Burning Down the House

For those of you looking for an Eve related post, this isn't going to have much to do with Eve. My apologies for that ahead of time. But there are some events, some moments, that transcend the internet space ship game we all come here to read about, and this is one of those moments.

Today is the sad end of a ten year long dream.

Ten years and three months to be exact. Back in November of 2001 I did something crazy, insane and slightly nuts. I quit my well-paying and secure job during the uncertain Anthrax filled post-911 recession and started my own company. With no real prospects, with no real money and little more than an idea. And a ton of determination.

And it worked. During our best years we grew to over thirty full-time employees, with dozens more available in our freelance pool. We helped start and grow three other companies that got off the ground based on our support. We worked with clients all over the world and did some amazing and very successful work. And we poured money into the economy and generated well over 1.5 million for charities that we supported. It wasn't all perfect and we made some mistakes along the way, hired some people we probably shouldn't have, made some bone-headed business decisions, the usual stuff. But we learned and adapted. More importantly, I learned and adapted.

And then 2008 came. The recession was not a surprise and we took steps to prepare as best we could. What was a surprise however was the immediate effect it had on business and our clients. And it just went on and on seemingly without end.

No one factor led to today. In fact the list of factors is rather large in hindsight. But today I had no other choice and effectively closed the business I started a little over ten years ago.

Funny, in hindsight, 2008 was when I started playing Eve. Eve and the community surrounding it quickly became a way to relieve the stress associated with trying to keep the business afloat. The ebb and flow of business directly tied to the ebb and flow of the decisions I made in-game. Anyone that has been following this blog for any time knows the history and how much moving around I've done in-game. Behind almost every single one of those decisions was my business. Increased stress at work? Time to get out of the commitments involved with Null Sec. Increased demands on my time? Maybe life in low sec would work better. Last year when I started Lucifer's Hammer? Those also happened to be the best days of business last year. And when Lucifer's Hammer faltered at the end of Summer?  Well, that's when things really started to get serious again.

And here we are. 

They say change is the only constant and so things change once more. What does the future hold? I can't say, anymore than anyone else can. Immediately I need to manage the coming days as best as can be managed. Liquidate whatever assets that can be liquidated and work to bring everything down that I spent ten years building up.

To all of you waiting on commissions, again my sincere apologies. My time and energy have been eaten up by this for the last nine months. If anyone wants or needs to cancel, I certainly understand. But I will get to each of you, that promise is still there.

And Eveoganda isn't going anywhere. I might be more silent and less wordy for awhile, but the blog will continue. As will my enjoyment of Eve and the community.

That is a lot more than I wanted to write, but I felt you deserved to know. RL>Eve. And the past year has certainly proven that.

Fly safe my friends.

Week Off

It didn't start that way. But this has turned into a week away from Eve and the Eve Community. Bad week and a bad week to be away. I haven't even been at my computer long enough to download the new patch yet!! That alone tells you all you need to know.

Rest assured, I'll be back. And eventually all this will be in the rear view mirror once again.

Life rolls on.

Until then, a few links to keep your feet wet:

Joanna Newsom
I discovered her by accident last weekend because my television came on tuned to Austin City Limits and I had never seen a band were the lead singer played a Harp before.
Here is one video and here is her Wikipedia page. Treat yourself to something different.

Iron Sky
Speaking of Nazis on the Moon. The long-gestating internet phenom is finally coming to the big screen, Iron Sky will be premiering at the Berlin Film Festival ( Natch!) and they've released a full trailer

I also played Minecraft for the very first time earlier this week. It was to be the subject of an actual post, before the chasm opened and swallowed me whole. I found it, in the first instance, to be harder than I imagined it would be. I realize that I am a video game sadist since I typically play at the highest difficulty level. I died a lot at first. Mostly because I knew nothing about the game. Just like in Eve, I opened it and jumped right in. You'll be happy to know that since then I haven't played it at all. But I think it'll become a slight time-waster in the future.

Our regularly scheduled programming will resume momentarily. Stay tuned.

My Uncle

Been a tough week here at Eveoganda HQ, real life rears its ugly head in many ways and then two days ago I got the news that one of my Uncles had passed away. I don't normally mention much about RL events here on the blog, since it is supposed to be about Eve, but this one actually does have a correlation. Hang with me if you'd like to find out how.

My Uncle was an extremely private person, he wasn't much for hanging out, showing up for family events, or coming over to visit. I found out this week that he wasn't much for going to the Doctors either, the man was in his early seventies and hadn't been to a Doctor since he was 20 years old. He was one of the toughest men that I have ever known. We weren't close, I probably haven't seen him more than a few times in the last fifteen or twenty years. But for two Summers, back when I was a struggling College student, we worked together.

I admire true craftsmen, I always have. My own Father is one of those. It runs in both sides of my family. I like to think that in some ways, I have continued that tradition. Although my contribution being more digital than reality. But there are times when I get my hands dirty, working around the house, fixing my car, building projects with my boys. And in those times I think about those that taught me. And I often think about those two Summers.

Another Uncle of mine owned a concrete business, pouring driveways, sidewalks, pre-fabbed pipes, etc. General contractor with a concrete specialty. He did a little of everything. The Uncle that passed away this week was the Foreman. It was a natural job for a young man during the Summer. It paid very, very well. But it was back-breaking manual labor, as an un-skilled laborer. But in those days I loved physical labor, the mindless repetitive nature and the great tans you'd get from working in the sun outside all day.

And yes, I'm getting to the Eve part. Be patient. 

My Uncle was a genius when it came to working with concrete. The stuff that people used levels for, he could do by eye alone. I've never seen anyone create patterns, or dry brush the surface, or measure out the frames, the way he could do it. He took great pride in the finished product. And, more importantly, he took pride in showing a snot-nosed kid how it was done. And while I would rarely, although sometimes, directly use that knowledge in my adult life. The lessons I use every single day. Patience, pride and professionalism. Doing a job right the first time and doing it better than anyone else.

