Seven Years Later

WARNING: This post contains personal, real life, honesty. It may be unsuitable for some readers. It has virtually nothing to do with Eve Online and is written for those readers who have shared my journey over the past decade. It contains Adult Situations.


On Monday I start a new job as VP of OBOT Marketing & Business Development for a large East Coast Office Based Opioid Treatment (OBOT) company that operates clinics from Pennsylvania, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Texas and other states. They called me a month or so ago and made me an offer I couldn't refuse. This came about because of the work I did prior to coming to my current employer, the company I worked for then was purchased by a much larger entity. That sale wouldn't have happened without the work I did the six months I was there.

And, believe it or not, they know this and appreciated it. Which is why I got the call and the incredible offer. After so many years of people I've helped in the past turning their backs on me, this was an unexpected and truly awesome change of fortune.

It is a rather perfect ending to the last seven years of chaos. And while we still have another year to go before that chapter is finally and forever put to rest, this is a significant step on that journey.

We've been through so much these past seven years. There were times when we weren't sure what would happen to us and our family. Times of desperation and near total panic. And while many people decided that attacking us, or accusing us, or throwing more negativity at us was the right thing to do - most of you stood by us. Especially two very important moments when we needed it the most. I promised then that I would never forget it. And I've kept that promise every single day since. We will never forget. Which is why I'm writing these words today.

You weren't wrong. We didn't scam anyone of anything. We worked our asses off. We faced our problems head on and worked hard to overcome each of them. Our family stood by us and did what they could to help. And so did you. I can't begin to tell you just how much that continues to mean to us.

So I just wanted to share our good news with you. And once again assure you that your trust was not misplaced. And to once again thank you for your help, your support, and your belief. There were many dark moments when, quite literally, all that kept us going was our Eve friends. Or an Eve event to look forward to. Or an Eve project that needed finished. Depression sucks hope. Having something to look forward to helps keep hope alive.

If you are reading this and know what I'm talking about - then thank you. If not, then let me just say this - tomorrow is always a new day.

Onward & Upward.

Keep the courage my friends.



The Mysterious Gnosis Revealed!

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If you use the New Ice Cloud skin on your Gnosis it reveals the mysterious ancient creature herself on top, right in front of the mast! I discovered this tonight. It is truly a Christmas Miracle.

Or, y'know, a strange coincidence that comes from skin edges merging. Whatever.

It's weird and I thought it was cool.


Yes, I flew Logi


If you haven't read my last post yet, you should go check it out. It's called, "How to Survive Eve Online" and it gives some solid advice on how to play in this universe for a long time.

They say 'variety' is the spice of life and inside of Eve that is certainly true. It is all too easy to get yourself trapped in a rut. Doing the same old things over and over again, and then one day wondering where the fun went. Just as in real life, you have to take an active role in forging your own destiny. Shake things up and try something different from time to time.

That's why Monday when we were putting a fleet together I decided to fly a Guardian. We needed at least five Guardians to make the fleet work properly and I volunteered to be one of them. I obviously don't get the chance to fly Logistics very often. And by "very often" I really mean maybe ten times in the last ten years. So yeah, not very often. But I believe it is important to keep your skills honed in different areas and also helps to understand what is involved. Walk a mile in another man's shoes, or in this case fly a few jumps in another person's spaceship.

Like I mentioned, I have flown Logi before in a wide variety of different situations. But it has been almost seven years since I've flown one in a larger fleet like this one. And while I have always had a tremendous amount of respect for Logi pilots, it doesn't hurt to experience that for yourself every so often. Talk about tunnel vision. There were times during the fight that I had no idea what was happening outside of my cap chain and popping reps on my watch-listed Alliance mates. Rinse and repeat. What's happening? I have no idea, but I do know that Brutix is getting into armor and needs reps fast!

I did manage to get on two killmails, it would have been more but my poor drones got exploded. No worries, I wasn't flying Logi to get on killmails. (And that is an entirely different topic of conversation, one I've covered many times in these pages)

In a few more days my Dreadnaught skill train will finally be far enough along that I can legit undock my Moros. I just bought the fits for it last night and they will be on the weekly JF this weekend. My alt has had perfect Archon skills for almost seven years, so I've flown Carriers and Jump Freighters before - but Rixx has never flown a Capital. So I'm excited about the opportunity to open yet another chapter in his ongoing adventures. As always I'll be taking it slow at first until I get familiar with the ship. There are still sub-cap ships I don't entirely feel competent to fly yet, so sometimes it takes me awhile. Some of that comes from living in Low Sec, we don't always get the chance to fly certain ships as much as those in Null or WHs do.

