New Art Prints & Event Updates

My days of trying to work with CCP to broaden the appeal of Eve to new audiences may be at an end, but that doesn't mean that I've stopped creating. Nor will I. Last weekend two of my posters arrived from the printers and we framed them and hung them on the walls in our recently renovated sunroom. They look awesome. And if you are planning to attend Steel City Eve III on July 21st at my house, you can see them for yourself.

Those are both movie poster sized prints (27"x40"), but we'll be handing out 11x17 versions of the Eve Anniversary illustration at SCEIII to everyone that attends. As well as other goodies. Just like every other year.

In 108 days we'll also be attending our first Eve Vegas! We also have several awesome swag ideas in the works for that event. So keep an eye open for more information on those as the date gets closer.

And next year, it looks like we'll be joining a bunch of Eve nerds for an Alaskan Cruise, which you can find out about on the forums HERE. At least we are planning to attend, I'm calling after this to reserve our place. But we have until March to make the final decision. And I've got work to do for that as well.

I'm busy with commissions, projects, AT practice, and a thousand other projects.  And our schedule is crammed full of future events and hanging out with our Eve friends. Hopefully we'll have the chance to meet many more of you at one of these soon.

Onward & Upward.

5 Tips for Being Better at PvP

Cyno Ad
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There are as many ways to describe PvP in Eve as there are people outside the station in Jita. All of which are probably valid in one way or another, to one degree or another. Player versus Player combat in Eve is one of the most complicated, time-intensive, stressful, and potentially rewarding experiences in all of gaming. There is simply nothing else like it. It takes time, learning, and experience to get decent at it. And it takes teachers, failure, failure, and dedication to even approach mastery. No wonder it generates so many colorful ways to describe it.

Essentially PvP combat in Eve comes down to either being prepared or being unprepared for what is about to happen to you. The more you as a participant can swing the scale in your favor the more likely you will be to fly away the victor, and vice versa. Fail to swing anything in your favor and it'll be the Pod-Express home for you.

With this in mind I'd like to offer up five seasoned tips to help you become better at PvP. My goal has always been to see everyone in New Eden become insanely good at combat. This makes the game better for everyone. I want to be challenged. And that will only happen when people learn some valuable lessons.

Yes, there are more than five things you need to do. But I wanted to keep this list manageable and concise. Find a teacher. Become a Wing Man. Join a good Corp like Stay Frosty.  But for these tips I'm going to focus on things you can actively do to enter a fight more prepared than your enemy.

1. Learn to Fit your Ship

Be a student. Always be in learning mode. Study the killboards of famous or infamous pilots. Learn the abilities of the ships you want to fly. Find ways to maximize their bonuses and minimize their weaknesses. Every ship in Eve serves a purpose and the art comes from finding ways to exploit those purposes against your opponent. But never at the expense of common sense. Being prepared does not mean fitting one of everything on your ship! It means not expecting a slow, armor-fitted AB Dessie to defeat a shield-fitted, MWD LML Garmur. 

There are tools available that can help you, tutorials on YouTube, plenty of blogposts, forum posts, and everything else. But nothing replaces doing it yourself and undocking in it. A fit doesn't have to be fancy, or faction, to work. More often than not a smart fit is all you need.

2. Situational Awareness

Learn to see past your d-scanner. Situational awareness is more than what your d-scan shows. It's about what it doesn't show you. How many people are in local, where are they, what are they doing, are they together? How many people are in the systems around me? Are they related to these people? What ships are around and why are those ships in space? What is their purpose?

You get blobbed because the guy you attacked had friends next door. Or you attacked an Incursus sitting in a Large with Cruisers on scan. Or there are two people in local and one is in a Medium plex with a Rifter. (C'mon, that other guy is in a Recon 75% of the time!) Learn how to read the signs. Often I will fly around 5-12 systems just to get the lay of the land, turn around and then head back to see what has changed. You can tell a lot from what moves around. Those Core Scanner Probes from earlier might just be a juicy PvE target when you come back around.

3. Control your own Space

You want the other player at your mercy, or as close as you can get him. Let me use a Blaster Comet as a good example of this in action. Let's say I'm flying around in my Rail fit Daredevil. I can kill any Blaster fitted Comet that I come across in that ship, as long as I maintain control of my own space and make him fight me on my terms. But I will lose my ship if the opposite happens. If I land at zero on that Comet I'm going to lose that fight nine times out of ten. But if I land 10+k away from him, he will lose that fight nine times out of ten to me. This essential premise is true, in one way or another, in every single fight in Eve. When you engage within your own space you will have a much higher chance of winning the fight.