Eve is a craft. There is a beauty to it, a repetition of task, an art, but underneath it all it is a craft. And it involves space-craft. There is a right way and a wrong way, but in the middle there are lots of mediocre ways. Half-assed attempts and wrong-headed fits and stupid execution. To take your game to the next level, sometimes you need someone to show you the way. To take the time to teach, to show the why and why nots. To educate and illustrate.

I've had many Mentors along the way in this game. People who took the time to show a Newb how it was done. And while many of those lessons don't get used on a daily basis, especially the ones involving mining, I appreciate the knowledge all the same.

I'd like to thank those people. I never got the chance to thank my Uncle. I don't feel sad about that because it wouldn't have meant anything to him. It would've only embarrassed him. He didn't teach me as much as he shared his passion with me. And for that, he didn't need my thanks. He needed my respect.

To all the mentors out there, thank you. You have my respect.

Sons of Chaos

Every once in awhile I like to bring to your attention a science-fiction themed short film that I've stumbled upon. Shorts happen to be one of my favorite story telling forms and I enjoy watching them and helping to spread the word.

Today's film comes from Mathieu Turi and is called Sons of Chaos.

I'm not a big fan of introductory copy. And I think this film would play out much better if we didn't get the set-up text at the beginning. The set-up confines our imaginations and also confines the story, already we're asking ourselves questions that we shouldn't be asking. Why are their only "thousands" of survivors? And if that is the case, why is what happens so potentially devastating to the remaining population? Without the opening set-up text we wouldn't know, or be asking ourselves these questions.

If you can remove yourself from the set-up however, the film is expertly filmed, oblique in all the ways that moody science-fiction should be, and strangely, and open-ended ended. For lack of a better way to say that. If you can't however, it may cause you brain pain.

I enjoyed it. My recommendation however, remove the opening text.

BONUS: 1v1 Eve Comic #39

Click to embiggen!
I almost never, ever, ever post on Saturday. But I had thought about the poor, lonely Ogre II I left floating in space the other day and figured it was time to see how he was doing. Obviously, having been out of touch for so long... he is making some assumptions about us that may or may not be accurate. Enjoy, and have a great Saturday!

1v1 Eve Comic #38

Click to embiggen!
People never ask me, "Rixx, Where do you get the ideas for these amazingly complex, deep, and horribly un-funny Eve comics?"  I just get that goofy little smile on my face, you know the one, and sigh ironically. Shrug my shoulders and wisely say, "I dunno."

In fact I know exactly where they come from. Traffic. Stuck once again in the commuter crawl into work each morning my brain leaps thru the rolodex of Eve facts, mods, materials, and assorted whatnots that it seems intent on remembering. For example, this morning. After all the thoughts that came before, my brain excitingly mentioned that it was Friday again, so why shouldn't we work together on another 1v1 comic for the three  six people that care about them. 

The other night a few of us Tuskers had run a "C" gang ( thanks to Grog!! ), a gang in which all the participating ships had to start with the letter C. We had a Crusader, two Comets, and a bunch of Coercers. So my brain says, Hey Rixx, that Coercer is a funny word!! It sounds like someone is trying to talk you into something. My brain isn't always stupid and I agreed, it did sound funny. And poof!  That is the entire sum total of thinking that went into the strip above and that is pretty typical. I hope I haven't shattered your vision of me working tirelessly for hours on end, scouring the potential humor of Eve... then again, I suspect most of you realized long ago the sad truth.

Well "poof" in the sense that I had to draw the Coercer and then write some obscure, snappy dialogue. These two, the Coercer and the Rifter, remind me of those two dogs in the old Warner Brothers cartoons. For those of you cool enough to remember old Warner Brothers cartoons, one was a huge Bulldog and the other one was a tiny little Terrier that would jump up and down and ask, "What ya wanna do?" or something like that, over and over again. Fun stuff. Look it up.

Oh, and for those diehard fans of the 1v1 series, you may recognize the Rifter. I only draw the ships once and then re-use them over and over again. I had never drew a Coercer before, so that one is new. But I suspect it may pop up again down the road.

Secrets. So fun to share.

Click here for an example of the Warner's Brothers cartoon I mentioned.

Happy Skippy Fun Time Systems

I'm about to tell you something that will automagically transform the entire Universe of Eve, increase subscriptions by 400 gazillion percent or more, increase revenues for CCP and ultimately, eventually, lead to the harmonization of peace and prosperity throughout the known world. You ready?

Introducing Happy Skippy Fun Time Systems, or HSFTS. What are HSFTS you ask?  Quite simply the best idea ever in the history of Eve. So let me back-pedal and try to explain this insanely great idea.

Imagine with me a moment. A brand spanking new system is discovered, let's say one new one per Empire. These systems don't have CONCORD protection because they simply don't need it. Because, for some unknown but gloriously happy skippy reason, weapons mods simply DO NOT WORK in them. Whoa. I know right? But that's not even the great genius bit yet.

These systems are full of Kittens. Oh yeah, big-eyed, fluffy kittens of love. The asteroids are cupcakes, the planets are marshmallow, and the stations are open-air atriums of love and understanding. Old school Hippie style.

Oh sure it's magic. Love is magic baby. Unicorns, which are in your CQ, are also magic. This is a magical place of love, harmony and understanding. No one gets ganked here, no one gets war dec'd, or aggressed, or laughed at, or made to feel inferior. 

Chicks will dig HSFTS!! Just think about it. Mining Cupcakes all day, drinking from the chocolate waterfall desert tray of life, kicking it to the local bands, trading clothes with the Nex Merchants... I can imagine my own wife subscribing in about two seconds!

