Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Holiday Special

This holiday I'm hosting a special over on Eve Radio.  There will be three different shows each with it's own theme.  I hope you'll join me in have a little holiday fun Eve Online style.  As an extra special treat, the two Sunday shows will be four hours instead of the normal two.  Yippie!

Me Lore You Long Time!

Are you an Empyrean Age expert or an Arek’Jaalan archivist? If you consider yourself to be an aficionado of Eve Online lore; then this post is for you!

I have this idea for a game on my Eve Radio show (Sundays 1800), but I need you! If you are free December 23rd, would enjoy appearing on live radio and want to show the Eve Online community you are the Maestro of Mythos while having a good time and spreading some holiday fun; then continue reading!

The Game Show:
The show will consist of a host, me, and three Celebrity Panel members. The panel members will be asked Eve Online Lore related questions by the host and prizes will be won based on correct answers, but just like Eve Online there’s more to it.

ISK will be won based on if the
panel member is able to answer the question correctly. Unfortunately, the panel member doesn’t get to keep the ISK. Instead, prior to the game show, the panel member will pick and Eve Online organization they will be playing for and at their end of the game, their ISK will be donated to that organization.

Audience Participation:
The listening audience participate in two ways.

Audience members can act as a “player.” Players will “apply” with the host. Once they are selected the lore question will be asked. Once they have heard the lore question, they will be allowed to pick one of the three contestants to answer. If the contestant answers correctly, the contestant's organization will receive ISK and the player will receive an in-game prize.

Audience members can act as “benefactors.” Benefactors can donate ISK and prizes to the game to be given away. Benefactors are able to submit their own lore questions and will be memorialized most likely on the Voices website.

Where do I sign up?!

If you are interested in participating please contact me via twitter DM (@Arydanika) or email (arydanika[at]gmail[dot]com) for more information.

If you are interested in donating, please contract/send ISK in-game to DJ Arydanika.  That is my DJing alt.  Also, please ensure all contracted items are in Jita 4-4.  Thank you!

PS - I'm a terrible blogger. :/

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Babby's First Scam

This video is the wrap up of an Eve Online recruitment scam. The footage was recorded and edited by me, but all the credit for the actual scam and set up goes to my corp mate Acidronin. Four days back in to Eve Online he's already bringing in ISK and some pretty entertaining kills. The story goes like this...

A particular pilot was persistent in attempting to join Eve Online corporation, Am0k., and his efforts did not go unnoticed. He was contacted by a "corp recruiter" after being ignored for approximately a month. The recruiter was Acidronion and he was on the verge of being the newly returned pilot's first mark.

It didn't take much for trust to be gained. The mark was pleased someone finally contacted him and the two quickly got down to business. The discussion went on like any typical corporation recruitment would. The usual questions about characters, skills and assets were asked and the usual answers were given in response. It was discovered the pilot was in possession of two carrier pilots and a titan pilot in training. They also had a fair amount of wealth.

Once it was determined the mark could be "accepted" in to the corporation, the discussion shifted to what to move to null and how to move it. First there was the matter of a the security deposit as well as the option to buy in to the corporation titan fund. Then came what ships to bring. In the end several billions of ISK worth of ships and modules were contracted over including a Tengu, a Macherial and several faction modules. The total estimated to be approximately 5+ billion ISK.

It would seem the mark had their suspicions. When the subject of moving their Archon and Thanatos came up, they decided they would move the ships rather than contract them. Even more curious, the ships were unfitted when jumped in to the final system. It's hard to say if this was a move to mitigate possible losses or if the pilot just wasn't aware they could use a travel fit.

In the end the mark lost it all. They were invited to a fleet and told they had an "Honour Guard" waiting for them at the end of the beacon. The cyno and bubble were lit and once both carriers were in system, they were quickly taken down by the waiting fleet. The contact was cancelled and its contents stolen.

You have been warned.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

On That Grind II: The Plan

Whenever you’re about to dive into a whole mess of something awful, it’s good to have a plan. The six P’s apply to everything, even internet spaceships. Actually, it especially applies to internet spaceships. What are the six P’s you ask? They are:
Proper planning prevents piss poor performance.
In my effort to make this venture suck a little as possible, I’ve tried to do some planning ahead. My planning has two areas of focus which are my method and my ship. I believe these two things will be the key to my success since you can’t buy up your security status with tags yet. If that were an option, well… this blog series would be very different.

The Rules
It should be no surprise there is a strategy in Eve Online surrounding the correction of security status. CCP has instituted several rules when it comes to security status and it’s important to be aware of them. Pilots receive a security status gain every 15 minutes per system for the “rat” they are currently shooting. Each system has its own 15 minute timer. Security status given is on a sliding scale with battleship rats giving the largest percentage increase and frigates giving the least.

Keeping those rules in mind, it’s easy to develop a plan to efficiently raise my security status. I’ll find a cluster of linked systems I can rotate through easily. I will shoot one battleship in each system I’m in and then move on to the next. Repeating this pattern will allow me to maximize my security status gains. Good plan so far.

Seeking out battleships is a also a huge part of the plan. I want to avoid shooting cruisers as much as possible. If I’m out in null sec, I’ll have to pay attention to the security status of the systems. -.01 to -.5 will have easily available battleships. It will be harder to find battleships in lower security systems and that can eat up a lot of time. I may also have to “prime” systems and build up the kind of ratting fleets I’m looking for.

If I do need to prime, I’ll use a “Chain Ratting” approach. Groups of only frigates or cruisers will be cleared for a new spawn. Groups with battleships plus frigates or cruisers will only have the battleships destroyed. Through some wicked mix of spreadsheets and space magic replacement battleships should reappear at some point.

Mah Ship
The next issue is my ship. There are quite a few good ship choices when it comes to this form of ratting. Some folks like to go all out and get themselves a blinged out tengu. Some prefer a minimalist approach with a stealth bomber, though with the recent-ish changes I’m not sure it’s a viable method anymore. I went middle of the road a chose a Drake.

[Drake, Deeps4Rats Fit]

Heavy Missile Launcher II
Heavy Missile Launcher II
Heavy Missile Launcher II
Heavy Missile Launcher II
Heavy Missile Launcher II
Heavy Missile Launcher II
Heavy Missile Launcher II
Prototype Cloaking Device I

Experimental 10MN Afterburner I
Thermic Dissipation Field II
Kinetic Deflection Field II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
ECCM - Magnetometric II
Medium Shield Extender II

Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II
Power Diagnostic System II
Damage Control II

Medium Core Defense Field Extender I
Medium Core Defense Field Extender I
Medium Core Defense Field Extender I

Warrior II x5

I’ve always found Drakes easiest to rat in. It has a good amount of highs, mids and lows for fairly balanced DPS, & tank. It has excellent natural resists. Plus, I’m pretty much at near max skills due to the Drakes being so popular the north for so long. It’s the best DPS and tank for where my skill points are. I’m in the process of training for a Tengu and will be able to fly it with adequate skills. Still, the idea of a T3 is scary to me.

You’ve probably noticed a few weird things on my fit. I do put a cloak on my ratting drake. People love picking on poor little psudo-goons such as myself and I also have an overwhelming sense of paranoia when I PvE. This fit is also over on CPU for me. I usually alternate with my cloak/afterburner off-line. Plus, I should be a little extra vigilant as a blog series about ratting may cause some people to start thinking opportunistically.

You’ll also notice the ECCM module in my mids. Normally there is second Adaptive Invulnerability Field II there, but I’ll be going against Guristas. In case you weren’t aware, some Guristas rats are able to jam which make them the biggest assholes in all of rat-dom. On the flip side, their damage dealt type and weakness is Kinetic and Thermal which makes them the optimal targets for my Drake.

