Category Archives: EVE Online

The Initiative Leaves the Imperium Compact

It was announced on Saturday’s Imperium fireside that long time Imperium member The Initiative would be leaving the coalition as of downtime on June 4th, and would thus no long be a part of the Imperium or subject to any or its rules or agreements.

The Initiative logo in spaceships

Darkshines has not gone full Vily on us or anything.  The Initiative won’t be launching an attack on Delve anytime soon.  In fact, they will remain with friendly standings and they will retain access to dock in Imperium space and use our jump bridge network and Imperium members will retain the same access in their space.  If PAPI reformed again and attacked The Initiative in Fountain, we would go to their aid, and they would likewise do so if PAPI came to Delve.

The main change will be economic.  Neither side will be allowed to rat, mine, frack, PI, drop structures, or otherwise use or exploit the other’s space for gain.  Aside from that the impact on line members should be minimal.  They won’t be shooting us and we won’t be shooting them.

Darkshines has said that the current coalition system has led to stagnation in null sec and is putting his money where his mouth is by removing The Initiative from the Imperium, for whatever value that has.  I suspect that PanFam and Fraternity will call it a distinction without a difference.

That The Initiative is leaving isn’t the biggest surprise in New Eden.  They have always been very independent within the Imperium and the idea that The Initiative is leaving the Imperium has been common enough in the past to have achieved meme status, with it being regularly predicted during World War Bee.

Having The Initiative with us has enhanced the Imperium experience.  They have helped wedge us into wars by jumping in and getting the other side to escalate.  They have also invited us along for some adventures, like the Fort Knocks Keepstar kill in J115404.

Of course, it hasn’t been all a bowl of cherries.  Some will remember last year when their leadership let a Fortizar run out of fuel and quietly blew it up in off hours so they could loot all the possessions of former members of The Bastion.

Apparently, as part of this amicable divorce, the Imperium ended up with custody of Brisc Rubal, who decided to go with KarmaFleet as his home, no doubt to stay with his Rampage Inc. buddies, Merkelchen and Innominate.

So it goes.  Time will tell as to whether or not this change has any meaning, whether being a de facto member of the Imperium will have any impact different from them being an actual member of the Imperium.

Asher, in the fireside, described it as them leaving the Imperium compact, which shaped the title of this post, meaning they were no longer a party of or subject to any diplomatic agreements of the Imperium.  That could mean a number of things… or nothing at all.

The Initiative was a founding member of the Imperium, back in April 2015, when the great re-branding from the old Clusterfuck Coalition happened.  They stuck through the Casino War even as other, larger alliances abandoned (or, in the case of Circle of Two, betrayed) the coalition.  I noted when Executive Outcomes left after the migration to Delve that The Initiative had almost 2,200 members.  As an alliance it has grown quite a bit since then.

With the departure of The Initiative and its 12,367 members, Imperium membership, as of this moment, is made up of the following alliances:

That is a total of 51,910 characters.

The Initiative is only the most recent alliance to leave the Imperium.  Siberian Squads left back in December, The Bastion shut down in April of last year, and Ranger Regiment left as part of the Army of Mango debacle in January of 2022.


Life is Feudal Returns with a $20 a Month Subscription

Life is Feudal was a sandbox MMO that came out of the Life is Feudal series of games back in 2017 and then shut down in January of 2021.

Life is very much that at times

I really did not pay that much attention to it as a game.  I mentioned it as an outlier possibility in my gaming outlook for 2017, but by the time the year closed and I did my review of 2017, it did not make the cut.  I wasn’t even sure if it had actually launched… though a lot of the titles I had on that list didn’t launch.  That initial post was also the first time I took note of Lost Ark, which was a few years away at that point.

But it is back, having re-launched this month to take another run at the MMO business.

And, having not played it when it was here the first time, I do not have a lot to say about its revival.  I probably won’t run off and play it this time around either.  It’s return is a bit of a non-event for me really.

What DID catch my was the announcement that it was returning with a $20 monthly subscription.  Now that is some news.  As I have noted in multiple posts in the past, the sort of industry standard $15 a month has been pretty much set in stone since 2004… and even that seemed unsustainable for quite a few titles as we had the mass migration to free to play options around 2010.

Inflation be damned as far as gamers are concerned; any time somebody mentions a subscription price increase players want to know what they’re getting for the additional money.  Software is a victim of the overall view of tech where hardware gets cheaper and more powerful as time goes on.

Software, however, is made by people, and it is difficult to cost reduce them the way you do a chip set.  They expect to get raises and need to buy things like food, which seems to keep going up in price.  So anybody making software has been on the lookout for ways to charge more money as their costs continue to rise.  For buy to play titles, that has meant special editions and season passes and piles of DLC and cosmetic cash shops and, of course, loot boxes in order to extract more money to cover increasing costs.

But upping the price of an MMO subscription beyond the standard $20 a month?  So far only EVE Online has take that step, and it was not popular.

New Prices as of May 17, 2022

In fact, CCP has had to rely on sales and special discounts for multiple accounts to keep an even keel.  But players also freaked out when CCP went full in on selling fitted ships, and they had already started selling skill points, so they didn’t have a lot of cash avenues left.  And their revenue has been trending down all the same.

So while I do not have much of a brief for how things will go for Life is Feudal, I am curious to see if they can make the $20 a month model stick.  They are already hedging a bit, calling the new price a “test.”  It will only be a test if it doesn’t work.  If they can swing it, it will be the new reality.  And if they can do it, who else will give it a shot?


May in Review

The Site

I often start writing these monthly review posts well in advance.  They have a structure and a formula and very little of it requires me to be at the end of the month.  If I want to write but don’t have a topic I am invested in, I will often start in on one of these, filling out the framework.

Such was this month where, back on the 20th or so, I wrote this section, having felt that the big site event of the month had come and gone.

For this month it was when somebody linked an old post I did about voxels back when EverQuest Next was re-announced, in relation to something called Minetest, which is something like a voxel Minecraft I guess.  That generated a lot of referrals and I figured the most viewed post of the month had been set, it having passed the 800 mark already, when most months any post that passes 400 views is almost guaranteed to be the top of the list.

Aiming at a distant tower guard in Delta Force

Then, for whatever reason, my About page became popular… with bots no doubt… for about a week.  Enough to vault it into the top Most Viewed Posts this month, as you will see below.  It is, technically, a post.  That gave me something for this section.  I even took a screen shot to accompany the whole thing, but felt I should take one later in the month, when the final results were closer to set.

Then I wrote that one post in a fit of pique about Alta Fox trying to bully Enad Global 7 to set forth wrecking the company, draining its coffers for stock buy backs, so they could be enriched with no possible upside to the health or long term viability of the company.

Then that took off.  I ended up with a 2,000 page view day with that one.  There was a time when I was getting more page views than that as a daily average, but that was a decade back.  Now it is a good month when the average approached 500.  That is still more than I ever expected, but it hardly registers on the internet.

Basically, looking at my most viewed posts this month, the internet seems to be telling me that if I want traffic I should spend more time critiquing the excesses of late stage capitalism and reminiscing about voxel based 3D game engines.

One Year Ago

Blizzard, attempting to get into the mobile game space on its own, announced Warcraft Arclight Rumble.  Meanwhile, Diablo III turned ten years old.

On the flip side, Enad Global 7 and Daybreak announced that they were cancelling the previously hinted at Marvel based super hero MMORPGEverQuest did get two new progression servers, Vaniki and Yelinak, and EverQuest II got the Varsoon server.

In Valheim we built the grey pit to harvest grey dwarves.  This has become a semi-popular post for people trying to do the same.  We were also in search of silver, which meant building a mountain base, and looking to defeat Bonemass.

I had a list of five problems that I felt CCP was never going to solve in EVE Online.  I also wrote about damage meters in the game, which are alike and different from other MMORPGs.

But that was just a warm-up for EVE Fanfest.  We had been promised a lot, but the opening keynote didn’t deliver.  Overall, Fanfest just made a lot more promises without delivering anything substantial.  The return to expansions sounded nice… but the first one was months off.

