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Eyes & Ears - Search And Rescue


DarkHorizon
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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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  • 2 weeks later...

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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  • 3 weeks later...

 

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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  • 2 weeks later...

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.

 

----------

 

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.

 

----------

 

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

 

----------

 

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!

 

----------

 

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

 

----------

 

Congrats to @Kaimorta for their first rescue.

 

----------

 

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.

 

----------

 

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.

 

----------

 

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!

 

----------
 
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


----------

 

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!

 

----------

 

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 - December 1st, 2020


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

 

----------

 

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

 

----------

 

Welcome to our newest members:


@Tonvor - Rescuer, Pilot
@TheChargent - Rescuer

 

Congrats to both members on their first rescues.

 

-----------

 

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.

 

----------

 

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.

 

----------

 

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.

 

----------

 

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

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Bi-Weekly Update - December 15th, 2020

 

Ten rescues were made over the past two weeks, 65 for Beta 1 and 203 overall!

 

----------

 

Here is some of the feedback from the rescues that were made:

Quote

 

“Crashed into a Terrain Glitch on Sinnen and had no Scrap with me. Eyes & Ears responded quickly and delivered me the scrap so that I was able to repair my ship.”

@Dacuser
R196

 

Quote

 

“Broke my ship's core due to crash on Ion and these guys saved me by delivering 2 of them. Very nice guys 10/10 would recommend!”

@LamdaDelta
R199

 

 

----------

 

Welcome to our newest members:

 

Tiramon - Rescuer, Programmer
@Rhapsody - Rescuer, Pilot
@Pupperr - Rescuer

 

----------

 

Congrats to Tiramon on their first rescue!

 

----------

 

Dig dig dig, scan scan scan, mine mine mine. Turn it into pure ore, process it into voxels, place voxels down.

 

That has been the bulk of my work for the past two weeks. I filled in the framing for the exterior walls, in addition to interior and exterior support columns for said wall. With only one voxel thick in place on the exterior walls, I realized a mistake in the voxel material I was using, iron instead of steel. The material will not go unused I'm also debating keeping it in place on the exterior since the look has its appeal.

 

At several points, various members from the organization donated raw materials to help speed up the process. @TheChargent also located a carbon mega-node, and I stumbled across a separate larger than average carbon node. In posting a screenshot of the excavation, I noted 56kL pure and 40kL waiting for refinement. Going to be hitting up the Swap Spot near Tortuga to get the iron I need instead of mining it out.

 

Now with the walls nearing completion, all that is left is the floor, roof, basement floor, and basement walls. What joy!

 

I mentioned in the last update that “the hard work has only just begun. No one said bootstrapping civilization would be easy.” Hoo-boy, did I ever under-estimate how the .23 update would affect things. While our normal operations aren't affected, the base building and general construct building have lengthened their time to completion somewhat. Finishing the HQ won't be easy, but it won't be impossible.

 

----------

 

More cosmetic additions to the invoice calculator were added in the 12/4 and 12/12 versions:

 

Two dynamic pie charts breaking down the total cost of each component of the final cost, and breaking down overall profits and expenses were added at the bottom.

 

Reminders will display in non-calculation areas when specific details like names, payment status, and the rescue number are left empty. These additions have made the warnings area long, and I'm debating arranging them into a group instead of a column.

 

Finally, a summary of the income received if the Dispatcher, Rescuer, and Pilot are all donating their private income to the organization. These changes should all make financial accounting on the back end easier and less time-consuming.

 

I keep saying this privately, but organization wallets and invoices can't come soon enough!

 

I’m anticipating further changes, additions, and even some price increases 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 - January 1st, 2021

 

Twelve rescues were made over last two weeks of 2020, 77 for Beta 1 and 215 overall!

 

----------
 
Welcome to our newest members:

@rexsilex - Pilot, Rescuer, Programmer

 

----------

 

Congrats to rexsilix on their first rescue.

 

----------

 

HQ Work:
Ground-level has been mostly filled in with space still open where I hope to park a medium construct, it will likely get expanded once I have an actual construct to stick there. Work still feels slow but it’s progress nonetheless. Stopping short of working on the basement, likely until I know what construct is going to be stored, I looked up and saw that we were still open to the sky.

 

This is likely going to make up the next bulk of work since I’ve run the numbers on the material that we’ll need and let’s just say that it’s a project within a project! With some carbon supplies leftover from building up the walls, all we’re searching for is iron ore. Then there’s the whole crafting process which seems like it will take up a lot of time. I’m working up some skills right now to reduce both that and the resources needed so work should begin in earnest sometime next week.

 

Aside from building, I’ve been floating around my small transporter inside the space and, let’s just say that it feels like it’s bigger than it needs to be. Depending on how our official small and medium constructs come out, I might shrink-wrap things a bit. Not worried about having any extra material on hand, but the whole aspect of size just seems to be escaping me right now. How big should I make everything for stuff that I don’t have? Once I have that stuff, how will I need to adjust what is already in place so that way our space is used realistically but effectively?

 

----------

 

Calculator:

Some more changes were made to our invoice calculator in the 12/19 and 12/29 updates. Of particular interest to the community is likely the recent price increases:

 

Dispatch fee raised from 5,000 to 20,000


Warp Base fee raised from 35,000 to 50,000

Warp now takes into account distance but at a half rate

 

Distance - Planetside: 5,000 > 10,000
Cargo transport: 500 > 750/t
Player transport: 10,000 > 15,000

 

Our Dispatchers now receive a more tangible income for the communication efforts they provide. Rescuers and Pilots may wonder why their fees didn’t go up. That particular fee is really just supposed to cover the cost of fuel for you to fly a xs/s construct to our bases and outposts, it does not entirely take time spent into consideration since the distance covered is usually not expected to often be more than a few SU between the planet and any applicable moons. This closeness is attributed to the fact that as rescuers, you are not centralized in any single location, and our objective to have an outpost on every planet means our supplies should be fairly close at hand.

 

We previously didn’t count distance in with warp since it removes the time associated with normal flight and was considered unfair to players who wanted faster service. After working with this for a while, I identified a few scenarios where warping ended up cheaper than normal flying under our current pricing. Relatively speaking, this was unacceptable due to the additional research, hardware, and initial costs involved, among other things associated with warp.

 

While it isn’t fully brought in line with how I’d like, the addition of half the distance for normal flight plus an increase to the base price has come closer to my expectations in this area.

 

----------

 

There is also something else being worked out on the sidelines, more on this will likely come 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 - January 15th, 2021

 

Three rescues were made over last two weeks of 2020, 80 for Beta 1 and 218 overall!

