Monday, September 30, 2013

Eve Rubicon - An Open Letter to Eelis Kiy

I stayed up for the winter 'expansion' announcement on Thursday night. It was midnight local time and I was like a kid on Christmas Eve with CCP Guard as Santa Claus. I went to bed 40 minutes later in a huff and kicked the cat* on my way. My prediction of what we'd get in the winter 'expansion' got the EAF balancing right but was well off on everything else.

I have written three blog posts on the subject of the Rubicon announcement and have deleted them all. I'm struggling to make my point without letting bitter vet syndrome and my disappointment control the post. And I've failed each time. Previous deleted titles have included:-

DUST514 - The New Incarna/18 months?
Rubicon - Disappointed!
How Do You Define An "Expansion"?

In the end I went with the title you see on the top. Lets see if I can do this!

Note - Those of you who have read this blog may have seen me mention Eelis before. She is one of the people who got me really into Eve (along with her other half Rashmika and a couple of others from my first player corp I was in) and she certainly got me into blogging. Eelis quit Eve just after the summer of rage. The direction CCP was taking was one of her reasons as I recall. Anyway with the death of Warhammer Online (which she was playing) and Eve's winter 'expansion' just around the corner, I write this.....

Dear Eelis,

Have you heard? CCP have announced their 20th free 'expansion', Rubicon. I thought I'd write to you and tell you about it to try and get you back into the game. With Rashmika and Enzlo already back and in QCats, we just need you and Jester to return to the game and we'd be all sorted. Check out these features of Rubicon....

Hi-Sec POCO's
Not sure you were around when player owned customs offices were deployed allowing those doing planetary interaction to have their goods shot into space and stored in the customs office. Now they are going to be player owned in hi-sec. Many are asking what will be the point as hi-sec PI makes so little money why invest in player POCOs? The answer is of course plenty of carebear griefing.

Four Deployable Structures.
They are creating a "POS thief" structure. You deploy this near someone's POS and it leeches moon material or reactions from the POS allowing you to steal them if the POS owner doesn't notice. Not sure how you'll deploy it or pick up the goods if the POS has guns on it though?
Another one is a small 'homebase' storage/fitting service. Basically a home-away-from-home. If you can store a few fitted ships in it, it could be useful for faction war forward deployments into enemy space. However you can scan them down and destroy them and they have no defences. So could get expensive if the enemy has probes out.
The 'looter' is another one you can deploy inside a mission and it'll tractor beam all the wrecks together and loot them all. You'll have to manually salvage the wrecks, but at least all the loot from multiple wrecks will be in one place to scoop.
Mobile cyno jammer - Want to prevent your hotdrop from being hotdropped? This deployable structure will stop more cyno's being lit in a certain radius as yet to be decided (70km? 100km?)

Revamp of the Certificates System
You know those certificates nobody really cared about, they are being revamped!

SoE Faction Ships
We are getting two new bright-white ships! A SoE frigate and cruiser. Armour resist bonus, probing bonus and can fit covert ops cloaks. I doubt the DPS will anything to speak of and as T1, those frigates with cloaks are going to be a favourite of the LP farmers in faction war. They do look good though!

Ship Rebalancing
Interceptors are getting a boost and will be immune to bubbles! Interdictors are being balanced as are Marauders. Sounds like Marauders might get some siege-mode-lite to 'deploy' as DPS monsters. EAF are getting a boost to range of ewar effects to bring them closer to recons. Just what we need in game, more kitey shit you cannot catch that kills you epically slowly from extreme  range!

Warp Changes
The warp speed of ships didn't usually make much of a difference did it? By the time you'd accelerated to max warp and then slowed down again, the actual time spent at full warp speed was minimal. That is being balanced. Cruisers will be the benchmark with anything smaller getting up to, and down from, max warp a lot quicker. Battlecruisers and up will take longer. Therefore small ships will be able to catch larger ships that are fleeing much more easily.

Guerilla Warfare
Something is being put in to allow small gang warfare to annoy the mega alliances and power blocs. No details yet.

So there you go Eelis, the quick guide to the features (so far announced) of the Rubicon 'expansion'. Yes, I know there doesn't seem to be a lot. Yes, it is an 'expansion' in the loosest possible terms when compared to something like Apocrypha. Yes, there is nothing to re-invigorate bored players or bring back ex-players... but those SoE ships do look nice! And you have to remember that the development resources are needed to rescue DUST. But didn't you see in the above, Interceptors will be immune to warp bubbles!!! Apparently for some, this five second coding change suggested by a player on the forums makes everything all right and elevates this from a point release to a full blown 'expansion' of awesomeness?

Have I convinced you to hand in your ex-player-bitter-vet card and rejoin Eve Online? No? To be honest I didn't convince myself here either.

Anyway, if Rubicon doesn't float your boat why not come back for the future? The future expansions after this one will be epic! CCP have an epic plan of epicness as they told us at fanfest, but gave no details. And they told us this exact same thing again last Thursday... 6 months later... but again with no details. This is starting to feel a lot like "18 months again", technically we're a third of the way there already. And if I see that picture of Badgers building stargates again with no details I WILL kick the sodding cat!

Hugs n kisses


*No, I didn't really kick the cat, but I was in a foul mood and could have done!

P.S. Yes bro, I am mad.

P.P.S. No I wouldn't like a little cheese with my whine.

P.P.P.S. This is the version with 58% less moaning, 45% less CCP bashing and nearly 200% less DUST514 bashing, you should have seen it before!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Assassin - The Hunted

Fiction Friday! Escape pod here to Fedo Fancy. I'm trying to showcase some other Eve blogs out there as my alternative to Friday Fiction for those not into Eve-O fiction.

This is the final part of the Assassin triple-parter (Part 1 here and part 2 here).

Next Friday will be the launch of my Eve Novella. Twenty four thousand words of action, adventure and Eve geekary!

Assassin - The Hunted

Inquisitor Vorgash stood in front of the three members of the Judiciary Committee. They were all reading datapads. A chair was next to Inquisitor Vorgash but he had chosen to stand. He looked out the window towards Amarr Prime, the homeworld of the Amarrian race.

The head of the committee put his datapad down and looked up at the Inquisitor.

"Tragic. Absolute tragic all of them. Five good, faithful Amarrians, snuffed out in the most heinous way. However I do not see any connection between these horrible murders and I do not see why you have requested this audience."

"Your Honour. I come here today to show you these executions and to ask for your help in binging the perpetrator of these attacks on our glorious empire to holy justice."

One of the other members of the committee, a older woman with a hard face removed the glasses from her face. She was a hard-liner from the Amarrian Supreme Court. It was said she had handed out more death sentences than any judge in the star cluster. Whether that was true or not was open to debate, but all the Inquisitors knew she didn't suffer fools gladly.

"I''m sorry Inquisitor, you mean perpetrators I think"

"No your honour." he replied "There is only one killer."

The three members of the committee looked stunned.

"Are you saying one slave is going around killing high-profile Amarrians. That is preposterous!"

The Inquisitor knew this was going to be the hard part and he was on thin ice. He was about to say some unpleasant things about powerful and high-ranking Amarrian murder victims.

"Your Honours. Please look at the facts. All five victims were know for being particularly brutal towards the Matari slaves. In fact if you asked the Matari Government, "notorious" is probably a better word. They also we're known to have, ahem, shall we say special relations with the slaves. We have five people with no obvious connection other than they took enjoyment from the Matari and were rumoured to have committed serious harm to them too. The perpetrator's description is always the same. A young Matari girl around 19 years old, olive skin, black hair. It is the same girl. I believe a militant wing of the Republic Navy is placing this highly-trained agent in situations where the victims will take advantage of her. When they do, they are killed. These are not murders. They are executions, assassinations and acts of revenge."

The three committee members stayed silent as they considered his words.

"So what do you want from us Inquisitor?"

The Inquisitor handed over another datapad.

"You cannot be serious!" stated the head judge.


The secure conference room on the station was sealed and the three men around the table sat in silence as General Frooll read the report the intelligence officer had just handed over. Admiral Arde from the Republic Navy was the third man.

