just kept adding Copying jobs which were all shorter term and all well below the cutoff date for the last ME Research to make maximum use of the remaining POS time available.

Eventually the last blueprint to finish research was the Sycthe Blueprint at ME 15. Research activity at this point was at and end. It was a good many months of use doing research getting all my blueprints ME Researched and making more Blueprint Copies than I almost know what to do with. Within 12 hours of the last research activity I had my good friend Paul take down the POS. I removed most of all the Caldari Fuel Blocks, all of which I had mostly made for all those months supplying the POS with fuel. Hauled it back to station hangar. Removed the Strontium fuel as well, just keeping enough for about 3 hours as well about the same for remaining Fuel Blocks. That gave Paul enough time in which to take down the POS.

And in that remaining time my good friend Paul slowly unanchored and dismantled the entire Research POS. With that well over half a year of R&D ended. And so went my first round of managing a POS and keeping it fueled all those months came to an end.

CSM Minutes Reading Highlights, pt. 2

Factional Warfare

Xhagen: So how is Factional Warfare doing?

Hans: It’s great.

Seleene: OK, so next meeting is.

Two step inquired about activity trends in FW. Fozzie replied that after the farming nerf, enrollment was down 10-15% (mostly farmers leaving), but has been creeping up again, except for Caldari which has some demoralization issues. Soundwave noted that overall, things are stable, and Fozzie added that last week was the 3rd most active week in terms of PvP.

A discussion ensued about the payouts changes and their effects. Overall, CCP is happy; the two largest militias have shrunk and the two smaller ones have grown. Plexing volume is about where it was when the original FW changes were made (before they were aggressively farmed). Ytterbium would like to see the LP-generation balance between plexing, Missions and PvP shift more towards PvP but there are concerns about it being exploited, so CCP will be cautious here.

Soundwave mentioned that with FW, CCP wants it to be light-PvP, Sov-lite, and not the hard-core null- sec warfare. And that means that CCP does stuff that isn’t intuitive. For example, one request often received is “why can’t we kick obvious spies?” But if that is done, it becomes like null-sec alliances, where someone [has the power to say who’s allowed to join].

Two step asked about the future of RP and datacores, now that FW may be able to support the market demand. Soundwave indicated he was unsure of how many accounts that would affect.

A short discussion ensued about the possible effects on Industry, and the utility of having alternate sources of supply for key materials. Two step and Alek argued that [instead of the current passive research agent path], an active system involving exploration and a fun hacking mechanic would be an improvement. Soundwave indicated that he would like to remove research agents but there needed to be a way for Industrialists to get datacores through non-conflict gameplay, and they needed to figure out what to do with the skills. All in all, it was “a bit of a can of worms” but one he has wanted to address for years.

Soundwave stated that FW has gone from something they were a little ashamed of into something good (he has characters active in FW), and that he wanted to spend the last 15 minutes of the meeting discussing where the feature should go in the future.

Soundwave stated that he would like to have some way of making FW important to the Empire factions that they are fighting for, and used a sports teams/fans metaphor. Hans stated that he would love it if High-sec taxes were related to how well a faction was doing, but admitted this would be extremely controversial.

Some of the ideas Soundwave is toying with:

* Turning High-sec Faction Navy responsibilities over to the players.

* Providing paths for players to progress from High-sec to Low-sec.

* Methods where faction success lead to High-sec effects.

* Connecting features together instead of making them standalone islands as they often currently are (this is a more global goal).

Soundwave replied that he would prefer to reduce NPC control and increase player control

Fozzie noted that patrolling is not within the capabilities of the current NPC AI, but it might be a possibility for the future.

Soundwave wondered if there might be a way to create a home field advantage that encouraged FW players to live in their home space. Hans replied that system upgrades would be an obvious way to do this, and particular mentioned POS fuel costs.

Soundwave stated that he would like to provide opportunities for action; he gave the example of removing Customs NPCs, but giving FW members the ability to scan for contraband and trigger flags if they were discovered. He would like to see 4 or 5 such activities available to FW players. He later noted that this kind of player enforcement activity didn’t have to be FW-only.

Fozzie painted the picture of a drone that’s a robotic drug-sniffing dog.

Bounty Hunting

Diving into the substance of the meeting, Solomon opened with metrics that the number of active characters with bounties has quadrupled (doubled when including all characters) and there is now 8 trillion ISK in the bounty system one week after deployment, an increase by a factor of 80. CCP is waiting till excitement from the deployment dies down to find the baseline but they are pleased with the response. Soundwave noted that despite the high volume of use, there hasn’t been big “breakage” yet. The general feeling is “so far, so good”.

