Lack of urgency

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been playing quite a bit of Marvel Puzzle Quest lately. And yesterday I even updated Guild Wars 2 due to the new Living World story of Lion’s Arch getting destroyed. Didn’t actually get around to logging in, since I went to play basketball until 11 pm which was a bit later than I had planned.

It struck me then that a very large reason of why I haven’t really been doing anything in EVE lately is because there is very rarely anything urgent going on in EVE. EVE is a sandbox where there is a ton of stuff you could do. The problem is that you can always do it. There’s no reason to do something RIGHT NOW compared to, well, maybe I could do it next week. Or the week after. Or next month.

Marvel Puzzle Quest has timed tournaments, so if I don’t do them I miss out of some easy rewards. Sometimes it can feel like a little bit of a grind, where even if I don’t particularly want to play MPQ versus, say, Assassin’s Creed IV, I still feel obligated to put in the time because I don’t want to kick myself later for not spending a couple of hours.

Guild Wars 2 on the other hand has it’s Living Story updates (which have been getting a fair amount of criticism lately). For the past few months, every 2 weeks there has been a minor content release with new events that gradually tell the story of some crazy person with some grand plan (since revealed to be the attack on the main hub of Lion’s Arch). I can’t even imagine the developer resources that go into this, quite amazing that ArenaNet managed to pull this off so well. Personally I was a bit meh with some of the chapters, but I did also have quite a bit of fun doing the meta achievements and getting the corresponding rewards for quite a few of them. This latest (maybe final?) chapter has gotten me a little bit excited about logging on and seeing what’s up. The previous chapter wasn’t so great as there was a big boss event that depended heavily on the ability of groups of 5 random people to be defeat a sub-boss multiple times. Yeah, no thanks, since the average random person has the intelligence of a rock while still being too stubborn to actually go and read up on what’s going on or even read chat when instructions are given.

But anyway, the point is that EVE in comparison is always there. There’s nothing to really motivate me to log in on any particular day. My skill points chug along all the time. My main income is (mostly) passive with just some orders to be updated once a day. I suspect that for a lot of older players ISK very quickly becomes just a way of keeping score rather than anything of import. I mean, I’ve really dropped down my market activity in January and as of right now I’ve made 2.3 billion ISK (pre-PLEX, so take off 1.2 billion and I still have a 1.1 billion profit 2/3 of the way through the month). If I want to mission, do incursions, industry, wormhole, explore etc… those can always be done at any time.

EVE has pretty regular expansions, but most of them don’t really change anything about the universe. Maybe you fly a different ship because your old one was nerfed, or you mission somewhere else because SISTERS OF EVE LP OMG. But for the most part the universe just ticks along quietly, same old same old. Does it really matter which alliance controls what space in null? It doesn’t to me, and I’m pretty sure it doesn’t matter to a large proportion of pilots even in the alliances in question. It just churns around and around.

So, what would I like to see? I guess one of the biggest things I’d like to see is more events. Even failed ones like the pre-Rubicon Ghost Site Massacre are better than none. I have very pleasant recollections of the Sansha attacks that heralded the introduction of incursions. I don’t think I actually even went to one of those attacks, but I still remember the event. I don’t know how much developer resources it takes to plan one of these, but honestly I would prefer multiple, smaller scale stuff rather than something earth-shattering that would probably just garner 10 complaint threads on the forums from whiners. And I’d go for these events even if there weren’t really any rewards, maybe just some bounties on destroyed ships or something, I’m not talking about event ships dropping PLEX or anything like that. One idea that popped out of my head would be something like a Caldari-Gallente skirmish, where you could join in fighting over a border system. Depending on what happens, maybe the system sovereignty changes to the opposite faction. Yeah, sounds like Faction Warfare, but that again is just a churn of people farming LP and it’s just a designated FW system. It would be much more meaningful if a “real” high-sec system actually changed hands. Probably a bad idea but just something in that vein would give players something to log in for.

