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 1, 2013

November 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. And there's a huge amount in the junk drawer this month, so let's get started.


This was kind of entertaining if you like seeing EVE players do what they do best (hint: it's not flying spaceships). It's a forum thread started by Mad Ani, asking EVE players to petition CCP to hire him... to stream himself playing EVE Online.

Now I'm as big a fan of EVE content creators as the next man, but this is really entertaining on a whole host of levels. The first few pages of the thread are of course Mad Ani's fans supporting the idea. Then a few neutral players jump in pointing out that people who work for CCP have to... you know... work. Then the 19-page thread descends into a full on charlie-foxtrot of fairly epic proportions. You see, ISD was hanging over the thread preventing personal attacks.

So people found more and more creative ways to express their dissatisfaction with the idea of hiring Mad Ani without getting into straight ahead ad hominem attacks. Seeing what was left behind by ISD becomes funnier and funnier. It starts with "Your stream looks like geocities gif-trash. You have the aesthetic sense of Homer Simpson designing a website." But as ISD deletes more and more traditional attacks, players have to go in directions both creative ("hiring Mad Ani would require him to stop streaming... I support this") and subtle ("try to be informed.").

It's a pretty entertaining read if you have the time. By page 19, even Mad Ani himself is embarrassed by the whole thing and asked that the thread be locked.


A few "distant voices", one per paragraph.

Here's something I was pointed at this month while I was fighting with the math for missile damage in EVE. It's a whole lot of :math: going to a pretty deep level of how missile damage happens, in exhaustive detail. Very useful stuff! I've been using it to occasionally provide my own alliance hard data on what HAM missiles do in a variety of situations.

Interstellar Privateer did a terrific job of pulling together all of the new features in Rubicon into a single blog post. If you haven't read it yet, it's worth your time.

Mabrick had a really interesting post this month on using Google Analytics. This is something I've been doing it for years, but then he turned it to an avenue I hadn't thought of: using it to measure relative interest in EVE Online, Dust 514, and Valkyrie. Brilliant! But worrisome too. Go check it out to see why. I'm likely to have more to say about this sometime in December.

For a few days, the 20m3 Bastion Module had a 200:1 mineral compression ratio, shattering the previous record. Needless to say, at the urging of this post on Reddit, posts on the EVE-O forums, and some strategic begging from CSM members including myself, CCP put a stake through that.

This one kind of makes me smile, though for almost certainly the wrong reasons. A mission-runner discovered that if you die in certain types of missions, the Mobile Tractor Unit will loot your wreck... and then sentry tower rats will shoot the Mobile Tractor Unit down. Whoopsie! I assume someone forgot to tell the sentry towers not to do this.

And finally, I've updated "Infrequent but Important" again. Helicity Boson is out, and so is TeaDaze. (Sigh.) But Neville Smit is finally in. ;-) Now I need someone to replace The Altruist in the top dozen blogs. (Sigh again.)


At last official report, the PLEX for GOOD campaign for Philippines typhoon relief stood at 2864 PLEXes. I urge you to support this effort if you have not already. Donate a PLEX for no other reason than the t-shirt design for donations is well done, simple and elegant...


I had a few players bitching to me about the "over-effectiveness" of interceptors against PvE players using defensive bubbles. In particular, I was pointed at the video below. All I could say to them was "working as designed!" Mining fleets in particular are the only time in EVE where you see every single player in the same type of ship. Nobody ever thinks to defend their mining ops for some reason. And that's fine -- treat the ship losses as a cost of doing business if you like.

But don't expect not to lose them to a well-done raid. I thought this one was pretty freakin' brilliant.


Speaking of brilliant, I got a big kick out of CCP Rise's "Ask Me Anything" thread on Reddit. Go spend some time with it. There's lots and lots of fun stuff to be found here.


And that's all for the junk drawer this month.  As I said, lots of stuff this month!


  1. Intys are indeed OP, so expect a hit with the nerfbat soon. Enjoy them while you can.

    They can't be bubbled (except with a heavy dictor, and swapping an inty for a heavy dictor isn't a good tradeoff) and, if fit with warp speed rigs, can't be chased down.

    We've been using them to deploy Mobile Siphon Units and Mobile Depots in our neighbor's space... lol.

  2. "Nobody ever thinks to defend their mining ops for some reason."

