Category Archives: PvE
So last I had a moderately popular post on Reddit the other day. This is NOT the norm. Usually my posts hit Reddit and things go badly. Something about that post struck the redditors as “not terrible” and I shattered my peak readers in a day. I also got a lot of thoughtful, smart, and useful replies. One stood out from the rest and has been lodged in my head like a slug of antimatter:
Also the contributing resources to a real economy. For most (all?) new players that is the first time they’ll have been able to do something like that.
And you can read and explore the eve universe whilst mining, which you can’t really do with missions.
Mining feels ‘real’ and connected to the playerbase while missions feel very single player.
I don’t have a lot to ADD to this, but I do have a lot I want to expand on. First off: One of my long-standing complaints about mining is that it isn’t that profitable. It still isn’t great, but it’s not terrible. It’s also far more social than it used to be. Part of this is complaining about bumping, part of it is just good-natured folks (IN EVE??? WHO KNEW!?!?!?!?) sure you don’t have to interact, but it’s more than it used to be. Every minute there seems to be a new EvE mining corp. The new wardec system offers far better protection for them.
What’s more it gets them into the food chain of EvE in a unique way. It’s harder to gank them, it’s harder to dec them, which results in safer mining. They also contribute. A large industrial corp can let a guy say “I mined the veldspar, that turned into the trit, that turned into the components that turned into the Moros that helped kill a titan” because he can trace the stockpile from start to finish. This is unique in EvE. The folks out there that have been playing for years have a connection to the guys that started last week and are mining in highsec. Maybe a tenuous one, but find me a level capped Mage who needs ANYTHING from a noob for his raiding gear.
Finally it gives a new player game-time to use constructively for two purposes. He is making money and he can be reading through other information accessible to a player. He can read guides, the eve-uni wiki, the dozens of quality blogs about EvE. This blog. He can watch videos about any particular playstyle.
Mining allows new players to contribute to their own success, to the game, and to see how the interactions work. So ignore what I said before. Mine on.
So EvE requires a different sort of mindset than many other MMOs. The fact that you can and will lose something at some point in this game is thoroughly unavoidable. I’m helping some friends from LotRO in their efforts to establish a foothold in EvE and received a bit of pushback, one quote in particular stands out:
If our newest members get into Eve then They should try not to die for the fact of losing points, gear ships, etc. I know Corelin is supplying the ships, but just be careful. My son has played Eve quite a few years and knows the cost of losing ships , property and other assorted items.
This is, frankly, completely at odds with my own playstyle and mindset. To me, a PVP ship is dead the minute it’s fit. Everything it does after is a bonus. Even undocking. That doesn’t mean that I want to lose it frivolously, but if it dies in a fire it’s part of the game. Ships in harbor and all that. I undock it because I plan on getting in a fight, and with T1 cruisers and frigs being what they are and where they are now, there’s no reason not to go look for a fight, and fight until the bitter, bitter end.
There’s several kinds of ships in EvE, I’m going to focus on three. PvE ships, PvP ships, and Asset ships.
PvE ships shouldn’t get blown up a whole lot. To me, every PvE ship that dies; dies because the owner did something really, really dumb. These ships can be protected very easily, with planning and a modicum of situational awareness. As long as you aren’t stupid you won’t meet the raging fist of Darwin.
PvP ships are everything from practically disposable rifters up to battleships, T1 and even most T2 ships. These ships are not meant to be thrown away, but tend to get blown up anyway as the cost of doing business. In a theme-park they are your repair bills and your consumables every bit as much as ammo, scripts, and cap charges.
Asset ships are ships that are meant for PvP but are only committed when there’s a lot going on, and a lot on the line. Faction battleships, T3s, Capital and Super-Capital ships. These ships go out expecting to come back. Losing one is often a blow to even the most jaded pilots as these ships often have meaning to them beyond their cost.
