A Chart of My Own!

The other day Poetic had a chart on her blog that showed her PvP history, so I wanted one of my own.

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I started playing Eve in October 2008, so I am closing in on five full years of playing Eve. And while combat has always been my vocation in New Eden, it hasn't always been a priority. Back in the early days priorities also included making iskies from chain ratting Providence, delivering supplies from Empire to Null, and trying to learn how to fly in super huge impersonal fleets.

I won't recount my entire history, as it is all laid out here on the blog in super painful detail, but it follows this basic outline:

• Null. Mostly in and around Providence, multiple wars with multiple Alliances.
• Moving. All over the map.
• Lucifer's Hammer. My first Pirate Corporation.
• Almost quitting. Losing my business in RL, etc. Bad year 2012.
• Tuskers.
• Stay Frosty.

For me it has never been about numbers, I certainly cannot play enough to make even a marginal go at the numbers game - I'll leave that to the College kids. The best I can do is try to be as consistent as possible over the long haul.

I found a post from June 2010 that stated I was ranked #42,372 on BattleClinic at the time. Today I am ranked #1,757. Back then I had 526 kills to 172 losses. Today that number is 2,419 to 500.

Ehh whatever. Killboard numbers, as always, are interesting and reflective of certain realities, but beyond that - not much. I play for other reasons, but it is a journal after all. And this is history.

Regarding my killboard the goal remains the same as always - to reach as high as possible. And have as much fun doing it as I can.

And make things go boom. And irritate people. Mostly by continuing to talk about this stuff. That seems to irritate a lot of people. lol.



Sink or Swim: Open Recruitment

As Stay Frosty rapidly approaches the rather unbelievable milestone of 100 members, which we should reach in the next week or so, I thought it was time to address the idea behind our Open Recruitment policy.

Such an idea seems counter-intuitive based on Eve's history and the lessons we've all learned playing in this sandbox. It might work for RvB, for example, but building an entire Pirate corporation on an open door policy... well that's just borderline absurd.

Yes. It is. Which is one of the major reasons it is working so well. It doesn't make sense, it is counter-intuitive and it flies in the face of everything we know about Eve. Ha!

Granted this approach wouldn't work for everyone. Part of the reason it does work is because it is me doing it. I have this platform I've built and by extension the out-reach of that platform on Twitter and other places. I haven't touched the forums with a recruitment message, not a single one of them. That is also critical to the success of this approach, keeping it "in-house" as much as possible. Word of mouth, friendships, readership - those are the work horses that have been spreading the message initially.

None of this would be worth a hill of beans however, if it wasn't for another important fact - Stay Frosty is exactly as advertised. It isn't different once you get in, we aren't pulling your leg. In fact, it is even better when you get there, than you thought it would be. And as the days go on, our members are becoming friends, making connections, growing together and all that other sappy crap that actually makes a Corporation really, really work. And the eye opening bits, the relaxed atmosphere, the no-bullshit attitude, the desire to teach, share and undock and friggin' have fun? Well, that's all real. This isn't a smoke and mirrors job. We are really like that.

It isn't for everyone. We have had a few people leave us, I don't want Stay Frosty to be for everyone. It is a very specific kind of play-style and life, this pirate thing. Or whatever you want to call it. It shouldn't be for everyone. I don't think I could handle 500,000 members anyway! Plus, who would we shoot then?

That is the Sink or Swim basis of the final product. I haven't tried to convince anyone.  You want to join? Welcome aboard. Either you like it or you don't. If it doesn't work for you then it doesn't work for you. No harm no foul.

Personally I'm having a blast. Stay Frosty is going extremely well and I couldn't be happier with all of our pilots. They are learning, sharing and generally not hanging around spinning-ships and waiting for something to happen to them. They are undocking and making something happen to someone else. And that, that is the difference between a sad, pitiful, unrewarding Eve experience and one full of adventure. In my humble opinion at least.

Want to talk? Join the EVEOGANDA in-game channel. It is always open. Just like us.




Twitter Kilt the Radio Star

Yesterday Marc Scaurus posted his intentions regarding the Eve Blog Pack and evebloggers.com over on his blog.

This resulted in a rather strongly worded response from Alexia Morgan over on Touring New Eden.

This kinda thing isn't good for the Eve Community. And, to me at least, it all seems rather pointless.

This may seem an odd thing for me to say given my own history with the Eve Blog Pack, which was given to me by CrazyKinux and which I then handed to Marc. And in light of my rather mis-understood stance late last year in this post. Which it seems has been rather heavily "borrowed" from recently.

My point wasn't about Marc, but rather the potential of resources being headquartered in increasingly small places. While the headline was yellow journalism, the idea of our community becoming reliant on TMC or EN24 as bastions remains something I am opposed to. That opposition has nothing to do with personalities, but rather the hoarding and control of resources. Free and open resources, which should remain so.

The larger issue and the one we all are struggling with, is the resources themselves. The Eve Blog Pack and evebloggers.com were born in a different age. And with Google giving up on their reader, and the birth and expansion of Twitter, G+ and other social media resources, is a "list" something we even need?

My opinion is that we don't. Like most bloggers I maintain my own list, which is right over there in the menu called "RJ's Reading List". But more importantly I am extremely active on Twitter and usually post links to my own posts and those of my fellow bloggers, or re-tweets, whenever I can. I also subscribe to the Eve circles on G+, FB and other sites. And even sometimes post and comment on Reddit.

I haven't used evebloggers.com as a resource in over three years. And I stopped relying on EBP early last year. To me, these both seem like Dinosaurs hanging out in a server room, relics from the past and not technology we should be fighting over in light of today's opportunities.

A Eve Community mobile App that links to updated and refreshed content from the community? That sounds like a good idea. Yet another iteration on a static list dependent on one person to maintain? Not so much.


