State of the Union 2017

By any measure 2017 was a comeback year. Exactly one year ago today I spent 24 hours as an innocent and unwilling guest of the County. I've been gainfully employed every single day of the following year. Every single month a significant portion of my earnings is taken away and given to someone who does not deserve a cent of it. Simply because the system was unprepared to deal with complicated situations like mine. And yet I pay it. And will be for nearly two more years. Enough said about that.

I spent eight months growing a business that helps Heroin addicts recover across the entire state of Pennsylvania. I helped grow the business from eight clinics to twenty. I started a free program that trains local businesses in the use of Narcan and provides free kits to help save the lives of those that seek shelter and might otherwise overdose. I still help that business when I can, often consulting, even though I left there in August. I'm proud of my time there and what we were able to accomplish and the lives we were able to help and save. And also the ones we could not.

In August I took another job. I'm now the VP of Marketing for a great company that I'm helping to grow into their potential. 2018 is going to be a year of growth and expansion for us, and I've spent the last five months putting the pieces in place to ensure that growth. It should be a very exciting year and I'm looking forward to it. Great people.

In Eve the fight continues. In a few days when the New Year clicks over it will have been two years since CCP started selling my posters without a contract or compensation. A situation which Mr. Unnamed Employee believes I should shut up about. I actually agreed to stop talking about it back at the beginning of the year, until Fanfest rolled around. And then I, and many others, sat around a table during which we were force feed a huge pile of steaming bullshit. Which I wrote about over on Crossing Zebras. Which I do not in any way regret saying. Every word of it is true. For saying those words however I've been blacklisted and apparently placed on the CnD immediately list. Which is fine with me. Two of the idiots responsible for this avoidable situation no longer work at CCP.

My Wife and I managed to scrap enough coin together to attend Fanfest. And we had an incredible time despite being shunned by a few people at CCP. (lol seriously) We got to hang out with our friends and see more of that incredible country. We plan on going back in April for the 15th Anniversary. And we can't wait.

Over the Summer I had a thought. I've been working on and off on an Eve Card Game for a few years, why not put one together and hand it OUT FOR FREE at Fanfest? That idea was actually given to me by a CCP employee a few years ago. Just so we are all clear, free items you just hand out are called SWAG. But no, apparently even the mere idea of that was too much for CCP's lawyers and I received a Cease and Desist letter for an imaginary concept that didn't exist yet. Sigh.

All of which might lead you to believe that I've grown bitter and angry at CCP. Not true at all. I think there are some big babies over there that need to HTFU, but I still love them all. I still love Eve. And I am still the biggest fan of the game. This year marks my ninth year. And I don't see myself stopping anytime soon. So neaner neaner Mr. Unnamed Employee.

My Wife and I hosted a bunch of Eve nerds at our house this past Summer for our 2nd Annual Steel City Eve event. We had an incredible day and enjoyed having everyone around for food, fun and lots of drinking! People came from as far away as freaking Texas and New Jersey! We love you all and can't wait until next Summer when we can do it all again.

Stay Frosty is almost five years old now. 300 or so players call it home. Another 500 or so call A Band Apart home. And I'm pleased to say that both are thriving and growing despite my difficulties and lack of significant playing time over the past two years. All of which has slowly been changing this year as I have more and more time to play around my busy schedule. A Band Apart finished 12th in the last Alliance Tournament. We finished 14th the year before. I'm looking forward to an even better finish in the next one, if we have one.

In the meantime I continue to write in Eveoganda. Which has been growing strong since 2010. This magazine continues to average 4,500 visits a day, with 14,000 the highest day of 2017. In 2016 our average was 6,700 and the highest day was 22,500. Which is good, but nothing compared to previous years. In 2013 our average was 12,500 and the highest peak day was 47,000. Which is probably a sign of both my own waining popularity, or blogging's, or Eve's. Take it as you will.

My RedBubble Store continues to do well. And by "well" I mean it makes between $25 and $225 dollars a month. I could make more if I increased the percentage, but I prefer to keep it at the lowest setting. I don't sell items there to make money, I sell them as a middle-finger to Mr. Unnamed Employee and his two (no longer employed cohorts). I plan on adding more and more items to the store in the coming year. So stay tuned. Retail is easy. Neaner neaner.

My podcast continues into its second season. This year I decided I wanted more control over the podcast and moved it from Crossing Zebras (love you guys!) into a paid account over on AudioBoom. This allows me to control the feed and get it listed on iTunes and other services. I've been shocked at the numbers frankly. Each episode averages 1,000 listens, with a few approaching 2,000. We can only go up from there once I get the feed over onto Spotify. Woot!

This article continues my tradition of being frank, honest and forthright with you my loyal readers, listeners, and fans every year. I am an open book. I do everything because I love this great community of ours and most of the people in it. I do this because I find it interesting, involving, challenging, and rewarding in so many ways.

I continue to produce art, videos, tattoos, and other creative stuffs based around this great game of ours. And I will continue to do so.

I also pledge to keep being an annoying trouble maker and drive certain people crazy. It adds spice to things and keeps things interesting.

I'm looking forward to 2018 and what another year will bring. Thanks for reading and I hope to see you at Fanfest, or at Steel City Eve, or on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Reddit, or passing thru the neighborhood in real life or in space. Keep the courage and stay frosty my friends.

Onward & Upward.

How Mark Hamill Stabbed the Last Jedi

UPDATE: It seems that Mark Hamill has addressed this issue himself.

Even a casual google search on the Last Jedi reveals things like this story called "Mark Hamill 'still hasn't accepted' Star Wars: The Last Jedi storyline: 'He's not my Luke Skywalker'".  This idea was around before the Last Jedi opened, the idea that Mark saw the script from Rian Johnson and immediately thought, "This isn't my Luke Skywalker!" Which is fine, Mark is allowed to feel however he wants about his character. There are plenty of clips from history showing he has always had mixed feelings about the character, even as far back as Empire. The thing is, in my humble opinion, this idea being spread around before the new movie even opened, is what laid the groundwork for the weird reception The Last Jedi has experienced.

Historically middle stories in trilogies tend to have rocky starts. Mashable has a great article on how the Empire Strikes Back was received back when it opened in 1980. I lived thru this and I saw it for myself back then. And I watched as slowly the narrative about Empire started to change. Eventually it became the Holy Grail of the Star Wars Universe, a thing you couldn't touch. Empire was so good comparing other sequels in other franchises to it became cliche.

Star Wars has famously been challenging to many actors. I appreciate that fact. Reading a Star Wars script for the first time has to be weird. And then to find your entire career being defined by a single character doubly so. I get it. There are tons of stories out there about this. Harrison Ford, Alec Guinness, and many more have struggled with this concept in the past. So Mark having issues isn't a surprise. The surprise is just how vocal he has been about it.

