Category Archives: Things You Should Know About
So I found a NEAT POST dating way back on @gamerchick42 and thought I’d steal the idea.
Carebear by Rudyard Kipling
O it’s Carebear this and Carebear that and Carebear wont you shoot?
But it’s “How you doing buddy?” When he’s splitting up the loot.
He’s splitting up the loot my friends, he’s splitting up the loot!
O it’s “How you doing buddy?” When he’s splitting up the loot!
Henry V, by William Shakespeare
By Jove, I am not covetous of isk,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my SRP,
It yearns me not if men my doctrines steal,
Such outward things dwell not in my desires:
But if it be a sin to covet killmails,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith my coz, wish not a man from Goons
God’s Peace! I would not lose so many a killmail
As one goon more, methinks, would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, FC, through my fleets,
That he which hath brought a drake or sebo’d alphaing killmail whore of a ship
Let him depart; his ammo shall be saved
And his participation shall be noted as he were here
We would not die in that man’s company
Who shows up merely to make numbers and steal my killmails.
Wormholes by Alfred Tennyson
‘Tis not too late to seek a newer wormhole.
Jump in, start scanning and cloak up at a safe
Finding sites and moons unoccupied
To find the stars unclaiméd and the orbits
Of the shattered planets until I die
It may be we shall find an unclaimed C5-C5
And meet the great Bob the Wormhole God whom we fear
Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Shattered Narwhals, and AHARM, and R&K, that which we were, we are
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
made weak by wormhole death and bad sites but wealthy in wallets
To Scan, to Plex, and never to negotiate!
Cynabal by Lewis Carrol (edited with help from Shootin’ Star)
‘Twas brillig, and the slithy pods
Did skid and tumble in the warp;
All mimsy were the Basilisks,
And the Ishkurs raths outgrabe.
Beware the Cynabal my son!
The points that traps, the guns that smash!
Beware the OGB and shun
The fruminous Thrasher-thrash!
He took his god-tanked Geddon in his hand
Long time the manxom foe he sought
and rested by the Tama gate,
And orbited a while in thought
And as in uffish thought he orbited
the Cynabal came, with MWDs of flame,
Came burning in to land the point
And smacked local as he came
F1, F2! F1, F2! and through and through
The Bane Rage Torps went snicker-snack!
He looted its wreck, and with its loot
Went galumphing back.
And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish Carebear!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!
He chortled in his joy.
‘Twas brillig, and the slithy pods
Did skid and tumble in the warp;
All mimsy were the Basilisks,
And the Ishkurs raths outgrabe.
“Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of Empire,
And danced the heavens on tear-streaked wings;
Nullward I’ve raced and joined the tumbling mirth of countless goons
and done a hundred things You would never do
scammed and blobbed and flown in endless CTAs.
Spinning there I’ve spammed local countless systems
and flung my eager craft through airless halls of null.
Ever Deeper into the lawless zones
I’ve ratted the ore-swept belts while AFK,
where never bantam, or even breacher, flew;
and, while with silent, thoughtless mind I’ve shot
the loyal blue in his own space space,
Infuriating my diplo, who cries “WHY GOD?!”.”
NOPE NOPE NOPE. INFO FROM CCP’S FINANCIALS HAS CHANGED
MY OUTLOOK ON THIS. BLOG POST TOMORROW WILL COVER
HOW AND WHY THE BLOG BELOW IS MORE OR LESS COMPLETELY
So we all missed it. I didn’t see any commentary on it, I didn’t see anyone talking it up much on twitter, even TMC missed the implications on their article about the big plex sale on Amazon. And I can’t say it’s really THAT surprising, but I’m surprised nonetheless.
First let’s go back to the first blog I wrote that was linked by outside sites. Here. The short, short version is: CCP operates off large cash loan that run October – October. In June 2011 they had gotten so far behind the curve that they didn’t have the money to pay back the loans, and they were losing $500k a month developing Dust 514. If you look around on my site, or consult your memory, you will find that CCP ended up selling a ton of plex at a discount, and then firing 25% of their staff.