ECCM’s effect against rats has been long debated in various Eve Online communities. I tried looking into it myself, but only found conflicting information. There are posts boasting percentage decreases to the rats jamming success ratio with use of an ECCM module and there are posts stating the fundamental mechanics don’t allow ECCM to effect rats. We even went back and forth in the Voices from the Void channel, but still no definitive answer. I “feel” a difference in my experience when I use ECCM on my Drake, but I’m also aware that doesn’t mean anything. If you know definitively if ECCM modals affect rats, please let me know.

I’m pretty happy with the end result of my fit. If I use a 50% Kinetic/50%Thermal damage pattern in Pyfa, this fit gives me 81.9K worth of effective hitpoints and 22.3K in raw hitpoints. If I use scourge fury heavy missiles; my damage per second will be 304 with a volley of 2511. If I use regular scourge, my damage per second drops to 238 with a volley of 1962. I typically run with scourge fury and my average volley hits for about 1500 on a battleship.

This is going to take forever.
I have my spot all marked out and I’ve moved in and gotten down to business. The first day of ratting sucked balls and I only made it down to -8.4. As I’m writing this post, I’m actually on my second day of ratting and after making a few corrections, I’m down to -7.7.

That’s enough words for today though. The next blog will detail my progress as well as a few huge blunders I made. Until then, I’ll be on the grind.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

On That Grind I: Atonement

After finishing my first play through of Borderlands and completing the Zombie Island DLC over 4 days with approximately 30 hours of play time; I figured it was time for another game. Why not Eve Online? Eve Online is a fine game full of rich content that can, has and will continue to keep my occupied. A game so fine I even have a podcast and utterly neglected blog about it.

When I log in to Eve Online, I usually give myself a particular goal or purpose. Sometimes it’s simple and something like “there was a jabber ping and I’m going to go rep the hell out of some people.” Other times it’s a little more frivolous and I just want to chat it up in some of the channels I’m in, get some footage of ships or pretend to do some market trading.

On this occasion my mission was simple. I wanted to work on my security status. Currently, I’m sitting at a -8.8. Most of that is left over from my time in WSHOT just after Wildly Inappropriate downsized from an alliance to a corporation. While looking for a new alliance we parked ourselves in Oulley and went to town on the local residents. This resulted in a -10 for a few of my corp mates as well as myself.

Since then I’ve picked at my security status off and on. I sat at approximately -6 for a while, but then Burn Jita happened. I couldn’t help myself and in a few days I was back to -8.8. Totally not worth it. The event only resulted in a couple of pod kills and a shuttle kill report for me. Unfortunately not many FCs were skilled in working with pilots with poor security status. It was a known risk, but I made the best of it.

Holy shit I'm bad at this.
Now for my own nefarious reasons I plan to eat my way back down to at least a -2.0. That is my goal. My far, far away goal which seems unachievable at this moment. It will a really tough journey for me, but it will be worth it. I originally planned to wait until “Security Status 4 Tags” was implemented. Then I got the feeling I would be missing out on one of the “veteran” experiences of Eve.

Grinding your security status up is a painful experience. Still, there’s part of me that feel like working the grind is just as much of a bragging right as wrecking my security status in the first place. Plus, I was a very bad girl to get all the way to true -10.0. Maybe a little atonement for my crimes against internet spaceships isn’t such a bad thing.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Curious Case of the Accidental Scam

This morning I made a startling discovery. It is way easier to scam in Eve Online than I originally thought. In fact, scamming is so easy; you can do it accidentally. What to know more? Found out how by sending me 250 Million ISK in game! All ISK transfers should be made directly to Arydanika.

I’m just kidding. You don’t have to send me 250 Million ISK. Well, you can, but it would be out of the kindness/stupidity of your heart.

So, last night I logged on to my YouTube account to switch the two commercials[1] I did for Alliance Tournament X from private to public since the Tourney is over. As I logged on to my account I noticed I had a new comment and went to check it out. It read:

4 months and I still don't have a photo. I'm starting to think this is bullshit...
– MindVisionMachinima

 The message was posted in the comment section of the Fits of Angel Commercial[2] I did a while back. It was a parody commercial based on the ASPCA commercial featuring the song “Angel” by Sarah McLachlan. It was also the first Eve Online I made that wasn’t absolutely shit. In fact, it was so good the handsome and debonair CCP Manifest (aka Mr. Atlanta) linked the video via the Eve Online Twitter and Facebook account.

When I initially read the message; I just blew it off. Clearly the guy was an internet troll of sub par standard. I mean, the commercial is a parody and obviously a joke. No one would be dumb to send me 18 Million ISK for a picture of a sh… :christ: That’s when I realized I need to check my alt account.

You see, when I made the video I thought ahead. I knew how devious and conniving Eve Online players could be. I could just imaging some jerk in Jita spamming alink to the video on a character in a fake corporation gaffing people out of ISK[3]. Normally I wouldn’t care, but the commercial is on the Voices from the Void YouTube account and I don’t want the podcast associated with scamming[4].

In an effort to project my fellow players (and the imaginary integrity of my news/interview podcast about a video game) I took the liberty of creating the corporation Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Ships [SPCS.] under my alt Ms Flinstone. This way I knew no one could scam with the corporation name used in the video. My plan was fool proof or so I thought.

There’s an old proverb that states, “A fool and his money are easily parted.” When I checked the corporation wallet for SPCS. there was approximately 100 Million ISK in the wallet. It’s not a lot by any means or stretch. However, for a scam I was trying to PREVENT FROM HAPPENING I think it’s freaking amazing.

It’s just another example of the fantastic and unexpected things that can happen in Eve Online. What other game could begin to scratch the surface of this kind of interaction and game play? What other game gives its players the tools and the freedom for these kinds of hyjinks; intentional or accidental? This is just another reason why I find so much enjoyment in being a part of Eve Online. With experiences like these, you can hardly refer to it as “playing.”

Also, I’m not giving those people their ISK back. I will send them a picture of a space ship though.

1. – Amok. Commercial & WGoE Commercial
Yes I know the font & ending effect are the same. They were created very far apart and I’m deeply in love with that font and effect.

2. – Fits of an Angel Commerical

3. - This fear was validated when Ackbarre from Goonswarm Federation popped in to the Amok. Mumble channel to complain the corp name was taken. H was pretty bummed when I told him I made the corporation and he couldn't scam from it.

4. – Which is why I very particular about not scamming at all. It’s not about E-Honor, but my podcast means a lot to me.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Bring the Frill Back

The ships of Eve Online are iconic.  It doesn’t matter if you are a hardcore Eve Online capsuleer or a casual science fiction enthusiast.  These pixilated masterpieces have connected players to the New Eden Universe for almost 10 years and there is no denying the players who fly them and the develops who create them are both passionate about these ships.

The ships were what drew me the play this game.  More than the complexity, politics, history and player driven almost freaking everything; the ships captured my imagination and my heart.  The daredevil and its look of solidified death took my breath away.  The Phobos was satirical and cheeky with its phallic shape and pinkish hull coloring.  The Avatar was the first titan I saw in game.  It made me feel so tiny in my rifter, but it also gave me a goal.

Then there is the Vagabond.  A ship that is quick, silent and deadly.  The Dragon of the Matar;  name well deserved when you consider it’s speed, striking ability and at one time it’s frill.  This ship is one of the most popular and widely used heavy assault cruisers.  It’s also a thing of beauty and pride for many of the pilots who fly it.

The V3 Shaders brought change which was good and is laying the path for even better graphics and options further in to the future.  There were artistic decisions made to adjust some models much to the disappointment of some.  The coloring of some ships changed dramatically including the pinkish hues of the Roden Shipyards line.  Some models were re-worked and adjusted for accuracy.  Such is the way of progress, but was the removal of the Vagabond’s frill really progress?

