Eve goes a little Free 2 Play

Announced in a devblog on august 31st, Eve will get a free 2 play component. The regular subscription accounts will stay though, the free 2 play accounts will have limited access to the game.

The Alpha Clone State is the new base state for all clones and it will be available to any character in New Eden at any time. Clones in the Alpha state will be able to train and use a specific set of skills including tech one Frigates, Destroyers and Cruisers for your faction along with essential weapons and modules. Alphas will also train skills at a reduced rate compared to Omegas.

That is pretty much stuff you do in the first few months of the game. Doing missions and mining in a frig or cruiser. From what I read above any specialised ships are out, so if you want a real mining vessel or go out exploring in a Buzzard, you’re out of luck. But I am sure it’ll bring in some new players who can play longer now without having to spend money on a subscription, but how long they’ll stay I don’t know.

This seems very similar to what other MMOs do, for example you can play World of Warcraft all you want for free, up to level 20. There are restriction just like the ‘Alpha Clones’. You can only earn 10 gold and talk in /say or wisper your friends. This is of course to limit abuse for gold farming / selling etc. Since Eve is a very different game focused on PVP there are of course dangers in free throwaway accounts. The ancient gaming noob is going deeper into that. Since Eve players are very creative, I am sure they’ll come up with more loop holes CCP will have to fix ;).

There’s also a big thread on this on reddit, you can find it here.

Blog Banter 77 – The Malaise

Blog Banter 77
Is there a malaise affecting Eve currently? Blogs and podcasts are going dark and space just feels that little bit emptier. One suggestion is that there may be a general problem with the vets, especially those pre-Incarna and older, leaving and being replaced by newer players who are not as invested in the game. The colonists versus immigrants? Is this a problem? Are there others? Or is everything just fine and it’s just another bout of summer “ZOMG EVE IZ DYING!”

This topic had to be addressed at some point in a blog banter I assume, but the topic is as old as Eve itself ;). But there might be some truth to it at this point in time. Let’s face it, Eve isn’t getting any younger. And without any major expansions, as of the last few years, it’s not attracting a lot of new players. The gaming landscape has changed a lot, as have the players themselves since Eve started. It would only be natural to slowly fade away.

Now let’s look at some numbers, you can check eve-offline yourself, also the other participants of this Blog Banter have probably linked the pics by now. You can see a decline (including the usual summer slum) for the past few years.

Google trends is interesting. It shows a peak at 2010 or so and a little decline from ten on wards. Sadly from 2015 or so the trend is at an all time low.


Eve Online Search

I know not a lot of people play Eve through Steam, but we’re looking for trends here, not actual numbers.


Eve Online Steam Charts

You can easily see the decline from about mid 2015 and onwards, with a very interesting peak in May 2016, because of the big war going on. So apparently interest is there, (unless these were all alt accounts, I assume though people playing through steam play usually one account), but people don’t know what to do (any more ?).

So to answer the original question, yes there is a decline, and it’s been faily obvious. To get out of it you’d need a big expansion of some sort to catch media attention and some hype around the game again IMHO, otherwise it’ll just slowly fade away.

You can find the other participants at the Blog Banter 77 main post.

Blog Banter 76 – Bull’s Eye

At fanfest CCP Fozzie proposed a potential new ship class. Let’s call it the fleet commander’s flagship for now. This is to try and prevent “FC Headshotting” where the opposing fleet knows who the FC is and alpha’s them off the field leaving the rest of the fleet in confusion and disarray. Fozzie mentioned a ship with a great tank but no offensive abilities. Is this a good idea? Is FC head-shotting a legitimate tactic? If CCP do go down the route of a “flagship” how might this work? Also is a new ship the answer or is there another way of giving an FC the ability not to be assassinated 12 seconds into the fight without letting players exploit

My experience in fleet warfare is mainly limited to the days when Factional Warfare started. The FCs indeed did get shot at first. Factional Warfare those days was a somewhat tight club and it was well known who the FCs were in most big skirmishes. If I remember well, most flew around in something agile and nimble or order to try to not get caught or a very heavily tanked battleship. I might have seen a damnation, but those were expensive ;).

So do we really need an FC ship ? There are already options, but in big fleet battles once you’re the primary target probably no amount of tank would help. Maybe some sort of ship that has a siege mode, which will mean huge resistances, but no mobility and no offence ?
The flagship suggested in this BB is kind of like drawing a big Bull’s Eye on one ship in your fleet and waving a flag while screaming ‘Shoot me Shoot me’.

Arrow Bull's Eye

Now if we think outside the box a little, it would be cool if the FC could co pilot or even be a passenger on one of the other ships and concentrate on his FCing from there. Sort of like the Star Trek Bridge ;). I am afraid in order to do that, the game would need some rewriting in order to make this feasible.
Another option, though not as cool as the above one, would be to simply remove the names and give them more generic names in order to still be able to call targets. Not my idea, but I think I read that in one of the other responses to this BB. Of course there are in game targeting tools as well, but they might be laggy in case of a large scale battle.

