New Shirt: Rifter Swarm FTW!

Ok, this one completes the ones that were already in the pipeline. My goal is to have one new design available every week up to the end of the year and then see what happens. Just a reminder that ALL proceeds from the sale of this merchandise goes to the MDA as a charitable contribution, I don't get anything from this other than the satisfaction of the work.  And the hope that someday I'll see someone walking around in one.


For all those patiently waiting on commission works, I haven't forgotten about you (I also haven't been in my usual work or home place this week either) and will be back on the bandwagon next week.  So hang tight you are not forgotten.


Enjoy the Rattlesnake, Titan and Rifter merch and remember to tell your friends.


Fly safe.





New Shirt: Remember The Titans

Announcing another NEW addition to the growing line of Eve themed merchandise available in the EVEOGANDA SHOP! - The exploding Avatar design called "Remember The Titans".


The design is available in a wide range of Men, Women, Child shirts and gear, as well as some odd scattering of other stuff like coffee cups and clocks (?).  Oh well, I may want a coffee cup with this one on it for myself.


Even if you've never lost a Titan personally, this design will capture the spirit of Eve in your daily wear to school, at home or at the office.  Those that see it will be impressed by your sense of style and clever incorporation of the beloved movie reference in a gaming context.  Chicks will dig ya!


More designs coming soon, so keep your eyes open.  And, as always, tell your friends.  Assuming you have any.




[ Shout out to Illustrator Steve Thomas who has some amazing Star Wars Vintage Travel Posters you might be interested in checking out.  They're amazing. Thanks to Felipe for letting me know about them. ]

RJ's Diary: May 2009

ENTRY 5.29.09


Interesting morning.  As usual these days I jumped into my Crow and warped to the F9E gate in DG and as usual was the first one there.  A few more blues showed up and I scanned the intel channels.  A red Vaga jumped into sys and I warped to gate, locked him down and started scramming him.  We didn't have enough DPS on gate and he popped my Crow.  I went back to station and bought another Crow down in Meetpoint, the only one around, capsuled down there and re-fitted and returned to DG.  By this time a small gate camp gang was forming and I joined up, we warped to gate and started camping.  A few reds in sys, including Taanu the Vaga that popped me earlier.  I wanted revenge, but woudln't get the chance.  A Dominix approached the gate and once again I locked him down, scrammed and started shooting.  Once again we didn't have the DPS to take him down quickly and once again I was popped.  Luckily we did kill him and I got some satisfaction from being on the km.  But now I am totally out of Crows and the nearest ones are 11 jumps away.


I bought 3 new Crows up in Pig Sty and took the Badger up to pick them up.  Made the run up and back without problems and got one re-fitted quickly. Good thing as the reds were still around. A cloaked Nemesis tried to gank me outside the station but he had no chance with me in my Battle Badger!  I actually hung around outside the station for awhile to let him try, just to see how well the thing was tanked.  Once the shields went down I docked and gave him some lip in local.  I don't normally EVER talk in local, but sometimes - especially after the morning I had - you can't help yourself.  Joined a CVA led gang (about 31 ships) into red space, excellent fleet with a good solid FC.  We chased and we were chased back and forth from HED/SV5/F9E for awhile and I got plenty of chances to get my revenge for this morning.  Got an Onyx, a Broadsword and a Zealot.  I think I was also on 2 other kills, but they haven't been posted yet and probably won't be.  Oh well, up to 61 now on the LFA killboard.


64 I mean.  Went on a quick roam with Angor as FC, we popped a Helios at the gate waiting for the gang to form up and I got a Manticore as well.  The rest of the kills were old ones that finally showed up, not all of them but it helps.  We almost got DD'd by a AAA Titan that cyno'd in on us in SV5, but we were at the gate and jumped just in time.  We lost one ship to bombers and one to friendly fire, which I think might be the first time I've seen that happen.  Noobs.


(Funny how things change.  I don't fly Crows at all anymore, I don't even have one in my hanger. I miss those days frankly, I don't believe I will ever see them return to New Eden. For a short period of time in my Eve career I had the perfect situation for fighting and I was way to young to take advantage of it properly. Which never stopped me from trying as you can see above. Oh well, I'll keep looking. )





Strangers On A Virtual Train

We are all largely strangers on a virtual train, the train being Eve of course and us players being the strangers. Granted a few of us know people in the real world, friends, co-workers, relatives, fellow inmates, etc., that also play the game. But largely, we're all strangers.


Creepy ain't it? I happen to know one person in real life that plays Eve.  "Know" in the sense that we see each other in the flesh, share air, that sort of thing. There are those in Eve that I know where (generally speaking) they live. If I was in serious trouble in one of those cities they might come and help me - if I was able to log in and ask. If they happened to also be on-line at the same time.