CCP did, however, finally relent on the prices of capital ships.  Another of their economic theories dashed on the rocks of reality.  Meanwhile, the final days before the subscription price increase saw people buying in to save some cash and EVE Anywhere became available for Alpha Clones, but the announcement was so confusing that some news sites reported that the feature had entered alpha.  Also, CCP was being called out for still betting on an FPS as its future.

CCP did promise us something special for alts as long as we consolidated all our accounts to a single email address.

CCP also announced the candidates list for CSM17.

Actually in New Eden, the GEF headed to war in southeast null sec, first hitting Omist then pushing into Tenerifis.  That led to some real fights.

I brought up Wordle-like games that focused on the movies.

Josh Strife Hayes went and played LOTRO as the game turned 15 years old.

This American Life did an episode about NFTs, which were a plague at the time.

I got paid for the ads on the site for the very first time and we were still binge watching at our house.

Five Years Ago

My other blog turned ten years old, so I did a retrospective… here… since my other blog is a picture blog.

There was the big rumor post about plans at Daybreak that included winding down EverQuest and EverQuest II in favor of a new EverQuest game.  While some items on the list did come to pass ( Just Survive did not and PlanetSide Arena is effectively PlanetSide 3), the old school preservationist faction won out in Norrath and it looks like we’ll be getting expansions for some years to come.  Meanwhile, they were also giving out level 100 character boost in EQII again.

While I was on a WoW break of sorts, Blizzard seemed to be doing well enough in the financial report for Q1 2018.  Of course, they were feeding us tidbits to keep us interested while we waited for Battle for Azeroth, with pre-orders available since January.

Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings, an RTS from the turn of the century, was still getting expansions.  You cannot keep a good game down.

I objected to a silly post about making the MMO genre “more accessible.”  It was all either blindingly obvious or too specific to be practical as a general rule.

I was still mucking about in Rift Prime, having made it into Scarlet Gorge, though it felt like something was missing.

Microsoft was planning to discontinue support for Minecraft on some older consoles after the Aquatic Update was released.

On the Kickstarter front the was big success for the Empires of EVE Vol. II campaign and a huge flop for the ill advised Flower of Knighthood campaign.

CCP was celebrating the 15th anniversary of EVE Online and I was going on about the importance of all the tales that make up the ongoing story of the game.

I was over on the test server trying out the upcoming Abyssal Space content, which I likened to dungeons.  Why not?  CCP calls things dungeons in their patch notes.

At the end of the month we got the Into the Abyss expansion for EVE Online and people were losing ships to Triglavians almost immediately.

That was preceded by what I called the great third part apocalypse as CCP shut down the old API interface, killing any number of third party applications that depended on it.  I was also on about their New Eden Store scarcity policy.

We got an update on when the elections for CSM13 would be held, while with the MER I was wondering if anybody would challenged the might of the Delve economy.

And then, actually in game, we were still running ops against GotG in the north, exchanging citadel kills and chasing after them into Venal and mounting some ops from there before returning to Pure Blind.

Ten Years Ago

I celebrated the five year anniversary of a blog.  No, not this one.

EVE Online turned 10 (I even made a movie) and reminded us of its true nature, while DUST 514 finally went live for real.

Somebody was saying that there had only ever been two successful MMOs, EverQuest and World of Warcraft.

I checked up on the Newbie Blogger Initiative to see who survived their first year of blogging.

Camelot Unchained made its Kickstarter goal one day before their campaign ended.   Success at the last minute is still success.

The project code named Titan was rumored to have been pushed out to 2016. Meanwhile Activision-Blizzard announced that WoW had shed 1.3 million subscribers, dropping to 8.3 million total.  And then there was the problems with the Diablo III economy.  Rough times.

The XBox One was announced.  Or the name was.  I didn’t like it.

I made a chart about the relative natures of MMO economies.  I was also musing about dangerous travel.

We were starting to peek into NeverWinter as a possible game for the instance group, in hopes that we might have a hiatus from our long hiatus.  We also played a bit of Need for Speed: World.

Rift, ostensibly the game the instance group was playing (and which I was still playing a bit of), announced it was going free to play, which made me mutter about revenue models again.

Our EVE Online corp decided to go play some Lord of the Rings Online, and so my relationship with Middle-earth continued and I was quickly in the Lone Lands.

And finally, I wrote a bit about the first computer game I ever played, which led to some charts about my video gaming timeline.

Fifteen Years Ago

My daughter and I were finishing up the final battles in the base game of Pokemon Diamond as well as staging our own gym battles.

In EVE Online CCP gave us a date for the Empyrean Age as well as giving us all a gift on the five year anniversary of the game.  I still have that gift in my hangar.

Meanwhile I was building battleships, working the regional price variations, dealing with the realities of production, refining my Drake fittings, and laughing at a the EVE Online guide to talking smack.

Oh, and I was being propositioned in a standard Goon scam.  Damn Goons!

In World of Warcraft the instance group was doing some quests to level up a bit because the Mana Tombs were proving to be a challenge.  We also did some mucking about with alts.

And, in the industry in general, Turbine got $40 million dollars to play with (I wonder where that ended up?) while Age of Conan launched amid immediate declarations of success and failure.

Twenty Years Ago

Internet spaceships become serious business as EVE Online launches.

SOE launched PlanetSide, their MMOFPS.

3DO laid everybody off and filed for bankruptcy, leading to the end of the line for it and its subsidiary New World Computing, best known for the Might and Magic series.

And the WordPress blogging platform was first released in May of 2003.

Fifty Years Ago

In May of 1973 Bob Metcalf wrote a memo at Xerox PARC with the title “Alto Ethernet” that contained the basic schematic for the networking hardware that would come to be known as “Ethernet.” This was just one of the many designs and innovations that Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center would create, which Xerox would then completely fail to capitalize on but which would go on to become the foundations of modern computers.

Most Viewed Posts in May

  1. Late Stage Capitalism Ruining Things: EverQuest Edition
  2. Delta Force: A Memory of Voxels
  3. The LOTRO 2023 Roadmap – No Consoles, No UI Updates
  4. About
  5. Changes at Netflix, HBO, and MTV
  6. Minecraft and the Search for a Warm Ocean
  7. Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID!
  8. How Many Skill Points are Enough in EVE Online?
  9. Another Chance to Get Your Name on the EVE Monument
  10. Twitter Alternatives as Elon Continues to Elon Fiddle
  11. The Viridian Expansion is Coming to EVE Online in June
  12. 20 Games that Defined the Apple II

Search Terms of the Month

wow zul’farrak can’t talk now trolls sergent bly
[ZF be like that mon]

using chatgpt with everquest
[Don’t let me stop you]

buying omega with plex
[Yes you can]

exiled kingdoms patch
[Haven’t actually played that]

website template wow
[Oh no, another potential blogger]

Game Time by ManicTime

Didn’t I say I wasn’t going to do this anymore?  I lied, though whether it was to you or myself is up for debate.  But apparently I find some usefulness in this section, so here it is again.

  • WoW Classic – 54.88%
  • LOTRO – 35.66%
  • EVE Online – 9.21%

Overall, since I was away for a good 10 days of the month, the total hours played in May were the lowest monthly total for the year… or since I started using ManicTime.

EVE Online

It was something of a quiet month in New Eden for me.  With the war in the north winding down into a more contained “content” conflict and having moved all my stuff back to Delve, I didn’t have a lot to do.  I went out and harvested my PI, I went on a couple of fleets, I got on my minimum of one kill mail for the month, and I logged in daily to redeem all my 20th anniversary goodies.

Lord of the Rings Online

The Lossless Scaling experiment started me off in Middle-earth.  I have made it through into the Lone Lands once more, and ought to be a shoe-in to make it through Evendim if I remain enthused.  After that though… well, Evendim is the last zone I think of as fun.  We’ll see if I get beyond there.

Pokemon Go

Nothing much went on for us in Pokemon Go, except for me having a Pokemon in a gym in rural Oregon for nearly two weeks before they got kicked out.  Level 44 is closer, but still a ways away, and Niantic seems keen to screw with our routine.

