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Eyes & Ears - Search and Rescue

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Bi-Weekly Update - September 14, 2020
 

If you may please, a moment of silence for the fallen in the September 11th attacks…

Quote

“Everyone who can stand, stand now. If you can help others, do so.”
- Welles Crowther


412, that’s the number of emergency workers who perished that day. Over fourth-fifths of those were firefighters, many of whom rushed into the buildings to escort the able-bodied out and carry the injured. They didn’t know it would be their last day, only that a fellow citizen needed their help, and that they had the tools and training to provide such.
 

Present in the towers at the time of the attack was Welles Crowther, if you haven’t seen the story of the man with the red bandanna, I’d recommend it.

 

To all those serving in the role of a first responder, and to everyone that keeps us safe, you have our utmost gratitude as we look back on this harrowing date in American history.

84426c01c5062dd02f83682ed94562b0.jpg

 

Huh, SAR is orange (others say yellow). I always identified E&E with the coast guard which apparently falls under red. I am conflicted...  :o

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Now, onto DU related things.
 

26 rescues were performed over the past two weeks, that’s 31 for Beta 1 and 170 overall!
 

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I could throw in a few stories here, but, for those not in the loop. I’ve given up on working on the current website, the back end design software I’ve used for over two years now has just too many problems and I’ve moved on for my sanity. The additional restrictions that have been thrown in over the past year also didn’t make much sense so I’m out.
 

Instead of the drag and drop template work I’ve become accustomed to for quick and easy deployment, I’ll be taking a much more fine-grained approach to site design where every element will be hand placed. Just so long as my brain juice flows fast enough, I should have something out later this year, no guarantees though. Most of the content will be recycled but I hope the new deployment will make things feel ‘fresh’. It’s still not pure code, but its more involved than I’m used to.
 

To make up for the lack of stories, I’ll just be pulling feedback straight from reviews that are submitted.
 

8/31 - Sophilautia 
I ended up stranded on the ground on Sanctuary Moon after my ship spiralled out of control and got stuck in the air on relog while trying to get to another of my ships. I contacted Eyes & Ears and they immediately responded, sending someone to help transport me asap for a very modest fee. I was very pleased with the service! It's great that Dual Universe has emergency services like this available.
 

9/2 - Malkazaar
I had this amazing idea while was mining at Sanctuary.. lets try my luck on this moon..seems close.. patched up the dragonfly and godspeed... after a while I was staring the Moon4 from my base at Sanctuary in despair.. most of my newbie efforts are crashed up there... In this despair with no real knowledge of the game..  "Deus Ex machina" Eyes & Ears Search & Rescue advertisement on discord.. They do fulfill their services and more! Solidarity!
 

9/6 - Barneylee
I did not have enough Kergon after a server restart to get back to Alioth - i was about 8 SU out.

Wolfpilot - responded: I did not have to wait long - 45 mins at the most. He kept very good patience amognst all the internal errors/inventory errors/rights of transfer errors etc (we tried everything to get my fuel) - once the servers came back on - i had access to his tanks - took enough to get back - realized vertical boosters needed kergon but i was dry again - Wolf once again came to the rescue.

I paid a total of approx 48K (with a tip on top) I would recommend Wolf to everyone who needs rescue - Thanks again bud!
 

9/7 - KernelBeep 
All around brilliant service, the response was quick, my rescuer (DarkHorizon) was amazing, both patient with the DC's and i even learnt a few things on the journey. Well worth the money, will use again and highly recommended!
 

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Some more changes hit our discord server since the last update.
 

We now have a channel (#emergency-role-assignment) where non-members can exchange their ‘Guest’ role for another role designating them as a victim. The ‘Victim’ role grants access to our ticket system for filing emergencies that are privately handled by our dispatchers and disseminated to our rescuers. No longer do you have to venture through our website for a special discord link, just join our discord, swap roles, and file your ticket! B)
 

The Victim role restricts access to all guest accessible channels in an attempt to streamline communication and notifications from our discord so that way players only get a notification when our dispatchers have communicated with them inside their ticket. Swapping back to the Guest role hides the ticketing system and restores access to the previously hidden guest channels.
 

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With the launch of Beta, I mentioned in a previous post that we were switching over from free service during the alpha phase with wipes, to paid service during beta with more or less permanence.
 

The previous pricing structure was a bit of a hassle since we intended to use a custom Lua script present in each of our ships. This script is designed to log our mileage and gas consumption among the more dynamic trip-based aspect while other things like scrap, elements, and fuel sold, rescuers involved, players rescued, and so forth could be input manually at some point during the trip. Work on this script has progressed and it’s very much barebones, but it hasn’t been deployed, nor to my knowledge has it been tested by anyone in the organization.
 

After some discussion on the issue of pricing, I decided to simplify things. 6,000 quanta would get you one rescuer dispatched who would bring you whatever resources you needed to get fixed up and rolling again. Since most of the quanta was going towards the purchase of materials and only 6,000 was profit plus whatever tips, this was obviously not going to get us anywhere, but my lowballing was deliberate on this.
 

