Monthly Archives: October 2017

Pokemon Go – Level 30, Halloween, and the Hoenn Pokedex

I finally made it up the hill to level 30 in Pokemon Go.

The big moment

My wife, who is well into level 31 at this point commented that I was really catching up to her.

The reality of the situation though is that the hill just gets steeper the higher you go, while your ability to gain XP remains static.

How far until level 31?

The XP chart for levels in Pokemon Go tells the tale.

From start through to level 30 you need to earn 2 million XP.  Getting from 30 to 31 is half a million more XP, or basically 25% of what you had to earn to get to 30.  And after that it just keeps getting steeper and steeper, with the leap from level 39 to level 40 requiring 5 million XP.

All told you need 20 million XP to get to level 40, the maximum level in the game.  Basically, most of the leveling work is still ahead of both of us.  I’m just past the 10% point.

Still, we keep chugging along.  Filling out the Pokedex is another aspect of the whole thing, independent of levels, and the Halloween event now upon us helps on that front.

Halloween 2017 Event

As with last year’s event, “spooky” Pokemon are out and about, which helps as some of those do not otherwise appear regularly in our area.

Better still is the fact that all candy pay outs are doubled during the event.  That goes for catching, transferring, hatching eggs, or walking with your buddy. (A candy every half kilometer with my Magikarp!)  Throwing a well timed Pinap berry, which stacks and doubles candy output again, has accelerated some long stagnant runs to collect 100 candies to evolve special Pokemon.

The event also has some special item boxes for sale in the shop.  While they seem to be pushing incense this time around… a garbage item in an area where you get any Pokemon at all… the special accelerated super incubators are part of the middle priced box.

For just 780 coins!

Those incubators take only 67% of the steps to hatch an egg, so your 10km egg pops up in just 6.7km.  That, for me, is worth the price of the box.

Meanwhile, as part of the event Niantic also opened up the Hoenn Pokedex.  That means that third generation Pokemon, those that came in with Pokemon Ruby & Sapphire, are now in the game and the total number to catch is in the high 300s.  386 was the total of the National Pokedex with third generation Pokemon included.

As of last I checked, third generation Pokemon are not out in the field yet, save for a trio unleashed for the Halloween event, Sabeleye, Shuppet and Duskull (plus evolutions of the latter pair), but I expect that come November we will start seeing new Pokemon to catch.

Shuppet and Duskull in the ‘dex

Anyway, I have been trying to get out to take advantage of the double candy aspect of the event as well as getting into as many gyms as I can to earn my daily 50 coins so I can get those super incubators.

Friday Bullet Points – Names and Prices and Gambling

It is Friday and, while I have posts that I could put up today, I wanted to cover a few small items that popped up this week, if only to write them down for discussion later.  As usual, just marking the dates with a bullet point post.

King of the Kill Dethroned

In a surprise move… to me at least… Daybreak announced that their battle royale game H1Z1: King of the Kill, already under pressure from hot new contenders like PlayerUnknown’s Battleground and Fortnite, decided that one of the things it needed to do was simplify the games name.

So they cut one side of the colon.  The side with what I sort of considered the actual name.

The game is now simply called H1Z1.

H1Z1 – October 2017 logo

Back where we started in 2015 when there was only one game with two modes and a single name.   Only the other mode is now Just Survive.

H1Z1 2015 Logo

Daybreak gives a several dubious sounding reasons for the change, ending on what was likely the real answer”

…having the word ‘Kill’ in the name of the game can be limiting with some global audiences…

I have to admit that I cannot, off the cuff, come up with a widely successful game with “Kill” in its name.  Maybe they’re right.

Of course, none of that changes the fact that the two titles mentioned above are eat H1Z1’s lunch, that the game is still in Early Access after saying it would be released last year, and the planned console port is still just a wink and a promise.

Oculus Price Cut

Facebook announced a price cut for the Oculus Rift.  The unit, which started off at $599 back in the day, will now be $399 and include the Touch controllers as well, at one time additional cost items.

That is a better price, though I am still in the boat of having to upgrade my PC first to be able to support their VR implementation.  I am at the very minimum spec for the Oculus Rift, and we now how well minimum specs work out.  And there still isn’t a must-have game or app out there to push me forward.

