EVE: Monday TSUXX

mondaytsuxx

They say that, ‘Monday’s child is fair of face’ well Monday Tsuxx will kick ya in da face!

Monday Tsuxx don’t give a fuxx, don’t try n give big bucks, he’s only in it for fun and frol’x!

The Boomtown Rats – ‘I hate Mondays

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same moody attitude, what a poser!

Thursday TSU has been forcibly retired as even if I wanted to I could not pay for the subscription this month (Its complicated, basically I have no credit history in Argentina!… I may be able to next month after changing banks but they have gone strangely quiet as well… )and as yet EVE Online is being rather obtrusive to true gaming enjoyment, I am far from hitting any gaming sweet spot.

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But Monday TSUXX did get off the starting blocks much faster! I ignored the OPPORTUNITY goals and just blasted off to the Trossere system to start the agent missions, I had somehow enrolled in the Caille University! Well I am gonna have to be a drop out of this uni as I was in RL, there is just too much fun to be had in the university of life! I did start to get slightly irritated by tossers in Trossere spaming for corps… but no real impact other than, ‘Oh wow mail…! Oh wow boring!’

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That’s a big station…

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…that my little spaceship couldn’t path find away from…

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…eventually free…

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flies off into the sunset!

And I had finished the Combat agent and almost finished the adv combat missions by the end of the weekend, if I didn’t end up faffing in the market I could have started another agent’s missions…

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Atron picked up!

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NPC pirate base…

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Hardly a scratch…

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Who needs a funky skin…I got underwater ripple animation…

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I just like it!

And having done them all before I had no real nasty surprises.

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BOOM!

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Floating rocks just attract me…OK its in space but anyway…

So weekend ended on a high, Mondays truly suck (back to work!) but Monday TSUXX is having a ball.

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EVE: MOUSE DEATH!

mouse death

For the first time since I was able I did not log into EVE today! I think I have 2 weeks or so of my FREE (extended) trial to run and Saturday I got ‘ganked’ by 6 puny drones due to not being able to select/fire/position/warp out because of faulty mouse… I didn’t smash it into my wife’s monitor but I would have loved to do it (my head would have followed it if I had!)

So a new mouse is needed and I have no time to buy… maybe tomorrow I will find one…even tempted to nick one from work! (Better not…)

Sunday I took Thursday TSU out for a spin in his capsule, all the way back to Couster to pick up a new Catalyst! My fourth or fifth!

After a month and a half of play I am back at the beginning and wondering if I should try something different…

EVE: The Mission

‘Love breaks the wings of a butterfly on a wheel’

The Mission – ‘Butterfly on a wheel’

I am finding out that missions in EVE Online are actually very BORING! The only moments of interest have occurred when I have died and when I had to travel around to put together a replacement. The missions themselves are BASIC beyond belief, indeed the essential detail contained within the actual agent briefing and instructions takes longer to read than the actual GAMEPLAY moments the mission provides, the bulk of the rest is travelling between station and destination (and normally back again) so far without incident and with no diversion other than changing the viewpoint. Probably over 90% of my EVE Online time out in space has been under autopilot!

I have enjoyed the more intense combat missions, so far the Lair of Snakes has been my favourite. Yes the same mission I was podded in! When the red icons (You don’t target ships themselves, I suppose you can!) are flowing in and around and you are balancing which ship to target next, which point of reference to base your position from; basically orbit, approach or keep at range. (What no evasive manouevers? I have not ‘flown’ with others and I gather there are no formations…) While watching your shields getting pounded, then your armour, and then your ship crumbling, but the enemy numbers are dwindling too.

Targeting the wrong ship out of optimal range, selecting the wrong ship to approach or keep at range all impart a tactical importance to the proceedings. Coming out of the battle unscathed feels one with a huge boost of confidence in your piloting ability and more importantly your ship fitting skills which is good as after travelling around I find that the rest of the time I am juggling fitting my ship. As the infamous skill queue slowly spits out chosen skills they give small bonuses to using and fitting different equipment.

