CCP Legion here to bring you a detailed look of what’s happening at this year’s Fanfest in Reykjavik, Iceland 1-3 May. This blog will give an overview of the session schedule and all of the different events during and around Fanfest.
If you want to jump right into the schedule, you can find it here. There is also a mobile version available here.
EVE Fanfest is the annual gathering of those who call New Eden their home—whether cunning capsuleers in EVE Online, deadly mercenaries in DUST 514 , or aspiring pilots in EVE: Valkyrie . It is three days stuffed with presentations, roundtables and special events where developers and players interact, swap stories and revel in a unique camaraderie in the northernmost capital of the world
Eleven years ago Fanfest started as a humble gathering for the early players of EVE Online and it has since grown and expanded into something much bigger. With three games represented, fans are guaranteed quality and breadth of content and fun. The mostest fun.
Ask anyone at the CCP what their favorite time of the year is, they will say Fanfest. It is not just the players who look forward to attending, it’s a highlight for us developers as well because interacting with the community is both the soul of our games and a thrilling reward. Even though everyone is hard at work on their projects, presentations and plans are still falling into place for the greatest celebration in all of gaming.
The core of Fanfest is the smaller sessions bracketed by larger game-specific presentations, where our dev teams reveal new information and explore all manner of topics.
Many of the popular EVE Online sessions from previous years are making a return: presentations on EVE’s economy, ship and module balance, performance and security; panels for game design, art, community and the CSM; roundtables on fan-favorite topics like wormholes, null sec, art and many more. On top of this there are many unique sessions as well as a few player-hosted talks, such as a fleet commander’s view of the Bloodbath of B-R5RB.
The EVE Online keynote taking place Friday afternoon will detail what is coming during the summer period and touch on the journey ahead. On top of that, there will be sessions to explore the summer release’s key theme of industry.
If you are a DUST 514 fan, Friday and Saturday offer non-stop presentations and roundtables on DUST’s future vision, progression, graphics, sandbox experience and more. During the day on Friday, the DUST 514 keynote will highlight future plans for the game.
At last year’s Fanfest, CCP unveiled “EVE-VR”, a prototype dogfighting experience designed for virtual reality. Since then the concept has made huge strides and is now in full development as EVE: Valkyrie, slated for release for Oculus Rift on PC and Sony’s “Project Morpheus” on the PlayStation 4. The EVE: Valkyrie keynote on Thursday afternoon will detail where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going. Afterwards, the development team will host several more intimate sessions discussing topics ranging from the challenges faced in creating a brand new type of game, to the art of EVE: Valkyrie, to how the game was first conceived.
On Saturday afternoon the CCP Presents keynote will cover all the other topics surrounding CCP and the EVE Universe, from CSM election results, to player gatherings, to Fanfest 2015 dates and of course the Fanfest trailer!
In addition to the sessions taking place during the day, there are many other activities that contribute to the magic of Fanfest. Things kick off on Wednesday and run straight through Sunday.
Last year, the night before Fanfest featured the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra playing the EVE Online sound track. This year we will unveil the EVE Monument on Wednesday @ 17:00, honoring all EVE players throughout the years and those that contributed to the EVE universe in one way or another. If you want to read more about “Worlds Within a World,” you can check www.eve.com/monument. If you will be in Reykjavik during Fanfest or any point in the future, be sure to visit it!
For those wanting to see the amazing nature of Iceland without missing a beat of the other action, you can join in on the Golden Circle with a Dev tour. This popular excursion introduces you to some of the best known historical sites and natural phenomena in Iceland, including the mighty Gullfoss waterfall and the original Geysir. Last year more than 500 attendees took part and if you want to join in on the fun this year you can find out more here. The attendees will be back in Reykjavik in time for the EVE Monument unveiling at 17:00, so you don’t have to miss anything.
On Thursday evening CCP will again host the Charity Dinner in support of Get-Well Gamers, a charity formed in 2001 with the goal of bringing video game systems and games to children’s hospitals. This sold-out event will take place in the restaurant on the top floor of the Fanfest venue where participants break bread with CCP developers for a great cause.
“That's it, man. Game over, man! Game over! What the [fudge] are we gonna do now? What are we gonna do?” We suggest heading to the local cinema Bio Paradis where we’ve arranged a screening of Aliens at 20:00 for those who want to up their space vibe levels.
If you are in the mood for some excellent live music, CCP Hunter will be performing at Café Rósenberg at 21:00.
If instead you want to warm up your vocal chords for the coming days of mingling and debating, there will be a Karaoke Party at Harlem Bar at 21:00.
Not everyone coming to Iceland wants to discuss the intricacies of ship fittings or market dynamics. For those wives, husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends, or just friends, we offer the opportunity to go on the Sisters of EVE excursion to see the beauty of Iceland. This full day adventure of the south coast of Iceland in super jeeps includes a glacier hike, beautiful waterfalls, black beaches, geothermal power and more. You can book your tickets and find out more here.
If you browsed through the schedule already, the EVE OF DESTRUCTION event on Friday evening probably caught your eye. CCP has been a proud sponsor of the local Icelandic MMA fighter Gunnar “Gunni” Nelson as he has traveled around the world defeating opponents left and right (12-0-1) in a glorious and emotionless Viking fashion. During the EVE OF DESTRUCTION event he will face his biggest challenge yet, as he takes on the toughest CCP developers and some special guests one by one in a submission wrestling event. Witness the limitless ferocity of our developers and their chiseled physiques in the ultimate showdown--a rare sport of game developer MMA! I’m definitely not going to miss this and neither should you.
After the fight of the millennia, the legendary "Pub Crawl With a Dev" procession begins. In this annual event, attendees lay siege to Reykjavik’s nightlife in squads accompanied by CCP developers/mascots, inevitably ending with fuzzy heads and pangs of regret the next morning. This night is all about having fun and enjoying Reykjavik. There are still a few tickets left to take part in this epic evening, so it is not too late to reserve yours!
…armor down, we’re into structure!
Last year we had several exciting guest presenters speak about how we can “Make EVE Real.” The tradition continues this year with another exciting presentation on how the reality of New Eden is actually closer than we have imagined. Les Johnson’s "Going Interstellar" talk will explore the challenges and opportunities presented by interstellar travel.
The finale of Fanfest is the "Party at the Top of the World" on Saturday night. This year features turbo-charged performances from international and local live bands and DJs, including; Z-Trip, Ásgeir and FM Belfast! Last year DJ Z-Trip blew the roof off Harpa and this world class DJ and founder of the mashup movement will be making a return appearance this year.
All the activities and parties do take their toll, but luckily Iceland has one of the best hangover cures in the world: the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa and its soothing, milky blue waters. The Blue Lagoon Hangover Party takes place on Sunday with unearthly blue waters nursing tired dance muscles and aching heads to the sound of more live performances. Last year this event was sold out with nearly 400 attendees. It is a unique event, you won’t find an experience like this anywhere else.
On top of the sessions and other activities, there are multiple things to see and experience throughout Fanfest. Here’s a list of most of them.
If you are not able to come to Reykjavik this year, fear not as EVE TV will keep you covered throughout the event. CCP will be live streaming sessions, hosting interviews and covering all of Fanfest from the opening moments to the final party. You can watch the standard definition stream for free on our Twitch.TV channel. If you prefer high definition or want access to other perks and unique in-game EVE items, you can purchase the HD stream for a one-time fee of USD 19.95 or one PLEX. For more details and benefits you can check out the HD-stream page. Keep your eyes open for another dev blog coming out before Fanfest which will detail the EVE TV schedule and what you can expect.
On 24 April at 18:00 UTC we will host a live pre-Fanfest event via Twitch.TV to preview what fans can expect at the event. Join hosts CCP Guard and CCP Mimic as they grill developers from all our games and try to get them to spill the beans early.
If you are having a watching party, you can send pictures to email@example.com, but please make sure they are “safe for work.” If you aren’t at Fanfest, holding a watching party or chatting it up in an in game channel while checking out the stream, you are probably doing it wrong.
Due to a potential strike by the Association of Airport Employees in Iceland, your travel to Iceland may be impacted. We recommend anyone flying into Iceland keep an eye on the airport website and get in touch with their airline before departure.
Fanfest is next week and hopefully this blog has given you an overview of what you can expect to see and experience this year, even if you aren’t physically attending. If you want to discuss any Fanfest related topics, you can use the comments thread for this blog, find me on Twitter @CCP_Legion or come join the Fanfest roundtable on Saturday to talk to our new lead event organizer CCP Curtis and myself.
If you see me walking around the venue or sitting in a pub, don’t hesitate to come talk to me or any other developer for that matter, that’s what we are there for!
See you there!
With the elections for the 9th Council of Stellar Management (CSM9) coming to a close in 5 days, at Midnight GMT on Tuesday April 22nd, we at CCP and the CSM wanted to help players get a better idea of the role that the CSM plays every day and how much they contribute the development of EVE Online.
If this dev blog piques your interest in voting, you can find a list of all the candidates and their platforms here, and the ballot itself here. If you’d like more information on the voting system, you can find it in our previous dev blog here.
Ali Aras and the rest of CSM8 have come together to give a short glimpse into the daily life of a member of the CSM.
EVE is real, and this is particularly true on the CSM. We are engaged in an election to office that involves in-game political skill and divisions, but once elected, participate in a role that feels more real-life than spaceships, especially when you're staring at your colleagues across a table.
It seeps into your real life, too, in a way that EVE uniquely can. The beginning of the day varies wildly based on one's time zone and whether or not we have a meeting. Sprint Reviews, in which we meet with Team Five-O once every other week for ~30 minutes, are the usual regular source of meetings. When other issues come up, we'll get pulled in, but those are harder to predict. For a hot enough issue, CCP Dolan sends a mail on <24 hours notice and we're left with whoever can make it -- and usually, the shorter the notice, the more important the meeting.
Either way, you wake up and read back on what you've missed from the night before. For euro CSMs, that's all the USTZ babbling that takes place, mostly between CSMs. For USTZ, you wake up halfway (or most of the way) through the Icelandic workday, and there's usually EUTZ business to catch up on. Our Skype channels are active, both with us talking to each other, and talking to the CCPers who just hang out. Occasionally, one of the dedicated Skype channels-- no social stuff, just business-- will have messages, and that's an even higher priority read. Devs hang out in Skype, even on evenings and weekends, meaning if there's a high-priority issue you can often get ahold of *someone*, as long as it's not 3am (and sometimes, even then).
Then it's off to the forums. The internal CSM forum is fairly active, with a few topics harboring discussion at most times. Most are started by CCP, and contain devblogs or features CCP are working on. Others (fewer) are started by CSM, as a way of preserving a topic launched on Skype and trying to get it to go places. These are the times when CSM gets the opportunity to bring something to CCP's attention and advocate for necessary changes for the community.
To get those issues from the community, CSM members have to spend some time engaged and talking to other players. This might be on #tweetfleet, on the forums themselves, on evemails, on Skype, on podcasts and blogs, on coalition services, or flying around in the game itself. It's necessary time, and if you stop putting it in, you find yourself losing touch and the people you talk to more frustrated.
While the CSM does a lot of communication from community in to CCP, bringing that advocacy back out of the internal forums is tricky, as the NDA hides the bulk of the work we do. To get around that requires a place to land it, and so we link threads in Skype and point out that these are issues that could really use a response, even if it's just a "we know and we can't get there yet".
This goes on throughout the day. Skype has the neat property where it will give you full history for a channel, even if you close the program and walk away, so it's common for CSM and CCP devs to drop in and drop out. The rhythm of activity follows Icelandic working hours, with conversations slowing after some devs sign off, and then picking up again when USTZ CSMs talk to each other after getting home. It's active, and busy, and hard to make visible, but here's an attempt: “4129 lines in the main CSM/CCP Skype channel this month, of which 60% are CSM and 40% are CCP.17 threads in internal forums active this month. Six are Industry threads relating to summer expansion, and the others are scattered: two CSM threads, a few longer-term areas of feedback, a few upcoming changes.3 meetings so far this month: one sprint review, two others.”
This covers a period (April 1st to now) where there haven't been any big EVE controversies, just active work on preparing for the upcoming Summer release. If we scrolled back to March, it gets louder. It's a madhouse, but it's worth it to see your ideas and your feedback have a real impact on GM Policy, marketing efforts, account services discussions, and most importantly the game.