I just wanted to share my experiences and encourage you to think a little differently about your own adventure inside of Eve. Don't wake up one day and realize you are in a rut. Be an active and engaged participant in your own story. Be the content you want to have.

It can be truly eye opening.



How to Survive Eve Online

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There are many ways to play Eve Online. And I'm not here to disparage any of them. I've always supported a wide variety of play styles within Eve Online and will continue to do so forever. But no matter how you choose to play this crazy game of ours, the truth of the matter is... it can break you. Chew you up and spit you out. Over the past ten years I've watched this happen countless times, over and over again. Good players, great players, captains of industry, miners, builders, alliance leaders, meta-gamers, bloggers... you name it and I've watched them all break. Disappear. Vanish into the ether. (All while some players who should leave annoyingly stay)

"But Rixx," you say "how have you managed to stay so fabulous for so long?" Well I'm glad you asked. Let's take a look at some wisdom I've learned from the past decade that I hope will help you stick with Eve for the long-term. Because unlike what you might have heard, the only way to win at Eve is to never quit. Quitting isn't winning, it's quitting. Unless you come back at some point. Which you are always welcome to do. Then you can just start right back up again with the winning.

Slow Down

Rome wasn't built in a day and neither will your Eve career. Take your time, the Universe isn't going anywhere. I've seen way too many hotheads burn themselves out by trying to become the greatest player in Eve all at once. It is great to be enthusiastic and passionate, but all you are going to do is get tired pretty quickly. Eve can be exhausting. Especially if you take on any responsibilities. Be awesome, have fun, and remember that in Eve slow and steady really does win the race.

CCPlz

It's best if you think of CCP as simply a gaming company that happens to make Eve Online. And leave it at that. Yeah it's cool that some of the Devs will talk to you on Twitter, or engage with you on the Forums, or smack your face over on Reddit. I'm not suggesting that you ignore that, far from it. What I am suggesting is avoiding the all to common pitfall of thinking CCP is going to do anything about your specific complaint. Because they most likely are not. And you will get very, very frustrated by this and start to really hate them for it. Trust me. Don't do this. They are people who work very hard at trying to make Eve the best game they can. Really. That is all there is to that. Don't read anything else into it. Down that path lies nothing but frustration.

Friends

Make friends everywhere. In-game, out of game, in school, at work, at player meets, make lots of friends. We all need them. And so will you if you plan on playing Eve for any length of time. Nothing is more frustrating than being ganked and having no one to talk to about it. So do the right thing and join a Corporation of people that enjoy doing that thing you enjoy doing. Hang out with them. Talk to them. Learn stuff. It really, really does work.

Take Micro-Breaks

Eve can sometimes really suck you in and before you know it you've just spent three months straight single-handedly moving an entire Alliance's assets from one dark, damp place to another. It happens. I've discovered over the past ten years that taking small breaks from Eve is the best thing. What that means is totally dependent on your life, commitments, and whatnots. Everyone is different. And my schedule might not work for you. And yours might not work for me. Find out what works for you. Eve runs 24/7 (minus DT) but you can't. Walk away every so often and enjoy life. It helps.

Goals

It is great to have goals inside of Eve because often Eve can be a weirdly goal-free game. For example, my goal is to be the last player left. I'm kidding. (Sorta) In reality my goals would be very boring to most people, they are small things I need to accomplish in the near-future. Like moving a Moros from High-Sec to our base in Low. Or defending our Citadel. Stuff like that. But I am always goal-oriented in Eve. I think it helps to keep you focused. And thinking about the future.

Have Fun

Whatever you are doing in-game, no matter how serious it might be, find a way to let go and have some fun. Try something new. Fly something different. Go somewhere new. Whatever it is, do it and enjoy it. I am constantly trying new things or flying new ships and fits, often to hilarious results. Or derping myself into stupid fights I can't hope to win. Last week I tackled a Drake in an Atron. I almost had him! If you aren't enjoying Eve eventually you'll grow tired of it. And maybe you should. It might not be for you. It certainly isn't for everyone.

Don't Be a Dick

Despite its reputation Eve is very unforgiving of a-holes. You might not think this, because at any one time it seems that Eve is full of them - but in the long-run they don't last. It's true. I can go back and re-read old blog posts about people and then look them up in-game today and guess what? 9 times out of 10 they no longer play. Some take longer than others, but eventually almost every single jerk ends up leaving the game. All while the most awesome people tend to last a really long time. In the final analysis the good guys do indeed finish last. It's math, you can't argue about it.

Everyone leaves eventually, nothing lasts forever. So I'm not suggesting that people that stop playing Eve are in the wrong. Not in any way. We all have to do what we have to do. But, if you do want to try and play Eve for a long time, these are some solid pieces of advice to follow. They work for me and I suspect they will work for you as well.

