Why Play Eve Online: Part One


Welcome to Part One of a series in which I will attempt to explain why everyone who enjoys gaming, should play Eve Online. And by "play" Eve Online I mean join up, log on, and have fun playing the most amazing virtual/real universe ever conceived by man. With spaceships in it!

Part One: The Common Thread

There are many unique things about Eve Online. One of the most amazing is the fact that every single event that has happened in the last eleven years, every battle, every victory, every asteroid mined, ship built, wormhole explored, all of it - has happened to everyone who plays the game. Eve, just like real life, happens in one long continuous history thread. On one server.

The state of the current Universe is directly tied to every single event that has happened before today. Alliances, hatred, envy, jealousy, the entire spectrum of human emotion is present and built upon the layers after layers of past events. It is impossible to escape and impossible to ignore. Exactly like political tensions in the Middle East. Eve is constantly shaped by the history of events happening right now - even as you read this.

And here is the mind-blowing bit. All of that history? Everything that has happened in the last eleven years? All of it, every last detail, was driven by the players. Individuals. Real people that play Eve Online. From the player who plays once a month, to the college student that plays eight hours a day, to the professional executive that plays during lunch in the office, to the Mom that sneaks in while the kids are at school, the cucumber farmer in Romania and thousands more. Each one contributes in their own way to the on-going tapestry that is Eve Online.

In gaming terms this is referred to as a "sandbox", in which everyone plays, builds, stomps, and throws sand in each others eyes until they cry. And there is no other sandbox quite like the one being built each minute, of each hour, of each and every day in Eve Online.

To some this might seem overwhelming. How can I, a single player, have an impact on such a large, expansive, and long-running place? The beauty of Eve is that you don't have to. One of the most important and often over-looked aspects of Eve is choice. That sandbox we talked about works in a multitude of ways. You have a choice, a choice that presents itself each and every time you have time to play. A choice I face each time I log into the game. A choice all of us have. I don't enter the game with history changing events on my mind. I suspect that very few players do. That is way to much pressure. And a common lie told to new players or potential players. For years, the sandbox has been touted as the participatory equivalent of professional sports. If you are not performing you are failing. Nothing could be further from the truth.

It goes like this. Player enters game. Player does his or her best to learn, play, and have fun flying spaceships around. Player meets other players who are also trying their best to learn, play and have fun. Before long these players are grouped together in some way. This group grows, moves, changes, just as the players inside that group naturally do. Before long, this small or medium or large group is making waves somewhere. Building things, moving things, exploding things, or otherwise making things happen.

Or not. That is only one potential path along a journey that has thousands of potential paths. But it all starts with you. History happens to those that have other plans. Just like life. A great author doesn't start out to write the next bestseller, a great author only wants to write. Great players don't start out to change history in Eve, they only want to achieve some personal goal. The rest just takes care of itself.

The beauty is in trying. Playing, meeting new people, and working towards common goals. All of which, happens together in a universe populated by thousands of other people going along their own paths.

The end result is that Eve is all about sharing. Sharing a common history, a shared server, a shared and daily story that is being written by the individual players. Young, old, student, professional, farmers, oil-rig workers, soldiers, doctors, lawyers, husbands, carpenters, from around the world.

And you.

You can try Eve Online for FREE. And you really should. You get to fly spaceships.




The Gunfighter: Short Film



NSFW. This is pretty much how I imagine it whenever a Pirate enters local in New Eden. Except for all the stuff about the Gunfighter's orientation and some of the particulars of the local population. In other words, this isn't a direct analogy of a Pirate entering local, but all the same - you get the idear.

Either way, it is funny. And has nothing at all to do with Eve.



The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Enough prattle! Let's talk about fights. With my Eve playing time somewhat limited this month, I've been trying to focus on maximizing the time I do have. What does that mean?

I have no idea. To be honest I log on, undock in something or other and fly off to find fights. If I pick a T1 Frigate you can rest assured it will not be returning to the hangar. They never seem to make it back.

Which is exactly what Frigates are made for. So let's take a look at some of the more memorable fights from the past few weeks.

THE UGLY (But Awesome!)
Slicer Vs Drake and Slicer Vs Caracal (with Tristan)

I freely admit that I have problems. One of them is when I see a BC or a BS on scan at a belt. I have this strange compulsion to fly in there and grab tackle, no matter what I happen to be flying in at the moment. After that, the rest will sort itself out in due order. Either I die in a glorious and valiant ball of fire, or it does. Either way, Geronimo!!

It is not easy to kill a whole Drake with a Slicer. Especially with local being busy, ships flying in and out, and constant cap issues. Luckily, Laguna was nearby to add some much needed final blow power once I had burned thru his shields. I started to feel kinda bad about this one, thinking the guy was a Newbie, but he isn't exactly that young. So meh.

About twenty minutes later and I find myself in Nisuwa once more. Guess what? Dude is in the belt again, this time with a Caracal. Geronimo!! I did get a nice "goddammit" in local this time. lolz.


THE BAD
Slicer vs Huggin

Karma is a bitch. To all the haters out there, I've always been open and honest about my suckage when it comes to fights. This is yet another example. Going thru this system on the way out I saw the links in local. When I finally came back that way, I saw the scout in the previous system. And yet, for some reason, I still jumped thru the gate. Yep. Linked Huggin points your MWD Slicer 14k off the gate and all you can do is align out and wait. You can also shoot back a little. Pod out. Was a good run with the Slicer and it almost made it back to station! lolz.


THE GOOD
Tormentor VS Hookbill

I have re-discovered the Tormentor lately. I flew the little Frigate a lot early last year and have sporadically since, but lately I've been having a blast in it. You don't see them a lot and I think people seriously underestimate what they can do. I think this guy did. Serves him right for killing Laguna's Tristan moments before. And before you start thinking, jeez Rixx you just kitted this poor Hookbill from 20k away until he exploded. I most certainly did not do that! I brawled his ass down under dual webs baby! Like a boss.
Mostly because my Tormentor is slower than molasses and the HB was much faster than me.

Just in case you think this is a fluke, here is yet another Hookbill that fell to my Tormentor.


THE UGLY
Comet VS Astero

Sometimes I do the dumbest things. As any PvPer knows, micro-managing yourself and your ship and your mods and everything else during a fight can get very complicated. It seriously becomes muscle memory and intuition in those brief glorious moments, over-think it and you may find yourself exploded. Focus on one aspect and another one may get out of control. Take for example this glorious fight, and it was a good fight.

However, I should have lived. In order to catch him I had OH'd my AB and then went on to manage the rest of the fight. Which, as you might imagine, quickly descended into both of us being in structure. He was slightly ahead of me on that count. But it was then that I realized my mistake. My AB had been OH'ing the entire time! I had forgotten about it in the heat of battle and... yep... there it goes. Burned. And, predictably, there I go moments later. I totally deserved to die.

And of course, so did he.


THE GOOD?
Comet VS Procurer

I put a question mark there because... no matter how much I believe anyone who mines in Low Sec is asking for it (and they are), I still have a heart. Also, I landed 37k away from him, so no excuses. Plenty of time to warp off had you been aligned.


THE GOOD
Stuff VS Stuff

Ok this is a tad confusing, so bear with me. I'm out and about in a Merlin when someone reports seeing a Goon SFI in a nearby system. Of course I warp directly over there and sure enough Nix Pardus has it pointed with his Breacher which explodes as I enter system. The call goes out and I go in. Of course I am going to die here, but I should be able to hold him long enough for the calvary to arrive. Which is exactly what happens. And our home system is only 2j away, so off to re-ship. I manage to get back in my Sentinel with enough time to get some nice dps on him and save the rest of our frigates.

About then is when everything goes to Hell in a handbasket and that battle report gets very hard to follow. Suffice to say some of our ships were not the best answer to Vigilants and Arazus.


