December 6, 2015

Player Destructible Stargates

One of the grand yet concise goals from CCP Seagull’s vision is that everything is player buildable and player destructible.  We’re seeing that shaping up now with the introductions of Citadels.  Surely the most ambitious of the structures to be built and destroyed are stargates.  We’ve seen this teased in (link video) from CCP, suggesting the huge scale of a stargate that would lead to whole new areas of space.  I’ve seen discussions over the past few years about the concepts of gates to whole new systems.  I’ve written a blog on that and a paired fiction piece myself.  But what about low sec and highsec?

I’m all for players being able to mold empire space.  It fits the theme of the empires losing their power which CCP has been advertising pretty much since I started playing the game, but which we haven’t actually seen CCP make into the game world.  I’ve written before about the idea of letting players slowly change the sec status of systems.  This is unabashedly more in this line of thought.

Let’s consider our design cases up front:
1) Any destruction and reconfiguration of the stargate system should require a substantial commitment of resources.  This covers several additional points:
* That a small group cannot casually grief areas by changing their stargate system easily or frequently.
* That action with stargates will have the potential to be content generators by drawing a response from other groups.
2) In the past have had “space super highways” that were perhaps too efficient, so we might want to consider if we would really want players to be able to travel from one hub to another in a mere gate or two.
3) We also have some existing topological features in Eve to work with: space is divided into regions and constellations, even in w-space.  If we want to go a step deeper, the three dimensional locations of systems in the grander scope of New Eden are known via the Static Data Dump.
4) The system should be understandable to players.  Complexity is fine and good, but not so much that it causes people to turn off and become disengaged.
5) The existing lore of Eve should be respected, though by necessity any change of this level is going to stretch that lore.

As an example consider the Urpiken constellation in Black Rise, which is interesting for having gates to a neighboring constellation in Black Rise (Inolari), a neighboring lowsec region (Lonetrek), and a nullsec region (Cloud Ring).  And of course it happens to be where there might be an example of a nullsec bloc coming to exercise its might over lowsec, just as we would want to consider in the design case.

We know from the lore that stargates are built around artificial wormholes, causing them to stabilize and thus permit regular traffic without collapsing.  We also know that we have at least one rather epic example of this failing in the original New Eden gate. As a base model, let’s work from the idea that there is a relationship between the stargates in a system and wormholes in the system.  Lore wise this could be either because the artificial wormholes in the stargates have held so long that there is now a “soft spot” in the fabric of space, or because the “gravitational resonance” mentioned in the lore as a precondition for a stargate is one and the same as the tendency for a wormhole to form.  The later would also explain why wormhole signatures appear near large celestial bodies.

Returning to the Urpiken constellation, which has 12 links between its systems and its neighbors.  two of these are regional (ignoring the “border” distinction for a moment), one is a constellation gate, and the remaining nine are standard (intra-constellation) gates.  If in a bold move every gate in this constellation was destroyed, consider that perhaps we would now have twelve constellation static wormholes free to roam around, maintaining that same balance of types.  If one is to be locked down by a new stargate, then it is removed from the pool of available statics, meaning that we can not have four regional gates in the constellation for instance.  Furthermore, we constrain the system such that every system will have at least one static so that no systems can be fully isolated.  This means that the overall topology of New Eden remains the same, but it could be shaped by players to their own ends.  This might include making a more express path through a constellation where one system has gates to two different regions.  Or it might make the constellation more defensible by creating chokepoints.  Or if you truly want to be left alone, destroy enough stargates that your home area is separated from the rest of New Eden by wormholes, but you have gates between two or three systems that you claim as your own.

Destroying these gates is simplest in nullsec, and most complicated as we move towards highsec.  I do not propose any specific mechanisms (hp, Entosis hacking, or both) here but only some general ideas.  In null-sov powerful forces can be brought to bear on any structure, and gates have no guns to defend themselves.  The defender should be the sov-holder so it’s up to them to either defend the gates or be the ones tearing down the gates for their own purposes.  As we move into empire lowsec we get into more interesting design decisions.

In empire space there are guns on the gates which in current design are part of the crimewatch system. The gate guns could be treated as one with the gate (simpler, but more boring) or similar to POS guns in terms of having separate targeting and incapacitation.  As we move from in-game logic to game design we quickly know that the gate guns are insufficient to deter even a small capsuleer threat.  If our goal is to make sure that players have a significant commitment then we can do that by making them ideally bring both dps and logi to the action (as well as scouting to be aware of player counter-drops).  The clear starting point is that the gate could have quite high repair rates for their shield and armor, coordinated with the maximum damage threshold concept now being prepared for citadels.  The other side is the damage brought to the attacking fleet, such as the idea from a couple years ago that gate guns be able to increase their damage over time, to the point that they’d be able to alpha capitals.  Such an idea could be brought back with the concept that gate guns are overheated when the gate itself is under attack.  If we stopped there then it would still be straightforward to figure out what dps and logi you need to bring to take down a gate and it could still be pretty much a standard structure grind.  Within the game world each of these gates is the property of a faction, and so it makes sense that they would want to defend it.  NPC faction ships arriving to defend a gate, particularly if done in a way that wasn’t as predictable as old-school missions, could make the event much more engaging.  Consider if taking down a Minmatar gate meant that a fleet full of Minmatar battleships and down using burner-mission type AI and stats.  The response level of the faction could be scaled to the security status of the two systems that the gate connects, with smaller and infrequent fleets between two 0.1 systems and massive battleships waves if you are trying to take down a gate that leads from 0.4 into highsec.

Yes, that’s right, players destroying gates into high sec.  This does mean that it would be possible for a truly cataclysmic and concentrated plan to succeed in turning high sec into a sprawling many-armed island reachable only by wormhole.  In the same view of a more active and intelligent NPC world we would expect to see attempts for these gates to be re-established by the faction powers, meaning that anyone wanting to keep highsec so cut off would have to dedicate themselves to continuous effort.  As with my earlier article about transforming the security level of space, in a game so grandly a sandbox why limit the players so.