Facebook also announced the Oculus Go, priced at $199, but then didn’t say much about what the hell it actually was.  According to the Game Informer post linked above, the Go unit is stand alone and comes with one controller and a lot of promises.  So I am not sure what that even means.  Can I watch movies on it?

Empires of Kunark Still Half Price

Back to Daybreak, where the Norrath titles are in the middle of their annual expansion run up.  I’ll probably compare and contrast the pre-order offers at a later date.

But as part of that both EverQuest and EverQuest II put last year’s expansion up for sale at half off the original price for a limited time.

Empires of Kunark – Half Price through Tuesday

If you wanted to get all of the goodies that came with the more expensive packages… well… they are less expensive now, though you don’t get any price credit for having bought the base package it seems.

Half Price Pricing, Buy or Upgrade

As usual, being a subscriber gets you an additional ten percent discount.

Lockboxes and Gambling

This has been going around due to a petition to the UK government to declare lockboxes a form of gambling.  This seems silly to me as lockboxes do not meet the required win/lose scenario of gambling.  You always get a prize.  That it is not the prize you wanted is irrelevant and you don’t get to claim that virtual good have no value if you only mean the ones you don’t like.

Anyway, fellow bloggers have weighed in on this:

The above doesn’t mean I like lockboxes, and I certainly don’t spend my money on them.  I think they are a predatory device that plays to the same weaknesses that gambling does.  They just aren’t gambling any more than Pokemon cards or the gumball machine at the grocery store.  Chance alone does not make something gambling.

Meanwhile devs offer responses as to why they use lockboxes.  Spoiler: They have families to feed, so are apparently absolved of any moral issues.

Meanwhile, Activision has patented a system to punish you for not paying to win, which can include buying lockboxes, so welcome to reality.  Good luck playing for sympathy with that on your side.