Oh sure, the evil, dark, dangerous Eve still lives on outside the gates of the four HSFTS systems - but after awhile no one will go there anymore. And why would you want to? Why not spend time consulting the EFT Wizard, who is actually a Wizard that lives on top of the Sun? You can spend hours talking about the latest fitting you worked up for your Drake, cause the EFT Wizard never tires, never sleeps, and never judges. Or why not join one of the fun-loving Gate Camps on the conveniently located Gates? These are real, honest-to-goodness camps of friendly, helpful, and non-aggressive girlie men, sleeping under the stars and pondering the deeper meanings behind deep stuff. It's just like College!!

Oh man, the ideas just keep coming. And that's when you know you are a genius!! 

And the HSFTS systems don't have Wormholes... ewww. No, they have FluffyHoles, where fluffy critters of all shapes and sizes live. Like the Space Gopher! Or the ever lovable, Ground Hog of Hugs!!

Oh man, there is something for everyone in Happy Skippy Fun Time Systems. No one is left out, no one is punished, everyone is a very special snowflake. And isn't that special?

But I don't want to give away all the secrets! Plus, I'm sure by now your own head is full of wonderful idears all your own. So share, get into the spirit of a Happy Skippy Fun Time place in Eve, where we all hug, love and care. Carebears, one and all, LOLOLOLOLO!

I feel all warm inside.

Blog Banter #32: Your Ship is out of Control

"A quick view of the Eve Online forums can always find someone complaining about being suicide ganked, whining about some scam they fell for or other such tears. With the Goons' Ice Interdiction claiming a vast amount of mining ships there were calls for an "opt out of PvP" option. 

Should this happen? Should people be able to opt-out of PvP in Eve Online. Should CONCORD prevent crime rather than just handing out justice after the event? Or do the hi-sec population already have too much protection from the scum and villainy that inhabits the game?"

Over the past two years I have written extensively regarding PvP in Eve, the challenges that new players face, the perils of Null, Low and Hi sec space, and offered solutions from both sides of the fence. A few months ago I even wrote the entire opening Chapter on what could potentially become a paradigm shift in the new player experience - The Sanctuary Training Program. ( Essentially Newb systems would become Sanctuary systems, plus other incredibly intelligent stuff )

I've even spent a good portion of time debating a way to make consensual PvP actually work within the framework of Eve with The Thunderdome concepts, HERE and HERE and even HERE.

Despite all of those attempts and more, the truth remains the truth. Player Versus Player combat remains the cornerstone of the Eve experience. And it should remain the cornerstone of the Eve experience for all of eternity, in my mind it is sacrosanct. Almost Holy.

Having said that, let's move on to the real issue at hand. Fundamental changes are needed to the underpinnings of that experience. In order to make the universal experience of Player Versus Player combat more fair, more even and more predictable for all of our players.

True Sec status needs to be implemented universally across the board in all systems. 

That Sec Status, per individual system, needs to be used to generate Global Criminal Countdowns. Aggression timers need to be eliminated, as they serve little purpose other than confusion. GCC needs to be based on the True Sec status of the system in which it was initiated. Period. The lower the Sec Status the lower the GCC timer. Predictable, fair and even-handed.

As a consequence of this system of True Sec based GCC, True Hi-Sec becomes virtually impossible to engage in ganking. War Decs would continue, and they really are a side issue like Faction Warfare. But "ganking", while not 100% eliminated, would become very, very rare. And here's why. Anyone with a negative sec status that enters a Hi-Sec system with a high enough True Sec rating - would be destroyed at the gate. Boom. Anything other than a Pod gets blowed up real good. 

This does not eliminate ganking in Hi-Sec. In fact it would keep it the same in systems with TS status hovering above low-sec for example. It would only make it increasingly difficult the further up the TS rating you went. And virtually impossible in say .9 systems. I'm certainly not against ganking, heck I've done it myself more than a few times.

It makes perfect sense. Why does CONCORD tolerate criminals in Hi-Sec anyway? They say they don't, god knows I get enough warnings, but they never do anything about it. They should. 

In order to "gank" someone in Hi-Sec the attacking party would have to manage their Sec Status, pick systems on the borderline of True Sec Hi Sec, and hunt only when those two things matched up. Conversely, the rewards for those mining, missioning, or otherwise using those systems would go up correspondingly based on lower True Sec ratings. Higher risk means higher rewards for everyone - both hunter and hunted.

This doesn't change anything about Eve that we all love, it works within the already established frameworks, and ensures an almost safe haven for anyone willing to spend their lives in highly rated Hi Sec systems. The reward for living a life like that would be small, to encourage them to move along, but for new players especially it would give them a fighting chance to get started off on the right foot. Not 100% safe, but very close.

I don't think we need special mods, special ships, or special anything to achieve what we all want to achieve. A viable, vibrant, dangerous universe with a few places that are safer than others.

So let's do this. Like next week, k?

For more opinions on this exciting topic, visit FREEBOOTED!

The Tuskers Limited Recruitment is OPEN

You can discover the details by following this link. Everything you need is presented there, including information on requirements, procedures for applying and general Tusker information.

If you happen to be thinking to yourself, maybe I should join The Tuskers... then now is the time to actually do it.

I've been a Tusker for over three months now. And, all things being equal, I may be a Tusker for a long time to come. Regardless of my own personal path however, if you are dedicated to a Player Vs Player style of playing Eve - you really should consider becoming part of the Tusker family.

How do I sell this? Do I really have to? I won't bore you with the obvious. The thing is, it should be obvious. If it isn't, then you probably aren't Tusker material to begin with. That is not intended to be "elite" bs either. It just is what it is. First of all, the Pirate play-style isn't for everyone, we all know that. Second, the Tusker play-style isn't for everyone either. Focused mainly on solo and small gang performance, it is a tough, gritty, hard-scrabble life that demands certain things for those that choose it.

That doesn't make it better or worse than other play-styles, just different. For me it works extremely well. Tuskers are great people, I enjoy the attitude, the common swing, the general undock and go find a fight fu of it all.

If you are still with me, maybe it's time you considered it?

2 Year Bloggerversary

This week is the second anniversary of EVEOGANDA.

