Monthly Archives: April 2012

April in Review

The Site

April was a record month here at TAGN, pulling in the most page views ever for a month as well as setting a new one day record not once but twice.

Click to make readable

This was thanks largely to Google and interest in April Fools at Blizzard at the start of the month and  the Burn Jita event in EVE Online at the end of the month.

My post with pictures from the first night of the Jita event ended up getting linked at a number of sites, including on CCP’s press site. (They credited another site, Poetic Discourse, but linked here.  So I won I guess.)

Not Poetic Discourse, actually...

The event got quite a bit of coverage, getting articles at major sites like EuroGamer, PC Gamer, and Kotaku.  In a twist, the one site you would think would cover a player run game event in an MMO, Massively, was strangely quiet on the whole affair.  I suspect that they have taken a vow to never mention “Goons” or “The Mittani” again.

My video from the first night also got embedded in quite a few posts, and has become my most popular item on YouTube by a fair margin.  I think having a short video with immediate explosions and the UI turned off made it the go-to choice.

What I thought was my best, or most amusing bit, “Is Jita Burning?” was pretty much ignored, except by one Polish site that didn’t bother to attribute the source. At least they embedded my video as well, and according to the YouTube stats, a lot of people viewed it from there.

The reference itself was probably too obscure for kids these days.  Or maybe, like so many things, it was just amusing to me.

All in all, a matter of being at the right place at the right time.  Things will get back to normal soon I suspect, since most everybody else wants to talk about Guild Wars 2, something I am not writing about pre-launch.

One Year Ago

Of course, there was some April foolery both here and at Blizzard.

I also wrote something about magic quadrants.

Sanya Weathers had one of the best quotes about MMO gamers ever, made all the more amusing by its truth.

Battlefront.com released a completely new version of their original WWII Combat Mission series.

Wargaming.net released World of Tanks.

SOE’s spy themed MMO, The Agency, was officially cancelled.

We got a PlayStation 3.  And then the PlayStation Network got hacked.  At least I could still play Blu-Ray disks and stream Netflix.

The instance group got together and decided to try out EverQuest II Extended, the one-time separate free to play version of EverQuest II.  However, the game immediately began to kick us in the teeth for daring to do solo content as a group.

Being there in EQIIx also meant looking at what the cash store had to offer.  Some of this stuff is gone now in the post merger era of EQII.  Flying mounts are still around.  And some idea, like selling max-level characters, never made it to prime time.

And Potshot and I were still playing EverQuest.  We moved on from Unrest to Lake Rathetear and spent an evening there.  Then it was on to Kerra Island and finally we made it to Runnyeye, at which point SOE also went down due to the PSN hacking.  That pretty much ended our EverQuest adventures for 2011.

I did have to explain EverQuest to my daughter.  Her foundation in MMOs is World of Warcraft.

Five Years Ago

Back in April 2007 we were wondering what was going to happen with Sigil Games Online after their less than stellar Vanguard launch. (*snort*) There was much speculation. Soon, however, we would be free from the rambling posts of Aradune.

In EverQuest II Gaff and I visited Emperor Fyst, I ran around in Nektropos Castle with the Everling clan, and complained about experience in Splitpaw.

While our WoW group was winding down for the summer, with Earl off to Broadway, the remaining four of us went off to Middle-earth with the launch of LOTRO. Titles were the new thing! A year later, I still have yet to get any of those emote titles.

I answered the musical meme question, “Five Reasons Why I Blog.”

Van Hemlock was leet.

Our Wii finally came out of the box.

And, finally, I had a problem with a video card that eventually had to be RMA’d, which sounds a lot like the next April as well. At least it did not turn into a yearly thing.

Old/New Linking Sites

For the first time in more than five years, I was unable to find two sites not previously mentioned that included me on their blogroll.  I rather expected this day to come much sooner than it did.  So now, at last, I will go to my original plan of starting back at the top of the list and mentioning sites that are still active and which still have me in the blogroll.  Thanks to my great survey of linking blogs, I have that list to hand.

