RIP Leonard Nimoy

Legendary actor Leonard Nimoy passed away today at the age of 83.

I wasn't planning on posting today, but I also can't let this pass without reflection. So many people today, along with myself, will be remembering his role as Mr. Spock in Star Trek. And rightfully so. He was born to play the role and made it become the iconic character that it will always be. But he was so much more than that. I'll leave it to others who knew him to remind us of his life.

For me Spock was the heart and soul of the original Star Trek. A show that lit a spark within my own heart that still burns today for all things science-fiction, and science fact. A life-long wonderment at the vastness of space and time. And, to a large extent, compassion for all those that are different. To me that was always the real lesson to be learned from Leonard's portrayal of Spock - that despite each of us being alien to each other - that all beings share a commonality of spirit.

Live long and prosper.

Thank you.


I've discovered some things lately that I don't want to just brush off. As always I try to take everything that I learn and make sense of it. It is a constant process that I hope works towards making me a better person, smarter about myself and the world around me.

And, of course, this is true both in-game and out. The Eve Community to which I belong is increasingly becoming blurred - the curtain between what is in-game and out is steadily being pulled away. This is happening at a rather rapid pace. From Twitter to Slack,from forum to forum, from Blog to Safe Spot, to local chat and global chat, the line is exceedingly thin. And it is only getting more so every day.

It is easy to understand then why some people falter. And why it often becomes easier to rely on easily made assumptions than take the step necessary to quantify those assumptions. Certainly my own persona here in these pages over the years can lead many to assume certain things about me. But the line between me (the writer of these words) and Rixx (the character I play inside of Eve) and Bryan (the person I am in the world), those lines are increasingly meaningless. And so assumptions about Rixx, while they wouldn't apply to the writer or to the real me, can be easily made across the board. This is obviously a problem when addressing one or the other - and certainly when addressing the totality of the whole.

Which is all a philosophical minefield constructed primarily to drive home a rather simple point. Assumptions are inherently wrong-headed, especially for those of us in elevated positions in-game or out of game. Leadership positions as heads of Corporations or Alliances, or Bloggers, or whatever else we may choose to participate in. Assumptions are the bane of leadership. And relying on them as the basis of action is certainly a formula for failure.

On the other hand, assumptions serve as a convenient shorthand. Goons are goons after all. PL is going to bring Supers. Stay Frosty is awesome. These types of general assumptions serve a purpose within the game. The trouble is when those assumptions travel outside that environment. Speaking only for myself, I never travel in-game assumptions outside that environment. In a few weeks I'll be in Iceland meeting all sorts of people in the real world. Not one of which I will be making assumptions about based on their in-game persona. That would be silly. And wrong-headed. Their in-game persona does add an element to meeting them certainly, an interest level, curiosity of course - but nothing more. (I'm very excited about this prospect by the way!)

I challenge us all to make an effort to appreciate how thin these lines are becoming. It is difficult to keep up, as speed only seems to be increasingly daily. But it is important.  And I wouldn't want to assume that you are not capable of doing so.

When it come to groups within Eve I certainly use assumptions to my own purpose. That is, after all, the heart of what propaganda is all about. I have a very clear and well defined purpose by doing so, one which I almost weekly re-state, and that is to positively position my own in-game efforts. To build my Corporation and Alliance and to provide excellent content to those players that choose to play with us. That is my only goal. But, and I cannot be more clear than this, those assumptions NEVER pertain to anyone individually. (Only in extremely rare circumstances and then only to leadership, or those that have made things personal by their own choice)

I assume you, as a person, are awesome. I have been told by some people that this is a potential character flaw. I disagree. I'd rather assume the best. It makes everything so much easier.

I'd appreciate the same in return.

A Bad Run

For those of us who play Eve on a daily basis for any length of time, it becomes obvious after awhile that the game operates on a very cyclical basis. Even more apparent, is the connection between what happens in-game and what is going on out-of-game.

I've written about these connections extensively here in the past. Eve is a lot like the tide. The tide rolls in and out and nothing you can do will stop it. But the tide is also made of many, many smaller and larger waves. Often driven by the wind. It is impossible to argue this. I've been playing and writing about playing Eve for long enough now to know - these are truths.

I've been having a particularly horrible time in real life lately. And, once again, my experiences have directly related to what happens in-game. I won't bore you with the details, but it has been rather horrific. All of which is only the preamble to a larger point I want to discuss. And one that has been on my mind for a few weeks now. I have a question about Eve that no one seems to ever ask:

Just how f**ked up is Eve really?

[Insert long diatribe about how much I love Eve here]

Let me give an example. The other day I had caught a Comet with my Garmur. The Comet was dead. The Garmur a good 2k faster, set up in a nice kiting position. My manual flying working just fine. And yet - I got caught somehow. One second he was safely away and the next I was scrammed and webbed. I lost the Garmur. It happens. So my friend Oma was in fleet with me and offered to give me the Sentinel he was flying, since he was logging off. I took the Sentinel and shortly after that we spotted a Vexor inside a Medium plex. I warped in to get tackle. This is about as safe an action as you can have. I had no fear, I would warp in, burn off, hold point and wait for help. The only worry would be drones, but that wouldn't be immediate and the Sentinel is very fast. I've done this before. This time it didn't work. The Vexor got point. Which is, in Eve terms, nearly impossible. And no, the Vexor didn't have Sensor Boosts or anything weird. And no links were up for him either.

These types of failures happen. Heck, we've developed an entire cultural response to anyone who even dares to complain about it when it does happen. The sheer amount of vitriolic anguish directed at anyone who dares to mention a technical flaw is insane. Which only makes me wonder even more.

Is it possible that this happens more often than we are led to believe? We focus on a lot of issues as a community, but I honestly can't remember a serious discussion about the fundamental operation and error content of Eve. How often does Eve generate errors? How often exactly does 2+2=5? Just how buggered is this legacy code? Is it only getting worse as more and more new code is pilled on top of older and older code?

The issues are not as obvious as they used to be. Back in the day I remember the undocking bug, when hundreds of your own ships would undock with you. I once lost half a fleet when we jumped thru a Gate - half the fleet was transported about 17 jumps away. The list is a long one. But those were obvious. The things I am seeing on an almost daily basis are not as obvious. They are more subtle.

Fleet bonuses not working. D-scan errors. Loss of camera settings. Unexpected jump of perspective (this one is freaking annoying in the middle of a fight to suddenly find yourself looking at the target ship), and other subtle, small, annoying, doesn't quite work, what went wrong, ways.

Look. I'm just asking. I've grown to expect these types of strange behaviors. I aways chalk it up to the randomness of life. This is Eve's way of mimicking the kind of strange random crap that happens in real life all the time. Sometimes things just don't work. But, on the other hand, it did get me to thinking about it on a more fundamental level. Maybe I'm taking something for granted here. Maybe, just maybe, there is a larger issue at play. And perhaps, just perhaps, something really is wonkers down in the belly of the beast.

The tide rolls in. And the frequency seems to be increasing.

Is there a cause for concern here?

Power Rangers

I didn't grow up on the Power Rangers, this phenomenon was way past that time for me. Believe it or not, the Power Rangers I grew up with were even worse!

I do have a small claim to the Power Rangers history, I designed a collectible card set from Fleer Entertainment back in the mid-nineties. I'm not proud of this, just saying it happened.

Yep, that there is my work kids. Not exactly one of the highlights. You wouldn't believe some of the things I did with those images.

Watch the short film, that is how you take a super silly concept and have some fun with it. Enjoy!

CSMx: Official Voting Endorsements

Once again this year the CSM Candidates have come around to my CQ to ask for my endorsement of their campaign for the tenth Council of Stellar Management. I've spoken to almost everyone on this final list of endorsed candidates, some of them several times. If not recently, then in the the past. I know them, have worked with them, flown with them, or otherwise have had dealings with them. Not every one of the 77 candidates bothered to reach out and none of the ones who didn't are getting an endorsement either. It's part of the test people.