CCP has the advantage of having quite a few more developers than CSM members so, aside from myself, most developers have intermittent contact with the CSM. However, when I asked for some developer’s opinions on the value of the CSM, I received an overwhelming number of positive replies. I have included some of them below to help give a sense of how valued the CSM is in our development process.
GM Pyro – Customer Service Manager
I’ve only recently found the need to run something past the CSM for their viewpoint for a project I was working on. They really opened my eyes to just how useful they can be for the customer service department and even for the company as a whole. Since then, I keep the CSM in mind for other projects that I am working on and recommend others to talk to them too.
CCP Ytterbium – Senior Game Designer
The CSM is an invaluable asset to validate designs for EVE Online – as representatives of the player base, they bring the discussion from an angle we are not always fully aware about, give much needed feedback on feature changes before they go for public review, or even spontaneously come up with good ideas that add value to our concepts.
Over the past 3 months, the CSM 8 advised designers on those particular topics:
• Reprocessing changes
• Nosferatu changes
• Corporation roles
• Drone assist
• Ship balancing
• Pirate faction ship rebalance
• Remote dampener changes
• Drone regen nerfs
• Heat changes
• Dev Blogs
• Summer release features, to be revealed later
If you think the CSM has no value except as a free ride to Iceland, you are wrong. If you think the CSM are only pushing changes in favor of null-security cartels, voice your opinion and vote for someone you feel represents you to your best interest.
CCP Arrow – Game Design Director
The 8th CSM has been extremely productive and helpful this past year. They have been available almost 24/7 to answer questions and give input on design research and ideas. A special thanks to Ali for her passion and interest in New Player Experience improvements and focus group efforts.
CCP Goliath – Quality Assurance Director
My dealings with CSM 8 have been fewer than with their predecessors, but in many ways more productive. From the offset they established themselves as helpful, forthcoming individuals that could debate internally and present a cohesive view on a problem or issue where asked. Chitsa Jason and Ali Aras were especially useful in gathering information and reproduction cases on a few defects, particularly early in the term. Their collective input into devblogs is a service I have come to not only enjoy, but extol the virtues of around the office. Overall, your delegates of CSM 8 should feel very proud of themselves in having discharged their duties adequately, collaboratively, and (for the most part) professionally.
CCP Manifest – Senior PR and Social Media Lead
Over the years I’ve witnessed the CSM grow and mature as an organization through hard work on both sides of the aisle and via very very frank conversations where no punches were pulled but goodwill prevailed. While each Council has its own personality, the institution as a whole has definitely become more useful in helping to improve and nurture EVE Online. I’ve leapt in and out of active communication with the current council on a near-wikipedic variety of subjects, and I have found them to be strangely wise, very thoughtful and imminently available for conversation. They have a good perspective on a lot of things and have been able to keep their CSM duties nearly politic-free, which means they are more representative than 95% of non-internetspaceship politicians. I hope the next council is able to carry their legacy forward and find ways to improve what is already great communication with both the dev team and the playerbase.
CCP SoniClover – Senior Game Designer
I’ve communicated a fair amount with CSM 8 over the course of the last year, in person at the summits and over the net through the internal forums and Skype. I’ve been constantly impressed by the high level of dedication and professionalism shown by the members of the CSM. They’re always prompt to answer, are not afraid to voice their concerns and opinions and have a solid knack for combining constructive feedback with their own suggestions and ideas. All of this taken together has demonstrated quite clearly to me that the CSM is a valuable part of the development process for EVE, making sure that everything we release is of higher quality than otherwise would be the case.
CCP Xhagen – Associate Producer (and former CSM Coordinator)
After years of working with the CSM and seeing the institution grow and evolve, I can no longer imagine making and running EVE Online without the CSM.
CCP Bettik – Senior Content Designer
The CSM enriches each day of my life.
CCP Loktofeit – Copywriter/Editor
This past Fanfest, I had the chance to talk shop with Trebor about the CSM and the work they do. The powerful force that is the combination of sandbox, community and player passion in EVE Online became so much more evident. If you’re an EVE player and you’re not tossing your vote in the ring at election time, you’re nuts.
CCP Spitfire – Global Sales Specialist
The Council of Stellar Management has been instrumental in the creation of EVE: The Second Decade Collector’s Edition. We have consulted with the CSM from the very beginning of the project, and it is fair to say that some popular elements of the Collector’s Edition would not have made it into the box if not for the delegates’ suggestions. The CSM is a great stakeholder for us, and their input is not limited to the development of the game itself.
GM Grave – Customer Support Project Lead
The CSM have been vital in representing the interests of our customers to CCP, thus enabling us to discuss current and future polices and how they align to the needs of the customer, our service values and game integrity.
CCP Merovingian – Software Engineer
Being new to the EVE team at CCP I found that being involved in some of the CSM sessions and hearing from the members was incredibly helpful and insightful for me. I think they are an essential part of the ecosystem and community that is EVE Online.
CCP Guard – Community Developer
EVE is a bustling universe and the CSM has been invaluable in helping me keep up with what’s going on at times. The community does a good job of selecting knowledgeable people with sound judgment which I’m thankful to have access to for advice and early feedback.
CCP Falcon – EVE Community Manager
The CSM remains an indispensable tool for ensuring that the voices of our players are heard by our development staff. The Council also acts as a rock solid sanity check for development direction and gauging community sentiment. The election process ensures that candidates with a broad range of experience in EVE Online are elected, and since coming to CCP, I have had the distinct pleasure of working with the CSM on a number of projects and utilizing their expertise and knowledge of EVE and our Community.
CCP Fozzie – Game Designer
The CSM plays an invaluable part in making EVE a better game. They pass along your feedback to us here at CCP, provide us with experienced opinions about upcoming designs, and engage with all of you in the community. One of the greatest things that sets EVE apart Is that we have a real civil society with the CSM as a key pillar. My team and I have worked very closely with CSM 8 and we look forward to working with the CSM 9 that you choose to send us.
CCP Rise – Game Designer
I really have no idea what the CSM is. Sometimes they are a lobby group, bothering us about fixing something. Sometimes they are a focus group, evaluating our ideas in their early stages and giving us a good idea of the way the rest of the player base will react. Sometimes they are designers, feeding us everything from small ideas for improvements all the way to full feature proposals. Sometimes they are just friends who come to Reykjavik to eat sandwiches and party. I keep hoping someone will tell me what they are supposed to be, but in the meantime I’m just very happy to have them.
CCP Legion – Associate Producer
Over the last year my teams and I have interacted a lot with the CSM and they have done an excellent job in providing feedback on different areas. They have done this first and foremost with the players interest in their mind, while at the same time understanding our needs as a company. They have been a valuable asset in the development process and I look forward to continuing the work with the next CSM.
CCP Scarpia – Lead Game Designer
EVE developers are privileged in being able to both rely on members of the CSM as project stakeholders and also as contributors to our ongoing development and project direction. The CSM’s views and direct feature input gets communicated to me daily through game designers and their teams, who are in constant communication with the CSM about virtually everything they are working on. It is hard for any of us to imagine at this point where we would be without this integral part of our feedback loop which is the CSM.
And Finally, CCP Dolan – CSM Coordinator
I know that I’m including a quote from myself in my own Dev Blog, but I get to do that because I’m the one writing it. I have tremendously enjoyed working with CSM8, and am proud to call many of them my friends. I see the tremendous amount of work they put in every week, and I get to see all their successes and triumphs (as well as the occasional slip-up), and I am constantly in awe of it. CSM8 has been the most active CSM on record, easily doubling participation rates of the past CSM I worked with. With the election of CSM9 I will be bringing CCP Leeloo (who you will be hearing more from later) on to help me get the new council up to speed and back to work as soon as possible. I look forward to seeing what the future brings.
Garpa Topographical Survey
GTS is a highly flexible route planner for both capital and sub-capital ships. It allows the user to get from point A to point B according to any number of conditions they choose. The head of the project, pmchem, says, “For example, avoiding incursions, lowsec, and systems with recent kill activity while visiting 20 waypoints in an optimized order for a trip from Rens to Jita.”
While some of its features are replicated by the in-game autopilot, GTS has many more features. These include handling jump bridges, beacons, cyno jammers, incursions, cyno alts, corporate offices, multiple safe routing options, standings, stations, waypoint optimization for very large numbers of waypoints, calculation of actual in-game travel time, save/favorite routes for quick reference, clipboard sharing of routes, the ability to record notes for specific systems, calculation and sharing of systems in jump range, weighted routing, and much more.
GTS is not merely a route planner, however. It also acts as a galactic database. This allows the user to set up complex queries to discover parts of the galaxy that have certain properties. For example, the user can find the nearest corporate office with medical services for pod jumping.
These two features can be combined to make a powerful planner. You can, for example, find all the highsec level 4 agents for a specific corporation in a neighboring set of regions, then plot an optimal round trip to visit all those systems.
And the best thing about it is that it can be used (via the browser) in game for maximum efficiency.
As pmchem puts it, “The in-game autopilot is fine for getting from A to B with no stops in-between. But when a user wishes to navigate in dangerous territory, make a complicated series of visits, […] or just plain use capital ships at all: a better tool is needed.”
GarpaUI is a tool to take one character's settings and overwrite other characters' settings with it. It supports a variety of copy options: you don't have to copy "from one, to all." You can copy "from one, to various" using the 'selected folder and server' and 'specific accounts' options. This gives flexibility to a player who, say, has 14 mining alts, 3 PVP characters, and a supercap. In short, it's a tool designed to make life easier for multiboxers and other highly involved EVE players.
GarpaUI should also be a dream tool for anyone who is performing a clean reinstall of EVE. You can backup your settings to the Cloud or a USB stick, reinstall Windows, reinstall EVE, and then import your settings. You can propagate your pvp settings to other pvp chars, and mining settings to mining characters.
GarpaUI was initially designed by pmchem and implemented by Psykzz, and is currently maintained by Postal Dude, who implemented the improved UI and feature set for version 2.0.
GTS was originally created by Lhyda Souljacker as a basic navigation tool. It was an excellent gate router and supported Goonfleet's needs in routing through jump bridges and using capital ships. When pmchem came on board, it had the basic filter interface as well. Over the years, he and his team have acted to implement user-requested features and react to the structural changes from EVE expansions.
A perfect example of this is the introduction of incursions. “Being able to gracefully handle avoidance of incursioned constellations for both sub-caps and capital ships was an important new feature required by an expansion,” he says.
“Other features, such as optimization of a large number of waypoints or being able to quickly load complicated favorite routes, were user requests.” He estimates a significant new version is released every 3 to 6 months.
In the future, the team plans to implement features such as hybrid jump/gate routes for Black Ops, Titan Bridges, and Jump Bridge planning. Other upcoming plans include further polishing of the in-game browser interface and map coloring for sovereignty, standings, and jump ranges. Those are all many months down the road, however, with the current public release of 2.2.1 intended to be stable, long-lived, and bug free.
Because the project has had so many contributors over the years, and the core application was originally developed for Windows XP and an early release of .NET while using the static data export in a format provided by CCP half a decade ago, one of the largest challenges has been management of the project. “When someone else on the developer team – who lives on another continent and who you've never met – is having trouble reproducing a problem,” pmchem says, “and it involves legacy code from someone who no longer plays EVE, it can be some effort to resolve the issue.”
It's important to keep current developers on the same page in terms of feature roadmap and quality assurance. Using distributed version control and issue tracking software has helped things go more smoothly.
The GARPA programs have spread across all areas of EVE with thousands of dedicated users who have been enjoying them for years. When a new version is posted, the team often finds the post and files are quickly mirrored by other null sec groups. People use it to find hostile ratters to kill, do complex multi-waypoint routes with capitals, and basically anything you can imagine.
“It's remarkable,” pmchem says. “Our users are the sorts of players who really enjoy logging in and playing EVE. That's part of the user base that we enjoy seeing smile. When we're not shooting them.”
A large team is behind GARPA, led by pmchem. In EVE, aside from leading GARPA, he has managed to become very ISK-rich from patch speculation and nullsec PVE. “Hint to players still in highsec,” he says, “the game becomes more lucrative and fun once you leave, even if you occasionally lose a ship to another player.” He's hit on the trifecta of getting on killmails at Asakai, 6VDT, and B-R5RB, even having his Titan survive Asakai. He started playing by flying Rifters and destroyers in Syndicate back when Goonswarm lost Delve due to forgetting to pay its sov bills.
In real life, he's a computational chemist and has to deal with a variety of programming and scripting languages. The background helped with learning C#/.NET and problem solving for GTS. His work involves high-performance computing, quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, and thermodynamics.
