Thursday, May 30, 2013

Jack Vance

Jack Vance passed away on sunday may 26th.

When I was a child my dad had a collection of dutch science fiction (and some fantasy) novels. Along with Isaac Asimov and A.E. van VogtJack Vance was among my favorite science fiction writers as a kid.

The Gaean Reach was the first time I saw a full universe with multiple books all taking place in a single universe. The Demon Princes, of which my dad of course only has the first four books if I recall correctly and Trullion: Alastor 2262, which introduced me to the game of Hussade, impressed me the most of those

His Dying Earth series were brought to me through Cugel the Clever.
I also used to play Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (from 2nd to 4th edition) and Magic: the Gathering (1997-2002 ), both games that drew upon his magic system for inspiration.

Other books of Jack Vance that stood out to me at the time:
The languages of Pao, a book that introduced me to the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis
The Blue World, taking place on an oceanic world with no land at all.
Telek, about humans with telekinetic powers.
Big Planet / The Slaves of The Klau, I only know I loved the second story
The Houses of Iszm / Son of The Tree
The Moon Moth.
The Five Gold Bands / The Dragon Masters two of my favorite stories in one double book.

But my absolute favorite would be The Many Worlds of Magnus Ridolph featuring Magnus Ridolph, a detective with a nose for bad financial investments outwitting the bad guys by using their greed against them.

His books showed a great sense of humour and use choice of big words has had a definite impact on my vocabulary.

Guardian article

Thursday, May 23, 2013

EVE online: Industry reset

Instead of mining, manufacturing and selling in my null sec home system I moved two alts to high sec to try and earn some isk with industry there. Just in time to reconsider my decisions for Odyssey.

My old sheet was a lot more compact but was not as accurate in showing the exact profits because I didn't track anything except a minimum sell price based on build cost.
My new sheet isn't exactly rocket science either but at least this way I can keep track of my expenses better as with my old sheet. The big change is keeping track of sell orders a bit better.

I want to sell my stuff fast instead of going for maximum profit so when I put something on the market it's lowest station price and often lowest regional as well.

But prices change fast. Usually it only takes a few minutes before I am undercut again.
An example is Rens were extender rigs were over 4 million isk but after I put mine on the maerket I was forced to recude prices until they finally sold at 3,7 million.

I also produced a set of purgers that are still on market at this moment. Prices in Hek, Rens, Dodixie were at 4 million average or so and a few hours later my orders are down to 3,65 million sell price. In Jita/Amarr it is even worse, my orders are selling for 3,55 right now and are not the lowest price on market.

Profit margins are in the 5-10% range. A long way from the margins in nullsec but in null I have to run dozens of sites to get enough salvage for 50 rigs. In high I just fly to Jita and buy as much salvage as my wallet permits.

Is it better to do industry in high and take your isk to null or should we try to live in null fulltime and directly support our corp/alliance with our products?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

EVE online: What's in your hangar?

Since I have recently cleaned up and consolidated most of my ships I thought I could do the same as Ripard Teg (CSM8) of Jester's Trek and list the content's of my ship hangar.
Most of my ships used to have names similar to Culture Ship names but got renamed to something more indicative of their fit or function during cleanup. The only ship name I regret scrapping during cleanup was a t1 industrial named 'Slowboat Nightmare'

My Main
1 Caracal 'Obvious resist hole', HAM fit. 58 million at VFK prices with fit included.
1 Caldari Shuttle 'Pod Armor'
1 Crane, 'K-8 local transport'
1 Bustard, 'Pushing Ice'
2 Drake, 'Kitchen Sink' and 'Bait! Don't shoot', a dual web + scram + AB HAM drake.
1 Nighthawk, 'Oni', heavy missile capless tank.
2 Buzzard, both called 'eYe'
1 Merlin, 'Fun Ship', AB, scram, web, MSE and ...uhm.... meta railguns?
1 Noctis, 'Loot Pinata'
2 Crow, 'The Woobie' and 'PVE FTW', 1 rocket and 1 light missile fit although both are really just glorified shuttles to move jump clones around.
1 Tengu, 'No Salvager'.

My main pvp alt:
1 Claw, 'Pod Accelerator', that actually saw action once.
1 Hound, 'Doggie Style'
2 Scythe, 'Aplhafleet AB' and 'TorNaga T3 sniper'
1 Hurricane, 'Beta'
1 Mammoth, 'Deflatable'
1 Vargur, 'Forsaken II' because I lost my first Vargur in the first week I had it.
1 Vagabond, 'Virgin Vaga', bought and fitted it for a roam that was canceled.

