Disney Star Wars: Quentin Tarantino

OK, this is a rare non-Eve related post. But it is science-fiction related, so that has to count for something. The moment I heard about the Disney Star Wars deal yesterday my mind went right to an old dream-project mash-up that we all used to talk about. One of those "What If?" moments. What if other directors were allowed to play in the Star Wars Universe?

And one of the projects that immediately springs to mind, at least for me, was always Quentin Tarantino taking on a solo Boba Fett project. Tarantino and Fett seem made for each other in ways that few science-fiction subjects would be. A lone bounty hunter roaming the space-lanes one step ahead of the law, it seems like perfect fertile ground. If Quentin ever takes the jump to science-fiction, and I've heard him say he'd consider it, then this might be his chance.

So I did a concept movie poster in case he decides to do it.


FETT: The Movie Poster
Click for bigger sizes

Enjoy.



Halloween in Eve

I usually write a piece of spooky Eve fiction for Halloween, but with all the insanity this year ( lost biz, unemployment, financial crises, new job, etc. ), I just haven't had time.

I will point you in the direction of some of the past pieces in case you missed them or are a new reader:

The Haunted Hulk - Rixx gets more than he bargained for from a simple gank.

True Sansha - What does it mean to be "true"?

Swinging Lucifer's Hammer - Not spooky, but a work of fiction and a good story.

RJ's Journal: Entering Providence - A fictionalized account of my first trip into Null Space.

Death Rattle - A Rifter plays fast and loose with the power of a Star.

Our Halloween was moved to Saturday, so there is still time, so I might cook up something spooky for you by then. I have no idea what I'm doing from one moment to the next, so you never know for sure.

Until then, Rixx will be spending the day carving scary pumpkins for the CQ and telling the kids scary stories about CVA and the evil men do in the dark corners of New Eden.

Happy Halloween.





Meaningless Personal Victories

I've been playing Eve for over four years and this blog has been keeping track of almost three years of that time. When I started writing this journal of insanity I was about 18 months into my Eve journey. Now I am almost past 50 months.

A lot has changed in those three years. Fundamentally I spent the first two years in Eve as a young soldier in several Null Space Alliances, learning the ropes, fighting for Sov and trying to find meaning in the constant battles, betrayals and political fights around me.

During those two years I never thought about my kill-board. And when most of your kills have 20 to 220 people on them, why would you? I actually have a kill somewhere that has over 400 ships on it. Insane.

It wasn't until I moved to Syndicate that I really started thinking about my kill-board. That also coincided with two years in-game, about the time you really start to feel like you know what you are doing. At that point, if you are curious about such things, I was ranked about 42,000 on BC. Just two years ago.

It has been a long journey, but yesterday I finally cracked the 10k mark on BC and am now ranked #9,963.

Meaningless? Of course. But still a personal milestone that I've been working hard to reach for the past two years. And when you have as little time to play as I do, it can be a long, hard-fought battle. I still have a long way to go. Being ranked 9k doesn't mean anything to me, other than another milestone. I won't be happy until that number decreases down even further. 5k sure, but someday into 2k and even less.

I don't even pretend to be good at this game. In fact, I am terrible. But I do have one thing that few other pilots in Eve have. What is that you ask? The answer is time. I'm not going anywhere.

Patience is a virtue.

( Just for a bit of perspective, the top 30 ranked Tuskers on BC? The 30th ranked member of my Corporation is ranked 2,621st on BC. I have a long way to go yet. )



The Last Eve Supper

BlogSupper
Click for additional embiggened sizes!!!

The other day I happened upon this amazingly large promotional piece for The Expendables 2 and immediately I thought, "Huh, this would make an amazing Eve piece!" That's how my mad genius brain works by the way.

Right off the bat here, let me get one thing straight. If you are not on this poster do not feel bad. There are only so many spaces and a bunch of you have weird avatar heads!! You do, so you have no one to blame but yourselves. Several people didn't make it simply because their avatars just didn't work.

On the other hand, I wanted a representative selection of Eve Bloggers and I think I achieved that goal. Oh, and since I am the one doing the artwork, I am the one in the middle. That is how that works.

This makes me laugh in so many ways I can't even begin to tell you about each of them. The image is rather huge, so feel free to download the largest version for all the details.

Another FREE gift from your friendly neighborhood eve blogger.

Enjoy!

PS: So which one of these beady-eyed bastards is the Judas?!?


Frigate FFA: Aftermath

FrigateFFAWallpaperRev2

With nearly 2,200 ships destroyed and well over 150+ pilots participating ( an accurate number is tough since the event lasted for four hours and people came and went, but local stayed steady at around 150+ ), the Tusker FFA yesterday can be considered an unqualified success.

I was pleased to see pilots from all walks of Eve life participating and many, many "famous" individuals showed up. Through Newb Eyes did a nice write-up that I highly recommend.  I'm not going to do a blow-by-blow re-cap, but I will say a few words about my personal experience.

For me, my time was split. On the one hand I wanted to play and have fun with everyone and on the other, as a Tusker and a sponsor, I often needed to fleet up to police the event. Mix that with the usual weekend RL stuff that had to be dealt with and it was a crazy four hours.  But I did manage to play and I did manage to police some, although that never turned into anything serious.

I will say this, being "famous" during one of these things is not a benefit. At the beginning, me showing up in local meant lots of "Rixx is here!!" comments on Mumble and gangs of ships coming after me. This might sound like a complaint, so let me be clear, it was a blast! I enjoyed myself immensely and the entire thing was one of the best times I've had in Eve.

I saw many, many comments that expressed the same sentiment. I also saw several people getting their first taste of PvP in Eve, first ever kills, first ever losses, and many more firsts. For the most part everyone seemed to have a great time and enjoy themselves. The Tuskers had a few surprises up their sleeves, dropping loot cans, bringing out some BS for people to kill, and while I didn't have much to do with putting this together - I think it is important to recognize all the work my mates put into it.

Thanks to all the Tuskers involved.

This is Eve and we did have some rule breakers. Many people ganged up to kill helpless frigates, some Alliances that will go un-named put up link alts in local POS, we had some station and gate campers, and the usual whatnots. Those were all dealt with as well as we could. While Fweddit threatened to disrupt the event, that tuend out to be nothing really.