4. Be Bold, Not Stupid

Before a fight we are all geniuses, afterwards only the winner is. Your own scale is going to depend on your own personal preferences, how long you've been playing, how much isk you have, what your personal goals are, etc. But you want to take chances, just not dumb chances. The other night I tackled a Myrmidom in my Hawk because I knew I had two other AFs behind me and we were one jump from home. We couldn't defeat him alone, he was tripled-repped, so we sent one guy home to get a bigger ship. That is being bold and being situationally aware. I wouldn't have tackled the ship had we been 17 jumps away from home.

Had we lost that fight, we'd all be idiots. But the odds were in our favor because we understand and exploited the three rules above. We know not only our ships, but all ships. So I knew what to expect from the target. And he didn't. It is one thing for someone to tell you to take chances, be bold, but another for someone like me to tell you to take smart chances. The more you understand the less bold those chances become. And the less likely you are to come out looking stupid.

5. Don't Be Afraid of Failure

I've lost 1,831 fights in Eve. I've had exactly 8,000 fights that ended in victory or death according to zKill. I've failed 1,831 times. I've horribly failed 139 times and not only lost a ship, but also my Capsule. And while these days I tend to succeed 77% of the time, that wasn't always the case. In the beginning I wasn't even planning on being a PvPer, or at least not a full-time Pirate. 

Have patience with yourself and don't let failure stop you. Each time you don't succeed is another lesson you can learn. And then sometimes you can just do dumb stuff for the sheer fun of it.

Undock, have adventures. I hope to see you in space.

Laser Tristan

Laser Tristan
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For no good reason tonight I fitted some lasers to a Tristan and went flying around with it. Mostly just for fun. Every once in awhile you have to shake things up and do goofy shit or you'll go mad. Mostly people just ran away and eventually I settled into a Novice Plex. Ships would come to the gate and then leave. But eventually an Imperial Navy Slicer warped into the plex. Sadly for him I was ready and my scram shut him down and my web made sure he wasn't going anywhere quickly. He almost killed me when I had to manually get into position, but once I built up some velocity and my repper started chewing down the damage - he exploded.

I may never get another kill with this freak of nature, but that fight made it worth doing. Good fight.

I named the Tristan "Facepalm" by the way. Seemed appropriate.

What to do with High Sec?

The Industrialist
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Since yesterday's post I've gotten a bunch of emails, discord DMs, and other notes about High Sec. I want to be clear here, I am not an expert at HS and what goes on there. My expertise is Low Sec, PvP, and the meta game surrounding Eve. I'm certainly not trying to pretend otherwise. There are a lot of people whose opinions I would trust on the subject above mine, like my friend Mike Azariah, and others of course.

Let me be clear, there should be no place inside of New Eden that could be considered "safe", except inside a station. Having said that there already exists a scale when it comes to levels of danger. A player in a 1.0 system should feel "safer" than a player in a 0.2 system. I would argue that might not always be the case. But that doesn't mean that everything gets thrown out with the bath water. I believe that most of us would tend to agree that High Sec isn't working as well as it should and that certain mechanics are, to one degree or another, broken.

As always my only goal would be to make it better, not worse. But in thinking about what better might look like, I wonder if we all have a good enough understanding of what exactly the goal of High Sec is exactly? What is the purpose of HS? I bet if you asked 10 players you'd get 10 different answers. Which is pretty normal, you'd get 10 different answers from 10 different Low Sec players and 10 different Null Sec players. But from a game design standpoint High Sec seems less defined than those, and especially when compared say to Wormhole Space.

For me HS served as the place I first learned the game. The place I first experienced combat, trade, community, and the pull of something more dangerous. When I fly thru HS on my alts I don't look at those in system as losers, or players without courage, or guts, or anything other than potential. Their potential might be different than mine, but that doesn't make it any less important to them. I learned a long time ago that it takes all aspects of New Eden working together to make things work. There is no Low Sec PvP without Industry, Mining, Exploration, and Trade. HS functions as a foundation for every other single activity in Eve, it is - and should remain - the Grand Pivot around which everything else turns.

