Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Vanguard BCs

The upcoming Vanguard combat battlecruiser changes are promising to shake up this line of ships. Promising, but not really delivering I think. Well....except that this is now a thing.


Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Damage Control II

50MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive
Warp Scrambler II
Medium Electrochemical Capacitor Booster I, Navy Cap Booster 400
Pith C-Type Large Shield Booster
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Shield Boost Amplifier II

Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Void M
Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Void M
Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Void M
Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Void M
Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Void M
Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Void M
[Empty High slot]

Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer II
Medium Core Defense Operational Solidifier I
Medium Core Defense Operational Solidifier I

Hobgoblin II x5

For the princely sum of 124M ISK +/- 10M you will get:
689 DPS cold to 6.33 + 3.91km with Void M / 492 to 11.8 + 10.9km with Null M
+ 99 DPS from Hob II's
= 788 cold with Void / 591 cold with Null 

Let that sink in for a moment.

The tank on this is 430 DPS cold, 600 hot, for 1 minute. That's enough to plink away at a BS or a T3 or HAC for long enough to bust it's chops. Add in a Standard Blue Pill, go to 730 hot. Have Claymore boosts like a cowardfag would, and you'll get 971 DPS tank.

Fleet canes have become technically cap stable in armour configuration, allowing you to waste your time kiting and dying to drone meta, but it does give encouragement to arty cane meta again - you can possibly run nanogangs with fleet canes.

The Navy Drake is OK, but a buffer fit Cyclone will do the same job (more or less) for 120M less even if you T2 fit your Cyclone. There's nothing between them now the Cyclone gets a projection bonus, which is welcome.

The Prophecy is the same as it ever was, except possibly the drone velocity bonus might assist in swatting Garmurs, orthrus and other kitefag shit. it's still low in DPS.

Harbinger is just as meh as before, and the Brutix is even more off the hook with mobility, which means the Minmatar ships remain completely obsoleted.

Plus ca change, I guess. Except for the Ferox, which is nuts.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Nanoribbons at 2009 prices!

Low-class slumlords take note: your important salvage income from nanoribbons has suddenly got very, very much better, with nanoribbons at 4.3M ISK. You'd better stock up on T3 hulls before they...oh wait, they're already up from 150 to 250M.

I put this down to several factors. Firstly, there's very few people living in C1-3 space. Daytrippers are entirely absent. There's a large glut of anoms clogging up C2 space, which is evidence there's few people running them, especially in vanilla A-D holes (E-N's always being wastelands as usual). C3 space, quite a few U210 holes and almost every single K346 hole is unoccupied. Most D845's are occupied, obviously.

Secondly, C6 space has now almost entirely fallen under the sway of Quaserknocks rental empire. The spike in nanoribbon prices could, indeed, be from an organised cartel deciding not to sell their ribbons to market for a while and exercise Goon-levels of manipulation. True or not it's fine gamesmanship, and I don't particularly care. If this is the case, there will be a brief uptick in price, followed by a dumpstering for max profit, and things will get back to cheap T3's as usual.

Finally, the nerfs to shield Ishtars might be flowing through to ratting behaviour, especially in C2 space. Drone tracking now sucks so abysmally that it's horrendously hard to set up a solo ratting Ishtar. The lack of mids also reduces sig radius so much, and tank as well, that the Sleepers begin swatting your drones. Gone are the days of warp at 50, drop Bouncers/Curators, and make reasonable wages.

The options for c2 ratting are fairly narrow. Which is to say, Gilas or Tengus (as always), with everything else being either lower in DPS and hence lower yield (ISK/hr), more expensive (especially shield lokis and armour Legions) and hence riskier, or requires more niche skillsets and creativity (Atrons in W-R's, Worms in magnetars, etc). The increase in nanoribbon prices should see a lot more daytripping. Combined with the blue poo buffs earlier this year, it's now going to be quite attractive to noobs who can take a reasonable T1 BC or two and pay it off inside an hour, thereafter it being gravy.

C3 ratting is still solo marauders (though you get to cheap out on it, dropping costs into the 1100-1300 range), solo Rattlesnakes, dual shield Domis, or T3's. W-R and Mags can be done in Hecate-Exequrors efficiently, and of course any fucktard can Drake it up in a Pulsar. But there's few DPS-tank-ISK combos here which have good yield, ISK-sensible and low-risk. I would however say that C3's will remain the engine room of low-class nanorbbon production.

C4 production of nanoribbons is also probably a bit restricted with low population, due to the sluggishness of solo marauders (25-40 mins a site) and the requirement for having a bunch of people online (4-6) to do group work. nanoribbon supply isn't going to shoot up from C4 space, let me tell you.

So, we shall see what happens with the C5-C6 engine room where nanoribbons aren't the main game. if there's manipulation behind this spike in prices, we'll see prices adjsut downwards swiftly. If not, in a couple of months we might have noobs to hunt.

lets give them good fights, not dogpile their Drakes with 30 Proteuses and Guardians, hm?