Another level of inadequacy is added to the whole mission system is what many players refer to as ‘rooms’ these are ‘instances in space’ that you can invite others to by sharing the ‘location’… I am embarrassed to admit I have saved these ‘bookmarks’ but have as yet not found a way of pulling up a list of them to go back to… crucial if I ever start salvaging stuff after the fact! So basically an agent will send you to a ‘room to play’, getting there and back is seemingly inconsequential other than another method of ticking tocs of the clock…EVE Online the incredible flying time sink in space!

TIMESINK

Some rooms are opened upon arrival and others add a jumpgate, some include a chain of rooms and gates… So basically a ‘dungeon in space’ although keeping the fantasy MMO flavour, a dungeon you don’t need to find and there is no exploration while getting there, and a linear dungeon with no sense of exploration other than the most primitive of ‘clear room’ to progress to next ‘room’… Ultimately it does not matter that the room is huge and that walls are invisible, giving a majestic view of the cosmos, game play is reduced to enter room kill monsters open door to next room. Where are the choices and the interaction? What sense of immersion does this give?

Sounds like I am not having fun in EVE Online, wrong! I just think the game could be much more fun!

Other commentators are mentioning the fall in subscribers within the game, a sense of an ever expanding universe which is maybe not all useful anymore at the stage the game is suffering from BLOAT, too much stuff is not always a good thing!

Others complain about that the NEW PLAYER experience is too poor (and I fall into this camp), that to survive EVE Online needs new players and to do that they need a better introduction to the game, as the game has become more complicated some form of streamlining is required to get new players to parts of the game they can enjoy without having to endure other parts that they are not interested in…

There is a mystique about EVE that I have been exposed to every time I ever heard about it, it is difficult, not for everyone, it can be tricky, you will find it hard, you will fall off difficulty cliffs, you will start off a little fish in a huge ocean. All of this stuff I had heard and I didn’t find it off putting, it is an attractive thought to succeed at something that others fail at…but it is still a game and all games must be enjoyable…

From the get-go EVE Online needs to be FUN!

At the moment, in the beginning, it is NOT.

But if the game is given some care and attention it surely can be fixed…

‘Love will rise again to heal your wings
Love heals the wings of a butterfly on a wheel’

The Mission – ‘Butterfly on a wheel’

EVE: Sisters of FUN

Trying to keep my feet firmly planted on the ground with this post to avoid blogging flights of fantasy, well that is the intention…

So Thursday TSU wrapped up the tutorial (*cough cough) by the end of his first 30 days and now is slowly exploring EVE Online using the first EPIC arc mission provided by the SISTERS of EVE: The Blood-Stained Stars.

CHAPTER 1: Quality of Mercy

After reporting to Sister Alitura in Arnon IX – Moon 3 – Sisters of EVE Bureau,  I was sent off all over the place to investigate the destruction of a ship and eventual tracking down of survivors…, this included meeting up with other agents and running missions for them, finally missions that could be completed (and taken) remotely, thank the sisters I didn’t have to hop back to Sister Alitura every time…

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CHAPTER 2: Automation Impediment

Working now for agent Delphine Xarasier at Harerget V – Moon 1 – CreoDron Factory, more miscellaneous missions were taken including the dammed Lair of Snakes mission which cost me my Catalyst destroyer…

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DETOUR: a day and a half was then spent fitting out a replacement catalyst, better than before…

I went back to wrap up the Lair of Snakes to find I had actually completed it during that first fateful encounter… I missed collecting the bonus for quick completion!

So now in new upgraded (and yet experimental 6 long range railguns and 2 closer range just in case) I continued the mission arc without real incident…

CHAPTER 3: Shadow puppets

Having crossed the lines into Caldari space which looks and feels the same as Gallante space, I have continued with the odd but pretty basic hodgepodge of epic missions, nothing of excitement here…

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The original blog got too FLONG so I cut it into 2: THE MISSION

And misc screeny gallery:

EVE: Op, op and away…

RIXX shared a great EVE Online blogpost today, it ended:

‘Eve, more than any other game I’ve ever played, reflects back real life. Your experience in Eve will only get better if you put in the work to make it better. No matter where you are, or what you enjoy doing.

