Five Years of Spaceship Pictures May 23, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in blog thing, entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: EVE Online Pictures, Meaningless Milestones
Every so often I get the urge to run off and start another blog, as though this one wasn’t enough.
And for some reason, I always feel the need to make up yet another pseudonym. I don’t know why.
But over the last seven years of blogging (because there was a blog before this one) I have only stuck with this blog and one other. The rest all sit, neglected. I didn’t even get past the creation stage with some.
Aside from this blog, my only other… success… is EVE Online Pictures, which turns five years old this week. And I am surprised it has made it that far.
For the last five years I have posted 2 or 3 pictures a week, every week, all from EVE Online. And since I do a yearly anniversary post here every year, I thought maybe I ought to do one for my other blog after five years.
I am doing it here, because this is the “words” blog. That is just the “pictures” blog.
The big question is why does that blog even exist? I could have easily done picture only posts here as a regular feature. That is certainly my thought in hindsight. It surely would have made things less complex.
I think I wanted to see how a picture only blog would fare on its own. By the time I started it, I was nearly two years into this blog and had, thanks largely to VirginWorlds, garnered a regular readership beyond any reasonable expectations. So I decided to see what would happen with another blog… kept scrupulously separate for about a year… with a different sort of format.
So EVE Online Pictures was born.
As noted above, I am also surprised that I have kept it going for five years. Compared to this blog, traffic has always been sparse (despite what WordPress.com said at one point), and fell off precipitously with the changed to Google image search back in February. Feedback is rare unless I misidentify a ship. I keep words to a minimum, so there are few opinions expressed to go back and review later on. And, as much as I go on about blogging for myself, traffic and comments do help in keeping this blog active.
Then there was a gap from mid 2009, when Potshot and I gave up on our wormhole expedition, through to Incarna, when I wasn’t really playing the game. I held a contest to get pictures to post. The contest entries make up 111 of the 580 posts on the blog. So at least 20% of the posts on the blog are not even my screen shots. And that does not include pictures I have borrowed from other sites. (Always with acknowledgement and a link back.)
And yet I have carried on. The last year has been especially fruitful for pictures. Being in null sec has let me take lots of screen shots of battles and ships of the sort you never get in high sec. And so the blog carries on. And I expect it to continue on as long as I am playing EVE, and then for a while after that as I mine through the thousands of screen shots I have amassed.
There are more details about EVE Online Pictures, including statistics similar to the stats I have been keeping for my yearly posts about this blog.
CCP Celebrates 10 Years of EVE Online by Reminding Us to Train Long Skills on Patch Day May 22, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: Ads, CCP, Splash Screen
Whoops, the new launcher than came out today had… issues.
Which I think makes it an official EVE Online feature!
It even got Winterblink to make a Warp Drive Active comic about it.
CCP took their old launcher, which just used to show some news and ads along with checking to see if you game was up to date, and downloading updates if you needed them, and moved the whole login/authentication process into it.
So when it had problems, people couldn’t log in.
And if you could log in, and you had multiple accounts, you might have noticed that using the tab to get to the password field changed which account you selected. I also saw a message from somebody saying that the new launcher ate their UI settings. And that it was made from asbestos.
I was able to get in myself, though I came along later. And others who had problems found that you could still launch from the ExeFile.exe.
All in all, no big deal. We’ll get a fix soon. Just another day in Iceland. It isn’t like they went after the boot.ini file again!
We are never going to let that one go.
But it is a change, and there is one thing I will miss.
I will miss the big splash screen that came up every time you launched the game. I always felt that was part of the game.
I will also miss the little ads that CCP would pop up on the splash screen, ads that informed us about sales on PLEX, EON subscriptions, new features, DUST 514 beta, Burn Jita, the Alliance tournament, Skyward Sphere, and a bunch of other such things. Even the old launcher was so announced. And, of course, they made fun of Diablo III launch issues.
Last year I captured as many as I could and put them together in one picture. The old launcher ad is in there.
I have been capturing them again this year, with an eye to creating another such picture. However, now we appear to be at an end of such ads. So I suppose I should get to work on putting that together.
DUST 514 Has Launched May 14, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: Ambivalence, Dust 514
Or so says the press release.
My ambivalence towards the game continues however.
I like the connection with EVE Online, the idea of continuing the struggle on the surface of planets, the possibilities of the combined in-game markets, and, most of all, the idea of bombing DUST players from orbit while in my spaceship just for the sheer hell of it.
That last bit represents the height of my interest.
But shooters… and console shooters… just really are not my thing.
