Saturday, July 31, 2010

The forum post that backfired


Wow. I already knew that CCP was not exactly the greatest bunch of developpers to listen to its player base, such as ignoring the CSM which is supposed to represent us in favor of doing only what they think is right (if you can call a console game, an expansion half the player base doesn't care about, and a vampire game right... god I'm sick of vampires!), but this time I really feel like CCP has shot itself in the foot with a big-ass gun. Will Zymurgist still have a job on Monday? If it was up to the players I think he'd already be at the unemployment center.

For those who may want a TLDR version: CCP Zymurgist posted about the European Gaming Awards and asked the players to vote for EVE because it is totally awesome. The players (me included), who have been fed up with everything that is not totally awesome, and who see the new features that every new expansion brings, and how sucky they are (Apocrypha being the only awesomely good expansion, but even that had to be fixed a few times), has taken this post as a show of complete arrogance and disregard towards the players. Some players have apparently already quit over this, and a lot of players are starting to think about doing it. And if some long-promised space MMOs do come out, a lot of players will be looking at them with a lot of interest. I am one of those players.

Let's see... the best thing I like about EVE is the fact that in one persistent world where there are no shards anything can and will happen. EVE is PvP the second someone becomes red to you or targets you, and it usually happens within the first few weeks of playing. If it doesn't, or didn't, you didn't play EVE hard enough. But unlike some other players, I see no interest in the entire industrial side of EVE. Some of my best buddies are industrialists and I have no idea how they keep interest in it; I just want to fly around, blow shit up, and clear my brain from anything called work. Now, we already knew big fleets were affected by lag, and a lot of things in the game are in dire need of repair, but CCP not only refuses to listen to the players' pleas but are now asking for an award?! Sorry, that just doesn't work.

So am I quitting EVE and giving away my stuff? Well, I have to wait a bit at the moment EVE has no competition. But apparently some competition is coming in the form of Black Prophecy. Granted, there is no way BP can be as deep as EVE on all levels, but it does all the things I like to do in EVE which involve flying around and shooting stuff and/or people. The tentative release date is November 2010 so that's not too far off. It may be a free-to-play MMO but if the content is good enough I really see myself putting Cozmik on ice for an undetermined length of time.

And as for EVE Online? I seriously hope CCP wakes up and smells the coffee as it gets thrown into its face. EVE is still a diamond in the rough after much too long, and it seems like CCP is more into getting a bigger rough diamond than polishing up the one they already have. Or had, because Apocrypha 1.5 was the last best iteration of EVE, and it's only been downhill from there.

To CCP: please listen to what your players are telling you if you want to stay alive.

To Reakktor: you have an opportunity of immense proportion here, to become true competition for the only space MMO in existence. But please learn from the mistakes of the competition.

Fly hard, hopefully lag-less


Saturday, July 24, 2010


Yesterday started as a pretty quiet friday night in Chaos Central, as no new sites had spawned and the only signatures to be seen were the static wormholes. So we decided to pay a visit to the neighboring Class 1 system that was chock-full of combat sites and signatures, but it was also inhabited. the amount of sites tells us the people haven't logged in in a while though. But the system also contained another special feature. Bubbles. Lots of bubbles. We first laughed at what must be a severe case of paranoia but a quick survey of the system told us how crazy these guys are: about 98% of all the system's planets and moons had a Mobile Small Warp Disruptor I sitting on the warp-in point. Because no one seemed to be home and because we wanted to make a point that this was one of the most stupid ways you could spend 50 million ISK, we decided to go on a clean-up spree. So armed with two high-DPS PvP ships (in case someone wakes up) we started to methodically pop one bubble after another, until there were only two left, both located too near to the enemy POS for us to do anything about without risking our ships. Still, the owners should feel slightly less secure the next time they log on!

But as we were busy killing the bubbles, we did get to see some action, only not at all expected. Around the mid-point of our bubble killing spree we spotted a bunch of core scanner probes. Right away we thought "Awesome, the owners are waking up!", and we were ready to deal with some The PvP that might be thrown at us. This lasted a good 20 minutes and still, no sign of any defence force. I decided that when there would be less than 10 bubbles left I would pipe up in Local to tell the system owners about the error of their ways. This I did, but then the only answer that came was from a month-old noob and the more I was smacking, the more confused he was getting. After a bit of local convo, we found out that this guy had nothing to do with the system owners; he had become stuck in the system after entering it and having the wormhole collapse and not being able to find another hole because not only was the system too full of signatures, but his exploration skills were those of a month-old noob. In short, he was stranded. Oh, and he had also made the mistake of fitting too expensive a frigate; the words "10m ISK Heron" and "I put all my money into this ship" still give me goosebumps. At least he told me he had a battlecruiser waiting at home.

