New Word: Fracklehead

I've invented a new word that I would like to introduce to the Eve Lexicon - Fracklehead. We needed a new word to describe pilots in Eve that went beyond "Newbie" or "Newb" and got at the heart of something more than just simply being young. Originally I intended this to be a description based on Faction Warfare, but that wouldn't be entirely fair. So the more I've thought about it, the more it applies across the entire breadth of New Eden. So what exactly is a Fracklehead?

A Fracklehead is any pilot of any age that flies aggressively ignorant of basic and generally accepted ship fittings, PvP tactics and game mechanics. The word's origins come from combining the Battlestar Galactica curse word "Frak" and the Deadwood insult "Hooplehead" into one word. It works because it isn't profanity, or even immediately insulting. And it perfectly insinuates that something must be wrong in the person's head region - where most people tend to have their brain located.

There isn't currently a word in the Eve Lexicon that works in this capacity, so there is a great need for this word. It should be adopted and used immediately across all media. I've already taken the steps and submitted it to the Urban Dictionary. I made it a general video game term so that it would get accepted by the voters. Fingers crossed.

While all of us in Stay Frosty try our best to educate the playerbase both by defeating them in combat and then giving them friendly advice, and also by spreading the word thru education - we can't do it alone. Using proper definitions and words will only help us all properly elevate the players around us. As we all know by now, if frackleheads keep losing over and over again - they will stop playing.

If you or someone you know is a fracklehead, please heed this advice - there is hope. There are so many resources available to you today. Video guides, written guides, forums, support groups, the list is endless. And if that doesn't work for you, bring your ship to Ouelletta and one of our Pirates will be more than happy to educate you personally.

Don't be a fracklehead.

8% Depression

This is a quick post. I was curious today and decided to look at some numbers. I went back to full-time employment 26 months ago. The 26 months before that I spent being sued, fighting in court, watching my business partner die from brain cancer, and generally fighting with CCP about stupid crap. Y'know the story. In other words, massive depression.

I'm more my old self these days, so I was curious to see if there was a difference between the last 26 months and the previous 26 months before that reflected on my kill-board. It's sort of a dumb thing certainly, but kill-boards are the only data I can actually track. So here is what I discovered.

In the last 26 months (2 years, 2 months) I've had 1,110 engagements and I won 81% of them. For the 26 months before that I had 2,455 engagements and won 73% of them. Which is an overall improvement of 8%. The raw numbers are 899W/211L to 1,773W/682L in the same periods. Obviously my total engagement numbers are less than half of what they were, which is a result of having significantly less playing time combined with the slow agonizing death of low sec in general.

Beyond the numbers however, I can honestly tell you that I've seen a significant difference in the way I play Eve. Looking back from a safe distance now I can clearly see how my depression impacted not only my play and the risks I regularly took, but also my interactions with fellow players, CCP and others. And while at the time I would have sworn I was dealing with these things normally, I can easily attest to the fact that I wasn't. Now. From a further remove.

These days, while I still retain a healthy amount of pirate risk taking, I'm not as desperate for the rush. I'm not looking for an escape as much as I was. This is certainly a much healthier me. And that's a much larger and more significant improvement than any statistic can reflect. Much more importantly however, and the single biggest change over the past 52 months - I no longer have the pressure to make everything I do a huge success. Our entire lives are not resting on every decision. During the dark times, that was always an important consideration. It was often the most important consideration. Understandably.

An 8% improvement is nothing in the grand scheme. Honestly I'd rather go back to a 73% success rate if it meant that Low Sec was more active again. The important thing is how I feel and the progress we've made in the last 26 months. Not so much in-game, but out here in the real world where it truly counts.

Just a quick post. I thought it was interesting enough to share.

Keep the courage.

Sunday Drive

I had to curtail my usual Saturday Fleets over the Holidays due to the unpredictable nature of my schedule. Nothing serious, just the usual insanity of family, home, decorations, the usual Holiday stuffs. Not to mention starting a new job right smack in the middle of all of that. More stress than usual. So I've been trying to get back to that schedule after the New Year and it has been tough. So I figured why not do it on Sunday instead. Duh.