Typically this is something that comes out later as an anecdote around the time the DVD is being released. That is how the PR for such news is typically handled, in the commentary, or on the junket tours to promote the digital release after the Box Office run is finished. Frankly I'm surprised that Disney has allowed Mark the ability to spread this story before the movie even came out, but more surprising is that he'd want to. Believe me, I love Mark Hamill and seeing Luke in action again was awesome. I think Last Jedi is the best version of Luke we've ever gotten. And Mark deserves as much credit for his performance as we can give him. But maybe stop with the negative press?

Mark being upset about the direction of the character planted the seed that something was wrong with The Last Jedi before people even had a chance to see it. If someone as revered as Mark Hamill had issues with the movie... well then, something must be wrong with it.

Much like what happened with Empire, those that hate The Last Jedi are on the wrong side of history. Certainly the film has its flaws and I'm not going to say it is perfect because it clearly isn't. But neither is Empire. It just would have been nice to go into Last Jedi without knowing that the beloved actor we all couldn't wait to see in action again - didn't like the way things went with his character.

I love ya Mark. But maybe next time, keep your negative opinions to yourself until after the movie comes out?

Guest Post: A Free Astrahus

I’ve never had this sort of luck.

Yesterday (19th of December) I decided to pick up my Venture to do some mining. I had placed it in a citadel – an Astrahus – to do reprocessing and manufacturing, and I had specifically chosen that citadel because of its low tax rates. I recently looked at some of the structures in nearby systems, and it appeared that most Corps apparently use Astrahus citadels for manufacturing and reprocessing despite the Raitaru having the bonuses and a lower price tag. Maybe they want more defense, I guess.

When I entered the system for some reason I couldn’t find the citadel on my overview. I used the bookmark I had made earlier, which I intended for moments like this when I may derp out. I then warped to my bookmark and all I found was a hangar container and a repackaged citadel that I didn’t even notice at the time.

Where did it go? Maybe it had been destroyed as the corporation who owned it had 3 active wars going on. So, I checked the container, as I mostly do with containers I see floating around, and saw 900 million isk worth of structure modules, fuel blocks and ammo. I got pretty excited and started brainstorming a way to loot all of this before it could be taken by someone else; who wouldn’t pass up 900 million in loot?

Then I saw that those modules took a pretty large amount of space, 4000 m3 each, along with 10 to 20 thousand m3 more of fuel blocks. I proceeded to buy an Iteron Mark V (as I’m Gallente) from the nearest station, then swapped out my Vexor Navy Issue for that. A few minutes later I was warping back and forth between the container and the only NPC station in the system, while the suspect timer kept resetting, although it wasn’t too much of a risk as most highsec folks don’t really care.

About half an hour through the hauling process, I (finally) realized that the citadel was right there, bundled up, offline, unanchored; a once mighty structure now floating like abandoned junk. I had to liberate it from its lonely position in space, but then my Iteron did not have enough cargo space to fit the citadel in its already spacious cargo bay (compared to my Vexor Navy Issue, but it’s still an awesome ship nonetheless). That problem was very easily solved by buying a couple of Expanded Cargohold IIs and fitting them onto my Iteron, although the subwarp speed of the ship was barely 100 m/s at this point.

However, it didn’t really matter, and soon the citadel and the remaining fuel blocks were all now in the comforts of a Minmatar station.


Estimated worth: 1.977 billion isk.

As an alpha clone, I should be jumping over walls in joy, as this is more than enough to go omega even with the inflating PLEX prices. However, I still haven’t felt the impact of such an amount of money for some reason. Anyway, I am still deciding what to do with my newfound riches, as owning an Upwell structure is one of my Eve goals.

So, I guess, keep your structure bookmarks.

And Stay Frosty, no, this isn’t Toothpaste Fish.

- Xandar Dice, Stay Frosty Pilot

The Last Jedi

Star Wars is in my blood. It accounts for my undying love for all things spaceships, science-fiction, technological and fantastical. It ignited the imagination of a 12 year old boy sitting in a dark theater and, in so many ways, it hasn't ever let go. While I certainly don't want to give it more credit than it deserves, it did open my mind to a greater world. There is an expensive statue of Darth Vader hovering mid-"I am your Father"- above my desk as I write this. On the wall to my left is an original Empire movie sheet in a frame. Star Wars is smeared all over my life.

My brother and I were late for the first showing of Empire. I was fourteen and he was nine. So we had to stand in line for the second show. As the previous crowd exited the theater a man said clearly, "I can't believe Vader is Luke's Father." I coughed very loudly when I saw where that sentence was going and distracted my brother. He missed the spoiler. I didn't.

I saw Phantom Menace a week or so before it was released. My own son was very little, but he came to the preview with me. He dressed up as Darth Vader and wacked people in line with his tiny lightsaber. He loved the movie. I did not. But when it came time to write my review for an online review site, I couldn't bring myself to trash it. I wrote a decent review instead. It felt like Star Wars had stayed young and I had grown away from it. Lucas even admitted later that Star Wars was for kids.

And so it remained thru the remaining prequel trilogy. And the animated series. And most of what we got for years. I was ok with that. The ideas and themes of Star Wars had fueled my young imagination and I hoped that it would continue to do so for other generations as well. A story from our childhood, something for parents to share with their children. Nothing wrong with that.

And then Force Awakens came along. And it certainly felt familiar. It was lightyears ahead in terms of quality, production value, special effects, and even in acting, but it felt familiar. It echoed a lot of the original. Which was understandable. I would have done the same thing to be honest. The original was almost 40 years old at the time. But Force Awakens was good, in some ways great, and in some ways familiar. It elicits complex feelings even today.

And then on Saturday I saw the very first new Star Wars film since Return of the Jedi. You could eliminate everything that happened in-between RotJ and Last Jedi and you really wouldn't be missing anything important. Oh sure Star Wars remains primarily a child's story, as it should, but this film (despite its obvious flaws) is the best thing to happen to Star Wars since that day Vader revealed that he was Luke's Dad. That fact is undeniable in my humble, lifelong, opinion.

Say what you want about the movie, but I feel like I have reclaimed Star Wars once again. I felt like a 12 year old watching it. A feeling I never thought it would give me again. I nearly lost it six or seven times during the movie. Luke Skywalker, who 40 years ago represented all of my own hopes and dreams for life - today represents the reality of those dreams for me. Me and Luke have grown up together you see. We each have our traumas, our disappointments, our failures. Life didn't go exactly as planned for either of us.

I didn't expect that from a Star Wars movie.

And for that, the unexpected, the surprising, the grown-up, the silly, the flawed, the moving, and ultimately for inspiring me once again - I have a new hope that Star Wars can be relevant again. And maybe I can too.

May The Force Be With Us All.

Something New

Dark Firetail
Click to embiggen

Something I've been playing around with the past few weeks. I've always been fascinated by black and white photography so I was wondering what that might look like translated into Eve terms. Not sure this is the perfect example of that expression - at least not yet - but I think it is as far along as this piece will get.

