Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Bad POS and Good Press

On the back of yesterdays agenda item regarding Ship Maintenance Arrays, I'm going to be writing about POS and how they are mostly broken. It's something I feel incredibly strongly about, and maybe CCP will read this and magically go and fix it. Unlikely, but one can hope.

CCP are well aware of these issues, and I understand that it's not a massive priority for them as (in their, paraphrased, words) not enough of the player base deals with POS for it to become a major issue on their list of things to do. Well, maybe more of the player base would be involved if they weren't so broken. How 'bout that CCP?

There are a couple of indications that there might be things afoot though, with Rubicon come a couple of things that seemingly come straight from POS functions but are much easier for the average player to do (we assume so at least). For a long time, people (including CCP) have talked about a modular POS concept, and these new Rubicon changes might very well be the first few steps towards that goal.

I was heavily involved in setting up, tearing down and managing POS for Test Alliance. That's a lot of POS. I've also managed my own personal POS, and I now live exclusively in them in wormhole space.

By far, the biggest gripe I have with POS is setting them up. Let me give you an example. It takes an hour (2 x 30m) to get from no POS, to having a POS online. After the first 30m, you have to throw some fuel blocks and strontium into it and then click a button to make it online, which takes another 30m. That's an hour of doing absolutely fuck all.

Once it's online, you now have a nice rippling shield to protect you, which is good because it's the next part that really makes me angry.

A POS is absolutely useless without modules, other than being a place to hide. Without modules, a POS is fairly easy to shoot, but without modules the POS cannot defend itself. So, we bring in a metric fuck ton of modules. This obviously requires either a freighter, JF, or Rorqual. It's possible to do it in a normal industrial one or two at a time, but holy shit I'd rather throw myself off a bridge.

I have no issue with exposing my ships to risk in return for benefit, but it's still a little retarded.

Once your shit is there, you have to anchor, and online each of them. Individually. It's this part that makes me so angry. So angry, that I've been banned, along with a large amount of Test members, from Twitch for spamming the chat box with an angry rant about me spending three hours onlining a single POS during a CCP stream interview thing.

It does take hours. It takes an average of three hours to online a standard strategic POS, and about two hours for a useful one (like a moon miner or something like that). 

Here is the process for adding a module to a POS:

  • Launch module from ship/CHA
  • Find in space
  • Right click
  • Click anchor
  • Drag arrows to position outside of shield - must be more than 50km, no indication of current range is given, only a NO YOU CANNOT DO THIS MESSAGE if you don't meet the 50km requirement
  • Right click
  • Click Anchor
  • Wait 5s
  • Right click
  • Click Online
  • Wait 2m

During that two minutes, you cannot do anything else, you cannot anchor other modules, or online any other modules. You must literally sit there for two whole minutes and watch it count down before you do anything else.

Congratulations, you've done a single module, now do it 50 more times.

That's what makes me angry.

Why can I not online more than one at once? Why must I sit for 2m, regardless of what module it is? Why do different modules have different onlining times?

It's dumb.

God forbid you have to then use the interface that you must use in order to set up a reaction chain or even just simple mining.

God forbid you have a problem with this, where it bugs out and randomly resets all your links and your tower stops doing what it's meant to be doing.

God forbid you ask CCP for help. (Their logs show nothing, just FYI)

CCP are slowly fixing things, like the fact I don't have to fly over to every internal module in order to take things out/put things in, and they are fixing SMAs and T3 refitting with Rubicon. I think it's going to be some time until they fix everything though. Which makes me both angry and sad.

I'm kind of semi planning to produce a series of articles about how one goes about setting up and running a POS, and what kind of things you can do with it (and how much money you can make). It's a pretty big project though, so it will likely come in stages.

In other news, on my way to work this morning, I listened to CapStable, a weekly podcast produced by some dudes who play Eve.

There website is here: http://capstable.net/ and I highly recommend you set up your feed and listen in.

Imagine my shock when they get to the news section and start talking about Planetary Interaction. 

"What a coincidence" I think "I wrote something about PI a few days ago".


The rest of the people on the underground were looking at my strangely. Nobody smiles that much on the underground.

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