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12Aug/140

Tranquility connectivity issues – August 12

eve-offline

EDIT: Tranquility and eveonline.com are now back online

Since the official website and forums are down, I put this friendly heads-up here:

Tranquility is suffering from a third party networking problem, and CCP is working with their partners to resolve the issue. Tranquility,  EVE Online website and forums are currently inaccessible.

This is an excerpt from CCP Falcon's forum post:

Hey guys,

Apologies for the connectivity issues some of you are experiencing right now. We're currently having a few login issues and are investigating.

I'll update this thread once I have more information.

Thanks for your patience, and apologies for the inconvenience!

- F

UPDATES:

09:40 UTC - OUR OPERATIONS TEAM ARE CURRENTLY WORKING ON INVESTIGATING CONNECTIVITY ISSUES
10:30 UTC - OUR SERVICE PROVIDERS ARE CURRENTLY WORKING ON INVESTIGATING SEVERAL ISSUES
11:00 UTC - THIS APPEARS TO BE A THIRD PARTY ISSUE - WORKING WITH PARTNERS TO RESOLVE IT
12:10 UTC - TRANQUILITY WILL BE REBOOTED IN VIP MODE IN 10 MINUTES
12:20 UTC - TRANQUILITY IS NOW IN VIP MODE

Good luck to CCP and their ISP in resolving the issue!

PS. Feel free to check Chribba's eve-offline website to check if EVE is back up.

7Aug/144

How Crius affects industrial day to day operations

industry

Many bloggers already covered in detail all the changes introduced by the newest EVE Online patch known as Crius. Some have even speculated, how it will change industry in the game.

Some time has passed and we can now answer the question how it really affected industrial corporations. We will do that by looking at each feature mentioned by CCP Greyscale in his dev-blog.

No more remote blueprint installation

This feature is a major game changer, and a big pain for many industrialists. Before Crius it was possible to install BPOs in POS labs remotely, from the safety of NPC station. Well, it's not possible anymore. CCP believes that industry needs more risk involved, probably because the rewards can be pretty high.  Solution is simple: use NPC station for copying, and store your precious BPO there. Another idea is to have a copy-only POS with one Design Laboratory and some sizable defenses. TL;DR: it is an inconvenience, but there are workarounds.

ME and TE

No big changes here. Blueprints are usually researched once after they've been bought, so in typical day to day operations nothing has changed. What did change is that the perfect ME is now well known without using blueprint calculators - and is simply equal to 10.

Invention and copying

Tech II BPCs invented without decryptors now yield ME 2% and TE 4%, but since all Tech II blueprints had their base materials multiplied by 1,5 it means that invented items actually take 2% less materials than they used to. However BPO owners are much less happy, because their perfect researched blueprints now require 35% more materials than they used to. Aideron Technologies can consider themselves lucky in that regard, because we did not own any Tech II BPOs.

Copying is a funny one, because some blueprints took much more time to copy than to manufacture. This has been changed in Crius to a static 80% of manufacturing time. CCP also changed invention and it now takes 1 run from a BPC, so you can either use 1 run BPCs or reuse a multi run BPC as many times as the number of runs on it. This means less clutter in corp hangar, as we no longer need so many BPCs at all times. This one actually seems to be a good change.

Slot removal and NPC job cost

Right now even jobs which you install in your own POS cost you ISK. This means on top of fuel costs to run these 10 POSs, you will also need to pay ISK for each and every job you installed in them! For many people it seemed simply outrageous. But fear not, with slots gone, we only need 1 or 2 Large POS now. And with the standing requirement for anchoring Control Towers gone, you can freely move our operation in case a system gets too crowded and the install costs are too high. According to the formula, if we assumed uniform distribution of industry jobs over the whole k-space, the cost index is about 0.0136, which translates to NPC install cost of 1,36% of material value per manufacturing run, but it can be more (or less) depending on the system you're in.

With the number of POSs required to run industrial operation substantially reduced, corporations will save tons of ISK in fuel. This did not affect ice and fuel prices just yet, but probably will in the nearest future. On the other hand corporations have to pay for every job they installed, even at their own POS. Let's see which is bigger: fuel savings or install costs.

We used to have 5 Caldari Large POS towers before Crius, and now we only need one.