THE BAD
The Dominix Navy Issue

I can't leave without mentioning this, which was actually the precursor to that SFI fight above. We had picked up the Domi on scan in the previous system and had been following him for a few jumps, trying to catch him. He kept warping to planets and was very hard to catch for some strange reason. (Cough) Even though we'd gotten points on him a few times.

Eventually those before mentioned Arazu and the Omen managed to pin him down. And that's when we all discovered his sekrit! SIX, count 'em for yourself, WCS.

Sigh.




A History of Numbers

According to this post from June 2010, exactly four years ago now, I was ranked #42,372 on BattleClinic with 526 Kills and 172 Losses. That was one and a half years into my Eve career, primarily in Null Sec up to that point.

Nearly two years later, when I started flying with the Tuskers in the Fall of 2012, I was ranked #9,932 with 1,586 Kills and 385 Losses. As you can see from the handy dandy chart.

I updated it this morning after reading that post from four years ago. Sadly, unemployment has been very good to my Eve career.

For those of you that do not know, for the first four years Eve was a very small part of my life. I had my own business to run and about 40 employees, clients, and all the other headaches of a busy career to deal with. Eve was something I played when I had time, sometimes at lunch, or on the weekends for an hour here, or an hour there. More often than not I would have to drop right in the middle of a battle because of real life. I died a lot because of that.

I started playing Eve because of my Son. We had both just gone through a pretty terrible divorce and Eve was our way of sharing time together. But for those first four years he was the primary driver behind my Eve career. We went where he wanted, did what he wanted to do. That is why I changed corporations so often, why I moved all over the universe. Essentially I just followed him around. He stopped playing Eve right around the Fall of 2012. Since then my Eve career has been all me.

When I think back on all of that now, in hindsight, I can see how those years developed the philosophy that has driven the last two years. How that initial play-style infused the spirit that has become what Stay Frosty represents. None of what has happened in the last two years would have happened if those first four hadn't gone the way they did.

My oldest, the one who I followed around Eve, is getting married in less than a month and joining the Army.

My Eve career is a parchment upon which is written some pretty heavy emotional tracks from the last six years. Divorce, the loss of my business, bankruptcy, new family, new life and the continuing struggles to re-build the pieces into something brand new and much, much better.

I say all of this because Eve is Real. It involves real people with real lives. All of us have our own story to tell, a story that sometimes doesn't have anything to do with Eve at all. And it is this context that truly drives the story of Eve. Family trauma, loss of jobs, death, disease, all the things that drive people away from Eve. Or change their lives forever.

It is, after all, just a game. And that is why I can always confidently say that kill-boards don't really matter. And, at the same time, talk about them. That is the duality of Eve. A game certainly, but one that mirrors our lives. I can point to every single event in my Eve career and tell you the thing that was happening in my life at the time. The time one of my young boys went into the Hospital? That's when I closed Lucifer's Hammer that first time. And on and on.

Yep. I'm seventy kills away from 4,000. Less than many, more than most. It has been a long six years.

Where will the next six take us?



BB57: A Fit is a terrible thing to waste

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 57th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are visit the Blog Banter page.

* * * * *
“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” ― Albert Einstein


Drackarn pointed this killmail out recently and proposed the following for a blog banter:

Obviously that is a not just a bad fit, its horrific. But the guy might not know any better. We get these all the time circulating social media and corp/alliance chat. How do we educate players on fitting? This guy has been playing four months and can fly a BC, but has no idea how to fit one. What could be done to help bro's like this?
Furthermore, what (if any) responsibility do veterans players have in finding these players and instructing them on the finer arts of ship fitting? If it exists, does it extend beyond them into teaching PvP skills, ISK making skills, market skills, social skills, life skills...

And another question you can think about is this: do purposely wrong fits, aka comedy fits or experimental fits or off-meta fits, offend you or your corp? Would you, like Rixx Javix when he was in Tuskers, face expulsion for fitting your ships differently than the accepted standard?

"Its the difference between streaking and getting caught with your pants down." - Kirith Kodach



Deep breath. Hold it. Slowly let it out again. Nice. Feel better? Good. Let's get started. I'm going to warn you ahead of time that you may not like some of the things I am going to say in this post. In fact, I may not like some of the things I am going to say in this post. But... honesty. It hurts sometimes.

The single greatest crime of Eve Online is simply that it has no acceptable, helpful, comparative, or otherwise enlightening fitting tool included in-game. We have to rely on third-party software for these services. When you consider, that at its heart, Eve is a PvP oriented game - this is a crime of staggering proportions. And sadly, this situation used to be much, much worse than it is today.

Because of this oversight, and the mere fact that Eve makes fitting ships so easy, young players often have a very strongly misplaced sense of how to properly fit ships. This often results in hilariously horrible consequences and bad, bad deaths. Having dealt with more young players over the last year, I can confidently tell you that this situation is not improving. Despite the increase in guides, advice, kill-boards, and general in-game improvements - many pilots simply continue apace. Being horrible.

At its root, this situation is directly related to the social aspects of Eve and the increasingly important need to direct new players into organizations, corporations, and alliances. It is, very simply, peer pressure that eventually wins out. Bad habits start from day one and the problem is NOT just limited to young players. I've witnessed many older "should-know-better" players making these mistakes as well.

Ok, now let's back up a second.

What exactly is a bad fit? Is putting a cloak on a Drake a bad idea? Is putting guns and a shield extender on a Badger considered a bad idea? (What if you have 150 of them?) When I started putting rail guns on a Comet it caused a lot of drama in certain organizations, but now it is an acceptable way to fit a Comet. Was that really a bad fit? Was my special Sacrilege fit truly bad? Can a bad fit be responsible for 350 kills? Because that one is. What is the difference?

And who are you to tell me, or anyone else, how to fit our ships?

HAM Drakes? It'll never work. Light Missile Caracals? You gotta be crazy! Dual-tanked Frigates!?! You should be ashamed of yourself! You never, ever dual tank anything! Sheesh. What the Hell is wrong with you?

Name an acceptable fit and at one point or another it was crazy talk. The work of madness. Examples are rife in Eve's history. Try something crazy and eventually PL will steal it, turn it into an effective tactic, and then everyone will think they are geniuses. Then suddenly everyone else is doing it.

The truth is somewhere in the middle of all that. Yes, there are actually bad fits. The only way to know which is which, is to know how to properly fit a ship. Only then can you properly counter-fit a ship. THIS is not a counter fit Dominix, this is simply a horribly fit Dominix.

The other exception is of course Fleet actions. Proper comps demand a unified fitting convention, the fleet only truly works when everyone is on-board with that convention. Large fleets demand coordinated fits, dependable, reliable, and trusted. One bad apple can spoil a big bunch. Trust me.

But beyond that? Innovation comes from trial and error. Trying new things is how things change. Demanding that everyone fly exactly the same way is borderline stupid. Especially in low sec. Counter-intuitive fits often work brilliantly, and just as often die in a ball of fire. But it is trying that makes the difference. I could count hundreds of examples.

The important thing is teaching pilots the standards, the reasons behind the standards and then allow them the freedom to try new things. The essential problems are universal. Knowledge, understanding, and experience. The best place for this is within a Corporation that cares, that is open and willing to help. There is no substitute for this in Eve. Not yet.

I once had an Alliance Leader who will remain nameless tell me that when the Manticore I was flying ended up on the Alliance killboard - that I would be kicked from the Alliance. I flew it anyway. I had a very specific idea about what it was capable of doing. It did eventually die, like all good spaceships do. But not before nearly soloing a Geddon (I ran out of torps and had to ask for help to finish it off sadly) and about 15 Russian Transports out in the Great Wildlands. The loot from that run bought me a Shadow POS Tower and enough mods to deathstar the shit out of it.