The overarching mindset for all of these is the same, that’s why it’s overarching. Ships are lost in EvE. There’s circumstances where any and all of these ships can be lost. Pick a ship you can lose, and go. Don’t count on the ship coming back, or your pod. Don’t fly what you can’t afford to lose because you will lose it and find out just how well you can afford it. At the same time, do yourself a favor. FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD TO LOSE. If your CEO/Officers/Good buddy is handing out ships to go shoot things in, you can afford to lose it! That’s why he’s giving it out, to help you with costs and broaden your gameplay.
If you want to try something, try it. Find a way to try it smart, find people to help you try it smart, but don’t let your worries keep you from trying.
Ok, first off, I’m a fan of about 95% of what I’ve seen come out of Iceland. I am. The only real nasty bit for me was the mining “improvements.” If you had to make a list of adjectives used to describe mining in EvE, I’m fairly certain terms related to “Boring” and “Repetitive” would show up in the top 10. In fact I’m sure derivatives of them would make up the top 10. Now CCP seems to be set on fixing this by adding “Lucrative” to the list, which I’m fine with, but damnit, why isn’t there a change to the mechanics of mining?
I’m actually ok with boring. I work in a bank. I study accounting. I write a blog about EvE Online. I watch baseball. Boring is not a huge problem, but there’s a LEVEL of boring that is. Log in to EvE. Check the market prices. Update your spreadsheets. Find a good bookmark for mining the ore you want. Warp in, click *snooze*. Seriously. Warp in, target, wait for the hold to fill, warp away, lather rinse repeat. It’s actually less interesting than work. At a bank.
I’m ok with mundane, even routine, but mining isn’t interactive. Even missions you have to manage your tank, move around some (maybe) and keep swapping targets to shoot what you need to shoot. Mining… you can do mining more than semi afk, find the right system with the right rocks, and you can go completely AFK till the hold fills. Warp to your station, warp back. Start filling the hold again.
Pardon me but this is a bit dull. Sure CCP could make the rocks smaller, but that’s hardly going to do much other than drive people mad, a skilled player can tune his ship, his skills, and use his knowledge of mechanics to mission faster. Rat faster, and market games are highly dependent on skills I don’t actually seem to have in game. There’s no real “player skill” involved in actually mining. It bugs me. A lot. There has to be an elegant solution. There has to be someone out there that has it. That has something INTERESTING, interactive, and useful to add to the conversation.
Oh and CONGRATS TO THE NEW CSM! STAY ACTIVE! DON’T LET CCP GET STOOPID!
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
- Inigo Montoya The Princess Bride
So for years we’ve been calling them POS towers. Player Owned Stations. The problem is they aren’t really owned by any given player. They belong to corporations. The CEO can access anything in them. So can Directors. This presents a massive problem for people trying to use them. Granularity to allow Players to own and operate their own towers simply doesn’t exist. Recently I put a Archon in to research. Well. I didn’t. I only have access to the hangars available to everyone. So I have to trust it to one of the higher ups to put it in. Which means that only 4 or 5 people can access it at any time and potentially rip me off. Do I think any of them would do it? Of course not. Well. No more than anyone else in EvE would.
The real core of the problem is that I can’t have my OWN station. I can’t build my own facility belonging to Corelin, unless I go back to Fancy Hats and start stripping roles. It’s a trade off that doesn’t seem to serve much of a purpose. I think CCP needs to once again call a spade a spade and admit that it’s a Corporation Owned Station (COS) and follow up by re-introducing the POS as a small structure that can fill some portion of the functions served by a modern Corporation Owned Station, CCP can offer players the opportunity to do their own research, their own light industry, maybe even their own reactions, CCP offers a stepping stone even the lone miner can use to find something he likes more, and maybe a stepping stone to the more powerful functions of a full-up Corporation Owned Station.