What could the players do with a system like this?  Recreate the patterns of trade through an entire region, attempt to seal off a “safe” zone, make a chokepoint to defend, or literally burn the bridges before an invading enemy could use them.  As PL has shown with their Fury Road tactics, none of these things will stop a determined enemy or make your ratters safe, but it does give players tools.  Yes, it could make the walls of Fortress Deklein even higher, but that’s the kind of player-shaped world that I think we should welcome in Eve.  As long as there is Concord the intra-highsec gates will be safe from destruction, allowing the current highsec centered gameplay to continue as it is.  A scorched-earth strategy could leave FW warzones segmented, leading to a WH-travel driven playstyle in some areas that would certainly feel different than today.  Indeed many areas of the game could be transformed leading to different strategies, tactics, and playstyles…. and that would be the point.

December 2, 2015

Operation Northern Troll and other wintry fare

Brief post here, kind of a mix of fragments:  Operation Northern Troll.  Nerfs to Gilas and Worms lead me to try to lose mine.  Hey, what's this Vindicator doing here?  Operation Frostline.  Eve and Think Geek.

Firstly in support of Operation Northern Troll, here is my card awaiting a visit to the post office to figure out what I need to get it to Iceland.  I doubt anyone reading this blog hasn't already seen bits about Operation Northern Troll via podcasts or the blogosphere, but let me just throw in that I'm doing this and I hope lots of other Eve players do too.  Mike said he wanted to cover a desk at CCP.  I think we can cover a wall.

I'm thinking that I've seen enough funny return addresses that the USPS won't care about that, particularly around Christmas time.

The next release is coming up in less than a week, and with that a nerf to both Worms and Gilas that will remove a low slot.  I set forth to put my two Worm hulls into action and managed to lose them both, one to a Daredevil, and one to a Jackdaw and supporting gang.  The Daredevil I'm particularly frustrated about because I didn't start up my MASB until too late, so he got through it right as I was pushing his SAAR tank into hull.  I don't think he was expecting a brawl-worm.  This has happened to me before; I'm such an armor-tanker by experience that I don't hit the repper until I'm in armor, which is rather too late for a ASB shield tanker.  The Jackdaw was more of a "what the hell" moment, wondering if I could take down the Jackdaw that was outside of a novice gate before his friends could clear from the inside.  I thought I could out-run him if he turned out to be brick-tanked, but the bounce folks scrammed me down before I could clear out when I found I was making no progress at all on the Jackdaw.  Now I have a Gila that I had used for PVE, but now have swapped around the rigs for more general PVP use and am just looking for the right shot to use it.

I was looking through my assets for Jakob and realized I had a lot of stuff in highsec from my pre-Rifterlings days.  Apparently including a Vindicator, Fed magstabs, Imperial EANM, and Fed webifier.  At least those could go together, but I can't imagine what possessed me to want to fly that since at the time I didn't have Gallente BS 5 and at best had Minmatar BS 3.  So on the market they went, another step towards building up enough ISK for a capital once I finish that training.

I enjoyed the Crimson Harvest, even though I only had a couple days to actually try out the content, so I'm looking forward to Operation Frostline even more.  As Ashterothi has pointed out, CCP has surprisingly not named the release next week but implied that perhaps it and Operation Frostline are the same thing thematically.

Christmas is coming up and I have family asking what I want for Christmas.  Part of me wants to hold out; I hear CCP is setting something up with ThinkGeek for Eve goodies and if so I expect that's going to jump to the top of the list.  But not... quite ... ready... yet...  I was really hoping the last o7 show would have that announcement.

November 25, 2015

BB69: Citadels are made of Space Magic, and other stories

We had a double-barreled Blog Banter, which I'm a bit late to answering.  Normally I refrain from looking at other people's BBs before posting my own, but since I'm late that gives me a chance to pull some pieces together.

Drackarn asks:
CCP sometimes get stuck between a veldspar 'roid and a hard place when they try to blend realism with sensible game mechanics in our sci-fi simulator. Sometimes they create a scientific answer such as 4th dimensional drag to explain our 'submarines in space'. Other times, not so much. When a null-sec Citadel is destroyed players 'stuffz' is to be magicked to another station. Why should a citadel be different to a titan? Should CCP ensure that 'space magic' always has a plausible explanation or do we need just to say "Well, its only a game!" and engage the willing suspension of disbelief? How should it work when a citadel goes boom, how do we balance risk with reward, and how should any "space-magic" be explained?

Now looking at the responses you can see that this really tied up two different topics: "space magic" and the example and closing line about Citadels.  Most of the real energy in the posting jumped onto the idea of asset safety in Citadels, even if making a short stop along the first topic on the way.

I agree with the opinions I see spread around out there.  Gameplay trumps lore considerations, but lore adds a lot of depth that keeps the game vital.  I do particularly like Neville Smit's idea of ejectible space containers as a lore explanation, though it does make you wonder why you can't catch all those by bubbling up a station.  Perhaps the space containers are made with interceptor-class nullification technology.

What if ... when a citadel was about to go down you gathered all your friends around.  As the citadel explodes then you have a loot spray like the much-maligned hacking mechanics (now abandoned), but with your countdown being until they warp away.  You wouldn't need a mysterious loot fairy - either you and your friends can catch the containers or they whisk away to safety.  If you are well coordinated and have full control of the grid that the station is on then you get to pick up more of the candy from your pinata.  If you're the daring ninja type you can hang out near the station as it burns, angling in under cloak ready to grab something and warp away to see what you got.

Seriously though, we hit the root of the issue with a quote captured in Rhavas's blog banter:
"However, this introduces another problem: we want our structures to be used, but one of the deterrents against that goal is the fact they compete against existing NPC stations and player outposts." - from the dev blog "I Feel Safe in Citadel City"

This is the kind of problem you run into with incremental development.  If CCP was doing a huge "big bang" feature then they might have introduced Citadels right alongside the bombshell move that NPC stations would be destructible.  It would have been a giant step towards the stated goal of everything being player buildable and player destructible.  However, they aren't ready to make such a risky step, so the Citadels have to compare to the super-safe NPC stations that exist all through New Eden.

This is the opposite of future-proofing your plans, sadly.  The compromise means that once they make NPC stations destructible they'll face the tough choice of whether or not to revisit asset safety in Citadels.  That will then mean facing a player base that has sense gotten used to that idea and thus will be resistant to taking it away.  I don't blame CCP on this - neither of those two option were terribly appealing, particularly with all of Eve seeming to teeter back and forth in the eyes of the community over the past year or so.

A what if option here would be to have the loot fairy be of varying levels depending on the location that the Citadel is in.  The following table might be an example:

Deep Null (-1 to -0.7)40%40%20%
Mid Null (-0.6 to -0.4)30%30%40%
Shallow Null (-0.3 to -0.0)20%20%60%

Now again this still runs into the comparison problem with player and NPC stations.  So let's play around with that idea.  What if when an station was "flipped" some portion of the assets in that station were forfeited to the new controller of the stations?

