NEO Tournament Time

I haven't talked much about it here on EVEOGANDA, but the past month (post-FFA) has been mostly taken up by preparations for the New Eden Open.

Yes, Stay Frosty has a team in the tournament. Which starts tomorrow. Our first match is at 18:20 and we face off against Gerodian. 'nuff said about the details.

In true Stay Frosty fashion our prep and practice time has been nutty and rife with scheduling issues. One of our pilots had to be removed due to his own personal issues with honor and loyalty, and another was in an accident and is still in the hospital. It wouldn't be Eve without problems, conflicts and challenges. But it remains my belief that such things are what bring people together. And hopefully it helps to forge the kind of bonds that last for years and years to come.

And while we'd all like to do well in the Tournament, for us it is about more than winning or losing. For a corporation still less than a year old, growing, changing, evolving the way Stay Frosty has - it is truly more about building a corporation than anything else. The wars, the FFA, and this Tournament represent opportunities for us. Goals to strive for, and actual game-play to develop.

For me the focus is on Stay Frosty. It always has been. It is extremely challenging to bring almost 200 pilots together from all corners of the Eve universe and expect it to work flawlessly. I never expected it to work flawlessly. In fact, chaos and insanity were part of my plan from the very beginning. It is in-grained in the very DNA of our corporation and what we hope to achieve. This is a rather sticky point that not everyone who has joined our merry band of misfits has understood. We are not normal. We never will be.

And so we are as ready for tomorrow as we can be. We've practiced. We've prepared. We've spent hours fitting our ships, getting our doctrines in order. And thinking. Lots of thinking.

We debated showing up in Battle Ventures. And we still might. I'm not telling you.

Let's see what happens.

TOP SEKRIT: SF Spai Reportz


I haz mercilessly infiltrated with sneaky intention the largest independent Pirate corporation in all of New Edenz. Their "open recruitment" policy fools no one. I shall bring them to their knees as soon as I register for their forums and TS. Oh, nice welcoming email. And everyone said "Welcome Aboard" in corp chat... I will not be foiled!!

I sneakily spent the last six days reading all the helpful information on the forums. Muhahahaha. I learned a lot about how to fit my frigate, but the juicy stuff eludes me. Everyone is so trusting and open and... they are FOOLS!!

Another day of jovial corp chat and endlessly undocking in Frigates. It is mind-numbing. I must stay focused on the task at hand. Apparently the big sekrits are not as easily learned as I had hoped. Focus. I have been given the title, "Possible Spai" which everyone thought was rather humorous. If only they knew da truth!!

I have many things to report. The Corp got some POCOs last week and they continue to warp in to kill anyone that tampers with them. But then yesterday they decided that was boring and let them go without a fight. I know this is all part of some larger strategy, but so far the details elude me. No one takes POCOs just for the fights!! I cannot be fooled so easily. No one suspects anything.

Apparently my thirty-day trial period is over and I am now what they call a Frostian? Trusting fools. Now, FINALLY, I have access to their Corp hangars!!! My plan worked as planned. What is this nonsense!?!  The hangars are full of free Frigates and everyone dumps their lootz freely for all to take and share!? I am not blind, the leadership must be siphoning off the best lootz for themselves. So that's it is it? A scheme to pilfer from the corp. Ha!

Today our idiot CEO undocked a BS into a seven man gate camp just to save a corp member's ship! What a fool. He even had the audacity to laugh about it in corp chat. I am not so blind, he must be using some kind of complicated insurance scheme or something. I WILL get to the bottom of this insanity.

Today I lost a Hulk in hi-sec on purpose!! I did this to get some righteous anger from the Corp and see their true colors. But no one said anything. I even posted the kill link in Corp chat! It is as if they don't care about their own killboard. But then one of the Directors invited me to corp chat. My moment had come, I had to play this cool and level-headed. The Director proceeded to say he was sorry for my loss, gave me some lame advice about using the d-scanner and staying aligned, and then gave me 5 million ISK to help replace my loss!! Muhahahaha! I see right thru you dood.
My loot was "supposedly" recovered and returned to me in station. Ha! I don't buy that for a second.

I remain immune to the friendly nature of this corporation. I am not an idiot, I see right thru the happy crap. I don't have long to file today, we are having a huge party in the Stay Frosty Bar tonight. All drinks are free. (Yeah right!) But I must not be late. To spai of course.

I have learned a lot about how to fly ships, how to keel other ships, but I have learned NOTHING about sekrits!!!

The corp has a lot of carriers. A bunch of dreads. Any number of JFs. The rumor is we even have an Erebus tucked away somewhere. What else can I tell you?

I got your orders. So I asked for a fully-fitted Logistics ship earlier and they just handed me one. What does this prove?!?

Ok, so you want me to give up and just steal from the Corp hangar? But if I leave on good terms I can come back anytime I want! I see. Yes, I am a merciless spai. I know.

If I do this now I'll miss out on the NEO Tournament!!

I did it. Are you happy now!? Yeah, emptied the whole thing. I got almost five of every Frigate and a shit-ton of T1 mods, WCS, and ammo. I'm guessing the total haul at about 155m ISK. And you're so right, this will show them the error of their ways. Yep, you can't trust anyone in Eve. Woot.

Yeah, yeah. I'll join Brave Newbies next.

5 Annoying Things About Rixx

1. He Won't Stop

Have you ever noticed how freakishly annoying it is that Rixx just keeps going and going! He's like the Energizer Bunny if the Energizer Bunny was, well, like Rixx.

The list of people, corporations and alliances this guy has pissed off over the years is as long as a Rokh, and yet he is still in the game. Still flying around like he owns the place. The more I think about it, the more annoyed I get.

I think I'll go over and comment on one of his losses again...

2. He Is Terrible

It annoys me to no end that the dude is so horrible at Eve! I mean, seriously, has he not been playing for over five years - and he still sucks!?!? My friends and I tell him about it all the freaking time and yet he still doesn't get it. His fits are terrible, his tactics suck, and he throws ships around like they were made of pixels or something.

He doesn't even post on the Forums!! What is wrong with this guy? He is so terrible that it makes terrible look good. I can't specifically quantify why, exactly, he is terrible... I mean, I've only been playing Eve for a short time myself. But give me some time and get back to me.

3. He Is Lucky

I know right. How else can you explain those 200 misfits that are following him around Low Sec? They must all be AFK or docked up all the time, or something! I mean, no one reads his blog, or uses his art services, or follows him on Twitter, or G+, or watches his stoopid videos... well, you know what I mean. No one that I know does.

