19 April 2016

Free To Play EVE

Here's the prediction for an announcement at Fanfest this year: As of Citadel's release we will no longer need to pay our monthly subscription to play EVE Online. Instead we will only have to pay for characters we want to train. If we don't want to train new skills we stop paying.

The evidence is from the dev blog FANFEST 2016 - BRING ON THE WRECKING MACHINE! where they list the cosplay PLEX prizes in terms of "years of training time" rather than years of game time. Check out the image to see it for yourself:

So, dear reader, what do you think? Is this irrefutable evidence that EVE is going free to play and pay to train in the near future? Answers on a postcard.

14 April 2016

The March Of The Newbie

The eternal march of the newbie is continuing in EVE Online. Not satisfied with streamlining the new player experience, CCP are adding in the essence of a daily 'quest'.

It's about bloody time this happened. To someone with a character as old as mine a pitiful ten thousand skill points is nothing. It is less than 0.01% of my current SP and I've only been playing since very late 2009. To a new character who is all excited and enthused about getting into their next ship faster 10k SP is massive.

As far as I'm concerned this is a genius move by CCP to aid new players along in the game. I would just like to request an additional 20k SP daily for Sleeper kills in w-space. I promise we'll try not to shoot too many of the intrepid newbie explorers (crosses fingers).

5 April 2016

Another WWB Desktop

'World War Bee', as the current war is known, is probably the big thing happening in EVE for some time now. My last post was a bunch of propaganda linked from Reddit and I was going to leave it there for the image sharing. However I just saw Rixx Javix posted a fantastic wallpaper over on his Eveoganda blog. It's rather nice and I set it as my desktop image right away. However that didn't work for me due to the high-key nature of it. So I lazily opened up MS Paint (for some reason I don't have GIMP on my desktop PC) and butchered Rixx' image to the following inverse version. It's not as clean as the original but it works better for me. Enjoy.

3 April 2016

World War Bee

Anyone who reads my blog will already know I don't care much for nullsec politics. By and large I am in wormhole space because I don't want to deal with the drama of massive corps and giant fleets. What I do enjoy, however, is the propaganda which accompanies a good nullsec war. It's been a couple of years since the last great war in EVE but now we have 'World War Bee'. I thought I'd share some of the propaganda, from both sides, here.

From here

From here

From here

From here

From here

Desktop image from here

However this war ends, both sides win with extra fleets and ship explosions. CCP wins being able to pimp the widespread conflict as a marketing theme. Ultimately who ends up with what areas of space is of little consequence to me.

28 March 2016

Enslaving false gamers

BB 73 -The Other Eve Game?
So soon(tm) we will have Eve Online, Valkyrie, Gunjack and the as yet untitled FPS to replace DUST514/Project Legion. Are we missing anything else? Are then any other games CCP should be looking into? Colony building simulators in the style of Sim City or Rimworld. Should it be on a grander scale link Civilisation or Stronghold Kingdoms. How about RTS games ala Command and Conquer. Survival games such as Rust? Planet based combat like World of Tanks? Would you like to see other game types expanding the Eve Universe or should CCP stick to what it knows?

For a long time CCP had a single title, EVE Online. As anyone with a half a clue knows it isn't the best idea for a company to rely on a single product to keep the lights on. CCP recognise this and over the years have tried to create new titles on par with EVE. World of Darkness never saw the light of day. Dust 514 will be cremated in six weeks. This leaves CCP with EVE as their main money maker. Valkyrie and Gunjack have yet to take off properly. I'll believe in the FPS replacement for Dust when I see it. Clearly CCP need more titles out there. The EVE universe is massive. There is potential to create just about any game genre and set it somewhere in New Eden.

For a long time I've been hearing that gaming is changing. There is a certain elitist mentality that says 'proper gamers' are the ones on PC, Playstation or Xbox. The people who play games on their tablet or phone aren't 'proper gamers'. I used to agree. As time has gone on I've realised that the games on tablets are still games regardless of the complexity, graphics quality or depth of gameplay. There are legions of people out there who don't want to sit at their PC and play EVE. Those people want to sit on their couch and dip into something simple for 20 minutes while waiting for something good to come on TV.

There are some aspects of EVE which would fit nicely into a tablet environment. Market Trading and the planet interface side of Planetary Interaction are two that spring to mind. Let's face it, how often do people doing either of those tasks actually put themselves at risk?

Space Empire Market Trader

Your aim is to make as much ISK as possible. You start in Jita 4-4 but can pay for transport to other stations. The transportation can either be cheap, slow and fulfilled by NPCs or more expensive contracts hopefully fulfilled by Capsuleers in New Eden. Buying and selling is against the same New Eden markets the rest of us use. Players could stay in a single station simply trading on the market there but the real riches are going to be buying in one location and selling in another.

There are positives for EVE itself. As these traders aren't looking to fit ships there will be less of the positive reinforcement of the trade hubs we see today. New hubs will gradually appear where there are many capsuleers.  In Jita itself, the increased number of traders will give rise to greater competition which could push prices down. A new career would appear in New Eden of 'taxi driver' as well as reinforcing the 'space trucker' role seen in corps like Red Frog. Finally, the 'score' in this game is the amount of ISK a player has. These players are all seeking to have the highest 'score' which gives this ISK-sink qualities.

Space Empire Factory Manager

You are an interplanetary factory manager. Your job is to maintain the production capacity of capsuleer installations around the universe. You are hired by capsuleers to keep their PI running at all times so they don't have to. Your score is the amount of ISK you earn. This is a true sink as there would be no way to return this to the economy.

Imagine never having to update your PI again. For a token ISK payment each of your planets goes into a pool of planets which require management. Random people on tablets will be shown your planet and update your extractors to find the best location for the extractor heads. They export the PI to the POCO if it's needed. All you need to do is fly your Epithal over there and collect it. Genius.

More games please

In case it isn't obvious I am all for CCP further exploiting the New Eden universe to create more titles. If these can be hooked into the live universe we all live in then even better. Even if they can't then I am all for more titles such as Valkyrie and Gunjack. It would just be nice if CCP could release it on hardware I already own.

21 March 2016

18 March 2016

The Road to Discovery

A long time ago I gained a degree in a biological science. I really enjoyed the time I spend in the lab doing science stuff such as ELISA tests, PCR or running DNA though gel electrophoresis. Apart from one seasonal job as a government scientist I sadly never followed my studies up with a science career. Naturally I was rather pleased when I heard CCP were going to add a 'citizen science' feature into EVE. It sounded like something I could get my teeth into, time permitting.

Project Discovery lets you donate time to the real-world analysis of human proteins. In game it is masquerading as analysis of Drifter cells. There is a token payment of ISK which I would probably have loved to be receiving as a new player. On the first day I did 45 samples and ended up with about 2 million ISK in the bank. I have made a point of trying my best to analyse the samples. EVE being EVE, of course, there will be players out there simply burning through the images as rapidly as possible with little care for accuracy. This is a shame because what CCP and MMOS are trying to achieve is a fantastic thing. I really hope they have good statistical analysis going on in the background so we don't create a conduit for dumb, selfish EVE players to mess data up in the real world simply because they want to maximise the dreaded ISK per hour metric.

Spare time progress is slow