Sunday, November 6, 2011

The joke that ended it

Some readers may see that in addition to this blog  I also do a weekly podcast with Gigagoose (goose) and I'm Ducati (Duc).

We just recorded episode 14 today, and it ended on a bit of a sad not.

Dring recording Goose made a little "your mamma" joke at Duc's expense and Duc went crazy.

The podcast, though it will be edited ended with Duc saying, " F*#k you " and quitting out of teamspeak, the VOIP type client we  use to record and chat.

Not sure what exactly if Duc will cool off or be back next week, but time will tell.

Really? its not much to read, but anyway...
Goose mad a your mamma joke about Duc's mom, which apparently is a real big deal whwere Duc lives... oops

Monday, October 31, 2011

The horror that could be:

When we recorded episode #13 this weekend I mentioned an article entitled, "Who Killed Video Games?".  The article go through the money considerations of development of facebook games and smart phone app games.  Basically, big companies are purposely making their games operate in such a way that the user is more inclined to pay extra money to get access to material.  This may include speeding up the users procession through a leveling system, or providing new and better content for users willing to spend real money.  This brings up the topic of "micro-transactions".  Definitions of micro-transactions vary depending on who is asked, but I will be using the following definition for my brief discussion:

Micro-Transaction:  V. the act of paying or exchanging a small amounts of a nations legal tender (or currency) for                                    a digital non-real currency.
                            can also be referred to as a noun, as in, the option to enter into a  micro-transaction.

Considering that, lets reflect for a minute on the introduction of micro-transactions in the world of Eve by CCP.

"Welcome to the Noble Exchange, here you can buy goods with your Aurum!  What's Aurum you ask?  Aurum is a new currency in New Eden that is acquired by liquidating PLEX!"

This is, with some paraphrase, what capsuleers were greeted with, when the Noble exchange was introduced.  The Nex was CCP's attempt to implement micro=transactions to Eve.  What shall follow is a breif explanation of why this was bad.

First off, CCP did a bad job explaining what the Nex was, and what types of items would eventually have for sale.  Many Eve players have been players of other games, games in which the introduction of micro-transactions ruined the game.  The lack of qualifications over what types of items that would be sold in the Nex.  CCp should have made sure that nothing would be sold in the Nex store that would give any pilot advantage over the other in a fight.

There were some other reasons why the player base was upset, and they are not all insignificant.  But what CCP actually did wrong, was that they used PLEX.

This was a wrong decision for several reasons.  First of all, the concept of micro-transactions is that they are cheap, $10 is an expensive micro-transaction.  $15.00 for a PLEX is just down right unreasonable.  On top of that, a single PLEX converted to Aurum was not enough to buy any one item in the store.  All items were priced so that about 1.1 PLEX were needed to buy any item.  This also agered teh player base, and as for micro-transactions, it now cost $30 of micro-transaction, which is not considered "micro" by most people.

What CCP should have done. to improve it.

Obviously CCP should have better communicated pricing of items, and made official statements regarding the constraints of the types of items as novelty aesthetic only products.  Secondly, CCP should offer 7-14day PLEX options at a lower price point that could, in fairness, be exchanged for less Aurum than the current 30-Day PLEX, but would encourage pilots who wanted items from the Nex to purchase PLEX.  I believe the items should be refrfered to as PLEX-30 or old PLEX, PLEX-7 for 7-Day PLEX, or PLEX-14 for 14-Day Plex.  If only the 7 or 14 day options were introduced, they would probably be called New PLEX.

What CCP did right: Introduced a 1-PLEX option on the website for $20.00  This is still only right in concept as the $20.00 price tag is out of line with their other #PLEX * $15.00 options offered.  

From here out I will endeavor to explain the horror that could have been if CCP had decided to implement a true micro-transaction system as seen in other games.

Yes, you will all hate it, but the point is that you’re supposed to hate this idea.  This is what could have been done to make Eve more like other games with micro-transactions.  These games’ creators are evil bastiges, but there is still hope that CCP is not as evil as it is incompetent.  With luck World of Darkness will work out better for them.

CCP could have introduced their micro-transactions  with the overhaul of the training system.  The current system relies on real time training of skills which are prerequisites for using ships, modules, implants etc.   Most MMORPGs level through grinding to gain experience points and those are used to level.  The overhaul involves combining the two, if you’re reading this and have never played Eve, try it or this won’t make a whole lot of sense.

