Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Venturing for a Venture, Part 1

Agent Anal Canal's Venture-killing contest has taken highsec by storm. Critics say it's a publicity stunt based around bullying new players. However, enforcement of the Code is nothing new where Ventures are concerned. Agents have a long history of killing non-compliant Ventures--when they judge it necessary as a means to keep the peace.

Case in point, Agent Kalorned's deft handling of an unruly Venture pilot in the Gamis system. The events of this field report occurred before the Venture-ganking contest was conceived.

Our hero noticed an unlicensed Venture pilot named Thomas Baseoliouse. Yes, Thomas was a new-ish player. At a month old, however, he'd had plenty of time to finish the tutorial and make his way out to lowsec. He voluntarily chose to remain in highsec, where he understood he would be subject to New Order law.

Indeed, after checking his logs, Kalorned discovered that Thomas was the one who originally made contact, by spewing nonsense in local. At less than a month old, Thomas had every opportunity to learn the ropes. And by "ropes" I mean the Code. By anyone's logic, an EVE player old enough to refuse to pay an Agent his money is an EVE player old enough to be ganked.

...So Thomas was ganked.

Thomas wasn't happy about being ganked. If he cared about his ship so much, perhaps he should've warped away during the four-minute warning period instead of remaining AFK?

It's possible that Thomas was at his keyboard when the gank took place. If so, he wasn't giving his keyboard his full attention. Otherwise he could've warped out. Instead of blaming himself for the many mistakes that had led him to this point, he questioned the legitimacy of the Code. Protip: If you've messed up in your past, don't compound the error by ruining your future.

A child remains in the womb for several weeks before all its features become fully recognizable. But a newbie carebear's bot-aspirancy and rebellion can be detected in much less time. Barely a month old, Thomas was already making unrealistic threats. He wouldn't bother bringing a guard. Like other members of "industrial" corps in highsec, he simply mined alone all day.

After shedding some tears, Thomas pulled a 180 and decided he didn't want that Venture anyway. He was stunned when Kalorned affirmed his only concern was the Code. This Agent was for real. How can you fight that?

The baby bot-aspirant tried to understand Kalorned's thinking. Since Thomas only cared about making isk, he tried to understand the New Order's Code through the prism of money. Yet his own earlier remark about the Venture being cheap seemed to undermine that. He was baffled.

Thomas repeatedly announced his intention to move to a highsec system not controlled by our Agents. Failing to grasp the magnitude of our power, he assumed moving a few jumps away would put some distance between himself and New Order territory! Before he could move away, though, he needed Kalorned to log off. Thomas didn't want to risk being podded on the way out. So he would play some other game on his second monitor. Isn't that what got him in trouble in the first place?

Thomas' attitude only got worse. He railed against EVE Online and its GMs for failing to run a proper theme park game like World of Warcraft. Kalorned gasped. Rehabilitating this bot-aspirant would take some serious de-programming.

To be continued...


  1. If I recall from the limited number of missions I did, CCP ensures that new players can easily afford a mining permit very early on. I sure hope for a happy ending!

    Can someone kindly evemail this Thomas fellow and encourage him to try to win the venture contest? That would be an awesome story.

  2. Pardon my language but that last statement by this Thomas Baseoliouse dreg was absolutely fucking disgusting. I almost didn't make it through all his meme spouting, but saying "wouldn't get away with this shit in wow" and then in the same breath exclaiming that he understands how Eve is not the same beast... It is almost too much for me to handle. The only way I could possibly reconcile the pain and confusion I feel is to buy some shares in the New Order.

  3. Replies
    1. The code always whines.

      This multiple personality disorder is really getting to me. I must take more meds.

  4. As more and more WoW players venture to other games, CCP will need to make a decision. Create a theme park or keep going in the direction of "space is dangerous." CCP will eventually take the path that leads to the most profits, which means that eventually, highsec suicide ganking will become a thing of the past. This means that James 315, CODE, and the highsec gankers will have to look for targets in lowsec/nullsec or disband entirely. Those that view CCP's eventual decision as a betrayal to them will leave the game. CCP isn't going to betray their pocketbook for your enjoyment. They are going to try to grow their revenue stream as much as they can. If you are too stupid or naive to see it, that's your problem.

