Archive for November, 2012


Preparing for Retribution

I don’t know about you, but I’m building a few hundred million isk worth of <stuff> for Retribution. How bout you?


The price of safety is… actually quite cheap

Running a starbase is an expensive hobby. Sure, you get the neat things that you attach to the tower (I like mobile labs, personally) but, like an American car, the fuel costs can be steep. What’s worse, unless you set up your tower in highsec, there’s the constant threat of some Germans blowing it up.

Heavy Fuel

A tower uses fuel blocks according to size, so with current prices of ~12000 isk per block, the weekly running cost of towers is:

  • Small: 20.16M isk per week
  • Medium: 40.32M per week
  • Large: 80.64M per week

Ticket to Bribe

How much would you pay for the security of high sec for your tower? Relatively safe from senseless ganks, 100% safe from sieged dreadnaughts, and if you do get a wardec, your entire alliance can jump clone to Empire for a holiday.

Turns out, the price is quite reasonable. Leaving aside the one-off standings requirements needed to place a tower in highsec, the ongoing costs of highsec towers is only a miniscule percentage higher than lowsec. A tower only requires a single starbase charter per hour to get permission to stay online in high sec.

Let’s run some numbers. The weekly cost of these charters, on a per-tower basis is:

  • Small: 252k isk per week
  • Medium: 252k isk per week
  • Large: 252k isk per week

Or putting it another way, the cost of doing your manufacturing business in highsec is between 1.25% and 0.32%, an absolute pittance.

Does that seem right to you?


I’ve seen the future and it will be transparent

with apologies to Prince

The Retribution expansion to Eve Online has already shown some upgrades to the targeting UI, with previews already available on the test server.

And yeah, they are an improvement.


The world has moved on from the quasi-8 bit user interface of the nineties, no matter how awesome it appears in movies.

In fact, movies should be the inspiration for games such as Eve. We get enough of bland UIs on our computers as it is; when we pay money each month to login to a futuristic game with awesome spaceship and nebula visuals, we don’t want to see more of the same.

As an exercise, we can even imagine what such a UI would look like, based on recent movies:

Your standard dual-monitor setup with the scanning window open

What was that, Skippy? Citadel torpedoes have fallen down the gravity well and landed on some Dust mercs?

Oh, look, a fitting screen. Who knew Iron Man only has three high slots?

I can see some potential here 😉


Low Tide

We’ve had some recent bouts of pvp with Mildly Intoxicated, who are apparently joining Nulli’s alliance and were using our pocket as a staging point and presumably a place to retreat to if things go south in the South.

A couple of the corps shed alliance and set up nearby, namely Bring the Noise and Low Tied. A charming bunch of larrikins they may be, but one does not simply set up inside someone else’s house, so we regretfully encouraged them to move on.

Best of luck guys, and next time please call us before you rock up on our doorstep.

ps: one hour of strontium doesn’t quite cut it, chaps.


FOUND: One CSM Member

Was wondering where most of the CSM members were up to. Haven’t heard from any of them except for Hans in over two months.



Note to self: auto piloting to jita with null sec ‘fastest route’ option is a good way to wake up in a free pod.

I can only imagine the surprise of whoever found me deep in lowsec in my combat shuttle.

Sadly, I exploded less than 15km from highsec 😦


Pop goes the freighters

So, a few days ago a new guy joined the alliance and started moving apparently all his assets to be closer to our staging system.

With tragic results.

He jumped into Uedama, started to align to the out gate, saw ships appearing, realised it was a logon trap then disconnected.

The interesting thing is that his logs don’t show any aggressive acts taken on his ship before he logged, yet the ship was still in space (according to the login screen) fifteen minutes later.

What’s even more interesting is that the killmail is more than fifteen minutes after he logged out. Needless to say, a petition is underway regarding that loss. Perhaps there’s an unknown bug that allows someone to bump a ship out of alignment, even when they’re doing an emergency warp?

It’s not an isolated incident either; there have been a spate of such freighter kills.


Afterburner changes in Retribution?

As discovered by Sarmatiko:

[*] Afterburner
  [+|n] accerationControlSkillBoostCapNeedBonus
  [+|y] fuelConservationCapNeedBonusPostPercentCapacitorNeedLocationShipModulesRequiringAfterburner
  [*] durationBonus: 10.0 => -5.0
  [+] capNeedBonus: -10.0

i.e. the Afterburner skill changes from +10% duration per level, to -10% cap usage and -5% duration per level.

This keeps the same overall cap usage bonus (-33% at level V) but stops the afterburner cycle being so excruciatingly long. This is good for getting up to warp speed, and for dual-propulsion ships, but bad news for overheating.