Would you take away Jimmy Hendrix’s fro if it made him more receivable to the public?  Would you tear down the Eiffel Tower to improve the scenic views of Paris?  Would you banish rotten shark from Iceland because it smelled bad?  No... you wouldn’t.

All of these things, much like the frill of the Vagabond, are iconic.  The frill makes the Vagabond special.  It’s a part of the ships personality and helps it stand out among the hundreds of other impressive ships Eve Online has to offer.  The frill is a part of it’s mystic and beauty.  It’s what makes the Vagabond more than just a set pixels with a set of stats. 

CCP, your players are appealing… no... pleading with you.  We know you understand because you love Eve Online and its ships just as much as we do.  Hear us in this request to bring the frill back.  Let the legend of the Dragon of the Matar live.  Keep the Vagabond iconic.  Bring the frill back.

Check out what other Eve Online players have to say about the frill

Make your voice heard by replying to the Bring the FrillBack proposal on the Eve Online forums.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Faction Warfare and Mercs

In Episode 46 of the Voices from the Void, Hans Jagerblitzen stopped by to discuss Faction Warfare [FW] changes in the upcoming Inferno expansion.  Hans is a member of Late Night Alliance, a CSM7 delegate and a leader in the FW community.  He's a loyal pilot in the Minmatar Militia and he's passionate about FW.

In the segment, Hans commented on opposition to some of the incoming changes.  Namely, the Amarrian Militia opposed the mechanics applied to the loosing side.  It's a very simplistic form of their argument.  It's a little more complex, but you can listen to the interview for those details.  I'd rather write about a solution.

Eve Online is a harsh game and in the Amarr Militia's defense these mechanics are harsh.  The loosing militia would enjoy up to x4 prices in the Loyalty Points [LP] store, loss of LP paid upgrades in systems under siege and station lock outs in enemy systems.  Those are the three big ones.  The main point of their argument is these odds are near impossible to bounce back from.

Hans doesn't believe this.  He believes in the ingenuity of the players.  If those in the loosing militia can not achieve the objectives necessary, someone else who can will take their place.  It may sound a little harsh, but that's a truth of Eve Online.  Someone will find a way.  Sometimes they find ways to things no one wants them to find a way to.  Hans recognizes this about the community and believes the new mechanics will provide a challenge for these players.

That got me thinking.  How could a militia overcome odds like this?  Some CSM7 members suggested bigger bounties given to the losing militia for PvP kills.  It's doesn't really fit into the theme of harshness Eve Online has, but it's a good idea.  Then it hit me.  Mercenaries.

Yes!  That handy dandy already in play game mechanic we know as mercenaries.  Small powers use of mercenary forces is fairly common in the real world.  High sec forces use of mercenary forces is fairly common in Eve Online.  It seems like a reasonable progression of game play to me.  Of course there is the cost of procuring mercenary forces, but hopefully you've been saving for a rainy day.

It seems reasonable to believe a mercenary group would want a FW contract.  Corporations and alliances can join FW.  You can join and leave as you please and as long as you have the standings to join.  On top of their payment from the client, they would also earn LP.  The passive LP would make FW contracts instantly more profitable than a contact of the same nature for a high sec client.  Add in the prospect of your pilots running missions adds to the client's benefit as well.  I don't see why they would say no, other than the standings hits they would take.

That's my great idea.  At worst, FW has been using mercenaries for a while now and I'm slow on the pick up.  At best, this is a pretty cool idea.  I'm not a grand theory crafter or jr. game designer type, but I do know when an idea isn't total crap.  I'm curious to see if this could become an actual game changer.  Only time will tell.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Photo Study: Stealth Bombers

The ships of Eve Online are beautiful works of art.  Each one is a unique creation that personifies it's race, corporation and role.  They are as unique and versatile as they fits player use on them.  These pixilated flight craft are clearly one of Eve's greatest assets and wonders; at least in my opinion.

I feel strongly about the ships of Eve Online because I experienced the overwhelming power of their majesty first hand.  I was mesmerized by the Daredevil when I laid eyes on it.  The friend who introduced me to Eve flew one at the time and dazzled me with stories of what it could accomplish.  The entire time he spoke; my eyes were glued to the image in front of me.  I told him I wanted that and he said I would have to train for Minmatar and Gallente.  Then I found out Gallente had a line of ships with pinkish tints (pre-V3) and I was sold.  

That's just one example of the raw power the imagery of Eve Online holds.  There are hundreds of other instances and stories out there.  For someone else it could be the breath taking Nebulae, realistic Carbon avatars, quirky landmarks or that sense of vastness when you're warping 70 AU and you see a planet slowly drift by.  Taking in the New Eden Universe is a pleasure all it's own.

In their effort to enhance the visual experience of Eve Online, CCP Games has gone wild with the V3 Shader.  All the ship lines will receive  a code make over, but some groups of ships will also receive a model overhaul.  For the Inferno patch, the Amarr ship line will under go V3 Shader coding and the Stealth Bomber class receives  a model touch up.

These changes excited me and they have been a focal point of my Eve Online related conversation.  Many of my friends and corp mates are too lazy to get on the Sisi server, so they've only seen the ships via screen shots.  This would be fine, but I've found there aren't that many screen shots of the new ship models available.  The simplest solution was to do something myself.

This is where we come to the photo study.  I've taken screen shots of all four races of Stealth Bomber.  Each collage has five different angles of the ship and top/bottom comparison of the old model against the new.  Now some of the pictures may not be perfectly aligned or make be tilted on the axis a little.  The process turned out to be more of a pain in the ass than I thought, so they shots stand as they are.

I've also made the individual screen shots of the ships available.  They were not posted to the blog because that would be a huge pain in the ass.  Instead you can click this [link] and be magically transported to my imgur gallery.



Monday, April 30, 2012

[Happy Monday] Simply A Perk

“I still don’t get it.”  His words echoed into the metal crevasse which normally hosted one of the seven turret hardpoints.  “It just seems like a bunch of asshole shit to me.  No offence.”

“None taken, but you’re only partially right, Nef.”  Her response was casual, but it was nothing new.  Most who lived as immortals among men maintained a constant air of disinterest.  Ary had been on the cusp of such a mentality since she became a capsuleer, but it seemed her time in The Swarm exacerbated that particular personality trait.

Nef was Ary’s nephew and gunnery man.  He also boasted the honor of being the only person Ary trusted with her ships and equipment.  The moniker was not his birth name, but a familial nickname she gave him when they were children.  She was the only one who ever called him Nef.  If anyone else did, usually found themselves on the receiving end of a black eye. 

“They cried for blood.  We are simply answering the call.”  The indifference in her tone bothered him slightly, but she didn’t seem to care. “It’s a basic tenant of survival if you think about it.  I’ll give you an example.  You find yourself in a thick jungle, unfamiliar territory.  You see one of the people in your travel party go down.  Is screaming out into the darkness, into the dense thick unknown for help, your best option for survival?”

He knew instantly it was a metaphor for what transpired a month ago.  The Chairman, leader of The Swarm, has been sentenced to a Concord sanctioned cloning freeze.  During a public festival; the leader of the large alliance and (at the time) Council of Stellar Management went into a crass tirade singling out a specific pilot and encouraging some pretty heinous behavior in a rather grotesque display.  The alcohol fueled display was disgusting, but most didn’t bat an eye... until the result of this year’s polls came in. 

The announcement of his re-appointment caused backlash almost as volatile as The Jita Riots.  Pilots from all regions were howling for blood.  Some simply wanted The Chairman removed from office and others screamed for his final death.  The pressure for Concord sanctioned action was so strong they had no choice but to give in.  The Chairman was given a 30 day freeze and through a technicality he was removed from office.  The sentence was taken with grace, but the ordeal roused new bloodlust throughout the coalition.  To mark his release The Swarm and their allies intended to celebrate the best way they knew how; utter destruction and annihilation.