So this month I thank, again, the following sites!

Please take a moment to visit them, if they are not already regular stops for you.

Most Viewed Posts in April

A heavy emphasis on EVE Online this month, and Jita especially.

  1. April Fools at Blizzard – 2012
  2. When in Rome Do as the Goons – Jita, Hulkageddon, and the EVE Economy
  3. Scenes from a Burning Jita – First Night
  4.  Travel Advisory – Conflict in Jita
  5. Reshiram and Zekrom Download Event for Pokemon Black and White
  6. Hulkageddon V: Unholy Union – Coming Soon
  7. LEGO Rifter? Do Want!
  8. Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
  9. Hulkageddon, Technetium, and the Circle of Life
  10. Burn Jita – Video from the Jita 4-4 Undock
  11. Is Jita Burning?
  12. The Return of the RAZOR Alliance to Tenal

Deleted Comment of the Month

Do these guys ever have time to get laid?
[Normally I reserve deletion for the incoherently obscene, but this was so generic and so off-topic that I refused to let it pass. Can you even tell me what post this was left on?]

Search Terms of the Month – Alternate Character Set Edition

мертвый пикачу
[If Google translate is to be believed, this is how somebody in Belarus writes “Dead Pikachu”]

жджджджджджджджд
[No idea on this one]

pokemon black להורדה
[Have you ever tried to copy and paste a line of text that contains languages read in opposite directions?]

Цивилизация 2 windows 7
[Interest in running Civ II on Windows 7 has spread to Bulgaria.]

EVE Online

A big month in EVE Online for our Corp/Alliance.  The end of the War in the North finally came to pass, something that had dominated my time in null sec since I showed up.  It was time to draw down and return to our home systems in Deklein and get back to a peacetime routine.  Time to make some ISK.

Then there was the Jita event, which like many others I went to watch rather than participate in.  I will have a summing up of that later.  And, finally, Hulkageddon V is on, running up until May 29th.  This does not impact me directly, as it isn’t really my thing.  But the rise is in mineral prices means that I might get out and mine in null sec a bit, where the even doesn’t really have any impact.  Anybody who would gank you would get shot at just for showing up.

EverQuest

My time in Norrath tapered off rather dramatically.  The same thing happened last year in April, as you will note in the “One Year Ago” section above.  At the time I blamed it on the PSN hacking and SOE being down.  But maybe it is seasonal.  I always get nostalgic in the autumn, maybe spring cures that and I go on to other things?  Anyway, not much went on after Potshot and I did our one Lost Dungeon of Norrath.

GuildWars 2

I am not playing in the beta.  I have pretty much decided that I will probably get this game when it finally comes out, so I do not want to spoil things now with a long and change-filled beta cycle.  Likewise, gushing fan-boy article and early how-to guides have no real interest for me at this point.

What I am really looking for are the negatives.  That may sound bad, but really that is the only thing that will change my course.  If the negatives aren’t that bad, I will go ahead.  If they are flaming, festering sores, it will impact my buying decision.

So far, the worst I have read is that the game is very much like GuildWars.  I didn’t really like GuildWars.

Lord of the Rings Online

The five year anniversary of the game’s launch has been going on, allowing me to remind everybody what a good deal it was buying a lifetime subscription back in 2007.  Go me!

The events have been fun enough.  They even brought Potshot back for a bit.  I went through and got the mounts, then returned to yet another trip through the first 50 levels.  I have found that just concentrating on a single character has sped things up a bit.  And it has made me richer.  That one character has more gold than any two of my others, mostly because I am not squirreling away tradeskill materials for alts.  I can sell or auction them.

Rift

The instance group has been continuing on with Rift.  I haven’t written much about it lately, as we have been doing a couple of quest running nights to get ourselves up to the right level to go into King’s Breach.  Everybody is still on board with the game, at least for our once a week group.  Aside from Potshot and I fishing though, there is not much group activity in Telara.  That does not bode well for a long term commitment from us.  But for now, there are plenty of instances left to conquer.

