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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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

And there was much rejoicing

So, CCP Fozzie slept in a little bit and published his April Fool's Day joke today claiming that CCP is going to make some changes to POSes in time for Odyssey on June 4.

Oh, he's serious?  OK, let's look at what's changing then.  No, wait.  First, let's look at the disclaimers because there's a lot of them.  Fozzie says again and again that some of the changes might not make it into Odyssey.  In fact, he jokes that...
...we cannot rule out roadblocks arising including... the starbase code gaining self-awareness, seizing the building's climate control system and roasting us all alive...
Hee!  More seriously, he spends by far the longest paragraph in the dev-blog explaining why all of these changes might not be implemented in time for Odyssey.  "We at CCP have made mistakes with expectations management surrounding this feature," he says again with his characteristic gift for understatement.  I'm starting to get a sense of the dev-blogs they tap Fozzie to write.  ;-)

Anyway, the big news is that POSes -- particularly wormhole POSes -- are getting a super-massive new loot pinata module.  Er, I mean, it's called a "Private starbase hangar", and it looks like what you would expect it to look like: a CHA that will have separate private hangars for each corp member (size TBD) where you can store your personal stuff under your personal security.  Corp directors will be able to see what you have stored but won't be able to touch it.  Starbase managers will be able to destroy everyone's stuff by un-anchoring the mod, but won't be able to touch it either.

But when it's destroyed, it drops a portion of everything stored there.  Watch for this to become a new conflict driver in w-space.  It should be pretty awesome.  And reading between the lines, CCP is apparently re-purposing some of the POCO code to make this module work so it's based on something proven.

Unfortunately, there's no personal Ship Maintenance Array in the immediate future, so this only solves half the problem, but half the problem solved is certainly better than none!  In addition, players are gaining the ability to repackage undamaged mods in CHAs and the new personal hangars, which will make management easier and get around the overflow problems of living in a POS.  Finally, CCP is making Strategic Cruiser subsystems something that can be stored in an SMA and once that's done, that will allow refitting of tech3s within an SMA.  This is generally less of a concern even in w-space since many tech3s are so specialized in terms of rigs that fitting new subsystems is reasonably rare.  Still, I'm glad CCP is getting around to it.

Finally, corps are getting the opportunity to anchor the enormous CSMAs in NPC null, low-sec, and wormhole systems.  Again aimed primarily at w-space residents, these will allow w-space corps to store a lot more ships -- including carriers and dreads -- in a single structure without having to faff about with anchoring many of the smaller SMAs.  This should put an end to random dreads and carriers floating free inside w-space POSes and the hysterical shenanigans that can sometimes be caused on these ships by changing the POS password...

All that said, while these changes are already making w-space residents happy, they're:
  • one chapter of the book, not the whole book; and,
  • aren't going to be things that other POS owners are going to care about for the most part.
But the rest of us get two goodies, too.

First is the ability to access all structures within a POS shield from anywhere within a POS shield.  This one is huge.  Can't tell you how many times I've had to anchor and re-anchor structures, or move ships then move them again, in order to take advantage of this or that POS structure.  Capital and super-capital ships will be the biggest beneficiaries of this change, gaining the ability to refit or move items in and out of hangars without a lot of ponderous shifting about.  But everyone benefits, really.

Even today, my high-sec research towers have their mobile labs arrayed in a tightly knit little pentagram formation so I can warp into the center of the formation and access all of them.  While this is nice-looking, it's a major PITA both in terms of the intial set-up and in terms of bookmark warp-ins not being that precise.  Back when I would fuel towers or unload CHAs after a big op, having to carefully navigate a freighter or an Orca around a POS was annoying in the extreme.  Today, there are a number of semi-standardized POS "configurations" that players use that make warping near or servicing these structures easier.  We can all stop doing that, which means that POSes will probably start looking a little less neat but will allow us to spend our time playing this game instead of moving little green cubes around.  ;-)  So major kudos on that change from me.

Speaking of little green cubes, the second big change is "starbase setup UI improvements."  Now this one is a bit more vague because Fozzie points to a UI improvement for probing that we haven't seen yet as his example for how this will work.  But he does promise quick placement for all those little green cubes that those of us that mess with POSes have come to loathe, and frankly, just about anything would be an improvement over the current system.  So I am watchful and hopeful about this one.

EDIT (2/Apr/2013): And then I wasn't.  See the comment below from Two step, below.  This one isn't nearly as big of a deal.

All in all, this is a good first set of changes.  The potential downside is that the work being done on some of these features will no doubt be lost at some future point (hopefully soon) when the current POS code goes into the bin and is replaced from the ground up.  Still, some of this stuff, notably the personal hangars, CSMAs everywhere, and the UI improvements, will hopefully be able to be retained.

