Friday, September 28, 2012

Petition to CCP to bring back Snowball Launchers!


Go to the Eve forums to support this idea:
https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&t=158225&find=unread

tl;dr version:
Snowball Launchers were fun. Gimme.


Back in winter of 2008, CCP gave us what was easily the best gift they have ever given us. Every pilot logged in that day to a Snowball Launcher and 300 snowballs sitting in their hangar. I remember hanging out outside Dodixie Moon 20 station, and there were just dozens of pilots engaged in one massive snowball fight. It was a free-for-all, and nobody was safe. Well, except for the interceptors, whom I remember seeing zooming around at high speeds, some kiting over a dozen snowballs which were trailing behind them, trying desperately to hit them. I have not met a single pilot who was around for the Snowball Launchers and does not remember them fondly as I do.

Now compare this memory to my memories of other gifts we have received. My Apotheosis I think I undocked in once to see what it looked like. Same with my Primae, Zephyr, and my Echelon. All undocked once, and then docked up again to keep as boring, though valuable collectors items. I bought two Interbus Shuttles just to have, and I have not undocked in either of them. I own two of the Quafe Iterons, and I have not even sat in either of them. My Quafe shirts are sitting in a can in Dodixie, never to be worn. My Quafe Zero is also sitting in a can, right next to my gift implants, all of which are unlikely to ever be used by anyone. Don't get me wrong, none of these are particularly bad gifts. In fact, I am pretty fond of my collection of collectors items. But they are not FUN gifts. They exist to be collected, not used. They exist to sit in station, collecting dust and going up in value, forever. The Snowball Launchers were the only truly fun gift we have ever received, and that is exactly why everyone is so fond of them, and why they should be brought back.

With the recent addition of launcher hardpoints and models, and the missile revamp, new Snowball Launchers are almost too perfect of a gift this winter. And because of this, I have decided to start a player petition to CCP to try our best to convince CCP to bring them back.

Here is my proposal:

1) Leave the current Snowball Launchers/Melted Snowballs as they are. The ones in the game now are collectors items, which players have been holding onto for years now, and they should not be punished for that. I am opposed to anything that will lower the value of the Snowball Launchers or Melted Snowballs that are currently in the game. These new Snowball Launchers should be a different model of Snowball Launcher, and the ammo should be different as well. That way the launchers and melted snowballs from 2008 will continue to be rare and valuable as collectors items.

I am not opposed to making the new ammo work with the old launchers, so long as if and when the new ammo melts, it is distinguishable from the old melted snowballs. Actually, I think it would be a nice reward for players who have been holding onto their old snowball launchers for all these years to be able to use them again. Maybe even give them slightly better stats than the new ones, so players have a reason to use them again.

2) As you did last time, give each player 1 launcher and a bunch of snowballs to have some fun with.

But that's not all.

We got 300 snowballs each last time. 300 was far too few. That was an hour or two's worth of entertainment at most (if you stretched them out). Surely a gift this awesome should bring more than a couple short hours of entertainment, right?

I considered a few solutions to this problem, and I think I know the best solution. But here are the not-so-best ones first so you can decide for yourselves:
A) You could increase the number of snowballs you give us. But I still have a problem with this. Even if you increase it to 3000, you are still injecting a limited, set number of snowballs into the game, and basically capping the amount of enjoyment we can get out of them (as a community, not as individuals).
B) You could seed snowballs themselves onto the market. But this just isn't in the spirit of Eve, really. If you do this you are giving an arbitrary isk value to the snowballs, preventing them from being traded like a normal commodity. And then of course they are being seeded by NPCs, and who wants more NPC seeded items in Eve?

These two clearly are not optimal solutions, which leads me to number three:
3) Add snowball BPCs to the market. In my opinion this is the perfect solution. For one, the BPCs would be a nice, massive, one-time isk sink. Everyone loves isk sinks, especially CCP. And then you are allowing the players to decide how many of them will exist in the game, and you are letting the market decide what they are worth. And of course, if a player wants to hoard massive amounts of snowballs and spend all winter lobbing them at people outside Jita 4-4, they will be free to do so, and they can get as much enjoyment out of their gift as possible.

