Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Right Place Right Time

This past Sunday night I gathered a fleet for my Sunday Night Roam and went out looking for trouble in the wilds of Black Rise, Essence, and Placid regions. News was that the Caldari Militia was out in force taking systems and achieving the lofty heights of Tier 4 warzone control so I was hoping to find some with my friends and shoot them in the face.

We were successful:

The biggest kills were all the result of our fleet being in the right place at the right time:

Bhaalgorn - We saw the battleship in space and the Calmil pilot logged off at a gate, we assume disconnect. We tried to probe down the ship but were too slow. Suddenly he logs back in and warp back to the gate as part of the log in... right where our hungry fleet awaited.

Cruor - Our scouts were engaging a Loki in the next system and as soon as point was called the fleet jumped in and warped to the scout. The Loki was too fast and got away... but as we landed a Caracal and Cruor landed trying to gank our scout. Tackled and dead.

Tengu - Heading home, sitting on the Hikkonken gate, this non-cloaky strategic cruiser warps to the gate where we are sitting and we jump through with him. No escape, tacked and dead.

Sometimes you need to be more lucky than good.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The War Drags On

My industrial corp is still under the war declaration but the hostiles that dec'd it have decided to do absolutely nothing about it. I guess its their money to burn?

So instead of waiting idly I snuck some parts back into the Raitaru and built some structures, and then spirited them off to Dodixie markets which are looking at lot more profitable than they were a few months ago. Either the changes to mechanics have removed competitors or the over saturated market drove them out. Doesn't matter, I'll take it.

Now I just need for my weekends to stop being stupidly busy and exhausting.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

To Top It All Off

What a month February has been!

A family member dying (expected) and another family member requiring triple bypass heart surgery (unexpected) and the accompanying funerals and hospital visits and multiple hours of driving over weekends in a row... and I was pretty wiped out this past Monday.

So when I logged in to start manufacturing jobs in my Raitaru I was not altogether shocked to see life deal another unexpected blow to my sanity. My alt corp had been war dec'd.

I tried some negotiation first as I saw the small 4 man corp's CEO was once a member of a Gallente Militia corporation but to no avail. According to him they had been contracted to remove my Engineering complex from the high sec system but for the low price of 600 million they could be convinced to leave it alone.

Yeah, I'm not new here. Either he runs a terrible mercenary corp that does not follow through on contracts, or he's running a shake down. Either way, I politely declined and turned to my alliance for advice as the report of my structure being put into armour was received the next day.

They did not disappoint.

Immediately they told me to open the war declaration to allies and FEDUP joined. The next day even though the reinforcement timer ended at 4pm in the afternoon my time, the call was put out and for pilots to help defend and when the time came a fleet of 12+ pilots answered the call, as well as myself with Kirith in the gunner's seat (since he could not be in a spaceship without attracting the police) and my alt Korneilia in a Hurricane.

A single war target showed up in local as the clock ticked down, and promptly left without a word. The 15 minute repair timer completed successfully and for now, the Raitaru is safe.
Huge shout out to FEDUP's Euro pilots who turned out in a big way for me, I super appreciate it.

Friday, February 16, 2018

A Game of Thrones 2nd Ed Rematch

I got together with the same guys as my first game last September and had a rematch in which I hoped to do a lot better than last time. Here are some pictures and comments.
Token Rules

Initial Setup

Turn 2, everyone making early claims.

Turn 3, things getting interesting.

The Great Wall of the Lions

Developing my positions in the South.

Meanwhile, in the North Greyjoy moves inland.

Lanister has moved towards King's Landing, but High Garden eyes cutting off their supply lines.

What a bunch of nerds!

I've backstabbed Bartheon and made public my Secret Alliance with High Garden, but in a surprise move Greyjoy comes down around the continent to attack a castle in my backyard and makes a push for winning early with 7 castles.

In the North, Stark launches a counter-offense against the Greyjoys.

Bartheon takes and defends King's Landing from the Lanisters who have left their home fortresses exposed.

Turn 6 and Greyjoy reinforces the Southern beachhead while Martel's fleet moves to force them off.

A successful repelling of the invaders!

Lanister was attacked by Bartheon, High Garden, and Stark breaking their power. They never really recovered.

Stark and Bartheon face off over the western sea.

By the start of Turn 7 and the Greyjoy threat has been neutralized and the alliance of Martel and High are looking strong... too strong.

Greyjoy, at the behest of his new Stark masters, launches another ill-fated assault on the south.

Meanwhile, in the north, Stark gathers strength on both seas for raids up and down the coast.

Removing the Greyjoy ability to attack the north.

Turn 9 and High Garden is looking strong as they take Kings Landing and push into Lanister territory, but the Greyjoy / Stark secret alliance is poised to resist. Ba

Stark removes High Garden from one castle and plots the next move.

An assault Martel made on Bartheon failed miserably in turn 8, so stands very weakened at the opening of turn 9. 

Greyjoy eyes up Lanister Port.

The Starks control a lot of territory across the north and west, but spread thin; only the fleet holds all the forces together.

Beginning of turn 10 and Stark hold 6 castles, but Bartheon attack on the sea has broken a vital supply line.

On turn 9, Martel finally takes the sea around Dragonstone, but too late for me to make a push.

On turn 9 Stark brought the unruly Greyjoy mainland holdings under control, strengthening their position for the big turn 10 push.

Mustering at the beginning of turn 10 and everyone has new armies to order. Let the chaos commence!

Orders are made...

