Wednesday 27 March 2013

CSM vote stage 1

For CSM8, there are two times you get to vote.  Once to make sure we are getting a list of popular candidates, and the later to select the least unpopular of these.

Today I am talking about the first stage of the voting : To select all the popular candidates.

Each candidate needs to get 200 "votes" in their own right (or the top 28 if enough candidates fail to get the required 200).

The candidate list for endorsement is finally available at

A prominent nullsec candidate talked about the plight of the little guy, their inability to become established, without a solution.  Wormhole systems are the solution.  The wormhole candidates know this.  I am endorsing the wormhole candidates.  (disclosure : I am a wormhole resident myself).

I have read some numbers, suggesting a likely number of elected WH candidates.  Living in a country with a preferential voting system, and seeing it used in real life, you always want at least one more candidate than you think is probable, to get that 'last spot'.

The candidates I recommend you endorse in this stage of the election :

Edit: I missed one : apricot baby.  A new player experience and 'engage the player base' candidate. Not a wormhole candidate, but worthy of looking at.

These are included based on my perception of engagement with the vote getting process.  There is some truth to the rumour that you only see a politician during elections.  And if you can't see one during the election, they may vanish after it.  I am also partial to bloggers, even part time ones.

I will be including Nathan Jameson in my 'vote for' candidates for phase 2. He misses out on an explicit endorsement for this round of voting, as I  am making an educated guess that he will get his 200 votes regardless of anything I write on this blog.

If you have any preference as to who you would like to see eligible for election (agree with me or not), now is the time to endorse your candidate at , once per active account.

PS.  If wormhole candidates get their 200 votes and let me know, I will update the above names.

Tuesday 26 March 2013

POS Security. How to kill friends and influence people

It's not paranoia if they are out to get you.

Like any reasonably minded wormhole corporation, we assume that any neutrals in the neighbourhood are planning bad things for us.

As part of that, anyone who is neutral will be shot at by POS guns.

Now we know that neutral pilots get shot at.  We ... 'tested' this earlier when one of our alt pilots temporarily left the corporation and promptly had his T2 blown up when he warped to our POS.  We set him and his new corp to blue, and he no longer gets shot at by guns.

Historically we have done our our recruitment process and invited players before they enter our wormhole.  Recently, a pilot known to one of our members, was invited to have a look around the system, as a candidate.

Our 'alt pilot' from before reminded me to set our candidate to blue, which I confirmed.

Candidate pilot warps to fleet member at POS, and promptly explodes.

Pilot is clearly blue : check.
POS shoots those that are neutral or worse : check.
POS does not care about security standing : check.
POS does not care about security status dropping? : check (also we are in wormhole. What is this security status thing anyway?)
We are not at war with candidate.  Check.

I am confused.  Pay compensation to candidate.  Get them ship out of the SHA.

Web search "pos shoot at blue", and I ultimately read :
If any pilot with a standing (applies only to the pilot's player corporation standings towards the POS's owner corporation) lower than the value you type into the box gets in range of the starbase then the tower will attack.* 
Please note: *When setting standings, only the POS's owner corporation standings towards that of another player corporation are taken into account. Setting standings towards an alliance, individual pilots, NPC factions or NPC corporations are not effective. Entering zero does not equate to a neutral standing. Only by not checking the setting's box and not entering any value is it ensured that this setting is not taken into account should a pilot come into range of any defense structures.

We had set the Pilot to blue.  We failed to set their corporation to blue.  I would love the addition of a single word to the text from the screenshot.

I think the appropriate term is face-palm.

Sunday 24 March 2013

Profitable standing increase

Despite having all the wormhole moons I could ever want to put a POS onto, I have just finished grinding Gallente raw faction standing to 7.0 on one of my pilots.  Some of our pilots are highsec based traders and manufacturers and want access to a POS.

