Tuesday 31 March 2015

CSM conceptions and misconceptions

CSM (Council of Stellar Management) is a player representative body, voted in by the players themselves. 

From http://community.eveonline.com/community/csm/
The purpose of the CSM is to represent society interests to CCP. This requires active engagement with the player community to master EVE issue awareness, understanding, and evaluation in the context of the greatest good for the greater player base.

Notionally, they represent us, the players that voted them in.  In reality, CSM represent themselves.  Some work incredibly hard on the CSM, engaging both CCP and players alike; giving feedback to both groups.  Some ... don't.  This is just like real life, and maybe even real life politicians.

What the CSM are missing is a magic wand.  CSM can't please/fool all the players all the time.  By all means push your CSM representatives to deliver for you, but sometimes they just can't.  Usually for someone to be buffed, someone else will be nerfed.  Sometimes CCP will share with the CSM (or parts thereof), sometimes they won't.   Their roles are really what they make of them. 

Provided they have a pulse, occasionally turn up, and don't get banned in game, they will be able to see out their current term. 

This applies even when CSM representatives change allegiances. Corebexx in CSM 9, largely with his own efforts, 'encouraged' CCP to buff low end wormholes.  While he now is a turncoat, wearing the flag of another group is cause for those that care to carry out the will of Bob, it is not cause for him to give up his seat.

Sugar Kyle is a consummate diplomat on the CSM, as well as a strong workhorse.  This is regardless of whether she admits it (even to herself) or not.  Whether it be gathering feedback from many play-styles in Eve, mediating between vocal and boisterous groups, or providing a handhold in the new player experience, everywhere I look, I see Sugar working.  How she does this while still playing Eve and holding down a day job is beyond me.

Some see it their role to represent their constituency, yet discourage others from being involved. In response to the question "Why should my readers vote for you?" Sion answered "Because I'm a goon." (link , about 1/2 way down). These players should not be surprised when they get high support from their own 'base', but no support from elsewhere.  There is a reason Sion failed to get the second permanent seat.

Much has been made about the 2 permanent seats on the CSM, and I really don't understand why.  From http://community.eveonline.com/news/dev-blogs/csm-x-candidacy-now-open/Summit can last up to 5 days and up to 10 members of the CSM will fly to CCP headquarters in Reykjavik, Iceland to participate in person. 

CSM representatives that are active and useful, especially those that have a large support base will be attending 2 or more summits.  Not to denigrate either Manfred or Sugar, and as a consolation for Sion, the value of being a 'permanent' representative is bragging rights, and the option of being obnoxious in some form and still get to go to all the summits.  Do not be surprised if this year there are more than 2 summits http://community.eveonline.com/community/csm/ , There are at least two summits held each term...  If both Steve and Sion are not offered a spot at more than one summit, I will be astounded.

This year, some felt we had too many (100) candidates applying for CSM seats.  Of these, 75 passed the initial vetting process.  Even I had problems reading all the candidate statements. I think this is a wonderful problem to have. One of the recent CSM elections (I think it was CSM 8) had a pre-election endorsements round that was a bit of a farce.  31 of 35 candidates made it to the final election round.

I think (but do not know) that the primary reason for so many candidates was the removal of the  requirement to publish first life id's publicly.

There are options:
  • Most (first life) political systems use a deposit system to weed out the majority of troll candidates (Sometimes even this fails).
  • A rule could be added that a candidacy post with an arbitrary number of individual account public endorsement comments (50?) are required before an application is accepted.
  • CCP also have the option of going back to a qualifying round, but that is a hassle if it only knocks out 4 of 35 candidates. A qualifying round could be applied if there were over say 48 eligible candidates.

I am not convinced that under performing candidates are an issue.   If a candidate fails to get their message across, well that is merely an opportunity for improvement.  Get that name out there.  I know that some other bloggers (especially Gevlon) had a preference for some candidates that missed out (especially Lorelei).  Where was the guest post?  Where is the link to the blog?  Where was the blog during the campaign?  I also would not give up on Lorelei's spot just yet.  CSM 9 had a couple of 'casual' vacancies, and Lorelei is in a good spot to pick up a few extra votes if vacancies occur in CSM X. 

A couple of comments about the vote itself:
  • Eligible voters cast 36,984 votes, 15% increase on last year.  This is despite (or possibly even because of) some very negative press leading up to the vote
  • Wormhole voters, where did you go?  I know Corbexx did an outstanding job last year, but ... it is always better to have 2 candidates rather than one, as recent events have highlighted.
  • Voters who let their votes exhaust generally assist the larger coalitions.  There were many votes for medium and minor candidates that exhausted.  Candidates, make a voting ticket with other similar candidates and participate in voting exchanges (that is, recommend preferences to others if they do the same in return).  