Pre CriusAfter Crius
5 Caldari Large1 Caldari Large
Monthly fuel costs
3082M ISK616,5M ISK

This is a reduction of 2466M ISK monthly. Now 30 days of manufacturing in our system (cost index 2,6) would yield 416M ISK of additional costs. So in the end this change is a very much positive one, saving us roughly 2 billion ISK monthly.

UI changes

I love the new S&I UI in terms of both features and look & feel. Previously installing a single job required 7-9 clicks, now it's 1 drag and 1 click. Awesome! The new GUI is much more informative, too. While we still need LMeve to do job planning at the corp level, at individual player level, the amount of information displayed in the new Industry GUI is more than enough. Granted, the new UI is still a little buggy, but all CCP needs to do is add a little polish here and there.

Unfortunately, like every rose, this one has some thorns as well. The new UI is really bad performance-wise. Our corporation is doing a heavy duty operation and we own hundreds of BPOs and thousands of BPCs, not to mention about 120 containers in corp hangars. This new UI will try to scan for each and every single bleuprint, so with the amount of data our corporation has, it becomes really bad.

Example:

  • When I open S&I window, I have to wait 21,6 seconds before I can interact with it,
  • Once it loads, I drag a Tech II BPC into it and the game literally freezes for 18,2 seconds,
  • Then I enter the amount of 10 runs (game freezes for 3 seconds),
  • Then I click "Start" and the game freezes for an additional 14,7 seconds,
  • Then I drag another BPC and the story repeats.

As you can see, all time savings related to the reduced amount of clicks are quickly diminished by the amount of time I have to wait.

EDIT: According to CCP Nullarbor and Crius 1.8 patch notes, one of the performance issues when submitting industry jobs has already been fixed. Devs are still working on performance improvement for long blueprint lists.

By the way, while I appreciate the possibility to install jobs from a container, the list of corp hangar divisions and containers under input and output is way too long in our case. A tree approach (only hangar divisions visible initially, and containers shown only after you've clicked a specific division would be perfect).

* times measured on Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 running at 2,4 GHz & with 4GB RAM.

** the performance problem has been reported to CCP in the form of a bug report with attached log server logs

And how did Crius affect YOUR industry processes?

2Aug/141

Polish EVE Community hot dropped in Warsaw

EVE Online player gathering Warsaw 2014I was very excited (and a bit worried) about it, because it was the first time for me to organize an EVE Online player gathering. I simply couldn't wait! I am now really happy and relieved, that it turned out to be a really good time for everyone present.

It's that day!

Me and my wife have arrived earlier to set up a counter with ID cards and an attendance list. Additionaly, SokoleOko, a player well known in the Polish Community, wished to give a presentation to say a few words about the status of nullsec. So we've needed to set up a laptop for that as well. When we've arrived at Hard Rock, there was alaready a bunch of people waiting. We've quickly introduced ourselves and started giving out the IDs. People at Hard Rock are very helpful, so all the preparations for the presentation went smoothly. CCP Gargant showed up shortly after, and still well before 19:00. CCP provided an open bar for the participants, so everyone who picked up their ID could go and grab a beer (or in many cases, something to eat as well).

After half an hour we had 75% of the list already there, and we've decided to give it a go. SokoleOko started his presentation about why nullsec is broken, and how to fix it (you can see his presentation here). After the presentation, I went to the stage and welcomed our guest with two gifts, that Polish Community deemed the most appropriate. First was a bottle of vodka, re-branded as "Frachtówka" (polish for "Freighter Vodka"). I quickly covered the story of that label, and feel free watch that history here yourself. The other gift was a beverage as well (we Poles like gifts that are useful!), but it has quite a different story - it was mead, a drink that had been already known to humanity almost 4000 years ago. Afterwards CCP Gargant has officially confirmed that he will be the one running Alliance Tournament this year, and askedthe crowd if there will be any AT teams from Poland. There were two. So Gargant asked if BUFU is in C0ven. Kharim Katelo responded: "It's not BUFU that is in c0ven, it's c0ven that is with BUFU".

With the official part over, people quickly formed into small groups (who know each other from game), and of course everyone enjoyed themselves.