And since I was used as an example (without my knowledge!) in this blog banter, I will say this. A ship that kills another ship, no matter the circumstances, is not a badly fit ship. The winner is always right. The only badly fit ships are the ones that explode. When that happens to me, I always say the same thing, "Back to the old drawing board."

As for me? I try to teach, instruct and generally provide an environment in Stay Frosty that is open to new ideas. We share fits constantly and try to help everyone become a better pilot thru continual practice, which is undocking and fighting practice. It is, after all, the only way to learn. Either your ship dies or it lives. Ultimately that is the only way to truly judge a fit. You could have mixed guns, dual-tank, and T1 drones - but if the other guys dies and you live? Well then, that is glorious.

But we need an integrated, fully-functioning fitting tool included within Eve and we've needed one for eleven years. I went three years of my Eve career not being able to use a fitting tool because one was not available on the Mac platform. I can only imagine what insanity I could have avoided.

Or what brilliance I may have missed out on.





-ABA- Pilot Profiles: Oma Lorche


-A Band Apart- Pilot Profiles is a series of posts that feature players from our Alliance that share their stories, experiences, and play-styles.

This post features Oma Lorche, one of our Stay Frosty Directors and an awesome player that has become one of the cornerstones of our entire Alliance. I still have the Ashimmu she gave me about a year before I started SF. It is called, "Oma's Gift". And it ain't dead yet.




Tell us about your background in Eve

I started playing in march 2011. I had just bought a new computer and was more about installing games to check how they look like than to actually play. Nothing ever caught my interest enough to start and finish a game. My brother is a much bigger gamer then I ever was. He told me about the Eve videos he saw on youtube. I tried it and finally get hooked. There was always something more to learn more to explore, more to look forward to. I think complexity and the higher learning curve made it fun for me. 

First couple months was spent flying around highsec doing missions and joining carebear corporations only to drop them after couple of weeks. After I was 3 months old I joined a corporation which after couple of weeks joined BDEAL alliance which at that time was part of CFC. So I moved to the far end of Fountain. I spent 3 months there. Did what all nullbears do. Quit after 3 months. Mostly beacuse my Ceo was a dick. Moved back to highsec, carebeared for another couple months, joined aother corporation and did some pvp there. 

Corp joined S I L E N T alliance, and so we moved from Sinq to Taff in Metropolis. Spent a couple of months there. Was told off for dying stupidly on a regular basis, was told clearly that alliance doesn't like "silly" losses. Was desperate to learn how to pvp but felt like it wasn't the place for me. Moved back to highsec. Put some POSes up and started my own little enterprise. Made good iskies. When first rebalance hit TQ I was doing just that. But there wasn't much i could do with all that isk. So I started flying around Verge Vendor lowsec scoring my first solo PVP kills. Was regularly meeting Rixx around the area. Once SF was formed it took me 3 months to apply, but here I am.

How did you first hear about A Band Apart?

Had my spai in The Tuskers pushing all the drama to kick Rixx out so he could start his own corporation. Yes, Im taking full credit for creating Stay Frosty.

What is it that you enjoy the most about your Corp/Alliance?

Lack of dickishness and dickery. I've gained a couple of real friends here. The fact that I can undock a tristan with 15 fed navy webs in cargo, commit to a fight and die, and no one cries about the 1bil loss tristan on kb. Makes u feel good about loosing 1Bil tristan. Still got couple of those.

What have you learned since joining

A  lot of practical PVP stuffs. And that there is place for misfits like me. And that there is always someone to back me up. 

Do you have any advice for players just getting started?

Relax, enjoy, have fun. Eve is game and treat it like it was a game. 
"always be yourself unless you can be a pirate. Then always be a pirate"

What are your goals for yourself, and your Corp?

Some stuff which is top secret atm. Would like to see more FC's in corp. Would like to bring more elements to fruition which could help anyone who wants become FC.

Do you have a funny Eve story you can share?

Well... I wanted to cash all my Fed Navy LP. So I exchanged them for 3 Fed Navy web BPC's. Moved them to Ishomilken and made all 15 of them in the station next door. Brought them made in tristan. Logged for the night. Next day came from work, loged on. Saw Firetail in plex. Yes its what I have done. Took Tristan and got killed. Didn't notice untill the day after that, when finally started looking for those webs. Very Funny.

What is your favorite thing about Rixx? (lol)

There is not such a thing. Don't you know he is a paranoid delusional old prick.

Joking . Truth is he is good friend (or I am Rixx-washed?).
(EDITOR: Nope, truly a good friend.)


Join our in-game channels EVEOGANDA or The Frosty Hammer to learn more about A Band Apart.





A Funny Thing Happened While Mining

Beirut and Masaaq cold-cocked a Retriever in the nearby high-sec system of Usi the other day. Yes, they are very bad boys. Here is the killmail. They also managed to grab his pod.

Normal enough stuff. Mining in systems right next to a known Pirate HQ is dangerous work. One would think people would be aligned, checking d-scan, the usual things. But some people get mad.

bad move
From: LTC RINGO
Sent: 2014.06.20 14:39
To: Beirut Papa, Caitlin Kittredge, CPTRINGO, Masaaq, 

You guys screwed up. See this is my ALT who does my mining. Me, I'm a military director of a Corp that's about to become an Alliance Kill: LTC RINGO (Retriever) 

So replace the ISK all is forgiven, if not I will place bounties for my guys to kill you every time the see you. 

Your choice

Especially when you are the "Military Director" of a Corp that is just about to become an Alliance.  Oooh.

News flash, we actually WANT your guys to try to kill us every time they see us. Secondly, bounties are fun for us. They are a waste of ISK since they are usually spent in a few hours of normal play for us. Since we are all primarily negative, you can shoot us even without bounties. Please do.

Secondly, please war dec us. Why not? That is exactly what we want you to do. I have 300+ mouths to feed PvP with. That is a lot of mouths to feed. More is better. In fact, bring the whole Alliance along with you. We live in Ishomilken and it is a very nice place. Lots of belts to mine.

Seriously. Think before you send angry emails of revenge. This has become quite the thread on our forums and eve mails.

And now on this blog for all to see.



The Decision to Wait


The Teams for the upcoming Alliance Tournament have been announced. You may have noticed that A Band Apart is not among the participants.

One of the primary reasons we formed was for the opportunity to play in the AT. It has been one of my desires since I started playing Eve to get a chance to fly in the Tournament. And we've been hard at work making our preparations since the end of the NEO Tournament. So why are we not on the list?

Eventually I had to make a command decision, with the support of the Alliance leadership, that we simply were not ready yet. And, in every sense of "being ready", we are not ready. We could have accumulated the funds, prepared the fleets, the fits, the support, and all the other things needed to participate - but that wouldn't have meant we were ready. We already had the team assembled and had been at practice, we had several comps prepared for testing, and the coffers were being filled.

But, in my opinion, participation is about much more than simply showing up to play. While I am a huge proponent of the casual approach to my own play-style, the Alliance Tournament is another thing. In order to hit it as hard as we needed to hit it, we'd have to sacrifice some basic attention that our young Alliance still needs. And that our pilots deserve.

The Alliance needs more time. Our pilots need more time. And so we decided that the AT could wait another year. When it came down to it, I was worried that the effort of preparing would be too much for our young Alliance to deal with. I'd much rather have a strong, unified, powerful Alliance than play in the Tournament - no matter how much doing so means to me personally.

We need more experience together and as individuals across the entire Alliance. We will participate again in the next NEO, to give ourselves even more experience at Tournament play. And be that much better prepared for next year's AT.

It was not, in any way, an easy decision. But I still feel like it was the best decision. In the end, we don't play Eve for Tournaments, we play for each other. There will be an AT again next year and many other opportunities along the way. We'll be better organized, more experienced, and better prepared in another year.

We don't want to just play, we want to win.

So we'll be sitting out this year and watching from the sidelines once again. I'm ok with that. For now.

