Saturday, 19 December 2015

Risk aversion, and the costof thinking: Part 3

I didn't really intend for this to become a three part series, but out of looking at this paper some advice for pirates, or Faction Warfare militias popped into my head.

The goal of this advice is to reduce the cognitive load on people trying to enter PvP. By reducing that particular barrier, you will see a rise in the number of people fighting in your particular systems.

Getting new players in system

Stock the station market.

One of the biggest issues facing new PvPers, in particular for solo PvP, is the logistical problem of getting ship to combat zone.

My very first foray into Faction Warfare involved fitting up a frigate from my base station, and then making a 30 jump journey to the warzone. Upon entering, I had 2 minutes of delightful combat against a Rupture, and then blew up. I got him down to structure though, and drunk on this perceived success, I eagerly warped back to my base to re-ship.

I got about halfway before I realised I'd need to get all the modules for the ship again. And in my home base, that meant a trip to Rens to get everything. Transport it back to my base to fit up the ship. Then 30 jumps again to find a Rupture, most likely long gone.

In short, a lot of thinking to get back into the fight.

My next PvP encounter would be years later, when I assumed the title Khanid Kataphract, and really applied my brain to getting into PvP.

Anecdotal evidence, but it's my experience.

Just think what could have happened if all the things I needed were right there in that very system. I could have re-fit instantly, maybe gotten a second try at that Rupture, and maybe even my first kill mail.

Stock the local stations with goods. Allow newbies to simply bring ISK with them, and not an indy with everything they think they need. Not only does it reduce the starting costs of PvP down, but it means they can change their fits without wasting ISK.

For FW neutral markets can be a massive boost. Militias can be locked out of stations, meaning that assets can be locked away. Great for denying space from the enemy, but the problem there is you've denied space to your enemy. Why are you in Faction Warfare if not to PvP? Why then take actions that actually restrict targets from coming to you?

If you work very hard, and find your home base far from the front lines, you've basically turned your PvP arena into a deserted back water. It takes even more thought power to reach you, so why even bother?

If you want to have more PvP, make it easy for PvP to take place in your system. Stock the markets. Don't camp the jump gates. Don't mock in Local. Make your space somewhere people actually want to come to.

Reduce the effort it takes to get there, and people will come.

Friday, 18 December 2015

Risk aversion, and the cost of thinking: Part 2

Before we just looked at the cost of thinking as some of the background.

It's worth mentioning now, that this is mostly layman conjecture on a single paper, which is relatively recent. It's by no means a water-tight discussion from an expert, but rather the fevered ramblings of a pretend scientist on the internet.

That said, I hope some of this sparks a little bit of your own thoughts, or gives a little clarity to what you may be thinking about already.

Risk aversion to cognitive effort

Strictly speaking, this is a study of shifts in attention, and the perceived thinking effort that goes into it. If your attention is dragged all over the place, you tend to feel like you're being strained, or feel as though you are putting in a lot of work.

However, it does show an aversion to risky cognitive effort. It says that, given a choice between a safe, low thinking activity, and one which MAY require a high amount off thinking, people will tend to choose the simpler one.

Put simply, people don't want to find themselves in a position where they don't know how much thinking is needed.

I actually see this first hand in the classroom, particularly with students with Special Educational Needs. If they go into a lesson not knowing how much thinking they need to do, they will generally resist any attempts by you to teach them. Give them a set of criteria, and tell them directly what they will be doing at the start, and they will tend to put in effort.

This study also notes the difference between thinking effort and physical effort.

How many times have you heard the advice from solo PvPers: sometimes you just have to jump in and hope for the best. This is rationalised by these findings. Physical effort, actually getting yourself into combat, is usually rewarded with dopamine. That rush you get and the euphoria after a fight is a result of this reward.

This study tells us that there isn't as strong a link between a reward for thinking about a problem, as actually accomplishing it. Whereas that first fight you have will encourage you to do more, the thinking about the problem, even if a solution is successful, may not motivate you into more thinking time.

I'm not sure how valid a point that is, as my own experience tells me I enjoy analysis and logistical thoughts. So there is some more work that needs to be done there. But running with this idea that thinking effort is a detractor from activities, we can go on to the general risk aversion of EVE.

This means that a capsuleers risk aversion to more dangerous activities in EVE is not really down to a cost-benefit analysis of the physical cost, but rather the heavy thinking load involved in getting started.

Why do you think fitting guides and tactics advice are so popular?

Again, referring to mining. Mining as an activity is very easy to start in. You are hand held in the tutorials, and after less than an hours training, you are a successful miner. There are layers of mastery on top of that, but those layers of mastery are actually guided by ship progression. You work towards your first barge, then exhumer, then Orca. At the very beginning, you know how much thought you will put in, and where you're going.

Contrast that with PvP.

For Faction Warfare, you generally haven't got a clue where you're going, what you'll do when you get there, which ship you'll need, or what you'll do when it blows up. The preparation for entering even the most rudimentary PvP is, quite frankly, hard work.

In other words, what keeps people from entering EVE's PvP is less about risk aversion to money loss, but more about the aversion to the thinking effort needed to put in.

It's not really about losing the ship (although it does sting when you lose your shiny new faction battleship). It might be about knowing what to do afterwards, or even how to get into a situation where you can lose your ship.

Er... I mean, a competitive situation. Parking an indy about Jita's main station and shouting about the stack of PLEX in your cargo hold is a great way to lose a ship.

Next time, I'll discuss how, if you are a PvPer, can encourage people to actually come to your systems to fight.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Risk Aversion, and the cost of thinking: Part 1

Whilst I was fact checking for one of my last posts, I stumbled across this paper on

Risk aversion is one of the key phrases thrown around by pirates and other competitive players who bemoan the fact that newbies and less skilled capsuleers do not line up to pad out their kill boards, and we see it in most peoples' blogs and forum posts eventually.

I've never really looked up the Science behind risk aversion, so when I saw it here, I had to take a look. It's a social science paper though, so not my specialty. If any of my three readers think I've made a mistake, then please correct me.

The cost of thinking

Simply this; If you have to think about the task, it devalues the reward.

We do little cost-benefit analyses of actions we take every day. A simple example would be seeing a lollipop on the other side of the road. You will calculate the physical effort it takes to get to the lollipop against the reward of eating the lollipop. If the reward is acceptable to you, you cross the road, and devour the sweet, sugar kebab. If not, you'll continue on your way to the gym.

