Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Bye Sean

When I joined CSM 6 18 months ago, there were two goons on the council. One of them we all knew, and one I hadn't heard of. I first assumed he was just following The Mittani's orders, but I very quickly learned I was totally wrong. Throughout the term of CSM 6, Vile Rat, or as I came to know him, Sean, continued to impress both me and everyone else on the CSM. He was smart, diplomatic and tough when he had to be. I got a chance to meet him in person at Fanfest 2012, and he was a great guy to talk to. Even after the term of CSM 6 was over, he and I continued to talk, and he kept right on pushing me to be a better CSM rep for everyone. Tonight, I was saddened to learn that he was killed in Benghazi, Libya, where he was posted for his job with the US Department of State. My sincerest, deepest condolences to his wife and children. EVE lost a great pilot, diplomat, CSM and friend today.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Response to the Response on the POS Redesign

Following the release of the minutes of the June CSM summit, some people have had some big concerns with the outline of the replacement POS system described at that summit. I'm really glad to hear people discussing the changes, and the entire reason we had the discussion at the summit was to involve the CSM and the community in the design of the replacement POS system as early as possible. Right now, the discussions are happening in a thread on the official forums (https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&t=140049) as well as a thread on Failheap Challenge (http://failheap-challenge.com/showthread.php?7700-W-Space-general-discussion). This blog post is a response to the points raised in those two threads as well as concerns raised by people that have contacted me directly. While the following is my personal opinion, I don't just present my opinions to CCP, I always include as much as possible about the sentiments of the community that I was elected to represent.

I want to re-emphasize that the POS system design is just starting now, and will not be in the winter expansion. There is still a lot of work to be done on the design, and nothing at all is set in stone. I also wanted to mention that CCP has some technical reasons to not want to have forcefields in the new system, but those reasons were declared to be under the NDA, so I cannot go into them. The removal of the forcefield is a decision that they made, and is not something that I would choose to do myself, but I am not an employee of CCP and I don't have to do the work to keep them. Lastly, I should point out that not all the discussion on these mechanics happened during the official summit, there was a fair amount talked about in the evening after the formal meetings, and this stuff is not in the minutes.

Docking Games

In the threads, the biggest problem people have with the system that was discussed is that a docking module would bring k-space style "docking games" to wormhole space. I understand this concern, but I do not think it will be nearly as big of a problem as some people seem to think. There are a couple of reasons for this:
1) We already have "forcefield games", and people just don't complain about that all that much. The difference would probably be fairly minor between the two mechanisms.
2) The vast majority of fights in w-space are not outside a POS, they are at wormholes or in sites. The new POS system will still have POS defenses, and that means the new system probably wouldn't change where people fight.

Scouting and Intel

The second biggest worry in the threads is the concern that the removal of forcefields would remove the information about who is at a POS, how active they are, and what ships they are in. I agree with this concern, and asked CCP about a solution to this in the minutes:
3) Force fields (or lack thereof). CCP wants to have docking modules, but they don't want them to be cheap, and they may want to limit the number of ships that can be docked. CCP has been exploring adding mooring modules that would protect a ship that was able to physically get near the module with a small force field around just the ship. This system might replace ship maintenance arrays.  
Two step pointed out that this system might be nice for docking as well, so that people can get some indication of how many people are active in a starbase, especially in w-space where there is no local chat.
I will continue to urge CCP to make a system for players to be able to see who is active in a docked POS. Ideally this would include the ship they are currently in, as well as the number of players that are docked.

Another common concern expressed in the threads is that without forcefields, there would be no easy way to tell if a POS is online or offline. I would like to see CCP address this, but as Vassal Zeren pointed out (https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=1743748#post1743748), I would expect any new POS system to have a mechanism for people to hack or steal offline POSes. If that was the case, making it a little more work to detect an offline POS might be reasonable, as the reward for finding one would be good.

Full Moon Coverage

Some people were also worried that because POSes would be allowed to be anchored anywhere, having full moon coverage would no longer be a way to deny an enemy a beachhead when invading. I actually see this as a good thing. Invading one of the larger w-space entities like my corporation (AHARM) or some of the other big alliances is already really hard, and I don't think making it slightly easier will be a change for the worse. People will still have to move multiple waves of capital ships in, they will still have to fight where the defender probably has an edge in capitals, and they will still have the disadvantage of facing POS guns/EWar.

