Friday, July 29, 2011

Voices from the Void: Episode 14

This week we're trying something a little different.  Due to the overwhelming amount of people wanting the return of ENN, we are going to package Section 2: The News as a separate You Tube release to be posted on  The normal podcast in it's full one hour glory will still be available at the website.

Here is the link to the full Episode 14 podcast.

Here is the video for "The News with Arydanika and Hallan Turrek.

Here is the full 2 hours of EVE Online discussion deliciousness with CSM delegate White Tree.  You can also catch White Tree at his gaming blog White Thorn and his column One Jump From Home.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Quasi-Fiction: To Dine with Death and Take Pleasure in Its Company

This blog features a writing style I’ve decided to experiment with that I’m calling “Quasi-Fiction” or “Dramatic-Recount.”  It features real events, but it presents them in a role-playish and very dramatic style.  If it seems over the top or fanciful, it’s supposed to.  Leave me comment if you like or don’t like it.  Constructive comments are always appreciated. 


Oh New Eden.  What have I done?

I’ll admit that I’ve done my share of deeds that could be considered criminal, but I’ve never done anything like this before.  What I did the other night was unthinkable to me at one point in my career.  Of course I had considered it once, maybe twice, but it was nothing more than a flicker of a thought pushed to the back of my mind.  I thought it was a trifle of a daydream, but I was wrong.  It was more than that.  It was seed of temptation.

I have now succumbed to that temptation, that little flicker of a thought.  In the blink of an eye I found myself sliding deeper into the rabbit hole.  The fruits of wanton destruction were bore unto me and I could resist them no longer.  I bit into its succulent flesh and found rapture.  Its exotic fragrance flooded my senses intoxicating me.  The taste of the divine upon my lips is something that I will never forget.  Then again, you never do forget your first.

The experience was a whirlwind when I think back.  We were alerted to a proper quarry and in a rush of action preparations started.  The blood in my veins quickened as adrenaline spread through my body like a fever.  Settling into minimally fitted destroyer class Minmatar ship seemed almost like a virginal experience.  Reverence came over me as I considered its sacrifice for my tawdry pleasures.  The time for such thoughts would be short as the fleet commander called for us to undock.

There we were.  Basking in rich, bold light of the Gallante sun that fed life to our system.  Oh, how it’s light flicker against our hulls.  It was a truly magnificent spectacle that would soon draw anguish in deed.  We were ready to be wielded like the steady and true hand of death itself, for that is what we had become.  Final checks were given and with the precision of a true professional our fleet commander took us and led us down a path where angels feared to tread.

Local would empty quickly.  Those left behind… no.  Those that were given a moment of freedom from our tyranny, loosed a bated breath.  It would be a short lived time of reprieve for them.  An opportunity to escape what had once held them down with impunity.  Still in the backs of their minds, as they skittered from our solar system they would know.  They would know somewhere out in some not to distant sector of space… someone was suffering a fate much worse than theirs.

We slipped into high security space moving as one under skilled direction.  I use the term ‘slip’ loosely due to the fact that Concord’s watchful eye is ever present in the higher security systems.  Announcements of our criminal status and threats against us flashed across our screens so quickly the names barely registered.  We were all criminals as far as the intergalactic law was concerned.  As poor as our reputation was… is… we cared naught.  There were more important and insidious things that kept our focus.

It happened so quickly, but those memories play like slow motion in my mind.  The scene could almost be described as serene.  The floating asteroids twirled as if they were in some majestic ballet.  The sun’s tendrils of light slithered through the darkness to cast it away.  Even the sight of that one lone hulk with its lasers drawing in the universe’s riches was peaceful.  While they are all very… placid, what happened next was truly beautiful. 

Really there’s no other way to describe it.  I’m sure there are others out there who would adamantly disagree with me, but this is my story.  When you combine the intensity of such sensory delights; the flecks destroyed hull that burst into space like burning diamonds, the unmistakable sound of artillery* fire, the tightness in your chest due to your heart stopping for briefest of seconds until your held breath explodes from your lips much like the vessel before you.  The ecstasy that you feel can not be denied.  No matter if it’s from endorphins wrapping you in their chemical bliss or the gratification if your inner predator being fed; you will have your satisfaction. 

