Category Archives: EVE Online

August in Review

The Site

Well, I already wrapped up Blaugust in the previous post and, this being my 42nd post in August,  With this I managed to cover at least the “post every day” aspect of the event.

That done, I can go back to my usual routine of complaining about WordPress.com.  This month they did a couple of things to annoy me, the primary one being the addition a little floating control bar to the bottom right of the site.  This is what it looks like to me.

WPCustomizeIf you are logged in to a WordPress.com account, you will see it as well, though it you are on somebody else’s site it might look more like this.

WPFollowI found it distracting and annoying almost immediately, so when WordPress.com eventually got around to putting up a post about it, I was in there immediately with a comment asking if I could turn it off.  I got the expected “but it is a wonderful thing, why would you want to turn it off” level of response.  WP can do no wrong in their own eyes and all changes are improvements.  Or maybe I am just a grumpy old man.

I did get a direct response from one of their staff offering up a way to turn it off in CSS, which I have not tried yet.  That was both unexpected and literally the high point of my customer experience relationship with WP.

While I had that person’s attention, I asked why WP implements changes on their production servers and then gets around to telling people about them half a day or more later.  There is almost always at least a six hour gap between “Wait, what happened?” and WP actually telling people what they did.

Unfortunately, the response I got was that they don’t always tell people about changes… I already knew that, as they screwed up how embedded links work in the editor this month and didn’t post about that… which, while a frank admission of their policy, didn’t actually explain why they thought that policy was a good idea.

I try to imagine making changes first and telling customers later in my job and I can only picture people’s heads exploding.

Anyway, I got a CSS fix that appears to remove the floating bar.  However, in giving this to me I was told that they would be moving features from the perfectly serviceable and stationary menu bar at the top of the page to this annoying winky blinky tool bar in the future, so I might have to turn it back on again at a later date.

The CSS, should you have access to such things on your WP.com hosted site, which requires at least having purchased the Custom Design option, is:

#actionbar {
display: none;
}

You can pop that into the CSS window in the Customize editor and you should be set.  Enjoy.

If you are not logged in or do not have a WP.com account, I am sure most of this is pretty meaningless to you.

One Year Ago

I was marveling at the prescience of some quotes from GDC 2007.

We had a couple more SOE games close.  Vanguard saw some touching tributes, while Wizardry Online pretty much passed without comment.  Then Dragon’s Prophet launched without comment, which I suspected might be a sign.

The last ever SOE Live tried to get us excited about EverQuest Next again.  Otherwise it was sort of business as usual on the Norrath front.  I wished for more than I got certainly.

Project: Gorgon was having a Kickstarter and was asking for $100,000.  I was dubious.

Google was forcing me to make bad referential post titles.

Our months long Civilization V game wrapped up with victory for mattman and China.

DarkFall introduced another PLEX-like currency, DUEL.

I was wondering what to do about Raptr.

Blizzard gave us a date when they would tell us the launch date for Warlords of Draenor,  then eventually told us November 13th.  Meanwhile WoW subscriptions were down 800K during the long summer of mild discontent.  But people were in the beta for the expansion at least.

I took my lormaster project into Outland and content from The Burning Crusade., staring with what I consider the worst zone in the game.  Then I had to search hard in Terokkar, and had trouble in Nagrand.

We also had that whole 10 Years, 10 Questions thing about WoW to write about.

EVE Online gave us the Hyperion expansion, which included burner missions that killed a lot of player ships.  I was on about hats in New Eden.  We also deployed to Delve, because we always deploy to Delve at some point during the summer, and hung around towers.  There was also a fight at our staging system.

And then there was the first Blaugust, from which I at least got a post out of a questionnaire.

Five Years Ago

Let’s see… five years ago people were hating on GameStop for selling used games, which was equated with stealing.  That was before GameStop actually started officially stealing.

Massive Blips went away.  I miss it.

I made my position on raspberries perfectly clear.

Yahoo had a couple game related lists.  I love lists.

Cryptic and Atari announced they were doing the game Neverwinter.

Runic started talking about Torchlight II.

Stunt Rock.  I need say no more.