Monday 23 March 2015

Things to check when setting up in a wormhole

There are some things you should check when setting up in any wormhole.

My muse for this post is an unwanted POS that appeared in one of our wormholes.  It is gone now, cleansed with fire.  The loot fairy was unkind.

Getting access to a Foo corp wormhole is almost as easy as reading our recruiting page. Even simply doing PI in our wormholes (i.e. paying a small amount of tax) is generally enough to get me to chat rather than shoot.

Is it occupied?

You should check for a forcefield.  This means not only checking inner planets, but also all of the outer planets as well.  Have a look at the system information, or even the overview.  Make sure you have a dscan that covers every planet.   A forcefield means the system is occupied.  Any storage array (ship maintenance, corporate, personal or assembly) without a forcefield means it is time to pop a loot pinata.  Any POS that is coming online, anchoring or offline is a gank opportunity with a timer.  An offline POS with none of the above is (most likely) abandoned.

Be aware that if you move into an occupied system that the locals may be invested in defending.  If you are looking for a fight, maybe that's a good thing.  If you are looking for that fight, make sure you are ready for it.

Do you have spare scanning ships and pilots?

Far too many pilots only have one scanner in a wormhole.  This is what alts and other corp members are for.  There is no point in having 2B+ of assets in a wormhole that you can not get back to.  Pilots will almost always shoot pods in a wormhole, as it will generally take you that much for hostile pilots to return to the field.

Does your POS have defence?

A small POS should be treated like a glorified mobile depot.  It is disposable.
A preferably large POS should have a desired mix of short and medium weaponry, ECM, neuts and a (initially) balanced resist profile.  Others will promote the merits or disadvantages of Deathstar vs  Dickstar.
Guns should be scattered and not grouped together.  Attacking fleets love it when you group your guns as it makes it much easier to position your fleet.

No fuel means no defence, no access to POS.
No strontium clathrates means no reinforcement timer, and hostiles can grind you down in one sitting.

Will your POS shoot (only) the wrong people?

Outside of highsec, your POS generally should shoot neutrals.  That is, attack if standing is lower than 0.1.  Setting Attack if at war also is a good plan.  All the POS guns in the world don't do any good if they don't know they need to shoot.
POS have no idea about pilot standings; they only pay attention to corporate standings.  As far as I know (and partially tested), POS are aware of inherited corporation standings if you set an alliance to blue.

Wednesday 11 March 2015

CSM X predictions

Now that CSM 10 voting has concluded and we are waiting for the results, here are my guesses as to what will happen with the vote.

If I recall correctly, successful candidates will be announced at Fanfest, March 19-21.

My first thing I will look for is the total vote itself.  Hearsay said that the vote is 30% higher than it was last year.  If this is true, without knowing where those votes are going will make prediction even harder.  I also see CSM voting as a proxy for player engagement, a weathervane.

Very Safe candidates

  • Sion + Endie.  Last year (and the years before), Goons have more than 2 quota.  Sion will get in, and 'his' vote will elect another.
  • Sugar Kyle.  She had 91% of a quota last year.  She is impressive, and is on the top of many ballots (where last year she was middle of the pack).  I think Sugar will get a quota in her own right, even if there is an increased vote.
  • Corbexx. Wormhole candidates had 1.6 quotas last year, spread roughly evenly across the field.  This year, Corbexx will get more of the vote, and I think will increase the total wormhole vote (in raw terms if not in quotas).  I think Corbexx will get a quota in his own right.
  • corebloodbrothers.  Provi block candidate from last year with well in excess of a quota.  He should also get a quota as well.

Safe candidates

  • Steve Ronuken.  Last year Steve was voted in at #6, close to a quota in his own right and received good preference flows.  Most surplus that Sugar Kyle has will flow to Steve.  Steve will also do better than average on transfers from other excluded candidates.

Marginal Candidates

  • Mike Azariah.  Mike was voted in last year at #8.  Highsec and visible via his blog, but lacking the endorsements of the candidates above.  I think he will still get in, but he might suffer from other similar candidates being too popular.
  • Cagali Cagali. Brave newbies should be able to elect a pilot, assuming their internal politics is going OK.  You had a CSM rep resign last year, which will hurt your motivation, but you have a higher base vote than RVB.

