Mittwoch, 4. August 2010


I moved my blog over to EVEpress at

Please do look for me there :o)

Freitag, 2. Juli 2010

Camera drones for the win

When doing stuff together with corpies I do like to do screenshots and use these for news messages in our shiny new corp forum. I can't post the stories here, but I can give you a few of the screenies.

 A Thanny and friends visitis a Haven.

Dragonfly oh dragonfly.

Sadly I can't yet pilot a carrier (working towards it though), but this is my precious atm: the Vaga.

Burn riod burn 0:-)

Proteus vs Serpentis cartel ships. Hint: don't bet for the poor Serpentis pirates ;-) (Its a friend's ship though sadly not mine /me hopes for a Loki someday though )

Me in my stout Cane guarding a bubble.

These screenshots also show quite nicely what my corp does and what I do when not trying to find nice people to join the Black Thorne Corporation.

Dienstag, 29. Juni 2010

Tyrannis: The Ice Age

With the coming of Tyrannis in the New Eden cluster, quite a lot of planetary bodies experienced radical changes in their climate. Take my corp’s primary planet for example. Our infrastructure hub It seemed to orbit quite a nice and lush paradise that would make for a nice shore leave.

But then it seems like the winds of change came and that same, nice world was drawn into an ice-age.

I am not sure what happened. I fear it could have been space-dust blowing from an opening wormhole, getting caught in the gravity field of the planet and obscuring the sun. It could be our destruction of nearby asteroid belts as well. Somehow asteroid shrapnel, rock pieces and dust from the processing factories of the exhumers could have fallen down and wrecked havoc with the ecosystem. Both scenarios are very dark ones, and should probably warn us, that we capsuleers should try to be more considerate and more aware of the consequences of our actions!

I hope my endeavors on that ice planet will help restore balance to it again by slowly melting said planet’s ice.
At least I do hope I don’t end like the now infamous Omvistus  from the report of a rather unfortunate planet.

I do like Planetary Interaction (PI) and am quite fond of that chronicle! I am looking forward to see what the next iteration on PI might bring. Especially I am hoping for some kind of consequences/impact on actions in PI. So that we can see who are Tyrants and who at least try to be benevolent.  Perhaps we have only seen the benevolent side yet? And the Tyrant-side is yet to come?
Let’s pretend it might be and envision capital planat-eaters (like Star War’s World Devastators) or orbital bombardement, or looking at the coming Dust514 battles from dark rooms in orbital command centers  Incarna-Style together with said mercs and discussing strategy and logistics. One can always dream, correct?

Montag, 28. Juni 2010

Data Crystals: PI goody for PvE Storyline Content and Roleplay?

This is an idea I had of a small little gadget that could be used for a lot of interesting things: Data Crystals. EVE includes as small utility notepad, but it yet doesn’t have a method of storing and exchanging text messages in-game. In-game text messages are mostly shared (aside from eve-mail and chat ofc) by two methods:

  1. In missions/exploration we tend to get pop-up message windows.
  2. For players to exchange text either cans or bookmarks are used.

What about a small goody (perhaps made out of miniature electronics or chiral structures in PI) that would help enhance content and widen the options for both of the cases above? The gadget could possible look like a data chip or crystal, with the possibility to right-click on it to edit the description text (just like the "change name" option for ships and cans) to simulate the text data contained in the chip.
Possible uses would/could be:

  • Storyline information: Aside from those pop-up windows in missions these items could be part of mission loot containing further hints to other missions/sites. The text wouldn’t be "lost" like the info-text if you click "ok".
  • Background info/hints: The crystals could hint at background info for use in the events which are gathering momentum now.
  • They would ease setting up scavenger-hunt like player-made events.
  • They could be used for in-game roleplaying or help players "script" their own mission for events (like setting up cans containing a data crystal with cryptic information and so on).
  • It would be a way to leave messages in wrecks after other players destroy your ship (also for roleplaying).
To limit their impact on storage capacity on the database side, at least the player-created messages that can be stored in those cans should be limited to e.g. 140 characters and they should be reprocess/destroyable.

