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.
You can follow along, if you want...

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January junk drawer

Welcome to the junk drawer, part of a series of monthly posts in which I dump all the stuff that I couldn't develop into full blog posts this month...

The EVE-fail blog has documented a couple of ways for you to determine how many minutes you've been logged into EVE per account, if you're interested in that sort of thing.  Change the appropriate settings in this website link:

https://api.eveonline.com/account/AccountStatus.xml.aspx?keyid=_____&vcode=_____

For keyid, replace with your new post-Incarna userID key.  Your vcode is the API passcode.  Then look for the "logonMinutes" field.  That will tell you how many minutes that particular account has been logged into EVE.

It's not particularly useful for Ripard, because I used to log him in cloaked in this or that enemy system to hunt ratters.  Then, when I had to go to work, I'd leave him logged in all day to make them paranoid.  But if you're interested, for Ripard: 314,857 minutes total as of 2012 January 1.

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Red Frog Freight is awesome.  I've been saying this for almost a year now, and it's time to say it again.  If you live primarily in null-sec and you do not use them for your Empire logistics, you are a bad person and should feel bad.

The service they provide is freighter logistics in Empire.  You courier contract your stuff to them, with a delivery fee calculated by their automated jump planner and a one billion ISK collateral.  It costs me five million ISK to have a freighter load of whatever I need moved from Jita to my high-sec staging system, where I pick it up for transport to null.  The last time I contracted them such a load, I did it right before I went to bed.  When I woke up, it had been delivered and was waiting for me.

They also offer "Blue Frog" for loads worth more than one billion ISK, and "Black Frog" for null-sec logistics using jump freighters.  They really have this stuff down to a science.  Seriously, is your time really worth only a few million ISK to move freighters full of stuff around Empire?  You can contract a load to them, then run a L4 mission instead.  You'll come out ahead both in ISK and in enjoyment of EVE.  Use this service!  Or if you have a freighter that's sitting idle on an alt, seriously consider applying to join them.

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Lord Maldoror (with a lot of help from the actual residents) has written a fantastic overview of who lives in the Syndicate region lately.  Syndicate, for those of you not keeping up, was recently announced as the most active PvP region in EVE, with more ships destroyed than any other single region in the game.  I am a resident of this fine neighborhood myself, and I encourage all of you to come visit.  ;-)  The post does a fantastic job of laying out the neighbors and explaining when and how they do their PvP.

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The Overheating Guide that I published in December has been updated with the information I presented in the errata a few days later.  I've also updated it to reflect the UI improvements introduced to overheating in Crucible 1.1.  Lunkwill spotted a problem with my four-month-old Utility Highs Guide that the rest of you missed: I forgot to include smart bombs!  This has been corrected.  Good catch, Lunkwill!

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There's one CSM-related thing in the junk drawer.  It almost rates a full post, but I've done enough CSM-related posts in the last week.

Prometheus Exenthal has announced that he's running for reelection to CSM7, on Failheap Challenge.  This one is interesting to me because for CSM6, he ran as a champion of small-gang PvP alliances.  Then, on 13 December, Two Step tweeted this:
Wow, @themittani's mind control lasers are turned up to max today. Check out what corp Prometheus Exenthal is in now... #TweetFleet #csm6
What corp was Prom in?  Goonswarm, of course.  Trebor and I responded, with no response from Mittens that I saw.  My question: "Goon's second CSM7 candidate.  c/d?"  For a while, it looked like you could file that one under "c" and I was waiting to see if Prom campaigned again under a small-gang banner with the Goon corp ticker.  Ironic, if so!

Instead, as of about a week ago, he's out of Goons and back in Hydra Reloaded.  So now, it'll be interesting to see if he gets any kind of official or unofficial endorsement from Mittens for Goon votes.  If there's one area of null-sec experience that CSM6 publicly lacked, it was small-gang experience.  Prom was apparently a non-starter early in CSM6's term and pretty inactive for most it.  CSM6 can hardly point to Seleene or Elise Randolph as their small-gang champions, since PL's idea of a "small gang" these days appears to be 27 Titans.  ;-)

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And finally, Siesmic Stan over at Freebooted, a very long-time EVE blogger, awarded me the "Free Boot for Blogger of the Year" for 2011.  Thanks!  I shall display the boot on my space mantlepiece with pride, as Yahtzee put it.  ;-)

23 comments:

  1. You did make syndicate sound cool, but with you down there it seems scary, not really excited to be killed repeatedly.

