Why Do We Pod?

A fellow player I podded twice yesterday asked me in local, "Why did you pod me?"

It is an interesting question that has multiple answers. Some people pod, some people never pod, and others have their own code about when and where they pod. It is an answer that is as varied as Eve itself. From one corner of the universe to the other, you might not get the same answer twice. So I thought it would be interesting to take a look at some of those answers.

I was podded during my very first PvP engagement.  I had no idea what had just happened and why I was suddenly back in my home station. I had to ask. Since that day I've been podded 144 times according to zKill. And I've podded 849 fellow pilots in return. My own history regarding the pods left after a fight has gone thru multiple changes and attitudes over the years. I grew up in Providence and podding was strictly against the rules. The basic concept was that a podded pilot was getting a free ride home where he or she could re-ship faster than if they had to hoof it back on their own. This made strategic sense. And while accidental podding happened during battles, it wasn't something we did much of.

As I made the transition from Null to Low Sec Piracy an entirely new attitude about pods started to take hold. Pods often contained expensive implants, which is something rare in Null Sec. But in Low Sec pilots often fly around with implants (head candy is what I call it) that they don't want to lose. So pointing a pod after a fight and asking for a ransom became a part of piracy back in the day. Ransoms could be a significant part of a Pirate's income stream. And it was the case for me as well. For a time.

As I started to become more familiar with the people behind the ships a new concept started to take hold. I began developing my own philosophy regarding podding. Ransoms started to drop off as the amount of ISK in Eve started to grow people became less and less willing to pay a price for their pods. At the same time I started letting people go free after "good fights". If a pilot gave me a good fight their pod was free to go. Conversely, if they blobbed or used ECM or WCS or slighted me or my friends in some way then they deserved to be podded. I was developing my own personal code for when and where I would pod.

Ransoms are dead. I can't even tell you the last time I was able to ransom a pod. Clone costs are next to nothing these days, head candy is cheaper, and Eve is bursting at the seams with ISK. More often than not a victim might ask to be podded back home, instead of taking the long way back. This happens a lot more than you might think. My personal code regarding when and where to pod has finally landed on this - whenever I can.

If I know a pilot I will still let their pod go if they have given a good fight. But these days it is 100% a tactical decision. And a luxury. Without podding my Sec Status starts to creep back up. Podding helps me keep my -10 status and that is something I intend to maintain. There are just too many rats on gates, and free skill points for killing them, these days. Podding is one of the surest ways to lose Sec Status.

And now that I realize I have 849 pod kills I really want 1,000.

I might be nicer after that. Maybe.

What are your thoughts about being podded in Eve?

The Rixx Store

The Rixx Store has been around since 2016 and offers a wide variety of themed merchandise that tries very, very hard not to violate any copyrights or trademarks. Seriously. We really don't want to cause any trouble. What I am trying to do is fill a hole in the merchandise that is available to us. Believe me, I'd prefer a limited licensing agreement and access to IP, but until that happens this is the only option. Or, even better, they could just ask me to design actual t-shirts and merch for the Eve Store and only buy the designs they want. That would be better for everyone.

Right now you can get 30% OFF everything at the Store using promo code FORYOU30 at checkout.

I've added some new stuff this week, so be sure to check it out. People have asked me for stickers they can put on their cars, so I've added a NEW Collection called Tourist Icons which feature various Eve related and science-fiction related stickers.

Like this one of someplace called HED. Who knows?

Check 'em out.

The Eve Reavers Ship

Artist Unknown
Mike Azariah recently picked up on an older post I had made about the Anti-Marshall, or a ship that was hull bonused for negative sec status. I recommend reading his post and checking out the original post in the archives.

I think the concept of ships in Eve that derive their bonuses from other attributes has some merit. If the Marshall can impact Sec Status in a positive way, why not consider other hulls that do similar things? Perhaps we've unlocked a new path into New Eden that needs consideration. While I personally benefit from a negative sec status bonus ship, other players could benefit from additional attributes. How about in Faction Warfare a bonus derived from LP? Or system control? I don't want to completely go over ground that Mike discussed, but I think it is worth thinking about.

