My Top Ten Ships

Comet Signature Wallpaper
Click for embiggen
These are my Top Ten PvP ships according to zKill as of today. I thought I'd run down the list and make snarky comments about each ship. I've never been one to focus on a single ship, I typically fly numerous ships even when I don't have long to play. The other night I had 45 minutes to play Eve and I think I undocked in five different ships at various times.

#10 The Kestrel (113 Kills)
I haven't flown the Kessie seriously in about 2 years. I still have a couple fitted up and will undock in them sometimes, but they are not as reliable a T1 Frig as they used to be. Nothing against them, but the hole that scram kitting used to enjoy has been plugged by changes that have happened over the past two years and that has hurt the Kessies over all usability in my opinion.

#9 Firetail (118 Kills)
These kills are much more recent than the Kessie. The FT is in my "regular rotation" currently and I love the ship. It has always been a reliable choice for PvP but it has recently become even more reliable. This is primarily because it has more flexibility now than it enjoyed back in the day, when you'd typically only see fast, kiting versions around. Now the Ancillary Repper has opened the door for more brawly, scram-kiting fits. The Firetail is an exceptional ship and I really enjoy flying it.

#8 Dramiel (121 Kills)
The Dram is always in the rotation. I tend to fit mine more expensively than I used to, so it doesn't get as much use these days. That isn't the reason I don't fly it, the reason I don't fly it has more to do with my impact on local than anything else. A lot has changed for me over the past five years, these days any fights I get in a Dramiel or a Daredevil are probably not going to end well for me. Mostly people just run away.

#7 Daredevil (137 Kills)
Same thing with the DD. I love my Daredevil and I am ace when flying it. But sadly me in a DD generally causes two reactions, 1) Run Away, or 2) Blob. As such it has seen a diminishing role in my regular rotation. Sad, but them is the facts.

#6 Capsule (208?)
Can someone explain to me what this stat means? I've killed 783 Pods and I've lost 139 Pods, so it isn't that number. Is this how many ships I've killed when I've also exploded? Not sure tbh.

#5 Tristan (234 Kills)
The Tristan is, in my opinion, the best T1 Frigate for Low Sec PvP. Despite the idiots who speed fit theirs and stay far away and try to kite with the damn thing, which it truly sucks at. Otherwise the Tristan is a versatile box that can be fit many, many ways and has great survivability. Unless you are caught by one of those annoying kiter people. But then send them drone love and they usually run off.

#4 Drake (309 Kills)
The majority of these kills are in Null Sec, since I rarely fly a Drake in Low. Especially during the last few years. I do have several fitted up and ready, so you never know.

#3 Sacrilege (380 Kills)
The vast majority of these kills happened in a less than one year period when I wasn't playing Eve much and lived in a system with two HS entrances. My play time back then was extremely limited, so I fit up a bunch of these bad boys and camped the entire system. My strategy was to attack everything that entered, undocked, or tried to do anything. It is surprising how well that worked. Until it all went to Hell and I finally got more playing time, joined Tuskers and then Stay Frosty. I rarely fly Sacs today, but they are still one of my favs. I've had so many memorable fights in one.

#2 Slicer (395 Kills)
This is the ship I fly when I want to be one of those annoying kiter people I mentioned earlier. Although I fit my Slicer to be a Kiter/Brawler, which is a weird thing to do. But I fly it rather uniquely and it works for me. I'm not sure anyone else would understand what I'm doing. I know this because other Slicer pilots have told me all about it.

#1 Comet (795 Kills, Fed Comet + Police Comet)
Those used to be two different ships. And here we have the very best Low Sec PvP ship available in Eve - the Fed Navy Comet. You can fit them with Blasters or with Rails, I personally prefer Rails on my Comet. I've painfully died to too many kiters to enjoy the Blaster version very often. I do fly it, but it limits my engagement window. The rail version however can engage almost anything. Just this week I engaged a 4-man FedUp gang in one. I killed two of them before mine exploded. There are not many ships you can do that with. I love my Comets.

And there you have it, my current Top Ten. My number 100th most used ship is the Catalyst, Stabber, Ferox, and Machariel each with 7 kills. Although that is certainly not accurate. It is my duty to mention that all these zKill numbers are inaccurate. Early Eve kills remain missing and a large part of Eve's history along with them. I remain hopeful that someday they will reappear, but for now about 500-750 of my own kills remain missing from my killboard.

Until next time.