My mining alt:
3 Executioner,  'lvl 1&2', 'Pod Armor' and 'Dualprop Pod Armor'
1 Omen Navy Issue,  'Lvl 3'
1 Omen, 'Not enough CPU'
1 Retriever, 'Nr 2'
1 Dragoon, 'Dragon'
1 Harbinger, 'GRTP Grand Prize', that I won from my corp.
1 Oracle 'Not Forgotten'.
1 Apocalypse 'Anorexic Aneurism'
1 packaged Armageddon

My other mining alt:
1 Talos, 'Talon'
1 Retriever, 'My little Miner'
1 Rattlesnake, 'Found and Lost' that I build in nullsec by myself from a bpc I found.
1 Catalyst, 'Wing One'
1 Thorax,
1 Atron, 'Moving Along'
1 Brutix, 'Into Darkness'.
1 Megathron 'Andromeda'
1 packaged dominix.

My freighter alt:
1 Charon, 'Phoenix'
1 Crane, 'Collateral Damage'
1 Caldari Shuttle, 'Autopilot'

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

BB46: Emergent Narrative

With the return of Live Events such as the Battle for Caldari Prime, clearly the prime fiction of EVE is back in favour as part of this new thematic approach to expansions. However, EVE's story is very much a tale of two playstyles, with an entirely player-driven narrative unfolding daily in parallel to the reinvigorated backstory. Often, they do not mix well. How can these two disparate elements be united or at least comfortably co-exist in a single sandbox universe?

The Caldari Prime event is perhaps herald of a new era, one where the NPC factions that have grown stagnant and decadent finally realize it is time to wake up and respond to the power that capsuleers and capsuleer corporations, alliances and coalitions have become.

Capsuleer alliances have provoked the Empire, the State, the Federation and the Republic enough with their ice mining blockades, semi-legal miner harassment and events like Burn Jita. Can the factions really afford to ignore these events or will they have to form a sort of response?
Of course capsuleers mostly target capsuleers so the factions can safely ignore most of what happens for now....though immortal foot soldiers have joined the battle for the future as well.

Sansha incursions have been introduced as events but are now more or less static, the story no longer progesses. How can we continue Sansha's story without removing incursions as a feature?
Drone incursions would give unlimited selfreplicating red crosses to shoot at. Drone outbreaks happen and need to be contained. No reason is needed, it's a simple malfunction in code limiting self-replication, a hegemonizing swarm.

In another blog I noticed and invasion of VFK. Have the factions use new technology to open a temprary stargate or a wormhole without mass limitations that will last a week straight from high sec deep into null space allowing all capsuleers one week of access to single constellation or system as retaliation for the interruption of empire services.

Have the Amarr Empire finally recognize CVA efforts. Have the Republic secretly support Ushra'Khan. (Well secretly, everyone knows what is going on, it's just politicians pretending their nose bleeds)

High sec mission runners are just capsuleer mercenaries that ally themselves with empire or pirate factions. Have them running missions to contribute to some greater effort (against the blue doughnut).

Looking at player events like Hulkageddon, Bring me the head of Kirith Kodachi or the Tusker Death Race shows these events are not just for roleplayers either. They draw a diverse crowd, from people that want to participate to people looking for trouble and a fight, or people just showing up so they can say: "I was there!"

CCP inspires capsuleers. Capsuleers inspire CCP.

The Caldari Prime event has received some negative reactions from players that feel they did not have any impact on the outcome. And they didn't, that titan was going down no matter what.

What can happen though is that players have influence on how we arrive at that outcome.
A story or movie isn't about the ending, it's about the journey, how we arrive at that destination and how it affects us.

Please take a look at some of the excellent BB46 posts out there to get an idea for possible stories to be told.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

EVE online: CSM endorsement results

Just how much influence do endorsements have?

Endorsements are not predictions but they do tell us who the endorser wants to win. Some elected (nonbloc) players had a broad base of support and endorsements that I believe helped them get elected.

STV also encourages endorsements, if my nr 1 candidate is elected or eliminated without need for my vote it gets transferred to the next candidate in the list. So less chance of my vote going to waste.

I don't think a newcomer like Ali Aras would have been elected without endorsements or the STV, do you?

The rest of the post is just a complaint about how blogger is not a WYSIWYG editor. Images fit when making the post but are bigger in the end result and this text is preceded by 10 carriage returns.

What I need to know is how to add images and tables with more width as this page without screwing up the resulting layout. Like, perhaps it's time to look up some html code to add scrollbars?

It is no coincidence my table looks like Poetic's, I wanted to do a post about predictions as well but changed it to endorsements instead. :) That's what you get for being slow.