I was also thinking a bit about having official monthly tournaments, like maybe 1v1 or 2v2. Maybe like all competitors can only use T1 frigates, or all T1 battleships, etc etc. But then I realised that there are already plenty of player-created tournaments, so I’m not sure whether this would really be a good idea. When I think of those player tournaments, most of the time the impression I get is that it’s just pointless lol-PVP for the sake of space explosions, so I’m not sure how to make any other kind of tournament a bit more meaningful. Maybe a leaderboard for best Rifter pilot, best Ishtar pilot, etc etc?

One other thing I kind of like about Guild Wars 2 is their Monthlies. They have daily achievements where if you finish 5 of them, you get a reward chest with some small loot in it once per day. The monthly achievements however are a different set of 4 per month, that give you a bigger chest (roughly equivalent to the reward from 10 dailies). EVE could benefit a bit from the monthly idea, where if you achieve some set of goals over a month you get some small reward (maybe CONCORD LP?). It could be “donate 50,000,000 units of tritanium to your faction” or “kill 10 capsuleer ships” or “clear 20 anomalies”. I think it would help introduce different aspects of EVE to players (the monthly rotates to a random subset every month), which is part of the reason it was introduced in Guild Wars 2. Yeah yeah it could turn into a grind, where you don’t really want to do it but “man I gotta finish my monthly or it’s wasted” but honestly almost any kind of incentive is going to be like that, you just gotta be able to set your foot down and realise you’re not being forced to do it.

Maybe the whole player-constructed jump gate thing will change stuff around. But in lieu of that being announced, I guess I just wish that there would be something going on in EVE that would really make me want to log on.

Undocking into Unknown Space

Omg I actually played EVE!

I had just logged on to update my orders, restart my PI (extractors had stopped running, oops) and check skill training. However, I noticed that the corp C2 wormhole had a static to Safilbab, 4 jumps out from Amarr. Furthermore, I had already finished training T2 Heavy Assault Missiles on both characters and shipped over a bunch of T2 HAM launchers and Scourge HAMs a few days earlier. And most importantly, the wardec against the alliance had expired.

All of which meant a golden opportunity…

I quickly refitted both Drakes to HAMs instead of the lacklustre heavy missiles which I had used during my last wormhole adventure. Checked to make sure I’m carrying the right ammo, also bring along a improved cloaking device which I noted that I might need more than the probe launcher in the utility high slot… ok here we go, undock time!

Of course 4 jumps from Amarr had to be in the completely opposite direction from where I was and so it ended up to be 10 jumps, but still relatively ok.

Safilbab turned out to be a newbie system… I think. It was a 1.0 system with an explosion of signatures when I opened the discovery scanner. Whoever had posted the HS static system in the corp wormhole channel had unfortunately neglected to add a corp bookmark for the actual wormhole, so I had to spend a bit of time scanning down the two possible unknown signatures, both of which turned out to be wormholes. I warped to the first one and spent a bit of time staring at it, hoping to be able to tell from the coloration if it was a C2. I remember a C2 wormhole is supposed to have a bit of a teal teardrop shape on the top, but this one didn’t. Warped off to the second one, but nope it looked exactly the same.

Not sure if this is the wormhole I'm looking for

Not sure if this is the wormhole I’m looking for

Is the HS static correctly updated? That would be annoying… oh well since I’m here might as well pop in and take a look. And lo and behold, the screen turned teal and corp bookmarks for the POS turned up. I’m in!

Warping to the station, everything starts to look a bit familiar. It took quite a bit of time fiddling with the SMA before I found out how to store my Drakes inside. I then warped my pods back to Amarr to bring back a scanning, stabbed Buzzard and a salvage Catalyst. I was originally intending to bring over the hulls from my main base, but the 20 jump round trip sounded too boring. I needed to get some extra modules from Amarr anyway so might as well buy and fit the hulls there. My previous trip had convinced me I was better off bringing a salvage destroyer rather than refitting the Drakes for salvage using a mobile depot. The Buzzard was just for faster scanning and maybe doing some hacking.

