Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Moving On: Let's Talk About Clash Royale

Clash Royale is a mobile game that I've been playing for about a year and a half, maybe more.
Its a PvP game where you make a "deck" of 8 "cards" and compete against another player (or AL trainers when you first start out) trying to win by killing more towers than the other player before the 3 minute timer runs out (with overtime if tied), or winning immediately by destroying the opponent's king tower.

Each card has stats such as how much elixir it costs to play, how much damage, how many hit points, range, speed, etc. Most cards are units you play, but there are also buildings which don't move and spells that don't create a unit but cause damage.

When you start out there are not many cards to pick from to make your 8 card deck, but as you battle and win you get chests to open that give you gold and cards. Sometimes they are cards you already have and you can save up to level them up to more powerful versions of themselves, and sometimes you get new cards from which you can add to your deck.

It sounds very simple when I explain it like that but it gets quite complicated when you factor in all the combinations of the different cards. You might think "oh just load up on the most powerful cards" but they are balanced by rarity for upgrading them and elixir cost, and some cards have natural synergy and some do not work well together at all. And once you settle on a deck you may find it works well against some archetypes and weak against others.

Here's my current deck:
 A Hog Rider / PEKKA beatdown deck, with a freeze spell to maximize on when I get some damage on the tower. I just recently switched out electo wizard for the fireball so I'm lower than my past high trophies of ~4800, but hope to climb into the 5000s when I get that fireball leveled up to max.

"Ok, Kirith, but how much money have you sunk into this game?"

Not a lot actually. When I started I bought some gems for ~$14 but have not spent any other money since then. If you want to get all the cards to max quickly, including any legendaries, you will have to pay but a casual player like me doesn't worry about it.

"Doesn't it get boring after a while?"

The basic 1v1 battle can get boring but there are tournaments, clan wars, 2v2 battles, special event challenges... there is almost something other to do besides 1v1 so it keeps the basic battles fresh since you can switch it up. Being in a clan helps too as you can do some 2v2 battles together.

If you give it a try, let me know! If you play and are looking for a clan, let me know about that too!

Friday, December 07, 2018

In the Light of a New Day...

After a decent night's sleep and a calmer mind I look back at the events of yesterday and I can say that...

I'm still done.

I appreciate the helpful advice in comments and on twitter, I really do. But at the end of the day my industrial activities in EVE were always a casual one man affair trying to have some fun making a small business on one screen while working on another and the two ganks this past month have shown me that its become more frustrating than its worth.

I was at keyboard, watching ships around me, ready for danger and still I failed. I had to know the proper way to log off, I had to have scout alts, I had to wait for the right time, avoid certain systems, join channels, etc etc etc. On the other hand, the gankers sit there and ping a channel when a target is sighted, target me, hit F1, and get a kill. The asymmetry of it all galls me still, and has for years. If I can't casually have my high sec little business without this stress, I'm going to quit. Other's can have it.

But I think the tipping point was CCP's utter disregard for low sec and faction warfare. I was hopeful that after Fozzie Sov went live and they had a chance to iterate on that system that we would see an overhaul of faction warfare in light of lessons learned and what structures have done to space. Instead we got nothing new as CCP has gone on with Abyssal Space and Triglavians. Its their game, their call, but its not for me.

At the end of the day, its been 12 years. Time to move on.

INVESTORS: I will be liquidating everything over the next couple of weeks and paying you what I owe you. Thank you for your capital, it was fun while it lasted.

Rixx Javix and Stay Frosty: Thank you for being that new home I needed as faction warfare died and my GalMil friends migrated to null sec. I'm sorry to bail, but I think I really need a break from EVE and CCP. Cheers, and fly dangerous!

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Nevermind, I'm out.

This game is so stupid, I can't deal with it anymore.

Later folks.


My Poor Neglected Blog!

I am still alive. I am still building structures and running roams in low sec on Sunday Nights (with less and less action it seems as faction warfare low sec dries up like a grape in the desert). I'm just not writing about it much because my roams are not seeing a lot of interesting action and my industrial activities are focused on delivered those new Upwell navigation structures to my friends in FEDUP.

