Removing Local Wouldn’t Work

To resolve some puzzled questions I’ve had sent my way, when I speak of removing local, I mean removing the intelligence it provides as well. I’m still in favor of a solution to separate local from intel such as the one put forward by Rhavas back in January.

Marlona Sky is a fellow writer over at, and one of his longstanding pet issues is the removal of local. He wrote a little April Fool’s article about it today, and as is always the case when the topic comes up, comments are split (rather rancorously, of course) against and in favor of the idea.

Of course, my opinion is that anyone who thinks it’s a good idea either only roams nullsec looking for kills and PvP, but makes their money elsewhere, or just hasn’t really thought it through… possibly both. I fall into the former category, and while I’d love to pad my killboard with blinded ratters, it ultimately would be a poor change. One of the other factors I always try to think about when musing over ideas is “would this duplicate gameplay found elsewhere?” In this case, the answer is yes – wormholes have no local intel, a fact that people just love to point to as evidence that it would all be okay, things would work out just fine. But, if you answer “yes” to that question, you’d best stop and think, so let’s do that.

Wormholes are a unique environment that drives a unique metagame. The nature of sleeper sites means that you’re running them in groups, in ships that are closer to PvP fit than not. Combine those two factors and you’re more able to defend yourself if attacked. And, those very same sites are very rewarding, yielding several hundred million isk per hour per pilot. Furthermore, the nature of wormholes themselves restrict “casual” roams, and someone able to get at you at any given time might not be able to tomorrow. The impression I frequently get from wormhole dwellers is that, sure, individual groups of roamers might be more dangerous if they let their guard down, but the nature of things means that they may go days without a hostile visit.

Contrast that to nullsec. PvE in nullsec is generally a solo activity, and while it can be done in groups, the ships are usually dedicated PvE setups that fare poorly against PvP fit attackers. Anomalies aren’t anywhere near as rewarding as wormholes, too, and while being able to do it alone is an advantage, there’s no option to group up to make more money. And unlike the ever-shifting wormhole connections, someone, everyone always knows exactly how to get to you, and can get to you any time they want.

So, nuke local and you’re amplifying the risk, with no offset to reward, and in fact the measures players would inevitably take to decrease risk (rat in groups with PvP fits) would only decrease the reward – a double whammy. I’m sure life would continue, but it sure wouldn’t help people want to go to null, nor stay there. Maybe some day in the future, Nullsec will look very different, and the mechanics would allow for a complete absence of local. But maybe they won’t. In fact, I hope they won’t. Wormholes have their own character, their own flavor, and so does nullsec, and I’d prefer it stay that way. I’m not out here to play “Wormholes Writ Large”.

About those Live Events

At least to some players, the Battle of Caldari Prime had an awful reception. “The population cap was awful!” “They screwed up with CONCORD!” “It was in Euro time, why does CCP hate USTZ players?” “The outcome was predetermined!”

And so on.

So let’s back up a moment here and inject some reality into the discussion. Think back to the CSM 7 Winter minutes. It’s abundantly clear from them that the existing Live Events team, as recently as around a year ago, was basically a “one guy in his spare time” affair. It’s equally clear that the team is growing and getting more resources, becoming “Team Illuminati”, but that they’re got plenty of room to grow. And perhaps less abundantly clear, a ‘between the lines’ sort of thing, is the assumption that the only reason the team exists at all is because of the efforts of CCP employees who enjoy the story and enjoy the RP to prove to the rest of the company that, fiascos of the past aside, it’s worth doing. And so far they’ve been rather successful, I’d say.

Even today. Maybe even especially today. All the problems aside, CCP’s official stream of the event got some fairly substantial viewership, apparently peaking just shy of 9000 people. And, oh yes, did we forget that a certain major gaming event is on this weekend, which CCP is attending? No doubt they were showing off both EVE and DUST there. Anyone want to bet they had the battle streaming? Anyone want also want to bet that they had stations setup to play DUST at, and that the players playing at those stations were actively participating in the battle on the ground? Oh and, for that matter, those DUST players probably had more of an effect on the outcome of the battle than we did in space. It may take some time for that to manifest itself, but you can bet they’ll call attention to it when it does.