The thing to watch for now is to see how many of those disclaimers come to pass.  After all, there are only nine weeks left to the release of Odyssey.


  1. "Speaking of little green cubes, the second big change is "starbase setup UI improvements." Now this one is a bit more vague because Fozzie points to a UI improvement for probing that we haven't seen yet as his example for how this will work."

    Um, no. The arrows on your probes stay the same size when you zoom out. The arrows when anchoring POS mods don't. The plan is to make the anchoring arrows the same as probe arrows.

    1. Well that section did say that the plans "include" those changes, which I'm hoping means there's more to it.

    2. That's a pretty huge improvement, considering just how annoying anchoring POS guns and such currently is, unless you only anchor them in one or two clusters, especially on a large tower.

    3. I do hope they change the probing interface (and also I guess the position-module interface) so that at any given time only 4 of the possible 6 directional arrows are grabbable. The "edge on" arrows (those which are at an angle of say 45 degrees or less with the screen) should not be grabbable. I doubt they should be even displayed, but I am not sure about that.

      I can kind of understand why they made all the arrows grabbable; it's a bit easier to program. But it's just bad UI to give the user a medium-sized area with one functionality which contains a tiny little subset where a click means does something completely different.

  2. Access to all structures in POS, CSMA anchoring, and repackaging items, I think I just came...

  3. Jester... I must admit I am a little surprised. You like that our game is hard yet you cry for constant nerfs. Yes, I know full well the mechanic for anchoring POS mods and actually, an experience POS Mngr can anchor ALL mods form near the Spike with decent accuracy and in not too much time... I am not sure what you want that would be easier... unless you are looking for a "Execute Mod Plan B!" button that does ALL the work for you... and lets 14 year olds play our Adult Harsh and Hard game.

    So many of the changes people cry for are effectively just overall game nerfs moving EvE farther and farther away from "Harsh and Hard" and closer and closer to I want the Game to do the hard stuff, I just wanna fly my spaceship... If you only want Harsh and Hard in PvP... and everything else just oh so WoW like... well... I don't know what to say then...

    Remember, one man's Useless Complexity is another man's Fascinating Immersion...

    1. You could write for The Onion with skills like that. ;-)

    2. There is a big difference between "hard" and "annoying".

    3. "EVE is hard" is about the complexity of the game and the permanence of loss. It should not be about wrestling the UI to get stuff done. This can certainly be hard but it is the kind of hard which is annoying and unfun.

  4. Since you can repackage you can use your CHA as a rudimentary ship hangar by disassembling and reassembling your ships after each use and flying them unrigged. Certainly not ideal but an option for wormholers.

    1. As a way of storing mining ships, I suppose it would work, but for anything you'd want to reship into quickly it's an awful idea.

      Which is another thing it'd be nice to have in WH space - the command to fit a ship from the saved fits actually working.

    2. No, there are other options too. Your gang links ship that just sits in the POS and runs boosts. That doesn't need rigs. Your gas mining Venture. Spare cov ops.

      Of course it's sub-optimal but if I were living in deep w-space I'd do it for some of my ships. Not my pvp ships but some.

  5. Absolutely. Good satire there.

  6. LOL - this is all so ridiculous.

    First, the disclaimer. Not surprising since CCP probably has a single junior programmer working on the POS changes. Everything that Fozzie listed is nothing more than trying to quickly hack some other existing code (scan probe UI, customs office hangers) to work with the legacy POS code, with which the junior programmer obviously has no experience. In the end, my bet is that we'll just end up getting (a) a bucketful of new bugs, and maybe (b) an apology from CCP Fozzie.

    Second, the fact that the list of POS issues came from (a) the CSM and (b) Bettik reading the forum thread pretty much proves that no CCP dev has actually setup or managed an actual POS in-game (nor tried to setup a series of them). These proposed changes do nothing to deal with the myriad of minor issues which plague the POS system, and which could be easily fixed by a single competent senior programmer. I detest the fact that so many idiot players insist that the POS system needs a complete overhaul and redesign with new features, when all it really needs is a couple of weeks work to deal with 99% of the fundamental problems.

    But, ofc, with CCP resources still mainly dedicated to DUST (as was made clear by the previous devblog on the CCP Videocasts), we aren't likely to get any of the experienced programmers working on EVE for the foreseeable future....

    1. The CCP people working on DUST are an entirely separate team based in Shanghai. Thus, the argument of 'hurr durr CCP liek dust moar nd wont do eve' is a terrible one.


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