I wouldn't want this to get out of control. The thing about being -10 in Eve is just how difficult that decision makes everything else. It isn't an easy play style choice and maintaining it over the long haul is even more challenging. Granting bonuses based on that choice seems appropriate given what has been sacrificed to get there and maintain it. Eve is not built to support, in any way, a player that has committed to the -10 play style. Which is why the few of us who choose to live that way do it. There is nothing else like it in all of New Eden. And I know that statement will cause some people to freak out, but the only thing that even comes close is living inside of Wormholes.

I've also grown weary over the years of adding new things to the game. I'd much rather see more attention paid to established paths that need a lot of improvements. While I'd love to see an Anti-Marshall in Eve, I'd also be willing to give it up for UI improvements, or FW improvements, or some resources added to Low Sec, or some kind of WH improvements, or a hundred other things.

While this magazine is about my own journey in Eve I've always believed that whatever makes New Eden better, for all players, ultimately makes my own game better. I'm not selfish.

A spaceship that belches black smoke and is covered in fresh blood speaks to my Pirate soul however.


Hey, Ventures Are Banned By The Way

Waiting Titan 2
I waited three hours
Typically I prefer waiting a bit before offering up an opinion on some new change, nerf, or buff that rolls down from Mt. Olympus in Reykjavik (or London these days). For one thing some changes are horribly complicated and can have multiple threads attached. Speak too quickly and you run the risk of stepping on stupid. Secondly, it's just fun to let others say all the stupid stuff first. The forum thread on the recently announced Cyno changes coming in September is a great example of that process. And highly entertaining.

I've listened to both the Hilmar and Rise interviews on TiS and I think we should all have a good idea of what this Chaos Era thing is all about. Changes. Disruption. And Isk Faucets. The Cyno changes hit all three of those and disrupt practices that have been abused for a long time, practices that became to predictable (which is bad for bot control), too easy (which is bad for Combat), and too rewarding (which is bad for Isk Faucets). There are plenty of resources that can get you more information, charts, and whatnots about those if you are interested. I don't trade in that kind of spurious detail in these pages.

The Cyno change is a good start. Yes it is a pain in the butt to certain trades, like Jump Freighter chains (and I hope that gets addressed), and Cyno Vigils (I like the idea of a module that interacts with the new Player Memorial that is coming to TQ), and a few other niche uses - but overall it is a tremendously good start. And I use the word "start" on purpose, because I don't think they should stop here. More needs to be done to make this truly work the way they intend.

But I thought Rise nailed it, Cynos need to be pinned to a ship class in order to be brought into line with every other module in the game. The idea that any old ship could light one was always a silly idea that made it difficult to control. So that is fixed. What happens next should be interesting.

Not that anyone else cares - but Ventures will be banned from entering FW Plex in September as well. This is a huge victory for us Low Sec players and follows up on promises that Fozzie and Rise made back when they banned WCS from FW plex. Heck, Fozzie and I discussed this as recently as Toronto. For those of you that don't fly in Low Sec you may be wondering why this is such a big deal? And no it doesn't have anything to do with combat, or kills, or anything like that. It has to do with bots and defensive plex running. Both of which are completely out of control. This does not solve those problems, but it removes an unbalanced option from the hands of those trying to exploit the system as it is currently constructed.

Again, I hope that won't be the last change. If we truly are entering into an era driven by chaos these two changes are not enough. More needs to happen.

And soon.

The Artist's Guide

I've created a new page called The Artist's Guide and you can see the link at the top of this page under the banner. But here is the link.

I created this to help anyone who is interested in Eve Fan Art answer questions about what is and what isn't allowed. While it is not intended as legal advice it is based on over a decade of working with CCP on various issues, projects, and (sometimes) failures of communication. So it is often hard won advice.

