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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Perpetual Blight

  For those who have piloted around New Eden at least a year or at the right time, then it is well known that Hulkageddon is a yearly purging competition of high sec mining operations complete with prizes. Each year it has grown more and more in scope and participation.

  Such a thing can be avoided or worked around (especially if you live in wormholes ;)) However, it seems now there is an idea of making it a permanent fixture in the Eve ecosystem. Who says? Nobody less than the Mittani of course. That probably shouldn't come as a surprise. If you can stand to listen to the greasy thing that is Mittens, there's a video you can watch.

  I'm not at all surprised that this would be the eventuality. The ability to ruin the gaming experience of others on a consistent basis seems to be Mittani's forte and this is Eve, so it's a valid play style. Nullbear contempt for high sec dwellers is common, but as long as CCP allows high sec to exist then they have all the right to operate there. I think wspace is the true endgame, but you don't see me demanding all space should be the same. Variety is the spice, after all. I don't think this will be too much of an issue either for miners, either.

  While "perpetual Hulkageddon" sounds like the worst thing ever for miners, all it really means is that they need to start thinking before just undocking an entire of fleet of Hulks with Orca support. Check surrounding systems, keep scouts on gates, and mine aligned. Perhaps that takes away the AFK-ability of the task, but it's necessary. That's normal operations if you mine in wormholes, not sure about nullsec.

  In the short term it may mean that mineral prices continue to rise. As long as miners adapt instead of simply stop altogether, it should be a short term problem. While Mittens is all smug thinking he is fully disrupting highsec operations, his thugs really don't have the endurance. They get bored and they can find better money elsewhere or get tired of ratting their sec status back up. Either way, this should be interesting to watch develop.

  Just don't give them tears if they catch you, that will just prolong the issue.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Blog Banter 36- Trial of Fire

  As many of you know, the blog banters have been taken over by Seismic Stan over at Freebooted. I'm glad they have been and Stan has been a great facilitator. I have not had the opportunity to actually sit down and participate in these until now, so here we go.

"With the Inferno expansion upon us, new seeds have been planted in the ongoing evolution of EVE Online. With every expansion comes new trials and challenges, game-changing mechanics and fresh ideas. After nine years and seventeen expansions, EVE has grown far more than most other MMOGs can hope for. Which expansions have brought the highs and lows, which have been the best and the worst for EVE Online?"

  First off, it always blows my mind to think about Eve's history. It's so easy to get caught up in the next big scam or laugh at null sec politics as they shift month by month. Eve has been going for nine years and that is a feat of brilliance in today's MMO market. We watch game after game come through with hopeful IPs, only to turn FtP within months of launch. Eve has not only driven on with the passion of an Amarr religious zealot but with the determination of a Minimatar ex-slave through the years. 

  Sappy analogies aside, I have been with Eve since the end of Dominion. I was just getting used to my implants when Tyrannis hit. As such I can't really speak on the majority of expansions since I don't really know what half of them brought in to the game. 

  So, in my experience, the worst expansion in terms of player reception and overall game enhancement was...Incarna. Although it made turrets a whole lot cooler in a cosmetic way, the debacle of launching Walking in Stations set a dark tone in Eve for months. Player backlash, CCP's PR fumbles, CCP employee let go's and the pure lack of Flying in Space content made a nasty combo that pushed many players to cancel their subscription. Not a shining moment for the game or developer but one that has been weathered and many lessons have been learned. 

  The Incursion expansion wasn't well liked either, but I think that the absolute ISK-mine that it became helped the initial bad-taste-in-mouth. But enough of bad, let's look at the good parts of Eve's evolution.

  First off, we will say Trinity was a great expansion for the game. It updated the games graphics and 20 ships got a face lift. Which was awesome, since when I got to the game I immediately thought the Scorpion was one of the sexiest ships ever. Still kinda do, but in a different way than before since...well I've seen what she can do if you know what I mean. :P

  The next great expansion, I'm not going to lie, I have to say would be Crucible. Now this isn't chronologically the next best, but as an expansion it helped the game in many ways. The developers showed the player base that they knew how to listen and knew how to task their priorities. Tier 3 BCs, time dilation, and so on made the game feel like a bottle of Febreeze had been poured all over the place  to make the game fresh as a daisy. You can't help but give CCP props on the amount of content additions as well as openness with which they developed those additions. SiSi has become used more and more not just as a playground with cheap toys, but as the platform for CCP to get player feedback on possible tweaks and additions. But as I said, this was not the best expansion in my opinion. 

  That would have to go to Apocrypha. Surprise, right? Now I may be rather biased about it, since it added the home I now love and want others to love. But it is for more than just my love of wormholes.  The expansion was seen as more of a mini-expansion since it had too much to be a patch but was not considered enough to be a full expansion. It added the training queue, which made everyone's lives far more convenient since they wouldn't have to wake up at 2 am to keep it going. 

  But, of course,  it also wormholes and with it Sleepers and T3 ships reverse engineered through Sleeper technology. But adding an entirely new space to the game was a bigger deal than I think CCP realized at the time. Players were never intended to live there, but to simply explore and traverse space through wormhole chains. Human initiative and determination being what it is, however, meant that this new environ was a whole new experience for living. It meant you live out of a communal POS and rely on those in the wormhole with you. You can harvest Sleeper loot and engage in true small gang combat, fighting for your space like no other place in Eve. There were no iHubs to break down, no security status to worry about and no titans to blob your space. Still aren't. And that's how we like it. 