I would make the core module of the new POS a fairly cheap component. Modules would also be fairly inexpensive, except for reactor and computing modules. Those would allow you to use more reactors, labs, what have you, and would cost exponentially more for the utility. Each player and only anchor one, and they have to be anchored near something warpable in the system. Could be a planet. Could be a moon. Could be an asteroid belt. Might allow more than one at certain beacons. Planets might allow as many as a dozen. Defenses would cripple the utility of even a fully upgraded POS, with enough guns to disturb even a small battlecruiser gang rendering the POS nearly useless to anyone else. It can only have two ships docked at it at a time (bonus points for them to show up mated to docking collars rather than hidden in a hangar) and the bubble would be tiny. Forget hiding your Titan in one, your Mach is gonna be showing it’s ass outside the bubble.
The goal here is not to completely replace the current COS system. They serve a purpose, and should be kept in some form. Certainly alliances wouldn’t want to be utterly dependent on one person being around to keep up its cynojammers, its bridges, let alone the wealth of its moon miners. POS structures will allow players their own base for a secure, safe operation divorced from the godawful Corporate Interface. It reduces the strain on the corporate interface by making POS towers less of a necessity for the individual. This won’t actually make players too much more independent though. Readers of my blog already know I hate people who try to never interact with their fellows. Instead I suggest having no more than a 24 hour timer for reinforcement. Notifications will be sent to the entire corp letting them know that they have a friend in need.
This system creates a new choice. Do I accept a penalty to research time and cost to secure my own resources, or do I put them at risk in a communal structure in order to save time and resources. It creates opportunities. It allows players to dabble in something they might not have access to otherwise, and provides new conflict drivers. Imagine finding your rival running a POS in a lowsec cull-de-sac. Think you wouldn’t be drooling over the chance to set a trap for him? As a conflict driver they offer a real target for small gangs. I think a decent BC gang, or even Tier 1 Cruiser gang should be able to smash up a cluster of these things to drive fights without the horrible monotony of a 2 hour POS bash.
Finally I don’t want them in highsec. I want them in null. I want them in Wormholes, and I really want them in lowsec. The thought of hundreds of alts in NPC corps clogging up highsec beacons with stations is horrendous. NPC Corp? No POS. Highsec system? No POS. These are conflict drivers. These are enablers for individuals. These are not traffic obstructions. The last thing we need is more clutter at the Jita 4-4 undock.
Today was a fairly eventful day. I logged in, fiddled with my horrendously unsuccessful market alt for a bit. Looked around and finally bit the bullet. Jump Cloned Corelin down to empire, sold some stuff to keep liquid and bought an Archon BPO. Because I can. I then puttered about for a bit, realizing I don’t have a good place to research it at the moment. One of the corpies misinterpreted my plight to understand that I needed an Archon. He mentioned that he had one he couldn’t fly stuck near a station owned by some reds in NPC null. He’d bought it a while back and just never bothered to skill for it. He needed it, and the ships it was stored with, moved out and pronto. He was willing to pay. With the carrier. I want to make this point clear. I did not ask for the carrier. It was offered to me free and clear, I asked him if he was sure. No I didn’t ask very hard. The Archon was not located in friendly space. In fact it was decidedly unfriendly space so I hopped in Robert Capa, my extremely slippery Loki that was literally built for this sort of expedition, and moved out.
33 jumps later…
I bounce through a few systems filled with baddies. Was kicking myself for not checking the route more thoroughly and I was *REALLY* hoping that the carrier had little things like fuel, some fittings, and that the station had a generous undock. I land on the station and breathe a sigh of relief. FAT undock. Love it. It’d take multiple Mach bumps to get kicked away and I’m not that dumb. I rechecked the jump range, counted the people in station against in system, and realized that I could go straight to a cyno beacon, and that the only person undocked was someone I’d seen stooging around in an Ibis. Whelp. Load everything in the carrier, and I mean everything, Undock, ctrl-space, quick d-scan, right click on the capacitor and JUMP! It even had fuel. Of course the idiot that fit it in the first place had triple trimarked it so lumbering into warp took EVEN LONGER than it normally would. Finally I breathed a sigh of relief as the warp tunnel formed and my ship slid across space into the friendly confines of our local home. Trading back the ships and faction mods from the carrier I enjoyed myself spinning it for a little while.
