Tag Archives: Empyrean Age

Incursion and Public Fleets

Just as I was eying the exits in New Eden, CCP announced their latest expansion, Incursion, which is due out in November of this year, about the time when my last ISK purchased PLEX will expire.

Will there be something in this next expansion to tempt me?

There is the now usual round of technology upgrades promised with this expansion. Faster is always better, but in my little corner of space, performance generally isn’t much of an issue. I think the biggest fleet I’ve even been in had seven ships total.

There is a new Sansha Mothership in the works. I’ll be looking for screen shots of that. Sansha ship models are always interesting… and pointy.

And they will be giving us a dedicated salvaging vessel, the Noctis, which will use the same ship model as the Primae. I am far more likely to buy and fly the latter… once the price comes down… but that isn’t really a reason to stay in space… or in station, where I have been for most of the last few months.

There will apparently be an update to the character creator. I hope that will allow everybody to redo their pilot portrait for free. I rushed through the character creator in my desire to get into space and have been living with the same uninspired pilot picture since then.

No, the big deal for me is at the top of the press release, the new additions to PvE play.

Incursion will feature the escalating attacks of the deadly Sansha’s Nation which is bent on instituting its own utopia and exacting vengeance against the pilots who stand in its way. Pilots can join public fleets and co-operate to destroy the Sansha incursions and return the universe to normal, receiving wealthy bounties, earning loyalty rewards and high commendation.

Public fleets? That sounds vaguely familiar.

The public quest thing was an idea that worked pretty well in Warhammer Online, though the schizophrenic nature of the game (how many experience bars should a game be allowed?) diluted its impact.  And the huge drop off in subscribers after the first couple months did not help.

And a similar idea worked well enough in Star Trek Online. There was always the problem of “the fleet that refused to communicate” in those group quest instances though. I spent a good deal of time trying to guess where my temporary fleet mates were headed in STO.

But in STO the death penalty was pretty mild to say the least.  There is very little pain associated with getting yourself in trouble.

Of course, we know that the death penalty is a little bit different in EVE Online.  That is something that could drive cooperation.  A ship loss in EVE… if you’re insured it won’t cost you much in ISK, but the time it takes to get another ship assembled and ready to go… that is often the biggest loss.  Time has value.

It would be great if this turns out to be a good way to get players to group up and cooperate and maybe even teach people how to work together in a fleet.  Maybe people could even use some of those modules that generally only get equipped for PvP.  The current PvE missions do not train players for PvP at all.

Of course, CCP tried to get people to band together in ad hoc fleets for PvE-ish objectives when it introduced factional warfare back in the Empyrean Age expansion.  How did that turn out for you?  It was something of a non-starter for me.

Still, I look forward to more information on this new tack in EVE PvE play.  Maybe it will give me a reason to get back into space.

And at least I’ll get a new in-game portrait.

Is there anything in Incursion for you?

EVE Answers Another Theoretical

Among the UI enhancements CCP put into the Empyrean Age 1.1 was another couple pieces of data in the sea of data that is EVE Online.

Specifically, they added information on your total buy and sell orders to the bottom of the Orders tab of the Wallet window.

Now, being the unsophisticated EVE player, my buy order total is almost always very close to my escrow total.  I do not do much with contracts and the like, but I could imagine that for some these two numbers should be broke out.

The total of sell orders though, the answer to the magic question “If it all sold today, how much would I get?” is something I ask myself more often than I should like to admit.

So score another one for the data hungry in EVE Online.

Meanwhile, it looks like I had better start training Wholesale III.  I’m running out of order slots.

Empyrean Age 1.1

A new patch is upon us in the universe of New Eden.

EVE Online’s Epyrean Age has turned 1.1.

And, aside from resizing all my damn windows down to some ridiculously tiny default size, what has this new version of the age brought us?

CCP has provided us a list of “Ten Changes of Interest.”

#1 CONCORD have gone through multiple changes in organization and effectiveness. The spawn sizes have been reduced to one battleship and two cruisers, however, these ships have increased damage output and a broad range of electronic warfare to prevent escape. In addition the Energy Neutralizing batteries will completely drain a ships capacitor almost instantly. CONCORD will also proceed to eliminate any discarded player Drones. CONCORD response times for aggressing a neutral player in High Security space have also been significantly reduced.

