Tuesday, 26 May 2015

The Littlest Big Tweaks

The boring run of module tiercide just got hot. Crazy hot. Like, the frumpy girl with the roll-neck sweater took it off and she's got H-cups and a camel toe that won't quit.

The upcoming module tiercide for Plates and Extenders has hit, and this is Ben Hur territory, as any Pyfanatic or EFTwarrior will immediately realise.

First off, the Navy plates just got super sexy. More EHP (by 10% over T2 and 30% over meta), lower CPU, higher PG....this is where Slave sets and Navy Plates get together and make 750K EHP baby Proteus love. Lower CPU requirements for some plates will also substantially help some Guardian fits and some Recons with CPU issues.

Secondly, the move to Restrained has some edge use in shield nanofag and shield-AB doctrines, in that lowering the sig penalty of Thukker LSE's in particular, plus lower PG and greatr shield HP, really benefits these fits. Not only is it easier to fit these modules, you get more bang and take less damage. As Takei would say....Oh my!

However, even the humble LSE II is getting a slight buff of 5 less PG. this is enough to make T2 LSE's work on some bizarre fits, and others where you are 0.1% out are suddenly viable. This is true of almost all the extenders and plates, in fact; the game of fitting gymnastics has been thrown wide open.

As for what it means for balance?

Well, we shall see what the market wants to pay or charge for Navy plates, as I'm not au fait with LP and tag costs for the plates, but certainly if I was in FW I'd be cashing LP's in like a motherfucker right now for Navy 1600's. But given the volume of LP's sloughing out of FW, as long as they settle sub 50M, you'll see them on wormhole Guardians, faction battleships, etcetera. In short, every undock in a trade hub will have Vindi's with these plates on them shitting up your game play with lame extra buffer tactics.

Shield extenders will remain pricey, if not pricier. The Republic Fleet extender ought to be cheaper than the Thukker versions, for two reasons; one is tha it'll be less OTT and secondly the supply of LP's for RF gear is orders of magnitude more. But will you see them? Probably on the odd pimped Tengu, but mostly on Cynabals and Orthrus, which really need sig reduction. And we need more overly pimped Orthruses with off grid links, Haloes etc kiting us and taking no damage, at 50km. Like a hole in the head.

However, the vaunted LSE Svipul is bac. Big time. Big, big time. Shit's going to get craaaazy again, especially if you can shoehorn a Restrained Azeotropic onto it and wallow in your low-sig 25K EHP craziness.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Transients to 11, Sulu!

I am not sure if it was just our chain but this weekend i noticed tha most wormholes had a shitload more transient connections (and hence K162's) than usual. Like, at least 100%-200% more. At one stage, our chain had only our satic C2 and C4, and we were connected to 9 wormholes in the C2 and 6 in the C4. Then we got a C008 and L005 as well.

I am not sure if this was entirely due to randomness. After all, w-space population has reputedly taken a dive of 30% this month alone. It is not beyond the realms of likelihood that CCP's one way to arrest this fall into morbidity is to turn the transient coefficient up to 11 so that people connect to more holes and meet each other and shoot each other in the face.

We will see. It was good, but ridiculous. We didn't really roll into anyone of note, besides BAERS and Nosferatu Security Foundation.

Nosferatu Security Foundation is, arguably, the biggest bunch of coward nerds to ever play EVE online. I mean, the time before this when we rolled into them, Shirag spotted my nereus on his B274. He warped himself and his alts back to POS and safe logged. That, and shooting POS modules exclusively while evicting people, is how you get 433 "kills" and 3 losses.

This time they rolled their hole in 100MN cloaky nullified higgs-rigged Proteuses (no doubt fit with 4 stabs) within 10 minutes of us spawning a connection into them. Not even Nereus bait would tempt them, because besides knowing it's bait (well, duh) they also knew there was a better than 0% chance of them losing a ship if they got out of POS.

Truly, some cowardly dickbats which need eviction.

