Sunday, April 15, 2012

Mittenz and his pout . .

     I don't like Alex.  That's not much of a news flash.  Whether he's pretending to be one of his Eve alter egos or not, at his core, he's like he is in Eve.  He just can't do it in reality, like I said.  I guess hiding in a virtual world and being a sociopath is better than being one in real life.  What I do respect is his charisma.  His ability to project his will and ideas, to manipulate people and to get things done.  I have no doubt that he has lent that charismatic force to getting things done on the CSM.  How much of an effect that has had, would only be commented on by perhaps the more honest and objective CSM members, and or CCP itself.

     So, about the pouting.  Alex is pissed.  His ego was bent, by his own doing, and he's looking for revenge on CCP for "throwing him under the bus" when they made him account for it, with a measly 30 day ban.  First order of business?  Fuck with as many trade hubs as he can.  He calls for/claims 1800 glass cannon BCs to camp Jita, and it is like only a majority that hasn't heard about Mittens, the goons, the plan, or one of them, to be concerned that blowing up freighters/transports is going to happen.  Now whether the Mittenz's little wanna-be friends/alliances/partners help out by harassing the other trade hubs, that's likely more tentative.  Still, there is the threat and the market speculation that it will cause.  Just the threat alone is good enough to throw a speed wobble into the markets, and with some clever economic strategies, one can likely make a nice pile 'o isk out of it.  With a little planning, the trade hub gank fests should be pretty easy to avoid and/or work around.  The point is, this is about revenge, directed at CCP, by lil Alex, because they banned his arrogant ass for 30 days.  But wait, there's more!  :)

     Hulkageddon is not an unknown term to most Eve players, even new ones.  Mining is an easy way to get some initial cash in the game.  It's what I did, and many others have done too.  Certainly more money than can be earned by running missions.  Anyway, the week long gank fests, run twice a year, have been accepted as the way things are.  Mittenz and the goons were planning to involve themselves by reimbursing gankers, the cost of their ships once blown up by Concord.  As many will know, rules have changed and gankers/griefers getting Concorded, don't get insurance payouts for their ships.  So, this effectively takes a big piece of the isk penalty out of the equation (pretty much completely so if they pay for the ship and mods).  Now that Alex is pissed and wants revenge on CCP, he's decided that it's going to be run for a month, and the goons will cough up 100 misk for every 10 miner kills with a taunting tears email.

     Now, while lil Alex might have the emotional maturity of a disconnected 12 year old raised on the morals of the internet by lazy/clueless parents, he's far smarter than one.  Camping Jita (and the rest of the trade hubs)  along with sponsoring an extended month long miner griefing event are both aimed at revenge.  So, how hard does CCP toe the line in a vaunted sandbox environment, where these events can be claimed as part of the sandbox game, even though anyone with 10 seconds of thought can easily see they are intentional griefing events aimed at the CCP developers via the proxy of the paying customers.  The point, this is direct revenge against the game developers, by a player, in a manner that will have broader effects than just having the GMs have to deal with carbear tears.  So what broader effects?

     Well, regardless what the little griefers might preach, people play games teh way they like to play games, and if they can't play that way, or are forced to play a different way, they will stop playing.  Money is quite likely going to be short for many players due to the fact that most manufactured things, especially ships, are going up in price.  Come the end of April, with the higher cost of ships, fewer module drops with high mineral content, no more drone alloys, and incursion payouts being nerfed, people are going to have to do other things for isk.  Especially people who pay for their accounts with plex.  With a month long hulkageddon, prices of pretty much everything are going to go up even more, minerals are going to be ludicrously expensive and I will be very interested to see what happens to the number of accounts.  Maybe people will reship and start running missions for a month.  Maybe plex prices will tank as no one has the isk to buy plexes at 500 misk.  Maybe the plex prices will drop even more as there is a glut of them on the market due to both available funds issues, and the fact that players will be pissed off at a month long hulkageddon and say "fuck Eve and fuck CCP for allowing hulkageddon in the first place".  People will also be less likely to risk getting blown up, not just for ship replacement, but for losing implants too.  Maybe there will be a glut of implants and prices on those will drop as well.  Now, like any sweeping market change or game update, prices are going to spike and then slowly reach an equilibrium, but how long AFTER teh month of May will that take to happen?  So, we have hub ganking, big loot changes, and then a month long hulkageddon.  Is CCP going to sit back and risk their flagship game tanking?