As in previous years, I have asked each one to (at least in spirit) join me for two special causes: Hats on avatars, and the Banning of Warp Core Stabilizers from New Eden. Each of those two topics are allowed various shades of gray, the point of each is to see how the candidate thinks, how they might work together on a team, and if they can take orders from me.(!)

We do not support Major Block Candidates. We strive for well-rounded, intelligent, and dedicated candidates that will help all of Eve and New Eden, both in-game and out.

As in years passed, the voting block of EVEOGANDA readers and fans will make a significant impact on non-block candidate campaigns. Additionally this year, we will be bringing our in-game forces to bear on this list as well. Representing as we do a rather large and active block of our own now. Woot Power!

Here are the official EVEOGANDA, Stay Frosty and A Band Apart CSM Endorsements:
[In order]

1. Sugar Kyle
Excellent job last year and deserves to be re-elected.

2. Corbexx
Also deserving of re-election, works well on the team and is primarily WH focused.

3. Steve Ronuken
Indy focus. Deserving of re-election. Excellent work last year.

4. Mike Azariah
One of my oldest friends in Eve, Mike did a great job last year and deserves to be back.

5. Psianh Auvyander
I've been very impressed with Psianh's dedication, intelligence and open-minded approach to Eve and I believe he will make an excellent member of CSMx.

6. Ashterothi
Awesome attitude, PVE focus, Indy, etc. Will be a good team member.

7. Klapen
Another Low Sec rep that has the right attitude and will work to protect the important things.

8. Bam Stroker
Community focused, I've known Bam for a long time and can speak to his integrity.

9. Cagali Cagali
Someone from BNI is going to get in, it might as well be Cagali!

It is critical that you vote at least your first five the exact order recommended above, the way the voting works is critical to getting our candidates in. Splitting votes, or changing the order, only works to help the massive Null-Sec power blocks and their candidates. And no one wants that. Think for yourself and vote the way I tell you!

Hopefully this year we can avoid the horrible Null-Sec influence that nearly destroyed the CSM's term last year. These types of things would not happen it everyone just voted the way I tell them.

As always I am joking about the funny bits, but dead serious about the endorsements. So get out there and vote. Vote with all your alts. And then vote some more.


The Perceived Art of Smacktalk

Smacktalk is an art. And like any other art form it is very difficult to explain what makes regular talking in local elevate to an art form. But when it happens you know. Others may not know however, because everyone has their own ideas about what is art and what isn't. Even the idea of bad smacktalk is open to interpretation. For some people, simply linking penis photos in local is the highest form they can achieve.

For some odd reason Eve has a local channel. In this channel anyone present in the System at the time can write whatever they want. From Jita scams to insults about your Mother, the gambit runs the full spectrum. In Null space we were generally taught to avoid speaking in local as it only served to reveal Intel about you to the enemy. In some Alliances you could get kicked for speaking in local. I remember fleets in which the FC had to specifically grant permission, say after a big fight, for us to even type "gf" into local. In high-sec most systems are dead quiet, most local talk seems to happen in Jita, Dodixie, Rens, Amarr, New Caldari, etc. And then there is low sec...

Intel doesn't often matter when there are three people in local and everyone can see everyone else on d-scan. Smacktalk in low is neighborhood bully time, bullhorn announcements, bad links, funny videos, jokes, insults, false intel, and just about everything else under the Sun. Or at a safe spot near the Sun.

For me personally smacktalk is a bit different than it might be for others. I make no presumptions here, all I can do is explain my own feelings about the subject. First of all, on a regular basis, my presence in local is announced with loud horns! Ok, not actual horns, but it might as well be. Someone will invariably type, "o/ Rixx Javix!" or some variation of that in local. And, being the person I am (if I see it), I must type back. I love you all, I really do. So that must be considered. I also represent Stay Frosty and ABA, so that also has to be considered. Whatever I say better be good. Which is why I typically don't say anything.

My teen years are thirty years behind me. I no longer believe that I know everything. I'm not an angry young man anymore, I am moving towards bitter old fart. (Not really, but that is funnier than the truth) My smack is well-considered. Often extremely tactical or strategic. And sometimes aimed at simply convincing someone to attack me. Cause really all I want is to have a good fight.

It has been my feeling all along that the best smacktalkers are young, angry men who still believe they know everything. That their crap smells better than yours. And that the world is going to treat them special. They are so cute at that age. Not! I know this extremely well because I watched my own Son play Eve from the age of 14 to 18 and the quality of his smack grew right along with him. For this reason his smack was much better than mine ever will be. But my own brand of smack, when utilized, works much better than his ever would.

I don't like smacktalk. And yet I appreciate good smacktalk. And yet again, I will also use it myself sometimes. This is, after all, the weird crux of the perceived art of smacktalk. It is at once incredibly stoopid, funny, dumb, witty, weird, and potentially troublesome. And completely pointless. Y'know, most of the time.

If I had my way smack in local would be awesome all the time. It would never be in Russian. (Although I also enjoy trolling Ruskies when I'm bored) And it would always make me laugh.

In my mind that is the best smack. When I laugh. The rest of it is just a bunch of white guys with their arms back yelling at each other.

Which, let's be honest here, can also be funny.


For the first time ever I won't have to run "FakeFanfest" or rely on FlatRixx to enjoy the festivities in Iceland. That's right, this year I will be personally in person attending Fanfest! Woot!

My wife and I will both be attending and we are both very excited. I have to stop right here and give my beautiful wife some much deserved credit. While she was rather dubious at first (and I think she still can't believe we are actually doing it), she has been awesome. In fact, in some ways I believe she is even more excited than I am. For different reasons of course. This is both of our first trips outside the comfort of the Western Hemisphere, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, Alaska trips of our collective pasts. So for that reason alone it is exciting.

Add to that the weirdness of finally getting the chance to meet another Eve player, or more like 1,500 of them!, and the trip really starts to take on an other-worldly feeling. Not to mention all my friends at CCP. The artists, the producers, the community representatives, and my biggest fan Hilmar! I mean really, this is so bizarre.

We have our passports. We are driving down to Washington for the Icelandair non-stop to Reykjavik (The town named after Rixx Javix!!!) and will be staying at the newly remodeled Apotek Hotel a few blocks from Harpa in the heart of the city. I don't know what any of that means, but I've walked the streets a bunch on Google Maps - so I feel like I know it already. We are getting in early Wednesday morning and staying in Iceland until Tuesday - so we have some time to do couple stuff after Fanfest.

I wish I could tell you about some of the other things I am excited about. But they are still sekrit things that I am under NDA about, so I can't. However, I will say that there are a bunch of additional reasons I am even more excited about Fanfest than I would be normally! How's that? I mean, if I am excited about them, then you should be too. And I'm sure I'll be able to talk about them soon, so hang in there.

We are going to the Charity Dinner, but we'll probably pass on the Pub Crawl. I figure we'll have plenty of people to hang out with by Friday night who are also older and socially awkward like us. I'm joking, but also kinda not joking. There is plenty to do and see, so I'm not worried about anything. Heck, I could probably spend every minute just meeting new people and not get the chance to meet everyone.

So, let's get this out of the way right now. I want to meet you. I would like to meet as many Eve players as humanly possible while I am at Fanfest. So when you see me, and I should be relatively easy to spot - feel free to introduce yourself. In real life I am the kinder, gentler, version of Rixx. So not a pirate at all. lol.

As we get closer I'll be talking more about Fanfest. If you haven't picked up on it yet I am extremely excited about this trip and looking forward to finally getting the chance to go. I was supposed to go many times in the past and Real Life kept pushing me down. And while we can't afford it this year either, we are going anyway. Screw it, you only live once.

So where did Stay Frosty come from?

There are a lot of new players, and I suspect new readers, who may be wondering about the history of Stay Frosty and A Band Apart. The archives here at Eveoganda can be intimidating, deep and extremely well-written - but where to start?

