Archive for the 'EVE Essays' Category

I’ll do a big post later on all the reasons, if I ever decide I care enough to take the time. But as of today, I’ve canceled all three EVE subscriptions. Here’s what I posted in the reasons box:

5 year veteran, unsubscribing 3 accounts because:

1) Persistent failure to balance, update, and iterate on old content.

2) Cannot operate multiple clients without turning off new Captains Quarters station environment.

3) No new game functionality in recent patch to replace the functionality lost.

5) Complete pants-on-headedness of new micro(mega)transaction store.

6) Utter loss of faith that the old EVE, the spaceship game, will every get the attention it needs to survive and thrive.

7) I am beginning to believe that CCP/EVE had now committed itself to an unretrievable failcascade.

It was a good five years. I used to think I’d play EVE forever. I’m sad that won’t be happening. But thanks for all the fish.

Right now I’m playing World of Tanks, but that’s not going to last more than weeks, or maybe months. Battlefield 3 is coming.

Will I be back to EVE? Dunno. Right now it looks like they are going to gut the game in pursuit of microtransaction riches. There might be a party on the way down, with tons of goodies flying around in the possession of rich newbie idiots — and I can see a role for Ironfleet in that decline.

Or, they might come to their senses and start fixing all the stuff that’s been neglected over the last few years…

Yeah. Me neither.

This made me laugh:

CCP Zrakor submitted the very first petition after EVE went live which went as follows:


The answer, by GM Panzer:

Dear Zrakor,
We want to congratulate you on being the first petitioneer in EVE. On the other hand we want warn you that if you ever send in a petition again your account will be deactivated, you will be banned from the game and exiled from Iceland.


Not lost, actually … just very displaced from anywhere I’ve ever been.

I’ve been slowly diving through w-space, looking for poorly-secured goods and incautious players. Today I find myself in an uninhabited C5 hole with a static connection to another C5.

I decided to drop through a hole into nullsec to look for trouble and fun. Found myself in H-YHYM, in a region I’ve never heard of (Esoteria) under the sovereignty of a Romanian alliance (Romanian-Legion, ticker ATAK) which is a thing I didn’t even know EVE had.

Damn, this game is big.

While reading more Tiger Ears, I found a sentence that perfectly encapsulates the Ironfleet attitude toward ransoms. I’ve never sought one, though I couldn’t have said precisely why. Now I can, just read the bold letters:

My Onyx lands almost on top of the Iteron, the warp bubble inflating to prevent its escape. The hauler is not built to withstand missile fire, and the Terror assault missiles wreck the ship frighteningly quickly. The pod is captured by the warp bubble too, but I don’t even consider a ransom. I’m not a social person and don’t like awkward conversations with strangers.

Nope! I don’t either.

If you’re at all interested in my recent wormhole hunting lifestyle, a useful and informative blog to read is Tiger Ears. It’s not necessarily exciting; like me, the author has a tendency to document every encounter, sometimes at rather lengthy length. But it is extremely educational, because it’s a detailed day-by-day account of life in a C4 wormhole with a static exit to a C3. And so almost every post is a “What’s in my wormhole today, what I found in the neighboring wormhole, where did these wormholes connect, what I found there, and what we did about it” post. Plus combat reports, if any.

The end result, which I’m still wading into the ancienter-and-ancienter history of, is a ton of information about sensibly-chosen mostly-victorious small tactical encounters in w-space. Not always exciting — sometimes my eyes glaze over — but reading it is like getting several months of life-in-wormhole experience, without all the hundreds of hours spent scanning. Ironfleet recommended.

There’s been a lot of discussion on the forums about the way the exploration mechanic tends to distribute content in wormhole space. Specifically, the content seems to accumulate in places where nobody is, as a result of the sites being cleared quickly when they spawn in populated w-systems and not-so-quickly (as in, never) if they spawn in w-systems where nobody goes.

Tonight I found an extreme example of this, in a w-system I choose to call Shangri-La, for reasons that may soon become obvious. It would appear to be a plain old “shallow” w-system (described simply as “unknown space”) discovered adjacent to high-security empire. In features, it has much in common with Greater Mars. The number of features, however, is enormous.

How enormous, you ask?

