Category: EVE Online


10,000 words

So you may be wondering what exactly I happen to be writing about. Well I will tell you to the best of my ability! In a nutshell it’s science fiction in an interstellar setting. The main characters are (which include my avatar) are artificial intelligences that inhabit humanoid bodies. It’s a meta kind of avatar in an avatar deal. The main characters travel the galaxy exploring new things and keeping the peace. The main characters are Ravishal, GoSpeed, Abba, and Kona. Other SL residents will be featured in cameo roles pending their approval. I don’t know if I’ll get around to creating images based on the stories as that would consume a lot of time I am already devoting to writing. I do have a few images I’ve made in Space Engine I can share.
Blue Hell  Erol 4

My inspirations are from various media. Second Life gave me the characters of course. Other games include Eve Online, ARMA, and Star Wars:TOR. Movies include the Matrix, Akira, Star Wars, and Alien. Of course we can’t forget Star Trek in all it’s iterations and media.

The writing is getting a little easier the more I do it. I’m more than half way through my first short story. I think I am at least. I know how it’s going to ends but the path keeps changing as I write it. Then of course when I finish I’ll have to go back and do rewrites, make sure the timeline agrees, and edit my grammar. I think in a month or so I’l have something finished. From there I’ll share it and see if there’s a consensus as to whether my writing is publishable.

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As mentioned in a previous post CCP launched the latest expansion for EVE Online, Incarna. Derided by some of the hardcore pod pilots and praised as an evolution by others Incarna rolled out on 21 June. Aside from the compatibility issues the new expansion presented to players with older computers, there were several issues and a pair of leaked staff emails set New Eden afire with anger, resentment and a profound sense of betrayal.

One of the main issues dealt with the price of vanity items in the new marketplace for avatar customization. The avatars for EVE are actually quite well done and textured. They are in my opinion some of the best in the MMORPG realm.
GoSpeed Racer in EVE OnlineOh reallyRavishal

A nice avatar needs nice clothes and accessories too! Here in lies a big problem. In the marketplace the choices are rather limited and very expensive. Typical outfit costs $17.50 USD. Yes, you read right. A monthly subscription to EVE costs $14.95 a month. That of course is outrageous! In SL I’d typically buy outfits for $300-$900L which is less than $4 USD. Probably the worst example is the infamous monocle:

Would you believe it sells for $70 USD? No way Jose! This of course didn’t fly with the users. Getting people used to avatars  was going to be a tough sell in the first place. For the amount of money they wanted to charge it makes more sense to collect Barbie dolls as they retain their value and over time gain value as collectors items.

 

Probably the most damaging event was the leaking of two CCP internal emails. You can read more about those emails here Khalia Nestune’s EVE blog. Apart from the percieved arrogance in and greed expressed in the CCP staff emails was the implied threat to enable a “Pay to Win” scheme to manifest itself in the marketplace. What is Pay to Win? It’s the ability to pay real money to buy materials that give you the advantage. In the EVE universe virtually everything is created by other players. Refined Ore, weapons, ships, ammunition, ship modules, etc.. on and on. Prices and availability are subject to market variables. The proposed “gold” items would have been created out of thin air and sold directly from CCP, bypassing the other users. CCP would pocket it without expending any effort or time. Easy Money. This would seriously screw up the economy and make it easy for players with deep pockets to make easy gains without doing the work everyone else has.

CCP then went on to make a few other mistakes. They ignored the protests for several days. One staffer who did mention it responded angrily. As a result several prominent players either withdrew or outright quit from EVE. Things were looking pretty bleak as New Eden began to falter and slow down. But, something positive has happened…..

CCP is rather unique in the game world in that they do actually listen closely to their customers. In EVE there is the Council of Stellar Management (CSM). They are composed of active players who are elected to represent their fellow players/customers. In an emergency session CCP actually flew several of the members to their headquarters in Reykjavik, Iceland for a summit. You can read the results here: EVE Insider Blog

In a nutshell it boiled down to a series of miscommunications. The emails were not official policy, the silence was a bad move by CCP and they acknowledged the prices in the NEX were out of hand. Now keep in mind how Linden Labs has treated the customers of Second Life.  Yes, pretty damn shabbily. Some of the changes in SL were necessary but they failed to communicate how that was so. They also introduced changes that were downright stupid and poorly thought out. Had LL bothered to communicate with the user base so much heartache could have been averted over the years.
Floating over Grey Rings

P.S. Yes, I’ll return to EVE one day soon. When there is more to the avatar environment then just the Captain Quarters I’ll be sure to log back in.

