Whoops Apocalypse!

Our neighbor's once proud Oak Tree
A mild Autumn resulted in several species of Oak not dropping their leaves as quickly as usual this year. And then last Thursday we got rain that slowly turned into ice overnight and then heavy wet snow as the temps slowly dropped below freezing. By morning the weight of all that ice and snow, combined with the leaves trapping it all, broke thousands of trees across our County and beyond. In our neighborhood only one such Oak made it without some damage. A rare combination of events that ended with tens of thousands without power on Friday morning.

Shortly after this started sinking in Air Canada cancelled our flight to Montreal. It would be the only cancelled flight that day. It was also the only flight leaving Pittsburgh for Montreal. We decided to leave early and head to the airport. Without power our desktops were useless and no one was answering the phones. Our flight wasn't scheduled to leave until 4pm that afternoon, so we figured there would be options that would still result in us landing in London early enough on Saturday.

I've flown hundreds of times and anytime there has been a cancelled or delayed flight, a courteous visit to the airline desk is usually enough to find a solution. After waiting in line at the Air Canada desk we were rather sternly told they would not be helping us and we'd have to call the 800 number. A number no one was answering. There were flights available leaving for Toronto that connected to London - but we had no way of making those happen.

While we desperately tried to summon help thru the phone, the app, and even over on Social Media - Air Canada was kind enough to reschedule our flight for us! They put us on a flight for Sunday which would get us to London on Monday morning about 2hrs before our return flight to the US. I kid you not. This automatic reschedule remains a sticking point with the airline even today. This has not yet been resolved despite speaking to several human beings at both Air Canada, United, the flight insurance company and who knows who else.

Sadly we were not able to make the trip to London.

Our power was out all weekend until late Sunday night. Chaos with kids schedules, hotel rooms, spoiled food, melting fridges, food for cats, the usual. I won't bore you with the details. It all worked out fine in the end. We even managed to have a decent weekend in many ways.

The tree in the photo above is gone now, they came and took it all down today. About 16,000 people remain without power but it looks like that number will drop tonight.

We are already planning our next trip to the UK... but this time in the Summer.


London Calling


We are flying out tomorrow for Eve London. If you are in the UK I hope you will stop down during the day on Saturday and that we get a chance to meet and talk about Eve (and anything else you'd like to talk about). We should be getting there around 2-3pm local time, if not before.

I'll have swag.

Neither of us has been before, so this is a big deal for us for so many reasons it'd be impossible to name them all.

Be back next week with photos and stories. In the meantime be sure to follow our adventures over on Twitter or Instagram.

Until then.



Flying Reckless


Sometimes I get bored. Yes, even the Pirate Lord of Low Sec gets bored from time to time. Engineering wars and plotting the downfall of our enemies, promoting Low Sec and Stay Frosty, keeping our Directors on course, maintaining a 77% success rate at PvP (which often sees entire Solar Systems empty when I enter), not to mention creating art and logos for the Eve Community and attending player meets around the world (London next!) - even with all of that I can sometimes log in and say, "now what?"

Mix that with my tendency to collect a crap-ton of spaceships in my hangar and across the universe. Last weekend I discovered a Prophecy that was fitted from a fleet we ran almost five years ago. And yesterday I found a Thorax that was specifically fitted to kill LML Caracals in Ishomilken back when we lived there almost four years ago! I had so many ships in my hangar that it wouldn't let me repackage fitted ships because there wasn't enough room to complete the requested action. That's a problem.

The solution started innocently enough when I attacked a Wolf with a Talwar. I made the assumption (incorrectly as it turned out) that the Wolf would be Arty fitted. It was not. Hence my approach strategy was horribly wrong and ended with my death. Hmm what other ships can I fit differently and try out? How about a kitey Punisher? It might have worked had my default Punisher orbit not been set to 500 and had I remembered to check it before the fight. Imagine my surprise when I approached the Rifter instead of burning away? And yes, I was also being lazy. I had a long day at work. So I totally deserved to die.

As long as things are going badly, I might as well lean into it huh? So when I saw 3 Hawks and a Crow in local I figured it'd be a perfect time to get rid of that weird Thorax. And maybe kill at least one of the Hawks. Sadly I didn't manage to kill the Hawk. I would have, but without a point he just ran off before he exploded.

I had gotten rid of the old Prophecy over the weekend. But it didn't die in vain, as I managed to take a Gnosis down with me. And a Tristan.