Some time has passed, and Gargant asked me how we should proceed with giving out the swag that Guard sent over a week before the event. Having no experience with this I asked Gargant if he had an idea himself. He did. We had an attendance list, so we've asked the crowd to give out a number, and then asked that person to the stage. People were being asked some trivia questions ("What are the names of the new Sister of EVE ships?") and given a reward when the answer was correct. Besides this, Gargant gave everyone a code for ship skins - either for an Iteron or Nefantar Mammoth. I don't know how Guard knew how many codes to send, because there was 47 people and exactly the same number of those codes!

The official part ended at about 23:00, but this was not the end of the party. Gargant and a bunch of players went on a Pub Crawl, which lasted almost until dawn!

A bit of background

I first spoke with Guard about player gathering in Poland when my blog was appointed an official fansite. Polish Community is a bit fragmented: there is C0VEN and BUFU, there is Unseen Academy, The Nameless Alliance, Exiled Ones, and the rest is either people playing in international corporations, or smaller Polish ones. I wanted to do this, because integrating all these small communities would be really cool.

Guard promised to get back to me regarding this and he did. So I've scouted some restaurants and pubs around Warszawa Centralna, and forwarded their pricings and offers to CCP. We've chosen the most appropriate venue, and CCP Guard reserved it for us (remotely). When it was a week before, he sent over some swag by DHL. In the meantime, I've designed the ID cards (with some excellent feedback from both my wife and from the Community) and then written a script, which downloaded all Corporation and Alliance names from the EVE API for the registered participant's character nicknames. This way all the IDs were filled automatically using Mail Merge ;-) Getting the gifts was the most tricky one, because almost all brands of vodka in Poland have some carvings on the bottle, so it's impossible to glue a new label on them (and the gift would be meaningless if it weren't a "Frachtówka"!).

Op success \o/

Everyone had a great time, and I'm sure we will repeat it in future! Organizing all this was a bit of a challenge (if you've ever herded a bunch of cats, you'll know what I mean), and I'm really glad everything went so smooth. I hope next time we will see more familiar faces from CCP (yes Mr G. , I'm looking at you ;-))!

Polish EVE Community & CCP Gargant ID cards

But wait, Lukas is retired as a player, isn't he?

Well... I was. For the past six months I didn't have time to play games. It's slighly better now, so yes, you can say I'm back :-)

27Jul/140

LMeve now compatible with Crius!

Last week was full of busy evenings and afternoons, but the result was worth the effort!

First off, LMeve is now compatible with Crius API endpoints:

  • /corp/IndustryJobs.xml.aspx endpoint has been changed to the new specs
  • /corp/IndustryJobs.xml.aspx endpoint has been added
  • YAML data from blueprints.yaml is now decoded and insterted into database

Secondly, new formulas are used to calculate the amount of materials required by industry jobs.

Lastly, YAML data is now used to populate "Traits" and "Bonuses" in Database. Oh, and I have almost forgotten, meta variants are now displayed as well:

lmeve-database-changes

As usual, code is available to download at GitHub.

Bug fixes

A friend of mine, Ubentobox, was trying to install LMeve on his host, and encountered a series of problems, caused by oversimplifications in my code. To prevent others from facing the same problems, I have fixed all the issues that he faced during deployment:

  • short PHP open tags '<?' are replaced with long ones '<?php'
  • passwd.php is more intelligent now and is able to set or re-set admin password, without the need to manually edit the database
  • update_yaml.php is more intelligent now and can either insert all YAML data into database, or just the specified files
  • default cookiepath is now set to root '/', so it's easier to set-up LMeve in single site mode (cookiepath MUST be changed if multiple instances of LMeve are to be installed)
  • there is no longer need to rename camelCase table names in Static Data Dump to lowercase. LMeve now uses table names exactly as they apper in Fuzzysteve's MySQL conversion.

The Future

Some new features I have planned will inculde:

  • Facilities XML endpoint, which will replace manually-edited Assembly Array feature
  • CREST Teams API
  • CREST public facilities API
  • Single Sign-On to connect characters to LMeve account (right now admins have to connect users to characters manually)

 

30Jun/140

Crius API changes

industryAs per this dev blog by CCP FoxFour (@regnerBA), industry changes in Crius will also change the way Industry API works.

There will be no new endpoints, but old endpoints will be changed instead. This means old tools will no longer work unless their developers adapt them. But fear not, #devfleet has you covered!