Tahrl Cabot from Eve University wrote me a well-reasoned email that essentially proposes that HS function exactly like LS when it comes to War Decs. Aggressors get Sec Status hits that affect gate and station guns, etc., exactly the way they do in Low. This risk/reward loop is important everywhere in Eve and the idea has a lot of merit in my opinion. But this is only one idea. There are many ideas.

My "change of mind" was simply an acknowledgment on my part that it needed some consideration. Those of you that are quick to judge may not realize it, but a significant percentage of my alliance A Band Apart operates in HS. As well as every other section of space. I'm not only the CEO of Stay Frosty, but I also represent my Alliance players. I would also like their game to be better. And so would they.

I recommend reading this article from my friend Saint Michaels Soul - Non-RP – A counter to Evocation Adzhera’s article. He is responding to the original article that I was responding to yesterday. It seems the community is currently pondering these issues and I fully support that idea.

As always all I want is for Eve to be awesome for all players.

Changing My Mind

Another Lonely Haul Shadow Wallpaper
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For the longest time I used to take full responsibility for moving my own assets around New Eden. It came about from a desire to make the experience of playing Eve as "real" as I could. It is the same thing that keeps me from using drugs, or insane implants, or other tactics. Creating our own limitations is a common inhibitor used by filmmakers, story-tellers, and other creative people. Moving my own shit around New Eden was one of those. I make up my own rules to challenge myself. Otherwise I'm just playing the same way every one else is playing.

I bring this up because I got really good at moving things around New Eden. And it helped me learn important lessons about the game. And when I think about High Sec especially, my opinion is clouded by that experience. In ten years of playing Eve I've lost a total of two Transports in HS. That kind of record has a tendency to cloud our judgement. And I'm starting to come around when it comes to HS and what it should be.

I stopped moving my own assets a year ago. After hearing rumors that HS had changed and that it had become even more dangerous to move assets thru it, I went ahead and did it anyway. I was on my Alt, I was traveling in Super HS, along well-trod lanes, and avoiding hot spots - my usual tactics. I was being stupid and I had more than my own limit in cargo, but that is my own lack of patience at work. Long story short, I got ganked for the first time. 6.3b lost. My only other HS transport loss was an empty ship and pod to a smartbomber on gate. 

Since then I've been using our JF service.

I'm starting to feel myself agreeing with those that have been saying HS is broken. War Decs are broken. Ganking mechanics are broken. The penalties do not match the rewards. And HS has rapidly become a true mess without purpose. It should make sense and it doesn't.

Look, I'm an admitted Low Sec Pirate. I've been -10 for a very long time now. My experience of HS is on a transport alt. I buy things and then run home. I recently took Rixx six jumps into HS in a Leopard to buy 14b in skill injectors. That was probably the first time he was in HS in years. Point being, I'm no expert when it comes to HS.

But I see the numbers dwindling. I hear the people saying that we need a safer place to learn the game. And I also remember what HS used to be like when I started playing Eve. It wasn't like it is today. It wasn't as chaotic.

I'm sure if I took the time to dig around in my archive I'd find posts about this, but I'm feeling lazy today. I'm starting to wonder if HS wouldn't be better if 1.0 systems were totally, 100% safe. And if the sec status drop didn't allow for increasingly less safe space until you find yourself in LS or Null. What exactly would we be losing?

More players?

It feels like it is time for CCP to take a risk and try to turn Eve on it's head. And maybe turning HS into actual Empire space is the way to start. Isn't it supposed to be safe there anyway? Isn't that why it is 1.0? 

Something needs to change.

How Does This Thing Work?

Caldari Corporation Cup
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A commenter on my last post wanted to know where my ISK comes from. That is a legit question and I realize I may not have addressed this recently. Eve is nothing if not an opportunity to tell the same stories over and over again. The other night I had to explain what World War Bee was. The Eve community is constantly changing and new people are being added all the time. Like that poor guy last night who asked me for a 1v1 in our Atrons. You gotta love 'em.

Way back in 2009 I started doing work for the Alliance I was a part of at the time. I've been a professional creative and marketer for over thirty years, so it was a natural extension to me. Once I started seeing propaganda in-game and out, I quickly started grasping the potential for it. As well as learning the impact and uses for the "meta" game in Eve. I asked around and learned that exchanging art services for in-game ISK was allowed. I haven't had to PvE since that day.

