Monday, 15 August 2016

The inevitable Betrayal

We don't know why Care For Kids is anchoring a swathe of Astrahus citadels around Heimatar, but they are. We are not entirely happy about this, because they didn't ask, and if they dont get consent it's rape, and we are against rape culture. Or something.

Either way, midway through a short bash of an Astrahus in Bundindus, some randoms rolled in via a wormhole. Rather than, as we would have done, attempting to drop atop the oracles and mebbe gank one, they convoed our guy and asked if they could join.

Of course. Anything to make the interminable grind go faster. Except, it didn't help, of course; the DPS cap means a Citadel siege always takes at least half an hour.

At 10% hull, the inevitable happened.

I mean, it's fairly much inevitable that if you join a bunch of -10 guys, you're going to get betrayed once your utility is over. It's like bathing with sharks, or voting - it never ends well.

Is CCP gambling?

This is more something the Aussies will know about, but either way, here's a TL;DR on the background.

We have an Independent Senator, Nick Xenophon. he began his politican career as an anti-gambling advocate (gambling is a $12B per annum industry in Australia, alone, mostly horse and sports betting and poker machines / slot machines). So he did well harnessing outrage at impersonal multibillion dollar industries which exploit - without a doubt - the people in society who are addicted to gambling.

So now Xenophon, in an election stunt one would think (we just had one, you probably didn't notice because it was boring AF) has begun agitating to have online gaming brought under the umbrella of anti-gambling legislation.

What the fuck has this got to do with EVE, you ask? Money badger Coalition? IWANTISK? EveBet (run by Aussies, I believe)?

It's an interesting question whether,
a) the Australian government (which is in a tenuous position and needs to suck Xenophon's politicock to get anywhere) will
i) even entertain the proposed laws in any shape or form and if it does,
ii) will it even pass the laws?
b) Whether Australia has the jurisdiction to enforce anti-gambling legislation on foreign domiciled publishers or content providers,
c) if the government does have the laws and jurisdictions, will content providers remove lucrative as fuck revenue streams or
d) maybe they'll wall off Australians from this content in-game or, even worse, just refuse to provide service to Australia. Which we all know will just revolve around Aussies using VPN's and the like to work around geoblocking in all its forms

There's also a lot of wwork to be done in classifying gambling online in-game versus gambling online on the outcome of games.

And, in the EVE context, is gambling with in-game money (ISK) going to be covered? it's in a way a fig leaf to classify ISK as a non-asset; true you can't monetise it according to the EULA but that's irrelevant if the law is designed to stop gambling addicts (kids or otherwise) from taking their (or daddy's) credit cards and indulging a gambling addiction. it just means that instead of people winning big a la CSGO random jackpot loot crates and gambling, trading, speculating on it that way and making bank...people just pay CCP fully to convert money to PLEX, which means that their "winnings" are not even winnings as they can't be cashed out.

It's an interesting thing to consider that the way the EULA is set up, CCP is firstly profiting totally from all forms of in-game gambling with and on EVE. That includes the Alliance Tournaments and ISK gambling on sporting events (like the Olympics, lets say, or Euro 2016). The gamblers pay CCP, and that's it. The loss is total, and CCP has no interest in stopping people sinking thousands into PLEX to pay for ISK betting. In fact, erversely, the EULA really encourages CCP to support this form of gambling, because CCP makes dank bank.

Secondly, because you can't cash out winnings legally, the problem gamblers may get even more addicted because their money is lost anyway, and they may as well keep gambling away until its all gone.

I think Nick Xenophon has a very poor understanding of gaming, but a very keen understanding of gambling. E-sports and gambling are made for one another, and despite a few MMO's being runaway successes and a few games being runaway successes, the fact is CSGO is making bank on gambling because it has to, and can't afford to really cut it out. And the way the world works, if you cut it out the gambling providers will make a work-around, and take the gambling underground and take the mney out of the game developer's pockets.

it bears watching, because while Xenophon has his crusade, he isn't particularly religious. There's a hundred times as many puritans in America who could, once they're finished bricking up women's vajayjays and gay men's butts, turn their ire to other vices. Like gambling, and online gambling, and then make the connection that people treat computer games like SRS BSNS and make SRS DANK BANK from gambling on the SRS BSNS.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Let's Brag

Wormhole Town Hall - The village idiot's view

So, as usual, timezones made me miss it, but I caught a whiff of the politics and the problems being discussed.