For my part I went 16-4 during the event. I will say that I could have done much, much better. But I was out to have a good time and not rack up numbers. I broke off a dozen or more engagements with ships obviously ill-equipped to fight me and I tried to only engage those that could. I also don't believe in just locking everything to get on killmails. But, again, this is just the way I play - nothing against those that think differently.

I hope everyone enjoyed themselves. I know I did.



Frigate FFA: Tomorrow!

FrigateFFAWallpaperRev2
click to embiggen
Tomorrow is the day. The Tusker's Frigate Free For All will be launching at 20:00 in Jov and who the heck knows what might happen!  I know it would be a shame to miss it.

Right now it looks like your friendly neighborhood blogger will be able to attend. If the New Eden Tournament just had to be scheduled around Thanksgiving, it only makes sense that our own Frigate FFA would have to be scheduled on Halloween weekend. For anyone in the US that has children would know, this is a very busy weekend. I think we have about three events tomorrow that the boys will be attending in costume. Sigh.

But so far so good.

I've been keeping my eyes open and it looks like we'll have some company tomorrow. ( I'd also like to publicly thank the half-dozen or so spais that have sent me intel. I won't mention your names of course, but I appreciate the head's up. )  From the beginning the idea was to promote PvP in Low Sec, so company is more than welcome to attend. Just don't be upset when things don't work out the way you'd hoped. Either way, it should be an unpredictable mess that results in some good fights and lots of fun.

Hope to see you in space.




BB40: Sandlot Games

Fresh from publishing the community spotlight on the EVE blogosphere and Blog Banters, CCP Phantom has suggested a banter focus on competitive tournaments.

There is no finer spectacle in the universe of EVE Online than the explosive dance of weapon-laden spaceships in combat. The yearly Alliance Tournament is the jewel in EVE Online's eSports crown and the upcoming New Eden Open should deliver the same gladiatorial entertainment showcase.

Given the scope of the sandbox, what part should eSports play in EVE Online and what other formats could provide internet spaceship entertainment for spectators and participants alike?




I suspect that the very first Corporation in Eve, once they had undocked from the Station, warped around a bit and discovered that no good fights were available - turned to each other and said, "We should have a Frig Tournament!"

Tournament style events are as much a part of Eve as... well, heck anything. Much of that history is sadly unknown or forgotten. But I can remember hearing stories about some events even back when I first started playing. Then my own Corps and Alliances would often hold tournaments of one type or another. I can remember a Badger Race in low-sec and a few others.

In 2010 I created one called the Death Race which was very successful. Over 100 ships departed low-sec and raced right thru the heart of Providence and out the other side. Billions of ISK worth of prizes were awarded and we got a lot of press for the event. Sadly plans for another event in 2011 had to be abandoned. ( Stupid RL economy! )

This Saturday The Tuskers are holding a rather awesome Frigate FFA that everyone should attend. ( Free Plug!! ) At the very least it has a very nice poster!

I haven't personally had a chance to participate in the Alliance Tournament, not yet. And sadly, I can't participate in the upcoming New Eden Open cause some tool scheduled it during Thanksgiving. So events like the Death Race and Frigate FFA are more "Blue Collar" than the official events.

If you haven't noticed, Eve is a universe that people like to say is an open sandbox - and while that is true for everyone in theory - it is more true for some than others. Those special people, or more likely the ones that can buy their way into things, are the White Collar "Upper Crust". While the rest of us working stiffs are regulated to working our way thru Eve the old fashioned way.

Much like the days of Rome, combat tournaments, events, scheduled ops, Corp Frig Tournies, Races, Carrier Kills, Bring Me the Head of Kirith Kodachi, The Hunt for Rixx Javix, Celebrity DeathMatch, and dozens of other events - are for the entertainment of the masses. The opiate of the regular Joe. The glass teat if you are old enough to remember that reference.

The more open these events, or some of these events, can be - the better. CCP Phantom wrote a decent piece about the Eve Blogger community and one thing we've also been good at is providing our own entertainment. Most of the events I remember, except for the yearly Alliance Tournament, are player/blogger created and driven.

We're just like those first guys that undocked and couldn't find a decent fight. We get bored and then we do something about it.

From giant Hulkaggedon events to a couple of guys testing new fits around a station, competition is rampant in New Eden. Official or unofficial, the games will go on.

We don't need official permission to have fun. Eve is actually more like a Sandlot than a Sandbox the more I think about it. Pick up games all day and all night in the neighborhood.

All we need is a ball.


For a complete list of BB40 posts click here.



Nashh Poo Poo Head

First it was Kaeda Maxwell announcing that he/she was quitting Eve and then this morning I log on to discover the same type of post over on my good friend Nashh's blog.

You should take a moment to read Nashh's post ( and Kaeda's as well ofc ) since he is planning to be out in a Carrier on November 4th to let us kill him.

Nashh and I go back to the very beginning when I first started writing Eveoganda. Along with CK and a few others ( most of whom have also gone afk! ) supported me from day one and encouraged me to write and be insane. We always talked about joining up in-game, but while our paths often crossed and we did manage to fly together often, we never did get the chance to officially join forces.

Back in 2010 I did fight Nashh for his Celebrity Death Match #22:



I won btw. Although he has beaten me a few times since then and vice versa. [ We are officially 2-2 against each other. Although to be fair Nashh holds a 2-1 advantage in solo fights. In addition to his Myrm in the video above, a gang of Tuskers I was with caught his Cane. Nashh on the other hand killed two of my crazy test frigates, an AC Merlin and my first ever Tormentor. ]

I even designed a Tattoo for him that he will be carrying around on his skin until the day he gets it removed I suppose. As well as other stuff, like his blog banner. Funny, both Kaeda and Nashh sport RJ designed banners... huh.

Both of these announcements hit me rather hard this week. Just last night I had a conversation with my oldest son about my commitment to Eve. Been a lot of changes in my life these past eight months and my family and I came extremely close to being pushed off the edge. It puts things into even more focused perspective and priority. Where does Eve fit into that going forward?