The good

The main reason I would prefer to see CCP make docking part of the new POS mechanics is because CCP has proven that they have a lot of trouble getting even one inventory system right. The reason you can't assemble T3s or have your own personal storage space right now is because getting that to work requires CCP to write two sets of code, one for docked ships and one for POSes. I just don't have a lot of faith that CCP won't continue to make people that live in POSes second class citizens. If we have the same interface as everyone else, then whatever bugs we have to deal with will be the same bugs that people in empire have to deal with, which means they (probably) won't languish unfixed for years like the T3 refitting bug.

Another good thing about allowing docking at POSes is that we then get a fuller set of features. I made a list of the features off the top of my head in a post on the official forums (https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=1763605#post1763605) and I will highlight a few of the more important ones:
  • Contracts. This isn't all that important right now because we don't have personal storage, but allowing people within a corp or alliance to drop items off for other people is a really useful thing. This might include things like courier contracts, which would enable people to haul stuff into and out of a hole for others.
  • Full fitting and inventory services. This includes assembling and refitting T3s but also fitting a ship from a saved fitting, repackaging ships and items and a lot more.
  • Refining. People don't like the current POS refining system (at least that is what they tell me, I don't actually mine myself). This would be a path to having a real refining capability without limits on throughput and yield.
  • Real access rights and container access. This includes fixing dumb bugs like not being able to open cans in corp hangars as well as using password protected cans and the current corp hangar access system to provide more granular access to corp assets.
  • Clone switching. This is not jump cloning into and out of w-space, but lots of people would like to have the ability to switch between different implant sets. I'd love to see this available to all pilots, and if that happens, it would probably be in the station interface, not by adding some sort of new POS module.
  • Privacy. This isn't a big deal for some corps, but right now a lot of people can see exactly what people have in their POS, depending on how it is set up. In k-space, pilots have the option to use alts or a station without a corp office to hide what they have from people within their corp, and I don't see why w-space people shouldn't have that option. Obviously directors will have to be able to see into people's private storage, if only to be able to empty a POS to take it down, but there is no reason that anyone else should be able to see what people have.

Why Change?

People are rightfully very nervous about the upcoming new POS system. I am also nervous, but the right reaction isn't to claim the sky is falling and that CCP (or me, or the other CSM) are out to "ruin" w-space. CCP agrees with me that w-space is generally working pretty well, but the trust problem is actually a really big problem for people who would like to get into w-space.

This comic (http://www.cad-comic.com/cad/20120625) is actually far more appropriate for w-space corps, and this is a *bad* thing. A lot of w-space people spend a lot of time talking about how great w-space is, but many, many people can't join in on the fun because of the difficult recruitment process.

"But Two step, all you have to do is fix X, Y and Z in the current POS system! Don't change anything else!" This is another common refrain from the eve-o thread. People who say this are being unrealistic. The current POS system is creaky and old, and making changes to it is not something CCP is interested in doing. The cost for them is very high, and the likelihood of a change breaking something else that we all hold near and dear is higher still. As CCP has explained several times, this is simply not an option. A big part of being on the CSM is that you need to understand exactly which battles you need to fight, and this isn't one of them.

Not the end, just the start of the beginning

As I said before, nothing at all is set in stone, and this is very early in the process. CCP has just started to think about how to design a replacement for the POS system, and feedback from the players and the CSM is very important. I do think it is really important for all of us to think really carefully about the feedback we give and to make sure we don't just react negatively to any change at all, especially when I think it will be for the better. This is also just the start of the discussion between all of the CSM and the players about what you want to see in a POS system. I'd encourage everyone to continue to talk to us, either on the forum threads I linked, via eve-mail, twitter or in our upcoming town hall meeting (date and time to be announced very soon!)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Thoughts on the May-June Summit

Firstly, since this is being posted before the minutes, I have to be a little vague on the details. I'm sorry about that, but I'll revisit things after the minutes are released.

General Impressions

This summit went really, really well. We talked about a lot of stuff, and both CCP and the CSM were well prepared. Every summit session was worthwhile and productive, which is not always the case. My main wish for the next summit would be to have more time. We didn't get enough time to talk about many things, including DUST, ship balance, UI improvements and more. For the first time I know of, CCP actually had people that wanted to have summit sessions with us that didn't get them due to lack of time.