Sunday, 27 September 2015

That is all

T2 Capital Modules confirmed, 99%.

I guess these will need level 5 skills, and then you'll need to spend up big on specialisations. So I know what I will be doing the next 64 days. (thankfully already got Capital Projectile 5)

I mean, Precision Citadel Cruise, baby. Blap blap blap!

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Capital Rebalance : A structural decision

The recent Devblog on Citadels (you know, the one where CCP climbed down from Entosis) hinted at the long overdue capital rebalance. Exciting times!


As said previously, when it comes to Carriers, the Archon is king. Hands down, it is king, because of capacitor. It inherited a larger capacitor pool that the other carriers due to a ground-up initial build out of ships in the early years of EVE, back when racial traits were simple, streamlined and had no iterative balance-nerf-balance-buff feedback loops. This saw the familiar ratios of basic ship stats carried up from subcaps to capitals; Amarr got armour, best capacitor, armour resists. Caldari got shield hitpoints, sensor strength, shield resists. Gallente got drone damage, armour, hull hitpoints (sorta) and hybrids. Minmatar got fucked over. Sorry to say, but they did.

Now, you should go read the previous post, I suppose, where the pecking order of Carriers got sorted out top-to-bottom. I still stand by the Archon-Niddhogur-Thanatos pecking order, because it is still utterly a truism that capacitor equals life, for caps. This is true regardless of whether it's Slowcat blobs, triage, or Pantheon fits, although the terrible range of energy RR on the Nidhoggur does nobble it a little for Pantheon fits, but Nidhoggurs excel as solo triage shield carriers. You just have to invest heavily in blingy CPR's.

Carriers haven't really been balanced at all since ntroduction, except to nerf fighter assist to deal with Skynet carriers - which was way overdue, and no one in their right mind would militate for that festering pile of shit to be reintroduced. As I said two years ago (how time flies) as a disaffected Nidhoggur pilot when there was some sniffings of rebalance discussions about the place, the key ship parameter that needs dealing with is, in fact, capacitor. With a much flatter cap pool and cap regen rate between the carriers, this alone will rebalance the meta.

Other possibilities involve addressing the meta of the game as it stands, and to get to grips with the culture of the capital game more than anything else. This involves addressing the whole


Dreadnoughts are, now there are missile guidance modules, becoming a less skewed and ridiculous space to be in. It used to be split along two modes of metagame; k-space and w-space, the the two flavours of capital game never mixed.

K-space dread warfare was dominated by Moros and Revelations (occasionally tracking Nags or armour nags), and the other two largely absent or not included in SRP by the larger alliances. This was fed, at least partially, by the predominance of Archon slowcat blobs. You needed Revs and Moros to catch armour reps from Triaged Slowcat support, if they survive being primed. In large B-R5RB battles, to be honest, it didn't really matter. In smaller engagements it probably did.

The other advantage the Moros held for many years was its double to triple DPS versus the competition. Revs got the nod only because they would tank slightly better, and hence dread fights got down to relatively simple attritional maths; could you DPS down the enemy DPS before they got your DPS knackered, and was it better to deploy more Revs or less Revs, etc. It was all done at (relatively) close ranges to maximise Moros DPS, and because Dreads are so abysmally slow, there was no real option bar dropping in and hoping to win.

W-space dread warfare initially evolved asan offshoot of the k-space dread philosophy. But then people began to develop their krabbing, got astoundingly rich, and started firing up EFT or Pyfa and not feeling guilty when they made dream fits using blue modules everywhere. They started shield fitting Moroses, even if it required T2 rigs (another recent development), or the rare and not-forgotten Shield Revs. Then some bright spark in Blood Union spent 6 billion on a Naglfar with shield fit and realised it would tank 3 Moros flat out (with appropriate A-type hardeners) and the Swaglfar got entrenched in the meta as the dread to take on multiple enemy dreads.

The greatest revolution in Dread warfare has, truthfully, been the Depot and the Nestor, allowing refits on the fly and under fire. In the (usually) small scale capital fights you get in w-space quality is key, and ISK is a third priority to having a) competent pilots, b) with proper fits. Or vice-versa. Cheaping out is unacceptable.

The red-headed step child of the Dreadnoughts has been the Phoenix, but even before MGC's and MGE's there were a few niche metas such as Lords Servant demonstrated. This just goes to show that doing the maths is utterly vital in dread design, fitting and gang layouts. There's a couple of examples, eg; Iso 5 vs Krannon of Sherwood where solo Swaglfar-Moros-Bhaalgorn gangs can take out six enemy dreads in one sitting. Not very amazing; just illustrating the fact that some people know what they are doing and do it well. Likewise, there's definitely a mathematical argument being wages about the phoenix, and it will come out soon that it is, actually, far and away the pre-eminent blap dread. You just have mathematical illiterates and know-nothing fucktards making a lot of noise about the Swaglfar.

