Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Building Better Worlds - some thoughts.

This is a speculative post, based on insufficient information.  As such it should be short, but it isn't.

The shakeup.

Industry is getting a very big shakeup.
  1. Any industry feature must have an actual gameplay attached to it in order to exist
  2. Any industry feature must be balanced around our risk versus reward philosophy
  3. Any industry feature must be easily understandable and visible to our player base
We have already had a post about:
Industry slots are going to be removed, replaced with a sliding cost scale (between 0% and 14% of the base item cost) depending on how busy the station is.

There will be simplified rules; removing extra material and damage per job.

We have been offered a hint of upcoming changes "... we have not mentioned invention or reverse engineering. That is because we could not schedule them for summer and as such are pushed to be done next in line ..."

Some POS changes

  • Allow Starbases to be anchored (almost) anywhere in high-security space and without standing requirement.
  • To use a BP in a POS, the BP must be in that POS, just like any other material
  • Players will still be able to start their jobs remotely (via relevant skills).
  • Improved Mobile Laboratories and Assembly Arrays to compensate for such risk, numbers TBA.
  • Reduced copy time on all blueprints, Will now be less time consuming than manufacturing something out of it.

We will be getting posts about:

  • Industry UI
  • Research
  • Job cost scaling
  • Teams

Our experience and hopes with POS.


Historically, we ran highsec POS for primarily for research slots, but also manufacture on the side.  We are not doing that at the moment because most of our pilots are either wormhole based or in faction warfare.

However, one of our pilots used to make a lot of T2 items in our POS, due to the faster manufacturing time.  If I recall correctly, he was using the Component Assembly Array, to have his manufacturing done in 3/4 of the NPC station time.

This POS based manufacture was profitable for our manufacturer, even after the fuel costs were taken into account.


I expect that a lot of POS being put up for compression.  However the compression time will be instant, so this will leave highsec POS idle most of the time.

Also we have been told that Mobile Labs and Assembly Arrays will be improved to compensate for this risk.  We should be able to use BPC's more and BPO's less.

All the above mean that I see more POS based manufacturing.  This in turn means that visibly busy highsec POS may become the target for wardecs.  Ensure your POS has anchored defences that will be needed at some stage.  Put aside the ISK required for mercenary defence.

As a POS based wormhole corp, these changes may be a significant buff to our play style.

It is my prayer that CCP have started to touch sufficiently on POS code to allow this that some of the other things we need will also come.  I decline to get too hopeful.

Mining, and it's impact on manufacturing.


I see the majority of mining remaining in highsec; there is simply too much AFK mining that is currently done in highsec, with a volume that I don't see occurring in any other space. 

Compression seems to have been nerfed about 25%.  The costs involved in skilling up all those jump freighters to move the existsing demand let alone the new demand from manufacturing in null should, in the short term at least, limit the amount of manufacturing being moved to null.

CSM comments

The CSM are closer to the CCP decision makers than the rest of us.  That is their role. If you want different opinions on the CSM, you should be more involved.

Ripard Teg is of the opinion that we will be moving our manufacturers into null sec renter corps. "low-sec capital producers are particularly annoyed".

Ali Aris said  The new industry system looks great"

Trebour Daehdoow also approves.

Summary (or TLDR)

I expect that clever manufacturers will come up with alternatives. A lot will be in nullsec.  Others will be in POS.

Those manufacturers that are a little tired will leave manufacturing or possibly even Eve itself.  New manufacturers will take their place.

Pos fuel, and probably most manufactured goods will have a price spike, until miners and manufactures adjust to fill the gaps.

References

I have trawled my way through the 70+ pages forum comments so you don't have to.

Instant compression was from http://community.eveonline.com/news/dev-blogs/reprocess-all-the-things/ search for "The stats for the Compression Array are below"

Improved POS slots was from http://community.eveonline.com/news/dev-blogs/building-better-worlds/, search for "Improve Mobile Laboratories and Assembly Arrays".

