Something Rixx Javix Will Like



UPDATE: So it came to my attention that during the latest Jeff Raider Show (Episode 9), which is a great show and I highly recommend it. This happened:

(Grrr, for some reason Blogger is being stoopid. I'll get this sorted shortly.)


At around the 1:07:15 mark CCP Fozzie and CCP Masterplan are reviewing the new Navy Electronic Warfare Frigates when it becomes time to discuss the new Navy Maulus. Not only is this exciting, more new ships are always a good thing, but when it comes time to tell us about the additional bonuses the ship gets for Warp Scramble strength, CCP Fozzie can't resist himself:

"But it also has a bonus to Warp Scrambler strength, so you can catch people with Warp Core Stabs. Which I think is something that Rixx Javix is really going to like."
Cue laughter.

I admit it, I laughed also. This reminded me of the Low Sec Roundtable at Fanfest when Fozzie made a un-prompted joke about me and WCS. That was also a funny moment. During Fanfest I pretty much made an annoyance of myself with Fozzie, Masterplan, and any other Devs I talked to about the problem regarding these modules. The great thing about talking face to face with your heroes (and let's face it, Devs are our heroes!) is that the conversations are totally devoid of the trappings of posture that we all take when we are grinding axes out here on this side of the fence. At those moments it is just two fans of Eve speaking to each other. This is one big reason why I would encourage any Eve player to make the trip, in person you understand that we are ALL fans of Eve. Even those that work on the game.

The point I made in person is that while I obviously make a lot of "hay" out here about WCS, the only real issue I have with them is the lack of a reasonable counter. Every thing in Eve has a reasonable counter. And don't even start with putting multiple scrams on your ships, I do that all the time and there is nothing reasonable about it. (To a slightly lesser degree it is also the problem with off-grid links!) Having to seriously neuter my own ship in order to counter something that I may or may not encounter is not a counter. It is over-compensation that leaves me vulnerable to every other ship in the game.

When we talked about it they all agreed that this was not optimal game design. And we discussed several alternatives, none of which involved banning them from the game by the way. Although that would be easier.

So is the new Maulus the answer? Maybe. At the very least it will swing the arms of balance back towards the middle. At the very least it puts a weapon in our hands that we can use for its intended purpose. Which is all any of us out here fighting every day really wanted. Give us the tools and we can pretty much figure anything out on our own.

So yes, this is news that I really like. And thank you.

So what can I bug you about at the next Fanfest?


PS: The fan-boy in me loves the fact that my posters frame almost every shot in the o7 Show. There are times during close-ups that my signature is visible right above someone's shoulder. How awesome is that!?! lol.



Broadcast 4 Reps



Awhile back Coffee Rocks asked if I'd like to participate in this project and, of course, I agreed without hesitation. Not only do I strongly believe in the message, but I've also had friends who have sadly taken their own lives. I once had to carry a friend to a Hospital (which was luckily only a few blocks away) because they had taken a bottle of pills. Fortunately they made it thru that moment.

We all have our moments. We are human after all. If you are in the midst of one it can truly seem as if no one cares. I can assure you that there are those that do. Don't suffer in silence, reach out to someone and I think you will be surprised by just how much they do care. Eve can be a very dark place, but it is only a game. Life is not a game, and when it gets dark you might need someone - perhaps just to listen.

Keep the courage.



Eve Vegas Keynote



Anyone expecting huge earth-shattering announcements at a player-meet will be disappointed, I think CCP has proven over the years that they reserve those kind of things for Fanfest. Still, this is an excellent overview of changes we knew were coming with new details to help round-out that knowledge. I find it all extremely positive even though most of it affects Null-Sec, the changes will have a huge impact on all areas of New Eden. And if you can't see that, well then, I can't help you.

More later.

The Wormhole Report: Piranha Fleet

Art by Sanders


THE WORMHOLE REPORT: PIRANHAFLEET
Guest Post from Sanders Schmittlaub
New Jovian Exploration Department [NJED], A Band Apart

Back in my days in Supreme Mathematics (late 2014), I found an EVE forum post about the possibility of running capital-class wormhole sites in Destroyers because of the Wolf-Rayet system effect (it provides bonuses to small weapon damage, signature radius, and armor hitpoints, and damages shield resistance). In the post was a link to a video showing them doing exactly what they said was possible – running C5 sites. In Destroyers.