  • Level: 43 (77% of the way to 44 in xp, 1 of 4 tasks complete)
  • Pokedex status: 770 (+3) caught, 785 (+4) seen
  • Mega Evolutions obtained: 24 of 35
  • Pokemon I want: Three specific Scatterbugs; Sandstorm, Icy Snow, and Meadow
  • Current buddy: Krokorok

WoW Classic

Northrend was starting to wear on me a bit as we entered May.  Then I was playing LOTRO for a while.  But then the Joyous Journeys xp bonus hit and the group was using it to get everybody to 80 and to work on some alts and we all started doing the Argent Tournament, so that come the last week of the month it was my main game again.


Not a good month for riding the indoor bicycle.  I was away for two weekends and had an injured leg for a third, leaving not much activity in May.

  • Level – 18
  • Distanced cycled – 1,629 miles (+27 miles)
  • Elevation climbed – 62,297 (+735 feet)
  • Calories burned – 50,470 (+723)

Coming Up

There are a couple of big things coming up in June.

Probably the biggest, at least relative to topics I cover here, is the Diablo IV launch.  It goes live on June 5th or 6th depending on where you live for the world wide launch, with early access for the special pre-orders as early as tomorrow.  Blizzard is “confident” that the servers can handle the load they expect at launch.  I am “confident” that this optimism will age poorly.

Meanwhile, over in New Eden CCP will be launching the Viridian expansion for EVE Online.  So far we have been told that will bring Tech II capital ships and graphics upgrades to the game.  I am sure there must be more to it, but we shall see.

We are also getting the next phase of Wrath Classic.  Maybe I will be able to build Jeeves.

There will also be some more AI stuff next month.  You know it is the buzzword of the moment because over at VentureBeat literally every other headline is related to AI, it having replaced Metaverse, which in turn replaced Crypto/Blockchain in their obsessive focus on the latest hotness.

A Look into April 2023 Destruction in EVE Online

The monthly economic report for April landed a couple of weeks back, which I mentioned at the time, but I’m just getting around to looking at destruction.  It has been kind of a busy month.  But here I am now, ready to parse through the killdump.csv and pull out some metrics to see what happened in April.

EVE Online nerds harder

April saw a wind down to the clash in the north around Pure Blind between defenders B2 Coalition and its Imperium allies and aggressor Fraternity and its PanFam allies.  After the big Keepstar kills, the last coming in early April, with a huge fight over the armor timer, there were many attempts by each side to get leverage against the other, to draw them into a battle that favorable to one side or the other.  There were many skirmishes, but no more critical structure fights, and as April drew to a close the Imperium was reducing its footprint in the war.

Overall there was a drop in the number of hulls destroyed, with 409,905 being the count for April, compared to 461,239 in March.

That puts my kills per day metric as follows:

  • January – 13,729.96 kills per day
  • February – 14,307.75 kills per day
  • March – 14,878.67 kills per day
  • April – 13,663.50 kills per day

That makes April the low point of the year… though we haven’t reach summer yet, where we’ll argue about whether the summer dip is real or not once more I assume.  It happens most years.

(For past years, I did monthly stats from 2020 forward here.)

When it comes to what was blown up, the top 20 by hull classification were:

Type Count
Capsule 112,525
Frigate 67,383
Cruiser 35,316
Destroyer 26,939
Shuttle 22,696
Corvette 17,733
Combat Battlecruiser 16,375
Mobile Tractor Unit 11,395
Heavy Assault Cruiser 10,451
Hauler 8,529
Interdictor 7,977
Battleship 7,349
Interceptor 6,899
Assault Frigate 6,166
Stealth Bomber 4,243
Tactical Destroyer 4,089
Mining Barge 3,967
Mobile Warp Disruptor 3,955
Strategic Cruiser 3,860
Covert Ops 2,916

As usual, capsules lead the way, followed by frigates.

When we break it out into specific hulls, these are the top 20:

Type Count
Capsule 111,489
Venture 11,687
Mobile Tractor Unit 10,941
Amarr Shuttle 8,257
Ibis 7,242
Heron 7,172
Caldari Shuttle 5,989
Ishtar 5,645
Caracal 5,248
Vexor 5,000
Velator 4,737
Gallente Shuttle 4,641
Sabre 4,101
Thrasher 3,891
Catalyst 3,619
Tristan 3,291
Hurricane 3,150
Minmatar Shuttle 3,146
Imperial Navy Slicer 3,101
Exequror Navy Issue 3,072

There is a dedicated group of people out there hunting MTUs still.  I wish them well in their mission.  Also, exactly 5,000 Vexors died in April.

I might cut those two charts down to a top 10 going forward.  I listed out 20 initially to get to some more interesting hulls or types.  But the real interesting part is when you get into hulls that were blown up exactly ONCE in a month.

Type Count
Advanced Medium Ship Assembly Array 1
Angel Control Tower Small 1
Angel Medium Artillery Battery 1
Avatar 1
Blood Large Pulse Laser Battery 1
Blood Small Beam Laser Battery 1
Blood Small Pulse Laser Battery 1
Cenobite I 1
Civilian Amarr Shuttle 1
Cyclops I 1
Dark Blood Control Tower Medium 1
Dark Blood Control Tower Small 1
Dark Blood Medium Pulse Laser Battery 1
Domination Control Tower Medium 1
‘Draccous’ Fortizar 1
Dread Guristas Control Tower Medium 1
Dread Guristas Spatial Destabilization Battery 1
Equite II 1
Erebus 1
Geri 1
Gungnir I 1
Guristas Control Tower Medium 1
Intensive Reprocessing Array 1
Keepstar 1
Malleus I 1
Medium Ship Assembly Array 1
Miasmos Quafe Ultra Edition 1
Minmatar Propaganda Broadcast Structure 1
Pharolux Cyno Beacon 1
‘Prometheus’ Fortizar 1
Ragnarok 1
Reprocessing Array 1
Revenant 1
Sansha Energy Neutralizing Battery 1
Sansha Medium Beam Laser Battery 1
Satyr I 1
Scarab I 1
Serpentis Warp Disruption Battery 1
Shadow Warp Scrambling Battery 1
Small Mobile Siphon Unit 1
Standup Ametat I 1
Standup Ametat II 1
Standup Cyclops II 1
Standup Equite II 1
Standup Gram II 1
Standup Gungnir I 1
Standup Locust I 1
Standup Locust II 1
Standup Satyr II 1
Syndicate Mobile Medium Warp Disruptor 1
Vendetta 1

Okay, maybe that whole list isn’t all that interesting.  A lot of fighter groups got killed exactly once, along with some POS modules  But a Vendetta or a Geri, a tournament ship, now those are rare kills.

And there was a mobile siphon unit on the list!  I didn’t know they were still in the game.  Are those just sitting around in space, left over from the era of POS mining?

As with last month, I also want to account for how much value these losses represent.  So the top 20 hulls by total value of all losses are:

Type Count Sum of ISK Lost ISK per loss
Capsule 111,489 2,666.98 billion 23.92 million
Vargur 806 1,680.56 billion 2,085.07 million
Paladin 874 1,494.72 billion 1,710.20 million
Ishtar 5,645 1,313.66 billion 232.71 million
Loki 1,457 1,059.15 billion 726.94 million
Tengu 1,298 920.13 billion 708.88 million
Golem 418 832.80 billion 1992.35 million
Gila 1,532 680.72 billion 444.34 million
Praxis 2,206 612.42 billion 277.62 million
Athanor 262 571.43 billion 2181.05 million
Revelation 107 569.20 billion 5319.60 million
Naglfar 111 458.04 billion 4126.50 million
Kronos 239 442.78 billion 1852.64 million
Proteus 609 440.68 billion 723.62 million
Nestor 174 360.29 billion 2070.63 million
Legion 496 333.91 billion 673.21 million
Orca 224 327.38 billion 1461.51 million
Tempest Fleet Issue 605 313.86 billion 518.78 million
Astrahus 190 309.21 billion 1627.40 million
Sabre 4,101 303.87 billion 74.10 million

Capsules lead the way overall, both due to volume and the price of some implants… implants that marauder pilots often use, which leads us to the next two, Vagurs and Paladins.  expensive losses those.

But when we flip that around to sort by the most expensive losses per hull, well titans top the list.