The other thing that worked really well was the recording and participation from some of the bottom 7 CSM members. As you may remember, CCP reduced the number of CSM members who go to these summits from 9 to 7, but we had a couple of the folks not in Iceland able to connect using Microsoft's Lync. This is some seriously cool software and hardware from Microsoft that has a series of cameras that track who is speaking and focus in on that person. I wanted to give a special shout out to Alekseyev Karrde, who attended *all* the summit sessions from the Seattle area, even though they ran from 2 AM til 11 AM. I think Alek was a half hour late for like 1 session, but he was there and on the ball. For most of the time, the folks not in Iceland were just listening in, but for the Wardec session Alek was allowed to webcam in, and went all boss mode and zipped through all our questions and concerns. Hans was going to do the same for the Faction Warfare session, but had some technical issues and had to just type his questions into a chat window. For both of those sessions, both of the above CSMs also prepared a multipage document laying out their questions and concerns, which let us be really focused with CCP.

Another couple of differences from CCP this time as well were that Jon Lander (CCP Unifex) was present for just about all the sessions. This was super critical, because he is the man responsible for CCP's plans and direction for EVE. For most of the sessions he was just listening, but that means he heard where we think the major problem areas are. The other really welcome change is that CCP didn't come to us with a ton of powerpoint slides with talking points on them. The few slides we saw (I would guess at maybe 30 total for 3 days) were full of important graphs, numbers or UI mockups. In the past, much time was wasted by CCP walking us through huge slide decks, and it was great to not suffer through that... :)

Day 0

Most of the CSM got in on Tuesday morning. 5 of us were on flights that landed pretty early, and all shared a van ride to the hotel. After a short nap, most of us were motivated by hunger and went off in search of food/caffeine. We set up out many iPads in a cafe, and a waitress tried to gank Elise Randolph by spilling Seleene's drink on him (though mostly on herself). This caused the first CSM drama of the week, see this locked thread. After that, we went back to the hotel and managed to use up the rest of their monthly bandwidth cap (seriously, they ran out, and had to call their ISP and order more). Since we couldn't post on the forums, we went out in search of food and alcohol, since we wanted to feel our very best for the next day. Our plans to drink all night were foiled by the Icelandic bars closing at 1 AM (when it was still perfectly light out), so we got some rest.

Day 1

Firstly, Trebor posted a great summary for this (and all other days) on the forums here. Go read it, because I will be mostly touching on my personal opinions and not sticking to the facts like he did.

CSM Intro/White paper

The first part of this session was the standard stuff, mostly for our two new CSMs (Kelduum and Greene Lee). Everyone else had been to at least one summit, so after the all-important choosing of the chairs (for some reason, we always seem to sit in the same chairs every day), we got started on what changes we would like to see to the CSM white paper. The white paper is the "constitution" of the CSM, and the CSM has evolved a lot in the past few years and the white paper hasn't always caught up. There are a couple basically meaningless roles (both of the vice positions have no real duties) and there are still a lot of issues people have with the voting process. While we didn't solve any of those, we did make a good start on what discussion needs to happen in the future. This discussion will of course involve the community, as it certainly isn't right for just the CSM to decide on the rules for the CSM process.

What is a Stakeholder

The next session was by far the most important session I have been involved in as a CSM. At the end of CSM 4, the CSM was told that they were going to be elevated to "Stakeholder" status within CCP. Ever since then, it has never been clear to the CSM or to CCP what exactly that should mean. I'm going to have to wait for the minutes to get into details, but I can say that we spent a really good hour or so talking about how the CSM can and should be involved more in CCP's formal processes. I really do think this could turn out to be a really important point in the evolution of the CSM, and I am really optimistic about how we can be an even more positive influence on the direction of EVE in the future.

Winter 2012 / EVE Future

I am obviously going to be very light on details here, but in this session and in many other sessions, there was an amazing change from CCP. In the past, they haven't really had a plan past the next expansion, but it was really, really good to hear them talk confidently and knowledgeably about what they will be doing 6, 12 and even possibly 18 months in advance. Having that sort of plan lets them much better allocate their resources and makes sure that large features get time built into the schedule for iteration and refinement. This is another huge change at CCP, and is a really good sign, in my opinion.