Deep Null (-1 to -0.7)60%40%
Mid Null (-0.6 to -0.4)70%30%
Shallow Null (-0.3 to -0.0)80%20%

You notice I include lowsec there, as we could apply this to stations aligned to factional warfare.  When you lose control of the system, the rampaging hordes get control of your station.  Perhaps there some looting fairies there, in another sense of the word.

All these little experimental thoughts may well be something that CCP considered and set aside, but what this really means is that there is room to work with .  Nothing says the loot fairy has to always be 50/50 odds, nor that she doesn't have accomplices.

November 5, 2015

Nostalgia, blended to Eve possible futures

I know some of the older Eve players out there will remember Star Fleet Battles.  Yes, the game that had an amazingly thick rulebook rivaled only by Advanced Squad Leader, which was no small part of why you could spend an entire afternoon for a middling-sized fleet battle with a handful of friends.  If you were as lucky as I was, sometimes an entire day for a large fleet battle with 4-6 players a side.  Plot out your energy allocation, reinforce the #6 shield just so you could swing right and absorb the bulk of their anticipated alpha strike and still make it in to deliver overloaded photon torpedoes.  And then probably argue for a while about the rules concerning suicide shuttles interaction with drones.

As I sink back into nostalgia here, I'll try not to sigh too loudly at one thing from SFB that I do miss in Eve: that direction matters.  Eve ships can be flying away at an oblique angle and still fire all of their weapons at a target, and their defenses will be just as good from that angle too.  In SFB the angles mattered.  If you were in a nimble ship you could scheme and plot to make sure you didn't get into the angle that would lead your opponents massed weapons come to bear on you, and if you planned ahead you could make sure that your opponent didn't land his fire on your most damaged shields.  Many a nervous moment would stretch into eternity as your ship sucked up damage while you toughed out that last moment that would let you unleash your weapons into the downed sector of the opponent's shield.  But that's not Eve.  In Eve we shoot through asteroids and stations and friendly ships all day.  Yeah yeah, complicated physics engines.

So, what does that have to do with Eve?

Aaanyway.... depending on whether you were working from a larger Federation and Empire campaign, some home-built rules, or even some various scenarios, you may have had some ships like this.  Frigate Leaders, Destroyer Leaders, War Command Destroyers, etc.  These were slightly beefier versions of the light ships, but their real benefit was in the meta rules about bringing in ships that were within your command limits.  The idea was that these Leader variant ships could, well, lead.

I had been musing this over about turning into a post about the post-OGB world, but an Anonymous commenter kinda forced my brain along. His simple question: "so with no OGB, what ship will FW use to boost novice and small sites?"  The obvious answer is an FFL or DDL, of course.

What would these look like?  They could be an T2 version of the base faction hull with one of two possibilities that come to mind.  The simplest version would be to give them the ability to fit a single warfare link, with the promise of command processors to increase that.  Taking a different approach, there could be a hull bonus that magnified the Leadership skills of the capsuleer without bringing in the warfare link modules.  The latter would lower the variety of what to expect, but would also keep the boosting levels down overall.  Either way, we'd get new hulls that might not require all-new art assets, but could add more skills for players to train that don't require a huge pile of prerequisites to start with.

For these small fleets there might then be some interesting choices.  Primary the FFL/DDL to knock down those bonuses, or assume that the leader is going to be bricktanked and just start chewing through the usual targets.  The downside to such hulls is that they might only have value in small roams and factional warfare plexes.  For anything bigger you'll either forgo a command boost or bring along your T3C or Command Ship.  But a lot of the fun battles in Eve do happen in these smaller groups, so if the price wasn't prohibitive we might see a lot of usage beyond the plexes.

I'd even say that could be a role for the soon-to-be-rebalanced T3 Destroyers...

November 3, 2015

Off Grid Boosters:Training to the Nerf

With Brain In A Box now here (at least phase 1) and a bit of a tinfoil scare on booster nerfing, I have another skill queue screencap to post.  This time I'm not sure that I'll say I'll be sad if what I'm training gets nerfed.  But lets step back and look at this.

Yes, I have an alt account training up to be a booster.  The obvious joke when I started was that as soon as I finished training him the nerf hammer would come down on off grid boosters.  While that hasn't actually happened yet, certainly the writing appears to be on the wall.  There was a mess of tinfoil when the Parallax patch notes came out and it appeared that booster modules were going to be subject to stacking penalties on the ship level.  In this interpretations, your Skirmish module bonuses would stack with the nanofiber on your ship.  The patch notes were clarified to only being the basic Leadership skills and explicitly not modules.

I don't think anyone thinks that off-grid boosters are going to be too long for this world though.  CCP has consistently said they wanted these gone, and that the only reason they were still around was legacy code.  With legacy code now being cut down left and right, we can hope that OGBs will be on the list.  AFK and nigh-AFK boosters may soon be a thing of the past.

Yes, that means my booster alt as well.  So what to do if my booster is going to have to actually be on the field?  The logical thing seems to be to route the training over towards Command Ships.  I am not used to running two accounts, so an Eos with drones I can assist over to my main seems to make the most sense.  It certainly is a lot more risk to put that ship on the field, but I have to say that the risk is appropriate to the benefits of the boosts.

There's a possible throwback style to this training too.  I recall that people were quite happy with the ability of command ships to handle PVE, potentially including low-level WH PVE and maybe even L4 missions.  That would give me another ISK-making option if I ever didn't feel like jumping into PVP on my main.  Alternatively as a duo they two could probably run quite a few types of PVE.  Downside being my main's connection to FW, of course.

Another option would certainly be to rush to the character bazaar and try to offload the character.  A brief lookaround looks like the character might break 10B ISK in value, though I expect that value might get harder and harder to reach as more people process what the Brain in a Box and other advances might mean. The two courses of action aren't necessarily all that different either - I expect Command Ships will increasingly be a required skill for saleable booster alts.

It will be interesting to see what becomes of the masses of link alts as we move to a post-OGB world.  I'm not an expert here, so I'll be watching for long-time users of these to start chiming in to get some ideas.

