Category Archives: EVE Online

Looking for Offense

My mistake was going to /r/eve on Reddit.  Every nugget of useful information found there must be paid for by wading through post after post and comment after comment of nonsense.

I happened to wander in just after a post went up where somebody was outraged about CCP suppressing their freedom of speech.  We’re big on that this week since somebody said something we seem to agree with.  We’ll be down on it again as soon as somebody we don’t like says something we disagree with.  I guarantee it.

In this case the person in question appears to have been dropping mobile depots around Jita and naming them with messages supporting the protest in Hong Kong.

A CCP GM sent him a warning, which he posted in full, that he had been reported for “deliberately creating lag by excessive spamming of structures in a high population system.”  This was just a warning, it contained no sanction, just a link to the policies and an admonition to not do it again.

Now, I have to admit that I figured he must have been dropping A LOT of mobile depots to get that sort of warning.  I have reported on some of the things that people get up to with mobile depots in the past.

That is a lot of mobile depots

In that scenario you need to drop a lot of mobile depots to stand out.  As such, they seemed pretty sure that they were being singled out for political speech.

I suspect that the comments that came in reply to the post almost immediately were not what they were expecting.  Rather than support for Hong Kong the poster found people angry about them bringing politics into the game or thinking they had a right to free speech given the terms of service to which they had agreed.  The responses were nasty and the poster returned fire in kind.

I took a minute to log in an alt I had sitting in Jita and undocked to check out the mobile depot situation.  Unlike the screen shot above, Jita 4-4 seemed bereft of mobile depot spam.  Dscan showed a total of 8 withing the limits of scan range.  I checked a couple of the gates and found a few more, but mobile depots were not out in force.

So I went back to Reddit and replied, mentioning my observation of the current situation and asking the poster if they were sure if they were being uniquely targeted, because it seemed to me that CCP was trying to clean up the usual spam around Jita 4-4.

I received a short, apologetic response and the post was deleted.  Or as deleted as such things can be.  Nothing on the internet for more than a few minutes is ever gone for good.

I was actually a bit surprised at that response.  I have grown so used to people being unwilling to shift their point of view even an iota on the internet, people so keen to favor only facts that support their initial assumption and so ready to discount immediately anything that runs contrary to their contrived narrative.

It is just the way people tend to be.  I have long held the opinion that people make decisions first and fill in the supporting evidence needed to get there after the fact.  I catch myself doing that.  Some times it doesn’t matter.  Picking some music to listen to doesn’t require supporting facts.  Buying a new car though, or picking who to vote for, or making accusations of bad behavior, that should probably be based on facts, though I am quite convinced that is not the case more often than not.

Anyway, I was thinking about this in the context of the next couple of weeks.  We have EVE Vegas coming up next weekend and BlizzCon after that.  Both companies, CCP and Blizzard, are in bad odor with some of their player base.  No matter what they say at their respective events, some people are going to look for the worst, darkest, most damming interpretation of what is said and done.

It is one thing to speculate.  I do that all the time.  You get a few points of data and it is natural to try to string together a narrative or a motivation.  It is a natural response and can be fun.  Interesting discussions can come from such things.

Just don’t go full Gevlon and stop listening to facts that might contradict your carefully crafted conspiracy theory.  Be the person in my story instead.

The Strange September MER

CCP was quick to get the Monthly Economic Report for September into our hands this month.  Due to a number of factors, I have been slower actually getting to it.

Still, there is something to gawk at this month and I am going to go straight to my favorite chart this time around, which is the sinks and faucets over time.

September 2019 – Top Sinks and Faucets over time

And the key item on this chart is the gold line that represents NPC bounty payouts.  As I have noted, and as the chart shows, bounty payouts had been tapering off since their peak at the start of the year as CCP nerfed various aspects of null sec anomalies.  Then came the blackout in null sec and they fell off a cliff.  However, the player count also took a hit, so in mid September the blackout ended.

However, just a week before that we got the September update which introduced the cyno changes.

So if you look at that chart closely, examining its behavior between September and October, you can see that NPC bounties fell off even further.  They pretty much dropped off another, smaller cliff as capital ship ratting was pulled up short and the various null sec coalitions developed strategies with which to cope with the change.

In the Imperium people were told not to rat in capitals or supers until the was figured out, and I have heard that other groups did the same.