Rebalancing Carriers
The interesting thing will be seeing how CCP wants to go forward with the carriers.

As I've demonstrated (see above, and previously) capacitor has to not be such a major issue for carriers, going forward, or it will just perpetuate the status quo; armour begets armour, begets armour. As shown, the ability to field solid triage Archons and an inability to do so with other races, puts a heavy skew on strategic doctrine choices towards armour, away from Minmatar and Caldari carriers.

Nidhoggurs get relegated to POS repping - so this will soon be obsoleted as well, given the Citadel mechanisms inbound which strands the Nidhoggur entirely, except for some micro-gang opportunities in W-space.

The Thanatos used to have a lot of use in Slowcat blobs due to it's DPS advantage, and in Skynet. Nowadays it's just the ratting carrier of choice, for this very reason.

The Chimera is OK, but with the cost of shield pimp the way it is, no one really uses Chimeras for anything in or out of w-space. It hasn't got the capacitor or tank or energy-RR to really prop up shield dreads in a meanngful fashion. not that you see blobs of phoenix running about much.

If capacitor levelling assists with removing the skew in carriers towards Archons, great. But we also have to look at other factors at play as well.

Firstly, it is fairly unexciting to play a carrier in PVP battle as you are always the glorified logi bitch. Be as that may, this is because of the terribly slow pace of capital movement. It is worth questioning why large ships remain so stubbornly slow on the field of battle, which bogs the whole fight down and defines limits on capital engagements to set piece battles where you commit and win or die. There's very few capitals that ever skite away from tackle (seems to be my leprechaun touch). The maneuverability and speed of caps is definitely worth discussing.

Rebalancing Dreadnoughts
Unlike carriers, Dreadnoughts require a fair bit of work to balance properly. This is because there's quite a lot of interplay between the metas in and out of wormholes, and some of the key strengths and amazingly collossal weaknesses of dreads.

Dreads are, currently, a rock-paper-scissors ship. You play your hand, and either win or don't. There is no scuttling away, no dodging, slingshotting, nada. This may be seen as a fulsome quirk of their niche role, where their extreme power (versus structures) is traded off against...immobility, virtual immobility, very restricted set of targets (2 or 3 with a 40 day train to T2 Siege) and abysmal scan resolution.

It is worth questioning the appropriateness in Cruisers Online, where Gilas can pack Battleship EHP and DPS, the wisdom of restricting a dread to 3 targets. This seems abnormally and unfairly low. To my mind, either the Dreads need higher scan resolution or more targets.

Secondly, when you compare the Dreadnought to the Marauder, which uses a Dreadnought-lite Bastion Module, the Dread loses lock when it fires up Siege and the marauder doesn't. This dropping of locks means that versus some low-sig cruisers, you can take up to 2 minutes to achieve a lock. This is incredibly frustrating and lacks logic now. I would prefer to see the Siege module work more like Bastion. Likewise, we have to question whether the 5 minute cycle is appropriate. It is, as they say, a Conversation that has to be had.

Getting down to tin tacks, the DPS of the Revelation and Phoenix in particular (on paper) appears relatively low. In reality, as I have said above, the Phoenix DPS is probably not that terrible versus subcaps in the right hands. Unlike gun tracking, there is no either/or with Phoenix DPS, it's a continuum from "fuck all, add more webs and TP's" to "LOL". It tips from fuck all to LOL incredibly quickly.

There is also a lot of work to be done by competent-minded maths-inclined individuals on tracking formulae for gun dreads. The problem is mostly to do with long-range gun types, which are generally so woefully inadequate at doing anything (even versus structures) that you almost never see them. As above, this then perpetuates the brawling meta for Dreads, which feeds down to raw DPS, and skews toward Moros-Rev k-space meta and Moros-Swaglfar w-space meta.

Indeed, it is arguable that the objective of Dreadnoughts should be to threaten structures in Siege, and subs when out. Arguably, the DPS should be the same in or out of siege. Initiating Siege should move the mode of the Dreadnought from tracking with low tank, to tanking with low tracking. The Dreadnought could then, realistically, become more mobile out of Siege and we could develop a meta around treating Dreads like gigantic Marauders; take them through gates and fight other Dreads and subcaps, fly them up to the gates of the Citadel, and Siege up to blast through the front doors while taning the Citadel's withering fire.

Final thoughts
I don't think this kind of radical thinking - making Capital warfare much more mobile, much more interactive, and less "hotdrop and pray" - is really on CCP's radar. But it should be. True, deploying a Capital should be a special thing. Throwing a Dread through a gate should be a thrilling "oh shiiiiit" moment - you should scatter an ill-prepared gang before you, not just siege up and die slowly because you can't hit a fucking thing and they hold you down until they effect their counter-hotdrop.

Dreads should be flexible, deadly adversaries. They should cruise about the battlefield absolutely trashing their foes. They cost close to 4 billion to deploy, for fucks sakes. They need defences, including drones and the ability to fit tackle. The game has evolved to the point where peak players will do this, not just in C5 and C6 space.