Hopefully this will make Eve Hermit’s Orca fit work better 🙂


Running the numbers on fleet boosts

Continuing from my last post on this subject, I reiterate my position that the bonus mindlinks provide to fleet boosts make it irrelevant which actual ship you use to boost from. For those who arrived late, here’s the argument in graph form.

This is a fairly bad situation to be in, from a game design perspective; Fozzie is attempting to bring in 2%/level link bonuses for strategic cruisers, but even at max level, 10% is just noise compared to +50% from a mindlink.

Hypothetically Speaking

What would happen if mindlinks were nerfed, and ship bonuses were buffed to compensate?

Hypothetically, let’s nerf mindlinks to +10% bonus to a particular type. This gives it a clear boost, but you don’t feel like a suboptimal player if you fit off-racial links. Frankly, this is the minimum nerf that would be effective for our purpose; if mindlinks were, e.g. +25% I’d still run all-racials. I can see an argument for nerfing them all the way down to +5%, sad as that would make players.

To compensate, the current 3% and 5% bonuses would need to be buffed. This has two effects:

  1. What constitutes ‘off-racial’ links are now based on the ship, not an implant
  2. Which racial links your ship has a bonus for, actually matters now

Point 2 means that Fozzie’s change to have command ships offer bonuses to multiple racial links actually matters.

What would the boosts look like? Well, a little like this:

  • ‘TQ’ is a mindlinked command ship currently on the production Eve server.
  • ‘10% ship’ is the same setup, with mindlinks nerfed to 10% but the ship bonus buffed to 10% per level.
  • ‘7.5% ship’ follows this trend
  • ‘5% ship’ also follows logically


As can be seen, boosting the command ship bonus to 10% per level will almost reach the same power level (although it must be noted that this 10% per level will apply to all racial links, so potentially two races)

Boosting to +7.5% per level is a slight haircut, but also serves to lower the spread between unbonused (purple) and ship-bonused links a bit.

Boosting up to 5% per level is a further nerf to overall power, but this may be desired from a game design perspective anyway.

I think this idea has merit, and look forward to what Fozzie comes up with.


Fozzie on Mindlinks

Following on from the previous discussion:

Tsubutai wrote:

Interesting ideas. When you rebalance CS and leadership mechanics/offgrid boosting, will you be adjusting the way mindlinks interact with leadership skills? As it stands, mindlinks more or less double the strength of the corresponding ganglinks, making it much more important to have the mindlink plugged in than it is to max out the Command Ships skill or the appropriate T3 subsystem. Are there any plans to shift the emphasis such that mindlinks become less of a must-have for pilots with leadership skills?

Also, will T1 BCs retain the ability to fit gang links, or will fleet boosting become a CS/T3-only affair?

Shifting parts of the bonuses from the ganglinks to the other skills and bonuses is an option we have been considering but we have not made a decision there yet. It’s likely that the gang link stuff will not all show up in one patch.

And we have no plans to remove the gang link cpu reduction bonus from the Combat Battlecruisers (formerly known as tier 1 and 2).


So about mindlinks..

  • The fact that they are such a huge portion of the effectiveness of a booster isn’t something we like
  • The fact that people are forced to use multiple jump clones or pop a new expensive implant every time they want to switch link types isn’t something we like
  • The fact that they make the use of multiple gang link types at once so much worse isn’t something we like
  • The exact way to deal with these problems isn’t something we have hammered out yet, but we’ll keep you updated

And since questions keep coming up I’ll clarify some skill stuff again:

Assuming you have the (insert race here) Cruiser skill to 3, the level of (insert race here) Battlecruiser you get after the change will be the same as your Battlecruiser level before the change, not your Cruiser level.

And we don’t have a date to give you on the skill changes but here’s what I can say:

  • It won’t happen in Retribution
  • It won’t happen until we release the BC and BS changes
  • We can’t commit to exactly when those changes will release yet
  • But I have an internal estimate about when we’ll get it done, and that estimate makes me smug out
  • So if you’re choosing between training those skills either sooner or later, choose sooner

Sinzor Aumer wrote:

Normal implants give a small enough bonus that you may be incentivized to use the right clone with the right ship but you’re not crippled if you don’t. We don’t want committing to a jumpclone to lock you out of 3/4 of your role options for the duration.

So mindlinks providing a modest bonus would be fine, but the bonus is too big a part of the overall picture at the moment, we’d like to move some of that bonus elsewhere.

For reference, the link boost breakdown looks like this at the moment:

The graph is a bit misleading due to multiplicative bonuses, but I sorted the effects from the most common to the least common, but it’s clear that the ship bonuses don’t matter nearly as much as the mindlink…