Sunday, March 24, 2013

Announcing: EVE Online: Odyssey

For fuck's sake...
CCP announced the upcoming summer expansion to EVE Online at PAX East today in Boston. I was awesome enough to be attendance.
I'll try to remember to attach photos to the end of this blog, but be advised they came from my phone and I'm not pansy-ass photographer.
CCP Unifex gave us a brief idea of what to expect:
New ships (image shows Navy Drake, Myrm, Hurricane, Harbinger)
Industry love
POS love - no details
Resource rebalancing (image showed moon goo icons along with mining barge)
UI Love - map overhaul looks to be in the works
EXPLORATION is a big piece of this expansion, bringing back that sense of wonder every time you undock
More rebalance of exisiting ships
Redone station hangars, looks like you might be able to see other players undocking in the background, while remaining docked.
Something to do with pirate tags (tags4sec is my guess).
Going to see CCP at Jillians in Boston (next to Fenway) tonight. I'll see if I can milk more info.
Oh, EVE Odyssey is due June 4 and A LOT more info is coming at Fanfest... figures.

Someone apparently recorded it:

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

CCP at PAX East 2013

For fuck's sake...

So CCP posted this image on Facebook:


And the sweetest part is: I'M GOING TO BE THERE!!!1111ONEONEONEELEVEN

Yes, me, the greatest Alliance leader [operating out of Seyllin] will be at PAX East in Boston this Friday and Saturday. I will annoy the living shit out of the dev's with questions about the following:

Lowsec Buff
Ring Mining
POS overhaul
Tags4Sec
The future of walking in stations
Dust Planetary Conquest
Corporation role overhaul
and anything else you want me to ask.

Not only is CCP going to be at PAX, but they are hosting an event at a local bar (because we know these crazy vikings can't keep their energy rolling without constant alcohol consumption) which I will ALSO be attending. Also in attendance should be Lord Rectanus and Brusanan, both writers on this blog. Whether either will write anything is up in the air.

Another interesting tidbit: CCP has stated that this weekend will have the largest in game live event to date occurring. This could mean that I can take the helm of something awesome and fuck players up in hisec, like when CCP spawned an Incursion in Perimeter. Coupled with the leaked video of a Dust map featuring a crashed Leviathan in the distance and debris raining down like fire it appears that shit is about to get REAL! Because... of... EVE is Real.. or... something. Maybe it is a prediction of my first time flying a Titan... a fireball on the surface of a planet. Seems pretty accurate, actually.


Go to 2 minutes to see the goodness. CCP quickly removed this map from rotation and tinfoil hat wearers on the Dust514 forums claim any links to this video on the forums were removed, so it is believed to be a SPOILER for the EVE core story line, which involves a pack of immortal soldiers (Dust514 players) landing in Algogille and moving onto Caldari Prime in Luminaire while in pursuit of the Caldari Navy.

So far, plot-wise, the Minmatar, Caldari, and now the Gallente are all trying to capture and destroy the mercs before more damage can be done, because they are all apparently crazy and impossible to control. The Empress said she'll give them an area of space to fuck around in, so its likely that the starting lowsec for the upcoming Planetary Conquest game modes will be in the ass end of Aridia or somewhere else no one gives a shit about.

Anyway, standby for an update about PAX (and CCP's summer expansion plans) next week.

Friday, March 15, 2013

The (Real) Future of Dust Corp Battles

For fuck's sake...

CCP has released a devblog, a wiki article, and there's a 20+ page of Q&A on the Dust514 forums about the proposed Planetary Conquest in Dust514. It has quite a few aspects that remind me of my own idea from an earlier blog, with a lot more details on WHY owning these districts is good.

I will present a basic summary here for those that want it concise.

Planets:

One non-Factional Warfare lowsec Region is going to be the test bed for this new system.
Some systems in this region will have multiple Temperate planets, others will have none. This will have an effect on force projection.
Each planet has between 5 and 24 districts on them, which start unoccupied with one of 3 new types of Surface Infrastructure (SI).
The in-game map is going to be refined, optimized to allow easier interaction from the Dust client. (Hopefully with more than just the controller, as I want to ditch it as soon as possible, but we will see.)