On the other hand. If anyone steps up to do something for the benefit of the Eve Community they have my support. Without question. They always have and they always will.




Stay Frosty Mini Ads

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Also click to embiggen

You guessed it
I was bored last night sitting in a waiting room with only my wife's laptop and this is what happens. By the way, Stay Frosty will pass 80 members this week and recruitment is still always open. We have good representation across both AU and US TZs and would like more in late US/AU TZs as well. Either way, don't delay, and join our in-game channel EVEOGANDA. Even if you aren't gonna join it's a fun place to hang your hat.




Guest Post: Last Night in Stay Frosty

[ This post was written by Furious Fukuda on the Stay Frosty forums describing his very first kill in Eve. Beyond that it also captures some Universal truth regarding Eve and the opportunities many players both have and do not have. I thought it worthy of sharing to a larger audience. ]


Before I get to the particulars of last evening, I’d like to go over a bit of my Eve history. I’ve been playing Eve on and off since about 2005. I don’t remember too much about my earliest time in New Eden, other than I was ridiculously horrible at internet spaceships; my first loss just happened to be an industrial in Rancer, ‘nough said. But, I just couldn’t seem to find a place I fit and I let my subscription run out.

A few years later I came back and thought I’d give it another go. I restarted my account, logged in, and not too long after I found myself in a highsec industrial corp. They were an OK group of pilots, but very focused on their business ventures, and light on socializing. I built up a secondary indy toon , shot rocks, and built frigates that I hauled off to market. That was actually fun, for a time, because I felt like I was finally achieving something in Eve. I enjoyed watching my sell orders tick down to zero, and having money to buy shiny ships to run missions with on my other character.

The fun disappeared when my little industrial corp decided they were going to pick up and move to null in search of larger paydays. This was during the time when the BoB blob was smeared all over the map and Goonswarm’s little bees were stinging them wherever they could. We moved to Providence, which was relatively safe, but I didn’t know that at the time. All I knew was that people in null were quite skilled at killing other capsuleers, and I didn’t have a clue about defending myself. So, I did what carebears do in highsec when there are bad guys around; I stopped hitting the undock button. Needless to say, that got boring really fast and I let my subscription run out again.

Fast forward a few more years. I had been playing other online games, and regularly visiting gaming sites. Of course, I continually came across stories from New Eden. They were full of colorful characters, epic betrayals, and massive heists. The allure was just too strong, and I wanted to experience more of what Eve had to offer. I started a fresh character, came up with a training plan and ended up joining Eve University. My time in the Uni was educational and pretty fun as well, but a big promotion at work came along and gaming had to take a back seat. Sporadically logging in turned into not logging in at all so, once again, I let my subscription lapse.

I settled into my new job, started finding I had free time again, and reactivated my subscription a few weeks ago. I logged into my Eve twitter account and started trying to interact more with the community. That’s a difficult thing for me, as I am a rather shy and introverted person, but I really made the effort. That’s when I came across Rixx Javix talking about Stay Frosty. I had never done anything remotely close to lowsec pirating before, but it sounded fun and exciting so I applied to the corp after Rixx bribed me with cookies and pies shaped like frigates.

This brings us to last night. I had yet to engage a target as I was too busy training EFT Warrior V so that I could be an elite lowsec pirate. Akirra Menelaos was on and decided to pull my little Buzzard and I into a fleet. We scanned some people down, had some near misses and then I thought, “Hey, what the hell am I going to do when we actually catch something?” Determined to be more than just a spectator, I scurried off to get a Manticore I’d set up to catch explorers and Ventures. I hopped into my Manti and zipped back to Hevrice, then began bouncing between belts.

Not too long after I came across a wee little Venture pewing rocks in one of our belts. Cloaked, I crept up on him slowly, careful not to get too close to any asteroids that would decloak me. 10km, 9km, 8km, he was in range and my heart was pounding. I dropped my cloak, jammed my double scram hotkeys and clicked his name in the overview. I listened as the locking sound beeped, my heart racing. HE WAS LOCKED! Then nothing happened. My UI made some strange noise, and as I tried to figure out what went wrong he flew off. Then I saw it. I had forgotten to disable my safety. Dejected, and slightly embarrassed, I docked up for a few to wash the egg off my face.

Not ready to give up, I undocked and started jumping through systems, checking their belts as I went. It took a while, but I eventually found another little Venture just mining away. I landed about 12km from him, and checked my safety. Again, I approached slowly and carefully, while checking my safety. His little ship slid right into the range bubble of my overlay, and I checked my safety. With my heart pounding loud enough that I felt it in my ears, I checked my safety again, then dropped cloak, stabbed my hotkeys and clicked his name in the overview. Got him! Rockets started flying and the white bars started filling with red rapidly. Nervously, I kept my eyes on dscan and my overview. A ship was coming, oh shit! It landed on grid and I noticed it was just another Venture. The newcomer saw me, shit purple twinkies, then bolted off while I turned his buddy to space dust. Somehow, I remembered to go for the pod after his ship popped. Lock, scram, fire, pop and the capsuleer was on his way to a fresh clone.

Now, you’re probably thinking that it wasn’t much of a fight, but for me it was exciting. I had never voluntarily engaged someone in Eve before. It was the first time I had ever experienced the feeling of being a predator in New Eden, instead of just being prey. Stoked, I started system hopping again to find another target. I found one a few systems over; it was a Procurer sitting in an ice belt. I didn’t jump him right away because I remembered that those things have drones, and a stealth bomber would probably die way too fast to his drones for me to get the kill. I relayed what I found in corp chat and both Edge Of Oblivion and Akirra said they were on their way.

I found myself sitting there, cloaked, just a few KM from a target while waiting for the Calvary to arrive. My hands started to get twitchy, and my palms were starting to sweat. It felt so weird to be so close to someone and they were totally oblivious to my presence. My corpmates started updating me. Five jumps out, four jumps out, and then at three jumps the target warped off. We all agreed that he was probably just going to empty his cargo and that he would return, so I held my position. Sure enough, he returned when they were about one jump out, so I got myself back in range.