October 31, 2015

Capitals and Citadels

I've been absorbing everything I can from Eve Vegas and the recent o7 show, and I've been getting really excited.  Despite a pretty crazy couple of weeks I managed to get undocked, in a few fights, and even found some Gauntlets and grabbed a Blood Raider Cerebral Accelerator for my main and for my alt.  But the big news recently has certainly been about Capitals and Citadels.

I think I can sum up my opinion on the recent Capital news pretty succinctly:

 My plan previously had been to make Jakob a near-perfect sub-Battleship pilot.  My missile skills definitely trail my turret and drone skills, but I already had all the sub-BS T1 hull types to V and most of the T2 hulls as well.  Recently I'd moved up and started training the battleship hulls and the large turret systems I didn't already have into the T2 weapon zone.  But capitals are a big step.

There are the skill books whose cost is measured in the 100s of millions, training levels in the double-digits, training plans measured in months, and ship hulls that are measured in the billions.  More than all of that is that this will be a new world of operations for me.  There is research I'll need to do and people I'll need to talk to.  Some is on the prep side: "What level of Jump Drive Operation is really needed for near-home space operations?".  Some of it is operational: "Okay, walk me through decision making on siege cycles."  This is all a different level from moving from a Vexor to a VNI to an Ishtar.

The coming Capital changes will make any immediate discussions of fits irrelevant.  By the time I have the skills to get into a Moros (and the ISK to fit one and afford to lose it) I expect we'll be well into that stage, but I can wait on that.  So why start this training now instead of finishing off "perfection" on the sub-cap level?

Part of that is the new "high-angle batteries" which will make dreads useful for battles in lowsec that don't involve shooting POSs or previously-dropped triage carriers.  For better or worse, we're going to see more dreads in the Gal/Cal warzone I think.  That means that Aideron is going to need more capital pilots.  (As an aside it also means that my HIC training should become more valuable as well.)

The other part is that there are going to be Citadels in the warzone, and that means those Citadels will need killing in the more traditional role of dreadnoughts.  It will probably be a while until POSs are removed from the game, but I expect we'll see Citadels about pretty quickly.  For faction war this particularly means that flipping a system will not dislodge the enemy as much as before.  POSs in the past could continue the fight and provide resupply, but Citadels will mean an organization could continue full-fledged operations from docking and repair to market stocking.

October 22, 2015

SP changes: Shaking up the Gerontocracy of Eve

The Eve meta is still processing the Dev Blog "Exploring the Character Bazaar & Skill Trading."  There's been a lot of good discussion out there (and a lot of brainless posting and posturing), but I think the older players in particular just haven't quite gotten what this means to new(er) players.  As was commented on The Tinfoil Factory, Eve is a gerontocracy where power accrues to players simply for having been subscribed longer than others.  The changes we're talking about now dare to shake that up and thus undermine the advantages of older players.  Given that, perhaps it's not a surprise that people have taken a very cautiously named blog and run to their pitchforks, assuming it's a feature about to roll out.  This is all particularly interesting when combined with the new Blood Raider Cerebral Accelerator.

Pay To Win

Let's get this one out of the way first.  The suggestion here is that if I have a friend (let's call him Adam) started playing Eve two years before me, then it is somehow Pay to Win if I am given a way to catch up to him in skill points.  Let me say that another way: simply pulling up even to an older player is considered Pay to Win?  This isn't golden ammo, this isn't using a credit card to get an advantage in PVP that can only be countered by another credit card.  This is younger players being able to catch up to older players.  I can see why the older players might consider that threatening, but that's clearly not Pay To Win.  We don't even need to break out the existing Character Bazaar topic to see that, right?

Options for New Players

In the Dev Blog, we see Team Size Matters floating a concept with a very steep curve of diminishing returns.  This is clearly set up to get players into the 50M to 80M SP range, with only a truly massive level of expenditure making this worthwhile for those over 80M SP.  As someone who is sitting at just under 80M SP, I think this is a good limit.  We have prominent examples of Kil2 and Gorski Car who both starting playing Eve and went to the character bazaar in order to get a character with competent PVP skills.  This gives other players that option without the much more dramatic step of buying an entire character

I hear a number of comments in the meta about how people want to maintain the emotional connection to their character.  This mechanism allows players build up the character that they've been playing, rather than have to discard it.  If anything, people who want that person connection should be thrilled at this new mechanism, if only they can think on this from the perspective of a newer player.

As a new player, you don't have any other options to get skilled up.  In other games where skills accrue from your actions, you could be a really intense player and grind out the levels or skills.  In Eve, there is nothing you can do but pay your monthly fee.  In fact, maybe the best way to get started in Eve is to buy six months of subscription, line up your training queue, and then don't log in except to add in a skill you just cleared the prereqs for.  Is that really what we want to tell a person who is considering playing Eve and wants to get in and be able to compete in at least cruiser-level PVP?

Options for Older Players

At the same time, what if you're an older player who has trained your main into a space coffin and you're feeling trapped?  This mechanism means you could sell that Titan, extract those supercapital skills, free yourself from that obligation and fund yourself for capital and down PVP for a long time.  Get back to enjoying Eve, which is what the game should be all about.  This is also true for older players who don't see any skills that they really want to train anymore, not wanting to get into that space coffin.  We're hitting that for a lot of older players.  Does it make more sense that they should train skills that they will never use?  Is that a decision that adds to the game?

I agree that there may be a lot of supercap toons that are unsubscribed now which might be re-upped for the sole purpose of stripping them down for SP.  The market could be flooding with people taking advantage of this to cash out.  I don't see that as a bad thing at all.  If people aren't having fun with those characters, there is no advantage to the player, to CCP, or to the Eve community to have them sitting around unsubscribed.  I'm sure that a lot of people would not cry if there was a sudden drop in the total number of super-capable hotdroppers in New Eden either.  Maybe Eve would be a healthier place for that.  (Now of course we'll see what Eve Vegas brings for capital and supercap rebalance of course)  I don't buy the "protect players from themselves" flavor of these arguments.  Eve is Not a Nanny State.

Blood Raiders on the coattails

One must wonder if the Dev Blog on skill trading was intentionally positioned to start the controversial fire right before the Blood Raider event was started up.  Against the backdrop of the SP Trading, I haven't seen a single person (even on reddit) claim that the Blood Raider Cerebral Accelerators were "Pay to Win."  But why not?  After all, this allows the same catch-up mechanism as skill trading by breaking out the credit card.

