I Go Boom

This is a short story.

Due to my weird time schedule, RL, work and generally strange life - I don't often get to go on official Corp roams. It isn't for lack of want to, quite the opposite. But reality doesn't often allow.

Yesterday everything came together so that I could make the 20:00 planned roam. I bought and fitted a brand new Prophecy and waited.

The gang assembling in system was impressive. A good mix of Tuskers, some pilots from the SC and friends. With a good gang mix of Prophecies, tackle, scouts, and logi support. It took about 45 minutes for us to get started. Not unusual.

I spun my ship in the Hanger for the first time in months! ( Despite what some people believe, when I am actually "on" I am in space. If you see me sitting in station it is because I am afk or fitting up a new ship. )

Anyway, off we go straight into a fight. Reports of a large Caracal gang come in while we are forming up and we head straight over to brawl.

They out-numer us of course, but that never stops us. I warned you, this is a short story.

From my perspective, this is what happened. We got our instructions from the FC and we followed those instructions. I landed at the range I was supposed to land at...

...and I exploded.


That was it. I didn't have time to lock anyone or fire a weapon. I did manage to broadcast for reps, but that did me little good. Now, there are 40 enemy ships on my killmail. Apparently they had time to lock me and shoot things at me. And inflict serious damage, my tank was nearly 90,000 btw.

But me? From my perspective, all that happened was I landed, tried to lock the primary and was dead before my lock resolved.

Tidi was running at about 80%.

I don't know about you, but I don't play Eve for that experience. Insta-death is one of the biggest reasons I left Null Space fleet battles. When this happens to your BS in null space because there are 400  ships on the other side of the gate, that is one thing. But when this happens to your boosted, hi-resist 90k tanked BC in low-sec, that is quite another.

It isn't the death. I don't mind dying, it is part of the game. It is not having a chance to fight.

And insult to injury... they were Goons too. Good grief.




CSM8 Eveoganda Endorsements!

The final candidates are now posted for CSM8.

My own personal feelings regarding Eve's Student Council have evolved over the years, depending on the quality of representation we've received. The previous 7 versions have varied significantly from invisible to hard-working, to useless, and sometimes important. Even a few times, extremely vital.

When I look over the field of candidates I am struck by just how many of these people I know, have flown with, worked with, or other wise have interacted with over the years. I think this means I'm slowly turning into a Veteran, despite my reluctance. Time marches on.

And yes, to answer your question, I am not supporting anyone I do not know. My Pirate spirit calls to the underdogs, the challengers, those that represent the alternate voice, the non-power blocs, the disassociated. I will be supporting those that I know well and those that I believe deserve a chance to sit on the Eve Student Council... er, the Council of Steller Management. lol.

So, here they are.

Roc Wieler

I am giving my first vote to Roc. I started reading Roc's blog before I started my own, over five years now. And, in my opinion, no one deserves to be on the CSM more than he does. Roc IS Eve. More than I am, more than anyone else is frankly. And while his level of commitment is unusual and not my style at all, I can only respect it and appreciate it. He'll work hard for us, cause that's what he does.


Mike Azariah

I've also known Mike for a long time and have been a fan of his blog since the beginning. He is one of the few people to have raced in both DeathRaces!! There is not a more level-headed person running for CSM, so that alone gets my support. I also believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that Mike is not beholden to a narrow perspective. A key attribute in my humble opinion.


Ripard Teg

Although slightly disappointed to discover his real name is "Ross" and not something cooler, Ripard deserves to be on the Student Council for no other reason than the slight chance it slows his blogging output down slightly. Until he came along I had this "robo-blogger" thing tied down! Seriously though, Ripard is level headed and horribly egotistical, both attributes you want on the CSM. In a good way.


Nathan Jameson

I think we need a WH Candidate on the CSM and I believe the best one is Nathan. The only reason I think that is he is the only one that asked me to help him. lol. Not really, but that's as good a reason as any.


Riverini

And no it isn't because he sometimes picks up my posts for EN24 or anything like that. It is totally for entertainment purposes that I'd like to see him on the CSM. We need more drama from our elected officials and this is one choice destined to deliver! Plus, why not?


Those are my five. The rest either have massive power-blocs behind them or have no chance in Hell of being elected. Of the five above, most likely only one will have enough votes to make it onto the Council. But, as we've seen before, more spots often become available and those that step into them tend to be even better than the ones they replace. So voting is important.

If any of these candidates win I fully expect them to be my puppet on the council... do a great job!!

Don't feel bad if I didn't endorse you, I have zero influence on the outcome. Ask anyone.

Best of luck. And remember, you asked for this.



1v1 EVE COMIC #57

Click to embiggen!
Poor Ogre II, still waiting for someone to come along and scoop him into their drone bay. He's been out there a looooong time. lol.




The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

Oh man, sometimes Eve is such an evil, mean, rotten, stinking bitch. No matter what you do, or how hard you try, she'll kick you in the nuts time and time again.

And then she loves you again. Sigh. What a relationship we have, me and Eve. I'm smitten though and I keep coming back for more.

So, let's rehash some of the recent highlights shall we?

THE GOOD
Sac Vs Proteus
Sometimes when you are docking in station a Proteus will dock with you. And sometimes you get the idea that maybe you should wait outside for it to undock again. But then, sometimes mind you, the pilot logs off and you dock up and go afk for awhile. And then, when you return, you realize that the Proteus pilot isn't docked, so you undock to see if he is still in local. And lo and behold he is actually sitting there! You engage him, knowing full well he'll probably just dock up again. But with Station Guns shooting you, he starts engaging as well. Sometimes it all works out just like that. Thanks to Dian for the assist.

