No More Sharing


I've had a lot of time to think this week, there was one 24 hour stretch there when that was all I could do. As a result of this I've made an entire list of mental goals for the coming year(s). One of those pertains to Eveoganda and moving forward with this blog. So I thought I'd share that one with you today.

As of today I will no longer be sharing personal journal entries about real life here in these pages. While I always felt that my words here helped as a form of therapy, as a journal, and as a way of sharing one man's journey thru life (both in-game and out) it has become increasingly apparent to me that I've been rather naive. This week illuminated a section of the Eve community that actively and aggressively wants to do me personal harm. And while my natural inclination is to fight such bullying, I have to consider the effect such a fight has on my family. My wife. And my four boys. Not to mention my extended family. Because it isn't just me here. And while I can take it, it would be unfair of me to expose them to further potential troubles.

So moving forward Eveoganda will revert to tales revolving around Eve, the community, and pretty pictures of artwork. Those that care about such things have other ways of hearing about them, goodness knows we have Twitter, Slack, Discord, TS, and a hundred other ways to communicate. But it won't be here in these pages.

Before I go I would like to offer a piece of friendly advice. This comes from a 50 year old man so it may seem like "Dad" advice, and to a certain degree it is. I've lived a long and interesting life already and I'm struggling with my own issues. I've never claimed to be perfect. I've made thousands of mistakes. And I'm sure I'll make a thousand more. I've never hated anyone. I didn't hate the man that scammed me out of 25k, if anything I felt sorry for him. I didn't hate my former business partner who lost 85k and one of our largest accounts. I don't have time for hate. And, in so many ways, I don't understand it. So my advice is simple really. Try not to hate. Try to understand. Try to walk a mile in another person's shoes for once. This world of ours needs more empathy and more understanding. And considerably less hate. I strongly believe that like me, if you live your life with less hate, you'll feel better on that day when you turn 50. Despite all the hardships, I know I do.

I only started sharing because so many of you asked me to. It was never my intention. I sincerely apologize to those that feel put out, or burdened by my sharing. That was never my intention.

Back to Pew Pew.


PS: I've retroactively made this change as well, so most of the posts regarding real life issues have been removed.

Terms of Service


Blog
noun
1. a website containing a writer's own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other websites.


This is Eveoganda. It is the blog of a person in the real world, a character in a fake world, and a creative that works in both worlds. It often includes artwork, funny stories, movie reviews, observations, editorials, and generally consists of journal entries regarding the on-going career of a fictional character named Rixx Javix. Rixx is the creation and alter-ego of a real person, the self-same person writing this text. As a fictional character, Rixx does not have the ability to write. Someone has to do it for him.

Each of the 1,983 posts on Eveoganda generally contain what is referred to as "tags" at the bottom which allow for easy classification and search functionality. These tags can also be handy for the less observant or challenged readers to assist in letting them know the perspective, intention, and tone of each piece. Often Eveoganda contains challenging words, or themes, or propaganda which may require intelligence on the part of the reader. Tags can help frame the subject and act as a kind of guide. I use easy words for my tags with this in mind, words like "humor", "PvP", "Pirate", "Game", or "Real World".

For the first few years of this blog I avoided writing anything about my own life and career. Eveoganda was primarily focused on events that happened inside of a universe called New Eden, which is a fictional place full of fictional people and events. As the years went by a strange and weird phenomenon started happening, the blog became super popular and I started meeting a lot of people both in-game and out. These people rapidly became important to me, as fellow pilots, readers, fans, and even friends. Not only did they share their lives with me, but I started sharing my life with them. That is what friends do. And so this journal grew to encompass my real life as well as my fictional one.

Since the beginning of Eveoganda there have been those that are confounded by the writing and art contained in this blog. Even though I very often spell out my intentions clearly, often even before I act on them, some people find things confusing. This has generated a tremendous amount of "hate" over the years. I've had a few real world incidents, my account has been hacked twice, and there have been dozens of in-game incidents not worth mentioning here. Along the way numerous other fictional characters have threatened me, often strongly, with destruction. The character names of these individuals are found scattered through-out this blog's history. If you go looking for them you'll quickly notice a common theme, they are generally not playing Eve anymore. Or if they are, they are all minor characters in some backwater. There are exceptions to this rule and those are the characters that have served a useful purpose in my in-game career. Some of them don't even realize they've been used in this way. They are so consumed by hate that they continue to believe long after it becomes obvious. It is important to remember that this is a fictional universe, a game, and some of us enjoy playing the GAME. I am super great at this GAME. I am probably much better than you at this GAME. But that has nothing to do with REAL LIFE. If you and I meet in real life I'd shake your hand, buy you a drink and swap stories with you. We'd have a good laugh. I've actually done this many, many times. It works.

If you continue to hate me I'm sorry. I'm not going to change. I'm not going to stop doing what I'm doing. All I can promise you is this, my life is an on-going adventure that changes every day. And sometimes, someone will have an idea, or an opinion, or a thought, that will change my mind about something. I'm not the same person I was when I started writing this blog. I am a messy, often inconsistent, challenging, fearful, human being that continues to learn and grow every day. I have learned things from my haters. I have learned more from my friends.

As always thank you for reading. If you don't care for the personal journal entries then please feel free to avoid them. Maybe just scroll thru and look at the pictures, or just read the PvP posts, or the ones about the Pirate life. Whatever you enjoy just know that I appreciate you, even if you do not appreciate me.

Life is complicated. As you continue to live it you will discover this for yourself. Perhaps something I've written in these pages might help you along your own path. That would please me. But mostly I write these words for myself and only hope that others enjoy them.

Keep the courage.


PS: This post is tagged Editorial, Blog, Eveoganda, Real Life and Opinion. I did that because it is an opinion piece about Eveoganda, which is a Blog that often includes Real Life issues. See how easy that is?


Holiday Wallpaper

Happy Holidays 2017
Click to download various sizes


What good are traditions if we ignore them? So I couldn't stand it and made a Holiday wallpaper for you. I also took some time and embedded quite a few Rixx references in the image for you to track down. So enjoy the wallpaper and have a great Holiday from all of us in Stay Frosty and A Band Apart.



Happy Holidays



It has become my tradition around here to make an annual "holiday" themed Wallpaper to share with my readers and the community. This year the video I did with Sindel is going to have to suffice. Frankly, with another court date looming three days after Christmas the spirit is not with me this year. That's a tough one. Get excited for Christmas with family all while knowing that you could very well be incarcerated shortly afterwards. That challenges even my own legendary optimism. Sigh.

However, we shall not be defeated. And so I honestly and sincerely wish all of you reading this a happy holiday. And, from the bottom of my Pirate heart I hope for a better New Year for all of us. No matter where, or how, or when you celebrate I can only hope that you enjoy your time with family and friends. My best to you and yours.

Happy Holidays.



The HAT Kingpin


July and August 2011, well over five years ago now, is when my Hat Empire started. At first the hats were a direct protest against Incarna inspired clothing and monocle pricing. Vanity items. Gold ammo. And other dangerous trends towards "winning" Eve based on the amount of money you spent. Yes, for you young people out there, Eve almost went there. After the Summer of Incarna hats transformed into two directions, first as a fun vanity item for members of #tweetfleet and secondly as a direct challenge to CCP to start thinking in new directions.

Five years of hats and now we finally have some in-game. Pardon me if I take a moment to remind everyone that this was deemed impossible many, many times. There are actual CSM minutes from actual CSM meetings were hats, we were told, couldn't be done. I've been ridiculed on Reddit, called out in local, and generally called every name in the book (as I assume people are rolling their eyes) for my stance on hats over the years. The thing is, and this is where most people miss the point, it was never about hats.

