Category Archives: RL SUCKS!

I’m Back. And my Gumball is RED.

Well I caved.  Not quite sure I’m ready yet of course, but you don’t play EvE to play it safe.  I have removed Fancy Hats from Kraken.  It’s just not fair to them to have a corp sitting there with no active members, and no real interest in picking up activity to the level that FW simply demands.

I will say the first thing I did after swapping from my Archon to my Ishkur and undocking (I’m not a total moron) was to turn my gumball red.  I’m not flying with no damn safety!  I’m in the alliance cooldown, so I’m still in FW and likely won’t be doing much.  I plan on trying out random things that seem shiny.  Maybe sitting in a Pilgrim near a can miner to see if anyone is dumb enough to try to flip.  That actually sounds like a lot of fun actually.  I plan to focus a lot more on writing, and on writing well.  I plan on writing about things that matter.  I plan on writing about the demographics of EvE, the choices CCP makes, and things that change the course of the game for the people playing it.  Oh and I plan on talking about me, but if you’ve been paying ANY attention here you already knew that.

Come and chat in Hat Box.  Let me know if something big is going down.  Oh, and Fly Dangerous.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

Blog Banter 40: Why I am not Around Much

So yeah, it’s been a minute.  A lot of things have gone on, both good and bad, in real life.  The short short version is I’ve unsubscribed for a short list of reasons, but believe me I’ll be watching EvE and rejoining the Greatest Gaming Community at some point in the future.

On to the Banter

There is no finer spectacle in the universe of EVE Online than the explosive dance of weapon-laden spaceships in combat. The yearly Alliance Tournament is the jewel in EVE Online’s eSports crown and the upcoming New Eden Open should deliver the same gladiatorial entertainment showcase.

Given the scope of the sandbox, what part should eSports play in EVE Online and what other formats could provide internet spaceship entertainment for spectators and participants alike?

eSports is one of those fads that looks to be hanging around.  Frankly I think it’s GREAT for gaming as a whole.  EvE Online is not gaming as a whole.  EvE Online is such a Balkanized, Byzantine mess of politics and backstabbing that, frankly, I think EvE-like should replace both of those adjectives.  This doesn’t mix well with eSports.  The greatest alliance tournament matches for most of the community to watch were things like Star Fraction disassembling BOB, the last match at AT IX, the games where the meta game didn’t so much peek through as much as it came SCREAMING TO THE FOREFRONT with the presumptive level playing field crying limply from the meta games’ bloody jaws.

The problem is if you want to attract sponsors they want to know things are above board.  They want a presumption of fairness and equality.  They don’t want EvE, they want EvE-light.  They want a clean, pure version of a game that revels in muck and wallows in filth.  EvE isn’t about what happens in space ships.  It’s about what happens in smokey (chat) rooms, it’s about what happens between the lines, in E-mails and EvE mails, in skype calls and phone calls, on TS and Vent, battles are won and lost in-game.  Wars are won offline.  In tournaments individual matches CAN be won in-game, but most were decided long before the ships start moving.

Now I’m not saying EvE doesn’t need some sort of Arena, but I am saying that creating one and holding it up as “THIS is EVE ONLINE!” is disingenuous at best, and even misses the point of the game; although it certainly would be interesting to see a rise of currently unaffiliated “factions” all about battling it out in a “meta-enabled” gladiatorial arena, this approach seems to not be held in favor by CCP, likely as they feel it would not be nearly as appealing to sponsors.  Because surely there’s never been a major arena based organization with blatantly unfair matches, frequently scripted events and stoylines so complex the writers from Dallas started taking notes.

Wait, what’s that?  It’s the Undertaker’s music!

With apologies to Bill Simmons

Wouldn’t it be great to have arena matches that represented EvE?  Not some idealized version of the same system.  Actual EvE.  Backstabbing, plotting, treachery and sudden swift strikes completely upsetting the carefully prepared odds books?  I’d love it.

P.S. I will be posting more here, about gaming in general, both table top and online.

P.P.S. Orakkus and James 315 better be getting spots on the blog pack soon.  Sadly it looks like there will soon be quite a few openings.

P.P.P.S. congrats to Roc for getting EvE and gaming in general some great press.  I may not like his blog too much and have even attacked him a time or two, but credit where it is due, he has made EvE look better this week.