So last week, Amazon put plex on sale. Big time. There was even a much smaller discount on CCP’s site. People cashed in. The price cratered from 600 Million on 9-24 to 550 million on the 29th. Currently it has slid back up to 574 million, but a lot of people probably built quite a tidy stockpile of gametime or Plex at a discount.
More importantly, however, this is a big red flag for CCP’s health as a company. It says that once again, for the second time (at least) in the last three years, CCP has run into a major cash flow problem that prevents them from paying back their loan on time, which would burn their credit rating, and make the next loan much more difficult to acquire.
This one wasn’t as big a shortfall, it didn’t seem to require quite as many drastic measures, but that does not make it less disturbing. Back in 2011 CCP could have cut off Dust and/or WoD, or severely curtailed them to limit the damage going forward, and they did, as well as cutting down on staff and other drastic measures. In 2013 Dust is open for business and shuttering it would look just awful, and likely cut off a lot of potential for investments should CCP’s owners want to go that route. WoD isn’t exactly getting so much money that there’s anything meaningful to cut at this point, and CCP has seen so many devs leave this year that they probably don’t have a lot of fat to trim on that end of the budget.
I may be overstating things, and this year, unlike in 2011, I don’t have CCP’s financials sitting on my desktop letting me look through for the details. However a sale like this is a bad sign. A discount that deep means CCP is getting a lot less money in return for getting cash now. Instead of getting whatever their take is on $50 bucks from amazon, they get their take of $37.50. A 25% hit, and they still owe 30 days / plex. Sure not all plex are redeemed for game time, but I bet a lot more are when the isk price drops. This means CCP knows that rather than getting an average of $16.66 per player plexing, they are going to get $12.50 (minus Amazon’s take) and that they are ok with that as long as it fixes their cash flow problems. That’s fine, that’s a business decision, but to have to make that decision at the end of September, with loan repayments to make, and in a situation where there’s no really good choices to raise money… No bueno. No Bueno.
And that’s what we missed. We missed that CCP is, if not struggling financially, than at least staggering a bit, at a time when their resources to cure that stagger are extremely limited.
Delivering Damage is huge in games these days. EvE, your theme park of choice, Warmahordes, Warhammer (40k) you can have the most unbelievably killy bits on the field, but if you can’t deliver them to a range at which they can do damage… you are sucking.
I’m going to talk about a few examples. The old Megathron was a good example of poor damage delivery. It could be built into a true monster, but all too often it could be kited and picked apart because it was soooo sluggish and soooo hard to handle for the average pilot. Not to say you couldn’t accomplish awesome with it, but it was hard. Harder than it needed to be IMNSHO.
Melee DPS in The Secret World. One of the most fun Theme Parks out there, Melee DPS was completely useless in endgame because you could barely keep up with the boss, and godforbid you actually caught him because he’d nuke you the fuck down in two seconds. PAINFUL. Bad Gameplay design too.
Warmahordes is all about damage delivery. You have to figure out the perfect way to get troops into the fight intact as many of the attacks are nearly impossible to live through and the game is designed to be incredibly lethal. Figuring out the perfect way to deliver your melee monsters across the field was the be-all end-all of the game. Makes for some very interesting strategies.
Warhammer Fantasy focuses on how to deliver damage as well, however things are a bit different in Fantasy. The field tends to be much more crowded, and the targets are less distinct. The goal then becomes getting your damage intact, through your screens and the enemy’s screens without it getting crippled or destroyed. All this on a field replete with Chariots, Artillery, Mages, and Mayhem. One of the reasons I really love Fantasy is the complexity of the situation.