Nef watched Ary as he considered her question, but she didn’t seem to notice.  The majority of her focus was trained on the holo-tablet in her hands.  Even though she seemed distracted, he knew she was studying and testing him.  What did she want him to see?  Nef sat up from his reclined position, his large form slightly hunched.  Full lips pursed as his mind milled over her question.  Dirty, grease stained fingernails scratched at the scruff of his beard.  Then, suddenly, it struck him.

“No.  That’s the worst thing you could do.”  Nef startled himself as the words left from his mouth.

“Why?”  The answer from him in low, cool tone.

“Because when you scream out anyone can hear you.  Friend or foe.”

“And we have heard them.”  He watched as a dark smile curled at the edges of her mouth.  He watched her approach him with the same grace a dangerous animal uses to stalk their prey.  Her fingers danced deftly over the holo-tablet in her hand. The image projected changed from a Thrasher to a Hulk.  “However, it goes deeper.  What do you see?”

“A Hulk.”  Nef responded numbly.

“And now?”   Her fingers swiped over the screen and the image flickered shifting into a jump freighter.”

“An Anshar.”  Nef’s response came a little slowly this time, but it wasn’t due to lack of ship knowledge.  She knew he studied at Pator Tech School, so what was she trying to prove?

“And now?” The holo-image flicked a final time.

“An Orca.”

“Now, why would it benefit The Swarm to destroy these ships?” She gently laid the tablet down on the large fitting console positioned near the edge of the ship hanger.  “What little side project would...”

“OTEC.”  He was breathless as the word left his lips.  Nef was so wrapped up in his own thoughts he didn’t realize her cut off nor did he realize he was holding his breath.  His response did seem to please her. 

“And what better way to show them the error of their ways then to have them pay us to destroy them.”  The sweetness of her voice frightened him more than the darkness that laced her tone, but her smile.  Her smile terrified him.  “Like I said, you were partially right.  It’s part business and part... re-education.  Being an asshole is simply a perk.”

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Bad At Eve: Burn Jita

As I'm writing this, Burn Jita is in full effect and deep into it's third day.  It's been a fantastic experience which has been noted by gaming media [Euro Gamer|PCGamer], global media and all the savvy Eve Online players that take the time to pay attention to the meta game.  I mention that because even with podcast coverage, forum tears and a splash screen courtesy of CCP Games; people are still getting space murdered by the hundreds in a variety of expensive ships.

Seriously.  What the hell people? It's called "Awareness."

Now it's no secret that I enjoy a good gank.  I was a negative -10 and earlier this morning I manage to take my almost -6 back to a -8.8.  None of my kills were fantastically expensive or anything like that.  In fact most of my ganking attempts were pretty botched.  I could go on an on about all the external reasons why my ganks went to badly, but let's face it.  I'm just bad at Eve.

Above is a little video I made.  I've gotten in to the whole FRAPSing thing and I managed to remember to turn it on during one of my ganks.  For this particular fleet the FC was pmchem of Goonswarm.  In praise of pmchem; he was one of the few FCs mindful enough to incorporate tactics to allow pilots with already piss poor sec status to participate.  I'm thankful for that as I had been searching for a fleet since Thursday and was starting to get pretty pissed off about not finding one.

So let's take a look at this video.  Due to sizing I had to cut out the fit, but it was nothing more than a standard thrasher gank fit.  7 artys in the tops, 2 seeboos in the mids and 2 gyro's in the lows.  Pretty standard with faction ammo.  Some prefer fusion and others plasma.  Really it all depends on how close your warp in can get to the target.

The first thing you'll probably notice about the video is the opening warp.  I'm sideways.  It's a glitch, but it's a cool glitch.  It can most likely be chalked up to the local cap of 2200+/- and the 50% TiDi going on, both of which are clear in the video.

Now as I warp in, the intended target is already getting blown to smithereens.  Our fleet was mixed with positive and negative sec status pilots.  When the FC would call for the warp in, those with poor sec status would have to warp to an instant undock and then warp to the target while those with better sec status were able to warp directly.  This caused some of us to "show up late" and ultimately loose out on kills.  Couple that with the delightful "Are you sure? Please click yes/no" box (OMG can't wait for crimewatch safety trigger) and I missed the kill.  Pretty crappy, but dammit I will not be denied!

This is where the panic sets in.  Concord is after me.  Faction police are after me.  Other pilots are after me. If I'm going to kill something, I need to be decisive and kill something quick.  I take my chances, click on a bunch of random things, hot lock my grouped guns and hope for the best.  The best was a shuttle.  I'm not thrilled, but dammit it's something!

End of story; my ship explodes and I get my pod the hell out of dodge.  Not the best gank of Burn Jita, but it's my gank.

Shuttle Kill Mail: http://eve-kill.net/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=13206718
My Loss Mail: http://eve-kill.net/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=13206717

Opening Image: Sayyadinda Drain of MRCHI
Music: Lies by Big C TV
Terrible Piloting: Me

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

In Eve - Out of the Game

Gaming has become something more than just gaming. The word was once a simple verb, but now it has grown up and matured into a noun. Gaming is a thing, a way of life and an entity all its own. Eve Online is a haven that helped this transition come to pass.

I don’t think anyone sane would willing argue against Eve Online having a vibrant Meta-Game culture. In game, there’s a whole world of space ships, pirates, pioneers, carebears, politics, intrigues and all sorts of surprises. Outside the game, that delightful bouquet of in-game experience blossoms and flourishes into verdant fields of frienemies, gentleman’s agreements, news hounding, gossip and circles of camaraderie, knowledge sharing and interconnected experience that spans across counties, languages and any other barrier man could think to erect. Just thinking about it all makes me smile. It also makes me feel very unique and connected in a non-conventional way.

When I speak to friends who delve into other entertaining gaming options like Mass Effect 3, Skyrim (love that game) or World of Warcraft; they look at me a little funny when I tell them about Eve’s meta-game. They don’t understand that someone from an enemy alliance messaged me on skype to ask me if I’m up for a game of League of Legends or to tell me a hilarious story about them FCing a cruiser fleet. They don’t really understand why I pour so much of my energy in and time in a podcast I don’t get paid to produce. They don’t get why “standard comms” has extended to jabber and “optional comms” are now things like G+ and Twitter. They may not get it, but we get it.

I don’t think there are many games that can inspire so many of its players to creativity. The creative community in Eve gives me chills, laughs and at times causes my jaw to drop to the ground. There are movies better than main stream cinema, heart racing pvp videos, exploration documentaries, fan fiction stories, multiple kinds of art work including match stick and Lego models, paintings and digital art and even pumpkin carvings and baked goods. The best part about it all is that I get to participate in this too.

My participation in this type of meta-game is no secret. I have about seven parody songs published and even more written and waiting for me to catch the nerve to actual sing. I’ve been lucky to have a parody commercial highlighted by the powers that be behind the CCP Social Media camp (Hi Manifest!). Then the podcast is the obvious one. However, I’ve dabbled in to something new.

Recently, The Mittani has announced a “GSF Culture Revolution.” Really it’s more like a bad habits house cleaning. This particular revolution focuses on bad habits in fleet comms and over played idioms that have become extinct on the Something Awful forums. Rather than fill my blog with more :words: I’ll let my art do the talking. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.


What's propaganda without a little TSU? This also won me 500m ISK.

This was originally an ad for VD.  Photoshop is an amazing thing.

This one was the easiest, but I really like the final result.

Someone in jabber posted the original randomly and the idea came instantly.

I promised this was my last one. GSF directors were complaining I was going to break the alliance wallet.

At this point I'm checking myself in to re-hab.

