He stood in the doorway and looked out across her suite. Apparently a battle or natural disaster had occured . . . . that or she was in a bad mood. “Cher? OK iffen I comes in?”
A growl could maybe be translated as an invitation and he decided to take it as such. He dropped his small travel kit inside the door and crossed into the kitchen. A couple of his favorite knives were now embedded in a cutting block. He tsked and started to clean the area so he could make a meal.
Feeding her helped. So did listening. Some would not believe it but he could be a very good listener when he chose to be.
A lot later they were on the couch, him sitting up and her curled languidly across the length of it her feet tucked under his legs. Every now and again she would wiggle her toes to remind him that she was there as he flicked through technical journals.
“Lookie here, they finally be doing someting about the POS’s. Buddy o mine been offering to raise one for me.”
“He likes to help out the poor old fool every now and again, I spose. Mainly it would come down to can I use a POS well enough to actually get proper use out of it?”
“So what are they thinking of doing?” She sat up a bit and looked over at the comm as he brought up the proposed specs.
“Hmm, fuel pellets rather than having to add a bit of this and a bit o that.” He brought up some tech development announcer who explained . . .
Starbases will stop needing multiple fuel types, and instead will simply use fuel blocks, each of which contains 100% of the Recommended Hourly Allowance for a small control tower. (NOTE: none of this affects charters, which will still need to be added as normal!)
The four racial fuel blocks will be built in batches of four in all stations, plus starbase ammo assembly arrays (blueprints coming to a Thukker Mix station near you; build time approximately ten minutes). Each batch of four will need the following components:
- 8x Coolant
- 4x Enriched Uranium
- 400x relevant racial Isotope
- 4x Mechanical Parts
- 20x Oxygen
- 1x Robotics
- 150x Heavy Water
- 150x Liquid Ozone
Towers will use 1 block/hour for small, 2 blocks/hour for medium and 4 blocks/hour for large. The CPU and Power load will no longer have any impact on your fuel needs – all towers now need the same amount of fuel, regardless of configuration.
Blocks will be 50m3 each. To make fuel bay sizes line up more nicely, we’ve boosted the bays on normal towers to 35/70/140k, so you get a nice round 700 cycles in each, which works out at a hair over 29 days. (Does not affect strontium bays!)
The one downside of this big-blocks approach is that it’s impossible to give faction towers a fuel consumption bonus any more (you can’t consume 2/3 of a block). We talked to some large-scale starbase operators about this, and they told us that the main bonus of faction towers for them is actually that they last longer between fuel cycles. To try and compensate for the increased running costs, we’ve taken the above bay size increases and added +25% bay size on top of that for the “tier 1” faction towers, and +50% bay size for the “tier 2” ones. We’re hoping people will find that a satisfactory tradeoff, but we’re listening for further feedback on this change.
Fuel Block Implementation
The way we’re going to roll this out is that the blocks, their blueprints and the changes to tower capacities will be introduced in the main patch. The changes to fuel consumption on the towers will be rolled out a couple of weeks later. The starbase system doesn’t allow for multiple simultaneous fuel types, so we have to switch from one to the other during downtime.
The way we’re strongly advising players to approach this handover is to fill your fuel bays with “half and half” – enough of the old fuel to last you to the changeover downtime and then some (I’d suggest 2-3 days extra just in case something horrible happens), and enough of the new fuel blocks to run the tower until you can fill it with 100% blocks. The server should then come back up after the update, see the new fuel and start consuming that like nothing had happened.
Some Fuel Block Whys
- We got rid of power and CPU affecting fuel consumption because it made the process needlessly complex, it meant that you had to calculate things separately for each tower (which sucks), and we didn’t think the cost difference was sufficiently significant to keep it on
- We kept racial types because we didn’t want to mess around with isotopes
- We reduced effective robotics consumption on medium and small towers because it was judged to be better than increasing the consumption on large towers
- We rounded some of the fuel types just to make fuel-construction math easier
- We stuck with small numbers of blocks and no fuel use bonus on faction towers because dealing with small numbers of blocks makes starbases in general easier to use
- We didn’t do this ages ago because I couldn’t see a good way to handle the handover until someone pointed out the (obvious) half-and-half solution, at which point I punched myself in the head for not seeing that earlier 1
“Oh, dat not be all good, then.” He pointed to the part late in the passage. “I know folks who owns faction towers because they liked the lower usage. Now all the POS’s gonna be burning at the same fuel and the same rate. You go to all the expence to get a special POS and now it run almost exactly the same as all the others. Just plain dumb”
“That makes no sense.”
“Transitions gonna be a bitch as well. I know a few folks who are gonna be looking for offline poses right after this goes live. Quick hisec wardec and pow, may scoop a few goodies.”
She looked at him askance. “You are not supposed to think that way. You are one of the ‘good guys’.”
He laughed and ran a hand up her leg. “I am one of the living good guys because I know how to think about other tings and see what might be coming next. A friend always tells me that each tim ethere is a big change in the status quo somebody gets very rich. One of these days I want to guess right and be that somebody.”
“Why? If you were ‘rich’ would it change what you do?”
Mike opened his mouth with a smile and then closed it without answering. He got a distant look in his eyes and nodded. “I wouldn’t have to ask others to donate to the GBA. I could run a proper campaign for the next CSM. But you be right, cher. I plenty rich in the tings dat count. Now we gonna have ta change some o those bandages on you . . . .I declare you really have to get some tings dat don’t bite back while you is destroying them.”
She looked at her hands and grimaced. “Some of this is your fault.”
“I don’t have guards on my knives because they aint sposed to be stabbed through the cutting block and into the countertop.”
She looked at him and her eyes went very cold. “I was mad. You know how I get when I am mad.”
He held her gaze as he spoke soft and slow, as one might to a dangerous animal. “You are not mad at me. I am here to help.”
She froze for a moment and tensed and then took a deep breath and nodded. “I don’t know why you keep coming back.”
Mike smiled and hummed to himself, returning to the journals.
Pellet idea for fuel . . . .excellent
Nerfing the faction POS’s . . . dumb. The thread on it has lots of suggestions as to what can be done as work-arounds. I really hope CCP is reading that.
Mittens is hosting a thread in the Jita Park. You can decide if he is actually reaching out or just doing early campaigning for the next election. Apparently he does not think much of me or this blog . . . say I am a Nutter.
I am still working on the tankism post . . . but it is a lot harder to write than it first looked
fly it like you won it