Eventually though new fits were worked out and strategies setup to counter the problem of not being able to light a cyno on your capital or super (or Rorqual) to get rescued if trouble showed up. (Hint: having an alt in a force recon with a cyno cloaked up on grid and ready to go is a big part of the answer.)  After that was settled the crabs once again undocked and commenced their harvesting yet again and we can see the line going right back up at the end of the month.

So the question probably is whether or not that line has momentum, whether or not it will keep on climbing back into the untenable zone where CCP will feel it has to step in again in order to reign in what was once the biggest ISK faucet in the New Eden economy.

We’ll be back to this chart when the October numbers come out for sure.

As for who grabbed the most of those NPC bounties, the chart shows that the usual regions were at the top of the list.

September 2019 – NPC Bounties by Region

The top ten regions for September were:

  1. Delve – 2.2 trillion
  2. Deklein – 1.5 trillion
  3. Cobalt Edge – 1 trillion
  4. Esoteria – 975 billion
  5. Fountain – 957 billion
  6. Branch – 699 billion
  7. Oasa – 686 billion
  8. Detorid – 528 billion
  9. Tenerifis – 496 billion
  10. Insmother – 454 billion

If the Imperium is home then Delve is at the top.

A lot of those numbers are down from the August, full blackout but pre-cyno change top ten:

  1. Delve – 4.39 trillion
  2. Insmother – 1.30 trillion
  3. Detorid – 1.23 trillion
  4. Esoteria – 1.05 trillion
  5. Querious – 753 billion
  6. Cobalt Edge – 705 billion
  7. Metropolis – 543 billion
  8. Omist – 526 billion
  9. Fountain – 515 billion
  10. Malpais – 514 billion

Delve was down by half in September, and other regions fell off as well, but not all of them.  Cobalt Edge, was up in the northeast of New Eden was up by 250 billion.  So location, reaction time, and the proximity of a war no doubt played into it.

The big sinks and faucets chart shows NPC bounties were down overall compared to August.

September 2019 – Sinks and Faucets

The August chart had NPC bounties at just over 21 trillion ISK, while for September that number fell by nearly a trillion ISK, with NPC bounties pegged at just over 20 trillion ISK.

That kept commodities out in front as the largest faucet in New Eden, though those fell a bit as well, dropping from nearly 24 trillion in August to 21.6 trillion in September.  While that is down some, the peak back in January was 26 trillion, so there hasn’t been any huge shift there.  It is the top faucet because NPC bounties (which were over 83 trillion back in January) have been brought low.

You can also see from that chart that more ISK came out of the New Eden economy this month than went in.

Since the blackout and cyno changes also impact mining operations, at least in null sec, I should probably spend a moment looking at those numbers as well.

September 2019 – Mining value by region

Pulling numbers from the spreadsheet, the top ten regions for mining were:

  1. Delve – 3 trillion
  2. Domain – 1.3 trillion
  3. The Forge – 1.2 trillion
  4. Esoteria – 1.1 trillion
  5. Querious – 879 billion
  6. Lonetrek – 876 billion
  7. Sinq Laison – 848 billion
  8. Metropolis – 847 billion
  9. Fountain – 768 billion
  10. Genesis – 705 billion

Delve being on top should probably surprise nobody.  The Imperium is the top crabbing organization in the game, which also figured into Querious and Fountain being on the list.  And Esoteria should be renamed TESToteria.

But the rest of the list is high sec.

The numbers overall seem to be down from the August top ten:

  1. Delve – 3.62 trillion
  2. Domain – 1.59 trillion
  3. Esoteria – 1.46 trillion
  4. The Forge – 1.40 trillion
  5. Querious – 1.10 trillion
  6. Sinq Laison – 1.02 trillion
  7. Lonetrek – 972 billion
  8. Metropolis – 895 billion
  9. Everyshore – 777 billion
  10. Tash-Murkon – 773 billion

However, mineral prices, on which these numbers rest, were also down in September.

September 2019 – Economic Indices

With the prices down, the value is down.

Finally I want to grab the destruction numbers for New Eden.  The blackout, the cyno changes, and the Chaos Era in general were suppose to be at least in part in furtherance of destruction.  Hilmar wanted to see more things blow up.

September 2019 – Destruction value by region

For September the top regions for destruction were:

  1. The Forge – 2.4 trillion
  2. The Citadel – 1.7 trillion
  3. Delve – 1.7 trillion
  4. Detorid – 1.6 trillion
  5. Sinq Laison – 1.2 trillion
  6. Domain – 1.2 trillion
  7. Lonetrek – 1.1 trillion
  8. Esoteria – 906 billion
  9. Metropolis – 882 billion
  10. Deklein – 865 billion

We have high sec trade hubs, Delve, the war zone of Detorid, TESToteria, and Deklein, the last no doubt in relation to the increase in ratting that put Deklein in second place for NPC bounties.