I called the fleet "Rixx's Sunday Drive" and it was just a quickly put together thing, nothing serious. 10 or so ABAians in armor Frigates with a couple of logi in support. My plan was to quickly push past the local neighborhood and burn down towards Minnie FW space towards Evati. That's a route we don't usually travel due to the large gap in FW space it takes you thru. Only about 5-6 systems, but that can get annoying. Since we had logi along I decided to fly a Damavik since The Space Princess was flying one already. As anyone knows who has put fleets like this together, especially with late notice, it can take some time to get everyone ready. Luckily we didn't have to wait long.

Someone said on comms that we had a Megathron in local sitting at one of the out gates. We all flew over and sure enough there it was, all neutral and positively sec status gray. If you are reading this and not aware of how gate guns in Eve work (why don't you!?!) we criminals can't shoot a neutral on the gate without being shot by the gate guns in return. Not unless he shoots us first. Luckily he did start shooting a few of us. Which in return means he has aggro and even if he stops shooting he has a timer before he can jump. The rest of us can't shoot him without the gate guns, so it becomes a constant game of shoot and then warp out if you are in a small ship.

That's the reason I flew straight back to station and traded my Damavik for a Rattlesnake. That, and the distinct possibility that he wouldn't be alone. I mean, it isn't every day that a solo BS shows up in our home system that isn't bait. Although it does happen. This is Eve. Everything happens. My goal was to ensure the safety of my pilots, put the Mega down fast and bugger out. Additionally the Rattle could tank the gate easily enough and keep point in case the smaller ships needed to boogie away under fire. Sure enough, a few volleys from the Rapid Heavies, and the Megathron went BOOM!

So back to station to re-organize and get ready for the roam... unless a Bhaalgorn is spotted in the large plex! Yep, Bhaalgorn in the large plex. A couple of crazy Stay Frosty pilots went to grab tackle in Frigates and I jumped into a Bhaalgorn in station. I didn't want to undock before they had tackle in case he'd run off. Anytime I do something that I "always" do my alarm bells go off. This is how I'm trained even out here in the real world, to question everything. So instead I grabbed my Nightmare. I hardly ever get to fly it and it's perfect to shoot a Bhaalgorn in the face with. Watson grabbed a Mach and Johnny a Brutix, so we had a nice little group. He went down hard but we didn't lose anyone. It was obvious from the loot that he was loaded with faction.

We hadn't even left home yet and already the roam was a huge success. Sadly the next ninety minutes wouldn't be as exciting. Although we all did live to return home, we only had a few engagements along the route down and back.

As always the best part is hanging out and flying with your friends. We had a lot of fun and we obviously won the isk war!

Honestly, I can't wait until the next time.

Win Conditions

Rixx Javix Series Two
Click to embiggen
We've already established that quitting isn't winning and we should stop calling it that. And, as Nosy rightly pointed out, in an MMO like Eve Online - there may not even be anything that resembles traditional winning. He is correct of course, there is no traditional metric that we can judge against when it comes to a win condition in Eve. He was also correct that "winning Eve" is a pet peeve of mine. I personally don't like it when people quit and say they've "won" Eve. I totally understand where people are coming from and I respect your choices, I really do - but let's call things what they are.

As always my goals are to entertain, start a conversation, and get you to think about things. Often it is the things we all tend to take for granted that need to be questioned the most. So if we accept the fact that Eve has no built-in way to win, then what are we left with? How does one "win" a game that cannot be won?

I believe this is one of Eve's truly great strengths. It forces us all to think about our own goals when playing the game. I've often given the advice to new pilots - establish your goals early and often. Be adaptable and open to change. Revisions are good. Things change. And new goals are always on the horizon.  Early on in my own Eve career I made the decision to become as knowledgeable and proficient at PvP as possible. I sought out Wars and conflict in Null. I trained to become an approved Fleet Commander. I chased membership in PvP oriented Corporations. I was a sponge. I learned from people as much as they could teach me. And I tried everything.

