Monday, August 18, 2014

Crime & Reward…

~or “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished...”

First, heed not the doomsaying of others… I am still here, just going through some RL>EVE that has kept me unsubbed is ALL. My CARBON Based Life is not dead nor has it gone dark… just got the shades drawn and the lights low for a spell is ALL… ok? on to the meat…

Risk = Reward is the EVE mantra. In EVE, it is supposed to be that the greater the risk taken, the greater the reward received. But we rarely talk about the Risk & Reward corollary, Crime & Punishment.

In pure PVE the Risk equals the potential loss of the total cost of ship, fit and cargo.
In pure PVE the Reward equals the ISK Payout + bonus and potential High ISK Value drops (this also used to include Loot & Salvage back in the day).

But in nonconsensual PVP the only concession to Risk [potential loss of the total cost of ship(s), fit(s) and cargo(s)] against the Reward [dropped cargo, dropped mods (this also used to include Salvage back in the day)] for committing a crime (awoxing, ganking, etc.) is in actuality only the loss of Security Status. The loss of the ships is easily factored in and due to the current ship balancing, a fleet of low cost T1s is far below the potential Reward for taking down a loaded hauler or freighter.

Then there is the one Reward CCP does not talk about as it is not a part of the code… Tears. The intentional emotional upset caused by one player on another. There are many greifers and scammers and suchlike in EVE who’s primary Reward in the game is just that… to cause other players grief.

They could care less about the Risk vs Reward mechanic as it has NOTHING to do with their personal Risk vs Reward philosophy. So for them the only real ‘cost’ for doing the ‘crime’ is the loss of Sec Stat… and CCP has made that far easier to deal with via the Sec for Tags gambit. A griefer can now simply buy his way back into HighSec and go a ganking again.

IMHO CCP is not thinking clearly on this. In the post, “EVE Unbalanced – The Sandbox is a Lie” over on “Solitary Pilot” (by Sakaane Eionell) Sakaane talks to this point. She makes a very good argument for a much needed change to how the Security Status Mechanic works.

To put is simply:
Lower status players killing Higher status players should LOSE Sec Stat;
Higher status players killing Lower status players should GAIN Sec Stat…

That’s Right, if you gain Sec Stat for killing Guristas or Angels, IE known NPC pirates, then you should also GAIN Sec Stat for killing Lower Sec Stat players, IE known player 'pirates'.

I am going to simply allow Sakaane to speak for this as I am in absolute full agreement with her idea. Go to her post in the link above and read it all, but for the real meat, scroll down to the “CONCORD Needs to Math” section.

Again, quoted here for truth,

“If I want to play the hero then I do want to make a habit of attacking people who habitually go after the people I want to defend. Those are the villains, the pirates, the scum...and I should be rewarded in the eyes of CONCORD for being picky about my targets. I want my sec status to show how badass I am at killing bad guys.”

Her basic scenario is as follows, again quoted as I can’t come up with better…

“If negative sec is the hallmark of the PVP pirate, shouldn’t positive sec be the hallmark of the PVP hero? Why doesn’t CONCORD reward pilots for destroying other pilots who are villains?
In my mind, security status should only take a hit in three scenarios:

·  when a player destroys another player with sec status equal to or higher than their own (for example, -4.8 destroys -2.6);
·  when a player with sec status above zero destroys another player with sec status at or above zero (for example, +3.4 destroys +2.2 or +5.0); and
·  when a player gets caught transporting illegal goods past customs NPCs.

The hit for destroying a player should always be larger than the hit for trying to sneak past the NPCs. The size of the penalty should be proportionate to the difference in sec status between the players, meaning that someone at -5.0 destroying someone who is +5.0 should get a bigger hit than someone at -2.0 destroying someone who is only 0.0. The hit should be largest for players with positive sec destroying other players with positive sec.

To balance this out, security status should get a boost in three scenarios:

·  when a player destroys another player with sec status below theirs, provided the opponent’s sec status is not at or above zero (for example, +1.8 destroys -3.5);
·  when a player turns in tags for sec; and
·  when a player destroys bona fide pirate NPCs.