In this exquisite dance of brutality and delight there is only one problem.  Once you have supped from the tree of life and taken in its fruits; your eyes are forever opened.  There is no turning back.  There is no straight and narrow.  There is no from whence you came.  No.  There is only you, your ship and the pursuit…

Oh New Eden.  What have I done?

 The Kill Mail

* This was originally auto cannons. I prefer the sound of auto cannon fire and I think it's more recognizable than artillery fire.  However, after having to listen to my corp mates bitch and moan on TS and through eve mail that our fit has artys, I've decided to change it.  Yes.  I changed my blog post to get my WSHOT to STFU.  Fuck you guys.  I like auto cannons.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I Ain't Givin' You No Tree-Fitty: STFU

No seriously. STFU.
Keeping your mouth shut and your fingers still can be your best weapon again those engaging you in unwilling PvP or uPVP as I’ll call it. Cussing pilots out in local and posting scathing threads about evil-doers in the forums does not help your cause. In fact, it usually only makes your problems worse. How do I know? Some of my closest friends are the people you love to hate.

Allow me to introduce to you Wrecking Shots [WSHOT]. They are greifing, shit talking, mood killing, monocle demanding assholes, liers, scammers and nere-do-wells lead by a delightful CEO by the name of ‘I’m Hostile.’ They also happen one of my former corps and remain good friends of mine. Recently one of the pilots in the corp, esquimo leviticus, sent me this tweet keeping me up to date with the corps happenings:

#tweetfleet WSHOT love [Short Link] @Arydanika Your missing out on the monocles x

Now that you’ve read that; back to my main point… STFU.
Do note that I’m not trying to be mean or troll you, but I do want to be harsh if only to engrain this method of survival into your heads; STFU.

Often times when pilots lose a ship by means which they think are “unfair”, “uncouth”, non-epic pvpzors or whatever; they feel the need to tell the world about the offending party. The victims of these events will resort to posting in local or (like in this case) on the forums. What these victims parties usually is realize is that more often then not; the offending party doesn’t care. What worse is that your act of out-rage can possibly make your situation worse.

How do I know? Well, after weeks of mandatory overtime, some real life bad news and spending the last few days running around like a chicken with my head cut off; I decided that I would log in to EVE and have some fun. I cloned down to Gallante space, fitted up a pirating hurricane and joined these evil horrible people in Oulley to obliterate my sec status. I needed this. I really did and I had a freaking blast.

Blast #1
Blast #2

But Dani! How could you do such terrible things?
That mind frame right there is part of the problem. If it was a “terrible thing” it would be against EULA and those doing it would be hit with the ban hammer so hard they’d go cross-eyed. Yes it’s horribly rude and inconsiderate, it inconveniences pilots, it costs the offended party ISKies, but it’s also perfectly legitimate game play. Once “victims” recognize that then they can start to develop ways to combat this type of uPvP which brings us back to our main point. STFU.

WSHOT is enjoying their time in Oulley and I had a great time with them. We spent our time in TS3 laughing at the above mentioned forum post that others thought would serve to mock, troll and de-moralize them. I read Lord Ashur’s blog post that highlighted the threaded and added a few additional lulz and then decided to write one of my own about it. Then of course there was holding pods for monocle ransoms while spamming local with pedo-monocle bear and bouncing between gate perches trying to catch any poor bastard that picked those the wrong time jump though. They also taught me the finer points of surprise buttsecks and prepped me for the possibility of hulk gank should a fitting target be found.

Hopefully that description illustrates the point I’m making here. The cries in local, the flaming forum posts, the angry tweets and the mails of outrage that are frequently made by PvP offended parties have only made their zeal for this activity stronger. The behavior of the pilots being targeted only served make their blip on WSHOTS radar that much brighter and caused the targets on the sides of the ships to grow larger and sweeter. The wailing, moaning, protesting, calls for revenge, offers of white-knightery and gnashing of teeth only caused WSHOTs resolution to stay in Oulley and “kill everything that moves” to grow stronger.

Of course there is an exception to every rule. Everyone once in a while a pilot may feel a flush of embarrassment as they are public called out for “low brow tactics”, but most PvPers have no shame. Then there are cases of those that use their communication skills in this situation for a higher purpose. One of those exceptions happens to be a plucky little hulk pilot named Theos Cragen.