An overview of dev answers to common questions  https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&t=337246 

Individual CCP responses - some of which will be duplicates of above.

https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=4474431#post4474431
  • Allowing people to lock blueprints down in Starbases with current vote / lock mechanics would not be a good idea, so it won't be possible for now.
https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=4474637#post4474637
  • On even more abandoned (or place holding) POS "Yeah, that's a good point, we'll note that one down."
https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=4474654#post4474654
  • On reducing the copy time for T2 BPO's. "That's the current plan, yes." 
https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=4474563#post4474563
  • The idea is that there is a more dynamic spread of players invested in Industry which should lead to a more interesting and dynamic landscape.
  • Question: Can the same thing be done to trading in general with regard to sales taxes and broker fees?
    Answer : Sales tax and broker fees are a completely separate system, not something within scope of these changes though certainly an interesting idea.
https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=4474674#post4474674
  • Yes the new blueprint browser will show you all blueprints in stations or assembly arrays etc.
https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=4474681#post4474681
  • You will be able to see all your blueprints in assembly arrays etc and remotely start jobs from containers, so that should cover your use case.
  • There is also a nice search / filter interface, you will get some time on SiSi to give us feedback on how this works before we go live too.
https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=4474708#post4474708

  • The cost scaling will affect all build/research locations, including conquerable stations and outposts. All slot limitations are being removed everywhere in EVE, and locations that formerly had slot bonuses will receive other bonuses instead. More info on that will be in future blogs.
  • (Conquerable?) Station owners will be able to set part of the cost of running jobs (in the form of taxes), but other parts of the cost will be out of the owner's control. Costs will not ever be able to be set to zero. Again, more info on this will be available in the upcoming blogs.

https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=4474760#post4474760
  • The taxes go to the corp that owns the station, the scaling costs (more info will be coming in a future blog) are sunk out of the game.
https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=4474768#post4474768
  • Question: The industry outpost upgrades to null sec outposts (particularly, the Amarr ones) primarily focus on the increase of industry slots. With the removal of slot limitation, will you be altering the bonuses involved with these outpost upgrades?
    Answer: Yes
https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=4474802#post4474802
  • We're not removing the ability to lock down blueprints in your station. You can still lock down as before and build, research and copy using the infinite slots in the station. (Foo note : i.e. not POS)
https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=4474862#post4474862
  • You will be able to anchor towers in any system in hi sec, except systems that are restricted, like rookie systems and trade hubs like Jita. This is the same restricted list as the one that applies to POCOs for instance.
https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=4474875#post4474875
  • ... The UI is going to reduce the number of clicks required to both install and preview/adjust a job to almost none. Our goal was driven by the idea that we want both batch and single blueprint job installation to be painless but fun. I don't want to spoil the next few blogs so I will leave it at that.
  • As to the cost scaling based on activity in a system, I will simply say that you should notice the impact on cost of working in a busy system, but the (future) blog should go into all the detail you need.
https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=4475105#post4475105
  • Question: How big will the RAMs be given they are 100x more required per bpc
    Answer:  We'll have a look at volumes and keep you posted if we do any change.
  • Regarding existing RAM / RDB, yes, they'll be multiplied by 100.
https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=4475163#post4475163
  • You will be able to get a quote from a station you are not at, with a blueprint you don't even own.
https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=4475199#post4475199
  • We talk a lot about good and bad complexity within the team. A fair portion of the industry changes are pretty clear examples of removing bad complexity, while still keeping the interesting problems for players to solve.
  • Some of the changes are also centered around cleaning up years of legacy code, freeing us up to better iterate on the feature and do more sexy looking UI 
https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=4475330#post4475330

  • You will also get a list of locations you can install the job in the region with a way to compare their relative pricing.
https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=4476028#post4476028
  • POS still need to be anchored at moons.
https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=4476036#post4476036