"You cannot be serious!" Frooll stated in horror.

"I am sir. Holder Abiar was released at oh seven hundred local time yesterday. He's been granted a small palace on a backwater planet."

"Who is Abiar and why is his release from prison a shock?" asked the Admiral.

The intelligence officer sat back in his chair. A solemn look on his face.

"Well Admiral, it is a sad tale. About ten years ago Abiar was a very powerful man. He had his own planet nearly. He was on our radar as a Holder that didn't treat his slaves very well. However, he was no where near the top of the list, we had many others we wanted to target before him. One morning he found his 14 year-old daughter being sick and marched her down to the palace infirmary. The doctor checked her out and announced she was pregnant."

The Admiral blew a low whistle and chuckled. "I bet that put him in a great mood for the day!"

"The Holder went into a rage. He saw it that his only daughter had been defiled. He smashed up the room and then ordered the doctor to abort the pregnancy there and then. Of course the doctor complied. The daughter was less compliant and refused to give up the father saying they were in love. The Holder then ordered the doctor to run the DNA through their database and identify the member of staff responsible. The doctor replied there was no point, the fathers DNA would not be on their employment records as it was not Amarrian, it was Matari."

The Admiral listened with a look of horror on his face. "You are kidding!"

"I'm afraid not. The daughter wouldn't give up the father and the Holder got mad. The Palace was far from the plantations so there were only really about 500 Minmatar close enough. The Holder had DNA taken from each of them. No match. He assumed they were hiding the father so he had every single Matari rounded up. The men and and boys of age where put in a makeshift holding pen in the middle of a field. They used electro-fencing to coral them in. They then erected 150 stakes surrounding the pen. They brought out the women and girls and tied them to the stakes and built fires under them. They gave the men 5 minutes to identify where the father was before they would start lighting a fire every minute. The men pleaded and insisted the boy had already been smuggled off-world. The Holder didn't believe him. For two and a half hours the fires were lit one at a time. One fire every minute as the holder had promised. They used small fires too, ones that would take time. By the morning there were 45 dead men in the pen, they were electrocuted trying to break out to rescue their families. Most of the women and girls were dead, a few hung on to life, horrifically burnt. The guards went around at dawn shooting those still alive, but by that time it was actually a mercy. 200 men and boys were all that were left from over 500 Matari. The Holder accepted that they were telling the truth as surely they would have given up one boy up to stop the burning. Enraged the Holder entered the Palace security office to confront the head of security. During the previous two hours the Head of Security had come to realise that he would be blamed for allowing the boy to escape off-world and had fled. Whilst the Holder was in the security office they detected an unscheduled shuttle launch. The Holder took control of a defence console and fire a single Hellscream anti-ship missile from the palaces defences. Unfortunately there was other traffic in the air and in his rage he targeted the wrong shuttle. The shuttle he hit was carrying an Amarrian family with serious connections. He was sentenced to twenty years for involuntary-manslaughter of the Amarrian family. As expected under Amarrian law, nothing was ever said about the 150 Matari women and girls he slowly roasted to death in front of their husbands, fathers and lovers. We've been waiting for him to get out so we can, shall we say, serve justice?"

The Admiral just sat in silence.

"But what we don't know is why he would be released after half his sentence. There is no reason they would do that." the Intelligence officer said.

The General stood.

"To be honest I don't have a rats-ass why they let him out. The only thing that matters is they have and I know just the woman to introduce him to!"


Inga crawled along the roof of the palace. She had silently landed on the far side of the compound using a glider after she was dropped from 60,000 feet. Getting onto the roof was easy, getting across it was slightly more difficult. Her modified goggles showed the the sweep of the laser detectors. They were easy to avoid. Finally she reached the side of the building and anchored a nano-rope to the edge. Slowly she slid down to the window and prized it open before slipping in. The plans the Republic hackers had got were correct, this was a small storage room for cleaning materials. Inga peeled off her black catsuit and retrieved the maids outfit from her small bag. She could only image what she looked like, they had better have got that bit of intel right! If the guys back at HQ could see her now, she'd have Gallente Maid jokes for a fortnight. Why the hell were all these powerful Amarrians such perverts she wondered.

Inga waited twenty minutes by the door. Exactly at the expected time she heard the lift down the hall beep. She opened the door a crack and saw the maid in an identical outfit exit the lift. She held a silver food plater covered by a domed dish. Inga exited the room and approached the girl smiling.

"Who are..." the girl never finished her question. Inga grabbed the side of the platter and sprayed an aerosol into the girls face. The fast acting nerve agent knocked her out instantly. Inga placed the platter on the floor and dragged the unconscious girls body into the store room. She'd be out cold for 12 hours. Inga returned and picked up the platter before heading to the room at the end of the corridor. She knocked once and waited. The camera above the door whirred slightly as it moved. A click signified the locks had been disengaged.

The bedroom was typically opulent. A huge four poster bed was draped with expensive rugs. The Holder sat on the edge of the bed, he looked worried. She saw her reflection in a large mirror, she did indeed look ridiculous. However, the uniform had gotten her through the security.

"Please place the food on the table." He said with a slight tremble in his voice.

Inga eye'd the man carefully. He was acting suspiciously. She placed the food on the table and suddenly felt a bit dizzy. She turned to the Holder who looked scared out of his wits. She took a step forward and stumbled. Her vision was blurred now and the room appeared to be spinning. She could barely make out the body of Holder Abiar but it appeared he'd collapsed. She tried to steady herself but crashed into a side table knocking it over and sending a vase crashing to the floor where if shattered into a thousand pieces. Inga tried to rise but collapse d to the floor and lost consciousness.


Inquisitor Vorgash inspected the rod and once happy it was in working order he pushed its end into the body hanging in front of him. A piercing scream erupted from the woman as electricity flowed into her body.

"Ah you are awake. Good!" the Inquisitor smirked.

Inga panted and shook her head as the shock brought her around. She took in her surroundings. She was hanging by her wrists. She was underground, probably the cellar of palace.

"Restorint gas in case you are wondering. We fully expected the Republic to send its little lady assassin after Holder Abiar. That's why we released him early. He was the bait. Then all we needed to do was wait until you made your move and spring the trap."

Inga said nothing as the Inquisitor moved over to a table stacked with implements.

"I have so many questions to ask you. And so many ways to extract the information. I am going to enjoy our time together. I don't expect you to answer the questions. I'm sure most of the answers you don't really know, but I'm sure I'll enjoy asking."

He picked up a thick black glove from the table and placed it on his hand. He approached her and ran his hand along the side of her calf. She bucked wildly and screamed in agony. Thin trickles of blood seeped from her wrists from under the metal manacles suspended her from the ceiling as she thrashed around.

"The Glove of Truth my dear. Its receptors project an energy field that target and stimulate nerve endings direct. It can be set to a variety of settings. That was heat. Your nerves behaving exactly the same as if they had been subjected to a naked flame, but with no damage. I can target the same area over and over again and the pain doesn't diminish. But why target the bottom of your leg when there are more sensitive areas available." he grinned menacingly walking in front of her.

"Can I ask you one question?" she gasped between deep breaths. The Inquisitor stopped and looked at her, slightly amused.

"For you my dear, I will allow you one. In a few hours your voice will be too hoarse from all the screaming to ask."

"Well, my question is this Nasir. How do you know that your trap wasn't actually our bait?"

The Inquisitor stood opened mouthed at the use of his first name. Nobody knew that. Before he could react the woman thrashed in her restraints and dropped to the floor, the metal manacles breaking apart as if they were made of ancient paper. He lunged at her face in panic with his gloved hand but she easily side-stepped him. He crashed into a wall as she kicked him in the base of the spine. Dazed he was barely aware of the glove being shook from his hand. She backhanded him and he fell to the floor. She reached into her hair and pulled something out. She jabbed him in the neck with it. He couldn't move. All he could do was look up at the naked beauty above him. She sat on his chest and smiled down.

