Bad Day for Being Bad

Been a rough week. In-game and out. Punched, kicked, stomped, smacked, you name it and your friendly neighborhood blogger has had it done. In-game things weren't much better, bleak I tell ya!! It got so bad I turned down my first ever 1v1 request yesterday and I never, ever, never do that.

That is how the day started. A few days of slinking around trying to keep a low profile and stop losing blingy T2 stuff I shouldn't be losing. Trying hard to get the mind off real world concerns and focused on in-game excellence. Funny how difficult that can be. It isn't as easy to separate the two things as you might think. Reality mimics art, or is it the other way around?

Absolution? BOOM!  Imperial Navy Slicer? BOOM!

So I decided to keep it simple stupid and stick to T1 frigates again, back to basics. The day before I had lost a Merlin in an ill-fated attempt to kill an Ishkur - two of us against one Ishkur?  Ok, bad idea. But today I promised myself I'd stay clear of complications and stick to easy... well, easier type stuff.

I had actually docked up the day before in Lisb, so I undocked to see what was around and was given a free Rifter Cyno gift on station. Already the day was looking up. The only T1 frigate I had in Lisb was an Incursus, so I hopped into it and went on a quick sweep. Mostly people ran away and this is when the thought started forming that perhaps my tactics needed some revisions. More on that later. I did get fortunate in Melm and landed on an Incursus sitting on the Acceleration Gate.

I decided to head back to Hev and give this problem of catching people some more thought. While I was tinkering in station Corelin showed up in local and called me out. I jumped into my trusty DD and undocked. Fully intending to get into a fight. But then my brain actually started functioning and a few of the remaining brain cells actually talked to one another. So I gracefully bowed out and promised to catch him again later. When you are having a bad run it is wise to accept it and be the better part of valor. Good things will come of it, just watch.

Reports came in of a smallish gang with some blingy Cynabals and whatnots over in Osti/Agoze, so a few of us formed up a ad hoc gang to go see what was what. Suli in his Tengu, Kiren and myself in Canes. But by the time we got there the gang had vanished. So we decided to do the loop over towards Heyd and see if anything was cooking.

Funny moment. Kiren and I are waiting on the Heyd gate while Suli is scouting inside Heyd. Nothing is going on and space is pretty empty. Suli warps in to the OMS gate and says, "There is nothing going on today." as he jumps into a rather large gate camp on the other side. His next words are, "Oh Shit"  Sometimes life is good. Fortunately these gate camper doods are retarded and not only do they all aggress, but none of them thought to bring a Web. So he gets back to gate and jumps thru.

We decide to call it and head back to Hev. Kiren decides to try one more system as Suli and I are about to jump home. He calls out that there is a Tengu on station and we stop and turn around, just in case. Sure enough the Tengu follows him to the Sun and Kiren does a perfect align, burn, bait job just long enough to allow Suli and I the four jump time we need. I wait on gate as Suli jumps into Kiren and hopes to entangle the other Tengu with his Web. The moment he calls point I join them with my awesome Arty barrage Cane loaded with EMP ammo and itching to put the hurt down. He didn't die easy, but with all of us pounding away, and my Arties doing upwards of 1,400 a volley - the outcome wasn't in doubt.

I go into detail about that kill because the Tengu we killed was worth almost 4 BILLION ISK!!

That kind of thing will turn your day around pretty quick.

One more story for an already full day. Earlier in my Incursus roam I had run across a FW Incursus appropriately named "Die Tusker". I had tried to catch her but she had gotten away. In local I mentioned that she should change the name of the ship to "Die Later Tusker" which she did right away, being a fan of Eveoganda it turns out.

After the Tengu kill I finished my Final Solution ship and went back out to do some hunting. And Lo and Behold "Die Later Tusker" was in one of the systems. I admit this was a tad weird since I suspect she died mostly because it was me... but I'll take all the kills I can get.  Just keep reading my new friend.

One more Incursus in Loes died to my new tactics before I finally had to call it a day.


This is Eve in a nutshell. The worst of times can change on a dime. The slightest decision leads to more decision. If I had taken the 1v1 and won or lost, that may have been enough for me and I may have logged off. The Tengu kill might never have happened, or I may not have been the one on the killmail.

It is impossible to know what leads to what. We can't see ahead. But I do know this much, nothing happens if nothing happens. And sticking to it is, as I've said many times before, the only way to win.

That was a good day.

The LP Store?

There is a new thing in New Eden. And from what I've been able to gather it involves the collection of old vinyl LPs.

The gimmick is this. In Faction Warfare systems there are these triangles in space that are called Minor, Major, Outpost, and other names that I don't remember. The point being that it takes an acceleration gate to get to most of them.

Inside these triangles are a bunch of rats protecting a square thingie. The rates aren't important because they won't shoot you as long as you don't shoot them. I think. This makes sense, because apparently you shouldn't FIT GUNS on your ship!!?!?