GARPA has many professionals on its roster. Bittey Blackmoon, the main programmer for recent GTS releases, works in electrical engineering and communications technology. Postal Dude, the man behind GarpaUI 2.0, is an OpenGL developer working on flight simulators and avionics. Van Solanum, part of the Australian computer science & IT contingent, has also contributed to design and implementation of those projects. GARPA includes other talented people, such as Luigi Thirty, “The King of Internet Hats”, and Chickenwing, who uses GARPA for homework help. Some members of the Goonswarm Economic Warfare Cabal, such as Aryth, are also members of GARPA. Weaselior, a white-collar professional by day, pokes at EVE for fun and profit by night. Overall, it's a diverse group in both ages and careers.
If you want a powerful set of tools, both GTS and GarpaUI are incredibly useful to players in all segments of EVE.
You can find the latest version of GTS for Windows here (md5sum for those who want to check if a mirrored version has been modified or not: ec166cb37dc4f32f964c890edcb85de7). If you prefer the archive version, you can get that here (md5sum: 5dba5ec078ca6901f1d3cb6a99674144). The Linux archive is here (md5sum: 17ceae85114f366323f2f7fb7f7b4508), while the OS X disk image can be found here (md5sum: 7255d0f30f790639fcaf12dba06d8132). The manual can be found here.
Meanwhile, the Windows archiva for GarpaUI can be found here (md5sum: 499c577533e568668d87d545a0f4d619). The manual can be found here.]]>
While we have been adding more professions over the years, the core idea of building stuff remains one of the most popular activities available in our game. You can see below that more than 50,000 characters use manufacturing and invention on a daily basis. Other industry activities, like research ME, PE, copying and reverse engineering only are a fraction of that number.
That is the main reason why, for EVE's summer release, we are going to focus our efforts on industry as a whole.
While beginning our investigation task in fall 2013, it quickly became apparent industry was in dire need of some shoe polish. Problem was, the shoe in question had the height of the Eiffel Tower, and we only had a toothbrush to work with.
We thus needed a strong direction on how to proceed and, as such, we came up with the following set of principles:
This encouraged us to look at industry from a new angle and plan its extensive overhaul.
However, the amount of changes we are aiming for is too large for a single blog, which is why we are going to split this up into smaller increments.
Please note that blog order may change depending on time schedule.
Some smart people may have noticed we have not mentioned invention or reverse engineering. That is because we could not schedule them for summer and as such are pushed to be done next in line, mainly for fall and/or winter.
So let’s start with some manufacturing changes shall we?
The first place where most people go to acquire various industrial goods is from the Market. However the various items under the “Manufacture & Research” market category follow no logical order or predictable pattern, making it very difficult to actually find something. So we are clearing that up and reorganizing all materials, items and components to be properly sorted, which means shuffling the groups quite a bit.
Materials: raw items and resources obtained through harvesting or as loot. Split into:
Components: any kind of industrial material that is a transformed product from materials above
Research equipment: items used for science jobs
Please note that reactions have been moved out of the “Manufacture & Research” market category and are now available on their own.
To make things clearer, we also added icons to all market groups, below are comparison shots:
There is a specific mechanic in place for Robotic Assembly Modules (R.A.M.) and Research Database (R.Db) which is called “damage per run”. Every time a job is run with one of those items, there is a chance damage will occur, causing R.A.M. or R.Db to be lost.
While the gameplay behind it is quite valuable (loss of item during production), it’s a bit confusing for everyone involved - how is damage applied? Is the whole R.A.M. stack affected or just one? Can I repair it? How is this visualized?
On top of all this, this kind of mechanic is almost already covered by regular materials consumption: if you require 5 R.A.M. to start a job, but may lose 2 during the process, why not just require 2 to start with that always are consumed?
To cut the story short, damage per job gameplay is not worth the hassle and that is why we are removing it from industry jobs. To be clear, it doesn’t mean we are removing damage from module overheat or ship repairs however.
After summer, R.A.M. and R.db will instead behave like any other material in the game. However, to keep loss ratios similar we will:
Looks complicated? Let’s take an example:
With this mechanic gone, we can remove the “Dmg/job” column on the Manufacturing Quote without losing gameplay, which is a win-win scenario for everyone involved.
Something else we found as part of industry design redundency is what we call “Extra Materials”. This concept was added back in the days to show materials we wanted to be consumed during manufacturing, or research, but not given back when reprocessing. Usually, we put those on advanced jobs, like Tech II manufacturing or Tech II BPO research to indicate materials that can never be recovered.
However, Extra Materials are a bit like cod oil: incredibly messy. Unlike regular materials, they are not affected by skill or blueprint Material Efficiency levels. Not only this is confusing to visualize, but it also misdirects building quotas and prices, while reducing the value of player skill training and blueprint research.
As time passed, we started adding them all over the place for various reasons. One of them was tied to the ship Tiericide initiative, as we adjusted prices on revamped hulls and needed to make sure players wouldn’t gain free minerals when reprocessing them.
However we now have another option: reducing reprocessing efficiency on all items allows us to remove the cod oil from the dining table. Take that you barbaric Icelandic cuisine! Since the maximum reprocessing rate on all items and ships is going to get capped at 55%, we can remove Extra Materials without fear of player abuse. As such, all materials currently listed as Extra Materials will become regular materials instead. This includes all materials in jobs like Science as well. Yes, they’re all going the way of the dinosaur, never to be seen again, except maybe in a movie featuring Sam Neill.
As an indirect consequence, it also means that affected blueprints will now be slightly more expensive to manufacture if you don’t have them researched and / or don’t have good science skills.
Alright, what we listed so far was sweet, but a bit short on meat, like those little chicken wings you get as appetizers in fancy restaurants. Stop beating around the bush and give me the 500gr triple-layered-mutant-hamburger with so much fat it’s going to reduce my life expectancy by 25%!
Alright, here it is; for summer we are removing all industry slots. We can hear you from here: “Wait wait, you silly Frenchman, what do you mean removing all industry slots?”
Well it’s simple, at the moment, to use a blueprint at a station or starbase, you need to install it into a particular slot type. Usually, stations come with a limited amount of those, so once they are all filled up you have to wait quite a bit.
This creates some bottleneck gameplay, encouraging players to move around, use Starbases or just wait. We aren’t very satisfied with that, especially when we couple it with the ridiculously low NPC prices for installing jobs (that haven’t been changed since 2003).
So, what we are doing is removing slots altogether and replacing them with a cost scaling system. So now, if you all want to congregate in the same solar system to build things, you can, but the ISK cost required to install the jobs will increase dramatically, removing any hope of profit margin in the first place.
Please note we are not removing installation types however – a station that could not handle manufacturing or research will not suddenly be capable of doing so.
As mentioned above however, exact details on job cost scaling will be announced by CCP Greyscale in another blog, so stay tuned for details on that one. In the meantime, rest assured that profit margins are still going to be possible as long as you don’t all flock to over-saturated solar systems. Expect costs ranging from 0% to 14% of the base item being produced for the most extreme case.
Slot removal does have another interesting consequence for Starbases; at the moment, most of the Starbases in high-security space use Mobile Laboratories to compensate for the lack of Material Efficiency Research slots in Empire space.
The Blueprints in question can be researched remotely, by installing them at a station while using a Starbase Mobile Laboratory in the same solar system. With the removal of slots this use case is no longer that important, as we expect research slots to be widely more available.
In turn, this allows us to change several points:
So player corporations will now have the choice between the safety of NPC stations or the efficiency of Starbases to operate. The core goal is to motivate player entities to actually defend their Starbases if attacked or be reactive enough to take the blueprints out before they go into reinforced mode.
We are aware of the significance of this change and do not expect very expensive blueprints (Battleship and above) to be risked in such a manner, but we do feel it to be a good trade-off for smaller blueprints.
Here is a glimpse on what’s coming on the Industry UI blog. We don’t want to spoil the details here, but let’s just say you’ll be able to get all the information you need from a single window, without excessive mouse clicks, while making job creation, blueprint browsing or installation search actually a pleasing experience.
We now have to put an end to this blog before it becomes a full novel. We’ll see you again on the next blog in line, in the meantime, may the little construction blocks be with you, always.]]>
Update: The updated release version of the minutes can be found here.
Session 1: Tournaments
Session 2: Localized Communities
Session 3: Ship Skins and A New In-Game Store
Session 4: Team SuperFriends
Session 5: Game of Drones
Session 6: Nullsec
Session 7: Multi-Topic Session
NDA’d Minor Feature Discussion
Starbases and Future Starbase Replacements
Smaller unrelated topics
Session 8: Veteran Topic
Session 9: Ship Balancing
Session 10: Science and Industry
Session 11: Early Concept Discussion
Session 12: UI
Session 13: Marketing
Session 14: Community
Third Party Support
Session 15: Future of Big Fights
Session 16: Team Space Glitter
Session 17: New Player Experience
Session 18: Art
CCP would like to thank the CSM for their tireless work in this endeavor and for the considerable effort put into preparation for the summit and communication of its results.
Please feel free to place your comments in the related thread. It will be monitored both by CCP and the CSM.
The few sessions that are covered by the NDA will be released as the projects that were discussed during them are announced. The main document will be updated accordingly.
Additionally, it wouldn't be a real Dev Blog without a pretty picture. So, I'm proud to announce the new official CSM logo. This is the CSM9 version, in celebration of the CSM9 Elections which start on Tuesday the 8th.
Make sure to get out and vote in the CSM9 Elections from April 8-22!
New to EVE? Start your 14-day free trial today.
Returning pilot? Visit Account Management for the latest offers and promotions.]]>
But when there are people that take something seriously, there are those that just have to lampoon it. EVE does not escape this truth. Inspired by the classic satirical news site the Onion, the similarly-named EVE Onion aims to skewer the personalities and politics of the EVE universe in hysterical fashion.
EVE's Finest News Source
One day, Tubrug1 was browsing his favorite EVE news site and happened to open a browser window to the world's premiere satire news site, the Onion, in another tab. He was suddenly struck by inspiration. “I thought it would be a great idea to combine the two,” he puts it plainly. “So I did.”
He began coming up with ideas for articles, which he describes as the hardest process. “Once I have a title, writing them is usually straightforward,” he says. His first article was published on June 27, 2013, titled “Exclusive: Why the CFC Invaded Fountain”, referring to the then-recently begun war between the CFC and HBC.
The article, satirically stating that the CFC had grown bored of shooting other people and instead “would rather shoot structures and take hundreds of screenshots of Dreads shooting a POS”, quickly began to spread around the community, being reposted on Reddit and the official EVE Online forums.
More articles followed, some of them drawn from Tubrug's own creativity, others proposed by third parties. One of the site's most popular articles, for instance, was proposed by Angry Mustache and Hendrick Talladar. He also occasionally has casual writers who contribute articles from time to time.
No Holds Barred
Like any good satirist, no one is free from being lampooned by the EVE Onion. Tubrug has a wide scope when it comes for topics to skewer. “I keep an eye on politics and wars in null-sec and other events throughout EVE,” he says. “I'll also look at news regarding upcoming features from CCP.”
The articles cover everything from the light-heartedness of a wardec'd corporation being station camped for 11 months, to the nonsensical idea of EVE merging with another MMO, to the prophetic declaration that the CFC was opening a rental program. Even CCP is not spared, with articles such as CCP Announces PLEX for CSM Minutes Campaign mocking the missteps the company has made.
In EVE, Tubrug is a member of Zebra Corp (who are recruiting!) in Gentlemen's Agreement. Together with Crossing Zebras, the EVE Onion forms the Zebra Corp Media Empire. He thoroughly enjoys AFK ratting in his Vexor Navy Issue, except when it gets killed by rats, and loves both solo PVP and large fleet fights. He was present in some of the largest battles in the recent Halloween war, including HED-GP and B-R5RB.
In addition to writing the EVE Onion, he is also a contributor for themittani.com. In real life, he is a 16 year old who has been playing EVE since the age of 9 during the Trinity expansion, though he could not play beyond the trial because of his then-lack of a debit card. He enjoys playing and watching football and rugby.]]>
What is your official job title with CCP?
Art Manager for EVE Development.
What does the job actual entail?
