Friday, June 27, 2014

Starting an Alt: Bringing a New Life Into This Cruel World

Over the course of one’s career in New Eden, it’s not unusual for a player to realize that one character simply isn’t enough.  Perhaps you want to awox someone.  Perhaps you simply want park a character in one location for some reason (cyno, trader, hauler, logistics, mission running, faction warfare, etc.).  Perhaps you just want to have another PvP or PvE character to help fund your game experience or cause mayhem.

It’s been about two years since I started a new character, the alt for my wife.  In that time, a lot has changed in New Eden.  It occurred to me that I couldn’t be a blogger dedicated to helping players learn about PvP and related topics if I didn’t discuss the strategy behind creating a new character.  In two days, I’ll have completed the final skill to perfect my wife’s character’s role, and that account won’t have any characters training anything.

So the “Starting an Alt” series of posts will chronicle my experiences creating a new PvP character from scratch.  Note the title; I’m starting an alt character dedicated to PvP, not a player’s first character, or an industry or trading alt.  Your main may come from any discipline within Eve, so I’ll try to write it with an eye to explaining my reasoning for each step of the process.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Power Protection

Recently, Ogast wrote an article on Eve News 24 suggesting some ways to curb power projection in Eve.  The suggestions he offered were mass limitations on cyno fields, similar to wormholes, and tethered bridging (being able to carry multiple ships with you through the bridge).  I’m not certain whether he was genuinely suggesting that they be added or simply throwing the ideas into the discussion for consideration.

Regardless, the existence of this article reflects the growing concerns about the state of null-sec in particular, and the power exerted by null alliances in general.  However, it occurs to me that they seem to be raising solutions to a problem without stating exactly what that problem is, or what a corrected end-state looks like.

Sunday, June 22, 2014


In times of low activity, stresses appear.  Alliances crumble because weaknesses within become that much more apparent.  Corporations find their reason for existing isn’t sufficient to satisfy their members.  Sometimes, corporations can even find that they don’t have a reason for existing, only an enemy to fight, and crumble once that fight ceases to drive them.

In the best of cases, you simply get bored.  When this happens, leadership tends to respond with, “So, make your own content!”  They forget, of course, that the whole point of joining a specific corp/alliance is to participate in the content provided by it.  If a person wanted to exist solely on his own content, he’d go it alone.

But, all slow periods end, and it’s always wise to measure the value of a corp/alliance by the length of your experience.  For myself, Razor is somewhat low on meaningful activity right now (we still have inty roams, honor fights, and thunderdomes).  It’s a pervasive problem throughout the entire CFC.

But, I love my corporation, and I realize that Razor itself has done well by me over the past two and a half years.  So I consider all of that history in giving the benefit of the doubt, and I’m not going anywhere because of a temporary lull.  So I’m going to take them up on the, “So, make your own content!”

But this can be hard.  We don’t all have the time to scout out twenty systems to find a target.  Some of us have only a couple hours a day to play.  Some of us don’t have the resources to spend organizing a fleet.  We play Eve for immediate fun.

So here are a few ideas to generate immediate fun, regardless of the alliance you’re in.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

TGRAD and Razor Behind the Scenes

Flatterpillo ran a very well-researched article about the recent departure of both hirr and The Graduates from Razor Alliance.

Those who have read this blog before know that I’ve been a member of Razor since early 2012.  In those two-and-a-half years, Razor went from a barely-burning ember holding sov in 5 systems in Pure Blind to owning Tenal for the past two years.  We’ve had great successes, great failures, and have generally waxed and waned in power and ability over the past few years.

It may seem a little strange that a Razor blogger hasn’t covered everything happening in Razor over the past few months.  Up until now, I’ve tried to play it close to the vest out of respect for the troika and to prevent headaches for my own corp leadership.  If I say something controversial or air dirty laundry publicly, it’s not really good form, and my corp will hear complaints about it.

But with the recent article about Razor I’ve come to the conclusion that silence will only serve to propagate some false beliefs about what the real story is.  I aim to rectify the narrative now.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Leadership and Blame

On the Razor forums, one of my alliance mates shared part of a thesis he was writing on leadership in Eve Online.  It’s an interesting topic, and while I’m not going to post his original statement (I don’t have his permission, and there could be “original work” issues with doing so re: his thesis submission).  However, suffice to say, the topic of leadership in Eve Online is a contentious one.

A lot of people apply the same rules of loyalty to Eve that they would apply to the real world; you should be loyal to your alliance or corporation.  Awoxing is the result of preconceived intention, and doesn’t grow out of it organically.  Particularly in null-sec, there is also a prevailing attitude that line members should shut up and obey their leaders, de facto.

Let’s set the table, first.  Leadership in Eve Online has a relatively mild barrier to entry.  All you need to do is have the time to dedicate to it and demonstrate a willingness to start off.  A track record of trustworthiness then carries you forward.  Sure, alliances and corporations need to be careful about possible spies and awoxers, but other than time and trust, you don’t need a specific degree, credential, or track record of working your way up the ranks over several years.  It’s the Internet, after all, not real life.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Unnecessary Additions

Discussion about balance within Eve Online is absolutely essential.  In fact, I’d argue it’s the most valuable topic of discussion, since it lets us stretch our innovative muscles in a way that requires us to consider third- and fourth-order consequences to changes, not just first- and second-order ones.

Easier said than done.

A lot of discussion about balance and changes CCP should make revolve around making the proposer’s life easier, often at the expense of others, whether intentionally or unintentionally.  Personally, my view is that CCP should only make changes if they a) maintain or improve the level of engagement and vestment players have in the game, b) reduce – or at least not add to – unnecessary complication, and c) generate additional revenue.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Corps of All Sizes

Why do small corporations and small alliances persist in the age of coalition blocs and the great “cold war” between the CFC and the N3/PL bloc?

This question naturally comes out of the dialogue running through much of Eve.  We’re living in the age of the blob, aren’t we?  Everyone’s rushing for more supers and titans because “more wins”.  More is better, right?

Of course not.  More is simply more.  While it may be true that for sov-holding alliances, it’s all about “more, more, more”, in every other area of space, it’s about “better, better, better”.

As an alliance, can you seek to be the best at small gang and the best at sov warfare?

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Praise Rendered Unto Echoes of the Past

Yesterday, I received some disheartening news: Ripard Teg is ending Jester’s Trek.  This is a terrible loss, both personally and for the Eve commentary community at large.  Words fail to express my sorrow now to start up my phone and read Jester’s Trek every morning.

Quite simply, Ripard’s mind was keen, filled with wisdom, knowledge, and experience, and he expressed himself with a style and tone that lent itself to receptive comprehension.  I found him to be measured and quite accurate, most of the time.

Sure, he had a number of regular posts that I didn’t care for… his evil alter ego Garth, the COTW and image of the week, for instance… but even excluding them, his writing was prolific, insightful, and well-informed.  More often than not, those who disagreed with him in comments revealed more about the flaws in their own thinking than in his.