Category Archives: blogbanter

BlogBanter 54 – Just for one day

Heroes – Eve BB #54

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 54th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are visit the Blog Banter page.

Blog Banter #54

Today’s topic comes Diaries of a Space Noob blog and other sources:

Quick post. I was listening to a song and a question occurred to me. Where are the EVE heroes? Against a dark background surely all we have are anti-heroes? A lot of mockery is aimed at any who attempt to be white knights. EVE is a dark place and yet pretty much all other MMO’s try to place the player in the role of some form of hero, boosting the ego and taking the player out of the humdrum 1 in 7 billion that is RL. Why have I fitted into EVE? Did I never want to be that? So I guess my question is:

Do classic heroes exist in EVE? Is such heroism even possible in EVE? How would you go about being one without opening yourself wide open to scams? Is the nature of the game so dark that heroes can’t exist? How do you deal with that irony? What effect does this have on us and the psyche of new players coming in from other MMOs? Is it something special that we don’t have classic heroes, or should we? Are our non classic heroes more genuine?

And I would add to this, who have we elevated to the level of larger than life heroes ourselves in the game, and do they actually deserve it?

This whole hero thing is very subjective. What is a hero to some, can be a villain for others ! To address the question on Classic Heroes in Eve. I guess Chribba qualifies. The most trustworthy person in Eve. It’s even his job in Eve to be trustworthy and is widely known within the game. Another one would be Eve University that did a lot for the game, but I cannot pinpoint that to one person. Sindel Pellion and her Angel project might be a hero, especially for those she helps.

But these are somewhat obvious examples of heroes in Eve, I guess the classic ones. So I would disagree that we don’t have any. But since Eve is somewhat different from other games / MMOs the heroes in Eve are different as well. Pirates and scammers can become heroes. A good FC will be a hero within their corporation. And maybe even outside of it. Eve being different is what attracts the new players I would think. These are usually the stories that get into the press. Even the main stream press.

I’d say don’t worry too much about heroes. They usually become one without the intention of becoming one. If that honour befalls on you, very well. If not, just carry on being yourself ;).

Links:
Old link to a Massively Article on Heroes in Eve :).
More participants at the Inner Sanctum.

Blog Banter #53 – Dradis

Blog Banter #53

Today’s topic comes from a tweet from @erlendur in a conversation he was having with a pilot about having multiple overview tabs open in separate windows:
bb53-tweet
So that is the topic this month: The Overview. Is it sufficient? If not how can it be improved? Is there some way to replace it? Does it give too much information, or not enough? Please be creative and specific as the overview currently is the heartbeat of the GUI.

After almost a decade the overview seems a bit outdated to be honest. Especially in combination with the directional scanner. This monstrosity really needs to go. We’re sitting in this extremely high tech (well I assume it is) spaceship and I have to hit scan every couple of seconds ?

 

I am currently rewatching the Battlestar Gallactica series and what struck me was the awesome radar they have on board their vipers. ‘That would be cool for Eve !’. And a week or so later this blog banter appears ! This would be my suggestion to replace the overview :). The DRADIS (Direction, RAnge, and DIStance).
Dradis

DRADIS (Direction, RAnge, and DIStance)

More participants can be found at Ninveah’s blog.

BlogBanter 52 – Over the hills and far away

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 52nd edition! For more details about what the blog banters are visit the Blog Banter page.

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Go to the always useful EVE-Offline.net (http://eve-offline.net/?server=tranquility) and take a look at the All Time (weekly average) graph for concurrent accounts logged in.

Eve subs history Plateau

Eve subs history

For the past four and a half years, the graph has hovered around that 30,000 mark; it is, for all intents and purposes, a plateau. But everything must come to an end sooner or later and that is what this blog banter is about.
 
What’s on the other side of that plateau? 
 
Is there any path for CCP to follow to raise those numbers upwards for a sustained period, or is EVE going to enter a decline to lower logged in numbers from this point? How soon will we see an end to this plateau? Months? Years? Or will you argue that ‘never’ is a possibility? Or you can look at the root causes of the plateau and tackle the question if it could have been avoided or shortened if CCP had taken different actions in the past.
My response :

The past few years Eve has had an equilibrium between people leaving and people new and/or returning to the game. Hence the ‘plateau’ mentioned above. Probably somewhere in the future this plateau will start to slope down. When this is going to happen is anyone’s guess.

People might leave for the next  Big SF Game. The only thing that could be considered an Eve killer on the horizon at the moment is Star Citizen, we’ll have to see about that. Maybe some other MMO or SF game will come along and steal it’s players ! But people can play multiple games, so I seriously doubt it.