"Same venom I used on that bitch I sliced up with the broken glass. Now just to fill you in. Those others I killed? They were OUR bait. We needed to get you out in the open and we knew sooner or later you'd pick up on the assassinations. We also knew you'd offer us some juicy bait to trap me once you had worked the pattern out. Holder Abiar was so obvious we knew you'd finally worked it out and it was you behind his release. In fact we know everything about you Inquisitor."

She showed him her bloodied wrists.

"We knew you'd have me hung by the wrists and wouldn't appear until your underlings confirmed I was defenceless. Micro-capsules implanted under my skin containing metal eating nanites. When you shocked me I simply broke them open against the restraints. However, we also know you are 'The Inquisitor', you don't even use your name when you visit worlds do you? The Holders I killed are nothing compared to you, how many Matari have you tortured and killed Inquisitor? How many have died horrific deaths at your hands in the name of ousting heretics and sedition in the slave populations?"

Inquisitor Vorgash knew then he was finished. She was right, he was no better than the Holders she had already killed. For nearly two decades he had travelled the Empire, visiting worlds under the pretence of rumours of plots within the slave populations. The Holders were always happy to receive him so he could purge their slaves of heretics and enemies of the Amarrian Empire. Of the legions in the Amarrian Inquesition he was the only one known as 'The Inquisitor'. His reputation was terrifying.

She took the glove from the ground and placed it on her right hand. She glanced at the flexible screen that displayed the settings on the back of the glove and selected a new program.

"Now Inquisitor, what were you saying about more sensitive areas of the body being available?" she asked as she unbuckled his belt.


"So its all over?" asked the Admiral.

"Yes. Inquisitor Vorgash was found in the cellar this morning. Or should I say what was left of him." replied the General. "Holder Abiar was found in his bedroom. Apparently he had several Gloves of Truths affixed to his body with duct-tape. They had been set on their fire setting. The Burner of Noranim died a quite horrific, slow, but poetic death."

"And our girl?"

"She didn't arrive at the extraction point. We were worried for a few hours until we got a message. She's taking some leave, gone to see her parents. I think she follows the old adage it is better to beg for forgiveness than ask permission!"

"Well, are you going to reprimand her?"

The man shook his head with an expression that showed fear.

"Are you joking, as far as I am concerned she can do what she wants. I never want to get on the wrong side of that woman!"

The Admiral smiled.

"Well send her a message. There is a new assignment, we've got a few rumours we need her to look into!"

The End.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

New Battleship Missile Launcher Incoming?

Over at TMC they have been circulating some rumours about what is coming in the winter expansion. Whether these leaks are accurate or not, well we'll find out on Thursday! Nothing really earth shattering in there and certainly no 'headline feature' as yet. A new pirate faction? High-sec POCO's becoming player controlled? Mobile cyno jammers/disruptors. But one thing did make me go 'oh yesh yesh yesh yesh!' - Rapid Heavy Missile Launchers!

Cruisers and battlecruiser missile-boats have always had a counter to smaller ships in the medium sized rapid light missile launcher. Battleship missile boats with their torpedoes and cruise missiles haven't. There weapon systems have always been problematic when dealing with smaller vessels. Lets have a quick look at how missile damage is calculated in the simplest way possible so even I can understand it.

Each missile has a blast or explosion radius and each ship has a signature radius. These two circles determine how much a damage a stationary ship will take from the missile. Moving ships can take less damage so lets not go there, we're just talking size here as that matters!

Take a standard torpedo. It has a explosion radius of 450m. Now say you are firing that at a Rokh battleship that has a signature radius of 500m. The Rokh is going to take 100% damage from that torpedo as the signature radius is bigger than the explosion radius.

Now lets fire that torpedo at a Drake battlecruiser. The Drake has a signature radius of only 295m making it substantially lower than the torpedo's blast radius of 450m. The damage taken from the blast will be calculated as a ratio of the explosion radius to the signature radius. TL;DR - the Drake will only take a percentage of the actual damage the torpedo is capable of.

Now fire that same torpedo at a Moa class cruiser. Its 135m signature radius means that torpedo is going to waste the majority of its damage in empty space.

Finally lets be really silly and fire that torpedo at a Slasher class frigate. As you can see below, the 30m signature radius of the Slasher means even when not moving it only takes a tiny fraction of the damage.

That is why battleship missiles don't tend to be effective against smaller vessels. Cruise missiles have smaller explosion radius, 330m so will do better damage to smaller vessels. For example that Drake at 295m is close to the 330m of the cruise missile. But the cruise missile does less damage than the torpedo, 375hp verses 450hp.

Now heavy missiles have a smaller blast radius. At 140m that will do max damage to the Drake and almost max damage to that Moa. 135hp is much lower damage but it is doing maximum or almost maximum. There is some wasted damage, but not a lot.

One thing that you might be thinking is "Woah Drack! We're talking 450hp damage from a torp verses 135hp from a heavy! Even with radius calculation, that is a big drop in damage". Yes it is, but let us not forget the first word in the name of the new weapon system, 'rapid'.

A single shot from an autocannon does less damage than an artillery cannon, but AC's do more DPS overall due to their rapid fire rate. I would guess the DPS will be in the middle of the two existing missile systems. 

Torps = High DPS/Short Range. 
RHML = Medium DPS/Medium Range. 
Cruise Missiles = Low DPS/Extreme Range.

I'm looking forward to trying these new launchers out...... IF the leak is true!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Winter Expansion 2013

So CCP will be making an announcement this week for the 2013 expansion. Here is my wild stab in the dark of what we'll get. Here are my predictions for the expansion. Tune into TwitchTV on Thursday to watch how wrong I am!

Note I have no sources inside CCP or the CSM. I didn't slip any truth serums into Devs beer on the fanfest pub crawl. The below is simply a stab in the dark.

The Jove
The Pitch - So the Jove are all dead. Snuffed out in a combination of the Jovian Disease and the Sansha getting into Jove space. The Sansha still roam Jove space and are moping up the last of the automated outposts. The Jove themselves destroyed pretty much all evidence of their existence as their numbers dwindled. However, there are a few 'bits and pieces' floating around. Like that structure there the Sansha are shooting. Its destroyed! Whoops! That was one of the last of the wormhole inhibitors left, the reason you never find any wormholes connecting to Jove space even though Jove space is nicely within the cluster. The destruction of that last inhibitor started a cascade reaction and the entire network is now offline. Wormholes are popping up in Jove space!

Why? - The novel Templar One pretty much said the Jove are all dead. CCP at Fanfest 2013 showed teaser slides of players building stargates. Where would players build stargates? 0.0? A possibility but not sure CCP want players messing with the travel routes in null sec. Wormhole space? May be, but I'm pretty sure wormhole players would hate the idea of being able to create a gate over a wormhole to stabilise it and make it permanent. That would just turn wormhole space into null sec. Nope, my call is its all about the Jove!

The Outlook - Interesting. Some new space could add new content if properly implemented. I'm trusting CCP to implement some new content here and not just make Jove space some more null-sec. How could they do this? Well may be make some hi-low-null sec areas but with player controlled space. Could CONCORD be hired to police the 'hi-sec' areas? A high-sec area you cannot reach without going through low-sec? Mmmmmmm! Exploration could be given a boost with older, less powerful Jove tech. You won't find an Enigma BPO, but some new deadspace/faction/officer mods based on Jove tech? How about alliances running entire stations? Not just outposts! Anyway, once you found your way into Jove space, time to get building those stargates and earning some tolls!

Player Controlled Storyline
The Pitch - Tibus Heth, President Roden, Empress Jamyll, the Minmatar dude nobdy remembers. They will be fading out over the next couple of expansions. NPC led stories will be replaced with player led stories. CCP will be looking for players to step up and generate the storyline that they have been telling previously.

Why? - A lot of the story tellers were lost in the 20% following the summer of rage. Since then storytelling has re-emerged somewhat especaily over the last year. That story appears to be plotting the decline of the main characters. At Fanfest CCP said they wanted players doing what NPC's do.

The Outlook - The jury is out on this. I have major concerns and would have prefered the Tony G style of CCP story telling to continue.

