Thursday, March 26, 2015

“Is CCP Gonna Bust Da Bubble?”

~or “Woe Betide the POS Force Field…  Mebbe.”

For them as did not catch it, I recently commented on Sugar’s blog about the impeding removal of the POS Force Field… This was brought on by section 5 of the BACK INTO THE STRUCTURE Dev Blog… which I quote in toto here;

5.     Housing
Proper housing of player items and ships is a critical must-have if we wish those structures to be used over NPC stations. As such, we have different ideas up our sleeves to make that happen.

First, docking will still be available for the largest structures, as long as you have rights and your ship isn’t too big for this kind of purpose (we are looking at you, Supercarriers and Titans).

For the smallest structures, or if your e-peen is too large for docking, mooring will be preferred option. Replacing forcefield mechanics, this will make your ship invulnerable and not being able to be bumped as long as you are within a specific radius of the structure. Of course, when that is the case you will not be able to interact with the outside world either. The idea for the mooring capabilities are that they are configurable and have a finite limit, so multiple structures will be required to house particularly large fleets.”  (emphasis mine)

Yup… according to the Structures Dev Blog it seems they are seriously considering getting rid of the POS Forcefield, the POS Shield. As a player who has lived almost exclusively in POSes for going on 3.5 years of the 4 I have been ingame… I find this change personally abhorrent and unpleasant… and even more, unneeded.

Unlike my null brethren who screamed and rage quit with the advent of the Jump Changes, getting rid of the POS Shield is not a ‘game changer’ that fixes anything game breaking like Force Projection did… the extreme ease of overwhelping Force Projection made possible due to the way Jump mechanics used to be was wayyy broken… the POS Shield is not and does not affect the game in anywhere near the same way Force Projection did.

I commented on Sugar’s post, CSMX - Post #1, about this… there was some back-n-forth commenting on this then Halycon said;

Mostly it comes down to it cannot be fixed without a deep level rewrite of how the game functions and handles objects. I'm not talking horror code, I mean a complete rethink of the entire engine that handles objects in space, and therefore a complete ground up rewrite. The impact of that would be far beyond force fields. By it's very nature it'd change the entire balance of how Eve work; from flying ships, to weapons, to just about everything you'd do in space.


The devs have wanted to do away with force fields for the better part of a decade, but couldn't. And now that they finally can, they're gleefully going to kill it. I absolutely guarantee the day they turn them off for good, one of the coders is going to have a victory dance.” (emphasis mine)

In four years ingame I have never once heard any of this…

Then Sugar responds… twice…

Thank you Halycon.

They are trying to keep functionality (things floating in the shields are safe) with things like Intel and fix problems in Eve.

Force fields do not work. I'm sorry that I'm using the wrong words. But they don't work and they have to go. That means what you have now is going to be given to you in a different way.

Thianis the discovery phase of the details and everyone is trying to get it right but its not going to be the same. Your hangars should still be there for storage.

But shields are not staying.”  (emphasis mine)

Well… fuk me. But you know what, if it really is as stated, for the overall good and health of the game, well then I can and will, grudgingly granted, accept it… until I saw this…

During the EVE Online Fanfest 2015: Art & Graphics Panel I saw and heard this…

CCP BasementBen, Development Manager, showed us what you see in the title pic and here (25:52 to 26:50)… a short animation of an “improved” POS Shield… Hrm. Improved? Then CCP Mankiller, Lead Graphics Programmer, tells us it is “…basically a magnetic field with a bit of Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis…” hmmmmm…

Then during the Q&A, here, (44:07 to 44:40) there was this question:

Hey guys, a quick question with regards to the POS Shields, umm, not sure if this is something that’s going to be covered next with the actual Structures discussion but, are we gonna see, when you’re taking out a POS, impacts on (the) actual shield instead of everything seemingly penetrate as if it’s not there and impacting on a tower, is that gonna change at’all and make it slightly more realistic?”

The response is… “Not for this, ah, this release.” then “Not for these POS Shields because the new structure things that’s the new thing to go and we will, most likely, do it for that yes.”

…and we will most likely do it for that, yes.” Well… seems the art dept missed the ‘POS Shields have to GO.’ CCP/CSM memo… and I seriously doubt this CCP, the CCP being run as it is NOW, a company that it taking bold aggressive ownership of its product… I sincerely doubt they are going to accidentally allow the art dept to showcase something that is not at least seriously on the table… ESPECIALLY something that has such an impact on one of the biggest changes to come to the game in its going on 12 year run, something as regards the changes to POSes, Null Sov and the New Structures… changes that the players have been waiting for, and begging for, for YEARS…

Oh I know, I know… there are those out there who will LOL and say, “Dude, CCP always steps on their own dick man! It’s just par for the course!” but I disagree. I’m not saying they can’t make a mistake… anyone can… but this is BIG. I sincerely doubt CCP Seagull would allow something that states pretty plainly that they are working on the POS Shield and it is gonna stay when the plan is to take it down.