So far the wormhole had been pretty quiet. I’m guessing not that many newbies would be willing to poke their noses into a C2. So, while I was there, I decided to do a couple of sites to see how it goes. Ended up doing Perimeter Hangar and The Ruins of Enclave Cohort 27. Both sites included Sleeper battleships, which was the first time I’ve seen them… I think.

Greetings, I come in peace, you go in pieces

Greetings, I come in peace, you go in pieces

Looks very similar to the old Nighthawk/Ferox model, I think. However I realised some deficiencies in my HAM Drakes, namely the very limited range. In the C1 site I did the Sleepers orbited pretty closely, leaving me to think HAMs would be preferable since they have much higher damage and better explosion velocity (slightly lower explosion radius). In these sites some of the spawns were more than 80 km away, and my Drakes had no prop mods. HIGHLY ANNOYING. And some of the Sleepers would dance in and out of my 18km HAM range. I didn’t bring the Javelin version because they only extend the range to 26 km anyway and if I wanted to do pitiful damage I’d go back to heavy missiles. So I have to go back to the drawing board and rethink my HAM fit.

Lootwise I got practically nothing for both sites, but I remained undisturbed and I got to finish both sites easily which was the main point of the whole exercise rather than ISK (wouldn’t say no to at least ONE melted nanoribbon though). I’d still like to bring my RR Myrmidons in because I love sentry drone DPS, but I’m really unsure of how they’d do against Sleepers. The other alternative would be to use a RR HAMgu fit I’ve been looking at:

[Tengu, RR WH HAM Active resists]
Tengu Electronics – Dissolution Sequencer
Tengu Defensive – Adaptive Shielding
Tengu Offensive – Accelerated Ejection Bay
Tengu Propulsion – Intercalated Nanofibers
Tengu Engineering – Capacitor Regeneration Matrix

5x Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II (Scourge Heavy Assault Missile)
Large S95a Remote Shield Booster

Caldari Navy Large Shield Extender
10MN Afterburner II
2x Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Phased Weapon Navigation Array Generation Extron

3x Ballistic Control System II
Damage Control II
Capacitor Power Relay II

2x Medium Capacitor Control Circuit II
Medium Capacitor Control Circuit I

495 dps, with a 662 dps cap-stable tank. Has AB and at least the HAMs go out to 30km. And the price isn’t too unreasonable too, at 350 million ISK according to EVEHQ. Of course that’s still something like 7 Drakes, and it doesn’t have any utility highs for cloaks or probes. And it has to at least be dual-boxed, as opposed to the Drake which could solo a site if I had to do something with the other account. Hmmm…

But at least I’m in the hole now and flying in the unknown.

Guess I’m not alone

Well a while back Wilhelm mentioned that he only encountered 2 people in the blog banter which mentioned EVE’s horrible community. With the release of the news about the EVE monument, I guess it’s a lot more than 2 people now?

About the monument itself… well honestly I’m kinda indifferent about it. First of all, I will NEVER EVER EVER go to Iceland because I hate cold weather and the food does not interest me (other than curiosity about whether people actually eat the famous rotten shark that was featured on one of those “most horrible foods in the world” shows). Secondly, I generally have zero appreciation for any kind of sculpture. So I guess I think of it as a nice gesture, just not my specific area of interest. But hey, I’m going to be subscribed to the game at the deadline anyway so I guess I’ll have 2 names on the thing.

But as usual we have the usual raging mob frothing at the mouth, pitchforks at hand. There are the usual middle-management types saying “if only there wasn’t a timer, then it would have been ok”. As I’ve said before, EVE’s playerbase has been spoilt into thinking they are somehow shareholders in CCP or something. If the game is so broken that CCP should be pouring every single cent into fixing it, then perhaps it would be a good idea to stop playing it? Evehermit’s post about it actually has the most appropriate title in my opinion. You’d think a bunch of juvenile e-thugs would be happy to have their names immortalized for doing basically nothing.

