Washington Eve Meet

Washington EVE Meet Wallpaper
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This weekend my wife and I will be attending the Washington Eve Meet in Falls Church, VA. Which means less than two weeks after driving back from DC jet lagged and tired, we will be driving back. This time, hopefully, without the jet lag, six hour flight and two hour customs ordeal from the last trip.

Sugar Kyle will be there, as will Mynxee and Mord Fiddle, several members of A Band Apart and hopefully a lot more Eve players to meet and hang out with. We are both really looking forward to it. We decided to make a weekend out of it and see the sights in DC before the meet and on Sunday. My wife hasn't been to Washington in a long time so we'll do some sightseeing on Saturday and then visit the Udvar Hazy Air and Space Museum on Sunday. 

Should be a great weekend and hopefully I'll have lots of stories and photos to share with you all next week.

Keep the courage.



What to do when you are caught

Eventually, no matter what you do for a living in Eve, you will get caught. In some dark and lonely corner, or out in the light of High Sec, eventually some idiot will Scram, Web, Point, or otherwise catch you. And you'll be trapped.

And, like all of us, your heart will sink into your lower intestines and you will know the horrible feeling that comes from the sudden knowledge that your ship isn't going to make it. It will die. Explode. Turn to scraps. And end up on that idiot's kill-board for all the world to see.

Sounds pretty bad. You are terrible at Eve. Just like the rest of us.

But never fear, even in the darkest moments of despair - victory can be snatched from the jaws of defeat. And today I will impart knowledge gained from the 1,180 times this has happened to me. These are not secrets smarts, these are tips on avoiding death. And avoiding the ultimate punishment - the loss of your pod.

I'm not concerned with how this happened. For the purpose of this post we will ignore the stoopid decisions that led to your capture and focus on what you can do once caught. You do have options, however limited, that will increase your chance of survival and of getting your pod safely out of harms way.

Once you know you will die combat turns into survival mode. It is important to recognize when this happens and only you know when that time comes. But at some point in the fight you will know. This is true for combat pilots and carebears, it doesn't matter what you are flying and how many they have - the moment comes for all of us.

First things first - where are you going to run? Hopefully you have a safe spot already bookmarked in system that you will escape to, but if not you'll need to quickly make a decision about where your pod is going. If not your pod will end up back in your home station. In the worst case scenarios, when death is seconds away, immediately align to that point and spam the Hell out of the warp button. This is basic escape mode. As soon as your ship dies your pod will warp off to that point. Hopefully you haven't decided to warp at zero to the Sun! (Never do that!) But, if you did, immediately warp off again once you land.

In the seconds of time between the knowledge that you are not going to make it and having to align your pod - there is room for victory. Believe it or not, I am often convinced of death one second and assured of victory the next. There are several factors at work here that need careful consideration. So this next bit is specifically aimed at combat pilots who are locked in a fight with one or more enemies.

Overheat Everything! You are soon to be dead, don't save anything for later. Push your ship to the limit and see what it can do. A fully OH'd ship is a machine of rage! It is amazing what they can do for a short period of time. Put everything you've got into it, turn off wasted mods that you don'd need to save cap and burn 'em down. It is surprising how often this works. At the very least you might take one of them down with you.

The reason for this is that your ship is a lot stronger at the end than you think. A lot of modules, such as Damage Controls, become better right at the end. That last little bit of structure, especially with everything burning in overheated frenzy - is tough to break. Especially if whatever cycles your shields, or armor reps, or whatever happen to be on match the incoming damage. (And yes, I am aware of the fact that I am over-simplifying this process.)

This also helps if your tactic is to turn tail and run. An overheated prop mod can be your best friend. Align out early to your pod destination and burn like a coward. Which you are not, you are a survivor. Probably not, but it is the attitude that counts.

If you are being jammed and you have drones, those drones should be attacking the jamming ship.

If you have ECM dis-honor drones, use them!

The point here is that, in those final seconds, don't give up. The worst thing you can do is throw your hands in the air and admit defeat. Trust me, so many victories come in the final seconds. Fight to the bitter end. And then get your pod out. I can't stress this enough, GET YOUR POD OUT.

As much as I enjoy catching your pod and adding it to my kill-board, I am always disappointed in you for leaving it there.



Alliance Logos are Back

As of this morning's post from CCP Falcon the Alliance submission process is now open again! Huzzah!

In a nutshell ALL currently in-game Alliance logos are being removed. They will be replaced by newly submitted logos starting on June 2, 2015. The old 128 x 128 pixel size has been updated to 512 x 512 and CCP will no longer accept anything even remotely that looks like copyrighted materials.

Once in-game your logo will be CONCORDED and a Concord logo will be added, as well as some scratch effects. This means that you can retain the rights to the original, while CCP retains the rights to the in-game altered version. Everyone is happy.

As always, my services are available if anyone needs their old logo updated or a new one created. Simply email me at rixxjavix@gmail.com and we can talk about what you need. Needless to say I am very busy right now, but I've put on my worker's gloves and am trying to get through these projects as fast as possible, while maintaining the high-level of quality you deserve. I just finished working on new logos for The Neocom and Crossing Zebras to name just two, so things are moving along.

