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EVE Online dev-blogs
Fleet Fight Notification Tool (4 days ago)
Hello quarrelsome capsuleers,
We thought it might be timely to issue a reminder about the Fleet Fight Notification tool. This tool is a means for players to give CCP advance notice of upcoming large-scale fights which could attract so many players to a single system or systems as to create a strain on the server and cause performance issues like time dilation which would adversely affect the gameplay experience of all those involved.
The Tranquility server which runs EVE Online is split into a series of nodes. Each node can play host to one or more in-game solar systems and those systems are distributed across the nodes every day during downtime.
A very busy system like Jita pretty much has an entire node to itself since it constantly has a large volume of players in local and a very busy market. On the other hand, a quiet system in the far outer reaches of Omist or a dead-end lowsec system somewhere in Solitude might be placed on a different node which it shares with many other similarly quiet systems that see very little traffic on a typical day. This method is generally how we balance the performance of systems across the cluster so that your experience in high-traffic areas remains consistent with those in low-traffic areas.
Where we sometimes run into problems (and you encounter things like time dilation) is when there is a large volume of unexpected player activity in a system which is on a node that is sharing its resources with several other systems. Some of you may have experienced the result of this in the form of unusual time dilation in an otherwise quiet system due to there being a sudden flurry of activity in an entirely different system several jumps away that your current location happened to share a node with.
Fortunately, we keep a few nodes in reserve for occasions when large player engagements occur so that we can allocate more resources to those battleground systems, and this is where the Fleet Fight Notification tool comes in.
Using the tool, players can let CCP know when a big fight is coming up, such as over a structure timer that one side or the other plans to contest in force, or if one group intends to invade another’s space en masse and attack their sovereignty. But it can also mean occasions where players are organising a public event like Stay Frosty’s Frigate Free-for-All, the annual Luminaire Snowball Fight or World War Chappy which saw 2,000 players show up for a brawl in Tunudan.
With enough notice we can take steps to reinforce the system(s) where the conflict will be taking place by distributing them to these reserve nodes at downtime in such a way that when the fighting does break out time dilation can either be avoided or at least mitigated somewhat. Our resources are limited however, so in order to make sure they’re applied to where they’re most needed please keep in mind the following when using the form:
- Only a corporation CEO or director can submit a fleet fight notification. If you are working in collaboration with other corporations or alliances please coordinate with your allies so that only one submission is made from your side to prevent unnecessary duplication of requests.
- Provide as much notice as possible when submitting your fleet fight notification. Systems are allocated to nodes at downtime so after downtime on the day of the fight it may not be possible to move systems to other nodes.
- Only submit notifications for systems where you are reasonably confident conflict will be unfolding. Speculative requests may result in resources being misallocated to the detriment of other, more contested systems. If a player submits too many vexatious requests (eg. neither side shows up, not even the requesting party) that player's future requests may be given a lower priority in the event we are running short on nodes.
- Refrain from requesting reinforcement of systems of “convenience”. Eg. a capital ship staging system which you only might want to use in the event that your opponent escalates the fight. Unreinforced, these systems may experience a temporary period of time dilation when there are mass logins after pings go out and when the capital fleet leaves the system, but for the rest of the time these systems tend to be very quiet and take up resources that could be allocated elsewhere. Main staging systems (eg. where the bulk of your subcaps form up regularly) may be an exception for this. Be sure to let us know the purpose of your request when you’re filling out the form in the comments field.
- Please be as conservative and accurate as possible when entering the coverage time into the form. If you're expecting a big fight over a timer but it doesn't come out until 02:00 UTC you don't need to request reinforcement for the entire day. We also can’t take “reservations” on a node to reinforce a given system for an extended period of time.
- The Fleet Fight Notification form has an internal timeout of 600 seconds (10 minutes) so make sure you complete the form before that time is up. If your submission is successful you will get a confirmation after you click the “Submit Notification” button at the bottom. If you submit the form and do not get this confirmation, and instead the page refreshes with all the fields empty, your request was NOT received and you should do it again.