So, yeah. From a marketing perspective, today was probably a success, which makes a certain blogger’s joke at the expense of David Reid, aka CCP Pokethulhu, aka chief marketing officer of CCP, sort of amusing. (And yes, Ripard, we all know you were just trying to demonstrate how activist you can be. Spare us the indignant blog post, please.) And that means it will be that much easier for CCP Falcon and CCP Goliath to get more resources to do bigger and better things.

What sort of things? Things like expanding the team to the Atlanta office to allow for more USTZ events. And do more events, and borrow assets (like, say, time from the CCP Shanghai art team to makeĀ two skyboxes for a certain new map…) outside the team to create events without predetermined outcomes. And further improve their netcode and tidi and whatnot so as to allow these events to get even bigger. Well, okay, that last one is more of a general interest than a specific live event thing. But all three are things CCP Falcon said they want to be able to do. Hell, he said them again on the stream today.

Back to the intro, yes, there were some issues with this event. It was predetermined… but they don’t yet have the assets to do something this large in an undetermined way, something that will hopefully change sooner rather than later. Their mistake there, if anything, was the accidental leak of the DUST map, advertising its predetermined nature. And the player cap sucked… but then again, so would something like restricting it to FW pilots only (if that’s even possible.) So they’d have complaints there regardless. And there was that little glitch with CONCORD. Not sure what was behind that, though from an RP perspective the real mistake there was turning them back off. After all, why would CONCORD have backed off after apparently re-establishing control?

Besides, the tears if virtually every person in the system had been CONCORDed would have been awesome.

But I digress. I don’t really roleplay (much) but the story & lore are of interest to me, so I like the live events. And mishaps aside, CCP has been learning, and expanding, and getting better, so I’m not going to hold their feet to the fire over it. Even if I did, I don’t think I’d blame Team Illuminati. They want to do cool things too. I’d blame the people who aren’t giving them resources fast enough!

Full of Stars

One of the little features in Retribution 1.1 is the “Show route path in space” feature, and it’s pretty much the most awesome yet completely pointless feature Eve has seen in a while.

That’s a good thing, in case it wasn’t clear. If you think otherwise, you’re even more of a bittervet than I am, and believe me – that takes some doing. Awesome yet pointless features like this are actually far from pointless – they add depth and immersion to the game.

One thing I’ve seen from a lot of players (appreciative or otherwise) is the sentiment that it’s probably just random. I don’t think so, though. The data files for Eve contain, among a great many other things, the location of every system in the game stored in them. I’m pretty sure you can even see them for yourself in the static data export if you look in the right place. These are simply XYZ coordinates, and if you have the coordinates of two points in space, it’s mathematically trivial to compute a) where one coordinate would appear in space if viewed from another and b) given the type of star at that coordinate – something also in the data files – how large and bright it should appear to be. And, of course, you can draw a line between the two.

So it could be generated on the fly rather than just a random projection, but did CCP actually do it that way? I already said I think so, but I’ll illustrate. Here’s my current route (click for large):route1

And here’s that same route, one jump along (click for large):


It’s distorted, as I’ve moved in the universe, but it looks about the same to me, or close enough. Just about the one thing missing is a line from my out-gate, but even that’s not necessary. Look closely in-game, and you’ll see that the color distortions in the line move, indicating your direction of travel.

Pointless yet completely awesome indeed.

I posted the thoughts on random/not random on the Eve forums earlier today. Here’s hoping it baits them into a response.

2/21 edit: I noticed today flying around on my market alt that the path is actually colored based on the security status (high/low/null) of the system the line leads to. Nice touch.

So hey, it’s a blog

Yes, there is a third “N”. I’m sure that comes as a surprise to many of you.

I write at for the visibility, but that’s all big idea posts and things of that nature. Don’t worry, that’s not going away (whether that’s good or bad news, I leave to the reader). I intend this to a be place for short thoughts, random banter, and in the coming CSM term, probably a supplemental avenue for communication, all under my control (for better or worse) and published on my timeline.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve been tinkering with this damn site all afternoon, and I need to go make dinner. Real content can wait.