To anchor a POS in high, your corporation needs a faction standing of 10 times the system's security level;  eg to anchor a POS in a 0.7 system, your corp needs 7.0 faction standing .  This is based on the sum of your corp member's raw faction standing before connections and similar skills. This is easiest to do with a single member corp, and invite other pilots after the POS is anchored.

I have done storyline missions before, based on the back of the occasional courier missions (mostly done afk), but most of my faction standing is from repeating career agents (6 sets of 5 missions), Keeping crimes in check and, so far L1 and L2 Cosmos missions.

This last week I started L3 Cosmos missions, and while I have spent an embarrassing amount of time reading how to fit a cruiser for PVE (some of the rooms are restricted to cruisers), the combat missions have been very easy.  Anything that I can buy from market or contracts is bought, I have spent about 10M (and one trip to Jita) to get items / bodies / whatever the missions needed.

I used to tell me where to go, what to buy and what to do.

I didn't do these missions to earn ISK, only to grind out faction standing.  I have been surprised at the rewards for these missions, especially for the lack of risk.

I have salvaged nothing, looted nothing.  I have gone into lowsec once (making sure that the station was not camped before docking there), and avoided the last L4 mission (it required entering the  Contested Gallente Azure Chasm and purchase a 40M dogtag on contract). The last time I entered a contested area solo, I found the respawn time was shorter than my solo dps allowed, and the rooms refilled before I finished clearing them, corp mates were not on at the same time to help, and I got my required standing anyway.

Not including ISK rewards or some faction blueprint copies that I have not yet investigated how much they are worth,  the mission rewards include :
  • Yun Jung Technology skillbook (114M ISK)
  • Passkey to Yan Jung Relic site (170M ISK via contract)
  • Social Adaption Chip - Standard (22M ISK)
  • Ocular Filter - Basic (10M ISK)
  • 2 x 'Meditation' Medium Armor Repairer 1 (2 * 40M)
These prices are the hover over price from Eve, with the exception of the passkey which was the cheapest price on contract.

I used two different ships on these missions; a shield tanked Vexor (cruiser drone boat) and a Viator (Blockade Runner).  Many other ships could be used, and if you can't use a viator, use any industrial the larger  haulage missions, and a fast frigate (possibly with a scout) for the lowsec run.

You can also repeat the missions for your allied faction (Gallente/Minmatar or Caldari/Ammar) for additional primary faction rep (very roughly 1/2 of the standing increase).

It doesn't matter whether you are a merely working out a bit of faction standing to anchor a POS and reduce broker fees, or a mission runner looking for some easy ISK and a change of scenery,  I recommend these missions.

Wednesday 20 March 2013

The great wormhole CSM 8 debate

Down the pipe has hosted a podcast with a lengthy wormhole debate  

Two-step has a post with links to the different announcements for candidates.  Rather than try to keep a partial list here, I will just send you to Two-step's page.

In this post I may enjoy being the peanut gallery.  However it is a wall of text.  If you don't care about WH's (or maybe POS roles) and CSM, then this post may not be for you.

As an open letter to the WH candidates :

Somewhat random thoughts

You can please some of the people some of the time or all of the people some of the time.  You can't please all people all of the time.  Same applies to fooling them too, which might be the same thing.

You are speaking to a wormhole audience.  During this an interview to a specific audience seeking votes, speak to what they want to hear.  Null sec players might have highsec mission alts.  I suspect many WH residents use highsec to buy and sell stuff, but have null oriented PVP alts which look and act a lot like their WH pilots.  You are a WH candidate. Don't dismiss nullsec or lowsec concerns, but you are after the WH players vote.  You won't get the goon vote regardless, don't spend time trying. You can go after the newbie vote; that is worth while (if you can get them to vote).

As a personal preference, I get information from blogs.  I can make sure to read your blog, I know what I am getting.  Don't make me read the forums, a horrible "noise to signal" ratio.  (If I was talking about anything other than blogs I would use the term signal to noise).  By preference, don't make me listen to to podcasts.  Some might even say it's easier to read blogs during 9-5 than it is to consume other Eve related material.  Others players will clearly have their preference too.  ().

