Sunday, December 30, 2012

Reviewing Eve, again.

Man, oh man has it been a while since I bothered to post.  For those who don't know I've been working with the Podside podcast now for almost 6 months. It's fun, but leaves me little time for much else. Now that that's out of the way. Here's the updated review.

New Players

The new player experience has received a great many facelifts in the last year including buffed rookie ships, a more interactive tutorial as well as an improved mission interface. The new safety system and improved crimewatch mechanics have helped get rid of some of the low ballers in the griefer world.


The recent tiericide and rebalance for frigates and cruisers have led to a new way of life for some players, who felt they needed to always use Tech II ships. The buffed support ships especially give new players a chance to try out new roles before investing the large amounts of SP needed to fly the best Tech II ships and fits. The sleeper AI for npc's and new changes to incursions and Faction Warfare keep the professions interesting without being game breaking in the profit department.


Eve's internal and external communities are both still flourishing, Tweetfleet, Bloggers, and the podcasters are very much alive and well, despite some hiccups along the way. We have also seen the rise of a new Eve news website ran by the much maligned, deserved or not, leader of Goonswarm Federation.

However, even their enemies are cordial in the event of a tragedy, as was evidenced when Sean Smith, known in Eve as Vile Rat, the leader of Goonswarm's diplomatic arm, Corps Diplomatique, was killed in Benghazi. The response from the community was incredible, A massive number of nullsec stations had their names changed to messages for Vile Rat. Video and Photo tributes circulated though eve's community, including a photo from Rixx Javix that is still my computer wallpaper to this day. So large was this response that it was even mentioned by the mainstream media and the Secretary of State at Sean's repatriation ceremony.


The game has advanced considerably under the hood in the past year. Along with the aforementioned Crimewatch changes, most ships have been re-skinned with new V3 designs and the UI has been greatly improved with a customizable neocom, a Unified Inventory (which did need a little more work that was initially deployed, sorry CCP Arrow) and new targeting reticules and readouts. Most people scoff when they hear eve is almost 10 years old now, but then you tell them about the 18 free expansions since launch and show them videos. Eve looks great for it's age, something that other games should take notice of.


Challenge: 10/10    This is Eve and it is real, hard.
Graphics: 9.5/10     You know any other games this old that look this good? Me either.
Community 12/10   Shoot Blues, Tell Vile Rat
Complexity 8/10     Eve is hard, but it's becoming less needlessly complex.

Overall  9.75/10

Friday, June 15, 2012

Goonswarm and CCP: Destruction and Iteration Wrote Large

In the wake of the release of the Inferno expansion the CSM went to Iceland (some in person, some via a new conferencing system) to discuss a laundry list of topics with CCP. The initial results from Seleene are available here and here.

More recently, changes to the new war system have been posted here. These changes have been decried most vehemently by Jade Constantine. As one of the most pronounced Anti-Goon people in eve Jade's alliance (The Star Fraction) was wardecced by Goonswarm, along with the Alliance of Issler Danes (The Honda Accord) [seriously? wtf? /ramble], a sitting member of CSM7. Both Jade and Issler have opened the floodgates for anyone to join their wars to attack Goons. 38 groups have joined the Honda Accord as allies. 43 have flocked to the side of Jade Constantine. Normally this kind of dog-piling would send highsec carebears into an apoplectic fit. But the vast majority of Goons live in nullsec and are unaffected by highsec wars. Only Zedrik Cayne of Standards and Practices had the guts to even come into nullsec to fight the "ebil goonies." He was being a cloaky camper in VFK until he got sent to the pwn shop by Courthouse, one of the Goon diplomats.

CCP has doubtless been watching from the sidelines since Inferno went live, all the while Alekseyev Karrde, CSM7's war expert has been in communication with CCP as well as the wardec roundtable created by Iam Widdershins, the CEO of Project Nemesis, a corp with ties to Moar Tears and The Orphanage. I am sure things degenerated just as Alek and the rest of the highsec merc/wardec community envisioned.

Just yesterday another Dev Blog came out regarding Frigate and Mining Barge re-balancing that was upcoming. It made me think about the just over 2 Trillion ISK worth of Mining Barges and Exhumers that Goonswarm had destroyed by giving the gankers bounties. I'd love to see Jade Constantine try to spin this one as being CCP in collusion with Goonswarm.