If you've been playing Eve for less than five years you wouldn't think it, but Eve was a LOT different before Incarna. It was different in ways that are hard to comprehend now. And easy to forget. But back then the community existed as an often angry opinionated mob with torches, always ready to jump on the merest mistake handed down from CCP. There was a wall between players and devs that was almost impossible to cross. Massive expansions were released and players dealt with the consequences. Communication was rare and Jita riots, petitions, forums, blogs, were often on fire.

Alot has changed over those years. Twitter changed a lot of it. The CSM has evolved into a change agent over the years, after many rocky starts. Slack has helped. Player meets have helped. Facebook has helped. The o7 Show has helped. CCP has evolved over the years in large part due to the leadership of CCP Seagull and others. The new expansion schedule has also helped to relieve the pressures that used to build in anticipation of those rare and massive releases.

Into that environment, during the worst example of its consequences in Eve's history, I started making hats. I did so to illuminate the ludicrous nature of both sides immaturity. Hats are silly yes, but they also represented the true nature of what it means to be an Eve player and, I believe, an Eve dev. It is all silly. And we needed, we still need, a bit of silly in our lives. Hats helped provide a visual metaphor for the root of Eve's very nature. We are all in this together.

I'd like to believe that hats helped pave the way for the environment that Eve is today. A much, much better environment. A community that has, more often than not, started working together across the divide and helped usher in a new era of Eve Online. One that can often dream big together.

And now we actually have hats in Eve. The impossible has become reality. And yes, it remains silly. It might even be stupid. But I'd ask you to remember a time when people said it couldn't be done. And then look back up at the image header and realize that it has.

Next thing you know and we'll have a Player Memorial in-game (something I've been working on for even longer than hats!) and something will finally be done about Warp Core Stabilizers. Each of those also have deeper and longer-lasting meaning behind them as well.

But now I can finally relax a little and let the sweet cash of those hat royalties start rolling into my bank account. Pirate Faction ships for everyone!!

Keep the courage.




After Hours Archive



I'm slowly putting all the After Hours Podcasts up on my YouTube channel. Today I loaded up the sixth Episode for your listening pleasure. You should probably just subscribe to my YouTube channel and enjoy all the awesome.

What happened to After Hours!? I'm currently taking a wee break from the Podcast for a very simple reason, my wife and I quit smoking. And while that is going to be a great thing, right now it means that my voice is in pretty horrible shape. So while that heals we found ourselves in Thanksgiving and Christmas and potential Jail sentence time again, so After Hours is on a small break until the New Year.

I promise it will be returning to an even better 2017 with many more guests from around the community and beyond.

So hang in there.




Rogue One Review


[SPOILERS]

For years my early review of The Phantom Menace haunted me on the internets. I had written it a week before the film opened in theaters and it was published on a movie review site I worked for at the time and it was the first review I wrote that appeared in Rotten Tomatoes. The movie review site went away eventually, but that darn review stayed trapped in limbo for years. It finally disappeared a few years ago and saved me from even further shame. You see, I gave Menace a slight pass. I wasn't a gushing fanboy about it, but I did let a lot of things slide. The reason was simple and I made this clear in my review, the prequels weren't for us adults that grew up on Star Wars. The prequels were made for children. Like my own Son, who was six at the time, who dressed up as Darth Vader and hit people in line with his Lightsaber.

I believe its important to remember that Star Wars was always a children's movie. Not always literally made for children, but for the child that lives in all of us. I was 12 when I saw Star Wars in 1977 and it was unlike anything I had ever seen before. For a lot of children, young and old, Star Wars has become a defining cultural signpost in our lives. It is virtually impossible to remove it from our lives and view it dispassionately. There is a statue of Darth Vader above my head right now looking down from a shelf on me as I write this. For many of us the Skywalker family is a part of our own family to one degree or another. Good or bad. Original trilogy or Prequel trilogy. Much of which depends on when and where and how you became hooked.

And now along comes the first Star Wars story that isn't a Skywalker family drama. Rogue One is a prequel to that very first Star Wars 1977 film, the one that eventually became Episode Four A New Hope. Its story is taken from the first lines of that famous opening title crawl, "Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire. During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire's ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR, an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet." (I wrote that from memory by the way.)

It would be easy to say that this is the first Star Wars movie that isn't specifically a children's movie, but that would be wrong. And it is a mistake that a lot of adults that write reviews on the internet are making this weekend. Rogue One remains a children's film at heart. It is the reason many people are complaining about the way in which death is handled in the movie. Or that the film, as a war movie, isn't dark enough. What they are forgetting is the children. But what they are really forgetting is the lesson of another film in the Star Wars line-up, one that is often referred to as "the dark one" - The Empire Strikes Back.

I love Empire. It is one of the greatest movies ever made in its genre. With one of the best reveals in cinema history. But we all tend to remember it differently than it really is. Yes the Rebels are on the run a bit in the movie, and yes Han ends up frozen in Carbonite, but otherwise no one gets hurt. No one important dies. A few Empire officers get choked to death by Vader, but otherwise everyone makes it thru in pretty good shape. Luke loses a hand, but he gets a really cool robot hand! And who among us wouldn't make that trade?

In Rogue One everyone important dies. I really can't stress this enough, in Rogue One everyone important dies. Those deaths are all tempered a bit because this is a Star Wars film and not a Tarantino film. Remember the children. But, as we all know by now, Disney does not shy away from killing off adults in their movies and they don't here either. Everyone dies. This is entirely new ground for a Star Wars film. And, I must admit, a totally unexpected outcome. I thought for sure that someone would make it. But nope.

Rogue One is the best Star Wars movie ever made. And yet, you cannot compare it to A New Hope or Empire, or even Return of the Jedi (despite the Ewoks). The reason is simple really and it goes right back into those darn Skywalkers. Rogue One is amazing in all the right ways but it cannot escape the fact that it is without Skywalkers or characters that we've grown up with, gotten to know, played with their action figures, read their background stories, and otherwise grown up with. These characters, unlike Luke, Leia and Han, are not part of our family. This is not Rogue One's fault, but it is a fact that cannot be ignored.

And I think it is the basis of a problem for a lot of people. I know it was a worry for Lucasfilm and Disney, because it has always been a worry for them historically. Can a Star Wars Universe movie be made without the Skywalkers? We are all participants in a strange psychological exercise on a massive scale. Will we be able to accept a non-Skywalker focused story or not? It is an interesting time frankly and from what I've been reading online this weekend, the results are rather mixed. Some people seem unable to deal with the concept. While others, like myself, welcome the opportunity to explore other corners of this vibrant and rich universe. Something we all used to do with our Star Wars toys back when we were younger.

So how does one review Rogue One? All of that context above is important, but does it really matter when it comes down to an individual film? It shouldn't, but in the case of Star Wars it is difficult if not impossible to ignore. In either case Rogue One can stand on its own merits in ways that the Skywalker films cannot. It is, for once, a self-contained story that also serves as the first good prequel we've ever been given. Whatever problems it had over this past Summer are not visible on screen. It works extremely well for what it is and it even manages to rise above its individuality and become often epic and grand.

I've seen it twice now. Once alone on the first day and then with my family on the second day. And when I think of the movie now I think of the iconic moments that will stick with me forever. The Death Trooper holding the Stormtrooper doll. The Death Star dish being slid into place. The Death Star eclipsing the sun on Jedha. The Aleppo style street fight in the streets of Jedha. The Dirty Dozen style standoff in the sands of Scarif. The Hammerhead Cruiser pushing the Star Destroyer into the shield station. Darth Vader's castle on Mustafar. Grand Moff Tarkin appearing 22 years after Peter Cushing's death, to various levels of success. And the swelling feeling in my heart when I realized just how close to A New Hope they were going to take us at the end. And more. The movie is chock full of great moments and dragged down a bit by some not so great ones.

