Tuesday 27 May 2014

Out of corp wormhole PI storage - the face palm moment

As a rule, I prefer to do my own PI with pilots in one of our wormhole corporations.  There are however times and pilots that this is not practicable.  My highsec freighter pilot for example is in an NPC corp.  Some corp members are in various lowsec and nullsec groups, and use PI to fund their ship repacements.

The problem with doing PI with an out of corp pilots is storage.  Whether you are doing manufacture PI and need a stockpile of low end mats, or simply don't want to use the wormhole with partially empty ships every single run, you want some space.

Jet canning PI from an Epithal is painful, as you can only jetcan from your standard hold, and not from your PI hold.  While you can add additional PI to your initial jetcan, an epithal holds more than a single jetcan and you will need to wait a few minutes to create a second.

My solution to the Jetcan issue had been swapping ships between 2 Eve pilots, and emptying the contents directly into the POS with the in corp pilot.  It works but takes a few clicks and sufficient attention to ensure you are boarding the right ship.  Boarding the same ship you just ejected from is a bit embarrassing even when no one else is watching.

Enter the Enormous Freight Container (EFC?).  We had seen a few launched in our wormholes on occasions; cheap storage with zero security.  We have treated them as target practice, but wondered how they could be launched.  After all, they are 250,000m3 unpacked and nothing that fits in our C1 can hold that much to unpack.

They are however only 2,500m3 when packed, and ... can simply be launched for self from any t1 industrial while still packed.  Facepalm.  I have been playing this game for long enough to no longer be considered a green novice, yet I simply did not think to attempt this until recently.

EFC's can be launched for self while still packed.  It takes a couple of minutes between launches because you still have the jetcan delay, but that is trivial.  They also can be launched inside of your POS forcefield, so are generally secure from neutrals.  Out of corp pilots can be given a POS forcefield password.

Occasionally (but not always), I need to set my 'safety' to yellow to access the EFC.  Why?  Not sure, it feels like a UI bug, but I don't really care enough to raise a support ticket with such an easy work around.

I still would not leave expensive stuff in an EFC for any duration longer than logging over between pilots on an account.  I believe that a little trust goes a long way, and there is no point in leaving temptation for corp members when our POS is set up for 'secure' storage.

Containers launched in and around POS do not seem to despawn.  We have a couple of smaller containers that have been around one of our POS for a very long time.

Out of interest, I tried bumping an EFC, and could not manage to move it, even with an Orca.  They might be bump-able, but I didn't have much success.

I don't think I am ever going to be able to re-pack them but they are cheap enough (500k at trade hubs) not to worry about.

The other advantage for the single player (or close knit first life corp) is that the EFC's don't require CPU.  Theory says that EFC's will be available even after a POS is re-inforced.  I will have to try it out on SISI (the test Eve server) at some stage, as I don't feel any huge desire to deliberately attract unwanted attention by re-inforcing my own POS on 'live'.

So, EFC's are simply easier than jetcanning or ship swapping, with far more volume than any individual industrial can hold.  I should have set them up a long time ago.

Sunday 11 May 2014

CSM 9 election - review of the vote

This is a wall of text for those interested in my analysis of the CSM 9 vote breakdown.  Some want to know.  If you are in the significant majority that do not care, I will have another post for you later, but feel free to skip this one.
Unlike many Eve players, my first life country uses a STV very similar to the Eve CSM elections for many of our parliamentary elections.  Here are my thoughts.  Any errors are my own. If you have better information please leave a comment.

The other point I want to make about the single transferable vote system that appears obvious to me but appears strange to others. To be elected, you want first preference votes, but also want preferences from others.  In essence if you get a quota in your own right, you are in.  If there are several candidates short of a quota, these candidates need recommendations (i.e. votes) from others.

Disclaimer: I am not entirely unbiased in my Eve politics.  The analysis should still be useful for those that follow such things regardless.

The elephant in the room.

This years total vote dropped from 49702 for CSM 8 (1) to 31294 for CSM 9 (2).  That is, for every 5 voters last year, this year we had 3.  Last year, a quota was 3314, this year the quota was 2087.  Regardless of how the vote turns out, this drop is an elephant in the room, and should be talked about. 

I expect that those who vote are the more engaged of the Eve player base.  There has been a fall of 37% of those participating in voting.

My question is: Does Eve have a 37% fall in activity amongst our most engaged players?

