Archive for December, 2012

26
Dec
12

Eve, offline

No Internet access, save via phone. Given the holiday season, this is unlikely to be resolved soon. Welp.

On the plus side, those capital component blueprints will continue their research while I am AWOL.

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21
Dec
12

How to stop botting: remove the advantage of botting

Why bot?

My definition of botting is using a computer program to do boring, mechanical tasks for you.

The advantages of bots are:

  • a bot can do boring things so a human doesn’t have to
  • a bot can do things for longer hours than a human can
  • a bot may be better than a human at a task
  • a bot can be run by more clients compared to a human.

The reasons people bot are many, but a short list of the major ones is:

  • for convenience
  • for advantage
  • for smugness

Eve has a lot of good game mechanics that avoid or lessen the need to grind mindlessly, but bots still proliferate despite the best efforts of CCP Sreegs. Sreegs concentrates on the supply side, banning botters and detecting the programs they use. However, the war on drugs has shown that this approach expends a lot of effort for proportionally less gain.

A different approach would be to reduce the incentive to bot by adjusting game mechanics.

game mechanics that turn people into bots

It has been said that a human trader in Jita, playing perfectly, acts just like a bot. The bot rules are pretty simple: -0.01 isk your sell order until you’re the cheapest (down to a threshold), and +0.01 isk your buy order to a threshold.

The human decisions are much rarer in comparison, and are accepted as playing the game rather than botting: should I crash this market? Should I adjust my minimum and buy out all the supply here? Should I get out of this market now or manipulate the input materials and force others out?

Similarly for industry. Deciding what to build or invent is a legitimate decision. The mechanical process of clicking furiously to invent hobgoblin II blueprints every hour, on the hour increases bot demand.

Similarly for mining. Warp to belt, turn on lasers. The only non-lizard-brain decisions you make are deciding which rock to mine, and whether the intel you have (dscan or local chat) presents a threat to your operation.

Similarly for combat. Generally, PvE in Eve is fairly boring but lucrative, and scales well based on the time put in, so botters who seek to gain the isk advantage will take this option, whether it means a botting fleet, or just logging on a bot on an existing character for a few more hours each day.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Bot resistance

Planetary management used to be a massive bot-fest. It was basically all about clicking a bunch of stuff every 30 minutes, 23/7, so it’s no surprise.

Then CCP changed the rules. They added adjustable extraction lengths, so players would never feel like they were missing out on extraction while they were asleep or at work. They added depletion, so real human decisions would need to be made about whether to keep extracting, relocate heads, or even tear down the entire structure and relocate.

Yes, the planetary management feature still needs a lot of enhancements, but the game mechanics are considerably more bot-resistant.

Other examples of adding bot-hardening game mechanics are the recent changes to faction warfare complexes. CCP does have the tools and expertise; they just need a bit of prioritisation.

waht do

If CCP wants to reduce botting and bot-like behaviour, some fairly straightforward changes can be done.

  • Add an autoadjust feature to orders. Ebay has had a ‘bid up to x amount’ feature for years; it’s not rocket science
  • Add the capability to submit industry jobs from a queue, so a human can compete with a bot submitting ten x 1-hour jobs every hour
  • Add a deployable mining hub that will mine automatically for as long as you specify. You can’t choose what it mines, and it won’t mine much, and if hostiles come in, it’s probably toast, but it lessens the gap between mining bots and humans. However, a mining revamp to force humans to make more actual decisions would be needed too, or you’ve just killed mining 🙂
  • I have no idea what to do about ratting bots, but everyone acknowledges that belt ratting is boring, so making it less so would be a good start.
17
Dec
12

Fitting a Tengu with HAMs

In a previous post, I detailed a few Tengu fits I have owned or flown.

Since the Retribution patch, it’s worth revisiting some of these fits to see if they hold up, or whether a heavy assault missile (HAM) fit would be better.

6-Launcher DPS Fit

The old fit output 658DPS @ 110km with heavy missiles (factoring in reload time); this has since been reduced to 624 DPS @ 70.7km.

