Legion Solo Kill: The Power of Resistance


So yesterday this happened.

I never post kills in order to shame anyone on this blog. However, kills are public knowledge and this one is sitting on my kill-board today. And, if by chance, this pilot happens to be reading this - please know that I am discussing it simply as part of my story. And hopefully, you might learn something useful that can help you avoid this kind of thing in the future.

So a little context first. It was a very quiet night in the neighborhood. I had started out the evening down in Minnie space from a roam we did the night before. Where we got a few good kills like this Dramiel, and this Gnosis among others. So I grabbed a ship and started making my way home. Hoping I'd run across some fights along the way. Sadly, nothing. We had a few people around in our main home system so I fitted up some ships and waited for things to get busy again. I tried going around in a Comet and stir up some trouble, but nothing was happening.

And then, as usual, things started picking up again. By this time my fellow Stay Frostian FireSequence had joined the party and we started picking up some targets on scan around the neighborhood. But no one seemed to want to fight. There were three Panic Attack pilots in a Drake, Talos, and Vexor but they kept jumping around and we couldn't get them nailed down. A Moa was also around from another corporation. And various ships coming and going. Pretty typical hunting environment. By this time I had jumped into a Stabber since most of the targets seemed to be Cruiser sized and larger. FireSequence was in a Vexor. A couple of other pilots had also joined the gang by this time and both were hanging out next door. (I'm keeping a few details OpSec here by the way.)

I started baiting in the Large Plex hoping one of the passing ships would take an interest in my Stabber. Just so you know, I don't fly Stabbers very often. Typically if I pick this hull to fly it'll be in a Stabber Fleet Issue which is one of my favorite ships in Eve. But I like the Stabber and I hadn't flown one in a long time, so that's why I had picked it. It wasn't bling fit or anything special, just a pretty normal passive shield max damage AC fit. FireSequence thought a target was in a belt and said he was warping over to take a look. That's when the Legion de-cloaked inside the large. Now I had seen the Legion on scan at various times but we didn't know the pilots name and had lost track of it, so this wasn't totally unexpected. But knowing that backup was in warp to a belt and the fact that he was pretty far off, made me decide to warp off for the time being. I warped out to a nearby celestial and waited to see if Fire had landed a target. He didn't. The belts were empty.

The Legion had disappeared from scan. When you've been doing this as long as I have you can just tell certain things. This isn't always accurate, but it sure felt like he was just lurking in the large looking for easy kills. So I warped back at the same distance as before and slowly started orbiting the plex. Everyone else was ready to jump in to assist. I was anticipating this was going to be a tough fight.

Sure enough, he de-cloaked once again and started engaging. My only goal was to get point and keep him from running away. So I burned under him and managed to get point, engage my guns, my drones, and even get a web on him. And that first volley hurt, but with my MWD on my sig radius was huge and I fully expected it to hurt. But by the time all of this was just started to register I realized something else... he was dying. And fast. He turned on his neuts late, but by then it was already over. I overheated the rack and he popped just as help arrived.

While I had done everything textbook in that engagement, I never expected a Legion to pop so quickly. None of us did. And before the killmail arrived we had already noticed the bling in the wreck. We had some questions. And then someone said the magic word "polarized" and we all started laughing. And then the killmail arrived and everything fell into place.

For those of you reading that don't know, polarized weapons produce a tremendous amount of damage. They are awesome in many applications. But they come along with a very serious drawback that must be carefully considered before using them - fitting polarized weapons on your ship reduces your resistances to ZERO across the board. Zero shields, armor and structure resists. All you have is native values. No resist percentages. At all. So any old damage type does max damage against you. And the truly important part of this educational lesson is that you cannot do anything about it.

So that faction resist mod and the reactive armor hardener in the lows? Useless. He might as well have left those slots empty. They simply don't work because he had polarized weapons fitted in the highs. Fitting those has a cascading effect as well, and I doubt either of his two faction armor reps had much of an effect on his armor hitpoints either. Armor reps need something to chew on and this fit was counter to that. Hence he died to a passive AC Stabber pretty damn fast despite being nearly 10x more expensive. (Maybe more)

What can we learn here? First of all this represents a very common and easily avoidable mistake that pilots often make - which I call chasing the deeps. When using a fitting tool it is easy to find yourself suffering from tunnel vision when it comes to DPS. Making a fit that has good DPS is important, but not at the expense of other attributes. This can result in ships with big guns that can't hit the Frigates you are fighting. Or polarized Legions. I would bet that this pilot didn't even notice the lack of resists in this fit. Either that or he doesn't properly understand the importance of those percentages. It happens.

Years ago when I was first starting out a friend undocked an Onyx and let me shoot it with my Drake. His resist profile was in the high 90s across the board. I shot him for a very long time and his tank wouldn't move. It was a great lesson for a very young pilot. Resists are incredibly important and an often overlooked part of every fit. Be aware of all aspects of your fit. Keep in mind the intended purpose and make sure your fit addresses that purpose.

Meanwhile, please continue visiting my neighborhood.



First Capital Loss

Brutix Line
Stay Frosty and ABA Brutix gang being chased by a Nestor!


Saying you are going to start writing and actually doing it are two different things. But here I am. Writing in the blog is a habit, and like any habit, you can get out of it. Other things take your attention. Like forming up a rapid response fleet yesterday to take care of some local business. It was last minute but we had a solid turnout and managed to accomplish our goals despite losing two Capital ships. One of them mine.

