Money Badger Shirt

Money Badger Coalition Back Shirt
Money Badger Coalition Back Shirt by EVEOGANDA
Look at more Eve T-Shirts at zazzle

I created a Money Badger Logo today on the spur of the moment and pasted it on the back of a shirt on my Zazzle store. You can customize the shirt on any color or style you want and get your order sent out right away!


Making Omelets

The first time I raised my hand in Eve it got smacked down. So I raised it again. Back in those early days I quickly realized a fundamental truth about Eve - if you want something you better be prepared to fight for it. Want a better Corporation? Then make the one you are in better, or go start a new one. Don't have enough content? Then go poke around in HED and make the locals mad. Want to learn how to bomb gates? Fly over to the Russian's space and bomb them. Want a war? Create one.

You can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs.

Eve is weird. Nothing happens in it. You undock for the first time and are presented with a vast, cold, dark and unforgiving universe that does nothing. It just sits there. This is incredibly daunting for most people. For most players this feeling never leaves their experience, they huddle in familiar territory, they try to play solo, or they eventually despair and quit. Eve is a blank slate. It is totally and 100% up to you to write your own story on that slate. No one is going to do it for you. Those that grasp that truth are the ones that succeed, that enjoy the game, that "get it" and have long and fulfilling game-play. It doesn't matter what they decide to spend their time on, PvP, Null Sec, mining, industry, wormholes, solo, whatever. What matters is this understanding that the more you put into your Eve experience the more you will get out of your Eve experience. There are no shortcuts.

And then there are those for whom that truth is not enough. There are those players that need more, that want to break some eggs in order to make an omelet. It is easy to label these people as egotists and megalomaniacs (and some might very well be), but essentially they are all egg-breakers and content providers. People who once raised their hands and got them smacked down a few too many times and decided to forge their own destinies instead. Without them, Eve would be incredibly boring. With them, Eve is a vast ocean of politics, wars, conquest, betrayal, back-stabbing, meta gaming, incredibly rich and rewarding game-play. Think whatever you want about them individually, I'm not here to praise Caesar, but you have to give them their due. We're all lucky to have them.

It is possible to both appreciate the inherent need for such people and at the same time actively fight against them. That is, after all, the source of the dynamic that drives content. I should know. I do it every day. I am after all an egg-breaker from way back. I raised my own hand a few times and decided early on that the only way to make Eve interesting, was to make Eve interesting. I became actively involved in creating conflict, even before I stared writing this blog, because I wanted my Eve to be exciting and have purpose. I helped create Wars, built Alliances, actively sought out War Zones, and did everything I could to create the kind of content that I wanted. And I haven't stopped doing it since. Most of it, I promise you, you aren't even aware of.

I don't hate anyone. I certainly do not hate The Mittani or Sion or anyone else for that matter. I'm simply playing the same game they are playing. I just have no interest in playing it at the same scale, but that doesn't make my game any less important. Or impactful. I have nothing but respect for those that play the game. I've watched and learned from them all since the beginning. And I've taken away a lot of important lessons, both good and bad. I'm still learning.

It's easy to throw labels around. Goodness knows all that egg-breaking over the years has created a shit-ton of haters, both in-game and out. I think you'd be rather shocked and surprised at the sheer amount of vitriol I endure. But, as bad as that can be sometimes, I can assure you of one important thing - it is nothing compared to the good. The good far exceeds the bad. I can't tell you how many times an encouraging word pops up out of nowhere, how often a message arrives that imparts wisdom, or relates a positive tale, or simply says 'keep it up'. Never surrender. It is that energy that keeps me going. And, I suspect, it is the same energy that keeps others going as well. Even people like the Mittani.

I'm playing a game. A game I love called Eve Online. I encourage you to play along with me. I encourage you to go out and break some eggs, make your own omelet. There is no magical answer, no secret concoction, no elixir, only hard work, determination, and a desire to cause trouble. Stir some pots. Make some noise. And watch what happens.

And maybe someday, someone will write a book about your adventure.


That's me on my very first bike. It was a black 5-speed Pirate bike with purple handlebars and I put about 50k miles on it. Give or take a few. That picture was taken in 1972 in a very, very small mining town in West Virginia where I lived for about eight years. When I say small, I mean about 400 people small. The town was built by the Coal Company, every house was owned by the Coal Company and their employees rented from the Coal Company. The Company store was still open, although the company paid real money then, instead of the Scrip they used to pay employees with. One store. One nurse, the Doctor would visit once a month. Nothing else.

