Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Vale, Alarm Clock Ops

I think it's been long enough to say it definitively: Citadels are boring AF. They are crushing content creation. They are non-interactive and, especially in wormholes, discourage content.

Their effect on content creation is one of their "features", being that the defender gets a window of vulnerability in which it can be assaulted. The effect isn't that Citadels cannot and are not being destroyed, but that the effort of destruction isn't even going ahead. This is because the old dynamic of the 40 hour reinforcement is gone, replaced by predictable defender-friendly timers.

That's not all bad, I guess. EVE is a fairly antisocial game and not family friendly (ask my wife) and Citadels rebase the risk to times of the day and week that the defender can more usually be present to defend their shit, and not leave it vulnerable to off-hours attacks which can only be defended against via designing your POS to be boring, unfeasible, or too deadly for casual attack.

But this means that timers can't be gamed. You also have to face 3 of them, so the whole process drags out for such a inconveniently long period of time that it's essentially boredom defence in a way that can't be gamed (via Trashcats, diplomacy, or brute strength)

The DPS cap, meant to protect the weaker Astrahus and Fortizar from capital blobbing in lowsec and nullsec, basically means it's 30 minutes, flat, to achieve each stage. So there's a limited incentive for more people to get involved than is necessary.

The microscopic vulnerability windows, especially in w-space, also drastically reduces the opportunities for "fuck it why not" content creation. No more LOLfit POSs getting RFed and nubs learned.

Indeed, a properly installed Citadel which isn't coathangered on anchoring, is to all intensive porpoises invulnerable on a years-long timeline.

We still have POSs for moon goo and some capital build-outs. That's about the only alarm clock ops on offer, and the churn rate of moon goo POSs is very low. This is even with the lack of other opportunities for hotdrop o'clock content from Citadels anchoring. The alliances and coalitions which own the goo fountains maintain them as part of sov, or entrenched "ownership" of pockets of lowsec.

It will be a sad day when the moon goo POSs get swapped over to Citadels or Mining Platforms. The reality is that the only fights occurring on goo POSs are structures to take advantage of a percieved weakness in the TZ manpower of the owner, their logistical capacities eg; ability to bridge, cyno, reposition or wormhole back to the asset when it is attacked, and their batphone / blues list or reputation. Few get attacked by naive corporations just wandering in to lowsec and RFing a Cadmium moon for shits and giggles under Shadow Cartel's noses, and this gambit succeeding.

Citadelization of goo POSs will strangle the only realistic fifth column tactic available to a smaller organisation versus some of the absentee landlords, which is an alarm clock op that sees the attacker gain a benefit over the defender. If the timers and vulnerabilities of Mining Arrays are equivalent to Citadels, this will see these assets attackable only by people able to go head to head with the owners.

I'm sure the owners will sockpuppet themselves on the EVE-O feedback thread claiming that vulnerable goo POSs equals economic death and blah blah blah, but the reality is that no structure - POS or a vulnerable Citadel - can withstand a decent cap fleet, so why do Citadels need to be locked down for the vast majority of the TZ's and hours of the day? It's got nothing to do with the maths of siege; it's entirely to do with firewalling your shit behind artificial timer lockouts to prevent annoyance for you, and deny content to others.

This is something CCP needs to be wary of. And CCP needs to also add more danger to wormhole Citadels. Like, seriously, 8 hours a week?

30 Cerbs vs 1 Rag

The following video catches the last 10 minutes (minus a minute or so of us reshipping) of what began, as usual, with a S199 opening up in Heimatar and someone stumbling through to see a Chimera out ratting.

We burned the Chimera down just before his rescue squad arrived (RIP) for the loss of a Rattlesnake and a Stiletto (Deklein BR somewhat borked).

They followed us through the hole into lowsec, en masse, and, well....we facerolled them with carriers and a Rag. We lost the Machariel due to some good work on behalf of the Keres, who range damped out logi so hardcore it was ineffective.

Heimatar BR.