I fell in love with the idea the moment I saw it, and started theorycrafting a doctrine that revolved around affordability and availability. I wanted fits that could be thrown away by the dozen, and that could be flown by anyone with a bare minimum of skillpoints. After much slaving away on PYFA, the Piranhafleet Doctrine was born. It centered on the Coercer Destroyer and the Augoror Logistics Cruiser.

The first fleet we took out went into a C3 (+58% armor HP, -29% sig and shield resists, +116% damage). we had six Coercers and three Augorors. We did eight sites, lost two Coercers, and made 240 million ISK. The destroyers we lost cost ten million. Everyone had a blast flying. It was incredibly seat-of-your-pants combat, where your weapons were the fingers of death, travelling across the void, and when the enemy answered your shots with fire of their own, it was truly sphincter-tightening watching your armor HP bar bounce between 30% and 100% as reps and incoming fire exchanged supremacy.

Everyone involved in the fleet loved it, and we decided to do it again. Next time was a C4 (+72% armor HP, -36% sig radius and shield resists, +144% damage). We made over a billion ISK, once again at the cost of two destroyers. We were in love with the fleet composition.

The third time we ran sites was the first time we got jumped mid-site. They figured out rapidly that they had made a mistake when our PvE fleet pointed a Vexor Navy Issue, and it exploded in spectacular fashion. That fight escalated spectacularly, and ended up costing both sides about a billion ISK (our little Piranhafleet ended up losing 30 million ISK and killing 500 million. Huzzah for poorly thought out escalations!), but when it ended, we invited our opponents to bring back destroyers and run sites with us. Everyone made a profit before the night was out.

Fast forward to today – I am now a Director in New Jovian Exploration Department, but we still use the same core doctrine with unchanged fittings for Piranhafleet, but it has been augmented with other T1 Destroyers and Confessors. None of them can come near the effectiveness/ISK ratio of the Coercers, but all of them still work wonders. The last two Piranhafleets we ran are worth touching on, because they both were out of the ordinary.

The first fleet, which ran Sunday, was the second part of a Wormhole 101 class I had taught for the Alliance on behalf of our new new-player corporation Vagrant Skies (blatant recruitment push here – join now!). The class had eight people. Six had never been in a wormhole (ignoring the occasional stick your head in one type adventure, which doesn’t count), and the other two were fellow wormholers who were helping teach. We had gone over basic scanning and sites, wormhole mechanics, and system effects. A few data sites had been hacked. The second part was wormhole combat, which we had planned on doing with cruisers like a normal wormhole fleet. Bob had smiled on us that day, because lo and behold, as we reshipped, a Wolf-Rayet C3 appeared in the chain. With the three of us who knew wormhole space flying Augorors, the six completely green pilots with us wiped out five sites and didn’t lose a single ship.

The second fleet is special because it was the first time we had ever tried Piranhafleet in a C6 wormhole. We knew it worked in C5 space, because C5 Wolf-Rayets are fairly common. We had never had the opportunity to do a C6 because there are only six Wolf-Rayet C6 wormholes in New Eden. We found one Monday night.

It turns out that C6 wormholes are actually easier to run than C5s. The damage being applied is far higher, but it is mostly coming from Sleeper Battleships, so their application is horrible against small targets (C6 effects include 100% bonus to armor HP, -50% to sig radius and shield resists, and a massive 200% bonus to small weapon damage. Our Coercers were doing 800 DPS, with 25k EHP, and a shuttle-size sig radius). We ran three sites and made 1.4 billion ISK before everyone had to call it a night. Once again, we lost two destroyers at a bank-breaking 10 million ISK cost. The Russians inhabiting the C6 were aghast that we were running all of their precious sites, but refused to send their capitals in to drive us off, even when we asked nicely. They said it was something about the 7,000 DPS our fleet was waving around like a pool noodle in a windstorm.

Piranhafleet is a blast of a fleet to run. The ships are so cheap that it doesn’t matter if a bunch of them die, so you can fly it like riding a nuke into a showdown at high noon. With lasers. Its a great way to put inexperienced people in positions they would normally not be in, such as FC, Logistics, or target calling, because if they screw up, instead of costing a ship or fleet worth hundreds of millions (or more) each screwup will cost at most around 100 million ISK, assuming a total whelp. Most will only cost five million. So long as the fleet has finished a site or two, that cost is covered and the fleet can be re-bought. You’ll still probably turn a profit.