Personally I feel that EVE would benefit greatly from an exodus of about 50% of the playerbase, but obviously this isn’t going to be a view popular with CCP…

Doh scammed

Ugh just got scammed out of a ME 1 PE 1 Naglfar BPO. My fault for being stupid and greedy.

I’ve been researching a couple of Naglfar BPOs thinking I might as well get some use out of my research slots as well as make use of my ISK that’s just sitting around. So finally I decide to sell them off because I didn’t want to hold on to them for too long. Put up a contract for 2.7 billion and while I was sitting around, I got a convo request from someone called Yummy Yummy Yummy.

Normally I don’t even open up Jita local and ignore all chat requests, but for some reason I decided to open this one. He offered me 5 PLEX for the BPO, which obviously was worth more than 2.7 billion. My first (and correct) instinct was to tell him to just sell the PLEX and buy the contract. However I guess my greed got the better of my brain and I said sure. I thought I checked the trade carefully, but long story short I ended up with 5 plastic wraps renamed as PLEX.

Sigh, not a good day. Looks like my Naglfar BPO investment will end up as a loss.

Moral of the story : never ever ever ever accept any trade unless it’s in a contract, and even then check very carefully. Another lesson relearned.

Random Schadenfreude

I’ve joined my new (old) corp with both Noork and Yannie, only to find that the alliance has been war-decced by Marmite, Gevlon’s Jita-camping friends. At the same time, some Goons are attacking some alliance assets in Syndicate, resulting in the Syndicate players also having a hard time undocking. The corp policy is not to undock for any kind of PVE activity while under a high-sec wardec, which I have no problems with as it makes a whole lot of sense. So I’m basically just updating orders and skill training and watching people complain in corp chat that they can’t mission to make their subscription due to the wardec. Kek.

A couple of days ago I was driving home from grocery shopping with the wife and kid. As I was moving off from a 4-way intersection after the light turned green, a grey BMW suddenly cut around in front of me and sped off. Within 10 seconds I heard police sirens and made way for a police car which magically materialized from nowhere and promptly pulled the grey BMW over at a side lot. My only thought? CONCORDOKKEN’ED!

Last week in Marvel Puzzle Quest, there was a week-long event called Thick as Thieves which consisted of a main event and a sub-event every day. You could do repeatable PVE missions in both the main and sub-event with points that reset every 8 hours, with the winners in each sub-event getting covers for Wolverine (Patch) and the winners in the main-event getting covers for a new character, Daredevil. This event was also the first time the developers introduced a scaling system for enemy levels. As players completed missions, the levels of enemy NPCs would increase, from level 17 up to a maximum of 230. The scaling affected all sub-events and the main event as well and did not reset with a new sub-event. So a lot of players wound up facing all level 230 enemies after the first sub-event because they grinded the repeatable missions like crazy. However, it was discovered and even posted in the forums that “tanking”, or intentionally losing missions, would decrease the levels of the enemies. So my wife and I would just do the PVE missions every 8 hours, and in between use our characters to enter battle, retreat, etc. This way our opponents stayed at minimum level all the time and it was really easy for us to finish all the missions. We managed to place either 1 or 2 for almost all the sub-events and in the end my wife finished 1st in the main event, while I placed top 10 because I ran out of time (wasted it doing the sub-event even though I was clearly already in 1st place).

The funniest part was the shit-storm that hit the forums after that where so many players complained about losing to scrubs with low-level characters (you can see the rosters of other players). There were rampant accusations of cheating and unbalanced missions, normally also accompanied by the comment “and I refuse to tank missions”. The best part was when the player who eventually ended up number 2, losing to my wife, posted about how he was overtaken in the last minute by “someone who was probably using money to buy boosts because otherwise it’s impossible they could have gained points so fast”. When my wife read that she literally danced a jig of joy in the middle of the room. We had already maxed out our Wolverine covers and didn’t particularly want Daredevil, but decided in the end to reach top placement just to annoy all the people who were too dumb to tank. Seriously why in the world would you fight level 230 enemies when you can keep them down at <30 just by taking a half hour during the day when you're not playing to just enter battle, retreat repeatedly.