I hope this idea would not use too many resources/time for CCP to implement and could have uses in a variety of scenarios.
A further possibility would be to enable the text to be "ecrypted", needing either a password or an application of the Hacking skill to "open". Uses for that might be:
  • Mission loot that that contains hints but can't be accessed till another hint is found (in the form of the password) thus creating a kind of PvE puzzle either for one player (for missions and epic-missions) or for a group of players (for events).
  • Enabling players to do the same (though players should not be able to edit the text of pve content data crystals).
What do you think? Would this fit better into the Ideas part of the eve-forum or better into Assembly Hall?

Freitag, 9. April 2010

Zargyl's Tyrannis

Soon Tyrannis will be upon us and I have to admit that I am quite looking forward to it as the possibilities it might start giving us are endless. In my mind I already see huge cloud cities harvesting gas from those gargantuan gas planets, dark steel bunkers huddled on precarious precipices near ocean-like magma fields on those lava planets, floating cities slowly caressing the endless waves of ocean planets and so on. All full with people looking upwards to the sky either fearful or thankful of their capsuleer masters who visit orbital command centers that overlook their planetary empires.

The last part could probably be done in conjunction with Incarna and much of that “vision” stems from the epic command-center-view from the Dust 514 preview. So I do hope it will be possible for capsuleers to visit those command centers and direct their planetary empires from there as well as interact with Dust mercenaries (or at least be able to view their planetary facilities from orbit).

The Tyrannis teaser trailer hints that we will be able to choose to be tyrants or benevolent leaders. Tyrants are mostly despots ruling over people and benevolent leaders are mostly benevolent to people (and not necessarily recources). It is not so long till Tyrannis now and I still miss any information about people. All we have yet are some sketches regarding resource gathering. So I would like to present a possibility for people to become a “rescource”:


What about those? Our ships do have them, from just a few for Frigates to probably thousands for capital ships. We do have some types of people already in the game, but not yet the kind of people that could come from planetary academies. Most tyrants will probably only try to exploit people to get the highest output in materials extracted from planets. In the teaser trailer we do indeed see the Tyrants flying towards planets in mostly industrial and cargo ships.  The same trailer those shows the benevolent leaders moving towards their planets in combat ships! So perhaps they hope to fill their “crew quarters” (which could be similar to the drone bay in-game) with people happy about their rule and hungering to see the stars abroad ships piloted by capsuleers?
The nicer the capsuleer is with the planet the higher the morale of those crew members will likely be. Whereas those capsuleers more into their darker selves will probably try to use slave crews (which would need enforcers as well).
Similar to leadership a more motivated crew might also impart some bonuses to ship handling as well (whereas a rebelling crew might lower the same stats).

Aside from this idea I also do hope my dreams of seeing huge cloud cities, picturesque high-tech facilities on pristine worlds and floating wonders on ocean worlds might get realized! Some specialized ships might also be cool though. They could be something from landing craft (to see the surface facilities scrolling by) to huge capital-ship monsters for rescource gathering (like the World Devastators - capital-scale exhumers for planets integrated with industrial facilities - from StarWars).

In closing I don’t think that this vision of mine depicted in the beginning will be fully realized at first, but as it is similar (at least I hope so) to view expressed in Torfi’s interview I hope that we will sometime be able to see that. The info to date doesn’t show much in that regard, but I guess it can’t harm if one does hope (and of course the hidden agenda of this is indeed to perhaps poke readers in this direction).

For more posts on Tyrannis don't forget to look at all the other cool Tyrannis posts that are part of CrazyKinux's Tyrannis contest.

Donnerstag, 8. April 2010

Semi-interactive world events using Pashanai as an example

When we got the breaking new about events happening in Pashanai (Genesis Region) I was quite excited as something seemed to be happening. And I am sure I wasn’t the only one (e.g. Casiella also tweeted about the events). I couldn’t resist traveling there to see the damaged station for myself (even though again EVE Travel seems to have gotten there first and already published a nice report about the sight). I can’t help myself (even though I am Minmatar), the Amarr certainly know how to build impressive structures.