If Piranhafleet sounds like a blast, feel free to get in touch with me in-game. NJED is recruiting members of all ages and skill points. Join channel “NJED Public” for more information, or feel free to convo me directly. I’ll also be happy to help anyone set up their own Piranhafleets, whether that is with fitting advice or by bringing half a fleet to show you how its done. NJED has you covered.



Gate to Gate Future

Best tagline ever?

Ok the first episode is in the can. I consider it a good first step and a huge accomplishment to even get it finished. All I see when I watch it myself is the numerous mistakes, errors, and places where I wish I had done something differently. Tricky thing. Not only from a technical side, but from a humor side as well. It ain't perfect, and certainly imperfection is part of its charm (on purpose), but hopefully it will only get better as time goes on.

AND YOU CAN HELP!

Yes, that's right. I wanted to get the first episode in the can to establish the format and see if it would work. I also wanted to get all the real work done up front before I started promising delivery. But now that the show is out in the real world, it is time to open up the concept a little to the greater community.

How can you help? See below in order of complication:

1. Viewer Questions
Each episode will feature two viewer questions. This is the easiest way to participate, all you have to do is think of a question (any question!) and record it, send it to me, and I'll pop that sucker into the catalog of questions. Be sure to follow the format and identify your in-game character up front. I'll keep a running library of these and use them when I can and they make sense for the show. Easy. (Your phone has a memo function for goodness sake!)

2. Special Guests
Each episode will feature a Special Guest, so if you'd like to volunteer for that role please let me know. I have people in mind for future episodes but I will consider anyone of note in the community. Again this couldn't be easier, I send you a few questions and you record your answers. All the hard work is on my end.

3. Content
I'm also open to including content created by others in the show. If you have an idea for a humorous PSA, or fake commercial, or special report, of something else - just let me know. Remember that it should be about something focused on in-game, but it can include sly remarks about the greater community. Anything works really. All I ask is that it be exclusive to the show, at least until after the episode airs.

4. Advertising
I am going to start accepting advertising on the show with some stipulations. :15 and :30 second slots are available for 1 and 2b respectively. However, I will not accept advertising for Corporations or Alliances. In-game and out-of-game community services are fine. And I will also accept one FREE charity ad per episode, if you run a community charity and don't have an ad already, I will create one for you. Just get in touch and we can talk about it. Also, ads based around a timed event are probably a bad idea, I can't predict when the episode will air.

5. Characters
This is the hardest one. And I already have a few volunteers. But I'd like the show to have more voices than just mine, so if you are interested in performing one of many characters that will be appearing on the show in the future, contact me and we can talk about it.


Any other wild hair ideas I'm always willing to listen.

"This... probably the greatest Eve show I've seen so far. Thumbs up!" - Mr. Spaxi

"That was awesome! Looking forward to ep. 2" - Buck Dodge

"Presentation , quality, were spot on. Amazed at the lip sync tech and how good it looked and blended in." - Katie Sae

"What an excellent show. Will spam corp with it. :)" - The Minustqrian

"Just watched the Rixx Javix Gate to Gate show. A work of genius!" - Drackarn

"Great stuff, I really needed the laughs." - Matto Voltaro

"haha! Awesome, I hope you do more!" - Nashh Kadavr



The Rixx Javix Gate to Gate Show


The Rixx Javix Gate to Gate Show: Episode 1


The Rixx Javix Gate to Gate Show: Episode 1 

Born out of a creative madness that merged the lunacy of Space Ghost Coast to Coast and Eve Online, the show is surely insane. While also clearly something that has never been attempted before outside of the fever dreams of Robot Chicken or other Adult Swim projects. It is, I can assure you, intentional lunacy. And while it has a legacy of inspiration, I believe it is its own unique creation. An uncanny valley of weirdness, strangeness and ludicrous invention. And I hope you enjoy it.

You wouldn't know this, but my last seven computers have been named Space Ghost. My current two Macs are Space Ghost 6 and 7 respectively. So yes, I've been a fan of Space Ghost since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. And so it was, after I had finished working on my "Why I Play Eve" entry, that my wife and I were talking about it. I had worked on that video simply to learn how to use a new piece of software, but the idea of it was sticking with both of us. (Essentially the idea goes all the way back to a short I made a while back called "Wanker".)