New Ships
The Pitch - We are going to get new ship model(s). CCP Manifest has teased us on Twitter by mentioning a great new hull that really suits his play-style. Unfortunately as all CCP employees have to keep their in-game characters shuper schekrit we have no idea what is in store. A mining ship? A combat ship? What does Manifest do in game?

Why? - Manifest said so!

The Outlook - New ships are always good.... other then when they are not combat ships.... then they suck balls (IMO).

The Pitch - There are groups that do a lot for players. RvB, Brave Noobies, the Angel Project. But have you ever tried fitting 10,000 ships? I cannot be bothered with 10. I think there will be new tools to help the 'enablers' and save a mouse or two. You want to buy 5,000 Rifters with these rigs, fittings and ammo? OK here is a button! You want them all fit? OK there is another button. Select the ship, the fit and you can assemble and fit a lot of ships in a short space of time.

Why? - Again from Fanfest CCP, said they wanted to do more to help those enablers. And reading Twitter I'm pretty sure this is top of the list for many of those enablers!

The Outlook - Generally won't have an impact on most of us. Two groups it will help are those who fit ships to give away and for contracts and also market scammers. Market scammers? Yes, those who put items on the market for a price that looks reasonable but has an extra digit. If there is to be an automated system of buying an entire ships fitting off the market, you'd want it to automatically default to the lowest price available for each item right?

Small Things
The Pitch - The last few expansions have gone a long way to fixing Eve. But there are still improvements to be had, still fixes to be made. I'm hoping that this 'expansion' will not be just a collection of these and we get some content at or above the levels above.

Why? - Because there will always be improvements and fixes to be made.

The Outlook - Something will be fixed which will break something else and require a few days of patching, but we'll get there eventually.

The Pitch - Fozzie, Rise and Co have gone a long way to rebalancing the ships, but there is still more work to be done. It think we're about done on the T1's right? Go ahead, I know some of you are racing down to the comments section to post "No! They haven't done X and Y yet Drack, don't you know nothing?". Done? Right onto T2 rebalance. Electronic Attack Frigates, that's where my money is.

Why? - Because EAF need lovin'.

The Outlook - A lot more EAF in space!

I think I'll leave it at that. The rumours are this expansion will have more content than fixes and improvements. Looking at the forums and on social media I'm not the only one suffering from a lack of Eve mojo. We need some refreshing content soon please CCP.

P.S. Cynabal give away from Saturday. Although you obviously worked along the same lines of the previous winner Mr Hunter, you did think about your entry below. S810 jr a close second. Actually they were all pretty awesome, we have some amazing people who play this game!

Congratulations Drackarn!
For the party, I would bring a specially crafted holo projector that would show a mock-up of your first PvP victory in as much detail as possible. After presenting the Holo projector and having a toast with an old Gallente Scotch, I would remotely switch the projector to show a series of fights with the Caldari Militia... (meaning the Holo would show Drackarn attempting to fight various kity/stabbed ships) I figure that after the initial video runs a time or two it will take a long time for everyone to figure out what is now on the display. Should make for some interesting comments later.

- RHunter 13

Saturday, September 21, 2013

100m SP! Cynabal Give Away Attempt 2 - The Nine Figure Club

Ninety nine million, nine hundred and ninety nine thousand nine hundred and ninety eighty.... Ninety nine million, nine hundred and ninety nine thousand nine hundred and ninety nine.... one hundred million!

Five years, two months and a few days after I created my first character in Eve Online I have reached the milestone of 100,000,000 skill points today. Yes, its not the exclusive club it used to be, some are nearing 200m I am sure, but it is still a milestone worth mentioning.

So where are all those SP located? Lets have a look at Dracks spread..... that sounded bad actually!

Armour - 4.2%
Armour tanking is still best for logi and armour tanking a traditionally shield tanked ship can have surprising results when solo'ing. "Yeh, keep firing that EMP at me bro!"

Corporation Management - 0.1%
I needed some anchoring skills to place warp bubbles in null-sec. Not much else there!

Drones - 6.8%
Most drone skills to V for the ones I use, so that is Matari and Gallente mostly! Sentries at V, fighters at 3.

Electronic Systems - 2.6%
I don't use fitting implants so need max fitting skills.

Engineering - 6.6%

Gunnary - 15.5%
That is a lot of SP into things that go bang! I can use pretty much all turrets other than large T2 beams. Most smalls at specialisation V, most medium and large at specialisation IV.

Leadership - 0.9%
Drack can lead a full squad but isn't much cop as a fleet booster. There are alts for that!

Missiles - 11.5%
I can fire pretty much every missile in game from rockets to bombs to citadel torpedos.

Navigation - 5.8%
Need to really get some of the jump drive skills from IV to V but given I rarely use capitals any more, what's the point? All sub-cap skills at V

Neural Enhancement - 1.1%
Good implants and boosters are a must in solo PvP.

Planetary Interaction - 0.0%
Zero, nothing, nada, absolute zero. At this level I'm not even sure Drackarn knows what a planet is never-mind how to interact with it.

Production - 0.0%
Do I look like a carebear?

Resource Processing - 0.01%
Well I did get some free carebear skills when I made the character back in 2008.

Rigging - 0.4%
Got all 10 skills, just not at V. In fact I really need to spend some time levelling these up a bit!

Scanning - 1.5%
Got an alt for that crap!

Science - 0.5%
Skills for bubble launchers and generators. Science for the sake of destruction!

Shields - 3.2%
Does what it says on the tin. Don't use passive shield tanking mods so the damage type resistance skills are not very useful.

Social - 0.3%
Well when you have to rat up, might as well make it as fast as possible!

Spaceship Command - 35.3%
This is the biggy. I can fly every combat ship in the game, sub-capital. All basic sub-capital combat hulls are at V and most of the T2 hulls are V. I can fly Gallente and Caldari dreadnoughts, Amarrian and Caldari carriers. I can fly most of the T1 industrials other than the Amarrian ones.

Subsystems - 3.0%
Tengu, Loki and Proteus subs done.

Targeting - 1.4%
Stay on Target! Almost there....

Trade - 0.01%
Actually it is 0.0097 as I needed some extra contract and sale slots when I used to sell my loot.

So thats my spread of skill points currently. Still here? Well I'm going to have another go at giving that T2 rigged Cynabal away. Last time the winner posted anonymously (doh) and whilst I gave them time to claim and say it was them, they never did.

So lets try this again.

Drackarn is holding a party in Nisuwa station to celebrate his seven-figure milestone. He's hired the bar on deck 9 and you have been invited to attend (Scotty has you on a special list if you are Caldari or Amarr Militia and will let you dock.... just for tonight. Don't worry, those cockbag Thrashers outside station are for a 21 gun salute.... honest!).

So what are you going to bring to the party? Let your imagination run riot. Could be anything! How about a special guest as your +1 (remember you could even go for a head in a jar like in Futurama for present day people). A present for Drack? A decoration for the bar? Some food for the buffet? Why not bring a band or singer to perform? A bottle of booze is always a safe bet. A set list for the DJ? How about a strip-o-gram or a fat-fairy-o-gram or a gorilla-o-gram. Just think about all the options you could do with regards to presents, entertainment, food and drink and guests. You could even come in fancy dress! If you read this blog often, you probably know me as well as the wife.....

So just post a comment below with what or who you'd turn up with and I'll pick my favourite. Just remember:-

1. I HATE captcha and this blog gets a lot of spam. I moderate comments so yours might take a while to appear, hours even if you post it whilst I'm asleep!

Good luck!

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Assassin - The Chosen Slave

Fan Fiction Friday! Escape pod here to Terrible at Eve. I'm trying to showcase some other blogs than my usual suspects so delving a bit deeper into the blogsphere to find new ones.

This is part 2 of the assassin series (part 1 here) that leads on from the Jacked series.

On a final note, thank you to all those who offered proof-reading for my Eve Novella. As well as the offers on here I had an Eve Mailbox full in-game!