 

-----

 

HQ Work:
Raise the roof, or at least try to! It was a fairly quiet period since our last update, all work was spent on adding a roof so now we’re somewhat like a house and enclosed on all six sides. Some additional work will go into filling in the supports crisscrossing the roof and I’m thinking of some possible arch supports but that will likely take a good bit of voxel work. I’m also partial to the idea of natural lighting so I’ll be looking at placing some windows facing the sun, just need to figure out if I want that to be an extension from the roof, or somehow integrated more flatly into the roof.

 

I still think the place is big. I would likely try to see if I could hear myself echo, but I’m probably only thinking this because it’s still so empty. Once we get some constructs parked, it should appear more filled in. not necessarily ‘lively’, but purposeful. Four large cores, it’s just so much bigger than my single large core that I’m used to working with from back in alpha. And I thought that was spacious, it feels small in comparison. Small but deliberate. I think I’ll enjoy working on the planet outposts more than the current HQ.

 

I know, a roof, what joy is there in that, but that’s all there is for now. Not only was it slow for the org, but also myself. As an American, the changing (and ‘firey’ might I add) political landscape has stolen my attention from the game, Discord, and much of my online life in general. I’m still around popping up every now and again, but things have been pretty quiet as of late.

 

-----

 

I mentioned in the last update that there was work happening on the sidelines. Stuff has deepened on that front with stuff being discussed in more detail. Whether or not it’s being formalized and written down is yet to be seen as all agreements have been verbal with no signed documentation.

 

Stuff is happening and I should really get my butt in gear as it relates to other organizations and E&E, but for now, real life is the priority so I’ll let the opportunities find me for the time being.

 

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

- DarkHorizon

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Bi-Weekly Update - February 1st, 2021

 

Two rescues were made over last two weeks of 2020, 82 for Beta 1 and 220 overall!

 

-----

 

HQ Work:
Further work has been completed on the HQ, most of it centered around the acquisition of two medium gates which has really allowed me to smoothen out the intricacies of sizing the building for the constructs it will be storing. Of course, this does limit the size of the medium constructs that we’ll be flying so this might necessitate an upgrade to a single large gate which while fiscally desirable, not only adjusts the sizing of the midsection of our HQ, but also the constructs as well. Here’s how those numbers turn out.

 

single large ----- 8x160x80
single medium - 8x120x80
double medium 8x120x160

 

Now, these gates are on their sides to maximize the height along the width of the gate, then doubled to provide the needed width.

 

This is just one example of why I’m a proponent of customizable height/length/width for some elements like gates, but that’s been discussed a few times to my knowledge and I don’t think any traction was gained on it. The static nature of elements is also why I advise people to think about the elements they want to build with as it will affect hulls, buildings, voxels, the amount of voxel material needed, etc.

 

As this will limit the constructs we’ll eventually fly, I’ve been considering a voxel-based door similar to ODY’s ‘doorzilla’ (you can view this in VR). While this allows a lot more customization, it requires two cores (front and back entrance) and is supplemented by the fact that gates are simply more expensive than a voxel-based door system. It’s something I’m going to ponder before purchasing the rear doors.

 

Last thing regarding the HQ, skylights! I’ve been watching Helios in Madis’ skies and will be positioning a multitude of openings in the roof and perhaps even down the walls to let in natural lighting while maintaining (or trying to) a cold and mechanical look. 100 large windows are all ready to be placed, with I believe another 300 in production. Let there be light!

 

-----

 

Organization Partnerships:
Since the previous update, Eyes & Ears has established two new partnerships:

 

The Adventurers Guild by @Sofetios will assist Eyes & Ears in work on Alioth. Anytime there is an abundance of work in that area, we’ll send requests their way. They’re geared towards new players and I thought it only well to give them and new players an additional point of connection through our networking.

 

Securion by @AstonAir will be helpful to the organization in a multitude of ways. They will be running security for Eyes & Ears, carrying weapons so we don’t have to, which is something I’m a stalwart fan of. In addition to security, we’re also being offered residence onboard their stations that will be in orbit above each planet. This will significantly accelerate our response times once we get official constructs as, despite my modest effort, work on our HQ as simple as it is has proven much slower than I anticipated.

 

Their generosity is also being extended through financial aid and repair services as a result of unprovoked PVP action against us. This has granted them a spot on our website’s “Sponsors” page and allows us to move into dangerous territory ever more confidently.

 

We will also be sharing intelligence between each other on potential hotspots throughout the universe as well as testing out a sort of insurance program. These last two bits are a little more on the scarce details side but it is something that should prove all the better as time goes on.

 

-----

 

Tidbits:
Have I heard bits and pieces of info from around DU or is something brewing in Eyes & Ears? I’ll post it here in my ‘Tidbits’ section. I hope readers find it a curious bit of information to wrap up these posts.

 

I’ve mentioned ‘official constructs’ several times over the course of this entire topic. By that I mean constructs specific and recognizable as belonging to Eyes & Ears. We will not be creating these internally but contracting them out to various ship designers in the form of a contest. I’m going over the specifications for each core size ship and have been adjusting things as DU unfolds. When will this contest happen you ask, we’ll find out as soon as I hear from NovaQuark.
 

-----

 

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

- DarkHorizon

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

Bi-Weekly Update - February 15th, 2021

 

Three rescues were made over the last two weeks, 85 for Beta 1 and 223 overall!

 

-----

 

Here is some of the feedback from the rescues that were made:

Quote

Planned out my first off Alioth mining trip. Upon exiting warp and starting my approach up, I had the sudden urge to refill my IRL coffee. It was good coffee but it also caused me to not have proper braking distance and I entered atmo going 4,500kmph.

 

After contacting E&E and taking a few days from the game off, AlacrityFitzhugh shows up for a pickup and recovery mission. We were expecting a high altitude stuck ship but it ended up being 50m off the ground.

 

E&E services are outstanding and highly recommended. They provides a necessary, convenient, and affordable service that makes DU a better place

@evergodd
R 222

-----

 

HQ Work:
More work regarding roofing and the installation of skylights went down. Both wings are now more or less complete roofwise with just some additional windows being crafted. @Haunty has been real instrumental with the creation and supply of windows for this endeavor, 500 larges of them so far.

 

While this is mostly a matter of copy/paste, that’s not to say that it’s been as quick going as I’d like. Keeping things at a-round ten meters, everything should be nice and lined up once the initial design is set, right? Well, that wasn’t the case, it appears at some point that I had made a mistake and trimmed things a meter short in the width plane in each wing which needed straightening out which meant entire faces had to be adjusted down two large cores. Also, cores being a voxel short on one end due to NQ's technical constraints has created a few.. oddities, but I’ve hidden those the best I can.

