Duncan Ringill

About Duncan Ringill

Duncan is my original EVE character, focused on PvE combat and mining. I live in EVE-4/5 with my wife and pets. I frequently wear pants.

The Rivals
Duncan Ringill

LOLCaps057

EVE=PvP is a charmingly limited view, and “villain” is as adorable a handle for a pretend destroyer of pretend spaceships as “teacher” is pretentious. (But go learn how to fly a Cynabal–good stuff there.)

PvP is a small subset of war, but I’ll happily grant Dex the pride of the infantry grunt invoking the favor of the Queen of Battle.  The officer corps has its own swagger, to be sure, and rightly so.  Nothing, however, matches the arrogance of the war profiteer who moves the chess pieces.  The masters making trillions off the efforts of PvPers like Dex do not spare a thought for his chimpanzee fun, as he in turn may care little for the grand games they play.

Standing to the side are the markets, whose warriors enjoy quieter conflict.  I can imagine racing hearts even there, though, as the combatants sift buy and sell orders to try to divine the hearts of their enemies.  The struggle for resources that is EVE is nowhere so exemplified as in the marketeers, for whom everything has a price.  The masters of war bow to the need for fun, but the economy rules all.

EVE is therefore more a trading game than it is a war game, and far more than it is a PvP game.  Spaceship combat is simply what gets Dex’ juices flowing these days, but rather than argue with his passion I’ll encourage him to wallow in it–because when we break it all down, there’s a secret depth that no one talks much about: we are the nascent gods of New Eden, indulging every whim to live larger than do the NPC inhabitants of this little universe.  To do, in a word, anything.

What EVE is really, really about is being awesome in any of a ton of possible careers.

Anomalous Materials: The Research Race of YC 116
Duncan Ringill

CCP Fozzie announced a contest of sorts yesterday:

Out of character, I can reveal that this storyline and the associated donation drive will lead directly to new technology falling into the hands of players in the near future. The relative success of each empire’s donation drive will determine in what order each faction will get access to this new technology.

Each faction navy will also express their gratitude through a special ingame item representing an honorary commission to their forces. The commissions will be given to the character that donates the highest value of Neural Network Analyzers and Sleeper Data Libraries (combined and weighted) to each faction over the course of the event.

Each commission will be a unique item that will forever contain the name of the winning character in the description.

Sounds like fun for those who do that sort of wormholery.  Rhavas at Interstellar Privateer is clearly interested, but thinks the offer doesn’t go far enough.  In a provocatively-titled post, he says that they’re lying to you.  He’s right, of course, at least in character.

The new tech falling into our hands can only be connected with the promised player construction of stargates leading to a new space, I think (Drackarn lists other, perhaps more likely answers).  CCP says that the new tech is going to trickle down to us through the empire factions.  Rhavas–if he’s not scamming us for gate construction materials–proposes that we force CCP into setting another place at that table by donating to Gillome Renard.  How cool is that?

The contest is a great idea, and doesn’t seem like a lie on its face.  Capsuleers, however, shouldn’t take the word of the empires.  The player base has proven in the past that it can steer CCP in new directions.  Let’s tweak that lore!

Kings, Not Emperors
Duncan Ringill

rome1We were overdue for a threadnaught, and CCP Greyscale delivers in the form of the proposed jump drive changes.

Null-security space is stagnant, he tells us, as though we didn’t already know that, and he is beginning with a giant step (or the opposite of one, really).  The addition of jump fatigue and cooldown timers will seriously slow force projection.  The goal is to make the enormous, headline-making battles less feasible and less well-attended, the theory concluding that EVE will be more interesting.  Surely this will be the case.

Imagine a Roman Empire suddenly lacking in those fantastic tools of conquest, the roads.  Legions less able to cover ground rapidly are less able to enforce Imperial law in the provinces.  Imperial might and the myth of its divine origin lose the ability to awe the citizenry, conquered peoples and rival empires.  An empire built on military might–as they all are–weakens and eventually crumbles.