CCP and CSM, you have an NDA and can talk quietly amongst yourselves if you want, but address this. I don't need the answer, but CSM 9 please also ask the question about the correlation between voting in CSM elections and whether members are still playing 12 months later.

The new candidates of note

Sugar Kyle is the standout, with 91% of a quota.  A relentless campaign on her blog, and good feelings all around from others.  In my opinion Sugar picked up some of the vote that went to WH candidates last election.

Brave newbies candidates of Matias Otero and Awoxing Pizza-Spymaster McBlueshooter with 86% of a quota between them. The Awoxer with the too long name did assist Matias with preferenes.

Wormhole vote comments

Taking Rhava's list of Wormhole candidates (3) (Asayanami Dei, corbexx, James Arget, Karen Galeo,
Proclus Diadochu), there were 1.6 quota's of votes for them; down from 1.9 on CSM 8.  With suitable preference flows, this could be hoped to translate into 2 candidates.  As only 1 was elected, clearly there were not enough non-wh recommendations for this to occur.  I suspect in part because of some very strong non-block candidates.

CSM8 James Arget remained in the running until there were 18 candidates remaining, finally knocked out at this stage with 887 votes; short what would turn out to be 508 votes to get the final seat.  (More on James below)

Last year, everywhere I went, the wormhole candidates referred to to each other.  This did not happen this year.  Also, most groups had the wormhole 5 on their ticket; recommendations that this year went to other candidates.

Asayanami Dei who was a wormhole candidate was also the last exclusion.  Requiring only another 80 votes,  improving anything in the campaign would have gained those extra votes.

Goonswarm vote comments

While Sion's vote was down in raw numbers (4314) from the lead goonswarm candidate last year (mynnna's 5782), it was still a significant increase in relative terms; being over 2 quota in their own right.

If I recall correctly, I believe that last year Goonswarm had still had some of their strategists thinking of first past the post elections and tried to spread some of the vote.  This year they realised that with a single transferable vote system, this is generally unnecessary, and may even be harmful (4).

I assume that they wanted Sion to be a permanent member instead of mynnna.

I do not have the Goonswarm voting ticket (and if anyone has it, I would appreciate it - either as a comment or evemail Dotoo Foo).

Goonswarm candidates (Sion, mynnna, Angry) had 2.6 quotas; electing 2.
Goonswarm + Gentlemans Agreement (Xander) had 3.0 quota; electing 3.
GS + GA + RVB (Mangala Solaris) (5) had 3.4 quota; electing 4.

This last one is curious; In CSM 8, Mangala had a personal vote of 80% of a quota (2681 votes).  This year, with a significant fall in overall vote, he is now in 41% of a quota (857 votes).  This year Mangala gets in on sympathetic preferences, but his personal base has deserted him.  More on Mangala below.

Last year, GS (mynnna + Unforgiven Storm) + GA (Kesper North) + RVB (Mangala Solaris) had 3.1 quota (unless I missed someone).

Rhavas quoted this, but I will too : http://themittani.com/news/gsf-ceo-update-tri-harder
"...  my personal take on this election is that turnout will be at an all-time low. If I'm right, that's hilarious news for the CFC, because there's nothing this coalition does quite like marching and voting in lockstep. In a low turnout situation, the impact of organization, unity and force is magnified.".  There is some justification for this statement, but looking at these primary votes :

CSM 9 CSM 8 %Fall
Goon 5254 6684 78.61%
Goon + GA 6199 7602 81.54%
Goon+GA+RVB 7056 10283 68.62%

Goonswarm also suffers from the fall in vote that everyone else has, thought to a lesser extent.  The average fall in vote from CSM 8 is 63%.

Goonswarm was not as organised or motivated as it would like to claim.

State of the count with 15 candidates remaining

Each voting system has it's hard to call spots.  With a multi candidate STV system, it is the last spot.