Carriers need to be more than just Archons. There needs to be something going to the Minmatar, Gallente and Caldari carrier pilots beyond being suitcases with space-AIDS fatigue. Again, maneuverability may be the key to unlocking the meta of capital fights and reinvigorating warfare.

What do they have to lose? Nothing - they've already lost plenty of subscribers over neutralising, nobbling and nullifying the capital warfare game. Replacing the rock-paper-scissors attrition fights of old, and making it more like the ships of the line, might be what the doctor ordered.

Here's a video of what EVE Dreadnought combat could look like.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Krab Extinction?

There's a lot of debate about krabbing and escalations on the EVE-O forums, with some amazingly retarded ideas being thrown about to fix the problem. Like, making Sleepless Guardians invulnerable for 30 minutes to lock escalating caps onto grid. Because what EVE really needs right now is making you play the game for 30 fucking minutes for no reward whatsoever, as an entirely artificial punishment for you engaging in PVE.

The real problem with the krabbing problem is whether it is a problem at all.

As i have mentioned recently, I built a Phoenix, and I have been paying it off by slaughtering Sleepers in the C4. I've spent big on a strategic asset, and I'm paying it off and de-risking the whole effort and I might even make a billion or two profit over the course of the life cycle of this Phoenix. It's not going anywhere, it's not breaking anyone else's game, and it's not affecting anyone else's economy. But I sue as fuck won't be ratting with open statics until the corporation gets a bit bigger again, because although it's in a kind of fucked insane spot in the Black Hole, it's not a solo killdozer.

The difference is, of course, I can't chain the same site for days at a time. If i could, I'd have paid the thing off twice already, since i've realistically done 15 sites. I could have done the equivalent of 45 if I could run them all 3 times before they de-spawn. That's payoff, even at 100M a site. Which takes as little as 5 minutes, which is kind of neat/broken.

This isn't just a humble brag; this illustrates krabbing in it's entirety and illustrates the apparent problem. The krab rolls himself in, bunkers down with his alts, and turns as many sites over in as short a period of time as possible. The ISk/hr on offer is pretty sweet, even accounting for rolling and salvaging. But it's still risky - if the wrong hole rolls in to me at the wrong time, poof, dead phoenix no arguments. It might be the case I can take down the odd T3 as I fall (due to hilarity of BH Phoenixing) but the chances of blapping enough to survive is remote. At least this side of having other measures in place.

So, the real debate going on with krabbing is that apparently not enough people roll in to krabs. Full stop. That's the problem. I'll demonstrate why all the other arguments are invalid.

Krabs make too much money

Defining the problem as 'krabs make too much money' as Two Step did, is missing the whole point about why people play EVE and why people PVE. EVE is not a zero-sum game. Unlike the real world money is not limited. When Noobman brags he makes 75-125 billion a month, does it take money out of my pocket? Does it affect my game? No. mostly because i don't want own purple DCU's for my Revenant and am not competing with him to buy them. But even if I were, so what? Noobman can krab his umpteen alts all he wants and it isn't going to prevent me from accessing content or in-game resources. If he doesn't have enough ISK already (last week, 80B liquid) then it's no skin of my nose if he keeps krabbing to afford his second Revenant or fifth Aeon or whatever.

Krabs force the price of PLEX up. 
Most krabs are probably alts on accounts paid for with PLEX, paid for with krabbing. The krabbing toon might be training up using Multi Character Training Certificates. Big fucking whoop. It's 1 to 2 billion a month of ISK going to someone with less time to play the game who wants to buy 50 Cyclones and blow them up, or something. So, to say you restrict krabbing income is to basically say you are against people doing that. Be as that may, there's other ways of supporting krab farms, or affording PLEX; and if you want to have a Krab toon on your account, you can invest some PLEX and ISk into MCT's and get the alt to the level needed to do the job and then not MCT/PLEX anymore. Again, harming no one.

Krabbing is too easy
Possibly the most valid, this is equivalent to saying that ratting carriers in nullsec do Sanctums or Hordes too easily. Yeah, so what? The most valid argument against krabbing is the one which states that Escalations should be a group activity not soloable in a single dread. Fair call, but at the end of the day, I solo in a dread and if I'm solo and HK-LZHX-EXIT-whoever rolls in to me I'm fucked. Some slovenly bunch of noobs rolls in, and drop inappropriate things on me that I can apply my damage to, they die horribly. Like, really horribly (think Lords Servant solo phoenix style). Even if you make it a group activity, there are people who'll killdozer you and there's people who'll welp into your escalation quad / solo dread, whatever.

This is also an argument to say "I am jealous you have figured out how to do something i cannot, so we must remove it". OK, but why? ISK supply is an invalid argument, economic harm is invalid, so apparently is doing something efficiently. I don't see the logic.

Do escalations needs to change? 

