Tuesday, January 19, 2010

EVE News

Here is a recent player generated news report on the fighting in Eve Online.

CONCORD Outer Region Political Summary (CORPS) Briefing

>>DED CORPS BRIEFING Y111.12.10/Y112.01.15


The past month has quite literally seen the outer regions of New Eden catch fire as several military campaigns began within days of each other in the first week of the new year. The final weeks of December saw null-sec diplomatic machinations reach a fever pitch as old allies formerly broke off ties and new political coalitions emerged to take advantage of the chaos.

Chief among these has been the seemingly unstoppable march of IT Alliance across the Fountain region. Internal issues in Pandemic Legion ally Sons of Tangra alliance led to sovereignty going neutral in the strategic outpost system of Y-2ANO. The morning of 3 January saw over 1300 capsuleers fighting for control of the system, with elements of Goonswarm, the Northern Coalition and Against ALL Authorities present, among others.

The battle ended heavily in IT and their allies favor, with over forty Goonswarm and Pandemic Legion capital ships destroyed. Most telling was the loss of four Pandemic Legion Titan-class ships. To put the scale of this battle in its proper perspective, it should be noted no less than fifteen IT Alliance Titans were accounted for on the battlefield alongside hundreds of other allied and enemy capital ships. While these numbers make any official report nearly fruitless, it can be estimated that both the loss of life and financial impact of this battle easily exceed any previously recorded in the history of New Eden.

The fall of Y-2ANO signaled the effective end of organized resistance in Fountain. IT Alliance now holds 10 outposts in the region and is currently taking control of all the region's lucrative moon mining locations. Additionally, reports coming in just last night indicate that IT has started to move into the Delve region with the intent of removing Goonswarm.

In the southeast, the Catch region has seen several battles as a territorial dispute has long-time neighbors Against ALL Authorities [AAA] and Curatores Veritatis Alliance [CVA] clashing repeatedly. CVA ally, Libertas Fidelitas Alliance, began dropping sovereignty claim markers in Catch just over a week ago in four strategic systems near the AAA-held gateway system of HED-GP. What started seemingly as a simple probing attack has now escalated into a full scale border war, with both sides calling in allies to bolster their already not-insignificant numbers.

AAA's efforts to counter attack have thus far focused on the system of SV5-8N, which was wrested back to AAA control just yesterday. With three more Catch systems still under Libertas Fidelitas control, it seems unlikely that this conflict will cease anytime soon. Public statements from CVA and their allies have been vague in terms of their actual territorial ambitions but very specific about AAA's friendly relationship with longtime CVA nemesis Ushra'Khan. Speculation is rampant as to what the long-term effects of the CVA-led incursion into what has traditionally been acknowledged as AAA space will be.

Catch is not the only area of space that has AAA's attention. Along with allies Systematic Chaos, C0ven and Ushra'Khan, AAA has begun an invasion of Querious starting with an attempt to take 49-U6U from Goonswarm. Fighting in the system has been very heavy but control of the system still remains firmly in Goonswarm's hands. It remains to be seen what effect IT Alliance's incursions into Delve and the CVA incursions into Catch will have on this particular front with respect to both Goons and AAA's commitment.

The northern region of Geminate continues to be a source of conflict as an invasion force led by Atlas Alliance and Solar Fleet. While Geminate's primary sovereignty holder is Wildly Inappropriate Alliance, they have seen massive backing from both Razor Alliance and Morsus Mihi of the Northern Coalition and neighbors Majesta Empire. Until recently, Goonswarm had also made appearances to assist against the invaders.

The primary focus of Atlas and Solar Fleet has been to gain a foothold in the region by attempting to take the outpost in Y8R-XZ. After nearly three weeks of fighting this was accomplished on the 9th of January, with Solar Fleet taking sovereignty of the system. Atlas and Solar Fleet's next move seems to be attempting to expand their beachhead in Geminate by taking the adjacent outpost system of 04-LQM.

