A Band Apart

312 days ago I had an idea. This idea had been bouncing around in my head for years, but I'd never had the chance to make it happen. I had watched as other Alliances struggled with the movement of players that needed to explore other play-styles, both with Alts and with Mains. The refrain is all to well known to those of us in leadership positions in Eve, "I need to go make iskies.", or "I'd like to try this other play-style for awhile." No matter what variation on that theme you might encounter, it often meant the player left your Corp/Alliance or their play-time was going to be cut significantly.

What if a player had those opportunities within the same Alliance? What if you didn't need to leave your friends to try your hand in a Wormhole? Or to run Missions? Or to mine, build, or whatever else you'd like to be doing? What if your pirate character needed an alt to make Iskies and you could keep it within the same Alliance?

And so A Band Apart was born. An Alliance built of Corporations that cater to the various play-styles of Eve, while doing so together - like a giant Corporation. With players free to move between them, but also free to fly together whenever they want. Need more pilots for that? Just ask. Need a freighter? Need some ships built? Just ask. Find a juicy target? Call the Pirates in to help.

Stay Frosty. Supreme Mathematics. Voodoo Children and Lucifer's Hammer are the four main, recruiting, Corporations. Piracy, Wormhole, Missions, and Industry focused. And we remain on the look out for other Corporations that can provide even more diversity. Exploration? New Player Training? Something else? If your Corporation provides an alternative play-style you should consider A Band Apart as a potential home. We have nearly 500 players to help support you, provide additional opportunities to your players, and build relationships with.

ABA continues to grow. And sometimes Corporations fit into that growth and sometimes they don't. But we will continue to operate on the same basic philosophy, of providing a wide range of opportunities to our players. And doing so in a fun, adventurous, and vibrant environment dedicated to the core ideals I established with Stay Frosty.

It is pretty gosh darn awesome.

If you or your Corporation are interested in talking about joining, just let me or one of our Directors know. We can be found easily enough in both the EVEOGANDA and/or The Frosty Hammer channels in-game. Both of which are open to the Public.

We have a long way to go yet, so consider joining us on our journey. If nothing else, we'll have a lot of fun getting there.

Eve is a Sandbox, Eveoganda is a Soapbox

Pilgrim Signature Wallpaper
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Slicer Signature Wallpaper
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From Wikipedia:

"A soapbox is a raised platform on which one stands to make an impromptu speech, often about a political subject. The term originates from the days when speakers would elevate themselves by standing on a wooden crate originally used for shipment of soap or other dry goods from a manufacturer to a retail store."

Ok. So.

I had planned on the premier of a new feature today. Called "Rixx's Soapbox" it was intended as an audio feature that I've been thinking about running each Friday in which I would talk about the week's posts, happenings, and whatnots from around the Eve Community.

As you can see, since I am talking about it in the past tense - this did not happen.
Oh yes, I recorded 13 minutes of it. Added some nice music and went to export it when it went ka-blooie and became corrupted.

I've honestly never had that happen to an audio file before.

Maybe next week.

I don't know, I'm still not 100% convinced it is a good idea.

Best Idea Ever?

Apocalypse Navy Signature Wallpaper
Click to download various sizes

After a week of trolling the internets about Warp Core Stabilizers I decided to get busy putting a few more awesome Wallpapers together to sooth the hurt feelings of those lazy players determined to annoy me with their low-slot fitting choices. I am a PvPer Pirate people, my opinions are often extremely biased. Let's move on. And Ban WCS!!

Before we move on, I had a great idea yesterday that is bound to make people angry at me once again.

I watched someone do this once. Apparently there is a mini-game within Eve somewhere. I know it has something to do with hacking exploration sites, or something. All I know is, after they were done with it stuff popped out of a can.

Let's just go with the idea of a mini-game. So yesterday I was out and about in space looking for targets to engage, when I entered a system with a Stratios on scan. Just me and him in System. Quickly I determined that he was hiding in a safe spot about 7.9AU from the Sun. He was exactly "over there in that direction" I had him on 5 degree and, if I could do so, I could drive over there. But you can't really do that.

Back in my early days in Null I would often spend a lot of time trying to pin someone who was in a safe spot down using the "back and forth method". This was an extremely time consuming way for a Solo pilot to find someone who didn't want to be found. Normally a person's safe spot is between two celestials. You'd find out which two they were by using the d-scanner, then warp between the two constantly using your 5 degree until the object disappeared. Then you'd immediately drop a bookmark there. When you landed, you'd turn around, warp to that bm - then start again. Increasingly narrowing the search field, back and forth, dropping dozens of bms. Until the target was within burn range.

As nutty as that sounds, it actually worked. Not often mind you. Sometimes the target would wake up and warp off, or you'd overshoot it a bit, or it would have its mwd on the entire time, but it did work sometimes. It was boring work and it took a long time. But what other choice did a Solo pilot have? Plus it was awesome when your hard work resulted in a kill. I remember catching a -A- pilot in a Stabber in HED that way.

There aren't a lot of options for the Solo or Small Gang pilot when it comes to finding ships that don't want to be found.

But what if we had a 'Safe Spot" mini-game? A pretty hard, skill intensive, mini-game that - when a ship is detected on 5 degree d-scan - is activated. Once achieved it reveals a warp enabled signature that will put your ship on grid with the target. Not necessarily on top of it, but on-grid with it. The rest is up to you.

I know what you are saying. I can hear it already. But let's remember that hiding in a safe spot is not supposed to be safe. That's what POS, Stations and logging off are for. And, granted, should such a mini-game exist (which, it never will of course) the amount of safe spot afking will drop significantly.

As a Solo slash Small Gang PvP player I'd like the ability to find those hidden T3/Command Ship Boosters. That is what this is really all about. Right now I have no counter to this annoying Meta that is frankly destroying our play-style. If you don't believe me then you haven't been in our Corp Comms or Chat, I have. And I know exactly what effect this is having on my members. And if it is a topic of discussion in our Corp, then it is everywhere else as well.

So full circle once again. Get boosters on killmails. Get them on-grid. Or give me the tools I need to find them and deal with them ourselves. But something needs to happen. And it needs to happen soon.

Trust me. 

Hyperion Wallpaper

Hyperion Signature Wallpaper
Click to download various sizes

Enjoy them all.

WCS: Shooting Straight

WCS Change Ad
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Talk about poking a hornet's nest. The last post about Warp Core Stabilizers brought out the armies of commenters in a way we haven't seen in awhile. Which is weird since I've been calling for a WCS BAN for almost two years now. But I thought I'd take another post to address some of the concerns my readers brought to my attention.

Believe it or not I have zippo powers when it comes to changing anything about Eve. So me calling for a total removal of WCS from the game is not going to make that happen. Sadly. What I do have, and what I've worked very hard at achieving, is a soap box from which I preach the truth. The truth as I see it. I try to do this in an entertaining, humorous, thoughtful, and attention-getting manner each and every time I put finger to keyboard. This often generates conversation which echoes throughout the Eve community. And sometimes leads to changes all the way up the ladder.

Do I really want WCS removed from Eve? On the one hand yes. I think if they disappeared this morning that Eve would be a better game because of it. Do I believe this will happen? Not at all. Do I believe this should happen? Not really. WCS are not really the problem, the problem is FW mechanics that allow WCS to be a viable fitting option that achieves a combat goal. That is the core issue. Banning WCS is only a loss-leader idea that garners attention for positive change. I can write all the impassioned and detail oriented posts about FW mechanics I want (and I have btw) and no one will read them.

I can tell you straight up, those FW Mechanic posts get about 1,400 readers. That last post about Boosters on Killmails and Banning WCS got just slightly less than 14,000 readers.