Eventually the conversation turned to Space Ghost Coast to Coast. And my wife made the suggestion that, perhaps, such a show could be made about Eve. I had made that connection before, but it had never settled. Mostly given the technical challenges involved. But this new software and some other things, made me think the idea just might be something that I could achieve. Perhaps. (I eventually gave up on using "animation" for this project as it is far to time intensive)

So here we are three weeks later. I'll leave the final judgement regarding success or failure to the viewer, but this was a huge undertaking. An idea that took off and became much larger and more involved than originally intended. And a good case study for "making things up as you go" planning. I had no idea that so many people would say "yes" to helping me, or be excited about being a part of something they hadn't even seen yet. I owe a huge bundle of thanks and appreciation to everyone I dragged into this insanity, thank you all for believing and playing along. I hope I've treated you well and you aren't sorry about agreeing to it.

All I can do is shake my head at myself. I fully planned on this thing being maybe a minute or two long, but then the song really came together for me. And then everyone in the ABA Slack channel started throwing ideas around, and then... well, one thing led to another.

The original show outline
One thing that I enjoyed, and that I hope to expand on more in future episodes, are ideas that have been around a long time here on the blog. For example, Svipul. That character comes directly from a post I wrote awhile back called "Svipul: A life in pictures" which is one of my more popular posts. The Mr. Mittens PSA comes directly from an old Anti-WCS Wallpaper I made. I like the idea of this world that Rixx has created. Being trapped in his CQ alone may have honestly affected his mind. I mean, where is the applause coming from?

I can only hope that you enjoy this as much as I enjoyed doing it. It was a labor of love for me, a huge project that I put my heart and soul into. It might be insane, or it might very well be genius, I have no real idea about which frankly. But I do know I worked damn hard on it and thought about every frame. And that it meant something to me.

If the response is good, I'll keep doing them. I already have enough ideas to fill ten episodes. And I hope to get even more people involved. Perhaps even incorporating pieces that other people create into the show. All I know for sure is that I had to get one done and now it is.

The rest is up to you.

The Show's Set, click to embiggen
Yes I am aware that Rixx walks into a Caldari CQ in the opening title sequence and that the set is actually a Gallente CQ. That was done on purpose for humorous reasons, but also because the Caldari CQ doesn't make for a good set. Next time I may dress a different CQ for the show. It is challenging however because you can't remove your avatar from the view inside your CQ. I wish there was a work-around for that problem.

The picture framed on Rixx's desk is of my wife's Eve character Omega Minus, from the Women of ABA Calendar post. It is facing front so the audience can see it.

Two of my newly available Frigate Posters adorn the walls.

There is a Space Ghost image on the wall behind the desk, along with the Anti-WCS logo, a Quafe sticker, an ABA Wall Lamp, and to the far right you can see a partial Vagabond Foundation logo under the Rifter poster. A Stay Frosty throw-rug adorns the floor in front of the desk. The desk is purposefully styled after the one Space Ghost uses on his show. The door to theCQ is wrapped in Police tape and above the door (blurred in the distance) is the latin phrase for "Abandon All Hope Ye You Enter".

I think that is all of the Set Easter Eggs.

I hope you enjoy the show. I can't wait to get started on Episode 2.

Special Thanks again to Marc, Arch and Max for agreeing to be in the first show.





Squeezed


There are 45 waiting commissions on my project list. Several in-development projects with CCP on the table. I only recently completed the new set of Frigate posters and a special project for Eve Vegas. On top of that I have 2 Kickstarter projects incubating in the works. On top of that I have a rather large special project that I'm working on that was supposed to be on the side, but turned out differently. That one should be done in the next day or so. All of which is totally normal. This is how it is regularly.

And then we have real life work. Which, while it is increasingly difficult to tell the difference between real life and Eve, still maintains an extremely high priority. Obviously. Bills do need to be paid. Luckily real life work has started to pick up again in the last few months. I've managed to pick up a few solid contracts that have worked out well, in addition to the drone work and the regular commercial production, script writing, and brand development work. It has been a rather busy, and good, couple of months.
All of which is still good news.

Add to that the troubles we've been having with our 12 year old and this is where life starts to tip over into the high stress zone. The table is tipping over now under its own weight. Not only does time start to become an issue, but the emotional stress means that any available energy is being consumed. So things like actually finding time to "play" Eve get squeezed out. I haven't even logged into Eve in almost two weeks. That is not normal.

I may be a machine, but even machines need regular down-time maintenance. And something had to suffer, despite wanting to play Eve, it had to be the thing to get pushed to the sidelines a bit. Which is kinda funny when I write that, since Eve never really gets pushed to the sidelines. I'm active, just not in-game much lately.

This is not a post about why I'm quitting, or anything like that. This is just my way of explaining what is going on. This blog is a lot of things, but it is also my personal journal. So that is where we are right now. It is slowly but surely getting better.

