Storylines

I mentioned it before: I don’t consider Willow my main character. I chose to writer under her name because it is just more interesting to write about wormhole shenanigans. My main is an explorer, part of Signal Cartel. In fact I think he is one of the oldest members still with them, a fact which makes me very proud.

Whenever a new player asks for good income sources, inevitably exploration is one of the suggestions. For good reason: While it might not be a consistent income it is very profitable with a very low entrance barrier. All you have to do is learn basic scanning and the hacking game, then you are good to go. But these are just the skills. An explorer also has be willing to leave High-Sec as soon as possible since the valuable loot is where there is no law.

However, I feel that CCP is neglecting the other facets of exploration, namely the sites New Eden has to offer. Pretty graphics are nothing without context and for a while now not much context has been added. I am in no way a role player and only familiar with the very basics of the Eve Lore. But even I noticed that CCP rarely followed through with the lore elements it introduced at one point.

We haven’t really learned anything new about the Jove or the Drifters. There are sites all over the place but they don’t really DO anything. They are just decorative items and as such are easily being ignored. Same with all the beacons we see over the place. What is the incentive to see them? They don’t contribute to the gameplay and as a result nobody cares about them.

Should it matter? Maybe not. Nobody is forcing us to visit a museum yet people go there. But if CCP is coming up with all those story elements it would be nice if they could at least follow through. Exploration should be not only about hacking can, it should also be about discovering new sites and bringing back valuable information; something which would encourage people to dig deeper and get familiar with the topic. CCP Fozzie mentioned that there are still things which haven’t been discovered by Eve players but why should we care if we don’t know how it fits into a story?

I know that the majority of the players won’t really care about this part of Eve. Right now there are more important game elements which need attention: FW mechanisms, Citadels (and the ridiculous level of security they provide), skill injector farming, decreasing Isk sinks…the list goes on. Yet I feel that story elements are things which add substance to Eve and it would be sad if CCP decides to neglect this facet for good.

Much ado about nothing

Undocking again felt good. After figuring out how to remove the dust from my ship I left the station and…well, didn’t really know where to go next. So I opened Dotlan and started looking for areas I haven’t seen before. Which are quite a lot since I spend most of my time in wormholes. In the end I decided to check out Aridia. No specific reason.

On the way I started scanning down the few signatures I encountered. The new scanning window felt weird but I had expected worse after reading all those comments on reddit. While I am not too happy with the dscan changes I appreciate the improvements in probe scanning. Moving the probes around has always been a bit annoying.

I couldn’t resist jumping into a C2. Dscan showed one Helios but when I tried to pinpoint it’s location I found it at a citadel and by the time I warped there the ship was gone and the Astrahus had one guest. Not in the mood for waiting I scanned the wormhole, hacked the one relic site (66mil, not bad) and left. Just before entering Lowsec I found a Superior Sleeper Cache but apparently 98 scan strength is not enough to resolve it. So I posted the system in a chat room I frequent and moved on.

Jumping into Lowsec was underwhelming. I had expected at least a tiny gate camp but saw only 1 person in local. Same with the next two systems. Then I found an “Outgrowth Rogue Drone Hive”, which according to Eve Uni was a 5/10 DED site. I had never tried a 5/10 before and I didn’t know if a Stratios could handle it. So I warped to it.

I wouldn’t call it a disaster but it wasn’t one of my proudest moments either. Clearing the rats was not a big deal but it took longer than expected. The rats kept on shooting my drones and I lost a bunch of them. When I entered the last room things got a big more complicated. The Drone queen was fucking annoying and webbed me and my drones so we couldn’t speedtank the incoming damage. She also repped her shields and was hull tanked so I had to maintain as much damage as possible. I lost my Geckos because it took them too long to get back. Now my pride was hurt and I decided to stay until the site was done. Almost 2 hours in I finally killed her and got a meh Overseer thingie and some junk. Definitely not isk positive and not a site I will try again.

