Manu Fortius Wants You!

Looking for a corporation to join that accentuates your play-style? At Manu Fortius, we have assembled a group of the best capsuleers to fly with. We take pride in fostering an atmosphere of like-minded people with common goals and a place where you can help the corp for the greater good and also allowing the freedom to choose your own path. Check us out!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Fallout Shelter: Game Review

Considering I haven't played EVE in a fornight, I might as well post something.  So here goes. 

If you're like me, you consider Fallout a masterpiece of gaming entertainment.  What's not to love about roving around a huge post-apocalyptic open-world?  The franchise is one of the greatest - at least in my opinion.  

Bathesda's announcement of Fallout 3's November 2015 release has put the fans in a frenzy.  The upgrades in technology have made the anticipation of their upcoming release somewhat fever-pitched.  Knowing this, it is no surprise that Bathesda wanted to capitalize on this and so they released a game (for IOS and now Android) named, "Fallout Shelter".  A management-type strategy game (with resource gathering/management) where you become the Overseer of your very own Vault.  You decide what is going to be constructed and who works in what room.  You can also be the little cherub that puts two people together in a room and waits for the "magic" to happen or you can even send a person out into the wasteland to gather outfits, weapons and caps (the currency of the Fallout franchise). 

Now, being somewhat of a fanboy, I drooled myself silly waiting for Fallout Shelter to come onto Android.  I kept checking for updates on the release and the instant it was released on Google Play I couldn't hit download fast enough.

The first few hours of playing, I lost control of my shelter and my inhabitants started to melt from radiation sickness.  To be literal, they didn't melt, but their rad level got very high and if a Radroach looked at them funny, they would die.  You can revive your dwellers, sure, at the cost of caps, but I found caps didn't really come fast enough to revive all my ill-fated dwellers.  Being me, I decided to start another vault.  I fared much better early on, but the God's were not on my side.  Raiders killed a good lot of people and I didn't have the caps to revive them all.  I refused to spend RL money, so I once again started over.  I did even worse and had to start over once again.  I had an issue with the save system as I could only save 3 vaults and there is no delete option.  There is also no cloud storage, so if you have to reinstall the game, you are out of luck.  

I might get crucified for this, but what I found, and pretty quickly I might add, is that the game is so shallow in scope.  Bathesda's Fallout Universe is so grand in breath, that I found it surprising that the game they made has very little to offer.  Getting the first 12-16 dwellers is pretty much a guarantee as the game is meant to give you the foundation to build a successful vault, but all too soon you realize that there isn't anything new to achieve.  Once you have lured (or birthed) a bunch of dwellers and arm and equip them, you've pretty much done all you can do. 

You get the occasional infestation or raider assault, but that's about it.  I found the game somewhat punishing and a bit tough.  If you are a fan of the franchise, give it a try.  If not, I wouldn't even bother.  

The graphics and artwork are very well done and the overall mechanics and controls aren't too bad.  To be honest, it is a great idea, but just not enough meat and potatoes to fill you up.

I mentioned the controls aren't too bad.  It does have one massively annoying foible: selecting and trying to drag a dweller is god-awful.   You tap and then hold to 'pick up' your dweller like you were some omnipotent demigod.  The problem is, that you have to be spot-on in order to pick up the dweller.  I admit, I have some sausage-like digits, but even at full zoom, you have to be a surgeon to grab them.  If there is nothing going on, it's bearable.  If you are under attack, it's infuriating.  

So how do I break it down?

Design: 4/5
As mentioned, the artwork is really great.  It captures the the theme of the Fallout Universe perfectly.  The room details are very good as well.  

Mechanics: 3/5
Overall, the mechanics are good (other than the damn dragging of dwellers).  The game can be punishingly difficult, but everything is smooth and polished.  I haven't had any glitches or crashes.  The SPECIAL abilities mechanic is pretty good, but the execution of it isn't very good.  You should be able to sort your dwellers in a list by SPECIAL.  

Storyline: 2/5
The game assumes you know the backstory of Fallout and doesn't really go into depth about it other than a few introductory slides.  There could be more.  There should be more.

Replayability: 1/5
Sadly, there just isn't enough to the game or enough to explore for there to be any replayability or even a reason to play very long.  Those with short attention spans or those looking for more immersion would be better off finding something else. 

Verdict: 2/5

Unfortunately, I find Fallout Shelter to be a dud.  The amount of downloads completely contradict my conclusion, but maybe I'm just not as big of a fanboy as I thought.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Help me Help my Dog!

