It is a game after all


At heart I am a goofball. I freely admit this about myself. I could be a lot more serious about Eve. I really could do that. But... I really, really don't want to do that. I know this "serious business" stuff exists and many people choose that path for their own play-style. I respect that. But I can't bring myself to do it.

I do the dumbest things sometimes. It used to be, back in my earlier days, moving around the universe trying to find the worst possible situations to be a part of. Wars. Good fights. Hot spots. That's where you'd find me. Heck, I've started entire corporations simply because it sounded like it'd be "fun" or something different.

These days, having settled into a long-term relationship, my dumb goofy nature is often expressed in the things I do. Like undocking a Dominix and engaging a gang of AFs. Or warping my Vexor into a gang of logi-supported Frigates yesterday, just because I was bored and it sounded fun. It's only one ship right?

After four and a half years of this I am certain of only one thing, I'm not going to change. It is, after all, only a game.

And so I exist in a world of dual desires. On the one hand I really want to be a good ( possibly great ) pirate fighter solo type person. On the other hand however, I also want to enjoy "playing" Eve. The thing is, neither of those two things could exist without the other.

What do I mean?

Let's assume I decided to choose the "serious business" avenue fully. Embrace the professional and go full-bore. Take better care, be more choosey on engagements, perhaps train a boosting alt. That would last me for a week or so and then I'd get bored and quit playing Eve. There are far more serious things I can be doing with my time. I could finish that novel for example. Or write that new screenplay.

If I choose to flaunt "serious business" and go full goofball? Well that wouldn't work either. Playing Eve simply and purely for fun wouldn't be much fun after all. For one thing, I'd burn through ships pretty darn fast and then what?

No, it is the balance that keeps me interested. A healthy dose of professionalism mixed with a dab of stoopid. It keeps Eve fun, interesting, challenging and above all else - engaging.

I am lucky that such a game exists that can embrace both play-styles at the same time. It is extremely difficult to do that with, say, chess.

I bring this up today because I think many of you struggle with this duality. I thought sharing my own deepest understandings of my own nature, might be a benefit to you. Don't be afraid to not be afraid. Sometimes it doesn't make sense and that is perfectly fine.

It is, after all, only a game.



Target Acquisition: The Hardest Part of Eve

I talk to a lot of pilots and one of the most difficult things to explain to them happens to be the most difficult part of Eve combat.

Target Acquisition.

The process of finding a target, acquiring that target and determining ( often in milli-seconds ) if you should engage or withdraw.

Hunting and finding are things I've talked about many times on this blog and they come down to mastering a series of mechanical actions. D-scan being primary among them. It is the third step that is the hardest part of Eve - should I, or shouldn't I?

Engage or not? It is an important question that needs answered under pressure, in difficult circumstances and in an ever-changing and fluid environment. But the answer will determine your fate even before the first volley is fired. The up-coming battle is often won or lost according to the answer your monkey brain decides to pursue. Unlike the other two steps of target acquisition, this one doesn't come down to a mechanical series of checks and balances. It is often clouded by emotion, desire and other human reptile dysfunctions that can lead to bad decision making.

There are different rules when it comes to this decision for Null, Low, WH and High. In this post I'm going to focus on Low-Sec, but many of the traits are the same. I would argue that given the rules in-place that Low-Sec is the most difficult of them all to determine your attack. Especially now with the advent and rise of Faction Warfare variables that didn't even exist a year ago. Add to that background the constantly changing ship balancing, new mods, new tactics and the appearance of cloaks and stabs on ships that never had them before, and the environment is simply insane and impossible to predict.

It is likely that the most common question in Eve comes down to something like this, "Can ship X destroy ship Y?" And this is the heart of what boils down to a 1v1 decision, even in large gangs the fight hinges on a one on one equation. A calculation of available dps, resistance based tanking, speed, location and ability. It may be a simple 1v1 math calculation or a 40v60 one, but it all comes down to that. So yes and no. A Rifter can take down any other ship in the game... depending on certain variables. But it is also highly improbable that it will.

Probability. Given all things being equal a Rifter will always lose to a Dramiel. And yet, Rifters explode Dramiels. How then do we explain such things? All things are, of course, not always equal. In fact they never are. ( This is why, in my opinion, "EFT Warrioring" is a bad thing as it sets up a false sense of "equality" in your mind that simply doesn't exist out in the real world of New Eden )

So how then do we determine an engagement?

We establish a probability of success based upon an inaccurate series of assumptions.

1. You ( whom you hopefully know well ) vs Them ( who you probably don't know at all ) EMP (Equal/Minus/Plus). Let's assume, for the example, you feel this is a PLUS on your side (+)

2. Your Ship ( Range/DPS/Tank/Speed) vs Their Ship ( Range/DPS/Tank/Speed ) EMP (=)

3. Location - Does he have possible back-up? Is the fight advantage on you or him ( in a belt? or planet, or will you be landing at zero or range?) EMP (-)

4. Character Age - Is the enemy older or younger than you? This is an interesting one. For older characters I actually give less weight than I do to younger characters. The reason is simple, there are only so many skills you can carry in one ship! So being older than me isn't as big of an advantage as it used to be, but being younger than me is more likely a bigger disadvantage than it used to be. This is like a scale you weigh in an instant. And I often just default and consider this one EMP (=)

5. Intangibles. Are you having a bad day already or have you been awesome? Have fights been going your way or not lately? I know this might sound weird but I fully believe there is truth to the fact that Eve works this way. Are the hairs standing up on the back of your neck? Or do you feel like a Super Hero? Confident? Or worried. This one is totally based on nothing, but it is possibly the most important. EMP (-) For this example let's figure I've been having a bad day.