There is an important difference in that this approach is not instantaneous.  Even doubling your learning speed 24/7 still means that I'd need a full year just to catch up to someone two years ahead of me.  This is not a solution to the "I need all the skills to fly T2 tank and guns in PVP" problem.  But is this an intermediate solution?  If people are not okay with instant skill injection, would they be okay with the injected skills being applied over time?  Consider a mechanism where I inject one TSP of 500K SP and thus double my rate of learning until they are gone.  Consider if stacking was allowed so if I really want I can inject 9 TSPs and learn at 10x rate for a while.  Now an would-be Kil2 can speed through the core fitting skills while getting into frigate PVP, quickly moving into the cruiser range but without jumping in one credit card transaction.

One way or another it's going to be a brave new world out there.  With any change like this, there are going to be people who resist it either by general conservatism or because it undermines their personal advantage.  If Eve is going to thrive for the next decade, I think we need bring in mechanisms like this.

October 9, 2015

PLEX v Aurum

So a short one today about the relative value of PLEX and Aurum for a very specific purpose.  Before that though, I think it's been clearly shown that I was way too excited about the possibility that the kill markers on the ships indicated something deeper in Eve.  Ah well, mark it up to an overabundance of optimism about the future perhaps.

So, on to PLEX and Aurum.

For me there are two possible uses for these cash-buyable things: training time and raw ISK.  I sub my account in the normal fashion, so when I'm looking for training time I mean the Multiple Pilot Training Certificate.  Let's start there.

Multiple Pilot Training Certificate

1 PLEX will get me a month for $19.95 USD.  Pretty straightforward.
3500 Aurum will get me a month, purchasable as a package of 4035 Aurum for $20.00 USD.

I'll wave fondly at the $0.05 USD and call those the same.  So my money is better spent on Aurum since I'll end up with 535 Aurum left over.  That's not even enough to get you a frigate skin, btw, so what would I do with that.  Well, the obvious answer is that if I buy enough, and those ratios hold, then in seven purchases I'll get an extra month, right?

Well, no.

6 PLEX will run me $104.97 USD - in Aurum equivalents for the MPTC this is 21000 Aurum.
21200 Aurum will run me $100.00 USD.

Hmm, that 535 advantage for Aurum vanished.  PLEX is discounted by 12.3% when you buy five of them, but for the same amount of Aurum you only get a discount of 4.8%


So right now a PLEX is running at buy-side 1.188B and sell-side 1.200B ISK.  That's the easy part.

Let's take a sample cool skin, the Astero Sanctuary skin.  Everybody wants one, right?

The skin costs 1540 Aurum, so that's 2.62 of them per basic $20 package.  Yes, I'm handwaving that fraction right now.  The skin goes for 624 sell / 485 buy right now.  On both the buy and sell side that's a better value than PLEX, though the range is a lot bigger between buy and sell and it assume you can make use of that fraction.  If you just sold 2 instead of the 2.62 you would still be a hair ahead on the sell price at 1.248B ISK.  You should expect that this might indicate that it won't be quite as predictable what final price you'll get after you battle the 0.01ers in Jita.  But pretty clear win for Aurum, right?

Let's look back at those $100 packages.
PLEXx6 = buy 7.20B, sell 7.128B
Aurum = buy 8.59B, sell 6.68B

And that Aurum is actually you selling 13.76 Astero skins, so it assumes you can efficiently find a set of comparable skins that won't leave you with an inventory of unsellable Aurum.  Granted, even if you only sold 13 Astero skins at sell price it would be better than the sell price of PLEX.

So it's an interesting world.  For my simple original question of getting another month for my alt, the Aurum market looks interesting.  I get what I want and have a bit of Aurum that eventually I'll use for something I'm sure.  But if you're a speculator looking at the mass market, it's not quite as clear.  If you're confident that you can get the sell price then you can get 119% of the ISK using Aurum.  If you've got $100 you want to plunk into Eve, then I wish you the best of luck.  I'm sure CCP is cheering you on too.

October 2, 2015

More Fuel for the Eve Hype Train

CCP came back from summer vacations and opened up the throttle on the communication and the hype.  The real test, as always, will be the delivery but there are some obvious and not-so-obvious major news items in the latest flurry of communication.

First off, big points to CCP Seagull for these video blog entries.  Close-up, looking straight into the camera, earnest and every bit the leader that I think many of us were so impressed with when she first hit the stage.

Secondly, the team is laying it all on the line with the Eve Updates page.  Not just items for next release, or even the release after that.  We have teasers to pique your interest clear out to Fanfest.  The risk here is that anything that is even mildly delayed will stir up every little rotten pit of negativity in the community.  This is a change from the previous approach of having rapid patches which can get announced mere weeks before the work hits the servers.

Is this a sign that CCP is being responsive, or that they're very deeply worried, or both?

Solid Responses
"We heard you" might be the theme from the capital rebalances to the careful steps around the use of Entosis links vis-a-vis citadels.  Right up front is the change to the Jump Fatigue limits.  We'll see if this means that big players will reach out farther, willing to make big strikes on the weekends knowing they can reset again by the next weekend.  Structure changes for nullsec includes the passive wind-down of attacked nodes if the attackers don't stick with it.  This seems like a good change to slow down trolling without inhibiting true attackers.

Crimson Harvest?  The return of the Drifters is a fix for the briefly-implemented invasion of the Throne Worlds that I personally hope will have the potential to spread across New Eden if left unchecked.  But the Crimson Harvest - a new Blood Raider incursion?

Sneaky Fundamental Eve Changes
So kill marks on your ship for each final blow that this particular hull has scored - cool right?  But this feels like something far more fundamental has just slipped in.  In the past we've often talked about how each ship is very generic in being an entry in the database.  The only thing really different was the name that was assigned to it.  Now there is also an integer value which not only is driven by other game mechanics, but which feeds through and changes the behavior of the rendering of the skin.  Similarly we have reports of how dust and debris will accumulate on ships based on usages, or rust if they sit in hangar.  I think these are potentially signs of something deeper going on in the implementation of Eve, something which allows each database entry to be a bit more distinct.  We'll see - maybe this is just a bit extension of the uniqueness of the ship name or maybe it is something more.

I didn't even cover all of the things.  D-scan on the probe window?  Ice mining frigates?  Players who are of a positive mindset will climb on the hype train, and those who are deeply embittered will find a way for each new thing to represent disappointment to them.  Find what you love about the game and I think you'll find something to love in all of these announcements.