You can notice Miskoranda's Scythe Fleet Issue diving south in the second engagement, dogpiled by all the tackle and drones. This resulted in four kills for the Scythe Fleet and distracted my whoring efforts with my own carrier. I am also rather a nub at carriers so far, so I am still learning the ropes. I probably should have stayed in the Barghest, but it's hard to know if it wouldn't have been primed.

GF's all round.


Ugh. How to lose 2 days of your life in a sweaty manky tangle of sheets: man-flu.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

The magnanimous hand of the free market

I love the internet. The internet economy (tm) connects customers and service providers all over the world.

For instance, there is a guy who can do some slick corporate advertising for you.

For example, Tengoo Uninstallation Service had a great advert.  It was so good you almost wanted to quit your corp and join Tengoo instantly.

So it's good to see that Tyrone ( is still working away providing videographic advertising services for EVE corporations, such as GECKO.

So, do yourselves a favour, recruiters, and step it up a notch and create the ultimate recruitment ad.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

The Cleanest Toilets

Just some thoughts everyone's said.
"The Augoror Purity skin looks like a stormtrooper helmet."
"This is the KKK SKIN set, right? This is the Aeon Grand Wizard SKIN."

Monday, 5 September 2016

Command Bursts and the Diablo II Paladin Gang

Firstly-firstly, may I laud the death of the so-called Leet PVPer kitefag homofucking cock gargling shithole cowardfucks who have abused the God mode OGB link boats since the day CCP gone fucked their cousin's earhole by putting them in the game in the first place.

Good riddance you over entitled shitlords. Go fuck your sisters.

Bt anyway. I digress.

I used to do multiplayer Diablo II back in the day in co-op mode. The most hilarious high-level co-op group we rolled was four high-level Paladins running auras, like thorns. because the Thorns stacked fom each of your buddies when monsters attacked you they took 800% of their own damage back. It was kinda broked.

We will have to see what the new Command Bursts (CB) will do, but I can foresee that this kind of pulse boosting leading to small gangs of Command Ships or Combat Battlecruisers all glomming up within each other's AEO burst modules on grid to get max awesome. This will kinda be similar to the group of Paladins.

For example, a group of 2 Eos and 2 Damnations each loading 2 CB modules could cover 8 of the 9 available armour / skirmish / EWAR boosts. Plus of course, you'd have some kind of DPS.

Secondly, there's obviously a bit of LOLs to be had with CB effects sticking to ships like cooties. So lets say you have a group of ships around an Orca in uedama. Lets say Catalysts or something. Someone lets off a CB and the ships get a buff. Some ne'er do well clones board the ships and before the magic glow fades, they warp across system and #YOLO onto a freighter or something. Like, someone else's neutral logi, for argument's sakes.

There's also a JUGE change with the bursts giving actual nett tank. Like, 21.5% hitpoints sprayed onto your fleet? Lets say you jump a wormhole with your gang of AHACs and Guards and have a Damnation with an Armour Reinforceent CB. You all uncloak and the Damnation bursts and magically you all have 21.5% more EHP. That's pretty interesting.

Likewise the Skirmish boosts are going to be very interesting given it's no longer a permanent Ludicrous Speed mode off-grid bullshit factor. The need to be within range of the CB to get the buff means this will become less about kitefage4evar and more about, for instance, a burst to shoot out from your ball of doom in a burst of speed and land that long web on your kiting faggot foes. This is a much more intriguing and skillful use, and no doubt the Balance legion cancerboat pilots will bitch when they get secret CB keelhauled.

The least useful links, as usual, will be infolinks. The Sensor Integrity link is going to be useless for anyone actually under a jam cycle, and of limited use for anyone not. The only effect it will counter is damps, and it's useful for that. Second least useful is the sensor optimisation link. Like, OK, can't we just fit a Sensor Booster these days? And if you're fighting at range and need those links to target, when they go down it's....kinda balls. Third least useful is the Electronic Superiority link, mostly because while the effect is good the need to be in range of your jam boat is...well, who parks a Falcon near the booster? I guess we'll all have to learn new ways of flying Falcons.