I've been distant from EVE for quite a while now and with my current situation, I don't know when I will have the means to come back.  I consider the EVE community to be one of the strongest and best examples of people coming together from all walks of life, to be part of something.  EVE is that glue.  If you read my story below and my plea for help and it moves you, please consider even a small contribution.  If not, I understand.  I appreciate anything you do and I hope to see you flying around in internet spaceships soon!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Looking for the Industrialist in You!

Salutations to all. It's been a while since I have posted anything. Things are just very hectic and in my industry (construction), people want to get their foundations in and the building weather-tight before the holidays. It's crunch time in the building material supply business.

I just wanted to point out that our corp is looking for industrialists, like you. Those who like to get their hands dirty in manufacturing and mining. We have opening that need to be filled. If you are a miner and are looking for some people to pass the time with, check out Manu Fortius.

We offer lower taxes, ship replacement on official ops (per doctrine fits), corporate buy backs, regularly-scheduled and abundant ops as well as logistical support.

We are also looking for players of all walks (missioning, PVP, Incursions, etc). We have access to a good low sec pocket and alliance-wide roams, PVP and PVE.

Check out or Forum Recruitment Post on the EVE Forums or talk to us in game.

Points of Contact:
Kasigi Yono
Vexed Nova
Heinrich Skalder

As Months Go By

Over the last few months, I have been working hard behind the scenes in our corp.  Getting "builders packs' together, doing a little mining and working out our capital logistics.  I haven't posted much of anything as time is limited.  We are moving at a good clip, so I am happy to see that we are productive, active and having fun.  We are running regular mining ops, sometimes one every day.  Even I, someone who finds mining dreadfully dull, have been throwing skiffs into asteroid belts.  Our AO's belts are kind of stripped, but we have alternate systems that have large rocks. 

Our corp is growing quickly again and we are looking for players of all sorts, but really pushing for miners.  If you are interested in joining an active corp, check us out Eve Forum Recruitment Post.

Pheobe has brought a very welcome change to invention, but also some drawbacks.  Being able to queue up multiple invention runs on one slot is really great for the inventor.  As long as you have enough datacores and runs left on your copies, you can use one slot and stack up days of invention runs at one time.  The drawback is the increased demand on datacores.  Multi-sell is also a great addition.  Overall, I am pretty happy with the Crius and Pheobe patches.

I look forward to more and higher quality content from CCP with their accelerated patch schedule.  Hopefully it will bring in new players (and keep them here) and pull back some of the veterans who have left for one reason or another.  

We have started to see some returning members from years ago.  That is good. 

Until next time, fly safe-ish.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Path's to Success (of an Industry Corp) Part 1: Have a Plan

In the past I have chronicled my experiences as a CEO of an industrial corp.  I decided to step away from being a CEO, but joined up with my former directors in our current corp and I have taken on the mantle "Director of Industry".  We have been growing steadily and we keep people activly involved in the corp's success.

How do you run a successful industrial wing and keep people involved?  Well, there are many cogs to the machine.  I will make this a multiple-post series, so check back often.

Here are some general guidelines to get the ball rolling.  Note, this is mainly from a high sec perspective.  Unsecured space brings on an additional slew of questions.

[Step 1] Have a plan.  
I can't stress this enough.  Out of all the things you do, this is probably the most critical.  You need to have a framework you can hang all the pieces on.  Think of it as a foundation.  A fundamental piece of the whole operation.  Do you want to make ISK by corporation mining ops or do you want those to fund your manufacturing?  Do you want your manufacturing to be the main source of revenue?  Do you want to put all your eggs in one basket and focus on T2 or T3 manufacturing?  Hulls or Modules?  Do you want to buy your manufacturing materials from the market or set up a moon?  What do you do in times of war?  These are just some of the questions.  You might not think of things until you are forced to make a choice.  War Dec's can have a huge impact on your activities, but so can supply and demand and market warfare.  Here are a few bullet points you should ask yourself when developing a strategy.
  • What should your main source of income be?
  • What can your supplementary income sources be? [ore/mineral/ice/composite/etc] sales?
  • How are you going to supply your demands of?  [minerals/ice/pi/composites/etc] 
  • By what means will you acquire your list of demands? [mining/moon harvesting/revenues on market sales/wholesalers]?
  • How will you involve your corporation members?
  • What steps need to be taken in the event of a war dec?  
  • How do you want to model your divisions of labor?
  • What are your priorities? 
  • Do you want to rely on repeat business?
  • Do you want to undertake marketing your manufactured goods to specific entities or just dump them on the market
  • Where should you focus your attention (go from broad scope to a specific area or specialty)?
  • Do you want to set up a POS or use NPC stations?
  • Do you want to have access to Low/Null/WH locations or just strictly high sec?
  • Security at the pos?
This is by no means an all-inclusive list, but these are some of the fundamental questions that should be answered before you decide to take the plunge. 

