Category Archives: Geekery

People of Reddit, you are being lied to…

As the patron saint of unpopular causes, my subject today is “why I am super-angry about last night’s round-table”. And not for the reasons you might think.

Like Sion, I was a little dubious about the whole event, beforehand: I was worried that, faced with the CSM’s critiques of certain areas, elements of CCP were keen to bodyswerve that and go straight to players. As someone who is on the receiving-end of a huge amount of player feedback, I thought that was fraught with potential problems, and so it proved.

In any case, I arrived home from work near the end of the session, so I sat around and talked to the players who had atttended for a bit over an hour afterwards: a really interesting group mainly from PL, NCdot, Black Legion and Goons (yes, that should ring alarm bells). Then, because I support the Scottish football team and am therefore used to suffering, I listened to the entire two hour session. Twice. If you want to know what that was like, then imagine a giant boot with “USERS IN YOUR CHANNEL IS RECORDING” written on the sole stamping on a human face, forever.

Let me deal with the first thing first. Someone malicious or stupid claimed that Fozzie said “You can have sov or you can have fun”. One of my fellow Goons, notorious shitposter Kcolor, promptly posted this to Reddit in search of easy upvotes. This naturally caused an uproar and whoever sells pitchforks and torches at the base of Castle CCP made an absolute killing. And quite right, too: how much disdain this shows for the playerbase! Something must be done! Who will pay for this outrage?!?

Except that this never happened. My hunt for this shocking expression of disdain led me to listen to the whole two hours for a second time. Not only does Fozzie not say this, but he doesn’t say anything that sounds a bit like it. Not once.

Larrikin – and what whitebread, redneck, small-town cracker can’t tell Australian from American? – does say that people, when choosing where to live in sov null, should think carefully about how much conflict they want before choosing where to live. And he is right: you cannot choose to live in Tenal or Omist, to take the most extreme examples, and then complain that all you get to do is rat. Nor can you move to HED- and then complain people are always shooting at you. But such reasonable and thoughtful statements don’t matter when someone spots the chance to grab some upvotes, so people lied to reddit and a lot of people got very angry about a bunch of devs who were, completely unpaid, choosing to engage with the community.

One other thing: we in the CSM messed up here, not the devs who gave their time to talk to the players, and not the players who came with unrealistic expectations. Us.

We didn’t make it clear enough that this was a session for CCP to listen to the players, and not to make announcements or judge peoples’ game design ideas. We left the devs to have to keep saying that they couldn’t announce how they intended to fix one thing or another, when frankly we should have stepped in and done that instead of leaving them high and dry like that. And on occasion one CSM member seemed to be acting as lawyer for the prosecution, demanding answers of people in the most aggressive terms. You can hear, a couple of times, the intense frustration in the CCP employees’ voices and they were more restrained than I would have been in their responses. But then again, I am Scottish. We covered that bit already.

There were things that I disagreed with, or that I thought were needlessly optimistic and so on, and I intend to blog about that in the next day or two as well, but whoever is to blame for how that panel went, it wasn’t CCP. And the people who told you lies about what happened owe you an apology.

Raiden's Plan
Raiden's latest, complex and multi-dimensional plot to kill us. Many GIA agents died a little inside to bring us these plans.



Once every year, on average, someone tries to destroy Goonswarm.  In 2006 it was Lotka Volterra and in 2007 it was Band of Brothers.  In 2008 and 2009 it was BoB in various guises, Against All Authorities, Atlas and Red Overlord.  In 2010 it was, well, Goonswarm.  In 2011 it was basically everyone in the Assault on Precinct VFK.  Now, this year’s attack has come a little early.
Continue reading

Gnothi Seauton – Why you play

About half of the pre-Socratic philosophers in Greece get the credit for coming up with “Gnothi Seauton” in one source or another, but it remains good advice: “know yourself”

It is a truism to say that people play Massively Multiplayer Online games such as Eve Online for a number of reasons.  One thing that startles me is that some people play for reasons that have very little to do with the online, shared space element of the game.  It surprises me because, if you want to enjoy a single-player game, then Eve Online can’t compete with, well, a single-player game.  In the latter, you are the focus of the universe, and will probably journey from insignificance to world-bestriding colossus.  Or at the very least, death-dealing ninja of terror. Continue reading Gnothi Seauton – Why you play

My Continuing Wormhole Larks

Yesterday’s post found me hunting a wormhole,  It also found me thinking better of trying to grief 100 Russians out of their particular Class 3, mainly on the grounds of effort.

Older and more jaded individuals may be wondering why I am even interested in putting all this effort into a C3 wormhole.  After all, I suspect that it will be about as profitable as running L4s in empire with no Concord and constant wardecs while having to maintain a tower which can only be fuelled on two days out of every week.  Meanwhile, Kazanir, head of EJB, is merrily running a C5 largely by himself using an array of capitals.