Like above, the boost for destroying a player should be larger than the boost for destroying pirate NPCs (or using tags). The size of the boost should be proportionate to the difference in sec status between the players, meaning that someone at +5.0 destroying someone who is -5.0 will get a bigger boost than someone at -2.0 destroying someone at -5.0.”

Kudos for this idea all the way around.

My only note here would be that Anoikis, IE Wormhole Space, remains as it is today as re Sec Stat. You see in W-space there is no CONCORD, no Local, no Gate system... they know not what we do and therefore cannot place either loss or gain on us for any actions taken on the other side of the sky… and thus it is, and thus it always should be.

Another area of difference, she discusses Noobkillers, and I feel her ‘noobs start at +5’ idea is actually too low. IMHO all Noobs should start at +10 and the cost for killing new toons from day one to say, 1 month old (only while in their ORIGINAL NPC corp and in anything other than an agreed Duel) should be prohibitively higher… then scale back down over the 2nd month to game normal levels.

This change would mean that for the first time in EVE, proactively fighting on the side of Defense and yes, Honor, would have REAL merits. 

I have absolutely no problem that EVE IS a dark and harsh ‘verse… but that does not mean it cannot also be a place for players who want to fight what they see as ‘the good fight’, and right now, fighting AGAINST players who gank and play pirate has the exact same cost as being a ganker or pirate… and it should not.

This also could have a very interesting side effect for the ongoing discussion about NPE/NPR (New Player Experience an New Player Retention). This change in the Security Status Mechanic, especially if CCP changes it so that new players are in essence ‘protected’ by a prohibitively high Sec Status, (IE gank a one day old toon and go straight to -10…) means we would not need the 'Noob Safe Zones' that have been talked so much about that even Das Mitten himself himself has jumped on that particular bandwagon.

I find it interesting that he states CCPs reasons for not separating the Vets and Noobs as…  ~reasons~…

And here I thought he was a lawyer and intelligent and all, and yet he resorts to childish repetition instead of a reasoned statement... but, one must needs consider the source. CCPs ~reasons~ are that EVE is NOT WoW nor is it like ANY OTHER MMO out there… and they don’t ever want it to be WoW IN SPACE and they don’t what it to ever be LIKE ANY OTHER MMO… They are trying to do something NEW and DIFFERENT… and that means, to use Mittens own words against him, to do that one has to find and publicly murder a few sacred cows along the way.

I also firmly believe that any “Safe Zone” or “Safe System” will set a very bad expectation in noobs NPE… I vastly prefer the idea of noobs being safe as compared to space being safe. No space, no system, no gate in EVE should be safe… but noobs should be safe from the predations of other players in their first 2 months and most especially in that critical first month. By giving them personal 'safety', by making exploiting and ganking them far far too costly, and yet having them out in the real New Eden with all the rest of us at the same time to acclimate them to the realities of life and death in EVE.

To have them enter the game and play for any length of time in a system devoid of normal player aggression and normal player activity will most likely set them up for a very real shock when they are finally transferred to a regular system.

And I have always felt awoxing (risk free inter-corp PVP) was one of those idea's that works in theory but not in practice. That should have been removed at the same time Duels was instituted.

And lastly and JIC, for all of you who are gonna jump immediately on the “But EVE players are gonna game the fuk outta this!!” soapbox, uh… yea, they are, So? EVE players game the hell outta EVERYTHING CCP does… so what? Mebbe you think CCP should stop working on the game out of fear of its own playerbase??

Well, yea… ok, mebbe that might actually have some merit, I mean, have you met us???…

But I hope they don’t and gamed or not, this change in the Security Status Mechanic has the potential to be a really good change for players who want to play the hero role and for NPE/NPR.

Fly Wreckless and see you in the Sky  =/|)=

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Summertime, summertime, sum, sum, summertiiiime!

Well. it's happened... I'm unsubbed for the first time in almost 4 years... and not doing anything about it... for now. Not all rage quitty nor any proof of apathy for Dimmy's Tale of Woe for EVE... nope, I am simply too effin busy is all.