I just keep plugging away however. I don't pretend to have answers to questions that don't need answered right now. But as more and more of my Eve friends fall to the annals of time, it is a question that deserves some pondering.

Whatever happens, I sincerely wish both Kaeda and Nashh the very best. No matter what happens, or where life leads you, you will always carry a bit of Eve around with you.

Godspeed.




1v1 EVE COMIC #51

Click to embiggen!!

Killing Plex Peeps


The Summer of FW Hunting is probably drawing to a close. The changes implemented today and those still to come in Retribution will probably significantly change the landscape once again. I for one, welcome the changes. While I did my best to enjoy jumping into FW Plex and trying to kill ships 150k from me, which I did rather frequently, the entire process was rather stoopid to be honest.

As always though, I do what I can with what is given. I am after all a criminal terrorist of the space-lanes.

Over the Summer I tried just about every combination of ship possible to catch and kill these carebear types. I had some success with the Slasher, which remains a great Frigate, but it also happens to be a death trap should anything AT ALL go wrong. The Merlin also works sometimes, but given its slow speed, catching anyone is challenging. And while the Daredevil probably remains the best overall small ship for this purpose, it also remains the most expensive. ( The DD's perfect fit requiring faction mods )

I tried Tormentors, Arazu, Pilgrim, Moa, Vaga, SFI, Ranis, Atron, Jags, Wolves, seriously, every frigate, destroyer, and AF available. Even Thrasher's. Which require camping and that is something that holds no interest to me. Talk about boring.

I did happen to also learn a lot about small ships during this process.

So what do you need to kill these often gun-less idiots? Speed most of all. So something fast with a long point. That eliminates a lot of ships right off the bat. Something that can kite, just in case they do actually have guns. And something that can project damage, while also surviving some. Not only do the rats often shoot at you, but sometimes the target brings friends along.

So speed, distance, projection and survivability. So how about the Comet?

Two 150mm Railguns. MWD, Long Point, ASB or TD in the medium slots and DC2 and damage mods in the lows. I prefer the shield booster, but I carry a TD with me just in case. Combined with 6 Hobs or Warriors, the Comet projects damage from a comfortable range outside of scram/web. The damage output isn't anything to write home about, depending on ammo and drone skills, it hovers right around 200 dps on average. But the drones give that dps a nice projected ability and the option of multiple targets if needed. Add to that 4k+ speed and it makes a deadly combination.

My RL situation changed on me just as I was really starting to test this, but other people are flying it now and it looks like the whole thing might be pointless now anyway.

I hope so. T'was a silly thing.



Eve is my Golf

Eve is like Golf.

Men play it at odd hours. It has an exclusive, club-house atmosphere. You wear weird clothes when you play ( in-game, goodness knows what people wear in real life - the less I know the better! ). It takes special equipment to play. And it is a vastly relaxing experience rarely interrupted by moments of sheer terror. Anyone can play, but it takes years of practice and talent to become truly great at it.

Golf even has a kill-board and rankings.

I've only played Golf once in my life. And it was a whopper. A former client of mine holds an annual tournament in West Palm Beach Florida on two side-by-side PGA courses. This tournament raises money for charity and brings some illustrious celebrities along for the event, many, many of them. My foursome included two NFL football players. Both courses are full, so they play shotgun style with two foursomes starting on each hole. I went first. They had a photographer there to take our picture as we tee'd off. To say I was nervous would be the understatement of the decade. I did manage to hit the ball, which promptly went straight into the lake.

Two holes later my team stopped keeping my score. The main prize of the day was a Bentley. I didn't blame them.

I tell my wife, Eve is my Golf.

I play it when I can. It is extremely relaxing and often interrupted by moments of sheer terror.

Over the past Summer I've had a chance to play more Eve (Golf) than I have in a very long time. I've enjoyed it tremendously. But today that changes. How much time for Golf will I have in the coming weeks and months? Only time will tell. But just like all those annoying Golf entusiasts that you know, I'll be talking about it non-stop, acting out my favorite moves, and maybe even sneaking some putts into the office.

Today starts a new chapter in my life. I'm very excited.




1v1 EVE COMIC #50

Click to embiggen!

Two Tuskers are out in deep low-sec hunting in their Rifters.
They're buddies and always fly together on these long trips into deep space.

After a long day and not much success, one of the Tuskers is suddenly unresponsive.
His buddy tries everything, yelling on comms, requesting messages, even bumping,
but nothing seems to work.

Finally he asks for help on Corp Comms.

The Tusker CEO, concerned, gets on the line, "What's wrong?"

Tusker, " I dunno, we've been hunting in low-sec all day and he just stopped moving!
I've tried everything."

The Tusker CEO asks, "Is he dead?"

Tusker, "I don't know that either!"

Tusker CEO, "Well you need to make sure!!"

Comms get quiet for a second and then the Corp hears the sound of Autocannons
and a very loud BOOM!

The Tusker comes back onto Comms and says, "Ok, now what?"






EVEOTORIAL: Sandbox

Notice how everyone in the picture has found their own corner to play in? Except for Lisa and Justin, who seem to have worked out a common relationship. It won't last however.

Anyone who has children probably knows all about sandboxes. They are not pleasant places. The box itself is usually not very nice, old, full of cat poop, weeds, wet sand, spiders and other nasty surprises. Last year we had a hornet's nest in ours! And like any true PvPer my job was to exterminate the Hornets.

Unless you are blessed with perfect children ( and we all know the truth about that parent lie! ) kids do not play well in a Sandbox. Not for long anyway. It is amazing the sheer amount of bullshit we are all born with. The politics, the game playing, the advantage seeking, it is all in there somewhere deeply buried in our lizard brains. It is, after all, what makes us human.

Eve is a sandbox game. At the core of the Eve experience it is this fact alone that makes Eve special.  No one can tell me or you what to do in this crazy sandbox of ours. You undock and go about your business making choices that can be yours alone, or you can advocate those choices to others, or just sit there on the undock, or dock up and walk around the CQ, for goodness sake feel free to... whatever you want. On the flip side, just know that every decision comes with consequences. Just like out here in good 'ol real life. Action and reaction. Cause and effect.

