Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Polls are Open…

~or, “Rock the Vote for CSM9"

I have been very busy ingame these last few weeks so I have not spent any recycled electrons here on the current run for CSM9, I will correct that today.

The CSM, the Council of Stellar Management, are YOUR elected representatives to CCP. The CSM is a player-elected council who represents the views of the members of the EVE Online community to CCP.

Functionally the CSM is a lobbying group FOR the playerbase of EVE Online. They have no power or authority inside CCP, they cannot make or enforce any changes to our great game, but the CSM is a very involved stake holder group that has been given privileged access to the Game Developers and Executives inside CCP to give CCP a more detailed, and rational (IE whine, rhetoric and troll free) understanding of the views, needs, desires and feelings of the EVE Online playerbase.

There are 14 player elected representatives on the CSM. 2 have a permanent seat at the 2 annual summits. The summits are 3 day meetings between the CSM and CCP staff. These meetings are mainly set to cover whatever issues the CSM deems worthy to discuss with CCP over current and future mechanics, gameplay, patches and expansions.

The CSM reps are, or can be, YOUR voice at-the-table so to speak… YOUR voice. So if you don’t vote, you can bitch all you want if things disappoint you, but it will be partially your fault for not at least trying…

You want change? You want to possibly influence CCPs direction for the game? Then get on yer ass, get logged in and get involved and at least VOTE for those who represent your views and desires… or if you feel no one really represents what you want then get more deeply involved and run for office yourself.

I have voted in the CSM elections since I joined in Nov of 2010, CSM7 & CSM8. I voted my ballot for CSM9 the day the polls opened. Here is that ballot and…

Here are my endorsements…

 1. Sugar Kyle – Lowsec, Pirate, Industry, All Playstyles
 2. James Argent – Wormholes
 3. Asayanami Dei – Wormholes
 4. Karen Galeo – Wormholes
 5. Ali Aras (Incumbent) – New & Independent Players and Small Gang
 6. Mike Azariah (Incumbent) – Casual Playstyle and Hisec
 7. Matias Otero – BNI, The long-term growth, keeping the game fun, the potential of the Sandbox ideal 
 8. Mangala Solaris (Incumbent) – RVB, continued Balance Changes & Quality of Life ingame 
 9. corbexx – Wormholes
10. Steve Ronuken – Industry
11. progodlegend (Incumbent) – Ship Tiers & Rebalancing, Mechanic Changes, 0.0 Meta
12. corebloodbrothers – Provi null-NRDS
13. Xander Phoena – Communication CSM/playerbase to CCP & Nullsec (non Alliance)
14. Psychotic Monk – Griefer & Hisec: War Decs, Baiting, Safaris, Scamming, Ganking, Mission Thief

My recommendation reflect my playstyle and the space and game I play. As a 3 year wormhole veteran and self styled Anoikis Mercenary, I of course have a W-Space heavy ticket, with 4 slots given to those representing my playstyle… but note that Sugar Kyle is in my #1spot.

I have been following Sugars blog since she first posted…and I am very impressed with her knowledge, energy and passion for our game… but what made me place her at #1 is the same ting that did it for Ripard Teg last year… Sugar is not just a Lowsec or Nullsec or even W-Space candidate… Sugar Kyle truly wants what is best for ALL of us who fly the deadly skies of New Eden… no matter where, or how, we fly.

Now get out there, read up, talk to your corpmates, make a decision and…

Fly Wreckless and see you in the Sky  =/|)=

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Escapes, Sites, GudFights and PI…

~or, “Getting Back in the Game”

Now that I am getting settled in nicely in the C3, I remembered it was time to bring in what I call my Hole Card… In Anoikis this is the alt you focus train as a scan alt and then bring them into the home hole and log off ‘em in a CovOps and that toon NEVER leaves the hole. This is your backup in case you get closed out of your hole either by accident or by having an enemy mass close your hole on you or worse, you get podded out. This way you always have char to scan the entrance/pipe down with.

While we were In SYJ I had Angel in Bastion as my hole card. We had left Bastion some months ago and as I was in Hisuc I had not been overly concerned with Angel. When I decided to join HELPeR in their C3 I realized I had to get Angel out… but this was problematic. You see a few months ago I was going to just Blood Jump her out so she had ejected from her Cheetah, self assploded it and only then did I realize… Angel had a basic clone…  Yup, I had not updated her clone after the last time she was podded AND you can only update your clone from a station… and there aint no stations in W-Space… sheesh.