Overall I'm having a lot of difficulty keeping up interest in EVE. While the Triglavians and Abyssal space is neat and new, the abject abandonment of low sec and faction warfare has left me with a bitter taste in my mouth towards CCP. Why are you building new space and module creation and lore while low sec essentially dies? Its hard not to be bitter. I can almost envision the day when CCP will announce they are removing faction warfare because no one uses it anymore. Maybe that is the plan, I dunno.

Anyways, I plan to do my November corporate Audit after the structures are delivered and my fortizar sells, around mid December. Yeah, I know, late, but the expansion threw everything off.

Outside of EVE, I've been playing Overwatch a lot lately. I really like the the new character Ashe ("B.O.B. Do Something!") and finding new love in the old character Roadhog. On my phone I've been enthralled with Clash Royale for the past year or more, and was playing PUGB mobile until I lost my trigger for my phone last week. I'll play it more I'm sure soon, just miss my trigger.

I think I might blog more here about other games I'm playing just to keep the blog alive. Tomorrow, let's talk about Clash Royale.

Friday, November 16, 2018

High Sec Sucks

The announcement of the new FLEX structures at EVE Vegas (why don't they call it EVEgas?) was good news for me as I intended to add the structures to my structure manufacturing lines. But the actual release date for Onslaught raced up on me faster than I expected and it was Monday morning when I realized that this was the week.

I had done no pre-purchasing of parts, no pre-building of components, nothing. Crap.

Well, better late than never. I planned out my purchases, set the buy orders for minerals, and headed to Jita for the more esoteric planetary parts. On the way back I manually piloted gate to gate always on the lookup for problems... but after I passed Udema I got relaxed and I allowed myself to get distracted for 15 minutes after warping to the Balle gate. I got back to my computer and my heart froze: a Macharial was yellow boxing me and had bumped me 76 km off the gate.

Oh Shit.

I knew I was already fucked but I closed the client anyway and logged in an alt that I zoomed over to Balle. I tried to bump the Mach away from bumping me but it was a lost cause. I watched sadly as another newbie ship suicide ran my freighter to keep the timer going.

The Mach pilot opened up a convo with me and asked for a billion ISK to let it go. "I already have a fleet of catalysts on the way, but you pay me and we'll just gank something in Udema." I said no figuring that paying it would only add to my total loss. There is no trust in EVE.

I made a counter offer. "Let me go and then I'll give you 1 bil."

"That's not how this works," he replied.

It was worth a shot.

Finally 15 minutes later (and 25 minutes after I logged out) the catalyst fleet arrived. The end loss was almost 9 billion ISK, of which 1 billion came out my pocket (for the ship), the rest hitting the bottom line of the corporation.

Later I picked myself back up, got back to Jita, got a new freighter, another load of parts, and even more carefully made my way back to base, ready to kill the client at the first sign of anyone looking at me sideways. I made it back without incident.

High sec sucks.

Thursday, November 08, 2018


As EVE's sunset period slowly progresses we are starting to see the effects of a lower overall player base.

As you can see, the 2018 max PCU is maintaining parity with 2017 so far for the most part, but these numbers don't reflect overall activity of those pilots. I'm noticing a definitely downward trend of activity in low sec so I went to Zkillboard and scraped the number of kills from Black Rise region, one of the bloodiest battlegrounds between Gallente and Caldari Militias in years past.

As you can see, the spring of 2018 was the worst in the past 3 years for the Black Rise region as GalMil moved to null sec for all intents and purposes.It improved over the summer months (as Gal Mil came back and reasserted dominance over Cal Mil) but has dropped back to the sub 25K kills per month for both September and October.

Plotted differently while showing the percent change compared to the previous year, we see a dramatic shift.

This October represents a -42% drop in number of kills compared to 2017 October. No month in 2018 was higher than 2017. Black Rise is slowly drying up. I'm willing to bet the same can be said of other low sec areas overall.