We have recently imported practically an entire highsec carebear corp. Caldari ships and mining vessels abound for these guys and hardly a turret to be found in their whole arsenal. I spent a little while chatting with them about the “why” of turrets and armor, including such gems as “I’m fairly certain an Armor tanked Nidhoggur could run down a Rokh” and a pretty intelligent discussion of delayed DPS, and the more recent missile nerfs. Fortunately these guys have the right attitude. They know that explosions happen, and are willing to train into what they need to train into. Sadly they have a bit further to go than I’d like but we don’t all start with great armor tanking skills, or T2 turrets sadly. What they do have is not only the capability to generate raw materials, and basic ships, modules and munitions, but a driving NEED to do such things. They were drooling over the opportunities to make money with a completely unconstrained voracity. When the JFs arrived they eagerly tore into getting themselves sorted and making money just to “stake their claim” on space, and see what opportunities they had. Hopefully they can continue their enthusiasm and pick up an equal penchant for blowing up the fruits of others labor. All in all quite a fun and successful day.
But they are practically next door so I think it would cause far more problems than it would solve. Alternately it would solve ALL of my problems. Permanently.
Anyway. I finally got my net up long enough to run a mission or three. I first tooled around in wormholes in a Proteus, then realized how rusty and sloppy I was and got OUT of the 400 million isk pod in a 900 million isk ship in 0.0 sec space and headed to “safer” territory. Setting up a Paladin was a matter of a couple of minutes, and the new market makes picking out faction fittings pretty simple. Oh and that’s FACTION not DEADSPACE in case you were planning on ganking me. I have no problem putting some shinies on a billion isk ship. I will not turn it into an isk pinata. I plan on learning how to play again then heading back to places where 0.0 never goes away for weeks. and lose some isk doing stupid shit.
The new UI is interesting. I’ve noticed the “LOCKED” keeps flashing forever. I don’t like that. I do like that I can see who is hitting me and how hard, and targeting rats that happen to be using some form of EWAR is easy, which I like even more. I like to think that CCP is getting up on the curve they’ve been behind on with regards to the UI providing information.
The new CCP seems to be very good at solving the little things but missing the big things. There doesn’t seem to be a “Vision” for EvE, let alone a plan to get there. The mission statement for CCP Games could very well be “We’ll muddle through” mixed in with a dash of “OOOOOOOH shiny!” for spice. Look at the Dev Blogs. Chartsville, Dev roam, General Tso’s EvE, MOMA announcement, UI fix, hangar fix, Dev video, Wardec fix, EON modernization, Drone Region fix, UI change (which I hate, which was coincidentally penned by Greyscale…) BOUNTIES! YES! SOMETHING THAT INCREASES RISK IN THE GAME FOR THOSE BEING JERKS, and yes I’m aware that I’m quite likely to be a victim of the bounty system later, and I think that that is AWESOME. UI fix, UI Fix, ship balancing, Sound updates, Community Spotlight, New Eden Open.
So… what’s the goal of EvE for the next while. Where does CCP see the meta moving in the next 3, 6, and 12 months. What is the “horizon” for Highsec, Lowsec, Nullsec, NPC Nullsec, and Wormhole Space, where are they moving towards for the foreseeable future. I certainly don’t have an answer going back who knows how far. The closest we see is the Halftime review of Retribution, written on 30 October, which gave a look at what Retribution would be, but it really just shines a spotlight on the problem. CCP isn’t steering a warship across a stormy ocean with a firm hand and rock-solid nerves, they are floating an inner tube down a river and hoping like hell that there aren’t any jagged rocks waiting for them.
EvE is an amazing game, and they have amazing people working for them. Hell even the much maligned Greyscale is clearly an intelligent guy, he just doesn’t seem to get EvE. Saturday I’m going to go over WHY CCP doesn’t seem to get EvE, and what they can do to help themselves.
Oh and for those wondering about Warmachine, Deneghra + Nightmare + Prey + a well positioned Arc Node + Satyxis Raiders = a turn 3 assasination that should NEVER have worked in a million years.
