16 October 2016

Opening a New Map

Out with the old
Intel is everything in wormhole space. Our daily routine revolves around scanning for routes. Presenting the chains we find as accessible maps is a massive requirement for us. In the beginning we used ASCII maps in the bulletin board. Then almost exactly three years ago we started using EVE W-Space for creating our chain maps. Unfortunately this requires the in-game browser to track each pilot's current position. On Tuesday the in-game browser was retired from the client and EVE W-Space lost a massive part of functionality.

Thankfully I had been preparing for this by trying other pieces of mapping software. I prefer to host the code myself so that ruled out Siggy from the get-go. The first option to try was the other well-known mapping project of Tripwire. It installed easy enough and I got it up and running with no problems at all. When I started using it I just didn't gel with the interface. With three years of EVE W-Space mapping left to right, I didn't like the top-down mapping in Tripwire. Everything also felt small, again likely caused by the emphasis on larger nodes for each system mapped in EVE W-Space. After one evening spent mapping with Tripwire I was done and looking for another option.

In with the new
One night on comms someone suggested a newer project called Pathfinder. I had a quick read of their website and agreed to give it a go. Once again, installation was trivial and I had the software mapping for me in no time. Right from the off I had the same complaint as with Tripwire regarding the size of the node bubbles. Unlike Tripwire though, Pathfinder has free placement of each system. You can click and drag the system type indicator (C1, C2, H, etc.) and move the bubble where ever you want. This means we could continue to work with left-to-right mapping.

Another nice feature is the page loads in system kills within the last 24 hours. This gives you an instant idea if there may be people lurking around to shoot at (or die to). One final feature I quite like is the route planner will use the mapped connections to calculate the fastest route somewhere, using wormholes if required. It is rather nice seeing the distance to Jita is eight jumps while I'm sat in a random nullsec watching nobody do anything.

If you are in the market for a new mapping tool and want to host it yourself I can thoroughly recommend Pathfinder. Or, if you're not as paranoid as me you can always use their hosted version.

26 September 2016

Drifters Abound

To quote my corpmate who took this screenshot in J130037: "Yeah, fuck that hole".

21 September 2016

Not Entertainment

The problem with new player retention was inadvertently pigeonholed on comms tonight:
"It's PVE; you do it for the ISK, not the entertainment"
'Nuf said

12 September 2016

The Hidden Chair

Almost everything was unpacked now but there was still no sign of the writing chair. Oreamnos had been asking everyone he'd seen, and spent hours digging through the computer inventory, but it was as if the chair had never existed. Walking past his writing desk for what felt like the millionth time since the new office was set up Orea noticed a small piece of white paper had been left for his attention; the writing simply said "Check out the view".

There had been no reason to open the shutters on the office's massive view port. He knew the view of a distant sun was hugged by artificial representations of the wormhole system's planetary orbits. Still, the note had been left for a reason and with nothing better to do right now he might as well take another look outside. An instruction to the citadel's computer made the shutters slowly roll open.

"Bastards!", Oreamnos swore out loud to nobody in particular. There, right in the middle of his window, occluding the view and bracketed by the computer as 'Unknown' was the clear outline of his favourite leather writing chair. "I'll kill them all!"

Image by Rhiana Kurosawa, aka prime suspect

7 September 2016


"About bloody time" Oreamnos though as he wandered through the mess of his new office. In the corner, recently uncovered, was an antique oak writing desk which he hadn't seen for weeks. Looking around he realised the battered leather chair which went with the desk was yet to be unpacked.

Stalking off, muttering about incompetent janitorial staff, Orea went to see if his new citadel contained a decent glass of rum anywhere.

26 June 2016

When Bloggers Collide

My friend and fellow blogger, Splatus, finally managed to vacation in the UK. After over five years of playing EVE together we finally got to meet in person. He also brought a gift which will give me many hours of reading enjoyment.
I also had a gift for him, a good beer and glass with the alliance logo etched on it.
It was great to finally meet someone I've been in almost daily contact with, through EVE, for five years. I was told it can't take so long until our next meeting but next time I've to go to the USA. I'd better renew my passport then.

31 May 2016

EVE Launcher for Linux

In the distant past I used Linux as my main home PC operating system. I didn't play many games back then and being able to run successfully on Linux was pretty much a requirement for me even trying a game. As my professional career gave me more and more freedom to play with various technologies on Linux I spent less time playing with them at home. This freed up time was soon put to good use and I started playing more games.

I still spent a fair amount of time trying to get a sufficiently performant experience with EVE in Linux. I could definitely get it working but there were always some niggles, not least was that my PC was getting old and the performance hit from running EVE on top of a translation layer made it worse. Ultimately I gave up and just ran EVE under Windows. I would occasionally foray back into EVE on Linux on various work computers but never got anything I would call 'satisfying'.

I randomly stumbled across a post in the EVE forums yesterday talking about the EVE Launcher being available for Linux. Apparently this is something that CCP Snorlax has been working on as a side project. It downloads and installs its own custom build of WINE on which EVE will run. The forum thread I linked, above, is pretty active so if you give this wonderful side project of CCP Snorlax a go and get stuck there's a good chance you can get some help there.

I've yet to try this myself. As always all I have running Linux is an ancient laptop. I hope to give this a go at the weekend but I'm pretty sure all it will do is turn the laptop into molten plastics.