THE BAD
Hookbill Vs Catalyst
I could fight this fight one hundred times and win 99 of them. And that isn't taking away anything from the other pilot, but the facts are the facts. This one was well in hand, we were fighting at an Acceleration Gate and I wasn't worried at all. lol. The key is keeping the blaster fitted dessie at arms length, which isn't difficult with two webs! Unless... unless you bump right into the Gate and lose all of your speed! Even so, it was close and the other pilot deserves all the credit. Well done.

THE UGLY
Comet vs Corax / Comet vs Kestrel / Comet vs Merlin / Comet (DD) vs Atron / Comet vs ALL
Yep, all five of these guys were on an Acceleration Gate when I decided to attack them. I had just been in a fight in Ladister and already had some heat damage when I landed and started engaging. I decided to take the Corax out first, he was closer and I figured he'd be primary. Attacking five ships is a lot of fun, a ballet of decisions and insanely complicated. And kudos to them for engaging even when the Corax popped. I was starting to take some serious damage, but I hadn't had to engage my armor rep yet when I took down the Kestrel. But now the Merlins were on me. The Atron turned tail and ran off, more on him later. The first Merlin went down and I had used all of my Nanite in the rep cycle. At this moment, and this is why I put this in the Ugly section, I could have just left. But I didn't. I went for the last Merlin and paid for it as my Comet exploded. I was greedy, I admit it. I went back to station and jumped into my Daredevil and tracked down the Atron and killed him. Good fight all around and well worth the loss of the Comet. Thanks guys.

THE BAD
Prophecy Vs 3x Vexors
I haven't had the chance to try out the new Prophecy yet when I spotted these three Vexors in local. So what the Hell? I figured I would at least get one of them. I warped to the first Vexor, who was alone at the time, and got good positioning on him. But then his buddies landed right on top of me. Which was well done. It was a good fight, but I didn't have a chance against their neuts. I tried to manage as best I could, but without my web I was little more than a sitting brick. Oh well. I still love the Prophecy, just not against three Vexors!

With the DeathRace and RL being so busy lately I haven't played as much as usual, so we'll leave it at that this time. Plus I already wrote about some of the other good fights recently in other posts.

I will leave you with this thought. The Catalyst pilot and I talked a bit after the fight from above. He told me that normally he wouldn't think of engaging me. And this proves the point that I often make here in these pages, engage with confidence. You just never know what might happen. Even a fight that by all rights you should lose, is one that you will often win. The other guy can make a mistake, or his prop mod might be burned out, or he has the wrong ammo loaded... the risk is there of course. It could end up being bad or ugly... but it just might end up being the best fight of your career.

You won't know unless you try.



Eve Turns to DUST!



Congratulations to CCP for achieving something... well, gosh darn it, epic. What else can you say? No one else has merged an MMO and a Console platform game before now have they?

If this trailer doesn't get your blood pumping then I suspect you should call an ambulance.

I may have to buy me some Cormorants though, I had no idea!! lol.

Now, if only DUST would actually download on my PS3 I could try it...



Pirating on a Budget

There seems to be a common thread that states those of us that choose the fighting/pirate lifestyle must be super rich. Filthy stinking rich. We must be buying ISK or somehow filling our coffers with ill-gained ISK somehow.

You might be surprised to learn that during the last three years I have operated on a monthly budget. It isn't a hard and fast budget, but it is an established monthly general budget that I force myself to live within.

I'll even share with you what that budget is. It is 500m ISK a month. Or about 16m ISK a day. Which is next to nothing really and would take some ratting, looting or plexing to make.

The heart of making this work is Asset Risk Management. I'll explain. Imagine 100 ships sitting in your hanger. Each ship is a valuable asset and each is worth a set amount of ISK. I use this example because, on average, I usually have about 100 ships in my hanger. From a T3 that might be worth 1.5b down to a Condor worth maybe 10m or so, depending on fits.  Now remember, these assets have been acquired over a period of five years. ( Mostly over a period of three years tbh, the transition between Null Soldier and Low Sec Pirate left me with little in the way of transferable assets.)

Asset Risk Management means that I risk the lesser valued assets more often than I do the higher value assets. For example, I don't often fly my Tengu because it is a valuable asset. ( I do fly it by the way, just not always on dangerous or potentially lethal operations.) That is why that Tengu is over two years old. But I burn through T1 Frigates for example.

The other day I lost an Abaddon to a hot-drop. That particular BS was close to four years old. I just don't fly BS very often any more and when I do it isn't usually an Abaddon. I tend towards Typhoon, Tempest, Domi, things like that. But I've probably gotten dozens of kills with that Abaddon over the years, so it more than paid for itself.

It isn't about managing losses. It is about managing assets over time. I can often lose way more than 500m in a month, sometimes much less, but I try not to spend more than that amount in any given month. This way, replacement of assets can be spread out over many, many months.

Make sense?

Looting plays a huge part in making this work. Every explosion results in some material goods being dropped. These are used to mitigate monthly expenses, not increase them. So in a good month the actual budget can drop considerably. If the Loot Fairy is especially good to me and I catch a couple of haulers, I may actually end up with more than the 500m budget, just in loot. This has only happened twice, usually I make between 100-200m a month in loot drops. Which is not bad at all. ( That doesn't count picking up my own loot when I explode, which you can sometimes do. )

Now I admit I am a unique case in many ways. My ISK comes from providing a valuable service to the Eve Community with my art work. So I don't have to rat, or plex or whatever. But I still have to live within my means. Or I would run out of ISK and ships rather quickly.

So what happens when the budget starts to get dangerously close to running out for the month? Then I don't play as much, or I fly cheaper ships, or I don't replace that lost Hookbill right away. Or I skip the monthly shopping trip to Jita and live off what I already have.

No matter what your budget might be, 20m or 20b a month, thinking about it in terms of Asset Risk Management is important. In my opinion. Especially for us Pirates.

Anyway, that's how I do it.


