PLEXes for Pakistan

PLEXes for Pakistan

Most of the news and devblogs from EVE these days has been all about lag. Lag this, lag that, it’s all getting kind of tiring to report on. How awesome is it then that we have this feel-good news item brought to you by the venerable CCP Fallout:

Beginning September 15, 2010 and ending on October 6, 2010, CCP will be accepting PLEX donations for the PLEX for GOOD: Pakistan program. Each donation will be converted into cash currency and donated to the Pakistan Red Crescent Society, a humanitarian and relief organization based in Pakistan that is working towards helping those affected by the flooding.

To say the disaster in Pakistan is devastating is an understatement, so any type of donation towards relief funds over there will directly benefit someone in need. How cool is it that we can help the real world from our virtual one?

More details on the program and how you can help in the link below.


The Great Wall Falls?

In what could possibly be the scariest thing ever to come out of CGDC, we’re treated to the following news about EVE.

At CGDC 2010 (Game Developers Conference) held in Shanghai, China, Hilmar V. Petursson, CEO of CCP Games, disclosed a crazy plan that they would connect the Chinese server of EVE Online with its world server in the future to make all EVE Online players throughout the world gather together.

If by some chance you were unaware, there are actually two EVE Onlines. One that you’re probably playing, and a second in China which so far has been kept entirely separate from the the first EVE Online.

According to Hilmar Petursson, this plan will provide an opportunity for Chinese players and other players in the world to compete with each other in a same place and make them enjoy better gaming services.

At this point, I’ll break out a big bag of popcorn and start munching away.

Personally, I feel EVE has enough of its own issues currently that should be addressed first before anything like this is even entertained.  You know, maybe the solution to curing lag isn’t to add 1.3 billion new potential customers.


Christmas in June

Apparently, giving us a month-long tournament of spaceships exploding isn’t enough for the folks at CCP.

As players we’ve been treated to a brand spanking new server cluster. Thanks to the immense downtime associated with that, we’re also getting some free skillpoints.

In gratitude for your patience and after consulting the Council of Stellar Management, we will give an extra pool of skillpoints to all accounts (paying and trial) that were active at the beginning of this downtime, on one character per account. This skillpoint pool will be appropriately sized for the downtime time frame, universal across all accounts regardless of character attributes/implants and may be applied as each player wants.

It’s not like you’re suddenly going to be able to insta-train to Titan 5 with this but it’s definitely better than nothing. Congratulations are in order to CCP for getting the cluster business sorted too, that’s definitely more than a cut-and-paste job.

But wait… there’s more! Apparently feeling bad about the loss of so many ships in the tournament, a magic wand is being waved in order to give us all a brand new ship, the Primae. Quoth CCP Zinfandel:

The Primae is a repurposed ORE design intended to ease the task of extracting resources from planetbound environments. Initially devised as a deep space salvage vessel for large-scale ore retrieval from destroyed ORE fleets in pirate-occupied areas, its previous incarnation was made all but obsolete by the arrival of capsuleers on the interstellar scene. Realizing that the ship could, with a few minor modifications, be made into an efficient resource harvesting aid, ORE wasted no time in revamping the design.


You’re probably wondering how and when you can get your hands on this wondrous machine of planetary … something.

Beginning June 29, 2010, you will find the ability to redeem it on your account login screen. You can then assign it to a particular character and a friendly ORE agent will deliver it to your hangar bay. You will be able to redeem the Primae once per active (not trial) account and will no longer be available after downtime on Tuesday, July 13th 2010, so make sure you log in to receive yours.

It may not be as pretty as the Hyperion but hey, it’s a free shippy ship!


Alliance Tournament 8 In Pictures

As awesome as the video stream is for the latest in EVE Online’s fantastic tournament offerings, pictures can often capture an interesting moment in the middle of all the carnage. In previous tournaments, I was able to attend and snap some photos during the matches, and put them online pretty quickly. This year, I’m happy to announce I’ll be able to do this again.

You can see all of the pictures at the link below. Enjoy!


Happy 7th Birthday, EVE

Today is EVE’s seventh birthday, and what better way to celebrate than with some spaceship cake. I mean just look at how many weapon slots that thing has! Uber…

In honor of this occasion, CCP has taken time out of their busy schedule to create a whole forum thread for birthday wishes. Click here to go there and drop a birthday wish or two for the devs and GMs, who are gracing the thread with their presence and making it stand out on the forum’s thread listing with all the nice colored bars.

Me, well, I just baked/search for this nice spaceship cake and all. Enjoy!

So then for those reading this, how many of EVE’s birthdays have you been witness to? Myself personally, I’ve been here since beta, so my mind’s just blown that I’ve played a game for more than seven years straight. Then again that’s a testament to the support the game has received from CCP, with all the patches, expansions, etc. that have kept the game smelling fresh for everyone.

Happy Birthday!

Tyrannis Trailer Live

Finally, the Tyrannis trailer is online for your viewing pleasure. And I must say, this is one of CCP’s best work yet. For some reason, CCP has chosen the abhorrent IGN to host the trailer exclusively, so click here to view it in part of its glory. Lets hope CCP host this somewhere more reasonable so we can actually see it without IGN’s disgusting video compression.

What do you think? Does the trailer represent the awesomeness of what’s to come with EVE’s latest expansion? Personally, I can’t tell. Maybe if I had a downloadable HD version to watch…


Learn to Stealth, For Real

It looks like CCP has taken action against the recent exploit allowing players to reenact their favorite scene from Predator, where someone’s going about their business having a nice day in the jungle, then suddenly something appears out of nowhere, stabbing them in the face with a set of wrist blades.