Type Count Sum of ISK Lost ISK per loss
Avatar 1 82.63 billion 82.63 billion
Erebus 1 79.21 billion 79.21 billion
Ragnarok 1 73.34 billion 73.34 billion
Sotiyo 3 138.03 billion 46.01 billion
Revenant 1 35.80 billion 35.80 billion
Vendetta 1 26.92 billion 26.92 billion
Nyx 6 158.69 billion 26.45 billion
Hel 8 185.17 billion 23.15 billion
Aeon 2 38.56 billion 19.28 billion
Ark 10 153.35 billion 15.33 billion
Fortizar 21 284.24 billion 13.54 billion
Rhea 14 170.27 billion 12.16 billion
Nomad 3 31.82 billion 10.61 billion
Tatara 9 91.00 billion 10.11 billion
Anshar 6 57.98 billion 9.66 billion
Azbel 14 107.09 billion 7.65 billion
Marshal 11 83.22 billion 7.57 billion
Moros 34 210.37 billion 6.19 billion
Rorqual 48 275.84 billion 5.75 billion

Capital ships are expensive.  Who knew?  And that Geri I linked above should probably be on this list as well, but as I noted previously, AT ships do not get priced correctly because there is almost no market data for them.  Sales on the market are few and far between.

When we look to the losses by region, while the war in Pure Blind had cooled off by the end of the month, it hit its crescendo in the opening days, which was enough to keep it at the top of the list for ISK destroyed by a big margin.

Region Sum of ISK Lost
Pure Blind 2,580.72 billion
The Forge 1,402.82 billion
Delve 1304.78 billion
Lonetrek 1.116.85 billion
Sinq Laison 1,035.52 billion
The Citadel 1,033.18 billion
Vale of the Silent 986.93 billion
Perrigen Falls 937.89 billion
Genesis 865.40 billion
Pochven 838.64 billion

Pure Blind led the way in the total loss count as well.

Region  Count
Pure Blind        26,656
The Forge        20,755
The Citadel        17,748
Essence        17,499
Heimatar        15,321
The Bleak Lands        14,357
Pochven        13,874
Genesis        13,864
Placid        13,511
Delve        13,040

I suppose I could dig in and get the cost per hull loss per region, but I am not feeling like digging in that deep right now.

When we get down to the solar system level, Pure Blind is still winning the ISK war, with that big Keepstar armor timer battle boosting X47L-Q to the top of the list, almost doubling the amount for second place.

Solar System Sum of ISK Lost
X47L-Q 1,285.96 billion
Ahbazon 645.70 billion
Jita 584.57 billion
Arittant 519.81 billion
Auga 356.30 billion
Gheth 277.91 billion
OJT-J3 252.46 billion
Kourmonen 244.31 billion
J-CIJV 240.14 billion
1DQ1-A 232.09 billion

Meanwhile, Ahbazon in low sec was quite active as well.

For total hulls lost by solar system, X47L-Q gets demoted to fourth place.

Solar System  Count
Ahbazon        12,084
Jita           9,300
Auga           9,283
X47L-Q           8,924
Kourmonen           7,804
Rancer           4,616
Tama           4,538
Uitra           4,355
Deven           4,177
Heydieles           3,910

And that about sums up the usual data.

I have given up on the battles data that CCP provides.  I appreciate the effort of putting it in, but there isn’t much I can do with it.  You can view it in the MER.

For a wrap up I was looking at the kills and losses for various corps and alliances.  All that data is in the mix.  Losses are pretty straight forward, though kills only count towards the alliance or corp of the pilot who got the kill mail, so none of that 1,000+ people getting the same credit.

Anyway, I pulled out the top ten kills and losses for Goonswarm Federation for April.

Type Killed Count Type Lost Count
Capsule 6,793 Capsule 6,418
Velator 465 Mobile Tractor Unit 1070
Sabre 419 Hurricane 805
Mobile Tractor Unit 400 Flycatcher 553
Vexor 317 Caracal 417
Ishtar 308 Ishtar 329
Heron 279 Stabber 272
Venture 279 Cormorant 269
Caracal 274 Hecate 252
Mobile Small Warp Disruptor I 251 Vexor 221

It turns out that those people hunting MTUs spent some time in Delve.

Then, as a counter, I pulled the same data for comparison for Pandemic Horde.

Type Killed  Count Type Lost  Count
Capsule        8,296 Capsule        6,843
Mobile Tractor Unit            633 Ishtar            717
Caracal            416 Osprey Navy Issue            540
Flycatcher            397 Sabre            520
Kikimora            326 Caracal            476
Sabre            325 Hurricane            430
Vexor            325 Stabber            429
Ishtar            309 Vexor            426
Hurricane            307 Harpy            283
Exequror Navy Issue            276 Mobile Tractor Unit            225

I guess it figures that, since PH was trying to distract us in Delve, they killed quite a few of those MTUs of ours.  Those aren’t all ours, but I am sure some of them were.

And the Osprey Navy Issues, those were a favorite of Mist Amatin, who led a lot of PH fleets in to Delve.  Of course, now he is leading fleets FROM Delve, because he came over to KarmaFleet.

And that is the way it goes I guess.

Friday Bullet Points on a Monday in May About EVE Online

I was on a trip last week so everything I wrote was in the can before I left, which meant I didn’t have any time to collect some of the news items about EVE Online that surfaced while I was away… until now.

  • More time to get your name on the Monument!

If you thought you missed the window, you were wrong!

The EVE Online monument in happier times

CCP has announced via various social media channels that your account need only be in Omega state for one day in May in order to get on the monument.

We’ve got a monumental update!

Based on your feedback, we are extending the EVE Monument character selection period. If your account is Omega status for any single day in May, the character with the most SP will be included on the expanded monument!

So there you go.  One day in May is much better than Seven Days in May, which is the scenario that seems to be in our future here in the US.

  • Chat Channel Issues in Game

While I was away I saw quite a few comments on r/eve about chat channels being broken again in the game.  Those who have been around for a while may recall that back when CCP put in-game chat channels on their own server that there were months of issues with the setup before it settled down.

Well, problems are back!  CCP is even running a banner on the launcher about intermittent chat channel issues, though for some the “intermittent” aspect means “only when logged into the game.”  The usual suspects are happy about local being down, their collective amnesia about the huge drop in players in-game when CCP did that on purpose during the Chaos Era in late 2019 kicking in yet again, but it also affects corp channels and, most importantly to many, fleet channels.  Getting a logi chain setup without a chain channel is kind of a pain.

When I was logged in this weekend I found that the client wasn’t connecting to any channels when I entered the game.

Then I opened up my PI panel to check that, and when I closed it all the channels started working.  So you can try that, or you can try CCP’s opt-in fix that they have posted on the forums.

As of this morning CCP is still giving updates about working on the problem, so it still seems to be affecting players.

  • April Monthly Economic Report

The MER for April is out if you wish to dig through what was going on in the New Eden economy in April.

EVE Online nerds harder

As noted last month, I have given up on posting about the MER due to a complete lack of interest in the topic.  I will, however, dig into the killdump.csv file to see if there is anything interesting in there.

For those wishing for more details on the MER, try the following links:

Enjoy the numbers.

  • Player Made Billboard Ads Return

Once upon a time CCP let players make videos that would play on the billboards seen in stations and on other structures in New Eden.  And then new videos stopped being accepted and the only ones were very slowly cycled out.  Well, CCP has announced that they will once again be accepting video submissions to run on billboards again.

CCP – Player Made In-Game Billboards Return

  • 20th Anniversary T-Shirt Contest

CCP wants a fresh new T-shirt for Fanfest in September and YOU could provide the artwork.  There are some specifications to which you must adhere, but if your design is chosen it will be all over Fanfest with your character name on it as credit.  You’ll also get $300 in merch credit and 6,000 PLEX.  What, you want to actually get paid in real money for your work?

CCP – Design a T-Shirt for the EVE Online 20th Anniversary

  • Pearl Abyss Q1 2023 Financials

Numbers were down for Pearl Abyss over all, and down a bit for EVE Online in particular, both when compared to last quarter and Q1 2022.  The dip in New Eden wasn’t huge, but it was still a thing.  However, hopes are being pinned on next month’s Viridian expansion and, of course, Project Awakening, the Web3 blockchain game that CCP is developing with a16z’s $40 million.