But this is nothing new RJ so why are you posting about it? Well if you've seen Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train then you know the subject here is... Murder! Murder most foul. Perhaps I am being a tad dramatic, but let me ask you this honestly, if you knew the identity of that enemy bastard that is giving you so much trouble... what would you do?


This came up because it is possible that a -A- Titan pilot goes to my son's school. We're not 100% sure yet, but we have very strong suspicions. And no, I am not thinking of murdering this poor pock-faced teenager! But would I stoop to cutting the internet cables to his house one stormy night during a very important CTA? Would I do that? Of course not. Seriously now, I wouldn't. But some of you might.


Let's continue the brain going here for a minute.  What if that pimple-faced teen was the one that stole your Corp assets to the tune of 25 BILLION? Including a Jump Freighter and tons of BPOs? Wrecking three years of hard work and dedication from the 50 other guys and gals in the Corp? While murder might be out of the question, would a good bare-knuckle beat down?  I would hope so.


I'm not advocating any of this, I simply ask the questions to illuminate the point. Most people think of real world meetings and knowledge of those strangers on our train as a good thing. I'm simply reminding us that isn't necessarily so. Every coin has two sides and, as in all things, I recommend caution. I am certainly looking forward to one day flying to Iceland and meeting some of my Corp mates in person at a FanFest, that would be super awesome. And if anyone I know in-game was in serious trouble in my city I'd come and help.


It is an interesting moral dilemma however and there are many, many non-violent ways such information could be used. Such as becoming friends with the -A- Titan pilot, never letting on that you also play Eve, and learning everything you can. I wonder how much of that goes on?  How many groups of friends are in different Alliances and Corps and share information amongst each other, by accident or on purpose? Interesting.  And it would explain certain things wouldn't it?


Mostly though, let's keep this stuff where it belongs, in the game. The real world sucks enough already, without making it any worse. Get together, swap stories and have some laughs... just don't tell 'em the POS location of your Alliance Titan.







New Shirt: Rattlesnake

Click on the SHOP EVEOGANDA link in the right sidebar!
About a month ago I introduced the EVEOGANDA SHOP! (link in the right sidebar) and added a few lame-o designs with full intentions of getting new ones up on a regular basis. As they say, "the best laid plans" amount to naught.


I haven't been sitting on my laurels though, I've been keeping an idea list so that I could re-launch the shop when I had more time. Well that day will never come, so I'm going ahead and doing it even though I don't have the time.


The first new design of my brand spanking new line is now up for sale. The new line will feature brand NEW designs, not re-treads, and humorous (hopefully) or at least clever sayings and whatnots. The first one features the ever popular and sexy Rattlesnake!  And is available in a wide variety of colors, styles and materials.  Even on coffee cups.


I have a lot more in the pipeline and will be posting about each one when it goes up, so stay tuned for more.


(EDIT: I keep everything, including all the roughs and versions I've done over the years.  Sadly I also have a habit of keeping them in the same folder sometimes.  lol.)

Blog Banter #22: Corp Loyalty

Welcome to the twenty-second installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week or so to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to crazykinux@gmail.com. Check for other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

This month topic is brought to us by L'Dene Bean of Nitpickin's who asks: Why, and how did you pick your corporation? Is your loyalty solid or just until a better placed organization "recruits" you. The shorter version: Who holds your Unshakable Fealty and why?




I can distinctly remember not wanting to join a Corporation when I first started playing Eve.  At the time it seemed like more of a hassle than anything else, rules, goals and other crap to deal with. The whole idea of being 'responsible' to others within a game seemed so foreign to me at the time. It still does in a way, but that was way before I understood the importance of the Corporation within Eve. Heck, back then I was still trying to figure out what an MMORG was all about.


Since those early trial weeks I've been in 12 different Corporations and certainly worked with hundreds more. I've started three of my own for various reasons, only one of which is still up and running (although it is simply a home for my Alt). And even though I've been playing Eve for a little over two years now, nearly half that time has been spent in one Corp - Dissonance. Of which I am now a full-fledged Director and whatnot.


How did I pick my Corp? That varies but the general underlying theme has always been trying to find the place where I fit in, where I can best practice my trade (Fighting) and where I feel as if I am actually contributing to something important. Perhaps something even more important than myself. As silly as that sounds in general, in context I enjoy the game more if it isn't pointless. Just flying around shooting at other people holds very little interest to me, although I have done it from time to time, I rapidly lose interest.


