There has always been a lot of enthusiasm for the possibility of customizing the paint scheme of EVE Online’s internet spaceships. I am excited to let you in on a little secret: In Rubicon 1.3 (11 March) we will begin gathering data that will help us make your larger dreams of ship “skinning” come true!
While we know that this has been asked for in the past, we do not have enough data on which to base our design and implementation decisions. We have many questions, including: What is the actual demand for this feature? What is the sweet spot in terms of cost for such customization? Are pilots more risk-averse if they are flying a painted ship? At what volume and velocity do painted ships travel through the markets of the greater EVE economy? How does graphical load scale when the GPU has to render painted hulls?
Depending on the reception in Rubicon 1.3 and beyond, we can see more clearly where we stand before we start the ”Paint Shop” project with full force. Hence, the pilot program.
The pilot program began with the current, available code we have, so it isn’t going to be very representative of any possible final designs that would have more work put towards accessibility. The pilot program is also going to start small, with 9 pre-selected skins available in the first release and a gradual expansion from there. In the name of SCIENCE! we intend to collect as much feedback as possible about how this program is received. We intend to make small and measurable changes to get as much data, with as many variables as possible, to help inform our future decisions.
Our vision for the future of ship skinning includes skins available from many different sources, including some skins sold through Aurum and others available through purely in-game methods such as loyalty point stores. In the first release of the pilot program we will be introducing eight skins available for Aurum, and one available exclusively through in-game achievement.
It is important to note that every single skin can be obtained by players who wish to use in-game ISK, by purchasing PLEX from other players via the market. We’ll start by going over the Aurum skins and then cover the purely in-game skin in its own section.
Here’s the list of the 8 Aurum ship skins we’re starting with and what some of them look like.
What do I need to do to get those pretty ships?
First you have to acquire a Blueprint Copy from the NEX Store (found as a “Station Service” in any station) for Aurum. Many of you may have some promotional Aurum left over from years ago, waiting for an opportunity just such as this! You can also obtain Aurum directly from account management, or by converting PLEX purchased from the in-game market, account management or through GTCs.
The material requirement of that blueprint copy is a ship hull of the type you want to paint, so make sure that’s in the same place you want to start the painting process. Simply put, the only input will be a regular ship and the output will be a painted ship with the same stats, but a different color. Like other blueprint copies, it will only have X many runs and will be destroyed once all the runs have been used up.
Pop the blueprint copy into a manufacturing slot (right click, Manufacture) and after a short while you can Deliver your shiny new ship.
To reiterate, the only thing that changes is the color. All the stats will remain the same. Also, to state the obvious: When your painted ship is destroyed, well… then it is destroyed. Yes, this destruction will be supported in killmails.
So, how much does space-paint cost?
Historically, pricing has a fair amount of thought behind it. Drawing upon developer knowledge within CCP, experience from EVE’s storied microtransaction past, and some best guesses (since there are relatively few consumable vanity items for sale in the MMO industry), we've come up with a basic range of prices for the pilot program:
Remember that since this is EVE Online, every item in the game -- including these skins -- can be obtained by players who do not wish to spend real-life money. Options include purchasing PLEX from the other players using ISK and converting the PLEX to Aurum, and purchasing the final painted variants of the ships from player manufacturers using the market.
The prices listed in parenthesis below are in US dollars and assume that the Aurum is obtained through the purchase and conversion of standard priced PLEX. The price range depends on which PLEX package is selected, and even lower prices can be obtained during any of our many PLEX sales.
When I say “around” I mean that we will of course want to experiment with the price ranges and perhaps offer super cheap or super expensive variants in the future. Also, reminder, the ships must also be combined with the blueprints, so there’s a cost of obtaining the original ship to factor in.
As we obtain more data and expand upon the ship skinning system, the prices of skins may of course change.
Is that a Woop Woop I hear?
As mentioned above, we are also introducing one ship skin available purely through in-game methods in Rubicon 1.3. We expect that if we continue to expand the skinning system we will introduce many skins obtained through many different methods, and this ship will serve as the first test of one of those methods.
In Rubicon 1.3 players will be able to obtain blueprints from the CONCORD LP store that will convert a Federation Navy Comet into the much anticipated Police Pursuit Comet!
The Police Pursuit Comet blueprint will cost 3,000 CONCORD LP and 3,000,000 ISK and can be purchased in any station with a CONCORD LP store. CONCORD LP is obtained by fighting off the Sansha incursions that occasionally appear in all areas of space.
The blueprint for the Police Pursuit Comet will work in exactly the same way as the other ship skin blueprints, and like the other skinned ships the Police Comet will have exactly the same stats as its Federation Navy brother. We are very happy to be able to reintroduce this skin, flashing lights and all, back into the EVE Universe where it can be enjoyed by one and all.
Would you like to know more?
Since this is a pilot program intended to gather data, we went ahead and started with the simplest implementation even though that might not be the actual long-term solution.
For instance, legacy technical matters prevent us from changing the skin of a ship if that ship retains its original typeID. To introduce a differently painted Rifter, we would have to create a new typeID for that Rifter, and of course it cannot be called “Rifter” since that name is already in use. So the new ship has to be called “Rifter, green edition” or something similar. And a different typeID means that it has its own market group, its own entry on the overview, etc.
Needless to say, this prototype model gets exponentially unsustainable at a larger scale. Having 24 different Rifters would mean 24 more market entries, 24 more overview entries, etc. Not very pleasant for players trying to use it or developers trying to maintain it.
And speaking of market groups, the painted ships will of course be sellable for ISK on the market and in contracts, and be tradable just like any other item in EVE. The blueprint copies will also follow the normal trading rules. This will provide even more opportunities to players who wish to obtain the painted ships using their in-game ISK currency.
If this pilot program reveals that the painting of internet spaceships is indeed popular and we are able to gather enough data and thoughtful feedback, we will put some very eager programmers and designers on the task of creating a system that allows us to change the skins of ships without us having to create a new typeID to get a different color variant. The exact game design of how you’d paint your ship has not yet been decided, but we are keeping our super capital brothers and sisters and their wormhole siblings -- and their inability to dock their ships -- in mind.
One more point is that we have plans to move all the ships skinned in the pilot program into any new and improved skinning system, if and when that time comes, so early adopters will not suffer in any manner, other than maybe a slight cost difference if we change the structure there.
In regards to timeframes I’d like to quote a wise man that said; “Predictions are always difficult, especially about the future”.
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Around a month ago, we announced the Worlds within a World project, a monument to be placed in Reykjavik harbor as a tribute to the EVE Universe, and as a gift to both the City of Reykjavik and the EVE Community for their dedication and support throughout the first decade of New Eden’s existence.
The response to this project has been both staggering and humbling, with uncountable support tickets filed offering suggestions, requesting further information about the project and asking how players can become a part of such a momentous occasion in the history of EVE.
As explained on the Worlds within a World portal over on eve.com, the snapshot of the EVE Universe was taken on March 1st. including the names of the highest skilled character on every active account, which will be engraved into the plinth on which the monument will sit.
Since March 1st, tickets have continued to flood in from both new and old players alike, requesting to be part of the monument and have their names added to the list which will be immortalized in laser etched aluminum once the monument is erected.
As such, we investigated the option to extend the deadline with our partners who are constructing the monument, and were delighted when we found out we were able to make an extension on the deadline for those who wish to be a part of the Worlds within a World celebration. We have therefore pushed the deadline back to Monday, March 31st at 23:59:59 UTC, in order for those who wish to do so to make arrangements for their characters to be included.
Once this deadline hits, we will use both the current database of names that were pulled on March 1st, along with those collected on March 31st to compile a final list that will be used for the etching process.
This means of course that if your account was active on March 1st, but will expire before the second pull of names, your name will still be included on the list regardless.
We also invite those whom feel they would still like to submit the names of pilots whom have passed away and are no longer with us for inclusion on the monument to do so by following the instructions on the Worlds within a World portal.
A message through time
Coupled with this extension of the deadline, as part of the Worlds Within a World project we would like to include a time capsule to be opened 25 years from the unveiling of the monument in Reykjavik harbor.
This time capsule will take the form of a solid state storage device, which will be filled with messages from our community before being sealed within the monument’s structure and recovered to be opened on May 6th, 2039, 25 years after its placement, on EVE’s 36th birthday.
After consulting with the Council of Stellar Management during the winter CSM8 summit, Jón Gnarr, Mayor of Reykjavik and CCP Hellmar would like to invite members of the community to send a message through time, to a future generation of EVE Players that will be revealed a quarter century from now.
With this in mind, the new time capsule website serves as a portal through which you, our players, can further influence and become part of a tribute to New Eden and its residents, both present and past by submitting a message of the following lengths:
Text message – up to 1000 words – 1x PLEX
Video message – up to 2:00 minutes in length – 2x PLEX
We would like to collect both video and text tributes for inclusion in this time capsule, and would like to ensure that as many members of the community as possible have the chance to contribute. Through this site, you can supply PLEX, and upload both video and text messages to be included in the capsule before it is sealed.
We will also be offering all attendees the opportunity to submit video and text messages live from Fanfest, without the need to submit PLEX in order to do so.
The monument will be unveiled at Fanfest in a special event of which details will be forthcoming in the next few weeks, and submissions for the time capsule will be open until May 3rd, 2014 at 23:59:59. At this time we will close submissions and begin uploading the messages ready for storage. Once this process is complete, on May 6th, 2014, the time capsule will be sealed in the monument.
It remains hard to find the words to express our gratitude for the enthusiasm that our community has shown to this project so far and we hope that once erected, Worlds within a World will become a focal point for community celebrations in the years to come.
Please be aware that all texts, videos, and other submissions for the monument must comply with the EVE Online End User License Agreement and Terms of Service. Players may not submit texts, videos, or other materials that include harmful, threatening or obscene language or content that may infringe on a third-party’s intellectual property rights. CCP reserves the right not to include any texts, videos, or other submissions we deem inappropriate. No refund will be given for inappropriate submissions.
The reason I'm writing this dev blog is twofold: firstly I just wanted to tell you about a few little things I've implemented to make your lives easier, and secondly because I MISSED YOU GUYS! I was away for so long that some of you probably don't even know who CCP Punkturis is... but don't worry, we'll get to know each other soon enough (this is how I make knowing me into some cool retro thing).
After being away for all this time I admit that I'm a bit rusty, and I thought what better way to dust the rust of my shoulders than little things? So I had a few days while my team (Team Super Friends) was wrapping up the Rubicon 1.1 release to skim through the little things thread and various places where you've posted your suggestions and picked a few things.
I actually found this in the CSM reasonable things list, adding a set destination to stations in the show info window. While I was at it I just added the whole celestial menu to all the items in the Orbital Bodies tab.
Labeling the people you add to your contacts can be pretty handy. It makes it easier to see if they are friends, or enemies... or titan owners depending on how you group your people. Having to first add a contact, then find that person in People & Places to assign a label to them could be pretty difficult, at least if you have a ton contacts. In Rubicon 1.3 you can assign labels to a contact while you’re adding them. However, make sure you have already created some labels to use this new little thing!
Don't you hate it when you lose two titans in one night and can’t compare the loss mails? I don't really know that feeling, but I bet it sucks. In Rubicon 1.3 you can shift left-click to open Kill Report in a separate window. That way you can compare the two loss mails to see what went wrong and (if you’re smart) how you can do better.
Fun fact: you can also do this to show info windows and to your saved fittings.
Since I was working on the Kill Reports, I also made the modules draggable to the compare tool, chat and all other places where you can share links to things.
Do you remember when we introduced compact member list in chat? I think it’s the single little thing I’m most proud of. Many of you have asked for the same thing in the station guest list... so here you go, that has now been added.
A Counter for guests in station has also been asked for multiple times, similar to what we have for local chat, so now you have that too!
And the final little thing from me for now is a filter for the guest list. Same as we have in people and places, skill queue and other places. Finding the person in Jita you were trying to trade with, should hopefully be easier now.
I know you people like graphs so here's a graph of hours of sunlight on a few important dates in Reykjavík in the year 2014.
That's all for now, I hope you enjoy these things and see you soon <3
The spark that started Spectre Fleet can be traced back to the cruiser and medium turret rebalance from Odyssey 1.1. The FCs from the corporation Sanctuary of Shadows decided to test out the suddenly effective T1 cruisers, but this quickly grew to a desire to test them with larger numbers of people and share what they knew would be enjoyable. However, their corporation was too small to do these things alone. Luckily, they were quite active in the “open fleet” community and knew there were others from around New Eden who would be interested in trying out something fun, with no politics or ulterior motives beyond the joy of PvP. They simply needed a neutral point to let those pilots converge on in order to make these fleets a reality.
The first fleet was led by Jayne Fillon. With over 100 pilots showing up and participating, it was a great success. The four hour roam saw them fight everyone from Brave Collective to TEST alliance. All of the engagements resulted in victory for the ragtag group of pilots in nothing but T1 cruisers, with the overwhelmingly positive results convincing them to continue the fleets.
Today, Spectre Fleets are run frequently from the in-game channel “Spectre Fleet”. Players simply join the channel and either organize or join up with a fleet that's being put together. There are no API checks, interviews, or previous experience required to join. When an FC decides to start a fleet, they advertise in the channel what type of doctrine they want to use and where they're going to look for fights. Anyone who is interested simply x's up and they'll receive a fleet invite.