So. (+) (=) (-) (=) (-) adds up to you probably shouldn't attack this ship, you will most likely lose.  If you are already starting to notice the fact that this formula doesn't make any sense at all, then you are starting to understand the problem. There is no answer.

Can a Rifter kill a Megathron? Yes. Sometimes. But usually not. The truth lies somewhere in there because of factors that change constantly. How good is the Rifter? How is it fit? How good is the Mega, how is it fit? We can make assumptions and assign probability, but one thing Eve will teach you rather quickly is your assumptions are a pile of poo. That Mega doesn't even have any fittings! Oh wait, it actually has two friggin' webs!! And a gazillion Warrior IIs!!

Anyone selling you answers with concrete solutions is full of shit.

Nothing substitutes experience. There are no quick paths to enlightenment. The determining factors of engagement are totally up to you. How daring are you? How risk-adverse are you willing to be? Does failure frighten you or challenge you? Are you willing to take risks in order to solo a Megathron, or not? ( That's just an example btw, but I know people who have killed Mega's with Rifters. And even more unlikely engagements.)

There are basic facts upon which to build assumptions however. Ship knowledge being the most important. Understanding how ships are fitted, what their bonuses are and aren't, trends, and probabilities. Upon that knowledge, experience and understanding the odds begin to slide in your favor. Be smart. Fight daring.



The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

A collection of fights from the last few weeks, some that went great, some that went badly and a few that defy explanation.

The Ugly - Hookbill vs Hookbill
In over four years of playing Eve I can't remember this happening before in a 1v1-we both exploded. I thought I had him there at the end and was surprised to see my pod. At the end of a fight that close what can you learn? Maybe I should have loaded Inferno, maybe I should have overheated the lows a tad earlier? Dunno, other than good fight.

The Good - 2 Frigates vs Tengu
Nauru and I had just chased a Vexor from a belt when I hear on comms, "Tengu pointed". Nauru, master of understatement. I warped in to find that he had indeed managed to point a Tengu with his Condor. Why not? It was a bit hairy when the Tengu switched primary to me, but the Hookbill hung tough and I managed the range to my benefit.

The Bad - Talos vs Fate
I didn't intend to fight on the Hawk on station. Seeing as he wasn't negative, but showed "red" on my overview, I intended to simply yellow box him. But just as I landed on the station my seven year old landed in the chair next to me and started asking questions. A lot of questions. Somehow, in the midst of this distraction, I shot at the Hookbill. The station didn't like that very much.

The Good - Caracal vs Navy Caracal
I spotted this Navy Caracal in a belt and re-docked to get my regular Caracal. Sure enough, he was still there. I have no idea what he thought he was doing, but I thank my lucky stars he was doing it. Yuzuki showed up at the end there to whore.

The Ugly - Caracal vs 4 Stabs
I've written about this fight already, but it is so ugly it deserves to be mentioned again.

The Bad - Daredevil vs Comet
He may have been afk. Otherwise I have no answers for why he didn't move, or do anything. It may have been shame at flying a Comet without rigs. But if you are going to go afk in a Comet, perhaps warping to a safe spot first or docking up would be a god idea.

The Good - Drake vs Phantasm and Thorax
I don't remember why my Drake was sitting at the gate, probably waiting to go into the next system or something, when these two reds jumped through and started approaching me. So I attacked them both. I managed to kill the Rax ( the other damage he had from before ) but the Phantasm was proving to be more difficult. Until help arrived. I left the fight with about 2% structure left. Whew.

The Good - Drake vs SFI and Rupture
Another time I undocked to find a SFI and a Rupture on the station. So I engaged. The SFI made a huge mistake and got up close and let me get my webs on him, the HAMS tore thru him pretty well and it wasn't long before he went boom. The Rupture was a tad more difficult, but he was committed. At some point in the fight Mister undocked to help me in his Ashimmu, but I don't even remember him being there.

The Ugly - Slasher vs Hookbill
I was hunting a Manticore who had cloaked up in a FW. I had his location and was burning for him, if he was still there, to de-cloak him and kill him. I was concentrating a lot on this task when I saw the red appear on my overview. Thinking I had de-cloaked the Manti I went into combat mode and did everything you do in such a situation, which takes what? All of 3 seconds maybe? When I looked back up at the overview I realized I had just attacked possibly the worst ship to attack with this fit. Ooops.




LIMIT WCS NOW


Rules exist to protect the innocent, the ignorant and those that cannot ( or will not ) help themselves. Such is the foundation of Law. An agreed upon, at least by the majority, set of "rules" by which we exist among each other. If no one acted like an idiot then we wouldn't need rules and laws would we?