In fact, may of the proponents of this record collection hobby insist that you shouldn't bother fitting your high slots at all. Just warp in and orbit the square thing. Once you start doing that a timer starts counting down and once it is finished BING you've collected some old records you can sell.

From what I hear these records mostly consist of old K-Tel offerings, Greatest Hits collections ( the Mamma's and the Pappa's, Sheena Easton, Yardbirds, Monkees and assorted warblers are among the most popular.) and children's sing-alongs. I could be wrong here and the types may vary by Militia.

The trick is, again this is all mostly from second-hand knowledge ( but my sources are solid!), you can't sell your records until something happens. This "something" is a bit of a mystery, it involves one of the races entering a contest and getting a great score from the judges. I suspect this is like our version of American Idol perhaps? This part needs more information.

But those that partake in this insanity swear you can make BILLIONS OF ISK!! With a 'B".

I tried selling my old record collection a few years back and the guy at the store only wanted to give me ten bucks for them. So this seems like a good deal to me.

All I know is that these record things must be worth a lot. Every time I warp in on someone collecting them they run away and hide.

As for me, I've moved on from LP technology into CDs and now digital, so I have no use for old vinyl records. Expect for the ones I kept. I mean really, ten bucks?! That was an insult.

If anyone is interested I suggest learning more about this LP Store and the profits you can make. But I won't be doing it. The only ship I fly without guns is my pod.

The Unexplained Journey

New Eden is a big place. An entire Universe of thousands of star systems, wormholes, nebula and whatnots scattered across lightyears of blackness. It's a very big space. In all senses of the word.

I've often written about large scale phenomenon and, as I was flying around yesterday, a specific example came to mind which I thought I'd share with you.

Imagine with me, that is all I ask of you gentle reader. Come along on this ride for a few minutes of your time and use your vaunted imaginations.

On or around December 4th, 2012, the exact time no one can know for sure, reports start trickling in from the Null border systems of the far North. Initially these reports are scoffed at, dis-regarded and made fun of.  But they persist. And over the course of the day, as more and more sightings filter thru the chat rooms, channels and twitter, a rather disturbing and unusual picture starts to develop.

At some point a massive unknown object appeared on the deep space probes of one Hulkien Rampart, a WH Explorer. At first he couldn't believe the returns he was getting, but soon found the courage to warp in on the object and take a screen shot. Hulkien was never heard from again, but his strangely blurry image quickly became an internet sensation. The Eve feeds were a-twitter at the image and speculation ran fast and furious.

It wasn't until a roving gang of Incursion runners was surprised by the massive gate fire that the reports gained credibility and new images started appearing. For no apparent reason, a singularly massive object - more than 7x as large as the largest Titan - was moving thru space.

The various Empires went on alert. Militias were called to duty. Increasing reports of gate fire soon began to lead to some ideas as to the object's - now called the Hulkien Object - trajectory. More and more ships plied the space-lanes in an attempt to see for themselves.

The Hulkien Object quickly became evident as some form of alien spacecraft of a design never before seen. It clearly wasn't Jovian or any other known race. It was unstoppable, locks simply didn't work. It moved slowly, but steadily South.

It took days to cross the oceans of space and systems between the North and South. Over that time period more than 35,000 pilots witnessed the event personally. Videos, screenshots, fan-fiction, poured across the Internet. Even real-world press, like CNN and the NY Times, paid attention and reported on the phenomenon. People who would never hear of a place called Eve, heard of a place called Eve.

Eventually the strange massive craft settled in front of the Eve Gate, slowly spinning.

We all watched the Live Feed CCP had been running since the Hulkien passed Amarr Prime. We all saw what happened next and it changed the way we all thought about our place in this amazing Universe.

None of us would ever be the same again. All of us will always remember where we were in New Eden on December 12th, 2012.


New Word.

Carebearaphobia - The irrational fear of Care Bears in New Eden.

And like many of those pesky irrational fear thingies, this one makes no sense either.

It isn't based on traditional definitions of "fear" exactly, because let's be honest here - we have absolutely nothing to be afraid of when it comes to Miners, Haulers, Traders, Plex and Mission Runners and their ilk. They are, as the great Douglas Adams might say, Mostly Harmless.

So from where does this new word spring? And why is it the greatest fear of all decent Pirates in the universe?

Insidious creeping fear my friends. The deep underlying fear that the Care Bear mentality will slowly and inexorably suck the PvP from the marrow of your bones and draw you increasingly into its profitable web of LP Stores, Market Hubs, Luxury Items, T2 Production and the eternal dangers of buying a Hulk - just to make some extra iskies.

What are the warning signs you might ask? And well you should! Be on the lookout for some of the following:

• You warp into a FW Minor/Major to kill the punks in there only to realize the pilot is in YOUR Corporation!

