Tuesday, January 24th. The First Day of The Blah Blah Blah

I finally made it through the CSM minutes from the December Summit. Crikey! That was a lot of :words:, I found myself getting lost somewhere near the end of the art department segment. I did find a few things interesting though. The first was that CCP appeared a bit cold to the CSM when talking about the continuing influence of the CSM. The exact quote is :

“CCP confirmed that no change was planned for how the CSM fit into EVE’s development as a result of the reorg, the CSM is a very good sounding board for CCP and will be continued to be used as such. The value of the CSM has been seen in the past and there is no reason to disregard that fact on CCP’s behalf.”

Given the writing style of the minutes, once could take that to be just an emotionless statement, but I am a bit suspicious that the statement is worded in a cold way rather than an emotionless way. We shall see when the next CSM enters. I for one have been very impressed with  the CSM as an organizing force this go around, even with the ~evil~ nullsec agenda. I hope that CCP recognizes the value of the current iteration of the CSM and isn’t simply paying lip service to them. While many have thought this CSM to be controversial or unrepresentative of the Eve community’s wants, this CSM has done more for the “game” in terms of iteration than any previous CSM. Many features that wouldn’t have seen the light of day were fast tracked in order to “fix” broken parts of the game. Say what you will about Mitanni, Death, and Vile Rat, but they’ve brought fixes to severely broken areas of the game while making sure they are parts that the entire Eve player base can enjoy.

Back to the minutes. I loved the idea of a loyalty program, mostly for selfish reasons. Admittedly though it doesn’t make much sense. The player base is extremely loyal once they’ve passed that dreaded three year mark, according to CCP. I certainly believe it given the number of 2008 and older characters i see about. So a loyalty program would be nice as a “thank you” to the players but wouldn’t do a whole ton to increase player retention as a whole. Either you are hooked and play till your wife threatens to leave you or you quit within the first few years. One great idea that CCP has been tossing about was the Master Account. I have three separate accounts, I would have more if I could afford it, but logging into all those accounts is a pain in the ass. I’d love to log into one and service the all three accounts with one username and password. The less work for the player, the better. I really hope this comes to fruition.

The economy section was interesting but had math and :words: which meant it totally  over my head. There’s a reason why I pvp instead of playing the market: I’m a relative idiot. I know, good reader, “That can’t be!” Quit gasping, it’s true. Similarly to the economy discussion was the discussion about PLEX. A notable section says:

CSM also pointed out that ISK is not tied to PLEX in any fashion, and the amount of ISK does not change in the overall economy due to PLEX use. Therefore the CSM wanted to know more about the reasons why CCP wanted to be able to react, and what they would do, to price fluctuations on the PLEX market – barring of course a possible steep decline in subscriber numbers should players not be able to afford PLEX for ISK.

CCP noted that in monetary theory it is possible to have inflation, or deflation, in an economic system even though the amount of money in the system is stable. This is due to the velocity of money – how often cash is changing hands. Therefore it is very important not only to monitor money supply in EVE but rather the entire economic value produced within the system, and imported into the economic system via PLEX. A large influx of economic value via PLEX could potentially have damaging effect on the economy, at least in the short and medium term.”

CCP’s reply was then backed up with the Quantity Theory of Money. While I’m not an economist at all, I disagree with CCP’s desire to intervene in PLEX prices simply because of this criticism of the QTM:

“While mainstream economists agree that the quantity theory holds true in the long run, there is still disagreement about its applicability in the short run. Critics of the theory argue that money velocity is not stable and, in the short-run, prices are sticky, so the direct relationship between money supply and price level does not hold.”

I would also point out that CCP is most likely falling for the money illusion. ISK has a “real value” that represents what it x amount of ISK can actually purchase. This “real value” rises and falls depending on the market and overall amount of ISK actively trading hands. If a 60 day PLEX costs 2 Billion ISK, CCP would most certainly view that as an excessive price for a PLEX, but the price would have risen that high due to high volumes of ISK trading hands and the driving down of ISK’s “real value”. All that poorly linked economic theory to say, I think CCP “actively” adjusting prices of any sort is a bad idea. I certainly think that restricting or opening the ISK flood gates is a great way to respond to inflation or deflation just as a central bank would do, but all these adjustments must be made carefully and with consideration for the sand box aspect of the game.

I really liked the supercapital logistics discussions. The “spool up” idea for jumpdrives is brilliant as it provides both a useful game mechanic and potential lore for the eve universe. Living in 0.0 for over a year now, I’ve seen firsthand the pure portability of supercaps and its quite silly how quickly they can move from one end of the universe to the other given the proper coordination.