Answering Gaming Questions with AI – Tell Me About Sandbox MMORPGs

I am back once again for another question time with the local AIs.

AIs thinking about video game questions… drawn by an AI

This is the fifth in the series of posts asking gaming questions.  Previously we had:

This time I am going to try to answer the unaswerable, I am going to try to have the AIs tell me what a sandbox MMORPG is.  My prompt:

Define what a sandbox mmorpg is

This is the classic United States Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart situation where I cannot define what it is, but I know it when I see it.  (Note: remind me to ask the AIs to define “porn” next.)

For me there isn’t a set of hard and fast rules, but a sense of how guided your experience in an MMORPG really is, which can vary greatly.  EverQuest, for example, doesn’t strike many as a sandbox game, but the early days where it, ironically, had very few quests meant that it was fairly open as to how players approached things and set the rules of how people played the game.  Nobody at SOE told people about the etiquette of spawn camps or warning people about trains in Splitpaw.  It was very much a communal agreement and you could find yourself something of an outcast if you did not abide.

On the flip side, EVE Online‘s sandbox nature is undisputed.  But it has a very guided PvE experience, the traditional path of running missions and doing story arcs.  That it is a dead end that tends to leave people unfulfilled is a bit beside the point… lots of PvE content can feel that way.

It isn’t just player agency, or how deep the economy runs that defines things, but also the ability of the community to set its own rules and standards and enforce them that.

Or such are my thoughts at the moment.  The subject is porous enough that I might change my mind in an hour.  But before I do, I went and asked the AIs about the whole thing and this is what I got.

First, as usual, is BingAI:

A sandbox MMORPG is a type of game that offers a large and persistent virtual world that can be freely explored and modified by the players². Unlike a progression-style game, a sandbox MMORPG does not have a linear storyline or predefined tasks, but rather lets the players create their own goals and adventures³. Some examples of sandbox MMORPGs are EVE Online, Minecraft, and Screeps².

(1) The 22 Best Sandbox MMORPGs In 2023 – MMORPG.GG
(2) What is a Sandbox (in Gaming)? – Definition from Techopedia
(3) RPG Defined – What is a Sandbox MMO? – Giant Bomb.
(4) Perfect Definition of a Sandbox Everyone Can Accept –

As usual, BingAI is brief and to the point, with references.  A world that can be freely explored sounds nice… but modified by players?  You would have to define that in some very specific ways to convince me.

The implied comparison is progression vs. sandbox, with the linear storyline and predefined tasks being the hallmarks of the former, while players creating their own goals and adventures marking the latter.  A bit simplistic.

As for examples… well, EVE Online is pretty easy to accept, but Minecraft?  But I am pretty sure BingAI told me Minecraft wasn’t an MMORPG previously.  Sloppy.  And then there is Screeps.  I have never heard of that.

Overall, too shallow and simple to serve as a useful definition.  This is what you get from just reading stuff you find on the internet.

Grade: D-

On to Google Bard, generally the most fanciful of the group.

A sandbox MMORPG is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that gives players a great deal of freedom and control over their characters and the world they inhabit. Unlike traditional MMORPGs, which have a linear story and set progression paths, sandbox MMORPGs allow players to choose their own goals and objectives. This freedom can be seen in everything from character development to world exploration.

In a sandbox MMORPG, players can choose to focus on combat, crafting, trading, or any other activity they choose. There are no set classes or levels, so players can develop their characters in any way they want. The world of a sandbox MMORPG is also fully explorable, and players can go anywhere they want, at any time.

This freedom of choice is what makes sandbox MMORPGs so appealing to many players. They offer a unique gaming experience that allows players to create their own stories and adventures. Some of the most popular sandbox MMORPGs include EVE Online, Albion Online, and Wurm Online.

Here are some of the key features of sandbox MMORPGs:

Freedom of choice: Players have a great deal of freedom to choose how they want to play the game. They can focus on combat, crafting, trading, or any other activity they choose.
Open world: The world of a sandbox MMORPG is fully explorable, and players can go anywhere they want, at any time.
No set classes or levels: Players can develop their characters in any way they want. There are no set classes or levels.
Player-driven economy: The economy of a sandbox MMORPG is player-driven, which means that players can buy and sell goods and services with each other.
Persistent world: The world of a sandbox MMORPG is persistent, which means that it continues to exist even when you are not playing.

If you are looking for a MMORPG that offers a great deal of freedom and choice, then a sandbox MMORPG may be the perfect choice for you.

In case you missed it, “freedom” seems to be a key element for Google Bard.

The freedom of choice though, that does seem key.  Being able to step off of any progression path seems like a strong pick.

I am not sure open world is as well defined as that section assumed.  Players can certainly seek to travel anywhere at any time, their success and the time it might take them is not assured.

Not having set classes or levels, which usually means a skill based system, is often a go-to when trying to define a sandbox MMO.  It isn’t an absolute, but it is a common factor.

Player driven economy seems key as it is something that enables a number of economic paths as alternatives to the usual combat focus.  But persistent world… again, didn’t that get covered as an aspect of MMORPGs in general in a past post?

That isn’t bad, and unlike BingAI, it managed to pull out three examples of sandbox MMORPGs that most people would agree on.  Not as clownish as Bard can sometimes be, though it still seems a little too sure of itself.

Grade: B-

Then there is ChatGPT.  What will its wisdom bring?

A sandbox MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) is a type of online game that emphasizes open-world exploration, player freedom, and non-linear gameplay in a virtual setting. Unlike theme park MMORPGs, which follow a more structured, linear progression, sandbox MMORPGs give players the opportunity to create their own experiences, shape the world around them, and interact with others in unique ways.

In a sandbox MMORPG, players can often:

1. Explore large, open worlds with few restrictions or boundaries.
2. Choose and develop their characters’ skills, abilities, and professions without being limited by predetermined classes or roles.
3. Engage in player-driven economies where they can gather resources, craft items, and trade with other players.
4. Participate in dynamic and emergent events, such as player-created quests or spontaneous world events.
5. Build and customize their own homes, cities, or other structures, often with in-depth crafting and building systems.
6. Create and enforce their own rules, laws, or social structures within the game world.
7. Participate in large-scale PvP (Player vs. Player) battles, sieges, or other conflicts that can shape the game’s politics and alliances.

Sandbox MMORPGs are known for fostering a strong sense of immersion, player agency, and social interaction, as players can collaborate, compete, or simply coexist within the shared virtual world. Examples of popular sandbox MMORPGs include EVE Online, Ultima Online, and Black Desert Online.

Sandbox MMORPGs must have the word “online” in their name.  I wouldn’t be surprised if that was a pattern it latched onto.  There have been some crazy comedy in training AIs with samples only to have the AI latch onto some unexpected pattern of the data it is being trained on rather than the aspect it was supposed to see.  AIs do not think, they only find and repeat patterns.

ChatGPT hedges quite a bit in this.  It has a list of characteristics that are “often” part of sandbox titles, but not necessarily in all of them.  So you can pick and choose from that list.  And its example titles include Black Desert Online, which quite clearly has classes and levels, something that the other two definitions were set against.

All in all it is an unsatisfying answer.  Yet, how can I hold that against it when I said up front I could not define a sandbox MMORPG in any absolute terms.

Grade: A-

Then, as a follow up, I asked each to recommend some sandbox MMORPGs to me.

BingAI told me there are many sandbox MMORPGs, but these are some of the more popular ones:

  • EVE Online: A sci-fi sandbox MMORPG that lets you explore a vast and dynamic galaxy, engage in various activities such as mining, trading, combat, exploration, and politics, and shape the game world with your actions.
  • Minecraft: A sandbox MMORPG that allows you to build anything you can imagine using blocks, destroy the environment and modify anything in a massive amount of multiplayer modes available.
  • Black Desert Online: A fantasy sandbox MMORPG that features an immersive open-world that invites adventurers to explore it, a complex and fluid action combat system, a deep character customization system, and a variety of life skills and professions.
  • Screeps: A strategy sandbox MMORPG for programmers that lets you control a colony of units using JavaScript and other programming languages, secure resources, train units, and conquer territories.