So, while I have a PlayStation 3, I still have not bothered downloading it.
I am not on the Derek Smart “just going to fail” train, but I wouldn’t bet heavily on success either. Player numbers are starting to become available. But I couldn’t tell you if they are good or bad yet. How much is enough with a free to play game?
Meanwhile, I just haven’t seen or heard anything that makes me want to play yet.
DUST got a boost with the Uprising update. That all sounds good. But there isn’t the anything I just have to have, anything that is a big draw.
Maybe, like EVE, it would benefit from more public drama.
Or, maybe, like EVE, it will start slow and build over time.
Where will it be in a year?
Fireworks in Amarr May 6, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: Amarr, EVE has sound?, YouTube
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A supplement to my post yesterday about the EVE Online 10 year birthday celebration in Amarr. If screen shots of the fireworks were not enough, here is some video of them hitting Chribba’s Revelation dreadnaught and Widow black ops battleship.
The video is probably best viewed over at YouTube in a larger window. It is available at all resolutions up to 1080p, at which point the explosions are surprisingly detailed.
The video is running at 2x speed. Time dilation was slowing things down to between 10 and 20% normal, but speeding up the video beyond 2x did not “feel” right, as things got very choppy.
The music is “Akat Mountains” from the EVE Online sound track (all of which you can find over at Sound Cloud), which I included because I had the sound off in EVE, so it would otherwise be a silent movie.
Party in Amarr – EVE Celebrates 10 Years May 5, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: Meaningless Milestones
This was the big 10 year anniversary celebration weekend for EVE Online.
CCP was handing out goodies… cosmetic gear, special ships, and fireworks with launchers to mount on your ship.
To see the fun, you really needed to log into one of the key trade hub systems, which are Jita, Amarr, Hek, or Dodixie.
Jita, of course, is the most popular. However, I think it lost out compare to Amarr. My main happened to be in Amarr, while I had an alt in Jita, so I was able to check out the fun at both stations. And while each had fireworks, and both had almost the same population in local, Amarr had Chribba and his Revelation.
Of course, not being a reinforced trade hub like Jita, Amarr also had time dilation.
20% was the best I saw it while I was on. It fluctuated between 12% and 17% for quite a while, then dropped to 10% as more people piled into the system. The price we pay I suppose. There was no time dilation in Jita. But, as I said, there was also no Chribba. So I think Amarr got the better show.
Chribba rolled out his Revelation for a while. Then switch to a Widow black ops. He appeared to open a jump bridge a few times, as we got a distortion field around the undock, similar to what you see when a titan opens a bridge, only this was darker in color. And then he got out the Revelation again. Most people seemed to be targeting his ships with their firework launchers.
I think CCP was in on the act as well. I saw CCP Falcon in local, and for a while Amarr station was within a green sphere of light. And I guess CCP Fozzie was around as well.
Pretty neat stuff. Not something you see every day in Amarr. I have a pile of screen shots after the cut.
April in Review April 30, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online, Month in Review, Need for Speed World, Rift, World of Tanks.
Tags: Meaningless Milestones
A Google moment turned April into a record setting month for the blog pretty much out of the gate. My quick coverage of April Fools at Blizzard for this year managed to get on the first page of results for a number of salient searches and… well… sent a lot of traffic this way.
The previous record was actually set last April, though that was driven by links to my Burn Jita posts. This year, Burn Jita wasn’t a hot topic and page views were about at the average-ish line across the event.
If you look at the gap between the dark bar, which is unique visits, and the light bar, which is total page views, it seems like people actually stopped to look at the links I had in the post, which included the past few years of April Fools. The “Most Viewed Posts” section below bears this out.
Upon seeing the sudden spike in traffic, I tried to incorporate as many links out to other blogs as I could in order to “share the wealth” such that is was. So a few other blogs got some traffic out of this.
April 1st and 2nd were about equal the whole month of February, which was when the impact of the Google image search changes showed up.
The downside of such a moment of Google fame is that the traffic is not very… sticky. I would be happy if out of all those people, one or two returned and left a comment now and again. And, of course, those two days will now skew the default graph on the stats page for a full month. Plus I keep looking at those two bars and feel like I should be reminded of some historical moment.
As with the big dip in page views in February, the big spike this month is essentially meaningless in the big picture. I like to try and figure out why these things happen, and they make the part of me that enjoys statistics thrill. But it isn’t like I get paid for page views.
And, of course, I bet Google is going to kill off some more page views come July when they kill off Google Reader.
I haven’t switched to a replacement yet. I am waiting for the other providers to accommodate the surge before I move.