So please, please, PLEASE CCP, bring back Snowball Launchers for us this winter. I think it's safe to say I want this even more than a lowsec buff, or a neutral RR nerf. I can't even describe the number of sexual favors I am willing to give in order to make this a reality.

And to you players who want this as badly as I do, show it. Post in here stating your support. Link this thread for your friends, so they can show support. Spam this thread in local if you want. Drown the Jita local scams in a sea of cries for Snowball Launchers (all right, lets not go that far). But seriously, this is a petition. CCP will only respond to it if we show them just how many people want this.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Operation: Decon Vacation The End

For fuck's sake...

We had a good run, but like all vacations, it had to end eventually.

Shadow Cartel did kill our tower, and reinforced our POCO's in Decon. They ended up not coming to the final kill of the structures, most likely because of the late time (for them). We didn't quite learn our lesson, and continued our siege.

When we were sieging the Decon I Customs Office, we were again hot dropped, this time by two carriers and their support fleet. We however, had been contacted by Drunk and Disorderly Alliance, who were all too happy to counter-hot drop the Shadow Cartel carriers, with their own fleet of dreads and faction battleships. Since my Alliance is absolutely terrible at EVE, we only managed to tackle one carrier properly, and it died, along with one of Shadow's Rapiers. Needless to say, we finished killing that POCO and erected our own.



Since we ensured that at least one POCO would come out of reinforced every day, we were able to move right on to Decon II the next day, and for whatever reason the same hot-droppers didn't want anything to do with us, so we were on our own... or so we thought. A much larger Shadow Cartel carrier and support blob came through the cyno this time, and we got into ranged ships, and kept shooting the POCO. Strangely, all they had for shield transfer was a Chimera, which did not enter triage, so we were able to out-damage its reps and continue to bleed armor damage on the structure. That's when the strangest thing happened, I don't remember seeing a second cyno light, but 2 Nyx super carriers dropped onto the field, sending the Shadow fleet scattering like sand on a strong wind. After much debate, we assumed that the Nyx's were a standby counter-counter hot drop fleet ready to land on the DnD guys, should they have shown, and they must have been pissed that Shadow didn't provoke the proper response from DnD. Interesting games... We took this time to blow up the POCO, though, so victory for us once again.

We got in a couple skirmishes in Sharu while reinforcing more POCO's, and the fight turned out to be pretty fun, and we managed to kill a Guardian and a Rapier, while Rectanus died in his Oracle, which became a constant for all our ops.

After Salid got a hold of Shadow's CEO, however, we came to an agreement for a cease-fire. Basically we didn't want to siege any more, since it sucked balls and the Shadow guys changed their reinforcement timers to come out at like 11AM EST, which is really shitty for us, and the passive recharge alone would keep us from ever killing them again. And they didn't really want to deal with us, since we are frustrating opponents, so we agreed to stop being dicks in exchange for a favor we've been wanting for over a year now:

TITAN BRIDGE TRISTANS

So, yea. We've since returned the bulk of our force to our home in Seyllin, had to kick out a few squatters that set up shop while we were gone, and are now ratting up our sec status. We plan on keeping a satellite presence in Decon/Sharu for the time being, and it being only 4 jumps away might give us some black ops bridging practice. Plus those H0NEYBADGER guys are awesome, so we wouldn't mind helping them if they get into a jam.

As far as whether we'll have to give our POCO's back to SC... the offer to buy them back was put on the table, but we'll have to wait and see. Those things can be pretty profitable and should pay for themselves in a month or so, judging by initial estimates, so even if they are forcibly removed, we shouldn't have lost too much.