So, back when this happened I had thought I’ll get ahold of somebody in SYJs Aussie corps that had remained in Bastion when we first left, to see if I can get her a pipe out. Yea… well, it turns out that SYJ really has ‘left the building’ as twere… and guess who has taken up residence in our old C6? The Merchants Trade Consortium [MTCU] (executor corp of The Last Chancers Alliance [TLC]) of course. For those who know this is highly ironic and for them as dunt... well, SYJ took a job from an insider last year where we invaded and burned down a C5 called “The Office”.

The Office was a staging hole where The Last Chancers [TLC], a major Anoikis Alliance, stored a number of Capitols and support ships in several POSes. The insider, a Director who had tried to leave on good terms, IE with advance notice, had had his roles stripped and was locked out of his assets as a precautionary move by the leadership of TLC… this angered him and he decided to ‘get even’ on his way out… seems he had an alt they had forgotten about that still had “Config Starbase Equipment” role… and with that you can anchor, unanchor, online, and offline any POS equipment owned by his corporation…  oops.

So, he bided his time, waiting until TLCs downtime, scanned the pipe, and, as I said in my post on the raid… He opened the gate and unbarred the front door in the dead of the night then stood aside as the bad men came in… The upshot? (video ->) Over 500+ billion in ISK destroyed or looted from The Merchants Trade Consortium [MTCU], Executors of [TLC].

So as you can see, TLC and especially MTCU could possibly hold a wee bit of a grudge against SYJ, the member corps and, well, anyone involved in the Office Raid. And, while Angel wasn’t there, she is my alt and I most def was there… and Angel was trapped, inna POD, in Bastion… sheesh.

Anyway, I finally decided to bite the bullet and go ahead and take the SP loss and blood jump Angel out. So I logged on and was preparing to that when, on a whim, I decided to give peace a chance… I joined the TLC Pub Chan and said Hello… after a bit I was answered and the ensuing convo led to what I find is often more usual in this weird weird game we play… they were cool with helping me out as being stuck inna hole happens when you fly in Anoikis… and while we love the Good Fights and the Hot Drops, someone asking for help is a very different matter… EvE, it seems, is not full of assholes only.

Anyway, I get Angel out and back to hisec, docked her in the Old HBHI HQ in Eglennaert. I settle her in and get her trained up to Corp Mngmt L4, Tur makes her CEO, dropped roles, quit HBHI and joined HELPeR.

In my first week I am logging on almost nightly, I am in our standing fleet if anyone else is on, I am joining in and taking part in site running, raiding adjacent and nearby holes, setting up PI, even sucking up C3 gas sites and I am enjoying warding off the weak attempts by the C3 Sleepers to defend ‘their’ space.

We went a raiding... Sov found a C3 one lowsec hop away from our home hole... We had a kitchen sink PvE fleet… A Mael, Geddon and Tengu DPS with a single Basi for Logi. I was in the Basi, Cap Chained to the Geddon so I was able to run all 4 Lrg Shld Repper IIs, both Lrg ‘Regard’ Cap Trans, all defenses and the 10MN AB II full time.

Well, we ran 11 sites easy peasy... too easy it seems. I was carrying 3 MTUs and dropping one at each warpin… well, I tried to but Logi is an intensive role and on landing I have to…
(1) anchor on the Geddon,
(2) target the fleet,
(3) ensure the Cap Chain is up,
(4) start checking the watchlist to keep tabs on who is getting primaried by the Sleepers and
(5) apply Reps and/or Cap as I see the need or as it was called for…
Well, I dropped the MTUs when I remembered them or when someone asked why I hadn’t yet, sheesh… I love running Logi…  =]

Anyhoo, we would run 3 sites then nearing the end of the third, I would warp back to each MTU, scoop and loot in turn. After 11 sites, we were halfway through the total, so we stopped and one of the guys went back for a Noctis and salavaged up all 11 sites. He had just made his way back to our home hole when… The Geddon and I got jumped by a small T3 gang with EWar support, Proteus, Legion and an Eos... I think there were more there but those were the ones on me and on the killmails.