Coming Up

EVE Online will hit its 9 year anniversary in May, and will be giving out some toys to celebrate.  That will be worthy of note I am sure.  Plus there is Hulkageddon V and some summing up to be done around the Burn Jita event.

The LOTRO 5 year anniversary activities will continue for another week, so I might go get the fireworks laden mount on another character or two.

The instance group is just about at the right level for King’s Breach now, so there will no doubt be an attempt on that.

But the big item for May has to be the launch of Diablo III.  Not being an MMO, I suspect I won’t write much about it beyond initial impressions.  But the fact that it is out might lead to a quiet period here on the blog in the latter half of May.  You have been warned!

Hulkageddon V – Set To Launch Tonight

At 00:00 game time in EVE Online (which is 00:00 UTC, 17:00 PDT, 20:00 EDT) the sack of Jita will wind down… or so they say… judging from Jabber, some people are still having a lot of fun… and the next event will begin.

Hulkageddon V will be on us!

The burnination shall continue

Helicity Boson has an announcement post up in the EVE Online forum (with the usual complaints), as well as a guide over at the Hulkageddon web site that explains how to get setup on the kill board so that your kills will be recorded.

There is also a list of prizes for certain achievements in ganking as well as for sharing hate mail.  Such mail always gets the same response.

The event will run from April 29th through to May 29th.  So pace yourselves.  There is a whole month of ganking to come.

We shall see in a month just how much a new Hulk will cost.

Travel Advisory – Conflict in Jita

And The Mittani went into the temple of Jita, and cast out all of them who sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold tengus,

And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of fear; but ye have made it a den of pubbies.

-Endie, Goonswarm Minister of Communications

CCP may think that the Jita event is “f***ing brilliant,” but they appear to still want to cut down on the number of people who are being taken completely by surprise by the event.  Proof again that the forums and the blogs are only a small part of the community of any game.

So when you launch the EVE Online client, you might see this.

click to enlarge

Despite the disclaimer at the top, you might even see it more than once.  I tried it, and I see it every time I launch the client.

And the part about surrounding systems is serious.  When Jita stopped letting more people in… well… all those auto-piloting targets sitting stuck at the gates to Jita in Perimeter, New Caldari, Sobaseki, and so on became too rich of a target to resist.

At one point the call went out to remind people that this operation was to burn Jita and not every single neighboring system.

The burning continues.

And if you are wondering if things are really happening in Jita, take a look at this map.

Ship kills in the last hour - 23:30 Apr 27

That is the EVE map set to show the relative amount of player owned ships killed in the last hour.  The giant flaming red spot is Jita.  That is close up, so you can read the system name.  Zoomed out so you can see the whole of EVE and…

Kills in the last hour, zoomed out

The big red spot that is Jita still dominates the map.  And if I change that to the last 24 hours…

Kills in the last 24 hours, zoomed out

And the red circle of Jita is so big that it covers a sizable proportion of high security space.

So while I saw quite a bit of “Goon Fail!” baiting in local in and around Jita, this event appears to have turned Jita into the center of PvP play in EVE Online.

You are here... and it is not safe

So that travel advisory is well warranted.

Oddly, when it comes to pods, while Jita is again the big red spot, Perimeter, an adjoining system, is not that far behind.  I think somebody smart bombed all the pods that were stacked up at the gate due to traffic control after their ships had been destroyed.

 

Burn Jita – Video from the Jita 4-4 Undock

I took some video of the opening night of the Burn Jita campaign.  These were taken at the ship undock point at the Caldari Navy Assembly Plant at Jita planet IV moon 4, commonly known as Jita 4-4.

Jita 4-4 undock, lit up with explosions

Since time dilation was active and slowing things down to 15% to 25% of normal speed, the video is compiled at 4x the speed it was taken, which gets it almost up to what would be “normal” speed.  If you want to see things running at time dilation speeds, you can look at this.