The scheduling and running of the fleets is sporadic, but regular. Fleets are rarely announced more than 24 hours in advance. They've since expanded beyond their original T1 cruisers, but they remain a favorite. The majority of their fleets are accessible to low SP characters on affordable and easily-insured T1 hulls.
While the concept of “open fleets” is not new to Spectre Fleets, their frequency and size is a fresh breath. The most popular open fleet is RvB Ganked, run by CSM8 chair Mangala Solaris, which only runs once a week and regularly brings in hundreds of pilots. Spectre Fleets, meanwhile, rarely go above 50 except on weekends, which gives pilots a more active role in a fleet and encourages other groups to engage more often.
Despite its infancy, Spectre Fleet has already developed a strong, passionate community. As long as capsuleers continue loving making each other explode, it'll continue to grow. Due to the NPSI nature of the fleets, they sometimes see mortal enemies and even war targets on the same side of killmails.
It might be expected that such a fleet would cause diplomatic headaches for the participants. After all, if you fly into a friend's territory along side a bunch of neutrals or even hostiles and start blowing things up, there might be problems. However, there haven't been any issues thus far. In fact, most of the corporations and alliances they visit to find fights have come to know Spectre Fleet and form a fleet upon their arrival if they haven't already. This is one of the benefits of having fleet members from all over; everybody knows somebody and somebody always wants to fight.
Of course, when encountering someone who is unfamiliar, the lack of corporation or alliance ticker among ships can be confusing. This happened once during one of the first Spectre Fleets, when they went to Providence. The Provi FC messaged the FC after the fight and, after hearing an explanation of who Spectre Fleet was and what they did, offered a standing invite to come back any time and meet on equal terms.
Despite being only a month old, the Spectre Fleets have had several moments of note. During one of their first public fleets, they found a corporation baiting with an Archon. Knowing they needed help against the Archon's 30-man T3 fleet, a member of Shadow Cartel was kind enough to provide the Spectre Fleet use of its capital fleet. Only frigate losses were encountered on the Spectre Fleet side, though a Moros did leave siege mode at 15% structure.
On one of their joke fleets, flying nothing but the racial rookie ships, they came across a small group of pirates flying cruisers with logistics support. Against all odds, the rookie ships managed to break the reps of the gang, destroying four of their ships. Shortly after, the Spectre Fleet was completely destroyed by disastrous fleet warp to a smartbombing battleship.
Very early on, a mixed fleet of armor battlecruisers and battleships headed to Providence. At just over 70 members, with a dozen logistics and assorted tackle, the fleet was met by a defense fleet. As soon as both sides had committed, Spectre Fleet cyno'd in two triage Archons, to the surprise of everyone... including most members of the Spectre Fleet. In the end, ProviBloc managed to rout the Spectre Fleet and downed both Archons.
Not much of a memory, until a little later, when one of the Spectre Fleet's Dragoon pilots mentioned he had never been to nullsec before. In the middle of the fray, he had been saved by the Archons' powerful reps and could not have been more excited about the entire experience. To provide that unique experience to a new pilot was considered well worth the sacrifice of two capitals.
There are many individuals who FC the Spectre Fleets. There are three main ones who run fleets most often and are guaranteed to find a good time.
Jayne Fillon is the founder of Spectre Fleet, writer for TheMittani.com, lover of all things NPSI, and CSM9 candidate. He started off learning how to PBP in open fleet communities just like Spectre Fleet and now runs a small corporation of dedicated FCs and black ops pilots. Out of game, he is an engineer and proud member of the Royal Canadian Air Force.
Nonnak Severin co-founded Spectre Fleet along with Jayne. His preference is on covert fleets and those organized around time-sensitive intelligence. While not serving as the diplomat for Sanctuary of Shadows, the main Spectre FC corporation, he engages in corporate espionage.
TheParadine leads covert gatecamps and hotdrop fleets, but most of his time goes to helping new players or players with little experience in PvP. He leads classes and training fleets, focused on covert ops warfare, where he talks about the ships, modules, mechanics, and tactics that are used in fleets. When not playing EVE, he is currently studying environmental sciences at university.
If you're interested in Spectre Fleets, have never PvP'd before and want to check out a mid-sized, stress-free introduction, or are just looking to blow up anything and everything, you can come and say hello in the “Spectre Fleet” channel. Join a fleet, ask a question about PvP, or just hang out and get to know the community.
Anyone with questions can either ask in the channel or direct their inquiries to Araneatrox.]]>
Sir Squeebles's stream is known to be a little bit more wild, more unpredictable, and a little more hilarious than others.
The young, unknighted Squeebles had previously only dabbled in video games as a social activity. He had never picked up a controller or sat to play a game unless it was with someone else. For him, gaming was the exact same as going to the bar for a beer; more a platform for enjoying the company of others. Despite this, he was educated as a Computer Engineer and was often drawn into discussions about games. EVE Online kept coming up and his brother and friends started playing, so eventually he was drawn into the game.
He started off as many of us do, but killing asteroids and making ISK with real life friends. However, his daily playing time failed to adequately overlap with his friends', so he broke off to find a corp of his own. Somehow, he ended up in Australian corp. For a few months, he continued to mine until he mistakenly got blown up in his beloved new cruiser. Docking up, he vowed revenge and began a fairly serious trading operation used solely to fund it.
After a year of playing, he realized he was the only one of his original social group to still be playing. Yet he found he still enjoyed it and, before the end of 18 months, he had 4 accounts and was largely focused on PVP with industry done on background alts. From there, he moved to nullsec to participate in some large-scale shenanigans before eventually becoming burned out and switching back to an industrial focus. He ran an industrial alliance for a while before being bitten by the PVP bug again.
He went into mercenary work in Empire space for a while, took a month-long break from EVE, and then came back. He started poking around lowsec off and on with someone from a previous mercenary corp. The friend joined up with a nullsec group, but Squeebles stuck in low sec.
After a while, the friend joked that Squeebles should stream lowsec PVP so that he could see actual fights again. And so it began.
Though his start to streaming was an impulsive decision, it has actually leg to a revitalization of Squeebles's desire to play EVE. In addition to showing the game to others, it was a way to enjoy EVE without being 100% dependent on whether or not he got a killmail. It was, in some sense, a return to the social approach to gaming he's taken all of his life.
He streams whenever he plays EVE. Some people may get flustered that he doesn't have a schedule even though he has numbers to support one. But he appreciates the freedom that having a schedule would remove. If his dog dies, his wife leaves him, and his Star Wars1 collection is damaged by a leaky roof, he wouldn't want to let people down by taking the evening off. Thankfully, he is increasingly consistently streaming in the evenings of EST on weekdays and midday on weekends.
He also lacks any specific content he streams. He never knows what might come up that day which sparks something in his EVE-filled brain. One of his typical moves is to run funny fleets, like mining barges, but other themed streams are just things that were mentioned or discussed earlier in the day. His Dungeons & Dragoons roam, for example, spawned out of a conversation he had on corp comms one day. Anything that makes him laugh in real life, he tries to apply to making him laugh in EVE.
Not for Everyone
Of course, the stream is not for everyone. From the beginning, he opted not to market himself as a solution to anything or as a one-size-fits-all stream. He makes it clear that he's not a Customer Service Representative, he's just a normal person playing a game for fun.
At times, this can manifest itself in the form of trolling someone in stream chat or ranting about the topic of the day. Anyone who knows the stream knows he loves a good, passionate rant here and there. Just the fact that he's not willing to “accommodate” demanding and/or critical viewers sets him aside from some others, who try very hard to accrue and retain viewers. He has no interest in monetizing the stream and at this juncture, he doesn't care who or how many people are watching. That shows, with some people occasionally feeling like Squeebles is a maniac.
Thankfully, most people don't leave feeling hurt (everyone agrees he's a maniac). The vast majority of his viewership are a fun, witty, and supportive group. Not only has he received a ton of help over the past year to create content, but he's genuinely proud to see people in his in-game and stream channels answering the questions of newer players. It's immensely satisfying just to know that the community has attracted people with a helpful mindset, regardless of whether they're there for his person flair or just the highlights of Titans shooting his Orcas.
Goods and Bads
Sir Squeebles didn't realize people could enjoy watching him play a game. He's seen people in chat say things like “I'd definitely watch Squeebles play other games too” and it still comes as a shock that he's part of this little community of pseudo-strangers who want to play games with him! He's not sure it'll ever compute in his brain, but he loves it.
He had sworn he was never going to run a corp again, but his stream has led him to creating UHURT. He's also leading a New Eden Open team thanks to his streaming. It is something he never would have considered had he not been doing it.
His biggest memories are his “firsts”. Such as the reaction in his stream chat the first time he was hot dropped or the first time he got his fleet members a capital kill. Things that gets his viewers or fleet participants super excited are what he loves most. The individual events come and go, but remembering the excitement of others sticks.
His viewers can likely give more answers to memorable moments, but he does have a few of his own. There is a particular Stabber Fleet Issue fight against a Proteus that sticks out. Additionally, a fight in Naguton was fun. As mentioned earlier, there is the D&D Fleet. He also got to stream an officer-fit Bhaalgorn loss. There are many others that he's sure he'll regret not mentioning, but there are too many to choose from.
There are challenges too, however. There are the obvious ones, like stream sniping, denial of fights, local trolling, stalking, stream coaching, and angry mails. But the not-so-obvious one is the expectation. When he clicks “start streaming” he suddenly has 250+ people watching. He has a compulsion to apologize when he doesn't get good footage, worrying that someone will think “I should look at EVE”, find his broadcast, and leave unentertained. That makes him a bit nervous, but it has never dissuaded him.
Squeebles says he could write a dissertation on the future of streaming in EVE and his own stream.
He is unsure what the future holds for himself. When he started, it was him holding a microphone as a few people watched quietly. Now there's hundreds of people watching and interacting. Even if they were to remain mostly-silent, their collective opinion would shape the stream as much as Squeebles. It's become a community, not just one man drinking beer. While he sometimes has ideas he wants to commit to, for the most part he allows viewers to shape the content.
He sees EVE streaming continuing to grow. Though he does not use integrated Twitch streaming, he loves that the concept allows anyone who doesn't need the bells and whistles to do it with little extra effort. The more he asks people, the more he realizes how mind-blowingly cool it is for prospective capsuleers to be able to open Twitch and suddenly be in the midst of the most complex and developed gaming group in the world.
They cam see local standings, hear the fleet discussing tactics, Proviblock forming to defend itself, people waving to the stream in local, and much more. They're immersed in something that has existed since before some of them needed to shave. He estimates 85% of viewers will be drawn in, with at least 85% of them giving EVE a try.
Streaming EVE takes a lot from the streamer, but offers a very worthwhile reward for viewers. Sir Squeebles would like to say it's been an immense pleasure (and continues to be) to get to know so many people from the stream. Good roams and bad roams can be equally enjoyable based purely on the general attitude and fun of the fleet. From trivia to big killmails, they entertain themselves and cultivate an atmosphere that's welcoming to anyone with moderately thick skin and a good sense of humor. He's proud and honored to see the stream isn't just a projection of himself any more. He likes sitting atop the rusty, autocannon-fit throne, but he can't entertain hundreds of people consistently in a game with so much left to chance. The stream has reached a point where it can entertain itself and for that, they're all thankful.
Also, he belches exclusively on stream. He apologizes to any significant others who heard it from the other room and found it repulsive.
Lastly, he would like to say screw EC and don't camp gates, kids. Stay in school and drink plenty of beer.
1. Sir Squeebles would like it known that he does not actually have a Star Wars collection, but respects that the Bill of Rights allows others to if they so choose.]]>
At EVE Fanfest 2013, we announced a partnership with Dark Horse Comics for the development of a comic book set in the EVE Universe.
It’s here. The first issue of EVE: True Stories, “Thieves Among Us," is available exclusively on Dark Horse Digital, readable on their web site, Android or iOS apps.
The EVE: True Stories graphic novel is unique in the sense that it‘s based on an actual massive player event that took place in EVE Online. The dismantling of the galaxy-sprawling superpower known as the Band of Brothers is something actually happened and thousands of players participated in.
Depending on your point of view, it happened in February 2009, YC 111 or 23.347 AD. It was submitted to our True Stories collection website by someone who was there, and who, by his own accord, was an instigator of the events. There are many sides to this story--it‘s impossible to be objective. As we don’t endorse one version of the “truth” over others, we are taking the account that garnered the highest popular vote on the True Stories website, that of The Mittani, and adapting it with the help of Dark Horse’s excellent artists and writers.
There were other great stories submitted and all were considered. In the end the story of the downfall of Band of Brothers was chosen as a classic story of betrayal and corporate espionage that EVE has become (in)famous for.
Established comic book writer Daniel Way came on to the project and went on to adapt the story for the comic book format. Dark Horse brought in some excellent artists as well--Tomm Coker, Alejandro Aragón, Federico Dallocchio and Daniel Warren Johnson--each bringing their own unique flavor to the mix.
We took the position that we wanted to maximize what everyone of these people could bring to the table and not hold them back or hamper them. Once the story had been chosen, CCP worked with Daniel Way to ensure ship classes, descriptions and nomenclature were correct, but we took the position to allow him to develop and adapt the story to fit the medium, and take dramatic license as needed. Same with the art. The artists were not under the art direction of CCP, rather we provided them with references and provided feedback if things were missing or wrong. But in general the concept was to allow a group of talented outsiders to interpret the story and the universe of New Eden with their own words and pictures. The result is a dramatic work based on subjective truth and artistic interpretation, rather than an objective, scientific analysis of the events that occurred.