Quoth the Navigator:

A hotfix has been deployed today which has fixed an issue which allowed some players to remain invisible in local when they entered a new system. We would encourage players to submit a bug report if they notice anything unusual in the coming days.

I’m surprised it took this long to be honest. Who knows, maybe they were testing the fix before deploying this time. *evil grin*


Dominion 1.1 Changes

Yeah, it's that good...

One of the neato things about CCP is how much they engage the players with their vision of the future, and take feedback on upcoming changes.

No seriously, stop laughing.

Sure there has been the odd bump in the road in this, but overall they’ve had a pretty solid track record in the past.  Carrying on with that tradition, the cuddly CCP Abathur comes to the Test Feedback Forum with a new thread detailing their upcoming capital ship changes.  The following categories of tweaks are represented:

  • Structure Signature Radius
  • State Module Changes
  • Dreadnoughts
  • XL Turrets
  • Citadel Torpedoes / Cruise Missiles
  • Motherships becoming Supercarriers
  • Titans

All of this will be going to SiSi in the next couple days. While future iteration on capitals is still possible, all of the above is what we consider to be updates and fixes to current issues. We look forward to your constructive and always enthusiastic feedback.

If you’re a student of recent history, especially a capital pilot, you’d know about what happened with capital ships just before Dominion hit.  A lot of the details of these changes seem to address the problems with Dominion, what players generally regarded as 100% pure grade-A bullshit.  Most notably, now mothersh– er, supercarriers — will have their HP boosted, and have a new breed of deployable death in the form of the fighter bomber.

Hit the thread below, read up on the changes, and most importantly: try them out on the test server and give your feedback to CCP.


Help Kill Lag. Again.

At FanFest a couple of years ago, Hilmar promised “no more lag!” to the masses in attendance.  Surprisingly, and within the time period promised, it had looked like the goal had been accomplished.  Apparently, we all missed the wink, which meant “for a while”.

It’s no surprise to anyone who plays EVE that lag has reared its ugly ass again, especially since the recent Dominion expansion.  Luckily for us, CCP Tanis is on the case:

Howdy folks,

We are looking into the situation surrounding medium/large scale fleet battles, both in low-sec and also in 0.0. To get to the bottom of this we must run a series of mass-tests against both Dominion code and pre-dominion code.

“Howdy”?  People still say that?  Anyway it looks like the problem will be solved just in time for the holidays–

These tests will begin Tuesday, January 5 at 5pm UTC. They are expected to last for about 2 hours, each. We need at least 100 pilots, preferably 500+… the more people who show up, the better.

Test schedule:
Tuesday January 5 @ 17:00 GMT (0.0 Fleet/Sov tests)
Thursday January 7 @ 17:00 GMT (Low-sec FacWar tests)

— oh.  Well… holidays 2010 then.  Bummer.

Anyways, click below for the full details on how to take part in the test.  For those who haven’t worked on the test server before, you might want to pay special attention for how to set up a test client, lest ye mangle thine own Tranquility client.

These are really good opportunities to help CCP out with issues like these, so if you have the time on those days then I highly recommend at least trying to get in there, so they can collect whatever data they need to.


An Interesting Week

This week’s seen some interesting things happen in EVE.  A couple of patches later, CCP brings the sovereignty blocking units (SBU) to the game, allowing player alliances to fight it out once more.

No sooner does that happen, but Somal Thundir of Pandemic Legion hits the boards with this gem:

(14:31:27) jogyn: 13:30:37 Notify One of sniggerdly’s Sovereignty Blockade Units has been destroyed
(14:31:46) jogyn: they just destroyed our sbu that said invulnerable x)

mad props IT.

Broken mechanic, or exploit?  Or both?  Comedy either way given the level of irony being wielded there.

Update (14 December 2009): CCP have officially labeled this as an exploit.  Abuse it at you own peril.

So far I haven’t heard of any major news happening yet from the frontlines of the player wars, pertaining to the new sov mechanics.  Keeping an eye out though, but if you have anything to report please feel free to comment away.

EVE also celebrated breaking its PCU record last weekend, with 54181 pilots logging in at once.  Not too shabby, but at the time of this writing it doesn’t look like this weekend is going to be breaking that record.

Last week the podcast made a return, and the feedback I’ve received from folks by EVEMail and Twitter has been amazing. I’ve also got a crapload of new Skype contacts to call upon, so if you’re one of those who have sent me an add request thanks a bunch.  A new podcast should be up in a day or two, and should be something special.

In the meantime, by popular demand, I’d like to bring back the Failmail section of the podcast again (it was always planned to come back!).  There’ll be a bit of a twist, which you’ll have to wait for one of the next episodes when it comes back to find out what it is. *evil laugh*  If you have a ridiculous killmail showcasing some manner of fitting failure on the part of the unfortunate victim, toss me an EVEMail with the killboard link, or if you’re a Delicious user feel free to share the link through that to the podcast’s Delicious profile.  If you like, include any other information about the kill that you might know of.

I’ll leave you for now with a last little tidbit… in less than one week the return podcast snared well over a thousand downloads.  That’s amazing, especially since we’ve been out of print for so long.  Thanks for the support, keep the feedback coming (I listen!) and keep an eye out soon for the next ep.