The exact date is this Friday, but for a variety of reasons, I'm celebrating it today. Mostly because this is a week from Hell and I'm honestly not sure how much posting I may be doing this week.

So I've been at this thing for two full years now, over 700 posts, nearly 200 pieces of commissioned work, over 100 freebies, 40 cartoons, almost 200 Twitter Hats, 10 Corporation changes, 6 different Alliances - two of which I helped create, not to mention untold chaos and exploded ships, a Death Race, several events and uncounted opinions, jokes, stories and assorted whatnots.

And that doesn't mention the responsibility of the Eve Blog Pack, something I take somewhat seriously.

Nor does it mention the friends, both real and virtual, that I've made along the way. Some of whom are still with us and some of whom have moved on from our little, albiet dedicated and insane, community.

How does one sum it all up?  One doesn't try. The past is dead as someone once wisely said and it would be the height of... well, not arrogance per se, but something approaching it, to wallow in it. To me, more importantly, is the future. What happens next?

So where do we go next? Frankly I don't have a clue. In fact, based on the current real-life situation I've been fighting for the last six months or more, the future is a foggy, indistinct, hard-to-fathom place right out of reach. This doesn't mean that Eve won't be a part of that future, it simply means that, pushed against a proverbial wall, I can't pretend to know what it holds in store.

But that is true of all of us. If you believe for a moment that you know what the future holds for you, tomorrow, next week or next year, then you are fooling yourself my friend. I had no idea when I started this little blog what would happen in the years that followed. I had no way of knowing just how important those ten to fifteen minutes I spend every day writing these posts would become. Or just how much the Eve Community would come to mean to me personally. How could I?

And so we move forward into the unknown together. Just as we always have. A journey whose destination is unknowable. The milestones we land upon along the way as mysterious and unfathomable as the deepest ocean. Whatever the future holds, I'll face it the same way I always have. In good faith and with a smile in my heart.

I hope that you will continue to make this blog one of your stops in your own journey.

The fact that so many of you do, well, that is the one thing I am most proud of.

Thank you.

Getting Around the Neighborhood: Year Four

Click to Embiggen
My first two years in Eve I published the map from the in-game "Places I've Visited" settings, you can see the previous two years by clicking this link.  Above is the same map as it exists today.

Actually, not much is different about this map compared to the one from March of last year. Many of the dots are bigger, and certainly low-sec has filled in nicely in certain regions. The main addition being Fountain and Delve in the West. Mostly that comes from several long roams I undertook from Syndicate and the short-period of weird time I spent in Morsus Mihi last Summer.

I don't expect the map to change much this coming year either. While I continue to drive anywhere I want in New Eden, I don't get out into Null much these days. Nor do I anticipate that changing. Having said that, anyone that has followed this blog long knows anything is possible. 

At some point I'll become bored and take a nice long drive up North, mainly so I can get some red dots up there.

1v1 Eve Comic: #37

Click to embiggen

Friendz Und Da Bad Guys

An Excerpt from "Piratez Und De Scum-Suckinkt De Do" By Doctor Pieter Butthurtsky, Ph.D.

"Ya, de Piratez are a very very interestink culture in da many ways. Ya? Von of da most interestink, in mah own humblez opinion, is da questionz of Blue or da friendly status.

It is so very hard for us more culturaled types to comprehensky. The idea of honorz is warped and twisted yes, but in ze way that make total sense to ze Piratez demselves. Ya? On da one hand you can haz friends and on de udder, you can haz enemies und fight. At ze end, each parties can exclaim good fightz in de local and go on from der. It is a mind twister ya? But for dem, it is way of life."

Being a Pirate in New Eden is the hardest playstyle choice in the game and it isn't for the faint of heart. Being a criminal in the opinion of the rest of the Universe is tough and it forces you into a corner as a player, a corner with its own rules, its own conduct and its own expectations. Expectations that can change depending on the Pirates involved.

One of the aspects that have intrigued me the most since I moved from a Null based to a Low-Sec based life in Eve, has been the concepts surrounding Blues, Reds and Neutrals. In Null these conditions are set-up by the Corporation or Alliance you are a part of and are based on political conditions. Reds are Red and Blues are Blue, in most cases the two shall never cross, the amount of gray area in Null is very low.

Perhaps it is because I grew up in Providence that I've always seen things a bit differently. Since Provi was one of the few regions to "allow" neutrals to work, and we had clearly defined borders with -A- for example, the region was constantly a melting pot unlike other regions. The idea of interacting, almost on a daily basis, with Reds and Neuts was not a foreign one. I came to respect and in some cases even talk to our enemies. Even while on the "hunt" in some cases.

Low-Sec isn't all that different. For the Pirate, having official Blue standings is the antithesis of a good idea. For every Blue standing given you've eliminated a potential target. And with targets hard enough to come by, that isn't such a good idea. But that doesn't mean you can't have friends. Many, many times over the last year I've flown in gangs or fleets with people that were not officially Blue to me. Often I'll pick up a few guys in local to go roaming with, or some of us will get together on the spur of the moment to kill a Carrier or something.

In my opinion, it is the highest form of respect to a fellow fighter. The idea that we can fight each other and still get together to fight others, to take advantage of opportunities and still be "enemies" in name but not fact. 

When I was in Lucifer's Hammer and nothing was going on, I'd fly into Hevrice to see if I could get a fight with a Tusker. We shared some channels with the Tuskers and I often flew with them in gangs, but I knew if I wanted a good fight I could count on them. They were officially my enemy, but they were also my friends. I got many good fights, won some and lost some, and in the end I joined them when things fell apart.

At one point or another I've flown in gangs with just about everyone that flies in our general region of space. Heck, even some that have flown in from out of town. It is one of the things I like best about Low-Sec. The camaraderie of Pirates.

On the other hand, it is always good to have enemies. And in some cases those enemies have to be created from nothing. This was a tactic I used to great effect in Lucifer's Hammer and it works to unite and focus your Corporation. A Pirate without enemies is lonely. You can't be friends with everyone, but you can respect your enemies. And they, hopefully, will respect you. But that isn't required.