It saddened me to see the destruction wrought (allegedly by Minmatar terrorists no less). Guys killing civilians living there, as well as innocent slaves held captive there, can’t be the way to free those of us still enslaved to the Amarr! Whatever their color extremists are always bad for any culture or religion (and sadly Matar extremists are no different it seems).

Anyway back to the topic: I really like the freedom to visit a place in the news and see for myself the change wrought (in this case sadly for the worse).

OOC: EVE has quite a rich back-story which makes for quite a colorful stage setting for players to interact with each other. There is a gulf though between the action and player interaction taking place in the front and the stage being displayed behind them. But in more and more cases this gulf is getting bridged. Planets are one great example for that: They make for quite an incredible stage (especially since Dominion), but interaction is limited. With Tyrannis at least a part of this is going to change and we are going to do more than just being able to warp to planets.
With other “stage elements” the gulf is even bigger, as you can’t even “warp” to storyline events. The same holds true for the most pivotal characters of the back-story. An idea to bridge the gap to them might be in making them interact-able via epic-mission arks (as proposed in an older blog post of mine).
For world events like the Pashanai disaster the gap is already closing a bit insofar as we do see the events having an impact in the game world (at least in regards to the station model). This does still feel like a bit of a stage setting you can’t really interact with. Truly interactive (like GM-driven) events are too work-intensive, but making such world events “semi-interactive” would be cool!

Ways to do that (with Pashanai as an example could be):
  • Enabling us capsuleers to help in the evacuation of residents (by setting up NPC courier contracts with “residents” in them for example).
  • Enabling capsuleers to help injured people there (as above but also with e.g. Sister of EVE contracts or buy orders to bring in medical supplies).
  • Setting up event-based agents in space. This could be new reporters asking players to dock at the station and report back. This could be someone from the Theology Council asking the players to help investigate the event.
Especially the last one could even be a small epic-ark kind of story. The Theology council could ask for an eye-witness - who was seen exiting the station shortly before the explosion - to be found in a nearby system at a mission-site. This could be an unscrupulous merc paid by shady underworld crime lord. This then could lead to the site of the terror organization and to the player perhaps foiling another such attempt by intercepting a courier run with new explosives. We might even get some new hint when doing it (like hearing a servant tell how the Empress got a strange look and mumbling something in an obscure tongue before calling off the scheduled meeting at Panshanai).

Thus the damaged station wouldn’t be “just” a stage element but would provide a point of interaction between players and the story (thus heightening the “immersion” of the players in this dark game-universe).
What do you think? What would your ideas be for possible “interaction points”?

Sonntag, 4. April 2010

Rally time

I have organized my first corp event (that is not "just" a mining event like my Lonely Roids ops before)! I set it up as a peaceful rally to celebrate my first year of membership in the Black Thorne Corporation.
I sponsored, organized and commented on this birthday rally, that was actually more than "just" one race, it consisted of a few smaller races. The ideas for two of those races were actually not mine but the idea of Julius Rigel, who organizes similar ones EVE-wide.

The first competition was the Boomerang. The boomerang was to practice manual sub-warp flying and involved burning towards a turning “line”, turning sharply after it and racing back towards the start/finish line. It was really fun commenting the flight!

The second competition involved warp-speed flying in a triangle. A triangle of three systems had to be traversed three times, with the start/finish being one of the stargates. It was fun to comment on the flights of the pilots, even though I sadly didn’t see all the course. We had one participant doing a side-trip, but even with that it was a close one.

Stan's Atron
Inqy's Crusader


The third part of the competition involved a bit knowledge of the political landscape surrounding us as well as the current corp activities. 7 Questions had to be answered. Among the questions (shortened versions of the) were:

Old President of the Gallente Federation: Souro Foiritan
The main of the founder of the BTC: Calsak
Amarr Empress: Jamyl Sarum I
The new president of the Gallente Federation: Jacus Roden
Name of the system of the last mining op

A second part of these questions was to find out a system name using certain letters from the answers of the above questions.

Stan already solved that one after I presented the i of Niballe.

Now that the system of the last part of the race had been found, the participants moved there and tried there luck with navigating the dangerous Slingshot (an S-shaped curve). For this part Anming was able to join us as well.