It has been with some amusement then watching Ripard tell everyone about my former Alliance's plan to rid Syndicate of "others".  And then strangely back off from the edge. And then my debate buddy Mord Fiddle come out on the other side of that.

They are both right of course. As much as I would love it if everyone played the way I play, that isn't going to happen. And no amount of ranting about it is going to change that. On the other hand, if I would so choose to make that my "thing" and go around in-game trying to force everyone to play the way I want them to... well then, I could. Making that decision however means facing the consequences, the horrible feedback, mockery, disdain, forum flames and everything else that comes along with it. I'd need to be extremely determined.

And, lucky for us, there are plenty of people out there in Eve who are determined. God bless them. Thank you for the nut-bags, the wing-nuts, the ego maniacs, the strange, the solo, the hidden, the conquerors and the vanquished. I celebrate you all. What would Eve be without CVA? Without the Goons? Without the planet sized ego of The Mittani? Without gankers, wankers, and people scared of their own shadow? Or Shadow for that matter? I could go on for a long time here.

I support RK's public declaration of insanity. Bully for you guys. Enjoy the wave of sand encrusted feces headed your way. It takes some big ones to so obviously announce your intentions for everyone to not only mock, but suddenly be aware of. And I get the point btw, so don't bother trying to tell me I don't "get it". It isn't complicated.

It won't work though. But that doesn't mean it won't be fun trying.

I would never tell anyone else how to play Eve. I might ask a few of you to join me from time to time and go in a certain direction, isn't that what Corporations and Alliances are all about? But I believe in the sandbox. And so, I may shoot you for playing the way you've decided to play. Or, I may mock you in these pages for your choices. That is also my right.

It is just as much RK's choice as it is anyones. This is a sandbox after all.

And now for Part Two.

The sandbox has changed. RK isn't the only entity that feels the changes, goodness knows I'm hearing it all over the channels lately and feeling it out in space. And I know this is going to sound somewhat 'bitter-vet' but compared to the years that have come before, it doesn't feel the same. And I admit that the change I'm talking about isn't necessarily a negative, only that it is different.

Let me give you an example. It wasn't long ago that you could warp yourself to the top belt in OMS and be assured of a fight. Goodness knows I've done it many, many times. It was often the perfect ending to a long roam. And there are other places in New Eden like that. Back then the chances of being ganked to high heaven were about 1 in 4. Which isn't horrible odds. Now the chances of being ganked are more like 3 in 4. And I'd say those odds are pretty much true everywhere in low-sec. ( My apologies, it happens to be where I play )

All Summer I have been primarily focused on my solo work and I have travelled as much as I can across the "western" side of the map. During that entire time the ONLY people I've seen in belts have been young players. Under 12 months. The belts are empty. That didn't use to be the case.

Frustration is a huge force for change. And I believe the RK declaration stems from frustration. Heck, I share many of those same frustrations. Yesterday three ships ran from me in a Slasher! They would have most likely killed me and they ran away. And yes, I often attack even when I think I might possibly lose. If you don't, then you will never win.

The sandbox has changed. And it will continue to change. And some people are not going to like it.



The Most Important Person at CCP Meme

If you haven't noticed yet, and if you haven't then you must be living in a cave  ( or for some unknown reason NOT a regular reader!! For shame! ), then you've probably noticed that I like to have fun. I make fun, draw fun and generally fly for fun in-game. "Fun" being a silly word for having a good time, enjoying myself and not taking things in a virtual world very serious. Although with a huge dose of seriousness inside the hard outer-shell of not taking it serious.

I'm such a complicated and nuanced individual. A mad genius. Which is why this blog is so darn awesome.

Whenever I can I like to have some of this "fun" with my friends at CCP. In fact, one of them in particular, the ever beautiful and extremely talented CCP Punkturis. With whom I have a long history of having fun with. I don't know why, but it has just worked out that way. Perhaps it is the fact that she works with Fonts or the User Interface, or perhaps it is something more than that. Who am I to question these things?

Either way, there it is.

So the other day CCP released this photo of said Punkturis lounging and reading a book.


With apologies to her husband, who I assume is an awesome and understanding sort, I couldn't resist having a bit of fun with that image. I mean, c'mon, how often does something like that fall into your hands? Gold Jerry!!

So first I decided to make a fake ad, since I happen to be an Ad Man, this was only natural.

Click to embiggen!
As good as that was, there seemed to be more potential with this image. So I decided to create a fake Meme based on the Most Interesting Man Meme. The results are below.








If I trusted any of you, I'd make the base available for others to use. But sadly, I don't.



Totally Made Up Serious Sounding Post (including real bits)

Play Eve long enough and you will begin to really get annoyed about a few things. Your results may vary, but one universal annoyance is certainly what I call ( Well, tbh I just made this up for the post, but I should probably act like I've been calling it this for a long time, so as to appear smarter or more thoughtful ) The Duality of Chance Model of Random Collisions. ( Man, that does sound important! )

DCMRC goes something like this. Fit up a small, fast ship with a MWD to catch people. Undock in said awesome ship. Warp around looking for a fight. Get Webbed/Scrammed, Die.

Having learned that lesson, you now fit up a slightly more tanky version based around an AB. You are so smart. Undock. Warp around. Miss out on about 10,000 fights because you don't have a MWD!

Roam in bigger ships and all you find is smaller ships. Roam in smaller ships and all you find is larger ships. This Duality of Chance thing is a real pisser! And it scales of course. Take out a RR Fleet and guess what? Take out a Shield BC fleet? Same thing. Sigh.

The good news is that despite the DCMRC effect, you can fight thru it. How? My God Rixx, how!?!!

It doesn't exist. There is no such thing as the DCMRC Effect. I totally made it up, I even said so way up there in the first paragraph. Pay attention. You nodded while you were reading because we have all experienced this duality. It is the way the universe works my friend. And nothing can be done about it. The only thing left to you is to mitigate the effects, overcome the odds, and train up a boosting alt. Or not.

I had a lot of the DCMRC Effect this week. I take out small ships with ABs and need a MWD, I take out larger ships and find poor Merlins to kill. ( I felt bad for the guy I tackled in my SFI, I didn't even launch mah drones ) I finally settle on a medium-sized Thrasher and then this Sentinel lands right on top of me! lol.

