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.