 

All this leaves now is the central section which has two primary duties; storage of medium constructs, as well as entrance and exit points. Since speed is the key in deployment, our medium constructs will be parked below ground level or right above it while small and extra-small constructs will be in either wing. When needed, medium constructs can hover up to or lower themselves to ground level and accelerate forward to reach the landing pad.

 

This in conjunction with the front and rear exits does not necessitate pilots of these constructs to either reverse back in or rotate the construct when inside in order to park. It also makes swapping from medium to smaller constructs all the faster when the situation demands it.

 

Parking constructs above ground level however requires either an increase in the height of the building across its entirety or only in the area where it’s needed. In this case, I decided to opt for the latter to make things less cuboidal than they already are. I’m hitting a bit of a snag with this however since A, I’m still going to be without those medium constructs for a few months, and B, I’m still waiting to hear back on the installation of two doorzillas.  I’m working with one of them getting one set up right now so we’ll have to see how it all turns out.

 

-----

 

Discord:
I’ve been messing around with the statbot for a couple of hours yesterday. I’m getting the hang of things but sometime this week we should have a running stats channel with various bits and bobs of info. Nothing too major but it’s something I hope is helpful.

 

-----

 

Tidbits:
Have I heard bits and pieces of info from around DU or is something brewing in Eyes & Ears ripe for teasing? I’ll post it here in my ‘Tidbits’ section. I hope readers find it a curious bit of information to wrap up these posts. If you’ve heard something you want shared, let me know!

 

If you’ve kept an eye on the official DU discord, or read the news, it’s been quite the up and down week hasn’t it? With NovaQuark pulling back their support to tickets only, I’m anticipating an increase in our activity once the ticket queue backs up and wait times become too long for players whose ships froze in the skies above them.

 

While I’m waiting for other things to get rolling, I’ll likely be shifting priorities to either DU Classifieds and expanding the ad network to other planets or working on the basement which is still an empty hole in the ground.

 

-----

 

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

- DarkHorizon

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bi-Weekly Update - March 1st, 2021

 

One rescue was made over the last two weeks, 86 for Beta 1 and 224 overall!

 

-----

 

Welcome the following member to our team:

@Dedalous - Dispatch, Pilot, Rescuer

 

-----

 

HQ Work:
Two medium doorzillas were installed as a separate entrance and exit point in the central core. What I’m told should have taken a day ended up taking ten. Between permissions being problematic, not having a complete list of materials, living on opposite sides of the planet, and both of us having lives resulted in this unfortunate slog.

 

I hope the experience has helped ODY streamline its process further so future installations don’t end up like such. It also goes without saying that these doors are a fair bit more complex than they look. Not only do they go up and down, but perhaps the most interesting feature is that if out of alignment on the z-axis (outside its designated slot), it can automatically realign itself with no grabbing and dragging the construct on your part.

 

With my plan set on this for future system headquarters, and the doors a full 64m long, I’m not limited in width, only height of the medium construct that these gates were purchased to accommodate. With that in mind, I’ve started work on the upper storage area where we’ll be parking said constructs. It’s a rectangle at 45 degrees, that’s about it. Thought about doing the basement spot first but why hold off? Height shouldn’t be an issue either, we’re working with no diagonals so adding on more height is simply a matter of copying, pasting, and moving elements upward.

 

I intend to have this upper space mostly barebones complete come the 15th.

 

-----

 

Tidbits:
Have I heard bits and pieces of info from around DU or is something brewing in Eyes & Ears ripe for teasing? I’ll post it here in my ‘Tidbits’ section. I hope readers find it a curious bit of information to wrap up these posts. If you’ve heard something you want shared, let me know!

 

Read up a bit of an argument that happened on discord a while back about what development phase the game is in. Some say beta, others say we still haven’t left pre-alpha.

 

While I wouldn’t dare compare DU to any sort of triple-a game in progress, development isn’t being based upon how ready the game is for release in so far as being a polished and good-to-go product. It seems more like it’s based on the features that are supposed to be present, even if they are first iterations.

 

Looking at the current roadmap, which I argue needs updating, this interpretation seems true from my perspective. Below I’ve posted the section of the roadmap in question along with some bits on how I’m seeing progress from the user perspective.

 

While many of us are questioning what is going on behind the scenes at NovaQuark, myself included, I maintain expectations that we are still on course as far as beta is progressing. Are there bugs, yeah, there are hundreds, and not all of them will be squashed before the end of this year. Will the game release this year based on the current map, no, at least not in my opinion. I’m hearing and seeing things in private channels which I can’t disclose. What I can tell you though is that the wheels are indeed turning, we’re just not seeing the results yet.

 

Another side thing, I think I’m burned out on DU. We’ll see how these next two weeks go.

 

-----

 

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

img.png

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bi-Weekly Update - March 15th, 2021

 

 Zero rescues were made over the last two weeks, holding at 86 for Beta 1 and 224 overall!

 

-----

 

Welcome the following member to our team!

@NovumAurora - Pilot, Rescuer

 

-----

 

Not something totally unexpected but I think this is the first instance we’ve had where no rescues were successfully completed. Had a handful of calls but all of them either helped themselves faster than we could arrive, simply didn’t want to wait, one even thought that we were NQ support and that they were opening up a support ticket.

 

It’s been a quiet week, quieter than most and that’s not really saying something.

 

October 11th, 2016.

It was a nail-biter, but we pulled it off in the end, Dual Universe was successfully Kickstarted. 1,616 days, that’s almost four and a half years, or just over 53 months from now.

 

September 30th, 2017.

It’s been a difficult year of holding our breath. Pre-alpha was supposed to happen during the spring, it got pushed back, but now it’s finally here. 1262 days, three and a quarter years, or 41.5 months.

 

Those first steps, looking out the pod room glass the first time, looking back up at the arkship, learning the ropes, seeing the first major bugs of mass testing (I still got that screenshot saved somewhere for those in the know). Pre-alpha was great, then it wasn’t for several months.

 

Stow the tissues, I’m not leaving.

 

November 29th, 2018.

Alpha 1. 837 days. Two and a third years, or just over 27 months ago.

 

I’ve been here a while, probably not long in comparison to people who were following before the kickstarter, but longer than most.

 

We used to run on a schedule where we’d only test at certain dates and times but that eventually went to 24/7. I forget when but I think that’s when the passion began dying. No longer was I forced to enjoy DU intermittently, I could have it whenever I wanted. I think that’s what got me. Enjoyment in moderation, oh you can bet I was there and waiting the moment the hour hand turned I was pressing the login button screaming into the server with everyone else who wanted in. Sure we were just testing and we paid for that privilege in exchange for a better game in return at some point in the future, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t say I had fun while doing it.

 

I see you headless spaceman shadow.

 

Our HQ is a very simple design. Four large cores (donated), six faces at right angles, two dynamics making up the 1:1 diagonals, and pretty much an open interior. A softshell taco with no meat if you will.