Go on. You better get busy.’

I get where you’re coming from RIXX and I basically agree.

Work hard, play hard, have fun, even better if having fun while working hard, right?

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I won’t be flying off into the sunset just yet!

EVE is a sandbox, you get to build what you want to play with in your sandbox. If you want to play with lots of different toys you will need to build them first. I sense and I could be wrong that there is quite a large group of EVE players that are very driven and love the hands off approach that EVE Online give them. EVE online is a game that requires time and effort to ‘succeed’ in, that success is measured in the players own personal goals.

I am quite new to EVE Online and on one hand ‘I am loving it’ and on the other ‘I am annoyed by it!’ It is not a lifestyle, or a way of life it is a GAME and a rather strange one in that it expects its players to do most of the hardwork of finding out what to do, yeah it’s so open in possibilities that how could the designers explain all the ins and outs…

But this really feeds into my amazement of how poorly treated us NOOBS are by the game… we have a FREE 30 day trial which in itself is generous but what to do from day 1 is mind bogglingly unclear… if you arrived on EVE Online’s doorstep after seeing one of their ads I am pretty sure you were expecting something a bit more active, or put it mildly FUN!

Instead new players are left floating with a half-hearted ‘Opportunity’ system which to be frank SUCKS, I really tried to use this to base my introduction to the GAME and I game up in complete frustration… I was spending more time reading more guides and watching more YOUTUBE vids than playing…

‘Welcome to EVE and now please visit YOUTUBE’

Is this an example of clever out of game yet ingame marketing that is completely invisible!

Online research pushed me in the direction of the career agents missions and as many point out these are disjointed and repetitive, generous and yet sometimes tight, confusing and yet sometimes too obvious, and basically a FUCKING MESS! (Something is missing – aha AURA was ripped out of it[see below…)]

“Welcome new player now I have hooked you into my game by confusing the fuck out of ya!”

And EVE is planning to get rid of the career agents and replace with an expanded Opportunity system: the DEV LOG was pointed out in Rookie chat and I read it ingame…

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I do like the ingame browser!

oppineve

http://community.eveonline.com/news/dev-blogs/opportunities-in-new-eden-…-or-how-i-learned-to-play-eve/

And an amazing response from: Natya Mebelle

Natya MebelleCenter for Advanced StudiesGallente FederationLikes received: 253 #57– 2015-04-26 13:19:01 UTC1I will not dive into those mind-science things or the love or hate for “achievements” or anything like that because the problems are much more fundamental, and I would like to keep this short because I could rant on about this for pages and pages.I’ve been making trial accounts every now and then over many years now to test the changes on new player experience and was also helping out a little in the related starter corp chat, and afterwards sending my feedback to CCP. Now I have a permanent place for helping new players on a second account amidst the wonderful veterans of CAS, and based from what I see there and the questions answered, I see opportunities are more damaging than the other NPE. Your three statistics in that devblog are EXTREMELY vague.1.     More likely to have killed an NPC? This is super vague. One of the the things you ever do in the regular NPE is actually killing a pirate ship. Are you claiming that people drop out of the game BEFORE they even get there with the “old” NPE? 

2.     More likely to have used the market? I have two counter statistics for you: 100% of people asking for reimbursement for a skillbook they bought which they didn’t need have done so because of opportunities. Why? Because the “old” NPE does not ASK to use the market. Players learn that with career agents. So this is a flawed statistic. And it’s actually a pretty bad example, because it means that 25% of people using the opportunities did not even GET to use the market.

3.     100% more likely to have mined? Are you kidding me? The “old” NPE does not even FEATURE mining until you get to career agents. What does that statistic have to do with anything?

You are really pushing vague numbers here to make your opportunity system look good. But hey, I can ignore that, let me get to less assumptions but more useful things:

My opinion is you should not expand the opportunities beyond ANYTHING than the first look into the game, before you do the career agents. The moment you bring in opportunities OUTSIDE the first look and learning the ropes, you open the entire can of worms for mindless achievement hunting which makes people burn out more often than not. If you need to rely on achievement hunting to keep players in the game, then you are automatically agreeing the content of your game and it’s availability is not up to par.

