Tag Archives: CCP

Null Sec – We Rat and We Mine Things

Null bears are everywhere!

CCP released their monthly economic report for March 2017 on Friday with some new charts added and at least one old standard omitted.  There had been some discussion in the CSM as to what data might compromise op sec or otherwise signal other parties what was going on, which led to the mining output chart going missing.  But even with the last round of Rorqual nerfs, mining with them seems to still be running apace judging by the Rorqual kill mails alone.

But by far the most outrageous chart in the report has to be the one for bounty payments, the largest ISK faucet in New Eden.  Guess who rats a lot?

Bounty Payments – March 2017

Of the 66.65 trillion ISK in bounty payments paid out for killing hostile NPCs over the course of the month, the largest ISK input into the game representing nearly half of all of the total faucets, 92.2% of them were collected in null sec.

Looking back six months for a comparison (I was going to look back a year, but there was a war going on which was likely depressing bounty payments) that represents about a 50% boost in bounty payments.  (Though six months back bounty payments represented an even larger part of the ISK faucet pie.)

Looking at that chart, you are likely reacting in one of two ways:

  • That’s not fair!  Null sec shouldn’t get all the ISK.  CCP should make ISK available to me where I play!
  • If I want ISK I had better move to null sec!

Which one do you think is more likely to improve your bottom line?

This is all a result of how things have been evolving in null sec over time.  Five years ago, when I was finally settling into the null sec routine, ratting wasn’t what it is today.  Yes, it was still popular, but anomalies were sparse, a lot of null sec systems weren’t even worth ratting in, and shooting NPCs didn’t do much for your corp or alliance aside from provide a little tax income.  It was viewed as a bit selfish, an act of fattening your own wallet.  My old corp used to set the tax rate to 100% during operations or deployments to punish those who wanted to rat when they were needed elsewhere.

And then things changed.

There was Fozzie Sov, which introduce the activity defense multiplier.  That index was influenced, in part, by how many NPCs were destroyed in a given system.  Ratting suddenly became a patriotic way to support your corp/alliance/coalition.  This was accompanied by a boost in anomaly frequency to help make previously worthless systems worth ratting in.

Then there was the expansion of forces in null sec.  Brave Newbies started the trend, but now if you want to get into null sec there are multiple opportunities.  Once it was a wry comment that it was easier to get a home loan than to get into a null sec corporation.  Now just about anybody who wants to can find a slot in one of the newbie friendly corps in null sec.  The various coalitions need players both to form up to defend their space (or attack others) and to rat and mine and do the things that keeps the home front more defensible.  And so the doors opened.  If you’re not in null sec, it is because you do not wish to be, not because anybody is keeping you out.

However, given the trend in the top faucets/sinks chart, I wonder if CCP is going to let this continue on as is.

March 2017 – Top sinks and faucets over time

While most of those lines are fairly stable, the bounty payout line has been going up for a while.  If that trend continues unabated, they might have to change something.

Looking at the rest of the report though, it appears that while null sec is making the ISK, much of it ends up in high sec in general, and in Jita in particular.

Corpses in New Eden

If you don’t play EVE Online you might not even suspect that player corpses are a thing in the game.

Technically the claim for many years that you could not get out of your ship and your pod has been incorrect.  You could, and can, you just have to die to do it.  Not very useful or convenient, but you are out of your pod.

The thing is, it likely isn’t something that happens to people very often.  There are security status and CONCORD complications when blowing up people’s capsules, except in null sec (and wormhole space), and who ever goes there?  So while the outlier empires might pop pods as a matter course, all those people roaming low and high sec probably don’t run into corpses very often.

And even if they are there, you might not see them.  When I started writing this I logged on to look at a corpse in space, only to find that none of my overview settings had them enabled, including the default “All” setting which, true to CCP form, was actually missing A LOT of checkboxes.  Every time they add something it is unchecked by default, because comedy I guess.  And it took me a bit to figure out which checkbox even applied.  There isn’t one for corpses, but down the list there is one for biomass.