    There's two* reasons for this:
    One: Defending a mining op is of limited value unless the miners in question are in Procurers/Skiffs, which are noticeably worse at actually mining than Covetors/Hulks and Retrievers/Mackinaws. If they're not in the tanky barges/exhumers then a raiding fleet will simply go for the low EHP mining ships, pop them and bug out - not a huge challenge for a small gang of interceptors.
    Two: Riding shotgun on a mining op is quite possibly the single least engaging activity in all of EVE. It has all the downsides of other "sit around and do nothing" activities like waiting on a titan or attacking an uncontested sov structure, except that it's even less likely to erupt into an actual fight and there's very little big-picture reason fo it. It's a lot easier to sit through a boring slog to "defend our space!" (or "take our enemy's space!" for that matter) than it is to defend a mining op, after all. Obviously the players themselves can make this better - chatting in fleets/on comms etc - but this doesn't change that the gameplay is terrible and they could have the same fun on comms while doing more interesting things in space.

    IMO the core "problem" (in so far as it is a problem, which it really only is if you're losing mining ships) is that mining is an activity that benefits from a lack of combat while defending miners is an activity that benefits from an abundance of combat, so that you have something to do. It's a fundamental dichotomy of playstyles.

    * There's also the point that as a mining op typically consists of a fair amount of quite valuable ships with negligible combat performance sitting more or less stationary for an extend period they're an obvious target for hotdrops, both regular and covert, which will typically make a mockery of defenders through force of numbers and/or use of hard counters. On the other hand this isn't exactly unique to mining ops, so I'm not counting it as a mining-specific point.

    1. I'll just leave this here: find a dead end, preferably 2 systems deep. Set up your mining fleet in the last system. Pick a non-obvious belt or anom. Put a cloaked alt on the in gate one system over. Set camera to 'look at' on in gate with local readily visable. Turn up the sound and listen for gate activation. This should give you at least 15 seconds heads up which is PLENTY of time to align and warp.

    2. Sure, it's possible to use scouts to get your mining fleet safe before neuts can show up on grid and shoot them. It's a safe bet that that's how most miners in null operate.

      But there's a difference between avoiding fights like this and actually defending your mining op. You see ganks where people catch miners in belts, and presumably for every one of those there are a few attempted ganks that don't get anything because the miners left before the attackers arrived on grid, but what you never see is attackers landing in the belt and getting into an actual fight with defenders covering the miners.

  3. Defending mining ops is a losing proposition. You defend with one ship, raiders bring five. You defend with five, raiders bring ten... And every ship you use for top cover is one less you can use to mine ISKies goodness from the belt. Spreading the ships out as much as you can, or similar are the best way to go. Sure you lose some barges, but it is better than losing some barges and some shiny combat ships.

  4. Now we just need CCP to release that t-shirt meat side :)

    That'd be nice.

  5. not one of those miners has a flight of ecm drones, just one flight would have had the inty running when backed with a couple of flights of warriors. and many of the miners appear to be afk - as evidenced by the strips running right upto the ship's death.

    still procurers are cheap, and it would not take long with ABCS to replace the clone upgrade and hull.

    Jester, anytime you want to defend a mining op - step up. I have done BB watch - after 3hrs I got to permajam some poor newbie rifter. I guess he took Baby's Osprey at face value. I was also through a couple of movies and half a bottle of single malt scotch.

  6. > Interstellar Privateer did a terrific job of pulling together all of the new features in Rubicon into a single blog post
    > Doesn't mention interceptor bubble immunity

    Quality advertising that is Jester.

  7. "Nobody ever thinks to defend their mining ops for some reason."

    How about you get RK to defend a few mining ops over a month or so, and see what happens? At least, you'll have first-hand experience to talk about, rather than relying on hearsay from equally ignorant (note I didn't say stupid) PVP players.

  8. Ever since CCP introduced the uber-tanky Procurer and Skiff, there isn't any justified reason for continued miner whining. They are just being greedy.

    Procs, in particular, aren't worth attacking. The damn things tank like BCs and are cheaper than sh*t (esp. if you have a stockpile of them from the days before the BPO was changed). And, a mining fleet of Procs can easily chew up a gang of intys.

  9. The biggest problem for miners in null is that they changed the way the Grav sites work. You used to be able to bubble and check d-scan. Now you can't do either. How is that not a pretty big nerf?

  10. "Nobody ever thinks to defend their mining ops for some reason."

    Completely lazy, untrue, and disingenuous remark. Last time I spend four votes on you.

  11. Looks like goblin, the expert pvper, is shitting on you again on his blog.


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