Between pondering Hulkageddon, Burn Jita and these current wars, I found myself thinking about the Goons and the effects they have on the game that benefit everyone. CCP would have never gotten the chance to see the full CONCORD aggression mechanics in TIDI if Goons hadn't attacked Jita. The mining ship re-balance might not have occurred if CCP didn't have 2 Trillion ISK worth of loss mails to show them how weak these ships are. And no one would have seen just how bad dog-piling could be under the current war system until 81 highsec organizations jumped on the bandwagons to shoot Goons in highsec for free.

In closing, as the Goons love to say "We're not out to ruin THE game, we're out to ruin YOUR game." And in doing so they give CCP the data they need to improve the game for everyone.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

EvE Online: A social game in an increasingly anti-social genre.

I was recently invited to the third broadcast of the podside podcast. It was a hilarious experience getting to talk with Jade, Frfrmpukin, Cyph3r and Snowman, whom I've listened to for so long was great. Getting to catch up with Pinky was also a good time. When I went to work the next day I really began to think about the connections we make in the game and even more in the community. I also began to ponder why such connections seem so strange or off-putting to some new players.

I've made it no secret that I was a guild officer and raid leader in that most maligned of MMO's, World of Warcraft. While I wasn't there for release I was able to play some of the legacy content from Vanilla and the game's first expansion The Burning Crusade. The content as one approached level cap was such that it required group coordination and planning, increasing in difficulty as one progressed into large PvE encounters (Raids) or group PvP (primarily in the Arena system). The raids consisted of teams that ranged from 10 players for the initial raids (Blackrock Spire, Kara) to 25 and 40-man content in the highest tiers (Naxx, Black Temple). The groups that ran these dungeons were organized and cohesive units. They knew their role in the group as well as the strengths and weaknesses of their class. They were very social and were often very tight knit because of it.

Near the end of the second expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, a new random group generator was launched. The idea was to help players get into groups if they were not affiliated with a guild or couldn't find a group on their server. Unfortunately the mechanic was soon populated by people who were not interested in the content, just stealing the loot from the boss kill. Since the offender was not on the same server as the rest of his party members the element of anonymity was added to their actions thus invoking the full brunt of the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory illustrated below.

Why do I bring this up? Simple. In his latest installment of Sins of a Solar Spymaster The Mittani mentions a sense of entitlement borne of other MMO's. It is my strong belief that part of that mentality is the result of actions by game developers like the one illustrated above. I have since learned that Blizzard has doubled down on the stupidity by allowing raid groups to also be generated from a random pool. When faced with such abominations spewing forth from other MMO developers, where there is no need to have a community to achieve large goals is it any wonder then that the newbies to our "Dystopian Heaven" of a Sandbox have such foolish preconceived notions about EvE?

The Hulk: Black Sheep of EvE

If there is any one ship that seems to be in desperate need of an upgrade it is the Hulk.

"The Hulk is the largest craft in the second generation of mining vessels created by the ORE Syndicate. Exhumers, like their mining barge cousins, are equipped with electronic subsystems specifically designed to accommodate Strip Mining modules.  They are also far more resilient, better able to handle the dangers of deep space. The Hulk is, bar none, the most efficient mining vessel available." -Eve ship description

The ship functions well enough, if all you want to do is mine.

A simple max mining fit looks like this.

[Hulk, Max Mining]
Mining Laser Upgrade II
Mining Laser Upgrade II

Survey Scanner II
[empty med slot]
[empty med slot]
[empty med slot]

Modulated Strip Miner II, Veldspar Mining Crystal II
Modulated Strip Miner II, Veldspar Mining Crystal II
Modulated Strip Miner II, Veldspar Mining Crystal II

This yield runs 1624 m3 /min with all skills at 5 and has a paltry 9217 EHP

This fit is a little more survivable.

[Hulk, Tanked]
Damage Control II
Micro Auxiliary Power Core II

Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Medium F-S9 Regolith Shield Induction
'Poacher' EM Ward Field

Strip Miner I
Strip Miner I
Strip Miner I

Medium Core Defense Field Extender I
Medium Core Defense Field Extender I

Mining Drone II x5

This 32,609 EHP fit still gets 1428 m3/min but is more survivable. However this fit is incredibly tight. (You might have to use a +CPU implant)

The hull could most directly benefit from a serious upgrade to fitting resources. It's current powergrid base is a paltry 35. This is comparable to a Tech II Frigate. The CPU is rated at 300 which is just below that of a Caracal. It has 2 rig slots (med) while it's Tech 1 base, the Covetor, has 3.