Early in my career I followed those that I fought alongside more often than not. There were pilots that I thought were good at their craft and I followed them into Corps to learn from them and hang out with those they hung out with. All of this in the larger context of Alliances and regional political turmoil, wars and other things that have often motivated me - like returning to Providence on several occasions to fight -A-. But this is how I came to join Dion the first time, I had flown in fleets with several of their members and in many of their gangs and I liked the way those people did things. The Corp that they came from must be decent I suspected. At the time the Corp I was part of was leaving Providence and I didn't want to go. So why not?


There are plenty of other posts on this blog about that history so I won't belabor the point. Suffice to say I've been in Dion almost half of my Eve career and I plan on staying as long as I can. Which brings up the question of "unshakable Fealty".  Or loyalty. Right off the bat, again context, nothing in Eve holds my unshakable fealty. It's a game for goodness sake. So now that we have context out of the way, for me loyalty goes like this: 1) Me 2) My Fellow Pilots 3) My Corp 4) My Alliance. Seeing as how me and my fellow pilots are in my Corp the first three are often the same thing. But not always. Heck sometimes all 4 of those are the same thing. Depending on the situation they can even exchange priority from time to time. But usually I think about myself first, which we all do wether we admit it or not, then those I fly with.


I've said before that I believe Dissonance is the best Corp in the game and I plan on being in it as long as possible. That remains true. What could happen to shake that loyalty? Any number of things which I find pointless to speculate about. Things change and sometimes those changes might take things in a direction I'm not all that interested in taking. That seems remote at the moment, especially since I am part of the leadership team and would have an opportunity to impact any decision. 


To answer the other question raised in the blog banter, my loyalty is solid and no one can recruit me. If I were to leave at some future date you can be certain it would be a choice I made alone and in context of in-game changes and changes in direction. Not because I was seeking greener pastures. I've found a place where I fit in, where I can practice my trade (although not as often lately as I would like, my own fault though) and where I not only feel as if I am making a contribution, but where I really am making a contribution.




OTHER BANTER TYPE PEOPLE:
Chocolate Heaven
Merry Life and a Short One
The Elitist
A Mule in Eve
Mike Azariah

Laser Beam Mules



It isn't every day that dreams come true. Since I was a little pod pilot I've dreamed many dreams, but none more persistent than one day being able to design a new blog banner for Manasi over on "A Mule In Eve" that featured two Mules shooting laser beams out of their eyes! 


Is this the penultimate blog banner design? I can only imagine what might come next, but at least now one chapter is closed and I can move past the Mule Laser stage of my development. I won't have that braying animal hanging over my head anymore.


Go visit Manasi and tell him what you think of his new banner.





My New Shiney Phantasm



If long-time readers of this blog haven't discovered this yet, let me clue you in - I'm a bit of a nut.  I am functionally insane, in other words I'm stark raving mad, but I can operate in normal society.  Mostly.  This mental gift (and it is indeed a gift) has caused me to "go nuts" over many things in my life.  Writing, Art, my Family, my Job, these are all things that I am nuts about.  I am also crazy about other things, like good Science-Fiction, movies, video games, and spaceships - among other things.  The idea of a starship with knives on it drives me crazy, in a good way!


That whole "being crazy" bit was just an interesting way to get you to read this post... trust me.  The point is that I am currently training my last remaining race - Amarr.  Which means Lasers.  Which means new ships and new things to learn.  But it also means new opportunities.  It wasn't long before I realized I could now fly a Phantasm!  So my very first laser ship is the shiney new Phantasm sitting in my hanger.


This thing is a bit of a beast.  I've been fiddling with the basic fit this morning, one version had the EHP up over 40k with very good resists.  But I eventually decided to drop one of the Invulnerability Fields for a Cap Booster.  I could drop a damage mod in the lows for a RC or something, but I don't want to give up tracking or dps.  Again I don't use EFT (Mostly cause it doesn't run well on my Mac) but here is the fit I've decided on for now:


High:
3x Heavy Pulse Laser II
(I have Imperial Navy Multis in now, with Scorch in the Hold.  The Multis give me an optimal of 7,500/4,800 fall off, the Scorch gives me an optimal of around 27k, I don't remember the fall off.)


Medium:
2x F-59 Regolith Shield Induction
( These are Meta 4 versions of the LSE II, they give slightly less on sig radius and almost as much protection 2,250 compared to 2,625 from the LSE II.  With the Cruiser size of this thing I'll take the lower sig radius over the marginal gain in EHP)


1x Warp Disruptor II (Duh)
1x Invul Field II
1x Small Cap Booster II (Loaded with 100s)
1x Y-T9 Overcharged Microwarpdrive (Which gives me about 1,600 m/s not overheated)


Low:
1x Damage Control II
2x Heat Sink II


Rigs:
1x Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer
2x Medium Core Defense Field Extenders


Drones:
3x Warrior II


Obviously I'm not planning on flying this around zero space much, especially when we are at war.  So I also fitted up a Harbinger so I'd have something with lasers on it that I can fly more often.  This is a fun toy with knives on it.  Like my Cynabal, my Daredevil, my Dramiel, my Firetail and the others like it, you have to pick your moments.  But, having said that, you also can't be afraid to undock them either.  I don't want to own anything I'm afraid to fly.  What would be the point?