As you may remember I have recently started the long slow process of training for Capital ships. At over 200 million skill points there is not much else that Rixx needs to train. So my first Capital on Rixx (My alt has flown an Archon for over six years) was the Moros. Now I have never flown Capital ships before. So I don't know how they work. This was evident from the beginning when I thought I'd have to package the darn thing for transport. I was quickly educated by my fellow Corp mates about how these ships can jump themselves. So I learned things.

I also had no idea just how long it'd take to train the various skills needed not only to fly the darn thing, but to operate the guns, the rep, the triage module, etc.  Oh yes, the triage module. We shall come back to that one shortly.

So ABA is on a crusade to clean up our local neighborhood a bit, flex the elbows, and just generally cause trouble. One part of that effort started this weekend with the removal of a few POCOs. Which is why we brought the Brutix gang. I picked the Brutix doctrine simply because we had a bunch laying around from another OP and I still have my AT Astarte to give links. As usual however, not everyone in Stay Frosty listens and Watson brought his Nag along. Now it was great having it because it made the job go so much faster. But you just know that someone is watching. It is Low Sec after all.

After a few bashes went into reinforcement I had the brilliant idea - if one Dread is good - well then, two would be better! So I went to grab my Moros. Everyone had already landed on the next target so I had to hurry, which isn't easy in a Dread. Once I landed I needed to figure out how to go into Triage. My first attempt didn't work, so I figured I must have done something wrong. That's when the Leviathan and the Hel landed. I turned the Moros around to aim it back at the station, then tried to get it into Triage again. And this time I actually saw the notification. Yes, that's right boys and girls, my first time in a Cap fight EVER and I forgot to load fuel in the Moros.

As you can imagine, my poor Moros did not last long.  And that is the first time I lost a Capital ship in Eve. But it won't be the last. Poor Watson also lost his Nag. After that the Titan and Super Carrier left local and we went right back to business. 

As you know by now, I love Eve. And this is just yet another reason why. It doesn't matter who you are, or what you are doing, there is always someone waiting to take it from you. Especially if you make a mistake like forgetting the fuel. Although, to be fair, it wouldn't have mattered in the end. The Moros would have died anyway.

Hopefully the next one will live longer.


Back to Writing

Waiting on Gate

Hello everyone. Yes I'm still alive and kicking. I just took a month off from these pages to clear the field and take a deep breath. I've been super busy, we flew in the Streamfleet Tournament, we have our own internal Alliance tournament going, I've been traveling on business, creating new swag for the Toronto and Alaska player meets and trips, and creating new art all while trying to get caught up with my very long commission list. Whew. It has been insane.

So I thought it'd be a good idea to drop off the blog for a few weeks. Everyone is Streaming these days, so does anyone even bother taking the time to read blogs anymore? Who knows. I seriously doubt I will ever become a streamer, so I'll just keep plugging away in these pages and keep the journal alive. Even if no one is listening. I do hope to be able to bring back my long dormant podcast someday, but I need some things in my real life to resolve themselves first. Believe me, I had no idea things would drag on this long. (Not trying to be cryptic here, someone is living in my house and they won't turn the damn television off!)

I'll be back in the following days to get you all caught up and discuss some things that have been ruminating in my head this past month. Also we have Toronto and Alaska to look forward too. And I've got a few new projects to share with you in the coming days and weeks. And then, after all that, the 4th Annual Steel City Eve player meet will be happening at my house on July 27th!

For more information on that event, please visit our Eve Meet page.

Until next time.



The Search for 1,500 Solo Kills

Solo Obelisk Kill
Captured this at the moment he exploded!


So I returned to TQ Monday night from my Tournament practice/Business Travel/Real Life break to the precipice of another career marker. My killboard stood at 1,498 solo kills. Two more and I'd finally hit the meaningless and yet also cool 1,500. All I needed was two more solo kills. Sounded easy enough.

However, in typical Rixx fashion, just any old solo kills wouldn't be enough. I wanted them to be significant, important, challenging, difficult, worthy, something other than just another Go Boom. What I didn't take into account was 25 days away from significant game time results in rust, and it also means that New Eden has changed. You might not be aware of it, but New Eden is constantly changing around you. Every day. And when you step out of that change for any significant time, it can take awhile to get back into the flow.

So I jumped into a Firetail and started my journey. I won't bore you with all the near misses, run-aways, warp-outs, scared deer, and other close calls. There are always those. Some days those are all I get. And then sometimes you get handed a perfect opportunity. A blaster Comet inside a plex. I should have known. But I was away for almost a month and Eve moved on a little without me. As I discovered after the fact, this guy is never alone. So what started out as a difficult, but doable, solo opportunity - quickly became impossible. And my Firetail exploded once the Maulus landed.

Next up my trusty Comet. And a 2014 player inside a plex in a Rifter. That was 1,499 solo kills. And then I saw the killmail and realized he was using T1 guns. So I convo'd the pilot and we talked. Turns out he had taken a break and only recently returned to the game. Once again proving that the character age is completely useless for intel.

Alright, so now the magic kill awaited. It was a long journey to find another opportunity. I passed up some easier kills, I wanted something more challenging. How about a Coercer outside a plex Gate? I've killed Coercers solo in a Comet before, so this is totally doable. Unless you randomly pick a warp in distance that just happens to land you right next to the Coercer who also happens to be fitting close range gatlings instead of the longer range guns that Coercers normally fit. I didn't last long.