  That's quite a bit more than I thought I had to say about all this so I'll leave it at that. What do my readers think? Best/worst of Eve and for yourselves?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Versatility, Thy Name is Many

I have played Eve for a long time now and have been able to do so for many reasons. The community, the universe, the long term planning and tactics, and so on. One aspect has always impressed me and made me love internet spaceships all the more. That is as the title suggests, versatility. With Inferno coming out, many fitting styles may become obsolete with the new modules being introduced or at the least become altered as they respond to the additions. So in the spirit of fun and a tip of the hat, I give you the Versatility series.

  There are many ways to do what you want in Eve. It is a sandbox after all and CCP made sure that even if you found the present from the neighborhood cat in the sand, it was all part of the experience. One of the things that killed my play in other MMOs was the rigidity. There is one or two, maybe even four!, ways to do what you want throughout the gaming experience. That gets old and boring very quickly. But I'm still seeing hilarious failfitted ships on killmails or seeing theorycrafting threads about a ship that is years old. Where else could you find a Tengu that is intended to be a shield fitted missile boat turned into an armor tanked, TD and scram boat. And that's just one of many actually viable but crazy fits from that ship alone. Adhc has a thread dedicated to Lolfits, some of which I'm guilty of wanting to try out just to see if it works.

  I like to show, not just tell, about things though. So I'm going to pick five ships and each will get its own post. In each post, I will give fittings that CCP probably never thought would happen. Some of them are fits I use myself on a regular basis and some are just things that you can do for hilarity's sake.

  Let's not let it stop there, though. I want to hear from my readers. Helps me know I'm not just a crazy person talking to myself. So throw a comment below or send me an Evemail letting me know a ship you want to see in the series or a fit you have used or found that is unbelievable or hilarious.

  Who knows, maybe we will have a whole new fleet tactic by the end.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Infernal Conceptions

  So it was about this time last year that everyone was talking about Aurum and how much a disaster that would be for Eve. This year, Inferno has crept in with more welcome, but I think the results are more prominent. At least you're able to ignore Aurum as much as you want. If you want to refresh your memory on what went into Inferno, patch notes are here.

  Eve's expansions have gone through an evolution over the last couple of year, for the better I would say. Instead of expansions in which a massive block of information and new code gets injected and breaks the game for a week or two, it is now slowly integrated and vetted on Sisi and then on TQ. They act less like expansions with a load of new content and more like updates that improve the game's foundation and add new, small details to keep the game fresh. 

  I have to say, seeing my Manticore now actually have a bomb attached to its underside seemingly ready to fire on the spot is pretty sweet. Not to mention the all new looks of stealth bombers. Launchers being visible on ship models is awesome, although I rarely fly missile boats anymore. New modules, new tweaks to ship layouts, ship tree modifications in the near future....and new menu tweaks. 

  That last one is the sore spot for many now. As well it might be, since I am still unclear why CCP found it necessary to scrap the old inventory system for something that, at least in the case of POS living, makes things so much harder. It is certainly neat to have customizable filters and be able to see every container at once....but then actually using the system proves a little more hair-tearing-out than before. For example? One cannot open their ship cargo and a corp hangar array separately now. That's just confusing. Even better is the fact that you can now see every POS module in the list...including defense placements like guns and the like. Whuuu?

  POS living can be hard, but this is painful. But the inventory system is a bit more far reaching than just sitting inside your shields safely. If you have ever flown a capital, then you'll have noticed very quickly. If you are a triage carrier pilot, you want to have windows open for keeping an eye on stront levels, your cargo hold needs to be open, and sometimes you even want your SMA open. Now that it is no longer an option, what impact will that have in combat or even simply running through Sleeper sites in higher class wormholes? 

  But CCP has gotten the threadnaught and has said they are working on getting things back to being manageable so props on that. You have to admit, the new CCP at least gets things done in less than 18 months, even if they are still great at trolling their own game. 

  More symmetry in ships makes me happy as well. The physics, or lack thereof, is already confusing enough without trying to figure out how they balance an asymmetrical ship's inertia.

  A last note....where's that SD mechanic fix? Hmmmmm? At least just make it generate a KM if the ship is aggressed. 

  Anyways, that's enough rabble for now :P

Sunday, May 20, 2012

.:Transmission Resumed:.

Welp, things should be a bit more on track now. I am back from a weekend trip with the family and we now have internet at the house, hooray! I was starting to think I would never have convenient access again.

  But I do still hold to the principle that Adhocracy Inc. was essentially founded upon; "RL>Eve".  Unfortunately, that means my play time has gotten chopped down to nearly nothing so my posts may be more about news and thoughts on Eve rather than BRs and whatnot. I'll try to keep it interesting and relevant either way. I'm not ready to call it quits just yet, although I am surprised anyone still reads after the long drag out of empty posting I feel I have put out the last few months. 

  Anyways, enough hum drum. Here's to brighter horizons yes?