The State of Incarna

 Another one that will have to wait for the minutes, but it is really good to hear CCP talking about finding compelling, fun gameplay for Incarna before they start investing a lot of time and resources into it.

Live Events

A really good session with CCP Goliath about what players do and don't like about CCP-run live events. In general, the feedback I have been hearing from the playerbase is that they want more live events more often, and I communicated that during the session.

The night

Several past CSM members have spoken many times about how important the post-summit discussions are, and they are absolutely correct. Spending time after the sessions with CCP folks does a bunch of important things. Firstly, it lets CCP and the CSM spitball and brainstorm the craziest of crazy ideas without someone being worried the players will riot. Secondly, it lets CCP folks get to know the CSM as people, which makes it so much easier for one of them to poke us on Skype and get our feedback. A big part of the CSM is convincing CCP that they should talk to us, and having shared sometimes embarrassing drunken stories helps with that (I'm not going to name names, but there were some totally hilarious iPhone camera pics that were passed around the whole summit). Thirdly, it lets us get to know some of the devs we don't get to talk to during the summit. If we buy them enough drinks, we can often trick them into joining the skype channel.

Day 2

Go read Trebor's day 2 summary first.

Mining and Industry

I (and many other people) think that this is an area that has been long neglected by CCP. It is really good to hear that they will hopefully be fixing that in the future, and the stuff we saw from CCP (it was mostly CCP Arrow, not CCP Greyscale as Trebor posted) was really cool stuff. Anyone who has done any sort of industry in EVE knows that the UI is terrible, and CCP agrees. We saw some really great UI mockups here, and heard some really fantastic ideas for how to make building stuff a lot more about figuring out the what/where/when and a lot less about the "How?".

New Player Owned Stations

I already posted my thoughts on this before the summit. It was great to hear some real, concrete plans for CCP getting started on this stuff. They got a lot of great feedback at Fan Fest, and I think they have a really good handle on exactly what people want and expect. I'm going to wait for the minutes to say much more about this though.

DUST 514 and EVE

This session was really constrained by time. We were joined by CCP Jian calling in from Shanghai, and got a really good outline of CCP's plans for how and when DUST and EVE will interact. There are still a lot of details to be ironed out, and this is a discussion that I am sure will continue for a while. I'm not sure how much of this session will end up being NDA'd, so I can't really get into details. I can say that several of the CSM (everyone who owns a PS3, someone please send a PS3 to Elise Randolph) are in the DUST beta (including me), but I can't even say more about that because of the DUST NDA...


We started off this session much like we started off just about all the sessions, by reminding CCP that the new Inventory has some issues. My personal view is that with all the fixes CCP has now made, I am actually fairly happy with the new inventory myself, and given a little more time I think I will maybe even like it. We pointed out some further improvements that the players have been requesting. The one really good thing that has come out of this mess is that CCP is doing a fantastic job on the communication front. Unlike what they did with the Incarna mess last year, they are talking to the players a lot, they are fixing the issues and they are telling you exactly what and when they are doing things. I think if you look at CCP Soundwave's last few blogs, they are night and day compared to the blogs that went out during Incarna's rollout.

We also spent a lot of time talking about other UI improvements that CCP is mocking up. These were all fantastic, and I think they will be well received by just about everyone.

0.0 Improvements

I'm going to wait for the minutes to say much of anything about this session. One thing that I will mention is that CCP and the CSM did spend a fair amount of time talking about the way wars seem different these days in nullsec. I'm very interested to see what the general playerbase feels about this, and if people agree that wars have changed in the last few years.

Corp Mechanics

Lots of stuff was talked about here, Trebor covered it pretty well in the summary. Getting this stuff right is really hard, and I really don't think CCP will be able to build the right corp management UI for everyone, which is why I encouraged them to work hard on exposing all this stuff via CREST, their new API system which is a read/write system instead of the current read-only API system. That would let folks like me and Kelduum build applications to manage their corp they way we want.

Wardecs / Crimewatch

See above, this is where Aleks went all boss-mode and talked about the flaws with the new wardec system. CCP was aware of most of them, and because they now are committing to iterate on stuff, they are already working on fixing the issues. This session went really smoothly, and was really good.


CCP is continuing to work on improvements to the launcher, and we pushed for stuff like easy access to Sisi and other useful improvements. There was also some talk about Mac stuff, which made Trebor very very happy (he is a huge Mac nerd).

