Thukk You, Frill Me!

To say that this has been an unusual week would be the under-statement of the year. What started out as a curious, "uh wut?" moment when I first saw the clipped Vagabond pop up in my hanger, has quickly grown into a groundswell of support, silly avatar pictures and even a live in-game event. Plus, according to my friends, even more to come.

So I thought a bit of a round-up post was called for, to let sit over the weekend. A place to catch our collective breath and see what we've accomplished.

So let's take this from the beginning:

1. Back on May 24th I wrote a post entitled Minmatar V3, in which among other things, I said the following: "But don't screw this up. Remember the heritage and embrace it. Don't be afraid to add teeth to the Vagabond. Don't be afraid to keep the strange Pirate Ship back-deck on the Rupture. Embrace your Minmatar brothers and their struggle against tyranny!"


2. They didn't listen and they circumcised one of the most iconic features in the entire game!

3. As usual, my immediate response was to promise that I would mock this mistake openly until someone fixed it. Which I did HERE and HERE.

4. Since that wasn't working, despite the insane numbers those efforts were pulling, I decided to continue mocking but in a different way.  This is when the Frill Seekers were born, a dedicated group of Tweetfleeters unafraid of being seen wearing a Tudor Frill/Ruff to support the poor Vagabond.

5. Since I don't visit the Eve Forums very often, my pal Swearte started a Forum Thread to get official CCP attention of this issue. You can visit that thread here and add your voice to the growing ground-swell of support. Go there and post if you haven't done so already.

6. Then Seismic Stan over at Freebooted came up with the idea of an in-game protest to show our support. The graphic I created is now in my sidebar and the event, while still in the early planning stages, looks to be something you won't want to miss. Follow the link to learn more about THUKK YOU, FRILL ME!!

So now what?

I've reached out to all of the CCP employees that I know and asked for their help. CCP Manifest is wearing a Frill in support and I've sent one along to the CEO, I haven't seen him using it yet however.  Other than that, we wait.

What we don't do is let them off the hook. My Loot, Your Tears has a great post up about it, as does Arydanika over at And Knowing Is Half the Battle.

If anyone else has spotted any other activities please feel free to link to them in the comments. As always, my comment section is open to anyone.


It is Summer and many people are on vacations. Next week is a Holiday here in the U.S., so some people are away and activity always suffers around this time of year. We've built a lot of momentum this week, but despite my hopes that someone would just say "oops" and fix it, the Vagabond remains circumcised and missing its Frill/Ruff/Wings/Ears whatever.

The fight goes on. And I continue to mock openly.



Frill Seekers

Frill Seekers are those on Tweetfleet that support the return of the Vagabond's whatever you want to call it Frill/Ruff/Ears/Wings to the way they were before CCP circumcised them this week!

By the way, the forum post needs your support!

In support of the poor circumcised Vagabond, I started wearing this Tudor Ruff, or Frill, on my Twitter avatar. It is extremely silly, but also funny looking! And a visual way to let CCP know that we are serious enough to make fun of ourselves over the just cause we support.

It wasn't long before others wanted Frills of their own:



This one I did for Hilmar Veigar CCP CEO















However this all turns out, I'd like to thank each of these people for having the courage (or the stupidity, either way works) to wear something so insanely terrible out in public. The Vagabond can't speak for itself, but with these yahoos behind it, hopefully it won't have to.






Why You Should Care About the Vagabond

Please take a moment to visit the Eve Forum post and register your vote to bring back the original, un-circumcised Vagabond!

Many have wondered why I have taken up the cause of the Frill/Ruff/Ears of the Vagabond this week. It is a valid question and one worthy of a thoughtful response. When the new Vaga was revealed this week in-game my initial reaction was more along the lines of "huh, that's odd". As we've gotten somewhat used to random changes to our beloved ships over the years.

The loss of the asymmetrical Scorpion, the Comet's police light, the antenna on the Curse, the spiny bits here and the dangly bits there... change has become so normal that it didn't bother me at first. There was so much good to look at.

But then it started to sink in. The ship I once feared and now flew with aggressive intent of my own, the proud distinguished silhouette of a killer amongst the space lanes was changed forever. Believe me, this wasn't just about the Vagabond. This was about all of the meaningless changes over the years, the accumulation of small chips and dings and pecks at the walls of our Eve foundation. Oh yes, some changes have been good, some have been awesome, but these, these small erosions of tradition, of heritage, of common-sense science-fiction lore... When will it stop?!

