Saturday, April 25, 2015

RIP Pittsburgh Penguins (or, "This Is Not an Eve Post")

I'll be traveling for the next couple days for business, so I've spent the past few getting ready and spending time with the family.  So, I apologize in advance for my lack of posting.

However, there is one event that I simply cannot let pass.  I am a rabid hockey fan.  More than that, I'm a rabid Pittsburgh Penguins fan.

Wait, don't stop reading yet.

I come to bury the Penguins, not to praise them.

Puck Daddy, a sports blog hosted on Yahoo, asks a fan of a rival team to eulogize each team as it leaves the playoffs.  The writers gleefully roast the target team, since they're fans of their rivals.  Typically, a Washington Capitals or Philadelphia Flyers fan eulogizes them.  But they're quite popular for the actual fans of the team being roasted.  It's cathartic, really, purging the frustration and leaving you ready to enjoy the next season.  But these eulogies never do justice to the frustration that a true fan feels.

It's been a particularly hard season as a Penguins fan.  The Penguins went from the top of the league to barely sliding into the playoffs, to falling in 5 games (only winning one of them) in the first round.  And this has been how it was for pretty much the past six seasons... embarrassing losses and complete collapses.  They haven't played anywhere near their potential.

So, please enjoy my eulogy, knowing that I love the Penguins dearly, and my words come from the broken dreams of unrealized potential.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Value of a Kill

Balian: “What is Jerusalem worth?”
Saladin: “Nothing…. Everything!”
- Kingdom of Heaven
Sugar Kyle is a blogger I absolutely love. She writes not to present herself as an expert, but to share her experience. She touches on a lot of the psychological and philosophical aspects of Eve. She asks herself, “Why am I doing this?” along with, “What does this say about me?” And that’s completely awesome.

In one of her latest posts, she raised the topic of the value of killmails, and intentionally left it an open-ended interpretation of “value”. It was such a good discussion topic that I didn’t want to wait for it to be a blog banter (which it totally should be).

Value is a strange term, and while the dictionary definition Sugar quoted is definitely correct, as with all dictionary definitions it reflects the modern usage only. Traditionally, the “value” of an object related to the worth placed on it. That worth isn’t tied to a specific monetary system, and can include abstract concepts like “fun”, “engagement”, and “happiness”. And this is particularly important for Eve, where nothing as any monetary value at all.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Tease and No Tickle

TheMittani’s recent alliance update drops quite a few bombs in a surprisingly few words. So many, in fact, that I just had to comment in two different posts.  While the first focused on the roleplay aspect, this post is all about shifting coalitions.

First, let’s talk about what we know.  According to Vince Draken’s Twitter account (and confirmed on TMC), NC. Is going to drop sov as of April 18, will reset Northern Associates, their rental alliance, and is presumably bowing out of N3.  Nulli Secunda and Darkness. are losing their space in the black hole that is Delve/Querious/Period Basis (does anyone ever talk about those regions separately?).  And everything N3 built up over the past couple years is being tossed into the “obsolete, not necessary” bin.

There are a few different ways you could take this change.  On the one hand, you could build a #failcascade narrative out of the speed at which the N3 invasion of Fountain turned into the disintegration of the entire coalition and the loss of all of their space.  Personally, what surprises me isn’t that they chose to go their separate ways (for reasons I’ll explain later), but the nonchalance involved.  NC. doesn’t seem to care about their allies currently being hammered in the south, and Nulli and Darkness. don’t seem to be terribly upset that NC. pretty much left them out to hang high and dry.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Content Must Flow

Yesterday, TheMittani released a simulcast alliance update to the Goonswarm forums and that contained a whole bunch of announcements.  While I am going to post about some of them affecting the null-sec game, one mention, in particular, stands apart from the others.

