Tag Archives: Mammoth

Tidbits for a Friday Post – Mammoths, Xboxes, and What is Next

A few items that I couldn’t really muster a full post… or much passion… about, but which I wanted to at least mention in passing so I could bring them up again in a year to see what happened.  That is one of my things.

EverQuest, What is Next?

I thought SOE must surely be trolling us.

I figured that they must have gone on some sort of bender after getting the MMORPG.com Best of Show Award at E3 with a game that almost nobody saw and which nobody can talk about. (Must be all the StoryBricks stuff, eh?)

Seemingly high and feeling cocky after those accolades, SOE announced that the final name for EverQuest Next would be… EverQuest Next!

Really?  Who was up watching TNG reruns at 3am and thought, “Hah, this will be great!”

But no, they seem serious. They have registered the domain and such.

I mean, I get it… sort of.  Or, at least I have been there.

When a project gets a code name and you use it a lot, it takes on a life of its own.  People within an organization will use internal code names for products for years after they shipped, much to the chagrin of marketing. (I have often been admonished by marketing over the years with phrases like, “Stop calling it that! That is not the name of the product!”)

Why not just go with what everybody is calling the product already, right?

But my own experience with many a badly named product makes me feel that, in the long term, sticking with EverQuest Next is going to be regretted.  To start with, what do you call the next game in the franchise?

Still, I went and made an EverQuest Next category for the blog.  I am sure we will be talking about it much more in the not-so-distant future, though I am trying not to pin artificial hopes and dreams on it quite yet.

Microsoft and Xbox One Policies

It was interesting to see how quickly Microsoft changed its mind on a number of the policies that made Sony so popular at E3.  Though, after the Adam Orth Twitter fiasco not too long ago, not to mention all the grumblings when this sort of thing was just rumors, one wonders why they needed to get that far in order to see the light.

Of course, some people are skeptical at this change of heart.  Microsoft isn’t as despised as Electronic Arts, but there are still trust issues.  I think that, for the most part, people don’t think Microsoft will shoot itself in the foot again on this issue any time soon.

So all that is left of the PlayStation 4 win at E3 is the $100 price premium for the Xbox One, which I suspect will become a non-issue in the absence of the other items.  The $100 gap seemed like a an obstacle when part of that list, but if that is all that stands between you and the next version Halo, it won’t seem like all that much.

More amusing to me though are the responses… of lack of responses… to this change of policy from some vocal individuals in the industry who were aggressively defending Microsoft’s initial plan.  One is already loudly proclaiming that consumer feedback had nothing at all to do with Microsoft’s retreat.  Keep on keeping on, man!

The Mammoth and The Art Department

There is a forum post up about revamping the industrial ships in EVE Online.  Industrials are the low end haulers that most players start out using. The plan is to try and give every ship of that class a viable role.

Not a bad idea.

Over the years CCP has added ships rather haphazardly at times, leaving some ships as second best at everything, so nobody bothers to fly them.  Lately CCP has been revisiting and revamping ship classes to try and create a place in the universe for everybody.  Last August it was mining barges.  Then it was frigates, then cruisers, then battlecruisers, and most recently battleships.

However, one of things mentioned in the industrial revamp post was a plan to swap the roles of two of the Minmatar haulers, the Mammoth and the Hoarder.  The Hoarder would become the largest capacity hauler while the Mammoth would be given some other task in life.

This was kind of a “WTF?” item in the middle of an otherwise sane… well, sane for CCP forum post in any case… discussion of a hauler revamp.  A lot of people out there, like myself, followed The Complete Miner’s Guide back in the day which recommended the Mammoth because it was the biggest hauler you could get into quickly.  The sausage-like Iteron V could haul more, but you needed Gallente Industrial V to fly it, which took more than a month to train.  The Mammoth could be yours in hours and, with further training and the right fit, could haul a jet can worth of ore, making it a nice fit for a miner.  The Mammoth became very popular.

My Mammoth and Retriever – September 2007

So people wanted to know why CCP would want to make everybody who flew a Mammoth for its capacity trade it out for a Hoarder.

The answer that came back was that the art department did not like the Mammoth model for purely aesthetic reasons.  They wanted the Horder model to be the main Minmatar hauler.  This lead to a lot of “But, I love the way the Mammoth looks!” replies to the thread (a few Hoarder fans chimed in as well, and I must admit that ship isn’t as ugly as I recalled) along with the perhaps more logical “Why would you screw some people over for this trivial reason?” argument.

In the end, the art team apparently wasn’t that invested in the change and let it drop in the face of some forum noise.  Pick your battles and all that.

Jester (twice) and Nosy Gamer (and now Funky Bacon) have relevant quotes, links, and discussions about this issue and the overall proposed industrial changes, if you are interested.

My world view is a lot less complex.  I like the Mammoth model and don’t really want to have to swap out three rigged Mammoths for no good reason.

On the other hand, it wouldn’t actually put me out that much if I had to.  So, whatever.

Sailing the River Styx

One of the things I did before I went into my holiday EVE Online lull was put up a series of buy orders out in a few more remote regions of space for ore.  It was veldspar mostly, but also kernite and omber.  And those buy orders were at prices that made resell of processed minerals attractive back then, when tritanium was under 3 ISK a unit.