Higher-quality in-game logos combined with the copyright solution CCP has introduced certainly bodes well for additional uses in the near future. It doesn't take a genius to see that the coming introduction of Ship Skin Licenses and new logos will lead to Alliance logos on our ships. It will be a natural step to provide licenses to Alliance members that feature the Alliance logo. I suspect that should happen rather quickly once the new shader is properly in place. Which, from what I heard at Fanfest, shouldn't be long at all.

A Band Apart became eligible for an Alliance logo as the exact same time that submissions stopped being taken last year. So even though we are over a year old and have 599 members, we still have to bear with the default Alliance logo in-game. It will be great to finally sport the official ABA logo everywhere.

So let's get those logos updated and in-game!!



Mrs Javix' Journal

My wife decided to start playing Eve after our trip to Fanfest. Every so often she will be writing about her experiences as a young player learning the ins and outs of her journey. This is her first entry.


2 weeks in and I suck at Eve, but that's okay!

I'm two weeks in to this thing called Eve and I love it, I want to blow stuff up, but I can’t even remember where to go to fit my crappy rookie ship half the time.

And the Rats, that was cool at first. Then I had three shooting at me before I was even in range to do anything, stoopid slow Ibis.

But you know what, I really like it and I want to get better and figure out how I want to configure those crazy dialogs on my screen. When I have had time to play, there’s been a lot of “hey Rixx, come here, what’s this, why do I do that?” I am fortunate to have someone there to help, and there are a lot of resources for learning, but I am one of those 'figure things out the hard way kind of people IRL', so it’s likely I will be that way as an EVE player. I haven’t been able to play as much as I want but that’s okay, I work it in when I can. I am eager to explore and see what else is out there because from what I have experienced by not even playing there is community and many different paths to choose.

I would like to say that I dislike the IBIS, it is slow and all I want to do is blow up Rats and when I warp in and there are three of them I don’t stand a chance. And that sucks, but it makes me want to try harder, get moar stuffs so I can have a better ship and weapons and get moar practice. Rixx tells me what areas to avoid and other tips but I can’t remember, so I think I will probably be investing in some post-it notes to frame my computer monitor.

The learning curve is steep, and I am not comforted by Rixx saying, “They didn’t have that when I started.”  But that challenge is what is so enticing about it. And then there is the metagame aspect, it intrigues me. I don’t know exactly what I want to do in or around EVE, and I imagine that I will try many different things. It is exciting to know that there are so many options and paths available with communities to support them.

That last part is what really got me thinking about playing EVE in the first place. Community and paths. Real life blows sometimes, I don’t find much in common with people I work with or meet in my community. I have changed careers and jobs more than a few times. I like to try new things and learn. So why not have a hobby to do that? I have explored other interests but a person can only knit so many scarves or make so many pieces of jewelry and those are typically very solitary activities unless I join some group, which I tried, but no thanks. So why not EVE. Why not choose to play a really difficult, ever changing game where I can blow stuff up or be blown up instead of telling my boss fuck you.

I considered EVE for a long time, and I just couldn’t make up my mind. Did I really want to play this game? How am I going to remember what all of that stuff does? Do I want to be a pirate with Rixx or do my own thing? What about the jerks, sexism, and just crappy people in general? What finally helped me make up my mind happened the day we returned home and I returned to work. In a conference room, with three hours of sleep and jet lag, reviewing a web site I created for a group of engineers and the like, a couple of them asked “How was Iceland? Why were you there?” So I reluctantly explained about Rixx, “Oh I used to play WoW, I think I may have tried EVE at some point, do you play?” Before I could answer one of the managers had queued up the This is EVE video on his phone. “Oh that’s not the one I tried but it looks really cool.” So a few of us talked about EVE and Iceland and it was cool. Then one guy said, “I don’t know why you would go to Iceland.” I ignored it, there’s a lot of that in my workplace, hence the reason I mostly keep to myself since I don’t dig small minded jerks. A little later in that meeting that same small minded jerk made one of those casually sexist remarks. There was a lot of Whoa dude! after that, but at that moment I had made up my mind. I put up with a lot of that at work, and frankly that was the final straw. So I went home and signed up, and started learning the very next day how to fly my rookie ship.

I might forever suck at EVE, but at least I am playing. And that is my big middle finger to small minded jerks everywhere.




1v1 EVE COMIC #76



Even though EVEOGANDA didn't make Neville Smit's list of favorite sites doesn't mean we fired 75% of the staff yesterday and sold ourselves to a huge intergalactic media conglomerate or something. We remain, as always, fiercely independent and alone on our own island of insanity over here. As more and more of the Eve Community continues to join forces and become destinations, EVEOGANDA will remain a bastion of weirdness, bad jokes, tales of piracy, and pure genius. Cranking it out every day. Nose to the grind-stone.

Appreciated or not.

Yesterday someone linked my 1v1 COMIC Page over on Eve Reddit, which brought about 10,000 new readers over to read the comics. So that was nice. The first Eve Comic was published in March 2010, which means those 76 panels have taken five years! Which is just insane when you think about it.

And when I say "insane" what I mean is, "that's all I've done!?! Just 76?!?" Seems like it should be more. I promise to step up my game.