PS: I will add this in regards to Faction mods. I also operate under a self-imposed rule regarding fitting faction mods to my own ships. I try to only fit expensive faction mods that I have gained from looting. So most of what I use I got for "free". This isn't a hard and fast rule, I will sometimes purchase a Faction prop mod or two. But mostly I have managed to live within that rule. It helps.



Eve Odyssey


The new expansion for Summer ( June 2013 ) will be called Odyssey. Which was actually one of my proposed expansion names a few years ago! ( I wonder...?)

Anyway, the features site is up.  Go take a look and I'll wait.

Ok? Let's take these one at a time then.


DISCOVERY SCANNER
Using this new system, more pilots will reveal the hidden secrets of the EVE Universe. Beautiful new visuals, customizable controls and new functionality have been added to encourage the adventurer in everyone. There is now more among the stars, enticing even the most experienced veterans to explore.

Well we sure have needed a new scanner for a looooong time! I hope this means increased ability to control the d-scan function as well as general scanning ability. It would also be awesome if there were more options for us non-probing alt players. But I won't hold my breath on that one.

Apparently we'll all have some new type of "sites" to find. So that could be pretty cool. The picture above kind of makes me wonder if planetary belts are coming?



A NEW "SPACESCAPE"
A rebalance of major areas of space from highsec to nullsec include changes in exploration sites, industrial resources, some types of NPC loot and more…

Y'know, if they'd just move some of those nasty moon goo places around a bit more balanced... things would be a lot better. But I totally support the idea of balancing resources better across all of space. Risk should equal reward in my humble opinion. Make it happen.



THE LITTLE THINGS
Continued development towards raising accessibility without removing functionality will bring dozens of changes to player-owned starbases, game UI and beyond.

I've got my fingers crossed for my POS using friends. While this probably doesn't herald modular POS structures any time soon, maybe there is more than one way to skin a cat! ( Ehhhh, why did I use that analogy? I love cats.)



THE WAR MACHINES
Forged by the lessons learned from countless combat pilots, the four factions will issue forth with the latest tools of war and re-designs of old favorites - ships as awe-inspiring as they are deadly.

Tech 3 Frigates please!! Whatever they might be, Rixx is a huge fan of new ships and re-designed old ones. As long as they don't remove frills. ( Bring back the Comet's flashing light while you are at it! )
We'll be keeping an eye on this one. ( Who is this "we" he keeps talking about?)



THE STORYLINE CONTINUED
The shared EVE Universe storyline continues to evolve following the Battle for Caldari Prime, with participatory events spawning unique player stories in two games at once.

And DUST stuffs of course. Hopefully some of these events will happen in Low-Sec or Null so that crusty old Pirates can play in them. Y'know, if they want to.


Odyssey is an interesting choice, as it conjures visions of a journey. An epic journey no less. So where are we going? Beyond space? The other side? The other side of what exactly? Whatever is over there, we'll have to face it. At least that is what the ad copy says.

Jove? Maybe. Or maybe something darker and more mysterious? I sure am using a lot of question marks in this post! ( lol )

I love this. So what do you think about Odyssey?? Huh?








Die Blogger Die!

Eve is endlessly fascinating. As a game, as a social engagement, as a personal challenge... it is fascinating in as many ways as it is frustrating. And Eve is also amusing.

One thing that amuses me to no end is the connotations that accompany my pursuit on this here blog, journal, entertainment vehicle thingie that I write and draw in. It seems that many people wish me harm.

I can't go a day without hearing something along the lines of, "DIE BLOGGER DIE!" in local. And yes, usually in all caps. The other side of that coin is the always famous, "Are you gonna blog about THAT now!?" Which is also amusing.

In the spirit of keeping such commitments issued in local I present the following derp. Yesterday I lost a BS for the first time in... well a long ass time.  The most amusing thing to me, beyond the local challenges, was just how many people it took. But whatever, well played tarp. Ya got me.

See? I did blog about it. Anyone who has read this thing for more than a minute knows I am not afraid to write about the bad, the good and the sometimes ugly stuff that happens. I am an open book. I would never claim to be anything other than what I am. I am terrible at Eve, but most likely better than you. By about a 5-1 margin. ( Which should be ticking over to 6-1 here shortly )

Don't get me wrong. I don't mind the verbal attacks. In fact, I welcome them.

Am I mad? Nope. For one thing it proves that someone actually reads this thing. Which is good. Why would I write if no one read my words? ( Ok, I would, but my point is still valid. ) So that is a positive. Another positive is that I obviously engender a strong reaction among my readers. Which is also good. I don't write to make friends or fans. I write what is on my mind at the moment I write it. Plain and simple. The fact that other people find this interesting is a nice little bonus.

I was also accused in local yesterday of being a "bully". This is also a common refrain when I am chasing someone, annoying them, or blowing up their stuff. Tiny little therapists in Eve. No, I'm not actually a bully. I'm playing a GAME. And my role in this game is to chase, annoy and blow you up. Your role is to avoid that. And I've got news, in general, you kinda suck at your role.

I never thought I'd still be writing a blog about a game after four years. But here we are. It is a testament to how amusing and endlessly fascinating Eve really is.

Please continue trying to kill me. That is exactly what I want you to do. And every once in awhile you will succeed. Which is also good. I appreciate a well laid tarp, or a Merlin that can kill my Corax and then my Tristan. It makes Eve the amazingly frustrating and challenging place that it is.

And if one or the other of those things happen, rest assured I will write about it.



The Ring of Fire Project

The Fallen Capsuleer Memorial
Click for additional sizes

The above Wallpaper ( Free to download! ) is just one concept for an in-game Memorial honoring all the former players that are no longer with us. As Eve ends its first decade I believe it is more important than ever to remember the fallen.

Of course, the Ring of Fire Project was inspired by the events surrounding Sean Smith aka Vile Rat last year. And as this excellent Playboy article makes clear, this is still an important and significant moment in Eve's history.

