CSM Thoughts

Poor Steve. I feel for you buddy. Stuck on the CSM as the lonely non-aligned and beholden member of the newly elected representative body. To be fair, I'm being a little unfair. No one believes Nashh is actually a PL aligned player, his heart is in Low Sec and probably always will be. But Nashh has moved on to other things these days and I get why he slid over under that banner. It seems to have worked for him and I wish him well, as always. I hope he doesn't forget us. As for the rest, The Judge, Mr Hyde, and Gorski can be relied upon to remember their roots I believe. It still would have been good to have a new non-aligned representative on the CSM this year. We are gonna miss Mike.

Every year I spin my web of puppet strings to make that happen behind-the-scenes and this year I fell short in my machinations. A combination of real life distractions and extremely low voter turn out combined to defeat my ebil plans. For the first time I actually had a public candidate to get on the student council and he didn't make it. This is the first time a candidate I really wanted to get on, hasn't gotten on. Sorry Joffy, but we shall try again next year my friend.

So all of this brings up some points I'd like to make in regards to the CSM. And some reforms I'd like to advocate for next year.

A) Every candidate for CSM needs to declare their PRIMARY area of play within the game. High-Sec, Low-Sec, WH, or Null.

B) Only three players from each of those areas can be elected to the CSM. Except for the 2 highest vote getters, who (no matter their PRIMARY) get permanent seats. That makes 14 CSM members.

This ensures that each area of space gets represented on the Council and that those that are supported more than others get permanent seats. Whoever brings the votes will get a slight advantage. As is only fair. Granted, the way things work in Eve, most players bring expertise in more than one area of space. Take myself for example, I've played in every area of space. While I certainly lean towards Low-Sec these days, my personal experience encompasses all of Eve. I certainly admit to a very strong LS bias, but that bias is a positive one and not negative towards any other area. Which is why I'd make such a great CSM member.

In addition CCP needs to help bring the election to the game itself. An active and participatory player base is good for everyone. So I'd like to see more log-in screen support, in-game notifications, billboard and hangar ads, etc., next year.

We all know why Null Sec dominates the CSM every year even though they constitute such a small percentage of the player base. It's like Donald Trump. There is only one Donald Trump, but he gets all the news. It is time to make some CSM reforms to ensure the Council better reflects the player-base. And if voters are not going to do it, then we should do it for them.

My fingers are crossed for CSM11. Please don't make things worse.

Citadel Day

In CCP's on-going attempt to implement every single idea I've ever had into the game, today marks the launch of the Citadel expansion. Today begins the era of player built stations which will soon see the end of POS structures by this time next year. Soon space will be littered with Citadels around every corner.  What this means for the future of game-play inside of New Eden remains to be seen, but certainly it is the dawn of a new age of increasing player control.

You didn't know this was all my idea? Well it sorta is. You see, six years ago I wrote a series of posts about a new concept I called "Battle POS", which essentially boiled down to the next evolutionary stage in the old concept. Customized, module-based, built by players, formidable weapons, and transportable. In other words, a Citadel. This is just another example of CCP taking my Gooder Eve posts, changing them about a bit, and then making them happen. Which is a pretty smart plan on thier part. (I'm half-joking here by the way, but still it is amazing how many of those posts are coming true.)

I'm just getting caught up on all the news out of Fanfest. Moving your family during FF week is not a good time for keeping up with news. A few things struck me. First was just how Null-Centric this FF was. Not a lot of things for the 85% of us that don't play in Null. Second was the lack of any further details on the longer-range plans along the roadmap. At last year's FF we had a pretty good idea about Citadels already on the horizon and many of the other things that have come to pass. I thought this year we'd hear a little more about player-built Stargates and new space. That is something that has been hinted at for a long time. I know this Citadel expansion has been a beast for the Devs and I certainly appreciate the effort. But some teasing would have been nice. Its great to see our vague line on the roadmap, but a few more large themes would be appreciated.

I was also seriously bummed about how the CSM elections turned out. Not only did my candidate Joffy not get elected, but a resounding majority of Null Sec candidates did. This is a huge concern for the majority of Eve players. A low voter turnout always hurts the non-aligned candidates, we've seen that happen in previously low turn-out years. Hopefully this CSM doesn't turn out to be as horrible as other null-centric councils have in the past. But if they do, it will help us generate more voter participation next year. It always does.