Lastly I saw Kage Huren in local from Black Rebel Rifters in a Firetail. I knew he'd be alone and figured I'd try to burn him down with a Tristan. This is an almost impossible fight to win. Even with everything on my side. I sat at zero on the button with my AB overheated and got point, web, and neut on him right off. But I still lost. Good fight and he deserved to win.

Of course I realize this all sounds a bit like, "I didn't want that ship anyway" territory, but you should all know me better than that by now. The point wasn't to throw away ships, but to use them recklessly for the fun of it. It's good for the soul to be reminded that Eve is a game and sometimes (not all the time) it is worth creating some fun for yourself. If those moments achieve other goals at the same time, then so much the better.

I enjoyed every one of those fights. Even though I lost almost all of them.


The Truth About Low Sec


As many of you know, I am unabashed and passionate about my love for Low Security space in Eve Online. Some people love Wormholes, and some people claim to love Null, and you might even bump into a person that lives in High Sec from time to time - but for those of us that call Low Sec home - well you'd have to love it in order to live there. Especially for those of us that choose to live on the underside of the Empire's boot heel. I've said it before, but it needs repeated from time to time, criminal low sec life is playing Eve on Hard Mode.

And so it is only natural that I worry about it. I recently wrote a post about how quiet it is been lately. And fellow Frostian Kirith Kodachi also wrote a post about it, but his has graphs! (So be sure to check it out.)

And while things have certainly quieted down a little over the past few months, the truth is that this feels more like a natural cycle rather than the end times. And while I will always remain worried about server login numbers, and kill-rates, and all of the data - personal experience is also important. And from what I've been seeing lately Low Sec remains as it always has been. Fights are still around, you just have to look for them. Some places are empty and some are active. And where and when those things are true is constantly changing. As anyone who has lived in Low Sec should know by now, you can't predict it. A System can be a hot-bed for action one week and be empty the next.

Long term the situation is a bit different. I still believe that Low Sec needs a unique value that can't be found anywhere else. And while Faction Warfare was often regarded as that unique value, I think we can all agree that it isn't currently. And it may never be given CCP's lack of support or upgrades over the past almost decade now. And while I still support FW and hope that CCP helps it sooner rather than later, I also strongly believe that we need something else. I've made enough suggestions over the years so I won't bore you with the details again. But there are a lot of ideas that could help drive content into Low Sec and encourage players of all ages to take the Gates.

We can't always wait on CCP however. So Stay Frosty will continue to promote Low Sec ourselves. In fact, we have several plans in the works to help bring more traffic into our neck of the woods. In addition I hope to return to creating and hosting some in-game events in the coming year. I don't know what form those will take yet, but I think it's time. Maybe a couple of Frigate Free For Alls or something?

I had more to talk about, but I'm running out of time today. So consider this part one.

Yarrr!





Rankings

SF Bare Knuckles Wallpaper

It's hard to believe that Stay Frosty will be six years old in May. Time sure does fly when you are having fun. I bring this up not to travel down memory lane or anything, but because I discovered something I had forgotten about this morning. I so rarely pay any attention to kill-boards, but I had to recently go over and give out some corporation awards that I was behind on. One thing led to another and I found this All-Time Ranking thing that zKill compiles. Of course I had known about this earlier, but when you don't use something for a long time you can sorta forget it is there.

So, I was curious. We've been around for a long time now, so how do we rank when it comes to individual ships against the rest of Eve? I'm not going to do all spaceships, but here are some of the more popular PvP ships and how we stack up.

Federation Navy Comet
Stay Frosty: #6
A Band Apart: #7

Navy Slicer
Stay Frosty: #11
A Band Apart: #29

Tristan
Stay Frosty #11
A Band Apart #13

Firetail
Stay Frosty #4
A Band Apart #13

Kestrel
Stay Frosty #16
A Band Apart #18

Atron
Stay Frosty #19
A Band Apart #18

Condor
Stay Frosty #44
A Band Apart #49

Hookbill
Stay Frosty #32
A Band Apart #29

Merlin
Stay Frosty #23
A Band Apart #22

Breacher
Stay Frosty #7
A Band Apart #7

I'll stop there, but it's heartening to see us ranked so highly across the board against other Corporations that have been around much longer than we have. Especially in Low Sec, many of our fellow Pirate groups have been around a significantly longer time than us. But we are certainly making up ground. And with over 112,000 kills already on the board we'll pass some significant milestones next year.

