Sunday, September 30, 2012

CCP Bullcrap

I have been blitzing L3 missions, trying to repair Caldari faction standing, and came across this:
I've mentioned it before, but CCP really has some fun ways of making people want to not play their game.  In case it's not obvious, I declined an anti-Gallente mission, as my goal is to get back to 0.0 for all factions, not tank one to raise the other.  And the response, after waiting out the decline timer, is to offer me the anti-Minmatar version.  With a taunt, no less.

Great way to get me hitting the log-off button.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Faction Warfare: Questions

For a variety of reasons, I have been considering jumping into Faction Warfare.  However, I have a few problems:

Aside from the popular bloggers' affiliations, I know relatively little about FW.  I sense that Amarr and Gallente and in the crapper, based on the control maps.  But is this indicative of the level of players involved?  Part of me wants to join the little guys and get some fights.  But part of me is afraid that there is nothing going on in those militias.  Anyone care to share thoughts on this?

I am terribad at PvP.  Mostly from lack of, well, doing it.  I've been a functional carebear for my career in Eve.  I put an alt in RvB for a while, which although fun, quickly devolved into Red Blob v Blue Blob, until one side got so outnumbered they had to leave the field for the night.  My few attempts to go solo roaming in low sec have brought me nothing in the way of combat.  So, any recommendations for gaining PvP skill, or lacking that, practice?  Good roaming routes?

Thanks in advance to anyone who cares to answer!

Friday, September 21, 2012

HMLs, HAMs, and The Crazy Physics of Eve

There is a fun little debate over heavy missiles spawned CCP Fozzie talking about reducing range and damage of HMs.  Read the comments of that blog post for fun.

At the crux of the argument seems to be the underlying strengths of various battlecruisers, the weapons they fit, and range.  In the interest of full disclosure, I fly Drakes and Tengus a lot, and usually they sport HMLs, either T2 or Faction flavors.  And I think the hatred of those two ships using missiles comes not so much from the damage projection as from the rather outlandish interplay of slot layout, cap usage, and the location of armor and shield tanking modules.

I'm a relentless fit experimenter.  I love trying to come up with crazy tanks while still putting out enough DPS to complete L4 missions in something resembling a sane amount of time.  A common thematic problem I run into is the fact that a shield tanked ship, on average, can almost always get a better tank and a better gank because of the slot layout when designing to PvE activities as compared to an armor tank.  Some ships buck this trend when you factor in drone bonuses, but overall, a Drake will do more damage, around 300 dps, and have a bigger tank, by a lot, and not run into cap issues when compared to other BC hulls.  This is most apparent in the BC classes, where marginal trade-offs are not always so marginal.

The imbalance is such that I have focused my training almost entirely on sub-BS hulls, and poured SP in two accounts into the Drake > Tengu pathway simply because it makes the most sense from a time/isk/risk perspective.  The extra time training into BS sized hulls and weapons, for a new-ish player is just silly.  I appreciate the idea of tiericide, as I would love to be able to justify flying more ships with the same relative effectiveness.  But the HML debate brings to mind considerations of how the various weapon systems work, apart from any game balance considerations and I have always been left confused.

Space is a vacuum.  Once you fire an object, it will keep going at the speed you fired it in a straight line until it hits something or gravity deflects the trajectory.  Weapons in Eve do not follow this logic.  Lasers mysteriously disappear, which is ludicrous.  Projectiles and hybrids have some weird optimal/falloff artifacts that function the same way.  But there is no fundamental reason why up to 20km a solid slug would fly, and then at 20.1km it would vanish from the universe.  Missile collision detection apparently fails after the fuel runs out.  I don't know how real missiles are designed, but that also seems silly.  It's all pear-shaped in the name of game balance.

So maybe, when looking at weapons attributes, the focus should stop being range, and should instead change entirely to fitting, targeting, tracking, damage type and cap usage.  I recognize that the limitations of technology and game balance require grid size limitations and some sort of range limitations.  Perhaps class weapon range to the grid, and make up for the other factors?  For example, frigates only have enough computer space to accurately track vessels to a certain range, but if a target is stationary, as long as you point in the right direction, boom.  This is a wholesale redesign of the game, but it could take some weight off of weird justifications of range, and focus it back into ship modules and piloting strategies.

Yes it's crazy, and this will never happen, but the physics of Eve weapons have always nagged at certain portions of my brain.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Back in the Saddle

This last week or so is the first time I've had to dedicate some solid time to Eve since early May!  Life got busy. I was living with my now, but not at the time, parents-in-law.  You can infer from the previous that I am now a married man.  I moved across the country twice.  I am also ramping up into a master's project for my program, so a bit of time was poured into that!  I also developed a small Minecraft/Tekkit addiction that the wife's father could at least understand, so it seemed more acceptable as leisure with the computer in a public space.  That said, and back to Eve:

A lot has changed.

On the individual front, 4 months of afk training has given me the ability to sit in a new T3, all the T2 hulls skills below battleships, T2 projectiles and hybrids, and a lot more skills overall.  I'm about a month from being able to fly every sub BS ship in the game, and fit them almost appropriately.  That's after... about 31 million SP.  It's rather interesting to log in, look at my skills, and see not a long list of what needs to be done, but a list of things I am free to choose from.

From a game perspective a lot has changed too!  Mining is full of a lot of things I need to relearn.  My pet spreadsheet is now out of date, so that needs some work.  The ongoing rebalancing of ships is quite interesting, and something I need to look at.  And all the new interface goodness is something that I imagine will take some time to digest.


One a serious note, I would also like to give my condolences to Sean Smith's (Vile Rat) family and friends, as well as the other families impacted by the events that took place.  I doubt they will ever see this, but it is a tragic and senseless loss that no words can describe.  I did not know him directly, or interact with him in Eve, but no family in any country or of any creed or belief should suffer such losses.  I wish all involved strength and compassion in the days to come.