The story is split up into four issues, to be released two weeks apart. While all issues were written by Daniel Way, each chapter has its own artists and cover artist. Here are the dates and artists:
|Chapter||Release Date||Writer||Artist||Cover Art|
|1||19-Feb-14||Daniel Way||Tomm Coker||David Palumbo|
|2||5-Mar-14||Daniel Way||Alejandro Aragón||Jean-Sébastien Rossbach|
|3||19-Mar-14||Daniel Way||Federico Dallocchio||Borkur Eiriksson|
|4||2-Apr-14||Daniel Way||Daniel Warren Johnson||David Palumbo|
It tells the story of Haargoth Agamar, who gets bored with routine and seeks some excitement. To EVE players who know their history, he looks like this:
And in the story looks like this:
Then stuff like this happens:
But if you want to read more, EVE: True Stories “Thieves Among Us” is now available as to download free from Dark Horse Digital.
All issues will remain free until June. The hardback prestige collected edition of EVE: True Stories, containing all four comics, will go on sale in book and comic book stores in June, 2014. Once it's out in print, True Stories will be available for purchase as an e-book on their app and through major e-book outlets.
We are very excited to get your reaction and hope you will enjoy this effort in bringing the complex web of drama and human stories from the often impregnable world of New Eden to a wider audience. Along the way we hope you get a new perspective on EVE's events, people and visual style.
Torfi Frans Olafsson
Creative Director – EVE Universe IP
The Fly Reckless podcast started in 2008 as a project tied to the EVE Tribune, an online magazine dedicated to the game. Sillicon Buddha, a writer for the tribune, started the podcast initially to read Tribune articles aloud. However, this format slowly drifted, gradually turning toward chronicling Buddha's adventures PvPing for Agony Unleashed.
After a while, the podcast was joined by Atraxerxes, an old FW pilot who sported a solid run on the podcast before departing to start his own, WTFFTW. After a short while, the podcast changed hands, passing on to Simon Cameron (aka Chad), who took on the role after talking to both Buddha and fellow podcaster Crovan.
Buddah offered Chad the wheel and the podcast flourished once more. He was soon joined by Lobos as his co-host, specializing in the industrial side of EVE Online. With his introduction, the podcast once again underwent a shift, moving to focus more on general EVE discussions.
It was around this time that the so-called “heart and soul of the second age” arrived in the form of Angus McDecoy, a fan favorite who, despite initial reservations, moved up from occasional guest to standing as a key member of the cast. Buddha returned at Chad's request and the four plowed on, producing excellent content and booming the podcast's popularity.
Transfer of Power
After a while, Silicon Buddha decided to live up to his namesake and (literally) seek enlightenment and thus left both the podcast and EVE Online. For a time, he considered closing down Fly Reckless but, at Chad's urging, agreed to transfer control of the podcast to him with a single condition: Fly Reclkess was never to end.
With the spiritual center of the podcast now open, the spot was eventually filled by Priest Kristoph. He, Chad, and Angus continued the open talk format for the podcast, which proved strong enough to carry it forward. The content focused on reviews of upcoming game changes, conceptual premises within EVE, and an all-around good sense of humor and laid-back charm. Despite having changed hosts often enough to be considered a completely new podcast, it carried on!
Eventually, things changed once again. Chad decided to leave the podcast and handed control to Angus and Priest Kristoph. He did not depart completely, moving to take a more supportive role maintaining the website and hosting services. The podcast pressed on.
Soon, however, real life struck again. Priest Kristoph was promoted to being a deacon and then a priest in the Russian Orthodox Church (yes, he is an actual priest!) Finding his time rather more restricted, both Priest Kristoph and Angus found their interest was waning, so they opened new auditions for a new lead host.
The winner of the contest ended up being Connall Tara, who was a member of Red vs Blue and looked into shifting the podcast into its current form. Drawing inspiration from the Warp Drive Active podcast, Connall (self-described) shameless lifted the concept of Failmail Commentary and combined it with producing a podcast focused around playing EVE, with regular discussions focus around fitting, flying ships, and upcoming changes.
Shortly after, Angus found himself drawn away with real life commitments relating to a new job, so they looked back through the previous auditions and found Tumbles Goodness, a wormhole dweller and EVE jack of all trades. The podcast continued strong for a good while, often collaborating with other podcasts such as Lost in EVE and Declaration of War while featuring community members such as Seismic Stan of the Freebooted blog.
Once again, however, the podcast went through a host change, as real life forced Priest Kristoph to retire from EVE completely. He left the podcast fully in the hands of Connall and Tumbles. The hosts decided to switch things up a little and began working with guest hosts, while the podcast continued focusing mechanics as the rebalancing of T1 ships known as tiericide continued in EVE.
The Present & Future
Eventually, Connall and Tumbles decided to recruit they're corporation's industrial expert, Gynax Gallenor, to become the third member of the podcast's host team. Fly Reckless has continued pushing forward and producing quality podcasts ever since.
Since the most recent host team has come aboard, they've had such memorable moments as a haiku contest featuring Seismic Stan, discovering the biggest concentration of failmails on a single character, and interviewing Evebet. Recently, they interviewed CCPs Fozzie and Rise about balance and the game for their 100th episode!
Up next on their board is the 101st episode, aimed specifically at new players to EVE Online. They aim to release it on February 18th!
They've also got some big plans, hoping to expand their interview minisodes. They hope to get notable community members and CCP developers to discuss things and add it to their mechanics-based discussions.
About the Team
As mentioned before, numerous hosts have come and gone over the lifetime of Fly Reckless. The current team consists of Connall Tara, Tumbles Goodness, and Gynax Gallenor.
Connal is a PVP-oriented pilot who flies with the Conquering Darkness corporation. He suffers from a shiny ship addiction and spends most of his time working on new ways to fit ships for various tasks and jobs. He's currently trying to pay back an ISK loan, but is hindered by his constant purchases of new HACs. In real life, he's a student currently studying chemistry in Scotland.
Tumbles has been playing EVE on-and-off since 2007, focusing mainly on PVE and industrial content. One day, he caught the wiff of blood in the space-water when helping take down a dread in w-space. Currently, he does a bit of everything in EVE, also as part of Conquering Darkness. He works as an administrator at a GSP in South Africa.
Gynax is a manufacturer, tower fueler, miner, and market manipulator for Conquering Darkness. He joined the corp after hearing about it on the podcast. In real life, he is a quantitative analyst working with equity and equity index derivatives.
Fly Reckless hasn't survived for 100 episodes for no reason. It remains one of the highest quality EVE Online podcasts you can find. Connall and the team see Fly Reckless as the happiest podcast in New Eden. They try to look at the game with optimism and enthusiasm, trying to inspire other people with their views. They try to celebrate the best and brightest in New Eden, while also drawing attention to spectacular failures; both their own and others'.
The political metagame may be what draws many to EVE, but they like to celebrate other aspects and the successes of both the development team and the players.
Connall would also like to comment on the excellent relationships they've developed with other podcasts, most notably High Drag, whom Connall helped start up, and Down the Pipe, whose host Bronya Boga was kind enough to guest host regularly on Fly Reckless.]]>
All systems have to be maintained, including the Universe – in this case the EVE Universe data. As was announced here in late January this change is now upon us.
What does this mean for the regular pod pilot? Players should not notice any difference what-so-ever. Well, except that the Starmap now loads up almost 2x faster than before. Code touching or using the EVE Universe data is everywhere, and a lot of that code has been refactored as a part of this move which brings joy to the Universe!
What does this mean for the 3rd party developers that have been using DATADUMPs from the old system? Well, no data has been changed, added or removed, so technically 3rd party developers don’t have to do anything right away. Some tables have been moved from the MS-SQL file to another file.
Why are you spending time on this? In the old systems this data was authored directly in the Database and most of the data only existed in the Database. In the new system the data is authored in files in our source control system together with our game code. Most of the data is then inserted again into the Database, when the server is updated. This gives us much more flexibility for changing EVE Universe data. This also gives us an opportunity to build the data correctly and not rely on authoring data that should be generated.
The new SDE can be found here.
The Gory Details
Certain tables have been removed from the static data export DATADUMP and moved into an sqlite database file called universeDataDx.db.
The changes are as follows:
Dropped from the DATADUMP and added into universeDataDx.db as mapDenormalize. This table has the same structure as before.
Major changes are:
Major changes are:
Dropped from the DATADUMP and added into universeDataDx.db as mapConstellations. This table has the same structure as before.
Major changes are:
Major changes are:
The structure of this table has changed from having the following columns:
landmarkID | landmarkName | description | locationID | x | y | z | radius | iconID | importance
Into having these columns:
landmarkID | landmarkName | description | locationID | x | y | z | iconID
The reason for this change is that the radius and importance columns were only used for landmark authoring.
The most important thing to remember is you have plenty of time to change your tools because there is no new data in the universe dump!
That is all for now,
I’m CCP Falcon, EVE Community Manager, and I’m here today to let you know about some clarifications to our Alliance logo submission process for EVE. Right now, the Alliance logo process is relatively simple - once the criteria we set out for submission of a logo is met, the approved logo is packaged within the EVE client and delivered in the next major release. Players may then use the approved Alliance name and logo in the game and for fan support outside the game. Despite this simplicity, there has been some recent unintended confusion, raising several questions we would like to answer.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been in lengthy talks with CCP Juris, who is basically CCP’s Judge Dredd. The result is this blog designed to give a little clarity regarding the status of Alliance logos once they’re accepted into the game, and to shed some light on the legal side of things so that our community is fully aware of how they can use Alliance names and logos.
Under our EULA, when Alliances and corporations are created in game, their names become part of EVE’s intellectual property (“IP”). This is why we ask people not to use already copyrighted material. The same occurs with Alliance logos, and any other player-created content. CCP’s ownership of everything used in the game client is necessary under current intellectual property law and is also an industry standard practice in the MMO-space.
While player-created Alliance logos are part of CCP’s IP, it has never been our intention to prevent Alliances from using them outside the game for fan support (including selling “Alliance logo” merchandise to help fund the costs of running an Alliance). Recently, however, some community members have had issues with third party sites when selling physical goods with an Alliance logo (such as t-shirts, mouse mats, and other Alliance themed merchandise). During regular and routine actions by our legal team to prevent others from selling unauthorized EVE products, some online vendors also removed from their stores items bearing an Alliance logo (especially when paired with any reference to EVE Online), which ruffled some feathers among the community and caused several players to contact us.
Over the years our community has created some amazing alliance logos and as such, we are not fans of this situation. To prevent this from happening again and to clarify any confusion on the issue, we've been in contact with the Council of Stellar Management, and we’d like to update the Alliance logo submission procedure.
While CCP must retain ownership of Alliance logos that are submitted to us due to the fact that they are packaged within our client, and are part of our game IP, we do not want to overly restrict the way in which Alliances can use them. So, we have drafted a short license that allows free usage of Alliance logos by the Alliance, while still protecting against copyright and trademark infringement as a necessary part of our business of making internet spaceships. This license will be included as part of the Alliance name and logo submission process to give players the ability to use their Alliance logos in a broad manner, but still ensure CCP is able to undertake other exciting EVE endeavours that might include the logos, such as blogs, comic books, TV series, etc.
We want to be extremely transparent in the way that we handle IP ownership and usage entitlement for player created Alliance logos, so we are sharing both the license and the revised Alliance logo submission procedure, for your information.
Over time, we will be offering our existing Alliances the new license. We believe this will help with any inadvertent or accidental restrictions on the sale of Alliance products, and avoid any disruption to funding server and other “real world” costs of maintaining your Alliance.
Of course, if there are any alliances in game whom feel that they would rather not have CCP retain copyright ownership of their alliance logo, then the executor of any alliance who feels this is the case can feel free to submit a support ticket to us under the alliance logo submissions category to have their logo removed or replaced.
If there are any questions regarding this, please feel free to join in on the comments thread for this blog, which can be found in the link below this blog’s title.
As we announced at Fanfest 2013, CCP and Dark Horse Comics are publishing EVE Source, a 200 page illustrated guide to the EVE Universe, its people, places and history.
Information which before had to be collected from chronicles, novels, mission descriptions or wikis has been compiled, organized and edited for your reading pleasure. This is the authoritative guide about the Universe for any EVE enthusiast, whether they are a decade old-vet or just joined this past week.
In EVE Source there is A LOT of art. While some of the images may be familiar, a significant amount of art was originally made just for this book by the EVE and DUST 514 art teams. It fleshes out parts of the setting of the EVE universe, New Eden, which before have never been seen or talked about, creating unique perspectives on the stars and planets that Capsuleers and Mercenaries call home.
When work had begun on the book, it began to dawn on us the amount of information and visual candy we had on our hands, so we wanted to take the opportunity and make something more special with it for those that are truly citizens of New Eden and want to celebrate it with nice things. So we worked with Dark Horse to develop a limited edition version of Source.
It comes with a trusty protective case, is bound in sci-fi-esque JVP leather, and is graced with a nice red ribbon for you to remember which Guristas pirate you were reading about.
Inside the lining of the protective case, you will discover a numbered anodized aluminum commemorative plaque. The plaque itself has an enigmatic image, which is for you to decipher. This printing method and material ensure that the plaque should last eons. It will probably still be there, in mint condition, in the year 7703 when the wormhole to New Eden opens.