Anyway, the D382 which let us into their coward den was crushed, and then instantly respawned even though it was not a satic. Which never happens. So, yeah, transients to 11, Sulu!

Also, why do C4's never get transient outbound? just shitty frig holes, mostly Q's to nullsec so we have to use Garmur fagfleet and double-damp Coraxes?

can we not get transient full-sized holes which are not our statics? I mean, I like having two statics. But a random C247 in our hole or H900 every now and then isn't so hard is it?

Tuesday, 19 May 2015


If you have been living under a rock (generally known as "in Oasa or Outer Passage") you may be unaware of the term "moonlocking". It is where, generally, you try to deny the ability of someone to attack your wormhole efficiently via erecting an idle tower on each and every moon in system. In order for the attacker to erect a siege POS they must therefore destroy the idle tower on a moon, hence, all moons are locked up.

This is a practise used by large PVP alliances in C5's, because they have money, power, and the right mindset to fear a staging POS being put up in time for their eviction. Generally, though, it's of limited use as it buys you an hour or less, given people are going to evict you using a dozen or more dreads. That said, some people use small towers and have fuel and stront; they bet they can online the thing in 7.5 minutes and make use of a RF timer. Not sure how well this works.

Moonlocking also works in systems with a small number of moons. Sudden Buggery lived for a small length of time in a C3 w/ U210 where it was basically moonlocked by a previous resident and we just moved in to the sole remaining moon, jacked up a tower and lived semi-nomadically out of it, turning it off every day and living from a ghetto Orca. That was a while ago, and we were small. The system had 10 moons total. Some have less. This makes moonlocking viable for smaller corporations. Our current C4 has 63 moons, so that's a bit much.

I mean, we could moonlock our system...we have the money. But it's a C4, and they are painful to siege anyway, and valueless....but also, the whole nature of POSs is about to change so that you don't need to anchor on moons, hence moonlocking is about to be a thing of the past.

Very rarely, when a corporation folds or moved out, they might not jack down the towers. Or only one tower, c.f. the C3 we lived in. And sometimes, really unusually, the corp might just fail cascade or something, and the whole system is moonlocked completely.  

This is all a preamble to the Nightmare and Tempest Fleet Issue we found last night, beating on a large tower in a C2 which had 6 moons, and was moonlocked. These poor souls were reduced to beating on a tower for at least 2 hours before we got batphoned by Shilalasar after he'd tried "ganking" them in a Sacrilege solo, and failed. After discussing the unlikelihood of him actually achieving a gank of both of them in, well, anything short of a Vindicator, and even that being relatively risky given the need to pimp the balls out of it to tank 2 faction battleships, he caved and we humped 16 jumps in our new Cyclone semi-doctrine, and dogpiled them.

But not in a real wormholer kind of way. We didn't use 30 T3's or nothin'. That's almost a gentlemanly amount of people. In fact, you could accuse us of underplaying the whole gank, except that half the fleet didn't make it due to collapsed connections and being a few jumps out when we needed to tackle.

The irony of this is, of course, that these poor bastards dunked 1.7 billion inclusive of pod goo trying to clear a POS from a moonlocked system when there's currently dozens and dozens of empty systems with better PI floating about the place.

I mean, wormholes have been dead. Prolapse. has doubled in size due to merging in some corps and hoovering up a few stragglers, and in May we have so far got barely half the kills in April. Not from lack of trying, mind you. Just....hours and hours of rolling, probing, rolling and we see nothing.

Roll on summer in the Northern hemisphere, and eviction season, I say.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Where is this in wormholes?

This used to be wormholes. It's now farming, going back to POS and pointedly sitting in a shuttle when someone comes in system, or instalogging if you can't roll your holes. Not that many people roll holes, because why would you rage roll when you don't even find anyone in 60 wormholes each and every day?

I mean, I know you have to make money money in game in order to have the toys. But the idea should be to have fun with the toys. I just see more toy collectors playing the game now, trying to win by having more money than the other dude, versus people trying to win by conquest.