I think it is important to note that the EVE COMIC Series is intended to be bad, groan-worthy, and slightly off somehow. In fact, the worse the jokes are the more they make me laugh. I can't explain this, but that is the way it works. There are times when I purposefully skip the funnier lines and choose the bad ones. For some reason this is how I always saw it. It was intended as a lark. A trifle. And now I'm stuck with it.

And this is probably why we don't make anyone's list. And why all the crying yesterday in the offices. I feel bad for the staff, so many of them have families to support. I don't know what will become of them. Our headquarters is on a lava planet and I don't think they'll survive long out there.

Tongue firmly in cheek as always.



Beam Lasers


If you had asked me a few short months ago about my weapons training, I would have told you I had max skills in all BS and below weapons except one - beam lasers. I never bothered to train them beyond low levels because, frankly, it was common knowledge they sucked. Oh sure, like anything, they had their uses - but none of those uses really applied to me in Low Sec. It was one weapon system I would eventually get around to finishing "someday".

With recent changes and the introduction of the Confessor, "Someday" came and I recently went ahead and trained the final few levels on Beam Lasers. A day that I never thought would come, had arrived.

Now that beams have finally been given some love by CCP they open up some interesting options when it comes to fitting, and not just for the Confessor. In fact the elevation of beams to actual utility opens up a wide range of ship options. And I'm only beginning to appreciate that. Mostly because I didn't actually have any of them in my hangar, or the ammo needed to fire them!

So yesterday I thought, why not try beams on one of my favorite ships? So I grabbed a new Slicer from the hangar and started to fit it around beams. The choice of beams was easy since I only had one kind in my hangar (yes, I need to go shopping) Dual Light Beams. And some crystals, after looking it up again to remind myself which ones they use. I freely admit to having limited knowledge of the ways of the beam.

So I fitted the Slicer pretty much exactly like usual - weapons, disr, mwd, dc2, heat, targeting, adaptive nano, small ancillary, aux, locus, burst rigs.

Long, mid and short crystals loaded. With long range I can hit well past my targeting range, which is always funny. It is always interesting undocking in a new fit, the unknown quality and experience missing from a new trial. And so I went out, joined the Stay Frosty gang that was up and running, and started hunting.

What I didn't know then was just how good a day I was going to have. Despite the typical Sunday interruptions from real life, I managed to get some good quality time behind the wheel of the new Slicer. I had to keep telling myself that this version was a true kiter, unlike my other Slicer fits. So I just needed to be extra careful about the situations I got myself into.

It wasn't long before Laguna and I caught an Ishkur. Laguna was also sporting a beam Slicer. Poor guy couldn't do much at all about that.

Or this Corax. Or this Blood Raider Coercer (granted he was victim to the SF Swarm), or this Firetail, or this blaster Comet, or this Rail Comet.

I learned that I probably need a different set of guns on my ship, so I'll have to go shopping and pick up some different varieties to test out. I'm not convinced the Dual Lights are the proper choice. But damage application seems decent, although most of the fights yesterday I was simply working as tackle mostly. None of those encounters was especially challenging, so I'll have to wait and see how it does in a more difficult scenario. I was happy enough to have undocked in a ship and returned in the same ship. Although that always feels a bit weird frankly. It is so rare. It almost feels like an incomplete day.

One funny story. Former SF pilot SniperBros convo'd me and asked if I could come down to Hirri and help him catch and kill an Eos. Of course I said yes, even though I was only in a Slicer. I tried to help scout and managed to find the Eos a few times and keep eyes on him, but he wasn't negative and kept warping directly to gates. Finally Sniper's gang of friends got him pinned down on a gate and he started flashing. I burned in and got point.

It would also have been good if I had remembered to turn on my guns. I can only attest this to the fact that I was not in fleet with the attackers, and so the gate was a mess of neuts and yellows and reds. That and the fact that I was only in a Slicer, focused on keeping point and scouting, that I totally derped on my guns until the very last second.

Either way, the Eos went down. No thanks to me.

Beam lasers only work if you use them. File that one away for later.





Flashback Sunday: X Up For Defense

X Up For Defense!

When I look back on it with the power of hindsight, this piece is really when things started to make sense when it came to mixing Eve with Fan Art. Back in early 2009 I was serving as the self-proclaimed "Minister of Propaganda" for the LFA Alliance as part of the CVA Provi Bloc (the better original version of that!). I was testing the waters by creating posters and posting them on the forums, this is almost a year before this magazine would be born.

For some reason this specific poster caught the attention of people outside of the forums and spread to a wider audience. I believe a few blogs picked it up and it was posted on other forums. And then Richie Shoemaker from EON Magazine contacted me and asked if I could make a hi-res version to appear in the publication. That is the version seen above.

Not only did this help me understand the larger community of Eve, but also started a relationship with EON Magazine that would last up until it stopped publishing. (Which is still a serious bummer!)

Just the other day a bunch of Provi Veterans convo'd me in-game, it was great to see so many familiar faces and catch up with them. We had an amazing thing going down there for a short period of time, a true PvP playground in which a young player could learn and try a wide variety of play-styles. So many of those I played with have gone on to remain important in the Eve universe, ProGodLegend, Makalu, and many others.

I still get a shiver of excitement when I hear the words "X up".