In addition we would like to note the following:
- Although the node allocation process has been automated for some time, during this period of heightened activity, CCP’s Player Experience department will be manually reviewing incoming fleet fight notifications daily to ensure that the distribution of systems to nodes is as optimised as possible for the best overall end-user experience.
- Please understand there is no way for us to guarantee flawless performance during large fleet fights, even when the node has been reinforced. Although we are continually improving our infrastructure, our bloodthirsty players continue to bring larger and larger forces and there is a limit to what our technology can sustain. We will work our hardest to provide the best experience possible for our players however in the event that large numbers players show up for a fight, high levels of time dilation will be unavoidable.
- Fleet Fight Notifications are only seen by a small number of Customer Support staff at CCP who treat this as privileged information and it is not public facing in any form. There are no risks to operational security by submitting a fleet fight notification.
EVE Online thrives on conflict and we celebrate the battles and ambitions of our players. It’s something not found anywhere else in gaming. CCP is committed to providing the best experience possible while you’re engaging in digital pugilism so please help us out by letting us know in advance of where and when you intend to fight.
Greetings competitive Capsuleers!
Today’s dev blog will dive into an exciting set of new PVP events that will be launching with EVE’s third quadrant this July.
Alongside their ongoing invasion of empire space, the Triglavian Collective is also inviting capsuleers to prove themselves in all-new Proving Grounds within the depths of Abyssal Deadspace. Unlike the old Abyssal Proving Grounds, which were accessible through a Triglavian gate at the end of some standard Abyssal PVE runs, these new Proving Grounds will become directly accessible via a new set of dedicated Proving Filaments that will be active during a series of limited time events. For the first time ever, the new Abyssal Proving Grounds will be accessible to small groups of Capsuleers, fighting against each other in a variety of ship types.
In the tradition of other recent additions to the game, such as the Needlejack Filaments, the new Proving Filaments are intended to provide players with another unique form of short session PVP that is full of variety and that complements the other PVP systems already available in the game.
These Proving Grounds will allow players to face off against each other, using their mastery of both piloting and theorycrafting to overcome their opponents. They will also be able to track, compare and boast of their prowess through leaderboards that will allow players to follow the action throughout each event.
The Story So Far
The original Abyssal Proving Grounds were introduced in the Onslaught release in late 2018 as an experimental addition to the popular Abyssal Deadspace content. Many players have enjoyed the old Proving Grounds over the past couple years, however we have been hearing a lot of similar feedback from active abyssal PVPers, whether it was on social media or the forums, or when we’ve seen them in person at the player events like the EVE World Tour. This feedback has often included a few of the same concerns:
- Many pilots want the ability to enter the Proving Grounds directly instead of being required to complete an Abyssal Deadspace run first. While the combination of PVP and PVE can be interesting under the right circumstances, many of you have expressed that you want to be able to PVE when you feel like PVE and PVP when you feel like PVP. The current system requires you to go through one to get to the other, and that was an impediment to some players engaging with the content.
- We have also heard that the existing Abyssal Proving Grounds meta has been “solved.” After a year and a half of the same format, PVP in the Proving Grounds has become stale, and players have developed a handful of optimal fits that are repeatedly used, and the result has been the stifling of innovation and creative thinking. Over the first half of 2020 over 83% of the kills within the old Abyssal Proving Grounds were made by the same five ship types, and 48% of the kills were made by one ship type, the Ikitursa.
- We have also received quite a few requests from players who would like to compete in Proving Grounds style PVP engagements with their friends, rather than being restricted to 1v1 engagements. While the Abyssal Deadspace PVE content gives players the option to enter with groups of up to three frigates instead of a single cruiser, the old Proving Grounds PVP engagements have been limited to solo cruisers only. We all know that EVE is at its best when played with friends, and we completely agree with the players asking for the ability to compete alongside their friends in the Proving Grounds.
- Finally, we have heard from players that the system for finding opponents could do with some improvements. In the old system, the gate to the Proving Grounds would spawn when it detects that enough characters were active in the Abyss. Players could then choose to enter the Proving Grounds and might wait for significant periods of time for an opponent. It was even possible for them to win by default when no opponent could be found within the time limit.