PS: The semi-finalists of the 'Create a Starship' contest have been announced.  Yours truly was not among them, which is fine.  I didn't have the time I needed to dedicate to the contest and the semi-finalists all seem ok to me.  Judge for yourself.





War Fatigue

"Long periods of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror."  Such is the long, drawn out process of Zero Space Sov Warfare best described.  For the average Joe, the pilots that form the foundation of any Alliance, sov warfare is mostly boring.  And sometimes, it isn't.


For the last month we've been busy taking over a region of zero space called Impass.  I haven't talked much about it here on the blog because... well because it's a War!  And I don't want to be the one to say something I shouldn't, y'know, "Loose Lips Sink Ships" and all.  I'm sure I'll have plenty to say once it is over.  If any war can really be said to have an end.  Think about it, hasn't the war for zero space been on-going since the beginning?


So what is Sov Warfare like for the average pilot?  Most of the fighting and the movement of troops is done on a level far above the average pilot, so it isn't often apparent what the heck is going on around you.  Depending on the level of communication, the amount of time you might be in-game and who is on when you are on, what TZ most of the fighting happens within, the general activity level of those around you... it can be a confusing mess for the regular pilot.  And this confusion can go on for a long time.  Into that atmosphere, almost on a daily basis, interject the CTA (Call To Action).  CTAs are Alliance wide operations, fleet actions, and are called upon all active players to participate.  If you are in-game you are expected to be in the CTA.  (This sounds harsh, but honestly it is the only way to ensure participation.  Believe me, if it was voluntary we'd be lucky to have any one show up.  So we crank the tax rate up to 100% during CTAs.)  If you can't be on the CTA, which happens of course, it is best to log.  Even I have to do that sometimes.


This post isn't about CTAs, large fleet battles are what they are.  And while I am no fan of them, I still fight in them.  For one thing it is my duty as a member of the Alliance, it is also my duty as a Director in Dissonance, and mostly it is because I live in and enjoy the space won by those large fleet battles.  I am a soldier and fighting is what I do.  I can wish all I want that I didn't have to fly in one ever again, but when one is called I'll be there if I can.


The thing about CTAs however, especially ones that last over a period of time, is what they do to the rest of the game.  I know, for example, that since we had a monster huge freakin' battle yesterday, that today is going to suck.  More then likely everyone will be off ratting, plexing, or otherwise trying to make some isk, and no one will be flying around looking to fight.  There probably won't be any small gangs, or roaming fleets up and the chances of Rixx finding a "good fight" are next to zero.


War Fatigue is a big part of it.  It takes ISK to fund the effort of course and that takes time.  Plus every system we own has that friendly red cyno alt in it right now, just waiting for someone to hot-drop a shit storm on.  Which is also a difficult thing to live under every day.  Which is the point of it of course.


This war looks like it is going to drag on a bit longer than many people originally thought.  Not me.  This is the fourth or fifth large scale war I've been a part of and the pattern is very familiar to me.  This'll go on for awhile.  I have to say this though, I'm very impressed so far with how well it has been handled.  Despite the victories and the defeats, the Alliance is hanging tough.  And of course, Dissonance is leading the way.  Mostly without me at the moment sadly.  My Eve time has been limited lately and it doesn't look to be improving any time soon.


War Fatigue.  You pull your boots up and keep moving forward.  The enemy is that way.





For Life: My First Tattoo

My friend and scum-sucking Pirate Nashh Kadavr did me the honor over the Summer of asking me to design a Tattoo for him.  While I am a fan of some Tattoo art and even sport my own original design on my right upper arm, I've never designed a Tattoo for another person.  Honestly I was a bit... intimidated by the idea.  The darn things are for life.


But Nashh convinced me otherwise and now he has revealed the final result on his blog.  Take a look and see what you think of the result.





Getting Fit: The Basics

Getting Fit is an on-going series that examines the arcane art of ship fitting in Eve from the perspective of someone that doesn't troll the forums, doesn't post his own fits, doesn't follow the science and math, but simply flies ships into combat every single day.  If you're looking for the details and analysis regarding ship fitting, then you've come to the wrong place.  This series is about what works and what doesn't work.  In my opinion.