Down the Rabbit Hole

A quick one for a busy weekend. I had a conversation in fleet yesterday that made me want to return one last time to a topic that has, obviously, been beaten to death in these pages. I'll warn you upfront that this is yet again about Faction Warfare and the module associated with it. If you want to skip reading the following I'll understand. I'm not even making an engaging and creative graphic for this post.

Let's follow a logic tree:

1. Banning or removing WCS from Eve is obviously a bad idea.

Why? Mostly young players (and some alts) use WCS to establish themselves in Faction Warfare and make iskies. Removing WCS would also remove the perception of safety that these players rely upon to engage in their moment of safety. This would make FW less profitable for young players (and some alts) and remove players from Low Sec.

Obviously, no one wants that. Least of all me. In fact, I want the opposite. I am a LS Advocate and I want LS to be even more engaging and have even more people playing in it. Low Sec is best sec.

So...

2. Given that, why would Rixx want to ban WCS?

Because he doesn't. A fact he has repeated over and over again. Look, there are tons and tons of rational and well-discussed treatments on this issue on the internet, I've written some of them myself. But the thing is, no one pays any attention to them. Because they are BORING! If you want someone to pay attention you can't be boring and dull. And goodness knows, I am usually anything but boring and dull. Which is why people pay attention. See how that works?

3. He obviously can't catch people using WCS which is why he wants them banned.

This is rather spurious given the evidence. It also seems to indicate a penchant for preying on the weak and young, an argument also not backed up by any evidence. In fact the opposite is true. While I adhere to a rather simple rule, "Kill All The Things!" in my gameplay, the simple fact is that we are looking for good fights. Not easy ones. And while we do often kill ships with WCS fitted, "farmers" are not our primary targets. In fact, often when we do catch one we will send them iskies to help them on their way. Just last month alone I gave back nearly 250m to young farmers who ran afoul of Stay Frosty.

And that is a pretty typical month. I know other Stay Frosty pilots do the same.

4. So if you don't want to ban WCS and have no problem with them, what do you want?

Primarily I want LS to be an awesome place to play, for everyone. Secondly I want Faction Warfare to be awesome. FW brought new life to Low and I'd like to see it continue to flourish. To those that say I don't play FW and have no say in it, I say Pffft! I live in FW space, I play in FW space, I engage with FW every day. I am your biggest fan.

I spoke with several CCP'ers about this issue when I was at Fanfest. And never did I say to them that WCS needed to be banned. What I did say was that the entire FW mechanic needed to be looked at, that the module needed a fresh pair of eyes, and that changes needed to be made. Changes that would continue to ensure the perception of safety for new players, continue making isk, and make FW an even more engaging place to play. Which only benefits us pirates.

More than anything I just don't want Low Sec to be forgotten while CCP is off making Sov changes to Null.

The good news is that changes are coming. And I believe that the aftermath of those changes will be better for all of us.

And that will be a great thing.



BB63: Customization?

Blog Banter #63 - Customization
Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 63rd edition! For more details about what the blog banters are visit the Blog Banter page.

* * * * *

Super Kerr Induced Nanocoating, new structures that can be fit like ships with modules, the promise of player built stargates... the ability to shape your space and change the look of your ships is finally coming to EVE. What other customization options of EVE would you like to have? What would you like to do to be able to shape space and environments? What would you like to change just for you in the client or in any 3rd party tools?


I wish zKill let me compare the history of two entities' record against each other. I could type "Stay Frosty" and the name of another Corporation and bam, be able to see how they did against each other. Same for pilots. Wouldn't that be awesome?

I'd like to see a room beyond the CQ's door that was like a Corp Club room, a nice open space where those pilots in my Corporation/Alliance currently docked in station could mingle. Nothing super fancy, just a nice room. Maybe customized a bit with Corp/Alliance stuffs, maybe in Pirate colors (or whatever floats your boat). That would also be awesome.

I think it would be great to have the Stay Frosty logo on our ships.

I'd like the ability to bribe the owners of the station we live in to allow us free repair bills. Which might result from some ability to "plant our flag" in local, even though it is Low Sec. That doesn't seem unreasonable.

I honestly don't care much about ship skins, my ships don't typically live long enough for it to matter much to me. Paint your ship pink if you want, I'll still blow it up if given the chance. But I do appreciate that other people want ship skins, so I'm cool with that. I do really, really like the idea of ships aging and getting rustier as they do, bring that on immediately.

That pretty much sums up my feelings about new structures as well. I know it is good for the game and I totally support it, but it won't have much impact on me. But I'm not tunnel visioned enough to dare think everything has to have something to do with me. If it is good for Eve I'm all for it. And it will be. There is no doubt about that.

The point here is that I really don't have a dream list of things I "have to have". All of those things above would be really nice to have, but honestly Eve is pretty great at the moment. We have new ships coming out that transform in space, new structures, new rendering engines, new graphics, new opportunities - all of which is built upon a rather strong foundation of amazing changes that have happened over the past three years.

Which is a weird place to be in the history of Eve. Things are pretty darn good. It even looks like the biggest bug-a-boo since Dominion is headed in the right direction - Null Space Sov is getting some major changes. And they even sound pretty darn decent frankly.