    The guantlet has not been thrown.

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  2. Hey look at that, I'm at the bottom of Riprad Teg's junk drawer. ;)

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    1. Not so much the bottom as the end of the month. ;-)

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  3. It scares me that as prolific as you are on Trek... you have unfinsihed or undevelpoed posts.Add to that the fact that yours can be highly tecnical and mine... well, aren't. =P

    I am had pressed to get my tween one and 5 or so a month posts done to the point where I am willing to clik on "submit". =]

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  4. "CSM6 can hardly point to Seleene or Elise Randolph as their small-gang champions,"

    I realize that it was a bit of a tongue in cheek comment, but I'm going to bite anyway. First, I'm just going to leave this here (which was not made or requested by me at the time):

    http://www.eve-files.com/media/corp/CRII/McEdition.jpg

    Yeah... I never ran an alliance which spent several years doing nothing but small-medium gang sized Empire contracts before even setting foot into 0.0. Nope. :)

    I've been playing since May of 2003, Jester. Nearly nine years now. A lot of other folks have done small gang PVP longer than Prom has even been subscribed. It's his 'thing' and he's good at it, but it doesn't mean I or anyone else has had a brain aneurysm and forgotten literally years of game play.

    And if the "PL" thing is an issue, consider how competitive PL is in the Alliance Tournament.

    What the hell is a 'small gang PVP' candidate anyway? :) What agenda is such a person going to advocate or push that any sensible PVPer wouldn't as well?

    The main reason I'm replying to this has to do with the same old "null sec" comparisons - as if guys that have been playing EVE for years and years somehow have no idea what it's like for #kidsthesedays. TBH, we probably had it a lot worse and went through a lot more pain and are fairly motivated to see things continue improving.

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    1. It WAS a tongue-in-cheek comment... with perhaps two teeth in it.

      Tooth One: Do you seriously believe that small-gang play in EVE circa 2008 and small-gang play in EVE circa 2012 have anything more than a passing resemblance to each other? Do you seriously think that your concerns when it came to small-gang play then are the same as the more typical small-gang player in EVE today?

      Tooth Two: I assure you that when I'm out in a small BS gang, one of my biggest concerns is that I'm going to be hot-dropped by super-carriers. One of my biggest concerns when I'm out in a small BC gang is that I'm going to be camped into a dead-end pocket by a response fleet 400 strong. Perhaps you can tell me when in your EVE career you've had the same worry.

      Unrelated, but still worrisome: Both in this answer and in your similar Q&A answer, you seem to have entirely bought into the premise that nobody is qualified to be on the CSM who hasn't been playing this game for six or seven (or more) years. Ergo, the concerns of newer players like myself are only valid if they're first filtered through the experiences of our much more qualified CSM representatives? Ergo, newer players like myself are inherently unqualified to be CSM reps ourselves?

      How is that any different from CCP Hammer's opinion of the CSM from last March, in which he said the CSM's opinion is only valid after it's filtered through the perceptions of the devs?

      http://jestertrek.blogspot.com/2011/03/quote-of-week-pigeonholes.html

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    2. Tooth One Q1: No.

      Tooth One Q2: Of course the concerns are not the same but that doesn't mean I'm blind to what the problems of today are. What makes you assume that?

      Tooth Two: Are you actually trying to suggest that because I've been wearing a PL tag for all of 10 months that I've never had to deal with what you describe? Tell you a time? As recent as late 2010 when I false-started MC again for a few months. Then again in early 2011 in FAIL. But dates are one thing, the main point is dealing with a blob when you are outnumbered XX to one; this is not new. Certain aspects of the situation have changed but I'm not blind to them.

      Unrelated: You are 100% putting words in my mouth. If that is what I meant then I would point blank say it. I'm simply tired of the insinuation that 'veteran' players (however you define that) are somehow ignorant or dismissive of the concerns of anyone 'because'.