In the end, for Pirates, any Official Blue standings are doomed to eventually fail. One day, one side or the other, will exhaust the available targets in the region and start thinking dangerous thoughts. It always happens.

A Fight in Parts

I was out messing around in my Wolf yesterday, generally feeling like I wasn't going to find anything to kill. Or even fight. My small circle roam took me into my old home of Lisb, so I grabbed my "other" ship, parked myself on the station and started writing and working.

This was a habit I picked up when I was in Lucifer's Hammer. It isn't Station Camping, instead I call it "Work Camping". It allows me to work and also keep an eye on local, eventually something will or won't happen. To be honest, it rarely works. When I'm doing this, if anything does undock, I usually let it go. Several smaller ships and a Thorax undocked, but I didn't engage. Why waste the GCC? I was waiting for better fights, but they didn't happen.

On my way back to Hev in the Wolf, the Demon Suli announced he might have a target in Jov. I docked up and jumped into one of my Arty Canes and undocked. Sure enough, it wasn't long before he called point and a few of us kilt the hapless Myrmidon. I didn't know it, but this was the beginning of what would end up being a 16 kill night.

I re-docked in Hev and started thinking about the next ship I would take out. When you have almost 60 ships fitted up, that process can take longer than you might think. I noticed the chatter was picking up on Comms, so I started listening a bit closer. I missed the beginning bits, so I'm not sure how this all came to be known. Either way, Intel isn't something I'd be sharing here anyway, suffice to say we discovered a few Battleships were camping a hi-sec gate up in Parts.

We managed to put together a decent little gang. Marc Scaurus brought his Harbinger, which he said he hadn't flown in a fight yet, and Anzwi and I brought our Drakes. The Devil Suli was already on his way in a Stilleto. It is important that I repeat that. A Harbi, 2 Drakes and a Stilleto. That's it. If you know anything about the space between Hev and Parts you know we had to travel thru Hi-Sec to get there, so nothing bigger than a BC would probably work. The only worry at this point was if the targets would still be there when we arrived.

They were. Not only that, but their ranks had grown. A Harbinger, Tempest, Raven, Dominix, Megathron, Myrmidon and an Armageddon were hanging out in a pounce off the Hi-Sec gate. There was another Cane in local, but we couldn't be sure if he was with them or not. We played a little GCC timer game with them at first, we had some to burn. This also allowed us a chance to slightly re-fit our ships. I can't reveal exactly what we did to our Drakes, but we replaced one mid-slot mod with another one. If your smart, you'll already know what I'm talking about.

The enemy was grouped up together ( tsk tsk, spread out people! lol ) and Suli went in first to find a good spot. Since they didn't have tackle he could fly around at will and get us a great warp-in. Which is what he did, being awesome and all has its perks. Now a word about tactics. 3 BCs and a Ceptor against 5 BSs and 2 BCs, despite the numeric odds of a 4-7 fight, we were certainly outclassed in some ways from the start. More than likely the Domi had neuts, maybe some of the others as well. And we had limited points. So coordinating distance, range and points would be crucial. All in all we did a good job of it, things got a tad confusing at times and we lost two of the enemy ships because of it. But that happens.

This is the battle report. We had the Raven into structure before he managed to get away from us, someone had switched point and someone else forgot to pick it up. None of us know how that happened, but I have my own suspicions. I think it was my own fault. At one point the Domi neuted my Drake down to zero while I was pulling range. I think I may have lost point on the Raven at that moment. Fog of war, I don't remember losing point, but I might have.

With no losses and a nice amount of kills we waited out our GCC and decided to head back towards Hev. Reports of another gang in the Aeschee area prompted us. On the way back a Myrmidon jumped into us and died. Yeah for Webs on a Drake!

The gang running around Aeschee turned out to be a mixed Shadow Cartel gang, with some other elements thrown into the mix. Mostly those other elements included former Burn Away members the Corporation for Noble Sentiments and my friend and fellow Blogger Nashh Kadavr and his Corporation. This was starting to look fun.

We put the call out for more pilots, this time we couldn't engage about 18 ships with just the four of us. Again we played the GCC timer game and waited it out while our gang formed up around us. In the end we managed to just about equal their numbers in BCs at least, they still had the edge with a Talos.*

The fight plan wasn't all that different from before really, although this time we started out split up into three groups. We decided to engage and primary the Talos first. Upon landing the field was a mess, ships and drones everywhere. When ever I land in amongst something like that my first inclination is to properly orient myself, I can't tell you how many times I go burning off in the wrong direction and get myself kilt. The Talos runs, can't blame him, but the rest stay and fight it out. God bless 'em.

This is the battle report. We slugged it out and it was a good fight all the way around. They stayed on the field, even when it was obviously going the wrong way. So well done. We ended up 10-1 in favor, although I think our loss actually happened before the real fight started. But I can't be sure.

My killboard shows 16 kills yesterday, although I think there is a pod or two missing. Either way, it was a great start to what I hope is a more regular return to Eve. The last two months have been tough, between RL pressures and stress and my other outside commitments, finding time to play the game I love has been tough.

Good way to kick back into it. And sorry for blowing you up yet again Nashh. lol.

Nashh wrote his version of events HERE.
And Marc "Binger" Scauras wrote his version HERE.
Check 'em out!

*Early Battle Reports indicated ships that were not actually on the field. This post has been edited to reflect the actual situation.

A Few Milestones

They say life is like a river. They also say a lot of other things. Excuse me... that was a poorly written opening line.

Eve is a lot like life.

Screw it. Not in the fancy writing mood this morning. Yesterday I happened to notice a few interesting milestones along the path that I thought were worthy of mentioning.