Attacking:

On day one, the only way for a corp to begin attacking is to purchase a 100 clone pack from the Genolution NPC corp. These will cost 20 million ISK. And you can only purchase one at a time, and you can NOT own any districts to be able to buy this.
A Director or CEO must then "drop" these clones into a district. This can be ANY district on ANY Temperate planet in the region selected.
If the district is unoccupied, the district is immediately clamed by this corp.
If the district is occupied and is not currently queued for battle, it puts the district into "Under Attack" status, and the battle will commence during the reinforcement timer set by the defenders.
If attacking districts on the same planet you currently have a district on, you can drop as many clones as you have stored in the source district into the attack on another (but leaving 0 on the source district will abandon it). All of these clones are now committed to the fight. A normal, non-upgraded clone cap is 300, so its feasible to drop 299 clones when attacking, leaving 1 dude to man the gates back home... which can be attacked.
If the attackers lose all their clones in the attack, the attack is failed, and another must be queued. If the attackers lose their MCC, the defender is awarded 20% of the clones of the attacking force, the rest are destroyed. If the defenders lose their MCC, they lose 100 clones or the amount they lost in battle (whichever is higher) and the attackers have a 1 hour window after the battle to schedule another attack the following downtime.
To conquer the new district, you MUST deplete ALL the clones of the defenders (their territory will not produce more clones, nor can the defender transfer clones from other districts into it, as it is in a "Locked" state.) This may take several assaults. The surviving clones from the successful attack will be left at the new district... which can then be attacked.

Defending:

Once you own a district, you can set a reinforcement timer (like on a POCO) and this is the window that battles against your district will take place. There can only be one battle per district per day.
Your districts will grant you clones (40 by default) during your reinforcement timer. A SI can increase this production.
If you produce more clones in a district than can be held there, the rest will be sold at 1/2 the buy price from Genolution (Sell = 100k, Buy = 200k) automatically.
If you lose all your districts, you can once again buy the 100 clone pack to start another attack anywhere in the region.

Benefits to Owning Planets:

The holding corp gets ISK from surplus clones they produce. It serves as a corporate ISK faucet.
There are plans for the installations to give bonuses to EVE corporation members in the systems, but it is unclear as to what they will be. PI bonuses, POS fuel consumption bonuses, and POS construction bonuses have all been tossed out as ideas.
Various types of SI give benefits to the Corporation's Dust-side. One increases the total cap (default 300) of clones allowed in a district. Another increases clone production, and one more allows for stronger force projection, with less clone loss per jump.

Map Design:

Every district will have a layout bound to it, so fighting in the same district will have the same environment every time. So if it is sandy with a CRU on a pedestal in the South East, it will always be like that.
The weather and "mood" can change, but placement random outlying structures will always be the same on a given district.
The primary "Facility" in the center of the map (as there are 4 major ones) are going to represent one of the 3 proposed SI. I'd assume the maps will be the 5 point ones, as the battles are bigger (see below), but they might throw in that random 4 point one as well.

Squad Changes:

These battles will be double in size (from current 8 v 8 to 16 v 16) and squad size will raise from 4 to 6.
These squads can be mixed, consisting of randoms AND corp members, but a squad MUST have a squad leader that is a member of a corp in battle, to "drag" the squad into the match. This could be very interesting.
Friendly fire is ON!
The combination of FF with randoms in squads allows for an interesting griefing potential: infiltrate a corp, bring friends into the match that are in a different corp, have them kill the corp they are supposed to be helping.

Loot Changes:

Drops will be based off of what you killed.
Both sides get drops.
SP will also be awarded.
Only the winner gets ISK.

Orbital Bombardments:

Corporations and Alliances of the guys on the ground are now the ones allowed to provide orbital support for the mercs on the surface. Thank Satan.

What this means for Factional Warfare:

FW is being changed over to a public style match, where randoms can pick a planet/district to fight on (in a system with active plexing) and can still have FW militia members provide OB's. I imagine these will mostly be like the random public matches, but with more importance and draw than the story line Mercenary Contracts, but not as important and Planetary Conquest. I will probably be keeping Caid in the Caldari Militia just for this reason.

SMERG's strategy:

Planet: Claim a district in a system as close to Seyllin as possible.
1st Target: Clone recharge.
2nd Target: Clone recharge.
3rd Target: Clone Storage.
Repeat above, then capture a force projection installation to allow Zerging onto distance planets.
It sounds like we will have the ability to destroy the installed facility and create a different one (100M apiece, mind you) in its place. So should we not get the proper target facility for rapid clone accrual, we can always build a different installation.... after we get a good chunk of ISK rolling, that is.