He isn't even in ANY of the special channels that I hang out in!! Dude is so lucky. How easy is it to write a dumb blog for six years, sheesh. No, I don't have a six year old blog myself, I'm too busy hanging out with my L33T friends. Yeah, mostly we bash Rixx. Lucky bastard.

4. He Actually Seems to Enjoy Eve

This annoys me to no end! I think he actually has fun playing Eve. Good God, everyone knows Eve is serious business and shouldn't be enjoyed. I mean seriously, I'm miserable playing Eve most of the time. And when I'm not miserable, I'm annoyed. Mostly by people like Rixx. Ok, mostly by Rixx.

Eve is dark, complicated, and mean. Rixx treats it like a stinking video game and it annoys the Hell out of everyone I know. Whatever. I'll just keep being mean and miserable. Eventually everyone will recognize me for the awesome l33t pilot I am and Rixx will stop getting all the atten... I mean. Damn. Point #5 please.

5. He Hasn't Failed

Over the years we've thrown everything we have at him. We sent him down to Null Sec when he was only a few weeks old, we knew he couldn't do it. He'd fail. We sent cloaky Vagabonds, huge red fleets, gate camps, millions of bubbles, structure grinds, and plenty of l33t pilots his way. Heck, we arranged four major wars to kill the guy. We collapsed every single alliance he belonged to, stole all his assets, kicked him across the universe, banished him to NPC space, pushed him into Syndicate, shot his friends, kicked his corp, collapsed his alliances, punched him in the face, betrayed his trust, mocked him in local, chased him endlessly, blobbed him, ganked him, used ecm in 1v1s, ran from him, spit in his eye, stole his secrets, emptied his hangars, and generally made his life miserable for over five years.

And none of it has worked. What the Hell?!? This whole article is starting to annoy me. I'm taking a break. I think I'll go annoy someone in High Sec for awhile.

[Insert Name Here]

Catching Up

I have been a very busy person the last few weeks. Stay Frosty continues to thrive and things out here in real life get more and more interesting as the days go on.

Back in April, 2011 I wrote a post called, "Lucifer's Hammer is the Last Stop" where I famously predicted Rixx would be staying in that corporation for the rest of his Eve career.

I meant it at the time I wrote it. Just as I meant it two years ago when I promised myself I'd never start another business. I had just voluntarily closed my agency of eleven years and wanted nothing to do with that kind of noise again.

But time moves on. We change. Situations change. And sometimes, we have to change with them. And while Lucifer's Hammer still exists and is being organized into a powerful industrial corporation, Stay Frosty has replaced it as my primary home within the Eve universe. Out here in the real world, it is time for something new to replace what I had lost. So that effort has been eating up a lot of my time.

In addition, this Saturday is the NEO Tournament. Our first match is at 18:20 and in typical Stay Frosty fashion, it should be something. I'm not in the business of predicting things, I have no idea how well we will do, or how horribly we might fail. I will tell you this however, we will have fun doing it. It has been a very interesting process and one that has brought us closer as a team. Other than that, the chips will fall where they may.

There are a few other things that have been taking up my time, commissions, my soon™ to be released Coffee Table Art Book, a secret project or two, some new event planning on the horizon, and other issues. Writing this blog remains a priority, but these days there are many priorities.

But it is all good. I'm enjoying everything and taking things as they come. Long-range plans remain in sight and my long-term goals remain on course. We shall see where all of this takes us in the coming months and years. As always, it should be an interesting, never boring, incredible journey.

Onward and upward.

Gooder Eve: Tactical Bookmarks

[ Gooder Eve is a series of on-going articles that examine ways in which Eve can be made Gooder.  Some are serious, some are not, but all are intended to create debate, dialogue, and discussion.  So enjoy! ]

I don't know about you, but I have well over 5,000 bookmarks spread across all of New Eden. At one time that number was closer to 12,000. But I recently took the time to purge the catalog of ancient, no-longer relevant bookmarks. I seriously doubt I'll need the 2009 CVA Jump Bridge network anytime soon, as an example.

Yesterday I undocked my Slicer and spent about thirty minutes of game time making a brand new folder set of bookmarks around our home station. It is good to do this sort of thing from time to time, plus people tend to hang out on our station and it annoys me not to have a spot next to them to say hello.

I fly combat primarily in Tactical Overview Mode, usually zoomed out far enough that my ship is little more than a wittle bitty dot. It was during this bookmarking spree, zoomed out as I was and enjoying the view, that the following idear hit me - I should be able to see my own bookmarked spots on the tactical overview!

My personal or Corporation bookmarks displayed on the tactical overview.

Not only is this a truly Gooder Idea, it is also amazingly awesome. And yes, it does indeed give some advantage to "home turf" pilots, an advantage they already have. All it really does is integrate two pieces of information that seriously should be integrated. Bookmarks are an incredibly important function and the tactical overview is supposed to serve as a condensed representation of important function. Naturally the two should be combined.

I made about 50 bms around my home station yesterday. Each one a slave to my own limitations regarding their naming convention. I decided the undock would be the origin point, so all bms are named from the perspective - 200k Front Direct, 175k Left Up, 400k Right Down, etc.

While tactical integration wouldn't eliminate the need for naming conventions, it would certainly help in making sense of them during combat.

I can't think of a compelling reason why this shouldn't happen.

Rixx Javix IS Star Lord

I'm a huge Guardians of the Galaxy fan! And the new trailer just blew my socks off today, if you haven'd seen it yet, do so now!

Oh, and by the way, Stay Frosty is in the Top Ten Corporations as ranked by BC.

Sorry I haven't posted much this week, been busy in Eve and in Real Life. We have another cool event in the works, been practicing for our NEO appearance and we have some major news coming after the tournament - all of which (and more!) has been eating up my time lately.

Also, I'm considering starting my own podcast. More on that later.

Stay Frosty.

Yesterday's Pew

A new recurring feature in which I will pick a random day and relate what happened blow by blow. Yesterday seems like a good place to start.

Monday, February 17th, 2014 in Eve

Between normal CEO duties, practicing and preparing for the upcoming NEO tournament, and general insanity, my play-time in Eve has been seriously curbed lately. So it was yesterday that I found only a few short hours of actual play-time.

