Friday, February 27, 2009

Blog Banter - It's my party, and I'll alt if I want to....

Link Kirith I was forgotten this month, but like him I am still inclined to post about this months blog banter.

Edit. Turns out CK sent the email the day of the gmail outage, so many of us didn't get the mail. No doubt this will spread the posting over several days, but that may be well be a plus.

- oh and I retitled the post.

Welcome to the fifth 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

This month’s topic comes to us from Mynxee of Life in Low Sec. She asks "Alts and Metagaming: Is playing two accounts who are logged in at the same time and work together (hauler/miner, explorer/combat associate, trade alts in trade hubs) a form of metagaming that is 'ruining the game'?"

Firstly, as is no doubt to anyone who even just read my last post, I am a dual boxer (well to be exact I am now a triple boxer).

There is no doubt, in my mind that it is a form of metagaming.   However it isan accepted form, and is indeed encouraged some what by the publisher (power-of-two anyone?).

However you would still expect a clear 100% "No, it doesn't ruin the game", but to be honest I don't think it is as clear as that.

I myself started dual-boxing 6 months into my Eve career, though it was never my intention in creating the 2nd account to do so. Indeed my intention with Mollernak originally was to be able to try out piracy, while Gormn remained safe (with a positive sec status) in high sec.

However quickly the idea of using Moll to haul ore back to station, while Gormn would continue to mine, became appealing. In less than a month the original plan to keep them separate disappeared, and instead I was dual boxing.

How I came to triple box was covered in my last post, so won't cover that again.....

So why multi box?

For me the multi-account playing, from a PvE and isk making perspective, has allowed me to:
  1. Rat or Mission run - with one account shooting rats, while another salvages and collects loot
  2. Mine - with one or two mining while another guards against rats, or does hauling

In both cases the result being a vasty increased efficiency and effectiveness.

For PvP though I generally do not multi-box, the only exception is that when I do field Gormn in a carrier I have sometimes also fielded Mollernak/Kahamahl (either as a cyno pilot or fighter bombing in a fast mover).

However the risks of losing one ship, while playing the other overwhelm any potential benefit of trying to fly two ships in combat at once.  It can be simply to difficult to keep track of two during PvP, or even too risky in laggy environments.

But back to the original question, is multi-account playing ruining the game?

The short version is still no, it's not ruining the game.

With the increased revenue of two or more characters, comes also the expenses incurred by that number of players (i.e. you have two sets of skills, ships, modules, etc to buy).

In addition this is also ignoring the additional cost of the account (be it in isk or $s) to the person in RL...

The only real tangible issue with multi-accounting is when people use it to gain an advantage that is not available to some one with a single account (and hence main), i.e. spying, corp thefts, scamming, etc... Now that's not to say I against these types of actions (well okay I usually am), but it's the fact that by using a separate account to do this allows someone to do it with no risk to their real "main"..  

By using an alt account to spy, the enemy has simply no real in game way to detect, or track, you down subsequently for vengeance or payback.  In short it creates the means for the "perfect crime".

Myself, have always been up front that I have multiple accounts, well at least if challenged. 

Separate accounts, and hence multiple mains has allowed me to experience so much more of the game, than would have otherwise been possible.  

I can field a carrier or dread, but then on the other hand I can also put some one in one of six possible recons, or in one of 6 interceptors, and so on....  This is BECAUSE I was able to specialise my two mains down two distinct skill paths. 

With a single character I would probably have ended up struggling to ever achieve what I have done in the game.  

For that reason alone, I am in no way inclined to ever give up my additional accounts.

However often people make snaky comments about multi-account players, that we "cheat" that we have an unfair advantage, etc... and it is the creation of this attitude itself that is why, potentially, multi-accounts could ruin the game (however unlikely that may be).

If I had my way, I would like to see CCP institute some method to link a person's various accounts, so that others are made quickly aware they are dealing with a single (rather than two) people.

Obviously it would need to be something that would not be so obvious to give other people advantage either (sorry pirates), but in engaging with someone for recruitment, contracts, etc you can see they are a dual-boxer...

That would IMHO resolve the worst negative of dual-boxing... 

Final answer - no it is not ruining the game, the impact is over exaggerated, and in reality it is peoples money and time to spend how the like.

Adapt or die, and you you just have to accept some of us just choose to adapt by having multiple accounts.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

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

As mentioned previously I have been part of a reformation of an old corp a group of were all members two years ago.

As part of that I decided to leave faction warfare, and bring Kahamahl out to 0.0

Kahamahl had reached a stage in his training where he gained the ability to use not only interceptors and assault frigates, but also the covert ops frigate, cov ops cloak, and cyno generator. Making him a perfect cyno character to get Gormn into hostile systems, or even to just move Gormn around quickly.

The thought of using all three accounts at once never once occurred to me. The last time I had attempted it, it had failed miserably with unbearable lag resulting.

As such I never looked further into the idea of running three at once, and anyway with Kahamahl in faction warfare there was little point.

It was the sudden realisation that Mollernak was only a couple of hours from flying a hulk, and a mere month from T2 strip miners and crystals, that suddenly the idea of three at once reappeared.

To test the possibility of doing this required nothing more than turning down the client settings, and attempting to log in three characters.....

...... and it worked.

Within a few days Mollernak was in a hulk (although with T1 strips) and together with Gormn stripping belts of Arkanor, Bistot, and Crokite asteroids; while Kahamahl provided drone tanking duties in his new dominix ratter....