Once again, Minecraft isn’t and MMORPG and I’ve never heard of Screeps.

Google Bard also assured me there were MANY sandbox MMORPGs and gave me the following list:

  • EVE Online: EVE Online is a massive space-based MMORPG that is known for its complex and player-driven economy. Players can choose to be traders, miners, explorers, or even pirates.
  • Albion Online: Albion Online is a fantasy sandbox MMORPG that is set in a medieval world. Players can choose to focus on combat, crafting, or trading.
  • Wurm Online: Wurm Online is a sandbox MMORPG that is set in a medieval world. Players can build their own homes, villages, and even kingdoms.
  • Black Desert Online: Black Desert Online is a fantasy sandbox MMORPG that is known for its action combat and stunning graphics. Players can choose to focus on combat, crafting, or exploration.
  • ArcheAge: ArcheAge is a fantasy sandbox MMORPG that is known for its open-world PvP and player-driven economy. Players can choose to be pirates, traders, or adventurers.

Then ChatGPT, after reminding me that it doesn’t know anything that happened after September of 2021, told me the following were popular sandbox MMORPG choices:

  • EVE Online: A space-based sandbox MMORPG known for its complex player-driven economy, massive PvP battles, and political intrigue. The game offers a vast, interconnected universe where players can engage in mining, exploration, manufacturing, trading, and combat.
  • Black Desert Online: A visually stunning sandbox MMORPG with a large, open-world to explore, fluid action combat, and an in-depth life skill system. The game features a vast character customization system, housing, trading, and more.
  • Albion Online: A cross-platform medieval fantasy sandbox MMORPG, where players can engage in a player-driven economy, open-world PvP, and territorial control. Albion Online emphasizes guild cooperation and strategic alliances in its gameplay.
  • ArcheAge: A sandbox MMORPG set in a vast fantasy world, offering a mix of both sandbox and theme park elements. Players can engage in crafting, trading, farming, PvP combat, and exploration. ArcheAge also features a unique naval system, with players able to build and customize their own ships for ocean adventures.
  • Star Wars Galaxies (SWGEmu): Although the official servers were shut down in 2011, passionate fans have created private servers running the Star Wars Galaxies Emulator (SWGEmu). This sandbox MMORPG is set in the Star Wars universe and allows players to create their own adventures, explore planets, engage in crafting, and participate in player-driven events.
  • Mortal Online 2: A first-person, open-world sandbox MMORPG with a focus on realism and player freedom. The game offers a deep crafting system, full-loot PvP, and territorial control, where player actions can have lasting consequences in the world.

EVE Online and Black Desert Online seem to be the consensus candidates, while ArcheAge and Albion Online both got two mentions.  Mortal Online 2 and Screeps both get one vote from the three.

But the surprise suggestion has to be SWGEmu.  I am sure Bree and MJ over at Massively OP would be pleased.

How Many Skill Points are Enough in EVE Online?

The skill system in EVE Online, one of its most obvious form of character progression in the game, has always been a bit controversial.  Skill points accrue in real time, whether you are logged into the game or not, making EVE a game where you can make progress while not playing.

This passive advancement sets it apart from the DikuMUD model, which most modern MMORPGs have adopted, where you can only advance in levels via experience points which require your active participation to earn.  Nobody gets levels by not logging in… unless they change the xp table while you’re away.  That happens once in a while.  But for the most part you have to get out and do things to move forward.

EVE‘s skill point system has led to a situation where people often complained that to play the game you had to subscribe and train for a few months to be able to play and that you could never “catch up” to players who started before you, there being effectively no level cap to reach for any but the most extreme users.

This guy had all the skill points you could get until he was banned back in 2016

IronBank, pictured above, was a beneficiary of skill injectors, which were introduced to the game, along with skill extractors, back in February 2016.  That led to a frenzy of activity including IronBank going to the top of the list when it came to total skill points.

This was said to be in response to my previous statement about never being able to catch up or feeling like one needed to train for months.  Anybody could now get ahead, and the fact that this change also made CCP a lot of money was accidental I’m sure.

Well, maybe not enough money as CCP eventually broke their promise that all skill points on the market would be from players and started straight up selling skill point bundles.  This remains one of my go to points that promises from corporations have no value. (Hint: Microsoft promises around buying Activision Blizzard are equally worthless.)

All of which just changed very little of the equation.  The rich, who happened to coincide with those who had the most skill points in New Eden, simply got richer.  Yes, you could now buy your way into skill points, but any system that claims to be egalitarian based on your access to a storefront is kidding itself.

There is another tale to be told about how this all unlocked the keys to super capital proliferation, which CCP freaked out about a couple of years back and then spent 2021 wrecking the in-game economy in an attempt to put that toothpaste back in the tube, something that, once again, punished the poor and made the rich even richer.

Blimey, this redistribution of wealth is trickier than I thought!

Dennis Moore, making an always relevant observation

But I’ve covered that ground elsewhere.  Back to a new player and skill points.

Now instead of feeling like they have to train for months to be useful and do what they want, new players now feel like they have to pay to be useful and do what they want.  That is an improvement, as there is least the option, but maybe not a huge improvement.

And people like me are not being all that helpful when we talk about the old days and how we skilled up slowly, learning the game as we went, or how you can do any number of useful things within a couple of days if you choose your skill plan wisely.

I am also undermined by the fact that my main has 261 million skill points, which means I can log in and do just about anything I want in sub-capital ships I want.  All the key skills have been trained up for years and there are a scant few hulls or fits I cannot fly.  And my main combat alt on a second account has 190 million skill points.  There are a few more recent hulls he cannot fly, but he is mostly there.

Given that, what could I possibly know of the pain of a new player?

Well, those are not my only alts.  I have a range of them and I often forget what luxury it is to simply have all the skill points I need for any given mission, only to be reminded when I try to use one of those alts to do the same mission only to find them thwarted by missing skills.

The skill point distribution of characters I am likely to log in, including my mains, is:

  • 261 million
  • 190 million
  • 67 million
  • 44 million
  • 40 million
  • 12 million
  • 9 million
  • 5.5 million
  • 4.7 million

Those are not all my character, but all the ones I have at some point actively logged on and used for some purpose.

And, if we’re just talking about combat, you can shave 4 million points off of the top six accounts, because they all have that much invested in planetary management in order to earn some ISK.

So where is the line for usefulness?  Below which threshold are there so few skill points that I feel thwarted when I try to do something?

That depends.

At around 40 million skill points the characters I have are pretty well rounded for tech I hulls up to battle cruisers with meta modules, going to tech II modules at key points.  I feel like I could comfortably go to a large null sec alliance and be able to fly, or train quickly into, ships of the line for key doctrines. (Large null sec alliances that actively recruit have to have achievable doctrines to accommodate newer players.  Some smaller, elite groups will require a lot more skill points.)

My 9 million and 12 million skill point characters could both easily jump into Faction Warfare flying frigates.  They cannot fly all possible combos, and would need meta modules rather than tech II for many things, but they would be totally viable and just a couple days away from any additional weapons or modules they might find they needed.

The 5.5 million and 4.7 million characters were both built up for very specific fits.  The former is for suicide gank destroyers used in past Burn Jita events, and the latter was fit up for an Alpha clone Drake doctrine that was a Reavers experiment.  They are both builds tailored to be good for one thing.  But even with those low SP counts… low to me at least… they were both built up to be effective at a single type of mission.

Conclusions and Caveats

So what am I saying?  That you need 40 million SP to go to null sec or 10 million to go to Faction Warfare?

No.  I think there is a lot you can do with the initial skill points you get, plus the million or so you can get from using a referral link, which you can do even after the fact.  Go get those skill points.

Those first days, weeks, months in the New Eden are like the early days in any online game.  You are there in a new world with a lot of aspirational goals laid out around you… and EVE Online has more such goals than you think if you know where to look… and the urge to hurry up, progress, and get to some ideal state of skills and money is going to be strong.