Combining the two would involve the introduction of experience points.  These points would be gained through actions in the game and there would be several different types of experience that could be gained.  For each NPC you destroy you would accrue X number of combat experience, killing players would net you a percentage of their combat experience.  Building ships, successful T2-bpc invention, etc would net a capsuleer industry experience.  And there could possibly be one or two other types of experience.  These experience points would be applied to skill in their category so combat experience could be spent on : 
     Spaceship command
     and other combat related skills/catagories.  

Industry experience would be applied to: 
     ship construction in Mechanics

I haven’t worked out experience for Corp management and leadership.

These experience points would not be applied as skill points towards skills, but as time modifiers, and they would be consumed in time along with the skill training.  Initially experience would not be transferrable, but experience farmers would eventually arise.   This experience would allow for up to 30%-50% faster training, or a decrease of up to half the training time modifier.

The micro-transactions part of this would be that players could purchase skill points in the desired area.  PLEX could be used, but a cheaper dollar amount item would be better.  This would allow players who play a lot to progress faster than those who let accounts train for years without logging in, or allow players who are eager to get to bigger ships, to get there faster for a price, a price that would be reasonable and attractive to the impatient.

CCP could have done what!?
Whew dodged a bullet on that one…

Feel free to comment, would love to hear what you think about Nex, or my proposed money grubbing plan that was not used thankfully.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Spreadsheets Online

I've put some time lately into figuring out why I've spent the last 2 years (1yr 10m ish) and here's what I've come up with.

I've tried WoW, Guild Wars, Age of Conan, and several other free fantasy RPG's.

The biggest reason I play eve is that 3rd party applications such as evemon and evefit, in addition to the in game tools, make goal setting fun and easy.  In games like wow and other MMO's that rip off wow its very difficult to say, "Hey, that looks like cool armor" or, "That sword would let me kill enemies better".

In evemon its simple, browse the dropdowns, and you get all the info, stats, and prereqs, and with evefit you can plan out any offensive or defensive strategies, or even just figure out how much stuff you can haul around.

To the best of my knowledge, other MMO's don't have anything like that, if they did maybe I'd be able to get more into it.

I also enjoy knowing that 12 yr old who are taking 5th grade for the 2nd time, because they grind dungeons too much, aren't playing eve, and if they are, they haven't been skill training for long and aren't going to be much of a threat.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Tank Tank Tank

I was planning on writing a few posts on ship fittings, and decided that before I try to convey anything too complicated I should start with some basics.  But first a Joke...

In the second world war Great Britain began to run low on supplies.  To compensate for this, new recruits were given practice equipment.  New infantry recruits were given a broom and 3 rocks.  They were taught to use the broom as though it were a riffle and the rocks as though they were grenades.  They would aim the broom stick at a target ans shout, "Bang, Bang, Bang!".  They would stab at a dummy and yell, "Swish swish, Swish swish".  And they would throw the rocks, whistle and then yell, "KABOOM".

One infantry man was sent to the front line the east border of France.  When he reported he was issued his equipment and it was the same he'd been given the same equipment he was supplied in boot camp.  Dismayed, he went out to his fox-hole.

One day the infantry man heard a rustling in brush.  He ran over, swept his broom handle through the brush and yelled, "Swish swish".  The Rustling stopped and he backed up near his fox-hole.  Then he heard it again.  He pointed his broom stick at the brush and yelled, "Ban Bang Bang".  This time the rustling continued.  The infantry man ran to his fox-hole, grabbed a rock, pretended to bit the pin out, threw it, and yelled, "BANG!" as loud as he could.

But the rustling continued, and suddenly a German soldier, with arms bent at 90 degree angles and fists clenched in front of him, emerged from the brush.  He came straight for the British Infantry man and ran him over yelling, "TANK TANK TANK".

(^Loosely related^)

Aside from the best defense is a good offense, there are 4 main styles of defense, or tanks to utilize in eve.  Shield tank, Armor tank, Hull tank, and Speed tank.  Each has its uses, though hull tanking is not frequently used.