Biomass is what we become…

I am not sure why that is under the celestials category.  Probably more Icelandic humor.

To figure that out I had to find a test corpse.  As it turns out, I actually have a couple of corpses in the stash of stuff that has followed me around New Eden.

Corpses in Storage

That gave me the group name so I could search the overview settings for the entry and check it, at which point I could see corpses in space.

Corpse in the overview

I like that little person icon.

I think I have dragged the corpse of Jesus Nazarene around with me for a few years on the off chance it might come back to life and due to the theological implications of it being female.  Where is Professor Robert Langdon when you need him?

Corpses sit there in space when you get podded.  They are not much to look at, though I found if you alt-zoom with the camera you can get a pretty good close up.

Zoomed in… confirmed female I guess…

I actually had to jettison space Jesus to get it on the overview, which you can do because they are just objects 2 m3 in volume as far as the game is concerned.  Corpses don’t end up in a jettison can when you toss them into space, which makes them a little different than other items in your cargo hold… again, I assume somebody in Iceland thought this through… but otherwise they take up space and you can scoop them up.

Running in to pick up Jesus

And that is the key.  You can pick up corpses, and anything people can pick up they start to collect.  I know people who collect corpses, or who collect specific corpses.  Corpses of the space famous are in demand and I have seen people scramble to get to the corpse of a well known FC.  A Gevlon corpse would go for a lot.  The Mittani offered up corpses of himself as one of the initial incentives for the Fountain War Kickstarter until CCP told him that counted as RMT and he had to remove it.

And you cannot even make your own corpses.  Self-destructing does not yield a corpse, you need to be shot by another player.  But if you’re in a battle, at least in null sec, there are generally enough corpses to go around if you want to start collecting today.  A look at my updated overview after a quick drop/counter drop battle with PL in Delve last night.

Lots of corpses… the scroll went on for a bit

All of which might be mildly interesting data points for the outsider.  But I bring up the subject of corpses in New Eden for a few reason.  There is more to this than just a rather macabre thing to collect in an MMO.  CCP has used corpses before and seems to have some plan for the future.

First, there is the Drifters connection with corpses.  The Drifters showed up in 2015 and had an affinity for corpses, collecting stray corpses and, as I seem to recall, even becoming aggressive towards player ships with corpses in their cargo hold. (I might be wrong on that last bit.  Age and memory don’t mix well.)  Corpses were being collected by NPCs for some nefarious purpose.

Second was this year’s CCP April Fools joke, the Upwell Biomass Granulator, and MTU-like deployable that would harvest corpses from space and refine them into raw materials that could be used to make new sorts of boosters.

Corpses go in, but they don’t come out…

There were even faction variations listed that would create special items from specific inputs.  I heard a few people on coms who were excited/disappointed about this April Fools because they wanted it to be a thing.  Corpse collectors unmasked.  In any case, it seems like CCP has corpses on the brain of late because…

The third item is the Blood Raiders capital ships that are going to be hitting New Eden at some point in May.  Among the features of these pirate faction capital ships are special corpse bays.  The Dragon force auxiliary, the Chemosh dreadnought, and the Molok titan will have 1000 m3, 1000m3, and 2000 m3 corpse bays respectively, which will house 500 or 1000 corpses.

Something like the Molok

That was enough to get an article about the ships over at Kotaku, though the size of the corpse bays has been revised since that article ran. (Massively OP covers the likely reason for the change.)

The Blood Raiders have their own grim reputation, and earned their name for a reason.  But I do wonder if the corpse bays are there just for lore/show reasons, or if CCP has other ideas when it comes to corpses in New Eden.

Anyway, all of this got me thinking about the humble corpse in New Eden.

Just hanging in space…

Do you have any corpses in your hangar?