Pure Blind, which has been the home of Mostly Harmless alliance for most of the past year has come under siege from a large coalition of alliances. Triumvirate, Evoke, Red Overlord, Cry Havoc, The Initiative and Circle of Two are the primary offensive arm of the invading forces. Mostly Harmless has seen heavy reinforcement on numerous occasions from the Northern Coalition but their headquarters station of P-2TTL finally fell into the hands of The Initiative. Mostly Harmless now only controls one of the four outposts in the region but fighting now seems to be focused on the 40+ valuable moons in the region.

>> END

My corporation is a member of the LFA alliance and in the thick of the fighting between CVA and AAA. At one point in time we had 600 ally pilots pressing the attack on AAA... and we were only the 2nd biggest fight that week.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Dust 514 Trailer

I don't think I could do a write-up of this as yet unreleased game justice. But the upshot is that it will be initially a console based First Person Shooter based on the Eve Online game universe. This will make it a HALO-like game with more strategic impact. The Eve game world is persistent and is based on the success of player combats (giant fleet battles between star ships). One proposed element is for Dust 514 combat to have an impact on who controls a planet and that will have an impact on who controls a solar system in Eve Online.

The concept has merit, but CCP's track record for delivering on their cool "out there" developments is nil. They release updates to Eve on a very regular basis, but these changes are rarely "revolutionary" and usually just fixing parts of the game that have been clunky for years.

I started playing Eve about 5 years ago after reading an announcement that they were about to launch human avatar game elements. Basically allowing you to really feel like a character in the game rather than just a collection of ships. But in 5 years... still no avatars. The game is great fun (as my other posts tagged Eve can attest). But I'm not hopeful of a development company who is just barely hanging on to upgrading their single platform game suddenly being able to launch a 2nd game effectively... certainly not within 5 years of the initial announcement if history repeats. So be looking for Dust 514 on Playstation 4 in 2015...

Game On!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Where to find fun RPG stuff

I've posted all over various forums and scoured the web for fun RPG material. While I have posted these to various boards, I've never captured them in a blog. So here is a list of good links to things that I thought were cool. These things never last forever so some links may be dead. These resources were primarily of interest to me as they applied to d20 systems. Most of these are directly d20 Modern or d20 OGL (Open Game Licence) resources, but good ideas are good ideas and virtually anything can be converted to your favorite system.

RPGObjects / Vigiliant Press http://www.rpgobjects.com
Primarily driven by the creative efforts of Chuck Rice, RPGO represents (IMO) one of the best examples of independent game publishing. They always have high production value and great content. RPGO publishes in d20 OGL, True20, and their own system Modern^20.

Green Ronin http://www.greenronin.com and http://www.true20.com
GR has some of the best actual print books out for table top gaming. They have dabbled in d20 OGL and developed their own system which is my personal favorite, True20. The are also the masterminds behind Mutants & Masterminds, a super's based RPG. Everything they do is certain to be the highest quality and value.

The Game Mechanics http://www.thegamemechancs.com
Former Wizards of the Coast authors gone indy. They may not have done anything really new in a while, they still represent great writing and good content.

12 to Midnight http://www.12tomidnight.com
For me, these guys are the absolute master of creep. Their content puts a lot of thrill in to a table top game. The are big fans of Savage Worlds system and everything they write has a SV version as well as d20 versions.

Pinnacle Entertainment Group http://www.peginc.com
While on the subject of Savage Worlds, here's the folks that publish that system. They also write for many genre's and SV is a fast paced game with lots of flavor.

Michael Tresca http://michael.tresca.net
A one man game writing machine and creative spirit. Michael writes for fun and profit, but he has many free PDF's for download on his site. If you're an action movie fan, then Michael may have already written a d20 converstion for you. He has Terminator, Aliens, and many other movie converts on his site. A great freebie find.

Dog House Rules http://www.doghouserules.net
These guys do a very fine Western genre d20 game. Lots of good flavor downloads as well.