The skill modifiers for Leadership, Wing and Fleet command are interesting. I have suddenly come into the market for Fleet Command skill where previously I had no need, because now it adds vital range (20% @ level 5) whereas previously it just let you add rainbows to up to 5 wings.

There's definitely now a distinct need for a well-rounded Battlecruiser, Command Ship and T3 pilot to train these up, because we should see some of the "G4 Paladins" BC gangs rolling about.

Consider, say, a group of Drakes. With a flapping free high slot to use, they could each fit a CB module and cast boosts at one another quite effectively. This would increase their gang's potency quite effectively, and in a different way than having a fifth alt just warping off to a safe spot and being a sly unprobable I Win button in the stars.

So, sure, the godly "solo" PVPers are going to be cutting along and not across, but they can at least rip some SP's out of their boosting toons and redeploy the gayness into a Drake or a Cyclone, Myrmidon or Prophecy.

it will be hilarious watching their ISK efficiency drop off a cliff for a month come November.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

EVE Downunder 2016

Wish I could attend. But unlikely due to imminent spawning of a little TF in 2017. In a few years, i'll have my very own bot to run mackinaws in nullsec!

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Alpha Clone thinky-thoughts

The new Alpha Clone free to play which is coming in November is, in my not too humble opinion, going to be good for the game overall.

I think, however, there's a few wrinkles to sort out.

Suicide Ganking
There's a LOT of people making the point about suicide ganking alts. If there's no limit to the number of instances of EVE you can start up (apart from, say, hardware and internet infrastructure) and its totally free to train up, and you have infinite skill queues to 5M SP (or whatever limit exists) then of course this is basically free gank alts.

This is being half brushed off by CCP. I think they have a half of a point - it's probably a risk, but it's not as severe as the panty-shredding and bodice-ripping hisec carebears are making out. I mean, yes, you could train a half dozen gank catalyst alts and people will, bbut the vast majority of people will only do it for a lark and get bored after a month, and EVE will settle back to a slightly more gank steady state equilibrium between lulsy freighter ganks and total boredom.

However, there's always going to be some neckbearded autist (probably from Hard Knocks farming community, tbh) whose life will magically transform into a factory for churning out free to play alts which he will trash and biomass when their security status drops.

Plus, there's economic disparity here as well. To date, you can be assured that you are losing your freighter by and large to people who are paying for the privilege of ganking you and are dedicated to the game as much as you are. Sure, they might be spooging into your eye and wiping their cock off on your cheeks, but they're in the same boat.

After could be losing your freighter to the same dedicated uber nerd but he's putting literally zero on the line. You're paying $15 a month to fly a giant space brick about hauling Fortizars for your alliance, and some cunt just sets up 10 accounts for free, sets them training for 3 months to get gank thoraxes or something, and then comes and fucks you over. Fair? You decide.

I am undecided as to whether locking an Alpha Clone to one particular race of skill progression is the best way forward. Part of EVE's appeal is the overabundance of ship options. Another consequence of locking an Alpha to one race is that all the pirate faction frigates and cruisers will be locked out.

Another thing is that the skill list which appears available to Alphas might have a few quirks that eed ironing out. For instance, cloaking is impossible, but anchoring isn't. You need anchoring to use basic equipment like the mobile tractor and the depot, but by the same token you also get to anchor POSs, citadels and warp disruption bubbles, d-scan inhibitors, MJD beacons, etc. This makes almost no sense, and needs sorting out.

Not being able to cloak will restrict wormhole usage of Alphas. However, it's not all bad, really. You can still sit your Alpha in a citadel and keep it there to monitor the situation, even if you can't leave it cloaked on a connection. Plus, even T1 frigates and cruisers are plenty capable of doing wormhole site up to C6'swith W-R's, or at least C3 W-R's and Cats with RR and some minimum modcum of piloting skill.

Cloaking also cuts Alphas out of bombers, BLOPs, etc. But it doesn't stop you from using a mob of Alphas in a Titan bridge hotdrop. See suicide ganking, above, for why this could be a problem.

Other than that, most tier one, tier two skills in EWAR are open to Alphas, so there's plenty of progression available for Alpha clone pilots to get into PVP. However, a 5M SP limit on training will restrict you to meta equipment.