I've been playing for over a decade now and I can tell you my personal goals have changed over the years. But that core goal remains the same as it was those first couple of months. I am still, every single day, chasing that elusive original goal - to become as knowledgeable and proficient at PvP as possible. I did add a twist over time when I quickly realized that FUN was just as important. That was a lesson it actually took me a year or so to truly understand. Obviously, the combination of those two goals has formed the basis of the vast majority of my Eve experience over the past ten years. PvP mixed with a healthy dose of good times. 

But those are goals. So what would I personally consider my own win condition? I have both out-of-game and in-game goals that I would like to achieve. If I managed to achieve them, I would consider those to be personally satisfying win conditions for me. Out-of-game is easy. My goal is simple. I want to establish a legal process that allows for Limited Licensing Agreements between creatives and CCP so that myself and others have a pathway to provide creative products to the community. I should be able to sell posters of my work. Others should be allowed to sell 3D models, or whatever else they want to create. Legally. I thought we were on the verge of this back in 2014-15, but we took a huge step backwards and very little progress has been made since then.

In-game I've already achieved many of my original goals with the success of Stay Frosty and A Band Apart. Those are both huge "wins" in my book. The Alliance Tournament remains a big goal for me. Not to win, although that would be awesome, but simply to make it to the final weekend. That's a really tough one for a group of what The Mittani called, "Idiots of No Consequence." (Which only proves he has no real idea of how the meta game works around here.)  But that would be a nice thing that I would personally get a ton of satisfaction from. As I know many of our pilots would as well.

And lastly I'd like to break the 10,000 kill barrier playing the way I play the game. Not by smart bomb camping, or dropping Carriers on Frigates, or flying in massive F1 Fleets - but by being -10 and playing the game on Hard Mode. At my current pace it should take me another 2-3 years to achieve this goal. Given my current lack of playtime.

I suppose the day may come when I have to hang up the Pirate Lord spurs and slip quietly away into the void of deep space. When that day comes I'll know I managed to achieve, or tried my very best to achieve, the goals I set out for myself along the way. Just like you, I may not ever get to technically win at Eve Online - but I will have given it a solid shot. In that regard I already feel like a winner. And I hope you do too.

Play the game and have fun. Do what you want an don't let anyone stop you.

In my opinion, that is how you win at Eve.

Happy New Year

I don't believe in new year's resolutions. So I tend towards never making promises to myself that I don't plan on keeping. However, it is the beginning of a new year and that makes for a perfect time to reflect, ponder, and generally look forward. It is also a day to look back at just how far you've come, the challenges you've managed to overcome, and the lessons you've learned from all of that. All in all New Year's Day is a great day to think about things.

It is also a great time to point out some of the highlights from the previous year and collect them all here for you. So here are some of the 2018 highlights and links for you. But before I go, thank you all once again for sharing this journey and for the comments, shares, and support. It is sincerely appreciated. I wish you all a prosperous and incredible 2019. Hopefully the world will still be here this time next year.

FREE Eve is 15 Poster (Still available)

The whole month of September was a celebration of my 10th year of playing Eve, you should check out all the posts from that month.

This year will see the 6th Anniversary of Stay Frosty. Hopefully I'll hit 7,000 kills at some point this year if I can find the time to play as much as I'd like. Rixx will undock in his first Capital in two months. And shortly he will pass the 200m skillpoint mark. So lots of milestones to look forward to. 2019 will also be the 10th year of Eveoganda. And my Wife and I will be traveling with other Eve nerds to Alaska in July, another first. We are working on getting up to Toronto for Eve North and planning for the 4th Annual Steel City Eve meet on the last weekend in July. Which I hope you can attend. I'll have the information up on Eve Meet this weekend.

Who knows what else might happen next year?  I guess we'll just have to find out.