700* - Yesterday's post was the 700th post in almost two years worth of writing here on Eveoganda. Our second anniversary isn't for a few weeks yet, so that works out to just a hair shy of one post per day over a two year period. When I started blogging I promised to write a post every day that I played Eve... I had no idea then that eventually that would switch around and I'd end up writing more than playing. ( Slight edge, very slight )

1,000 - Yesterday I managed to help kill about 14 BS and BCs ( I hope to write a post about that later ) which pushed my total win/loss record to 1,339 kills to 327 losses. Which means the goal I set myself early last year has finally been reached, 1,000 kills more than losses. It is a small thing to many people, but given my general disdain for the killboard, aggressive play-style and general lack of concern regarding losses... it means a lot to me.

15,000 - Which brings up breaking the 15,000 ceiling I've been hovering around for a year on BattleClinic. Again, I don't care in so many ways it isn't funny. But I also do care in many ways at the same time. I have no desire to be a "top-ranked" anything in Eve, but the personal satisfaction and the indication of professionalism, contribution to Corp and whatnots do mean something. So it is kind of cool. Next, breaking into the 10k club.

2,476 - That is how many spam emails my main account got yesterday. While it has nothing to do with Eve, it is scary. Three weeks ago my email got spam attacked and I ended up losing my entire inBox. I'm generally anti-regulation, but seriously, something needs to be done about this on a higher level than my anti-spam software and server rules. ( In the time it took me to write that my inBox has 9 new spam emails in it )

I hope to be back later on today with another post about something or other. I honestly have about 45 posts in various forms lying around on my desk, just finding the time to finish them...

*I've actually written and posted 719 posts since the blog started. There are 699 currently active posts on the blog, including the one above. The 700 number comes from Blogger and not me, yesterday Blogger informed me that the post was #700. I suppose this is some aggregate number or something? I am going with the 700 number anyway, since I've really written more than that and I had already announced it on Twitter. Consider this full disclosure. Like it matters anyway. But it makes me feel better being honest. Aww.

Twitter Tuesday: Twits from the Tweetfleet

It has been almost two months since the last Twitter Tuesday! So today I asked my fellow Tweetfleeters to ask me anything and I'll answer it here on EVEOGANDA! The post will be updated all day, so check back often.

What is the best way to dispose of a dead body?

According to Brick Top the best way to dispose of a body is feeding it to pigs. According to Breaking Bad it is dissolving the body in Hydrocloric Acid, but that didn't work out so well. So there are actually two answers, depending on your circumstances. If possible, burning is the best thing. Incineration even better. Once the body is ash, you can sift thru and remove the teeth. Teeth should be crushed with a hammer and disposed of. Burning is difficult,mostly due to access and the smell (it is distinct believe me), so the next best thing is actually burial. Clean the body well, wrap it in layers of plastic wrap if you do not have access to lime. Dig a deep hole in the forest somewhere, six feet is good, eight feet is better. A forest is better than a desert, because of the surrounding life. ( If you want to be sure, remove the teeth before burying the body and dispose of them as above ) Bury the body being especially careful to restore the surface to original conditions.

If you could be anyone in EVE, ie: have their power, fame, isk, pvp abilities, etc, etc, who would it be and why?

If I could just snap my fingers and be someone else in Eve? Tough question. Tough because I am pretty darn happy being Rixx, three plus years into a career that has spanned the length and breadth. But the question remains and it deserves an answer. It would have to be The Mittani, not because of any special ability or prestige, but simply to have dominion over Goons. The temptation to wreck havoc would be great, no doubt about that, but I would do the opposite and return Goons to the scoundrel, no-care roots from which they sprang. Over the last two years the Goons have not been the Goons. It would be good for Eve if they went back to being Goons again.

What to do when it feels like others beat you to writing great blog posts on new ideas?

It does happen. And when it does it affords me the unique chance to take a deep breath and step back for a moment to consider the idea from a fresh angle. I can usually find something new in that thought process, something to add to the discussion and write about that instead. The Eve Community is just that, a community. And like any good community it works best when ideas are shared and expanded upon. After all "ideas" are a dime a dozen, it is the thinking that really matters. On the other hand, if people continue to beat you to the punch, maybe you need to get up earlier?

When will CCP implement True Sec in Empire? Inquiring minds would like to know.

True Sec needs to be implemented across all systems in New Eden, High, Low and Null. This is the only way to ensure across the board reforms and set the stage for continued growth. True Sec can form the basis of GCC Reforms that are needed and have been for years. So I am a huge advocate of sooner rather than later. I suspect we may be a ways away from implementation though. The soonest I could see anything happening is this Summer, but I have no reason to believe it. Maybe the new CSM can help move things along?

Of the new T3 Battlecruisers, which one do you enjoy the most, and how do you fit it?

I have had a chance to try three of the new BCs in combat now, the only exception being the Oracle. Believe it or not I am still missing a gun and, even though I went shopping yesterday, still forgot to pick one up. Once again the Minmatar win out and I like the Tornado the best. It is hard to argue with the ammo selections and the options they give you, and the Tornado is quick and tough enough to withstand damage. I went toe-to-toe with a Cynabal and came out victorious. I fit it for DPS with a buffer shield tank, dps in the lows along with a nano, and ACs in the highs. I like all of the new BCs but the Tornado is the best for killing things.

Is it better to be loved, feared, or thought a fool as a pirate?

It is better to be loved by your friends, feared by your enemies and considered a fool by those in local.

Why are the Amarr so shiny?

The common joke behind their backs is it is because of all the Minnie slaves polishing the metal. But that isn't the real truth. In fact, the Amarr are generally an extremely dirty and repellent people in private and among themselves. Over the centuries their cultural psychotic bent took on many forms, fervent religious insanity, subjugation of other people, and highly polished metal surfaces, among others. This clean-sheen is only surface deep however, their insides, private quarters, undergarments, are hideous and foul. Try a surprise visit to an Amarrian friends house someday and he'll be "not home". When in fact he is hiding behind the curtains because he didn't have time to tidy up. Little known facts.