People often ask me: “How can one manage art?!” Well, I don’t manage art. There is an Art Director that makes the calls and set the direction for all visual aspects of EVE, working directly with the artists. My job is to ensure that we have a team that is operational, trained, capable, functional and well balanced. All that in the context of the project needs. That goes for concept artists, 3D artists, VFX, Technical Art, animation if needed, and so on. In order to achieve that I act both as a facilitator and a shield for the Art Team. I need to make sure that their work environment is optimal, both on the soft side (information, human factor, training, etc) as well as on the hard side (equipment, systems, space, etc). It’s very focused and very wide spread at the same time. Lot of collaboration with our Human Resources specialists, with Producers, Directors, etc.
What did you do/where did you work before you got the job with CCP?
In a first life I studied mechanical engineering. In a second life I did a Masters in journalism and then worked for some years as a journalist, mostly for the French National Radio network. In a third life I worked for many years for a studio making games for children based on famous licenses (Disney, Marvel, Nickelodeon, etc). That was my point of entry in the industry, first developing content for the games, and then quickly moving into a production role. My game development adventure has been going on for close to 15 years now.
Did you play EVE before you joined CCP? If so, what did you do in the game?
I did! But to be honest I started playing about a month before starting at CCP, and I have had active accounts since then. I am not big on large scale operations so I have mostly played with a small group of friends or alone. I would define my “persona” as a random opportunist enjoying the wilderness. Rules number 1, 2 and 3: let’s see what’s on the other side of that gate!
How did you get a job with CCP? Can you talk about the process?
Already living in Iceland, I knew the CCP crew since 1999 and had a few very (blurry) memories of tequila parties when the whole company could fit in a single room. I always kept an eye on this crazy bunch and by 2006 I got in touch more formally. There was a position that was spot-on for me (Art Producer) and I just went all in. In retrospective I think that honesty and like-mindedness (or like-madness?...) made things happen. That first interview with people who soon became very good friends is still a very vivid moment in my head. I also remember walking in the new CCP office that day thinking “that’s the corridor you’ll walk down every day from now-on”. I was right!
What’s your favorite part about working for CCP?
The people I work with, definitely. The project is one thing, and working on a legend that is a paradigm of virtual worlds is a tremendous adventure. But at the end of the day it’s the mixed bunch that I collaborate with every day that matters. We have a lot of nationalities at the office and CCP mirrors in many ways the variety of the EVE community. All that combined makes it the perfect mix. And I don’t even mention looking out the window at the harbor, the mountains and downtown Reykjavik. I wake up every morning eager to get to the studio. Every single day for now over 7 years.
Did you purposefully make it so that you could make an exact replica of yourself in the EVE character creator?
Yes of course. What’s the point of being a manager otherwise? I blackmailed the Art Director using pictures taken in one of those CCP parties and retained the salary of all artists involved until it was spot-on me.
What’s the biggest misconception players have about what you do that you’d like to clear up?
I spend my day writing emails and talking to people. I use Office much more than any graphic suite and I can have entire days not looking at anything that qualify as art. I am not an artist.
If there was one thing you’d be doing outside of your current job, what would it be?
Publishing nice books, producing movies, designing products, acting. As long as it is inspiring for others and make life richer and fuller. That’s what drives me.
When you’re not on the job, what do you enjoy doing?
I actually enjoy being lazy, but I get restless. It’s a constant battle! I have nothing that I can call THE hobby, but if I have nothing planned, I’d love spending the weekend with family and friends in the Icelandic countryside. There is something about sitting in a hot-tub all night under the northern lights in good company.
What’s something that people don’t know about you?
In the mid-nineties I played a French officer in a multiple award winning Turkish movie, but a few people already know that. Something that people really don’t know… hmmm… I have a few things, but there is a reason why people don’t know about them!
Have you ever accidentally caught your nose in something in a comical fashion?
Yes I have. Babies love to grab it as a handle when I get too close. And it also got stuck a few times where they come from. (ed note: He means the stork)
What’s the one thing you wish you could add to EVE’s art that you know no one would let you?
Nipples on corpses. But we have clearly been instructed not to.]]>
Dear honorable citizens of New Eden.
It’s been a while since our last dev blog. We’ve been publicly absent for such a long period because we’ve been quite busy with a lot of highly interesting projects. Today we would like to start a new series of security-centric dev blogs to fill you in on how we do things.
To begin, we would like to present you with an overview of CCP’s security focused activities and highlight some recent changes.
Sadly, we had to say goodbye to CCP Stillman, who has sailed forth to explore new opportunities. We thank him for all the great times and good work he did protecting both our players and CCP, and wish him the best of luck.
Security @ CCP
CCP's security presence is split into two branches. Classical information (technology) security is handled by the InfoSec team. In-game security is handled by Team Security. Both worlds are overseen and driven by our Director of Information Security, CCP Bugartist – a one-man-army of multitasking.
CCP InfoSec is a team of selected and dedicated security focused individuals who help to ensure the availability, integrity and confidentiality of CCP's Virtual Worlds. Information Security has many definitions. Some are purely technical and others are purely virtual. It is their daily work to strategically combine the strengths of both to find practical solutions for the real and the virtual worlds of CCP.
The members of InfoSec are:
InfoSec’s latest projects include network security enhancements for CCP's worldwide data-center and office locations, security minded code-reviews, fresh company-wide security policies, and improvements of CCP's internal information structures for process-oriented security workflows.
Team Security handles game-related security matters for CCP's products. CCP prohibits behavior such as botting and Real Money Trading ("RMT") to protect the integrity of our Virtual Worlds, and Team Security is tasked with enforcing these policies.
The members of Team Security are:
Team Security’s duties include waging war against real-money transactions (RMT). Since the last Team Security blog we have been busy chasing down RMT operatives and their corrupt ilk, applying bans and removing the ill-gotten proceeds from the EVE universe.
Why we fight the good fight
The RMT element has extended its poisonous tentacles in many different directions in our beautiful game world, applying their trade of account hacking, credit card fraud, client modification, exploiting and macro use (to name but a few of their dirty methods). All of those activities are detrimental to the integrity of whatever game they're found in, and RMT is prohibited in most games for a very good reason. They just want the money - and they'll not hesitate to ruin your account and/or game-play experience to get it.
Team Security is focused on keeping this age-old foe in check with every resource available to us, including l33t programmers, our Legal department, Customer Support, and of course all you good people playing our games. We are working hard on improvements to account security, strengthening anti-fraud measures and shutting down botters where ever they are found. With the support of the InfoSec bros, we have a strong toolbox to support us with automation, as well as help leveraging information from more sources in order to enhance our detection capabilities. We are constantly developing our tools and methods for this endeavor to stay updated on changes to the bots out there.
Team Security sincerely appreciates your assistance with reporting potential bots, but we have noticed some confusion as to where these reports should be sent. We would therefore like to clarify your options.
Ideally, bot reports should be sent using the in-game “report bot” feature.This system provides Team Security with a centralized dashboard for investigating bot reports.
The other alternative is to report a bot by email to the Security Inbox (firstname.lastname@example.org). We ask that you reserve reports by email to larger-scale cases, i.e., not individual character reports, or for cases where you have additional information you would like to share with us. Thanks again for your support!
Doing business with the enemy
Awareness is a crucial component of our efforts against RMT. CCP urges everybody to please refrain from doing business with Real Money Traders, as by doing so you are providing them with monetary support, which keeps them in business and perpetuates the problem.
CCP's efforts against RMT are here to protect the integrity of New Eden, as well as your ability to play and enjoy our product without the interference of pesky bots and ISK spammers.
As we take action against bot farms and RMT operations, we often see surges in fraudulent activity, such as phishing and credit card fraud. We have also seen a correlation between large breaches and fraudulent activity in EVE Online.
Credit card fraud is a serious real-world crime, and we want to raise awareness on the topic. When we confiscate RMT ISK, it's because the assets came from an illegitimate source. Whether or not you paid real money for the assets you received does not factor into our decision to remove the proceeds; our concern is how said assets were acquired.
If you want to turn your hard-earned real-life moneys into in-game ISK, CCP offers PLEX as a legal way of doing so.
When we notify ISK buyers of our actions, the offenders are usually apologetic and understanding. A recurring theme is that they are not aware of the things that take place behind the scenes. CCP certainly is, and we will have more on this topic at Fanfest.
No security related dev blog without a graph
In order to follow this age-old tradition, here’s a brief teaser of what’s coming at Fanfest below:
This graph shows raw ISK seized by Team Security since September 2013. Improving our detection capabilities and internal toolset is a constant on-going process, and the spike in November 2013 is the result of some new weapons we have at our disposal.
We hope to see you all at Fanfest for more updates!
Until then, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com with anything game- and information-security related at any time. Thanks again for your support, and fly
P.S. Awareness tip of the day: Don’t trust random foes! Scamming in EVE Online is allowed as long as it stays within specific boundaries. Please refer to this EVE Knowledge Base article for more information about scamming, exploitation and how to report it.
Voting for the 9th Council of Stellar Management (CSM9) is now live, and the polls will be open until April 22nd. If you need help determining which candidates will best represent you, you can check out all of the candidate's platforms, websites, and YouTube videos on our Candidate Page. Once you know which candidates truly represent your views on the future direction of EVE Online, you can fill in your ballot with up to 14 candidates at our Ballot Page.
Veteran Voters will notice some improvements to our voting interface. We've added a multiple search and sort function to our candidate search bar. Simply place a comma in between the names of the candidates you'd like to search for (no spaces) and they will all be brought to the top of your ballot page. Additionally, we know a lot of voters like to share their prefered candidates with their friends and assosciates, so now when you search for candidates the URL in your browser will change on-the-fly. Once you have a search that you like, simply have your friends copy and paste the URL into their browsers (make sure they are logged in first) and then they are free to drag the candidates into their ballot in whatever preference order they wish.
For those of you who are unaccustomed to Single Transferable Vote (STV) voting, more info can be found in our previous Dev Blog. However, the most important thing is that you fill out as many candidates as you like, in order of preference, until you have filled your ballot or have run out of candidates that you wish to support.
The CSM serves as a major part of the players' voice in EVE Online development, and work with CCP every day to help shape our designs and inform our decisions. You don't just have to take my word for it though, throughout the 2 week election period, we will be releasing content from both CSM8 and the CCP Developers themselves that demonstrates the vital role the CSM play in making EVE a better game.
I also encourage everyone who is interested in voting to check out the tremendous wealth of content that 3rd party fansites and podcasts have been creating to help inform players on the role of the CSM and all of the candidates in the CSM9 elections.
If you have any questions on how voting, or the CSM itself, works then I encourage you to stop by the comments thread for this blog. I will try to answer as many questions as possible.]]>
A 21-hour-long engagement ensued, which became known as The Bloodbath of B-R5RB. This fight, along with the attempted interdiction of reinforcements on the way to the system, resulted in the destruction of 75 titans, 13 supercarriers, 370 dreadnaughts and 123 carriers, totalling an estimated value of a little over 11,000,000,000,000 (11 trillion) ISK, eclipsing the Battle of Asakai as the largest and most costly single engagement in the history on EVE Online.
The Bloodbath of B-R5RB became the most costly and destructive engagement in the history of EVE Online.
The Battle of Asakai is regarded as one of the most prolonged and savage capital ship battles in the history of EVE Online, coincidentally happening one year to the day before B-R5RB.
In fact, The Bloodbath of B-R5RB was so large that CCP commemorated the sheer level of destruction with a permanent in-game monument to the player-created carnage, aptly named “Titanomachy”.
Naturally, the record for the largest and most costly single engagement in EVE history was expected to stand for some time.
In fact, B-R5RB’s record was shattered a little over two months later by players on EVE Online’s other game server, Serenity, which hosts Chinese players and is operated by CCP partner TianCity.
Behold the Battle of 49-U6U.
The two fleets form up and begin the engagement in orbit of 49-U6U II.
(Image courtesy of Rooks & Kings)
Introductions all around!
Behind every large-scale conflict in EVE lies a group of alliances and coalitions that lock horns over everything from territorial disputes to resource control — and sometimes just plain old-fashioned grudges.
In this instance, the enormous battle in 49-U6U began in the north over a territorial dispute between two of the largest alliances on Serenity, which in turn became an enormous war between two sizable coalitions: PIBC and RACOA/FDK.
Pan-Intergalactic Business Community:
Consisting of over 25,000 members and also known as PIBC, this group is Serenity’s biggest and oldest alliance. They own most of the western side of nullsec, including the sought after regions of Delve, Querious and Fountain, along with Outer Ring and Period Basis. After recent events, they also have a strong foothold in the north, with control over Tenal, Tribute, Vale of the Silent, Geminate and part of both The Kalevala Expanse and Etherium Reach.
