What do YOU want?

2010 has been a great year in Eve, both in-game and out of game.  Back in January, after months of debate, I finally decided to start EVEOGANDA and it has been a hell of a great ride.  

As this is my last post in 2010, I thought I would turn the tables a bit on the traditional "New Year Resolution" and ask my readers, all of you, what do you want from EVEOGANDA in the New Year?

Now, don't be shy.  Writing a blog on an almost daily basis (344 posts so far!) can be challenging, without my commenters it tends to be somewhat of a one-sided conversation.  I don't keep track of stats, visits or anything like that, so I have no way of knowing what posts are "popular" or what people like or don't like.  Which is the way I like it.  I'm not writing this blog according to popular opinion, or changing what I am doing to become more popular.  Having said that though, right now, I'd like to hear what you think.  Good, indifferent, bad, suggestions, whatever you like or don't like.  Or what you'd like to see more or less of next year.

While I can't promise to do anything, I can promise that I will listen.  I admit that when I try something new and I don't get any feedback that I often stop doing that, it is after all human nature.  

I also know that asking for comments is bad manners.  But it's New Year Weekend and breaking the rules, just this once, might be ok this time around.

Thank you all for making 2010 a year in Eve to remember.  I wish you all the very best in the coming year, as Eve players we have much to look forward to in 2011.  At some point around the Summer we will be walking in stations and that is going to be very interesting indeed.  

Happy New Year!

The Next Step

It's the time of year when you start asking yourself, what next?  I spent the vast majority of 2010 cross-training Minmatar and Amarr class ships and support skills, along with the usual core skills, drone skills, and the hundreds of other things that come up.  That mission has largely been accomplished, although I still need to address the BS level skills in Amarr.  But I'm holding off on that for awhile.  Change in Corp location means I don't need those as soon as I did before.

So what next then?  Well I think it is time for Rixx to get into the whole Interdictor/Heavy Interdictor class of ships.  I trained Propulsion Jamming V over Christmas so now a week on Destroyer V and I can technically fly a Sabre.  I say 'technically' because I won't until I train Science V and that other skill to IV, Cybernetics something or other.  The one that lets you use the Sphere thingie.

That's less than two weeks total training time and I'll not only be in a Sabre, but also a Devoter and Flycatcher.  Then I just need Heavy Interdictor IV and I'll be in a Onyx, Broadsword.  Sweet.  I'm really looking forward to these ships honestly.  I put off training them because of where I've been the last two years, the usage of these ships has changed a lot in that time and I had no real interest/need in being one of those people.  But now, where we are in Syndicate, is perfect for these ships.  In fact, I know this because a few nasty Sabre pilots have made my life... difficult in the last two weeks.

Time to return the favor.

And then what?  I have a few more core skills I want to top off to V, then maybe Logi V, then probably back to training Minmatar and Amarr BS skills.  My goal remains the same as it has been.  By the time September rolls around, and my third year in Eve, I want to have all four races trained up to Battleship.  And not just trained up to Battleship in a hurry either, but trained up fully with bad ass skills behind them.

And then?  I dunno, that's a long way off right now.

My Gift

I hope everyone had a great Christmas Holiday and Santa brought you something special, whatever that might be.  I also hope you managed to survive whatever horrors you happened to inflict upon yourselves, none the worse for wear.  In many cases, that is the best we can hope for.

And while Santa didn't leave me what I asked for, a shiny new Machariel under the tree, I did get a surprise visit from the CCP Santa this morning.  For the first time in over two years I've won a petition!  While GM Pyro initially denied my petition late last week, GM Libra Luna reviewed the context of the incident and saw the bug I was talking about.  My Zealot is now resting comfortably in my hanger, minus a few mods, but none the worse for wear.

Getting the ship back is nice, but that wasn't the reason I petitioned the loss.  The Station wouldn't let me dock for almost four hours, that is really the "bug" I wanted to bring to someone's attention.  While getting the ship back is great (I'm not an idiot!) the real reason for the petition is to help to keep that from happening again.  

Goodness knows I've been killed by game bugs and weird crap plenty of times in the past.  Getting stuck on Asteroids used to be something you seriously had to worry about.  Once during a roam, some of my fleet got warped over 15 jumps away!  Inside out Catalysts, missiles that disappear, Gates that spit you out into the middle of the Sun, repeating ships on undock, cans that aggro you... the list is long.  The point being, to me at least, is that many of those are in the past.  They don't happen much any more, if at all.  And that's good.  It's progress.

And while I'm happy to be a part of that progress, winning one finally sure does feel good.

Merry EVEmas to All

Click to embiggen!
It's quiet here at EVEOGANDA HQ, all the minions are at home nestled by an open fire, jack frost nipping at their noses.  Whatever your own personal real-world beliefs, this is a special time of year for friends, family and those unexpected relatives, to share something special.  If the man in red visits your home in a few days, I hope he brings you exactly what you wanted (and it isn't another useless ship in your hanger!).

My sincere wish is for your Holidays, however you spend them, to be filled with wonder, happiness and peace.  2011 is just around the corner and another year will be upon us.  Best wishes to you and yours.

With that being said, it would be unfair of me not to chuck some gifts from my red Taranis as I fly above your Homeworld.  So here are some things some of you may enjoy.  (It would be impossible to remember you all, so if I forget you please don't feel bad.  In fact, your gift will be waiting under the tree on Saturday morning... you'll know it cause it'll be the one you like the most.)