One view is that numbers in wormholes are down (by one metric, capital kills in Anoikis are at a 12 month low) because of the changes to capital escalations. The view of one gentleman (names withheld) was that without the lure of dank escal ISK, and with the advent of Drifter escalations , his corporation was suffering a bleeding of care bear members who are now doing anoms in nullsec with carriers and Ishtars/VNI's.

I think his idea for growing a wormhole corporation relates entirely to providing your corporation members with such an unlimited pipeline of ISK that this overabundance of money and the need to take an infinitesimally small risk to get it (he quoted "being dropped by Blood Union after sealing the statics" which is like saying AIDS after condom) will entice people to playing the game the way you, the content creator, wants to play it, which is to find pew pew all the time and make money off pew pew that way.

I've been there, done that.

The problem with this line of thinking is, well, no offence to carebears because we all need ISK to fund extravagant or not so extravagant PVP or ship collection fetishes, but the problem is that in order to make a corporation which can field any number of members you are relying on living in the space with the most exploitable ISK faucet.

For a while, it was Incursions, and so people "ran Incursion alts" and got 150M ticks and flew dank Macha fleets about hisec. Then they nerfed Incursions slightly, and it came back to C5 space, and people piled their bears in there and faked being valuable corp members just to grind ISK. But hero dreading was a thing, too, and no one needs a corp for that, so C5 numbers started declning, and the HK and Lazerhawks model of farmsteading and C5 crofting took off, which allowed the solo bear to farm comfortably with hero dreads outside the structure of Quaserknocks and make dank ISK.

Maybe not quite as dank as some hoped, but lets e honest, for a limited number of C5's, this model has served the top tier C5 monoliths well, rentals or not aside; control the space, monopolise the dankest ISK faucets, and let the PVP sort itself out via a handful of yuge entities attracting the genuine PVPers to the genuine PVP content.

The nerf to capital escalations, realistically, is a major nerf to the Quaserknocks crofting model, not so much the second tier C5 corp which attracts the farmers when the going is good. The farmers and bears are probably leaving for nullsec because, being honest here, they are just gigantic fat spergy retards you don't acctually want in your corp, do absolutely nothing for your corp, and are better off elsewhere.

Maybe you nerds can't all hero dread anymore.but from what I've seen and heard, even numbnuts and second rate PVPers no one rates as "elite" (say Sacred Empire of Elysium, Jaded.) roll 4-5 man RR snake fleets around and are pulling in 650-750M ISK an hour for the gang. If that's 1-3 people, it's good ISK. hey are just doing it in the static (ohnoes!) and farming more sites externally than they have internally, and maybe they lose the odd snake to a hostile escalating Thanatos or something. this is still decent ISK, wormhole style. It's enough to keep you ticking along, and you can base out of a C2 with E545/N060 and get nullsec pew pew.

The bears? The worthless buttplugs shoved up the arse of wormhole corps to make their rosters look great? Let them sperge off to wheeze demands at nullsec renter slumlords and complain about space AIDS not bookmarking nomenclature. So what if the fucking cunts farm in carriers - more carriers to kill in nullsec!

And the crofting model? Well, not entirely dead, but it has its challenges. It's also, honestly, just as valid to chuck those farming alts into nullsec and croft in the company of idiots with carriers. If thats the dankest fucking ISK, then that's the dankest ISK.

Sperging in the Town Hall about it makes you look like the village idiot, a whiny Rain Man type fool, pining for days of yore. Days of yore are gone, you need to restructure your corp, your farming, your farmers expectations of unlimited ISk rains and bumper crops 23.75/7, and move the fuck on.

Oh, and less caps are dying in wormholes because less people are finding ways to YOLO them in to each other, not because there's less farmers to kill. And the lack of content we can sheet home exlusively to Citadels.

Sunday, 7 August 2016


Shopping about for a wormhole corp?

Besides applying to Empty Vessels ASAP, check out the monthly leaderboards.

Disconnections, Collapsed Connections

YOLO is all about finding two tengus in a C4 on the other side of a crit hole and saying "Fuck it, we're going in."

Thus it came to pass we took in upon a lone Tengu what was scooping his tractor, and used the time honored Critted Hole Gank Fleet
1 x Machariel of fatness
1 x Scimitar of Reppage
1 x Huginn of Webbishness
1 x Stratios called Jigglypuf's Vagina, for tackle
1 x Ashimmu +Infinity vs active tanked Tengus "Vorpal Capacitrix"

Add all the above to Tengu, and watch him die. Well, slowly.

We were betting his mate(s) might come back but it is claimed that his other clients disconnected. This may or may not be true, Bob's will is ineffable and effing stupid sometimes, but either way the Loot Fairy said "Here is 2 B-type invuls, have a great party". We got the corpse, too.