Some basics for Shield and Armor tanks.  Shield tanks can be Active, passive, or buffer.  Active tanks are defined as tanks that rely on the use of modules that require activation and drain capacitor.  Passive shield tanks rely on modules that boost the recharge rate of your shields without the use of active modules.  And buffer tanks rely on having enough shield HP to outlive your opponent.

Armor tanks come in two main forms.  Active and buffer.  They follow the same rules more or less as shield tank varieties of the same name.

Hull tanks are similar to armor tanks but they are not as common as the other 3 described.

Speed tanks rely on speed as the name suggest.  They rely on nano-fits, inertial stabilizers, overdrive injectors, afterburners and microwarpdrives in various configurations.

Some general rules for new players.

DON'T TRY TO MIX ANY OF THESE: Mixing armor/shield or armor/speed will result in you dieing unless you know what you're doing.  And you will be mocked for having a "Fail Fit" ship.

Each race leans towards one type of tank: Caldari ships primarily use shield tanks, Gallente ships mostly use Armor tanks, Amarr ships primarily use armor tanks, and Minmatar ships are fairly even split between armor and shield tanks  To know what kind of tank to use, look at your low and medium slots.  If you have more medium slots, its probably a good idea to go with a shield tank.   If your ship has more low slots than medium slots, you probably will want an armor tank.

Consult other players/corp members also use internet resources.  Try out the Eve Fit fitting tool, and battle-clinic for tips and hints.

fit with Shield mods, armor mods, hull mods, or speed mods, and don't mix them, unless you really know what you're doing.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Week 1: Q&A

So, you're interested in getting into eve?  And you want it to be exciting?

The fastest way to make eve exciting is to go try to blow someone up.  Player versus Player or PvP as it is known in eve, is a rush.  The few fights I have been part of on purpose :) have left me shakey.  PvP is intense and exciting and more of a thrill than many if not all rollar coasters I've been on.

That being said, chose your target wisely.  It is usually a bad idea to pick on a character that is much older than you, so use the "show info" option religiously.  Also, keep an eye on local, and make sure they don't have other friends in system, or at least not more friends than you have with you.

Another way to make Eve interesting is to join up with other people.  Eve is a lot about spaceships, but even more so about community.  If you have real life or RL friends to play with, form a corp, its cheap and easy.  If you don't, find some.  Again be careful, there are people who will let you join just to make your experience miserable.

In my previous post, I talked a little about my own Eve experience/history.  I started and got into eve because of friends who made it fun as we raced to see who could do what the best or fastest.  The short 2-3 months I was playing solo almost ruined the game for me as it became very very boring.

So if your looking for a really good time, join a PvP corp, or if you don't want to fight with others, (as a Pirate (rat) or a pirate hunter) then consider market games, PVE (Player versus Entity) (that's NPC entity not the collector) mining, or exploration.  There are other options and you can more or less do anything in the game that you can do in real life.  The coice is yours :)

Q: How to enjoy Eve?
A:  Lots of ways, try it out :)


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Don't Panic!

Daehan Minhyok:

The Hitchhikers' guide has ths to say about the capsuleer Daehan Minhyok:

In Fall of 09 his friend came back to school, and while they played Magic The Gathering together in the computer lab where they worked on computer club activities,  his friend would occasionally mention “this space ship game I (his friend) plays”.  Min, being cheap, always responded, “Yeah, I play a lot of computer games and occasionally enjoy a good RPG now and then, but I’d never pay a monthly fee for it”.  He had previously tried Guild Wars for a week or so, and just couldn’t get into it, and also tried WoW and made it about 2 hours before gaving up on it.  Then, one day, a different friend, who Min and his eve-playing friend were teaching MTG to, began an EVE trial, and was hooked.  At this point, around Thanksgiving, Min said, "alright, I’ll try a trial, hook me up".  This was after about 5 hours in the car with his eve playing friend  (we were getting servers off ebay that were pck-up only no shipping)  I began my trial on 12/08/09.

Before leaving the planet to become a capsuleer, Min spent several hours on the eve wiki page trying to figure out what he wanted to do in EVE, aside from avoiding Pan-galactic gargleblasters.  He thought Hey, I like tech and scifi, so I’ll join the Caldari Archura Stargazer , they start off with attribute points  aligned to science and research, horray!  Then I created my character..