Onward and upward.



WANKER! An Eve Online Short Film

EVEOGANDA Films is slightly (sorta) proud to present the brand new Rixx Javix Joint WANKER! Enjoy.




I haven't had much Eve time lately, what with getting my new business up off the ground, my play-time has been severely limited this month. But it has been an action-packed month, full of the usual usual. The other day I was cramming three television commercials into the space it usually takes to do one television commercial, when the idea of a talking spaceship came to me.

It seemed only natural that some of the ships in Rixx's hangar might share the opinions expressed by certain people. Especially a Logistics ship, which I rarely fly. Turning his thoughts into an angry (but funny) rant against his owner, well, that sounded like a good idea to me.

I've always believed that making fun of yourself, before others get the chance, is the best way to stay humble and grounded. Goodness knows I've been the butt of many parodies and jokes here on Eveoganda over the years. I have no illusions as to my ability or eliteness in Eve. I do my best to have fun and enjoy the game I love, the rest I leave to others.

I hope you enjoy this short film. I haven't seen anything else like it before.

Thanks for reading and watching.



My Tengu & Me


I currently have somewhere around 147 ships in my main Hangar. Most of them are fitted and ready for combat. Some still need to be reviewed given recent changes, mostly the BCs and BSs, since I don't fly them very often these days. I tend to fit the smaller ships "on the fly" as needed, since small ships don't seem to last long when I fly them. Then there are the "support" ships, the Curse, the Pilgrim, the Lach, the Arazu, the Rapier, and others of their ilk, which can sit for long periods of time just waiting for the day when they are needed. Even so, the oldest ship among them is probably the Curse, which is about eight months old. Give or take.

Ships explode a lot when I fly them. I suspect most of you reading this already suspected that.

How then to explain my Tengu?

I bought that exact Tengu the day I could fly it. Sometime around July of 2010 according to a quick search through the archives.

That is almost four years ago. I've only ever bought one Tengu, and while it has changed components over the years, it remains the same one. And it has been in my hangar for four years!? I know what you are thinking right now, that Rixx is afraid to fly it and it has been sitting in the hangar gathering dust all this time. Right? Well no, not really. Granted, the Tengu doesn't see a lot of action. But it has been a regular go-to ship over that time period when it has been needed.

I flew it often in Syndicate. I flew it in Fountain. It has been in several Shadow public roams. It has scored some rather good kills that I can remember. And I bring it out rather regularly for show of force, or to score some much needed final blows when someone is in trouble. So the ship has seen its fair share of action over the past four years. It has never once been used for PvE and has always been PvP fit. Primarily HAM, 100mn AB versioned.

I'm not trying to justify the reason why I have a Tengu. I'm trying to figure out why the darn thing is still alive.

If I was given to sentiment I might start thinking I have an attachment to it. But that can't be right. I suppose never having lost a Strategic Cruiser I might be loathe to register my first loss mail in one. Or maybe it has something to do with the fact that I still haven't gone down to Dodixie to pick up the Loki and Legion hulls waiting for me down there? Despite being able to fly the other T3 Cruisers, I still haven't done so.

It is an oddity. And maybe that is getting closer to the truth of it. Maybe, as many ships as I go thru, as many as I blatantly undock into danger each and every day - just maybe having one constant is somehow important? Maybe there is some history attached to this thing. A connection back thru the thread, back to Null and all the steps between then and now? Maybe I am a tiny bit afraid to see that thread explode?

Nah.

The truth is not as sexy. The truth is I don't often need the Tengu. It isn't that useful to me, it is expensive, and I am a seriously poor pirate that keeps every dime he has tied up in his ships. The Tengu, on most days, is like a GTC with guns. It is bank. I could, if need be, cash that chip in someday. In a pinch.

It is rather remarkable that it is still alive. I'm not trying to save it, but it has managed to still be in one piece. Someday, like all ships, it will eventually explode into a billion pieces and be forgotten. But until that day it will continue to serve as both a connection to the past and a rather effective (if often not needed) hammer.

Long may she live.





Actual Practical PvP Advice

Last night I spent two hours talking to some Brave Newbies about solo and small gang PvP, and other topics, as a guest of their Master Class session. It was a great time and a fun, open discussion about everything from Aligning to Bookmarks. So I thought why not cut thru the flowery talk and just offer up some straight-up practical advice.

So here are some Actual Practical PvP Advice that you can use, each one of these will improve your PvPness by a certain percentage. Guaranteed.

OVERVIEW
Take the time to set-up your overview properly. What the heck does that mean actually? Ok, first of all, trying to jam everything you need into ONE overview is just plain silly. You are going to need a few Overview tabs to properly organize everything. Once you start thinking about your overview as a category function, it starts to get much easier to deal with.

My overview is set-up with FOUR tabs: PvP, FLEET, Drones & Lootz. Your needs may vary. But why clutter my PvP overview with Blue Ships? Or swarms of drones? That crap gets confusing! Spread those things out over multiple tabs and life gets much, much easier. Some people have a tab set-up for running away, but that seems negative to me. So I can't recommend it. (But you may want one anyway, hint hint.)

The PvP Tab is going to be the one you use the most, the rest are support tabs. You can practice adding and subtracting things from the main tab on the fly, but you want to avoid over-complicating your overview. Which is why it is good to have support tabs ready to give you a clear picture at a moment's notice. It also helps with the d-scanner as we'll see below.

Do eeet!

BOOKMARKS
I used to have around 20,000 BMs*, but over the past year I've managed to trim those down to a more manageable 6k or so. But get in the habit of making BMs everywhere you go. You will never, ever regret it and they will save your life over and over again. I'm not kidding. I'm not joking.

I also organize my Bookmarks into folders. Not only does this make it easy to find them, manage them, and eventually delete them - but it also helps when you are in space and need them in a hurry. My folders are Tactical, Gate, INSTA, Safe, and a few others I'm not going to share with you. Tactical BMs are station insta docks, Jump Bridges, POSes, and positions off of enemy things. Gate bms are pounces, warp-to spots, scan spots, etc. INSTA are insta undocks, and the only all CAPS folder for ease of finding it.

Organize, make, and use Bookmarks!

STANDINGS
You can set personal standings in Eve with any other player or player group, like corps and alliances. Then that entity will be color-coded forever!! While your own Corp/Alliance will also be setting standings for you, that is no reason why you can't do it yourself. Set up your own standards and stick to them. It is amazing what those little color bars can tell you about local when you glance at who is around.

In Stay Frosty we use orange to mark known Link alts and other persons of notorious bent, such as pilots that use ECM. We use red to draw attention to certain people, or groups that like to blob. And light blue to mark friendlies. We don't have any dark blue.

You can do that too!

SHIP BONUSES
Especially when you are starting out, always fit your ship to the bonuses it gets. You can see every ship bonus in the Show Info Window! Learn them, know them, use them! Later on when you get more experience you can start trying out different fits, but resist the urge to do so when you are young. Resist the urge! You need all the help you can get and counter-fitting is something to do when you have more skill points to compensate.

Plus it teaches you what those bonuses are so you can exploit the ones your enemy is bringing in his ship. See how that works?

D-SCAN
Take your D-Scanner home with you and sleep with it, put it under your pillow, and make sure to feed and care for it. That is how freakishly important it is! Know the d-scan, love the d-scan and use the d-scan at ALL times. Also, if you've set up your Overview the way I told you, you can use Active Overview Settings to only see what you want to see! See how that works? Think you are being probed? Tab the Drones overview and hit the D-Scan and ta-da you can see the probes in space now. Without all the other clutter.

Amazing things. Intelligence is so sexy.


Ok, I think that is enough for today. I'll be back again with more actual practical advice in the coming days and weeks, so be sure to check back. In the meantime, get busy getting yourself organized for the deadly work ahead of you.