That, of course, was the formal declaration of war by the CFC against the ruler of the Amarr Empire.  The section where he speaks about this is short, and is worth repeating in its entirety.
The first act of our new Imperium: we formally declare our undying loyalty to the True Emperor of Amarr: Maximilian Singularity VI, First of His Name. Anyone in New Eden declaring for the False Empress Jamyl will be violently disabused of their heresy and their territory forfeit. Until the CONCORD-protected zones declare for the True Emperor, we'll have to content ourselves with enforcing the True Emperor's truth across Providence the moment that Fozziesov goes live. We grant Providence the opportunity to reflect upon their sins and seek redemption by bending the knee, just as I have.
Now, it’s absolutely certain that the Providence campaign is nothing more than a test flight of FozzieSov mechanics.  Through it, GSF and allies can learn what works and what doesn’t in attacking and defending a region GSF has no long-term desire to hold and which doesn’t threaten its home.  If you think otherwise, look to the timing; GSF is announcing an invasion two full months in advance… hardly the “keep your cards close…” approach that leads to successful attacks.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

WCS: Add Consequences, Not Restrictions

Over at Evoganda, Rixx Javix has consistently made compelling arguments that warp core stabilizers are the devil, both in general and as they relate to FW low-sec space.  In theory, I tend to agree with him... I believe that specifically joining faction warfare only to stabilize your ship so you can run from every possible fight is cowardly and shameful.  You lose the right to complain if someone calls you out about it.

But, even when I spent a lot of time around Tama and surrounding systems, I didn't notice it as being such a massive problem.  My experience was that blobbing, and not WCS, ruined most of the fun.  And I'm okay with when people blog me... it means I should have killed the other guy faster, and good for him for having a bunch of friends nearby.

And then Sunday night happened.  I left from Tamo with a drone Tristan and headed towards the Ashitsu constellation, hoping to find a few pilots to fight.  A few jumps in, I saw another Tristan at a plex and slid in.  He was about 20 km away, so I dutifully applied my point and dropped my drones.

And then he warped away.

I tossed a mere, "Are you kidding me?" in local, but of course, he didn't respond.  I followed him around as he warped between the novice and small plexes in the system, caught him twice and managed to give the "attack" order to my drones, only to watch him warp off again.

Annoyed, I moved in, and found a Federation Navy Comet in the next system and warped to him.  Landing and sliding, I saw him 10 km off, applied my point, and began to damage him.  I watched as he locked me back, and gleefully hoped for an actual fight.

Nope.  At 60% shield, he warped off again, still under point.  Apparently, he was teasing me with his slow reaction time.  This time, I grumbled a bit more loudly in local.  He rightly pointed out that even with a Comet, he had no chance against a character created in 2009 when he was only a month old (I didn’t check his age when I engaged him).  But it didn’t change the fact that he still flew with a WCS.  Even if he wanted to fight, fitting that module would reduce his lock time to the point that he’d be spotting his opponent at least two volleys before he could lock.

So I moved on again.  And found a Merlin sitting in a plex.  Again, I pointed him.


I moved to the next system and found yet another target, an Incursus this time.


Monday, April 6, 2015

Starting an Alt: Surrender

Eve is a game, in many ways, about patience.  The really lucrative industry jobs takes weeks or months to complete.  Acquiring kills can require a lot of effort and preparation – not only in understanding and applying proper ship fitting, but also flying around and finding someone willing to fight you.  Mining is a slow business requiring significant hours of investment… with few ways to speed up the process (unlike finding surprise drops from faction rats, for instance).

And skill training advances regardless of in-game activity, meaning that training Advanced Weapon Upgrades V is going to take the better part of a month whether you log in and spend hours playing or simply afk train.

In August of last year, I started an effort to create an alt from scratch.  My goal was to train a new character with all the core, fitting, armor, shield, drone, base gunnery, and base missile skills a person would need to step into any ship and weapon type effectively.  I laid out a long-term skill plan.  And it was a good one.  I’ve been training that character for the past seven months.

Or at least I was until this week, when I sold that character and cheated.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


I’m working out my final week at my current company.  I'm getting ready to move onto the next job, which I think I’ll enjoy a lot more.  I’m excited and don’t regret the decision to leave at all.  That struck me as strange.  After all, I spend a lot of time there, and interact with the people there almost as much as my family.

Over my four years of playing Eve, I’ve changed corporations five times (I don’t count anything before Imperial Legion).  In that time, I’ve also worked at three different companies in real life.  And more often than not, the decision to change corps in Eve has been harder and more emotional than the decision to change jobs in real life.

That’s messed up.