100% of my in-game currency comes from the work I do for the Eve community. There isn't a major Alliance, group, website, news service, player meet, or community project that I probably haven't done something for in the past nine years. A large percentage of the videos playing on Billboards? (Although less of those lately, my time is more limited these days)  As well as a ton of work that you never get to see, player's personal projects, or professional projects. Side businesses and other stuff I try to help out with. Sometimes those out-of-game projects involve real money. Or I just do them for free. It depends. Charity work is always free.

In addition to that income stream, I also accept donations. Players donate things to the effort, to our AT runs, to events, and to the blog. As players go I am a very poor Pirate. Stay Frosty has no secure stream of in-game income. I don't skim off the top. If anything I donate most of my own income to the Corp and Alliance. I have shouldered that responsibility since day one and will continue to do so. But we have a lot of players in the Alliance that also donate and support our efforts. It is that kind of place.

So that's pretty much it really. If you are reading this and starting to think about a smart-ass comment about how much iskies I make - let me assure you the total is much, much less than you are imagining. My goal was never to get space rich and I have exceeded that goal for nine years. 

But I am always willing to accept donations. All of which will be undocked and used to create content in-game.

That is literally all I do.

Catalyst Night

In yesterday's post detailing my current Top Ten ships, I also mentioned the ones sitting at the very bottom at #100. Among those was the Catalyst at only 7 total kills in almost ten years. Which is decidedly wrong of course, but I won't go into the whole "killmails are missing" thing again. Let's just go with it.

The Catalyst has just never done much for me and I certainly haven't flown it much over the years. Typically it is the 'other' option when it comes to High-Sec Ganks - after the venerable Thrasher. So whatever the total number of kills really is, the truth is I haven't flown it all that often.

So last evening I decided to do something about it. I bought 2 Cats and fitted up the first one. God knows how old the single saved fit I had was, but it seemed legit. And with Blasters fitted the darn thing put out pretty close to 500dps! That seemed good. (This is the place where people who fit Comet's with Blasters fall victim to the "That is sooo much deeps!" syndrome!) Note to Readers: DPS only matters when it can be applied. Remember this.

So I undock and warp to a small plex to get used to the ship. My trusty wing-man Pirate Cat jumps up into my lap and I miss the Slicer on scan. So I'm pointed and being slowly chewed away by the annoying kiter. At this point I do my usual thing, which is to practice my manual piloting skills! Yes kids, even when you are being slowly killed and you really have no chance of victory or escape - use your time wisely. If I could catch the Slicer he'd die, and while I came very close a few times, eventually I did explode. Not a great start.

However, lessons were learned. And I had another Catalyst. Except this time I went with a full rack of 125mm Rails, like an intelligent person. I wasn't going to be slowly chewed away by another kiter! I'd be killed by a high-dps brawler instead!

I learned in Corp Chat that a pilot had been haunting the area earlier in a Griffin. And sure enough I saw him in a couple of systems flying around. Eventually our paths brought us together in the same system and I warped to a plex and waited. As predicted he just couldn't resist the juicy Catalyst and we started our deadly dance. I was jammed from the start and his rockets chewed into me. Sadly for him I never panic, or lose hope, or give up. I knew that eventually my lock target button smashing would pay off. I also figured that his ECM using cowardice would mean he would stay until the end. Sure enough, with about 40% structure left the jam finally broke - point - overheat guns - one dead Griffin. Hull tank ftw.

Later I found myself waiting in another plex for a Firetail and a Tristen to decide to come for me. It took them awhile to work up the courage, but eventually they both landed on the Beacon. I immediately went for the FT figuring he'd be Artie fitted with dual webs (which he was) and I'd need to eliminate him first. I also figured that would mean the Tristan would escape, but better that than losing my ship. The FT died rather quickly under my guns. And so I turned my attention to the Tristan who had me long-pointed. He was faster than me, but as long as he had me pointed I could point him too. I switched ammo and a few volleys later he exploded nicely. After that fight I had 19% structure left. The entire portion of the fight with the Tristan I ran with almost no cap. So I was switching between running the rep and running the guns. All without a functioning prop mod. Such a good fight.

At this point I'd like to mention that everything I've written about above, in addition to a couple of targets that ran off, a small roam, a fellow Stay Frosty pilot who lost his Thrasher before I could arrive to help, all took place within 45 minutes. That is all the time I had last evening.

And people continue to complain that Eve takes a huge time commitment. No it doesn't.