Personally I could have done without the R2-D2/C-3PO cameo. That felt like fan service. And I've heard people say that the droids have now appeared in every Star Wars movie, and while that is true, does that mean they have to appear in the young Han Solo movie as well? What about the Boba Fett film? It seems like a silly precedent to establish.

I hate to say this, but I also think Jyn and Cassian should have lived. Was it too much to ask for them to find a ship and barely escape death at the end? I know they don't appear in any of the following movies, but the Star Wars universe is (or should be) a big one. There is a part of me that thinks a somewhat happy ending might have served the movie better than the one we got. I hate to mention it, because I appreciate the fact that no one lives so much. It is so true to the spirit of the type of war movie that Rogue One is based on. But still.

Rogue One is not perfect. But it is still the best Star Wars movie ever made. But it is not the best Star Wars movie. I don't believe in ranking things, so I'll just leave it at that. What Rogue One does do is establish the fact that non-Skywalker stories can work. Hopefully the next ones will feel more empowered to go their own way and leave the cameos and forced appearances out. It would be good to think that the Han Solo movie doesn't have to have Darth Vader in it. Or C-3PO.

The true test of Rogue One is this, it has made every other Star Wars movie better. The story told here has made every Star Wars movie that came before (after) a better story. Now we understand the stakes, the sacrifice, the meaning more than we did before Rogue One. That is an important testament and one that makes Rogue One integral to the entire saga. We can only hope (see what I did there?) that the success of this film allows future Anthology stories to venture into even further territory and tell stories that are less connected to the saga films.

The Star Wars universe should be big enough to tell more stories that aren't Skywalker stories. Rogue One is an excellent beginning to a new tradition.

The Force is with me and I am with the Force.




Rogue One: Spare Thoughts


This isn't a review as much as it is a collection of my thoughts about Rogue One after having seen it twice now in two days. My Star Wars bonafides run all the way back to May 25, 1977 (I saw it at least 17 times that first year, and yes it was in our local theater for almost an entire year.) so life-long fan here.

I bring up the original Star Wars release date not only to establish myself in the timeline but also because that was the last time Star Wars was just a movie. Even people who happen to see Star Wars for the first time after 1977 are not really seeing it for the first time. Star Wars is an integral part of our culture now, often in ways that are contextual and hard to describe. The entire film experience is different now. Mostly because of Star Wars and what happened way back in 1977. The point being that despite the obvious connection to the Star Wars universe, Rogue One is the only Star Wars movie EVER to not be a story about those damn Skywalkers.

And because of that fact Rogue One is the first Star Wars movie since 1977 that can be enjoyed as a movie first and foremost and NOT an experience. It is both exhilarating and off-putting at the same time. The expectations are off. Psychologically the film is new, fresh and yet strangely familiar. I suspect this is why, for some people, the connection to the cast is an issue. I've read this complaint around the internet a bit this week and it is amusing. Amusing because for many people back in 1977 that was a big issue with the first movie. Rogue One has a thousand times the character development that A New Hope had. But, again, these are not Skywalkers. Its weird.

But it is so refreshing. Rogue One reminds me of The Guns of Navarone or The Dirty Dozen, a desperate suicidal mission that can only be done by those dedicated enough to take it on. It is a war movie, a star WARS movie that gives us a ground-level look at the Rebel/Empire conflict from a powerful new perspective that we've never had before. It is the prequel we've always wanted. No stepping in poop jokes here. Nothing even close to a Jar Jar in sight. This movie is serious in ways that Star Wars has never been before, not even in Empire. I'm not going to give any spoilers in this post, but suffice to say that Rogue One puts everything on the table in ways that Empire only pretends to do. (Once you've seen it you'll know what I mean.)

This is the Star Wars of the future. As Disney continues to develop and roll-out new Star Wars adventures every year until the heat death of the universe, more and more films will feature less and less Skywalker family drama. For years some of us have wanted a story set in the universe that had nothing to do with Skywalkers. And Rogue One is as close to that as we could get the first time out. We get two Skywalkers in this one. (I wonder if the young Han Solo movie will have any Skywalkers in it?)

I loved Rogue One. It is a tremendous amount of fun. And it is so well done that it makes every Star Wars movie better. It even makes the prequels slightly better. But mostly it makes the Original Trilogy much more meaningful. Now we know what it took to secure those Death Star plans, the sacrifices that were made, the meaning behind certain strange weaknesses in the plans, and what it took to make it all happen. Rogue One adds an immense and important depth to a story that, while it really didn't need it necessarily, is certainly better off for having it.

This is the side of the Star Wars universe that most excites me. As much as I enjoyed Force Awakens, and I did, the non-Skywalker stories that can be told now are the ones I find most interesting. Rogue One is just the first step in that direction as it really is directly connected to that saga. Hopefully this gives everyone the courage they need to tell even more stories set in a great universe. I hope so.

And, as we know, Rebellions are built on hope.



Rixx Store Updates


The Rixx Store on RedBubble keeps getting bigger! Check it out.

Every item is available on multiple items as well, not just on t-shirts! We've got Phone cases, laptop cases, hoodies, pillows and just about anything else you'd want. It varies by design because I don't think everything looks good on everything, so I try to only pick things I think look good.

I also take requests by the way. So if you'd like to see something that you can't find anywhere else, just let me know. I'm also going to be adding some Stay Frosty and ABA merch here in the coming weeks, so stay tuned. The store changes often, so bookmark the site and check back often.

FYI - If you'd like me to design you some Corp/Alliance merch and sell it thru my store just let me know. I can take any crappy old Alliance logo and turn it into cool non-Eve-IP related goodies for your pilots to wear with pride.

Cheers,

Rixx on Instagram

If you have an Instagram account you can follow me HERE!

I've had a personal Instagram account for years but I mostly used it for posting interesting photos of things I saw in real life from time to time. It was never anything serious and I rarely used it. And then, earlier this year, I started noticing a lot of artists using it to promote their work. So I thought, why not?

Since then I've started posting twice a day on average and I've gained hundreds of followers. Not only that but I've really started to make some good connections. Obviously my Eve work dominates my feed, but I'm also sneaking in lots of other work as well. That will continue as I evolve my portfolio past Eve and into other areas. Right now I'm working on my very first alt-movie poster illustration and I've already posted comic book work, Star Wars, Firefly, and other genre pieces. As time moves on I'm going to be expanding far past Eve and into other areas. This is a major focus for me going forward.

So I invite you to join me on that journey. Here in these pages, on Twitter, or on Instagram. Or, you know, anywhere else for that matter.

As always, thanks for being around and for all of your support over the years.

Onward and Upward.



How to Make an Eve Music Video in One Day! (Without doing drugs)



By now you have all viewed the incredible awesomeness of the brand spanking NEW Holiday Parody Music Video from myself and the ever-talented golden throated Sindel. In slightly less than 24hrs I transformed the music file Sindel sent me into an animated video tour-de-force of Eve and former Eveoganda video references that only the true videophile would understand. So I thought I'd take a moment and do one of those trailer breakdown things that are so popular on the internets on my own video.