Probably the only thing that can kill Eve is Eve itself. The game has been getting a bit stale lately. The last few expansions didn’t really add much to the game, it did make it better with bugfixes and all though. There has to come a point where more people leave (or cancel their second and third account, big thing in Eve) then there are coming in. I don’t know how long CCP can get away with these minimalist ‘expansions’  before the players are really starting to get bored.

And once that happens there will be a tipping point where Eve gets a serious overhaul and Bob from Marketing decides a new, bigger playersbase that wants to spent cash in a cash shop is worth more than the current playersbase. And that’s where free to play etc.comes in.

Let’s hope it’ll take a while before we get there ;).

Other participants at Kirith’s Inner Sanctum.

BB #48–Eve Lore

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 48th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are visit the Blog Banter page.
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This month’s topic is a request from CCP Sisyphus who wants to know how important is Lore in EVE Online?

“How important is “fluff” in Eve online? Would eve online be the same if it were purely numbers and mechanics, or are the fictional elements important to the enjoyment of the game? Would a pure text, no reference to sci-fi or fancy names still be an engaging game? Should CCP put more or less emphasis on immersion?”

Lore puts the RP in MMORPGs ! So it’s extremely important for a ‘role playing’ game. I do feel however that most games that call themselves MMORPG are more massive online games, than RPGs to be honest. I feel that the lore is the framework for the game, and that the gameplay should somehow fit within.

Having said that however, another thought pops up in my head that says otherwise. How often have you played a game, or even an MMO where you didn’t give a rat’s ass about the backstory. Rift, Everquest 2 and Tera to name a few I have played in the past, and I had no clue about the backstory. So I am contradicting myself here ! On the other hand, I still play WoW (yes really) and I even got a shelf full of Warcraft books, and I know a bit about Eve’s backstory as well and these are the 2 games that seem to stick with me throughout the years. So maybe it does matter after all. You seem to get more involved and more of a ‘what’s going to happen next’ kind of feeling. Especially now with Wow and the upcoming 5.4 raid where the leader of the Horde will be killed and everybody is anxious to know who will be the next to lead the Horde.

Sansha Invasion

Should CCP put more emphasis on immersion ? I think they’re doing a good job with the live events (that I always manage to miss it seems), and there should be more of those I think. It does move the overall story forward and it seems to suck you more into the game and makes you play more and longer, which should be a good thing for a sub based MMO.

Eve is unique in a way, since a lot of the Lore of Eve comes from the players themselves. BOB alliance has become part of the Lore of Eve, and so has Goonswarm, and maybe someday, a guy that started his trial last week, might become part of the Lore of Eve that people will talk about for years to come ! And that is the beauty of Eve in my opinion.

Participants:
How To Be Terrible At Eve: A Guide – Blog Banter #48 – Lore
Sand, Cider and Spaceships - BB48 – In The Future, In a Star Cluster Far, Far Away…..
Warp Drive Active – Blog Banter #48 The Importance of Lore
Eveoganda – BB#48: Lore is our Soul
Astral’s Eve Trial By Fire – Blog Banter 48
Emergent Patroller - Blog Banter 48 – Our fictional cultural heritage
Mabrick’s Mumblings - BB48: Pile of Bricks
Faction Fit Pod – BB#48 – Life of Lore
Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah – Lore. What is it Good For?
Sered’s Lives - Blog Banter 48: Suspension of Disbelief
Space Business, Serious Business – To fluff or not to fluff
Low Sec Lifestyle – Blog Banter #48
Jester’s Trek - My story is the same as yours just one chapter ahead
Roc’s Ramblings - Blog Banter 48 – Lore
Life on the Bubble – Art of War Alliance - BB48: Who Are You?
Fiddler’s Edge – Eve Lore: Blog Banter 48
The Ancient Gaming Noob - Blog Banter #48 – You Want the Lore? You Can’t Handle the Lore!
Wherein Ships Explode. A Lot – Blog Banter 48: Stop! In the name of the Lore!
Morphisat’s Blog – BB #48- Eve Lore
Ugleb’s Journal - BB48 – Lore: the conflict driver
Aggressive Logistics - BB48 – The Dystopia Effect
A Journey Through The Mind - Blogbanter: I reject your reality and substitude my own
Poetic Discourse - The Caldari Alliance Championship 2005 (or Alliance Tournament I)
A CARBON Based Life - Folklore in New Eden… BB48: Lore

BB 43–Some Random Awards

It’s once again Blog Banter time !