I have news for you, you do not need Warp Core Stabilizers. You think you do. You've gotten lazy using them, but you do not need them. They could disappear tomorrow and you'd be no worse off than you already are. There is not a single play-style that would change drastically because of them being gone. Again, they aren't going anywhere. But if they did, you'd be fine. Trust me.

I am not bitter about WCS. You can check my killboard and you'll find plenty of ships on there that mistakenly fitted one or seven or more WCS on their ships. We (me) explode plenty of targets with WCS on them. Trying to use that argument against me is also lazy, untrue and it makes you seem small. Try a little harder please.

My goal is to start a conversation. To get you thinking. To challenge what you believe. And why you believe it. That has been my goal since I started writing this blog. I have other goals, but that is one of them. 

Faction Warfare. It has the word "warfare" in it. 

Warp Core Stabilizers are anti-warfare. No one can argue that point.

If you are using WCS to escape capture, to move assets, to ensure safety, then more power to you. I have a ship on my Alt account that has WCS fitted, I use that ship to transport extremely valuable faction loot, implants, drugs and other expensive items. It has never been caught. That is a viable use of the module.

One can argue about certain Smart-Bombing fits, or Stealth-Bomber fits, and one can make a legitimate argument about those. That is not the point. The point is that the essential foundation of achieving a combat goal should not be possible in complete safety. And while no number of these modules ensure perfect safety, they certainly do in practice to an extremely high percentage. And they should not.

That is the core issue.

And until such time as that changes I will continue to beat the drum.

Plus it's fun.

2x Demands for 2015

I want two things from CCP this year. And neither of those have anything to do with hats.

The play-style environment that I love and enjoy is endangered. For the last few years we've seen one little change after another erode that environment. And, while none of these changes have been bad on their own, the cumulative effect is the same. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

Luckily it is easy to re-balance the world and set things right. To give us a 'win' to encourage more PvP and set things on the right course again. We don't have to watch an entire species end up in a museum, or protected game reserves. We can stop the tide right now with two very easy, non-legacy code excuse, simple changes that MAKE PERFECT SENSE!!

And yes, just so we are clear, I am fully prepared to harp on these all year until someone comes to their senses. So CSM Candidates, get on-board with me and we'll work to get you elected.

The two things are:
1) If a ship is being boosted by a T3 in any capacity, that T3 needs to appear on the killmail of any target that ship explodes.

2) And Warp Core Stabilizers need to only work on certain types of ships, like Industrial and Transport class ships, as intended.

T3 Booster's on Killmails
Back in August of last year I wrote an impassioned and reasonable explanation about why this is needed. I understand that putting T3's on-grid is difficult and I appreciate that we may never ever see that happen. I also appreciate that CCP needs the extra income from multiple accounts, that some players need a security blankie, and that true change in the booster role may be decades away.

Which is where this change comes from. It is simple, elegant, and makes perfect sense. The ships that explode another ship should be on a killmail. If one Tristan explodes another Tristan, and the victor was being boosted by a Legion, then that Legion needs to appear on the km. This is not rocket science.

Part of the problem is the growing popularity of PvP videos and twitch accounts. If you are reading this and you don't have young children you may not realize just how freaking popular watching other people play games is. I'm shocked at how much my boys, 11, 10 and 9, watch other people play video games. I don't get it. But there it is. In our world that means Eve PvP which is often a Solo dood taking on incredible odds and winning fights that are the talk of the internets. But he isn't solo nine times out of ten. This is creating a false sense of what PvP is really like to our younger players. And setting expectations falsely high. I know, I run a 200 player PvP Corporation. Trust me.

Just put the ships on kms. Everything else remains the same. I'm not going to use the word "fair" because I don't believe in fair. But this comes pretty close.

I won't bore you with linking a previous rant about Warp Cores. I'm rather well known for my stance on these. It is incredible to me that this change is not already on the lips of every decent player in Eve. As more and more incredibly horrible fits with 4 or 7 or more WCS are linked and bantered about in the community - no one seems to care.

And again, this is an easy change. Heck, I understand the need for this module. I really do. My alt has a transport ship that has WCS's on it, because I use that ship to transport very expensive items thru space. I get it. And I understand that miners may want that security as well. I'm not here to ruin anyone's legitimate game.

But when something becomes abused it is a problem. And anyone that doesn't believe WCS are being abused is lying to themselves. To be honest I'd rather see the game mechanics that cause WCS to be used changed, but I'm trying to be understanding and make this as easy as possible.

So the solution is to make it so WCS can only be used on Industrial and Transport class ships. Period. Done. Problem solved.

See? That wasn't so bad and immediately Eve is a better game for it.

Let's make this happen.

PS: Another potential solution for the issue of WCS that keeps the mechanic's usefulness while rendering it useless in PvP: Fitting one or more to your ship renders all other modules except propulsion off-line.

Eve Rule #42

Eve Rule #42: The only way to have an active Corp in Eve is to be active in your Corp.

I've been running Stay Frosty for a year, eight months and twenty days as of today. Some of my younger readers may not be aware that I've been involved in various Corporation and Alliance leadership roles since I started playing Eve. From Null Sec, to Industry, to Sov Holders, Gankers, Mercs and beyond - I've been involved in one way or another with just about all of it.

In that time thousands of players have passed in and out of Corporations I've been involved with. Just in Stay Frosty alone I estimate we've seen about one thousand players pass thru our doors in almost two years. And far and away the biggest reason people give for leaving is "Activity". Some variation on that theme is the primary reason people give for leaving a Corporation. At least in my experience.

Granted, an active Corporation is much better than an in-active one. And everyone's judgement about what makes an active Corporation is going to be different. I'm not here today to debate what is and or isn't an active Corporation. I'm here today to give you a glimpse into the other side of that equation. A glimpse into what your leadership might be thinking about what you just said. Or, at least, what I've heard other leaders say and what I've said myself from time to time.

You see, the truth is - the person leaving because of activity? They are not active players. I know this is probably going to hurt some feelings, but it is the truth. In general, those leaving don't have very many posts on the forums. They don't respond to emails. They don't join in on chat channels. They rarely x up for fleets or gangs. Or jump on opportunities that happen while they are on-line. They are usually the quiet ones. And yet, when pressed, they will be the first to say, "I wish we had more fleets.", or "We need more FCs".

Of course we do. Every Corporation in Eve struggles with this problem. Even Stay Frosty struggles with this problem. I'm the first to admit it. We are not perfect either. But where do fleets and gangs and opportunities and FCs come from? Where does activity derive? No mystery here, there is only ONE place - from YOU!

And that is why Rule #42 rings true. Because it is. The only way to have an active Corporation is for YOU to be active in your Corporation. Your leaders will love you for it. Your Corp mates will love you for it. And soon, others will take your example and become more active as well. And before you know it, you'll be in an insanely active Corporation. Surrounded by people just like you, that are driven to engage. Create content. And generally get off their ass and do stuff together.

One problem with Corporations like Stay Frosty is people like me. And I've seen this in other Corporations as well. When one person is the focal point the tendency is to rely on that person to generate content. Which they happen to excel at. However, they are only one person. And when they are not active, or not generating content, the tendency is to simply log-off. It's a lot like a Traffic Jam. One person at the head of the line lightly taps on their brakes, the person behind them does the same, and eventually - down the line - traffic comes to a complete stop.

I can't possible generate enough content to keep 200 people happy, much less 500+ Alliance players. It is impossible. I have a career, a family, friends, hobbies, projects, and an endless list of things that Eve is a part of - but not always a priority of. We all do. So relying on me is a silly proposition.

You should be relying on no one but yourself. And it doesn't take much. Just like the Traffic Jam, Corporation activity works the opposite way. A little movement makes a huge difference.

Make a difference in your Corporation or Alliance. Be the type of player you want others to be. And before long you will be surrounded by those players. And if it doesn't work where you are, those other players? They will follow you to the next place.

