Sunday, January 19, 2014

Oh, The Places You'll Go

Holy mother of God.  I guess I chose the wrong day to work on Saturday...or in hindsight, maybe I chose the right day.  We have two issues to address today, so let's get to work.  Please note that the following post will seem very sharp and pointed.  This is intended.  I'm rather furious about these issues, and dammit, you deserve to hear the unabridged truth.

First and foremost, let's talk about Friday Night, and the 15th installment of No Fucks Given.  As you may recall, this is the drunk roam we do in low sec once a week to piss away all of that security status that nobody wants anyways.  What started as a small fleet ended as an even smaller fleet.  And by small, I mean 2 tech one battlecruisers, a heavy assault cruiser, and a lonely Thorax.  We posted up on our usual gate, in hopes of good fights and ganks.  What we got was absolutely steamrolled.  The first couple of lone kills temporarly satisfied the thirst for blood that was denied in the earlier roam.  What happened to effectively end this fleet is nothing short of hysterical.  Situation was simple:  lone Brutix jumping through to our camp.  Surely an easy kill, but not one without risk, as we didn't have any logistics or electronic warfare with us.  Sure as Kate Upton gives me a chub, he jumped in, and glorious tackle was established.  His shields melted like the inhibitions of a 19 year old sorority girl after a half dozen Jagerbombs.  Of course, we expected this, because seriously, who the hell shield tanks a Brutix?  As he approached 70% armor, he threw us a curveball and lights a cyno.  I have the gang continue to apply DPS because no one actually bridged first.  Then, with the whoosh of a nasty beer fart, a black ops fleet jumps in...and oh look, they brought an Archon for reps.

Now, make no mistake about it, I'm totally cool with this.  It's a game mechanic, and if they're willing to risk this much ISK just to come at us, they deserve to kill us.  Where I draw the line was the local chatter afterwards.  This fleet took to senseless name calling, basically call our entire alliance shit, then proceeded to strut and chest-pound.  Now seriously, look at the grid here.  Why the hell would you roll this deep, then brag about how awesome you are?  You're not pro, nor are you elite.  You simply overwhelmed us with superior number and equipment.  Yes, you were going to win that fight no matter what.  I hate to break it to you, but Razor has much bigger fish to fry, so expecting us to escalate this from halfway across the universe is like expecting a dude to quit banging his buddy's hot sister because the buddy wants him to.  Why the hell would he, and why the hell would we escalate some Mickey Mouse bullshit engagement like this?


So, now that we got that out of the way, let's talk about the massive engagement in HED-GP, or what will forever be now known as LAG-GP.  I bring you the story with 124.6% more SOUL-CRUSHING LAG!  You see, the end result of this engagement is that CCP will, in all likeliness, be reimbursing well over a trillion in losses on both sides, as they failed to keep the server together yet again.  Now, the node did stay active, despite efforts by N3/PL to crash it as soon as their mission was achieved, but it's not like anything was actually happening, unless you were in a titan, then you had a very good day.  LAG-GP is a pretty well known system in the south, and represents one of the most important strategic points on the map, especially for our hammer and sickle friends to the east.

Fucking Important!!!11
Our enemies, who will be known furthermore in this blog as the Asshat Coalition or Asshats, managed to set up at least 12 hours in advance of the Clusterfuck call-to-arms.  What they did was nothing short of extraordinary, but they've made a fatal mistake.  You see, by staging in the system early, they got first dibs on the extremely limited bandwidth available for this node.  This is what caused the CFC dreads to get blown up in warp bubbles before ever landing on grid.  When Asshat Titan gets first crack at the pipeline, you get second crack.  When a thousand of them all get first shot at the bandwidth, you get SOUL-CRUSHING LAG!  This strategy worked brilliantly for the Asshats, so a "well done" is deserved.  You effectively managed to flood the pipeline, resulting in lots of glorious losses to the CFC.  Although this strategy was sound in this regard, it did give them an unfair advantage; this is something CCP really strives to avoid.  I believe CCP realizes this, and will be moving very shortly to reimburse these losses.


Now, for the issue of N3/PL, formerly known as Asshats, who will now be known as Droneswarm Coalition.  There are legitimate scans from the field during the battle showing drones everywhere.  This is to be expected during a capital fight, but let's dig a little further.  By best count, using simple math, I was able to deduce that there were on average, 42 drones per ship on field.  Now, there is always a possibility that many of these drones were from ships that were already blown up.  Problem is, these numbers were derived before the big time shooting commenced.  I have personally seen Droneswarm pull this trick in the past where they launch drone, abandon them, and launch more drones, until the drone bay is empty.  By launching 18 bajillion flights of drones, you stress the CPU of the server, thus forcing server instability  I believe the first time a node crashed happened, it was purely by accident, thanks to an organic fight in Z9, and a really dumb CCP employee...but I believe they took notice.  They realized that they could control the metagame by crashing the server.  Enter E-Y, an engagement where Droneswarm successfully crashed the node, despite the relatively even numbers on both sides.

It is my belief that Droneswarm, with CVA help, attempted to crash the node yesterday after they structure bashed, and after they realized that Goons's staging system was on the same node.  Now, I'm not sure who the absolute fucking moron at CCP is who thought this was a good idea, but it simply accomplished nothing more than to show continued bias from CCP in favor of N3 and PL.  Obviously, with the festivities starting in LAG-GP, and Droneswarm being in system 12 hours early, they were already experiencing time dilation long before the first CFC ship ever landed in system (ironically, this was about 4 hours after they actually cynoed in).  It's almost like CCP didn't want Goons to even be able to respond.  So, with Goons frozen in their staging system, and the iHub down, there's absolutely no tactical advantage to sticking around for a fight.  Lucky for Goons, CCP fixed the problem by rolling G-0 off the node, and allowing Goons to do work, but it was too little, too late.