I saw purple names show up in local and Edge said, “Grab him!” I dropped my cloak, locked, scrammed and then let the rockets rip. Then something unexpected happened; icons started appearing on the bottom of my screen. I was scrammed, webbed and there was even a tracking disrupter icon. It was a trap. A Tristan landed on grid and started in on me, and I was swarmed by Hobgoblins. My corpmates had hit the grid by this time and started to work, but the Hobgoblins from both ships were tearing through my shields faster than my medium ASB could repair the damage. I ran out of charges and went pop. I got my pod out and started bouncing around between celestials before finally docking up.


To many people, losing a ship with fittings worth about 38 million isk and only killing a Procurer and Tristan in return may seem like an embarrassing loss, but not to me. What made it worth it to me were the excitement, and the fun. I had a great time last night, probably more so than all the other time I’ve spent in Eve combined. I got a few kills, learned a few things, and best of all, I got to spend some time getting to know some of the great people in Stay Frosty. There is absolutely no amount of isk worth more than that.



Guest Post: Akirra Menelaos

[ This was originally posted on the Stay Frosty forums, reprinted here with permission.]


So it occurred to me the other night that I have now been a part of Stay Frosty for a month, and what a month it has been. However I wanted to look back and thank you all personally for my warm welcoming to not just the corporation, but low sec and PvP life as a whole. I wanted to do this in corp chat, but chose not to as those offline at the time would never see it and I didn't want to disrupt the flow of intel with locations of enemies, gangs, etc.

Before Stay Frosty, I was going between careers with my character and generally not enjoying the game as much as now. Having started the game as many do as a Miner due to not wanting to invest the time into growing an understanding of the deep combat systems EVE is known for. I started the game with a few friends I had come to know from other games and MMO's. But sadly EVE is not for everyone and I was alone within a few weeks of beginning so naturally, I quit.

Upon returning to the game a few months ago, I decided I wanted to shoot things. My childhood dreams of spaceship adventures always involved meeting enemies and destroying them, so why play a close imagining of that dream only to shoot rocks for hours on end? I began training Akirra for mission running, moving up the progression lines of level one's onto two's and finally running three's for quite some time. It occurred to me one day however that I was generating income, and doing nothing with it. The first billion or so was exciting but it just sat there in my characters wallet.

One day, I decided I'd look for a livestream to see how exciting the other side of the game could be. I'd seen recorded videos of huge fleet action but nothing matches the level of insight you can get into how a game is played than watching a livestream on a site like Twitch.tv. Naturally I popped open the EVE stream with the most current views and it just so happened that it was the 10th anniversary of EVE and the Flight of a Thousand Rifters event was being covered on Themittanidotcom's stream.

This is where I met Marc Scaurus, the first person I have to thank for all the fun of the last month. As if I hadn't met and interacted with him, I'd either still be shooting rats or more than likely quit once again. The stream they ran at the time was not perfect and as a very frequent (It's almost a problem) visitor of Twitch, I decided to help and give input on what they could do to improve. Before long, I was a Moderator for the channel and a friend of Marc. I was told about Stay Frosty as something I should consider as I've always liked PvP in other games over PvE and the corporation was said to be laid back and more importantly, have no long application process to prove I'm not pretending to be this bad.

My first day out in Hevrice was slow, Marc had offered to teach me the basics such as the importance of using safes, aligning and dscanning. Along the way we got a few kills, my first kills, which were exhilarating as even if the kills were reasonably meaningless and small, I had accomplished something. The night was fully one-up'ed however after Marc had logged off for the night and I was roaming alone.

I was alerted by Mattias Kerensky that there was a Cruiser and Assault Frigate gang moving around Hevrice. I joined him as we scanned them down, I never expected that we'd do anything about their presence, but I undocked in my Caracal just in case. We ended up on a planet when to my surprise, Matt brazenly gave the enemy our location via local. Whilst I was sure we were about to be horribly killed by an outnumbering force as the Thorax, Vexor and Vengeance warped in, I was reassured to stand our ground and fight them.

Primarying the Vengeance and moving onto the Thorax, they dropped like flies. Whilst the end of the engagement was incredibly close as I was deeply into structure, we won the fight outright as the Vexor finally poofed. As I was instructed to warp out and get safe, I realized what had just happened and that I'd proved to myself that I wasn't going to be the innocent high sec'er anymore.

As weeks have rolled by, more events have proven the strength of this Corp and its pilots. No matter how old your character is or your understanding of the game. From my first Hulk kill alongside Joffy Aulx-Gao to the amazingly awesome accomplishment of being part of taking down Sully's Hyperion, we have proven ourselves in such a short time that we don't have to leave Hevrice because someone else says so. Most importantly, we did it and had fun.

It was through Stay Frosty's acceptance to new players and the guidance I've recieved that any of this happened. Whilst I can sometimes feel down when The Tuskers are cruel to me in local, or when I am simply outplayed by another pilot. I do not regret a minute of my playtime in EVE and within the corporation in the last month.

So, thank you Stay Frosty.



The Past is Dead

Does anyone even remember why a corporation named Unforgiven Blood failed? Does it even matter?  Does anyone remember or care why I believe the CVA stabbed me in the back three times? Over three years ago? Why I left Tropical Killer Bananas after less than a day?

I mean, they do make for interesting story foder from time to time, but those events have no impact on me now. None. That is because they are in the past. They are effectively, and for all intents and purposes, dead.

Not a single thing that happens inside Eve affects the person writing these words. This is often forgotten in the day-to-day drama that is Eve. And yes, it is a drama. To deny that, and to deny your own part in that drama, is to deny yourself and the role we all play. But that drama is a virtual one. It changes, it morphs, warps, evolves and eventually is lost to the dust bin of time.