EverQuest Next was announced at Fan Faire, and I was wondering about the lessons SOE has learned after a few turns of the EverQuest wheel.  We’re still pretty much in the dark as to when (and if) we will ever get EverQuest Next.

In the real world, boars were starting to become more like their MMO counterparts.

WoW account hacking was still a big deal, though getting to be common enough as to not be news on an individual level any more.  People have their views on whose fault it is.  But was any game facing as much account hacking as WoW?

My daughter got into the WoW Cataclysm beta.  She got me some screen shots of StormwindSouthshore and the Barrens.  This, by the way, probably killed her interest in Cata when it finally did ship.

Blizzard got a serious judgement against somebody running a for-profit WoW pirate server.

The instance group, done in WoW and on the now usual summer hiatus, was spending some time in Middle-earth, which required a bit of selling.  We made it through Othrongroth, and to the North Downs and the Lone Lands.  I finally found my way to Evendim, which I had never  managed to visit before.  It was in a state of change, pre-quest revamp but after they added in the boat routes.

And, finally, in EVE Online, there was the PLEX story we had all been waiting for.

New Linking Blogs

The following blogs have linked this site in their blogroll, for which they have my thanks.

Please take a moment to visit them in return.

Most Viewed Posts in August

  1. LOTRO and the Great Server Merge
  2. WoW Legion – Slouching Towards The Broken Isles
  3. When is WoW Legion?
  4. In Which I Predict The Next Big World of Warcraft Feature
  5. WoW Needs Expansion Badly – Subs Fall to 5.6 Million
  6. Mordus Angels Overrunning West Pure Blind!
  7. The Invasion of Providence – ADM Can Save Your Systems
  8. WoW and the Token Subscriber
  9. The Imperium goes to Providence!
  10. The First EverQuest II Progression Server Polls and Some Details
  11. The Evolution of Fozzie Sov
  12. Leaving Providence

Search Terms of the Month

wow legion broken iskies
[Wait, what?]

why is my computer crashing in new pvp zone in lotro
[I thought Turbine said people don’t PvP in LOTRO]

2017 new middle earth mmorpg
[Only in your dreams]

yarljdjdjdjdjjdjdndjxj
[You’ve been using Bing again, haven’t you?]

Diablo III

A co-worked has been talking about Diablo III and, with the coming of a new patch, I did spend a bit of time playing the game this month.  The game still looks very good and I remain quite happy with the post-auction house state of the game.  The game is just a bit too far down my list of things to do for me to get very far in it.

EVE Online

In New Eden August was a month of complaining about and testing Fozzie Sov.  Lots of sovereignty holding entities are not happy with it, though in the grand tradition of EVE Online, plenty of groups that do not hold, and have no interest in holding, sovereignty were gleeful in expressing their satisfaction that somebody else was unhappy.

Think of it as sort of the traditional MMO “raiders vs. non-raiders” or “pvp vs. pve” player conflicts, only cranked up to 11.

CCP did tweak Fozzie Sov some this month with the Galatea expansion and promised to look into further changes.  Meanwhile, the first big operational test of Fozzie Sov happened with the five day war in Providence which was mostly great fun for those who participated.

EverQuest II

As with Diablo III above, I have been keen to play a bit of EverQuest II, on the Stormhold TLE server at least, but haven’t really found the time to do very much.  At least the population of the server voted to push the Desert of Flames expansion off for another 30 days, so I am not behind on expansions yet!

Minecraft

This is the game that has eaten all of my play time recently.  It is one of those games where, once I come up with a plan, I can invest hours of digging up and placing blocks while trying to light my environment and fighting off zombies and skeletons and what not.  And when I don’t have a plan I go explore or mine or modify and improve what I have already built.  Oh, and patch over holes in things cause by creeper explosions.  They are the bane of the builder in survival mode.