As for me… I will hold out hope that CCP decides that the POS Shield had uses other than just defense of a POS… for me, for most of us who live out of a POS, meaning all of us who live in Anoikis (wormholes) the POS Shield is so much more than just a defense… The Great POS Window is one of the few truly enjoyable aspects of POSlife... unlike the poor sots in Empire Stations and Nullsuc Outposts we have a huge 360 deg omni-directional WINDOW... we have a 30km of our very own protected space in which we can fly around in and DO shit… move stuff around, goof off with each other, plan ops, reship, prep for fights or just sit back and chill after a day of whatever and enjoy the company of our friends and corpmates… with the best gods damned VIEW in all of EVE…

Sugar also said, "POS shields are they currently are are broken and problematic. They don't work with how Eve functions which leads us to the endless cases of POS shield exploits."

Then FIX POS shields FFS... but don't just get rid of them. Make them work as they should... Like the guy asked… make them the thing you target, make them the thing you shoot, make the POS Forcefield actually impenetrable and everything inside it untouchable until taken down, period.

"They don't work with how Eve functions which leads us to the endless cases of POS shield exploits."

Exploits? It’s EVE, in EVE finding and exploiting cracks in the game mechanics, or ‘gaming the game’ is usually called ‘emergent behavior’… and the POS Shields ‘don’t work with how EVE functions’ how? because Empire Stations and Nullsec Outposts don't have them? Empire Stations and Nullsec Outposts aren't POSes... of course they don't have them... they are huge and invulnerable...

POSes are a western frontier fort with a wooden palisade, a sturdy log cabin out on the prairie with gun ports in the shutters... Anoikis is not Nullsec... we are the wild west of EVE... let us BE the wild west of EVE... please.

Please don’t screw us over once again like you did with the effing Discovery Scanner… don’t burst our bubble.

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

Monday, March 16, 2015

These Are Not the Freighters You Are Looking for, Just Move Along…

~or “EVE Needs a ‘Mayflower’ service…”

This is not a 'meta post', nor a 'what the hell is up with Fozziesov' post nor a 'the Svipple has tits?' post.... this is just yer run of the mill 'what the hell has been going on in Tur's verse' post...
We have moved… again.

This will be my fifth move in and/or out of an Anoikis system. We, meaning HBHI my home corp, originally lived in an Alliance owned and operated Large Amarr POS in the old Demsal Alliance C1 back many years ago now… but that wasn’t really ‘ours’ and cause we were not in the POS owning corp we therefore not only lived in our ships same as we do today but, we also had no POS access other than password-through-the-FF. 

What ships we had and other stuff had to be managed by the actual POS corp members, IE the worst possible way to live in a POS out of the wide range of unpleasant possible conditions that POS life has available. It was not long before we simply needed full access and that meant a POS of our own.

So we ended up anchoring, for the very first time, move #1, “Serenity Station”, a Large Matarii POS in the C2 owned by HELPeR, an Allied corp. This was our first real home in Anoikis. As these things go over time we decided we wanted not just our own POS but our own hole too, we had reached a point where the C2 sites n PI n raids didn’t provide us all with the levels of ISK to which we aspired, so we moved out and up to a C3, move #2.

This was our first real complete takedown, move out and setup in a new hole move. We lived in pretty happy with things for a long time until we got seriously camped by some guys from SYJ Alliance and all of that ended in us joining SYJ and once again doing a full move, move #3… this time out of the C3 and into Bastion, SYJ’s C6.

After most of a year there we left SYJ on good terms and moved out, move #4… temporarily living in Empire while we decided what to do next… which was going to be a C4, then we got wind that our old friends in HELPeR had left null and moved , move #4a, into a C3… we mothballed HBHI and our POS and POS mods and joined HELPeR, so not really a full-on ‘move’ for the HBHI guys as such this time.

Now, the corp has grown quite a bit over this past winter and we found were spending a lot of time scouting C5’s to run for ISK to feed the membership so basically, we needed to move up. So we have found... well purchased... a C4/C5-C3 with very good PI. This means a C4 wormhole with 2 statics, a C5 and a C3. So we will no longer have to scout for C5s… we will have a connection to some C5 23/7/365 and we will have a connection to some C3 which ‘should’ give us decent access to Empire most days… this is move #5.

