Monday, August 18, 2014

PI Timer for EVE (android) - a shoutout

I recommend to PI extraction based pilots with an android device the PI Timer for Eve application.

I have manual methods to catch mistakes; but I still make them.

So, I on the lookout for any PI helper program that would identify any of my Pebkac issues; and have found this one.






I have been using this app now for 4 days.


On the first set of pilots I added, I had missed a timer that the app found.  This is a clear win for the app, and it now is part of my Eve experience.

A brief howto:

It could be easier to enter your API key.  One method is as follows

Log into http://community.eveonline.com
Probably on your PC, but certainly whatever you are reading this post on.


Go to http://community.eveonline.com/support/api-key/CreatePredefined?accessMask=8388610
This sets sets your API key appropriately; enabling CharacterInfo, AssetList.  Add a key name of anything; I have used PITimer but that is personal preference.

On your android device, with a web browser, log into  http://community.eveonline.com (if you are not already logged in)

Write down the key id field
Copy the key_id field with your android device; the chances of successfully retyping is comparable with 0%

Go to the PI Timer on your Android device:
  • '"add chars"tab
  • 'clear' (you need to see 'Input KeyID here' and 'Input VCode' here at the top of the screen
  • type in your Key Id and paste your Verification code (I need to delete a couple of trailing spaces)
  • wait a little
  • "Monitor Times"
  • Be suitably horrified at the planets you have missed

I still want to see:

PI timer for Eve is a good start, and I am now using it.

Allow me to change the notification noise.  I have changed the notification noise on my phone to silent simply to suppress this.  I don't mind notification noises while at keyboard playing Eve, I can cope with them at work, but don't want them while sleeping.

Other checks I would like, if possible:
  • Routes (both incoming and outgoing) are missing.
  • Some basic counter of 'out of goods' for manufacturing planets; eg you have enough mats in the colony for 12 hours, plus a trickle from either extraction or manufacturing but you have run out.
  • A warning that your storage units are likely overfull.  This one might be even more tricky especially with extraction/initial refining.  I still would like it even with basic assumptions.
I would like an easier way to enter the API key;  Eve-Droid offers several methods, and it would be good if other android apps emulated them.  Methods include a link that opens a web browser on the EVE Api key and offers an 'install' button, to reading from named text files on your android app with the information.

Finally I cant work out how to customise the type of warning.  Ideally I would prefer a notification only, without any whistles or buzzing.  I can work around it.  I made default notifications silent.

I would love the writer of the app to do more; but he has produced a meaningful and valuable tool.   At the same time I am extracting more and spending less time working out what I need to reset.

So to the author (in game : Stjerna Kuuk), you have a donation expressing my thanks, and I look forward to future enhancements.

If you use or have written another program for PI (especially those that make good use of the API key) that you would like me to look at, please leave a comment.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Signature ID's to persist over downtime

CCP Masterplan

For those that didn't understand my cryptic tweet earlier, there is one more related change on Singularity as of a few hours ago:

When scanning down sites, the scan ID (ABC-123) should now be consistent across server downtimes. Ships should continue to have consistent scan IDs as before.
Aussie wormholers can have a beer to celebrate not having to rescan everything over downtimes :)

https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=4915698#post4915698


An an Aussie that often tries to scan just before downtime, thank you CCP Masterplan

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

2 quick notes : c4 dual statics singularity and eve connection issues

C4 second statics available

 Thanks to a reddit comment, the second statics for C4's are available on singularity.  I don't mind the idea of dual statics in concept, but then remembered the rumour that C4's might have one static going to shallow wormhole space (c1-3), and one going to deep wormhole space (c4-6).

Think of what pilot wants a C1 static.  What ships can fit in there, and the type of PVP trouble/fun they are likely to have.  Now think of what pilot might want a c5 or c6 static, what ships, and the type of PVP trouble/fun they are likely to have.

Now imagine you currently have a c1 static, and are now getting a c5 or c6 static.

I like the idea of wormhole space becoming more populated.  Just at this moment, I am not sure how this is going to work.  Oh well, there are new wormholes, and new skills to learn.

Eve is down.

Just in case you didn't notice.  Or if you didn't notice, then Eve is probably back up again.

Tranquility will be rebooted and placed in VIP mode at 12:20 while troubleshooting occurs. This is a third party networking issue, and we're working with our partners to resolve it. Please ensure your characters are out of harms way as soon as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience caused.

https://twitter.com/EVE_status

http://www.reddit.com/r/Eve/comments/2dbrj7/server_eve_status_if_you_have_issues_connecting/

There is a large network outage affecting many players.  CCP decided this was unfair to those that could not connect, so have taken the server down into VIP mode.  Understandable, if somewhat inconvenient.
14:48: CCP Falcon explains VIP mode:

Would you consider it fair if you logged in after massive connection issues that lasted for hours for thousands of people only to find that your enemy could connect the whole time, and had reinforced or destroyed a huge chunk of your infrastructure?
Thought not, hence VIP.
:Smile:

Monday, August 4, 2014

POS introduction

The first thing you need to know about setting up an industry POS, is that one day you will be attacked.  The second thing you will note is the number of offline POS that are scattered around our universe.