This blog has seen its share of those changes. From the wars in Providence, to the founding of Alliances in Syndicate, from small neuts on Vagabonds and the drama that caused in RK, to the Muppets shooting a blue freighter, to Burn Away and the explosion of Lucifer's Hammer. And more. Almost five years worth. Tuskers was to be my refuge from drama.

But you can't run and hide from it. Things happen with or without your consent. And while many people would like to think that it does, that is self-delusional. Especially when you throw an incredibly popular and charismatic Eve Magazine writer into the mix. I'm bound to report. To chronicle. That is what I do. This blog does many things, but it is primarily the story of my Eve career. When things happen I tend to write about them. If CNN fired Anderson Cooper you can rest assured he would talk about it, probably on Oprah.

And admittedly I used those events to promote my own Corporation. That is also what I do. Much as I have done in the past and will do so again in the future. Despite several previous attempts to "move on", some people keep writing me with advice. These also have to be mentioned. The best I can do is sometimes delay writing about things, to see if they improve, or if the situation changes. But eventually I will have to talk about them. One way or the other.

But Stay Frosty was never about revenge or drama or anything other than what it appears, a chance for me to redeem myself in my own eyes regarding what happened with Lucifer's Hammer. That was the entirety of my thought process. It had nothing to do with being kicked, or anything else for that matter. Certainly at first, the bad blood spilled into the streets a bit. But I will mention this publicly, Stay Frosty understood our purpose and we generally avoided direct conflict to allow things to "cool down". That doesn't mean we haven't fought, we have of course. But I never wanted this to turn into anything personal. I still have a tremendous amount of respect for most of my former corp members.*

I can't change the past. I was indeed kicked against my will. That is a fact. But I've moved on. Stay Frosty is growing and learning and turning into a damn good corporation. We have a ways to go yet, but I am extremely proud of our pilots. Each of them have taken to the task at hand with passion, enthusiasm and determination. I couldn't ask for anything more.

It has been almost two months now. The past is, in my opinion at least, dead.

Let's move on down the road and see what happens.


*And anyone reading this that believes the CEO isn't one of them doesn't know me very well. There is only one member of that corporation that I have no respect for and he isn't even a member right now.


1v1 EVE COMIC #59

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In Praise of Ugly

CCP Rise wrote:
"About the Mammoth: I just checked in with Art briefly and they confirmed that they simply don't like the way the Mammoth looks. I'll point them to this thread and see what they have to say about your feedback =)"

I'd like to point out that I didn't say that, that was written by CCP Rise.

This puts into some context the following thread regarding Indy balancing changes. Which you should read thru if you have all the time in the world. And also my own post on that thread, which you should read because it is worth it and very funny.

I have to tell you right up front that I couldn't care less about Indy ship class balancing. I'm extremely confident that it will all get worked out and CCP will do their usually good job of making it work. There are other people much more passionate and knowledgeable about such things. I am smart enough to let them handle the details about ships I rarely, if ever, actually fly.  I do, however, care about design. And while no one came right out and said they were going to change anything, the implication in that statement above was enough to spur me to say what needed to be said.

Thank you for not liking the look of the Mammoth. By coming forward and revealing your disdain for the "look" of this horribly ugly ship you have revealed your intelligence. The Mammoth IS ugly, it was beaten quite hard with the ugly stick. It hit every branch in the ugly tree when it fell out of production. It is soooo ugly it would make a freight train take a dirt road!
This is the entire point of both the Mammoth and the Hoarder, they exist to be ugly. If indeed, they are on the block for revision, then they need to be V3'd to be even more ugly in high-resolution. You have streamlined and purty-fied far to many Minmatar ships, the Industrials need to stay horribly ugly. That is their character, the entire summation of hurried, clunky, use what is at hand MInmatar design philosophy.
I am encouraged by your obvious attention to detail, it has only taken you ten years to realize the obvious - the Mammoth is freakishly butt ugly. Not every ship in Eve needs to be streamlined perfection, we need and demand our ugly be respected, admired and enhanced. It adds character to homogenization.
Keep the Mammoth ugly. In fact, it could stand to be even worse in my opinion.

There is a lot of ugly in Eve. One can argue the specifics to personal taste, but certainly the Mammoth is among the prime examples. The Moa is another one that jumps to mind. Saying that something is ugly however is different than saying it needs changed. In fact, it is often the opposite. Ugly can sometimes be beautiful, or functional, or traditional, or a combination of all of those things and more. Ugly has a place in design. ( While pure ugliness does not, unless the artist is intent on making a statement, this edges us from design into "art" and we'll leave that to other debates for now. )

My post was certainly a tad out of context given the original OP of that thread. I was aware of that. If one reads the entire 17 previous pages one will notice, as most threads do, the original intent wanders a bit off track. My post was intended to do exactly what it did, establish the fact that the Mammoth - and other ugly ships of Eve - do not need to be aligned, straightened, smoothed, perfected or otherwise "fixed" from a visual standpoint. We need their ugly, we want their ugly and we love their ugly.

V3 those skins, enhance them, high-res 'em for future generations, but don't go changing the fundamental wonder that makes each ship uniquely that ship. That was the mistake with removing the frill from the Vagabond. And with the Comet.

Balance to your hearts content. But don't change something just because it might be a tad ugly.

"No object is so beautiful that, under certain conditions, it will not look ugly."
- Oscar Wilde


That was my point.



Blast from the Past

February 4th, 2009

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Five months into my Eve career. This was taken in PI-5 down in Providence, apparently I went thru a phase where all my ships ( the handfull I had ) were named "lizard". I don't remember that. How about that fitting window?



Culture of Apologists

This is just a mini-post, one family funeral today and one tomorrow. But something has been rattling around in my head and I thought this might be the place to mention it out loud.