Check it out and please share it with anyone you may know that is thinking of creating.

More later.

Keeping Up With CCP

I don't normally link to INN articles, but I think this one is worth a read. I 100% disagree with the conclusions drawn up in this article, in fact I believe Eve Online is better today than it has ever been at any other moment in its history. However, that does not excuse the obvious pitfalls, problems, and concerns that remain an important part of its potential growth or failure. As always, I maintain that if you are not having fun playing a video game - you should stop playing that video game. And please, do so without dragging the rest of us through the mud with you.

Having said that, it would also be irresponsible to ignore the concerns brought up by the article. But perhaps I have a slightly different response than most people reading it. And that response is what I'd like to question openly here in this post today. And here is the nut of it -

After 16 years is it time to consider that the openness and communication between CCP and the players of Eve Online ultimately was a bad thing for the long-term success of Eve?

In a microcosm my own personal experiences with CCP and the employees there has been a mad rollercoaster of on again off again weirdness that I have a very difficult time keeping up with. Pardon me while I go back through some of the highlights. I think it will help frame the ultimate point I'm going to try and make here. For the first half of my Eve career I had very little interaction with anyone from CCP personally. I had never met anyone, nor had much call to deal with them directly. And when it happened it was removed by distance, rareness, and corporate communications. There was a distance to it all. I wrote in this blog. I made memes. I had fun at their expense. And I raised Hell during the Summer of Incarna.

And then everything suddenly changed. Within a very short period of time I was having conference calls with groups of them on the phone, over Skype, and for months we worked on several projects together. It was the best of times. The promise of a new Eve Store and projects that would open up to all players. I created an entire line of posters, t-shirts, concepts, and other products that would help kick this new world off. I was invited to private dinners and tours. I had people's cell phone numbers on my cell phone. This is all true and I'm not trying to brag or anything here. Those of you that lived thru this with me here in these pages know what an exciting time this was. And how much potential there was.

Since those days it has been nothing but a rollercoaster trying to keep up with the changes in personnel, attitudes, and constantly changing "We like you, we don't like you" weirdness. One minute you are making videos for the o7Show and the next minute no one returns your emails. One minute they want to make a project with you, the next minute you are getting CnD letters from legal. Oh man, I could tell you stories. It has gotten so bad over the last few years that I've just given up trying. These days I just ignore CCP and do whatever I want based on the community and the people in it.

And that change has also illuminated something in my mind. What if my problems are more widespread than I thought? What if my issues are community wide? And I'm not just asking open-ended questions here, because I already know the answers to those questions. They are without a doubt - community wide. Because I deal directly with event planners, streamers, tournament organizers, pretty much everyone doing anything in Eve - I've seen and heard these things directly from the sources. To one degree or another, I'm not unique.

This makes sense when you look at it from the long view. People come and go at CCP constantly. There is very little continuity. CCP Falcon doesn't know anything about those months of planning and work that lead up to Fanfest 2015 because he wasn't involved. Everyone who was involved? They are no longer at CCP. Seagull? Gone. Spitfire? Gone. Torfi? At Minecraft. And I could keep going. This makes it difficult when the players, like myself, are the only ones with a constant record of events. This puts an almost impossible responsibility on the shoulders of people like Falcon, or Fozzie, or Rise, who are some of the few employees still around.

Which begs the question - would it have been better without that level of communication?

Have we as a player base become used to yelling and screaming about things and expecting CCP to answer. Are we spoiled by the back and forth relationship that CCP itself created between us? You can't blame the players for this situation, this is entirely a self-created environment that comes directly from CCP. And part of that problem is that so many CCP employees, like Falcon, Rise, and Fozzie for example, are also former Eve players themselves.

If you read that article you can see within it the seeds of discontent about the state of those communications. In many ways the off again on again nature of them is confusing to most players. Living with that for any length of time only adds to the negativity of the player base. Doesn't it?