Undock. Have fun. Fly smart.


*This was a rounded estimate that included Corp BMs from a time about three years ago when I finally made the transition from Null to Low. Over the last three years I've managed to cull most of the Jump Bridge Networks that no longer exist out of my bookmarks, as well as POS Towers, and other Alliance silliness.

Straight Up Solo


Tonight I will be holding a BNI Master Class on Solo and Small Gang PvP in New Eden. I have no idea why they chose me for this, but I will endeavor to bring a sense of humor and some straight up solid advice to the table. If nothing else, I can sure bring a wealth of experience to the discussion.

For someone who started playing Eve as a dedicated Null Soldier, FLEET! FLEET! FLEET! the path towards smaller engagements has been a long, painful and challenging one. I profess to no l33t status and bow in awe to those that are clearly better at the trade than I am. I will forever be a journeyman Solo artist, constantly learning, improving, and taking fights I shouldn't take. Just yesterday I solo tackled a Vexor in my Kestrel! And died doing so. But so did he.

If you type "Solo" into the search function of this blog you'll find 147 references. It has been the subject of much discussion during the last five years. And much struggle. And much success as well. I am no expert. I freely admit to sucking ass much of the time, and of derping myself more often than I should. I also admit that I have a problem with taking myself seriously. When I often proclaim that "Eve is not serious business" it is mostly myself that I am talking about. So let's get that straight from the beginning. No one is more aware of how terrible I am, than I am. (This isn't new, I say this all the time.)

On the other hand. (There is always two sides to every coin.) I am also extremely good at my craft, and my craft happens to be solo and small gang warfare in Eve. (Just read this post from just three years ago to see how far I've come.) The great thing about Eve is that it is constantly changing, evolving, growing and adapting around us. The same is true for any pilot worth his or her salt. We must also grow and adapt to the world around us. Eve is not, after all, a destination. It is a journey.

With all of that said, let's get down to serious advice. If I had to give just three pieces of advice to the wanna-be solo artist, it would be these three things.

1. Know your ship

Inside and out. Your ship of choice is the tool of your trade. You should know it like the back of your hand. How fast does it go? What is it good at doing? What does it suck at? How long does its cap last? What is likely to kill it? And who exactly are we hunting with it?

These might seem like obvious questions, but you'd be surprised. Every ship comes along with its own set of circumstances, its own profile. This is why most experienced pilots will tell a young pilot to pick a ship they are skilled with and fly it a lot. Often we'll tell them to just buy and fly that single ship. How many times have you heard someone say, "Buy 50 Rifters and lose them all." Why? Because after you fly and lose 50 Rifters you should know that ship inside and out.

This mentality gets me in trouble all the time when I suddenly pick a ship from my hangar that I haven't flown in a long time. While I might mentally know the ship, flying it is another matter. It feels weird, like a shirt you haven't worn in a long time. Doubtless, mistakes will be made. And you might feel uncomfortable at the dance. This is why the fingers typically go straight for old-reliables. Why we get comfortable flying the same core group of ships.

2. Know your enemy

The great thing about learning your own ships is the way it helps you know the ships of your enemies. See how that works? After flying 50 Rifters, you'll have a pretty good idea of how to defeat one should you happen upon another pilot flying a Rifter. This works for every ship in Eve. So cool.

But certainly there is more to the bad guys than just the ship they are flying? Indeed. And this tactical knowledge is important as well. The lay of the land. Not only in the local system, but in surrounding systems. What are people doing? Where are the nasty T3 linked gangs, the gate camps, the traps, and the chances? This is why I recommend that all Stay Frosty pilots be in the standing fleet, even when they are out and about solo. For Intel. To share information. To relay vital facts, so that everyone can get a sense of the larger environment.

If there are 20 Cruisers on the other side of the gate, you may skip attacking that Merlin in the Medium plex. Passing on opportunities, or taking advantage of them, is a huge part in being a successful solo pilot.

3. Target Selection

And then it all comes down to the biggest thing of all, picking your fights. You know your ship, you know your enemies ship, and you have a good sense of the local environment. Now you can decide, usually in about 2 seconds, if you should attack the Algos with your Tristan. Or not.

The biggest question from young PvPers is always that one. Can X ship defeat Y ship? And my answer is usually the same, maybe. Give me any two ships in Eve, and depending on fits, skill levels, situation, and opening ranges, pretty much any ship in Eve is "capable" of defeating any other ship in Eve. True story.

It may however, not be very bloody likely! And that is where knowledge, experience, and time-tested play come into play. Weighing the odds. Deciding if the odds are worth taking, even if they are not in your favor. Because a Rifter can solo a Megathron. A Slicer can take down a Vexor. And those glorious killmails with you as the victor won't happen unless you take that those odds.

More than likely you'll explode. But, then again, maybe you won't. And how awesome would that be?


They say that given thousands of hours of practice that anyone can become an expert at something. I have my doubts about that, but essentially Eve gives back what you put into it. There are no real shortcuts. Many people search for them, and employ tactics that weigh the odds more firmly in their own favor. Many solo artists will have a boosting alt in local, or take drugs, or fit faction mods, or have a cloaked Falcon or Rapier in the plex in case things go south. These are all legitimate play style decisions within the game mechanics. And while I personally find them reprehensible, others do not.

For all of us, it is a personal choice. As is everything about Eve. For the wanna-be solo artist you've already chosen one of the hardest, most challenging and difficult paths available. What you do with that decision is totally up to you.

Cool huh?



-ABA- Pilot Profiles: Astral Dominix

I am extremely proud of the players that fly with the Band. Whoever they are, for how ever long they happen to be with us, and for what each of them bring to the table. I have one forum from which to shout and I will continue to shout from that forum for as long as I can. If you can't stand it, then go somewhere else.

This is the -ABA- series, where any pilot in A Band Apart has the chance to share what they like about Eve and whatever else they'd like to say. Unedited. Free to follow the template or make up their own. Straight from the forums.

Today's pilot is Astral Dominix. You may know him from his own excellent blog over at Astrals Eve Trial By Fire. Astral and I go way back and we started blogging around the same time.


• Tell us about your background in Eve

I started playing eve late in 2008, after two trials on different accounts I decided to take the plunge and sub, I quickly became obsessed with the blogs while compulsively researching every area of the game and decided to start my own blog from my second week of playing. In the beginning I spent  time as most do in a mission running corp thinking the kids that ran Level 4's we're cool and the one who did it solo were leet!

Then the corp was infiltrated and basically fell apart as a director lost a command ship to a awoxer (funny looking back) later I found another pve corp about to move to null, it was basically very unorganized but after a few more months we moved to null and I lived in a pos for a few months, hated it, came back to lowsec and joined the black rabbits (a very cool pirate corp at the time) however the head of the alliance had lost his way with the pirate life and wanted to head back to null... That caused a rift in the core group and fla5hy red was formed...after some time there I grew bored and floated between inactivity, fw, exploration and piracy till I found stay frosty, and I have called this my home for almost a year now.

• How did you first hear about A Band Apart?

Blogs, I'm obsessive about them and always have been, I followed rixx and evoganda since I started and still do, chances are if you have a blog about eve, I probably read it.

• What is it that you enjoy the most about your Corp/Alliance?

I enjoy being left to do what I feel like, I'm at a point skill point wise and isk wise that I can fly what I want how I want, so all that maters now is fun, and when I log in as a stay frosty pilot I can undock and be in a fun fight or a fun fleet in minutes, because if there isn't something going on, I'll go make some shit happen...I'm like a laxative (true story)

• What have you learned since joining?

As odd as this May sound, until recently I had no shield skills at all and only flew armour.... Now I shield tank too.

• Do you have any advice for players just getting started?

Undock, listen to what other people suggest then do what you feel like, it's a good game so play it your way.

• What are your goals for yourself, and your Corp?