An EVE example would be selling an item. You see on the market a buy order in Jita 5 jumps away for 10,000 ISK, and a region wide order for 8,000 ISK. If, to you, the 2,000 ISK is worth the effort of travel, you hop in your frigate, and head to Jita. If not, you sell to the Region order.

What this study shows is not the Physical effort cost, but rather the cost of thinking about the problem; in the words of the study, how cognition devalues your reward.

Again in EVE terms, you could spend 10 minutes browsing the market for the best buy order, or you just hit sell instantly. You know you can get a better price by browsing markets, or even setting up your own sell order. But if it's a round of projectile ammunition you're looking to just clear your hangar of, then it's not really worth your thinking time.

The more you have to think about obtaining your reward, the less likely you are to even try it. To use Gevlon's language, you are a slacker, and probably a moron too for not thinking. In other terms, you are simply trying to most efficiently use your bodies current resources.

So what? Time is money. Nothing we didn't already know. What the paper tells us isn't that, and in fact suggests that time spent thinking isn't as important, but rather the effect it has on motivation to complete tasks. The more you need to think about an action, the less the perceived value of the reward, which affects your willingness to even attempt a task.

The best example of this was the old Planetary Interaction or even Scanning interfaces. To complete any of these tasks required a good deal of planning, memory load on remembering menus and options. This meant that many capsuleers were turned off from it before they even started. The reward became diminished because the thought work was too high.

On the other side of the scale, mining requires barely any thought at all. Okay, that's probably unfair to miners, who strive for efficiency with each laser cycle, but it's undeniable that fitting a laser and pointing it at a stationary rock is much lighter on the brain than say, setting up a manufacturing line. This is why many EVE capsuleers start off with mining. It has a clear reward with minimal thinking, and as discussed in a previous post, the mechanical process is well supported by a currency reward.

How this applies to risk aversion is what I'll discuss in the next post.

Just one more thing before we go. This study also shows that there isn't much of a link between task avoidance and the amount of eye movement involved. What that means in terms of EVE, is that UI layout is only important where physical movement of mice is involved... at least in terms of encouraging people to do activities.

So for an effective UI, keep your information spread out, but your action buttons clustered together. But then again, you knew how to set up your own hot keys already. Right?

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

New Eden Conflict Drivers

Gevlon over at Greedy Goblin wrote an interesting piece on conflict drivers.
Thought provoking is par for the course for him, and I envy his ability to manage both blogging, a trade empire and his day job. But provoked my thoughts are, and I started to think about the conflict drivers in Faction Warfare low-sec.
The obvious answer is the Faction Warfare loyalty points, as the four militias battle over the complexes. There are a few reasons why this is not tremendously satisfying.
  • We rarely encounter fleets going all out over single complexes.
  • The majority of plexers will simply run if the fight is not winnable.
  • Those that do stick around were looking for combat anyway.
  • Pirates are there... and they care not a jot for LP.
So as conflict drivers go, LP is somewhat failed. Those that chase after it tend to steer clear of conflict, and the greatest conflicts are not driven by them.

Gevlon goes on to talk about ideology being the conflict driver for larger groups. I'm a scientist (or at least pretend to be for my students and on the internet), so let's look at some research.

LP is currency, hence why it appears in your wallet. It's a slightly odd currency, in that it's not directly transferable, but you use it to indirectly inflate your wealth.

Traditional economics says, do more work, then get better paid. Work hard, you get the best salaries, don't do any work, and you get, well, minimum wage. The best way to imagine this is a carrot to the stick of starving to death. Or to put it in Gevlon language: morons and slackers go broke.

It turns out that money is a fairly poor motivator for creative or cognitive tasks. It works great for something more mechanical (i.e. mining), but rewarding with currency for something that requires more brain power actually makes people perform worse, not better.

If you've ever wondered why null-sec can field such large fleets of relatively low-skill pilots, whereas you find it difficult to get your small 5-man elite gang together, this is why. Locking target and firing without regard to thinking tactically can be easily rewarded with a salary or farming space. Luring your fellow small gang PvPers with the same isn't going to work as well, as they need to fly creatively, and thus need a better motivator.

This video explains it neatly in ten minutes, but please don't treat it as the end of the story. I'm still looking up research papers to verify.

It turns out that to properly motivate people creatively, you need to remove money from the equation. Make it so that the next pay check is not a consideration, and they are instead focused on a larger goal, something beyond themselves.

In essence, a cause worth fighting for, or working towards.

It's not that hard to see. Nearly all of the successful meta-groups of New Eden follow this plan. Examples include EVE University, who devote their own time to teaching Unistas for free. Dotlan is a fairly sophisticated piece of coding which others use for free. The CSM is another, well publicised example. Even Goonswarm, with their goal of epitomising the villains of EVE have a larger goal.

You now see why conflict in Faction Warfare exists at all. People are genuinely fighting for their faction. Pirates there are genuinely fighting for their independence, or more often to master their PvP skills. It's a fairly common trend for FW militia pilots to drift over to piracy once ISK becomes an irrelevance. One of the more famed pirates in New Eden often talks about the complete lack of PvE he actually does!

This is at work in Gevlon's own war against the "Emporium", as he calls it. Mordu's Angels are well subsidised by him, so they no longer have to worry about where their next ship is coming from. This allows them to tackle the problem of dismantling Gevlon's target much more creatively, hence their success. I remember a clear example where the Goons hell-camped a staging base, and the Angel's simply switched tactics to interceptor roams, able to slip past the bubble camps and carry on their harassment of goon money makers. Thus, their fluidity in approaching challenges creatively shown.

So yes, he's right. Ideology in the EVE universe is pretty much the sole conflict driver. But at least now we can see the mechanism by which this works.

I wrote in the recent Blog Banter about wanting a reason to fight on the Amarr side. This hypothesis goes a long way to rationalising my feelings on wanting some more moral high ground on the Crusade side of the conflict.

So, a nifty hypothesis, but still in need of evidence to back it up.

Monday, 14 December 2015

BB70: Dear Santa, I want to be good, but...

I'm Amarr.

Well, not strictly true, since I'm Khanid. But I used to fly through the Crusade, and still carry my rank there.