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    3. Not to put words in Mark's mouth, but having years of EVE experience usually gives one a *breadth* of EVE experience that just can't be matched in a year or two. Most of us bitter old vets (2005 player here) have seen a *lot* of this game.

      I wouldn't say 6 years is required, but anyone who hasn't been playing for 1.5/2 just doesn't have the needed perspective, IMHO.

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    4. As a long-time small-alliance small-gang PvPer, a lot of what I see is a CSM so focused on the blob that it's got me wondering if RK shouldn't move into the wormhole next door to Two Step. That way, I'd never have to look upon another Titan or 200-man blob again.

      Except, of course, for the fact that this CSM seems focused on trying to make every part of EVE look like blobby sov space: wormhole stabilizers and mini-sov FW and FW elections and capturing of low-sec stations and alliance taxes on ratting and every little thing about the game made more friendly to those smart enough to have started playing in 2003 or crazy enough to join an alliance with 2000+ people in it.

      It just makes me wonder who on CSM6 is on my side if I don't want any of those things, that's all.

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    5. Huh? I don't get the R&K comment, but whatever.

      Several of the things you listed were proposals *from CCP*. In fact, wormhole stabilizers (which were a joint Meissa/CCP thing) and alliance taxes are the only CSM stuff.

      Plenty of the focus of CSM6 has been on stuff like the NPE, tutorials, finding a role for less skilled players in blobs, etc.

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    6. R&K = Rooks and Kings. RK = Rote Kapelle, the alliance I'm in. I used the latter.

      Low-sec as mini-sov? CSM idea, page 23. I withdraw FW elections (you're right, that was CCP), and replace it with destroying 0.0 NPC station services, CSM idea, page 18.

      Two Step, all three of the things you mention are for getting new players INTO BLOBS. What if you DESPISE blobs? This is the perspective that I'm trying to get you to see. ;-)

      What has this CSM done to champion players that despise blobby sov space? What has this CSM done to champion players that just want to throw 20 guys per side at each other without being hot-dropped, blobbed, or otherwise just convinced to log off and play Tanks?

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    7. If you want to play EVE without blobs, that is why wormholes were invented (or at least what they have become). If you don't like blobs, you are like 100% of the people who joined corps like AHARM and moved into w-space.

      You want PVP where every fucking ship (every fucking mod sometimes!) matters? Where if you are losing you are fucking out of luck? That is what some of us are living right now.

      What I can bring to the nullsec game is every possible effort to bring that level of gameplay to more people. As far as I am concerned, my way of playing EVE is the real EVE, without bullshit hotdrops and ratting bots.

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    8. Two-Step: I'm not here to step on too many toes, but I will be stepping on yours for a point of argument.

      Now as a wormhole capsuleer I'll tell you that it is great that w-space isn't blobby. I've been playing off and on for around 2-3 years now, and null-sec just seems a horrible place.

      It's not horrible because of it's sales pitch, it is horrible because a pilot can only make a difference if they're lucky, it takes much less to become a Borg. Resistance is futile when it comes to having to deal with large alliances. If you're not under their banner, then you are fighting for them in a way or another. Playing border patrol, or in their fleets as extra.

      Wormhole space is a true investment, but if what you say is true, and anyone who dislikes the blob warfare of 0.0 should go to w-space then how do you get the few perks of having your space known/defined. W-space isn't for the faulty, you can't make hardly as many mistakes as you might be able to in null. There is no local.

      The way I think Null needs to be defined is not as a complete safety net of hundreds/thousands of Borg, but as a zone where smaller corporations can have a chance at living/waging war as well as larger. The blob entity needs to be undermined if null is to ever flourish the way that w-space has.

      I may not be right, but I will defend my points as well as possible.

      ~G.A.

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    9. Twostep If you want to play EVE without blobs, that is why wormholes were invented.

      Wow, so NPC 0.0? factionwarfare? Small sov holding alliances?

      So in no way should a 100 man alliance be able to hold a single system? Go blob or go home?
      Or that blob on blob is all that 0.0 should offer? No roams? No gang on gang fights? no skermishes?
      Wow...

      And here I thought small gang would be a great thing to have in 0.0 in addition to blobl warfare...

