Monday, August 20, 2018

For Faction Warfare, It Was Too Little Too Late

In the last 24 hours, two of the largest and most active alliances in the Caldari Militia have announced their withdrawal from faction warfare:

Link

And:
In response, prominent Gallente Militia leader Julianus Soter wrote a piece bemoaning Cal Mil's failure to step up to the latest Federation offensive launched this summer:

The Caldari Militia’s response was again largely passive. And I will levy the vast majority of the blame at the Templis CALSF and The Bloc leadership team.
Whether they were misguided, unmotivated, or ill informed, the choice to passively lay down while we conducted the offensive has caused catastrophic harm to their organizations. Each week, fewer of their active PVP’ers participate. Major defense fleet operations they form have withered, to the point where they are overwhelmingly outnumbered by Galmil, and are often forced to stand down while structures are killed.
The facts are quite clear at this stage that the inaction of Calmil leadership has led to a steep decline in activity by their players, at all timezones. And a counterattack has still not come.
When the offensives at Eha began, I was utterly astonished to see how little resistance was offered by the Caldari Militia. Over four days, the system went from 0% to full conquest for the Gallente. There were fights every hour of the day for the last few days, however, the Caldari were consistently overmatched and simply didn’t have manpower to support any serious defense.
This comes down to a failure to properly recruit and motivate younger and moderately skilled characters to participate in these kinds of fleets. And even if they had a higher skill player base, they could have conducted guerilla warfare with higher skilled ships such as Omen Navy Issues, or other fast faction ships, to whittle down the Gallente blob. But the same tired tactics of the past were rehashed over and over. Navy Hookbills. Catalysts. Cormorants. Punishers. Over and over again. The result is now clear for all to see.
Going into the way back machine, back to April of 2018, I wrote something:
Without intervention, Faction Warfare is going to wither and die. Right now its quickly becoming only a farming mechanic with some jostling over tier levels and no strong desire for open direct conflict outside of meaningless good fights. Far more engaging is the emergent play over structures like POCOs, citadels, and engineering complexes as well as the refineries and moon politics next year, none of which has any hook into faction warfare. You might as well not be in a militia unless you roleplay or your members need the mechanic to make money. And that's sad.
It is often said that Faction Warfare suffers from "good enough" syndrome in CCP, but at some point we need to tell CCP loudly that FW is no longer good enough but is indeed dying. Do they want to save it? 
I believe that CCP is letting Faction Warfare die. A year and almost a half later, there has been no large effort to reinvigorate the feature and we see the end result of the dominoes falling since before that time. As the players in the militias aged and gained wealth and experience and security, without new blood to freshen the content , it was only a matter of time before one side would come to dominate and force the other side out. Gal Mil got lucky with the expedition to Cloud Ring being so successful and setting up the content to drive their alliances and coaltion forward while Cal Mil Alliances languished. As Gal Mil forged new deals with null sec power blocs, the allies of Cal Mil withered away. When a strong and unified (mostly) Gal Mil decided to move on the warzone, Cal Mil could only watch their homes burn.

And CCP allowed it to happen by standing by and letting the process play out. Many things could have been tried to spice up the warzone, there were no shortage of ideas. CCP lacked the will to try.

I wish my old Caldari foes good fortune in whatever new arenas they go towards. Hopefully Faction Warfare will get some real love in the future to bring you back.

Friday, August 03, 2018

2 Week Hiatus

I'm taking a two week hiatus from blogging... I know, how can you tell? Right?

My vacation from work is overdue and I'm out of steam for everything, including blogging. I'm still building and selling so I'm still in game, just recharging my batteries for everything else.

I will be back after my vacation is over.

In the meantime, here are some pictures from a game of Twilight Imperium 4th edition I had last month.

Setup

The board is ready, I'm the Warsun race, Embers of Muat.

Love the new warsun model in 4th ed.

My neighbour.

Inital moves.

5 player games suck when you are in the 5th position, crunched for space and four measly trade goods to make up for it.

Yellow expanding.

Black and green getting frisky for VPs.

Gah, no fucking room!

As usual, if the Jol-nar player is left alone, he runs away in the tech race.

Second warsun, be afraid!

Score.

Green's flagship takes Mecatol Rex and starts growing new units. (they are the plant race)

Political tensions rise close to home.

Lots of ships, not a lot of fighting...