And, in the sort of “out of sight, out of mind” way that things sometimes work for me, I forgot about those orders.  They ran their course while I wasn’t looking.

Then, this weekend, I did a search on my stuff to see if I had any veldspar laying around, as I sold every last bit or tritanium I had on hand, when I noticed a couple million units of the stuff loitering 8 to 16 jumps away from my main area of operation.  And about 400K units of omber and another 400K of kernite were sitting out there as well.

All in all, there were more than 30 mammoth loads worth of ore sitting out there in sizable clumps.  So I had a choice.

I could spend all day flying back and forth, loading and unloading my industrial.

Or I could buy two skills and a new ship and scoop the whole lot up in one round trip.

So, at last, months after I staked out the costs and the skills I would need, I finally bought a freighter.

45 million ISK and 22 minutes of training time for Advanced Spaceship Command.

67.5 million ISK and 75 minutes of training for Caldari Freighter.

920 million ISK and 3 jumps for a Charon class freighter, which I promptly named “The River Styx,” that being Charon‘s main venue in mythology.

The River Styx

The River Styx

Over a billion ISK spent in a few minutes.  A big shopping spree for me.  That was a bit more than I thought I would have to pay for the ship itself, but with the rise in the price of tritanium lately, I was okay with it.  At least you don’t have to worry about fitting out a freighter once you buy it.  There are no slots to fit anything!

Of course, now I have a few things to learn about freighters.

I was disappointed right off the bat that I could not stuff an assembled ship into the thing.  I flew out to pick it up in a destroyer, my salvage craft, thinking I would just toss it in the bed and drive home.  Even assembled the destroyer was smaller than the hauling capacity of the charon.

I got a message that said I would have to package the ship up to store it in the glove box of the freighter.

Unfortunately, I have two Auxiliary Thruster rigs on the destroyer, so I am loathe to repackage because you lose the rigs.

Are rigs seen as that expendable?  Do you just expect to lose them if you move ships via freighter?

And then there was getting the beast in motion.

Yes, I expected it to be slow.  But with Advanced Spaceship Command and Caldari Freighter both only trained up to level 1 (one gives a 5% agility boost per level, the other a 5% speed boost) it was painful.

Going through warp is fine, but making the slow turn to align for warp… oh, the agony.  I can hardly wait to take a few trips from my home base, an Amarr Navy station that pushes you out pointing almost exactly 180 degrees from the warp gate I use 90% of the time.

Slow it may be, but once pointed in the right direction, the charon jumps.  When flying manually and jumping directly to each gate, flight times are only slowed down by the need to align for each jump.  And even then, the ship sometimes jumps before it is pointed completely in the right direction.  More than once I notice the ship in warp pointed about 20 degrees off target.

But if you let it fly by itself, it is a long crawl to cross that 15 km to the gate.

I sent the freighter off on a 12 jump trip, turned on the autopilot, then went off to take a shower.  The ship was empty, the security levels were high, I figured I was safe.

But I got back and found myself only 5 jumps along.  The autopilot had managed to get itself hung up on a CONCORD billboard and could not get itself unstuck, a first for me.

After I managed to free the craft and get it back on course, I started looking up skills that would help freighters along.

But even at the slow speed and agility that my skills allowed, picking up all my ore and hauling it home in one pass was much, much faster than many trips in my mammoth.

And while I was out and about, I set up another one hundred million in buy orders.  Now that I have the big ship, I have to keep filling it.

Back to Jet Can Strength

My current Mammoth hauler is now back to where my old one used to be, before I lost it: Able to haul a full jettisoned container (Jet Can) worth of ore.

27,668.4 cubic meters of ore, to be exact.

The Mammoth actually holds 21,368 cubic meters, but by placing seven Giant Secure Containers in the cargohold, those magic 3,000 cubic meter boxes that hold 3,900 cubic meters of stuff, I managed to get to Jet Can size.

That is still a bit shy of the 29,890 cubic meters of ore my old Mammoth could haul, but still respectable.

I got back to Jet Can strength hauling via a two pronged approach. First was the old stand by, the Cargohold Optimization I rig.

It takes 100 Alloyed Tritanium bars to make one of those, along with some other, less expensive salvaged material. And if you salvage actively, you know how rare they can be.

After months of salvaging, I managed to squirrel away 70 of them. I bit the bullet and spent about 12 million ISK on the remaining 30 I needed and made the rig.

That got me up to 20,513 cubic meters, enough for six Giant Secure Containers, but just shy of the seventh.

Not quite willing to part with another 45 million ISK for a second rig, I decided I could use my vacation to get that 7th container in the bay.

I had already trained the skill Minmatar Industrial up to level 4. Each level you train gives you a 5% cargohold capacity bonus. Getting to level 5 would put me over the magic number.

So before I went on vacation, I set my skill training to Minmatar Industrial 5. A ten day skill that could run during my time away from home.

And now that I am back, my hauler is set.

I just have to find the time and energy to do some mining I am, frankly, still beat after our vacation!