Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Saturday Night Fever

Welcome to the first installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed here. Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

This month's topic comes to us from
PsycheDiver: Ambulation: What are your hopes for your avatar and new functionality of stations?

What do I hope??

To be honest I don't know what to hope for... and in all likelihood will not be disappointed whatever we may get.

On the other hand, do I know what I don't hope for??
  • Everyone running around like they're jacked into the mains
  • People feeling the need to stand in a spot and jump, jump, jump, jump........
  • The dreaded "/dance" being used just about EVERYWHERE
  • ...continued frothing at the mouth
My greatest concern for ambulation is not that it will not meet the community's (and mine) expectations, but rather that it will live up to our worse fears.

Although the RP element in Eve is small, and that most people talk "Out Of Character"; it is safe to say that most of us do enjoy the immersive nature of Eve.

In an odd way the lack of avatar control allowed, and indeed forced, players to imagine a world that their characters could inhabit, either through the Eve's art, trailers, written lore, or even just through the aesthetic nature of stations/ships/etc.

With ambulation comes the chance that we may individually find that our view of the Eve characters life does not match that of CCPs, or indeed the rest of the community....

Will this risk breaking some players investment into the game? Possibly, however CCP have stated it will be an optional aspect of Eve, and that everything you can do from your ship now, will still be possible from your ship after ambulation.

The problem is that this will likely result in empire space stations being empty, with no reason to talk to each other directly or to leave the ship, most people will likely stay inside their ships. While ironically in 0.0, where Alliances can have a strong sense of community, there will already be good reason to interact outside of the ships.

The obvious solution would be to "make" people use ambulation, however that is likely to be counter productive and could result in a "Star Wars: NGE" like drama; which is likely why it will remain optional.

Instead, following the most logical course, CCP have indicated that they will add new game play, that provides a reason for people to leave their ships... Shops, "Saloons" with "in-game" games of chance, and the such like.

Again, this simply adds to the reasons why I believe ambulation will end up being quite popular in the depths of 0.0, despite all the likely protestations that we'd rather CCP just focused on lag instead.
  • The ability to have briefing sessions to communicate to a gang (prior to setting out); where they are going, why, and how they could get back if it went wrong.
  • Provide a means for players to just congregate in an area, without looking like the morning commute traffic jam.
  • Customisation of avatars, without the risk of impacting on the main combat game engine.
  • Morale building, and non-ship entertainment - i.e. gaming and the such like.
The benefits will be huge to 0.0 alliances trying to coordinate pilots and build their morale. Though just how ambulation will work in conjunction to the external 3rd party voice applications, does remain a concern.

However, for all these possible benefits and best intentions, CCP can not control the human element.

So the risk remains; that having provided the tools, it will be only a matter of time until some one goes and organises a massive zombie like conga line through the Jita 4-4 station while singing the BeeGees....... or something like that.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Myers-Briggs for Eve......

Reading Black Claw's Blog, I saw his post about the "Eve personality test" (ironically referencing Super Gamer Housewife's post about the same test).  I had read or heard of the test before, but had never made the effort to complete the test.  

However, given that I had a spare quarter of an hour, and nothing else to do, I decided to give it a go. Fully expecting to get the usual "Industrialist with teeth" result, I was somewhat surprised to see.....


Eve is a PvP game. The PvE parts of the game are there to drive the economy in order to produce more PvP. Multiplayer is key, and even though solo-play can be fun, the game should be balanced as a multiplayer game. High-sec is as much of a warzone as low- and nul-sec. It's just a matter of finding ways to get at the people living there. You usually play with other people, because when the going gets tough, the tough get some backup.

I guess I really do belong in 0.0.....

Monday, October 20, 2008

I came, I saw...... but I didn't get the T-Shirt.

After 2 years and 8 months of playing Eve, 3 accounts,  and untold ships, I finally made the trip out to the "Eve Gate".

I had initially planned to log Kahamahl on to change skills, before swapping to my other characters to settle down to a stint of ratting to refill the wallets of my various characters. However I quickly realised that I couldn't be bothered ratting....

.... actually I was just too tired to contemplate it.

The thought of zipping out into Black Rise to try some solo hunting in the new Taranis popped into my mind, but was quickly ended by the report of an enemy fleet camping the Villore gate in Old Man Star.

Some discussion on CrazyKinux's blog several weeks back had left in mind the seed of an idea, and suddenly it fell due.

So instead I brought up the map, clicked search and entered 'New Eden'.  Followed quickly by a click of 'set destination' and a glance at the left to see how many jumps I was looking at.

21 jumps - through Amarr space (ah well why not fly through enemy high sec for the first time as well) - making a total of 42 jumps return from Villore to the Gate and back.