So here is a concise history of the journey that led to the creation of the greatest Pirate/Solo/Small Gang Corporation in the history of Eve Online - Stay Frosty. With links to archival posts that you can read at your leisure.

I started my first Corporation - Inglorious Basterds - when I only had about 6m skillpoints. The idea was to build a High-Sec based mercenary group without any knowledge of how that might work, or why it might work, or anything really. There is a great write up about that here. Obviously that didn't last, but I learned a lot.

I spent a lot of time down in Providence fighting wars, joining corps, flying with great pilots like ProGodLegend, Makalu, and many, many others. At one point I tried again to build a Corporation called Brutal Company - but we got awoxed pretty badly and the whole thing fell apart in less than two weeks. Again, much learned.

Every Corporation I joined, every mistake I made, all gave me great experience, knowledge, and contacts. I learned from every stop along the way, good things and not so good things. But it all got put into the mix. Eventually this all led to a great Corporation called Dissonance. One of the oldest Corporations still running in Eve and a great group of people from whom I learned the most. My time there was always great fun, but it also started me down a new path. A path away from Null Sec and into Low Sec. As I gained confidence as a pilot I increasingly wanted a chance to prove myself. In Syndicate I formed another new Corporation called Lucifer's Hammer.

This was the early days of this blog and the first time I started blending writing, graphics and propaganda together to serve my own ends. Lucifer's grew and we left the Alliance we started with, and joined Rote Kapelle. That didn't go well. Read that one, it is pretty awesome. Then we joined Muppet Ninjas. That also didn't go well. You should really read that one, it only lasted a day! Tired of joining we decided to go our own way and moved to Lisbaetanne in Verge Vendor. Eventually we made the decision to form an Alliance called Burn Away. 

This actually went very well. We happened to be in a great area of Eve at that time. The Tuskers lived in Hevrice which was just two jumps away, and Shadow Cartel was getting up to speed in the area. So we had lots of great fights, good times, and flew together in many awesome gangs. For those that do not believe me, I even wrote propaganda posts about Immortalis in Shadow and The Tuskers while in a competing Corporation! Who does that?!? (Me that is who!)

Then came the Crossroads. A tremendous amount of real life landed on my shoulders and kept pounding me on the head. Catastrophic things. Divorce. Loss of Business. It was a crazy and depressing time. To make a long story short it all led to the collapse of Burn Away and the emptying of Lucifer's Hammer. I won't even bother linking anything about this, it pretty much was this blog for a year or so. I almost quit Eve. But luckily that was April Fools Day.

I joined The Tuskers. This seemed like the right thing to do at the time. You can read a lot of posts from that time and understand that I was very excited about this move. I decided to simplify my Eve and let someone else run things. I'd just log on and play. Mind my own business. I spent an entire year in the Tuskers without any problems to speak of. I logged in and got into fights. I didn't play a lot. But when I did I had fun. You can read the truth of that for yourself during those posts.

One line from that last post stands out in hindsight: "Like many people over the years they often make the mistake in assuming my sometimes irreverent attitude means that I don't take Eve seriously - which is far from the truth. This has caused a few clashes over the past year, but we've all worked those out and moved on."

I just wanted to log in and play. But during that year the Tusker leadership had changed significantly. And the new leadership was not content to let me just log in and play. In fact, it was the opposite. I was unemployed at one point and my Mic was broken. For this I had my roles stripped and was threatened with expulsion. I bought a new Mic. During a conversation regarding the collapse of Burn Away the previous year, a Tusker made the mistake of bringing my two special needs boys into the conversation. Not only did I get extremely upset about this and report it to leadership, I also sent the convo along to CCP. Nothing was done on either end. Another Pirate group broke a 1v1 with me and leadership refused to deal with that incident. These were not small incidents. But, at the time, Eve was not a huge priority in my life.

During the break-up with The Tuskers there was an incredible amount of drama. Some of that was my own creation, I freely admit that. In fact, I admitted it at the time. However, the amount of sheer hatred, anger, station-camping, wars, and threats that I received from people I had flown with for over a year was a shock. I would ask you this, and try to be truthful with yourself. A corp mate openly mocks you and your children. You tell him that he should stop, because they actually did have to go into the Hospital and they are actually troubled because they are on the Autism Spectrum. And not only does he refuse to stop, he refuses to apologize. And your Corporate leaders, who were in the conversation at the time, refuse to do anything about it. So yes, I was a tad bit angry.

And that has been and continues to be the only time since I've been playing Eve that anything about this silly game of ours, which I love dearly, has ever gotten personal.

A short time later I am returning from an engagement with several ships, which I defeated by the way, in my Sacrilege. As I land on my station a Vexor undocks. Two things happen, (1) I get really bad lag, and (2) I explode. No biggie, I dock up and jump into another ship. About five minutes later I get a convo request from the leader of the Tuskers. I'm suddenly getting yelled at, my fit is bad and I was using the wrong ammo! (Duh, I had used up all the proper ammo in the previous fight!) At this point I am livid and I want to quit. Things get a bit heated. Several Tuskers convo me privately and ask that I not quit, in fact how about we use this to get Tusker leader in trouble? This I did not expect. A Coup?

I ended up quitting. I have never, not even to this day, revealed who those Tuskers are that wanted to overthrow the Bully. Nor have I re-printed any of the convos. There would be no point to it, best to let these things fade with time.

I packed up my belongings and flew across the system to the other Station in Hevrice and haven't looked back since. Almost two years ago now. Despite virtually all odds, all opinions, all efforts, and all the anger, Stay Frosty continues to thrive. Over 600 pilots have passed thru our doors, over 200 remain and more join every day. A Band Apart counts around 500 members in total. And we continue to grow, expand, and thrive.

Our Code is clearly printed on our forums. Entire Corporations have been kicked from our Alliance for using profane language. No one is forced to be on comms unless they want to be. Or can be. Our pilots are free to use whatever fucking ammo they want in their ships. I'm more than happy to tell them the right way, but who am I to force anyone to do anything? And everyone has the right to expect the best from each other. We are not perfect, we are not trying to be, but I have never once broken my word. Or tolerated hate.

And we never will.

Think what you want about me. Everything that happens in this game is influenced by what happens in this game, behind this screen, and the real lives that we all must lead. I am no different than you in this regard. There are those that respect that fact, and those that do not. It can cost me everything and I will always land on the side that does.

All the rest? Is just pixels.

The Anakin War

The silly, meaningless so-called "war" with the Bastards has essentially boiled down to our young, inexperienced, extremely enthusiastic non-combat pilots Versus Michael Pancake. (who is a former Stay Frosty pilot for goodness sake!) So that's funny.

Nashh and Ithica admitted they started this "war" so they could shoot our positive sec status pilots, so from their perspective things must be going well. Even though those two are never actually on-line or in space anywhere. I've started calling this the Anakin War because they are killing all our younglings. It started out rather silly, one pirate corp war decc'ing another pirate corp, but now it just continues to get weirder.

And while I'm sure they would be the first to point out that they are 'winning' the war, totals right now stand at about double iskie - aprox 290m to 140m give or take. (Unless you throw in the cost of the War which means we are still ahead, 640m to 290m or so, and that 500m is every week. lolz ) Which is all true. However, if we looked at straight Bastard Vs. Stay Frosty totals we are actually ahead by a nose. Y'know, if we ignored all the younglings scattered about on the floor. (We do out-number them about 5:1)

Ah but Rixxie-poo, we only did this for content. Ah yes, well on that front the War is going extremely well for us. It has been awesome! In fact, this War is the greatest thing to happen to ABA in a few weeks! Our pilots are excited, energetic, and very positive. Everyone has decided to take a break from what they've been doing and wander back down to home base for some pew-pew. Yesterday I spent more time in fleet explaining game mechanics than calling primaries. It has honestly been a great change of pace and a breath of fresh air. Our non-combat pilots are getting much needed experience in combat, combat support, war mechanics, transportation, and everything else. And our younger combat pilots are getting a chance to fly in bigger gangs, learn station camping from our enemies, and watch as they run off unless they have the advantage.