Incumbents ( or groups) I see struggling to be elected

  • Khador Vess. RVB have the numbers to vote, but last year, they didn't.  Mangala Solaris started the CSM 9 election with a poor personal vote, and was voted in on preferences from others.  This however is largely dependant on how motivated RVB is to vote for their own candidate.
  • Xander Phoena.  Last year, Xander more than doubled his personal vote from Goon preferences.  I am unsure as to his ongoing relationship with Gentlemen's agreement, but Goons wont be voting him in this time.

No hope

If all you did was submit an application to CCP, didn't bother with a post on CSM Campaigns thread , didn't bother with interviews until too late, you had better have a very motivated alliance behind you.    If you really want to be a candidate for CSM 11, start posting on the CSM campaign thread mid November and attend every interview/candidate questionnaire that you can.

Other notes.

There are many spots I have not filled into the mix.  Some are block candidates, but by looking at last year's CSM, not all block candidates did well. 

Some candidates are ranked 2 or 3 on some tickets, and as such won't initially make it.  Reserve candidates are good to have for groups.  I expect that this year, CSM will be have more inactive members booted, making casual vacancies, to be filled from these reserve spots. 

As this is a 14 seat STV election, spot 14 will be somewhat of a lottery.  I won't claim that luck is involved, but the result will look to many like luck.

Many bloggers are still talking about 2 permanent attendee spots.  I expect this to be irrelevant for CSM 10.

From http://community.eveonline.com/news/dev-blogs/csm-x-candidacy-now-open/Summit can last up to 5 days and up to 10 members of the CSM will fly to CCP headquarters in Reykjavik, Iceland to participate in person.

Assuming all candidates attend at least one summit, 6 of them may attend both.  Given some CSM 9's ability to have drama or be inactive, I will not be surprised if some candidates fail to attend either summit.

In my opinion, this change is largely because a couple of CSM 9 members were stand-outs and both CSM and CCP would benefit from them attending every time they are available.

I seem to spend a bit of time posting replies to Rhavas' CSM posts (https://interstellarprivateer.wordpress.com/2015/03/08/csm-x-predictions/)

Sunday 8 March 2015

CSM X voting close 10 March, vote already, vote often.

If you have not already voted in CSM X, now is the time to do so. http://community.eveonline.com/community/csm/vote/

Voting for CSM X closes 10th March 2015.

While we all can talk to CCP, the CSM is listened to more often than most of us.  You want the best eligible pilots to be the ones talking a little louder than the rest of us.

If you don't already know who to vote for, the following resources will be useful:

I want you to vote, on your primary accounts and on your alts.  Once you have your voting preferences selected, voting with alt accounts is as simple as logging out/logging in and submitting the vote.

I would like you to fill in all 14 preferences.  For some this will be too much, and that is OK (your vote is still useful and valid even if you only vote for 1 candidate).

There will be some candidates you want on CSM.  Put those first.  There will be some candidates you can tolerate. Put them next.

If you have not gotten to 14 votes, consider who you dislike the least.  If your vote prevents that 'horrible' candidate from getting in, it was worth it.  This applies even if we have different ideas on who a 'horrible' candidate is.

Your vote will count.  Last year, only 79 votes separated spot 14 (elected) from spot 15 (not elected *).

For a little more about the deadlines and voting process, you can also see http://community.eveonline.com/news/dev-blogs/in-celebration-of-csm-x/

(not elected *) : Asayanami Deihas did end up serving a partial CSM 10 term due to casual vacancies; that is where someone else "resigned".

Minor edit because some days I can't spell.

Saturday 7 March 2015

Google docs whack-a-mole continued, plus a request of readers

My whack-a-mole with google docs is continuing.

I have added caching and a random delay to my open copy of the trading spreadsheet.  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1qL_ofk-QRQCFt2zKTTEXSi6oY4n1gtZX6Mojxxtgs-4/edit#gid=1869404277

I think it should be ... less unstable than it was before.

Readers, can you please have open (and leave open) the above spreadsheet for a few days, using either Firefox or Chrome.  Eve's in game browser has no chance.  Internet explorer and Opera struggle.  It is a published document and I don't mind if you keep it open longer.

A full refresh (daily) will take a couple of minutes to load.  Apart from that, it should be fairly quick.

If it is breaking, please leave a comment on this page.  If you find yourselves using it (either the original - which I can track, or a copy - which I can't), please also leave comments about how.

This is a continuation of http://foo-eve.blogspot.com.au/2015/03/market-spreadsheets-in-space.html

Thursday 5 March 2015

Whack-a-mole with Google Docs and Eve Central

My primary PI spreadsheet ( https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1lXM8PqU0Tn4EJJ2xRuI7uo55IrZ7MKWJidK9T_bA9L4/edit#gid=0 ) is fixed again.

