Tag Archives: ZKillboard

CCP Should Build its Own EVE Online Kill Board

Over the weekend we were once again reminded about how much CCP and the EVE Online community depend on unpaid third party developers for much of the game’s knowledge infrastructure.  As part of the null sec blackout both ZKillboard and DOTLAN EVE Maps hid data that we have grown accustomed to having, with ZKillboard going completely dark for the weekend.  This led to glee, annoyance, and reactive behavior by various parties.

Forget ZKill, welcome to GKill!

When Monday morning rolled around the data blackout was removed and the sites returned to normal and, while it was a cute stunt to hype the blackout idea, it also made the point that information we have grown very used to accessing depends on the goodwill of people neither beholding to us nor CCP.

Squizz of ZKillboard and Wollari of DOTLAN both deserve our gratitude and respect for what they have contributed to the EVE Online community, but part of me has long felt that their stepping up largely came about due to CCP’s failure to do so.

EVE Online is past its 16th birthday and CCP has yet to create an in-game map that is half as useful as DOTLAN. (Or, for that matter, GARPA or the PDF maps that one guy made back in the day or even the old book of maps from EON Magazine, errors therein included.)  In fact, they managed to create a new in-game map that was even less useful than the original one.

How do you manage that?  Seriously, WTF CCP?

So you can see why third parties step in and end up filling an important role for the New Eden community.

Still, the blackout behavior was, as I started with, a reminder of how much we depend on these third parties and how much things would hurt if they got tired of their mostly thankless tasks and decided to move on.  And, while I hate to get all “EVE is dying!” the game is old and has seen better days and higher PCUs.  So I think it might be time for CCP to step up and start owning some of the services to which we’ve grown accustomed.

And my proposal is that they start with an official kill board.

Why a kill board?

Well, for openers, they have demonstrated that they cannot create a useful map… or, Lord help us… a UI comprehensible by mere mortals.  But a kill board is just a web site… they can do those, I’ve seen them… which displays data drawn from a database.

Then there is the fact that we’re pretty much down to one community-wide kill board.  EVE Kill is long gone… remembered via some dead links here on the blog… and Battle Clinic likewise shut down back in 2016.

Also, the software used for ZKillboard is open source, so they could start with that.

The whole thing could be setup at the data center in the UK, so it would have direct access to all the information needed to populate it.  And, after a modest start CCP could expand upon it, adding features and reports.

The upside would be a single reliable source for kill information as well an opening to perhaps a more advanced version of a kill board.  There has long been talk about getting support ships like logi on kill mails.  I am a logi pilot and I am against CCP wasting time trying to get logi on kill mails.  If CCP ran the one true kill board, it might end up being easier for them to pull data in order to create battle reports that would list out all participants, including logi, boosters, and whoever.  And, if CCP ran it they could also tune the amount and type of data that gets posted.

The downsides though… well, it would likely take up a dev resource that might otherwise be working on something else, and they would have to maintain it over time.  As a company they couldn’t even maintain the wiki they used to have.  A lot of people don’t like kill boards for a variety of reasons.  And, as attractive as a single source of truth kill board and battle report tool might sound, the flip side is that it also becomes a an intel tool with perfect recall.  None of the kill boards have ever come close to 100% coverage, and when there were three big kill boards running they were at times comically at odds with each other.  But with CCP holding all the data, they could lay bare every kill whether you wanted or not.

I don’t want to put Squizz out of business.  But I also don’t want to be left with the anarchy of no community kill board if he tires of the work or the lack of gratitude from the community.

Does this seem reasonable?  Or should CCP tackle something else, or maybe just leave well enough alone for now?

The Titan and the Frigate

The header info over at ZKillboard, the third party sites that shows ship and structure losses from EVE Online, indicates that it has been an interesting week.

The big loss of late was a Komodo, the Guristas faction titan that came into the game about a year and a half back with the Lifeblood expansion.

The Komodo titan

News of that loss spread around not only because losing a faction titan means a very expensive loss mail (the 239 billion ISK estimate undervalues the likely actual cost to acquire the blueprint, build, then fit it out), but because it was also the first Komodo lost in combat as well as being the first Komodo successfully built in the game.

I cannot recall if I have actually seen a Komodo out in the wild.  Probably not, though I did see CCP Larrikin flying one during a test on the Singularity server.

