Archive for June, 2011

Erbo Does the Math on Overpriced Clothes

Posted in Expansions, General on June 25, 2011 by Erbo

Many words have been spoken about the nature of the new Noble Exchange and EVE’s new “real money” currency, Aurum (compare: Farmville Bucks, Frontierville horseshoes, Wizard 101 crowns, etc.), but let me illustrate an example that really shows how ridiculous this is, based on another avatar environment with which I’m intimately familiar…Second Life.

Let’s start with an example from the NEX, the men’s “Sterling” dress shirt.  It looks very snazzy indeed.  It’s cost is 3600 AUR.  Now we know that, from CCP’s official documentation, 1 PLEX = 3500 AUR, and also that 2 PLEX = 1 GTC = US$34.99.  So the shirt’s cost is approximately 1.0286 PLEX, or approximately 0.5143 GTC, or about US$17.99.

(Never mind that I could buy a pretty nice RL shirt at Kohl’s or Walmart for about that price…)

Meanwhile, from Second Life, I give you the Blaze “Columbia” men’s tuxedo.  I own one of these, and I can vouch for the fact that it is really well-made and looks snazzy as all hell.  (Blaze is well-known as a purveyor of quality formal wear for men and women in Second Life, and has been for years.) Now, mind you, this is not just a shirt, but a full tuxedo with shirt, pants, tie, and jacket.  It costs L$470 (Linden Dollars, the native currency of SL).  According to the latest LindeX market fix, the L$ is currently trading at L$250 = US$1.  Given that, this tuxedo retails for…US$1.88.

$17.99 for a shirt, versus $1.88 for a complete tux.

Value proposition for NEX goods: Minimal.

CCP: Clueus lackus.

I thought you were better than that, you guys.

UPDATE: Comparing women’s wear is even more indicative of the scope of FAIL we’re talking about here.  The women’s “Impress” skirt sells for the same amount of Aurum as the men’s shirt, i.e. AUR 3600 or US$17.99.  The most expensive Blaze evening gown I could find is the “Grace” gown, a stunning number complete with shawl, gloves, and undergarments, plus a matching tux vest for the lady’s escort, all for L$700.  Now, US$17.99 equals about L$4497, so you could literally buy half a dozen of the finest evening gowns in SL, with change left over, for the same price as one not-particularly-dressy skirt on the Noble Exchange.  Hell, even the finest wedding dresses in SL rarely cost more than that one skirt from the NEX would.



Posted in Storyline on June 25, 2011 by Erbo

June 21, YC113, Ralpha Dogs Aclan Station Offices

Erbo climbed up the ladder from the dock where his new Mark XVI capsule had settled, stepping onto the command gantry.  Behind him and over his head, the bulk of the Viator-class blockade runner Tantive IV floated in its mooring beams, cargo-handler droids already unloading the gear he’d flown a long way to pick up.  Running a hand through his gradually-lengthening hair, he walked towards the open pressure doors separating him from the captains’ quarters.

Selena was waiting inside.  After delicately raising herself on her toes to kiss him, she said, “Did you get it?”

“I did,” responded Erbo.  “One Sisters of EVE probe launcher, ready to put on your new Helios.  Least I didn’t have to go to Jita for it.”  Of course, he thought to himself, I probably had to jump farther to pick that up.  The launcher had come from a Sisters station deep in The Forge, where Erbo had bought it on contract for several million ISK cheaper than the best prices available in Jita.  Still, going that far into Caldari space always gave him the jibblies.

“Good,” sighed Selena.  She relaxed audibly and glanced around the interior of the Gallente station.  “Maybe now we can–”

Her words were cut short by the loud klaxon of a stationwide alert.  She whirled to face the main screen of the quarters, as did Erbo.  “What the hell…”

The screen told the story, showing an external view outside the station: cynosaural fields flaring and jump bridges opening, in a system where they had no right to be.  Pouring out from them, multitudes of evilly-spiked frigates, cruisers, and battleships.  A scrolling ticker superimposed itself on the bottom of the screen, telling them all they needed to know.

“It’s the Sanshas,” muttered Selena, quietly.  She looked up at Erbo.

Erbo, his face taut, nodded.  “An incursion.”

. . . . .

Ninety minutes later, orbiting the Meves jumpgate, Lirsautton system (3 jumps from Aclan)

The ships assembled around the jumpgate could perhaps best be termed a “fleet in being.” Very few bore the same corporate logos, and the ships themselves were a decidedly mixed bag.  Among them were Selena and Erbo, representing the Ralpha Dogs in an attempt to field a fleet that could strike back at the Sanshas.

Megathron-class Wolf 359

"Wrought in deepest Hell...our vengeance is freedom!"

