Mother nature seems determined to keep my lawn from dying during the drought out here, so delivered some more rain last night.
Of course, this is supposed to be the start of an El Niño year out here, which traditionally means a wet, wet winter is coming. So expect us to flip the record over from side A (“Not Enough Rain”) to side B (“Too Much Rain!”) come autumn.
Meanwhile, I couldn’t think of anything worthy of a full post… and you know I’ll make a full post out of almost nothing… so here are a few tidbits that have been rattling around.
ArcheAge Founder’s Pack
Free to Play MMO titles have begun to develop their own traditions as they have evolved. One seems to be the “Founder’s Pack,” a pre-order of sorts granting various benefits, usually including guaranteed beta access and some of the local currency. As this has become a staple, the only parameter left to explore seems to be how much will the market bear when it comes to price. Trion is testing the upper limits with ArcheAge, asking for $150 for the top tier pack in the shop.
Take that SOE and your $100 Trailblazer’s pack!
I have had very few thoughts about the game. This has been primarily because of the long tradition of bad Asian MMO imports over the years that has so thoroughly poisoned the well of expectations on that front. And billing it as the “Ultimate Fantasy MMORPG Sandbox” just stokes the fires of skepticism in me, as does the long list of “be all the things!” features.
As for me, I am still trying to figure out how to even pronounce the name. Is that first “e” silent or not? If it is, then the name reminds me of ArchLord, another on the long list of poor Asian imports, which isn’t exactly a good association. But if you pronounce the “e” then it will sound like Archie Age, and I will be gravely disappointed if it doesn’t take place in Riverdale.
EVE – The Death of High Sec Industry
CCP posted a dev blog about proposed changes to industry for the summer expansion. And, as usual, drama/rage/hilarity ensued. That is just the nature of things in EVE Online. The net net, if I read things right, was that, aside from changing the UI and removing some serious annoyances, if everybody just kept on doing what they did now, prices could go up by as much as 15%, but there would be incentives, in the form of lower production costs (to offset the risk) to start building things in null sec space.
A few people went the drama route, exemplified by Mord Fiddle, who attempted the Smothers Brothers routine of “Mom always liked you best!” for his big exit post. Only it wasn’t actually funny, and wasn’t trying to be. It was just drama. Meanwhile, Dinsdale Piranha, in a “broken clock is right twice daily” moment, was clearly feeling vindicated in his long standing “CCP and the null sec barons” conspiracy theories. Even Jester seemed to be straying off the range a bit with what sounded like a “go null or go home” conclusion. (And a bit of drama in the post title.)
Meanwhile, in the strange bedfellows department, the issue drove usually bitter foes Gevlon and Mynnna into the same camp on the topic, putting many on the lookout for a plague of frogs or some other biblical level event. Lots of numbers and logic involved in their arguments.
My own point of view is that the strongest force in the universe is laziness, and that most people who have set up an industrial operation will just stay in place, the markets will correct a bit, and life will go on pretty much as it has before. A few people will slip out to null to see if things can be done more profitably. But considering that the three biggest 0.0 slumlords (Northern Associates, Brothers of Tangra, and the Greater Western Co-Prosperity Sphere) have alone opened up over a quarter of null sec (963 of 3,524 systems) to rentals (and have agreed not to fight over those bits), there looks to be space for those who want to give null a shot.
Others weighing in on the topic:
I suppose we will see come the summer. That is my answer for everything lately.
GARPA – A New EVE Tool For You
In a what was a bit of a surprise, Goonswarm’s science and research division released the GARPA Topographical Survey app for general use. This is the space map and route planning application that, along with DOTLAN EVE Maps, sustained me during my first year in null sec.
Of course we all use a newer, web based tool, from the fine minds in the Razor Alliance, for route planning and navigation in-game. But the GARPA Topographical Survey app is still pretty neat. I can tinker with it for hours.
EVE – Burn Jita Begins
Burn Jita kicked off at some point last night. There was a big convoy op to fly all the last-minute slackers from VFK to Jita. And then there was an emergency in Fountain and another fleet had to run off in that direction. I showed up late, but was able to join the fleet thanks to the fact that I kept a jump clone and a few random doctrine ships in our old staging base from the war last year.
Anyway, be advised that, if nothing else, time dilation will be hell in Jita for the balance of the weekend. And if you want to make people laugh, link this image in local and tell people you paid a lot of ISK for it.
Some days it is like people aren’t even trying.
Lord British – Shroud of the Avatar Continues to Be a Thing
Pre-alpha release 5 of Shroud of the Avatar was made available to some level of backers this week, which included me. I patched up and logged in just to see the state of affairs.
The game is still in a very raw and essentially unplayable state, but you can poke around and see what has been done. I couldn’t recommend trying at full screen and full resolution though. The graphics look good. I am not keen on the movement controls, which are the FPS style “steer with mouse, move with WASD where A and D are strafe and not turn” configuration. Anyway, things move on.
Newbie Blogger Initiative 2014
The NBI is back again for 2014 and I have been slacking on doing anything about it.
But rest assured, things are happening over at its permanent home on the web. If you are interested in started a gaming blog or want to help out those who do, go over and join in on the fun. The official start date is May 1, so I still have time to catch up. You can go ask them anything if you like.
And that about covers the items I had. Now to go back to staring out of the window at the rain.