If the fitting resources were increased to 250pg and 350cpu you could run a fit with large shield extenders which would increase it's survivability substantially. Now you may be asking why they should do this. Well to start with Hulks have the same base invention success rate of 20%. This is the same as a Command Ship (Tech II Battlecruisers). The ship has the signature radius and the medium rig slots of a cruiser yet it doesn't have the fitting resources of even a Tech I cruiser.

In addition to the difficulty of inventing the BPC, and the high cost of the materials required to make it (over half of a Hulk's cost is derived from Technetium.) So, all in all if there is any ship that is in need of some serious love from the devs it's the Hulk.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

BB 35: Eve and the people that hate it.

Now approaching its tenth year, the EVE Online player community has matured into an intricate and multi-faceted society viewed with envy by other game developers, but is frequently regarded with suspicion by the wider gaming community. 

Is this perception deserved? Should "The Nation of EVE" be concerned by its public identity and if so how might that be improved? What influence will the integration of the DUST 514 community have on this culture in the future?

 Eve is indeed a complex society. From random newbies just starting a trial, to the most experienced and respected (or feared) players in the game, one thing binds us all (at least those who participate) and that is community. Bloggers, like those who will also grace this blog banter, the podcasters, the tweetfleet, even the folks who lurk in such places as Eve News 24, Fail Heap challenge or Kugutsumen are still a part of a vast community network.

It is this network that makes the events of New Eden that much more interesting. Jade and Rundle talking about Fanfest on Lost in Eve (for 8 hours, holy crap guys), Others regaling us with their nefarious doings like Hulkageddon organizer Helicity Boson. New Eden is vast but it's this external interface, this metagame, in combination with the sandbox that makes eve the envy of it's competitors.

The wider MMO scene is naturally suspicious of eve. It is a very dark place where things that don't happen in those other games (guild thefts, non-consensual pvp, scamming, etc.) are allowed. They are not able to comprehend the full ramifications of the Sandbox, or the reason others would be drawn to it. They play the game at their pace, level their characters in a largely unchanging landscape, run instances, eventually raid, and maybe even kill the Lich King.

Except the Lich King and the other 12 bosses you killed to get to him will be right back where they were on Tuesday when the instance resets. Along with C'thun, Chogall, Kel'thuzad and all the rest. Their world is static, stale, and to be perfectly honest, fucking boring. I should know, I came from it.

You can run around gleefully mining copper in Elwyn Forest or Mulgore all by yourself and never have to worry that some bad man will kill you and take your precious items. Eve is not an online single player game. The actions of others can and will affect you. So, get involved in the community and keep an ear open, if nothing else.

Eve players are generally don't care about our public image or bringing in many people. This is a very niche game for a very select (read: mature) audience. While new blood should be welcomed the newbies need to be divorced from any foolish preconceived notions as quickly, and perhaps, as painlessly as possible. While it may be fun to scam a 2 day old player, I would find such a thing unsporting. After all, what skill does it show on the part of the scammer that he got an easy mark?

With DUST 514 coming out soon a huge contingent of players from a radically different age group and a completely different genre of game will be, in a way, joining this community. Hopefully it will attract more of the older FPS crowd (although that may not be the case given the exclusive PS3 release.) In addition there will be an influx of eve players who will hopefully be able to explain the greater intricacies of the world they are participating in to the FPS junkies.

As for those who think that the eve community will allow their game to get softer for the sake of gaining subscribers, I offer a simple HTFU. This is our game, and we like it just the way it is. If it is not appealing to you I suggest you go elsewhere, after all if it isn't fun why are you still here?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tenal: Well, that was easy.

Last week, in what has to be some kind of record the CFC took control of the Tenal region from Raiden. , the current incarnation of Goonswarm's ancient nemesis Band of Brothers. While there was a battle initially with Raiden losing 100 battleships and 10 carriers, they disappeared afterwards, leaving their NCDot and Initiative Mercenary lackeys to poke at us from time to time. Black Legion also made a few appearances along with Against All Authorities and friends moving up from their holdings in the south.