I make my assault with my upgraded warsuns and destroy a yellow fleet!

TI takes a lot of space.

Purple swoops into the lightly defended black homeworld for more victory points, his tech giving him the advantage.

Final battle.
Yeah, Jol-nar won by a huge margin because he was not aggressively attack. Part of that was my fault but my hands were tied, my race's main strategy is sit back and get strong for late game push, and this game ended before we even got into the late game. 
Oh well, next time.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

On Audits, Payouts, and Corporations

For Project Vulcan Phase IV, the promised audit and payout schedueld for last May has been cancelled and we'll pick up properly in November. Corporation factories are building structures and such so there is no worries that the corp (i.e. me) has run off with your money, just a bad spring and early summer makes it so I don't feel it necessary to do an incredibly late audit followed by another one in November.

Also, the corporation is abandoning capital ship construction and focusing on structure production. I just don't have the cycles for jumping multiple loads of minerals (mostly freaking trit) into low sec for building ships that take weeks to sell.

As part of that I sold off a lot of my remaining capital ship and component BPOs since I don't intend to go back to that world (it was fun, but not easy) and the upshot is that I have a lot of liquid ISK again.

There will be a payout at the end of this week once I get my own non-corp related house in order.

Personally, I took leave of Aideron Robotics (and FEDUP alliance) last week. The alliance is still very much beholden to its null sec space (null sec space and structures own you, not the other way around) and I just don't want to do that game. I feel like I need to change things up and re-invigorate myself in a new direction. That being said, FEDUP is an awesome alliance and I wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors.

In the meantime, I'l just floating in the general population of Gallente Militia, trying to figure out what to do with my life. Last weekend I just roamed a bit and looking for something to shoot threw myself into a lopsided fight against a Worm only to find his friends joining in to help kill me. Fair's fair, I would have done the same thing.

I think this coming weekend I just try throwing up a fleet and seeing what happens. Probably need to see if I have any voice coms to use!

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Whatever Happened to Kirith Kodachi?

Last winter at work we had a Hackathon where we were given a day and a half of work time to build something, anything we wanted (preferably as an extension for one of our products) and then show it off the next day where a bunch of managers and product owners would score them. There were 17 presentations and my hackathon entry was one of them.

Various awards were given out, like Best Overall, Most Practical, etc and I was very proud to win the Why Haven't We Done It Yet award. I can't tell you what I did for reasons, but it was amazing cool, trust me.
Came with a Duck Trophy because reasons.


But the big thing is that the products owners and managers each got to award one week worth of team development effort to a hackathon idea they liked, and my project was awarded one of those development weeks. I was pleased as punch, I went around calling myself an award winning developer for months (jokingly).

Anyways, that promised week came around late last month and I've been hustling with my team working on making that hack sing (and its fucking working so nice, OMG, so proud) but that has taken all my free time and effort as I make this baby bloom. Coupled with end of school year activities, Canada day celebrations, and generally just trying to keep on top of everything and EVE time and blogging has suffered the most.

Hence the radio silence, but good news, the end is almost near and its time to get back on the space horse.

See you in space!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Piper Came Calling

Four years ago, when I was first getting into capital ship construction with Orcas, I had a business arrangement with another industrialist who sold me Orca and component BPCs while I was building up my collection. He got burnt out and lent me multiple researched BPOs for my usage while he took a break.

After two years of using them and not being reminded they were loaners I started treating them like my own property. I got out of Orca building, moved into capital ships, and I didn't need some of the blueprints anymore... but I did need some ISK for new blueprints. So I sold them.

Fast forward to last month when I get an evemail from my old associate saying "Hey, remember those blueprints I lent you? I'm back in game and looking to start up production again!"

Oh crap.

Some of the blueprints I had and could just return, but four of them I needed to buy off contracts and they were not cheap! Since the blueprints were "owned" by me and not the corporation, I had to sell my personal shares back to the corporation for ISK to buy the contract to give back to the real owner, costing me out of pocket roughly 10-12 billion ISK.

For investors, there is no cost to the corporation since the ISK for those blueprints did not have to come out of the wallet. Liquid ISK went down, but that is about it.

Well, there is the pesky problem that I no longer have the complete set of BPOs for cap production...