Scene 1
The opening sequence is a homage to the little known Icelandic house-band known as Permaband. In their latest music video called "Warp to the Dance Floor" members of the band fly on screen in a cardboard spaceship. I managed to re-create this scene with zero special effects budget by doing what I always do - RE-USING THINGS! (A tip to any aspiring artists out there, never throw anything away)  The asteroids in this scene are previously illustrated rocks I did for this mural for an art contest CCP held, and which I eventually won with another piece. The Santa used in this section is also from a project I did for a client about nine years ago and he pops up in things every so often. Luckily I had already created FUNKO POP versions of Sindel and Rixx months ago for another Sindel project that never happened (cough cough). Background is a CCP nebula wallpaper and the snow is FREE greenscreen snow from YouTube (used in the entire project).

EASTER EGG: In the two opening scenes Sindel's shirt has the Angel Project logo on it.


I stole the Friendship right from a screen-cap of the Permaband video and painted Guard right out of it. To make things easy I just cut the image into two pieces, the front part and the back part. Rixx and Sindel are just placed in-between the two layers. Presto.

Luckily Sindel was able to provide me with a music free version of the audio track so I could use an incredible piece of software called Auto Lip-Sync to animate her mouth to the track. That entire process took fifteen minutes. That was lucky, it can sometimes take much, much longer to make it work. Or to perfect it. Originally I just had Sindel in this scene, but it felt weird not seeing Rixx. So I snuck him in there. Which is also weird.


And Sindel blinks! I wanted to also animate her character dancing. But this is where decisions about time have to be made. In the end I decided that lip-sync/blinking was more important than dancing. Dancing adds additional elements that need to be drawn, animated, and performed. Which translates into about 2-3 more days of work.

You might not recognize this room, since no one ever watched the video, but it is the set from the Rixx Gate-to-Gate TV Show!  (Which I highly recommend since I made it. Please watch it.) Never throw anything away kids. The Christmas tree animation is also a FREE YouTube greenscreen thingie. It is amazing what is available out there.


Hey aren't those the Dancing Pods from the last Sindel/Rixx Jam "Eve Dumb Ways to Die"?!? Why yes, yes they are. The Rixx Cinematic Universe (RCU) is a large place so try to keep up here. The background is also from another RCU entry, the "Why I Play Eve Poem" video. I had to re-create the matte for the foreground bannisters because the previous one wasn't big enough, but that took like two minutes.


Every project is a balancing act between ambition and reality. I originally wanted an entire Rixx band, a sax player, bass player, drummer, and piano. Like the Tonight Show band version of Rixx playing all the instruments. But, y'know, time. So all you get is lone Rixx playing the Saxophone.

Funny story. For a second there I drew Rixx playing a Trumpet. I dunno why.


In our last video, the super popular Dumb Ways to Die parody loved by millions, the final message was Fly Safe. I wanted to create a way to bring that back into this video. And that is where FREE greenscreen YouTube Santa came into the picture. Plus Santa needed to come back from the opening. It is a Holiday song!

Hey you made it this far, so have a FREE Wallpaper!

Happy Holidays Wallpaper
Click to download various sizes


So that is my story and I'm sticking to it. I hope you enjoyed the video and have a spare 60k US dollars you can donate to my Patreon! (You can do so here!) If not, a buck at a time also works.

Thanks and Happy Holidays.




Holiday Jam!



Enjoy the new Sindel & Rixx Holiday Jam! The last time we got together on a song was three years ago for "Eve Dumb Ways to Die" which is working its way towards 600k views! This one took a lot less work (whew!) but is even more adorable. We all need a Happy Holiday this year so I hope you enjoy this piece of heaven.

Enjoy!



The Rixx Store

Rixx Store Here
Third time is the charm. My first store got banned by CCP legal and resulted in me losing Zazzle access for a year. The second store was simply a place to put up some Stay Frosty and ABA gear for my Alliance mates, I was never really happy with Zazzle. Over the past year or so I've noticed an increasing number of Eve IP items for sale over on RedBubble, items clearly in violation of copyright laws. And, despite bringing those items to the attention of CCP, they remain for sale. So yesterday, I decided to finally put some real effort into a Rixx Store.

I want to state clearly up front that I will not be offering any Eve IP related items. Despite other people doing it everywhere, even on Amazon, I will not. I still believe in doing things above board and I remain hopeful even after everything. So my store will feature my own original designs based on not only Eve related community projects, but also other video game and nerd creations.

Since I will be adding items on a regular basis and driving traffic to the store, I would also like offer its services to other Corporations/Alliances in the community. If you want to offer your own players Corp/Alliance themed merchandise thru my store please feel free to contact me and we can discuss. I will also offer my own creative slant to any project to try and make your swag something extra special for you.

If you have any suggestions for additional merchandise or ideas on potential themes please feel free to share those. I've got about 15 new items in the works to roll out over the coming weeks already. The more the merrier.

Thanks.



The Art Book Project: UPDATE


Thanks to the handful of people that responded positively to my idea for a "coffee table" style Art Book project. As always I appreciate the support. However, five or six people do not a movement make. Despite record numbers of visitors to this blog over the past two days, only three comments are on the post. Similar responses were given on my various Slack channels. It would be fair to say the idea went over like a lead balloon. Clunk. Thud. Dud.

Which is what the post was for. I have these ideas but it takes much more than thought to make them happen. Or not happen. Goodness knows if I got to do everything we'd have a new Eve Card Game, an original short film, and an Eve store chock full of posters, laptop stickers, wall murals, and apparel! And we can't have that.

Right now my life is in a holding pattern. My next court date is rapidly approaching and will be just three days after Christmas on the 28th. Until this gets resolved, one way or the other, all I can really do is have ideas. And keep practicing my art. And hope that someone somewhere eventually decides to put me to work. Until then I'm stuck on this perpetual loop. I can't plan for anything. Because I have no idea what the future holds.

It is an infinitely frustrating way to live. So given the feedback, or lack thereof, the Art Book will join the many other projects on the shelf for now.

It is getting rather crowded up there.




The Art Book Project


So I have this idea and this post is intended to test the waters of interest. A few years ago I published a PDF version of a coffee table book featuring my Eve art up to that point. You can download it HERE if you haven't already. And earlier in 2016 I also published a PDF book collecting Eve Fan Fiction and Art called the Empyrian Chronicles, which you can download HERE if you haven't already.

So the idea is simply this. A coffee table Art Book featuring my Eve Art alongside select articles and posts from the past seven years of Eveoganda. Not everything of course, but only the best stuff in a well-designed book worthy of being in your collection.

Such a project is a big one and would require the cooperation of CCP (which may not happen) and a mid-level fundraising effort (nothing like the Fountain War book or even Andrew's History Book project, but it could also potentially not happen) and considerable effort on my side as well. And the support of the community most importantly.

So this is the "testing the waters" post about the idea. I'm asking for feedback so please feel free to post your comments, thoughts and said feedback about the idea. Positive or negative, or somewhere in the middle. This is an idea that has been rattling around in my brain for awhile now and I want to know if the community supports it or if I should forget about it and move on.

Would you support such an idea and is the idea worthy of the amount of effort it would take to achieve? That is the essential question.

So, what do you think?



Capsuleer Playset Commercial



This is all Manic Velocity, all I did was create the character and provide the animation. I purposefully made Timmy look a bit like the Fallout Kid, I thought it would be funny. Luckily I spent the last few years making automobiles talk so the effort of lip syncing his lines was pretty easy. Its one of those things that can be done down and dirty if need be, but can also take hours and hours of refinement to get perfect if you have that kind of time.

Anyway, hope you enjoy it.



