Category Archives: entertainment

41 Weeks of World War Bee

The war, at least from my vantage point, has changed up a bit.  Yes, PAPI is still slowly grinding down structures outside of the O-EIMK constellation, racking up some more Keepstar Kills in the last week.

Three Keepstars Down in the old Helms Deep Pocket

But Legacy Coalition, which has pretty much given up on their old space at this point, has decided to start living and working in Delve, Querious, and Period Basis.  They want to rat and mine and manufacture and do all the things you move out to null sec to do in order to build and sustain an empire.  They’ve mostly left 1DQ1-A and the O-EIMK constellation alone.  So the Imperium has begun to spin up some old organizations like Black Ops and the NGSA which specialized in scouting out and dropping on capsuleers going about their space business.

Killing ratters and miners is a thing now and pings for bombers now fill up my scroll back.

Delve Front

As noted above, Delve has been most devoid of large clashes.  Hot drops and scouting are the theme of the week, at least on the Imperium side.  That left the map looking mostly the same.

Delve – Apr 18, 2021

The metaliminal storm stayed in the O-EIMK constellation, though it moved to the Fake Quireous end of it.  That was still close enough to give most of the constellation a no-cloaking cover, leaking over into T5ZI-S, the PAPI staging system.

Other Theaters

Feythabolis remains under attack by Imperium forces, bent on burning down any of the Legacy Coalition territory they ca.

Feythabolis – Apr 18, 2021

There is still work to be done there, but the western end of the region has been cleared.

Esoteria remains a battleground, still between The Bastion and its allies and Army of Mango and Evictus.  Evictus may also come under pressure in Feythabolis.

Esoteria – Apr 18, 2021

There is also another incursion in the region just to spice things up for both sides.

And then there is Fountain, which honestly I haven’t heard anybody mention… not that I have time to listen to every podcast and stream… where Federation Uprising continues to claim more ihubs.

Fountain – Apr 18, 2021

As long as the region keeps changing hands I’ll keep posting maps, but I am not sure who is really in there for keeps.

My Participation

I have to admit that I didn’t do anything really related to the war this past week.  I logged in and collected my planetary interaction materials… as noted, PAPI isn’t really spending much time in 1DQ1-A or its constellation… and put them up on the market to generate a bit of ISK.

Epithal out for a pickup run

Otherwise I was a complete slacker.  As such my losses for the war remain as follows:

  • Ares interceptor – 17
  • Malediction interceptor – 7
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Atron entosis frigate – 6
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Scimitar logi – 4
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 4
  • Drake battle cruiser – 4
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 3
  • Guardian logi – 2
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Raven battleship – 1
  • Crucifier ECM frigate – 1
  • Gnosis battlecruiser – 1
  • Bifrost command destroyer – 1
  • Cormorant destroyer – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1
  • Mobile Small Warp Disruptor I – 1

Other Items

CCP began its industry rework plan by seeding blueprints and formulae for new reactions as part of the first April patch on Tuesday.  The industrial chaos era is coming.  In a bit of an ironic twist, CCP released a video about how important industrialists are to the New Eden ecosystem even as they were planning to make every industrialist miserable.

CCP also announced the plans for the CSM16 election with dates and requirements for those looking to run.

CSM 16 is approaching

You can start writing your campaign thread now.

And on the player count, the peak concurrent was down a bit this week.  No doubt slack time in the war and the end of the recent in-game event contributed to that… well, that and maybe the nice warm weather some place are getting.  So the weekly peak concurrent run look like this:

  • Day 1 – 38,838
  • Week 1 – 37,034
  • Week 2 – 34,799
  • Week 3 – 34,692
  • Week 4 – 35,583
  • Week 5 – 35,479
  • Week 6 – 34,974
  • Week 7 – 38,299
  • Week 8 – 35,650
  • Week 9 – 35,075
  • Week 10 – 35,812
  • Week 11 – 35,165
  • Week 12 – 36,671
  • Week 13 – 35,618
  • Week 14 – 39,681
  • Week 15 – 40,359
  • Week 16 – 36,642
  • Week 17 – 37,695
  • Week 18 – 36,632
  • Week 19 – 35,816 (Saturday)
  • Week 20 – 37,628 (Saturday)
  • Week 21 – 34,888
  • Week 22 – 33,264
  • Week 23 – 33,149
  • Week 24 – 32,807 (Saturday)
  • Week 25 – 31,611
  • Week 26 – 39,667 (Saturday)
  • Week 27 – 34,989 (Saturday)
  • Week 28 – 34,713
  • Week 29 – 35,996
  • Week 30 – 38,323
  • Week 31 – 38,167
  • Week 32 – 37,259
  • Week 33 – 35,886 (Saturday)
  • Week 34 – 35,626
  • Week 35 – 35,379
  • Week 36 – 35,085
  • Week 37 – 34,394
  • Week 38 – 36,319
  • Week 39 – 35,597 (Saturday)
  • Week 40 – 35,384 (Saturday)
  • Week 41 – 33,708

Related

The PlayStation 3 a Decade Later

In looking through posts for the usual month in review summary I saw that we had just passed the ten year anniversary of our purchasing a PlayStation 3.