World of Warcraft

My account is still active, but I have no desire to log in.  It will lapse eventually and then I will have to decide whether or not to spend some gold to keep it active or not.  We’ll see.  I did log in once, but logged back out within five minutes.  I also logged into Heroes of the Storm because, as a Warlords of Draenor owner, I get some sort of special mount there.  I didn’t actually play any HotS, but I got my mount

Coming Up

September will be probably start off here with me cleaning up all the topics I accrued in my attempt to make sure I had something to write about every day during Blaugust.  As I noted in my wrap up of the event, I ended up with more half finished drafts at the end of the month than I started with.

Other than that, I cannot think of something coming up in September.  I suppose there is flying in Draenor coming tomorrow.  Something worth noting, though I am not sure I have much to say about it otherwise.

There is the usual EVE Online expansion coming, titled Vanguard.  But the every six weeks train for those has ended up making them less special, as I suspected they would.

I think Lords of the Rings Online will start letting people transfer off of the closing servers at some point next month.  Or maybe that was October.

Otherwise, aside from those and another blogiversary, which means a great big post full of numbers and lists, I don’t see anything spectacular on the horizon.  I am sure I am forgetting something.

So September is mostly about settling down, getting back to school, the end of summer, and all that… which generally means more time to play games, so I have that to look forward to.  Maybe it will even rain.

 

Leaving Providence

The Jamylites looked upon the systems and saw ruins and destruction and they despaired in their heresy as the devices of retribution smote them again and again.

And then Maximillan spake, and a wormhole did open directly from Providence to Deklein and the instruments of his will, the shining victorious fleets of his faith, did enter and arrive safely at their homes, and a triumph was declared.

-New Amarrian Scriptures, Book of Safizon, 45:14-17

So the long expected war ended, as suddenly as it started, as many of the ships of The Imperium went home via the most fortuitous wormhole ever.

Timer Board right now shows just 29 structures in play currently, including 14 stations that remain in the freeport state and three systems that were captured by alliances in The Imperium.  The map looks like this at the moment.

Providence - August 28, 2015

Providence – August 28, 2015

It is time for Provi Bloc to clean up the mess we left, to recapture the stations and the few systems that they lost outright.

The general message on Jabber is that the whole thing was a lot of fun, with Provi Bloc undocking to fight us and generally giving no fucks in defense of their space.  There is a reason they have held that corner of null sec for most of the time I’ve played this game.

Now we are back home, our goon clocks pinging us when we need to form to clean up the rather minimal mess that MOA left while most of the combat pilots in The Imperium were away in Providence.  I am looking forward to posts assessing the conflict and discussing the new face of war under Fozzie Sov from people who know better than I.

Now, the real question:  Will the Jamylites of Providence repent their heresy?

 

 

Providence and the Fleeting Existence of Infrastructure Hubs

Providence continues to be the hot spot in null sec, leading the chart again for ships and pods destroy in the last 24 hours by a significant margin.

ProviMostViolent2

F-YH5B seemed to be a particularly contested system as almost a quarter of the ship kills in the region happened there.

While after the non-event of last night I opted to watch some more of season 4 of Boardwalk Empire with my wife, others in the north used their jump clones or hopped into interceptors for the ~20 minute run down to Provi to join in on the action there.

This was, after all, day four, when the timers set on day two started to come out and structures became vulnerable to the Fozzie Sov whack-a-mole attack/defense mini-game.

Again, I do not have any personal anecdotes or pretty screen shots to distract people with, having come back to the north during day two for our own little Fozzie Sov mambo in UMI-KK.  So I figured I would sit back and at least tally up the score from the events down south.

The primary stated mission of this war, aside from experimentation with Fozzie Sov mechanics, was to blow up all the infrastructure hubs in the region.  Taking sovereignty by eliminating territorial claim units and freeporting stations and such, those were bonus objective.  The ihubs were the goal.  So I should count how many ihubs were destroyed.

Unfortunately, ihubs do not impose themselves on the game in a very trackable way.  You can find out when they are reinforced.  There is a listing up on DOTLAN for each region.  But once they have been destroyed, what gets left behind?  There are not structure kill mails any more.  The ihubs don’t flip sides, they just go away.  There is no history of them being there, so far as I know, just an indication as to whether they are there or not right now.

So I have to go with what I wrote yesterday, when I looked at the structure map for Providence to find out how many systems in the region lacked an ihub.  My visual tally was one.  A single system lacked an ihub, which meant that there were 83 ihubs in the 84 systems.

