Daily Archives: July 24, 2019

CCP Clarifies the Skill Point Killing Spree Event

Last week, when CCP announced the Season of Skills event, I lifted their copy directly and trimmed it some for brevity and clarity, which are often the same thing.  I also changed “skill points” from being capitalized, because the world doesn’t need that.  But what they said at the time about phase two of the event, the Killing Spree, was:

Answer CONCORD’s call to arms and fight the Triglavians by gaining as many Skill Points as you can during Skilling Spree between 24 July and 21 August for destroying NPCs! Get rewards ranging from 10,000 Skill Points for one kill, to the rarer 50,000 Skill Points for more kills per challenge. Then, use those Skill Points to train essential skills for piloting bigger, better ships with advanced weaponry.

That strongly implied, to my mind, that players would be required to get out and shoot Triglavians in the invasion sites that have been popping up around high sec.  That has since been clarified on the event page to read (emphasis mine):

Answer CONCORD’s call to arms by fighting the Triglavians and various other foes. Gain as many Skill Points as you can during the Skilling Spree between 24 July and 21 August for destroying any NPC in New Eden! Get rewards ranging from 10,000 Skill Points for one kill, to the rarer 50,000 Skill Points for more kills per challenge. Then, use those Skill Points to train essential skills for piloting bigger, better ships with advanced weaponry.

This hearkens back to a past experiment where CCP gave us skill points if only we would login, undock, and shoot an NPC.  That was the “recurring opportunities” thing that they introduced a little over three years back.  It lasted for about a month, after which they decided that the “thrill of the hunt” was not thrilling enough and pulled it.

So now this event will give us skill points if only we will login… and undock… and shoot an NPC.   Or some NPCs.  Everything old is new again.

… to kill some NPCs once a day for about a month

Only this time there is random factor involved, as your daily task will reward 10K, 25K, or 50K skill points.  Depending on how much the random number generator likes you, you could earn between 280K and 1,400K skill points.  It also lines up to how many NPCs you need to blow up, 1, 5 or 10.

Who said gambling was dead in New Eden?

Only 10K for my alpha clone

On the plus side, this isn’t a big hurdle to clear for some skill points.  And the skill point totals are about the right size to be worthwhile to a newer player.  If I were starting out… or was an Alpha clone already at the 5 million skill point cap… I would be logging in every day to shoot something.

On the down side… well… the forum thread about this event doesn’t seemed thrilled about the random nature of rewards and there is definitely a vibe in there about the value of skill points to players when CCP seems intent on handing them out regularly. (Bonus points for the new player who suggests revamping the skill point system so players upgrade skills by using them.  I think every new player goes through that phase.  I know I did.  I am pretty sure I did a post about it as well back in 2008 or so.)

Also, it doesn’t really tie into the Triglavian event.  I guess it doesn’t have to, but when you open up with something about “fighting the Triglavians” in your first sentence, some might consider it a bit of an out to basically add “or any other NPC you happen to run across.”

For example, he’ll do

Not that I am a fan of the Triglavian invasion event.  I logged in a high sec alt to give it a try, went where The Agency told me, and… nothing.  I don’t know if that system was cleared already, if I needed to do something, or even if I was setup correctly to see the Triglavians.  I am willing to bet they are off in your overview by default.  And The Agency was mute on anything beyond location, so I flew back home and did something else.

Anyway, people will complain about anything and everything if given the chance, myself included, but some will appreciate the extra skill points in whatever quantity they arrive.

The kick-off announcement for this part of the Season of Skill Points can be found here.


Summer Movie League – The Lion is King

Week seven of our Fantasy Movie League is now in the bag and it looks like the box office numbers broke their trend at last.

Well, sort of.  As I noted last week, at one point the estimates for the live action remake of The Lion King were as high as $200 million.  Then as the box office forecasts began to be overstated week over week, estimates got more conservative, dropping ast low as $130 million for the three day weekend, with $150 million being somewhat of a median.

So when the weekend totals starting showing north of $180 million there was much rejoicing.

On the FML front that meant anchoring on The Lion King was pretty much essential, as it exceeding its forecast meant this was a big money week.  It was also a very bad week to forget to pick, which happened to a few people.  Fortunately, everybody who did pick at least got in on some of that sweet Lion King action.

Come the Saturday morning estimates it looked like the Friday pick was going to be the best performer, putting SynCaine on top with his 2x Friday anchor.  I was jealous as to why I did not think of that.

Sunday estimates shifted things.  2x Friday was still good, but the perfect pick shifted to 1x Friday, 1x Saturday, and 4x Yesterday, the latter picking up the best performer nod.  Conical Effort had that lineup so was vaulted into first place.

But when the final numbers, the perfect pick changed yet again, ending up as 1x Friday, 1x Sunday, 5x Yesterday, and 1x The Art of Self Defense, the latter having been boosted in value by getting the $2 million per screen worst performer bonus.

That actually made it a different perfect pick from the standard rules, where 1x Friday, 1x Sunday, 5x Yesterday, and 1x Annabelle won the day.