  • You will be able to install (POS?) invention jobs remotely.
https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=4478892#post4478892
  • Question regarding BPO's based jobs in progress when the release goes live.
    Answer: The issue regarding how to migrate blueprints using starbase when the expansion hits has been noted. We'll update this thread when we have more information about this.
https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=4479060#post4479060
  • All extra materials are turned into regular materials, that will indeed be now affected by skills and waste. Except for Tech I ships and items, as such:
    • You should never see a Paladin require 2 Apocalypses to build
    • You should never see a Large shield Extender II require 0.75 Large Shield Extender I to build

https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=4479068#post4479068
  • Starbases will have reduced tax cost next to NPC station, and mobile labs / assembly array will have more efficient ME / PE lines.

All Dev, GM and CSM comments on this post can be found at https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=search&topic=Building+better+Worlds&devbadge=1&gmbadge=1&csmbadge=1

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Jita not burning yet

Over the last few years, the CFC 'hosted' a Jita Burns event, where thousands of ships were destroyed in a short timespan.

I also had rumours, some of them published, that Jita burn is about to start, (and some unconfirmed sources claiming that it should have started days ago).
There is plenty of propaganda from both pro and anti goon forces.  Read the above posts.  Even more interesting is how earnest some of the comments are, especially the 'we will crush you if you do "X". 

For me the biggest impact is ... nothing. I will continue to do what I already do.  I don't AFK into Jita, or through Niarja or Uedama (or theoretically any 0.5 system).  Instead, if I want to AFK fly a ship, I will autopilot into a station just this side of the 'dangerous' system.  I don't put too much cargo (or even expensive fittings) on any AFK ship.  Where I am uncomfortable, I fly those ships at keyboard.

I have lost ships when autopiloting before,  the one that sticks in my memory was a covops scanning frigate.  My cargo hold was empty so I asked the ganker why I was targeted.  I was obviously auto-piloting, but had a Sisters of Eve launcher and 8 sister probes worth some in a thinly tanked frigate.  The former offended the ganker and the latter made the gank profitable.  The advice I was given was don't autopilot.  Instead I learned not to autopilot in a ship that could be profitably ganked.

The best advice I have for hauling expensive cargo in highsec is don't do it unless you have to, or at least follow hauling corporation rules.  http://red-frog.org/ (which I have used) or http://www.pushx.net (which I have not yet) both have rules that protect both the goods owners and the goods haulers.  

Red frog suggest a maximum collateral of 1B for a freighter.   This means that you should not haul more than 1B of goods in a freighter. My rough feeling is about 50M for an Iteron Mk V (depending very much on fittings, with figures somewhat supported by Agony Unleashed ).  An Orca can have a better tank than a freighter, so (properly fit) can be used to haul higher value, smaller items.

I primarily haul my own goods to the nearest highsec entrance, and will haul items I need to our wormholes.  This needs hauling now, and even 12 hours most likely means that I have missed my entrance.

Before I could fly my current ships, I was known to haul 100M of fuel in an Iteron Mk V, but never away from keyboard, with liberal use of instawarp bookmarks and scouted routes, and always at keyboard.  With a choice of both Orca and Obelisk, those days are now thankfully (mostly) over.  (I might still occasionally be known to fly such loads, but don't tell the gankers that)

If you do haul your own goods in highsec, set the autopilot for your destination to check for 0.5 systems.  I prefer not to autopilot in 0.5 or in trade hub systems (setting the autopilot to a station still en-route but just short of your destination.

Never haul with a pilot in a wardec (and even drop corp if you have to).  Make liberal use of fast aligning bookmarks.

With the allegedly up and coming "Jita burns" (smoulders?  smokes? whimpers?) event it is worth paying additional attention to ship kill statistics.

Dotlan will show a spike very quickly when any such event occurs, eg http://evemaps.dotlan.net/system/Jita. There is not yet a spike.

Jita : Ship Kills Last 48h

Alternatively, from ingame:  Map, Star Map - Stars/Statistics/Ships destroyed in the last hour (or 24 hours)

Choose the timeframe you are interested in.


