A Decade Later: Why Do I Love Eve?

ABA Charity Pirate Fleet

A decade ago I wrote a piece called, "Why Do I love Eve?" that won a contest that my friend CrazyKinux held at the time. It was this blogs first true exposure to a wider audience. You can read the original here.

I had no idea when I wrote those words ten years ago now of what lay ahead of me. How could I? This April my wife and I will be making our fourth trip to Iceland. And later on this year we will be taking our second cruise with our Eve friends, holding our fifth Steel City Eve player meeting at our home, and during it all giving away tons of free swag, arguing about Warp Core Stabilizers and the future of Low Sec, meeting new friends, and catching up with old ones. To say it has been an incredible journey would be an understatement.

It wasn't until 2015 that I met someone, other than my Son, who also played Eve. And in the years since this great community of ours, the friends we've made, and the adventures we've had - those things have gone a long way towards being much more important than the game itself. This was the unexpected part. The bit I couldn't have known about when I wrote those words a decade ago. I get a lot less angry about things now than I used to. Whatever CCP decides is fine with me. The endless arguments about Eve being ruined, destroyed, dead, or whatever just don't mean as much as they used to. My Eve is about people. My fellow pilots in Stay Frosty and A Band Apart, my friends around the world, and those that continue to have a positive and meaningful impact on the game. Both inside and outside of the virtual world that New Eden represents.

I have to log on here shortly for some adventures. But I wanted to link that old post and reflect briefly on the distance between then and now once more. This will be the last "10 year" post I promise. The thing about that original article and today that hasn't changed remains the spaceships. I still get a thrill fitting up a new ship and undocking it into the unknown. That joy has never faded.

I wish, somehow, I could communicate that feeling to more people. I'll keep trying.

I suppose, in many ways, that is why I keep writing and creating.

I sincerely hope that joy never vanishes.

Avenod Fight

Friday ABA formed up and headed to Avenod to defend an Astrahus we planted there last Summer for our Summer Camp. This Astra was in the process of being decommissioned when it was attacked in low power mode last week. We could have left it to die, it was half-fitted and missing fighters already, but instead we decided to bring a solid fleet to defend it.

We brought a Brutix core fleet with Astarte links and 6 Guardians along for logistics, along with support. As usual in Eve you just never know what you are going to get once the fight starts. The enemy came with a Thanny/Apostle with Leshaks and Rattlesnake support to start with, but the situation on the ground just kept getting more confusing. A Gnosis fleet came in. And then our friends in Shadow Cartel showed up to assist with a bomber wing. Which was very welcomed.

You can watch Devlin's video above and get a good sense of what was happening. All in all I thought we did extremely well until their support Leshak fleet came in towards the end. That certainly tipped the scales in their favor and then the Astra finally had enough and exploded.

You can read and watch an account from the other side over on Reddit here.

Good fight.

Plex For Good

Watch [PLEX 4 GOOD] Officer Hawk patrols the streets of New Eden from IthicaHawk on www.twitch.tv

My good friend Ithica Hawk invited me to participate in his stream in order to raise awareness for the Plex For Good campaign to help raise donations to help with the Australian Wildfires. Of course I said yes and our entire Alliance jumped at the chance to help out.

We don't normally fleet up in super expensive overly blingy ships, but given that this was for charity our pilots responded and we undocked some wickedly Pirate themed bling ships for the effort. Yesterday morning I recorded some role-playing audio tracks that Ithica could use during the event (which caused my Wife to seriously re-consider her life choices.) and off we went.

ABA Charity Pirate Fleet

When it comes to events like this, which are aimed at helping real world situations, my opinion has always been - risk it all or go home. Which is sorta the Stay Frosty motto. In the end we are playing a video game and somethings are more important. We left our home base with about 26 or so pilots in fleet and I think we ended up losing everyone along the way. But this is Eve and she only laughs at our plans.