Dear CCP, I want a Space-Pony and a Space-Puppy and a....If CCP was Santa and you could ask for anything (in-game obviously) what would it be? A new type of ship that is tailored to your game-play? A change to mechanics? A battleship mini-doomsday weapon? Proper hats for your avatar? Opening of that bloody door? There are so many different options depending on what you do and what you want to get out of Eve Online. What would you like to see in your virtual Christmas stocking from CCP?

Blog Banter 70

A problem I've been struggling with is that the Amarr are objectively the bad guys. Slavers, conquerors, religious zealots. There are actually very few nice identities to claim once you choose to fight for the Crusade.

That may be the draw for a lot of people, but it's hard to put your all in when you know all you're doing is perpetuating the subjugation of star systems, and spreading dogma which you only pay lip service to yourself.

I can't be loyal to my home. I was born a Khanid. I trained in the War Academy. I was a knight of the Kingdom. But when my faction's history is literally a litany of the peoples enslaved or destroyed, you don't want to go and fight for them.

The only reason I struggle with it, is because I particularly like Amarr ships. I love the slicer, and the Navy Omen, and I enjoy using laser canons. For that reason alone, the best option would be for me to join the Crusade.

But... I don't want to be the bad guy. I'm not even a particularly good pirate.

It's worse now. Following current events. For the longest time, the Empire was run by Empress whose own mind may not have been her own. Why would any reasonable person fight for such a ruler? You know

The succession trials are going on now. I only hope the next Emperor is more... sensible than the last. An emperor worth following.

I still remember Arzad. The freighter destroyed and the slaves inside murdered for a simple, petulant display of cruelty and strength. That's not worth fighting for.

So, dear Santa. What I would like is a reason to be proud of being Amarr again. Doesn't have to be much. Just a little moral grey area. A reason to fight in the Crusade beyond money. Beyond ships.

Something to hold on to when the hull's about to breach.

Other than that, a sack of spare parts for the Astero, some Christmas lights for the drones, and a pair of socks that cleans easily after being dunked in pod goo.

The usual.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

The New(-ish) Punisher: Nice bonus, wrong hull

It would be fair to say I'm out of New Eden at this point. My subscription has lapsed, and I don't have time to really do anything in it these days.

My recent forays into Physics have turned me into a Physics teacher. Ironic, or merely inevitable, I'm not sure.

Either way, in between writing reports for my classes, my mind wandered over to what's happening in space these days, apart from the usual ground breaking discoveries which people now consider mundane (we took a picture of Pluto guys!). I went to the Features and Ideas section of the Eve-O forum, which is my usual stomping ground for intellectual stimulation. Most ideas there lack thought, but the creativity is abundant!

I noticed this: Balance Smorgasbord.

It certainly is a delight of different updates!

The punisher caught my eye as significant, however.

It's gaining a turret, dropping its damage bonus for the old cap bonus. Nice, but I think the Rifter would be the better hull to put that on. 4 turrets and application bonuses make the Rifter into much more comfortable ship to fly, rather than operating on the knife edge between heated scrams and fall-off.

So nice bonus, but the wrong hull there.

It did get me thinking about the Tormentor (which also got a buff) and the Punisher though.

Why doesn't the Punisher have drones?

I get that the Tormentor is the starter ship for the high firepower Amarr ships, sporting a pair of drones in addition to its 3 lasers. It also has the mid slots to fit a full trinity tackle, meaning it has a chance to dictate range. The only downside is capacitor management, and less tank than the Punisher. It's faster too, hence why the Tormentor is picked more for solo work.

The problem is this: the Tormentor has all the options, and redundancy built in.

It has the mid slots to dictate range, or at least mitigate the effect of faster ships. The good optimal on pulse lasers does the rest. It has the drones to pick at kiters who can stay out of range, and again, the web and scram to catch kiters with some clever maneuvering.

The Punisher has the same effective range, but no way to keep it's target where it wants it. It can barely catch up to targets either. There is simply no answer to a kiter beyond tanking the damage, and hoping for rescue. Even if you manage to slingshot a kiter, with no web to stick them in place, they're going to be able to coast past your scram range.

I want to suggest that the Punisher either get a mid-slot or a drone bay comparable to the Incursus. And I'm more in favour of the drone bay.

Just as with the Incursus, that single drone gives the Punisher hope against kiters, where its tank can absorb incoming fire, with the drone wearing down the opponent. It mirrors the Incursus nicely, simply swapping a resistance bonus for a rep bonus. Incursus still has the edge being lighter on its feet, and the Punisher retains its good damage application.

Two drones would be an extravagance, and negate the advantage of the Tormentor.

That said, I'm genuinely hopeful for the new (-ish) Punisher. More gank and tank may help it out. I doubt pilots will be encouraged to use it solo though.

And yes, I know not every ship should be designed with solo warfare in mind, but I don't like fleet fights, and I talk for my particular combat style.

Edit: I wrote Tristan earlier, when I meant Incursus... and I wrote it several times too. Let this be a lesson; never blog whilst tired.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Wormholes: Closed network

This isn't going to be long, as it's a fairly easy observation (and doesn't require a single shred of maths!).

The New Eden wormhole system is a closed network. Put simply, at this stage of wormhole exploration, we know that there are a finite number of systems that are reachable by wormholes. These generally receive new connections every few hours... quite a regular event for a natural cosmological phenomena.

What's more, is that the locations of these wormhole systems, whilst we cannot tell their distance or relation to the populated systems, are all generally in the same parts of space. This again, is a fairly simple observation to make: looking out at the surrounding nebulae of wormhole systems we can see that they share features and colour spectra.

Knowing this, we can deduce a few possibilities.

Locations of natural wormhole viability

It could be argued that these areas of space are places where wormholes are particularly viable. Perhaps something to do with the presence of large mass features (pulsars, black holes etc.), these just may be locations where space-time more readily folds in on itself,

It can then be argued that the Seyllin event led to the New Eden cluster becoming suddenly more susceptible to wormhole formation.The exact mechanism of this is definitely something that deserves more research, and means that wormholes are more likely to be natural phenomena. 

Artificial wormhole network

A somewhat more extraordinary possibility would be that the wormholes we experience in New Eden are in fact constructed. Much like our own jump gate network, each system connected to wormholes already appear to be inhabited. 

We don't find many completely empty systems... and in fact there are some systems in New Eden which are even less populated than wormholes. A short trip through even High security empire space will show you transit systems, with some asteroid belts, temporary anomalies and a pair of jump gates. In comparison, wormhole systems appear to be stuffed full of Sleepers.