By the time there are only 15 candidates remaining, the following 12 candidates had received a quota of votes a few in their own right; most on preferences.  They are 'comfortably elected', though a candidate would rather be higher up this list than lower down it.
  • Sion Kumitomo
  • corebloodbrothers
  • Sugar Kyle
  • Ali Aras
  • Steve Ronuken
  • progodlegend
  • mynnna
  • Xander Phoena
  • Matias Otero
  • corbexx
  • Mike Azariah
  • DJ FunkyBacon
There are 3 remaining candidates; 1 of which will not be elected
  • Mangala Solaris has 1550
  • Major JSilva has 1474
  • Asayanami Deihas has 1395.  The candidate with the fewest votes is excluded and so all remaining seats are filled.
When I was looking at the GSF + GA + RVB vote above, I was curious as to how Mangala Solaris was elected.  From a personal vote of 857 he picks up 693 preferences from other candidates, never particularly strong preference flows, but significantly better than random.  Mangala and Major are the last two to be elected.

Unlike last year, there are no strong preferences to be gained from the last to be excluded candidates.

The Strong preference flows

In Eve, voters choose their pilots, and while we can provide recommendations, pilots are a prone do not always follow the party line.  Below are the exceptional recommendations where pilots voted in step.  Numbers are taken from the '15 candidates remaining' section of the vote:
  • Sion to mynna : 2410 of 2521 votes
  • mynnna to Xander  : 1081 of 1589 votes
  • Corebloodborthers exhausted 864 of 1148 votes

Improved candidates from CSM 8

The candidates that re-ran that next years candidates want to emulate are :


Last year the combined provi block (Ali + Corebloodbrother) had 1.1 quota, this year Corebloodbrother recieved 1.4 quota all by himself; with the surplus largely exhausting.  This was a drop in total 'Provi block' but considering Ali still was voted in consuming some of this, it is a significant effort.  CSM 10 Candidates should want to be on his ticket.

Steve Ronuken

Steve picks up significant support not only in quota (made easier by that drop in vote I keep harping on), but also in primary votes as well. Now has 1692 (81% quota) primary votes, up from 1286 (38% quota).  A strong campaign, made stronger by general support from others.

Roughly the same support from CSM 8

Ali Ares, despite changing from Provi to Merc, has in rough terms the same primary support.

progodlegend similarly has roughly the same primary support

mynnna was no longer the Goon primary candidate, but is easily elected on Sion's preferences.  He however also gets even more support as other candidates are excluded.  I assume there was a decision to put mynnna on the council but not as a permanent member.  In this election it probably makes little difference, but I would have expected Angry Mustache to remain in the running longer if the Goon voting recommendation was the other way around, due to how votes get disbursed from a successful candidate.

Some ... other candidates from CSM 8

James Arget.

On again off again, defer your official candidate announcement until the last moment candidate.  In CSM 8, James had a personal vote of 1624 (49% quota).  This year, James had a personal vote of 653 (31% quota).  James, this is not how to run a campaign.

Mangala Solaris

Preferences flowing to Mangala say that those sympathetic to RVB still support him, and off that soft support, Mangala was elected.  A drop of personal votes from 2681 (81% quota) to 857 (41% quota) is truly remarkable and not in a good way.  RVB needs to find their core support again if they want to keep a seat on the CSM.


riverini is moderately well known from eve news 24 (that I sometimes write for), but really?  Coming from last year having 26% of a quota from last year, dropping to 10% of a quota this year is not a good showing. 

Other notes

It is good to have most spaces represented this year: High, Low, WH, (lots of) Null, industry, PVP and out of game tools.

I congratulate all successfully elected candidates.  Commiserations to all those who failed to get a seat.  (or given the workload, is it the other way around?).

I have slighted some of you by not mentioning you by name, and my apologies.  I just don't know enough about how you were elected (or not) to add anything meaningful.  This assumes that the words above are meaningful and helpful to those considering future CSM campaigns.

Thank you, I think,  Rhavas with your post of http://interstellarprivateer.wordpress.com/2014/05/10/the-csm-you-deserve/ You prompted this wall of text.

(1) https://www.dropbox.com/s/qp57pktyxsrsww4/csm-14.txt, Trebor's re-run of the votes for CSM8.
(2) http://community.eveonline.com/news/dev-blogs/csm9-presenting-the-new-council-members-election-data-and-officer-changes/ and from that page: http://cdn1.eveonline.com/community/csm/CSM9.zip I have been using auditlog - 14 seat.txt as the source of voting data.
(3) http://interstellarprivateer.wordpress.com/2014/05/10/the-csm-you-deserve/
(4) Please note the qualifications of 'generally' and 'may'.  For the truly tragic election follower, reading up on the election in Braddon in Tasmania/Australia 2014 at http://kevinbonham.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/state-election-post-count-thread-braddon.html is interesting reading.  This was truly a 'remarkable' result and has lead to some commentators including myself reconsidering previous advice.  TLDR; Even with single transferable votes it is sometimes better to have a split vote. 
(5) Yes I have drunk the cool-aid that says RVB has strong relations with GSF.