The whole race was a fun time on voice and all played along quite nicely and even got drawn into the action. So thank you Julius Rigel for the nice idea and Quintrala as well (without reading about your races I would never have thought about organizing my own).

Montag, 29. März 2010

Gone Ratting

Seems like this poor Republic University alumnus is quite active at the moment with lots of projects progressing nicely. Only this diary here seems to suffer a bit from that. I’d like to rectify that by showing you a few data grabs from my camera drones to explain what is going on.

The first shows my trusty Gilgalad tanking the brunt of the damage while helping to bust wrongly imprisoned civilians out of a Sansha holding facility.

(Yes Reap that is your Nighty on the pic :-) ) It is always nice to happily chat away with corp mates while flying together and I seem to get better with that - which is the first thing I am happy about. The second thing is that I already had the chance to set up my very first cynosural beacon.
I even survived waiting those 10 minutes sitting duck. It would have been totally worthwhile though, because I could see a majestic carrier up close (Keris you do have quite some cool ship!).

Yeah and as third is the charm, I did manage to get out into lawless space and visit my corp’s small (but very nice) sanctum there. I did travel in the fast and nimble interceptor that can be seen here taking in the sights of the system.
Thankx to my corp mates I already got a nifty piece of Minmatar technology out there (thankx again to Az!) and did my first ratting against the Angel pirate cartel that tries to waylay civilians gathering raw materials from the local asteroid belts.
This btw is the picture of the very first "rat" I engaged with my Cane. And I have to say that I quite like ratting. Especially for someone with not too much time to captain his ship it is much easier to find the time to visit a few belts than to get through one huge mission, so I am quite happy atm.

Hope you are having a relaxing time as well!

Donnerstag, 11. März 2010

The Quafe Conspiracy

My last exploratory mission to see the fabled EVE Gate, which is quite literally the origin of our people, is already so long ago, that I thought I should do another one. I consider myself a good Gallente citizen (as the Gallente Federation was so nice to allow me to live under their sovereignty, the corp I am in is also quite happy to be there, and my contacts - especially in Federal Customs - are the best I have). As a good citizen I of course followed the abdication of the Gallente president with quite some concern and the resulting new elections even more.
Just before the new elections did take place, I did notice some interesting developments: Out of the lime light in Gallente low-security space there suddenly was more activity then before. Most of this activity was centered to new Roden Shipyards Manufacturing Centers being constructed. Jacus Roden, the owner of Roden Shipyards, also happened to be the most visible contender for the Gallente presidency. Not long after that the build-up, his winning of said elections was announced. Coincidence or no coincidence I wonder.
Curiosity got the better of me and finally - a few months after the actual election - I did take a look at one of those shipyards. I was hoping that now, after the fact, my visit wouldn’t draw too much attention anymore. The target of my investigation was in the Heluene system and I did find quite some activity going on there. Most impressive was the Obelisk freighter docking at the manufacturing yard.

It is quite a dangerous undertaking to bring an Obelisk to a low-sec manufacturing facility! Especially with no noticeable protective fleet around that is quite some undertaking. But the most astonishing part was that there was a huge Quafe advertisement to be seen there. This makes me wonder: why such a huge advertisement for a secret low-sec manufacturing facility? And even one from another company? Might Quafe - the company famous for its beer - be involved in Roden’s way to power? And why would a starship (and terraforming) company have a secret agreement with a beer company?

Any ideas?

Aside from that it was really nice to see some change going on and interesting to see that the company of the new Gallente president seems also to be helping with naval patrol duties (those Roden Shipyard’s Megathron battleships with their distinctive coloring look really nice btw).

For another travel report to a Roden Shipyard Facility please do look at the interesting one at EVE Travel!

Sonntag, 7. März 2010

In the Wolf-Pack

My being a bit silent here doesn’t mean I haven’t been up to stuff – to the contrary I did advance quite a few of my plans nicely. One of those was to finally take a Wolfpack Seminar at Agony University. And this is exactly what I did. My basic seminar has been over half a year so it was nice to manage to be on another of those interesting Agony Seminars (took me long enough anyway, though part of that is also due to me not finding a course set up for my timezone before that).

