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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Saturday, December 1, 2012

New Eden Open D5: Which is more purple

Which is more purple: the back of CCP Soundwave's laptop?  Or CCP Sunset's hair?

I kid, I kid...  ;-)

The big story was -- of course -- the sound and video problems that started the day.  As a result, the first match took place a full hour later than scheduled.  It also left CCP Soundwave, CCP Dolan, and CCP Falcon with an hour to fill.  You can tell a lot about a person by how they deal with these sorts of unexpected delays.  Soundwave has a lot of experience at it, so he didn't have any problems asking leading questions and keeping a conversation moving.  That was good, because he wasn't getting a lot of help from Falcon, who restricted himself to short answers or no talking at all during that period.

That left Soundwave talking to Dolan.  And Dolan returned to the New Eden Open ready to do battle!

It was very clear that he spent this week doing his homework, doing back-end research, and learning everything he could about the teams, the matches, and the comps that would likely come up.  This was a pretty black-and-white day for Dolan, all in all.  If you hate mbIII, then you probably despised what you saw on screen today.  But if you don't mind him, then that hour was actually quite interesting.  Dolan was forceful, informed, and constant.  In fact, I daresay he was nearly as good as CCP Fozzie was last Sunday, which is saying quite a bit.

The one thing Dolan really seemed to be today was in control of his facts.  At one point, he said something which Soundwave jumped on as incorrect.  Dolan made his case for the correctness of what he said... and made it well.  Soundwave was forced to back off, which he did so very grudgingly ("We'll figure it out," he finally said, instead of some variation of "OK, you're right").  I didn't catch anything Dolan said today that was factually incorrect.  He also had the best commentary in terms of "what it all means" in between matches.  I was really pleased with his explanations of how the teams stack up rank-wise once it was clear who would be fighting for first place and who would be fighting for third.

Once the actual matches started, Falcon was a lot better than both before the matches started and better than last week.  He's clearly spent some time this week doing some homework.  He's still the third-best commentator of the New Eden Open, but the gap closed somewhat today.  Still, I suspect we'll have Fozzie and Dolan for tomorrow.  It'll be interesting to see if they dress up.  Dressing up for finals day is an Alliance Tournament tradition.  Will the New Eden Open follow the same tradition?

That leaves the team a few more hours to solve the technical problems.  Had it not been for those early problems, technically, today would have been perfect.  As it was, it was a return to New Eden Open Day One: stuttering feed, sound problems, problems switching sound sources, video problems, et cetera.  The only thing that went perfectly was the green screen; all the problems with that have now been solved, fortunately.

Viewers slowly ramped from 1800 to 2600 during the first hour, then dipped to 2400 or so before peaking at 2900.

New for this week were two Team Pony Express devs that came into the studio and talked about some of the new features of the Retribution expansion.  Their demos -- assisted by Fozzie -- were quite good, I thought!  It was really helpful to me to see all the new features described, then demonstrated.  If there was ever a subject that deserved to be video dev-blogged, this is it, particularly the "selected item camera" functionality.  That is begging for a video guide similar to what CCP did for probe scanning.  It looks like it could be very useful, but it still isn't clear to me how to engage and disengage the function.  The dragging of selected targets into rows is fantastic.  I'm really looking forward to playing with that.  I hope that we get a video guide on these features, because not that many people saw it today.

The matches, you ask?  Oh yeah, there were matches today.  ;-)

Again, I kid, but the matches were a lot more one-sided today than they were last week.  Dolan was right about that: there were very clear dividing lines between the four teams that advanced and the two teams that didn't.(1)  The most exciting match of the day was probably between RONIN and the Pixies and the Expendables.  Both teams brought teams centered around three Tengus, but The Expendables again put on an excellent display of tactical EVE piloting and won the match easily.  It helped that their fleet comp was simply superior to what RONIN brought.

There was also a great moment when Goggle Internet Wearing Internet Crime Fighters again brought out their Cambion.  It wasn't quite as overpowering this time around, and we later found out it was because the pilot switched to Mjolnir Rage rockets instead of Scourge rockets and in so doing cut his DPS in half.  How do we know?  Because not long after the Cambion was instrumental in taking out The Reputation Cartel's Oneiros, the Cambion itself was destroyed, a 20+ billion ISK loss.  So, the win went to GIWCF, but the moral victory went to The Reputation Cartel.  ;-)

Well, part of the moral victory, anyway.  Funniest moment of the day was when Soundwave finally realized that the Goggle Internet Wearing Crime Fighters team name is rather literal: all the pilots are wearing NeX goggles.  This was brought home in very amusing relief when pictures of their top most-commonly flown pilots was put on the screen... and their ten pairs of goggles.  Hee!

Anyway, looking forward to finals day!  Should be two sets of great matches.

(1) And I say that with total respect toward The Reputation Cartel, the team that had two Rote Kapelle pilots in it. Sorry you guys didn't advance further today.


  1. And the NEO viewer numbers continue to drop...

    My corpmates and I tuned in, saw Dolan, and then turned it off.