The Coming of Refineries in New Eden

Upwell structures continue to take over New Eden.  CCP put up a dev blog about the current state of citadels and engineering complexes with some informational tidbits such as:

  • Over 7800 different player corporations have at least one Upwell Structure in space right now.
  • Four player alliances have active home citadels with more traffic and trade volume than any NPC stations except for the big four trade hubs and the newbie systems. The busiest of them has also surpassed Rens in trade volume.
  • The top 100 most active industry facilities in EVE (measured by industry job output value) so far in 2017 consist of 13 NPC stations, one Outpost, one Starbase array, one Citadel and 84 Engineering Complexes.

The new structures have definitely been embraced by a swathe of the community.

Keepstars are the new centerpiece of player empires

As a follow up to this, CCP also posted a dev blog about the next Upwell branded structures they expect to release, Refineries. (There is also a survey to gauge how you feel about these structures.)

Refineries will replace player owned starbases in the role of moon mining, and the act of moon mining will go from passive act (or passive aggressive according to Kirith Kodachi) to a much more active process, where chunks of the moon will be displaced into space to be collected manually.

Everybody’s current favorite moon chunk picture

According to the follow up questions and answer post, this will mean the end of siphons.  Since harvesting from moons will be a more active process, stealing the moon bounty will also become something you have to get out there in a ship and do directly.

There is still no time frame for when Refineries will be coming to the game.  I suspect that we will hear a lot more about this at Fan Fest, which is coming up in less than two weeks now.  Over at INN there is word that CCP Fozzie will be appearing on the Talking in Stations podcast with Matterall to discuss what has been announced.

This means one less activity for player owned starbases, the familiar old POS that has dotted New Eden for many years now.  With moon mining operations gone, the purpose of the POS will be as a place for jump bridges, cyno beacons, and cyno jammers.

When the POS finally disappears, it will be the end of an era.  I have spent a lot of time in game “shooting the stick” and forming up in the protective force field that surrounds the central tower of a POS.  My first ever fleet op in null sec involved shooting a POS.

Modules blowing up back in 2011

In the new world of structures, with their vulnerability timers that let you control when you have to fight, I have no doubt there will be some nostalgia for the old POS once it finally disappears.  You could go and shoot one to reinforce it whenever you wanted.

Why yes, I will shoot this POS

And nothing will replace the giddy feeling when the shield hit points drop below 25% on a tower you expected to just reinforce.  A boring old POS shoot suddenly becomes a kill mail.  Those days will soon be behind us.

EVE Online Multiple Character Training Deal

Weren’t we just talking about deals and things for veterans versus things for new players?

Anyway, here is something for both new players and bitter vets, CCP is offering multiple character training with any multi-month subscription. [Offer expires Feb. 8, 2017!]

freemctheadline

While there have been other subscription incentives in the past… price breaks, special SKINs, and the recurring second account deal… this is the first time I think they have offered up a second training queue as part of an offer.

I am a bit surprised it took this long to get that sort of offer (unless I missed one from the past) as multiple character training has been around for a few years now. (It came it with the Odyssey expansion as Dual Character Training in June 2013 and then got its own in-game token and became Multiple Character Training with the Hyperion expansion in August 2014.)

And this offer does appeal to me.  On every account I have ever had for EVE Online, there has always been a “main” character who gets all the training, and then an alt character or two that linger, hoping for the day when that main character has enough skill points.  But as we all know, there is never enough.  Well, I haven’t gotten to “enough” on my main yet, and he’s past 170 million skill points.

Of course, my perception of what this offer was clashed a bit with the details.

You get SOME multiple character training time

You get SOME multiple character training time

This is not CCP’s fault, but my brain jumped from the initial banner/statement straight to thinking one would get multiple character training… MCT… for the duration of the subscription.  But you do not.  You get some MCT time… which is better than no MCT time… but it is equivalent to one third of the subscription length you choose.

Not what my brain wanted, but still better than no incentive at all.

And while we’re on the subject of where my brain leaped relative to the reality of the situation, there are a some additional notes on this offer.

The fine print

The fine print

You don’t, as you might have expected, get the token for MCT, which you could squirrel away for later or sell on the market.  Instead the second queue starts right up the moment you take the offer.  So be ready before you buy.