Christmas Jam

Holiday memories from last year. If you haven't had a chance to hear or see this one before, now's your chance. Truly brilliant singing from Sindel as always.

A Holiday History

Over the years I've made quite a few Holiday themed wallpapers, here are some of them.

Eve Planetside Holiday
From 2012

Happy Holidays Eve 2014
From 2014

The Gift - Eve Online HD Wallpaper
From 2015

Suddenly Ninjas: Suddenly Giveaway!
From 2010, this one I did for Suddenly Ninjas obviously

Happy Holidays 2017
Last year's

Merry Christmas.

A Tale of Two Ships

A bored Rixx usually gets into trouble.

In yet another cycle of change, Low Sec is currently undergoing a minor shift once again. Established players are changing, the landscape is adapting, and tactics are evolving. In other words it is a tad chaotic right now. Things will once again settle down into more predictable patterns, but for the time being you never know when your Hookbill will be jumped on by an arty Loki for no good reason. Which happened to me on Saturday.

Lots of bait and switch going on these days. Lots of loser pilots overcompensating by bringing overwhelming force to small fights. Classless and honorless hordes are everywhere. Pretty typical for Low Sec. Luckily, Stay Frosty continues to bear the torch for honor and good fights when we can. The Stay Frosty Code remains a bastion in even the darkest of times. As does my personal ability to derp myself into dumb situations purely for the joy of it.

I was bored pushing a Sleipnir around with my Dominix when about 175 Eve Uni frigates arrived in local. I docked up and bought myself a Brutix off of corp contracts (thanks Devlin!) and undocked and warped to the large plex. I've done this before with Frigate gangs, sometimes I even live! Like that time I jumped a Dominix into them at the Sun and killed like 12 of them before they ran off. But this time I figured a cheap Brutix would be enough.

The killboard says I got two of them before they got me, but I really remember five of them exploding. Either way it was fun and I had a blast. If you don't understand why I do that when I can, then you don't understand me at all. There are a lot of good reasons to derp a BC into a swarm of Eve Uni Frigates. It's fun. I typed WITNESS ME into local as I died. It's content. And I am a content provider. I'm sure those pilots enjoyed the fight. And it also serves as a great recruitment action. We get lots of pilots from Eve Uni and many from previous engagements like that one.

Later we spotted a Hyperion in the large plex. So I undocked the Hyperion I recently fitted up to give it a shot. It must be said that I am not a Hyperion fan. Every single time I fly that ship it lets me down. This was probably the first Hyp I've flown in a few years and eventually the result would be the same. The fight was going fine until the Mach showed up, after that it was boom for me. No more Hyperions for me. My dumb fault though for leaving my red pills in the Station.

Don't do drugs kids.

After Hours Podcast featuring John McClain

The latest episode of After Hours is now available for your listening pleasure. In this episode I welcome John McClain from Pandemic Legion, Best of Us, FitFleet and - most recently - candidate for the CSM.


A Year Later

WARNING: This post contains exceptionally well written and honest words regarding very personal and real life events that may not be suitable for all audiences. It contains Adult Situations and Intense Honesty. Certain people who will remain unnamed might not be able to handle it. Please don't punch my Wife dude, she punches back.

If I had a shrink they'd probably recommend that I write this post. I don't have a shrink. I've never had one. Where I come from we work our crap out ourselves, pick ourselves up by our bootstraps and get on with life. That sounds tough, and it can be. But I also wouldn't recommend it. It tends to back up the garbage in your head. Somewhere along the way I learned how to deal with that garbage myself and I've managed to do a decent job of keeping it buried in the landfill. But it surfaces from time to time. The best thing, for me, is to use that flotsam as inspiration for creativity. And motivation for life itself.

About a year ago a Judge suddenly decided to take my liberty away from me. One second I was a man arguing for logic and common sense - and the next I was essentially a piece of garbage. A Bailiff came and put me in handcuffs. I didn't get to see my Wife or my Son. As we went down the elevator the Bailiff shook his head and said, "Man I'm so sorry, you got royally screwed."

Imagine that every friend you have ever had suddenly disappears. Imagine that every person you ever worked with won't return your phone calls. With rare exceptions that has been my life for the past five years. It gets worse. Now imagine that your business partner steals money from you, causing one of your biggest clients to leave with their business. A man you worked with for ten years. I have a long litany of horror I can repeat, but I'll stop there. Needless to say it was Hell. Bankruptcy. Court fees. Fines. Legal fees. Threats. Repossessed cars. etc. etc. etc.

The worst thing about all of that is how it won't stop. It isn't a bad weekend, or a bad stretch. It was a bad eight years of non-stop stress and horror show video playing on your face. And despite what some people choose to believe I never stopped fighting and trying and working to make it go away. I took every job I could. Even with people I knew would eventually screw me over. What choice did I have? And sure enough they eventually screwed me over. I helped start a very successful business only to watch as my friend and business partner got terminal cancer - twice.

Oh yeah, this was some sick shit. Live thru that every single day and then have some punk on the internet talk shit about your wife and see how well you take it. Or sit thru a bullshit session at Fanfest again and see if you can keep quiet. While the company has been selling your work for TWO YEARS without a contract. And there are some at CCP who are mad at me about that.

The worst thing for me about jail was the unknown. They don't have a video to watch when you arrive, "Everything you need to know!" Nope. No brochures, no handouts. They don't tell you shit. They just move you from one place to another. But first you wait. I waited in a room with twenty other people for about six hours. I was the only other white person there who was not overdosing on Heroin. The two other white dudes were seriously fucked up. Almost all the other people there were in on drug charges, some with violence attached. But a few were transfers, being held until such time as they could be moved to their Super Max destinations. One dude was so bad off he had his own special room. Multiple murders is what I heard.

And yes this fifty year old professional white man stuck out like a sore thumb. A fact which many other gentlemen there commented on. I watched The Wire. And that Night Of show on HBO. As well as hundreds of others. I knew that being "special" or "different" was probably not a good thing. But I did my best to be cool, not panic, and stay aloof on the outside. These street skills are hard won, and a tad dusty, but they came back quick. I'm not a rabbit after all, I'm the Wolf. An older Wolf sure. But also more experienced. Such bs, I was scared to death.

I also had no idea of what was happening inside or outside. It was a long time before I got my phone call. And that was just heartbreaking.

Eventually it all gets much worse. Then they shuffle you into processing. Which means removing your clothes so some Officer can watch you spread your ass cheeks. I did get to keep my own shoes however. I wore my Converse on purpose that day. But otherwise it was orange "Property Of" clothes for me. More waiting. More rooms with more inmates. More people who feel the strange need to tell me their story. (That has been a lifelong curse for me, I have that kind of face) I watched a young woman get hit by a female guard. I watched another woman scream and cry. I heard a story about a murder at another prison by a dude that said he was there when it happened. I believed him. His description was very graphic and colorful. And more Heroin overdoses. Which are not fun in person.