Three Years of Reavers

I just want to point out that Iceland is going to the world cup and the USA isn’t. America has a shit soccer team and star citizen. Iceland: Better at football and space ship games.

~~~ This was a broadcast from asher_elias to reavers at 2017-10-11 02:06:32.634838 EVE ~~~

-Sample of what you get on the Reavers ping list

So we are here at the three years mark of the Reavers SIG.

Reavers forum bee

I remain a bit cloudy on the exact founding date for the group, but middle-ish October works as a general rule.  It isn’t like the hard launch date for a video game… back in the days before early access and whatnot… where there was a line between when you couldn’t do something and when you could.

Anyway, here we are at the third year.  Summaries of the past two years are available here:

As for the last year, the map of null sec has changed some since then.

October 14, 2016 and October 14, 2017 compared

Probably the largest change to note is the alliances that were pushed out of the north in the wake of the Casino War, many of whom landed in space to our east and led to a refactoring of various coalitions. (Also, as I mentioned on Monday, look at LowSechnaya Sholupen losing the same area of space in Fountain two years running.)

Those changes influenced what Reavers did over the last year.

The first Reaver operation I went on after the last anniversary was in December and involved us helping Volition Cult pop an Astrahus that had been dropped in the territory in Catch.  It was a temporary alliance with them against Honorable Third Party.  Thomas Lear led us in our new Sleipner doctrine, getting on the citadel kill, a carrier kill, and an ESS kill along the way home.

In February Thomas Lear again led us in our Sleipners, this time up north into Pandemic Horde space in Cloud Ring, again to contest an Astrahus being anchored.  That went less well as PL dropped some of the newly OP Rorquals and used sentry drones to hit us.  I lost my Sleipner there, but at least I didn’t have to fly all the way home.

Asher led us north later to join in on the fights going on around the Circle of Two Keepstar in M-0EE8.  I had to go back on my own for the kill though.

Rolling past the Keepstar in Asher Cerbs

Once CO2 moved south we set up to camp their ratting and mining ops in their new home in Impass.  I killed a lot of MTUs while we were out there.  It was also my first time flying a Stratios and my real introduction to scanning things down to shoot, though mostly I shot MTUs.

In May we all deployed out to one of our favorite locations, H-ADOC in Curse to stir up some fights.  I lost a Cerberus almost right away.  We lingered out there for a time, setting up an Astrahus to work from so we could switch clones/implants at need.  We went home for a bit, but returned again in July.

From there we ranged out into the Great Wildlands with our new Typhoon doctrine to shoot a Silent Affinity Fortizar.  It cost an Apostle but we helped take it down.

I used my MTU scanning skills to blow up a bunch of Fraternity MTUs in the area.  They like to rat and run missions around there and have a habit of leaving their MTUs behind.

Eventually we were called home to Delve.  That run took two days and featured a heated discussion about BBQ sauce, pizza, and other aspects of cuisine.

We were back home to join in on the deployment north to Hakonen.  While that wasn’t a Reavers specific operation at all, it did see wide-spread use of the Reavers Typhoon doctrine.

Reavers however got the opportunity to fly a special doctrine during the fight.  Azure and Argent led a little fleet of us in Atrons fit for ECM Burst operations that we would fling into the midst of the enemy, after which we would hit the burst and warp back to our perches to cloak up. (Ops one, two, and three.)  An interesting new experience, but hell on your sec status.

After that it was time to come home.  I fixed my sec status and flew my Typhoon back to Delve, only to learn that we would no longer be using the doctrine, at least coalition-wide.  It might still be a Reavers thing.  Things were beginning to brew to the east of us… and then Judgement Day hit and the war was aborted.

All of which doesn’t sound like much activity from Reavers.  I know I missed a couple of Reaver adventures, like the flight of the armor tanked Drakes.  But it hasn’t been like the first year of Reavers when we seemed to spend a lot of time behind enemy lines.  Not only has the sovereignty map changed since then, the reality of holding sovereignty has changes as well.  And Asher led a lot more ops around the map over the last year (like this one), they just weren’t Reavers exclusives.

Overall though, that is about as many things as I posted for year two, so I suppose we’re steady.

Anyway, that was my view of year three of Reavers.  We shall see what the future brings.

Gallente Federation Endorses Fart Lighting

It pretty much said that the Gallente celebrate fart lighting in the launcher today.

Oh yeah, blue flames man!

Or maybe this is just a sign of my misspent youth, which occurred before we all had the internet to distract us.  Or encourage us.  I think farts get lit either way actually.

Still, “Blue Flames” brings a number of things to mind aside from flatulence ignition, including a rocket car  a Chevy engine, something half remembered about the temperature of flames, and Quafe ship SKINs.

When I think of the Gallente Federation itself, I tend to think of the color green.

Green, Steel, Rust, and the type of tacky Gold you see on Acura or Lexus emblems