Despite what other people (the kind of people that like to label everyone) seem to think, my campaign about WCS is really a campaign to fix Faction Warfare. But even that isn't terribly broken, it only needs a little more tweaking. And yes, I know, I'm not actually in FW and what right do I have... blah blah blah. I've got news, I live in a FW system. I fly in FW space. And I want nothing more than to have FW be incredibly vibrant and engaging for those that play in it. FW made Low Sec better, and that makes my game better.

So all in all? Yeah there are always things that could be better. And it looks like more and more of those things are going to be placed in the hands of the payers. Which is a good thing.

Onward and upward.


PS: And hats of course!! Duh.




Greatness: Follow Up

Yesterday morning I woke up with a solution to an idea that has been bumping around in my head for a long time. The idea was to create a video about Eve that was different than other videos about Eve. A video that captured the heart and spirit of Eve without referencing the game at all, that worked on a variety of levels, none of which had anything to do with it being a game. This idea, which I recognized as being transcendent, was not an easy one. To make it work it had to be perfect.

There are so many great videos created about Eve every day. People I respect very much put a lot of time and effort into creating them, and no one appreciates what that takes more than me. I don't want to do what they do, as usual I try to explore other avenues, other niches in which I can achieve something different. Granted it isn't always successful, I'm not kidding myself here. But more often than not the results are, at the very least, interesting. And I learn something from each attempt.

While the "idea" for this took a long time to formulate in my brain, the execution was rather simple. My intention was to create a simple, quick and easily executed video primarily for myself. I just wanted to see if the idea had merit, if the execution would work the way I hoped it would work, and if anyone else even cared. I honestly had no intentions beyond that.

I had hopes however. I hoped it would be amazing. It felt amazing in my mind, and it felt right in my heart. In moments like that I have to let myself go and do the thing. In this case it wasn't about creating something new, the video of Carl's voice has been on the internet for years, but rather about merging two completely different things into something incredible. Inspiration and creation are not always limited to invention, this is a rather common misconception. In fact, most inspiration springs from the combinations that arise within a new thought. Creativity is about seeing the potential inherent within those new combinations.

I'm not taking credit for anything more than what came out of my mind and was born on screen yesterday morning. A new thing. A creation that seems to have resonated with a significant part of the Eve community and beyond. A way of thinking about not only Eve, but our place in the universe.





I grew up on COSMOS and Carl Sagan's optimism about science and our place in the universe. My copy of his book was worn down to a nub from reading it over and over when I was young. My fascination with science and space didn't start with Mr. Sagan, but it certainly found its way thru him and his show. I have nothing but the utmost respect for him and what he accomplished, and what he represents today. I've listened to his words many, many times for inspiration. And I wanted to ensure that I did nothing to take away from his words here.

But I also wanted to be true to Eve. And while I understand that some people are having a difficult time with that contradiction, I find the contradiction more powerful than simply showing images of beautiful space shots behind his voice. Those videos already exist on the internet. I had no interest in recreating them. What I find compelling is the continued and powerful hope that his quote instills. Even in the face of humanity's continuing aggression. Even 20,000 years in the future, Carl's words carry profound and significant weight. We still have many rivers left to cross. Despite our technological advances, our biological ones remain challenging.

The message transcends Eve. And that is why it resonates so strongly.




Greatness



I've always been a huge fan of Carl Sagan's, and his words about our future in space have always inspired me. This morning I ran across them once again and thought about how closely related what he was saying was to the origin of Eve Online. So why not mix the two?

Granted, as the story goes along the difference between Sagan's optimistic view of our future and the harsh reality of Eve become more and more apparent - which is the entire point.

We still have many rivers left to cross.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it.



Gooder Eve: The War Pass


[ Gooder Eve is a series of on-going articles that examine ways in which Eve can be made Gooder.  Some are serious, some are not, but all are intended to create debate, dialogue, and discussion.  So enjoy! ]


So this morning I log on my Alt to go to Jita to pick up some supplies. I haven't been able to do this in over a month because of all the War Decs we've been getting. And lo and behold we have another one I wasn't even aware of. Sigh. So I used my special Impel to go get the stuff I really needed and will have to wait until this one is over to use the Freighter.

On the way to Jita I had an idea.

The way things are right now there is nothing I or most of Stay Frosty can do to help the rest of our Alliance during these HS Wars. We essentially issue the same warning emails about being careful, watch for WTs, and don't be stupid. Counting on them to just run out eventually. The only choice is to give up my sec status and become positive. Which is something I will not do. My -10 status is a badge I've had for over four years now and why should I have to give it up because some lazy HS corporations want to prey on our non-PvP Alliance mates?

What if there was another way? What if when someone War Decs you, you could buy a War Pass from Concord? A Pass that would allow you to jump into HS despite being negative sec status and engage only War Targets? They did attack you, so it makes sense that you should be able to defend yourself. This would at least give HS War Dec'ers something to think about. Obviously such a system would need careful and considered implementation to avoid being exploited, so let's put up some clear and easy to understand conditions:

• You must be the Defender in a War
• You must be negative Sec Status
• You cannot dock or use POS, Mobile Depots, etc., while in HS
• Your Sec Status remains in effect, essentially meaning anyone can attack you
• You can only engage WTs, anything else results in Concord as usual
• The War Pass expires when the War is over

Make the War Pass work the same way War Decs work, only in reverse. The cost is based on the size of the Corporation/Alliance on the other end. And can be purchased for a single Corporation or for an entire Alliance. Or maybe only individuals can purchase one? I'd have to think about that. An entire Alliance showing up in HS could be prone to abuse, even Concord might have trouble managing that.