The town was segregated. White people lived on one side of town and black people on the other. Only a few short years before that photo was taken, the black only school was closed and left to fall into ruin. It was haunted. For me, growing up, the racial divide was very much a real and palpable thing. For me, growing up, it didn't make any goddamn sense. My friends where black and white and that's all that mattered to me. It's a lesson I've carried with me ever since.

One night my Mother woke up screaming. I ran to my parents bedroom and my Father was standing on the floor with a broom in his hands. My Mother was on the bed hiding behind the covers. On the dresser by the door was the world's largest rat. I'll never forget that image as long as I live. Nor will I forget the effort it took for us to kill it.

You can't see it in the picture, but on the other side of the road and behind a line of houses is a gargantuan slag pile. This slag pile was on fire. The rocks burned. This fact was insanely awesome when you are a kid and incredibly worrisome when you are an adult. Behind the other side of our house was a railroad that took coal away from the mining tipple and across that black bridge you can see in the photo. My friends and I crushed many things under the wheels of the rail cars, coins, plastic soldiers, firecrackers, and even a few bullets. We knew nothing about safety. We were reckless adventures, playing with trouble, playing on fire, and exploring places we should never have gone.

In the Summer evenings my Mom would cook up a huge batch of popcorn and my friends would come over to hear her tell us stories. Most of the time we'd take a walk afterwards and cross that black bridge. Those moments are some of the best memories in my entire childhood. The worst memory of that time happened one Summer afternoon. By this time my Father had stopped working in the town's coal mine and had taken another mining job further away. Every night he'd come home exhausted and as black as night. But this day he came home early. I can still picture his orange Chevy pickup screeching to a stop behind the fence and watching him fall out onto the ground. I can still remember my friends and I running as fast as we could to the nurse's house. The rest is all flashing lights and noise. It turned out to be nothing more than a scare. But I will never forget it.

My Father is my hero. He worked in the mines for over 40 years. We endured periods of no work and periods of boom. Strikes. Wild-Cat strikes. Picket lines. My Father often had to cross lines and endure threats, fires, thrown bottles and more. He had shots fired at him a few times. There were times growing up when we'd have the same meal night after night. There were times when, looking back now, I know that we were extremely poor. Dirt poor. But we never knew it. My parents managed. My Father never gave up and he worked his way up the ladder and always provided more than enough for us.

We eventually moved out of that town when I was eight years old. We were never "rich" when it came to money. But I always felt rich in other ways. My parents couldn't afford to send me to college when it was time for me to go. I had a sports scholarship but lost it when I hurt my knee in senior year. I excelled at baseball and even tried out for several major league teams, but nothing came of it. My other option was the military, a place probably more than half of the boys in my graduating class went after graduation. But the good news continued and my eye-sight failed me. And I grew too tall to fly fighter jets. I had never taken an art class before, but I had always enjoyed drawing. I had a comic strip in the school paper and had won a few art contests here and there. The art teacher allowed me to take all the required art classes in my senior year so I could qualify for art school.

We all come from somewhere. Our histories forge us. Mine has. Mine taught me some important lessons and made me the person I am today. I was lucky to have a great family and great parents who loved me. Not everyone is that lucky. We never had money. But we never needed it. My Father always provided and I am extremely proud of him. My Mother taught me to laugh and to tell stories. I get my work ethic and my sense of humor from my parents.

My origins are humble. And important. As I'm sure yours are as well. We are all people. I think it is important to remember and be reminded of that fact from time to time. I don't have any big lesson to impart. This is only a story. A small part of who I am and where I come from.

Take from it what you will.

Fountain War KS

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.
- Abraham Lincoln

Dumb and Dumber

Dumb and Dumber Poster
Click for download

To War Then

I saw this bit of propaganda this morning and thought I'd share. Yes, that is my Alliance's logo down there second from the end. A Band Apart is currently engaged with Allied forces somewhere out in Null doing something or other. Of course it is all OpSec and I won't talk in detail about it until much, much later. This is all happening at the worst possible moment for me in RL, so my involvement while I pack and sell one house, while try to buy and move into another house before the end of April, is gonna be limited. Which is a bummer. But what can you do?

