Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Problems With War Decs - Part 2

This week I'll be doing a series of posts about some of the problems I see with high-sec warfare in EVE.  I would like to make it perfectly clear that I believe war decs have a definite purpose, and that they should not be removed from EVE.  High sec should never be a perfectly safe place. However, the current mechanic and implementation has some drawbacks.

Part 2: Lack of Objectives
Currently, war decs have no real objective other than the right to kill people.  While that is fine, I believe the mechanic should be much more goal based. I'd rather have several different possible objectives an attacker can pick when they declare war, with a corresponding set of objectives that are then given to the defender in order to end the war.

For example, the attacker could decide that they want their goal to be the destruction of a particular enemy POS (or poses). In order to select this objective, the attacker would be required to own their own high-sec pos as well, and the defender would be given the objective of destroyer the attacker's pos.  If either objective is met, the war would be ended 24 hours later and a cooldown period of days/weeks entered before war could be re-declared between those two entities.

A second option might be a tonnage option, where the attacker can choose how many ton of enemy shipping (within a game selected range ) they wish to destroy.  Their options of tonnages would be based upon the size of the enemy alliance, where if attacking a 10 person corp they might be given the choice to pick between the equivalent of 10 cruisers to 20 battleships worth of tonnage.  A 1500 person corp target would give them a range of between 200 cruisers to 400 battleships they could pick.  The tonnage would not scale linearly with corp size, as that would create unrealistic goals for a high-sec war.  In return, the defender would be given a goal of proportional size depending on the attacker's size and choice.  So, if the attacker picked a goal that was at the top of the range of their given options, the defender's goal would be set as the top of the range based on the attackers' size.

Another option might be to kill person X a certain amount of times (1-10 times).  In return, the defender would be allowed to pick a certain member of the attacker corp, where if they kill that person X times, the war ends.  In these cases, corporations would be informed that their opponent had chosen to target a specific individual, but not who that individual is.

Now, these are only some options for objectives, but I believe that mechanics along these lines would help give wars a purpose beyond just pew-pew (not that just pew-pew is a bad thing), and make it a richer experience.

What are you feelings about wartime objectives? What types of objectives and counter-objectives would you like to see?

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Problems With War Decs - Part 1

This week I'll be doing a series of posts about some of the problems I see with high-sec warfare in EVE.  I would like to make it perfectly clear that I believe war decs have a definite purpose, and that they should not be removed from EVE.  High sec should never be a perfectly safe place. However, the current mechanic and implementation has some drawbacks.

Part 1: Assymetrical Warfare

Assymetrical warfare is a powerful tool in real life, but it is even more powerful in EVE.  Several factors combine to make assymetrical warfare a serious weakness in its current implementation.

1. No proper lines of battle:  High sec is relatively impossible to secure territory, so there is never really a "homeland" for a corp to control.  OOC alts can easily haul in ships, mods, and ammo, and any competent attacker can get to the station to fit their ship and undock whenever they want.  This means that the typical advantages of a defender do not exist, allowing asymmetrical warfare to be used anywhere. This makes it impossible for high-sec corps to have secured areas they can operate in with a higher degree of safety.  Login traps, OOC scouts, and other factors make a simple high-sec mining op into a risky undertaking at any time.  Eve simply lacks a way for high-sec corps to have a defensive perimeter, which means that an opponent can always choose to avoid battle whenever they wish, and only attack vulnerable opponents without having to go to any particular effort to infiltrating the space.

2. Alt:  It often seems like everyone in EVE has at least one alt (I have many), and this contributes to the overpowered nature of assymetrical warfare.  I could easily have a second account dec a target, and simply not log in on that account until the odds are highly in my favor.  This means that my opponent has almost no chance to prepare against me, while I can continue playing as normal on my main account. This takes away from the immediacy and totality of how war should be portrayed.