Let’s start with cosmic anomalies. As well we might — because there are an astonishing thirty-five of them.

How about cosmic signatures? There are a very respectable dozen of those. No structures, ships, or any other sign of pod-pilot incursion.

Obviously that’s a lot of ISK on the hoof. Perhaps, even enough to tempt me to move a POS in here and start farming for a few weeks, or however long it takes. But there are logistics and real-world considerations, and if I’m going to do that, it will be several days or a week or more (at best) before I can get going on it.

So, I decided to do some observational science. I decided to do a complete survey of the system, record its contents, and then park an observer who can update the survey from time to time. If the system should remain largely uninhabited and unexploited, will the huge numbers of sites remain? Or, will they ebb and flow as sites expire naturally and respawn elsewhere? It should be interesting to see.

Here’s the first survey report.

Shangri-La Survey Report: 5/29/09, 01:28

04x CA: The Ruins of Enclave Cohort 27
03x CA: Sleeper Data Sanctuary
19x CA: Perimeter Hangar
09x CA: Perimeter checkpoint

35x Cosmic Anomalies

01x CS: Wormhole to highsec space
01x CS: wormhole to unknown space
01x CS: Wormhole to dangerous unknown space
02x CS: Barren Perimeter Reservoir (ladar)
01x CS: Minor Perimeter reservoir (ladar)
03x CS: Ordinary Perimeter Deposit (grav)
02x CS: Unexeptional Frontier Deposit (grav)
01x CS: Forgotten Perimeter Habitation Coils (mag)

12x Cosmic Signatures

Update, a day later: All three wormholes gone. Two new wormholes spawned, one to high sec space and one to an “unknown” wormhole. Cosmic Anomalies are up to 37. All other sites: unchanged.


5:30/09, 01:06

05x CA: The Ruins of Enclave Cohort 27
03x CA: Sleeper Data Sanctuary
19x CA: Perimeter Hangar
10x CA: Perimeter checkpoint

37 cosmic anomalies

02x CS: Barren Perimeter Reservoir (ladar)
01x CS: Minor Perimeter reservoir (ladar)
03x CS: Ordinary Perimeter Deposit (grav)
02x CS: Unexeptional Frontier Deposit (grav)
01x CS: Forgotten Perimeter Habitation Coils (mag)

11 cosmic signatures

Although I enjoyed my time in faction warfare, especially including a lot of inconclusive fleet action that taught me valuable blobbing skills, this comment in a Scrapheap Challenge thread struck me as a pretty accurate description of a lot of the time I spent, complete with recommended soundtrack:

Having chased both Caldari and Gallente militias around an awful lot, it seems that caldari go to Old Mans Star and wave their cocks about until it seems like Gallente are about to fight and then they turn and run back to Nourv. Then Gallente go to Tama and do the epeen wave until the Caldari get it together to chase them back to Villore. This back and forth should take place to Benny Hill music. Stragglers die and sometime when both militia fuck up they actually end up fighting, as if by accident.

I remember weekends when we repeated that sequence three or four times between lunch and bedtime…

Yesterday at about 22:00 gametime, I was done playing in Greater Mars for the day and I had, again, scanned down and identified every signature, and killed any guards at the gravimetric sites. There were eight gravimetric sites, one ladar site, and two wormholes in system, for eleven total signatures.

Today, about 18:00 gametime, there are twelve total signatures, and one of yesterday’s wormholes is gone. I visited all nine gravimetric and ladar sites that were present yesterday, found them all still present, with zero Sleeper respawns. I would expect to find at least one new wormhole when I begin to probe. The “new” sig may be a third wormhole or (more probably) a new gravimetric site — although, of course, I’m hoping for one of the rare Radar sites or a Magnetometric site (which I have yet to see one of).

What’s fun?

There’s been less wormhole whining than I expected, to be honest; probably because people are having so much fun. But I still see some folks who are profoundly missing the point.

Take this guy, for instance. He can probe pretty well in a Covert Ops, so he finds a wormhole, goes in, finds a site he thinks he can kill, and goes back for his Drake. Being no fool, he logs in an alt who can also fly a covert ops ship, to sit in the hole with him.

He does his thing in the Drake, great success. It’s time to go home.