CCP Headquarters, Main Concourse

CCP continues to grossly mismanage the metagame in null-sec, showing a clear bias against the CFC.  By allowing Droneswarm to effectively stall any system of their choosing, CCP has created a stalemate situation.  If either side wants to reinforce a system, and things escalate, both sides know they can crash a node with ease.  So, if you sovereignty is attacked, you simply crash the node, and you maintain your sovereignty.  There are some very simple fixes that CCP needs to look at before this gets any further out of hand.

For starters, I'm led to believe that the EVE Online servers are running on a 32-bit backbone.  Wait...seriously?!  Guys, it's 2014.  This is simply unacceptable.  Double your pleasure, double your fun!  This would create a noticeable difference in performance on the server, allowing CPU loads to be better managed. (Please note:  I have not personally confirmed this fact, so it may be bullshit).

Secondly, let's talk about traffic control for a minute.  Anyone remember the old days?  You know, the "traffic control active -- you will jump in xxx seconds" days?  Albeit an archaic system, it was brutally effective at preventing the lag-o-thons of the modern day.  My simple solution?  Limit the number of pilots in local to a number around 1,000, as this appears to be the number that the EVE Online reinforced node can handle without significant problems.  But Med, if only 1,000 can get in, what if they're all N3/PL folks and we can't even get in?  No problem!  Hit another system!  If CFC rolls 1,000 deep in another system, N3/PL would be unable to respond, as local would be capped.  Limitations like this could be problematic in the short term, but it would seriously make every coalition rethink their strategy moving forward, and more importantly, it would place a premium on every pilot and every ship you elect to take, instead of allowing everyone in a Rifter or Vexor to shit up precious resources with their ship that has zero impact on the impending battle.  This may sound a little harsh (or communist, depending on your views), but it's certainly better than the current situation.

Typical PL Pilot
Finally, let's talk about backbone code.  The best solution to this problem is simply rewrite the code.  The backbone of EVE Online was written over 10 years ago, and by CCP's own admission, the code is outdated, and basically pure shit by today's standards.  This code is long overdue to be cleaned up, but the amount of time and money that would need to be invested is astronomical.  Blizzard Entertainment, a direct competitor to CCP Games, had to bite this bullet a few years back when faced with a similar situation in their popular MMO World of Warcraft.  Blizzard's answer?  Sell the controlling interest to Activision.  In the agreement, Blizzard retains all creative rights, but Activision gets some of the profits.  This agreement gave Blizzard the capital (read:  money) to completely revamp their code and server cluster to be more conducive to cross-realm play and reduce lag and "rubber-banding" (Google it if you don't know what it is) by over 20%.  Maybe it's time that CCP visits this option, as I'm sure there are game publishers out there who would be very interested in siting down and discussing this option.  This could also benefit all of us, as a legitimate publisher could vastly increase US-based subscriptions with a few targeted marketing campaigns.  It's no secret that CCP has left the US market relatively untapped, and I'm sure they'd love an influx of subscribers (read:  money)

This Fuckin' Cat Has More Than Me
Ok, one more quick hit, then I'll let you get back to your internet spaceships while I prepare for a fun day of watching football.  A year ago, I joined MINC in my first run in Razor.  When I joined, a guy by the name of Roland Cassidy took me under his wing a bit, and tried to acclimate me to the Razor life.  Well, real life be dammed, I simply didn't have the time to invest in EVE, so I left MINC on good terms.  Fast forward a little bit, and I ended up applying back to Razor, but this time with Repercussus.  Some of the MINC guys that I flew around with, like PWO SWAT, Jonathan Pryde, Driven Killer, and of course, Roland Cassidy, were all now in RP, so it seemed like an good fit.  Boy, I was right about that!  I can't even begin to tell you how much fun I'm having with RP and some of the bros from MINC, and all of the RP guys for that matter.  We have a fucking blast (no pun intended) on a daily basis.  Roland came to me a little over a month ago, and informed me that he was running for CSM 9.  Now, Roland is a pretty well known guy in the Razor universe, and his writings on the roleplaying side are nothing to be looked over.  He's also the guy who I tapped to help me with my current project in Repercussus, because he's a great writer, very passionate about the game, and just an all-around good guy to hang out with on comms and in fleet.  I told him I would be the first to officially announce his candidacy.  In some upcoming communications, mostly from the official Repercussus-side, we'll be discussing his platform and ideas in detail, and hopefully having a town hall meeting with anyone who wishes to attend and ask him questions about where he wants to see the future of EVE Online.  Roland, my friend, you have my vote.

CSM 9 Candidate, and Eventual Winner, Roland Cassidy
Also, in the same breath, the ranks of Repercussus are getting one pilot thinner, as Tennebrae Umbrascen will be shipping out in the next couple of days to join the military.  Tennebrae, or Tenpenny as I affectionately call him, is a guy I flew with back in my EVE-Uni days, and always had a good time being around.  His presence will certainly be missed in the pilot's lounge.  Be safe, my friend, and don't forget to check in with us from time to time and let us know how you're doing.

Fly it like you stole it,



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