It is time for a new rule in Eve. A simple rule that will save the idiots from themselves.

It is time to limit Warp Core Stabilizers to ONE PER SHIP.


In support of this effort I am forming THE POWER OF ONE FOUNDATION.
This foundation exists primarily to further the establishment of limitations on the use of and the effects of Warp Core Stabilizers throughout New Eden.

TENANTS

A.
Warp Core Stabilizers should continue to exist.

We are not anti-protection and believe that, however distasteful it might be to your intelligence, fitting a WCS to your ship is your personal right. And you should be allowed to do so.

B.
Only ONE WCS should be allowed on a ship.

But let's be serious. One WCS protects you enough to escape most dangerous situations, but more than one? C'mon, that is just a really bad idea.


Over the last three years, in association with the SOCIETY OF PREVENTIVE MECHANICS UNION, the RIGHT EMPIRICAL LABORERS of AMARR, the BRUTAL DOCTORS CLAN and the COLD STEEL CALDARIAN FIXERS CORPORATION, we have studied the effects of multiple WCS and have unearthed some pretty damning results.

Multiple WCS increase crew cancer rates by 67%!! 
Multiple WCS increase repair rates in Station by 42%, 78% for Minmatar ships!!
Multiple WCS increase male impotence rates by 7%!!
Multiple WCS use, for some reason, kills puppies on Antareas IV!!
( 3.7 million cute defenseless puppies have been killed during the course of this study!)
Multiple WCS users date attractive women 99% less than non-multiple WCS users!!

The full report is not available at this time.

THE POWER OF ONE FOUNDATION calls upon the citizens of New Eden to rally to our support and save the puppies of Antareas IV, enough death, enough cancer, enough impotence and ugly women dating!

We can end the scourge of multiple WCS usage in our lifetime.

WE HAVE A POINT AND WE INTEND TO USE IT!



Join us.



Stabbed Through The Heart

"Stabbed through the heart,
And you're to blame
Darling, you give Eve
A bad name.

A target's smile is what you sell
You promise me heaven and put me through hell.
Chains of Plexes got a hold on me
When scrams are a prison you can break free.

OH! You're a loaded gun ... yeah
OH! There's nowhere to run
No one can save me, the damage is done!

Stabbed through the heart,
And you're to blame
You give Eve a bad name
I play my part, and you play your game
You give Eve a bad name.
You give Eve a bad name."

- "Stabbed Through the Heart" by FW Jovi, a popular Verge Vendor Station Band


I thought things had gotten bad a few weeks ago when I logged on to hear my Corp m8s asking for help to "de-cloak a Dramiel" in one of the plexes. A Dramiel? With a cloak?! There had to be some mistake.

But then it happened again with a Daredevil. And then with a Firetail. And then Vexors, Slashers, Tristans, you name it and we've seen them with cloaks, stabs, you name it. It is enough to make a person weep from sadness.

I never thought I would live long enough in Eve to witness a day when putting a cloak on a Dramiel or a Daredevil or a Firetail would actually make sense to someone. Oh sure, people have always fitted up dumb things and gotten caught in them. And we all have a good laugh at their expense, lol what was that dude thinking?! But this isn't that. This is a pandemic. This is a disease that is spreading like wild-fire in space. I swear, if one of these people touches me...

And then yesterday I found a Vexor in a plex. I docked up to get a Cruiser, since I do like fighting people with equal or under ships when possible ( which it isn't always! Sorry! ), so I picked a Caracal and went after him. The fight was unremarkable, he barely fought back and died pretty quickly. When I went to look at his fit... well guess what I found?  That's right ladies, not one, not two, not even three, but FOUR stabs!!

I'm beginning to think I've awoken in some type of Bizarro Universe where everything is the opposite of what it should be! What was his optimal? Two feet!? He'd be better off tossing his ammo at me out the window of his Vexor.  Even for a potentially young pilot a Vexor can be a lethal weapon, but this guy opted out of that and instead went for extreme protection. Which he didn't use? Granted, he may have been a bot, or AFK, or insane, or any number of other things. But he did launch his drones on me. So I'm confused.

I'm not trying to pick on one person. I'm trying to mock an entire segment of the Eve population!!!

What is wrong with you people? I totally understand not wanting to get killed, believe me. But there are much, much better ways to ensure that never happens. Its called d-scan. Its called being smart. Its called fighting. Heck, I die to FW Plexers! I really do. It happens. Just yesterday I landed right on top of a web fitted Incursus and lost my Kestrel. It happens. You can actually defend yourself without bringing dis-honor to your name.

Stabs and Cloaks are becoming so popular now that I actually have double scramed ships fitted. And more secret stuffs I won't tell you about. Don't get me wrong here, we are still going to find you and destroy your ships. You go Boom!

If cloaks and stabs aren't going to save you... then why do it?  Just like that Incursus pilot, the only thing that can save you is being smart and standing your ground. With your honor intact.

Or, for God's sake, use a cheap T1 ship and stop putting cloaks on proud ships like the Dramiel and Daredevil.