Frankly we've had more fun with Never Surrender this week. Which is saying something since all they do is bring the camp/escalation/links game. But, even so, we've had some awesome fights with them. Heck, when I think back over the last week I remember a bunch of good fights with them and not one with the Bastards. Last night we had a great fight with a dude from Fearless in a Hurricane. Once we managed to explode him he brought out his Machariel, but we never got the chance to catch it. That was more fun.

So five days into the Anakin War I have to give the following grades:

• The Bastards: D-
Seriously. Just undock, fly around, and eventually we'll catch you.

• A Band Apart: A+
Wow, you guys rock! It is incredible how enthusiastic all of you are. Well done.

• Stay Frosty: A+
I love how we are not even doing anything different. That is so us.

Oh well, as long as they want to keep throwing 500m down the toilet, we'll keep the lights on for our members to keep wandering down to Ishomilken for pew-pew. Unlike those poor Jedi Younglings, ours can't be killed. They just keep getting back into more ships.


EDITORS NOTE: The Eveoganda staff here at the World Headquarters apologies for Rixx's complete lack of knowledge when it comes to how much wars actually cost. In fact, no one here knows how much wars cost. We could probably look it up, but in all sincerity, why bother? We do know that it is bigger than a bread-box and probably costs slightly more than a Venti Cappuccino Latte, what more do you need to know?

Ships Used

I happened to take a moment this morning to look at the new BattleClinic Killboard layout. It is certainly much better than it used to be. Despite the fact that it seems to have gone completely wonky on me, dropping me almost 200 places in the rankings and adding about 200 losses, it does have some features that are kind of cool. I'm not going to (once again) rehash my position on Killboards, those should be well known by now. Ok I will, skip the next paragraph if you want.

TL;DR: I don't play for killboards. I play for personal satisfaction which is derived almost entirely on a fight-per-fight basis. All killboards are wonked anyway and none of them agree on numbers, especially for those of us that have played for more than five years. They do represent a way to keep track of progress, records, and achievement in certain aspects of the game. I am not anti-killboard, but I also do not allow them to dictate the way I play the game. I could not care less frankly. Your own feelings may vary, and good for you.

One of the new features is a Ship's Used record, which keeps track of the record per ship and when the last time you used it was. That is pretty awesome in my opinion and none of the other sites have anything like it. For a PvP player like myself, it is rather interesting. I fly a lot of different ships, my own records take 14 pages.

Here are my Top Ten ships used in Eve based on total kills in each:

Sacrilege  374 - 14
Comet  357 - 70
Drake  337 - 42
Slicer  298 - 70
Tristan  155 - 50
Kestrel  106 - 25
Daredevil  93 - 21
Hawk  92 - 17
Hurricane  92 - 13
Dramiel  85 - 19

I'm surprised that the Sac remains at the top of the list. I still use the ship, don't get me wrong, but no where near how often I used to use it. The funny thing about that is that most of those kills came within a very small time-frame, back in 2012 when I used to solo camp Lisb. That was during my "life is hell I may quit Eve at any second I only have ten minutes so I'm shooting everything that comes into system" Phase.

More surprising to me is the Drake. I honestly can't remember flying it anytime during the last few years, but the site says I registered a kill in July last year. I'm not looking that up, but I wonder what that was about?  Who knows. I freely admit to being weird about my ships, I like to mix things up and I get bored flying the same things over and over again. Yesterday alone I flew seven different ships and that is not at all unusual.

The only other thing I can say about the Top Ten is that 70% of them are small ships, so that seems about right. Obviously the Drake and Hurricane reflect my years in Null and the gangs we used to fly around back in the day. During my years in Syndicate especially.

Here is the remaining list of ships that have registered double digit kills:

Astero    82 - 12
Crow      82 - 26
Broadsword  80 - 4
Nightmare     75 - 1
Condor       74-29
Caracal      69-11
Tormentor 64 - 27
Vagabond  63 - 7
Atron    62 -20
Sentinel 61 - 6
Firetail    55 - 5
Manticore    54-26
Rokh    52-2
Taranis    47-16
Stabber Fleet Issue  46-3
Breacher 46-13
Harpy 42-9
Merlin 41-17
Slasher 40-20
Incursus 39-16
Rapier 38-1
Enyo 37-9
Vengeance 36-18
Hookbill 36-15
Ares 35-2
Tempest 35-4
Zealot 35-5
Thorax 33-3
Worm 32-3
Wolf 31-7
Rifter 31-17
Moa 30-6
Brutix 29-4
Jaguar 28-10
Sleipnir 27-1
Exequror 26-2
Executioner 26-5
Sabre 25-2
Scorpion 25-7
Abaddon 24-1
Harbinger 23-1
Rook 22-2
Punisher 22-7
Ishkur 22-8
Thrasher 21-9
Algos 21-8
Devoter 19-2
Tornado 17-2
Flycatcher 15-4
Vexor 15-3
Coercer 15-9
Corax 15-4
Tengu 14-0
Cyclone 13-4
Succubus 13-1
Curse 12-4
Myrmidon 12-2
Garmur 12-3
Maller 11-4
Pilgrim 10-4
Cynabal 10-4
Retribution 10-3

Less than 10 kills each: Osprey Navy Issue,Nighthawk,Blackbird,Rupture,Catalyst,Cormorant,Lachesis,Dragoon,Gila,Machariel,Raven,Typhoon,Ferox,Heretic,Dominix ,Maelstrom,Omen Navy Issue,Oracle,Cruor,Gnosis,Stabber,Talos,Venture,Vexor Navy Issue,Megathron,Talwar,Ishtar,Nemesis,Maulus,Arazu,Scythe,Caracal Navy Issue,Kitsune,Anathema,Prophecy,Malediction,Deimos,Griffin,Absolution,Falcon,Armageddon,Brutix Navy Issue ,Hurricane Fleet Issue,Astarte,Eos,Ashimmu,Augoror,Raptor,Phantasm,Hound,Cerberus

Meh, it's all killboard porn I suppose. But it is interesting. I fly a lot of ships.

Rixx in the Movies

I've been putting Rixx into movie posters for a long time now. Honestly I don't know why exactly. I have fun doing it. I love movies and Eve, so it seems like a natural thing. Plus there are times during the day when I don't have enough time to log into Eve, or do much of anything - so this kind of work is fun, easy, and enjoyable.

I have an Album that features some of them. I'll be loading more as soon as I can find the ones that are missing.

I do these totally for myself. I couldn't care less if anyone else enjoys them, or if you find them egotistical, or whatever. They aren't anything more than me having a good time with my in-game character. Honestly, I don't know why no one else does this with their avatars. So you are the weird one in my humble opinion.

I enjoy stretching the limits, trying new things, and expanding the milieu in which Rixx finds himself as a fictional character. That's why I created him after all.

Onward and upward.

Drifter Wallpaper

I figure if the Drifter Doods take over New Eden next week maybe I'll be on the good list and be spared the horrible genocide they have planned for the rest of ya.

Just in case.

Step Brothers Movie

John Paul Jones

John Paul Jones found himself in a bit of trouble on September 23rd, 1779. His ship, the Bon Homme Richard, was losing a fight with the British ship Serapis. And by losing I mean it was sinking, the decks were awash in blood, and it was on fire. Oh, and half his crew was already dead. More were wounded. The fight was over. Seriously.

So the British Captain Pearson yelled over, "Dude, seriously? You should surrender." I've always loved this moment in time. I imagine the sheer chaos, the noise, the clatter, the smell, the sinking ship... and Mr. Jones standing there letting the British Captain's words wash over him. He could have said anything at that point. Certainly surrender was the smart move. But instead, he looked around at his men, and he yelled back, "I have not yet begun to fight!"

