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...

Thursday, January 31, 2013

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 past month.  There was a ludicrous amount of stuff in it this month, so let's get started.

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I'd like to start with a bunch of ship-related notes, mostly unrelated:

If I am elected to CSM8, know what the very first thing I'm going to mention to CCP Soundwave and/or CCP Fozzie and/or whomever will listen to me?  It's silly.  But it's just the first thing I'm going to mention: why do all ships accelerate to warp at the same rate?  17 times out of 20, this means that two ships that align and warp away from one gate to another gate will arrive within one or two seconds of each other.  Doesn't matter if one is a battleship and the other is an interceptor.  If the distance between gates is under 20AU or so, they'll arrive at the next gate at the same time, forcing the interceptor to keep up the chase in the next system.  This is silly to me, and easily fixable.

Did you know that align time rounds up?  It does.  If you have two ships one of which aligns and warps to gate in 4.2 seconds and the other which aligns and warps in 4.8 seconds, they both align and warp in the same amount of time: 5 seconds.  Anything under that is lost.  You'll go to warp at the beginning of the next second after your align timer runs out.  So if you're tweaking and tweaking in EFT to get your align time down, keep that in mind.  Adding "nano" for additional speed is still fine.

Have you noticed that all of the new ship models (the new Tempest, the new destroyers, the Venture, etc.) have a number of visible hard-points on the ship's hull equal to their number of high slots, regardless of their number of gun and missile points?  That's planning for the future: sooner or later, there are going to be visual turrets for remote reppers, energy transfers, neuts, and the like.  The art team is ensuring they have places to put them.  That's good thinking.

Remember how I said how the Cyclone was the biggest winner of the combat BC re-balance?  Forget all that.  Fozzie kicked its ass hard.  Power grid -100... ouch!  Both Amarr BCs are now tied for first place for best BC.  Brutix is now in third... or in first place if you have maxed out skills.  Cyclone drops to 6th or 7th.

Know what the hottest accessory for command ships is going to be if "on-grid links only" becomes a reality?  Corpses.  "Grid fu" has been around a long time and the most convenient, least vulnerable way to stretch an EVE grid is to jettison a corpse from your cargo hold.  Corpses don't create a can and they're not warpable.  I was previously indifferent about corpses but have now started a small collection for this specific purpose.  If you fly command ships, you probably should too.

Speaking of off-grid boosters, I came up with an almost disgustingly evil solution to this problem that's very easy to implement:
  • don't let ships activate links inside a POS, the same way you can't usually cloak inside a POS; then,
  • make a command ship with active gang links a warpable beacon that appears on everyone's Overview.
If you're already on grid, this won't be a problem as long as you stay within 150km of the fight, right?  And if you're off-grid, you can keep those links up as long as you want.  ;-)

Kind of a silly question, but why do you get a noobship that matches your race when you dock in a station without a ship?  Shouldn't you get one that matches the race of the station?  For instance, when you dock in a Caldari station, you get a Caldari Captain's Quarters, not one for your race.  So why do you get a Velator if you're a Gallente docking in a Caldari station?  Do the Caldari keep a few thousand of these sitting around for visiting Gallente?  This might be the main reason we're getting pirate noob ships: to address this little discrepancy.

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And now some New Eden personnel related notes.

Kil2 now works for CCP!  No word yet on his CCP name that I've seen.  That means two out of the three most publicly knowledgeable people in New Eden about the ships themselves are now CCP employees.  It's started a persistent rumor that the reason Elise Randolph isn't running for CSM8 is because he's going to make it three out of three.

This one's been kept pretty quiet, but Courthouse has stepped down from his GSF- and CFC-related leadership roles.  What this means, I leave an exercise for the student, since I'm not an expert in Goon politics.  Certainly interesting though, at least to me...

And now a totally self-interested plug.  ;-)  Two other members of Rote Kapelle have blogs.  Logan Fyreite has been blogging for longer than I have on a variety of EVE-related topics.  Right now, he's working on a guide to corp-level security that those of you running corps will find interesting.  Second, now that Kil2 is out of the EVE-player-produced video business, I suspect my alliance-mate Apathetic Brent is going to get into that business more seriously.  He's created a blog to serve as a central hub for discussion of small-gang PvP-related topics, guides, and videos.  He's just started it, but keep an eye on it to grow.  Logan, Brent, you guys can make the check out to...

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Finally, a fun quick note: a new generation is learning about New Eden.  It's almost sweet.  They grow up so fast...

---snip---

And that's all for the junk drawer this month.  Kind of a busy one!

45 comments:

  1. The contract market for corpses will be hot.

    Would be easier to "package" up a corpse and have them be traded on the market.

    Yeah, I also find it annoying that I'm stuck with an Amarr noobship forever on my alt. It's not cyno friendly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't start speculative corpse buying.

      CCP is aware of the corpse/grid-fu "exploit" and intends to either (a) fix it, or (b) add it to the "banned" list (if they don't have time to fix it), before the changes to off/on-grid boosting go live.

      Grid-fu, itself, is also under examination for possible upgrades/fixes.