An alternative would be this HAM fit:

[Tengu, pve slightly ganky HAM]

Caldari Navy Ballistic Control System
Caldari Navy Ballistic Control System
Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II

Republic Fleet 10MN Afterburner
Caldari Navy Kinetic Deflection Field
Gistii B-Type Small Shield Booster
Phased Weapon Navigation Array Generation Extron
Federation Navy Stasis Webifier
Gistii B-Type Small Shield Booster

Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Scourge Rage Heavy Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Scourge Rage Heavy Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Scourge Rage Heavy Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Scourge Rage Heavy Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Scourge Rage Heavy Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Scourge Rage Heavy Assault Missile

Medium Rocket Fuel Cache Partition II
Medium Hydraulic Bay Thrusters II
Medium Warhead Rigor Catalyst I

Tengu Offensive – Accelerated Ejection Bay
Tengu Propulsion – Fuel Catalyst
Tengu Defensive – Amplification Node
Tengu Electronics – Dissolution Sequencer
Tengu Engineering – Augmented Capacitor Reservoir

which has a respectable 911DPS @ 36.3km. If range is still an issue for you, replacing the afterburner with a 10mn microwarp drive would bump your speed up to 1250m/s, requiring a medium ancillary current router rig. It will be barely cap stable, so it’s best to faction or deadspace it.

5 launcher tank fit

The old fit was 518DPS @ 110km with heavy missiles; now only 491dps @ 70.7km. That’s still pretty reasonable for long-ranged combat without a propulsion module, but there might be some benefits to using HAMs instead.

[Tengu, pve cheap tank HAM]

Caldari Navy Ballistic Control System
Caldari Navy Ballistic Control System
Ballistic Control System II
Capacitor Flux Coil II
Damage Control II

Domination Large Shield Booster
Domination Shield Boost Amplifier
10MN Afterburner II
Kinetic Deflection Field II
Large Peroxide Capacitor Power Cell
Caldari Navy Thermic Dissipation Field

Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Scourge Rage Heavy Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Scourge Rage Heavy Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Scourge Rage Heavy Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Scourge Rage Heavy Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Scourge Rage Heavy Assault Missile

Medium Warhead Rigor Catalyst II
Medium Hydraulic Bay Thrusters II
Medium Warhead Flare Catalyst II

Tengu Defensive – Amplification Node
Tengu Electronics – CPU Efficiency Gate
Tengu Engineering – Capacitor Regeneration Matrix
Tengu Offensive – Accelerated Ejection Bay
Tengu Propulsion – Gravitational Capacitor

678DPS @ 30.3km is reasonable (452 @ 54.7km with javelin)

A propulsion module is required to ensure that you’re in range, cutting the tank by a fair margin (again, a 10mn MWD fits with an ACR but sacrifices cap stability unless it’s deadspace) It’s still way over 1000 permatanked Serpentis dps though, which should be fine for all your afk answering-the-doorbell needs.

I’m not sure whether this is an improvement. Sure, it deals a fair bit more damage, but 5-launcher Tengus aren’t really in it for the DPS; they’re used because it’s easy-mode. To that end, I think the 5-launcher fit is probably best with heavy missiles unless you’re willing to spend the effort getting into range. Having said that, the difference between Scourge Fury heavy missiles and Scourge Javelin assault missiles is fairly small, so that’s an option as well.

12
Dec
12

A tip for Retribution

People in high sec only need to care about kill rights.

People in low sec only need to care about bounties.

11
Dec
12

Turbine in not-learning-from-Monoclegate non-shocker

In an utterly predictable-yet-avoidable turn of events, Turbine, the developers of Lord of the Rings Online, is asking for feedback for a hobby horse mount that retails for $50.

I don’t even.

05
Dec
12

Retribution: Corax Pve Fits

New Caldari players who love missiles will also love flying around in a Corax, having cut their teeth on the Kestrel.