After getting ganked by a surprise horde of thrashers, he opened up a convo with one of the pilots. That pilot then invited the entire fleet, including me, into the convo to troll the guy. In the convo he explained that he was a new player to the game and that he spent all his ISK on that Hulk. He also said that he understand that it was part of the game and that he wanted to eventually join up with WSHOT once he had enough SP and ISK because he was interested in PvP. The guy still ended up get trolled and scammed out of 25 Mil*, but I provided him with an invite to the Project Halibut channel where he could get some help with a new Hulk. Plus, he did make a positive impression on the corp which may help him out down the line.

So I implore you pilots of New Eden. Please. For the love of your own sanity. STFU.

*Yes, he got scammed too. One of the WSHOT’s pilots told him that he could by back his corpse and if he salvaged it, he might get his implants back… poor fool. I’ll also mention that one of the WSHOT’s guys felt bad since he really had no ISK and sent the guy 5 Mil, which he ended up giving to the other WSHOT guy that scammed him. At least they tried right?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Vand V Podcast: Episode 13

This week hosts Arydanika and Hallen Turrek discuss the lasted in in-game and community news including; the disbanding of Mostly Harmless [-42-], CCP Soundwave interviewed by, the second CSM 6 Fireside chat and the CCP-CSM 6 May 2011 Summit notes.  They also cover Sleepless in Space for the Blog Spotlight, Literia joins Arydanika for another Women Gamers of EVE Interview and A big congratulations to Kusachiho and Carole for winning this weeks gFU Award.

Also check out the extended interview with Literia found here!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

EVE Online is a Man’s World… Or is It?

Back in May, I decided to start a project called the Women Gamer’s of EVE Interview Series.  My inspiration for the project came from a mix of things.  Most of it stems from the stories of epic female pilots I heard prior to subbing with EVE Online.  I heard tales of Mynee and the Hellcats, Laedy and her pirating escapades and a few other tales about these elusive Vixens of Violence and the others like them.  Then there was the over all perception woman gamers.  And by perception I really mean; “omgwtf there’s no chicks on the interwebs” or “tits or gtfo” or “h@x ur using a vox mod”.  I know.  The internet is a terribly class place.

EVE Online is a man’s world.  That statement is generally accepted as fact for a variety of reasons.  When looking at the actual build of the game including the sultry voice of your ship navigator and the penes laden imagery; you can see it.  It shows in the attitudes of some of the players which usually polarize into “White Knights” or “Women Haters.”  It even shows in the hard numbers where only 4% of subs are made by women.  While “EVE Online is a man’s world” is accepted as fact; is it really true?

The latest peak of the WGoE In-Game channel is only about 30, but there has to be more of us out there.  In fact I know there are more of us just from the math with the sub numbers, but I think there are even more than that little measly 4%.  Every time I turn around I’m either being told about, being introduced to or finding another woman gamer on my own.  What’s most impressive is that the vast majority of them are all making some kind of notable contribution to the game.  Some are in the null sec scene, some are CEO’s and Directors, some are recruiters and FC’s and some are players in the community.  Women Gamers do a lot to contribute to the success of EVE Online, their alliances and their corporations and I don’t think I’m the only one that’s noticed.

It seems that CCP Games has their eye on this little minority.  As of late it appears the company is urging its dynamic force of woman to come out in to the open as well and TweetFleet is a prime example.  I currently follow: KatrĂ­n (Team BFF), CCP Fallout (Community), Anne (Asst. Producer), CCP Affinity (QA) & Kelley (Recruitment) and chances are I’m leaving a couple out.  Sorry Ladies!  Then of course there’s the curious case of CCP Sunset.

CCP Sunset seems to be EVE TV’s replacement for StevieSG.  Hallan and I actually had the opportunity to interview her along with CCP Soundwave around the time of AT9.  From my interacting with her, interviewing her and watching her live on the AT9 stream as well as on the you tube videos; I think it’s a fair assessment to say that she’s a nice person, but certainly doesn’t have her “space legs” yet.  She comes off as quiet and unassuming and seems to prefer not to take the lead or be the center of attention.  I attribute this to the fact that she had only been working at CCP Games for a month or two (if that) when they asked her take this on.  Hopefully the next time we see her it won’t seem like there’s someone off camera pointing a loaded gun at her. 