I’m using it every time I can

And Then You Wake Up and it’s Tomorrow

There’s a grief that can’t be spoken.
There’s a pain goes on and on.
Empty chairs at empty tables
Now my friends are dead and gone.¹


All the little angels rise up, rise up,
All the little angels rise up high.

How do they rise up, rise up, rise up?
How do they rise up, rise up high?

They rise heads up, heads up, heads up,
They rise heads up, heads up high.²

The hardest thing a leader has to do is get up and lead when all they want to do is crawl back under the blankets and pretend the world doesn’t exist because they can’t see it.  Yesterday they lost a legend, they lost a rock, they lost a resource as endless as the depths of space, as brilliant as the stars and as wise as time itself.  Yesterday they lost a friend.  Today they have a job to do.  Alexander Gianturco has made of himself one hell of a persona in The Mittani.  A brash, pragmatic, cosmopolitan leader who will do what it takes no matter the cost in the name of fun and the greater Goon empire.  The Mittani sees enemies everywhere, sees persecution everywhere and stirs up base emotions of anger and rage.

I suspect that much of Vile Rat’s work consisted of translating The Mittani’s message for the audience of allies who didn’t subscribe to the “Oh we’re the leaders of the most powerful bloc in EvE but everyone still hates us” message.  Alexander Gianturco has to find someone to do that.

Vile Rat coordinated a network of diplomats and spies.  Some of whom may have been known only to him.  Alexander Gianturco needs to find someone to run that network.

Vile Rat had cultivated a personal relationship of respect and trust in a universe filled with “Cut-yo-momma-for-a-wooden-nickel” types.  Alexander Gianturco needs to find someone to work on that immediately, and it can’t be done in seconds.

The Mittani needs to make sure his fleet commanders stay on task.  He needs to make sure that timers aren’t missed and that the right feathers get smoothed or ruffled, deal with unrest among the minions, and Be a Presence.  He needs to show that he’s There and Engaged and Leading when in all likelihood Alexander Gianturco just wants to curl up in bed with a bottle.

His actions will be over-analyzed, his speeches subjected to razor thin examination of every word choice and phrase.  His is the loneliness of leadership.  His short list of friends he could really open up to, really drop his mask with, has shrunk, and instead of getting time to deal with his grief, he has to get up, log in and lead.  07 and good luck.

¹ Empty Chair At Empty Tables.  Les Miserables Claude-Michel Schönberg, Herbert Kretzmer, Victor Hugo
² Night Watch by Terry Pratchett 

I’m using it every time I can

Coupla Quickies

Everyone here is safer for my efforts with the US Army Reserves.  That’s right I watched grown men pee for 3 hours.

Trying to come up with good questions to ask when joining an alliance… Good questions to hear from them (with the answers)

I have a brief window to play more EvE, then two weeks of Army stuff, then another couple week sprint, then a MONTH of garbage.  I will try to keep up the posting and even do some

WordPress needs to update it’s Android app.  Black background with black text.  Not easy to blog from work.

CCP Needs to set up a mobile site for those of us stuck with crappy DoD supervised internet.


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See you in space.

I'm using it every time I can

EvE, WoW, SW:TOR and MMO meta changes.

So what with the Holidays starting and all I haven’t had much time for EvE.  Added to that my computer has been VERY wonky and I’ve had more time for thinking and looking than I have for actually getting in game.  Stupid RL.

So my friend Hex from Don’t Stand in the Fire brought something to my attention:  This.  It represents a complete dumbing down of the game to the point where I cannot see how the high end players are going to like this.  The cookie-cutter will get even simpler and the min-maxing will be so obvious that even the simplest players will all have the same build as the geniuses, and the people that want to try different things will be handicapping themselves and it will be obvious that they are doing so.

EvE is too complex.  Ripard Teg is trying to figure out the Meta levels of T1 mods.  I think that those naming conventions are great as they are a HUGE drive to training T2 and who cares if T1 Meta 4 is actually better I can’t figure out which one it is.  EvE is taking steps to make things a little more straightforward without losing difficulty.  WoW is dumbing things down.  A lot.  Part of the reason is they have to dumb down isn’t the talent tree.  It’s the “Spell book”  Power Proliferation is a huge problem.  I’m not going to go into it too deep here, but they are responding to the fact that people have too many choices not by reducing the confusion over the choices, but by making them for people.  It would be like EvE saying “Well people are having trouble understanding meta mods, so we went ahead and did away with all the  extra meta mods, Faction, Deadspace mods and officer mods, so now there’s 1 T1, 1 T2, 1 Faction, 1 Deadspace, and 1 Officer choice”

That isn’t what people want.  Yes EvE needs to get simpler but they can simply name things differently.  WoW can handle it similarly by getting rid of powers it doesn’t want people to use rather than making their talent system Hello Kitty Online material.