I know I'm setting myself up for it when I write these columns, because everyone has an opinion about fits.  And rightly so in a way, because there is an infinite amount of variety (well almost infinite, it sure can seem that way!) when it comes to fitting ships.  Not to mention the role they are expected to play and what you plan on using them for.  It gets complicated real fast.  And then we have personal preference, everyone likes to fit their ships the way they like to fit their ships.  Granted.  I'm not going to tell anyone not to fit their ship any 'ol way they want, go for it.  But that doesn't mean there isn't a right and a wrong way, or that you shouldn't do some things over others.  This is my blog and my opinion, I'm not necessarily right all the time and never claim to be.  


With that said, I do take great pride in fitting my ships the best that I can.  I fight every day in Eve and have been for the past two years.  I collect fits from my Corp m8s, my Alliance and others.  I constantly tweak them, change them, adapt them and upgrade them when new skills come along.  Fitting a ship is a process, there is no end game.  


Let's start with the basics.  For today we'll take a look at what I refer to as my basic small gang fit Drake.


RJ's Small Gang Basic Drake


7x Heavy Missile II (Loaded with CN Scourge - Ship bonus to kinetic damage)


2x LSE (In this case F-S9 Regolith Shield Induction)
2x Invul Fields
1x J5 Prototype Warp Disruptor
1x Y-T8 Microwarpdrive


DC II
2x BC II
1x Power Diagnostic II


Rigs:
1x Anti-EM
2x Core Defense


Goodness knows there are plenty of Drake fits out there, and this isn't the only one I use, but this is the main beast that I take out when needed.  The resists are very good, the tank is borderline 90k+ and it puts out some decent nasty level dps once the missiles start hitting.  If I'm going to be flying it in a larger fleet, I may exchange the Disruptor for a sensor booster for faster locking speed, or Scram if we are light on that.  The shield extenders are not T2, they are in fact higher meta, because T2 won't fit as well in this set up and would require a different config.  


So basic shield tank question then, why 2x Extenders and 2x Fields?  Obviously the buffer on this tank is very, very good.  Even the Caldari EM hole is close to 80% on this thing.  Cap is stable without the MWD on and even with it on I'm getting over 3 minutes.  Which is usually more than enough.  Balance is the thing here.  In case I'm getting my heart ripped out by a Curse or some other cap sucking bastard, the Extenders will continue to give me some tank while my missiles pound away.  Hopefully my buddies will be able to kill the blood-sucker before he kills me.


The same is true of the lows, again balance is the goal here.  The Damage Control adds more buffer to the resists and the PDS II, which isn't there because it's needed, is there to add even more to the shield tank. 5% shield hp bonus and 8.5% recharge bonus are nothing to be ignored. And the 2x BC II of course are to help the dps.


Variations are numerous.  But the important thing is what is missing, not a single shield booster to be seen.  And why is that?  For one thing, remember that Curse?  Well a Curse isn't the only blood sucker you will face, in fact a lot of ships these days are sporting neuts and assorted cap drainers.  A shield booster only works when you have cap to run it, so a booster based shield tank is extremely vulnerable to blood suckering vampires.  It goes down and you die.  The idea of running a Drake tank like that in zero space is so stupid, I've never actually done it before.  (This is about PvP and not PvE, but even so I leave the booster for the Raven and not the Drake.)


You'll see dead Drakes fit with boosters, they try to make up for the missing cap by fitting a ton of cap rechargers, or shield rechargers.  While this kind of thing might possibly be ok for tanking rats, although again I've ratted in Drakes plenty of times without using one, it isn't good at all for fighting bad guys.


Next time we'll take a look at the Hybrid shield/armor tank BC the Hurricane and discuss the positives and negatives of fitting that amazing ship one way or the other.





On Going Solo

"What good is a reward if you ain't around to use it? Besides, attacking that battle station is not my idea of courage. It's more like, suicide." - Han Solo

In yesterday's post I stated that the Noob player shouldn't fly alone, that he should seek the company of others.  In fact I stated it pretty firmly by saying you "should never fly alone."  I stand by that statement because I believe the Noob player will fail at flying solo more often than not, get extremely frustrated and quit Eve.  I don't want that to happen.

If you learn anything at all about Eve you should know this: Eve is a game of exceptions.  In fact there are few hard and fast rules about Eve, that is both the fun and the misery of the game.  Anyone that tells you something IS a fact, should be looked upon with at least a modicum of suspicion.  They're probably wrong and some smart ass will be more than happy to point of their error.

That is Eve.  It is open-ended and allows for an almost infinite variety of fits, skill levels, experience, knowledge and playing styles.  Such near infinite variety drives some people bat shit.  Others revel in it.  I like to revel.  But such near infinite possibilities can sometimes make the job of the blogger extremely difficult.  If I tried to write about every contingency these posts would be very long indeed.  And no one wants that.