There is no blame here. I'm not blaming anyone. This is just the way things are. But maybe, just maybe, if we truly want them to get better - maybe the best thing is for CCP and the players to evolve into a more standard corporate relationship. And for CCP to be more professional when it comes to communicating with the players.

It won't happen of course. The investment in events, such as this year's World Invasion Tour, are just too powerful. Go to one of these events and just watch the cult of personality at play in them. That isn't going to change anytime soon.

No, we are stuck with what we have. For better or worse, this is the relationship we've each made for ourselves.

Which is why I've made the decision to just ignore it and play the game.

Things have been much, much better in the last two years because of it. I highly recommend it to all of you reading this. Stop trying to be a game developer and focus on being a game player, life is so much better.

And so is Eve Online.

It is a rather remarkable game.

My Minecraft Project

I started playing Minecraft again at my desk while I ate lunch. Originally it was just a quick Survival game without any plans for more. A way to pass time on something that you can stop quickly without problems. Ten minutes here, twenty minutes there.

I've played Minecraft before. Years and years ago I had a huge world that I was playing in Survival but the save file became corrupted and that world was lost. After awhile I got bored again and decided I needed to do something I had never done before, so I converted the map to Creative and decided to slowly build a city. And so "Lunch" was born.

This video tour represents about eight months of those ten to twenty minute work spreads here and there. Lately I've been working on it at home as well when I have time. Most of this is about planning and working things out in my head before I do them in the map. That kind of brain work can be done anywhere. I also look at a lot of photos and reference before I start building.

This is Minecraft Java running on my MacPro. I don't use Mods or Editors or anything, just whatever comes with the software. The only thing I did a bit different was the cooling tower on the Fusion Reactor, that I looked up a map before I started making it. Otherwise it is just trial and error. I tear down a lot of stuff that doesn't work and try building something else.

I will also mention that I try to stick with my own interpretation of what makes a Minecraft City. You won't see any roads in my map and that's because they don't have wheels, so no cars, so no need for roads. There is a Subway system underground and for everything else they can walk or take a boat. I'm not trying to reproduce a "real world" city or anything in the real world, everything I do is intended for Minecraft citizens. Whoever they might be.

Anyway, I thought it was finally far enough along to share with you.

The White (Black) Whale

So yesterday was a frustrating day in the neighborhood. Despite getting some neuts on an Ashimmu kill before the blob arrived, nothing much else was going on. Everyone out and about was extremely risk averse and ran away no matter what we brought. This happened over and over and over again. This is typically not a good sign. I probably jumped into a half-dozen different ships to try and get something stirred up. But to no avail.

Eventually I was in my trusty little Tristan when I saw the Leshak on in a Large Plex. The pilot was 2019 or 2018, not sure which. Either way he seemed rather young to be flying a Leshak. And with no other prospects in sight, I went ahead and warped into him. Sadly he was a bit far from me when I landed and he warped off to a Gate. So I followed and landed well ahead of him. When he landed I targeted him and waited to see what he would do. He jumped thru. I followed. I targeted him on the other side and got a nice bump. But he burned back to the Gate and jumped thru again. Rinse and Repeat. I don't remember how many times we did this before I saw the Yellow Box.

Mike came over to help me but the Gate Guns got his Comet. (I felt bad and sent him the iskies to replace it.) But I did manage to kill a whole bunch of Hobgoblin IIs, the Leshak was really unable to do much against my Tristan. So I was stuck killing drones and hoping someone would come along to help.

I won't mention any names but I saw a familiar face in local and started a convo to see if they could provide some assistance. What I got instead was, "I don't shoot noobs." Which, to be fair, was said in a rather condescending tone which I frankly didn't appreciate. A noob? In a Leshak? I don't think so. I'll come back to this in a minute. The Leshak got away, he popped some ECM Drones, I killed two of them before they finally managed to break lock and he warped off.