Work-wise I am between contracts, again. Several months into my last contract the ubiquitous 'they' cut the WHOLE first level support team (6 or 7 FT employees laid off) and outsourced it to some firm in Mexico... Mexico?? and then they cut the only contractor on the support team... me (go figger huh?). It sorta sucks but, when life give ya lemons... make lemonade right? So we are kinda taking advantage of this as the wife went FT at her job several months ago so I am doing the SAHD thing... being a stay-at-home-dad... for now. Oh I am actively looking, calling, talking and putting out resumes and such just nothing much really moving much in my area (at my rate) ATM.

So of course there is the neverending honey-do list of yard, house, sailboat and such projects and chores... but we also have the pool up and usually full of kids, the hottub bubblin and the grill and firepit both have seen much use in the first half of summer, and I expect it will not slow down until we start heading into school prep for my young ones. Huh, young ones... both are starting Middle School, what we called Junior High in my day.

No idea what's happenin in the hole and really not even keeping up with blogs and the meta to be honest... again, just too damn busy is all... heck as I write this the kids are calling me back outside...  =]

Hope all of ya'll have a great summer... I am looking forward to getting back to the unfriendly skies of New Eden... but right now we got burgers on the grill and company on the way and the water is fine... See ya'll in a month or so.

Fly safe and see you in the Pool...  =/|)=

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Summer Blues…

~or “Is EVE Dying, or is it Just Me?”

Its summer and EVE is Dead. The usual summer blues or “Damn There’s Really A World Outside??” has hit and I, like so many, are not loggin in nearly as much due to conflicts with things like boating, cookouts, sittin round the firepit of an evening, swimming, wimmen in bikinis!!!, more swimming (due to wimmen in bikinis!!!), BBQs, travelin to visit fambly, mass consumption of alcoholic beverages (outside for a change), fambly travelin to visit us, more mass consumption… you know…  :summertime:  and this is all normal this time of year… even basically all of CCP goes on vaca for most of the summer it often seems. Things just slow down when it gets hot.

For my part, as re EVE, I have been keeping PI running, a good semi-passive ISK faucet and an easy 30 mins to hour of playtime. I rarely see anyone else on either, Lethal is on occasionally, but usually he says he’s just doing PI also. I would like to do some ratting in lowsec, the Clone tags and Mordu BPCs make it very worthwhile, but I am loath do go solo, much prefer when a few of us are on and I can call for, or get called in as, backup if PvP occurs.

But, all in all, things have as usual gotten quiet and a bit laid back as the days grew longer and hotter… I’m still here, still skim the blogs each day… though I will admit with less enthusiasm than I used to, I really do miss Jester’s posts… I basically turn to Sugar Kyle for my daily fix now but I find there is a lot less cross talk and cross posting now that the Roboblogger has gone dark… real shame there IMHO.

I can’t speak for Ripard, only for myself but the EVE blogshere has become a lot less interesting over all, I wonder if he truly realized what an effect he actually had on us all.

Fly Wreckless and see you in the Sky  =/|)=

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

News From Abandonia...

~or “Mebbe We Can Hack Your Stuffs.”

I got this one from Hermit, here… If news like this keeps up, I may have to consider keeping tabs on the forums now.

In this post in the Features & Ideas forum, “[Summer 2014] Starbase tweaks” CCP Ytterbium said…

“On the bright side however, we are working on ways to remove offline Control Towers. It's still in early design and with our team bandwidth being quite full for Crius, this will have to wait after that, but it's definitely on the menu.

Now THIS is a mechanic I can sink my teeth into! We, especially those of us who live in Anoikis, have been hoping and praying for this since… well, as long as I have been ingame. Abandoned offline POSes and their incapped mods litter W-space… some intentionally or unintentionally abandoned, some due to Corps being evicted or just podded out w/o hole-cards, scan alts (in scan frigs) permanently in the hole as a backup.

No matter how it happens, the simple truth is that because any corp can setup POSes at every moon in every system in W-space and due to the access issues, IE evictions, POD outs, need for scanned access BMs, etc., there are possibly literally hundreds of offline POSes scattered throughout the systems of Anoikis. We have lived long term in a C2, C3, C6 and now another C3… we have had left over offline POSes in 2 of them… the hole we live in now has one and we’d LOVE to get rid of it… especially if we could also profit thereby.