3. Lack of a logistical backbone: Unless a corp decides to put up a pos, it is impossible to effect their logistics in any way. OOC haulers, market chars, etc... can keep a warring corp supplied forever, with no possible way to stop it (especially if the chars are in NPC corps).  This is a flawed mechanic, as it gives one side nothing at all to attack to disrupt the other's operations. Typically, in assymetrical warfare, the more powerful established force would have some way in which it could attack the logistics of its opponent, no matter how time intensive or inefficient.  EVE lacks that option.

4. Cost:Wars are simply too cheap.  A 2 person corp can declare war on a 1000 person corp for a few million a week, which can be paid for a minutes of effort by an alt.  If they get one good kill with tens or hundreds of millions of isk gained, it pays war costs for months.  War should be an expensive undertaking, with scaling costs based upon the length an entity has been at war, to properly reflect the escalating costs of a wartime economy.

I am unsure of how many of these problems can be fixed, but maybe these blogs can generate some meaningful conversation about war decs in EVE. War decs have and should have a vital role in making high-sec PVP possible, but their weaknesses take away from the effect.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Corp members and the market

I checked the forums to see the following post from a corp member

"I just bought a 1600mm plate in aldrat earlier today expecting it to be from an out of corp trader. It was from a manager in the uni. The only problem I have with that at all is the fact that the module was 1mil isk over market value. Now, I understand people want to trade and make a profit. But personally when I do put up market stuff in aldrat I make it for only very slightly above hek price during war times and most other times. Sure I make a small profit but the point is really to make things available to the uni during war. At least have the decency to use an alt to put things up for sale.

I think that's a dirty move especially coming from someone I see freely commenting on what people should be doing for the good of the uni. Don't think people don't notice these things. I for one keep track of who I feel is after personal profit over the good of the corp. Not that I'm important in uni or can do anything about it, but in my opinion if you're a manager or really any leadership position in uni and you're fleecing people for 1 mil per module under your uni character you're kind of a tool. Just an opinion. I'm fully prepared for "waaaaaah that's why I haul and trade, traders need to make a profit too, etc. etc." That's bullshit imo. There's plenty of trading to do, you're making easy money by taking advantage of your corpmates. End of story as far as I see it. Is it against the rules? No. Is it a wanker move? Up to you to decide I guess.

Just an opinion, care-bear traders flame away, but taking advantage of the war-time sop and fleecing your corp mates is a low move in this uni member's eyes."

Now, for a lot of alliances (mostly 0.0), its rather routine for people in the corporation to stock the market, and to make a profit doing so.  They do the effort of hauling, and someone else pays them for their convenience.  Now, the Uni already has numerous programs to help students gather their needed items and fittings.  The conversation started along those lines, with the next post being

"If you didn't like it being high, don't buy it? Or maybe buy a lower meta item? or purchase ahead of the war?
Don't see the problem here, as no one is forced to purchase anything, and the uni provides plenty of modules for wartime use free of charge."

The conversation then had the normal amount of EVE trolling, followed by several umad comments (gotta love normal EVE discourse).

However,  the general tone of the conversation was inflammatory, including the by author who posted the original comment about people in the Uni not treating others right via the market (love the irony).

My first response "Oh dear, I really don't know what to say to this one. I typically never play the markets @ hq (mostly because they are too small), but god knows how many uni players have bought something overpriced from me in Jita at some point. Playing the market is an officially recognized way of making money during wartime.

Now, if someone was purposefully manipulating the aldrat market to raise prices and rip off students, I still wouldn't criticize their morals, just their I or any other market trader would quickly bring a freighter load of stuff in to undercut them, and a 1500 person corp has plenty of traders.

People will ALWAYS pay more than market hub cost to buy something nearby, as they value the convenience of the item immediately to be worth the price difference (as you did). There is nothing abnormal about having off-hub items priced high. In fact, I'd also criticize the intelligence of someone who posted things in aldrat for lower prices intending them for uni students, as those items would just be bought by an OOC person and relisted.

The uni has numerous ways to save players isk, but we don't like to interfere with the money making aspects of our members, except when it will cause harm to the Uni's reputation (scamming, ninja-salvage, etc...)"