Komodo on the test server

Even undervalued the Komodo was easily the most costly kill listed… until yesterday when a Gold Magnate showed up on the list.

Komodo eclipsed

That loss was a news maker as well, even eliciting comments from CCP staff.

The Gold Magnate is a rare ship, a special hull given out during the Amarr Championship as part of the ascension trials.  That has only happened twice, once in 2004 and then again in 2016, and only five have been awarded in total.

Again, even that very expensive loss mail, totaling on ZKillboard to half a trillion ISK, likely understates the in game value of the almost unobtainable hull and the no doubt hand picked set of Abyssal space mutated modules.

This doesn’t change much so far as the game goes, save for those directly involved, but it is fun to see that people do take out their expensive toys to play.  And, of course, it isn’t often when a faction titan loss gets trumped by a frigate in terms of value lost… at least a frigate that isn’t hauling around skill injectors like a fool that is.

To All The Ships I’ve Flown Before…

BattleClinic.com, which you may know from their involvement with the EVE Mon utility, has been undergoing a serious revamp of their site.  It has been under way for a while now.  I got a note from them months back asking if they could use screen shots from EVE Online Pictures, to which I answered in the affirmative.

But the big site changes have finally been revealed… which I didn’t notice until Rixx Javix did a post about a new feature, ships used.

I actually think that the “ships used” information was in the old version of the site.  Something in the back of my brain believes that it was there.  But it wasn’t as accessible and I do not think it showed as much detail.  Or maybe I am totally wrong.  Memory.

And technically it is not ships you’ve flow, just ships you were flying that were involved in combat where they appeared on a kill mail, either having contributed to a kill or having been the victim.  I’d like to see a stat on which ships I have spent the most time flying in space, especially since I fly in the “space priest” logistics role a lot of the time.  But a list is a list and any long time reader knows I love me a list.

So what ships have I been flying while whoring on kill mails by pressing F1 in CFC blob fleets since December 2011?  Here are the top 10, plus one.

1. Drake – 395 kills / 12 losses

Oh my trusty old Drake.  I have half a dozen of them sitting around still in various null sec stations just waiting for my old favorite ship to return to its place in the sun.

Me and my lag causing friends at 319-3D

Unleash the Drake-en!

It was a fortuitous set of circumstances that made Drake Fleet a prime CFC doctrine shortly after I arrived in null sec.  I couldn’t shoot guns or lasers for shit, but I have max shield and missiles skills and Battlecruiser V when it came time for Drake Fleet.

Those were happy times.  Null sec combat was all new to me and scooting about the battlefield in a swarm of MWD Drakes like a school of fish, Scimitars weaving around us while we spewed missiles and dodged foes was a real highlight in my career.  The first big fleet engagement where I kind of knew what was going on was in a Drake at EWN-2U back in 2012.  Time dilation was a new thing back then.

2. Megathron – 166 Kills / 2 Losses

Mainstay of the war in Fountain, the primay weapon of Baltec Fleet, one of the two doctrines that got rolled up once we found that the doctrines we started the war with were not working out.  This was the ship I flew into some of the more memorable fights of the war, including Z9PP-H, 3WE-KY, and 6VDT-H.

The "How To" of Baltec Fleet

The “How To” of Baltec Fleet

The Megathron hasn’t seen as much action since Fountain.  First it was replaced by the Dominix to exploit drone assist, then the Apocalypse came along and the Megathron was phased out.  Still, the ship was immortalized in the Boat’s Oddity video, and I bet Baltec1 is still flying one in every fleet no matter what the actual doctrine.  Never not Mega.

3. Harpy – 143 Kills / 2 Losses

Harpy fleet has been an ongoing frigate doctrine in the CFC for a while.  I tend to resist flying frigates.  It used to be a matter of not wanting to lose a 40 million ISK clone in a 20 million ISK ship, but now CCP has fixed that.  But I found Harpy roams to be enjoyable.

EVE Online Curse Deployment

A Harpy down in Curse

The doctrine started when we were deployed on and off to Curse.  I probably have more Harpies sitting around in hangars than any other ship besides the Drake.  I need to go on more Harpy fleets.

4. Apocalypse – 93 Kills / 1 Loss

After drone assist was scaled back from “game breaking” to merely “overwhelming” we moved back to the Baltec Fleet doctrine.  However, while you could still fly Megathrons, we were all encouraged to pick up an Apocalypse.  I did not need more than a small push in that direction.  I had been training up lasers in the hope that one day they would be useful, so once I wrapped that up I immediately moved into the Apoc.  I wanted to shoot colored beams of light dammit!

