Sunday, June 25, 2017

Kills of the Week

With all the celebrations of the fifth anniversary of the Code, it's been like a party in highsec. Everybody's into it. But can you imagine how embarrassing it would be to get caught violating the Code this week? Wow. Well, that's what happened to these guys, from the week of June 18th @ 00:00 EVEtime through Code Day @ 23:59 EVEtime...

Pope Arji of ISK Army corp learned what a real army looks like when his 7.2 billion isk Drake Navy Issue faced off against Agents Disco Superstar80, Alarik Maleus, Narl' Amhar, Lovchi, Vollond, AndroGon Navy, Bastian Mart, Votre Dieu, Rachel O'Conor, Skyforus, Another Sky Alt1, Nebo Blizko, and Tamara Blizko. So much for isk tanking.

"Don't buy a permit," says the rebel. "Use a cheap ship and you'll earn back the money for a replacement each time you get ganked." babdur baboom trimmed down into a minimalist Covetor. But the bot-aspirant couldn't resist a little indulgence. His 'Aoede' Mining Laser Upgrade cost half a billion isk. If he thought he could hide his sins behind a modest Covetor hull, he was wrong. Big or small, the Code comes to them all. Agent Dr Petrosilius Zwackelmann uncovered babdur's crime and punished him for it.

Grandduke Yoric put together a rotten Widow fit, and things only got worse from there. He was seized by a new strain of madness that's been working its way through highsec lately:

Agents CONCORD Police Commander, Lahnius, and Madyson Landar stopped the rebel before he could do any real harm (except to himself).

I don't know what it is, but these crazy carebears keep trying to suicide gank Agent Krig Povelli. Burticus Cesaille lost a Deimos worth over a billion isk during his failed attempt. Was Jita out of Catalysts?

Then, on Code Day, the situation escalated:

Gallanthe lost a blingy 2.7 billion isk Kronos to Krig and CONCORD. Rebels, this is why we call it elite PvP. It's not nearly as easy as we make it look.

If it's worth killing, it's worth over-killing. NINI LEE came under attack by a dozen Taloses, eight stealth bombers, and eight Catalysts piloted by Agents Another ShadeOf Whyte, Pure Whyte, Tax Collector HongMei, Sophie Whyte, Tax Collector Aruka, Pod Destroyer Molly, Tax Collector Max, Tax Collector BokChoy, Tax Collector Richard, Tax Collector KarlMarx, Tax Collector Hill, Tax Collector Kittens, Karl Friedrich Fizzleblade, Jack Fizzleblade, Taxman Daniel, Archibald Fizzleblade, Hermann Fizzleblade, Hagen Fizzleblade, Gottfried Fizzleblade, Trump The King, Tawny Rozei, Leeroy Mallory, Tax Collector Stroheim, Sherri Rozei, Ruby Rozei, Australian Excellence, Giselle Rozei, and Christine Rozei. The Obelisk was carrying a fleet of ships, but the better fleet won.

The New Order has really been throwing its weight around lately. Sehrazat Momaki's triple-anti-tanked freighter was no match for 16 stealth bombers and 11 Catalysts piloted by Agents Emergent Gameplay, Archibald Fizzleblade, Lawrence Lawton, Jack Fizzleblade, Franz Fizzleblade, Hagen Fizzleblade, Yojiro, Unfit ForDoody, Hermann Fizzleblade, Blasty McVoidFace, Gottfried Fizzleblade, SynthiaGreey, Slipstream Prediouca, Bint Bint, Darnoth, SKAfan, Karl Friedrich Fizzleblade, Lanaya Takayama, Skiff Poddington, James Poddington, Cardamom Majere, Hulk Poddington, Selina Love, ClearLove, Basic Black Bitch, Mack Poddington, and Pat Makunt.

Down went 22 billion isk of contraband. There's no escaping it: The Code must be obeyed. There's no other option. None.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Darkness and Light, Part 1

Five years ago today, the Code was unleashed upon an unsuspecting world. Five years. One can scarcely remember what our world was like back then, for so much has changed--changed because of the Code.