Next week I'll get around to the late corporate audit and the next steps for the corporation.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Eagle Has Landed

After the failure of the Navy Vexor I opened up the ship simulator and put together an Eagle Heavy Assault Cruiser fit and sent it off to my Acquisition Manager to retrieve it for me.

[Eagle, Pharlap]
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Assault Damage Control II
Tracking Enhancer II

Large Ancillary Shield Booster
50MN Microwarpdrive II
Large Shield Extender II
Stasis Webifier II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Optical Compact Tracking Computer

200mm Railgun II
200mm Railgun II
200mm Railgun II
200mm Railgun II
200mm Railgun II

Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Medium Core Defense Field Extender I



Hobgoblin II x5

Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M x1430
Navy Cap Booster 200 x42
Tracking Speed Script x1


I went with 200mm as the 250mm are more power hungry and I don't think needed for this use case, and I threw a Medium Ancillary Shield Booster more of as a crisis responder than a constant tank. I tried a couple Tier 2 "agitated" abyss pockets and it completed them successully, but not easily. The main problem is not the tank, which held up just fine, but the enemy ships that got under my guns (i.e. closer than 10km) and even with the web I could not track them which meant either sending my drones out to engage and watching for them to switch targets to them, or turning on my MWD to speed away from them and lower the transversal as they gave chase.

But by god, watch out for that terrifying red grid of the edge of the pocket.

A solvable problem, but frustrating.

I feel like missiles would be a more flexible solution so I'm considering trying this fit for a Cerberus:

[Cerberus, **Abyss Cerb]
Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II
Assault Damage Control II

50MN Cold-Gas Enduring Microwarpdrive
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
EM Ward Amplifier II
Large Shield Extender II
Large Shield Extender II

Heavy Missile Launcher II
Heavy Missile Launcher II
Heavy Missile Launcher II
Heavy Missile Launcher II
Heavy Missile Launcher II
Heavy Missile Launcher II

Medium Anti-Explosive Screen Reinforcer II
Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer II



Warrior II x3

Scourge Fury Heavy Missile x2000
Scourge Precision Heavy Missile x2000
Caldari Navy Mjolnir Heavy Missile x5000
Caldari Navy Scourge Heavy Missile x5240
Nanite Repair Paste x100

Less drone firepower, but the missiles should still apply damage on the close frigs. I think.

I'll try the Eagle a few more times before switching though.

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Not Exactly As Planned

Since my Eagle got blown up coming out of an Abyss site I switched to an old Caracal I had sitting in the hanger (that's a theme by the way, I have so many old ships just sitting around) and tried some more sites in it to mostly success.

The fit:

This has decent tank, nice range, and a couple drones for extra frig killing. After I took that picture and posted it on Twitter, I realized the disruptor was a waste of space and swapped out for a Medium Ancillary Shield booster for that extra protection.

And except for one time I let a rogue drone battleship get to close its had very little problems with various types of Tier 1 Abyssal sites, getting me some decent low level Abyss loot.

However, the goal was never to stay in Tier 1 so I decided to get a go at a Tier 2 site. So I grabbed a 4 year old Vexor Navy Issue from Bring Me The Head of Kirith Kodachi III event and a Tier 2 filament and headed out.

[Vexor Navy Issue, Kirith Kodachi's Vexor Navy Issue]
1600mm Rolled Tungsten Compact Plates
Damage Control II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II

10MN Afterburner II
Faint Epsilon Scoped Warp Scrambler
Warp Scrambler II
X5 Enduring Stasis Webifier

Small Gremlin Compact Energy Neutralizer
Small Gremlin Compact Energy Neutralizer
Heavy Electron Blaster II,Antimatter Charge M
Heavy Electron Blaster II,Antimatter Charge M

Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
Medium Trimark Armor Pump I

Ogre II x5
Warrior II x15

"Surely," I thought, "a faction cruiser will be more than enough to handle Tier 2!"

Well, I was wrong.

So I made several mistakes, and learned some lessons. First, I should have went after the escorts first and not the battleship as it turns out they were repairing all the damage. Secondly, a ship with drones as the main damage is not ideal as there are many structures that love to mass attack your drone wings, plus the NPCs will switch to them as well. Finally, a tank that does not recharge itself and is passive only will be a problem if I make mistakes; active tanks are more flexible in these situations.

Laziness got me this loss, so having learned that I am setting out for building a ship from the ground up to continue my tier 2 and higher adventures. Stay tuned.

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