 

August 27th, 2020.

It’s only been two-hundred days since Beta 1 started, since the mystery of a wipe on release was mostly lifted and we were told that we’re likely playing for keeps now. Sure a good lot of that was spent on mining, but a couple mega nodes and some very generous contributions from the rest of the team really sped things up. I got the materials (although crafting is more expensive now thanks to schematics), the ore, and a team at my back, so why are we 200 days in and I still feel like I’m only 30 days in? Why hasn’t this thing been finished yet?

 

Yeah, I could knock out a medium single-core back before schematics and even before industry. Well, again both were garages that were successively enhanced, but I could do that over the course of a week or two by myself. If I could do that then, why can’t I do this now?

 

Burnout, that’s what I think it is. I’ve played DU pretty consistently ever since we went for all-day access. Took a break for XCOM 2 last year but I think that was only a couple weeks at most.

 

Mining is meh, and I’ve built a good bit by myself. Industry isn’t interesting anymore and simply a means to an end. PVP, while I haven’t touched it yet, I’ve seen plenty of videos. In all honesty, it seems like it’s more fun for whoever is piloting because you got trajectories to manage, distances to obtain, and speed to watch. Gunners, push a couple of buttons, watch the spinny thing, seems boring but so is watching that mining sphere grow.

 

Looking around the half-complete HQ, I just feel a sense of disappointment, there’s no enthusiasm anymore. Logging into the discord server, it feels like a constant stream of negativity and any positives get drowned out which doesn’t make me want to play at all if I’m being honest. Then there’s NQ and I’ll be frank, being a community moderator and member of ATV offers me an extraordinarily privileged position of seeing them from a particular vantage point. It sometimes feels like watching them is like an adult bumbling around in the kid’s room and every lego brick stepped on was a bug that should have been squashed last month, or a feature that didn’t quite turn out as intended, broke in some amazing fashion, and caused even more bugs because of it. Okay, just imaging that is making me chuckle. Maybe everyone can see that as regular testers, it’s just different from my angle.

 

Even in recent history, I’ve seen good folks depart, both from NQ and the discord team. Some of the diehards that invested way more than I have vented their burning frustrations and stepped back. The community in general that I fell in love with back in the early days has apparently gone silent while the new blood sours.

 

All of this has made the game unplayable for long periods and is in stark contrast to the raving lunacy at the gates when the servers used to come online every Thursday. It’s all becoming a drag and the now iron ball and chain of a community is becoming insufferable. I'm starting to seek out other games and returning to old ones and legitimately enjoying them again. Perhaps I'll even pick up my writing again. Anyone who knows me here knows that I can write and write and write when it comes something I know a thing or two about (looking at you TU), but I'm actually a small time fanfic writer and have written over half a dozen one-offs during my tech school years and I also have a 30k draft I started back in 2016. Its actually still sitting in the document creator I used and... oh god, do I go back? I've been kicking around a new idea. I mentioned XCOM earlier and... well I'll just leave it at that. 

 

I still love DU, don’t mistake that, and I’m still happy to help the community both in discord and this organization. I don’t want to admit it, but I think this is what burnout is like. It’s why I don’t have any motivation like I used to, why I don’t hang around the discord as often as I probably should. Release (based on the current roadmap, the end of the year) is so close, yet it feels so far away.

 

I want to be ready for release so I’ll probably still be grinding it out, but it will remain slow going, and I don’t see my enthusiasm picking up any time soon with how things are currently playing out. Hoping that these are just growing pains, but I think there needs to be some top-down changes in NQ going forward. The community (myself included) lectured them in the communication department long ago and we’re not making a big ask here. You can fit everything in a standard forum post on a 1080 screen. I wrote these three paragraphs in ten minutes, our devs can probably do a heck of a lot better, in fact, I’m even confident that they can.

 

NQ needs to take the mantle seriously going forward and run with it like the floor is lava. Dual Universe is the passed-out train conductor over their shoulder, better start saying some hail marys because our hype train is melting all around us and we still got one car to go before we reach the end. I hope we can make the jump.

 

Yeah I ripped that off a movie, no I'm not apologizing.

 

Again, not going anywhere at all. This is just me acknowledging something that's probably been here since Beta and I'm only just realizing it. I'll still be on our server and popping up in the community server the same as I always have.

 

-----

 

HQ Work:
In more topical news, I hoped to have the top section done today, unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. The front and rear doors were misaligned due in part to several misalignments that I presume had built up over the course of the initial design phases. All voxels were torn down and replaced. All that remains of the initial construction phase is replacing the roof.

 

Speaking of which, I’m likely going to move away from the afore-planned skylights for the entire roof. Tortugas placement at the pole of Madis renders very shallow sun angles so I’m looking to wall placement instead. I’m also planning some potential landing pads so it’s not like the sun would shine through those anyways even if it was at a high angle unless of course, I want our constructs landing on ‘super strong’ glass. Got some installed last night and I’ll be observing it over the course of tomorrow.

 

I’ve worked out a lot of kinks in one of the garage doors and it’s becoming increasingly functional and ready for use by the team. Going to be needing some design elements and lights, but those will come later. I have more important things right now.

 

Once the roof and top section are complete, I intend to plot out a lower storage section and fill in a basement working and parking area for our members when they come in for rescues. One puzzle piece at a time.

 

-----

 

Tidbits:
Have I heard bits and pieces of info from around DU or is something brewing in Eyes & Ears ripe for teasing? I’ll post it here in my ‘Tidbits’ section. I hope readers find it a curious bit of information to wrap up these posts. If you’ve heard something you want shared, let me know!

 

Nothing to speak of, consider my rantings at the start sufficient. I would drag that down here in keeping with past order, but it’s relevant enough to be at the opening of my post that it deserves coming to the fore of our discussion today.

 

-----

 

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

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  • 3 weeks later...

Bi-Weekly Update - April 1st, 2021

 

One rescue was made over the last two weeks, 87 for Beta 1 and 225 overall!

 

-----

 

A largely quiet period again. Yet another handful of calls came in and were either handled independently, with our written guidance's, or via a friend.

 

In talking with some of our partners in the rescue scene outside our org, things have been noticeably slow for them as well. It would appear that some of the sentiments I expressed in the previous update were shared by players across the field and seemingly across the game in general. The .23 update seems to have bitten off more than the community could chew.

 

-----


HQ Work:
I’m going to keep this short but I’m confident that our doors are now squared away which allowed me to construct the top storage area. While I did have a medium core outline, I’m not entirely satisfied and stopped after the initial build was done. I’m planning on expanding the internal volume and height to allow for larger walking surfaces on all four sides as even three meters seems too cramped. I think some life in the form of small storage spaces will make their way into this area alongside some windows for lighting as well as access doors on one or either side for the purposes of roof based landing pads.