After seeing what the team came up with and a bit more discussion, we implemented an improved pricing strategy and put it to work. Now our prices are starting to feel somewhat realistic for the time and effort involved on the part of our rescuers, especially with the current UBI taken into consideration.
 

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While this is good, I wanted to improve this somehow and while back of the envelope math was suggested, I knew we could do better. With no Lua, I fell back on a previous suggestion of implementing a pricing calculator vis-a-vi google sheets.
 

It’s still a work in progress but this is what we’re working with. How it works is very simple.
 

The cost of something, say dispatching a rescuer (10,000) is built into the calculator. Input two rescuers, output 20,000 quanta. Other variables of which are mostly trip-based like transitioning from an atmosphere to space, cargo mass, player transport, and the need to stop (yes it can happen more than once in a rescue) are all factors that can influence the final total. Yes, even our dispatchers have a fee associated with them, they need to be paid too!

 

All these factors have a set price, a rescuer just needs to add in the variables and presto, a total is provided.  :D
 

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As a part of an update to the calculator, yesterday I rolled out a similarly basic payroll system. Take the final total, and break it down between dispatch, a 5% service tax, and everything that goes to the rescuers and pilots. Divide the rescuers and pilots portion in half, half goes to the rescuers, half goes to the organization for future expenses. 
 

To tighten things up a smidgen further, I included a variable that would divide the rescuers and pilots portion equally among them all. If only one was involved, they got the whole pool, if three were involved, they’d get three equal shares.
 

This will probably further evolve over time, but for now, it’s what we’ll work with.
 

If you’re interested, the calculator is public so feel free to fill in the gray boxes and see how things add up.
 

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For those of you that are seriously and completely out of the loop as far as Eyes & Ears goes, a bit of bad news. PVP caught up to us quicker than anticipated but this was not something unexpected, it was simply a matter of when it would happen, and it turned out to happen one week after the official Beta launch.
 

While flying between planets, one of our rescuers got caught with their proverbial headphones on and the music cranked. While the destruction of this member’s ship was disconcerting since the antagonist in question could clearly see ‘RESQ’ in the video that they shared, it did shed light on some necessities and changes that would need to be made should something like this ever happen in the future.
 

All rescuers are encouraged to have radars equipped to their constructs. While our current constructs are all privately created and run by individual rescuers, official constructs will sport such measures to allow us to identify potential threats from a distance and take steps to evade any hostilities intended on us by a third party.  :ph34r:
 

Secondly, and perhaps most abruptly, all rescuers are required to record their rescues from start to finish. Even if nothing is going on, even if you’re in a safe space, even if you’re stopped at a red light. Outside the game, the police wear body cameras to protect themselves from false accusations, this also protects the public from undue or excessive force by the officer. The mandate to record rescues is in the same vein as the mentioned real-life counterpart.
 

This has of course the unintended consequence of cutting down our rescue team somewhat as not everyone has a powerful enough computer to both play Dual Universe and record at the same time. While unfortunate, this is a needed measure as this experience has readily proven that even in a virtual universe, being a universal good doesn’t grant you universal protection.
 

The day after the incident was made public, I had a small showing of support from some members of the community. One organization offered us safe harbor (the second of two in a weeks time)  while another offered quick revenge. The latter was immediately turned down, not only does Eyes & Ears not publicly call for revenge, we are more of the mind in letting karma do its thing.
 

While a public blacklist of players who are barred from our services (we will have a blacklist, public or private is the question) might go against the whole ‘revenge’ thing, that does not mean we will tell people to simply ignore those who find pleasure in attacking the unarmed without provocation.
 

I know the Fuel Rats experience the same thing in Elite Dangerous, it wasn’t a matter of if, only when. We’ve taken our knocks and learned a few good lessons from it. We appreciate and thank everyone that’s shown their support for us during this bump in the road.
 

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Previously I had mentioned that two organizations had approached me with interest to host Eyes & Ears bases and outposts. While I do drive a very hard bargain, I’m always open to talking and might even reconsider past rejections with a few remittances on my end. Hit me up in Discord or here on the forums and we’ll discuss.
 

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That's all for now, until next time, fly safe everyone!

 

- DarkHorizon

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Bi-Weekly Update - September 28, 2020

 

Seven rescues were made over the past two weeks, that’s 38 for Beta 1 and 177 overall!

 

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Here is some of the feedback that we’ve received:

 

9/25 - Eitrius

I entered atmo way too fast, burned up on re-entry. Needed a ride to my ship .8 su away. Service was great, got someone to my location, and they helped me get my ship down to the surface. Price was fair for the service. 

 

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The only major change to our discord server actually happened while I was writing this up just now.

 

The discord bot which handles our tickets had gone down due to rate limiting reasons. I’ve added a new announcements channel managed by the bot’s owners which will advise on the status of the bot so if there is ever a time when it is not working, the ticket-tool-status channel should explain why.

 

There is a premium version of this tool that explicitly states increased uptime due to fewer users purchasing said version. I’m debating the merits of this and all the other extra features that come with this against the $60 yearly price tag.

 

Another change will include our Dispatchers occasional cleaning out of persons with the Victim role. It would appear that not everyone seems to replace their victim role with the guest role once they close their ticket. A message prompt has been added to the dispatch-center but our dispatchers will still take manual action as seen fit.