    @Jester - don't know when (or why) you joined the Dolan fan club - we gave him a chance, but he is still just too annoying to watch.

    1. I wouldn't say I'm in the Dolan fan club, but I recognize that he's trying his best, and he's improving week by week (usually).

    2. I grudgingly have to agree that while I find Dolan for the most part annoying, His presenting has improved as the tournament has progress. Still needs work, but compared to Day 1 He's settled down quite a bit.

    3. Dolan Day 1 - like pulling teeth at the dentist without painkillers.

      Dolan Day 5 - like listening to fingers scraping on a chalkboard.

      So, yes, he's improved from Day 1 (he certainly could not have gotten any worse), but we still don't need/want to listen to his off-topic stories. And, he still isn't funny.

      If he keeps it serious and on-topic, then maybe he'll survive. But, quite often, in front of a camera, someone's "best" just isn't sufficient.

  2. Day One I was muttering when Dolan spoke, 'shut up and let Fozzie talk.'

    Today he did very well. He still had some light moments, and they were on-point and brief save for tales of drunken exploits when time needed to be filled. I found his analysis quite good and his predictions spot-on.

  3. Im no fan of dolan, but if he had been like he was yesterday from the beginning i might have been, and if he keeps this up i may become one (grudingly)

  4. regarding viewer numbers,

    I have been watching IPL5 on twitch since yesterday. LoL was about ~120K and SC2 ~28K viewers.
    So 2500 viewers for Eve on a weekend where there is the two major event for esports (IPL, WCG) is I more than decent. Adding how little ads there way too. I still can't get over the bad format of how videos are on own3d. Makes it unwatchable for me.

  5. One thing that hurts viewing the NEO more than anything is having to view it on OWN3D. There's no way that I can find to queue multiple episodes so I have to jury rig a playlist by keeping a window open with all the videos and a separate window with the videos. It's very, very annoying.

    I'm still catching up on Day 4, but I'm enjoying the content of NEO, Dolan and all.

    1. Agreed - plus you can't see (AFAIK) how to tell who's fighting. Unless you find a blog that mentions that segment #19 is X vs Y, you'll never know. So if I want to go watch that Cambion getting blown up - ah nevermind.

      I also made the mistake of trying to go to the Own3D homepage - no link there to the New Eden Open and entering "Eve" and "New Eden" don't do anything either.

      So, casual viewer = discouraged.

  6. The advertising was very poor. Soundwave would say something like "we're going to pause for some ads" then we'd see a picture of the Eve logo for 5 minutes. Surely Own TV could negotiate to sell that space better. There's plenty of Eve-related businesses like SomerBlink who might be interested.

    Also when I was catching up last week the same ad played before every video clip. Seeing that annoying brat 40 times did not make me want to rush out and buy Van Goghurt.

    1. You have Ad-Block turned on. Turn it off and you will see the ads.

  7. In reference to wondering how the selected item camera works, you have to click the top-left little settings bar things on your Selected Item window and check a box in the dropdown to activate the selected item tracking. I think it's clunky as all-hell, and we'll be hearing "ooohhhh, THAT'S how you do that? Huh." out of a lot of people for the next few months. Or longer.

  8. As a person who speaks to hundreds of people weekly I can tell you that the first time you stand in front of a crowd, or on camera, you’re most likely going to suck. The goal is to suck less each time you speak. I think CCP Dolan is doing just fine – cut him some slack.
    Change of subject, I wish that the commentators could show us the kill mails after the each match and give us some insight on why the fit was good/bad. That would go a long way to filling some of the dead time between matches and help new players understand modules and ships better. Just a thought…

    1. This isn't the first time Dolan has been on camera.

      When he was first on as an AT guest commentator, we could cut him some slack. You don't expect a guest to be a professional.

      However, since he is now being employed by CCP as commentator, yes, we should expect him to behave more professionally, when in front of the camera.

    2. " wish that the commentators could show us the kill mails after the each match and give us some insight on why the fit was good/bad. "

      More than that - go look at any pro sports TV coverage. You want replies of key moments, showing what happened, why it was a good/bad move and explaining the fallout from that.

  9. Jester, I believe you have been vindicated with this day's showing of the XXXMity Oracles. A similar fleet comp to when they lost their Malices - and a similar outcome.

  10. I appreciate the added emphasis on the names of the characters behind the ships.

  11. Jester, so as a new (<1 year) Eve player who is still trying all the options out (short stint in FW and RVB, for instance) I'm surprised at how engaging the Alliance Tourney and now the New Eden Open has been. I don't know all these T2 ships that I can't fly, but I've read up on a lot of them and the composition-crafting plus piloting has been fun to watch. CCP Fozzie has been great and now that I'm just watching the last matches from Dec 2nd it looks like CCP Dolan is doing fine now. Good stuff for Eve... but... I can't imagine that anyone can get anything out of this without at least 3-6 months of Eve and a fair amount of mental energy and interest.


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