Can the Noob player fly solo?  Of course they can.  Has anyone done it successfully in the past?  Of course they have.  But the vast majority will not.  The vast majority will die and die and die more.  That experience can either be the cauldron in which a great character is born, or more likely, the death of yet another player.  

I love flying solo.  I'm no expert at solo fighting, I openly admit that, but I've had my share of solo kills which I am proud of.  If I had to choose any ONE playing style in Eve at the expense of all others, I would choose to fly alone.  Fortunately I don't have to choose just one playing style, so I choose them all.  I also choose to mainly live in zero space, so the solo opportunities are harder to come by without getting blobbed.  I still fly solo sometimes.  And sometimes I get lucky.  And sometimes I don't.
(Btw, I'm glad I don't have to choose only one playing style, not only do I enjoy doing a little of everything which keeps the game interesting, but I also enjoy flying with my Corp m8s.)

This morning I read a post over on another site about someone attacking a gate camp solo, maybe six or seven ships, in an Abaddon.  He managed to kill two of them before they killed him.  This is a pretty typical example of the type of thing many players enjoy.  And I'm not saying anything about that playing style other than the fact that it is not my playing style.  I wouldn't do that unless doing so had some strategic value, or I was saving a Corp or Alliance m8.  To my way of thinking attacking that gate camp solo, knowing you'd lose a Battleship in the process (probably not killing enough ships to at least equal the value of your death) is foolhardy.  And I totally get the fact that that is the whole point, again I am not saying anything negative about how others choose to play the game.  Only how I choose to play the game.

So my advice for Noobs is to find a buddy.  Not only does it make survival more likely, it also improves the playing experience.  Sharing the experience with friends in a group, or a Corp makes Eve more fun to play.  It can also help to make you a better player.

And if, every once in awhile, you get the urge to fly out into space alone... for goodness sake do it.  As in everything in this game, you won't know unless you try.



Newbie Mistakes

{ TenTon Hammer has a good post on the Top Ten Mistakes that Newbies make in Eve, check it out when you get a chance. Thanks to Dense Veldspar for the link. }


While that list concerns itself with Newbie mistakes in the way of playing the game, I thought I'd run down some of my own pet peeves when it comes to PvP.  Not necessarily Noob mistakes, in that only young players make them, because sadly sometimes veteran players who should know better make them.  These are not in any order, cause order denotes organization and organization denotes time and thought, neither of which are plentiful at the moment.


> Flying your next ship, now
This is the biggest mistake of them all in my opinion.  So big that I was guilty of it myself when I first started playing.  You get so anxious to be in the "good" ship that you start flying it even when you are clearly not fully skilled for it yet.  I see a lot of this around Eve, in low-sec and zero space.  The fully t2 fitted Hurricane with the t1 autocannons on it is just one example.  Seriously, wait the week or so it takes to train the t2 guns, they are so much better it isn't even funny. Now "fully skilled" can vary and is a goal that is nearly impossible to achieve, so let's at least define it as fully t2 fitted, or at least with the better faction stuff where needed.  Fly what you are skilled for.  The rest will come with time, patience and training.  It is worth the wait.


This can be modified even further based on individual preference, some people prefer to fly t1 Frigates and Cruisers even when they are incredibly skilled.  For lols, or fun, those ships are cheap and can still pack a nice punch if fit properly, but that is a totally different ball game.  


FLY WHAT YOU ARE SKILLED TO FLY.


> Stupid Fits
Good grief, sometimes I cannot believe the fits I see on killmails.  With all the information available on-line, especially the huge archive of fits at places like Battleclinic, you'd think people would fit their ships better?!!  (Don't get me wrong here, as a PvPer I'm glad other people are idiots, it makes it much easier to kill them.)  If you are in a Corp or an Alliance ask around, someone will probably be more than happy to help you properly fit your ship, some Corps/Alliances even have standard fits available on their forums.  Even if you fly alone take the time to look at the fits available on-line, at least try to understand the difference between a passive and active tank - and know why you never, ever mix the two.


And here is a free piece of advice for all of you would be killers out there, with very very few exceptions - fit to your ship bonuses.  Every ship in Eve gives bonuses of one kind or another, USE THEM.  While it might seem interesting to put Autocannons on a Drake - it isn't.  If your ship gives bonuses to a certain type of damage then use ammo that delivers that kind of damage.  (Unless you are ratting, then always load against the damage type of the rats.)  Again there are some exceptions to this rule, but if you don't already know what those exceptions are, then you need to stick to the rule.


ALWAYS FIT TO BONUSES.


> Situational Awareness
Be aware of your surroundings at all times.  Watch local, listen to intel (if you have any), have some modicum of understanding about what is going on in the space around you, so that you can make informed decisions.  Ignorance is not an excuse.  I can't tell you how many people I've seen die because they weren't paying attention to what was going on around them, it happens all the time.  Even when you are in another person's fleet, it is important that you remain aware of the Situation.  Every so often it'll save your life when your FC does something stupid because THEY weren't paying attention.