VENI VIDI VICI:
Usually known as 3V, this group used to be a pure pirate alliance but have since evolved into a strong ally and mercenary contractor for PIBC which bolsters the coalition’s fleet strength significantly. The close ties between these two alliances are thought to be linked to the close out-of-game ties between their leaders, who both live in the city of Chengdu, in southwest China.
Serenity’s second-largest alliance, totalling some 20,000 players, this group was part of PIBC until September 2008. An economic dispute over the Stain region saw a large number of PIBC secede and form R.A.C., which now controls the entire south of Serenity’s map, including Stain, Impass, Tenerifis, Detorid, Esoteria, Feythabolis, Omist and Paragon Soul.
Serenity’s fourth-largest alliance, FDK had been friendly with PIBC almost throughout Serenity’s eight-year history, until the recent conflict. It holds sovereignty in Fade, Deklein, Cloud Ring and Pure Blind.
City Of Angels:
Also known as COA, and sporting a member count of over 10,000, this is the sister alliance of R.A.C and Serenity’s fifth-largest alliance. It holds sovereignty over Providence, Immensea, Wicked Creek, Catch, Curse and Scalding Pass, and secures R.A.C.’s access to a number of chokepoints into empire space.
A relatively recently formed alliance made up of ex-PIBC rebels. Many of the corporations in this group used to be part of PIBC in Fountain, and it is said that their leader has personal dissatisfaction with leader of PIBC, which caused them to splinter from the main alliance.
July Alliance wasn’t involved in the 49-U6U epic battle, but they do remain part of the story and no longer exist now since their defeat and disbandment in January 2014. JA were at one point a subordinate alliance of PIBC and held sovereignty over Tribute, Branch and Tenal.
You can see more of the current sovereignty layout on Serenity via Verite’s influence map for the Chinese cluster here.
The two Chinese superpowers trade blows against the backdrop of 49-U6U II.
(Image courtesy of Rooks & Kings)
The Road to the Slaughterhouse
The Tribute Dispute (December 2013 – January 2014)
The region of Tribute is an important hub for the north on Serenity. 3V has been holding control over the area under the sovereignty of PIBC (including the highly prized chokepoint systems of M-OEE8 and P3EN-E) since 2009. Both FDK and July Alliance, who were friendly at the time, attempted to negotiate with PIBC, asking for a takeover of the region to secure their remote territories and were denied access.
PIBC at that time showed more love toward 3V, which might be explained by the aforementioned close-out of game links between their leaders.
Meanwhile, an audio recording was leaked among player communities, in which 军用馒头 (literal translation “military steamed bun” – don’t ask!), the executor of PIBC, expressed his vision for Tribute to be a blockade that would prevent any northern alliances from further development without the express consent of PIBC.
When FDK and July Alliance realized that PIBC was no longer an ally and was controlling their development, they began to attack 3V for control of Tribute. The situation was initially promising, and the aggressors appeared to have the upper hand. This quickly went south, however, after PIBC decided to intervene, levelling the opposition. As a result, when they lost the war, July Alliance was disbanded and FDK began rapidly losing their foothold in Tribute to PIBC as they retook the space lost.
The Querious Offensive (January 2014 – March 2014)
During the conflict in Tribute, Fadeklein Alliance realized that it would never be possible to take down PIBC alone, and that no single alliance on Serenity could match their fleet strength or go toe-to-toe with them in combat.
They subsequently formed a coalition with R.A.C., City of Angels and FOF in order to “fight together against PIBC and prevent Serenity from becoming one man’s game”.
PIBC was compelled to withdraw from the northern regions to protect their homeland in the south. During the night of 28 February, when 400 super-capitals were cynoed (moved) into the system of 49-U6U in Querious by RACOA/FDK coalition, PIBC realized that their adversaries couldn’t be more determined. The war was turning from an invasion into a game of survival for themselves, in which they were now outnumbered by their aggressors.
The Slaughterhouse (25 March 2014)
At roughly 07:00 China Standard Time (CST) on 25 March, PIBC cynoed a fleet heavy with supercapitals into 49-U6U in Querious, with the intent of destroying R.A.C.’s un-reinforced Infrastructure Hub. RACOA/FDK responded by bringing their capital fleet in to defend the structure.
Multiple PIBC doomsdays strike a RACOA/FDK Erebus-class titan.
(Image courtesy of Rooks & Kings)
From the perspective of Pan-Intergalactic Business Community, the system represented a chokepoint into 4-07MU in Catch, which was held by hostiles R.A.C. Securing this system would prevent cyno access to PIBC territory from Catch.
In the eyes of RACOA/FDK, sending supercapitals into 49-U6U would put them into a position to strike at a number of PIBC systems within their cyno range. They even went to the lengths of constructing an outpost in the system to show their determination to make the war as long and painful as possible for PIBC. For RACOA/FDK, losing control of the system would be devastating to both their future strategy for attack, and to the morale of the coalition.
The RACOA/FDK Erebus finally succumbs to sustained fire.
(Image courtesy of Rooks & Kings)
The Slaughterhouse In Numbers
In terms of sheer numbers, this engagement tips the scale as the largest and most costly in the history of EVE.
With the bar set at 11 trillion ISK in damages during the battle of B-R5RB on Tranquility in January, Serenity went ahead and smashed that record, almost doubling the ISK value of hulls destroyed at an astonishing 26 trillion ISK worth of damage.
The engagement also lasted slightly longer, a total of 23 hours, from 07:00 through to 06:00 CST, and was only halted when the server was taken offline for the scheduled deployment of EVE: Rubicon to Serenity.
We can see from the graphs above that the vast majority of these costs constitute the price of Titan hulls, which due to the differences in markets are valued at roughly ISK 250bn each on Serenity. A total of 84 Titans were destroyed, nine more than in B-R5RB.
This number is followed by Dreadnaughts, of which a total of 824 were destroyed, valued at roughly 7bn per hull. The trend continues with Carriers — a total of 118 destroyed at 3bn per hull — and 39 Supercarriers at 50bn per unit.
Before this engagement, there had been approximately 30 Titan kills on Serenity. This single battle quadrupled that number to more than 100 when the dust finally settled.
For a more direct comparison of the scale of the losses, the above graph shows confirmed kills by capital ship class in both 4A-U6U and B-R5RB.
Breaking down the Titan losses by race shows that armor-based fleet compositions were the most popular across both clusters. The Erebus-class Titan was the most utilized Titan of the four, followed by the Amarrian Avatar class.
The engagement in 49-U6U saw the largest deployment of capital ships in the history of EVE Online.
(Image courtesy of Rooks & Kings)
A breakdown of losses across both engagements shows Serenity players’ preference for Dreadnaughts, and their use of more Supercarriers versus smaller Carrier class hulls. That’s a potential indicator for why the market value of Carriers remains so low compared to Dreadnaughts, at roughly 3bn and 7bn per hull respectively.
A comparison of player participation shows that while Tranquility had more unique characters involved in the engagement in B-R5RB, players on Serenity managed to cram almost 400 more players into the system of 49-U6U at the peak of the battle for an engagement that lasted two hours longer.
While the crown for the largest fleet fight in the history of EVE still resides firmly on Tranquility (the battle of 6VDT-H saw a peak of 4,070 pilots gathered in one system), there is no doubt that an engagement of this size will send shockwaves through the political and economic landscape of Serenity.
The battle is of such significance that our partners at TianCity, who operate EVE China and manage the Serenity cluster, have already declared their intention to add an in-game monument along the lines of Titanomachy in 49-U6U to honor the epic size of the engagement.
Massive congratulations to both sides involved in the conflict for the battle itself, as well as the months leading up to it. The same level of diplomacy, logistics, grit, imagination, and determination that have been proven to set EVE’s Tranquility players apart from other gamers also exists in full on the Serenity server. Spaceships are blowing up the world over and it is glorious.
Going forward, we’ll be sure to highlight further information about Serenity and prominent events that occur there, and of course bring you pretty images of the monument being placed in honor of this 23-hour-long slugfest.
New to EVE? Start your 14-day free trial today.
Returning pilot? Visit Account Management for the latest offers and promotions.
Since then the buddy system has gone through several iterations, with the addition of the Open URL system and some changes to rewards along the way. Open URLs allow players to reach more of their friends by sharing their invitations on public websites and forums.
Thanks to the participation of the EVE community, the Buddy Program has been an overwhelming success, with countless new players joining the game via a buddy invite. We continue to listen to feedback and iterate on the Buddy Program to better serve players now and in the future.
For a long time players have asked if they could have a similar system to re-invite friends that used to play EVE Online but have left the game for one reason or another. The Recall Program is the first step.
The Recall Program will allow current subscribers to grant seven (7) days of free game time to previous subscribers who been unsubscribed for six months or more. This will allow you to reach out to those players that you used to play with or against, and give them a way back into the game.
It is our ongoing mission to reduce the barriers for players joining – and rejoining – EVE Online so you can continue creating more unforgettable experiences together.
You should consider this program a beta test of the system; the rewards and requirements may change based on the feedback we receive from you.
How it works
If you are a current subscriber, you can log in to http://secure.eveonline.com/recallprogram/ and begin sending 7-free-days invites.
You can create two types of Recall Program invites:
Create a personalized URL that can be posted anywhere on the internet or sent directly to your friends. Anyone who uses your URL to claim their free days will be linked to your account.
2. Character invite
If you don't have your friend’s contact information, you can also send them an invite by entering their EVE Online character name. We will check if this character is eligible for the 7-free-days offer. If they are, we’ll send them an email with your URL and character name.
Please note you can send only one invite to any character. This is to minimize abuse of the communication method.
Eligible recipients can use a Recall Program invites to apply seven days of free game time to their account.
The Recall Program will also offer incentives to players who recruit their friends back to EVE Online.
If the player whom you invite re-subscribes during their seven free days, you may be eligible to receive a Recall Program reward for that calendar month. (That’s the month in which they resubscribe, not the month in which they activate the free days.)
Rewards will be granted on a monthly basis and each month you can earn up to a maximum number of rewards. In April 2014 the cap is three rewards, as follows:
So even if you invite five people in April and all five resubscribe, you can receive only a maximum of three rewards. Rewards will not transfer between months.
The rewards available in the Recall Program are not limited-edition items and they may appear again in future months or in other promotions or sales.
To send invites you must be a current paying subscriber of EVE Online.
To claim the seven free days on your account, you must have been unsubscribed for six months or more. You can claim a maximum of one 7-free-days invite every 365 days.
We hope you enjoy using the Recall Program and reconnecting with long lost space friends!
Terms & Conditions
New to EVE? Start your 14-day free trial today.
Returning pilot? Visit Account Management for the latest offers and promotions.
This is a moment for reflection. It’s the first time that we at CCP have taken a player account from EVE Online® (upvoted by you) and had it adapted for traditional media.
In April 2013, we asked EVE players to submit stories to the True Stories website. With a limit of 5.000 characters per story, you could tag characters, corporations, celestial locations, corporations and alliances.
The site was open for submissions for a month until 06 May, the tenth anniversary of EVE Online. Initially you could only comment on stories, not vote. Over 767 stories were submitted.
Once the submission period was over, voting began and continued for 14 days. During voting, you could see how stories were faring. Twelve thousand votes were “up” and 3,800 were “down”. For each story, only one vote per user account was allowed.
When voting was done, one story reigned at the top with 2,283 upvotes, the second coming in with 1,524 votes and the third with 892 upvotes.
At that point 109,000 unique people (unique IPs actually) had visited the website, and 9,900 logged in and either submitted a story, commented or voted.
We took the topmost stories and presented them to the writer of True Stories, Daniel Way. After much deliberation of the finalists, including the Guiding Hand Social Club and the Disbanding of Band of Brothers, the BoB story was chosen. The other top stories were discussed as well, each great in their own way. CCP then provided some editorial assistance, but in general tried not to influence his portrayal of the story so that the line from player to writer and back to player would remain as unbroken as possible.
A-64 page comic book was born, split up into four 16 page chapters. Each chapter illustrated by a separate artist and cover artist.
The first installment was then published on 19 February 2014, with subsequent issues appearing every two weeks.
All are available for free as downloads from Dark Horse Digital. They will remain free to download until 6 June 2014, when a hardcover version will be published, collecting all four chapters into one book. Individual chapters will then no longer be available for download, but the collection will be available for purchase as an e-book.