At the moment I'd like to break 100 kills a month, due to work and the wife my time is limited so I only play 1-2 hours a few nights a week

• Do you have a funny Eve story you can share?

I once flew all the way through lowsec drunk shouting my mouth off in local to try to get a fight while flying a Rifter, I was so hammered I could hardly type but I was being so obnoxious people must have assumed I was bait and wasn't even locked once in 43 systems..also at one point I claimed loes as my system... Told anyone that entered it was mine and actively attacked anyone that stayed more than 5 mins, I can't remember why...

• What is your favorite thing about Rixx?

He shares my loathing of penguins, they are the transvestite of the animal world... March of the penguins, the clue is in the name people!!


You can reach us in-game at the EVEOGANDA or The Frosty Hammer channels.




Misconceptions

No matter how many people believe that humans and dinosaurs lived together at some point during the 4,000 year history of the Earth - and no matter how hard they believe it - it doesn't change the fact that it never actually happened.

Give it to to the Flat Earth Society, the JFK Conspirators, the Fake Moon Landers, and all the other nut-bags out there, they persist despite facts, truth, and overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

It seems that lately Eve and the Eve Community have spawned yet another round of idiots running around spouting strange misconceptions and falsehoods about our merry band of knuckleheads. Let's take a moment to address just a few of the more insane accusations for the sake of truth.

• Lucifer's Hammer is nothing but a bunch of Stay Frosty alts!

DUH! Lucifer's Hammer was created specifically as a high-sec industry corp FOR Stay Frosty pilots. Something that a lot of Pirate corporations have access to, so pirates can make isk too. There are currently 44 members of LH and about half are alts of Stay Frosty and the other half are mains. Unlike the open recruitment of SF, Lucifer's Hammer pilots need to register via API. So they are not alts in the traditional sense of the word.

Regardless, this is a strange claim to use as an insult, since it is true and common practice. (Btw our WH corporation is primarily mains, funny how no one mentions that.)


• Stay Frosty is nothing but a bunch of blobbers.

There are currently 245 pilots in Stay Frosty. I believe this must be where this myth gets its fuel, there are a lot of us flying around in space. For some people with limited mental facilities, we must often look like a blob.

Let's take a look at the SF Killboard from right this second:

Click to embiggen
This is a pretty typical morning killboard. (Always good to wake up to green!) Let's count the number of involved pilots in each kill shall we?

2,2,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,2,1,1,2,1,2,2

The top ten pilots on the "Solo Kill" status currently account for 323 kills, which is 32% of the total of 986 kills so far this month. Which is an extremely healthy percentage. 

It is true that we often do fly around in gangs, we have a 24/7 Standing Fleet that most pilots choose to fly in (they don't have to though) and we do have our fair share of young pilots learning PvP and Pirating for the very first time. So we do often share kills, or use opportunities as a chance to teach. And sometimes seven enemy ships run off and all we catch is the slow one, which to some people might look like a bob when all is said and done. Which just goes to show you how little some people understand Eve.


• Rixx gets podded a lot and is known to use Pirate Implants!

I admit it, I have used Snakes a few times and did so exclusively during my stint in The Tuskers. I would also say that during that time I also took full advantage of the constant Links that they have running in local and in all of their gangs. I believe I used Snakes twice. I am too poor to use them more than that.

Because I have been podded 90 times in 69 months of playing Eve. About 60% of those 90 happened back when I was in Null Sec and much younger than I am now. I am the first to admit that I still get podded more than I'd like. 12 times this year so far. I play exclusively on a Mac in a household with five other internet hogs and lag is primarily the culprit. Between lag and insta-locking gate campers... well I don't complain about it. Why should others?

NOTE: I also don't complain about the fact that I am often singled out, primaried, recognized, hunted, camped, chased, blobbed, or an otherwise trophy kill for many people in New Eden. I believe it comes with the territory. I also tend to sacrifice myself for the good of the Corp when needed. No one ever mentions these things. 


• Stay Frosty never uses Links!

I never said that. Since we mostly fly solo and small gang we don't have the opportunity to use the links that we have. We have a hard enough time getting fights, imagine if we had a Loki following us around everywhere! lol. Plus, and most importantly, we want everyone to know that we are fun to attack, that we enjoy good fights, and that they know what they are getting when we fight. We don't hide shiny ships on the other side of the gate, use Links, or ECM, or anything else. We fly what we fly and you get what you get. That doesn't mean we don't have links, or ECM, or shiny ships waiting in our hangers - those are important sometimes.

And we are prepared to use them if need be.


• Stay Frosty is nothing but a bunch of inactive, trial accounts!

This one is funny. Stay Frosty has always been, since day one, an OPEN recruitment Corporation. You put in an app and you get accepted! No exceptions. I do try to talk to the very, very young pilots and tell them how hard it can be to start their Eve career in a Pirate Corp - but mostly they say "I know, but I wanna do it anyway!" So we let them in.

What they are after that is none of my goddamn business! I don't care if they are inactive, trial accounts, alts of PL Super Pilots, or CSM Members. (We have all of those btw) I also don't care if they ever log on again, or do so every three months. That is the ENTIRE point of Stay Frosty. Staying Frosty... get it?

Of the 245 pilots in Stay Frosty about 114 are regularly active. Another 45-50 are active on a monthly basis. About 20 that I know of are in the military or travel for business. And we have about 20 or so that rarely log on for various reasons. And I know of 10 whose accounts have lapsed and who are not being kicked because we hope they come back someday.

I will say this again, if Stay Frosty was just me flying around in space I'd be happy. The numbers mean nothing to me. We can grow to be 4,000 pilots or 1. The entire idea of the Corp was to provide a place to have fun, to get away from the bullshit,and not have to worry about CTAs, rules, and other crap.

And that is working. Working extremely fucking well by the way. Don't tread on me.


I will leave you with this.





We are Staying Frosty and we have no bubblegum.




My First Post

My very first post was in January of 2010, four and a half years ago now. The post was written in reply to a question that CrazyKinux had asked on his blog, "Why do we love Eve so much?"

When I started this blog, I had already been playing Eve for over two years. My experiences up until that point had been mostly in Null Sec, and mostly care-bear with teeth stuff. I was fortunate in my early career to meet, learn and fly with some truly great people. The "class" I entered the game with has endured and made their mark on the game. Progodlegend, Makalu, Mittani, Vile Rat, and many others. Some continue to play, some are no longer with us, but they have all left a mark on the history of Eve. When I started writing this blog, magazine, journal, whatever you want to call it, I hadn't made mine yet.

And while many people will continue to refuse to believe it, making a mark in Eve was never my intention. I just wanted to have fun playing a game I loved. It was spaceships, in space! And you could shoot other real people! That was, and remains, about as deep as my commitment to Eve goes. I do not strive to be considered a great PvPer. I do not care about e-peen, rankings, or the size of my Battleship. I care about the same things I've always cared about - the people I play with. These days there just happens to be a lot more of them.

I went back this morning and re-read the first post. I do that from time-to-time to remind myself of why I do this. Why I put up with the haters. The insults. The false accusations from weak-minded people who have nothing better to do with their time. Because sometimes it can be hard to remember. I find the haters to be an amusing lot, juvenile, un-educated, inexperienced, and so full of anger about things that happen in a 3D video game about spaceships. For my part, I can only laugh. They can hurl all the insults they want because none of it matters to me. I am untouchable. I am unaffected and enduring because I have a large family, both in-game and out here in real life. I have important things. Eve is not important. People are.

But I do still love Eve. I love undocking in my spaceship. I love spinning it in space. I enjoy playing Eve, still. And as long as that is true, I will continue. I will continue even if Stay Frosty drops to one lone pilot. I will continue despite the haters. And I will continue to hang out with real people in-game that care about Eve the way I do. Which is what Stay Frosty is all about. That is really, when it comes right down to it, all that it is about.