And I fubared something. Kalaratiri left a comment on my blog.  I tried to accept it by using my phone.  My phone decided that I wanted to delete the comment instead.  Yay... touch screens.  Here's the comment.  
Not sure if Serious™
But I really hope you are :) It's be nice if Goons were actually growing up a little.
Yes, I am. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

[Happy Monday] The Fashionista

“You look absolutely stunning!” Clara gasped in delight as Ary emerged from the changing stall. Her words were breathless as she stood up from one of the overstuffed armchairs and approached the other woman.

Clara was one of those people you could only describe as delightful. She was sweet, charming and gentile with just enough sass and spirit to keep her on the level. Her smile was brilliant and sincere and the blonde that framed her face seemed to make her pale complexion glow with the warmth of a pink sun. Normally that smile was contagious. Normally.

Ary, on the other hand, was the very picture of unenthusiastic. Her lips were tight and her expression severe and stone set. Her posture mirrored her annoyance as she stood stiff in the open doorway. She stared at Clara for a moment before shaking her head in defeat and walking towards the viewing mirrors.

Her distaste magnified once she saw her reflection. Dark eyes rolled towards the back of her head as she got an eyeful of herself in the outfit. She turned toward her friend. Clara could see that Ary had arrived at “the line.” A long sigh pushed passed her lips. The frown formed the moment her mouth closed.

“I look like a tool. Who even wears this shit?”

“State officials, high ranking military officers, various public figures, the wealthy and elite…” The obviously masculine, but delicately intoned voice paused. “… and then those that should consider themselves lucky.”

Ri’chard Faliieur was a Gallente fashion designer. Once a lowly cog in a textile factory, holo-images of his designs caught the eye of one of the fashion houses that now dominated the NeX Market. His rise to fame and status was near overnight, but the entitled attitude of a fashionista was something he seemed well versed in.

“Not to mention you’re simply wearing it all wrong.” His eyes fluttered as he moved towards the capsuleer in a huff. “I hardly appreciate the design on you and it’s my design.”

The furrier he carried in his right arm was gently placed onto the ottoman that sat in front of Carla’s former seat. The rodent like creature skittered to the edge towards its Master before sitting and casting out a small whine and sneeze.

Faliieur ignored the creature as his attention was focused on the wild pod pilot that stood before him. His hands worked quickly to adjust the uniform style dress Ary wore. It really wasn’t that bad.

It was a dark green color with small golden buttons down the front, on each breast pocket and on the cuffed sleeves. It was a simple design with neat pleats that made her look quiet official. The cut of the dress fit nicely to her curves. The length was short enough to show off a modest amount of thigh and the part of her calf the knee high boots didn’t cover. She looked stunning and the extra cleavage that showed when he straighten the hem line and adjusted her breasts didn’t hurt either.

“Hey! Watch it!” Ary shouted in shock. Her body automatically flinching back as the design got a bit too close for comfort.

“Oh please. I’ve touched all kinds of breasts and mine are bigger than yours anyway.” Faliieur quipped back as he continued about his task undeterred.

Faliieur was a portly man, but he carried it well. He was dressed in one of his own creations which a play on the Amarrian robe style. The tunic he wore was a rich pale blue material with elaborate patterns sticked in silver and sparkling green thread. Silver rings with green and blue gems flickered on his chubby fingers.

“Now, I just need to get the finishing touches. I’ll be back shortly... Ladies.” The final word was drawn out and his eye cut to Ary. Clara shot Ary a nervous glance as Faliieur departed.

“Ary, you promised!” Clara whispered urgently once Faliieur was out of ear shot. “This could be a huge contract for my corporation. I know you’re not into fashion or the NeX store, but the low and null sec markets have barely been touched. I know it’s a weird request, but he insisted on a... native.”

Ary’s left eyebrow rose, but she said nothing.

“Native of Null Sec.” This time it was Clara’s eyes rolling. “He wanted someone edgy, fierce and beautiful. Of course I thought of you first.”

“See... this is how I get mixed up in all the wrong things.” Ary’s voice and expression were still flat. “Some awesome person that I consider my friend goes around flinging incredibly accurate compliments.”

A sign of submission came as Ary finally smile, though faintly. Clara made it it difficult to be angry at any given length of time. “You owe me big time.”

“More than you know..” Clara’s words trailed off. A grimace coming to her face as Faliieur returned with the accessories.

It's Not Right, But It's Okay

It's not right but it's okay
I'm gonna make it anyway
Close the door behind you
Leave your key
I'd rather be alone than unhappy
- "It's Not Right, But It's Okay" - Whitney Houston
 Last night I took part in a series of fleets. It was a typical CFC roll through Tenal setting things on fire and burning Raiden.’s ho\use down. It was a pretty unremarkable night as we went from system to system putting this iHUB into reinforcement or shooting at those station services. Then the most unremarkable thing happened. A wild image link appeared in fleet.

A little while later this “article” was posted.

My reaction was to roll my eyes and close it for both. It doesn’t surprise to me to see a person touting racial slurs in a video game. The behavior has become accepted gamer culture regardless of TOSs or EULAs. If you’ve played any type of internet based game, you’ve seen or heard something similar. I’m sure there’s a statistic out there somewhere that says. “On XBox live every 5 seconds some over privileged child between the ages of 8-15 says the N-Word.” This is of course something I made up, but chances are it’s most likely every 2 seconds.

The word “nigger” has become a confusing and beguiling thing in the world today. In certain circles the word is mainstream and touted by entertainers, frat boys, 10 year olds (actual and mental-only) on internet, “street-folk” and hidden little gathering spaces where real racist people feel they can say it without any backlash. Even with its use, does anyone really know what it means anymore? More importantly what connotations does it carry from person to person?

Everyone comes from a different background and living experience. No two lives are the same and because of that our personal realms of reference are very different. Before I begin to talk about the word “nigger” and give my opinions; I feel I should give you some history. Let’s start with the definition of the word.

According to Wikipedia, the end all of all correct information on the internet [1], the short definition is this:
Nigger is a noun in the English language, most notable for its usage in a pejorative context to refer to black people (generally people of Sub-Saharan African descent), and also as an informal slang term, among other contexts.

My personal connotation of the word Nigger is this:
Less than a human being.

My personal opinion of the word comes from a plethora of experiences most of them surrounding my family. My mother’s side of the family descended from slave and Native American blood, however my father’s side of the family is Louisiana Mulatto (blacks considered to be free persons due to bi-racial backgrounds). My parents did quite a bit to teach me about racism, how to cope with it and how to overcome it. Both of my parents took part in equal rights demonstrations in the United States and have had some pretty extreme racial experiences.

When my mother was in high school, she attended a desegregated high school in Omaha, Nebraska. My mother is an incredibly intelligent woman who works hard at what she does and strives for the best. Her work ethic showed in her studies and especially in English where she aced her homework assignments and her tests. When she received her final grade; instead of the A she expected she received a low B. When she asked her white female instructor about this she was told that she was a nigger and will never be good enough for top honors. She was also told she should be grateful for the lesson.

That’s not where the story ends. My mother was furious, but what could she do? She was a young black woman in a climate of racial hate. The principle wasn’t going to do anything. The black community already held marches and protests on a frequent basis. She turned to the only person that seemed to be in her corner; her mother. My grandmother gave her this advice:
Prove Them Wrong.
She did. She went onto graduate at the top of her class. She went to college. She became a successful woman who raised a family of strong, independent, intelligent children while maintaining a career. A career that has an annual income much higher than that of a public school English teachers.

I'd also to point out that perceived anonymity on the internet causes people to go a little stupid.  This is a huge thing to consider when you look at  internet and gaming culture.  Many of our "honestys" leak out when we believe there will be no repercussions.  We'll say things that we'd never say at work or in public.  We'd do things we never do in real life.  We all do it to some degree.  After all, how many of us fly spaceships in real life.  An image CCP Sisyphus posted on twitter drove the point home for me when I was writing this article.