But (heh, butt) if you want the Sapphire Sungazer SKINs despite this unfortunate association in the launcher, they are available now from the New Eden Store.  I’ll have to check them out, but somehow I doubt they’ll be better than the Quafe SKINs.

Fall Movie League – Foreign Domination

Week Seven of our Fall Fantasy Movie League is now in the rear view mirror, meaning we’re past the half way point of the 13 week season.

Way back at the beginning of week seven the picks available seemed to offer multiple possible avenues to success.

 Happy Death Day         $350
 Blade Runner 2049       $237
 The Foreigner           $143
 The Mountain Between Us $99
 It                      $95
 My Little Pony          $84
 Victoria & Abdul        $80
 Kingsmen                $71
 American Made           $71
 LEGO Ninjago Movie      $70
 Marshall                $62
 Flatliners              $34
 Battle of the Sexes     $24
 American Assassin       $9
 Til Death Do Us Part    $7

Happy Death Day, a murder mystery meets Groundhog Day film, seemed to be clear to top the box office and was priced accordingly.  Blade Runner 2049 was only in its second week, so still had potential to deliver at its lower price.  And then there was The Foreigner, a Jackie Chan vehicle that

Any of those three seemed possible anchors for a successful pick.

At its price, Happy Death Day seemed the least likely of the three to be the winning pick, even if it exceeded its estimate, which it did in spades, bringing in $26 million while only expected to hit about $20 million.

Blade Runner 2049 had been predicted to be a slow burn, a movie that wouldn’t be strong out of the gate, but which would sustain its box office over time rather than dropping 50% on the second week.  I calculated that if it could just keep the second week drop to 45% or less, it was a strong candidate.

Meanwhile The Foreigner felt a bit under priced.  At $143 a screen you could get six screens of it, plus a couple of fill ins, and if it exceeded its $10 million estimate by even a bit it would be a strong contender.

The good news, for me, is that I went with six screens of The Foreigner and two screens of American Made, which turned out to be the perfect pick of the week, shared with 415 other players, good for $106 million.

Fall Week Seven Perfect Pick

The bad news is that I picked it on my daughter’s account, my alt account, where I put the pick I didn’t take for my main account.  Wilhelm went with four screens of Blade Runner 2049, Battle of the Sexes, and three screens of American Assassin.

My Fall Week Seven Picks

This was me letting my gut out vote my brain.  I’ve beaten myself with my alt pick three weeks out of seven now.

I was down to the wire deciding which way to jump, and in the last moment I went for Blade Runner 2049 more because I wanted it to do well than because I really believed it was going to make my goal.

And it did not make my goal.  It dropped 53% over opening week, reinforcing the suspicion in the back of my brain that perhaps the cult classic status of the original Blade Runner didn’t mean it was as popular as I thought it was.  A basic projection problem.  I liked it, people who talk about it generally like it, but that did not translate into a mass audience.  RIP my Blade Runner 2049 plan and any hopes of a sequel.

Still, my picks were not the worst in the bunch though… not to be mean… I did worry a bit when I saw Isey and I had identical picks.  The scores for the week went down like this:

  1. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex (M) – $101,436,978
  2. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics (T) – $98,288,772
  3. Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre (M) – $97,984,090
  4. Dan’s Decadent Decaplex (M) – $84,946,755
  5. Elly’s Elemental E-Plex (M) – $72,994,597
  6. Kraut Screens (T) – $72,607,820
  7. Ben’s X-Wing Express (M) – $70,991,190
  8. Wilhelm’s Films from New Eden – $64,869,289
  9. The Filthy Fleapit (T) – $64,869,289
  10. I HAS MOVIES (T) – $64,869,289
  11. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights (T) – $64,294,226
  12. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex (T) – $66,533,492
  13. Logan’s Luxurious Thaumatrope (M) – $59,853,529

Meta League legend

  • TAGN Movie Obsession – players from it marked with a (T)
  • MCats Multiplex – players from it marked with an (M)

Ocho and Bel both stopped picking over the last few weeks, so Liore’s league has been dropped from the list since I am the only active player there now.

Those at the top went heavy on The Foreigner, which pulled in $13 million plus was the best price/performer, giving it a $2 million boost, making it worth $15 million per screen.  That is almost as much as Blade Runner 2049.

Past that are the people who anchored on Blade Runner 2049 or Happy Death Day, which came out to be about equally poor choices in the end.  That left the overall scores as follows:

  1. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex (M) – $597,259,405
  2. Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre (M) – $585,837,180
  3. Ben’s X-Wing Express (M) – $552,625,270
  4. Elly’s Elemental E-Plex (M) – $537,907,722
  5. Wilhelm’s Films from New Eden – $523,575,221
  6. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights (T) – $522,053,084
  7. Dan’s Decadent Decaplex (M) – $521,039,080
  8. Logan’s Luxurious Thaumatrope (M) – $520,856,126
  9. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics (T) – $496,420,772
  10. The Filthy Fleapit (T) – $438,879,656
  11. I HAS MOVIES (T) – $425,994,240
  12. Kraut Screens (T) – $415,521,600
  13. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex (T) – $254,764,219