Our friends in the Guristas were kind enough to intercept convoys of freighters sailing from remote manufacturing facilities. Thus we were able to secure a few advance copies of the hardcover edition of True Stories. Those will be available to purchase at EVE Fanfest, in Reykjavik this May 1-3rd. Get yours, signed by art director Borkur Eiriksson and editor David Marshall from Dark Horse. Another great reason to go to fanfest.
Now, we are here, roughly a year later.
First, on behalf of CCP, I want to thank everyone that took part in the first round of True Stories, everyone that submitted entries, voted, commented or just idly clicked through the stories.
Second, I want to ask for your input. We have a few questions for you. Of course, you don't have to answer all of them, but we would really love to get your feedback on some:
Please put your feedback in this thread.
Thank you for reading and participating!
Torfi Frans Olafsson
Creative Director – EVE Universe IP development]]>
Hello once again, spacefriends. CCP Fozzie here, bringing your our next dev blog covering some of the exciting changes coming your way in the EVE Online Summer 2014 release.
This blog will discuss our constant companions in the darkness of space, the loyal drones. Drones have received many improvements in recent years that have increased their stature to that of a main weapon system and expanded the options available to drone users immensely. However there are several aspects of drone balance that are not yet up to our current standards. In the summer release we will be implementing a wide ranging balance rework for drones of all sizes. This will affect drone skills, modules and ship bonuses as well as the attributes of the drones themselves.
I will include a link to a spreadsheet with the new drone attributes at the end of the blog, but first we’ll cover the changes at a higher level. This revamp includes over a thousand separate behind-the-scenes changes, but it’s simpler to look at each category of problems we are trying to solve and how we intend to address them one by one.
One of the most obvious issues facing drones in EVE Online is the balance between the drones built by the four Empires. In theory the factional split should provide variety and interesting choices for players to make. Each faction of drones have their own damage type and should have their own distinctive attributes.
In practice this is currently only working for two varieties of drones, Gallente and Minmatar. Gallente drones deal the highest damage at the expense of speed and tracking, and provide an excellent option when pilots wish to deal thermal damage. Minmatar drones have the best speed and tracking at the expense of damage per second, and deal explosive damage.
Caldari drones are barely passable, only truly standing out from the crowd when a pilot really wants to deal kinetic damage. Amarrian drones are in dire straits, dealing the lowest damage of all drone types and not excelling in any area.
None of this will be a surprise to most players, since the relative weakness of Caldari and Amarrian drones has been well known for years. However it can still be interesting to see just how little these drones are used. The following graph shows the number of shots fired in PvP by combat drones (not counting sentry drones) from each of the four races in the last year.
As you can see, Amarrian and Caldari drones might as well not exist in their current form. They are in need of a significant revamp to make them competitive with Gallente and Minmatar drones.
In the Summer 2014 release, we will be solving this issue by placing each of the four racial varieties of drones on a continuous spectrum of speed and damage. The already effective Gallente and Minmatar drones will remain in their places at the ends of the spectrum, while the attributes of the Amarrian and Caldari drones will be adjusted to place them in between the two extremes: Amarrian drones will be slightly slower and more damaging than Minmatar drones, while Caldari drones will be slightly faster and less damaging than Gallente drones. Their distinct damage types will remain intact.
We believe that this change will provide players with many more interesting choices when deciding what drones to load onto their ships and use in combat.
Another area of imbalance in the current drone attributes is the different quality levels, or meta-levels, of drones available. Combat drones currently fall into one of five distinct quality levels (sentry drones are addressed below):
Travel time is a constant issue for combat drones, as the delay between ordering your drones to attack and their arrival at their target often cripples the effectiveness of drones over moderate ranges. This is also one of the major reasons that Heavy Drones have trouble competing with the stationary Sentry Drones.
Currently each size of combat drones (Light, Medium and Heavy) has only half the MWD approach velocity of the size below it. This means that Heavy Drones take 4x as long to get to their targets as Light Drones do.
In the Summer 2014 expansion, we will be changing the scaling so that each size of combat drones has 60% of the MWD speed of the size below it. This equals a 20% increase to the MWD speed of Medium Drones, and a 43% increase in Heavy Drone MWD speed. These increases only effect the MWD speed of the drones, so they will reach their distant targets faster but they may still struggle to keep up with a fast moving target, as intended.
Congratulations for reading all the way to the middle of a dev blog! The reward for your perseverance is some extremely important information about changes to skills coming in the Summer 2014 expansion!
Currently drones are a very skill-intensive weapon system, thanks to the legacy of the original drone implementation years ago. The Drone Interfacing skill currently provides a 20% increase in drone damage per level, which makes it one of the most powerful skills in the game but also means that to be competitive with drones it is usually necessary to train this rank-5 skill all the way to level 5. The result is that drones have earned a reputation as a weapon system that is not suitable for new players.
We will be minimizing this problem by reducing the bonus from the Drone Interfacing skill to 10% per level, and building the extra damage into the base stats of the drones. That means that on average, all drones will be gaining about 33% more base damage and a character with Drone Interfacing trained to level 5 will see their damage remain constant (ignoring for a moment all the other drone changes being made in this release). We believe that 10% per level is still a very suitable bonus for a rank 5 skill, and the Drone Interfacing skill will remain very desirable. Level 5 Drone Interfacing should, however, cease to be the absolute necessity that it is today.
We are also splitting the current Combat Drone Operation skill into two new skills, Light Drone Operation and Medium Drone Operation. This means that all light combat drones will now be unlocked and bonused from the Light Drone Operation skill, and medium combat drones will be unlocked and bonused from the Medium Drone Operation skill. During the patch downtime, existing players with the Combat Drone Operation skill trained will receive both new skills trained to the same level that their Combat Drone Operation skill was trained to.
This change makes light and medium drones consistent with heavy and sentry drones in their skill paths. It also allows us to create new ships and modules with bonuses that only affect light or medium drones separately, such as the newly rebalanced Guristas Worm faction frigate.
Finally, we are renaming two drone skills to clarify their roles. The Scout Drone Operation skill is being renamed “Drone Avionics”; the Electronic Warfare Drone Interfacing skill is being renamed “Advanced Drone Avionics” to better represent their roles. The effects, prerequisites and unlocks provided by these skills will not be changing.
The other major change we will be making to drone skills in the summer release will be the expansion of drone skills to affect all drone types consistently. This means that the racial Drone Specialization skills will now provide their damage bonus to Tech Two sentry drones as well as the normal combat drones, and that the Drone Interfacing, Drone Sharpshooting, Drone Durability, and Drone Navigation skills will all provide their bonuses to Fighters and Fighter Bombers. More details about these changes can be found in the following sections.
Sentry drones are among the most popular drones in EVE Online, for good reason: They allow drone ships to project instant damage across long distances. But the balance between the four different racial varieties and three quality levels of Sentry drones could use some work.
For quality levels, Tech Two sentry drones are currently massive upgrades over their Tech One equivalents since range, tracking and damage are all such important attributes for sentries. We will be keeping the 20% bonuses to hitpoints, tracking, optimal, and falloff that Tech Two enjoys over Tech One; but instead of the current 20% increase in damage over T1, we will be increasing the base damage multiplier of Tech One sentries and limiting the Tech Two advantage to the 2% per level gained from the racial Drone Specialization skills that will now be required to use T2 sentries.
We will also provide Faction navy sentry drones with the same 20% increase in optimal and falloff that T2 enjoys.
This will serve to reduce the gulf between T1 and T2 sentries and ensure that players have a clear progression path as they advance in skills and riches.
We are also adjusting the balance between the racial flavors of sentries to provide the best possible set of choices for players when they decide which to use.
We are swapping the position of the Bouncer and Curator sentries in the damage ranking, and adding tracking to the Bouncers to compensate. This means that the spectrum between the Gallente Garde sentries (with the shortest range, highest damage and highest tracking) and the Caldari Warden sentries (with the highest range, but lowest damage and lowest tracking) will be consistent all the way across.
We are also swapping some optimal range to falloff on the Bouncers, adding falloff to the Wardens and Gardes, and removing falloff from the Curator sentries, these help ensure a good spread of range profiles while also helping the drones more closely match the weapon systems used by their races.
Now we turn to the largest “drones” in the game, the fighters and fighter bombers used by capital ships. These are piloted vessels in the backstory of EVE, but they receive their instructions from their home ship just like automated drones, and they are controlled with the same interface.
To provide consistency between all the drone systems in EVE Online, and to provide more options to capital and supercapital pilots in fitting and training, we are expanding all universal drone bonuses from skills and modules to Fighters and Fighter Bombers. This means that the drone skills, including Drone Interfacing, and modules such as Drone Damage Amplifiers will all apply their bonuses to Fighters and Fighter Bombers.
To compensate for these changes, the base damage of Fighters and Fighter Bombers is being reduced. Fighters will find that with Drone Interfacing trained to five their basic damage returns to normal and all the other skills and bonuses from Drone Damage Amplifiers are pure additions. Fighter Bombers will need Drone Interfacing 5 and two Tech Two Drone Damage Amplifiers to slightly surpass their current damage rates, and any additional or higher quality Drone Damage Amplifiers will increase their damage above and beyond current maximums.
We are also reducing the maximum number of drones available to Supercarriers from the current 20 to 10. To compensate, all Supercarriers will receive a 100% damage bonus to Fighter and Fighter Bomber damage, and the hitpoints and volume of Fighter Bombers will be doubled. Fighter Bomber shield recharge rates will also be cut in half to ensure that they do not regain high passive tank rates. This change allows Supercarriers to deal the same damage as they currently enjoy while causing less server load. It also makes their Fighter Bombers much more durable and should allow a vigilant Supercarrier pilot to more effectively keep their drones alive. At the same time, we will be increasing the materials required to build Fighter Bombers by a little over 50%.
We are also taking this opportunity to provide a small buff to the Shadow Fighter Bomber, a special advanced Sansha variant that is obtained by fighting off incursions. The Shadow will be gaining a 7% damage increase over normal Fighter Bombers to encourage the richest Supercarrier pilots to try it out.
It is important for current Supercarrier pilots to be prepared for the change in Fighter Bomber volume. Any Supercarrier drone bay that is full of Fighter Bombers before the patch will be overloaded after downtime. In this case the drones will automatically move to the Supercarrier’s cargo bay where they will prevent the ship from warping or jumping until they have been jettisoned or otherwise removed.
Finally, we are rounding out the collection of drone upgrade modules by introducing low slot Omnidirectional Tracking Enhancers and faction versions of the Drone Damage Amplifier and Drone Navigation Computer modules, and adding more faction versions of the Omnidirectional Tracking Link module. The faction modules will be available in Gallente Navy and Amarr Navy variants (available in both normal and FW LP stores) as well as Guristas and Rogue Drone variants available as loot drops. More details about these modules will be available at a later date.
For the Kadesh Priestesses and Gripens of the world, as well as anyone else interested in diving into all the numbers, here is the spreadsheet that lists the newly updated attributes of the Combat Drones, Sentries, Fighters and Fighter Bombers. Enjoy!
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog all the way through. We are happy to be able to announce these wide-ranging changes and begin gathering your feedback.
All of these changes are currently planned for release in the EVE Online Summer 2014 release. We will be providing access to them on our test servers as soon as possible to allow you all to try them out for yourself.
We encourage you to post feedback on these changes in the discussion thread for this blog, and keep an eye out for more announcements about the summer release in the coming weeks.
K162 Space was not always a market-oriented blog. Back in the summer of 2009, the industry-focused group called Infinity Miners Union were looking for a new challenge. When Apocrypha hit and wormholes opened, they heard rumors of vast Arkonor fields contained within.
“The mechanics of scanning and entering wormholes were completely foreign to us at the time,” says Blake, the author of K162 Space. “Lured by the prospects of vast wealth, we packed up a few small industry haulers, scanning frigates, POS materials, and Mining Barges and started our adventure.”
Like many others who have tried out wormholes, they quickly discovered that life in wormholes was a lot different to life anywhere else in EVE. The lack of local or persistent connections to known space, as well as having to constantly live out of a POS, made it the polar opposite of high sec mining.
They quickly discovered they had stories to tell, including adventures getting a Rorqual into their wormhole, an almost-catastrophic April Fool's plan, and developing defensive plans. A blog format seemed the most appropriate system to sharing these stories. Says Blake, “If we were making a profit doing a certain activity, we were going to tell you details with advice on how to optimize the task backed up with data.”