A Rose By Any Other Name
In “modem times” the word nigger, as I mentioned above, is tossed around a lot. The black community is split about its usage. Some want to “take the word back” and turn it’s ugly degrading connotations into something else. The other camp wants to abolish the use of the word period. Both groups want the same thing and that’s for the word to lose its power.

My preference is to educate and ignore. It’s the reason I’m writing this blog post. For years the word nigger has been used to hurt and demoralize a group of people. It reminds me of the Three-Fifths Compromise where slaves were counted as ⅗s of a person to decide how many United States House of Representatives each state would get. It’s also the basis of my personal connotation.

I’ve had someone call me a nigger before out of hate. It came from the last person on earth I would have expected it to since I was engaged to the person saying it. Words are a powerful thing and with those words I became single and technically homeless since I crashed on a friend’s couch until I was able to get a place of my own. It was a jarring experience. I would not wish an experience like that on my worst enemy. In those days I did realize something.
That’s not who I am nor is it something I will ever be.

If It Doesn’t Fit...
It’s because of that, I don’t get too bothered and worked up when people say it. Use of the word nigger is a reflection of the person who says it, not of the person it’s being said to. It’s not a label that fits me, not because it inherently doesn’t, but because I don’t allow it to. I have the personal power to take that word’s strength away and I chose to wield it. I use my power like a shield. Those foolish enough to believe they can hurt me with such things are in for a rude awakening.

That said, I try my best not to judge. Everyone makes mistakes and I know I’ve made my fair share. I’m a firm believer that all people deserve some basic respect. Yes, there are people that do bad things, but we’re all someone’s child and we’re all human. I wish more people felt that way about all sorts of groups, but it’s a Catch 22 in its own way. To be truly tolerant, you must tolerate all and that’s a tall order. The positive thing is if I don’t agree with you or your actions; I can always choose not to interact with you. That, my friends, is a huge loss for those who find themselves on the cold side of my shoulder.

Well, I’ve said all I’ve wanted to say about this. Just think about it. Digest it. While you’re doing that, watch this video. I may not be able the change the world, but I can change me and adjust my views. By pulling myself above; I can set an example for others to follow. If no one gets it, I’ve still made myself better. If someone does get it; I’ve brought a little more understanding to human race. It’s a win-win.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Reality Check: Why Your Argument About Cyber-Bullying is Bullshit.

Back in February 2012, there was a Street Fighter X Tekken tournament called Cross Assault[1].  It was a Capcom sponsored reality show streamed live on IGN.  It started February 22, 2012 and lasted for a week featuring two (2) teams of five (5) players and two (2) coaches for a total of 12 participants.

During the event, the only female participant was continually sexually harassed by her team’s own coach.  The sexual harassment was captured on video and audio and played live on IGN & Twitch.tv.  The sexual harassment of the player was allowed to continue THE ENTIRE WEEK.

This was okay.  No one present tried to make it stop.  The on hand staff, the technical producers, the teams and CAPCOM, Twitch.tv and IGN representatives did NOTHING to intervene on behalf of the harassed player.  In fact, the only people that had the common decency to speak up were callers who had finally got sick of the display.

Are your eyes brows turned up in surprise?  Are you shocked you didn’t hear about this?  There was hardly any media coverage about.  A few podcasts said something about it.  If you google it (and please, I hope that you do) you’ll find that a handful of smaller media outlets covered it.  There’s no Massively article.  There’s no Escapist article, though there is a small 1 page thread on the forum[4].

“The sexual harassment is part of [the] culture. And if you remove that from the fighting game community, it’s not the fighting game community." – Aris Bakhatanians, Team Coach on day five. [2]
That statement was in response to Jared Rea, community manager of Twitch.tv, asking Bakhatanians to be civil.  On the fifth day of live on air sexual harassment for all the world to see… there was a single call for civility.  A call that was ignored and sexual harassment was allowed to continue.

The young woman harassed was so distraught, on the verge of tears and had lost all desire to play for the grand prize to the point where she simply forfeit.  She worked hard to get a place in this tournament and her own team coach stripped her of her dignity, will to play and any chance she had of enjoying herself. 

Where was the media out cry for her?  Where were few calls for the team coaches removal?  Where was the intervention from the gaming companies running this event to protect their players?  On a gaming podcast that I used to listen to called Cheap Ass Gamer the lead host CheapyD said, “Well if it [the sexual harassment] was funny, it would have been okay."  [3]

Even after the fact there was nothing.  The only response Capcom gave the press was this:
“The views and opinions expressed by cast members in the live internet program 'Cross Assault' do not reflect those of Capcom. As a company, Capcom believes that everyone should be treated with respect. This particular issue was brought to our attention and has been addressed. We sincerely apologize to anyone that was offended by any comments expressed during the show.”
 And that was end of it. 

Then this business at FANFEST2012 happened.  A less than 2 minute drunken quip was made.  The subject of the quip wasn’t bothered by this at all.  Yet, gaming media everywhere seized like piranhas.  There was rage for speaker's dismissal.  CCP intervened because this must not be allowed to happen!  Then they threw the guy who helped them in their greatest time of need under the bus.

That little quip was the line, but a week of live unabated, unabashed, unapologetic sexual harassment… that’s okay.  Why don’t you let that sink in.

The fact of the matter is, the gaming community doesn’t care about bullying.  This isn’t about some poor victim.  This is about people being mad The Mittani got the chairmanship.  No complaints were logged until AFTER he was announced as Chairman, two days after the incident actually occurred.  Other incidents of bullying, bullying that is more severe and destructive, have been documented and not received the same press.   

Give it a few month.  Hell, give it a few weeks.  I doubt anyone howling, press and players included, will be able to remember the victim's name without Googling it.  Are you even able to remember it right now?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Dat Shit Cray

When I first listened to this song all I could think was, “What kind of garbage is this?”  Rap lyrics about black dudes in France and fish filets?  Crap. Crap. Crap.  Now I have the same thoughts when I look around at the Eve Online community.  All I can say, “So disappoint, son.”

I’m disappointed for a laundry list of reasons.  However this post isn’t about placing blame, raging, sperging or beating a dead horse.  It’s not about crucifying someone over a mistake.  It’s not to make people feel guilty.  All I want to do is say three things and then I’m done.

1) Let he who has no sin, cast the first stone.
I’m not a religious person by any means, but I have done some extensive religious study.  I think this is one of the coolest lines in the Bible when it comes to putting things into perspective.  None of us are perfect.  We’ve all made mistakes.  None of us have just cause or reason to sit on a high horse.  Period.

2) A person of good fiber will admit when they’ve done wrong.
This has happened.  An apology both public and private has been issued.  The person that was victimized is over it.  That is what matters.  If you are strong enough to own up for your wrong doings, you deserve respect for that. 

3) If you were not directly involved, you need to shut the hell up.
It’s not your business.  I will repeat.  It’s not your business.  You are not Team America World Police.  You are not the Justice League.  Sit down, shut up, mind your business and stop being such a busy-body.  If you have issue with this, please proceed to point #1.  The individual victimized has seen fit to be done with it, so who the hell are you to do other wise?

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go play some Skyrim and League of Legends until folks calm down.  I don’t want to see it or hear about it, so I’ll be removing myself from the situation until it blows over.  I just don’t have the patience for it. 

Feel free to contact me if you know of some kick ass Skyrim mods or if you want to play a game of LoL.  My summoner name is PureEden, I’m level 16 and I’m terrible.  I like to play Sona and Soraka (4ever a healer) as well as the occasional Annie, Siver, Ryze or Tristana.  Also, don’t make my play the carry.  I’m terri-bad as a carry.  Smurfs welcome.