I personally donated a Nightmare and a Bhaalgorn to the effort. Both worth about 4b in total. And I know that wasn't even the most that we ended up donating to the space gods. But I also know that we all had a blast doing it together and I hope everyone on our end had a great time. These types of events don't come along very often.

We also managed to get in on killing a Ninazu and a Hel, so there is also that. I ended up getting on about 15b worth of kills in the effort, so from that perspective it was totally worth it. And in all other respects I believe it was totally worth it. A bit of good natured Eve fun.

The campaign for Plex For Good has ended and we await news of just how much we were able to collect. I personally donated 1,000 Plex on behalf of Stay Frosty and A Band Apart, so I'm really looking forward to seeing how much this community was able to generate.

I was also able to destroy whatever so-called "evidence" the Police thought they had and remain free to fight the good fight for the freedom of Low Sec.


10 Years of Eveoganda

On January 19, 2010 I sat down in the morning before work and began writing with a purpose. My goal was a simple one, to document my continuing journey in a video game universe that I had started playing two years previously. Primarily I also wanted a place to share the Eve based artwork that I had started making. It was a very humble beginning. But I was encouraged by my fellow bloggers CrazyKinux, Roc Wieler, and Kirith Kodichi, whom I had been reading (among others) since I had started playing Eve back in 2008.

What I didn't know at the time was how big of a step of faith writing this blog would turn out to be. And the depths of the incredible journey that I had taken the first step into. So much has changed since that day in 2010. Ten years is a long time. I've written 2,352 posts since then, millions of words, thousands of images, comics, humor, controversy, advocacy, anger, frustration, depression, horror, and all the other emotions. I started the blog as a soldier in Null Sec and transformed over the coming years into the Pirate Lord of Low Sec. When I started writing at 4:30 am that morning I was the owner of my own creative agency that employed 42 people. The value of that company was in the millions. Over the next few years I would lose all of it. I would lose friends. People that were supposed to be friends would turn their backs on me. And I would balance all those years of incredible success with incredible valleys of sorrow. To say it has been an amazing journey is to say nothing of value. Words cannot express the sheer power of what has transpired.

What is missing from that last paragraph is what I gained in return. I will soon be making my fourth trip to Iceland with my lovely wife, whom I married in January 2010. Together we've been to Iceland, Amsterdam, Las Vegas, Toronto, Alaska, and beyond. Soon we will be joining other Eve friends on a Cruise in the Baltic Sea. I once sat in Harpa in the city named after my Eve character and signed autographs on posters of illustrations that I drew myself. I stood on top of a volcano. And we replaced all of those so-called friends with a hundred times more of true friends from around the world. And for the last four years we've hosted many of them at our own home for Steel City Eve.

Over the years these pages have been the base around which I advocated for many things in the Eve Community. From events, to changes in the game, to the on-going battle with CCP over the use of their IP (Limited Licensing Agreements!!), and the banning of WCS. This blog has often been a battleground, a haven for haters, for those that know better, or for those who are suffering. It has started wars, advanced agendas, and been the base of operations for some of the most amazing META gaming the world will never know about. But all of which is true.

At the moment of my deepest despair this great community stepped forward on their own and worked together to help. It was a deeply humbling and incredibly powerful moment that many people still refuse to understand. But one which I will never, ever forget. What I didn't know on that day in January 2010 was just how much I would grow to love the people in this stupid game. How much I have come to rely upon each of you, every single day. Just how much I look forward to reading about your own adventures, your own journeys, challenges, victories, and defeats. And how much missing out on every player gathering we can't join, truly hurts. You are all important to me.

Will I be writing in these pages another ten years? Who knows. Stranger things have happened.

Thank you to all my readers, past, present, and future.

Keep the courage.

