June 29, 2014

Bounty Hunter: Part Three - Optional Compnents

A while back, I wrote two posts on Bounty Hunting. The first was about what I saw wrong with CCP's vision of what a bounty hunter was, and the second was my basic idea about how to improve bounty hunting. Unfortunately, I never could find enough willing parties to interview, which was my original plan. Instead, I'm going to semi-finish this series off (but maybe not!) by writing a little a bit about what I mentioned before: optional additional components that can be added to the basic bounty hunting system. I firmly believe that bounty hunting should be a fairly simple mechanical concept so that new players can understand it fully and easily. But, it's also important to allow for players to grow (in the form of higher tier licenses, as I mentioned in my second post).

While the story line of the game may be about capsuleers moving away from empires as they grow stronger and stronger, there are undoubtedly players who don't want to separate themselves from the empires. There will still be those people who are in faction warfare, flying the flag of their respective empires. A general bounty hunter is someone who has been approved by CONCORD to operate in all areas of space. But what about the empires?

A player who wanted to be a bounty hunter and work for a specific empire doesn't have an official option in what I've described so far. To fix this, it's not complex; you simply buy your license from the empire! The licenses are even a bit less expensive to buy, and here's the best part: they offer rewards in the form of ISK and loyalty points, with a mix that gives slightly higher rewards than general bounty hunting. Why are they less expensive and offer higher pay outs? Well, because you're limiting your hunting grounds. And empire bounty hunter can only hunt in the specific areas of that empire. You can only have one license from any one empire at a time, so when you choose this route, you're aligning yourself with a specific faction, at least temporarily.

One of the reasons I like this idea is that it can be implemented after the rest of the changes, after the balancing and tweaking phases. Or, it doesn't have to be added at all and the rest of the system isn't hindered. But by adding it, there is a good deal of depth that is instantly created for those who wish to explore it, including roleplayers - and yes, I think it's very important to foster this group of people.

Who knows, maybe one day soon we'll be seeing bounty hunters as an actual play style instead of a joke.
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June 28, 2014

PhanTactical Future!

I've been a huge Arma fan since its inception with Operation Flashpoint back in the early 2000s. I randomly saw the box on the shelf at, I think, Compuserve, and decided it looked cool. I had no idea what a military simulator was at the time, or what I was getting into with that purchase. My mind was blown! I was hooked. I played it constantly. The same for Arma 2. I played that game for years, all by myself because I didn't have the internet at the time to play online well enough to join a group.

I bought Arma 3 the day it was released on Steam in its Alpha release. I played it primarily by myself with the multiple singleplayer scenarios, and occasionally online. I always wanted to join a group and get involved with the missions I had seen on Youtube with dozens of people. Once I started traveling for work I wasn't able to since I was usually working 7 days a week. I planned to join a group once I came back home for good, and I had been doing some research on who to join.

I made the decision to join PhanTactical, a group that started about two years ago, and has a really solid player base, quality mods, missions, and regular play times. I put my application in last night, and it was accepted! I'm super excited about this. It's going to allow me to play Arma, one of my favorite games, in totally new ways.

I have an idea of what to expect. Rarely, when playing with random people on multiplayer previously, things would come together in glorious ways: close air support screaming overhead to lay down heavy fire on a hardened target while I sit in an overwatch position with my squad, firefights through cities, planned ambushes playing out perfectly. But that was definitely the exception to my play online. Joining a group like PhanTactical will provide me with gameplay like this on a more regular basis, and it'll give me a group of players who actually play "correctly", which really makes the game more fun.

I'm sure I'll start out as just a grunt with a rifle, but I'd like to explore playing as recon, or maybe a tank commander. I'd also like to be a squad leader, which is something that's provided by the group. I've never done that before, but I enjoy being in charge!

And while this is most definitely a mercenary's blog about EVE, I think we'll be seeing a bit more about Arma soon! :)
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June 26, 2014

Contract Recap: Assassination

This one's a bit late, sorry about that. Also, full disclosure: it's not a long one!

Noir. Mercenary Group has accepted two assassination contracts since our inception. The first one was back in March of 2012. That's not to say that we hadn't been offered them before then, but to make it worth our alliance's while, to mobilize all of us for a singular goal, it costs a lot of ISK. But in 2012, someone offered a good enough price, and we did mobilize. Unfortunately, the character didn't log in, and our employer found out later that the target simply was busy during our operational period.

Well, once again, someone rose above the noise and hired the alliance to go after a single guy. We did our homework, finding his normal ships and fits, his areas of operations, his time of play, and his accomplices. Everyone got into place, we had our locator agents primed and ready.

And he never logged in.

Luckily for me, I was traveling for most of this contract so I wasn't frustrated by his lack of activity! Sometimes the cards just don't play out for an exciting contract. Talking to the guys, it still turned out to be fun. Contracts like these give us a lot of time to chat with Noir. Academy students and just chat in general.

We've also been working on another, long-term contract which we were able to do during the down times, so I guess it wasn't all boring!

I'm trying to ramp up my activity again after having been away for what seems like forever, and in conjunction with that I'm going to ramp up my blogging and pod journaling!
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June 12, 2014

Upcoming Contract Recap

Man, life has been a whirlwind lately. I've been trying to work six days a week in Washington DC while juggling multiple interviews for multiple companies located back home in Georgia, all over the phone in an attempt to have work when I get back. I've also been tentatively searching for a new place to live once I get back as my roommate decided to find a new place at the last minute, leaving me with the bag. On top of that, I'm teaching a new person at my company how to do this job as she transitions me. Oh, and my hotel internet is terrible.

All of this means that I've been really slacking on Golden Crusade. I haven't had much first-hand experience to draw from for this blog since I'm unable to play right now, which always leaves me a little writer blocked. I did get to login for a bit before I moved into the hotel and buy some new pirate ships, price be damned! I don't know if I'll ever take out these Mordu's Legion ships, but they're pretty hangar pieces, that's for sure. Hopefully the price will go down enough to make it worth while for me. However I did grab a Phantasm, Ashimmu, and Cruor with the intent of flying those soonish. All three of these ships look to be a lot of fun. I'll need to knock the rust off before I decide to undock in them first though, so it may be a few months before I finally blood them! Get it? Blood Raider? #dadjokes

I do have one post with a very specific focus coming up: another Contract Recap. I do these after every contract that NMG takes on and try to touch on the highlights. I don't go into a lot of detail on the day to day, but just brush the surface of what we were hired to do, any major events during the contract, and how the contract ended.

I want to make sure I have the 'major events' section correct before I post it, but it'll probably come early next week once I'm back at home. It's an interesting one simply because of the nature of the contract. I actually talked about this specific type of contract during my Eve University lecture after someone asked about it, so  hopefully that person will see this and learn a bit more about why I answered the way I did.

Oh, and to Mynxee, if you read this: I haven't given up on Pod Journaling! It's just nigh impossible to have the inspiration for art when you're unable to play. I really look forward to doing some more soon, and with the help of my girlfriend, I'll hopefully be able to mix the paint right this time!
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