Daily Archives: September 9, 2014

Quote of the Day – In Which 25 Million Equals Nothing

25 million people play Call of Duty monthly, but that pales in comparison to 2.5 billion people on the Internet. That’s 1 percent of the Internet, that’s nothing.

Michael Pachter, at Cloud Gaming USA

That is one of those quotes that boggles the mind as it lets so much slip by, to the point of being meaningless.  What percentage of that 2.5 billion plays video games, has hardware capable of playing something like Call of Duty, has an internet connection capable of playing the game, can afford the game, and can actually buy the game in their local market?  What should Activision have done differently?  What should their target audience have been?

And the irony here is that just a few paragraphs down the line he takes gaming companies to task for embracing the free to play model, which is all about increasing market penetration. Free-to-play should go away he says (and I have some bad news for him about his ad revenue idea) and the game companies are stupid for taking less than they should get.  And then further along he projecting 4 billion people playing games in the very near future.  Will they be on the internet?  How does it relate to that 2.5 billion number?  It is a mishmash, though that could be as much the reporting as the presentation itself.

Of course, Michael Pachter is an analyst, and the analyst’s bread and butter is in making outlandish, unsupported, attention getting statements like that.  All the better to get you to pay them for their deep insight.  You don’t get speaking gigs by being dull.  As Apple’s iPhone announcement today was nothing but an ad for Apple, this presentation was mostly an ad for Michael Pachter, and nobody should have expected otherwise.

Not that he is completely off base on things.  He frets about the future of consoles in the face of dropping physical game sales and the expanding smart phone market as well as where Nintendo will end up.

He really focuses on Nintendo.

But even I can see that Nintendo is especially vulnerable as its corporate culture is still tied up with the idea of them being a hardware company, while their real assets are in their software.  I like my Nintendo 3DS XL very much.  It is a fine piece of hardware.  But I bought it solely to play Pokemon.

Without Pokemon the 3DS XL is just like the Wii U, an interesting piece of hardware I don’t really need in a world where the iPhone and other such devices loom.  Nintendo’s goals may be in line with Corless, the Team Plasma Boss from Pokemon Black 2 & White 2.

Can't stay proprietary with that goal...

Can’t stay proprietary with that goal…

But they are not going to get there with the mindset of the 90s, where the software was there to sell hardware.

Anyway, the article that the quote came from at the top of the post has enough fodder for a dozen blog posts.  I can’t even get started on how much it irks when somebody stands up and speaks of “the cloud” that will solve all problems.  Put something in the mythical “cloud” and be prepared to do without it unless you control it.  Or, put another way:

But like Oscar the Grouch, I am often happiest railing against something like this.  Pachter is many things, but he isn’t boring.  I look forward to many more pronouncements.

Cleaning Up the Neighborhood Back in Deklein

The return to Deklein seems to have been accomplished for most people over the weekend.  Somewhere I missed the broadcast about there being a channel set up for people looking to get ships brought north via excess hangar space in carriers.  By last night the channel was deserted, leading me to the conclusion that most people were done with their move.

I got on last night and clone jumped back up to Deklein to examine my own carrier, and Archon that has sat docked up for nearly two years since I bought it and made the one jump from where I purchased it to the system I generally think of as home in null sec.

Archon in 0P-F3K

Hangar Queen

As it turns out, I hadn’t even finished fitting it.  Of course, I managed to slap on the rigs, so I can’t just repackage it and bring it back to the store with a gift receipt… or just sell the hull on the market.  So the choices are to finish fitting it and sell it, finish fitting it and actually put some effort into using it, or let things roll as they are.  I don’t actually need the ISK invested in the hull for now, so there is no sense of urgency.  It is just something else gathering dust in a hangar, like those Drakes I have, waiting for a trigger event to get them into action.

Get thee behind me, Satan!

Anyway, the “let it roll” option was chosen because as I was staring at the half fit Archon, a fleet op came up over Jabber.  I was already online, I had the time, and I was avoiding making a decision, so it seemed like the optimum time to roll out.

The call was for a Baltec Fleet, with Lyris Nairn in the FC position.  The good news was that I had already gotten my Apocalypse up north over the weekend in the one convoy I managed to find.  The bad news was that I was in the wrong clone and I had just clone jumped.

First world space problems.

Jump clones are nifty and let you pre-position yourself around space so you can appear in a specific region without all that mucking about in space.  You have to have a ship waiting for you at the far end of your jump, otherwise it is just you and your pod, and there is a 24 hour cool down on jumps, which can be reduced to 19 hours by training one of those new skills… Xenomorph Info Compulsive Behavior of some such… up to level 5.  I went for level 4, which gives me a 20 hour cool down.

The thing is, ships are not the only thing that are independent of your clone jump.  Implants are also independent of your clone.  Implants are the skill and attribute enhancements that you can plug into your brain.  They stick with the clone you plugged them into, which up until now, hasn’t been an issue.  I have a clone in high sec with +5 attribute implants, so when I am going to be offline for a few days, I jump back there to speed up any training in progress.  Otherwise I have just been a line member sub cap pilot with no need for implants.  I have a set of cheap +3 implants in a clone I sometimes use when I am ratting, just to keep skills sped up a bit, but most of my clones are implant free.