Alrighty then. I had an old Enyo fitted up, so I undocked it next. And there was a Dragoon in the plex a few feet from my front door. That's an impossible fight.

Ok, let's try a Breacher. A Breacher that finds a Rifter in a plex. Nothing special about this fight, but at this point I'm starting to feel like I'll take anything. Oh look, he had an Imperial Navy Slicer buddy! What a shocker.

The life of a solo Pirate ladies and gentlemen.

Ok, so I fitted up my old reliable. A surprisingly robust Incursus that usually takes people by surprise. (At this point I did consider popping some drugs, but I didn't.) And lo and behold a Comet. It was a good fight and I almost pulled it out, but I screwed up my manual piloting (RUST!!) and got too close to those blasters. Incursus go boom.

And then Eve does what Eve usually does. I saw a Vexor in the Roid Rage and grabbed my Gnosis to go engage it. As usually happens the Vexor ran off and left system. As I sat there considering my next move I spotted the Retriever on d-scan. Not a great 1,500th solo kill, but popping miners is always fun. Plus it has the added potential for being bait. Heck, most of the time it is bait. And then it'd be great to have a Gnosis under me. Sadly it wasn't bait at all, just some poor schmuck with no sense. I did tell him to warp out his pod in local, but he refused to move. So I podded him as well. Low Sec is dangerous after all.

So that was technically number 1,500. But I'd like to take a ruling from the Jury on this one and ask that what happens next be my "official" 1,500th solo kill. Let me tell you about it.

In the next hour I fitted up and flew around in several different ships trying to get a good fight. I even took a Vengeance into a small plex with 5 other pilots sitting in a Novice nearby, but they wouldn't come and play. In that hour I think I flew six different ships to no avail. Finally I turned around and headed home. And in typical Eve fashion, the totally unexpected thing happened.

I spotted an Obelisk on scan. As I landed on Station he was outside... slow boating in from his Autopilot landing! The giant whale was on Autopilot! Gift Horse meet mouth. I quickly docked up and just as quickly grabbed my Nightmare. I could have grabbed just about anything, but I choose the Nightmare for several reasons. First, it can tank gate guns. Second, it has gtfo ability in case this turned out to be bait. And third, it's awesome. (My Nightmare is named "Nevermore" by the way.)

All of which happened so quickly that I had to wait for that two second timer to change ships. Once I undocked he was still boating to the Station!! So I engaged him, bumped him, and started tearing thru him. I did get one nice bump off, but he managed to dock with half armor. I warped off to clear the station guns and then warped back to the undock to wait. I fully expected him to log-off. That's usually what they do. But he didn't. In fact, he undocked and started to align to the High-Sec gate. I decided to engage him on the out gate, just in case he decided to Autopilot out as well. So I also aligned out. Now, I just want to be clear. I had already engaged this person once. He repped his damage, undocked, and saw me sitting there. Mr. -10 blinky red flashing in local Pirate CEO sitting in a Nightmare. And instead of warping to zero and jumping into HS, he autopiloted AGAIN.

Of course, I landed before he did and I immediately aligned back to the station. I overheated my faction prop and waited. He landed 12k from the Gate as expected. And my first bump was pure magic, we were at 16k when I started chewing into him. I asked for help in Corp chat, but no one was close enough to assist. Darkon eventually showed up in his Slicer, but I told him to hold off because the target was neutral. I didn't want him losing his ship to the gate guns.

Even for my Nightmare it takes time to burn thru 250,000 dps. At any moment I fully expected help to arrive from HS, or a Cyno to pop up. But those things never happened. Eventually he exploded and sadly the cargo was pretty much empty. Although I did get two Faction mods for my trouble. His little pod kept slow boating to the Gate, so I popped that too. By the time the Obelisk exploded we were 36k from the Gate, that's how effective my bumps were.

A one billion isk solo kill mail is a rare thing. And I'm going to count that one as my 1,500th solo kill. Even though it is technically 1,501. Who cares? I don't, you don't. In the end, it is the story that matters. And I hope you enjoyed that one.

Now for the next 1,500.


EDITOR'S NOTE: I was looking back thru the Obelisk pilot's killboard today and noticed he lost another Obelisk back in April of 2018 in the same system. Take a moment and see how many Shadow Cartel pilots it took to do what I did solo.

Streamfleet Tournament: Match One



Last night I not only logged into TQ but I also undocked to find some PvP action. Which I did to varying results. That marked 27 days since my last PvP action in Eve. Not counting practice for the Streamfleet Tournament. This started out as a small break and ended up being much longer than planned due to this Tournament popping up along the way. Combined with several real life business trips... well, sometimes time just gets away from you.

Anyway. This past Saturday was Round One of the Streamfleet Showdown Invitational Tournament. Eight teams from around New Eden battling it out. Originally the entire thing was to have aired live on Streamfleet but technical issues with the Thunderdome server and the Tournament Tool set delayed things. So it was decided the best course of action would be to go ahead and have the matches, then have the commenters record after the fact. They wouldn't know the outcome beforehand and they'd have access to the fits of each opponents comps on hand. The video above is the first of these that will be released over the next week or so. It features Stay Frosty and Templis Calsf in the very first match of the day.

Go ahead and watch the match, then come back for my thoughts.

---------------------------

This is a classic example of one team getting totally outplayed by another team. As you saw, our compositions were almost entirely the same. But what you can't see, is just how different our fits and the philosophy behind each comp is from one another. Same ships for the most part, but totally different.