So, just to be clear, that Leshak died a bit later on. Here is the killmail.

That pilot lost 2 Leshaks yesterday. Both fully faction fitted.

That could be an entire post, but I want to return to the previous statement about Noobs. These days a "noob" is not the same thing as it used to be. These days, with elevated starting skills and skill injectors being so common, a young player can - if they so decide - be in almost anything. I've seen "noobs" flying Carriers, or BS, or T3 ships. Heck, we see all kinds of weird things out in space. Some of which you wouldn't believe. So I'm sorry, but that argument doesn't hold water anymore.

Plus, who has time for these sort of judgment calls? I rarely look at a pilot's information before a fight. Most of the time I have zero time for it. Afterwards? Sure. Or like yesterday when I got into a convo with a new player in local and gave him advice about his ship fitting and encouraged him. But normally that stuff happens after a fight.

Everyone who comes into Low Sec is equal in my opinion.

And sometimes, they are flying faction fitted Leshaks. And while I couldn't break his tank with my Tristan, I still tackled him. It was Epic.

Those Two Things

Today's post is a small story that I'd like to share with you. It isn't a great story and I certainly don't come out of it as the Hero, or a genius, or anything. But it happened. And it is a good story. I said on Twitter afterwards that Eve is the kind of game where even after a decade of playing - you can be an idiot in one minute and a genius in the very next minute.

Not a lot was going on last night in the old neighborhood. A quiet evening between EU and US TZs, which is typically when I prefer to play. I enjoy the relative calm in this period, space is in transition and people are logging off and logging in. Some people think its boring, but for me it is full of potential and I often get some truly good fights. Not always volume, but volume is not what my game is about anyway.

I won't bore you with all the details of the evening. I had just finished a truly good fight between a Maulus and my Tristan. Johnnie's Algos was too big to get into the Novice and he was nice enough to point me towards the Maulus. The other pilot did a good job and it was closer than that fight usually is, so kudos to him for a fight well fought. I grabbed the loot and the loose drones and headed back to the station for repairs.

As I landed I spotted the Gila sitting about 40k off the station. No other neuts in local, everyone else was Stay Frosty. I quickly docked up and switched out for one of my boosh ships, "Oh Nelly!" a dual rep Magus. When I undocked the Gila slipped into station. No one else was active and Johnnie was several systems away in his Algos. So I figured I'd sit outside and wait for backup to arrive. Shouldn't take long and the Gila would probably never undock...

Two things. One, I live in an opportunity based environment. I take the opportunities that are given to me. Sometimes they work out fantastic, like a Rifter taking a Vexor. (See earlier post) And sometimes they don't, see any number of losses on my killboard. But that's me and I ain't changing. And two, I specifically order my modules the same way on every single ship for key command purposes. I've done this for a very, very long time so that it has become second nature. The same mods on the same keys - always.

So the Gila undocked and I was totally alone - so of course I booshed him anyway. I have dual faction reps on this thing for a reason after all. Except what I didn't realize until it was too late, was that for some reason my Cap Booster (a critical component of keeping those dual reps running) was not located in the proper slot. My key mashing was doing nothing. The reps ran out of cap, I noticed they had run out of cap, I went to inject some much needed cap - and I exploded.

You'd think I'd be upset about the loss of the ship, but the only thing I thought was, "Damn, he's going to get away!" I quickly warped off to the nearest celestial and warped immediately back, fully expecting him to be gone. Instead he was still out there slowly picking up my drones and loot. (Luckily the loot fairy did not see fit to grant him my faction reppers!) Johnnie had landed at some point but had to warp off due to station guns.

I took a chance and grabbed my own Gila and undocked. He was still about 91k off the station, so I kicked in the MWD and hauled ass out to get him. I saw from my earlier killmail that he was Rapid Light fit and now I had a Limited Engagement with him - so no Station Guns and my Rapid ASS Missiles would shred him easily. Sure enough he turned to intercept. Oh man, it was beautiful. Like something out of a training manual, I swooped right in got my point/web on him and started shredding with ASS Missiles. I didn't even bother putting drones out. In less than a minute he exploded in a glorious fireball.