Just some quick thoughts today. I'm about a week away from getting back to a normal schedule again. So enjoy the expansion and I hope to see you in space again soon.

Stay Frosty.

There is a good interview with CCP Seagull in which she talks more about the road ahead.


The following post is about real life issues and is an adult conversation regarding those issues. I respect the fact that some readers may be bored, so please feel free to move along. I'll have actual Eve posts again here shortly. Thanks.

One of the funniest "hater" comments I run into around the neighborhood, usually on TMC or Reddit, is the accusation that I've made horribly bad life choices. If only I had made better decisions, my problems would be solved and life would be so much better for me and my family. On the surface this accusation bears a striking resemblance to truth. I mean, obviously, good decisions are better than bad ones. Right? Of course they are.

Most intelligent and thoughtful people strive to make good and well-considered decisions. I don't know anyone who purposefully sets out to make bad ones. Even though I know plenty of people who seem to keep making the same bad decisions, even they are usually well-intentioned. As you get older and live life you begin to understand that decisions are not an isolated point in time, but rather a tree that branches off in thousands of expected and unexpected places. Let me use an example. My first marriage was, by all accounts, a horrible and devastating monster that has consumed a large chunk of my life. It would be easy to say it was a bad decision. And in many ways it obviously was. I freely admit that. In hindsight. But that marriage also gave me my Son, who I love more than anything. That marriage also instilled in me a determination and confidence in myself that resulted in some incredible career milestones, achievements, and opportunities that I might not otherwise have had. And while it became a horrible marriage, it didn't start out that way.

More than anything that bad marriage brought me to a place where I met my current wife, who happens to be my soul mate. So was it really a bad thing that it happened? It is a rather complicated question without any real answer. Because it is real life and real life is not a series of binary decisions one after the other. Life is messy, complicated, convoluted and impossible to predict. Not just my life, but yours as well.

Recently my friends and family gave me a chance to change the course of my life a tiny bit in a new direction. And for that chance I am eternally grateful. I want to take a moment and bring you up to date on how that is going and what your help meant to us.

Until only a few short months ago our hands were tied when it came to our largest asset, our home. We could do nothing with it except struggle to keep it. If we lost it along the way, it would be gone forever. And along with it a huge investment. This is because it was protected by the bankruptcy that followed the closing of my business. And while that was a good thing in many ways, it also meant that our credit sucked serious ass. Worse, no banks or financial institutions could even discuss re-financing or re-structuring with us until THREE YEARS had passed. A milestone that just passed in January.

We worked like maniacs since February to try various options. It quickly became apparent that re-financing the current home would not be an option for us. So we began looking at other options. Eventually a very small window of opportunity presented itself and we made the decision to take advantage of it. By the narrowest of margins we were able to secure a new home (new to us) that was half the size of the current one and less of a burden on our wallets. This made financial sense. Luckily my wife's Father was able to help us along the way as well, which proved to be the final help we needed. Now, for a short period of time, we have two homes. It is critical that the old home sell as soon as possible. If it does, and if it brings a good price, our problems may be solved. It is a chance. A very slight chance, but its the best one we've had in a very long time.

For the past two months we've been eliminating extra crap from our lives. Throwing away over 3 metric tons of crap. Selling assets. Donating goods to charity. Down-sizing once again. For the past two weeks we've been closing on the new house and preparing the old one. We rented our own truck. We moved our own home. Ourselves. My Son and his wife came to help. It took three trips in the truck because we could only afford to have it for two days. And about 30 trips in our cars, but we are finally moved in. Now the old house needs prepared for sale. And this I have to do on my own.

I am cleaning and fixing and preparing a huge house for sale, all last weekend, every night this week and probably all next weekend to get it ready to go on the market. I am literally scrubbing, crawling, and cleaning every square inch. It has become an almost religious cleansing experience for me. The scrubbing away of an old life and the washing away of past sins. All with the knowledge that this is my chance. If things go well this could change everything.

We succeeded in keeping the house. Many times we didn't think we would. Most months it was a supreme challenge. Along the way we often needed help just to keep it. It was a huge burden, a massive source of overwhelming depression and we are almost free of it. It is a mess and selling it will be challenging. But I am determined to get it into shape as best I can. To give us the best chance we have to succeed.

By keeping the wolves at bay for the moment, this is the chance that you gave us.