Thumbs up on destructable outposts. Great idea, get on it CCP. Let me urge them in this: If you develop destructable outposts, you much make owning one all the more valuable. Put more worth into having them, otherwise you’ll find people simply setting up lots of POS’s and living out of those. I suppose this all goes back into making sovereignty valuable on its own. Technetium is obviously the most lucrative game in Eve right now, but its not tied to Sov. You can take advantage of moons regardless of Sov. Obviously holding Sov makes it far easier to have and to hold those moons (till xxxdeathxxx do we part), but again they are not dependent on sov. I’ve no solutions here, just trying to make the echo louder and more redundant.

In the Game Balancing section, there are several fantastic ideas that CCP has devoted some thought to. The first is making T1 frigates and cruisers more useful. They specifically mentioned making cruisers speedier than battlecruisers as an example of T1 cruisers being bypassed. While I do agree that a bit of a boost to T1 ships would be nice, CCP has to realize that there are always going to be “useless” ships to certain players. I personally passed over regular cruisers rather quickly. IIRC, I was into a Hurricane within a few months. Now think about that, I bypassed a stabber and rupture within a few months and really haven’t touched them since. Part of the reason is that fitting a T1 cruiser with T2 mods increases the cost ten fold. That’s probably the highest cost increase in the entire game, so it’s simply not worth it for me to use a rupture that costs me ~30mil fully fit, when I can pay a negligible 15 more million and get a fully fit hurricane that has vastly improved abilities. It’s not so much that these ships suck, but that once you quit using meta 1 mods, the price becomes unjustifiable (except for the ~lulz~ fleets).

Electronic Attack Ships are briefly mentioned for being allowed to use ECM mods on capital ships. That’s just stupid unless you create specific mods for those ships that are useful. The main problem with the EAS is their massive sig radius’ relative to other frigate sized ships. There’s no point in flying something that has little chance of getting away while not providing a strong incentive to do so. The EAS frigs are certainly fun gimmick ships, but again probably need a complete revamping instead of being given an even bigger gimmick as “capital tacklers” or something.

Seemingly the most controversial point in the CSM minutes has been the proposed nerf to the drake. The proposition is to remove the resist and kinetic missile damage bonus, which makes sense. It has always been a ridiculous brick tank (I’ve personally used a >100k ehp drake as bait) and to see that changed and become more focused will be great. OH NOES WHAT ABOUT MY PVE DRAKE??? Get over it and grit your teeth for faction BS’s and other more expensive mission toys that you can lose hilariously like me. This change will give supreme reign to the nanodrakes though, especially if you can expect >100k engagement ranges with 400dps. Goodbye my sweet Cerberus, you’re about to become completely useless now.

“Cloak hunters” – retarded idea. AFK cloaking is a completely fine and legit mechanic, quit bitching about it, for fuck’s sake people.

The last notable thing to me was the mention of new missile and explosion animations. “Anime style missile swarm” sounds very appealing. Give me Gundam missiles dammit! This all is a very good thing because the missiles and explosions are about as lame as can be. Think about how many things explode in Eve every minute and we have the same shitty “Death start ring of doom” explosion. 

All in all, the minutes were very encouraging. I’m excited to see how some of these ideas (most certainly the terrible ones) makes it into the game and how other ideas (the great ones) disappear.

On a completely different note, I got into a Cerberus last night. I have no idea why I though flying a sniping missile ship was a great idea, its not. So don’t do it. Here’s a little story for your amusement though. I get my ship fit up in a fitting that I’m relatively happy with. It has a targeting range of ~140km and a missile range of 180k. I rolled down to Oijanen quickly to sit off the hisec gate. I first warped off to a safe spot in system and then to my sniping spot. Upon landing I found my cap was at 5% when I had over 80% midwarp so clearly the warp hadn’t taken it down and I was cap stable without my MWD and even with it, had a cap time of 40 seconds. I waited a couple of seconds for my cap to recharge and then warped back to my safe. Once I landed at the safe, my cap was fine. I did this three or four times and lost nearly all of my cap upon landing on the gate. The unlucky 4th time, I landed on the gate and some BricK sQuAD. guys landed right there and proceeded to murder me. My poor Cerb had lasted less than 10 minutes in this world. Damn. 

I am a terrible pilot, space friends.

On top of that, we got hit up by some more BricK sQuAD. guys in another system. We’d been moving some freighters around and one of our escort guys got caught by their crow. I warped in with my daredevil hoping to kill the crow before the other guys showed up, but right as the crow popped a cane showed up followed by a stiletto and dram. I was sunk. While this was going on, I stupidly warped my Falcon in too (just in case losing my daredevil wasn’t enough lost isk). I cried into my pint glass the rest of the night. Which was filled with Bier Brewery’s Kolsch! It was such  a lovely example of a delicate style. The ale that was a lager. Goodbye spacefriends.

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