And, finally, there was some griping about the deal showing up without any preamble, so that people who had just done their subscription were feeling left out.  CCP rolled the offer back so that if you subscribed within three days of the start of the offer, you get the deal. (Though I hope you noticed that you got it!  And what happens with auto-renewals?)

That still left some people grumpy, because you know somebody hit the button four days ahead of the offer and now feels cheated because the people who did so three days got a break and they did not.

But here is the thing.  You can subscribe again and add more time to your account.  That might not seem like a good plan if you like to subscribe for a year at a time to get the best discount, but if you’re in for the every three months offer, kicking in for another three months early to get something that has the value of one PLEX won’t kill you.

My own second account isn’t due to renew until April… there was some deal last year that got me to renew it for a full year… but I am thinking about adding on another three months to get 30 days of MCT.  There is another cyno alt in that.

You can find all of this right now on the Add Game Time page of the EVE Online site.  This is, of course, a limited time offer, so act soon or lose out.  I am not sure when it actually ends.

And since item has ballooned from what was going to be a single entry on a bullet points submission to a full on post of its own… any item that passes 500 words can stand on its own in my book… I am going to ask a general follow on question.

Does any other MMO with a subscription option throw out as many incentive offers as CCP does for EVE Online?  CCP has something running… a special SKIN, a bonus item, a special discount, a two for one deal… about every couple months is seems.  It used to been more frequent, but they now have PLEX and Aurum deals going when they aren’t doing subscription deals.

The one similar event I recall was the World of Warcraft offer that got you a free copy of Diablo III if you subscribed for a full year.  And Daybreak recently had a special “subscribe for a full year” deal that offered a serious price break.  But I don’t remember any others quite like that off hand.

Then again, I don’t subscribe to that many MMOs any more, so I likely missed them if they were out there.  So what compares?

Looking Back at 2016 – Highs and Lows

Lord, what did we do to deserve this year?  I’ll just steer away from politics, the world, and celebrity deaths for this if you don’t mind.  Wow, 2016.

Blog2016

Still, it is time for this post, where I look back at the year gone by and look at some aspects over it, a tradition going back to 2010.  Past entries:

This annual post tends to be even more haphazard than my standard fare, an exercise in stream of consciousness writing as I add things to the list as they pop into my head.  No links, no explanations, minimal punctuation, and lots and lots of bullet points.

Blizzard

Highs

  • Still makes tons of money, actually has several popular, profitable games
  • Just to reiterate, “Money, money, money, money, money!”
  • Celebrated the 25th anniversary of its founding… and the 22nd anniversary of when it was first bought by another company
  • Shipped a WoW expansion, Legion, which sold well
  • the lead-in preview events before the Legion launch were pretty good
  • Actually appears to have a plan to keep content coming for Legion rather than the usual year long drought
  • Blizz still does a good job with new players and level boosts to let you jump straight to the current content with your pals
  • WoW Tokens haven’t destroyed the in-game economy or anything
  • Overwatch is totally a stellar success, you can tell by the amount of rage that comes from one character getting just an okay holiday outfit
  • Oh, and Overwatch got its own paid professional league
  • Hearthstone is doing pretty well, getting new expansions and coverage on Twitch as a casual alternative to whatever
  • Diablo III is getting some new stuff
  • Hell, even StarCraft II is still chugging along selling mission packs