After what seemed an eternity we shuffled into the yard. Again, NO ONE has told me anything. We grab a thin mattress and everyone starts to partner off. I don't know any of these people. Someone asks if I'd like to bunk with him, and he seems nice enough for a criminal, so I say yes. We shuffle up to our room and they shut the door. That's it until 12 hours later when that door opens. Again, not a word about process, procedures, schedules, nothing. I have a mattress, a roll of orange sheets which I discover contain a toothbrush, toothpaste and a plastic spoon. I also have a 10x15 concrete room, with two metal beds and a toilet with no lid that is built into the wall. Above the top bunk is a thick glass window with wire mesh inside that looks out at another concrete wall.

And I also have Steve. (That's what I call him, not his real name.) Steve is from Seattle and he got busted at a party here in our fair city for drug possession. Not his fault of course. Someone at the party planted the drugs on him right before the Cops arrived. What I would have originally thought was a stereotype turned out to be true after all - everyone in jail is innocent. Even me. I was super lucky that Steve picked me as his bunk mate. He didn't try to rape me even once. I didn't really sleep. Jail is noisy. Jail makes weird sounds. And I wasn't sure yet that Steve wasn't going to try and rape me.

Blah blah blah, eventually morning came and after another eternity I walked out into the sunshine again.

That was almost a year ago.

Yes I got screwed by a system not prepared for my weird life. No one in that court has ever seen or heard of a case like mine. They simply aren't equipped to deal with it. So they don't. They didn't. And they won't. Yeah I'm screwed. And there isn't anything I can do about it. I fought the good fight, I stood up for my rights as best I could. I had to be willing to go all the way to the wall. And now it is time to move on.

I've got about 22 more months to go.

For those of you that don't understand I apologize. It is a super complicated and often confusing tale. But one I refuse to tell in extreme detail. Some day I may write a book. Until then I write these blog posts. And I do that because of my readers, my friends, and those here in this Community who stood by me, helped me, and believed in me.

I want them all to know that we are doing well now. I love my job and the monthly payments, while large and unfair, are tolerable. As long as I keep working for the next 22 months we'll be fine.

I'm working thru the effects of all that trauma slowly but surely. I can't deny that it has affected me, changed me, and all that other stuff that bad things do to people. On the other hand, it could always be worse. And there are plenty of other people out there who have it much, much worse. I met many of them last year and spent a day with them.

I never want to do that again.

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays 2017 Wallpaper
Click to download various sizes
It has become a tradition, so here is this year's Holiday Wallpaper. I wish you all the very best this Holiday season and while I'm sure there will be other Holiday posts between now and the end of the year, I wanted to make sure I got this finished and released before things start to get crazy.


Open to Suggestions

At Zero Shadow Wallpaper
Just finished this one today

With the recent interest in this series I've determined within myself to attempt to capture as much of the moments that make New Eden special as I can. So I'm open to suggestions from you, my readers, have I forgotten something? Is there a moment in space that relates to your favorite game-play that I have yet to capture? Let me know in the comments.

Just be aware that I will be translating those moments into my own interpretation of them. You say mining and I say two Retrievers undocking from an Industrial complex. You say PvP and I say two two ships meeting at zero at the Sun. That is, after all, part of the artistic process. Lots of people take screenshots, and many do an exceptionally good job of it, but this series is not that. And I happen to be a huge fan of screenshots. Eve is beautiful in so many ways. There is room for a wide variety of interpretations. Goodness knows I've spent a tremendous amount of time and energy on enough of them over the years.

I have hesitated to portray large fleet battles in this series on purpose. My thoughts are to keep these as intimate as possible, which is why they are anticipatory of events, evocative instead of explanatory. If that makes sense. I want you the viewer to have the space to engage your own imagination into each story that is being told in these images. I know I do that. And I hope you do as well.

Anyway, enough artist talk. If you have any ideas, because I certainly can't think of everything, let me know in the comments.

Eve News Article

Click this link to read the article

I started the "Shadow Series" of Wallpapers back in June of 2016, over a year ago. At the time no one paid much attention to them. I even created a video showing me working on one of them. And no one watched it. It's funny how things can lie dormant for a span of time and then suddenly become interesting again. It speaks to the cyclic nature of Eve and the Eve community. The reporter for this story contacted me on Facebook of all places and hadn't really heard of me before. He'd heard the name around, but that was about it.

I continue to find that interesting in so many ways. But after being involved with this community for so long, it has become something you just have to deal with. People come and people go, and sometimes they come back. It is an ever-shifting landscape.

In the end however, no matter how long it sometimes takes, I'm glad that people are enjoying my work on this series. Next to the spaceship posters it is my favorite series. Although I have a soft spot in my heart for the Travel Series as well. Well... for all my work truly, otherwise I wouldn't have done it.

Thanks for the article, it was well written and much appreciated.

I'm already working on another entry in the series. So stay tuned.

I Love My Job

Yesterday while I was derping my expensive Astarte alone against five opponents it occurred to me - I have like the best job in all of New Eden. I know, this does seem somewhat counter-intuitive, but let me spend an inordinate amount of copy trying to explain.

After almost five years of being the CEO of Stay Frosty, not to mention everything else, it is virtually impossible to play this game normally. I'm as likely to get a fight in a new system as I am to get a, "Hey Rixx! Love the (insert thing here). Huge fan!" comment in local. It happened six times yesterday alone. Please don't get me wrong here, I love that. And I sincerely appreciate the comments. But it does tend to illuminate my rather unique challenges. Challenges I'm more than willing, and to be honest - happy, to embrace. It is awesome frankly.

Just me undocking can cause content to happen. Things can be slow around town and then suddenly they start to pick up and content tends to find me. Granted that often means that I get shot first A LOT. In a five man gang I'll usually be the one the other guy shoots first. You can't blame them. I don't blame them. In fact I expect it. On Friday I undocked and joined a couple of corpmates a few jumps away in my Comet. Our very first fight I get primaried. I said on comms, "Typical Rixx moment." And flew back home to re-ship.

My game, my killboard, my actions, everything I do in-game is not about me at all. It is about my Corporation and the pilots that fly with it. I generate content for all of us and for the Alliance at large. I spend all of my efforts, and my isk, to try and make the game more exciting for them. I believe very strongly that is my role as CEO. And it is one that I enjoy very much. Yeah, it also means I had to move past my own personal goals a long time ago - but it also means that I can take joy from the accomplishments of others in our group. And that is pretty damn cool. Those have become my personal goals.

You see, I don't fly for just myself anymore. I haven't for a long time. I fly for Stay Frosty and for A Band Apart. I'm the lightening rod. I self-generate content. I'm certainly not the only one, a lot of our pilots have grown into that role themselves over the years. It is, after all, really what the mission of Stay Frosty is. One for all and all for one. That kinda thing.

In other words, I am extremely proud to be the CEO of Stay Frosty and of everyone in A Band Apart. I can't imagine doing anything else. And I'm really looking forward to the next five years. I have the best job in the world. Or the universe.

