A Game of Fights: Returning PvP to Eve Sovereignty

It’s time to put my money where my mouth is.

So far in this series I have laid out the case for an Eve populated by smaller entities, in far more densely-populated sovereignty holdings which leave more space free for newcomers to nullsec. I have also described how I think this patchwork eve of smaller alliances would look. And I have suggested that the mission agents in PC nullsec stations are the most scalable method of providing an income for more people in less systems, providing enhanced player and alliance incomes while requiring PvEers to take responsibility for the defence of their sovereignty pockets.

So far so good, and I’ve been lucky enough to have overwhelmingly positive feedback from those who have read the articles and discussed them with me on themittani.com, on Reddit, in my comments section, in jabber, on the SoZ podcast, in twitter and more. But the absolutely vital next step is to demonstrate that it is possible to implement a sovereignty system that gives a fighting chance to smaller groups to defend their space if they are willing to fight; that punishes sprawl; and that makes vast renter empires unsustainable. As an added restriction, I’m going to try to describe such a system that can, overwhelmingly, use existing Eve mechanics. Continue reading A Game of Fights: Returning PvP to Eve Sovereignty

The Patchwork Eve: Money Making

So, in the last two blogs I have argued that the sovereignty system should reward those who fight for their space, and should not offer any vast advantage to forming huge blocs. And, not surprisingly, I have had plenty of feedback suggesting that while those are good ideas, they are also unachievable within any realistic game mechanics. “Congratulations, Endie, “ the thrust of this pessimistic argument goes. “You clearly have a reliable supplier of top quality hallucinogenic euphorics. Hook me up with that some of that sweet, sweet connection.”

So I shall start putting my money where my mouth is and detailing specific areas that can be altered to implement such a vision. To recap the goals, which I covered in The Most Unpopular Statement in Today’s Eve.

The Goals

– Space should be easy for even a small group of pilots to hold if they turn up to defend it
– However, dedicated attackers who manage to fight the defenders to the point that they stop turning up keep their space should be able to take it from them
– Nullsec should be able to support a greater density of pilots in a given system or constellation with easy means of money making
– Holding greater amounts of space should become exponentially harder, and ultimately unrewarding due to effort or cost Continue reading The Patchwork Eve: Money Making

BCA: Generous to a Fault

I just sent this broadcast out on Goonswarm jabber.

Warning: Marivauder, who joined Bat Country after stealing the contents of his previous wormhole corp’s POS, is a dirty thief. He put an alt in droneland pets BCA*, who welcomed him with open arms, and how does he repay them? He warps to a POS, finds the pos shields set to alliance access, finds their XLSMA set to alliance access, peers inside and finds an Aeon.

You or I would have discreetly informed a senior member of BCA of this ghastly oversight. But not this untrustworthy ingrate. So he popped it out, jumped it to a cyno lit by his alt, jumped that into the Aeon and made his way back to BCA to await further gifts. Plus one GSF aeon and the GIA sends its regards. Be sure to shun this wicked malfeasant.

*We kicked BCA out of Deklein for being useless, almost four years ago. Nothing much has changed, obviously.


This theft took place in the last few days.  I can’t tell you the exact day because we don’t want to risk burning the spy.  But it is very recent.

To clarify, Marivauder is a member of Bat Country, and one I’ve met and drunk with.  I am not actually angry with him.  Not today, anyway.  You should totally let his alts into your alliance.

He has an agent in BCA.  That’s not unusual: Bat Country run the GIA (the Goonfleet Intelligence Agency), and have done for years, and a lot of its members have agents in hostile alliances.

That has its downsides, too: with so many senior members playing Eve Online on two sets of accounts, burnout is a bit more common than in most corps, and at any given time we have a few people who just play DotA or other bad-but-not-as-bad-as-Eve Online games on Teamspeak, but we do try to get together for roams and corp ops to keep people from missing the company of their own corp too much.

We also host spies from other alliances, such as Vince Draken, whose time as a spy here ended in jollity and with whom we like to think we’re still on good terms.  There is certainly a home for him here when this whole NCdot nonsense blows over.