It was not a spurious thing asking for help. And it wasn't something taken lightly. I want you to know that we are all thankful, and working our asses off every day to make the most of it. The house should go on the market next week. And hopefully we can find a buyer quickly. If it works out the way we hope, this could help us close some important chapters in our life.

Either way, we are moving on to face the future. And a big part of that opportunity is because of the Eve community. And that is something we will never forget.

Help Build Creator Studio

My good friend t'amber needs our help. For the past three years Project Jeremy has been the backbone of thousands and thousands of Eve related art, banners, wallpapers and videos across the entire community. If you are un-familiar with this amazing tool, it is a browser based 3d rendering tool that you can use to create spaceships from Eve. Custom painting, full rotation, lighting, etc. I personally use it all the time! And I know many others do as well.

T'amber has big plans for Jeremy, which is now going to be called Creator Studio, and with the support of Eve_NT looks to build an even more amazing tool-set going forward. Including ANIMATION!!!! Imagine a browser based full 3d animation solution for Eve! If that doesn't get you excited about the possibilities for Eve video productions and opportunities, then I don't know what would. Aging, custom skins, the list of tools is incredible. And with the support of CCP, Eve_NT and me yelling at him every day, I know he can make it happen.

But he needs our help. Like most of us, he isn't a trust-fund baby or independently wealthy, and Creator Studio is going to not only require hardware, but a serious time-commitment to realize. So please take a moment, dig deep, and consider supporting this important project.

I did already. And we all know I'm borderline homeless.

More about Creator Studio HERE.

UPDATED: Here is the new working contributions page!

Calling you Eve community. Let's come together and help make this happen. Thanks.

Fire Water Burn

I was planning on creating my first Eve Parody song today. It was my Wife's idea and it is a good one. The song is perfect and it has a great attitude. I spent a few days tinkering with lyrics and managed to match them up almost perfectly. All that was left was to find the time to record in the middle of our insane packing, moving, and other insanity this week. The only problem? God I suck at singing. Its not even singing, cause I can kinda fake sing ok. Its sing talking, and I can't do that. Not even a little. I thought I might be able to get away with it, because let's be honest here, the singing in the song itself is rather bad. Nope. I suck. And my devotion to quality, not always perfection, won't allow me to release anything that horrible.

So, if anyone else wants to give this a shot I'm giving the whole thing away for free. Here is the original song.

And here are the Parody lyrics:

Deklein, Deklein, Deklein is on fire,
Deklein, Deklein, Deklein is on fire,
Deklein, Deklein, Deklein is on fire,
We don't need no reps let the motherfucker burn,
Burn motherfucker burn.

Hello my name is The Mittani and I'm a dumb white goon,
I'm not bitter or newb but middle ground trust fund like eve tycoon,
I don't know you if y'all pilots be buggin' give cynos to scion cause he’s all fly,
But I can fake the heat meet I'm the other white fleet known as ‘Goonswarm Pride’,
Yeah I'm stung like Jita Burns gotta leak with a yellow spine,
But if I crashed and burned oh I would start to really cry and whine,
Cause I kind of hate fly’n solo always stroking my own kittens,
I'm the root of all that's evil yeah but you can call me Mittens,
Deklein, Deklein, Deklein is on fire,
Deklein, Deklein, Deklein is on fire,
Deklein, Deklein, Deklein is on fire,
We don't need no reps let the motherfucker burn,
Burn motherfucker burn.

Yo yo this warp-stab null-sec goonster image takes a lot of practice,
I'm not bad like Gev Goblin no I am white like Sabre A is,
So if scion is five and xander is six than that must make me…one,
This honkey's gone to Wisconsin,
But if I go to hell then I hope I burn well,
I'll spend my days with RMT, Being Gay, Docking Bay, and Scion’s Johnson,
And Laz, Giggix, Waffe, Goon Goon and Sir Molle’s creepy poltergeist,
And Manifest yeah CCP Manifest cause he's the anti-christ,
Deklein, Deklein, Deklein is on fire,
Deklein, Deklein, Deklein is on fire,
Deklein, Deklein, Deklein is on fire,
We don't need no reps let the motherfucker burn,
Burn motherfucker burn.