Or they were.

When they introduced the Apocalypse to Baltec fleet, I was keen to fly it because… well… I wanted to play with pretty lasers.  I am always the guy at structure shoots now with multiple colors shooting forth.  I am easily amused.

However the fit for the Baltec Apoc was very tight, such that you need the EG-603 implant, which boosts your power grid 3%, in order to fly it and shoot all eight lasers.  And the implant itself runs 20 million ISK.  While I’m not poor, I intend to stay that way in part by not buying things I don’t need.  So I have an Apoc clone parked at our new staging system in Deklein.  I was not in that clone and I had a good 19 hours left until I could jump to it.

Instead I was sitting in my ratting clone.

Well, not a huge hairy deal.  I could fly logistics.  As it happened I even had an Oneiros sitting in the station with me ready to go.  But it did make me thing about this whole fleet booster training plan I have been working on.  That too depends on implants and having the right set for the right booster role for the right fleet.  I suspect that unless I go “all boosting all the time” I am going to end up in the wrong clone often enough to be annoying.

Problems for another day.

So I strapped on the Oneiros and flew on out to the staging station while listening to voice coms.  Somebody there was asking about convoys and getting their ships back up from Delve, which is where I first heard about the channel dedicated to finding space on carriers moving north.  At least I wasn’t alone in that.  I don’t mind being lost, unless I am the only one who is lost.  Misery loves company or some such.

Our mission for the night was to go reinforce a couple of towers in 5ZXX-K in Pure Blind, which is literally one titan bridge away from the staging system.  5ZXX-K is an NPC null sec system held by Mordu’s Legion (which has a nifty looking station) which is also home to the role-playing Mordus Angels.  They are also bitter foes of the CFC, having been a part of the coalition and then purged at some point before my time.  They are also pretty much in the middle of the southern flank of CFC space in the north.

Surrounded by CFC systems

Surrounded by CFC systems

While we were down in Delve they had something of a breather to put up towers and otherwise run around and make trouble.  They are the current favorites of Gevlon, who is soliciting donations to support their war against the CFC.  So our content for the night was sponsored by Gevlon.

We were headed down to 5ZXX-K in order to put a couple of towers into reinforce.  Since this would likely be a no kill mail tower shoot, logistics would be an easy enough role for the evening.  I would just have to orbit the logistics anchor, put reps on anybody who happened to get targeted by the POS guns, and take screen shots.  It seemed unlikely that Mordus Angels would come out to play.  We had over a hundred ships in Baltec fleet to cover the dreadnoughts jumping in to do the heavy lifting.  So we scooted around as the dreads showed up and quickly reinforced the tower.

First tower timer set...

First tower timer set…

Now we get into tower timers.  The actual tower kill comes when the timer runs down.  But being 1 day and 17 hours in the future, it will likely happen while I am still at the office, so it will fall to our Euro time zone brethren to blow it up and get the kill mail.

After that the dreads headed home while we sat covering them.  Then we were off to our next task, which was another tower in the same system.  However, it was a small tower and was thus deemed not worth dragging dreads out to put it in reinforce, so that was left to us.

The guns at the small tower were a bit more active.  For some reason they all decided to concentrate on a single Celestis cruiser in our fleet.  It flew too close to the shields or some such, but it was the most active moment of the evening as we actually had to be on the ball with reps to keep that poor ship alive.

Celestis taking fire and reps

Celestis taking fire and reps

The guns later switched to focus on various ships, so we kept moving our reps around to keep everybody safe.  I don’t know why the guns were more effective here.  A pilot with the right skills (I have them trained, but have never used them) can take over the POS guns and target them, which makes them much more effective, but there did not seem to be anybody in the POS doing so.  The AI was just having a good night.  So we had to keep the reps going.

The Logistics Ballet

The Logistics Ballet

We put the tower into reinforce… another one for the Euro TZ… as well as the warp disruption batteries to keep anybody scouting out the status safe.  Then it was time to go.  Lyris had even arranged a ride home for us just a couple systems over, so there was no need to take gates back to the jump bridge network.  We met up with our titan and got everybody collected as this was going to be one of those “make the first bridge or walk” events.  We had one straggler, a lone Apoc that somehow got hung up on something back in 5ZXX-K.  We waited for him then bridged home.  Mission accomplished.

We never did run into Mordus Angels, or their partners in the war on Goons, Triumvirate.  The report was that they couldn’t muster enough to take us on, so they went out to hunt ratters and ended up getting suckers by a bait carrier laid out for them.  Back in April, when Black Legion was working with them, we would get a fight now and again.  But with tower bashing fleets roaming the region and the US TZ based Freedom Squad group from the CFC camping them in their station to keep them from being able to go after ratters at will, it is looking like quiet structure shoots might be on the agenda for a while.

And since I had lots of free time spinning around the anchor, I have the usual allotment of screen shots after the cut.

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