 

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An issue cropped up with our pricing calculator over the course of a more recent rescue.

 

Up until now, everything had worked out fine assuming no major purchases had to be made. The rescuers would split the income made off the rescue, half of it going towards the rescue team, the other half going towards the organization. So far we were just doing fuel and scrap deliveries along with transports to crashed ships, things were kosher. 14 warp cells at just over 200k total had exposed the current version of our pricing as flawed.

 

After our setup resulted in our rescuer being put in the red, the organization forfeited its half of the earnings so the rescuer could turn a profit again. This resulted in some revisions which are as follows in update v9/27:

 

Pricing changes:

- Multipliers added for distance and atmospheric entry/exit

- Rescuers and organization equally split distance and atmospheric transfer income

- E&E purchases supplies

     (rescuers will purchase supplies from the nearest market and be reimbursed by E&E upon conclusion so we can keep things fast as we are not yet storing materials)

Cosmetic changes:

- Atmosphere/Distance split metrics added for user reference

- Atmosphere/Distance non-split metrics hidden for ease of use and to prevent confusion if checking results via paper. Only multiplier shown.

- Organization expenses along with organization and rescuer profit shown and color coded

 

While this culls the organization’s income since we are now covering for the cost of supplies and not our rescuers (they shouldn’t have been paying out of pocket to start with, how could I be so blind!) rescuers should no longer incur any sort of debt as a result of going out on a rescue operation.

 

Of course, this does assume that the rescue mission is completed and that we are paid in the end. Eyes & Ears willingly takes on a debit in the expectation that payment will come. Maybe not right away (especially where new players are concerned), but that our books will be black and at the very least, balanced.

 

I’m not exactly a fan of this as we are now operating on a proper ‘margin’ of sorts. And there’s always that risk that our rescuer gets blown up out in PVP space and the mission is never completed. That’s a straight 360 loss, period. For the time being, we’re collecting at the end of the operation when the customer is all good to go, but if the mechanics are ever introduced, however, I hope to be able to invoice customers so we can receive payment ahead of time (with the deposit into an org wallet) before the rescue is launched as security against a variety of threats.

 

Right now most of our income is coming off splitting the distance and atmospheric transfer costs as well as the additional 5% tax on the final bill along with whatever donations get thrown in. 5% is tight in my opinion and just looking at the numbers, I’m feeling encouraged to bump it up to 10%, just to keep us in the black and help with expansion.

 

I mentioned donations and I’ve always said it. Donations are never expected but always appreciated. Even if you’re not rescued but just want to throw some quanta our way, donations are not used for any individual profit but go straight towards the organization to fulfill its needs so we can go out and help the community whenever and wherever they’re in a bind.

 

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As far as in-game activity goes, the only stuff worth talking about is that I’ve mostly gotten finished on my first small core rescue craft. Below is a picture along with a tidbit of history.

 

Spoiler

 

Transport for 40 players

Can hold 9520L (based on current skills) of both Nitron and Kergon

Quote

 

Eyes & Ears' Light Rescue 2 was created out of a fragile troop transport intended for the Terran Union and designed by DarkHorizon during the Pre-Alpha phase of Dual Universe's development.

 

Never having made it past the initial design phase, the construct was never reviewed for use in the Terran Union.

 

Now repurposed for the use of transporting groups of players and a modest amount of fuel, the hull design was mostly left untouched save for some minor design changes like the support brackets around a narrower fore of the craft while the widened aft section was given a minor engine reconfiguration accommodate four small atmospheric engines for an initial kick of thrust. 

 

The hull of the Pre-Alpha variant was simply the width of the aft section from aft to fore. At the nose of the construct were eight 'spikes' of voxels and two doors. The design of the construct intended for it to be a transport and breach with the spikes anchoring the craft to the larger construct. Further details on ram damage, however, revealed that such methods would not be implemented so the construct was reverted merely a transport.

 

Peculiar mechanics of Vertical Boosters at the time allowed the craft to hover in place, affording it great maneuverability. Since then, changes to this element stripped this ability which forces the construct to either land or to fly low and slow before its occupants disembarked.

 

To fulfill part of its purpose in the Eyes & Ears fleet, armor protection was traded for fuel storage and robust community support for its cause. Without armor or armaments, mobility and early detection were its primary defense, and if push came to shove, community fallout would make up the secondary defense.

 

 

unknown.png

 

This was last week but it's mostly still accurate. The outside is pretty much still what you see here while the inside still needs a fair lot of work. It's coming along nicely although I'm not too impressed in-flight tests. Banking hard on skills since I'm not spamming element count or size. Probably going to try and find someone to work out its adjuster kinks since I'm getting a lot of unwanted feedback but that will be for another day.

 

Don't know when it will be ready for actual rescues, but should the special circumstance come up before its ready, I can make an exception.

 

 

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Finally, Tortuga. More details on that in the next update.

 

That's all for now, until next time, take care and fly safe everyone!

 

- DarkHorizon

 

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Bi-Weekly Update - October 12, 2020

 
Two rescues were made over the past two weeks, that’s 41 for Beta 1 and 179 overall!