This hints that wormholes are actually a network to settled systems. If they are artificial, then it would explain why there are some features of wormholes not predicted by relativity. Or, you know, relativity is wrong. 

The middle ground

Odds are that the answer lies somewhere in the middle of these two extremes. The Sleepers created a technology allowing them to create wormholes, and those more densely inhabited systems (Class 6s) are simply systems where exit wormholes form more readily.

If New Eden was not originally a place where wormholes formed easily, then it's reasonable to assume the Sleepers left the cluster, and simply closed the doors behind them. The Seyllin event, as destructive as it was, re-opened those doors.

What might be more relevant is that the wormhole network became unstable. We have seen over the years the number of wormhole connections across New Eden increasing. Low sec connections recently increased, and some scientists have predicted Null-sec systems are about to be affected in the same way.

This increasing destabilization of the wormhole network is already opening up new systems previously inaccessible to capsuleers. It may be that there are some systems that were also locked away by Sleepers... systems housing dangerous, or criminal Sleeper factions. 

Maybe what we know as Drifters?

Pure speculation, of course. But something we can start looking for; structures that control wormholes for a start. But something even better, would be structures, or destroyed structures designed to inhibit wormhole creation. The Sleeper equivalent of a Cyno inhibitor.

Evidence to look for:

Wormhole control structures (working or wrecked)
Common features between newly opened wormhole systems
Maps and terminal stations

Additional: I can't find the dev blogs or forum posts for changes to wormhole spawn rates in low and null sec. I've seen other writers talk about them, but I can't find actual evidence of it. I'd appreciate someone find me the links, to prove to myself that I didn't just dream them.

Monday, 29 June 2015

BB64: New E-War not needed, and Defenders against drones

Torpedo! Torpedo! Torpedo! With the Aegis release we will see missile boats get their own version of the tracking enhancer and the tracking computer. On the forums there have been calls for new 'missile defence eWar' to counter these new modules. Is this needed? Are smartbomb 'firewalls' enough? Do defender missiles need an overhaul to make them actually worth using? Do we need the missile version of the remote tracking disruptor? Or do we go all Star Trek and have Point-Defence Phaser Banks? Banter on!

Effect of the new modules

I've always found missiles to actually be the best weapon system... with a caveat attached to it.

Now, I understand that on paper they don't compare with the raw firepower of turrets, nor the engagement range of drones. There's the issue of travel time, which I only consider an issue for large fleets and their insta-pop philosophy.

The caveat is that I nearly only use frigates and small weaponed ships, and most of my missile fits tend to be rockets. Travel time is rarely an issue when you're within spitting distance of who you're unloading at.

And missiles are intensely reliable, and the new "tracking" modules make that even more so.

Provided you can maintain lock and range, you will always be putting out the same damage onto your opponent. This gives you great wiggle room in engagement range. You can go point blank, or kite out to scram range without changing ammunition. This little Rifter-style trick is a lot easier to pull off with missile boats.

They will also keep firing without capacitor. Neuts are fairly redundant against missile boats, particularly if they're running buffer or ancillary booster fits. Again, this makes missiles reliable under cap warfare.

It doesn't end there though. One of the most underused ammunition types are Friend or Foe missiles. FoF missiles are great to keep in your hold for the annoying jammers and sensor dampers out there. They'll keep pumping out missiles even under ECM, meaning your kiting Condor still has a chance of taking out something, even if you can't target back. Just, er... be careful if you're in a gang.

That reliability in most situations is balanced out by the middling damage output. Caldari compensate for the fairly low firepower by massive hull bonus or lots of launchers. Minmatar balance them with drones. Khanid ships balance it by being bricks.

These new modules... aren't really going to do much to affect that balance. They're going to make a slight difference in firepower application, making them even more reliable than ever, and it'll be nice to finally get the full damage application out of the Talwar running a target painter. More important than that, it'll give an extra option for the lows rather than a full ballistic control unit. That'll be nice, considering how tight CPU fitting usually is on missile boats.

Of course, this is spoken as a small ship pilot. I'm sure someone driving bigger boats will get more mileage out of these new modules. But as far as little ships go, I don't see much changing in the way we will fit or fly. I don't think we'll need a missile specific E-War to counter them.

Defender missiles

That said, Defenders could do with a more general use. Right now they're too niche. I've seen a few suggestions thrown around, and one I think has the most merit is giving them a role of shooting down drones too. Seeing as how a number of frigate hulls now carry one or two drones as a secondary, it might see a bit more use, particularly on Rifters with their utility high slot. That would go a long way towards addressing the Tristan dominance, and balancing the advantage kiting drone users enjoy.

It would also make the idea of escort frigates/destroyers more viable. A single frigate with Defender missiles in its highs could support cruisers by picking off drones, all while still contributing in the usual way of tackling and applying firepower. Since all cruisers carry at least a few drones, this would be quite significant... assuming they simply aren't primaried off the field. In which case at least one salvo is wasted on a frigate popping drones.

I don't see much wrong with that, unless programming them to target drones is a problem. If a ship simply loads only Defender missiles to exclusively counter drone boats, they'll still need to spend the time reloading back to normal missiles to apply firepower again. Even a Tristan without drones can do significant damage in that 10s reload time. And if that Tristan has Neuts instead of turrets, well, that's just the fitting roulette we all play.

Actually, having written it out like that, Defenders targeting drones seems like a really good idea...

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Wormholes and light

After looking at gravitational lensing, and seeing how, in terms of General Relativity, light acts under a gravitational field, I've found something rather interesting with the wormholes in New Eden.

If you fly to any wormhole, you can generally tell its destination by looking at it. We can see the some of the distant nebulae of the joining system. 

This one is from earlier. You can see the grey and reddish nebula in the middle.

A zoomed out picture for reference. The system of the observer (i.e. me) has the mix between red and yellow nebulae you find in between the Empire and the Republic.

The issue is this... the light is the same colour as the nebulae on the other side.

Sounds absurd to argue that, and clearly the light is being affected. However, you need to know that light acts a little different in gravitational fields than other objects.

Let's do an experiment: Drop something. Go ahead, I'll wait.

It should have dropped to the ground right? That object (and I hope it wasn't expensive) starts accelerating to the ground. It's losing gravitational energy, and transferring that to kinetic energy. The velocity increases.

