Thursday, January 29, 2015

One year of the BP Professor

Before I get into my self-indulgent one-year anniversary article... I'll comment on the glitch repair fix that came out on Tuesday.

Lots of people are complaining about the fix to a "glitch" that allowed players to repair their fleets for free.  I'll be very clear on how I feel about this - using that glitch was cheating.  Fixing fleets is supposed to take time or coin, and exploiting a game error to bypass that is cheating.  Some players used it regularly, some players used it only during raids, some players used it only when they felt they were "wronged".  It wasn't OK any of those times.  

Lots of players complain about the bugs and glitches and problems in the game.  You can't tell Kixeye to fix some and not others.  Lots of players feel that build and repair times are too high, and they say they glitched because it was "unfair". Tough... Kixeye is allowed to charge what they want for their product.  You're allowed to try it for free as long as you want, or you can spend as much as you want to get more stuff more quickly.  Don't like it?  Don't let the door hit you in the butt on your way out.  

A culture of cheating is a problem, since those that try to play fair are taken advantage of by those who don't.  The "fair-players" see that and can play as second-rate citizens or start cheating.  It's just an arms race of dishonesty, and the winners will be those who are willing to cheat the most.  

Kixeye uses "engagement" as a metric to gauge how successful their game is.  They will see it when players start playing less.  While Kixeye customers keep paying for the flood of content, and playing all day, there will be no change. So if you are unhappy about the loss of the repair glitch... go do something else while your fleet is repairing.  Read a book, watch TV, play a different game.  I wrote a blog post.  No need to complain in a Facebook group... there's been plenty of that.  


On January 29, 2014, I published my first article on this blog - an evaluation a new Forsaken Mission item - the Sawfish.  (I thought it was a decent ballistic hull, but no attraction if you already had the Stingray).  Yes.. that hull is only one year old.  I think the timing of when I started this blog was somewhat lucky - 2014 was when Kixeye really started the deluge of new content that shows no sign of letting up.  When I started, I was hoping to publish about once a week, but this is the 95th article I've published over the last year.

This blog grew out of a thought that it would be really cool if I could start a blog and share some of the advice I was giving to the players in my alliance to the community at large, and then maybe make some enough money from ads to cover my coining.  I'll say that I'm not coining fleets with blog money, but I'm covering my costs (even though i coin more now than I did a year ago), so I consider this blog a personal success.

My biggest worry when starting out was that I'd get a lot of hate from the community - from people that disagreed with me, or point out errors in an insulting way, or just vent some game-hate (yet why do they stick around???).  I thankfully have seen just about none of this on my site. I appreciate it when readers point out errors, typos, or omissions in the constructive manner that everybody here has been doing - it makes us all smarter.  I really appreciate it when people comment and add some new ideas I hadn't thought of.

For the 1 year anniversary, I thought about going back and evaluating each article I've written & seeing if my pronouncements have held up over time... but that would be kind of a big task for 94 articles, so instead I'm going to look back and point out a few "greatest hits and misses." For those of you who are newer to this site - you might want to go back & read.

Still good reads:
  • Armor building & optimization thoughts: These articles don't account for D5, but are still useful reads.
  • Fleet design philosophy: Start with a mission... I see this issue a lot when people are asking for advice on ship builds.
  • Countermeasure ships: Trying to make sense of whether a dedicated countermeasure ship is a good idea, versus spreading the CM weapons across a fleet. This is less relevant on base fleets now because bases don't use may weapons vulnerable to CM anymore, but still relevant to mission/dracbase fleets.  Tanks are the new CM ships for basers.
  • Revised weapon DPS: Not totally up to date with new items, but some thoughts if you are using researched/blueprint or other older weapons.
  • Ranking Guide: Describes how VXP is given, and some efficient ways to get it.  A lot of players still don't understand this.
  • BP for Noobs: This series looks at a new player starting out & gives some build advice
  • Base Turret Roundup: Although a few newer turrets have come out since, this article is useful for newer players that need to learn about the different types of turrets and their uses.
  • Retrofit Advice: General thoughts on where to start for best benefit from your Uranium
  • How to get to DPS: Details on weapon Cycle Time and Damage calculations
  • Launcher Comparison: After some articles based on flawed assumptions, I think this one is actually correct, and shows the effect of rank on launcher DPS for some different hulls, so you can see which launchers are best with various reloads and rank bonuses.

  • UAV Simulation: I tried to simulate how countermeasures would work against UAVs.  In the article I said that "all models are wrong and some are useful".  This simulation was neither correct nor useful.  The only useful message was that UAVs can quickly overwhelm countermeasures.
  • Launcher Comparisons: I didn't correctly understand salvo delay times and rank effects until recently.  I published a lot of incorrect comparisons before that, and I'm not even going to bother linking them.  The correct one (based on the best information I know) is in the previous section.
  • Kodiak Evaluation:  I evaluate all the new stuff; it's sort of the meat & potatoes of this blog.  When the Kodiak came out, I didn't like the hull because it performed better with launchers than missiles (the ones available at the time).  When the Siege Missile Z came out the following month... the Kodiak became one of the best hulls in the game (and still is), so I really regretted not picking up this hull when it was released.

Also: It's been really cool to see all the traffic on this site from around the world.  I get about 2000 hits per day (more during raids), and have had more than 600,000 page views over the last year.  The following picture shows top traffic sources for my site:

And to close this out, I'd like to repost a message from someone in my alliance (pardon his English - he isn't a native speaker).  Especially with the deluge of content over the last year, it's tough to "keep up" or be a "top player"...

Some general thoughts about the game …
The current raid learned me that Kixeye keeps introducing new and more powerful weapons, and by the time the small players are able to acquire these weapons, these weapons have become obsolete …
And why is that? Why does a small player remain a small player? Because he has a job and a wife and a kid. And because he is at work when his alliance brothers want to help him. And because he is asleep after a tiresome night shift when his alliance brothers want to help him. And because he will not and cannot sit in front of the flickering screen 24/7.
But I still enjoy the game. And after all these years my base has become a tough nut to crack. With conventional and almost obsolete weapons. It can be cracked and it is often cracked, but the aggressor always suffers considerable damage. That, is my comfort.
Bear this in mind when you encounter my ships on the high seas. And when my base is attacked, hoist the colors and man your guns. I say: "Forth to war!!!"
Someday this war's gonna end.
Greetings, captains.
Chief of Naval Operations.

I agree almost 100% - except for the part about the war ending.... BP FOREVER!

Find some allies, play only for as long as you're willing to play, spend only what you're willing to spend (read this blog to help you make it count), and HAVE FUN!