Just in case you wanted to see a box

A decade down the road… or about half an Afghan war later… the PlayStation 3 is still in the entertainment center under our televisions.  Same TV, same PlayStation 3.

We were a bit late to the PS3 party.  The platform launched back in late 2006 and was discontinued in the US back in 2016.  But back in 2006 we were more keen to jump on board with the Wii.  And I think it was probably the wise decision.  With our then young daughter in the house, the Wii was a lot more kid friendly.

The new TV was the primary driver for the PS3 purchase.  Our old 32″ CRT TV,  purchased back in 1998, was in the process of giving up the ghost so we finally bought a 46″ LCD HD TV.  With that we wanted to be able to watch Blu-Ray movies, stream, and play video games in actual HD resolutions, so a PS3 was already on my mind.  (Also, Potshot bought one and it seemed to work out for him.)

Anyway, we ended up doing some of all of that… once the PlayStation Network was up and running again.  The damn thing got hacked and brought down about a week after I bought the PS3 and remained down for over three weeks.  I was offered 450 Station Cash for my trouble as a result of a class action lawsuit, which tells you why I hate class action lawsuits.

For a long stretch we watched movies and streamed Netflix on the device.  Video games were played as well, though not as much as I thought would.  As it turned out, one of the oddities of the Wii, that you had half a controller to hold in each hand, was ergonomic brilliance.  Having to go to the “gamer grip” on a traditional controller made various parts of me ache.

Still, we did get through some of the TellTale LEGO titles, which were visually much better on the PS3 than the Wii, and my daughter put a lot of time into Little Big Planet.  But the last console video game we played on the TV in the family room was Just Dance 5 on the Wii, and the Wii has been packed up and stored away for about two years now.  The Wii was just more fun.

But the PS3 had other jobs.  We still used it for streaming and playing movies.  But the end of support for the platform still loomed.  Back in late 2019 we found that the streaming services had stopped updating their apps for the PS3, which ended its life for that function.  I went out and bought a Roku Stick, which now fulfills that need.

Then came the pandemic, and the television was suddenly getting more use than ever.  The Roku Stick purchase was just in time.  Within two month of that we had the pandemic, and Tiger King, and a hunger for video content.

Oddly, here is something we haven’t done in the pandemic: Watch movies on DVD or Blu-Ray.  We have a shelf full of them.  But streaming services seemed to have finally hit the point where they could scratch the itch that those disks were meant to cover.  That doesn’t mean I am tossing them, but when I am going through looking for something to watch, I am often struck by the overlap between movies available on services and our own library.  I mean, you get all of Star Wars and The Simpsons with Disney+.

So I haven’t spun up the PS3 in almost a year I would guess.  I think the last thing I watched was a couple of episodes of World at War, which I have on DVD and which doesn’t pop up on streaming services.  And that made me grouse a bit about how poorly black and white is rendered on modern AV equipment.  The glow of the CRT gave it a life that LCD technology lacks.

And so the PS3 sits on the bottom shelf of the entertainment center, half hidden in the darkness, waiting for us to want to spin a disk rather than stream.  Maybe some evening if the internet goes down we’ll boot it back up.

Recently I read that Sony will soon be shutting down PlayStation Store support for the PS3, which has made some grumble.  I am honestly surprised it has lasted this long, what with the PlayStation 5 out.  Nintendo pulled down all such support for the Wii ages ago, well before they launched the Switch.

And I am not that concerned.  The games I have will likely still work as I bought them all on disk and support for streaming apps and the like was already a dead end.   Of course, now there is a looming bug that might render the console useless if the CMOS battery dies, but I would have to feel the need to boot the system up to see if that was even a problem for us.

Overall, a decade later, I’d rate the purchase of the PS3 as probably worthwhile.  It did not get nearly the play time that the Wii did but it filled the gap in other places even if it was something of a “sledgehammer vs mosquito” level solution for some of its uses.  It played our Blu-Ray disks and streamed Netflix and HBO for us.  I’m not keen to replace it with something more modern.  There is no PS5 purchase looming in our future.  I don’t play video games on the TV and the streaming function has already been taken over by the Roku.  And, for now, the PS3 can handle and DVD or Blu-Ray needs.

Addendum: Sony has changed their mind and is keeping the PS3 and PS Vita stores open for now.  Maybe they’ll even push an update to fix the CMOS battery bug.

Quote of the Day – How Not to Fight Big Dev

It’s worth it to get out from under big dev

-Gigabear, Massively OP Comment

I avoided posting about the whole DreamWorld Kickstarter thing in part because I have very little interest in MMOs that show up on Kickstarter… they are not universally bad, but the wall of disappointment that has been built up around them in general should be a warning to all… and in part because the red flags on this particular project… a comically low ask, sky high setting of expectations, no industry experience, “we’ve got all the answers” attitude, and a free art assets demo reel… made me want to avoid inadvertently giving it any more attention that it might otherwise have garnered.  Massively OP and MMO Fallout gave it more attention than it deserved.