And so it has to be the Frill/Ruff/Ears of the hated Vagabond. This is the LINE IN THE SAND. Nope. Bring it back now, you went too far. We will not stand for it. I have to say, that as silly, ridiculous, ludicrous, and down-right meaningless as it might very well be, this has to end now. Eve is as much us as it is you, and you can't just willy-nilly decide to strip a proud ship of its distinguished heritage just because you want to.

And don't think for one minute that this ends with the Vagabond. The next time they might hack something away from a ship you care about. This is an example, a lesson that CCP needs to learn. This is important because it is small and relatively insignificant. In the grand scheme it means nothing, it impacts my play in no way at all, no one is going to rage quit or shoot monuments in Jita over the damn Frill/Ruff/Ears of the Vaga. But that is exactly why it is important. And why you should care.

If someone would come out and tell me that the Frill/Ruff/Ears had to go to save Eve, that their mere existence was a threat and caused serious lag issues, or sockets to close, or whatever, then that my friend would be a different story. They had to change the Drake to make the missile launchers work, I get that. Those are changes we all understand. We had to color the Minnie ships this way to distinguish them from their T2 variants, this I can understand. And Eve is full of such changes, progress is being made, textures are being updated, models are getting V3'd, we get it. And mostly, this has been going pretty well. But the Frill/Ruff/Ears of the Vagabond?!? C'mon.

I want to see them back on the ship. I want CCP to know, deep down in their bones, that we players care about the little things AND the big things. That we love our game with a passion that might be a tad misplaced and irrational, but that is very real. I want them to know we are watching and that even something as stupid as Frill/Ruff/Ears means something to us.

That is an excellent lesson to learn. And one worth getting a little bent out of shape over.

So maybe next time the designer's fingers hover over a delete button, they'll think twice about wacking a wingy bit here, or a rotating bit there.

Go to the forum link above and let them know. They are watching.

BRING BACK THE FRILL!



BRING BACK THE FRILL!

Eve Forum Post is now up and running!

Show your support for the original un-circumcised Vagabond by visiting, posting, liking, and anything else you can think of. Remember, the Vaga is only pixels of light and can't help itself, it is up to us to see justice done.

Do the right thing and end this immoral act of violence. Your favorite ship could be next!



1v1 EVE COMIC #45

Click to embiggen!
The poor Vagabond remains without its trademark neck frill and no one from CCP has answered the burning question, Why was it removed? What possible answer could there be for this silence? Does CCP have bigger changes in store and this is only phase one? Did the neck frill cause server lag? Is everyone in Iceland culturally against neck frills? So many questions remain, but one thing is clear... there IS NO reason!! Put it back.

'Nuff said.



Lunchtime Goons

Since the Vagabond has been circumcised of its manhood I've decided to only fly it during the week in celebration of its awesomeness. It is still awesome yes, even without its manhood.

This means some lopsided battles in my quest for solo kills, but what can you do? A Catalyst is still a Catalyst. And his pod still counts. Although, even for a noob, that is a horrible fit.

As soon as I kilt him I noticed an Imicus on scan at the station. Normally I wouldn't go running after an Imicus, especially with GCC, but then he threw up a Cyno and jumped in an Archon. Sigh, now I have to go kill that!  Which I did. Now with GCC already on me the station starts shooting me and hitting pretty hard. Normally that wouldn't be a worry, I'd just warp off somewhere safe. Except the dangly bits on the station have other ideas. By the time I untangled myself and warp off, I only have about 10% shields left.

The irony of the Vaga's missing Frill and getting caught in a station's dangly bits didn't escape me. All for a stupid Imicus cyno kill. But all ends well and I warp away to heal.

I return to Hevrice and dock up just as I notice a new pilot in local. A Goon pilot. My fellow Tusker Easy tells me he is in a Drake that just jumped in from Empire and he is in one of the belts. Easy being in a SB at the moment. I check my ammo situation and I'm out of EM, so by the time I load it up he is gone back to the safety of Empire.

So I undock anyway. Start warping around, thinking he may return. And sure enough he does. A few belt hops later and thanks to Easy's scouting, I tackle him and start killing him. I've been wanting to try my Vaga out against a Drake for a long time and finally have my chance.