The Assassin - The Chosen Slave

Holder Sadira left her palace and entered the heavily planted courtyard. It had been a glorious day on Adia III and the sun drenched marble paving of the courtyard radiated stored heat. The afternoon was just transitioning into evening and the clear blue sky was being slowly replaced by the golden hue of the Amarrian nebula. As she walked, slaves stopped their tasks and bowed low. Although she showed no outward acknowledgement, inside, she smiled at their gesture of subservience. Unlike many slaves within the empire these were not fitted with glave collars, nor where they addicted to Vitoc. Holder Sadira simply kept them in line with terror. Almost all of her slaves were families and she had proven in the past that any transgression would not only result in punishment of the perpetrator, but also their whole family. She had also decreed that one in ten random slaves would also be punished. This kept them watching each other carefully.

At the end of the courtyard a Matari male was slumped in a set of wooden stocks. His back was raw from a whipping. Next to him his father and mother were hanging limply from the whipping post. Their clothes torn and their bodies covered with red welts. She stopped and stared at them. A polite cough behind her made her glance back. Tor was stood a respectable distance back.

"Your Excellency. They will not last much longer without care. I believe everyone has seen what happens if you steal food from the kitchens. The lesson has been learnt." he said in a low, subservient voice.

"Maybe my trustee. However they say tomorrow is going to be another glorious day. They may be released at sundown tomorrow. If they survive that long it is a sign that they were meant to live." the Holder replied.

The Matari male bowed slightly, hiding the frown on his face.

"Walk with me." she commanded as she continued.

Tor fell in behind her, he knew not to walk at her side as that might make it seem he thought he was her equal. Tor knew better than that, he was a Matari slave to an Amarrian Holder. Whilst being her 'Trustee' elevated him far above the other slaves, he knew she still saw him as not much above the status of the herds of cattle that the slaves tended to on the fields below. He was old by slave standards and had known little of freedom.

"How are my subjects?" the Holder finally spoke.

"They are content Your Excellency." He used the word content as the truth of they would like to murder her and dance on her grave is something she already knew, but didn't have to be told.

They reached the end of the courtyard and looked down on the vast fields below. The palace was in an elevated position and was surrounded by the farms and slave villages below. As the sun dipped below the horizon they could make out the the workers returning back to their villages. Long shadows stretch by the setting sun.

"Output has been below target this week." she commented.

"It was exceptionally hot Your Excellency. The labourers become fatigued quicker."

"May be they need some encouragement?"

Tor visibly winced behind the back of the Holder. He knew her form of encouragement and would likely entail whips, stun batons and slaver hounds.

"I will go to the villages later and speak with them. I am sure they will work harder knowing your displeasure."

"Good, see to it." she said and turned to go back to the palace.


The next evening the Holder emerged from the palace at the same time. She walked over to the punishment corner where Tor was supervising the removal of the prisoners.

"So did they last?" she asked as she approached.

"The young man looks like he might survive. His parents died sometime during the day." he replied solemnly.

"Bring the man here!" she commanded.

Tor bowed his head. He knew what was coming. With the man's parents dead she no longer had leverage over him. She had angered a man with nothing to lose. Two slaves dragged the barely consious man by the arms to the Holder. She beckoned a guard over and nodded to the slave. The guard removed his pistol and shot the slave in the head. The other two slaves simply held the body up and carried it away.

"Tor, walk with me."

Tor held back the tear that was forming and fell in behind the Holder. As they progressed slaves mopping and scrubbing the floors stopped and bowed as they passed.

"Did you speak to the village elders?"

"Yes your excellency. They were horrified to hear you were displeased. They were sending the children out into the fields today to ensure the quota is not missed.".

The Holder stood at the edge of the patio that overlooked the farms and nodded. She didn't care children were labouring for her. To her the Matari race were one step above animals. And it was not a big step.

As the sun disappeared over the horizon a bright light could be seen in the sky. The drop-ships were coming to collect the weekly harvest. The Holder turned back to the palace.

"Let us hope they did work hard today. Those ships will report their loads to my aide when they leave. If they are light, there will be hell to pay." she said matter-of-factly.

They continued through the courtyard when the Holder suddenly stopped. Something had caught her attention. She beckoned Tor to approach.

"Who is that?" she said pointing.

Tor looked over to a slave sweeping one of the paths in the courtyard. He could have groaned out loud in frustration. He had instructed her to be kept out of sight in the kitchens. What in Divinities Edge was she doing outside?

"It is one of the new slaves that came in last week Your Excellency. She is alone, no family, I know you prefer family units....."

She waved a hand to silence him whilst staring intently at the girl. Tor had done everything he could to prevent this from happening. Someone had messed up. He too looked at the girl, a teenager. Olive skin and jet-black hair made her striking. She was in a word, beautiful and had known that if the Holder saw her, that would be the end of her. There was nothing he could do. He wanted to scream at the girl. He wanted to tell her to run. But it was too late.

"I want her to prepare me for bed tonight. Make it so."

"Yes Your Excellency." he replied with a heavy heart.


"YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO KEEP HER OUT OF SIGHT!" Tor screamed at the head of the kitchens. The old woman scowled back at him.

"I did! She was told not to go outside. She did it of her own free will. Her own stupid fault." she growled.

Tor couldn't believe this. For years he had managed to hide the majority of attractive young slaves. Then a new, innocent, beautiful girl arrives and she is spotted in the first week. It had been months since the last one was found. He shook his head at the old woman and walked out.

He felt like he was floating down the corridor. Was he a part of this personal hell for his race? He always considered he as trustee helped his kind, that without him his fellow man would suffer more. But now, what he had to do, was he any better than the Amarr? He paused outside the door, knocked gently once, took a deep breath and entered.

The girl was soaking in a large metal bath in the centre of the room. Steam rose from the creamy water which was laced with moisturisers and conditioners. Each side of the bath an older Matari woman was working on her fingernails whilst another at the top of the bath styled her hair.

The girl looked at Tor and smiled a wide smile. He tried to smile back but couldn't quite manage it. She looked excited.

"I've been chosen Tor! I've been chosen to put the Holder to bed! What an honour. Can you believe this, I've only been here a week! I'm getting a full makeover so I look pretty for her! They even shaved me! You know! Down below!" the girl nodded down towards the water and giggled.

Tor knew. He knew exactly what they had done to her and what they had yet to do. The Holder was very specific and any deviation would lead to harsh punishments for the women getting the girl ready. He turned around to avert his eyes as she rose from the bath. He knew what was happening, the women would dry her, apply scents to her body and then dress her.

"Tor" the call came from behind him. "You can turn around now!"

He did and blinked. There she was stood in the finest Gallente underwear.

"I have to wear this. Apparently if I feel sexy I will be more confident when serving the Holder!" she said excitably.

Again Tor gave a weak smile and walked over to the window as the other women finished dressing her in an Amarrian silk dress. He saw three bright dots heading up into the sky, the dropships had finished collecting the harvest. He knew it was under quota. He glanced at the girl who was like an excited bride being attended to by her bridesmaids. May be her death would put the Holder into such a good mood for tomorrow there would be no reprisals against the farm labourers. He shook his head. He was trying to justify sacrificing an innocent girl for the 'greater good' and it was not working. She would die tonight, alone, in fear and in pain, and the farmers would still be punished for the poor yield in the morning. A salty tear ran down his cheek as he stared out of the window with excited girly giggles echoing behind him.


The two guards opened the large double doors as the Holder approached. They snapped to attention as she passed them, closing the doors behind her. In her ornate bedchamber the Matari girl was stood with a look of wonder and fear etched over her face. The Holder approached and she bowed her head. She extended a finger and placed it under the Matari girls chin, slowly raising her head. She looked into her dark brown eyes and smiled. The Matari girl smiled back and relaxed.

The Holder moved over to a counter where a jug and two crystal glasses stood.

"What is your name child?"

"Igna Your Excellency." whispered the girl. The Holder smiled as she poured two glasses. She walked over to the girl and handed her a glass. The girl looked confused.

The holder walked back over to a lounger with her own glass and lay out.

"Please. Sit down." she invited.

Slowly the Matari girl approached and sat down opposite.

"Drink." the Holder instructed. The girl took a small sip and then a larger one relishing the taste.

"You may speak freely here. Do not think of my as your owner, think of me as a friend when we are alone like this."

The girl took another large drink.