The scores for the week ended up as:

  1. Conical Effort – $167,021,480
  2. Too Orangey For Crows – $163,570,810
  3. Joanie’s Joint – $161,622,694
  4. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $159,018,630
  5. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $157,421,782
  6. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $155,129,305
  7. Wilhelm’s Qeynosian Kinetoscope – $150,821,653
  8. Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – $147,046,670
  9. grannanj’s Cineplex – $56,866,987
  10. Goat Water Picture Palace – $30,768,032

Conical Effort stayed in first place, even without the perfect pick bonus, with Bhagpuss not too far behind.  SynCaine’s 2x Friday pick fell a bit behind, but was still pretty strong, as was Po Huit’s bet on Friday, Saturday, and 6x The Art of Self Defense.  Cyanbane came in last of those who picked, hampered by only a single screen of The Lion King.  Goat and Grannanj were in the top ten, but with picks that rolled over from last week, which dealt a blow to both of their season scores.   It is tough to miss a week, and all the more so when it is such a big week.

And, finally, week seven saw the end of Ben’s streak.  He picked on week one, then stopped playing, but his full lineup, 3x Rocketman, 1x Avengers, 4x John Wick 3, was viable all the way through week six.

All of which left the season scores looking like this:

  1. Wilhelm’s Qeynosian Kinetoscope – $721,815,682
  2. Too Orangey For Crows – $673,616,165
  3. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $634,203,963
  4. Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – $627,527,424
  5. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $627,450,008
  6. Conical Effort – $593,776,471
  7. Joanie’s Joint – $587,750,305
  8. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $535,370,257
  9. Goat Water Picture Palace – $526,453,462
  10. grannanj’s Cineplex – $478,833,609

I kept out in first place, though Bhagpuss closed the gap a bit.  There is still a pretty tight race for third place.  But the biggest blow was to Goat and Grannanj who, failing to pick on such a big week, fell down the stairs into the basement.  It is a tough climb back from there.

The alternate scoring was a bit kinder.

  1. Wilhelm’s Qeynosian Kinetoscope – 53
  2. Too Orangey For Crows – 47
  3. Goat Water Picture Palace – 42
  4. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – 39
  5. Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – 36
  6. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – 35
  7. Conical Effort – 30
  8. grannanj’s Cineplex – 30
  9. Joanie’s Joint – 23
  10. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – 22

Another good week for Bhagpuss and he may be in first place in the alternate scoring.  Goat remained in third since their roll over picks were still enough to get a point.  But as with the seasonal score, there does seem to be contention for that third position.

We are past the half way point of the season.  Now for the first week of the back half we have the following lineup:

  1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – $545
  2. Lion King SAT – $440
  3. Lion King SUN – $370
  4. Lion King FRI – $334
  5. Spider-man: Far From Home – $173
  6. Toy Story 4 – $146
  7. Yesterday – $51
  8. Crawl – $46
  9. Aladdin – $39
  10. The Farewell – $33
  11. Stuber – $23
  12. Annabelle Comes Home – $16
  13. Avengers: Endgame – $15
  14. The Secret Life of Pets 2 – $13
  15. Midsommar – $9

Men in Black International and The Art of Self-Defense both fell off the list.

The big new item on the list this week is Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, a Quentin Tarantino alternate reality about Hollywood, the Manson Family, and the Tate/LaBinanca murders, which happened just shy of 50 years ago.  And since it is both Tarantino and alternate history, you shouldn’t expect things to work out the way they did back in 1969.

The long range forecasts have the take at around $45 million, the reviews are good, Tarantino has a strong following, the cast is well known, and a strong second weekend for The Lion King shouldn’t have much impact on the audience for this.  And, for once, he isn’t opening up against some other huge title, like Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  So it could be big.

On the flip side, $45 million is still a big take for an R rated movie, so it is not without risk.  At $45 million you have to have it, at something like $38 million you want another anchor.

The other new item on the list is The Farewell, and art house picture that seems pretty narrow in potential audience.  the reviews are good and its per theater take was high last week, though it was also only in four theaters.  The question is both how big its theater expansion will be and what sort of draw it will have among a more general audience.

Meanwhile, The Lion King still looms and is expected to have a big enough three day weekend that it remains split across three days for its second week.  In its second week Friday is now the low number in that mix with no previews to drive it.

So what to pick?

You can anchor on Once Upon a Time and have a screen of The Lion King, though it you pair it up with Saturday you get a three screen lineup with Avengers: Endgame and your budget is spent.  Worth it?  There is no empty screen penalty.

Or you double up on The Lion King and work on your filler game.

But maybe five screens of Spider-man are more your speed.

Even six screens of Toy Story 4 is a possible anchor, though it then gets tough to spend the rest of your budget.

Or you can mix it up.  There are lots of possibilities there.

Still, I think you have to be pretty contrarian to not have at least one screen of The Lion King in your lineup.

I don’t even have a lineup to share because I’ve changed my three times as I have written this.

Which ever way you go, get your picks in soon.  The league locks tomorrow evening.