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, October 23, 2012

Keeping up with the Joneses

There have been lots of dev-blogs and dev-posts from CCP lately.  Some of them, I want to cover in some detail.  Others, though, don't really need a deep look.  So I thought I'd cover the more important dev-blogs in the last ten days or so that I just wanted to briefly comment on.  Consider this post sort of "Junk drawer light".  ;-)  In reverse order:

Evil Nasty NPC (23 October).  This one details that the devs are going to make secure containers, station containers, and all other boxes and freight cans manufacturable by players, as well as the three classes of survey probes.  These are all positive changes, in my opinion.  One thing that isn't mentioned is whether these containers will be recyclable.  It seems very likely that the answer is "yes".  So if the values at all encourage this, expect to see a lot of NPC low- and null-sec alliances buying containers by the wagon-load now with the intent of recycling them on December 4 and have hundreds of millions of m3 of minerals or PI products or whatever appear in their null-sec stations quite literally overnight.  Hopefully CCP will keep this little trick in mind.

New Eden Open Update (19 October).  CCP is greatly increasing the prize pool for the tournament, as well as offering prizes for watching the tournament, as well as lowering the minimum entry fee.  It's of course incredibly tempting to say that this is just desperation on CCP's part to have this tournament engage player and participant interest as much as the Alliance Tournaments.  That said, I'm not going to say that.  I also don't buy that CCP is trying to cash in with this tournament.  I do sincerely believe that CCP as a whole and the devs participating in this in particular want this tournament to succeed and want it to launch a whole series of EVE tournaments.  I honestly think CCP wants to profit from it by a larger player base, not by making money on the tournaments themselves.  It's a worthy goal.

The simple fact, though, is that there are two chilling effects this tournament is having on that goal.  First, having the tournament take place during the U.S. Thanksgiving holidays is -- quite simply -- a dumb move.  CCP has always favored their European contingent in everything from mass testing schedules to Live Events to dev fleets to the Alliance Tournament itself.  I myself had to get up at 5:15am to participate in one of Rote Kapelle's AT10 matches this year.  But blatantly effectively disenfranchising a third of the player-base from participating in this tournament at all?  That's a new low.

That said, with the rules in place for this tournament, it was always going to be a rich player's play-thing.  This is polo or horse-racing, not NASCAR.(1)  In all of AT10, we saw only one team field previous AT tourney prize ships once.  That's not going to be the case for this tournament.  For these reasons, Rote Kapelle isn't even going to attempt to field a team, nor have I heard about many of our best pilots being picked up by other teams.  I know that some of this problem was supposed to be solved with sponsors, but really how many "outside" sponsors are there with the kind of means necessary to support a team?  Only three come to mind for me: themittani.com, somer.blink, and EVE Online Hold 'Em.  EON Magazine might try to prove some kind of point about independence by sponsoring a team.  After that, I expect you'll mostly see internally-sponsored alliance teams, sprinkled with a few free agent ringers.

So the idea is fine, and I'll definitely be watching bits and pieces of the tournament when I can, but overall execution on this one rates about a "C+" and this slightly panicky dev-blog shows it.

Look Who's Talking (16 October).  CCP karkur has forever cemented the meme "DUST bunnies", I think.  It was floating around a bit before, but now it's official.  ;-)  I only have a couple of things to say about this one.  First, I think that EVE players -- pretty much en masse -- are going to shut off showing infantry players and chat in the chat channels.  I just can't see a lot of interaction happening at this level in the short term and the DUST bunnies are going to interfere with the use of Local as an intel tool if they aren't shut off.  That means bye bye DUST bunnies.

Even more than that, though, does this UI strike anyone else as really wonky?  I have to go to one settings menu to show who is displayed and how their names are displayed, then another settings menu to show how their text is displayed?  Do I have that right?  Assuming I do, it's a strange way to do business and I can't help but think that someone's going to have to come along at some later date and rework the dual menus to make sense.  No doubt there will be another dev-blog about it then.