Take a moment and visit the link over there in the right sidebar and support the effort on the Eve Forums. Whatever form the memorial eventually takes doesn't diminish the importance of making it happen.

Not to honor just one man. But to remember all.



Shaking off the do-gooder dust

Ok, so I was a really nice guy there for a few weeks. The run-up to the DR was a busy time which just happened to coincide with a very busy RL time, so time to Yarr and be all ebil and nasty has been at a premium.

But no more gosh darn it. It is time to shake off the cobwebs and get back to the business of blowing up other ships, stealing assets and generally making life impossible for the working stiffs of Eve.

Or just being incredibly annoying. Sometimes that is all that is left to us. Take yesterday as an example. I'm cruising around in my Kestrel ( randomly selected btw ) and stumble on a dood running a Plex in another ship. You might find this hard to believe but I don't even remember what it was... let's say it was an Ishkur. It matters not. So this Ishkur is in there and I warp in of course. I shoot his face for a bit and then he warps off. Stabbed. But I warp after him and shoot his face a bit at the Sun. Warped off. So I shoot his face a bit at the Gate. Then once more at the Plex. By this time, even with me with no scram, he is into structure. But I grow bored of these games and go into the next system. But wait, he comes in as well. So I shoot him a bit at another plex and then he runs away for good.

I really wish that story had a better ending.

Just for you then... he EXPLODED! Yes, I kilt him dead without a scram on my Kestrel! That'll teach those stab-fitted fools a lesson.

Oh look, a Merlin on the Gate. This Merlin is -4.3, so close to being a target. I yellow box him and he yellow boxes me. I say, "Let's dance" in local. And then we have a long, boring conversation about Gate mechanics. Sigh. You have to shoot the -10 player first or else he goes boom! So I slowly align to the Sun and warp off.

Lo and behold he actually follows me! Kudos to you my friend.  As I'm finishing up the Merlin a Slasher arrives thinking it can take me down. So I start shooting it in the face as well. Sadly the Slasher is faster than me and manages to get away. Only to warp right into a Cynabal apparently.

My time running short I head back to Hevrice with my stuff nearly burnt out. A couple of neuts are in system so I warp to the Sun to see if anyone will come and play with my severely damaged Kestrel. They won't. They all leave. Except for Devas Weddo who comes out to play in a Merlin! Devas is learning the fine art of PvP and has been hanging around Hevrice for awhile looking for good fights. And, I must say, getting better and better every time we fight.

Except for that first Merlin. Mistakes were made and we talk about that for a bit, and she wants another go. At this point my Kessie is barely functioning. I could dock up and repair, but what fun would that be? So I decide to run the string and see how things go. Why not?

This time Devas does a much better job on approach and engagement. Sadly I am unable to keep my mods heated as long as I should and the fight gets really nasty. It is a race to the finish and... BOOM!
BOOM!!   We both explode!!

Lolz. Good one.

So how many licks does it take to get to the juicy center of my Kestrel? Five I guess.




DeathRace: Finish Line



This is the official Finish Line video from the DeathRace. Made public as promised.



PS: OH and this is funny.



State of Commissions

Quick post this morning. Due to DeathRace and an unusually high request pipeline ( most likely due to CSM season! No Rabbit season!! ) The back-log on commissions has gotten ratter silly. But never fear!

I will get to you all I promise. I took care of two projects yesterday and will continue to address each and every request in a timely manner going forward. My goal is to get this puppy back to normal in about three weeks.

So hang in there! Im coming for you.


Unused "rough" from a recent project



DeathRace: Recap and Reflection

This past Saturday, 283 pilots x'd up into three official DeathRace fleets and headed off into the great unknown. A total of 78 jumps into the heart of wild, untamed New Eden Low-Sec. It was chaos, it was exciting and boring at the same time, it was intense and relaxed, insane and - at every moment - potentially doomed to failure.

Behind-the-scenes DeathRace nearly didn't happen about a dozen times last week. In the moments immediately before 17:00 there were many unanswered questions remaining. Half my intended support fleet may or may not be able to attend, would the expected support arrive and in the right place? Would we be able to personally invite almost 300 pilots into a race fleet in time? It was turmoil and extreme panic on my part.

You probably didn't even notice.

You weren't supposed to notice. You didn't notice that Suli's plans changed at the last minute and he was able to organize the end system after all. You didn't notice Male Duckface's alt showing up to at the last second to be the other FC. You didn't notice the dozens of other events that came together or fell apart at the last minute. You aren't supposed to. That was my job.

I take full responsibility. Yes, as many have pointed out, we could have had more "Death" in the DeathRace. This is true. Over 150 ships and pods were removed from the race. Several commitments didn't come together the way they were supposed to. But I don't point fingers and place blame, this is Eve after all. And like I said, the buck stops here.

99% of the feedback I've received has been extremely positive. And I appreciate that. Perhaps it is the perfectionist in me that all I see are the "might have beens". But I am also a realist and understand that no plan is perfect. This is Eve after all. I think I may have mentioned that before.

The important thing for me was to organize the event and get it off the ground successfully. Mostly to prove to myself that it could be done again. I still feel a lingering sadness that the last one, back in 2011, had to be cancelled at the last minute. Having this one work well was important not only to all the racers who so graciously participated, but to the potential of future events. We were laying the groundwork for the future as well as the present.

I am proud of the fact that every element of the event that the Tuskers were responsible for went off without a hitch. And I thank Ripard and Rote for showing up to help with the all important finish line camp. I planned from the beginning that, if everything else fell apart, at least we'd have one battle against a SB BS and an insane finish. Funny enough, since that is exactly how it worked out.

To answer your question, yes we were supposed to have a camp up in Goinard and yes you were going to be hot-dropped in New Eden. Even though the original participants in that last one bailed at the last minute, we almost got another one together during the race! It is amazing how much attention you can get when you can promise 300 ships at a specific location. lol.