Pardon me for being proud of our band of misfit toys. We've come a long way in the last five years and right now Stay Frosty is better than ever. We have a great group of active leaders and FCs that have stepped up, and numerous weekly scheduled roams, activities, and plans for the future. Both in-corp and in Alliance. It is a very exciting time and I'm looking forward to where the next five years takes us.

Check out this Garmur I killed with my Astero! (Random killmail mention)

Stay Frosty my friends.







The Anti-Concord Pirate Ship

Love this image from Jacopo Alfano, here is a link to his artstation
I have a Marshall I can't fly. In fact, my hangar is full of several ships I can't fly because they are tied to Security Status. (And yes, I can literally fly them, but doing so would be stoopid for me given my -10 sec status) More specifically, positive security status. Which seems weird when you think about it for a PvP game that seems determined to push people out of High-Security space. But there it is, rewarding goodie-two-shoes and making it difficult for us scum-sucking independent minded freedom fighters to excel at - you know - Player Versus Player combat. The backbone of Eve Online.

So it was suggested on Stay Frosty Discord the other night that it was high time for some ships that benefit from negative sec status. Ships that grant bonuses in an increasingly negative manner, that start at -5 but increase the lower you get, with max role bonuses at -10. I love this suggestion and I think it is high-time that such a thing happened. We have Explorer focused ships, Mining ships, SOE white ships, Capital ships for Null Sec, it is about time we had a few Pirate focused ships with negative sec status role bonuses.

Obviously these ships (I imagine a BS/Cruiser/Frigate variant) would only come in black. Probably with badass Tribal markings and skulls on them. Maybe with skin variations available, or better yet the ability to have our Corp/Alliance logo on them. It would be great if the ship models were amalgamated versions of Empire ships cobbled together poorly, something that Low Sec people did. Worse than Minnie ships, which have been getting better lately. Think Reavers from Firefly. Or whatever, the design of the ships could be extremely creative and allow my friends in CCP's Art Department some freedom to explore.

So what kind of role bonuses would such ships have? My first thought was an automatic pod lock after the target ship explodes. Which is awesome but probably not realistic. Other dumb ideas included a YARRR! sound effect when it comes out of warp, a neutral appearance in local for a certain limited time, immunity to gate guns or NPC station guns, built-in probes (so you don't need a module, only the probes in cargo), a scram range and effectiveness bonus, a special rig that attaches extra armor onto the ship model (even if it is shield fit), a Flying Tiger skin (which gives your ship a full set of awesome Shark Teeth!), a smoke generator which generates a tremendous amount of smoke from the ships exhaust for no benefit other than it looks insanely awesome. I'm sure you can imagine your own.

As far as serious bonuses go I'm sure Fozzie could come up with some decent ones that don't imbalance the game but also make it worth flying.

As usual I'm only half serious here. But CCP started this with the introduction of those Concord sec status bonused ships, so I think it is only natural to start thinking along these lines. If positive sec status people can have special ships, then why not us? We're people too!

We're just freedom minded independents that don't like the Empire's boot on our necks. Don't tread on us.

What are your thoughts?



London Bound

Leviathan Over London Commission
2018 is the year we do four Eve player events. We traveled to Iceland for Fanfest, held Steel City Eve at our house over the Summer, attended our first (and probably last?) Eve Vegas, and in two weeks we will be jetting across the pond for our first Eve London. This trip will be nuts as we fly out on Friday and return on Monday! Trust me, we have very little vacation time left after all of this.

We both figured this was as good an excuse as any to get across the ocean and see our friends and those we've never had a chance to meet in person. Neither of us have been to England before and while we'd certainly like to stay much longer, this is the best we can do right now. We land Saturday morning and take a Black Taxi from the airport around town for a quick tour of the city and then get dropped off at our hotel before we drag our tired carcasses across the street to the player meet. Then Sunday we spend most of the day traveling to Stonehenge and Salisbury before an open evening to find food, and then board a plane on Monday to fly back. Whew. That's nuts.

I have been to Foamhenge!
As crazy as this most certainly is, we're both looking forward to it. Life is too short not to do crazy things when you have the chance. We'll come back for a longer visit at some point, but I think we both enjoy the idea of using these Eve meets as an excuse to travel.

I know we are both excited for Eve North next year because it is so close. And we've discussed making a trip to G-Fleet in Berlin next year depending on when it is. Maybe Amsterdam, or even Eve Down Under someday. How cool would that be?

Two weeks from today we'll be on our way. Can't wait.