 

It’s looking increasingly convincing that seasons are indeed a thing in-game as I don’t remember the last time I saw the moon at Madis' north pole. Every time I’ve logged in it’s just been perpetual night. The skylights in the roof have been filled in and I’m waiting to see how the daylight turns out with windows in the walls instead before placing them around the entire structure.

 

I'll be looking to finish additional work on the roof and upper portion in the coming weeks when the motivation strikes.

 

-----

 

Tidbits:
Have I heard bits and pieces of info from around DU or is something brewing in Eyes & Ears ripe for teasing? I’ll post it here in my ‘Tidbits’ section. I hope readers find it a curious bit of information to wrap up these posts. If you’ve heard something you want shared, let me know!

 

Gold is nice, but silver makes rice.

 

It also makes warp cells and the silver needed for such has seen a market run which could be having an effect on prices. As organizations and players burn through their stocks or ration their remaining inventory, will PVP players be able to gorge themselves on slower spacers?

 

One recent change NovaQuark made that I think should be expanded upon in time, destroying cores in a crash now means everyone on that construct dies. If this was applied to PVP where the cores destruction would kill everyone onboard, what implications would that have? While this shortens combat significantly in the event that it happens and forces people to respawn elsewhere, would it be a good thing? How would this change how people play outside of PVP?

 

-----

 

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

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  • 1 month later...

Monthly Update - May 1st, 2021

 

Two rescues were made over the last four weeks, 89 for Beta 1 and 227 overall!

 

-----

 

Very little has happened over the past month, emphasizing how complete the burnout is in myself, the organization, and from my impressions, the game overall. Things are still happening and plans are still being made, but the silence is absolutely deafening.

 

To fill the void left by DU, I’ve taken to writing fanfiction and making some forrays into the Halo franchise. I’ve seen videos and its stirred memories of my early teens. On my old Xbox 360 there was a Halo 3 ad that was factory installed, this was from the time when I didn’t have the internet at the home. Things were so easier a decade ago, don’t you remember?

 

-----

 

HQ Work:
Most of the roofing is done with only a small hole that needs filling. I’ve been doing some mining and refining but its been tepid and slow. Sometimes I look around and visualize what I want things to look like in the future, where constructs will be parked, how elements will be placed, ‘paint’ on the floors.

 

The sun is getting higher in Madis so I’ll be placing windows ‘soon’ and seeing how things look. I don’t want to say that I regret my choice in Tortuga, but I’m really wishing that we’d built upon one of Alioths moons like I was initially sold on. If there’s a wipe in the future as NQ recently made a hot topic about, I hope the move is made.

 

-----

 

Tidbits:
Have I heard bits and pieces of info from around DU or is something brewing in Eyes & Ears ripe for teasing? I’ll post it here in my ‘Tidbits’ section. I hope readers find it a curious bit of information to wrap up these posts. If you’ve heard something you want shared, let me know!

 

Is a wipe on launch really in the cards or is NQ just stirring the pot? The further we progress into beta, the more I seem to want one. With everything that’s happened since then regarding bugs, exploits, everything that is ‘unintended gameplay’ and the likes that NQ should have corrected, it rubs me the wrong way and sets a bad precedent.

 

At a minimum, magic blueprints for all deployed constructs should be in players’ inventories afterward alongside retaining talents, talent points, and queues. Retaining quanta as well as container and nanopack inventories might be a massive stretch due to ill-gotten gains but it would be appreciated from the perspective of myself who never took advantage of unintended play.

 

Many suggest it would be a way to help boost the launch population by pulling in new players who didn’t buy for the purposes of testing an incomplete game or don’t want to be left behind, as well as allowing old players who may have stepped aside a chance at a fresh start.

 

I’m optimistic as always but tempered in my expectations.

 

-----

 

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

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 5/2/2021 at 8:41 AM, DarkHorizon said:

Is a wipe on launch really in the cards or is NQ just stirring the pot? The further we progress into beta, the more I seem to want one. With everything that’s happened since then regarding bugs, exploits, everything that is ‘unintended gameplay’ and the likes that NQ should have corrected, it rubs me the wrong way and sets a bad precedent.

 

Sorry for intrusion, but something its I can't keep my fingers from reply.

 

Time!

 

Time is another key factor of almost imminent (as it seems) wipe. Because with release postponed 1 year (at least), it will mean proportionaly longer period of of this "economic cringe in limbo" -- something fresh "release" players will be super not happy to see. And they are only hope of DU for some revival, so I hope NQ will not surrender to vets crying about saving too much of assets and sacrifice them to give noobs best possible experience. I know, cynical, but this is how it is.

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Monthly Update - June 1st, 2021

 

Two rescues were made over the last four weeks, 91 for Beta 1 and 229 overall!

 

-----

 

Aside from some recent side work I’ve picked up as a financial benefactor of Securion, nothing much of real merit aside from the second rescue that happened since the last update.

 

Rescue 229 consisted of a new player by the name of Diresheep, some 50 SU away from Feli and in need of some fuel. After some back and forth, I coordinated efforts with Securion who provided a secure escort aboard their vessel. Normally I would have flown my own construct alongside theirs, but some staffing issues left the gunboat understaffed.

 

Willing to ride along, I assumed position watching the scopes for any ships that appeared on our 50 SU journey after warping from Alioth to Feli, of which there were thankfully none.

 

With the recipient being only a few hours old, they were covered by the New Player Protection Program even though the warp alone would have run their bill way beyond the program’s limits for people that usually get stuck either on Alioth or its sanctuary moon.

 

All things considered, our first official rescue in the PVP zone, while uneventful and with a few speedbumps that need ironing out, was largely a success.

 

This aside, I’m still finding myself largely uninterested in Dual Universe and only giving it a cursory glance every now and then. The patchnotes provide bursts of excitement, but the high quickly wears off. My Halo fanfiction writing is progressing, finally done outlining, the first rough draft of chapter one is a quick 5k read, all in all I think the story will be a quick 30k after-work read. I suppose digging into Halo is where all my fun has gone. Hmm…

 

Tidbits:
Have I heard bits and pieces of info from around DU or is something brewing in Eyes & Ears ripe for teasing? I’ll post it here in my ‘Tidbits’ section. I hope readers find it a curious bit of information to wrap up these posts. If you’ve heard something you want shared, let me know!

 

With everything quiet in Eyes & Ears, the DU discord server being mostly ho-hum, and the DU Meme server… well… being a meme server, I almost didn’t have a tidbits section because there was nothing on my radar! Having pulled back from bi-weekly to monthly updates, it would have left me a touch worried if there was no content for this section that occurred in the past month that was worth my commenting on, so I pulled something out of a hat:

 

Every now and again after I’ve made my moderator round in the official discord, I sometimes come across a small group of very unhappy people.

