Friday, November 4, 2011

New Ships and Nebulae On Singularity

If you head over to singularity there's a ton of new features, I started out making a video of the new ships and nebulae, but I'm probably going to have to make a follow up to cover the new ship textures and gameplay enhancing functionality.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

6yo Skye Explains How to Setup a Coercer

I'd planned to make this for a while, but never got around to it until TEST made their 'Lasers Are Magic' video

Of course the TEST video about about a million times more magic.

Friday, October 28, 2011

CCP Art Department Video - New Raven Model!

New video from CCP on Youtube

The New nebula system really appeals to my astro geek nature, and, I do own a Raven, Navy Raven and Golem so the new model (which I predicted yesterday on failheap-challenge) will make my hangar look nicer.

Updates.... at last.

I have been terribly remiss in updating this, I haven't postend anything since May. In a large part that was because Incarna sapped my desire to play Eve Online, instead I spent hours learning Pro-Guitar mode in Rock Band 3.

The second summer of rage came and went, I chose to keep my accounts active with PLEX, and in recent weeks I rediscovered some level of interest in New Eden. Mostly because I can see another bunch of long needed fixes actually getting some development priority. Yes, I'm one of those pilots who can use Large TII Hybrids, so the hybrid rebalance and Talos are looking like they'll play into my hands. I've also finished training all the basic ships skills and have level V in every racial Frigate, Cruiser & Battleship skill. The only subcaps I still have to train for are the Amarr and Minmatar Transport ships. In theory I'm a skillbook and a couple of hours away from any carrier or dread in the game, buty I'm saving my money until I need to fly one.

I have a friend in Rooks and Kings and would dearly love to fly with them, but realisticly I still don't get the dedicated screen time to PVP.

And I've found that I like making game videos, so I started publishing regular updates on my youtube page, I posted my own look at new graphics for the CQ's and cynos in te brief time they were on Singularity. And it got a decent amount of interest.

I've also taken to twitter, because writing whole blog posts can seem like too much work, you can find me at:!/DJSnM

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


In 10 seconds of madness I managed to go from +5.0 sec status to -4.21 - there was a mining operation that consisted of half a dozen toons all clearly struck from the same mold. It was early in the morning and I was feeling like a laugh so I decided to drop a discogeddon on top of their little operation.

The first volley of SB's killed the retrievers, but the covetors were more robust and I was faced with a split second decision over whether to save my sec status, or to kill the covetors and the pods.

The ship kills were all about -4% each , so a bunch of those would have still left me in positive territory, but the pod kills are -21% each, so those last 2 covetor kills cost me dearly. Still I'm not totally excluded from hi-sec space, I can still work in 0.5 sec systems. Also, I notice the I got a sec status loss for a 6th ship, bringing me down to -4.4 . there was another covetor, but somehow It survived and died 10 minutes later, so I get the security hit without the killmail. (can someone clarify - it must have been the same ship? or could he have swapped ships at a station or the orca and lost a different one, but still had me take the sec status hit?)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Long Time No Post....

I think the whole CSM 6 thing made me lose interest in writing about Eve for the last few months and we've had quite a busy few months so It really has been remiss of me to ignore this blog and its handful of occasional readers.

My in game wealth seems to be stuck around the 30bill mark, the PI revamp came and managed to introduce rendering bugs and general slowness on my system so it has fallen by the wayside, the noctis market stabilised and I stopped making billions from manipulating the nocxium market. Trading became dull again, and my trading alt is now relegated to selling the piles of mission loot that I'm farming using a passive tanked Rattlesnake, a ship that can easily pull full aggro on any level 4 mission so I can get on with other more interesting things. This is the mission equivalent of AFK mining.

That rattler however couldn't tank a pirate who I was foolish enough to engage, I jad a whole plan related to my my alt flying a noctis fitted with neuts and other ewar, but I messed things up and sat around for 15 minutes while rats shot me and his orca brought in a tengu. Yes... I should ahve shot the rats while I was waiting. I've no idea what I was thinking. but in the end we talked a lot and while the loss was embarrassing the contacts I have made may still help me turn a profit. I've since bought another rattler and fitted it with t2 Purger rigs, which gives it an omnitank north of 1700dps, more if I use fleet boosts. If I'm actually paying attention, I have more important things to do than running missions, incursions are the PVE activity of choice these days.