• Corp chat has words that you don't understand in it, like... well, how should I know!! Words that sound Carebeary. Its like the people in there are talking about building things and trading and buying things with LP points - whatever those are. Sheesh. I don't speak Japanese either, but I know it when I hear it.

• You'll know when you warn your Corp mates about it, over a month ago, by saying soon they'd be putting up a POS... and then they do!

• The number of blues your Corporation has, which should be zero, is suddenly growing.

These are some of the early signs. But Carebearaphobia is the slow death, so keep vigilant and be alert to even the smallest changes in your fellow pilots. When you get into trouble and everyone who could help is off in Jita making a "run", don't be fooled! They are trading!!

The only cure for it is good fights. Plenty of bloody, tear-filled death and honest destruction. So grab your fellow pilots by the hand and force them into a gang to go kill something. Remind them of the beauty inherent in explosions, missile trails and rapidly firing auto-cannons. The sweet ballet of death.

The future of their soul is in your hands.

The "It" Factor

I don't have "it".

I don't believe I will ever have "it".

What is it? For that we have to step back a moment and consider the past. For we are all a conglomeration of our experiences. A distillation of common purpose, squished down and shaken but not stirred. We are not today, we are a flip-book of past days. We are a collection.

I'll use a sports analogy. Everyone loves those. I was always extremely good at sports. Baseball and basketball being my primary sports growing up, but I was good at others. But baseball was where I shined the mostest. State championship teams, all-star teams, and I had a blast playing and hanging out with my friends. At first.

As time wore on and I got older, I started noticing the stuff that kids are not supposed to notice. The angry parents, the kid who got to play simply because he was the coaches kid, the little cliches, the bullying, the winning at any cost mentality of the adults and how that slowly, but methodically took root in their children. Quickly, in a span of years, the game wasn't about having fun and good sportsmanship, it was about other things. Things that didn't interest me. For me, I played because I enjoyed it. I had fun competing and being better than some and challenging myself against those that happened to be better than me.

Whatever "it" was that infected the other kids, I didn't have it. I really didn't want it. And I couldn't understand how they could become so easily brainwashed by it. I kept playing sports well into my young adulthood, but slowly I stopped competing, there seemed to be little point to it. And, of course, other things became more important.

I mention this because "it" happens to infect a lot of Eve players. The same group mentality that I noticed growing up in sports is often at play in New Eden. The angry players, the little cliches, the bullying, the winning at any cost mentality. And while these attributes are perfectly at home in our little "game", and goodness knows I partake as much as anyone - the difference is hard for me to balance from time to time.

I only play Eve for one reason and that is to have fun. Goodness knows there are a lot of other things I could ( and often should ) be doing with my time. And while I certainly strive every time I undocked to be a professional pirate and a outstanding member of my Corporation, my decisions are often dictated by a desire to fight against the things it takes to accomplish those goals.

I am in many ways, my own worse enemy.

And that double desire, the willingness to pursue a goal simply because it would be "fun", against the knowledge that it also might be stupid - is what drives me crazy in the context of Eve.

I know that I don't have "it" and that "it" eludes my grasp. I am well aware of what it would take to have "it", but I don't want to fully commit to having "it". Because at some level I realize "it" would take away from me the very thing that makes me... well, me.

I apologize for the self-awareness crap I'm spewing in this post. Please feel free to ignore it if you find yourself laughing at the level of psychological back slapping going on here today. But, if my gut is correct, you feel anything remotely similar in your own experiences - then this wasn't wasted words. And while your past may not be the same as mine, in this single regard, that doesn't mean we do not struggle with the same issues.

Nothing that I've said here keeps me from blowing up ships. But it does get me into trouble more often than not. And deep down, right where it matters the most, I don't care.

I'm having a blast having fun. And the demon of my mind won't stop. In the final analysis I don't want it to ever stop. Those demons make me write, keep me questioning and wondering at the world I live in. Whatever the reasons happen to be, the point is to know yourself. To be aware.

And in Eve, to win at any cost. As long as your having fun doing it.

BB39: A Place to Hang your Hat

The great Lord Jon Worfin once said, "Home... home is where you a wear your hat... I feel so breakup, I wanna go home."

Welcome to the 39th Blog Banter - the community discussion that stretches across the many communities of EVE Online through the use of arcane bloggery. The conversation is open to all and readers are encouraged to visit all of the entries that will be listed below as the discussion progresses. Be sure to leave your thoughts there when you do.

For enquiring minds who would like to know more about the Blog Banters, check out this short explanation or read this overview of the subjects covered in the last year.

After a some heavy topics in the last few editions, this time we'll be taking a more relaxed trip through the thoughts of the blogosphere. The origins of this month's concept come from a suggestion from EON Magazine editor Richie "Zapatero" Shoemaker.