Kickstarter here we go,
Ohh Ohh,
C'mon goonwaffe,
Ohh Ohh,
Throw your iskies in the air,
Ohh Ohh,
C'mon goonwaffe,
Ohh Ohh,
Fly 'em like you just don't care,
Ohh Ohh,
C'mon goonwaffe,
Ohh Ohh,
Everbody say no,
Ohh Ohh,
C'mon goonwaffe,
Ohh Ohh,
Kickstarter here we go.

If you do anything with this let me know and I'll post it and promote it here and other places.

The Exact Moment

This is the exact moment when it became about more than a game. When it became impossible for anyone to defend, or excuse, or apologize. When a line had been crossed that couldn't be un-crossed. This is the exact moment. There is no confusion about this. This person was the Chairman of the CSM at the time. Those in attendance were witnessing a train wreck and the exposure of what, up until that exact moment, had only been conjecture. A nerve was exposed. A glimpse at the true nature of a person that had been fortunate and lucky enough to be responsible for a large percentage of dedicated players.

Any remaining apologists out there need to reconcile this moment in their minds. I cannot. I will not.

The litany of moments since then is a long one. And depending on your perspective the contents of the list will vary. But whatever your perspective it all comes down to this exact moment. And only you can decide what it means for you. I decided. And I have not regretted that decision a single day since that day. Have you?

500 Hats

Tweetfleet 500 Hats
4k Wallpaper, click for download
I made the very first Tweetfleet hat on June 21st, 2011, almost five years ago now. Since then I've created well over 500 of them for my fellow Tweetfleet community members. I can't be accurate as to the exact number because I believe I lost a few dozen when my computer died back in the Fall. Additionally, along the way I created a bunch for real life photos, cartoon characters, and other silly things. But I went with the 500 number because the folder I keep all the hats in now has 500 items in it. So that's good enough for me.

I never intended for this to be a "thing". But I will be the first to admit that when I put a hat on my own Avatar that first day, I knew I had created something very bizarre, special and different. There is undeniably something magical about seeing an Eve Avatar with a hat. I can't explain it. But I know it is real. Good thing I don't need to explain it, I just know it's real. Every hat I create is done out of love for Eve and our great community. Every single one. Enemies, friends, mates, pirates, miners, hi-sec gankers, CCP employees, every hat was thought out, considered and lovingly crafted. If any haters want to jump on me for using the word "love" in conjunction with Eve, then go ahead. I'm not going to apologize for it. I love my work. I always have.

I also admit to a touch of melancholy when I look at some of these. Many of these people are no longer players, or no longer work at CCP, or no longer blog, or are missing from our community. Time marches on I suppose. But I miss them all.

I remember making every single hat. I plan on making a video as soon as we finish moving into our new home next week. But more on that in another post.

Until then, the Haberdashery remains open for business.

Win Conditions

For all the talk you hear around the Eve community about how much like real wars "Eve Wars" can be, and they do share many similarities, there is one major problem with these kind of analogies. Inside of New Eden people just don't die. As we all know, out here in the real world, when you kill your enemy they tend to stay dead. At least individually. Put enough of those individuals together and sooner or later all the enemies are kaputski. Or the rest lose the will to fight. Or they move to Europe.

I fought two wars on the side of CVA in Providence and one war against CVA in Providence with Co2 back in the day. In all of those cases the losers did the exact same thing, they consolidated and moved their forces and assets into Low Sec and waited. Every single time I heard the winners say the same thing, "Well that's the end of CVA." Or, "I doubt -A- can recover from that loss." And those people were wrong every time. If there is any Alliance in this game that SHOULD be dead by now, it is CVA. And yet, there they are. Still around.

There is a lot of yelling about "win conditions" in the current war. Mostly from the imperium's side. As if those aggressing OWE them an explanation of their intentions. I find this mildly amusing. Talk to anyone higher up in the GSF ranks long enough and you begin to realize just how warped their perspective has become. It is as if they expect, or demand, that the rest of Eve act the way they do. "Where is your leader!!?" they often shout. "Where are your win conditions!!" they often demand. As if all of us out here in the rest of New Eden couldn't possibly operate without some pimple faced trust-fund maniac yelling orders at us. I get it. Reality is what you become used to. I don't blame anyone here.