Here, for those of you that don't want to click back in time, is that very first post:

"I've never played an MMORG before Eve.  I'm not an experienced WoW player and hadn't even considered playing some crazy, social networking, computer platforming, role-playing, massive anything before I first laid eyes on the Eve universe.  That moment is burned into my brain even a year and a half later.  The exact nano-second I saw Eve I knew I must play it.  Do not stop at Go and do not collect two hundred dollars.  Now.

It was spaceships, it was in 3d and it looked amazingly incredible, but most of all it looked like a place I needed to be.  A place I had dreamed of being since I was little more than a zygote.  A place that needed me to be there, flying around and doing something.  Doing anything I wanted.  The reality of Eve is much more complex than the way it looks, the way its beauty overwhelms you and surrounds you on first viewing, certainly those are the elements that drew me to the game.  But Eve is much, much more than that.  And, in some ways, much less.  It is messy, it is complex, it is deep and defining, it is dirty, clean, evil, twisted, hard to learn... Eve is so much like life itself.  Eve is anything you want it to be.

And that is the true beauty of Eve, the thing that generates "love".  The passion, the commitment, the raw power that drives you onward and upward toward whatever goals you may have set yourself.  It is incredibly defined and yet completely open ended.  And that is the sick, twisted glory of it all, a game so complex that a year and a half later I still feel as if I have only scratched its surface.  Only now started to get a grasp of its true nature, only now begun to feel as if I am on my way towards something.  And that something is whatever you want it to be.  They call it a "sandbox" and I suppose that is as good a word as any, but Eve allows you to define your own destiny.  To achieve whatever you want, there are no paths to be followed, no well-worn network of previously followed answers from point A to point B. There is no point A and point B is off in a distant part of the universe.  You can truly make, build, live, fight for your own destiny.  Alone, with several friends, or with hundreds and thousands of distant warriors.

Eve is unlike anything else.  Some days I hate it, some days I want to rip its innards from CCP's servers, some days it is glorious, others it is funny, sad, whatever it is it is very much a living, breathing world of its own.  And every day it surprises, annoys, and grabs me like it did that very first day.  Love?  Oh yes, I suppose one could use that word, but I believe that Eve deserves a more fitting refrain.  Love is something reserved for a soul-mate, a family dog, or your actual family.  To me Eve is a passion.  A romance of dreams.  Dreams I've held onto since I was a wee lad and will never let go of."


Keep the courage.




1v1 EVE COMIC #70

Click to embiggen
back off man i'm trying to start something here. a green something. actually a green something. they killed the body but the mind lives on. actually and furthermore. more further. can something have less ruth. back up and turn around and around. now you are doing the hokey pokey. the sun is out. the temperature is ninety. it's a great day for the national pastime. take a wild guess. the pitcher steps to the mound. he turns down the catcher's sign. it's a forty yard bomb to nowhere and nowhere is where i'm bound. the long and winding road. scratch a king and find a fool. so far as we've determined our computer has never had an undetected error. this justifies your position. top dog. head cheese. i hate head cheese. i've never tried it. never had it never will. big gobs of greasy grimy gopher guts. there is a point. relax. sit back. grab a brew. spin the wheel and win. the 'b' pat. two 'b's. turn those letters vana. i'll risk ten thousand alex. you win a new car. come on down. i think that dryer costs ten fourteen thousand dollars bob. i knew you could. no, you are not fat. you are ugly. i want warp speed and i want it now. where no man has gone. or is gone. feeling at home. think. think. think. or they'll get you. if one doesn't get you the other one will. hey, hey, whadda you say. take those lonesome blues away. you may ask yourself. how did i get here. i never could get the hang of thursdays. ask not. what can the world do for you. take a chance. if i had a penny. develop oniomania. back off man the green thing is growing. take care. do you know where your dna has been. which thing doesn't belong. taxes. big brother. peace. you are right on the money. stand tall don't think small. don't get your back against the wall. be somebody else. haters are gonna hate. stop taking it lying down. i'm trying to start something here.

no reason to make this easy.



Dramaganda

Back in the very early days when I was hanging out in Piekura up in Caldari space, I managed to piss off a rather large carebear corporation. At the time I had, maybe, 6m skill points total. Angor Mau, who co-founded Stay Frosty, was with me then. As was Master Selin, who also recently became a member of Stay Frosty.

Anyway. This Corp would station camp us with their Bahls and other expensive ships. Every day it was an endless parade of horrible local insults, threats, and... well you get the idea. It got so bad at one point that they hired an "expert PvPer" to come and destroy me. Our Corp at this time was essentially three people. So I blustered my way out of this mess and ran away. This expert PvPer followed me all the way down to Amarr space. We talked the entire time.

Eventually I undocked and got killed by him. He appreciated my attempt and we actually became decent enough friends after that. We ended up fighting together sometimes down in Providence later on.

This was about six months or so into Eve. Since then U'K, -A-, CVA, RK, Muppets, Goons, and countless other hordes have made those same promises. At one point or another. My first encounter with a impersonator was from -A-, someone over there created an account called "Rixx's Son" or something. He would park his ship in DG and flame local until someone came to kill him. That was the first. I didn't even have a blog back then.

That list is rather long at this point. But I always approach the creation of the next one with a sense of humor. It comes with the territory I suppose. A few have become more problematic. And a couple have entered "RL" territory. Over the past six years I've had to have three of them banned from Eve because they couldn't keep things in the "humor" category. In addition, one was so close of an impersonation that the account had to be removed from the game.

It isn't as funny when the person emails you and tells you he knows where you live. And is watching your house. The home where your four boys and your wife live.

I suppose I should just laugh when a new one pops up, huh?

"Imitation is, after all, the sincerest form." I hear you. I'd also ask that you consider what it is like to play a game for six years and constantly be the focus of such things. My sense of humor may be legendary, and I enjoy a good joke as much as the next person, but it does have its limits.

But I am a good sport. And I also realize that not one of these clowns has stopped me from playing Eve. In fact, all of them no longer play Eve. They get a kick from sharing the spotlight for a time I suppose. Of sucking some measure of the hard work and relentless dedication it has taken for me to get here. (Wherever the hell 'here' is exactly) They obviously have no talent themselves.

But the high ground always works. And I am always the bigger man. To prove it, here is a link to the latest (not the first, not even the third) parody blog of this blog. It is called Dramaganda. It isn't very original, it isn't even that good.

Frankly, I should start my own parody blog of this blog. I'd be much better at making fun of myself than anyone else.

But, then again, that is half of what I do here anyway.

Enjoy the sun shining on you. The best lies are the exposed.


BREAKING NEWS!!

Exclusive! During a Concord raid of Hevrice earlier today a creepy "shrine" was discovered. It appears the shrine was built in honor of one of New Eden's most notorious Pirates, Rixx Javix. Concord sources only made one photo available, but confirmed reports of boxes of Rixx Javix Action Figures strewn around the Captain's Quarters along with bits and pieces of Rixx corpses, point towards a darker motive.

From Concord:

*The identity of the female in the photo remains under investigation.


Welcome to Eveoganda

X Up For Defense!

Let me introduce myself. My name is Rixx Javix and I am the CEO of Stay Frosty and the Alliance Head Cheese for A Band Apart. Both of which are awesome things to be. I started playing Eve in September of 2008 and have been playing almost non-stop since then. In January of 2010 I started writing this here magazine about Eve and my experiences in Eve and everything else about Eve and the art I create for Eve and the Eve community. It is pretty much all about Eve.

My long-time readers will already know this stuff, but there are new people coming along all the time and every so often it is good to re-introduce yourself. So Howdy. I am the friendly neighborhood Pirate. I have been -10 for over three years straight. I play Eve in my own way, and not according to other opinions, other than my own. In point of fact, my independence and free-thinking about things is my defining trademark. In space and on these pages, you can trust that what you are getting is unabashed, unfiltered, and genuinely the truth as I see it.