Some example fits for very-low skill point players:

[Corax, newbro rocket brawler]

Ballistic Control System I
Ballistic Control System I

Experimental 1MN Afterburner I
Small Ancillary Shield Booster, Cap Booster 25
Small Shield Booster I
‘Langour’ Drive Disruptor I

‘Malkuth’ Rocket Launcher I, Scourge Rocket
‘Malkuth’ Rocket Launcher I, Scourge Rocket
‘Malkuth’ Rocket Launcher I, Scourge Rocket
‘Malkuth’ Rocket Launcher I, Scourge Rocket
‘Malkuth’ Rocket Launcher I, Scourge Rocket
‘Malkuth’ Rocket Launcher I, Scourge Rocket
‘Malkuth’ Rocket Launcher I, Scourge Rocket

Small Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I
Small Anti-Kinetic Screen Reinforcer I
[Empty Rig slot]

Small Shield Booster repairs 11.5hp/second for 60 seconds (i.e. when you run out of capacitor)
Ancillary Shield Booster repairs 26hp/second for 15 seconds with a one minute reload delay

This fit will work even with the absolute minimum skill points required to fit the modules, although if you have low Electronics skills (less than III) you may need to offline a Ballistic Control System. This fit has an effective engagement range of 6-15km depending on skills, so expect to take more damage than long-range fits. The ASB is for emergencies – you’re free to replace it with shield hardeners, or even a medium shield extender if your skills are near-perfect.

[Corax, newbro missile bombardment]

Ballistic Control System I
Micro Auxiliary Power Core I

Experimental 1MN Afterburner I
Small Shield Booster I
Cap Recharger I
Cap Recharger I

Upgraded ‘Malkuth’ Light Missile Launcher, Scourge Light Missile
Upgraded ‘Malkuth’ Light Missile Launcher, Scourge Light Missile
Upgraded ‘Malkuth’ Light Missile Launcher, Scourge Light Missile
Upgraded ‘Malkuth’ Light Missile Launcher, Scourge Light Missile
Upgraded ‘Malkuth’ Light Missile Launcher, Scourge Light Missile
Upgraded ‘Malkuth’ Light Missile Launcher, Scourge Light Missile
Upgraded ‘Malkuth’ Light Missile Launcher, Scourge Light Missile

Small Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I
Small Anti-Kinetic Screen Reinforcer I
[Empty Rig slot]

Small Shield Booster repairs 11.5hp/second for 60 seconds (i.e. when you run out of capacitor)

This fit is a bight tighter, and requires some skill levels in Electronics, or else the shield booster goes offline. The Micro Auxiliary Power Core provides enough power grid to fit the resource-hungry Light Missile Launchers, allowing you to comfortably shoot things out to 30-60km, depending on skills.

And for someone with higher skills who wants an example PvP fit:

[Corax, PVP]
Ballistic Control System II
Damage Control II

Limited 1MN Microwarpdrive I
Medium F-S9 Regolith Shield Induction
Fleeting Propulsion Inhibitor I
Faint Warp Disruptor I

Rocket Launcher II, Mjolnir Rocket
Rocket Launcher II, Mjolnir Rocket
Rocket Launcher II, Mjolnir Rocket
Rocket Launcher II, Mjolnir Rocket
Rocket Launcher II, Mjolnir Rocket
Rocket Launcher II, Mjolnir Rocket
Rocket Launcher II, Mjolnir Rocket

Small Ancillary Current Router I
Small Core Defense Field Extender I
Small Core Defense Field Extender I

Scourge Javelin Rocket x350
Caldari Navy Mjolnir Rocket x700
Caldari Navy Nova Rocket x350
Nanite Repair Paste x50

The Corax is pretty slow, so light missile launcher kiting is probably not going to work, unlike a Talwar, so this is a midrange/brawler fit.

03
Dec
12

Awkward moments

I have a bunch of stuff yet to build before Retribution hits, and appear to have run out of Isogen. Awkward. This has also put a damper on my aim to build a bunch of new destroyers when they’re released. Perhaps I’ll just roll off a dozen of each then put the blueprints into research instead.

Still, whelp.