NOTE 1: If you are a USTZ player looking for a great corp of players that love the pew-pew to join, might I suggest Stay Frosty. With my full-time job USTZ is my new home and while we have 300+ pilots spread across time zones, we could use some more company in that one. As always, Stay Frosty is OPEN recruitment - you want in you get in. Come fly with us. It's fun.

NOTE 2: Stay Frosty and ABA are both rapidly moving towards an amazing milestone. Sometime within the next few months we will both hit the 100,000 kill mark! That is going to be an incredible milestone accomplished in less than five years. Keep blowing stuff up everyone. I never imagined we'd get this far back when it was just me and this crazy idea. So cool.

NOTE 3: Yarrr!

NEW Shadow Wallpapers

Waiting to Jump Shadow Wallpaper
Click to download various sizes

Retrievers Shadow
Click to download various sizes

Vertical Shadow
Same here

These were the two unfinished Wallpapers in the pipeline back from when I was doing what I called the "Shadow Series". You can see the entire series at this link. The concept for these started as a simple question, "What would Eve look like in real space?" Real space is stark, harsh, and black as ink, just look at NASA photos and you'll quickly get the idea. So much of Eve is defined by the Nebula and color of New Eden (and rightfully so) that I pondered what it would mean to take that away. Strip away the normal and look at things in a different light.

So much of what I do as a creative is based around this idea. My spaceship posters started around a very similar challenge - to take the spaceships we all know so well and present them in a totally alien environment. The focus because different than we are used to seeing. And in presenting them, or these, in a new light - it always us the chance to look at them with new eyes. You've never seen anything like it before, it isn't comfortable, usual or expected.

I so rarely get any feedback from anyone I have no idea what anyone else thinks, but these types of pieces are among my personal favorites.

I can only hope that you enjoy them as well.

After Hours with Rixx Javix Featuring Ashterothi

New episode of After Hours is now available. In this episode I welcome Ashterothi to the Stay Frosty Lounge for a great conversation about Low Sec, Faction Warfare, and other topics of incredible intelligence!

Be sure to subscribe to the podcast thru AudioBoom, iTunes, GooglePlay, or your other favorite podcast listening app. Enjoy!

Reminder to Self

Sometimes I forget that people actually read Eveoganda. Lots of people. Including the ones I was talking about in my last post regarding their cowardly Recon Trap. And that, maybe, they might be waiting for me with an additional complication. So reminder to myself to maintain OpSec.

The funny part is just how rare it is for me to fly anything even close to being "blingy". The reason this happened was a few weeks ago these two faction scrams fell into my lap. The only other Lachesis I've ever lost was way back in April 2014 from a Vargur we had tackled in Isho. I once solo'd a Lachesis with a Svipul.  zKill is so much fun to look thru for random stats. I've killed 26 Combat Recon Ships and lost 13 of them now. Not bad. 8 of those 13 were Curses.

The adventure continues.

Five in a Row

Eve sure can keep a Pirate Lord humble. Over the last few days I've lost five fights in a row. I'm not counting that Cyno ship I popped on station, that was just reflex. So I thought I'd be totally fair and talk a bit about each one. Just so my readers don't start thinking that I only talk about the good stuff that happens. Lol. Like anyone thinks that.

Firetail Vs Hecate
I knew I'd probably lose this one, but nothing gets the courage up like two hours of having people run away from you and avoid fights they probably could have won. Heck I had a Thorax run away from me not ten minutes before this fight. I did guess correctly that he would be blaster fitted and took the correct steps. And at first it was obvious he had the wrong ammo loaded, so things started off well for me. He quickly re-loaded to better ammo and things took a turn for the worse. However, I will give myself props for "almost" killing him, the fight was pretty damn close. Sadly however, I fat figured this one at the end. That is what I call it when my huge man fingers hit the approach key-stroke instead of the overheat prop mod key-stroke. I went boom.

Comet Vs Algos
If I fight 10 Algos with this Comet I'll win 9 of them. This just happened to be the one that I lost. Good fight and it was yet another close one. This one just came down to the things these fights always come down to. No mistakes, just a properly fitted and flown Algos. Which is rare in Low Sec. So all the credit goes to the other pilot on this one.

Slasher Vs Punisher/Firetail
I should know better. But again, another loooong stretch without a fight. Horse is a dishonorable pilot that likes to hang out and bait pilots into engaging, and then his partner(s) show up to save him. Usually in ships that are totally inappropriate to the fight. At least this time his partner didn't show up in a Battleship (which happens) or a Recon (also happens) or something else totally silly (which also happens).

Cynabal Vs Cynabal
I totally blame myself for this one. I should have known he'd be Artie fit from the way he'd been hanging around waiting to score some easy Frig kills. But I figured I'd get a good landing from the Probes and instead I landed right in his range. He was overheating away from the Probe ship and I landed right in his range. I could have warped away, but my Corp mates landed behind me and I didn't want them to get blapped. I go boom.

Breacher Vs Merlin/Rook
Nothing much to say about this one. Recon trap. The Rook got me jammed faster than I could get drones on him. So I just exploded. His name has been noted though, so I hope he decides to come back and try this crap again. I have several surprises fitted up now. Please come back.

Anyhoo. I freely admit that I get frustrated sometimes. But I set out to play Rixx straight thru and that is what I am going to do. So I have to take the good with the bad that comes with doing that. And I'm fine with it for the most part. I have plenty of ships to lose. Like any other streak this one will come to an end sooner or later. Until it happens again. And then the cycle will just keep repeating over and over again.

Sometimes you get the bear and sometimes the bear gets you.

Until next time.

Tristan Pop Art Poster

Tristan Pop Art Illustration
Click to download various sizes

Something a little different. My Wife asked me to create a Pop Art Style piece for her to get made into a poster to hang, so I finally got around to getting it done for her. The art is 100% vector illustration, done the usual way I do these but with A LOT less detail in the drawings. Each ship is made up of only four color "plates" that I can select and change the color of. And then various half-tone patterns, and color effects round everything out nicely.

Can't wait to get this one printed.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us in A Band Apart and our member corporations wherever you happen to be in the world. Even if you don't celebrate Thanksgiving, the spirit of appreciation still rings true. Some of my fellow ABA pilots got together this morning and showed their appreciation to an Astrahus this morning. I'm really sorry I missed that one. But I am also thankful for a good night's sleep.

For me personally I am thankful for so many things. I'm thankful that a incredibly awesome bunch of people who play this game of ours decided to play it with me in our Alliance, and in Stay Frosty. I am humbled by that idea every time I log on and there are actual people in the chat channels. And watching as our group comes together to solve problems, help each other out when needed, or just undock to have some fun. It wouldn't work without so many incredible people and that is something I will always be thankful for.