Elise confirmed bounties were a big hit, and some bounty hunting corps have been formed to see if that play style is viable in low-sec. Elise made the suggestion that bounty payouts restricted by standing would be a nice touch, so people can control who can claim their bounties. Team Super Friends stated that more granularity in who can claim bounties has been in their backlog but they wanted to release small, which Elise agreed made sense. Two step was skeptical of the staying power of the feature once the novelty wears off and related a story of how his own corp put a bounty on him on patch day just for fun.

SoniClover mentioned there are a vocal minority of players who role play as “good guys” that are angry they now get a “wanted” label on them and asked the CSM if this is an issue. Two step said that Wanted should carry a little more meaning than just having a 100k ISK bounty, perhaps requiring a threshold of some kind. He went on to say that a corp or alliance bounty shouldn’t result in Wanted status for a particular pilot in that corp or alliance.

Trebor said that CCP should tell those complaining that “If you can’t roleplay that, you just don’t have much imagination”, since “evil” people have clearly put out a contract on their lives for interfering with their nefarious plans. Punkturis related that some people have asked for a different “wanted” sign depending on their security status, which Trebor elaborated on. Two step pointed out that the current Wanted tag is very prominent in your portrait and that outrage might be lessened if it wasn’t as invasive. Alek typed in that the backlash is likely a holdover from when you could only place a bounty on someone with negative sec status, and that the social meaning behind bounties would catch up to the new feature.

CSM Minutes Reading Highlights, pt.1

When the CSM Minutes were published last week I decided to give it a read… all 118 pages. When I saw how long it was I decided it might be a good idea to make some notes while reading incase I forgot what I had read by the time I finished reading it. So for stuff that caught my eye reading it just cut and pasted it as notes. First half the minutes I read at home making notes and other half of the minutes I ended up reading on my IPhone at work (no easy task that was) but unable to make notes at that point. But this is what that stood out to me in the discussions as I read it for what its worth, in all their own words.

EVE Online The Next Decade and Beyond

Unifex reminded the CSM once again that this group, the lurking single players who are already subscribed, are the majority of characters on Tranquility. Essentially the “social value, or social equity” of a player group increases as you move from left to right (on the whiteboard), even though the size of that player group becomes much smaller in number. In other words, the 10,000 combined instigators and enablers become as equally valuable as the much larger lurking population. Unifex admitted that historically, CCP had not been good at balancing their efforts and servicing all groups.

Kelduum asked why CCP found it challenging to tell whether the one person with 5 characters and 5 accounts in his own corporation was actually just a single person. Seagull explained that right now, the focus was on tracking accounts and characters, but not necessarily humans.

The CSM unanimously replied that if the same sandbox-style game play existed, it would be just as compelling in settings other than the science-fiction universe it happened to end up inside. Unifex explained that he wants to get back to that place of wonder, that sense of the unknown, that existed when wormholes first came out and when no-one knew what was out in deepest null sec.

Unifex: If I had it my way, I’d take Planetary Interaction out of EVE, the game, and put it on that [gesturing at Seleene’s iPad] as a fully-fledged game in the EVE Universe. If I want to land on a planet and pull out a gun and shoot someone, I have to ask, does it make sense for me to do that in EVE Online the game? Or in the EVE Universe but through a different interface point?

UAxDEATH: So it’s all doable?

Unifex: It’s all doable. Take planetary flight, for example. That will be available when Dust launches, because you’ll be able to cruise around in dropships over planets. CCP is growing up to the point where we no longer have to put every single thing in the EVE universe into EVE Online if it doesn’t make sense. Some of these things should really just be different games. We shouldn’t be trying to put all games into EVE Online. We could be trying to put more games into the EVE universe, however.

Null-sec Discussion

Moving the discussion over to an area that was overlooked, Elise raised the question of the importance of industry. Importing goods from Jita and exporting harvested materials to Jita, Elise argued, was a bad design. Greyscale agreed and questioned to what degree making assembly lines better would alleviate some of the null-sec industrial woes. Elise argued that the issue wasn’t necessarily the building in null- sec, but rather the accumulation of resources to build. Alek added that he believed the building process itself was very important and that assembly lines in null-sec were a reason for industry being so lackluster. Two step suggested that perhaps a solution would be to have a more significant cost to building in Empire, whereas the cost would be less in player-built stations. Hans added that CCP should not be afraid to increase the cost of building in highsec.