I believe the active playerbase is contracting and PvPer's will have to roam farther afield from low sec to find content. Maybe Gal Mil and FEDUP had the right idea investing into null sec and I'm the one with my head in the sand wanting low sec to be what I remember.

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Gaming On The Dad Side

Fatherhood is exhausting.

I thought having little kids was tiring, having to feed, bathe, clean, and basically give them so much attention. "Just wait until they are older," I told myself, "when they can entertain themselves, wash themselves, do chores.... then I will be relaxed."

And part of that is true. The kids are more self reliant. They bathe themselves, have chores to help around the house, can read or play together... overall it was what I expected. But what I did not expect was the new demands. Dealing with homework, getting kids to their extra curricular activities all over town, ensuring homework/projects are done, breaking up disagreements (no one fights like siblings do). And through it all, making sure everyone still gets the attention from me and my wife they need to be emotionally fulfilled. Times three.

One twin is a competitive dancer. He is in dance class for 3 hours Tuesday night, 2 hours Wednesday night, and another 75 minutes on Saturday afternoons. His twin brother is learning guitar and does martial arts two times a week, along with doing scouts which meets once a week and has lots of other activities throughout the year like camping this past weekend (more on that in a second). The younger brother is pretty laid back and just does the scout thing as well, and once a week does a skating class, bot because he wants to play hockey, he just wants to skate better with his friends at public skating (there is an arena near school).

And outside of all of that we still need to keep the house functioning and keep connecting with each other. My wife and I are busy, and it feels like there is little time to recharge.

A perfect microcosm of this hectic life was last weekend. The Cub Scouts had a two night camping trip planned. Because my youngest has food allergies I volunteer and go along to manage the cooking and watch the ingredients for potential allergens. We arrive Friday evening and set up camp and try to sleep through the 4 degree Celsius temperatures. Even with two sleeping bags (one inside the other) and two other blankets (one above and one below) I still was chilled by my air mattress sucking heat away from me. Kids were not as cold thankfully.

Saturday I spent the cold day following around my youngest son through the planned activities and cooking meals. But as dinner time came along rumours of a snow storm floated and the flakes began to fall around 5. By six the accumulation was picking up and 15 centimeters was forecast. My tent was just a summer tent not designed to handle the heavy snow that was falling on it, so I made the decision for a speed packup in the storm, throw everything and my kids in the van, and get the hell out of dodge. The roads were hell so the normally 40 minute drive took twice as long Saturday night in the poor visibility of the storm.

Sunday I spent part of the day trying to recuperate and part putting all the camping stuff back in the crawlspace. It barely felt like I had a weekend at all before I was back at work.

Fatherhood is exhausting.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Quick Thoughts On EVE Vegas News

As the title says....

New FLEX Structures:
Basically the replacement for jump bridges, cyno beacons, and cyno jammers currently living on POSes, I'm glad they are all coming at once and hopeful they can finally give the POS code the viking burial it deserves. I'm looking forward into seeing if I can integrate them into my structure building efforts of Project Vulcan, but since they are null sec only its hard to get excited about them.

New Triglavian Ships:
I haven't had a chance to try out the current Triglavian ships! Really should get on that... anyone have some good fits handy? Honestly, the low sec casual roaming I do is not conducive to expensive trick ships, so hard to say how much it will impact me. I've seen only one Triglavian frigate in combat on my roams so far.

Cooperative and Competitive Abyssal Sites
I wholeheartedly approve. The one thing I did not like about Abyss sites in the initial release was the inability to run them with friends. As my motto stands "Do Things With Others" and Abyss sites were purely solo content (except when you came out). Hopefully the rewards scale with the effort of three pilots appropriately.

Project Nova
Assuming this is a PC version of a new Dust514, I'm looking forward to it. I like First person shooters even though I suck at them, and was very disappointed when Dust was a Playstation exclusive.

EVE Echos Mobile MMO
Meh. I highly doubt EVE's gameplay can flourish in a phone/tablet setting.

Overall some decent things on the horizon for the game, if not for me personally. I really wish Low Sec would get some unique love and not just overlaps with null sec and the rest of the game.

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