But it is like so many things in life.  The journey is the point.

And believe me, I am very much a goals oriented, destination focused person… and often impatient to boot.  But so many times over the years I have driven myself to get to a goal, finish a zone, fly a given ship, or whatever in an MMO, only to find that, on arriving the fun is over.  It was the striving to get there that I found engaging.

You can, if you want, buy a bunch of PLEX and grab skill injectors off the market to bulk up your skill points right away.  Or you can create a character and start a year long training queue and come back when it is done.  But you’re missing out on the journey.

All of which doesn’t really answer the question in the title.  Another one of those posts where I thought I had a destination.  So how many skill points do you need?  It probably feels like you need more than you have now, but not that many more I bet if you really want to undock.

Answering Gaming Questions with AI – A Tank in EVE Online

I am back again to ask three AI chat bots another question about video games to see how they do.  Google, Meta, and Microsoft can’t stop mentioning AI either.  It is the world we live in now.

AIs thinking about video game questions… drawn by an AI

The questions so far:

The last round, which Bing AI soundly won, involved a fairly specific answer that the other, more chatty AIs, Chat GPT and Google Bard, struggled to build a narrative around.

So I though I would return to something that was more of an explainer rather than involving a technically detailed response.

This week’s question is:

What is a tank in EVE Online?

This question hearkens back to the early days of this site when it was, at times, what Potshot used to call “the magic 8-blog” where I would write a post asking a question and get lots of answers.

In this case it was an EVE Online jargon question.  I saw people use the word “tank” but couldn’t quite figure out what they meant from context.  I knew what a tank was in WoW or EQ or whatever fantasy MUD or MMORPG, but EVE doesn’t map to those roles for the most part, and in the context of what I was reading even logi… a repair ship, the healer of space priest… has a tank.

So I wrote a post basically asking what a tank was in EVE.  This, by the way, pre-dated the now gone EVElopedia and the EVE Uni Wiki.

I found out pretty quickly that “tank” referred to the defensive capabilities of your ship and tended to be focused on either shield or armor, though hull tanking… once considered insane but now a viable option with changes to the game over the years… is also on the list.

The shields can also be an active or passive tank due to natural regen, those are usually the PvE terms, and for PvP fleets the distinction tends to be active and buffer tanks.  Hull tanks are generally buffer tanks only.  Then there is the whole damage resistance aspect to tanking.

And, to top that off, there are also things like “speed tanking” where you keep your transversal up so that the enemy guns cannot track and hit you, or “sig tanking” which makes you hard to lock up and hit.

So that is my statement about a tank in EVE Online, pulled entirely out of… memory.  General, with some secondary details, but nowhere close to a guide to fitting a tank.  What will the AIs say?

Bing AI chimed in with

A tank in EVE Online is a term for a ship’s defense system that allows it to absorb and reduce incoming damage. There are different types of tanks, such as shield tanking, armor tanking, and hull tanking, and each one has its own advantages and disadvantages. Tanking can be passive or active, depending on whether the ship relies on natural regeneration or modules that consume resources to repair damage¹.

Tanking is a core part of most ship combat in EVE Online, and it can make a big difference in your survivability and performance. You should choose a tank that suits your ship’s attributes, your playstyle, and the type of enemies you face¹.

(1) Tanking – EVE University Wiki
(2) Eve Online – Shield Tanking – New Player Guide – YouTube
(3) The victim of EVE Online’s $5,000 gank says he’s struggling – PCGamer

Not bad.  If I just wanted the basic “what does this jargon word mean?” then this would have me covered.  This certainly would have been a fine answer to my post back in 2007.  There wasn’t enough effort for full marks, and I have to admit that third reference it listed is kind of strange, but it completed the assignment.

Grade: B+

Then there was Google Bard

In EVE Online, a tank is a ship’s ability to absorb and reduce incoming damage. A player upgrades their ship’s defense grid, commonly called its tank, to prevent or delay their ship’s destruction. Tanking is a core part of most ship combat in EVE Online.

There are three main types of tanking:

Shield tanking uses shield extenders, resistance modules, and shield boosters to increase the ship’s shield capacity and resistance to damage. Shield tanks are typically used on ships with high shield hitpoints, such as frigates and cruisers.

Armor tanking uses armor plates, resistance modules, and armor repair modules to increase the ship’s armor capacity and resistance to damage. Armor tanks are typically used on ships with high armor hitpoints, such as battleships and battlecruisers.

Buffer tanking uses a combination of shield extenders, resistance modules, and armor plates to increase the ship’s total hitpoints. Buffer tanks are typically used on ships with low hitpoints, such as destroyers and t1 cruisers.

The type of tank that is best for a particular ship depends on a number of factors, including the ship’s hull type, its fitting slots, and the pilot’s playstyle.

In addition to the three main types of tanking, there are a number of other factors that can affect a ship’s survivability, such as the pilot’s skill level, the ship’s speed, and the use of electronic warfare modules.

Tanking is a complex and ever-evolving topic in EVE Online. With so many factors to consider, it is important for pilots to experiment and find the tanking methods that work best for them.

Source: EVE Uni Wiki Tanking

I should post this one to r/eve, though only flagged as humor because there is so much wrong here I hardly know where to begin.

The opening section answers the basic question, so I will give it credit for that.  And the next to last paragraph hints at speed tanking, pilot skill levels, and ECM… though I think once we’re on about ECM we have have left the tanking discussion.  Also, there is the ECM nerf to consider, where it doesn’t work if the person you are using it on targets you back.

But the middle part, the three types of tanking… so much wrong there that I want to redact it lest somebody should read it and think it is useful.

Shield and Armor are two types of tanks, and Buffer is a style of tanking that can be used with Shield, Armor, or Hull… Hull tanking goes completely unmentioned here like it was 2009 still… and the idea that hull type (frigate, cruiser, battleship) dictates whether you go shield or armor… or buffer for destroyers… is not a thing.  Don’t read this.  If you have, forget you did.

I can’t fail Bard due to the opening paragraph . It would have gotten a C at least if it had stopped there.  But then it had to plunge into the unknown… unknown to it apparently… and throw together authoritative sounding yet wrong details.

Grade: D-

And, finally, Chat GPT came in with

In EVE Online, a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) set in a vast, persistent space-based universe, a “tank” refers to the defensive capability of a ship. Tanking in EVE Online is the process of fitting a ship with modules and rigs that increase its survivability by boosting its shield, armor, or hull resistance and/or the ability to repair damage. The main purpose of a tank is to allow the ship to survive longer in combat situations, whether in Player vs. Environment (PvE) encounters or in Player vs. Player (PvP) engagements.

There are three primary types of tanking in EVE Online:

1. Shield Tanking: This involves fitting shield extenders, shield resist modules, and shield boosters to increase the shield hit points and resistance, as well as the ability to quickly recharge the shield. Shield tanking is more common among Caldari and Minmatar ships.

2. Armor Tanking: This focuses on fitting armor plates, armor resist modules, and armor repairers to enhance the armor hit points, resistance, and the ability to repair damage. Armor tanking is more prevalent among Amarr and Gallente ships.

3. Hull Tanking: This is a less common method of tanking, which relies on fitting bulkhead modules to increase the ship’s structural hit points. Hull tanking sacrifices the potential for shield or armor tanking, and it is generally considered less effective. However, it can be a viable option in certain situations or for specific ship types.

When fitting a ship for tanking, players should consider the ship’s role, the type of damage they expect to encounter, and the inherent strengths and weaknesses of the ship’s design. A well-fitted tank can mean the difference between victory and defeat in the dangerous world of EVE Online.

Chat GPT gets in with a pretty comprehensive opening paragraph, getting in the defensive nature, survival, and passing references to resistances and PvE vs PvP.

Then it gets the three primary types of tanks correct AND even correctly identifies the tank preferences of the four key NPC empires.  (Though they each have ships that can use the other style of tanks.  The Gallente Ishtar, for example, tends to bounce between armor and shield tanks depending on the current combat meta.)  And it also identified specific classes of modules used for the three types of tanks listed.

It didn’t dive into buffer or active and steered clear of speed, but it does suggest that the role, damage to be faced, and the ships own attributes should be taken into account.