Well, that's as much as I've gained from the Q&A for now, feel free to post questions on the Dust forums or ask me here if you don't have access and I'll see what I can do about getting it answered. CCP Foxfour has been very active in answering the concerns of the players.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

SMERG With 3 Capital Kills In a Week

For fuck's sake...

A little background:

About a month ago, a Hungarian alliance and their friends moved into Ane. This Alliance is named "pwn-o-graphy" and seemed to be loosely involved in null-sec warfare. As with any group that lives in Seyllin and Ane alongside Tso's, we lost tons of noobs during the daytime hours. They also would log off long before the "A" team was online, leaving us with very poor stats against them, which leads me to believe they were just killboard stat padding. That is, until last weekend.


Archon Down! (spoiler alert... oops, too late)

The Hungarians were very active on Saturday, March 2, flying about in their nano-faggy fleets. We mustered our main fighting force and began to attack a small gate camp they had assembled in Ane. They evac'd, and we remained to see what else they would bring. A sole Maelstrom returned, and with I in our newly-crafted Ancillary Armor Repairer-fit Myrmidon, aggressed the ship. I tried to push him into the BS camp we had on the other side, but when he started firing back at me, I gave the order for the fleet to attack. This is when W0wbagger from Shadow Cartel PM'd me to discuss a possible transfer of the DAYZE POCO's in Atlulle. I didn't dismiss him, instead I FC'd the engagement WHILE playing diplo, like a motherfucking boss. I had to warp the Myrm out, as I had to overheat my weapons before the Maelstrom deagressed and jumped. So after the Mael popped, I docked in our secondary station in Ane, and as I undocked, I saw the enemy's fleet on d-scan, consisting of several armor Battleships, including the Blood Raider Bhaalgorn.


I commanded the fleet (who weren't already in Battleships) to re-ship and get back on the Ane gate in Seyllin. The enemy then began jumping through, in full-force. Their fleet consisted of a Bhaalgorn, Tempest, Abaddon, Loki, Vagabond, Armageddon, and a few assorted Falcons and other support. We began a real great brawl when all of a sudden I noticed a cyno light on the gate and in came through a Triage Archon. This would make the fight nearly impossible for us... had I not had W0wbagger in that chat. I asked him if he would like a capital kill. And strangely enough: HE DID!


I asked ciapek (one of our blues in WORK. Alliance) to jump in "anything with a cyno" and get in Shadow Cartel's fleet, while SMERG would keep the hostiles interested. I got everyone I could into Logistics ships just to keep our fleet alive as we waited the eternity for SC to get their fleet together on the Titan to bridge. And then it happened - a fleet of about 20 ships came through the cyno and began aiding us in the slaughter of the majority of the Hungarian fleet, then they went to work on the Archon. It tanked like a beast, but eventually fell. As did his pod.



Don't Say We Never Did Anything For You

Much later that night, our most active non-SMERG corp, DAYZE, asked if anyone was available to help defend their POS in Parts from a siege. Those of us that were available responded quickly, assembling a pretty good sized SMERG-lead fleet and headed towards our brothers. We arrived to find a sole hero-Phoenix in siege shooting at our Alliance's tower. We attacked him full force, and despite being attacked by the friendly tower with it's defense settings too strict, we destroyed the ship in very short order. Not bad for a single day for my shit alliance!



Gotta Remember To Use Dem Safe Cyno Spots

This was a crazy random happenstance. Our corp policy is "warp to cynos," and it has netted us more than easy kills in the past, but this was definitely up there in our hall of fame. Huntin4Cloud9 was first on scene and noticed the Nidhoggur that just entered system was moving at a quick pace... away from Creodron, and the site of his cyno. This could turn out to be a trap, of course, but fuck it. I tackled it with my manly-ass Harpy, and stayed aligned until Rectanus had a second point on it in his Paladin. Dark jumped in a bumping Machariel, and I warped off and returned in a Neut Dominix. I was joined by a couple other Domi's and  was cap stable when Bashar undocked in his Guardian. We drained the carrier dry and finally got the kill when he was 20km from the edge of the station (about 40km from his original cyno spot).

All in all, not a bad turn of events for SMERG.

On a sad note, however, DAYZE has since left the Alliance for the gayness of the HoneyBadger Coalition in Fountain. SMERG wishes them luck on behalf of General Tso's Alliance, and will welcome them back when they realize how much null sucks ass (and that being a null Alliance's bitch isn't quite as much fun as being Big-dong Bubba's was back in the Federal Pen.)