Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Faction Warfare and Mercs

In Episode 46 of the Voices from the Void, Hans Jagerblitzen stopped by to discuss Faction Warfare [FW] changes in the upcoming Inferno expansion.  Hans is a member of Late Night Alliance, a CSM7 delegate and a leader in the FW community.  He's a loyal pilot in the Minmatar Militia and he's passionate about FW.

In the segment, Hans commented on opposition to some of the incoming changes.  Namely, the Amarrian Militia opposed the mechanics applied to the loosing side.  It's a very simplistic form of their argument.  It's a little more complex, but you can listen to the interview for those details.  I'd rather write about a solution.

Eve Online is a harsh game and in the Amarr Militia's defense these mechanics are harsh.  The loosing militia would enjoy up to x4 prices in the Loyalty Points [LP] store, loss of LP paid upgrades in systems under siege and station lock outs in enemy systems.  Those are the three big ones.  The main point of their argument is these odds are near impossible to bounce back from.

Hans doesn't believe this.  He believes in the ingenuity of the players.  If those in the loosing militia can not achieve the objectives necessary, someone else who can will take their place.  It may sound a little harsh, but that's a truth of Eve Online.  Someone will find a way.  Sometimes they find ways to things no one wants them to find a way to.  Hans recognizes this about the community and believes the new mechanics will provide a challenge for these players.

That got me thinking.  How could a militia overcome odds like this?  Some CSM7 members suggested bigger bounties given to the losing militia for PvP kills.  It's doesn't really fit into the theme of harshness Eve Online has, but it's a good idea.  Then it hit me.  Mercenaries.

Yes!  That handy dandy already in play game mechanic we know as mercenaries.  Small powers use of mercenary forces is fairly common in the real world.  High sec forces use of mercenary forces is fairly common in Eve Online.  It seems like a reasonable progression of game play to me.  Of course there is the cost of procuring mercenary forces, but hopefully you've been saving for a rainy day.

It seems reasonable to believe a mercenary group would want a FW contract.  Corporations and alliances can join FW.  You can join and leave as you please and as long as you have the standings to join.  On top of their payment from the client, they would also earn LP.  The passive LP would make FW contracts instantly more profitable than a contact of the same nature for a high sec client.  Add in the prospect of your pilots running missions adds to the client's benefit as well.  I don't see why they would say no, other than the standings hits they would take.

That's my great idea.  At worst, FW has been using mercenaries for a while now and I'm slow on the pick up.  At best, this is a pretty cool idea.  I'm not a grand theory crafter or jr. game designer type, but I do know when an idea isn't total crap.  I'm curious to see if this could become an actual game changer.  Only time will tell.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Photo Study: Stealth Bombers

The ships of Eve Online are beautiful works of art.  Each one is a unique creation that personifies it's race, corporation and role.  They are as unique and versatile as they fits player use on them.  These pixilated flight craft are clearly one of Eve's greatest assets and wonders; at least in my opinion.

I feel strongly about the ships of Eve Online because I experienced the overwhelming power of their majesty first hand.  I was mesmerized by the Daredevil when I laid eyes on it.  The friend who introduced me to Eve flew one at the time and dazzled me with stories of what it could accomplish.  The entire time he spoke; my eyes were glued to the image in front of me.  I told him I wanted that and he said I would have to train for Minmatar and Gallente.  Then I found out Gallente had a line of ships with pinkish tints (pre-V3) and I was sold.  

That's just one example of the raw power the imagery of Eve Online holds.  There are hundreds of other instances and stories out there.  For someone else it could be the breath taking Nebulae, realistic Carbon avatars, quirky landmarks or that sense of vastness when you're warping 70 AU and you see a planet slowly drift by.  Taking in the New Eden Universe is a pleasure all it's own.

In their effort to enhance the visual experience of Eve Online, CCP Games has gone wild with the V3 Shader.  All the ship lines will receive  a code make over, but some groups of ships will also receive a model overhaul.  For the Inferno patch, the Amarr ship line will under go V3 Shader coding and the Stealth Bomber class receives  a model touch up.

These changes excited me and they have been a focal point of my Eve Online related conversation.  Many of my friends and corp mates are too lazy to get on the Sisi server, so they've only seen the ships via screen shots.  This would be fine, but I've found there aren't that many screen shots of the new ship models available.  The simplest solution was to do something myself.

This is where we come to the photo study.  I've taken screen shots of all four races of Stealth Bomber.  Each collage has five different angles of the ship and top/bottom comparison of the old model against the new.  Now some of the pictures may not be perfectly aligned or make be tilted on the axis a little.  The process turned out to be more of a pain in the ass than I thought, so they shots stand as they are.

I've also made the individual screen shots of the ships available.  They were not posted to the blog because that would be a huge pain in the ass.  Instead you can click this [link] and be magically transported to my imgur gallery.