We really appreciate all the feedback about the old Proving Grounds that the community has passed along, and we are planning to address all of these issues with the new Abyssal Proving Grounds and Proving Filaments system this July.
_The New Hotness _
Starting next month with the launch of EVE’s third quadrant, the old Abyssal Proving Grounds feature will be replaced by a new set of limited time events where the Triglavians will invite Capsuleers to enter the Proving Grounds to compete in a variety of formats. To enter the Proving Grounds, your fleet will activate a new Proving Filament, which will find your group a suitable set of opponents and then launch you directly into a pocket within Abyssal Deadspace for a fight to the death.
The “format” for each Proving Grounds event in Q3 2020 will consist of a set of ship types that are able to use that filament to enter the Proving Grounds, as well as a specific fleet size of Capsuleer participants. Over the course of the third quadrant, we are currently planning for 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, 5v5, and 5 player free-for-all formats. We will be mixing and matching ship restrictions and fleet sizes to ensure that each event provides players with a unique PVP experience, and that the meta never grows stale. Each Proving Filament event will last for a limited time, generally either three days over a single weekend or ten days across two weekends and the intervening week.
The following events are work in progress and subject to change:
July 16-28: 2v2 Tech One Combat, Attack, and Disruption Cruisers
Ship Types: Omen, Caracal, Thorax, Stabber, Maller, Moa, Vexor, Rupture, Arbitrator, Blackbird, Celestis, Bellicose
July 31-August 2: Five Player Destroyer Free For All
Ship Types: Coercer, Dragoon, Cormorant, Corax, Catalyst, Algos, Thrasher, Talwar, Sunesis
August 7-9: Amarr Foundation Day Special Format: 3v3 Imperial Navy Slicers
Ship Types: Imperial Navy Slicer
We can also share our preliminary schedule for the rest of the Proving Ground events in Quadrant 3. The details of the formats for these events will be revealed nearer their dates: - August 14-23: Event 4 - TBA - August 28-30: Event 5 - TBA - September 4-6: Event 6 - TBA - September 11-20: Event 7 - TBA - September 25-27: Event 8 – TBA - October 2-11: Event 9 - TBA
We plan on adjusting our format plans based on community feedback from each event and we will be using these events to experiment with a wide variety of different format options to see how you all enjoy them. Most events will focus on relatively inexpensive and accessible ships so that the widest variety of players can participate, however we plan to have some special events with more flashy ships as well.
In Quadrant 4 and beyond we will be continuing these events, with the frequency of the events depending on how popular this version of the Proving Grounds proves to be with the EVE community. We will adjust the frequency of events to maximize the likelihood that players will be able to promptly find opponents when they compete during each event.
The Proving Filaments
The new Proving Ground matches will follow a simpler process than the old Proving Grounds mechanic. There will be a unique filament for each event. When activated, the filament will launch a capsuleer and his fleet into the Proving Grounds, just like an Abyssal Filament launches a player into Abyssal Deadspace or a Needlejack filament launches a player into a random nullsec system.
The filaments will be obtainable through several different methods (which may change over time and between different events), including as loot from Triglavian PVE content. We will be experimenting with a number of ways of distributing the filaments in the future, so the methods available for obtaining the filaments may change from event to event. The filaments can be sold on the market, so if you just want to focus on pure PVP you will be able to obtain them there. Each filament will have a specific start and end date for its event, as well as information about the details of the Proving Grounds match format for that event.
The process of using one of the new Proving Filaments will be very similar to that of a Needlejack filament. Your whole group will need to be in a fleet together, and at a location away from stations, gates, and other obstacles. The player with the filament activates it, and their fleet will enter the queue for the Proving Grounds event. While the group is in the queue, they will remain outside of Abyssal Deadspace and will be able to cancel their match and have their filament returned if they choose to do so. Once the Proving Grounds find a random opposing team, both teams will be transported through the trace directly into the Abyssal Proving Grounds arena.