I also make no bones about it, this magazine is 100% agenda. The agenda is perfectly straight-forward. It is first and foremost purely an expression of passion for Eve Online. I personally think Eve is the best thing since they put a pocket on a man's shirt. I love Eve. Secondly, this magazine is intended as a tongue firmly in cheek expression of that dedication. Half of what you read here is purely hog-wash, but even I don't know which half that is. I've written well over 1,300 posts, and millions of words, about it. Spend time in the archives, they are amazing.

I also create art for Eve and the Eve community. Hundreds and hundreds of pieces since before I started writing this magazine. Some of which you can see over on my Flickr gallery.  Banners, logos, wallpapers, memes, pretty much anything you can think of. You'll see my work floating around the Eve community, sometimes in very unexpected places. Some of what I do isn't even associated with me directly.

I organize in-game events, like DeathRaces and Frigate Free For Alls, and have been since 2009. We will be having another massive FFA this Fall. The last one involved over 5,000 explosions!

Twitter Hats. Incarna Protests. Getting the Frills back on the Vagabond. Creating Eve Dumb Ways To Die with Sindel. You name it and I try to stick my Irish nose into it eventually.

Most importantly, I play Eve every day that I can. I've lived in every region of New Eden except the far North. High-Sec, Null, WHs and Low. I've tried pretty much all aspects of the game. I even once took two months off from PvP to see what Industry and Planetary Interaction was like. I've FC'd 200 ships fleets, bumped a Titan inside an enemy POS, haunted Syndicate, gate-camped, black op'ed, chased, angered, pissed off, and generally been a royal pain in the ass since I started playing. I've been stolen from, betrayed, stabbed in the back, chased, threatened (both in game and out), mocked, and (as of today) had 12 fake accounts created to piss me off or impersonate me.

I create content. I stir pots. I cause trouble. I do these things to create tension, and dynamic feedback, to generate content. To keep things interesting. Because I hate being bored. Because tension is more fun. But all of it, every thing I do, is only in the spirit of fun, adventure and virtual excitement.

I do not take Eve seriously. It is a game. And I play it.

Welcome to Eveoganda. Stay for the ride.



The Day the Lights Go Out

I imagine it sometimes. This dark and stormy night. Down the road apiece. Perhaps twenty years or so from now. New Eden has dwindled, gotten old and tired. So many new things have come along, shiny worlds, new challenges. The server numbers have dwindled down to the hundreds. It isn't unusual to go days without bumping into another human in space.

One by one the Star Gates closed, locking off region after region. Pushing the hard-core into smaller and smaller spaces in an effort to maintain the illusion. The server chugs along. Three or four days a month the server goes down. No one complains. The forums are quiet. Reddit remains silent.

I imagine I'm sitting in a safe spot in my Machariel. I had long since run out of things to train. Max skills passed years earlier. I sit and wait for another old-timer to jump into local in his Machariel. We shall do what we do each week and fight each other to the death. It has become our ritual. And then, suddenly, all fifteen of the people on-line are transported around me. Several warp displacements and we are surrounded by several CCP Dev ships. There are only four dedicated Eve Devs at this point. CCP moved along to other things years and years ago.

We all know each other. We talk. We spin tales of yesterdays. We laugh. But deep down, we know what is coming. We've talked about it before. Our hearts are heavy.

In fitting tribute we decide that the only way is the soldiers way. Guns blazing, missiles flying, we have it out one last time. And one by one the pods appear, and as agreed upon, log off one final time. One final glory. One last hurrah. In the end it comes down to me and the last Dev. Our guns go silent.

We remember all those that came before us. We stay in touch with many of them. The grand tales we both remember so well, as if they just happened. We both say a final word to the fallen, our friends who left us far to early. The trolls, the haters, the cowards and the talented few. The explorers, the fighters, the builders, and the ones who passed us on the river. Time marches. Neither of us is the same as we once were.

I imagine this day. When the Dev blinks out and I am left, alone, on the single shard. I'll probably laugh just then. Not a happy laugh, but a laugh filled with irony, and touched by sadness. I have, as we used to say in the old days, won Eve. I am the last one. I will be turning out the lights.

As I set the self-destruct I think back to all those moments. The battles fought, the good and the bad. The characters, the people, from around the world that I came to know. Both virtual and real. The struggles, the triumphs, the hate, and the shared cause. And I think, in this future self, of how it all comes down in the end. It was good after all. It was good after all.

To each of them I say, thank you. I do this for all of you.

And the lights go out.

This is how I imagine it sometimes.




Fit of the Week: Garmur


FoTW is our regular look at how to fit ships for PvP in Eve, except I've called it something else now, due to recently changing circumstances. I am a Pirate after all.

For our first gazillionth post, I've decided to take a look at the new Garmur Frigate that was released last week. I will warn you up front that I've had six fights in the new Frigate, three of which were test fights against Alliance pilots. So this fit is not as battle tested as I would like, but it has performed well in those fights and is the end-result of several modifications and changes over the last few days. I will most likely follow this post up a few weeks from now with some additional updates.

The challenge is to develop a "main-line" fit that works on a day-to-day basis and that can be modified easily to fit specific situations. No fit is intended to be a cure-all for everything and anyone that thinks that hasn't fought enough. You take a baseline fit that works well, then adapt it to other uses - or add faction mods - or whatever else you have on hand.

As always we let a ship's bonuses guide us to a decent starting place. Immediately the most important aspect of the Garmur becomes apparent. This little Frig gets an insane point range bonus! With a faction disr fitted you can easily get 36k cold. That is extremely impressive and we are going to build the entire base-line fit around that bonus. The Garmur is also a speedy little Frig, 4k+ speed with MWD fitted. It is also extremely tight and cap can be an issue. So we have some challenges.

High Slots
3x Light Missile Launcher II

We need a weapon system that can match the range of the point and LM fit the bill. And the Garmur gets nice bonuses to missile damage and velocity. With Furies loaded the dps approaches 200 cold, which is very respectable for the class.

Mid Slots
Warp Disruptor (Up to you which flavor, but even M4 Point reaches 30k cold)
1mn MWD (4k+ speed depending on flavor)

2x Utility Mids
I've seen Medium Ancillary used and other combinations. But those require gimping low slots. I started with a Medium SE, but that also required a Cap Booster and some gimping of low slots. I don't like to gimp any slots on my PvP ships, so I've settled on this configuration for now.

Small Shield Extender (Lower sig radius and 4k+ EHP with DC running)
Balmer Tracking Disr (Optimal Range Script loaded with Tracking Speed in hold)

Low Slots
DC (Depending on your skills you may need a Meta here)
BC (Critical for dps)
Nano (or Overdrive, depending on how you fly, I prefer Nano myself)

Rigs
This is where your own skills come into play, you may need some power grid help. But only EVER give one rig slot to cap and/or power grid help. If you need more your fit sucks or you should wait to skill up more.
I went with one DPS Bay Loading Accel, a Core Defense and a PG Rig.

Cap with this fit at my skills is a respectable 3:40, more than enough time for most fights. In a longer engagement you can pulse the MWD.


In my opinion the Garmur is flown much like a IN Slicer. Both ships serve the same niche in combat and both ships survival relies on range control. Unlike the Slicer the Garmur demands a shield based defense, which means it cannot survive close combat for long. So the key is speed and range. Which is why I like the Balmer option for one of the mids, it will help keep the enemies dps at bay. And you should be fast enough to outrun most drone damage. I had some Warriors on me yesterday and they couldn't catch me.

Again, more field testing is required before I give this fit the final stamp of approval, so be warned.

I'm naming my Garmur's after defense contractors, mine are named Rockwell and Haliburton.

Have fun. Undock.