Light as it falls towards a gravitational field also gains energy. But it's light. It's already going as fast as anything can go. Photons are too small to fit acceleration gates or traditional warp engines. It simply can't go any faster. That additional energy needs to go somewhere.

To understand what's going on here, we need to know an equation:

E = energy
h = Plank's constant
c = Speed of light
λ = wavelength

Plank's constant and the speed of light are both physical constants. We can't change them. This means that Energy has an inversely proportional effect on wavelength. More energy results in a shorter wavelength. Less energy, larger wavelength.

Here's a diagram of the EM spectrum. Larger wavelengths of light are on the right, shorter ones are on the left.

As light comes closer to the wormhole, we would expect it to get more blue. As it moves away from the hole, we'd expect it to get more red. 

We don't see light coming through the wormhole changing colour, regardless of distance from the hole.

This means that light is energy balanced coming through. 

This is weird. 

It's almost as if light is unaffected by the hole's gravitational field... at least in the center of our perspective. But we know that objects exiting the wormholes are affected by their mass. Larger ships tend to be ejected further away from the wormhole than smaller ones. Mass also affects wormholes. More massive objects destabilize wormholes faster.

And we still have the gravitational lensing effect, as predicted by General Relativity around the hole. We even see some ripples within the center of the hole, which suggest the lensing effect there.

This needs further observation to find out what's going on here. Why? I do not believe these wormholes to be natural phenomena. I believe them to be constructed, but out of control. And above all, I believe I am having a lot of fun learning the maths behind all of this! 

Seriously, I'm learning how to do tensors. Up until now I hadn't even heard of them!

Update: I should point out that the increase in energy is actually due to time dilation. Just needed to make that distinction to the analogy I gave above. Light is affected by gravitational fields, but not in the same way as objects with mass.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Unpacking the Turret Equation

Maths can tell us a lot about how the universe works.

Well, that's not quite right. It helps us describe the things we can see happening without spending a huge amount of words to do so. 

Perhaps the most used maths equation in New Eden describes how turrets work. And at first glance, it's a fairly daunting one:

Note that it's 0.5 to the power of all those other bits, not 0.5 multiplied by the other terms. That's important.

Now it looks really complex, and in some ways it is. However, by unpacking all those terms we can see that it's not all that scary, and will go some way to explaining your own intuitions and feelings about how to fly space ships.

However, I realize not everyone gets a kick out of doing maths, so I'll include summaries at the beginning of each post so you don't have to sift through all the numbers. 

Summary of points:
Lower chance to hit, means less hits.
Lower chance to hit, also means less damaging hits.
Make sure you train Motion Tracking and Range skills, so you can get more chance to hit.

Now lets do some maths.

Here is an overview of how turrets operate:
  • Fire gun.
  • Chance to hit is calculated (using the above equation).
  • A random number is generated. This is X.
  • If X is less than Chance to hit, you hit.
  • If X is greater than Chance to hit, you miss.

X is always going to be a number between 0 and 1.


Rifter shoots auto cannon at Punisher.
Chance to hit = 0.77
X is generated.
X = 0.56
X < Chance to hit.
Punisher takes damage.

The way damage is calculated is a further calculation based on X.

  • Damage modifier = X + 0.5

So in the above example:

X = 0.56
Damage modifier = 0.56 + 0.5
                             = 1.06

What does this tell us? If we have less chance to hit, then the damage of our shots will also be quite low. 


X = 0.1
Damage modifier = 0.1+0.5 = 0.6

Damage modifier = 0.9+0.5 = 1.4

If X is higher, we can achieve more damage. They're just harder to get a hit.

The exception to this are wrecking shots. These occur when X < 0.01. At that point, the modifier is 3, the New Eden equivalent to a critical hit. This means even if you have a very tiny chance of hitting a target, you still have a 1% chance at doing some damage.

To imagine it another way, every 100 shots you should get at least one hit. Line up 100 Tornadoes with one artillery canon, and at least one of them should be able to get a shot on an interceptor in range.

That said, the equation suggests that turrets have infinite range. I'd like to run a test one day, seeing if this is the case, seeing if an Executioner at 100km would be able to hit another ship with pulse lasers. Should only take about a thousand or so shots to see if this will happen.

All this is base off the equation on Evelopedia. If it's known to be incorrect, let me know, before I waste my time writing about it. I had fun unpacking it for myself, but there's limited value in writing about it for other people to use.

Also, picture of a Punisher:

No reason, I just thought it was pretty!

Friday, 29 May 2015

Drifters, Wormholes and General Relativity

You may be wondering why I think understanding the hard Physics behind worm holes is important.

Well, the first reason is that I love dissecting the universe around me.

The second reason are these guys:

Drifters. You may have seen them wandering around scanning things. I want to look at them in more detail, but for now I'll focus on this part of the battleship.

Notice they don't have traditional engines.

Looking closely at them we can see light bending in odd ways around these spikes, which occasionally twitch as the Drifters move.

What does this mean?

Well, it's a phenomena we see quite a lot around wormholes.

Look at that beauty of a shot! The nebula on the right side is almost entirely bent around the wormhole, so we can see it on the other side.

Now, we know this is not refraction, or reflection. There is nothing for the light to reflect off there, and if it were diffracting through some medium (which we don't observe anyway) we would expect to see some differences in wavelength, or some splitting of the light. We don't see this... the observed colour stays the same.

So what's going on here?

The light is being bent by gravity.

Which doesn't make much sense! Gravity is a force of attraxction between objects of mass. Light, has no mass. So how is it being bent around?

Well it's to do with the principle of equivalence.

In my last post I talked about the acceleration on an object caused by gravity, and I did some maths to support the theory using planets in a low-sec system. So, you should be happy with the idea that a object subject to gravity experiences an acceleration pulling it towards another object of mass.

Put simply: Big planet pulls you down.

But acceleration doesn't just happen due to gravity. The more commonly observed version of acceleration is seen in space ships going quickly!

So, imagine these two situations: capsuleer on a planet (in a gravitational field), and capsuleer in a Rifter accelerating away.

(Apologies for the picture of the Rifter. I still need to plug in the Advanced Photoshop skill book...)

If the pods camera drones weren't working properly, there'd be no way for the capsuleer to know if they were on the planet, or in the Rifter. Both are experiencing the same force pulling them down. In effect, we can see that these two situations are entirely equivalent to each other. Principle of equivalency.