A whole squad of Logistics pilots sporting Jump Freighters and unlimited fuel.

To: Erad
A nifty magical perma-tanked Broadsword, so you can finally stop playing around with enemy Carriers and actually kill some.

To: Ashkrall
A new fun book: "How to talk to your Directors in chat!"  Some good jokes in there, but also valuable life lessons.

To: Acquines
An unlimited fountain of Falcons, like a Falcon Tree, so you'll always have a harvest to pick from.

To: LD
An unlimited use Free Play Pass so you can be on more, we miss you touching stuff.

To: Angor
A power boost to your scanner so it can find all the horribly fit losers you enjoy blowing up now.

To: Nauron
What do you get the German who has everything?  Huh.  Your own planet to conquer?

To: Ged and JEK
Patience is a virtue, so when you finally get there your first shiny T2 ship is on me.

To: All of DION
You guys are the best, now get your butts down to system so we can start killing people!

To: Kirith
I'm sprinkling some "eyes wide open" over you and m3, come to Syndicate and leave the Evil ones to their own fate.

To: Nashh
Some brand-new shiny Pirate spurs, so you can hang 'em up and come play with the big boys in zero.

To: CrazyKinux
An official Eve Blogger Throne from which to rule over us all, I call it The Mordor Throne, but you can call it Precious if you want.

To: Mord
A whole swarm of little camera reporter bots that you can sprinkle over the Universe, so you can see what's happening.

To: Eve Travel
A shiny magical perma-tank for the Professor, so you can scour the ends of the Universe without worry.

To: Mule
What do you get the blogger who has everything?  A Harem of Virgins!  In your station office, enjoy.

To: My Commenters
Thanks for being the best commenters in all of the Eve Blogg-o-sphere!  To each of you a packet of magical beans... I don't know what they do, but the man I bought them from in Jita was very sincere.

To: All My Fellow Eve Bloggers
Thank you for welcoming me into this great community this past year!  For each of you an unlimited well-spring from which ideas may flow.  Enjoy!

Peace out.  
Rixx Javix

And now for the Naughty List!  You didn't think you got away with it did you?  Jolly old Sansha sees everything!

A pox upon you!  Although my heart warms to the possibilities unfolding once again in Providence, maybe the Universe doesn't like you either?  I think it's called Karma.

To: Those Sabre Pilots in the Pipe
Your days are numbered.  You're getting coal m8s, sorry but that's the way Jolly 'Ol Sansha rolls.

To: Khaaaaaan!
Pfft.  Pffft.  Pffft.  I hope I got some of that on you.

To: Reds in general
Nothing personal here, in fact, many of you I can respect for being good bad guys.  Thing is, I have to shoot you cause you are evil and red to me.  However, without you, I wouldn't even be playing Eve, so you get a pass this Holiday.  That doesn't mean your guns won't rust faster, your missiles go 'dud' faster, or your signature radius suddenly bloom... but I wish for that every single day.

Funny, not many people on my Naughty List.

Black-Mark Update

I thought it was time to give everyone an update on our new Alliance and how things are progressing.  After two weeks of bustin' and humpin' tons of assets across dangerous space, negotiating with neighbors, reaching out to friends, and moving a very large Corporation (once again) all the way across the Universe - Things are going very well indeed.

Our Alliance Teamspeak servers are up and running, our Forums, Killboard, even our Wiki is running smoothly.  You can check out the portal for yourself HERE.  Kudos go out to Ashkrall our resident web type person who helped us get everything up and running, even though I still owe him a lot of graphics to make everything purty.  And of course to LJB, Bing, Erad and everyone else involved with moving stuffs.  I am training Anastasia as fast as I can to get into her own Carrier and help out, but these guys are the real heroes.  It is often a thankless job, but they do it as good as anyone.

We also have 4 or 5 new Corporations joining us this week, some are in now and some will be shortly.  So welcome to BLM guys.  An Alliance is only as good as the Corps within it, and I am looking forward to flying with all of you and getting to know you better over the coming months.

Recruitment remains open for now.  If your Corporation is looking for pew pew in a non-Sov, small warfare gang manner in New Eden - then contact us and join in-game channel BLACK-MARK DIPLO to talk it over with one of our Directors.

This thing is just getting off the ground, and much work remains to be done certainly, but it is already off to a very encouraging start and I'm looking forward to seeing where it all goes.

As for my mates in BLM, get down to our space as soon as possible and let's start blowing stuff up real good!

Interview with Rixx!

The first episode of the New Eden Chronicles podcast has been released and you can listen to it HERE.  I've only managed to listen to about 25 minutes so far, but apparently somewhere on the podcast is an interview with your friendly neighborhood Eve blogger himself... or myself?  Or me, as it were, Rixx Javix.

The podcast is being done by CrazyKinux (You know, the leader of the Free World!), Maeve Trinity (either a real female type person, or a man with serious vocal issues), Ardwulf and Memoocan (both of whom I have nothing funny to say about... yet.).

I'm trying to d-load the whole thing right now so I can finish listening.  Mostly I hope I don't come off sounding like an idiot or anything.  Maeve promised to edit out the nasty bits, so we'll have to see how I did.

Maeve and I spoke about two weeks ago via Skype and she was awesome and we had a good time, or at least I did.  I appreciate the fact that I was considered for the debut episode and hope they manage to download a gazillion of these over the next few weeks.

