Dienstag, 24. November 2009

Dominion and its incredible planets

I have to admit it: I just had to look at the new planets for Dominion myself and they indeed look great!

A friend from corp though got even better pictures made as he went much closer than I. It was nice to see the UI improvements as well. Especially the fleet finder and the mail system look great! As I don’t use the in-game browser anyway, I am not too frilled by it, but it was high-time for an update of both (mail and browser).

The new Asset window is nice as well! Finally we get a bit more help to search through all the stuff strewn all over New Eden (I especially like the tabs that let you e.g. show only modules or ore).

So I am quite looking forward to Dominion. Only sad thing is the Mothership affair which sent those behemoths back onto the drawing board. The affair - in addition to quite an outcry among the players that actually hope to use those ships - probably only got so big because it was a bit badly handled by the responsible developers. Just found an article about it on a German MMO news site called Buffed titled: “EVE Online: Full speed back captain.” (Which sound's a bit too drastic though).

Scholarly pursuits

Since first hearing about our history in New Eden during a presentation at University (it was actually the first presentation I saw there) I was interested in our origin and the mythology surrounding the EVE gate. It took me quite a while but after quite a bit of preparation I was finally able to fulfill my wish to see the fabled system of New Eden that not only gives this part of the galaxy its name, but also is the fabled point of origin for all of our people.

In my trusty Z1 Ranger the trip was quite uneventful and I only encountered one gate camp in Antem. The camping force had a Broadsword with them no less, but as they were aggressing a Hyperion class battleship, I slipped by unmolested. I did feel sorry for the crew and pilot of the Hyperion though.

When I finally reached the system of New Eden I was taken aback by the beauty of the spectrum stemming from the EVE Gate!

What kind of collapsed wormhole creates a phenomena like that? One that can be seen throughout a whole star system no less? The energies involved are astonishing and probably more than those released by a sun! There has to be some leakage still from the connecting point of the wormhole as the energy released into the visible spectrum has to come from somewhere! So even though it is collapsed it still looks very much .. felt very much alive.

And then there is the emergence of wormholes into Sleeper space .. are those two events connected somehow?

What do you - my esteemed readers - think about that?

Montag, 16. November 2009

EVE Blog Banter #13: Exploration mission

Welcome to the thirteenth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed here. Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

The first banter of this 2nd year of EVE Blog Banters comes to us from Zargyl from A Sebiestor Scholar, who asked the following: On the EVE Fanfest 2009 page are pictures of prizes for the Silent Auction that was held during the event. One of these photos was entitled “Design your own EVE mission”. My question now would be what kind of mission would you write if you got that prize? What would the mission be about? Would it be one using the new system of epic mission arks? What would be the story told by it? Feel free to expand upon his questions and put together your very own mission!

My first blog banter!! That does make me a proud Scholar I guess. And then I am probably the last one to post on it .. not so proud anymore but I can blame my missing game-time to that. Anyway here it goes:

The reason for my idea as well as a few quite general ideas for missions as well can be seen in my previous blog post but there are quite a few others as well. As the actual question does aim for a more specific mission below is a short possible plot for an exploration mission I would try to create if I’d get that cool price mentioned:

The investigation

Dear friend. I hope I can already speak to you thus? After all the other missions you did for me and my company? I would ask one more of you which I wouldn’t trust to anyone else. Please just don’t tell the media, but we have lost all communications with a research starbase in a deadspace pocket in . We don’t know what happened, but we do fear the worst. We would ask you to investigate the research center and find out what happened.

I have one further piece of information for you, which is to be kept between you and me. I am only divulging it in case it might be vital for your investigation: The research team there was investigating the eruption of wormholes and a possible connection between them and the EVE gate.

Fly safe!

The mission site itself would show a ruined research POS in a glittering cloud of debris within a ring of telescopes - some wrecked and in pieces and one intact. Around the site there are a few clues strewn about that get drawn from a pool of clues by chance (so that even if a pilot should get this mission twice or thrice, the actual subject studies by the company and the actual dilemma that happened is different).
This is the vital part as I am not a fan of repeating missions. One of the first missions I got myself was Rancorous Researcher, which was great the first time I went through it! (As it wasn’t just about blowing some npc ships up). But it felt a bit strained after I got it the fourth time from the same agent.