I laugh at myself a lot. This friggin' game is so incredibly frustrating at times. But then... on the other hand... it can be so amazingly awesome. And the duality effect swings around to your side of the world for a few moments.

You jump into a WH and find this Daredevil just sitting there about 70k off the entrance. And your buddy tackles him and as he dies the bad guys warp the kitchen sink in on top of you! Devoter, Cynabal, Hawks, good grief I don't even remember now. They Web and Scram'nate you!! They put bubbles up and you think you are so dead. But then, hey this time I have exactly the right fit and I just align out and escape.

Or someone finds a WH that just drops you right into Providence and despite NEVER having time to play for extended periods on Sunday... you just happen to have time to play on Sunday. WoOt.

So don't give up hope. Hang in there. The worm eventually turns and the better prepared you are the more likely that you can take advantage of it when it does. And don't buy any wooden nickels.

And look both ways before you jump.



"You could be trapped for months!!"


With no hope of getting out. Cut off from the rest of New Eden and doomed to face the kind of rats you've only seen in your nightmares. You'll need RR to survive or the best tanked BS you can find. But, if the hole closes behind you... you could be trapped in there for months!! (oh noes!!)

Pardon me while I wax nostalgic over the early days of Wormholes.

In my opinion, nothing else has been introduced to our universe quite the same way that Wormholes were back in the Apocrypha expansion.  At that time I was still a relatively young pilot in Null Space and the rumors and miss-information and out-right falsehoods about Wormholes ran rampant. Depending on who you talked about them with, what their perspective was and who they had talked to about them, or who they'd heard, or experienced... good grief that was a fun time.

And I'm not a WH person, never have been. But I remember people packing up like they were going on an Antarctic Expedition - packing for potentially months and months of being trapped inside WH Space without hope of rescue. The stories started quickly. The pilot left with no other alternative than to suicide pod himself back into regular space. The pilots who disappeared for months only to return with vast cargo holds full of treasure. The insane Sleeper Rats and their potential for dealing death and destruction.

We heard it all. We lapped up each and every tale of daring and adventure. We were still young. Wormholes were the great destructive unknown and an extremely powerful force in New Eden at the time.

I've never lived in a WH but I've been using them since the beginning. It wasn't long before the truth finally started making itself known. Some of the rumors were true and some were just crazy talk, but WHs remain an extremely interesting and amazing addition to the universe of New Eden. From the moment I first entered one and popped out half-way across the universe until yesterday when we took a gang thru one into Providence, WHs have remained a great way to get around.

Some of the best fights and fun roams I've ever had in Eve have been based around WHs. From the people who do live in them to the places they've carried me. For that reason alone I think WHs have been the best addition to New Eden in the four years I've been playing Eve. I can't imagine the universe without them.

In some ways it is a shame some of those rumors turned out to be false. But the truth about these gateways to somewhere else is this, they are a lot of fun. Even if you do manage to get trapped in there!




Announcing: Frigate Free For All

FrigateFFAWallpaperRev2
Click for additional sizes
The Tuskers are pleased to announce the first in a series of regular "Free For All" events aimed at promoting PvP for the newer players in Eve.  The first Frigate FFA will be held on Saturday, October 27th between 20:00 and 24:00 Eve time.

One of our members, I Legionnaire, had to leave Eve due to RL and he donated a tremendous amount to the Corporation. We'll be using this cache to provide prizes.

The event is open to any player in Eve, but the best prizes will be reserved for those under 12 months old. You can learn more by clicking here!

I would encourage CEO's or younger players to contact us thru the Tusker Public Channel. 

I encourage all new players who are interested in a career in PvP to participate.

LEARN MORE!

See you there.


Tuskerversary

Even though Eve thinks it happened last week, yesterday was actually my one year anniversary as a Tusker. It is the first time in over four years of playing Eve that I've stayed in one Corporation for an entire year.

It is no coincidence that the past year happens to coincide with the most turbulent time in my own personal life in recent memory. In fact, the two things do go together. I won't bore you with all the details, but suffice to say the past 12 months have been pretty horrible out here in the real world. And the Tuskers, in so many ways, have been a great place to weather the storm in-game.

That isn't to take anything away from the guys I fly with, if anything it means more than that. But there is a significant correlation between my evolving real-world situation and the choices I've made over the years in Eve. In fact, in most situations, they mirror each other to the letter. It is easier to be in CTA dominated Null Space Alliances when your life is more stable, or to lead your own Corporation or found Alliances when things are going well. But children do get sick and need special care, or you sometimes have to manage the collapse of a company. All things that change the amount of time you can dedicate to in-game activities.

Beyond that however, The Tuskers have proven to be the perfect home for my imperfect play-style. A fact that they don't always appreciate, but one that is never-the-less true. Like many people over the years they often make the mistake in assuming my sometimes irreverent attitude means that I don't take Eve seriously - which is far from the truth. This has caused a few clashes over the past year, but we've all worked those out and moved on. It's called growth and it happens for the best in most cases.

Being unemployed lately brings some odd issues along with it. On the one hand I generally have more play time, but on the other hand I have significantly less dedicated time to play. My time usually comes in much smaller bursts at odd hours. And while the Tuskers are most active around 20:00 I am the least active around that time. This means I rarely get the chance to fly with them in organized roams, a fact I probably miss more than they do. And it means that I have to rely more on solo or very small gang activity more. Which also happens to fit well with what I want to do in-game. So it all seems to work out rather well.

I'd like to think I've helped the corporation in other ways, we have grown rather a lot in those twelve months. So perhaps me talking about them more here on the blog has raised awareness and helped in that way. At least more than my pitiful 274-52 record has over those twelve months. There are pilots in our Corp that get more kills in a single month!

But, as I've said many times, I don't play for numbers. I play to play. The numbers take care of themselves. One number stands out however, The Tuskers are #1 on BattleClinic. And that is one number we can all take some pride in.

Will Rixx be in The Tuskers for another year? I suspect so, but only time will tell.