September 17, 2015

Sympathy for CCP Devil

While many of you were watching the o7 show, I was in a conference call with a vendor at work.  Perhaps I was thinking of what I was missing, but I had a momentary and fractional vision of what it must be like to be a customer-facing CCP Dev.  Mind you, my colleague and I were being a lot more polite to the vendor than your average toxin-zombie on reddit, but as we went over the mockups for the proposed new functionality the vendor was offering I had a thought process that many CCP watchers have experienced.

What were they thinking?  Seriously, how much thought did they put into this?  How much of a priority is our business really for them, if this is what they are offering and on this time schedule?

As we wrapped up the call, I mentioned to the vendor's product manager that I had sympathy for them.  I've seen our own people come out of calls with customers with puzzled looks on their faces that probably are very similar to how the CCP devs leave some interactions with Eve players.

Do they not get how this stuff works?  Did we not communicate well enough why this new functionality is great and will make their life so much better?  Why are they so stuck on their current processes when we're showing them how using this new process will do everything better - they just have to make some changes to do it.  Does that one guy just have an actual steel rod stuck up his ass?

Now back home from work I'm watching the o7 show and skimming over the new dev blogs. Oh man, watching this o7 show on replay via twitch is painful.  Play, wait for it to buffer, play some more.  But at least it matches well with getting the kids ready for bed.  And did all of you immediately know who Mike Azariah was by his appearance even before the name-tag appeared?

That vendor I mentioned was providing functionality related to agile software development.  There's a good analogy there to CCP.  Part of my frustration with that vendor is that delivering the complete package that I want for my users is far away and is only being provided in dribs and drabs.  Little pieces that do as much to frustrate our users at what is missing as make them rejoice at what they're getting.  Sound familiar?

So welcome back expansions.  Welcome back longer wait times to get a bigger big bang.  Will that be the silver bullet that turns every werewolf on reddit back into a starry-eyed newbie in love with the scope and potential in Eve?

Of course not.  I still feel there are some people who are just so wrapped up in their bitterness that there is nothing that CCP can do to turn them around.  The only solution for those people is either to take a break from Eve or for them to try something completely new - and that's a choice that only they can make.

But for the rest of us - there is still a great vision that CCP Seagull is working towards.  The fact that CCP is willing to change the way they are doing things while pushing forward towards the greater roadmap is a great sign.  For those of us not overloaded on bitter-toxins it's a pretty cool future.

And until that arrives, I'll keep enjoying this game and the people I've met in it.

p.s. that Quafe Hyperion does look really sweet...

September 15, 2015

Minmatar Headset

So, my Minmatar style attempts to fix my headset really aren't sitting well on my Gallente head.  Basically the joint that allows the left earcup to rotate so that it curves onto the head is broken, and my attempts to use duct-tape and wooden structural members (aka a popsicle stick) aren't holding up.  Because of the way the joint is built super-glue doesn't work, and I'm not sure I can epoxy it to the right angle... and frankly I'm too lazy to go too far down that path.

So, what recommendations do people have for a good headset for Eve?  I have a single monitor and sit right at the desk, so I don't need anything fancy like a WiFi headset (I think).

September 7, 2015

Mistakes were made

Mistakes in Eve generally get punished.  That's part of the appeal of the game - we just need to learn from them and keep going.  But sometimes it takes some looking and thinking to realize that the mistake might not be what we think... so on with the story.

I figured I'd only have a bit of time, so I was banging around Fliet.  I figure I'll d-plex a bit and maybe find one of the Calmil guys along the way, so I hop in a Comet.  Sadly, the first couple plexes are empty but it sounds like something is going on in a medium plex on the other side of the system.  When I see that there is a Svipul involved I decide the Comet isn't going to cut it and head to reship.  I quickly jump into an old favorite - a Thorax.  Make sure it's repaired (I learned that lesson already) and undock, kick it into warp.  It's now Svipul and Condor, but I've gotten a fellow GalMil from a different corp on a conversation and his Comet comes in alongside me.  The Svipul and Condor run.  Sigh.  The GalMil fellow heads on back on his way.  I figure I'll run down the timer.

Into local comes a familiar name: hellokittyonline, who I met when I was in Rifterlings.  I pop a quick o7 in local for him and a few moments later he dives into my plex in a Stiletto.  Now I know that hellokittyonline is good - really good.  I don't think I'll get lucky enough to slingshot him in a Stilleto with me in a bulky Thorax.  I keep my drones in so he can't pick them off early and I start loading Null to test him a bit.  Right about then his buddy in a Confessor lands.  Oh, I'm all about that - switch back to antimatter.  I'm on top of the Confessor in a moment and have him scrammed and webbed, drones out and blasters running..  I don't know if he flipped into Defense mode, but it doesn't look like it's helping him.  Meanwhile my AAR is handling his dps fine.  All this has pulled down my cap, so I start up the cap booster.  I still don't know how I'll take care of the Stilleto, but he won't be able to get through my repper either.

Then my web and scram drop.  What?  I look around for the ECM jam symbol, but there is none.  However, my cap is empty - I apparently missed the voice warning.  I punch the cap booster - which has nothing loaded in it.  Oh crap.  I hopped into the Thorax without making sure it had any cap charges other than what was loaded in the booster.  I get another cycle off on my repper, but without my MWD the Confessor is pulling range which means I can't burn through that last armor of his.  I swing away in case he gets sloppy and drops his point, but it's very unlikely that hellokitty will make that mistake.  I watch the ship go down, frustrated with myself, but keep a gf in local.

What I thought I learned: I need to not leave ships in hangar in anything other than a fully-loaded state.  It's too easy to forget that you have a module that needs a script or cap charges, or enough ammo for your guns.  All those things are relatively cheap.  The one part of that which will be hard is keeping a full drone load in place, since I tend to shift around drone loads based on needs.

Then when you look at it: But when I look at my own killmail it's right there: 10 Navy Cap Booster 400s.  Five cycles should have been plenty to kill that Confessor.  Granted, I use 800s more these days, but this is an older ship.  I can only think now that I had the cap booster auto-reload off somehow.  That's not something I normally do, but I do keep the AAR off of auto-reload.  Perhaps the setting carried over from a previous ship which had no cap booster?  I jumped to a conclusion mid fight and didn't think to right-click to try to find the reload.  It disheartened me enough that I didn't keep looking for ways out, which was bad - I shouldn't have given up.