Open recruitment, few rules, relaxed atmosphere, undock and fight mentality, certainly Stay Frosty isn't like many other corporations. And during the last month or so I've talked to well over 100 players interested in joining and trying this new thing out for themselves. Most don't believe it at first, or have their doubts. Which is natural and understandable. That isn't the surprising part, this is after all Eve.

The other common thread, which I have found rather surprising, has been the apologies. This isn't a criticism of any one player, but rather the odd position that Eve has put so many people into that they feel it incumbent upon themselves to apologize for things beyond their control.

"Sorry, but I don't play as much as I should."  "I'm sorry, but I'm changing jobs and won't be on much in the next month."  "My apologies, I can't be on comms right now, the baby needs feeding."  "Apologies, I'm attending E3 and won't be very helpful this week." ( I'm making these up btw, they don't relate to anyone specifically.) This list could be very long, but I think you get the idea.

What is it about our beloved game that instills such need? The players are not wrong, so what are they actually sorry about? That they have real lives?

Is this a result of the culture that Eve has established over the last decade? A culture of responsibility, of CTAs and alarm-clock ops, of organized roams and established roles? If so, I sincerely worry about the long-term viability of such a culture. The need to apologize for something beyond your control, while on an individual basis is certainly understandable, on a wide-spread basis it is rather troublesome.

Many people say RL > Eve, but do they really mean it? Obviously not based on the feedback I've been getting. And this isn't just an observation based on the last month, but rather one based on the last five years. It is a powerful and often overwhelming problem. I've experienced it myself. I've left corporations, brought down entire Alliances, based simply on changes to my personal circumstances. I know where this feeling stems from.

It is one of the primary reasons I built a "no-apology" corporation. A place where no one ever needs to feel bad that they can't play today, or this week. Or that they have to drop fleet because the baby is awake.

You should want to play Eve because it is fun. Not because you feel you have to.



The Good,The Bad & The Ugly

My play-time has been gimped a tad lately due to real life insanity. I had an Uncle pass away this week and then the very next day my wife's Uncle also passed away. Been that kind of week.

But I still managed to get out into space and find some decent fights here and there. I'm also debating what to do with this feature now that we have Stay Frosty up and running. Not sure what that means yet, since I can't possibly know the story behind every single encounter.


The Good
Dramiel vs Dramiel

I rarely fly my Dramiel these days, no real reason other than it is very hard to get fights in it. I can enter a system with 20 people in local and watch it empty out in a matter of seconds in that thing. But the other day I decided to do a quick dart thru a few systems and see what I could catch. Believe it or not, while in a nearby system, my Corp mates tell me a Dramiel is hanging around our station. They've been trying to engage it, but it is simply too fast for them. Of course, I burn home as fast as I can.

His Dram is obviously MWD fit, while mine is AB. So this is tricky. Will he engage or not? As the faster of us, the choice is really his. I manage to get into position and then wait to see what he does. He decides to engage. I overheat and plunge into it. It is a good fight, but I don't think he expected me to be fit the way I was fit and I never even had to turn on my rep.

The loot fairy was good to me, but sadly a Daredevil showed up just as he popped. In my burnt out state I was in no position to defend the loot and the DD managed to make off with it.


The Good
Comet vs Firetail

I undock in my Comet and lo and behold a Firetail is just sitting there around the undock. He is a Devil's Tattoo guy, so I figure he might actually fight me. So I lock him up and head straight for him. He isn't negative so I have to wait and see if he'll aggress. The problem with this tactic is surrendering the initiative, you are giving your opponent the advantage. They get to go first. He did a good job of taking advantage of that and he managed to get off some good shots on me right up front. He was doomed though, once I got my AB range right, my guns started hitting and my drones started chewing. Good fight though.


The Ugly
Breacher vs Merlin

Believe it or not, I actually did have the wrong ammo loaded this time. For whatever reason I never even checked it or thought about it until the killmail showed up. I even remember thinking, "why am I not hitting him?" lol. Just shows to know you, no matter what, eventually you will derp yourself real good in this game. At least be man enough to admit it when it happens.


The Bad
Comet vs Gang

Sometimes people do the dumbest things. Like land right on top of you and then just freeze up. Nothing special about this one other than how bad it was. Comet go boom.


The Good
Firetail vs Slasher

Just two days before I had exploded his Slasher with my Dramiel, which was a good fight even though it wasn't a fair one. Firetail vs Slasher is a bit more fair, especially with two TDs against me! Lucky for me I also have that one rocket launcher! lol. Seriously though, rocket launcher saved me. Well that and about three well placed rounds of artillery.


Oh, and Sully lost his Hyperion.


Hopefully I'll have more play time soon and can explode many more ships.




2013 Science-Fiction Film Preview

We deviate a tad today for a look at some upcoming Summer Science-Fiction films. I figure most of my readers, like me, are also fans of Science-Fiction. And while I grew up devouring Bradbury, Asimov, Ellison, Herbert, Niven, and many more of the greats - the recent slate of popular films does show some encouraging signs of a return of science-fiction themes to the big screen.

Will this upcoming slate of films finally deliver? Probably not entirely, but they do look interesting and a few look like they have real promise.

PACIFIC RIM



This has been on my radar for almost three years now and I couldn't possibly be more excited - actual giant robots ( I say actual because of the horrors of Transformers! ) and giant monster aliens popping in from another dimension! I've been saying for years that the next great Hollywood source will be Manga and it looks like Pacific Rim is the first in what is already looking like a new wave. ( There are already more "inspired" by projects in the works.)

Science-Fiction takes many forms, that is one of its greatest strengths, and Pacific Rim is just one example of how wide and varied those sources can be. I'd be worried if this wasn't in the capable hands of Del Toro, but this is his passion project and that is good enough for me.

This one gets 10 Rifters on the anticipation scale.