Don't be a lemming.  Learn to think on your feet and make informed decisions that are in your best interest.  This doesn't mean that you shouldn't warp to zero when the FC tells you to, but it does mean you should probably know why he told you to.


BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS.


> Never Fly Alone
In the entire history of Eve there have been a handful of pilots that were masters of solo fighting, and you are not one of them. One ship will virtually never defeat two ships and will never defeat three.  (I know people are gonna give me examples of when that isn't true, and I know that, but I'm speaking in general here.)  The facts are that you should be flying with a buddy or two, or three or more.  Your odds of success increase dramatically when you are not alone.  Believe me I am no fan of blobs and I'm not saying you need a fleet to be successful in Eve, but flying around solo is a sure way to get dead.  No matter what ship you are flying.


There are exceptions of course, and situations that arise in which a solo ship can be successful.  Knowledge of those times comes with experience and time, but for those under the category of this post - nope.  Unless your idea of fun is baiting and killing Noob ships, if that is the case then enjoy.


(ALMOST) NEVER FLY ALONE.


There are others of course, but these are the big four in my opinion.  Learning to fight in Eve takes time, dedication, training and intelligence.  The sooner you start doing it the right way, the faster those things will come to you.  There really aren't any shortcuts.  





Van Diemen's Demise

VDD is a Corporation in our Alliance that hails from the land down under, Van Diemens Land was the original name for the island we know today as Tasmania. (Never say that I don't also provide excellent educational tidbits here on Eveoganda!)  These guys contacted me awhile ago for a recruitment poster/wallpaper.  The harbor that the piece is based upon is famous in Tasmania and is called Bluestone Bay.  VDD is recruiting by the way, and while you should be joining DION instead, if my down under readers are looking for a great Corp I can recommend these guys.  Enjoy the new piece and to those still waiting, I'm working my way up to you babe.


VDD1920x1200r



1v1: #27

No time for Eve today sadly, despite the horrific lag loss yesterday I still would have enjoyed blowing something up.  Instead I managed to squeeze out another in a long line of potentially horrible comic strips for your supposed enjoyment.  I can only hope that somewhere on this planet of ours, in perhaps some remote Wi-Fi enabled corner, some poor tribesman is anxiously awaiting this week's 1v1 strip.  Perhaps he calls his fellow tribes people together in his hut all the while laughing his fool head off.  The tribes people take this in stride, he has always been a fool, but sadly their patience grows thin - 27 being a strangely significant and symbolic number in their primitive culture - and they leap upon this lone fan and hack him into itty bitty bits which they burn in the village urn while urinating on his laptop.


Or something similar.


Click to embiggen, you know you want to.



3 Titan Day

Are there too many Titans in Eve?  That seemed to be one of the persistent questions this week around the Blogging neighborhood.  You already know my feelings on the subject.  As if to prove it yesterday, I ran into three of the darn things.  Including two at once.


Click to embiggen.  Titan One: Avatar



Click to embiggen. Titan Two and Three: Leviathan and Erebus

So Pissed

This is when Eve is not fun.  Not even close to fun, in fact so far away from fun that fun doesn't even have a name.  The people who live there have no concept of fun, fun is an alien word, concept, even the merest micro-dot of fun doesn't enter the bottom most portion of their brains.  Ever.  Since the dawn of time, fun is on the other side of the universe and that is a sad, sad place.


3hrs in a CTA warping around, TItan Bridging, blowing up iHubs and whatnots.  Fine, nothing wrong with that.  Then the promised battle, toe to toe with the red fleet.  We wait on the gates, hundreds of Battleships ready to engage.  Wait for it.  I already know what to expect, so I have everything ready.  Graphics cranked down, brackets off (I already have an overview setting for this, me so smart.) everything tuned down and waiting.  The command comes to jump into system.  This takes awhile, but that isn't unusual.  Then the anti-fun starts.


The worst part of grid load?  Listening to your FC calling targets and other people in your fleet engaging those targets.  For me?  Nothing.  Thirty minutes pass and I can see local, I can turn my mods on and off, but my overview remains BLANK and I cannot control my ship.  The universe is purty, but strangely bereft of any other ships.  Thirty minutes.  I think, "Wow, this is just like in D-G back in January."  Which leads me to believe, despite the apparent health of my ship, that I am probably already dead.


So I log in defeat.  It takes 4 tries to successfully log back in.  Even once I do, things are still screwed up.  But I do manage to finally warp my pod off to a safe spot.  I think.  I quickly re-log.  I haven't gone back yet.  I might not for awhile.