The night

Most of us actually didn't stay out too late, as we knew Friday would be a late night. We still got into some interesting discussions, and UAxDEATH tried to kill us all a few times.

Day 3

Trebor's summary

Factional Warfare

As all of us expected, Hans Jagerblizen produced a really good (and really long) document listing stuff that was still a problem in FW. Again, CCP was already committed to continuing to work on FW, and they agreed with most of Hans' list.


As always, the art dudes are doing cool shit. Trebor covered all the stuff I can say here without breaking the NDA, so I won't say anything more.

Ship Balance & Iteration

In this session I confirmed that CCP Ytterbium is awesome. He came in with no notes, and proceeded to list every ship in eve and what needed to be fixed with them. A bunch of folks had comments or suggestions for some ships, and he took some notes on those. I am really confident that CCP is heading in the right place with respect to ship balance, and the only major thing I have a problem with is the giant skill changes that were laid out in a dev blog a couple of months ago, only because I worry about widening the gap between older and new players.


A very cool session about how to help players make agreements about stuff. I'm going to wait for the minutes to go into any more details.


This was about PVE content in general in EVE, from Incursions to Missions. I liked some of the stuff said here, and disagreed with some other stuff. CCP feels that Incursions were nerfed a little too hard, which is some of the feedback I have been hearing from Incursion dudes. As I have said many times so far, they are continuing to iterate on this stuff, and hopefully they can tweak Incursions back to being worthwhile without making them the giant ISK faucets they were before (IMHO!).


One really good thing CCP Sreegs has been doing recently with both the CSM and with the playerbase is giving us numbers. Since we have the NDA, we get slightly better numbers than you guys do, and the numbers I saw were very encouraging. CCP will never get rid of all the bots in the game, but they are making a pretty huge dent in them now (there are some great tears on The Nosy Gamer's blog). They are also hitting the RMT guys really hard, hard enough to close up a couple of RMT sites entirely. This is really good for the game, and CCP is only getting better at finding and banning bots.

"New" Player Experience / "New Player" Experience

CCP is doing a lot of work and thinking about the New Player Experience in EVE and they have extended that into looking at the player experience in general. The idea is that if EVE is easier to use in general, that both makes it easier for new people to play and for experienced players to navigate the sometimes confusing EVE UI. We got some great suggestions from Kelduum (obviously :) ) and from Aleks, who has apparently recently started a newbie training corp for the NPE, and everyone had some feedback on places the EVE UI is terrible.

EVE Economy

As you might expect, this was a graph filled presentation. We took a detailed look at the mineral market given the recent changes and events like Burn Jita and Hulkageddon. We also looked at the PLEX market, which is a huge concern for the players. I'll leave the details for the minutes, but to me everything looked reasonable. I have blogged in the past about the net ISK flow into the game, and I raised that as a concern.

The night

It was a very late night. I learned that CCP Sreegs is a walking Jukebox, and if you give him enough booze, he really likes to sing. I also had a very drunk Icelander come up to me and tell me that Fidel Castro and Che Guevara had together masterminded the assassination of JFK.

The Future

CSM will be hosting another townhall after the minutes are released. We are also trying some new things with how we produce the minutes, which might speed up or slow down the process. Our goal is to more accurately reflect what was said during the sessions in the minutes, and hopefully we won't disappoint in that. I'm sure I (and other members of the CSM) will be on various podcasts and whatnot in the coming weeks, the best way to hear about them is to follow the official CSM 7 twitter account (@EVECSM7).

Saturday, April 21, 2012

My Vision for POSes

Anyone that has interacted with a POS right now has a long list of what is wrong with the current system. Rather than spending lots of time and effort patching the existing system, CCP should spend their time creating a new POS system that satisfies the following needs:
  • Dockable. New POSes (lets call them nPOSes), should be dockable, so that all the work CCP does on the in-station UI is available to all, including ship spinning and Incarna.
  • Scalable. nPOSes need to scale all the way from a single person to a large nullsec alliance.
  • Secure. Any possiblity for theft should come from people trusting people they shouldn't, not from terrible UI or a lack of a workable permissions system.
  • Vulnerable. nPOSes should have some targets that are vulnerable to small-medium gangs, as well as entirely vulnerable with some sort of reinforcement timer system.
  • Useful. nPOSes should be able to fully replace NPC manufacturing and research, and be scalable enough to allow for complex industry in space of any security level.