So after all this talk of W-space life and EVE lessons, I decided to be a good guy for once and not pod him straight home. I had him quit the fleet he was in (with his corp CEO, who was somewhere in New Eden trying to find him I guess) and had him join my fleet. I then had him warp to me at the C1/Chaos hole, and finally I warped the fleet to the Chaos/Hi-Sec hole, where Mr Daniel Opper was finally able to see civilization again in the form of Amarr space. I have no idea how far this is from his HQ but he was quite happy to be back in Empire space. So happy in fact that I received a notication saying he had added me to his contacts with excellent standing :)

In the words of animal rescuer Diego, rescue complete! I'm sure Daniel learned a thing or three about EVE in that short span of time. I don't know how active his current corporation is, but Daniel, if you feel like learning more about the ins and outs of W-space life, ChaosStorm will be opening up recruitment in the near future. Feel free to drop an application if you feel like it. We may not give free battlecruisers like your current corporation, but we have something just as good to offer: sleeper droppings !!!

Fly smart, cheap, and deadly


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Pop goes the world

If you are a hardcore miner, the following blog post will probably set your blood on fire or make your lacrymal glands overflow. On Friday July 9th at 0000 evetime was the start of the year's most pyrotechnical event in EVE, Hulkageddon III. And right from the start the carnage has been nothing short of spectacular: as I'm writing this over a thousand capsuleers, both human and cybernetic, have had their exhumers taken away in a most violent fashion. Just over 500 mining barges have also been turned into space-faring molecules, and just shy of 25 Orcas have been on the receiving end of artillery volleys massive enough to finish the job before CONCORD had finished wiping the powdered sugar off its mustache.

As much as the most carebear of EVE's capsuleers hate it, Hulkageddon is nothing but a huge spoon to stir up the economy. Industrialists who saw the event coming are at this very moment making a fortune by supplying new ships not only to the miners who lost ships, but also to the event's participants who sacrificed countless ships and modules to the wrath of CONCORD. So yeah, if you are one of those miners who do nothing but mining in order to make your ISK, this is a very bad week for you. But two kinds of miners are getting hit the hardest: macro-miners and those that care for nothing but themselves, who do not read the forums or pay attention to the news articles when they log on, those who basically do not care that there's a world going on around them. Sure some newer pilots are getting hit because they put too many eggs in their basket, but the loss of their ships should teach them two things: to fly only what they can afford to lose, and that New Eden can be a dangerous place even in 0.9 security space. Nothing stops anyone from ninja-mining though; all a miner has to do is treat space as hostile, and watch Local and the D-scanner like any good pilot should. But mining is so boring an activity that most people do it AFK the majority of the time. Please don't come crying if stuff happens and you aren't paying attention.

For the first time since its beginnings two years ago, I decided to take part in the festivities as much as my limited schedule would allow, flying mostly solo at the start (and failing a lot!) and getting together with one small gang yesterday. But even though I know I am nowhere near any of the prizes, it was extremely fun to give suicide ganking a shot, even though it's not the most glamorous form of The PvP. But among the ships I participated in ganking, none of the victims (or even attempted victims) gave me hate-mail or even a bit of Local smacktalk. I was even thanked for informing a pilot that Hulkageddon had started. If that is not ganking failure I don't know what is !!! Most of my failures come from going solely for solo kills; I was either in systems where security was too high, therefore getting CONCORDOKKEN'd before my target blew up, starting my damage from the wrong range so not doing enough, or just plain flying solo and not getting together with gangs. Oh well, it was my first experience so I was bound to mess up here and there!