As always I try to challenge myself as much as possible and decided to fit up a new Breacher. I hadn't flown one of them in a long time, so it was an easy choice to make. I decided to try a new fit that I'd been seeing around, and fighting myself from time to time.

As usual these days, all of this is happening during constant convo requests, forum management, and other "work" related activities. I don't mind at all, but being CEO of Stay Frosty is an interesting and constantly changing thing.

I got the Breacher fitted up, joined the regular standing gang, and undocked. As always I immediately hit d-scan and saw two Venture's in system. Always a good way to shake off the rust. The first Venture got away because I landed pretty far from him, the Breacher is not exactly a fast ship. The second one actually took two attempts to catch, but eventually he was caught. I could have easily podded him, but I'm trying not to pod Venture pilots these days.

Hevrice was crazy busy and no place for a fragile frigate, so I headed out to see what I could find. A couple systems over I detected an Algos plexing in a medium. An Algos is tricky for a Breacher to take on solo, so I asked in fleet chat if anyone else was up for it. By the time a couple mates showed up, the Algos had disappeared. For awhile we engaged a few other targets, chased Dilium around a bit, and almost caught the Algos once. I even de-cloaked a Rifter, but over-shot the point and he got away. It was clear the Algos was stabbed, as I chased him to the Sun and he still managed to get away.

Fortunately the Algos pilot warped right back to the Medium and I jumped with him into the plex. Point, web, called out in chat and soon the Algos was in a million little pieces. Yep, he had a cloak and three WCS on his sad little ship. So I didn't feel bad at all about podding him back to his CQ.

The usual chase, run, get away, near misses, guy is stabbed or cloaked, engagements later I landed in Oullie. Three Catalysts in a plex turned and ran from my single Breacher, but I did manage to catch one of them in a belt a few minutes later. Because he had run, we also podded him home.

Almost immediately I noticed the Vexor on scan. He was sitting on a station, so we waited to see what he would do. In a busy, crowded, constantly changing system he warped to a belt. I'll give him some credit for being mindlessly dedicated to ratting, as he kept running and then returning to different belts. I'm not even sure he saw us to be honest, so "running" might be a bit harsh. Either way I eventually caught him and we killed him rather quickly. That fit is rather... interesting. So yeah, also podded.

Back to the hunt. A small gang of ships was hanging off a plex trying to bait us to pull out and engage. We managed to box them in, and some ran off, but I pulled a rather nice manual move into a burning Hawk and caught him long enough for Amenio's Slicer to pour dps into him and he went down. Despite a lot of hard work earlier, this was the first really good fight of the day.

I moved on to Loes and immediately spotted a few Incursus on scan. They may or may not have been together, either way one of them was alone in a plex, so I went in. Kudos to him for not running away and moments later we were dancing the pew step together. Luckily for me he was blaster fit and having a very hard time hitting me, although he did get some very good shots into me and I was OH'ing just about everything. He finally did go down.

Almost immediately the other Incursus landed. I did consider running off, some of my mods were rather burnt, and I only had half-charges in my ASB. But running away isn't something that I typically do, so I burned into him and we went at it. Of course, this Incursus was rail fit and immediately gave me more trouble than the previous one. I made the call in fleet chat for help, but I already knew they'd arrive too late for me. The brave little Breacher finally had enough and exploded under me.

Excellent fights and totally worth it. Especially when my mates reported that they had caught him and dispatched him shortly after I exploded.

With that I podded home to Hevrice and docked up for the day. A great run in a fun little frigate. What will I fly tomorrow?

BB#53: The Pilot's Overview

Today's topic comes from a tweet from @erlendur in a conversation he was having with a pilot about having multiple overview tabs open in separate windows:

So that is the topic this month:  The Overview.  Is it sufficient?  If not how can it be improved?  Is there some way to replace it?  Does it give too much information, or not enough?  Please be creative and specific as the overview currently is the heartbeat of the GUI.

There are already thousands and thousands of words written about the Overview and the UI in general in Eve. And, to be honest, some really good ideas floating around. But few have, in my opinion, addressed the core issue. As a designer who is often confronted with organizing and communicating complicated information into useful, readable, and also attractive formats - perhaps my perspective is a tad different.

Personally I strongly believe the core issue affecting the UI in general and the Overview specifically is one of design. While the standard "white line spreadsheet" design of the UI was probably ground-breaking a decade ago, it is really starting to get long in the tooth these days. Ten years of added pressure, of additional features, increased demand, and increased information load is starting to truly strain an already somewhat antiquated approach to disseminating information.

The best place to start looking for solutions is in mobile design. No one does a better job of packing huge amounts of information into small spaces like the mobile designer. From graphics, to text, to movement and organization, mobile has forced an entirely different sensibility upon the evolution of information delivery. And done so extremely successfully. This sensibility has already moved into web design, which is increasingly meant for a mobile platform, and into print, television and other forms of communication.

If we took a step back from the existing Eve window and looked at it from this perspective, I believe solutions start to present themselves. As a fan of Science-Fiction I already know that HUD information technology has been around for decades and there are numerous examples in fiction and film, of delivering the "look and feel" of such systems. Combine that knowledge with the "flat design" movement from mobile, and we begin to see an iconic delivery system that relies on movement triggered by the user experience forming. What that means is that information is delivered based on the experience of the User in real time.

Right now the UI is relatively static and waiting for the User to interact with it. The best example currently is in the way the Cap Circle has been updated, and the introduction of icons when targets are engaged. This system is still not a perfect one, but it has evolved nicely over the years while the rest of the UI has languished.

It would be relatively simple to reduce almost all of the information presented currently in the UI to a graphical interface. A simple reduction formatted icon-based visual communication system that responds to the User experience during game-play. That is a lot of words for some basic tenants of modern interface design. Reduce complicated information into Icon forms and allow the User to engage them for more or less detailed information.

I wish I had the time currently to mock-up some graphic examples, but sadly I do not. But I imagine the Overview specifically could easily be represented in a streamlined Iconic format that would take up SIGNIFICANTLY less space on the screen. Essentially, while I do sometimes want more information on certain targets, I do not want ALL the SAME information on everything in space. Right now, the overview presents everything as being equal. I would prefer a system that prioritizes information based on my own feedback.

A string of simple, elegantly designed icons could easily represent all the objects I've deemed worthy of knowing about in nearby space, organized by distance, or other factors that I've chosen. A simple system based on color, additional icon animations, changes, and movement could easily communicate the basics - while leaving detailed numbers and specific information to a simple rollover, or pull-out drawer.