This helps us to visualize what would happen to a beam of light moving across the Rifter when it's accelerating. So, let's have a Punisher get a wrecking shot on the Rifter.

As the beam moves across, the Rifter moves a little further forward. For the poor capsuleer about to eat hard vacuum, it looks like the beam is curving into the direction of the force pulling the capsuleer down.

The accelerating Rifter and the capsuleer on the planet are in equivalent situations. Therefore, light is curved into the direction of the pull of gravity.

Going back to our Drifter: since we can see the distortion of light here, with no apparent medium, we can say that the Drifters use some kind of manipulation of gravity as a method of propulsion.

See the way the Concord battleship bends to the rear of the Drifter? The direction of gravity is being pulled towards the rear of the vessel. Kind of weird, but this detail can be examined later.

For now, it's fairly obvious that Drifter propulsion is based from gravity.

Further study

Would Gallente gravimetric sensors be better at detecting these Battleships?
Do Drifter weapon systems operate on the same principle?
This is true for sub-light speeds. What do Drifters do the achieve warp?

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Wormholes: Basic Gravity

... or just making sure the laws of Physics are consistent in the cluster before going forward.

I had to do maths today, so to make up for it, here's a picture of the ISV Rhys Tai, my current ship.

Beautiful shot of Caroline's Star in the background.

I started with the assumption that gravity as we know it still applies to New Eden. If I were thinking meta-game, I doubt the developers would create a whole new set of Physics to create their universe. However, a lot of Physics does come down to constants, and once the equations are set, it's relatively easy to sneak some curve balls in in there.

So. Basic gravity.

The force of attraction due to masses of objects is ancient science.

These laws were laid down before even the Amarr and Khanid got off our planet. How they weren't lost under a deluge of religious dogma, I don't know. I can only hope reverence for the EVE Gate made such advances possible. But I digress.

The equation is relatively simple:

This is where m1 and m2 refer t the objects being attracted to each other, and r is the distance between them. G is a universal constant, used to equate mass, distance and force. And that's what we just need to test now. 

If that G constant is different then we essentially need to start all over again understanding New Eden Physics. Happily, testing it really isn't that hard for a capsuleer! 

The part of the equation we need to test is this bit in red:

This bit describes our surface acceleration on a planet.You might have seen this as a 'g' back in school (usually as a very human friendly 9.8m/s^2).

As capsuleers, our pod and ship sensors give us access to a whole bucket load of information we'll never need. Fly out to a planet, and check its information, and you can get its mass, radius, and even its surface gravity. Which means we can safely check our equations work, without too much hassle.

So that's what I did. 

These are some planets in the Shamahi system. Low-sec in case you were wondering. There's also Shamahi 9 up in the first picture of this post. Well done to Angry Gamers Incorporated for securing some POCOs in this system!

I checked the data, did the maths, and good news! Our basic equations for gravity, and the constants used hold up in the cluster... at least for this system. To be sure, we still need to check if this holds up in more exotic spaces (wormholes and Thera in particular).

But for now, I'm satisfied that my basic understanding of gravity can be applied in New Eden. I wasn't really expecting to find anything different, but it's always a good idea to check the basics before running off into black holes.

Now for General Relativity, and seeing which parts match up to our wormholes.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Wormholes: Basic function

'Basic' in this case being a relative term. But not a specific relativistic term... Or a special relativity term.

Wow, I managed to get confusing in the first paragraph. Let's start again?

Low-sec wormhole, captured from the deck of a Svipul scout destroyer

Wormholes are areas in space which allow you to travel from one point in space-time to a very distant one.

In practical terms, you go in one end, and pop out somewhere else, which could be theoretically on the other side of the universe. And in New Eden, that's exactly what it does. Scan it down, pass through, and you've found a short cut between Jita and Dodixie.

If all you're looking for is how to use a wormhole, then that's pretty much it. Nothing special, just a glorified jump gate.

According to the maths, it's not quite that simple. And I'll avoid maths as much as I can, and stick to description and analogy.

What's really important to remember is that this is all analogy. To really understand it, you need to know the equations. Language and human perception is simply not robust enough to comprehend what's happening. That's not to say you're dumb for not being able to, it's just that our imagination is more developed than our ability to perceive... one of the little quirks of the brain being primarily a predictor rather than a reactor.

You've probably seen this?

Makes it easier to understand.

Two things to remember:
  • The green grid represents 3D space-time.
  • Look at the yellow line. It does not jump off the green sheet. It follows it down the pipe.
You may have seen various sci-fi shows where you'll see ships zipping down tunnels. That's not really happening. You're not going to see a tunnel, and any wormhole resident will tell you that doesn't happen in New Eden.

You literally go in and come out... barring a few seconds where even the capsule can't process what's happening around it. No tunnel effects like you get from a jump gate, or acceleration lines you'd see from a intra-system warp.

Wormholes in New Eden aren't like acceleration tubes. They are literal short cuts. The best analogy is just a tunnel through a mountain. You still go at walking pace. It's just that the distance is shorter.

Here's a nice piece of evidence to show this:

Light passes through from the other side off the whole. We can see the system on the other side... I believe this one is a C4? You can identify them from the colour.

However, and I'm going to say this a lot... it's not that simple.

This, in fact, is kind of weird.

Light isn't acting as expected, or at least as far as my limited knowledge at this stage goes. I need more information. Time to hit the books, and do more research to understand what I'm seeing here.

But for now, that's a basic overview of what a wormhole does.

Just as an aside, if I start talking about things that you don't understand, please let me know. I teach Physics now, and there are certain things I just assume people know. If you could comment on bits and pieces that confuse you, or you simply weren't taught, it's actually going to help me outside of the pod, and help me deliver better lessons to students.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Understanding wormholes

Whilst looking through exotic matter hypotheses to solve our antikythera conundrum, I re-visited my old literary stomping grounds of wormhole theory.

I'll get the connection out of the way, so that others can begin wild speculation: traversable wormholes, in order to satisfy general relativity, need some exotic matter of negative density to keep them open. I won't even pretend to know the details or the maths behind it, but I may come back to it at some point.

The tinfoil bait? Antikythera could be an exotic material used to keep wormholes open.

Not really so far-fetched an idea. Our jump gates rely on similar technology. However, since its being used to make Entosis links, it does look unlikely.

Either way, I started looking at wormholes again.

Like any true nerd, I grew up thinking I knew more about the universe than I actually did, and delusions of my academic prowess led me towards reading Physics journals far above my level. Needless to say, I did not understand half of what was there.