Our comp was built around active and speed tanked Rapid Lights with the Drake being the only Heavy Missile ship. Their comp was built around prop-less passive tanked heavy missile ships with target painters from the Vigil. We obviously didn't know this going into the fight. So we did what our comp called for, we stayed at range and tried to keep from getting scrammed. That turned out to be the wrong call obviously. We did realize this, but by then half our ships were dead.

I knew something was wrong simply by how much damage my Drake was taking. I knew that even under a full team of Rapid Light missile damage I could tank until my charges ran out, I knew this because we had practiced it several times. Shut down the mwd and go into overheated boost mode, kill the other team's dps and survive as long as possible. But in this case the incoming dps was too much for my tank to handle. That was very concerning. So concerning in fact that I actually died with a charge left in my ASB. Which is just horrible. And I feel bad.

After that the fight was over. Could we have won? Perhaps. If we had remembered to actually check the launchers before the fight started we'd have seen the Heavies. Which would have made the Vigil make sense and it would have become primary as we all rushed in to engage a propless enemy that couldn't escape. But we didn't.

Total props (see what I did there?) to Templis for subverting the composition in a way that wasn't obvious. It worked just long enough to screw up our expectations and get us out of position. And secure the win. Nicely done.

The rest of the day would end up going better for us, but I'll save the details of those two fights until the videos are released. Suffice to say we battled our way into Round Two, which will be held on May 11th. So we are still in the running.

Stay Frosty. We might die, but we never give up.



China Will Grow Larger


CCP CEO Hilmar Petursson has been making the Media rounds this past week and recently commented on new efforts under way in Asian markets. You can read one of the many stories about this tour here. As you may or may not know already, China is a big country full of a ton of Chinese people. For a long time the Chinese Eve Server has been completely separate from Tranquility. We never get the chance to co-mingle much, except for a Tournament at Fanfest a few years back. Which the Chinese team did very well in by the way.

Now comes the news that some of that looks to be changing. A recent post over on Reddit has those of us that live in Low Sec extremely excited. It looks like about 2,000 Chinese players will be making the transition to TQ as new players.

And now you know as much as I do about this. But, if true, it does seem to signal the beginning of what could be a very exciting time for Eve. If TQ opens up to more of the world at large maybe that will mean an even more vibrant and varied New Eden. One that might even include more of the world outside the Western one that has dominated Eve for its entire history. And while we are "two years" away from that kind of reality, we do have to start somewhere. And 2,000 Chinese players is as good a place to start as any.

I for one find this extremely exciting. Especially since it seems these new players want to get involved in Faction Warfare and hang out in Low Sec. That kind of talk just gets this old Pirate Lord excited to meet our new friends in space combat.

I for one welcome our new Chinese players and would like to welcome them to New Eden. That welcome will probably include missiles, faction ammo, and glorious 1v1 good fights. As it should.


UPDATE: Tournament

Streamfleet Invitational Wallpaper

UPDATE: The Streamfleet Invitational Tournament has been delayed due to technical issues until the weekend of the 27th & 28th. Instead of two weekends, the Tournament will be held on the Saturday and Sunday of the final weekend. No big deal. These things happen.

ThunderBros

The Thunderdome server was built primarily to give players the opportunity to use CCP's patented "Tournament Tool Set" to hold player run Tournaments. If you've never been on the server, when it is working, it is insanely awesome. The Tool Set allows you to set up Arenas, teleport fleets into position, provide boundary consequences, clean up after fights, and all the other amazing things that make Tournament play possible. And timely. And fun to watch and participate in.

Over the years, and especially since certain people pictured above are no longer involved, the TD server has fallen into... well a post-apocalyptic state. From time to time someone throws some band-aids on it, but generally it has been useless for a long time. Things that are left to languish are not always that easy to kick-start back into life.

And that is the nice, positive version of this story.

Feel free to read between the lines. But I've promised people that I care about that I'd be nice. And I'm trying to turn over a new leaf. So, in the words of Stan Lee, 'nuff said.



A Decade of Eve Logos



In the last ten years I've created an insane amount of things for the greater Eve Community, banners, sigs, wallpapers, and much more. Heck, I've even helped out on a bunch of business ventures, start-ups, software companies, and coffee shops over those years. The other night I was trying to find something and ended up organizing some new work into my running archive. That's when I noticed the logo folder has over 750 individual folders inside of it. All told those folders contain well over 1,400 individual logo projects that I've worked on since 2008.

That's insane. Now granted, not all of those are directly Eve related. Some are for those previously mentioned side-projects. But since they sprang from connections made within the Eve community I organize them along with the rest. And not all of those made it into the light of day. Sometimes an Alliance doesn't live long enough to need a logo! That has happened more than a few times over the years.

So I decided to compile a one-minute video showcasing the variety of logo designs that I've done over those years. Not the best ones, or the most popular, or anything like that, but a representative selection from history and from all the different corners. Alliance logos, charity logos, podcasts, forums, news sites, twitter, and every other place in-between and beyond. I also decided not to include anything real world, so none of those side project pieces. Or any of the CCP team logos, except for one with a monkey, and no joke logos - like Angry Drams. Only things directly tied to the Eve community.

PS: Please don't hit me up for logo requests. These days I am not looking for work. I still do commissions from time to time, but mostly for special events, player meets, charity, and other special projects. I'm out of the Alliance logo business these days.