But yes, the most embarrassing loss was my noctis that was salvaging in a mission, while my main was droning rats to death, and meanwhile I was playing Lego Rock Band with my kids, specifically I was playing 'We Are The Champions' while a new wave of rats spawned and killed my salvage ship. I haven't been afflicted with this level of Irony since I lost a ship to a bubble camp while watching The Prisoner's escape attempt prevented by a pink bubble.

And while I didn't lose my ship on Ganknight 28 I was one of that elite group of retards who though that shooting Black Jack would be a good idea - indeed, many regular GN attendees seem to think it was the *best* idea in retrospect. The crow I was flying that day was the one I'd found abandoned outside a station in Empire, and it served me well, getting me on half a dozen killmails. Shame I lost it the next day while heading into nullsec to try running one of these pirate mission arcs, I could have easily pulled range on the dictor and AF on the gate, but instead activated my cloak after getting some range. Even more of a shame that I also managed to lose my scout's stealth bomber due to fat fingering my mwd-cloak maneuver. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried to visit this agent on a sunday, better to wait to a quieter time.

Anyway, I'll leave you all to chill with your Quafe Zero (one day I hope to push my lol-dramiel above 25km/s using this)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

If I Were Coding Eve I'd Fix.....

Ships I would fix... if given the opportunity.

The Belicose and the Vigil are the two minmatar tech 1 ewar ships, specifically target painting, and I think they both need some tweaking.

The Vigil is actually a pretty cool ship, with a 5%/level speed bonus that makes it very popular for things like stealing loot before someone else can get to it. But the target painter bonus is essentially only useful as part of a fleet, since the weapons that a vigil has are frigate sized they won't benefit from the increased signature radius on the target. The other Tech 1 ewar frigates have bonuses for ECM, Sensor Damps or Tracking Disruptors - in theory these all have some use to a 'solo' player and even some limited use in PVE. So, I'd switch the Painter bonus on the vigil to a webber bonus - this fits in with the super fast nature of the vigil, giving it a bonus that has actual utility for the ship itself.

The Belicose has a bonus to guns, but I've always felt that it would be better with a missile bonus, specifically a bonus to explosion velocity of 10-15% per level, and give it an extra missile hardpoint. This would make it highly effective against frigates, especially when you factor in its 40m^3 drone bay. As it stands right now, if you're a mission runner working your way up through the ships you don't really have an obvious choice of t1 Minmatar cruiser to run those level 2 mission.

The Caracal, Vexor and Arbitrator are all exceptionally good at clearing the large numbers of frigates frequently found in Level 2 missions, but right now the minmatar ships just can't bring their firepower to bear on small, fast targets. If you want to run those level 2 missions quickly then the Thrasher does a great job a taking down small targets but has no tank. The stabber is nice and fast, but even with the smallest medium guns you need tracking mods to give them a decent chance of hitting those pirate frigates, plus is can only field one drone. The Rupture does a pretty good job, but it's still slower at cleaning out these easy missions compared to the other racial anti frigate cruisers.

And one other pet peeve came back to me over the weekend when I encountered a special ship in a mission:

Yes that is an Ibis, the Caldari rookie ship with a camo paint job. WTB Navy Issue Ibis, I would sincetely hope that the fix the issue that the basic Ibis has and give it hardpoints for missile launchers. It still annoys me no end that the Caldari ship that can't use the Caldari's weapon of choice.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


While I still haven't decided whether to throw my hat in for CSM 6 I have spent some time ruminating on what my hypothetical campaign message might be. There will no doubt be some candidates who will campaign based on promises to deliver feature X and defeat exploit Y so that players who like to do Z will be happy once more.

And when they get elected they'll find out that actually working in this esteemed political position has essentially no ability to do anything concrete, at best sugestions can be made, comments can be offered and maybe you'll get some super secret information that can't be shared or acted upon without violating the NDA. So people casting their vote for candidates who promise to get CCP to do anything should prepare for disappointment.

I know I'm not the only person who's run for CSM that has made a living as a software engineer, I'm sure I'm not the only one who's had hands on experience with Stackless Python. Whenever I encounter a bug in the game it's annoying enough, but having a full understanding of just how easy it might be to fix something can be truly frustrating. For example the hilarious 'divide by negative number' problems that were exposed by Rooks & Kings assault on Aperture Harmonics wormhole HQ. It was easy to imagine how to hunt down and fix the problems, but instead CCP devs just removed the wormhole effects that were triggering their bugs. I did hope that this was to give the devs time to fix the underlying code, but since the WH effects have yet to return to the game this may not be the case.