And I still don't.

This is a problem.

Especially since I just used a wormhole to get from Molden Heath to Genesis yesterday.

And I get the feeling that wormholes are going to play an even more significant part of New Eden's development from this point on.

And I think looking a little more closely at this theory would help us to understand just what the EVE Gate is.

And to keep things at least a little interesting, I'll get some pretty pictures of wormholes to go with it!

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Evidence: Distribution of Jove Observatories

So I was curious about this, since I read someone talk about the Observatories being more concentrated in Curse. So what is the actual concentration of observatories across New Eden?

I started off by recording my own findings in Derelik, simply listing the observatories I found. Realizing this would take me months, I instead did some research to see if someone had done the work already.

Thanks to these guys who did the grunt work. Saved us all a lot of time!

So, from there it was a simple analysis: divide the number of observatories found in regions by the total number of systems in each region.

Here's the results for Empire space (rounded figures of course).

And null sec.

Pretty evenly distributed. The outliers aren't really that that compelling, and Curse actually has less observatories per system than others.

That doesn't mean we can't learn anything though.

The spread across space is even, both in Null, Empire and Pirate space. From this we can say that the Jove were watching everyone. And with equal interest. That's not to say the density of information collected is evenly distributed too, but they were quite thorough in casting a net over the whole cluster.

Which is curious: What would be the point in having such a massive station to observe a fairly minor flow of traffic? Smaller stations or even scout ships would have been much more efficient.

Two possibilities to consider:

1) The Jove installed these stations in advance just in case humans moved into it at some point. I can only assume their resources must be massive to build in such a redundancy.

2) The observatories have another function beyond observing humans.

With the assumption that antikythera is used to observe cosmological events, I put forward the hypothesis that this is in fact part of a large observatory network, to look for a cosmological, but elusive feature. Having a net this large, with faster-than-light communications between them would make a telescope of phenomenal resolution.

So this would lead us to look at just what information these stations collected.


  • What does antikythera actually do?
  • What information did these observatories collect?
  • Would this additional information have been extracted by the Drifters already?

Evidence: Scope video

Scope video

Well, here's a little evidence as to why the Jove observatories all had consistent damage marks. They were dismantled in the same parts by Drifters and Circadian Sleepers.

So one question answered. My conclusion before was wrong about the internal explosion, and instead was a careful extraction by another force.

The video states that Antikythera was being harvested by the Drifters and Sleepers. What this does and why they want it is unclear.

We can speculate its purpose form its name; it refers to a startling find of an ancient cosmology 'computer'. Don't be mistaken... it was a hand powered gear calculator, not a fully electronic piece of equipment. It predicted movements of observed stars. Nearly accurately too!

Again, whoever gave it this name in New Eden apparently knows more than we do, and is disinclined to share. I'd rather not draw serious conclusions from interpretation of a name, but if this substance is needed to observe some cosmological phenomena, it could give us a reason for the observatories.

Hypothesis: The observatories are only incidentally used to spy on the Empires and capsuleers. I suggest it was actually used to search for a cosmological event throughout the New Eden cluster.

The Jove were looking for something in space. Not to gather more information on the inhabitants of New Eden. This would explain the name observatory, as opposed to listening station, and why so many stations were needed as opposed to cloaked ships.

So. Questions to answer:

What does antikythera actually do?
What is the actual spread of Jove Observatories across New Eden?
How old are these things?
What information is collected by these observatories?
Why do the sleepers still hang around the observatories after the antikythera has been extracted?

Observation: Jove structure

The difference between a lore hound and a scientist is working solely from observable evidence. That's not a detraction from those who relentlessly sift through the antiquities and ancient texts of New Eden. However, as scientists we can't rely on witness statements. We need some hard evidence.

Here's the start of our data points: The Jove structure themselves.

The description is as follows for the Jove Observatory:

As evidence this is not compelling... we have no source for this particular description. We can't even be sure this is an observation outpost! But we'll call it that until we have a better name.

Here's the structure. It's about 180km in height, and about 300 m in width. Note the dust cloud around the center of the structure. This may have formed part of its cloaking device. However, if this was the case, with the cloud forming a solid barrier around the structure to cloak it, we would expect to see if more evenly distributed around the structure.

It's more likely that this dust was ejected from the structure itself through some internal catastrophic failure. Which brings us to this:

And this:

And finally this:

Note the angle of the girders. These sites of damage are most likely from internal explosions rupturing outwards. We could argue that smaller external impacts breached the hull leading to explosive decompression. However, we are missing other impact sites we'd expect from either combat or meteor showers.

Equally, the internal damage seems to be relatively slight. We'd expect to see some ricochets causing more internal damage from shrapnel bouncing around inside the hull.

Another interesting point; see the the gasses being vented? The lights still on? These stations are still operational. More or less. The cloak is down, but the power sources are still on. So where is the station crew?

Further evidence for internal explosions; these damage sites are common to all stations. This shows a sudden, network-wide catastrophic failure of certain components.

I left a mobile depot going into reinforced mode in the top picture. I was juts curious if that was done by the circadian sleepers or a player.


The observatories all suffered sudden catastrophic failures in at least three systems, one of which must be the stations cloaking device. This may not be linked to power supply, as some of the stations systems still appear to be operational.

Follow on:

Where are these observatories placed?
What are they observing: capsuleers, Empires, or natural phenomena. Are we just looking at a cluster wide radio telescope?
Is the damage consistent across all known observatories?

Treasure hunter and Scientist

You know... I don't really enjoy PvP.

It's a massive hassle. All that preparation for a a few minutes adrenaline seems hardly worth it. And once you're used to the adrenaline, like any good drug, you need to up your dose. Which means increased preparation time. 

I tried. I went to different militias, I dabbled in piracy. I tried different ships, different tactics. But they ceased to be engaging. 

Oddly enough, the most fun I had in Eve in the last year was floating around space taking pictures. Which was nice, but not really fitting for a Khanid cyber-knight, with a head stuffed with military doctrine. 

When the Confessor was released I went back to something I hadn't done seriously in an age. I went belt ratting. I found clone soldiers, I found a Garmur blueprint, and I found those weird Jove ships. In short, I re-discovered New Eden.

I think I'll keep doing that. 