Jita isn't burning yet


Jita burns historically claims to threaten all haulers; but really concentrates on profitable ganks.  This makes sense; someone has to pay for those ganking ships.  Jita burns is also not just one system, but potentially any trade hub and/or commonly travelled 0.5 system.


If you do get caught in a gank (during an event or otherwise) in a ship that is not defensible, choose a 'celestial' object (moon, planet, customs office), align to it and start spamming 'warp to' even before your ship is dead.  Once you are in warp, immediately choose yet another destination and warp immediately upon leaving your first warp.  Bonus points if your default distance is 70k or 100k.  This will greatly improve your chances of pod survival.

The latest rumour I have read is that Jita burns will start 26 April 2014.   While it make sense, being after the CSM vote (no point in rousing the highsec community during voting season), this is still merely a rumour, to be taken under advisement.

Finally the one concession I will make during a Jita burns event. Once it is confirmed it that such an event has started, I will swap to an implant-less clone on hauling pilots that I know will want to go to Jita.

Monday, April 14, 2014

700 plex up for grabs

Plex currently are at a historical high.  Great for those spend cash and sell plex on market; less great for those that buy plex in game. 

Some suspect that CCP manipulate plex prices.  In my opinion (humble or otherwise), they do.

To add a floor to plex prices, new uses of plex created.  Most recently, ships skins were added, but so was multi character training. CCP knows how many plex have been converted to skins, but I suspect its a few.

CCP add plex to the markets via sales and now special events.

CCP have an event to award 700 Plex across 16 pilots (link).  These Plex have been confiscated from banned accounts.

To get your share of the Plex, you need to find the target (following http://www.twitter.com/EVE_LiveEvents to do so), and do one of the following:
  • Top Damage, or
  • Final Blow on either ship or pod, or
  • Contract the relevant corpse back to Hikemi Korrado, or
  • Top damage by ship class, from frigate to battleship.
Events will be across scattered timezones:
April 13 – 17:00 UTC
April 14 – 11:30 UTC
April 15 – 18:00 UTC
April 16 – 14:00 UTC
April 17 – 20:00 UTC
April 19 – 02:00 UTC
April 19 – 22:00 UTC


Many claim that Pandemic Legion won the first day (in lowsec).  Second day is in highsec. Stnadard 'crimewatch' rules will hold.  Organise for your highsec remote repairers to be in fleet.

Some Q&A;

The targets, flown by CCP staff, are rumoured flying Wyverns, even in highsec. Rumor has it that CCP historically omni tank.   This is not a safe event.  Offgrid boosters will be brought.  Defensive logistics, neuts, ECM all make sense (but also make you more likely to be a target).  Bring friends; your competitors will be.

During the first event, CCP announced the name of the target, the relevant constellation and the total bounty (40 Plex).  Apparently all prizes went to Pandemic Legion.

This event, in isolation, will not make a long term difference to the plex market.  There are already many plex traded in Jita, 700 is a symbolic drop, possibly enough to pop a bubble, but not to make a long term difference.


Those concerned with flying safely need not apply; for this event, fly dangerous.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Vote already, vote often

https://community.eveonline.com/community/csm/vote

The CSM vote is our opportunity to suggest who should represent our various game styles.

CCP listens to to the CSM.  Sometimes we wish they would listen more.  Very occasionally I wish CCP would listen to the CSM less, but that is merely because we didn't get enough of my type of candidate on it.  Think of voting as your opportunity to participate in Eve's Meta game.

Vote often.  There is an improvement on the vote process from last year for those of us with multiple accounts.  Once your browser has registered a vote, the next account you log in presents by default your last account's voting preference (which you can change if you want).  This makes voting on your (far too many) alt accounts very easy.