"Some say a man's home is his castle. For others it is wherever they lay their hat. The concept is just as nebulous in the New Eden sandbox. 

In EVE Online, what does the concept of "home" mean to you?"

It is easy to say that "home" in New Eden is wherever you happen to be at the time. Where you hang your hat, or in most cases the primary station in which your precious ships are stored. That's easy.

Having travelled and lived all over the far reaches of New Eden in my career as a pilot, my homes have been temporary, transient, woven of virtual silk and easily taken from under my feet. They've been invaded, hot-dropped, lag infested back-water holes in the fabric of space-time, gravity wells of despair, blood and tortured metal. And frozen corpses. Many probably still floating forgotten in some deep safe spot far from the warmth of the nearby star.

Perhaps it is my nature to consider these dark places more than simply repositories of my assets. It is also possible that my venture so early on in my career into the world of Null space has also affected my belief in a home as more than simply a spot on a map. Whatever it is, my home in New Eden is where I live. Where I share the blood of my brothers in arms, where we die and more often than not, where we kill.

In the early years this meant more than it does now. Null space is a defendable proposition. People want to steal what you have and you want to stop them from doing so. This strong allegiance to a "place" was strong in those days. Retreating to your home system for defense mean the same thing to us all - come home. Shore up the gates and prepare to defend your own soil. In those days this meant Providence, as that was my home. In fact, this sense of home caused me to return on multiple opportunities to once again defend her. First with LFA against the hordes of -A-, then later with Paxton and finally once more as part of the Circle of Two Alliance at the cusp of the "Provi Playground".

My mind is a water-shed of imagination and I can't stop it. I've always inhabited my world in Eve beyond what is presented. The thousands of windows in a station to me are the windows to a world beyond what I see, they represent families, workers, people leading mostly normal lives who count on me at the time - to defend them. I've written about this many times, created art to celebrate it and often mock or make fun of the situations that come about because of it.

But it is this feeling of a greater universe that pervades my thoughts and feelings about my home. Even today, living in Low Sec far away from the politics of Null, I still feel the same way. When an enemy fleet comes into my system, my hackles are raised. When I see a "red" in the station I am not happy about it. And if someone is mining my asteroids, or plexing in my plexy things, I admit my first thought is that they must die. These actions are an abomination to my sense of protecting what is mine.

And sure, it is different today. No one can take what is mine away from me anymore. I don't have to watch -A- drop 27 Titans in my system and steal all that I've worked for away from me. Over and over again.

But my home is where I hang my hat. And where I wear it. And that will never change.

For more BB39 entries, please check out this post.

Happy Birthday Tuskers

The Tuskers turned four years old this week. Strangely enough, and in a slightly bizarre twist, the Corporation's birthday just happens to be the same day as my RL birthday. Strange huh?

Read more here.


The other day a Shadow Cartel pilot was on station in Lisb. He was in a Jaguar and I was in a Daredevil. He yellow-boxed me and I yellow-boxed him back. I said, "So?" in local. As in, are we gonna dance?

I aligned out and warped off to a belt. During warp I said, "1v1 kewl" in local. There were no other Tuskers or Shadow pilots in local at the time.

He lands in the belt and we yellow-box each other again. Once again I waited till he started shooting first to make sure he wanted to fight me. Granted, I usually don't do this, but this is Shadow and they are my friends. I give my friends the benefit of the doubt.

He started. So I started. We fight and local spikes +2 and the Cynabal and Rapier land and kill me. They also grab my pod and demand a ransom, I believe it was 1 Billion isk.

I was angry so I told them where they could stick their ransom demand. It is only a pod and I have more of them. An endless supply.

I want to be perfectly clear, the above was in no way an "officially" sanctioned 1v1 duel according to the Tuskers or Shadow Cartel.

I also want to be clear that I don't actually give a rat's ass one way or the other. I didn't ask for compensation, replacement Daredevil or anything else. I haven't asked for anything. Nothing.

Yesterday I warped in on the pilot at the Sun. He was in a Harbi and I was in my Sac. Instead of trying to fight him, which I would normally do, I warped away.

I won't be fighting any 1v1s with that pilot ever again.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for most of the pilots in Shadow. I have, in the past, often given them a pass when I could have easily have killed them. And vice versa by the way.

The above incident has nothing at all to do with Shadow or the Tuskers.

My thoughts on this are over. I leave you to draw your own conclusions.

What exactly is a 1v1?

According to the Tusker Code, which strictly covers the conduct of all us nasty pirates and which we all swear to abide by - "I don't engage in consensual PVP (1-vs-1's or duels), for I wish to engage others only on my terms, and other pilots may be dishonorable. But as for me, should I ever accept a 1-vs.-1 or a duel, I shall honor it."

This is of course, at least I believe it to be, intentionally double-minded. On the one hand we are not supposed to accept 1v1 fights, but at the same time, IF we do we have to honor them.