      Delete
  2. #1: Why do all ships accelerate to warp at the same rate:

    I remember meeting a mention on the forums that the warp acceleration code is an ancient mess everyone is afraid to touch, that was hard to get working in the first place. The idea has apparently been on the books, but cannot be implemented until a rewrite happens, so while it looks like it's easily fixable, it is not. Take this with a grain of salt though, as I haven't bothered to track down the original developer statement it probably derives from.

    #2: We get noobships of our own race, rather than the race of the station, because they require a racial frigate skill to pilot, and our racial frigate skill is the only one we will always have regardless of other considerations.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. "I remember meeting a mention on the forums that the warp acceleration code is an ancient mess everyone is afraid to touch, that was hard to get working in the first place."

      This is an old CCP excuse - one which is fortunately less used these days, as CCP has been actively replacing legacy code in the code base.

      No one likes fixing legacy code, which is why it hasn't been addressed previously. And, since there are always other more interesting problems around to be addressed, it is easy to let things like this slip.

      Delete
    2. It's "CCP lazy mode", all right. Though there's a certain aspect of it that I understand (do you want the team fixing this, or adding some game play?), the "little things" team should continue running and should still continue fixing goofy stuff like this. Even if it's hard to figure out at first.

      Delete
  3. Your point about align time is not totally accurate. Align times are rounded up to the next *tick*, which is the server's clock, not the client's. If your align time is 4.5s, when you click 'warp' you're in tick n. You'll enter warp at the beginning of the first tick which is more than 4.5s after you clicked 'warp'. So that's between 4.5 - 5.5s.

    Of course when you add in lag this gets even more confusing! But suffice to say two ships with sub-second differences in align time warp at the same time only sometimes.

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    Replies
    1. However, entering the "warp drive active" state is done on the server tick, so Jester's conclusion still applies :)

      Delete
  4. "don't let ships activate links inside a POS, the same way you can't usually cloak inside a POS". you can be cloaked inside a pos you just have to warp to it cloaked already,and into a clear area of the pos away from mods.

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    Replies
    1. Sometimes you do all that and the force field still decloaks you as you pass through it. Seems a little random.

      Delete
    2. As far as i'm aware they've fixed this bug and the POS shield de-cloaks you now.

      Delete
    3. POS force fields have a lot of quirks. It would be better for the game, if the force fields were eliminated. You'd then need to actively protect assets around a POS rather than passively depend on the stupid force field.

      Delete
    4. If you encounter an object during the warp, you'll be decloaked, even if there's no object where you land.
      Common issue would be being too close of the tower at a moment, given it's way bigger than it's 3d model.

      Delete
    5. Seems like a bug, then...

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    6. Point being that you can't run the links while warping anyway and you definitely can't cloak once you're in the shield. So the same code could be used.

      Delete
  5. 'Have you noticed that all of the new ship models (the new Tempest, the new destroyers, the Venture, etc.) have a number of visible hard-points on the ship's hull equal to their number of high slots, regardless of their number of gun and missile points? That's planning for the future: sooner or later, there are going to be visual turrets for remote reppers, energy transfers, neuts, and the like. The art team is ensuring they have places to put them. That's good thinking.'

    Actually, that's because turrets change their location depending on which slots you put them in. You have to have a visual slot for each slot because not everyone uses the last slots for utility.

    I sure hope they will make models for the utility mods, but I don't see this as proof of them being closer.

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    1. The old Tempest model had six slots for guns. Your guns just ended up taking all of them. Now there are eight slots, and yes, it does keep track of which six you use. Meanwhile, the Drake puts all its missile launchers in the front seven slots no matter how you actually fit them.

      Interesting side-bit about it showing which six slots you take when you fit your Tempest: I can now tell visually if you have it fit correctly for over-heating. If all your guns are up front, you don't.

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    2. Possibly because the drake will be losing the utility high soon?

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    3. It's definitely not just the new models. I thought all ships arranged their guns in visibly different positions depending on which slots you fit them in. Haven't tried it on a Drake, so I'm not sure about that.

      I remember trying it out on several T1 frigs and cruisers pre-tiercide and the number of physical locations for guns on the ship was always equal to the total number of high slots, not the number of turret (or missile) hardpoints.

      Delete
  6. Re rookie ships: I'd actually like to just switch 'racial allegiances' as it were. Caldari many years ago, but now I serve the Empress.
    -Bantara

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  7. No mention of the Syndicate competitive league?

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  8. "why do all ships accelerate to warp at the same rate?"

    Well, that's easy. Chances are, the dev who implemented the warp formula no longer works there and nobody wants to mess in this code. I can imagine that formula is non-trivial.

    Why was it implemented this way in the first place? probably because that was good enough at that time and they had more important things to do.

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  9. I think I have some insight into the align time rounding-up. During EveVegas CCP Veritas gave a presentation about "Ticks" in the Eve programming. These ticks are set in 1 second increments and are a routine the Eve server uses to complete various tasks. Most likely they have to round-up the align times to process the Ticks and present it to the client.

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  10. Re: noobships. Umm, isn't this one obvious? If I'm a noob Gallente who gets blown up outside a Caldari station, I don't have Caldari Frigate 1 and thus can't fly the Caldari noobship. Or did they drop that skill requirement sometime recently?