Not perfect, but goes just deep enough and didn’t undo itself with bad information.

Grade: A-

On this one two of the three AIs did very well, at least answering the question as well as providing some relevant details that a user could follow up on.

And then there was Google Bard, which did the worst thing an AI bot like this can do, which is give a detailed answer that sounds good and plausible to somebody who doesn’t know the facts up front, but which is pretty garbage to anybody who knows what they are doing.

At this point, four posts in, we have seen the foibles of AI in its current state, but Google Bard seems to be determined to be the comedy relief in these posts.

Twenty Years of EVE Online

EVE Online turns 20 years old today.

That is no small accomplishment for any online game, but it is all the more an achievement for a game as wild and chaotic and with a history as strange as EVE.

New Eden 20 Years Later

What do I even write about at this momentous anniversary?

I have, for the better part of 17 years, alternated between gushing and complaining about this game.  It is a title that brings out passionate responses from people, even people who do not play it.

The highs… the highs can be like no other game… you will get a taste and spend years hoping for another.

And the lows… when you lose, when you’re evicted from your space, when you aren’t careful that one time and get ganked and lose a precious cargo, when you feel like you’ve achieved some sense of mastery and CCP changes the rules and pulls the rug out from under you… the lows have inspired many a rage quit.

Some times you have to walk away.

It is a complicated game that gives up its secrets reluctantly.  Even its history is complicated.  I started writing a timeline of CCP at the start of the year, the way I did with Daybreak a couple of years back, and… it is not done yet.  It gets hard to trace accurately, to follow the threads, once expansions go away… even with me blogging about most updates.  (Note to self: Blog more details about updates.)  Maybe it will be done by Fanfest.  We will see.

And the game has changed.  The feel as it approached the end of its first decade was summed up well by the Permaband song HTFU.

There was a well earned arrogance in that song.  CCP was in the decade of growth and expansion.  Other MMOs would launch, peak, and begin the long decline while EVE Online, off to a rough start with only 30K copies of the game even available in the wild on day one, saw a decade of continued increasing popularity.

The sky was the limit.  They had the touch, and they were going to apply that magic to first person shooters and vampires and whatever else.

Even a fumble like Incarna, where the company’s arrogance was exposed to the public briefly, ended up being little more than a speed bump on the way to the game’s peak.

But peak it did at around the ten year mark.  And then we entered the second decade, which saw the failure of the companies other plans and the slow decline of EVE Online, the core of the company.  The on again, off again adversarial and dismissive tone the company tended to take with its customers and the CSM in the first decade was a bit harder to shake.

Still, the second decade meant less HTFU and more reaching out to the base and more accomodation to the realities of the market they had to live in.  We got free to play and catch up mechanisms… because if skill points are your levels, then skill injectors are your catch up plan… to make trying out and getting invested in the game easier.

It has been a decade of trying to make the game better, less hostile, easier to approach, and more engaging.  New Eden isn’t all one big group hug yet, but I feel like the Permaband song that sums up what CCP was going for was Warp to the Dance Floor.

Now we’re flying the best ship in New Eden, the Friendship.  Light, happy, fun, we’re all friends here.  And older.  We’re all a lot older and somewhat slower on the dance floor.

But it is recognition that it is the people who hold the game together, the community of friends and foes alike.  Fanfest and EVE Vegas were often high points of those years, where the company and players got together to party and celebrate this joint venture into madness, this strange pretend science fiction future that affected our daily lives and well being.

And here we find ourselves, in 2023… arguably “the future” from the perspective of my childhood… and the game is still going.  It is still trying to find its way, trying to balance the path forward, trying to find the right things to keep the core of the player base engaged while attracting new players.

Barring any huge technological leap, world spanning disaster, or drastic corporate shenanigans I am confident that EVE Online will celebrate 25 years, and even 30 years as going concern.

What it will look like at those milestones… and what it will take to get the game there, that remains to be seen.


Lots of Friday Bullet Points about EVE Online on the the 20th Anniversary Eve

Tomorrow EVE Online officially turns 20.  Today, some bullet points.  Also, it is Cinco de Mayo.  Do we celebrate that in New Eden?

  • Go Omega Today to be on the Monument

I have mentioned this before, but I’ll flog it one last time just to make sure nobody can ask, “Why didn’t you tell me today was the deadline?”  In order to be added to the new set of name plaques being applied to the EVE Online monument you must have an Omega level account.

The EVE Online monument in happier times

The character with the most skill points on that account will be the name engraved.

If you were on the monument at the 10 year mark, you’ll still be on, but if you are Omega now you get a special marker to indicate that you’re still around.  Details about the monument are available here.

Addendum: The selection has now been extended to the whole month of May.

  • CSM17 Summit Minutes

With CSM17 the CSM members were once again flying to Iceland to talk to CCP in person.  This happened at the end of January/beginning of February.

CSM17 meets with CCP

The end result of that, for those of us not covered by an NDA, was a 26 page set of minutes that CCP has put out as a PDF on DropBox so you can download it and see what happened. (Or, alternatively, grab it from CCP’s site here.)

I haven’t read through it yet, so I can’t tell you if there is anything worth going on about.  Glancing at it though it doesn’t show who from CCP attended the sessions, so it is hard to assess what has weight and what might be just the junior guy on the community team’s wishes.

  • CSM18 Elections Delayed Until August

Also part of the CSM17 minutes notice above, CCP Swift announced in the forums that the voting for CSM18 are slated to take place in August, with details on the election cycle to be announced in July.

The stated reason for this is to allow CSM17 to finish their feedback cycle with CCP, so their terms have been extended to September 25, 2023.  The CSM17 minutes mentioned above, which I have now scanned, include a desire from CCP to have a more diverse CSM with fewer null sec bloc members.  They also want to align the CSM announcement with Fanfest, which at least implies that September will be the new Fanfest timing going forward.

The July announcement will no doubt be full of surprises.

Meanwhile I suppose CSM17 will now be called “The Long CSM.”

  • Fireworks in Jita at 17:00 Tomorrow

The big anniversary celebration will include a coordinated (or uncoordinated) fireworks show at the Jita 4-4 station.

You may need additional chemicals to see this fireworks show

Jita is always the center of attention, but I suspect there will be other hubs of celebration.  At the ten year anniversary Chribba undocked the Veldnaut in Amarr for the big show.  I even made a video of the event.

Information about this and other anniversary events are available here.

  • Community Events for Fanfest

Fanfest isn’t until September, but CCP already has a list of events planned for the big party at the top of the world.  These include:

  • LAN Party
  • Friday Fleet Up
  • Midnight Northern Lights Explorer Tour

And CCP would like to remind people that tickets to EVE Fanfest are still available.

  • The Caldari Built the Shipcaster

I don’t pay enough attention to the story events going on around Faction Warfare, but the patch notes this week say that the Caldari have built the first shipcaster.  That is basically a low sec, empire run jump bridge that will send you from the Caldari FW HQ system of Onnamon to where ever the fight with the Gallente is raging.

I hope somebody puts up a video of it in action, as I suspect I won’t be able to get there to see it.

  • The Brave ESS Reserve Bank Story We Have Been Waiting For

A pilot in Brave used his Pandemic Horde spy alt to steal 150 billion ISK from PH ESS reserve banks.  Sadly, these will be listed in the MER as milking, because it was technically a PH pilot taking from a PH ESS.  But you can read the real details over at r/eve.

That is it for Friday.  Don’t forget to log in and collect your daily rewards from the anniversary event.

  • BOSS Alliance Ends its Run

They have been under attack from Fraternity, Pandemic Horde, and NCDot off and on for over a year at this point in Venal, often thwarting their much more powerful opponents.  But they finally lost their staging Fortizar in the region and have decided to fold up shop.

They did leave us a farewell video.

Another small alliance fighting the good fight.

  • The Pulse

Finally, CCP has a new episode of The Pulse, which… honestly… recaps a lot of what I just wrote.  I might have saved myself the effort but I put this post together over the last few days, so what are you going to do?

They are a little late on the news from X47, though at least it got some coverage.

On to the big anniversary tomorrow!