Monday, March 19, 2012

[Happy Monday] Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Ships

I'm posting a little later in the day than I normally do, but I think you'll find the post well worth the wait.  I've been working on a little something special for this week's Happy Monday.  It's something I think you'll enjoy.

I've had commercials on the brain for quiet sometime.  They're a strange interest and hobby of mine and have been so for a few years.  I've done a couple of Eve Online commercials, but they've all been audio only.  I think today is the day that I'm going to branch out further into another medium.

I present to you the first of possibly many video commercials made for New Eden.  This particular one features an organization knows as the SPCS. or Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Ships.  You'll see the commercial is similar to a rather infamous commercial.

Take a look, tell me what you think.  Hopefully with the new graphics card and a little more video editing practice under my belt, this could turn in to something pretty entertaining.

Friday, March 16, 2012

You Never Go Full Retard

I did something very very very dumb. I’m not exaggerating in the least bit either. I have done the unthinkable and have gone…. Full Retard.

If you haven’t heard of the phrase, which is highly unlikely, it comes from the movie Tropic Thunder. The movie is a comedy with a satirical take on action The main characters include a fading action star , a drug addicted comedian, a character actor in perma black face and a rapper that’s constantly pimping out his latest product, Booty Sweat. Hilarious film, but back to the point.

Best Tom Cruise role since forever

Perma black-face guy (Robert Downey Jr.) & B-List action guy (Ben Stiller) have this heart to heart. B-List action guy attempted a dramatic where he portrayed a mental handi capped fellow and failed. Instead of a Rain Man or Forest Gump type persona he went full retard. And you never go full retard. This is a sage piece of advice in many situations and soon became a trope.

So what does any of this have to do with Eve. Well, I’ll tell ya. As I said in my opening, I made a HUGE error. There’s no hiding it as it’s publicly viewable. I’m surprised that no one has called me on it, but that’s good because I get to explain myself first. Also, if you listen to the podcast, this story will most likely be repeated in the fail mail section as part of my penance.

Sunday March 11, 2012
On this day many wonderful things happened including the catalyst for this blog post. While in the middle of editing the podcast, a jabber ping went out. It was Mister Vee and he was calling a drake fleet. There were dudes in dire need of being shot in the face.

As a young goon, I’ve heard many positive things about Mister Vee fleets. The main points are they are usually successful with lots of kills to be had. Add the opportunity to shoot IRC in the face (♥ ya Mak!) and I was there with bells on. Well, I was there in my scimitar at least.

XXDeath was going to loose a CSAA and they bro-phoned some contacts in CFC. The CSAA was a lost cause. We figured that going in, but again, it was a chance to shoot many space dudes so we took it. Upon arriving on the scene there were 2 XXDeath Thannys repping a POS and the scimis were sent to help. A few minutes later this happened.

I can’t begin to give you a battle report because it was that insane. All I remember is locking, repping and unlocking as fast as TiDi, my shitty Duo Core and my fingers would allow. All I can say for sure is the logi contingent was magnificent and all the hype about Mister Vee was spot on. We should have gotten our asses handed to us and we were expecting to die in a glorious blaze of drake and scimi wreckage.

Instead we controlled the field and even got to loot it! I’m sure you’re starting to see where this is going, but I’ll just continue for fun. This is a blog after all. You’re here for my long winding stories about spaceships and other Eve related non-sense.

Mister Vee gives us all of 5 minutes to loot the field with instructions to go after the shiny hulls. Everyone warps in to the remains of the tengu fleet and I do as well. I managed to collect some drones, some T2 ammo and probably enough to fit a drake with a little left over. I was a happy camper along with the rest of the fleet and we headed home with our spoils of battle!

Tuesday March 13th, 2012
Another jabber ping goes out. This time from DaBigRedBoat or DBRB. I’ve flown in DBRB fleets before. The fleets are interesting to say the least and I usually know what to expect. This fleet was no different than any other and it’s a drake fleet. Awesome! I have just the ship for this fleet and I had such success with it that I should use it on this op too!

It was NC. and company again looking to come shoot some Goons. Apparently they had been dicking around in Branch and turned to float up in to Venal. As customary with hot pursuit, we followed with intent to engage. We sat on the HD-JVQ gate and the moment we jumped would be the moment shit hit the fan.

Since we knew we would be engaging the moment we jumped, we pretty much knew what to do. Most of the Goon Fleet doctrines have specific operating instructions and very rarely will FCs deviate from the path. That said, we jump in, uncloak, turn our hardners on and the scimi’s start to orbit our anchor. Then we hear “Everyone align to the MT gate. Now! Now! Now!”

Well, the imaginable happens and we align towards the MT gate… which happens to be in the direct path of the long range sniper armor hac fleet that’s waiting to tear us to bits.


Umm… what you told us to do. Now I had a close call this time. They locked me and started to get my shields down, but I was cognizant and turned back to run my ass to the gate out of range while the scimi’s repped me and kept me alive. (Thanks guys!) So we’re back to doing our thing. And then we hear…. “Align! Align! Align! Everyone needs to align to the MT gate!.”

Okay, so we must be warping out now. Align… oh… no… wait... I’m in a pod now.

My face when I heard, "SCIMITARS, WHY ARE YOU DYING?"
That’s how I lost the ship. Totally lame loss. That was pretty much the sentiment in the logi channel. Even the ones that didn’t die were dumb founded and a little irked. However, things didn’t go all THAT badly. While we did loose four scimitars, the last remaining managed to hold things together and in the end the fleet took down 22 Muninns. Here’s the battle report of that fight if you’re interested.

It was a really close fight and from what I heard pretty fun. We had titan bridged in so I didn’t go back out. I would have died on the way back out there. Instead I opted to spend the rest of the night catching up on the first season of Game of Thrones. Side note: Pandemic Legion are totally the Lannisters of Eve Online.

Really I should have known better. There’s a saying in Goons to wait 10 seconds after DBRB gives a instruction. He’s not an FC that’s known for his clarity of command. In fact, he’s the antithesis of clarity in command. Many a goon had died to his fickle fleet commands and now I have been christened. I guess I’m a real Goon now. Probably not.

Now, what does all of that have to do with this little gem? Well, brace yourselves.

Now here’s the part where I make my confession. I keep two or three scimi’s on hand at all times just in case. In case of what? Well, in case a fleet gets called. In case I get blown up and I need to reship quick and get back. There’s lots of in cases. Plus, I keep both afterburner fit and microwarp drive fit since both are in regular rotation.

Now… NORMALLY… before I undock I do a little “systems” check. I make sure I have the right scimi for the fleet; either AB or MWD fit. Next I check my clone and my insurance to make sure everything is up to date. Then I check drone bay to make sure I have light armor repair II’s, warror II’s and hornet EC-300. Finally I check my cargo bay to make sure that I have some nanite repair paste for those moments I need to overheat.

Let’s guess which one of these I forgot to fucking do. Can ya guess? I’ll give you three tries and the first two don’t count. Just to add a little icing on to the cake, I didn’t realize I made a trip out in my little loot piƱata until Thursday night 2 days after all this went down. Cause yea, I’m totally not an air head. Apparently I didn’t want all those free mods N-E-WAY.

So, there you have it. It boils down to complacency which is something I warn against in a different blot post. If The Devil Suleimann Shouaa was there he would have said, “You are a remarkable bad.” Why is it so fucking hard to take my own advice?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Yet Another Scheme

Back in February I did a Happy Monday blog post featuring a group effort advertisement for CreoDron, an Eve Online NPC corporation. The ad features the voices of 14 capsuleers. It was a bold project with quiet a few difficulties. While I’m not completely satisfied with the end result, it’s a good start.

There are quiet a few things I would do differently. One is managing sound quality. 14 different people, mean 14 different mics and 14 variations of sound quality. This is also known as a nightmare. I tried to scrub the audio, but some of it just didn’t come out as crisp as the rest and I hadn’t considered adding noise to the background of the others to make them balance.