One thing that's undeniable, and quite amazing and fun, is the camaraderie that Hulkageddon creates. At any time during the event you will find a rather large amount of people in the event's channel with a mix of pilots from gankers posting their most recent kill, gangs trying to form up, scouts giving intel about mining ships left and right, and the occasional victim crying about how unfair this is and how evil we are. Some of the pilots are from pirate corporations, some are guys like me doing this just for the occasion, and some are even miners trying to fight the macro-miner competition. People who are usually at opposite sides of the EVE spectrum are now united in a common goal: bringing mining to a screeching halt for a bit and seeing lots and lots of pretty explosions. Those who think we do it for any economical reason just do not get it!

So here I am now, -1.16 security status for the first time in my EVE life, and I'm proud of it. Though I have to slow down because W-space life requires me to have the ability to fly everywhere, I will be keeping an eye on everything Hulkageddon until Sunday evening, and I wish all the luck in the world for the pilots who are in a position to win the fabulous prizes that are up for grabs.

To Helicity Boson, my hat's off to you for creating such an amazing event, and I hope there are many more to come!

Fly like you are immortal... cuz you are !!!


Edit: This is my entry for EVE-athon I: The Hulkageddon effect

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Because of Jazz Fest

Yep, it's that time of year again. Getting anything done at home is a tough job when you're a music lover because the year's biggest festival is going strong and when other music lovers invite you to shows you just do not refuse. Therefore, getting much of anything done in EVE is almost impossile because there are too many fun things to do in and around Montreal. Add to that the fact that yours truly has just switched cars from a dying 2000 Subaru Outback to a much smaller, much less gas-guzzling 2010 Nissan Versa, and yeah, to Hell with computer gaming this past weekend :))

However I did get some playing time here and there. First there was the return of what we at AMC call the Asshat Squad, who with a lot of patience and some luck managed to snag my Loki; no big surprise there... every time I get a new, bigger and better ship I lose it usually within a week :) But what followed that I found extremely funny, if a bit pathetic, was the asshat's failed attempt at tear extraction. Let's see: this is an Atlas member operating solo (and away from his alliance I might add) with a small squad of NPC corp characters with recon ships and we're not the only ones to have fallen for his Modus Operandi. But for someone who started the smack-talk in Local he didn't seem used to receiving smack right back instead of tears, and I was laughing out of my chair that he looked offended by it. So, asshat, listen here: EVE is not just populated with whiny carebears willing to pay stupid ransoms in a vain hope that you would simply "go away". And to answer that someone with a blog shouldn't be calling people faggots is about as strong as balsa wood. So grow a set of balls - you clearly don't have any to have such a hard-on over Recons - and take the smack-talk like a man when it comes at you.

Ah... that felt good !!!

On other EVE news fronts, I took a small break away from W-space to go flying dangerous in Gallente Low-sec space with one of my Montreal buddies. Things were pretty quiet until we hit Egghelende, were we met Spectre3353's favorite PvPer, Ken Plante and his BANE buddies. Although I'm sorry to say we did go down to Ken (Vexor Thorax < Curse Dramiel Cynabal), we took quite a bit of time going down as their damage appeared to be quite erratic. I got very excited at one point because Ken and his Cynabal came just outside of scram/web range, flying within 9800m of my Thorax... now this might have turned the tide quite a bit :) After reshipping we went back on another small roam but everyone had called it a night so we did the same.

Finally at the end of the weekend, and seeing I wouldn't have much time playing anyway, I went back to Chaos Central where I helped a corpmate to do a Mag site (Asshat was probably doing chores under mom's orders) and pulled in a good haul, and as we had an uninhabited Class 2 system connected to us I decided to pay it a visit, only by this time it wasn't empty anymore as I had 2 medium bubbles on scan... hmmm let's take the Cheetah and see what's up. Lo and Behold, I found a Megathron and a Raven, both piloted by low SP characters, in the middle of the only 100% combat site in the system. Time to fly a bit more aggressively! I switched to my Broadsword and my corpmate to his PvP Gila and I warped us to a wreck I had bookmarked which would've have caused both BSes to be in the middle of my bubble. Unfortunately they must have scattered as we were in warp because they were nowhere to be seen upon landing. But we did kill off the remaining Sleepers and we managed to loot and salvage the entire site. Thanx guys!

And that's about it for now. Play time is still at a premium but I do try to make the most of it :)

Oh and in closing, open comment to jazz piano-man Keith Jarrett (that he will never read of course): you sir may be an extremely gifted musician of great reknown, but you are the epitome of fail as a human being. Please don't come back to Montreal. Thank you.

Fly loud and proud