As usual with these Gooder Eve posts this is just the beginning salvo in an on-going discussion. This idea is not intended to be fully formed and without fault, it is intended to start a discussion about a potential path that could be further explored.

I believe the essential core of this idea is a good one.

What do you think?



A Day in the Slicer

Slicer Signature Wallpaper

One of the many challenges awaiting those that choose the solo/small gang Pirate play-style in Eve is the availability of targets. You have no control over what, where or when opportunities will arise and present themselves. You can head to busy systems that might be empty, bait someone who must be afk, try to fight someone who simply runs away, run routes that typically harvest some opportunities only to find larger gangs and gate camps along the way. There are, quite literally, no end to the possibilities. This is both the challenge and the incredible variety that Eve offers on a daily basis.

It can often be insanely frustrating. And while every solo/small gang player will tell you it is all about patience - what they won't typically reveal is that even those of us with an Iron Will often lose our patience. We are only human after all. The other day, after a long and frustrating session, I attacked an Orthrus in my Thorax simply because I was bored. And I knew he had another Orthrus as backup. That is the action of a man who has lost his patience.

That is why yesterday I chose to fly a ship that requires patience, as a sort of penance for my lapses the day before. Choosing which ship to fly every day is an expression of a larger story, a tapestry of tales if you will. So yesterday I chose the Slicer because it requires extreme levels of patience in order to avoid being exploded. Not to mention how fun it is to fly. The Slicer is challenging. Fast, lightly armored, relatively low dps, insanely short cap life, and prone to acts of awesome - it was the perfect ship to bring me back to a more balanced approach. At least that was the intention.

It all sounds good in theory. In practice however? System after system was empty, or full of large gangs and linked trap baiters, or stabbed farmers, and tons of other opportunities that the Slicer was not intended for. What started as an act of patience was quickly turning into yet another act of frustration. I kept telling myself to be patient.

And then I jumped into Manjo and there was only one person in local and a quick d-scan revealed the Algos. And at that moment both sides of opportunity knocked hard in my head. Patience said, "Wait! This is the exact sort of crap you always do and you are going to die in a ball of fire!" While opportunity said, "Sure you might die, but then again... you might not. Plus, I'm bored!" So I hedged my bets, I announced in fleet chat that I was going to probably die, but that I was going in anyway. And so I did. It would be the adult thing at this point to warn the young among you that jumping a Slicer into an Algos is a bad idea. This will not normally work out well for you. Do as I say and not as I do. So I did it anyway.

Fighting a larger or tougher ship in a Slicer is challenging, as I've mentioned before. The key is battle management, nursing your cap, expressing your distance and ammo choices (I sometimes change ammo multiple times during a long fight), and hovering right on the edge of one lone solitary orange dot of capacitor. That one dot can run one thing, choosing which one thing to run is the key to not only winning a fight, but living to talk about it. Run the guns, run the repper, kill the point, cycle the mwd, rinse and repeat. The great thing about the Slicer is just how close to the edge of failure it always is. At any moment I'm going to miss a cycle, or run the wrong thing, and get caught. It is a rush. And I love the ship for it.

Oh and the Algos exploded. I was in 32% structure and my Slicer was on fire, which it always is after a fight.

I killed nine ships with it before I got caught by a Comet. Shortly after the Algos fight a Thrasher attacked me on a gate, and paid the price. The only other fight worth mentioning is the one right before the Comet. By this time we were in a small gang of us doing the Stay Frosty sweep when we happened across on Eris sitting 100+k off a plex gate. Only two of us were really fast enough to try for it and luckily one of us was in a Dramiel. I say lucky because the Dramiel distracted the Eris pilot long enough for me to kill him. I learned that later on.

While I have killed Comets in my Slicer before, generally I avoid engaging them as much these days. Blaster comets are rare, and most people are fitting rails, that being the primary reason. Plus I don't fit my Slicer the same way I used to, so switching to a brawling situation is not a good idea like it used to be. I still tried and it finally caught up to me. As it always does eventually.

I did log on later and hero tackle an Osprey in my Tristan. Those two neuts really made things difficult. Did I mention that I love Tristans too?




The Monday Mailbag

We get a lot of letters here at the Eveoganda World Headquarters and sometimes we even take the time to answer them. That's why we call this The Monday Mailbag!


Dear Rixx,

I just wanted to take a moment while I'm sitting here in my safe spot to write and let you know why I won't be fighting you today. I could fight you, and as I said so well in local, I'd certainly win. I am the best person I know at PvP and I have pwned you and Stay Frosty in every single engagement we've ever had - this is well known. But I choose my own fights, and despite us being in equal ships and my link alt being in local, I've chosen to warp off to my safe spot and taunt you in local instead. Consider this a gift of sorts.

Mister Name Changed to Protect His Honor

— zKill must be terribly wonkered, I've searched for your name and yet all I can come up with is some newbro that has 14 kills and 43 losses on their kill-board. I'll wait until it refreshes and try again.