They last game you’ll ever play… because it will never ship

I can’t say if the whole thing was a scam or just hubris, but I will write a sincere post of apology if any sort of game results from the campaign. (Though I will reserve the right to compare what was promised versus what was delivered as part of that apology.  Sincerity can cut both ways.)

Anyway, another day, another round of BS on the internet.  No news there.

But I was interested in who would back such a project, and specifically who would back it at the $1,999 or more tier, which had seven parties throw in.

I can see maybe bidding at a low tier if you want to go along for the ride with some middle age prima donna developer who wants to prove that they didn’t do their best work back in the 90s.  We’ve seen our share of that in the last decade.  I didn’t chip in on Star Citizen because I believed Chris Roberts could deliver everything he promised initially… much less everything he has promised since… but to have a ticket to the ride should anything interesting come of it.

But with DreamWorld you don’t even have that draw.  So who sets fire to two grand for a bunch of nobody’s promising the sky?  I was willing to bet that at least a couple of the seven in for that much were shills, there to make it look like a success early on, but then pull out at the last minute.  But they all stayed in.  So, unless there was a “pay you back after we’re done” arrangement, they actually believed what they were told and I was interested to hear from any of them.

And then one popped up over in the Massively OP comments.  Gigabear, who is apparently a serial backer of such campaigns, dropped “$2000+” on the project.  And the summary of their reason for backing iy… and why they would back other projects even if this one fails… was the quote above.

They want to get out from under “big dev.”

What utter self-delusional bullshit.

I can totally understand not liking the big game developers such as EA, Activision, Blizzard, Ubisoft, and whoever else you care to throw into that group.  There is a lot there worthy of dislike and distrust.

But handing a couple of grand to a project like this isn’t “sticking it to the man,” it is encouraging more half assed scams.

Meanwhile there are a lot of worthwhile indie projects that are done and looking for an audience, and only a few get the attention they deserve.  For every Valheim, which for $20 touches so many MMO sweet spots, there are a bunch of titles that never get the audience that would make them even a moderate success.

There were 10,263 new titles launched on Steam in 2020.  Surely one of them must have been more deserving that DreamWorld?

And yeah, I don’t want to become… much less encourage… that guy who complains about people buying a latte at Starbucks rather than the game they worked so hard on.  But when you aren’t even going to get a pretend spaceship JPEG… much less a tall soy caramel macchiato… for your two grand, it doesn’t seem like you’ve helped the industry at all.  You’ve merely encouraged scam artists to keep on scamming.

In Our Base on the Plains in Valheim

As I wrote previously, it seemed clear to me that we were going to have to build a base in the plains once I had read that barley and flax would only grow there.  Some sort of farm would need to be set up.  And then, of course, there was the next tier of metal.  While we could haul it back to our ever sprawling main base, my experience with collecting silver from the mountains indicated that a forge and smelter in the area would be viable.

So when Crowbar pointed out a likely island in the plains, we set about making a somewhat utilitarian outpost on the spot.

Plains island base

The first priority was production and a few of the first items laid down, once we had laid out a stone pad foundation, were, from left to right, a windmill, a smelter, a kiln, and a blast furnace.

The production corner of the stone pad

The windmill might be my favorite of that group, if only because it made the behavior of the wind in the game something to notice beyond when I had set sail.  The wheel and tail assembly at the top rotate with changes in the wind, facing into it like a real windmill.  But it also brought to my attention that the wind doesn’t blow at a fixed rate.  While I suspected that it might when out on the Karve, it is hard to tell.  But the windmill blades spin relative to the speed of the wind, or not at all if the air is calm.

Which would all be so much trivia if it didn’t affect how well the windmill worked.  You use it to grind harvested barley into barley flour for cooking, and how fast it grinds is directly proportional to the speed of the wind.  I understand that you can mess up your production with poor windmill placement, though we seem to have done okay.  It grinds away and we have an excess of flour now.  The only bothersome bit was the sound of the spinning blades, which in the right wind sound a bit like heavy footsteps running towards you.  Tuned into sounds, as you have to be when you play Valheim, that gave me a start a few times before I got used to it.

The smelter was built to process iron scraps, since I knew we would need some of that.  I also hauled some copper and tin from another base to get us some bronze in case we needed a bit.

The kiln I might have skipped on.  All it does is make coal, and you can bring coal through a portal.  But it also doesn’t take much to build.  I remember when five surtling cores seemed like a big investment.  Now we have a chest full of them sitting around.  So there it is.

And then there is the blast furnace, which makes all sorts of noise as it smelts black metal scraps.  My main disappointment was that it doesn’t replace the smelter.  Oh well.

But not everything can sit around outside, so we put up some buildings.

Buildings in the plains base

They are in the form of my “I ain’t building no damn chimneys” mis-matched roof design, something I borrowed from the roof venting in our own house.  They started as a mirrored pair, then I roofed over the part in the middle since I was tired of getting wet walking between the two or when using one of the portals there.

The building on the left became the indoor crafting area.