Lines are drawn...

Lanister tries to be relevant...

Orders revealed! With first turn I launched an attack to take the castle just north of King's Landing from Stark! Stark counter attacked and killed my troops but my house card's special ability prevent him from moving in and taking it. Stark was not impressed.

Bartheon and High Garden jostle over a castle in the south of King's Landing as Bartheon regains the sea around Dragonstone.

High Garden's attack is successful!
That last castle put High Garden and Stark in a tie with 6 each. But High Garden had more strongholds (3-1) and that tie breaker put them on top.

Personally I did better than last time and while I didn't come close to winning I was able to play king maker and help my ally win, so I'm taking it as a moral victory.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Whatever Happened to Kirith Kodachi?

Ah man, I really meant to get back to blogging.

I'm still playing EVE, still building ships... but my normal blogging time during work hours has been squeezed out of the schedule entirely the past month.

Its all because of good news: at work in January I was put on a special 8 week project doing an interesting and exciting feature and the demands of this project are a little more intense due to the time limits and the amount of work that needs to be done. Its going well and my bosses are pleased and will soon be complete. Hopefully then I can pick up the blogging some.

In the meantime, next post coming hopefully soon will be about a board game I player last week...

Monday, February 05, 2018

Eyes in the Sky

As time marches on, I notice that the regular faces I see in my Sunday Night Fleets change as people move on and new people fill in the spots. This is fine, this is EVE, and change is the only constant. And its always a big deal when an old familiar face comes back for a roam in Black Rise.

But one upshot of this phenomenon is that sometimes I find myself without a reliable scout as the fleet starts up. Last night I was trying out my Worm frigate and decided that I was tough enough and fast enough to be the scout for the Destroyer and Frigate Kitchen Sink fleet.

Man, scouting takes me back a decade or so. Being the eyes of the fleet was the first real role in PvP that I learned to do besides being an F1 key presser. Looking for bad guys, reporting numbers and ship types and alliances all before the advent of copy paste scan results into website parsers. And getting that hero tackle on that fleeing ship we proceed to gank... heaven.

I didn't do too much hero tackling last night and most of the kills were from two pilots from the Imperium who kept bringing bigger ships against us despite knowing we outnumbered them considerably (so props to them for providing content), but it was a good time and nice to feel the space dust of low sec in my face again.

And I love the Worm, what a nice little tough frig.

Monday, January 22, 2018

EVE's Premise Failure: Its Easier to Build Than Destroy

The side with the most soldiers wins. Until the other side brings a tank or two. Then the side with the most tanks wins... until the other side shows up with some aircraft. Then air superiority is the winning condition... until you start flinging nukes.

 * * * * *

EVE has been built from almost day one on bad assumptions or unintended consequences, and EVE's playerbase has been tenacious in their ferreting out every advantage and optimal solution to every game mechanic the developers can envision.

The most basic premise of EVE is that players create and players destroy. It is the flow of raw materials through the hands of the producers to create weapons for the hands of the warriors so that the warriors may destroy each other's weapons in their wars of conquest that ultimately drives the game. Where goods flow one direction, wealth flows the other; as long as there is balance, the game can progress forever.

But there is a failure in this premise, a fundamental flaw in the architecture that not even the Architect of the Matrix could have foreseen: human nature.

For all the talk that EVE is a world filled with psychopaths and trolls and thieves and criminals, we are very good at cooperation, especially in regards to accumulating wealth and building empires. While alliances and coalitions come and go, for the most part the players part of these organizations build wealth comprised of assets and capital. An alliance may lose everything as the pilots flee to low sec or a couch in a neighbouring region, but generally speaking players don't. Their wealth grows over time and the next alliance is stronger for it.

And this has created a problem.

The coalitions of today would absolutely crush the coalitions of a few years ago. Not because of pilot quality or tactics or anything else, but simply because of the sheer aggregate wealth of these organizations and their ability to put battle winning ships on the field.

For example, let's take a look at some things from a recent coalition level battle: BATTLE REPORT: SECOND 9-4RP2 TIMER PRELUDES THE START OF THE NEXT GREAT WAR.

The sub-capital composition was of the same theme for both the GSF led attackers and the NCDOT/PL/HORDE defenders; armor Machariels with logistic support. For the capital and super capital side of things NCDOT and co. use only armor based capital, and supercapital, doctrines; the attackers fielded a mix of shield, and armor, based capitals. From what I heard, GSF forces’ titans outnumbered NCDOT/HORDE ones for about a 30/40+ advantage.
Supercarrier 0 / 154 [Lost / Fielded]
The Goons had about 30-40 more titans than their enemies. Back when I was in the Northern Coalition which was one of the largest coalitions at the time, our largest supercarrier fleets were that size. Fielding 154 supercarriers was not even conceivable, and that was just the Goons Super Carrier fleet. As a whole, EVE players are better at building than destroying wealth.

This creates a problem because as the top of the organization tree in EVE gets so overwhelmingly powerful and wealthy, new alliances or coalitions have to bend the knee to the existing powers that be or try to scurry like mice around hoping to avoid the notice of these elephants.

And still the power accumulates.

EVE cannot exists forever on this paradigm. Its remarkable, really, how long has survived with this flow of power to the top. Only the Bittervet disease reducing the ranks of the obscenely rich have slowed the top heavy accumulation of power enough to give EVE hope for over a decade, but as the battle at 9-4RP2 demonstrates, the imbalance is reaching critical levels.

What will CCP do?

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