You have to have thick skin to do this and be willing and able to roll with the ever changing environment. Nothing will go exactly as planned. So you have to plan for that.

For those of you that feel others cheated during the race rest assured we know this. We planned for it. And it doesn't matter at all. Dealt with. For those of you that feel you were podded or exploded unfairly, we also planned for that. It is a "Death" race and the potential existed for you to die. Remember that part about this being Eve?

It is entirely possible that many of the Winners awarded prizes are not the actual winners. This is also part of Eve. Despite the logs, screen shots, killboards and videos, someone may have been given something they didn't deserve. This happens. No system is perfect. Which is why it will not change. The winners are the winners. I made a few changes yesterday according to changing information and confirmations. But that is done. No more changes will be made.


There will be another DeathRace. Maybe as soon as this Fall. Right now I just want to get back to playing Eve again. So we shall see how I feel about it in a few months. The Tuskers will be having another Frigate FFA soon, so that is something to look forward to.

Because of Saturday the next one will be even easier in many ways. And it will be bigger, more dangerous and more "death" racy than the last one. And yes, it will most likely go through Null.

I've already spent an entire post thanking all of those involved. But it would be wrong of me not to do so once again. Thank you. I gave away almost 10b in Prizes and ISK yesterday, despite my Pirate soul crying a tiny bit every time I did! Except for one remaining Faction Frigate I have to deliver, all prizes have been awarded.

To all of you that raced - thank you. I can only hope that you enjoyed yourself. We had an incredible group of pilots on Saturday from all over New Eden. Young, old, veteran, pirates, miners, mission runners and null space warriors all. And for one brief moment, we were all DeathRacers.

Thanks for that.



DeathRace: RESULTS!

DEATHRACE Wallpaper Rev
Click to embiggen

I'll keep this short and sweet, since I know everyone is anxious to hear the results.

After 77 jumps on Saturday the final challenge was to jump into Y9G-KS into a Gate Camp organized specifically for the race by fellow Tuskers and elements of Rote Kapelle. ( Thanks again to Ripard Teg for helping to make that happen! )  My fellow Tusker and camera-man Lucas Padecain had anchored a GSC about 250k from the entrance gate. The "Finish Line" as it was called in local. The goal of the racers was to jump in and burn to the can without exploding.

As befits a DeathRace this ending was chaotic, confusing and horribly unfair to the 283 racers that participated. This was on purpose. Eve is unfair, harsh and full of cheaters. This is known. This was never intended to be a race your Mother would approve of, this was an Eve DeathRace. 

All of which makes winning even that much more rewarding in my opinion. Heck, just finishing the race is an accomplishment. Nearly 150 kills of ships and pods were recorded on the event killboard.

Congratulations to our WINNERS!

First Place: Franky Burns (Ares)
Second Place: Watson Desecond (Stiletto)
Third Place: Amy Flare (Malediction)
Fourth Place: Kooba Kaundur (Jaguar)
Fifth Place: Jeff the Mannequin (Federation Navy Comet)

And just to finish out the top ten:
6 - Deryn Angrard (Stiletto)
7 - McReaction (Raptor)
8 - Alekseyev Karrde (Malediction)
9 - Scrutt5 (Malediction)
10 - Roigon (Malediction)

OTHER PRIZES:

First Industrial Ship - Otsfome (Venture)

First Gallente Ship - Crynsos Cealion ( Ares )

First Pod - Marc Callan

First Death (Three way tie)
- RomeStar
- Swain Ellecon
- Khan Rean

Battleship Kill (Final Blow) - Merrowing Kion ( Apoc at 17:05 )

First Venture ( Judges Award ) - Stranglet Munba

Tusker With Most Kills - Grog Drinker

Non-Tusker With Most Kills - Blood Pearl

Most Expensive Losses (Racers) - 
1. Johnny Spacy ( 275m Tempest)
2. Chain Evoltion (272m Broadsword)
3. Rixx Javix (230m Daredevil)

Honorable Mention - FingerPuppet ( Finger came very close to winning this race and exploded about 9k from the finish can. Well done.)

Last Place - Zedrik Cayne ( A special shout-out to Zedrick for finishing the race hours after everyone else had finished on pure principle alone! Well done. )


AWARDS

Prizes will be awarded ASAP. Please note that not all awards are coming from me, so some coordination will need to be done. All cash prizes will be awarded from Rixx Javix. Most hardware prizes will be contracted from Anastasia Javix in Jita or Dodixie. The rest will be coming from individual donors who will identify themselves. We will work hard to ensure all prizes will be distributed this week.

All decisions are FINAL. Please note that I had to also consider the rules in awarding prizes. Several pilots who would have qualified for prizes had to be eliminated due to rules violations. If there is any questions regarding order of finish or the awards above, please keep this in mind.

As soon as it is ready for public viewing the "Finish Line" video will be published.


Tomorrow I will have some thoughts about the race, what we learned and how we intend to make this event even better next year!

Thanks.
Rixx Javix




DeathRace Video



Thanks to General Stargazer for this incredible, amazing, and also awesome video!


We are working on final results, please be patient.



DeathRace: THANK YOU!

I want to take a moment to personally thank everyone that has supported the upcoming DeathRace. From the sponsors, the donations, the offers of help and to those that will be participating. Thank you all. This event, no matter what happens tomorrow, could not have happened without you and your help.

I'd like to start by mentioning just how great The Tusker's have been. My timing turned out to be perfect, as our campaign down in Evati was extended for two weeks, and just ended a few days ago! I also picked a tough time for many of our EU pilots, so apologies to them. But when you have to consider all TZs, someone is going to end up being inconvenienced. But my Corp's support means a tremendous amount and this event could not happen without it. Thanks guys.