One of the suggestions is that Random NPC attacks on POS/POCO, and that they should be capable of their existence, 'to keep players active'.  This is not required.  Those part time corps established in wormholes already have to do POS fuel, which does not come cheap to a part timer.  If you want to spend ISK (or time) on fuel but don't want to use it your POS, go for it.  You won't get more players in a wormhole by telling part timers that they can't set up POS.

Random NPC attacks on player ships are OK if you want, but I lose ships to random player attacks on my ships anyway.  I am not sure what you gain, but it might give the appearance activity.

Randomise NPC abilities on sites is a fine idea.  Variety is always good, but those that bash out sites will ask more reward for the increased difficulty/time.  That is not to say that players should get it.

I would have no issue destroying ships inside a forcefield if attacked, and feel 'entitled' to continue to do so.  However if you are attacking my forcefield while I self-destruct ships, I have no issues with it showing up on a kill mail.

An additional WH conflict point may be desirable (not convinced but then I don't shoot things).  Player deployed 'minor buff' structure.  One way to implement this (and there are plenty others) is a device that must be anchored around a moon, offers a minor buff: a few % 'bonus' to scanning probes; maybe an occasional hint as to wormhole collapses; or possibly even a few % reduction to POS fuel requirements.  Maybe even several different modules doing all of the above but with a smaller individual bonus.  All of these devices would be 'bashable' in the way of POCO's but with far fewer hit points.  These would have timers of some kind, on a scale similar to the wormholes for that class (say 16- 24 hours for c1-3 wormholes, 48-72 for c6 wormholes).  They should also have crap shield regen, but a lot of armor.  This would enable and maybe even require a large amount of time spent outside of a POS shield to either break or repair.

On POS: I agree that there is needed change to the wormhole role granularity.   I agree with Two-step's comment about private storage (1:47).  I would like to grant permissions on a POS by POS basis, rather than on a corp/division/role basis. I won't grow a WH corp past 7 players due to this.  I might add multiple corps to a WH as alliance. 

Interviewers question about ECM/ECCM : Are you asking a question or telling interviewees the answer?  You have a gripe about ECM/ECCM - sure.  Caveat : I get shot at; I like overpowered ECM.

For the record: I don't like active nerfs.  You 'forgot' how to do something you knew how to last week.  However, learning a counter makes perfect sense to me.  Disruptive things happen in first life.  Then they get counters.

Oh and I love the (nearly) closing comments regarding ... a certain country and free speech.  There are certain individuals you could send your regards to.  (One of them is planning on running for my first life government's senate).

Impress me with your competence and enthusiasm.   By competence, I am speaking by preference of "unconscious competence".  One guy in the interviews impressed me with this; pity he is not running for CSM.  Mind you, I loved Nathan's challenge "Are you saying that the creation of your character date is the most important part of your resume?" (1:30:40).  Probably not always the best thing to verbally shove your interviewer onto their back foot, but I loved it the same.

Tuesday 19 March 2013

How (not) to ditch a mutual wardec

TL: DR. When your corp leaves an alliance with a mutual wardec, you not only take the wardec, it remains mutual.

We are a wormhole corp.  We do PI even with our highsec pilots.  You can reset your planets from highsec. Why that works is beyond me, as you can't refresh research jobs from outside the wormhole system, but I am not complaining.  The pilots come back to the wormhole every week or two to deliver goods to the POS and maybe even take some goods to and from highsec markets.
Our pure wormhole pilots simply treat every unknown ship as hostile, and quite a few of the known ships too.  DScan and mild paranoia are bred into your nature and you slowly forget that local ever existed.  Even those of us with highsec pilots in our accounts slip into this role very easily.  War declarations are meaningless for some of us.