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16,000L of Nitron, that’s how much @Adraenor and @Cthulhu741 needed when they landed just short of a marketplace and out of fuel, here was what they had to say:

Quote

We are based on Feli and we were going to Alioth for trading. We used a hauler made for Feli, and we discovered that its fuel consumption in Alioth with its dense atmosphere was enormous, so we ran out of fuel 50km from the district. 

 

We thought first to go to District by foot, but it would take a 2h round trip. We decided to ask E&E Search & Rescue for help to refuel us. DarkHorizon quickly and friendly responded and came to give us all the fuel we needed for a very reasonable price.

 

I would recommend them to anyone in distress. I hope I will not have to ask them for help too soon, but I know they will respond if I do.

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Work has been fairly slow in-game. With NovaQuark taking up the bulk of teleports and repairs of players in the Dual Universe Discords support channels have left us fairly lacking in the way of rescues. Hopefully, people realize that this is still a beta testing period and that this support will not be a permanent fixture.

 

To fill in the time, I’ve been doing a little offline work and setting up relationships that will hopefully prove fruitful later in Beta and beyond release in the years to come.

 

First up, I know I left off the last update mentioning Tortuga City which is being developed on Madis by @Sylvia and the Band of Outlaws organization. After some back and forth with them and an advisor, we’ve moved closer to an agreement on the construction of Eyes & Ears Helios System Headquarters.

 

A location suitable for the development of four large cores has been plotted out and I took a day to preview the space. The spot looks nice but I was hoping for some more elevation change as the spot on the map which gives the impression of a raised location along the edge of a cliff overlooking much of the city when in reality it’s more like a bumpy ride down a hill on the way to a creek. Hopefully, NovaQuark can roll out that planet update sooner rather than later as more serious elevation changes seem like a must. Thades is a good start.

 

While the location isn’t on one of Alioths moons which would have been prime, or on the Sanctuary moon, the two-thirds lower gravity will make taking off with a fuel-laden medium hauler much easier than having setup on either Alioth or the Sanctuary moon itself. Flying into either location with a full load, perhaps we should load up on brakes or ailerons. One thing that would be almost as good as rotating engines, retractable wings.

 

Speaking of a medium fuel hauler, that’s primarily what the System HQ is meant to store. I’m still thinking up the overall design and how I’ll work those constructs into it, but I’m thinking I’ll have parking spaces above and below the entry and exit points since I don’t want anyone to be having to rotate or reverse in. Just an easy in, easy out, no need for turning inside the structure (darker grey).

 

 

Spoiler

image.thumb.png.b7eefbded244a1e829f939bd241fbe17.png

 

 

Gates will occupy the diagonal portions while small constructs will be parked in either wing. I want to imagine that it should serve two medium and four small constructs fairly easily. The floor should be clear (in any proper garage space) and plenty easy to navigate. Maybe I’ll sprinkle in some wells for easy access to the underside like in a maintenance shop and some pushed aside decorative debris, maybe some worn-down flight elements. Yeah, there’s a real lived-in feel!

 

While the main structure takes up three of the large cores, the fourth core will consist of a blast-pad (lighter grey) for quick vertical deployments up and out of the city without needing to navigate any traffic. It should provide a fun sight for any spectators that just so happen to be watching. The blast-pad won’t take up the entire cores space so I’m thinking of leasing it out to some small shopkeeps or use it for some other way to make some supplementary income.

 

Still got some other details to work out with Tortuga and while I was thinking of reducing our profile to an outpost, I think I’ll take a risk here and go bigger. I’m placing a lot of trust that we’ll be able to operate effectively as Tortuga has that stigma attached to it that it’s run by pirates. Whether or not that trust can be maintained, we’ll wait and see.

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Some other relationships that have been kicked off over this period: 

 

@Starsz with the Special Tactics Rescue Service. While operating primarily within the Empire’s space as a military element, STRS will be making up an important security branch of our operations which has been a topic of some internal discussion.

 

@Grixis with Mineral Co.  Working in the industrial space, these folks will be key for refining mined material and sourcing crafted material.

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I did work on finishing up the inside of the transport that I posted an exterior shot of in the last update. Added some support structure at the expense of a couple of seats on each side of the aisle. It looks nicer than it did before, but something about it still feels incomplete. Going to be experimenting with some decorative elements like cables and such and see if I can get something I like.

 

Spoiler

unknown.png?width=1194&height=671

 

It can comfortably lift 9,520L of both Nitron and Kergon (19,040L total) in its fuel stores up from Alioth which is something I intend to expand further with additional skills. Seating has been reduced from 40 to 35 although realistically speaking, I could probably squeeze in another 40 seats and make it look sorta good? It would sort of ruin the look but I’m not exactly going for aesthetics. Remember, I’m a function over form (but just enough form to still look good while doing it) kind of person here.

 

2,600L of storage space for scrap is available, although double stacking it is very much doable. I could triple stack but then the containers would be inside the voxels which feels sort of meh. Would also probably be a hazard when it comes to banking and other fun stuff.

 

Behind the screenshot is two medium fuel tanks for the engines, and one small space tank for the vertical boosters. Also, an easy lift fully loaded at 207t, 111t with the reserves empty, and 85t when fully empty. 