In my last post about Google Docs, I inadvertently tripped a google doc limitation.

I have added caching to this spreadsheet, and temporarily disabled it in my other spreadsheets.  This should not only resolve my urlfetch issue, but also significantly speed up the loading of the spreadsheet.  It comes at a 'cost' of encouraging the data to be up to 6 hours older.

I will be rolling the changes out to the other spreadsheets soon.

I also found a github code snippet from 'Haggen', also putting together google docs based eve-central calls https://gist.github.com/haggen/461a454b200efe89f3e6

For those interested, I have raised a bug on Fuzzy Steve's github repository, https://github.com/fuzzysteve/eve-googledocs-script/issues/5

Wednesday 4 March 2015

PI general questions

A corp member asked a set of general questions about PI.  These are reasonable questions, and I will attempt to give a somewhat reasonable answer.  I will also use too many words to do so.

You know those white, red, green colours when we scan the planets right? White/red means better yield and green/blue means almost none. The longer we extract stuff in a spot, the colours getting more green and blue will gives nothing.
What I want to ask is, Any difference to the the speed of those colours change between cycle times?

If it is, how much different between 1 day, 2 days, or 3 days cycle?

I want to find the optimum setting of my planet and thinking to change stuff a little bit.

All these time when I set the extractor at white area in one day cycle, I got so much yield that eight of my processing facility can't handle, so much to the point some of the yield get wasted. But not too many days later, the colours got green and the yield got low. I have to find another spot because some of my processing facility idling around at those time.

Not to mention maintaining the cycle between 6 pilot takes time too. I spent 2 hours per day to do those stuff and hauling the waters and electrolytes to the coolant manufacturing planet.

I'm trying to find the optimum settings to extend the time between the activity finding new extracting spots while eight of my processors keep working full time.

How you handle these things? considering you got 4 account that means 12 pilots. If using my way, it will be translated to 4 hours spent each day.

Too much white

If you have a planet with too much 'white', I would like you to change your scanning sliders to show more accuracy.

This image is too saturated with 'white'

Scanning sliders

Change your PI selector in the top left from 'build' to 'scan' (1).  Click on the resource (2) want to tweak, and then adjust the slider (3) so it has a better 'mix'.  Personally I try to just have red, or small spots of 'white'.
Good enough


In my experience, I have noticed a few guidelines for resource hotspots and replenishment.

A planet starts out 'pristine'.  That is no one has done PI on it for a long time.  These initially have a bonus to the amount of PI able to be extracted from any hotspot.

The more heavily you farm any given hotspot, the worse that spot becomes.  2 or 3 players farming the same hotspot with daily cycles will strip clean any location in very short order.

There appear to be 2 forms of replenishment:
  • Over time, the entire planet replenishes it's PI hotspots.  The lower the security status, the faster this occurs.
  • Very good 'nodes' of resource also regenerate far more quickly, especially if given 'respite' from over extraction.
On top of this, some (or all?) nodes tend to 'drift' around the planet over time.

So how fast can you extract a resource?  Some of our pilots are extracting huge volumes of P1 very quickly.  They tend to use daily cycles, and I am actually a little jealous of pilots in my own systems earning more out of PI than I do.  I know what they are extracting, because I buy it from them.

Daily cycles come at a cost in time, and they need to spend much more time than I do 'tending them'.

Cycle time differences

I find that for the many of my wormhole planets, on a 2 day cycle, I can leave extractors control units largely alone for months, only shifting heads every week.  This is optimal from a time management, but not optimal from total ISK earned.  One way I solve this is by initially stockpiling the surplus raw extracted material (P0) either on planet, or if you have a low enough tax, in the customs office.  Later as the extraction slows down, feeding that back into the basic manufacturing plants.  After a few months of this, I generally have to move the extractor control units.  http://foo-eve.blogspot.com/2014/02/single-planet-pi-manufacturing-bad.html

I do have some other planets where I have tried alternatives.  I have one lava planet colony which manufactures single planet P2 transmitter, on a pilot with command center upgrades 5.  This planet uses 2 extractor control units.   I barely move the extractor pins, and even less rarely tweak the number of heads on each ECU.  It is amongst my best ISK/active hour planets, but certainly not best ISK per month.  http://foo-eve.blogspot.com/2015/02/single-planet-pi_6.html

Backed by comments from other pilots in corp playing with the difference between a 10 extractor head ECU with 24 and 48 hour extraction cycles, the 24 hour cycle earns nearly twice a 2 daily extraction cycle, but take much longer to manage as it quickly causes local depletion .