Unfortunately, of all the maps variations of which I took screen shots, that was not one of them.  So my somewhat faulty memory is in play here.  I don’t know how I can prove there were 83 ihubs yesterday.  All I can do is show you the map as it stands to day, of which I damn well took a screen shot.

Providence Structures - August 27, 2015

Providence Structures – August 27, 2015

That map view shows the structures in each system, with T being a TCU, I being an ihub, and S indicating the presence of a station.  If you expand that and count you might end up with the same number I did on the third try, which was 46 systems with ihubs, 38 without.

So 37 ihubs destroyed out of 83 possible so far, with some still counting down to their vulnerability time frame.  44% success to this point, with another 26 ihubs still reinforced or vulnerable according to Timer Board.  So that number could peak at 60 ihubs, or 72% of the region.

I also count, looking at the structure list for the region, 15 stations that were put into Freeport status, which means anybody can dock up there.  That actually seems like a very Provi thing, maybe they will keep that.  Or maybe not.  It will affect the ADM.  Anyway, out of 77 stations in the region, that means a mere 19% were set to Freeport status.  But that was also a secondary objective, so count that as you will.

As for TCUs, for that we have to look at the sovereignty view of the map, because any system that is owned by an alliance has to have a TCU.  So for that we can count unowned systems plus systems captured by alliances of The Imperium.

Providence - August 27, 2015 (late)

Providence – August 27, 2015 (late)

On that map I see 9 unowned systems and 2 systems captured by alliances of The Imperium, one by The Bastion (BASTN) and one by Space Monkeys Alliance (SMA), for a total of 11 systems down, plus another system grabbed by the Gun Fun Alliance (GFA in H6-CX8) a third party that appears to have taken advantage of a moment of opportunity, bringing the tally up to 12.  Provi bloc has not, as yet, recaptured any of their systems according to the sovereignty change listing for the region on DOTLAN.  That is 14% of the region turned.

The summary I come up from this is:

  • 37 ihubs destroyed (44% of ihubs in the region)
  • 15 stations put into freeport stations (19% of stations in the region)
  • 12 TCUs destroyed (14% of the region)

Plus, of course, lots of battles and ships destroyed.

That is my attempt to summarize the war in Provi with some of the metrics available.  I would be interested to hear if somebody has come up with a better, clearer, or more reliable way to track sovereignty war progress under Fozzie Sov given the information available.  This is, after all, Spreadsheets Online, so agreed upon numbers are clearly required.

Addendum: As brought up in the comments, Gun Fun Alliance is a Provi Bloc alliance, so while the TCU destroyed count remains at 12, the Provi Bloc have recaptured a system by dropping a new TCU.  My mistake for not looking into Gun Fun Alliance more deeply than I did.

Non-Event in UMI-KK

For all the smack talk they did in local, on Reddit, and other forums, when push came to shove Mordus Angels were pretty much a no-show in Tribute today.  All the structures they reinforced the other day were successfully recovered, even the ones in their prime operational time.

For the UMI-KK station timer TNT formed up a bit before it came out of reinforcement to get in position, sending out scouts and putting our fleet on the main route into UMI-KK

Cerb fleet undocking in UMI

Cerb fleet undocking in UMI

When the time hit, Entosis Link module ships headed out around the constellation and started running the modules on command nodes as they came up.

Prophecies idling on the undock in UMI

Prophecies idling on the undock in UMI

There was a report of MOA undocking a stealth bomber fleet, but that came to naught.  We caught a couple of them trying to slip into UMI-KK, but that was the extent of their presence.  One pod got locked down with webs and points to keep it from escaping too quickly.  We were not inclined to send him home the fast way by shooting him.

The new Galatea effects in action

The new Galatea effects in action

Otherwise it was just flying about and watching the counter run down as one node after another was hit.

Not sure where the TNT logo went

Not sure where the TNT logo went

Cerb conga line in UMI-KK

Cerb conga line in UMI-KK

So Tribute is once again mostly safe for The Imperium, with just two structures running down to an event at this point.