The games skills you should to have for a POS are:
  • Corporation Management 1+
  • Anchoring 4 (reduced in Cruis)
  • Starbase Defense Management 4 with 5 being ideal.
You also need someone reliable to log in every month to make sure your POS has fuel.  I have seen far too many players set up a POS, put expensive loot into various arrays, then let the fuel run out.  No fuel means no forcefield.  No forcefield means your loot is at the hand's of the loot fairy very quickly.

Different POS are good for different tasks.

Caldari :
  • Best CPU, good for industry
  • ECM bonus, good for 'Dickstar'
  • Worst powergrid, not so good for guns
  • Bonused weapons are missiles requiring CPU.  CPU is unavailable if you are re-inforced, i.e. exactly the times you need weapons.  
  • Fuel generally 5% more expensive than the others
 Amarr :
  • Best powergrid, so best if you want a weapon heavy installation
  • Worst CPU, not so good for industry

Gallente and Minmatar are middle of the road towers, with generally cheaper POS fuel.

A small tower of any type is cheap to run, and offers defence against a couple of bored frigates.  If you happen to be in highsec, Concord will protect your POS until you are wardecced, but that is about it.

A large tower, properly configured in any of the defensive strategies, is a harder nut to crack without dreadnoughts, so in Highsec or C1-C4 have a little more survivability.  Capital class ships are designed to break towers, and while a good configuration can delay and even assist in defence, your POS will want assistance.  I don't play in null, but if I know that Capitals to bad things to POS, I strongly suspect that Super Capitals are not kind either.

If you want to be attacked, have a small POS full of industry modules without any defences of any kind.  This applies in all areas of EVE.

The best defences that even a faction large tower can give you will not guarantee protection, but with the number of undersized and 'bravely' configured POS, it is fairly easy to become harder than the next POS over to attack.  Don't be the clearly rich, easiest target on the block.

With larger POS, comes increased fuel costs.  POS fuel is expensive.  In highsec, you will need 'charters' from the faction's space you are in.  These charters cost peanuts in comparison to POS fuel.

Assuming a highsec pure industry POS of whatever size and race, should have anchored the following items:
  • Racial guns (unless Caldari) sufficient so that when you offline all industry, you can fill your powergrid with modules that don't use CPU.  That is, no room for missiles here.
    • A Caldari tower should have a full set of another races weapons
    • Small fast batteries are of 'situational' use (Small Pulse Laser Battery, Small Blaster Battery, Small Autocannon Battery).  Even smaller ships may be able to find places to attack your POS that these short range guns can't reach.
    • Fill your offline guns with ammunition, covering as many damage types as your guns allow.  You may need to online guns, fill with ammo, then offline again.  This can be done from the safety of your POS forcefield
    • There is no such thing as too many guns.  Guns (not missiles) can be onlined even when you are re-inforced.
  • Shield hardening arrays.  Like most items in Eve, you have 2 resist holes; fill these first.
  • Energy Neutralisers are 'expensive' (cpu/powergrid), but a few of these can mess up a logistics or Capital ship's day. 
  • ECM, especially on a Caldari tower (bonused), covering all races
You want easy access to spares of all of the above. Strontium Clathrates gives you up to 41.7 hours time to realise you have a problem, depending on how much stront you fill your bay with.

If you are anywhere but highsec, you want a sizable portion of your above defences online.  Even in highsec, any spare powergrid should be filled with online guns.

As an 'order of magnitude' budget for an industry POS, as of mid 2014, for a T1 POS I would allow :
  • Large POS : 1B setup plus 500M/month for fuel
  • Medium POS : 500M setup plus 250M/month for fuel
  • Small POS :250M setup plust 125M/month for fuel

Faction towers are more expensive initially, but have lower fuel requirements, and more shield/armor.  Faction modules are also available. Faction towers and modules are remarkable, as in I find myself asking corp members about these faction towers, and what they are hiding, so I can only wonder what they do to those that hunt POS.

As a disclaimer, I am not the foremost expert on attacking or defending POS.  I have been sieged and survived, and have blown up many offline POS.  I have read what has worked for others, and what has not worked.  I invite those that know better to share their wisdom, whether that be as comments or as links to other articles.


Other reading material:

I intend to write a series on POS.  The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Monday, July 28, 2014

POS based taxation

As many of you know, I run an industry corporation where strangers are invited.  I do so for profit: both yours and mine, or at least that is the intention. I have set up both Customs Offices and POS, renting access in various ways.

One of the previous ways I paid for fuel was via a game enforced tax on research facilities, very similar to the NPC charges in stations. This disappeared when Cruis was released.

I, and a few others, 'expressed our concerns' on the forums and to CSM representatives, both during beta testing on Singularity, and since going live.  When seeking a changed position : Polite, Firm, Reasonable are all desirable attributes, especially if you are one of a few wanting a change.  (Loud, organised and hysterical also work, but you need to have 'public opinion' on your side  as Jita riots and the Real Id issue from that other game showed).