When I looked up and saw that flashing icon over a ship that wasn’t there a second ago… Man oh man! I started shaking like I haven't since I don't know when!! Then I pulled myself together as best I could and I really tried my best to support the Geddon. They started trying to neut me, then I got jammed out by EC-300s, after than I couldn’t help the Geddon anymore so I tried to pull range and GTFO... but one of the T3s stayed on me… I was neuted and webbed and he finally popped me, but I had enough time to setup a warpout to one of the sites we had BMed so I got my POD out of the fight… I bounce between a few completed sites finally settling down to see if they would pop combats… they dint and it looked to us like they just looted our wrecks and left... so we went back home. LOL! It took me a while to calm down from the shakes… But, this time, instead of freaking me out it was GLORIOUS!!

The Outcome… We lost a Basilsk, Tech II Logi (175m ISK) and an Armageddon, T1 BS (213m ISK); total loss of 285m ISK… we got ALL the L&S from 11 C3 Sleeper sites… I don’t handle the bank in HELPeR so I don’t know the total, but there were 3 of us and my cut was 100m ISK… so call it 300m ISK in L&S… and an a very exciting fight all in all for me. I so prefer how fights develop in W-Space… it is SOOO much more like what I believe it might be like if we even do actually go ‘out there’… There is no ‘local’ in space in Real Life.

and PI…
Back at the POS, and I'm setting up PI again. I very carefully took down, as in decommissioned and removed, ALL of my PI facilities back in Bastion (I did the same back in our old C3 too actually). Which poses a question, I assume most players will at least pull out the last of their PI final products when they leave a system, constellation or hole, but how many actually take the time to decommission all of their PI facilities? And if not, how many just abandon them in place? I wonder how much of the database if taken up by old abandoned PI setups all over New Eden Hmmmm?

Wouldn’t it be interesting if abandoned PI Facilities… showed up as “Abandoned” after say… 60 or 90 days… and as “Unclaimed” after say… 120 or 180 days? After that they would become available for anyone to re-commission the abandoned Command Centers. To do so you would have to pay, oh say 4/5ths or 2/3rds of the original (or current) price to “Re-commission” each Command Center which would then allow you to either re-commission the rest of the facilities, for a price, as originally setup or decommission and setup a new production line… Heyyyy maybe something like that would be good for all those abandoned POSes out there cluttering up space and the database too…

Anyhoo… I took a look at the PI available in this hole and decided to do the same as I have in the past… split my PI 50/50 between Robotics that I donate to corp for fuel and the highest ISK making PI prod for personal income… in our hole if I want to use just 2 planets, that will be “Supercomputers” as shown below in my favorite PI App, the EVE Planetary Planner.

I choose Supercomputers because they are in the top 5 in ISK/m3 value per as shown below. I also check on the current market movement, prices and trends and I like what I see... (next pic down)

I could make Gel-Matrix Biopaste, but as I am donating 50% of my PI to corp, that means I have to optimize what’s left and I can make more Supercomps than GM Biopaste. OK, so how do you make Supercomputers? Again we turn to the EVE Planetary Planner for the schematic.

OK, so far, so good except… at 4 of the planets I want to use we have left over POCOs from 2 previous corps and both charge taxes. One is charging 10% and another, 5% and the other 2 are at 17%. A lot of P3 and 4 prods require a bit of moving P2 & 3 prods around… and this is slowly bleeding me as I try and get my PI lines up to full production. I need to get corp assistance bashing those 4 POCOs and replacing them with HELPeR POCOs. Sov said he would gladly setup the op, but I have to go the cost of the gantries. Four Customs Office Gantries @ approx 65m ISK ea. will run me 260m ISK... yea, ok.

[Update...  I have never setup POCOs myself, turns out I dint take into account the additional assets needed to upgrade an anchored Customs Office Gantry to a Planetary Orbital Customs Office, you need 8 each of: Self-Harmonizing Power Cores; Broadcast Nodes; Wetware Mainframes and Recursive Computing Nodes. This changes things... now I am looking at 91,252,000 ISK each. In other words I now need to save up approx 365,000,000 ISK, doable but sheesh...]