As I've said many times before. (And I grow tired of saying it) I am not Anti-Goon. What I am against is giant blue donuts. I was just as opposed to that giant blue northern NCdot donut as I am the one built by The Imporium. I prefer chaos. I prefer action, wars, fighting, and lots and lots of red standings. (As we can all see from the last few weeks, Eve is much more exciting when we all fight each other!)  But that's me. Others on the side of the MBC are not as kind. There are those that want to see the whole shebang eat the dust of time. That's because we don't have a single leader shouting at us or leaking EULA breaking emails. We are not a cohesive unit. Heck, most of us refuse to set each other blue - even when we are in the same fleet!

This isn't a Coalition. This is a movement.

This has become a War of Eradication. A war whose win conditions vary from Alliance to Alliance. But generally speaking they amount to an effective dissolution of the word "The Imperium" and a removal of it as a thing. If The Imperium holds no Sov it is no longer The Imperium. Certainly the GSF will survive and run off to Low Sec to bide their time. What happens after that is anyone's guess. Can they hold together? Will the loyalists hang on, but log-out? Will there be those inside the MBC who will continue to hunt them and persecute the War long after it is effectively over? I have no idea.

Only time will tell. I suspect GSF will survive, just like CVA did. Smaller. Less influential for a time. Slowly bidding their time until they can strike back. Because this is Eve. And in Eve you can't really kill anyone. Only they can do that. By becoming bored. By logging off. Or by quitting.

Or by setting themselves up to get banned so they can blame CCP for it.

Either way, wars in Eve never end. And it is foolish to think they do.

Far Side of Mittens

Sincere apologies to Gary Larson.

Sion is spelled Scion here, the "C" is for "Community".

We all need to laugh more. This is Eve. Stop being so serious, relax, have fun and enjoy it while it lasts. I hope these help. If not, I can always make more.

That's How We Know You F**ked Up!

NSFW (most likely) It has the F Word in it, a lot.

Not only is this yet another great parody song from the immensely talented Sindel Pellion, which it is and you should listen and share it a gazillion times, it is also a great story about determination. I've known Sindel for a long time and we've worked together on projects (like "Eve: Dumb Ways to Die") and I've always tried to support her community projects (like The Angel Project), because she is a good egg and, well, that's what we do out here in the non-existent community. So it was no surprise back in December of last year when she told me she wanted to do another parody song coming off of the "community" and "charlatan" bruhaha following the KS failure.

I want to be clear. I'm not taking any credit for anything here, this is all her. But I do try to be a sounding board, not only for Sindel, but for anyone that wants a sounding board. I enjoy helping people. We discussed several potential ideas and eventually she landed on this song, which frankly was the perfect song. In another stroke of pure genius she wanted as many members of the community to participate as possible. I've written my fair share of songs and jingles over the years, but I have no illusions as to my own singing ability. (Despite what happens when I'm alone in my car!) But I was happy to contribute and I recorded my part back in mid-December.

As great as the song would have been back in December, it is that much better now. Who knew things would turn out the way they did? (>cough<) What I'm getting at, and what I want to give full credit to, is not giving up. I don't know the full story, but I do know she had challenges along the way. Like losing a ton of work on this at least once, if not more than once. And, like a lot of us, real life challenges along the way. And she stuck with it and never gave up.  And that is a testament to her tenacity and her genius. And something I believe is worthy of a shout-out.

A lot of talented people make Eve parody songs, and they are all fun and many of them are brilliant. I enjoy them all. But Sindel's always manage to rise above simply because of that tenacity and dedication.

So thanks Sindel. You are one-of-a-kind. And our community, which is a real, tangible, and powerful thing, is lucky to have you around.

Thanks for saving my "doot doots" :)

For more, Sindel has her own post up about the song now.

Fun with Comics

With sincere apologies to Gary Larson, Bill Watterson and Berke Breathed, you guys are my heroes!

Concord Historical Society

Courtesy of the CHS

I was flipping thru Concord's Archival photo library the other day and came across this old historical photograph from the olden days. A long time ago in New Eden there was this group of people that called themselves the Imperium. They didn't last long and from the looks of it their last days were kinda rough. That fella in the front was called Mittens, cause of his tiny little hands. We believe he may have been the fella in charge of a portion of the Imperium called Goons, but little evidence survives to the present day. That large fella in the back is Scion. Originally he was named Sion, but the "C" was added at some point to represent "Charlatan" or "Community", we can't be sure which. The other gentleman is a mystery, but we think he was probably a spy.

History is fun.