But just then local spikes and two more Goons jump into local. A quick check of the scan reveals yet another Drake and a Vaga. Even I don't stand a chance against that, not in my own Vaga, even with Easy willing to provide more DPS if needed. So I have no choice but to align out and unleash the pack of ecm drones I've been holding in the drone bay. Sure enough, just as the other two idiots land I break point and warp away.

So fail. So typical of Goons everywhere.

It is an interesting coincidence given all the behind-the-scenes shenanigans that are going on right now (sorry I can't really tell you more than that yet) that the Goons would suddenly show up in my system with only the two of us around.

Thing is, I don't believe in coincidences.



BENEFIT CONCERT ANNOUNCED!

FrillisGoneRecord
Click for more embiggened sizes
More details coming soon. Bring back the Frill CCP.



THE FRILL IS GONE: The Vagabond has been circumcised


Notice anything missing from the Vagabond?

Just a month ago I wrote a post asking CCP to be careful with the new Minnie designs.  Generally speaking they look good, especially the Rapier/Sabre/Munnin black line-up and the Rupture/Broadsword line-up. The Hurricane is blurry for some reason and looks wiped clean. But the greatest worry is what happened to the FRILL on the neck of the Vaga?

They circumcised it. In case you forget, it used to look like this:


Now you remember. As several people have pointed out, the FRILL was pretty damn silly. And it is. No doubt. But it is EXTREMELY silly and important all at the same time. I can't explain that if you don't get it, if you don't care, or otherwise have your head up your ass.

Why is it gone? What did it do to anyone? Now the Vaga and the Stabber Fleet Issue look almost exactly alike, except for the color. I thought we were trying to distinguish ships and T2 variants.

Bring it back now. Make up some excuse about code or liquor or something that sounds half-way believable and bring back the FRILL. Seriously.

Just pop it right back on there and all will be forgiven. Heck, we all make mistakes from time to time.

I'm waiting...



Undocked: Catalyst

I like to fly spaceships, it is really the only reason I play Eve. I like to play for other reasons, but take away my spaceships and I wouldn't play no matter how good the banter on comms is, or fun the forums are, or how many hats people want to wear. I think you catch what I'm pitching.

I also hate to get into a rut when it comes to the ships I fly, so I enjoy mixing it up. I often have to challenge myself to do so, we are all creatures of habit. So I often sit and look over the hanger and think, "What haven't I flown in awhile?" And yesterday my eyes lingered over the Catalyst. I had fit her up when the Destroyers had gotten buffed but hadn't really taken her out since then.

I can't be that scary in a Catalyst can I? Maybe someone will actually try to attack me? Oh please please please. Turns out I didn't have to go far at all to make that happen.

If no one is in local I will usually head to a belt in a new ship, to kill a few rats and figure out the ship a bit. Loosen up if you will. It does help, I hate jumping right into a fight in a ship I am rusty in. Even if it is just stupid rats. So I did that and several people started traveling through the system, but no one would jump in on me and kill me. So I was preparing to leave on a short roam round when I spotted the Rifter on scan. The pilot was with Black Rebel Rifter Club and they always seem ready for a fight. Usually.

So I warped back to the belt and got some altitude and waited. Sure enough the Rifter landed about 157km from me, so I turned and burned.

A couple of notes here. First, if I was in a Rifter and saw a Catalyst in a belt I would attack it. Secondly, my Catalyst fit is pretty damn brutal. Think of it as a Taranis with close to 6k EHP and 410dps without overheating and you get the general idea. If the Rifter was shield fitted I'd have a serious fight on my hands.

Unless they ran away first. But to their credit they stood their ground and engaged. I'm so encouraged that some people don't run away from a fight. Although they really should have. I overheated my guns immediately and just hit approach, scram, and hells-a-poppin! I didn't even get a chance to unleash my solo Hobgoblin. Volleys of 600 to almost 800 will do that to a Rifter. 4 or 5 volleys and the fight was over.

The Rifter wasn't badly fit or anything, but I'd never fit one that way. But Kudos to the pilot for fighting and for the good fight. Best of luck to you in your Eve career.

I went around looking for another fight but I wasn't able to find one. Strange the ships that will run from even a Catalyst.

So what ship will I pick next time?