Tournament Weekend


Saturday is the first round of the Streamfleet Invitational Tournament and our first match is against Templis. If you are looking for information, check out this blog from CCP regarding all the details. Lots of prizes available not only for us competitors, but also for viewers! Which is pretty awesome. You should plan on watching, these matches are going to be good. We can't fly the same ships over and over, and there are no logistics on the field. So that should make for some insane PvP action.

If you do watch, which you should, please root for Stay Frosty. As in seemingly every case, we are once again fighting from an underdog position. We only got into this process two weeks ago, as other teams have had much more time than us to prepare. We are not treating this like a disadvantage however, we prepared and submitted our comps on time, just like everyone else. And we've managed to carve out some good practices to prepare. As Low Sec Pirates we are used to fighting under horrible odds, so nothing new there.

Jin'Taan has done an excellent job of setting this Tournament up and making the rules as interesting as possible. Each team has five fleet compositions that they must submit ahead of time for each day of the Tournament, and each day has its own requirements. In those individual days you can't bring two of the same ship in any of those comps. So that forces us all to be creative and not over-reliant on any specific "meta". One of the downsides of this, for the teams, is that it creates even more of a "rock, paper, scissors" situation. So extra consideration has to be given to bans and what comps to bring to each fight. Because once used, they can't be brought again. Even so, I suspect a few fights will be blow-outs on Day1, but I'm not sure how you can avoid that. Overall however, I do believe that the quality of fights will be solid and a lot different than Alliance Tournament fights.

As always I won't be making any predictions. What I do know is that our team and our pilots will preform exceptionally in each fight, as they always do. I never have any worries in that regard. Our team is experienced and many of our pilots are the same ones that have flown in our AT teams. We do have one pilot experiencing their first Tournament and that has also been awesome. He has brought some new enthusiasm and energy to us crusty old veterans, which is appreciated.


Lots of Tournament experience in that team. Some of us go all the way back to the NEO days.

As always we are in it to have fun. Whatever happens after that will happen and we will ride the results as far as they will take us. Flying in Tournaments is one of the most fun things to do in Eve, at least in my opinion. And I look forward to flying with my friends again this Saturday.

Best of luck to all the teams.





That Time I Stole A Titan


True story. Years and years ago I lived in Providence. I would often log in and no one would be about. As a low skill point relatively new player, my options were limited. As usual, I refused to be bored. So I would often make up things to do. I once flew all the way to the bottom of the map, trying not to be killed. I once did the same to the top of the map. I would shoot Russians undocking from space stations. I would solo camp Gates. I would try to guess the passwords of POS in the region. I got very good at guessing passwords.

I once found the POS that housed a AAA Titan and guessed the password to the shield. I tried to get as close as I could to the Avatar without being seen or de-cloaked in my Manticore. I have screenshots of that adventure. But it wasn't until recently that I was reminded of another adventure involving a Titan that didn't end as well. I had forgotten about the time I stole a Titan.

It might be difficult for newer players to remember a time when spotting a Titan in space was a big deal. When I started playing Eve there were about 17 Titans in the entire game. There used to be a website that actually tracked all the known Titans and where they were last seen, who flew them, etc. Seeing a Titan and surviving the encounter was a pretty big deal. The very first time I saw a Titan was when it appeared off a gate and blew us all up. I also have a screenshot of that as well.

So one day I log in and decide to take my trusty Manticore out into another region to stir up some trouble. (Please forgive me, I forget most of the details.) Eventually my wanderings brought me into a system that showed an Erebus on scan. After some nifty d-scan work I managed to discover the Moon around which the POS was located. Sure enough, inside the shields was an Erebus. Just floating there. This was my first sighting of this specific Titan. No one else was around, so I started trying to break the shield password. Which is essentially a process of stupid guessing. Over and over again. I don't specifically remember how long it took, or what the actual password was, but I do remember it being stupid. My rate back then was about 1 in 5. The 4 I couldn't break were always good passwords. The ones I could break were always dumb. It is probably not surprising how many were essentially variations of 12345ABC or something easy to remember.

I was obviously yelling in Alliance chat by this time. The problem was this was an off-time for everyone else. The other problem was that there was a limited number of Titans in Eve, which also meant a limited number of Titan pilots. I was in a real pickle. I had a Titan!! But no way to do anything with it.

By this time I had a crowd of about 5-6 other pilots with me. We tried bumping the Titan. We tried rousing our friends in other Alliances. Word spread quickly and eventually we found someone who could do it. Maybe. He hadn't actually done it yet. And he was far away. And local was starting to get busy again. The clock was ticking.

I had no idea how Titans worked back then. I figured he'd just jump in and we'd fly it home. But while the owners should have picked a better password, they did leave us with one major problem. Fuel. We didn't have any.

With time running out on us we decided on the next best thing. We jumped the Titan a few jumps away into the middle of nowhere. And left it there. I imagine somewhere in the world is a former Titan pilot who logged back into Eve one day and discovered his Erebus wasn't where he left it. I never heard another word, so I can only assume he managed to get it back safely. Or was too embarrassed to mention it to anyone.

I freely admit that parts of this story are hazy now. This happened almost a decade ago, so forgive me my memory of the details. But this is essentially what happened. For a brief moment in time I had stolen an Erebus. Much, much more than I could handle.

I guess I've been a Pirate for longer than I give myself credit for.