Lockefox (@HLIBindustry) has published tools and sample API data to help other third party devs adapt their apps.

You can find his github repository here: https://github.com/lockefox/CriusDev

  • scripts which handle the new BPO data (to use on this file: <sisi client path>\bin\staticdata\blueprint.db from your Sisi client)
  • sample API outputs from the modified endpoints
    • corp/facilities.xml
    • char/industryJobs.xml
    • char/industryJobsHistory.xml

Great job Lockefox! It's much appreciated!

PS. I will do my best to add these changes to LMeve before Crius deployment, but due to summer holiday season this might take a few days longer. Stay tuned!

24Jun/1413

EVE Online Player Gathering in Warsaw: 30.07.2014

EVE Online player gathering Warsaw 2014Jeśli jesteś graczem EVE Online z Polski, to jak najszybciej zarezerwuj sobie wolne 30 i 31 lipca. Dlaczego?

Ponieważ z dumą ogłaszam oficjalny zlot graczy EVE Online w Warszawie, 30 lipca 2014, który uświetni swoją obecnością sam CCP Gargant z teamu Community!

GDZIE: Hard Rock Cafe
ul. Złota 59
Warszawa, Poland
(mapka dojazdu)

KIEDY: 30.07.2014, startujemy o 19:00

Możesz już zacząć organizować transport i nocleg!

Q: Czy to aby na pewno oficjalny zlot?
A: CCP Guard właśnie potwierdził zlot: First Official player gathering in Warsaw

Q: Jak dojechać?
A: Planujemy zlot w ścisłym centrum Warszawy, więc pociągi zatrzymujące się na stacji Warszawa Centralna to najprostszy dojazd. Przed Pałacem Kultury zatrzymują się też prywatne busy i autobusy, więc z dojazdem nie powinno być problemu. Możesz też wybrać Polski Bus, który zatrzymuje się na stacji Młociny. Stamtąd wystarczy dojechać metrem do stacji Centrum(mapka dojazdu)

Q: Ale 30 lipca to przecież środa, cóż za fatalny termin na zlot!
A: Wiemy o tym. Z drugiej strony tylko w tym terminie możemy gościć w Polsce CCP Garganta. Jednak jeśli zlot wypali, koledzy z CCP z pewnością odwiedzą nas ponownie.

Q: W jakich godzinach będzie zlot?
A: 19:00 - 23:00, przy czym nic nie stoi na przeszkodzie żeby zostać dłużej

Chcielibyśmy ocenić jak dużo osób wybiera się na event - dlatego proszę wypełnij formularz rejestracyjny pod tym postem. Z góry dzięki!

PS. Mail nie musi być prawdziwy, ale po evencie wystawię zdjęcia ze zlotu i namiary zostaną wysłane na podany w formularzu adres.

Do zobaczenia na miejscu!

---

If you are an EVE Online player, and you are from Poland, you should arrange a day off on 30th and 31th of July. Why?

Because I'm very proud to announce that on July 30th there will be an official Player Meeting in Warsaw, attended by no other, but CCP Gargant himself!

WHERE: Hard Rock Cafe
ul. Złota 59
Warsaw, Poland
(downtown map)

WHEN: 30.07.2014, we start at 19:00

You can already start arranging accomodation and travel to a party in the hottest summer capital in the Central Europe!

Q: Is this official?
A: CCP Guard has just confirmed the event here: First Official player gathering in Warsaw

Q: How to get there?
A: We plan the event in the Warsaw downtown, so coming by train to Warszawa Centralna is probably the easiest way. Some buses and coaches which have a stop near Pałac Kultury will also work for you. It is also possible to travel with Polski Bus, which stops at Młociny station in Warsaw. You can then take the underground directly to the Centrum station. (downtown map)

Q: But July 30th is Wednesday, what a lousy timing for a gathering!
A: We are well aware of this. On the other hand it's the only way we can have CCP Gargant with us. But I'm pretty sure that after doing it once, we will be able to pull it off again, so everyone interested will be able to attend.

Q: What time will the event take place?
A: 19:00 - 23:00, but you can stay longer if you want.

If you already know that you're coming, please fill the short registration form below. Thanks!

See you there!

Rejestracja

Jeśli wybierasz się na zlot ( wystarczy 90% pewność ;-) ), proszę wypełnij formularz poniżej. Dzięki!