This Mad Media Whirlwind

Last night, in the hour or so before I ran a fleet through Syndicate, I got dragged into the first episode of largely-Eve Online-related podcast ShitonZulu, hereafter known as SoZ for workplace firewall reasons. You can listen to it here http://shitonzulu.com/ although for some esoteric reason Doink has made it so you have to unlock the occult secret podcast by clicking on the word “Episodes” first.

The site itself is pretty work safe, containing only the title and a picture of Peter O’Toole in his role in Zulu Dawn. That, as an aside, is rather ominous as Zulu Dawn was the vastly unsuccessful sequel/prequel/follow-up to the superb Zulu, which is a film every man should see at least once in their life, and preferably once every Christmas. The second half is basically one extended battle scene full of stiff upper lips and a young Michael Caine at his best.

If you stick Jeffraider, especially sober Jeffraider, into any discussion it tends to make the mood happier while simultaneously preventing anyone taking themselves too seriously, which might otherwise have been a real problem for me given how passionate I risk getting about the need for reform in Eve. I did get to bang on about my ideas a bit, though, and people were very tolerant.

Let A Thousand Jagged Flowers Bloom

Yesterday, I kicked off this series of posts on Eve Online reform by saying that I wanted it to be harder for big groups to take away small groups’ sov, so long as the defending group is active. This is because, personally, I think that far, far smaller groups in Eve would be a good thing.

Over the next few articles, I’ll go into more detail of the rules that should guide CCP as they approach the task of fixing a very broken game. But today I want to try and sell you on my vision of a better Eve Online. What I think I should do is say just why I think Eve needs to turn back the clock on the five years of gigantism and elephantiasis that the Dominion patch inflicted upon us.
Continue reading Let A Thousand Jagged Flowers Bloom

Richard Alston Dance Company at the Edinburgh Festival Theatre

Last night, at a loose end in Edinburgh for the evening, I went to see the Richard Alston Dance Company at the Edinburgh Festival Theatre.

Here is a link to a youtube video of part of one of the pieces: Lachrymae. In Lachrymae, three couples, each bereaved, console, comfort and even sometimes attack each other.

I was surprised to find that my favourite piece of the evening was, in fact, Martin Lawrance’s “Brink”, set to an unlikely tango by a Japanese composer and performed on, bless my soul, an accordion.

I am, to friends not similarly unafflicted – notoriously incapable of understanding dance – I am, I suppose, what you might call dancelexic – and spend much of my time bewildered by what is supposed to be happening on stage.  Last year, I went to see a performance of Onegin and utterly failed to grasp, until I read it in the next morning’s newspaper review, that each character was being played by three dancers simultaneously.  I just thought that the large cast tended to be a bit, well, ~samey~.  For this reason, I went to the pre-show talk by Alston himself in order to ease some of the bafflement.  This did help me enjoy the two narrative pieces of the night rather better than would have otherwise been the case, but I still enjoyed the other two pieces even more.

I was also surprised that Alston declared that he thought the Festival Theatre one of the best spaces in the world; named it as his favourite; and said that New York in particular lacked any comparable space.  There was much polite laughter when he started down this route – the sort of response an after dinner speaker will get for going through the polite gestures an audience might expect, welcome, but not believe – but he was apparently quite in earnest.

Two of the pieces, Lachrymae and Illuminations, were based on works by Britten, with the first performed live: the viola and piano were on stage with the dancers.  I’d probably have paid to see that by itself: a great performance.  Just as well, too.  At the official Edinburgh Festival this year I went – again, to the Festival Theatre – to see im Goldenen Schnitt, another revival of a dance piece from a couple of decades ago, and it was so awful, so pretentious and so caustically smug that I had begun to think that I just wasn’t cut out to watch dance.

Joy Division Reworked – Are You Sure Ian Done It This Way?

A little late on this update, but I went to see “Joy Division Reworked” at the Usher Hall a couple of weeks ago: a collaboration between electronic musician Scanner, the Heritage Orchestra and a visual artist whose name, shamefully, I forget. Here is their short teaser for the Royal Festival Hall show.