Alliance Tournament

Kronos Centric
Kronos


This will be A Band Apart's 4th Alliance Tournament run. Our first year we were honestly not prepared and lost the first two matches to the G0dfathers and The Explicit Alliance. Being a first time Alliance in the tournament is rough. But it was a good learning experience and we decided to try and actually prepare for the next tournament. We went 4-2 the next time out and managed to break into the Top 16 finishers, which means better standings and an automatic bid. We won matches against Shadow Cartel, Spectre Fleet, Snuff, Methodical Alliance and lost matches against Villore Accords and PFR. Then last year we finished 11th in the tournament, winning matches against Slyce, Hard Knocks Citizens, and We Form Volta before losing to Lazerhawks and Brave.

We got really good at practicing and preparing for the early matches. Our issues the last two years have been in keeping up with the changing meta and adapting our approach to compensate. Both times when we lost matches, we probably should have won, but we failed to anticipate the impact of those changes. This is not a criticism against anyone specifically, our team worked hard and we all did the best we could. But in hindsight the shortcomings are more obvious. 

Can we get over that hump this year and break into the final weekend? I have no idea. Not only is so much of the tournament a rock, paper, scissors situation (which it is), but this year changes to the rules have made it even more likely to be a hotbed of upsets. Not to mention the inclusion of three new ships that no one is super familiar with, the Precursor ships are certainly OP, but they are also NEW. Which means a significant lack of flying them around TQ and getting used to how they operate, engage, and work inside of gangs. But the biggest change is more foundational to any Comps that we, and others, had on our table. And that is the lack of doubles. Every ship has to be the only one on the field this year, so no double Eos, or double Gila, or double Blackbird, or double Bhaal comps allowed. And since doubles make up the core of pretty much every comp - it has been back to the blackboard for all of us.

As always it is impossible to predict what might happen. Our team is coming together and we are practicing hard. Our comps are starting to make sense and we are starting to understand where things are headed, at least for the opening weekend. We are a little over a month away from the July 28th start and things are looking good. Personally I feel great about the pilots I'm flying with and I think this has the chance to be a special group of players. When we are firing on all cylinders together it feels pretty damn strong.

We will always be underdogs in my mind, no matter what happens. I'd like nothing better than to improve over the last three years and see us make it to the final weekend. That is my personal goal. But no matter what happens we'll have fun and enjoy flying together, and when it is all said and done that is what truly matters.

Six weeks to go.



Good Fights & Bad Decisions

In Orbit
My Comet "Columbo" at Zero


I'm going to start writing more, I promise. So here are some stories from the past few weeks about fights I've gotten into, win or lose. I hope you enjoy. My ship is listed first.

A Comet beating a Merlin doesn't sound like a good fight and, to be honest, it often isn't. Unless the Merlin happens to be sitting at zero inside the plex, is Blaster fitted, dual webs, and has probably taken a booster recently. Not to mention that your Comet is rail fit and not blaster fit. This was a good fight for a the first part of it, but I managed to pull range and eventually he ran out of booster charges. It is good to see the Hellcats back in the neighborhood. I told him in local that it was a worthy try. It felt like something that I would do.

This fight between a rail fit Incursus and a rail fit Comet was very, very close. I still believe I would have won this fight had I not seriously derped at the last minute. I oops clicked in space which caused my poor ship to lose all velocity and essentially become a sitting duck right at the worst possible moment. Sigh. Still we were both in low structure and it was a worthy try. Comet should win that fight... but it almost didn't.

Granted, a Firetail should lose against a properly fitted Algos most of the time. Also granted, I wasn't actually trying to solo it and it did eventually die. All I had to do was hold it long enough for help to arrive. Which would have worked except I went into the fight with only 2 or 3 nanite repair paste thingies in my armor repper, instead of the much more intelligent full amount. As you can imagine this did not end well for my poor twelve killmark Firetail. But the Algos did die.

Yes, this is the same Firetail from above while it was still alive. This is a fight that is even rarer than a "good fight" - it is what we call - an "honest fight". Which is when two of the exact same ships manage to find each other in the darkness of space and decided to engage each other. Sadly for the other guy he sorta forgot to fit a tank and went boom rather quickly. Remember kids, you usually need some kind of tank to survive in Eve.

When a Pirate chooses to engage they do so typically without knowing what they are getting themselves in for. We make decisions based on type of ship, local intel, killboard intel, age of character, and other factors. Some of which are rapidly becoming meaningless, like character age. What does it matter when you can inject yourself into anything? Point being, you have to be prepared. I had seen this Gnosis earlier and pegged the pilot. When I was docked I noticed that the pilot was also docked, so I undocked in my cloaky Stratios and waited. My patience was rewarded and the rest went down pretty easy. The scariest part of these kinds of fights is being exposed during the fight. You are mutually locked down and an easy target if a gang or fleet happens to pass by.