Mister Javix,

Hi! I'm the guy you shot outside of station recently. You might remember me? We were in equal ships and once you engaged I brought twenty of my friends in to end you? Yeah, that was me. Well there are forty of us now and we brought Battleships, Logi and a few HACs, and links, and maybe one or two Falcons. Was just wondering if you and Stay Frosty would like to undock into us? We're just outside.

Waiting for Good Fights

— As tempting as that is, and believe me it is extremely tempting, I must decline. Please understand that this has nothing to do with you or your friends. In fact, I have a whole bunch of ships that need to be exploded for no good reason. Any other day and I'd undock into that in a second. But today is special. Today is Stay Frosty Movie Day and we are all in the film room watching the Porkys Trilogy.


Rixx,

Your on-going campaign against WCS has to stop. You are embarrising (sp) yourself and everyone is mocking you. Understand that some people just don't want to fight and stop trying to force your niche game-style onto the rest of us. Please stop. Seriously.

4 on my Vexor

— You've obviously misunderstood Eve my friend. Eve is a struggle, a fight, a conflict in everything you do. I can't change that. Lie to yourself all you want, but even if I miss you someone else won't. Eventually you will explode. There is no safety unless you stay docked. When you log in you log into that world. Grow up and accept it, or don't. Either way you will explode eventually. WCS won't save you.


To the loser Rixxie,

I'm not playing Eve anymore but I just wanted to write and tell you again that Stay Frosty is doomed. What a joke! You guys will never make it and you are destined to fail. You are such a wanker. No one will follow you and you suck!!

Bitter Former Corp Mate in an Unnamed Corp

— This is so true.


Just remember that Stay Frosty is always OPEN! We are currently looking for USTZ pilots that wan't to enjoy solo and small gang combat, have fun, play without bullshit, politics, and all the other crap. We undock, we fly, we die. I'd especially like to mention to any BRAVE members out there that I cannot be removed as Alliance Executor and our mission will never wander off the rails. A Band Apart is awesome and we are planning on staying that way forever. Maybe it's time to come fly with us?



My Last Word on WCS

It is time to move on to other issues that are more important. My position on the current state of Faction Warfare in Low Sec is well known. The issue is about much more than a single module, as I've explained before on numerous posts. Warp Core Stabilizers just happen to be a handy mechanic to point to in order to illustrate a point about bad gameplay mechanics. WCS on their own are neither positive or negative, they only happen to be broken. Potentially great gameplay is present within the FW system and I continue to hope that gameplay will be unlocked in the near future. To the benefit of everyone that loves Low Sec.

As I've learned over the years fighting for Frills, Memorials, Hats and numerous other issues within Eve and our Community - it is far easier to get something talked about by using a simple, easy to understand device to illustrate your point. The Frills on the Vagabond were not about the Frills on the Vagabond, it was about CCP respecting the heritage of the game. The Player Memorial wasn't about a Player Memorial (although that was important) as much as it was about CCP respecting their players. And Hats are not really about Hats, and more about over-priced merchandise and thinking outside the box when it comes to customization. Which will eventually lead to Ship Skins and player created logos on ships and clothes.

The same is true of WCS. This issue isn't really "about" WCS, as much as it is about a mechanic that could be much, much better. About a section of space that often gets overlooked because of the attention Null Sec gets. And if you happen to be a Low Sec dweller and advocate, like me, then you know exactly what I am talking about. I've said this before, but it bears repeating, this is not about the module - but about the environment in which a player feels it is ok to fit their entire low slot rack with that module.

I had the chance at Fanfest to speak with several people at CCP about this environment and I can assure you that at no point did the words, "You need to ban WCS" come from me. Because this isn't about actually banning a module, it is about better gameplay. And better gameplay for Pirates and Faction War pilots. Not one over the other. I want Low Sec to be a vibrant, engaged, awesome place for ALL of us to play. That is my only goal. And it also happens to be the goal of all those I talked to about it. In particular, Masterplan and I had a great conversation about these issues and I feel we see eye to eye on potential outcomes. Many of which are already in the works.

So I feel rather confident in closing the book on this issue. Whatever you think about what I've just said, changes will be coming. And no, those changes won't be the sudden and mysterious disappearance of a module from the game. That was never my intention. My intention from the very beginning was to get people talking and to raise awareness by having fun, causing trouble and making funny posts about an important issue.

Which, as usual, has worked extremely well.

I'm not going to stop doing this. I love Eve and I want nothing more than for it to be as great as it can be. As long as I feel that way, I will keep beating the drums for changes that need to be made.

Like it or not, that is just part of who I am. And I ain't changing.



Banning Warp Core Stabilizers

Mr Mittens Wallpaper

I find it works well if you think about WCS like you think about Legacy Code. They've been around since the beginning, nothing much has ever been done with them, they sorta kinda work, but the more you think about it the more you realize they don't actually work the way they should. In fact, they may be actually stoopid. I mean you wouldn't ask an Elvis Impersonator to design a Space Station now would you? It would be asking too much.

And this is how I feel about the WCS. It feels like an old module that no one has dealt with in ten years, that should probably be split up into about three new modules designed to achieve three different goals. Instead of asking one old tired module to do all this work by himself.