My working spreadsheet is available at https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1HsU_rOxWl4ZHg1T0hFYjR2VDA/edit?usp=sharing .  This might or might not be useful to others.

Edit: I have slightly updated this post over at  http://evenews24.com/2014/05/14/csm-9-election-a-review-of-the-vote/
Nothing fundamentally different, but the EN24 version contains a few updates based on comments received.

Wednesday 7 May 2014

Starbase Defense Management

Pos gunning is a powerful defense, providing you have the pilots trained and online. 

The problem is that one pilot can only control up to 5 of these very powerful guns, and that currently with roughly 52 days training.  Having been the defender in a siege; 1 POS gunner is not sufficient.  The prerequisite is currently Anchoring 5, a roughly 17 day train.  Horrible.

With the POS changes, this too shall pass.  Just in from the forums, CCP have announced that the pre-requsite will be changed to Anchoring 4; making an incredibly useful 3 POS gun pilot in just 4 days.

This means that Anchoring 5 will be only required for Mobile Large Warp Disruptor II's (worth it in null/wh space) and Outpost Construction (null only).  If you have Anchoring 5 and are purely high/lowsec, then you will have some wasted skill points.  Those that like to bash online POS will have their lives made a little harder.  Defenders of POS will be rejoicing.

If the only reason for you planning on Anchoring 5 between now and the new POS release is for POS defense, then you may wish to train to Anchoring 4 and wait.

For the Foo corps, starting with the expansion this gets implemented, Anchoring 4, Starbase Defense Management 3 will become a pre-requisite skill for joining our wormhole corporations, adding an extra 4 days to our minimum skill set queue.

I will update the requirements when the appropriate time occurs.

Tuesday 6 May 2014

Summer 2014 expansion

Despite Sugar Kyle's glowing reference to my previous article on what CCP has said in relation to the upcoming expansion, I can't keep up.

The forums are full of mid grade speculation and a whole lot of "CCP look at me!!!".  I have participated in both of these activities.  If you have the time, read them, 'like' what you like, and even add your own 2 ISK of comments.

Due to the amount of posts from CCP for the expansion, and others relating to fanfest, add in some first life ragequit tears (nothing to do with Eve), I have not done the job of gathering all the CCP forum posts that I planned to.  I had hoped to read through the trash (some of that was me posting stuff saying CCP look at me), and give you CCP's comments.  I have failed.

The good news is that I don't need to do it all, and I can instead show you what I do.

Go to https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=topics&f=247 - the Eve Information Portal

Find a topic that grabs your interest (eg Dev Blog: Fortune favors the bold )

Now click on Dev Posts. 
Put in the topic that interests you,
The forum is the Eve Information Portal (under Eve Information Center)
Ensure Badges of Dev, GM and CSM are all ticked

And search

Search setting for CCP posts, note RSS search in the top right

If you have a RSS reader (eg Feedly), or even Firefox does not do a bad job of reading raw CSS feeds, use the RSS feed link on the top right
Reading the RSS feed directly in Firefox
Posts and links that I find interesting for the upcoming summer 2014 expansion (For those on the northern hemisphere at least.  The real Eve players, who happen to be way down south will be experiencing winter snow when this is released)

Under the Eve Information Portal
Dev Blog; Fortune Favours the Bold
Dev Blog: Building better worlds
Dev blog: Researching, the future
Dev blog: The price of Change
Dev blog: Industry UI
Dev Blog: Team Up: Industry Work Teams
Dev Blog: Reprocess all the things!
Dev Blog: Giving Drones an Assist

Under Eve Technology and Research Center - Features & Ideas discussion, you probably want to bookmark anything with the [Summer 2014] tag

For recent CCP/CSM posts, ordered by newest to oldest:

Friday 2 May 2014

Noir vs Gevlon

For those that don't know, Gevlon and Noir are not on best friends forever basis any more.

Gevlon is a sometimes abrasive, 'greed is good' pilot who runs http://greedygoblin.blogspot.com.au/.