To say this new set up increased productivity, would be understate just what a difference it made.

Ratting in the drone regions has long been the best means to make isk, with a single ratting character more than able to outclass a hulk in terms of making isk.

With two hulks, the ability to suck ore near doubled, and the marginal gain vastly exceeded the opportunity cost of ratting.

Recent events, i.e. a trip to Delve to assist our Goon friends with the removal of Kenny, have meant the use of this setup was short lived, but I look forward to returning to mine in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, Gormn has finished all the prerequisites to fly a Rorqual, and use the industrial Core - i.e. can compress and move large amounts or ore easily. Just a case of buying the two skills needed, and either borrow (and eventually buy) a Rorqual to speed up the mining process..
So... Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to mine I go.........

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


You'll have to excuse this one little bit of non-eve bloggage...

On 28 February 2009 comes into effect, in New Zealand, a deeply flawed piece of copyright law that essentially allows copyright holders the ability to have any IP address disconnected on the basis of their accusation alone.

There is no "standard of evidence" defined, no level of proof, that the copyright holder must provide the ISP, merely the accusation is enough.

Efforts have been made to drum out a workable solution, but the media companies have rejected the proposed "code of conduct" and have instead made demands that effectively leave the ISPs in a no win situation - breech of contract with the customer, or legal action in the face of the copyright law (as per the iinet case in Australia).

As a result a Blackout has been organised.. 

"The controversial law reverses New Zealander's fundamental right to being presumed innocent until proven guilty, punishing internet users with disconnection based accusations of copyright infringement without a trial and without evidence held up to court scrutiny.

blackout has already drawn international support: world renowned actor, comedian and author Stephen Fry has blacked out his twitter profile stating that “Stephen Fry is blacked out: Stand up against Guilt Upon Accusation for New Zealand”
The movement is rapidly growing, with thousands of people in New Zealand modifying their websites, blogs, FaceBook, MySpace, Twitter and Bebo accounts to show their opposition to the law. Instructions on how to take part in the blackout can be found on

The blackout is part of a week of action against S92. A S92 song remix challenge will be announced tomorrow, and various other initiatives including video commercials and radio broadcasts will follow.

The week will culminate in a major web blackout on Monday the 23rd seeing blogs and websites “dimming the lights” as a means of drawing attention to the issue that could leave New Zealander's in the dark when they face having their internet cut off. Hundreds of confirmed participants include Kiwiblog, Zoomin and Public Address with more to be announced over the coming week." - Creative Freedom press releas

Several others, vastly more knowledgeable (and articulate) have documented the issues with this law in the following blogs, and I would suggest anyone interested follow up on these...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

They/we/it/I pulled us/them/it/me back in..........

With the new year finally over and done with, I have to report that I have over the new year left my last corp, "Best Path Incorporated", and participated in the reforming of an old corp that I had previously been a member of....

Cassus Belli

This was in fact the 2nd player corporation that I joined playing Eve, and was the corporation that had  introduced me to 0.0.  

At the time however it turned out at the time time that, as a corporation, we were not ready for 0.0.  As a result, for various reasons and individual desires, the corp decided to disband.

We headed in various directions, and career paths, with some remaining behind and joining another corporation within the alliance.  However we all remained in touch, and spoke weekly, if not daily, with each other.

Over the past year a number of us (including our old CEO) found ourselves in the all in the same fantastic corp (BPINC). As always some our conversations revolved how we would run CB now (knowing and being capable of that much more now).

At Christmas 4 of decided to actually give it a go, and to try a particular approach that we had discussed, and CB was resurrected from a holding corp.

The four of us bring to the corp a significant capital capability (more characters that can capitals than actual members), as well as significant industry capability (mining, production, T2 invention, etc).

At this stage we seem more than capable of providing for ourselves, but if that was all we wanted to do, we should have stayed in Best Path... 

What we really want though, is people!  We want to create a nice big family of people working together to achieve everything they want to achieve....

Recruitment is open, but we admit to not being really active at it....  

We know what we are looking for in a person, but articulating that is the hard bit....  

However what we do know is what we are looking for in terms of a character, i.e. can fly a BS or barge (to rat of mine), and isn't an "alt". Oh, and not a trial account, but otherwise we are open to anyone (we remember what it is like to have low skill points, and are happy to help you out).

Any how, these should be a few interesting months....

That all said, I think I speak for us all when I say we were very say to leave Best Path, they are truly a fantastic corp, and would recommend them to anyone.  However, some times you have to endure short term pain, to achieve long term gain.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Queue the ewoks.......

Band of Brothers as we all knew it has been dealt a truly massive blow today (the news wires are on fire.....).

With the actions of a single (now ex-) director in two of the key corps within the BOB alliance, their entire alliance was disbanded, and all of their sovereignty lost.

This is drama of the highest order, with the impact of this barely fathomable.  BOB has lost ALL of the following:
  • Cyno beacons
  • Cyno jammers
  • Jump bridges
  • Capital systems
  • Titan production facilities
To re-establish this requires a significant investment of time, but ignores that through the loss of sovereignty they lost all their advantages of home territory.

These coming days will be interesting....

No doubt over the weekend we will see a sudden flood of hostile capitals moving into the BOB areas, with the intention of denying them any ability to reclaim sovereignty..

Now if you excuse me, I'm off to join the Ewoks dancing round the bonfire....