Engage. Eve is a much, much better game when you do.

The CSM Explained

TL;DR - For those of you new to Eve Online, we have a thing that is called the Council of Stellar Management (CSM) that represents all of the players to CCP, the people that create and run Eve Online. The CSM and CCP work in harmony together to make Eve the bestest game ever made by mankind, and the CSM represents the diversity of the player base exceptionally well.

Laugh out Loud.

Ok, deep breath. In reality the CSM operates a lot like the Student Council in High School. They have no real power but it helps to keep the students happy, so what is the harm? And every once in awhile we get something new in the vending machines, or the Prom theme is really bitchin' this year. This is the opinion I started out with when the CSM was first created and for the first few years my prediction turned out to be pretty much exactly how it was. The CSM got off to a rocky start.

That is largely because of why it was created in the first place. As a reflex reaction to angry players, players that had axes to grind (both legitimate and fantastical) and a player base that was on the verge of revolution. Add to that mix a group of players that needed their egos stroked, large blocks of power-mad Null Sec pilots, and some mentally challenged candidates looking to push thru their own agenda - and you had the making for some serious drama. Which is exactly what happened.

I won't drag the early history of the CSM thru the mud here, you can use Google to do that. I will say that it got so bad at certain points that I would sometimes call for it to be disbanded here in these pages. We had leaks. We had resignations. We had lots of crazy things happen.

And then the craziest thing of all happened.

It all started to work. At some point, about two years ago, the CSM started to actually function. A whole bunch of new, decent, caring, compassionate people happened to be elected. Along the same time, CCP re-focused and new people came into power there as well. The universe aligned. And things have been running really well ever since.

Not that we haven't still had drama. That will never end. But generally speaking the CSM is functioning exactly the way it needs to function. CCP is listening and the CSM is, for all intents and purposes, doing a very good job of representing the player base.

It is crazy. All of us players get the chance to vote on who represents us. And people like me and many others, give our own advice on who we think will do the best job. We've been extremely lucky lately with our choices. And that has helped to make the CSM a vital and important part of why Eve has gotten so much better lately.

So for all you new players - welcome to Eve. Now you know enough about your Student Council and how it works, and more importantly, why it works. If you want to know more feel free to Google it.

Oh, and Tamberskin Underpants.

Eve Artists and Creators Unite

The Eve Community is an extremely creative one. From videos, podcasts, memes, propaganda, logos, fiction, poetry, to out-of-game portraits - just about any creative expression can be found amongst the ranks of Eve, DUST and (eventually) Valkyrie players.

And yes,I posted about this yesterday. And I'm posting about it again. And I may post about it later. I strongly believe that creators can have a place of their own, within the larger community, to share their work, solve problems, and talk about solutions. Need to know how to get your Podcast on iTunes? How do you turn your work into Iskies? What are the legal ramifications of using copyrighted material? Did you know there are some great places to get rights-free music for your next video? The list is endless.

At one point last year I started working on a new website that I was going to create as a creative hub for the creator community. But eventually I decided the expectations I had for how awesome it needed to be, far exceeded my meager abilities to make it happen. And the idea was shelved. And then last week, those of us in Tweetfleet discovered a new tool called Slack.

It isn't as robust as that dream thing in my head, but it actually exists and in that way it is far superior! Slack is a persistent, searchable, file-sharing, IM'ing, multiple-platform, and FREE social site that allows for multiple channels. Already 184 players have joined the larger Tweetfleet (or Slackfleet) community. And multiple channels of interest have been created. One of those is one that I created solely for Creators and those that love them. It is called Eve Fan Artists and I would like to extend an invitation to all content creators to join.

No matter where you are, or what you are doing, if you are creating this is for you.

It's FREE. And there are iPhone, Android, and desktop versions available. Simply click this link to get started, it's easy and only takes a minute. Or click the new blurb I created over in the sidebar.

Feel free to borrow the graphic to create your own link on your website, forum, or wherever you hang out. I've also attached a bug below that you can use:

Hope to see you there.

Calling All Eve Artists & Creators

Recently Tweetfleet started using a new social tool called Slack which is a persistent, searchable and pretty awesome text tool that works across multiple platforms and allows for the creation of Channels - sort of like sub-communities within larger communities. It is a rather robust communication tool which we are also in the process of adopting for A Band Apart as well.

So within the Tweetfleet Slack, which anyone can join, I have created an Eve Fan Artists Channel. "A place for artists and creators to share their passion for Eve Online." This includes Eve Online, DUST, Valkyrie, or anything else within the Eve Universe.

I've been thinking about this for a long time, trying to come up with a way to provide a place for all of us to share our work, our challenges, and share ideas and solutions. Illustrators, Video Editors, Sound Designers, Writers, Dreamers and Poets - anyone that creates content to share with the Eve Community is welcome to join. I believe this can be a vibrant and important community for all of us. And while no tool will be perfect, at least this one is free!

Joining is easy and simple. Follow this link that Marcel Devereux created for us and presto you are in.

Eve art inspired me from the moment I started playing. Enough so that eventually I started doing it myself. I'm hopeful that this community grows and that the word spreads far and wide. So if you are reading this and know of someone that may be interested, please share and help spread the word.

I hope to see you, and your work, soon.

How to Spend an Hour in Eve

Catalyst Art Print Poster
Click to embiggen
So yesterday was an insane day here at the World HQ building and Eve play-time was, once again, at a premium. When it was all said and done I had an hour to enjoy undocking and causing trouble.

It is not unusual for me to take these moments as a bit of a challenge and try something different. Break the chain, shake off the dust, or otherwise just think differently. The day before I had found an old Catalyst sitting in the hangar, fitted for High Sec ganking, and took it out for a spin. It was ok, but the T1 guns eventually let me down.

So I thought, why not fit one up with a real fit? Let's see what trouble we can find. So I did. Nothing secret about the fit, a full rack of electron blasters (cheap), scram, a 10AB, DC, and a couple of Mags, damage rigs, and a shield rig cause why not? Sucker puts out 430 deeps cold with decent speed. I know it will eventually explode, but what doesn't?

Next system over a Moa has been seen on scan. The player is very young and shouldn't be flying a Moa. A few Corp mates and I get into a gang and try to find him, wait him out, and generally fly about trying to look harmless. I send the Ishkur out of system, and me and the Atron stay around. We're probably less scary. Who knows for sure anymore. But lo and behold he appears inside a Large plex and I warp in at 20k hoping to land on top of him. I get lucky and land about 14k from him. My stuff is already OH'd and I burn straight at him, my entire life depends on getting close. I do and the Ishkur lands just as he is about to explode. The Atron landed late sadly. He went down fast. I grabbed his pod and held it for a few minutes. I debated, but we all decided to let him go. Hopefully he learned a lesson.

We split up and start looking for more targets. Eventually, while I'm waiting on something to develop next door, I see a Cormorant appear inside another plex. I tell everyone I'm going in but I land close enough to get point and the cormmie dies pretty quickly. At least this one was properly fitted and put up a good fight. (And yes, I use "properly" fitted loosely in this context)

A few ships manage to get away. I catch an Incursus, but he turns out to have those things in the low slots and manages to warp off. A few others run, dock up, or generally disappear for one reason or another. Who knows?

I'm sitting on a gate waiting for something to happen next door, when a Comet lands on the gate with me. I always get a kick out of this moment of Eve time. The moment when a non-red lands next to me on gate. I can only imagine the thought process that goes thru their brain at this time. I am as red a target as you can be in Eve. A big fat red skull encrusted square of SHOOT ME!! lol. Most of the time people panic, even when they are clearly in a better ship, and just jump. Give this Comet guy all the credit, he weighed his options and decided that I must die.