Afterword: Apparently that Svipul came back in just after I died and finished off the Confessor.  Since he still had damage from me I was listed on the killmail.  He was beam fit, which is why I was able to take him so well from close range.  Even stranger - an afterburner beam fit.  Doubly frustrating then because I feel I would have wrecked him.

September 2, 2015

Dabblers Delight: Income generation in Eve

I'm a dabbler in Eve and in other aspects of life.  It means I'm not likely to be the ace pilot in my group since I'm not solo PVPing exclusively, but I get a number of things going.  Eve seems to reward that, and it also helps avoid burnout to keep some variety going.  This dabbling comes across in my income generation in Eve as well.  So if you're looking for a way to make the ISKies, dear reader, perhaps one of these will appeal to you.

Industrial Wage-Slave (smiling to the bank)

My main income generation right now is via the two alts on my main account doing work for Aideron Technologies.  This is not to be confused with Aideron Robotics, which is the FW corp that Jakob is in.  (The two were linked but are now independent).  The concept is simple: queue up jobs as requested using the mats and datacores provided and get paid for it.  You don't need to worry about the logistics or babysitting any market orders - that's all done by the corp officers.  This is coordinated by the impressive LMEve web application developed by Lukas Rox (blog: Torchwood Archives).  In fact, if you check out this LMeve dev blog entry you'll see some screenshots of what it's like to use this app.  There's also a reference to a player earning 837M ISK in that month - that'd be me, and that was before my second alt was fully skilled up.  Some summer slowdown and logistics issues meant that last month wasn't as good, but I'm hopeful we'll be up and churning out the goods at an even higher rate soon.  So again, all you need to do is log in, fly to the POS, queue up the jobs, and log off again.  Or go on to do other dabbling things with that same alt.

Market Making (and promoting conflict)

I'm posted before about trying to bring our home of Fliet up as a market that players can consistently fit ships from.  Thanks to Sugar Kyle for her excellent blog posts on her work to do this in Bosena and Sujarento that inspired this effort, as well as her advice outside of the blog as well.  We're helped out in AIDER by our excellent corp JF services as well.  Market making has gotten easier to do in two ways recently.  Firstly, a number of other guys in our corp are now helping to stock it too.  We've split up areas of the market so that we can try to cover more ground without stepping on each other.  This was particularly important for those of us without a lot of market slots via trade skills.  If each of us only has 53 slots, we need a fair number of people to cover a wide range of ship fits.  Secondly, I burned my Aideron Technologies paycheck to score a PLEX to multi-train my alt and thus got my own number of market slots up so I can cover even more.  So I think we're getting close to covering a nice chunk of common lowsec fits, particularly on the cruiser-down scale.  The bonus here is also helping both our friends and our local pirates get into ships means more content for everyone (squiddies can't dock, so they have to go home to get their fits). There's still more room to go, but a lot of that is going to be driven by requests so that we know what to cover next.  For instance, when doing exploration recently we realized that we didn't have any  Salvagers on the market.

Exploration (killing Serpentis and Sleepers)

Speaking of exploration, I've been learning more about combat sites and WH diving from corpmates and allies.  This has been a good way to hang out with friendly chaps and talk about how things are going while plugging at red triangles, and an eye on local and d-scan.  With our area being as active as it is, no exploration running is going to be a semi-AFK activity unless you want to lose your ship.  We also tend to have combat-fit ships kicking around, so swapping over to PVP can happen pretty quickly should some of our FW enemies come running through.

Factional Warfare (oh yeah, that)

You might have thought this would be at the top of my list.  While there certainly are times to get LP from plexing, and then turn that LP into valuable assets, that's not what I tend to do a lot of.  If I'm out and about I tend to be looking for fights more often than farming.  The fact that these two can cross-over so easily, particularly if a system is being contested, is really a beautiful part of Factional Warfare.  Of all the complaints from the nullsec folks out there, I understand how it could be frustrating to not get compensated for fighting for control.  I see that nullsec is more of a player-driven sandbox than FW though, so if there was such a payout I'd see it coming from the playerbase itself.  But I digress.  If the proposed changes work through to increase the payouts for killing enemy militia ships then that'll be a nice change on the LP front as well.  I don't tend to turn LP into things to sell in Jita (though I just did that recently), but instead turn Incursi into Comets and Vexors into VNIs for my own use.

Meta-Eve, or Welcome to Crossing Zebras

My most recent addition to the dabbling of income is via the meta-game.  After I made a bunch of editorial comments on a draft article that Ashterothi was writing for Crossing Zebras, I ended up getting invited to join as the newest, greenest editor there.  One thing I'm particularly liking about this gig is hearing more from the guys in nullsec about what their experience is.  For instance, I edited the recent Sarin Goes To War article which gives the POV of a new capsuleer to the recent Providence war.  I'm glad to hear they're having fun, particularly since it feels like there has been so much bitter coming from that part of the game.  Just as I like having lots of things to do, we need Eve to have lots of ways and places to play - each with their own dabbling opportunities.

This little list of dabbling is by no means an exhaustive list of what you can do.  I still need to try out more FW missions, which would give me more LP that I'd probably want to turn into saleable goods.  Maybe an upcoming FW rebalance would make Gallente missions more in line with the ease at which people can do the other factions - honestly I'd rather see theirs get more difficult and ours get a bit easier and meet in the middle.  In the exploration world I don't do Data and Relic sites, so that's another whole potential.

August 19, 2015

Lore, Content, and Fairness

Sugar Kyle wrote a blog entry (Should Lore Be Fair?) that I thought was very interesting, but really begged a question about the difference between Lore and Content.  I think a lot of the commenters on the blog quickly agreed that the arc of the lore storyline has no need to be fair to anyone in particular, but the complains one will see out in the meta is more about the content that is coming along that is built on the lore.  So let's disentangle those, focusing around the recent Amarr / Drifter plotline.


The lore here concerns the threat of the Drifters in general and how it has been focused upon the Amarr.  This comes from the announcements and actions of the NPC characters, primarily Empress Jamyl, and largely tying to events in the published books on her mysterious connection to the Sleepers.  I won't get into the details of the plot, but the point is that the leader of the Amarr faction is the focus on the main arc going right now in Eve.