When the corp was first strip mining wormhole space, they wanted to record the notion of discovery they were feeling. “There were few resources available on the mechanics of mass collapsing wormholes to cycle connections, the best method for quick POS and asset migration […], and general defense and anti-ganking techniques,” Blake recalls. “We faced new challenges as we moved up the difficulty chain and eventually into a C6 wormhole, often times running into powerful player groups.”
Unfortunately, real life commitments caused their wormhole presence to eventually collapse. Blake moved on to null sec. However, unlike many, he did not jump into the poll of null sec combat pilots. Instead, he took the rather different tactic of supplying local markets with materials. “I was more interested in logistics coming from a wormhole lifestyle,” he relates.
“What lured me to EVE was the prospect of becoming an industry mogul. After a few years of taking in profits from wormhole space and nullsec trading, I got to a point where I could finance a capital production line on my own.”
Along with this shift in focus, so too has the blog shifted. He began relating the challenges, results, and code behind any of his major efforts in the game.
Much of K162 Space's most recent activity has been centered around cornering markets in EVE. Blake began to look at market data to develop trading metrics. “I quickly found that I wanted to do more gymnastics and manipulation of the data than I could do with sheets.”
Luckily, he has a background in Computer Engineering that had exposed him to C and C++ programming languages. A long time friend in real life, James Bryant, is a LAMP advocate and helped to bring Blake into modern database driven web applications. “We collaborated over many months,” Blake says, “and eventually wrote a basic profit tracking system that will be published as a public GitHub project to enable further development and fixes.”
He's taken most of the working dataset from the API transaction history of his own characters' wallets, along with historical market prices that he has been storing in a database. He's posted many of the SQL queries that he's used to parse and sort data.
Despite having no formal education in economics, he has managed to use the basic mathematical concepts of mean, median, mode, range, and standard deviation to work. He starts his workflow with a question such as “Why is the Ishtar producing more profit than the Zealot this quarter?”
The first place he looks is the metagame. “Has a large alliance recently shifted doctrines?” he asks. “Has a rebalance corrected weaknesses in the hull? If there isn't a metagame reason, I usually hunt for a statistics or economic concept that can help explain what I am seeing with the data.
“When I was living in Chicago, I was working on an IT infrastructure team at a research institution that was running a database driven, real-time financial index. The parallels of the architecture and goals of my EVE related project matched what I was supporting at work; I had the opportunity to get input from people that were recording and developing strategies on real-world markets.”
Coming from an IT background, part of the fun for Blake and James in creating the system to manage their trading ventures was the optimization of data; how they could index, parse, and query their dataset more efficiently. These types of ideas eventually migrated into the blog as their focus shifted over time.
Much of Blake and James's wisdom and methods can already be found on K162 Space. But for those looking to start out in the world of trading, he recommends everyone start with a final goal in mind. “Do you want to become a regional tycoon? Feed local corporations with PVP materials? Create a resource hungry capital ship production line?”
He warns it may take time in the span of months of years, it may involve failing and starting over from nothing, it may involve building and back-stabbing connection, and it may never work out. But he recommends, “Don't be afraid to try and use resources such as forums or blog posts. Chances are that what you are trying to do has been talked about before, so use the resources and contribute to the community.”
Blake talks with Raath Nambode and Lockefox on an almost daily basis and want to write more how to develop and support their projects. “I know the content of the blog may change as my interests shift, but I will endeavor to keep posting about whatever interests me at the time.”
Blake mainly works with Raath as his main industrial partner, to help make sure that their production lines are stocked and constantly in motion, while Blake performs research travel to various locations of conflict to watch how the market performs.
In real life, he's recently moved the family to California and is enjoying all the activities the state provides. He's a new dog owner and enjoys spending time with his golden retriever. He also enjoys athletic endurance events and competes in open-water swim competition.
He wants to share, “If you have never been to an Eve meet up, large like Fanfest or small at a local pub, I highly encourage everyone to go to at least once. The amount of people that want to share stores of a major heists, talk about an iconic person that is on your shared voice comms, or even just share an interesting story is numerous. Enemies in game will most likely buy you a drink and want to share a tale of how they barely got away that one time.”]]>
What is your official job title with CCP?
What does the job actual entail?
Simple version: trying to figure out what we can do to make EVE better. Of course that isn’t so simple and I’m still learning a lot about how to be a good designer. In my experience so far, the job is roughly an equal mix of analysis, creativity and communication. We need to understand our players and our game really well. We need to validate our ideas and quantify their effects. We have to communicate both internally and also outwards towards our players. We need to manage the tension between ideal solutions and practical obstacles. It’s an awesome job.
My actual day-to-day work is a mix of spreadsheets, data analysis, forum posting, playing video games, drawing, eating ice cream and having quite a lot of meetings. The job changes a lot depending on the project but I’m always working with a lot of smart people to make EVE more fun.
You’re widely accused of hating fun. What did fun ever do to you to make you hate it so much? Do you ever think you and fun will reconcile?
People just don’t know what fun actually is. They think it means lack of control, but actually, it means controlling something complicated. That small difference of opinion has led to this wild accusation that I ‘hate fun’.
What did you do/where did you work before you got the job with CCP?
I’ve done a lot of things since high school. I was a student, a math tutor, a certified EMT, a waiter, and an apprentice programmer for a software startup. Despite that list, most of the money I’ve made in my life has been from playing poker. I started as a live player in brick-and-mortar rooms in Washington state but eventually became a prop (someone employed by the card room to start new games and keep them running) for one of the major online sites and did that for quite a long time.
Did you play EVE before you joined CCP? If so, what did you do in the game?
Yeah, I did play EVE! I discovered EVE through PVP videos. I remember watching a video of Trey Azagthoth (or something like that?) ransoming people from his Deimos and Megathron. I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea that you could actually negotiate with someone for wealth under threat of violence. Instantly charmed, I began chasing the dream of becoming a small scale PVP hero. That path started with losing Ruptures in Amamake and led all the way to producing quite a lot of PVP video content, a podcast, and becoming an Alliance Tournament commentator. I strongly believe EVE is the best game I’ve ever played and I imagine I’ll be roaming around alone looking for good fights for some years to come.
How did you get a job with CCP? Can you talk about the process?
For me, the process really spanned about 6 years. I started a relationship with the company by coming out as a commentator for Alliance Tournament VI. The Alliance Tournament functioned for several eventual CCPers(Soundwave, Fozzie, Loxy and I to name a few) as a trial period where we got to check out Iceland and CCP got to check us out. After five trips here for the tournament I had made some friends and had shown that I wasn’t miserable to work with and may be able to contribute in a positive way towards EVE development.
Once I decided to actually apply (under pressure from Soundwave), the process was actually much more difficult than I expected. CCP cares a lot about who it takes in so I had to get past several tests (written design tests, reasoning tests, personality tests [which I kind of failed]) and a long series of interviews where almost everyone I would eventually work with would get a chance to sit down with me and talk. It seemed excessive at the time, but after being here just a year I appreciate how important it is for everyone to get along. We work so closely together that one bad apple could really hurt development.
What’s your favorite part about working for CCP?
There’s a lot that I love about this job. I love working on EVE of course, I love working with really smart people (and with CCP Dolan), I really like having a job that connects so directly to a passionate community of players, but I’ve been surprised to find that I think my favorite thing about the job is just working in Iceland. Living internationally, and especially somewhere as special as Iceland, is an opportunity that I feel extremely lucky for.
What’s the biggest misconception players have about what you do that you’d like to clear up?
Probably the biggest misconception I see relates to our motivation as designers. It’s not uncommon to see posts saying that we either don’t care at all, don’t care about one side of a war, don’t care about a certain play style, or make changes for any other reason other than to try and improve the game. I knew coming in that I could trust my own motivation, but I’ve been so happy to discover that every single designer on EVE cares deeply about the quality of the game and is always doing their best to improve it.
If there was one thing you’d be doing outside of your current job, what would it be?
Another job? Probably back to playing cards.
When you’re not on the job, what do you enjoy doing?
Mostly I eat. I also like video games. I like adrenaline a bit so when I’m feeling motivated I’ll be on a bike or skateboard or something trying to hurt myself. I also have a wife and sometimes it’s nice to hang out with her.
What’s something that people don’t know about you?
There’s a few things I’m sure. A semi-entertaining one is that I used to be a pretty serious bowler. I’ve gone to nationals in the US to bowl twice (once in Baton Rouge and once in Albuquerque). I’ve only got two 300 games but I do have one 800 series. Another thing is that once I saved CCP Nullabor’s life.]]>
The New Player Training Sessions have been a great success thus far. Twice weekly, up to 500 new players have joined seminars led by the EVE Community Team, who teach everything from manufacturing ammo to exploring wormholes and participating in fleets. On the heels of the second successful New Eden Open PvP tournament, we have decided to go back to where we started and hold a fresh session on “Combat in EVE”.
This track will be a mix of our original set of seminars and material, newly updated after EVE: Rubicon, based on feedback from players and expanded to dispense more knowledge. Though they are called the New Player Training Sessions, the track should prove useful both to new players as well as those looking to get involved in PvP for the first time. We might even bring up a few tricks that veterans find useful!
The seminars will be run every Wednesday and Saturday at 18:00 UTC (which is the same as in-game time). We will also rerun the Wednesday seminar on Saturday at 17:00 UTC for those who missed it the first time around.
Finally, we will cap everything off by running a developer-led frigate fleet looking for death and destruction throughout the universe. These have been massively successful so far, seeing hundreds of new players experience their first taste of combat!
The schedule is as follows:
Skills and Modules – 29 March
Fitting Your Ship – 2 April
The Overview and UI – 5 April
Crimewatch (the engagement/criminal rules in EVE) – 9 April
Combat and Fleet Basics – 12 April
Advanced Combat and Command – 19 April
PvP Fleet – 26 April
If you're interested in participating, join the channel “New Player Training Sessions” in game (a guide to joining the channel can be found here). More details about the sessions, including previous seminars, can be found here.]]>
All the main indices show deflation in February 2014, except the Mineral Price Index, which shows a 2.6% inflation. In January, by contrast, the inflation in the Mineral Price Index was 4.2%. This blog takes a look at mineral trade in the wake of (and during) the battle of B‑R5RB.
Looking at the total value of traded minerals in the graph below, it is apparent that the mineral market was noticeably affected on the day of the battle of B-R5RB. A shift in level is shown by separating the series and drawing linear trend lines through them before and after the battle. The series before the battle is quite stable, whereas the series after jumps significantly but then starts to trend down towards the previous level.
A look at the trade value for each of the minerals in the graph below shows that the biggest effect by far was on Tritanium. The main spike in the trade of Tritanium comes on January 27 and January 28, the days of the battle, but then dies down. A second, smaller spike happens at the beginning of February and affects all minerals except for Morphite. This second spike then fades slowly.
Taking a closer look at Tritanium, the graph below shows the effect on the daily average price and traded volume. Over the seven days before the battle, the average price of Tritanium was 4.75 ISK, while traded quantity averaged 42 billion units.
On January 28, the second day of battle, the price had risen by 18% to 5.59 ISK, and daily traded quantity jumped by 138%. The week after the battle, the price subsided to 4.89 ISK, only 3% above what it was the week before battle; traded quantity, however, was still 32% higher.
This sudden and short-lived effect on Tritanium warrants a closer look.
The following figure graphs the hourly trade value of Tritanium on the two days of the battle of B-R5RB (blue line) and compares is to the same days the week before (orange line). Additionally, the columns show the number of Titans destroyed (right axis) each hour on the two days of the battle.
No real changes happen after the first Titan falls, but in the second hour of battle, when two more Titans go down, the market reacts and the trade value rises sharply. It then follows the ”Titan death count“ pretty well and ends with one last spike. After that the market calms down.
Looking at the long-term trend in mineral trade value shows that the market has resumed the level it was at before the battle, although day to day fluctuations are perhaps slightly larger than before.
In other news, all the other main price indices showed deflation in February. The Primary Producer Price Index dropped by 5.3%, which was mostly driven by moon materials and hybrid polymers. The Secondary Producer Price Index fell by 3.5%, where the biggest contributors where planetary commodities, salvage and Tech II construction components. Finally, the Consumer Price Index showed a deflation of 0.6%, with most categories showing a mild deflation. There were two main exceptions to the deflation in the CPI.
One was PLEX prices, which rose by only 1% but weighed a whopping 24% in the index. The other was Tech I ship prices, which rose by 3.8% due to the effect the battle of B-R5RB had on mineral prices.