Those numbers are a bit down from August, especially around Jita it seems.  The August top ten:

  1. The Forge 3.2 trillion
  2. The Citadel – 1.9 trillion
  3. Lonetrek – 1.8 trillion
  4. Detorid – 1.6 trillion
  5. Delve – 1.5 trillion
  6. Sinq Laison – 1.5 trillion
  7. Domain – 1.5 trillion
  8. Fade – 1.4 trillion
  9. Metropolis – 1.1 trillion
  10. Black Rise – 1.0 trillion

Overall the total destruction numbers according to the August and September regional stats spreadsheets were 39.7 trillion and 31.2 trillion respectively.  So destruction seems down, and not just in null sec where the crabs were docked up for a couple weeks out of the month.  The Forge being down by a quarter seems significant.

Did the 3 minute cap on being bumped before warping cut down ganks?

Anyway, that is the meat of things for me, and it gives me something to look at next month when perhaps things will have settled down enough to see a pattern.  Or maybe there will be chaos! Chaos!  CHAOS!

If you are interested in the data and charts, CCP provides them all here in a nice zip archive so you can dig into them and make your own lists and graphs.

Skill Point Bonus Time Again in New Eden

I really wish more people had picked SKINs in that survey CCP did about a year back on what sort of rewards we like.  Apparently we all put skill points at the top of our list so now it is all skill points all the time when CCP wants to give us something.

So CCP announced this morning that it is now Bonus Skill Point Week.

When in doubt hand skill points out!

The routine is the same as it has been in the past.  From today, October 16th, through October 24th, log in every day after down time (which is at 11:00 UTC) with every account to claim some free skill points.

This time around CCP did not say up front how many skill points one could accrue over the course of the week, but the usual split between Alpha and Omega clones is in place.  Basically, you get some skill points as an Alpha, but you will get more, probably a lot more, as an Omega, and the login screen will show you just how many more as an enticement to subscribe.

How to collect your skill points are covered in the announcement linked above, but I am sure you could figure it out if you just logged in to look.

This event joins the return of the Skilling Spree, which came back at the start of the month, as the events for the season.  I am sure some are holding out hope for a new Crimson Harvest, the graphically stunning event that ran last year around this time.  We shall see.

Speculation as to why CCP has decided to throw more skill points at us, what it might mean to MAU/DAU numbers, and how this might relate to the one year anniversary of the Pearl Abyss acquisition and the bonuses related to it will no doubt come up as a topic over on /r/eve.

I, for one, won’t turn up my nose at the offer of some free skill points.  The effort is low enough that I’ll log in my Omega and Alpha accounts.  I don’t think I’ll go so far as upgrading any of the latter however.

Five Years of Reavers

Here we are on Reaver’s founding day.  I’ve always pegged the date as around the middle of October, but somebody said on an op that October 15th was the date and that is good enough for me.  So happy fifth birthday to the Reavers SIG.

Reavers forum bee

I have a special affinity for Reavers.  I happened to wander in and join right as it was formed from the remnants of Freedom Squad.  I flew ops with Freedom Squad, but never joined officially, so Reavers was the first Imperium (or CFC back then) group I became a member of.

Also, being there from the start I feel like I know a lot of the story of the SIG.  While I have not been on every op, I believe I have gone on every deployment.

Finally, being a member of Reavers has let me experience a lot of things that you don’t always get to do on main fleet or homeland defense or during big war operations.  There have been a few points where I have felt tired of New Eden, but a new Reavers deployment has refreshed my interest and kept me going.

So, as I do every year, I will try to summarize what the SIG has been up to over the last twelve months.  You can find past summaries here:

To go along with the now established tradition of these posts, I’ll start with a look at the null sec influence map, comparing the current state of null sec with what it looked like last year.

October 2018 and 2019 compared

Delve and surrounding regions stayed largely the same, with Red Alliance disappearing from Period Basis.  The region fell to the Imperium to hold, lest somebody else try to move in.  The north and east saw quite a bit more change.  Dead Coalition (formerly GotG) shook up its membership, with Slyce leaving, while Pandemic Legion and Northern Coalition were driven out of the north due to the “Glass Tribute” campaign this past spring, sending them to reform in Malpais, which was their rental space.  Further south, new names have popped up around Fraternity, which remains at war with TEST and its Legacy Coalition.