On the plaque you will find a unique code which you can use to redeem the following items inside EVE Online:
* Clothing items remain exclusive to this product for 6 months.
Limited edition is limited
There are only 1400 copies of the Limited Edition. That's just the limited edtion, there are more copies available of the standard hardcover edition.
1000 units of the limited will be sold through the EVE Store, while 200 copies are distribited through IKON in Australia and New Zealand, and 200 units will be sold by Dark Horse at trade events, details to be published later.
It also contains lithographs by two EVE artists, Borkur Eiriksson and Georg Hilmarsson. The first 500 copies sold will be signed by them. For your convenience, there is a counter on the EVE store which tells you how many signed images are remaining.
EVE Source Limited Edition will be released on March 5th, but is available now for pre-order exclusively at the EVE Store. Head there to get your copy
Eve Source Limited Edition costs $89 plus postage and packing for US and Canada. €79 for EU countries (including VAT) and €65 for non-EU countries. Prices do not include postage and packing. Tariffs, customs, taxes and postal worker bribes or protection money may have to be paid as well, depending on where you live in the world—the unavoidable nature of courier contracts.
If this is all a bit too much for you, and you prefer the classic hardcover version of the book, check out Dark Horse‘s partner Things From Another World. They will begin shipping on March 5th, but are already taking pre-orders. Select comic book stores will also make the book available on March 5th.
The retail price is $39.99, although prices may vary by regions and VAT, postage, packing and discounts.
If you want to wait, EVE Source will be released to regular brick and mortar and online bookstores on March 18th. On the same date, it will be released an ebook on Dark Horse Digital, Kindle, iBooks, Google Books, Nook and Kobo.
We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed developing it!
Torfi Frans Olafsson - CCP t0rfifrans
Creative Director – EVE Universe IP
PS: More pictures can be seen in this devblog since October and on the individual product pages]]>
Zao is nearly an original. He joined EVE Online in the distant past of 2004, back when the PCU was numbered in thousands and a battleship was more mythical than a Titan is today. In those early days of EVE, Zao happened to be with a few friends at a LAN center and was introduced to the game. He was immediately hooked, blown away by the depth and complexity of the game. Though the friends he started playing with have moved on or are off-and-on players, Zao has stuck with it throughout, even when things like military service interfered.
After leaving said military and beginning college, Zao found himself spending a large amount of his free time watching streams. He watched such luminaries as Day, LeathalFrag, and ManvsGame for his entertainment rather than watching TV. Inspired by these excellent streamers, because EVE was the main game he played, he decided to start streaming EVE.
He began by researching other EVE streams and trying to find something they were missing that he could get into. What he noticed was that, of the EVE streams available, there was very little solo PVP and the majority of the solo content was slow. The streams were great, but the amount of fights they got were less than what he thought could be achieved.
Thus his idea for a stream was formed.
In his 9+ years of playing EVE, Zao has done plenty of different things in EVE. He helped with null sec war efforts, he sold bookmark packs in the days before Warp to Zero, and made ISK in wormholes. Eventually, he decided he wanted to PVP more than PVE, so he dumped all his money into more PVP. Shortly after this decision, he learned about Red vs Blue. He sought them out as a drop in way to get more fights on a limited schedule and joined up.
This provided the perfect synergy for his stream. He wanted to showcase entry-level PVP with a fight ratio at or above 10 fights an hour. The constant action of RvB let him do exactly that. He was also able to explain what he was doing and how he was doing it for anyone who was watching his stream. This way, he could help new and budding solo PVPers learn the tricks of the trade.
From day one, the EVE community has been incredibly supportive of the stream and Zao, both in-game and out. Every time he turns on the stream, he's brought back to the feeling of sitting in the LAN center with his best friends playing games. Even as his stream has branched out into other games, the EVE community has remained supportive and it remains his number one game and source of viewership.
In addition to showing off solo PVP, Zao has also branched out in EVE, and has begun showing off different styles of PVP on a regular schedule. While he continues to run his standard stream on Fridays between 10:00 AM and 02:00 PM EST (that's currently 15:00 and 19:00 EVE time), he also showcases “alternative PVP” on Mondays, and teaches about fighting in a cruiser of batllecruiser on Wednesdays. He also streams more EVE on the weekends, if he has the time and inclination.
Challenges and Memories
The biggest issue Zao has run into with his streams is the inevitable crunch all of us have felt at one time or another; time. As a father of two, finding a regular time to try and stream consistently is difficult. Because of this, despite his regular schedule, he sometimes has to switch it around.
Of course, there are more intricate challenges as well. Stream sniping is a well known issue for people who stream competitive games and EVE streamers are no different. People will try to use the intel he broadcasts to come and blow Zao up. But Zao has taken this in stride; while many EVE streamers use overlays to block parts of their streams, Zao has decided to keep an open overview.
This has forced him to take other measures to prevent stream sniping. His main method is simply to not care much about it. Of course, there are cases when he wants to avoid it, so he keeps tabs on names in the systems he's flying through to watch out for anyone who seems to be too good at following him. He also fights in agile ships and is very aggressive, always moving around and hunting for a fight, which makes it much harder to track him.
Of course, the stream is not all challenges. There are many great memories formed as well! He's had many memorable fights, such as winning a fight against an Enyo in an Imicus, taking on two others while flying a Scythe Fleet Issue that started off the fight in armor, and even miserably failing in a prototype Thrasher fit.
What makes these fights more memorable than any simple PVP is the fact he's streaming and others are watching. The people give active feedback and often times the ships he fights in were donated by his viewers. This makes it much more than simple fights.
However, his viewers have surpassed even that. Once, he mentioned he may have time to go to Fanfest on stream, but that he lacked the means to get there. Immediately, people began to donate ISK for PLEX to buy the Fanfest ticket with and began raising money to help with the flight and hotel. Another streamer, Rushlock, took on the charge and in the following few days they were able to raise enough for Zao to purchase tickets to Fanfest and the pubcrawl. He's also only $800 off his goal for the flight, which given the time left before Fanfest, seems like a perfectly reachable goal.
Zao loves EVE and has for a long time. He loves to stream EVE as well and plans to continue doing so for as long as he plays EVE. One day, he hopes to become a Twitch partner to do what his mother always told him was impossible and get paid to play video games. But most of all, he wants to continue to grow the stream community and make people more aware of EVE and more comfortable with solo PVP.
He sees EVE as being an important part in the rise of streaming as a common entertainment format. Because of EVE's complex nature, it has had a slow start, but that complexity, combined with the sandbox, is what will give people unique opportunities to come up with inventive and inspiring stream content. The EVE market on Twitch is not saturated and has plenty of room to grow. He hopes that one day EVE will make the front page of Twitch on a daily basis and bring new players to the game. Zao looks forward to the day he can sit down at any time of day and have a multitude of choices of interesting and varied EVE streams.
Zao would like to offer a huge thank you to everyone that took the opportunity to express that they wanted to see the stream in this here Community Spotlight. And he'd additionally like to thank everyone who has had a hand in supporting him while he streamed. He wants to let people know that if they're interested in streaming EVE content, the community is amazing and incredibly friendly. The majority of EVE streamers share viewers and love to see more people streaming EVE. If anyone has any questions about starting a stream or getting one moving, they can feel free to contact him via Twitch and he'll get you on the right track.]]>
Last year, for the presentation on the EVE Economy at Fanfest, I made a graph titled "EVE Online 2012: Production vs. Destruction" (400dpi version). A Redditor named SurteaD sent me a message about a month ago asking if the players might see a 2013 version of that graph. I personally was interested in seeing it myself and since it's procedurally generated with d3.js from a database query, I figured it wouldn't take me long to "refresh" them. So, without further ado, I present to you EVE Online 2013: Production vs. Destruction:
(click image for a larger version)
For those few of you reading this that don't know much about EVE Online, here is a short description at what you are looking at:
In the EVE Online universe, war is an ongoing machine that is fueled by production. Most wars take place in the outermost regions of space (red on the scale), far beyond the safety of the high security regions of the Empires (light blue on the scale). The most favorable conditions for production are a mix of close proximity to major market hubs and the safety provided by the high security regions surrounding them. This visualization tells this story, showing the total produced- and destroyed-value of end products (ships and modules), where production mainly takes place in higher-security space (yellow to blue) and the majority of destruction takes place in low- or null-security space (orange to red).
A few important things I'd like to note:
Now I also generated two different graphs for splitting things up and give greater detail:
(click images for a larger version)
Last year, one spacebro, while looking at the 2012 graph, said he sometimes hated to be colorblind (redditor zxnmpowq). I did promise you I'd make the code accessible that generates these graphs, so here it is, courtesy of JSFiddle! Code quality was not a priority but I hope it's somewhat readable for those that want to dig into it. Much like our beloved EVE Online, D3.js has a pretty steep learning curve, so be patient with it :). Feel free to make your own versions of this, fork and make different visualizations of it, just be sure to post your results on forums or reddit if you want our attention! For those that don't know how to program, you can at least enjoy the possibility of hovering over each circle to get a tooltip of the underlying system name, its security status and total destruction value in 2013.
You may use this code for non-commercial purposes only, on the condition that the following copyright notice is displayed prominently on any page where the code appears:
©2014 CCP hf. EVE Online and the EVE logo are the registered trademarks of CCP hf. All rights are reserved worldwide. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. EVE Online, the EVE logo, EVE and all associated logos and designs are the intellectual property of CCP hf. All artwork, screenshots, characters, vehicles, storylines, world facts or other recognizable features of the intellectual property relating to these trademarks are likewise the intellectual property of CCP hf.
As well, when using materials or content that was originally published elsewhere, proper credit must be given to the original author and used only by permission.
The underlying data is included there in the source code but unfortunately you have to suffice with only destruction data for now, production data is very sensitive since not all of it is public knowledge. I.e. we don't want to just flat out give everyone a list of top low- and nullsec-production systems for somewhat obvious reasons.
I still remember a few promises made at the econ lecture at Fanfest 2013, regarding releasing datasets to the community for doing your own analysis. I can tell you that it still is our goal to do so. Dates are not confirmed yet but Fanfest 2014 is coming soon and we want you guys to have been able to play with the data before then. So stay tuned for a further blogs on data availablity.
One final honorable mention, is this fancy infograph by Elena Melkan, taking the statistics we released in the form of simple excel graphs and turning it into an eye candy like this! This is a prime example of why it is important for companies like CCP to make data available to their communities!
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In the universe of EVE Online, players from every timezone around the globe have been waging wars on a massive scale for nearly 11 years. Some conflicts have been relatively small grudge matches between rivals from adjoining solar systems with maybe a dozen or so frigates and cruisers facing off in fast-paced combat. Others, like the Great War, are fueled by tens of thousands of players and blossom with all the same propaganda, diplomacy (and espionage), supply-chain logistics and military tactics that might fuel a real-world conflict, taking months to resolve and changing entire industrial patterns across the star map.
In all that time one kind of ship has always been the most coveted target for any fleet, thirsted after for the glory of defeating it as evidenced by this recording of the first one to die in combat.
Titans, the largest ship class in EVE Online, take thousands of man hours to produce, take months to train to fly, and are capable of fitting massive doomsday weapons that obliterate lesser ships with a single volley. To get a good understanding of the size of these Sci Fi monsters, check out this comparison chart (the Amarr Avatar is the brownish “mushroom” looking behemoth with the similarly sized Erebus above it and Ragnarok and Leviathan below it. Other EVE ships are found throughout) or watch this to-scale player-made video comparing several classes of EVE ships.
Each Titan is a prized strategic asset of the Alliance that controls it, and up until now no more than 12 had ever been destroyed in any single battle. That recently changed in the largest, most destructive battle in gaming history.
The Bloodbath of B-R5RB
In the early hours of January 27th, 2014 CONCORD (the NPC “police force”) came to collect the sovereignty bill for a dead-end system in the Immensea region called B-R5RB. One of over 7,500 in game, this particular system – with its 9 planets, 66 moons and 12 asteroid belts – had recently been transferred to a player corporation called H A V O C, a corp used by the alliance Pandemic Legion to handle sovereignty transfers between Alliances (which are collections of Corporations). Unfortunately, when CONCORD tried to extract the ISK (EVE’s currency) that would maintain sovereignty in the system for another month, they found that H A V O C had left their automatic payment unchecked. Without the necessary payment, sovereignty in the system immediately dropped leaving the system up for grabs.
Missed bill payments are certainly not new to the human experience nor are they to EVE Online. Human error has caused many a system to lapse. Sometimes it merely means that another Territorial Control Unit (a flag of sorts) has to be anchored in space to regain control of the system. Sometimes it means that an entire region is lost and an Alliance is disbanded.
This particular system however happened to be the staging system for all Pandemic Legion fleets in one of the largest wars to ever be waged in EVE Online. The Halloween War, having waged for months, had been punctuated by many engagements across the vast EVE universe. This single missed payment sparked off what would become the most expensive battle in EVE Online history. One pilot’s action (or inaction) had repercussions for the entire universe—a butterfly wing causing a massive typhoon of destruction. Coincidentally, this occurred a year to the day of another infamous battle where a single mistake by a single player offered destruction on a galactic scale—the Battle of Asakai.