The Pirate Underworld



This is the latest "commercial" from CCP promoting Eve Online and features our good friend Jayne Fillon. Jayne is an awesome guy and I have nothing negative to say about him or this video, it is great to see CCP finally exploiting the resources we have as a community to help promote the game we all love. As a marketer I could debate the merits of the campaign (at least as revealed in the two spots released so far) but what would be the point? As I've said to many, many clients over the years - doing something is infinitely better than doing nothing.

Today I thought I'd address the idea of a Pirate Underworld and what exactly it means to be a Pirate in Eve. This is a topic that has been debated many times over the years here on Eveoganda. Especially back in the early days when Rixx transitioned from Null Sec soldier into the awesome Yarrr Lord that he is today. You don't become Pirate Lord of Low Sec without learning a thing or two about Piracy.

So let me be clear. Jayne is not a Pirate in the video story. Jayne engaged in an Act of Piracy. An Act of Piracy does not make you a Pirate. Much like robbing a convenience store doesn't make you a master thief. Or pulling a quarter from your nephew's ear doesn't make you David Blane. Like I said above, the story is fine for what it is. And yes, robbing Industrialist is something a Pirate would do. It is an Act of Piracy. A rather scummy one to be honest, but one all the same.

So what is a Pirate in the context of Eve?

A Pirate in the context of Eve MUST be -10 to start with. They can be on their way to -10 as well, but -10 must be the end goal. For semantics sake this has to be the gold standard because -10 is criminal status with all four Empires and with Concord. You can't be considered a true Pirate without being a true criminal. Rixx has been -10 for over five years straight now. That means he cannot enter High Security space in anything larger than a Shuttle or a Frigate, and to do so he must haul ass so as not to get caught by the cops! You can't be a Pirate if the authorities aren't chasing you.

Now there are tons of players in Pirate Corporations that operate in Low Sec that are not -10. We have plenty of them in Stay Frosty. And Stay Frosty is a Pirate Corporation. There is nothing wrong with this, everyone has the right to choose the way they want to play the game. If anything, Pirates understand this better than anyone. While these players are not technically "Pirates" they are engaging in the Pirate play-style. Nothing wrong with that either. But essentially they are PvPers and not real Pirates. Being a real Pirate is freaking hard. It is beyond doubt the hardest way to play Eve. It isn't for everyone.

A Pirate's main source of income comes from stolen loot salvaged from wrecks, either those they create themselves or stolen from those others have created. Thievery and Ransom are other attributes of a Pirate. As in the story above. That's it. And it can be done if you are smart, crafty and good at what you do.

Pirates usually have alt characters that help them navigate the restrictions places on them by their criminal status. Haulers, mission runners, whatever they need to survive. For example, Rixx has a positive standing hauler alt that takes care of going to Empire for goodies and whatnots for him. This is just part of playing the game.

The other part of being a Pirate is an esoteric one that I feel is just as important as any other, and is what makes Pirates more romantic than mere criminals. It is the Pirate Code. Without the Code we'd just be criminals. And believe me, Eve is full of criminals. The Pirate Code can vary from individual to individual, but in Stay Frosty it is relatively simple. A Stay Frosty pilot honors their word, and honors all 1v1s. I personally don't believe in pre-staged combat unless I know the other person extremely well. But if I give my word on something I keep it. Secondly a Stay Frosty pilot does not steal from or cause harm to come to his friends. (Blues) We don't have blues other than those in our own Corp and Alliance, so breaking this one means hurting people in your own Corp/Alliance. Break these rules and you get kicked. Immediately. The Code is critical to maintain and there can be no exceptions. Without it we have only chaos.

This is what I believe constitutes being a Pirate in New Eden. -10 or on your way there. Making a living primarily from Piracy. And living by a set of honorable rules often known as a Pirate Code.

Yarrr!




My Eve Story

Eve Story Campaign: Rixx Javix
Click slideshow for more


I wondered what a real print campaign for MyEVEstory could look like. I only did 4 examples and I may have some of the details wrong, I just did these from memory. But the idea was to show the various ways in which a single player can make a difference in New Eden, but that it takes hard work and commitment to reach those goals.

I had fun.



The Daredevil

Daredevil
Click to download various sizes
I'm working my way thru my Project List, which despite my best efforts only seems to be getting bigger and not smaller. Learning how to deal with not smoking. Trying to keep positive about looking for a job all while also trying to keep freelance work flowing. And make plans for a future that remains uncertain. Y'know, real life. No biggie.

This piece came about in an interesting way. I'd started the painting of the Daredevil a few weeks ago as a template for a piece of real acrylic painting I had planned. Due to several weekends of leaf raking my hands were a wreck, it was difficult to even hold a pencil. So I put those plans on the back-burner for a few more weeks. So instead I decided to use it for the above piece instead. I wish I had the time to paint the whole picture, but due to time constraints I opted for a more mixed-media approach on this one. I dunno what "real" artists would label it, to me all that matters is the final product. And I'm happy with it. It captured the Romanesque fiery master painting feel I was striving for and that makes me happy.

I hope you enjoy it.




Quitting!!


No, not Eve.

Almost two weeks ago now my wife and I quit. This isn't the first time we've tried, but it is the first time we've stuck with it. It hasn't been easy the past four years to say the least. Between my business failing, the bankruptcy, the divorce, and all the other problems in our lives - the stress has been insane. But really, all those things are only excuses. We know this. So about three months ago we both switched to a crappy cheap brand and significantly cut back on how much we smoked on a daily basis. This was all a plan and we managed to stick with it. Now we're done.

The downside for me has been my brain the past two weeks. I've written numerous posts that get lost about half-way thru. I've started numerous projects that I lose interest in. And I keep forgetting things, misplacing things, and generally not logging in to Eve. Its been nutty. And the anger and frustration are extremely high right now.

So pardon me for a bit. I'm sure things will improve shortly and I'll be back to being super-awesome you-can-count-on-me guy! The funny part is that the past two weeks have also seen a significant up-tick in opportunities. Lots of new irons in some new fires. Hopefully this is good news that will continue.

And now I'm already losing interest again. I better stop now before this turns into an angry rant about the Eve Store.

Stay Frosty,




Tengu

Commission; Jester's Tengu

I recently completed this commissioned wallpaper for Katia Sae over at To Boldly Go and thought I'd share it. If you are interested in commissioned work please write me an email at rixxjavix@gmail.com and we can talk about it.



Valerian



Watching this only confirms my belief in an Eve Online movie and/or television series!



The Electoral College

Yesterday on Tweetfleet I was running a 140 character at a time primer on the US election system for several friends from around the world. Our system can be a tad confusing every four years to those not familiar with it. Heck, it can be confusing to Americans as well.
This young man is obviously very confused about it.

There are a bunch of good video primers available. Here is one from CNN that is very good.

As a life-long student of history and a proud American citizen who cares about his country, let me try to TL;DR the entire thing for you.

The "United States of America" is not just a name, it also happens to be how our country is built. It isn't one large country, but a collection of States that have agreed to a Federal system that can govern and provide for the common defense and welfare of the country. Before the Civil War this system tended to put the power into the hands of the States themselves and the Federal government was much, much weaker than it is now. After the Civil War the Federal government became more powerful and has grown into the behemoth it is today. We can argue the wisdom of all that, but it is how it is.

Ok so the founding Fathers in all their compromising wisdom decided on a government system intended to be as balanced as humanly possible. Which is why we have three branches of government, this system of checks and balances is pretty darn brilliant. However, from time to time in our history one branch or another can sometimes become more powerful than intended. Right now, after 16 years of Bush and Obama, the Executive branch has accumulated unprecedented powers. This is one of the things that worry some people in regards to Trump's election.