What I do know is this entire "Allies" thing is nothing but a pain in the ass. As you know Stay Frosty and ABA are not in the habit of having any blues, much less setting half of known space blue. All of which is going to cause problems across the board for the next few weeks, especially in Low Sec. Nothing serious and nothing that won't get worked out one way or the other. Especially given the brotherhood that exists between Allied forces! 

We already got a HUGE shoutout over on EN24, which proclaimed, "Not much is known about this Alliance."  Which is just awesome by the way. Flying under the radar is so me, isn't it? 

And yesterday the best thing in a very long time happened. I got a convo request from someone in Shadow Cartel. I won't mention any names, cause I'm a nice guy and all, but I will share with you the rather short exchange that followed. Please keep in mind that I do not know this person, this convo is out of the blue and his Show Info has no titles or roles attached to it, so it could be anyone.

SC Dude > hi
SC Dude > i can see your fleet advert
Rixx Javix > we all blue to each other now
SC Dude > lmao what
SC Dude > why are you blue
SC Dude > you're nothing to do with this
Rixx Javix > we are running with Allies
SC Dude > who
Rixx Javix > im not at liberty
SC Dude > then you don't get blue
Rixx Javix > yes we do
Rixx Javix > speak to my Diplomats
SC Dude > your diplomats for what
Rixx Javix > dude my guys are in null right now fighting for allies
SC Dude > what allies
Rixx Javix > who the fuck are you to ask me that?
SC Dude > ok well i'll make this nice as simple
SC Dude > you're a piece of shit
Rixx Javix > fuck you
SC Dude > shdwc will not be setting your alliance blue
SC Dude > fyi
SC Dude > fs o7
Rixx Javix > whatever

So yeah. Everything is coming up roses.

This should be an extremely interesting month or so.

The Whole Enchilada

Jackdaw Special Edition Art Print

Oh Eve, why you so fickle?  I haven't had much time to play lately, my life right now is insanely chaotic. Between packing up and getting our home ready to move and on the market to sell, plus securing our new home, staying one step ahead of legal issues, trying to secure paying work to keep the lights on, and dealing with continuing and on-going issues with children - Eve has taken a firm backseat of late. Its going to be like this at least until the end of April. But I do manage to log on for short bits here and there, and yesterday I managed almost an entire hour of warping about in space.

The Jackdaw is a ship I haven't flown much. So I recently fitted one up and determined to undock it and fly it around. Mostly I knew this would end badly for me. Not only would people run away but eventually they'd blob me into exploding. Which is entirely normal for me. So I didn't care. Which is also normal for me. And sure enough people started running away. Eventually however I happened to catch the signature of a Vexor Navy on scan sitting in a Large plex. There are two other players in local, both from the same corp and both relatively new. Several attempts to catch them both resulted in them running away. Despite my railings against WCS I fully accept that my primary job as Pirate King is to catch the enemy and force them into fights. This is the part of the job that I enjoy the most, hunting. As the hunter my task is to catch my prey. To be smarter than them and to use my wits, the tools of my trade, and my craft to encourage deadly encounters that they may or may not want to engage in.

So I did. The plan worked perfectly and eventually I managed to put myself in position to be next to the VNI when he landed from warp. I had caught an elephant with a Jeep, so now what?  Two things worked against me. His high slots were all neut based and I hadn't flown a dual shield boost ship in a long time. I was hammering him pretty good and got him into structure, but I messed up my cycles and went into re-load on both boosters at the same time. Luckily my good friend Cerv landed and managed to finish off the Vexor. Not the world's best trade, but at least it wasn't for nothing.

Next I jumped into a Jaguar to join Narxes in his Wolf. We eventually found a Magus and Narxes called for help, just as my client froze and I had to re-start the client. When I returned I was in deep structure and the Jaguar exploded under me, I had just enough time to warp my pod away to safety. Sigh.

Two ships gone and not much to show for it, so time for a Comet. Our small gang of opportunists ran across an Algos that was acting strangely and we started trying to get ahold of him. Back and forth eventually saw Cerv catch and dispatch him with his Stork. The fight itself wasn't that interesting, it was what happened afterwards. Apparently Mr. Algos wanted revenge and made it clear several times in local that he wanted a re-match. I'm no fan of re-matches. Second fights rarely go well. The reasons are simple enough, the enemy knows what you are flying so you've lost that advantage. They have time to counter-fit you, deploy links potentially, or call for back-up most likely. This appeared to be the case as he showed up in a Caracal with a Caracal buddy in tow. Meanwhile we have a Stork, a Comet and two Tristans to our name. Still, we were game and we started hunting, but they kept running away.