The new abyssal Proving Ground arenas are a variety of visually stunning Abyssal environments, including crystal rock formations that Abyss players will recognize and an all-new environment above a large hot asteroid. The Triglavians have also constructed a new set of structures around their Proving Grounds, to better observe the Capsuleers who have come to prove themselves through ritual combat.
The new Proving Ground battles will last a maximum of 15 minutes, with the resistances of all ships being reduced around the 8-minute mark, just like in the old Proving Grounds. The combat field is contained within a bubble of safe space and exiting the boundaries will result in progressive damage to your ship. The match ends when the only ships (other than capsules) left on the field belong to a single team of Capsuleers, or when the 15-minute match timer completes (whichever comes first). The winning team can choose whether to show mercy and allow the losing Capsuleers to escape with their pods or whether to send them directly back to the home station in a fresh clone. If the timer runs out before one team has succeeded, the bubble of safe space within the abyss will collapse, destroying all the ships and capsules from every team and rendering the match a draw.
Once a team has been crowned the winner, a Triglavian cache will explode within the arena, allowing the victors to collect their spoils: loot that will often include Triglavian Survey Data and more filaments. An origin gate will also activate, allowing the surviving players to return back to the same location in normal space where their adventure began.
_Glorification of the Fit _
Individual results in each limited-time Proving Filament event can be tracked through a new window that will be accessible through a link in the filament UI or directly through the Neocom menu. This window will allow players to view the format for the current event, track their wins, losses, and draws, as well as view a leaderboard displaying the top 100 Capsuleers by total number of wins in that particular event. At the end of each event, a set of prizes will be distributed to the accounts that reached this top 100 leaderboard and then the leaderboard will reset for the next event.
The rewards for reaching the leaderboard in an event in Quadrant 3 will include a set of unique ship SKINs. These SKINs will only be accessible by reaching the top 100 in one of the Proving Ground events during Quadrant 3 2020. This means that if you see one of these skins being sported in space you can know you’re looking at a top competitor in one of the Quadrant 3 2020 Proving Ground events. In addition to the unique skins that will be shared by all the Quadrant 3 events, there will also be specific rewards for those on the leaderboards of each event, and those rewards will change from event to event. These rewards are in addition to the loot from both the Triglavian cache and the wrecks of opposing ships that will be available to the winners of each individual Proving Grounds fight!
_Looking to the Future _
We hope that many of you will enjoy these new Proving Filament events, and we strongly encourage interested players to give them a try and let us know what you think about them and what you’d like to see us add to them in the future. Just as the old Abyssal Proving Grounds and the needlejack filaments were built on the foundation of the abyssal deadspace filaments and as these new Proving Filament events are built on the foundation of the old Abyssal Proving Grounds, we would love to see these Proving Filaments serve as a building block towards even greater things in the future. Your feedback is absolutely key to that progress so keep talking to us digitally and (eventually) in person and we’ll do our best to incorporate your feedback into our future plans.
Some of the future additions that we are especially interested in exploring are the addition of new forms of format restrictions including restrictions on fitted modules and implants that would allow for an even greater variety in Proving Ground event formats.
We are aware that any discussion of structured PVP will raise questions from the players who miss the old annual Alliance Tournament about whether this is intended to “replace” the AT. We want to make it clear that this feature is intended to stand separate from tournament gameplay and was primarily designed to replace the old Abyssal Proving Grounds. We know there is an appetite among the community to see organized tournament gameplay return to EVE, and we have built this feature in a way that might potentially allow parts of its code to be useful for potential future work. That being said, we want to focus on making sure the new Abyssal Proving Grounds gets the attention it deserves and we have time to iterate on the feature based on data and player’s feedback before we start exploring the next exciting opportunity. In the meantime, if you are looking at organizing a tournament using existing options on the Thunderdome server, please reach out to the Community Team by sending an email to email@example.com.
We will be opening the new Abyssal Proving Grounds for public testing on the Singularity test server tomorrow, and we hope that all interested players will try them out and let us know what you think. We will also be organizing a mass test soon to stress test the feature on Singularity. More information about dates and times for the mass test will be coming soon.