The un-written bit of this rule is, in my mind, more important than the written bit. The un-written portion demands that mutual acceptance be given in a logged chat for the 1v1 duel. In other words, you have to be able to prove the existence of the agreement after the fact. This can be challenging.

So it isn't enough to align towards the Sun, say "1v1?" in local and then warp off in an obvious manner, have them follow you, lock them up and then wait for them to start shooting first. That isn't a 1v1 technically. So when they jump their friends on you and kill you, you have no other recourse for complaint.

Granted. I can accept that. They are the rules that I agreed to live by.

But I don't have to like it. And it wouldn't apply to me. I live and fly in-game based on the Tusker Code. I live and die by the Tusker Code. It is a good code. I have no issues with it at all. But I also live by my own code on top of the Corp one. My own code is rather stringent and un-flexible. It goes something like this:

If you are in space you are a target. If I happen to be in a gang and you are in space we will try to kill you. If I am alone in space and you are nearby, I am trying to kill you. Even if I am in a Merlin and you are in a Loki, I am still trying to kill you. That means I will be on Comms asking other Tuskers if they'd like to come kill you with me. Rest assured, I am in space for only one reason - to kill you. Having said that, in all cases I am not out to use overwhelming force to accomplish this goal. If I happen to undock in my Absolution and some Slasher is lighting a cyno, I will kill it. But I am specifically looking for good fights, not blob fests. I also happen to believe this is an un-spoken element of the Tusker Code. So, if we are dancing around each other in local and you align towards a belt, planet or sun and say, "1v1?" in local, you can rest assured I consider that a 1v1. Just know that other Tuskers may be hanging around to make sure you honor that declaration.

Just yesterday I was being slaughtered in an unbalanced "unofficial" 1v1. Several Tuskers asked me on Comms if I needed help. I told them to stay away. I didn't ask for a 1v1 in that situation, but I did get myself into the fight and I would finish it. I died. Asking for help would've saved my ship. But I believe it would have been dishonorable to bring in the calvary just to save one ship. I'm weird that way.

I will say that the other pilot, probably appreciating my position, was kind enough to return my lootz. That is exactly the kind of mutual respect I want to have, even between "enemies".

Now if that fight had happened while I was in a gang, I wouldn't have hesitated to bring the gang in to gank his ship.

Every situation is different, but rules like the Tusker Code provide clarity in an often confusing universe. There are other cool parts to the Code, like not being able to lie, that are also excellent. Other parts are common sense and keep us out of trouble, or focused on our primary mission, exploding things.

The thing about mutual respect, is that it has to be mutual. When you think you have it already between yourself and another entity and then they do something that proves it doesn't exist... that isn't a problem, it is only a change. And change is good.

It keeps me on my toes.

Back, or Front... maybe Side

Last three months of PvP ships and their win loss record:

Sacrilege - 35-1
Daredevil - 13-3
Merlin - 9-2
Vengeance - 8-1
SFI - 6-0
Broadsword - 6-0
Drake - 5-1
Rifter - 4-1
Vagabond - 4-1
Dramiel - 2-0
Zealot - 2-0
Taranis - 2-1
Ishkur - 2-2
Incursus - 2-2
Enyo - 1-0
Catalyst - 1-0
Absolution - 1-0
IN Slicer - 1-1
Wolf - 0-1

Couple of things. The Sacrilege and Broadsword are my lazy day choices and the rest are my roaming choices. I do sometimes roam in the Sac as well, but only when I have the time. And the last time I did Shadow hotdropped two carriers on us and killed Angor's Tornado. Nice neighbors huh?

Summer is always an odd time for Eve. You have both more and less time to play than normally. More time overall but less time individually. If that makes any sense at all.  When I have more time I go roaming in something. When I know I have less time I usually hang out in the neighborhood and cause trouble. That way when one of the boys tries to kill one of his brothers I can dock up quickly.

I am proud of the variety of ships I've been flying, but I'd like to have even more variety. There are probably three or four other ships on that list, but they just didn't manage to get on any kills. It's funny, even after three months I can look at each of the losses and remember exactly how and why each ship died.

Sacrilege death. Had GCC and landed on a station with a Harpy sitting off about 40k. Turned and engaged the Harpy without realizing I had run out of precision HAM missiles. HIs buddy showed up and I was unable to kill them before the station killed me.

Daredevil deaths. Lost one in a 1v1 to Itsme with his snakes in. Lost another to a 1v1 in which the Shadow pilot decided to bring his Cynabal and Rapier buddies along. The other loss was the usual scenario where it looks like one guy and then twelve guys land.

Merlin deaths. Both happened early on when I was still testing out the Merlin. Both similar losses fighting against higher class ships with an untested fit.

Vengeance - lost it to a Wolf I let get too close. Totally my fault.