One Year Ago
Last April set a daily page view record. What is it about April? I know you are going to say “April Fools,” but the record was actually set because of the Burn Jita event.
Elsewhere in EVE, the LEGO Rifter got 10K votes, the War in the North seemed to be winding down with RAZOR back in Tenal and six fleets stalking Venal. Raiden managed to lose a bunch of sovereignty, by accident, which finished that up. All that was left was to say we didn’t want that region anyways. We also made conga lines, experience time dilation, and followed DBRB through high sec to kill some super caps. And Seleene became the chairman of the Galactic Student Council.
I was also syndicated occasionally on EVE News 24. I don’t think I got paid for all of that.
I also made a list of small features I wanted other MMOs to copy.
Lord of the Rings Online hit the five year mark.
And it was April Fools at Blizzard.
Five Years Ago
I made up something for April Fool’s Day. I thought it was amusing.
Lord of the Rings Online celebrated a year of being live. Book 13 introduced, among other things, fishing. And my video problems with the game proved to be a bad video card, so I was actually able to get into the game.
Computer Gaming World/Games For Windows magazine ceased publishing as part of the ongoing demise of print media.
In EVE Online I made the big move from Caldari to Amarr space. I also began producing Badger transports for fun and profit. CCP introduced the whole Council of Stellar Management thing, which I dubbed The Galactic Student Council. My opinion on it hasn’t changed much since.
Meanwhile in WoW one million people in China logged into WoW at the same time. There is still no report on what would happen if they all pressed the space bar at the same time. While that was going on, the instance group finished up the Slave Pens and the Underbog and began the long struggle with the Mana Tombs.
I was looking around for Tetris on the Nintendo DS. You would think that would be easy, right?
And then it was Tipa’s turn to bang the EverQuest nostalgia drum, so I joined in yet again.
New Linking Sites
The following blogs have linked this site in their blogroll, for which they have my thanks.
Please take a moment to visit them in return.
Most Viewed Posts in April
Per the top of the post, April Fools at Blizzard dominates the list this month.
- April Fools at Blizzard – 2013
- April Fools at Blizzard – 2012
- Blizzard Blindsided by Diablo III Auction House Popularity
- Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
- April Fools at Blizzard – 2011
- WoW Dance Battle System!
- Ignore Burn Jita? Is That Your Plan?
- April Fools at Blizzard – 2010
- Burn Jita Held Over for an Extended Run
- Age of Empires II – HD Edition, That’s What I’m Talking About
- What is it with Me and Storm Legion?
- Camelot Unchained Kickstarter Unleashed!
Search Terms of the Month
animal jam: non fair membership abilities
[Welcome to free to play]
trion merge with blizzard
[Heh, copy Blizz, yes, merge with Blizz...]
brothers in arms or camo for arty?
world of warcraft bdr g1b good 4 money
[A BDR G1B would rule in WoW... in WoT, not so much]
Spam Comment of the Month
Do you have a spam issue on this website; I also am a blogger, and I was wanting to know your situation;
[From a spam comment linking to "genuine" Prada items]
A quiet month in New Eden for me. Burn Jita was an exercise in precise, clinical destruction. The fleet ops I went on all ended up with no action for me. I made some money speculating on ice products. A rumor went around before FanFest about ice changes, so I bought up half a billion ISK worth in Amarr and relisted it for double what I paid. That sat until the announcement at FanFest, and which point it sold. Easy money. And then the price dropped back down.
Oh, yeah, and CSM8 elections. Congratulations to the winners, which includes Jester, who will now have to suffer the fate of getting exactly what he asked for.
Need for Speed World
I have actually played this game every single day this year. I log on, I do the gem hunt, I log off. Elapsed time for each session is generally under 10 minutes. It was part of my plan to see what sort of rewards you would get for the daily hunt as time went along. I thought I would be done at that point. But then they added achievements. And for just another hundred or so gem hunts in a row, you get a special car. So I am in for the long haul on that.
After sulking about Storm Legion for quite a while, I actually pressed on into it with a recommended solo build for my warrior. It is okay. Will I press on and finish though? Meanwhile, the instance group… has failed to show up consistently since the beginning of the year. So we still have yet to finish the first Storm Legion instance, Exodus of the Storm Queen.
World of Tanks
I continue working with my KV-4. Tier 8 in a heavy has turned out to be pretty fun. I do dread those matches with three or four SPGs on a side though. You cannot hide under cover forever, and getting caught in the open is murder.
We will know how the Camelot Unchained Kickstarter saga ends in a couple days. Success will mean City State Entertainment getting to work. Failure will mean… well, we shall see what it means.