This is huge for Amarr role-players.  As far as I know, this is the largest group of role-players in Eve by a long shot (even more if you count The Imperium), so this is a great choice for CCP in terms of player involvement for effort put in.  I'm not even aware of any Caldari role-player focused groups for instance.  But this group is a huge minority in Eve since the game culture long ago turned away from the MMORPG roots and is often quite actively hostile to RP.  So that's a pragmatic bang-for-buck business win for CCP.  But is it fair that the plot arc focuses on Amarr?

Nope, it's not fair, but if you're into RP I'd be surprised if fairness in plot is really a criteria.  What you want is a good story and opportunity for involvement, and we're seeing that.  Just like it would be boring if the protagonist in a book or a movie had a "fair" life.  We want to see them smashed down and then get back up and succeed despite it all.  If you're anti-Amarr this is a great RP opportunity to point out the hypocrisy of the Amarr nobility and the Empress in specific, and cheer on (or even assist) the Drifters, or use this as an opportunity to push them while they're distracted.  The ultimate example of this would be if The Imperium does come down on Providence while CVA is trying to help defend the Throne Worlds.  RP win for the Mittani!


The other side is the in-game events that provide content.  Drifters and Circadian Seekers are all over Eve, but the mysterious Drifter bases are in specifically in W-space and the upcoming Drifter Incursions may be specifically in Amarr space.  This is where I think people get more upset, not even counting the confusion over the "Amarr LP" placeholder in SiSi (listen to the Hydrostatic Podcast on this topic for clarification).  Is it fair (or a good idea) for content to be focused on one area of space?

I would suggest that in the short-term it is okay (and even a good idea) for content to be localized.  In the longer-term aggregate CCP should strive for distributed (or "fair") content across the game though.

For instance, we saw a short term content focus when the T3Ds rolled out starting with the Amarr in recognition of their in-game (and to some degree RP) focus on the exploration contest.  Instead of all four factions magically making a technological advance at the same time, as has been CCP's norm, we had the factions each make the advance in turn much like you'd actually see in the real world.  Long term the content was rolled out across all the faction though, restoring balance and "fairness."

Similarly there are some clues that the Drifter Incursion may start in the Throne Worlds, but then appear throughout the game including null-sec.  So again we'll see a short-term imbalance that rewards the in-game dedication of the Amarr players, then the content spreads out from there.

The content doesn't have to be copy-paste either, and in fact it's nice when it isn't.  W-space may not see the Incursion content, but instead they do have the new Drifter Unidentified Wormhole PVE content.

Dynamic Eve

All this comes together to make a more dynamic Eve.  Lore itself does not need to be fair: it is an expression of a plotarc.  Content should be balanced in the aggregate over a longer term, but does not need to be fair and balanced in the short term.  If everything was fair it would be less realistic and more boring.  Enjoy the unfairness!

July 31, 2015

BB65 - Attribution Needed?

In most RPGs the attributes of your character are a vital part of how you're going to play the game.  I'm sure that's why Eve had them at the very beginning - because all of the other RPGs had them.  But as time has gone on it has become increasingly clear that this artifact of the first concepts of Eve does not add to the current gameplay or the vision of Eve's future.

BB65: Attributes and Skills
"Does Eve need attributes? It's been discussed a lot recently. Unlike other MMO's your characters attributes don't make a difference in day-to-day gameplay. They simply set how fast you train a skill. Is it time to remove attributes from the game or totally revamp their purpose? Do they add a level of complexity to the game that is not needed? If you really need to use a 3rd party application to get the most from it should it be in the game? Should they be repurposed with each attribute adding a modifier to your ship? Are attributes a relic from the past or are they an important part of Eve - You make your decision and deal with the consequences?"
- Sand, Cider, and Spaceships.

What do Attributes Add to the Game?
I'm the kind of guy who read a lot of websites and wikis before I made my first Eve character.  A lot of those sources were out of date (thanks Internets) and still had advice on the learning skills - which fortunately were already gone by the time I started playing.  The optimal way to set up your character was clearly to map for Int/Mem and start on your core skills, then switch to Per/Will when you couldn't stand how bad you were at your ship and weapons anymore.  Clearly that's not really a good way to get a new player into the game: start your subscription, queue up skills, then come back in a month to start playing. (Yeah, yeah, I'm exaggerating).  I downloaded EveMon, mapped out my skills and neural remaps for the first year and out there I went.  For my min-maxing my main maybe has a couple percent more skillpoints than the main of the average player of my same age.  Is that really want we want?  Is that really an "add" for gameplay?  I think the answer is pretty clearly "No."

But it lets me specialize!
Sure, you remap differently for your trading alt and your booster alt and your combat main.  Great.  That's not really much in the way of specialization.  It's not like you are specializing via remap to be a better scout, or logi, or kiting PVPer.  Those things are all in the skills you choose, which are only as a secondary effect impacted by attributes.

One of the suggestions on the Tinfoil Factory episode was for attributes to tie to actual in game activity.  Perception improves your lock range or scan res, Willpower your resistance to damage, Intelligence your cap usage, or whatever.  That would potentially lead to attributes meaning something for specialization.  It would also suggest that clones would have separable remappings.  High level players already would jump into a clone meant for a particular activity based on the fancy implants in the close.  This would just be another layer on that.  I get the appeal there, but I have a concern.

Eve already has balance problems around specialization.  If your average PVPer heads out there and faces an opponent with faction mods, links, drugs, etc that maximize one attributes we seem to quickly get into the OP space.  If you think that an Orthrus is a problem now, wait until you let the pilot also be getting another 5% out of it with the perfect remap.  I get that Eve has long had the maxim that the fight is won before the opponents land on grid, and I'm for encouraging preparation and planning, but it seems weren't more and more getting to the problem that if I know I'm facing someone maxed out then I just won't get on grid with them in the first place.  No fights is no fun, and that hurts Eve.

So Nuke 'em
The other side of the suggestion is back to the design-by-deletion.  They don't add to the game so rip them out.  I understand CCP has considered this but then wonders what to do with implants that increase attributes.  We could preserve the risk-v-reward of faster training time versus risk of losing expensive implants by making those implants simply +X% training time implants.  That's effectively what they are right now anyway.  There's no need to burden them with special new powers that need to be balanced as well.  Then that would be a straight swap made upon release downtime.  No fuss, no muss.

I'm reading some other great articles out there with people's opinions, so if you haven't read the other Blog Banters on the topic then read around.  Thanks to Drackarn for posting this one - I'm only sorry I didn't get this up earlier since I suggested the topic - but that's the way RL goes sometime.

Fly Reckless out there, everyone!