Long range beams

Apocs with lasers hot

I used to carry every damn crystal type I could find and I pretty quickly became “that guy” in Baltec fleet firing a different color laser from everybody else (I am pretty sure the red beams in that picture above is me) or multiple colors because what the hell.  Red and green on Christmas, mustard and ketchup because I was eating a hamburger.  I had a good time with that.  The doctrine has since fallen into disuse, but I still have a couple Apocs, and a large supply of crystals, sitting around.

5. Ishtar – 64 Kills / 0 Losses

Drones are still pretty strong, so Ishtars and Dominixes are back in fashion, to the point that the game is mockingly called Ishtars Online some nights of the week.  This is also a Reaver doctrine fit, which is where I have flown it.  Most of my kills are towers, though there was that carrier we got at the end of our first deployment.  Due to a general shortage of logi pilots, I only flew the Ishtar on that one deployment, swapping out for a Basilisk since then.

6. Caracal – 39 Kills / 6 Losses

There have been a number of tries to get a good Caracal doctrine going from time to time.  I always join in because they aren’t too expensive and I have all the skills.  Caracals were a doctrine at the start of the war in Fountain and we lost them in droves until we stopped using them.  I think I have lost every single one I ever owned in null.

7. Dominix – 27 Kills / 1 Loss

The post Fountain doctrine with drone assist.  I was in something of a slack period when Domis were the main thing.  I went on a few ops with a Domi, but it isn’t really a special ship to me.  Or it wouldn’t be if it weren’t for the fact that I am on six titan kill mails with a Domi from the fight at B-R5RB.  I still have that particular neut fit Domi, still parked in the station in that system with a jump clone should I ever wish to retrieve it.  A pity that N3 owns the system again.  I have a Basilisk stranded out there as well.

8. Hurricane – 25 Kills / 1 Loss

One of the ships I bought early on when I was trying to be a good soldier and follow orders to have one ship for every doctrine on hand at all times or some such.  It was a “Digi-cane,” which belonged to a doctrine that was already out by the time I bought it.  I used to use in for Homeland Defense ops and I flew it to BWF-ZZ in a Boat fleet that bagged a dozen Raiden capital ships.  I think I have an “insta-cane” in a hangar somewhere, which I bought seconds before they got nerfed.

9. Maelstrom – 21 Kills / 0 Losses

This was the prime doctrine when I joined the CFC, just before Drake Fleet showed up.  Big, slow to move, slow to align, and slow to shoot, the key to the doctrine was to have everybody fire at once to cause an overwhelming spike in damage that would blow the hostile ship off the field with a single volley.

10. Scimitar – 18 Kills / 2 Losses

Given how many times I have flow logi, I am actually surprised to see that I have only lost two Scimitars.  I guess a debt is owed to our logi anchors who appear to have kept us out of the line of fire and aligned to get the hell out of Dodge when things go wrong.  Plus it is a swift ship.  And, as you can see, even a space priest isn’t above loading a couple of combat drones in order to whore on kills.

Special Mention – Basilisk – 13 Kills / 3 Losses

The ship in 11th place and the one I have been flying for the most part for the last six months.  Ugly and awkward in that way that only Caldari ships can manage, it is once again proof that logi isn’t above carrying a combat drone or two in order to get a few hits in.  I don’t mind playing logi.  It is what I mostly do these days.  But I like to get something on the kill board at least once a month just some my corp knows I’m still alive.  Lord knows I barely talk to them and I almost never fly with them, so I try to keep up my end by paying my monthly dues, getting a few kills, and clicking on participation links.

Cap chaining in Immensea... Caroline's Star visible

It is all about the Basi… and cap chaining

So that is the list, my top 10+1.  Of course, the kills and losses are in no way an indicator of any capability on my own part.  Even a scrub like me can keep a “green” kill board because of the way kills and losses are counted.

And, of course, this is just the BattleClinic accounting of my ships and kills.  My totals at ZKillboard and EVE-Kill are different, though I do wonder why my BattleClinic totals are as far off as they are from the other two.  ZKillboard and EVE-Kill differ by a mere dozen kills while BattleClinic is a good 20% shy of those total.