On one of these hunt and run jumps we noticed a Succubus on scan. The system at the time was rather busy, but I patiently waited to see what might develop. Patience is a virtue and it soon became apparent that the Succubus was being piloted by none other than Elise Randolph from PL and he had a Tristan with him being flown by fellow Tweetfleet member and Twitch streamer ScaredPanda. 

What followed was one of those engagements that takes extreme patience and positioning in order to work properly. We had been joined by Narxes in a Slicer, but otherwise our ship choices were pretty slow. But it seemed like both of them were into the fight and wouldn't be warping away, so we simply started spreading the field and positioning ourselves properly. A lot of dinking from a distance, only to have them pull range on us. Until finally I got a small break. The Succubus was once more slingshotting around, trying to stay clear of Cerv's Stork and Narxes' Slicer, when he came pretty close to me. Enough so that I could get a few good rounds into him and deploy drones. I noticed that the Tristan was arching over on her orbit and so I did a very quick turn and burn, overheated my prop mod and got my scram on the Tristan. It didn't last long. All of which finally brought Elise's Succubus into range as well, and it finally exploded.

We did lose the Slicer in the process, but that was a good trade for a good fight. The Slicer was the key to pushing them both and keeping them engaged.

It was an interesting hour to say the least.

Daredevil Season 2

I've seen Season 2 of Daredevil and I'm going to talk about it. I may or may not reveal potential spoilers, so be warned.

There was a time when I cringed whenever I'd hear about a Comic Book being brought to television. It is a testament to how far we've come that the great glass teat has transformed itself away from the three network sway that held us like zombies in its etherial glow for so many decades. The bar was so low for so long, stupid is as stupid does. We have HBO to thank. And Expanded Cable. And YouTube. And Hulu and Amazon. And Netflix. And large screen HD televisions. The emergence of "Home Theater" and the power of choice.

If you happen to be young enough not to have lived thru the circus of the 1960's era Batman TV Show, or the horrid inanity of the 70's Spider-Man or Incredible Hulk shows, then good for you. Some of us survived them, somehow. And yes, I admit, they still hold their own unique nostalgic charms to lesser or greater degrees, but make no mistake they really stink.

Daredevil does not stink. It helps that it exists in a new world devoid of commercials interrupting the storyline every ten minutes. It helps that Netflix allows the viewer the choice to view the entire 13hr film in whatever way they choose. And it certainly exists in a world in which the Super-Hero genre is in the midst of an incredible renaissance. All of these factors contribute to elevating the entire genre and giving viewers the chance to witness the results. Finally we have what those of us who lived thru the age of crap always wanted. Not crap.

Season one of Daredevil was very good. And it helped usher in an even better first season of Jessica Jones. But season two of Daredevil is a whole other level, and while in places its dramatic chops may not measure up to Jessica, it is the greatest portrayal of a comic book property on the small screen ever created so far. As a life-long fan of the Man Without Fear comic books, this latest season of Daredevil seems ripped right from the panels of the comic book. Translated, adapted, churned, changed, and altered in ways that make total sense in the world it has created for itself. What used to exist as an excuse for stupidity, "We can't have THAT on TV!" is now being used as an excuse for greatness - "We CAN have that on TV!"

As good as Jessica Jones was, DD Season Two feels as much like a comic-book come to life as I have ever experienced. And I mean that in a good way. The DD comic series has always been home to some of the best storytelling in all of comics. The character of DD is the perfect foundation upon which explorations of faith, justice and other big ideas about our own humanity can be told. It is a rich canvas and it feels like the creators of the show have embraced that dynamic, or are working towards embracing it. Daredevil feels like it is going somewhere. 

I've seen complaints from other sources about the current season. It is too dark. It is shot poorly. The action sequences are great, but the rest of it falls apart. I'm not here to tell you it is perfect, by no means, but it is wonderfully dark. It is shot beautifully and purposefully. The dialogue is often not groan-worthy. And the action is incredible, personal, close, tight, and full of weight and meaning. But no it isn't perfect. I was no fan of the casting choice for Foggy Nelson in season one. I felt like he was the weak link both from a performance and a writing stand-point. And while I still feel the casting choice could have been better, Foggy Nelson is much better in season two. Not perfect, but much better.