Why -A- would deploy in Pure Blind to harass us is due to the Goons involvement in the battle for C-J. The system is a landmark in Goon history from the early days when no one in eve would have them. No friendly alliances to Red Alliance were given docking rights in that system, it was essentially a VIP system for RA alone. As part of their reward for helping destroy the Knights of the Southerncross Alliance, the Goons were the only non-RA entity to gain docking rights in C-J. This obviously was a major milestone in Goon history and the Goons have returned to C-J in the past to assist RA.

-A- however is also allied with SOLAR FLEET and by proxy another favorite Goon target, Intrepid Crossing (IRC). Apparently they weren't made aware of that caveat prior to reinforcing a Capital Ship Assembly Array POS owned by IRC. Goons caught wind of this and finished the job, fighting IRC and ironically enough an -A- Tengu fleet.

-A- and company may still attempt to assault us, and that's fine. Hope they are remapped for subsystem skills. And if they become too much of a nuisance, we can just hellcamp their staging system. Black Legion just runs when we come after them, or they are stupid enough to sit in our staging system. surprise surprise. And for all those "we want gud fites!" people. This is nullsec. There are no good fights. We will use anything and everything we have if you come to our space. You have two choices, flee or die. We prefer you choose the latter.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Urziel and Uziel: An excercise in duality.

Guess which one is the nice guy.

Having played Eve for over a year now with both of these characters, I find that each has taken on it's own persona of a sorts. It's odd in a way, but I think I understand Jester's post on hats a little more than I did prior.

Urziel is the nice guy, his skills are focused on mining, research, industry and production. It is under his alias that I primarily interact with the Eve community as a whole.

Uziel is the combat oriented guy. He can mine and haul, but that's about it. This is the guy who goes out to murder your space pixels if you cross him or his friends.

With the new campaign to burn Tenal to the ground in full swing I have spent for more time on Uziel than I have my other accounts. I find I've become more hardened and cynical towards the general community in the wake of the recent scandal and subsequent dog-piling by idiot journalists who can't be bothered to look into facts and the ever present PC police types in the world.

If you play this game and think that any part of it is super happy fun land, please quit playing now. I'm not trying to be rude or anything (believe me, I could go all trucker on you, but I digress) but eve is not a cheery place where people are gleefully mining veldspar in highsec, holding hands and singing kum-by-yah (sp). A friend once told me that EvE is short for Everyone vs. Everyone and from what I've seen in the last year I can't deny it as an accurate description.

Eve is dark by nature, and some would argue it attracts a playerbase of dark, socially awkward and/or sociopathic people. This may be true to a point but even people like Chribba (whom most would say is the closest thing eve has to a saint) can prosper and thrive. Why? The sandbox. This virtual universe we call New Eden is incredibly vast and it's the actions of it's players that shape it's course. Chribba is one of the oldest players of the game, considered by everyone (I've yet to hear of a single complaint about his servies) an honest dealer and host to numerous websites supporting eve's community. Does he own vast swathes of unsecured space? No. Does he lead a coalition of twenty thousand players? No. His greatest asset is his reputation.

Most people who come to eve without a friend soon find out just how much this game eats it's young. New players are scammed and victimized all the time. This may seem ruthless and evil to some, but in a way it's more a way of separating the chaff from the wheat. One of the CSM7 candidates Mike Azariah said it best. "There are two levels of paranoia in eve, total and insufficient." The ones who adopt a wary mindset are the ones who aren't tricked. The ones who learn to keep their ears and eyes open aren't caught unaware by Hulkageddon or the Ice Interdiction. The ones who get mad that such  things could happen typically don't last long.

One of the major alliances in the game is Pandemic Legion. They are known as some of the best theorycrafters and pvpers in the game. The slogan they used when they introduced the Armor HAC gang to counter drake fleets was "Adapt or Die." It doesn't matter what profession you choose in eve, the slogan rings true.

So now I stand at a crossroads. I've never been one to grief or suicide gank people, yet, in less than 30 days I will be sending Uziel to take part in the Goonswarm's attack on Jita. When the campaign was on The Mittani promised the Goons and the CFC that if he got ten thousand votes they would celebrate by attacking Jita. At the time I just shrugged. A victory lap to celebrate a huge milestone in the history of the Goons (and the CSM itself) and a chance to collect tears from pubbies and little else.

Then Suicidegate broke, and The Mittani was banned. Ten thousand votes down the drain (including two of mine). The Goons were pissed. The CFC was pissed, initially at CCP, later more at the sensational press that in a way had forced CCP's hand. It was then that Mittens wrote the current CEO Update and State of the Goonion.

