Friday, 17 August 2012

Day 62 : Noob vs Stats

If you play EVE then there is a stats geek inside you somewhere. Maybe not a large one, maybe not even a competent one (see my spreadsheets for an example of non competence), but there is one and it too loves EVE. Whether it is in combat where you have anything from AU to metre distances, measurements of tracking in radians, as few metres as possible signature radii. Whether it is ship fitting and the balancing act of power supply, cpu cycles, capacitor use, damage, defence and so many other things. Whether it is in industry where the material components for ships and their market prices can quickly dwarf your (my) ability to make calculations of value and profit off the top of your head. Whether it is in trade where you have a real economy to interpret using the tools provided and all the numbers that entails. I should say here that I don’t even know the meaning of some of the analysis overlay graphs on the Price History information. I’m not going to go and find out either. I love random stats games, but not that much. I did find another stat that interested me today though. It’s a kind of metagame stat, well for me - maybe not for you. It was the blog statistics page.

I usually write my posts a day or two after the event, I stick them in Google Docs first and then copy and reproof in Blogger later. For some reason I don’t like doing the entire job in Blogger. I have no idea why. Probably because investigating Google Docs was one of the plans for things to do with the blog before it got out of control. I should write the entire thing in EMACS like I do with any other wall of text but it is handy to be able to write over breakfast at home and finish during lunch at work. Probably I should write it in my own html and css given some of the wacky decisions Blogger makes about styling. Anyway, I was writing my post on Industry, was ready to post it, went back to the Blogger pages and saw the viewing figures. There is a graph there. Judging by the enormous prong in it, it was excited by something. Checking the figures I saw that I was starting to get near half the total traffic ever for the site on just that single day. Picking my jaw out of my laptop keyboard, I took a look at the sources and found out Mord Fiddle ( had reviewed the site favourably (cheers Mord). Later that evening (the evening of this day - the 16th August) Azual posted on Reddit ( I am now SpaceNoob104 over there now by the way - the 104 bit doesn’t mean there are hundreds of us, just that the first was gone and the 104 means something. You can figure that out).

The trend kept going. As I write this on the 17th, I’ve just discovered that I ruined Nosy Gamers ( evening by causing him to read the entire thing and then only having time to blog about that. Let me say sorry to him, and to his readers, but thanks for a nice review! Sorry to all the people in Jita who heard me shout “Holy F****** J****” all the way from Dodixie or wherever the hell I was when I logged in later and saw the trend was continuing.

Cheers to anyone who enjoyed reading, glad you like it. I hope you’ll keep reading as apparently I’m unable to stop writing (“I’ll take a break at 30 days”, “well at 60 days then”, “well maybe I’ll go on until the London meet up and do that”). Cheers to everyone who offered advice or appreciation in comments on the posts. I’ll see you out in the black some day! Thanks for making me feel slightly less bonkers.

All the attention triggers some EVE paranoia though. EVE paranoia isn’t bad, it’s a tool. It’s an early warning system. It’s a dangerous tool, you could cut yourself with it, but somewhere in the dark, out beyond the safe glow of your mining laser, waiting in the shadow of homely blinking station lights, listening in on the friendly banter in local, and maybe even reading your blog posts in the in game browser, lurks the reaver. The pirate. The Ganker. The scary thing isn’t the paranoia, the scary thing for me, on logging in, is that I go shopping in an almost pre-prepared way for tank modules for the mining barge. No more wandering around with fingers crossed packing 3 Mining Laser Upgrades in slots I should have fitted with modules that help me resist or soak up damage. It takes a couple of minutes to choose, buy, and maybe five more minutes to collect and run to station and fit until The Diceman has a moderately decent tank that might survive a gank attempt until CONCORD, the space cops, arrive and deal with the transgressor. Two months in and some instinctive behaviour. There may be hope for the Space Noob yet.

Once that’s done I go back to my industry experiment. It’s going well. Stuff is rolling off the production lines and into market, and then out of there. It is a bit staggered at the moment as I made some early mistakes and clogged up a few production slots with too much ammo. I’m also still thinking in terms of real days. I think I need to think in terms of Time Zones, “TZ”s in game. Why? Because EVE is one universe for everyone. Think of the game running on a single computer and everyone playing on the that computer with just the internet in between them all. It’s not strictly true about the single server. I think there is another server for the far east. People play at different times depending on where they are. An early login time for me might be a log off time for someone in Vancouver for example. I need to use my time to have stuff ready for them to buy when they log back in and I’m asleep, in addition to planning for my own TZ. I think I might have some difficulties thinking like this, it was bad enough when I actually lived in Vancouver for a year, long ago. I could never tell when anyone back home was at work or asleep. It’s only plus 8. What the hell is wrong with me? You don’t need to be Dr Who for basic arithmetic.