    1. If Hisec gets Trammelized, EVE will die. You're wishing for the death of EVE.

    2. ditto a safe high sec in EVE isn't EVE at all.

    3. There have been numerous reports backing the claim that, actually, the problem is PvE that leads to dropping subs.

      Here's two: (session 5, page 25)

      And that second one is from the CSM in case you missed it. Before you and the carebear community that is against emergent gameplay decide what's best for the game, perhaps you should first look to see what CSM and CCP have to say about it.

      Because, as a matter of fact, new players drop offs are because of mining, missions and other PvE activities that lead a player into playing solo. Eve is about player interaction, hence the sandbox.

      Don't get me wrong, the NPE definitely sucks and some radical, positive changes need to be made. There are several ideas floating around on how to fix the NPE, I tend to support the idea of a "padded 'Jovian' starter zone". Appeals to lore, but more importantly a padded nerf zone we training wheels where CCP could help new players learn about the game. But, it needs to not suck and as much as I love CCP and Eve we all know that CCP has a way of fucking things up.

      This ‘nerf zone’ should be where players learn about Eve Online; from the stabbing in the back, to the shady deals, to the missions and mining aspects of the game, to the player interactions, to PvP , to piracy, to the joining a ‘good’ player corp and how to do that right, etc. And, actually explain the differences of this game; piracy and PvP, mining and missioning. Let the player make up their own mind instead of practically forcing feeding new players down into a path that's going to eventually lead them to boredom and unsubbing. –Well, at least up to 90% of them according to CCP anyway.

      1 rookie starter mission –out of 25- asking the new player whether he/she wants to follow some random NPC to some unknown system that’s never really explained in order to become a pirate vs staying in highsec where the mission agent is ~right there~, is complete shit.

      New players drop off because from the beginning they are led to believing they need to PvE for isk and to wait for better skills. They tend to do this solo which leads to players unsubbing. What many of this poor newbies aren't aware of is they can go out and become a part of something fun within hours of signing up. I dare say it’s the carebear community that’s destroying this game; at the very least the ones telling new players to ‘wait’ for better skills and more isk before trying something ‘fun’.


    4. Hey BM, as long as you and your kind are gone first.... which seems like it will be the case.

    5. Well said Starfox. I don't make that praise likely. All trolling and role-playing aside, I had to try this game TWICE before I could get into it. I tried first in early April 2013 and it was a disaster. Yeah, I did a little bit of research on it so I kinda knew what I was getting into, but sucked. I let the trial expire and I sat on it. When I told CCP why I wasn't subscribing, I told them that there was way too much to learn and not enough time to learn it. In November of the same year (2013), I tried it again with another trial account.

      This time I was more successful, and I have stayed with the game. Yes, I agree with you, the NPE really sucks. I almost didn't subscribe because of it.
      Another thing that really helped though was this time I found people who were willing to help and mentor me somewhat.

      That is the one thing that I think that CCP can do to improve the game. Have a daily mission in which a new player solicits help from a veteran. To give the veteran an incentive to help, give the vet a reward for helping in the form of either isk or items. If they do enough of these mentoring missions, then award a plex or something. People will be falling all over themselves to help the new players learn the game. In fact, that's how NCSoft does it in Aion. New players are given daily quests to seek out a mentor to perform some task.

      Switching the subject here, how do you make money doing PvP? Collect the bounties? Loot and salvage their wrecked spaceship if you win? That's one aspect that I never really understood. I know you guys sit there and scoop up the cargo of the people you gank and sell it. I call that piracy. I have a moral problem with that it even though it's a game.

      I know that you make more cash by mining, industry, running missions, buy/sell/trade, ratting, incursions, planetary interaction, exploration, running combat I missing anything?

    6. Hey BM,

      I completely agree, older players can and should help explain the game to new players. Although, l don't believe any player will be 100% ready until they experience something for themselves, but there should definitely be some sort of older player mentorship for new players. We all love newbros anyway. Maybe in some new, new player zone, or like you said a specific type of mission that requires an explanation from a veteran player. Incentives should definitely be a thing too for those who help, and something worthwhile.

      As far as making isk in Eve scamming is the most lucrative. Second to that is station trading, and everything beyond those two is open for debate/player preference.