BB45: EVE O GANDA


In a socially-driven game environment such as EVE Online's, everyone has an agenda. CCP promotes its products and has an army of volunteers to do the same; corporations and alliances deliver entertaining recruitment drives, CSM election candidates solicit for voter favour, bloggers and podcasters opine to their audiences.

In this intricate web of communication, influence and control, what part does propaganda play in your game?



Is it just me or are these Blog Banters coming right out of my own brain?!!?

Four years ago I became the self-appointed "Minister of Propaganda" for a null-space Alliance down in Providence. This was the gestation, the birthplace of my personal over-arching META. I didn't know that at the time. All I knew then was that I loved Eve and creating artworks based on Eve was something I enjoyed doing. The idea of mixing Alliance politics with a strong PROPAGANDA based message was new to me. But Eve, as it turned out, had a long and storied history of doing so - even before I showed up on the scene. I began learning about that history alongside Goons, -A-, CVA and all of those that called the south home. It was a great time and place to be born into the Eve Community.


Out of the experience arose an even greater expression of propaganda, an experiment if you will. As an advertising, creative, strategy, copywriter type person - plunged feet first into the world of Eve - it seemed like a natural. What if I took my game to the next level? What if I developed the machine of propaganda beyond what anyone else had ever attempted?

What if?

What if indeed. So was born the pure step-child of devious thought and engineering that is the combination of EVE and PROPAGANDA that is, duh, EVEOGANDA.

Welcome to my personal META game. Thank you for playing. It isn't a devious meta game mind you, it is actually an entirely positive, pro-Eve meta that exists to promote my own personal agenda. A pro-Eve agenda yes, but also a pro-Rixx agenda primarily.

I freely admit, and have always admitted, that this blog exists purely to promote that agenda. I use the pulpit of Propaganda to expressly promote an aggressive pro-Eve stance that has resulted in a very successful run over the past four years. From Twitter Hats to DeathRaces to Tusker FFA to bringing back the Frill on the Vagabond and dozens of other small and large events, this vehicle has been used to successfully herald that agenda. For the benefit of everyone I like to think.

On the other side I've also used the pulpit to benefit Rixx's agenda in-game. To highlight and enforce his own agenda, to mock his enemies openly, to promote the formation of Alliances and Corporations and to ensure that he never has to rat again. (Most importantly tbh)


And how does he do that? By bringing the power of propaganda to the unwashed masses in Eve!! How about that? Yes, no longer content to purely express his own agenda Rixx also helps others express theirs! And he gets paid for doing it in Eve currency, so the whole thing stays right in the Eve universe. How cool is that?

You can see a few examples of this in my Eve Flickr set.


Propaganda isn't just something I do here and there, it is something I do every single day. Every post I write is based on the principles of marketing, advertising, promotion and propaganda. Each to a lesser or greater degree depending on the topic at hand. And all intended to entertain, illuminate, and further the pro-Eve agenda.

The concept of expressing yourself in this manner, of wearing it out on your sleeve, is something that all bloggers do. Even if they don't want to admit it, it cannot be avoided. The mere act of standing up on a soapbox and expressing an opinion automatically makes you part and parcel of the process of self-expressed propaganda. It cannot be avoided.

All I've done is combine it in a manner that no one else has ever attempted in the Eve Community. I dare say I doubt anyone else could attempt it, at least to this level. But that is the niche that I fill, it doesn't make me better or worse, just different.

And ultimately that is what the heart of propaganda is all about, the expression of individuality to a mass audience. It can be used for good or ill, it isn't inherently one or the other. I choose to use it primarily for good. Or, at the very least, good as I see it I suppose.

It is all about manipulation. But I think no one minds being manipulated when it means we all achieve a common purpose. Plus, it is just a heck of a lot of fun.


For more thoughts on this subject, check out the prime post over on Freebooted.


It is a "Death" Race

One of the things I love most about the Eve Community is the creativity on display. And I don't just mean "artwork" level creativity, but creative thinking in all aspects of the game - both in and out in real life. From forums, to blogs, to ship fittings and tactics, the Eve player is constantly trying to out-think, out-smart and generally do it all better than his fellow players.

Me too.

So, rest assured, I know what you're up to. I know your brains are burning trying to think up ways to skirt the rules of the DeathRace and find a way to beat the system, exploit the math, and generally walk away with the prizes without putting in the effort. Believe me, no one would be prouder of you than I would be if you managed to achieve your goal.

But it ain't gonna be easy. Let's review some of the more popular ideas.

Clones.
There are those that believe someone will be able to clone themselves into the finish line system, pop across and win the race.

I mean anything is possible I suppose. If this was a race from point A to point B then that might be a concern. But it isn't. This is a Race from point A to point B to point C to point D to point E. When the race begins pilots will only know about point B and will remain clueless about C, D and E until such time as we tell them about it. So it would be extremely difficult to jump-clone somewhere along the route. And then there is that nasty 24hr timer.

You would also be amazed at just how freakishly fast everything happens. This isn't a gentle romp thru the country-side, this is an insane burn.

High-Security Shortcuts
Somehow, someone will skirt the low-sec race route and take a short-cut thru High-Sec.