Week seven put me way at the back of the pack for the MCats league.  Catching Corr seems unlikely unless he forgets to pick.  Otherwise he generally picks as well as I do or better every week save the first.

However SynCaine and I remain neck and neck in the TAGN league, though both of us had best be wary of Pak who, despite starting a week late, is catching up to us.

And that leads us into Week Eight, which has the following options:

Boo! 2: A Madea Halloween    $411
Happy Death Day              $202
Only the Brave               $201
Geostorm                     $186
The Snowman                  $167
Blade Runner 2049            $128
The Foreigner                $105
It                           $57 
Same Kind of Different As Me $53
American Made                $50 
The Mountain Between Us      $49
Kingsmen                     $47
LEGO Ninjago Movie           $42
My Little Pony               $35
Victoria & Abdul             $31

New on the list are Boo! 2: A Madea Halloween, which doesn’t appeal to me, but I have long understood that there is no accounting for taste, Only the Brave, a wilderness firefighting tale that seems spot on given recent events, Geostorm, a natural disaster flick that seems maybe a bit too spot on given recent events, and Same Kind of Different As Me, for which a pithy summary eludes me.

The top six movies on the list are all potentially anchors.  (Going all-in on The Foreigner would leave $160 on the table, which is never a good plan.)  I am not sure which way to jump at this point.  Boo! is too expensive relative to current estimates while nobody is going to convince me that seven screens of Blade Runner 2049 are a good idea after the current results.  So my own anchor will likely be something in between those two.

Collecting Forgotten Data Cores

After playing EVE Online for this long I have left things laying about all over New Eden.  As I mentioned when we were deployed up to Hakonen, that was close to where I was doing a lot of buying and selling back in the day.  I found piles of unsold stock that had been sitting around since probably 2008, so I listed a bunch of it on the market and have watched it slowly sell.  That isn’t going to make me rich, but it will at least remove some stuff from my assets tally and maybe help some capsuleer.

Likewise, when I had my alt running the Warzone Extraction event I noticed he had some possible assets available.  Basically, the Journal button on the Neocom was blinking (which it seems to do for no good reason now and again) so I opened it up.  There wasn’t anything new there, but I did see that I had five research agents still toiling away for him, collecting points I could redeem for data cores.

Back in the day data cores used to be one of the go-to passive income options.  They’re used for the invention aspect of Tech II production and, I gather from the EVE Uni Wiki entry, are primarily obtained via loyalty points earned in Faction Warfare.  Before then however, you had to use research agents.  You would set up with an agent and then just let the research points pile up until it was worthwhile to go redeem them.  It used to be one of those things that wouldn’t stop if you unsubscribed, so you could come back to the game and have a tidy sum waiting for you from research.

Most of the agents were out in Amarr space, where my alt was running the Warzone sites.  So I sent him back to Amarr to grab a ship with some cargo space to haul data cores.  I wasn’t sure the Drake had the space.  However, he only had a Badger handy, which is a flimsy hauler on a good day.

But I remembered my entosis alt was still hanging around near Amarr in his Nereus, in which he did some of the Alpha Strikes event.  So I rolled him over to Amarr and traded the tanky hauler to my main alt.

Flying the Nereus to Amarr

I even bought the exoplanets SKIN because it looks so good on the Nereus.

Then it was off to collect data cores.  Most of the agents were close to Amarr, and level 2, but one was in low sec space, which is what made me think that the Badger might not be ideal.

There was also an optimum order in which to visit each agent, which I had completely forgotten.  I suppose I could have gone to DOTLAN and used the navigation option there to plot a round, but instead I decided to wing it.  There were five agents waiting for me, four in Amarr space and one in Caldari space, just a couple of jumps from Jita.  I saved the Caldari agent for last, since Jita would be the optimum place to sell.

The run itself was without incident, as 99.99% of high sec flights tend to be.  Even the dip into low sec was without incident despite somebody sitting on the gate when I landed and decloaked.  He let me warp off to the station unmolested.  He was probably going somewhere else.

Picking up data cores from a low sec station

Once I wrapped the last pickup… I had left stocks or tritanium in each station, since when you speak to the agents they want to send you on a mission to retrieve some, which is good for another data core’s worth of research points… I headed to Jita to list them all on the market.

So far the run has netted me about 400 million ISK and there are still some left to sell.  That didn’t exactly make me super space rich.  I won’t be buying a titan this week.  But for somebody whose main income is 15 million ISK ticks ratting in Delve and mechanical parts from PI, that will buy me a couple of doctrine ships.

And then it was back to Amarr to hand back the ship.

Heading into Amarr

I figured I would add that last screen shot because it had a moody, atmospheric feel to it, like something out of Blade Runner 2049.

Anyway, data cores remain a minor passive income activity.  I will have to go check to see how many research points Wilhelm has piled up.