It was quite a special seminar and I thankful to Agony that I was able to be in it. The first special part was that it was in the new format (spilt over two evenings). This is quite a nice idea, as the huge block in the Basic seminar I took was quite difficult to manage. It is easier to find the time for 2 shorter evenings than the time for a 8+ hours monster session. Not only that, but it is much nicer for concentration as well.

The second special part was that it was the first wolfpack where Azual was the primary theory instructor. I wouldn’t have guessed that it was his first time though as he did it quite professional. He did manage to blend quite a lot of experiences and examples into the theory which was very educational and made it easier to digest as well as much nicer to listen to.

The pack undocking.

The third special part was that it was the first time Granger FCed a class. So this was another first as well. In my PVP basic the FC was Caldak and it was really nice to see different FCs with different styles in action. If I had to choose I’d say I liked Granger’s FCing better as it felt a bit less heavy-handed, but I guess that’s personal preference and depends on the style you like.

Wolfpack in warp.

I was happy that I did understand quite a few things much better than on my first basic roam. Among one thing was that this time I actually new which system we were in. On the other hand though I still didn’t get all those reports that came in from the various scouts, so thumbs up for the incredible job the FCs do by being able to go with that much information (and I am sure there isn't a logic processor implant that helps with that) and form strategies and decisions from all that.

Upon entering a system where the largest fight of the day was held I did encounter the problems which have been reported due to stargate electronic loop-backs into our ship’s computers. So I missed that but I still was happy as I felt like I was participating (a t2 sensor booster helped in that regard as well 0:-) ).

Another nice thing: I could do a bit celebrity-watching:
TeaDaze’s elite frig.

Ofc I wasn’t "only" happy to see Tea but quite a few other faces I did recognize, like Guy Fletcher, Scrivet and glepp whom I remember from my Basic course as well as Aether who was then "just" an Alumni but got back into Agony it seems not so long after the seminar. As far as faces go: Babyface UK (an ex-corpie of BTC) you didn’t manage to hide from me as well ;-)

At the end of the day I even managed our suiciding against the coordinated Stealth Bomber strikes by Evoke. So not only did my rifter survive the basic course but my Trasher did survive the wolfpack seminar as well. I guess I must be doing something wrong.

My flight home the other day:

Thankx Agony and my corp (Black Thorne Corporation) as well (as the corp payed for the nice seminar 0:-) ).

Freitag, 29. Januar 2010

EVE Blog Banter Special Edition: Why I love EVE

Below is my answer to the question raised in the special 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 to CrazyKinux.

The gaunt Sebiestor with the spiky hear in his blue armor lets his grey-blue eyes linger upon the hull of the Myrmidon levitating by its maneuvering jets alone in front of him in his home station. If one would look at his face, the smile lingering on it at that breathtaking sight would betray how proud he is of this - his newest creation. The Sebiestor turns away from the balcony overlooking the hangar and hurries off to the lift that will take him down to the hangar.
A few minutes later, while the station facilities together with his crew undock the battlecruiser from the station, he already is happily chatting with his friends via tight-band NeoCom hookup about what to do next - together with them.

I guess the above sums up quite a lot what it is that I like most about EVE: It is a game where one can communicate with lots of other people and do something together with them. This would be true to any mmorpgs and I guess that is why I like playing them so much. EVE is special as its genre is special: Sci-fi where most other mmorpgs are fantasy games. That is also why EVE can live together so peacefully with them (they are a different genre that speak to a different player base).
The second part is that EVE allows the actions of players to have consequences. You can build your own things (actually if you don’t do it someone else _has_ to do it for you). Not only that, but the things you build are there to stay (if not destroyed by others) and all others can see/interact with them. You can even build structures (like POS’ - or even stations) that would endure even if you yourself would stop to play. There are no “rounds” after which everything gets reset, but everything is persistent everything is there to endure. I don’t play in 0.0, but the possibility is there to try to build your own “empire” out there in the stars. I guess that is what I like most about EVE: that it is persistent and allows the players not only to interact with the game-universe but to change it themselves!

I guess this will get even better when planetary interaction comes and would be even better if there were other things to build which would change the environment (like all the ideas about smaller player-owned structures).