And a special shout out to our "rivals" in R1fta as well. They were quick to jump at the chance to support the event way back at the very beginning. You guys are always a great source for good fights and I appreciate you supporting the race. Hope to see lots of rebel pilots racing around low-sec tomorrow.

And to Crossing Zebras for your support, thank you. A great Podcast and a great group of people.


Special thanks also to Simc0m [TEST] for donating an entire line of Faction Frigates and 900m in prize  money, Krull Krull for his donation of a Machariel and choice T3 Cruiser, Namibstewie for the Navy Megathron, Shiho Weitong for 2b (+/- market price) in raw materials, MicloaD [-A-] for his 1b in Prize money donation, Joffy Aulx-Gao for his 200m Donation, Jinrai Tremaine for his 500m Donation, and Lord Kronical for 200m ISK and an Oracle, Naga, Tornado and Talos!

Thank you gentlemen!!

And thanks to everyone who cross posted, podcasted, tweeted, forumed, and otherwise spread the word about DeathRace. The Eve community is an amazing thing and all of you prove that each and every day. I'm proud to be a small part of such a wonderful and creative group.

And a special shout-out to CCP Manifest, CCP Phantom and John from the Community Team, thanks for noticing the event and for your support. It is always heartening to know you have the backing of the company behind you. And, most importantly, the people that make it work. Thanks guys!


As the ISD Reporter pointed out I am a "known Pirate". But those that know me also know I am many other things. I must be insane to do this, but I still feel that such events serve a greater purpose within the universe of Eve. They can help to break up the normal certainly, but they also bring the community together and the players that fly out in space. Don't get me wrong, this isn't Live Aid or We Are The World. This is a DeathRace after all. Which, in my mind at least, makes it a uniquely Eve sort of party.

So I'd like to end this post with a very special thank you to two people. Those that will race tomorrow, for coming out and trusting an old crusty pirate like myself. And to my wife, for not leaving me when I told her about it.

Now, let's race.




DeathRace: Guess the Number Pool

ENTER NOW for a chance to WIN!!

Leave your guess in the comments of this post along with your in-game character name. The commenter that comes closest to guessing the total number of racers in this Saturday's DeathRace, without going over, will win 100m ISK and the Faction Frigate of their choice!!

So, how many racers will we have on Saturday?

5? 50? 500? Or more?!? I honestly have no idea what to expect, the news about the race continues to spread like wildfire around the Universe. CCP was kind enough to post it on their Facebook page and we had almost 20k visitors to the blog yesterday! I participated in two interviews yesterday and my fellow bloggers and tweetfleet friends are posting and re-posting...

Gulp.

Planning and producing a Live Event in Eve is a scary piece of business. You hover in a twilight world between total and complete failure and OMG success! But this thing is a freight train without brakes now and there is no stopping it, ready or not it will be happening in just over two days from now.

In order to make things even more interesting, I thought "why not give 'em a chance to bet on the number of racers?" and make even more work for myself! Why not indeed. I'm insane. I'm about to lose what little is left of my sanity!

So leave your guess in the comments and let's see what happens. You could walk home with some coin and a shiny new spaceship in your hanger.

Now pardon me while I go cry in the corner for a bit.



DeathRace Advice

So many people are asking me for advice on the race this Saturday that I thought it might just be easier to write some of them down in a post.

The biggest thing, in my humble opinion, is to be patient. It might seem like the smartest move to race out to an early lead and warp ahead of everyone. Fit up your ship with a bunch of Nanos and Overdrive Injectors and be the fastest of the bunch. And while that might get you ahead, it might not let you win.

Remember there are three planned "stop-overs" along the way. At each of these I have something very special planned for our racers. This special project or task has to be completed before the next destination will be given out in fleet. Every task varies, some are dangerous and some just take time, but each one may or may not favor the leaders.

It is a "Death" race as well, so remember that everyone behind you will want you dead and exploded. Demonstrate a significant speed advantage and you may find yourself the target of an organized gank. I don't know this for certain, but I suspect several groups will be racing in their own self-interest, if you know what I mean. Friends racing with friends, Corps with Corps and so on. So they may have a reason to pop your fast little un-tanked frigate.

My advice is to be fast and deadly.

Planning is going extremely well and more donations are coming in. CCP was kind enough to drop off 3x 50 day time cards so those have been added to the prize pile. And I've been in talks with several other entities about some of the "surprises" along the way.

If anyone else is interested in donating a prize please contact me as soon as possible. There isn't a cut-off really, but the sooner the better. Mostly from a recognition stand-point, I just want to make sure you get the credit you deserve.

Also thanks to everyone cross-posting the news about this event. It is much appreciated.

Tomorrow I have a special in-blog betting pool going up, so be on the look out for that tomorrow.

Racers, start your engines!



Why I don't ransom

I don't ransom.

I'm not against the act of ransoming, but I don't participate in the practice myself. If I'm in a gang and others feel they want to do it, I don't stop them. But, when left to my own devices, I simply don't do it.

Why?

It is a complicated and yet extremely simple answer. The most important element of which, I don't want to be bothered. Bothered? What does that mean Rixx? Ain't you a scum sucking Pirate?!

Well yes, in game. But I'm a really nice guy out here in the real world. I'm the father of four boys, a professional, a charitable minded responsible adult whose entire career is fundamentally built upon the ability to empathize with others. ( Which is, believe it or not, what great advertising actually is at heart. ) This translates in-game to a guy that spends time talking to people, helping people, and generally feeling sorry about having to explode their ships. I spend a lot of time helping people, as much as I can, get better at fighting people like me. I often will even give them some isk to help them along the way. I know, that isn't very much like a pirate.

But this is all "after the fact". Ransoming is a messy act that is "during the fact". And talking to someone means hearing their tales of whoa, sob stories, pitiful songs and pleading cries for mercy. And outright lies about the value of their pods and heads. Which frankly complicates my hunter/prey relationship with them. Afterwards? Sure, we can talk. But during? No thanks.