I've been getting into more and more of these podcasts lately, been listening to Kirith's and several others, well done all around.  For all of our podcasting community, please work on getting your podcasts up on iTunes so I can listen while I drive. It is the one remaining place where I can't enjoy Eve yet.

Although, I have been downloading them and loading them into iTunes myself.  So there is that.

I picked a bad time to stop sniffing glue!

By this time you are probably tired of hearing about how bad my week has been.  But just in case you haven't had your fill yet, let's review:

• Since last Monday I've managed to lose a Manticore, Vagabond, Rook (my first ever Rook loss!), an Ibis, Hurricane and a Zealot.

• In exchange I managed to kill... an Eris.

• In addition my account was almost hacked into and I was frozen out of it for a day.  Although kudos once again to CCP.

Moving an entire Corporation into new space is difficult and goodness knows no one knows that better than me.  As many times as I've moved across the Universe to one zero space region to another, I've learned that lesson.  In fact, the last really horrible week I had was when Dion left Providence last summer and moved to Insmother.  Good grief did I lose a lot of assets on that move!  Including being hot-dropped by THREE Carriers in my Gila.  Which remains the last time I've flown a Gila.

So this crap happens.  Right?

Uh sorta.  Throw in the stresses lately of the approaching Holidays, work and other factors, and you have a recipe for disaster.  Let me illustrate the kind of retard level stuff that has been happening to me.

Hurricane.  I have never set a system to "avoid" before, at least not that I can ever remember.  In fact Rixx prides himself on always having the auto-pilot set to "shortest ignore sanity" position.  But the other day I did set a system to avoid because we are moving assets and that system has a perpetual gate camp going.  Better to take a few extra jumps and avoid trouble right now.  Except?  Except I forgot I did that when I was moving assets three short jumps over, almost without even thinking.  I was just warping to yellow gate and jumping, la la la.  Except dear old Otto was sending me in a different direction!  Gate camp, lost Hurricane.  Sigh.

Zealot.  This morning I tried to dock my poor damaged Zealot at the station (only 40% armor left) when the station decided that it didn't like me anymore and wouldn't let me dock.  Again and again.  Normally I would just warp off and put the ship up in our POS but it just so happened that a Typhoon was also there with me and he was yellow-boxing me.  After trying to dock a few times he even started shooting me.  Normally no big deal.  When he pointed me however, I had no choice but to shoot back.  Help arrived but it was too late for my damaged Zealot.  The station wouldn't let my pod dock either.

That death I have petitioned.  I don't like petitioning unless I feel it is warranted, this one is certainly warranted.  Although I have yet to "win" a petition, I'll be interested if I get more than the usual "logs don't show" answer.

Has it been a bad week?  Yeah.  But honestly I expected it.  I take chances I shouldn't take and I do things I shouldn't do.  Sometimes that works out for me and sometimes it doesn't.  Did I make a few bone-headed moves?  Yep.  But the fun part about this blog is that it gives me a chance to admit to them, poke fun at myself and move on.

The worm will turn my friends.  Surely this can't continue.

I doubt it, and please, don't call me Shirley.

Attempted Hack

Ok, that was a scary day and a half. This time yesterday I thought my account had been hacked and that I might have lost my character Rixx Javix, or at the very least all of his assets and potentially those of the Corporation as well.  Scary times.

No one could possibly be more careful with their account information than I am. It comes with the territory that I normally work within, I am sadly the target of literally thousands of spam emails a week. I've had days where I have gotten thousands in one day!  We do our best here at the HQ to stem that tide, but it's a battle that you always run slightly behind in.  Needless to say I am not usually one to fall for phishing or spam or anything else for that matter.

All I do know is this, in the last week I have received two email notices that someone was attempting to transfer a character to me.  These emails look like they come from CCP, here is one of them:

And no, I did not click on the link.  Instead I went to the Eve website and logged on to my account, I couldn't find anything about a character transfer and so I ignored the email.  (The one above is the one I received this morning.)

Yesterday I get an email from CCP telling me they suspect my account has been the focus of a hacking attempt and that they have scrambled my password.  All I need to do is follow the link to reset my password.  The link doesn't work, it sends me to a page on the Eve website that says that link doesn't work.  So I do the thing you do to have CCP send you a password email, in case you've forgotten it.  They do, but that link doesn't work either.  I tried that a few times and each time it doesn't work.

Now I begin to worry about things.  Which emails are correct?  Which ones are really from CCP?  I'm purposefully not mentioning that this is happening over multiple email accounts, but it starts to get confusing.

So I immediately logged onto my Alt to send the Corp an email telling them to remove RJ's Roles as Director, in case someone did hack my account it would be best to protect the Corp.  Then I filed a petition thru my Alt to make CCP aware of what was going on.  Hopefully all of this was on the up and up and would be taken care of quickly.

In the end I give CCP the credit for catching the attempt BEFORE it became real, scrambling my password and saving Rixx.  Well done guys.  The links they sent me worked fine this morning and I took care of securing RJ once again. 

I'm not sure the Character Transfer email is a fake or not, I don't know anything about it other than what you see above.  It might be legit, it might be evidence of how the hackers work.  Perhaps they are using character transfers to initiate their hacking?  I simply don't know.  But I thought I would bring it to your attention.  Forewarned is forearmed.