Well, I am back in Anoikis, I am banking roughly 100 to 150 mil ISK per night these last few nights… Last night for instance, we ran a number of sites in Lowsec to the tune of approx 150 or so mil ISK per Sov… and that’s great but… I have dropped 150+ m ISK on PI setups (and tear downs, re-setups and tweaks) and I have been bringing in ships, mods and ammo when we have decent pipes to Amarr from our U210 Lowsec Static. This is all good and so far I am just pulling ships from my fleet, but I am also refitting for C3, lowsec sites and PvP, ships that were originally fit for C6 Bastion sites, Merc Ops or Roams and there are attendant costs there.

So while my ISK making has stepped back up to acceptable levels, I am unavoidably incurring higher than maintenance costs at the moment and my actual balance has fluctuated around 200 to 150m ISK instead of growing… as I hope it will as soon as I get the POCOs thing settled, my PI running smoothly and some ships replaced with backups too.

Oh… and I seem to have found my muse again… or, hadn’t you noticed?  =]

Fly Wreckless and see you in the Sky  =/|)=

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Home Crap Home…

~or, “Back Inna Hole… and Happy as a Pig in Shite!”

I’ve had a few rough months lately… Last October SYJ left Anoikis and hence, so did HBHI, and then our little band kinda diaspora’ed and… since then I have been in either limbo or dead… IE stuck in Hisec, the same thing really for a wormhole dweller. I spent the last 6 or so months mostly missioning for SOE in Osmon… even did a longish stint of ‘real’ mining for a while just for a change. Now, understand when I say ‘real’ mining I don’t mean-max-yield-no-tank mining…

I even saw a few of the all but forgotten about New Order asshats in local trying to pander their Mining Permit Protection Racket… Imma digress a sec here, I believe we should call a spade a spade ‘cause no matter what the rhetoric, New Order “Mining Permits” are a racket because they are…

(1) not issued or recognized by CCP, CONCORD or any NPC corp;
(2) not an official or even sanctioned ‘ingame item’ IE cannot be bought or sold on the Market;
(3) lastly not even ‘real’ protection… The protection the purchaser receives is ONLY from attack by the seller and/or his agents.

Therefore these false ‘Mining Permits’ do NOT convey any protection from any other player, corp or Alliance from attacking the purchaser…  Even La Cosa Nostra protection rackets actually provided real protection from rival gangs… The New Order offers no such protection… they aren’t even decent at being mobsters… sheesh. So Mining Permits are nothing more than a de facto ‘protection racket’ and I take no truck in any such tom-foolery. I believe I got scouted a time or two but no one tried to coerce me into buying any damn fool fake ‘permit’ nor did anyone fleetwarp in on me to “try” and break my tank. Anyhoo, back to my irregularly unscheduled musings…

I personally have never believed in fitting any ship as “no-tank”, (except the 2 gank ‘Nados I once fitted and never used) hell even not even my bait ships are no-tank cause obvious bait is obvious you know. But I also don’t buy into leaving yourself open to a gank just for a few more ISK just seems silly to me, so my barge was max tank fitted and whatever I mined up was whatever I mined up… meh. 

 So I missioned… I mined… and in due course I wanted to kill myself (strangely difficult when yer immortal)... I wrote fewer and fewer posts and found less and less I even wanted even to write about… and that scared me. No matter what happened to Tur ingame, my meta interest in the game and goings on had never once waned in my 3+ years… now, I found myself starting a post only to lose interest halfway through, or I’d get fired up about something at first glance, start a post, do some research and find myself losing interest as I read more and more on a given subject. The few posts I finished got harder and harder to complete and I felt less and less satisfaction on hitting the “Post” buhtan.

I started logging on less and less… I stopped looking for corpmates and friends in chat… and sometimes, I even pretended to be AFK when I did see them online. I wasn’t ‘bitter’ so much as just quite simply bored to death. During this time I did get some wonderful offers from good friends, other bloggers and even strangers to join this corp or that… For a while, as CEO, I opened talks with other Anoikis Alliances to see if there was another Alliance where HBHI could fit in, re-anchor Serenity Station and get back to the life we love best… I received several ideas for solo gameplay I had never heard or thought of, some of which did sound quite interesting… but just not quite interesting enough to shake me out of my malaise…

This has finally changed.

A short while ago two things happened…  a few of our oldest friends in the game left nullsec and moved back to Anoikis… and one of my corpmates left HBHI and joined them in their new C3. These guys are the same guys we used to share a C2 with back when we first moved out of the old Alliance C1 to setup a POS of our own and take up living fulltime in Anoikis.