Sonntag, 24. Januar 2010

EVE Blog Banter #14: Dreams and Hopes

Welcome to the fourteenth 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 to Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

The first banter of 2010 comes to us from the EVE Blog Father, CrazyKinux himself, who asks the following: As we begin another year in New Eden, ask yourselves “What Now?” What will I attempt next? What haven’t I done so far in EVE? Was it out fear, funds, or knowledge? Have I always wanted to start my own corporation, but have never dared doing so? Is there a fledging mercenary waiting to come out of its shell? Or maybe an Industrialist? What steps and objectives will I set myself to accomplish in order to reach my ultimate goal for this year? EVE is what you make of it. So, what is it going to be for you?

For me the last year was incredible, so many things have happened: the youngest generation of Minmatar slaves was freed by Empress Jamyl Sarum, wormholes opened up in quite an epic (if catastrophic if one remembers the lost Thukker caravan and the destruction of Seyllin) emergence. It was also the year where I emerged from the shadows and went into the light that is my current corp.
I am optimistic that this year (my second year in Black Thorne) will be as nice and interesting as the first in which I started with a Scythe and Rupture being able to fly just the first level of missions to piloting a Hulk and Maelstrom able to help the local government agents in much more difficult missions (just to name one line of progression).
What hasn’t changed and what probably will not change is that I am still wandering through New Eden and looking at all its wonders and sights, that I am still excited when I learn something new, see something new. Our universe may be dark, but it still does hold light in the form of good deeds you can see and nice people you can meet.
So my hopes are up for lots of interesting stuff to happen. I am hoping for lots new stories to read from all of you, I am hoping for those “Burning Life” stories, I am hoping to be able to complete my mission to help the Angel pirate faction against the anarchist pirates that are the Guristas, I am hoping to have a nice time with my corp mates and hope to be able to help them in lots of ops. This year will also be the one where I will try to make my first tentative steps into the regions where we Capsuleers reign free.
Lots of hopes, hm? Well, I guess as the past is our memory, the future is our dreams and hopes. Bearing that in mind I do hope for a nice and exciting year for all of us hoping together and dreaming together and together looking forward to the additions that will come to this universe of New Eden.

Below a list of other participants who weren't as late as I am with the banter.

List of Participants:
  1. CrazyKinux's Musing - A beginning is a very delicate time...
  2. The Wandering Druid of Tranquility - Words, words, words…
  3. My God It's Full of Stars - What Now?
  4. The Elitist - Plans for 112yc
  5. Into the unknown with gun and camera - Show me the money
  6. Ecliptic Rift - Enabling the future
  7. Inanity and Doom - New Year's Resolutions, New Eden Style
  8. Break Vol - Blog Banter #14
  9. Guns Ablaze - What Now?
  10. Adventures in Mission Running - The Way Forward
  11. Diary of a Pod Pilot - Things I want to do
  12. Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah - The Year That Will Be
  13. Roc's Ramblings - WordPress ate my blog
  14. Vive Virtual - Frontier Living
  15. A Mule in EVE - Next on the chopping block
  16. Prano's Journey - I Peer Into My Crystal Pod...
  17. Life in Low Sec - Expanding the Franchise
  18. The Light of Stars - Testing the claims of CCP
  19. A Memoir From Space - A New Direction
  20. The Chronofile - Blog Banter 2010
  21. FlashFresh - What now for Flash?
  22. EVE Opportunist - Fyreite in 112
  23. Mike Azariah - Jiorj
  24. Yarrbear Tales - Year in Review
  25. The Independant Analyst - The Year Ahead
  26. The Travels of Black Claw - Where ma I going?
  27. Warp Scrammed - What to do this year
  28. Sered's Lives - Searching for directions in 2010
  29. Finders & Keepers - New Tears, Same Great Taste
  30. The Captain's Log - To Dream of the Future
  31. The Lathspell of Mithrandir - Resolutions
  32. The Midnight Sun - EVE Blog Banter #14
  33. EVE What? - New Heights to be Reached
  34. The EVE Chronicles - New Year – New Blog – What a way to start the Year!