Sadly for him, when I am in this mode of play, I am not easy to kill. And so his Comet exploded.  It was well fitted, except for the distinct lack of Rigs. I dunno, like I said above I see so many weird fits I hate to judge. Poor Christopher, who is one of our younger pilots, mistakenly shot the Comet and lost his Atron to gate fire. Lesson learned.

Ok, so my hour is up. There is chaos erupting here at HQ and so I head back to dock up for the night. Except... gosh darn it there is a Phantasm and a Breacher in the large. I wait. Eventually the Phantasm is all alone. And this is when I switch from serious PvP Pirate Master into Fun Loving Adventurer who has no Fucks to give. I have many modes of play, these are two of them. FLA dude wants to try the Phantasm. Pirate Master Rixx knows this is stoopid. They talk, FLA wins. 

The trick is the landing. I guess and warp in at range. I guess wrong. I badly needed to land right on top of him. Even if I had my odds would have been almost zero. But you never know when your target will have missing rig slots, or t1 drones, or his lows will be full of WCS! This one did not. And landing at range was bad. I exploded of course. It wouldn't have worked anyway, as expected the Breacher came back.

And that was how I spent exactly one hour in Eve yesterday. Having a blast.

5 Years of EVEOGANDA

On January 19th, 2010 I posted my very first post here on EVEOGANDA. 1,480 posts and five years later and it is suddenly 2015. I have been happily pounding out almost daily mostly non-weekend posts since day one about Eve Online. Over 5 million visitors have graced these pages, from almost every country in the World. And that is pretty gosh darn awesome.

These pages have provided me with a platform from which I've been able to accomplish many things over the years. From sharing my love of Eve, to helping others in the Community, to holding events, challenging the status quo, mocking things that needed to be mocked, restoring Frills to the Vagabond, and building several Corporations and Alliances. EVEOGANDA has given me a voice in the Eve Community which I have tried to use as a tool for advocacy and positive change. A place to share, laugh, and journal the struggles of playing the world's most challenging virtual experience.

It has also served as the fulcrum around which I have been able to "meet" hundreds if not thousands of fellow players, bloggers, artists, writers, journalists, editors, programmers, students, military... name an industry and name a country! And that has been, and continues to be, a rare privilege. And one that I try to never take lightly. And soon I'll be headed to my first ever Fanfest to meet fellow Eve players in person!

A lot has happened in those five years. I've gone from a two year old player living in Providence, to a seven-year veteran running a five hundred player Alliance. It has been a remarkable journey and one that I've enjoyed sharing with all of my readers.

Will I be writing EVEOGANDA for another five years? I honestly have no idea what the future holds. But as long as you keep reading, and I keep playing, we might as well see where this journey takes us.

To all of you, thank you. And keep the courage.

EVEOGANDA: The crossroads of Eve and propaganda that serves to promote a love of Eve Online, the Community of fans, writers, and artists that play it, and the unique perspective of one character in particular - Rixx Javix. Based on a true story.


The very first banner:

Some Highlights from the past Five Years:

• After a lot of hard work, the Frills were returned to the Vagabond.

• The Ring of Fire Project. I am very proud of this campaign, which went on for some time and (I believe) planted the seed for what became the player memorial in Reykjavik.

• Twitter Hats! Long story, but they made Incarna funny.

• Eve Pirate Trading Cards

• Stay Frosty is born! It'll never work btw.

• Low Sec Roamers Map! You really should have this!

• The Eveoganda Coffee Table Book

• The Art Print Series!

These are only a few of the highlights from the past five years. We've held over a dozen in-game events - from FFA's to Deathraces to Frill Protests. I've drawn 72 panels of an Eve Comic. (That's crazy!) And generally tried my best to have fun among all the tears, drama, haters, and cross-eyed weirdoes that have threatened and warned me over the years. A few of which got into scary real world territory.

Despite everything, I'm still playing, still writing, still drawing spaceships. And still, after five years, still smiling. And I still feel like I'm just getting started.

I must be crazy.


From October 2012. A surprising amount of us are still kicking around the neighborhood.

Why Solo is a Dying Art

And no, I did not say Solo was dead. I sure hope not, since that is primarily what I do in Eve. I try to pick my words carefully. Solo is a dying art and it appears, for all intents and purposes, that CCP is perfectly happy to let it die. And yes, I know Eve is a MMO thank you very much. Let's start from the beginning of this argument.

When a Solo player says they prefer playing Solo they are immediately judged. I believe most other players imagine a lone-wolf, traveling thru the space-lanes by him or herself, bereft of friends, lonely, consumed by social issues, an outcast. They must have the pox. The most have no friends. The must be sad, pathetic people. Best to marginalize them. Push them off to the side and forget about their constant cries of Doom!

^^ That is how most of Eve sees you when you mention you are a Solo pilot.

This is horribly wrong of course. In fact, everyone that plays Eve is a Solo pilot. We are all one person, flying in one ship (Except for the multi-boxers of course) thru the Universe. We are all solo pilots. You may choose to spend the majority of your time flying with other Solo pilots, a few, a dozen, a hundred, or a thousand - but essentially Eve boils down to you and your ship first. If you see it any other way, then you are missing out on the whole point of this game. Every change, every single re-balance, re-tier, introduction, modification, affects you first. Just as it affects every other player first.

Of course there are lone-wolves in Eve. Just as there are people who will not undock unless surrounded by other people. I know both kinds of players. But the vast majority of us fall in-between those extremes. For me, I enjoy flying in what I call the "Solo With Friends" formation that is typical of Stay Frosty. I've written about it before so I won't bore you with the details now. Suffice to say we fly together, help each other, but typically strive for good fights that involve one on one combat, when possible.

Which is a long way around the post to say the following, which I said last night on Twitter: "The scales of Eve have tipped against the Solo pvp pilot and may never tip back."

Solo has always been the hard path, the impossible choice, the difficult dream. And it will remain so. But, if anything, recent changes have finally tipped the scales to the point where they won't be coming back. Not on the current course. Not unless something is done, and soon, to at least tip them back a little bit. The fact that Solo is hard is what draws so many players to it as a play-style. Believe it or not, many of us choose to play Eve on the HARD setting. This is both challenging and rewarding to us. It is incredibly frustrating at times and yet also insanely rewarding. Typically those two things - Difficulty and Reward - are at least in some semblance of balance.

In just the last two years we've seen an insane growth in the amount of T3 links in low sec systems, a proliferation of risk-averse prey and an insane growth in the use of WCS, cloaks, and other measures designed to avoid conflict, a rapid spread of available ISK faucets that have increased the use of ship types previously unusual or rare in low sec, and - most recently - the removal of the one basic tool upon which we rely - the d-scan.

And we can argue about Combat Recons all day. And no, I have not lost a single ship to one since the change. It isn't the change itself that is worrisome, it is the fact that we can no longer rely on our d-scan. And yes, I know that cloaked ships don't show on d-scan. I also know that cloaked ships have a target delay. I also very very rarely lose a ship to a cloaked opponent. 'Cause duh.

And no, I'm not going to change how I play Eve. As always we will adapt, change, and work within the system we are given. That is what we have always done. We've already made some changes that are very effective. But those changes require additional resources,which are not always available to a true Solo pilot.

Everyone that plays Eve worries over their play-style. Null pilots want CCP to address Sov, some people want POSes fixed, and the list goes on and on. This is a constant. All I'm saying is that we should be considered in this mix as well. There are a lot of us. In the rush to change, let's not forget a basic fact about Eve that often gets overlooked and rarely mentioned.

We are all Solo pilots.

And the food chain starts with us, in space, in one ship.

Top Sekrit Video

This from Eve Outtakes. I'm not crazy about the music choices, but the 3d tracking is pretty amazing. Enjoy!