To be fair I'm putting this in the loss column, but I truly won this lopsided encounter. My sturdy Tristan warped in on two ships, which rapidly became four ships, and eventually became six ships in total. The funny part for me was just how hesitant they were to engage at first, even with far superior numbers. Including a Bantam, which I killed pretty quickly. I also killed the bait Incursus before the sheer numbers finally brought me down. Fun fight.

Another funny fight. So two Goons decide to attack my Algos, which is fine, but they also decide to bring along a Griffin to make things all cowardly. Now here is the funny part. I point and start fighting the Dramiel, but send my drones to the ECM ship sitting about 30k away. At any point here, the Griffin could have gotten away and saved his ship. But he stayed and let my drones kill him. Sadly without my drones the Dramiel did eventually kill my Algos, but honestly I'll take a 19m Algos loss in exchange for a 45m bling Goon Griffin every single day. One less ECM ship.

That's enough for today. I hope we've all learned some valuable lessons. I know I haven't, I'll keep doing the same old dumb things as I always do.

Yarrr!





Strikeout!

You'll never get to play it
In Baseball when the batter gets three strikes he is registered as an out. And while my count is full of a lot of foul balls, the last strike was registered yesterday. I stepped up to the plate way back in 2009 at the request of CCP, who was looking for a company to help them run a piece of their business at the time. As a player, a fan, and an owner of a company that could help them - I gladly tried to do so. Since then we've had a few successes, like the 8 spaceship posters and the London office opening materials, and more than our fair share of "foul balls". A free video game - shot down. Several lines of shirts - shot down. A Faction Warfare Card Game - shot down. An Alliance Tournament Card Game - shot down. An original film - shot down. Two fan-run stores - shot down. A Fanfest illustrated poster - shot down. An Eve Vegas poster - shot down. And finally, this week, another original Eve based Card Game called Pub Brawl... you get the idea. (And I'm leaving out some stuff, just to keep this brief.)

You may have noticed a distinct lack of posting lately here in Eveoganda. You may have wondered why I wasn't posting at my usual pace. Was something wrong? Did the Bitter Vet Syndrome get me? Nope. I was purposefully being quiet, reserved, and hiding. I didn't want to say anything that might be construed in a negative light by anyone, anywhere. And the only way I know how to do that is by saying nothing at all. I was hoping that would help things along. And for a long time there it seemed like it just might do the trick.

I'm not going to bore you with all the details. Mostly because they don't matter. The point is, that despite other successful kickstarter campaigns for an EVE licensed product,  new personnel dedicated to new directions (as I was told at Fanfest) and an overall strategy that involves third-parties (as I was also told at Fanfest) yours truly is not allowed. I'm not only not allowed to develop a Card Game which would only take a very small KS to launch, but I'm also not allowed to sell Limited-Editions of my spaceship art posters (which would be at my own cost and not require a KS) or a Collectible Card Series built around famous Eve players (which would also be on my own dime and not require a KS).

So I am registering myself as an out today. I'm done.

I have some Star Wars projects I want to work on. I've got a cool lead on a potential project with Overwatch. And there are several other projects in various stages that have been ignored for to long now. I've always got something going on. (Not to mention my full-time CMO job!)

As for Eve I remain its biggest fan. I'll keep supporting community projects as much as I can. I've got the Alliance Tournament to train for again this year and I'm excited about our team, Stay Frosty and A Band Apart continue to require my attention. We've got Steel City Eve coming up in July, and then we will be attending our first Eve Vegas in October. You can bet that we'll have some great swag planned for both of those!

The only thing that changes is I can start being myself again here in these pages. And I can stop bothering a little company in Iceland with my crazy ideas and start bothering someone else instead.

To my readers and my fans my sincere apologies, I really did try. But it is way past time to admit defeat and move on to other things. It isn't the ninth inning yet.

Onward and upward.



Announcing Steel City Eve III

Steel City Eve Logo
The original meet logo I designed in 2016
This Summer my Wife and I will be opening our home to the Eve Community for the third year in a row for Steel City Eve III. The event is all day Saturday July 21st and you can read all the details over on Eve Meet at this link.

I'm not into publishing our home address on the internet so you'll have to write me an email to get the address. It is an easy email to remember because it is rixxjavix@gmail.com

So if you are an Eve player that lives anywhere near Pittsburgh and want to spend the day with 30-40 like-minded weirdoes hanging out in my backyard eating hamburgers that I make on the grill all while drinking and laughing and sharing stupid stories that only other weirdoes would understand - then you should come! And by "close" I mean as close as Texas, or Canada, or St. Louis, or New Jersey, because we've had people come from each of those places before.

Otherwise it is too early for any other details. If things go well I may have some super awesome sekrit things to share with you, otherwise we'll just have the usual limited-edition swag you can't get anywhere else. Like signed posters of my art. And more.