I always want to say a very special thank you to all of those that have stuck by me all these years and believed in me. Thank you. Both in-game, in the community, and also out here in the real world. The lines between those three things have only continued to blur over the years and I can count so many of you as friends. For that I am eternally thankful. Life is a journey and none of us know where it will take us, or how many jumps we have left to go - but having someone to share it with makes it so much more enjoyable.

Without getting into the weeds here, this year is so much different than last year. To be honest I don't really even remember last Thanksgiving. Those were dark days. I am thankful that they are behind us and that the wheel finally turned a bit more into the light. I can only hope it continues to spin back into the Sun and we can put the memories of those days even further into the distant past.

Onward and Upward.

1v1 Eve Comic #84

It's back!

For those of you unfamiliar with the 1V1 Eve Comic they are all collected on this page.

It is about time to start these up again and I hope to do them on a more regular basis. But no promises. These last few years have been rough on my sense of humor and my enthusiasm, so hang in there.


The Stay Frosty Wolfpack

There have been times when I've enjoyed pretty much everything Eve has to offer. Large fleets, Black Ops, Gate Camping, Raiding, Blind WH Incursions, Tournaments, High-Sec Ganks, Griefing Russians (just kidding!), at one point or another I've tried to participate in all of it. I even once mined in my Rokh for about 15minutes (even though it was bait, it did have mining lasers fitted). But my all-time favorite thing to do is what I refer to as Wolfpacks. I'm sure other people probably fly this way somewhere else, but over the past 4.5 years I believe we've perfected the art in Stay Frosty. These days it is the primary way that I fly.

And Sunday I spent a good chunk of the day enjoying the Hell out of it again.

So here is essentially how it works. When I log on I form a fleet, or join one that is already formed. Whoever is on-line at the time, unless they are far away, gets into this fleet. It doesn't matter where you are, if you are solo, or traveling together with someone, or what. Get in the fleet. Every swarms about doing their own thing, or following someone around, it doesn't matter. The idea is simple. Kll everything you run into, alone, in small 2-3 man groups, or - if the situation calls for it - the entire fleet will come to your aid. Simple, right?

The genius of this approach in Low Sec is that new pilots can learn small gang tactics without being left alone to die needlessly over and over. And more veteran pilots can continue to perfect their solo skills until they require back-up. Or just want to share the glory. When I'm flying in these Wolfpacks, as an example, I let my fellow pilots have all the loots. And if one of or younger pilots happens to lose a ship, I'll often send them some "boom-boom" iskies to help pay for a new ship.

I know a lot of people scoff at this approach. Mostly because we are typically not even on comms while doing it. Which in many corners of Eve is considered akin to a Mortal Sin. Again, this really only works in Low Sec. But essentially our communication during fights is boiled down to very simple commands. Chatter happens between fights. (We also do these on Comms as well by the way)

This system, and Stay Frosty in general, was created to solve what I consider a HUGE problem with Eve. At least in my humble opinion. I don't agree that Eve is dark, complicated, not fun, and takes a lot of time to play. I reject that idea. I cringe when I see players leaving the game because they no longer have time to play, or feel that it isn't fun. Or they get burned out having played in that insane charnel house that is Null Sec. That's why I created Stay Frosty in the first place.

Because I don't have time to play Eve either. So I created a Corporation, and eventually an entire Alliance, around this idea. That Eve should be fun to play. And that it shouldn't take more time than your real job to play it.

We have people in Stay Frosty that are down in Null Sec right now blowing up stuff for the fun of it. We have Wormholers, Industrials, Mission Runners, pretty much every playstyle you can image inside our Alliance. And in my corner of the world, I log on and pew pew. Most often in quick Wolfpacks that are a blast to be a part of.

We've been at this for four and a half years now. Shortly Stay Frosty will pass the 100,000 kill milestone as a Corporation. Shortly after that A Band Apart will also. Next year we plan on winning the damn Alliance Tournament. How's that sound?

If you are reading this and you are thinking to yourself, it is about time I started actually enjoying this damn game, then jump on one of our Public Channels and talk to someone about it. Or, how's this sound, just put in an Application to Stay Frosty and JOIN UP! We've been OPEN Application since day one! Everyone who applies gets in. Talk about crazy! Especially if you are USTZ you should join, because I need more people to fly with :)

It'll never work. That is what people told me back when I started this crazy trip.


PS: Our Public channels are EVEOGANDA and THE FROSTY HAMMER btw

This Week's Fights

The Ship Without Fear

I don't get to play much these days. Between work, the house, three kids (and all of their special needs), finding time to play is tough. I generally can eek out an hour or so some evenings and on weekends. But the evenings are USTZ and Low Sec is pretty sparse for the most part. Add to that the huge red -10 skull hovering over my name and it can be challenging to find fights. Not complaining here, just saying. I long ago gave up on my original goals inside of Eve and have slowly transformed those into new ones. My goals these days do not have anything to do with becoming a great solo pilot, or amassing a large number of kills, or anything like that. My goals are to run Stay Frosty as well as I can, have fun when in space, and try to help my Alliance do well in the Alliance Tournament. The rest will take care of itself.

So this week I went 4-1. I've recently realized how dependent I've become on the Comet (which I love) as my go-to general purpose roaming ship. So I've started forcing myself to fly other ships. I must mention that in a typical hour or so of flying I will often fly 7-8 different ships normally. So I don't ONLY fly the Comet, it's just that I get more fights flying the Comet. Make sense?

So I undocked one of my trusty Daredevils the other day, all my Daredevils are named Murdock (they always have been, its tradition) and went looking for a fight. As you can imagine most people ran away. Things were slow so I stopped into a Novice plex and waited. Sure enough eventually two pilots decided they could take me. A Tormentor and a Condor. Together they may have had a better chance, but for some strange reason they came at me pretty much one at a time. The Condor arrived before the Tormentor exploded, but just barely. Then the Condor died soon after. Good fights were given and I even said something about "trying". One of the pilots was very upset, apparently he felt that two T1 Frigates should have beaten my faction fitted Daredevil. I tried to give them some advice, but you never know if they really listen or not.

Another night Varaga and I were running around in Firetails. Which must be extremely scary to people, since we scared everyone away with them. Eventually we discovered a pilot in a Daredevil, which I correctly assumed would be blaster fit, and he came at me outside a gate. He died. I don't think he even landed a single blow. Scram kiters are not kind to small blaster ships. But thanks for the faction shield extender! Much appreciated.

And then tonight I went roaming in an Incursus. They other night I had a very interesting fight against another Incursus. We went toe to toe for what had to be at least ten minutes. Eventually I only had one cap charger left so I had to disengage. That was fun, you forget how tough this little ship can be with dual-reps. As I discovered tonight however, its tank is no good against a Socket Closure! Right smack in the middle of this fight. Oh well, at least I got my pod out safely. I name my pods, "They Got Me!" for the ride home. I don't care what anyone else thinks, I think it's funny.