Rejestracja została zakończona

Jeśli nie zdążyłeś/aś się zarejestrować, nie przejmuj się i przyjedź na zlot!  Po prostu wypełnisz identyfikator markerem na miejscu ;-)

23Jun/140

Old EVE Screenshots #1 – 2006 – 2007

Last weekend I was doing some travel, and as most of you know, waiting for a connecting flight can often be a pain. Less so if you have a laptop or tablet with you to help pass the time. And I was lucky to have my iPad with me. So I began to sift through all my EVE screenshots (since day one - August 2005), and quickly found some interesting ones. So I've started sharing them on Twitter.

Judging by the favourites and retweets, #tweetfleet has enjoyed them, so I thought you guys might like them, too!

Jump to Lukas Rox! Old cyno jump effect Tanking mining barges since 2006! GOLDEN VEXOR (kidding, Tech I looked like this) Old fitting window Flying Tech I indy through nullsec (noob mistake!) Old shield boosting effect police-comet-2007 because-of-falcon

5Jun/140

LMeve new features – 0.1.30 beta in testing

Hello internet spaceship industry moguls! With Crius and big changes to industry just around the corner, one would surely benefit from a contribution tracking tool such as LMeve.

I realize that, and despite the fact that I'm retired from the game, I still support the tools.

New features

First, thanks to an amazing dev known as CCP FoxFour (@regnerBA) and his recent work on CREST & EVE API, LMeve will now display the list of POCOs owned by your Corporation (or Corporations) and tax rates set on each of them.

lmeve-02Another new feature is one that was well overdue - it even had a placeholder in the menu, but it was not completed before my retirement. Say hello to PVE Activity window. It shows how many missions and incursions have been run in a given month (based on the WalletJournal data; number of missions equals the amount of agent mission payouts and CONCORD payouts account for incursion sites run). A similar graph for PVP is in the works as well (will show kills vs losses).

lmeve-01

Some bugs have been squished as well (for example all graphs will now show proper number of days for each month instead of hardcoded 31). Another bug was in poller code for POS list (StarbaseList.xml.aspx). Due to the way it was written (INSERT ... ON DUPLICATE KEY UPDATE...;), all old POSs would continue to exist in the database, despite the fact they have been unanchored or destroyed. New code (DELETE...; INSERT...;) removes all old POSs and updates them per latest API data. The same code was used for Pocos, so they should update correctly as well.

By the way, I have a patch ready for EVE: Crius industry changes (new ME and TE formulas), but I will hold it until this new expansion is released.

You can download the latest release of LMeve directly from github: https://github.com/roxlukas/lmeve. See this post for instructions on how to install it on your webserver.

Known issues

CCP is not updating the 3D models on their CDN automatically, which means that 3D preview will not work for a good deal of them (or will show old models instead, for example for Tristan or Moa). I have tweeted to @CCP_raRaRa, who is the person behind CCP WebGL, so we have to wait until he runs his model export scripts again.

Does it mean Lukas Rox is back?

If only life was so easy ;-) Nope, I'm still retired from EVE. This is just some necessary maintenance work on apps I've written for you guys!

 

5Jun/140

LMeve Installation Guide

Preparation

You will need a host with:

  • access to crontab (so most likely to shell as well).
  • MySQL 5 or above
  • PHP 5 or above
  • about 250MB of free disk space (for icons and EVE Static Data Dump)
  • EVE Online corporation API key(or keys)

First, go to https://github.com/roxlukas/lmeve/releases and download the latest stable version.

The trunk code is unstable and shouldn't be used in production.

Warning! The guide below is deprecated, see readme.md on LMeve GitHub page for the most recent one!

Setup instructions

There is no installer currently, so there is some setup work to get LMeve to run

1. Initial setup

index.php and the website itself is in ./wwwroot/ directory. If you can set up your webserver root to this directory, please do so.