Honestly I don't know what I would have done had this turned out the other way.  Luckily I don't have to worry about it.

Thanks CCP!  I'm the first to criticize you and I am the first to give credit were credit is due.

Suddenly Giveaway!

Aiden Mourn over at Finders & Keepers, contacted me awhile ago about this semi-contest Holiday Giveaway idea that Suddenly Ninjas was going to be putting on.  He asked me to create a graphic in support of the idea which I was happy to do.  I even managed to finish it and still keep all the items in my hanger!  (Although I really should check my cargo-holds now that I think of it, some of those shadows seem to be... moving.)

I even did a full sized Wallpaper version, which you can download HERE.

For those of you that hang out in places where Ninjas hang out, head on over to his blog and see how you might win a FREE Battleship this holiday season.  It seems like it might actually be on the up-and-up.

Bad Week

If any week proves the axiom that you shouldn't... uh, y'know the one about... is it having too many balls in the air?  Or not having three hands?  Honestly I don't remember the old axiom.  The point is this week has been one of the worst PvP weeks I've ever had and it just so happens to also have been one of the busiest in many, many other ways as well.  I don't think those two things are un-related.  And maybe, that should be an old axiom.

We have distracted driving, why not distracted fighting?  It has gotten so bad that last night I was dropped and kilt in my Drake by a Hyperion!  C'mon, that's like rubbing salt in the wound isn't it?  Sheesh.  If that had happened a year ago I might just have hung up the spurs and quit.  Mostly out of shame.

With the Alliance stuff going on in-game, the Holidays, the snow delays, the insane year-end work rush and trying to wrap up the commission work - I really shouldn't be playing at all.  lol, like that's going to happen.

Sometimes you get the bear and sometimes the bear gets you.  The sad part for me is that this week pushed me finally past 200 losses, which I was trying to hold off on for a while longer.  But you fight and die in this game, the only way to ensure victory is by staying in the station and that is no kind of victory at all.  Not that killboard stats mean that much to me to begin with, but they are important in some ways, especially when you are trying to get a new Alliance off the ground.

So I'm undocking again.  Eventually the great wheel of PvP will slowly swing back around to me.  Hopefully later today.


In celebration of the upcoming one-year anniversary of EVEOGANDA I am pleased to announce the long-awaited sequel to the very successful DEATH RACE 2010 - DEATH RACE: BATH OF BLOOD!!

Details will be forthcoming after the Holidays, specifically the very first week of January.  The race itself will be held either in late January or early February, the final date will also be announced in the first week of January.

I'm announcing the race now to give people time to consider sponsorships and support of the race.  And also to give anyone that wants to participate the heads up - this is not the same race we had the first time out.  Fair warning, this version will be much more Death and a little less race.  Some of what that means will be revealed and some of it will wait until the race is underway.  But I can assure you this much, I learned a lot from the first race and that knowledge has been put to good use.

BATH OF BLOOD is not just a name.

That is the sum total of information I am prepared to give.  Last time I gave out over 6 BILLION ISK in prizes and I suspect this time it may be even more.  So anyone that is interested in sponsoring the event needs to contact me at rixxjavix@gmail.com.  Sponsorships are first come, first served and I am willing to discuss any details you might like to discuss.  But I will not turn away any sponsors.

As before the race will be supported by Dissonance Corporation, the best darn Corp in the game!  Other than that, I leave the rest to your imagination.

And no, we will not be accepting applications until after the official announcement.  At that time the official in-game channel and other materials will go live once more.

Be afraid my friends, the BATH OF BLOOD is coming, are you man enough to survive?


Feel the Burn!

I just want you all to know I almost kilt myself last night.  And I do not have a clone ready at my house, so one ka-put and I'm a goner.  I am being a tad dramatic, but just a tad.  Gosh darn snow and ice and bone-chilling temperatures are the culprits.  More of the white stuff is falling this morning and schools are delayed and this has caused my day to get about 4 hours shorter than usual.

Yikes.  But I am feeling the burn of Christmas my friends.  I am burning through the remaining commissions on my desk, even though some last minute emergencies popped up, I should be through them all by Friday.  That's my goal.  So hang in there dudes, I'm getting to you next.

And I am feeling the burn of the new Alliance, which isn't as easy as... ok no one actually said it was gonna be easy.  And it isn't.  But we are getting ready to move and do and get things finalized here, so that is very exciting.

Time is burning.  So back to it.  I'll be back later on with something else.

Incursion 1.0.1 Delayed

We recently announced a 24 hour delay in the second installment of EVE Online: Incursion 1.0.1. This is due to a deployment environment issue that needs to be resolved before we deploy EVE Online: Incursion 1.0.1, we are delaying the launch by 24 hours to ensure a smooth delivery. Deployment will commence on Wednesday, December 15 at 10:00 UTC and we expect it to be completed at 15:30 UTC. We apologize for any inconvenience this delay may cause you and we thank you for your patience as we work on resolving this issue.

This is the second installment of Incursion and the release notes can be found 
here, the third installment will be available in January. Full details on the launch plan can be found in CCP Zulu's blog and a discussion thread is available here.  


[ Well. This gives me more time to think about what to do with my learning skills I suppose.]

Oh the weather outside

is frightful.  Winter has arrived and the Holidays are looming like a freight train at the end of that tunnel you are half-way thru on your way to rob a 24hr liquor store.  And what, may I add, are you doing robbing a liquor store!?!  Just when I thought I had the best readers in EVE, you go and pull a stunt like this!  Well I hope that train squishes you.  Serves you right.  Sheesh.