Tribute - Aug 27, 2015

Tribute – Aug 27, 2015

Meanwhile, Providence appears to be on fire, with structures falling all over.  Systems with the red highlights have structures that can be captured or destroyed.

Providence - Aug 27, 2015 early

Providence – Aug 27, 2015 early

The Bastion even went so far as to capture a system.  But more on that later once I figure out how to keep score on ihubs and such.

Action in Providence and Pure Blind

While I was not able to get on and into space last night, Gaff kept me appraised of the situation through some running commentary on IM.  And, of course, all the Jabber pings were queued up on my iPad as well, so I could see what fleets got called when.

Down in Providence fleets looked to be active throughout the day and well into the evening.  There was clearly an effort to pick up some of the structures that were missed during the second day of operations, so the magic Fozzie lasers were deployed and the total number of structures reinforced in the region went from 96 to 131.  According to the Timer Board site, those include:

  • 75 infrastructure hubs
  • 34 stations
  • 22 territorial control units

Here is how the region looks as of this morning, systems with structures in a reinforced state highlighted in orange.

The Providence region - August 26, 2015

The Providence region – August 26, 2015

You can compare that with the maps in yesterday’s post.  Again, not all the systems in the region have been successfully reinforced, with only 75 of 83 ihubs being hit. (One system in the region does not have an ihub, so 84 systems but only 83 ihubs.)  And, as noted yesterday, there is a correlation between high ADM numbers and not being put in a reinforced state.

Fights looked to be a common occurrence, with the locals rising to challenge the invaders on a regular basis while third parties roamed the region looking to join in.  Over at DOTLAN EVE Maps, systems in Providence have dominated the “most violent” list for null sec, while the region itself leads in that competition by a large margin for the last 24 hours.

Most Violent 0.0 Regions in the Last 24 Hours

Measure of ships/pods destroyed in the Last 24 Hours

Basically, more ships were blown up in Providence than the next nine null sec regions combined.  Not bad for a patch Tuesday I guess.

The war looks to be providing content for many people.  No word yet from Maximillian Sigularity VI if the Jamylites have renounced their blasphemies that came about from their support of Jamyl Sarum I who, in violating the doctrine of the sacred flesh, was a false empress. (Who also, by the way, lost a 2 billion ISK pod along with her titan.)

As day four of the invasion commences the first structures will start coming out of reinforcement and the Fozzie Sov Entosis Link mini-game will begin.  The real tally for the campaign will be how many ihubs get destroyed during this phase.  This will also be the first real test of the Fozzie Sov changes that came in with yesterday’s Galatea expansion.

Meanwhile, back home in Tribute, Mordus Angels used the Euro time zones, when much of the action was happening in Providence, to put structures in four more Tribute systems into a reinforced state.  This includes three more Circle of Two systems as well as 0-YMBJ, the one Goonswarm system in the region.  That brings the total up to eight systems in Tribute where MOA has put structures into a reinforced state since the Providence campaign began.

An emboldened MOA also started in on some systems in Pure Blind, which was previously their focus.  They managed to reinforce a single system in the region.  A US time zone op was formed to chase them off, consisting of a Dominix fleet with triage carrier support.

While I have not seen an after action report yet, the battle report that zKillboard generated shows MOA deploying some dreadnoughts and taking out four carriers and nine battleships, along with other sundry kills, for a total of nearly 12 billion ISK destroyed.  MOA losses tallied up to less than 400 million ISK.

As a result all US time zone pilots in TNT have been recalled to Tribute.  The timer for the station in UMI-KK, the alliance capital, will come out in in the evening US time today and we are expecting for form up a much larger force to defend it.

 

The Invasion of Providence – ADM Can Save Your Systems

The Imperium’s invasion of Providence is now through the second day of its plan.

Day one, Sunday, was the announcement and the “getting there” phase of the plan.  People flew individually or in convoys down to our low sec staging system while the logistical arms of the various alliances got ships up on contract for members.  This was what the map of Provi looked like then.