Your Guide to Hiring Crews

Click to embiggen!
Yesterday I lost a ship because someone forgot to properly tune the electronic transfiberator quantum response unit (ETQ-R), you know the one. Believe me, they walked home in a box!  But it did get me thinking about how we hire our crews and I thought I'd share some of the things I've learned over the years. It isn't as easy as you might think. And it can be critical.

The first thing is to forget everything you learned in Capsuleer school about how awesome you are. You are a Capsuleer and that is awesome in many, many ways. But it doesn't make you a God when it comes to maintaining, repairing, oiling, operating, or in every other way making sure your ship works properly. For that you need a crew. A half-decent collection of men, women and whatnots, that can be relied upon when the time comes. There is nothing worse than getting down to business and discovering that one of your Mods won't activate properly, or it lags out on you! Whose fault is that?!

WHO?

I employ a "top-down" approach to hiring crews. The top is better than the bottom, a good top makes the bottom better, or as my dear old Dad used to say, "being on top is better, cause shit rolls down hill."  He was right. The crew leadership positions are the most important and I typically only fly with one or two seasoned crew members in the elite positions. My Number One and I have been flying together for almost a year, as an example. Everyone else in the crew management department is a woman, I like to have something to look at on the Bridge. ( Captain doesn't touch though. For one it is bad for business and two, my wife would kill me dead!)

The second most important thing is food. Finding a great chef, especially one that can cook while invisible under cloak, is critical. I don't know about you but I love to eat, especially when I'm out hunting in deep space far from Station or Ground.

The rest of the crew? Here are some quick guidelines to follow:

• Eye patches, peg-legs and other disabilities. Don't hire them!! A missing limb just means they screwed up once and they can screw up again. You don't want that to happen on your ship.

• Anyone with a "toady": Any crew member that has a smaller buddy that follows him around repeating everything he says, you don't want either of them. Nothing but trouble.

• Model Handsome: You can be toooo good looking! These people, men or women, tend to have "hero-complex" issues and that type of problem doesn't belong on your ship. Only hire moderately decent looking or horribly ugly crew members - they know their place!

• Former Amarrians: Current Amarrians are ok and they tend to stick to themselves, but former Amarrians are nothing but trouble. Like former drug addicts, they just won't stop talking about it. Leave them in station. ( I believe this goes double for Vegetarians as well!)

• Sickness: Don't. That guy clutching his stomach? God knows what might be in there!


WHERE?

Every Station is different, but generally most Captains troll the bars and brigs for their crews. And while those will serve in a pinch, we've all done it, the last thing I want is a crew full of boozers and people who get caught easily.  ( Those types of failure attitudes will quickly infect the entire crew ) I usually get the bulk of my crews from the workshops, sweat shops and gardens in Station. They are paid terribly low wages but yet they keep working at these dead-end jobs! Amazing people. Usually they have some ugly fat wife or rugrats to support, so the idea of vague promises of wealth usually are enough to entice them into your ship.

If that fails I tend to raid mid-managers from one of the Station Corporations. Same principle really.


The most important thing however is reputation. Your reputation as a Captain will travel ahead of you thru the ranks of the crew and out into space. You want a reputation as a Captain that doesn't take any crap but deals somewhat fairly with his crew. Don't make friends with them for goodness sake! But don't get them all killed either. I tend to try and stay right around 73% operational on the escape pods on my ships. Any more than that starts to take money off the bottom line and any less is bad for business. As long as the survivors out-number the dead, you should be fine.

Working with normal humans can be tiring, boring and full of smells, but you are the Captain and an Immortal. So remember that and make sure they keep the ETQ-R in proper working order!!





Monday Misc

• When I'm in my pod, do my fingers get all pruned and wrinkled?

• I forgot to mention that I recently passed my 4th Anniversary as an Eve player back in early September. Same character straight for four years. I suspect my lack of mentioning it has something to do with such things meaning less and less as the years go by? Or perhaps I'm just getting older...

• I joined the Tuskers on October 10th of last year, but my character sheet in-game says I've been a member for 12 months already. Some confusion there, but I'm waiting till the 10th to celebrate.

• Looks like the Megathron is getting a new design for Retribution.

• If you are not already reading Eve Travel you should.

• Now is a good time to go over to the forums and support the Ring of Fire Project! It's going to happen one way or the other and it would be better if you could help. You'll feel better knowing you did.

• I'm thinking about organizing an Eve meet-up in Pittsburgh soon, so keep an eye out here for more details. Once I have more details.

• I've been playing Eve for over four years now. Did I mention that already? FYI - I'm currently training the skill that will put me over 70m Skill Points, just so you know. Oh, it's Assault Missile Specialization V for the completest readers.

• Also, just so you feel like I continue to share. I can currently fit all sub-cap T2 weapon systems in Eve except for two. Which two? Light Missiles and Cruise Missiles. I never planned on training those to T2, but I may change my mind about Light missiles given some of the changes coming.

• I'm not sure why, but I find this extremely funny.

• I mentioned last week that The Tuskers are ranked #1 on BC now, which is awesome. Believe it or not I take some perverse joy in knowing I am the worst pilot in the top ranked corporation. In other words, I am the worst of the best, but not the best of the worst. I don't mind at all. ( I'm probably not actually, but I like to think I am, so leave me alone! )

• For the past two years I've written exactly 344 posts each year, but this year I've only written 151 so far. I doubt I'll make it to 344 this year. That means I'd have to write 193 posts between today and the end of December, which is only... well maths. Doesn't seem likely. And that makes me kinda sad in a weird way.

• I don't do maths. When I was in third grade I told my teacher we should stop learning maths cause we had these new things called calculators we could use. She laughed at me and told me to get back to work! Bitch. Who has the last laugh now?

• Sometimes I wish I had lasers that would shoot out of my eyes. Sometimes I try to do that and end up giving myself a headache.

• When I sign up new crews to fly my ships I give each of them a candy sucker, my brother is a dentist in Hevrice. Is that wrong?

• When I fly a Battleship in Eve I wear my lucky Darth Vader costume on the Bridge. I've never told anyone that before.


Until next time.