     So CCP steps in and changes things enough to halt or limit hulkageddon, and then all the loser griefers whine and the biggest losers of that bunch unsub.  CCP doesn't step in, and the market changes and prices are magnified by hulkageddon for a month, and all the other players, the ones that just like flying virtual spaceships are pissed off enough for a bunch of them to unsub.  CCP steps in, makes teh game cater to other than griefers, and more people are apt to try the game.  CCP doesn't step in, and the game gets an ever low public perception as the percentage of griefers and assholes is increased as "pubbies" and "carebears" leave.  Interesting times ahead.  The best, will be when angry lil Alex forces CCP's hand, and they institute more carebear friendly rules, and then all the other griefers will be pissed.  So, for all the other angry little losers in Eve, they need to be paying attention to how Mittenz is going to fuck the game for them too, by pushing the "sandbox" to the point where the real world income of CCP gets kicked in the ballz.

     That is the smarts that I'm talking about with lil Alex.  He's a clever cat.  He has stated multiple times that he has no respect for the Eve community.  He is only interested in "tight communities" that are based on external communities that jump from game to game like a swarm of retard-locust.  He is interested in his style of play, where he plays, and is interested in keeping all the mindless little losers around him that kiss his e-peen and do his bidding.  Even if Mittenz' account was banned, that still wouldn't stop him from fucking with Eve from the outside as long as he has enough sychophants in the game, still willing to do his bidding.  If he had to leave Eve, or Eve changes enough where assholes like him can't get their lolz anymore, I could just about guarantee that they would go into massive overheat mode trying to fuck with Eve to the max before they (aka the goon knobs) leave.  Imagine the high 5's from Alex and his little herd of droolers to be able to claim they killed a multi-million dollar online game?  Whether he can do that as directly as possible, or whether by his revenge, he manages to get CCP to lock down a lot of game play and indirectly cause other griefers to leave, I think Mittenz will be happy with either result.

     Interesting times ahead, especially with Dust coming out, and Sony going in the hole a few billion bucks.  interesting indeed.  :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Plan: Plateaus

     The 4 oldest toons are in the 20 to 23 million SP range, the two middle toons are about 15 million and the newest is chugging along at about 4 million.  The first major training goals, centred around mainly industry/mining, have been met.  At this point, many of the "easy" and quick training goals are far behind.  Now, it is longer term goals that need to be considered.

     They've all got enough science skills trained to research BPs, so I have a bunch of BPs squared away with ME and PE maxxed out.  The main manufacturing toon can make anything up to a titan, so I bought some researched carrier and rorqual BPC sets.  I also found Dragonol's Excel spreadsheet and have been tweaking it to bring it up to date with current mods.  I'll post a link to it when it is done.  It's a great little tool for determining if it is worth it to just buy and item or make it for less money.  5 of the toons are perfect miners, one is a perfect orca pilot and the newest one will concentrate on getting into a hulk with basic core skills, then getting level 5 implants into it instead of the current level 4s.  I got all of them, except the newest, trained up enough to fly basic battleships and two toons are in T3s.  I think right now, I'll make sure all the toons get to battleship 5, and 5s in their gunnery skills as many of the related skills will help them get into carriers and rorquals.  Those will be long hauls, but the skills will all be useful and it will give me time to chart the next steps.  I could point them straight at capitals, but to get decent dread and carrier skills, battleship and weapon skills will need to be brought up anyway.  I'll do that first, plus, it will be a help for a month long hulkageddon.  maybe I'll make some mining battleships :)

     I'll make up some new pie charts just for grins to see how the points compare.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Holy minerals, Batman!