Another indicator that CCP Games is looking towards women is (supposedly) Incara.  Now, I’m about 50/50 on that theory.  I can see why, but I have my arguments about why not.  It’s clear that Incarna is meant to attract from a new source of players.  Whether or not it will bring in a large portion of female players and keep them in game is yet to be seen.  Let me break my thoughts on it down for you.

Is Incarna for women?  The Yay-Sayers think it is because of one simple concept; Space Barbie.  I can see why they would get that impression.  Most of the women gamers I know from my real life like having an avatar.  Most of the women games I know have also had the specific gripe of “I don’t want to be stuck in a ship the whole time.”  There’s also the thought that in-game social mechanics will entice more female players.  Yea, I guess I can see that, but there are some significant holes in those theories. 

The first hole is; the cute outfit thing gets old.  I’ve played World of Warcraft [WoW] and I’ve played City of Heros/City of Villians [Cov/CoH].  There’s only so much time that I can look at hot pants clad pixel ass with go-go boots before I become disinterested.  In CoH/CoV, you get 5 costume slots that you can change up any time you want for a small in-game fee.  There’s thousands of selections and even special “costume packs” available for purchase with open more options along with each having a special transport method and clothing transition.  However, none of that mattered when I hit end game after 2 or 3 months and got bored with the same rehashed missions and the “create your own” mission lab.  So… does looking cool really matter against the actual content of the game?

Then there’s the in-game social mechanics.  First off, the real social game can be found on voice comms, the various forums and twitter.  I doubt that will change with casinos, brothels and hooka dens though I am still looking forward to these things.  Also, in its current state EVE Voice is pretty terrible and if it remains terrible most establishment owners will most likly get their own vent, ts or mumble server.  Along with that there is the “Pools Closed” factor.  (If you don’t know what that means look -> Here)  How many sexy ladies are going to want to hang out in player establishments only to be trolled in one way or another for hours on end?  And don’t say that won’t happen, we’re talking about EVE Online or Trollandia as it’s known in some cultures. 

Finally, avatar versus content.  I’ll admit it.  I was a little put off with looking at a ship the entire time and staring off in to space when I first came to EVE Online, but once I got into the game my attitude changed.  As I talk with other women gamers that play EVE Online, I’ve come to find that their opinion tends mirrors my own in one way or another.  This game is all about the spaceships.  EVE Online is about pvp, industry, carebearing, trolling, scamming, smack talking, good fights, gud poasting and probably a couple of more things that I missed.  The only group that I really benefiting from Incarna’s walking in stations are the role-players and that’s a good thing in its own right. 

So, Is EVE Online really a man’s world?  If it is, will it continue to be?  Will Incarna bring hot babes running to your Captian’s Quarter’s doors?  Will they be actual hot babes and not Comic Book Store Guy?  I don’t have the answers.  I’m not sure anyone does.  The questions are pretty fun to start arguments over though. 

Ciao for now♥

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I ain't givin' you no tree-fitty: The Little Noctis That Could

I’ve decided to start the series off with a story as opposed to jumping right into the lecturing.  Personal victories are a very important thing in EVE Online.  Some victories are large like being able to fly a titan or landing a industrial kill that drops 9600 unit of Tech.  Other victories are smaller like finally completing that level five skill training or farming enough isk to get that monocle you’ve had your eye on.  Big or small personal victories are important because they have the opportunity foster moral for the pilot, breed excitement in others and they also give bloggers like me something to write about.

Last week a group of Split Infinity. pilots experienced a personal victory.  Their victory came by overcoming a problem that many null sec alliances deal with on a frequent basis.  AFK Cloakers.  When it comes to reader reactions to the phrase ‘AFK Cloaker’ I believe the break down is this:

The translation being; the recipients get greatly annoyed while the participants are greatly amused.  I’ve been on both sides of the coin, so make of that what you will.  Now there are those in the 20% category and for you there is a brief explanation of what an AFK Cloaker is at the end of the post.