Unless we deliberately take time to look back now and again, it's easy to forget that highsec and EVE weren't always the way they are now. It's easy to lose sight of the great transformations that have taken place and are still taking place. That's why June 24th is Code Day. So we can catch a glimpse of the bigger picture.

With that in mind, I'd like to examine the present state of highsec and EVE. But, in fact, there are two EVEs today, and they are in two very different conditions. There is the EVE of highsec, which is under the firm and ever-tightening control of the New Order, subjected daily to all the benefits of said control. And there is the EVE of the outer regions, dominated by the powers of nullsec.

Today we'll talk about the outer regions. The state of that EVE is...


Traditionally, nullsec has been the stage upon which EVE was played. Nullsec represented EVE's purpose; the rest of EVE existed merely to supply nullsec with ships, equipment, money, and new players. You might say that highsec and lowsec were nullsec's feeder corp.

In turn, nullsec provided EVE with, well, EVE. Nullsec was EVE's content. It produced the titanic wars and epic stories which made EVE famously "more fun to read about than to play". That drama and those great wars were EVE's unique selling point. And a game with spreadsheets for its UI certainly needed a unique selling point.

The state of that nullsec, that EVE, is what I am going to talk about first. It's not going to be pretty. You may consider my darkened portrait above to represent a Real Talk Warning. I don't want to get any EVEmails from people saying, "Nobody told me there would be real talk. If you had warned me, I would've bought a permit!"

Let's not mince words. The traditional EVE is in a state of the deepest despair and pessimism. Never before has it descended into a state of such utter darkness and disrepair.

You answer, "What about the Summer of Rage? EVE lost more subscribers and had to fly The Mittani to Iceland for an emergency summit."

Ah, but back then EVE had far more subscribers to lose. The rage was hotter because people still had the capacity to feel something for EVE. CCP still cared enough to call upon The Mittani, as humiliating as it was for them to do so. Ours is the Summer of Apathy. The players do not organize protests to demand change; they simply melt away.

In late 2016, EVE's subscription numbers, as reflected by the number of logged-in players (CCP no longer releases subscription data) were in a terrible state. CCP broke with EVE tradition by offering free-to-play alpha accounts. Logged-in player numbers skyrocketed, and then utterly collapsed over the next several months.

This chart comes courtesy of Chribba's data. Long story short, the numbers fell off a cliff, and are still falling. But things are worse than the chart would indicate, because now the logged-in player numbers include non-paying alpha accounts. Thus, as these numbers fall, the number of paying subscribers is still lower. We cannot say with certainty what percentage of logged-in players are alphas, but we can reasonably estimate that they're a significant minority. EVE's subscription levels are at their lowest point since, let us say, 2006. However, back in 2006 the numbers were rising instead of falling, and there was potential for future growth.

We haven't gotten to the bad part yet.

It is in this context of financial desperation that CCP has chosen not to invest any real time or resources in EVE's future. Long gone are the days when CCP's staff and money were focused on new content and development for EVE. Those things are dedicated to CCP's VR games now. What EVE gets is a lethargic skeleton crew of developers who have been ordered to squeeze every last bit of microtransaction money they can out of the game while CCP considers the possibility of closing up shop and selling out.

In other words, EVE has little chance of improving beyond its current state. Which might not be such a bad thing, were it not for the fact that nullsec is horribly, inescapably broken.

Much has been written about jump fatigue and FozzieSov. Here it will suffice to offer a brief sketch of events. By late 2014, CCP decided that they didn't like the way nullsec was going. There had long been much crying about the "blue doughnut" in nullsec. Despite the complaints, massive wars were far more common back then. Just as an example, there wasn't much time between the massive Fountain War (summer 2013) and the even more massive Halloween War (beginning autumn 2013 and stretching into 2014). Nevertheless, CCP feared the possibility of too much space being controlled by a single entity (that is, the Imperium), which could lead to the pacification of nullsec. It has also been said that CCP feared the server strain of too many players being in a single system for some of the battles.

CCP's solution was to completely shift the focus of nullsec warfare. Before, it had been all about big wars, big battles, big stories--the unique selling point of EVE. The new plan was to create game mechanics that would encourage small, localized conflict. That way, people wouldn't need to travel so far to look for a fight, and maybe smaller, weaker entities would have a chance at carving out a piece of nullsec without joining a big coalition.