I will mention here that I let the Maulus pilot's pod go earlier because I try not to pod pilots that give good fights. But my definition of that varies by instance, so in this case - since I lost the Magus earlier - I went ahead and podded the Gila pilot. In my defence, he could have easily have gotten his pod out if he cared.

So that was my adventure last night.

I love this game.

Frigate Fighters

Frigate Fighters
Click to embiggen
I did this back in 2016. It was a quick idea that I had and I wanted to get it down before I forgot it.
Here is the original post.

Next month I will have been playing Eve for 11 years. Like anything else, it both seems forever and as if it was only yesterday. That is the nature of time after all. I don't have much else to say today, I'm busy working on a paying commission. And yes, I will share the final piece when it is finished. And no, it has nothing to do with Eve.

Until next time.

Why Low Sec is Eve's Conflict Engine

I love all of Eve Online but I happen to be an advocate for one specific part of the game - Low Security space. It is where I fell in love with Eve and where I've decided to hang my hat for the last eight years. I run the largest and most successful group of Space Pirates in Low Security space (Stay Frosty) and while other groups come and go, we've been doing this for over six years now. This is all known, but what might not be appreciated is just how important Low Sec is to Eve Online and why it is currently suffering so much negligence.

Low Security space exists between the relative safety of High Security and the relative safety of Null Sec. It is the conflict engine for Eve. And while Null Sec gets all the glory in the press and in the minds of most players, the real truth is that Low Sec drives most of the actual conflict in New Eden. Often this can be painfully obvious, as in the case of the World War Bee/Casino War a few years back. (And in case you forget, that war was started because a certain Null Sec Alliance thought they could dictate to Low Sec. We didn't appreciate that sort of thing.) But more often than not it is more subtle than that. Which causes it to be ignored, or under-appreciated.

Let me start simply and build from a basic understanding. Every single day I see players taking their first steps into danger by flying into Low. A decade ago, my first experience with conflict in Eve came from jumping into Mara on the edge of Piekura and getting blapped by Pirates on the Gate. I wanted to know how and why I had been killed so easily. That incident, and others like it, are being replayed hundreds and hundreds of times throughout Low every single day. I see it personally all the time. In Stay Frosty we will often try to talk to those we explode after a fight, to give advice, offer help, and generally try to infuse some measure of confidence to the player. Often we hear that this experience was the first time they tried something like that. Just a few weeks ago I tackled a Myrmidon entering Low and exploded him. The pilot had lived in High Sec for six years and this was the first time he had entered Low Sec looking for a fight. He wanted to try it out.

Sure, some new players will make the jump to Null Sec immediately. It happens. I was six weeks into my Eve career when I made my way down to Providence. But the vast majority of Eve players, especially younger players, will stay in High Sec for longer than that. More often than not, jumping into Low is their first "dangerous" activity. The first taste of conflict beyond hiding in station during a HS War. (And probably not logging in that week.)

In the old days the new Alliance engine was NPC Null, places like Syndicate. Newly formed Alliances would live in those regions during expansion and growth because they were easier to maintain than other Null regions. This hasn't been the case for a very long time. Syndicate is empty. The Super Cap proliferation has made such places nearly impossible for baby Alliances. That engine has moved into Low Sec. And while the Super Cap problem has impacted Low as well, the avoidance of that issues is much easier now with yet another proliferation - the Citadels. Low Sec is now the engine for future Alliance growth across New Eden.

Low Sec is also the training ground for PvP in Eve. And not just for young players, but for veterans as well. The vast majority of Eve's best PvP players have at least a background of time spent in Low Sec and many of those players will return to Low time and time again to keep their skills sharp. If they aren't using their mains, they are certainly coming on Alts. This has always been this way. And it will continue. LowSec is the engine of individual PvP players in Eve. Often it is where a player gets his or her first taste of being an FC as well.