Tu Ko of Legio Geminatus, Gentleman’s Agreement happens to be the in-system ‘guest’ for this particular story.  Their ship of choice was a Purifier complete with damps, a warp disrupter and torps with a little Manticore on the side.  Ouch.  Tu Ko did experience some early success and was able to take a Noctis and a Hulk during their stay.  The tide would turn however.

A day after the two kills, S1. pilots realized that attitude and behavior towards the unwanted guest had to change if they wanted to go back to their normal in-pocket ventures.  The pilots got together and formed a strategy to remove our previously mentioned ‘guest.’ They already had an expected behavior pattern for the AFK Cloaker as his targets were poorly defended, lone industrial ships and so they set their minds to the task of luring him out and given him a one way ticket home via the pod express. 

One tanked out Noctis later they had their trap set.  How exactly do you tank out a Noctis?  I really can’t tell you that since we might have to use the tactic against you some day.  Not all intel is available intel after all.  Once the Noctis was positioned in a Haven they played the waiting game while the support fleet of 2 strategic cruisers, a stealth bomber and a command ship laid in wait. 

After a while opportunity came and the plan was sprung into action.  As expected the purifier warped in with damps, the disruptor and torps at full blast.  The support fleet would reveal itself soon after and the same treatment was extended to Tu Ko.  Within moments the Purifier was down, but the pod unfortunately escaped.  The Noctis did survive. 

Now I expect that this story will some become one of those EVE Online Urban Legends one day at least in a local sense.  I caught wind of it the day of and heard the Noctis pilot weave a tale including guns in the highs and having complete faith in his fleet counter parts.  Now.. I don’t see the Notics on the kill mail, but the Purifier did have damps so that could have something to do with it.  A little bird also told me that the Notics pilot was on the verge of crapping his pants from the moment the Purifier started shooting until it exploded.  That’s all hearsay though.

One thing is certain.  The Little Noctis That Could brought a huge moral boost to S1. troops.  The story will be repeated over and over to any ear willing to listen.  The spark of PvP will jump from pilot to pilot causing a rise in fleet participation.  Within the pocket; the S1. way of life will continue business as usual with spirits high.  That is.. until the next AFK Cloaker comes. 

An AFK cloaker is just what it sounds like.  A person will enter into highly populated enemy system using a ship with covert op capability (stealth bomber, strategic cruiser, etc) and remained in space cloaked up.  The AFK Cloaker will stay logged almost continuously though a period of days.  During this period two things will happen: the moral of the system inhabitants will drop due to actives such as logistics, industry and ratting coming to a halt and eventually when there are no kills during the initial waiting period the system inhabitants will become complacent in their situation.  This is the point where the AFK Cloaker will strike and begin attacking targets of opportunity.  More details about all of that will follow in a later blog post.  

Kill Mail Links:

I ain't givin' you no tree-fitty: Introduction

Season 3 Episode 3 of the South Park series titled “The Succubus” contains a story told by Chef’s parents about the Loch Ness Monster.  In the story, the Loch Ness Monster appears to Chef’s parents while they are on a boat and requests three dollars and fifty cents.  Chef’s father tells the Monster to “get his own god damned money” while Chef’s mother gives him a dollar.  Chef’s father goes on to comment, “Well, of course he's not gonna go away, Mary! You give him a dollar, he's gonna assume you've got more!”

Now I know what you’re thinking.  What the hell does this have to do with EVE Online or spaceships?  Allow me to make the connection.  All too often pilots in EVE give the Loch Ness Monster a dollar.  Exchange the phrase ‘the Loch Ness Monster’ with ‘griefers’ and ‘a dollar’ with ‘free kills’ and you’ll start to see where I’m going with this. 

This phenomenon in EVE Online goes by many different names and effects a wide variety of players and activities.  I’ve heard it referred to as “feeding the fat kids candy”, “being a nub” and even some phrases that get a little vulgar.  It can effect the flow of logistics, industry, missioning and in some rare and specific cases pvp as well.  Still the under laying concept is the same no matter what label you stick on it or the situation that occurs.  Easy kills will draw in the enemy and give them a reason to stick around.

So now we get to the crux of the matter.  What can be done to prevent easy kills?  Are there specific examples of situations and behaviors that allow for easy kills to happen more frequently?  What are some of theories and techniques other pilots use to avoid giving easy kills?  Once the shame spiral of easy kills start; how and when does it stop?   So when do I get to all that good stuff? 