Here is the direct link to the video.  It is available in quality up to 720p.

Watching in a larger frame at YouTube is recommended.

The music is “We are the Red Cavalry” performed by the Red Army Band and the Red Army Choir, back when there was a Red Army.  The music is available at iTunes and Amazon.com.

The second half of the video is the fight between the CFC fleets and a fleet that declared war on Goonswarm in order to fight them in Jita.

The first half of the video is just general shenanigans at the 4-4 undock.  I was on voice coms the whole time, and as far as I could tell, nobody from the Goons, or the CFC in general, was actually causing any of these ships to blow up.  This appeared to be other people keen to get in on the fun.

You can see a lot of white beams converging on ships.  Those are salvage beams.  People were going crazy trying to loot and salvage wrecks.  There were a few hundred ships just hanging around the undock watching the show.  It was pretty safe for me in my Ibis.

We got a message from The Mittani this morning.

I have arisen this morning to discover that I am, yet again, a ~bad man~ – such an awful person that the gaming press is again scratching their heads about how terrible I am and why any of you follow me. However, despite the cries of the wretches in Empire, it seems that CCP are pointing at the carnage in Jita and laughing – as expected – which means that the Burn can be followed up by Hulkageddon to really screw the economy.

CCP interviewed about Burn Jita at EuroGamer

Anyway. You’re all very bad people and should feel bad, or something.

EVE News 24 has a post up about the even with a video as well.

They are also keeping a freighter list of shame.  See who got ganked.

PC Gamer has an interview up about the Jita event. Not with Mittens, but they used a couple of my pictures.

SynCaine talks about EVE and Trammel.

Cyndre was there and has pictures.

Stabs was trying to loot.

More Drake Fleet Jita pictures here.

Monde Persistants has a write-up in French. It all sounds so much better in French.

Here, just for kicks, is the sort of kill that the gank fleet is really looking for.

And finally, it seems that for a lot of people, Jita is now closed.

Click on pic to see the tiny text

Too much fun!

Scenes from a Burning Jita – First Night

I couldn’t get a main to Jita, but I had an alt that I made ages ago handy.  He was in an Ibis and only three jumps out from Jita.

So at the first Jita fleet call I got on coms (so I could hear where things were going down) and flew in.

Time dilation was moving between 15 and 27%.  There were over 2,000 people in the system.  And fights were happening… slowly.

Dabigredboat was running a Drake fleet to attack anybody who had declared war on the CFC in hopes of being able to defend Jita, which included that fleet of now dead Abaddons in the pictures.

Meanwhile Digi was running the gank fleet of Tornadoes looking for full freighters.

And all the time ships were exploding while looters and salvagers were swarming over the wrecks. (White beams are salvage beams.)

And this was just opening night. (A day early, in case you did not get the word. Surprise!)

Tomorrow people will be out in force.

Until there, here is a bit of what I saw in Jita. Odd new slideshow technology has been added to WordPress.com I see.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I will have to figure out what to do with the video I captured.  What music goes with the burning of Jita?

Raiden Aims at Foot, Shoots Self in Groin

2012 hasn’t been a good year for Raiden.

Raiden is a null sec alliance with whom the CFC has been at war for most of my time in 0.0 space, and that conflict has not gone well for them.

There was the start of the war in the north, where they were teamed up with White Noise, an alliance that fell apart and which has since disappeared from the sovereignty maps.

There was the back and forth grind of the post “White Noise collapse” time frame, where Razor managed to encroach on Tenal, grabbing a few systems.

Then there was the FanFest war, in which they were driven out of Tenal completely.

And then, just last week, after resetting their standings with Ev0ke for cutting a non-agression pact on mining operations with the CFC (part of the Venal war), managed to lose ~130 billion ISK in capital ships to a combined CFC, Ev0ke, and Brick sQuaD operation in the Geminate region.

Normally I would let things go at that.  The above were operations in which I and my corp/alliance were involved, things I would normally report on at the level at which I saw them.