In late 2014, jump fatigue was introduced, effectively making fast transportation around nullsec impossible. In the summer of 2015, Dominion sov was replaced with FozzieSov. At first, it appeared that CCP got what it wanted. The effect of jump fatigue was essentially to expand the size of nullsec by an exponential degree; players couldn't teleport across the map to join every fight. Conflicts, to the extent that they occurred, were small and local. Unfortunately, what CCP wanted wasn't very good or interesting.

As the months wore on and subscription levels declined, CCP got buyer's remorse. They worried about the lack of large-scale wars, which normally brought media attention, new players, and a lot of re-subbed old players. To CCP's great joy and relief, they soon received manna from heaven--or rather, from EVE gambling websites.

To be continued...

Friday, June 23, 2017

Highsec Miner Grab Bag #134

Death wishes mixed with concerns about CCP's subscription numbers? Must be time for another edition of the Highsec Miner Grab Bag!

We get this question a lot. Perhaps it could be addressed in the official EVE tutorial?

After tens of thousands of ganks, Agent Aaaarrgg finally ganked the wrong guy. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

If you read between the lines, this guy's too cheap to let his son have an omega account. No surprise there--he was also to cheap to buy him a mining permit.

atturra so matter-of-factly recommended that our Agent heat up the Red Pen so its ink would spill. Why would our Agent want the ink to spill, though?

Okay, but writing something in an "added contact" notification isn't the best way to reach me.

You can tell our Agent was able to get through to this guy on some level. Otherwise he wouldn't have felt the need to say he wasn't just a miner.

James 315

So I was actually contemplating trying out Eve to see what it was like. Then I found your website by accident.. You are a terrible person. You made a faction just to grief and gank, just because nobody will stand up to you. You are a fascist AND YOU are a bully and eve should shut you down. As for me, Eve has lost any chance of me paying money to play their game and risk having a run-in with you and your group of fascist griefers. I hope you are happy that your foolishness has run off yet another prospective player. I have also forwarded this to friends of mine who recently mentioned Eve. They also will not play the game because of idiots like you. I also took the liberty to cc this to the Eve admins so they can read this just as you do.

Maybe you will change your ways, but by the extreme fascism you created on your website, i doubt you will. You probably think you are Role playing, but you aren't. You are a griefer, the most annoying type of person in gaming. As a game admin myself, I have banned many trolls like yourself. I hope you get what you deserve.


Do you really value your customer and your income? Or do you value identity politics of trolls like this minerbumping fascist? If you value your customers overall then you will shut this little marxist/neo-fascist troll down before he ruins your game completely. If you value trolls and griefers, then so be it. I will never support your product and I will help my gaming buddies by encouraging them to not support your product either.

Concerned gamer of over a decade in online communities. Admin of 2 game servers, 2 TeamSpeaks, Youtuber and in general a person who has a following of like minded gamers.
I only rarely get tears mailed to my out-of-game email address. I took this email very seriously, as it came from an admin and Youtuber who apparently has quite a following. Unfortunately, he didn't leave his name, so we have no way to fully appreciate how prominent a figure this gentleman must be.

4XTC Erquilenne was behaving like a Goofus, so Agent Lawrence Lawton urged him to adjust his attitude. He did:

Don't be fooled, dear reader. 4XTC was probably just laying the groundwork for a future post-gank message: "I wasn't AFK, I was just visiting my step-daughter..."

You can usually tell when someone is going to buy a mining permit, and when they're not...

Luke Norman returned later to buy a permit. Like I said, you can always tell when someone's going to buy a permit. Because everyone buys a permit eventually.

More and more, the residents of lowsec, nullsec, and wormhole space are beginning to realize that highsec is the home of elite PvP.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Over One Trillion One Hundred Ninety-Nine Billion in Shares Sold

Hearts, minds, PvP combat, arguments... We win 'em all. The CODE always wins. Always!

Speaking of always winning, the liquidation of Durandi Ghostal's assets added 3,418 more shares to his farewell EVE tally. This sent us over the 1,197, 1,198, and 1,199 billion isk marks and earned Durandi a deferred Triple Supreme Protector's Tip of the Hat™. He's now the 12th ranked shareholder overall. Not too shabby.