Gooder Eve: Let's Review

For years I've been trying to make Eve Gooder. I've written thousands of words in an attempt, often a humorous, tongue-firmly-in-cheek attempt, to suggest ways in which Eve could be much Gooder. Most of these ideas are what people call 'thought-starters' which are used to white board concepts for open discussion. Yes, I work in advertising.

My friend Johnny over on Fragmonkeys posted about cleaning up the Corporation database, which is an idea I posted about back in 2011 as part of the Gooder Eve series. Which got me thinking about where some of those ideas stand in light of recent CCP developments. So let's take a walk back thru history and see how the Gooder Eve posts stand up today shall we?

Gooder Eve: Time to Clean the Database
Let's start with that one. CCP recently did a good job of cleaning out some old character names that haven't been used. And I continue to believe the same needs to be done with Corporations. Johnny is right, too often a great idea for a name is already taken. I get asked a lot to help name things in Eve and I'm always frustrated by how many times the name already exists. Usually by a one-man Corporation that hasn't been active in a long, long time. Stay Frosty is a great example. We had to add a dot to the end in order to use it! Time to clean house.

Gooder Eve: Tactical Bookmarks (DONE!)
This one is done. Not only that, but CCP did me one better and incorporated bookmarks right in space. Nicely done.

Gooder Eve: Battle POS
This is actually several posts about transforming the POS and its capabilities. I remain hopeful that some utility will be injected into POS structures down the road. And while they may not turn out to be Battle POS, the idea here is to take a clean look at what they are and how they work. As a thought-starter I think the ideas still hold up.

Gooder Eve: Cap Buster
Another one that has several posts behind it, but the general idea is of a ship or module that essentially "banzai's" Cap Ships. As a solo and small gang guy the idea is extremely biased and I make no apologies for that. I think the "Array" idea is a lot of fun. This one will probably never ever happen. But I can dream.

Gooder Eve: Skill Smarts (DONE!)
Again, CCP does me one better by not only incorporating intelligence into the Skill train, but expanding functionality and allowing us to add years worth of skills into the list. Well done CCP! I was trying to be realistic in my expectations.

Gooder Eve: Majestic Time (DONE!)
Granted, it is a bit of a stretch for me to take credit for this one, but I'm going to anyway. The essential argument here was to make New Eden bigger by slowing it down a little, which is exactly what Jump Fatigue has done. I didn't suggest Jump Fatigue, but the results are the same, so there.

Gooder Eve: Harvester Class
This one may never happen. But that doesn't mean the general idea isn't worthy of consideration. The idea is simple, this is the future and we have a huge source of energy in every system that we do nothing with, the Star. Would be interesting to find a way to incorporate Stars into Eve.

Gooder Eve: Gate Jammer
A module or ship or device that momentarily disables a Gate. I have a feeling that once we start building our own Gates that something like this may be coming.

Gooder Eve: Module Based ECM
I love the idea of ECM affecting module classes. Missile ECM turns off Missiles, Propulsion ECM turns off Propulsion, etc. This may never happen, but I think it is a much better way of using ECM than the current, "you are screwed" way.

Gooder Eve: Universal Standings
This one is a bit crazy I admit. I'm not even sure I like it. But thinking about standings is important since they are a crazy jumble of messed up right now.

Gooder Eve: Counter Measures
I love the general concept. This was written in 2010 and Eve has come a long way since then, but we remain essentially trapped by the same PvP constraints we always have been. Funny, for a PvP based game, not a lot of thought gets mentioned about actual PvP in the game. Isn't that weird?

Gooder Eve: The Combat Tractor Beam (SORTA!)
This kinda happened, didn't it? We do have Mobile Tractor Beam thingies. I'll take some credit for it thank you.

Gooder Eve: Maker's Mark
I still like the idea of ship history. This has been brought up after this post by other people time and time again, but essentially the idea is a running history of the ship you are flying. Who made it, when, and whatnot.

Gooder Eve: NPC Corps
This one still needs to happen! We should be able to show/hide the NPC Corps from our Corp history! Easy fix that would clean things up a lot for us players. Make this happen.

I skipped a few in this round-up. Feel free to use the Search function to find the rest if you are interested.

So what are your thoughts about these ideas?

Unknown History

Coagulated Kindred Page One
Click to embiggen
As EVEOGANDA has progressed over the years, I've become more and more willing and open to the idea of crossing the line between Rixx (and the world of Eve) and the real me (and the real world). As I've said before, nothing secret here, but this blog was always intended to be about Rixx and my adventures with him. But as the years have gone on, it has become harder and less important to stick to that side of an imaginary wall.

I've shared other things before in these pages and I will continue to do so. As more and more of my artwork crosses into Eve, like with the Art Print series, it becomes even more important for me to share. Both for you the readers (I hope) and for my own sanity.

One project that I am slowly working on is an archive of older works. Many of my older pieces exist only on paper in boxes, archival boxes, shelves, and gathering dust in dusty corners. Most of these pieces haven't been seen by anyone other than me for a very long time. And when I say that, I don't mean a couple of months ago or even last year.

Back in the late 1980's my friend Eric and I starting working together on several Comic Book projects. We were rather serious about it for a number of years. We travelled to Conventions, showed our work, and even sat beside some of the greats and drew pictures for attendees. For a short time I even self-published a magazine called TEMPEST to showcase my work and the work of others. In the limitations of the time it became moderately successful. We even did professional work here and there. But, just as our careers stared to potentially explode, several things happened at once.

We had just gotten a rather large project from an independent studio called Caliber Press, which is famous for The Crow. This project was a 64 page Halloween special and featured our own work and stories we'd illustrate from other authors. It was a lot of work. And Eric got cold feet. I determined to go on without him and finish the project. But my first wife would have none of it. Long story short, I eventually and reluctantly had to bow out of the project. I still regret that decision, and the decision to marry her, to this day.

Nearly a decade later and I'd get the chance to work with Marvel and Fleer Entertainment during the Trading Card and Comics boom/glut and finally put some of that regret to rest.
But it is always human nature to wonder "what if".

Anyway. I'm going to start scanning some of my older work and saving it digitally before it all gets destroyed by time and lost to the ages. Mostly for my own personal satisfaction, but I also plan on sharing it.

The first completed restoration image is above and comes from a short piece of fiction I wrote called "Coagulated Kindred". The piece appeared in a Caliber Press publication and also in my own magazine. But other than that, it hasn't been seen by human eyes since.

Back in those days I wrote comics as well as illustrated them. I wrote like an artist/designer, I would illustrate panel layouts in pencil and write the words right in the panels. Then Eric would draw those up full size for me, and then I'd ink over his final pencils and then add the lettering. Ah the good old days before computers. lol.

I thought you might get a kick from seeing the work. And from knowing just how long science-fiction has been boiling in my veins. It would be easy enough to see Rixx as the owner of that hand.

More to come.

A Podcast Apart

A Podcast Apart

Well here it is, the Podcast we've all been waiting for. This episode we talk about A Band Apart Alliance and its corporations, the New Player Experience, some lore stuff, the new release cycle, the New Eden Trailer competition, then conclude with story time!

This is an entire Podcast featuring players from A Band Apart that I had nothing to do with. This is entirely their idea and their production, which is awesome. I haven't heard it either, so I'm listening right now.


It's a hard knock life

There are times, when I'm alone in space, that I let myself think about organization. That I wonder about being a cog in another man's machine. A soldier in a long line of soldiers marching to the beat of a different drummer. This is natural. The burden of leadership is a weighty one. In the end, not only do I often fly alone, but I often find myself alone. And the hours of darkness do tend to creep into your soul.

This time of year naturally tips towards melancholy. The mad rush of the Holidays are behind us. It gets dark early. The days are short. Everyone is back to work and school. Schedules are insane once again. It is often a dark time.