I'm getting to the position where I really can' even care about OGB's and people flying ridiculously pimped ships to kill hopelessly outmatched noobs. At least they are out there using their money and wealth and skills they have accumulated in-game. It would be nice if they took more risks, rather than killing month-old toons in failfit Drakes using 650M ISK Svipuls with full Tengu links, a cloaked Falcon alt and an emergency Scimitar. I mean, that's pretty lame, but the tables could turn (if their alt toon nextdoor didn't exist) and they could lose their shit.

That's better than the way things are going, which is people intensively farming their shit after rolling their holes, once a week, and staying logged off the rest of the time.

What the fuck do you do with your ISK, people? I mean, we are talking bucketloads of ISK just accumulating in wallets, doing nothing while people complain there's no content, and then turning around and bitching about how the successful content creators are just ganking farmers (ie; them) or holding down the "little guy" (ie; their 4 man alt corp) and blobbing.

I posit that if people got over the need to farm more than, and I'm being generous, a wallet buffer of 15B ISK (to replace a hypothetical suppercap for fuck's sakes), and after that devoted their entire efforts in EVE toward spending as much on PVP as they earned to PVP, they might actually have a lot more fun.

I'm not saying you need to welp heedlessly. Don't take unwinnable fights. But a least get the fuck out of POS or station when hostiles show up in system to fuck with your farm.

On a separate note, the move towards making structures entosisabe, and therefore more vulnerable (to a point) is also good. Structure grinds deter content creation. Should they go away entirely, plus or minus neutralising a couple of POS guns etc, we might see more shoosting and evictions. This will create more content, or in the very least see a bunch of farmers summarily evicted, and see their safe loot cans expire and assets destroyed once they all get podded the fuck out of their holes and lose their connections back in.

I am so angry about this warp back to POS and log off, or only fight on highsec crap, there's going to be evictions over it. 

Sunday, 10 May 2015

RIP Rainbow Knights

Rainbow Knights was a pretty cool clique of the who's-who of w-space cool kids. You may not have heard of it, cause you probably weren't cool. I know I wasn't until recently. But then I was, and being cool is kind of cool, so there you go.

The cool thing was the wormhole community lives and often dies by the w-space code, and Rainbow Knights was created by Hidden Fremen, I guess, as a place where the content creators of w-space could get together and create content. This content took the form, more often than not, of someone tackling a capital in nullsec and putting up the flag for help - when needed.

Prime example was the caps in Oasa - HK had them tackled, and batphoned, and all sorts of people turned up, mostly via the frig hole and one or two via normal holes. Capials died, content was created, nullbears were taxed and have doubtless ratted their replacements five imes over in the past month and a bit.

Secondarily, the channel was a way of the content creators connecting often after content was created, and saying 'gf'. Or, sometimes, as content seems about to be created, the leaders would ask each other if there was going to be a fight or whether they should roll away. The distinction here is, as much as we all love a gank, we also sometimes don't have the numbers online to fight nicely, and it's pointless blobbing someone else's hole if you aren't evbicting - and given te size and capabilities of most alliances in w-space these days, there could be a hell of a lot more evictions. 

So it is a shame that Hidden, goaded by shitty behaviour on the part of others, has dissolved the channel and decided it's Angry Mode. The community does need a way to batphone for dogpiling nullbears.

Of course, the complaint and the drama that flowed from it revolves around accusations that Lazerhawks batphones everyone else for content, and that the whole of w-space is just a "Game of Phones" and Lazerhawks are amongst the worst offenders.

Firstly, does LZHX batphone? Yes. Everyone batphones, be it picking up to call, or answering a call. So....so what if Lazerhawks answers calls, or makes one or two now and then, for example for the TDSIN quasi-eviction which resulted in a capital brawl bigger than most nullsec fights?

Baphoning can be annoying if your party gets spoiled by a thousand helicopter dicking Ishtars landing on field and catching you napping, resulting in your fleet being dunked by a horde midway through what used to be a nice 10 v 10 small corp spat.