So be there or be square! It's a great time. If you ask nice I'll even give you a tour of the studio and my own collection of Eve stuffs, you can meet Pirate Cat, and see my Tweetfleet computer with your own eyes! Oh yes, it is all real baby.

Make plans now. And we hope to see you there!



We've come a long way


That is the very first Stay Frosty recruitment/propaganda piece published back in May 2013 here on this blog, just a few days after we formed. At that point we had 15 members.

It is difficult to know exactly how many members have come thru our doors since then. I estimate it somewhere around 2,000 or so. So many people who no longer play Eve. So many friends that have disappeared, or we've lost touch with over the years. Many former players still hang around on Discord, which is great. And, of course, many former members have moved on to other corners of New Eden over the years. Which is also fine. I never thought that everyone who joins would stay forever, that would be weird. But I am grateful for every member who has joined over the years, except for a few exceptions. (We all have those) But I am especially grateful for those members who have stayed on for the long haul and we have a fair share of veterans from the early days. New, young, old, or just "friends of the family" it is all just part of being Stay Frosty.

Thanks to all of you for adding your story to ours and for playing the game with us.

Even to the back-stabbers, corp thieves, and those few that thought it'd be easy to bring us down - you guys were fun. It does warm the heart to see that most of you aren't even playing Eve anymore. Who could've guessed?

A special shout-out to all those that warned me that Stay Frosty would never survive, or that we'd never make it, we were doomed to fail, or that somehow we sucked - thanks for being so good at predicting things. You are special too. I just hope your real jobs don't involve predicting things.

I'm looking forward to the next five years. I have no idea where we will be then. But I hope that we can all still smile and yell "YARRR!" as we warp into zero together.

Thanks to everyone that has helped us reach our fifth year of piracy in New Eden. And to those that will help us reach our tenth!

Onward and Upward.



Stay Frosty is Five Years Old

Stay Frosty "Anarchy" Wallpaper
Staying Frosty for Five Years
This Sunday on May 6th Stay Frosty will be celebrating its fifth year anniversary. The planning that led to the formation of this new Pirate Corporation and the subsequent Alliance that followed, went back even further to the very early days. A little over half of my entire playtime in Eve has now been as CEO of Stay Frosty. How many people in the history of Eve have built a Pirate Corporation from one man to 320 entirely in Low Sec, surrounded by an Alliance of 800+ pilots, without once moving to Null Sec or being beholden to another larger entity? I can't think of another example.

Our Independence is our strength.


All of which didn't exist five years ago when I jumped into a Taranis and undocked from Hevrice 5-5 and warped across to Hevrice 6-5 and founded Stay Frosty. At that moment it was just me. A few minutes later my Son joined. And by the end of the first day... well it hasn't stopped since. And yes those early days included a fair share of drama, some of which I created and some of which I exploited, but all of which was simply intended to draw attention to our cause. Which remains exactly as it was then - to establish a home for old-school solo and small gang piracy based in Low Sec. Period. 

Did we succeed? Let's start with our Killboard.  105,747 ships killed as of today. And here is the real killer stat - 52,108 of which are SOLO. That's 49% for those counting at home. That is the single highest solo rate among ANY Low Sec based corporation with comparable total kills. Over the last five years we've worked hard to build a reputation as people that bring good fights. In addition we bring an attitude, spirit, and a healthy dose of it's only a game to everything we do. Our recruitment remains 100% open, as it has been for our entire history. If you want to join you get in. After that, it is totally up to you.

Some stay, some come and go and then come back, and some have moved on to other things. We have veterans that have been with us since the beginning and everything in-between. Over 2,000 pilots have passed thru our doors in five years, you'll find current Stay Frosty and former Stay Frosty pilots in every corner of New Eden. I am especially proud of everyone that has worn the pirate hat and flown with us over the years. Those that we've lost in real life, those that have retired from Eve, and those that have gone on to other things. Stay Frosty is not for everyone. I've said that since day one. 

What we offer is freedom. We'll try anything. We have zero drama. We fly anywhere in whatever we want. No one gets in trouble for trying something and failing. We never judge anyone based on their killboard. We've taken Sov simply to encourage fights. We use bait Citadels. We don't play like other people play. And we hold our members to a higher standard of behavior. Being a dick gets you kicked. We only have three rules: Don't steal or shoot your Alliance mates, honor your word, and don't be a dick.

You can go back thru the archives of this blog and read the history for yourself. But back in those early days no one believed we would succeed. Since then we've not only succeeded but thrived. All while remaining true to our core beliefs. Stay Frosty remains as dedicated to independence today as it was on that first day. We continue to learn and grow and try new things, but we also never change. We still laugh at the odds, still yell Yarrr while landing at zero, still try to solo things with things that can't win, still act like sharks that smell blood in the water sometimes, still make everyone around us frustrated, and still act like a bunch of Pirates.