And these were not just brave words. He actually meant it. He rammed his ship right smack into the Serapis, had his sharpshooters clear the decks, and then they all jumped over there and kicked some serious ass. Like Pirates! Not like Sailors. They took over the British ship and sailed her to Amsterdam, the local drug-dealers called him "The Terror of the English"

Dude had some serious balls.


So the other day I find out that another Pirate group that happens to also reside in our System is going to War Dec us. I understand the need of these little groups to prove themselves, to gain some public relations, to poke the tiger on social media, and try to make a name for themselves by going up against us. I get it. But like Captain Pearson in the story above, they are making some pretty tragic mistakes. A Band Apart is not the big British juggernaut in the story - we are the Americans.

First of all, the entire idea of one Pirate group declaring war on another one is tusker level ludicrous. Even worse than that. When the tuskers declared War on us we were just a Corporation of maybe one-hundred pilots. But at least they had some cause for station-camping. (As dumb as those reasons turned out to be) In this case the 'reason' is even more ludicrous. Apparently having free-reign to shoot Stay Frosty pilots isn't good enough, the other guys want to be able to shoot our young/newb/non-combat pilots as well. They've clearly stated this as the reason they've declared war.

Ok, I guess I get that. I mean, if you can't beat them the normal way - what else is left? We did just publicly add an entire Corporation of young players to our Alliance. I suppose that is just too tempting for some people. Sorta like a wooden ship full of War Newbs?

So fine. Wars are not Stay Frosty's play-style and ABA is spread out all over the map, but our players are more than willing to come home for a few weeks and have some fun. And it'll be great experience for a lot of our people who may not have had a chance at this before. Already some good lessons are being taught.

I personally think it is silly. But that doesn't mean we won't. I'm sure John Paul would have rather have been doing something else on September 23rd. Maybe he had a hot wife back home, or fields to plant, or goodness knows what. But that didn't mean he couldn't take some time to smack down an arrogant British Captain.

I'm not bothering to respond much on Social Media, and I won't be writing about it much here on the blog. I'll leave that to other members of ABA if they want.

I'd much rather be catching Caracal Navy Issues with my Tristan. But if its War you want then it is War you'll get.

We have not yet begun to fight.

And we all know how that turned out.

Svipul: A Life in Pictures

In the Summer of 1917 Nikola Tesla made perhaps his greatest, and most tragic, invention. An Autonomous Machine he dubbed S.V.I.P.U.L. (Sentient Voltaic Inclined Propulsive Unit Long-lasting).

A rare photo from that glorious Summer
While Tesla was away however, Edison's Goon Squad destroyed the laboratory and put to fire all of the documentation and plans for Tesla's genius. It was rumored in the days following that SVIPUL had managed to escape on its own - but no one even believed in a SVIPUL in the first place. Obviously Tesla was insane. Edison said so.

Reports began to surface later that year of a mechanical man working with the Americans in the trenches in France. Such reports were cast aside as the ravings of soldiers suffering from Shell Shock and no one truly believed them. So yesterday I spent hours pouring thru recently declassified government documents and managed to find a single grainy photo.

Svipul? Or a trick of the camera? You decide.
I believe. In fact, if one is willing to connect the threads, a complete picture starts to emerge. Svipul is real and living among us - much further back than modern historians are willing to believe. The proof is right there.

After the war it appears that Svipul wandered the globe before finally settling into a life in the United States. Documents from those days are hard to come by, but we are certain he worked and paid his own way. Even during the Great Depression, Svipul spent time on the Hoover Damn project.

Svipul was a favorite with everyone he worked with
There are countless other stories from these times that we could recount, and for a complete history please pick up my new book called: Svipul The Complete History from Amazon. It is chock full of delightful pictures, first-person accounts, and plenty of fabricated documentation.

It is however, Svipul's years in Hollywood that most people care about. Svipul had served as the inspiration for Fritz Lang's Metropolis, but the main role in the movie had gone to a female robot instead. It wasn't until the 1950's that he entered the public eye. His earliest role was in the television series Lost in Space.

With his now famous catchphrase
While the role gave him some measure of fame, it proved to be a double-edged sword and Svipul found it difficult to find new work. He had been typecast. In the mid-70's George Lucas gave serious consideration to using him in Star Wars.

But Svipul proved difficult to work with on set and the part went to the Metropolis' Robot's Son C-3PO. Heartbroken Svipul took the only thing left to him, a Disney film called the Black Hole were he played the bad guy robot Maximilian.

Svipul was the best thing about the movie!
And then Svipul got his biggest break to date. John Badham, whom Svipul had once pulled from a burning building in Los Angeles, decided to make a comedy based loosely on Svipul's life. A modern re-telling in the way that only 1980's cinema could do.

The extra "L" was thought to make the name easier for American audiences.
The movie bombed at the box-office. And while it would gain much love on VHS later, Svipul never saw a dime. These were dark years. Drugs. Homelessness. SiFi Conventions. Bottom of the barrel stuff. He made do with what he could, primarily as a guest on children's cartoon shows.

I still have his action figure!
The generation that grew up on bad 80's science-fiction grew up and maintained a love for Svipul. Soon those "kids" were making movies of their own and Svipul started to gain more and more popularity. First getting cast in the semi-successful adaptation of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

Again, he was probably the best thing about the movie
And then in Michael Bay's Transformers, reprising the role he had originally made famous in those cartoons from decades before.

Once more, the best thing about the movie

Which brings us to today. As Svipul nears 100 years of life, possibly his biggest break is hitting the screen soon.

From all accounts this will be his masterpiece.

It is also worth noting that Svipul's design has been lovingly transformed into a ship design inside a computer game called "Eve Online". But that is certainly a minor note in such an amazing life as his.

The Lost Patrol

Lost Patrol Wallpaper
Click to download to your desktop

Taking a break today. Enjoy the silly wallpaper picture. 

Beyond the Screen: Joffy Aulx-Gao

I talk a lot about the real people that live on the other side of Eve's screen. I've always been fascinated by people and Eve is certainly one of the greatest tools ever invented for meeting people from all over the world. In my years of playing Eve I've known a Cucumber farmer in Romania, a Rancher in South Africa, a student in Corsica, soldiers, ship captains, oil-rig workers, scientists - name an occupation or a location - and someone there plays Eve it seems.

When I started Stay Frosty one of the very first pilots to show an interest was a very young pilot named Joffy Aulx-Gao. He had only been playing Eve for a few short months when he joined Stay Frosty, but his enthusiasm was apparent from the first. There are people you meet in this game that you just know are going to be special if they stick with it. I knew Joffy was special, even before I knew just how special he was.

Years ago, out here in real life, I was fortunate to meet a very special man who worked for the Pittsburgh Pirates. I won't mention his name, he has since passed away, but he was their top ticket seller. He also had Duchenne's Muscular Dystrophy. Together with some great help from the MDA, we created an event called the Muscle Team here in Pittsburgh that brought famous athletes together with children that suffered from the various incarnations of that affliction for a night. Over the six years that I served as a National Vice President of the MDA we raised well over 3 million dollars for research and other support for the MDA. That man became a good friend of mine and I learned a tremendous amount from him, and all of those I was lucky enough to know thru that experience.

This is me with James Harrison at the MDA Event
I mention all of this, not to take away from what I'm about to tell you, but to set the stage properly. Joffy quickly became extremely good at PvP in Eve. He won several of our monthly Hick's Awards for total kills and total solo kills. He became rather famous for his amazing Tristan and then Astero solo kills. And he also became an important part in everything that Stay Frosty did. From helping with events, to organizing, serving as our Diplomat, and essentially becoming one of the core members of our rapidly growing family.

More importantly, he became my good friend.