The reason is simple. As it exists right now, anything you do to it will harm someone and help someone else. I don't want to Ban WCS to make my job easier, as some people have claimed over the years. Trust me, my job is hard enough already. I do however strongly believe that 4 WCS on a Vexor in low sec is bad gameplay, and I don't mean a "travel fit" Vexor either. Any ship planted in a combat zone should have an expectation of combat.

ONE: So let's start there. A new module for FW Wussies to put on their ships to avoid having to contest plexes and just sit there and make iskies all day. Why they have this expectation is a huge part of the problem in my opinion. This seems easy to me. Right now, in a normal PvP situation, once a ship has you scrammed there is little you can do about it. Other than having to fit your ship with some special modules or using ECM drones for example. (And yes, I am having a very hard time arguing the other side on this!) So the new FWW Module is a chance based module that can break scram based on the skill of the pilot fitting it, the higher the skill the higher the chance to break scram. Only one per ship. This allows the other slots to be used the way they are intended, so if scram is not broken they have a fighting chance. It should have a balanced penalty to optimal range or something, but nothing harsh. On my side, overheating my scram gives me a counter bonus to the modules chance based on my own skills. The balance in that approach is in me managing my heat, and the fact that I can't do that for long before the scram burns out and the target gets away anyway. It has no effect on Disruptors or Webs, and faction scrams come with built in bonuses as always.

TWO: The travelers companion. Works exactly like WCS do today except it removes the offensive capabilities of the ship it is fitted on. You want to move "safely" thru space? Then you need to give something up in return. If you don't want to travel without guns or missiles then fit Inertia Stabs and Nanos, or jump your ship over. Or, learn how to use bookmarks and scouts for goodness sake.

THREE: Industrials and Freighters. Pretty much the same WCS Module we have today. This is where the darn things belong, so why change it.

Right now if you try to scram a ship with WCS fitted it just warps off, there is no way (other than fitting more scrams) that you can counter the fit. At least the FWW module gives you a fighting chance to engage and then it comes down to the skill of the two players involved. This is called gameplay and I support better gameplay.

Whatever the final solution there can be no doubt that we need something that isn't the current state of affairs. The WCS module is old, clunky and anti-gameplay. There are literally dozens of ideas floating around about how to fix it, this is only one. The solution needs to add to gameplay and not take away from it - for both sides of the coin.

I want WCS Banned because they are broken. Not because I am anti gameplay.



On Staying Frosty

Stay Frosty "Anarchy" Wallpaper

On May 5th, 2015 Stay Frosty will turn two years old.

Let that sink in for a moment. Let me blow your mind even more, while I was away at Fanfest, A Band Apart passed its one year anniversary.

In May of 2013 I wrote a post called "On Staying Frosty" in which I essentially spelled out the details of my personal vision of what this then new Corporation would aspire. A call-back to old fashioned solo and small gang Piracy, a casual adult focused environment with no commitments to doctrine, time, or anything other than having fun. A place to log in, enjoy the company of friends both old and new, and undock to the pleasures of flying whatever you wanted, how you wanted, and where you wanted.

If this post was a State of the Union (and it is not) I would tell you without hesitation that we have achieved those initial goals - above and beyond what I could have possibly imagined when I first wrote them. I would tell you that we have exploded well over 42,000 ships, held three Frigate Free For Alls, participated in the NEO Tournament, flown to all corners of New Eden, participated in countless roams, fought in stupid wars, established a base in Stain (for a time), and have seen nearly one thousand players pass thru our doors. Stay Frosty has also supported and helped spawn over a half-dozen independent Corporations started by our members. And one Alliance. We have helped friends in Null, stolen from enemies, ransomed, podded, appeared in countless videos, and generally been extremely challenging for anyone else to figure out.

All the while staying true to our philosophy without wavering a single inch.

Today 220 players call Stay Frosty home. Mains, Null Sec Alts, and players that sometimes need a break from something else. Newbies, bitter vets, bloggers, podcasters, the tired, the desperate, the determined. We are an amazing collection of the willing. And in those two years we've managed to build an amazing family of players, a great support group, a base of talent, will, and loyalty that I have never experienced anywhere else.

All of which has happened under an unwavering Open Recruitment Policy. Since day one, if you put an Application into Stay Frosty you get accepted into Stay Frosty. There have been wars during which that policy was suspended, but those have been rare.

Yes that means we have spais. And yes we've had to kick a few here and there. But generally our spais quickly learn that we have nothing to spai on. We wear our intentions out on our sleeves. We don't accumulate assets, we blow them up. We don't have intentions beyond undocking and finding good fights. We are the most boring place in New Eden to spai on. Plus spais are fun, they bring content.

For the next month we will be putting a special emphasis on recruiting NEW Stay Frosty pilots especially for our USTZ slots. Our goal has always been to cover all time zones and our late USTZ is a little sparse at the moment. So if you've been hankering for a better place to play, a place that is supportive, fun, and prone to adventure - consider joining Stay Frosty. We always have room for more nut bags.

To all the naysayers that predicted doom. To all those that have tried and failed to bring us down. I say this, on May 5th, 2015 Stay Frosty turns two years old. And we are better, stronger, funner, gooder, and more adventurous than ever before.

We continue to play.

YARRR!!