10 Years of Rixx | Hats

On September 21st Rixx Javix turns 10 years old. In honor of this historic milestone, I'm going to be re-posting and updating important posts from the extensive Eveoganda archives to mark certain events along the way. It has been a Hell of a decade.

(Originally published on December 21st, 2016)

July and August 2011, well over seven years ago now, is when my Hat Empire started. At first the hats were a direct protest against Incarna inspired clothing and monocle pricing. Vanity items. Gold ammo. And other dangerous trends towards "winning" Eve based on the amount of money you spent. Yes, for you young people out there, Eve almost went there. After the Summer of Incarna hats transformed into two directions, first as a fun vanity item for members of #tweetfleet and secondly as a direct challenge to CCP to start thinking in new directions.

Five years of hats and now we finally have some in-game. Pardon me if I take a moment to remind everyone that this was deemed impossible many, many times. There are actual CSM minutes from actual CSM meetings were hats, we were told, couldn't be done. I've been ridiculed on Reddit, called out in local, and generally called every name in the book (as I assume people are rolling their eyes) for my stance on hats over the years. The thing is, and this is where most people miss the point, it was never about hats.

If you've been playing Eve for less than five years you wouldn't think it, but Eve was a LOT different before Incarna. It was different in ways that are hard to comprehend now. And easy to forget. But back then the community existed as an often angry opinionated mob with torches, always ready to jump on the merest mistake handed down from CCP. There was a wall between players and devs that was almost impossible to cross. Massive expansions were released and players dealt with the consequences. Communication was rare and Jita riots, petitions, forums, blogs, were often on fire.

Alot has changed over those years. Twitter changed a lot of it. The CSM has evolved into a change agent over the years, after many rocky starts. Slack has helped. Player meets have helped. Facebook has helped. The o7 Show has helped. CCP has evolved over the years in large part due to the leadership of CCP Seagull and others. The new expansion schedule has also helped to relieve the pressures that used to build in anticipation of those rare and massive releases.

(Update: In the two years since this post was written things have, in some ways, reverted a bit. While I wouldn't say that Eve has de-evolved back to the dark ages, it is also impossible to see much progress since this article was written. Seagull is gone, the o7 Show is gone, CCP employees don't engage on social media like they used to, in fact many have retreated into entrenched Discord channels, the CSM is essentially a Goon Reunion Tour, and Null Sec is a vast ocean of blue brackets. I could go on, but why depress myself.)

Into that environment, during the worst example of its consequences in Eve's history, I started making hats. I did so to illuminate the ludicrous nature of both sides immaturity. Hats are silly yes, but they also represented the true nature of what it means to be an Eve player and, I believe, an Eve dev. It is all silly. And we needed, we still need, a bit of silly in our lives. Hats helped provide a visual metaphor for the root of Eve's very nature. We are all in this together.

I'd like to believe that hats helped pave the way for the environment that Eve is today. A much, much better environment. A community that has, more often than not, started working together across the divide and helped usher in a new era of Eve Online. One that can often dream big together.

And now we actually have hats in Eve. The impossible has become reality. And yes, it remains silly. It might even be stupid. But I'd ask you to remember a time when people said it couldn't be done. And then look back up at the image header and realize that it has.

Next thing you know and we'll have a Player Memorial in-game (something I've been working on for even longer than hats!) and something will finally be done about Warp Core Stabilizers (Update: More on this in a later post!). Each of those also have deeper and longer-lasting meaning behind them as well.

But now I can finally relax a little and let the sweet cash of those hat royalties start rolling into my bank account. Pirate Faction ships for everyone!!

The entire Rixx Hat Collection can be seen here.

Update: I find it interesting that I started making hats based on Monocle Gate and here we are seven years later with more in-game merchandise, hats, clothes, ship skins, potions, and formulas than anyone back then could have dreamed. All available for real money at the New Eden Store. And while I don't discount the value that CCP has built in these items, I'm sure it helps the bottom line and consequentially keeps the server running - it is undeniably weird in hindsight. All that Incarna anger. I still wonder what might have been if we would have given CCP a few more expansions to get WiS up and running. But the CQs are gone now and that chapter is probably closed forever. Funny.)

If you are interested in the history, ARS Technica has a really good article on Monocle Gate and the player riots that ended Incarna.