But since then we no longer share a border with Raiden and are not actively pursuing them in any way.  To me, now, they are just another alliance in null sec.

Only they seem to have made such a phenomenal mistake yesterday that I am going to post about it just as sort of a very early “where are they now?” type of post, so later, when I wonder what happened to our former foe Raiden, I will have the information to hand.

More after the cut, which has some long quotes and a few maps and pictures.

Continue reading

LEGO Rifter – 10K Votes Achieved!

The LEGO Rifter project at LEGO CUUSOO which I mentioned a little over a month ago made it to its first milestone.  It got the 10,000 votes necessary to be considered for conversion into an actual LEGO kit.

10K Votes Achievement!

Now we just have to wait and find out if and when this will make an appearance at the LEGO Store.

Meanwhile, what of other EVE ships.  I see a LEGO Mymidon being proposed already, and there is the “which other frigates” poll thread in the EVE Online forums.

And will we get a minifigure to go with it?

Addendum:  The official LEGO Response

Congrats on 10,000 Supporters, czar!

2012.04.26

You’ve done it! You and all of the EVE Online fans voting for this have together achieved 10,000 supporters for the EVE Online Ships – Rifter project. We’re fans of awesome spaceships too, so we’re excited about this one.

You’ve built quite an impressive LEGO Rifter. It captures the essence of the ship with LEGO bricks, and it will serve as a good starting point as we explore the possibility of transforming this into a LEGO product.

Congratulations on achieving 10,000 supporters. We now officially advance this project to the Review phase.

So the LEGO master builders will try to come up with a sellable version of the Rifter.  I hope they use more rust colored bricks.

Fishing Comes to Telara

Last week’s patch to Rift had all sorts of things in it.  The patch notes go on for ages.

But the key item for me in this update is the new trade skill.  Fishing!

Yes, I have some odd ideas about fishing.  It is inexplicable to some, but whenever an MMO I play offers up a fishing experience, I must indulge in that experience.

I am not a complete nutter on the subject.  For example, I have a lot of the fishing achievements in WoW.  I fished up all those coins from the fountain in Dalaran.  But I haven’t bothered with some of the others, and I have never won a fishing tournament in-game.

But I do like that fishing is in games.  It is something of a change from the constant running around to kill, deliver, harvest, or just get place.  Instead, you pick a spot, get out your fishing gear, cast your line in the water, and wait to see what comes along.

So, once the patch was installed, I went fishing.

Fishing in Telara

And I have to say that I like how they have implemented fishing.

Right off the bat, it does not take up a trade skill spot.  Like cooking, fishing, and first aid in WoW, you can have your main trade skills along with it.  But it is more of a hobby, the way that LOTRO implemented things.

Trion added in another skill with the patch called Survival.  Survival seems primarily focused on giving you something to do with the fish you catch.  It is basically cooking… seafood… along with the ability to make some camping gear.  When the female survival trainer said, “Do you need help pitching a tent?” I thought perhaps I mis-heard… or that it was some sort of reference to the Diablo III demon hunter… everybody seems to be mentioning that.

But then I found that I could, with sufficient skill, make a tent and pitch it.  If I have read right, making the tent, or bedroll, or whichever, gives you the rested bonus you usually only get in Meridian if you log out on it.  Or something.

But Survival is mostly about cooking fish.

The fish menu so far

All of which is a long way of saying that you can do something with the fish you catch, which is saying something since there was not a cooking skill in the game before this patch.  Back to fishing.

The mechanics of fishing are simple.  You get a beginners fishing pole from the fishing trainer when you start off.

Pole with lure attached

You do not have to equip the fishing pole, it simply has to be in your inventory.   You then drag it to a hot key… and fishing is always mapped to 1 on my hot bar… auto-attack or starting attack is 2, fishing is 1… and you are about set.  You can add a lure to your pole.  Fishing has abilities you can unlock as you skill up, which mostly involves making lures and upgrading your fishing pole.

