• Vengeance
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  • Intaki VI and Asteroids
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Tag: gaming

The Agency

I poked around with the new Agency window tonight. I like it! It’s like an “uber agent finder plus” and feels useful right out of the box. I see the old agent finder is still available too but there was always something about it that I never quite liked. Maybe it was just too fiddly. Either way I never used it much.

The Agency window.

The Agency window. Click to enlarge.

This new feature? Pretty slick. I think for new and old players alike the Agency will greatly improve finding any and all PVE content in a given area—even content that players might not have previously known was there. I like how visual it is and that the different kinds of PVE content are differentiated by color and with unique icons that show up on the minimap.

One thing I found myself wishing for immediately is a way to exclude certain results. For example, I’m not in Faction Warfare so suggesting FW combat sites to me is pointless strictly from a PVE perspective. Not that the Agency should be so clever as to automatically exclude them by default when a character is not in FW, because you never know how someone might discover new content they want to try…and PVPers will likely use the Agency to find spots to fight in whether or not they’re in Faction Warfare. But having some way to “do not suggest this to me” so players can customize the Suggestion tab on the fly in a future iteration would be great.

Have you used the new Agency window? What do you think about it? Let me know in the comments!


On the Go

As I start writing this entry I’m sitting on my balcony, rocking gently on my deck swing. It’s mid-morning on a Sunday and it will be a beautiful spring day, even though for the moment I have a blanket wrapped around me because the sun hasn’t quite come around the building far enough to warm up my deck. My neighborhood is quiet; other than a distant lawn mower and few cars going by there’s nothing to listen to except for chickadees, swallows, red wing blackbirds, and some other songbirds I don’t know the names of. It’s a clear day and I can see the Rockies stretching away to the south all the way to the Chain Lakes and then some. They still have quite a lot of snow on them. There’s a May tree growing off to the side just below my balcony that in a few years will be almost tall enough to touch. I like May trees; like lilacs and crab apples, the gentle fragrance of the flowers is one of the best parts of spring in Calgary.

This year I’ve taken to sitting on my balcony quite a lot on weekends when the weather is good (and even when it’s tolerably miserable). Life has been busy…maybe a little too busy…and these moments offer some peace and quiet that I feel I desperately need.


Quietly EVE-ing

Life has been busy. Work has been kicking my ass since the start of 2017 which doesn’t leave much time for gaming. Even so, I’ve still managed to quietly continue my existence in New Eden, though my activity has shifted around some.


The Fifth Age: Riven – Day Five


realMyst
Riven – Day One | Riven – Day Two | Riven – Day Three | Riven – Day Four | Riven – Day Five


At long last, I return to Riven to finish my playthrough. This is the final post for this particular installment of the Myst series. I’m tickled pink that I was able to get through the entire story of the Fifth Age in five parts! Next I’ll move on to Myst III: Exile.

A rich tapestry of the D’ni number five.

When I left off last time, the prison book had been returned to me by the Black Moiety and I had picked up enough information to allow me to finally solve the puzzle of the golden domes. All I have left to do is confront (and hopefully trap) Gehn, free Catherine, and help save the Rivenese.

Riven, like Myst before it, has multiple endings depending on choices made by the player. Come with me to find out how I finished my journey!

Fair warning: if you’ve never played Riven, there are spoilers ahead!


Revisiting Sec Status

In August of 2014 I wrote a post called EVE Unbalanced – The Sandbox is a Lie and in one part of it I explored an idea of how player security status could potentially be made more meaningful. I still think the idea has merit and is a change worth making to reduce EVE Online’s “villain” bias so “hero” play can be more integrated and more visibly represented in the game. Having sat on the idea now for two and a half years, I’d like to expand on it a little, particularly in light of other small mechanic changes CCP has introduced recently.

Standings toward NPC corps now have additional practical application thanks to the new mining fleets. I was really excited about this; it creates new and worthwhile motivation for players to engage in PVE and even to be more choosy about which corps they PVE for. Great! While standings are a totally separate thing to sec status, the mining fleets elegantly demonstrate how CCP can make a relatively small change to an existing mechanic that results in reasonably meaningful impact for lots of players.

So what about sec status? The issue I lamented about before still exists: PVPers are unilaterally punished by CONCORD in the form of sec status hits regardless of the sec status of their target (excluding criminal flags or combat in lawless space). Still dumb overall, while positive sec only being obtainable via PVE continues to foster the nasty and toxic attitudes that exist about positive sec, PVE, and carebears.


Black Desert Online – A New Player’s First Impressions

A few weeks ago I was chatting with a friend about my desire to find a game to play which has a social aspect to it but is more or less free of the kind of negativity, stress, and sense of obligation I have experienced in the other MMOs I’ve dabbled in (Age of Conan, EQII, and most particularly, EVE Online). I wanted something I could have fun with but not feel chained to if I didn’t log in for a while. She recommended Black Desert Online (BDO) as an alternative and gave me a guest pass.