 

On the starboard side is a recessed pilot seat with fairly good observation angles above the construct, landing it will be fun however, that will probably just be a skill to develop over time as you get a feel for the craft. On the port side across from the pilot’s chair will probably end up a gunner’s seat for purposes of radar observation. The whole thing would explode with one hit from a large gun and leave nothing left. If the fuel tank explosions had any actual effect on their surroundings, then it would probably still go up anyways with a hit or two from a small gun.

 

The best offense is a good defense right? It probably won’t be a part of my final rendition unless I can make it look half nice, but will two rocket boosters help? I think I’ll try that out for fun tomorrow. Got some tanks on loan from an org mate, only got space for two extra smalls however which makes it the emergency type use case which is all it’s intended for.

 

Still got work to do, of course, don’t know how much, but I do know it ain’t finished yet.

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Further work progressed in my other pet project, Dual Universe Classifieds. Lots more advertisers at the markets now so I contacted them all and got a dozen more curious eyeballs interested and in the roster while one organization went live.

 

Still waiting on two other organizations from the original group to link their pictures, then I think with that said and one peculiar exploit fixed, it’s about time this be pushed to the masses. The markets, let’s just say that they look awful. Can’t wait to see what impact we have.

 

I got an idea that I’m bouncing around in my mind that could very well solve this, but it’s on the back burner for the time being. I’ll probably discuss it with some of the advertisers and get their take on it before investing in the idea.

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Well, I think that’s about everything. A couple of days late but I hope you enjoyed the read nonetheless.

 

Take care, and fly safe!

- DarkHorizon
 

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This sounds a lot like our small community! I was playing SC and dealing with some dark thoughts, found that helping people stranded in the black of space was a good way to cope, it helped me see beyond my own depression, and I am doing great now! so I created an ORG in that game called Not Alone dedicated to medical and rescue gameplay (still WIP in that game) and to talk to people that are going through a hard time in RL, I would love to hear what your thoughts are on a similar work here in DU! I'll visit your discord in my next day of, and we can maybe talk about it.

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Bi-Weekly Update - October 26th, 2020

 

Three rescues were made over the past two weeks, that’s 44 for Beta 1 and 182 overall!

 

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Most of the past two weeks have been slower than usual on my end.

 

I tore down the micro base that we’ve been working out of since Beta started. It was an XS core with just some industry and a handful of containers to get our member’s production started. Wasn’t much, nor anything fancy, but cute enough to blueprint.

 

With just over 400t of supplies and equipment stowed, @Haunty took off with our cargo while I flew out in our light rescue and fuel transporter. We met on Madis at Tortuga City where @Anonymous was generous enough to get us started with four large cores. Manufacturing them was easy enough, placing them, well that took a while.

 

Once we’d learned there’d be a wipe for Beta and that it was just on the horizon, my ambition for any big projects was largely squashed. I’d hoped to make use of my time in building out a system headquarters but after producing four large cores in Alpha 2 and laying out a single voxel thick base of concrete, the motivation had quite literally evaporated. I decided to narrow down things and build an outpost on a medium core instead. If you remember back in Alpha 1, I had a setup at the end of one of the marketplaces. While I was quite fond of that, it was a piece of my early thought process on how things would be handled which had changed as I saw more progress being realized.

 

Stuff was similar in some ways but fairly different than others. What pushed the changes was @Duckimus Maximus commenting that I was building a prison, yeah, I wasn't quick to forget that observation. I didn't ask but aside from the dark and plain design, I think what spurred the comment was windows that extended outside the building looking down and up. Well if I could explain that the downward windows were to look down, while the ones facing up were to let in sunlight. With the previous structure built during A1, I used a fair amount of windows in the roof and I liked the effect so that was what inspired such a design.

 

Anyways, the real meat of this A2 construct was that it was oriented in a less than desirable way with the front-facing away from the sun. While I did originally build this with absolutely no cares in mind, I took my time with positioning this time around. First, we had to figure out which way the sun rose and set, since the day/night cycle is pretty long, we had to do some stargazing.

 

Geography came next, building at the edge of a ravine affords us nice views while spectators can get some cheap entertainment watching our heavier constructs rocket vertically off. While I initially wanted to build on a north/south flow, running parallel to the ravine appeared to give things a nicer, if more chaotic, pirate-like feel among Tortuga Cities inhabitants. Getting the right angle proved a challenge but with a bit of creative thinking, we were able to find something that worked for our end. Depth ended up being a minor issue as I’m still trying to consider future constructs.

 

I would have been quite hard-pressed to get that exactly right, but in between our real-life commitments and my attention to detail, the eight days of work were worth it and we’re finally reaching the building stage. While things could very well change in the future once we get some official rescue constructs, many thanks to Anonymous for their assistance.

 

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Since we now have an extreme need for construction material, and not to mention that NovaQuark is taking our job lock, stock, and barrel, we are accepting any and all donations.