It's easy to see how the whole CSM process might ultimately drive people who would be valuable assets out of the process and into bittervethood.

Regardless, while I continue to consider running, I shall spend a few blogs commenting on what I personally would do if I really could have a direct influence on the development of the game. No crazy flights of fancy like those found in the features and ideas forum, but actual concrete suggestions with math and maybe even pseudocode....

Friday, January 28, 2011

Forget Hulkageddon - Try Bumpageddon

I've suicided a few things in my day, and I've even had Skye blow some unsuspecting frigates from the sky using a gank destroyer, but really my heart isn't in this 'sport' due to the general lack of skill involved. And I'm sure there are other people out there who want to take part in the general harrassing of bots but maybe don't want to mess up their perfect security status.

So, may I suggest Bumpageddon - use very fast ships to bump Mining Barges away from the rocks they're mining, and maybe if you're lucky, away from the jetcan they're sitting on. If you work with a friend it's nice to be able to warp a hauler in on top of their ore can and just steal their stuff, but don't go killing them, that's slipping from Bumpageddon territory into Hulkageddon. Some of the bots are really dumb and if you hit them right after warping into belt they'll fly off, come to a stop and then just sit there mining nothing for 15 minutes before warping back to the station. You'll be helping 'fix' Eve's mineral oversupply without getting your hands dirty.

Bumpageddon is also great for EFT warriors who can try to find the best way to fit a 100mn MWD on a cruiser hull and balance maximum speed with enough cap generation to get it up to top speed, there's some fun theorycrafting that can get cruisers speeds well above 10km/sec - depending on how much you want to spend on faction hulls, implants and friends providing cap transfer and ganglinks. There's also something of a real thrill in seeing your speed crawl past the magic 10km/s mark (and if you like that then I'll tell you that it's theoretically possible to get a dramiel up past 20km/s).

And of course it's not just miners, you can sit on a hi-sec gate along one of the main trade routes and watch slow, lumbering freighters land 15km off the gate and slowly make their way in only for you to bump them off before they get there. With a bit of practice you can 'juggle' multiple ships until you get bored, so far my record is 4 charons which were kept from approaching the Jita gate in Perimiter. Freighter juggling is more of a delaying tactic though, you're not really affecting anyone's bottom line if you're delaying their arrival, they're on automatic pilot and it'll never get bored. If you're bumping people to annoy them it's better to hit freighters that you know have active pilots in them, get them when they're aligning for warp, or when they're undocking.

Anyway, Hulkageddon is coming, if you're a miner I suggest staying out of the main belts and mining in a mission site, and give up some of those mining laser upgrades for a damage control. The damage control will get you more buffer than anything else you can fit on a Hulk, but many miners refuse to fit them because they would have to give up either a Mining upgrade or a cargo expander. And, if someone does come along and bump you off your rock the best defence is to just go elsewhere and not complain in local, complaints will just encourage more griefing.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sansha's Surprise Attack isn't so Surprising

So, yes, a bunch of constellations are now Incursion sites and so far the results have been predictable

  • AFK Miners losing their ships to superpowered sansha belt rats - and by AFK I mean macros.
  • Pimped out mission ships dying in seconds as they try to solo incursion sites - lol!
  • Logistic chains dying to concord because CCP still haven't done anything about the GCC mechanics despite being warned for months that this would be an issue. CCP Soundwave finally posted to let everyone know that CCP is looking into the issue (Facepalm!)
Incursions have some good things about them, unlike missions they're a limited resource, you're competing with other pilots for access to the limited supply of Concord LP. That's a good thing.
The enemies are actually a challenge, almost too challenging, the sites are like those found in Class 4 through Class 6 wormholes. And the rewards are centered around actually accomplishing the task at hand rather than driven by rat bounties or hoovering up loot.

But I'm not convinced that in the long term the loot will be a sufficiently strong driver, most of the rewards from the loyalty point store are destined to get sold immediately to the highest bidder. I'm not sure that's really a sign of Loyalty to be honest, but lets not get hung up on semantics here.

Most hi-sec carebears will have no direct use for the Capital module blueprints, so those will go straight on the market at crazy markups. The implants might be of interest to the mission runners, but I'm thinking that the demand for cap modules will mean that these will likely only get cashed out by people who have had it with incursions and are looking for something cheap from the Concord LP store to cash out with.