Argubly, yes. The total ISK, the difficulty, the chaining of anomalies, all of this could be changed in some fashion or another to alter the dynamic of krabbing to make it less lucrative or less a solo activity, and it may only serve to drive economic activity to other sectors - like Incursions, which are like krabbing for the totally risk-averse. I mean, any discussion of krabbing has to consider whre this ISK generating activity will be displaced to, and whether that activity is even more 'unbalanced' than krabbing. Yes, escalations themselves could change. But how?

The Carmen Sandiago
As I laid out on the EVE-O forums, I'd propose the 'Carmen Sandiago' model. When you escalate a site in a C5-C6, your capital spawns the escalation wave. You then complete the anomaly, and it respawns as a second-stage escalation anomaly. You can then run that, and the third and the fourth and finally the sig is depleted. So you get the same ISK, but it's done with and de-spawned within 72 hours. This would see active krab holes readily depleted, and the Krab would then have to look to his static for content and ISK, or wait for sites to spawn in home. But if you let sites spawn in home, you risk having them poached. This could potentially create competitive tension, which is essentially lacking in C5-C6 space but is a feature of low-class space.

Rebalance of rats 
Escalations are essentially fatal for subcaps, which means subcap fleets don't attempt to go in with dreads and carriers in meaningful ways to complete escalations. It's more efficient to use a Zephyr or cloaky scout to set a warp-in close to the spawn point of the escalation rats and drop several dreads to clean them up quickly, than it is to bother deploying subcaps. This is why you see the whole krabbing thing evolving; people have realised that subcaps are extraneous, don't add anything and just make life a hassle and (assuming 1 toon per ship) cause a split in ISK which is disproportionate and difficult to balance for ISK-at-risk.

Thus, the claim krabbing should be a group activity is defeated by the rats, which are too powerful for subcaps to survive unassisted, and too weak and easily gamed, and too efficiently dispatched with by solo dreads. Therefore, the rats could be rebuilt to reinvigorate the genre without affecting escalatability, ISK on offer.

I'm not in favour of randomised spawning. The Citadel cruise Phoenix is the ultimate rememdy for that with 250km missile range and wrong levels of application. If you're on grid, you're at threat. Random or long spawns will just see dread toons retrain to Phoenix and blap away efficiently.

I think that to rebase escalation rats, the Sleepless Guardians should be more a threat to the capitals than subcaps. It is time, arguably, for capital rats. Yeah, I fucking went there.

They should be a threat only to slow-moving, high-sig subcaps, and should tank 2000-3000 DPS (ie, short of W-R's, invulnerable to small gangs of gank dessies), and be vulnerable or best cleared off using Dreads. They should do about 2,000-4,000 DPS to Dreads, which will severely threaten them in large numbers, requiring careful escalation scheduling. They should have infinipoint, to prevent Zoidberging off with stabs, but to allow metas built around supporting BS with MJD's to break off.  They should have neuts, maybe even ECM bursts or AEO damage upon death.

They should be impressive, dangerous foes you have to carefully approach, and have to strategically deal with. It should be a real struggle to multibox several capitals against them - not impossible, just difficult and challenging for peak-nerds and people who enjoy multiboxing. 

If this was the future of Escalations, then it would be a moot point whether you close your hole or come up with a strategy to protect yourself. I mean, you can have open holes, and cloaked rockspider caps waiting to dogpile back through to collapse the connection the instant anyone finds your statics. No fucking about with statics or spawn rates or spawn mechanisms as proposed by various fuckheads on the forums, is going to change krabbing without being instantly gamed away. No. Krabbing must stay - the future is to accept its presence, but provide exciting gameplay skewed towards driving activity in the static versus weekly hour-long grind fests.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Fall of the Skull King

Remember how i ran you guys through a logic tree of entosis and citadels a few weeks back?

Yeah. Someone at CCP either read it and understood it, or came to the same conclusion from using their brains in a logical fashion.

Entosis links won't work on the new Citadels because;
  • It’s not fun being shot by massive structure weapons while being unable to retaliate in kind, it gives players the feeling to be helpless while they watch a timer go down
  • There is gameplay involved in applying damage that Entosis Links do not preserve, like range, speed, falloff or positioning
  • It devalues capital ships as a whole, especially Dreadnoughts, which were specifically introduced to assault and destroy static structures
  • Last but not least, there is a visceral connection in shooting a structure down to destroy it. Having guns blazing while watching the target hit points go down is a very strong visual and adrenaline factor that Entosis Links remove out of the equation.
Yeah, seems pretty similar a list of points to what i wrote.

Good on you CCP, for using your brains and ears and eyes and backing out of an untenable position. better to not have egg on your face here, than introduce it and have everyone table flip when their dreads die fruitlessly attacking Citadels.