Drake death - another station miscalculation. Engaged a Myrm and then a Talos showed up.

Rifter - Hey, Incursus don't suck anymore!! Who knew?

Vagabond - trying to get to the Thukk You Frill Me event and stepped into the Rancer gate camp.

Ranis - Rupture. Would've killed him but I was left alone after Angor's ship exploded earlier than it was supposed to.

Ishkur - One was lost to a Wolf and Thrasher, the other to a Cyclone because Angor's ship died before it was supposed to.

Incursus - Like the Merlin, trying out new fits. And engaging above class targets while doing it.

INSlicer - Again my fault, let the Ranis get range on me.

Summer is winding down, so back to a more regular posting schedule. See you in the Funny Papers.

GCC Billboard

Saw this today while I was docked in Station, thought I'd share. Has anyone else seen these around?

Click to embiggen!

A Touch of Tears

Yesterday I logged into a system full of younger players and for the next 45 minutes I literally terrorized an entire system in my Sac. I chased, shoot at, bumped and scared into docking countless ships of multiple varieties. I had a blast. I was under GCC the entire time.

I only managed to get three real kills, but that wasn't the only point to the insanity. It was just one of those moments when Eve turns out to be incredibly FUN for a short period of time. I was laughing and having genuine and hilarious fun. How often does that happen?

Of course, one man's fun is another man's not-so-fun.

I got this eve mail afterwards:

From: Dragoneas Sent: 2012.08.12 16:55
To: Rixx Javix, your a fucking dick

So I wrote back only one word:

News flash, if you are going to rat in a belt with a Vexor with a -10 pirate in system... uh, you are going to die.

Eve is real. Deal with it.

Official Response!

This morning we finally received official word from CCP on the missing Vagabond Frill:

"Hey vagabonds

A number of you are missing the so called frills we had removed from the Vagabond during the v3 process, and I think it’s totally fair that I (the Art director) give you an explanation why we did that, and what our intentions (visually) are with the Vagabond in the future.

EVE is constantly under development and we in the art team look at the renovation process as an ongoing never-ending task that we love to keep working on alongside the new assets we make every year. Some players don’t like to see to many changes made to their beloved ships, but because of this, the fidelity of the game after all these years is still hard to beat and EVE keeps getting great reviews for the art every year.

However maybe the decision to remove the frill from the Vagabond was taken too lightly and I didn’t realize how attached to the look of the ship you were. To me, as the Art Director the Vagabond is a Thukker version of the Stabber, but with Brutor sails attached (rather badly, with intersecting polygons) to the bridge area that make the ship look a bit silly. But after giving it some thought I can understand the iconic appeal. I think you should get your frills back in some way or the other.

That being said, I always wanted to fix the old Stabber up a little bit and give it some more love. I’m not talking about a huge overall change to the ship. But rather just balancing a bit the engine area and making some parts a little more believable. This would of course give us a chance to give the Vagabond some extra care and design the frills with Thukker and some functionality in mind. I already have Stephan Stölting an amazing concept artist working on it and I promise to keep you posted about the development in the near future. Until we finish it you still have to live with a “no frills” Vagabond.

Regards CCP Huskarl"

I'd like to thank CCP Huskarl for his attention to this matter and for having the courage to re-visit the decision to remove the Frill in the first place. I appreciate the forum post and the effort on his part to address our concerns. So thank you for that. It means a lot to many of us, the 99% of Eve players, to be heard.

I'd like to also mention that the Frill is not actually back yet. So we will continue to keep an eye on this as it develops. We won't forget.

But progress has been made, and contact has been made, but the Frill remains missing... for now.

The Vagabond Memorial Foundation

NEWSWIRE - JITA (Date Stamp): Eveoganda Enterprises is pleased to announce the public formation of the "Vagabond Memorial Foundation" today across all of New Eden.

The Foundation's primary purpose is to remember the once vaunted Vagabond and its distinct and traditional "Frill/Wing" configuration by promoting the Vagabond Museum being built deep within Minmatar space. (Location to be revealed once it has been properly reinforced) In addition, the VMF will support and fund universal investigations into the disappearance of the Vagabond and its replacement with an inferior "fake" Stabber.

"For months now, former proud Vagabond pilots have been forced to fly some kind of hybrid-pseudo Stabber posing as the vaunted Vagabond", said VMF spokesman Mr. Rixx Javix. "Those responsible must be brought to justice."

Despite protests from many from the Capsuleer community and increased losses due to the de-frilling incident, no official statement has been issued from Thukker Mix - the once proud builder of the Vagabond. Rumors circulate regarding Jovian influence and Mr. Javix has conducted several covert missions into Jovian space searching for clues. So far without result.

"We shall never give up, we shall never surrender!" Mr. Javix told the large crowd of wanders-by on the steps of the Jita Station this morning. Shortly after his statement he was ganked and podded back to low-sec.