Sensing this moment of unexpected weakness in a strategically critical location, the opposing Coalition comprised of the CFC Alliance and Russian-heavy coalition forces scrambled to get a foothold in the system. The message went out. Thousands logged in and fleeted up. If the CFC and Russian fleets could capture the station in system, they would trap Pandemic Legion assets inside, including hundreds of capital and sub-capital fleet hulls, rendering them unavailable for the wider conflict.
Meanwhile the forces of Pandemic Legion and N3 (a coalition made up Nulli Secunda, Northern Coalition. and assorted other allies) tried whatever they could to maintain control of the system. Despite anchoring Territorial Control Units all over the system, opposing forces destroyed them before any of them could online to regain control. In an attempt to at least secure the station, Pandemic Legion and N3 deployed what capital and super-capital forces they could muster in their patented “Wrecking Ball” formation just off the station.
Upon seeing that Pandemic Legion and N3 had a smaller capital and super-capital fleet (due to the surprise nature of the fight and it occurring during a Monday work day) CFC and Russian forces decided that it was time to seize the opportunity for a decisive fight. Taking into account lessons learned in the massive “Battle of HED-GP” earlier in the week, which had been a resounding loss for the CFC and Russian Forces at the hands of the “Wrecking Ball,” they chose this time to seize the initiative and deploy the entirety of the Capital Fleet to gain field superiority before PL and N3 could respond. Meanwhile, their sub-capital fleets were deployed to N3 staging systems to delay any reinforcements.
Unlike nearly every other large scale super-capital engagement up till this point, both sides thought they could win. They continued trying to get every single pilot into system with the most powerful warships they could bring to bear. After a few hours, the field was being lit up by doomsdays and the glittering hulls of hundreds of Titans and Supercarriers and thousands of Dreadnaughts and Carriers and smaller ships.
The battle was relatively even for some time with CFC and Russian forces holding moderate lead at first and only have a slight lead in Titan kills. Then came a turning point in the battle. Manfred Sideous, the initial Fleet Commander for PL/N3, handed over command to the CEO of Northern Coalition., Vince Draken. After successfully focusing fire to destroy several CFC/RUS Titans and causing some Russian Titans to jump out of the system with shields and armor depleted, PL/N3 began to overestimate their success and the primary target was switched to the Titan of Sort Dragon, one of fourteen members of the current Council of Stellar Management and the man coordinating all the Russian Forces left on field. His Titan successfully withstood the onslaught more than any so far with the assistance of his entire fleet actively working to repair it and very high damage resistance bonuses. By the time his structure was finally breached, the CFC/RUS forces had killed 5 Titans in return. From this point on, every volley cycle of the CFC/RUS Titan doomsdays put them further and further ahead.
Here’s what it looked like—a particularly good video by a neutral third party witness.
Eventually, after nearly 12 hours of brawling in what had clearly become the longest engagement in online gaming PvP history, the PL/N3 forces sounded the retreat. In the ensuing evacuation several more Titans, Super Carriers, and Capitals were lost, many trapped by warp disruption bubbles that covered the field
Here’s a shot with the in-game UI showing the action. Each red or orange dot is either a ship or a drone.
Throughout the fight, related battles also raged across the universe. Fleets tried to prevent reinforcements, kill wounded capitals and super-capitals attempting to flee, or trap the brave few who were trying to enter the fight and tip the scales.
The entire fight was watched live on Twitch.tv courtesy of Nick_Fuzzeh of Pandemic Legion as well as a host of other marathon streamers. In what can only be considered a meta-SciFi moment of more than 12,000 people watching a virtual war unfold live across the internet, his music news ticker, and……spooky dancing skeleton graphic entertained as the fight raged on.
Commercial break for more spaceships
When the dust finally settled and daily server maintenance downtime ended the conflict, all involved were shocked at the devastation. The winning side alone had lost more Titans that in any battle seen before. The losing side had lost more Titans than anyone had previously thought possible.
TITANOMACHY: COMMEMORATING THE FIGHT
Almost immediately following the fight, players universally clamored for an in-game monument. Actually the emails amongst EVE developers demanding the same had already begun. Something of this scale, where the players had left an indelible mark on the universe through their extraordinary actions, needed to have something more permanent in game to commemorate it and we are proud to highlight the bravery and commitment of our players to their craft of blowing up spaceships.
“Titanomachy” has been created using the brand new Titan wreck models that were introduced with EVE Online: Rubicon’s 1.1 release that was (coincidentally) deployed immediately following the battle itself. A permanent site in the game, it will be placed around the seventh planet in the B-R5RB solar system and be “off grid” from the station. Thereafter, any player who plays EVE can make the dangerous pilgrimage there and marvel at the scope of destruction. We expect some of the “travel” bloggers to do full write-ups on it almost immediately and EVE videographers to make some moving tributes as well.
We’re aiming for installation of Titanomachy during downtime of January 31st, and are hard at work placing the wrecks in a hauntingly beautiful arrangement.
You can read more about the process of creating the new Titan wrecks in this newly published devblog by the EVE art team. A couple are pictured below. For more information about Rubicon check the feature site. For Rubicon 1.1, check out this in-development video, scan the past few dev blogs and read the patch notes. As always, new patches and expansions are free to all paid subscribers.
B-R5RB BY THE NUMBERS
· Around 21 hours of total fighting
· 7,548 unique characters belonging to those two coalitions participated in the overall battle (i.e. landed on at least one killmail). 6,058 participated directly in the B-R5RB system with 2,670 in system at max
· 717 unique player Corporations
· 55 unique player Alliances
(the two dips are missing data)
The butcher’s bill by the end of the fight was staggering:
· Titans – 75 (74 in system, one on its way to the fight) N3/PL lost 59 titans and CFC/DTF lost 16 titans
· Titan losses by type: Gallente Erebus – 37, Amarr Avatar – 25, Minmatar Ragnarok – 13, Caldari Leviathan - 0
· Supercarriers – 13 (12 in system, one as it tried to escape the system)
· Dreadnaughts – 370 (356 in system, 14 in connected skirmishes as both sides attempted to stop the other from bringing reinforcements)
· Carriers – 123 (109 in system, 14 in connected skirmishes as both sides attempted to stop the other from bringing reinforcements)
· And lots more smaller ships and probably a bajilion drones and fighters
In comparison, the previous record for largest single battle Titan losses was a tie between battles in “O2O” and “Uemon”, with 12 total Titans destroyed in each.
Approximately 775 doomsdays were fired, which is about 24% of all the doomsdays fired in the last two years inclusive. The Battle for HED-GP, which preceeded this one in the Halloween War, had about 200 doomsdays.
The Economic Impact
11 TRILLION ISK.
According to some PLEX conversions that could equate to approximately $300,000-$330,000 USD.
Note that these are filled with EVE Online-specific jargon and terms and can at times include colorful language. The light that they shed on the operations of these massive fleets by the people behind them is nonetheless fascinating.
Manfred Sideous’ AMA on Reddit. He’s a Pandemic Legion Fleet Commander: http://www.reddit.com/r/Eve/comments/1wcxbr/hi_im_manfred_sideous_pandemic_legion_fc_who/
“We will retake it if possible….I hope nobody quits over this fight. It has been truly epic to be part of as its the largest fight in the history of online gaming. Its a shame if someone quits this is all part of the game and a ship hull is the price of admission for fun fights. This is Eve HTFU ( eve saying Harden The F___ Up )” HTFU Reference Link (NSFW language): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgvM7av1o1Q
Battle Report from Manfred Sideous: http://pastebin.com/ckTidP48
"In my wildest imagination did I or anyone else expect hostiles to prosecute B-R in the way that they did or to counter escalate in the manner they did so.”
Statement from Elise Randolph, another Pandemic Legion Fleet Commander: http://pastebin.com/t7CQufG7
“The lost momentum in the Soutnern conflict due to the B-R fight is a far greater loss than the isk assets. Because try as you might, you cannot buy swagger.”
Lazarus Telraven’s AMA on Reddit. He’s a CFC Fleet Commander: http://www.reddit.com/r/Eve/comments/1wdtzq/cfc_fc_lazarus_telraven_copying_manny_ama/
“I called his phone and woke him up when things looked like it was going to escalate because when you need someone to bang drums to get numbers you get mittani. He was skiddish and hessitant and I think came close to trying to get me to not go in but had he told me not jump I would have jumped anyways GOTTA TRUST THE GUT”
Battle Report from Lazarus Telraven: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pJZfRhXnAaAYqxwDw_KZJ6RPfcg6LXGOfjDczDkkL8k/edit
“Every titan that is primaried is killed from this point forward on both sides until downtime.”
Statement from The Mittani, Leader of the CFC: http://pastebin.com/AX6Crp2b
“The CFC offers the following as its official statement on the battle of B-R5, posted three weeks ago by Pandemic Legion member Richter Belmont….”
*NEW* Crossing Zebra's audio discussion with the two main Fleet Commanders involved: http://crossingzebras.com/b-r-the-fc-perspective/
Ali Aras’ TheMittani.com recap—Council of Stellar Management member that makes the battle report approachable for the uninitiated. http://themittani.com/news/b-r5rb-biggest-battle-all-eve
*NEW* Alizabeth's TheMittani.com writeup, an amazing explanation of sov warfare, the ships involved and the fight itself, also approachable. http://themittani.com/features/largest-virtual-battle-ever
More Gorgeous B-R5RB Image Galleries
Take your pick…
If a 21 hour, 2000+ player battle sounds like a lot of work for a server to handle, that’s because you have a good sense for how much load a 21 hour, 2000+ player battle is. Without some help, it would have been entirely too much to take and we wouldn’t be here talking about a bunch of exploded spaceships. In EVE, we know that fights like this are a major deciding factor in large-scale warfare, so in order to support them the best we can we introduced a system called Time Dilation. Its job is to give the server the means to control the amount of load an insane-scale fight like this causes.
The mechanism behind Time Dilation is reasonably simple – if the server cannot keep up with the load of simulation, it slows down time in the solar systems it’s managing. For example, if there’s twice as much going on than the server can normally handle, it’s got the ability to run that heavy simulation at half speed, bring the rate of load back to something manageable. Due to how we set up our universe, the effect of this slowdown is localized, often applying to just the problematic system and allowing the vast majority of other online players to continue on as happy as can be blowing up ships, mining, trading, exploring etc as long as they didn’t come near these massive fights.
With the length and intensity of this fight however, this slowdown was not enough to completely cover it, so it hit our limit of running the simulation at 10% of normal time. Consequently, over the 21 hours players experienced of the fight, the server was put to task to run just over 2 hours worth of simulation. It was much more able to fulfil that task than if it had to handle it all in real time, which ultimately gave players a smoother, more predictable experience than would take place otherwise.
This wasn’t the largest single battle in terms of numbers of participants in system at once. That record still belongs to the battle for 6VDT-H, which reached 4,070 pilots in system.
A final note. EVE has been growing in subscribers every year since it started, for nearly 11 years straight. The way the game is set up you could join now and possibly be at the forefront of one of these battles. Or you could avoid this level of gameplay altogether and forge your own path. If any of this intrigues you at any level, you should try it out with a free 14-day trial at www.eveonline.com
Who knows, you might find your home amongst the stars. You might find people around the globe you enjoy flying with and find worthy of slugging it out for 21 hours straight on behalf of. You might be the next person making that single mistake that causes thousands of people to hurtle their ships at you or you might be the person that catches that next mistake and becomes the hero of the day.
Advice for new players: ask questions of vets and advice from them, don’t be afraid to look for answers on the internet, and try to find someone to fly with whether a friend from another game that starts at the same time, someone you know in real life, or one of the many corporations that recruit in game. It is a multiplayer game after all. EVE is a game that challenges you in a way that others just don’t, as I’m sure you gathered from this writeup. Be bold pilot.
o7 in anticipation of the next thing our pilots will dream up and on behalf of “the game science fiction warned us about.*”
CCP Dolan and the EVE Online development team
Wait, you don't know about the spooky skeletons and airhorns?
That means you weren't one of the 13000+ people who tuned in to Nick Fuzzeh's stream of the battle. The stream propelled EVE Online to the 3rd most watched game on Twitch.tv at the time and for good reason. For 16 hours, Nick entertained thousands of people as they watched the battle unfold. And now you get to read all about it.
But a little bit about our host...
Nick Fuzzeh first started playing EVE Online back in 2009. Having made three trials before and forgotten all the passwords, he created the intrepid NickFuzzeh4, but found himself unable to get into the game until he joined a player corporation in 2010. Formed around users from 4chan, the corp was part of TEST until it eventually imploded.
The first big fight he remembers taking part in was the “hellcamp” of 6VDT and the invasion of Fountain by Goonswarm and TEST (remember when they were allies?). Those weeks of action solidified his love of EVE and has kept him in the game since.
Over the years, Nick moved between corporations until he eventually found himself as a part of Pandemic Legion. This allows him to indulge in his love of large fleet battles as well as small gangs and late night drunk fleets. It also led to him streaming the Titanomachy.
Before it was cool
Nick has actually been streaming since 2008, back on Justin.tv. In those early days, the audience for streaming wasn't very large, and getting even 200 viewers was a big, big deal. Today, of course, those numbers are miniscule in comparison to games like League of Legends or Hearthstone, which regularly pull in tens of thousands of viewers or more. Over the past few years, Nick had only really streamed console games such as Grand Theft Auto or whatever else he felt like playing.