This is the time of year when things both slow down and speed up at the same time.  When priorities get all mangled up and we speed towards the Holidays, at least those of us that celebrate the Holidays.  For those of you that don't, or for whom the Holidays are just wrapping up, you are the lucky ones.  For the rest of us, well insanity reigns.  Especially if you have a big family.  Don't even get me started.

It all comes at a bad time within Eve, what with the Alliance getting off the ground and all.  But I've come to accept the fact that everything that happens to me in Eve is badly timed.  Apparently one of the ships I exploded had a Witch in the cargo or something, and I've been cursed ever since. Ok, curse is strong.  I'm not cursed.  Cut me some slack, my normally 30 minute commute this morning took 2 hours!

If you are starting to suspect this post has no point, you may be right.  I was hoping one might appear as I wrote this.  Let's leave it at this then.  The Holidays are upon us, tomorrow is the new learning skill killing Incursion patch, the Alliance continues to move slowly forward, work is insane, my family is insane (but in a good way) and 2011 is almost here.  All of that adds up to the inevitable slow down of blogging and playing Eve in the next few weeks.

But hang in there, I some (hopefully) cool stuff planned in addition to a BIG announcement right before Christmas next week.

Hope you aren't buried in snow, but if you are hopefully your Internet connection still works.

Y'know... Perhaps I do suck?

I awoke this morning with the thought firmly planted in my brain that I suck at Eve.  This wasn't a fleeting momentary whisper of two synapses talking, this was an entire section of brain meat having a dedicated conversation about how lame I am.  I suspect this started with some sort of horrible "naked in front of everyone" kinda dream of which I have no memory.  Damn brain playing around while I try to catch some sleepy time.

I don't actually suck at Eve.  But lately it sure seems like it.  The finely honed warrior that left Providence back in the early Summer has grown rusty my friends, months in the Drone lands, months of Sov War Crapola, and moving around the Universe have rusted my trigger fingers and cobwebs are in my gun barrels.

Sheesh.  I fell into a stupid tarp last night that a more vigilant soldier would have easily avoided.  I decided to take my Pilgrim out to do some more scouting of our eventual home region, see what was what and make some more super-handy bookmarks.  No intention of fighting unless I happened to find something juicy.  A Sabre started following me and, speaking of that lump of meat in my head, the alarm bells started ringing.  "Log Off RJ!", they kept yelling.  Did I listen?  Of course not.

So yes, after successfully escaping one or two attempts to catch me, I finally got caught.  And while my trusty (and expensive) PIlgrim handled herself admirably, her pilot was doomed.  A Sabre, a Vaga and a Falcon?  No chance, so long slow death and I wake up back in the station.  Luckily my new clone has a much more impressive male reproductive organ... has that ever happened to anyone else?

This on top of the stupid tarp I fell into the night before.  Five of us in BCs hanging on some drag bubbles getting some easy kills.  A Helios jumps into system and I target him with my Drake, a DRAKE!, from about 50k away... which is out of point range btw.  The Helios just sits there as two lobs from my missiles kill him.  Strange people play this game.  We kilt some small stuffs, Merlins, Pods, even a Shuttle and whatnot.  But then, out of nowhere, a Geddon, 2x Sleipners(sp) and 2x Basis jump us!  Excuse me, but wtf kinda gang is that?  Granted, badass, but seriously?  Being the man I am they primary me, and instead of running away I tell my m8s to gtfo while I aggro back and have at it.  The rest of our gang manages to escape and I lose my Drake.  No biggie, Drakes being so much better to lose than Pilgrims.

The good news?  This area is seriously kicking major ass in potential pew pew!  And I am having a blast.  Despite what my brain woke up with this morning, I do not suck at Eve.  Yes I do have a little rust that needs shaken off, but that happens.  The old warrior instincts are kicking back in and it is time to get serious about kicking some enemy butt.

The Alliance is coming together, assets are being deployed, members are meeting up, gates are shaking... in other words we're almost ready to get this wagon train ah movin'.

Eve is fun again.  Yipppee!

CCP's Xmas Present this year?

[ The image that was here has mysteriously disappeared.  Which, given the general reaction to it, might be for the best. ]

As explained HERE, the Echelon is a Frigate sized Hacking/Code Breaker ship of some sort.  Read all about it.

Once again, the annual gift has nothing to do with me.  Although my hanger continues to fill with more ships, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

What do you think?  Excited?

Scrap Metal Banner

Tiberu Stundrif contacted me awhile ago about designing a new blog banner for his blog, "Scrap Metal & Faction Ammo".  Between RL, the Sov Wars, the moving, the forming a New Alliance and everything else going on (3 new ads in the new issue of EON for example!) my commissioned work schedule has been plodding along.  But I was anxious to get started on this one since I had a very strong reaction to his site and the name.

It reminded me instantly of some post-apocalyptic junkyard where the mad-old hermit collects the debris of a forgotten age in exchange for the wonders of the new.  Or something like that.  Some desolate lonely old shack on some forgotten back-water world in New Eden where the wonders of faction ammo can be had for a price.  That was the spirit of what I tried to capture in this new banner.

Go over and say hello and add him to your daily reading list.  I have.