Jump into a ship, undock, and adventures will happen. Rinse and Repeat.

It is only as complicated as you make it.

My Top Ten Ships

Comet Signature Wallpaper
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These are my Top Ten PvP ships according to zKill as of today. I thought I'd run down the list and make snarky comments about each ship. I've never been one to focus on a single ship, I typically fly numerous ships even when I don't have long to play. The other night I had 45 minutes to play Eve and I think I undocked in five different ships at various times.

#10 The Kestrel (113 Kills)
I haven't flown the Kessie seriously in about 2 years. I still have a couple fitted up and will undock in them sometimes, but they are not as reliable a T1 Frig as they used to be. Nothing against them, but the hole that scram kitting used to enjoy has been plugged by changes that have happened over the past two years and that has hurt the Kessies over all usability in my opinion.

#9 Firetail (118 Kills)
These kills are much more recent than the Kessie. The FT is in my "regular rotation" currently and I love the ship. It has always been a reliable choice for PvP but it has recently become even more reliable. This is primarily because it has more flexibility now than it enjoyed back in the day, when you'd typically only see fast, kiting versions around. Now the Ancillary Repper has opened the door for more brawly, scram-kiting fits. The Firetail is an exceptional ship and I really enjoy flying it.

#8 Dramiel (121 Kills)
The Dram is always in the rotation. I tend to fit mine more expensively than I used to, so it doesn't get as much use these days. That isn't the reason I don't fly it, the reason I don't fly it has more to do with my impact on local than anything else. A lot has changed for me over the past five years, these days any fights I get in a Dramiel or a Daredevil are probably not going to end well for me. Mostly people just run away.

#7 Daredevil (137 Kills)
Same thing with the DD. I love my Daredevil and I am ace when flying it. But sadly me in a DD generally causes two reactions, 1) Run Away, or 2) Blob. As such it has seen a diminishing role in my regular rotation. Sad, but them is the facts.

#6 Capsule (208?)
Can someone explain to me what this stat means? I've killed 783 Pods and I've lost 139 Pods, so it isn't that number. Is this how many ships I've killed when I've also exploded? Not sure tbh.

#5 Tristan (234 Kills)
The Tristan is, in my opinion, the best T1 Frigate for Low Sec PvP. Despite the idiots who speed fit theirs and stay far away and try to kite with the damn thing, which it truly sucks at. Otherwise the Tristan is a versatile box that can be fit many, many ways and has great survivability. Unless you are caught by one of those annoying kiter people. But then send them drone love and they usually run off.

#4 Drake (309 Kills)
The majority of these kills are in Null Sec, since I rarely fly a Drake in Low. Especially during the last few years. I do have several fitted up and ready, so you never know.

#3 Sacrilege (380 Kills)
The vast majority of these kills happened in a less than one year period when I wasn't playing Eve much and lived in a system with two HS entrances. My play time back then was extremely limited, so I fit up a bunch of these bad boys and camped the entire system. My strategy was to attack everything that entered, undocked, or tried to do anything. It is surprising how well that worked. Until it all went to Hell and I finally got more playing time, joined Tuskers and then Stay Frosty. I rarely fly Sacs today, but they are still one of my favs. I've had so many memorable fights in one.

#2 Slicer (395 Kills)
This is the ship I fly when I want to be one of those annoying kiter people I mentioned earlier. Although I fit my Slicer to be a Kiter/Brawler, which is a weird thing to do. But I fly it rather uniquely and it works for me. I'm not sure anyone else would understand what I'm doing. I know this because other Slicer pilots have told me all about it.

#1 Comet (795 Kills, Fed Comet + Police Comet)
Those used to be two different ships. And here we have the very best Low Sec PvP ship available in Eve - the Fed Navy Comet. You can fit them with Blasters or with Rails, I personally prefer Rails on my Comet. I've painfully died to too many kiters to enjoy the Blaster version very often. I do fly it, but it limits my engagement window. The rail version however can engage almost anything. Just this week I engaged a 4-man FedUp gang in one. I killed two of them before mine exploded. There are not many ships you can do that with. I love my Comets.

And there you have it, my current Top Ten. My number 100th most used ship is the Catalyst, Stabber, Ferox, and Machariel each with 7 kills. Although that is certainly not accurate. It is my duty to mention that all these zKill numbers are inaccurate. Early Eve kills remain missing and a large part of Eve's history along with them. I remain hopeful that someday they will reappear, but for now about 500-750 of my own kills remain missing from my killboard.