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    10. I don't understand either of these responses. I didn't say wormholes were (or should be) the *only* blob free zones, I just said that is what they are right now. I also said I wanted to bring more of the wormhole style non-blob to other areas of space.

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    11. "What I can bring to the nullsec game is every possible effort to bring that level of gameplay to more people."

      It seems I misread that earlier, forgive me for it was rather late my time.

      If you're going to try then that position will make it harder for you in the CSM against those candidates that enjoy the blobby-ness. The best way to go about that is to create rough drafts of things that might be able to be changed. Doing so would ease some minds on if you're willing to take a very hard stance on a big problem in this game.

      I just think that at any point null should not feel as safe as it is compared with a wormhole. Not that it feels safe, but I'm sure they don't scan their system down even daily to see if they have a wormhole connecting to them that could strike their structures.

      It's not the same when a wormhole connects to null, specifically in cases where the set up isn't as strong as wh's like AHARM and R&K.

      This is why wormholes with a static null are the least favorable and also the easiest to be pushed out of.

      I do wish you good luck in your CSM if you're willing to take a hard stance on the blobs. Though I really hope that things change so new players aren't being funneled in to being cannon fodder for blobs.

      ~G.A.

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  5. Experience in the game is all well and good but many of the oldest players in the game are particularly dismissive of changes that newer players suggest simply because they have reached bitter vet status and are at the point that - "I had to walk uphill through the snow so you have to too"- becomes their answer to problems that should have been fixed long ago.

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    1. Thank you, Anon1928, you speak true.

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    2. Oh I'll freely admit to a little #kidsthesedays bias, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Players like me have an acute memory of how hard it was, and still is, to understand some of the basics of gameplay or find people to help explain the same. When it comes to things like the NPE, more often than not, it's those same 'bitter vets' that argue vehemently with CCP to make the tutorial more robust, simplify the agent system and improve the in game social tools to better facilitate opportunities to find like minded friends to share the game with. While I believe that EVE should remain a 'grey area' game, where anything can and will happen, I've never witnessed a CSM say something against making things more smooth for new players trying to decide if they want to stay subbed.

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  6. congratulations to your new boot ;-)
    I don't know where you take all the time for this blog but it's good you are doing it.

    The Red Frog logistics is a very good hint, maybe i can use them sometimes. Wouldn't have heard of them without blogs.

    The CSM with its current (and upcoming) election method will always be biased by people with large scale connections. Rallying 2000+ man in your alliance to vote for you isn't that hard but getting 20 or 30 alliances with about 200 players to even think about voting for you is a heap load of work and will need a lot of dedication.
    I'm playing eve for nearly 6 years now and never had the intention to join up with large groups. Hopefully the future development of eve will support more small scale activity. A nice devblog with a white board full of ideas made me hope again for a good future. :)

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  7. According to The Mittani's latest tentonhammer article, Prometheus has sewn up the Failheap vote.

    Presumptuous of him, as you'd expect.

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  8. Throwin my .2 ISK in the hat... Gree & Anom speak it true.

    I’ve been a wormholer ever since I first popped thru the crazy marble... fell in love and found my place in this great game right then and there. We have had our own POS and lived exclusively in th hole for +6 months now. We are upping our game and lookin for a C3 to move to and during the hiatus, we have decided to Go West Young Man… and see exactly what all the hubbub about null really is… but we are going to go back to the hole as soon as we find suitable EtherEstate… =]

    But it is, to me, the Shame of EVE that soooo much of Sov held null is a wasteland... unused and inaccessible to the rest of us because the Massive Alliances won’t allow anyone not “them” or their drones, to play in their space… whatta waste.

    Quoted for truth,
    “The blob entity needs to be undermined if null is to ever flourish the way that w-space has.”

    Same:
    “Anonymous Jan 31, 2012 07:28 PM”

    We NEED balanced CSM representation based on Hisec, Losec, Nullsec and W-Space… the four primary spaces (‘states’, ‘counties’, ‘districts’) whatever you wanna call em… of EVE.

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  9. I like the part where Prom proclaims that he accomplished basically everything on his platform. How he did this without participating in the CSM for six months he doesn't say.

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