I didn't much care for Jon Bernthal's character on The Walking Dead and I thought his casting as The Punisher was an odd choice. But he truly brings humanity to a role that could so easily be a one-note anger performance. Extremely well done. He is given the room and the space in season two to bring his character fully to life in ways it has never been before. And √Člodie Yung simply is Elektra in all the ways that character needs to be and has never been before. Elektra is such a great character with such a rich history, it is great to finally see her being given her proper light. Her second act should be mythic in season three!

This isn't really a review as much as an appreciation to all those involved. The Marvel Netflix universe is full of potential and I think it can be even better as we go along. I'm anxious to see how Luke Cage develops. I'm concerned about the white guy casting choice for Iron Fist, but I'm willing to see how they handle that. And I'm curious how all of these pieces finally come together into the Defenders.

It certainly is a great time to be alive.

475 Twitter Hats

This morning Banshee Legend asked me for a hat, that is it above, and when I saved it into the Twitter Hats folder I realized it was the 475th Hat. That is a lot of hats! You can see them all on the Twitter Hats page.

I started putting hats on my own Twitter avatar in June, 2011 as a form of protest over the high-priced Monocles and other clothing items in the Incarna store. It wasn't long before other Tweetfleet members started asking me to put hats on their avatars. During the time when CCP took away the Frills on the new Vagabond, we even started wearing Victorian Frills around our necks as a form of protest. Which helped to bring the Frill back to the ship.

Over the years since I still get asked for hats, it usually happens in cycles from time to time. There is something to seeing your Eve Avatar wearing a hat. This cannot be downplayed, it has a magical quality to it.  


Hats will probably never appear in-game, at least not in a way that breaks the fictional universe allowing for "cowboy" hats or "caps" on our avatars. But that doesn't mean it wouldn't be awesome!!

Until then I'll keep popping them on avatars. Just for the fun of it.

The Getaway 5k Wallpaper

The Getaway 5k Eve Wallpaper
Click to download various sizes including a 5k super high-res version

I also decided to try a test of outputting various construction layers out of photoshop and building a quick step-by-step video of this wallpaper. This was just a quick test, but what I'd like to start doing is making these with audio explaining how they were done and my thought process behind them. I may even go back and do some for older pieces as well.

Let me know what you think of the idea of these videos with voice-over and whatnot walking you thru the creation process. If enough people are interested in them I might start making them regularly.


Staying Frosty

Stay Frosty "Anarchy" Wallpaper
Kinda Sums It Up

Two years, ten months and eleven days ago a small collection of numb-skulls challenged the status-quo, throwing logic and common sense to the wind, and decided to form a Corporation that everyone else said was doomed to surely fail. That time period remains the most heavily visited in this humble blogs entire history. The month that Stay Frosty formed, Eveoganda received well over 150,000 unique visitors. We got started with a bang, to say the least.

In the years since we've had over a thousand pilots cross our open recruitment threshold. Some have stayed forever, some stay for awhile, some try it and move on and a few never quite "get it". We've had spys, Corp thieves, players with agendas, players with axes to grind, and a few rotten apples that wanted to bring us down. They all failed. Every day since day one Stay Frosty has enjoyed an Open Door Recruitment Policy, you put an app in and you get accepted. No API keys. No questions. We strongly believe in a sink or swim philosophy that essentially boils down to, come in and see what you think. No grudges. No judgement. We make no apologies for being who and what we are. You either dig that sort of thing or you don't.

And mostly players seem to dig it. We have maintained a healthy roster of active and semi-active players for almost three full years. Every so often we purge a percentage of our roster and you can't even tell it happens, because it gets filled back up again so quickly. Old blood is being constantly refreshed with new blood. It is a system that I imagined would work extremely well when I set it up. But to be honest, I'm just as surprised as anyone at just how well it works. Pleasantly surprised.

I'm sure I'll be writing more about Stay Frosty and the Alliance that sprang up around it here as we approach our third anniversary. Today I just wanted to express my personal thanks to all of those players that have joined our merry band of misfits over the years, the good, the bad and the ugly. None of this would have worked without you. And to those 230 or so players that remain in Stay Frosty today, thank you for choosing to play with us. You are the ones that breath life into our Corporation each and every day. We'd be nothing but a bunch of words without you.