As for Reavers operations, it was a fairly quiet year for a number of reasons.

To start with, the shape of war has changed.  Back in the day Reavers would go off behind enemy lines during a war to act as a distraction.  We did peace time operations as well, but those were more to keep us busy and annoy some of our traditional foes than part of any grand strategic plan.

Circumstances have flipped Imperium doctrine on its head.  SIGs and squads are now the harbingers of war, going out to camp in hostile space and stir up trouble until a war sees possible, at which point the fleets mass to come join us and our operations are folded into main fleet.  And all the more so with Reavers, as Asher is the war time sky marshal, running all the big strategic ops.  So, things like the “Glass Tribute” campaign Reavers end up in main fleet rather than having their own deployment.

And then there is Liberty Squad, new US time zone group that formed up about a year or so ago.  There is a lot of overlap between the Reavers and Liberty Squad rosters.  Being on a Liberty Squad op is almost like being on a Reavers op, as almost all the voices on coms are the same.

Because of this, Asher put off doing deployments for a while to let Liberty Squad come together.  So my posts for this year cover more Liberty ops than Reavers.

Still, it was not a year without operations.  So I will run down the list I have based on the last twelve months of posts.

In December we went to wormhole J115405, otherwise known a Rage, to help evict Hard Knocks.  This was setup by The Initiative, who deserves all the credit.

The Initiative logo in spaceships

However, they invited other groups to come participate, and Reavers went as a group.

After that there was a long dry spell for Reavers as Liberty Squad deployed out to harass Pandemic Horde in Geminate.

We did have a couple of Reavers races, set up by Ranger Gamma.

After that there was the war in Tribute, which ran up to the Drifter invasion of null sec and the launch of the Chaos Era.  Liberty Squad did a bit during that, and I spent some time on Zungen Ops, which I get pings for by being in Reavers, but there were no Reavers deployments until recently.  With things quiet elsewhere, Asher formed us up and we went out to Insmother, passing through Legacy Coalition space to join in against Winter Coalition, moving to Cache there after.

That was an old school Reavers deployment, with us living in space without a station or structure to base from.  Mobile depots for everybody.

Swapping out my cloak

However, that also put a bit of a crimp on the numbers.  People who missed the move op out had to find their way out into the middle of hostile space, some opting not to bother.  Numbers were low for ops at times and we ended up coming home this past weekend.

And that is where we stand currently at the the end of five years, back home from a venture out in the wilds of Cache, where we were living in space, shooting at structures, and looking for fights.

My posts do not cover all the Reavers ops.  I know I missed a few out in Cache, and some good ones too from what I hear.  But I believe that covers the deployments the SIG has done over the last year.

Warp Speeds Raised in New Eden

Once upon a time, in the bygone days of New Eden, all ships entered warp with equal rapidity.  Once aligned you went to top speed pretty much up to your destination.

And then CCP decided this was wrong.  With the Rubicon expansion changes were made, and acceleration and deceleration were made part of the equation.  It was all covered in a dev blog, because of course it was. (More numbers over at EVE Uni.)

When battleship warps became really slow

This made traveling with battleships a painful process, as they were slow to accelerate, slow in warp, and slow to decelerate.  Moving bigger ships became annoying and there was no greater pariah than the person who brought a battlecruiser to a cruiser fleet, causing fleet warps to slow down to their level.

Today however CCP made a change.  There was a somewhat less than informative announcement that warp speeds had been changed.  It is short enough to quote in full:

Warp Drive Active – Warp Speed Changes Now Live!

Got somewhere to be in New Eden?

Every Cruiser, Battlecruiser and Battleship now warps faster than before.

Travelling via autopilot will also be faster now with the warp in distance changed from 15km to 10km.

Head into New Eden to find out more!

Fortunately, Reddit is there for us to figure out the changes.  At the top of the thread there is a post which lists out what changed generally, but I am going to steal a chart posted by Sticky Mess (whose flair says Suddenly Spaceships) which goes into finer detail.

Image credit: Sticky Mess

So subcaps from cruisers on up will now move faster in the warp stage of their travel.  People have been asking for this for a long time.  I guess after the Chaos Era CCP felt they needed to throw out a quality of life improvement for everybody.  Judging from the calculations, an increase in warp speed should also shave off some time at both the acceleration and deceleration ends of each warp.