The voting system means that every vote counts.  Vote for who you want with a clean conscience, and apply preferences to those candidates you would settle for.  You have 14 candidates you can put on your vote (out of 36), and if you do fill out the 14, then your vote will end up with someone you respect.[1].  I also follow elections as one of my 'first life' hobbies, and it is very easy to find examples where elections are decided by a few hundred votes (Denison which I am familiar with and this list which needed a web search)


If too many voters also like your first choice, then any 'overflow' will flow to your second preference.  Similarly if your first choice is not  popular with others, it will flow to another more popular candidate; providing you have not let it 'expire' by not having enough candidates.

A lot of what the CSM does is covered by a 'non disclosure agreement'.  We never will be able to know everything.  The CSM takes players concerns to CCP, even before players know to be concerned.  Some things that the CSM has been involved in:
  • SMA's dropping loot again (to my personal disappointment but it makes a lot of hunters happy)
  • Somer Blink
  • The debate about whether K162 signatures should be delayed and how that works is from our 2 WH candidates.
  • The specialised cargo holds in T1 industrials was driven by our CSM.
  • The implementation of some of the siphon units.
  • ESS using loyalty points.
  • A certain bonus room incident.
Who missed out last time?  Lowsec was not represented, and didn't get many changes.

I don't always agree with the CSM, and other games use other mechanisms to feed information to the development groups, but for Eve, to get your playstyle buffed, you want players who represent you on the CSM.  Those that show up get to make the decisions. Voting is a simple way of 'showing up'.

Vote early.  Vote often.

For more information about candidates,  look at http://nosygamer.blogspot.com.au/p/blog-page.html

For more information on the technicalities, please read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wright_system


[1] Yes it is theoretically possible with only 14 votes that your vote may 'expire', but last year 99% of votes were 'used' by the 8th choice.

Foo's CSM 9 recommendations

Vote early.  Vote often (once per account you have). 

This means that if you have 8 accounts, I would like to see you vote 8 times.  I know the UI is not the best, deal with it.

I have taken a mixture of sources for this list, listening to many of the http://www.legacyofacapsuleer.com/ interviews, as well as reading their jita park posts, blogs and other blogger recommendations.

I do not need to agree with everything someone has said to recommend them.  Candidates will be more likely to be promoted if I have sufficient information about them, from any of the above sources.  Sufficient nullsec candidates from large powerblocs will get in regardless of my recommendation so do not need additional promotion.

Each candidate has a brief reason why they are where they are. "+" or "-" means I like that reason (or not).


Top Tier :
  • Steve Ronuken. +Out of game tools.  If you ever want to use any out of game tool (Eve Central, evemon, EFT, pyfa, anything) you want Steve on the CSM.
  • Proclus Diadochu.  +Wormhole
  • James Arget. +Wormhole + CSM8 support role +No/restricted delayed k162 - Decide earlier.
  • Corbexx. +Wormhole 
  • Sugar Kyle. +Lowsec +Market +Blogger +PVP

Middle Tier:
  • Ali Aras : +Merc, +CSM 8 very active 
  • Riverini : +EveNews24 -Null
  • Psianh Auvyander +Merc
  • corebloodbrothers : -Null but +NRDS(provi) 
  • Mike Azariah : +CSM8 +Highsec (otherwise under represented)
  • Asayanami Dei +Wormhole -No legacy of capsuleer interview 
  • Psycotic Monk : +Someone to represent 'them'
Lower Tier:
  • Matias Otero : +BraveNewbies -AlreadyHasVotes
  • Mangala Solaris : +RVB -RVB



Candidates info at
Other suggestions for voting : http://match.eve-csm.com/index.php

There are other worthy candidates.  I have my bias, and respect that others have their own bias.

Just vote at https://community.eveonline.com/community/csm/vote/#

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Recent dev posts on Contracts and Drones

There are a couple of dev posts that I wish to shout out.

CCP wants feedback on the contract system.  As someone who tried producing mid level BPC's for sale, and gave up due to the limits of the contract system, I can only endorse a desire to improve this. If you have ever tried contracts, now is the time to offer the wisdom of your opinions.



It is no real secret that the only boats I can currently fly are the Epithal and Dominix. (This is an oversimplification - but not by much.) 