EvE has made damage delivery quite an art itself. You want to be as close as possible to make sure the target is tackled hard and in optimal, BUT if you get too close you lose tracking and can’t hit at all. Range control becomes a huge issue, getting to set up the target the way you want it, whether it be sensor damps, webs, tracking disruptors, you name it. Fleets handle things differently, depending on warpins and maneuvering to achieve the range the fleet comp is set up for, but whichever side gets to dictate range to allow them to deliver damage their way has a crushing advantage.
One of the things I’ve been thinking about with Fancy Hats growing, and growing with new people, is how to advise people on when to get in a bigger ship. I have my own opinions (naturally) and I thought I’d share them here:
T1 Frigates – ALWAYS fly T1 frigates. They are fun.
T1 Destroyers – Another great ship for everyone
T1 Cruisers – I’m pretty liberal about hopping in these. They are a lot of fun as well, much more capable than they used to be, and still pretty cheap. You want to be fitting some T2 mods before you use them a lot. Especially tank.
T1 Battlecruisers – Full T2 tank, decent fitting skills, and some secondary weapon skills will all make your first time in a battlecruiser both more enjoyable, and longer than mine was.
T1 Battleshisp – T2 tank, good to great fitting skills. T2 weapons are a Good Idea. If you can’t even fit T1 large guns… don’t fly it.
I know that getting into a bigger class of ships is fun and exciting. It will be that much more fun and exciting when you are skilled enough to enjoy those ships and not watch them ‘splode 20 minutes after you get in. Again trust me on this.
T2 Frigates – T2 mids and lows. T2 guns for AFs.
T2 Destroyers – Fully T2
T2 Cruisers – Logistics require excellent fitting skills, HACs absolutely require T2 guns. AB-SO-LUTE-LY people. Recons require pretty much all the support skills to be excellent as well.
T2 BCs – Command skills, FULL T2 fittings.
T2 BS – Do I have to mention you really don’t want T1 guns on a Marauder?
Now, a pet peeve of mine
Faction ships deserve T2 guns. Please people. I know most offenders are wallet warriors wanting a badass Raven with only 2 million SP, but PLEASE, Faction guns are good, but they are no substitute for T2 guns. Bring the right tools, do these majestic behemoths justice. Fit them with the weapons they deserve.
Pirate Faction I’ll even go a step beyond. With Pirate Faction ships you really should consider some faction tank modules. Unlike the guns, everything else is usually better faction or deadspace in some way. Sure you can fully T2 the thing, and you should at least have the SKILLS to do so, but improving a ship by throwing faction on there at this price point is probably something to at least consider.
These are my hard-and-fast rules. The goal is to prevent players from losing isk by flying ships that they cannot really fly properly, that they cannot protect in combat, and cannot utilize to any extent. Special pet peeves for people using T1 frigate guns on BS, or somehow flying HACs with a T1 fit. If you can’t take advantage of the ship’s bonuses to a great extent, you should fly a smaller (but not lesser) ship that you can get more mileage out of.
So the battle’s over. We won. We won big because we’re awesome. We’re big manly men flying invincible internet spaceships and we won against carefully stacked odds that look in their favor but really aren’t. We raped ‘em.
No. Wait. We Didn’t.
You know why? Because internet spaceships are awesome. AND RAPE ISN’T! It’s a simple concept but let’s face it some of us in the TL;DR crowd need pictures. So I got Rixx to make me some.
By trivializing rape we act permissive towards it. We pretend that it is not only not a crime, but is, in fact, something to be desired. No we probably don’t all think that way, but it’s the image we put out and it encourages those who are of a mindset to do this horrible crime, and it’s a deterrent for the survivors of this crime to speak out, to get help. We tell them it’s trivial. It’s not a big deal. You should harden the fuck up and deal with it.
This is wrong. Rape is a horrible crime, it frequently exacts a lifetime toll on the victims and the victim blaming and shaming can cause even more pain. And yes saying “We Raped Them” is victim shaming. It says to rape victims that you are noobs. That you are bad. That you should have fought harder. That you had control of your fate and could and SHOULD have done something.