This Alpha clone stuff is basically free hisec neutral logi for everyone. I mean, why not? You lose absolutely nothing and it doesn't cost you a PLEX or $15 a month to be a risk averse coward hiding behind a dozen RR alts on Dodi undock.

This will no doubt cause a bunch of gayness in hisec wardecs. More than at the moment, I mean. Like...the pros will basically have to morph into bot herders with a cloud of Scythe or Oneiros alts and remote SeBo griffins hugging gates with Phoboses and Broadswords. Fighting them will be pointless malarkey unless you bring a cloud of DPS catalysts yourself.

PVE Mecca
For PVE, it's entirely possible you can run an successful mining alt cloud, gassing operation, or solo low/null/wh hacking toon as an Alpha clone. In fact, without any limit on Alpha subs, you could easily make billions of ISK with a cloud of totes not botted up IS-Boxer retty alts in nullsec or a wormhole or wherever.

The current yield rate in ISK/hr vs subscription cost or PLEX cost will cease to apply. This means that even if your Alpha accounts make 250M a month mining in nullsec nett of being ganked a dozen times (like, who fucking cares?) six of them in six months can afford half a super.

With ratting, being restricted to cruiser hulls and, essentially, T1 weapons and tank, will make higher-end PVE (aside from Wolf Rayets) pretty difficult for solo layers. Missions up to level 3 are doable, just, but the content is fairly low shelf life and gets stale. Nullsec ratting in anomalies might be OK, if you stick to the Dens and Hubs. Enough to PLEX every month? Not sure.

I guess one change will be that with API's your recruiters won't be able, neccessarily, to weed out 'trial accounts' from other accounts. This is good and bad, of course; good for free-to-play Alpha players, bad for recruiters in corps that like to maintain 'active' members.

I think the best consequence of Free To play will, aside from the actual hypothetical boost in numbers, be the freeing of subscription from a recurrent fee. I'm happy to keep paying to play with the big toys, but certainly it will be good for people to be able to play with cheap ships for no money.

This suits, for instance, free public roams and Faction Warfare as much as it does nullsec alliance warfare or suicide ganking clubs of dick-grabbing reprobates. This is a cultural change more than anything; EVE needs to become less elitist, less exclusionary, to take advantage of FTP Alpha clones. That's well overdue IMO.

The problems and fixes
Realistically, EVE is a game that requires dual boxing. Going free-to-play is fine, and I welcome it, but the problems outlined above are all down to the current lack of a limit on the number of instances that can be opened by each IP address or real world human.

The larger problems of the past couple of years have also been related to this. Input multiplexing via IS Boxer or others, macro usage, etcetera, are all abused mostly by people who run up to 40 instances of the client.

Fixing this problem might require CCP to set an arbitrary cap. This might cause a few people grief who currently run, say, eight dread alts or something like that. Ten, twenty, fifty mackinaws, all subbed. They might spit the dummy that they can't faceroll 40 macks in a Collossal ore Cluster anymore, but the reality is there is a real risk that EVE won't grow actual player and payers, just that existing payers will exploit free DPS, RR and resource harvesting and destroy the game.

The fix to ganking might be as simple as Alpha clones can't set their safety red in highsec, full stop. This would block the use of Alphas for suicide gank mobbing.

Fixing the RR issue might be a bit different, but it could be as easy as Alpha clones not being able to train remote assistance skills, including RR drones. Harsh, but fair.

After all, if you are a genuine player trying out EVE now the pay wall has come down, you might see people doing all the hilarious and broken, frustrating gay shit...but unless you stump up a PLEX or $15, you don't get to use broken gay tactics. Simple.

Low Sec Scrubs - Titan #3

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Alpha Clones?!?!


- Free to play!
- You can PLEX yourself, theoretically, with T1 frigates and relic hunting and hisec anoms.
- Free PVP, in faction warfare or, really, wherever. Although, for wormholes, the lack of cloaking skills is going to be a hindrance
- Anchoring is still available for Alpha Clones, so you can anchor warp bubbles.