There was a couple of Thrashers around tonight. So I undocked a Thorax to see if they would engage me. But they ran off. On the way home a Comet landed on station with me. A red Comet. So I started shooting him (duh!). I haven't flown a Thorax in a while, so I was a tad rusty in it. And he wasn't dying, and he was killing my drones. I actually got down into deep armor and a few red spaces into structure before he finally popped. Tansy was nice enough to undock behind me in a Caracal just in case I needed back-up, or revenge. I didn't. But I did warn him to warp his pod away, which he ignored to his own peril.

So that was my week of adventures in Eve this week. What will the weekend hold?

Let's undock and find out.

8 Years Ago Today (Maybe 7)

Way back in November 2010 I posted this COLOR version of my 1v1 Eve Comic (#28).

This was ill-advised. No one liked it, not even me. The color I mean, the comic itself was just as dumb as any of the others. I thought I'd try color for once, but it didn't work. For whatever reason the comics worked better as black and white art. When I first started doing the 1v1 series I would come into work (This was back when I owned my own advertising agency) and draw them in ink on the back side of a company memo pad. I would then scan them in, invert them in photoshop and publish them. That worked pretty well for awhile. But then I grew tired of doing them that way, so I started drawing them in Illustrator instead.

It's funny now, but this was the start of me drawing spaceships in Illustrator. Over the years I would bang around with doing it in certain projects here and there, but I had no real aspirations in regards to doing illustration work. I hadn't been an illustrator since I had started out in the comic book industry in my late teens and early twenties. Before my first wife forced me to quit doing it.

Sometimes I would draw a cartoon or something for work. I'd often doodle in my sketch pad at work. In those days I focused on becoming a designer and a photoshop expert. And then a video editor. And then a special effects 3d artist. Then a creative director. Then a card designer and sometimes illustrator. Then other things. I could never stop trying new things. I never could. My ex-wife instilled in me a belief that I was never a "real" artist. She believed that the computers I worked on did the real work. She never used a computer. I knew better of course, but years of that crap had an effect on me.

And then, one day, during one of our countless divorce meetings - in front of everyone - she said it out loud. I was not a real artist. It is hard to convey how horrible this made me feel. I knew it was silly and that I shouldn't take anything she said to heart. But I determined then and there that I would go out and create an opportunity for myself to prove her wrong. Not to "show" her, I couldn't care less what she thought. I still don't. But to prove it to myself.

Within a few short years of that meeting eight of my illustrations were produced by CCP and sold internationally. I sat in Harpa in the middle of the Atlantic ocean on the island of Iceland (of all places) and signed copies of my posters. They were the biggest selling item at Fanfest that year. We sold 1,100 copies.

I've never told anyone that side of the story before. Except my current wife. That little color cartoon made me think of it and I thought I would share it with you. Sometimes, when someone on Reddit or somewhere, slams my art for not being "art" I can get a little testy about it. This is one of the reasons. But it also makes me feel for all the artists, creatives, illustrators, and others out there whose work is often cast aside, by one group or another, as not being 'real'. I know a lot of these people. Multi-media artists, video artists, musicians, printers, so many that work hard and create amazing and fantastic pieces. I feel for them as well. Because many people don't consider what they do to be real either.

I'm no one special. I have my own faults and I have a long way to grow as an artist. But I've been a creative my entire life. And I will be one until I die.

Just thought I'd share.

Headhunter Typhoon Illustration

Headhunter Typhoon
Click to embiggen

Been awhile. Getting the skills back slowly but surely. You'd be surprised, but it has been almost three years since I stopped doing the spaceship posters. I've done other pieces since then, but mostly digital painting work in photoshop and not these insanely complicated vector illustrations. 

These are all for me, I do what I like. And I was inspired by how awesome the Headhunter skin looks on my Phoon. I love the Typhoon, I think I've done more illustrations of that ship than any other one.

Hope you enjoy.

Eve-Breck Logo

I finished this logo this weekend for Doomchinchilla who organizes this annual ski-meet in Colorado. If you are interested in going you can find more information over at or at the event website.

As always, glad to help the community in any way I can.

The Enduring Mystery

One of the best things about Eve, for me, is what I like to call the "enduring mystery". I've been playing this darn game for nine plus years now and, especially during the last six years, all I really do is undock and fight other players. I like to believe that, while I continue to be 'terrible at Eve', that I've gotten relatively decent at Player vs Player combat. I don't brag. I don't really talk about it much. I don't follow my kill-board. I don't care if I live or die when I go to engage. I do care afterwards of course, I'm also not an idiot. (Those are two different things, the before and after engagement mindsets, not the idiot thing. We can argue that one, I have my detractors.)

But no matter how good I get every once in a while something happens that I can't explain. Sometimes it is losing an engagement I was sure I should win. Sometimes it is something else. I've long theorized, and mentioned to people who tend to nod politely, that perhaps the Eve server isn't as tightly wound as we are led to believe. Weird things often happen. Glitches maybe? Ghosts in the machine? It is a possibility. Not that long ago I remember jumping thru a Null Sec gate and coming out about 27 jumps away. I can still remember undocking to multiple copies of myself. Or having a ship on top of my pod inside the station. So glitches do happen. Or have happened. What if they are just more subtle these days?

I don't have a current good example to share. Last night I lost my recently fitted Stabber to another Stabber. Which is not a good example. While I feel as if I should have won that fight, it is always possible that I shouldn't have. I have to start by admitting that possibility. However, I did just recently slaughter a similarly fit Stabber with the same Stabber. Someone pointed out that perhaps the other pilot was using boosters. I don't typically use drugs myself. I will sometimes lug a Blue Pill around if I'm flying a larger shield boosting ship and I'm expecting a big fight, but generally I don't partake. That is also possible.

Another possibility is that I simply derped. This does happen sometimes. As those of you who have engaged in PvP have noticed, things happen rather quickly. It is a game of split second decisions compounded on top of one another. Don't let anyone fool you, sometimes one small wrong decision can escalate into a problem before you can fix it. And then... pod express. It happens to everyone. Even those that like to think otherwise. I will admit that I did make one error in that fight and that it might have compounded. My drones happened to be lights, left over from a Frigate gang that ran instead of engaging. A couple of Mediums might have helped.

Either way I said good fight in local as I always do. And it was very close. It isn't that specific fight that I'm really talking about anyway. The enduring mystery of Eve may not be technical. Or based on server glitches, or ghosts in the machine. The enduring mystery of Eve might just be unknowable. A complex pattern of tiny little decisions and constant updating that often seems weird.

Or this almost 15yr old constantly updated game has got some crossed wires somewhere. And every once in a while they catch you off guard.

Just a random ponder for a Tuesday. Nothing serious.

After Hours with Rixx Javix

New episode of After Hours featuring my special guest and A Band Apart Team Captain Jose Zampano.