There should be NO rewards for opportunities. The actual reward is dipping your toe into the water and going to somewhere else to learn more: Career agents, helpful corporations, or just going straight into space and learn all the things yourself.

Some of your opportunities are flat out STUPID forceful handholding devices. “Add a contact”. Why are you forcing socialization upon players? I see nothing but confusion and annoyance from people who are “target” of such a mindless task. Allow people to make contacts when THEY want. Not because they feel compelled to complete achievements.

The biggest problem with your New Player Experience never was the up-front Tutorial.

I actually rank that one as the least of 3 problems. Problem number 2 was the time-waste factor and redundancy of career agent missions which repeated the same parts for no reason while still lacking on other very important topics and mechanics.
But the BIGGEST problem is that you don’t have anything that grabs the immediate attention, immersion and “WANT” of a player to keep going.
You HAD this, a long time ago. You HAD this awesome attention grab.

Her name was Aura

Evelopia wrote:

Early trials with AIs specifically designed to deal with pod pilots were resounding failures.
Capsuleers responded much better to the voice.
Whenever I tell new players about the old tutorial, where Aura was talking to you, and was telling the story how Aura was funny, hilarious and even wicked at times, they unanimously agree to want to have something like that.
Do you remember how Aura was talking about Implants and mentioned how a player has 10 implant slots and casually dropping how she had about three million (or something) implant slots?
Do you remember how Aura pondered to become a musician when her needs as complementary AI are no longer needed?
Do you remember how Aura laughs at the player as they get pod killed?
I do. And I miss it every time.

Aura had personality, was fun and useful. Now she is nothing but an icon with text. People do not even CONNECT Aura to the voice every time they hear “warp drive active”. Isn’t that sad? To me, it’s like Aura is the guide that is always around, the watchful sentinel that is always there when space is cold and lonely. But I only know that because I’ve been long enough in the game to have EXPERIENCED it.

If you want your new player experience to be more interactive, intuitive, immersing AND useful, you need to play your top card again.
I understand how the voice-over lines have been cut down and not been replaced due to the huge amount of changes you did and how you continually scrapped and rebuild text. But guess what? That should not have stopped you from re-recording the lines.

Oh and;

Evelopia wrote:

Though additional voice and personality skins have since been developed, Aura remains popular almost beyond measure, being found in nearly ever capsuleer ship active today. Every so often, Excena needs to record new lines as the AI is updated, giving her a steady source of pay and powerful fans.
Except this is not true. Instead of expanding, we’re losing her voice and nothing to mention of any voice SKINS. (see what I did there?).

Bringing content is not enough. You need to bring the connection between the player and the world. Just one other example for this; your nice youtube scope news are wasted to a large number of players because they do not see or access them ingame. Scope news on billboards. Imagine that.

RESPECT 🙂

I have persevered…why? I am mature enough to realize that this game requires work and effort on my part to ‘succeed’, I was already prepared for the cliff(s) of uncertainty that I would be thrown off in EVE Online (It doesn’t make them any more FUN…), I know other much more successful EVE players through their documented exploits and I realize there is a rich vein of GAMING to be mined here… I just need to run that gauntlet of pain that a new player to EVE Online must run to get there…

But wait a fucking minute! I am going to keep playing EVE Online and I want others to play with, I want the game itself to succeed, I want the company to generate revenue from it, be financially stable even profitable: I want EVE Online to grow with me…develop with me…improve as I improve, work with me!

If you advertise the game as you are doing and treat new players like you are doing there will come a time of reckoning… I want the game to survive but I would not torture a friend with an invitation to come and join me, they can make those kinds of silly, painful decisions themselves!

I will continue onwards for now, at least another 30 days of bite-sized EVE Online, a casual playstyle it does not really encourage, is it worth an injection of hard earned (almost hyper inflationary) cold Argentinian pesos, converted to dollars at exorbitant cost? NO not yet.