Our part time wormhole pilots however find war declarations somewhat more painful.  Hauling pilots like to fly AFK with the knowledge that Concord will eventually come to the rescue.  Mission pilots like to fit for PVE and not PVP.  Wardecs mean that highsec becomes troublesome.

We don't mind being shot at, but we want there to be a cost for shooting at us, at least in highsec.  We also don't like staying in stations.

Our alliance got caught up in a mutual wardec, with our alliance as the defender. To be honest, without a lot of shooting on either side.  But when you are travelling 30 jumps to get home, there is a strong temptation to go AFK, and regardless you don't pay full attention for the entire trip.

After discussing it within corp and up the chain with the alliance leadership, we decided it was time we try to shake the wardec.  Research said that if we break out of the alliance, we would end up as the aggressor in a brand new war.  This war would last a week by default and then we could let it expire.  Nothing would prevent our 'nemesis' from re-declaring war, but at least then they would be paying for the privilege of shooting us.

No organisation wants to lose members.  As a corp, I don't want to lose those highsec pilots.  That applies to our alliance as well.  We will perform all the social graces to ease the sting, but I can't believe our alliance likes see us wanting to leave.

After one last pang of concern I break us out of the alliance.  We have the acceptance of the alliance.  Bless it.  That wardec is not only still there, but it is still mutual.  We are still the defender!

Time for plan (B).

Monday 18 March 2013

CSM primer for newbies 
 ( or  )

This year I will be voting in the CSM elections, but I am not yet sure who for.

The Buzz words that I thought I was looking for were:
  • POS revamp (with themes of better security options), 
  • Wormhole
  • Destabilising the large null alliances
However, today I had pointed out a new buzz word pointed out to me : New Player experience.

If you do not know how the 'Player Representative Council' (called the CSM) elections work, especially if you avoid game forums due to the noise to signal ratio, then consider reading the above article.

Tuesday 12 March 2013

Prototype cloaks for T1 scanning ships

Yet again, while shuttling (expensive) goods to highsec, I find a T1 scanning ship sitting in plain sight, on the highsec side of a wormhole.

Wormholes and their entrances are not places to be casually visible, sitting in space.  There are some exceptions.  These are :
  • You are showing off how bad-ass you are (but rarely with cause), to scare away the timid.
  • You are bait.
  • You are actively shooting things.
  • "You" are a POS or POCO (these things can not be hidden).
  • You are sitting inside a POS (so you can watch the system and pretend you are away from keyboard, and what the hell, they found your POS anyway).
  • You are going somewhere and are not in a covert ops ship.
If you can be seen, you can be countered.   (If you are bait you want to be 'countered').

In a wormhole, any fight that comes to you is an attempted gank.  Any fight you take to someone is an attempted gank.  (A broad statement, but still true).  For any fight you undertake, be the one to initiate it.  This means stealth and surprise are your friends.  Sitting openly where anyone can see you means you have lost that stealth and surprise.

I play the hunted rather than the hunter.  I am 'timid' with cause (well as timid as anyone living in a wormhole).  A tech 1 frigate sitting at the highsec entrance to my way home means I am just going to turn around and safe up.  If you wanted a shot at my industrial (most likely full of expensive stuff), cloak up and catch me on the inside with a tackle.  (Mock bravado now.) Be warned: Even timid animals will bite if they are cornered.

Stealth is just as important if you are 'merely' running unclaimed sites.  You still don't want to advertise that you are around, and an easy mark.

Hunters that find you are just going to refit for PVP to take you out (if they are not already kit out that way), and even the distracted can hardly miss a ship sitting on top of a wormhole.

Gankers : You can assume that any hauler coming out of a wormhole is likely to be profitably gankable.  Wormhole pilots are also not your traditional AFK highsec hauler.

This means that you should not sit in a wormhole in a scanning ship uncloaked.  You should not sit at the entrance to a wormhole uncloaked, even a highsec entrance.