If we transpose that kind of thinking to all the elements within the current UI, then we start to build a rather remarkable, transformative, and truly science-fiction based interface worthy of Eve Online.

Since I can't mock anything up right now, I leave you with a selection of examples:
Organized Simplicity
HUD Design
Complex Small Spaces
User engaged "drawers"
Informational Charts

None of those are presented as solutions, only as design examples.

TL;DR: The entire Eve UI is in need of updating into a more modern information delivery system based on real-time User interaction.

For more on this subject, visit the Blog Banter page.

The Mighty Venture Mini-Game: Part Two

Awhile back I described the "Venture Mini-Game" built into Eve and how much fun I was having playing it.

I won't re-hash the points made in that post, except to mention that not only does the game continue, but it has picked up some interesting elements. One major component of the Mini-Game is now to see if I can eventually kill one of the mining frigates using one of each ship in Eve.

I have to believe I am getting closer every day to achieving this somewhat lofty goal, as I popped one this morning in my trusty Moa.

So I decided to do some digging and compile a list of ships I have used to pop a Venture, just to see where we stand up to this point. So here goes:

Ships Rixx has used to kill at least one Venture with so far:
• Moa
• Daredevil
• Incursus
• Wolf
• Caracal
• Tristan
• Merlin
• Atron
• Rokh
• Astero
• Stabber Fleet Issue
• Broadsword
• Comet
• Hawk
• Coercer
• Sentinel
• Maulus
• Flycatcher
• Firetail
• Nightmare
• Tormentor
• Crow
• Arazu
• Sacrilege
• Condor
• Slasher
• Hurricane
• Kestrel
• Taranis
• Corax
• Rifter
• Tengu

I'm pretty sure I'm missing a few, but that's a good start. I'm not "officially" going to keep track or anything, cause that would just be very, very silly. Mostly I mention it today because I couldn't think of anything else to write and I am very, very busy right now.

But the Venture Mini-Game continues. Please keep mining in low sec, not using your d-scan and forgetting that often you can just warp away.

Oh, I will mention that I stopped podding Ventures a couple of weeks ago. Just started to seem cruel and unusual.

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

I can't go anywhere without my -10 red skull, or my name, following me and resulting in local emptying out or suddenly spiking. And while that level of attention does wear thin from time to time, it is generally something that I just accept as part of the game. There are both good and bad things associated with it.

But sometimes I run across someone in local totally oblivious to any of that. Someone willing to accuse me of the most horrific crimes, insult my lack of "solo" skills because there happens to be two more Stay Frosty pilots in local with me (even though I sat at the Sun for twenty minutes waiting) and generally not have a clue about who exactly he is talking to.

That was awesome. And much appreciated. It is nice to sometimes be just another anonymous face in the crowd. Thanks fellow anonymous dood. You made my day.

A quick shout-out to Eranziel and Gumruk for making my morning coffee read of our killboard all that much better this morning. Nice catch guys.

I don't fly the Ashimmu very often, but I do like to undock all my ships as often as possible. I had just undocked to wipe a Coercer off the undock, when Ian said in local that he was over by Planet 6. I landed about 87k from him and fully expected him to turn tail and run off, but he didn't. So total respect from me for having the courage to engage me. Even with three neuts, I did him to favor of not even turning them on and keeping range. Ciba locked him up at the last second to get on the kill.

I pick the fights for these posts mostly based on the story behind them. This one is the perfect example of how not to farm plex in Low Sec. First of all there are seven bad guys in local from the same corporation and only two other players in local, you are one of those two. Secondly, an Astero mysteriously appears in your plex, you get away, then the same Astero disappears from scan. Odds are, he is cloaked up in your plex! And even THREE WCS won't save you from his faction dual scram. Thus ends the lesson.

This was a good fight and exactly why I often fly around in T1 Frigates. Totally legit Rifter fit and kudos for him staying and fighting. We talked about this afterwards and I gave him some good advice, which basically boils down to not brawling an Incursus in a shield fit Rifter. Gotta keep range and mobility against a blaster ship. Good fight though.

Remember what I said in the previous paragraph? Well, when you land on a gate with a Tristan and engage, just know that his buddy will probably also show up. And they are faster than you. And, while your Incursus will last a very long time (and you'll eventually even be able to slingshot one of them and catch them!), the end is predictable. You go boom.

If you are planning on showing up in Hevrice with a solo Dominix anytime soon, I hope this kill doesn't change your mind. This is a perfect example of "home field advantage" at work and why fighting people on their own turf is so challenging. We were all in Frigates when we spotted him on scan, and while some went off to get tackle, I went and got one of my own Domis. He go boom.

What with the usual downtime after a huge event, the recent drama, and practicing for the upcoming NEO Tournament, my play-time has been somewhat limited so far this month. Not to mention all the stress, pressure and unemployment I'm dealing with out here in the real world. Although I did mention it. It's important to mention, even to those anonymous idiots in local, that we are all people with lives, family and friends. So chill out mad bro, it is only a game.

New Territory to Explore

click to embiggen
Despite being incredibly ironic and sarcastic in yesterday's post,there is a nugget of truth to be had. And all of this talk from CCP of late regarding new territory and the expansion of player controlled space has also gotten me thinking along those same lines. Both of those trains of thought will converge here in a minute - be patient.

Right off the bat, I've never run a 200 pilot corporation before. While I hoped Stay Frosty would be successful and flourish, I'll be the first to admit I had no idea it would do so to this degree. This is all new territory for me. I'm a big enough person to admit that I'm largely making this stuff up as I go along.

Granted, years of experience both in-game and out of game, also lend an air of authority to my plans. I'm not a newb at this either. I've been involved with the leadership in several Alliances and Corporations over the years, so I haven't stumbled on something as much as I've managed to put the right pieces together. That is two different things. But those experiences got me this far, the rest is uncharted territory.

See how I did that?

Fortunately this isn't something that I have to go at alone. While the early days consisted of me largely winging it and seeing what stuck to the wall, these days I'm fortunate to have an entire group of players to lean on. Without them, without all of those that have taken the plunge, none of this would work at all.