Tactical Shield Manipulation V

QUESTION: I continue to hear that training Tactical Shield Manipulation to level V is a waste of time.  In fact, I was training it the first time I heard this and stopped.  So the question is simple, is it or isn't it?

With the upcoming Learning Skill thingie I am starting to finally give some thought to what skills will get the bonus treatment.  Two million skill points is nothing to sneeze at and I certainly have plenty of places I could spend them.  Topping off Tactical Shield Manipulation would be one.

Or, do I top off Advanced Weapons Upgrade V and maybe Warhead Upgrades V?

Or, maybe Propulsion Jamming V?  Which is scheduled to be my Holiday skill train this year.

Or, perhaps Destroyers V, which along with Prop Jam V will get me into a Sabre?

There are others of course, there always are, but those are the big ones.  Meanwhile my alt Anastasia is easy, she'll be spending her Learning Skill bonus on Advanced Spaceship Command V which will be the last skill she needs to fly a Carrier.  Which will finally make the eventual move so much easier for RJ.

What are your thoughts?  What are you spending your bonus on?

A Few Good Corps

A truly great Alliance is built on exceptional groups of dedicated individuals working together to achieve common goals.  We are actively looking for Corporations that want to work with professionals to build something new and lasting in an exciting corner of the universe with plenty of opportunities for small gang warfare and good fights.

Sound like you?

Black Mark Alliance is looking for a few good Corporations to help us form the foundation for a strong PvP oriented Alliance.  Black Mark is being formed by Dissonance Corporation which is one of the oldest Corps in New Eden, having been founded and run since 2003.  So this is no "fly-by-night" operation and we are looking towards long-term and sustainable goals.

What is Black-Mark Alliance?

Dedicated to the higher pursuit of excellence in Player versus Player combat, Black Mark is focused on building one of the premier Alliances in all of New Eden. Founded on the experience of one of the oldest Corporations in the game, Black Mark refuses to settle for anything less than the best from its member Corporations and member pilots.

Being a member of Black Mark carries with it the responsibility of being a mature, competent and dedicated soldier.  As such we strongly believe in the code of the warrior, an unwritten law of conduct that governs how we treat our fellow pilots - be they warriors or workers - and those friends we deem worthy of allegiance.  We are not pirates, but it is not above us to use their own tactics against them, so long as we are not exploiting those tactics to the detriment of others.  We hold nothing back in the defense of our systems and those of our comrades, we fight until we have exhausted our resources and then we fight some more.  We are tenacious, unforgiving and brutal in the extension of our force upon our enemies.  We protect those that cannot protect themselves and destroy those that seek to harm them.  This is our code.

• Loyalty and honor above all else
• Corporation Council of Advisors
• Based in 0.0 Space
• Close to Low-Sec and Empire
• Focused on PvP and Guerrilla Warfare

What we offer:

• Experienced FCs
• Alliance Logistics
• Upgraded Ratting Systems
• Dedicated TS3 Server
• Dedicated Forums and Killboard
• NO Sov War lagfests

What you offer:

• Dedication and Loyalty to the Alliance
• A Stable Corp grounded in Eve
• Active PvPers that fight
• Minimum of 10 members (We will help you grow)

For more information or to speak to us, please join BLACK-MARK DIPLO channel in-game.  Or contact one of our Directors directly in-game.

Let's do this!

PS: Plus, as an added bonus, your exploits will be talked about on EVEOGANDA!  How cool is that? 

I Got Nothing

Seriously. Sometimes the creative juices flow and sometimes they don't.  It could be the fact that I've spent all my Eve time lately moving once again across the entire Universe, managing assets and trying not to get killed... or it could be the weather, whatever it is the well is dry this morning.

So what does we do do in cases like this?  We pull stuff from the logs!  Here is an interesting convo I had almost two years ago.  At the time I was trying to get a Mercenary Corp up and running, seems silly now, but back then I didn't know any better. Anyway, this person convo'd me about hiring us for a job.  The background here is interesting and important to the story, this "client" had been hired by a Corp we had War Dec'd.  The "clients" job was to destroy us, which we found out about through another source.  So this "job" was bogus from the beginning, but he didn't know I knew.  Confused yet?