Personally, I doubt any tale of disconnection, because everyone else who disconnects doesn't swap targets nor lose pods that sit there long enough to be locked by a cruiser, but who am I to say? I also wouldn't have brought a second 1.7B ISk Tengu back to join the first, that just being a recipe for el disastro.

The entry hole still being up, we flew home and managed to get the Scimitar and the Huginn (with loot) out of the hole. The rest of us, being my two toons and the Macha, had to go out via the X877 (which rolled behind us), to another C4, to a C3 with hisec.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

YOLOQuest V - Lif's Demise

Some friends were out doing a more or less suicidal frigate roam through Nullsec, creating content for themselves and a couple of rich bastards. This was your bog standard "just re-subbed let's fly around until we die to the new meta" kind of thing.

Then in JMH-PT they see a cyno go up, at a moon. They warp over and shoot it, as you do, and just before the cyno pops, a Lif appears on field. Alone. So they begin shooting it, not even realising what it really is, except it's just jumped in and the cyno is dead so you never know what's going to happen, but either way they can bug out if the cavalry arrives. If not, well, maybe killmail?

So they shoot and shoot and shoot, and the lif enters armour. The pilot them ejects a Phantasm, to shoot them, because of course that's what you do when your shiny hauling boat is tackled. This goes badly.

So there's 3 frigates, orbiting an unpiloted Lif, which is stuck miles and miles deep into the arse end of Scalding Pass. Better yet, none of them can fly the Lif.

So this is where I come in, burning 10 jumps through lowsec and 16 through nullsec, in my Garmur (not even a travel ceptor), and arrive.As promised, a Lif, unpiloted.

I board it, and there's more shit in the ship maintenance bay; an Arazu, a Stratios, and a Vargur. I drop all but the Vargur out and begin plotting my exit route. It's not good; 5 mids just to get back to lowsec. Or, I could boat the Lif 20 jumps through nullsec with an escort, and reduce this to 2. My jump out point is JPL-RA in great Wildlands - this is 11 jumps of hot null to null action.

So, we go down the route, and cross jump some guys in 504Z-V and F8k-WQ. A noob corp alt is in F8K-WQ, and follows to the CRXA gate; the forward scout calls out an onyx is anding on the gate as I'm in warp. Ruh roh.

Comms is something like:

"I'm boned."
"Yeah, you're boned. An Eris now as well."
"Doubly boned."
"LOL, so boned."
"Kill that Eris, I'm bubbled."
"Cyno's up!"
(Nag, bunch of Redeemers, Tengus, etc)

SO I eject the Vargur from the Lif
"Where'd that Vargur come from?"
"Uh..." I say, trying not to mention I'd been thinking of holding onto it.
"Wait...did you not tell us? I hope you make it."
"Yeah, I'll make it." i say, noting my afterburner is a Gist X type. I think "Oh fuckballs, what the fuck is this thing fit with?" Keep in mind, I haven't even looked at the fit of the Vargur by this time, I'm just tunnel vision trying to dodge the fuck out of bumps and webs and all this other crap. So I open up the fitting window and drag it to the intel channel and, mid tunnel-vision, I hear someone say "HOLY FUCKING SHIT" and someone else mention "Mizuros, jeez."

Sweating bullets now.

I jump to CRXA-Y and bounce about safes for 11 minutes. But it's a small system, and the enemy probing Tengu lands closer and closer to my limited number of safe options. None of the Serpentis sites are off the ecliptic, so i can't really get any good angles for dumping safes in odd spots, so i eventually have to dump onto a POCO.

It goes south from there.

I share my fit in fleet now I'm tackled. Soon, it's shared with all of Battleclinic.

The Lif, thankfully, was stolen a second time, by Sholupen.

So. I lost a Garmur and a skull ful of implants I pulled (+3's), and a percent ISK efficiency. Tiger prince lost the Lif, a 4B ISK Vargur, an Arazu (see here) and a Stratios (c. 450M), plus his Phantasm. Say, 7.5B ISK, lost to a Worm, a Crow and a Catalyst.

Sure, i didn't make the Great Escape. My motorbike clipped the barbed wire fence and fell into the minefield. My second attempt to combat roll out of said minefield went a bit awry (oh for a 73 AU across system) but it was close. 4 minutes close.

Or, you know, if we'd had our cyno ships a couple of jumps closer and I had less YOLO and more FOMO, maybe the 4 of us would be rolling in dank spacebucks. Either way, that was some intense good craic.