Bt at it's core, it is clear that the Sov laser / Flashlight / Laser Tag / fucking useless waste of resources theory which has driven CCP's development time with Aegis sov over the last six, twelve months has been a collossal waste of time, effort, money, and they have been burning PR and goodwill like an Arab sheikh burns oil in his Bughatti Veyron to drive down the shops and buy a small mesoamerican dictatorship.

Honestly speaking here, I know this is a difficult game to balance, but it is absolutely and crystally clear now that there's a faction or tribe in CCP wedded to this theory that Aegis sov lasering is good and will provide better gameplay, and this tribe of untermensch devs has climbed atop the skull pile, jabbing their Entosis spears into the smoky night sky, howling like bonoboes on heat (hint: they're always fucking on heat), proclaiming DPS vs EHP is dead. Beneath the feet of the Skull King, the lesser and weaker devs cower in awe, thoughtless vessels madly coding his wishes, and no one questions the correctness or logic.

Then, like MacBethian revenge, the other Devs have skulked in the roots of the jungle trees, gaining feedback and mewling obsequious platitudes to the Skull King of Aegis, and carefully and coolly been trawling blogs, forums, gaining feedback. Their own still-functioning vestigial reptilian brainstems work overtime, in between trying to create a meaningless set of pretty skins for people's ships, and grunting in puzzlement they reveal - Eureka - this makes no fucking sense and no one wants it and it'll not do its intended job. It's fucked and the Skull King fucked it.

An unknown Untermensch Dev rises amongst the fallen throngs of his people. Emaciated, streaked in filth and dross, caked in the mud of having to rebalance Shield Power Relays and rename modules to nonsensical bullshit, an unnamed leader emerges. He is angry, for he can put two and two together and realises it is not the seven of which the Skull King proclaims it is merely four, and four isn't even divisible into seven, what the fuck is this idiot going on about?

Energised by this atavistic rage, and with the rats of the jungle quitting in droves threatening starvation of the race of Devs who would otherwise have to go work for WoW or move back in to their mother's basements, the untermensch devs stage a rebellion, rising from the tussock-grass of obscurity to defend proper game systemas and logically thought out game mechanics.

No more broken, illogical one-sided systems!
No more binary gameplay choices!
No more distant, un-involving timer play!
No space hobbit loot bullshit!

So they throw the spear of logical cause-and-effect and it strikes the Skull King right in the middle of the projected sales and income part of CCP's board meeting. The Skull God has noticed, and the Skull God is unhappy, for Hilmar cannot monetise his shares in CCP and afford a maserati if the Skull Pile has no rats. The gaze of the Skull God falls upon the land, baleful and distant, and his voice bellows forth like a clarion call:

"Uh, guise, can you like not totally fuck this shit up I want to spend some money making an EVE RTS, after I make an EVE FPS and an EVE flight sim to go with the Oculus Rift, and maybe some werewolf game? That'd be cool thanks."

The Skull King is wounded, clinging atop his pile of skulls, fighting against the realisation that a year's worth of work is coming crashing down as it always would. His God is angry and has nearly forsaken him, and the untermensch know it; they rebel and mutter amongst themselves even as they feast on the ever-dwindling resources of the rats.

The fantasy of the Skull King is broken, the untermensch know he is not the conduit to the Skull God and the bringer of rains. he is just a slightly tubby virgin with a vested interest in protecting his intellectually barren position of believing his pet theory is better, when it is provably worse.

The ratsof the jungle rejoice! But all is not well, the war of the Skull Pile is not finished. Cower, little rats, in your jungle abodes,

If this was a mine site (a familiar environment for me) you coild boil this kind of problem down into one of engineering. 

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Black Hole Phoenix

Fun times were had by all.

Firstly, we are building out a bunch of Phoenixes in our C4 black hole. No secrets, we has dreads.

I dropped mine on a Rattler the other day and his alt in a Proteus. The Rattler and Prot had found their way into us via a K162 from C4 and we deployed a bait rolling Raven (which died). But we got tackle and held the Rattler on field long enough for my Phoenix to land and two-shot the poor fucker.

Then the Proteus orbited the wormhole, clearly thinking he was immune to the Phoenix. One TP later and I one shot him.

The Phoenix is also a great money-maker. It can solo all the C4 sites, top to bottom, frigs included. You can one-shot the BS using a hyena for webs and TP's, one-shot cruisers with webs on them, and two shot frigs without webs (once they slow into orbit). 300M ISK/hr achievable, easily. maybe more, if we can get our webbing tactics down and coordinate the Phoenix targeting the ships that get  webbed.

Honestly, I think the Phoenix is the pre-eminent blap dread as long as you go for Citadel Cruise. Even in k-space, it should reign supreme if you can deploy and keep up decent webbing and TP support (bear in mind that webs are super-important in the Black Hole due to the speed buff).