Recruitment Post

SF Bare Knuckles Wallpaper
Click to embiggen
Stay Frosty and A Band Apart are growing. We recently welcomed two new Corporations to the Alliance - Average Pilots and Abscondita Stilio - both fellow Low Sec PvP groups. And Stay Frosty itself, after our purge last year, has continued to add new players to our roster. My goal is to continue to grow the Alliance into one of the best PvP low sec Alliances in all of New Eden. Our original manifesto of having one Corporation that focuses on different play-styles has been abandoned and we're now focused solely on two areas - PvP (duh) and the industry that fuels it. Our backbone continues to be Lucifer's Hammer and the growth they have also been having in HS, WH, and other areas. We often see many LH members also joining us in PvP fleets. Which is awesome. (Special shout-out to LH leadership for leading the charge!)

So what does this mean for the future? I'd like to see more like-minded PvP groups joining the Alliance in the coming months. As always our main focus is on small gang and solo piracy, but we run regular and consistent fleet operations often 2-3 times a week or more. And we are busy building doctrines for some unique and interesting side business operations that will continue to challenge the status quo in the near future.

In ABA we don't believe in the "Low Sec is Dead" line that gets thrown around. We believe we make content, if you want a certain type of play style, then you work hard to create that play style. Our members are active, engaged, and constantly looking at ways to create content. Just yesterday one of our FCs found a juicy target in a Wormhole and 15 of us went over and blew it up real good. On Saturday we flew Hookbills, last weekend we flew Minmatar Rush ships in honor of Neal Peart, the week before that we flew Drakes before the recent buff.

This is what we do. We have fun. We fly whatever we want. We don't care about our killboard. We challenge, we hunt, we win. And some of the very best PvP pilots in all of New Eden fly with us.

If any of this sounds like the kind of place you or your Corporation would like to be - then contact one of us in-game. Join the EVEOGANDA or The Frosty Hammer in-game channels, or hit me up somewhere. I'm easy to find.

Let's do this!

The Broken War

Yesterday over on Tweetfleet Twitter I mentioned that I believe the war mechanics in Eve are seriously broken and that it is having a negative effect on players that primarily operate in High Security space. I believe this cannot be denied. And yet, the merest glancing blow to this playstyle resulted in a lot of sudden and unexpected vitriolic expression. It got so weird at one point I had people questioning my bonafides as a Pirate.

Look, I don't give two shakes of a Lamb's tail about High Sec. I operate in Low Sec and rarely, if ever, go into Empire space. War or not. Doesn't matter to me as an individual player. I am also not an expert on HS war mechanics, I focus on LS mechanics primarily. But there are experts inside my Alliance and some of our players do choose to operate in HS. And it just so happens that I am also responsible for them and their playstyle. If you are having trouble keeping up with that logic then I can't help you.

I've documented in these pages some of our attempts at fighting back against War Decs over the past few months. Some of which have been promising and successful. However, all of those efforts did little if anything to stem the tide of constant war. In fact, it appears as if they have only encouraged those forces to continue declaring war on us. Over and over again. Let me be clear here, our players are good. We do not get killed much in these wars because our players know how to deal with them. Me complaining about a broken mechanic in NO WAY means we don't know what we are doing. Those two things do not go hand-in-hand.

What I do know is this. The recent changes to HS war mechanics are not working as promised. The Citadel War HQ device is seriously broken. War Decc'ing groups are putting their own Citadels into reinforcement so that attacking groups cannot. Timers are such that, even should you try, the War will be over BEFORE the attacking Citadel is destroyed. And, as if that wasn't enough already, the War HQ can often be changed during a war. So that you are fighting an ever shifting target. And yes we can argue the specifics about each of these statements until we are blue in the face, but this is what is happening.

My concern isn't about my own playstyle, or the health and happiness of my own Alliance. We're taking steps to deal with these issues on our own thank you. My concern, as always, is the health of Eve Online. And I believe that the current state of HS War is, in many ways, much worse than it was before these changes.

We have an abundance of extremely creative and resourceful players in my Alliance, and when they come to me and tell me the system is broken I listen. The system is broken.

And here is the moment when the writer would offer up suggested fixes and solutions. I'm not going to do that for a very simple reason - I just don't know enough about HS Wars to offer any. And I'm not going to pretend otherwise. I have my hands full trying to make LS better.