#2 Multiple changes have been made in standing hits for players who aggress a neutral player in High Security space. In addition to a significantly increased CONCORD response time, players will receive a standings hit based on the security rating of a system in which the attack takes place. The base value for aggression is now increased by a factor of 3. Base values are Aggression of 1.5%, Ship kill is 6% and a pod kill is 37.5%

#3 Over 70 new rookie missions and around 100 new missions for all levels and Empire factions have been added.

#4  8 Militia stations now have working Science and Industry tabs. The stations can be found at:

-Iesa IV – 24th Imperial Crusade Testing Facilities 13
-Asakai II – State Protectorate Testing Facilities 13
-Ostingele IV – Federal Defence Union Testing Facilities
-Ebolfer V – Tribal Liberation Force Testing Facilities
-Halmah IV – 24th Imperial Crusade Assembly Plant
-Enaluri V – State Protectorate Assembly Plant
-Eugales V – Federal Defence Union Assembly Plant
-Eszur III – Tribal Liberation Force Assembly Plant

#5 A bug that wouldn’t allow Rorqual pilots to select their cargo hold as the input/output location on installing a job when right-clicking on the blueprint has been fixed.

#6 Drones are now affected by all forms of ECM jamming.

#7 Multiple Control Towers within the same system will now display properly in the “Structures”->”Control Tower” tab on the POS management screen.

#8 When using “Look at” on an exploding ship or structure, the camera will no longer reset back to your ship until the explosion is complete.

#9 Multiple UI upgrades and streamlining of some industrial interfaces to optimize performance.

#10 Killmails are now being generated for POS structures and sent to the player’s combat log. Killmails also show up in the Corp combat log for both kills and losses.

Numbers 1 & 2 are probably the most controversial as they move CONCORD closer to a protective role in high security space.  This will, for a while at least, probably keep systems like Niarja from turning into shooting galleries at peak hours.

Not that I am opposed to highway robbery being a gainful occupation in a game like EVE, but when a corp can set up at a gate in full view of CONCORD and knock off people as they fly by, trading a few frigates and some standing for cargo, it does stretch credibility a bit.  I mean, CONCORD never noticed that freighter harvesting each wreck after they knocked off the attackers?

Still, this is EVE, and I have no doubt that the really sharp operators out there will find a new angle soon enough.  Their old operation just attracted too many copy cats and, as in real life, when something like that gets too much attention, things have to change.

Number 3 is good news for me at least.  I wonder how many level 4 missions are in that bundle?

For number 8 all I can say is, “Yeah!”  More cool screenshots!

And, for number 9, they seem to have added a mystery button.

Services?

Services?

It does not appear to do anything.  It may be a location specific function and I have not been in that location. (i.e. in an NPC station or in space)

And, on top of all of that, EVE[geek] reports that version 2.8 of the EVE Fitting Tool is now available.

June in Review

This month I got another unexpected mention on Massively (complete with a Warp Drive Active patented tin foil hat graphic) that lead to a readership spike. This time it involved my wild speculation (wildly inaccurate according to Michael Zenke on SUWT #28) about what the world looks like with Sony Online Entertainment reporting into Sony Computer Entertainment in the post A New World Order at SOE?

That was actually an all time record for the site, showing that Massively’s influence might be edging up into the “Tobold” range.

Other than that, the only site related item I thought I would mention is the introduction of… I am at a loss for the right term… so I will call them giant sized thumbnails.

Previously, WordPress.com had to options for inserting a picture into a post. You could put it in at full resolution, which for this template means keeping things under 500 pixel wide. Or, if you wanted to put in a big picture, you could use the thumbnail option, which makes it tough, at time, to see what the picture might be about.

They recently introduced an option to insert a thumbnail that is about 300 pixels wide, which makes it easier to see what the picture is so you have a hint as to whether it is worth seeing full size.

I just worry that people think that is the full size of the picture. If a picture appears to be linked, then there is probably a larger version available to view. The chart above is an example of what I am referring to.

One Year Ago

I got all Buddhist on the subject on the raiders vs. non-raiders rift. I think what I said could be applied to some current controversies.

I ran down my list of complimentary comment spam.

After letting Blizzard’s announcement of StarCraft II sink in, I put up a post about the original StarCraft back when it was our office game of choice.

Darren was all worked up about crafting being the suck, so I started trying to list out all the things that might be wrong with crafting.

And I said nice things about “Opinions of the Misinformed.”

New Linking Sites

A big thank you to these sites who link to TAGN. I encourage you to give them a visit in return.