GCC: Wave Your Flag Proudly

Click to make larger!
Unless you live in a cave, in which case you probably don't have an internet connection, you realize that yesterday CCP Masterplan unveiled the new Crimewatch Dev Blog. Skip forward thru over-reaction and instantaneous judgement calls and let 24 hrs pass.

I'm not going to rehash all the changes, the flags, the new icons, the timers, the gate/station gun line of sight on grid weirdness, or the tears from the can-flippers and whatnots. Every player seems to have their own unique combination of activities they are concerned about. And all of that will settle itself over the next few months into a brand new combination of activities. It always does. It is important to remember that this is only one component of even more changes on the horizon, so taking it alone is a bit out of context. But there it is.

Primarily I congratulate those involved in tackling this issue. CW has needed attention for a very long time and the confusing, arbitrary, often random amount of issues it had to deal with over the years was horribly confusing. So any attempt to streamline such a horrid mess is one we should applaud.

Having read the dev blog and the reactions to it over the past day, I'd say that goal has been moderately successful. The new system is easier to understand once you let go of the previous knowledge and experience we all have working within the old system. It seems clear that the new system has clearly defined aggressive action into compartments that are simple to grasp. Or at least better than it was before.

It is difficult to evaluate the entirety of the changes without all the pieces. I suspect that the new Bounty Hunter changes will expand on much of what is contained in CW 2.0. Until then the changes exist without proper context in many respects. It remains unclear the total role that Sec Status will or will not have within the new system. And this is an important omission.

Generally speaking I like the new changes. In particular I think the line that has been drawn between ship to ship combat and ship to pod combat is extremely interesting. And my initial impression that the new system encourages PvP in Low-Sec remains relatively strong. For us low-sec denizens the new system doesn't change much for us on its own, it obviously refines certain things and modifies others, but it doesn't fundamentally change much. Except perhaps to encourage more people to attack us, which is what we've always wanted.

Saying that exposes the missing piece we'll be getting with Bounty Hunting however, so we'll have to wait and see what that brings with it.

I am in no way happy that 15 minute timers still exist. I've always believed that 15m is far too long in Eve for anything to happen, or not happen, as the case may be. 5 minutes is more than enough time for anyone who feels threatened to make a speedy escape, for things to settle down and for evil pirates to be punished. Certainly there are work-arounds within the new system and podding pilots would seem to be destined to become a rare event.

So CW 2.0 allows me more freedom of movement and more choices when it comes to engagement. I can now attack other pilots in a belt and not worry about having to take station or gate guns for doing so. If only there were pilots actually in belts in Eve.

But the announced changes to FW also seem to be encouraging more activity, although at less reward, so we'll also have to wait and see how that impacts activity.

It is early yet. We still have a way to go before Dec 4th and likely some additional changes and announcements will impact what has happened so far. But no matter how you look at it, from ship changes, to FW, to can-flipping, to ejecting, to gate fighting, to new flags and more, Retribution is shaping up to be a major shift in the the way we all do business in New Eden.


Speaking as a Pirate I am extremely happy with the new system. As long as we choose not to pod anyone, we have pretty much free reign to roam and fight even in Frigates. This is good for us and good for Eve.




GCC: Why U Violence Mah Boat?

NOTE: For some history, take a moment to read this post from last Summer (8.11.11) in which I laid out a revised and modified plan for GCC, which included universal 5 minute timers.

NOTE 2: Also take a moment and read this excellent post over on Carebears With Claws, which effectively does the same thing.

And now, the funnies:

Click to embiggen! Oh baby!
Yesterday's post was all about compromise and just how horrible that approach to solving problems in Eve can be. While there are many solutions to the issues inherent in the current GCC/Aggro system, modifying the current system to work within the current system is needlessly complicated. Heck, it took me four steps to do it.

It is obvious that the new Crimewatch portion of the new expansion will, in some way, deal with these issues. What isn't obvious, at least as of this writing, is exactly "how" they will be dealt with. But we do have some clues to base some supposition around. And it seems to me like it will be a combination of elements from my post last year and the one over on CWC. At least in part.

So, let's assume ( which my Father always warned me, makes an ass of u and me ) this is the case. That effectively Hi-Sec and Null are left alone and the new Crimewatch system primarily deals with Low-Sec. Let's also assume it includes the implementation of a universal five-minute timer based on aggression and defense of aggression.

In other words, if I attack you and you fire back to defend yourself, we've entered into an agreement of aggression. No timer, no sec status loss, just a toe-to-toe good fight. It is possible that I am way off here, but this is my current assumption when it comes to what we are getting. In addition to the rumors of in-system trading of Kill Rights and other, possibly, more outlandish claims being made.

If the core of the new system is mutual 1v1s built into the framework of the new Crimewatch, then I'm all for it obviously. 5 minute timers are much better than 15 minute timers and hopefully will result in much more actual play-time and less knitting time.

I've been railing against the current GCC system for almost three years, back in July 2011 I wrote an Eveotorial calling for 5 minute timers to be universally implemented, which even pre-dates the post I linked at the top of this one.

My point being, it's been obvious for years that something needed to be done. I'm certainly not the only one who has been saying it. And I'll be curious to watch as more information streams out of the Dev Blog Farm and hits the streets in the coming weeks.

We've been asking for years for someone to pay some attention to Low-Sec, let's just hope we don't regret it when they finally do.

Always vigilant.





GCC: The Stand in the Corner Mechanic

So yesterday four of us went out on a fun, impromptu Frigate roam. A Merlin, Slasher, Executioner and a Vengeance (so almost all Frigates lol ), the point being we were in small ships. The roam lasted about 45 minutes or an hour until we blarped ourselves in a stoopid manner and most of us died.

But here is the real point. Let's say it lasted an hour. 45 minutes of that hour was spent under GCC. And because we were in small ships that meant floating in space not playing Eve.

Now I know most of you non-PvP or non-low readers are saying to yourselves "so what?". And honestly that is a fair question, so what? We don't have to explode people in their ships, act like crazy people and kill everything we happen to come across in space. We don't have to do that. And choosing to do that should come with some form of punishment, shouldn't it?