I'm just here to point at something and say, this needs fixed.

This needs fixed.

Slash and Burn

There was a time when the system Rancer was deadly. The gate was constantly camped and getting a ship through the system wasn't safe. People adapted and went the extra jumps just to avoid it. These days Rancer is dead. Usually empty. No gate camps in sight.

Have you been through Uedama lately? Or Abune when it is camped? I'm sure you can name another system in Eve that is constantly being camped. N-RAEL, HED-GP, the list is long. I once lived in a system for a few months after Burn Away fell apart and before I joined Tuskers and I lazy camped it myself because the hunting was good. After awhile others started noticing the kills I was getting and they started moving into system, eventually turning it into their own private mission running system. They are gone, but the system remains dead. Even seven years later it is taking time for it to return to its former glory.

Cultivation isn't something you hear a lot about in Eve. But cultivating an environment that encourages players to participate is important, especially to those of us who focus on PvP for a living. It's why we defend our home systems, why we discourage gate camps, why we burn down other people's Citadels, and why we rarely over-hunt at home. Especially if you are in a pirate corporation, like Stay Frosty, it is even more critical to consider cultivation. Because there is something else tied to that approach - our reputations.

It would be easy enough for us to perma-camp the High-Sec entrance to our home system. But to do so would not only drive content away from our home system, it would also have lasting effects on the entire neighborhood in which we hunt. Not to mention the impact such activities would have on our ability to get good fights in other areas. Our ability to get those good fights often comes down to our reputation. I can't begin to tell you how many times a pilot engages me in a fight simply because they know it will be a good fight. And they tell me that.

For me personally I know of several tactics I could use and ships I could fly, that would result in a lot of kills and less danger for me. I could easily rack up the kills and rocket to the top of the killboard. I could do this anytime I wanted. But I don't. Why? Well there are lots of reasons for this, mostly because it gets boring doing the same thing all the time. But also because I don't want to become known for flying the same thing all the time and for being nearly impossible to kill. That would have a drastic impact on my ability to get fights. Heck, just being me already does. The last thing I need is to make it worse.

I'm not judging other players choices here. Play however you choose. But what I am saying is that every choice has consequences. Often unexpected consequences. And not just for you, but for those in your Corp, your Alliance, and in the places you choose to fly.

I often joke that I attack everything in space I come across. And generally speaking that is true. But in reality I will often not attack a target so I become less predictable, encourage that pilot to return (hopefully in something bigger), and to cultivate the system I happen to be in.

A big part of success in Eve is in creating an environment in which you get what you want. I want good fights. I want my Corp/Alliance to prosper. And stewardship of that environment, our reputation, and our ability to find targets worthy of fighting - is a huge part of getting what I want.

I think it would be better if more people, especially those of us in leadership roles, thought this way about the place in which they choose to play this game of ours.

Empyrean Chronicles Book

Speaking of projects some new players may not have heard about, back in June 2016 I released a book of Eve Fan Fiction and Fan Art called Empyrean Chronicles. You can still download a PDF copy for yourself using this link.

I'm extremely proud of this project and the fact that I put it all together and made it available to the community for FREE. I was hoping it would turn into a more regular project, but the time and energy needed to produce it - also for FREE - was something that just wasn't sustainable.

I do have another book I'm working on however. But this one will take more time. Although I do hope to release it later this year. It will be my last book and will incorporate my story, my art, and other things into one collection. I was hoping that project would be done with the cooperation of certain people who live in Iceland, but as many of you already know they aren't interested unless you are a journalist from the Northwest. Don't even get me started on hypocrisy. This is not the week for that discussion.

Anyway, if you don't have a copy you should. Download it, enjoy it.

I have a hard copy on my shelf.

Eve Art Repository

"The Patrol" Mural which is on a wall somewhere at CCP HQ (I'm not allowed to see it, so who knows)

Against the advice of my own brain, I've recently started posting on r/eve again. I took a two year break from even visiting Reddit and for good reasons. For a long time there I couldn't even post a comment without getting hammered, threatened, abused, and otherwise negatively attacked. I was personally DOX'd several times on Reddit, my personal and private information being slung across the internet by several dedicated individuals. So it was only natural that I stayed away.