And it will. I'll work my way thru the project list. Things with our son will eventually resolve themselves, and life will return to a more normal level of insanity.

Until then I just ask for your patience and understanding.

I'm not giving up.




New Eden Vector Map


Last Summer I created a vector based map of New Eden for Andrew Groen's "Empires of EVE: A History of the Great Wars of Eve Online" book project. I took on the project on the condition that eventually it would become available to everyone in the community. I did the project and I think everyone should be able to access it, it was a huge undertaking and I think it could be very useful for a lot of different projects.

The map was created in Adobe Illustrator and is available in both CS6 and CC2014 versions, as well as a editable PDF(6) format. The file I will be linking is a .Zip file that includes all three versions.

Map Detail
This is a null-centric map and as such High and Low Security space is simply treated as one large "blue" section. But each Null Region is its own individual layer and each layer has multiple layers for stars, connections and sphere of influence. So those can be turned on and off as you need. The reason I choose vector format is simple, you can zoom in as close as you want without losing any detail or quality. This can be incredibly useful for planning or showing off holdings, or managing campaigns. Or making cool videos.

I make no claims to 100% accuracy. This map was based directly on several dozen in-game screen captures from the actual New Eden map that I carefully stitched together to make an absurdly large master map from which this was modeled one star at a time. So it should be largely accurate. But I am human after all so I expect some amount of error to be present.


I would appreciate attribution, but essentially I am providing this resource free of charge to the Eve Community. Use it as you will.

Keep the courage.

PS: I may be crazy, but I ain't stupid. This map does not include individual system names. Sorry. That would be insane.


The Modular Overview

The Overview. If there is one part of Eve that seems to never change, it is the Overview window. Look back at early screen-shots and you'll see it has remained relatively unchanged since the stone age. Granted, major changes would require major overhauls to more than just the overview window. To effectively alter the way information is given to players would require a huge effort to re-think the entire UI environment. But what if there was a way to evolve the Overview right now? Without any other changes to the existing UI environment?

I think there is.

Let's consider not only the type of data being presented in the Overview, but also how people use that data. I believe that "use" is the key to unlocking a potential solution, without changing the type of data being presented. The sheer amount of information presented within the Overview is daunting. But in his book Simplicity, author John Meade said that, "Smart organization of screen elements can make the many appear as the few." In other words, it isn't the amount of data that is overwhelming, it is the way it is being organized. Right now we are limited to only a left-right column based organization, but what if we could break that down into easier to consume modules? Based on categories?

Depending on what you are doing in Eve at any given time, different information contained within the Overview is more or less important to you. For me, NPCs have no importance at all (for example), I don't even have them on my overview. For Miners, rocks are the most important thing while they are mining. For others, other information is more important at the moment. And right now, organizing the Overview requires a lot of effort that can be especially confusing for younger or less experienced players. In fact, I would argue that most players really don't understand how to organize their Overview properly. So the goal is not only organizing information, but doing so in a way that makes it significantly easier to use.

Challenging yes. But not impossible.

Let's start by breaking the Overview into five easy to understand "modules" or category windows:

• Player Ships
• Celestials
• Structures
• NPCs
• Drones

In addition we will add (x) number of custom windows that the player can create, save and share with other players. (I imagine a maximum of five of these, but who knows.)

Each window is positional, so they can be placed wherever the player wants, in whatever order the player desires. But only the category information can be displayed within each window. So only Player Ships are shown in the Player Ships window, for example. Each window is controlled the same way it is today, but only the customization appropriate for each window is available to each window, so it is much more streamlined than it is now.

Ok that's cool, but that could get rather cluttered. So let's add yet another feature to help with that. What if each module could be presented in three different states?

Each module window can be "closed", or used in "Icon View" or in normal "Column View". This would help de-clutter the UI environment and help players organize the information 'they' want, instead of being fed information they have no need for. In addition, each view can be filtered as usual to present even more re-fined information and customized colors, sizes, etc.

Also remember that we have added (x) number of custom windows to this, which players can use to create their own windows. Uses could be:

• Wrecks
• Corpses
• Wormholes
• Gates
• Fleet Members
• Logistics
• War Targets

Out-of-the-box this system would aid new players by presenting information in pre-determined categories of data. ONLY ships appear in the Player Ships window, etc. This makes it far easier to disseminate so much information, by breaking it down into smaller chunks. It also gives a reason for the Icons, if you choose to break your windows down in that manner. Icons would be ordered by proximity by the way, or by sec status perhaps.
In addition, closed windows would pulse if something needed the player's attention.