But back to the Electoral College. The Legislative Branch of government has two sides, the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Senate has exactly 100 members, two from each State. In this way every single State in the US gets the exact same representation. No matter how small or how big, you only get two Senators. The House of Representatives (or Congress) membership is based on population and there are about 430 seats in Congress up for grabs. Bigger States get more seats and smaller States get less seats. Add the number of Senators and the number of Representatives together and you have the Electoral College number for that State! For example, the State I live in Pennsylvania has 20 Electoral College votes, which means we have 2 Senators and 18 members of Congress.

Normally this system works just fine. But sometimes it can get a bit wonky. It is a human system after all. A few times in our history, like this week, a candidate can actually get more popular votes and still lose the election. This is the system working as intended. The reason for this is to avoid the popular vote becoming the way we determine a victor. If we did that, as the young man in the video demands, chaos would ensue. In that system only the votes in large coastal states would matter, effectively you'd have New York and California determining the winner in each election. And also getting the bulk of Federal aid and support afterwards. The Electoral system is not perfect, but it does ensure that even the smallest of States gets a voice.

And please remember that this system is ONLY for Presidential elections. Popular vote matters in ALL other elections. Local, County, State and Federal elections are all based on popular vote, only the President is elected on the Electoral system. This is an important fact to keep in mind. A citizen's representation is more than just the President. The President has extremely limited powers and cannot enact any Laws. In fact he or she cannot really do much of anything. The President is a leader not a dictator.

And while this system is certainly not perfect it exists for valid reasons that have been proven to work well over 200+ years of our history. It has survived a Civil War, two World Wars, several horribly wrong Wars, Watergate, a Great Depression, and much, much more. And it will survive Trump.

Hope this helped.



Doctor Strange and Templates


The last time I saw an adaptation of Doctor Strange was in 1978 on CBS. It was HORRIBLE in ways you can't even begin to imagine. Horrible in shlock, low-budget, television from the '70s, Bill Bixby Hulk, Spider-Man string ways that younger generations would have a hard time even wrapping their heads around. It was so bad there aren't even any good screen caps from it on the internet.

But as luck would have it, we do have the trailer:



Yes boys and girls at one time that was as good as it got. And yes, in answer to your next question, we did know exactly how bad it was at the time. Well, some of us did. But it was all we had.

But this weekend I saw a Doctor Strange much closer to the movie version that has been playing in my own head for the past (cough) forty years. And this version had good actors in it AND music! I'm still unsure how this happened. Somehow the same world that has spawned Donald Trump for President has also spawned a truly good version of Doctor Strange! We certainly are living in the future!

I'm not writing a review. And I'm not going to write the essay I thought about writing in regards to the weird "template" complaints I've seen all over the Internet this weekend. I just thought I'd post that 1978 Doctor Strange trailer and gently remind everyone that you could still be living in that world. The world I grew up in, when Comic Books meant "comic as in HaHa" from the adults that ran our world. That's the world I grew up in.

And now, people my age, who grew up in that world are the ones making these movies. We still remember. My friends and I used to talk about what it would take to one day make a truly good comic book movie. Not that long ago we could count the good ones on one hand. And now Marvel, and sometimes Warner Bros - but rarely Fox - have made dozens and dozens of them.

So go ahead and make your wittle Teen angst comments on the Internets. Its very cute.




The strive to be art

Commission: HEL Special Edition
A commissioned illustration of the Hel


When I first started doing Eve art for people it was simply a service I was providing, mostly just to help out around the community. Blog banners, a few propaganda pieces for the Alliance forums, and mechanical things like that. I was fortunate that a few of those pieces caught the eye of a few people here and there. One of my very first propaganda pieces was picked up by EON Magazine and I had to go back and re-create it for print. I wasn't trying for anything specific back then because it was just a fun diversion from running a business.

Over the years, as my own professional career has transformed around me, so has my approach to Eve arts. I still try as best I can to help support the community of course, but there has become an entirely separate and distinct "professional" interest as well. Prior to a few years ago I had never once did anything even remotely like the picture you see above in the header. Frankly, if you had shown three year ago me that picture I wouldn't have believed it was something I had done. There are times, even now, when I find it hard to believe.

The transformation has been an artistic one. I can easily pump out photoshopped wallpapers day in and day out. For me these are rarely challenging. They serve to keep my skills sharp, but I'm a lifetime photoshop professional, beta-tester, Adobe Expert consultant, National Association of Photoshop Professionals founder person. But most of my professional work with Photoshop and Illustrator and other programs has been in the service of actual work. Client work mostly. Design. Logos. Advertising. Professional photography. Packaging. That kind of work.

And while that stuff can often transcend "work" and become "art", or at least extremely well designed, award-winning graphics or words or images - it isn't specifically done to be art. At some point about three years ago I started thinking dangerous thoughts. What if, I asked myself, I could make something beautiful out of my love of Eve? Could I elevate a fun diversion into something more? Heck, did I even have that potential inside of me? Frankly I had no expectation that I did. Which is a very scary thing to admit to yourself.

What you probably don't know is just how scared I've been the entire time. I'm pushing myself into places I've never been before, doing things I've never done (or rarely attempted), and it is often a very frightening experience. When I talk about fear I don't mean the kind that keeps me from trying, I've never ever had that kind of fear. I mean the kind of fear of failure that pushes me, that motivates me, that makes me want to push thru it and come out the other side. That kind of fear.

Last weekend I bought some paints. All week my wife comes into the studio before she goes to work and one of the last things she says to me is, "Paint something today." I haven't yet. I'm working my way up to it. I haven't touched a real paint brush (other than for inking), since 1987. I paint all the time in Illustrator and Photoshop with my trusty Wacom tablet or with my Mouse, but the thought of holding a paint brush with messy paints on it... I'm both incredibly excited and horrified all at the same time.

Along this journey I think I've managed to touch something truly beautiful a few times. I'm extremely proud of that Hel illustration up there. Personally I believe it is the best spaceship illustration I've ever done. The lighting, the details, the mood, everything sorta just came together for me on that one. And then, the other day after I had heard the sad news about our fellow pilot BigCountry I created something in ten minutes that made me cry.

Godspeed Big Country

I didn't think about that image. I found the photo because it reminded me of his name and what that meant, it resonated. And the idea of a rocket blasting into the sky sprang from my brush and my heart, not my mind. I honestly don't remember thinking at all. I just did it. When I was finished I texted it to my wife and asked her if she thought it would be ok to share it. It was so primal and unbidden that I was a tad afraid of it. Raw emotion can be a scary thing. Creation is often painful. Even writing these words about it now exposes that nerve again.

Art is where we find it. That Hel illustration took an entire day to complete. The BigCountry image took all of fifteen minutes. I don't know if either of them are "art" or not, all I know is that they both mean something to me. And I'm going to keep striving.

As always, keep the courage.




NEW Wallpapers

In Orbit
Click to download


Bushwacked
Click to download


Extravehicular Activity
Click to download


Been passing the time until Friday by trying some new things. Enjoy!



Halloween Vegas Poster

Special Slasher Eve Vegas Poster
Click to view higher resolution


I had the beginnings of this idea back when I interviewed CCP PointyBits for my After Hours Podcast. The new Slasher model is truly boss and I've been wanting to do something with it. Unlike last year, this year CCP didn't ask me to create a special Eve Vegas poster (which is fine, they didn't use the one I did last year anyway), so I just went ahead and made one anyway! So there.

I'm super happy with how this turned out and looking forward to doing more along these lines in the future. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

Enjoy.