See above. But I also admit that this one might actually be possible if it weren't for a few things you don't know about. There is a lot more to this race than meets the eye and we have several surprises in the works. Part of those involve situations for which you will have to be present for in order to qualify for the finish. I can't go into more detail without giving away the store, but trust me, it is called a "Death" Race for a reason.

Gate-Camps
Someone will camp the route and kill us all!

If we start with 200 racers I'd like to end with 10. To me that would be a successful race. It is called a "Death" Race for a reason. But rest assured, we will also have bounty prizes for certain types of ships along the way. I'm working with a sponsor on that specific issue right now.

Remember the route secrecy, that will help with some of this. Unless some evil blogger person leaks certain information to certain parties... but he wouldn't do that now, would he? Muhahahahaha.


There are other ideas out there of course. I welcome them all. Like I said, I appreciate your creativity. And welcome all those that wish to kill us, cheat us, exploit us and otherwise make this event truly an Eve style event. I wouldn't have it any other way!

Trust me. As I write this the prize pool is up to about 5b ISK, give or take. I'd like to see that grow to about 10b or so, not to mention prizes, bounties, etc.

Contact me if you'd like to donate. And spread the word.




The Tusker DeathRace

ANNOUNCING THE TUSKERS DEATHRACE!

On March 16th, 2013 at 17:00 Eve time, thousands of racers will gather in Mara to compete in the DeathRace! The DeathRace is exactly what its name portends, a race thru the worst of New Eden Low Security space to the death!

Join us on March 16th to compete for billions in prizes, ISK and the honor of finishing this brutal, no-holds-barred race in the purest Eve tradition.

IN BRIEF

The DeathRace will take place beginning at 17:00 sharp. All participants who x up in MARA local will be invited into Racing fleets. Only racers in official racing fleets will be eligible for prizes. The starting gate will be announced in local an hour prior to the race beginning.

At 17:00 the first destination will be announced in official fleet channels. Racers will burn to the first destination as fast as possible. Upon arrival in the first destination more instructions will be given.

The DeathRace will have FOUR sections and will travel across approximately 75 systems total. Be aware that the systems will include Low Security and Null Space systems, but no High Security space. It is entirely possible, and hopeful, that many of these systems will be camped.

There is NO entrance fee to participate. All pilots are eligible. Certain ship classes are not eligible, see rules below for details.

Fighting is encouraged and allowed. Your odds of winning increase as more ships are removed from the race. Additional prizes will be awarded to those with the most kills, etc., specific prizes will be announced at a future date.


THE OFFICIAL RULES

1. Race begins at 17:00 Eve time in MARA.
2. Racers who x-up for official DR Fleets one hour prior to the race will be eligible to compete.
3. No fighting or podding is allowed before 17:00. Any racers who do so will be kicked from fleet and not eligible for prizes.
4. ANY Ship class is acceptable except for the following: T3 Cruisers and any ship capable of warping cloaked.
5. Fighting is encouraged and allowed after 17:00 but podding is not. Anyone who pods another racer will be kicked from fleet and not eligible for prizes.
6. There is no entrance fee to participate.
7. Prizes will be awarded in order of finish as determined by The Tuskers. We plan on recording the finish and publishing the video after the race. Other feeds and video streams will be announced.
8. Prizes will also be awarded in various other categories, these will be announced at a later date.
9. Members of the Tuskers are not eligible for prizes but may participate in the race if they want. Although I will think less of them since they should be helping instead!
10. HAVE FUN!!


SPONSORSHIPS

The first DeathRace back in 2010 raised over 6 Billion in ISK/Prizes that I awarded after the race. We are actively looking for sponsors for this event! Sponsor a prize, a ship class, whatever your imagination can imagine, or just donate to the general prize pool. Contact me at rixxjavix@gmail.com and we can discuss.


HELP

Many people have contacted me already and I will be getting back to you. But everyone can help by spreading the word! Tell your Corp and your Alliance, post this information on forums and on the corner light post. Spread the word on social media and everywhere that Eve players congregate. The more racers we have the more fun everyone will have!!


In the upper left of this blog are links to support graphics and a link to these rules. Those will be updated as race day approaches.


This is an official Tusker event. As such all rules, decisions on prizes, conduct, fleet organization and event coordination is the decision of the Corporation. All decisions are final.


Thank you. Spread the word.



Fan Mail

The following Eve Mail was received from this gentlemen following the following incident.

"y did you do that? im curiouse as to Why you would needlessly attack some one."

As always, I carefully consider the words and give the eve mail some time to sink in. I try to never respond immediately and consider my response carefully. After a few moments of reflection I responded:

"Dear George,

Rest assured that I would never intentionally attack someone without due cause in the confines of Low Security space. Be confident that I did indeed have justice, freedom and game-play firmly on my side when I exploded your ship recently, not to mention an unmitigated sense of fun, adventure and pirate YARR. Nothing personal, as I'm sure you are a fine fellow human. I encourage you to continue to explore the space lanes confident that when you explode again, it will not be a needless waste."

Notorious Pirate,
Rixx Javix



The Deep Breath Before the Plunge

Been taking a bit of a break from blogging and tweeting and participating in the community this week. Lots of factors contribute to such a break. Real life, play-time, work load, everything kind of backed up on me this past week and the energy needed for a few things just wasn't available.