     Lovin' the mineral prices, just lovin' 'em.  The angry little life-hating griefers will always have something mindlessly 4Chan or equally stupid reddit-esque to say about the players who don't mind grinding asteroids to death and providing the raw materials to drive the Eve universe.  While manipulators, like Mittenzes has, has their hand up their sheeps' asses, making their mouth move, indy and non-socially inept players are carrying on bashing rocks, ice and making stuff (not that hard core combat types don't manufacture stuff either).  That style of game play has recently become far more worthwhile and lucrative.  That's a good thing :)

     Whether there is some kind of market manipulation going on, or there is some monstrously big op being planned in null, or people are starting to stockpile now for the dry spell of hulkageddon, or these mineral price increases are in anticipation of the upcoming mineral changes, or a subtle combination of all, it is an interesting state of mining affairs.  While lots of "experts" and hypocrites will whine about mining macroers in high sec driving down the prices of minerals and ore, and undermining (sort of a reverse pun, yes?  :)) the Eve economy, either there have been mass account suspensions or bans due to macroing (which would drive up the commodities due to decreased supply) or the whiners/experts are completely full of shit and there are bigger forces at play.  I believe it is the latter.  Not that I necessarily condone macroing, but a high sec hulk macroer can inject how much ore and mineral content per hour?  Maybe 5 or 6 million?  There needs to be an absolutely mind numbing number of macroers in high sec to have any kind of an effect on the Eve economy.  That shit doesn't even make a fucking blip on the Eve economy.  No, there is a bigger "game" at play here, and I am curious to know what it is.

     The changes to loot drops from rats are a ways off yet, but it is a small game mechanic change that will produce a big game effect.  Anything that you can buy a blueprint for, will no longer be dropped by rats.  Also, and likely a bigger change, is the rogue drone rats will no longer drop alloys.  They will have a bounty instead.  If this is one of biggest contributors to the mineral price increases, if not THE biggest, that pretty much means that anything that is made from minerals is going to go up to compensate for the increase of mineral prices.  All the little gankers and pirates will pay more for their gank ships, although smaller T1s will likely have fairly insignificant changes.  For PVPers though, because the price of insurance is calculated off the ships' market prices, insurance will also go up.  Interesting times for people that like to risk their ships or blow up other ships.  These loot drop changes have effectively put miners back in the game.  Monstrous amounts of minerals and wealth were produced by the botting ratters out in null, both in alloys, rare modules and reprocessed loot.  That has taken a big hit.  Miners now can make decent cash.  With the costs of minerals and their products going up, and possibly less expendable cash for less indy prone players, I wonder what this will do to PLEX prices?  The PLEX have pretty much stabilized at the low 500 misk price and are slowly dropping.  How low will the PLEX drop, or will it stabilize in the high 400's?

     Right now, about 30 million units of mixed high sec ores (veldspar, pyro, kernite and a little scordite) will fill a 900k m3 freighter.  Taking that freighter to Jita nets about 1 to 1.2 billion isk.  For me, with 4 perfect hulk pilots, a retriever toon in training, a perfect orca pilot, and a second orca transport toon, that's about 9 to 11 hours worth of high sec mining, 3 nights effort, or I could double that with some hard core mining on a weekend.  At a modest pace, that could net me about 10 billion a month, and I need about 3.5 billion for plexes, so that's not bad profit, I think.  Ice mining on the other hand, with 5 perfect mac pilots, a perfect orca pilot and a transport toon, even with a perfect ice processing toon, doesn't net as much cash as a freighter of minerals.  A freighter of ice is a huge waste of space and only worth about 300 to 350 misk compared to over a billion for minerals.  Processed ice is far less bulky and while it is only worth about 60% compared to an ice block, considerably more can be carried in a freighter.  I'd need to sit down and run the numbers to see  how things flesh out.