 

If you'd like to donate, just stop by Madis and if I’m visible in Discord then we should be able to meet up. I’m not yet provisioning a large container for independent donations but that is coming soon. In the meantime, we should be able to meet around this general area in Tortuga City until I get that container set up.
::pos{0,1,81.0143,56.0790,803.0194}

 

Feel free to contact me on Discord at any time if you’d like to donate and I’m not around and I’ll guide you through everything.

 

Members, please check our servers #useful-info channel for more details if you haven’t already.

 

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With the end of the month upon us, our first round of payroll is being pulled together. Since this was fairly unorganized at the start of Beta, not to mention a few calculator related adjustments and determining what we're worth, it's not as even and clear-cut as I’d like. This has prompted a few additions to how our rescue data and financial logs are kept.

 

Since our finances are currently public on our Discord, I've been thinking about compiling a public spreadsheet on this but ill be talking with the team about it because as adults I do understand some might like to keep their income private.

 

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If you viewed our rescue logs and gawked at how much some of our rescuers have made from single operations, let’s put that into perspective. The following is the current lowest sale price for the stated ores as of me typing this very paragraph.

 

One node of 4000 chromite (t2) at 15/L = 60,000
One node of 4000 acanthite (t3) at 100/L = 400,000
One node of 4000 cobalite (t4) at 650/L = 2,600,000

 

Right now, a lot of us are probably mining ore and selling our spoils. It makes the current base of our economy regardless of how shaky things are right now. Our members could easily be mining either for themselves or who knows what organization that might pay them. In some cases, maybe they’d be earning more for their time while in other cases less. What I’m trying to do is compensate for that spent time.

 

Flying through space is boring and could be better-spent mining, but if you don’t have an alternate account, then you’re stuck flying through the void, better pick up a book. The tricky part here is answering how much is our member’s time is worth?

 

Sure, 5,000L of Kergon may not cost all that much, but our rescuer made 363k off this particular operation.

 

Another thing I’m trying to balance out is what’s reasonable? In the early stages of the rescue process, we’ll usually provide an estimate right around the same time a rescuer is taking off. If the person being assisted feels they won’t be able to cover the expense, then they’ll likely seek out another player or organization. No customers mean no business and that’s no good.

 

People might say ‘what’s reasonable is whatever someone is willing to pay’. While I’d be inclined to agree with this statement, we are not in the business of extortion and an unfair price is simply unacceptable when those we’re trying to help just want to get back to enjoying the game.

 

We enjoy the game doing what we do by helping you enjoy the game even after trouble shows itself. Quanta and greed should not get in the way of that.

 

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Finally, talk of an upcoming race is making its way through the DICE servers again. I recently talked with Urseus on Discord about E&E forming up an emergency response team and they were thrilled with the idea of such roleplay, under one condition…

 

Supplying an image, the race follows a theme that they’ve asked us to stick by. I passed this along to the rest of the team and I may have gotten a bite, but we’ll just have to see how this turns out.

 

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It also just occurred to me as I was writing this, I've been so caught up in things that I haven't been welcoming our newest members in this thread!

 

@Avatae - Rescuer and Supplies Manager
@TheLyokoWarrior - Rescuer
@AlacrityFitzhugh - Rescuer and Pilot
@yafeshan - Dispatch, Rescuer, and Supplies Manager
@NightSky - Rescuer, Pilot, and Programmer
@QuantumKitty - Rescuer
@Biglulu - Dispatch and Rescuer

 

Of them, congrats to the following members on their first rescues:
AlacrityFitzhugh

NightSky

Biglulu

 

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One final tidbit before we break. I’ll be pushing another update on Sunday and again on the 15th. I’d like to move from every Monday (now bi-weekly) as I did with our regularly scheduled Alpha tests, to something a bit more regular.

 

Take care, and fly safe!

- DarkHorizon
 

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Bi-Weekly Update - November 1st, 2020

 

Two rescues were made over the past week, that’s 46 for Beta 1 and 184 overall!

 

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Here is some of the feedback from this past week’s rescues:

 

Quote

I bunt up in atmo entering into Madis. I had someone on the ground with scrap, I just needed him to be lifted up to where the ship was at around 4 KM from the surface.

 

I was amazed at how fast they were able to arrive to help me. It took a little bit but we were able to get me close enough to enter build mode and I was able to reposition voxels for ledges to stand on while I repaired.

 

The price was more than reasonable and I was on my ship just 20 minutes after I got a response. I greatly appreciate the people here at Eyes & Ears. Thank you again.

 

 - Chronubis

R183

 

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Congrats to @Kaimorta for their first rescue.

 

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A touch of outlining work has progressed on the HQ. The rest of yesterday’s activity was mostly spent around figuring out what gate size I should have installed that would accommodate a medium construct. Likely one of the larger gates but I might just double up so who knows right now.

 

Not much else to say as far as construction goes. I did back out however and just the scope of this project, it feels extensive already and I’ve only just begun. Gonna need a lot of resources and that’s just to get a shell. Who knows how thick the exterior walls will end up.

 

More action happened on the Discord front. After some talk with @LittleJoe as well as with @Wykkyd and their partner @Anonymous, the latter is in the progress of some constructive discussions of cooperation which have been going well so far. Things are still being worked out but for now, I’ve opted to rest this weekend after a busy week and focus a bit more in-game. We’ll kick things off again tomorrow.