The Jita celebration was still on in 30 days. Mittens himself would be there. The whole affair felt like it had taken a far darker turn. This wasn't about celebrating a glorious triumph. It was about revenge. Against who or what is hard to say. Only one thing mattered, Jita. Must. Burn. and so, I, the nice guy will be out there in my Tornado destroying Freighters and Industrials with impunity. Why? Because I want to. I want the pubbies to suffer, to fear our coalition, to cry great tears and feed them to us. Why? Because if you are there, after one month's warning you brought it upon yourselves. The same way the Gallente Ice Miners did. By not paying attention.

In the end there is no morals in eve. Only the winners and the losers. Your honor won't save you from a suicide ganker. Your reputation doesn't keep people from competing with you. Adapt, or Die.

Welcome to EvE.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Mittani vs Daruis III: An excercise in Dichotomy and Hypocrisy

While the controversy surrounding the leader of Goonswarm Federation is nothing new, (indeed it has been yammered about incessantly over the last week) I feel it appropriate to bring up certain points which are being glossed over, perhaps intentionally by his detractors.

One of the loudest voices that has been hammering the Mittani is Darius III of the CSM. It's no secret that Darius and Mittens haven't exactly gotten along for quite some time. With both in-game (the conquest of Delve) and metagame (the NDA breach accusation) assaults appearing in recent history.

When Mittens announced his intent to resign the chair of CSM 7, In which he addresses the dichotomy of being the leader of a ruthlessly amoral organization juxtaposed by his place on the CSM as a player advocate, Darius posted a nice long excoriating piece, not even 4 minutes after Mittani's post.  As anyone who has ever read Mittani's posts can attest, he's not exactly a fast read. It's eloquent and well-written but it's not something you can read though and write a long winded counter to in 4 minutes.

Consider also that Darius mentioned the words disgrace when in fact this individual used unsavory means to gain votes by luring people with PLEX that he never intended to give. So, he speaks in a tone of condescension to a man who has openly admitted his screw ups, apologized to the victim and the community and then resigned the Chairmanship. Meanwhile he, also a member of the CSM, openly brags about scamming people to get their votes.

Convenient. Apparently Darius is not so keen on living up to the same morals he so eagerly wishes to weigh others against. Congratulations Daruis III you are now the Newt Gingrich of Internet Spaceship Politics.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Videos for the newbies.

As I mentioned in response to Blog Banter 33 I have begun making basic tutorial videos for the new players we have milling about aimlessly.

I've created videos for the Captain's Quarters, Station Hangar and one designed to help spot scams in the contracts system.

Feel free to like/comment on these videos or post requests for topics you'd like covered.

Upcoming topics:

Navigating in space.
The Overview
The care and feeding of Clones. (Medical Bay 101)
Ship fitting (Race Specific)
Tanking and You

Monday, February 20, 2012

Blog Banter 33: The Capsuleer Experience

This month's blog banter is about the new player experience, for better or for worse.

Some new players get lucky. They have been referred by an experienced player and as such have someone to ask all those silly questions we all ask when we first get started. I know I'd still be pulling my hairs out a year later were it not for my friend Asander and the rest of BSC Legion.

The rest of the newbies, well, they get to try their luck in Rookie Help and pray there is an ISD or an experienced player training a new account to answer their questions (and prey they aren't being trolled). Tie this in with the general feel of being in something completely new and it's pretty obvious why most don't finish the trial. There is little/no easily accessible data and those organizations that promote helping new players aren't able to be on the forefront since Rookie Help disappears after 30 days.

I've had a hand at helping out in Rookie Help recently while starting my fifth account and I keep telling myself "There must be a better way to explain this to people." So, in response to the cliff still posed by the new player experience I've decided to start making Youtube videos with in-game footage and commentary.

The channel such as it is (no videos, yet) is established here.

Feel free to leave suggestions regarding topics you'd like covered there by sending an email to Urziel99 (at) gmail (dot) com. or by contacting my Twitter account: @Urziel99

I intend to do the very basics first, maybe even cover some of the tutorial missions in detail. Anyone with an idea feel free to let me know.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Deklien: There and back again.

After some consideration, and a few months of eye-blisteringly awful isolation I have returned to the fold and rejoined my first corp; BSC Legion. All the old mates were glad to have be back and I noticed some new but familiar faces in the corp chat, including Quivering Palm, the executor of our previous alliance.