Ideas for clues for the missioner to find (and how to get them) are (not a complete list, just 3 ideas to see what type of clues I would like to put into the list of possible hints that are chosen randomly):

The intact telescope houses a container that can be hacked open revealing a document that gives the hint in its description:
Datalog day 38: Finally our long-range telescopes scanning the Genesis region found something worth mentioning: There does seem to be a correlation between the energy spectrum of the anomaly called the EVE gate and the anomalies called wormholes. We will investigate further.
Datalog day 42: Our investigation into the spectra is going well; we hope to be able to send our data soon.
Datalog day 43: Our scanners are showing the same energy lines emitting quite near us. Could this be a wormhole opening in this very system?
Datalog day 43 part 2: It is confirmed, we are getting a spectra that has an incredible correlation with the ones we are investigating!
Datalog day 43 part 3: We have located the source of the newest emergence: Its growing stronger as well. It seems we have found a way to find wormholes before they open up! But this one it’s opening … oh no it is opening right here … *transmission lost*

Aside from the wrecked POS there are also industrial shipwrecks and among those a small wreck that can get salvaged (like in a salvaging site). Only this time you don’t get normal salvage but a piece of “mysterious salvage” that gives a hint to its origin and the fate of the station in its description (and that has an icon similar or even identical to a piece of sleeper salvage):
Unknown damaged drone processor block: This piece of hardware shows it has to come from a drone, but it looks like it has been modified by some unknown source.

A third hint / or option for a random hint would be a lone surviving scientist in a cargo/escape-pod that hopes to get rescued. His pod is hidden between two other wrecks and when flying near the passenger send’s a tight-beam message to the player’s ship (which gets displayed in local): Mayday, mayday I am in an escape pod near you, please help!
A few seconds after that the local chat says: But please be careful THEY are still near ..
When rescued (when the can is opened and the scientist transferred to the player’s ship) the scientist says via local chat: Thank you very very much . I owe you my life! But please let’s go away fast before THEY find out that we are here.
Gathering the hints the randomly chosen hints completes the mission (getting the data core with the log, getting the mysterious salvage or getting the scientist – at least those three would be my first ideas for a list of hints). But the mission doesn’t end there. When aligning to warp away, rogue drones de-cloak/warp-in/spawn (mostly frigs that do have warp scramblers and immediately try to use them) blabbering in binary in local: No information shall escape.

When the player returns after the fight to the agent he would be highly interesting in the findings and perhaps mumbling to himself about them (in the text message when ending the mission). The text itself would be dependent on what clue was gathered and would hint (perhaps at a still further mission).
Examples for that might be:
- Who would have thought that? Sleeper tech modified drones? Was it the Sleepers themselves …
- So something form the EVE gate is messing with space continuum and creates the wormholes? But why just now? Has the EVE gate been modified? If so, who was it? Perhaps Jovians?
- Interesting report from that scientist, rogue drones overwhelmed the facility, rogue drones being directed by a Sleeper drone?

So much to that mission of mine. Which could hint at quite a bit storyline stuff, or even provide a hint to contact some other agent (like the certificate missions do) who might start the PC on an epic arc or that does reveal a bit of the EVE backstory through missioning (which would be a nice way to involve players with it). It also might be the first of a new type (encounter, courier) of mission: the exploration type.

List of Participants:

1. CrazyKinux's Musing - Your Mission, should you decide to accept it...
2. Zen and the Art of Internet Spaceship Maintenance - First Blood
3. The Elitist - Guristas Invasion
4. The Wandering Druid of Tranquility - ...It's another episode of Design Star: EVE Style...
5. Level Cap - Epic Battles
6. Roc's Ramblings - The Cave of Time
7. Aether - Teach a man to fish...
8. Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah - Mission: Tangled Webs
9. Adventures in Mission Running - I can haz spaceship?
10. Nuke Thoughts - EVE Blog Banter 13
11. Diary of a Pod Pilot - Distressing The Damsel
12. Guns Ablaze - Dynamic Missions
13. Achernar - Confidential Report
14. Escoce - EVE Trader - Missions with player adversaries
15. Hands Off, My Loot! - Blog Banter #13, no witty title
16. Inanity and Doom - A question of impact
17. Cle Demaari: Citizen in EVE - See the Universe
18. A Starry Eyed Pod-Pusher - Wormhole Extreme!
19. Mike Azariah - Missioneer, not mouseketeer
20. Casiella - EVE Blog Banter 13: FW Epic Arcs