Noir is a mercenary group and run http://noirmercs.com.  They also have a standard of behaviour published at http://noirmercs.com/showthread.php?39645-So-You-Want-To-Join-Noir-Academy

I tried to understand the Gevlon vs Noir issue.  There are allegations made against Noir, and counter allegations made against Gevlon.

My initial position is from Hanlon's Razor : "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.".  I am aware of my bias.  I became more biased by reading Noir's responses.

My understanding is :

For those that think Noir are in the right, I have a question for you.  

Background: You want to hire a Merc corp.  You have heard that a Merc corp is tricky with contracts, and are capable of trying to play both sides.  This Merc corp see nothing wrong with taking your ISK then allying with your enemies.

Q: Would you hire this Merc corp to fight for you?  Would you want your CEO to hire this Merc corp to work for you?

Edit: Q: After you decide that the above is OK and you will still hire them; how about them shooting you multiple times?

For those that think Gevlon is in the right, I have a questions for you.

Background: Gevlon is trying to bring about a new way of doing business in Eve.  He breaks social rules all the time.  He expects us to be careful in our dealings and where 'bad things' happen, believes it is our fault.  The contract Gevlon had was not explicit, and was relying on a social understanding and expectation.

Q: Why should Gevlon be protected by the social contracts that he disdains so much?

Q: Why should someone who makes a unilateral offer to pay ISK, and then renege on that offer within 24 hours be trusted?

Noir's own statements:
  • There was no requirement that we could ONLY shoot the CFC that weekend, only that we DID shoot the CFC that weekend. 
  • If you have a side or plan to be fighting in the area you're hiring us in, you should tell us and get standings set between us the involved parties so we can work together and not blow each other up.
    That's pretty common sense.

My comments:

If I am paying mercs to shoot my enemy, and those mercs have a contract to also shoot the enemy of my enemy, the mercs should let me know.  That's pretty common sense.

If you hire Noir, make sure that you include a clause stating no current conflict of interest, and require notification if a conflict of interest arises.  Either that, or hire someone else.

I understand Gevlon not wanting to pay those he accuses of scamming.

Alekseyev is the public face of Noir.  After reading http://www.reddit.com/user/Alekseyev and ... participating in the debate, I humbly suggest that Noir get a new public face.

This is a propaganda post.  See bias for what it is, then make your own conclusion.

My unsolicited advice for Gevlon who I know reads this blog

Only an idiot would fight a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts. (source).  In other words, stop being so damned prickly.  You could neutralise Noir with diplomacy and propaganda, leaving you free to fight your earlier targets.

Pay for those pods you offered to pay for.  No one forced you to make that offer.  Consider it penance for the stupidity of making the offer.  If you don't it will come back to haunt you as you gain a reputation as someone who does not do what they say they will.

My advice for Noir who probably have no idea who Foo is.

Decide what corp you want to be.

If you want to be a tear harvesting corp, carry on.  You are doing well enough.

If you want to be scammers, you need to appear more sincere. You could have gotten a lot of isk if you had tried to understand and empathise with Gevlon a bit better with your second contacting pilot.  Work from your common interests and get Gevlon to pay for those.

If you want to be honourable:
  • Drop the innocent act.  It is not fooling enough pilots
  • Read https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conflict_of_interest.  Pretend to understand the concept.  
  • Get a new CEO.  I still don't know if Alex is malicious or stupid; either way if you want to be an honourable merc corp, get rid of Alex.

Your comments:

I expect (and possibly even hope) this post to be troll bait.  Moderation rules will be applied to this post according to the following.
  • Comment with at least a pseudonym. Dealing with 3 different people all claiming the same name of 'anonymous' gets tiring quickly. Comments made by 'anonymous' are likely to be deleted. Comments made by variations on anonymous are welcome.
  • I am hoping for propaganda from both sides.
  • Posts containing NSFW language will be deleted.
  • Posts that are simply one line attacks will be deleted.
  • Any posts that I delete for the above rules will remain as a deleted post.  That is, you will see that I have deleted something, but I will attempt to salvage acceptable text out of it.


I went reading killboards. Each of these kills is Noir on Gevlon. Sometimes with goons, sometimes solo. If I was paying a merc and they shot me multiple times, I would be ticked, and not pay either.

Once might be a mistake.  This is not.  I find it hard to believe that Gevlon understated the betrayal but it appears he did.