The Fallen Capsuleer Memorial: Update



Back in 2012 I started advocating for the establishment of an official Memorial in New Eden to honor our fallen Capsuleers. The idea sprang from the loss of Vile Rat and several other friends in the Eve Community, fellow players that could no longer log-in to the game. Unlike in the case of Sean Smith (Vile Rat) most of those that never return are unheralded, unknown, or only discovered later by word of mouth. Or rumor. Or just never heard from again.

The longer you play Eve the more this happens. It is, after all, only natural. Unlike our in-game characters, none of us reading this are going to live forever. And for a game that intends to go on forever, Eve Online may very well outlive all of us reading this article. Including your friendly neighborhood Pirate Lord. And it occurred to me back then how strange this must be for our characters inside of New Eden.

I'm certainly not the only one that has suffered loss in Eve. Player created memorial sites have popped up all over the cluster, at the Eve Gate, in Molea, and in a few other places. Often just random cans scattered around Gates with special words written in memory of a lost friend. My concept is not intended to take away from those gestures, or to lessen them. My concept is only intended to formalize that idea into a singular and official Capsuleer built in-game Memorial. Something built to honor ALL those lost and never to return, not only those that happen to be famous, or with friends willing to drop a can in their memory.

The Fallen Capsuleer Memorial
One concept for the proposed memorial, an eternal "flame" cyno
If Eve is a friendship engine, as Hilmar has wisely stated, then part of that process has to deal with the loss of those friends. I personally know of at least a dozen people that have passed away during my time playing the game, and I hate to think of those that I don't know about. Lost connections. Players who disappear never to return. It starts to add up after a decade of playing.

This is an idea that works from every angle. From a lore perspective, from an in-game perspective, and from a real world perspective. There is no viable argument to be made against it. In my opinion, eternal Capsuleers would have already constructed something official in space to honor those that have passed away. In fact, death and loss must be even more terrible for beings that consider themselves eternal. 

I know that everyone at CCP I've spoken to about this supports the concept. A few years ago it was even rumored to be part of the roadmap. And I know Hilmar himself supports the idea, he has said so in person. And he reiterated it again on Twitter yesterday. And while such things are not a high priority, and they shouldn't be, the recent unveiling of the Katia Sae statue proves such things can be done. (And should be!)

So let's get this thing done. I volunteer whatever services I can offer to help make it happen.

“Like a wind crying endlessly through the universe, Time carries away the names and the deeds of conquerors and commoners alike. And all that we were, all that remains, is in the memories of those who cared we came this way for a brief moment.” - Harlan Ellison


Brisc & Real Life

(This post is bereft of fancy graphics because 1) I'm on a PC laptop today and I can't figure out how to save graphics on this damn thing, and 2) I don't want to use a real life picture of Brisc anyway.)

By this time you are all familiar with the breaking news this week that Brisc Rubal and several other Alliance members in The Initiative got into a bit of hot-water with CCP. The former managed to incur the worst possible punishment an Eve player can get and the other two got one-year bans. Which is horrible enough to imagine. I'm not here today to replay this story. Mostly because there is absolutely nothing to comment on. Either he did it or he didn't and none of us know anything about it. Only Brisc and CCP know. And I doubt we'll ever get the truth.

For me however, there is more to this story than the act itself. When I started playing Eve the distance between my real life and the game was gigantic. I never told anyone in-game where I lived or what I did for a living. I stayed off Social Media and rarely even commented on Blogs. The fact that my Son played with me at the time was also a huge secret. We never told anyone. Primarily the reasons were obvious. My Son was a minor at the time. I owned a successful but struggling business. And Eve was the first (and only) MMO that I had ever played. I had no idea what I was in store for.

The journey from there to today is a decade long act of trust. Even once I started writing this blog my real life tended to stay in the background. Originally my Twitter handle was only intended for in-game commenting. Gradually, and sometimes not on purpose, my real life and my gaming life started to merge.

In that decade I've been doxxed several times on Reddit, I've had stalkers, personal threats, my account was stolen three times (once for over a week), a legit criminal once threatened to beat me up, and my personal choices have been made the subject of much debate on a wide variety of platforms. My Wife and I have traveled to Iceland three times, to Amsterdam, to Vegas, and we've had three player meets at our home. With another one coming up in July. (You should come, it is a blast!) At this point there is no distance between Rixx Javix and Bryan Ward. We are both the same person. For all intents and purposes.

This week's events have caused some level of concern regarding that distance. Is this really the smart way to go? But the cat is out of the bag now, you can't put it back. Insert your own favorite analogy here, the point being - is this ok?

First of all, I'd never be in the same situation. For one thing I'm not running for CSM. For another, I've signed hundreds of NDA documents over the years and I've never broken a single one. I know things about obscure manufacturing products that I will take with me to the grave. (Mostly because I've forgotten them.) All of that is true, but that doesn't mean some other situation couldn't happen that would expose the connection.

The great thing about that connection is that it is entirely built on trust. Trust that is hard earned. But trust, like so many things in life, is a two way street. My involvement with Eve and the community is not a secret. From anyone. I just spent an evening with the President of our company yesterday explaining the inner workings of Eve Online and the community. I talk about my involvement, travels, adventures, and how great this community is to anyone that will listen. Or anyone that wants to know more. The rest isn't a secret. I'm an open book.