I have an incredible team of Directors that are a huge help to me each and every day. I suspect that a few of them are unsure of why they are Directors, and I know that some people recently felt rather strongly that they shouldn't be, but that is the beauty of being me. I have my own reasons for doing the things that I do and my own criteria for why I do them. I'm not always right, but I'm perfectly fine with being wrong. As was recently shown to be true, I sometimes pick the wrong person to rely on. That is a character fault of mine, even out here in the real world, I tend to think the best of everyone. Most of the time I'm right, but sometimes I'm not. (Personally I don't believe it is a "fault", give people a chance and sometimes they will amaze and astound you. It is worth the occasional disappointment when they don't.)

There are big things in the works. Some of them will work and some of them won't. As we plow forward into the unknown I am extremely optimistic about where we are going and the people we have leading us there. From the Directors all the way down to the wet behind the ears new guy that just started playing Eve a few weeks ago.

Because the ultimate success of Stay Frosty, one way or the other, isn't about grand schemes, plans, or leadership. It is really all about every single pilot that chooses to fly with us. Our destiny is in their hands, not mine. I can shout from the pulpit, bang my fists, or plead until the Sun comes up, but that would be pointless. (Plus, so not my style.) Being a leader is all about knowing when to lead and when to get the Hell out of the way. But it is also knowing when to follow.

If any of my Machiavellian schemes actually do come true, which most have so far, no one will be more surprised than me. This is a game after all and games are best when you play them.

So let's see where this game leads us. No matter what, the best adventures are the ones that take you where you've never been before.

Let's Review Shall We?

There are a lot of new people in Eve these days, or people that might not be avid readers of this magazine (!!) or otherwise remain unaware of the horrible string of bad decisions I've made that continue to ruin all of Eve for everyone.

So, I thought, why don't we review those together and see just how bad, terrible and fail I really am. You long-time readers already know these things about me, but maybe you'll enjoy them also.

The recent spat of horribleness seems to have started around the time I undocked alone from one station in Hevrice - recently divorced from New Eden's #1 ranked pirate corporation - and boated alone over to the other station in Hevrice. (According to some reports with my tail firmly between my legs.)

I had this utterly wacky idea I'd been working on for almost a year, this crazy notion that maybe Eve was teaming with people like me - people that wanted to "play" Eve and not be played by Eve. Y'know, crazy thought. So I planted my flag and decided to see what horrible, failed decisions I could make to ruin all of Eve. Like usual. I was warned over and over again by my friends in local that it would never, ever work. That basing anything in Hevrice "would ruin it" and I should move somewhere else. Did I listen? Of course not. I'm an idiot remember.

And then a couple of people showed up. And then a few more. We had a rocky start, no doubt about that. Those friends in local kept camping our station, the gates, picking off easy pickings and generally telling us we'd fail. Over and over again. In response we just kept undocking and playing, which only served to confuse everyone even more. In response I picked a few bright lights in the group and gave them responsibilities!! I mean, how terrible was that idea. No prior experience?

As one Director wrote here on the blog in a guest post, "It was through Stay Frosty's acceptance to new players and the guidance I've received that any of this happened. Whilst I can sometimes feel down when The Tuskers are cruel to me in local, or when I am simply outplayed by another pilot. I do not regret a minute of my playtime in EVE and within the corporation. So, thank you Stay Frosty. -AM, Guest Post"

We survived wars. We survived awoxings, corp theft, blue on blue shootings, forum trolls, recruitment spam, you name it. And, as predicted by everyone... I mean, uh, as predicted by no one - we grew to almost 200 pilots. (So far, still room for you!!)

If you haven't picked up on it yet, I am being horribly sarcastic.

So, let's review shall we?

Lone idiot leaves and starts his own thing in neighboring station. Thing works out EXACTLY as he planned. How is that even possible? It is possible because nothing has changed in the months since. I still believe that there are plenty of people that want to "play" Eve and not be played by it. I still believe in the original, un-changed mission of Stay Frosty. No one person, no other corporation, no war, no threat, no idiots, are going to change that idea.

• Stay Frosty is not intended to be, nor will it ever be, a normal corporation.

• Our focus is on Solo and Small Gang PvP.

• Every member has a say in Stay Frosty. Even if they decide that we need POCOs in High-Sec for some damn reason, we support them.

• Our only rules are to honor agreed upon 1v1s and ransoms.

• We believe in Corp First. Your mates come first.

• Everyone is free to do whatever the Hell they want, fly whatever they want and generally act in any manner or pursue any play-style they want.

• We don't give a rats ass about killboard efficiency.

• If you leave on good terms, you are always welcome to return.

• Making ISK is not a Corp priority. All ISK is for the Corp.

• We strive to promote good fights in all we do. To that end we pursue large scale events, promote ourselves and encourage others.

• We are not your parents.

In a larger sense, Stay Frosty strives to be the greatest collection of horribleness, give no fuck miscreant misfits in all of New Eden.

It seems to be working so far.

What will happen next?


Yesterday I finally passed another milestone in Eve as my skill points ticked over the 100m mark.

Five years and five months for those counting at home.

223 Skills. The skill that did it, Warfare Link Specialist V.

Almost all of my skills are PvP oriented, BS and below focused. And, to be honest, I have so many more still to train that I find it difficult to imagine a time when I wonder what to train next. Even though almost all my choices these days involved long skills, topped off specs and all those remaining level Vs to top off some loose ends here and there.

The plan has always been total domination of BS and below PvP skills for Rixx. I suspect I have about two more years of training before I achieve that goal, maybe three depending on a few choices there at the end. After that? I have no idea, but I also suspect that CCP will just keep adding new things to the game that I need to train. So no need to worry about it.

So here is one of those charts showing the percentage of PvP skills at this point:

Next? 150 million. And maybe, just maybe, at some point I'll finally get that degree my parents are still paying for!! And make something out of myself.

Or maybe not.

Welcome to Eve Online: Part Two

Part One.

So you've decided to try the world's greatest virtual spaceship universe "not-a-game" social experience. Maybe you've run the Tutorials, or some of them, or none of them. Maybe you've undocked and stared blankly at the inky darkness and wondered, so now what?

After all, there are 5,000 star systems out there just waiting for you to ply them. Huge Alliances and monstrous Corporations awaiting your command. For goodness sake, this is a sandbox, ain't it?!?

Slow down Hombre. Narrow the focus just a tad and stop thinking so damn big, cause you have bigger problems to deal with. Primarily, as you will soon learn the hard way, you kinda suck. You are terrible. Inexperienced. A newbie type person just getting their virtual boots wet. You are so soggy behind the ears you could grow veggies back there.

