Punctuated Equilibrium

My friend and fellow blogger Oreamnos posted about our recent meeting in his home(town).  While we live an Ocean apart, we have been friends for 5 + years through EVE with daily contact.  We never met in person until that day and one may think it weird to meet like this but it wasn’t.  Over the years we saw all the normal things friends experience and if anything, I think these types of friendships will be the new normal in the near future.  But while there, we drank great Scottish beer (who knew they could brew?) and chatted like the old friends we are.  Lets do this again!

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A Busy Week

Its been a busy week in EVE online and the blogosphere has responded with much commentary.  I was on the road for a few days and am slowly catching up.

So, firstly, the senseless act of terrorism that came down on San Bernardino this week claimed 14 lives and shattered uncounted more.  Among the dead is EVE Online player Photon Torpedo.  And while I never met him, the fact that we shared the same virtual universe makes his death personal to me.  I feel great sorrow for his family and wish that they find support in this terrible time.  If you want to help them out, visit their “fund me” page.  I don’t know if the family needs the money but I am certain that they need the assurance that they are not alone in their grief.  And if you have an opinion about gun control – do everyone a favor and keep it to yourself.  This is not the time for politics.

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EVE Vegas 2015 – Wrap Up

So, EVE Vegas wrapped up today and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  It was my first time at any large scale EVE gathering and it was touch and go until last week when I could finally confirm the flights.  I had a work trip this week and managed to re-route my flights to come from somewhere to Vegas rather than go home first.  Which means, my bags were full of crumpled suits and dirty underwear.  But, hey, its EVE… 🙂

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Viva Las Vegas

Was traveling last week again and hence EVE time was much curtailed.  Managed to sneak in a little PvP – in low sec this time.  Note to self, engaging a T3 destroyer with an interceptor is generally not a good idea.  However that guy had annoyed the FC and I was ordered to tackle / hold and serve as warp-in for the fleet.  It worked.  There are kill and loss of the week – nothing to be proud of but hey, 2 ships added to the economy.

In off hours, I have been running a few L4 missions with my alt – yes, I ground some standings – not so hard after all.  He doesn’t fly a battleship and I decided to break out the Tengu, gankers be damned – its a cheap one.  But it turns out that I am nearly as fast in most missions by using my Jackdaw – even for LvL 4 missions, the thing is the beast.  The webbing and scramming frigates pop much faster than if I was slugging it out with my Tengu and anything cruiser-size I can speed tank.  Battleships take a long time to kill, especially since this character can’t fit T2 Light Missile Launchers yet, so its T1 all the way.

To be honest it feels terribly imbalanced – where others use 250mil + battleships, I use a ISK 50 mil (ish) destroyer with very similar effect.  Something has to give in the long run, either the Jackdaw needs to be nerfed or the missions beefed up. But for now, I am having fun – this method actually involves quite a bit of manual piloting.  I am wondering if the Jackdaw would be good for C1 WH farming – it has a probe launcher in case my scout gets locked out (important) but of course no cloak like my Stratios.  Hm.

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Citadels in Wormhole Space

For years, CCP had pushed back on overhauling the Player-owned starbase (POS) system since it was seen as big fuzzball of unstable and unsupported code.  The pressure from the community to fix it was great but apparently not great enough, until now, we got a few cosmetic and lifestyle enhancements but the fundamental functionality remained in place.  I think, I was the only resident who genuinely liked the blue-bubble POS with all its pain-in-the-rear mechanics.  There is something magical about the ethereal soap bubble, so fragile and yet so protective.

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Skill Queue Online

Like pretty much everything else in EVE, skill queues work differently than in any other MMOG.  Whereas World of Warcraft requires you the player to be logged on and do the action you want to skill, EVE Online’s skill system runs in the background whether or not the player is online.  I can happily skill my missiles while shooting nothing but bullets.

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Boosting Boosters

Drugs are amazing things, few products on the planet have a built in duality of being able to cure, enhance or debilitate depending on circumstances way out of control of so called medical professionals.  The legitimate drug industry is an estimated 1.3 Trillion (yes “T”) global market which has conquered diseases that deemed to be incurable a generation ago but has been entirely helpless against the common cold.  Oh, and name one more industry of this scale where even the experts publicly state that the products simply don’t work in the majority of the cases.  Honestly, the medical drug industry is fascinating.

But of course its not just the legitimate, medically sanctioned drug industry.  The illegal drug industry is a behemoth that funds entire countries, armies and mercenaries at the same time. The economic collateral damage of these drugs is staggering and impossible to fully tabulate.  The US Dept. of Justice for example estimates that illegal drugs resulted a direct and indirect cost of US$ 192 billion in 2007 alone.

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Blog Banter 63 – Customization

Kirith Kodachi posted the next Blogbanter – 63 – Customization.

Super Kerr Induced Nanocoating, new structures that can be fit like ships with modules, the promise of player built stargates… the ability to shape your space and change the look of your ships is finally coming to EVE. What other customization options of EVE would you like to have? What would you like to do to be able to shape space and environments? What would you like to change just for you in the client or in any 3rd party tools?

 

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Podcasts, EVE and others

With roughly 3h/day in the car, 3-4h / week in the gym and the occasional flight, I have plenty of time to listen to podcasts.  I prefer them over listening to ebooks but I am also pretty brutal, if I have 2 episodes that I don’t like, I will unsubscribe and likely never come back.

Over time, I noticed that the key parameter that makes me dislike a ‘cast is the production quality. Long winded, rambling recording of a skype channel is simply not good enough.  Secondly, the hosts have to actually something new to say to me, something that I had not anticipated, angles that I had not seen before.  Its just too easy to read TMC, come up with couple of drama stories that circulating on Reddit and vomit one’s opinion into a microphone.  That’s not the podcast for me.

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Improving WH space – Wormhole Generators

Oreb and I had a little exchange of comments on these hallowed pages.  They pertain to my assertion that no CSM member has brought anything valuable to Wormhole space over the last 2 or three years and that the changes we have indeed seen were the collateral damage of what CCP did in empire space.

I could now substantiate my claims with a tedious list of warp-stabbed PI haulers, the nonsensical scanning method and making grav sites true death traps for miners.  But I won’t, this is boring.  Rather, I’d like to focus on new features, new mechanics that actually add value to our little corner of the universe.  And while I am not a professional game designer, I imagine it is just like any product design (which I do professionally).  It starts with a vision what the feature needs to do based on the expected use of it.

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