At some point during that first Summer Joffy confided in me. He isn't a normal Eve player you see. Joffy has a form of Muscular Dystrophy called Pompe disease. For the most part Joffy is confined to his bed, primarily because of problems with his back. His motion is rather limited, primarily to his hands, fingers and face. He has had to innovate a bit to make Eve work for him. He's had to manage the UI in order to minimize the amount of mouse travel he needs to perform and it is virtually impossible for him to use key-commands while playing and working the mouse.

Joffy's squished UI

I'm going to let him tell it in his own words:

"I can only move my hands, fingers and face so it was challenging to play EVE in the beginning but I learned to do it better using only a mouse. First thing I did to become faster in PVP was to set up my UI so I had less mouse travel and it actually worked fine, next thing was to get a better mouse that I could adjust to my needs so I bought a Razor Ouroboros because it can be adjusted in size and mouse speed.

And of course lots of practice, theoretical knowledge isn’t enough when it comes to PVP, you need to learn it the hard way by dying and getting used to it.

When I don’t play PC i’m a professional handicap bowler, this year goes good so far with an average on 165. Last year me and my friend came in 3rd but that’s not good enough. XD

I never let my disease get me down, I fight back!"

One of the hardest things for me has been knowing this about Joffy all this time and having to keep my mouth shut about it. Especially when commenters on his videos make fun of him for not using key commands, or someone from the Tuskers does the same in local, or the numerous times it has happened right here on this blog. But I promised him I wouldn't say anything and I didn't. It was his right if he wanted people to know, or if he didn't.

Recently Joffy has moved over to our WH Corporation and started living out of the Wormhole. He hasn't said it, but I suspect it has become harder for him lately. When he disappears from the game, or from comms, or from chat for any length of time - I worry. I can't help it. But I also know he is incredibly brave and wants to do this for anyone else out there that is in a similar situation. Anyone that faces their own challenges. As I said at the very top, Eve is a great way to socialize, meet, and explore the world - even when you are limited in some way in real life. Anything is possible.

Joffy wanted me to know that isn't his dog

Beyond the screen are real people living very real lives. I strongly believe it is important to never forget that. At the end of this past week of talking about how we treat each other in-game, about where lines might be and where they might not be, about building places in-game and out, and of hearing news of friends that are no longer with us - I think this is the most important lesson of all. We are all real people.

Joffy is a fighter. A Pirate. A PvPer. A great player in space and in the Alliance. He has come a long way since those first few months and I've been proud to fly along-side him since day one.

Keep the courage my friend.

Planetary Interaction

Planetary Interaction Wallpaper
Click to download

I know it doesn't make any sense. But is sure is beautiful. I was flying my Garmur around yesterday like a Jet Fighter, or a Stealth Fighter more accurately. Looking at that little window and thinking about Rixx up there with the controls plugged into his head. And I know what he'd be thinking. He'd be very tempted to dive a local planet and skim across the surface at Mach 12 or so. Scaring the crap out of the locals.

And, I had to admit, that sure sounded like a lot of fun.

Goodnight Lex

I received some incredibly sad news this morning. Long time friend and fellow Capsuleer Lex Fasces passed away last night. Logging off for good just shortly after logging off of Eve. It was sudden, without warning and that's about all the details I know. You can read the Failheap Thread for yourself.

Name a Pirate group and Lex probably had something to do with it. RvB, Muppet Ninjas, Tuskers, Stay Frosty, Kadavr Black Guard, Lucifer's Hammer, and of course New Eden Renegades. Lex regularly posted on Failheap and other forums, was an incredibly gifted theory-crafter, had no patience for inept a-holes, and could PvP like a freaking madman. He was at once a nut-bag and also one of the best people I've known in Eve. I considered him a friend. I told him many times that Eve was not the same without him in it, and I meant it every time. It wasn't the same. And it won't be ever again.

If you didn't know him, or he put you off from knowing him, you are the worst for it. Lex and Cyber joined my Corporation Lucifer's Hammer back in the Spring of 2010 down in Syndicate. They both taught me a lot about PvP, Piracy, Lunacy, and how those three things go together. Essentially they showed me how to not give a damn and how to play Eve like a game. And have fun. And that was the thing, no matter what, Lex was always a good time.

We went on a merry rampage thru Syndicate, Rote Kapelle, Muppet Ninjas and then finally formed our own Alliance - Burn Away. Then things kind of exploded. And some details that I couldn't say at the time, like the fact that one of the people in the Corporation was actually my real life Son. And that he totally screwed us all one weekend. And Burn Away sorta fell apart after that. Yeah, I felt pretty horrible about how all that went down. I got a chance to finally explain later on and I hope he understood. I think he did. Either way he and Cyber would show up and disappear again here and there. Joining Stay Frosty for a time and then, most recently, really starting New Eden Renegades back up again.

I have a lot of great Lex stories, but I'm going to keep those. It is weird losing people in Eve. I never met Lex in person. And yet I knew a lot about him. It just leaves you with a strange feeling. I only wish the best to his friends and family. He was way to young for this stupid crap to happen.

Fuck you Death.

Our Better Angels

“The thoughts of worldly men are for ever regulated by a moral law of gravitation, which, like the physical one, holds them down to earth. The bright glory of day, and the silent wonders of a starlit night, appeal to their minds in vain. There are no signs in the sun, or in the moon, or in the stars, for their reading. They are like some wise men, who, learning to know each planet by its Latin name, have quite forgotten such small heavenly constellations as Charity, Forbearance, Universal Love, and Mercy, although they shine by night and day so brightly that the blind may see them; and who, looking upward at the spangled sky, see nothing there but the reflection of their own great wisdom and book-learning…

It is curious to imagine these people of the world, busy in thought, turning their eyes towards the countless spheres that shine above us, and making them reflect the only images their minds contain…So do the shadows of our own desires stand between us and our better angels, and thus their brightness is eclipsed."

- Charles Dickens, Barnaby Rudge

Lincoln is trying to write his first Inaugural address to the nation, an important speech if he is to save the nation. He shows the draft he has been working on to William Seward the Secretary of State. Seward recommends that Lincoln try to end the speech a bit more conciliatory and he sketches out a few suggestions. We know all of this because these back and forth draft notes between the two men still exist. Seward's notes include the words, "better angels", which he most likely remembered from the Dickens excerpt above.

This week I opened the doors to two brave writers who expanded upon some themes that I brought up earlier in the week. I strongly believe these are important issues that should be debated, discussed, and argued in public. I also know that there are no sides to these issues, there cannot be. Anger and hate do not have a side. There is no argument for them. Just as there is no valid stance for Evil. Expedience and convenience are not valid arguments for doing wrong, they never have been. Evil often hides behind rationalization and crowd mentalities to perpetrate vileness, but the acts themselves remain vile.

Inside of Eve I am a Pirate. Every day I hunt my prey. I have, at one time or another, fully exploited the game mechanics for my own personal gain. I do so as often as I can. I prey upon the weak, the young, the old, the veteran, the experienced, I hunt them all. Inside of Eve I show no prejudice when it comes to my own play-style. Everyone in space is equal. This is how I choose to play the game. As a game. As a game Eve is morally ambiguous. By their very nature most games are. We are, after all, talking about digital representations of light. Flickers of numbers bouncing against our retinas. Their is no right and wrong there, only light and dark.

And yet, there are people on the other side of each of those screens. People whose eyes reflect the self-same pixels as do mine. People from all walks of life, social, economic, political, racial and yes, even gender backgrounds. And, like with anything, once we add people to the mix - things get complicated.

I think back to that moment when Lincoln was desperately trying to find the words to save the nation. By 1861 everyone with any intelligence knew that Slavery was doomed. The rest of the world was already moving towards this, or would soon enough. Those in the South knew this as well. Lincoln's call toward their "better angels" would go unheeded and shortly America would fight the only war ever needed to bring about the end of Slavery. A horribly costly and useless war, whose echoes continue even today. The worst part about the American Civil War has to be its pointlessness. And its waste.