Because that is exactly what we are. Pirates. Here is to the next five years.

Stay Frosty Forever.



My Thoughts after Fanfest

The Fanfest Board
HUGE version of Fanfest board available for download


As many of you may remember my Fanfest experience last year was not a good one. In hindsight I probably shouldn't have attended, my life at the time was still pretty dark and that didn't help things. In addition, sitting in roundtables hearing the same old excuses repeated for the umpteenth time also didn't help. After last year's Fanfest I returned home angry, sad, and rather bummed about the whole experience. Not the best time to write a scathing article for Crossing Zebras, but that is what I ended up doing. It was a train wreck. And while I don't regret anything I said, it was the truth at the time, I do regret writing it in that frame of mind.

This year's Fanfest was the polar opposite of that experience. Not only is my life in a much, much better place right now - but I also purposefully decided to decline any and all responsibilities for once. This year, my Wife and I would attend as simply tourists and attendees, with zero agenda, no goals (other than to have a good time and meet people), and with a bag full of thank you swag to give out. If they had a Eve Store roundtable I would not attend. Turns out they didn't have one anyway. And the only time I entered the Eve Store section was to pay for the Incarna print I bought for charity. And Hilmar showed up and we had another great conversation. So even that worked out.

Fanfest was awesome. Warp Core Stabs are banned from FW Plexes, a goal I've been working on for a very long time. Once again I managed to affect change in the game by using good natured humor, memes, and activism and not by angry trolling. In addition, soon Logistics will be included on killmails as well, so that is yet another goal that we've managed to accomplish. This Fanfest was already looking up before it even started. Except for the fact that I had 400 printed Ban WCS stickers! I still gave them all away. During the Faction Warfare and Low Sec roundtable the CCP employees attending were sticking them all over themselves. It was good fun.

Which is how I think all things associated with Eve, CCP and the community should be - good fun. 

While it was obvious that some of the air from the recent layoffs still hung in the atmosphere, it was also obvious that something had changed from last year. Perhaps it was seeing CCP Mimic and nearly crying when I saw she was pregnant. Or talking with Seagull about Weegull. Or having dinner out with CCP PointyBits and hearing him sounding a lot like myself when I was his age. Or the conversation that happened after I told Hilmar that I was the owner of the Incarna key art and why I selected that one. Which is a good story, so let me tell you.

Incarna was not when I started playing Eve, I started back in 2008 right before Empyrean Age. However Incarna was when I started really playing Eve. On all fronts. That was the Summer of Rage for many Eve players, but for me it was the summer of activism. That's when I started putting hats on Avatars. (Another Eve in-game accomplishment - hats!) That's when I started trying to affect change, when many of us tried, by activating the community towards one goal. Beyond just more ships, or balance changes, but towards more lofty goals. Perhaps, together, we could change more than just the things inside the game. Maybe, just maybe, we could change more. Which I think any sane person, looking back over the past seven years of Eve would have to admit worked. Lots has changed.

The other side of that reason has to do with failure. Something I am personally familiar with. It's funny how many people fear failure, or see it as a weakness, when the opposite is true. Without taking risks there can be no reward, and whenever you take risks you risk failure. The cool thing about failure is that you learn more from it than you do success. And those lessons stick with you. To me Incarna was a a giant failure, a misstep, and a very valuable lesson. In hindsight it is obvious that mistakes were made and that CCP had stepped off the path at some point. But instead of quitting, they managed to pull themselves back onto the right path and re-commit to making Eve better. It is no mistake that the game itself, and the community around it, are both stronger now than we were before Incarna.

So that's why I wanted the key art. And why it will be hanging on my wall here shortly. A constant reminder.

I had a lot of conversations at Fanfest. And all of them were positive. There are some things I cannot share with you now, but I can tell you that I am optimistic and encouraged. CCP is clearly invested in Eve's success long-term, perhaps Eve will live forever. I think that is actually something that people are clearly considering right now. CCP is also trying to focus on making games and finally admitting that perhaps other people can be allowed to do the things that they shouldn't be doing. This is the reason why Eve-NT will be handling the AT this year. And they should be. Nashh and his team have worked their asses off for this opportunity. (Nashh in particular as you saw during CCP Games Games!) And perhaps this direction will lead to other things down the road.