EUROPA REPORT



I was very excited for this film when I first heard about it, a realistic take on the first human visitors to Europa. But then the teaser trailer hit and it honestly looked more like that horrible Apollo found footage film. And then this extended trailer came out and now I'm all conflicted. I'll be kind and say this one has potential, a potential difficult to determine from what we've seen so far. It looks well made and with an interesting premiss, but will it drop the ball at the end and become just another "Oh my God its loose on the ship!" story? Hard to tell.

This one gets 5 Rifters for guarded optimism. It could go either way.


ELYSIUM



District 9 was one of the great surprises in the genre and Elysium certainly looks to be taking the next step. For this reason Blomkamp is a very interesting creator and one we can pin our hopes on. Elysium manages to cram a lot into a little and borrows generously from many films before it, but in a way that feels fresh. At least in the trailers we've seen. I have high hopes for this film and I've watched this trailer over and over again.

It has robots, speaceships, swords, powered armor and lots of gritty dust, what's not to love?

I'm also giving this one 10 Rifters! Please be awesome.


GRAVITY



Perhaps my highest hopes rest on Gravity. This film is either going to be amazingly amazing or incredibly high-handed. The only real "action" is in the trailer, after that it is pretty much someone floating alone in space for the rest of the film. With A list casting and Alfonso directing, it has the potential to be something special. I sure hope so.

I'm giving this one 8 Rifters, just because I've been burned before.

PROTOTYPE



The low-budget sleeper hit of the year? Or the forgotten Netflix icon of tomorrow? I honestly don't know, but it does have promise and the trailer does a nice job of presenting itself. Only time will tell with this one, but I am anxious to see it.

6 Rifters.


ENDER'S GAME



I wish I was more confident in this one. It has taken so long for this to get to the big screen and we all want it to not suck so much... that it kinda feels like it has to suck. Ford's narration doesn't help much ( we all know what that did to Blade Runner! ) and some of the set-beats, at least in this trailer, seem a tad... television level? I don't know, maybe I'm being overly critical. The fact remains this is a great story and it has the potential to be truly good. Will it?

7 Rifters and 1 Incursus for extra tank.


RIDDICK



I'll throw it in here because it is science-fiction based, although man that Chronicles was really stretching that fact. This looks like a twist back to the original Pitch Black, which was a nice surprise when it came out. I'd like this to be entertaining and bring something new to the on-going story of Riddick, but I seriously have doubts.

4 Rifters and one of them is on fire.


Oblivion, After Earth, Star Trek into Darkness, Man of Steel, Iron Man ( I guess? ), heck even Wolverine sorta counts, this is turning into a year full of science-fiction films. But will any of them be good? Are we looking at a new wave or just another crest that will break up on shore?

Only time will tell. But I have hope that one or two of these may be the real deal.



What are your thoughts? And what are you most excited to see?






I am an Eve Blogger

::ironic::
Over four years, thousands of posts, hundreds and hundreds of Eve related art pieces, community support, activism, and journal entires later... yes, I am an Eve Blogger.

You might think this statement would be obvious by now. But you'd be wrong. Apparently there is a percentage of the Eve population that feels I am unaware of this fact. They must, since they seem determined to point it out to me at every opportunity.

Not a day goes by inside of New Eden, or here on the blog, or in an email, where some kind soul doesn't feel it incumbent upon them to remind me that I am indeed - an Eve Blogger.
Nine times out of ten they do so with extreme passion, dedication and very colorful language. They can be very creative. If not horribly obvious.

I suspect some of them must be telling me this because they believe it is an actual insult. I know, I know. But what other conclusion can I come to when they couch this obvious revelation in such gross, obnoxious and juvenile terms? I don't think they mean it as a compliment. ( Some do of course, but those are minus the above mentioned curses and filth.)

And yes, I am being sarcastic to make a point.

Your insults do not matter to me. I am aware of being a Blogger. I've put a tremendous amount of time, effort and energy into being one. I do so for myself, and no one else. I aim to please me. Not you. If I was out to be popular or further some personal cause, I would never have lasted so long. Most Eve bloggers do not last. Believe me, I've seen them come and go like the wind over the years. I've lasted because I do my own thing, I tell the truth as I see it and I try to have fun doing so.

It just so happens that a lot of people seem to enjoy what I write and what I draw and what I care about.  Why? Because there are people, like me, that love Eve. That have always wanted what I've always wanted, our game to be the best it can be and for others to discover it with us.

You can't insult that. Well, you can and you will. But it doesn't matter. In fact, I like it. It means I'm doing something right. If I annoy some of you then well done on my part. I'm not out to win a popularity contest.

I'm just here to tell the truth as I see it. Like it or lump it.



On Being Frosty



The video above is from Dredastttarm and shows the Domi kill from yesterday's post beginning at around 18:18 or so. The rest of the video is excellent as well and you can see more of his work at his channel.


Stay Frosty is about a month old and membership is holding steady at around the 65-70 range. We're beginning to see some of the initial enthusiasm members moving on to other pastures and new people coming on board to take their place. This is all part of the normal cycle. The success or failure of a new Corporation is written in the first three months and it is a cycle that has a very familiar cadence.

The explosion of enthusiasm that follows the initial announcement, the flurry of activity - moving, settling, getting to know everyone - and then the reality of day to day play. Good or bad, the initial energy gets diverted. "Enthusiasm members" are those that get swept up by that activity and expect in-game life to continue that way forever. Which is impossible. But that's ok, everyone plays for different reasons and far be it for me to judge anyone.

The key element is developing and building a strong Corporation is the Core. The Core group either develops a cohesion or withers on the vine. This is an unpredictable process that can not be forced, but only guided. If we come together as a group then we will succeed, no matter the odds. If not, well then it'll just be me flying solo eventually. I don't think that is going to happen however, I have seen the extremely encouraging Core springing to life.