The crafting room

There we have some large storage chests, which was as good of a reason as any to get some iron, as they keep down the chest clutter a bit.  I am also all in on iron torches, which stay lit much longer than the wooden kind.

Next to that is the spinning wheel which turns flax into linen thread.  That thread is required for many of the gear upgrades.  The spinning wheel is dull compared to the windmill.  You just fill it up and it spits out spools of thread.

Then there is the artisan table, which requires Moder’s tears to construct, and which enables to building of the blast furnace, spinning wheel, and windmill.

And then there is a fully upgraded forge for crafting with our new found materials.  Behind me in the screen shot is an upgraded workbench for items requiring that.

The workbench

That is used mostly for making needle arrows and the occasional lox hide cloak.

The other building is the sleeping quarters, which is pretty compact.

The sleeping quarters

There are four beds on a platform over the hearth, which seemed very Russian to me, though maybe having a bed over the stove in a peasant izba is a bit out of date.

There is also enough decoration to boost the comfort level to 14, which gives 18 minutes of rested state, something that boosts stamina and health regen.  I also put up cooking racks to roast up some lox meat on demand.  I thought about building a cauldron as well, but the cooking area at the main base is just a step through a portal and we have a lot of supplies built up there for food.

Finally, there is the field.  We split out the compound to give us room to grow barley and flax when we found it.  I started off with just a bit of barley too.

Carefully planting my first bits of barley

Soon though I had a field of barely, enough that we pushed out the far wall to give ourselves a bigger field.  And then we found some flax and I went to town on growing that.

Flax and barley on a foggy morning

You can see I have the flax well spaced.  Early on, when we only had a little, I was paranoid about losing any of the crop.  Now our chests are spilling over with the excess and I am a little more free with it.  But I have still stored some away at other bases just in case.  We have a strategic reserve of flax and barely stashed away.

Overall, despite the utilitarian plan for our base, it has actually shaped up into a nice little outpost.  Things are handy but not in the way, the island location keeps us safe, and supplies are just a portal or a short walk away.

And, of course, it is on the plains, which can give one quite a pleasant view when the weather and the sunlight decide to cooperate for a bit.

Looking out from over the front gate, another day on the tenth planet

We’ll probably get in trouble with some eco type for importing a few firs and a strand of pine trees into the plains… invasive species… but they look pretty good out there.

CCP Begins the Run Up to the CSM16 Elections

Yesterday CCP made the expected announcement that the election cycle for the counsel of stellar management was set to commence.  The race for CSM16 is on.

CSM 16 is approaching

The timeline for the election cycle has been laid out as follows:

  • 26 April – 12 May – Application Submission Period
  • 26 April – 14 May – Application Processing
  • 20 May – Live Candidates Announcement
  • 20 May – 4 June – Campaign Period
  • 8-15 June – Voting Period (from 11:00 UTC to 11:00 UTC)
  • 21 June – Live CSM 16 Reveal

Now is the time to start thinking about whether or not you’re going to run.

Ha ha, no… if you haven’t already decided to run and haven’t spent the last six months to a year laying the groundwork for a run, you’re probably not going to make the cut as a serious candidate.  But go ahead I suppose.

In order to apply to run a candidate must meet the following criteria:

  • Your account must be older than 60 days at the time candidacy applications close.
  • Characters on both Alpha and Omega accounts are eligible to run.
  • You must have a history of honoring the EULA and the Terms of Service. We will screen every applicant thoroughly, and EULA/TOS violations on your record can result in a rejected application.
  • You must create a campaign thread in the CSM section on EVE Online forums covering the following questions:
    • Your EVE Online story.
    • Your areas of expertise. In which areas of the game do you feel you are the most knowledgeable? What qualities set you apart from other candidates?
    • Why are you applying for the CSM?
    • What can players expect from you?
    • You are free to add more information and manage your campaign thread as you see fit, but the above four questions are the bare minimum required from everyone.
  • Your account must have updated and correct information at the time of your application. This includes your real-life name, correct date of birth, and the same email you use to submit your application. To view and edit this information go to the account management website.
  • Candidates must have reached 18 years of age. If the legal adult age in your home country (the age at which you have the legal capacity to enter into a contract) is higher than 18, that number applies instead.
  • As an applicant, you must consent to provide your personal details to CCP, including your real name and a copy of your passport. CCP needs to affirm your real-life identity for NDA contract purposes, and the ability to travel to a summit in Iceland is a key function of the CSM.
  • If you do not currently have a valid passport, we will accept a picture/scan of a valid and approved passport application accompanied by a picture of your driver’s license.
  • You must consent to share your country of origin with the EVE community and display it on the EVE Online website. You will not be required to share any other personal information with the EVE community.
  • If you are running as an “alt” and control a character that has a reputation in the EVE universe, CCP may require you to run under that identity at its full discretion.

If you believe you can manage all of that, then there are three steps required to apply:

  1. Fill in the application form between 26 April – 12 May. Beware session time-outs that can refresh the page, and make sure to save your text in a document before. If you don’t get a confirmation, re-enter the information and try again.
  2. Submit your document scans/pictures to csm-contact@ccpgames.com in high quality with the subject “CSM 16 application”.
  3. Create a forum thread in the CSM section on EVE Online forums. All steps must be completed within the application windows. Remember that applications cannot be edited after you submit them, so triple-check to see if the information entered is correct!