The short answer is: later.  The responses to the above questions will come in a series I’m calling “I ain't givin' you no tree-fitty.”  I’m considering the series to be a “life style guide” because the discussion and theory crafting will be based on changing attitudes, habits and perceptions in order to increase the life expectancy of your current vessel and your clone. 

I’m looking forward to writing the series and I’m also looking forward to feedback as the series progresses.  I already have ideas on content and plan to have a couple of pieces written and published shortly. 

Ciao for now♥

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Impromptu Hiatus

Over the past month I’ve experienced an impromptu hiatus with my blog.  My original intent with “And Knowing…” was to write at least once a week about something EVE Online related.  The universe apparently had other plans.  It decided that I just didn’t have enough distractions in my life and happily send a barrage of them my way. 

First there’s the podcast. 
It’s going better than I could have ever imagined.  We now have approximately 2000 listeners per week and we have hit Episode 12 of the podcast proper with tons of extra content in the mix including parody songs, extended interviews and even some listener content.  Overall the feedback has been positive from the community as well as CCP.  We are an office fan site listed on EVE Online as if a few days ago.  We’re also hosted on EVENews24 which has been great exposure for us.  Plus we are in talks with EVE Radio about syndicating our episodes on a weekly basis as well as partnering up with content creation.

Then came the meet-up. 
The best way to describe the meet up would be; it’s little idea that could with a speed ball.  What started out as an idea about little get together in Waco is quickly turning into a full blown EVE Online Event.  I can’t give away many details yet, but the fact that the meet up is being held the day before GDC Online and in the same city… well I get trolled by CCP Dashi a lot more frequently these days.  I can say however that two pieces of custom swag are in the production phase with a 3rd to be entering production in a couple of weeks.  For more information about the ATX Listen to the Voices 2011 Meet Up, check -> Here.

Corp Life.
Even my corp life turned on it’s ear recently.  Just a few short weeks ago; I was part of Wrecking Shots [WSHOT] and they were a member of Wildly Inappropriate. [WI.] which was a NC/CF null sec alliance.  WI. has now officially disbanded with some members heading in to the WI. holding corp to join Goonswarm Federation [GSF] while others sought greener pastures elsewhere.  WSHOT decided to turn their attention to low sec for some pvp which is evident by their delicious looking killboard.  I on the other hand have gone South with my co-host Hallan Turrek who has started a new corporation called The Outlaws [BANDT] part of Split Infinity. [S1.]  All I can say is… growing pains.

The Social Game.
Confession Time:  95% of my social networking is EVE Online related.  I don’t know how, but it has sucked me in and refuses to let me go.  I’ve never been too much texting, facebook and those kinds of social sites.  In EVE… these things are almost life-lines.  Now I find myself keeping updated and connected with Twitter, Google+, facebook and the EVE-O forums.  I’ve toyed around with Reddit/r/EVE a little to promote the podcast and I’ve considered signing up on Failheap Challenge and Kugu, but… I don’t think I’m ready for the big leagues just yet. 

Real Life.
Oh yea.. and then there’s that thing called real life too.  I’ve had two close friends leave the city, my 9-5 for the moment is a 7-7 and I still need my “Me Time” for pedicures, actual game play and of course checking the internet for the latest in glitter farting unicorns.  As real as EVE may be; I still think it’s important to get my head out of the spaceship clouds and exist in the real world from time to time.  Still EVE has managed to come up there too. 

Friday July 8th I attended my first EVE Online Meet-Up and it was great.  Only five of us showed, but it was still a lot of fun to come together and wax poetic about the interwebs and all the awful things we do there.  One of them, BizZy, was actually from my old alliance SpaceMonkey’s Alliance [SMA] and had “heard of me.”  It always amazes me what a small world it is. 

So yea.  I’ve been a little busy.  Still, I’d like to maintain my comment to write and blog.  Don’t expect to find anything Jane Austen-esque though.  If you do, you’ll just be sorely disappointed.  What I can promise is more personal insights, some bad jokes, a few stories and… ponies.

 By the way... Thanks again Little Dial!  I love it! I love it! I love it! ♥