And a new year looms large ahead of us.

It is tempting to shuck it all, throw my hands up and walk away. I could easily become a cog again. I'm sure there are many that would welcome me into their machines. And I could disappear with them into the void. Just one more nameless name amongst the thousands. It would be easy.

But easy isn't for me. I still believe in the concept of Solo with Friends. This is the core principle for which Stay Frosty was born. And it remains the cornerstone of the entire Alliance, even the non-pirate bits. I didn't choose this path because it would be easy. In fact, I chose this path specifically because of how hard it would be.

It is easy to forget the day I warped from one station to another in Hevrice. Alone. With nothing but angry, rage monkeys surrounding me in local. That was an extremely hard choice. And here we are a year, eight months and ten days later with 220 pilots in the Corporation and close to 500 in the Alliance. That was not, by any measure, an easy journey.

I have never been here before. I've never once grown anything in Eve like this before. This is all entirely new territory. I know how to build. Do I know how to sustain? How to keep going? I don't know the answer. I do know that I don't have to do it alone. I have to rely on those around me, the leadership and the individual pilots. They have to want it too. They have to step up, take on challenges and want something as badly - or more so - than I do.

If we are going to be more than we are, that is how it happens. That is how it happens in the real world and that is how it happens in Eve.

I am not alone. I am a cog in no one's machine but my own. It might be the hard path, but that makes it more rewarding. I don't know what is going to happen next.

And that mystery is what excites me.

1v1 EVE COMIC #72

Click to embiggen!

The last 1v1 EVE COMIC ran back in August. I took a short break to clear my head and get some distance. It isn't easy keeping the extremely high-level of humor that the 1v1 series represents... ok, obviously that isn't true. Mostly I don't have any idea why I stopped doing them. So, here is the new one. You can see ALL 72 and more by clicking here.

Fight Stories

Yesterday I caught a Venture mining in Mara, which is a low sec system next to Caldari high sec (Piekura). There are often high sec tourists in Mara, which is why it is typically camped by one or more groups of people that enjoy camping. For my part it is usually the last stop on a long solo roam swing thru Black Rise and Verge. I almost never find anything that I can solo there. The Venture did a good job of warping away several times, but he made the mistake of doing so to zero at belts. The third time I caught him and my Comet made short work of him.

His pod did not quickly exit. So I pointed it and closed in. Since we were alone in local I told him about aligning and warping away after your ship explodes. I also explained that normally he'd be dead and podded by this time. And then I let him go.

I have always kept my own counsel on who and why I pod people. I understand that people in my profession typically take whatever kills they can get. I make no judgements on how others play Eve, I only have opinions about how others play Eve. For me, podding is something I usually do as a point to an engagement. Sometimes it serves a tactical and strategic purpose by removing re-shipping from the list of possibilities. And sometimes people just deserve to be podded.

I usually let younger players escape. I'm not convinced that this is the best strategy. No one did this for me when I was young. My very first PvP engagement ended with me getting podded for the very same reasons I let the Venture pilot go. I had no idea back then that getting podded was even a thing that happened.

Do young pilots actually learn a lesson by being let go? Will the Venture pilot take heed of my warnings and learn how to escape? Or will he take this as a sign of weakness and mock low sec Pirates? Perhaps he has a false sense of just how dangerous low sec is now?

I don't know.

This is the conundrum of Eve. The harsh, unforgiving nature of Eve made me want to learn and succeed. The dense, complicated, and hard curve of Eve is what attracted me to the game. And, honestly, what keeps me engaged seven years later. Does "going easy" on young players do the same?

The very first gang I was in that went into low sec jumped the Mara gate from Piekura. There were three of us. The moment we jumped we got slaughtered by three insane ships on the other side of the gate. That was a good lesson for a months old player to learn.

I'd still let the pod go. I'm not going to change the way I play Eve. I want to encourage more people to play and enjoy the game I love. But I do wonder.

There are no easy answers.

New Dangers

The backbone of PvP is the directional scanner. It is the one thing that all guides begin with, learn the d-scan. Become the Master of the D-Scan young player! It is the backbone of the PvP experience, it will tell you all, it will save your life, it will give you the targets you need. All of that, is about to change.

Starting today a whole new class of ship will be invisible to d-scan - naturally. Without the aid of cloaks, without the assistance of any module at all, Combat Recon ships will not appear on D-Scan. No matter how hard you try.

The Curse. The Lachesis. The Rook. And the Huggin are, for all intents and purposes, invisible to the main tool for finding things in Eve Online. Today, EVERY WARP CAN POTENTIALLY END WITH A COMBAT RECON AT THE END OF IT!!

All Caps used to emphasis the importance of this development. Please take heed.

Will this spell the end of Solo PvP in Eve? Will Rixx be forced to run with link alts, expensive implants and about forty friends at all time? Uh, no. This is not the end, this is yet another beginning. Let's be perfectly honest here. Yes, many people will jump into their Combat Recons today and in the coming days and exploit the knowledge that they are invisible to scan. Yes, there will be Recons in places they shouldn't be. And yes, some of those people will be moderately successful in taking advantage of this new mechanic.

But Recons are not cheap ships. And Recons are not the devil. A Rook is still a Rook. And despite the changes, it is not going to become the ultimate PvP ship lurking in a dark corner ready to steal your game away. Most likely.

I have to admit however, that I am a tad reluctant to give this change a total pass. There is a part of my brain that is worried. I'm worried that this is yet another brick pulled from the wall that keeps the Solo and small gang player alive and well in Eve. If every warp can potentially end with a Curse at the end of it, well then that changes things doesn't it?

Thing is, I know the very people that will take full advantage of this mechanic. I fly in space with them every day. They are the same people that have a Tengu on the out-gate providing links in every system. They are the same people with a Rapier cloaked next to them. Or a Falcon. And that part of my mind is a tad worried.

So, here we go. Off into the brave new world of things not always being what they seem. Which, really, is how Eve has always been.

A dangerous, scary, dark, and evil place that is constantly trying to get you killed.

Oh baby.

Walking in Stations: Revisited

Was Walking in Stations an idea ahead of its time? Or an ill-conceived "look at the monkey" concept that died an appropriate death? Is it dead and gone, or could it be revived and restored? Will we ever get the chance to open the door to our Captain's Quarters? So many questions with so few answers.

WiS was surrounded by questions like these before Incarna was released and it most certainly was after Incarna. Many of those questions remain unanswered, unresolved and buried in development that never happened and likely will never happen. Walking in Stations, rightly or wrongly, got wrapped up in other issues at the time of the Incarna release that doomed it to the dusty shelves of half-forgotten and abandoned theme development. This cannot be denied. So we know what became of WiS, but what is it and will it ever be addressed again?

The current revisionist upswing in interest in WiS is primarily being driven by the upswing in new subscribers. New players, discovering Eve for the first time, are rightly curious when they hear about Walking in Stations. I imagine many of them are wondering what became of an idea that sounds so perfect? This curiosity is, and should be, a little uncomfortable for us older players. Frankly, we have some explaining to do.

Let's go back to my own pre-Incarna concerns over WiS. Before the proverbial crap hit the fan. My own concerns, raised here in these very pages, landed primarily in regards to the "point" of it all. Despite trailers heralding the integration of Eve and Dust, mini-games, potential store-fronts, meeting places, and other wondrous in-station activities, my fear from the beginning was potential hallways full of avatars jumping up and down screaming "penis!" all day long. The thought of which still tempers any potential enthusiasm I may have regarding opening my CQ door and walking out into a hallway.

We were never given a clear vision for what part WiS would play in the daily lives of our Capsuleers, or what (if any) point there would be for walking in a station. This vagueness did not help things when Incarna was released. Initially, some of us tried to separate WiS from the other elements of Incarna that caused such uproar, but after a few days it was impossible to keep WiS from being swallowed by the crowds.