We need to knock it off. We are better than this. We are capable of extolling our victories and coping with our defeats without hurting each other. We may not always agree with each other but we are one community, the best community in gaming, and we can be better. We owe it to the survivors in our midst. We owe it to the survivors among our friends. We should make ourselves clear to those animals among us that we do NOT tolerate, do NOT condone, and do NOT embrace anything that would comfort and console THEM.
Take it upon yourselves. Stop using this language. Stop using Rape as a descriptive term for success.
So some of my friends are getting ready to toss out a highsec wardec. Fun times. They talked to me for some ideas and we went through the intel gathering process. This used to be an absolutely arcane process that required time, patience, knowledge, and a lot of luck. First: A disclaimer. This is for highsec wardecs. Outside of highsec, wardecs make no sense.
The process used to be trolling around their stomping grounds with the corp set red and picking up names, searching battleclinic (and eve-kill) and the forums, to attempt to get names, then checking them in-game. Dealing with the older battleclinic setup, with it’s far more limited information-gathering tools, to attempt to come up with fittings they use, and devising tactics to use against them.
Now you drop the name into EvEwho and start rolling. Battleclinic and eve-kill are in far wider use, and offer fantastic tools to gather information, as well as the new zkillboard. Information can be rapidly assembled and prepared, which leads us to the crux of the matter. Finally you can see how they react to wards by checking out war reports, as well as seeing what kind of allies they can bring with them. Now you can get all the information. Now you can get it all together in an eminently usable form for highsec wardecs. What do you do with it?
There’s several levels you can go to. Bare minimum – Figure out who uses what ships. Plan ships to bring when you see those people on to counter them, preferably something totally debilitating. This involves basically going through each pilots solo killboard and looking at losses and kills and seeing what they used and how it was fitted if they lost it. Simple stuff.
Next there’s allies. Checking to see who usually yarrs in on wars declared on them, and seeing what will be the likely end result of a wardec. This can involve any and all of the surrounding steps, but should at least involve the previous one.
The next level is to go around their stomping grounds, checking moons for POS Towers, or, as I call them, ISK Pinatas. The goal is to identify assets that you can force them to fight over, and to figure out just how clever their leadership is, as they should take an interest in highsec POS towers as they are a total pain in the ass to replace, and tend to be rather lucrative.
The next level is a bit more onerous, it usually involves your underemployed people, or your drunken australian friends. First you find their active times on their killboards, see when they killed with what, then you get your friends to stay on, pay attention and see roughly when people log in and out. This lets you plan when to be active to take advantage of the enemies’ work/rest cycle and to get them into the fights YOU want them in.
The ideal goal of this process is to go into a battle with the people you want on your side, in the right ships, fighting the right enemies, with confidence in both the hostiles numbers and equipment. The idea is to not fight a fair fight, it’s to make the fight look fair enough to get it and then smash them in as lopsided a fashion as possible.
So Aridia keeps showing up in TheMittani.com these days. I’m pretty sure even readers of this site aren’t too firm on where Aridia is, why it matters and whether or not they should give a shit. Short, Short version: It’s the crossroads of Delve, Solitude, Khanid, Genesis, and Fountain. It’s a lot like Des Moines, Iowa. There’s not a lot IN Des Moines, but it’s an easy drive to Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Kansas City, Omaha, and a slightly less easy drive to St. Louis. Interstates all the way. If you want to push it you can make Nashville, Cleveland, or Pittsburgh, in a day. It has an R64 moon in a cul-de-sac.
Long version: The big deal with Aridia, historically, is as a crossroads. It is within jump range of nearly half of EvE. When I lived there we had a guy in the alliance who had known bridge titans in range of us on his watchlist. He constantly had names logging in or out. To live in Aridia is to live with the threat of a bridge or a hotdrop as a fact of life. For a long time Rooks and Kings kept people fairly honest, as they were pretty active in the area, living in nearby Syndicate. Now they don’t seem to be as interested in the little playground. Others have moved in and made their mark. Drunk and Disorderly seems to have made a particular mark on the area.
