Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday definition: CSPA charge

And now, an EVE term definition for the newer EVE players.  You vets can move on to the next post.

Click the mail icon in your EVE client and let the mail dialogue window come up.  Now click the square in the upper left hand corner of that dialogue.  You'll get an option: "Settings".  Click that.

It's funny how many people don't know that dialogue is there.  Sooner or later, you're going to want to join a fleet in EVE.  Sooner or later, when that happens, the FC is going to bitch because you have a "CSPA charge".  What's that?  It's the very first option in your EVE Mail Settings dialogue.  The problem with the CSPA charge is that it doesn't just affect EVE Mail: it affects every attempt by another player to interact with you socially: EVE Mail, live conversations, and joining fleets.  Every time someone attempts to involve you in that activity, you'll cause them to be charged whatever your CSPA charge is.  By default, that's 2950 ISK.  That is simultaneously three things:
  • a trivial amount of ISK,
  • an amount of ISK guaranteed to be ignored by people you don't want to hear from; and,
  • an amount of ISK guaranteed to annoy the hell out of people you do want to hear from.

The CSPA charge is an in-game mechanic intended to reduce in-game spam EVE mails, particularly those from market bots.  You can simply click the "Block unknown characters" from sending you EVE mails, and many players do just that.  Still, it's often useful to be able to interact socially with other players of an MMO.  ;-)  For this reason, unless you have a compelling reason not to, I'd go with the "Require CSPA charge from unknown characters" option.  After that, though, as far as I'm concerned, there's only two valid options to set for CSPA charge.  The default of 2950 ISK is not one of them.

Here's option one.  Any market alts, cyno alts, or any other character you play only occasionally or for some specific well-defined reason should have their CSPA charge set to the maximum: one million ISK, and it's a pity you can't set it higher.  This will ensure that you get a minimum of communication on those characters, without blocking you off entirely.

Here's option two.  For any character you actually play as one of your mains, the CSPA charge should be set to 0 ISK.  This will allow you to join fleets with a minimum of hassle to your FC.  Sure, you'll occasionally get a little bit of EVE Mail spam or morons that try to recruit you by inviting you straight into their corp channels.  Still, sometimes that sort of thing is entertaining.

If you haven't set your CSPA charge manually yet, guess what: it's set to 2950.  Please go out and change it.

By the way, don't want to get lagged by your EVE Mail icon flashing? Uncheck those six boxes at the bottom. You'll have to manually watch your character portrait when you log into the game to see if you have mail, but the lack of lag when you do get mail will be worth it, particularly if you're a PvPer.


Occasionally on Sundays, I will be defining a common EVE term for those who might not have heard it.  If you have a suggestion for such a term, please drop it into the comments.

5 comments:

  1. Just had my old CEO mention this today. :) I've always had to use the work-around of adding people who contact me often to my contacts and setting them blue - never knew you could actually turn it off or set the value. Will go change that right now. Thanks!

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  2. Can you please explain the term 'nano'. It's used for numerous ship fits. I figured it means something like a speed fit, but I have no idea if there's a difference between them (nano and speed).

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  3. Sure. If I'm near a computer next Sunday, nano will be the Sunday definition.

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  4. I'd also like to enhance the "lag" pointer by highlighting that both EveHQ and Aura for Android can alert you that you've got Eve mail. Using EveHQ, I've no need for an in game notification. That works quite nicely for me. YMMV.

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