Eve Forever.

What are some of the things that you do to keep yourself interested in playing?

This is just INCREDIBLE


So yesterday I get a notice over on Instagram that I've been tagged in a post. I go over and this is the image I see. And suddenly it all comes rushing back in my brain. Back in 2015 during my Fanfest presentation about Fan Art I mentioned that someone was planning on turning my Art Print Series into a quilt. In fact, you can see for yourself around the 23 minute mark in the video:



This is that quilt. Natalie made this for her husband and it took a little longer than she anticipated. Which she tells me was fortunate because the technology has come a long way in the years since. Which is good news. It isn't like the quilt took 3 years of hard work to produce, although I'm certain it took some doing.

They even managed to make one of the squares with my character avatar on it.

How awesome is that?

I've done and experienced a lot of truly amazing things in my life and my career, but I have to be honest here and say this ranks right up there. (I don't actually "rank" events, it is only an expression)  I'm humbled by the fact that someone enjoys my work enough to even want something like this. How could you not be? Not only to think of something like this, but to actually take the time, effort, and creative energy to execute it. And I'm honored that it was my art that inspired them to do so. Truly mind-blowing for me. I struggle with a tremendous amount of insecurity when it comes to my illustration/painting work and this just blows my mind.

Like my wife said last night, anytime I start to feel depressed or insecure about my illustration work going forward - all I have to do is remember this quilt. I don't mind admitting I get very emotional just writing this post. And no I didn't actually cry, c'mon, I'm the Pirate Lord.

It's moments like this that remind me of just how powerful and creative the Eve Community truly is. Thank you so much for sharing this with me Natalie. I sincerely hope that you both get years and years of enjoyment from this amazing quilt. And that you know how much it meant to me that you did it.

All I can say is Wow, thank you.




Things Are On Fire!


Our Stay Frosty Dev Team (which is pretty much Devlin) have set up a Pinger app on our Discord that warns us about certain things. It works pretty well and I know he is trying to get it to do even more. Yesterday it started screaming about one of our Citadels. Luckily I was in a position where I could run to the studio and log-on as fast as humanly possible. Slam those headphones on, jump into comms and see what the deal was.

Apparently our wacky neighbors decided now would be a good time to poke The Hat Emporium and see what happened. Why anyone would want to explode the finest haberdashery in all of Low Security space is beyond me, but that did seem to be their intention. Some people do not like hats I suppose. Either way the attack was underway and the Citadel was manned thanks to Devlin, who ended up locked in there the whole time. People who man Citadels should get on killmails by the way, it is truly a crime that they do not. As well as Logi. Weren't we supposed to have that fixed already? But I digress.

Our pilots are super good at exploding Fighters. To be fair we may have the best killing Fighters pilots in all of New Eden. We killed a lot of Fighters in the early stages of the fight, enough so their Carriers decided to bugger off early. Still, a formidable force remained. There was no time to properly organize a resistance force, so we all just jumped into whatever expendable, high-DPS ships we happened to have at hand. I personally picked an Oracle for not only DPS but range. In hindsight I think one of my Nados would have been a better choice, but I was thinking fast. And the Oracle did just fine.

They had a lot of Logistics on the field. Maybe twenty or so, I dunno. Luckily the Citadel is armed to the teeth and amongst its arsenal is a bunch of ECM thingies that can jam Logi ships. Our tactic evolved into a simple execution - someone in a tiny brave ship gets tackle and then we all warp in at range, burn it down, then warp off. Rinse and Repeat.

It worked pretty darn well.



That was a fun fight and strangely enough we didn't get Dreads or Titans dropped on us this time. And don't worry The Hat Emporium is fully repaired and open for business again.

Stay Frosty my friends.




Condor Vs Daredevil


A simple story about a simple fight I had the other evening.

I logged in and decided to fit up a simple, cheap, dual-tanked rocket Condor and take a quick ride around the neighborhood with it. My chances of getting fights increases directly when I fly T1 Frigates, so why not. It certainly did not start out that way.

I spotted an Atron in a Novice Plex and warped in on it. They ran off as I landed. It happens. Even though an Atron vs Rocket Condor fight is pretty equal, some people just want to farm in peace. Fair enough. Except this exact same scenario happened another NINE times in a row in seven different systems. It would have been TEN, but that pilot was in an Incursus. Sigh. Things were looking extremely bleak.