Special shout out to the Moderators who quickly helped squash those efforts back in the day. You know who you are. Thank you.

However, given some recent water testing, it seems that my posts are no longer being summarily attacked for no reason. So I've quietly been sharing my work with a new audience. We'll see how it goes, I'm obviously prepared for the worst. But I think it is worth the risk to introduce my work to a wider audience. After 11+ years of doing this it is amazing to me that, in many corners, my work is unknown. Time is the enemy. And it keeps marching on.

Out here in real life I've started reminding people of my real world work over on LinkedIn. A good friend of mine told me on the phone the other day that he didn't even know I worked on a certain well-known project. So it happens in real life as well. I know that over the years I've annoyed some people with my advocacy, my soapbox, but if I've learned one thing in my life it is this - if you don't stand up for yourself no one else will. And for a creative the pressure is even more pronounced, if we don't advocate for our own work - who will?

And so, with that in mind, I'd like to point my dear readers to my Flickr portfolio. There are over 1,600 pieces there primarily Eve Online related.

Explore, enjoy, share.

Onward & Upward.

A Band Apart: The Next Phase

In a few short months my Alliance A Band Apart will be celebrating our sixth year anniversary. Originally the Alliance was formed entirely by two corporations, Stay Frosty, and my previous Corporation Lucifer's Hammer - which at the time was primarily a home for alts in Stay Frosty. The Alliance was formed so that we could compete in the Alliance Tournament.

It wasn't long before other Corporations became interested in joining the Alliance. And out of that growth came our first philosophy regarding accepting new Corporations. We'd look for groups that focused on areas of the game that we did not, all under the same guiding principles that Stay Frosty was founded under. And this worked for many years and ABA continued to grow. There was nothing fundamentally wrong with this approach and we had many good years together.

But time passes and the strain of time started to show. Especially on the Wormhole side of things, which had always been a challenge for us as a group. The current state of War Declarations in Eve Online means that ABA is pretty much constantly under a War Dec, which can make operations outside of Low Sec difficult. This combined with the different demands on allies, support, and other entanglements presents a constant challenge to those outside the protection bubble of low security space. This caused incredible strain for our long string of WH Corporations, the last of which left us in December. And while we remain friends and often fly together - these changes have led to some re-thinking on my part.

In December ABA welcomed our first ever Pirate Corporation to the Alliance when Average Pilots joined us. You may be familiar with the streamer Joebane Maetheon who is the CEO. We knew these guys for a long time and realized that we shared many of the same philosophies when it came to low sec, so it seemed only natural to join forces. And today I just accepted our second Pirate Corporation to the Alliance - Abscondita Stilio will also be joining the Alliance.

These additions mark a change in how we will be approaching further growth for A Band Apart and a new overall direction for the Alliance. It is now my intention to add a further 3-5 low sec based Corporations to our growing family and build a new, more powerful, PvP/Industry focused Alliance. This will serve to better position us around our true nature, which is what it has always been and help us become a more powerful and decisive force in low security space.

Stay Frosty and Lucifer's Hammer once formed the entire Alliance, and have served as the backbone of the past six years. Now, as we move forward into the future, we will be building on that backbone and adding more friends to help us achieve our goals. And should the Alliance Tournament ever return (see my last post) to help us win it. Which has always been, and continues to be, one of my primary goals in Eve Online.

So to all you independent minded low security Corporations out there, consider joining forces with our Alliance. Reach out and talk to myself or one of our Directors about coming on-board and helping us achieve these goals together.

The doors will be open only for a short time, so now is the time to act.

We look forward to flying with you.

Why We Need The Alliance Tournament

As many of you already know, we did not have an Alliance Tournament last year. Instead we got the World Tour and a series of 2v2 matches that will culminate in the finals at Fanfest in April. What you may not know, because I suspect many people don't run PvP focused Alliances in-game, is how much impact not having the AT last year caused. The ripples of which still echo throughout New Eden.