Years ago a few Eve players contacted my Ex-Wife to inform her of my dealings in Eve Online. This is a fact. And I'll never forget the day she showed up with literally this entire blog printed out, along with whatever else she could find on the Internet. She was so proud and thought she had caught me in a lie. She forgot that just because you personally don't know something, doesn't make it a lie. (I started playing Eve only after we had separated.) My dealings with CCP were in my disclosure documents already. And the fact that I play an online video game? The Judge laughed and we all moved on.

In Brisc Rubal's real life, if anyone mentions the NDA, all he has to do is say, "Oh, you mean that video game I used to play?" That should pretty much put it in the proper perspective for normal humans.

The tunnel vision that Eve produces is legendary. In both PvP and in other aspects, like this situation. But it isn't real life. Rixx is a bunch of pixels at the end of the day. The only thing real about him is the player behind him. And that's me.

I always say that eventually the truth will out. And I believe it. Whatever the truth of this situation with the CSM, CCP and with Brisc might be - the consequences are already determined. We may never learn the truth. There have been other CSM situations in the past that we still don't know the truth about. And this may just be yet another one of those.

As for me? I'm just going to keep on doing what I always do. Keep plugging along and keep being myself. That's all any of us can do. Nothing else will endure.


Streamfleet Invitational Tournament

Streamfleet Invitational Wallpaper
Download the Wallpaper in various sizes!
Middle of last week I see a Tweet from Jin'Taan saying the upcoming Streamfleet Invitational Tournament is two teams short. I hop on our Discord and start asking if anyone would be interested in us putting a team together and the whirlwind starts. We're several weeks late and it will take a herculean effort to not only put a team together, but to organize 10 completely different compositions according to the Tournament rules.

So we did it anyway.

Crazy Pirates. Not only did we manage to hobble together enough pilots but we've also managed to make huge strides in not only putting together some compositions, but good ones. Not perfect obviously, but given how short our time has been - they ain't bad. And they will only get better. We managed to have two complete practice sessions this weekend and those went extremely well. We managed to hold our own. We even got hot-dropped on Saturday. Who hot-drops on the test server?

I like the way this Tournament is set up, it should make for a very interesting set of matches. We need five compositions for each day and we can't use the same ships twice, in addition each slot in the comp is pre-defined. So T1 Cruisers in slot one, Assault Frigates in slot five and so on. Those are just examples, I don't have the rules in front of me as I write this. But you get the idea. And, most significantly, no Logistics.

It's funny how much of our Alliance Tournament planning centers around Logistics. From planning comps, to bans, to actual tactical operations during matches - so much of what you do in the AT is determined by Logistics. It's only natural, but not having to worry about that creates an interesting dynamic that I think will result in some extremely interesting matches. Pure PvP. Face punching glorious PvP.

So mark your calendars and be there on April 20 & 27th at 20:00 UTC. And root for Stay Frosty!

We need all the help we can get.



Why Do I Do It?

Headhunter Vexor Illustration
I was trying to find something on the Interwebs this morning and happened across this (almost) six year old Community Spotlight: Eveoganda that CCP ran about me back in 2013. Roughly the half-way point of my Eve career as of this writing. The funny part is that article ran well before what I consider to be the most active portion of that career. Two years before the 8 poster deal with CCP, and our three trips to Iceland, before Vegas, before WWB, before the AT Tournament runs, before so many things. But mostly before the huge creative output that started with the Art Prints that led to the poster deal with CCP and everything that came after that.

Which just highlights yet again just how quickly five or six years can get behind you. I've been at this game now for over a decade. I've quite literally produced several thousand pieces of art and logos and paintings and drawings and memes and goodness knows what else. Not to mention millions of words here on these pages. You can't move around the Eve universe without bumping into my work. And while that is awesome, it does beg the question - why?

It is an easier question to answer now in hindsight. It is often challenging to see yourself clearly in the moments of your active life. But often, it is far easier to look back and see things more clearly. Perspective is a huge part of that. In the moment we have no idea of how things will work out, what the consequences will be, how our decisions affect not only our lives, but those of others.

For me Eve started very simply. My Son enjoyed it and I played pretty much just to have something to share with him. Divorce is hard. My Divorce was nightmarish and legendary. And we both needed a distraction that we could share together. Eve filled that in both of our lives for a number of years. In those early days I had a business to run and my time was limited, but we had Eve. And I essentially just followed him around and tried to keep things interesting. As his interest naturally wained as he got older, my own life transformed drastically. I lost the business and found myself knee-deep in the fight of my life. A fight which took years to finally lose and at great cost. During that time Eve became much more than just a game. It became an outlet. And not always a good one.

I'm the first to admit that mistakes were made. I wasn't always thinking clearly in those days. I could tell you about the huge amounts of stress I was under. The fear. The pressure. The frustrations. Not as an excuse, only in hindsight. But ultimately what happened was far more powerful. We went to Iceland in 2015 and we (my wife and I) met our very first Eve players. And our first CCP employees. And while much of the mistakes that would haunt me for the next two years were handed to us by certain of those CCP employees (none of whom are still with the company), they would all eventually get cleared up. Or swept under the rug. Or replaced. The real point here is that meeting people was the beginning of a much better time. And launched the second half of this journey. A much better and more active half.

I don't think it is coincidence that my real life has also improved significantly during that second half. In fact, I can attribute it (and I do attribute it) to being a significant part of the reasons why. My real life is under a constant state of transformation, my professional life has always been transforming, and I think it is only logical that my Eve life does the same. As most of us do. The only constant is change, after all.