SW:TOR has been a lot of fun.  Of course I have time to write this blog because it’s over a 1 hour delay to get into my main’s server, but it is what it is.  SW:TOR has me thinking a lot about the point of games.  The point of EvE is PvP.  Every action and choice you make affects the game for other players.  It helps some and it hurts some.  Trust me.  WoW is endgame raiding based.  As you can hear on Zero Punctuation you want bigger numbers to get rid of the enemy numbers so you can get more numbers.  You get the idea.  The only real PvP happens on the markets, and from what I hear it actually gets rather cutthroat.

Yes I know there’s arenas and crap.  You think I care about PvP where, when you die, you respawn with exactly the same gear and get a reward at the end of the match even if you spent it all sucking and bouncing off trees?  Screw that.

SW:TOR is story based.  Yes there’s WoW-esque PvP, and there’s even some endgame content that I expect to be min maxed to a joyless pasionless waste of time long before I bother to hit max level.  There’s a story too for people who are too lazy to pick it up.  In fact there’s 8.  One for each base class.  Let me say that again.  Bioware has 8 stories each of which will take you dozens of hours to play through.  In one game.  Try getting that much play time from a game.  Add in the MMO staples of “PvP” and raids and dungeons and you might find it to be quite a deal.  I know it’s already cut into my EvE time a bit.

I'm using it every time I can

Not gonna be around this weekend

SW:TOR Beta test calls.  Enjoy EvE.  I’ll be back monday.

Read this:

A Brief History of Corelin 3: Sandboxes don’t mix

I came back from the swamps of scenic Ft. Polk to find my friends had mostly given up.  A few of the closest were still plugging away, and the war was over thankfully.  Lots of drama was emerging, I’ll give a brief summary here, but really it’s not my story.

A guy named R3dskull had been very welcoming when some of our guys started playing in lowsec around Faswiba.  I’d had a few conversations with him, and others were equally friendly or more so.  he seemed like a guy giving good advice.  Come to find out he’d gone into a paranoid rage and decided to have us wardecced and griefed out of the game because we were spying on him and trying to drive him out of his home.  I’ll leave it to Star to tell the full story as, while I have heard enough to earn him my undying enmity I want to make sure the facts are presented more correctly than I can present them.

Not the last time we’d run into this kind of character.

End result:  I’m drifting around, chatting with the friends I have, and I try out providence.  I finally had the skills to actually do something out there so I took the trip out.  My perception of CVA was this incredibly powerful unstoppable force that happened to have chosen to use its powers for good instead of evil, rather than them being a bunch of prats who occupied nearly worthless space and could mostly fend off the few people interested enough to try to blob their way through their towers.

I mostly drifted around, trying new (pve) things, running L4s, sometimes even on my own, sometimes with friends who drifted in and out trying to recapture the magic majesty we had found when first we played, and preparing for my second trip to Iraq.  I arranged for a friend to take care of my skill training as I did not expect to have much internet access and even less time.

Next Part:  What’s all this PvP about Anyway?

What about Major Kong?

Wow it’s been busy.

So real life has been interfering with EvE, hence me having no posts and not doing anything interesting in EvE for a couple weeks.  We had one abortive battle in Ertoo where we managed to not notice most of our logistics chain wasn’t with us and our DPS couldn’t overcome their reps so we got THOROUGHLY welped

Ouch.  We had a plan.  It wasn’t what we went in with, and it showed.  Mayhem. had a plan, they followed through, brought a better fleet and clearly had much less confusion than we did.  We managed to THOROUGHLY cover ourselves in shame in that fight, and there were a lot of spectators for the fight.  /le sigh


Two days later the Army Reserves tells me I haven’t done my AT for the year, (I know, I’ve been asking about it) and tells me I need to report SOON(TM) so i say no problem I’ll be there tomorrow.  College students don’t have awful schedules during the summer.

Of course once this is done I head to Florida for a week, because fuckit I wanna go see friends.  So I’m keeping a low profile, trying to help my guys have fun and logging on when I can.  I forgot how tired you get after even a boring day on duty in the army.

Anyway don’t expect any phenominal posts unless something excellent comes up before I get back from my work/vaca.