Wednesday, June 27, 2012

War Mechanics Overhaul... Sort of.

For fuck's sake...

CCP has finally got around to fixing their busted war mechanics, for the most part.

Problems before:Dec Shedding - A Corp that is decced joins an Alliance and immediately leaves. This would allow POS's in hisec to be reinforced only once and by the time they came out, the corp would have lost the war and left it with the Alliance they ditched. Corrected by keeping the wars going. Very awesome, and would have been nice in the past, specifically when BMX did that to use twice. I'm sure there are other shit head corps, I just can't fucking remember their useless asses.

Dec Shielding - CCP said it was "cool" to dec yourself a ton of times with 1-man alt corps to jack up the price of a dec against your. The school (Ivy League) did this a bunch, and once CCP gave a "go ahead" on the mechanic, it just got ridiculous, especially once the wars were all made mutual. This was corrected by ignoring the amount of wars a target corp has, and instead factoring the cost only off of size, which was put at a cap of 500M with Inferno 1.1.

Corp jumping - Douche nozzles would dec large corps with a 1-man corp, wait for about a week to go by and complacency to kick it for the defenders, then scoop a couple guys to gank a mission runner. When the defenders muster a fleet to kick those dude's asses, they jump in station, leave corp, undock and "LOL." Now you are out of the corp until the war is over (I think... can't remember if its 2 weeks or war is over, whichever is sooner)

Low Barrier of Entry - Apparently CCP needs to create ISK sinks, so the lowest fee for a dec is 50M and scales with the size of the defending corp, with a modifier applied from the number of wars the attacker has declared.

New war-tracking mechanic - There's finally a damn way to track success of wars in-game, based off of ISK value (which means we will probably look super awesome and cool, despite that not being anywhere close to true)

An Ally System - Defenders can scoop up friends, woot.

Mutual Wars mean something - You are locked in until someone surrenders, and the defender must declare it mutual within the first 24 hours of the war being declared. Interesting... Before the defender could make it mutual, then regret it, and pull it. Not so much anymore.

A surrender mechanic - Finally a system to offer a cash payout to the attackers, if the attacker accepts, the war ends and can't be started again until a grace period ends... I believe a week, maybe 2. Either way, you can still get decced by another alt corp, and you'll basically just be labelled an ISK pinata.

Problems with the new system, that have since been corrected:
Defenders could stack the living shit out of free allies - Allies could jump on board no questions asked for no money whatsoever. Corrected by making a doubling fee of 20M after the first ally jumps on. This goes to CONCORD, as another ISK sink.

Allies would be stuck with a war indefinitely, as what could have happened with us. Basically, you join an ally (who is probably an alt of the corp that decced them) and then you are stuck in that war for as long as the attacker wants to keep paying. This was fixed to a 2 week limit, then the ally is punted and must re-apply to join the war.

Allies that were in a mutual war were stuck in the same scenario as above. Now the allies get punted as soon as the war goes mutual.

Problems that still exist:

NEUTRAL RR. Seriously, wtf? This is the biggest plague of all hisec wars.

MY FIX: You RR someone in a war, you are kill-able to everyone on grid. Even if the "vaporware" concept of the Crimewatch overhaul doesn't go through, this little piece should.

It is still practically impossible to make money as a "merc." Defenders now must pay a fee, on top of having ample "mercs" willing to fight for free at their side.
MY FIX: The Concord fee should go to the "merc" if the war was a success for the defender. Success meaning the defenders did more ISK damage, or the attackers surrender.

I'm sure there are tons of more problems, but these two need to be addressed first if this mechanic overhaul can be seen as a complete "revamp."

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Off Topic - PVPIP App

For fuck's sake...

We are jumping back into the Merc business with the launch of Inferno and its "Mercenary Marketplace," more on that in a later blog post... as of right now, the expansion has been out for 2 weeks and I've made bids to join corps around Gallente space at a measely price and only yesterday was accepted by a small corp decced by The 0rphanage [AD0PT]. Details in a later blog.

But I'm going to take this moment to show off a small tool I developed in Visual Basic that I started in December of last year and have been tweaking ever since.

For those that don't know, General Tso's loot policy (PvP Incentive Program [PVPIP]) is as follows: (very summarized as many rules have had to be changed over the years due to exploitative behavior of Dark Drifter, Mary, etc.)

  • All fleet kills (more than 1 Tso's participant) will have all loot returned to the Corp hangar in Seyllin.
  • If any Tso's member was killed in the engagement, his loss is reimbursed by an immediate cut of the drops.
    • However, if the ship lost was not in keeping with the fleet purpose (T1 Vexor swarm, for example, and the loss was a Ishtar), then the player is not reimbursed.
  • The pool of loot in the Corp hangar is sold at the end of every month, paid out to the top 10 killers (in participation) for the month.
  • If we are in an active war, only war target kills are valid.
This last piece is the most important that led the development of the PVPIP calculator. Our current Battleclinic killboard can have campaigns, but it would still require hand-counting kills. We could develop our own board, but my calculator works just as well and has the added benefit of tracking some background stats that I can use at my leadership level, such as PVPIP disqualification, and our revamped "Project" program that creates and incentive for recruitment.