  In the mean time, mining is still enjoyable for me to play and relax, and listen to audio books.  If mining starts to take off, some of the more popular systems are going to be raped before many players can log on.  Being able to log on right after down time is going to be desirable.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

CCP Fleets and other fails . . . post mortem

     This is an old draft I had started and failed to finish or post before "life" went and happened.  I think the points are still relevant though, for the most part, and I find it interesting that there have been no more dev events.

     Well, another fleet came and went a couple weeks ago.  I wasn't around for it, but maybe next time.  PL managed to show up again, but this time, some more null alliances showed up as well.  For those in the epeen crowd that think the CCP fleets are awesome, good for them, but I imagine all the blood flow rushing from their brain to their epeen has diminished their already short sighted ability to reason.  For many of these epeen expert players, despite their inference that they know so much about the game, their scope of vision is remarkably small.

     I see lots of  "experts" on the fora and blogs simply claim that all you have to do is fleet up and go fight the CCP fleet.  Yeah, well, that's fine coming from players in null that have a huge background in fleet work and can form up a fleet with a few dozen ships in no time flat, but fleets in high sec aren't common, and certainly not pvp fleets.  That's also fine to claim from a pirate point of view where all you do is run around looking to shoot people, so forming up a corp/alliance fleet of the same is common practice.  Incursion fleets aren't hard to get into or form up, but those aren't pvp and no one is going to bail from an Incursion fleet and go take their shiney to get blobbed.  Mining fleets can sometimes be formed or joined in organized corps or alliances, but again, not pvp.  Point of fact, few of the ~80% of the Eve populace, which are high sec, are going to eve be able to get into a PVP fleet to go "play" with CCP.  Of the few that can, all they have to do is make it through the gate camps on the way to the system, and then make it through all the macro-funded null sec alliances that blob the fight.  Then, they can get blown up by the CCP shinies, which is fine (because that's why they went there in the first place - to fight the devs) but actually firing off a shot at CCP is a low percentage opportunity. Sure, there are a few players who managed to snake and scoot around and get a little loot, but the number of players who fought in the battle is small, and the people who got lot, even smaller.  Of course, the big null alliances that showed up didn't really give a shit about the loot, and why should they?  The loot value is small potatoes compared to moon goo, and macroing rats and asteroids for trillions a month.  Even the one clown who pointed out the "billlions" it cost for their "poor" fleet to cyno across null to fight CCP is a perfect example of how clued out some of the ~10% of the player based (that are the null sec players) are.  So, with all the isk faucets in null, how long does it take to make up a couple billion isk?  A day, maybe?  Less with a couple good rat bots?  How many high sec corps could afford a few billion for cynos if they needed them?  Very few.

     So, it's like a casino.  The percentage of the populace that gambles is small because people understand that the chances of them winning anything is small.  A portion of them will be gambling for the fun of it, for the experience, but the vast majority of the populace doesn't do that either.  There are a million other ways to have fun that doesn't involve throwing money into a slot or onto a table in a system that is mathematically stacked against them.  The CCP fleets are the same.  Forgetting about the loot, even the "fun" of shooting at the devs is improbable based on the response of a small minority of the players.  Of the total number of players available to attend the little event, what percentage of the online players showed up?  A fail percentage, that's what.  I've been in a lot of multi-player games, and when there were dev events, the devs made sure that maximum participation was possible.  If the event could suffer attendance issues due to game mechanics like transportation, they made sure there were multiple events, in multiple locations.  In theory, any Eve player can fleet up and supposedly go fight against, or in defence of, the CCP fleet.  The reality is pretty much completely the opposite.  What's the point of the CCP fleets then?  Is it a "game event"?  Was there a notification in-game?  Whatever it is, right now, part of the mission is to apparently cater to far less than 20% of the player population.  Whether CCP has some great "master plan", or whether they're just clued-out, their fleets are a fail at anything other than the devs going out and blowing up some ships.