Blue Devil Games http://www.bluedevilgames.com
These guys started out with fantasy RPG material, but I discovered them while looking for Sci-Fi material. They have produced a massive Sci-Fi product in Dawning Star. Detailed, fun, and well written.

Crafty Games http://www.crafty-games.com
Spycraft is an excellent d20 system that is not OGL or d20 Modern. It is still d20 based, but has so many enhancements it really can not be called the same game. This would be a fantastic system for a hardcore game group. Plenty of great ideas to be had here.

You can buy all of these publishers from http://www.rpgnow.com (and many, many more). In fact, you can find PDF's on every genre, every open system, and plenty of new systems here too.

Another busy hub of all things RPG is http://www.enworld.net which has forums, reviews, and some of their own pulp to boot. A must have resource for the avid gamer.

Enjoy! Game On!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Post Holiday

So I had about three weeks off this vacation. New Zealand does a bit of a total shutdown during the summer/new year's/christmas break. I dig it. It was a good vacation, but I did have to put a lot of energy in other things. But here is the gaming update. :-)

I'm up to about level 133 in Castle Age. Again, i'll appologize now to all my Facebook friends that have to endure multiple daily updates on Castle Age. The focus of this game at this level seems to be in slaying the epic monsters. I've complete all the quests at least once. One of the cool mechanics to CA is the concept of "Generals" which are heroes you buy to run your quests. Each quest is associated with a particular General. Running a quest with the right General gains you some influence on that quest and when you get to 100% influence you open up 2 sub-quests (that can be run with any General). Once you run the 2 sub-quests up to 100% the main quest resets to 0% at Level 2. This cycle can now be repeated to a maximum influence level of 4. Quests are grouped in to 6-7 "zones" and once you have gained 100% influence in 4 of the quests in a zone you open up a special boss fight. The boss fights have a chance to drop Orbs that allow you to summon the Epic monster fights that other players can assist with. CA has many other widgets to it though. You can give tribute to several Gods/Goddesses that will open up special quests and items. There is also a mysterious option to open up a zone called Atlantis, but to do so you have to run Epic Sea Serpent quests until you score 4 map piece drops. All in all, it is one of the most well developed FB games I've seen. Visually well done, good story, interesting mechanics, and the do keep adding new bits to it every couple of weeks or so.

The other game of my life is a return to Eve Online. I move both my pilots in to a corporation run by old friend (Eve friends, none that I've actually met). Our corp has now moved in to a 0.0 region called Providence. Providence is interesting because it is one of the great player driven experiments only possible in Eve. All 0.0 zones are full PvP and virtually all of them are run in a manner equivalent to the most brutal gang warfare. The only territory you can keep is that which you can defend. Corporations constantly form alliances and friendships that perpetually shift as everyone jockies for the ultimate in "free" resources. Eve is primarily a long epic of bitter betrayals and ruthless aggression. The game allows mechanics to tag players, corporations or whole alliances as targets to be killed or allies. Folks that are untag are considered neutrals. In 0.0, you typically only have friends or enemies and since neutrals can never be called friends they are considered enemies and they are ruthlessly attacked and killed. But this is not true in Providence. In this region the players that control the massive alliances which live in the region have decided that neutrals are not to be killed. They are welcomed and allowed to use the systems (mining or bounty hunting) as long as they also honor the don't shoot policy. If anyone violates this rule they are branded enemies and killed on sight.

Again, what I find endlessly fascinating about Eve is that all of these stories are totally player created. CCP did not specify that Providence be a neutral safe zone, people who play the game did. There have been massive holy wars over it. Providence has become part of the Eve story completely fabricated by the players.

Amy has been playing World of Warcraft on her xmas gift cards. I've poked at it a little. I leveled one toon from 70 to 71. But that's about it. The time to level in WoW is really long at 70+. After turning in some 200 quests, I'm tired of being the same level, but in WoW you still are. But it is still a pretty game.

That's what I'm playin'. Game On!