I also get a kick out of the fact that the only option for highlighting other than your own messages are DUST bunny messages.  As opposed to highlighting just about anything else.  Gimli joked in The Lord of the Rings about trees having little to gossip about except squirrel droppings.  I just can't imagine anything a DUST bunny saying that's going to be important enough for an EVE player to highlight everything every DUST bunny says.  In this case, the option to selectively highlight text from certain posters (say, those on your personal contact list) would have made a lot more sense.  Just my opinion.

Finally, the Bounty dev-blog (11 October).  I've been looking for something to say about this and honestly, not very much is jumping out at me.  I just don't think that bounties are going to be that big of a deal.  I've had three different CSM members ask me jokingly what I think the bounty on Ripard's head will be after December 4.  I answered honestly: "Zero, same as it is now."  People have been able to put a bounty on me for about a year now and haven't done it.  Hell, aside from the vanity of seeing your face on CONCORD billboards and the obvious scamming opportunities, I've just never really understood bounties.

Are people really going to pump hundreds of millions of ISK into this system with only vague returns?  Particularly when the alternative exists to use mercenary contracts for the same thing?  I mean, I hope that someone puts a 500 million ISK bounty (the minimum) on Goonswarm or TEST or Solar or PL or NCdot right from day one, but will anyone actually do it?  I have my doubts.  And those are probably the alliances that are most begging to be bountied.

The one interesting thing about this dev-blog to me is that Bounty hunters will be given a separate ranking which the game will keep track of.  I think there's the potential there for a truly new EVE career to spring up based on those bragging rights.  But the success of that career is going to be fundamentally inherent on players pumping their hard-earned ISK into this system, presumably with the expectation of return on investment.  Again, I've got my doubts but I'm willing to be convinced.

Whew!  That went longer than I expected, and I wanted to cover a few dev-posts too, so I'll split that into its own post.  I also want to talk in a little bit of detail about the FW change yesterday and what I think it means in the bigger picture.  But that, also, will get its own post.

Lots of CCP activity in the lead-up to Retribution!

(1) Hell, it's arguable that even NASCAR isn't NASCAR.


  1. Your comments about bounties are pretty funny, and show how little you really understand this new system (or the old for that matter...not a single Merc corp would take my contract for a player pod some 6 months ago, so yeah it can't be handled by the current contract system in a way that incentivizes a Merc corp want to take a contract for it).

    Nobody has put a bounty on your head yet because right now it's absolutely pointless to do it; come Dec 4th there will actually be a real reason to.

    The new bounty system is going to be a much bigger deal than you assume. I'm sure someone will come along and school you on it better than I could.

    1. That's an awfully up-yourself post coming from someone who seems to have missed the most basic part of bounty systems - that the person you place the bounty on collects it himself if it's worth collecting and if it's not worth collecting then the bounty doesn't achieve the desired effect.

    2. The new bounty system is even more useless than the old system.

      In the old system, at least, you know how much ISK will be paid out for the pod kill. Under the new system, you have to scan the ship, to figure out the likely payout. For pods, it is just a crap shoot - you might get nothing, except a sec status hit, if the perp has no implants in his clone.

      Also, the new system does nothing to change the fact that a bounty does not make a perp into a valid target in high/low sec. You still take the same old sec status hits.

      Just like the wardec changes, it will all amount to nothing in the end.

  2. ""same as it is now." People have been able to put a bounty on me for about a year now and haven't done it"

    FIXED Bounty placed :P Now yoiu got a beautiful Wanted sign messing up your mug ;)

  3. CCP knows about the recycling trick. This issue was brought forward most recently due to the changes to mining barge BPOs.

    There is a special category called "Additional Materials" (or something like), which CCP can use to add materials to a BPO and said materials cannot be recovered via recycling.

  4. All of these devblogs have one thing in common:

    "So, what? Who cares?"

    The fact that any of these very minor and insignificant "features" rates a devblog is a sad testimony to how far CCP has fallen, in regards to developing truly new and exciting content.