Greyscale asked the CSM if giving, say, infinite assembly lines at no cost would be sufficient to bolster null-sec industry. Elise did not agree, and Trebor sarcastically replied that it was “a good start”. Greyscale wondered where the remaining problem resided, and UAxDEATH quickly responded that the issue was with acquiring the minerals. Elise agreed and added that while the build slots were an issue, the larger issue was getting the minerals.

Hans added that the null-sec belts did not include a useful distribution of minerals, so importing would always be an issue. Greyscale posed an extreme example of infinite Tritanium in null-sec and asked if people would mine it. UAxDEATH stated that people would mine it, while Alek argued that it would be pointless to mine so long as there was a more valuable resource, like Merc/Mega/Zyd, that could be mined, exported, traded in empire for Tritanium, and hauled back still at a profit. Alek suggested a solution would be to include minerals like Tritanium and Pyrite to the asteroids that yield the higher-end minerals, or even some sort of “super Veld” that yielded a similar ISK/hour to high ends through massive amounts of Trit instead of Zyd/Mega. Getting in the last word, Elise suggested that another useful tweak would be to increase the speed of null-sec production slots, which UAxDEATH agreed was useful.

Alek asked for an example, and Ytterbium gave him the comparison between Assault Frigates and T1 Frigates, with Fozzie adding that the dynamic between those was about perfect.

Seleene brought up the issue of a cost difference, citing an example of the Thorax and Deimos. Since the Deimos is significantly more expensive, Seleene reasoned, shouldn’t it be more powerful? Fozzie agreed to a point and said that the premium you pay for the Deimos should get something like a 20% bonus over T1. Greyscale added that ships are quasi-balanced on cost, but so that a linear increase in power correlates to an exponential increase in cost.

Ship Balancing

Seleene brought the discussion back to T1 and asked what the reason was for the slight delay in T1 BS balancing. Ytterbium added that neither the vision nor the timeframe for Battleships changed, and Fozzie hinted at “a surprise you will be happy with”. After light torture, Fozzie broke down and revealed the surprise was simply a new addition to the balance team.

Seleene then asked why we had to wait for Black Ops, and Fozzie responded that a minor BO change was imminent. The delay was caused by a QA bottleneck, and upon learning this Unifex promised Fozzie that he would do the QA testing himself to push the changes out early. Two step and Trebor both asked for clarification on the BO changes, and Fozzie and Ytterbium explained that it was simple: increase jump range to Titan levels, decrease fuel consumption by 25%, and increase fuel capacity by 25%. Both Ytterbium and Fozzie agreed that these were not the final changes to BO, but stated that a small stopgap change was necessary.

Ytterbium and Fozzie stated that their vision for a future BO revamp (after the initial jump range/fuel change) was that it would include two lines – a combat-oriented BO and a bridging/covert oriented one. Alek stated some reservations about having bridging-only Black Ops, arguing that simply bridging and flying around cloaked was a bit boring — they should want and be able to fight. Two step suggested that maybe a price reduction would be a big help alongside making them more useful.

Trebor noted that his corp uses Black Ops in combat environments. Elise asked if he used Black Ops as “a hilarious gimmick” or because they were a sensible and useful ship. Trebor responded that he would prefer a single-line of Black Ops and accompany it with a combat-boost instead.

Seleene raised the issue of supercap balancing. Ytterbium informed the CSM that supercap rebalancing was not on the immediate horizon and that there was no concrete vision for changes to them. Fozzie added that, while they wouldn’t promise to rebalance supercaps balance in 2013, they wouldn’t exclude it either. Fozzie continued by saying that supercap balance was an issue, but that they believe other balance issues had a higher priority. Alek, Seleene, and Elise disagreed.

Modular Starbase Design Planner & Mockup

I recently came across an EVE Blog… like a few hours just randomly reading a few new ones. And this blog had a very nice piece depicted and written by a player about 6 months ago it was written. But it’s as relevant as anything else today in EVE in the grand discussion of the POS miscommunications by CCP and any possible future reiteration of the POS System as a whole by CCP. As in short its CCP’s communication that any POS revamp will only affect very few players.

So I came this blog piece on Modular Starbase Planner Mockup inked by Evelgrivion on his blog: Thoughts on New Eden.   I couldn’t exactly re-blog it here so I’ll just link to it, as it be a shame to have a blog piece like that remain somewhat hidden away from viewing by a wider audience for some consideration. I was just happy to have found it and think of the possibilities.

If you have any comments to the article piece, please make it on his blog.

Quite often other players write better stuff and i’m more than happy to link to it from here.

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