After Hours Podcast Archive


The After Hours Podcast is something that I am very proud of. I spent years considering a podcast of my own, but real life and other projects always seemed to come first. In addition I just couldn't quite figure out an angle that interested me. As I've said before, I've always enjoyed everyone's podcast and I listen to almost all of them pretty regularly. It was difficult to imagine a niche that wasn't already being serviced.

So why not create a "Inside the Actors Studio" late-night talk show style podcast and invite people that I find interesting to come share their stories? Once the idea had landed in my brain it felt perfect. It's hard to believe that I've done 13 episodes of it already. I've talked with CCP Fozzie, Gabriel Cassata, CrazyKinux, Niden, CCP PointyBits, LennyKravitz2 (A week before the banhammers hit!) and many more. And it doesn't feel like I've even started to scratch the surface of my ever-changing and evolving list. I'd love to get The Mittani on someday, or Sully. (Both of which have been reached out to thru various means btw.) But until then I already have more episodes lined up.

You can catch all of the past episodes over on Crossing Zebras on their podcast page.

And now I'm also going to start archiving each episode over on my YouTube Channel.

I have three up already with more coming soon.

I hope you enjoy the podcast and become a regular listener. My intention is to not only talk with Eve community members but to also branch out into other related fields as well. This community is rife with amazing people who have stories to share. I can't wait to talk to them all.

Cheers.





AT Team Comms



This is the ABA Comms over top of the video of our fight vs Spectre Fleet. We'll be releasing more of these in the future I think, but in the meantime enjoy this one!



Kicking the Rust


Nothing like getting dragged into Court multiple times, selling a house, moving into a new house, finding out your business partner has inoperable cancer, practicing and planning an AT run, dealing with weird kids and moving your entire Pirate base of operations under constant war decs to keep you effectively out of Eve since May. Before yesterday my last in-game fight was on May 24th when I lost a Slicer that I shouldn't have lost. I can still remember that day. Already the strain of real life was showing in how I was playing. After eight years I needed a break.

And while I remained as active as ever, or even more so, in the community at large - I also pulled back from Eveoganda. My posting rate dropped significantly. But y'know, I needed a break here as well. Needless to say I am back to a more "normal" schedule. What that means exactly will have to remain TBD until after next week. But my intention is to return to a more regular schedule both here in these pages and in-game.

So yesterday I finally had the chance to undock and go hunting. And man did I feel rusty. For me the rust shows itself in all the little things that I forget about, or that lack of practice has dulled. Things that constant AT practice doesn't really account for. Not to mention an overall lack of situational awareness that comes from living in a new neighborhood and flying in it every single day naturally brings with it.

So I fit up a Comet and went roaming around town. At first it was intended as a sight-seeing tour with no real plans to engage anything. Just to get my feet wet. But, you know me, that attitude didn't last long. Especially when I spotted the Dramiel. I had engaged a Tristan earlier without being able to kill him before he ran off. And this is where the rust comes back in. Like an idiot I had forgot to set my armor repper reload to off. As soon as the Dramiel explodes the Tristan shows up and points me. My AB is already toast and my repper is busy loading nanite paste. Grumble. I go boom. Shame on me. But lesson learned.

So I fit up a Slicer and go back out. Get back on the horse. And then I spot a couple of Tuskers in local flying around in Slashers. There is also a very young Stay Frostian in local that is learning the ropes. At first I try to get a fight going that I can call her in on at the last minute to help out without too much danger. But two Slashers are a bit much. But I just can't resist. So for what seems like ten minutes we dance, they warp in and out, pull me off the gate, and we all try to position ourselves properly. Eventually all this dancing around gets serious and the first Slasher explodes just as the second one lands close enough for it to explode as well.

During the AT I pretty much exclusively flew large ships. I flew a Svipul a few times in practice, but it was mostly BS and BCs for me. To be honest my small ship skills were really rusty. But the only way to fix that is by getting out there and fighting again. A slicer is not a big ship and it isn't flown like one. As well as I had manually performed in that 2v1 with Nuke, I did the complete opposite in my next fight with another Slicer. I wish I had better news, but I totally derped the fight and exploded.

The worst part was the very slight delay in getting my pod out. During the AT practices and matches your pod is not a target, so apparently my GTFO reflex is also rusty and I managed to get podded as well.

I deserved it. This is what rust looks like. I am still the Pirate Lord of Low Sec and capable of good fights, but I'm also a tad rusty and capable of totally screwing up. Now that I think about it however, this is not all that different from how I normally fly.

It felt incredibly good being back flying around looking for fights again. And it feels good writing about it.

YARRR!




Disconnected


Yesterday's Alliance Tournament Finals were marred slightly by some disconnection issues. This is probably well known at this point. It was unfortunate, no one can argue that. It is always a bummer when issues outside of the normal framework sink into and effect a fight in Eve. Any fight in Eve. Not to mention the finals of the entire AT. Damn that sucks.

Late last night I wander over to one of my many Slack channels to see what the chatter is and discover some lingering anger about it. This is a good eight hours or so after the match. I won't mention names, it doesn't matter. And although I was treated rather poorly and insultingly for parachuting into the conversation, I tried to maintain some level-headed points. All of which were discounted. Anger. Makes people dumb.

I know it is frustrating. During one of our matches one of the other team's pilots DC'd during the match and his ship was exploded. That isn't fair. I wish the world didn't work that way, but it does. Those are the rules. And those rules exist because there is literally nothing else that can be done about it. Nothing. Tough shit. HTFU. You can't re-do the match or magically freeze the match, because people can't be re-done or frozen. Suddenly everyone has more knowledge and time to act on that knowledge creates un-fair advantages. A huge part of each match is the speed, uncertainty and chaos of each match. Just look at boundary violations, something a few teams really seem to struggle with, those are caused by the speed, uncertainty and chaos of the matches as well. Should we change that rule?

DCs are no fun in the Alliance Tournament OR on Tranquility. I can't begin to tell you how many situations I wish I could have back from the last eight years that caused me to lose a ship or a pod due to disconnection issues. Tons. Just as I can't begin to re-count the number of times the server code let me down, modules refused to work, my ship got stuck on an asteroid, or things just didn't work the way they are intended to work. It happens. I believe it happens a lot more than most people realize. But it has always been a part of the Eve experience. If you believe it was wrong petition it. Nine times out of ten the logs will show nothing.

PL may indeed have lost a single match yesterday to disconnection issues. But they certainly didn't lose the AT because of them. They lost because they got out-played. In several instances they shot themselves in the foot. Heck, my Wife believes PL threw the AT because they bet against themselves on the last weekend of AT betting, which is why EveBet was down. Personally I find that much more likely than CCP ever changing the rule about DCs. My Wife is usually right about these things by the way.

The salty tears about losing are to be expected. Most people in Eve cry like babies when they lose. In my experience the winners rarely complain. A few times I've disconnected and still managed to win the fight. I didn't petition those fights. (I don't petition fights by the way, I don't believe in it. My last petition was over five years ago when I lived in Syndicate. It was an undocking error and I won that petition.)

Complain enough and maybe CCP will just decide to stop having Alliance Tournaments.

I wouldn't blame them.

Its Eve. HTFU.

NOTE: Since some people seem challenged here, let me be clear. I do not like DCs and I wish they did not happen. Especially in the AT during a finals match. That sucks and it really is a serious bummer. But that is the reason the finals is a best of five series.