World War Bee Movie Poster

World War Bee Movie Poster
Click to embiggen! Just like Mittani's head.

I'm a big fan of other people's work, and one of the designers I respect is Olly Moss who did these gorgeous Star Wars posters which are the inspiration for this World War Bee poster.  After I posted it over on Imgur, I got a lot of comments about the missing bees. So I went back and added some actual Bees flying out of Deklein. So there.

World War Bee Wallpaper

World War Bee Wallpaper
Click to download various sizes, including 4k!

Money Badger Store

Money Badger Collection
Money Badger Collection
by Bryan Ward

Adding new products as I think of them.
Any suggestions are welcome.

Those Crazy Money Badgers

"I love it when a plan comes together."
- John Hannibal Smith

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there lived an evil pimple-faced trust-fund King that lorded over a dark kingdom. From the mists of time this King ruled based on a series of fortuitous events that his court jesters worked hard to make us believe he had anything to do with. And it was fine. Whatever. This kingdom was far, far away after all. The vast majority of the world went about its business and thought little of his shenanigans. Tales of his largesse were used to scare children and entertain their elders.

Over time the King became increasingly cray cray. Cracks began to appear in his Kingdom. The rest of of the universe paid little heed as they had become used to paying little heed. Let the King bee the King, they often told themselves at private dinner parties. After all, it is good to have the eyes of the Universe distracted. And so the balance was kept this way for years. And it was fine. Whatever.

And then the King made a series of fatal errors in judgement. He made the mistake of believing his own court and became increasingly convinced of his own largesse. He made moves of aggression he shouldn't have. He demanded tribute from the Universe. He moved against the Pirate Kingdoms. He wanted to, yet again, publish a story of his own Epic Tale and demanded the Universe pay for it. All while flaunting his own largesse in their faces. His Kingdom's Diplomat even insulted the rest of the Universe. It was if the King had decided to hand his enemies a seven-course meal on a series of silver platters.

Out in the vast ocean of space the Pirate King, the Horde King, the Broker King, and Kings from other kingdoms secretly met in secret. Often in secret from each other. Slowly and over time a plan began to form. A plan that had no plan. Because it wasn't really like that, but this is a story so we'll stick with making it simple. Kings talked. Kings plotted. But in the end, events escalated beyond their wisdom and things just started happening anyway. And it was fine. Whatever.

So the Kings of the Universe banded together against this Evil King. For no other reason than it was time something was finally done. This had gone on too long really. And when you look back at it, it is rather funny in hindsight. To be honest something should have been done a long time ago before things got to this point, but that's people for you.

The Kings had no grand plan. In many cases these Kings couldn't stand each other. In many ways they are the Suicide Squad of Coalitions. Many of them are crazy in their own right. What unites them is simple - war. War is its own reward. The Kings attack because someone needs to do it and it might as well be them. Clear the Kingdom out. Chase the King from his high tower and watch what happens next. In this Kingdom no one dies. No one is finished. But things do change. And it is time for some changes. And it will be fine. Whatever.

You might be shocked to learn that this story was made up. There are no Kingdoms, no Evil King, and no Great War. I was making it all up.

This story is really about Eve Online. 


Twitter Hats

FlyingSquidWolf's hat, see what I did there?
At some point in the very near future I will create my 500th Twitter Hat. (You can see them all here)  Most likely that number is entirely arbitrary and the 500th hat was passed awhile ago, it is hard to determine. Some hats I created out-of-game, or out of Twitter, or for other purposes.  And then we had Frills. So it gets rather confusing. I also forget sometimes to post them on that collection page.  So the count comes directly from the folder on my hard drive where I keep them all. So that is what I'm going to consider the "official" count.

There they all are
The first hat was created on June 11th, 2011. And the first half-dozen or so were created on my own Eve Avatar as a form of protest against Incarna. The idea quickly spread and that Summer saw a ton of hats being made for members of Tweetfleet. Back then I was making them quickly and at a very small (256x256) resolution. Mostly they were silly, the more silly the better. The idea was to be ludicrous as a counterpoint to how much was being charged for fashion back then. Fashion you can't even see in-game.

Since then hats come in waves. Months can go by without a request, but then suddenly a new group of Tweetfleet members wants a hat on their Avatar. One of the most surprising things is just how popular hats continue to be. Its easy to understand why. The only representation of "us" in-game is our head shot. Our avatar remains the 'face' of our character in chat, local, Slack, Twitter, pretty much everywhere we go. A hat makes a statement about our character and represents us to the outside world. It is a fashion statement with a purpose.