Cut to the past year. Nick had been wanting to stream EVE fights, but found it difficult as part of a large alliance with things like operational security and the like. Hiding things on screen and via audio are incredibly hard to do without obstructing the view, so he saved streaming for big, big fights. He mainly only streamed when supercapitals were involved or if there was a good chance of escalating to such ships.
As a member of Pandemic Legion, he had the opportunity to take part in and stream such fights. All he needed was someone to drop the ball.
The Ball is Dropped
There have already been plenty of articles written about how the battle in B-R5RB went down. Nick first got wind of what was going down when someone in the IRC hangout Zulusquad (irc.zulusquad.org:6667) posted a link saying N3PL had lost a station without a fight. He was shocked, since that very rarely happens. He immediately checked the Pandemic Legion IRC for confirmation and a few minutes later the pings began flowing by the hundreds. Everyone was being urged to log on everything they had.
From the very start, Nick realized the battle would not be an ordinary one. He knew it would last a long time and, being quite tired, briefly considered bowing out of the fight entirely. Luckily for all of us, he needed the kills, so he logged in. As he surveyed the situation, he climbed into his Revelation, considered that if he undocked he wouldn't be able to get back in station, and (after orders came down from command) clicked the button that sent him out into a minefield of expensive ships and lasers.
Let's Stream It
From the very start, Nick realized the fight was going to be huge. The sheer number of players, both in local and visible on field, was a clear indication that things were about to go down and wouldn't stop going down for a long, long time. He couldn't pass up the chance to share.
Of course, he didn't realize from the start that it would become such a bloodbath. Though he realized his side was fighting from the weaker position, he had full belief that PL's FCs would pull off some magic and cause the enemy to pull out before Titans would be dying by the minute. But we'll get to that later.
Nick's stream was different from most others from the start. Operational security is somewhat low priority when everyone and their mother already knows where fights are going on, but there was still sensitive information to cover up. He could have put up garish overlays and cluttered his screen with unrelated gifs or other items. Instead, his stream took inspiration from the news outlets he knew regularly covered large EVE battles.
What would EVE look like if it were being broadcast as a live news feed on television? Prior to the fight breaking out, Nick had found an amazing tutorial on After Effects that featured a free news template. After a few adjustments, he turned it into PL News! Much like on a real news channel, there are tickets that scroll across the bottom of the screen to show the most important news stories not being featured.
Unfortunately (or perhaps for those with a sense of humor, incredibly fortunately), Nick isn't super in touch with all the goings-on in EVE. As the fight in B-R was getting underway, he couldn't exactly go and look up real top stories to post. Thus he decided to make the viewer chuckle a little and created fake and amusing news stories to scroll across the bottom of the screen. With the help of a program called Stream Control, he was able to add a headline section that gave him the ability to update the text on the fly.
Of course, a bit of hilarious text scrolling is all fine, but it's what came next that really set the stream apart.
As the battle proceeded at a breakneck pace of 10% real time, the hours began to churn past. As more and more people heard about it, viewer numbers on Nick's channel began reaching heights he had never expected. It crossed the 8000 person threshold and never dropped, peaking for several hours at 13000 people.
Knowing that there were 13k people sitting at home, watching every mouse click and movement Nick did was very daunting. At one point, he almost had a mini panic attack. But he didn't want to let people down. He knew he had to entertain them and he decided to spice things up a little.
It began with a simple attempt to spook his viewers. At first, it was just brief flashes of a skeleton popping onto screen (WARNING: link may be too spooky for some viewers [also, the link is not an air horn. No more of those. I promise]. People in the stream chat started reacting to the spooky skeleton tremendously and soon, even people in B-R5RB local chat were commenting whenever he popped up!
At about 10 hours into the stream, he was beginning to fall asleep. In order to keep himself alert, he decided to begin playing some hype music. Then, he began to move the skeleton, now branded Skelly, around to the beat. Soon, Skelly was dancing all over the stream! Players immediately took to the sweet moves of Skelly, overlooking his spookiness for how hilarious it was. Even Nick admits he couldn't stop laughing himself while doing it.
As the battle continued, Nick went one step further to help his viewers remain alert. He had been playing music throughout the stream, such as video game soundtracks and some epic Space Jam remixes, but he decided to kick it up. Nick himself enjoys making music and even has his own Soundcloud page. So he decided to play a few of his remixes on the stream.
Now, these remixes are not exactly normal. Instead, you must know that Nick is known for not using his microphone on voice comms. Since he doesn't use a mic, he needed some way to communicate, especially saying “yes” or “no”. So he got himself an air horn. One toot for yes, two for no. It soon became his gimmick, communicating solely through an air horn.
Which leads to the remixes, where Nick took a few popular songs and remixed them with air horns. The results were... well, it's best to simply check his Soundcloud above to see! The air horn remixes definitely kept the energy on the stream high and probably helped wake a few viewers up after they had fallen asleep at their keyboards.
Streaming for almost 17 hours straight was a marathon for Nick. He could feel himself slowly going insane by the end. The grind of running EVE at 1-2 frames per second with the chance of it crashing at any moment put him on edge the entire time. Put that on top of the huge number of people watching and asking what was going on and answering all those questions was slowly driving him nuts. So nuts he thought a dancing skeleton was funny.
But eventually, the call for retreat was sounded by the N3PL leadership and players began to pull out. Many were caught, however, and Nick was among them. Rather than simply give up and call it a (well-earned) day, Nick decided to die as he lived. He set his dread on a course for the nearest Titan and accelerated to full speed! He would ram the Titan in revenge! Of course, with time dilation, it would have taken him well over an hour to reach his target.
He unfortunately fell short of his target. His Revelation eventually succumbed to the fire of the CFC and he exploded gloriously. Having been given the clone express back to station, Nick finally logged off to sleep (after one final Skelly dance party), having helped make history.
If you haven't watched the stream of the fight, you watch the entire thing in full glory on his Twitch.tv page. For those who don't have time to sit through 16+ hours of footage, you can also check out his highlights for choice moments, such as the air horn remixes and Skelly dance parties.
NickFuzzeh helped keep thousands of players entertained during the fight, including numerous members of CCP's dev team. Nick wants to thank every single person who joined the stream to watch. Were you an EVE vet, a CCP Developer, Twitch Admin or Staff, or even a person who was just slightly interested in the huge fight, he thanks you. You all helped him through the 17 hours of no sleep and numb rear ends. He also wants to give a shout out to all of the amazing Eve Online Twitch streamers who stream nearly every day. You guys are the life blood of the Eve Twitch community. Keep up the amazing work.
He specially wants to thank CCP Manifest for staying in his Twitch stream for what felt like 10 hours, answering questions, helping people out, and keeping Nick sane (though this last one is questionable).
He also wants to give a shout out to both sides of the fight for providing an epic moment that he hopes will eventually happen again. For those new players wanting to try EVE, you can use Nick's buddy code for 21 days free!
It’s been a while since we talked. I hear tales of unrest-- the pod pilots of New Eden are awaiting news from the north. Fear not, the ravens are inbound.
We at Team TriLambda, the biggest and longest standing development team assigned to EVE Online, have been hard at work preparing an array of updates and additions for the Rubicon 1.1 release.
Today I will be covering TriLambda’s general development work for Rubicon 1.1 and then focus on a more detailed account of the capital wreck creation.
Before we get to that though, it’s important to note that this dev blog was written before the Bloodbath of B-R5RB. You can read more about that incredible player event and our plans for an in-game monument called “Titanomachy” to commemorate it in this new dev blog by CCP Dolan. The happy coincidence of the capital wreck work described in this blog is not lost on us.
CCP Huskarl and CCP BunnyVirus have been hard at work completing the Sister of EVE (SoE) faction lineup. On January 28th we delivered, to a marketplace near you, the Nestor SoE battleship class hull:
You can read about the Nestor stats here.
Continuing our efforts on the long standing “V3” project spearheaded by CCP Salvo, we updated again textures, applying our newest shaders and adding new effects to existing content. This time around we delivered 44 fully renovated and V3’ed stations to New Eden. Here are a few of them.
Also, our ship redesign efforts continue. This time around, via our in house chess boxing champion CCP LeftRook and German exile CCP Phor, TriLambda delivered the reimagined Crucifier.
CCP Caiman, CCP Gorgen, CCP LuxusLulli, CCP Angler and CCP Hansuman (a group of CCP’s finest) combined to add to Rubicon’s mobile deployable structure collection.
In Rubicon 1.1 we added three new units for the citizens of New Eden to enjoy.
The ‘Encounter Surveillance System’, ‘Mobile Micro Jump Drive’ and the ‘Mobile Scan Inhibitor’. In addition to this we will be adding two skin variation of the already deployed ‘Siphon Unit’, that is the ‘Small Mobile ‘Hybrid’ Siphon’ and the ‘Small Mobile ‘Rote’ Siphon’.
For more info on all of these new mobile units and their functions please refer to the Dev Blogs:
CCP Mannapi delivered, for your enjoyment, a vastly improved icon rendering technique which isn’t dependent on user hardware.
We have also implemented some small render quality improvements for the EVE client. This includes optimizations and dynamic adjustment for the near-far camera clipping plane and shadow calculations.
And guess what. Remember those space clouds we all hold so dear to our hearts? Well now you can turn them off if they give your computer/graphics cards any trouble. The ‘effect’ setting will now toggle particle clouds on/off. A session change is required for this to take effect.
That was a quick run through of some of the things we have been up to over the holidays. Now let’s turn to wrecking capital ships.
Today's story is one about destruction and demise. A manual of sorts. We hope you will enjoy the read and proceed to have as much fun “spawning” wrecks on the battlefield as we had creating them.
We at TriLambda have been wanting to update the capital wrecks for a while now.
While not technically part of the V3 process (the wrecks currently in client are already V3'ed), sometimes during this process you simply stumble onto things, where a simple texture tweak or shader change won’t do the trick. Massive ship wrecks were one of those things.
Current capital wrecks are little more than darker versions of the original ships. At close range you may or may not notice some holes punched through the hull which reveal a seemingly paper-thin shell of a completely empty ship volume.
From a visual and artistic standpoint, these assets just don't live up to the standards of what we like to label 'renovated content'. The wrecks were dull at best and offered no immersion.
Couple this with the challenge it could sometimes be just to tell a wreck apart from its fully alive and operational counterpart, and we finally had to act.
A wreck of old, not always so easily identifiable as such.
We wanted to create visually convincing and distinct wrecks but had to figure out where best to start.
Could we break the ship geometry apart, to give it that distinct silhouette of wreckage torn apart? If not, could we utilize some render effects to simulate this effect?
If we could actually break the meshes apart in a feasible manner, how would we represent the interiors of the ships? We had never done anything like that before.
Now how does one go about implementing an update like this, and what amount of resources can you justify throwing at a renovation project like this.
Now, I’m not the guy who revamps POS gameplay or fixes lag. This project sits on my desktop because I am the guy who adds polygons, effects and particle systems to EVE online. Once my work is done, CCP ManKiller comes by, looks at my FPS, and threatens to throw me out the window*.
CCP ManKiller, you don’t want this guy looking over your shoulder.
With any feature and/or project in EVE we make an assessment of “end user value” vs. “feature development cost”.
It was clear from the outset, that simply assigning a bunch of artists to create completely new wreck assets was not a practical solution. Even manually breaking apart the original ships (if that was even possible) and creating new wrecks on a ‘one by one basis’ would involve artist resources way beyond the value of the project.
We needed a better understanding of what exactly we COULD do and if any of this was actually feasible.
* CCP Mankiller did write the shaders for these wrecks, and by and large facilitated the integration of wrecks into the client. So if you see him lurking about the streets at night, do keep your distance, but yell out a big salute to this all in all great mensch.
R&D would be the next step. Enter senior technical artist CCP Ph00ze.
CCP Ph00ze went into isolation, literally, and started digging into all the options. Were the original ideas practical? If they weren’t, could we replace them with another more feasible approach?
A few weeks went by spent trying and testing, running hair-pulling Maya Boolean experiments, and iterative tools building.
At a point it became clear that with enough stubbornness, backup plans and fixes to the basic Maya Boolean system, we could actually break our original ships apart.
Once Booleans fell into place and a decent art-directable method to use them was found, everything started falling into place. From there we could try out interior technology, automate breaking surface detail, extrude edges and so on.
What we had created was a method for procedurally creating wrecked versions of original assets-- a method that, as it where, involved very little repetitive manual content work, and that, when in place, could be used over and over again for future dividends.
At this point the tools were promising enough that a 3D Artist (yours truly), was assigned to test them. I started creating the first “real” wreck-- something that looked good enough to use in the game.
My first order of business was to catch up with Ph00ze and wrap my head around the tools, their functionality and the possibilities they would open up. Prototyping on the actual capital ship assets could begin.
During the initial prototype phase processes and tools are in constant development and in a back and forth iteration between the technical artist and the 3D artist.
While the 3D artist is initially trying out the tools and reporting back on functionality and defects, the technical artist continues to develop new ways of improving and adding to the process of capital wreck creation.
The tools quickly become streamlined into a very efficient process with a lot of automated steps. A lot of experimental tricks a tried during this phase.
Look mom, I made a flow chart!
Not many assets get created at this point as time is mainly invested in creating one visual target that acts as a proof of concept.
This approach has both the benefit of fast and focused iteration and bug fixing, while also avoiding the risk of creating flawed content in bulk that would then have to be retroactively fixed or remade.