Every corner of New Eden today has a Stay Frosty pilot. A current blood hungry nut bag waiting to strike from out of the darkness in Low Sec, or Null, or somewhere you don't expect. Or a former member who has moved on but still retains a kernel of that spirit to this very day. We've made a lot of friends and very few enemies since we started. To all of you, thank you as well.

I can't wait to see where the next two years, ten months and eleven days take us.



My Patreon

Jackdaw Special Edition Art Print
New Hi-Res Jackdaw Special Edition

In the midst of all the legal emergencies from a few weeks ago word was slowly leaking into the creative community from CCP Legal in regards to Patreon. Some of us have been wondering and asking about CCP's stance on this platform in regards to those of us that produce actual artwork. Patreon has been used by content creators, podcasters, video makers, and others for a long time, but you can't go to Kinkos and print 5,000 videos and sell them on Amazon. And while it would be illegal to do that to my artwork, that doesn't always stop some people from doing it. Not to mention the RMT implications involved.

It appears that the general ruling actually makes perfect sense. As long as supporters don't get access to things that normal non-supporters can't have access to - fine. So as long as people are not paying for "exclusive" content, they are free to support your work. Which is frustrating, because Patreon is set-up to reward supporters, but it isn't impossible to achieve either. 

So I decided to set-up my own Patreon. If you are interested in supporting my on-going creative efforts both here in the Eve community and beyond, please consider becoming a supporter. It is greatly appreciated.

What I've decided to do is keep any work produced open to everyone. However, as we go along here, I can share certain types of content with supporters exclusively. I know this because the video, podcasting people do it. This won't include any finished pieces or anything, but it might include things like sketches, thumbnails, work-in-progress updates, sound bites, and other content that my supporters might find interesting. 

The Patreon doesn't really get going until the end of April, because that is when I'll be all moved in to my new studio space!!

But the Jackdaw is the first piece since it went up and there will be more leading up to the end of April.

So thanks to my supporters and all of those that read, enjoy and care about the Eve community.

Onward and upward.

Next Step Beyond Skins

My Police Comet
I fly Comets a lot. It has become my "go-to" ship for general Yarring around Citadel/Black Rise and it serves very well in that role. Until ship skins came along I never spent any Aurum on anything, so I had a nice little pile of it available and bought some skins. My first purchase was the Police skin for the Comet. Since it is the best skin available in Eve. Not only is it an awesome skin, but it comes with Police Lights!!  And ever since that day I've been naming my Comets after famous television Police, Detectives and the actors or actresses that played them. My currently undefeated Comet is named Jack Lord, the actor that played Detective Steve McGarret in the original Hawaii Five-O.

Yesterday I asked about the way in which we all name our ships over on Tweetfleet and here on the blog. I got some amazing answers, formulas and strategies from everyone when it comes to naming conventions for their spaceships. Not surprising to me. I expected it, our ships are important to us. They are, after all, the extension of ourselves inside of Eve. They are our vessels in more ways than the obvious. So it is only natural that we all take ownership of them and want them to reflect even a small part of our own personality.

So the natural extension of all this is the following question, "Is there anything else that can be done to express that personality?"  I already mentioned yesterday the idea of having names attached to saved fits so that the newly fitted ship holds onto the name it has been given. I also like the idea of ship names showing up on kill-mails, to preserve some individuality and personality long after our ship goes boom boom. Neither of those two things seem all that difficult to implement. But again, my knowledge of what it would take to do so is less than zero.  But, if I've learned anything during the last eight years, it is this - if you don't ask, you won't get.  So it's worth asking.

Ok, so how about ship names actually being printed on our ships?  We have some reason to believe that Alliance Logos will eventually be appearing on our ships someday soon™.  If that is possible, then would it also be possible to have the name we've given our ship also appear?  Now I'm going to go right ahead here and assume that it is probably impossible to constantly update thousands of ship names that can be changed on a whim at any time.  That seems like a good assumption.  So what if we tie the saved fit name into a permanent feature?  Once fitted the ship name can no longer be changed?  As long as that ship is alive it is stuck with the name it was given?  That would cut down the sheer amount of information being asked of the server, wouldn't it?  Would it be enough to make the idea fall within the realm of possibility?

Would you be willing to trade the ability to re-name your ship at anytime for the ability to have said name displayed on the hull of that ship?

I honestly don't know if any of this is possible.  I'm just asking the questions and pondering the possibilities.  I'd be willing to trade extreme customization on ship names, which is a relatively useless feature, in order to have more permanent ship names emblazoned on my ships.  But that's me.  And I'm weird like that.