For instance, 4 Phoenix with a nano gang support of linked Huginns / Basilisks would be able to blap basically any DPS ship in k-space without the BH effect. The maths stack up, it's just a fucking fact. All you need is to be able to find the right enemy fleet comp, drop your cyno at the right spot, and not face too many opposing dreads, and you'd be golden.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

TBGRL 2014-2015 RIP

Well, for a completionist "i did a thing" having an Alliance was a 6 week training queue effort, a billion ISK and a year's worth of annoyance. But it's over and everyone can now not have to look at the TBGRL ticker and think "is that what I think it says?"

Not a bad effort, really.

3,293 kills, for 506 billion
1,140 losses for 114 billion

Peak was 278 toons, I think, which made us one of the top 15 wormhole alliances for a little while, until general malaise and idiocies began to cause casualties. Mostly this was caused by having standards like, not losing 5.8 billion ISK freighters on the day you join a corporation when you drive it into Burn Amarr while being told on comms not to do that exact one thing. When your CEO doesn't cull you, you get your corp culled.

Or there's the multiple Raven Navy Issue fetishists.

Other standards upheld to the detriment of raw numbers were activity level minimums. Most of the guys trimmed would come back, only to go AFK almost instantly again anyway, so eventually I stopped re-upping them and there you have it.

I guess, being honest, alliances in wormhole space are basically vanity plates anyway. You might be able to collectivise alt corporations under one banner but this is essentially meaningless anyway. Working out of multiple wormholes means a lack of any real cohesion. Working from one (this side of alliance BM's) means raw, lemon-in-cock-wound pain for multiple corps. So you are fucked either way, or maintain the vanity plate for vanity's sakes, which isn't really the main game here.

Also, being honest, I have enough of a headache giving a shit about recruiting for one corp and organising one corp, so I found it pointless and painful to bother with several. That might be my winning personality and all. It might not be my best strength.

But either way, better to wrap a bow around it than let it moulder and rot.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

A conversation


Having now successfully impersonated a dev, I deserve a ban, a la this TMC article.

I am not surprised that CCP is getting rather thin-skinned and is basically trying to act like the NSA on poor publicity. While i don't completely agree with Vos on all his points, I do agree that when CCP devs are unable to take a meme as a joke, they really need to have a long, hard look at themselves.

Sure, ban people for "impersonation". It would help, however, if you got a proper definition of impersonation first, you fucking imbeciles. Creating what is essentially a meme is not impersonation.

Impersonating people for fun is different from impersonation for malicious or misleading purposes. It's called satire and lampooning. Comedy stems from impersonating people in a ludicrous and exaggerated way - this is about as ancient a form of comedy as any.

Here's an impersonator.

No one would have convicted Charlie Chaplin of war crimes, genocide and anti-semitism for this, would they? CCP would. They would have permabanned Chaplin instantly.

If we all risk a permaban for comedic impersonation of CCP Devs, then CCP is on a terrible, slippery slope to self-destruction of whatever community goodwill they have left.

The other part of the ban which is distrurbing is that CCP went to the extent of banning this person for entirely out of game behaviour, via linking the user's email to the email used for their account.

This is a dangerous precedent for the company, which is basically saying they will, if they feel the need, run a background check or trawl the web for any content they feel could give them an excuse to ban who they want to ban. This would include, for instance, calling a dev a cock puppet repeatedly or any number of other things tangentially related to the EULA, on any public message board or in any space upon the internet. Or maybe not; you'd never know and never get a fair hearing, or any hearing at all.

It is very dubious to ban someone using an agreement governing conduct in game and on the game's forums for behaviour out of the game and not on the game's forums. At it's most basic, the EULA governs only those domains and servers and properties CCP owns and you pay for. You agree to abide by their rules while playing their game on their servers. It would be interesting to see if you could turn up to and EVE player gathering and do a live stand-up impersonation of a Dev and get banned - that's the level CCP is sinking to.

You have been warned. No impersonating Fozzie, no matter ho bad it is.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

In other news

We did the special quinella today. I found one POs 2 minutes from being online, and killed an SMA.

Half an hour later, while camping a bubble spot off another POS and trying to gank a guy whi'd just run out to lowsec in a Viator, the POS turned off and Leon says, incredulously, "This POs just turned off. Like, right now, in front of my eyes, the fuel ran out."

So we shot it. We made off with 300M loot, maybe 500M.

Combined with the POs from a few days ago, a nice billion ISK warchest for the corp.

Seems that when you get 3 POSs in 3 days, you can see how well this game is holding the attention of its players. We shall be rage rolling. A lot.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Bleh legion

So, BL has decided to exit the tepidly unexciting game of Fozziesov.

Or maybe they are just having an emokid shitting in their own weeties session.

Who knows?

But the result is that, as predicted earlier, there will be a lot of capitals and supers moving into lowsec in the near future. This is a logical and rational response to, as pointed out by the first BL propagandik post, there being no point having them in nullsec at all when any fucktard in an interceptor or Scythe Fleet issue can wave a wand / flashlight / sov-kerjigger at any structure and spawn ten command nodes.