Once you hit the fishing icon on your hotbar, you get a targeting reticule, which you place out over the water where you want to fish.

Fish, complete with sign

This comes in handy as there are schools of fish you may want to hit.  It does seem a little unrealistic though.  People spend years practicing casting to be able to hit a spot with the accuracy you get with your very first cast.  Still, a simulation is always a set of compromises.

When your line is in the water for GOD’S SAKE DON’T MOVE YOUR CURSOR.

Seriously, when you cast, leave the cursor right where it is.  When you hook a fish the cursor will turn to a fish icon and you will get a message in chat instructing you to reel the fish in.  You do this by clicking on your line, which your cursor is sitting on… unless you moved it.  You didn’t move it, did you?

So you do not have to mouse around a lot to reel the fish in.  It is especially convenient if you have a tackball, as I do, and you can lay the cursor in the water and just fish with the 1 key and the mouse button.  This, by the way, is going to make creating a fishing bot for Rift extremely easy.  I do test automation professionally, so this is always something that always springs to mind.

You may have to reel in the fish two or three times.  There is no timer bar, as with WoW.  You just wait for a strike while your character fiddles with the reel, making the bait dance under water.

So the fishing mechanic works for me, and seemed to compromise in the right places.  But what do you catch?

The next thing I like about the new fishing in Rift is that you can fish up a wide variety of things.  There are, of course, regular fish.  You cook with those, or make lures out of them.

Then there are special fish which you can turn into an NPC in the zone in which you caught it (in groups of 8) for a boost in faction or a box of goodies. (Which has been more lures when I have done it.)

You will also get some gray vendor trash.  Fishing up trash is part of the grand tradition of MMO fishing.  The trash seems reasonable… fish scales and the like.

And then there are special items.  I have fished up items for collections… artifacts I guess they are called… which is good, because I need help there.  The next collection I complete will be the first not counting the tutorial collection.  I also fished up a box with 40 gold coins in it, which again was good, as I seem to be unable to make much headway in accumulating money.  I seem to perpetually have 8 plat.

The fishing skill, which goes up as you fish, determines where you can fish.  This is somewhat like the way it used to work in WoW, where there was a minimum skill level to fish in a given body of water a well as a point where fishing in that body of water would no longer grant skill increases.

I cannot fish here yet

There are also two types of water, deep and shallow, and each yield up different varieties of fish.

I can totally fish here

And you will want to fish in both depths in order to get the achievements.

And there are plenty of achievements.

Rift is the one game that I have played that comes close to WoW in effective presentation of achievements.  I cannot tell you what magic Blizzard has, just that their achievements seem… happy… shiny… just goofy enough… and easy to read in the achievements panel.  And Rift is pretty close on that front.

So there are achievements for catching rare fish.  Achievements for quantities of fish caught.  Achievements for catching all of the fish types in a given zone. (There is some overlap in fish between zones.) Basically, if you feel compelled to chase achievements, then fishing will give you plenty to do.

And there we have fishing in Rift.

I like it.

I will go max it out and get many of the achievements with one character, which is what I usually do with fishing.

And some day I will get around to writing the giant MMO fishing comparison post to determine who has the best MMO fishing mechanics around.

Addendum: Karen at Massively also has a look at fishing in Rift posted today.  I knew I should have posted this yesterday.

Hulkageddon, Technetium, and the Circle of Life

Hulkageddon is coming!

I think that is the motto on Helicity Boson’s family crest.

(May they fare better than the Starks.)

And that means the destruction of many mining barges.  Of course, this time around, for Hulkageddon V, there is a new player.

The Mittani and Helicity together on one stage!

Goonswarm is stepping up as a sponsor of the event and is offering a payout of 100 million ISK if you kill 10 Hulk or Mackinaw exhumers.

This is the “everybody wins” aspect of this round of Hulkageddon.  You do not have to be a top performer on the kill board to get a payout.

