Posts Tagged ‘ computer ’

Ventrilo Tweaks for Noobs

Note: This miniguide assumes that you already have a mic and have installed Ventrilo.

Make Everyone The Same Volume
Follow these directions: About: Vent Settings. You can make some small tweaks to the settings, but overall the suggested ones work fine. For especially quiet people, you can also right click on their name in the main window and go to Miscellaneous>Special Effects>Volume.

See Who Is Talking on Vent
In the Ventrilo window, go to Setup>Overlay. Here are the settings to change:

Enable Overlay Support. Select this. Otherwise nothing shows.

Auto Open. When selected, the overlay always shows. I keep the option checked because otherwise the overlay keeps popping on and off, which gets annoying.

Screen Location. Set to Manually Position. To adjust the position, close the settings window, right click in the Vent window, and go to View>Manually position overlay. I place mine in the upper left corner, right next to the system name.

Popup Timeout. This setting is affected by the “Auto Open” setting; I just leave it as is.

Status Page Options. Uncheck “Recent events” and “Commanding messages”. They just waste screen space.

Hopefully those two tweaks are useful for you. If there are any other tweaks you use, let me know and I will add them to here.

Confirmed exploit allows EVE players to sneak up on unsuspecting victims – Massively

Confirmed exploit allows EVE players to sneak up on unsuspecting victims – Massively.

Whoa. You basically do not appear in local for a while (similar to wormhole space, except in known space).

Ultra Deep Safes

Deep Deep Safes

This Goonswarm manual explains how to create ultradeep safes; it is a must-read for PvPers.

Lonetrek FTW

Self-hosted WordPress blogs give you a lot more control than WordPress.com blogs. But that extra flexibility also means that you have enough rope to hang yourself. And over the past two weeks, I have had innumerable issues with this blog – from passing PHP memory limits to having outdated permalink settings. For seasoned web developers, these may be fairly minor issues. But for someone like me, they are very tough to handle (though I am a programmer, I am web-illiterate).

But all was not lost. @AnMiTh, the creator of Lonetrek Hostings, stepped in to help. His response time to every problem was phenomenal, and his willingness to help overwhelmed me. Kudos to @AnMiTh and Lonetrek Hostings for providing so much help. Not only does he have the cheapest web hosting I have ever seen, but customer support is unparalleled. I highly recommend Lonetrek Hostings.

In other news, it seems that people still have not switched over to this new blog. 00sage00.lonetrek.ws averages 100 views per day and has 53 Google Reader subscribers, while 00sage00.wordpress.com averages 300 views per day and has 165 Google Reader subscribers. (Note that the subscriber numbers only include those using Google Reader; people using Capsuleer or any other RSS reader are not counted). Obviously I would like everyone to switch to the new blog location (00sage00.lonetrek.ws), but I see no real way to force people to update their feed readers and bookmarks. I could threaten to pod them in Eve, but I doubt it would work very well. :\

Neglected Eve PvP Tools

Two useful yet neglected Eve PvP tools:

Eve Combat Log Analyzer. This displays useful PvP stats that you can use after a battle to analyze how your weapons (and your enemies’) performed. Regrettably, this tool has not been under development since 2006, but you can download a working Dominion version here: Combat Log Analyzer 0.17. If you are a developer, please help update and improve the log analyzer. The Eve community would benefit greatly from it.

EFT Ship Creator. This allows you to create custom ships in EFT, useful for testing upcoming ships (e.g. in December I used it to analyze the effectiveness of faction ships in Dominion) and messing around with special ships (how powerful is the Eidolon?).

C’est La Vie

Some days are good…and others aren’t.

The past two weeks, a series of unfortunate events has completely drained my wallet and possessions.

Last week, I undocked from a station in a hauler and died to invisible timers before I could redock; the dropped items were scooped by someone while I was sitting in station. The loss was painful, as not only was 300 million’s worth of T2/meta 4 modules in it, but also all my month’s earnings via PvE and PvP (loot and salvage). That was what prompted this outburst.

Then earlier this week, I was hauling some newly-bought T2 frigates and their fittings to lowsec. Forgetting that my security status was -2.01 due to a recent kill, I stupidly entered a 1.0 system that happened to be on my route. Pop went 80 mil. As I warped out in my pod, I could already see nearby pilots pouncing on the wreck. It was an ironic loss, as I had just proposed a mechanism that would prevent such accidents (for the few who dislike the idea of warning messages: seriously, how difficult is it to just click “Do not warn me again”?).