I do run a PvP focused Alliance and I do hang out with a lot of fellow PvPers in-game. So I've seen first hand the impact that initial announcement had, not only on our numbers, but the numbers of those in that specific community. A lot of the best and brightest stopped playing Eve. Some forever. Some temporarily. But either way, they aren't in the game anymore.

Why should you care?

The more important question here is why should Eve cater to the veteran players at all? Since it was primarily veterans that decided to step away from the game? We're focused on new players these days, CCP needs more new players to keep the wheels turning. We should be focused on them. And I don't fundamentally disagree, new players are great and I think we need more as well. The NPE has sucked for years and any improvements are more than welcome. But we can have more than one focus, more than one track. Why bring more new players to Eve at the expense of more veteran players? That's just bad business.

I was a new player once. It took me two years of playing Eve before I started writing this blog. It took time for me to develop into the content creation juggernaut that I've become. That's normal for new players. It takes time. Veteran players on the other hand, have already put that time in. They are committed, dedicated, and constantly looking for more content. In fact I would argue that most of them are driving content. And, as CCP well knows, content drivers are the single most important asset in all of New Eden.

As CCP is constantly reminding us, Eve is a player driven game. If so no one drives the game more than veteran players. We run the Alliances, the Corporations, the services, the engines, that drive the game forward. There is no argument to be made against those statements, they are true.

When was the last major conflict in New Eden?

I recently went and watched a bunch of matches from the last AT. And while this is not a scientific survey, I discovered that about 40% of the players in those matches did not record significant activity on zKill in 2019. Almost half seem to have gone to sleep. And while this is completely unscientific I get the feeling if I wanted to pursue that further the trend would be the same. The matches I watched were some of the most active and historical Alliances in New Eden. The trend might even get worse once you move into the younger Alliances.

The AT brings Alliances together in ways you may not understand if you've never participated. We practice together for months and months, often spending hours together on comms, planning doctrines, building ships and mods, transporting items, developing strategy and tactics, coming together in ways that normal, everyday, Eve doesn't always afford. Not to mention the aspirational nature of the AT for our younger players.

There are few if any opportunities for regular players to showcase their abilities. To get mentioned by name in front of their peers. To perform on a large stage in front of their fellow players. Most of what we do as players is hidden, quiet, noted on zKill, or in a journal, maybe streamed to a half-dozen viewers and then lost to time. The AT is unique in that it provides a stage for players to be seen, to showcase their abilities in front of their fellow players, and to have pride in their own Alliances.

I strongly believe the Alliance Tournament should be the showcase event of every year. Players are more than willing to take on the challenge, not only of playing, but of broadcasting, producing, and bringing the AT to an audience. We just need CCP to give us the tools we need to make it happen.

Eve Online is a better place with the Alliance Tournament.

And it is a much lonelier place without it.

Why Keep Blogging?

As I approach the tenth year of Eveoganda it is natural to start reflecting on the history, the content, the sheer amount of work that has gone into these pages over the past decade. And to perhaps wonder, where do I go from here? Is it even worth continuing? Where did everyone else go?

When I started writing the Eve Bloggersphere was a vibrant, challenging, exciting place to be. I had been reading other people's blogs about Eve Online for almost two years before I finally decided to take the plunge myself. At that time I was already six years into my own companies blog and had written pieces for MoviePoopShoot (Kevin Smith's website), Aint-It-Cool-News, and other blogs around the internet. So I wasn't a noob when it came to understanding the platform, the dedication it required, or how hard it would be to stand out in such a crowded field.

As I said in my very first post, "As the artwork I produced started to add up I began to think about putting it somewhere, and that is where this blog comes in. A place to put the art I do for Eve and a place to talk about the game, how the art came to be, and anything else I can think of. We'll see how it goes."