Selena was piloting the Myrmidon-class battlecruiser Imala, ill-fit for this mission, but with its railguns and drones primed for action.  She stayed close to Erbo’s larger and newer ship, the Megathron-class battleship Wolf 359, freshly fitted from the shipyards at Dodixie and Aclan, based on Erbo’s rushed design work.  Its seven mighty ion blaster cannons were loaded and ready, and its massive shield generators ensured that it would not go gently into that good night.

Both of them were on multiple communication channels with the other ships, and also monitoring the new constellation-wide channel set up by CONCORD to carry news of fleets being formed against the incursion here in Ysilette.  They had arrived here in response to a call by Ricky Wrath of the International Space Pimps, who was feverishly trying to coordinate more ships, logistics cruisers especially.  Those pilots who could fly logistics were in high demand, and a number of them broke off from the fleet in Lirsautton to assist other fleets elsewhere in the constellation.

Sadly, not even the arrival of a more experienced fleet commander in a high-powered ship, Balin Tovak from Dead Nation Industries, could keep the fleet together, and it dispersed without launching an attack.  In the process, though, Erbo and Selena learned much about the Sansha incursions, as both Wrath and Tovak had flown against them before.  Erbo realized that he and Selena–and Lexx, too–would all have to start taking crash courses in logistics flying.  He might be able to do more good flying an Oneiros-class cruiser than he could with the big battlewagon…and eventually, he might need the option of flying other races’ logistics cruisers, too.

This incursion would eventually be driven back.  Pilots from other sectors of space would converge on Ysilette, their tactics already tried, their ships battle-tested.  And they would reap the rewards of a successful fight, and once again, the constellation would be at peace.

But Sansha’s Nation would return.  And when they did, Selena and Erbo hoped to be ready for them.

Searching Out Further Away From Homebase

Posted in He Said-She Said, Storyline on June 20, 2011 by CelestialFireFlower

Selenalore wakes and looks around the new Captain’s Quarters on the Jarzalad Station that has been the spot for the Ralpha Dogs Headquarters for a long time. She smiles softly to herself as she makes sure that she doesn’t wake Erbo. She quietly heads out into the living and office area and touches a few spots on the new desk and a computer screen rises from the desktop.

She then reaches out and touches the screen and does a few code processes to activate her computer system. She smiles as she hears a voice come from the computer and a face appears on the screen in one of the corners of the big computer screen and says, “Greetings Selenalore, it’s been a while since you have awoken me from my slumber to do some research.”

Selenalore smiles and says, “Greetings Coahoma, nice to hear that voice of yours. Did the move to the new quarters computer go smoothly for you?”

There was a brief silence, and then the face showed a big smile and Coahoma says, “It went smoothly as planned and they treated me well in the move, didn’t even shake my code up. They done a great job.”  Coahoma looks around and says, “The quarters could do with some sprucing up but I’m sure you’ll do that eventually.” Then she looks back at Selenalore and says, “So what do you want me to do for you, cause you wouldn’t have woke me for no apparent reason just to chat.” she laughs softly.

Selenalore sits down and pulls out some maps of the chartered systems around and looks at them when she speaks, “You are correct on that Coahoma. I need you to look up the Gallente space domain areas and check each one for ice fields. We want to spread out towards that area for corporation operations and possibly pick up new members in the process if all goes well.”

Coahoma says, “Working on that now boss.” and as she starts doing the research the data and pictures of the star systems start popping up and all over the screen as the computer starts searching. Selenalore smiles as she watches the screen with much interest since the newer systems are far more superior to the older systems that wouldn’t do very many graphics especially of the high quality that is being seen now. She is amazed how far technology is coming and going in everyone’s lives here in New Eden. She then goes back to pursing the maps in front of her and checks for routes and trade hubs and dangerous areas, which she will recheck via Coahoma’s research and the star system maps and more over the computer system.

Coahoma finishes and starts talking and explains what she has found and where and also updates Selenalore on all things including news and gossip and stocks and more. She then checks Selenalore’s mapping and routes against what she has come up with and what has been found and makes the plans that will be sent to the shuttle to help Selenalore get to the destinations and to have the updated information there as well. Oh yeah and she herself will be there as well since with the new computer systems you can do the base to ship over distances.

Selenalore finishes the preperations and prepares to head out, but she checks in on Erbo to see if he is still resting well, and then she heads to the balcony and picks the ship that she will be using to fly to the locations and scout out areas for both mining and offices as well as jump clones and more.

Selenalore gets into the shuttle and prepares to launch, and she has left a note to Erbo to let him know she has gone out to scout out new territory for ice mining, mining and offices and more. She then sets her destination to head to the Everyshore territory of Gallente space, and sits back to enjoy the ride and listens to good music and taking naps off and on and such while she travels.