For an example, here is what we do:
  • Main Source of Income: Manufacturing > Sales
  • Supplementary income: Ore/Mineral surplus sales and PVE taxes (missioning mainly)
  • Supplies (highest utilization to least): market buy orders, market sell orders, internal corp member buyback, donation mining ops, wholesale trade mailing list, other industrial contacts)3
  • Corp Member Involvement: I have started what I call "Builder's Packs".  I make a blueprint copy for the required number of runs I want built, set the blueprint copy and any associated material requirements in a specific corp hanger floor in the array required at the POS.  I then send out an email to our manufacturing mail list with what is there and on a first come, first served basis, the prints are used by the corp member and the goods pop out when they are done.  You can also use the activity level of those who help for a rewards program.  Win-Win.  Also, corp-run mining ops, mission running, incursions, etc.
  • War Decs: THEY WILL HAPPEN.  You need to be prepared.  Hauling and mining are soft targets.  Those will be a primary target for the aggressor corp.  Put out an email with all the things that you don't want to see and the things that individual members can/need to do.  Keep that email handy.  You will use it a lot, unfortunately.  If you have a POS, get those defensive modules turned on.  You should get a list of those who can man POS guns.  Make sure your tower is set to "attack if at war".  Take out anything that you can't afford to lose (capital BPO's, spendy ships in the maintenance bay, minerals, modules, etc).  If you are in low/null/wh space, this is critical as "capital support" may be called in.  Make sure POS fuel and Strontium bays are full.
  • Divisions of Labor:  The larger the corp, the more there is for one person to handle.  That's where directors and managers come in.  You don't need to make everyone a director and that is the surest way to corp theft.  However, you can assign people who are interested to a "junior management" position.  We have someone running mining ops and overseeing the corp ore bank.  Members are always looking for more to do, so if someone is interested, why not give them a little rope?   Roles, that needs to be a carefully thought out consideration however.
  • Priorities:  Keeping members engaged, active and happy.  They are a meaningful part of your corp and they are always eager to help and do more.  Use that.  Make enough ISK to cover expenses and provide profit.  Reroll the revenues into more of what you do (reinvest capital).  Support the alliance with ships, modules, ammo, etc.
  • Repeat Business: When using the market or wholesale mailing lists, the journal tells you who is buying.  If you see someone buying a lot of your goods, send them a message.  They may be interested in buying direct from you.  This has a bunch of advantages.  Higher (more specific demand), cut out sales and market fee taxes (for both parties), cut down on the time it takes to extract the capital from your manufacturing (quicker returns), networking (providing lasting partnerships with people who are good at what they do).  You kind of need to be a salesman.  It's different when you deal with a specific person than it is selling to the market with no face/name.
  • Focus:  When manufacturing, we focus on high volume/moderate margin T2 items.  T1 items have an intrinsic low ISK/moderate to high volume, but the item list that is most profitable (and I'm still talking low 10-20% margin markups are very slim.  I don't like to keep all my eggs in one basket.  The market is fickle and it ebbs & flows.  It's like a 401k mutual fund.  Diversify where possible.  That's how I roll.  Others may argue otherwise.
  • POS: We have POS/Lab/Assembly Arrays .  The change in Kronos made it a viable venture to move as much industry to the POS as possible.  There are benefits, like reduced times, lower costs, etc.  
  • Unsecured space Access: We have access to low sec.  This works out well because we can mine low sec ore, have a good market for marked-up goods and other possibilities.  It is not necessary and you might not use it all the time, but it's certainly a bonus if you wish to exploit it.
  • Security: Minimum time in corp to use POS.  Strict access to POS hanger divisions.  Minimal roles.  This can be very cumbersome, but you have to deal with it head on.  There isn't a sure way to eliminate risk but if you compartmentalize it, you can limit your exposure to loss.  CCP really needs to fix pos/corp management roles.  They suck.  I know; dead horse.
That is kind of my overview.  It's a list based on my experiences and others might do it differently and be as successful if not more.  It's a balancing act.