 

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Prior to initializing talks with the above persons, I had an internal discussion with the rest of the team about a possible cooperative agreement and over the course of such talks, we leaned into the topic of our collective earnings.

 

Several members had expressed discomfort when billing customers knowing that they were taking something out of it. After further talks, four members volunteered to go non-profit and donate their earnings to the organization so we can fund bases, ships, and resources to help others. With the month of October now over, I too had even donated my earnings from my rescues and dispatch duties to further Eyes & Ears objective of helping the community.

 

I’d sent out a mass DM to the rest of our members and so far I’ve gotten back an additional five responses in the time I’ve written this. To further this end I’m also adding a question to our application form where potential recruits can specify if they’d like to donate their earnings and push us ever further down the non-profit route.

 

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Beyond all this, I’ve done a few other minor things in the background. Further organizing a spreadsheet to keep track of organization income and expenses in place of an org wallet has taken up a majority of this time.

 

After customer complaints, I've also removed the Victim role from our discord so there is no longer a step involving swapping the guest and victim role. Once a person joins, they can go straight to our dispatch center and fire off a ticket.

 

No updates on Dual Universe Classifieds but I’m confident in pushing that public come this November.
 

Oh and again, just another reminder that updates will be coming out on the 1st and 15th from now on.

 

Take care, and fly safe!

- DarkHorizon

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Bi-Weekly Update - November 15th, 2020

 

Four rescues were made over the past two weeks, that’s 50 for Beta 1 and 188 overall!

 

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Here is some of the feedback from the rescues we made:

 

Quote

I forgot to cut my engines and smashed into my space station at 10,000 kph and resurrected on Alioth since my node got destroyed. They came and picked me up on Alioth and warped me to my station in the Madis sector. The rescue was fast and got me to my destination quickly. Thanks, Eyes and Ears. Keep up the great work.
- Chronubis
R187


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Work on the HQ had to be temporarily put on hold after I came to the realization that the cores were indeed not placed deep enough to accomplish what I would set out to do in the future. Once redone, I restarted my outlining work.

 

Four large cores, three of which will feature the main structure while the fourth acts as a launching platform. I mention this again because, due to how the build zone acts, I had to expand the building into the launchpad area. With the gate placed in the corner of the build zone on the diagonal section (see an image in the previous post), the element is not allowed to extend beyond the build zone the gate was placed on. This resulted in a smaller launch area than I would have liked, but it opened up the idea of parking space for rescuers as they come and go from the location on operations.

 

Looking at the current framing, I feel very much in over my head here. These large cores are just that, LARGE. I decided to place a small construct inside to get an idea of how things are sizing up, but it looks like it can store twelve small constructs instead of the eight I had intended. A maintenance area will likely spring up in one of the wings behind the constructs while the storage of rescue supplies will occur in the other wing. Living and work quarters are still going to get positioned under the roof, and with our build zones depth, we have a basement to work in!

 

Most of this is still in my head, though, with lots of work to be done with more detailed wireframing, then comes the godly task of filling it all in. Some might ask me how I can be so aghast at my work when all I am making amounts to a garage and a launchpad. Yeah, the bulk of the space is mostly unused, but this is also my biggest project yet. I haven't touched large constructs since creative mode ended in early Alpha, and the two buildings I created in Alpha 1 and over both 2 and 3 were single medium cores, and now I have four large cores, so this is where some of my thoughts are stemming from.

 

I got a great team backing me up, and of our 37 other members, many of them have contributed to these efforts. We have a glut of silicon, but it will all get put to use, all of which I am very grateful for!

 

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Some more changes made their way to our Discord server. The most noticeable was in the dispatch center, where players will go to start the initial ticket. The disclaimer text was slightly modified in word choice but has overall remained the same. One thing that I will point out, however, is our just-released New Player Protection Program (NP3).

 

Under this program, Eyes & Ears will send out a rescuer for free if your account is under 30 days old, plus the bill for rescue falls under 175,000h. These stipulations accomplish two things in defining new players. It specifies age and resources. It mainly separates players that have a certain amount of expected knowledge and ability beyond what one might classify as someone that is new to the game and might not know what they are doing. 

 

Everyone will progress differently based on our lives, interest, and responsibilities elsewhere. Dual Universe does have a subscription, however, and I doubt a vast majority of people would start a subscription, leave, then come back 31 days after and crash their speeder. I might extend this to 45, 60, maybe even 90 days, but at that point, the instances seem pretty rare. We will have to see how things go, and I am sure that this program will change as we gather data.

 

Beyond the NP3, tickets are getting divided into four primary categories based on what defines the rescue. Those are refueling, repairing, transporting, and towing. A PVP category is also available if any of the above were as a result of PVP. This category would indicate to us that special care is needed as this could be a hot operation with threats and dangers present during the rescue and that any Rescuers should use increased vigilance when working.

 

I don't anticipate this to add any confusion to the process of opening a ticket, but I will be keeping an eye and looking for feedback. I already had one positive review so far.

 

----------

 

That's all for now, until next time, take care and fly safe everyone!