Pod Gods Get All The Chicks

In my darkest hours I feel that I will never get the hang of this Eve thing. I study, I practice, I read, learn, talk, discuss and write about Eve and yet - after three years - I still don't really feel like I'm any gosh darn good at it. There are moments of course, moments when I feel like a God.

But during the last three plus years I've had the distinct pleasure of meeting and flying with  about a half-dozen players for whom Eve makes total sense. This "sense" has nothing to do with knowledge, ability, rhyme or reason, it has everything to do with... what exactly?

Let me try and explain the person I'm talking about first and maybe, just maybe, by doing that we can help to explain this "sense" thing. There are 'elite' pilots in Eve, well-respected pilots in Eve, well-known, regarded, feared, pilots in Eve. But this thing I'm talking about doesn't have anything to do with that. Perspective isn't a part of it. Especially outside perspective.

I call them Pod Gods for the sake of this post. And I think it is an apt term. So I'll stick with it for now.

I can undock and travel solo thru eight or nine systems and find nothing to fight let alone kill. A Pod God gets two solo kills in my home system. I get bushwacked by two Canes and a Caracal and explode, the Pod God manages to escape. I land on the belt 145k away from the Naga, the Pod God lands right on top of him. Coming back from a roam in my Drake I come out of a Gate into 40 fast-locking FW ships, the Pod God comes out into a small gang of Frigates and kills three of them. I could go on and on.

Are you starting to think of pilots you know?

When I was younger I played a lot of Basketball. I loved basketball. And I was very good at it. I worked hard, practiced and really loved playing the game. But there was this one kid that never practiced, didn't care one way or the other really, and yet he could hit shots like there was no tomorrow. One after another, with little or no effort. He was on my team and I loved that guy like a brother with a different mother, but secretly - I wanted him to fail. And suddenly Rixx reveals a bit much about himself on the blog. Back to our story.

This "sense" has nothing to do with Killboard stats and everything to do with something that can't be measured. You either have IT or you don't have IT. The same phenomenon is true in all walks of life. In all facets of your life there are always people that have IT and those that don't. The falling into shit and coming up smelling like roses people. The ones that always win the office pool. The guy whose rich Uncle left him everything. The ones that roll easy and life pushes forward with a gentle breeze.

This phenomenon in Eve reveals itself in the Pod Gods. Pilots for whom Eve comes as natural as a stroll in the park. Things just work out for them. They just happen to find the missioning Carrier, just happen to land right on top of the ratter, just narrowly escape the War Dec gate campers, warp off before the reds land, are in the POS when dog poo hits the fan, and every other way in this game that one thing works out better for someone else.

Being around a Pod God comes with a dark side though. IT doesn't always translate to YOU. And YOU can become rather prickish about it can't you? All that happenstance piled onto the shoulders of that other guy really rubs you the wrong way doesn't it? Why him? Tell me, in secret back rooms of your mind, you want him to fail don't you?

I don't. I'm not a third grader playing basketball for the first time any more. I'm an adult now and I'll continue to play the game the way I want to play it. I may never have IT the way other players have IT. Not all the time. But there are days, moments, when I do. When I can feel the Pod God blood flowing, and I live for those days.

That kid in third grade? Came down to the last play of the game in front of a big home crowd, he cut the ball away from the other team and took it to the basket. No one on him. Easy lay-up. And he missed. Guess who got the rebound and made the winning shot?

Yeah, that was me.

The Portal is Down

Back before you were born, our ancestors travelled to New Eden thru a massive Wormhole that came to be known as the Eve Gate. At some point, for reasons still unknown, the Gate closed forever and cut our people off from home. We literally could never go home again. Those podless, death limited freaks were cut off. Poor things.

I feel a bit like them today.

The Eve Online Bloggers Portal will be closing down at the end of the month, as reported over on Black Claw's blog The Travels of Black Claw.  My buddy Seismic Stan has already written an excellent post regarding this news and I encourage you to read it.

I'm not writing to cover ground already covered, so I won't even try. Mostly I just want to point out the stories and help get the news out to the community.

But the Eve Online Bloggers Portal is more to me than just another great Eve community service that is going to be lost to us. In many ways, it has become my home over the last three years. It was, next to CK's Eve Blog Pack, the way thru which I discovered the Eve Community in the first place. I spent the first year of my time in Eve reading other people's blogs before I decided that maybe I should start writing my own. And since day one, the EOBP has been open in my browser almost every single day.

It is my gateway and without it I'm feeling a bit like those schmucks that got left far from home when the Eve Gate crashed on them. Uh, now what?

Everything changes and I wish Black Claw nothing but the best. But as much as we all except the facts of change, the more resistant we become to the fact of change. We'll move on and try to re-start civilization somewhere, but it won't be as easy. Centuries of chaos may ensue.

Or not. Either way my life just got harder. The EOBP will be missed by me most of all.

Things I Miss

Click to embiggen
Don't get me wrong here, I love being a scum-sucking Pirate. But still, there are things about living in Null that I do miss. As long as I'm in Low-Sec I'll probably never see something like the above screen shot again... at least, it won't be a fleet that I'm in.

There is something about being in a fleet. No matter what ship you happen to be flying, the feeling of power as hundreds of ships align and warp together... well, if you haven't felt it yourself then I suggest you go find it. At least once. It is an awesome and amazingly wonderful, and somewhat unique, feeling.

I don't even remember what or where the above screenshot was taken, but does it really matter? ( Ok, it was in X6AB-Y on August 2nd, 2009 and that there is a CVA Fleet of 75 ships, mostly BS, waiting on the X-RSMN gate I think. So I lied. Sue me. Just sounds freaky admitting that I remember such a thing. ) 

The one thing that Null has going for it in my opinion is that sense of common goals. While we Pirates tend to be more self-sufficient and self-reliant types, those that make their home in Null tend to flock. And I'm not saying that as if it is a bad thing, in fact it is often a good thing. Community is important. To many people it is impossible to live without.