Work on the DeathRace continued behind the scenes this past week and the details regarding the race will be announced tomorrow.

And then I'll be back to normal again. Or, as close to normal as I ever get.

Look for the DeathRace announcement, details regarding sponsorships, support graphics and other things tomorrow.

See you then.



The Story So Far...


The Story So Far... Cliff Notes Version

Once upon a time a pilot entered space in Todaki determined to be a miner of rocks and stay as far away from Corporations and politics as possible.  On his very first day in deep space someone blew up his ship. This made him very angry and his buddy Angor told him about Corporations and how they was good.

With only a few days of training he joined his first Corporation and flew his itty bitty ship down into deadly zero space.  He was a scared of course.  Wouldn't you be?  But it wasn't long before he learned stuff and with the help of his mates started to get better and get into bigger ships.  These bigger ships still sucked, cause they was Caldari, but things slowly got better.

HIs CEO at the time was a loudmouth and was always getting into trouble with some guy named Seer.  Our pilot wanted to learn more stuffs about shooting things, so Angor and him joined Dusty Death.  These Dusty people knew how to blow stuff up real good and learned our duo some important lessons.  Our duo still sucked ass though and they died A LOT.  Luckily they was in Providence and could often hide in something they called "blobs".  This didn't sit well with our two idiots.  So they left Dusty and went to Low-Sec to start their own Mercenary Corp. Lolz, they had about 4m skillpoints at the time.

This was dumb idea number one.

They went back to Dusty just as someone started stealing stuff from the Corp and it started breaking up.  One of the Dusty members told them to start their own Corp and everyone would come over and join it.  They didn't. That Corp was called Brutal Company, still a great Corp name.

This was dumb idea number two.

They'd had enough of Providence and decided to join the bestest PvP Corp they could find.  Based solely on BC standings.  One day in that Corp was enough to tell them they didn't belong, they knew moar than those people.  And anyway, station campin' ain't pvp. 

That was dumb idea number three.

Rixx went back to Providence and joined a "nice" corp full of nice people.  They wanted to leave Providence and go somewhere even more quiet.  This confused Rixx so he left and joined DION.  They had a cool pilot that often FC'd fleets and he talked funny, so he must be good.  It wasn't long before DION decided to also leave Providence.  Sheesh.  This time though Rixx determined to stick it out and off they went to really, really far away land where Alliances suck ass and there is nothing to do. (Way the frick over on the right edge of the map.)

Meanwhile, Rixx heard that Providence was in trouble.  So he joined SMEGI and went back to help kill reds.  This was good times until the -A- juggernaut came and crushed everyone in D-G.  That was no fun.  This was the first time CVA stuck a knife in my back. Evacuation is no fun neither and people went all wonky for a time.  A few pilots decided to run off to low sec and try to have some fun.  So Rixx went along.  They did have fun but no one had any idea what they was doin'.  (This was my first attempt at being a Pirate I guess.)

So Rixx and Angor joined up with some Cowbell people.  They had some good times but no one was on when they was on and bad guys were really far away.  And they was tired.  So they left for low sec and made some iskies for a few months.  ( This is when we first started Lucifer's Hammer.) Then the radio reported that Providence was in trouble once again!!  So they decided to return and help Paxton kill moar reds.  This was ok for about two weeks and then some idiot blew up some stuff in AY and the reds decided to turn Paxton off.  Those crazy CVA guys again. Two knives in the back!!

Their Corp was awesome, but they moved to a weird place deep in blue territory.  ( Waaaaay the frick up North in Blue Land!) Which was no fun.  Then their old friends in DION told 'em about a kewl Alliance called Primary.  So they went there.  Primary exploded right after they got there.  Not again!

So they flew off to The Spire?!?  Yep and that was really lame-o.  Then (ready?) someone told 'em that Providence...  yeah I know, they never learn do they?

That was fun for about two weeks and then wars started and blammo they had kilt off another Alliance. ( Circle of Two. This is a big story, but I don't feel like telling it again.)

So, what to do now?  I know we can start our own Alliance...

So off they flew to Syndicate and with the blue hand help of FA they formed their own Alliance called Black-Mark. Syndicate was fun and they enjoyed it so much they decided to re-start Lucifer's Hammer and invite other people to fight with them. But Syndicate wasn't always fun and sometimes these sneaky LUCRH pilots would roam into Low-Sec and blow up people. They started to enjoy it. So when DION decided they needed to be even more carebeary than they already was, LUCRH left and joined Rote Kapelle. This was ok and they even spent time down in Curse blowing up moar stuffs. But Rote was a tad serious for these lads, RK was weird about medium neuts being on Vagabonds!?! ( Seriously, that is what it came down to!) So LUCRH left and joined Muppet Ninjas in Ostingele - becoming real, honest Pirates.

We were in Muppet Ninjas for like a day.

So, what to do now? I know, we can start our...

Yep. We went to Lisb and started our own Alliance called BURN AWAY. This went extremely well for awhile and then weird things happened and ( This is where the story gets strange! ) we left and went to Morsus Mihi... down in Fountain?  Ok, I even have a hard time writing that one.