     Another fail is CCP ganking the players who joined their fleet at the invite of the devs.  As mentioned above, you have a number of players who have a slim-to-none chance of fleeting up, so some of them answered the dev call to join them in a defense fleet.  Cleverly though, the devs decided to turn the tables on the players, and blew them up anyway.  That's funny on the face of it, especially coming from game developers, but then once the bell rings, recess is over.  Fairly short sighted thinking on the part of a business to do shit like that to paying customers, which again, begs the question, what was the point of the fleet?  So how many of those players, whose main chance of participating in the event was to fleet up with CCP itself, are going to go back to a CCP fleet event?  Fail.

     Another fail is the no insurance bit on getting Concorded.  Being still fairly new to Eve, I still can't imagine that CCP thought that this would have a big effect on high sec ganks, especially since they powered up destroyers and hybrid guns.  A pretty cheap but very powerful gankboat can be made for likely under 5 million, so a 5 million loss is a pretty paltry thing.  A little low sec ratting or even running a single level 4 will sort that right out.  Add to that the fact that l'il Mittens, our very own player representative to CCP, is paying platinum level replacement insurance to gankers of ice barges, as well as for the upcoming Hulkageddon V, and that whole "no insurance" thing is a moot point.  Apparently, high sec players that were calling for it, hard, assumed it would make a difference.  Maybe I thought it would make a bit of a difference too.  Apparently not.  Not really a surprise I guess, considering the trillions and trillions that null alliances make every month.  I think maybe CCP is relying on the naivety of many high sec players.  I wonder if that is going to bite them in the ass long-term?

     Another fail is putting pods on killmails.  Yes yes, I know Eve is all about the pvp, but aside from epeen, what does adding pod values to killmails accomplish?  Yeah, it will create a small and likely temporary surge in demand and prices of implants as more effort might be expended by the epeen crowd to go after pods, but then more implants will be supplied and the prices will stabilize, like every other market item.  More likely, it will take the skill point grind and slow it down even further for those who are not interested in losing, or can't afford to lose, billions worth of implants.  It could quite easily take the most expensive implants, and make them even more expensive because their markets numbers will dwindle as fewer people are interested in buying and losing them, so fewer will be put on the market.  Epeen pvpers have settled with low bonus implants because it's less expensive for their style of play where they regularly, voluntarily, risk losing them.  That chosen play style, by a small minority of players, now gets translated to the entire player base, especially high sec, because hundreds of millions of isk can be destroyed by a fast locking frigate worth a couple million isk.  So, with clever new "initiatives" like Podageddon  by the player base, this opens up the opportunity for yet another small minority of the player base to have a negative effect on the rest of the player base.  Huge fail.

     There are others, but that'll do for now.  :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mittens and his faces

     Oooops!  It is a very self-aware, extremely clever and rare sociopath, so I hear/read, that doesn't end up eventually accidentally dropping his mask and/or stepping on his dick, and good 'ol Alex finally slipped up, and we saw the real McCoy once we reached a critical mass with a combination of his ego, grandstanding and alcohol.  About time.

     All the gory details have been covered by more eloquent writers than I, but I feel like getting this off my chest anyway.  As I've said in the past, the very, very, VERY best fucking tears are griefer tears, and despite all the attempted lame-assed defense by all the Mittani psychophants and and junior sociopath-wanna-be TOS experts, the Mittens, or more accurately ALEX, got his pee-pee whacked.  Decently hard too.  A respected blogger over at Jestertrek, believes good old Alex just got his personas mixed up, poor baby, and had the drunken slip-up at Eve fest.  I disagree.