I remain convinced to this day that it is the great un-tapped $$$ maker for CCP.

I've even made mock-ups!!
Hat requests come in two forms - easy and extremely challenging. A lot of it comes from the position of the avatar's head. Finding a hat that fits is the biggest challenge. Characters with straight-on looks are easiest and characters with weird angles are the hardest. I've learned a lot of tricks over the years to make a hat fit, but there is only so much you can do. The more specific the request the more difficult finding and fitting become. If you look at all the hats, you can start to tell the ones that were specifically requested from the ones I had free reign to create. The specific ones are not quite as good for one reason or another.

I've put hats on logos. I put a hat on CCP Chair. Cats. A couple of dogs. Spaceships. Pretty much everything at this point. I never intended hat making to become something I did for five years. It just happened like that. 

The best part about the past five years of hat making is something that often takes me by surprise. If you scroll down thru the hats on that page you'll see what I mean. It is a very emotional time-capsule, so many of those faces are no longer with us. It is a weird little memory of people who have left the game, or changed, or disappeared. I think it is extremely interesting in that regard.

I plan on making some sort of video once I pass the 500 mark. I haven't decided yet what form it might take, but I think it is a moment worth remembering.

I don't suspect I'll ever stop making hats for Tweetfleet. Why stop?

World War B Wallpaper

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A Bad Villain

Yesterday I asked a simple hypothetical "thought-experiment" on Tweetfleet that went exactly like this, "One has to wonder where Eve would be today without the negative, egotistical power grubbing 'game ruining' presence of Mittens."  As intended the question received some widely varying replies and responses. The intention, as this post will go one to explain in some detail, was to get people thinking. There is no answer to that question, we will never know what the Eve universe would be like without Mittens in it. The point is to think about what it would be like without him in it, to accept the reality of negativity, and its larger impact on subscription numbers, perception, and attitudes that have been accepted as "normal" for well over a decade.

The Pro side argues that Eve needs villains and that the Mittani serves as the perfect bad guy for that role. Granted, this is partially true. Eve does need bad guys, villains, content providers and figures that serve as a rallying point for aggression. This is a role that I myself serve in New Eden when in-game. As a scum-sucking Pirate I am a villain to those that are outside of my own Alliance. I've blown up a lot of things and I've received plenty of tears, anger, threats and harassment for that. It comes with the territory. There are literally thousands of players filling this kind of role in every corner of New Eden. We have a lot of villains.

But we only have one Mittani. A person who, by his own admission, rarely even plays the game. A person who, by his own admission, makes a full-time salary off the backs of his followers. A person who, at Fanfest while a CSM member, encouraged someone to commit suicide. This list could go on and on. If you've played Eve for any length of time you already know the litany. And the details vary depending on which side of several dozen coins you happen to land on. Viceroy programs. Websites. Reddit. Comic books. Failed Kickstarters. Ego-driven rewards. Yachts?  I could go on and on.

Yes we need villains in Eve. But do we need this guy? Is the need for a focal point enough to justify the cost the game has paid over the past decade? Has the impact of such negativity been helpful or harmful to the success of Eve? Like I said before, the answers to these questions are un-knowable, we can't know the truth. Eve has been shackled in the shadow of a megalomaniacal, lucky to be in the right place at the right time, ass-wipe for a very long time. So it is difficult for anyone to imagine an Eve without him in it. Or outside of it, since he doesn't actually play the game.

Negativity breeds negativity. It seeps into the larger discussion, it permeates the media coverage, it dominates the narrative, it builds a dark, foreboding, and negative brand around Eve. This is not a thought-experiment, this is the truth. This is something that Eve has had to live with for a very long time. And yes, this conflict has given rise to many memorable events. Events that have been exploited in multiple forms for a very long time, the Eve narrative has been dominated by one person for over a decade. This is true. And we can't know what would have happened had that moment in time not given him the chance to make history. But we do know what he has done with it since.

"By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?" - Some religious wisdom

You can't get good fruit from a bad tree. If you want to know the true nature of someone, watch the effects they have on their surroundings. To the people around them. What kind of works do they get involved with, who do they keep close, what impact do they have on the greater world? 