Gooder Eve: RoundUp 2018


It's been almost three years since I last posted a catch up on my old "Gooder Eve" posts in which I made the case for all sorts of crazy ideas that would make Eve better. Essentially CCP just goes back and reads these and then makes them happen about 3yrs later and then takes all the credit for it. Whatever. As long as it happens right?

We already know about the victories with WCS and ECM, but what else can I take credit for?


Gooder Eve: Time to Clean the Database (Still Waiting on this one!)
Let's start with this one. CCP recently did a good job of cleaning out some old character names that haven't been used. And I continue to believe the same needs to be done with Corporations. I get asked a lot to help name things in Eve and I'm always frustrated by how many times the name already exists. Usually by a one-man Corporation that hasn't been active in a long, long time. Stay Frosty is a great example. We had to add a dot to the end in order to use it! Time to clean house.

Gooder Eve: Tactical Bookmarks (DONE!)
This one is done. Not only that, but CCP did me one better and incorporated bookmarks right in space. Nicely done.

Gooder Eve: Battle POS (DONE!)
This is actually several posts about making POSes better and more integral to the game, which is essentially what Structures are - especially now with all the new stuff beyond Citadels. .

Gooder Eve: Cap Buster (Maybe?!?)
Another one that has several posts behind it, but the general idea is of a ship or module that essentially "banzai's" Cap Ships. As a solo and small gang guy the idea is extremely biased and I make no apologies for that. I think the "Array" idea is a lot of fun. This one will probably never ever happen. But I can dream.

UPDATE: There has been some Cap busting talk lately and while it probably won't take the form of a giant missile strapped to a Frigate, it might result in a similar outcome.

Gooder Eve: Skill Smarts (DONE!)
Again, CCP does me one better by not only incorporating intelligence into the Skill train, but expanding functionality and allowing us to add years worth of skills into the list. Well done CCP! I was trying to be realistic in my expectations.

Gooder Eve: Majestic Time (DONE!)
Granted, it is a bit of a stretch for me to take credit for this one, but I'm going to anyway. The essential argument here was to make New Eden bigger by slowing it down a little, which is exactly what Jump Fatigue has done. I didn't suggest Jump Fatigue, but the results are the same, so there.

Gooder Eve: Harvester Class (DONE! And Maybe?)
This one may never happen. But that doesn't mean the general idea isn't worthy of consideration. The idea is simple, this is the future and we have a huge source of energy in every system that we do nothing with, the Star. Would be interesting to find a way to incorporate Stars into Eve.

UPDATE: Well the Moon mining structures obviously came out of this idea and a CCP Dev mentioned Star Harvesting at Eve Vegas - so the concept lives on. It ain't dead yet.

Gooder Eve: Gate Jammer (Maybe?)
A module or ship or device that momentarily disables a Gate. Well we have new Jump Gates now that can be destroyed and hijacked, so that's sorta similar. I still think something like this will be introduced once we get to build our own. If that ever happens.

Gooder Eve: Module Based ECM (DONE!)
I love the idea of ECM affecting module classes. Missile ECM turns off Missiles, Propulsion ECM turns off Propulsion, etc. This may never happen, but I think it is a much better way of using ECM than the current, "you are screwed" way. CCP did me one better and just went and made ECM awesome, so well done.

Gooder Eve: Universal Standings
This one is a bit crazy I admit. I'm not even sure I like it. But thinking about standings is important since they are a crazy jumble of messed up right now. The point is that Alliance and Corp management in Eve is bonkers and needs to be fixed, updated and made much gooder.

Gooder Eve: Counter Measures
I love the general concept. This was written in 2010 and Eve has come a long way since then, but we remain essentially trapped by the same PvP constraints we always have been. Funny, for a PvP based game, not a lot of thought gets mentioned about actual PvP in the game. Isn't that weird?

Gooder Eve: The Combat Tractor Beam (SORTA!)
This kinda happened, didn't it? We do have Mobile Tractor Beam thingies. I'll take some credit for it thank you. UPDATE: At Eve Vegas the concept of a tractor beam was mentioned as a module and CCP indicated they are thinking along those lines. Of course they are.

Gooder Eve: Maker's Mark
I still like the idea of ship history. This has been brought up after this post by other people time and time again, but essentially the idea is a running history of the ship you are flying. Who made it, when, and whatnot.

Gooder Eve: NPC Corps
This one still needs to happen! We should be able to show/hide the NPC Corps from our Corp history! Easy fix that would clean things up a lot for us players. Make this happen.


There are more Gooder Eve posts so feel free to use the Search Function to find them. I should start writing these again since CCP has run thru so many of them already. lol.