1v1 Video: RJ vs Placid09




It is possible to have fun in Eve. The above video is one example of a fun 1v1 encounter recently between myself and Placid09. A few weeks ago I had kilt Placid's Vigilant in my Stabber Fleet Issue and he wanted another go at me. We decided on AFs this time out and since I never fly the Enyo it was a natural choice. I'm much more of an Ishkur guy myself. Blaster fit/Armor rep brawling Enyo's are the way to go, so I went the opposite with rail guns. It is possible to fit an Enyo for kitting at extreme ranges, at one point this thing could hit at optimal at like 60. But sadly the little ship is slooooow. So I decided to cut that range down to just outside of Web range at about 14. It is a tight cap charges needed fit normally, but I didn't do that either. I just left three slots empty. Even writing that makes me cringe. No defense other than speed, with isn't very good at about 2,100 with faction mwd (which you have to pulse because of the cap issues). Luckily it turned out to be the right strategy since his harpy was dual-webbed. He never got close enough to use 'em.

Good fight. And remember kids, don't put lasers on a Harpy.



1v1 EVE COMIC #44

Click to embiggen baby!
This week was pretty brutal in RL, lots of things coming together for the Summer season all hitting at once. Not much time for Eve or blowing stuff up. It comes and goes and I'm sure I'll find time again soon to undock and terrorize the local inhabitants. And also get some more hats finished. And top off those posts sitting unfinished. And get some commission work completed. And repaint the fence. And clean the CQ...

Anyway.



INCARNA: A Year Later

Eve Parody Wallpaper: Walk Into Station
Click for additional sizes
This time last year we were all scrambling to make/get/adapt/exchange/whatever-it-took to get the new INCARNA Expansion to run on our computers, avoid graphic card meltdowns and enjoy a leisurely stroll thru our brand spanking new Captain's Quarters which led us to... Oh yeah, nowhere.

As I said last year I've never logged into the store and I only recently, by accident, entered the CQ for the first time since last summer. WiS is kind of like our appendix at this point, a useless thing that is down there for God knows what reason. But unlike our appendix it can't be cut out when it gets inflamed, our CQ seems destined to remain somewhere in the bowels of every station we dock in.

To what purpose? A year later I'm still asking the same questions I was asking two years before Incarna was released. What is the point of WiS? Although now we are forced to ask a new one, is there even such a thing as WiS anymore?

I'm naturally curious about such things. Often to the point of annoyance I guess. It is good to know these things about yourself. But I can't let it go. It impacts my game in no way, it didn't before last summer and it doesn't now. So why belabor the point? And what point are we talking about now? Lots of question marks in those paragraphs, so let's try and avoid them here forward.

Frankly, Walking in Station never happened. We, the combined subscribers to Eve, killed it before it was born. We all believe we did the right thing by aborting the creature before it could grow up and kill us all, but did we? ( grrr, question mark!)  Like any sibling or parent, we can't help but wonder what would have happened had it been given a chance to grow up properly. We'll never know for sure, but one would think by now the stations would be a tad bigger than one or two rooms.

Once DUST is out I wonder if we'll feel the missing pieces, the stuff that CCP was obviously building WiS for in the first place. The crowded command centers instructing our DUST pawns in exactly what we need done down there on the mud. ( I am purposely leaving the question marks off now.) Will we notice the holes.

Funny, I didn't start out to end up there. 

I don't regret killing CCP's baby. The things we got in return for its death have been awesome to behold and the return of focus to space is as it should be. But one can't avoid pausing for just a moment and wondering at what might have been. All the crazy naked avatars jumping up and down in the station pub, playing holo space strategy games, or whatever the heck else we were supposed to be doing in there. The EON Pub, the store fronts, the gathering places, ROC'S Gym, the virtual community places that may never be more than a vision at this point.

When I popped into my dusty CQ the other day, I could've sworn the door was open just a hair. I could almost hear the laughter, the hushed voices planning conquests, the fart jokes, the banter and the wind whistling thru the corridors. Almost.

Ghosts. That's all they are.




One Year of Hats

This time last year Incarna was driving us all a tad crazy. The limitations of the CQ, the rumors of micro-transactions, the leaks, the memos, the upcoming Jita protests, all of it was swirling about our heads. It was, in so many ways, a pretty nutty time.

It just happened to coincide around the same time I started my new Twitter account. Just like in-game, in Twitter so much of our "characters" are represented by our Avatar's heads. When Monocle-gate broke, it seemed like a short distance to putting hats on our avatars. And so, I started a mini Twitter based protest against Aurum by putting hats on Rixx's head. This was the very first one:


Every day during that first two weeks I changed the hat. You can see them all by visiting the ever-growing Twitter Hat Collection Page.  Once the protest ran its course the hats had become so popular that other characters began asking for their own hats. And now, a year later I've made over 200 Twitter Hats for my fellow Tweetfleet members. With about 30 or more on back-order at the moment. ( I will get to everyone, I promise.)