Anyway, there are some option to tackle this problem, I don’t think the ‘flagship’ one is the best one though.
Other participants:
Grimmash on Gaming – Blog Banter 76: Whither Flagships?
The Wormhole – BB76 – Tanky McTankFace
SCASS – BB76 – The FC’s Flagship
Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah – Blog Banter 76 – Flagships
YADOT – A CAPSULEERS ADVENTURE – BB76 – The FC’s new chariot

Blog Banter 75–Dust revisited

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 75th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are please visit the Blog Banter page.

What Does Project Nova Need to Be Successful?
At Fanfest CCP showcased their current iteration of the FPS set in the Eve Universe. Following on from DUST514 and Project Legion, Project Nova is shaping up to be a solid FPS with CCP taking the decision to get the game mechanics right first. However with so many FPS out there what will Nova need in order to stand out from a very large crowd and be successful? What are the opportunities and perhaps more importantly, the dangers for CCP? How can Nova compete against CoD, Battlefront and Titanfall to name a few?


First of all I have to say I am a little surprised CCP is even trying to take on this project. After DUST I was expecting them to do something different, but I guess they didn’t want to waste all the experience from DUST and they want to give FPS another go. I tried to like DUST but I never really got into it. The incredibly hard to read text and awkward menus (maybe that changed later) didn’t make a good impression from what I remember. The gameplay was so so.

So first of all to make any sort of good impression, the game needs to have solid mechanics. First impressions are what count, people don’t have a lot of patience these days, so that has to be good right from the bat. Second it needs vehicles Smile. I love vehicles in these games. Well to be honest the FPS I last played somewhat regularly was Battlefield 3. I am not getting any younger, so you need to rely on street smarts and well tanks and helicopters to get your kills, not so much on reflexes.


From what I remember I loved Battlefield 1943 on the Xbox 360. You could fly planes and also drive around in tanks and jeeps it was awesome. Not sure which game came up with that first, but I remember that game for doing it right.

Will it have to tie in with Eve somehow ? DUST tried, but it was never really implemented well. Not sure they should even try this time around though. Eve players don’t really want their game influenced by a bunch of Free to Play players (assuming it’s going that route ?) or whatever that hardly know what Eve is.


Anyway, I don’t think just solid mechanics and ‘fun’ will do it though. They’ll have to come up with something  special to get people’s attention. It’s a hard market to break into, but it’ll be interesting to see what they will come up with. If the project will actually will see the light of day …

You can find the other participants of this blog banter at http://sandciderandspaceships.blogspot.nl/2016/05/blog-banter-75-what-does-project-nova.html


As we speak Eve is updating to Citadel, the new expansion that will bring the new POS like structures, or maybe as POS were originally intended Winking smile. You can get your Medium, Large or XL structure blueprint at the moment and a select number of modules. I can imagine the sub components needed will sky rocket the prices in the market, but things will settle down eventually as they always do.


Meanwhile Blog Banter #74 is going at the moment. It’s about Fanfest and what people thought was the biggest reveal. Well I didn’t notice any. So I decided to not dedicate a post to it. But I felt obliged to post this here though, since I usually love the blog banters.

The official announcement blog post is over here.

Great guide can be found here : Citadels the ultimate guide

Blog Banter 72–Road to nowhere

Blog Banter 72 – This is the Road (map) to…..

This month’s suggestion comes from Jakob Anedalle.

“What do you think about using Sugar’s recent blog post as a kickoff for a Blog Banter. I think it’s a great open-ended topic:


I am writing just as the  new dev blog is causing a bit of a shit storm over at reddit and the official forum. Anyway, I feel a bit like an outsider looking in, as I haven’t been actually playing, but I look at this subject as someone who’s still following the game and reading about it. What would draw me in again ?

Judging by that latest dev blog, CCP is a little desperate to get people back in. Granting amnesty for people who bought ISK in the past. I am afraid, they don’t have any money / staff at the moment to pull off something big, that would bring in new players and pull back in, those that haven’t played in quite a while.

First of all we got the skill injection thing so returning / new players can ‘catch up’. I think what would bring back in those players CCP so desperately wants is a new big expansion. Something like the Wormhole expansion, Apocrypha. All these sprints and little improvements / new ships are all nice, but they aren’t creating any new headlines. A new hyped up expansion that would add a new PVE element that’s actually fun to do (solo and in a group) would be nice.


So I’d put that on my roadmap. What exactly would that be you might ask ? I have no clue to be honest, I am sure some smart people can come up with something. Bit of a bad roadmap this, come to think of it Winking smile.

Also 0.0 space would need some love and they way it’s conquered.All you ever read about the sovereignty rules are complaints, so that needs (yet another) rewrite.

I do realize my roadmap is a little vague, but the point is that CCP needs to come up with something big otherwise Eve will just bleed out and slowly disappear. Is this going to happen ? I am afraid not, I don’t think they have the resources at the moment.

Other participants can be found at the main blog banter page over at Sand Cider and Spaceships !

Blog Banter #71 – Too Many Ships

Oops I missed this blog banter ! To be honest since I haven’t played for a while I never did experience the too many ships syndrome much. Usually the same ships were used for the same tasks, no matter whether there was a new one available. Not sure how much this has changed tbh.