CCP has put a lot of functionality into the UI and capabilities when players are docked, including reprocessing, repackaging, ship spinning, accessing personal and corporate storage, and assembling/reconfiguring Tech 3 ships, plus many more. There is also the (currently) limited content provided in Incarna, which probably would be expanded in the future. It also doesn't make sense for CCP to work on two seperate UIs, one for docking and one for nPOS hangar functionality.


In order to be able to scale from a single person to a 5,000 person alliance, nPOSes should follow some sort of modular system, allowing for in-place upgrades without the need to tear down the whole thing and start over. A modular system would allow players to choose to expand based on demand for services, including storage, manufacturing and research. A fully modular system does require a fair amount of art effort, but would also allow people to customize the look of their homes/factories/labs.


The current POS security model is terrible and makes multiple people place enitrely too much trust in too many people. EVE should not become a place that is safe from scammers, but plenty of scams happen in stations, and there is no reason for people to assume any more scamming risk because they live in nPOSes, especially if nPOSes eventually replace player built outposts.


New POSes are a perfect place to create small gang targets that would encourage people to defend their space or lose time or ISK to repair damages. In nullsec and w-space, destroying a nPOS should be the same as the current POS, where some of the contents drop on destruction and some are destroyed. In highsec and lowsec, Interbus could move some or all of the nPOS contents to a safe place (perhaps in lowsec some portion of the contents drop based on the security status of the system). nPOSes would probably still have the same reinforcement system that current POSes have, though something new could be done here, such as making some portion of the nPOS vulnerable after some time, or even have the nPOS slowly become vulnerable over time after some invulnerable period.


New POSes are also a great opportunity to phase out even more NPC involvement in EVE, especially on the industrial/research side. nPOSes should have better manufacturing, reprocessing and research than can be found in NPC stations, and NPC stations should signifigantly raise the prices for their services, so that players will be able to compete with them for manufacturing (and be better and cheaper than they will be).

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

It's the economy, stupid

So I started wondering a bit about the state of the economy in EVE right now. There were some posts on FHC musing about the amount of ISK flowing into the economy right now, and since CCP Diagoras was kind enough to tweet a bunch of stats, I decided to do some math and add it all up. Here it is:

Item Source/Sink Monthly Amount
Wormhole blue books Source $10,430,000,000,000
Incursions Rewards Source $8,566,015,400,900
Mission Rewards Source $2,470,815,985,076
Misson Bonuses Source $2,346,410,541,970
Insurance Payouts Source $3,366,455,121,035
Insurance Costs Sink -$1,618,888,782,680
NPC Bounties Source $32,083,329,999,805
NPC Sell Orders Sink -$13,000,000,000,000
Transaction Taxes* Sink -$2,375,100,000,000
Broker Fees* Sink -$2,607,100,000,000
LP Store* Sink -$6,331,570,000,000
PI Construction* Sink -$627,850,000,000
Clones* Sink -$910,600,000,000
Office Rental* Sink -$488,650,000,000
War Fees* Sink -$149,350,000,000
Repair Bills* Sink -$287,100,000,000
PI NPC Taxes* Sink -$741,820,000,000
Sov Bills* Sink -$809,100,000,000
Contract Brokers Fee* Sink -$301,600,000,000
Contract Sales Tax* Sink -$324,800,000,000


Anything with a * is based on a single day for February, everything else is a full month's data from Diagoras.

Since there were 29 days in February this year, this comes out to almost exactly 1 trillion ISK per day entering the economy. Because CCP no longer publishes QENs, we don't have any recent data to compare this to, but in the last published QEN (for the 4th quarter of 2010), the rate was 0.38 trilion ISK per day, or a little over 1/3 of the current rate. Subscriber numbers were lower then, but not by much. The QEN puts the monthly NPC bounty amounts at about 24 trillion ISK, compared to 32 trillion now. This accounts for about 0.27 trillion ISK per day, or about half of the difference. The rest is accounted for by Incursions.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Lost In Eve Debate

On Sunday, I was in a debate over on Lost In Eve. The recording has just been posted here, go give it a listen! Jade and his co-hosts did a great job, as well as my fellow guests, who were a lot of fun.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Q &A Session Recording

Talocan United kindly offered to organize a Q&A session with me about my CSM 7 candidacy. We just finished it, and the recording is here (mp3 format). Hopefully we will organize another of these in the future, so if you missed out, don't worry.