I will keep blogging my adventures and findings, my silly kaleided screenshots will be shared, I will keep sharing some of the amazing EVE Online resources I stumble upon(YOUTUBE plug again) created by the many individuals working really hard at this game (and having FUN doing so!) as well as interacting with the EVE blogging community…

An opportunity for all to enjoy…

opportunities

EVE Online Opportunity Status: ACTIVE, Nanotoxin administered and transneural burning scanner activated… life can be a vicious circle…

but what comes around goes around…

and around and around…
and around…

 

EVE: Catalysing X-wing?

Xwing_eve

By kaleiding a part of a screen shot I created an X-wing in EVE Online… With adjustable wings too: xwing2 xwing

Originals screenies from today’s Business Career missions, a breeze but 1 hour before work was quickly used up!

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another data hacking mission!

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Catalyst jumping in!

I day to go of my Free trial…then 30 more days in the subscription bank…

EVE: 28 days later…

Not to be confused with 28 Days Later the 2002 British post-apocalyptic horror film directed by Danny Boyle…

28-days-later_e

THERE ARE NO ZOMBIES IN THIS POST!

SO what did I do today after 28 days of EVE Online… amazingly I started the last of the 5 Career agent missions: BUSINESS

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That was too easy… was a pain to have to jump all the way back (ok only 2 or 3 jumps…) to take the next mission in the arc!

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A Salvager is called for so I just stuck one on my over gunned destroyer…

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Beam in… not BEAMING!

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Took a few attempts but got there in the end!

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And lastly a mining mission…oh great … but over very quick! Maybe I will finish the tutorial by the end of my first 30 days…

I wonder if I will be here 28 Weeks later from now: Jan 6, 2015

If, like me you struggle with that calculation in your head I found a cool online calculator to do it:

http://www.timeanddate.com/date/dateadd.html

And will I still be EVE Online’ing after the oft talked about, maybe written but on hold film 28 months as that will be (OK I can do that in my head…2 years n 4 months) October 24, 2017…

Time will tell… unless a real zombie apocalypse breaks out and I have been eaten by then…

EVE: TOO BUSY TO NAME!

What do you do when RW (basically work) interferes with your blogging…I know… do a screenshot post! Yeah sorry, ultra busy so lets see if you can work out what I have been doing (or not doing really as not had that much ingame time either, you can blame my family for that, they are prioritized before gaming.)

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To boldly probe where no man has probed before…

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wow a mini game! I suppose it gets harder to hack later on!

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Probing sucked, my slow computer didn’t help…

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My first real eve ingame conversation 🙂 My first friend 🙂

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Poor Atron …space equiv of a car bomb! I thought we were the ‘good’ guys!

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Atron again…reminds me of a puppy for some reason!

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Atron n clouds!

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Time to play with drones and went back to starting ship to do so!

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Full speed ahead to drone a pirate to death…

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er yeah…what is this screenshot of????

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The last Advanced combat mission to do…

And things were going so well:

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RIP little Atron brawler, my stupidity cost you…2 mill investment blown! (Why didn’t I just blast the wingmen away!)

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That’s a big one…er big wing I mean!

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Talk about overkill, 8 railguns (cheep ones)

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EASY…

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And the cargo picked up was by far the best reward received than combined through the whole mission arc!

SO what next…BUSINESS…

For that I may need the management!

EVE: Check out my new weapon, weapon of choice!

And what do Christopher Walken’s amazing dancing skills have to do with EVE Online? Well…

I had to leave to work this morning with the advanced Combat tutorial mission ‘Weapon of Choice’ being just offered… I would have loved to go out and lose my drone virginity…but I simply did not have time and instead the Fat Boy Slim tune popped into my head…

‘Don’t be shocked by the tone of my voice
Check out my new weapon, weapon of choice’

Fat Boy Slim  – Weapon of Choice

The Advanced military missions ongoing…easy and boring…basic was more interesting: oh well!

Only 4 more to go…