(My initial opinion about Incarna, on the day of release, sums it up nicely, or my subsequent warnings about jumping to mass hysteria.)

New players are wondering what the fuss was all about, and some older players are having short-term memory loss. There are plenty of posts, here on Eveoganda, as well as other places about that. I don't want to spend time talking about Golden Ammo, expensive clothes, monocles, and everything else. I'm trying to stick to WiS.

And, like I said before, WiS got swept up into everything else. It happened for good reason, CCP had failed to share their vision with us. They were stung by the reaction to Incarna and have spent the last few years trying to make good on a Space-First vision of Eve. More spaceships, prettier stars, asteroids, more content, more stuff in space! This was clearly the lesson they learned from that Summer of Anger. It is, after all, what we wanted them to learn. Me, just as much as anyone.

Ok deep breath.

So is WiS dead? And, if so, should it be?

In my humble opinion yes. It is dead and it most certainly should be. There is still no compelling reason for walking in stations. If you want to walk in the Eve universe we have Dust and soon Valkyrie to sate your need to move your legs. We are, after all, left with the same problem we had from the beginning - no reason for it. Eve Online remains a game about spaceships. About space and the actions of our characters in space. There is nothing inside the station that I can do that I can't do without WiS.

Except one. I can't walk thru my door. And that darn thing continues to loom rather large in the minds of players both old and new. So can we imagine a world in which that door squeaks open one day? I can, so imagine with me for a moment.

On the other side of that door and down a small hallway is a large room, much like the one in the header image - with windows!  There players from my own Corporation and Alliance can gather, people I know and share common interests. (To keep down the instances of Goonery!) No strangers allowed. Each Alliance/Corporation has a room like this in their Home Station, or maybe in any Station(?). It serves the same purpose as the Lounge on Comms does, a meeting place, a gathering, planning, sharing and plotting place. There could be mini-games. Item sharing. Fleet comp planners. The available benefits could be rather extensive and upgradeable. But it would also serve as an additional reason for people to log-in, sate the need for WiS, show off our avatars and create additional Corp/Alliance spirit.

I could stomach one additional room. Would that take away from development of Null Sov, or the POS Mechanics, that Eve still needs? Would it open the door, both metaphorically and in reality, to additional hatred if done wrong?

I don't know the answers. CCP has come a long way since Incarna, but so have we as players. There are so many new faces, young faces, that didn't live thru the Summer of Discontent. Maybe some of their enthusiasm and optimism should be rubbing off on us older, more bitter, veterans.

Or maybe these kids should leave well enough alone.

Once, long ago, the idea of Walking in Stations was greeted with loud cheers and intense enthusiasm. It really was. Maybe, just maybe, it is time to think about it again - in a different way.

What are your thoughts?

Whoa!! Hand-drawn character portraits

My good friend and talented artist Mynxee is offering her services to create unique, one-of-a-kind hand-drawn watercolor paintings of your Eve Online character!

The image to the left is of my fellow Stay Frosty pilot Cervantes Marovinjun, his prize for winning the SF Summer Frigate Tournament last Summer. Pretty darn awesome.

She offers two distinct types of portraits and will provide digital hi-resolution files and/or actually mail you the real thing for an additional fee. (To cover mailing costs ofc)

You can read more about it HERE.

Go on, you know you want to.

10 Things You Need to Know About Being a Pirate

Everyone wants to join Stay Frosty and Yarr!, I mean who wouldn't?!? Adventure, fame, infamy, fear, lootz, chicks, hot-tubs, free beer and all the pew pew you can handle! It is a great life and Stay Frosty is the place to get your Yarr on. But there are some things about being a Pirate you should know first. Honestly, there are 17 things you really should know. But 10 is much more Googlie than 17. So those other seven things will remain a secret.

So here are 10 of the 17 things you really should know about being a Pirate, in no particular order. In fact, they are in exactly the same order as I remembered what they are.

Number 10: Lootz. Looting the wrecks of your enemies and getting fellow Corp mates to loot your wrecks is not only sensible and pragmatic, it can also save your life. You can actually, really, help your income stream significantly by looting all the things. Even wrecks you didn't make. Stealing essentially. If it isn't bolted down, take it. You will be surprised at how much isk you can make doing this. Or how much isk you save if you re-use the loot on your next ship. Drones, modules, cap charges, everything. Take it all. And then, most importantly, dump it somewhere before you explode.

Number 9: Even Solo pilots need help. I know you want to become the greatest solo pilot Eve has ever seen! We all want that for you. But just know this, no solo pilot truly flies alone. New Eden is not built like that and if you think that way, you will soon have horrible and bitter lessons to learn. Rely on your Corp mates as intel gatherers, back-up, rescue, and bait. Everyone else is. That's why you keep losing.

Number 8: All those people from the same Corp in local? They really are together. They are always together. They share chat channels, they are on comms, and they will all rush to defend that one guy in the belt. Always. Either you need to be very fast, have way more dps than he has tank, or very, very lucky. Just know they will come eventually. Or, they will all run away together. One can never be sure.

Number 7: You stick out like a sore thumb. You are RED, Flashy, Negative Status, Skulled, and otherwise pretty damn obvious in local. You cannot hide. You shouldn't have to, use this knowledge to your benefit. But always be aware of the fact that other people are scared to death of your red square when it shows up in local. Never, ever underestimate what that means. Because...

Number 6: You are always a target. Carebears want you out of their local. But other PvPers see your red square the same way you see theirs, as a potential target that will actually fight back. Just remember that. You are an opportunity for someone else to do what it is they do. And you don't know exactly what they have planned. Which leads us to the next one...

Number 5: You are always potentially the end result of someone else's plan. The key is to avoid becoming the end result of someone else's plan. Everyone you see in space is up to something. And whatever that something happens to be, you want to position yourself to be on the side that favors you - not them. They may be baiting for a gang next door. They may be smart-bomb fitted and sitting on the gate. They may be neutrals who can shoot negatives at will. Whatever it is, you want to turn it to your advantage. Not theirs.

Number 4: A good pirate knows his or her tools like the back of their hand. You must practice your trade the same way you must practice your tools. Be the master of d-scan, bookmarks, perches, gate spots, sun warps, probes, mechanics, plex warps, the myriad of information that is at your fingertips at all times. Learn it. Love it. Live it. It is just as important as having a great fit. Even more so. There is no excuse for not knowing these things, of not having the perfect overview, of not understanding how d-scan works. These are essential.

Number 3: Post your fits in Corp. Debate them. Ask about them. Try them out on your fellow Corp mates. There is nothing wrong with practicing together. Take the time to know why, to see for yourself, to try it out. Being comfortable in your ship and knowing what it can and cannot do is critical in the fights to come. The more comfortable you are the better you will do. Trust me. This is hard won wisdom.

Number 2: Target Selection! This is really the biggest thing to learn about being a Pirate. Picking your targets. We all want the big score, the Rifter who solos a Megathron. And those opportunities come to those that wait. But they don't happen every day. Something that does happen every day is people attacking other people they shouldn't be attacking. Don't let boredom force you into making poor decisions. Wait for your chance, know your enemy, and know the odds before the fight even starts. This is the skill that great PvPers have developed. Listen to your Spider Sense.

Number 1: Have Fun! For goodness sake you are a Pirate. Laugh in the face of your enemies, Yarr yourself silly, ignore the rules, fight the impossible fight, whelp into over-whelming odds - have fun doing what you enjoy! That is the most important thing. Just remember that having fun isn't the antithesis of being smart. They go hand-in-hand.

Eve is awesome when you fly with friends. Even when you fly alone.