The Providence region - Early on August 25, 2015

The Providence region – August 24, 2015

Day two, yesterday, was the first Entosis Link module day.  Structures throughout Providence were reinforced during their vulnerability windows.  This is what the region looked like at the end of the second day.

The Providence region - August 25, 2015

The Providence region – August 25, 2015

Systems with the orange highlight around them are the ones where structures were reinforced during the day two operations.  The total numbers, which I gleaned from the Timer Board site, are 50 infrastructure hubs, 25 stations, and 20 territorial control units, for a total of 95 structures reinforced across the 84 system in the region. (The data for this is after the cut at the bottom of the post if you want to check my ability to count… and you probably should.  I just looked at row numbers in Excel.)

The plan was to try and reinforce the ihubs in every system in the region, but clearly that did not happen.  And if you line up the systems that are not highlighted in orange on the map above with the Activity Defense Multiplier in the map below, a pattern emerges.

Providence Activity Defense Multipliers

Providence Activity Defense Multipliers

The systems that were successfully defended during the day two operations all had higher ADM numbers, which require the attacker to spend more time reinforcing structures and, in turn, allow the defender more time to form up and send the attacker packing.

So that is the big picture for day two.  Not a full success, but a lot got done and some unlikely candidates showed up in space and even on kill mails.

I had to look that kill mail up because it stank of Photoshop.  The Mittani and Xenuria team up to kill a HERETIC during the holy war in Provi?  How does that even happen?  That is Bizarro world unlikely in the extreme.

But it is a real thing.  I seen it here and here and here! (As an aside, after The Meta Show interview with Xenuria  last Saturday I was pretty sure he’d be in GSF soon enough.  He already writes for TMC.  And yes, this is something of an EVE vet test.  If you know why I brought this up, then you get it.  If not, you’re probably lost.)

My own response to the question, “Daddy, what did you do during the Provi invasion?” is somewhat less dramatic.  As the vulnerability time windows for most of Providence were set for European time, the Entosis Link operations largely happened while I was at work and were just wrapping up after I got home and was able to log in.  I managed to get in on the tail end of a Laz fleet… not even my own alliance… but spent the whole time dodging gate camps and never did end up linking up with the fleet until they landed in the staging system.  (The idea of camping in a POS out in the various constellations seems to have fallen by the wayside for practical reasons.)  I did enough running about, and provided some intel, so I felt entitled to click on the participation link, but I was nowhere to be seen when Entosis Link activity was going on.

Instead, I ended up having to clone jump back to Tribute.  Mordus Angels decided to use this time whileThe Imperium was away to hit some systems.  They reinforced the ihubs in four Circle of Two systems in Tribute last night and then started in on the station in UMI-KK, our alliance capital.  So a ping went out on TNT Jabber… which I recently hooked back up… calling for a defense fleet in UMI.

We managed to chase MOA off and reset the station timer with our own Entosis Link module, then disbanded.  However, MOA came back a while later with more pilots, while the second ping for a defense fleet only drew a dozen TNT defenders.  So we sat in the station while our leaders dialed up GSF HQ and asked for some support.  We got a small Harpy fleet down to help us from YA0-XJ, which was enough to hold the grid immediately around the station, blowing up any MOA ships that wandered too close to the undock.  But their doctrine of high speed Vexor Navy Issues and an interceptor orbiting the station at 200km at very high speed hurt our ability to deter them.  We did not have the fleet composition necessary to stop them.

We did eventually get our own Entosis Link module on the undock and running, blocking the MOA progress with less than two minutes on the clock.  MOA sacrificed some ships to get in close and hit it, eventually blowing it up.  Ships running the module can get reps, so all we could do was try to hit attackers and swat drones as they wore him down.

As it turned out, that was the only Entosis Link module we had available, so we had to sit and watch the timer count down until the station was reinforced.  And ignominious defeat.  If only our ADM had been higher!

After that we blocked their way back home and hunted them for a while, getting a few kills, which made us feel a bit better.  But their over-prop modded Vexor Navy Issue drone ship (here is the fit from one we managed to catch) were able to pull range on us quite effectively, saving themselves time and again.