However after a few hints, both from the forums and from Sugar Kyle (who I have been shamelessly pestering lately), I had another look. Reading official Crius issues forum would not hurt either.

On the Research and Manufacturing UI, choose facilities, Corp owned Facilities.  Right click and Configure Facility, and set the Tax accordingly.



In line with NPC station taxes the corp charges are simply a percentage on top of the existing charges. That is in my example below, the charge with 0% is 27,075; with 5% is 28,429.  The 5% additional charge is paid into the corp master wallet.

0% Corp Tax

5% Corp Tax



The installation charge is current taken from the default corporate wallet for the pilot. 
Currently we are set up with :
  • One division for CEO/corporation
  • 5 divisions allocated to pilots and their alts, allocated to those that wish to pay the rent.
  • 1 division for 'communal' use. 
For research and manufacture, this communal use is still reasonably secure.  Put your blueprints and materials into the relevant facility.  Find out the cost, deposit that into the corp wallet and start job.  The job can only be delivered or cancelled by either the initiating pilot or a director/CEO.

CCP have good intentions that will pilot's to pay for industry out of their own wallet (*soon*), but pilots will still need access to a communal division for storage.

You can not see from the journal what pilot lodged a job.  The road to hell (and forum rages) is paved with good intentions.  For research and manufacture, this communal use is still reasonably secure.  If you have the patience (or possible the development skills and an API ), you can use the job history to tie the ISK payments to pilots.


Please note: all attached screenshots of any POS or blueprints listed are taken from Singularity, the test server. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Crius : how to access your PI colonies

I had an 'eek' moment when I tried to access my PI on Sisi (the test server), and my previous shortcuts could not bring up my planets.  With Crius arriving 22 July 2014, some of you at least will likewise panic.


Fortunately, the new method is not far away.


Neocon-> Business -> Planetary Colonies

This brings up a new window (and yes this is a screen with dummy data from singularity - I don't mind you working out what system I am in, but I am not letting you know what planets I visit)


 

For those that like keyboard shortcuts, hit escape -> Shortcuts-> Window.  Choose Planetary Colonies and edit shortcut



Please remember to set a long skill queue for Tuesday's downtime.

Friday, July 18, 2014

In favour of industry focused releases


A couple of years ago, I left my previous MMO of choice because of a single statement "We want crafters to be out in the world adventuring instead of camping out in front of an auctioneer."

I liked being the crafter standing in front of the auctioneer. Of course in Eve we sit around in either our spaceships or cabins by ourselves instead of shoulder to shoulder with other pilots in an auction room, but the essence is still the same.

In Eve, the market trader, the manufacturer are important parts of the puzzle.  Both games have the farmer, and it was some surprise to me that I joined the farming ranks (PI not mining). There is also the hauler, through spaces of various degrees of danger, both big and small.


Many of us enjoy industry.  Even better, not only have I been shot at and lost my haul, but what I make is important to the end game.  As players, we make ships and modules that are used in the 'end game' battles, we build the POS, Outposts and customs offices used throughout New Eden.  We build the capital ships, some even build supercaps.

Yes, being shot at is important to my enjoyment.  This game engages manufacturers/crafters in a way that I have not seen in any other MMO.  We build 'real stuff', not just a couple of shiny distractions.

I also know that between the current user interface, and mostly safe highsec manufacture is not as engaging as it could be.  For players that enjoy a pretty UI (and many others do even if I am functionally based), the new changes will be wonderful.

Kirith Kodachi stated "The Industry update coming on July 22nd is not going to reverse any numbers".  Maybe.  If everyone talks them down, then certainly.

Crius (and the POS/corp changes to follow) is an opportunity for those of us that enjoy manufacture PVP to spread the word, and to be excited.

Are we going to get everything we want? Certainly not.  Will there be a loud outcry by the losers of the changes? Yes.  Those most comfortable with making things in safely won't be so happy.  Those that can adjust will do fine.

I know and accept that the majority of players are in Eve to directly inflict explosions on others.  There still is a compatible audience of players that like to know the things they build enable others to cause explosions.  Occasionally that ammunition will be returned to us 'slightly used', and that takes some getting used to.

Eve is a sandbox, and a new set of tools is being made available.  Even the most hardened highsec grief corporation should be looking at POS full of blueprints as 'prickly loot pinata'.

I may be idealistically naive, but I see some 'good complexity' with the new release.  It boils down to: Do I place that way too expensive BPO into a POS for a quick job, or keep it in an expensive but safe station? The only possible answer in a public blog is expensive but safe, but for many this will be misleading propaganda.

I know that some of you are only interested in explosions, and then only the ones you see.  The next 2 releases are a way for Eve to capture new players, in a market that it is already a contender.

We already have 'Be the villain' ads.  It is time for us to sell the message "Be the builder in a villainous world"