One of the neat things about being on Plurk is seeing all the new memes roll through and sometimes partaking in them. This week’s meme is a website called Pummelvision. Pummelvision takes your Flickr feed and makes a movie out of it. Here’s my effort where I took the last 2,000 pictures which stretches nearly a year back in time.

 

http://vimeo.com/25058149

You’ll notice it posts everything that’s public to include shots of my garden, SL, Blue Mars, BSG Online and EVE Online.

Go

As North America settles in for the big game night I’m off to an early bed call. Naw, not too interested in the game much. I did splurge on snacks so I displayed my support to the economy. Mmmm, fresh salsa, mmmm.

I did download the iOS app for Blue Mars and played with it for a bit. The 3D rendering is pretty impressive for an iPhone 3GS but that’s the most going for it in this particular iteration. I didn’t see my avatar listed until I did a search for it and subsequently voted on. Oh the voting is pretty whack. You can vote for yourself repeatedly to boost your ratings on the list. For those who bother to download it you’ll see that Tizzers Foxchase has learned how to scam the system so that she shows up first when you first run the app. I’m not too impressed with my avatar’s appearance either. The dark skin doesn’t show up very well on my screen. Personally I don’t understand why they released it now. It needs just a little bit more to make it feel like a proof of concept application.

There still is activity going on in the PC client. Several cities are being updated and Beach City now has a new block open for development:
Nope, not dead yet in Beach City
The main strip is behind me as I face south towards the mountains at the edge of the city (they’re about 4km away or about 16 SL sims distant).
A block ready for development in Beach City

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Talk about top billing!

My name in lights!

My Name in Lights. This never gets old 🙂

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Who is this? Freddie Mercury? Nope!

Cara Mia! It is Gomez Addams. Hats off to Stephen Venkman for the John Astin/ Gomez Addams shape. I’m sure it will be popular with the ladies 😉

I’ll leave you dear reader with another example of the new EVE avatars. This is Gospel Rasere, an avatar I created of the Brutor bloodline (Minmatari Empire).

Gospel Rasere has a grumpy

These faces are much more expressive than SL avatars. I suspect the poly count is much much higher than SL avatars. You hear that Blue Mars?  This the level of face and avatar detail you should make BM avatars.

Face the Face

I know, I know. Yet another EVE posting. I’m sure you’ll love this one as I have a video depicting the tweaking of the faces and posing for snapshots. The actual body parts tweaking isn’t terribly exciting and it caused my recording software to stutter when I tried to record it. You’ll see me make a few small tweaks to the face however so you’ll get an idea of what it does.

This is the first subject, Rav. Following him is a revisit to GoSpeed’s avatar as she poses for pics. To get the best effect view in full screen mode.

http://vimeo.com/19155924

If you’re fascinated by this please remember that it’s just a feature to take snapshots for EVE profiles. Once you create a “pose” and take a pic you’re basically done. EVE is a primarily spaceship based game. True avatar  interactions will not occur until this summer. Even then it may not be too terribly exciting for the typical Second Lifer, Blue Martian or Thereian. All I do know is the level of excitement about the upcoming avatars is pretty high. Time will reveal how things unfold.

Famous Faces in EVE

Cruising through the EVE Online forums this past week has revealed at lot of talent at avatar creation. Predictably some take a cursory swipe at creation, others get kinda silly while others don;t have a clue what to do. There are a few geniuses who have crafted avatars that make my jaw hit the floor. Here are two that show you how how malleable the tools are.

Yes, it’s Halle Berry!

And Conan O’Brien

I had mentioned in a previous post that these avatars will become fully animated and interactive in a future update called “Incarna“.