The net result of the two hauler losses was that my wallet was completely empty and I had no income to fill it. But that was not all.

Yesterday, I was traveling through lowsec when I saw a Tempest on a gate. I informed some friendly pirates, in case they were interested. One of them aggressed him in a battleship, but popped while the Tempest was in structure. Another of his mates arrived in a Rokh and aggressed as well. A Guardian then appeared and began to remote repair the Tempest. Meanwhile, the Rokh started dying. To try to save the Rokh, I came in as well in a neut Dominix. But the sentry guns tore apart my drones, and the Rokh died. Under fire from the sentries and the Tempest, I died shortly afterwards. It was the first battleship I have lost since I was a noob ratting in Providence (well, actually, I did lose an Apocalypse due to autopiloting into Gallente highsec space (I am an Amarr missioner, so the Gallente hate me)).

Upset, I decided to run some level 4 missions to regain some ISK; my wallet was down to 30 mil. I easily cleared the first room of the mission in my usual PVE Abaddon. Upon entering the second room, however, I got warp scrambled. Not a big deal, right? Except…my internet connection died. And stayed dead for over an hour. When I logged back in, I found myself in a pod (to help me feel better, the insurance company kindly gave me a noobship with an entire unit of tritanium). I re-entered the mission deadspace to recover what I could from my wreck but found that a ninja salvager had already salvaged the first room and looted my wreck from the second. Bye bye Abaddon.

The two hauler losses and two battleship losses have completely devastated me. As of right now, I have 50 mil in wallet and no battleships left. So I will have to run level 3 missions in a battlecruiser until I have enough ISK to replace my ships. I will also have to put PvP on hold until my wallet is a bit happier. It is quite disappointing, as I was hoping to become the 5,000th best PvPer on Battleclinic by the end of this year (I am currently at 18,000). Oh well. C’est la vie.

Proposal: Directional Scanner Changes

Apocrypha 1.0 and the updates that followed overhauled the probing system, simplifying it and making it more accessible to probers. But the improvements neglected the directional scanner, only one tab to the right from probing system. Here are some definitions to help distinguish the directional scanner and the probing system.

Definitions

The directional scanner is a tool that allows you to perform an instantaneous scan of all nearby objects in space. It allows you to manually adjust the scan range from 0 to 2,147,483,647 km (14.413 AU) and scan angle from 5 to 360 degrees.

The probing system is an interface that enables you to control up to 8 scan probes that can be manually moved anywhere within a system. There are various types of probes, but they generally can have their scan range adjusted from 0.25 AU to 64 AU (1024 AU for Deep Space Scanner Probes). Each probe is essentially a 360 degree directional scanner with a self-adjusting scan range within the max scan range you set. Thus they return the distance but not direction from certain space objects (ships, drones, cosmic anomalies, sites, etc.) within that scan range. The accuracy of the distance estimate varies depending on how many probes returned the result, what scan range they are at, and their position relative to the object (Eve does the trigonometry for you).

Of these two systems, the directional scanner has remained nearly the same as before Apocrypha, the only significant change being a nerf limiting scans to every 2 seconds. The current directional scanner today suffers from several significant problems.

Flaws in the Directional Scanner

1. Nonexistent Integration. This is the largest flaw of the status quo’s directional system – it completely lacks unity with the HUD and overview. Unlike with probes, where results are shown on the system map (essentially a very zoomed out HUD – the tactical overlay still shows up), the directional exists only in its little window.

A. Scan Range. Scan range is measured in kilometers while nearly everything else in Eve is measured in astronomical units (AU). It is true that the overview shows range in kilometers for close range objects, but no one uses the directional to see objects that are visible on the grid. Additionally, the overview itself switches to displaying AU for faraway objects.

B. Scan Angle. There is no visible indication of how large of an area the scan angle covers.

C. Identification. There are no scan IDs distinguishing objects. The only identification on objects are their names.

2. Overcomplicated Operation. It only takes a few minutes to understand the directional’s use, for the concept is fairly simple. But actually using all of its features is quite difficult, especially with the new 2-second scan time.

A. Scan Range. Even those who are quite accomplished with the directional rarely ever use the scan range feature; it is simply set to the maximum.

B. Scan Angle. Lining up a belt or planet in the center of the screen while scanning at 5 or 15 degrees is very painful and requires you to reposition and zoom your HUD.

3. Unrealistic Functionality. It is true that the Eve universe conflicts in some ways with the physical universe as we know it. For example, ships in Eve rapidly decelerate despite the absurdly large number of forward thrusters and complete absence of rearward thrusters. But unlike those (largely) aesthetic concerns, the directional scanner is purely illogical.