So I lost my Megathron without firing a shot at another ship.  I am so pissed.


The euphoria I honestly felt this morning, that things in Eve were finally starting to swing back around to the positive again... that feeling is gone.  The trust I had in the proclamations that lag had been addressed, and yes we informed the informing things, turned out to be false hope.  This was just as bad as the last time this happened to me waaaaaay back in January.  And we didn't even have close to the numbers in local today as we did back then.


I feel like I live on that planet far away from fun.  The people I live amongst enjoy lag, they celebrate it, honor it and generally seek lag out in their daily lives.  I don't.


Eve was not fun today my friends.  Eve was a bitch and she has an STD.


I did get some interesting screen shots though.  lol.

Finding Treasure

After the lead balloon poetry post of yesterday, I figure you all deserve something with more meat on its bones.


With the war for Impass winding down, but not officially over, there has arisen a new and interesting side venture during our roams.  I know others that have done this before, so it isn't new in that sense, but it is new to me.  Or somewhat new, or less rare, however you want to say it.  Sheesh, you can be so picky about language.  Along our roams we've been finding more and more dead POS towers.  This makes sense when you consider how quickly -A- has had to leave the region, someone isn't being very responsible with Corp assets.


Yesterday during a chase of some reds we found another one right next door to one of our new station systems.  This one was a large Domination control tower with some juicy POS Mods still around.  Including a Corporate Hanger Array.  At this point I have to give a solid shout-out to Eradicator44 (our Corp Deputy CEO) who has, really since our time in The Spire, become extremely good at sniffing these things out.  He did so again and we started the relatively quick work of blowing stuff up.  The Hanger Array popped and dropped about eight fully-fitted ships!  2x Drakes, a Falcon, Badger MK II, and assorted others, most of which were usable.  We exploded the Ibis and the Magnate.  By this time more Corp m8s had arrived and we started taking the ships to station.  I claimed the Falcon for myself, cause as everyone knows - the best falcon is a free falcon.


Speaking of new station systems, we have a lot more now.  The upside is tremendous of course, but the downside is the need to relocate the majority of my PvP assets, which are now located in the wrong system.  So I'm doing that slowly.  It takes time to move 30 odd ships 6 jumps!  Not to mention mods and ammo.  I barely escaped a Rapier pointing my Mega on one gate, turned out the guy was chicken anyway.  But I did have one fortunate timing event, I undocked just as a red Drake arrived on station and we popped him rather quickly.  Total whore kill on my part, but the way my luck has been running lately I'll take anything I can get.  I have no shame.


But it does seem that the bad luck and bad timing phase is slowly ending again.  Who knows for sure though?  I'll just have to undock and see...





oh,zero

oh, zero space
or null, as may be the case
you do tempt me so
between your stars
i must surely go

your sov warfare
and solo fights so rare
you keep my BS warm
and your gate camps
they do so angrily swarm

oh, zero
each win dreams of hero
while each blob
shatters that dream
and causes me to sob

darkness calls
as another alliance falls
ihubs go down
but most systems
remain a ghost town

oh, zero please
you've got me on my knees
and no i do not swallow
like the greeks of old
in the temple of apollo

they say you are a sandbox
and that idea rocks
but the sand is full of poo
and your pvp mechanics
are seriously askew

oh, small gangs
on them the future hangs
but bubbles and bridges
are salty and bad for you
like those chips with ridges

is there no hope?
like an addict without dope
no I say, no way!
ccp will get its act together
surely they will, some day

soon we walk in stations
with all of their temptations
our ships will gather dust
our fighting skills turning red
not with blood, but with rust

oh, zero space, zero space
what an interesting place
your timers still they run
but where oh where
is all the fun?

it's here i found it
and this i do submit
undock your goddamn ship
stop your spinning
and fight, c'mon take a sip

its up to you oh, pilot killer
start being more than filler
quit your crying and your tears
before this space we love
finally disappears

oh, zero space
it's you i do embrace
and now this thing is done
btw can PL
stop being a hired gun


Thanks to Rhyme Zone, without which this would have taken much, much longer than the (edit) time it actually did take.
For more of my wonderful and amazing poetry, try the "O Manti, A Poem to Invisibility"  It's a winner and sure to please!



Lady in Space



There are so many Eve blogs out there it would be impossible for anyone to keep up with them all.  Which makes it even more special to find a new one to follow.  I hadn't heard of Lady in Space before she contacted me about designing a new banner for her blog, but since then I've been an avid follower.  I highly recommend her blog, not just for the cool new banner, but for the words and thoughts contained therein.  I wish her much success.  Thanks for thinking of me, this was another fun project to work on and I'm glad you are pleased with the results.


As always, Rixx's ever-changing Eve Portfolio is here.