In this example, which is based on a potential PvP set-up, the player really only cares about other Player Ships in space. So that window is open and organized in the familiar column view. Other windows are also important, but for now he has chosen to view those in the Icon View mode. Closer items are first and remain lockable, warpable, and otherwise usable in the normal manner. And he has added a Custom Module for "Wrecks".

You can easily see how Miners, or Explorers, or others could customize their own Overviews to better present information they consider important.

Left alone the Overview wouldn't be that much different than it is today. But even without player interaction, information would still be presented in easier to understand chunks. Making "glance" dissemination even easier.

But the customization is where this approach becomes even more powerful. The ability to "break" apart the Overview window and put them wherever you need on screen, is powerful. In addition, less screen real-estate would be taken up by information the player doesn't really need at that time. Making the entire UI environment better as a result.

I could go into a lot more detail, but I think this is a good overview of this approach. It doesn't solve all the problems, but it seems like a good evolutionary step towards better presenting a massive amount of information to players. And giving each player the opportunity to better control what that information is, how it is presented, and in what format. In that way, more choice and control is placed in the player's hands.

What do you think of the idea?


PS: Morg suggested I call this the "T3 Overview", I like it.



Lego Scorpion

EVE online's custom Scorpion battleship | SHIPtember 2015
Whoa!


This has nothing to do with me, but I thought it was awesome enough to warrant a special post. Check out the entire Flickr Album here.

Seriously great work.



Archival: RJ's Bar 'n Grill Menu

RJ's Eve Drink Menu
Click to embiggen


Another tid-bit from Summer of Incarna is this drink menu featuring loads of community in-jokes and references. This was 2011 and the beginning of Twitter Hats as well. Enjoy the flashback.



Eveoganda Films




Eveoganda Films now has its own page here.

That page doesn't include all of my Eve videos, but it does include the better ones. I didn't start out to make my own videos. In fact, for years I avoided it for several reasons. When I started playing Eve I was surrounded by productions, real ones that paid a lot of money and I wasn't all that interested in doing more for free. I did throw a few together here and there to support various efforts, but nothing serious. And by serious I mean effort. I doubt most of my videos could be labeled "serious". Although "Greatness" (Which really kicked off a trend didn't it?) is probably the most serious.

That all changed with the closing of my agency business and the arrival of "Dumb Ways to Die". That video has to be one of the most bizarre Eve videos ever made and the chance to work with Sindel was one I couldn't pass up. What it did show me was that I could come up with ideas that could be executed that didn't tread over already well-worn ground. In order for something to interest me it has to be challenging, interesting and new. I oculd certainly spend my time making another PvP video, but why bother when others are doing so many truly good ones? That doesn't interest me.

Mostly I use Eve videos as training ground, a chance to practice something that I don't get the chance to practice in real life. That's what spawned "Stay Frosty Opening Credits", one night as my wife and I were watching True Detective I wondered aloud about the opening credits. And went to work.

All of which is a roundabout way of saying I've recently started to think about doing more with Eve video. Both from a humorous and more serious perspective. I am currently working on a massive new project that isn't like anything else that has ever been tried in the annals of fan made video. And I'm also working on a short film script that I'm very excited about, that is based in the Eve universe. That one may or may not ever come to fruition, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to try. I strongly believe that Eve is the perfect place for such projects, it is a living universe that is crying out with great stories waiting to be told. From a wide variety of perspectives.

I create for myself first. To achieve some specific personal goal, to overcome some challenge I've set for myself, or to learn or expand upon my own skills. This is no different than what I've always done in every other aspect of my life. When I was young people kept telling me that I couldn't. Even today I run into that attitude everywhere I go. That attitude is keeping me from finding regular employment. There is no room in this world for a jack of all trades, master of them all. The world demands that we focus on something and looks askance at anyone stupid enough to try everything. You can't be a writer AND an Art Director, much less an Editor and a Illustrator! Or an Animator and a Designer. For goodness sake man, focus on something!

Nope. I won't. Deal with it.



Eve Valkyrie #1: Review

EVE: VALKYRIE #1

Superstar writer Brian Wood tells the origin of Rán, founder of the Valkyrie—the deadliest space-fighter pilots in the EVE universe!

This series leads into EVE: Valkyrie, one of the most hotly anticipated video games of all time, a groundbreaking virtual reality space-dogfighting shooter from the creators of EVE Online.