One Year Anniversary of the Rixx Store

A year ago, having become fed-up with waiting for the official Eve Store to finally open again, I decided to start a RedBubble store of my own. I had two goals in mind when I started: 1) To provide cool non-IP related merch, and 2) To provide Alliances a place to sell their Alliance gear. I also promised everyone that I would be transparent about the store as much as humanly possible. The store has done gang-busters in the past year and I am extremely pleased with how well it has done. The Alliance Gear section hasn't gone as well as I hoped it would, but it hasn't mattered. The Alliances that do participate are selling gear like hotcakes. So if you aren't participating you have no one to blame but yourselves.

I sell Alliance Gear at one percent mark-up, everything else at 5% mark-up. Our biggest seller this past year has been the Warp to the Dance Floor shirts, which Manic Velocity wore during the opening of Fanfest back in April. A very close second is the HTFU stuff. In fact store merch appears pretty much everywhere, during the recent Eve Vegas you couldn't see a crowd shot without seeing Rixx Merch in the group. That's something I am proud of. I don't make a ton of money off the store, on average the past year it turns out to be about $65 a month. I could make more if I increased the percentages, but I'm not going to do that. I'm going to continue to keep them exactly where they are.

And while others continue to openly sell Eve IP on RedBubble, Zazzle, Amazon, and other places on-line (just do a simple Google search, it is insane how much there is out there!), I refuse to do so. Obviously the Rixx Store would be 1000x better if I could use even tiny wittle bits of Eve IP, but sadly I can't. And I know people are watching me like a hawk to see if I cross the line. Which is silly, because clearly I'm not going to do that. Duh. The more I sell and the more I don't use Eve IP, the more I continue to make my original point.

Not that it matters anymore. At this point I don't care about proving anything to anyone. It seems pointless now. So the only reason the store exists is so that the community has something cool to wear that has something to do with Eve. Since the real Eve Store seems diametrically opposed to giving us all what we want. If it was up to me we'd have spaceships on t-shirts and mugs and be done with it. After all, it ain't rocket science, that is exactly what we all want.

And if you run an Alliance in-game and want to provide your members with merchandise let me know. Remember you are allowed to sell things with your Alliance logo on them. The Bastion Alliance has sold 79 t-shirts with their logo on it in my store. And my Alliance, A Band Apart, has sold almost 100 items to our members this past year. So there is a demand out there and it is 100% legal to sell it.

I'll be adding a bunch of new original content in the coming weeks in time for the Holidays.

Onward and upward.

The Special Porpoise

I've seen Porpoise on scan in High Sec when I travel my alt around to conduct business. I even saw one on scan in Null Sec once during a raiding party. But I had never seen one in Low Sec until Thursday evening.

Thursday evening was typical of my current state of Eve playing during the week. I usually have about an hour or so, sometimes less, to undock and have adventures. I remain puzzled why more players don't embrace the Pirate Low Sec play-style. All I hear is complaining about how much time you have to dedicate to Eve. Even people who have never played Eve before believe this. The owner of the company I work for wants to try Eve, but his major complaint is how much time you have to invest in it. So yesterday I told him about my adventures this week. How I had twenty minutes to play on Monday night and I managed to explode two ships and get into a few other fights in that short time. And then I told him about my hour on Thursday.

I fitted up a new blaster Comet when I logged in and undocked to cause trouble. I formed a fleet and we had 3-4 pilots in local at the time. (A large chunk of SF are down in Null Sec right now blowing up Brave Newbies and others.) Sadic, Firesequence and Ciba were around mostly doing their own thing. Right off the bat I noticed the Punisher on scan. The pilot flying the Punisher usually has back-up in local, back-up which can range from another Frigate to another Battleship, so it is always a situation to be wary. Luckily Sadic was in a Thrasher, so I warped in and caught him. He didn't have back-up this time. Or they were late...

Because that's when the Wolf arrived as if on cue. I have never seen a Wolf die so quickly. Granted a blaster Comet and a Thrasher dish out serious dps, so no real surprise there.

We don't see a lot of Mining Barges in Low Sec and when we do they are either tanked bait or part of a larger group. So when we spotted the Retriever on scan we all figured it was bait. And, at first, the local traffic tended to support this idea. The trick about local traffic is always knowing who is with who, are these ships connected or not? The life of a Pirate is so complicated and full of unknowns. We managed to chase the Retriever around a bit, and he'd keep docking up and then re-appearing again. Eventually local quieted down and we spotted him in the Ore Site again. This time we had him. And strangely for a Retriever he went down pretty fast. It wasn't until we saw the km that we knew why - HE DIDN'T HAVE ANY FITS!

One thing you can always count on in Eve - it is full of surprises.

Case in point. So I was tired of flying the Comet and decided to re-ship into a Hookbill. I undock and there is a neutral Tristan on the station. In cases like that I watch to see what they will do. Usually that involves docking back up in terror or warping off somewhere. Rarely, and usually only when they have the better ship, does it involve attacking me. I wasn't surprised when the Tristan red boxed me and started shooting, I was more disappointed than anything. My Hookbill made short work of his ship.  And I told him in local to never, ever do that again. I would have sent him some isk but then we spotted the Porpoise.

And then it disappeared. Must have just been passing thru. It happens. There is a High Sec gate in system and we get all kinds of weird traffic. But then it popped up again. I didn't even bother trying to scan it down, I took a chance and warped directly to the Ore Site at zero. Sure enough I landed directly on top of it and immediately got scram and two webs on it and started shooting. My fleet mates landed directly and we all made short work of the Industrial Command Ship. 

That was only the third ICS I've managed to kill in Eve, the other two being Orcas. And one of those was in Null Sec. That is how rare it is to see one in Low.

After the expansion this week I fitted up some new ships. One of those is a new Stabber I've been wanting to try out. Luckily another Stabber showed up in local to help me. Raylan had been trying to get close to it, but it wasn't helping him do that. So I jumped into my own Stabber and warped over to grab it. Sure enough, when I arrived Raylan had already left and the Stabber had come down from its perch. It was a good fight, but the other Stabber couldn't break my tank and I had no trouble breaking his. I called Raylan back to get on the mail since it was his mark to begin with.

That was simply a case of his Stabber using 220s and mine using 425s. His was fitted for anti-frigate fighting and mine is fitted for killing Stabbers (and other cruisers). Yet another example of the rock, paper, scissors nature of Eve.

And that was my hour up.

How do you have adventures in Eve? It's simple. Undock, warp around, explore, engage, and try new things. Keep doing that and you will have incredible adventures. And remember, it is only a game.

Eve Los Angeles

Eve Angel Wallpaper
Click the image to download various embiggened sizes
My good friend and Space Pope Charles White is starting up "Eve Angels" meets in LA starting this Saturday. You can find out more information over on Eve Meet at this link. Charles is mostly a Facebook Guy, so I'm trying to help out by promoting the event here and over on Twitter.

They say if you live long enough you'll see one of everything. I don't know about that, but this is the second wallpaper I've made for an Eve LA Player Meet.

Eve LA Wallpaper

That one was done back in June, 2015.

Everything old is new again.