Yes, we could bash it… but DAMN, have you ever done a POS Bash? We are a small yet feisty corp, we don’t have Dreads or Caps so at best we could field a small gang of BSes… it would take HOURS. I know, I’ve done it… it SUX. Yet, if you eject from your ship… ANYONE with the prerequisite skills can simply jump innit and warp off. Abandoned POSes should be the same only in some way that is commensurate with how POSes work (or will work after the Corp & Alliance Roles and Rules Revamp).

Personally, I prefer something that might go like this…
You find an offline POS… no active Force Field, armor and hull at 100% and with some defensive modules, mebbe some others, still anchored and incapped. You would need to be in a scan frig, fitted with new hacking modules, POS Hacking modules. There would be some form of new hacking mini-game, but gods please not the random almost pacman like thing we have now in some sites, but a real code breaking/puzzle solving type game and maybe new Mods and Skills could apply.

Something based on the idea of a password or PIN number hack… or maybe an X-ray type of scan that give you a wireframe view of a circuit, you then select several of multiple connectors to send a charge or data packet in order to close, open or bypass a series of logic gates in order to eventually open, close or bypass the whole circuit to gain access. Or maybe something like a puzzle… a 3D wireframe or virtual looking puzzle that has to be solved… think a virtual Rubiks Cube or Tetris not really Rubiks Cube and not really Tetris but you get the idea.

So you have several, say three, of these getting progressively harder to hack but at the end, quite simply, you gain full Administrative (all Roles) access to the POS Management Interface and all Attached modules… with one caveat…

If you do not complete all three hacks in a reasonable amount of time… the self defenses kick in and  the POS assplodes… with a very, very high Alpha and a radius of… well let’s just say you can’t run the hack from outside the blast radius mmkay?

So in the end, with some well balanced risk, let’s say the POS Hacking Modules are, well expensive… really expensive, enough so the loss of the scan frig, mebbe a new Special Purpose Frig, so that risk inherent in the cost of the Frig and POS Hacking modules, if lost, would… to a degree balance out the reward that the sudden acquisition of a free Planetary Orbital Station Control Tower… mebbe even a Large Faction Control Tower would bring.

Fly Wreckless and see you in the Sky  =/|)=

Saturday, June 7, 2014

What Would YOU Undock For?

~or “Kronos Lives up to the Hype.”

Well, Kronos has dropped and I am pleased as punch. The download and installation went smoother than ANY patch/expansion I have experienced in my 3.5 years ingame.

The morning of the 3rd I kicked off the d-load and went to go do some household chores. When I came back, roughly an hour or so later, the d-load and installation were done and the client was ready to run. Login went as smoothly as hoped, the client loaded and in gameplay since I have seen nothing amiss.

So… Kronos, the first of CCPs new patchspansions dropped and what did we do? We went RATTIN! We live inna C3 with a static Lowsec and this is ideal for several reasons. (1) A stat low means fewer random tourists as the lower population in lowsec means fewer player scanning holes, (2) C3s are not always on the ‘pipe’ to Empire from C4 thru 6s and, now (3) Mordu’s Legion rats are spawning all over lowsec and dropping very ‘spensive BPCs for the 3 new Mordu’s Legion ships.

And what is happening, as far as we have seen is pure awesomesauce. Players know there are potential billions in ISK in those BPCs and they are foraying into lowsec from all over New Eden and undocking in numbers we have not seen before. I mean, with the very real possibility of pocketing several billion ISK with one rat kill, risking ships and PODs are worth it. This means the potential for PvP has also grown in pace with the players seeking those ML rats.

That very first night we bagged one of those new Barghests and its sweet BPC drop… 2 bil ISK for Sov, who very kindly cut me a percentage as I landed on grid and helped him finish off the flat weird thing. Whattaway to kick off Kronos!

