Sunday, 23 February 2014

Catching up on the Forums

CCP Mining Operation

CCP held a mining operation for rookie pilots. The folks from Snigwaffe paid a visit and performed a fail-gank to help relieve the boredom. TheMrFunday posted some pictures of the event via Reddit.

Genolution 'Auroral' AU-79 Reminder

Just a reminder to folks: if you unplug the Genolution 'Auroral' AU-79 implant, you lose it forever.

Does EVE Need New Players?

The perennial complaint about hisec wardec corps not picking on people their own size resurfaces for the entertainment of us all!

Rubicon 1.2 Issues

The Rubicon 1.2 issues thread has reports of the following:
  • unable to log on (a fix is suggested)
  • (fixed in Rubicon 1.2.1 ) courier contracts, asset window, and distribution missions were reporting bizarre distances and lowsec warnings due to a change in CCP's route-finding code
  • some people are having problems with shortcut keys for flying in space commands such as orbit, approach, etc
  • some asteroid belts have moved around due to a correction of map data, so a bookmark to asteroid belt 4 might actually take you to asteroid belt 2: it's the belt that has moved, not your bookmark
  • waypoint display is adding extra symbols for systems that are waypoints in a longer route
  • missile smoke trails are still missing

Monday, 27 January 2014

The Mythical Social Wall

This is a response to Ripard Teg's "Prepare for Staging"

I suspect the "social wall" is an imaginary construct created by an economist to explain psychology which he doesn't understand.

As a casual gamer (sure, I'm logged in to EVE for several hours a day some days, but I'm rarely at the keyboard for three hours nonstop) I play in fits and spurts. This is anathema to forming lasting social connections: the best WoW guilds and EVE groups I've been part of had a core of social people with a retinue of coconspirators who would provide the necessary "social inertia" to keep the group running when the core were temporarily away.

My main examples of "overcoming the social wall" are casual and hardcore raiding guilds from World of Warcraft: you'd start conversations with people in the area that you were questing, people you were running PUGs with, or met through other means. Then you'd find that you have a similar interest and playtime, so you'd start looking for them the next time you played. Eventually you'd end up recruiting them for your guild.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

CSM 8 Summer 2013 Minutes: Language Support and the CSM

This is a modified version of the transcript supplied in the CSM-authored minutes.

Session 21: Language Support and the CSM

CSM present: Mangala Solaris, Sala Cameron (via Lync)
CPM present: Hans Jagerblitzen, Nova Knife (via Lync)
CCP present: CCP Leeloo (Russian), CCP Azalea (Japanese), CCP Phantom (German), CCP Vesna Prishla (Russian)

Note: This session is presented in modified transcript format as an experiment. We welcome your feedback.

[Scene: a comfortable meeting hall in a Jovian station. Panoramic views along one side show the station undock and the near face of the planet the station is anchored to. The planet is a post-garden temperate world, it looks very sick]

Leeloo: Why we are here: Language Support & the CSM.
Leeloo: How many CSM can speak other languages?
Trebor: I speak Japanese, very very badly.
Ali Aras: Sala Cameron & Chitsa Jason speak other languages.
Leeloo: How many of you participate in the localised community forums?