So the old Fancy Hats crew got together in LotRO to run the Great Barrow instances. We had an interesting group, I’ve played off and on since release, one of us had played since Beta, but had lapsed a couple years ago, another was new to LotRO but not to Theme Parks, the last one has literally never played a theme park style MMO.
This has presented a challenge to me and to the others as his progress gets tripped up by things that most MMO players haven’t even really thought about in years. Things like combat/non-combat states, inventory management, grouping mechanics, and party composition/the “Holy Trinity”
Which brings us to tonight. I had my lowbie Guardian, along with a
Sith Lord Runekeeper who was a bit ahead of us level-wise, Minstrel, and Hunter rounding out the Fancy Hats contingent, joining us literally as we set out was a higher level Burglaer, who happened to be a Role-Player. We ran through “The Maze” with a couple issues. First progress was rather slow, I had forgotten how to set up targeting assists, I was trying to explain some concepts to my erstwhile minions, and of course our Burglar buddy wasn’t on teamspeak so we had to type to him to let him know we hadn’t all gone AFK.
This confusion led to our one wipe of the evening. I was trying to explain how we were going to pull one of the first big rooms when our RK inadvertently threw out some
Force Lightning PERFECTLY EXPLAINABLE WITHIN THE THE LORE OF THE BOOKS NATURAL LIGHTNING THAT HAPPENED TO SPROUT FROM HIS FINGERS UNDERGROUND. 20 Silver if you can guess where I fall on the “Are Rune-Keepers Canon” debate. With full-room aggro we were quickly very hard-pressed and at level 23 my guardian simply didn’t have the threat-management to keep the healers up, or even himself without burning through all my potions and cooldowns. The wipe happened slowly but there was no chance at surviving that pull. Especially with the mini-boss happily joining in the affray.
Recriminations were kept to a minimum, mainly an admonition to watch pulls. We steamrolled the rest of the room taking our time to make sure our pulls were done cautiously, and the room itself gave us a perfect example of how “Not to Stand in the Fire” Hordes of worms showed up and promptly went into a writhing spasm of death, dropping copious puddles of green goo that melted our poor
Sith Lo RUNEKEEPER into a vaguely elf-shaped puddle. One quick song from our Minstrel later and he was rallied and ready to go. We pressed on and simply steamrolled the final boss. It was actually a bit embarrassing. We went back to town for a quick re-set and delved straight into Thadúr.
Thadúr presented us with the most frustrating encounter we would hit. We didn’t die in it. We didn’t come close to dying during it. However several members were ready to pull what little hair they had left out before it ended. The encounter centers on these small, fairly tough lights that spawn in sequence. The first one triggers the second “wave” of two, spawning at random locations, which must be defeated within seconds, 15 for the first and maybe another 5 for the second. The next is a group of three with a similar pattern, and finally a group of four. The problem is that some people didn’t understand the encounter, others simply lacked the muscle-memory to help much in pulls, and as frustration set in we quickly lost any semblance of unity.
Those who know me know that I tend to be rather terse in voice during fights. I was very frustrated myself, no less than my minions certainly as I was more-or-less leading things and things were going poorly. Finally we got the idea ready, and our Hunter, despite almost no experience in MMOs managed to get the pulls handled. By shooting each of the mobs and dragging them in close it allowed our burglar and myself to hammer down and transfer DPS efficiently leading to us FINALLY staggering out of the room, leaving only our dignity behind in tattered shreds. Thadúr himself was an afterthought, a simple single-mechanic boss requiring us to burn down adds between vulnerable periods.
Sambrog was simply a cakewalk. While we spent lots of time with the tank AND healer stunned we simply didn’t find anything that could challenge our party enough to slow us down. Murder and Mayhem followed and we ripped through the dungeon so fast we barely noticed it. All in all it was a pretty satisfying afternoon. Defeat barely rared its’ ugly head and all of us had a good time and even learned something, not always easy when you’ve played a game for five years.
Next week we plan on pressing through and evening up the level gaps hopefully, as well as some sight-seeing. Hopefully I remember to take screenshots this time as well.