Rusty

You know you are rusty when you are few jumps into lowsec and realize that you undocked in your learning clone. When I realized that I was flying with 600mil in implants through Aridia my butthole shrunk to the size of a pinhead and I only when I was back in highsec I was able to relax again. Not a great start but it feels good to fly again.

CCPlease: Your Merch section

CCP’s business behavior is a big mystery to me. On one hand they introduce Alpha clones and nuPlex in order to increase player numbers and purchases. On the they are being accused of ignoring the opportunity to merchandise their material. And with good reason. Right now there is not much in the store which would tempt me to pull out my wallet, not only because of the content but also because of the prices.

And it doesn’t even look like they were trying: Their shop is a Shopify site, which doesn’t take a lot of time and effort to set up. To add insult to injury the shipping costs are often so high that one has to ask what they have been thinking.

The store’s contact page refers the visitor to a company called dpipromo. On their horrifcly designed webpage they write this: “We specialize in Custom Design & Manufacturing creating unique items that bring your product launch to greater levels of success. Development Plus, Inc. has extensive experience in the Video Game and Entertainment industries. Unlike other agencies, we manage the entire process from concept to delivery, so you can spend more time focused on exceeding your product to excellence. Explore our Product Showcase, Collector’s Editions, and Unboxing Theater that highlights some of our highly accomplished projects.” For me this reads as if they have no clue what the Eve player base wants and just threw a bunch of generic stuff together they anyway have in their portfolio.

CCP could grab so many low hanging fruit to make their Western playerbase happy: ship models, lore specific items, exciting skins etc. Personally, what disappoints me the most is the bland selection of t-shirts. I like shirts, I buy many and I know three things: for 23 bucks per shirt I should have more color options, considering the amount of beautiful artwork they have at hand just printing some generic player quotes is kind of underwhelming and because of that I would be very hesitant to spend that amount of money.

obviousbait_180x180I make t-shirts once in a while and sell them on various platforms. So I decided to make a few Eve specific ones. They might be not great but should mainly serve as suggestions for what CCP could add to their store. And once I manage to reliably work with Eve ship models I believe I could make some really nice stuff. I have asked Eve support whether it would be ok to offer my files for free to the players and of course haven’t heard back from them. So until CCP tells me to fucking stop I am going to put them on this blog.

combatshakes_180x180On the Eve stuff I make page you will find a bunch of things I came up with over the months. I will add more once in a while. You can download the png files (for free) in print quality (300dpi) and use any print on demand service to make one. There are some designs which don’t contain any CCP material; here you can either download the file or go to the linked shop to buy one. I don’t care what option you choose. If possible please menation me as the creator, also I am asking to not use those files for your personal profit. Of course I can’t control this but should I notice something in that direction I will just stop making this stuff. Should there be something wrong or if you want me to modify something, contact me and I’ll see what I can do.

Again: Dear CCP, if you feel that offering these files for free somehow violates the EULA I will take them down instantly. But please at least consider improving your merchandising approach.

 

 

Cleaning up

When I went on hiatus my overview had been a complete mess, a horrific patchwork of things I randomly added when I needed them. Once in a while I would try to start all over and reset everything, just to end up with the same mess again.

In the beginning my Go-to-package was the Sara Shawa overview package. I later switched to KisOver, because it felt less complicated to handle. But the issue remains: Overview packages are nothing but templates, you need to customize them. Sometimes it feels as if there are not enough brackets to cover all the situations you would like to address with your overview: Exploration, PvP, Drones, Logi, All etc. Then there are the settings you just need for your dscan. In wormhole life you need at least 2 tabs to scan down POS. Though this will become a thing of the past.

I struggle with assigning custom colors to different pilot statuses, always have.As soon as my fleet is a bit larger I see a wild mix of grey and red even though I thought that I had managed to keep friends and foes apart. If I do, suddenly I have also all drones in my overview. It is an ongoing battle. I hope that I can get it right this time.

Since we are at it, is there an easier way to delete lots of the presets? Pretty sure that there is one, I just haven’t read about it yet.