And that's when I spotted the Daredevil on scan. It slid into the Novice just as I landed. Now I might be a super-aggressive pirate type-person but I also try not to be super-stoopid. More than likely this Daredevil would be blaster fitted and sitting pretty at zero if I was to take the gate. And my poor Condor would be toast, even with two tanks. So I did the smart thing and set-up on the outside of the gate and waited at my optimal. I figured he'd have second thoughts and warp off after he took time to look up my killboard. But instead he landed at the gate.

Fighting ensued. My Condor is set-up as a Scram Kiter, which means it typically operates right inside of scram range. To set this fight up however, I over-heated my scram to get the range at maximum. I also approached the target under manual control to try and optimize my angle of attack. He managed to get three solid volleys on my shields, which I was able to repair without using all of my cap charges. Then I had range, thanks to an over-heated prop mod. Which was a tricky thing given the power of a DDs web. So I had him scrammed and webbed, and he had me scrammed and webbed. Sadly for him, his Blasters were struggling to hit me at 8-9k, while my low-dps rockets had no trouble hitting him. He only managed to smack my shields once more and not enough to warrant using that last cap charge. The Daredevil exploded shortly.

Good fight. Taking down a Daredevil with a T1 Frigate is never a sure thing. But luckily he was sporting a MWD on a blaster boat. I know this is a bone of contention among many PvPers in Eve, but I personally don't believe in putting MWD on blaster ships smaller than a Cruiser or an AF in certain situations when flying solo. And this is a perfect example of why. If he'd have fitted a AB, especially a faction AB, he would have had a much better chance of winning that fight. As it was, his MWD was shutdown and useless the entire fight.

My Condor was not long for this world however. I spotted an Incursus shortly after the DD fight and engaged. I figured it'd be a long fight given the Incursus' likely tank. But no one else was in local, so I had the time. Everything was proceeding as planned when Devil's Tattoo pilot Jameson2011 entered local in a Comet. I made the decision then to stay and try to kill the Incursus before the Comet landed and killed me. Jameson asked in local if this was an agreed upon fight, so I figured that convo might give me a few extra seconds. Just as I noticed the Incursus was out of charges the Comet landed and caught me before I could make my escape. I guess he also decided to finish off the Incursus.

I named my Pod "Blobbed Again" as a joke. But I don't think he appreciated it.

That Condor lived only briefly, but its life was glorious.




Pirate Lifestyle - Living by the Sword


If you haven't yet, I recommend reading PvP Lifestyle - Living By The Sword over on INN. I've never recommended an article from there before, but this one deserves your attention. Lots of good thinking about the future direction of Eve.

While I care about all of New Eden, my primary focus is naturally on Low Security space. I've spent millions of words over the years trying to not only promote the benefits of my playground, but also recommend changes to encourage its continued growth. We are in desperate times in Low Sec, overall traffic is down, participation is low, and we are seeing log-ins dropping across the board. One faction dominates Faction Warfare. Plex are empty. Belts are likewise. Structures are everywhere providing more safe havens, tethers, and guns. A safe place to spin. But little incentive to engage. Less engagement means less need to log-in. And the cycle continues.

While Stay Frosty remains one of the most active Corporations in Low Sec, even we are seeing the impact of this climate change. Over the past six years our monthly average of kills is right around 2,000. For the last five months those numbers are 731, 998, 1,112, 834 and 883 so far in November. In the last year our average weekly active numbers have dropped from 55 to 35, in a total membership that remains around 300. (Which is where we like to keep it)  And while you'd be right in questioning using Stay Frosty as the bell-weather for all of Low Sec, I'd caution you against thinking that. I keep very close tabs on the killboards of our neighbors and I can assure you they are all feeling the pinch. Heck, many of them simply do not exist anymore. Or they moved out.

It is time that CCP started thinking differently about New Eden and I like many of the suggestions in that INN article. Many of which I've made myself over the years. Especially when it comes to Faction Warfare in Low Sec. I've always been an advocate for FW as I think it serves an important and vital function as a bridge to PvP, an introduction to Low Sec, and a motivation for engagement for a lot of players. Unfortunately it is dead as a door nail right now. And that's sad, not only for LS but for New Eden as a whole.

But it is time to start thinking differently about Low Sec. It should be a training ground not only for PvP content, but also for other activities as well. Including Sov. Think of Faction Low Sec like SovLite. And that is primarily where I'd like to focus my expansion thoughts based on that article. I think Faction Warfare and the role of Pirate groups like Stay Frosty can be evolved into a much more dynamic and player driven system that rewards players on ALL sides - and not just one side over another. Us scoundrels need some love as well.