Let's be realistic. You ain't conquering anything until you get your act together. So relax, take a deep breath and let's focus on living long enough to achieve those lofty dreams. Take stock of what you have... ok, you have nothing. That's good. Believe me. At this point most advice column people will tell you to start setting small goals for yourself. Get to the next star system, mine an asteroid, talk to someone, etc. I ain't going to do that.

What I am going to do is give you some actual real advice. Get your sorry butt in a Corporation RIGHT NOW! Do it. It doesn't even matter which one, what they do, or anything to be honest. Find one that will take your Newbie butt and join up. There are a lot of young player friendly corporations out there in the universe and being in one is the best choice to get started in Eve. They will help you. They will talk to you. They will have guides, links, forums, advice, help, assistance, joint operations, learning guides, blah blah blah. Most importantly they are full of people. And meeting other people is the key to ultimate success in Eve. Trust me.

Here are some links to Young Player friendly Corporations:
Eve University
Brave Newbies
Faction Warfare (Although pfft!)
Also, use Google.

If you want to have a good experience in Eve it is critical that you meet people, fly with people and otherwise hang out with people. Even if you want to be solo for the rest of your life, you can still meet people. And even if that first Corporation sucks, you can always join another one.

Those people you meet? Yes, it is just like High School, they will follow you the rest of your Eve career. The people I met during my first six months in Eve? Two of them are on the CSM, one of them was responsible for that huge fight last week in B-R that made all the news, one runs one of the largest Alliances in the game, another one runs Stay Frosty's digital platform, etc etc. And the rest hate me in one way or another, lol.

Point = People. All the techno babble in the world boils down to nothing compared to getting out there and building that gosh darn community you hear so much about.

Trust me. You can't go wrong. It's called an adventure for a reason.

Ring of Fire: Op Success

"What I'm driving at here is nothing short of a permanent massive memorial to the fallen in-game. Something that fits within the context of Eve, the universe, lore, and conventional mechanics."
- From Eve Memorial: Ring of Fire Project , Sept 2012

CCP outdid themselves with today's announced real world Eve Monument to be built in Iceland.

It would be foolish of me to take any credit for this bold decision. I would like to think that my constant beating of this particular drum had some effect, or at the very least sparked a process that led to this decision. But credit is not what I care about, I throw ideas out because they inspire me and I hope they help to make Eve a better place. Not for personal gain or acknowledgement.

Especially in this case. The realization is even beyond what I was striving for and what many of us joined in the cause for, which was simply an in-game memorial. No, this is far more impressive and encompassing of the Eve reality. A bridge between the players, the universe, and the birthplace itself.

I am overwhelmed. I cannot imagine another gaming company that would commit to something so real, so meaningful and so appropriate. Well done CCP. Well done.

I leave you with this.

No matter what, where or how it happened. I call this Op Success.

I can't wait to visit someday.

Welcome to Eve Online

Let me be the first person to welcome you to Eve Online. Welcome. Let me assure you that you've made a wise choice and that your family will not disown you, your friends will still love you and the people at work will never find out what you are doing on your lunch break.

I want you to do me a favor. Take a deep breath right now and exhale slowly. In your mind, picture all of the video games, apps, computer games and other digital forms of entertainment you've ever experienced in your life. Got it? Eve is NOT like any of those.

I know, you think you've got it, your cool. That's fine. Like most things in life you kinda have to find it on your own. But I wanted to get this out of the way first. Eve is not a video game, it is not a spreadsheet lovers nightmare, it is not a virtual universe of startling clarity, it is nothing so much as it is an experience. You must experience Eve for yourself.

So I want to encourage you to do so. Do not be afraid, do not be hampered, confused, or otherwise dissuaded from attempting the seemingly impossible task of grasping this experience for yourself. This is not a Playstation FPS that will guide you along, Eve isn't like that. What Eve IS, is a huge playground full of toys, people, and noise. And incredible silences. Everything you need is here, but it takes you to find what it is you need. But don't worry, there are 500,000 of us in here with you. Ok, maybe that was scarier than I thought it would be.

I've been playing Eve myself for over five years and I am still learning. Just last week I learned to do something that I had never done before. How amazing is that? It is, admittedly, rather amazing. So just relax, you are not going to "get it" right off the bat. Knowing this going in will be a huge benefit to you and something I wish I had known when I started playing. The learning curve is not a barrier to be crossed, it is an integral part of the entire experience. Trying to cross that barrier only creates frustration. Forget about learning curves, goals, winning, or any other traditional definition of success. This is not how Eve works.

The first time I undocked in Todaki I was determined to strike out on my own. I would explore this vast universe and make my mark alone, without help, without favor and without any freaking knowledge. I quickly realized that every avatar in the star system with me was a real, flesh and blood person. And that these people were also playing the same Eve I was. Each one of them holds a piece of the puzzle and the more people you meet, the more you interact, the more of that picture becomes apparent to you. The more pieces you have, the more you see the bigger picture.

My choices back then, each one of them, led me to where I am now. And that path has been rather extraordinary. Massive wars, huge Alliances of thousands of players, star systems from one edge of the map to the other, Pirates, Miners, builders, spys, and more. Much more. But that path started as a day one young player without anyone.

Just like you.

Be bold. Eve rewards those that take chances, that explore, that challenge, that define, that take the initiative. The universe is literally yours. No other experience is like it. And no other experience leaves so much of that in your hands. Eve will challenge you like nothing else you've ever tried. It does this to test you. To challenge you right back in your face. It is not going to hold your hand.

Welcome to Eve. If you succeed the universe is literally yours for the taking. And if you fail, well then, let's not start thinking like that.

Undock and go play.

Good from Bad

Years ago, back when I was still a Newbie and learning the ways of Eve, I was manipulated into doing some really dumb things. In a week's time I had spent close to 2b ISK, bought a useless POS Tower, left my Corporation and started a brand new one.

I didn't know it at the time, but this was all pretty much someone else's plan in motion. It only took seven days to discover what was going on, and if Angor hadn't lost most of the Tower parts, I would've come out ahead in the end.

I mention this because every "bad" thing that happens to you in Eve is an opportunity. A chance to make something positive come about. It may not seem that way at first, but having played Eve on HARD for the past six years, I can assure you it is true.

That specific incident started me down a new path. A path that led to huge wars, great friends and eventually to Stay Frosty. Without that incident, those things may have never happened.

