Tag Archives: Aurum

Reavers Represent

As a group, the Reavers are already dangerously close to role play.

We are a small team that goes behind enemy lines to attack their infrastructure.  We exist to reinforce structures, blow up defensive SBUs, kill the scattered locals, and then fade away when the enemy forms to fight us.  When they form for us, we win, because that means they are not forming for the main front of the war.

We have our own fleet doctrines within the CFC and our ops are always considered strategic for purposes of ship reimbursement programs within the CFC. (And woe to any alliance accountant who tells Sky Marshal Blawrf otherwise.)  And Reaver ops run pretty much around the clock.  It is a perfect place for somebody who wants to drop in and do something (and click on a participation link!) for a couple of hours every day, because there is always something to shoot.

And we have our traditions.  There was a big push when the group was launched to forge an identity.  We have our forum sigs and our own forum Bee in the GSF forums.

Reavers forum bee

Reavers forum bee

In the field we don’t chat in local unless directed.  We often work out of a single POS deep in hostile territory for weeks at a stretch.  We burn out a fleet commander or two every deployment because they thrown themselves into the role and try to keep ops running around the clock.  As a group, we go to great lengths to get people back from deployments.  I have seen pings to help get a single pilot home two weeks after a deployment has ended.

However, in this ongoing effort to forge an identity, I think we might have crossed a line.  We have moved from operational traditions into the field of dress up.

This week Asher Elias, our leader, announced that there was now an official Reavers jacket for our avatars.  I am not sure where this idea came from, but it got a chuckle initially.  However, Asher and the other leaders kept repeating it.  And then people started buying the jackets and updating their avatars.

The jacket was 750 Aurum (Aurum is that odd ball other currency in EVE Online, specifically for the New Eden Store cash shop), but it turned out that a lot of us still had that initial 1,000 Aurum that CCP gave us when the whole thing came online back before the Incarna expansion.  We had the money already, so why not?  As we landed back at the station in our staging system, more and more people bought into the idea.  I was in, though fortunately I had already figured out how to change my clothes in space, so it was a quick swap for me.  Some had to figure things out scratch.

Then there was talk of an official pose for avatars.  And, judging from how things have developed, I gather we were given an official background for our avatars as well.  I wasn’t on last night, but I was putting together a composite of some of our avatars and noticed that, even as I was doing that, they were getting updated with that background.

Initially I had trouble putting together an array of twenty avatars to demonstrate the phenomena.  Later I decided to stop at forty avatars, thinking that perhaps I had made the point already.  Here is what I ended up with:

Reavers Represent

Reavers Represent

That picture expands out to 1280×2048.  I am at the top left and I stand out for not having the correct background yet.  (My method for finding the portraits was to scan recent Reaver kill mails over at zKillboard to see avatars, then go to EVE Who to look up specific names to grab 256×256 portraits, which I then pasted willy nilly into an ever expanding page in Paint.net.)

And, even as this was kicking off, other groups in the CFC started jumping on the idea.  I understand that there is talk in capswarm about an official uniform, leading people to argue over which uniform you should wear.  Asher’s view was that the first group to declare a uniform has precedence, so all Reavers should be wearing our jacket… and in our pose… with our background.  I wonder if our effort… and how it seems poised to spread through some of the CFC… will cause a spike in Aurum usage and character updates?

And just think what would happen if we had hats.

Addendum:  I now have the correct background.

Wilhelm Arcturus

Wilhelm Arcturus

People Aren’t Wearing Enough Hats!

Last week Rixx Javix put up a post over at his blog about hats.

Specifically his post was about EVE Online avatars that he has adorned with hats over the years, including his own and others.

A selection of Rixx Javix hats

A selection of Rixx Javix hats

You should go look at that post.  He has done a lot of hats.  EVE Online avatars with hats on them appear to be quite a thing.  Even my own avatar on the blog is my EVE avatar with a horned helm applied to it. (I used that avatar at work as well.)

That lead me to joke that if CCP had given us hats instead of monocles with the Incarna expansion, things might have gone a bit differently.

I was, of course, being silly, and doubly so because monocles were never the main issue with Incarna.

But still, I felt in my gut that there was something to this.  Hats are fun.  Putting on a hat is almost the simplest form of costume.  Hats lend a sense of style, silliness, or personality when put on.  I love hats.

In fact, in-game if I cannot have a good hat I won’t wear any hat at all.  But I will go out of my way for a hat that fits my mood or forms the basis of a look.  One of the things I miss about Rift is that it had both a varied selection of hats available and a cosmetic system that allow players to easily wear what they liked.