    Personally, I'm looking forward to moving my game time over to Star Citizen....

  5. Oh man I completely disagree the new bounty system seems like the best change that ccp has had in like 3 years! Haven't you ever wanted to say like I will pay you for every CVA kill or every goon kill? And think about highsec wars. Say I'm a CEO and to encourage my people to fight I declare war then put a bill bounty on them. The hole bounty system could add a monetary incentive to pvp! That's fantastic and I hope people see the benefits and use it with all those FW Isks.

  6. So, cargo containers and rarely used survey probes will be manufactured by players instead of NPCs. Big ****ing deal.

    Meanwhile, as someone else commented to a previous Jester post, T1 module manufacturing is in the crapper, due to overabundant NPC drops of meta modules.

    Once again, CCP focuses on minutiae and completely misses the bigger picture.

    1. My mates and I were planning to try our hand at manufacturing. The profit margin on most T1 ships looks to be too small, for the amount of time and materials involved.

      But, is it true that building T1 modules makes no sense?

      Should we only look to build stuff that has no meta equivalents?

      Any advice, with regards to getting started in T1 manufacturing, would be most appreciated!

    2. @Anon1147 - Yep, T1 module manufacturing is a complete waste of time and CCP isn't likely to do anything to change it.

      Fact is, the devs don't actually play any other aspect of the game except null-sec PVP (when was the last time you saw a dev in high-sec or low-sec?) - and when they PVP, they use high-meta or T2 modules, at the very least.

      You'd be much better off mining or running L4 missions, if your goal is to make ISK.

  7. http://cdn.memegenerator.net/instances/400x/28886863.jpg

    As an Australian, I love these squabbles about US vs EU timezone... they're so cute ^_^

    1. ZOMG! I have waited for the day when an Aussie finally said something (where I saw it keep in mind) about how buttfukked ya'll are by downtime... and the fact that the old earth just keep on spinnin round and round... =]

      I gotta admit it is 'inconvenient' for US peeps, but Turkeyday is not an International holiday (should be of course, but meh) but no matter what date & time you set any event yer fukkin someones holiday/festival/occult gathering/birthday/wedding/bris etc., etc. ... HTFU LOL =]

    2. Yeah we get the shit end o' the stick there. 9pm Jeebus ... could not be worse.
      think about joining a pvp corp and running in null. a) the corp size/gang size will be limited to a smaller player base
      b) the ppl we want to shoot are all logged out.
      It's enough to make me sit around in high-sec, collecting dirty,boring,carebear iskies.

  8. "I mean, I hope that someone puts a 500 million ISK bounty (the minimum) on Goonswarm or TEST or Solar or PL or NCdot right from day one, but will anyone actually do it?"

    See, and that's kinda a bullshit backpedal from what Soundwave was saying at Vegas... there he made it sound like he actually WANTED alliances like Gewns, TESTes, etc, to experience "social consequences", a la a fuckton of pissed-off bears popped during Burn Jita to drop a few mil here and a few mil there to rack up billions in bounties ... setting the minimum bounty at 500M, well, I doubt there are VERY few bears who'd actually plop that kinda money on a bounty for those guys, nor who could even casually AFFORD that sum to essentially "throw away".

    Not to mention that any major alliance so bountied would have to be a bunch of morons to not do EXACTLY what GSF did when the "LP for PvP" FW buff went in: load up a bunch of blingy ships with inflated "estimated" price shit, and blow them up with alts to recycle the "bounty".

    Like I said in one of my moar recent entries: all of this "consequence" bullshit is meaningless so long as alt-accounts continue working as they are. Until it becomes "one player, one account, NO exceptions", the idea of "consequences" is nothing more than a bad joke.

    1. Agree totally and thought about it for quite a long time. But face it, there is no way "one player, one account" can ever be enforced. What's more, there's no reason for CCP to even WANT to enforce it; it's bad business. The more people want to drop RL money on this game, the better it is for CCP's bottom line. Get used to alts because they've been around since the beginning and will be around forever more.