This is how I look at it. I am no Saint. I have never claimed to be. I enjoy a good Troll. I enjoy a good laugh. I really enjoy playing Eve. And, at times, I will call those people out that deserve to be called out - within the context of that world. For me, it has never been personal. It has never once been about the person on the other side of the screen. And that is where I have always drawn the line. It seems a fairly reasonable point of demarcation. Man, woman, child - whoever is on the other side - is a person. A person I most likely do not know. A person with their own lives, their own challenges, hardships, expectations, baggage, and rights. Just as any other person, in any other context.

Because Eve is full of people, Eve is full of the same problems as the rest of the world. In the greater context, it is no worse or no better than any other system in which people interact. Because it is a system in which people interact. Within that system there is room enough for all of us to co-exist and thrive together or apart. For various opinions, outlooks, and social norms to flourish, thrive, and wither away. Eve is only a reflection of the world in which it exists. And that world is the one we all must live in. Together.

Personally I feel, as I did earlier this week, that a paradigm has shifted. And perhaps that is only because my own world inside Eve has. I freely admit this may be the case. I may be clouded by my own perceptions. I often am. As we all are. But I would like to think that more and more of us are striving toward our better Angels. One has to believe this, doesn't one? If you don't, then what is left to you?

I think it is amazing that excerpt from Dickens has so much to do with the Stars in the night sky. That he felt, as so many of us have, inspired by the vastness of space. It is that longing, that poetry, that desire that we all share. The spirit of adventure, the challenge of the unknown, the face of the creator - that brought us all to Eve in the first place. That sense of wonder. Why else are we all playing a game about spaceships? We could be doing anything.

And maybe, just maybe, this is what we should all keep in mind. We do have something in common after all. We share something that unites us, no matter where we come from, what we've been thru, who we are, we all share one thing in common above all else.

We all play Eve.

And maybe, just maybe, if we start there the rest won't seem so hard. I believe that.

Tristans Signature Wallpaper

Tristans Signature Wallpaper
Click to download various and sundry sizes

I was flying the Tristan tonight in Eve and scanning down ships, when the light hit it a certain way. I was taken by the beauty of the ship, like an ornament, a filament of angles and curves and weirdness. I didn't set out to make a painting, a digital poem, but I think I came close to doing so.

I remain extremely interested in finding the expressions from within the world of Eve. If only for my own personal pleasure. I hope there are others that share my enthusiasm. I want to do more.

Vengeance Signature Wallpaper

Vengeance Signature Wallpaper
Click to y'know, do clicky things

I like to interject images of awesome spaceships just to remind us that spaceships are awesome. 

Guest Post: Toxicity in Corp Culture

It would seem my post earlier this week continues to resonate with my readers and echo far and wide. Today we have another reader that would like to share some important thoughts regarding how all of this plays out with Corporate Culture inside of Eve.

I've had my own challenges with this in my own Eve career. Just this week ABA parted ways with NER over this issue and went our separate ways. Once, years ago, I had Eve running in my office when an employee walked in at the same time someone on comms (which had been silent) suddenly yelled, "Faggot!" at full volume. That took some explaining and has contributed greatly to my personal aversion to using comms. I've been burnt many times. My children, two of whom are special needs, have been insulted. And every other epitaph known to man has been used against me at one time or another. Sometimes with my children in the next room.

All of this to set the stage for the following Guest Post.


The Hard Work Ahead: The Catch-22 of Toxicity in Corp Culture
by Guillome Renard

In discussions with the leadership of my former corporation about toxic language, there was a tension that was identified between the amalgam of security, activity, and content on the one hand, and positive culture on the other.  The argument in favor of retaining toxic people was, essentially this: “we need their presence in X timezone/activity/hosting/skills or we'll get sieged out/lose prominence/failscade/bad things.”  Corp leadership would often express sympathy for the offended members of the corp - women and minorities mostly - but shrug their shoulders and insist that nothing practical could be done without endangering the corp.

This is not the real Catch-22, however. This is just a convenient illusion that people use to avoid doing the hard work of creating positive culture. It’s not a deliberate obfuscation, either - these people actually believe this tension exists, but it doesn't. There is a tension, however, and it's subtle.

A year ago, my old corp had four women, out of 200ish characters. Today it has none. Two were thrown out, one quit EVE because she was tired of being angry and frustrated when she was trying to have fun (remember this sentiment, you'll see it again soon), and I'm not sure about the fourth, she was mostly in a different timezone from me. Rape jokes, homophobic slurs, misogyny, and apologism for these and more all took their toll, day to day. After a couple of threadnaughts the corp did do away with the term ‘rapecage’ as well as racially-based slurs, but language like ‘faggot’ and the subtler forms of misogyny were permitted to continue unchecked (and indeed unexamined).

The third, though, the one who left because she was tired of feeling demeaned, tired of being reminded that the world considered her a second class citizen, was well liked by the membership of the corp from what I saw. There weren't any cases of direct harassment, either. Such things would've swiftly been dealt with. In fact, I feel quite confident that the people who were making her experience so miserable had absolutely no idea they were doing so. I believe this about them, despite having told them that their behavior had such an effect myself, despite /her/ telling them as much, and despite others still telling them the same thing. Such is the power of human denial.

The last woman in the corp was kicked out, ostensibly for 'not being sufficiently engaged' when she was on. Even those sympathetic to the fact that women get shit piled on them day in and day out will buckle when 'she isn't sufficiently engaged with corp activities' comes out. Internet personality, math geek, and artist Vi Hart nails this phenomenon in one tweet:
The blame is always laid on the people driven out - never on the people doing the driving.

THIS is the real Catch-22: Attracting diverse people to the corp requires a non-toxic player group, and getting a non-toxic player group requires attracting diverse people to the corp. So long as this circle is allowed to exist - so long as people continue to allow corrosive, toxic atmosphere (and people) to dishearten people - corp culture in EVE (or anywhere else, for that matter) will not improve.

I am very sympathetic to people who look upon these issues and recognize that something is wrong, but don't feel like anything can be done to help. That was me, three years ago. There's plenty of ink spilled on the internet about what you can and should be doing already, but not much of that is EVE-specific, so I'm going to focus on what you can do in your EVE corp.

You can listen, and you should. Huge swaths of toxic language goes on simply because it's reflexive for us. We don't even realize we're doing it. I sure didn't, until a couple of years ago. Once you look for this stuff, you'll start seeing it everywhere, and that awareness will do a lot of the curbing on it's own.

You can confront it, and you should. It feels like drama (because it is drama), and it's exhausting, often thankless work. But consider this: as miserable as you feel stepping up - you have the option not to. The folks to whom this stuff is toxic don't have a choice, and this is their every day. Personally, I don't know how they cope - just a couple of days of heated threadnaught at my old corp would completely exhaust me.

You can lead, and you should. Remember that folks to whom this stuff is toxic have learned, from repeated experiences, that speaking up gets them nothing but trouble, flames, and witch hunts. You'll see plenty of this when you confront it.  If you're in leadership, you need to ask yourself: is this person disengaged from the corp because they're a bad fit for whatever you do? Or are they disengaged because there's a toxic atmosphere that alienates them? If its legitimately the former, then maybe they shouldn't be in your corp. If it's the latter - they aren't the problem and tossing them out won't solve the problem. If you're not in leadership, you may find yourself facing blowback or inaction from leadership. At that point, you need to walk away. Remaining, unless you're going to confront this stuff, becomes tacit endorsement in the eyes of both the victims and the perpetrators.

There are places in EVE where positive culture is the norm. Many of them are not perfect, I'm sure. To be honest, the corp I've recently left is doing better than many others I've encountered - just not enough for me to be comfortable staying there.  This notion that toxic people have to be tolerated because without them we don't have enough pilots is hogwash - the only people who need that to be the paradigm are the toxic people themselves.

PS FROM RIXX: As always I demand civility in discourse here on Eveoganda. Any hateful, vile, hurtful, or otherwise ignorant language will be deleted. The final judge of which is me.