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  11. Command ships and links: it doesn't necessarily even need to be a warpable beacon (to prevent trivial on-grid warps). Simply making it very easily scannable should have mostly the same effect.

    I also agree about the noobships. That's always struck me as weird; I assumed it was because they were tied to race-specific skills and it's a bit of a problem if the station spawns you a brand-new rookie ship that you don't have the skills to fly. Now that they function without skills, that is less of an issue.

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    Replies
    1. The scannable thing is an interesting idea actually. Command links, when active, could nerf sensor strength or sig radius. Or simply throw a third variable into the scanning formula.

      Delete
    2. So, giving command links the side effects of blowing up your signature radius and being unoperable while cloaked?

      Delete
    3. I think that command links should cause all other modules to overheat and do damage to the ship, eventually causing it to self-destruct.

      Delete
  12. Rarely do I ever read an Eve Blog and laugh. But the Dust bit, I had a really good chuckle.

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  13. Right-click on corpse, 'Save Location' to make a bookmark. Bookmarks are warpable.

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  14. "That's planning for the future: sooner or later, there are going to be visual turrets for remote reppers, energy transfers, neuts, and the like."

    It's planning for now - you can already fill every high slot with a salvager, which has a visual turret.

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  15. don't get too excited about on grid boosting. ccp knows about the grid foo and its problems. I guess they will solve that before it goes live. Other option would just be range based, everyone within 150 km of the command ship gets the bonus, others not.

    Regarding your Booster under POS solution: yeah might work for command ships. But a rorqual in indu mode self tackled for 5 Minutes? Not so cool. especially as you need it close to the hangars where the ore is stored to compress it.

    How about a combination: The Booster can be off grid but on grid must be a visible target who forwards that boni.

    ---------------
    Haven't noob ships skill requirements too? Thought that was Racial Frig level 1 which you get right out of school. Would be pretty pissed as a noob landing on a station with out a ship and getting one for free that I CAN'T FLY! ;-)

    So, changes of that should only work if you WANT other ships.

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  16. I'd argue that Azual of www.evealtruist.com is as at least as publicly knowledgeable about the ships of EVE as the three folks you mentioned. Not to take anything away from Fozzie, Kil2, or Elise. Just want to see credit go where credit is due.

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    Replies
    1. Hm, interesting point. I think of Azual as more of an expert on ship's roles than the mechanics of the ships themselves.

      Delete
  17. I don't see any problem with the Amarr BCs becoming the new FotM.

    Amarr has long been the most neglected race in the game, and they are long overdue for their turn in the light.

    Ofc, I can fly all of the BCs in the game, with all of the race-specific weapon/support skills at level 4/5, so I guess I'm just too objective... lol.

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  18. I also completely disagree with removal of off-grid boosting. Disable boosting in POSes, and make boosting modules bloom signature like MWD, and problem solved.

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  19. Tiericide and rebalancing has already made a bit of a hot mess of the visible high-slot mounts. The Merlin has three slots on the sides of its vertical spar under the cockpit that seem to nicely match up with the three turret mounts, but the game insists on using the wings, the upper cockpit, and the bottom of the spar instead, so you can never put a gun on that third slot on the spar. The Myrmidon's going to be the same way after the rebalance; there are six very obvious mounts for turrets, but after Retribution 1.1, there will only be five high slots, so that sixth mount will be orphaned as well...

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  20. So are we going to separate combat boosting from mining boosting or will the rorqual end up as a very static 3 bil beacon of gank?

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    Replies
    1. As horrid as this sounds, I'm not all that concerned for the Rorq. They're hella tough and putting one on the field should be the cause for a defense fleet.

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    2. The Rorq will also most likely get its own turn at ship rebalancing, in order to deal with changes to on/off-grid boosting.

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    3. Hmmm. The rorq is too good a target you'll just get hot dropped. It'll push it out of the reach of most corps. Will you need a defense fleet to compress ore when they get rid of the shield bubble? Not looking forward to that one. Station games and getting camped in.

      Delete
    4. POS force fields may go away completely, in order to make them more vulnerable as targets, along with the reinforcement timers. This would force players to actively defend them, or take them down, during wars. This is one of the more radical changes which CCP is currently discussing, in order to relieve null sec stasis.

      Delete
  21. "But it's just the first thing I'm going to mention: why do all ships accelerate to warp at the same rate?"

    Fozzie's on record saying he really dislikes this, back on Bringing Solo Back podcast just after he was appointed. So you'll be preaching to the choir on this one.
    http://club-bear.com/podcast/BSB20.mp3

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  22. If you get elected to CSM8, don't bother asking Soundwave about the warp speed issue. He doesn't know squat about the code, although he'll pretend knowledge and just spout nonsense.

    Fozzie also isn't qualified to tell you much about legacy code issues, although he is less likely that Soundwave to makeup BS excuses.

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  23. Hi Jester,
    I loved the link to the Dusties forums, hilarious, the discussion even spilled over into the EVE forums (https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=2563130&#post2563130) Good times, let the Tear harvesting begin! Need to go get me a Playstation!

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