You can watch this process unfold by watching the new Corporation's killboard. The flurry, excitement and activity of the early days is marked by lots of death and destruction. Learning new systems, new pilots, new enemies, new opportunities results in a heavier than usual reliance on risk/reward. This is also normal. We all do it. But as things settle down, pilots begin to know one another and trust one another, the killboard begins to settle down. And slowly, but surely, the numbers begin to rise.

I am extremely encouraged by our pilots. There is an exceptional Core present here surrounded by an enthusiastic group of pilots that I believe we can count on to continue building something special together.

It is still early and we have much work ahead of us. But I could not be happier with the way things have gone.

There are few feelings in all of Eve as awesome as refreshing the killboard in the morning when I wake up and seeing how busy Stay Frosty has been. That is a great feeling.


As always, if you are interested in being Frosty, join our in-game channel EVEOGANDA. Everyone is welcome.




The Sun Whale

Last week was insanely busy, work, vacation, house painting and the usual insanity surrounding every other morsel on my plate. Weeee! Eve time has been at a premium, but I squeezed out some time on saturday to play.

I decided to make a quick sweep of the area and see what was going on. I randomly selected the IN Slicer for the quick tour, good ship for moving fast.

I jumped into Meut and immediately saw the Dominix on scan. My immediate thought was either mission runner or POS trash, no one else was in local and Domis dont generally... Ok he is at the Sun.

So of course I warp to the Sun! In warp a quick show info determines his age as early 2013, not old enough for a BS. Sure enough there he is, engaged and pointed. And we begin to dance. Surprised he has T2 drones, so I have to kill those now. Also surprised he knows how to manage them.

I'm not in immediate danger, but time is not on my side. Like all Amarr ships the INS is tough on cap, built for speed and quick fights, not long drawn out BS fights. I start spamming Corp. I've caught a whale and some help would be appreciated.

Akirra comes in her Caracal and Dred in his Purifier. They dont arrive fast enough and I have to disengage sooner than they can get point and the Domi slips from our grasp. None of us are happy about that and we spread out. The Domi jumps to Costolle and we give chase but he is ahead of us.

My Slicer is on fire and there are no stations in meut, so I head back to Hevrice and grab a Drake. Meanwhile the Domi has returned to Meut.  Dredd manages to find him but cant grab point. Akirra moves to Costolle in case he jumps thru, which he does and she grabs point on the gate.

We all jump in and open up. The Drake I had grabbed was a HAM variant with web and it tears into the Domi, but he is de-aggro'd and burning to the gate. It's close, but he manages to jump! And we have aggro to wait out. Grrrr. This is getting frustrating. Once Dredd jumps its clear the Domi has safed up.

Just then a couple of Stay Frostians come into Cost and Link says he'll go get his probe ship. So I sit on the Cost gate, Akirra on the Hev gate and Dredd keeps him busy in Meut while we wait. I'm sitting in a Drake alone in Cost when Dilium yellow boxes me in her Thorax. Normally I'd engage but I really want this Dominix. So I disuade Dilium in local and we talk. Apparently everyone hasn't heard about me being kicked from T**skers.

Link gets a hit and we warp into a mission gate, but the Domi is off the gate and he warps away. But this time we're ready and Dredd is right behind him. Once we all land and get point, the Domi is doomed. He can't get away this time.

Spur of the moment opportunities can be chaotic and they dont always work out. But despite the chaos, the gang worked extremely well together under difficult and stressful circumstances. Well done guys.


Skip ahead a day.

Remember my Slicer was on fire and I quickly switched to the Drake? Yeah, that'll be important in a minute.

Another quick round of the neighborhood in the Slicer and I'm finding nothing but fleets and blobs, typical weekend team play. The worst thing for the solo hunter. On my way back I spot a Gnosis on scan. My hopes are nill, gotta be hugging a POS or Station. But I have to find out and so I start hunting.

Believe it or not the darn thing is in a belt ratting! I swoop in, engage and get point. Even in the Slicer it doesnt take long to get it into structure, the damps are not helping it. At about 20% structure left my guns stop firing! They are just sitting there pulsing red. My first thought is busted crystals so I make a joke about it in corp chat. But a quick check and I realize the crystals are fine. The gosh darn guns are busted. I forgot to repair them after the fight with the Dominix.

So there I am holding down a Gnosis in hostile territory with guns that don't work. The Gnosis pilot is wondering what's going on, he convos me and wonders what is going on. Poor guy is starting to think I might let hm go. I don't tell him about the gun issue.

Eventually Dunmer Orion makes his way over to Oulley to help me finish off the poor Gnosis. I forget to tell him I'd promised to let the guys pod go and he pods him as well. It happens.

So my own stupidity cost me the Gnosis solo kill, but at least it eventually exploded. And I avoided getting caught holding him down in a belt for everyone to scan down.

Just shows to know you kids, even the dread pirate Javix makes boo boos.

PS: We may have some video of the Domi story available here shortly. I'll post it when it is available.




Eve Dumb Ways to Die

So you may be familiar with this song. Which comes from a game called "Dumb Ways to Die" which has been making the rounds at my house this past week.




Of course my first thought was EVE Version! And while that may or may not happen, the first step is writing some lyrics. So here are the lyrics I wrote for the Eve version of Dumb Ways to Die. If anyone wants to use them, or work together on a video, let me know. I'm busier than a one-armed paper-hanger right now, but you never know.

( To the tune of Dumb Ways to Die )

Warp to zero at a gate
Trust a stranger as your mate
Go afk while you pee
Forget to web an enemy

Dumb ways to die, so many dumb ways to die

Press jump instead of bridge
Leave your Quafe in the fridge
Teach yourself how to fly
Hit an asteroid explode and fry

Dumb ways to die, so many dumb ways to die

Load Hail in your guns
Use a laser to toast your buns
Say yes to that fleet
Warp to a safe full of pirates, thats real neat

Dumb ways to die, so many dumb ways to die

Shoot a neut at a gate
Sell goods in Jita at a lower rate
Give out the password to your pos on vent
"I wonder where the undock button went?"