Earlier this week I was fortunate enough to receive an advanced copy of issue number one of the Dark Horse Eve: Valkyrie comic series for review. The issue hits the stands on October 14th and is the first issue in a planned mini-series that sets up the launch story for the Eve: Valkyrie video game.

This kind of convergence is right up my alley. As a video game enthusiast, former comic-book writer/artist, and Eve super fan, not to mention a fan of all things science-fiction - this book manages to hit all of my buttons. At the same time, given my long history with these genres, I also have to admit to some hesitation when it comes to tie-in products. To say they can often be a mixed bag is being kind to some of the more horrible examples that have been fostered on us in the past.

I need not have worried. The story of Ran as told here by Brian Wood and gorgeously illustrated by Eduardo Fransico is well told and compelling hero building. And while it might adhere a little to tightly to the hero's journey at times, the glimpses into real world life in the universe of New Eden makes it well worth the trip down that well-worn path. The tale behind why someone would choose the hard and dangerous path of becoming a pilot in a universe like Eve's can make for an interesting story, and Ran's journey here does not disappoint. I won't give away anything in this review, but her story manages to impart meaning and feeling into her choices - something that I found surprising and welcome.

Another challenge in stories like these is the depiction of space battles in static frames. Many artists over the years have approached this challenge with many different solutions, but I like the choices made here. Eduardo's art is clean and often graphically simple, but it compliments the story and adds clarity to what can often be a confusing and complicated environment. There are moments here that any player in Eve, or reader of science-fiction in general, will appreciate.

I also think the cover by Borkur Eirikssen is gorgeous and would make an awesome poster. Although the one for issue #3 looks even better.

It will be interesting to watch this story develop over the remaining issues. Right now it is hard to tell exactly how much more back-story there will be, or what the reveals might be down the road. The first issue certainly does a good job of setting the story up and giving the reader reasons to care. Ran is the central character, not only of this narrative, but of Valkyrie itself - so this is important groundwork.

I could wish for a bit more meat when it comes to the depiction of hardware environments, some of the art feels a tad rushed and minimal in places. But that is a small complaint. There are several moments that should give any Eve player a moment of recognition, and any potential Valkyrie player enough to satisfy their own curiosity.

I give Eve: Valkyrie 8.75/10 and I'll be sure to pick these issues up myself. Having played around with Valkyrie earlier this year in Iceland I couldn't be more excited to finally get my hands on the full game when it is released, so these issues help to fill the void until then.

You can pre-order issues 1-3 now over on TFAW.




Mmorg Article about Stay Frosty

SF Bare Knuckles Wallpaper

Over on mmorg.com today is an excellent article by Steven Messner about the origin of Stay Frosty, I highly recommend it.

Steven and I spoke for over an hour the other day about the incidents that led to me forming the greatest pirate corporation ever. And it was a great experience, I haven't thought about those days in a long time. I actually had to go back and re-read some of my old posts just to make sure I got all the facts straight. It is important to realize that he wasn't writing a documentary about the experience, his articles in those features tend towards the more dramatic. But, even so, he managed to get almost all of it down accurately. Which, given all the context, is not an easy task.

It has been over two and a half years since I was forced to leave that other corporation. In that time Stay Frosty has grown to well over 220+ players and crawled our way into the highest ranks of the killboards, all while managing to not give a damn about what other people think of us. And focusing on fun above all else. We undock. We fight. And that's just about it. We don't yell at people for doing stupid things like attacking Procurers with their Atrons (which I did the other night, lol, I died). We help each other, we fly alone or together, and we shoot all the things.

And we have a great time doing it.

It isn't for everyone. It isn't supposed to be. Some people stay forever and some come and go. Which only means we have a lot of friends around New Eden. Except for those few who choose to cross us, but we've really had surprisingly few of those over the years.

As always, Stay Frosty is OPEN recruitment. That means all apps get accepted. It is a sink or swim corporation. You either love it, or you don't.

Either way, we make no apologies.

Join us in-game at EVEOGANDA or The Frosty Hammer channels. Our alliance A Band Apart has a corporation just like Stay Frosty that does other things, like Wormholes, Industry, Missioning, and New Player Training. We are seriously pretty awesome.




Frigate POSTERS!!


Coming Soon™

The second line of ship posters is coming soon from QMx, CCP and your friendly neighborhood pirate blogger. I've heard rumors that QMx will be offering more affordable international shipping options, so let's keep our fingers crossed.