The Taranis was the obvious ship to choose for this journey, especially given that the other options were a old shuttle and an unfitted Brutix

The Taranis is a fantastic interceptor, it may feel like a sluggish assault frigate after flying other interceptors such as the Stiletto or Crow (my other favourites), but boy does it have a bite that no other interceptor can match.  Three tech 2 Blasters, combined with two Hobgoblin IIs, providing a substantial level of DPS from such as small hull.

The trip to the gate, to the amarr space, and indeed right to the gate and back passed quite uneventfully.

Entering Amarr space generated the expected notification that Amarr Navy vessels will engage me upon site.  Which given that I never saw an Amarr Navy vessel, was really false and deceptive advertising.....   

Passing into the low-sec surrounding the gate proved to be no more successful in generating any possible content. Indeed the locals seemed well trained to warp and log upon an unidentified individual entering system.

Reaching New Eden, I admittedly felt a bit like the Penguins in the movie "Madagascar" upon reaching the Antarctic.  In short, a bit underwhelmed!

The Eve Gate itself looks pretty, but somehow I had expected there to be something a bit more. Perhaps I know too little of the lore, but I would have imagined a site such as the Eve Gate would have attracted a little bit more attention, i.e. scientific vessels, tourism, etc...

Instead, there was just me, and one other in local, and a big bright gate....

I took quite a few screenshots, as any good tourist should, but as per the above comment, there was no where to get the obligatory "My Cousin/Uncle/Granddad/etc went to the Eve Gate, and all I got was this..." T-shirt.

The trip back to Villore gave me time (to be exact, 21 gates and systems worth) to think, especially about the fact that I had on short notice willingly gone on a 42 jump round trip just to "see" something.  

I blame that on living on 0.0 and the distances you sometimes have to travel to get anywhere.

I came to realise  that I had been underwhelmed because it had just not felt like much of an adventure.  

I can imagine for a 'newish' pilot, a trip out into an old empty, uninhabited bit of space, where we are meant to have come through from the old world, would seem exciting.   However to a 2+ year player, it just feels like just another jaunt to the corner dairy for a paper and a pack of cigarettes.....

That all said, I am glad I finally went and can say that I have been.  

Indeed it is something every long term player should do at least once while they play Eve.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mutter mutter....

There's good news and there's bad news....

First the bad news...

I haven't been playing eve very much recently..... actually I haven't been playing very many games at all. The ol' bugbear of RL, and the various stresses that encapsulates has been holding me hostage, and not allowing me any time to game.

Little gaming makes WTM a very grumpy person...

That said, I have been playing some Advance Wars on the DS, and it has to be said that for some turn based strategy on the go, it's hard to beat. there's just something satisfying about building a pile of tanks and rolling them into the enemies downtown....

Now the good news - Taranis

As of 2-3 days ago, Kahamahl finally trained the Interceptor skill, and climbed into his first Taranis.

Though I haven't yet had the chance to take it out for a spin in Black Rise and the surrounding areas, I am gleefully looking forward to using it in anger. Whether that will be as part of a militia fleet, or for piracy purposes, I'm not sure yet....

Kahamahl is now up to just under 4m skill points, and it shows that he is still 25+ million behind my other interceptor pilot
- He's slower
- Can't fit his ships as easily as my other mains

However, the fact remains he can hop into the Taranis with T2 guns and t2 fittings in all bar two slots...

It should be fun (probably short, but still fun).

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I'm broke (again)....

No, I didn't lose any ships, a POS, etc...

Instead I made a couple of significant in game purchases (namely skills), and as a result have found my isk (and high end mineral stockpiles) reserves heavily depleted.

I still have a stock pile of ships for my 0.0 PvP, but only have the one ship now for Kahamahl, so I guess it's time for me to get stuck in and make some isk.

I have to admit, that my income is actively generated (i.e. I have no passive income), so this means I need to either actively rat/mine. Or in other words...

"Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work I go"...

I hate ratting, it's honestly one of the most mind-numbing activities in this game, but in my current location it is the best/fastest way to make isk from primary production. I personally would rather mine (pick your jaw up, you're catching flies) than rat.

Ratting involves a random element of chance, i.e. will you get a rubbish/bad/good/excellent spawn. Too many times I have sat down for a ratting session, to only quit in frustration at the spawns an hour later.

Also residing in 0.0, there are many rules/regulations/protocols for determining where/when/if you can rat in a certain system. So it is not unknown to log in, and yet still not be able to rat, even though you have allowed yourself 2-3 hours spare to do it.

No, for guaranteed income, you can not beat mining (if you are well setup, two accounts and they both have the skills required).

Now it is not something many people will admit to, but I am one of those "sick" individuals that enjoy mining...

Why do I enjoy it? Well actually for the same reason most people hate it, it requires you to repeat the same basic task, over and over... Which I find quite relaxing after a long stressful day at the RL office...

It does me make me wonder however, am I alone in this view, or whether other people also carry out tasks in game that others would consider boring, but yet that they find a good way to get some stress relief?

Any who, I better get earning isk, and setting up Kahamahl for his life on the wrong side of the law.