And then we add in the time wasted. Not to mention the time hanging around talking when I could be hunting someone else, or heaven forbid attacked by someone else! ( which has happened many times. ) Hanging around a pointed pod having conversations about this and that is no place for a hunter in my opinion. I am vulnerable and I don't like being vulnerable.

I am an impartial killer. I kill everyone. Without bias and without remorse. I am cold-blooded in that regard and I freely admit it. But engaging my potential victim in conversation engages me in their "story" and makes my relationship one based on more than simple hunter/prey. And then to reject their story and pod them anyway? Based solely on isk?

I appreciate those that do ransom. I have nothing against the act. I just don't do it.

Does this make me less than a true Pirate? Perhaps. Historically speaking it certainly doesn't. The brief period in which Pirates plied the seven seas proved that a multitude of so-called Pirates existed, each with their own sense of right and wrong. Of rules and rule breakers. Of codes and honor. Or cold-blooded murder. So being a "pirate" in my opinion can consist of many things.

If not participating in ransoming makes me less than a true Pirate then so be it. I'm not going to change. I earn my kills the hard way. And I earn my loot and my rewards without engaging my enemy while he is held helpless in my sights. If I point your pod, you can rest assured you will be sent home.

That's just the way I play the game. And I expect the same in return. ( Although, if you have my pod pointed, I am willing to talk... )



Why Race in the DeathRace?

The Death Race is barely over a week away!  I suspect many people are asking themselves, why should I race?  Here are some solid reasons why participating in the race is a great idea.


• It's Fun!
No matter who you are the DR is a structured, organized way to have fun in Eve.  Podding is forbidden, so the only risk you run is in losing your ship.  Sure there are additional dangers involved from the locals, but that's what makes your heart pound.  I can assure you this, you will have fun and it'll be a story you'll tell for a long time to come.


• It's Different!
It isn't the same 'ol same 'ol.  No matter what you do in Eve you have a spaceship and that's all you need to race.  Wormholes, mining, building, even PvPers, the DR is something different.  It gets you out of your rut and gives you a chance to connect with new people, enjoy a part of space you might not otherwise ever visit and experience something new.  Those are all things that can be hard to come by in Eve.


• It's Exciting!
Just ask anyone that participated in the last race, everyone had a great time!  You will have fun and your heart will race along with your ship, believe me.  That's the whole point of why I do this thing, even when it is really a super pain in the butt to run it.  You'll have a good time and you won't have to dance with anyone you don't want to.


• It's Prize Worthy!
The prize pot continues to grow and someone has to win, it might as well be you!  Everyone in Eve has the skills needed to win the Death Race and so do you.  Speed, luck and a touch of daring is all it takes and you could take home some serious prizes!  Where else can you spend an hour and end up with several MILLION ISK in your pocket!?  Along with a faction ship or two?  I can't think of anything.


ALL proceeds from the race go directly into the prize pot!  Every single red cent goes out to the racers and nothing goes to me or anyone else associated with the race.  Same as last time and same as next time.


What else are you doing Saturday that will exceed the fun you'll have in Eve from being a racer in the Death Race?!! Tell your friends and family to chill, you've got some Eve to play.


C'mon.  From the furthest reaches of Null to hi-sec the answer is nothing.  So get up off your butts and meet us in Dantumi on Saturday before 17:00!


It'll be a lot more fun with you there.



DeathRace Updates

The DeathRace will run as scheduled.

There was a small chance this week that a family emergency might have forced me to delay, reschedule or cancel the event. That situation is resolved now and the event will proceed as planned.

The starting system has been changed to Dantumi, which is right next door to Mara. Dantumi actually has stations, which Mara does not. (Thanks to those that pointed this out to me!)

To all of those that contacted me expressing a desire to help, thank you! If I haven't gotten back to you yet it was because of the above mentioned personal issue. So my apologies.

I would love to have outside help in organizing this event, but that really isn't possible. It speaks more to the nature of Eve than it does to my own personal character, or yours. But there are details that must remain secret until the time of the race. Otherwise they wouldn't be secrets would they? So it is nothing against you personally.

Donations and sponsorships are still available, so if you want to donate or sponsor a portion of the race please contact me asap.

Next week I will be pushing hard. One thing I learned from the last time was not to push hard early.

So next week will be wall-to-wall DeathRace leading up to next Saturday as ( hopefully ) hundreds of racers arrive in Dantumi.

The DeathRace Page up in the upper left will continue to be updated. If you are sharing links with Corp m8s, on forums, etc., please use that link.

Thanks!



About Yesterday's Post

After 954 posts I've learned that expressing an opinion can be a tricky proposition. One must take care as a blogger for many reasons. The reader may not be aware of the 953 posts you've already written, the ones explaining your love for Eve, your history, accomplishments, background, sense of humor and all the other things that make up the rich tapestry of your on-going attempt to summarize the experience of this crazy ass game.

So when one singular post pops up on EveNews, it isn't surprising that a great many people take it out of context.

Writing 954 posts about a single subject can also get rather boring and repetitive. I strive to write about new things, new perspectives, new subjects and be as entertaining as possible at the same time. Mostly for myself of course, but judging by the numbers, for others as well. It can be difficult at times.

But even then, I am careful about my words.

I would never sink as low as to stand on my soapbox and scream that "Eve is dying!". A careful reading of my post yesterday would clearly indicate that indeed I feel the opposite. Eve is better now than it has ever been before. And yet...

The underlying conceit is one that should concern us all in my humble opinion. A simple conceit based on a trend, not just based on my own perspective, but the perspectives of many, many others. And one clear underlying question - "What if". What if enough people stopped engaging.