So here we are ten years later and most of the Eve Bloggers have vanished, my reading list has dwindled, and most of the content these days gets streamed, or happens on Discord. (I refuse to acknowledge Reddit) And while there are Blogs of note still going, Blogging has certainly dropped in importance over the past few years. In fact traffic to this blog has dropped 10x over those years. In 2013 I averaged 4,000 visitors a day, on average. Today I'm lucky if 400 people visit this blog. So why keep going?

It's funny now. But back then when I'd say things like, I write this for myself - people would mock me for it. But it remains as true now as it did back then. Primarily this blog remains a journal of my personal journey as a player of Eve Online. And as long as I remain a player in the game, I will continue to write about that journey. That's what a journal is. Secondly, I don't care how many people visit, or read, or enjoy the blog. I will keep writing as long as someone is reading it. It could be a few people a day, or hundreds, doesn't really matter. I'll keep plugging away. I've always had a tremendous amount of respect for the readers I do have. And I see no reason to change now.

I also take a certain amount of pride in being one of the longest running Eve focused blogs remaining. And while other blogs have been running longer, most of those are not primarily Eve Blogs. Or they don't post very often, if at all. And while it is annoying that when most people think about Eve Blogs they tend to remember ones that aren't even around anymore, that doesn't change my approach to writing in these pages. And continuing to share with my readers.

Nothing stays the same, change is a part of life. Eventually I will stop writing this blog and Eveoganda will fade into the history books. Before that happens however, I hope to continue to write, challenge, document, and have fun playing Eve Online. And as long as that continues, so will this blog. Even if no one else is reading it.

2,310 posts later and still going strong.

You try it, it ain't easy.

December 2019: Best Month Ever?

Drake Fleet 2019
Drake Fleet Undocking
It's hard to imagine that after 11+ years of playing Eve Online that December 2019 might be the best month of Eve I've ever had - but I think the argument is there for it. Obviously a bunch of factors had to be present for this to happen. December is typically a slow month, end of year, holidays, weather, a lot of factors add up to more time than normal to play. Add to that my current employment state and I have even more time than usual for playing my favorite game. That certainly helps. But it was also a month that saw more than a few unusual circumstances pop up that helped elevate it beyond just bone crushing numbers.

I had 185 kills in December, which is my best month numbers wise since May 2015 when I had 222 kills. But December stands out because of the "value" of its destruction, which added up to 19.26 Billion Isk in total. Now that number far exceeds my previous value high month of 14.49 Billion Isk in May 2011 back when I was running the Burn Away Alliance and we were killing Carriers. Remember when Carriers would run missions? So why so much value destruction? Again, a bunch of factors had to happen to contribute to such a high number.

Let's take a look at some of the big hits from last month, starting with the Dreadnaught kill. (You can watch a video of this fight here.)  This was a big score on its own, but what this single incident doesn't show is just how often we were killing these guys around the neighborhood. They kept flying expensive, blingy ships and we just kept blowing them up. That certainly helped the numbers.

The AFK Leshak.  We ran a filament roam and jumped into four or five Null Sec regions generally coming up short on great content - which is Null Sec in general in my opinion. However, we did spot this Leshak tethered to a Citadel during our roam. And while our FC Watson poo-poo'ed my idea of bumping it off the tether with our interceptors, Brrc Flynn of Average Pilots took it to heart and started doing just that. Once he reported back that it seemed the Leshak was AFK we all rushed in to push and bump him off station. We even grabbed his rather expensive pod. Much hilarity was had.

The Athanor Oopsie. (You can read more details here about this fight.)  As we learned later this entire thing was came down to one player dropping a structure were it shouldn't have been dropped without telling anyone about it, until the last minute. The battle, the Athanor, and all the kills associated with it truly had a great impact on the total value destruction of this month.

And finally the Drake Roam.  I took 13 -15 Drakes out for a stroll and we ended up in three truly great fights that we managed to come out of ahead in the ISK War and in the total killed balance. You can read the report for yourself, but a lot of green was added to the killboard that day. And my Drake made it safely back to station, which is unusual enough on its own.