The team of developers working on this new feature will be reading the forum feedback thread for this dev blog as well as future feedback threads that we will be creating in the test server feedback section of the forums. Please feel free to let us know what you think. What about this feature excites you? What would make it even better? What formats would you like to see later in Quadrants 3 and 4? We look forward to chatting with you there.
From all of us on the EVE Dev Team, thanks for reading today’s dev blog, and best of luck in the Proving Grounds!
Q1 2020 Economy review (19 days ago)
CCP has been doing quarterly reviews of the state of the economy in EVE Online for a while now. These reviews have been for internal purposes to help our developers better understand how the macro trends are developing in the game. For this purpose, a wide-ranging tool set has been set up for monitoring everything from in-game data points, dashboards and indexes as well as sending out a survey to players for each quarter where they rank statements and situations in the game. Last but not least, special council is sought from individual players in the game such as CSM members.
This time around, some of the developments that are being noticed are shared in an effort to promote a better dialogue around the economy and macro in-game situation. In every case, the playerbase is an important source to understand the complex ecosystem that is EVE and very often conversations with players sparks giant in-house research projects. Having said that, it is important to keep in mind that the blog intentionally leaves out information that can be considered "vulnerable", so this is not the full report, but rather a summary of some of the megatrends that seem to be permeating the world in the first quarter of 2020. Hopefully, you will find this interesting and it will add some depth to the EVE world.
Q1 2020 Economy review
There are three big trends to pay attention to for the first quarter of 2020 in the EVE economy.
The 1st quarter of 2020 was mostly a good quarter for the economy. The Problem Index, which is an index put together by players' rankings of 12 potential problem areas in EVE, shows improvement in 67% of our main problem areas which is great. There are also strong indicators that the economy is now more fair, that the value of labor is increasing and that connectivity is increasing - all positive trends.
1. It seems that the economy is getting fairer
Anti-Botting efforts are removing massive amounts of ill-gotten ISK from the economy and making it harder to bot. This seems to correlate with lower PLEX prices, which makes sense since massive bot farms are no longer constantly driving up PLEX prices with their cheap ISK. Players seem to be taking notice since a year ago only 37% felt CCP was taking active action against botting, but today that number is 50%. Also in Q3 2019, 66.9% of players believed botting to be a serious problem in EVE, but today that number is 52.6%. Botting is absolutely still a big problem but headway is being made in a meaningful manner and it is being noticed.
The Economy Fairness Index consists of 6 statements about the state of the economy that players rank every quarter, all of them dealing with fairness in the economy. The average concern ratio for Q1 2020 is 46.4% compared to the average concern ratio in Q3 2019 which was 52%. So overall, players are ranking the economy to be more fair. Again, there is a lot of work to be done but player feedback indicates things are moving in the right direction.
2. Strong indicators that the value of labor is rising
- There were major changes to mineral distribution made in Q1. The changes seem to be having a big impact since the volume of minerals mined has dropped considerably. According to the Mineral Price Index, the cost of minerals is increasing as well, from a bottom price point value of 68 in November 2019 to 112 in April 2020. Reports from players indicate that “smaller agents” especially are now getting more for each haul. Larger entities are getting better prices, but it is harder to amass massive amounts in a simple manner, which increases the value of labor to a degree.
- Players are now getting more PLEX for their ISK. PLEX prices, in parallel with anti-botting efforts, have now been dropping since Q2 2019 from a height of 4,487 million ISK on 17 May 2019 to 2,455 million ISK on 17 May 2020. So in a year, PLEX prices have dropped 43.5%. At the same time money supply (the amount of active ISK per character in the game) has been increasing.
- Anti-botting has decreased the amount of minerals and ISK coming into the economy, and coupled with mineral changes increasing the value of minerals, has made mining more profitable per unit sold. Along with the price of PLEX going down while active ISK is going up, the cumulative effect is that in important segments of the game, the value of the labor hour seems to be increasing. An oft-mentioned measure from players on valuing worth of time in-game is how many hours of their “average work” it takes to be able to PLEX their account. Player reports and other indicators suggest this number has been going down in most places, although of course it depends on the specific type of work.