He liked the uniform and the long hair, a lot of Min's new EVE friends would occasionally tease him about the prominence of his nose.

In a later post I will explain his in game name.  Min joined his EVEe-playing friend's corp right off, and after about a 15 minute un down of how to get around the windows and set skills, Min was on his own.  He quickly set about getting a mining frigate, a bantam, and  Mining Laser I.  He, (quickly in his own opinion), trained up to run an osprey with Mining Laser IIs and expanded cargoholds.  This was the beginning of his carebear high-sec life, though he did not know at the time what that meant.

At this point Min paid for his pilot's license abandoned planet side life, and joined the Nebulon Syndicate officially, for the first time.  He stuck with them until shortly after his1 year birthday when he went his separate way under less than optimal circumstances (Small incident occurred).  Min started his own corp, the Corps of Alchemy and Engineering, to do research in Caldari space, and after a couple months of logging in only to update skills and fuel his High-sec POS, which he lost, he went back to an alliance formed by a former Corp mate and schlepped back out to Minmatar space.  There he ran missions for a  lvl 4 q20 locator agent and earned his jump clone and made good isk and lp which he used for implants.

Finally this spring he began looking to move out of high-sec.  Min was going to move into a wormhole with some of his alliance mates.  Unfortunately the recent (ish) inclusion of Planetary Interactions made it financially possible for everyone and his alt to own their own wormhole, and  after a week and a half  of scanning 4-8 hours a day for an unclaimed C2 cor C3 Pulsar wormhole, or indeed any unclaimed wormhole, he and his friends gave up.  Usually Min doesn’t’ give up that easily, but hee realized Isotope prices were on the rise, and that ice mining in high-sec would bring in enough money to buy minerals and the materials needed to make ships and isk.  It was about this time, that one fateful night at 2am, after saying a lot of stupid things, to include, “you know that little voice that usually tells me not to say things like that? Yeah its pretty quiet right now”,  Min said to his alliance mates, “Hey lets  make a podcast!”.  Thus, the WTFWIT? (What The F#*K Was I Thinking?) Podcast was created.  One day, the 2 hour recording referred to as “The protocast” will be released, and we will receive more hatemail than CCP after that monocle thing, times about a billion.

Lastly, this summer, Min's old corp mates felt he warranted a second chance, and allowed him to come join them in 0.0.  The current CEO had already spent some time out there as a nullsec pvp/miner and was retiring back to a quiet life as a Nullsec Renter.  That pretty much takes  us up to where Min is now…

Min was a carebear in high-sec, now he's a carebear in 0.0 XD

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away....

I thought of calling this "Origins", or "Alpha Post", but since this is an eve related blog, and eve takes place in a galaxy far far away, (Iceland :)), it seemed fitting.

One of my friends talked me into starting an eve trial 2 years ago, and I fell in love with it.  This game is
 1) beautiful
2) More fun than any other game I've tried ever.

To qualify that second point, my gaming history is a bit extensive.  I started playing games in the early 90s when my grandparents came to visit and brought their laptop.  My grandmother taught me how to play Wolfenstein 3D, and a lifelong love of computer gaming began.

That being said, I've seen a lot of different games in my almost 20 years of gaming.

This being my first attempt at a blog, I have some studying to do so I can make it interesting and cool, I hope :)

As I mentioned, this blog is supposed to be about eve, so getting back to that....

I started out in a high sec corp with the friend who brought me into the game.  At the same time one of our other friends started as well and we had a lot of fun being carebears.  After joining, our once respectable alliance quickly fell into poor management and we stayed around because of the loyalty of our then CEO, and because war dec-ing an alliance is more expensive than war-decing a single corp.  Much of my experience is with high sec mining/industry and missioning.  However recently I made the move to 0.0 and enjoy it.

I think for now, I will wrap this up and get to work figuring out how to make my blog respectable and engaging.  Please let me know what you think, and give me any suggestions on where to take this.

Lastly check out the podcast on which I am 1 of 3 hosts, check out eve if you haven't, and twitter account to be created soon.

Thanks for reading and fly safe all you capsuleers.

Special thanks to Arydanika for championing the Eve Podpack and chatting with me earlier. And to my Corp mates and Eve friends for their support