We came back in two weeks, but LUCRH and Burn Away wasn't the same. Every one left and went their own way except for Angor, who stayed in LUCRH.

Rixx joined The Tuskers and decided to stop doing all those really stoopid strange things he'd been doing and actually stay in one place for awhile. Y'know, focus on what he loves, blowing up ships. NOT Moving!!

That was almost a year and a half ago.

The rest you know.



Big Hammer

I wanted to write this yesterday but I've been, I admit this freely, kind of "blah" when it comes to blogging the last week or so. This happens from time to time and it isn't anything to get concerned about. When you are as active as I am in the community it is bound to happen.

Most of my Tusker brothers are away on a family trip way down in the Evati area for a few weeks. I couldn't go this time. RL is just insane at the moment and my other commitments meant I thought it would be better to just hang around the "house". With the cat away the mice will play.

So the other evening a fleet of Devils Tattoo guys appeared in the neighborhood. Numbering around 20 or so, mostly frigates of various and sundry complexity. This is exactly the kind of gang one hopes will appear... when there are people around to help you play with them.

Sadly, at the time, it was just me and Mister Marram in local. We talked about what we could do, but our options were rather limited. We both jumped into our Cynabals in the hopes that their fleet might split up and we could pounce on some stragglers. No matter how many times I did the math in my head, the numbers were just not good. And while two Cynabals can handle a lot, 20+ frigates would overwhelm us in short order. Especially since we had tested them and knew they came prepared with TDs and whatnots.

About this time Easy Target showed up and offered to help. Three is much better than two and the math started to make some sense again. And then I remembered the two Dominix BS that Tsubatai had given me when he left Eve a few weeks ago. I quickly pulled one of them into the hanger and switched out a few mods, mostly exchanging armor transporters for more neuts. I needed the second Domi, which is unfitted, for the drones left in its drone bay. This will be important in a minute.

The plan was simple. I would undock and warp to the Sun (where they seemed to be hanging out at that moment ), get someone to aggress my Domi and then the others would arrive to pick them off. With a full rack of neuts, a 137k EHP tank and flight after flight of drones, I figured this was a tactic with little downside. If it worked.

So I undocked and started warping to the Sun. It was then I realized I had just undocked in the UNFITTED Domi!! A quick CRTL+Shift and re-dock to get the right ship. I came very very close to derping and being horribly embarrassed, even for me.

I landed at the Sun but they had left already. Domi's are notoriously slow. But a few were left in local and I'm sure the scan must have been interesting to them. And, dear reader, remember this next bit. We weren't looking to pwn anyone here, the only idea in our heads was to have a fight and enjoy ourselves. I was hoping the DT guys would appreciate the effort.

A lone Stiletto showed up about 78k from me. He thought about it for a moment and then moved in. Yeah! Then several others and I started the sloooow process of locking down targets and gave the order for everyone to move in. We were on!!

You can see the Battle Report for yourselves here.

That is actually two battles kind of mixed up, the bombers and falcon showed up after the Domi was off the field. In addition, they had more ships than the BR shows, but many of those did not engage. For my part I was able to lock everyone up and distribute drones to the fast tackle and neuts to the heavier stuff, that was my basic plan. I only had one point, but I kept it on the Enyo until he exploded. We did lose Easy's Maller, which wasn't unexpected, they aren't known for their speed.

Fights like these are not about the numbers. They are about the play. I expect the DT gang was probably bored at this point in their roam and we were too few in numbers to offer much of a challenge in a traditional match-up. So I improvised and offered a challenge of a different kind. One which they accepted and, from what I hear, that they appreciated.

This is also part of Eve. Part of the mutual respect that us Low-Sec pilots have for each other and the play-style that we've chosen. It is hard to explain to those of you reading that do not live in our space.


By the way, Tuskers are recruiting.



DEATHRACE Fan Art

Blueclaws contacted me last week and was inspired enough to provide us all with some truly great DR Fan Art that I thought I'd share with everyone. Thanks!

Click to embiggen
Also click to make bigger

More details regarding the upcoming DeathRace will be revealed next week. In the meantime, if you are interested in sponsoring or donating a prize please contact me as soon as possible.



Dying Over 400x

This week I got my 2,000th kill when I blew up this poor young player in his Thorax. I convo'd him afterwards and gave him 100m ISK. He thought I was trying to scam him at first. Can't blame him really. Who gives someone 100m ISK after they explode their ship?

Two thousand kills is nothing to some people. And to many others it is more than they can imagine. Almost half of those kills have come in the last year and a half of playing Eve. And for me, almost all of them have been hard earned. ( Not all of course, I'm not above blowing up a Velator that is hanging out in a belt for no good reason.)

But wins are one thing. Today I want to talk about death. About failure. I've failed to protect my own ship over 400 times. 438 as of today. ( 79 of which are pods, so 359 ships lost ) If I undock six times, on average, I'll lose a ship.

I talk to a lot of young players. Especially lately. And the one thing I try to impart, in addition to specific advice about PvP, is not to fear failure. In fact, to become successful at Player Versus Player combat in Eve, you must embrace failure. You cannot fear it.