Personally I'm excited about the new Triglavian space and the mutant modules that will come from it. There is concern that "enchantment" could get out of control, so we'll have to keep our eyes open - but that is a concern for the Devs as well. So we're not alone in that concern. The space excites me because it is a playground for new technology and a preview of sorts for the next level of Eve itself. Eventually all of Eve will be re-built using the technology that is being developed in Triglavian space. And that is exciting to think about. Intelligent AI, atmospheric effects, and more will be on display and tried out. Potentially, down the road, this could lead to line-of-sight, improved navigation controls, and much more.

As I've said before they could seriously stop making improvements to Eve and I'd still keep playing. I'm good to go. But I understand that is not a good business decision, so constant improvements and changes are a fact of life.

After this Fanfest I'm more excited than ever about the direction that Eve is headed in. And more confident than ever in the people driving that direction.

Onward and upward.



Fanfest 2018

o7Show
On the o7 Show Set, I miss the o7 Show
Liz and I are leaving this week for Iceland so the blog will most likely be quiet until we get back. This is will be our third trip to Fanfest, and as I quickly learned back in 2015, blogging from Fanfest is not for me. I will of course be active on Twitter at #tweetfleet and various other places with photos, updates, stories, and tales from the 15th Anniversary of Eve.

The last two times we arrived slightly before Fanfest and stayed a few days after to see more of Iceland. This time we decided to arrive a week early and get all of our sightseeing in before all the drinking, talking, standing, and handing out of swag. I think this plan will work better. But we shall see.

Last year I printed 1,200 postcards and several hundred stickers to hand out. This year we went with the stickers. I printed enough so that 1,200 Fanfest bags will have a sticker in them from me. In addition I have more to personally hand-out, along with a few hats, and a selection of custom printed t-shirts for the A Band Apart Alliance mates that will be there. Another year of us giving back to the community, along with everything else we do during the course of the year. This community stood up and helped us when we truly needed it, and we won't ever forget that.

Liz is extremely excited because she managed to snag two tickets to see Bjork's dress rehearsal for her new concert while we are in Iceland. It should be incredible and I'm also looking forward to it, seeing her in a small venue in her native Iceland is a once in a lifetime chance. So that is very cool.

We plan on seeing even more of the Island, places we missed previously, or places that we want to explore more. We're taking a GoPro with us this time, so I'm hopeful that we'll capture some awesome video as well as our usual photography. The snowmobile trip on the glacier should be a highlight and I'm personally excited to finally get a chance to ride one. As a motorcycle rider it has been a lifelong dream, so I can't wait.

I also have Eve reasons for going. Obviously the 15th Anniversary and the new stuff that I'm sure will be announced. And meeting all of our friends again, or for the first time. It is getting harder and harder to imagine not going to Fanfest each year. 

We miss everyone. And we're looking forward to seeing everyone again. Old friends and new ones.

Look for us and do not hesitate to come up and introduce yourself. Please.

Until then...



WCS Banned?!?!?


From CCP Fozzie:
Hello spacefriends and happy Easter!
 Today we are excited to begin gathering feedback on a change we have planned for release in one of our upcoming Q2 2018 releases. This change specifically impacts factional warfare and the restrictions around entering FW capture complexes.

Warp Core Stabilizers are an extremely powerful tool for evasion, which can sometimes have a place in a game like EVE. However since the proper functioning of the Factional Warfare capture system requires pilots to trade a certain amount of risk (spending time at a spot in lowsec with a system-wide beacon making you easy to find) for a reward (FW warzone control for your faction, LP and opportunities for enjoyable PVP for you) we believe that warp core stabs skew that balance too far in the direction of reduced risk. These modules are also a significant part of the strategies employed by botters in FW space, which provides increased motivation for us to put some extra restrictions on them.
Our current plan is to disallow any ship with a warp core stab fitted from passing through a FW capture complex acceleration gate.
We are also considering the option of disallowing ships with a cloak fitted to pass through as well for similar reasons (we believe that cloak restrictions would have an even bigger impact on botters than stabs), but we’re less sure about extending these blocks to cloaks and we’re very interested in your feedback on that option.

We are aware that there will still be ways for warp core stabs to be used in FW even after these changes (including using them at the unrestricted large complexes and refitting with a depot inside the complex). We will not consider these sorts of uses to be exploits, but we do reserve the right to make further changes to restrict them later if they prove to be a problem.

We are very interested in hearing your feedback on this concept, so please let us know what you think below.

If this is an elaborate April Fools Joke then, well played. Fozzie has certainly trolled me before, so I wouldn't put it past him to do it again. But on the surface this doesn't feel like a typical CCP joke post. So let's take it at face value for now.