Take a moment and imagine an Eve without Mittens. An Eve filled with villains, heroes, and players able to make their own mark on the greater narrative. An Eve with hundreds of villains, thousands maybe. Instead of one. To come down on the pro side you have to be willing to accept the consequences of your support, the entire litany of negative actions that come along with it. You have to carry all the baggage.

It is a weight that I don't think you should have to carry. 

So don't.

My Patreon

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Your support helps me create these!
I started a Patreon about a month ago and I've been kinda quite about it for a month in order to make sure it was working properly, get things set-up on my end, etc. You can find it by following this link or clicking on the button in the sidebar.

Streamers, video-makers, and podcasters have a built-in method for collecting donations that support their work, and I have no problem with that. But artists and writers especially, have a more difficult time of it. It wasn't until recently that we (mostly Niden, T'amber and myself) finally got an answer back from CCP in regards to setting up Patreon to help alleviate this problem. The answer makes perfect sense, as long as we provide all our Eve IP based work for free to everyone and don't tie it into "rewards", then we can have a donation system to help support our work.

The beauty of Patreon is that you can pick whatever monthly support you feel comfortable with and even small amounts add up when taken along with everyone else. Its a great system and it really does make it easier to set aside time each month to work on special projects. Yes I would continue to work on Eve projects without it, but having it there makes it much easier to carve out the hours needed to make it happen. And it gives me some enthusiasm for doing even more than I normally would.

For example, this past month I produced 5 Art Print posters. That is two more than my normal rate for a month. In addition I took time to provide a ton of additional support for the community, charity work, memes, propaganda, logos, and audio/video support for those that asked for it. I also made 32 new hats for people over on Tweetfleet. Just in the last 30 days.

In the next 30 days I have even more planned. Including the release of the first volume of Fan Fiction "Empyrean Chronicles" which I plan on offering for free on Amazon - which features some great Eve stories and art from around the community. It is a project I am very excited about and can't wait to get into your hands. And that is just the beginning.

If you can please consider supporting my Patreon. If not, then please continue to enjoy my work, play Eve, and be nice to people. More than anything else, we need more of that around the neighborhood.

Thanks and keep the courage.

I Am The Power Broker


VENAL - At a hurried press conference this morning, Rixx Javix, long-time scam artist and notorious scum-sucking Pirate was revealed to be the mysterious "Power Broker" who worked behind-the-scenes to organize and coordinate the recent coalition known generally as The Money Badger Coalition. The identity of this secret person or persons has proven mysterious and has been the cause of much speculation until a recent chain of events forced him to come forward.

"A recent chain of events has forced me to come forward", Javix explained. "My iPhone was stolen late last night by Shadow Cartel forces that broke into my bedroom and scared my wife, they must have hacked the phone and gotten ahold of secret text messages between myself, IWantISK, and several Coalition members. So to avoid their ransom demands I am coming to you today to reveal my role publicly." Shadow Cartel members could not be reached for rational comment, although several of them did tell us off and make rude comments about our Mum.

During the press conference those assembled were then forced to watch a rather long Power Point presentation which was extremely well designed, in which the entire affair was laid out in stark detail. Apparently Mr. Javix was rather upset when his own RMT scams were eclipsed by The Mittani's RMT scams late last year and he vowed revenge. "I admit I was miffed his sucky ass Kickstarter screwed up my awesome Card Game Kickstarter." It was during a rather long few days of drunken debauchery that his path crossed IronBanks and a plan was formulated. "Other than Chribba, there is no one else in Eve that knows as many people as I do. So the plan made perfect sense."

"All it took was some carefully planned Tweets, a few Eve Mails to the right people, and some Anonymous Reddit posts to get things started. And then managing that idea until it took hold. It was all rather easy given all the help I was getting from Sion Kumitomo." He is referring to the horrible community bashing posts that Sion released late last year that dismissed the Eve Community and several well-known players as "Charlatans", a series of posts that only added fuel to the fire.

"I realize that today is historically referred to as April Fools Day," said Mr. Javix, "And that this news may be taken as a joke by many of you, the question you have to ask yourself is this - is it really?"

He then laughed and gave us all the finger as he boarded his Daredevil and undocked.

As of this release this reporter has been unable to verify any information from additional sources. Stay tuned as this story and the actions of the Money Badger Coalition continue to develop.