Most Viewed Posts in June

  • Play On: Guild Name Generator
  • A New World Order at SOE?
  • How To Find An Agent in EVE Online
  • EVE Online – The Tutorial
  • 2008 MMORPG Progdictionations
  • Is There Hope for a Science Fiction MMORPG?
  • What Is A “Tank” In EVE?
  • My LOTRO Video Crash
  • EVE Online: Empyrean Age release date
  • Apotheosis Now!
  • Losing Two Ships
  • Five LEGO Video Game Titles I Want
  • Notes from Amarr Space
  • SOE Really Wants You Back In Norrath
  • Desperately Seeking Diablo III

Best Search Terms

“second life” battleship

d&d 4th sux

Best Spam Comment

“Boy, this is some high-class site”
[Uh, sure thing, but I’m still not buying you a drink.]

Diablo II

Some Diablo II nostalgia this month. I installed it and played through the first act. I’ll have to see if I am up for more later.

EVE Online

I moved all my stuff back to Caldari space for the whole factional warfare thing that was ushered in by the Empyrean Age and only lost a Hulk on the way. Ouch. Still, my bank account has managed to stay on the sweet side of half a billion isk lately. Obviously I need a new money sink. Factional warfare though, I’m not “getting” it so far.

EverQuest

Thanks to the Living Legecy program, I actually spent some time in EverQuest this month. I even joined up with Nostalgia the Guild, though their regular group nights (Tuesday and Friday) and almost always bad nights for me, so I only see them in passing.

World of Warcraft

The Auchenai Crypts are being stubborn… or, that last boss is. Still, with level cap restrictions lifted from the group, we ought to be powerful enough soon.

DS

It is all about Pokemon on the DS. It was Pokemon Mystery Dungeon at center stage for about a week, but now we’re back to Diamond and LeafGreen.

Wii

We had a revival of the Wii in June with Pokemon Battle Revolution and Pokemon Ranch. We still haven’t bothered to get Mario Kart Wii or LEGO Indiana Jones yet.

Coming Up

I swear I am going to go back and write up another ancient gaming post. I will NOT sit and watch Pokemon Ranch when I get back from vacation.

Connectivity in the Empyrean Age

The team at CCP appears to be aware of the connection issues that some people have been experiencing.

It seems that if your connection is routed to them via one of the ISPs that CCP uses, LimeLight Networks, you may have experience the whole disconnect problem.

CCP says that they have turned off their connection to LimeLight, which should make the problem go away, and has requested answers from LimeLight. LimeLight took the position that it wasn’t them but somebody up stream from them causing the problem.

CCP has a post about it here in the EVE forums, which is followed by the usual measure of responses from people who feel they know better, are willing to speculate and start rumors, and those with poor reading comprehension skills.

A Sign of the Empyrean Age?

I have been seeing this a lot recently:

Connection to the server lost.

Not that I am suggesting we should hold CCP responsible for the reliability of the internet and the ability of my packets to move 8 times zones to the Tranquility server on a regular basis, but it sure can make the game tough to play when you and a friend get dumped half a dozen times in 90 minutes.

Is anybody else seeing an uptick in disconnects?

My First Factional Warfare Mission

In which I demonstrate I am obviously unclear on the concept

I had a couple of hours the other night so I thought I would finally dive into the whole factional warfare thing that the Empyrean Age has brought us in EVE Online.

I suppose I could have just jumped into some contested area, joined up with a blob of my fellow militia, and started blazing away at those “Gallante Nanofags” as somebody on the channel was calling them.

However at least one friend of mine reported that those willing to field tech II ships were eating the cheapskates in tech I ships alive, with interceptors chewing up frigates like there was no tomorrow.

Not wanting to merely feed my Kestrel into the garbage disposal, I thought I might go the mission route. I used the traditional in-game method of finding and agent, as detailed in my post on the subject, then popped out of the station and, one by one, set the available agents as a destination to see how close they were.

The nearest level 1 agent was 8 jumps away. I figured I would go with level 1, being in a wee frigate and all.

I cloned jumped to protect my implants, saddled up the Kestrel, all strictly tech I, and headed off.

Once there, I asked him for a mission. He told me to head off to Arderonne to destroy the reactor at some Gallente base.

Fair enough! So I left the station and set that system as my destination.

23 jumps away.

Hrmm… well, in the name of the state and all that, I headed out.