Lows

  • If you are a fan of just ONE Blizzard game, you probably don’t think they give your game enough attention
  • If you are a WoW fan, you’re probably pissed about how much attention all the new shit is getting
  • The old instance group… totally not playing WoW, except for Earl who never stops playing it
  • Chris Metzen, Mister Lore Enthusiasm, retired
  • BlizzCon has become mostly a Blizzard eSports event
  • Legion made the long, long tradition of alts a pain in WoW
  • WoW classes in Legion are pretty much designed around a legendary weapon, so feel off until you get into the current content
  • Have you seen the path to get flying in the Broken Isles?
  • The whole Nostalrius saga, which really brought out some horrible people on both sides of the issue
  • Blizzard continues to steadfastly fail to understand why somebody would want to play an old version of WoW
  • Mark Kern injecting himself into the Nostalrius saga, which just seemed to make any progress forward less likely
  • Nostalrius expecting fast action from Blizzard and just relaunching when they didn’t get it… this will end well
  • The Diablo III new stuff is really nostalgia driven… which is okay for an older IP, but won’t sell many boxes as, say, Diablo IV would
  • Uh… Heroes of the Storm… you still there?

Daybreak Game Company

Highs

  • Really, things seemed to be well if you were a long time EverQuest or EverQuest II player; expansions, updates, free things, all good
  • DC Universe Online has a happy community and seems to be doing well, especially on PlayStation
  • H1Z1 King of the Kill seems to be popular on Twitch and is getting off of Station Cash
  • Some sort of publishing deal for LOTRO and DDO through the new Standing Stone Games… that should be worth some money, right?
  • Lots of job reqs on the Daybreak site, so they must be working on something new

Lows

  • EverQuest Next got the axe after the traditional SOE long silence
  • Without EverQuest Next, Landmark got shoved out the door, ready or not… mostly not
  • Has Daybreak hit the point of diminishing returns for special/nostalgia servers for EQ/EQII?
  • “Free to Play, Your Way!” became “There is a cover charge at the door and a two drink minimum”
  • If you think you’re going to buy a level boost for EQ or EQ2 in order to play the new content, think again!  This ain’t WoW, the path through Norrath is not well marked
  • Haven’t heard much about PlanetSide 2 since its console launch
  • H1Z1 Just Survive might have a name that is too close to the reality of its situation
  • If Station Cash is so bad that they’re getting H1Z1 King of the Kill off of it, what does that say about the games left behind?
  • Pulled support for retail game cards; no more bringing your allowance to GameStop to pay your subscription, you have to pay online now
  • Good-bye Legends of Norrath
  • No more open world PvP in EQ2 (I’m sure somebody considers this a low point, even if I don’t really)
  • No more EQ2 Worlds mobile app either (That’s bad, right? Or was that just another distraction?)
  • With Russell Shanks gone, Columbus Nova doesn’t even have the pretense of a gaming exec running the show

Standing Stone Games

Highs

  • No longer part of Turbine or on WB’s balance sheet, so no more margin requirements… can actually spend money on development
  • Being able to just run DDO and LOTRO is probably the best thing possible for both games at this point
  • Mordor is in sight in LOTRO
  • DDO still seems to be in good shape

Lows

  • Asheron’s Call and Asheron’s Call 2 have taken their final call and are being shut down
  • With nothing new in sight, SSG is playing through its own company end game as a caretaker
  • As their own company they gain the overhead for internal tasks that WB was likely doing for them, things like HR and payroll and such
  • LOTRO and DDO are both licensed properties, so SSG still needs to send out checks for that every month, which is more overhead than a fully owned property like EveQuest or Ultima Online has to deal with
  • Daybreak is now their publisher, which means they will need to get paid too
  • Despite the “nothing is changing” FAQ, this move will mean changes eventually
  • Able to run their own show, the first reaction seemed to be “revamp avatars!” which is code for “screw the current player base, I want new people around here!”
  • Can they even afford to make new avatar models that are good enough to make a difference to anybody?