Ohnoes, his wormhole is gone, and there are PEOPLE in the system with him! So, sensibly enough, he logs his drake and starts probing for a new exit on his alt prober. I’ll let him pick up the story from there:

THERE WERE SO MANY SITES IN THIS WH, i couldn’t find a WH. i found OVER 9000 grav sites, ladar, mag, camps, ambushes, etc… but no wormholes. this went on for almost 90 minutes.

scan, pinpoint, scan, pinpoint, for a very long time. i was getting pretty annoyed, as this doesn’t seem fun to me. but i’m not the type to give up, so i just keep plugging away, site after site after site.

finally i find an exit. to 0.3 space up in black rise (near Tama).

So, he spends an hour and half probing with a low-skilled prober before finding his exit. This makes him annoyed, doesn’t seem fun to him.

And that’s where he misses the point.

The wormhole probing mechanic is designed to be a challenge. If it were easy, fast, or guaranteed, there’d be no challenge. That aspect of wormhole risk would be gone.

Risk and challenge are what create a sense of triumph when you overcome them; without them, the game would be pointless.

I, myself, would have enjoyed those ninety minutes; but I do understand folks who think it’s a little much. However, the point is not that you’re supposed to enjoy getting lost, though many do; it’s that getting loss is a necessary possibility to enhance your pleasure and relief when you don’t get lost.

Consider an analogy to getting podded. Does anybody enjoy getting podded? I very much doubt it. But how many of us would enjoy EVE as much as we do if getting podded weren’t a possibility?

You don’t see people saying “I got podded and got pretty mad, it didn’t seem fun to me.” They’d be laughed out of space. Duh — podding is the consequence for losing. And just like that, getting lost (or what that old mountain man used to call “getting temporarily mislaid”) in w-space is the consequence of not “winning” a particular exploration experience. W-space wouldn’t be half so much fun without it.

It’s patch day, and although some are in the game and playing, there are a lot of people with patching problems. I’m one of those; and with limited bandwidth at my house, working through them is proving to be very slow. I’ll get there, but at best it’s still going to be three or four more hours.

So, I thought I’d start a post to compile whines from W-Space. The idea is to quote people who jumped through a wormhole, suffered some indignity or other, and immediately started whining about it. This post may be updated with more examples as the day proceeds. But, if I get a working patch, you can consider this diversion abandoned. ;-)

The first one I saw (source):

My other char went into a wormhole with an ally and had no probes on him and wen he jumpoed b4 me the wormhole collapsed.

Sorry but I have to ask have you thought this thro u expect me to pay to be stuk in a dead area of space ?

In this next thread, the Original Poster is stuck but being a good sport; it’s one of the responders who is butt-hurt:

Im so sorry to hear this mate! hope u find way out.. my fleet is also stuck… stupid CCP rule.. some cruel joke just for their satisfaction.. but it wont be funny for them when they get petitioned 10000000 times and when people start to quit EVE due to frustration

Aha! And here’s why — Butthurt-guy’s own thread, entitled “HELP – we are stuck in wormhole – 5 ships, full implant cha, no probes”:

We entered in fleet with our covert ops guy who probed the WH.. he left temporarily to go back to normal space and the WH collapsed soon afterwards trapping the rest of the fleet inside and with no probes nor anyway out!

We need an exit pls.. we dont want to delf destruct our main characters and best ships :(

Eve producers are gona get 100000 petitions …are they mad not providing a one way exit to normal space again!!!!

And one more, from a thread called The Horror W-Hole:

Next I head back to the wormhole I entered through to find it had closed. I thought it was going to be a problem. When I put together my Buzzard I had fitted it with the Core Probe Launcher and its corresponding Core Probes, they worked fantastic. I started to scan the system for wormholes, could find any. I ended up finding over 20 plexes…

So I started this at 3pm, I found the wormhole out of the system at 11pm. Not cool. So I finally feel a sense of relief, only to find out the new wormhole takes me to another unknown system. Not cool. So I continued to probe while being bored out of my mind to no avail. Finally at 12:30am (yes 9 1/2 hours later), I ejected from my beautiful ship and podded myself. That was a long 2 minutes…

I never want to see that scanning system again, its like a horrid mini-game that yields nothing but misery after 9 hours of constant use.