And then we come to Faction Warfare. A sad and long-ignored engine that languishes in the dust of former glory. Which is sad because, if all of the above is true, then FW should be the glue that binds all of this together. FW is Null Sec Lite. A training ground for control, organization, fleet composition, engagement, and all of the other forces and experience a player might need later on if they choose to go into Null space. Or they choose to stay. It should be a vibrant and engaging option for players of all kinds. But sadly it needs serious help these days. It is not fulfilling this role currently. (Shout out to all my FW friends who are sincerely trying to get CCP to pay attention to them! Keep the courage.)

Say what you want about the big fleet battles and ego-driven posturing of Null Sec - but the truth is that Low Security space is where players fight players every single day. It is the danger zone. The place you go to prove yourself. To learn. To gain experience. To dip your toe into combat. Low Sec is the conflict engine of New Eden.

And that is why Low Sec is important.

Plus we have Pirates.

A Good Day

I had more time than usual to play Eve yesterday, so I figured I might as well take advantage of the opportunity. We've been having a friendly competition in Stay Frosty during July to see who could kill the most Jackdaws. Most of whom are bots. If you don't know already, Jackdaws are everywhere in Low Sec these days. It has become the go-to ship for running the non-FW plexes lately. It isn't unusual to see 2-6 Jackdaws on scan in any given system. They can be challenging to kill. Typically they are sitting 100-120k off the button and if there are still rats inside they will damp, web, and shoot you while you try to race towards the Jackdaw. Which is also loaded with ranged light missiles.

We did manage to kill 48 of them in July. Half using Garmurs and nine using a Taranis. So when I logged in I figured I would grab a Taranis and go Jackdaw hunting. Within the first 30 minutes I had three chances. I missed all three. Again, a combination of distance (In one instance I smacked right into an asteroid!) damps, and webs, made it challenging to catch them. Plus they tend to run away.

I jumped into another system and watched as a lone Vexor landed on the Gate with me. I burned back and jumped thru the Gate with it. Cloaked I watched as it warped off to a Medium Plex and I immediately went after it. I yelled at Ciba to come help, and he and our newest recruit Rhys raced to assist. Of course I landed before theVexor, set up to catch him, and sure enough I was calling "point". Our first catch of the day.  We dispersed and started chasing these AFs in local, soon enough Ciba called for help on an Ishkur he caught and we had our second kill already.

That was enough fun for awhile, so I took a break to get some work done. When I came back I undocked in the Ranis again - but noticed a Gnosis on scan. I quickly docked back up and grabbed my Stratios. He was in a belt ratting and I landed right on top of him. Lufax joined in with his Garmur and we made short work of his ship.

I decided to try the Jackdaw hunting again and grabbed my Taranis. A few jumps later I found a Caracal sitting in a Medium Plex all alone. I watched local for a bit to make sure he didn't have help. Eventually I decided to just go grab tackle and see what would happen. I fully expected this to be a trap bait, so Watson and Lufax were ready in Cruisers to help out. There had been a lot of local activity, two Vexors were around, so anything could happen. I fully expected the Caracal to be way off the button armed to the teeth with Rapid Lights ready to chew into me. Which he was, but sadly for him he was sitting right on the button and I got tackle instantly. I believe I could have solo'd him with my hardy little Super Atron, but share and share alike. So the Caracal died and no one came to help him. Sad face.

During the Caracal fight someone was asking in local to be podded over by the Sun. So after the fight I warped over and gave him a ride home on the PodExpress.

Time for another break.

By the time I got back I didn't have a lot of time. Had to take the kids out to an appointment, so I grabbed a Rifter and started hanging out in Novice plex. I even did the thing were I name the ship after the newbiest person in local. Just to be sneaky. About 11 different ships passed thru local in the first fifteen minutes and not one came to say Hello. I was getting frustrated, which is usually a sign that my risk taking tolerance (already legendary) is going to jump off the chart.