Logging in

If you have regular logon/off times, another time saving item is to have extraction cycles slightly less than the period between logons.  That is, if you log on at 7pm every night (for either 1 or 2 day cycles), set your extraction timer for 23.5 or 47 hours.  Otherwise you will find yourself slowly logging in later and later as you either have to cancel the last few minutes of the cycle (taking time and wasting the cycle), or be watching countdown timers as you wait those last 5 minutes for the timer to finish.

I run PI on all 3 pilots on each account.  One of the time consuming parts of this process is logging in.  Watch for http://community.eveonline.com/news/dev-blogs/download-on-demand-is-coming-to-singularity/ .  This, combined with a separate launcher per account will save time for swapping between pilots on an account.

Once download on demand is live, I will be tweaking my current login setup to use download on demand for patching multiple installations.

Flying time

Only fly when you have to.  Your customs office can hold much more than a launchpad or storage unit.  The majority of my planets are Extract P1 + Import P1 to make P2.  My flying cycle is to
  • Wait until the customs office is full, plus a nearly full launchpad on planet.  This will generally consist of the relevant P2, plus some surplus extracted and refined P1
  • Haul out about 75K units of the Import P1.
  • Warp to customs office (generally via an offgrid tac to misdirect anyone cloaked but following too closely).
  • Swap the customs office contents between the Epithal and customs office.  Export of planet the last load in the lauchpad and put that (largely) into the Epithal as well.  This takes longer than the shortest possible time at a customs office, but so far has been safe enough (especially combined with the misdirect warp above).

Hauling to market

Some pilots haul their own PI.  Other pilots take a smaller price and sell it in the wormhole itself.  I don't feel comfortable in highsec with an Epithal full of PI.  I feel much more comfortable in highsec with a freighter (Red Frog is easier), Orca or deep space transport.


PI has several choices to make between optimising for ISK per active hour, vs ISK per elapsed hour.   It is another element of Eve that there is no single 'right' answer.

One of the Foo Corp pilots runs single day cycles, on all 3 accounts, and is plexing his account plus has ISK for shiny toys, despite being relatively new to Eve.

Another Foo Corp pilot runs only single planet PI and has a much higher ISK/active hour.  He however spends more time shooting red crosses for the rest of his ISK.

Work out how much time you are willing to invest in PI, and how many pilots you are willing to do it with.  Then take your earned ISK and do something with it.

Monday 2 March 2015

Market spreadsheets in space

Eve is sometimes known by another name : Spreadsheets in space.

I have one spreadsheet in particular that is 'way too big', yet at the same time I want more.

I use this spreadsheet to primarily work out what is not being sold by anyone, then provide a suggestion as to where I might buy it in turn.

Screenshot of spreadsheet
It shows the buy/sell price in 5 trade hub systems (Jita, Amarr, Dodixie, Hek, Rens), and 1 region (The Forge).  It then shows the full set of data as available from the Eve Central API for yet another system.  I have chosen Sujarento, Sugar Kyle's hub

The item choices are based on what can be used (rather than items consumed in manufacture).  It (tries to) list T1, best named meta, and T2 modules, plus faction ammo.  The item list is a little out of date, and is missing the most recent changes.  I used the static data (in turn downloaded from https://www.fuzzwork.co.uk/dump/ ) and some SQL to build this list.

Use either Chrome or Firefox.  It will break the in game browser, Internet Explorer and occasionally Opera.

Restart your browser may help.  It takes minutes to load, and then I added additional delays to avoid google docs crashing.

When you first open it, it will complain that it is breaking, and then slowly populate data.  At first, some fields populate "#NAME?" and then "Loading..."  and then you wait a few minutes and data will start to appear in sets

I am also playing 'whack-a-mole' with google, working around limitations that google add to their services.  The latest of which is to add a 1 second delay to the googlescript, for every 50 prices in a 'set'.  Sometimes, it fails to load, even for me.  As such, the second tab is snapshot of values in case it chooses to decline to load.
Now that I have given the caveats, the spreadsheet itself is

Please feel free to make a copy of this spreadsheet and tweak to your hearts content.

I will be watching for both comments and pageviews on this post.  If it is 'interesting' I intend to delve into some of the technicalities of how I put this together.

Edit: this is continued in http://foo-eve.blogspot.com/2015/03/google-docs-whack-mole-continued-plus.html