Anyway, the people that participated are right here.

BB71: A Cornucopia of Spaceships
BB 71 – Decision Fatigue
BB71- Spaceships Make the World Go Round
BB #71: So Many Spaceships
Eve Online Blog Banter #71: Too Many Ships Spoil the Sandpit?
BB71: Dear Santa. Thank you for all the presents!
Blog Banter 71: When too many is too many?
BB71 – Spaceships, Spaceships Everywhere!
Blog Banter 71: Too Many Ships Spoil The Sandpit? (OOC)
BB71: A rich game world full of spaceships

Eurogamer Article

There is a nice article over at Eurogamer called ‘I was patched out of Eve’.


Would you enjoy the responsibility of managing the infrastructure for entire empires, directly impacting the gameplay of potentially thousands of players?

I can imagine this would wear someone out pretty quickly. Especially if you have a regular job ‘on the side’ ;). And that leaves to this quote.

There is a joke that the only way to win Eve is to quit. But how do you quit Eve when people are counting on you?

I can see the dilemma here ! All in all a nice read.

This is the story of my dad

This is the first time ever I post something personal on this blog. And it feels weird to be honest, but here we go. This is not the blog post I would have wanted to write, but that somehow had to be written.

I think I had a pretty normal ‘70 / ‘80s childhood, can’t remember too much about it, which probably means it was good. Things changed (to say the least) when on a Friday night Nov. 1st 1985 my mother almost literally dropped dead. It’s all a bit of a haze to me, probably some sort of brain defense mechanism. Things were tough though, my dad later told me. You have to keep in mind that at the time, shops closed at 17:30 or 18:00. He had to rush out of work, get groceries and then get home and cook and dealing with a teenager. He kept on supporting me in every thing I did. I played baseball from age 12 to 18, his favorite sport, which isn’t too common in the Netherlands. He didn’t miss a single game. Offering me advice but never be overbearing.

Schoneveld 3-page-001

About 5 years later, in the early 90s, my dad hit a huge depression that even landed him in an institution for a few days. He absolutely hated it there and came home quite quickly. Very slowly he got out of it, but this was a process of years with some fall backs as well. All the while I kept living at home keeping a bit of an eye on him as well.

To not make the story too long, I’ll fast-forward to 2011. By this time we were more roommates, at least that’s how I saw it, than a typical father / son relation. It was time to move out and got my own apartment, not too far from where he lived so we could visit each other regularly.

Once I was gone from the house, dad made a bit of a mess of the place. The house was too big and he didn’t show the slightest interest in house keeping. He was always reading his Science Fiction books, he was inseparable from his Kindle, and watching baseball at night. As luck would have it, the building he lived in was up for renovation, and he got offered a much smaller place for 55+ year old citizens not too far away.

The last few years were the best part of our lives. He used to come around for dinner a few times a week. We’d watch cooking shows and science fiction / superhero movies together and just had a good time. He very much enjoyed the new streaming technologies, watching Netflix at home on his TV, while watching baseball on his laptop.

Around the end of the summer his health started to deteriorate though. He complained about his knee hurting and was out of breath very fast. Things got really bad in October when it was getting too hard to get groceries. He would give me a list of things he needed over the phone, which I then brought to him. I cooked for him as well a few times in the week which he enjoyed a lot. Anytime I suggested he’d go see a doctor, he’d panic and told me he didn’t want to go to a hospital …

I made sure the last few days when he seemed really out of it, to wear his alarm around his neck. To be honest I expected a phone call any time now, and that phone call came on November the 13th at 1 AM in the night. He fell and couldn’t get up. He was moved to a hospital near by. As it turned out he had a huge tumor in his groin, which he of course never mentioned to me, and also pretty much explained his decline the past few months. They pumped him full of fluids and vitamins and he improved quite a bit.

Three weeks later after a load of tests the diagnosis was an aggressive type of Lymphoma and he was too weak for further treatment. By that time he was getting sick and tired of the hospital and we figured a best solution would be a hospice. He was taken there (in down town Rotterdam). The first week there was ok, however the last few days he started to get pains in his legs and back. He started on Morphine and would sleep a lot more.

On tuesday 22 december my dad passed away at around 9 AM at the age of 72, he slipped away as the nurse called it. I miss him tremendously, I lost my best friend. Sometimes the grief is overwhelming, sometimes I am just laughing out loud. I am going to have to learn to live without him, which won’t be easy since he leaves such a void in my life. Lots of things I like I learned about through him, my love for books, science fiction, baseball and American sports in general.

Wim Schoneveld 2012

Could he have handled his disease better ? Yes I think he could have at least have himself checked out earlier. And if he wouldn’t have wanted full on chemo, maybe some radiation and light chemo to alleviate the symptoms from the tumor(s) and make the whole experience a bit more gentle (if there is such a thing), He just was incredibly hard on himself. But it’s no use crying over spilt milk, he decided to keep on truckin’ till he almost literally dropped dead, and I respect that.

TL;DR : My dad died and I miss him tremendously.