After this initial phase we reached a point in development where we basically had our first capital wreck done and the processes and tools were in place. During the process some tools were scrapped, others were added and pretty much all of them were tweaked and polished.
At this point we gathered all of our tools into one ‘step by step’ integrated Maya UI, and we marched forward into production.
The wreck tools, ready to have a go at the Fenrir.
First order of business was to create some ‘Cutters’-- basically a set of shattered 3D volumes that determine how and where the ship is broken and fragmented.
These volumes are reusable between assets and can be rotated, scaled and tweaked to fit any ship and create a variety of ship breakups.
In addition to breaking the ships apart, this complex Boolean process would also cap all mesh holes created by the breakup by applying correct UV’s as well as the correct ‘damaged Interior’ materials and textures onto these surfaces.
Once the ship has been broken into pieces, you can use any physics simulator to scatter the wreckage and debris as you please.
Shattering a ship with advanced Booleans using the pre-fabricated ‘Cutter’ geometry.
Now the Fenrir has been broken quite severely but the breaking points still look very clean and straight. It doesn’t exactly look like anything ‘sploded around here now does it?
To fix that we have a couple of tools at our disposal. Firstly we add some ‘Edge debris’. This basically means extruding the armor plating around the cut along any axis we choose at any length we choose.
In this case we will extrude along the Z-axis of the ship.
When we do the extrusion the tool will automatically UV the extruded geometry for us and apply the correct debris texture. In addition the tool automatically paints all edge vertices black along with the base vertices of the extruded geometry. This fades in a damage texture on the final wreck and ensures a smooth transition between ship hull and extruded armor plating.
Adding extruded debris geometry and adding transition using vertex coloring.
Another option we have to add detail to the interior cut sections is to spawn premade debris geometry on these. We can spawn any number of different debris pieces at any size, angle and rotation.
This serves especially well to add a more realistic mangled look to smaller debris fragment, that doesn’t warrant any big armor plating extrusions.
Debris beams spawned on small fragment.
At this point we have the base wreck ready. Through the wreck tool we can now auto generate an ambient occlusion UVset and bake our AO map.
Basically, because the primary UVset of the capital ships are using tiled UVs, meaning that not all surface areas of the ships has its own unique texturespace, for us to be able to give every area of the ships its own correct light occlusion, we add a secondary unique UVset which is then used to bake out and apply an ambient occlusion map.
We can now also paint some additional vertex color to add additional damage and dirt to the hull exactly where we want it.
Finished base wreck mesh, ready for game engine export.
There a still something missing here though. Check out those big empty spaces between all the major fragments. Seems we need something to tie this mass together. Time for another feature request I guess :)
While I had been wrecking my ship my feature needs had been duly anticipated by CCP Ph00ze, who had already done some prototyping of exactly what I was looking for. Enter small debris and dust cloud particle systems.
All I had to do was find the right values for particle amount, size, colors etc. and the tool would do the rest.
Basically the debris tool places two particle emitters at the breaking points of each fragment and then reassembles the ship to its original position.
The system then, over a 100 frame timeline duration, animates all the fragments back to their ‘wreck position’. While running this animation the emitters leave a trail behind the fragments of smoke and small debris pieces (hence two emitters per Fragment).
The amount of smoke and debris each fragment emits is X multiplied by the total surface area of the fragments ‘interior’ parts.
The smoke is colored based on how close it is to its parent fragment, so that smoke that lies right up against the fragment has an slight orange tint from the fire and molten metal that surrounds it.
Likewise, small particle debris that lies close up against its parent fragment has a greater chance of having glowing surfaces than debris further away.
Particle clouds did cause us some technical headaches.
Upon exporting our first wreck with particle clouds and debris, it became clear we were going to have sorting problems with two (or more) overlapping particle systems.
The sorting problems initially put us off the particle systems for a bit, but we realized that this issue was going to have to be solved in any case. Particle systems or no, the ship explosion itself would break if we didn’t fix this issue. It was time to look up CCP ManKiller again.
After some looking into the issue, he came through with flying colors, fixing our issue by having the debris particles write to the depth buffer. We could have our clouds.
Finished base wreck mesh including particle clouds.
Now were ready to export our wreck and take a look in our game engine tool (AKA "Jessica").
This is a far cry from the all-but-forgotten wrecks of pre-Rubicon. A keen eye will observe some details that have not yet been mentioned in our wreck creation process: damage decals. More specifically, cube maps projected onto the hull, with surrounding damage and dirt to give the illusion if hull breaches with interior damage.
And so, alas, we reach the end of the Fenrir. With now one capital down and 26 to go, our time spent on tools building and prototyping really paid off.
Again, with but one lonely 3D artist and his technical artist buddy, we cut our way through the rest of the 27 capitals in time to deliver them all to you with Rubicon 1.1.
We hope you enjoyed this little insight into some of our asset creation processes, and again, we hope you will enjoy littering the battlefield with these as much as we did creating them :)
Oh yes, almost forgot, let’s look at some more wrecks now that we are here.
It’s not often people see wrecks of this size in game, so we’re extra excited to see the Titanomachy site going in game to have a permanent (if not super dangerous) place to see these in space.
And with that, I am CCP BlueScreen, and this is Team Trilambda signing off. We wish you safe travels.
No seriously, fly safe and stay immortal o7
So now that I have this tool, what to wreck next …?
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I’m CCP Ingo, Global Brand Director for EVE Online at CCP Games.
Some of our players may remember a Dev Blog released by CCP Heimdall back in December 2012, which gave details surrounding the re-launch of EVE in China, and the handover to a new publisher, Tiancity.
Since Chinese New Year is fast approaching, and during this time many people take a look at the previous year in review while also looking forward to the year ahead, we decided here at CCP that it was time to give our players on Tranquility a brief update of how EVE China is progressing.
After the upgrades to the Serenity cluster in Shanghai and the re-launch of EVE in China, we have become truly inspired by our Chinese players’ enthusiasm for EVE Online as we have watched Serenity’s subscription numbers double since the commercial launch of EVE China at the beginning of last year.
This is an event that has not been seen before in the history of EVE, and is a milestone for EVE China that would never have been possible without the support and dedication of such a vibrant and creative Chinese player base, and the skill and dedication from the Tiancity staff in Shanghai.
Working with both NVIDIA and ASUS in 2013 to host a grand spring event in order to promote both the Retribution and Odyssey expansions, Tiancity held a summer offline gathering comparable in size to EVE Fanfest, and in the fall of 2013, were successful in bringing EVE to the K1 e-sports professional tournament, a first for both Serenity, and EVE Online.
Finishing the year off with a brand new commemorative game time card collection, saw players on Serenity celebrate the end of 2013 in a huge high.
Serenity differs vastly from Tranquility in terms of player population, time zone spread (despite the fact that China is a vast nation), player preferences, in game territorial distribution and a myriad of other factors, giving it an ecosystem of its own that has provided immense challenges for Tiancity, who have performed amazing work in the successful localization of EVE.
We are often also reminded that Chinese players have a very different approach to online gaming, with higher personalization demands and a completely different play style that has seen Serenity make its own steps, some of which have even been ahead of Tranquility. With account management services helping trial accounts convert remaining game time into allocable skillpoints upon first-time subscription, new players can get started a little faster and can spread their wings further while taking their first brave steps into New Eden. By sending certain special ships as a gift for subscription, new pilots are also given a myriad of new options for fittings and adventures.
The introduction of EVE to live broadcasting in K1, an e-sports platform with huge influence in China, has demonstrated the charm of EVE Online’s gameplay to thousands of potential new players, and as we can see from community feedback, these localized services which have been worked on relentlessly by Tiancity have been extremely well received.
In 2014, CCP and Tiancity are hoping to repeat the success of the previous year by bringing Chinese players more interesting and customized services in typical EVE flavoured style, along with more development support for Serenity in the hope to continue the level of growth since launch.
We do of course also hope that the lessons learned by both CCP and Tiancity can be put to practical use to benefit all our players, across both Tranquility and Serenity, and we sincerely hope that players in both locations enjoy the next year of EVE Online’s development.
With this in mind, CCP staff from our offices across the globe in Reykjavík, Newcastle, Atlanta, Shanghai and San Francisco would like to express our best wishes in 2014 for our players on Tranquility, and wish our players on Serenity, and our partners at Tiancity the best of success and happiness in year of the horse.
Game of Drones, the team that brought you the new Certificate system, the Interbus Ship Identification System (ISIS), the Multiple Character training and the Sisters of EVE ships, has been busy polishing… nay, spit shining its features from Rubicon just in time for Rubicon 1.1 on January 28th.
Sisters of EVE ships are getting reinforcements
As was announced at EVE Down Under last November, the Sisters of EVE ships released in Rubicon are receiving support in Rubicon 1.1 with a brand new battleship lovingly named the Nestor. While themed around exploration and flexibility like its smaller siblings, it does not receive a bonus to cloaking but bonuses to remote repair amount and range to make it a very powerful sub-cap logistic ship.
(Click to enlarge)
Amarr Battleship Bonus:
Gallente Battleship Bonus:
The Nestor can be acquired in the same way that the Stratios and Astero are, via Sisters of EVE LP stores. Here are the LP offer specifics:
Discount Nestor (From the Sanctuary):
Discount Nestor Blueprint (From the Sanctuary):
Taught is how you train!
Both the Certificates and the Ship Masteries now show you the approximate training time required for a certain level. This will help better inform you as you plan your skill training and give you an even better overview of where you stand. Additionally you can now hide completed skills in both locations to further underline what you want to train.
“Show info” now shows info
Within the ISIS is a wonderful Information tooltip that shows you the relevant stats of a ship, a format and a layout that is now being extended to the ‘normal’ Show info window. Furthermore, the “Description” tab of the Show Info window is now split in two, where the lore text remains in the Description tab and the specific ship capabilities are now present in a new tab called “Traits”. This will allow you to quickly and easily get a feel for what the ship can do. The information presented in the Traits window is now listed for ships in the market.
(Click to enlarge)
Multiple Character Training
Using your PLEX for skill training, whether it is to extend your account or activate additional Training Queues has never been easier. Simply double click the PLEX (or right click, “Activate PLEX”) and spend your PLEX in a new and cozy interface.
We hope you enjoy these Rubicon 1.1 changes from the bridge of your new Nestor.
That is all for now!
- CCP Xhagen
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As many of you know, we have a few forum threads where you guys have been telling us what minor Quality of Life changes (so-called "Little Things") you want to see in EVE Online. And as some of you also know, I've been going through these threads, picking out the ideas and implementing them. You can read about some of these changes in my previous devblogs:
I'm here today to tell you about some of these things coming your way in Rubicon 1.1! :)
One of the things that seemed to annoy you contract-crazy people a lot is that extra click needed to check the "Private" checkbox in the Contract Creation window and many have asked for it to happen automagically. In Rubicon 1.1. we are changing it so we check that box for you when you start typing or drop a character in the private field, so now all the forgetful people won’t have to worry about getting that "Either clear the name field or change Availability to "Private"" message when moving to the next page in the Contract creation window :P
A few releases ago we added the option to highlight in blue your own orders in the "Details" tab in the Market (if you haven't found it yet, check out the "Settings" tab or read my devblog). When you have your orders highlighted, they can be right-clicked to be modified. At the time we added this feature, we figured we should probably not allow you to cancel the orders from there, just to save you from yourself. Based on your requests to have that functionality there, I'm guessing you don't want our help, so we are adding the "Cancel" action to that menu. Just don't come crying to me when you accidentally cancel your valuable market orders!
Ever been trying to view member details for more than one of your corp mates? It's "fairly" annoying that it's not possible if a Member Details window is already open, and you have rightfully pointed so out. We are changing it so if you try to view member details on a pilot now and one of those windows is already open, it will be closed and a new one will replace it.
Wading through the bureaucracy of insuring a ship when you own or have access to many ships? It's quite a task I tell you, and in my case leads to flying uninsured ships way too many times simply because I cannot be bothered to find the ship in the massive list of ships.
Wouldn't it be lovely to be able to just right-click your ship and directly open the Insurance Terms window for that one ship? That's what we thought too, so after Rubicon 1.1 goes out on the Tranquility server, that will be a thing.
In order to make that possible, the Insurance Terms window had to be rebuilt. While at it, we figured it would be nice to have the window "non-modal" and add some extra info into it, such as the picture and name of the ship type, as well as the ship name and the current insurance on it.
And since we were changing stuff there, we decided to make the pop-ups that inform you about insurance suppressible, mostly with your corporation and mass-fitters in mind but also for our own mental health as we were testing these insurance changes :P
The last day before my extended Christmas vacation, I woke up to a tweet from one "Mr." Rhavas, where he presented a list of his Christmas wishes. One of his suggestions interested me a lot, and later that day as I was done wrapping up things for my vacation, I decided to just go for it.
What Rhavas suggested was to add a location search field in the Route Info panel, making it easier to quickly find a location to set a route to. It will search for Regions, Constellations, Solar Systems and Stations, grouping the results into those categories.
Please don't all now go around tweeting me your personal wish lists. This was just a great idea and perfect timing :P You can of course still tweet all sorts of accolades my way ;)...
I like things to be dragable. So when one of my co-workers asked me kindly if we could make the items in the "Variation" tab dragable so it was possible to drag them into the Compare Tool, I was all over it. That of course also means that you can drop them in Chat to create links, and add them to the Market Quickbar. In addition, you can now similarly drag and drop item types from the Contract Creation wizard, the Redeeming System, and other similar lists.