So, if you have laid the groundwork and think you’re up to it and are okay with another part time job in your life, the stage is set.

We will have to see who is ready to throw their hat in the ring… again, in the case of some incumbents… before I start trying to pick likely winners.

This will also be the last CSM before term limits, introduced as part of the CSM15 election cycle, will come into effect.  Term limits count from CSM14 forward, so Innominate, Gobbins, Vily, and Merkelchen can run for one more term before they have to take a break from the council.

Meeting the Neighbors in the Plains

Having carved out a little corner of a plains biome and successfully fortified it as a base, it was time to look further afield.  It was time to go introduce ourselves to the locals.

Plains island base

I will say, for openers, that the island location that Crowbar picked has worked out well.  We occupied enough of the place that nothing spawns there or on our causeway to the mainland.  Even NPC raid events seem to have trouble dealing with the location.  We had some skeletons beating on the doors once, but when we got the  ground shaking message about a troll raid they all spawned at the far end of the causeway and fought with the local spawns while Crowbar and I sat on the wall taking shots at them with our bows.

In fact, the only mob I’ve seen come up the causeway without being invited (by arrows) has been Odin, and he hardly counts.

Just leave your pamphlets on the mat

But out on the far side of our moat awaits the plains and all the mobs that wander it.  Well, the few mobs that wander it I suppose, as there isn’t a lot of biodiversity.

There are, of course, the deathsquitos, the first plains mob to slay me, and for quite a while an absolute terror in my eyes.  Now, geared up considerably since then, they are, like real mosquitoes, more of a nuisance.  They can be a pain if they show up in the middle of a fight or spawn in a group of six (which happened to Crowbar and he still managed to kill five of them), but when I see them out on the plains I move straight towards them, shield up to take their attack, then bonk them with the hammer.

Come at me bro!

Their needles make the highest damage arrows in the game, so I will go out of my way to farm them.

And then there are the Lox, the mighty bison that wander the plains… or sit around waiting for you to show up and shoot them.

Shooting Lox from Rocks

If you can find a vantage point from which to shoot them they’ll run around all confused.  That guy far off, he came back.  They are drawn to their spawn point it seems.  And they are worth shooting as their meat makes for mighty food.

And then there are the fulings, the goblins of the plains.

The new neighbors not happy to see me

You kill the deathsquitos for arrows and the Lox for food, but the fulings are the main target in the plains, and they are all over the place.  They are also the most dangerous due to being social and traveling in groups.  That is especially true at night when they wander far and wide in groups of 3-5, which can be a nasty shock if you’re just trying to get back to base after a long day of hunting.

And while fighting them out in the open is fun, it is their bases that are the big draw.  That is the source of barely, flax, and the totems to summon the next boss… and black metal scraps, which are the next tier for some gear.  I mentioned building the blast furnace to smelt it immediately after slaying Mode.

My first run in with a furling base was a tower, which turned into a bit of a slog as, once I cleared the fulings outside, the few inside refused to come out.  I sniped a couple off the top of the tower, but ended up having to go in hand to hand for the last two… one of which was a two star furling and killed me with one shot when I missed a block.  Oops.

But that was close to base so I was able to run back and finish things off, getting to the top of the tower and the chest there, which held eight barley.

On top of the tower

From that bit much barley was grown.  But flax, that took a lot longer to find.  Crowbar and I started scouting for more bases, and in our wide area of plains there were a few to choose from.

Crowbar, ever tactical, built up a platform on one of the giant stones that are scattered about the plains, thinking to snipe the fulings.

Shooting down from a great height

Unfortunately, the stone was a bit too far away to be effective, so we ended up just sneaking up to the base, surmounting a nearby stone, and sniping from there.

Popping the furlings from range

We were able to clear the base, which only had a scattering of fulings, two shaman, and no berserkers pretty easily.  They were all spread out enough that we didn’t get more than three at a time.

The base had some more barely… that quickly became common in our inventory… and some black metal, but no flax.

We moved on to the next base, another tower, and then the next after that.  There we had some fun with berserkers.

Eat that poison arrow!

Once again we had a rock to run to and shoot from which was too steep for the fulings to climb, so we could snipe from safety.  However, I managed to run out of stamina on a bad pull where we got a bunch of fulings and couldn’t get back up on the rock.  That was another corpse run.

Back for my gear

The run back was a bit dicey, but I have learned to eat some food and build up some hit points before I make the attempt.  I ended up outrunning two groups of fulings and a deathsquito successfully.

We cleared the camp, and found some more barley, plenty of black metal scraps, and a couple more totems, but no flax.

Int wasn’t until we were about five furling camps in before we finally ran across a few flax planted in a bed.  We grabbed that and headed back to our base to cultivate it.  That was a bit of a long haul and I ended up putting up two more portals in the base named Scout1 and Scout2 so we could run around and drop a portal to get back home when we needed.