It could happen. This isn't hyperbolic or baseless. And it points to concerns that arise from many corners of the Eve universe. From Null, to WH, to Low and beyond. Others are asking the same question in their own unique way, but the basis of that concern is what I expressed yesterday. What if.

You don't write 954 posts about Eve if you don't love the game.

But it isn't a blind love. It never has been. And I am concerned for it. Of course, individual concerns come and go. Solo is dead. The Drake sucks. Goons are taking over. Whatever the specific concern is comes and goes with time. Granted. But, again, what if.

I don't care about people engaging me in space. Those are just examples. Mostly given for the sake of humor and to illustrate a point. People still engage or I trick them into engaging or I catch them or whatever else it takes to force my hand. But avoidance is another issue. And the thought occurred to me, what if enough of us simply stopped engaging?

If that happens. If enough people do seek to avoid conflict. The Null blocks, the power blocks, the industrials, the builders, the PvPers, if enough of these people seek avoidance... then I do indeed worry about my Eve.

Tomorrow we talk about DeathRace. Back to the positive.



This is how Eve dies, with a whimper

It occurred to me as I was chasing a Hookbill in my Atron. It also happened to pop into my mind as the thirty or so Logi-supported Afs and Cruisers ran from two of us in Stabbers. And again with the cloaking, stabbing, warping, chasing and generally avoiding conflict going on this weekend.

Granted, weekend Eve is different than Eve during the week. But this isn't something new. This has been building for some time. And it suddenly hit me, as yet another Atron ran from my own Atron. So this is it then, this is how Eve dies.

It won't be because of CCP, or lack of modular POS towers, or the failure of WIS, or lack of cool new ships, or the CSM, or any number of other dumb reasons - it'll be simple. Quiet. A whimper and not a scream.

Eve could die simply because no one plays anymore. Call it what you will. A lack of engagement. Risk aversion. Or pure apathy. Is this where Eve is headed?

Not yet of course, but are we seeing the beginnings of a trend? Has the player base become so wealthy, in general, that risk is now something to be avoided. At all costs?

Eve exists on the basis of a universally accepted pact between all players. It isn't complicated, but it boils down to this - Eve is a game that we are all playing together. It is a conceit surely. An unconscious expression of virtual tomfoolery, a common agreed upon action that we all take each and every time we log in to play.

But what if? What if the majority of players simply stopped engaging in space? They could. Or at least enough of them to make an impact. Enough to start a trend. Enough to kill Eve.

Are we already seeing the wind blowing in that direction? Look to Null as a pre-cursor of what is coming. When was the last large-scale movement in Null? The last epic story, the last crushing Alliance defeat? Didn't someone just cancel such an action simply because it was too much work? I think they did.

Avoidance has become so entrenched that people see it as a viable play-style to attach cloaks to ships that have no business, or no aggressive purpose, to have them attached. Combat ships with low-slots loaded with WCS.

People are arguing over consensual and non-consensual PvP in every area of Eve. Including high-sec for goodness sake. I've got news for those engaging in such mealy mouthed debates, you are not expressing a viable opinion - you are feeding the beast of apathy. There is NO debate between consensual and non-consensual PvP! You log into Eve and you are agreeing to participate. Simple. You want to avoid PvP? Don't play.

Consider this fair warning. This is indeed a trend. Perhaps you are too blind to see it, but I'm not. This has been building for years and it seems to be picking up speed. Null sec is static. High-sec is entrenched. And low is increasingly full of avoiders and big hammers. ( Big Hammers are those that will only engage when they have far superior numbers, yet another risk aversion tactic )

To much has been invested in "the way things are". The wealth is building up in station. The ISK is easier to acquire. The benefits of taking risk have been mitigated to a nominal result. The biggest rewards fall to those that take the least risk. This is backwards thinking at its worst.

If this trend continues Eve will peak and then slowly, very slowly die.

Not screaming and kicking. But mired in wealth. Spinning in station.


February's Results

Because you live vicariously through me, I shall continue the monthly ritual of summarizing the past month of ebil PvP efforts. I don't mind you living that way, I am a pretty awesome dood and incredibly cool, dashingly handsome and good to puppies. ( Which is why I don't fit Warp Core Stabs to any of my ships!)

February Totals:
156 kills to 34 losses
84.5% efficient (6b to 1b)
133 Real Kills
21 Pod Kills
55 Solo Kills
102 Top Damage
106 Final Blows
6 Industry Kills
Ranked #3,437 on BC

I wanted to keep my losses under 20 this month but that didn't happen. That is my highest loss total ever, the previous high was 31 last month. A trend I need to manage better ( HA!). 156 kills was my second highest ever, behind only November's 188.

Ships I flew that registered a kill: (K/L)
Kestrel (40/9), Drake (16/0), Daredevil (12/0), Thorax (7/0), Dramiel (6/0), Dominix (5/0), Slasher (5/3), Hookbill (5/4), Caracal (5/1), Atron (4/0), Vexor (4/1), Condor, Firetail, Moa, Prophecy, Dragoon, Sentinel, Algos and Comet (3 each), and Sac (2).

A good mix of ships. I want to keep flying a variety of ships and have some new ones I'm trying out. I probably undocked in another 5-6 ships last month that just didn't get any kills registered. I often undock to kill something specific and they either log-off or leave local. Or the opp gets cancelled. It happens.

Last month the Condor was the go-to ship and this past month it was the Kestrel. I'm not sure what the coming month's go-to ship will be yet, these things are not planned. But right now I'm liking a few new fits on some new ships, so we'll see what catches my fancy. I'm sorta over the Kestrel for now.

While T1 Frigates are fun to fly and they register some amazing kills, they also tend to die more often. This results in higher loss totals than I would like. But those losses tend to impact the bottom line less of course. So, while 34 losses might be more than I'd like, it was mostly T1 losses. (20 of the 34 losses were T1) That's a good balance I think.

Onward and upward