"This is the most wonderful thing I've ever tasted." stated the girl, relaxing. "What is it?"

"It is wine my dear. A fine Amarrian vintage. Please refill both our glasses."

The Holder looked at the beautiful girl in her dress. Tonight would be a good night.


Tor downed another shot of fire-water. He winced as the potent moonshine burnt his throat. We waved the shot glass.

"You sure you want more?" the bar keeper said.

"Keep 'em coming."

The 'bar' was not much more than a small hut. Crude benches and tables were scattered about and a make-shift counter served the two available drinks. A potent beer made from grain and the local potato moonshine. Whilst it wasn't officially allowed, the Amarrian guards turned a blind-eye to what went on in the villages, so long as there was no trouble. The barman filled the glass with the clear liquid. Tor downed it one.

"This is about the girl isn't it?" the barman said.

"No this is about me. A traitor to the Matari race. A collaborator. A friend of the Amarr."

"Nobody thinks that. Hell, if it wasn't for you things would be a darn sight worse around here. Those of us who have been moved around know the score. Every plantation has a trustee. Nobody thinks you are traitor. You do what you have to do, and most importantly what we need you to do."

Tor pushed his glass forward. The barman shook his head slightly but poured another shot. He downed it again in one.

"Yeah well try telling that to that poor girl right about now. You know what is going to happen to her right."

The barman looked solemn. "The Black Widow" was all he could say. The name they whispered at night. The Holder was known well for what she did to the young 'playthings' as she called them.

Tor rose to his feet. "NO! Not tonight. Not this one. I'm going to go up there and stop it."

The barman nodded to two men sat at a nearby table, they rose and grabbed Tor by each arm and forcibly sat him back down before taking positions either-side of him. He struggled against their vice like grips.

"You'll be dead before you get inside the palace and that won't help us. You are a good Trustee and we need you. You cannot do anything to help that poor girl. So sit down, shut up and lets drink to hoping that the bitch gets sloppy and kills the poor girl early by accident."

Tor let out a sob.


The two women were laughing like old friends. A jug of wine lay on its side empty on the table and a second was almost gone. The Holder looked at the beautiful girl who was slightly swaying. These young slaves had never had a real drink and their first time on Amarrian wine always was too much for them.

"I must say you look really beautiful tonight."

The girl blushed, coming over shy.

"Now, now. Did the girls give you something nice to wear under that lovely dress."

The girl was clearly embarrassed but also drunk. She smiled and nodded avoiding eye contact.

"Well let me see! Take of the dress."

The girl looked confused, stunned not knowing what to do. She froze. The Holder smiled and stood up and released a clasp at the neck of her own dress. The fine silk fluttered as it fell to the floor. She was completely nude when she sat back down on the lounger.

"See, nothing to be ashamed of. I have nothing on. Let us see what they chose for you."

Slowly and unsteadily the girl stood. She fumbled at the zipper and struggled to get the dress over her shoulder. She wobbled and fell over onto the floor.

Now she was steady she was able to remove the dress and get back to her feet.

The Holder smiled and patted the lounger next to here.

"Come my darling sit here."

Slowly and with a slight sway the girl approached the naked Holder. She sat down on the edge of the lounger and the Holder shuffled up. She started stroking her hair. The girl turned her face away, embarrassed. The Holder placed her palm on the slaves cheek and slowly pulled her face around.

"Don't be scared." she whispered before moving in for the kiss. The slave girl was shocked as the Holders tongue slipped into her mouth and she was pushed back onto the lounger.

Fifteen minutes later the Holder was on her back on her luxurious bed. Her back was arched and her eyes were tightly closed as she grabbed handfuls of the golden satin sheets. She was close, beads of sweat ran down her hot body, tickling her. Another shudder of ecstasy, this slave as good, very good. The best ever. In fact she was wondering if to let her live. Then she thought about the rush. The look on their faces as the cold steel entered deep into their flesh. The gasp as it is twisted and pulled free. The pitiful pleading for help as their hot, red, life-blood pumps out between their fingers. That moment when you can see the life leave their eyes. No, there would be no deviation tonight. She was nearly there, then it would be time. She moved her arm up under the pillow and felt the cold hilt of the dagger. The combination of the slaves actions and the thoughts of what to come were pushing her over the edge. She started to shudder.

Suddenly she felt a sharp stab of pain. Did the slave just bite her? The Holder wanted to sit up so she could strike her. But she found she couldn't move. She was frozen. Her eyes darted about in terror. What was happening? She was totally paralysed. She wanted to scream the palace down but was unable to open her mouth. Air simple rushed though her slightly parted lips.

She saw the slaves head rise from between her thighs grinning, she used the back of her hand to wipe her lips and chin. The slave opened her mouth revealing one of her front teeth that was filed to a wicked point. She replaced a fake tooth cap over the point which she recovered from the sheet.

"The neurotoxin of the Nifflung beaked jelly fish." the slave spoke. Her accent had changed and there was no evidence of slurred speech. She sounded educated and from the Matari homeworlds, not a slave dialect. She also sounded stone-cold sober.

"That is why you cannot move. It was hidden inside a special hollow tooth I have. It is a remarkable poison. You see the Nifflung beaked jelly fish catches larger fish and wants to save its food to be consumed over a number of days. The best way to keep its food fresh is not to kill it. Its venom completely paralyses its victim but keeps them alive. In fact the poison saturates the blood with powerful antibodies and provides additional coagulant. The jelly fish can devourer its meal one small bite at a time and it keeps its meal alive for days whilst doing it. In fact, other than the missing flesh, the fish is probably more healthy than it ever has been thanks to the positive effects of the venom."

The holder just lay there. Her eyes darting as she tried to move.

The Slave went over to the table and picked up one of the wine glasses and drained the drink from it. She dropped the glass onto the hard stone table. The silence in the room was broken by shattering glass. She carefully looked over the remains of the glass as if carefully choosing and picked up a long shard. She approached the Holder and climbed over the bed.

"But the best thing with this toxin? Whilst your muscles are paralysed, the nerves are unaffected." she slowly drew the broken glass lightly along the Holders leg. "Even though you cannot move, you can feel everything. But you already know that right, even though I'm not breaking the skin, you can feel the sharp edge of the glass?". She continued the shard of glass over the holders stomach and chest. "It does nothing to dull pain.". The glass stroked the Holders neck and over the side of her face.

The slave climbed on top of the prone woman and lent forward, looking deep into the Holders eyes as she held her head in her hands as a lover might.

"I see fear Your Excellency, the same fear you enjoy instilling into the slaves that you hurt. I see pure, unadulterated terror in those beautiful eyes. But don't worry, they will be the last thing I take." she whispered.

She brought her lips to the Holders and gave a gentle, almost loving kiss. She pulled back and took the Holders top lip in two fingers, pulling on it slightly. With her other hand she brought the glass shard and started to saw. The Holders eyes flicked up inside her head turning her eyes white as the pain racked her body as her top lip was slowly separated from her face. The slave tossed the piece of meat onto the bed.

"That is one bit done, but I think we've got another hour or two before I need to leave. Now should I start at the top and work down or would you like we to work up from down below as that's what you wanted me to focus my attention a few minutes ago?" the slave teased.

The Holder could do nothing but lay still as she felt the glass bite into her sensitive flesh again.


The Republic Fleet intelligence officer put the datapad down. He looked ill. The man sat across from him said nothing.

"Well that is going to give me nightmares for a while. Where is she?"

"Back at the facility. It was a clean exaction with a cloaked Panther. She is keen for the next assignment."

The intelligence officer shook his head in amazement. "She saw the shrink right?"

"Yes. As soon as we got her back. We'd already seen the preliminary report leaked from our contact in the Amarrian security services. As soon as we saw what had happened in the bed chamber it was straight to the facility psy-doc."


"Clean bill of health." the officer replied. "An almost fanatical hatred for the Amarr, which we already knew, but she is fit for duty."

"Are you serious? She is mentally fit? This report says they started to make love and then she ....... well you know, she slowly took her apart using a small shard of broken glass!"

The officer fidgeted slightly but said nothing.