CCP

Highs

  • They have the most popular VR app for the Oculus Rift in EVE Valkyrie
  • Two big expansions, Citadel and Ascension that changed the face of New Eden
  • A new New Player Experience in EVE; this time for sure!
  • Citadels everywhere!
  • Rorqual becomes the most popular capital ship in the game, figuratively if not literally
  • We had a great big war, a two year PCU high mark, and the most people ever in a single battle this year
  • CCP ends gambling, confiscates tainted ISK, and bans the RMT barons who fomented The Casino War after the Imperium called them out for being involved with RMT
  • Skill injectors let new players “catch up” to vets in training
  • The new CSM hasn’t been a distraction/embarrassment/hostile force this year

Lows

  • DUST 514 went dark
  • Rated 6/10 due to the shallowness of the game, EVE Valkyrie doesn’t have much competition and costs $99 if you didn’t get it for free
  • Being the most popular VR app in the Occulus Rift fragment of the market is like being the most proficient thumb sucker in pre-school, an honor that just isn’t going to last
  • F2P option boosted average PCU for EVE, but it is still 15K below the 2013 peak
  • Banning RMT tainted casino accounts came too late to save the Imperium, but a dish served cold was better than no dish at all
  • After the The Casino War Goons went to Delve while PL and NCDot started a rental empire at the expense of their erstwhile allies… nothing new in space, so just replay the greatest hits I guess
  • Ummm… no, really, citadels everywhere
  • Welcome to the new super cap arms race in null sec!
  • Suddenly becoming the most popular anything in New Eden is a sure sign of a balance issue
  • Not sure where the New Eden road map is headed next, and we probably won’t hear until Fanfest
  • Skill injectors pretty much made the powerful more powerful, as the rich now can have insta-trained alts
  • Not sure CCP is actually listening to the CSM
  • RIP New Eden solo industrialists
  • Still a loud faction out there that thinks walking in stations will “save” EVE Online
  • Rumors of CCP being sold… you may not love those vikings, but who else would have even tried to make EVE what it is today?

Nintendo

Highs

  • 20th Anniversary of Pokemon
  • Re-release of Pokemon Red, Blue, & Yellow on Virtual Console
  • Pokemon Sun & Moon, a great new core Pokemon RPG, was a bit seller
  • Pokemon Go takes the world by storm, boosting Pokemon related sales on all fronts
  • Super Mario Run followed on Pokemon Go as a huge immediate success on mobile
  • Announcement of a new mobile console thing, the Switch

Lows

  • End of the line for the Wii U… but at least it outsold the Saturn and the Dreamcast
  • Pokemon Sun & Moon performance on old model 3DS units is laggy
  • They must Amiibo all the things these days I guess
  • Pokemon Go problems… it wasn’t ready to be a phenomena
  • Will the Switch be more of a handheld or a living room gaming console?
  • The “not a successor” designation for the Switch no doubt means no backward compatibility for any of your current Wii U or 3DS games.

Other Games

Highs

  • Star Trek Online made its way to consoles
  • Star Citizen shook off Derek Smart eventually
  • Rift got an expansion out, as did SWTOR
  • Black Desert Online had the MMO spotlight for a while
  • The Elder Scrolls Online seems to have turned a corner to success/stability
  • Minecraft continues to boom, with new updates, high sales, and a happy fans
  • Project: Gorgon has been available and improving and got some more funding via Indiegogo
  • WildStar lives yet!
  • Dark and Light sputtered back into existence after an eight year server downtime
  • No Man’s Sky had everybody excited for a cool, new indie space exploration game
  • Stardew Valley shows one dev can make a compelling game