<silence>

Mike Azariah: [to Sala Cameron] do you do localised forums?
Sala Cameron: [shakes head sagely] I do not use the german forums.
Leeloo: If you do have a language ability, we would like to see more of the CSM take time to communicate on the localised forums with non-english speakers.
Vesna Prishlahantom: A lot of folks on the official Russian forums would love to speak to Korvin for example.
Korvin: I don't use that forum much, people tend to use eve.ru or evemail me directly.
Leeloo: You can use that forum though, initiate threads and so on
Korvin: I would not want to do that, I would prefer people to use the mediums they like. As right now EVEO is not a user-friendly forum.
Ripard Teg: [nods his agreement, and leans forward eagerly to contribute] I agree! The forums are not particularly user-friendly, and some of the misfeatures of the current forum software are really quite painful to deal with!
Trebor: What you should ask is "how many of the English speakers are forum users?"
Ripard Teg: I use the official forums through need not choice, there are better resources out there.
Leeloo: What in your opinion do you think is wrong with the localised forums? Why do people not participate? Is it due to the localised languages lacking a large audience or the forum software?
Korvin: The organisation, software - rep system, linking pictures, navigation are all issues on EVEO.
Trebor: Notification system never works correctly.
Ripard Teg: Its esoteric, little flag in the corner, works when it wants.
Korvin: Unofficial forums are open to all, EVEO use is locked behind a sub, so people tend to use unofficial forums when they have questions when they are not subscribed.
Leeloo: Do you think it is the rules of the forums being too strict, which causes people to stay away?
Mynnna: Rules overall are fine. Notes that he has seen some valid arguments that the rules too strict on SOME of the forums, ie stricter rules killed COAD but mostly they are good enough.
Leeloo: What can you say about the localised sections? Do not have many of them so they have more stricter rules that apply to all. What could CCP change?
Korvin: The main reasons to use EVEO localised forums are the official translations of CCP News that are posted there, or to address CCP about issues users may have or indeed just to shout at localised community representatives hoping they bring any issues to CCP themselves.
Korvin: This is not what forums should be, they should be used by players to communicate with each other, and they are not suitable for this right now.
Phantom: The German, Japanese & Russian playerbase is around 25% of total subs right now. This is a decent amount of players. From using the localised forums I know for example that the German players are interested in industry, science and all that stuff. A lot of interesting ideas are posted on the localised forums, I think it would be beneficial to CSM & CCP to listen to those ideas.
Phantom: On the localised forums, the community representatives read these good ideas, chase feedback and bring that to the developers and say "hey this is feedback on x or y idea". Or they read a question on the English sections, that is similar to a question asked on the localised forums, the community reps can then take any answer from the English sections, and link/post it to the localised forums. However this does not work in the reverse that well. Players who use the localised forums have questions/feedback but it becomes difficult to get to the developer to give answers on the localised areas due to the language barrier.
Phantom: it would be good to get the CSM to step in & say "okay, we have discussed x or y, this is known and so on".
Leeloo: Do you read a lot of localised forums?
Korvin: I check them from time to time just to see if new things are there he may have missed elsewhere, but only because I am on the CSM.
Leeloo: So you have some kind of summary in your head you can give to developers, discuss then return to players with feedback?
Korvin: Sure
Mike Azariah: I note that Phantom said those 3 localised communities make up 25% of the subs. Do they make up 25% of the forum activity?
[Indistinct murmur from the crowd of observers]: no
Mike Azariah: Thats what I was afraid of. The localised forums are not dead, but withering on the vine.
Phantom: On the German forum, there are maybe 20-25 posters that contribute the most. Very limited interaction there.
Leeloo: Same for the russian forums.
Phantom: There are some good ideas there, so it’s not all bad.
Mike Azariah: During the election, did the localised community team get a metric during the election about who voted?
Mike Azariah: [Jovially (get it)] "I know the Russians voted" [indicates Korvin]
[general laughter from those gathered]
Mike Azariah: What was the election turnout in the other communities? Was there a Japanese candidate?
Azalea: There was not. I translated all the candidate information and posted to the Japanese forums.
[general murmur of pleased appreciation from the room]
Trebor: One of the reasons I supported a move to the new election system is it becomes much much easier for foreign language candidates to have a chance of getting on CSM especially a Japanese candidate.
Trebor: It is a good thing in the long term if these communities are represented on the CSM.
Trebor: I would appreciate it if Azalea would work with his community to encourage a really good Japanese candidate to run, the CSM can help with this and help raise their visibility, however this is a chicken and egg issue.
Mynnna: I’m sure Trebor is trying to rig the election AGAIN
[laughter]
Trebor: The reason you have few international CSM coming on, is that most CSM are English speakers, or Russians who are Evil.
Korvin: What?
Trebor: Case in point [indicates Vesna Prishla]
Leeloo: Another potential problem is that - like with ISD - community staff on this team need to be bilingual, to communicate with the team and with other people.
Korvin: [to Vesna Prishla] How often did you check the Russian forums during CSM 6?
Vesna Prishla: [trying hard to recall some facts] I remember posting on there during & after the election as well as also organizing things on it.
Trebor: I suggest that the CSM could help the localised community team with items like the crowdsourcing CSM recently undertook, pass this to them to get it translated so their communities can more easily contribute.
James Arget: CSM is going to do another soon that is UI related. Asking for pictures not words, so if the team can just translate news posts, CSM does not need a translated answer at all. It would be great to get them involved here and is possible to push that out to all language groups.
James Arget: … I tried to translate my campaign site, and had to pay my corp mates to help, using online translators but that just resulted in a bad job.
Phantom: This brings up an interesting thing regarding the CSM elections, if no one is really present & taking care of things on the localised forums, then a candidate has a chance to say "I AM YOUR GUY" and potentially walk away with a solid block of votes.
Trebor: Dolan wont tell me how many Japanese votes I got.
Phantom: If you have enough Germans behind you then its a strong point.
Ripard Teg: It all comes down to someone who mobilises that vote, however the CSM is mostly English speaking as the players are mostly English speaking, yet still had trouble mobilising more than 20% of the playerbase. if you mobilise 20% of the Japanese or German vote, you would get only a couple of hundred?
Phantom: A bit more.
Ripard Teg: Early in my campaign I stated, "I needed 5k to get into the ballpark", so the CSM presence in the localised areas has to grow with those communities.
Phantom: On a slightly unrelated note, would CSM like to step into the communities and say we will reserve a spot for these groups on future CSMs?
Ripard Teg: Thats what STV was supposed to do, if Germans are 1/14th of the community, and they get 1/14th of the vote then they could get a seat
Phantom: Does CSM read or get feedback from other sources & forums?
Ripard Teg: Yes
Mike Azariah: Yes
Trebor: I get evemails from foreign language groups - in English obviously
Ripard Teg: I know a large German alliance endorsed me.
Mike Azariah: I had a conversation with a Russian voter & had to use google translate for 15 exchanges and *then* I had to figure out what the translations meant!
Korvin: Crowd sourcing had a lot of Russian proposals
Ripard Teg: You want to know how I got the German edorsement? An alliance leader invited me on teamspeak, and acted as translator!
James Arget: I would like to speak to localised groups more, but without official aid this is hard - as apparently Russian wormholers hate him, so he cannot use unofficial resources!
Phantom: If CSM was draw up a short introduction or news items for the localised communities the language team can post them.
Trebor: If you want to gather/solicit questions from your communities and then pass them to CSM to answer. These can then be returned to you and then the team can translate & post the answers.
Ripard Teg: The team should translate the news articles about the CSM townhalls and appear on these to translate questions received too.
Trebor: CSM could even do localised townhalls, although the timing would have to be worked on especially for the Japanese community.
Ripard Teg: For each of the localised communities, as I said the key figure is 1/14th in order to get a CSM se—
Ali Aras: [Interjects] 1/14th of active voters.
Ripard Teg: Lets start with active players. Certainly the Russians represent 1/14th of active players, do the Germans or Japanese represent this number?
Phantom: Yes, the Germans & Russians are about the same proportion of active players.
Ripard Teg: Theoretically then should a German candidate should have been elected
Ali Aras: Someone who was campaigning as a member of the German community (Sala Cameron) was saying on the lync call - in type - that he thought about campaigning on localised forums however did not given the points raised earlier about the activity levels on eve-o and user environment on eveger for example
Trebor: In previous CSM's Meissa very heavily campaigned on the localised forums and got a lot of German & French support, he was THEIR guy.
Ripard Teg: Says it sounds like localised communities get the representation on the CSM they have in the community. Future tactics should be to expand the localised communities.
Ripard Teg: The Japanese community will get a CSM rep when it hits that [indistinct]
Trebor: I think the Japanese community will get a CSM member before that, especially under the new election system, as this system is all about awareness and broad support. Any potential candidate will not get on purely through being Japanese.
Ripard Teg: Mentions that yes, it is a base, but you then need to expand through alliances with others as many of the current CSM did.
Phantom: Regarding the CSM townhalls, the localised forums have weekly summaries translated to all three languages, and the townhalls have been mentioned there. The localised townhalls suggested earlier may very well be worth an experiment.
Mike Azariah: Would people actually turn up?
Korvin: I am most certainly ready to try this experiment, starting with a Russian community townhall.
Dolan: Sorry folks, we have to end it here. Lets get a thread on the forums.
[the CSM returns to their quarters where they are transferred back to other clones scattered through non-Jovian space]