So think of each FW system as a place that can be influenced and controlled by those that have the most to gain and the most to lose by doing so. Faction Warfare certainly, but also Pirates. Right now we have a tremendous amount invested in our home system. Two Citadels, several Mining thingies, and some Engineering thingies. Not to mention all of the infrastructure, transportation, and support that goes into that. We essentially control our own space. And yet, we gain nothing from doing so. Zip. Zilch. This is a system that does nothing to encourage or benefit our players to log-in, defend, or promote our own space. I think that is a bad system.

When I'm talking about Pirates I'm talking about a horribly under-served group of LS based Corporations like Stay Frosty, Black Rebel Rifter Club, and those that remain committed to our space. The extensive Eve Lore pretty much ignores us completely, in fact it is difficult to even find us mentioned. I think that should change. I believe there should be a lore based reason for Pirate groups to exist, perhaps as Empire Ex-Pats, or some other type of rebellion, etc. If we can at least get a baseline for our existence, then out of that can grow a more complete picture of what our goals might be - and then the game can help support those.

Until then, all I'm left with is concepts that are based on the current system as it exists now. And I strongly believe that system needs to change drastically. But I do have several concepts that I'd like to put forward that showcase what I'm talking about. And that hopefully serve as jumping off points to even greater ideas that can be executed quickly.

I think the controlling group in a system should be immune to gate and NPC station guns. And that includes Pirate groups. This makes an insane amount of sense if you think about it. I know that immediately a lot of people will start moaning about gate camps, but gate camps are content. And right now, unless you have a dedicated group to support them, they are very hard to effectively mount. Which should not be the case for defenders.

I also want content specifically created for Pirate groups. Imagine a Pirate Plex that is spawned based on the activity level of -5 or below individuals in a given system. Only -5 or below individuals can access the content of this Plex, but anyone can enter to defend it. And they'd want to do that because if it is completed it impacts the influence of the system it is located in. Now you've given Pirates a source of income, a source to impact influence, and a reason for FW pilots to engage them. And a reason for Pirate pilots to log-in.

In addition FW pilots that defend themselves and kill a -5 or below pilot receive a reward for doing so. Be that Bounty, LP, or ISK I leave to smarter people than myself. But they should get a reward for defending themselves.

I think a little bit of creative thinking can go a long way towards creating an Eve that is increasingly engaged in ways that we can only imagine today. I think ALL choices should come with benefits and consequences. As someone who has lived as a -10 pilot for the past six years I can tell you there is no benefit in-game for that. There should be. Even if it is rotten. And the same holds true for any other activity or sec status or career choice in-game.

The base systems are already there. The time is now to make the changes that can help ensure that Eve survives into the next decade as a vital Universe of engaged players.

If we don't I'm not convinced it'll make it that long. And my doubts are mostly based on Null Sec, but that's a topic for another day.

What are your thoughts?




Beware The Blob


Few things illicit more cries and salty tears than the infamous "Blob" in Eve Online. But what constitutes a Blob? Is there a definition that makes sense across the board? Or is being blobbed something that is situational and defined by the victim?

When challenged to define obscenity the US Supreme Court issued one of its most famous sayings, "I know it when I see it." The act of being blobbed is a lot like that. You know it when you see it. As in many things your own perspective has a tremendous impact on your own perception about being blobbed. Are you the attacker or the defender? Are you solo, or are you FC'ing a group of hungry PvPers, have you spent weeks putting together a mining op only to have it hotdropped by Snuff? I could go on and on with scenarios, but each of those can impact your perception about what exactly a "blob" might be.

Let me try out a definition and let's see if it holds up. "A Blob is the application of any excessive amount of force disproportional to that needed to achieve victory." That sounds smart. Let me show you an example. Last night I engaged a Thorax on Station with my Vexor. Once engaged his alt/friend/whatever undocked in a Maelstrom and exploded my Vexor. Was that a blob? Or was I just the unfortunate victim of an a-hole? Let's look at another example. Judge Sarn was in local last night and was fighting fellow Frostian Dred in his Rifter, Dred was in an Atron. Meanwhile Giga and I were also in local and saw the fight happening inside a Novice Plex. We both landed on the Plex in time to help Dred, but we waited outside until the fight was determined. Our guy lost so we went in and killed poor drunk Judge Sarn. We certainly didn't need a Damavik and a Dramiel to explode a Rifter who was already damaged - so was that a Blob?

This is why defining a Blob is impossible in my opinion. Neither of those things are blobs, although in both cases a different pilot may very well have screamed about being blobbed in local.

I'll share another story with you that might help illuminate things. I have several names that I tag my pod with after I lose a fight. Instead of talking in local, I let my feelings be known in a more subtle way. Most of the time it is simply the default, because the fight doesn't need any further comment. Two of those names are - "Good Fight", and "I was Blobbed!".  I have others as well. Mostly I find it funny to do it this way and it kind of advertises my feelings on the way back home to re-ship. Point being, I rarely use the "blob" one. Very rarely.