For Blog Banter 43 I would like to invite every participant to nominate their peers for whatever awards you think they deserve. Let’s start the year with some EVE-flavoured altruism and celebrate the best and the worst of us, the funniest or the most bizarre, the most heroic of the most tragic of the past year. They could be corpmates, adversaries, bloggers, podcasters, developers, journalists or inanimate objects. Go nuts.

award1

I had some time to think about this one and a came up with quite a few awards. I have decided that the five mentioned here will be my definite list !

Without further ado, here we go

Award #1 – Module of the year: The Ancillary Shield booster. This module really changed gameplay, especially PVP. I can’t quite remember what other newly introduced module actually changed things and had some people up in arms about it being OP. I am sure there have been, but none come to mind that were introduced in recent history. Ninveah did a nice write-up on them when they were introduced in may.

phantom_akelyAward #2 – Wormhole menace of the year – Akely and his family of alts ! This was an easy one. You simply don’t want to have this guy hidden in your wormhole. No mining op or site running is safe, once the Akelies have infested your hole. And once he’s in, it’s very hard to kick him out.

 

strazdasAward #3 – Commentator on this blog of the year : Strazdas

I have known Strazdas since my days in Hidden Agenda, and he kept on reading this blog since then. Always has a nice word, or a funny comment. Very much appreciated so this one is for him, Congratz !

 

ccp_punkturisAward #4 – Most interesting / funny / nice ccp employee to follow on Twitter : @CCP_Punkturis

Actually the name of the award already gave away why she received this much coveted award for CCP employees, she not only tweets about the game but about other (personal) things as well, which makes her more of a real person than most of the other CCP twitter accounts. Follow her at @ccp_punkturis.

And then finally the 5th award (tension building up, *drumroll*)

award2

Award #5 – Eve related website of the year – evebloggers.com

Actually I pulled a bit of a Rixx Javix here, who gave the eve blogging community an award. It’s very hard to single out one particular website. I frequently visit tigersears, mabrick’s mumbling, eveoganda, freebooted, Ninveah’s blog and some others. But the one site that I refresh a few times a day is still the one, that links them all together evebloggers.com.

So that’s it, the Morphisat 2012 Eve Awards, all winners can claim a Steam Dota2 key in the comments Open-mouthed smile.

Continue reading

BB 40 : eSports and Eve

We got an interesting subject for this blog banter :

Fresh from publishing the community spotlight on the EVE blogosphere and Blog Banters, CCP Phantom has suggested a banter focus on competitive tournaments.

There is no finer spectacle in the universe of EVE Online than the explosive dance of weapon-laden spaceships in combat. The yearly Alliance Tournament is the jewel in EVE Online’s eSports crown and the upcoming New Eden Open should deliver the same gladiatorial entertainment showcase.

Given the scope of the sandbox, what part should eSports play in EVE Online and what other formats could provide internet spaceship entertainment for spectators and participants alike?

First let’s take a look at what is eSports to me. With eSports I think of FPSes like Counter Strike, League of Legends and my personal favourite Starcraft II. Especially League of Legends is growing very rapidly. That is probably mainly because it is sich a low threshold game. Anyone with a half decent PC can download it and play. Which gives them at least a basic understanding of what is going on in the game.

Starcraft was eSports no. 1, but it might be dwindling a little lately, not in the least because of a lot of drama in that scene, and the game becoming a little stagnant. I am not very familiar with the FPS eSport scene, but if you do it’s not very hard to follow what the point is, it is to shoot each other with guns.

Starcraft 2 Pros

To be honest I don’t think Eve belongs in the eSports category. It’s very hard to follow for an outsider. What is the fun of the Eve tournament ? It’s the various setups and fittings teams will bring to the arena, the variety (or lack thereof), the speculation, what if Team A brought eWar instead of DPS etc etc.. Believe me when I say that I love the Alliance Tournament to bits, and it’s always a fun period in Eve around that time. Hanging around in various chat channels and the last few years on Twitter is great. And I guess it’s as close to eSports as Eve has to offer, but it’s such a niche game and not very accessible to the general public, nor is it that great to watch (orbiting spaceships and / or blue and red pluses) that I don’t think Eve has much to do with eSports.

Having said that, the question was what part should eSports play in EVE Online. Besides the yearly Alliance Tournament, my very short answer would be None. I don’t really see the point of the $10.000 tournament. I might be watching it a little, but I don’t really care about it, and I am not really opposed to it either. The pretty high threshold to enter, using an auction and all that doesn’t seem very fair to me, but if they want to go that route, it’s up to CCP. I guess they want to remove some plex out of the economy.

Some other form of eSports would be a wow battleground type of thing I guess ? Arenas and the like ? Well that kind of thing wouldn’t fit at all in Eve, it just doesn’t feel right to me and I hope it will never get to that.