That night I set up some jump clones in various systems and bought one of the new DrakeFleet setups in VFK. An op was called with DBRB as the FC, so I went.

It's good to be back. My absence made me remember who my friends were, and retaught the lesson I thought I had learned the first time. Eve is harsh without allies.

I'd like to take this opportunity to give a shout-out to Shevai Asan, CEO of The Night Crew and his directors for annoying the living shit out of me in their recruitment channel and reminding me just how valuable it is to have people who know you for who you are, and who don't try to glean a person's character from a comment on a blog.

Without them prodding me to a near homicidal rage I would have never had to confront the fact that people can be total bags of dicks, be somewhat justified in doing so, and to not bother dealing with them if they can't respect you for who you are.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Uziel99: Noir. Academy Alumni

As I mentioned in a previous post I sent my combat pilot Uziel99 through the Noir. Academy training program. We wreaked havoc in Providence over the course of three weeks, destroying several billion in ships. While many of those who graduated have gone on to join Noir. I however did not. Unlike the others, who were gunning for a spot on the roster of the merc corp, I had a different reason for doing the academy.

I mentioned briefly the occupation of a certain station in KW-OAM that belonged to Noir. while I was in Split Infinity Alliance in Tennerifis. When things began to really fall apart Alekseyev Karrde brought Noir. down to fight for their station. What they found as far as the state of their occupying alliance no doubt did not impress them. Many things were said (many of them quite unpleasant) in mails, voice comms and private convos. Needless to say, I took things personally. This random guy I've never met comes out of the blue and begins insulting my corp and alliance mates. Not cool. So as things unravel I bide my time and do a lot more digging on this merc alliance and their leader.

I found out about Noir. Academy and waited. Finally in late November Noir. announces the next Academy class. The time had finally come. I applied and was interviewed by Nidia Masters, Alekseyev's right hand man. To my surprise they didn't seem to remember me, or if they did remember they didn't think much of it despite having been on a kill with Noir in that region of space. I was accepted fairly quickly and began training to fit new ships and modules.

After a month of action in Vale of the Silent and Providence I was told I would be graduating by Alekseyev. It was at this point I told him I would not be joining Noir., that I had come to prove a point (even if only to myself) and the graduation and it's subsequent medal was the goal all along.

So, what was the point? Why spend a month working for free at the behest of someone who intentionally or otherwise insulted you, your friends and your corp? Simple. Alekseyev insinuated that the late night crew of my alliance (which was not the dominant TZ for our corp or alliance) were essentially worthless in a fight and I proved him wrong. The same worthless miner he derided 4 months ago was being offered a spot in his mercenary pvp corp. Now that is what I call irony.

Alek will probably read this and think I still have a massive hateon for him and his corp like I did during the fall of SI. The truth is however Noir is a good bunch of people to work with. And while the flames of bitterness and rage are long dead, only the goal remained. Now that it's done it's time to move on and let this chapter take it's place among the lessons of the past.

Blog Banter 32: PvP needs consequences for both sides.

This month's Blog Banter on Freebooted is about one of the most fundamental principles of the game, and also one of the most debated. We are talking about non-consensual PvP combat.

In most MMO's the rules for engaging in pvp are pretty straightforward. In WoW (or as it's more commonly know to the eve community, "The game that shall not be named") pvp is activated by setting a character option to allow pvp combat (aka flagging) this is also activated by joining in Battlegrounds or Arenas as well as attacking flagged players or entering certain areas that are designated as Combat Zones (Lake Wintergrasp and Tol Barad) or are contested territories on pvp servers.

Eve however has no such mechanic. That Thrasher that just undocked beside your industrial could easily lock you up and poof, no more industrial. While many see this as a bad thing and cry great amounts of tears when this happens, the behavior doesn't change. There are penalties of course. In highsec an aggressor runs afoul of CONCORD who will destroy the offending ship, lending this mechanic it's name. Suicide Ganking. Security status is lost by these acts unless the attacker's corporation has a CONCORD sanctioned war in place that allows them to temporarily ignore the restrictions of highsec combat (known in-game as the Yulai Convention, the document that created CONCORD).

 Included below are some easy ways to make yourself prepared for pvp in this madhouse we call a sandbox.

1. Don't make yourself an easy target. Stay aware of current events throughout New Eden. If you know the Goons are coming or that Hulkageddon is just around the corner you'll be more wary and observant than those who find out when their Exhumers are primaried.