Why is that? Is it because I rarely get blobbed? Of course not, I get blobbed all the freaking time. It's because I know it when I see it. And usually it isn't intentional. While I certainly try to never blob anyone, when you are out in a 12 man Frigate gang it can be impossible to avoid sometimes. That isn't intentional, but the results are the same. (If I'm FCing we will often try to only send a few ships, but you also have to know that what looks like a single ship can often turn into an entire gang - Eve works like that.)

A blob is in the eye of the beholder. You know it when you see it.

It's a different story if they are using ECM or a Curse... that's just nasty.



Whoops Apocalypse!

Our neighbor's once proud Oak Tree
A mild Autumn resulted in several species of Oak not dropping their leaves as quickly as usual this year. And then last Thursday we got rain that slowly turned into ice overnight and then heavy wet snow as the temps slowly dropped below freezing. By morning the weight of all that ice and snow, combined with the leaves trapping it all, broke thousands of trees across our County and beyond. In our neighborhood only one such Oak made it without some damage. A rare combination of events that ended with tens of thousands without power on Friday morning.

Shortly after this started sinking in Air Canada cancelled our flight to Montreal. It would be the only cancelled flight that day. It was also the only flight leaving Pittsburgh for Montreal. We decided to leave early and head to the airport. Without power our desktops were useless and no one was answering the phones. Our flight wasn't scheduled to leave until 4pm that afternoon, so we figured there would be options that would still result in us landing in London early enough on Saturday.

I've flown hundreds of times and anytime there has been a cancelled or delayed flight, a courteous visit to the airline desk is usually enough to find a solution. After waiting in line at the Air Canada desk we were rather sternly told they would not be helping us and we'd have to call the 800 number. A number no one was answering. There were flights available leaving for Toronto that connected to London - but we had no way of making those happen.

While we desperately tried to summon help thru the phone, the app, and even over on Social Media - Air Canada was kind enough to reschedule our flight for us! They put us on a flight for Sunday which would get us to London on Monday morning about 2hrs before our return flight to the US. I kid you not. This automatic reschedule remains a sticking point with the airline even today. This has not yet been resolved despite speaking to several human beings at both Air Canada, United, the flight insurance company and who knows who else.

Sadly we were not able to make the trip to London.

Our power was out all weekend until late Sunday night. Chaos with kids schedules, hotel rooms, spoiled food, melting fridges, food for cats, the usual. I won't bore you with the details. It all worked out fine in the end. We even managed to have a decent weekend in many ways.

The tree in the photo above is gone now, they came and took it all down today. About 16,000 people remain without power but it looks like that number will drop tonight.

We are already planning our next trip to the UK... but this time in the Summer.


London Calling


We are flying out tomorrow for Eve London. If you are in the UK I hope you will stop down during the day on Saturday and that we get a chance to meet and talk about Eve (and anything else you'd like to talk about). We should be getting there around 2-3pm local time, if not before.

I'll have swag.

Neither of us has been before, so this is a big deal for us for so many reasons it'd be impossible to name them all.

Be back next week with photos and stories. In the meantime be sure to follow our adventures over on Twitter or Instagram.

Until then.



Flying Reckless


Sometimes I get bored. Yes, even the Pirate Lord of Low Sec gets bored from time to time. Engineering wars and plotting the downfall of our enemies, promoting Low Sec and Stay Frosty, keeping our Directors on course, maintaining a 77% success rate at PvP (which often sees entire Solar Systems empty when I enter), not to mention creating art and logos for the Eve Community and attending player meets around the world (London next!) - even with all of that I can sometimes log in and say, "now what?"

Mix that with my tendency to collect a crap-ton of spaceships in my hangar and across the universe. Last weekend I discovered a Prophecy that was fitted from a fleet we ran almost five years ago. And yesterday I found a Thorax that was specifically fitted to kill LML Caracals in Ishomilken back when we lived there almost four years ago! I had so many ships in my hangar that it wouldn't let me repackage fitted ships because there wasn't enough room to complete the requested action. That's a problem.

The solution started innocently enough when I attacked a Wolf with a Talwar. I made the assumption (incorrectly as it turned out) that the Wolf would be Arty fitted. It was not. Hence my approach strategy was horribly wrong and ended with my death. Hmm what other ships can I fit differently and try out? How about a kitey Punisher? It might have worked had my default Punisher orbit not been set to 500 and had I remembered to check it before the fight. Imagine my surprise when I approached the Rifter instead of burning away? And yes, I was also being lazy. I had a long day at work. So I totally deserved to die.