I died a lot when I first started playing Eve. I derped myself into more bubbles and camps than I care to think about. I attacked -10 pilots in my T1 fitted Drake. I declared War on five year old Corporations. I travelled alone thru Null space in a variety of ships. I bombed things. I sat cloaked above Gates. I attacked ships on stations. You really can't name something you can do in Eve that I haven't tried at least once. And failed at. I sucked a lot. I still do sometimes.

Just yesterday I fitted up a Heron to try and get my 2k win in a lol-fitted ship. I found a young Rifter pilot and figured he'd be an easy win. Or, if not easy, then worthy of being number 2k. That didn't work out the way I had hoped. ( I really should have had a Web. )

The point being, I don't care enough about my kill-board. In fact, I really don't care about it at all. It is, and always will be, derivative of me playing Eve. It happens. It doesn't determine or drive my thinking, my decisions, or my attempts to destroy other players. Sure, if I've had a bad run I may choose cheaper ships or try to take less risks for a bit, but that never lasts.

All of those deaths have been about having fun, enjoying my play, experiencing all that Eve has to offer and learning something new. Training skills, fitting ships, flying with your friends, getting into new ships, these are all important things. But risk is the ultimate reward in Eve.

RISK = REWARD.

To me there is nothing else like the adrenaline rush of PvP in Eve. It is the SOLE reason I play. You may play for other reasons and those are valid for you. The point is to take risks, undock and try your hand at something, go for it, explore, make the sandbox your own! Do not fear failure. Embrace it. Learn from it. Thrive and strive.

If you've ever wondered about something, go and do it. What is the inside of a Wormhole like? What is at the bottom of the map? How can you survive a gate camp? Have you ever burned back to a gate while a dozens ships try to kill you? It is an amazing experience. Whatever it is, try it. Sure you may fail, you may suck, but so what? Does it really matter more than the fun you'll have trying? I don't think so.

What else are you saving up for? If not now, then when? If not you, then who?

It isn't failure. It is the tapestry of your own story. Those 438 losses on my kill-board are the scars of my own story. The tales I share around the camp fire, the yarns I tell my children, the battles won and lost, the lessons learned, the laughs shared with my mates, the enemies vanquished and those that fought hard.

What stories are you living? What are you building in your sandbox?



POS Bash Beauty

Taken on September 16th, 2009 somewhere in Null Space during one of the most insanely mind-numbing activities you can participate in.

Click to embiggen!


January's Results

January's combat results are in and, while not as good as December, it turned out to be yet another great month for me. Which is odd considering I really haven't had that much playing time lately. Oh well, apparently I'm sneaking out and blowing up ships even when I'm not aware of it. Somehow.

You can see the monthly Awards wrap-up here.

Officially I was 123-31 in January. ( That includes the 17-6 Tusker FFA record of course ) 123 kills is one of my best months ever, according to Eve-Kill it is my second best month ever. However, 31 deaths is also the most I have ever exploded in one month. So I have to take the good with the bad and seriously stop exploding so much.

To be honest, I'm not sure that's going to happen. I take risks and I don't see me curbing my risky play-style. The other day I attacked an Omen Navy Issue in my Condor just to see what would happen, having never attacked an Omen Navy Issue in a Condor before. While I won't do that one again, I may very well do another. How else will I know? And how else do you get above class kills? Only by trying and dying.

I registered kills using 20 different ships in January. I've been trying to force myself to mix it up more and it seems to be working. I've officially "retired" the Sacrilege for awhile and it will be sitting in the hanger for the next few weeks, maybe longer. No real reason, but I don't like becoming anchored to one specific ship or a play-style resulting from using one ship. That gets incredibly boring.

Kills by ship in January:
Sac 40, Condor 38, Lachesis 8, Drake 6, Thorax 4, Caracal 4, Zealot 3, Cynabal 2, Executioner 2, Daredevil, Corax, Maelstrom, Imperial Navy Slicer, Vengeance, Manticore, Hurricane, Harpy, Tengu, Broadsword, and Fed Navy Comet.

I ended the month with 1,973 kills and 434 losses for my career, ranked #4,843 on Battleclinic.

As I say every month when I write this report, I remain terrible. I don't expect that to change. I also don't care one single iota about kill-board rankings, I never have. I play solely for one purpose and one purpose only - to fight. I'd be doing that if I lost every single fight ( although the Tuskers wouldn't like it if I did that ) or if I win every single fight. Having said that I obviously want to be good at it, and aI strive to be the best I can be at my chosen profession.

I have this friend who is incredibly serious about Golf. He has been playing for decades and he is really good at it. He isn't good enough to be professional because he never went down that path. Golf isn't that important to him, he loves to play and he strives to be excellent at it, but to take the next step? Not so much. And still, once, about ten years ago, he found himself officially ranked. It was way down at the bottom, but still, he was on the list for about 6 months. It meant something to him, as well it should, but it didn't define his entire life.

I look at kill-boards in much the same light. Yeah it's good to be ranked, good to have lots of kills, but it doesn't tell the whole story. It is only one part of the story.

Blah Blah.