I have a blog anniversary coming up… for another blog. But I am going to write about it here because nobody reads that blog. Though, to be fair, it is all about pictures instead of words.
Neverwinter is going to show up. I think it is open beta or pre-release or taking money from the general public as of today even. I have been averting my gaze from it so as not to spoil anything in advance. The call of Forgotten Realms will probably ensure that I will download that at some point, but I won’t be in for the day one rush.
Maybe… just maybe… the instance group will do Exodus of the Storm Queen this month.
Jita… Burnt to the Tune of $27K April 24, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: Burn Jita, Council of Stellar Management, CSM8
Well, the party did not last too much longer.
There was apparently some attempt at deception in declaring the Burn Jita event over before everybody went home in hopes of luring some more freighters back into the system. But things now appear really over, with some of the key players off to Iceland and FanFest.
Image source: the internet… I forget where exactly. Sorry.
The tally posted over at The Mittani shows that 142 freighters, 13 jump freighters, 10 basic industrials, and 2 Orcas were blown up in the event, along with a few choice targets of opportunity. (A best/worst kills lineup is available.) That is a considerable increase over last year’s totals. Jita remains the most violent system in the game this month. (It was in third place for the month of April last year with the first Burn Jita, which is where it usually sits most months.)
The victim count sums up to around 573 billion ISK destroyed, which using the current in-game valuation of PLEX (515 million ISK per) rolls out to about $27,000 worth of destruction, given the only real world to in-game currency conversion mechanism we have. Nobody literally lost that much, but all of that ISK could have been used to buy that much in PLEX.
In all, the event felt, as was received, differently than the last time around. The lack of fuss surrounding the pending event has been attributed to the CFC not making a big deal before hand in hopes of catching people unawares. Not that I think that was really necessary. Anybody who were paying attention knew it was coming.
Those who did not pay attention… well… surprise… and confusion!
On the confusion front, a newer member of our corp sent out a corp-wide email letting us all know that The Goons were going to attack Jita and that we all ought to steer clear. I hope somebody explained to him that we were invited to the party.
The reaction from CCP was particularly muted. Last year they were giving interviews and playing up a huge player driven event as being exactly the sort of thing they want happening in EVE Online. They also took the time to put up a banner on the login page to warn people that the event was taking place.
This year there was no talk and no banner. I do not know if the whole thing was no big deal to CCP this time around, or if they were simply too busy wrapping up the CSM elections and preparing for FanFest, but things sure were quiet on that front.
On the blog front, it was pretty quiet as well. No calls to action, either to get people out to blow things up or to defend Jita against the CFC. There were some posts about Goon conspiracies, Goon contempt, and what happens to morons. But it wasn’t treated as a big deal.
Over at The Mittani, the summing up post includes an interview with Warr Akini about what it took to setup the event.
I expect that anything which remains to be said will be overshadowed by Fanfest posts and announcements, which will include what we can expect from the Odyssey expansion this June and who will be sitting on CSM8.
And so we move on. Ships blew up. Some people are angry. Some people are happy.
Just another day in New Eden really.
Burn Jita Held Over for an Extended Run April 22, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: Burn Jita
Why stop the party when it is going so well?
Sure, the invite said April 19-21, but everybody is still having fun, nobody has any place better to be, and the targets keep wandering into the system, oblivious of their fate. So it looks like ganks will keep on well into the work week.
All of which has turned Jita into the most violent system in the game for the month of April according to DOTLAN.
More ships have blown up in Jita than any other three systems in the game so far this month.
Now, the number is so big in part because for every freighter taken down, a pile of small, expendable ships go with it. But the tally of victims so far appears to include 128 freighters, 12 jump freighters, and assorted smaller (or oblivious) targets. The estimated value of all of this destruction exceeds half a trillion ISK.
Over at The Mittani dot com, regular updates have been posted (which included a link to a forum post blaming CCP for this… it wouldn’t be Burn Jita without one) as well as a live stream of the event. The live stream became one of the featured channels on Twitch.tv for a while and had over two thousand simultaneous viewers.
Meanwhile, in Jita, the business of ganking goes on. The MiniLuv regulars, who gank jump freighters in high sec space on a regular basis, brought their experience to the CFC masses as they lead ganks.
I helped out for a while as a bumper. The bumpers keep a freighter that has been scanned and identified as a target from aligning to warp by bumping into it.
While that is happening, the disposable ships of the damage fleet gather and drop on the target, calmly getting into optimum range.