Obviously I will let you all know when they are ready for ordering, although you can join the QMx mailing list if you want.

Cheers.



Micro Jump Drive Dessies

Introducing New Destroyers
Four new Tech II Destroyers that favor defense and speed and can fit the powerful and versatile area-of-affect Micro Jump Field Generators, which microjump you and any ships nearby far from your current location.

This is all the information we've been given yet on these new Destroyer Class Ships that will be popping up in "Winter". Or Summer if you live south of the equator, which some people seem to. Like Australians.

So will these be new new ships, or variations of current Dessie models? I wonder. I sure hope they are new new, that would be so much better. I'm all for new models and maybe CCP will use some of those awesome concept pieces we saw back when Destroyers were first announced. Either way, new or variation, these new ships are kinda funky.

Ever since the Titan Doomsday went from area of effect to targeted, the concept of AoE weapons has kind of been on the poo-poo list. Other than those nasty smart-bombs we don't have much to choose from when it comes to them in-game. This is an interesting concept however, an area of effect that affects nearby ships.  So let's think about this for a second and see what we can come up with. If you notice the description says "any" nearby ship, so it might be safe to assume your fleet mates and any bad guys that happen to be around will be getting the blink shuttle to 150k from your current position? If so I immediately see this as an interesting way to remove certain ships from certain situations. I mean, bait ships are going to have to be careful aren't they? It would suck to be baiting on a gate, for example, and find yourself surrounded by these guys waiting on backup to arrive, and then suddenly find yourself 150k away from the gate.

I assume anyone currently scrammed is going to miss out. Which means leaving people behind when you run off. Also a bit of confusing decision making that will need to be made under stress. So "any" ship means ships bigger than you? So exactly how does this work? I can imagine the cap demands are going to be HUGE. Or should be. Is it based on anything other than distance? What I mean is, will every ship within range be affected no matter how large? That seems a tad over-powered doesn't it?

And what is the recharge time? So many questions and so few answers.

Despite my inherent dislike for "run-away" mechanics, I think I like the general idea of this. Its up to me to get a scram on you, plus I can see this mechanic having just as many offensive pluses as I can defensive. Which you can't say about WCS for example. Or ECM really.

So until we know more, count me in the like camp for now.



Eve Propaganda

If you missed it, be sure to check out this article over on Rock Paper Shotgun about Eve Propaganda.  I was honored to be asked to participate and enjoyed talking with Steven about my experiences with in and out of game propaganda mechanics.


Unleash The Big Boys

As far as I'm concerned personally my "Propaganda" days essentially ended when I left Null Sec politics. I say "essentially" because it would be hard to quantify my efforts since those days. In many ways propaganda is specifically an expression of politic will, the intention of which is to affect and effect both the minds and outcomes of both internal and external audiences. To that end, my post-Null efforts, in bringing back the Vagabond Frills or in generating attention for bad modules (as examples), are not specifically expressing a political will. They are, for all intents and purposes, more advocacy projects than propaganda.

Certainly I still create pieces that are pro-corp/alliance, but those are primarily about recruitment and creating a community within both groups. These are borderline propaganda, but not typically what one thinks of when they think of it.

Either way, excellent article and I enjoyed participating. Eve is a fascinating place and there is room for so many different kinds of expression within its sandbox.



Eve Just Keeps Rocking!



CCP Seagull sits in front of my posters and says some things.

Ok, she did warn us in the last video that things would be churning along. So we should have been prepared. But, I must admit, some of these things have taken even me by surprise.

• New Exploration Frigate that can find Ice Belts. Pretty cool. More things to shoot at.

• New Destroyers that use a area of effect MJD that jumps the ships nearby also? Whoa, that is pretty weird. And potentially awesome new gameplay. I think I like it.

• RUST!! 'Nuff said. This one I saw at Fanfest and have been waiting for, but still I love the idea.

• KILLMARKS!! My personal favorite thing ever, next to WCS being limited to Indy and Trans ships. (Finger's crossed)


• New Explosions!

• Missile Disruptors!! (Been a long time, but these are a welcome addition.)

• Falloff for neuts and RR, makes sense to me!

You can read all about these and more for yourself over at the brand new Update Site, which is awesome.


I'm just getting back to normal here at the Eveoganda World Headquarters, we had a week from Hell last week. So I'm sure I'll have more about all of this in the coming days and weeks.

The next person that tells me Eve is dying gets a boot to the head.