Along the way several people made their own hats and a few others started making fake RJ Hats, which is fine, but there is only one true collection and one authentic Twitter Hat. I'm extremely proud of the hats and the fact that so many people still request them and still wear them a year later. It is a pretty cool feeling scrolling thru the Twitter feed and seeing so many hats.

More than once it has come up in conversation that CCP should seriously consider offering hats to our in-game avatars, much the same way they already do for shirts, shoes and jackets. Such an offering might look like this:


JavixCollection
Click for different sizes on Flickr
Obviously each race could have their own unique styles, but the options here are limitless. You only have to scroll thru the 200+ hats in the collection already to see that duplication is not an issue. Serious, silly, badass, fluffy, the range of hats is limited only by your imagination. And, if they wanted, I'm sure some hats could only be available with Aurum in the store thingie.

Would such a thing be a sell-out of the original protest? I don't think so, since we seem to have achieved the goals of the original series rather nicely. That was last year anyway. Time to move into the future.

CCP it is time for in-game hats. At least as an option.


Leave a comment and let CCP know that you support this important and completely meaningless initiative!! They read this blog, let them know how you feel about hats. Even if you hate the idea. Dialogue, debate, is good for the soul.



Busy with Hats

Don't bother me today, I'm busy making hats.

The Famous Twitter Hats Collection will pass 200 hats today and next week will mark the one year anniversary... so I have something special planned to mark the date.

Please feel free to explore the archives, they are very very good.


UPDATE: Over 200+ hats are now in the collection. I had more requests than anticipated today ( Thanks! ), so I'll get to the rest of you as soon as I can. Just remember, people come and go, but the hats remain.


Blog of the Month: May 2012

A few months back, crazy man Marc Scaurus over at the Malefactor decided that maybe some Eve Community Blogging awards might be a good idear. Since he is also running Eve Blogger and the Eve Blog Pack now, it seemed like a decent enough idea. He even convinced Stan and Ripard to serve as judges. Pretty cool dealeo.

Cut to the chase and this here humble wittle blog has been awarded The EEBEE for Blog of the Month for May 2012!!

I am honored and humbled that anyone even pays any attention to this train wreck slash social experiment slash artist gone crazy slash humorous slash fan-site thing that I do. I read a lot of blogs and the other nominees are both great bloggers well deserving of the recognition. I am honored to be in their company.

In particular, May was an important month for me personally. I came back to blogging after mostly being away from the game for three months. I had come extremely close to closing up shop and leaving Eve forever. Razor edge close. No joking matter. But I'm not much of one for quitting and those three months taught me that this place was important enough for the effort needed to make it work. So I came back after all and poured my heart into it. At least I was hoping I did. I guess other people think I did as well. So this recognition, unexpected and unintended, is especially appreciated in that light.

Sincerely.

Thank you to Marc, to Stan and to Ripard for the award. And thanks to everyone that stops by and says hello from time to time. Oh wait, the music is starting and I haven't even... damn. Thanks Mom and Dad! Aunt Cecilia!! And my first grade...



Stand Together, or Die Alone

I've mostly been out of Eve this week dealing with RL crap, fighting Dragons and cleaning up messes. But, as always, I do try to keep up with my Blog reading and Tweetfleet activities as much as I can. I've been reading with interest the recent posts from my good friend Mord Fiddle over at Fiddler's Edge regarding the Goons and their leader Mittens. Jesters Trek also did a nice overall post about the cost of total war that you should read. And then this morning I saw this post over on Ardent Defender's blog. And while that post was more of a mention than anything else, it reveal something I thought I'd take up here, in one of the comments.


Mord had mentioned something to the effect of, "as I wrote in ‘Logoi’, whether or not I agree with, or even like a the bloggers Mittens is trying to silence doesn’t matter. 
If Mittens is allowed to silence or drive out the Yukis, Jades and Mabricks of New Eden, who will stand up for Jester, Rixx, Marc Scarus and Mord Fiddle when he comes after us.
We bloggers stand together, or we’ll fall separately."
To this post Evehermit asked, "Interesting reading those comments. How do EVE bloggers actually stand together though?"