Here are some more blog banters:

E-Sports Punditry to follow:

BB39 – It’s not a house, it’s a home

Blog Banter 39: Home

“Some say a man’s home is his castle. For others it is wherever they lay their hat. The concept is just as nebulous in the New Eden sandbox.

In EVE Online, what does the concept of “home” mean to you?”

In my Eve life there are a few spots I have considered my home over the past almost seven years. First the system I started in, close to Sobaseki. But when you start out you don’t really have a lot of stuff yet, though you think you do ;).

I can’t quite remember what we based out of when I was in Eve Uni, but I don’t think it mattered much. You just moved your frig and cruiser somewhere and that was that. When I joined Rakeriku, we were based out of Kaunokka. This was the first place I would consider my home in Eve. We did missions and mining ops from here (although dot.lan claims it has no belts ?). We build our very first freighter there. And I think we had our first war there as well.

Old school mining op – Kaunokka (?)

Later on we moved to Sivala, it wasn’t busy there at the time, and there was an excellent level 4 mission agent for Sukuuvestaa Corporation down there. Years later there would be at least 100 people in local at peak times ! And most of ships and gear is still there after all these years, and using the station / lab / production facilities next door in Uedama, which you might know for it’s infamous gankers at the Sivala gate.

The few months I lived in 0.0 we rented out in Wicked Creek. It never felt like home though, was overrun way too many times.

Lightning up a cyno in Wicked Creek

When I joined Hidden Agenda, there wasn’t really a need to move all my stuff. Their HQ for events was not that far off, and mining ops and mission running and other activities weren’t always at the same spot, so I had just some gear scattered around.

And now since about a month I also live in a wormhole ! It’s amazing how fast that started to feel like home. I am liking it more than I had expected. But I still have the need every now and then to truck back to Uedama, do some industry stuff, and head back into our little hole. It’s nice to have two homes actually !

Freebooted, the home of BB 39.

BB #38 – Some things will never change

Here is the intro to BB# 38 :

Blog Banter 38: Dogma
In his recent “That’s just the way it is” post on Jester’s Trek, blogger Ripard Teg posits that the established EVE player-base has come to accept many of EVE’s design idiosyncrasies, rarely questioning their purpose or benefit. Conversely, he also suggests that new players might not be so forgiving of these “quirks”. In an interview with Gamasutra, Senior Producer CCP Unifex describes EVE Online’s developers as “relatively hands-off janitors of the virtual world”, underlining that he has only four content developers but “a lot” of programmers and engineers.

 

Has a culture developed where CCP has started to take player effort for granted – expecting the “social engine” to fulfil tasks that might otherwise be CCP’s responsibility? Or should this culture be embraced as part of “emergent gameplay” with these quirks accepted as the catalyst for interaction?

Idiosyncrasy

Eve’s idiosyncrasies are part of it’s charm. Whether they are appreciated by new players I don’t know. There are still players coming and going so I guess there are still people who can get over the learning curve. And let’s face it, a lot has been done over the past years to make Eve a more comfortable place for the new player. The new wiki is also very nice. I don’t see anything wrong with players turning to player created info (like blogs or the excellent Eve Uni Wiki) for extra info. Hell, eve warcraft has Wowhead. I don’t see anything wrong with that. It also leads to players looking for Player Run Corporations sooner since that’s where you learn the most.

 

A lot of these infamous Eve idiosyncrasies are being fixed in the past two expansion, and there is team papercuts. Also some effort is being made to make some things in Eve more convenient (like the inventory hehe). Market search will improve in the next major update for example.

Blog Banter #37 – What happens in New Eden stays in New Eden

“EVE Online sits on the frontier of social gaming, providing an entertainment environment like no other. The vibrant society of interacting and conflicting communities, both within the EVE client and without, is the driving force behind EVE’s success. However, the anonymity of internet culture combined with a competitive gaming environment encourages in-game behaviour to spread beyond the confines of the sandbox. Where is the line?”

From what I read so far around the Eve Blogosphere is quite unanimous. What happens in the game stays in the game ! You really don’t want to receive threatening email on your work account from people who’s interweb spaceship you blew up the night before.

That is a somewhat extreme example, but there are some grey areas. How about hacking into the opponent’s Team Speak server ? The whole spy thing usually also involves a bit of outside the game stuff, like registering on a forum etc, but I guess that’s all part of the job.

So on the extreme end it’s pretty clear cut what should be left in game and what not, but once it comes to spying, it’s more nuanced. I guess it all depends on how badly you want to defeat your opponent and whether the means justify the end !

Blog Banter #37 is brought to you by Freebooted !