And while I'm comfortable in my own skin these days, I have to admit that I miss it sometimes. The sense of working together to achieve something, to build something, to make things, all together and all for one. It sounds alluring to the memory.

And then you remember that nothing lasts. That everything you work for turns to dust eventually, that those you relied on will turn their backs on you, or log-off when the going gets tough, or move out to save their precious assets, or fall back on role-playing convenience when they need to help you... that goes along with Null space as well.

I enjoyed my time in Null. And someday, I may very well go back.

But that day isn't today. Until then, I can remember it fondly. And then poke my head in every once in awhile and blow them up some. And then leave before they make me shoot at a POS for eight hours. Or join a CTA.

Eve Blog Pack Update

People ask me all the time, what do I have to do to get into the Eve Blog Pack? And despite all the complicated bullshit I've written about it in the past, it really comes down to a few simple things.

1 Have a strong voice.
A strong voice isn't one that is always opinionated, angry, or ranting... although it could be. More importantly however is having something to say that others might find interesting. Having a blog is a lot like having a soap box in front of the entire Eve Community. Use it.

2 Be Consistent.
This might be the hardest one. While you don't have to post every day, posting often and consistently is important. The Eve Community demands fresh new perspectives and the EBP needs to represent that. It is a tough row to hoe and not everyone is up to the challenge. That's ok in the larger sense, but not good enough for the EBP.

3 Luck of the draw
Variety is the spice of life. And I strive to keep the EBP as full of variety as possible. This means that while you might have a great blog about low-sec pirating, there are already plenty of great blogs about low-sec pirating in the EBP. This is going to make it harder for you to get in. That's just the way the Cynabal spins.

So today, in the first major upgrade to the Eve Blog Pack for 2012, it is my honor to introduce six new members. Each one of which has consistently written from a strong voiced perspective and deserves to be included. Welcome to the Blog Pack.

Dsan's EVE-Online Blog

Sand, Cider and Spaceships

Gun Turret Diplomacy

A Scientist's Life in Eve

Through Newb Eyes

Ardent Defender

Be sure to update your blogs with the EBP Feed to support the other members as they support you. And feel free to grab some swanky EBP Badges from the EBP Page to dress up your blog and announce to the world your new membership in an exclusive club.

Keep up the great work guys and welcome aboard.

1v1 EVE Comic: #36

Click to embiggen
Oddly enough, after organizing all the previous 1v1 panels into their own page (link above), I was inspired to do a new one. This is the first new panel since June of last year. Hopefully it won't be as long until the next one. Or, depending on your view of the humor, maybe that isn't long enough...

Good Fights: Try to kite me willya?

So yesterday I log on for a few minutes to drive over to upgrade my clone, training Recon V over the Holiday put me over yet another clone. I figure I'll take the Dramiel and maybe find a decent fight, see what the changes to the ship have wrought and generally just be on for a few minutes.

To the Rifter pilot in Lisbo that said Howdy to me in local, stay frosty my friend. I wasn't trying real hard to kill you, since you said hi in local and all. But if I had landed just a tad closer, I would have. Just so you know.

Anyway, Itsme and Monty asked if I'd be interested in joining them for a quick jaunt around the neighborhood. Duh.

Itsme was in a Hyperion and Monty was driving a Myrm ( don't ask! ), so I figured this would be a good time to fly one of the new 3BCs. But which one? Since they were both flying what I figured would be short range ships, I'd bring the Tornado along to hit a bit further out. Since I haven't had the chance to fly the Tornado in combat yet, my fit is still in the prototype stage. Oh sure, it is an excellent fit. But I don't consider a fit to be combat proven until I prove it in combat. So I didn't fit a point, although I had one loaded up in my hanger.

Fast forward thru the frustrating bits of system after system with no one around and eventually we found ourselves up near Kinakka. Nice sounding five man gang hanging out in a safe spot above the high-sec gate. I don't remember the exact ships they had, but they outnumbered us and they had a Curse. So we decided to see if they'd attack us. Being in big, dumb, slow ships like we were, maybe they would?

So Itsme warps on them in his Hyperion and they are all aligned except for the Ferox. Somehow he manages to get point and the rest of us jump in, while we are in warp their Curse decides to try and help the Ferox. Nothing much to report from that part of the fight, once we landed and got points, the poor Ferox and Curse sploded nicely.

While we were looting the field and getting ourselves nice and spread out ( which is a tactic to encourage someone to try and attack you btw ), a Cynabal landed about 40k from my Tornado. I was certain he'd made a mistake and would warp off, but instead he locked me up and started shooting. I liked the guy instantly.

Itsme and Monty were too far away to help much, but they sent their drones in, which was a huge help. Knowing the Cynabal like I do I figured his tactic would be to kite me from range and use his speed to stay alive. Not sure if he'd tried this with a Tornado before or not, but I suspect he was counting on a glass tank. Which I didn't have. (35k with nice resists!) And as expected he started doing just that.

So here is what I did. I went along with it. At various times in his orbit Monty was able to get point on the Cynabal. When this happened the first time I left my leisurely drive back towards my friends and burned straight at the Cynabal with my MWD overheated. The first time it worked like a charm and I managed to burn almost all the way thru his shield. I back off the MWD and waited as he pulled range again. At this point he should have turned tail and ran, so credit where credit is due, he stayed and fought. Remember, I didn't have a point fitted.

So I continued to pick at his tank, his kite range was still inside my own optimal, so I was hitting for decent damage. And then his cap started running low again and Monty called point and I burned straight for him again... when WAM!! he exploded. I alpha'd the rest of his tank in one shot, I think I hit for like 1,400 or something insane on that last volley.

Good fight.

So far I like the Tornado. I did dock up and put the point on, but we couldn't find any one else to fight us. In a gang situation I'm leaning towards not fitting the point, but I haven't decided yet. The increased buffer kept me alive against the Cynabal, I only got down to about half shields, so there is that. But flying a ship into combat without a point... well, that just isn't done. lol.