Lows

  • The usual array of F2P fuckery, as J3w3l would put it, in various titles trying to boost income; I think Rift and Black Desert Online get a special mention for 2016
  • A special bonus mention for SWTOR and its “new content is for subscribers” plan; can’t buy it ala carte, gotta pony up
  • Black Desert Online fulfilled its prophecy and pretty much a re-run of ArcheAge, but that seems to be the way of these things no matter what MMO launches
  • ArcheAge got an update, the main feature of which seemed to be killing the servers
  • Consoles seem to be the main focus for Star Trek Online, so if you play on the PC you are probably behind on new features.
  • Just because Derek Smart hasn’t posted about Star Citizen in a couple months doesn’t mean all is happy, as the whole package is still in alpha, still nowhere close to all those promised features, has moved to a new engine (which they forgot to mention for months), and still seems to be run in a haphazard and/or amateurish fashion
  • Jesus, did any fucking Kickstarter I back even ship this year?  Camelot Unchained? No!  Shroud of the Avatar? No! Project: Gorgon? No! MineServer? No!  Even Jason Scott’s documentary trio hasn’t shipped a single video yet.  Dammit people, you know when you promise and don’t deliver you screw over the people trying to get funding after you, right?
  • While I am complaining, early access has turned into something like, “We got the code to run, give us some money!” of late
  • If WildStar’s revenue drops any further the studio is going to turn into a tax write-off for NCsoft
  • Main line PC Minecraft needs to get off Java already
  • The return of Dark and Light hardly seemed worth the effort
  • No Man’s Sky was just the intersection of many bad things, with unmet promises, overreacting fans, and a level of post launch company support that might be best summed up with, “Have you tried turning it off and then back on again?”
  • Seriously Hello Games, if you go on TV and say people can play No Man’s Sky with their friends, and they cannot, you have earned a pile of negative reviews
  • The LEGO Minifigures Online closer punches Funcom in the gut yet again
  • The rocky ride and sudden end of Hero’s Song
  • Yahoo shut down Yahoo games, because literally anything Yahoo touches turns to shit… and then just gets worse from there

Media

Highs:

  • Rogue One, a new Star Wars movie, was pretty okay
  • Fantastic Beasts, a new Harry Potter universe movie, was pretty okay
  • Westworld kept me going for ten weeks
  • I am not a big super hero movie fan, but Deadpool did make me laugh

Lows:

  • The end of Downton Abbey
  • Rogue One isn’t going to get anywhere close to $2 billion in the box office revenue, probably due to a lack of Skywalkers
  • Also, Rogue One continued the tradition of crying about a vast SJW conspiracy because a female got a lead part in an action movie
  • Akin to Rogue One, a lack of Potters does limit the appeal of Fantastic Beasts
  • The Warcraft movie was really a for-the-fans-only venture, unlikely to expand the player base of the franchise
  • I think super hero movies have hit saturation point… maybe we can do some westerns or something?
  • So many celebrity deaths… crap, I wasn’t going to mention that… but Jesus Christ, even Carrie Fisher?

The Blog and Blogging and The Internet

Highs:

  • Continues to chug along with 360 posts this year, or almost one a day, up 7 from last year
  • I still enjoy writing
  • I still very much enjoy writing after I have writ and can go back and see what was up a year later
  • Still a decent rang of blogs out there to read
  • Massively OP still does a regular call out to blogs
  • Reddit does has some very good and informative subreddits

Lows:

  • My enthusiasm for new and different MMORPGs has largely faded, so I tend to write about the same half dozen games over and over
  • My style… crank out a first draft then press “publish,” after which I start to find errors and typos… remains largely unchanged
  • I still have to fight the urge to start every paragraph after the first with, “And,” “So,” “Then,” and “Meanwhile.”
  • Readership is down to about 2009 levels, though I suspect the core regular readership is about the same, it is just less new people showing up… sort of like an aging MMO, which seems oddly appropriate
  • I still don’t link out to other blogs as often I think I should
  • Blog attrition and fading has passed the replacement level in our corner of the net, or maybe I am so out of the loop that I simply no longer see new blogs as they pop up being an old fart
  • Other MMO gaming news sites pretty quickly forgot about blogs after a flurry of paying attention to them last year
  • AOL killed the Massively and WoW Insider archives… or at least broke all the links going to them… At least we still have the Internet Archive
  • Reddit does make blogs feel redundant unless you are a fan of long form
  • /r/eve

Anyway, that is what I have in my brain here at the end of 2016.  I am sure I left a lot out, so feel free to add anything you feel needs a mention in the comments.

A new year approaches, which at least implies two more of my yearly posts are yet to come, my outlook for 2017 and the inevitable New Years Day predictions post.

Others looking back at 2016:

New Eden For Sale?

The hot rumor of the day, fanned by a post at Bloomberg, is that CCP is looking to sell out, having a couple of potential bidders lined up, with the value of the deal being rumored at near one billion dollars.