We now look into the future at the next goal, since our initial turnout in Decon wasn't bad and it was nice to see what we actually capable, I think we might spread our wings into some of the faction warfare territories. That's about a month away, so stay tuned!

Friday, September 14, 2012

How To Buff Lowsec

(Edited 9/17, see addendum)

For fuck's sake...

The Problem

There are a ton of people on the EVE-O forums complaining (and I agree) that there isn't enough incentive to move to lowsec, and even CCP is looking into this (sort of), and some of the ideas that have been floated seem to involve nerfing hisec, especially regarding manufacturing, to try and "push" manufacturing to lowsec. Ripard Teg wrote an amazing blog breaking down how this will have little effect on prices, since taxes (even raised) play such a small role in the manufacturing of ships, the hisec producers will just suck up the tax and pass the measly increase off to the customers anyway.

Another CCP idea from this spring's CSM minutes mentioned that all lowsec should be Faction Warfare space, and "agents of chaos" (pirate corps) can come through and remove any Faction Warfare infrastructure in a system to return the systems to their current "normal" state. While this is kind of interesting, it hardly adds to the experience of the pirates, since they don't want to shoot structures, and now they pretty much are required to just to return the system to its "normal" state. This is not really a buff and does not add an incentive for people looking to own/operate in a lowsec system.

Now, a lot of other people believe lowsec should behave like miniature sovereignty, acting as a mini-nullsec. As a lowsec player, I would like to have the ability to alter my system to benefit my Alliance, but do not want to deal with structure grinding, timezone warfare, blob-fests, supercap hot drops, sov bills, etc. I might be overstepping my bounds here, but I'm sure no other lowsec entities want to deal with this. So, the system has to benefit the people living there, but since we are "lazy," it should be based on activity, and should be more fluid than any other sovereignty system.

Indices

My idea would change control to be entirely based on activity, with only a touch of structure placing/removing. The drawback would be, if you don't use/live in your space, you will lose it!

The core of the idea are three indices:
  • Piracy (PVP) - Warlord
  • Exploration / Enforcement (PVE) - Protectorate
  • Extraction / Production (Industry) - Cartel

Calculation

Each will be calculated in real time to an ISK value (with modifiers to balance the share of one over the other. Since PVP losses are higher than NPC kill values, the PVE value might have a 4x multiplier applied to its base value, for instance.)
  • PVP will calculate all ISK destroyed (ships, pods, player owned structures) by one group (corporation/alliance).
  • PVE will do the same, but for value of NPC's (belt/complex/missions), and the value of items dropped in Archaeology/Hack/Salvage sites.
  • Industry will calculate the value of raw resources harvested in system from belts/gas clouds/grav sites/moons and add in the amount refined/manufactured in POS's within the system.
Now, these values will be calculated in real time, and should be visible in a breakdown within the system's sovereignty. Depending on which is the highest, the "type" of control over the system would be visible. If the occupying force kills everything that moves, their alliance would be the Warlords over the system. If they mine the belts and planets dry of all their resources, they would be a Cartel. If they keep the belts free of all NPC activity, and clean up any hack sites, the systems would become a Protectorate of the alliance.

Each Sunday, the influence would be applied, and whichever corp/alliance has the highest "score" in any of the three indices is granted control over the system automatically. Now, this entity will be able to install upgrades into the I-Hub (see below) that match all the indices in which they are the highest in. Since they are in control of the system, they are clearly the highest in at least 1 index, but if they lost out in the race in one or both of the other two, they will not be permitted to install upgrades that affect those indices. If they do have all 3 indices as the highest, they can install any of the 3 types of upgrades, up to the limit of how many I-Hub upgrades can be placed in total. They can all be of one type.