Which it did. I saw the Cormorant on d-scan and watched to see where it was headed. Sure enough, it landed on the only small plex in system. And so did I. I was super worried about attacking a Cormmie in my Rifter, but luckily I landed exactly where I wanted. Not exactly safe, but at the far edge of his potential blaster range. I took some damage, but he was the one that exploded.

And immediately I saw a Vexor on scan. I quickly d-scanned him at a belt and warped over to tackle him. My corp-mate Thane jumped into a Comet to assist but by the time he was ready I called him off. It was obvious by then that this Vexor was not going to be a problem. Thane landed to help with the loot and we waited for the victim to warp his pod out. I even said in local, "Dude, warp your pod out!" Nothing. So in true Pirate, Low Sec is dangerous, fashion - we podded him.

And that was the end of a rather good day in Eve.

Ganking Fixed?

A "gank" in Eve Online is generally accepted to be anytime someone in High Security space gets their ass handed to them and losses a ship unexpectedly. A transport or other ship cruising along, or mining, or doing some other type of CareBear stuff - suddenly gets attacked. Or bumped. Or otherwise "ganked". It is a weird mechanic that lots of players have turned into an art over the last 16 years.

I don't generally participate in it myself. I'm a Low Sec Pirate, but over the years I have derped a few ships into HS for a belt kill here and there. Back in my early days I engaged in lots of HS activities with my positive sec status. But generally speaking I am neither pro or con when it comes to whatever happens in HS space. I rarely go there. I'm not exactly welcome.

I have however, on my alt accounts, been on the losing end of a few ganks. I was once killed on gate by a smart-bombing Battleship. And I lost a fully loaded Freighter once on gate. Considering just how much hauling and moving I've done over the years the number of incidents is extremely low. Live and learn is my usual response.

But Hilmar recently asked for opinions on how to deal with HS ganking in general. So that has caused some opinions to be raised across the community. As you can imagine those opinions range from HS should be totally safe all the way across to don't change nothing! Everywhere in New Eden should be dangerous and evil. Which is typically where my sentiments usually weigh. In recent years changes to the War Dec mechanic have made that system a bit more logical, so can something like that be done to help those that move stuff in and thru HS?

I have one idea that would fundamentally change the way HS works and alleviate some of the issues. It is a simple, clean, and easily implemented solution that makes some sense. High Security space is owned and operated by the four Empires with the assistance of those bastards in CONCORD. It is, in all senses, the most civilized areas in New Eden. If that is so, then why do the NPC Stations and Gates not work properly? My idea is to fix that.

Every Empire controlled NPC Station and Gate in New Eden HS systems enforce a 150k non-aggression space around them. Unless there are War Targets involved, you can't lock or engage any targets within that space. Out in a belt? Sure. In orbit around a celestial? Of course. Just not around Stations or Gates. This "space" can be tied to system sec status, so perhaps it scales depending on the amount of sec status in each system. So .6 HS is only a 10k range? All the way up to 1 systems being 150k. This ensures that zero to zero transportation is relatively "safe" from ganking, unless under a War Dec.

Everything else stays the same. And Concord continues to punish people like me that are low sec status from entering HS systems.

Personally I don't like it. However, if HS ganking is truly the cause of so many young players leaving the game - then something needs to be done. I'm not 100% convinced that ganking is the leading cause of new players leaving Eve Online. I remain convinced it is just the easiest thing to complain about. And has always been the easiest target.

I firmly believe that the log-in, creation, tutorial, first three day experience of a new player in Eve Online sucks horribly. I just went thru this with three young boys who are dedicated gamers, and it was painful to watch. Only one of them continues to have an Eve account, and that one only plays sporadically.

But the Stations and Gates in HS could easily work better. It makes sense.

I just don't believe it'll fix anything.