 

- DarkHorizon

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Bi-Weekly Update - November 15th, 2020


Five rescues were made over the past two weeks, that’s 55 for Beta 1 and 193 overall!

 

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Here’s some of the feedback from the rescues we’ve made:

 

Quote

“Perfect services, fast and very useful!”
ZerqqV
R190 

 

Quote

“Amazing service, super-fast, and at an amazing price! Dispatcher mograd was effective and kind, highly recommend!”
@ReaperEternal
R193

 

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Welcome to our newest members:


@Tonvor - Rescuer, Pilot
@TheChargent - Rescuer

 

Congrats to both members on their first rescues.

 

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The past two weeks have been spent digging out the basement portion of our system headquarters at Madis. I’d go out on a limb and say that 350,000^3 of dirt was removed based on soil that I did and did not put up for sale at one of the nearby markets.10+ quanta is probably an exorbitant price for a jar of dirt, but that didn’t stop Jack Sparrow.

 

With that out of the way, more work is going to wire-framing and exterior design features. I visited a couple of the more detailed bases via VR for some inspiration and may have a few ideas, I’ll have to put more thought into it and test it out before I settle on anything.

 

One of the mistakes in building that I think many people are going to make (as evidenced in the bases I visited) right off the bat is that they are just going to design things a voxel thick. As many a hauler probably knows by now, one voxel just won’t cut it. Buildings are like onions and that they have layers. Looking ahead to projections I cannot make in any real detail, all I can say is that it will be taking a lot of voxel material before this place is anywhere close to finished. Again, at its heart is nothing but empty space, but we're still making a fair amount of use in the extremes of three large cores.

 

Mind you, this is all a one-man effort, for the most part, especially construction-wise which is why it's taking so long, but that is a me problem that I am fine having right now. Org members are donating materials, plus a public donation box has been positioned at the below coordinates on Madis if you wish to assist us in having materials ready and on hand. Steel is likely to be in very high demand, so if anyone wants to drop off steel, that would be most helpful. The voxel materials we’re using are the following.

 

  • Polished White Steel
  • Polished Light Gray Steel
  • Galvanized Light/Dark Gray Steel (leaning more towards dark for bulk due to reflectivity)
  • Galvanized Red Steel
  • Waxed Black Brick


::pos{0,1,81.3314,55.6311,799.6990}

 

While these would be the most useful construction materials, anything donated will be accepted and put to good use in furthering Eyes & Ears mission, and our commitment to the Dual Universe community.

 

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A few minor cosmetic changes were made to the calculator we use to tally up the cost of each rescue (that is unless your account is less than a month old and the bill is under 175k, then it's free) to make it easier to use and understand.

 

Comments were made on each space accepting input that further instructs and details what data goes in that space so we don’t confuse things like putting the number of players transported in the space where the amount of cargo transported goes. Sure a player could be treated as cargo, but they’re a special type of cargo.

 

Flags brought up by the calculator now have their own ‘Warnings’ section in the calculator itself. These warnings highlight the final total to bring attention to something that could be amiss and needs double-checking.

 

The last change was a small pair of indicators near the top of the spreadsheet indicating payment status. The sheet itself takes a couple of seconds to load up and freezes at the top. This indicator should assist our financial accountants.

 

----------

 

Eyes & Ears New Player Protection Program (NP3) saw its first use since its introduction. @ZerqqV, quoted in our feedback for rescue 190, crashed on Alioth and respawned. He and I met by chance at one of Alioths marketplaces as I was going about my business and asked if I could spare a moment to bring them back to their wreck that was a short way north of the districts. I obliged, dropped them off, and that was a wrap. Based on their comments in-game and the feedback received, it sounds like we made a good impression.

 

I hope to see further use of E&E's NP3. Dual Universe is a game built by its players. We should make those first steps as easy as possible and not let one screw up lead to hours of frustration. Looking back on my past experiences in Pre-Alpha, Alpha, and now the start of Beta, starting was easy, but every time we’ve had to do that, it has gotten harder. Like it or not, it will only get harder the way I see things going forward. What used to be achievable by one player now takes a tight group, and what could be done by that group needs a more formal organization.

 

I’ve heard some curious bits of discussion saying that this is the beginning of the end. As an American, I heard that a lot over the past five years in political circles. What I learned there as I observe here, we’re still not even to release, yet the hard work has only just begun. No one said bootstrapping civilization would be easy.

 

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In my aforementioned wanderings at the marketplaces, I was looking for more organization advertisements that had popped up since I first left for Madis. I collected a few dozen names and will be contacting them all soon.

 

If you didn’t notice, Dual Universe Classifieds now has its advertising stations at the main ten districts on Alioth. They’re on the platform right beside the on-ramps and just a few steps away from the marketplace elevators. I stuck it out of the way on purpose and hope it creates a stark contrast against the fraudulent dispensers and more brute force advertisers.

 

While a dedicated topic hasn’t been made on this just yet, one will be coming soon, perhaps even later today if I can find wherever that document was that I typed up a month ago for the occasion.

 

More details on that will come when such a topic finally drops. All discussion about DUC will also no longer occur here.

 

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That's all for now, until next time, take care and fly safe everyone!
- DarkHorizon

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