Of course, it then devolved even further, with the OP continuing to express his feelings.

How does everyone else feel about this?  Personally, I see it as pointless drama over a normal EVE function, and can't really figure out why someone would be so worked up that an item they voluntarily bought at above market in a non-hub system was listed by a corp member, and their own attitude greatly annoyed me.

Opportunity Cost - My perpetual battle against idiocy

Opportunity cost seems to be one of those concepts that pops up in EVE frequently, but people really have comprehension of it at all.  In the last few months I've had to describe

1. How datacores you research yourself are not going to save you any significant isk over ones purchased from market.

2. Why asking inventors in the Uni to offer t2 ships at cost to other uni members is the equivalent of just asking them to give us a few billion isk each year.

3. Why having us build ships at cost for members is actually the equivalent of a small isk donation to everyone who uses the program.

Now, we are aware of the opportunity cost of some programs (#3) and accept it, but some people really don't understand the concept.  I've had to explain it so many times (often to the same people repeatedly) that I really want to beat my head against a wall sometimes.  As someone involved in the industrial side of EVE, people who have no understanding of opportunity cost are the bane of my existence. As someone who plays the market in EVE, it can lead to huge profits when people don't understand.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Yet another war has started, this time a 4 person corp has declared war on us.  I can understand why these corps do it.  Most 1500 person corps would be easy pickings for some jita gankers.  Its a simple way to pad some killboard numbers with occasional mission runners and industrial ships.

However, our wartime operations are significantly different than the normal.  People who really want to mine or mission are encouraged to drop corp, and are accepted back after the war with no penalty.  We still have classes, and the only people undocking are players who are seeking PVP, oftentimes in large groups because so many people want to go blow something up.  We did lose an industrial yesterday, but that was a bit of a fluke, as we'll actually blow up our own players that we see undocked in an industrial during wartime.

We've had some corps in the past that did a great job bringing a fight to us, and whipping us around space (atomic battle penguins, I'm looking at you), but most seem to come expecting one type of fight, and are not capable of adapting when we don't play the way they want us to.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Win $ through Eve University

Reposted from Here

For over 6 and a half years, Eve University has been on a mission to educate and assist all new players of EVE Online, and when we launched UniWiki, followed by our Planetary Interaction guide for Tyrannis, we moved a big step closer to documenting the game mechanics in EVE. But while we have one element documented, there are still many many more to go!

So, we are running a bit of a competition. The contest is open to almost all EVE players, and to enter you simply need to update or write new articles on UniWiki. The four people with the most detailed, comprehensive and professional looking article edits will each win an EVE Store coupon code worth $50, provided by CCP, and postage and packaging costs will be covered by them too! Should you have any queries please submit a petition to the EVE Online Community team and they will be happy to help.

The contest will start at 00:01 EVE time on Monday 20th September, and run until 23:59 EVE time on Sunday September 26, so you have a bit of time to prepare and choose your subject.

Entering the Contest
To edit UniWiki, you do not need to be an Eve University member or alumni, simply a forum account with us - simply an active EVE Online account. To set up a new account, visit from the in game browser.

1. Log into UniWiki via
2. Use the search function to find the article you will edit.
3. Click the "Edit" link at the top of the page.
4. Make your changes or add your contribution.
5. Add the text "{{uwc}}" to the top of the page if it not already there.
6. Fill in the summary box, and click preview.
7. Ensure that everything looks as you would expect, then click Submit.

Wiki Editing Tips
- Find a subject you know well which does not already have a detailed guide.
- If possible, avoid working on articles which are already identified as being entered into the competition.
- Where you can, concentrate on one single subject.
- Include images where appropriate, and use formatting to ensure high quality results, and link to sources.
- Keep your content EVE related! Guides on sniping in Medal of Warfare: Call of Honor won't win!
- Avoid making multiple small changes, and use the "preview" function to check things are right before submitting.
- If you aren't familiar with wiki markup, you can use the WYSIWYG editor instead.