This is one reason I am so cautious about low-class wormhole sieges - the moment there's a sniff of content about, batphones can get wildly out of hand, resulting in for example, the problems faced with Never get in a Land War in J160739....although if you are reasonably good at your job and a bit lucky, the blobbing just destroys content. Had we been dunked by 80 Ishtars, maybe I'd be resuscitating the well-known trope of "SSC blobs". Yeah, no news there, and maybe Xrend et al. would get pissy at the accusation, but that's also been thrown at my feet and I'm used to it.

In this scenario, if you hear about a fight as I sometimes do, you have to sometimes wave off and let people duke it out. But the size of the blobs has nothing to do with bad behaviour beyond people showing restraint and proportionality and respecting a game style and community expectations. The mechanim behind batphones getting out of hand is caused by the ability of people to solve connectivity issues (viz. Siggy or Tripwire) and the size of corporations and alliances in w-space hese days.

So, given Lazerhawks is just like everyone else, but perhaps a bit more restrained (you'll note Prolapse didn't get an invite to the TDSIN eviction, nor SSC, etc) where does Hidden Fremen's anger stem from? I'd argue that it's the fact people attacked him personally, because their in-game attacks are fruitless and everyone remains jellymad and unable to land a decisive blow against Lazerhawks. So now he's angry.

What does angry Lazerhawks look like, if we've previously just seen chilled Lazerhawks? From my limited discussions with him, I expect it is going to see some interesting content created. I'm stocking up on marshmallows and throwing some dessicated corpses on the altar at the sun in J130253, to get Bob all primed and ready for a bloody orgy.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Frig Hole Fun Times #6

Devoter vs frigs = long-ass time to kill shit. 

It started off as an Astero running a relic site, accessed via a L005 out of out wormhole, so I marshalled the troops in frigates to go gank him.

This was achieved flawlessly.

Nek minnit, a Devoter lands on field accompanied by a Confessor and Purifier. We burn out of bubble range and I lay point on the Confessor in my Garmur, and we start a spiraling tango which draws the Confessor 70km off the Devoter and Purifier. I get Uraldari to warp off and back and we lay drones on him. he tanks quite well but eventually succumbs as a Svipul arrives on field.

We push him off, and I sprint back 120km to murder the Purifier and lay point on the Devoter. We begin chewing on him at great length and very slowly as some more of my guys get themselves down the chain or signed in.

Obligingly, they come back for round two with an Ishkur, Atron, Jaguar. Cannahbro loses his daily Hookbill pretty quickly, and our Astero gets hard tackled, and dual-boxing frigates hinders my ability to deliver enough drone DPS to the Jag to kill it off before Uraldari goes down. RIP Astero, then shortly later RIP Jag.

Our foes begin dropping a hull-tanked Algos onto field (which gets out in 3% structure) to deliver drones to the Devoter, who unsuccessfully attempts to swat at my Garmur, and Astero, and does a job on some of our bombers.

Finally we push enough bombers back onto field to out-DPS the Devoter's active tank, and snag the pod. That was the best entertainment we could hope for this week - 30 minutes from go to whoa.

GF's were exchanged, and as suspected, we figure out both sides were coming in via frigate holes. 

Waris dracona said his guys were scraping the bottom of the barrel to field ships. That was fairly obvious, as Atrons don't get put on field much with anything better being available in the SMA.

Luckily for us, we have developed a semi-coherent frig hole doctrine and have SMA's overflowing with small ships. It's part of wormhole life now - we may all wish to have Ishtar blobs, 100MN HAM Legion doctrines and capital fights, but if you ignore or avoid frig holes, you miss out on content. If you also ignore the ships and fits to make it doable or at least vaguely possible, you also miss out.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

All for the alts!

It has been a very quiet week this week, so far. A week in to May and we struggle to find meaningful content beyond ganking. We even resorted to rolling an E545 in our static C2 for nullsec content. I guess it worked. We ganked a Procurer, hoping it was bait.