"Nothing to say? Did you read this report? Did you hear what I just said? The guards who found the Holder thought someone had dumped a pile of raw meat on the bed! It was supposed to be a simple neck-snap or a choke. Not this.... this.... barbarity! This was the forth time she's overstepped her operational parameters."

"Well sir, I would point out the last page of the stolen Amarrian report. It concludes that it was a murder by a mentally unstable slave, working alone who fled the scene and is assumed to be in hiding. No trace of toxins were found. Plus they never suspected an empire sanctioned hit. No one has even thought it might be a assassination. If it had been a bullet to the brain or a strangulation there may have been some suspicion. It was perfect in that way, a professional hit that looked anything but professional. And moving away from the tactical assessment, a notorious Holder who made the lives of countless Matari miserable suffered a slow, horrifc death. Bravo I say."

The officer shook his head slowly.

"This is going to backfire on us one day."


Inquisitor Vorgash looked at the datapads on the desk in front of him. Several powerful and high-ranking Amarians brutally murdered. Butchered. Seemingly unconnected. But there were similarities in what they did for their enjoyment. He was going to find out if there were a connection in the slayings.

To be continued......

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I Died and I Don't Care!

My shields are down, the incoming DPS is too much. I cannot run. I'm going to die!

Shit! Bugger! Arse! Feck! Damn it!

Oh wait. This death means nothing!

Bang! That realisation hit me like a brick in the face. "This death means nothing". I rarely think that but it took me a few seconds to realise the death of Drackarn would not lose me tens of millions. It would not look bad on a killboard. It wouldn't be bad for my statistics on that killboard. It would not require 'podding' home. All it would cost me was 170 scrip and a 20 second run to get back into the action. For I was not in New Eden. I was not a Capsuleer. I was an Ark Hunter on earth after the Pale Wars.

This month I am having serious Eve mojo issues. The Caldari militia has dropped to warzone control tier 1. They've vanished. Targets are thin on the ground and those about are about are stabbed, cloaked or kitey farmers. Sometimes all three at once. Cloaking Harpies! Seriously.

I'm on course from about 50 kills this month. Last time I got that few kills in a month I spent two weeks afk with one of them being legless in Iceland! This has also coincided with a new TV series I'm watching, Defiance, on the OSN network over here. Yes I know this is probably old to you lot, but we're catching up. I am enjoying the series but we missed the first two episodes. Therefore I went online to find out how did the earth get so f'ed up. At that point I saw there was a companion MMO available as well.

Anyway, one day after a particularly annoying night chasing stabbed farmers around I went hunting to see if I could find a copy here in the desert. I found PS3 copies but I wanted PC. Finally on the 4th place I tried I found one!

Dear CCP, your launcher is fantastic! I never thought I'd say that, but the Defiance launcher makes you realise that whilst the Eve-O launcher has had its issues, its a polished product at the side of others!

Defiance is a pretty much standard "theme park" MMO territory. There are sandboxish elements, and you can bugger around and do your own thing, but the main story is still on rails. Think Skyrim with its side missions and stories.

It is an OK game. Nothing mind-blowing, but a nice distraction given my currently levels of Eve mojo. If you are a fan of the TV show it probably helps a lot.

It was surprising to me how big an influence the 'meaningful death' in Eve has affected me as a gamer. When I say that the realisation hit me in the face like a brick, I really mean it. I was shocked! I have played so much Eve that I had actually forgot that death in most computer games is fairly meaningless.

Anyway, my game time is not all hellbugs and arkfalls, I'm still plugging away at Eve even if the lack of squids is a PITA.

I came back to keyboard after dinner to see a message asking if I was active, that had been sat there 12 minutes. I replied and an alliance mate was running a 5/10 DED site next-door. He had someone scanning him down and was asking if I'd be up for ganking a T3. Do Caldari militia fit stabs to their ships? Of course!

I fitted a neuting and webbing BC assuming we'd face a 100mn Tengu. We were wrong, it was a cruiser fleet. My alliance buddy reshipped to a PvP Commandship and I swapped to a plain old BC. The Brutix from the gang was sat at a medium plex when we came back. Obvious bait is obvious? Anyway, the alliance mate in his tanky commandship engaged the Brutix and soon had the others on scan. I warped to the plex which was 0.8AU from the gate meaning I landed before the others. I didn't engage the Brutix, I waited. And waited. And waited some more.

Finally the others arrived and the ship I was patiently waiting for turned up. A Blackbird. I engaged the Blackbird leaving the Brutix and a Caracal. Even though he wasn't pointed, the Blackbird died in short order with 10 drones on him and my full rack of heavy missiles. He had a half decent buffer with twin 800mm plates. Next I turned my attention to the Brutix who was tanking nicely. I locked up the Caracal for good measure and he ran off. A Maller arrived and got point on him as the Brutix died in a fire. The Maller had a nice tank, as they usually do, but against a Commandship and a Battlecruiser it wasn't going to go well. They had two Caracals and an Arbitrator as well, no idea why they didn't come in.

All in all a good fight. And as you can probably guess, they were not Caldari militia!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Poetic Closure?

Over the weekend prolific and occasionally controversial blogger, Poetic Stanziel announced he is quitting Eve. A major blow to the Eve-O, and specifically the blogging community. Whether you regularly agree with him or regularly disagree with him (I regularly do both, sometimes together) he has provided some great discussions. You can read his full post here but the TL;DR is he appears to give the reasons of the 'dumbing down' of Eve and the lack of decent expansions.

When I first read his post on Saturday my initial reaction was "Woah! Calm down there Po!". Now I've had some time to reflect on that.

ToS Rewording
TL;DR - Agree somewhat with Po.....

If you haven't been living under a rock you'll have heard that CCP changed their rules to say it is now bannable to claim you are someone else or falsely claim to represent someone or an organisation you do not. Now this "new" rule is both right and wrong. It is too ambiguous in its current form. Nobody really knows what is within the rules and what will get you banned. Here are some examples.

"Hi, I'm Rixx Jav1x/Sinde11 Pellion, I'd be happy to do that art commotion/song parody for you. Just transfer 500m ISK."
This shouldn't be allowed. This is scamming by creating a character with a name spelt slightly different to another character. It wouldn't happen in 'real life'. "Hey wife, why don't we have a kid and call it Chribbah. In 20 years and if he's capsule-compatible he could make a lot of money!". Yeah, bit silly.

"Hi, I'm Colin. I'm an associate of Rixx Javix and take care of payment for his commissions  Oh yeah, me and Rixx go way back."
This should be allowed. You could do this in real life.

"Hi, I'm so-and-so's cyno alt, can you accept me into corp as I need to awoxx a freighter.... I mean I need to light a cyno for my main!".
This shouldn't be allowed as technically it refers to OOG mechanics. You are saying you are an 'alt'. In real world terms there would be no way of doing this. If you walked into a bank and asked to withdraw money from someone else's account and claimed to be an alt of that person would it work?

"Hi, I'm Bob! I light cyno's for so-and-so."
This should be allowed. You might think its exactly the same as the one above but it is not. This is the same as walking into a building and claiming you're someone else and know someone in the building to get past security. If they are doing their job right, security would check. If not..... whoops. It's possible in a 'real' situation.

"Hi, I'm Norman and I am The Mittani's alt. I've got a prime spot in Fountain that you can rent. Fantastic deal."
This should not be allowed. You are claiming OOG to be someone else. 'Alts' don't exist in an in-game sense. There are no alts in New Eden, just other capsuleers.

"Hi, I'm Alan and I represent the CFC and I am best buddies with The Mittani. I've got a prime spot in Fountain you can rent. Fantastic deal."
This should be allowed. Standard scamming and could happen, and does, in real life. Think time-share scams!. But technically it is now breaking the ToS and naughty Alan could get banned for it. I think a ban would be wrong in this case.

Providing you are not claiming something that is OOG like using the term 'alt' or a name too similar to an existing person you should be able to scam away. Serious what is the difference between the above rental scam and many of the Jita scams. You would like to buy my Vindicator hull? Great, I'm out of contract slots so open a direct trade window. They you go (drops Megathron Navy Issue into window, its same hull shape and has an special icon saying its not T1 or T2. It looks a bit like a Vindicator). Just stick in the money and we're done. Thank you for your custom sucker.... I mean sir!