More importantly however, that specific incident (and several other players around the same time) taught me the importance of the "Meta" game. This was a concept that my newbro mind was unfamiliar with back then. It turns out there is an entirely different version of Eve being constantly played outside of what you see in-game. This knowledge and awareness started with that incident and grew over time as I started watching how other players used this knowledge to their own benefit.

In other words, I learned a lot.

Recently we've had more than our fair share of "drama" in Stay Frosty. This wasn't unexpected, in fact it has been brewing for some time. And while there are those affected that will deny it till the end of time, they are unaware of how they were being used. They haven't yet learned some of those lessons. But they will eventually. Maybe. Not everyone does.

A smart player once told me, and I paraphrase, "you are either on the bull or under it." And since that day almost six years ago, I've striven to be the one on the bull. I don't claim to be an expert, because I know several experts, but I do know that the proof is in the pudding. And I do ok.

But good comes from bad. Stay Frosty's integrated digital offerings are better today because of what happened. New measures are in place to help us avoid a similar incident from happening again. And we are moving on.

In a couple of months no one will even remember this happened. Maybe someone will dig thru the Archives and happen upon this story, or maybe not. But most of our members, most of Eve, won't even think twice about it.

Just like that incident I mentioned above. No one but me and Angor probably even remember that it happened. Heck, most of those involved don't even play Eve anymore.

The best thing that can happen to bad memories, is time.

SF:FFA FINAL Results & Prizes

Thanks again to everyone that participated, donated and supported last Sunday's Stay Frosty Frigate Free For All. We may have been buried in the news by someone forgetting to pay their bill, but we still managed to have fun for six straight hours and blow up a few thousand ships.

Oh, and our event has prizes!!

A bit of background first. The official killboard was used as the foundation for a week long effort on the part of Stay Frosty scientist Draiv Solregard and his crack team. They pulled data from a variety of sources and then wrote a program to cull the data down into its component parts. This was horribly complicated. And Draiv deserves all the credit for making this happen as smoothly as it did, thank you!

The rules were clear. Anyone that podded another pilot, who used links, who flew together in gangs, or that participated in a sanctioned security fleet would not be eligible for prizes. During the event security forces made extensive notes on rules violations, based on participant feedback and our own observations. Comparing and pulling all that data wasn't easy. But here we go.

The Official Stay Frosty FFA Prize Awards

Top Killer
The pilot with the most eligible kills.
Your Carrier of choice + 250m ISK. In addition you will also receive a Dark Blood EM Plate and an Astero. Krull Krull will be in touch with you on the first two items.

The Winner is: Julia Ayu with 162 kills. Congratulations!

Second Killer
The pilot with the second most eligible kills.
Will receive a T2 Cruiser of your choice, a Gnosis, a Vigilant, 3x Comet + 100m ISK. Again, Krull Krull will be in touch on the Cruiser.

The Winner is: Billius Zabub with 97 kills. Congratulations!

Third Place Killer
The pilot with the third most eligible kills.
Will receive an Ishtar, 3x Comet + 50m ISK.

The Winner is: Janne Harkala with 93 kills. Congrats!

Fourth Place Killer
The pilot with the fourth most eligible kills.
Will receive a Dominix Navy Issue, 5x Hookbills, 1x Nemesis.

The Winner is: Pete Butcher with 89 kills. Congrats!

The first 100 Pilots to lose a ship
Each pilot will receive an Inherent Implants 'Yeti' Ice Harvesting IH-1001
I won't list all of these individually, each of you will be contacted and contracted in-game. This might take awhile, so be patient with me.

Nightmare Kill
The 15 top damage dealers on my Nightmare will each receive either a Standard or Improved booster. Boosters will be randomly contracted.
The Winners are on the killmail and will be contacted in-game.

Punisher Kills
The pilot with the most killing blows in a Punisher will receive 500x Punisher hulls.
In addition, 100m ISK will be divided among those that get a killing blow between 16:00 - 16:05, and 100m ISK will be divided among those that get a killing blow between 18:00 -18:05.

Most Killing Blows in a Punisher: (TIE) E'dyn and Rachel Draven each with 4.

Killing Blows between 16:00 - 16:05: (Will split 100m ISK)
Ransu Asanari 2
Samantha Murphy 1
Skir Skor 1
Slave 0319 Unnamed 1
Tornisk 1
Tosvic 1
Tubrug1 1
Vhalasedai 1
Brad Harkonnen 1
Chieko Kaede 1
Cojon Zero Vyvorant 1
Crom Aster 1
Dece Goo'Ba 1
Firebird Pollard 1
George Codolle 1
Ginlok 1
Mark Yanning

Killing blow between 18:00 - 18:05: (Will split 100m ISK)
DQuijote 2
Dub Business 2
Lunar Argun 2
Se'nizi Ronuken 2
Setyn Garres 1
stoerschl 1
sumlovinclut 1
Taul Masok 1
Vhek Rikah 1
Pete Butcher 1
Balthazaar Tzestu 1
Clearly Knott 1
Dom Pender 1
Efkar Chelien 1
John Wildcat 1
Julian Aldurald

Venture Kills
The pilot that registers the most kills with a Venture will receive 1x Shadow Serpentis Warp Scram, and 1x Sisters Expanded Probe Launcher with 12 of each sisters probe (core and combat).

The Winner is: Janne Harkala with 60 kills in a Venture!
Special Recognition to Mark Yanning, who registered 2 killing blows in a Venture!

Venture Kills Part 2
The pilot that registers the most Venture KILLS will receive 5x Dramiels.

The Winner is Billius Zabub who lost 2 Ventures!

The last two Awards had no eligible winners. Prizes will be held and used for the next event.

All decisions are final and prizes will be awarded as soon as possible. Unless otherwise noted, all prizes will be awarded in a major trade hub from Anastasia Javix. All winners will be contacted via Eve Mail and the collection of prizes will be the responsibility of the winning party.