  • Go to ./config/ directory, copy config-dist.php to config.php and set it up according to your host
  • Set up a random new $LM_SALT value in config.php, then generate admin password hash by using php ./bin/passwd.php
  • copy the password hash to clipboard
  • Download current Types and Icons from EVE Online Toolkit page:http://community.eveonline.com/community/fansites/toolkit/
  • unpack all PNG files from Types to ./wwwroot/ccp_img/
  • unpack all PNG files from Icons to ./wwwroot/ccp_icons/

2. Database setup

  • Import ./data/schema.sql file to MySQL database before using LMeve. Remember to set the db config options in ./config/config.php
  • If in ./data/ there are any delta schemas, import them as well (up to the version you're installing)
  • Import latest static data dump (can be in a different db schema for clarity, for example you can import lmeve db to lmeve schema and static data in sde_rubicon. LMeve will always use SDE schema set in$LM_EVEDB variable in config.php file) You can download latest static data from Steve Ronuken's website:https://www.fuzzwork.co.uk/dump/
  • If necessary, change table names to lowercase using script ./data/sde-rename-lowercase.sql
  • Access the database using phpmyadmin or other tool, go to lmusers table
  • Edit record for user admin
  • Paste the password hash from clipboard in the pass field afterwards you will be able to login as admin/admin . Password should be be changed in Settings as soon as possible.
  • Add corp API key (or keys) to cfgapikeys table. keyID goes to keyID, vCode goes to vCode
  • Full corp API key works best, but the app will adjust the amount of visible information according to the rights it has been given.

3. API Poller setup

  • Set up API poller in cron to run every 15 minutes*/15 * * * * [path-to-php]/php [path-to-lmeve]/bin/poller.php

Credits and copyrights

  • LMeve by Lukasz "Lukas Rox" Pozniak
  • LMframework v3 by 2005-2014 Lukasz Pozniak
  • rixxjavix.css skin by Bryan K. "Rixx Javix" Ward

Thanks!

  • TheAhmosis and Razeu - it's their idea that I had the pleasure to wrap in code
  • Crysis McNally - for excellent ideas and thorough testing
  • Aideron Technologies - for excellent closed beta
  • CCP Games - for making such a great game and providing API for us, developer kind, to tinker with
7Mar/145

A quick technical post regarding ship skins

After yesterday's dev-blog about ship skins, most players again discuss the micropayment issues. Others discuss the technical aspects - instead of introducing 8 ship skins, maybe it should be possible to create your own, unique color sets?

Remember the game Homeworld? Even though it's several years old, it allowed changing the colors of the stripes on all ships in the fleet. Would that be possible to do in EVE Online? Could corporations have their own "stripe colors"?

The answer is YES, technically it's not very difficult*

* - I know for sure it's possible to do in CCP WebGL, but I do not have enough knowledge about EVE Online client code

When me and T'Amber talked about CCP WebGL, I remember we've discussed ship shaders being text files. What does it mean? Each CCP WebGL ship skin is simply an XML plaintext file that says which files contain the 3d model, what textures to load and all the other parameters (hue, specular, effects etc.) are set there as well, all in plain text.

How does that apply to fully customizable ship skins? Some parameters could be dynamically changed at runtime, for example Diffuse Color (hue). You wouldn't be freely able to change the entire textures, or shape of the ship, but you would get the Homeworld-like ability to change the colourable parts of the hull to any shade you want. Like Punkturis' neon pink? Change the hue to pink (#FF00FF) and set saturation to max. Like matte black? Change the saturation to zero and luminosity to low, and you'll get your black.

As an example, below is the color for Gallente ships from Tristan's .red file:

<MaterialDiffuseColor>
<name>MaterialDiffuseColor</name>
<value json="true">[0.2901961,0.3764706,0.3843137,1.0,]</value>
</MaterialDiffuseColor>

for those who want to test, here's the same colour as HTML ( 0.2901961 * 255 -> convert result to hex )

#4A6062

What does it give us? Instanced ships items (i.e. unpacked ships) would have to contain a few more numbers, that are then used by the game client to replace the default Diffuse Color a moment before rendering the ship on screen. Would that put a lot of strain on GPU? A little bit, yes, because client would have to keep many more shaders at runtime, but the amount of actual texture files would be exactly the same.

Here I replaced the default Gallente color with this:

#FF4CFF

 

And this is the result (requires WebGL compatible browser):

Tristan 'CCP Punkturis' Edition
tristan-pink

Now that I'm not a CCP developer, I don't know if EVE Online client works exactly the same way as CCP WebGL. But I bet CCP knows that already ;-)

TL;DR: Hull colors are numbers, saved in plain text. You can easily change them a moment before displaying ship on the screen.