The other interesting, but less discussed bit, was auto pilot warps now landing at 10km off their destination, down from 15km.  That number has been at 15km since I started playing EVE Online back in 2006. (Obligatory “I played before ‘warp to 0’ was a thing.”)  It has been that since forever so far as I know.

So what will that change mean?

Yes, auto pilot trips will now be shorter in duration.  Ships on auto pilot will now be exposed to attack for less time on each gate.  I suppose that will give scouts less time to scan them for ganks in high sec, though the window is still pretty large for that and ganks themselves seem to happen on the other side of the gate when ships are preparing to warp and bumping them can delay their departure.

Anyway, something new in New Eden today.

Sort Dragon Returns to the CSM

It doesn’t feel like a real CSM unless somebody gets asked to leave, gets the heave ho, or just steps away I suppose.  CSM13 was a little different, with Brisc Rubal getting the big ban, only to later be exonerated.  But then he resigned.  So it goes.  And now we have a change with CSM14.

Space politics

CCP announced earlier today that Killah Bee from Northern Coalition has decided to step down from the CSM for personal reasons.  He has this statement about his departure.

In the past, I’ve always said that the CSM can only be effective if its members are some of the most active members of the community. I’ve had some great success in real life lately but with that success goes the time that I am able to devote into EVE and the CSM. This is why I have decided to resign my membership to the CSM effective immediately to make room for someone with more time on their hands. I want to thank CCP and all the other CSM members for a great time I’ve had and I’ll see you again soon.

As part of their statement CCP thanked him for his service on the CSM and made it clear that he is able to run for the council again should he so desire.  Given that some have described the CSM as like having an additional job (a description that has been applied to EVE Online in general), it is easy to understand why Killah Bee might wish to step away.  That he could not make it to the summit in Iceland was probably foreshadowing.   And it is better that he did this proactively rather than being asked to leave for lack of participation, as happened with Vince Draken on CSM12, though he is also eligible to run again should he so desire.

In an odd coincidence, both Vince Draken and Killah Bee’s departures from the CSM benefited the same person, Sort Dragon.

Sort Dragon, who had been on CSM10, did not make the cut for the CSM12 elections, but was elevated to the council with Vince Draken’s removal.

He managed to get elected and served on CSM13, but when the results for the CSM14 election came out he fell just 12 votes shy of being re-elected, Steve Ronuken coming out just ahead of him in the count.  With Killah Bee stepping down, Sort Dragon will once again be on the CSM, this being his fifth time on the council.

So CSM14 now looks like this:

  • Aryth – Goonswarm Federation (inc)
  • Merkelchen – Goonswarm Federation (inc)
  • Innominate – Goonswarm Federation (inc)
  • Steve Ronuken – Fuzzwork Enterprises (inc)
  • Gobbins – Pandemic Horde
  • Vily – Test Alliance Please Ignore
  • Dunk Dinkle – Brave Newbies
  • ExookiZ – Scary Wormhole People
  • Olmeca Gold – Delve Pest Control Inc
  • Sort Dragon – Darkness

We will see if his presence changes anything

A Wormhole Home from Cache

In one of those moments of extreme good timing, about 30 seconds after I launched Jabber last night a ping from Asher popped up saying that if anybody wanted to head home early there was a wormhole up in Cache that led Amarr low sec space, which is conveniently close to Delve.

I immediately logged on my main and alt, joined Asher’s fleet, followed the instructions in the MOTD, jumped through the wormhole, and found myself about a dozen gates from Delve.  In about 20 minutes I traveled from the far east of New Eden to the far west with both of my Guardians tethered up outside a Keepstar.

Waiting at the back door

Doing that route the hard way, going gate to gate, would involve passing through 55 gates and 8 regions before arriving in Delve.  Even the expected move op home, which might get to use Legacy Coalition Ansiblex jump gates, as we did on the way out, will likely have to make more jumps than I did.

As for why we are headed home, participation has been low.  A bunch of people made it out with the original move op, but interest has tapered off and anybody who missed the move out faced a long and hazardous trip to get to us.  That is one downside of living out of mobile depots in hostile space as opposed to basing out of NPCs stations.

So I am back home in Delve.  Now I have to figure out how to move all of my stuff.  While we were away there was a change to which Keepstar was going to be the staging point and market for Delve.  It is in the same system, but moving all of the crap I have collected over the last year or two is going to be either awkward or expensive… or both.