As long as things are going badly, I might as well lean into it huh? So when I saw 3 Hawks and a Crow in local I figured it'd be a perfect time to get rid of that weird Thorax. And maybe kill at least one of the Hawks. Sadly I didn't manage to kill the Hawk. I would have, but without a point he just ran off before he exploded.

I had gotten rid of the old Prophecy over the weekend. But it didn't die in vain, as I managed to take a Gnosis down with me. And a Tristan.

Lastly I saw Kage Huren in local from Black Rebel Rifters in a Firetail. I knew he'd be alone and figured I'd try to burn him down with a Tristan. This is an almost impossible fight to win. Even with everything on my side. I sat at zero on the button with my AB overheated and got point, web, and neut on him right off. But I still lost. Good fight and he deserved to win.

Of course I realize this all sounds a bit like, "I didn't want that ship anyway" territory, but you should all know me better than that by now. The point wasn't to throw away ships, but to use them recklessly for the fun of it. It's good for the soul to be reminded that Eve is a game and sometimes (not all the time) it is worth creating some fun for yourself. If those moments achieve other goals at the same time, then so much the better.

I enjoyed every one of those fights. Even though I lost almost all of them.


The Truth About Low Sec


As many of you know, I am unabashed and passionate about my love for Low Security space in Eve Online. Some people love Wormholes, and some people claim to love Null, and you might even bump into a person that lives in High Sec from time to time - but for those of us that call Low Sec home - well you'd have to love it in order to live there. Especially for those of us that choose to live on the underside of the Empire's boot heel. I've said it before, but it needs repeated from time to time, criminal low sec life is playing Eve on Hard Mode.

And so it is only natural that I worry about it. I recently wrote a post about how quiet it is been lately. And fellow Frostian Kirith Kodachi also wrote a post about it, but his has graphs! (So be sure to check it out.)

And while things have certainly quieted down a little over the past few months, the truth is that this feels more like a natural cycle rather than the end times. And while I will always remain worried about server login numbers, and kill-rates, and all of the data - personal experience is also important. And from what I've been seeing lately Low Sec remains as it always has been. Fights are still around, you just have to look for them. Some places are empty and some are active. And where and when those things are true is constantly changing. As anyone who has lived in Low Sec should know by now, you can't predict it. A System can be a hot-bed for action one week and be empty the next.

Long term the situation is a bit different. I still believe that Low Sec needs a unique value that can't be found anywhere else. And while Faction Warfare was often regarded as that unique value, I think we can all agree that it isn't currently. And it may never be given CCP's lack of support or upgrades over the past almost decade now. And while I still support FW and hope that CCP helps it sooner rather than later, I also strongly believe that we need something else. I've made enough suggestions over the years so I won't bore you with the details again. But there are a lot of ideas that could help drive content into Low Sec and encourage players of all ages to take the Gates.

We can't always wait on CCP however. So Stay Frosty will continue to promote Low Sec ourselves. In fact, we have several plans in the works to help bring more traffic into our neck of the woods. In addition I hope to return to creating and hosting some in-game events in the coming year. I don't know what form those will take yet, but I think it's time. Maybe a couple of Frigate Free For Alls or something?

I had more to talk about, but I'm running out of time today. So consider this part one.

Yarrr!





Rankings

SF Bare Knuckles Wallpaper

It's hard to believe that Stay Frosty will be six years old in May. Time sure does fly when you are having fun. I bring this up not to travel down memory lane or anything, but because I discovered something I had forgotten about this morning. I so rarely pay any attention to kill-boards, but I had to recently go over and give out some corporation awards that I was behind on. One thing led to another and I found this All-Time Ranking thing that zKill compiles. Of course I had known about this earlier, but when you don't use something for a long time you can sorta forget it is there.

So, I was curious. We've been around for a long time now, so how do we rank when it comes to individual ships against the rest of Eve? I'm not going to do all spaceships, but here are some of the more popular PvP ships and how we stack up.

Federation Navy Comet
Stay Frosty: #6
A Band Apart: #7

Navy Slicer
Stay Frosty: #11
A Band Apart: #29

Tristan
Stay Frosty #11
A Band Apart #13

Firetail
Stay Frosty #4
A Band Apart #13

Kestrel
Stay Frosty #16
A Band Apart #18

Atron
Stay Frosty #19
A Band Apart #18

Condor
Stay Frosty #44
A Band Apart #49

Hookbill
Stay Frosty #32
A Band Apart #29

Merlin
Stay Frosty #23
A Band Apart #22

Breacher
Stay Frosty #7
A Band Apart #7

I'll stop there, but it's heartening to see us ranked so highly across the board against other Corporations that have been around much longer than we have. Especially in Low Sec, many of our fellow Pirate groups have been around a significantly longer time than us. But we are certainly making up ground. And with over 112,000 kills already on the board we'll pass some significant milestones next year.