As always, if you have questions for me, feel free to ask in the comments here, or in my eve-o thread, or via eve mail or convo.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Re-Elect Two step

Reposted from my Jita Park candidacy thread

Over the last year, I have been one of the hardest working members of CSM 6 (Trebor says so here). My main focus has been on representing wormhole residents, but I also have been contributing to discussions on topics like ship balancing, microtransactions and all the rest of the topics we discuss with CCP (see this wiki page)

Accomplishments as a CSM 6 member

While ultimately it is CCP that actually does the work, I did push hard on several specific features and bug fixes. The main one is Corporation Bookmarks. CCP has long wanted to get them done, but I think that continued pressure from me and the other CSM members pushed their priority up significantly. I brought up CPU usage on capital shield transporters, which was fixed in Crucible. I had significant input on POS fuel blocks, POCOs, pods on killmails, the Tier 3 BCs and several other topics.

I also read and respond to all the EVE Mails and conversations I get, and pass on feedback to CCP. I spend a lot of time on the forums, including the EVE official forums, Failheap Challenge, and Kugu (which I requested CCP unblock).

What still needs to be done

Firstly, I haven't gotten everything done yet. While we do have corp bookmarks, POS life is still difficult and we still get our own special "features" (aka bugs) after every patch. For example, we have the wormhole mass bug mentioned in this thread.

Secondly, the talk about the wormhole stabilizer (My blog post on the topic) just goes to prove that folks who live in w-space cannot see having a CSM rep as just a nice to have, but it is an absolute requirement. Without someone to speak up, CCP and other CSMs might ruin everything we have all worked so long and hard for.

Thirdly, this year will really matter. This is the time CCP will be fixing all the broken stuff and starting to look at designs for longer term fixes, and I expect that POSes may show up on that list (later in the year). CCP is doing a ton of ship balancing at long last, and I love having input into that, especially since we certainly fit ships differently in w-space.

Who I am in game

I started playing EVE in 2005. After a brief (2 month) stay in empire, I moved out to 0.0 space, in Tribute as part of the Forsaken Empire alliance. I did a bunch of stuff in 0.0, mostly PvP, but some POS management and industry stuff as well. I stuck with the same corp though a corp merger and a bunch of different alliances, most of which I don't even remember anymore. After a couple of years in 0.0, I basically got bored of 0.0 life and moved back to empire to try my hand at invention, which had just come out. I fairly quickly made a bunch of ISK, but eventually got bored and ended up taking a break from EVE for a year or so.

I came back to EVE shortly after the release of Apocrypha, in 2009. I had heard about the new wormhole content, and it sounded interesting to me. I joined a medium sized (at the time) wormhole corporation named Aperture Harmonics. Fairly soon after joining AHARM, I was made the US timezone director, and did a bunch of recruiting. AHARM was, and still is, a PvP corporation. We run sleeper sites in order to pay for new toys to kill stuff with. About 6 months after joining, I was made CEO, and ran the corp for a few months. Running a wormhole corporation was a lot of fun, but it does tend to burn folks out, and I took a short break from EVE in mid 2010. I came back just before our invasion of CCRES, which was the 2nd largest wormhole corp (behind us), and have been back ever since, though no longer as CEO.

Who I am IRL

My name is Josh Goldshlag, I am 34 years old, and live near Boston, MA. I am a computer programmer in my day job, and have previously worked in the game industry. My hobbies include cooking, photography and making my own maple syrup.

You can find a lot more details in my blog – http://twostep4csm.blogspot.com
I am on twitter as @two_step_eve
If you have any questions, feel free to ask them here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My take on the December CSM summit - Wormholes

I haven't really been keeping up with the blogging, but I wanted to make clear my views on some of the stuff brought up at the December CSM summit.

Firstly, I want to note that I was not present at the summit. I am the 4th alternate, and while the 1st (Elise) and 2nd (Prom) alternates went to the summit, enough full CSM members were able to be there so I didn't get to go.