Lately I've been watching quite a bit of your awesome Twitch streams, and one night Sir Squeebles was running an event called Fits & Giggles. It's a sort of a gift exchange with fitted ships and when it's over all the participants go roaming in their new ships.
Well, one of the ships given out was a Myrmidon fitted with modules worth about 3 billion ISK. What struck me was that when the good Sir pulled up the fit in the Fitting Management window, nothing stood out that indicated that the fit was crazy expensive. As I was on vacation and had plenty of free time..., I went ahead and added the icons and tech overlays to the modules in the Fitting Management window so it will give you a better idea of what kind of modules are included in the fit.
(Hint: that Myrmidon loot piñata is still alive, so keep an eye out for it).
While I was at it and because I love drag & drop like previously mentioned, it only made sense to make it possible to drag the modules from the window and drop them in edit fields to create links.
And since you guys have been asking a lot for a shortcut to open the Fitting Management window, now seemed to be a good time to add that for you :) The shortcut is not set by default, but you can configure it, like any other shortcut, in the “Shortcuts” section of the ESC window.
In a forum post where I told you guys that these changes were available for testing on the Singularity test server ("Sisi"), Nicen Jehr pointed out that hitting Enter in the search field in the Fitting Management window didn't actually execute search as most humans would expect. That was just stupid, so we fixed it right away :)
We know the attributes tab in the Show Info windows is a bit of a mess, and we want to fix that. We started in Odyssey 1.1 by changing the layout of the attributes. In Rubicon 1.1 we take another small step by arranging the damage resistance of ships and drones into bars similar to what you see in the Fitting window. This saves a bunch of space and also makes the info much more readable for you.
When working on this, I was a bit shocked by the mess that was the attribute tab for drones. About a million attributes that were not sorted at all. Since the drones are kind of like cute mini-ships, we thought it was a good idea to give them the same grouping as the attribute tab in the Show Info window for ships.
There are still plenty of things we can group together to make the attribute tab neater, and we'll be looking into that in the future.
Over and out! (btw, this devblog contains 8 smilies, which I believe is a personal best for me :))
PS. Industry guys, you are next on my list. :)
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As many have pointed out, there's a fight in recent history that was of nearly identical scale to the HED fight: 6VDT on 28 July, 2013. Performance for that fight was considerably better than the HED fight. I want to put a number on the comparison but first I need to explain what that number means.
We've got three metrics that are used in series to talk about how loaded a server is. A vast majority of the time, we need only look at the current CPU utilization of the node, as that's usually nicely below 80% and everything's nice and responsive. Beyond that, the server starts getting overloaded and Time Dilation starts kicking in, so we switch to using the amount of dilation as the metric to track. If you keep on going though, eventually you'll hit the artificial 10% cap on the time dilation factor. That cap is in place to provide some form of resolution to an extremely overloaded fight, even if it’s one side disengaging and warping out. Naturally, folks can induce more load than what would put a server into 10% TiDi, so we need a metric to measure how bad things are past then.
Handily, we have one from the pre-TiDi days - how far behind the process that handles module stop/repeats is in its processing, called Dogma Lateness. “Dogma” being the system that handles modules and their effects, among other things, and “Lateness” being a common term for how late something is. Clever name really. In any case, this is the number I believe best captures the impact of overloading on players. It looks beyond how unresponsive the server may be to immediate requests and accurately captures how much built up load there is to chug through before normal processing of the game can resume.
So, the gravy. In 6VDT, the Dogma lateness metric peaked at 42 simulation-seconds. Since the system was at 10% TiDi, that translates to 7 minutes in real life time. HED-GP on the other hand peaked at 193 simulation-seconds, or 32 minutes real-time. That, as you can imagine, is a pretty big difference in player experience.
What caused the difference? Well, we can't be completely sure of that as we don't run our performance analysis tools during such insanely high load since they add load of their own, but we've got a couple pretty good guesses. Those guesses are increased drone use and the extended length of the fight. Length of fight’s influence is pretty easy to see, as the two fights start out similarly for the first couple hours, but then 6VDT cooled down while HED-GP carried on with more and more load backing up over time.
Now for a number that motivates the drones reasoning. It's difficult to recreate from logs exactly how many active drones there were in space at any given time in each fight, but as a close approximation we harvested up all of the logged events of drones being deployed and grouped up how many unique drone instances were dropped in each system during the duration of each fight. In 6VDT there were 21,123 unique drones deployed into the system, while in HED there were 38,852. For the division-impaired, that's an 84% increase. That number probably doesn't directly translate to an 84% increase in the number of active drones on field at any given point, especially given the extended duration. Even so, it does indicate a substantial increase in drone usage in HED over 6VDT.
Now, for why that's a problem. Drones plainly do more than just guns – guns go pewpew, drones approach, orbit, go pewpew, then come back and like do some decision making of their own along the way. Yes, even sentry drones do these things, they just move very, very slowly. Given that, it’s hopefully no news that all things being equal, a drone attack event is more to do than a single gun hit. The picture gets worse though after you consider the second part of the scaling problem – how many game clients see those events and therefore need to be told about them.
This is one of the bounding scaling factors in large fleet fights, the unavoidable O(n2) situation where n people do things that n people need to see. This is a problem for guns too, of course, but it’s magnified for drones in two ways. The first is that they simply have more messages, so as the n2 part becomes large, drone’s contribution becomes larger faster. The other bit is that the decision making code behind drone behavior does a poor job of scaling, often considering all attackable objects on grid when figuring out who to go after. Again, an n2-like problem, where n drones consider attacking (n + num_ships) targets.
These are addressable problems. The recently reinvigorated performance-minded gameplay engine team - Team Gridlock - has been having conversations with game design about what their goals are with drones and how we can support them in making drones a viable and happy weapon system for players and the hamsters that run Tranquility alike. It's unclear at this point how work specifically relating to drones will prioritize against the on-going Dogma work the team has been taking on. That prioritization depends strongly on the future popularity of drone-centric fleet doctrines, which we're expecting to see changes in due to both general drone balance updates and other design adjustments currently being planned. We'll have a clearer picture of how needed the work is as we see those efforts come to fruition.
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When we released Rubicon two months ago we introduced the concept of Mobile Structures, a set of deployable objects that allow players to have more control over their local environment and that represent the first applications of our completely new space structure codebase. We have enjoyed watching as our players took advantage of these structures and explored the new options available to them.
Rubicon 1.1 will contain five new Mobile Structures, three of which are aimed at “farms and fields” gameplay and have already been covered in CCP SoniClover’s recent dev blog. The other two are more open ended in their goals, intended to provide flexible tools that creative players can use in a variety of ways. Open ended tools are one of my favorite things about sandbox games like EVE, where being among the first to come up with a completely new non-obvious strategy is extremely rewarding.
This blog will contain a quick status report with statistics about the original Rubicon structures, coverage of these two new 1.1 mobile structures, as well as an update to the plan for the previously announced Encounter Surveillance System that we are implementing based on the valuable feedback we have received from the player community so far.
In our Rubicon 1.0 release last November we introduced our first four Mobile Structures. These structures were based on completely new space structure code and were far simpler to deploy and use than any previous EVE structures. We have been very happy to see how quickly players have embraced these new tools and started using them to improve their gameplay.
In the slightly over two months since Rubicon launched, we have seen a flurry of mobile structure activity, led by very rapid adoption of the Mobile Tractor Unit.
In this time period, Mobile Tractor Units have been deployed into space a staggering three million times, with an average of about 10,000 unique characters deploying MTUs each day.
Mobile Depots have also been incredibly popular, with over 200,000 Depots deployed since Rubicon’s launch.
The more advanced and specialized Mobile Cynosural Inhibitor has seen much more modest usage as expected, with a total of just over 500 separate Cynosural Inhibitors launched into space so far.
Interestingly, the biggest users of the Mobile Structures by far are those of you running missions for the Sisters of EVE corporation. This may be a sign that those players who switched to Sisters of EVE missions to take advantage of the new SoE faction ships are among the pilots most responsive to new opportunities in the game. An amazing 11% of all Mobile Tractor Unit deployments and 5% of all Mobile Depot deployments have taken place in constellations that are known for their Sisters of EVE agents.
We have even noticed different preferences between the groups of mission runners in different constellations. Those of you running SoE missions out of Osmon are the universe’s most avid users of Mobile Tractor Units, while those of you living in Apanake are the biggest users of Mobile Depots. Lanngisi residents fall into the middle, using both structures to a great degree.
I haven’t yet mentioned statistics for the Siphons introduced in Rubicon, because we are endeavoring to be very careful with what information we release about the usage of these strategically significant devices. We do feel comfortable sharing that siphons are being deployed on Starbases all over EVE, and have been extremely successful at liberating the precious moon materials found within.
In the two months since Rubicon, over 245 billion isk of moon minerals have been siphoned from the mining towers of New Eden. That’s enough moon minerals to produce over 20,000 Interceptors!
From the start, the development of our new space structure code base was intended to enable a wide variety of additions to EVE Online, and more types of personal mobile structures are a significant part of that plan. As the minutes from last summer’s CSM summit mentioned, we had designs for twelve deployable structures in place as of last summer. We won’t necessarily implement all of these designs (and of course we have added to our collection of potential Mobile Structures with help from our creative community), but two more of those original twelve structures are going to be available to you for the first time in Rubicon 1.1!
The Mobile Micro Jump Unit is the first mobility enhancer that we are implementing within the Mobile Structure system. Its functionality will be very familiar to those of you who have used the Large Micro Jump Drive ship module. When active, any player within range can use it to launch their ship 100km in any direction. It has no cooldown between uses or limit to how many ships can use it at once, but it does have a spoolup time of 12 seconds just like the MJD module.
The Mobile Micro Jump Unit can be used by any ship that is smaller than a carrier, and does not discriminate between its owner and any other player that tries to use it. It is a one-time use disposable structure with an affordable manufacturing cost of about one million isk and a lifetime of two days.
We expect this structure will be especially useful for players who choose to take the time to strategically place them in areas where they will be needed in the future, as well as any player who wishes to take advantage of the power Micro Jump effect on a ship other than the battleships that previously had access to the Large Micro Jump Drive module.
To find all the details about the Mobile Micro Jump Unit as well as provide your feedback on the structure, check out this thread in our Features and Ideas forum.
The new Mobile Scan Inhibitor is all about control of information. This tool will for the first time allow players to limit the information available to their opponents over a specific area. When active, the Mobile Scan Inhibitor will prevent the operation of both combat probes and directional scanners by or against anything within its 30km radius. The structure itself is always visible to both probes and directional scans, and is extremely easy to pinpoint using probes. This means that any other players in system will be able to easily tell where something might be hiding, but will not know what that something might be.
Players that are inside the radius of the Scan Inhibitor will also find their own probes and directional scanners disabled by the structure’s interference, so those hiding behind the Scan Inhibitor will be blinded by the same fog of war as their opponents.
The Mobile Scan Inhibitor is another one-time use disposable structure, costs about fifteen million ISK to build, and lasts one hour.
The Mobile Scan Inhibitor allows players to wield the power of uncertainty against their enemies, either dissuading a timid opponent from approaching or goading an overconfident one into a carefully laid trap. Information weapons are inherently flexible in their use, and we expect to see many great EVE stories arise from the creative use of these new structures.
All the details and discussion about the Mobile Scan Inhibitor you could hope for can be found in this thread in our Features and Ideas forum.
CCP SoniClover announced the new Encounter Surveillance System in this previous Dev Blog, and he has been working hard to incorporate the excellent feedback our community has provided into improvements to the structure’s design.
The Encounter Surveillance System is a structure that allows nullsec pirate hunters to optionally increase the rewards of their efforts in exchange for increased risk. This has the effect of giving players more control over their risks and rewards they encounter, as well as providing engaging player interaction as small groups of players can roam through hostile space and attempt to steal riches from the ESS modules deployed throughout nullsec space.
When we announced the last iteration of the ESS structure, many players indicated to us that they believed that the risk/reward balance of the structure was out of whack. It was too easy for fast ships to steal ISK from the ESS before the local residents would be able to scramble their defenses, and the potential benefits would not be worth the increased risk to player’s wealth generation.
Taking this feedback to heart, SoniClover and our team have improved the ESS with several tweaks that should make usage much more attractive for Nullsec residents and therefore provide a rich target environment for skilled raiders.
The biggest changes relate to the rewards for using the ESS and the length of time for which a potential thief must remain vulnerable:
There are also several smaller changes being made to the ESS attributes:
All the same basic functionality of the ESS from the original version remains intact in this iteration, and the extra LP rewards are added on top of the potential increased ISK gain.
We want to give a special thanks to all the players who provided valuable feedback to the original ESS proposal and have helped improve the design significantly. The invaluable player-elected representatives in the Council of Stellar Management have also been extremely helpful by collecting and focusing feedback in discussions with our development team.
To further discuss these changes to the ESS plan, check out this thread!
All of these Mobile Structures are coming your way on Tuesday, January 28th with our Rubicon 1.1 point release. We are very happy to be able to bring you this rapid follow-up to the Rubicon expansion and we hope you enjoy taking advantage of these new tools as much as we have enjoyed making them for you!
Thanks for reading, and good hunting!
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