Well rest easy my strange non-violent friends, because our lifestyle choice comes with plenty of punishment. So much so in fact, that I often wonder if this is a PvP game or an economic simulator set in space. I happen to agree with you by the way. Attacking a fellow pilot and destroying his or her precious ship should indeed come with a penalty. (Full disclosure however, if CCP announced that GCC would be done away with completely, I'd be 100% in favor of that decision! But, since I seriously doubt that will ever happen, I have to say I support "some" type of punishment.)

Remember when there used to be a timer when you docked your ship? You couldn't dock and then just undock again, you had to wait for the timer to expire. This went on for years and we were told this was a protection mechanism to help keep people safe. It was probably more an issue of server load frankly and it is a welcome relief that it is gone from the game. So it is possible to eliminate mechanics that make no sense and not have their removal negatively impact the game itself. Does anyone feel less safe now that the docking timer is gone?

The current system of Agression/Criminal timers doesn't work very well. The punishment is a "dumb bomb" approach to a "smart bomb" problem and it desperately needs to be updated to modern times.

One of the biggest complaints I heard in regards to my recent Bounty Hunter suggestions was that System Sec Status is a meaningless designation. Which is roughly true. But the reason I suggested tying  something to that designation was to help make it a meaningful designation. It only means something if we actually use it. Otherwise it should be done away with. Anything in the game that serves no purpose has no place in the game.

So then, accepting all of that, what should be done?

If it was up to me I would implement a system of "scale" to the question of GCC and I will explain how that would work:

1. One Timer to Rule Them All

Yellow and Red Aggression and Criminal timers are ludicrous and meaningless. I warp to a belt and the rats shoot me and I get an aggression timer? That makes no sense at all. We need one global timer in one convenient color. This isn't just a Pirate issue as it would affect all pilots. Unless you aggress you shouldn't have a timer, period. Simple.

2. Scale One: System

The first scale derives from the system in which the aggression takes place. The higher the system sec status the higher the scale and the impact it has on aggression. This makes total sense, the closer to Empire control the more control Empire should have and the more "safe" a pilot should feel, the higher the penalty for those that choose to ignore it. Conversely, the further from Empire control and the closer to Null, the less. Simple.

Weight: 50%

3. Scale Two: Pilot

Every pilot has a sec status rating as well. Generally speaking the more dangerous you happen to be the lower your rating. ( And yes, I am fully aware that this doesn't really mean that in all cases.) So the lower the status of the pilot the more dangerous said pilot is to the general population the higher the penalty he should expect. And the opposite. Simple.

Weight: 25%

4. Scale Three: Ship Class

A Frigate is less dangerous than a BS. (Again, we are talking generalities here) So if I attack someone in a Frigate I pose less of a danger than if I attacked in a Battleship. There should also be consideration given to the ship class involved, since Frigates are less able to withstand gate and station guns they should be penalized less than their more robust cousins. Simple.

Weight: 25%


The maximum timer is fifteen minutes and the minimum timer is one minute. This maintains the stated "cooling off" effect that GCC is supposed to promote and allows adequate time for even the dumbest pilot to seek safety from his aggressor.

For me personally, this system could very well mean no changes AT ALL to my game play. Since I am an evil rotten scum sucking pirate, I could end up with 15 minutes of GCC every time. But at least it would make sense, be one easy to understand timer and maybe result in less time if I choose to fly smaller ships. Oh yeah, it would also encourage more small ship flying.

This is only one idea, sure. It may not even be the best idea. Just writing this I came up with some other ideas that sound pretty good in my head. Maybe those would work better. At this point, it isn't hard to imagine a system that works better than the one we have now.

And isn't that a good enough reason to fix it?





Tuskers #1


This morning The Tuskers finally overtook Outbreak for the #1 Corporation ranking on BattleClinic. Say what you will about BC, and I think we all have our issues with it, it is equally messed up for everyone. And while there are many Corps with more kills than us, or more destroyed ISK value, or more whatever you want to point at - the fact is the combination of point value, kills and destroyed value adds up to the high ranking.

We've known for months that we were getting close, we even had an internal bet on when exactly it would happen. ( not sure who won the pool, will have to check. )

I think my opinion about Killboard stats has been well established here over the years, but even so, this is still a pretty awesome thing. But what really matters is where the rubber meets the road, ship to ship, pilot to pilot. And while virtual respect might mean something to some, for me it will continue to be my own fellow pilots, my friends and the self-respect I have when I undock to go hunting.

Everything else is just numbers.

But congratulations to my fellow Tuskers! I know how hard they've been working on this and how much sheer effort it takes behind the scenes to accomplish. And for that, and for all the good fights, no one can say otherwise. Well done. Now let's get to work on keeping it.




Ring of Fire Music Video



Support the Ring of Fire Project

So my good friend Aiden Mourn writes me and says he has an idea for a version of Ring of Fire that is a tad more emotional, dark and moody than the original. He also wonders aloud, knowing full well I can't say no, if I'd be interested in producing a darker, more contemplative video to his track?

I love the idea of creating Eve videos that are... well, a tad different perhaps than the Eve videos we are used to seeing. Nothing wrong with an excellent PvP video or trailer from CCP, I love those as much as anyone. But if I'm going to do something I tend to shy away from what other people are doing, just on principle.

So I welcomed the chance to create this piece and continue to promote the ROF Project. Take a moment and follow the clip above or in the graphic in the right sidebar and register your support for this initiative.

And while this video isn't perfect I hope you enjoy it. I'm determined to make one some day that makes us cry like babies...




September 2012

Another month of pillaging and rapin', or trying to find good fights. I was 50-10 in September (58-18 in August) and that seems to be a normal range for me given my limited playing time these days. I'm good with that level, I'd certainly like to have better stats, but what can you do?

I did manage to make even more of the month end award lists on the Tusker KB this month, so that is something. Please ignore how pathetic my numbers are compared to Tawa, the man is a beast.


Progress remains slow however, as my nature continues to get me exploded in strange and stoopid ways from time-to-time. I'm beginning to suspect that is just the way it is going to be, so I should just relax and accept the insanity that sometimes takes over my brain.

Oh and in a couple of days here I will have been in the Tuskers for an entire year... straight! I've never done that before.