I have some tricks, tips and other devilish little plans up my sleeve, but... that’s later on down the line. Like any project, there’s a process that needs to be followed. Right now I’m in the concept phase. I have a few ideas that I’ve been kicking around on my own, but there’s more than just my ideas in the Eve Universe. Now I can’t promise you’ll be a star or anything like that, but I will give ya credit! That counts right?

So I come to you my homies and readers. What NPC corp do you think needs a little audio lovin’? What kind of mood should the commercial have? Should I try something totally different instead? Comment me Bro!

Get it. Come at me... Comment me.... you have to say it fast. Trust me. It’s funny. Now comment.

Monday, March 12, 2012

[Happy Monday] The Right Vision

“And the kid is still lookin’ good!” The proclamation came from the steel stair railing that looked down to the ship hanger bay. There stood a young Matari man. His head was clean shaven. It shone from the glare of the bright lights that hung at dizzying heights above. He was tall with a wiry build. Thick cargo pants and flight jacket covered tee shirt hung loose on his frame.

“You know, Kuvakei could take some lessons from me because I make these implants look goooood.” His smile grew larger as he boasted. The last word drawn out for emphasis as he descended the stairs towards the two that stood at the engineering podium. His arms were out stretched and a cocky grin hung on his lips as he invited his audience to view him.

Avery Louis had changed dramatically over the course of the week. A brush with death could do that to a man; at least a mortal man. A few months ago he had taken the position of Engineer aboard “Boo.” Before it’s destruction it was a Hound, a Tech 2 Minmatar Stealth Bomber. On its last mission it was deployed to engage in a set of classified covert “hot drops” which ended in Ary & Avery Louis both in their pods. For the pod pilot it was just another op. For baseliner, it was very different. He cheated death.

Ary looked up from the spinning hologram of the new ship projected from the console. Cool dark eyes watched him descend. A hint of a smile lingered on her lips. An unimpressed snort came from the white coated fitting specialist who hadn’t bothered to turn around. His attention was focused on the spike of the power grid readings as the covert ops cloaking device was brought on-line.

“So, what do you think? Not bad for my first real battle scar, right?” Avery Louis lifted his head to show off now milky white eye and the scar that ran though it.

“And you got a new war tattoo.” Ary mused.

Her hand reached up to his dark skin as he approached her. Her thumb brushed under the fresh black ink that outlined the marred eye and traced off towards his upper ear. Pride blossomed on her face and softened her features. As emotion bubbling over the crack of flesh up on flesh broke into the air.

“Ow!” Avery Louis winced and cried out from strike. Ary’s hand had reached up to slap him across the back of his head. While unexpected, it was a sign of affection more than anything else. His head was brought toward her shoulder as she embraced him and give him a quick kiss to the cheek.

“I’m proud of you Little Nephew.” The tender piece of praise was quietly spoken into his ear. They were Matari after all.

“I wish you’d stop calling me that.” Avery Louis chide with an embarrassed laugh. “There’s hardly anything little about me and age shouldn’t count if you’re an immortal.”

His chest would puff up slightly as his Matari bravado began to show. He was right, there was nothing little about him. This was not the little boy that she swaddled and burped or the child she watched climb trees or run though the fields planet side. No, he was a man. Tattooed and scarred he was now a Matari man which meant even more.

“All in the eye of the beholder, but don’t forget…” Her tone dropped as humor mixed with sincerity. “… I’m still your boss.”

“Aye aye, Captian.” His tone was just as mocking as the half-assed salute he gave her. The two chuckled, but not everyone was as amused.

The white coated fitting specialist watched the two behind his thing framed spectacles. His face was long, angular and just as severe as his personality. Uninterested in the small reunion, he cleared his throat abruptly. His question asked before he bothered to see if the two were even paying attention.

“Have you made a decision on the lows? All other modules have been fit with the exception of the final low slot.” Subtle hints of agitation hung in the Amarrian’s tone.

“Two ballistics and a nano. It’s the same fitting we get every time…” Avery Louis’ shot his response back quickly and aggressively. He was never good with those he felt has ‘over stepped their bounds.’

“Well… after the last time I was thinking of maybe… beefing up the armor a bit. Just so…” Ary didn’t get the chance full explain before the engineer plunged in to a heated rebuttal.

“After one little hull loss from a frankly shitty bomb run now you want to add armor? No. That’s just… it… It doesn’t make any sense. We need that agility.” His voice echoed off the metal that surrounded them as he grew louder in his agitation.

Ary on the other hand remained cool and quiet. Her voice would drop from his normal tone to almost a whisper as she watched his anger roil. “It’s not because of one bombing run. It’s because of all the future bombing runs. As Captain and Capsuleer I have…”

“Don’t start with that bullshit!” The words were growled from clinched teeth. He turned away from her. His hand came to his face and his thumb rubbed the bridge of his nose in an effort to calm his self. His paced to refrain from loosing his temper, but his anger was already clear on his features from the flare of his nostrils to the wild dilation of his good eye. He would turn back to Ary sharply once his thoughts were collected.

“Your responsibility is to shoot down those mother fuckers before they shoot us down.” His finger was pushed in to her shoulder and then out to some distant unknown enemy. “That. That is your responsibility. My responsibility is that hull and its function and I’ll be damned I let you fuck it up with some bullshit fit.”

“That fit is not bullshit. The hull is paper thin as it is and all you’re doing it is stripping the structure for a minor bonus to inertia and velocity. We were over half way into armor with no option to repair. If we had that extra armor…”

“If we had extra armor then what? I’d still have my eye? Is that what this is about? An eye that’s been replaced with an implant worth millions of ISK and the honor of adding to my war tattoos? Are you really that fucking selfish?”

It was hard to see, but the faint flush of red was starting to build against the warm bronze of Ary’s skin. Her jaws clinched and her eyes narrowed as she and Avery Louis went toe-to-toe. While the two displayed their annoyance very differently; it was clear that both felt the other was treading on thin ice. The fitting specialist was smart to keep out of the way and out of the view of the two Matari.

“It seems you’ve forgotten little nephew.” Her voice remained calm, but her words were razor sharp. “These are MY ships. These are MY fittings. You are MY engineer. I am the immortal one that has shrugged off the ash of countless explosions. You have narrowly survived one and are you are the end all and be all of fittings?”

The thick jacket she wore was shrugged off and thrown to the floor. Her skin exposed, but even with only a sport bra to cover her, one could hardly say her flesh was bare. Avery Louis stepped towards her once more, but stopped. His mouth left hung open as his words caught in his throat.

They covered her in sprawling clusters, the war tattoos. Intricate and mesmerizing designs ran up and down her arms, over her collar bone and over the tops of her breasts. They even circled to her back and met between her shoulder blades trailing down her spine. The black and blood red of the ink sang tales of glory, loss and sacrifice. Each mark and stroke made with its own significance.

A heavy silence hung in the room as the two stood face to face. Ary and Avery Louis’s eyes were locked, but neither spoke or moved for a time. Slowly, in the midst of calm reflection, their anger gave way to mutual sense. A long sigh came from Avery Louis and his large hand ran over his bald head while Ary inhaled deeply as she stooped down to pick up the discarded jacket and slide it back over her shoulders.

“If you love me.” He finally spoke in a defeated tone. “You won’t do me this disservice. And I know you love me Auntie.”

He back away without another word and turned to make his way back up the stairs. Once Avery Louis disappeared from view, a faint clearing of a throat caught her attention. She turned and suddenly remembered the fitting specialist had been there the whole time.

“If I may…?” That high and mighty tone the Ammarians were known for ringing clear.

“No you may not.” Ary quipped back. “Just fit the damn nanofiber internal structure and get it insured.”