How about you?

What's In A Name?

My Hangar in Ishomilken
One of the most inconsequential and over-looked aspects of ships in Eve Online is the ship name. They literally have no meaning, no lasting consequence or impact on pretty much anything at all. They can be changed on a whim, under orders from the FC, to confuse or encourage the enemy, or for random fits of creativity. They don't make the kill-mail. And they rarely have meaning, except to those who name them, and they have no real value except to communicate a brief bit of information on the d-scan. Which is often ignored in favor of ship type.

When I first started playing Eve I named my few ships according to ever changing ideas that would pop into my head. After science-fiction authors. Movie titles. Rock songs. Pink Floyd albums. Video game characters. Scientists. Moons in our solar system. Old girlfriends. You name it and I probably did it for at least a few weeks at one point or another. Along the way I started to develop a sense of superstition about certain names as my hangar started to grow and I started flying more and more ships. I might try a new name out only to have that ship explode shortly after undocking... well that name must be bad luck. Time to move on. The first time I flew a Daredevil I named it "Murdock" and every single one since then has been named the same. The one time I changed it, the one time, I lost it landing on a Gate to a smartbomber. 

Yesterday I asked Tweetfleet about ship names. The responses I got were very similar to my own experiences. Everyone seems to have their own ideas about how they name their ships. Some have conventions they adhere to regularly, some are just random "on the spot" decisions, and others have complex and detailed ideas about how they name their ships. It is, as I expected, a wide spectrum. Which is good as far as I'm concerned. It proves to me at least, that Eve players continue to love their spaceships. A fact which shouldn't be news to anyone.

Years ago I proposed an idea that would attach information about a ship builder to the actual ship. An idea I called the "Maker's Mark" back then. And it got me wondering about ship names and if there is anything that could be changed about them. They are one of the few places in Eve where every player gets to be creative, a place to stamp your own personality, in a game often lacking. Is it ok for ship names to be so transitory in nature? 

An obvious way to preserve the ship name would be for it to live on in the kill-mail. Right now it does not obviously. But it certainly could. Although I'm sure, like most things, the amount of time needed to make that change could be grossly inappropriate and wasteful of precious Dev time.

Another idea would be to preserve the ship name along with the saved fit. There is already a place in each fit to "name" the fit, why not have that name transfer to a new ship when you fit it? Imagine how much time this would save during mass-fitting for Corps and Alliances? It would certainly make organizing much easier. The ship name could be changed again at any point, but the idea has merit I think. I know, for me personally, it would help. I often fit up a new ship under time constraints, when time is of the essence. And even I have undocked in ships named "Rixx's Federation Navy Comet" before.

Or maybe I should stop meddling. I dunno. Maybe things are just fine the way they are now? What are your thoughts?

Evander Holyfield

This week is chock full of real life and I haven't even had time to re-read the patch notes or download the new patch yet. So I thought I'd tell you a funny story that happened to me once. This story deserves a much longer and more detailed telling, but for now I'll just stick to one aspect of it. I hope to someday have the time to write a book about some of these experiences, but until then I hope you enjoy this one.

I'm in West Palm Beach Florida. The offices of one of the richest and most famous defense lawyers in the country. An ocean-side white building with Bentleys, Mercedes, and other rich people type cars parked outside. I'm understandably nervous. I had flown down the day before with my business associate to make a presentation to a group of investors and owners in a fledging cable network. And also to participate in a charity golf tournament, even though I had never played golf before, that was happening the next day on two pristine PGA golf courses in West Palm. I was understandably nervous.

I waited in the office, the presentation room was just down the hall and I could hear people arriving. Eventually we were asked to join them and I entered a small conference room that was packed with people around a large table. The table was too big for the room, the walls were at the backs of both sides and the ends. As our host made his introductions I scrambled to do my AV Club heritage proud and hook up my laptop for the presentation.

My nerves did not get better. The introductions did nothing but make things worse. The man I would be sitting next to was Marlon Jackson, brother of Michael Jackson. (Who I would meet in person only a few short months later.) A Hall-of-Fame baseball player. A famous Hollywood director. A musician. Business leaders. A representative of Jesse Jackson's. The table was chock full of famous or semi-famous African-American leaders. And, at the far end, Evander Holyfield. Heavyweight champion of the world at the time. The man whose ear Mike Tyson had made a meal of only a short time before.

