Friday, May 7, 2021

Capsuleer Day 2021 - A Nice Beginning

I didn't do much on EVE Online's 18th anniversary. CCP added the Capsuleer Day event and I spent a little time poking around.

I didn't have the stomach for attempting the combat sites. The news article announcing the event claims the sites are tuned for battlecruisers and above. Even so, I think I've only taken a battlecruiser site running once or twice into low sec, and given the tendency of the NPCs to scram in the last event, I took a pass. Wednesday's patch contained an error and in the payouts for the final NPC battleship in the combat sites. Today's patch swapped the payouts of the final NPC battleship for combat sites in high sec and low. While the patch notes didn't give the values, helpful people on Twitter noted that the payouts for defeating the final battleship are now 5 million ISK in high sec and 20 million ISK in low sec.

But, as I noted before, the previous event scared me away from the combat sites. I took my trusty Cheetah into what I hoped was a quiet area of low sec, wondering where were all the anomalies and signatures on the way. I took a closer look and found my filters were still set up to probe down ships and drones. Once I correctly applied the filters ... SO MANY RED DOTS!!!!

One of the few acceptable uses for red dots is in the probing interface. The system I picked was full of signatures. I wound up identifying 2 combat sites, 1 gas site, 1 relic site, and 3 EoM data sites. That's right, 3 event sites in a single system.

The situation got better. When I warped into the first site, I landed 20 km away from the site's hackable container. I didn't make a mistake typing that last sentence. At least in low sec the EoM data sites only have one container. One container means no worrying about people cherry picking containers, leaving sites with only garbage cans to hack. Hack the can, the site despawns to allow new sites to spawn.

Once I completed hacking the first can, I was glad I was flying a Cheetah and not a Probe. I almost failed the hack. With the event data sites only containing one can, of course the can was difficult to hack. But forewarned not to expect an easy time, I successfully hacked the cans in the other two sites on the first attempt as well.

The loot wasn't too shabby. No ISK from a data site, of course, but plenty of Overseer's Personal Effects. I averaged almost 20 million ISK per site just in those items. The drop tables seem to offer either a SKIN or a cerebral accelerator. Another valuable items that dropped were the boosters. I don't know if only armor and shield boosting drugs drop, so I'll have to keep track.

One of the major annoyances from previous events was running out of cargo room. So far, the biggest space hogs are the Overseer's Personal Effects (90 m3) and the fireworks (40 m3). Still, I probably could fit one more site's worth of loot in my ship before having to dock up and unload.

Once docked, I sent my market character off to the nearest hub to put some of the items on the market. I'm trying to restock my orders as I let them fall to under 10 million ISK in value. The ISK was nice, but I really need to work on having consistent income.

I have to say at the end of my first night participating in the event I had fun. I do need to leave a little more time to play, though. I didn't get around to cashing in my Overseer's effects. As is often the case in EVE, I can use the money.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Andrew Groen On Writing Empires Of EVE: Volume 2

Yesterday Andrew Groen announced the launch of public sales of his new book, Empires of EVE: Volume 2 on Twitter. The hardcover version of the book, along with the 2nd edition of Volume 1, will be available on his website on 25 May. The Kindle version is currently available for pre-order on Amazon.

But he didn't just send out a tweet. Andrew composed a 14 tweet thread summing up his thoughts about writing the book. I rolled up the thread and you can find the roll-up here. Given that today is the 18th anniversary of the launch of EVE Online, I thought I'd record his thoughts someplace other than Twitter. So with Andrew's permission, enjoy!

Hi friends, I’m pleased to announce that after three years of work Empires of EVE: Volume 2 will be launching May 25! Hardcovers will be through and ebooks on Kindle (pre-order: Bit of a thread to sum up the journey... 1/14

First off, I can’t thank @CCPGames enough for its patience in giving me the space and time to put together a book and a story I’m incredibly proud of. This story means the world to me, and I’m excited for it to be available at last to a wider audience.

In an age of opaque gaming/social media companies, @CCPGames deserves great credit for not only allowing a journalistic documentation of its community’s history, but actively aiding my work, giving me rights permissions, speaking opportunities, and assistance contacting players.

At times I'm critical of the company's choices, and at others the story remembers things that might preferably be forgotten, but in 7 yrs CCP has never tried to influence my writing, edit information, or control the story. It's a unique company with a history to be proud of.

It's inspiring to think of what could be achieved if our arrangement was used as a model for using investigative reporting to study the histories of other online spaces and social platforms.

My heartfelt thanks as well to the EVE community for allowing me the privilege of writing their story. None of it would've been possible w/out hundreds of people talking to me abt their experiences. The game is fundamentally interconnected. Every person has a unique perspective.

Sometimes it was an hours-long interview and others it was a chat by the hotdog stand in Reykjavik, a beer in Berlin, a stroopwaffle in Amsterdam, a layover in Toronto, but every person formed my understanding of who the community is and the forces that have shaped it over time.

The question that EVE players ask me most often is "how does EVE compare with other game communities?" I used to write about many different games before starting the EOE project in 2014, and people are often curious to get my perspective on what makes EVE distinct/typical.

I usually answer that EVE is a community of extremes. In its history you'll find the best in humanity, and you'll find the darkness in us too. In the stories that really mattered to players I heard about the friends they genuinely loved and the enemies they genuinely hated.

In large part, what I tried to do with Volume 2 was explain that paradox for myself. If EVE is designed to be a “cold, dark, and harsh world” then why were so many of the people I was meeting warm, bright, and kind? Why do the connections they make mean so much to them?

At the end of two books my conclusion can only be that they are inextricably linked. The darkness of EVE exerts sociological pressure on the core of its communities to come together and tighten their bond. The bleaker the darkness, the brighter the stars shine.