Then the target goes boom. CONCORD shows up, blows up all the attacking ships, and the remaining pods warp off to find a station to sit in until their criminal timer runs down, and then it all starts again.
Interestingly, CCP has opted not to put up a travel advisory banner at logon as they did last year.
I wonder why. No, really, I do.
You have been warned. Jita remains hot.
Update: It looks like Monday night US TZ was about all that was left for the party. There was a small surge in activity, and then things tapered off.
The normal regimen of MiniLuv ganking freighters and other targets of opportunity in high sec space continues.
Jita Smoulders April 19, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: Burn Jita
1 comment so far
Despite… or maybe because of… the seeming ennui around the return of the Burn Jita event this year… Burn Jita 2 or Burn Jita 2013 or whatever… kills are mounting in Jita, the economic hub of the game.
That number corresponds with the increase in kills in the system over the last 24 hours, as recorded at DOTLAN.
That is enough to make Jita the hot spot for kills on the map of the EVE Online universe when set to view systems by kills in the last 12 hours. The bigger and closer to red the system indicator, the more kills. Jita’s indicator strays off into several adjacent regions.
However things seem pretty calm.
CCP learned from last year. While Jita always has a lot of server horsepower running it due to its popularity, they have a population limit of 2,000 pilots set for the system currently. So there are freighters sitting on the gates, brought there on auto pilot and now hanging out with a “Jump Prohibited” message on their screen.
So, the gate in Perimeter looked like this when I last checked.
Meanwhile, inside Jita, once you can get there, isn’t the chaotic mess of fights it was last year when the original Burn Jita kicked off. The Jita 4-4 undock is under observation, but isn’t aflame.
Having been on voice coms for a bit, I know that things are going on. There is a fleet present to oppose the corps that declared war in order to be able to shoot CFC targets as the showed up in Jita. There are ships scanning freighters, and bumping them to hold them while gank fleets warp in for the kill. But it is all being done in a calm, business like manner at this point.
Last year it was fun to just sit and watch things unfold. This year you might have to dive in and participate in order to find the fun.
The Burn Jita event carries on through the 21st.
Ignore Burn Jita? Is That Your Plan? April 16, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: Burn Jita, CFC
You know, we are burning Jita again in just a couple of days.
And when I say “we,” I mean our coalition, the CFC. The people in the north end of null sec space, which consists of Goonswarm and its friends and allies.
Seriously. It was announced a while ago. I noted it down in my calendar right here… “April 19 through 21, get latest version of Fraps downloaded, Burn Jita.”
Only nobody seems to be be talking about it.
Was April 1st a bad day to put up that notice?
Maybe I am not looking in the right places… I know I rarely look in the official forums, and I only stray into Kugu when I know there is something to see… but still, it seems like there ought to be more noise.
Last year Burn Jita was controversial. People were talking about it, blogs posts were up all over the place discussing it, counter events like “Defend Jita” were being planned. The day it kicked off it made the real world news. My video from the Jita 4-4 undock may be the most popular “exploding spaceships/Red Army Choir” mash-up Poland has ever seen due to the scope of the event.
Back in November I was wondering if the Retribution expansion, with its changes to bounties and such, would impact how another Burn Jita might play out.
Little did I suspect that the whole thing would get overshadowed by the elections for the Galactic Student Council… and given how low key that has been over the last few weeks, it is like getting overshadowed by dandelion. Ironic that a sandbox game should have a sandbox parliament.
What is going on? What does this lack of excitement and outrage portend?
Will people be even more surprised… and then outraged, by turns, at Goons, CCP, and online gamers in general… because of the quiet run up to the event? Will exploding freighters and industrials jar people out of their sense of complacency?
Or have things like the ongoing MiniLuv freighter ganking, the Hulkageddon forever, and the miner bumping hijinks of James_315 made this seem… just part of the norm?
The whole thing is kicking off on Friday… which, EVE time, is 5pm Thursday at my house… or possibly sooner. When people pile up hundreds of ships, it is hard to make them wait.
Will this be an epic event that captures the attention of the community or will it just be another day living next door to the Goons?
Addendum 4/19 – An update to the scrawls on the map in the post. In a fleet last night it was mentioned that Fatal Ascension has told its members not to participate in Burn Jita. They are the tangerine blob in Fade and Pure Blind on the map.
This may be because TEST, with whom they have had issues in the past, has thrown in and is coming to the party. However, intel last night indicated that TEST might have missed a jump somewhere and ended up burning Amarr for a bit.
And RvB seems to be in for some fun as well, planning to shoot gankers and do some ganking of their own it seems.