The other worrying thing is the application of these rules by the GM's. I know of situations back in the day where a fight has been ruined by lag. We petitioned our losses and some got their ships back, others got "The logs show nothing, NO!". This was from the same fight! If nobody really knows where CCP are drawing the line, what chance have the GM's got?

Lets get this clear, I do not scam. I don't like scamming. But do I think scamming should be banned? No!

Eve Online is a dark, nasty place in the far future. Scamming, ganking, trickery, deceit, all of that is part-and-parcel of our universe.

I agree with Po that it appears CCP IS boiling the frog here. Slowly we're dying a death of paper-cuts making Eve safer and safer. Survival of the fittest is no more. The CONCORD 'death laser beam' mentioned by CCP Soundwave at fanfest now has a very ominous feeling to it. Eve is a harsh world, are CCP trying to make it more pink and fluffy? Are the tears from the carebears and the stupid encouraging them to make Eve easy? What happened to "Eve is hard! Are you up for the challenge?"

Are the accountants and business managers influencing Eve development more than the people who know what makes Eve, Eve? Are the senior Dev's struggling to make their argument against the "If we make Eve more friendly to players, we'll get more subscriptions and make more money." argument of managers?

Eve should replicate real life, I've used this before, but it needs repeating:-

Mugger - "Give me your wallet."
Suit - "You cannot mug me. I'm in a posh part of the city. There is a police station over there!"
Mugger - "What? So? Just give me your wallet or I'll stab you!"
Suit - "This area is high-security. You're not allowed to!"
Suit - "Oh, I am going to petition you for that!"
*stab stab stab
Suit - "Man you are soooo going to get banned from life."
*bleeds to death

Funky Bacon made an excellent point about Star Wars Galaxies and what happens when you dumb a game down! I'm worried, Po is REALLY worried, are you?

CCP says it is situation normal and nothing has changed. They have simply clarified the wording.

Totally agree with Po here. Just under a year ago, I did a post on how the lack of a 'Jesus feature' will harm Eve. The last four expansions haven't really been expansions, they've been mostly fixing stuff. Tiericide isn't an expansion, its playing with a few numbers to balance the game which should have been the case in the first place. Yes we've got a few new ships, but not a lot. New graphics, sounds, menus, inventories and all the other bits have not really 'expanded' the game, they've just improved it.

I really cannot see that there can be same number of Dev's working on Eve Online these days as there was at the time of Apocrypha. Remember expansions like that one? Expansions that tempted those who had left, back to the game. Expansions that encouraged new players to try Eve. What in Odyssey had that potential? Nothing really massive. Admittedly it was the best out of the last three for that "Look at this new stuff" but there was nothing major to bring back bitter vets or encourage new players to try the game out.

I maintain my position that I had a year ago. Well done CCP, you've fixed a lot of the issues in-game and made some great 'little thing' improvements. BUT, if you don't get round to some big expansion features like we used to have, we're going to have a major problem.

So CCP, here are some ideas for the winter expansion:-

Anyone else remember the first time they saw a wormhole? Some comedian shouted over comms "DRACK! Don't get too close! You'll get sucked in!". Funny! But nothing since has given us that sense of the unknown. I still stand by my guestimate that I made clear at Fanfest, I think Jove space will be opened up for the end of 2013. But, will it have the same level of wonderment as Apocrypha.

Something New!
T3 ships, faction war, wormhole space, new ships with a new role (not existing ships with slightly different stats and a different paint job). These of the kind of things we want. The initial ideas of the POS revamp. You know, the "home in space" that you were talking about at Fanfest 2012? No recycling please.

Fixes, Balances and Little Things!
We still want these, but you cannot fill an 'expansion' with lots of these and still call it an expansion. We need them, no doubt, but you cannot wrap a group of these up and label it an expansion OK?

The Door.
Bloody well open it! (yeah I know this isn't going to happen, although may be it'll open on a countdown and lead to a short corridor with another locked door? CCP troll best troll!).

Come on CCP, lets up that game here!

P.S. On the ToS topic, I've seen lots of people against it, but yet to see someone suggest an alternative wording that works!

P.P.S. Don't go Po!!!!!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Blog Banter 49 - Am I Space Rich?

Double post today as it is Blog Banter Day! Friday Fiction was posted a couple of hours ago.


Welcome to my entry for the EVE Blog Banters 49th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are, visit the Blog Banter page.

So Kirith has posed this question for the 49th Blog Banter:-

"What is "rich" in EVE? Is it simply having more ISK than most everyone else, is it measured in raw numbers of some other ethereal quality? Can you actually be poor? Have you ever lost nearly everything and had to claw your way back? If you are rich, how do you know and how did you get rich?"


I'm a PvP'r, I'm never going to be rich. Or am I? Isn't it a bit of a subjective term?

What is rich to a high-sec miner who plays a couple of hours a week only is a pittance to an industrial who has been playing 10 years, has a dozen alts and who spends hours each day making money.

Currently in liquid assets I have about 5bn ISK spread over my accounts. I am pretty sure some people I know would call that space-rich. Pretty sure others would laugh at the puny amount and ask if I needed a few ISK to feed and clothe the space-kids as I must be on the poverty line! My cash reserves go something like this over a six month period:-

Slightly less rich, 
A lot of money, 
Some money, 
OMG I'm going to be flying an Ibis soon, 
Slightly less rich...........

Basically I buy PLEX and sell that on the open market in Jita. 12 Plex nets me around 6bn ISK. Obviously things have not always been like that. Its only the last couple of years where I have been able to do this. If was a very different story when I first started. The Blog Banter question asked "Have you ever lost nearly everything and had to claw your way back?". Well nearly. I guess I had been playing for six months and was helping out with DPS in the level 4 mission "Worlds Collide". My brand new Raven got tackled by the rats and I got agro. My low-SP character had forgot the number one rule of Eve, don't fly what you can't afford to lose. I lost it. Thankfully some kind corpies sorted the noob out with a replacement, but if I had still been in an NPC corp, that would have been a massive blow. It wasn't anything special, certainly wasn't like this pimped out Raven. Seriously? How many level 4 missions would you have to run just to break even?

Even before that loss, I recall having to wait to upgrade to a better ship as I couldn't afford it. I was desperately saving up for the skill books that I couldn't afford! Yes, it is no fun to be space-poor in Eve Online. And you are space poor when a Caracal is an expensive ship. However, the opportunities are all around. With time and patience you can get space rich.

Anyway, these days I sell PLEX. Where does all that go? Well on things to pew-pew of course. I have assets spread out all over New Eden. Looking in my home base, my hanger has everything divided into cans:-

Ship Hanger - 10,861,000,000
My expensive ships in there include my Moros, Archon, Chimera and Vindicator.

Ammo Can - 399,000,000
This is all things in the charge group that don't fly. So projectile, hybrid and cap booster charges.

Missiles - 169,000,000
'Boomy' things that fly. This can houses missiles, bombs and probes.

Modules - 2,209,000,000
If it goes in a high, middle or low slot, it is stored here.

Drones and Scripts - 503,000,000
Don't know why I chose these two groups to share, I suppose there aren't hundreds of different types so they can go together. This can does contain fighters.

Rigs - 357,000,000
As it says on the tin!

Fuel - 19,400,000
Liquid Ozone, Stront and carrier fuel.

Faction - 1,345,000,000
Basically faction modules or implants that I want to keep separate so I don't drunkenly fit them onto a Kestrel!

Loot and Salvage -73,000,000
Crap from NPC drops and occasional bits of salvage corpies have given me if I was the one who lost a ship in an engagement.

Boosters - 70,000,000
Damn, I'm out of blue pills too!!!!

So all in, I have around 16bn assets and 5bn in cash making me worth about 20bn. Not bad for a PvP'r who doesn't ransom, but I'm sure nowhere near some of our big industrialists in game! And yes.... I suppose I 'cheat'!