Drones are being rebalanced.  T2 Gardes are being nerfed 7% raw DPS (9% if you only have Gallente Drone IV), but picking up a bit of tracking.  Other races drones are being buffed, but ... nothing will replace that lost DPS for sentry drones (maybe the new faction Drone Damage Amp?) 

Heavy drones will be slightly less painful to use on large targets if you want to get up close and personal.  I will also see what might happen if we change our C4 sleeper tactics from ranged warpins to dropping on top of them with heavy drones.  The concept of moving while we fight might be interesting.

TLDR; The gap between best and worst are being shrunk by buffing the new drone pilot and nerfing the Gallente Sentry T2 user. 

I wont pretend to understand the intricacies of carrier ship changes yet, I was reading that there were calls for 2 Damage Control Units, when the calls instead were for something to do with Drone Control Units; both being DCU.

Yes Van, you called it.  The goons should be pleased that their campaign against drones has paid dividends (as Van said it would).  Reducing drone assist earlier was not enough, so now we just nerf the T2 sentry drones. 

I will probably stop whining when I train t2 large guns and AWU 5.  Maybe.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Low sec PI empire

I am referring to Sugar Kyle's(1) Public POCO Project


Sugar has gotten herself a POCOpire where she is offering insanely good PI tax rates, even to the general public. Lowsec extraction PI is better than highsec PI, and her general public taxes she is currently offering will be cheaper than the best highsec has to offer.  For manufacturing planets, access to market, and low taxes are all that matter.


The one drawback may be for the TCS POCOpire, the taxes may be too low, and the planets may become over extracted.  Wormhole PI extraction is superior (2), and if you want better PI extraction options, come and join a Foo wormhole PI corp. The Foo corps also have an option for a fixed rate per moth rather than ongoing taxes.

As an open response to Sugar's post, and because blogger comments are fine for short responses, please find my long winded essay below.

For me, my blog has been a net positive experience.  We have been attacked in part because of it.  Our defenders also came due to connections from my blog.  Many recruits to the corp have also joined because of my blog, and knowing who I am.  Yes we will be attacked again, but I feel blogging is a net positive(3)

Blogging is egotistical. So is journalism, yet we still read the blogs and watch the news.  Without that ego, there would be no out of game information to read apart from the occasional dev post.

Can the TCS Public POCO Project make ISK with low taxes?  I think your taxes are on the low side, but you don't have POS fuel to pay for.  When I had lowsec POCO's I charged more than  you currently are, but still 'cheap'.

The major damage for others seeing our stumbles is to our ego, but ... we like to think that our ego's are big enough for the job.  I also think our bruised ego posts often make for the better posts.

I would love to see you publish aggregated data (and you will have more API data if you charge a 0.1% tax to blues), but publishing the API details is dangerous to your clients.  From the corporation API, hostiles could see when pilots are hauling, and where they are hauling from.  Some information is fine, too much detail will have the effect of driving customers away (after they are consistently blown up)

What I would like to see TCS (or someone else) do is set up local buy (and sell) orders in the systems that the POCOs are in, or at least cover these systems with ranged buy orders.  The most dangerous part of the trip is negotiating gates.  Yes, Epithals can (and possibly even should) have 4 WCS, but a single stealth bomber can still lock an Epithal with far too much loot down.  Encouraging local trading (and there will be both buy and sell) will both increase the amount of PI done, and should be a profitable business on it's own.

New clients also want to know where your customs offices are.  I recall that you have mentioned Bosena but confirmation that these are roughly where the POCO's are would help me send lowsec PI recruits in the right direction.  (When they get hooked they can then join me in our wormholes).

(1) Sugar Kyle is also running for CSM, and deserves your vote.
(2) I fear I may be dubbed sir spamalot.  I am also jealous of the PI farmers TCS will get.  PI farmers are mine I tell you, all mine.
(3) Blogging does take time.  I have no idea how the daily bloggers find that time.