Session started: 2009.04.15 16:52:06

Rixx Javix > o/
Client > hey
Rixx Javix > what's up?
Client > why has your member count gone down?
Rixx Javix > why do you care?
Client > well if im going to hire you
Client > i dont want someone who is collapsing
Client > youve lost 3 members in 2 days!
Rixx Javix > im not accepting any jobs from you m8
Client > why?
Rixx Javix > let's just say things have gotten very interesting lately
Client > what my money not good enough?
Client > explain?
Rixx Javix > and this is further interesting
Rixx Javix > you said you've been watching the forums
Client > yes
Client > tell me if i was to hire a merc to do a job you think i wouldnt check to see whats going on with them before i purchase there services?
Rixx Javix > oh no, thats fine
Client > would you buy a car without test driving it?
Rixx Javix > please you can do anything you want
Rixx Javix > im not saying that
Rixx Javix > but so can i
Client > so what are you saying
Rixx Javix > i can do anything i want as well
Rixx Javix > thats all
Client > no it isnt
Rixx Javix > nothing mysterious
Client > you will explain why you wont except my job for you?
Rixx Javix > i have to wonder, what is this to you?
Rixx Javix > why the interest?
Rixx Javix > plenty of merc corps out there
Rixx Javix > lots of em
Client > your cheap
Rixx Javix > yes well we're just starting out
Rixx Javix > but we don't need the work per se, choosy
Rixx Javix > which means i don't accept just any job
Client > now i want to hire you for a job to kill a corp, you said ok then you said no
Client0 > i asked you nicely
Rixx Javix > ahh but then you said no thank you and left
Client > you explain
Rixx Javix > no
Client > i said id have to think about it and left
Rixx Javix > i don't have to
Rixx Javix > nor do i want to
Rixx Javix > i don't trust you
Rixx Javix > how's that?
Client > becareful what you say
Rixx Javix > why?
Client > i havent insult or given you any reason not to trust me
Rixx Javix > i don't know you at all
Client > so why dont you trust me
Rixx Javix > li have my reasons
Client > your a merc do your job
Client > you war dec the corp i asked
Rixx Javix > i don't have a job from you yet
Client > im sorry about the bad timing
Client > can it be helped?
Rixx Javix > can what?
Client > Bad Timing
Rixx Javix > oh, not really
Client > MMP Incorporated
Client > that was the job
Client > 100 mil for 1 week
Rixx Javix > there was no job yet
Rixx Javix > no job
Rixx Javix > no boss
Rixx Javix > no orders
Rixx Javix > sorry m8
Client > so are you going to do the job or what?
Rixx Javix > no job m8
Client > fine
Client > ill make you
Rixx Javix > make me what?
Client logs off
Rixx Javix > weird ass people in this game

I learned many things from trying to start a Merc Corp around the time I had 7 or 8 million skillpoints, the most important of them all?  DON'T!  That is a load of complicated inter-corporational politics you really don't want to be in the middle of when you are first starting out, it makes zero space look like pre-school.  That only lasted a month but I'm glad I did it, it's good to get some perspective from time to time.  And to try new things.

And yes, I keep most of the better logs.

I've got a Black Mark Baby, and it burns so good

FREGE, G Thanks, Libertas Fidelitas (LFA), Dogs of War, Undivided, Primary, The Spire Alliance and Circle of Two... not exactly the best track record when it comes to picking Alliances.  Add to that my own personal trail of carnage both on the Alliance side (I once left Dion to come back to Providence to help Paxton defend their space, and we all see how that worked out) and on the Corporation side, I once tried starting a low-sec Merc Corp around the time I had 7 or 8 million skill points!  I know, oh to be young and foolish.  My second attempt at starting a Corporation was doomed by corporate thievery and horribly bad timing, but that's another story.  Talk about a permanent record huh?

If you think that sounds bad then you obviously don't know much about how zero space Alliances work.  When you hitch your horse to a wagon, you don't always know where the wagon is headed or have any say about when it might get there.  While you are on that wagon you do your best to help it along, if it gets stuck in the mud you are right there along with the others digging it out.  But then, one day, you realize the wagon is headed to Salt Lake City.  And dammit, you just don't want to go to Salt Lake City!  And then the dude that sold you on the trip comes up missing right at the critical moment when you need him the most and that missing-toothed cackling old-guy is the one he left in charge!  Or those religious zealots that promised the calvary would come to your rescue end up not having any horses.  Or something like that, I sure can stretch a metaphor.

Thing is, along that journey you've watched how the wagon master works.  How he keeps the horses feed, how he keeps the Injuns at bay, all the stuff that goes into making a wagon train roll.  You've seen the mistakes, been burned by them many times, and you've also seen the good.  That time the wagon boss handed that widow lady some silverbacks when her husband passed... he didn't have to do that.  But all along the trip you started thinking, I know a better way.  I see the bad, the ugly and the stupid... but I also see the way it aught to be.  If done right.  That idea forments in yer head till one day the moon and the stars align up just right in the night sky.  Turns out, even though the town is on fire, you might just have a chance at yer own spread over the mountains.  A place to call your own.  

Not sure where the Old West crap came from, but I think you get the idear.  (I did just re-watch that True Grit trailer this morning)  Either way, the day has finally come to take the next big step on our Eve journey and head out to claim our own space.  Black-Mark is the name of our new Alliance, for obvious reasons.  We had hundreds of suggested names, one of which was Terrifying League of Sock Puppets, but it finally came down to two choices.  Variations on Black Mark and Branded.  (Which has a kick-ass theme song already built in!)  But if you've tried to name something in Eve lately, you know how hard it is getting.  It's almost as bad as buying a URL, it's getting harder every day.  So Black-Mark won out.  It feels right given our history and what we've been thru, both as a Corp and as individuals.

I can't tell you more right now, the details are moving along very nicely though.  Negotiations and discussions are happening at a rapid pace, I suspect by Monday I'll have many more details to share with you.

In the meantime, Dissonance continues to recruit and Black-Mark is looking for a few great Corps to help us mark our mark.  if you are interested let me know, or jump into DION-PUBLIC in-game to chat.

Roamin' Low

While things get sorted and we finalize all the stuff that needs finalized and whatnot, I thought it would be a good opportunity to take a roam out last night.  You have to understand just how much I love roaming around Eve with a small group of guys, hunting bad guys and generally having a good time.  To me it is the purest essence of this game and is the thing I enjoy most about it.  There are other things I enjoy about Eve, but without small roaming gangs - if suddenly they stopped happening - I'd probably do something else.