Until next time.

Alliance Tournament

Kronos Centric

This will be A Band Apart's 4th Alliance Tournament run. Our first year we were honestly not prepared and lost the first two matches to the G0dfathers and The Explicit Alliance. Being a first time Alliance in the tournament is rough. But it was a good learning experience and we decided to try and actually prepare for the next tournament. We went 4-2 the next time out and managed to break into the Top 16 finishers, which means better standings and an automatic bid. We won matches against Shadow Cartel, Spectre Fleet, Snuff, Methodical Alliance and lost matches against Villore Accords and PFR. Then last year we finished 11th in the tournament, winning matches against Slyce, Hard Knocks Citizens, and We Form Volta before losing to Lazerhawks and Brave.

We got really good at practicing and preparing for the early matches. Our issues the last two years have been in keeping up with the changing meta and adapting our approach to compensate. Both times when we lost matches, we probably should have won, but we failed to anticipate the impact of those changes. This is not a criticism against anyone specifically, our team worked hard and we all did the best we could. But in hindsight the shortcomings are more obvious. 

Can we get over that hump this year and break into the final weekend? I have no idea. Not only is so much of the tournament a rock, paper, scissors situation (which it is), but this year changes to the rules have made it even more likely to be a hotbed of upsets. Not to mention the inclusion of three new ships that no one is super familiar with, the Precursor ships are certainly OP, but they are also NEW. Which means a significant lack of flying them around TQ and getting used to how they operate, engage, and work inside of gangs. But the biggest change is more foundational to any Comps that we, and others, had on our table. And that is the lack of doubles. Every ship has to be the only one on the field this year, so no double Eos, or double Gila, or double Blackbird, or double Bhaal comps allowed. And since doubles make up the core of pretty much every comp - it has been back to the blackboard for all of us.

As always it is impossible to predict what might happen. Our team is coming together and we are practicing hard. Our comps are starting to make sense and we are starting to understand where things are headed, at least for the opening weekend. We are a little over a month away from the July 28th start and things are looking good. Personally I feel great about the pilots I'm flying with and I think this has the chance to be a special group of players. When we are firing on all cylinders together it feels pretty damn strong.

We will always be underdogs in my mind, no matter what happens. I'd like nothing better than to improve over the last three years and see us make it to the final weekend. That is my personal goal. But no matter what happens we'll have fun and enjoy flying together, and when it is all said and done that is what truly matters.

Six weeks to go.

Good Fights & Bad Decisions

In Orbit
My Comet "Columbo" at Zero

I'm going to start writing more, I promise. So here are some stories from the past few weeks about fights I've gotten into, win or lose. I hope you enjoy. My ship is listed first.

A Comet beating a Merlin doesn't sound like a good fight and, to be honest, it often isn't. Unless the Merlin happens to be sitting at zero inside the plex, is Blaster fitted, dual webs, and has probably taken a booster recently. Not to mention that your Comet is rail fit and not blaster fit. This was a good fight for a the first part of it, but I managed to pull range and eventually he ran out of booster charges. It is good to see the Hellcats back in the neighborhood. I told him in local that it was a worthy try. It felt like something that I would do.

This fight between a rail fit Incursus and a rail fit Comet was very, very close. I still believe I would have won this fight had I not seriously derped at the last minute. I oops clicked in space which caused my poor ship to lose all velocity and essentially become a sitting duck right at the worst possible moment. Sigh. Still we were both in low structure and it was a worthy try. Comet should win that fight... but it almost didn't.

Granted, a Firetail should lose against a properly fitted Algos most of the time. Also granted, I wasn't actually trying to solo it and it did eventually die. All I had to do was hold it long enough for help to arrive. Which would have worked except I went into the fight with only 2 or 3 nanite repair paste thingies in my armor repper, instead of the much more intelligent full amount. As you can imagine this did not end well for my poor twelve killmark Firetail. But the Algos did die.

Yes, this is the same Firetail from above while it was still alive. This is a fight that is even rarer than a "good fight" - it is what we call - an "honest fight". Which is when two of the exact same ships manage to find each other in the darkness of space and decided to engage each other. Sadly for the other guy he sorta forgot to fit a tank and went boom rather quickly. Remember kids, you usually need some kind of tank to survive in Eve.