R64 moons have long been in the back seat behind the Mighty Tech Monster. This is going to apparently change with Odyssey. Really it is. We mean it this time. If CCP finally delivers, and I think they will, then we will see the R64 moons become real hotspots for fights. Oh yeah, there’s a Dyspro moon in Ertoo. I know it pretty well since I managed to whelp a fleet at it once upon a time. It isn’t the last fleet torn to shreds around that moon and pretty soon I suspect the amount of scrap metal around the moon to grow large enough to build a Ragnarok for every TEST member. It’s just too tempting. It’s right there, in bridge range of… everywhere. Most alliances are smart enough to hold off, but now that Dyspro is going up in price, expect that to change. That moon is a diamond mine, and Christmas is coming. I expect battles there, big ones. If I was running a major news site I’d have a toon logged in ready to start frapsing 24/7 as soon as things start heating up.
Finally, it’s a major crossroads, there’s so many places to drop a gatecamp in Aridia that you will see multiple fleets sometimes camping different gates in the same system. For a smaller scale alliance it’s a smorgasbord of options. Genesis isn’t the hotbed it was in the days of [NAWTI] but it certainly has it’s ways, Udianoor is lucrative… the list goes on. Aridia has a lot of little things, one big thing, and it combines to create the sort of backstabbing morass of villainy that has made EvE famous. Watch this space people, it might be quiet, but I doubt it will be dull.
So CCP announced some changes to ships. ’Dat Geddon.
Amarr Battleship Skill Bonuses:
+10% to Drone damage and Hit Points (replaced large energy turret rate of fire)
+10% Energy Neutralizer and Energy Vampire range (replaced large energy turret cap use)
Slot layout: 7H(-1), 4M(+1), 7L(-1); 5 turrets(-2) , 5 launchers(+5)
Fittings: 14500 PWG(-2000), 550 CPU(+65)
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 6800(+1331) / 8500(+1859) / 8000(+1789)
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / cap per second) : 6200(+887.5) / 1087s / 5.7
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 100(-5) / .13(+.002) / 105200000 / 18.96s (+.29)
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 125 / 375(+250)
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 65km / 110 / 7
Sensor strength: 21 Radar Sensor Strength (+4)
Signature radius: 450 (+80)
HELLO NURSE! Welcome to the new age of dead caps. Seriously this thing is a beast. It looks like you can fit a plate, a full rack of neuts, two heavy cap boosters, an MWD, and hardeners / DCU with an RCU II and then just rig for buffer and make caps cry a LONG way away. Almost 38km away in fact. Oh and 125m of heavy drones for flavor. Throw in a DDA II instead of one of the hardeners and you can get a quite respectable 550+ DPS. The changes in slots make the ships a bit more interesting, and the lost PG will absolutely be missed, but this is still a monstrous ship. The Geddon has long been my favorite Amarr battleship, now it might be my favorite battleship period. That much neuting turns this into the swiss army Dominix on crack. Depending on the changes to the Dominix the new ‘Geddon might be my favorite ship. Depending on how expensive they are, and I do expect the price to go up; although probably not as high as the current Abaddon prices, it should be quite economical to bring in dozens of them to hammer the cap of capfleets if you have the time to get them in place.
One of the safe assumptions is that all the soon-to-be-former-tier 1 Battleships will become EWAR ships. Not much will change for the Scorp. It might even get a nerf. The Domi will be interesting. Massive buffer + sensor damps should be real interesting. The ‘Phoon is the one that might be real real interesting. Target painters on a frigate are kind of a waste. Target painters on a BS are potentially less so. If it manages to acquire a web bonus it might become a monstrously popular ship.