When I heard that CCP wanted to have a session on little things in wormholes and FW, I spent some time talking to folks and came up with my list of smaller issues that most folks wanted fixed. My list is:
1) Shields on ships out of a SMA/entering a Pulsar/joining a fleet (this applies also to after jumping shield caps, and is one of the reasons they suck)
2) Better system than POS passwords for POS access (same UI as chat channels would be awesome)
3) Capital SMAs allowed in w-space (hard to store large numbers of capitals... :) )
4) Cans in corp hangers. Should be able to name them, open them, put stuff in them. Also would be great to be able to repackage stuff in corp hangars
5) Rename all POS structures. Currently, you cannot rename SMAs and corp hangars
6) Randomness in sleeper spawns (same for incursions. At least make triggers random)
7) Don't change sig ids after downtime (not done after crucible)
8) Capital ship SD timers. One other suggestion I heard was that SD should force on overheating of all your mods, so you can't just run hardeners and SD.
9) Swapping T3 subs at a SMA. I (Two step) don't actually care about this that much, but lots of people complain about it a lot.
10) More wormholes. It would be great if C5s or C4s or something had dual statics. Right now, our w-space map looks a lot like a single line, and this makes w-space more boring.

That list was presented to CCP, and the discussion turned to basically talking about AHARM. Both CCP Soundwave (the only CCP person present) and one of the CSM members (going to leave him nameless until he speaks up), said that they were concerned about the difficulty of taking over "fortress" wormholes. AHARM's home system (we call it "Nova") was presented as one of these systems. The CSM member explained the difficulty of invading such a system, including an explanation of the math of chain-collapsing (there are only 113 class 6 wormholes, so if you have a static C6, you have around a 1% chance of getting the correct one). Once you do find the correct one, you can only put 3 capital ships into the system at a time, and then the wormhole will collapse again and you need to start all over. At past summits, there was some very brief discussion of having a "wormhole stabilizing" ship or module, and this was brought up again. The idea would be that the ship/mod would prevent a wormhole from collapsing due to the total mass that had passed through (but not change the maximum mass that could jump at a time, to prevent supercaps from getting into w-space). Some of the other CSM members though this wasn't a good idea, and presented several of the reasons I will discuss below. The final result was that CCP would be looking into the issue in the future, though probably not all that soon.

Since I wasn't attending the meeting, I only heard about the discussion a day later when I watched the video of the session. I immediately posted on the CSM forums about why I think the discussion wasn't correct, and I will reproduce some of those points here:

1) Built up wormholes aren't nearly as "impossible to invade" as was presented at the summit. I would point folks to AHARM's invasion of CCRES, AHARM's invasion of Firebird Squadron (see this killmail, for example), and Brotherhood of Starbridge's attempted invasion of Aquila, Inc (described here). In the case of the two AHARM invasions, we infiltrated at least 9 (I think 12+ in CCRES, 11 in FBS) capitals into the system before we invaded. Starbridge managed to get 80+ subcaps into Aquila's home system, and would have won had several other groups stepped in to save Aquila.
2) It is a good thing that built up wormholes are hard to invade. It took people a long time to get capitals/POSes/ships into the wormhole in the first place, why should wiping them out not take considerable effort and determination?
3) The removal of the Jumps API from w-space makes it hard to know when people are after you. Previously, we could tell when R&K were trying to chain collapse to us, as we would see the number of jumps in a system spike. We could then make sure to watch for incoming K162s at those times. With the API now gone, this cannot be done, and nobody can watch for incoming wormholes 24/7.
4) A wormhole stabilizer would just allow groups like AHARM (and Narwhals, Starbridge and others) to further dominate high class wormhole space. Right now, we don't bother to invade small groups in C5s because it is a lot of effort for us to move capitals in and move them back out when we are done. If there was a way for us to move large numbers through a wormhole, we would easily be able to attack these groups. It would also allow large nullsec groups to rampage through w-space.

One thing that was pointed out at the summit is that w-space is basically the least broken part of the game right now. There are some fantastic small gang engagements happening often, and most w-space folks really enjoy it. I would hate to see that changed by removing one of the key restrictions that makes w-space what it is.

Discussions like this one just make it clearer to me that I need to run for CSM 7, and I need to secure a full seat, which will be even tougher than it was for CSM 6. Hopefully issues like this make it clear to all w-space residents that we need a seat at the table, or our entire playstyle is at risk.