Part of this is the eternal Eve suspicion that that new thing will be it: the One True Fun Form of PvE.  This hunt for a palatable way to pay for a supercarrier or a titan (Goonswarm directors don’t get to embezzle the alliance money) is a result of the sheer number of options that Eve offers.  And of almost all of them being unbearable variations of “Wait.  See red ‘X’.  Press button.  Wait again.”


Another part of this project’s attraction for me is that I have always had a secret, guilty pleasure in a well-planned logistics operation.  When I took a bunch of guys and took T-PAR in the first rush of the Delve invasion, I got ten large deathstars, five per night, smuggled in, onlined, fuelled and stronted without a single hitch, despite the attentions of Executive Outcomes.  I then ran them solo for six weeks.  The one cock-up was not spotting that one BoB tower we had killed and replaced was sitting on a valuable R64 that could have paid for the whole thing.  Oh well.

But of course it all comes down to how and why you play MMOs.  I intend to blog about the Bartle test later, but I have a strong Explorer element to my gameplay, whether that be exploring game mechanics or exploring virtual worlds.  Indeed, given that I enjoy strapping on a rucksack and heading into the hills alone to camp for a few days, this is clearly not limited to MMOs.  Fortunately, the Scottish highlands contain less gankers with 720mm projectile weapons.

Anyway, I probed and I probed my way across a bunch of Gallente systems, finding plenty of wormholes, some of them empty.  But C3s seemed to be extremely popular.  I found plenty of empty Class 4s and a few occupied Class 5s: I suspect that the less organised corporations whose members want to be able to solo outside of occasional ops jump at the C3s with statics to group content. I also suspect that the organised groups who prefer to run raid-style content in groups grap the more profitable Class 5s and 6s.  This may leave Class Fours as the less desirable cousins.  I say “may” because two or three nights’ of scanning by one neonate is hardly a representative sample.

Anyway, three wormholes deep on Sunday evening I found, at last, an empty Class 3.  It was pretty far from ideal.  It was a Black Hole system, the bonuses for which seem at best unhelpful unless one is speed tanking.  The static is to nullsec, which I suspect means that I will at best go through a lot of strontium as it repeatedly opens up wormholes to Russian space.  But I was getting bored and the weekend was almost over, so I grabbed my freighter in empire and started moving my pre-prepared setup towards the jump-off system in highsec.

My plan was to deploy a base first, in the form of a medium tower that I could online quickly, then to use the CHA there to assemble everything I needed before deploying a large tower.  A freighter can’t ever get into a C3, so when I got the freighter to the jump-off system in empire, next door to the highsec entrance point (which had no station), I assembled an Iteron V and a bestower – the lows a cautious mixture of expanders and stabilisers – and started packing the basics into them: the tower; fuel; a couple of hardeners; a few hours of stront to get going with.  The stront and enough fuel to get the tower online for a few hours in one ship and the rest of the fuel in the other: no need for stront if I don’t have a tower after all!

I started the tower onlining and left the Iteron V sitting on-grid, cloaked, 200km from it with fuel and stront.  I’ve had to fuel and online a tower with 70 people shooting it before now, and I had no illusions about what would happen to my hauler in such a situation, but I also know what the effect is on hostiles if that easy killmail just developed a timer until the shields go up.

I wish I could make this bit more exciting and add some dramatic, timer-based pizazz, but I can’t.  To be quite honest , the tower onlined successfully without further incident.  Sorry.

XBMC: “Free” TV and Serious Business Geekery

I’m going to do a full “How to” trip report on this one when I have everything tweaked, but I am pretty close to being able to cancel my Lovefilm and Sky subscriptions and swap to freeview satellite, thanks to a couple of evenings spent setting up XBMC on an old PC I had lying around.

Since those subscriptions cost something in the ballpark of sixty or seventy pounds a month, this is not to be sniffed at!  After all, that’s more than eight hundred pounds (thirteen hundred dollars) a year. Continue reading XBMC: “Free” TV and Serious Business Geekery

Goonswarm Alliance Update – 28th September 2011

Yes, it's a retard bick.  Great.
Lazy, I know, but this is what Google Image Search came up with

The Delve Campaign

Like me, gentle reader, I am sure that you have often wondered why the leader of Brick Squad chose to name himself Darius III, a short-lived and basically incompetent ruler of 4th Century Persia who poisoned his courtiers, couldn’t control his directorate and finished his career dead of a backstab after being royally steamrolled by an invincible invader called Alexander (the Great, not Gianturco, but you catch my drift).  He is, however, a man of mystery.  I cannot properly describe him, although I suspect that if I had I should be forced to have frequent recourse to the word “corpulent”, and very possibly to “lesions”, too. Continue reading Goonswarm Alliance Update – 28th September 2011