As also pointed out earlier (if it seems like I'm repeating myself about the structural problems of Fozziesov, I am) the devolution of sovereignty warfare to boredom warfare between valueless alts orbiting valueless buttons for set lengths of time seems like Faction Warfare mechanics - it is. Except unlike FW, the rewards are not measurable in Loyalty Points, but are tangential and intangible meta-rewards like "i have somewhere to run my Forsaken Hubs for hours and hours on end".

Essentially, it's hard to motivate a PVPer to defend sov against frigates and troll ceptors, and even harder to motivate a renter to do the same, because renters gonna rent. The flag planted atop the flagpole socket that is their upturned rectum is irrelevant - they are still getting rectally shaftedand when you are a subservient peon snuffling dick crumbs shed from the phalluses of your rental overlords, it doesn't matter which sneering face you obsequiously grovel beneath. Therefore, to renters, sov can wash past them and they become a commidity traded by those with the most entosis alts and the most alternative screens upon which to run PLEX-supported alt accounts to win a war of alts.

This, surely, is an improvement on the pre-Aegis sov DPS-vs-EHP mechanism, you say. Indeed it must be, for subs beget subs and the wealthy elites of the game maintain their empires by warring over cock-target shitheel renters. It's just reinventing the way rental empires are herded and corralled, not reinvigorating warfare in nullsec.

Meanwhile, the people who play this game for exciting gudfites pile into lowsec, squeezing ever-more dreads into a limited range of useful space, the good territory dictated by the "fingernails peeled and dipped in lemonjuice" pain index which is Phoebe jump fatigue AKA Space AIDS and jump fatigue.

The upshot of this is obviously that we will begin to see more complaints about jump fatigue. The game will ever more become centred around hotdropping and BLOPsing (see Elo Knight's laughable plan for Blockade Runner BLOPs mobility...gl) and dogpiling every fucker and shitheel pirate in lowsec. As this pressure-cooker lowsec Mad max death trip heats up the limits of fatigue will begin to bite. i give it 3 weeks before the nascent fatigue thread on Features and Ideas begins to get flooded with posts along the likes of "it is teh_gh3y" and "omg fuck you Fozzie".

Meanhile, in nullsec, with BL out or rolled ever-tighter into PL (which doesn't do Fozziesov) and Goons who apparently do (but really don't; Provi hasn't fallen and only R3-K7K is vulnerable right now) , there's precious little real Fozziesov actually going on.

I mean, if Imperium hasn't even taken ONE system out of Provi inside a week, you have to ask whether this is good, bad or, most likely, very badly indifferent. Clearly Goons don't care to take sov, or literally cannot take sov, under Fozziesov. It's hard to believe that a week-long invasion hasn't yielded any results beyond a few thousand kills, mostly third partying by various vulturous entities including PL and BL and so on ad nauseum. If all the third partying was left out, there would be probabl nothing much to report - some dudes blew their weekend achieving nothing and their enemies blew their weekend ensuring that nothing happened, oh and a few ships died. Mostly ceptors.

I'm looking forward to BL's move to lowsec. We might finally see another Asakai or B-R5RB come up once someone drops the hammer and every other tool in the shed dogpiles in. it's looking like it'll be something close to Gallente space.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Predator vs Prey

The American Experiment is over; I booted the last American corp from the Alliance, which means there isn't really much left of Prolapse. besides Sudden Buggery. Not much of a disaster, really.

I think that perhaps I was a bit misguided thinking carebear leopards might change their spots. Bringing on board a corp with a 50% killboard efficiency under the proviso that they want to PVP and will relearn how to play their game, and relearn or take up an entirely different way of thinking about how to go about wormholes, was possibly a bit of a stretch.

They don't know how to think like a hunter (evidence is abundant), and didn't get involved in any way, shape or form (few exceptions) and continue to carebear at the expense of not only hideously embarrassing 2 billion ISK Raven Navy Issues and other assorted blinged-out carebear chariot losses, but they don't have the mindset to really work well as a team.

This is what really shits me. If i am going to kick Getchyo Asswooped for ignoring the golden mantra, then I have to apply the same standards to whole corporations. Losing ships is what happens in EVE, but not only is losing a 2 billion ISK ship every two weeks stupid, it basically says you have been carebearing for two weeks solid ONLY to afford to replace your ship. Or maybe buying PLEX.

Then, to lose it within minutes of someone else being ganked in a DST because you weren't on comms, didn't check if it was safe, and had been told not a minute before, to get out of your ship and not warp to the hole? Yeah, that's just plain retarded and disrespectful and shows that you aren't playing a corporate game, but basically just leveraging a corp and alliance of PVPers and smart, hard-working players to enable your basically solo quest to carebear and afford the blinged toys.

That's not what I consider sustainable. Either way, I'd rather be the one relieving you of your 2 billion ISK Raven Navy Issue versus having you shitting up the alliance killboard pointlessly every 2 weeks, or more regularly.

So, where to from here?

Well, who knows? Might be time to shake things up a bit.