I've done all the things I've done because I had to. I have to keep busy. I have to keep being creative and challenging myself. Eve just became a very natural place to express those desires. And slowly, over those years, the community and the real friends we started making - only made that desire turn into a passion. Today I can't even imagine life without Eve in it. Without the community, our friends, our associates, CCP, Iceland, our Tour Guide friend in Iceland and his dog, our world-wide network of people that we care about and who care about us. It might be weird to some people, but to us it just feels natural now. And normal.

It's the kind of place where hearing about a CCP employee leaving the company results in us jumping on a plane and flying to Europe. With an illustration I spent two days creating. Just to be able to say goodbye in person.

So that's why. In a couple of months we are flying to Seattle to get on a ship with a bunch of Eve nerds for a cruise to Alaska. And when I think about that trip, I don't think there is anything unusual about it.

Pretty awesome huh?

I can't wait to see what the next five years brings.



Stay Frosty is Recruiting

Stay Frosty Wallpaper
Click to embiggen
In less than two months Stay Frosty will be 6 years old. In those six years over 2,000 players have passed thru our doors, famous players, infamous players, players that have navigated all of New Eden, started dozens of other Corporations and Alliances, and players that continue to impact the direction of New Eden to this day. Some stay. Some stay for awhile. Most tend to come back. Because being Stay Frosty is a lifetime identity that you carry with you. A space family. 

In those six years we not only became the largest independent Pirate Corporation in New Eden, but we also accomplished something that NO ONE else has ever done. With over 116,000 kills on our killboard our Solo and Small Gang balance rests right at 52/48 percent. No one else with even close to those numbers of total kills has even come close to that kind of balance. That's 56,977 Solo kills! 

As you can tell I'm proud of my Corp. Many of our pilots have been with us since the beginning. And even those that no longer play hang out with us on Discord. But like anything that has gone on for so long, Stay Frosty got fat. Fat with inactive accounts, alts, and characters that simply are not coming back anytime soon. You see, we don't have requirements or activity monitors or killboard reviews, or anything like that. But even so, we recently completed the Great Purge and removed half of our membership. We went from 300 members down to 128. All of those removed are welcome to return someday, but it is better to get them off the books for now.

And so we are looking for players primarily in the USTZ. Our EU contingent has always been our strongest time zone, but I need people to fly with in the evenings! It can get lonely for the Pirate Lord of Low Sec. Seriously though, we are looking for pilots in all Time Zones, but our focus right now is on building up the USTZ. So if you are a pilot with at least 10m skillpoints and want to become part of New Eden's greatest group of scum sucking Pirates - then give Stay Frosty a chance.

How do you become a Stay Frosty Pirate?


• Join the in-game public channel EVEOGANDA

Come around and talk to someone about it. Get to know us. Join one of our Public Fleets or stop by Low Sec and get into a fight with a Stay Frosty pilot. 

What do we do? We fly Small Gang and Solo PvP anywhere in New Eden. We have regular weekly Corp and Alliance gangs/fleets, we have an entire Alliance of support behind us, and we try to shoot everyone else in the face a lot. If that sounds like a good time, then stop by and say Yarrr!


Stay Frosty my friend.


Eve is a Flat Circle


Time might be a flat circle, as Rust Cohle mentioned in True Detective season one, but so is Eve. In fact, Eve is even more of a flat circle than life ever could be. All you need to do in order to experience this for yourself is hang around long enough to see it in action. And maybe attend a few player meets here and there. Nothing brings out the weirdness of Eve time like meeting people that play the game over a few years.

Back in the early days of this blog, when I was writing almost every day, I would constantly have to preamble my posts with introductions and recaps. A few longer term readers would get annoyed by it and a few select haters would use that tendency against me. As if introducing new readers was a weakness or something. Thing is, as Hilmar recently pointed out, Eve brings in new players every day. I believe he mentioned 10,000 a month as a number. Granted, most of them don't stay around long (sadly), but that is a lot of new players.

This hits me every so often. It hit me again in Amsterdam. Lots of new players I've never met in person before. The typical hello, who are you? I'm Rixx Javix. And then a blank stare. Hmmm. (I hope we are all on the same page, this is intended as tongue firmly in cheek.) But despite being funny and also humbling (which I don't need more of thank you.) it is also indicative of the flat circle nature of Eve. And also of how little Null Sec players pay any attention to anything that isn't Null Sec related. I was even mistaken for a Streamer by several people, who I gladly let continue thinking that. Far be it for me to correct them. They seemed 100% sure I was a Streamer. And that they used to kill me "alot" back in the day.

I find all of this endlessly fascinating. It is after all only a microcosm of real life. No matter what you've done or accomplished or written or acted or otherwise lived thru - when you meet someone new they have no idea. Unless you are famous. And then you might be surprised by what they know you for. It might even be totally wrong. This is why resumes and CVs exist. Or the entire point of LinkedIn. A small summary of your work life and history. So people can make snap judgements about you in peace without any messy feedback from you. lolz.

And so it goes. And no, not everyone I met in Amsterdam didn't know who I was. But some didn't. And some thought they did, but they didn't. Like I've said before, it is all endlessly fascinating to me. I enjoy it all. And it is part of the process of meeting new people. Establishing ourselves. Sharing what we want to share and holding back whatever we want to save for later. Little synopsis bit of ourselves.

As time goes on it becomes clearer to me how much Eve itself is constantly being churned and rotated around. Eventually it all becomes an endless circle of birth and death and rehashed movements. Both on a personal micro and larger macro level.

Just some musings for a Monday.