Other CCP plans will affect sovereignty in many ways, but even a hisec bear such as I can foresee a nigh-inevitable end to the era of the Space Emperor.  At the very least, additional Doughnut resources (time and ISK) will be taken up in logistical planning, strategy and diplomacy.  I don’t know whether the jump-drive nerf must necessarily spell the demise of CFC, but it’s going to make for hella interesting behind-the-scenes sov struggles.  CCP is tuning our EVE experience.

What if the moods, health and welfare of your neighboring friends and enemies suddenly became more important than the edicts handed down from a distant Doughnut Throne?  What happens when the Gauls begin to feel more Gallic than Roman?

War.  That’s what happens.

The result?  Maps redrawn.  The destabilization of nullsec through some sort of nerf to force projection is the sort of thing I’ve predicted and hoped for (without having had a clue as to how to accomplish it), for the sake of GrrGoons as well as for the rest of us.  Their wars will be less CPU-throttlingly spectacular, less exercises in Teamspeak endurance than grand strategy and rapidly-evolving tactics.  The Art of War more than War Gratia War.  Null governors, de facto kings owing less fealty to an Emperor, will be seizing, trading and squabbling over renters, capital ships and moons they once shared.

NBSI will evolve into NRDS. Alliances will split from coalitions and corps from alliances.  Toons will leave null to be replaced by others drawn by the new face of war in New Eden.  The wily old Space Emperor will clutch at power, alienating some alliances to gain or retain others.  Dogs and cats living together! Turnover is what we’re talking about, turnover and interesting war.  More battles and more FCs.

Hope the Space Emperor is up to the challenge.  He’ll be playing a new game, as will everyone else.  I don’t want to see CFC destroyed, mind you; I want to see them earn their legend, and earn it again every goddamned day–or make way for those who will.  Their forum swagger will become more than empty bluster, as will that of their new rivals.  More who-the-hell-are-these-guys will be seen in Local.

There will be battle reports I’ll actually read.  Thanks, CCP.  I believe you’ve figured out how to think big by thinking small.  Great idea.

Or Help to Half-a-Crown
Duncan Ringill

I could wish, Miss Bennet, that you were not to sketch my character at the present moment, as there is reason to fear that the performance would reflect no credit on either.    –Jane Austen

 

drama1Summerstock theater takes its name from the season in which it runs.  Why is it not acted during the school year?  Too much else going on, of course.  Summer theater has a reputation for being uncool and inept.

Does that describe (the Northern Hemisphere’s) EVE summers?  Not much going on where you are in the game?  Peace declarations getting you down?

No worries.  Ours is a game of Internet spaceships, and Internet means drama.  Where there is none, we will create it.  Where there is any extant, we will nurture it into full flower, whence cometh the turgid little morality play known as Gamergate.

Mabrick takes NoizyGamer to task elegantly, not for bringing it up, but for caring about the Wrong Thing.  Me?  I’d only heard bits and pieces, and had already written the matter off, as Nosy does, as a teapot-encased Tempest Fleet Issue.  My own prejudices were confirmed as I stepped out into that particular cesspool for the first time today.  The plaintiff begins his case with a great show of concern for trust in the community rather than as a rant against a jilting ex-lover, then goes on to offer little more than the aforementioned rant and a lot of privileged conversations.  Neither party comes off well.

Whatever the Internet makes of this is not going to be pretty.  No doubt I’m more than fashionably late to this party, and the stank is already into the Web’s air conditioning.  It’ll be there for them as wants it.

silos1Mabrick is hunting other prey today, however.  A nice man-he-killed detour through Remarque reminds us to poke our heads up, prairie-doglike, from our respective silos, and see things from multiple viewpoints.  ‘Kay.  Sure you want to do that?  The blogosphere is a bunch of people, real though they be, blindly feeling their way toward a description of the elephant in the living room.  Tweet!  Illegal mixing of metaphors–fifteen yards!

Listen to them all, suggests Mabrick, if you would approach the truth.  I won’t doubt him; I would only question the wisdom of diving deeply into every online melodrama.  Sometimes–most times–the rot is external to you, and not worth a figurative missile launch, much less a thoroughly researched one.

The stink gets on you and into you.  Sometimes one helps one’s fellow man best by utterly ignoring his follies.