The last 12 jumps or so were in Gallente space, so every time I landed in a system I got a message from the local authorities declaring their intention to blow me up if I did not move along within a few second. This message:

Fine, I wasn’t planning to hang around anyway.

More jumps, with the last few being in low security space. No threatening messages at least.

Finally I arrived at the system. Time to warp into the mission!

At this point I have to stop and share my expectations.

This being a PvP, factional warfare mission, I have it in my mind at that point that somebody real is going to have to show up and stop me. The notes about the Empyrean Age talk about alarm bells going off when you show up, allowing the defenders to respond. I expect that what I am going to have to be on the watch for is somebody warping in to get me.

With that in mind, imagine my disappointment at warping in to find myself facing six frigates, two cruisers, and four sentry guns, all NPCs.

Twelve jumps from friendly territory, no place to turn to, expecting other players to show up and blast me, and now I have to face NPCs with the odds stacked against me.

This seemed like a bit more than a level 1 mission encounter, and this from somebody who had to run “Worlds Collide” in an Ibis. (That was the first mission I received when I started playing EVE.) But at least then I had a base close by for support, and another Ibis handed to me when I lost one. Out in hostile territory I was alone.

Still, I had come all that way, there was nothing for it but to go on.

With my usual deft touch, I managed to aggro the lot of them with my first missile. A few minutes later the Kestrel disintegrated around me, leaving me in sitting in space, in my pod, alone in low security in the middle of Gallente territory.

Of course, NPCs do not pod you, so I was safe. I sat there a minute wishing they would though, it would have saved me the trip back.

But, since no fatal blow was imminent, I set my destination for home and started heading back. I felt like those bears in the middle of the city in that one Far Side cartoon. I was the bear saying, “Great, were lost and it is only a matter of time before somebody shoots us.”

Nobody shot me. Nobody noticed me. After quite some time I ended up back where I started.

Unfortunately, this round trip used up all the time I had to play. I figured I might take another stab at it the next day, if I could find the time.

But the next morning, I got the message that I had failed the mission. It seems that factional warfare missions expire in hours rather than days.

And so went my first brush with factional warfare.

My standing now with the State Protectorate, the Caldari Militia, is now -0.03.

Considering that my standings with the Blood Raiders is 0.00 and with the Guristas is -0.04, both NPC pirate factions that I have spent a lot of time blowing up, that is not so good.

The Peril of the Militia Channel

With the introduction of factional warfare there has been new chat channels added for each of the factional militias.

And, as some of us discovered this weekend, you pretty much have to assume that anything you say on your own militia channel is known to the opposing militias almost immediately.

So if you have something critical to broadcast, keep it on a private channel.

Loose lips have been sinking ships quite regularly since the Empyrean Age went live.

Factional Warfare So Far…

2008.06.13 03:26

From: Caldari State

Twilight Cadre is joining the Caldari State faction at war.

Within 24 hours all enemies of the Caldari State faction will be enemies of the Twilight Cadre and fighting may begin.

A waiting period? I know nothing is instant in EVE, but still. What are they doing, a CONCORD background check?

Then I thought that, perhaps, this 24 hour waiting period was to give your corp mates a chance to get out of hostile space.

Except this was waiting for me this morning:

2008.06.13 11:53

From: Caldari State

Twilight Cadre has joined the Caldari State faction at war. Fighting may begin.

I guess it was more a matter of CCP having to re-flag you during down time.

I already visited the one research agent I was using in Minmatar space and cashed out my data cores, having read in advance that the you become a target for the opposing navies anywhere in Empire space once you join a factional militia. I even got a warning from on my trip from a Gallente patrol saying they were going to open fire on me due to my affiliation. This was before I hit the button to join the militia, so I assume it was a glitch. They did not actually target or fire on me.

I took a peek at the Caldari Militia, The State Protectorate, and see that they have plenty of agents available and that, with my standings, I have access through to level 3 agents.

Militia agents are found through the same method as regular agents. I guess if you have an awkward process already in place, why not stick with it? Only you are unlikely to know a lot of the systems these agents are in, so figuring out who to start with is all that more annoying.

My post, How To Find An Agent in EVE Online, is the second most viewed item on this blog. I do not suspect that will change.

Not a shot fired in anger so far by myself. I am an official Protectorate ensign though.

I did read on the militia channel this morning that some old fashioned EVE Pirates have set up shop in one of the contested systems and have been scoring well with their gate camp. You may be headed to a fight with ships in your class, but you may still have to face some very bad odds getting there.