    2. I think you are wrong. Its a 500mill minimum for alliance bounty but you can also add corp and individual bounty that is much less. Also once the 500mill has been added anyone can add to it I assume at what ever amount you want. I fully expect many large alliances that are currently fighting to front the initial bounty on eachother which opens the ability for smaller contributions to add to it.
      Also I don't think you will get many people killing themselves for the bounty because you will only get at max 20% of the ship value regardless the size of the bounty so unless you can fit a ship for less than 20% there would be no profit to it. So say you kill a hundred mill BC you only get 20 mill from the bounty. Even with insurance I don't think it would be worth it.

    3. You know they artifically inflated the price of those items just to take advantage of the system, right? You also know they did it because they had already figured out how to manipulate the system and get the LP cashout, right? You also know that the bounty will only pay out a portion of the ship/pod you kill so it will always end up costing you more to die than you get in a bounty, right?

      It will be a reward to those that shoot you anyway or an additional reason to shoot. Not a cash cow for a target.

    4. I can see a lot of positive in "one player, one account, NO exceptions", but expecting a private company to intentionally cut 25% (or 40% ... or 60%, whatever the percentage that alt accounts comprise) of its subscription revenue is a fantasy never to be fulfilled.

    5. I do think it is bullshit that the alliance minimum bounty is 500 million. The corp minimum balances though are 50 million and you can selectively single out individual corps. Is their 'Ministry of Love' hi sec division a single corp in GSF?
      I wonder if a few Industrial corps/alliances will gather together & pool 500 million bounties on the other well known hi sec griefer corps...

  9. If nobody else will, I'll be putting 2 or 3 billion ISK out as a TEST-bounty, day 1.

    M. Bolton just rubs me the wrong way. What's his main, btw?

    1. I'm sure if you stated your preference clearly M. Bolton would rub you the right way.

  10. When I was still a young pilot, my first high-sec war just beginning, I threw a small bounty on one of the attacking war targets with the intent that I could collect latter during the war. I didn't. It was around that time that I realized how useless bounty's were and that forever sunk my ambitions of bounty hunting.

    People will throw money into the system, even if its just newbies who don't know better. The difference between then and now (or in future) is that there will be some return on that bounty.
    Assuming the system is water tight against tampering (I know, big if...) then every time someone collects a bounty you know that they inflicted some measure of pain on whoever you bountied, which is what the system was supposed to do in the first place.

    at the very least it should give white knight gamers an outlet for their preferred play style. EVE is a dark game, but that dark atmosphere is meaningless without any sort of counter-point.

  11. The new bounty system will still amount to nada, for the following reasons:

    a) A bounty doesn't give you free license to kill someone wherever you want, without incurring the usual flags and sec status penalties.

    b) You don't know how much of the bounty pool will payout for any given kill, until after you've popped the ship/pod.

  12. As mentioned before, current bounty system is simply pointless. Setting a bounty on your head will only cause you smile. If it is big enough you ask a fellow of yours to pod you and share the money.

    With the new system, everyone who shoots you out of your ship will get some reward. Whether he hunted specifically you or just shot you by accident, who cares? If I set a bounty on you, I want you to lose something. You got shot out of your ship, I got what I want, the other guy gets a reward. Oh and I get a report that you have been kill and can check the killboards ;-)

    500M for an alliance? Well not a small fee but not too high either. And if you can't effort it you can still put just 50M on the corp that poped you or simply down to 100k to every player involved in ganking you.

    If you like I would even spare some coins to place a bounty on your head the first day it's possible ;-)

  13. CCP wants to make money on the new tournament? I have no problem with that. Nevertheless there are three words that describe my feelings about this tournament: Do. Not. Care.

    If the entry fee was zero PLEX, I still wouldn't care. We need something to do, not another tournament with cheerleaders.