Terms and Conditions:
1. An Eve University forum account is required to participate, and those accounts which have previously been banned for abuse are not eligible.
2. Abuse of the Eve University forums, wiki or other resources (including significantly inappropriate or destructive edits) will lead to a ban and reversion of your changes, disqualifying you from this and future competitions.
3. Eve University Management and Directors are not eligible to win any of the four prizes.
4. By submitting any edits, you agree to our that the content posted is not copyright of any other person or organisation, and its is licensed as per the notices on UniWiki.
5. Only one forum account per person must be used, and you may win only once, however you may make edits on multiple articles.
6. All entries must include the text "{{uwc}}" and been made between the times specified above or they will not be considered in the judging.
7. The winners will be notified by EVEmail and forum PM from the Eve University Forum, and your registered email address on the forum will be passed to CCP to award the prize.
8. Neither CCP nor Eve University will be responsible for lost or misdirected mail, customs charges, local taxes or any additional costs when the winners use the code in the EVE Store.
9. The judges for this contest are the Eve University Directors and CEO, and their decision is final in all matters related to this contest.

Monday, September 20, 2010

New Ship!

CCP announced their new ship a few days ago, the noctis.  The Primae is a great hull base for a salvager ship, but unfortunately, there are a few weaknesses that prevent this ship from being the ultimate salvager we'd all like.

First, the slot layout: With limited mids, it isn't as useful in W-space as it could be.  Optimally, we'd be able to fit a propulsion mod alongside a analyzer, codebreaker, and some sort of utility/tank slot. This would let it be a useful professional exploration ship alongside a gang of combat ships to clear the site.  Instead, we're somewhat limited to using it only in high-sec missions.

Second, probing.  Its sensor strength, combined with size, is going to make it fullhardy to use in anything other than highsec.

Lastly, the seeding of the BPOs and skillbooks.  While I can definately understand the reason for seeding the BPOs in ORE space, much like other ORE ships, the skillbook should be seeded in highsec.  Other skillbooks used by ORE ships are in highsec, and this skillbook should be treated no differently.

While it will still be a solid ship if released with its current stats, I hope CCP will make some minor changes to the ship stats and skillbook locations before they release the ship.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Gauntlet has been Thrown

The recruiting department has decided to have a moment of insanity and challenge the Logistics Department to a PVP tournament. At first, some of them were saying the only rules were "fly what you can afford to lose."  Eventually, I think they got a bit smarter and realized that it might not be the best idea to have that contest with the people who make everything for a 1500 person corp.  Now it looks like we're going to do a more traditional point value and fitting limited setup, which I agree with.

I need to find some way to structure this so that the newer members in our departments can play a vital part in the tournament, and maybe make this a regular event.  I just wonder if they'll be enough interest for it.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Work in a Game?

Something that came up recently was the idea that some people seem to work in EVE just like they would in a job.  I can easily understand how it would seem strange, as EVE is meant to be a game, not a second career (for sane people).

However, you need to understand that people get satisfaction from a variety of different undertakings. Some of my "job" in EVE is challenge.  Coordinating supply lines, figuring out security procedures, and determining building preferences is a challenge, and I get a sense of accomplishment when it is done well.  Working with my staff to meet goals, and enjoying their conversation and company is a great experience. Those factors, combined with the fact that I am supporting a community that I believe in is sufficient motivation.  Yes, it isn't nearly the same type of fun as blowing up someone's ship, but it is rewarding nonetheless, just in different ways. Some aspects of my "job" aren't challenging.  They are the equivalent of work; refining jobs, installing byom, etc...  But I try to insure that these aspects don't become so much workload that they overload me, or any of my staff, and that they are tasks that can easily be done while multitasking other more rewarding activities.

If I wasn't doing any of these things, I could devote more time to PVP on my alts, or industrial ambitions, or trading, and I'd probably be much richer and have better killboard stats as a result.  But I like the balance that I have now, where I can participate in all three without any one overwhelming me.  Sometimes the logistics tasks of the Uni do grow to monopolize a large part of my time, but I know those times will pass, and it is the price I pay for having the job the rest of the time.