But anyway, without further babble, images and descriptions:

The first popup is the main date selection, which has the user enter the month/year of the current calculation, and lets the user browse to the location of their Griefwatch/Battleclinic killboard dump.  The two check boxes open the following screens.

Ship filter currently only has a Hulkageddon filtering system that removes any kills that are not valid for Hulkageddon (This was specifically designed for last month's Hulkageddon event, but can be re-purposed to find any specific ships).

The Wars check box on the Select Date form will launch the most important feature of the PVPIP calculator, the filtering of ONLY valid war target kills. A user inputs the name of the war target, checks whether the entity is an Alliance or a Corporation, selects the date range (within the already-selected month) that the war was active for, the clicks "Add." When "Apply" is clicked, the filtering begins, removing all kills that are not valid from the list of kills pulled from the killboard dump.

Then launches the Payout form, which lists every member of the Alliance that had a kill for the month selected. Old disqualified individuals are flagged red automatically (this data is pulled from an XML document that updates when the PVPIP calculator is closed, with the "Close" button on this form.) 

Also, as mentioned earlier, our recruitment system's perks are visible on this form. As shown here, the column "Modified" shows a number next to myself, Burseg Sardaukar. This means I received 2 bonus kills to my score for this month (Hulkageddon filter is applied), from my projects Shinobu Hita and Athos Thorne. Athos has since left the corp, so he was flagged as "DQ'd" for this. We are currently voting on whether DQ'd Projects should negatively affect their Mentor's score, and the vote closes at the end of this month. The code is in place, simply commented-out, and can be enabled for this month's PVPIP come July 1st.

When an ISK value (in millions of ISK) is entered in the text box at the top of the form, and calculate is pressed, the payout values are populated in the 4th column in the list view. When the "Copy" button is pressed, it feeds the data onto the clipboard in our forum post style for easy pasting. Note that check boxes on alts can be checked off and this would skip them in the calculation. Also, ties are automatically calculated, as are DQ's.

A ton of ties at the end... splitting 2% all those ways. The last form is a corporation management form that allows for new DQ's to be added, new members to be added, old members to be removed, etc, etc. Also, when the tool launches, it automatically makes Projects that have been in the corp for 3 or more months no longer Projects and notifies the user (me) to change their Titles in EvE itself.

This is an extremely useful tool that I plan on expanding to incorporate a loss-posting confirmation section (that will have to pull from the API), and a loot-logging system (also from API) at the very least. These will mostly be used to DQ people more effectively.

Anyway, this blog was probably boring, but it was about time I released an in-depth look into the inner workings of SMERG/3XXXD's rewards programs, and how my first foray into EvE apps has gone. So, stick it in your ass.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Gospel of Eve, Pt. VII: Mihi Laborat Noli Facere

Whenever you are lost in in space, tired, damaged, alone, you can always take comfort to know that someone is watching you. It may not be a physical entity, or a friendly pilot, but His eyes are watching you. But when you are down, broken, and all hope is lost, you can always count on one word of truth for guidance, salvation, hope: the Gospel of Eve.

Part VII: Mihi Laborat Noli Facere (It Don't Work Fo' Me)

This is the Gospel according to Lord AlbannII...

First letter to General Tso's Alliance:

(Nota bene: This is not a translation. Translator received this letter and decided to publish it as it was written. Enjoy.)

Bruhthers! Maye da Lawd, Jeezus Kriste, alwayz smiel apawn yue in yo' tiem of ignerince. It haz ben sum tiem sense I partid waize wit yuez awl, butt feer not, I holed no il fealinz tordz yue at awl. Yet, yue seme harber alot uv haytrid in yo' sole. I tryde tu help yue; I tryde tu get yue tu let da Lawd Jeezus intu yo' hart. Butt yo' hartz iz coald. Thair bee no lite in yo' solez. Butt I kepe triein eevin wen ain't nobudee got tiem fo' dat. I wil kuntinyue tu sho yue nuthin butt kiendnes and I wil praye fo' yo' solez. And I donte cair if yue shute at mee. I wil tern the uhther cheke az lawng az it taykss. Sum daye yue wil eksept Lawd Jeezus intu yo' livze. Wen yue due, yue wil beecum betah menn. And donte wury, the Lawd Gawd wil fogiv yue fo' yo' trespasiz. No man iz beeyawnd reedempshun. Not eevin Cain hoo kild hiz bruhther Abel. Yue ar awl Cainz tu meye Abel. I luv yue az I wood a bruhther and I wil wate fo' yue in Paradice. I wil wate fo' yue to eksept the Lawd Jeezus intu yo' hartz. I wil kuntinyue to praye fo' yue. Prayz Jeezus! Prayz da Lawd. Halayluyah!

Yo' eeturnul bruhther,
Lord AlbannII

Transcribed by Lord SphinctAnus RectAnus