 

Now, I obviously won’t put NovaQuark up on a pedestal as I have my own share of misgivings with them, perhaps one of the most prominent that I’d be known for is my stance on their idea of a so-called ‘soft launch’ and the morphing of Beta from a true testing phase into what amounts to in many eyes, early access. For anyone that’s been testing the game and knows what’s going on and how things just don’t seem to be picking up in a positive direction, well I think back to the movie Monsters Inc and the garbage compactor. You don’t want to look, but can’t help but peek.

 

 

 

Now, do I think we’re crashing and burning, no, not at the present at least. Was I taken aback when news reached me through community sleuths that JC stepped down and not an official announcement, you bet. While I can look beyond changes in management as stuff like this does happen in the business world and not see it as doomsday, what does get me in a twist is when I hear from people saying just that, the end is nigh, or at least that is the impression I get.

 

No one wants to see NovaQuark go under. I don’t want to see Star Base fail, nor Star Citizen, heck, I’m even happy that No Mans Sky is still kicking no matter how vivid the video of two people meeting in-game but not seeing each other remains in my mind. Choice is good, and so is the spirit of competition. Its a part of why capitalism is so kick ass, minimal government interference, may the best man win. Not everyone will win, there will be losers, that’s just the cost of doing business.

 

There are those, however, that seem to want the game to fail. Were these people wronged in some way? Did things not turn out how they expected? Is development taking too long for their liking?

 

I don’t know what their reasons are for not liking the present state of things and I bet there are plenty of reasons to boot. I’m not sure if their active displeasure is because they genuinely do want to see the game fail, or if they still honestly care. You know you’ve really done it when people stop complaining and don’t give a rip anymore. No, this isn't @blazemonger I'm talking about, we're beyond that, and I think that's saying something.

 

Perhaps its this negativity that is what’s brought down my mood these past few months. If you really don’t like the game anymore, no one is forcing you to stay so why are you still hanging around the community? Remember all the people who said back in 2016 that they'd leave the country if a certain person became president? Some did, but they were well off, the rest were just empty threats and complaining about a looming end time sparking a mass exodus that never came.

 

Does misery like company?

 

My tidbits section has made up the main body of this work, imagine that, and summer has only just begun.

 

-----

 

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

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  • 3 weeks later...

Emergency Update - June 17th, 2021

 

For members that didn’t keep up to date with my at-everyone pings in the member announcements section, I have pushed those announcements here so they are public:

 

TLDR at the bottom.

 

---

 

Yesterday, 2:12PM CST
In case you haven't heard about the changes to organizations, please read up:

 

This probably won't affect many of you, be grateful, because these are riveting changes for me as an organization leader.

 

First off, these changes were not run by the community in any shape or form prior to their announcement. If they were, I would have heard and provided some very negative feedback against the idea.

 

Ultra-simplifying things, an account can only lead one organization at a time. Not character, account. This to me speaks of NQ trying to push for multiple accounts and with everything that's happened as of late, my confidence going forward has endured a tremendous earthquake.

 

I am leaving all options on the table, in protest of these changes, up to and including refunding from the game.

 

---

 

Where does this leave you? If things continue on their current path, then two major things could happen, either we move to another game, or I'll quit entirely:

 

If we move to another game, or expand into a multi-gaming community focused on our current service and offerings, I'll take a look around other games and be holding some polls so we can decide on where we'd like to move to next. Some of you will not want to make the move and that's perfectly okay, no one is forcing you to jump ship after all the time that's been invested. A new director for the DU branch will be voted on, and I'll ascend to community director as we set forth into other games. Me and the DU Director will coordinate all happenings DU.

 

If I decide to quit entirely, I'll be holding a vote on a new Director. Once the results are in, all assets including super legate status, ownership of google drive materials, and ownership of the eyesandearsrescue.org domain will be transferred over. In essence, I will release complete and total control over everything related to E&E to the new Director.

 

I apologize for heaping this on all of you after so much calm these past few months. I did not anticipate this for the future and it pains me so, but drastic circumstances require drastic action.

More will be provided about all this and I will keep you up to date with at-everyone pings as I receive the news.

 

Take care

 

---

 

Today, 4:40PM CST
After some in-game work, a rescue and 9 hours of sleep that I got last night, I'm trying to come back from the edge.

 

I'm canceling a couple of projects I hoped to do presently and for the future, one of which was a massive tribute to all the pre-alpha, alpha, and beta testers that would have been constructed after launch.

 

If you've also seen the advertising platforms running bulk selectable ads at the ten major marketplaces around the arkship, I'm also looking at closing up that if my partner doesn't reply within the month.

 

Make no mistake, this change has left me absolutely livid to the point where I want to pound sand into glass right now. Eyes & Ears will become my singular focus as I absolutely refuse to pay a subscription for a second account.

 

Keep in mind however that this has me on a knifes edge because the way I see things, NQ is acting very desperate for money, and this is a ploy to get people to run more than one account. In light of JC stepping down from his leadership position and all that's happened since, my confidence in NQ's ability to prosper has been greatly shaken. I'm not one to scream doom and gloom, but I won't hesitate to let you know how I feel.

 

Should further issues arise that cause me to question NQ's ability to maintain financial solvency, I am still leaving the afore mentioned options open in the previous announcement. For the moment, nothing will happen, but you know what will should it come to that.

 

I will still be looking to expand elsewhere in the event that DU ever closes up shop.

 

Thank you.

 

---

 

TLDR:

I’m abandoning a post-launch community tribute project and likely to abandon a currently running consolidated advertising project since these new changes will simply make it impossible to accomplish as either all members involved are either a super legate already, or it’s a private passion project that I don’t want to delegate 100% ownership to. All of this while still leaving room for Eyes & Ears to expand and grow as the game proceeds into the future.

 

This does not make me a happy person having to abandon my projects as NQ is now taking an aggressive posture and telling me to either give them money, which I already did and you can see it in the sidebar, or have faith and trust in someone else.

 

It’s difficult to have faith though, Lord JC is gone, and I refuse to part with more money than I already have for a company that I’m losing faith in, if it’s not completely lost already. I've been with NovaQuark through some silly thicc highs, and some nearly 'I quit' lows. While this is just another one of those lows, it's different because this isn't just a mechanic I can work around as I have in the past. All it will take is one more push, you’ll know it when it happens, you can find me in the StarBase discord as of yesterday.

 

I'll end this by saying that Eyes & Ears is under no threat of disbanding, and will otherwise continue onwards unaffected by this change.

 

-----

 

That's all for now, until next time, take care and fly safe everyone! I'll be back with your regular announcements on July 1st.
- DarkHorizon

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  • 3 weeks later...