Much like the rest of EVE's sandbox, your behavior in a corporation can span a wide variety of playstyles.  I personally believe that people that gain satisfaction by working towards the benefit of the group are an invaluable resource that every corp is lucky to have, and should be thankful. However, corporations need to make sure that those people don't have responsibility and duties given to them that push them past the point where they find it rewarding and burn out.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ship Replacement

The ship replacement program is getting moved under the Logistics department, so I find myself having to work out supply lines, backstock numbers, isk commitments, etc... for another program again.  Sometimes, this game really does seem like work.

Hopefully if this works out how I like, and if we get some good numbers coming in from the PYOS program, we can look into the feasibility of expanding ship replacement to some bigger ships or t2 ships, at least for official ops, or ops with experienced FCs.  What do you think?  Is this something we should consider, or would you rather see our isk sent elsewhere?

Right now this is all just possibilities if the numbers work out well, and we wouldn't be seriously looking or implementing any changes for a few months at the earliest, but I'd like to get as much educated input as possible.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Collision of RL and EVE

I was in a professional meeting today, and we had to do some math that involved repeated percentages until we reached success.  I flew through the calculations, and had all the branches and possibilities (within reason) worked out very quickly.  Everyone else was still trying to get their head around the problem.  They asked me how I was able to do it so quickly, and I wasn't sure what to say...

How can you say "I knew it from repeatedly calculating and explaining jamming possibilities for caldari e-war ships" in a professional setting?  Instead, I had to go with "I don't know. It just made sense."

Monday, September 13, 2010

Volunteering and Participation

One common question I frequently get is "How can I volunteer or help the Uni?"

The answer is often much easier than people think. Now, there are official avenues to volunteer, such as being a hangar officer, industrial officer, mining officer, recruitment officer, diplomatic officer, forum or wiki moderator, helping the uni with print research, assuming a leadership role in the ILN, mentoring students, or teaching classes. 

However, that is only a short list of "official" volunteer positions. There are plenty of jobs that you can do for the Uni that don't require an official title.  Help people that request funds for skillbooks, hand out mods from our hangars when people need them, answer questions in Chat.E-Uni, lead some fleets or be squad commanders in fleets, run some mining ops to help new players learn to mine, group missions, and just basically be a resource to help new students.  While you may not have an official title while doing these roles, rest assured that the leadership will notice people doing this, and so will the other players.

The managers and their official officers can only do so much, and if the Uni depended entirely on our efforts, it would fail.  What makes the uni great is the shared knowledge and assistance of 1500 players, all working together to teach eve to new students.  Without all of you participating in small ways, we couldn't do what we do.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

New Things

Its been a busy summer for E-uni logistics.  In addition to several wars, which require us to ramp up production of wartime mods, we've also had a huge number of students going through.  For my department, this means more items being made, stocked in hangars, and replaced when the students use them.  For myself, this has also meant more refining requests, byom jobs, and I've also taken over the job of financial analysis of the entire University's income and expenditures.  This was a job that has been unfilled since Spring of 2009, so its been a bit of work to implement some new accounting procedures to keep everything in line.

Lastly, I've also hired a new manager to oversee an entirely new program under the logistics department, a corp ship marketplace.  The initial response to this program has been great, and I'm sure Cervator will do a great job with it. Of course, setting it up meant coming up with an overview of the program, specific procedures for students and staff involved in the program, rearrangement of corp wallets to free a wallet up, hiring Cervator, and stocking a LARGE number of minerals to give us a headstart on demand.  Thankfully, Cervator took some of my ideas and didn't just run with them, but improved them 500% and made them his own.  The work he has done on this is nothing short of amazing.

Time to give this a try

I've been considering posting a blog for years, but never managed to get motivated enough to do it.  It always seemed like I had enough paperwork to do in my Eve life.  Hopefully I'll manage at least one post a week here, detailing my life in eve, details about the E-Uni logistics department, and my random musing. 

Hope everyone enjoys the new blog.