Hillmar with his mean face on

I always liked that farmer’s hat on Hillmar

I realize that Blizzard wanted to use transmorg to get gold out of the economy, but the restrictions on what can be transmog’d into something else are too restrictive in my book.  I want to make my plate helm look like Whitemane’s chapeau or the Hydromancer’s Headwrap!  Is that too much to ask? (Also, the stuff you sell in the Blizz Store… the hats… they look awful.)

Fortune Telling Foursome

Fortune Telling Foursome

And in Lord of the Rings Online as well, I always had to find the right hat.

Manteca the Goon

Go ahead, say something about me hat!

Hats may be the only item I have eagerly spent money on in cash shops.

Who you calling, "fuzzy?"

Bunny hat I bought in EverQuest II

And there is Team Fortress 2 which apparently finances itself entirely through the sale of hats.  That seems to indicate that it isn’t just me with the whole hats thing.  Hats make the character.

Hats seem to be a thing worth monetizing.  Here is an opportunity for CCP to add something to their in-game cash shop that people might buy.

I hear somebody from the back of the hall saying, “But you can buy hats in EVE Online.  And they are bringing more in with the Hyperion expansion.”

And I would have to admit that those are true statements.  But the options currently available do not thrill me, and the options they are adding with Hyperion are even less palatable.

Hyperion Apparel Additions

Hyperion Apparel Additions

That was clearly the problem with the NEX Store, or whatever they are calling it these days; not enough color choices in the hosiery section.

Anyway, those headgear options barely qualify as hats and certainly do not represent anything I would want to display on my avatar.

What CCP needs to do here is get off the whole dark brooding dystopian future… after all, this is the future where anything should go, so if you can name yourself DoomBunny or HVAC Repairman (or even Dabigredboat) in-game and be taken seriously… and at least one of those people is… then fix things so you can find a decent hat in New Eden.  Dystopias tend to have pretty decent hat selections.  Look at Blade Runner or that snappy model Alan Arkin wore in Gattaca.  And lets not forget the Mad Max series.  Or the Soviet Union.  Police states and dictatorships practically rise and fall on their haberdashery selections.

So here is what I want.

I want to have a wide selection of hats, from subdued to zany, that I can buy from the in-game cash shop and apply directly to my in-game avatar so when anybody sees it come up in an info screen… or if they are one of those horrible people that leave icons on in chat… there is my damn hat in full view making exactly the statement I want… which is that I think hats are cool.  In a year I want Rixx Javix to look at the store in EVE Online and say something like, “I can’t keep up with that.”

But that is not all I want.

No, I want an entire hat subsystem in the game.  I want to be able to buy a hat from the store and apply it to my avatar right away, easy-peasy, no questions asked.  I want a hat inventory window where I can view and select from my ever growing collection of hats so I am always wearing the hat appropriate to my mood and the occasion.  I want the method by which I acquire in-game currency… Aurum, isn’t it?  I want that simplified.  I don’t want to have to buy a PLEX and then convert it to Aurum.  That commits me to a nearly $20 transaction.  Just sell me a stack of Aurum, small to large, starting at $5.

Which leads me to the last, and most essential bit.  Make the hats cheap.

We have a luxury item with a non-insignificant amount of overhead to create, but which has almost zero incremental cost per unit sold.  You make it once and sell it a zillion times and your costs don’t change all that much.

Because here is something that Jester got totally right on the similar topic of ship skins, which are too expensive (and too inconvenient) for most people to buy for ships they are going to lose.

Price the hats so that you will sell many.  I want them to be cheap enough that an FC can call for a specific hat style and get decent turn out on that front.  I want them to be cheap enough to feel okay calling anybody who refuses to “hat up” a cheap-ass scrub.  I want to see GSOL running around in yellow construction hats and Theta Squad in fezzes and Triumvirate in very serious fedoras and a halo for The Mittani and a selection of pirate hats and horned Viking helms for every low sec pirate corp to feel included.

What hat would you and your corp or alliance want?

I know, I know, technical details, 3D modeling, limited resources, everything is too hard.  Make the hats freakin’ stickies to apply to your avatar ala that horrible system in Google Hangouts.  You can add in fright wigs, red ball noses, and bow ties while you’re at it them.

All I know is that I want some decent, affordable hats dammit.

Which CSM member will take up this cause?  Who will lead the campaign for more hats in New Eden?

I would, but I’m trying to get this Soviet Naval officer’s cap on my avatar.  It just isn’t quite right.

Comrade Wilhelm

Comrade Wilhelm

A work in progress.