     I've been computer gaming since the mid 80's, and playing MMOs since the early 90's.  One thing I've learned/experienced/become aware of, is that assholes in real life are assholes in games.  Nice people in real life are nice people in games.  Nice people in real life don't "pretend" to be assholes in games.  It isn't in their nature, and by the "asshole" moniker, I mean overtly going out of their way to grief, bother, harass and generally intentionally try to make the other players' gaming experience miserable.  Why would they do this?  In a beer hall psychologist's nutshell, because their lives are basically miserable, and they are aware of this, but yet they are too lazy, too arrogant or too stupid, or all three, to get off their ass and fix their shit.  Instead, they have deluded themselves into thinking that by trying to make other people more miserable than themselves, by comparison, their lives are better.  Reality always comes back though, and in the real light of day, they're still fucked.  Perhaps a sweeping generalization, but still fairly accurate.

     When I talk about "miserable", I'm not talking about PVP.  I don't mind PVP, but I don't drool, all wild-eyed every day until I can log on to Eve and can flip someone or gank a miner.  I might be loud, maybe opinionated and a little abrasive, but I am pretty happy with my life and my situation, and don't get an eye twitch every time I let a neutral fly off in low sec.  Lil' Mittens, on the other hand, is an asshole, and is free to let that come out in Eve.  He can't be himself in real life, except maybe in front of a crowd in Iceland - HA HA! - but he can certainly screw people over at will in Eve, and he has a throng of mindless asshats that follow him around trying to validate their useless lives too.

     Ever the snake oil salesman, Alex listed his immediate "fixes" for his antisocial, and illegal comments.  Apologize - done.  Give away all his money to the dude - he gave him billions, supposedly, and even if he did give away all his cash, his little herd of mindless thralls would likely donate iskies to the point that he is back to a billionaire.  Lastly, resign from the council - err, wait - maybe we can vote on it . . NOT!  CCP finally woke the fuck up and punted his ass.  Mittenzes "claims" to accept his 30 day ban, but in his State of the Whine-ion, err Goonion address (no meaningful difference, IMO), poor lil Alex mentions a number of times how CCP fucked him and "threw him under the bus".  The piss ant isn't sorry, hasn't manned up, in fact, he's having a little temper tantrum at the end of April in Jita and is planning to fuck with as many players as possible, and is hoping convince/plead/cajole as many other assholes as possible to fuck with as many other players as possible, in all the trade hubs.  The Alex-hole is back in only 30 days, ergo, CCP didn't fuck with him near hard enough.  He isn't, and never was, a representative of Eve players and while he may be influential on the player council, in my book, he's no loss.

     Lets see if CCP can HTFU and get it through their thick skulls that they can't have Eve grow past being a cult/clique game, and have it operate like the wild, wild west.  Chaos and dog-eat-dog mentalities don't work.  They don't work in real life, didn't last in real life, and oh look!  Real people are playing games like Eve!  Won't last in Eve either.  People got together and created rules to deal with assholes in real life.  If CCP wants to be more than a margin player in the MMO world, they need to get a grip on some things in Eve.  I'll be interested to see what goes down when the whiner gets back at the end of April and tries to fuck with the trade hubs.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The hiatus doth end . . . eth . . . . est

     So, I'm listening to the Sharpe's series audio books, and they are ye olde English, anon.  It's groovy.  I'm not so enamoured of a couple of the shows I've seen so far, but the audio books are excellent.

     Anyway, lots of important things happening in real life, so when there is a bit of a respite, and I have time for Eve, I shant be talking about it, I shall be playing it.  The accounts have all still been chugging along, and I have been managing enough cash to keep the accounts PLEX'd, but I have a little spare time now, so I can blog a little and play a little too.

     I have been keeping up with Eve and reading a number of other blogs whilst I eat breakfast, or other periods of small multitasking, but while actually playing, I am running 7 or 8 accounts, so there is no time to blog and play.  At least for me.  So, I have some small posts to air out and then we'll see what we will see.  On the meta level, it has been an interesting start to the year, so there's lots to opine on, even belatedly.  :)