(Also depressing, The Mittani is on more kill mails than I me this month, and there aren’t even any structures kill mails any more.  Must fix this.)

So we have a timer of our own to worry about.  And it looks like MOA has been busy today, as more things have been reinforced since then in Circle of Two’s part of Tribute.  They had best get their act together on defense when the time comes.  However, those timers all have a ways to go.

Today is day three in Providence, and the plan is just to roam about camping gates, shooting ratters, and generally looking for fights while reinforcing more structures if possible.  Other groups, including Brave Newbies and some of TEST, have decided to come on over to Providence in search of action, so there will be fights.

Tomorrow will be the big day.  Day four, when all those timers come out and the capture events start, will be the real test of various Fozzie Sov doctrines.  That will be the day when Provi Bloc can save the day or lose big.

As noted above, the list of reinforced structures in Providence is after the cut.

Continue reading

EVE Online gets Galatea… or is it Galleria?

Galatea might be a sea nymph from Greek mythology, but the EVE Online expansion which launches today, and which bears her name, contains so much in the way of fashion that it feels like a visit to the mall, so perhaps Galleria might have been a better choice, being a popular name for malls in the US.

Which isn’t to say I am against cosmetic items in the game.  I have spent a good chunk of ISK on ship skins.  I’ll buy any Quafe skin I can find.  I want a Quafe Drake!  I know it breaks the lore, but I want one!

However, the game does not thrive on looks alone.  Then again, iff you push an expansion every six weeks, some will seem more end up feeling more substantial than others I suppose.

Part of the plan was to redesign the great space potato, the Dominix, to give it a little more panache, as part of the ongoing ship revamp process.

The Galatea Dominix

The Galatea Dominix

I will withhold judgement until I have seen it in space, but I am not feeling it so far.  Still, a fashion item.

Then there are designer skins coming for ships, especially Caldari and Minmatar ships, which have been somewhat neglected.  The first is the Raata Sunset skin for Caldari vessels.

Bright Red

Bright Red

On the Caldari front this at least gets us away from the militaristic but somewhat drab Wiyrkomi skins that dominate the Caldari skin market and puts some more color there.  The following ships get the option for this skin style.  A list of the ships that get to use the new skin, along with previews, is available in this new post from CCP.  Highlight for me, the blood red Drake.  How can Drakes not come back with that skin available?  Anyway, very much a fashion item, being something literally to be sold in the New Eden Sky Mall.

There was an update to the visuals that certain modules produce.  The biggest one on the list was an update to the doomsday effects for titans, but other modules got updates as well, including warp scrams, tractor beams, and salvagers.  Enhancing looks is fashion.

Then there was a change so that if you have your camera set on a target, the camera will stay focused there as the ship blows up rather than jumping back to your ship the moment the explosion begins.  I see some decent screen shot potential in this change.  Very cool, but still on the edge of visual, and thus fashion.

All of which would have made for an okay, if not memorable six week feature drop.

But then, as the date got closer, CCP added one more batch of features related to Fozzie Sov.

  • Reduce the base capture time of Command Nodes from 10 minutes to 4 minutes
  • Defenders start with 60% control at the beginning of a capture event
  • Reduce cap on total nodes per structure from 20 to 10
  • Reduce spawn rate of new random nodes by ~50%.
  • Replace Entosis Link mass penalty with a 4000m/s speed limit while fitted

That was actually a substantial addition, at least for folks who live day to day in null sec space.  It was enough allow The Imperium to launch its crusade against the Jamylites in Providence at the direction of Maximillian Sigularity VI, the first major assault on a region under Fozzie Sov.  Many timers were set yesterday under the original Fozzie Sov rules, but they will come out under the Galatea updates, so we will see how the changes worked out pretty quickly.

That is all that is listed on the updates page for the Galatea release today.  The patch notes for Galatea are also available and contain additional details along with the usual list of fixes that came in with this release.

And, finally, there is the Galatea release theme, a somewhat moody tune for an otherwise colorful expansion.

All of which appears to have been successfully deployed.

The next stop is the Vanguard expansion, currently slated for September 29th and which has the updated fleet warp mechanics and new burner missions on the agenda so far.