Upgrades

Every system will have a single Infrastructure Hub erected in it, which is able to be destroyed, but does not play a part in the actual ownership of the system. It is a neutral entity, into which the controlling corp/alliance can install upgrades once they are given control over the system. It will reinforce if attacked, the same as null/FW I-Hubs, but if it is destroyed, it will not change control over the system (but it will apply the cost of the structure to the attacking corp's Warlord index for the day), instead it will simply remove the bonuses applied from it, and it must be replaced by a controlling corp/alliance before more bonuses can be applied again. When control flips, the structure "consumes" all installed upgrades and the access to the structure is assigned to the new Warlord/Protector/Cartel in control of the system. They must install fresh upgrades themselves.

To tie in benefits for long-time holders, the upgrades will scale with time, increasing in value/power the longer a controlling corp holds a system. However, as soon as they lose the system, they lose those benefits and must start their counters over. The ideas behind these bonuses are general buffs to behaviors in lowsec.



In addition to these, there should be a form of "Incursion" influence over the systems, depending on the "size" of the empire. These bonuses would behave similar to the Incursion damage/tank, but at most a 10% swing (with 10 systems), as an incentive to claim adjacent systems. If a "chain" of systems is disrupted, however, the bonuses will only apply from the two sectors. So, a line of 11 systems has a 10% bonus to the owners (damage and/or resistances), loses its center system, so it breaks into 2 strings with 5% bonus. Controlling chains of connected solar systems is a mechanic overlooked in the current nullsec sov system, so its possible to grab every-other system with no drawback to the overall Sov owner. This would behave more strategically, and create choke-points for defenders.

Addendum

From Iron Straw:

Another problem with lowsec is the lack of drive to go there. Currently this concept outlines a good system to keep them there, or at least make those that live there have a more rewarding experience.

So, a thought would be to make specifically Level 4 missions evolve a bit from their current state. While a lot of the existing content would remain the same, there should be additions:

  • More multi-part missions
  • Some of these parts should fork, and have optional pieces, like the last room in Angel Extrav.
  • These forks should head to lowsec, and should be more difficult to run alone (approx 1/2 an Incursion Vanguard)
  • They should be rewarding, like 10M payout, on top of bounties
  •  Alternatively, there could be rewards from current missions that include bookmarks to hack sites in lowsec that contain unique drops (deadspace scrams/webs, other E-War) that make someone want to go there, and then live there, to avoid getting killed in the future, or kill missioners that DO go there.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Gospel of Eve, Pt. VIII: Potestas Precis

Whenever you are lost 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 hen 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 VIII: Potestas Precis (The Power of Prayer)

This is the Gospel according to Lord RectAnus...

First letter to the members of The Methodical Alliance:

In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti, brothers...

Your devotion is inspirational. Me in Sancta Luce lava, fratre. 

Sancta Luce?

I can only wish to accept the Lord so fully into my life as you have. I know that faith requires me to end all hesitation, and by doing so, I will be rewarded. But such hesitation has been beneficial to me in the past. However, your devotion to the One Truth has brought you nothing but unending glory and fortune.

Methodical Alliance: protecting sovereignty with the power of prayer.
We need your guidance, brothers! We are willing to accept Jesus into our hearts! Only few of us still reject His glory. The rest of us are willing to fully accept Him into our lives and souls.


We know exactly why we have been having troubles in our lives. Brother Targamarr only made it too plain to me and the others. And we are indeed ashamed.


Please hear my pray, brothers! I love Jebus! I love the Holy Trinity! Join us! We will join the side of Jesus with you! And together, with the power of prayer, we will conquer New Eden in the name of the Lord!

Faithfully yours,

Brother Lord RectAnus
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Transcribed by Lord SphinctAnus RectAnus

PERMITTE ME INDVCERE: DOMINVS SPHINCTANVS RECTANVS MIANI CONNECTICVTI SVM.

RIP Vile Rat

I want to take a break from the general douchebaggery and meta-shit talking usually prevalent on this blog to honor a fallen EVE player, Vile Rat of Goonswarm. During the compound raids in Benghazi, Libya, several people were killed, including a diplomat of the U.S. and some of his staff. Among them, was Sean Smith, known more commonly in the EVE universe as former CSM member and Goonswarm diplomat, Vile Rat.