The index values for February are:
1 Month Change
12 Month Change
Mineral Price Index
Primary Producer Price Index
Secondary Producer Price Index
Consumer Price Index
The following graph shows the development of the indices since October 2003.
The battle of B-R5RB clearly illustrated the massive scope of EVE Online, and was probably the biggest PvP battle in gaming history. This caught the attention of the media, which emphasized the size of it all, the organization of thousands of people all over the planet, the time commitment, the intelligence work, the planning, and the incredible real world value of the virtual ships lost.
But what the battle also showed is how ruthlessly efficient the EVE market is, even when dealing with such shocks to the system.
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The man known as Destiny started his streaming career with Starcraft 2 and League of Legends. He had always known about EVE Online, however, having heard stories about the flexibility in terms of how much of a sandbox it is. But to truly enjoy EVE, he would have to invest a large amount of time into it and didn't have the desire and ability to pursue that until recently.
After the notorious battle of B-R5BR, his curiosity was piqued and he finally decided to give the game a shot. He jumped into EVE and began streaming his experiences as a new player to an audience who had never really played EVE before. There were ups and downs from the very beginning. Most of the community was helpful and excited, as having a relatively-established personality come into the game meant wider exposure for everything everyone else was doing.
Thanks to his popularity, he was able to experience an early bump in ISK and player recruitment that allowed him to skip a lot of the tedious building and jump right into the game. He has been able to play with billions of ISK worth of ships and has made all sorts of awesome (and terrible) experiences in a relatively short time.
Highs and Lows
Destiny describes himself as a hands-on learner. One of the lessons he has found most true in life is that someone who is good at a particular skill is not necessarily a good teacher of said skill. This means he has suffered from bad or misleading advice from people who have claimed to know what they're talking about. Thus he has decided to lead his own learning in EVE, and though this has caused him to receive some flack due to this approach, he has learned that it's the correct approach for him.
This has led to some humbling moments, of course. There are videos of him leading an entire Rupture fleet into a pipe-bomb and a killmail where he lost a 2b ISK cargo expander fit dreadnaught. But he considers these merely parts of the learning experience of finding out how EVE works and has taken the setbacks in stride.
In turn, he has gotten to enjoy some of the many thrills that EVE can bring with it. Already, his fledgling corporation has gotten itself involved in a war with an opposing alliance. When Destiny first started, the alliance ejected them from the system they called home in Syndicate. They've returned several times to brawl, however, and every single fight has been a resounding victory.
He has even delved into the metagame, using a member's rogue API key to read corporation e-mails. One particular member was very vocal with the smack talk in local chat. But he lost a very valuable pirate faction battleship and quit the corporation shortly after, claiming to need to take a break.
Leading from the Front
As mentioned, Destiny has taken charge and formed his own corporation and is commanding fleets. Many of these corp members are active viewers of his stream, many of whom had not tried out EVE until he began. Others, however, are old veterans of EVE Online who wanted to help out or try something new.
He enjoys the leadership position very much. He likes diplomacy, delegating responsibilities, and organizing other people into tasks, but does not like answering to other people. These sort of qualities mean he also enjoys FCing a fleet. He finds it fun to control large numbers of people and maneuver them around while fighting an enemy fleet.
He has no problems giving orders or making mistakes. In fact, he loves correcting those mistakes and improving on future fights. He has not relied on any outside resources to learn the role; rather, he has relied on feedback from experienced corp members during an after operations. Being an experienced RTS/MOBA player, he's quite capable of analyzing fights after they've happened and figure out what he could have done better. Every single ship and fleet lost is another set of invaluable lessons he gets to learn for the next fight.
No matter if you love what he's doing or can't stand the guy, Destiny's streams are interesting to watch as a new player emerges onto EVE's scene and tries to carve a legacy for himself and his corporation. Never before has the rise of a player and corporation from nothing been documented in such detail, with video streamed live from the CEO's computer.
Destiny streams for a living and hopes to continue doing that as long as possible. If you're interested in updates on his activities in EVE or other streaming-related stuff, you can follow him on Twitter @steven_bonnell. His corporation is Nanashi no Geemu; look them up in game to either join up with them or help teach him more lessons about being an FC. No matter how experienced you are in game, there's some way you can interact.]]>
The time has come to elect a new Council of Stellar Management (CSM). "What is the CSM?" you might ask. It is a democratically elected player council that represents the community and acts as an advisory body to CCP, providing valuable feedback regarding changes and updates to EVE Online. You can read more about the CSM on CCP’s Community Page or on EVElopedia.
The Council of Stellar Management elections are on the horizon, and we will be making some minor changes to the election process this year.
We will be removing the pre-election that we used last year. The CSM and CCP determined that it wasn’t really meeting our expectations for performance and was putting excess strain on voters. We trust that our community will take the CSM, and therefore stepping up as a candidate, as seriously as we do. Being a member of the CSM takes a tremendous amount of work and commitment, and those entering the elections should understand the responsibility and expectations of the office.
The election itself will use a Single Transferable Vote (STV) format identical to last year, with some updates to the user interface. In an STV-based voting system, instead of voting for a single candidate, each voter chooses up to 14 candidates and ranks them from 1 to 14. The Wright System is then used to calculate how each voter’s ranked votes are applied to the field of candidates. (The exact code we use can be found here.)
Additionally, after discussion with the CSM, we will be adding a new rule regarding the selection of officers. This year we will delay the selection of officers until the first CSM summit. We found that selecting officers immediately after the election meant that people were selected on their reputation instead of their actual contribution to the CSM process.
Finally, let’s talk about this year’s election schedule. Here it is:
- 21 March: Announcing the CSM9 elections and the updated rules
- 21–31 March: Candidacy application period
- 8–22 April: CSM9 Election
- 3 May: Election result announced live at Fanfest 2014
This CSM white paper lists all these rules and more.
In addition the changes to the election system, the candidacy period for the next Council of Stellar Management (CSM) election is now open. If you’re interested in running for a seat on the Council, please fill out the form here and be sure to read and follow all instructions. Also, please be sure that all your account ownership information is up to date.
An application will result in an audit of the accounts belonging to the applicant and a general background check. In cases where EULA violations have occurred, the application will be assessed on the basis of the severity of the violation and the length of time since the violation occurred. More information on candidate eligibility can be found in the CSM white paper. CCP reserves the right to deny any candidate for extra-ordinary reasons, and will publish our reasoning at the request of any applicant who was denied candidacy.
Candidates will receive notification by email when their applications are approved.
On 3 April we will post a full list of the candidates for the ballot, and provide more detailed information about voting in the full election.
Good luck to everyone running. We’re certain that this year's campaigning will make for an interesting election!
New to EVE Online? Start your 14-day free trial today.
Returning pilot? Visit Account Management for the latest offers and promotions.]]>
This dev blog is about the significant improvements to reprocessing coming in EVE’s summer expansion.
Paving the way to Rome
Before listing the nitty-gritty stuff in detail, let us explain the general reasons why we are tweaking reprocessing as a whole before someone posts “it ain’t broken, don’t fix it pal” .
There is one particular design problem with reprocessing: Currently you can reprocess at a perfect 100% rate uniformly across New Eden, regardless of system or station. As a result:
And that’s why perfect reprocessing is out of place right now – since there is no reprocessing loss, there is no gameplay room to get better at it or geography that matters. Perfect reprocessing offers no landscape on the sandbox, just a flat, barren plain with small bumps that aren’t that noteworthy in the first place.
As we write those words, we feel a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were definitely not silenced. Are you afraid you are going to get your favorite profession killed because of CCP? Stay calm. Don’t panic and read what’s below.
So, take the blue pill and sit on the sofa over there. Stretch your legs for a bit. Want a baguette? A glass of Bordeaux? Relax, we have you covered. We know about the consequences of decreasing reprocessing rates – they are mentioned, tackled and solved later in this blog, which is why we strongly encourage you to fully read it.
E = MC²
The first thing we are going to look at is the reprocessing formula and its related skills. Those familiar with reprocessing know it as:
Reprocessing yield: Station Equipment + 0.375 x (1 + Refining skill x 0.02) x (1 + Refining Efficiency skill x 0.04) x (1 + Ore Processing skill x 0.05)
There are several issues with this formula.
As such, we are planning to change the formula to the following:
Reprocessing yield: Station Equipment x (1 + Refining skill x 0.03) x (1 + Refining Efficiency skill x 0.02) x (1 + Ore Processing skill x 0.02) )
To realize how this will affect reprocessing rates in general, let’s compare efficiencies before and after the changes.
So we can see a drop of 27.6% in reprocessing rates from a maxed character from 100% to 72.4%. Again, we know this has side-effects on mining and compression, which are tackled in the next sections of the blog.
Rock you like a hurricane
Decreasing reprocessing efficiency as a whole affects the outcome of mining, which really doesn’t need to be nerfed right now. As such, to keep ratio fairly identical, we are going to boost all minerals and ice products gained by reprocessing ores and ices approximately by 38.1% (1/0.724). This will apply to all the unrefined alchemy material as well.
In an effort to promote simplicity and consistency, we are also going to use this opportunity to unify all ore reprocess batch sizes to 100 units. Which means tampering further with amount of reprocessed materials gained from ices and ores a bit to keep fairly identical numbers with what we have right now.
So, to get the new quantity of refined minerals from a particular ice or ore type, we will use the following formula:
New mineral quantity = (old mineral quantity * new ore batch size / old ore batch size)* 1.381
This gives us the following quantities (rounded up for ores, rounded to closest digit for ices):
What does that mean in practice?
For a character reprocessing at a player-built outpost, don’t tune out yet, we have more news for you.
Little outpost on the prairie
Player-built outposts are currently very biased regarding reprocessing. Minmatar outposts have a default 35% output and all others have none. Currently there is not much of a choice on that regard.
In the same vein, there is not so much of an incentive to upgrade an outpost for better reprocessing yields, since perfect reprocessing rates are so easily achieved.
After the summer expansion, all outposts will now have a default 50% reprocessing rate (on all items, including ore, ices, ships, ammunition etc…). However:
In practice, that means that someone with perfect skills, implant and standings refining at a fully upgraded Minmatar outpost will receive 14.4% more reprocessed minerals than currently.
However, it is true not everyone has the resources or organization to own outposts, which brings us to the next point.
Back into the structure
Except in some rare edge-case scenario, Starbase Reprocessing Arrays are quite useless nowadays. They can only reprocess one type of material at the same time, have long cool-down timers and not-so-good reprocessing rates compared to NPC stations.
We would like to give more options to player groups who don’t have access to outposts or null-security space. As such we are revamping them on the following fashion:
Note: both Reprocessing Arrays may only contain ore and ices.
You may notice the third type of Reprocessing Array, previously named “Medium Intensive Refining Array” has disappeared from this list. Keep reading, young grasshopper, for this shall be explained in the next section.
Compressing the universe, one asteroid at a time
With the max reprocessing rate for any item that is not ore or ice dropping to 55%(with Scrapmetal Processing trained at 5), we needed to find other ways to favor compression or else null-security industry would simply stop functioning.
The solution is to improve compression ratios from Rorqual ore blueprints by increasing their outputs by 38.1% (due to the reprocessing changes above) while tweaking the compressed ore volumes to make it competitive with current modules like the 425mm Railgun I for instance. Exact figures on compression changes available below:
However, since the Rorqual cannot enter high-security space, this doesn’t completely fix our problem, since people would face increased transportation issues in this portion of the galaxy. That is why we are turning the previous Medium Intensive Refinery into a Compression Array that functions the same way that the Rorqual does. The stats for the Compression Array are below:
Note: the Compression Array may only contain ores and ices.
Please note that we are removing compression blueprints altogether in favor of a more user friendly solution.
Also, we do know the Rorqual needs more love to be a more viable ship, and that is being looked into, but chances are this won’t make it in EVE’s summer expansion.
Reprocessing like a boss
Before we bring this blog to a close, Teams SuperFriends and Game of Drones would like to show you some work-in-progress designs for a new reprocessing window. Here is a small glimpse on how it is currently looking. Please note that all of this is still work in progress. Values expressed below are purely fictional for the purpose of the mock-ups and not actually representing accurate reprocessing numbers.
Main functionalities are:
And this concludes this blog on reprocessing – please remember all of this is still subject to change over time, as we will open feedback threads on the proper forums soon. Stay tuned for more as this only is a fraction of what we have in the oven for summer.]]>