When a Pirate chooses to engage they do so typically without knowing what they are getting themselves in for. We make decisions based on type of ship, local intel, killboard intel, age of character, and other factors. Some of which are rapidly becoming meaningless, like character age. What does it matter when you can inject yourself into anything? Point being, you have to be prepared. I had seen this Gnosis earlier and pegged the pilot. When I was docked I noticed that the pilot was also docked, so I undocked in my cloaky Stratios and waited. My patience was rewarded and the rest went down pretty easy. The scariest part of these kinds of fights is being exposed during the fight. You are mutually locked down and an easy target if a gang or fleet happens to pass by.

To be fair I'm putting this in the loss column, but I truly won this lopsided encounter. My sturdy Tristan warped in on two ships, which rapidly became four ships, and eventually became six ships in total. The funny part for me was just how hesitant they were to engage at first, even with far superior numbers. Including a Bantam, which I killed pretty quickly. I also killed the bait Incursus before the sheer numbers finally brought me down. Fun fight.

Another funny fight. So two Goons decide to attack my Algos, which is fine, but they also decide to bring along a Griffin to make things all cowardly. Now here is the funny part. I point and start fighting the Dramiel, but send my drones to the ECM ship sitting about 30k away. At any point here, the Griffin could have gotten away and saved his ship. But he stayed and let my drones kill him. Sadly without my drones the Dramiel did eventually kill my Algos, but honestly I'll take a 19m Algos loss in exchange for a 45m bling Goon Griffin every single day. One less ECM ship.

That's enough for today. I hope we've all learned some valuable lessons. I know I haven't, I'll keep doing the same old dumb things as I always do.



You'll never get to play it
In Baseball when the batter gets three strikes he is registered as an out. And while my count is full of a lot of foul balls, the last strike was registered yesterday. I stepped up to the plate way back in 2009 at the request of CCP, who was looking for a company to help them run a piece of their business at the time. As a player, a fan, and an owner of a company that could help them - I gladly tried to do so. Since then we've had a few successes, like the 8 spaceship posters and the London office opening materials, and more than our fair share of "foul balls". A free video game - shot down. Several lines of shirts - shot down. A Faction Warfare Card Game - shot down. An Alliance Tournament Card Game - shot down. An original film - shot down. Two fan-run stores - shot down. A Fanfest illustrated poster - shot down. An Eve Vegas poster - shot down. And finally, this week, another original Eve based Card Game called Pub Brawl... you get the idea. (And I'm leaving out some stuff, just to keep this brief.)

You may have noticed a distinct lack of posting lately here in Eveoganda. You may have wondered why I wasn't posting at my usual pace. Was something wrong? Did the Bitter Vet Syndrome get me? Nope. I was purposefully being quiet, reserved, and hiding. I didn't want to say anything that might be construed in a negative light by anyone, anywhere. And the only way I know how to do that is by saying nothing at all. I was hoping that would help things along. And for a long time there it seemed like it just might do the trick.

I'm not going to bore you with all the details. Mostly because they don't matter. The point is, that despite other successful kickstarter campaigns for an EVE licensed product,  new personnel dedicated to new directions (as I was told at Fanfest) and an overall strategy that involves third-parties (as I was also told at Fanfest) yours truly is not allowed. I'm not only not allowed to develop a Card Game which would only take a very small KS to launch, but I'm also not allowed to sell Limited-Editions of my spaceship art posters (which would be at my own cost and not require a KS) or a Collectible Card Series built around famous Eve players (which would also be on my own dime and not require a KS).

So I am registering myself as an out today. I'm done.

I have some Star Wars projects I want to work on. I've got a cool lead on a potential project with Overwatch. And there are several other projects in various stages that have been ignored for to long now. I've always got something going on. (Not to mention my full-time CMO job!)

As for Eve I remain its biggest fan. I'll keep supporting community projects as much as I can. I've got the Alliance Tournament to train for again this year and I'm excited about our team, Stay Frosty and A Band Apart continue to require my attention. We've got Steel City Eve coming up in July, and then we will be attending our first Eve Vegas in October. You can bet that we'll have some great swag planned for both of those!

The only thing that changes is I can start being myself again here in these pages. And I can stop bothering a little company in Iceland with my crazy ideas and start bothering someone else instead.

To my readers and my fans my sincere apologies, I really did try. But it is way past time to admit defeat and move on to other things. It isn't the ninth inning yet.

Onward and upward.