The Best of Times, the Worst of Times


Yesterday the Eve community got kicked in the balls a bit. No reason to sugar coat it. Changes to the all-powerful EULA and ban-hammers falling like rain everywhere. Like chickens with their heads cut off everyone ran around in circles with signs saying "The End is Nigh!" all day. Quickly posting to Reddit, the forums, podcasts, Twitter and everywhere else you can find an Eve nerd hiding. No stone was left un-turned. It was so bad I even dreamed about it last night. Sorta. Y'know, if that dream involved moving to Iceland for a job at CCP only to learn that they really work in an old Supermarket between the aisles in cardboard cubes. And the Fantastic Four showed up. But enough about my dreams.

You might remember I just interviewed Lenny Kravitz2 last week.  Interesting in hindsight that he just recently tried to divest himself from IWI. I guess that didn't work. The point being that there is no middle ground when it comes to RMT or "gambling" in or out of Eve. The potential for real money means that there will be real money. Humans being human. This was a problem before PLEX. Before Casinos. Before it became easy to do. So obviously it would continue to be an issue after it became easier. Duh. I believe there are monkeys in Kenya that know this.

So yeah the isk faucet is closed now. And my friends at various community activity centers are going to suffer for it. All the Slack lit up yesterday. All the Discords. All the channels. And yes that is all extremely unfortunate. And probably unfair. A bad system built some good things. Casinos are good for the... wait a sec! I sound like one of those people that testify in front of Congress about the Mafia! "But Senator, Don Moneybags built the Children's Hospital!" So yeah, let's move on to the next paragraph.

Out of game sources of income are not good for Eve. Everything in-game can be countered. You don't like someone then camp their system, declare war, gank their stuffs, any number of things can help you combat them inside of New Eden. Outside? There is nothing you can do. And while I enjoyed WWB as much as the next intelligent adult, the Goons did have a point about that. It was unsettling frankly. When it is happening to someone else fine, but what if it was happening to you? Might be a different story.

I am diametrically opposed to RMT. I've also advocated here on this very blog against the system which makes it easier to accomplish. I've never been comfortable with the need to gamble. Even in the real world it is a system that is rather notorious for being abused. It always manages to achieve the exact opposite effect than it was intended to accomplish.

On the other hand, it is the system we had. And everyone got a little fat from eating off that plate. This is unfortunate and it makes going on a diet hard on everyone. Support, prizes, isk, all went into a lot of great community projects. And those are going to suffer, no doubt about that. Eve is at once much better off and also much worse than it was earlier this week. What springs from this ruin is anyone's guess.

Eve is a global game with its footprint in countries around the world, each with their own laws, rules and guidelines regarding multiple issues that deal with gambling and its side-effects. In addition, with the opening of the floodgates to Alpha clones coming up, a new wave of Eve players (of all ages) will be descending into the fires of New Eden. Given these conditions it is no wonder that CCP brought out the hammers and cleaned the house. Guests are coming after all and we needed to red up a bit.

There are no winners. Only ash and ruin. But every once in awhile a forest needs to be burned so that new growth can spring from the ashes. I can only hope that such will be the case here. And that stronger and better growth will spring forth from this great community.

Keep the courage.



The Inspection

Shadow Series: Inspection
Click to download
You can see the entire Shadow Series at this link.

To me there is something truly majestic about Eve spaceships rendered against the inky blackness of space. Stripped of the nebula and stars that dominate screenshots from the game itself and presented in a more "realistic" space environment, stark, cold and dark. In such a setting the ships themselves seem to come to life and the true dangers of space seem to seep into the image. 

Whatever it is, I like it. And I'll probably keep doing these for awhile longer. I'll give you a glimpse into the process that goes into the idea for a new one. Over the weekend, between AT matches, I finished work on a piece that featured the Naga. You can see that piece here.  In order to create that piece I had a ton of Naga reference on hand. As I often do, I began to think about the ship and its role in New Eden. Not so much from the players perspective, but from the rest of the universe. It reminds me, from certain angles, of the Sulaco from Aliens. A troop carrier, planetary assault craft maybe? Military for sure. And then I thought perhaps the Caldari Navy uses Naga-class vessels to patrol the Empire. And maybe one of the roles those patrols have is to inspect the new player-built stations that are suddenly popping up all over the place.

Each Shadow Series piece has a story of its own. The one I had in mind when I created it and the one that it evokes in the viewer. I hope that they inspire their own stories in your mind. And that you enjoy them as much as I have in creating them.

Which is your favorite?

Keep the courage.




The Day After


As most of you probably know by now A Band Apart's run in Alliance Tournament XIV came to a rather abrupt end yesterday at the hands of PFR. Kudos to them for a good fight and for their win over Ronin later in the day to make it to the third weekend. And best of luck in the rest of the tournament. You can't help but root for the team that knocked you out, especially when they are good people. So congratulations to PFR and to all the other winners from this past weekend.

Having played six matches this year (4-2) and two last year (0-2) I can tell you I have a new appreciation for the sheer amount of effort, willpower, stamina and determination it takes to succeed in the Alliance Tournament. I've always appreciated it, but until you actually live it... like anything in life. I can tell you we played over 200 practice matches leading up to the AT both on Singularity and Thunderdome. In addition many of our pilots also participated as part of other team's to help fill out their practices. And I can only imagine the number of hours spent working up comps, fits and theory-crafting. It is an incredible amount of work.

I've said this already, but it bears repeating - I am incredibly proud of our pilots. Despite the odds, real life commitments, and other challenges, they came thru and excelled. Top 16 is an excellent result in only our second year and they should all be proud of that accomplishment. I enjoyed every minute of the practices and the matches. Except for those two losses. Frankly I didn't enjoy those.

But I am confident that all of us learned and experienced a lot this year. All of which will only serve us well when it comes time to do it again next year. As I said in an earlier post, next year is our year. Our team is seasoned now, more experienced and they've seen for themselves what hard work, dedication and time spent gets you. And, maybe more importantly, they've each experienced first hand what the AT Meta really means from a practical standpoint. Until you fly in the AT the "meta" can be a joke, or at best a theoretical concept. But once you fly in the tournament and watch every match carefully, only then do you start to understand what it truly means. And why stepping outside of that concept is so dangerous.

Let me explain. Imagine hundreds of Eve nerds that are smarter than you spending hundreds and hundreds of hours theory-crafting fleet compositions and ship fits for months and months. (It is always best to assume that everyone else is smarter than you.) And you are doing this as well, as best you can, practicing with people that will practice with you. And then you show up for the first day and another team lands across from you in the arena. And you either know one of two things - 1) Our fleet is going to be ok, or 2) We screwed up somewhere. As the day goes along you notice all the other comps and trends start to emerge, common threads, similar ships, and tactics. This is the emerging reality of the tournament meta. Either your comps are along similar lines or you are in serious trouble. And yes, every year a few teams manage to buck the meta and win a few matches with something unique. This year it was hull-tanked Battleships, or Double Moas, or Double Paladins. But, just like every year previously, those eventually get wrecked.

In hindsight it is easy to see that both of our losses came upon a combination of Sleipnir compositions. While our missile based and Astarte based comps fared extremely well. In all of our matches our support wing excelled at their jobs, providing excellent control and dominating the other team's support in every match. This was expected. Our pilots are excellent. In the matches we lost the difference was in the survivability of our core dps. And in the Rock, Paper, Scissors environment of the AT, our two Minnie-based comps landed across from good counters. There is nothing inherently wrong here. Mostly bad luck, bad timing, and good counter punches from good teams.

Like I said above, until you participate in that insanity you cannot truly understand what a crazy journey it really is. And just how much of it comes down to the match-up you face in the arena.

There is nothing else like it in Eve. And I honestly can't wait to try again.

Best of luck to all the remaining teams.