And lemme tell you man, moving in Empire sucks, but changing wormholes can be a real logistical nightmare… you see moving between systems in Anoikis entails a few things even nullsecers don’t have to deal with…

(1) No gates. Daily you have to scan down the ever changing wormholes in and out of not only your old home home, but once you buy or find that perfect new hole with the great access to downtown and fantabulistic schools, you have to have all the holes there scanned down daily if not several times a day.

(2) Add to this is the moving of often large numbers of ships (I myself have over 43 personally owned ships in the POS…) multiple hauler runs loaded with equipment and everyone’s personal PvE/P ships out and in is dependent on the mass limits of the holes you find. Scanning down a hole that cuts 10’s or more Empire jumps down to a mere handful is met with raucous jubilation… but when it is noticed that it is a Frigs only hole… the scanning pilot has no other option but to leave fleet, cloak up and run for his life.

(3) No Red/Blue/Black Frog freighter pilot can help you at all… ‘cause at the VERY most your access to your new home system lasts just 24 hours, and C4 and down don’t take Freighters… and no self-respecting freighter pilot is gonna risk his ship inna wormhole… period. So the best you could hope for would be a pickup and drop off at the nearest station to your new home’s hole-of-the-day… but R/B/Black Frog doesn’t ‘guarantee’ delivery in under 24 hours… though you could possibly offer a bonus for that service.

Keep in mind, no matter where the holes put you, you HAVE to move ships out and stage them at the closest Empire station as fast as you can… hoping against hope that when you get time to move them in your new connection isn’t 45 hops away. We’ve had days where we get the dream… an exit from old home that is through an acceptable lowsec, not camped all to hell and rife with riff-raf… and like 9 or maybe even 5 jumps to the entrance hole to new home… and we’ve had days where we just can’t move crap cause old home is 5 low jumps to hisec and 2 are hard camped and new home has a pipe through null and an active C6… cripes.

Multiply all of this by the number of chars who have ships in the POS and, well… tempers between players who have never had a bad word to say ‘bout each other can get very short… and them as aren’t BFFs to begin with… well, it can get unpleasant, but… there is nothing to it but to do it.

Now the C4 is a trade-off… a compromise hole. Better home sites, vastly better PI than the old C3 and easy daily access to C5’s for sites and C3’s… the downsides? Easy daily access to C5’s and no static Empire holes... this means not only do we get the possibility of a C5 loaded with sites… we also have the same chance of a C5 loaded with players… eek. Plus the connection to ‘a’ C3 does not mean that we WILL have an Empire connection… just means we ‘should’ have one most of the time but still it will mean scanning down a ‘pipe’ to Empire instead of a direct connection, granted it will normally be a short pipe.

Still an all, the vastly better PI means greatly enhanced passive income for all and for the corp, plus the C5 static means over all better opportunities for enhanced ISK making in both home and adjoining holes… so the compromise is just that, some good some not so much.

Lastly there is the new hole to consider… choose a moon for the POS, get it all setup and deathstarry… get ervybody’s ships n shit in and now we get to settle in start runnin sites and setup PI… or, er, no. POCOs.

Planetary Orbital Customs Offices… (Player Owned Customs Offices)… all of the POCO’s are owned by other corps with various tax rates… which means… POCO Bash Fleet! Oh joy… 13 planets… Thirteen POCOs to bash down, and that aint fun shooting I dunt care who ya are.

Anyway we started in on it, as many as could joined in but I must say Joran, our member who is the most involved or at least the most interested in PI and Industry, was of course, the guy who put in the most time and DPS on this little project. To which we all owe some debt of gratitude as bashing POCOs just plain sucks.

Anyhoo, it is all now done and we are getting PI setup and final alts from the old home hole are now trickling in… and people are simply not loggin in as much. Huh…. Seems for many of us there has been a general feeling of being just kinda tired of the game as the last few weeks have not been about ‘fun’… they have been about work.

The ‘move out’… ‘moving ships n shit all over hell n creation’… the ‘move in’… ‘POCO bashing’… add to this that a few of our prime ‘content creators’ have had more on their plates than usual and the end of the move has also coincided with some RL>EVE stuff cropping up in some of our lives.

In the end you get people poking their noses in TS and not seeing anyone active so they log off and so… only a few of us are on together at any given time, and not enough to really ‘do’ anything. Not enough for sites or a raid or a roam or more than scanning all the things… and even that is not nearly as up to date as we used to keep it.

For me personally… I’m sitting on almost 2 bil ISK and so my inner drive to run sites or to even get PI setup is not as strong as it has been in the past when I was used to a much much leaner wallet… plus I am one of the ones who have been slapped by some of that RL>EVE stuff and so I am guilty of not loggin on as much nor for as long as usual.

This needs to change, hell… everything else has.  =]

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