Yes, it's PvE. But you know what? I like it. Treasure hunting. Warping out to a belt to find God knows what, and occasionally hitting pay dirt. A variety of different challenges with each belt. Far more interesting than orbiting a plex, or sitting waiting for a small gang of 10 capsuleers to leave system.

I also want to take more pictures. Even though it's a little late to the party, I want to investigate these new Drifter ships for a while.

Out of the pod, I've recently changed career tracks from Language teacher to full Physics teacher. Even though I have the degree, and the training, I'm not a full scientist by any means. I know the methods, and teach them to the next generation. I sometimes wish I could be in the lab, taking measurements of electrons wizzing through graphene sheets.

I think I would like to try being a scientist for a while. In space if not in reality.

So I'll start really examining the natural world of New Eden. See if I can dig up something interesting. And of course, subject my findings to peer review by my fellow capsuleers. Maybe this could be called PvP of the mind?

Well, we'll see.

Monday, 12 January 2015

War Record: College Boys

So back in the saddle at last.

I went out on patrol in my Xiphos Executioner. Simple scram range kiter, with a single ancillary armour repairer for defense.

It would be fair to say the Executioner is one of my favourite frigates, and hardly qualifies as Amarrian at all. Yes it has lasers, and the shiny hull, and yes it prefers an armour tank. But it's design focus is downright Minmatar.

A slim profile, and basically all engines with pulse lasers attached, this ship is designed to control range and apply firepower. Not much for cheap tricks (although I do have a couple of ideas that might surprise), but a very capable skirmish ship, fighting out in scram range.

A laser boat that can dictate range is king. Your weapons have phenomenal projection in warp jammer ranges, and very strong damage output. A speedy ship with lasers on it needs some kind of unusual strategy to counter it, be it dual propped Firetails, sensor damped kiters or neuting Slashers.

A little interesting fact, tracking on pulse lasers being what it is, you'll hardly ever want to switch from Scorch. Unless you ca be sure of an orbit at 4km, you'll be far more effective using Scorch. Less than 4km, and you'll be hitting nothing anyway.

And also... have you seen this thing in Matari space?

Crimson metal... I love it!

I warped out of Hek and entered the warzone.

A few jumps in I saw my first complex. A novice, with apparently some Rifters sitting in it. I eyed up local, and it was full of people doing things.

Nothing else for it... I had to check and see if they were friendly, and jumped in to the plex. Damn the odds, I've got a job to do!


After a fashion.

I locked them up, and orbited at 8km, lasers blazing away in the void. Shields stripped quickly on both sides. Armour Rifters, meaning this was going to be a close fight. And 2 vs. 1 meant the tough was all on me.

Bullets rained in from all sides, but the Rifters could not close distance on me. The first one popped, and although my nanite paste had run dry, my little Executioner hadn't broken a sweat!

It was close between myself and the last Rifter. My capacitor eventually depleted, and he got away,

The plex was mine! But with weapons overheated and nanite depleted, I was in no position to hold it. I warped out to my perch.

Good fights were exchanged in local, and the two neutrals showed themselves to be some fresh faced university graduates trying out the Warzone for fun. Not a particularly grand victory, but not bad for two on one!

I gave them some advice then went to find some extra nanite paste. This ship was not allowed to make it back to Hek. And of course, this kill puts me no closer to getting to the next rank in the militia. Still have some work to do!

Good luck in the future Gardner Khronnus and your buddy whose name I didn't catch! A little more training and you would have had me. I recommend switching to Slashers right now. Rifters are excellent with Barrage, but if you can't use it, the knife fighting Slasher is a little easier to use.


Never underestimate the enemy... but equally, never forget how capable you are.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Nation Warrior

The first rank of the TLF is Nation Warrior. The pin itself has a short inscription:

"Though free I am bound by the chains of my brothers."

Short and simple reminder of why we do what we do.

For my stint as Nation Warrior, I'll be using whatever is laying around in the hangar, an eclectic mix of attack frigates, Breachers and Rifters. I'm not too picky. At this rank I'l be focusing on burning stock rather devising tactics. I know how to use the ships already, so a tactical focus would be a waste of brain power.

Not that I'm using much brains for strategic focus either. My running orders look borderline suicidal, and a little out of character for me:

Standing Orders

Fly into combat zone.
Eliminate opposition.
Find and occupy first novice complex seen.
Find and occupy first small complex seen.
Come back in a pod.

The last one is important. When I spend a lot of time planning a ship and specific mission, I tend to make myself skittish about unknown variables. It's not fear in a normal sense, but more a case of not wanting to look stupid. Giving myself this objective for every ship sent out mitigates that somewhat.

It's simply formalising the "I didn't want that ship anyway" flying philosophy. It sounds bad, but for me it's getting me to take more risks, rather than fretting about how to mitigate them. That's the development I need at this point.

I'm also going to be ignoring my killboard for this entire rank for the same reason. I'll do a tally of victories and losses after I've ranked up. The idea here is to role-play impetuous youth again, with scant regard to loss or consequence.

Of course, I'll be posting any interesting stories along the way. That's the point of my blog after all!

Saturday, 3 January 2015


I recently wrote about how you need to make your own story. I think my own story came to a bit of a halt for the past few months. Well, half year.

I've spent the holidays trying to write a new narrative for myself. It ranged from the melodramatic to the maudlin, and frankly, was more exhausting than it was worth.

So, I'm re-writing my story.

Yes, simple as that.

And simple is the story I'm re-writing.

I'm leaving the pirates to re-enlist with the militia. The Republic again. I've got a fondness for Hek that goes beyond rational thought. It'll feel good to be part of its defense force.

As a change of tactic, I will also take my rank progression a little more seriously.

Before, I was mostly concerned with perfect fights. I'd sped a few days crafting a ship with tactics to go with it, and then go test it out. I spent a great deal of time on single fights, and analyzing them afterwards.

Valuable, but exhausting.

This time, I will focus on progressing through the ranks of the Republic militia. This is a much broader success criteria, meaning that fighting is just a small part of my overall development. Capturing outposts, mission running, I-Hub sieges... all these are important to success in Faction Warfare. And that's not to mention the logistics of supplying the front.

I fooled myself into thinking that capsuleer combat was all there was to New Eden. This is not true, and frankly, life would be boring if it was. Simple ship to ship duels are just a tiny part of the universe, and I did myself a disservice by focusing on that small section.

But enough rambling. Leaving pirates. Joining militia.

Looking forward to putting down some slave murdering zealots.