BDO is described on Wikipedia as “a sandbox-oriented massively multiplayer online role-playing game by Korean video game developer Pearl Abyss”. It’s had a staggered world-wide release: Korea in 2014; Japan and Russia in 2015; North America and Europe just this year. In NA and EU it’s buy-to-play while the other markets are free-to-play.

I like that it doesn’t have a subscription model. I don’t mind that there’s a cash shop for stuff that can then be sold by players on the in-game market to earn them in-game money. So far to me it feels more like a solo-player game that has other people in it who I can play with if I choose to. I like that I’m protected from PVP encounters until I’m higher level and more familiar with the game.

I spent five days playing quite heavily on the pass, then took a week off my PC to go camping. When I got back I bought the game. Here are my first impressions and early experiences!


The Fifth Age: Riven – Day Four


realMyst
Riven – Day One | Riven – Day Two | Riven – Day Three | Riven – Day Four | Riven – Day Five


I recently got an itch to revisit the Myst series of games. The serene yet subtly disturbing puzzle-oriented mysteries of Myst and Riven were ground-breaking for their day. I’m a gamer today primarily because of this universe.

The number five in an ornate gate.

The number five in an ornate gate.

It’s been a while since the last post in this series, so definitely time to get back to solving the mysteries of the Fifth Age!

I feel I’m nearly done Riven. Things are quickly coming to a head between me, Gehn, and the Black Moiety.

Come with me as I continue my journey!

Fair warning: if you’ve never played Riven, there are spoilers ahead!


The Fifth Age: Riven – Day Three


realMyst
Riven – Day One | Riven – Day Two | Riven – Day Three | Riven – Day Four | Riven – Day Five


I recently got an itch to revisit the Myst series of games. The serene yet subtly disturbing puzzle-oriented mysteries of Myst and Riven were ground-breaking for their day. I’m a gamer today primarily because of this universe.

68

A five-sided door.

This is my fourth post in the series. I’m now five hours into Riven. To date I have explored quite a bit of the five islands and uncovered more than a few uncomfortable facts about Gehn, the villain. I know that Catherine is still alive and imprisoned somewhere in the Fifth Age. I still need to recover the prison book that Atrus gave me and figure out where the Star Fissure is located.

Come with me as I continue my journey!

Fair warning: if you’ve never played Riven, there are spoilers ahead!


War and IPI

This article was originally posted on October 12, 2014. I recently submitted it for consideration to the WarDec Project being undertaken by members of the EVE community. Today, Crossing Zebras published Lore Wars, which posits some very interesting ideas about how the war dec mechanic could be changed, partially inspired by my post below. Go read it! Well worth the time. Thanks to Jason Quixos for the shout out! ♥

Another war rages on against the [ipi].

Not a great war report.

Not a great war report.

And by “rages on”, what I actually mean is, “ILF got some in-game notifications about it but we’re ignoring them and going about our usual business”. Public-Enemy dec’d IPI for the second time in as many months just so they could shoot the customs offices ILF owned in the Placid hisec island. Power to them I guess, if hisec structure grinding floats their boat. If they (or their client, if there is one) wanted the offices that badly they could have just offered to buy them from us to save time and ammo. We weren’t making any ISK off them anyway. :p I shrug and hope they enjoyed shooting them.

I recognize that wars (“lol griefer” or otherwise) are part of PVP in EVE. I chose to give my time to this universe where people can destroy my stuff, even in hisec, whenever they feel like it. IPI by design is smack in the middle of one of the hottest PVP areas of Gallente space simply because of Intaki. That’s just how it is, and it isn’t going to change. After all, we wouldn’t be the Intaki Prosperity Initiative if we moved somewhere else. Everyone will always know where to find us. We will always be a target of one kind or another because of where we live and who we are.

Will we ever be an “elite” PVP alliance? Thousands of kills in a month? Wicked ISK efficiency? Probably not. Sure, I want to be a capable PVP pilot (yes, I know that means I actually have to undock!) and have people in my alliance who are capable at it too. I want my guys to have good fights and enjoy combat. But IPI being able to unzip some crazy PVP e-peen? That’s not why I play EVE.


Inspiration

Stuff™ is afoot for the Front!

Since November I have been thinking about making some (more) changes in the Intaki Liberation Front. Although I am the kind of person who enjoys being in a comfortable place where the status quo is stable and any curves have plateaued, leaving me to be free to spend my energy on other things, for ILF I think we are not quite there yet. There’s room for more improvement, even if it might be time-consuming and challenging. So for my corp (and alliance), it’s time to shake things up a little. Or a lot. (At least for us.)