The next night, the 4th, we had an incursion from a higher class WH corp through our system… and ended up with a really fun fight on the static. I was not on comms, so initially I was responding to the chat about what I thought was a fight ‘outside’ of the stat, I jumped inna ‘Cane and landed right in the fight! The incursion gang was a Pilgrim, Proteus and x2 Loki, they jumped and destroyed our Vexor, and we responded with an Ares, the Vex pilot now inna Ishtar, Blackbird, Geddon and my Cane.

We killed the Pilgrim and one Loki then I believe the other Loki and the Proteus jumped the hole to lowsec, at least I don’t remember them warping off and we did have points spread so… What I find really interesting is what I remember and what the logs show is always different in little interesting ways…

For instance in this fight the logs say I initially attacked the Proteus… I remember the Lokis and Pilgrim, but the logs are clear I spent 40 seconds, a fair piece of time in combat, applying all DPS on the Proteus before switching to the Pilgrim… yet I don’t remember the Proteus at all but I do remember switching DPS to the Pilgrim… weird huh?

Anyway, after the initial fight I reshipped to a Broadsword (HIC), warped back and bubbled up. The Loki pilot we killed had got his POD out and back to their hole into our system. He had reshipped and returned inna a Drake, to assist his corpmates to return, he landed in the bubble and, things get weird here again for me… the logs show the Proteus jumped back in, and again, for a just few seconds this time, I fought the Proteus… but don’t remember it. I wonder now if it’s just Protieii I can’t see?

Add to that the fact that the logs show that the Pilgrim pilot had reshipped to a Geddon and I fought him too… yet don’t remember targeting a Geddon… but I DO remember getting neuted out, calling out that I was neuted out and I remember when my CAP bounced back, getting back into the fight. Now we had I think 2 Geddons of our own on the field  by then so I can see some potential confusion on my part there, ‘cept of course, I fired on the damned thing… =\

Anyway, the Drake died and due to my HIC we got his POD too. The Proteus and Geddon, I believe, were able to warp out to their hole though I swear I don’t remember it. Well, we kept watch on the static but after a while we assumed they decided to err of the side of caution until things calmed down in our hole.

Later that night we went ratting in the lowsec and, besides some nice bounties we got into a few good fights too. Leathal in an Ares got into a fight with a Tristan on which I joined in and got point, perfect whoring… lol, before it assloded. Then Leath, now inna Enyo gets point on a Gnosis and I warped to assist… the Gnosis was able to destroy Leath’s Enyo but not before I got point and started in on him. I was still in my Cane and this turned into one of the closest fights I have ever had.

As a matter of fact, if Sov had not at one point said something about overheating, I would have lost… We both had point, we were burning and turning, drones orbiting and we were both stripping shields and armor off of each other at nearly the same rate finally both going into hull… but I was going down a bit faster than him. Now all I remember clearly was Sov saying “…something something…overheat… something something…”

I quickly overheated ALL racks and suddenly my shields jumped back up to approx 20 to 25%... and that made the difference. From then on the Gnosis had shields to burn back through while I was still chewing through his hull, now noticeably faster, until he blew up.

[EDIT: In talking over the fight w/ Sov we realized that my shields bouncing up to 25% from 0% was due to Sov jumping the gate into the system. He was on his way to assist but dint land on grid in time... However, he was our fleet booster, so when he jumped gate, I got fleet boosts, and as he is L5, I got... ta da, a 25% shield boost.... so hurrah for fleet! 'nough said.]

I was ecstatic!! I was also on FIRE!!!  LOL… I had about 70% hull left, close to incap heat damage on several mods and fire and smoke pouring out my ass as I warped back to the hole…. But I was grinning like an idiot for the rest of the night…  =]  I repaired all damage and headed back out in the same Cane to continue ratting.

The night of the 5th we went ratting the lows again and Sov, inna Ishtar, gets into a fight with the same guy from the Gnosis fight on the 4th, and he's back in another Gnosis… 20 seconds after we engaged him a Moa landed in support and we took them both down then we went right back to ratting.

So far we haven’t gotten another Modu’s Legion ship… but I expect we will continue to take full advantage of Traveling Without Moving from lowsec to lowsec.  =]

Fly Wreckless and see you in the Sky =/|)=