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Mobile Tractor Unit

The pre-sales support engineer (that's the title his business card gave him) bumped into me while I was handing over a salvaging contract. “Mara,” he chimed (oblivious to the fact that I call myself Rinn), “I've got just the thing to help your salvaging work!”

I corrected him about my name (it's a long story, my name is Rinn, I'm from Mara) and started listening as best I could. There was time, and he was buying.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Some surprises aren't nice

The steady hum of the tractor beams and buzz of the salvagers was lulling her into a soporific state. Out here, one could easily fall into comfortable meditation. The beautiful nebulas reminded her of life in the caravan with her parents. Mara was remembering the attack, the walls exploding as the boarding parties bypassed the airlocks and just punched straight through the ship's hull. The slaver hounds, drool hanging from their gaping, razor-toothed maws. The growling.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Cliffs Notes: Background material for discussion of Odyssey Hacking

Hacking Minigame

Officially, the design influence was games like Rogue and Munchkin. During FanFest a few of us had a brief conversation on Twitter about the hacking game: during that conversation a couple of different games were mentioned, being Deus Ex and the old Amiga game Paradroids.
What follows are my "Cliffs Notes" on these four games: Deus Ex hacking, Paradroids hacking, Munchkin and Rogue.

Odyssey Exploration Hacking Is Broken By Design

Here's the official feedback thread for exploration hacking. This is a rare case where the players are actually better at game design than the CCP devs.