How do Eve bloggers stand together? It is a good question and one that involves the community in more ways than you might think. But it also pre-supposes some conditions that are not in fact part of the reality of our community. We are all, after all is said and done, simply individuals brought together out of a mutual desire to share our interest in a game beyond the confines of that game. In a virtual community, generally made up of people that may never meet or interact in real life.
It isn't like I can jump in and punch Mittens if he decides to 'go after' someone.  (Although I would enjoy nothing better. And believe me, at 6' 6" and nearly 300 pounds, Mittens would not enjoy the experience of me hitting him one bit. I've seen pictures of the guy.) But this isn't possible and in real life I'd more likely buy the guy a drink and argue about in-game politics than punch him. As much as I dislike the Goons in-game, I rarely think about such things in the context of real life.
I was just outside watching some workers taking down a tree and the metaphor didn't escape me. They can't just cut the tree down because of the surrounding buildings, and this is easily a 40' maple. So they are starting from the top, cutting out the new growth first, and then slowly working their way down the trunk. Cutting away the outer limbs and exposing the main trunk, tossing the debris down to be shredded.
This is how a community dies. One branch at a time, slowly and methodically. Until all that is left is the thing you started with, the thing itself, exposed and defenseless, easily disposed of without harming any of the surrounding structures.
How do we defend each other? I could promise to come to someone's aid in-game, should things go that way. I could do that. I could also say the obvious, that should anyone target my fellow bloggers I will write about it, expose it, and rant against the injustice of it all. I will certainly do that. I always have. One doesn't have to look far into my own history to see how much I've given to this community and will continue to do so as long as I am able.
Beyond that however, beyond encouragement, beyond words, beyond interesting pictures, beyond hats, is there anything there?
Only one thing. Conviction.
When the rubber meets the road, or when the tree doctors start hacking at your branches, the only thing you have is your own conviction. Each of us is different. Each of us writes for our own reasons, our own goals, our own convictions. Sometimes, some of us do stop. Sometimes a branch withers on its own, or is cut down in its prime. But the tree survives because it is stronger than the forces allied against it.
The ONLY thing that can stop this blog is me. There is no scenario in which the Goons, Mittens, or anyone else can bring this blog down. Not one. Not in-game or out of game, either way I am untouchable. I've been threatened before. It doesn't work. And why is that? Because of my convictions, because I don't take Eve seriously, but I play it and write about it seriously.
Stand by your own convictions and you will weather the storm.
And if you need help, if the winds are strong and you fear you may snap, ask for help. I've witnessed amazing and incredible things from this community of ours, I believe we may be able to help. But only if we know.


EVE Fanfest 2013: BBQ & Cake Fair Invitational

FANFEST2013
Click for size versions on Flickr

It's a Tweetfleet thing and I wouldn't even want to try and explain it. Just enjoy.



Rixx Javix: Statistics

Last year's post
The year before dat post

This is becoming an annual event around here. Me talking about the thing I care least about in Eve, killboard statistics. And once again I feel the need to explain the caveat to that statement. I play Eve to have fun and the thing I enjoy most is shooting other players in the face. If my killboard sucks, or if it is impressive, neither one of those matter to me in the sense that it effects my game play. On the other hand I am not an idiot and I do take some pride in having a decent killboard. My goal is to have a decent killboard, as the other option would reflect poorly on my Corporation, my fellow pilots and the professionalism by which I approach my craft.

But I'm not out to be highly ranked, which is a good thing, since I'm not nor will I ever be. Blah blah blah, I'm sure you get it.

Another year has gone by however and it is time to look back at the statistics. This time last year I was the CEO of Lucifer's Hammer and we were tearing up the space around Verge Vendor. Rising in BC rankings, hanging out with The Tuskers and Shadow Cartel and getting pretty damn good at exploding Carriers for some reason. For the past eight months I've been a proud member of The Tuskers. My play time for the past four months has been extremely limited. As an example, in January my record was 30-4. In February I recorded no kills or losses, in April I was 6-0, May 3-0 and so far in June I am 3-0. Last May I was 118-22 and last June I went 34-11. So you can see my limited play time has seriously hampered my kills.

This time last year my PvP record stood at 950-286 (The year previous it was 526-172 ), so during the last 12 months I've gone 423-45. The previous 12 month period saw me go 424-114. So almost the exact same number of kills, but 69 less deaths. My total stands at 1,373-331 at the moment.