Gallente must have done something to CCP. The Mega still looks like a lot of fun (even more fun actually) but the Hype is still a hot mess, and the Domi isn’t looking nearly as standout as before. Not because it got worse, because it didn’t, but because a lot of other ships got better. I suppose this isn’t a bad thing as Domi’s can be pretty OP in small fights, but reading the forum thread feels like watching your favorite athlete walking into the locker room at the end of the season and realizing he didn’t have it this year and he’ll be older next year.
Winmatar seems to be adding a but of luster to the rust fleet. Pests will get that much nastier (and I can’t WAIT to see the navy ones) with more PG, HP and cap. Phoons get some love too. They trade some drones for torp bonuses, and add some toughness as well. Torps may not be the best weapon ever, but they certainly have some uses. Especially backed up by plenty of webs and a TP or two.
The Caldari Rokh gets a nerf. No more no-effort 140k ehp Rokhs. We’ll have to settle for 130k now. Ravens lose a high, gain a mid, some fitting space, lose some hitpoints and gain speed. I don’t think it will bring cavalry ravens back just yet, but it should be interesting to see them as something other than cast iron tubs filled with lead spraying missiles. Scorps get a bit tougher, a bit more cap and that’s about all.
I can’t wait for the Geddon. I can’t wait for the fun of seeing it murdering cap on ships. I can’t wait to see capfleet panic from a handful of geddons on D-scan. I can’t wait for Odyssey. I can’t wait to hear what the Gallente did to CCP Rise to make him so angry.
Alpha is an interesting concept in MMOs. It is simple enough in principle. Do as much damage as possible, and do it all at once. Sounds pretty simple, and it usually is, however there’s usually trade offs. Weapons capable of high alpha often do terrible damage per second (DPS) For example in EvE the 1400mm cannons so beloved of every nullsec fleet do absolutely anemic damage. The more DPS centric blasters do good damage, but also fire incredibly fast resulting in far higher damage per second.
What makes alpha the king of many fights is the “window of opportunity” for using it. That is, making the most of the time you get. Whether it’s killing a target before reps can land in EvE, or hitting a fast-moving ‘mech as it scampers between buildings in MWO, in PvP you rarely get to just lay on the triggers and apply a steady stream of hits. You have to hit hard when you can, and be ready for the next strike. What works against alpha is that the weapons that tend to be best for it tend to be BIG. They mean flying a slower ship, one that usually can’t keep up, or running in a larger, slower ‘mech, that is more vulnerable to the fast ankle-biters.
Delivering damage well also requires a certain level of skill, whether it’s ensuring a whole fleet fires its salvos at once (shut up it is a skill I’ve seen fleets that couldn’t alpha a T1 battlecruiser when they had tons of damage on the field) or popping out from cover in MWO to hammer a persistent enemy, people have to know what they are doing, these are usually pretty basic, simple skills. You would be amazed at the number of people who never bother to develop these basic, simple skills.
Things that trump alpha tend to be tough, fast moving enemies that can move through the fire zone, mitigate the damage in some way, and tear apart the alpha boats taking advantage of the fact that they can’t be fast, AND tough, AND deliver a ton of damage. They have to fail on one of these points and a good brawler can get in close, and take advantage of his higher DPS to score the kill, or kite the enemy from beyond range of effective alpha and peck away at him.
Coordinated alpha strikes, involving multiple platforms can be devastating. We’ve all seen the ships in EvE simply evaporate under 1400s, often before half the fleet can fire, or seen a ‘mech torn limb from limb by heavy alpha strikes from the dreaded dual AC-20 builds. In EvE you can’t rep wrecks and in MWO you can’t fight back if you are dead. That’s why a lot of groups build for alpha right now, it plays into their strengths. That’s one of the reasons EvE fleets tend towards alpha-centric weapons (lag is also a big factor.)
So if you aren’t building for alpha, you better have a plan to deal with it. Fly dangerous. Score kills.