CCPlogo

What does CCP have that is worth a billion dollars?  Let’s see…

  • EVE Online, along with all the hardware to run it in a server farm in England.
  • A contract with a Chinese firm to run EVE Online in China
  • EVE Valkyrie and EVE Gunjack, which run on a variety of devices in the fragmented, kiddie-pool sized market that is VR today
  • The source code for Dust 514
  • A monument by the sea in Reykjavik
  • A bunch of copies of Hættuspil
  • Hilmar’s collection of Lazy Town video tapes
  • The largest stash of Quafe in the known universe
  • Something else?
Hat tip to Rhavas...

An untapped resource?

Basically, EVE Online and the VR titles… and word is that there isn’t much money in making VR titles currently, so unless CCP has some real special tech in that regard, New Eden is the biggest asset.

Meanwhile, CCP also has a couple investors in the form of Novator Partners and General Catalyst Partners.  CCP isn’t in the Daybreak situation of being wholly owned and bent over by an investor, but those two companies aren’t in because they like video games.  They are both invested in order to get paid.  And selling CCP is a way to get paid.

While there is nothing concrete so far… the initial report says that a sale isn’t the only option being explored… there is enough out there to make you believe it could be true.  For example, CCP has been moving operations to the UK.  That makes a bit of sense for an Icelandic company due to logistics.  But if you want to sell a company, it makes a lot more sense for it to be in an international market hub like the UK than the economic backwater that is Iceland.

And then there is the rumor itself, which got floated somewhere for some reason.  Is it a trial balloon to see how the Icelandic government reacts?  An attempt to get a few more bidders primed?  Or did somebody leak that to put pressure on CCP to close a deal?

Of course, in all of this, the big question is about the buyer.  Who is going to put out a billion dollars for CCP and its rather slim list of assets?

My money is on China, and specifically Tencent Holdings Limited, the firm that owns Riot Games.  They have the money for it and the stomach to buy a game like EVE Online.  After all, only League of Legends has a reputation for players worse than EVE Online.  Also, Riot has been the destination for a number of former CCP employees, why shouldn’t the company follow them?

I cannot see a US company like EA or Activision-Blizzard having any interest in CCP, if only because of the reputation EVE Online has.  Maybe some European company like CodeMasters might have some interest, but I don’t think they have the cash laying about.

It could be some other Chinese company.  I could see Perfect World Entertainment showing some interest.  But my knowledge of Chinese companies is sparse enough that I cannot come up with another option that clearly has the money and isn’t tied into some other deal that might make the acquisition awkward.

So that is the hot item of the day.  Who do you think wants to buy CCP, if anybody?

Others covering this topic (to be updated as posts show up):

CCP Offers Breast Cancer Awareness Ship Skins

CCP announced today that they are making special pink(-ish) ship skins available via the in-game New Eden Store in support of Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Pink Mining

Pink Mining

According to CCP:

100% of the proceeds from the sale of these SKINs in the New Eden Store will be converted from Aurum to real world cash, and will be donated to Bleika Slaufan (The Pink Ribbon Campaign), which is owned and managed by the National Cancer Association here in Iceland.

Named Rosada Dawn, the skins are currently available in the New Eden store in four different packages.

Pink Skin Sets

Pink Skin Sets

At the low end, there is the skin for the Procurer for 400 Aur

For 1,200 Aur the Small Bundle gets you skins for the Covetor, Procurer, and Retriever

The Medium Bundle is 2,000 Aur and contains the Hulk, Mackinaw, Noctis, Primae, and Skiff

And the Large Bundle runs 4,400 Aur and has the Bowhead, Rorquel, and Orca skins.

With some Aurum on hand I had to get the medium bundle just to finally have something to put on my salvaging Noctis.

Breast Cancer Awareness Salvaging

Breast Cancer Awareness Salvaging

I wish they had turned ALL the orange bits pink, but at least the ship is mostly pink and white.