2. Don't make yourself an attractive target. Since most ganks happen outside the confines of a wardec the aggressor will be losing his ship, and thanks to the insurance changes will not be getting any compensation for it. This means they are going to be looking for high-value targets who have loot that might be scooped from the wreck by a nearby friend or alt for profit. So doing something like undocking from Jita 4-4 in a Kestrel with 72 PLEX in the cargo hold is a very bad idea. Also running officer fit ratting or mission ships will make you a target. So keep the 13 billion isk Raven Navy Issue's indoors.

3. Blueball the enemy. When wardecced by an enemy, make them wish they had decced someone else. Play station games with them. If you have a POS make sure it's fully stronted with extra stront and fuel in the Corp Hangar Array and run all the hardeners and ECM you can. Grief the griefer.

In short the issue with non-consensual pvp is not so much the pvp as it is a lack of consequence for the aggressor. Below I cover some suggestions:

1. Stargate access tied to sec status: Negative sec status players can still enter secured space, meet up with an Orca board a ship, warp to a belt and pop ice miners. The Mittani himself gave instructions on how to do this to his members to extend the duration of their Ice Interdiction. This is unacceptable. It turns sec status into nothing but a meaningless number. As suggested the first Blog Banter I submitted there should be no entry into a system by a player who would be fired upon should they enter the system in a ship. A simple error message "The stargate denies you permission to jump due to your security status being too low." and no jump for Mr. Ganker. The ganker will now have to raise their security status back to an acceptable level to enter the target system.

2. Dynamic status loss. When committing a crime the sec status of the system should be factored in. In a .5 system like Niarja the status hits would be the same as they are now. In a 1.0 system like Perimeter or Amarr they would be higher (preferably tripled)

3. CONCORD/sentry guns podding GCC players. Most gankers run cheap throw away fits and ships. Usually these ships have enough to fire one devastating volley before they are destroyed. There is one thing they have that is still valuable. Their pods. These pilots still have SP and possibly implants or hardwirings installed when they are out ganking. Podding these pilots forces them to upgrade their medical clones and replace any cybernetic implants they had plugged in.

4. Increased wardec costs. Highsec wardecs are broken in many ways. for less than the cost of a cruiser I could declare war on any corp that is not in an alliance for 1 week and gleefully kill them (including pods) with impunity. This is little more than legalized piracy. This also gives griefer corps a cheap way to operate with no consequence or severe financial outlay. All wardecs should be proportional to the number of pilots (and average skillpoint level of those pilots) in the corps with a minimum of 100 million isk to wardec a corporation and 500 million isk to wardec an alliance. If this route is unfeasible than a counter cost should be added that the target corp can pay to have the dec invalidated. This would be 150% of the dec cost but would become lower over time if the aggressor corp continues to push wardecs (though the aggressors cost would not rise with each week) until eventually the dec can be invalidated for free after 10 weeks.

5. Automatic CONCORDing / podding of Neutral RR. Many griefer corps rely on the use of the broken Neutral Remote Repair mechanic to fight battles while protecting expensive logistics ships. This is an exploit and should be banned. To encourage players away from this behavior. CONCORD should treat those who neutral RR a ship that is aggressed by someone with a valid wardec on them as if they had a GCC including the above mentioned podkill. If the exploiter complains remind them that they didn't pay CONCORD for the whole suspension of the Yulai Convention like the aggressor corp did. Then tell them to HTFU.

In short, the problem isn't pvp. It's the holes in place that minimize and eliminate risk and consequence. Fix those problems and no one will complain about pvp and griefers will become extinct from lack of carebear tears.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Uziel99: Noir Academy

Due to prior indirect involvement with and listening to the podcast presented by Noir. Mercenary Group I decided to have my combat pilot, Uziel99 sign up for the tenth class of Noir. Academy. I honestly didn't expect to get in given the character doesn't have a great deal of Tech II ships to fly or access to most Tech II weapons.

Against all odds, or laws of sanity I was approved for the class. It has been a blast, even for a low SP pilot. Alekseyev Karrde and Nidia Masters have been working with the academy as instructors for the initial week causing a little havoc in Vale of the Silent. We have since moved on to a different region and are working with Noir. itself and getting tons of first hand experience and advice.

I'll put out more updates as time goes on. I wouldn't want to show our hand. I'm sure our targets know who they are by now.