For those wishing to show their support for the poor Vagabond and random design changes without cause, please use the following imagery for free:

PS: If you are interested in wearing VMF Inspired T-Shirts, Hoodies or other items to show your support in RL, head on over to the EVEOGANDA Store on Cafe Press!!

And a PNG Transparent Background version: (200x200)

A Word About Frills

It is time to come clean.

I am an enigma wrapped in a puzzle, shaken but not stirred and certainly a few bottles short of a six-pack. The elevator not only goes to the top floor, but it continues on from there.

I'm a pot-stirrer. Always have been. And I'm not going to change. Not at this point, old dogs and new tricks being fundamentally at play here.

I am also a multitude of people. I am a designer, a writer, an executive, a blood-thirsty terrible Pirate, a video game player, a film aficionado, a father, a son and many, many more things all rolled into one. Just as most of you are the collection of your parts and not the summation of them. I can be, at once, a fan of something and, at the exact same time, a critic of the same thing. I can appreciate beauty and yet find the flaws inherent within that beauty.

I honestly don't care all that much if they bring back the Frill/Wing on the Vagabond or not. But, at the same time, I believe it might just be the most important thing about Eve going right now.

To date we've played the game the way we are supposed to. I have mocked light-heartedly and poked fun. We have started a forum thread, something I was loathe to do myself, so continued thanks to Swearte for doing it for me. ( I famously hate forums ) Stan took the ball and ran with a LIVE in-game event called Thukk You!, Frill Me! that was a huge success. EON Magazine was nice enough to run an in-magazine ad for the event and for the cause. There are dozens and dozens of Tweet Fleet members wearing silly ass Frills on their character avatars. Countless posts, discussions, agreements, arguments...

...and not one single response from on high.

I said from the beginning that perhaps this is part of some plan. Perhaps an attempt to trick us all into buying ship features with AUR, or it has something to do with lag, or new 3d modeling techniques, or any number of potential "legit" reasons. But you wouldn't know, because no one has told us.

It is called a precedent my friends. I got upset about the Frill from a purely design-tradition angle and decided it was time to test the waters and establish a precedent. How does the player-base get CCP's attention? How can we, as mere players, effect change within the game without resorting to shooting structures, or mass un-subs? Beyond the glacial pace of the CSM, who frankly do an excellent job, but rightly should be focused on larger scale issues?

If not me, then who?

Cause I can stir a pot like a Pro.

If, by chance, we could be noticed. Paid attention to. Deemed worthy of official decree, then our goals would have been achieved. But they have not. Despite the horrors of last Summer and promises of closer attention paid to player concerns, nothing has happened.

And believe me, we need something to happen. Because, yes this issue about the Frill might be silly, but the next one might not be. And since I don't plan on ever un-subbing from Eve, the only potential pipeline to affect change is apparently closed to us.

I'm not speaking about the "powers that be" here, I'm talking about us normal players. The mass of men that un-dock every day and put a bucket full of 'can-do' into this sandbox. Eve is real they say. If so, then I want my goddamn Frill back on the goddamn Vagabond.

Or, tell me no. Make up something. Just make it sound all technical and complicated. Cause otherwise it is just a darn shame.

And if they aren't paying attention? Then that is scarier than anything else I can imagine.

Rifter Vs Merlin Vs Incursus

During the last month I've flown more Frigates than at any other time I've been in Eve. I haven't been flying them exclusively, but they have been the dominate ship I've chosen to go hunting with. Since the changes the Frigate class has been mixed up, turned around and generally messed with. The biggest change coming from the new ASB "shield booster" mid-slot mods that have radically altered our opinion regarding the Frigate class.

So I figured someone might like to know what I've learned.

First of all, there are two basic tactics when it comes to Frigate combat, brawl and kite. Or Low and Hi, close and far, whatever you like to call them. Up close and personal or from a distance. Each Frigate can be fit for either category, but some excel at one and not so much at others. Within each basic fit there are variations, implants and links to consider. Faction web versus regular web, things like that can alter much of what we are considering. But for the sake of clarity and my own sanity, I'll be sticking to the basics.

The Rifter

There are two basic fits when it comes to the Rifter. The Brawl fit is usually armor based around a armor rep in the lows, usually with ACs fit in the highs. A variation allows for Arties in the highs and brings it into the Kiting class. The other basic fit is shield based around a more speedy tank and hits from longer range. Not technically a "kiting" fit, unless you are using Arties instead of ACs.

I'll leave it to others to argue the technical merits of each fit. That's not what I do. I fly ships against other ships until they explode. And I can tell you this, the Rifter is still a great choice when it comes to flying a Frigate. But it is no longer the only choice when it comes to flying a Frigate. If you are up against a decent pilot in either the Merlin or Incursus, your Rifter will most likely explode. Just like everything in Eve, take that statement with a grain of salt. There are so many variations to that it isn't even funny.