Here’s a presentation for that expansion:

Related to that is a FPS game in development from CCP called Dust 514 which inhabits the same universe as EVE Online. I picture Incarna as a bridge between EVE the spaceship game and Dust 514 the FPS combat game on the planets. To quote CCP games about DUST 514:

“More than a mere persistent world, DUST 514’s connection with EVE Online makes New Eden a true virtual reality. The planets that DUST 514 players fight on will be the same planets that EVE pilots see and interact with in space. Both worlds will be linked in such a way that cooperation between players is optional, but beneficial to both if accepted.

Long term, we aim to become the premier service provider of the complete science fiction experience, one in which the experience itself extends from the ground all the way up into space, and on every vehicle in between.”

 

Where you have soldiers and sailors you need civilians to service them and needing their protection.  Suppliers, bar owners, salesmen etc… You name it. Yes even fashion designers. Whereas Blue Mars wound up an also-ran EVE is onto an idea I hope bears fruit. A game that marries several genres into one coherent universe.

 

Today the last part of the Incursion upgrade deployed. Coming in at whopping 1.26gb of data it actually took me longer to unpack and install than it did to download. All the old portraits across Eve were wiped prompting everyone to create a new one. To be honest the old avatar/portraits were pretty dull:
My Eve Online Avatar Then AND Now GoSpeed Racer in EVE Online

Really nothing to be proud about there. With Incarna in the works for a future release the avatar creation tool is pretty much in its final form and more than good enough to create in game portraits. As an Intaki of the Gallente Federation I was presented with this pitiful sight.  I look like Ripley from Aliens 3. Got Lice?
I look like something out of Aliens 3

I had to fix that immediately. Some hair and makeup did wonders…
So serious

I would have preferred a much darker skin but Gallente natives are fair skinned.

I do like a tad serious there don’t ? Let’s fix that face, body and dress her up.
more curves and more meat

My booty

All dressed up
All dressed up….

Notice the high quality of the skin.
GoSpeed Racer in EVE Online

I’ve also added a few lines to her face, look in the corners of her eyes. The slider was 1/3 of the way up. %100 Slider would make GoSpeed look 50s-ish.

What with the sad news about Blue Mars bouncing around the blogosphere I thought I’d freshen things up with some exciting news about EVE Online. I haven’t been too terribly active there lately but I am excited by the last installment of the Incursion update (expansion). If you look on the right hand side of my blog you’ll see a rather dull and boring avatar portrait. That’s due to change as the new character creator will be rolled out to help us create more realistic avatars. Here’s a couple of videos showing the tool in use:

While it may be just a bit much just to snap pictures of CCP isn’t done with is avatar creation tool. As possibly as soon as Summer 2011 “Incarna” will be released allowing full interaction and movement aboard space stations. Going beyond a starship console into a fleshed out world be it a spaces station or maybe even a planetary surface at some point is a quantum step forward. Perhaps you could join EVE Online and run a bar, a soldier, a cop, or whatever. Time will tell. This new feature has the promise to expand the EVE universe into many different environments all tied together by space travel.

Smacking twerps around gets to be a bore so to relax I head off world. Mars anyone?

Glorious sunrise at Digital DNA

20th century skyscrapers on 23rd century Mars.
Sky Scrapers

Sometimes, I guess there just aren’t enough rocks.
Sometimes, I guess there just aren't enough rocks.

It’s Christmas season! Time to trim the tree.
Trimming the Tree - 2

And time for a new profile pic:
Profile pic November  2010

 

The war is still going strong in EVE Online and it looks like it’s an indefinite affair with my corporation. This means being extra careful when cruising alone and finding a buddy to do missions together.

Go

WAR-Dec Hangar Queen

 

WAR-Dec Hangar Queen, originally uploaded by ** GoSpeed Racer **.

Since my last update about EVE the corporation I joined “Imperial Strippers” has had war declared on them (War Dec) by a another group called Kamikaze Tactics. KT is a group solely dedicated to PVP, Player Vs Player and they aim to put a hurting on my corp. Imperial Strippers’ greatest strength is it’s industrial base and mining capabilities, not fighting other human players. As a result most of the members, including myself have been “hangar queens” lest we get creamed by the bad guys. While my cruiser is a fighting vessel my experience in combat is pretty sparse, so I dare not risk it now. The CEO has given the newer members to drop out if they wish but I think I’ll tough it out till Saturday when the war ends.