So despite being a nasty pirate for over an entire year now, I've managed to curb my losses rather significantly. From a 78% proficiency to 87% in the last twelve months. Not bad at all. And this is where kb stats do tell a story, I do seem to be getting better.

Two years ago my BC ranking stood at 42,372, last year it stood at 22,409 and right now it stands at 15,098. Another interesting stat, two years ago I had killed a total of 27 pods, last year that number stood at 103 and now it is 185. So you can see where the pirate life has had some impact. Although I could certainly have killed more, I tend to be too nice for a pirate and let people go when they put up a good fight.

I don't keep track of stats and I've certainly moved around to much to have a really good continuous killboard to reference. I mention BC because it is the once place I know that ALL my kills and losses are recorded. More useless stats, I've killed more BC class ships than anything else at 310, with BS at 214. I've also lost more BC than anything else at 58 losses. I bet most of those BC losses happened in Null.

What does it all mean? Not much really. There are plenty of players with much more impressive stats than I will ever have. Which is fine. I play mostly for personal pride and the fun of it, but it is good to see improvements and a slow but steady increase in my ability to be good at what I do.

So that's something.

When I write this post again next year what would I like to see? Given my attempts to get more solo kills I'd like crack the 10k barrier on BC and stay there. ( I once did it back in my early early days, but that was mostly just a statistical thing and didn't last long.) Other than that, progress, progress, progress. More good fights, more fun and more awesome explosions.

Oh baby.



Annoying Incursus & Ship Dating

Notice how I failed on the ship shadow?

Because of my limited play time lately I've been spending most of my in-game time roaming around by myself. This is actually good for me and I'm enjoying it. My history is primarily fleet and small gang, and while I have had success as a solo pilot from time to time, it has never been my strength.

So this play time drought I'm in has actually helped that. The Tuskers aren't extremely active when I'm on, so I don't feel bad sneaking around by myself. Plus, who cares anyway, we're all about flying solo most of the time anyway.

How do I pick the ship I'm going to go flying around in? It is totally random, instinct and based on which ship seems to have the most dust on it. In other words, I just pick one. This week alone has seen me in a Drake, a Myrmidon, a Thorax, a Daredevil, a Stabber Fleet Issue, a Sac, a Malediction, an Enyo, an Ishkur and a Manticore. Maybe something else. Dunno, I don't keep notes. Mostly my solo roams break down into the following pattern, empty, empty, HUGE GANG, empty, empty, maybe something no they ran away, empty, empty. People run from the weirdest stuff. I was out in my shiny Vengeance ( oh, see? that was the other ship! ) the other day and I actually found an Armaggedon ratting in a belt! I know, I had the same reaction. He ran from me! Ok, fair enough, he probably thought who in their right mind would try to solo a Arm in a Veng without backup? Rixx!! WoOt.

And then there was this noobie Incursus. I was in my blaster Daredevil and this <1 year old dood was in an Incursus. We were mostly alone in system, so I started hunting him. Oh yeah, he was ratting. This seemed like it would be an easy kill. Before I go on, and then eventually get around to the point of this post, a few words about my DD fit. I have two DD's fit up, a blaster one and a rail one. I had picked the blaster one without a thought, just 'cause. This would be my undoing. I love the DD more than it loves me. So me, blasters, web, scram, AB, slight armor w/rep, fit.

I knew I'd have a hard time catching the Incursus. My DD doesn't lock exceptionally fast and I have to get into close range with a short point and web combo. So what do you do? You guess alot. I had no idea at what range he was going to be, so my first time landing in the belt he was over 100 clicks from me. Sadface. I picked a celi behind him and quickly warped away. Turn around, check dscan and warp back at range. Meanwhile, he pulled range to the belt himself, so I landed 50 clicks from him. Grrr.

Long story short, he got away. I tried one more trick. I said, "Fly safe" in local and then left the system. Jumped thru a gate then re-approached. Counted to twenty and then jumped back and immediately warped back to the belt. "I knew you'd try that" he said in local. Ah ha. A smart noobie person. Drat.

Any other ship and that rotten noob Incursus skull would be hanging in my Captain's Quarters right now. But you see? That is the luck of the draw. You pick something to fly based on ZERO knowledge of what you might find along the way. You have no idea what is out there, waiting to be engaged.