I also had 44 Solo kills and 8 Solo losses for the month. Nothing super great sadly, but some good fights. Here are a few of them.

Mostly however, I think December was one of my best months because Stay Frosty and ABA are both doing well. Average Pilots joined the Alliance and our members are engaged, finding content, and getting involved. As always that means more to me than individual accomplishment.

And speaking of individual accomplishment, congratulations to my friend Lufax for winning December's Hicks Award with 197 kills for the month. I tried keeping up, but in the end my Mobile Depot gambit wasn't enough. Well done and well deserved.

Onward to 2020. I wonder what great fights, adventures, and paths await us in the New Year?

Let's find out.

2019 Eveoganda

In a few short months Eveoganda will be celebrating its tenth year anniversary. And yes, I can't believe I'm still doing it either! While hundreds of blogs have come and gone over the last decade, this little journal of mine keeps me coming back day after day to chronicle not only Rixx's journey in Eve - but much, much more. Over the years I've transitioned from a Null Sec focused soldier in wars of sov to the Pirate Lord of Low Sec. I've tried my hand at various things, failed, triumphed, and finally found my home in the lawless regions leading a rag-tag band of amazing players in both Stay Frosty and A Band Apart. We are a scrappy bunch. We've fought in wars, defended ourselves, shown great tenacity in the Alliance Tournaments, the NEO, and many others. And along the way discovered the true meaning of Eve - friendship.

From day one this blog was intended as a journal of my personal journey. A way to share that journey with my readers and show other players the unbridled truth, good and bad, about playing Eve Online. It often became a platform for change, a place to stand on my own soap box and advocate for changes, to call out stupidity, and to bring issues into focus. At times I may have over-shared, I am after all not a professional journalist. And often my readers demanded to know more. I do not regret a single decision on that journey. I still believe it is my right, as the author, to share whatever I want in these pages. Just as it is your right, as my reader, to decide to read or not.

Blogs such as this one are not as popular as they used to be. Today we have streamers, podcasts, and other forms of sharing that have taken the spotlight from the written word. Writing a blog for ten years is hard work. I'll give you an example. In April 2013, the month I was leaving Tuskers and forming Stay Frosty, this blog had 112,495 visitors. It remains the most popular month so far. To give you a sense of how things have changed, this month we've had 10,774 visitors. Which is fine with me, I've never written a word here in the pursuit of more visitors.

But 2019 is the focus of this post. The greatest thing about this past year was my personal real life victory over my own life. A 14 year, multi-million dollar war that I finally won back in August. That war cost me everything and gained me everything worth having. It resulted in being DOXd on Reddit several times, being called every name in the book, being blocked, losing friends, and generally having to deal with idiots saying bad things about me every time I appear in certain places on-line. But it was worth it. To all of those idiots I say the following, I won. I paid my debts, fair or unfair, right or wrong, I paid them. And more. I paid every red cent myself, on my own, without help. Not a single dime of anyone else's money went into paying that debt. So there. Enough about that.

My greatest memories from 2019 involve people. Our trip to Amsterdam to send CCP Guard off, our Alaskan Cruise, Eve Toronto, and our 4th Annual Steel City Eve which is held at our home. These are the truly great memories that I cherish from the past year. Meeting fellow players, spending time with them, sharing stories, getting to know each other, and forging friendships. Real ones. I care a great deal about this community of ours and I'm looking forward to even more in 2020.

Hanging out the night before Steel City Eve

Presenting Guard with the illustration I made him in Amsterdam

Finally getting to see the quilt made from my illustrations

Hanging out on a Cruise Ship in Alaska with Eve Nerds!!

What a great year 2019 turned out to be. Thank you for reading, for sharing, and for being a part of that journey with me. I sincerely appreciate you.

I hope to see you in 2020, at Fanfest in Iceland, or at the 5th Annual Steel City Eve, or at any of the other events, meets, or in-game somewhere in the coming year.

Onward & Upward.