In the mean time I am hauling all my crap 16 jumps, back to a station in Caldari space.

Notes from Amarr Space

I have notes for what should probably be half a dozen posts on EVE Online at the moment, but I have been busy at work and in Sinnoh of late, so I am going to summarize a bit.

Mining My Own Business

Kernite, kernite everywhere! And, as long as I get up early enough and mine some before some Dutch corp rolls in and clear cuts the system, I am rolling in isogen. That is good, since I was always short on isogen back in Caldari space.

However, this came at a cost. Plagioclase, so very common in Caldari space, is not available in Amarr space, so now I am chronically short of pyrite, and when you are making something like, say, a battleship, you need a lot more pyrite than isogen.

Amarr Navy Faction

My standing with the Amarr Navy is now over 8, so I can make jump clones at their stations as well as Caldari Navy stations. I already have all the jump clones I need, but it is nice to have the option. It is nice that the Amarr and the Caldari appear to be allied, so that my running missions in Amarr space did not hurt my Caldari Navy faction at all. I wonder if that carries over to factional warfare?

The downside is, now that I have a bunch of loyalty points stored up with the Amarr Navy, I have figured out that they do not have much for me to buy. I have all the implants I need at the moment and the weapons, ammunition, and skill book options are all focused on laser turrets, which does not do me much good. I’m saving up my laser crystal drops from missions to trade them in for Amarr Navy versions. Perhaps I can make some ISK reselling those. What is everybody’s favorite laser crystal?

And what is the deal with the Amarr Navy Slicer blueprint I can get with my loyalty points? I do not see any for sale and the ship itself does not show up in the EVE Online Item Database. Is it hot stuff or the suck?

Raven About Missions

After a rough start, which is how it always goes, I think I am finally getting a handle on level 4 missions with the Raven.

Actually, it did not start off rough, as a friend and I ran a couple of level 4 missions that I could have done solo in my Drake. Then I picked up one called Vengence that I ran by myself. That got me used to paying attention to the active shield tank that the Raven requires.

It also got me to pay attention to the ammunition I use. The named battleship at the end of the mission, the guy you need to take out to finish, had a really strong armor tank, one that I could not break through on my first attempt. I had to call it a night and come back the next day, fight my way through the whole thing again, then finally go after him with the right missiles and drones, and I still emptied my launchers five times before I got any hull damage on him. That was something of a change from level 3 missions where a load of Widowmaker missiles pretty much solved all problems.

Since I seem to be getting the hang of the Raven, I will probably sell the Rokh. That will boost me past half a billion ISK in the bank, once I find a buyer.

I will also have to bring my Drake out to where I am currently running level 4 missions. There have been a few where frigates and cruisers have made up the majority of the targets. It is a shame to waste cruise missiles on them.

So far level 4 missions have been lucrative. The bounty total when fighting pirates is usually huge, two to eight times the actual mission reward. Drone missions generally drop some of that sweet, sweet plush compound that, when refined, yields up a chunk of zydrine. Salvage has been okay. It is not raining alloyed tritanium bars. I still have not collected the 100 I need to make the first cargo rig for my hauler. On the other hand, armor plates seem to drop often, and those I do not need, but other people seem to, so they make me a bit of ISK.

Empyrean Age

Once the Empyrean Age expansion goes live, with my standings, I can join either the Amarr or Caldari militia. However, if rewards are going to be similar to what happens with loyalty points, I may have to head back to Caldari space.

And then there is the question of what to fly. Since PvP is going mean dying a lot, frigates will have to do when it comes to my budget. And since I am strongest in missile skills, that means a Kestrel. Or many Kestrels. I should probably just buy a blueprint original and make some to keep on hand. I already have the blueprints for the missiles. I will have to work out a standard PvP fitting for it and keep supplies on hand. Worse that losing your ship, for me at least, is then trying to re-equip the new one.

Of course, this assumes that a frigate will be useful in factional warfare. It might end up just getting owned by people who can afford to risk Muninns and Cerberuses. That is the flip side of the whole “don’t fly what you cannot afford to lose” rule.

Waiting for the Patch

But now that Tranquility, the EVE Online server is down for the Empyrean age update, all we can do is speculate about what will be, play with EVE Mon and the EVE Fitting Tool, look at screen shots, chat a bit, and hope everything comes up as planned.