And, if I heard things right, the reward process will be at least semi-automated.  You won’t have to apply for your reward, you will just have to be registered on the kill board to get your 100 million ISK and congratulatory note after every 10th Hulk/Mackinaw kill.

The Hulk and the Mackinaw are, of course, two of the high end, Tech II if you will, mining barges.  They are what you aspire to fly when you first start off mining in your Bantam or Osprey.

They are expensive ships, but they harvest at such a rate that they pay themselves off pretty quickly with regular use.  When you get to the Hulk is when you start getting annoyed by small asteroids.

These ships are expensive because they require all sorts of special materials to create, plus the whole cycle of invention to create the blueprint.

Hulk bill of materials

Like all the Tech II blueprints I have seen, you have to start with a basic tech version of the item.  In this case, a Covetor.  And then you have to come up with all sorts of exotic materials.  You might have some morphite sitting in your hanger, though if you do it is likely from reprocessing something.  And I once got some construction blocks as a drop from a mission.  But most of the rest you have to go out and make.

Let’s take Photon Microprosessors as an example.  You need 2,200 of those for the Hulk.  You can buy a blueprint for those, but again the bill of materials may look a little foreign.

Photon Microprocessor BOM

Among the items it needs is Nanotransistors.  Those are created via the Nanotransistor Reaction, which requires, among other things, Platinum Technite.  And that requires Technetium.

And that is just one of the components.  I won’t run them all down to their base materials.  Instead I will point out that I recently saw an estimate that Technetium makes up something like 40% of the sale price of a Hulk.

And Hulks are going for 270-300 million ISK at the moment, so I suppose there could be a good 100 million ISK in technetium in each one of those.

And where does Technetium come from?  It comes from tech moons in the north in null sec.  And who owns most of those moons now?  Goonswarm and its CFC allies.  That was one of the main benefits from the war in the north for the CFC, control of most of the tech moons. (Jester wrote of the stuff and its uses.)

So it is not a huge stretch of imagination or mathematics to wonder if paying out 10 million ISK per Hulk or Mackinaw destroyed (payable only when you have killed 10 total) might be less of a charitable reward for gankers and more of an incentive program to keep a profitable enterprise going… and going stronger than ever.

This whole thing just needs one further twist and then I bet even Gevlon shows a bit of envy.

Oh, wait, there it is.

Yeah, that is starting to get some comments, but I am not sure people have seen the full scope of the cartel yet.  It seems like every Hulk that needs to be replaced means ISK heading to the Goons.

Addendum: Posted at EVE News 24 (I hate when I get alliance updates this way, but at least it means I can talk about them freely)

The New Bropacts and OTEC

During the Venal campaign, Ev0ke approached us about a tech deal; after we had made good on the agreement, NCdot approached us as well. Having taken so many moons so rapidly that GЅОL was beginning to thrash about worryingly, foam at the mouth, and mis-time the same moon twice in a row, we decided to declare victory and go home to VFK. Perhaps amusingly, NCdot’s pets have loudly declared that they were /also/ victorious; perhaps it’s a scenario where everyone wins!

Everyone winning is the goal of OTEC, our new diplomatic initiative. OTEC – the Organization of Technetium Exporting Corporations – is here to regulate galactic technetium supply and ensure stable pricing so everyone in the market can benefit. Just like with the real world’s OPEC, ‘Everyone’ in this case means ‘us’ and ‘benefit’ means ‘ahahaha fuck you scrubs’. With discussion of ‘ring mining’ being a method of nerfing tech income, most of the organizations in nullsec that have tech moons are interested in jacking the prices as high as the market will bear, with twin benefits: making us (CFC/NCdot/Ev0ke/PL) comically wealthy at the expense of literally everyone else in the game, and making literally everyone else in the game howl in a rage about it.

I have announced OTEC before it actually exists just to see if I could spook the tech markets by tweeting; I now have almost 4000 nerds following me, and fuck it. Turns out I can (the price rocketed almost to 200k) and now we’re playing catch up to actually make OTEC a reality.