Pardon me for being proud of our band of misfit toys. We've come a long way in the last five years and right now Stay Frosty is better than ever. We have a great group of active leaders and FCs that have stepped up, and numerous weekly scheduled roams, activities, and plans for the future. Both in-corp and in Alliance. It is a very exciting time and I'm looking forward to where the next five years takes us.

Check out this Garmur I killed with my Astero! (Random killmail mention)

Stay Frosty my friends.







The Anti-Concord Pirate Ship

Love this image from Jacopo Alfano, here is a link to his artstation
I have a Marshall I can't fly. In fact, my hangar is full of several ships I can't fly because they are tied to Security Status. (And yes, I can literally fly them, but doing so would be stoopid for me given my -10 sec status) More specifically, positive security status. Which seems weird when you think about it for a PvP game that seems determined to push people out of High-Security space. But there it is, rewarding goodie-two-shoes and making it difficult for us scum-sucking independent minded freedom fighters to excel at - you know - Player Versus Player combat. The backbone of Eve Online.

So it was suggested on Stay Frosty Discord the other night that it was high time for some ships that benefit from negative sec status. Ships that grant bonuses in an increasingly negative manner, that start at -5 but increase the lower you get, with max role bonuses at -10. I love this suggestion and I think it is high-time that such a thing happened. We have Explorer focused ships, Mining ships, SOE white ships, Capital ships for Null Sec, it is about time we had a few Pirate focused ships with negative sec status role bonuses.

Obviously these ships (I imagine a BS/Cruiser/Frigate variant) would only come in black. Probably with badass Tribal markings and skulls on them. Maybe with skin variations available, or better yet the ability to have our Corp/Alliance logo on them. It would be great if the ship models were amalgamated versions of Empire ships cobbled together poorly, something that Low Sec people did. Worse than Minnie ships, which have been getting better lately. Think Reavers from Firefly. Or whatever, the design of the ships could be extremely creative and allow my friends in CCP's Art Department some freedom to explore.

So what kind of role bonuses would such ships have? My first thought was an automatic pod lock after the target ship explodes. Which is awesome but probably not realistic. Other dumb ideas included a YARRR! sound effect when it comes out of warp, a neutral appearance in local for a certain limited time, immunity to gate guns or NPC station guns, built-in probes (so you don't need a module, only the probes in cargo), a scram range and effectiveness bonus, a special rig that attaches extra armor onto the ship model (even if it is shield fit), a Flying Tiger skin (which gives your ship a full set of awesome Shark Teeth!), a smoke generator which generates a tremendous amount of smoke from the ships exhaust for no benefit other than it looks insanely awesome. I'm sure you can imagine your own.

As far as serious bonuses go I'm sure Fozzie could come up with some decent ones that don't imbalance the game but also make it worth flying.

As usual I'm only half serious here. But CCP started this with the introduction of those Concord sec status bonused ships, so I think it is only natural to start thinking along these lines. If positive sec status people can have special ships, then why not us? We're people too!

We're just freedom minded independents that don't like the Empire's boot on our necks. Don't tread on us.

What are your thoughts?



London Bound

Leviathan Over London Commission
2018 is the year we do four Eve player events. We traveled to Iceland for Fanfest, held Steel City Eve at our house over the Summer, attended our first (and probably last?) Eve Vegas, and in two weeks we will be jetting across the pond for our first Eve London. This trip will be nuts as we fly out on Friday and return on Monday! Trust me, we have very little vacation time left after all of this.

We both figured this was as good an excuse as any to get across the ocean and see our friends and those we've never had a chance to meet in person. Neither of us have been to England before and while we'd certainly like to stay much longer, this is the best we can do right now. We land Saturday morning and take a Black Taxi from the airport around town for a quick tour of the city and then get dropped off at our hotel before we drag our tired carcasses across the street to the player meet. Then Sunday we spend most of the day traveling to Stonehenge and Salisbury before an open evening to find food, and then board a plane on Monday to fly back. Whew. That's nuts.

I have been to Foamhenge!
As crazy as this most certainly is, we're both looking forward to it. Life is too short not to do crazy things when you have the chance. We'll come back for a longer visit at some point, but I think we both enjoy the idea of using these Eve meets as an excuse to travel.

I know we are both excited for Eve North next year because it is so close. And we've discussed making a trip to G-Fleet in Berlin next year depending on when it is. Maybe Amsterdam, or even Eve Down Under someday. How cool would that be?

Two weeks from today we'll be on our way. Can't wait.