Our plains domain

On the map the furling camps are marked FC and the current positions of our scouting portals are SC1 and SC2.

Of course, you cannot haul the black metal scraps back through the portals, so we have ended up running those back the old fashioned way.  When we first got there I would run them into the meadows biome and that camp, then haul metal by boat up to the plains base, but I’ve gotten confident enough to just keep running the whole way these days.

Except at night.  Like I said, groups of fulings roaming around can be an issue when you run into them.

And my usual worry, that this new method of metal procurement would be a bottle neck to production… well, we have ended up with a lot of black metal scraps to refine.  Iron though, which is required for the armor upgrades… that I have ended up having to haul in by boat from across the straights and the Bonemass swamp.

Sailing through a storm

But our supply situation is coming together.  More on that next time.

The April Update Begins Seeding New Industry Materials in EVE Online

As expected, today saw the first update patch for April which included the initial round of materials in support of the controversial industry changes CCP has planned.

A Raitaru Engineering Complex

The changes have begun with the seeding of blueprints and reactions on the NPC market, under the following categories:

  • Construction Components Blueprints
  • Capital Construction Blueprints
  • Advanced Capital Construction Blueprints
  • Molecular-Forged Reaction Formulas
  • Composite Reaction Formulas

The lists for each type under those categories is in the patch notes. (Some of them did not get seeded correctly, but an update will fix that soon according to the known issues thread.)  The following NPC corporations will be selling the blueprints and formulae, though each will only have a subset of the total.

  • Amarr Navy
  • Caldari Navy
  • Federation Navy
  • Republic Fleet
  • Ytiri
  • Propel Dynamics
  • Eifyr and Co
  • Freedom Extension
  • Zoar and Sons
  • Ducia Foundry
  • Impetus
  • Chemal Tech
  • Modru’s Legion
  • Outer Ring Excavations
  • Intaki Bank

In addition, the following items, also part of the new industry plan, are now available from exploration sites:

  • Counter-Subversion Sensor Array
  • Nanoscale Filter Plate
  • Electro-Neural Signaller
  • Enhanced Electro-Neural Signaller
  • Nano Regulation Gate
  • Meta-Molecular Combiner
  • Isotropic Deposition Guide
  • LM-Composite Molecular Condenser
  • AG-Composite Molecular Condenser
  • CV-Composite Molecular Condenser
  • AV-Composite Molecular Condenser

And Mykoserocin gas sites can now be found in low security solar systems and additional null security locations.

Industrialists will no doubt be working to research blueprints and build up supplies in anticipation of next step in the changes.

On the ISK sinks and faucets front CCP is tinkering with the Dynamic Bounty and Encounter Surveillance System settings once more.

  • The autopay timer for the Main Bank increased from 2h to 2h:45m
  • The intrusion time to the Main bank decreased from 6m 30s to 6m
  • Equilibrium value increased from 135% to 150%
  • The Maximum Output of the Dynamic Bounty System increased from 180% to 200%
  • Adjusted Dynamic Bounty System threshold margins

After successfully curtailing bounties as the primary source of ISK into the economy, CCP continues to play with the values to try and make the ESS a conflict point.

CCP has also included a series of updates to landmarks in New Eden.  They include:

  • The rare Children of Light phenomena in the Iyen-Oursta system has received a dramatic visual upgrade.
  • New landmark locations can be found within the following systems:
    • New Eden
    • Gererique
    • D-B7YK
    • 6QBH-S
    • Old Man Star
    • Atioth
    • Mozzidit
  • The names of the top 10 fastest Capsuleers for each of the three routes in this year’s Federation Grand Prix have been added to the description of the monument structure within the Federation Grand Prix Starting Line landmark site in Luminaire. Congratulations to the racers!
  • A new hidden landmark location has been added to the game. The location of this landmark has previously been established in a piece of official EVE Online content, but has not been visible within the game until now.

In addition there were the usual host of small additions and fixes, a few of which jumped out when I scanned the list:

  • Added the ability to Unlock all targets via Target List Anchor or shortcut (not bound by default).
  • Added the option to ‘Include Jump Bridges in Route’ when using Autopilot, this can be toggled On/Off in the Autopilot options.
  • Fixed a capitalization error on an ad in the Jita 4-4 station.
  • Added a feature that shows the structure type in search results.
  • Implemented survey integration with the character selection screen. Keep your eyes open for an exciting and rewarding survey opportunity launching soon!

Just waiting on that exciting and rewarding survey opportunity!

In addition CCP has announced a play test for the new native Mac client starting on Thursday.

Anyway, the patch has been deployed and the usual links are available:

40 Weeks of World War Bee

40 weeks is considered a full term pregnancy in humans, so if you or somebody you know happened to become pregnant back on July 5th, when the war started, you’re probably having a baby about now if everything went well.

The war remained somewhat low key for another week.  The march of structure kills remains, with PAPI knocking down some more Keepstars in Delve and Querious under the cover of cyno jammers, blocking any chance of engagement with Imperium supers and titans.