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Guest Post: Being the Bad Guy

Over the years I've published many "guest posts" from players and authors that expand on themes or thoughts that I think are important and interesting to the larger community. These are players who feel compelled to write, but perhaps don't want a full-time blog of their own to do so. Please contact me if you have something relevant you'd like to say.

Today's guest post comes to us from Opeth Ivey, a young player currently plying the Faction Warfare lanes of Low Sec - who thought yesterday's post deserved some additional thoughts.


Being the bad guy
by Opeth Ivey

Contrary to popular belief in the EVE universe being the bad guy does not mean you have to be a dick. I know this may come as a shock to some players, but it is true.

A long time ago when I first started playing EVE I didn't have a clue about anything. I was just running the tutorials when someone contacted me and asked if I wanted to join a corporation. Sure why not I replied, I could sure use the help. So for the next few weeks I spent the time with corp mates running missions, learning to mine, and generally trying to figure out my place in the game.

About two weeks later our corp got war decd. This was a long time ago so I don’t recall who the Merc company was that decided out new tiny corp needed a lesson in EVE, but I remember our experienced CEO telling us, just don't undock and feed them kills. I remember thinking how do I play the game if I can’t undock. I didn’t have any alts at this point so I was extremely upset. When you first start playing EVE you take everything personal for some reason, and I think I still have guys from that merc corp on my watch list even though I never saw one in space during the war. Why? Because I never undocked.

After the War a bunch of us wanted to know how we could defend ourselves, so if it happened again we could do something about it. So our corp CEO took us out to give us some PVP training. Thinking back now it’s obvious he had never really had any PVP experience other than large fleet stuff, but to us at the time it was awesome. So armed with our fresh knowledge of PVP, and cabin fever from the war, a few of us set out to find some rats in a low sec system near our home system. What could go wrong?

Three guys with mining skills, and horrible fits flying cruisers that they couldn’t even fit fully were going to take on some low sec belt rats. Well it took around 10 minutes for us to get jumped, and we were all wiped out. I was so angry that this guy would do this that I sent an angry message to him about how awesome he was being totally sarcastic. To my surprise he responded with friendly words of advice and an offer to help. We talked for around 10 minutes about skill paths and how to properly fit my ship and ended with a fly safe.

This interaction completely changed the game for me. I no longer took it so seriously, and personal when I lost a ship, I realized that they guy on the other side was just another player like me trying to play his game, and even willing to help me get better at mine. From this point on I was hooked, and wanted to find a corporation to teach me PVP, something I never thought I would want to do.

So why is this story relevant? Well since that encounter I have played several alts trying out all forms of play available in EVE. I credit it all to that one encounter with a kind pirate. I have had a gank alt/ Awoxer character, and even updated a blog from time to time about his exploits. I have a indy alt, a PVP alt, and I have participated in large scale PVP events, faction warfare, solo roams, small gang roams, null roams, worm hole ops, just about everything except living in Null sec. I have had more freighters and hauling ships ganked than I can count including several billion isk jump freighters, had all manner of mining barges ganked, lost hundreds of PVP ships, and killed hundreds more. Each time this stuff happened my reaction was tempered by that one original encounter and the understanding that everyone is just playing to have fun. Most encounters end up turning into friendships, or at least mutual respect from both parties.

Every once in a while I like to sample other space games in particular. And this is where all this becomes relevant. I was an alpha and beta tester for Elite Dangerous. A great game if you haven’t tried it. I spent a lot of time on forums reporting bugs and making devolvement suggestions. My hope was always that Elite’s universe would be as open and vibrant, with a lot the same play options you have with EVE. Reading the forums I could see that I was in the extreme minority on this. In fact the moment EVE was mentioned on the forums the venom just flowed about griefing this, and ganking that, and how it was just a game of assholes. I wish I could say that was just one thread, but it was any thread where EVE play style was brought up at all. This just made me so sad. All these potential EVE players experiences soiled by perceived griefing.

I know many reading this would say well screw them, we don’t need more carebears, and I don’t disagree with that sentiment. But I think that all those potential customers just thought they wanted to be carebears because they never had the chance to see there was any other play styles with nice players they could relate to. I vowed to log on to EVE and see why this perception exists and how it could be changed.

I pulled my Faction Warfare alt out of his corp and headed off to high sec to see what could be done. I found a group called the high Sec Militia that were actively trying to fight against hauler and mining ganks in high sec. I had no idea that anything like this even existed in EVE. A group actually trying to be the good guys. How cool. I joined up and started actively hunting the usual ganking suspects like CODE and Goons. Trying to stop ganks in Uedama.

I soon realized that most of the guys in this movement are new players who were mission runners, or miners who got the bug for EVE but, want to stop the evil griefing that they perceive. There is little organization to the movement, and the guys who really know what they are doing have trouble getting everyone on the same page. So this rag tag group of relative newbies, most with almost no PVP experience, are trying to take on large  groups of players who are highly skilled and well oiled machines, at the mechanics of what they are doing. They have been doing it for years they should be.

Turns out its extremely difficult to stop the ganks. The mechanics of the game are just not in favor of trying to be the good guy. Which probably explains why I had never heard of this play style. It’s really not very viable. In order for you to even have a chance to be a good guy you eventually have to resort to counter ganking to overcome the limitations of the mechanics available. This shouldn’t be. But what really clued me in as to why so many are turned off by EVE was just reading local. These guys were just ravenous. The worst part is even the leadership was involved. I thought ok maybe its just the mob in uedama, so I went to other systems where it was just small gang miner ganking, and the same stuff was going on. Why? Seriously.

I don’t have any issues with ganking, or awoxing or any nefarious play styles. I think they make EVE more awesome than any other sandbox game out there. But playing the bad guy does not mean you have to be a dick to people. When you blow up someone you can still be nice. You might just sell someone on the game for good. Leadership needs to be a part of the solution and not part of the problem. The sort of mean spirited stuff that’s in local should not be tolerated by any FC. And don’t tell me that you can’t do anything about. It. If someone doesn’t like it then tell them they don’t fly with you. I’ve seen FCs do it before. We are all grown men/women.

Be a bad guy who encourages carebears to fight back by helping them figure out how to fit ships better, manually fly their ship, how to get their pod out. I mean really, doesn’t that make EVE a better game than berating them and embarrassing them in local, when you know dam well the mechanics, and experience are all in your favor. Do you guys watch videos of teens beating up special needs kids and cheer and laugh? I doubt it. So why would you want to perpetrate that sort of behavior in your fleets? You guys need the High sec Militia. EVE needs good guys and bad guys. Carebears who feel wronged need a place to turn that may just turn them into PVPers instead of carebears. I don’t think Code and Goons guys are trying to destroy the game I love like many of the guys in the militia do. I know they are just having fun. Most times at others expense. That’s fine, but do it nicely, and let the victim see the person on the other side of the keyboard. Then maybe these carebears will gain some understanding, and respect. All the current behavior if continued is only going to lead to is some sort of major nerf of the bad guy play style eventually. Just like they are doing for awoxing in the next update. I don’t want that, and I am sure you guys don’t either. So please be bad as hell, but don’t be a dick.

I would like to just mention one particularly bad mechanic that if tweaked might at least give the militia a fighting chance. The bumping mechanic needs to be changed. There is no possible reason why this is not considered a hostile ace that should either damage the bumpers ship significantly, or give them a suspect criminal timer. The reason this is relevant is because the bumper can bump a freighter completely off the gate grid and out of range of gate guns and local concord. That in and of itself is not even almost realistic, but on the few occasions that the freighter has been saved by remote repping it. The bumper just bumps it some more and then they get it on round two. The only way to stop it is to gank the bumper. Which goes against being the good guy. It just shouldn’t be the only way.

I suspect I will really hear about it from the trolls who will say I’m just crying and these are such sweet tears. If you think that then you just haven gotten my point. I love EVE. I want to see people make it better for everyone. No matter the play style.