And for the past three months roaming has been virtually impossible.  Oh sure we tried a few times, even managed to get some good kills, but more often than not we got blobbed.  When you are running with 6-12 m8s, a 40 man red gang is the anti-christ of fun.  Heck, even before the last three months back when we were in The Spire, roaming was difficult.  Which is the whole entire reason we went to Providence again.  Damn karma circles!!  lol.

So we started out in a low-sec area near our staging systems in low-sec.  This area is one in which I haven't often flown and from the map stats it didn't look very active.  And it wasn't.  Mostly empty station or POS huggers that had no interest in a fight. Most of our Corp ships are in transit at the moment, in fact the only ship I have access to is my Pilgrim.  So I brought it and we also had 2 Falcons, a Sacrilege, a Taranis, a Cerberus and later on a Vagabond caught up.  One of our Falcons had probes fitted, so that also came in very handy.

The roam was casual and we had a good time.  Even though we only managed one Cane kill.  We had fun and honestly that was and is the most important part.  It continues to befuddle me why low-sec pilots aggro you on gates, but they continue to do so.  On several occasions we exploited that, in one case I told one of our Falcon pilots to yellow-box 2 Wolves on the gate with us.  Apparently it was too much for one of them and he barely got one shot off before the gate killed him.  All I could do was shake my head.  It was how we managed to kill the Cane.  I left the Sac pilot on the other side of a gate while we hunted a few guys next door.  Sure enough 2 Hurricanes landed on the gate with him and yellow-boxed him.  We all warped back to zero on the other side and waited, would these guys be stupid enough to engage?  Yeah, they did.  We all jumped in just as one of the Cane's warped off, but we caught his buddy and exploded him.  Poof.

We finally got so bored we decided to head to Amamake.  As the FC I was determined to get us into a fight, but I was as equally determined not to get us all killed for no reason.  So we waited on the other side of the gate while our Falcon tried to pinpoint some schumck out by himself.  He did manage to find a Proteus and Cane having a friendly fight at a planet, so I ordered the Ranis to jump in and tackle the Proteus.  Sadly they both warped off while he was in warp.  Local jumped up to about 70 from the 26 when we arrived, and despite warping around trying to get someone to tackle either me or the Ranis, nothing happened.  So we decided to dock up and try again later.

I've said it before, I'm not built for low-sec.  I much prefer zero space, or at least the borders of zero and low - the Danger Zones if you will.  I like being able to shoot anyone not blue to me, I much, much prefer the gate mechanics in zero as opposed to low, and I hate, hate, hate that 15 minute aggression thing you have to deal with in low-sec.  Ugh.  But I do not bash low-sec, I enjoy it as well.  Honestly, other than a few things, it isn't broken or anything.  I like to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.

And to all of you that continue to say Hi to me in local, thanks for reading.

Circle of Two

If you live in a cave and haven't heard yet, Circle of Two has officially failscaded.  The Alliance has effectively vacated all conquered systems in Impass and in Providence.  This has been happening since late last week and has only accelerated over the past few days.  I'm not telling stories out of school, anyone who looks at Dotlan could tell you the same things.  In fact, I've known this for awhile and haven't said anything here on the blog.

Unlike what happened to LFA and later PXF, or even more recently with the other so-called Alliances I have been a part of, Co2's failure doesn't sting at all honestly.  The reason is simple since I refused to allow myself to become invested in the Alliance, and have instead focused on the Corporation.  Certainly, at first, I participated in Alliance fleets and whatnots, but as the war drug on and on it become apparent where it was all heading.  Anyone that has followed the blog knows that as well as I do.

Co2 lives on however, certain Corps have taken the reigns and moved on towards new regions (or old regions in this case) while others have moved on to somewhere new.  

I would like to say that I enjoyed my time in Co2, but mostly I did not.  This was not the fault of the Alliance or any of the Alliance members, in fact I liked almost everyone I met and flew with in the Corps.  This had everything to do with timing, after so much moving around the past 14 months I was really looking forward to hanging out in Providence again and enjoying the pew pew.  I got to do that for about a week before we started playing Sov War Games.  And, with a few minor exceptions, the situation never allowed for much of anything other than large fleet POS bashing and engagements from then on.

Not my cup of tea.

So onward and upward.  So what does this mean for Rixx and the folks in Dissonance?  Well since the word is already out on the forums and whatnot, again anyone that uses Dotlan can find it for themselves, Dion is taking the next step.  We are forming our own Alliance and will be moving into our own space, or as close to our own space as possible, to lay the foundation for the growth and prosperity of that new Alliance.  No more overlords, no more bad failscading decisions, no more living under the mercy of others - from now on we will control our own destiny.  Or "control" it as much as it can be controlled, at least we will be the ones making those decisions.

I've spent a lot of time on this blog whining and complaining about other Alliances, now its time to put all that I've learned (and that Dion has learned) to good use.  We certainly know a lot about how not to run an Alliance.  It's time to see if we can build something ourselves.

We cannot do this alone however, so if you or your Corp might be interested in hearing more about our plans, please feel free to convo me or on of the other Dion Directors in-game.  Or join our in-game DION-PUBLIC channel.  More information will be shared over the coming days and weeks, shortly our new Alliance forums, killboard, and all that jazz will be available.

This marks the start of a brand new adventure.  Of all the things I have accomplished in Eve, this will be a new one.  And I am very, very excited.

Stay tuned.