Arm ratting alone in a belt? And you are in a Vengeance, although to be fair I would've liked to have tried that one. Incursus ratting alone in a belt? And you brought the wrong DD. It happens all the time. And it is part of the fun for me. It goes the other way also. I had a few like that this week as well.

So all this talk you hear about which ship you should use to attack which ship is usually, totally, insanely bogus! Period. Since when am I going to be seven jumps from home and run into that Arm ratting in a belt and go, "Hmm, I should go get my Typhoon to properly attack this fella. Hope he waits for me!" It ain't gonna happen. You have two choices, attack anyway or move along to the next system.

It rarely happens, almost never ever happens, that you just happen to be in the perfect ship to attack the perfect counterpart. Unless you guys have worked this out beforehand, it just ain't gonna happen much. Oh sure, it does. But waiting for the perfect opportunity is extremely limiting.

And then you won't have cool stories to tell. And you'll be very sad.





eFame, ePeen & Eve: Final Thoughts

Part One: Which is really well written
Part Two: Even better really


So we've established that Eve attracts a certain type of weirdo to its internet based sci-fi simulated virtual environment, and that some of these weirdoes have issues that cause them to act in extremis - either negatively and/or positively. A great portion of which depends on your own personal perspective.

In the last part I made some excellent arguments that two-sided coins are largely what the universe is built on, and taking away one or the other side might cause total collapse and make us into one of those boring Star Trek cultures the Enterprise seemed to always find.

So now what? This doesn't change the fact that the forums are full of trolls, haters and poo-poo heads. That Jita is infested with scammers and bad people waiting for you to undock. Eve is a rough place and it often makes me sadfaced. Do something about it Rixx! Salve my ePeen dude.

The very first time I ventured into low-sec in my Cormorant and dared to warp to a belt, I was summarily exploded. I was so angry that I podded back to base and got into yet another Cormorant. I remember thinking, I'll show him! This time I'll kill him and teach him a lesson. And he exploded my ship again. I ranted on the Corp chat about it and my CEO and my fellow Corp mates told me something then that has stayed with me every day since. Eve doesn't work like that, get over it and HTFU! Harden The Fuck Up.

I sucked so hard in those early days. There was one particular week where I lost ALOT of ships, mostly frigates and cruisers. But at the time, this was a big deal for me. I was still a young player and I wanted to fight, but I certainly didn't want to lose all of those fights. I got so frustrated that I quit. I've never told this story publicly before. I had worked hard to earn one million iskies and because of all the losses my account was empty. As one last gasp, I agreed to help the Corp do some mining. During the op I was telling everyone what had happened and of my decision to leave the game. One of the older players told me I couldn't quit, that Eve was hard yes, that I would regret it forever and that it was worth the struggle. They then gave me 150m iskies. The only condition was that I had to agree I wouldn't quit. And I haven't.

I tell this story because, as hard and unfair and rotten and nasty and mean that Eve can sometimes be - it can also be amazing. Eve doesn't work like we often think it should. And that isn't because of CCP, or some lines of code, or patches, or expansions, or how many triangles are on our inventory screens. ( I got so frustrated trying to loot a wreck the other day that I just shot it and blew it up! ) Eve isn't a collection of things, a result of brilliant coding, of digital wizardry. Eve works because of the people that play the game. Good, bad, indifferent, dedicated, casual, hard-working, sloth-like, leaders, followers, bloggers, designers, pirates, goons, religious fanatics and hardened scammers. The people make it work. All of them.

In the almost four years that I've been fortunate to be a part of this... this... whatever it is, I've met and interacted with so many great people. I've been scammed, I've been threatened ( just yesterday someone promised to stick a rusty kitchen utensil in my nether regions! ), I've had my Corp assets stolen, I've watched several Alliances burn to the ground, just about anything you can imagine. And I've loved every single goddamn minute of it.

It hurts to love. If you are young enough not to know that already, then you will learn it soon enough. I'm not telling you to love the scammer, to hug the troll, to accept the corp thief, to relish the collapse of all you've worked hard to build. That isn't the point at all. What I am telling you is this, kill the corp thief, turn the tables on the scammer, kick the troll, and build Alliances that do not collapse!! Play as hard as they do. Get out there and win. Beat them at their own game. Collect some like-minded peeps and go settle the score, get your revenge. Or die trying.

The human element is what makes Eve special and enduring and worthy of great stories.

HTFU.

It's good advice.