The other day I didn't have a full load of charges in my Merlin's ASB and died to a Rifter I should've killed.  The other day a shield fitted Rifter escaped death from my Merlin by easing out of point range, cause he was slightly faster than me. Eve is not hard and fast rules, when you start flying you'll begin to understand.

The Incursus

There really is only one fit of note when it comes to the Incursus and that is the dual-rep armor fit with blasters in the highs. This makes it a superb brawler, but weaker against ships that fight from a distance. The dual-rep Incursus is a beast when it comes to Frigates and can be a bugger to bring down in a fight. I've lost both Rifters and Merlins to well-flown Incursus, but I've also killed them with the same ships.

You'll also see some rail-kiting Incursus fits out in space, but generally speaking there are better ships for that role. The Incursus is tough, but he has a limited ability to keep the reps going and can be outlasted if you are careful and manage your ship correctly.

The Merlin

I hadn't flown a Merlin since it was the only frigate I could fly. But it is one of my favorite Frigates now. The Merlin, fitted with ASB, is a beast. In both brawl and kiting configurations the ship performs wonderfully and can potentially kill a wider variety of enemy ships than either of the other two frigates listed here.

But, a word of warning before you go off thinking the Merlin is the new OP. There are serious drawbacks. Speed being the biggest issue, the ship is relatively slow. Just yesterday I lost two kills because of the speed issue with my Merlin, the other ship slipping out of point range and warping away. And since so many targets are ratting in FW complex's these days, you'll rarely have the speed to catch one.

Merlins are great for once, but they are not the end all when it comes to Frigates.

Right now that honor falls to the Daredevil. More on that ship next time.

July Carnage

Having spent most of the month of July gainfully unemployed means I had more time to spend playing Eve. For me at least, it was a lot of time. Still nothing compared to some of you. But more than others. Let's not quibble about the time. Why am I even writing about it? Off-track in the first paragraph already.

I have however, dedicated what play time I do have to the pursuit of solo PvP and becoming much better at hunting and killing people. I freely admit this hasn't made me the best Tusker Corp member lately. Combine that with a broken Mic and no money to buy a new one and I've pretty much been playing by myself the last month. Not totally, but you get the idea.

So how have I been doing? Not great and not bad either. In one context, living in a Corp where other pilots get 200+ kills a month, I've done terrible. But in my own context, I've made great progress, gotten into some pretty awesome fights and learned a lot.

This is all set-up for another post about T1 Frigates that I'm writing, so I thought I'd take a look at the past month to give you some idea of my Eve life.  For the month of July I went 34-9 and raised my BC standing from 15,420 to 13,910, so good progress is being made on the quality of kills.

Good 1v1 Kills:
Merlin vs. Incursus
Merlin vs Rifter
Drake vs Drake
Daredevil vs Manticore

Good Fights (Not 1v1):
Ketsrel/Merlin vs Rifter
Merlin/Merlin vs Enyo
Merlin/Merlin vs Incursus
Merlin/Merlin vs Maller

LOL Kills:
Sac vs Itereon IV - Undocked with me :(
Drake vs Ferox - Poor guy just wanted to ask me something
SFI vs Tristan
Dramiel vs Catalyst - I undocked and he was on scan
Sac vs Coercer - Catching him was the hard part
Sac vs Itereon Mark III - poor guy undocked as I landed, boom
Sac vs Badger  - sensing a trend here? What can I do, I undock a lot
Sac vs Probe - Don't pop a cyno when I'm in local!
Sac vs Cormorant - Its called "dock", you should try it
Broadsword vs Rupture - This one took more skill than you might think
Broadsword vs Catalyst - and this one didn't
Merlin vs Reaper - I don't shoot Rookie ships, but this one was just sitting there...
Daredevil vs Catalyst

And nine pods.

Good 1v1 Fights that I lost:
Wolf vs Enyo - faster than me
Rifter vs Incursus - dual rep beats single rep
Vengeance vs Wolf - I derped this one, had him and hit the wrong button
Merlin vs Rifter - good fight, I lost
Incursus vs Comet - I was curious and I got raped in the face for it
Merlin vs Rifter - If I had a FULL load of charges he'd be the dead one! Grrr
Incursus vs Thrasher - Another question answered lol

And one Derp loss:
Vagabond vs Everyone - trying to get to the Thukk You, Frill Me event

So there it is, a month of hard work. 15 fights that I would classify as "good" and I was 8-7 in those, which is not as bad as it sounds. Not that long ago it would have been 7-8, so progress is being made. Especially when points and values are considered. Points wise (according to BC) I went 289 - 113.

So tomorrow (hopefully) I'll have a post ready about what I've learned about the three T1 Frigates I've been flying.

See you then.