Here is a collection of touching articles about this man, from people who knew him:
The Mittani Post
The Mittani Blog
Seleene's Blog
Two Step's Blog

I personally never met nor talked to the man, but I knew of him, and heard many stories, most are recounted in Mittani's blog post. As a general griefing Alliance, I have modeled a lot of Tso's strategies after Goonswarm tactics, even if they don't necessarily follow them anymore. They were my inspiration to join Hulkageddon III, IV, and V, and we won Hulkageddon IV as an Alliance. I was quite surprised that Goonswarm's diplomat was, in fact, a diplomat IRL, but I imagine it would take a great man with great skills to negotiate among the several large power blocs in this game, and where else to learn these skills but real life experience.

The EVE community has a thread going in honor of his memory. Please go there and show your support.


Several outposts are currently being renamed in honor of VR, showing that, as a sandbox, EVE and its community has the ability to erect our own monuments, and we can all come together and overlook squabbles in the digital world to honor the memory of a fallen player.


At last count, there are over 300 outposts renamed in nullsec.

On behalf of General Tso's Alliance, I extend our condolences to Sean 'Vile Rat' Smith's family.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Operation: Decon Vacation 9/6

For fuck's sake...

I lost track of the days, so go fuck yourself.

Our vacation has been extended, HOORAY!


So, we reinforced every single POCO by day 2, using our measly dread fleet in Sharuveil to reinforce all 7 of the POCO's in about 20 minutes.


This seemed to attract a ton of attention from Shadow Cartel, as predicted.

Their first attempt to hot drop us occurred when we started to reinforce the last of the POCO's a day later at Decon VII. They Titan bridged a menagerie of ships, mostly tech 3's and HACs. We bailed as soon as the cyno was lit, expecting a much larger response. We reshipped, and intended to sacrifice a Battleship fleet anyway, but as we undocked, the Shadow guys landed on station. We attacked, they docked, then undocked, then docked, then undocked.... you get the picture.

In the fray I manged to bump their Zealot of station with my Dominix, but aside from that they didn't really engage. Well, they did smack talk a ton, especially when we got tired of the docking games and sat at our POS. The enemy called us pussies, predictably, and then said they were "waiting at planet I" for us. So, knowing they must have actually got a cyno ship ready in this time, we switched gears, opting for sniper Tornadoes as the fleet composition. They saw this on scan, again called us pussies, cyno'd 2 carriers in and then all logged. We finished reinforcing Decon VII POCO.

During this period we worked out a nice little friendship with the H0NEYBADGER alliance guys, as they seemed similarly fun-spirited as we are, having a good laugh at losses and not too taken by smack. Since they were such good sports about us taking their POCO, we'll prob transfer ownership of a couple of ours when we finally take the system over (or we'll just lose everything when we sufficiently piss of Shadow Cartel... this remains to be seen).



The next day the Cartel got a jump on us, as they seem to be EU time-zoned, and repped up all their Decon POCO's before we even logged in. We then did the only naturally annoying thing and began to shoot whatever we could in Sharuveil. One of their POCO's was off-time from the rest (left in default configuration for exiting reinforced), so we shot every other POCO. They got their carriers in system and managed to snag a couple of our ships in the process. They also then dropped in 4 Moros and 1 Revelation to siege our vacation home (POS). It is currently in reinforced, comes out tomorrow around noon EST, so it probably won't be here when we log in tomorrow. We'll have to wait and see.

We however managed to kill their POCO at Sharuveil III that night, putting up our own. Bringing our POCO control count to 2 between the two systems.

Today we managed to take down the last POCO that was delayed, at Decon VII. They popped a cyno, brought in 2 carriers but the cyno was killed before any additional support fleet was able to get through. The carriers, left standing kind of naked, bailed and we finished murdering the structure, erecting our own. Our POCO count is up to 3. Soon the systems will be ours, and the festivities can commence!