This one time at Band Camp

Anyone who has been reading this blog for any length of time knows by now that I don't take myself very seriously. I learned long ago that making fun of yourself first tended to avoid most of life's discomforts, disarming your enemies, and endearing yourself to your friends. If you can't laugh at yourself... In other words I like to have fun. I am a serious person, but I also like to enjoy life. You get the idea.

So I find this hilarious.

I've been getting my balls busted lately over something I did on Saturday during the (now) controversial Titan kill event in Ishomilken. The Blobserver even wrote up a funny post about it. Which my wife found the other day and sent me the link, making it even funnier. I imagine my wife at work doing a Google search on Rixx Javix. I find that hysterical. Life is weird man.

So all of this boils down to a simple thing. Having lost a Devoter and two Harpies in the convoluted 10% TiDi mess happening in my backyard, I decided I was going to end the day on the positive side of the killmail ISK balance sheet come Hell or high water. Someone else in Stay Frosty was having serious luck with a Smart-bombing Thorax. Their fit had a large SB in the highs and nothing else! That seemed a bit much for me, so I went with a rack of SBs and filled in the rest with looted mods. However, I had a low slot open. Knowing I'd be warping into the middle of 2,000 ships, and that I'd die eventually and wouldn't it be funny if... I stuck a WCS on there.

You can see the killmail for yourself.

Obviously a horrible fit. However, it did work. I managed to warp in and out of the clusterfuck three times before landing in the middle of a group of smart-bombing Archons and got toasted. The really funny part is that the WCS never once helped me. Of course, WCS on Smart-bombing ships is a legit use, although we could argue about SBs being a legit use in small gang or solo PvP. Granted. Either way the ship got me about 36 kms and I ended the day on the positive side of the ledger.

I get to have fun too.

And yes, I knew this would happen. This is, after all, also content. And it is fun. And it doesn't change a thing about wanting WCS banned on PvP ships. If anything it makes it even more obvious.

You can't put it out there if you aren't willing to take it. The kitchen gets hot.

I love the commercial. And I love being made fun of. I deserve it. Heck, we all do.

Finally FanFest

No longer shall millions in debts, bankruptcy, horrible legal court battles with insane, psychotic ex-wives, or a catastrophic loss of livelihood stand in the way of me attending FanFest. Nope. Even though I really still can't afford it, my Wife and I have decided that this is the year. We've purchased our Airplane and Hotel reservations and will be attending the bash in Reykjavik this March. Woot!!

Finally Rixx Javix will be in Reykjavik!

Every year since 2010 I've planned on attending and every year something horrible would come up that would keep me away. I joked to my wife the other night that I fully expect Bárðarbunga to erupt and spoil FanFest this year, it would make perfect sense.

I've been playing Eve since September of 2008 and I have yet to knowingly meet another Eve player in person. (Not counting my Son, who introduced me to Eve in the first place.) So I freely admit to the concept of me physically attending, after all these years, to be perhaps the weirdest thing I have ever done. And when I say that, it means something. I've had Baboons on my back, sat on a Motorcycle I had built on top of the Crazy Horse Memorial, thrown Santa off a snow-covered roof in the middle of Summer, had the Gorilla from Gorilla's in the Mist watching Planet of the Apes... I could go on and on, my list of weird things I've done is rather long.

It is weird because I know so many Eve players. Thousands and thousands of them. Over the years I've shared real life issues with people from all over the world. We've talked about private matters, lost jobs, immigration issues, family tragedies, college finals, the births of children, so many things not even related to Eve. I feel like I know many of you. And so many of you I would call friends. Fellow Bloggers, artists, writers, podcasters, twitter users, hat-wearers, and both friends and enemies in-game.

And yet, I've never even met one of you in the flesh.

All of that is about to change. And I hope to get to meet as many of you as humanly possible in March. There are so many that I won't get the chance to meet because they won't be coming to this year's event. People I waited to long for. And, as much of a bummer as that is, it is still a great thing to look forward to seeing those that will be there. Not to mention all the great people at CCP who I've also (sorta, kinda) known for so many years.

My Wife just smiles and shakes her head at me. But she is also very excited, albeit for potentially slightly different reasons. Huge credit to her however, it isn't every Wife who would be excited about our first overseas trip together being Iceland. lol.

I'm sure FanFest will be a big part of this blog over the next three to four months. To everyone reading, I hope to finally get to meet you and shake your hand and struggle to make the connection between you the real person and you the virtual person. I wonder about that sometimes.

Should be a very interesting, illuminating, and ultimately enriching life experience.

Can't wait.

Evolving the Fitting Window

Fitting UI Concept Revised
REVISED: I spent more than twenty minutes on this idea

Fitting UI Concept Eve
The original attempt

Yesterday CCP Karkur asked us for our opinions regarding the state of the Fitting Window in-game and what changes, updates and features we'd like to see added, subtracted, or otherwise revised on the existing pop-up window feature. You can read the thread for yourself or add your opinions.

And yes, I'm making a conscious effort to be slightly more involved in the forums. I've always been pretty much zero involved in the forums, so any posts by me are going to be a slight improvement. But I'm trying.

After I started seeing all the posts it became obvious that most people, naturally, were focusing on features that bear a striking resemblance to EFT, or Pyfa, or other 3rd party fitting tools that are available. This is normal. The mere idea of more features inside of Eve is an exciting one. But the repetition of ideas started to make me worry, so I decided to make a bold suggestion.

Then I will make the following suggestion. Before implementing any "tweaks" to the current fitting window, perhaps a better next step would be to step back and take a fresh look at the entire concept of a "fitting window".
As others have noted, the current window design is essentially a revised and revised version of the original pop-up window that has been made to look better and better over the last decade. Perhaps we should be asking, do we even need a pop-up window anymore? Do we need a window whose largest section is a 3d version of the ship most likely already behind it? Perhaps the same functionality (and more) could be obtained by UI elements that hover over the ship already in our hangar? Instead of a pop-up window, perhaps we can design something more elegant and incorporated into the design of the hangar, around the ship already floating there.
I for one would much rather see a more integrated solution, more tastefully designed, than just more features loaded into another revision of the fitting window.
I then decided it would be a good idea to do a quick mock-up of what I was talking about, which is the image at the top of this post. I'm not trying to give myself any extra kudos here, I spent a total of twenty minutes on that image, only trying to make the case for approaching the idea from a different angle.

I will say, in all fairness, that the thread is clearly a blue-sky conceptual white-board thread, and that CCP is in the very early stages of even considering changes to the Fitting Window. Which is great.

Eve's UI has improved significantly in only the past two years. But it can continue to evolve and change and become a much more fully integrated UI in the next two years. Personally I'd like to see it become less and less reliant on "pop-up" windows and more and more integrated. Let's be honest, back when Eve first started the technological whiz-bang of UI design was certainly pop-up navigation. But the world has moved on, when Eve started the Mobile/Tablet/Smart Phone revolution wasn't even imagined yet. UI navigation and design is much different now, the audience more sophisticated, and the design expectations more evolved. Everything is about clean, simple, fully integrated solutions.

And within the context of a science-fiction universe, even more so.

My thought is a simple one. The 3d space of our hangar is used for nothing other than spinning ships. This should not be the case. CCP has an opportunity to see that space as a resource that can lead to the integration of ALL "windows" into a more dynamic fully realized UI experience. Imagine with me that all the current windows you can have open when docked are integrated into your hangar. That dynamic roll-overs activate features in holographic over-layed displays that present features, modules, activities, and choices in an intelligent and dynamic manner. I hate using old tired metaphors, but think "Minority Report".

I have no idea where Eve is headed. But, as always, I'm hopeful that it continues to thrive, grow and evolve. And I won't stop trying to help it get there. Even from this tiny little corner of mine.