3. Connectivity is increasing - The Friendship Machine is getting hotter
Q1 saw a bunch of "connectivity" changes introduced to the game intended to spur connectivity between players. These are as follows:
- Needlejack Filaments were made permanent – filaments are tools that increase the odds of chance encounters with other players
- Wormhole Chaos update - designed to increase wormhole connections
- Loyalty to Lowsec update - led to substantially more lowsec kills and activity
This, partnered with the fact that many more new players are entering the game and solid events happening, have led to social markers for "connectivity" improving considerably in the quarter:
- There was a 14.5% improvement between quarters in how difficult players found it to find other players
- 6.1% improvement between quarters in how much players felt player conflicts were lacking
- 7.9% improvement in how difficult players felt finding content was
CCP sends out quarterly surveys where players are asked to rank a range of social markers such as the difficulty of finding other players, conflict, content etc.
- Corp invitations on 1 January were 1,145 (7 day moving average) and 1,451 on 31 March - a 26.7% increase
- Corp applications were 1,503 on 1 January (7 day moving average) and 2,054 on 31 March - a 36.6% increase
- DAU increase in the same time was 3.5% so the corp application and invitation rise is proportionally much greater
In short, there are now more chance encounters in the game thanks to Filaments, you are more likely to run into someone in a wormhole due to more players in-game, and you have greater incentives to participate in Faction Warfare. All of this is leading to more connections, which hopefully is fuel for more friendships being made. Keep in mind that 73% of players claim they have made a friend as a result of playing EVE Online. Let's hope this phenomenon is increasingly being delivered well to the hordes of new players now entering EVE Online.
As stated at the beginning, this is just a glimpse of the internal economic review that is conducted every quarter. We hope you found it interesting!
Monthly Economic Report - May 2020 (20 days ago)
The Monthly Economic Report for May 2020 is now available!
You can download all of the raw data used in this report here. As always, each image can be enlarged by clicking on it.
Meet the New Council (32 days ago)
The time has finally come to present the 15th Council of Stellar Management that has been democratically elected by the players. Please join me in welcoming a few returning faces and some new ones that together will collaborate with us on the development of EVE Online for the next year.
It is commendable to see all the hard work candidates have put into their campaigns this year despite the trying times everyone is going through. This extends to every player that took their time to evaluate the candidates and cast a vote bringing the total number to 36120 confirmed votes, which shows a steady increase in the last couple of years.
As a side note, it seems we had a handful of votes that were cast on characters outside of approved CSM 15 candidates. Our investigation did not indicate any wrongdoing, but we will look into this further to ensure that with our planned updates to the website, this won’t be possible next time around.
The next few weeks are going to be dedicated to onboarding of all CSM members. It is an important period where we will go over all the ground rules and ensure we are on the same page in terms of expectations from one another. Therefore, even if the new council is in immediate effect, please be reasonable with your requests and understand that it may take a few weeks before everyone is up to speed.
Fly safe o7!
Update on what’s going on in the region. For one we have new neighbors in 9R, thy have stated that we are allowed to rat and do belt mining there. We are NOT allowed to do moon mining ( other than our pull we had going ) and NOT allowed to do relic/data sites. They seem to be friendly small corp who was expanding. On the negative end, one of our alliances created a bit of grief in our system. Al…
When a Pilot Loses Their Shit
What happens when a pilot goes off book for his or her own reasons? Nothing predictable. The rules, if you will, are there to protect us. They can protect us from dangerous situations, but they also serve to protect us from ourselves.
The instinct to help others resides in most of us out there; however, if we don't first take care of ourselves, it becomes that much harder to help others. On a…
As most of you are aware the Ashfell family is growing, both in Hi sec and Null sec. Our industry rating hit the highest point it ever has thanks to the noble efforts of the miners and the capital pilots that risked billions to do so. This risk has almost caught our Rorqual pilots being tackled recently and were swifty dispatched by our own ACE pilots (insert zkillboard page). On top of industry and sucessful PVP campaigns we have plans for a new contest, best explosion in space.