First of all this is the exact step that I discussed with Fozzie and Masterplan back at Fanfest in 2015. An "easy" first step towards mitigating the negative impact that the module is having on Low Sec. Since 2015 that impact has only worsened due to the addition of Alpha accounts. Just last week I encountered 20+ Jackdaws during my roam, each of which was sporting WCS. While this has always been a problem, it has only gotten worse in the years since. Lately it is more than likely that the ship in that plex has WCS fitted.

As you all should know by now, my BAN WCS Campaign was never about getting rid of the module, but only in fixing it. There are certainly legit reasons for using the module in non-combat scenarios. Although I would also argue that, as a legacy module, it could certainly stand some upgrades. But that is beside the point today.

Keeping them out of FW Plexes is a simple fix to a more complicated issue. Changing plex timers would be yet another simple fix that would go a long way towards making Low Sec more vibrant and combat based. Instead of avoidance based, which it sadly is now. Timers should re-set once abandoned.

I've been at this a long time. Hopefully, if this post is true, we could all see the beginnings of the changes I've been lobbying for in-game. That is a HUGE deal.

And while I appreciate the Maulus Navy Issue (thank you Fozzie), it alone has not been enough to temper the waves of risk-averse Alpha accounts that have flooded our shores.

This is a historical first step. Or I've been trolled yet again.

Either way I'll be in Iceland here in a few days.  :)



A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Dock


I will warn you up front that 99.99% of Eve players would not tell you this story. I do not come out of it looking good, smart, clever, or the hero in this one. In fact, I look like an idiot. And a dumb idiot. If you are shocked by my candor, then you must be new here. I've always been willing to share my epic tales of adventure with my readers - both the good and the bad. There are no f**ks in my field, it is barren.

Last night Eve was boring. It happens from time to time. I probably visited about 27 systems and found nothing to engage. Mostly it seemed like Jackdaw Night for Noobs, as the damn things were everywhere. But they were a jumpy, scared bunch of Alpha Jackdaws that ran at the slightest shadow in local. Twitchy, non-fun, bunch of rabbits. The ones I did manage to wrap a scram around turned out to be stabbed anyway. And some Gate camps. And a SC Titan in Aeschee. Yawn.

Which reminds me, I ran into a Shadow Cartel pilot the other night that was stabbed. Our 1v1 wasn't going his way and so he just bailed. I wasn't as surprised as I would have been if he was in Tuskers, but it was close.

But back to the narrative. I know you are wondering how this ends.

Time to log off for the evening. My Dramiel slips into dock... you know that split second when you are docking, but right before the screen turns black? Yeah, thats when the Impairor undocked. Now normally I'd let it pass and just log off, but gosh darn it, I had put some time in and gotten nothing. So I grabbed a Arty Cane and undocked to pop him. Which I did in one shot of course. But not before the Nidhoggur had cyno'd in and docked up.

I warped off and then warped back. But then a transport ship (I don't remember which one) undocked. So I shot it some. And it docked back up. And yes, I now had a timer.

My house can get extremely chaotic at times. Two or three kids, a Father-In-Law, eight cats, and lots of drama can unfold at any time. Such was the case at this critical time. And so I left my chair for a minute to deal with some real life drama. Only for the briefest of moments.

You are probably ahead of me now.

Yes, the Nid had undocked and had me pointed under the timer. All I could do was laugh as my Hurricane toasted. I posted lol in local and we had a brief chat. It was funny, and it remains funny.

I've lost 1,801 ships/pods in Eve. I once died stuck to an asteroid in Null. I once died in a "safe spot" while I was in the bathroom. I once died three times in the same ship in Providence due to a glitch. I've died because my mid-slots wouldn't activate. Or because I undocked without checking my cargo for ammo. Or drones. Or because my ship wouldn't move. The servers have killed me a dozen or more times. (That doesn't happen much these days thank goodness) I could go on.

None of these stories happen to people who fit stabs to their Jackdaws.

I've written over 2,000 blog posts on this blog because I have stories to tell. Stories happen to people who undock and are bold enough to make things happen. Nothing happens when you are trying to be safe.

Be bold. Don't be afraid. It's all just pixels.

I can't wait to log on tonight and see what happens next.





Firetail Encounter Illustration

Firetail Encounter Illustration
Click to embiggen
This one has been sitting around half-finished for over a year. Today I had some time to finally finish it. I have a dozen or more of these unfinished pieces just waiting around for me to have time to finish them. 

Enjoy!

I also created an Alternative Version:
Firetail Encounter Alternative
Click to embiggen



Come Fly With Us


If you've ever considered one day flying in an Alliance Tournament and making a run for the championship - maybe today is the day to finally take that step.

My Alliance, A Band Apart, is currently forming up our team for this year's Alliance Tournament run. We are practicing every week and getting ready for the big push after Fanfest. As always this time of year I write a blog post reminding people that if you want to play - now is the time to jump onboard. We don't know what the deadline will be this year but it is typically around May, so you only have a few weeks left to make your decision.