Monthly Update - July 1st, 2021

 

 

Ten rescues were made over the month of June, 101 for Beta 1 and 239 overall!

 

With the release of the new mission system, we saw a minor uptick in our activity and at least heightened my mood from my mid-month slump in the above post. Whether or not that is a blip on the radar remains to be seen, the first week of July is over and not a single rescue yet.

 

-----

 

Nothing much to discuss since the previous emergency update was so jarring. I’ve done some updates to our pricing calculator to make it easier to use by turning its more mechanical nature into something more question/answer-like. This update is ready for deployment already as pages “Calculator Live 7.2” and “EZ Calculator” sometime later this month. Furthermore, we will also be discussing some price changes in accordance with the deployment of auto miners and the impact those will have on gameplay and the economics of things after the situation there becomes more known.

 

Beyond this, not much to say, not even any tidbits beyond saying there’s going to be a small announcement in discord about some issues we’ve been plagued with over the past few weeks. Just waiting for NQ’s approval and all that.

 

It would seem that the burnout is still real, and the DU juice is well good and tapped, but as long as we see activity then my neurons fire with interest. Don’t mistake this as me asking for people to crash intentionally, that goes against my farewell.

 

Also, apologies for being a week late. I celebrated my birthday earlier this month on the second.

 

-----

 

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

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  • 4 weeks later...

Monthly Update - August 1st, 2021

 
Three rescues were made over the month of August, 104 for Beta 1 and 242 overall!

 

-----

 

As expected, we’ve returned to what appears to be a nominal amount of monthly rescues so far for Beta. Activity is remaining down all across the board in our partner organizations as well. This slump over the past few months is bearing all the reminders of the tail end of pre-alpha in how depressed things were feeling. A small surge was seen with the release of the job board, I anticipate similar will happen once the PVP rebalancing and shields drop along with the awaited asteroid mining.

 

Aside from my occasional appearance in-game for a rescue or to tinker with my ship and check the jobs board and markets, I’ve had another largely hands off month. We did add another member to our roster though:

 

@StarByrne - Pilot

 

For anyone that hasn’t noticed, I’ve also pushed an update to our invoicing calculator that adds two new features in particular:

 

Calc EZ: A question/answer version of the more mechanical calculator we’ve always worked with. Input an answer here and it will fill in the other calculator which will spit out the final bill.

 

Scrap & Fuel Calc: Using in-game scripts, if a victim can estimate the amount of HP damaged, we can take that amount and the tier of scrap they’re requesting and get the amount of scrap required and its weight.

 

I'll be working on these over time and pushing out further updates to both in addition to the main calculator. All those updates will be listed on the updates page.

 

-----

 

I’ve been on Alioth since my burnout first started. Pondering a return to Madis to work on our headquarters some more, sadly I still don’t have the inspiration or motivation in that department. There are also no rescues in that area and with much of my team in standby waiting for DU to pick up again, it’s not really the most enticing prospect either.

 

Putting a lot of hope that asteroids and at least the first pass on PVP balancing will at least fire up some attention. To be honest though, I’m expecting a similar wave like what we got when the job board was new. Things peak for a week or two as people jump in to check out the new feature, then disappear again until the next patch.

 

It really sucks, this up and down. I eagerly await the day where we hit a critical mass and the world reaches a true consistency and carries itself along instead of this constant starting and stopping we're seeing in tune with the dev cycle. It doesn't seem like it will end until closer to the conclusion of Beta which feels ever further over the horizon. Yes, its coming, but is it really?

 

-----

 

The long awaited game StarBase has also come out at the tail end of the month. While many appeared to be expecting a nosedive in activity, things seem to have remained pretty much unchanged as far as the DU Discord server is concerned. It appears to have its own fans and detractors much in the way Dual Universe did after the launch of the pre-alpha. This time however, I got to act as an outsider and watched as things developed without the ability to play until now.

 

What do I think? It’s a new game, that’s great. I love the idea of having choices without being shoehorned by one game because it’s the only game in the market. In a previous update I said I’d be keeping a close eye on StarBase, still am, and eagerly awaiting my first real taste from some youtube videos in the coming weeks and months. Will I buy in, who's to say right now. While many allege the performance is vastly better which is something I’m keen about, I’ll be the final judge of that.
 

-----

 

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

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  • 1 month later...

Monthly Update - September 1st, 2021

 

Nine rescues were made over the month of August, 112 for Beta 1 and 250 overall!

 

CTSePLcevjaXDayEqyF0vFCTnUZuxNZAnQloLriO4n9RxNk65hVoF737etLLIIPm3VNylzo9FSGVdnbGsDORyvRu1CSa1KJeBZYZE9QwbqjkaL9yuTLbcLWlPFj2gMR2lby4QRIC=s0

 

On August 30th Eyes & Ears secured its 250th official rescue. 16 months after we celebrated our first hundred rescues. It would appear that my prediction on this milestone being achieved did occur during Beta, even though we are celebrating our one year anniversary.

 

To say that Beta has been slow, especially if you’ve kept up with my updates here, well that's the usual understatement. Compared to Alpha, it feels like Beta has massively under performed, especially in the rescue department. While various competitors have since appeared and broken into the space, I’m of the opinion that we’re seeing traffic far below expectations and that’s including the prospect of our competitors.

 

Advertising hasn’t changed too much since Alpha. As the marketplaces have shifted I’ve since moved our advertisements from static screens into advertising kiosks, so perhaps we’re getting less eyes running across, but the solution of the kiosk has attracted more curious eyes. The recruitment post has gone through a few minor changes but it still pops up in the DU Discords org recruitment section, we even have a new spot in the discord where our service is displayed in the utilities channel.

 

The forums, we’re basically on page one and that’s with only monthly updates where I used to do weekly updates! Why do I do these updates, hey people, we're alive and stuff is happening! In the past, weekly updates were just barely keeping us on page one at all. Now having switched to monthly updates, we're still at the top of page one which, is kind of shocking just thinking about it.

 

 Just looking at the numbers, we’re about in line with New Genesis, a PVP organization where you shoot people and take their stuff, or at the very least on a surface level. On the contrary, we show up after the shooting is done, and how many people do you think find that fun compared to the looting and shooting part?

 

Then there’s word of mouth, and I’m sure we’ve only spread further since then of the little rescue group that could.

 

I don’t think it’s so much a matter of getting the word out that hey we exist and we’re a thing, but it’s that activity has fallen over the course of Beta as I'm sure everyone reading this knows. Sure, it was a buggy, fun, exciting launch, but that’s it, it’s been downhill since. Think it’s pretty obvious in myself and how much I’ve been playing hands off for a good four to five months or so now. It’s been years now that I’ve been testing and the engagement just isn’t there anymore.