      A player can definitely make an income off ganking, but in order to make it worthwhile ganking for profit has to include some sort of SRP program; much like what the New Order uses. That way the ship is free, plus you make approximately half the ship cost in blue loot and whatever drops from the target ship plus salvage/bounty.

      So, let’s say a T2 cat costs 10m/isk, you pay for that upfront. The ‘pirate’ finds a target and explodes it. Let’s say 4m/isk drops in blue loot (ship hull/rigs don’t count) and anywhere from 2-10m/isk drops from the target ship, let’s say 5m/isk (strip miner dropped, plus some crystals and an MLU or two). So for this scenario the ‘pirate’ makes 9m/isk from the loot itself. More can be made from salvaging Intact Armor Plates that sells for 3-4m/isk buyout iirc; however, they don’t drop very often and one shouldn’t calculate them in when trying to figure out profit, or isk/hr, or whatever. Now the ‘pirate’ sends the lossmail to NO’s SRP program and is reimbursed the 10m/isk; or in other words 9m/isk profit.

      Let’s say (and I don’t like doing this, but for the sake of an example) in 1 hour there were 4 targets and each time 9m/isk was made. That’s 36m/isk per hour from loot itself. From salvage and bounties that will go up to approximately 40-45m/isk per hour; but I wouldn’t expect higher than that.

      To avoid AG from sending in random Cat lossmails of nothing new players are researched; nothing fancy, just KB/bio/sec status, etc. If no kills are made, no SRP.

      I unsubbed twice before I decided that I was going to really give Eve a decent chance. What initially got me excited about this game was that anything could happen; and I could be a pirate. A player used to be able to make close to 30-40m/isk average per Exhumer gank back when Intact Armor Plates sold for ~25m/isk at buyout. Not that I ganked solely for isk, but at times I would make upwards of 300m/isk per hour doing something that I enjoyed doing. Those days are long over.

      Sorry for the late response.

  5. Mr Miner,

    It seems to me that CCP has already made a decision; way back when they coined their name, 'Crowd Control Productions'. It smacks of 'balance'. The regulation of a group of players with sometimes conflicting interests. From their point of view, as new challenges arise they apply nerfs and buffs as they deem necessary.

    The New Order represents a kind of lobbying group, helping CCP to maintain that balance. Among other things, James 315 saw a need to increase the amount of risk in Highsec, at the same time making it unnecessary for CCP to buff suicide ganking or to nerf certain types of PVE.

    Remember that a significant portion of the Company are said to be active players. No doubt some of them visit or even reside in Highsec. The views you represent are totally known to them. That they haven't already turned Highsec into Sesame Street is a strong indication that factors around the activities of the New Order are helping to sustain the status quo. If we were bad for business, believe me, we'd be out the door already.

    Growing their revenue stream has to take account of player retention. It simply makes no sense to grab players, only to lose them because they think they'll have to spend months mining or grinding missions to get anywhere. All this stuff is better described elsewhere and by better commentators than I.

    Much of CCP's effort seems to be directed at not only persuading players to stay, but to increase and sustain the number of accounts they hold. Suicide Gankers famously multiply their accounts, since many of them gank on an alt. James 315 famously has only one account, he is an exception in that, as in many other things.

    None of us knows where the 'roadmap' is going. We do the best we can to make sure we're part of the solution and not the problem.

    Yours, Sasha Stupid, Naive Nyemtsov!

  6. how odd that when CCP was organising a newbie mining, none from CODE had the stones to show and educate "new players" early in the piece. I guess you can only handle classrooms with a single student?

  7. It is sad to see one so young already corrupted by bot-aspirancy. Fortunately we have the CODE to guide him back to the Path.

  8. Your blog makes a big thing about permit revocation if you don't have a proper tank and how you don't like the method by which tanks are checked. Well, I had my tank checked on Tuesday night, and I passed the test.

    Also, although I don't have a permit, I do have a small number of shares, so you can see that the New Order agents are very even handed and accusing them of targeting only newbs and easy targets is wrong, they apply the same rules to everyone in hisec.

    Finally, the tank check also flagged up a problem with my overview settings, so really it was an all round good thing.


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