Here are the eligible totals for reference:

Top Killing Blows:

Julia Ayu 43 Mark Yanning 38 Iogrim 29 Reciprocrat 22 Pete Butcher 21 Ranger40Z 17 Vhalasedai 17 John Wildcat 17 Billius Zabub 17 Commandante Chongo 16 Rhybnar 16 Serenit Adoulin 16 Ransu Asanari 15 Modie Elnath 15 Sascha Naskingar 14 Ginlok 14 Atte Yaken 13 Scyleth 13 Rachel Draven 12 Dom Pender 12 CheesusCrust 12 Elsa91 12 Crynsos Cealion 11 Siggy Crendraven 11 Skir Skor 11 Tubrug1 11 sumlovinclut 11 Vhek Rikah 10 Ceye Utara 10 Lunar Argun 10 Vandal Snow 9

Top Kills+Assists:
Julia Ayu 162 Billius Zabub 97 Janne Harkala 93 Pete Butcher 89 John Wildcat 88 Iogrim 87 Lunar Argun 82 Mark Yanning 82 Ranger40Z 73 Reciprocrat 71 Crynsos Cealion 57 Ransu Asanari 56 Ginlok 56 Major Corvus 54 Rachel Draven 54 Thufir Hawaatt 54 Alexandra Wenli 53 Modie Elnath 51 MuraSaki Siki 51 Vhalasedai 51 Brad Harkonnen 50 Korkza Saken 49 Jammer NielsenTimms 48 Rhybnar 47 Atte Yaken 47 Dom Pender 47 sumlovinclut 46 Tubrug1 45 Carathas 44 Nero Padilla 43 Madden Canrende 42

Most Deaths:
Rhybnar 29 Pete Butcher 24 Ginlok 24 Fortune Famine 23 E'dyn 22 Caedes Silf 22 Siggy Crendraven 21 Billius Zabub 20 Carathas 18 Abel Shovels 18 Apollo Kids 17 Carmello Oskald 17 Crynsos Cealion 17 Julia Ayu 17 Korkza Saken 17 Thufir Hawaatt 17 Niden 16 Dom Pender 15 Gwendolyn MacDougall 15 CheesusCrust 15 Trebor Nottirb 15 Atte Yaken 14 Elsa91 14 Reapz Starchild 14 Major Corvus 14 Jean-Paul Renelard 14 John Wildcat 13 Lord Kevhand 13 Reciprocrat 13 Modie Elnath 13 Balthazaar Tzestu 13

Once again, thanks to everyone that participated, donated and supported this event. We hope everyone enjoyed themselves and we look forward to doing it again soon!

Stay Frosty.

The Inevitable End of Drama

No cute graphical support. And no names.

Writing about what happens in Eve is always a two-edged sword. On the one hand I've been doing it for five years and it is, after all, what this blog's primary purpose is. Anything, anything at all, that happens in-game or out, is potential subject matter. That is the reality of it. On the other hand, there are real people behind all of those things that happen. And, as virtual as this all tends to be, I am keenly aware of that reality at all times.

Ten months ago Stay Frosty was an unknown and untested idea. That is all it was - an idea. There was plenty of drama surrounding it, most of which was self-generated by me in order to drum up business. A few daring souls made the leap of faith and joined us early on, and among those, a few bright lights emerged. Two of those, for no other reason than the spark of potential I saw in them, I made Directors.

Many people don't understand our open recruitment policy. It scares them, or they think it foolish. They scoff and say, well you are going to get AWOX'd, or you'll have spais, or it'll never work, or whatever. They are missing the point. I appointed two wet-behind-the-ears players to the role of Director for the same reason we have an open door policy to begin with. It is sink or swim. Yes we've been AWOX'd a few times, and yes we have spais, and yes a contract or two gets stolen.

The thing is. I don't care.

We don't have a lot of assets to steal. And they can be replaced, those responsible kicked from corp. Yes we have spais, good. Spais bring conflict and oportunities, bring it on. We have safeguards in place and we're adding more every day. Most of that is secret, so enough said.

I saw potential and I rewarded that potential with opportunity. Either they take it, own it and make it their own, or they don't.

Over the past two weeks we've experienced a lot of stress in the Corp. The FFA was a huge event and on top of that we had some unusual situations brewing under the surface that added a lot of new stress to the situation. This is all normal growth stuff, but in hindsight it was also a cauldron. And sometimes, when you have a fire, someone is going to get burned.

So a blue pilot gets killed by another blue. There is some confusion over the incident and a Stay Frosty Director is involved. So, while I try to figure out what happened, both parties have their roles removed and an investigation is under-taken. One pilot is a trusted Director of SF and one is a new member who sadly decided then was the time to 'borrow' some corp funds. And while something doesn't add up, the new member is removed and the Director's roles are restored.

While the corp is distracted by the FFA the Director suggests, rather publicly, that we should give some major assets to an adversary. Without gain on our part. Obviously this is met with some confusion, as this person is well aware of the history between us. In addition, this person who admittedly spent "hours" talking to our adversary, suggests publicly that we should start flying with them.

And then the incident with Dred happens. Our forums are being updated to new software and for about 30 minutes permissions get wonked and the entire works is open to the public. No one would notice, unless they were looking. And so Dred and this Director make our forums available on paste-bins, Twitter and various other outlets. Including sharing them with our neighbors.

And then it is two days of drama.

Indignant refusals, out-right lies, channel sabatoge, rights violations, invitations to known alts, public tirades, and various other forms of dragging corp mates names thru the mud. It all gets rather ugly.

And still, we make one last attempt. One last effort to pull this back from the edge. Yes, it was foolish. But I do a lot of foolish things, so why stop now? And no, it didn't work. Because someone had already gone to far. Bridges had been burned and the self-righteous indignation was already out on the sleeve.

This morning I ended it. Despite my personal feelings, despite opportunities given to the other party to take the noble way out, I was left with no other choice than to kick them from the Corporation.

I will say this, Sully was right about many things. And one of those was his hatred of drama. And while we will always disagree that I was the initial instigator of that drama, the fact remains that it is tiresome, pointless and rather immature. Especially when it serves no purpose. At least my drama, mostly after the fact, was used to build a Corporation. This drama? Pointless and it achieved nothing.

Which, in the end, is the saddest legacy of all. You achieved nothing.


PS: I do want to add one more thing. Something happened ages ago for which I took considerable heat over. In fact, this incident directly led to another Corporation declaring war on Stay Frosty. It is interesting, in hindsight, that the Director mentioned in the above post - was also the pilot dishonored on that day.

I went to bat for them then, both publicly and in-game. Our entire Corporation endured months of war, station camping, podding and aggravation as a direct result of that incident. At the time, I went to bat for a fellow corp member and assumed they were in the right. As CEO, defending my own pilots is part of my job. But now, in the light of history, recent events do tend to shed new light. Don't they?