Cue the music.

If you're new to EVE and wondering why our Agents have such a reputation for contributing to the fine arts, there you go.

Another week of extraordinary victories. It's incredible, isn't it?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Venture of a Lifetime, Part 2

Previously, on MinerBumping... The Algogille system was in trouble. Help arrived in the form of Agents Lewak and Shilliam Watner, who tore through the Venture-infested asteroid belts with a vengeance. But no good deed goes unpunished: Fail-fit Venture pilot Belatucadnos UK retaliated by spouting propaganda in local.

Lewak tried to improve highsec the best way he knew how. For this, many hailed him as a hero. Others cursed him as a monster.

When Belatucadnos went silent, his mantle was picked up by VsUK Cammack. Our Agents suspected him of being Belatucadnos' alt. Perhaps the miner felt a character without a record of losing 27 million isk Ventures would have more credibility.

Agent Lewak never backs down from a fight. He verbally PvP'ed the miner with a Logic Cannon II.

A pattern developed. Each time an Algogille carebear lost the argument, he or another carebear would change the subject to try a new line of attack.

I have 79 billion isk in my wallet, yet I am poor--because I am a river to my people! Despite being poor, I feel like the richest man in the world, because of friendship, etc.

Lewak deftly torpedoed one carebear argument after another. The rebels acknowledged their defeats by repeatedly opening up new excuses for their poor behavior.

What VsUK saw as a weakness was actually an incredible strength of the New Order: Its ability to rescue its enemies and bring them to the right side of EVE.

After all, it's not for no reason that my name has become synonymous with mercy.

More miners erupted in local. While Lewak engaged the rebels in a debate, Agent Shilliam Watner was busy advancing the Code with antimatter.

Another satisfied customer:

Shilliam Watner located the Code violator in a nearby asteroid belt and summarily executed him.

With nowhere left to hide, VsUK took refuge in the last, desperate bastion of carebearism: The belief that the Code will destroy EVE by driving away subscribers and bankrupting CCP.

Lewak wouldn't allow the scurrilous charge to go unanswered. He stepped forward to defend the honour of the Code.

To be continued...

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Venture of a Lifetime, Part 1

Belatucadnos UK hated being ganked, but not enough to change his evil ways.

In the exotic Essence region, our Agents patrolled the asteroid belts for unlicensed Ventures. Belatucadnos didn't buy a permit or even fully fit his ship, but he saw no problem in spending 26 million isk on a yield module. Nor did he learn much from being ganked: He lost a Venture with the exact same fit the day before--in the same system!

Belatucadnos pretended to be innocent. "I wasn't AFK, I was just..." He claimed that he wanted rookie help, but he showed disrespect to the Agent who was offering him true rookie help.

The miner condemned the phenomenon of "fucking homo's grouping together, following a stupid law as if it really matters." Otherwise known as civilization.

Belatucadnos raged at the brave men and women who enforced the Code, predicting a violent end for any Agent who met him. So far, though, every time he met an Agent, he lost a Venture.

Agent Shilliam Watner joined the conversation. It was he who had ganked Belatucadnos the day before. Shilliam was disappointed to observe the miner's lack of progress.

Clearly, the EVE tutorial had failed this miner. Agent Lewak made a vow: No one would be able to say he had failed the miner.

Belatucadnos ditched the "innocent new player" routine and picked up the "powerful combat alt" routine. His alt won PvP battles all the time. Unfortunately, he was unable to produce his alt's name.

Agent Shilliam put the whole system on notice, informing everyone in local that Belatucadnos was a repeat offender.

Our Agents provided the system with an opportunity to talk about the only subject that anyone in highsec really gets invested in: the New Order and its Code.

VsUK Cammack joined the fray. Shilliam strongly suspected the pro-carebear individual to be the alt of Belatucadnos.

The highsec population is divided into pro- and anti-Code factions. Over the years, the pro-Code faction has been growing stronger. People realize that we're on the right side of history.

The battle was joined. Would the hearts and minds of the Algogille system be won by the Code, or did the residents need to be repeatedly ganked before that happened?

To be continued...