Dumb ways to die, so many dumb ways to die

Undock your freighter in HED
Jump to high when you are red
Put all your cards in one ship
Jump into Rancer like it was a science trip
Dual tank your blingy Battleship
Best for you, just to rage quit!

Dumbest ways to die ie
Dumbest ways to die
Dumbest ways to die
So many dumb
So many dumb ways to die

Fly Safe - A message from Eveoganda



Odyssey; Week One

Been on an Odyssey myself this past week, taking time off from paid work and subjecting myself to the horror of house painting. So I haven't been posting as much as usual, even Mr. Javix needs a break from time to time.

If you didn't know it yet, the latest expansion was released earlier this week. It was a tad anti-climatic after the events of the weekend, but it is still a FREE expansion of some new stuff into the world's very best... whatever it is. I hate labels, but I love Eve.

I can say this much - Eve is better right now than it has ever been. Right now, at this very moment, Eve is the best looking, best running, most balanced, most intuitive (!), it has ever been. Luckily, we still have much further to go on our journey. But progress, significant progress, has been made.

Every expansion since Incarna has buit upon the previous one to form a somewhat new kind of Eve. This new Eve is a tad shocking to the older players, or at least it is for me. Shocking in the sense that we probably never really believed we'd live to see it. Things are starting to work together and make sense. This is a tad unsettling.

I'll leave the specific feature talk to other writers, I'm more concerned with the big picture. And I also happen to be focused on the pirate perspective at the moment. The pirate thing was dealt with in the last expansion and we don't get much in this one. Besides some additional ship balancing, which is starting to arc above our pay-grade now, new Gate effects, and easier probing ( I'll take your word for it.), pirates don't get much to chew on. Which is ok, we had our day.

As the name suggests, Odyssey is really about travel. Exploring. New ships for PvE, whatever that is. Jet cans spewing things in an annoying way and generally finding things popping up on your overview that didn't previously pop up on your overview. I still flinch when all those icons pop up in a system I just jumped into. Or when the people in local pop up on my overview before I've loaded grid.

Many people seem upset by the re-location of the undock button. I might be, if I had ever, ever used it. I never do. Since day one, when that guy in the belt told me, "Right-click everything in Eve" that's what I've been doing. There was a short period of time this week when even that didn't work, but I complained and CCP fixed it. So no harm done. Yes, you can right-click your ship floating in the hanger and access a full menu of options, including undock. Try it, it is pretty great.

For the sake of Eve I hope that the next expansion is focused on Null. We've covered Hi-sec, Low-sec and exploration, FW, etc. It is time for a dramatic re-balance of Null Space. In my humble opinion.

Those people need some help.

Another solid expansion. We are starting to get spoiled. I like it.



Stay Frosty Mini-Album Released

The new, powerful and awe-inspiring Stay Frosty album is now available!

To say that Roc Weiler is unique is a bit of an understatement, on the level of saying sunsets are nice. I've been a fan of his since before I started blogging. It was Roc, CrazyKinux and a few others that initially inspired me to pursue my own efforts.

And now he is a proud member of Stay Frosty and I couldn't be happier to have him on board. Hopefully we'll have the chance to fly together sooner rather than later, schedules being what they are, especially during the Summer months - we just haven't had the chance yet.

This is a big change for Roc and he spent a lot of time soul-searching and belly-button gazing before making the decision to join, all of which is expressed in the musical power of this new album. We are all fortunate to be able to listen and travel along with his muse.

Enjoy. And join our in-game channel EVEOGANDA.



FREE SEC!

The label "low-security" derives, not from the people who live there, but from the Empires and their proxies CONCORD. To the people who live there it should be more appropriately referred to as Free Sec.

Furthermore, the common stereotypes perpetrated by the machine of Empire builders, of pirates, criminals and ruffians that inhabit Free Sec is also based on only one perspective - theirs.

Free Sec is the attitude that permeates all of us that dwell within a lawless and unmanageable portion of space that the Empires cannot hope to control. So it is in their best interests to label, suppress and otherwise inhibit the truth about Free Sec.

The rise of their Factions is only one example of this effort on the part of the power players in New Eden. While the PR machines spew anti-empirical propaganda against one or the other of the Empires, the true meaning of Faction warfare is not lost on those of us who care about Free Sec. We know what this is and we see it in its true light - as the opening and on-going salvo in the war to expand Empirical control and destroy the remaining remnants of our Free Society.

This is our struggle. The struggle of free people everywhere. The inherent right of self-determination and freedom from oppression. This is why we fight. To remain unbound by the political, economic and social pressures of Empirical Law. The residents and free citizens of Free Sec are counting on us, those Capsuleers that have shed the bonds of slavery and have seen the light, to defend them. They cannot do it alone. Only we have the will, the means and the immortality to see the fight continue until our borders are secured and freedom reigns. Freedom from tyranny.

Free Sec is not united in this effort. The cost of freedom is as high as it is absolute. We fight amongst ourselves as much as we do against those that wish to stomp us into the pages of history. This is the reality of Free Sec. We are not united. Nor shall we ever be. But that is also our strength. Our diversity empowers us to great heights. We cannot be conquered. We cannot be overwhelmed. We cannot be invaded. Because we are everywhere and nowhere all at the same time.

Free Sec will remain free. The Empire and their bastards in CONCORD cannot change that. Their puppets in the Factions cannot "own" what is not theirs. Label us how you wish, it doesn't change the reality of our space. You cannot and will not change that reality, now matter what you choose to label it.

Call us what you will. Pirates. Criminals. Freedom Fighters. Your labels mean nothing to us. You are not welcome, your suposed laws are not welcome, your rule is denied. We shall not allow it.

Don't tread on us.