Joy Division Reworked

I wasn’t sure what I expected. Cover versions? Remixes? The bloke next to me, of a certain age and wearing an Unknown pleasures t-shirt of what looked like original vintage, walked out four tracks in, having been increasingly restless in his seat. He, I suspect, had anticipated a faithful tribute act. In fact, it would have taken an even more faithful fan of Joy Division than I to have identified all of the tracks which were explored and reinvented. These were sweet apples, but they had fallen a long way from the tree.

The publicity said that if Ian Curtis were to have lived, this is what he would be doing. I’m not sure about that: Joy Division were a long way from the rich soundscapes of a 21-piece orchestra, six-piece band and a rich, sequenced accompaniment. But then, New Order were the next evolution after he died, and they embraced denser production and the electronic medium. It is perhaps more what Keith Emerson, of Emerson lake and Palmer, should have been doing today.

Here is Scanner’s own version of the opening track: long, dreamy, gorgeously overblown and, when performed live, with the best visuals I have seen for a live show since seeing Maynard Keenan’s gorgeous show with Tool in Glasgow on the 10,000 Days tour a few years ago.

In any case it was variously progressive house, prog rock, ambient house and even, on one track, some dubstep wub-wubbing. Gotta love dem wubwubs. I wanted it to go on for ages more. If they tour it again, don’t miss it.

Wolfpacks in Delve: It’s Dice 2009 all over again

I have been pretty constantly immersed in the Eve meta-game for the past four years or so: my first and only prolonged period of complete burn-out coming last year after the launch of themittani.com and the death of my friend and co-conspirator Vile Rat.

That said, my actual interest in logging into the game of Eve Online itself is a touch cyclical. Since the last Bat Country deployment to Delve alongside guitar legend Suas and his merry band of neo-SpecOps pilots, I have logged into Eve only to build up the cash to buy a replacement supercarrier, should that be necessary (a problem made less likely when my supercap holding character was booted from the alliance in a rather over-zealous purge). That’s three months of changing skills and ignoring jabber broadcasts about small gang roams.
Continue reading Wolfpacks in Delve: It’s Dice 2009 all over again

Operating McThetan

I have had harsh things to say about L. Ron Hubbard in the past, but I was perhaps too quick to judge. So what if he made up a bunch of dreadful space opera sci-fi, slapped the title “religion” on it, and profited from the gullibility and desperation of society’s less bright individuals? He was a canny businessman, and that appeals to the thrifty Scot in me.

However, Scientology has always had a limited appeal in Scotland, perhaps because our smaller population must by necessity have a smaller pool of people with IQs below 70 for them to draw upon. But my own feeling is that the American-style, new-age language used by the Scientology movement sits ill with the dour Scot on the number thirty-one omnibus. What is needed, therefore, is localisation.

I am aware that the Church of Scientology is fiercely protective of their name and materials: any money-driven organisation needs to protect their IP, no matter how pernicious or fictitious that is.

It is therefore with great pride and a hungry desire for profits that I announce the foundation of the “Kirk of Physicsology”. Our uniquely Scottish approach promises you that you can become a super-powered Operating McThetan, but that you probably won’t because you don’t deserve it.

We will teach that originally everyone had the awesome mental abilities that we offer, but that Margaret Thatcher had them shut down in the 80s. And that they were invented by a Scot, just like steam engines, televisions and dragons, but that the bastarding English went and stole them from us.

Our auditing procedure for assessing the readiness to ascend to new levels will consist of aggressive demands as to “why you think you’re so bloody special? What makes you better than anyone else?” with assessments reading “Honestly, who does she think she is, anyway? Ah kent hur faither.”

Eventually, neophytes will be told that they are cleared, and that they now have powers equivalent even to Tam “Wee Man” Cruise. However, they will be warned immediately that should they use them then they’ll doubtless pay for it later.

Like the scientologists, the Kirk of Physicsology hopes to make some high-profile recruitments in media and films. I can reveal that we are in talks with the Krankies, and that we have high hopes to snag one of the Jimmy Shand ensemble in the near future. On the promise of influence in the industry and easy access to funding for bad films, the entire cast of Take the High Road signed up some time ago.

I've been GIA director and a senior Goonswarm leader for over five years and eminence gris of Bat Country for seven.