Keepstar Kills for Week 40

Of course, PAPI lost a Keepstar too, just in transit rather than one already deployed.  They’re much quicker to kill that way.

Delve Front

The Delve maps remains unchanged from last week, though for the moment there are no ihubs or TCUs being contested, so I’ll update the map just to have a clean layer.

Delve – Apr 11, 2021

The metaliminal storm has seated itself firmly in the O-EIMK constellation, denying cloaky eyes to our enemies, but otherwise not much has changed.  Not that there aren’t a constant stream of skirmishes going on in the region, especially across the 1DQ-T5Z boarder.  A glance at the Saturday night stats shows quite a few ships blowing up, though mostly on the PAPI side of the fence.

24 hour kill stats taken at 16:00 UTC on Sunday

While there has been an ongoing attempt to claim that 1DQ is under siege or interdicted, PAPI also has to jump some supplies in, leading to the usual sort of losses like this Charon.  I wonder if they were just hauling across the system.

I ask because somebody pointed out that a lot of manufacturing has been going on in Delve, with 1DQ and T5Z again being the competing poles in the region.

1DQ vs T5Z manufacturing jobs starts

Just for comparison, the jobs starts in Jita and Perimeter, the former being the top system in New Eden, looked like this in the same Saturday time frame.

Job Starts in Jita and Perimeter

So there is plenty of activity going on in Delve, just no large fights for the moment.

Other Theaters

As I mentioned last week, Querious seems settled for now, Brave having moved in.  Just to carry on with industry, the new Brave capital in P-ZMZV has production up and running as well.

How to tell where Dunk Dinkle lives

Likewise mentioned previously, Catch, Impass, and Immensea are pretty much done as far as Legacy is concerned.  No manufacturing going on there, though The Initiative has been posting links about how much loot they have been pulling out of those regions as they have been burning them down.

The new target for burning down appears to be Feythabolis, where Brave and TEST systems are under siege.

Feythabolis – Apr 11, 2021

Esoteria remains in a tug of war over the remains of TEST’s holdings in the region between The Bastion and its allies and Army of Mango and Evictus.

Esoteria – Apr 11, 2021

And then there is Fountain, of which I see little mention elsewhere.  There Federation Uprising continues to take ihubs, though I am not sure if anybody is defending on the Imperium side, as the groups there like The Initiative have been focused on burning down the old Legacy regions.

Fountain – Apr 11, 2021

My Participation

Another slow week for me, though I did manage to undock a few times.  Once again the biggest success was on a Mister Vee op.  He took us out in Harpies to cover another fleet and I managed to get on a kill mail.  The kill is not significant, but I like to get on at least one kill mail a month to prove I am still alive and playing.

Harpy out by a friendly Fortizar and Keepstar

I also got to warp around in various formations with Dave Archer when PAPI started shooting our cyno jammers then ran off before the response fleet even undocked.

A plane of tethered Baltecs

One kill mail and no losses leaves the cost of the war for me as follows still:

  • Ares interceptor – 17
  • Malediction interceptor – 7
  • Crusader interceptor – 5
  • Atron entosis frigate – 6
  • Rokh battleship – 5
  • Scimitar logi – 4
  • Ferox battle cruiser – 4
  • Drake battle cruiser – 4
  • Purifier stealth bomber – 3
  • Guardian logi – 2
  • Scalpel logi frigate – 2
  • Raven battleship – 1
  • Crucifier ECM frigate – 1
  • Gnosis battlecruiser – 1
  • Bifrost command destroyer – 1
  • Cormorant destroyer – 1
  • Hurricane battle cruiser – 1
  • Sigil entosis industrial – 1
  • Mobile Small Warp Disruptor I – 1

Other Items

This is the last day of The Hunt event in New Eden.  If you want to shoot some Guristas you had better get on it.

As I mentioned on Friday, the new head of the London CCP studio was talking about the shooter formerly known as Project Legion and Project Nova despite CCP previously saying that they weren’t going to talk about it until they had something to talk about… and the interview was all bluster, so they clearly had nothing to talk about and talked about that.

Tomorrow will likely see the first round of patch updates for April from CCP.  As of this writing I have not heard what might be coming, but it could include the industry update that even CCP says will cause economic chaos for the next 4-6 months and put battleships out of the reach of normal players when it comes to pricing.  Looks for a post on that tomorrow once we get some details.

And on the peak concurrent front the game made it past 35K again on Saturday:

  • Day 1 – 38,838
  • Week 1 – 37,034
  • Week 2 – 34,799
  • Week 3 – 34,692
  • Week 4 – 35,583
  • Week 5 – 35,479
  • Week 6 – 34,974
  • Week 7 – 38,299
  • Week 8 – 35,650
  • Week 9 – 35,075
  • Week 10 – 35,812
  • Week 11 – 35,165
  • Week 12 – 36,671
  • Week 13 – 35,618
  • Week 14 – 39,681
  • Week 15 – 40,359
  • Week 16 – 36,642
  • Week 17 – 37,695
  • Week 18 – 36,632
  • Week 19 – 35,816 (Saturday)
  • Week 20 – 37,628 (Saturday)
  • Week 21 – 34,888
  • Week 22 – 33,264
  • Week 23 – 33,149
  • Week 24 – 32,807 (Saturday)
  • Week 25 – 31,611
  • Week 26 – 39,667 (Saturday)
  • Week 27 – 34,989 (Saturday)
  • Week 28 – 34,713
  • Week 29 – 35,996
  • Week 30 – 38,323
  • Week 31 – 38,167
  • Week 32 – 37,259
  • Week 33 – 35,886 (Saturday)
  • Week 34 – 35,626
  • Week 35 – 35,379
  • Week 36 – 35,085
  • Week 37 – 34,394
  • Week 38 – 36,319
  • Week 39 – 35,597 (Saturday)
  • Week 40 – 35,384 (Saturday)

Related

Godzilla vs Kong

The week before last we took a short break from our series binge watching to have a movie night.  I declared a movie night and my wife brought home Red Vines and popcorn from the store and I cooked up some hot dogs so that we could simulate something of a theater experience.

The reason for this was the premiere of Godzilla vs Kong which, in addition to landing in theaters, was available on HBO Max so we could watch it from the comfort of our own couch, avoiding the ongoing pandemic and all that.

The Aqua/Red tone thing keeps showing up in the film

I am not a huge fan of such movies, though I am pretty sure I saw all of the early Godzilla movies, they being something of a staple of Sunday afternoon television for the low budget UHF channels in the area back when I was a kid.  But I was okay with the 2014 remake of Godzilla and Kong: Skull Island was another good Friday night movie at our house, complete with Samuel L. Jackson.  And I have tried to make Friday night movies a thing around our house, favoring mindless action and explosions and such, so the premiere of Godzilla vs Kong seemed like the right moment to revive this idea.

Let me just say up front that this is a dumb movie and trying to think too hard or force logic on it is a futile effort.

But that aside, the whole thing spectacular in a very raw and visceral way.  There is a story there… and a too complex by half story at that… but the film makes no bones as to what it is about.  Godzilla shows up and wrecks some of Florida while the team watching over Kong declares that the two will end up fighting in less than ten minutes.

And fight they do.  This is what the film is about.  Giant monsters fighting and smashing stuff.  They fight at sea, with Kong and Godzilla duking it out on the deck of an aircraft carrier.

Kong lands a solid punch

Kong fights stuff in the secret center of the earth, where giant monsters seem to live, with perhaps the best grab and smash routine since Hulk smashed Loki repeatedly in one of the MCU films.  Then, after Kong somehow jumps through a hole Godzilla burned into the center of the Earth… don’t think, just roll with it… Kong and Godzilla go at it again, destroying most of Hong Kong as they fight in the middle of the city.

See, lit in that aqua/red lighting yet again

And, of course, there is an evil corporation involved who have built their own Pacific Rim-esque Jaeger which has to get into the mix for the finale.

When it was over my wife was shaking her head at just how dumb the whole movie was, which I had to admit was true, but my own reaction was that I wish I had seen it on a big screen in a theater.  This is the sort of mindless spectacle that was made for a huge screen in a dark room full of strangers.

Godzilla vs Kong delivered exactly what I expected, with the effects dialed up to eleven.

And, because it appeared on HBO Max with the premiere, Honest Trailers already has their video about it up and ready.

It contains spoilers, but if you’re not going to watch the film anyway, this will dig into its essentially silliness.

Month in Review Reader Survey

As regular readers will know, on the last day of each month there is a Month in Review posts.  This came about pretty much by accident when I was looking for a post back at the end of September 2006 and it has carried on ever since.

The state of the blog – Sep 2006

(The Internet Archive has a version of the blog from November 2006 if you want to see the old format.)

That very first review post had entries about the site, the games I was playing (EVE Online, World of Warcraft, and Saga of Ryzom of all things), and what was coming.  From that humble post a series currently 175 long has sprung.

The categories have expanded and changed over the years.  Some things have gone… I no longer call out blogs that put me on their blog roll because nobody makes new blogs these days… and others have arrived, with game time tracking being the most recent.

The posts have also grown in size.  That first review was just 500 words.  These days the often go on for five times that length and link out to old posts in a manner that one might characterize as excessive.

In the end these posts have become something of an exercise in nostalgia for me.  The joy of having nearly 15 years of work to look back upon.  But I do wonder at times what others think of this monthly post, so today I have a poll.

The question is, which sections of the month in review you read or find interesting, if any.  If you skip it, just click the “none” option.  Otherwise, it is a multiple choice poll, so you can click all the boxes… though don’t do that, because one of the boxes is “none.”

For whatever reason the embedded poll feature won’t let me do a multiple select poll today, so I guess pick you favorite section.  My plans thwarted as usual.  The comments are there if you have a bone to pick about a particular section.

As usual, ad blockers or other security measures might keep the poll from appearing, but there should be a poll above this sentence.

Of course, this is also an opportune time to bring up something I ought to have in the monthly post, or ought to do away with.  I make no guarantees… these posts have evolved somewhat organically to reflect what I want them to be… but sometimes fresh insight can be instructive.