  14. The other awesome change you didn't mention was the selling of kill rights. Now understandably rote is out in nullsec where everyone has "kill rights" already but this change will fundamentaly change highsec and lowsec pvp. Here is why. Most pirates highsec and lowsec alike pretty much ignore there kill rights as they are right now because most of the people they kill if they ever see them again usually wouldn't be able to kill the pirate anyway so who cares. Kill rights are generated every time you kill someone in non consensual pvp and they last 3010 days. So pretty much every kill in lowsec. And at times I've checked my kill rights and a good 150 people could kill me at any given time if they wanted to. Regardless of where I was including highsec. This wasn't a big deal because I never went to highsec anyway cuz I was negative ten and killable by everyone anyway.

    Now with this in mind remember the new crime watch changes where there is no sec hits for killing ships only pods in lowsec?

    So here is the good part. Some dude and his palls go on a little lowsec roam and get 5 kills. This generates 5 people that all have the right to kill this dude and his palls for 30 days. And because none of those kills lower that dudes sec status because they didn't pod anyone they can continue to hang out in highsec. Now in the new system if any of those 5 people they killed in lowsec decided to make that dudes kill rights avalible to buy. Anyone that sees this dude nomatter where he is or what he is flying can simply click his picture and click buy kill rights and kill him on the spot. So if say 28you days after his littleclowsec roam he is auto piloting his haller to jita because he thinks he is safe in highsec and anyone of those 5 kill rights are avalible anyone who wants to buy his kill right can do it and kill him on the spot.

    Think about how this is going to change the highsec gate camps. No need to ship scan everyone or loose your gank ship to concord. Just sit on gate and buy every kill right that you see.

    Now this only works if everyone that gets a kill right sets it avalible but why would you not. I plan on selling every kill right I get for 1 mill. Because who wouldn't want to see the people that killed you get killed.

  15. Join the FHC Team m8r. You're allowed to take a match off~~

  16. That's my problem with the bounty system. Someone just killed me, I lost a ship over it, I have to pay to replace said ship. Why would i want to also pay a bounty on top of it? What do I get out of it?

    Now sellable kill rights.. that i can see setting on every death for a few hundred thousand to a million. Nothing too high, and it'll be an afk stream of low revenue every now and again.

    But bounties, I get nothing out of it except more isk out of pocket. I'd toss the person placing the bounty on the KM, the whole idea of Kill Boards are so absolutely flawed it doesn't matter if they are skewed a bit further, and it'd be incentive for certain types of players to toss a bounty because it'd move their efficiency a bit more without them doing anything. For me I'd need more because I simply don't care about Kill Boards enough to spend money to pop up on one, but what the heck that is I don't know. Faction Gain with Concord? Sec Status Gain? Those are both also nearly useless to me, but it's something.

    Concord Bounty Office LP? That I could actually see spending money on.. Faction Bounty Hunter Modules or Ships. So much in bounty turn ins gains both you and the Bounty Hunter LP that can be converted to items in it's store. And it's like all LP stores, it's an isk sink. I actually like that idea.

  17. Placing a bounty on TEST wouldn't accomplish much. It would probably be exhausted in the first large scale null battle after it was placed. This is not a joke about TEST being terrible, just that since they are already at war, paying ~A~ to kill them doesn't accomplish much. What one would really want, would be to pay people who otherwise weren't inclined to kill TEST to kill TEST.

  18. Cargo containers and survey probes can be manufactured by players. Wow.

    Another "elite" tournament, in which most of us cannot participate. Exciting.

    DUST chat filter. Huh, what?

    New bounty system will work as well as new wardec system. Nuff said.

  19. About PLEX and stuff, the most recent EVE Newsletter (Nº82) going out today highlights the possibility of sharing a public link for the Buddy Program. It says "changes(...)allowing(...)to share a unique public that anyone can use(...)"

    Hypothesis: Designed to facilitate players getting game time and make them lean less towards PLEX with the added benefit of publicizing EVE.

    It will be implemented soon.


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