Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Making The Game: Billing

I know, what a boring topic... Only one with potential, I think...

I'm not entirely sure why this topic came to me as I was sitting down at the breakfast table to study the scriptures. (Yes, I'm religious.) But I put it on the mental backburner to write about during the day today, and the more I think about it, the more this seems like an important tool that is missing in EVE.

Sure, we can enter into hand-written contracts, kept track of in an Excel sheet somewhere on our desktops back in meatspace, and try and remember to double-check our corporation finances tabs on a regular basis to see who has paid their monthly dues, whether that is as a renter, or for 'protection' from pirates, or whatever. But would it really be that hard to build it in?

Imagine the possibilities if not only could you create contractual bills, where individuals required to pay their bill would get reminders in the notifications tab just like when they need to pay for an NPC controlled office or headquarters, but you could set up consequences?

I'll give you an example. Or two.

Ok, I'll admit, I used the S word because it gets people to read what I'm saying... *Grin* But, that aside, this really does touch on Sovereignty in an important way.

Sovereignty costs. Nowadays it costs more than it used to, and from what I understand, some folk find it harder than others to raise the capital on an alliance level to pay for all the toys they want their systems to have. But, Minuit, you ask, how can billing and consequences help us to pay for our toys? Well, I'll tell you, dear reader.

If your corporation, or alliance, is anything like mine, you get access to certain tabs of your corporate hangers based upon your skillset, the amount of trust you've earned and your needs. Well, imagine that, instead of taxing folk for their bounties/missions and hoping that none of your corp-mates earn their money through silly things like: Wormholes, Trade, Invention, Production, Mining, or any other untaxable method, why not drop that Corp-tax down to 0% and institute a corp-wide bill. Every member pays X-Million a month for the priviledge of access to Corp/Alliance resources. Anyone in arears will be visible as 'unpaid' to the corporation leadership and can be removed if they don't address the matter in a timely fashion. Suddenly, you go from 'herding cats' to get people to donate towards paying for that Jump Bridge network, to automated smoothness.

This one has a wide array of applications, from Renters to Non-Aggression Pacts to Pirate 'Protection' rackets. Put quite simply, you pay, or your standings change.

Seems straight-forward enough to me. Pay your bill on time or lose Blue status. Pay your bill on time or have your Neutral status dropped to Red. Whichever function suits you best, you really ought to pay your bill if you don't want that carefully negotiated deal to go sour all of a sudden.

In conclusion, I believe that adding in a Billing system would be a huge asset to corporation and alliance management, would provide an effective solution to Sovereignty issues of raising capital, and also provide any number of other options in true sandbox style that the players of EVE would rally around excitedly.

What do YOU think about introducing Billing?

Can YOU think of any different uses for such a system?

Fly Straight, and post comments! ;)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Loki Ahoy!

So, as my skills slowly develop, I find myself finding a handful of roles where the Loki can shine. Not necessarily 'the be all end all' of ships, but a ship that I can customize to a specific niche and perform better than other ships I could fly for that same niche. Really, that's what the Strategic Cruiser is designed for, right?!

So, today my first set of three Loki hulls were dropped in the oven back at the Caeleste Ad Media Nox. I thought that was pretty awesome, and did a bit of a happy dance... BUT... There was more good news on its way!

The night before I had stocked up the Experimental Lab with as many jobs as Katt's skills would allow, and left it to cook overnight. I delivered the jobs, and was getting discouraged as job after job returned no successful result. Finally however, one of the seven jobs we input had a successful return! It wasn't a new offensive array, nor a new propulsion, both of which I'd been kinda hopeful for. It was another 3 run Loki Blueprint!!

So, as I chortle wildly to myself and break out EFT to decide on fittings for my first three Loki (I'm still open to suggestions, folks...) I now have that pleasant realization that with the exception of about 60mil of items, I have everything on hand that I'll need to make ANOTHER 3 Loki.

With a stable of 6 Strategic Cruiser's up my sleeve, I figure I should be able to fly and learn the craft without too much fear of loss, at least until I'm half-way through the stable or so!

Fly Straight, pilots!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Getting into a bit of the action...

So I managed to make it out into a fleet today. Yay me!

I only had a bit over an hour, so when I logged into my Stiletto and was informed that the fleet had left and was just a jump away, I hurried along like a good little grunt and caught up shortly. With a fleet sizeable enough to draw complaints of "blob" from those people who weren't currently in a fleet (Aka, more than 5, but less than 1000, which I think would draw cries of 'Oh My Gosh, NODE CRASHING PARTY' as opposed to the far less complimentary 'blob',) we headed out into the great black.

I listened on comms as the scout singlehandedly chased away pretty much everyone in our path, pretty certain that the few docked up or otherwise tedious to track down individuals we had passed along our roam had already spoken up in their intel channels and cleared our path, it was looking like no action for The Dirk today.

Fortunately, some of our own intelligence (intel rocks) filtered back and we managed to charge forward en masse to drop in on a pair of unsuspecting Harbingers.

We wandered on and our scout engaged an enemy, drawing his buddies through to him as we jumped in to assist. Unfortunately, our scout met his end upon our arrival, and the buddies got away, save for the one tethered in place by The Dirk's point. Happy to be so vitally involved, I fair giggled with glee when his armor collapsed. Which in case you can't tell by the number of folks on the killmail, didn't take long.

Shortly after that, I had to log, so I warped off in a random direction and looked forward to the challenge of returning home.

Logged back in a while later, and hunched over my EVE station, eyes alert, maps at the ready. I passed through 7 systems, and only in the last 3 were there any people, and they were all blue. Disappointed, I was just coming out in the second from last system when I heard intel on someone warping my way. Curious, I waited patiently until Kirzath arrived. 188 off gate in a Claw.

I shrugged mentally, having no real idea on if my Stiletto was close to up to snuff, but figuring I could likely hang onto him long enough for SOMEONE to get him, I charged. I'm guessing he figured he could kill me before reinforcements arrived, because he did likewise.

My long-point snatched hold of him, and we made an opening pass, just a love-tap on each others shields. He took it out to distance and I overheated the MWD and brought it back in close, this time dropping the Scrambler I had fitted for such occaisions into place, along with my web, bringing his zipping rampage to a crawl. He knocked my MWD offline with his own scrambler, but for a while there our guns looked to be chewing shield at about the same rate.

Unfortunately for me, he was tidily armor tanked for such solo fights, and soon enough I was in the red. I warped my pod out safely. Fortunately, my efforts had not been in vain, and backup arrived, snatching hold of his Claw and tearing it apart.

I watched as Kirzath smacked the efforts in local with the call of 'SF' (I'm assuming this means crappy fight, from his other comments).

I went and picked up another iteration of The Dirk, and was met by the cavalry, who not only traded me back my wreckage goods, but also Kirzath's. Happy as a pig in mud, I dropped back to my home station, listened on Intel as Kirzath showed up and was blown up again, and unplugged for the night.

Hopefully, there will be more chances in the future for fun like this, until then,

Fly Straight!