Essentially, there's nothing in the Concord LP store to get hi-sec carebear corps excited about running the equivalent of hard wormhole sites.

What made people head into wormholes originally was the promise of T3 ships, so, the Concord store might be more attractive if the Concord ships were added as LP rewards. Now, obviously these wouldn't be the OMGWTFBBQ versions that get triggered because you're remote repping some stranger who decides to shoot someone else. No these would be simply equivalent to faction ships like those already being flown by the actors in the live action incursions.

Factional warfare got a bit of a boost when they intoduced new battleships which were only availble through the FW store, and this would be an excellent avenue to introduce concord hulls to the player market. Maybe CCP is just keeping this in reserve for when they iterate on incursions....


Saturday, January 22, 2011

So Much For Excellence....

And things had been going so well.... but then, Incursion 1.1 arrived.

First there was the last minute announcement that they would have to deprecate support for older CPU's due to compatibility issues with third party libraries, CCP promised an update on this right after last weekend, but we've gone an entire week without CCP divulging any new information.

Most evidence points to the new PhysX libraries that have arrived with the new character creator, specifically the simulation of cloth and hair as seen in this tech video:

Now, I can see why CCP might have reneged on their promise of more details when they realised that it would be a little bit embarrassing to admit that they cut off support for thousands of players over this 'feature'. The cloth and hair simulation only happens during character creation, and even then the feature can be disabled so it has essentially zero impact on the gameplay. There are foolish people on the forums saying that CCP needs to discontinue support for this older hardware so that the rest of the players can experience the features that would otherwise be impossible, I wonder if they would be so sure if they knew what the feature was.

Regardless, this was merely the first and most public problem with the latest release, since Tuesday the list of hilarious gameplay bugs has been quite extensive:
  1. Covert Cynos became usable by regular capital ships, thus rendering cynojammers useless
  2. Ganglinks stopped working
  3. The new super easy weapon grouping (which, I had been asking for) was exploitable to allow firing guns out of sequence and therefor delivering almost 4 times the regular dps
  4. If you could kill a target in a single volley then concord would not show up, look at the number of podkills in Jita on wednesday.
  5. A buggy mission was introduced that was delivering *billions* in tech 2 salvage components.
  6. The new fancy portrait selector, didn't actually pic the portrait, instead the last image taken was used.
The actual incursions start in a couple of days and I predict there will be many more new bugs, and I also predict there will be lots of tears as people exploit the remote rep aggression mechanic to bring concord down on hastily organised fleets accepting any random player who X's up.

Meanwhile, they've annnounced the timetable for CSM6 and Mynxee has made it clear that she's not interested in fighting CCP any longer and will not be running. That more than anything discourages me from running again.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Eve Equivalent Of The Kids In The Back Seat?

You know the scene, driving down the highway, kids in the back asking to get snacks or use the bathroom.... and in your distracted state you make a mistake.

Like when Orion kept showing me his latest lego creations and somehow I pointed my orca, with a billion isk in cargo, at the wrong gate and managed to jump into low-sec.



Still, the gate was clear, and I warped to station and back to the gate without seeing anyone. And in a stroke of luck a pirate rat spawned on the gate, a commander spawn too, I could have easily killed it with my drones, but I figured there was a small chance of someone jumping in an knocking me off gate before my jump aggro wore off, so I left it behind for someone else.

Friday, January 7, 2011

New Modules in Incursion Hark Back To Old Days

The main feature that Incursion is supposed to deliver is the multiplayer Sansha incursions for which the rewards are LP from Concord. These LP can be spent on blueprints for shiny new named capital modules, meta level 2 items that will give dedicated cap.

Now, we're all very familiar with the named items dropped by rats all over new Eden, many simply end up recycled because they're so darn common, while a rare few ( Mining Upgrades, Shield Boost Amplifiers etc) are worth silly amounts of money. Some very common modules don't have named versions - Remote Hull Repair systems are the most prominent example, you can't even invent a T2 version of those (fix this!).

Until the announcement of the new capital modules I thought CCP had forgotten about the named items. With the magic of the item database I can go and look into the history of Eve to reveal that the most recently added named item were Heavy Assault Launchers and Signal Distortion Amplifiers. These were added to the database about the same time as Salvaging, so that dates it to the Revelations expansion back in November 2006.