It is lunchtime of the 17th as I write this bit. It’s a Friday, aka TFI Friday, and aside from watching Rear Window which I recorded off the telly in the week, I have no plans to do anything other than EVE. I’m hours away for logging on and shouting EVE I AM IN YOU and remaining there for the rest of the weekend. It makes a change from EVE shouting SPACE NOOB I AM IN YOU inside my head all through the week days.


I watched the Warcraft promotional trailer which came out today.

I am afraid it still has Pandas in it. Some of you might like this. It makes me want to overload the guns, refit a cruiser with as many smart bombs as I can, and wander into traffic.

I am afraid that it still resembles Kung Fu Panda. In fact even more than expected, right down to its sense of humour. I think Jack Black may actually end up in the game, it was that uncanny.

As my friend Alec (who is at least partly to blame for this entire EVE thing by showing me a Burn Jita video) commented in relation to the promo video “it has warnings about graphic sex and violence at the start, and there isn’t any - it has a generic ripped off content warning. It doesn’t have any warnings about ripped off content from animated comedy films though.”

NOTE: Alec doesn’t even play anymore. Please cajole him below. Actually he doesn’t have the time to put into it, for RL reasons, to get the most out ;)


  1. You ate half my day yesterday since I too started from post one. Good stuff, welcome to the game. Mord also posted you on Twitter which is how I found you. Come join the #tweetfleet.

    PS You like that traffic spike, just wait until CCP Manifest posts you to Facebook...

    1. Whoops, sorry about your day! I seem to be saying sorry a lot! It was never my intention to be appealing to a wider audience. It was just, unlike Bono, to crow about how I'd found what I was looking for and to get the thoughts out of my head and into some other medium. Lets not mention CCP getting wind of this, blimey.

    2. Don't say sorry, say "you're welcome". :) My blog started out much like yours, but in character and not as frequent! It brings back a lot and was a great read (I've been out of game for about 8 months but like you, my brain's "spare cycles" always seem to go in an EVE loop, even now). Makes me want to come back that much sooner.


    3. Well - you're welcome! I think. Time to stick an inspiring track on and come back to the stars. Back in Black. I think some band or other may have done a song called this at some point.... See you in the world.

    4. Just found your site and will slowly read backwards. I made the transition from WoW to EVE about 1 1/2 years ago, reading your blog will be a welcome trip down memory lane. They key thing that makes me stay in EVE and never look back to WoW is the community of friends I have built. I had decent contacts in WoW but not to the level I know the guys now in my corp and alliance. The risk in EVE fosters greater trust and friendships. I hope you found a good home with fellow space nerds... Fly safe. Try wormholes. The best part of the game ;-)

  2. Ahhh... to be noob again. You have struck a chord with many out there, okus you write well, it's more as if you are talking directly to the reader than to an audience, if you get my meaning. PLus, your posts have that idfineable 'noob' flavor... the excitement, the challenge, the sheer awe and awe inspiring feelings most of us have (IE us, the EVEborn, not the goonborn, and such a loss for them) those first daye and weeks ingame...

    I rememeber most fondly my days directly after I finished SOE Sister Alitura's "Epic Arc", the EVE equivalent of the Marines final recruit test, "The Crucible". I used to just undock in my dual gun dual tank fit Thrasher and sit right above the undock... and just watch the parade... =]

    Reading your blog takes me, and I believe many others, right back...
    Try not to lose that perspective on your way to bittervet. ;]

  3. It looks like if I don't want my evenings ruined I'm just going to have to read your blog every day :)

    And if you want to see an even bigger traffic spike, you are about to get one. You are now on the Must Read Blogs list over on Jester's Trek.

  4. okus? really? I meant, "And you write well..."
    I need to proof my comments... sheesh

  5. "I am afraid it still has Pandas in it"


    As a fellow noob, I'm finding the posts very enjoyable - keep it up.

  6. "It’s not strictly true about the single server. I think there is another server for the far east."

    For clarification, there is the chinese server (Serenity), but only so because it is required by chinese law. The game was recently officially released in Japan, but also on the main server (Tranquility).

    I think it is a pity, since more diversity only adds to the game, but there isn't much that can be done about it.

  7. To be fair, Pandas were in Warcraft long before Kung Fu Panda was ever even thought of. I know for a fact they were in Warcraft 3, not sure about 2. However, I don't think they used to be as cartoony as they are in the expansion. In any case, my GF still wants to play WoW but I'm re-addicted to EVE so i won't be playing it much/at all.