It wasn't. The C0VEN guys in local took 20 minutes to probe the sole sig in system and figure out it was us, and then they rage docked everything, so we rolled away. Much laer we found a frig hole to goon space, and as usual it was full of idiots. I mean, I may not be world champion Gila fitting expert but this is pretty bad.

I am not sure if it's just a quiet week, quiet month, or whether the propensity of holes to be controlled by farming alts is the problem. This is apparently now the rage in popular C4 types, eg; C2 + C3 statics with vanilla effects. Certainly a good hole for bearing, with decent C3 ISK on offer and, if you ever get friends or a Marauder, home sites, plus luxurious C2 logistics.

The irony is, a corp of alts is ejecting a corp of alts this weekend. So we will be attending, because one set of alts is ours. I'm not sure if we really care, except that it might be content.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Viva la Bugs!

It was cool to take advantage of the bug in the SKIN system and paint up Sarum Machariels and the like. Police Domis look fucking cool.

Of course, this broke CCP's business model for commoditising the SKIN sales to make money from space-rich nerds who want to customise their space pixels and make them look sexy...and then fight zoomed out so everyone's just a collection of little boxes (or, soon, various sized red or white or blue little triangles, of various sizes).

The thing is, this bug in the SKIN system has doubtless done a hell of a lot more to promote the SKINs and generate buzz and interest in re-skinning and customising your ships than any marketing buzz CCP could have ever come up with. Ever.

Sure, Police Comets are kind of fun. But the Police Domi, or Police Tempest, they look fantastic and awesome and none of this was intended, and suddenly if I could buy a SKIN (or since i already have it, just apply it) and use it on whichever ship i wanted, then I would do that. I would save my pennies if not dual-training my alt into a gank dread for nullsec carrier killing, or dual-training my other alt to be a probe alt spy, I would totally blow a billion a month on SKINs.

However, CCP has put the kibosh on the fun, and that's understandable. However, it raises a question about whether there's alternative business models for SKIN sales and usage, which will be more lucrative for CCP.

Under the current SKIN system, you buy a SKIN for a specific ship for an account or character. If you have a Khanid Oracle, you have a Khanid Oracle. Job done, US$15 for CCP, Hilmar gets to put some fuel in his super yacht this week.

However, what if you had a Providence, and liked it when the bug allowed you to make a Khanid Providence? Shit out of luck, you might get a Roden Providence. Or, wait, bad example: what if you have any fucking Minmatar ship whatsoever, and want it to look badass, and don't fly the Hurricane so you can get a badass Sebiestor SKIN? Shit out of luck, even though the Roden Cyclone was blind as fuck and I want one.

CCP loses $15 from me (via hook or crook or PLEX or Aurum traded to me for ISK won from belt rats) because I won't be buying any Minmatar SKINs. I also won't be buying Quafe or Police Pursuit skins for my Cyclone, now. So CCP is losing out on $15 that way.

So, CCP has to consider that they might make more money by taking their SKIN system business model and evaluating the likelihood that people will actually buy more SKINs if they can apply them to more ships.

Sure there should be limits. Some SKINs don't transfer over well from ship to ship; they can be blocked out. Or maybe restrict the SKIN to a ship until it's death or repackaging, or lock it to a hull on application for a month or something, to prevent churning. Whatever.

I think that this bug has really shown us that people are incredibly interested in making their ships look cool - more interested than first imagined. I certainly find myself more interested in customising Minmatar ships with Amarr, Gallente and Caldari colours than with the selection of naff ones available. This also shows that what's cool to one person (say, a CCP art designer) is not cool to everyone else (c.f. the Justice Edition Naglfar) but if you think it's cool, you're likely to buy the SKIN and apply it to whatever you think it looks cool on, and voila, CCP makes money.

So the business model needs a rethink. I think that with some tweaks, not nerfs, CCP stands to make a lot more money, and have vastly more satisfied customers, than under the rigid, locked-down system they put about initially. Viva la bugs!