Oh, and yes, as you may have guessed by now - I was the only white person in the room.

I made my own introductions and began telling my story, why I was there and what I hoped I could do to help. Once I got going the nerves vanished, as they normally do. I'm very passionate about what I do and I believe in what I can achieve. At the time I was speaking with some authority. The nation's third largest cable company was a client of ours and we were also doing regular work for Comcast and Time Warner at the time. And while I had never specifically had a cable network as a client before, I had been involved with several on different projects. So nothing here, other than the setting and those involved, was all that unusual.

Until the snoring started.

I do want to give Mr. Holyfield the benefit of saying that it was a rather warm day in West Palm that day. The conference room was small and stuffy. But the Heavyweight Champion was sound asleep at the other end of the table. And snoring rather loudly.

I've given presentations under some weird conditions and in many strange places over my career, I once pitched two Major League Baseball players in a hunting cabin while several dead Elk, that they had shot, were being dressed. And I've given the shadow puppet presentation many times due to bad AV. So I'm no stranger to dealing with the unexpected. I soldiered on. But eventually someone else at the table stopped me and asked if I'd like them to try and wake him up.

To this day I think my response is what ultimately won us the business.

"Let's let the Champ sleep. I'm not sure he would hear you anyway with that ear of his."

There was a slight pause and then everyone laughed. The ice had been broken and the rest of the meeting went easily and casually. Eventually Mr. Holyfield joined us on his own. I don't think anyone ever said anything to him about what he might have missed. Which is probably for the best.

The Once Mighty Maelstrom

Maelstrom Art Print Poster
The Mighty Maelstrom

The other day one of my Corpmates reported spotting a Maelstrom on scan in the neighboring system. It appeared to be alone. There were a couple of Omen Navy Issues around, but they didn't seem to be together. As always, we took this as an opportunity and assembled our team. I had recently fitted up a new Sacrilege with the intention of starting to fly them again, so I figured why not try it out. Cerv volunteered to bring armor Logistics and we had a handful of small frigates on hand.

We got tackle and started pounding on the Battleship. And while the Sac and my flock of Frigs was doing good damage, we probably were not able to inflict more dps than his shield boost. It all boiled down to waiting until he ran out of charges. During the first round of this fight the two ONIs showed up just as the Maelstrom's neuts made me lose point and the Battleship actually warped off. I burned down one of the ONIs and almost killed him before he wisely ran off. My Sacrilege is a nasty beast. Lucky for us, and unexpectedly, the Maelstrom came back for another round. And this time we weren't going to let it go. 188,340 points of damage later, and it finally exploded.

Kudos to the pilot for the good fight and for coming back to finish the job. This post isn't about the pilot, the fight, or any mistakes that were made. Its about the ship. And in a larger context the entire Battleship class. I can't tell you the last time I saw a Maelstrom in space. I think it has been at least two years. Obviously we don't get as many BS in Low Sec as they might out in Null, or even in WHs. But we do get our fair share. Mostly these days it seems like Machs are the flavor of our times. The other day a fleet went thru Black Rise that had about nine Machariels in it, along with the usual support. Machariels travel well, which is understandable. Being able to move is an important asset in Low Sec space. The fleets are generally smaller and the targets further apart. Other BS are generally "system hogs" or gate camping BS. (A "system hog" is a ship that lives in one system, usually used to break up camps or in an enforcing role in a single system or two.) You see a lot of Hyperions, Domis, and Geddons in this role.

The other day Kirith suggested making the warp to range in Eve much larger than the current 150k. This makes a lot of sense in many ways, but perhaps the greatest potential impacts a class of ships that have gotten the short end of the stick over the past few years. And that is the Sniper Class. Of which the Maelstrom was once a majestic maestro at performing. There are other reasons for expanding the warp to distance in Eve now that grid sizes have gotten larger, but a return of the sniper Battleship is certainly a big one. 

Over the years Eve has condensed and gotten more crowded. More ships, more points of interest, more destination based engagement. Plexes, gates, stations, missions, and other places to be. The vastness, the largesse, the expanse has been lost in many cases. Now that we are thinking bigger, with Citadels around the corner, it is time to expand the engagement space even more.

There is a lot of empty space in New Eden, it is time we started using more of it. And hopefully it won't be another two years before I see another Maelstrom in space.

Your thoughts?