In my opinion that decision should be to come join our team. Especially if you come from a smaller Alliance or one that isn't planning on participating - or if you come from a larger Alliance and don't think you'll make your own team. I mean, there are only so many spots available. And not everyone is willing to give all pilots a chance. Those damn bitter vets man. That is not the way we build a team. Heck some of our pilots never did the things they did in the AT before they joined our team and started learning with us. FCs, Team Captains, Tackle, Logistics, all roles are constantly learning and practicing until they git gud.

It takes dedication, commitment and time to make the team. There are no shortcuts. But glory awaits those that take on the challenge. We came close to breaking into the final group last year and finished 11th. The year before we finished 14th. The year before that we lost both matches. Our intention is to do even better this year and maybe, with your help, break into the final four.

If you are interested in joining our team - send me an in-game mail about it and let's talk.

I can tell you this, there isn't anything else like it in New Eden. Flying with your teammates, winning the tough fight, the anticipation of your next match - it isn't like anything else you can do in Eve.

Think about it. Glory awaits.



Moon Pew Pew

Pirate Athanor
What won't I shoot at!?!
So let me get this straight, we have a gigantic laser mounted on a structure that can shoot a very large chunk out of a Moon and drag it into orbit? Oh yes please, sign me up.

I know this is old news for you Industry minded pilots out there, but remember we are Pirates and it takes time for new technology to filter down to our level. We don't get all the fancy state-of-the-art High Sec gear out in lawless space until a few months down the road and then it takes us time to cobble together enough stolen goods to pay for third-rate merch - but eventually we just have to try it.

So why would a bunch of Pirates have a Moon shooting thing? Same reason we have Citadels. To learn the mechanics it is best to use the mechanics yourself. And second, these things are content creators just by being in space. They have guns and you can fly them! And then lastly, they do provide revenue. Even though we are scum-sucking Pirates, we also need revenue.

There is literally no downside. And it is just cool.

Which is the best reason of all.



Amusing Alpha Accounts

Last Night

People are funny. And they only continue to get weirder and weirder. Now that you can play for free and essentially pay your way into almost any ship, without actually putting any time in - things are only getting weirder. Someone on Discord the other day pointed out the killboard of a young player who is 0-97 and all of the losses are what even a hardened vet would consider significant ships. Like a Rorqual pilot warping to a HS gate and then losing another Rorqual later the same day.

Unlike most people who are screaming "Eve is Dying" over on r/eve or somewhere, I personally find these people amusing and I wish we had more of them. Send more paramedics! (You may not get that reference) Look, let's be honest here. Eve is not for everyone in its current iteration. Lots of these people popping in and spending cash on get quick schemes are going to fail out. But a few will stick. Hopefully the churn will keep the wheels spinning. And in the meantime, they sure are a blast to run into in local.

Beyond killmails, these new players have added to the local flavor. While new players typically don't have a good grasp on Eve's history, some of these Alpha's take that idea to new heights. I've honestly never run into a player-stranger that didn't want to know anything before. I often offer advice or counseling to fellow pilots after a fight, the typical response is either cold silence or thoughtful banter. Lately though a new level of weird and completely unearned arrogance has appeared. A couple weeks ago I had a player with about 200 kills to his name berate me in local. And while that is certainly amusing, I also find it a bit troublesome. Yes, that used to happen, it isn't anything new. It is simply the frequency that seems to have changed.

Which isn't the same as people trying really hard to smack talk me in local. Sometimes when I'm bored I will play along with these attempts for my own amusement. But the quality has dropped a lot lately. Again, it has become more tiresome than amusing. Although I still find it funny when some random stranger thinks he is God's gift to smack talk. Seriously dude, you are the 147th person to use that line. And no my Corp of 319 Pirates is not intimidated by you or the three other pilots in your little Corporation.  Sorry.

News flash - you are not going to be able to smack talk me. It doesn't work. The Mittani has tried. Grath has tried. And pretty much every other asshole in Eve over the last decade has tried. You are not going to be better at it than they are.

Another amusing use for Alphas is the obvious Alt accounts. Last week we had a random player-stranger show up in local and start smack talking. That isn't unusual. Thing is, the longer they talked the more specific the smack got. Eventually it was obvious which former Corp pilot they were. The proof was when I called them out... the smack stopped and they left local.

Bless the Alphas and keep them. I want more people to play Eve and stick around. Eve is much better in the long haul and I'd like to see it stick around for many more years. Mostly so we can keep killing Rorquals and Faction fit Proteus'.

Eve is FREE to Play!!