A. Ship Type. Reading the exact ship types (Impairor) from 2,147,483,647 km is implausible, particularly when not even probes can give this information until you have near-100% signal strength.

B. Ship Names. Viewing ship names (HowCanYouReadMyNameFrom14AU’s Impairor) from impossibly large distances is even more ridiculous. It has no equivalent in Eve – not even the probing system can determine this. This incredible knowledge cannot be attributed to databases in a system’s stargazes – if that were the case, we should also be able to see who the pilot is.

Clearly, the status quo’s directional system is broken and needs amending. There is no valid reason why the directional should be as separated, confusing, and senseless as it presently is. Here are some proposed changes.

Proposals

The current directional system should be fused with the probing system and HUD via the following methods:

1. Probing Integration. The old directional scanner’s tab should be completely removed, its results instead appearing in the same window as the probe system. This is because the directional’s operation currently is identical to that of probing: both involve pressing a ‘Scan’ button and returning results in a list. The new scanner interface would function in the following manner:

A. No Scan Button. The usual ‘Scan’ button for probing would be unchanged, but the directional scanner would be automatically activated every few seconds, thus requiring no scan button. This would eliminate the need to spam the scan button. The time taken for every scan of directional would be affected by the scan angle. For example, full 360 degree scans would take 30 seconds, while 5 degree scans would take half a second.

B. Object Type. In the results list, a ‘Type’ column would indicate whether the result is a site, cosmic anomaly, ship, drone, etc., just as it does in the current probe window. However, unlike the current probe window, objects without 100% signal strength would not be filtered (so a ‘Ship’ result with 9.32% signal strength would still be shown in the Ships filter). The filter would use saved overview settings, eliminating the need to create filters separately and allowing more freedom in choosing what results are shown. All current probe and directional result types (cosmic anomalies, scan probes, etc.) would be added to the overview’s filter settings to facilitate this change.

C. Distance. Appearing together with probe results, the distance to scanned objects would be measured in AU. As with the current probing system, the accuracy of this range estimate would depend on both the object’s signature radius and your scan angle (see 1D). As range is automatically calculated, the current mechanic of allowing the user to choose maximum scan range would be removed. Maximum scanner range would still be 14 AU (but not 2,147,483,647 km).

D. Scan Angle. The scan angle would be set via a drop down list on the scanner interface (not the current slider, which is difficult to control at small angles), and would directly affect scan speed (see 1A) and the accuracy of range estimates (see 1C).

E. Signal Strength. This would be unchanged from the current probe system.

F. Identification. Objects found through directional would display scan IDs, just like probed objects.

G. System Map. To complete the integration with the probing system, directional scan results would appear on the system map just like probe results – large red spheres indicating estimated location. The results would be marked similarly because probes are essentially directional scanners that change scan range instead of scan angle. Not only is this change imperative for a full splicing of the directional and probe systems to occur, but it would also make the directional useful in probing, as you could thereby gain a general estimate of the location of nearby objects.

Here’s what the proposed scanning system would look like (apologies for my poor photoshop skills):

2. HUD Integration. The system map is fundamentally a HUD that is zoomed out enough to view distances in AUs instead of kilometers. For this reason, the improvements to the system map would also carry over to the HUD.

A. Scan Angle. When the angle is set to below 360 degrees, a light blue cone (identical in color and texture to the current probes’ scan spheres) would be displayed on both the system map and HUD indicating the angle and direction of the scanner. The direction of the scan angle cone would be set by alt+clicking in space (custom shortcuts allowed) or right-clicking in space and selecting “Set Scanner Direction”.

B. Scan Results. When a scan result is clicked or highlighted in the scanning interface, the appropriate bracket for it would temporarily appear in the HUD. For example, if you were at a planet and clicked on a scan result at the planet’s asteroid belt, a red bubble would momentarily appear on the belt. This HUD feature would work with any result in the scanning window, with the appropriate marker (green dot, yellow dot, red dot, or red bubble) appearing in space.

Conclusion

As explained earlier, the current directional scanner has severe defects. This should not be the case. It is hard to imagine that, in an age where warping, jumping, and interstellar spaceships are possible, capsuleers do not even have an automatic scanner. Even in the twenty-first century, submarines’ sonar and aircrafts’ radar systems automatically give objects’ range and direction. With the proposed scanner interface and HUD changes, the directional system would simultaneously become easier to use, more realistic, and more robust.