Volume 2 is a story about starships and interstellar internet politics, but to me, it's about a community and a developer that tried - and is still trying - to find balance between those deeply human forces.

Thank you for the most amazing adventure of my life. I started writing this because I believed it was the greatest story in video gaming. Today I believe that more than ever. I can only imagine what it was like for those who lived it.

My love forever to the EVE Online community who taught me not to fear the darkness, and neither to embrace it too closely. Fly safe, my friends. I hope you enjoy the story. (May 25!) 14/14

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Foundation: EVE Online's New Quadrant

EVE Online's latest quadrant, Foundation, officially kicked off yesterday. Beginning back in January 2020, CCP has developed a theme for every quarter, although the formal announcement of Foundation occurred almost half-way through the second calendar quarter. I'll let CCP describe the theme for the coming 3 months.

This next Quadrant ‘Foundation’ aims to celebrate the identity of the four Empires of New Eden, as well as the incredible 18 years that have passed since EVE’s own founding. It represents the pride in the history of these four Empires that have become the cornerstones of New Eden, pride in players’ own accomplishments, and pride in the collective journey that’s propelling EVE toward its third decade.

Furthermore, ‘Foundation’ recognizes the impact that the gift of Capsule technology has provided in extending humanity’s journey through New Eden and beyond, which you can read more about here.

The celebration begins tomorrow on the 18th anniversary of the launch of EVE. Originally a one-day event, this year's version will run from downtime (1100 UTC) tomorrow to downtime on 18 May.

Following Capsuleer Day, CCP plans to highlight each of the four NPC empires. The announcement tries to paint a happy, joyous time coming to all. But after only posting 1 article in the first 116 days of 2021, the World News channel has sprung to life with 13 articles. I'll let you judge if these sound like happy times...

2021-04-27 - Galactic Hour News Roundup: Caldari Protests, Privy Council and Triglavian Occupation

2021-04-27 - BREAKING NEWS: Minmatar Dreadnoughts Launch Orbital Bombardment of Tanoo II

2021-04-27 - BREAKING NEWS: Minmatar Dreadnoughts Attempting Assault on Tanoo II Destroyed

2021-04-28 - Galactic Hour News Roundup: Assault Aftermath, State Diplomacy and Federal Infrastructure

2021-04-29 - BREAKING NEWS: Dreadnoughts Reported Assaulting Girani-Fa III

2021-04-29 - BREAKING NEWS: Dreadnoughts Attacking Girani-Fa III Destroyed in Orbital Battle

2021-04-29 - BREAKING: Empire and Republic Face Off on Borders as Inner Circle Meets

2021-04-30 - Galactic Hour News Roundup: Fragile Peace Holding Despite High Tensions Across New Eden

2021-05-01 - BREAKING: Amarr Dreadnoughts Fire on Floseswin IV with Siege Lasers

2021-05-03 - BREAKING: Explosion Reported at CEP Spire in Landfall City on New Caldari Prime

2021-05-03 - BREAKING: Caldari Dreadnoughts Launch Missile Bombardment of Tierijev IV Gallente Defense Complex

2021-05-03 - BREAKING: Caldari Dreadnoughts Destroyed Over Tierijev IV in Battle to Stop Bombardment.

Of particular note is that the battles reported on occurred in the game and players who could get to the scene fast enough participated. From what I can tell, the quadrant started before CCP let the players know.

Did the announcements for Foundation begin at the start of the calendar quarter? I'll let you decide.

As mentioned in an article released on 1 April, the four Empires will also be embarking on projects to construct new stargates to their territory, and they will be asking the players for help to reshape the map of New Eden. So, you may want to keep your eyes peeled for some highly anticipated Gates coming this Quadrant.

That's right, the announcement of the creation of a low-sec gate to the null sec region of Stain was not an April Fool's prank. The alteration of the jump gate network begun with the creation of the Triglavian region of Pochven continues.

Speaking of Pochven, the region will receive some attention from CCP in the upcoming quadrant. Yesterday's patch addressed one complaint as the developers removed the standings requirements to pass through the loop gates. Although given that the current residents managed to pull 3.1 trillion in Triglavian invasion rewards out of the region in March, I'm not sure how much the current residents will welcome the attention.

CCP also plans to open up the ISK faucets in null sec later Foundation with allowing players to access the ESS reserve banks. In a dev blog in March, players learned ESS reserve banks held over 8 trillion ISK. The amount as assuredly increased since then.

The art team has also been busy, with both the interior of the Jita 4-4 trade hub and Aura receiving graphical upgrades yesterday.

Aside from the typical ship balancing and seasonal in-game events, this is what players can expect to see in EVE Online over the next couple of months. Well, and possibly the end of the current fighting in Delve. But that is player-created content and Foundation only covers the activities of CCP.

Monday, May 3, 2021

I Didn't Want That House Anyway

I logged into Final Fantasy XIV last night and went to go to my house. I was a bit surprised to see I didn't have a house anymore. I bought the house and spent 3.6 million gil on it, so I initially was a little upset. Housing in FFXIV is not instanced, so Square Enix put in a rule that not visiting your house in 45 days results in you losing the house. And as I discovered, just using the summoning bell does not count as a visit.

One of the safeguards for players is that Square Enix sends players emails to remind them to visit their houses. But I didn't see any reminders in my inbox, and I do receive emails from Square Enix. What happened?

Sometimes taking security measures can come back and bite if one isn't careful. I created a fresh email account especially for FFXIV. The emails went there. Good security practice, bad implementation. Stuff happens.

Am I going to try to buy another house? I don't think so. The main reason I bought a house was to plant a garden and maybe train my chocobo to become a racing bird. But with Island Sanctuaries coming to FFXIV in the Endwalker expansion in a few months, I can have what I really want without fear of losing the content if I forget to visit.