 

It doesn’t feel like there’s a lot of people hanging around, everybody is either in standby, or they’re off playing something else. Even my own rescuers are largely inactive aside from less than a handful, and we’re just shy of forty members. It wouldn’t be surprising if they attributed it to a lack of rescues, and there’s likely to be a lack of rescues because there’s a lack of players needing said rescues.

 

I’ve again reached out some feelers to many whom I know in the rescue field and the sentiment is largely the same. That of disinterest, and inactivity.

@Starsz the leader of Special Tactics and Rescue Service shared with me the following graph illustrating their logged rescues on a monthly basis. Keep in mind that STARS is tight knit with Empire, they mentioned that 90% of the above stems solely from Empire alone.

 

unknown.png

 

In the above nine months that transpired there were:

44 SOS

46 Transports

2 Other

92 total.

 

Something that was particularly noted was the decline after January, Starz took the helm of Empire as its leader.

 

Curious, I looked through Eyes & Ears' own logs and formulated the following graphs:

 

image.thumb.png.083d81af20daa389141e6671d7408c60.png

image.thumb.png.af1135b13f4225c829326800a85685f4.png

 

Late 2018, still starting out, I'm getting word around, it's pretty much just me. Alpha 1 sees slow growth as word spreads. Come the middle of Alpha 2, October of 2019, 25 rescues and just over a dozen members and we're building reputation. Following the 2019 holidays, people are returning to work and whatnot, but things kick back up again once Alpha 3 arrives. They hover around the mid-teens as the world wide lockdown takes effect until Beta drops. Yup, for those wondering, the 33 rescues in September 2020 were attributed to the Beta launch on August 27th.

 

October sees another crash to single digits for the first time since May (which tbh feels like an anomaly, if not then we'd have to go back a year) but it picks up again due to the holidays.

 

Finally, the first half of 2021 has been largely depressed. The beta hype has worn off, small spike in June probably because of summer but overall things are largely flat. The only reason in the last month we've picked up more than a handful was because Starz mentioned they were redirecting them to us since they had no one themselves available.

 

It's interesting seeing all those logs put into data that we can now see and explain away. The change from DU's small closed NDA-Alpha community to public-Beta where new players seem to not be retained (or not getting into accidents more often) while alphas are becoming burned out.

 

Never would I have thought we’d be here 150 rescues ago. I was expecting a complete HQ, right now it’s just walls, and a roof. Outposts on each planet, which are right now non-existent. We should have branded ships in those outposts, but as of now it's still ideas on paper.

 

We’re a year into Beta, and it feels like DU is behind the curve I thought it’d be on. Am I disappointed, yes, do I feel disappointed, no.

 

-----

 

Congrats to @Tonvor for the 250th rescue!

 

-----

 

No major changes to report for the month of September. Aside from some work on the invoicing calculator.

 

With still no inspiration to continue work on the HQ, I’m back on Alioth and had zoomed around the markets collecting data in preparation for the great market cleanup, which is currently in progress, and switching focus largely to DU Classifieds. Don't worry, I'll still be connected to Eyes & Ears, if something comes up, I'm not far behind!

 

In less game related news, I underwent a surgical operation earlier in the month and have largely spent time healing but that doesn’t mean I’m not still active on Discord. A post op check by the doc last week says everything is doing well, and I’ll be going in for another check in a week or two. Another minor operation will hopefully be commencing next week to take care of a separate inherited condition from my mothers side of the family.

 

Not looking forward to it, I'm actually quiet panicky internally since its to do with my toes, but both of these operations really should have been done years ago.

 

-----

 

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

- DarkHorizon

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  • 1 month later...

Monthly Update - November 1st, 2021

 

Four rescues were made over the month of September, 116 for Beta 1 and 256 overall!

(Two rescues occurred on the 30th of August but were posted days later so I can't entirely verify where those fell due to the discrepancy)
Two rescues were made over the month of October, 118 for Beta 1 and 258 overall!

 

-----

 

As some may have noticed, no monthly report for September. Much of the month was spent in recovery from the first operation, then enduring the second terrifying op on my feet and the recovery process from that.

 

I'm happy to say that my first operation has for the most part, healed pretty much entirely and at about twice the speed usually associated with that procedure.

 

The second operation commenced on my toes, and while absolutely horrified at the needles that were about as long as an index finger injecting 'just above the knee', the numbing spray did its work and some good ole jayztwocents on youtube made for a satisfying fifteen minute distraction. I think it went well, nothing went wrong, but we'll have to wait and see just how well over the course of the next year as things heal up.

 

Again, like I mentioned, a lot of time was spent healing with barely any playing over the course of September. While I was feeling a fair lot better, it wasn't enough to spent sitting for anything more than fifteen minutes at a time.

 

October came and went and I felt good enough to pop on and do the occasional org mission. Thank heavens for VR but I still wasn't in the right place to play aside from running the occasional rescue.

 

-----

 

Getting back to business, welcome the following members to the team:

@IluvatarAllFather - Rescuer, Pilot, Supply Manager

@MediatorJ - Rescuer

 

-----

 

Unsurprisingly the last few months have remained quiet as usual inside the org. Our wait continues for this dark tunnel of game development to end for players to flood in and our services to become truly utilized again. 

 

With the expected removal of underground mining and addition of auto miner machines, towering pinecones by all accounts that deposit a chunk of raw ore into your containers every hour, I feel torn. NQ is demolishing a fundamental pillar of the game and rebuilding it. What was once an active effort is now entirely passive.

 

This alpha level change, it worries me. On the one hand there are fears this could be another schematic carpet bomb on our poor wallets, yet others point to math and with a few calculations say this will fatten our wallets if we put in the effort.

 

Obviously there will be the people who see this has a total negative and leave on sight, or test the waters and see a bunch of changes that they just don't like. Underground ore on planets and moons has been with us for a long time and as pretty much the core foundation the rest of the game sits upon.

 

Then there's the players that hang around and investigate to see what's changed and pass judgement on the feature as it is. It wouldn't surprise me to see a fair lot who liked putting in the real work in actual shafts underground up and disappear. Their (I can't emphasize this enough) foundational gameplay is being traded up for clicking on a control panel. Sure you can make the case that this is still relevant on asteroids, but its just not the same for some and I can't blame them.

 

While auto miners were needed, are we cutting our nose off just because its stuffy? I'm willing to see this through since I was pretty meh on mining and am actually pulling up some megas right now when I can get some free time again. This is a pretty monumental and alpha level change, hopefully we won't see a similar schematic level exodus which was just a hurdle to an already existing system.

 

Aside from this, nothing major to discuss.

 

-----

 

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

- DarkHorizon

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