Back in January I wrote about Waiting For I Know Not What… turns out, personally, it had nothing to do with CCP… This was what I had been waiting for. So, having been asked if I want to join up, last week I made the decision to join them in their new C3… Tur would resign as CEO of HBHI, drop corp and join HELPeR.

The idea of leaving HBHI has always been hard for me. HBHI is home in so many ways… my sons and I founded it together; we founded it after I had joined EvE and completed my noobhood. I have corp hopped a few times in my EvE career and each time, though I did learn some things and have some fun, it always carried a feeling of not really belonging… not being where I was supposed to be.

I TRUST my sons. That is so frakkin important in EvE it is impossible over emphasis it. We trust each other implicitly and for good reason. We are family and we are the Directors of HBHI. We are fully aware of the level and sheer pervasiveness of scammers, spais and safaris in EvE. The value or cost of real trust is beyond ISK or Titans or corps or Alliances… it is everything. And we have the real thing in HBHI in spades.

However, I find the idea of leaving HBHI to join HELPeR far, far easier on my conscience than any other corp hop I have ever done or even considered. We have known these guys since we first joined EvE, we shared their C2 for a year, we have flown with them in good fights and we have been waffle stomped with them. Now I know that just having known someone a long time in this game does not preclude corp thefting of spying… we have a mutual friend, a guy we have all known for as long if not longer than the guys in HELPeR, who pulled a major theft on the corp we had all been in (HELPeRs guys had also been corpmates) when we tried out (and HBHI validated that we really do HATE) nullsec.

But… while all that is true, and trust in EvE is not easily given or earned, there are, shall we say, extenuating circumstances with these guys… A person’s quality is best measured in his actions, and the guys I trust in HELPeR, well… their actions have always spoken nothing but well of them as far as this pilot is concerned. I do not trust them exactly as I do my sons, but I have good reason to trust them in this great game, as I believe they do I.

And so, Tur is back inna hole and happy once again. For now, until I get things settled in HBHI, I remain a guest… as such I do not have POS access and so I must trust my ships to my hosts, and trust that someone who can access them is online when I am or I will be stuck in my trusty Astero. I will probably live in my ‘Stero most of the time anyway. I have come to like and trust the ‘Stero over the Cheetah CovOps that used to be my mainstay for scanning and scouting.

One nice thing, some of the new changes to POS living have made guesting inna POS far easier and more comfortable than ever before. The new deployables such as the MD (Mobile Depot) are a godsend for campers and guests. I have a GSC (Giant Secure Can) anchored inside the POS as the age old poor man’s PHA (Personal Hangar Array)…  and I have an MD anchored just at warp range so I can trundle out and make whatever fitting changes I need on my own.

Obviously this isn’t ‘optimal’ as my MD is outside of the FF and can be attacked etc. but I don’t leave anything in it, it is well within the defensive activation range of the POS guns and MDs are cheap in W-space terms. The major upside is it gives me one more of the capabilities, ship fitting, one expects when living out of a POS… only now you can do so as a guest.

[IMHO If CCP is smart they will change (or write new) POS code so a POS can be set to allow PHAs to be anchored by Alliance or ‘allowed’ corps. They should also consider changing the POS to allow anchoring MDs INSIDE the POS by Alliance/corp while they are being so very very smart…]

Anyhoo, last week I brought in a number of ships… Scanner, DPS, Logi and a Venture for cause you know, Venture. The second night I joined in as Logi on a few sites… the feelings I had were indescribable, so I’ll try…

You are alone… alone as you can only be in Wormhole Space… 
You have scanned all-the-things, you know where all the holes are and whence they lead…
Local is clear (LOL)…
Your mates are the ONLY ships on scan…
You are running sites and you are IMPORTANT to the ongoing op… ‘cause Sleepers are effin DEADLY…
You are making ISK like people in Hisec can only WISH… and yet…

it’s Anoikis… a fleet of cloaked ships could be sitting 2600m off your port quarter and you won’t know it until they drop cloak and start targeting you...

Ahhhhhh…    I’m home.   =]

Fly Wreckless and see you in the Sky  =/|)=

Thursday, March 20, 2014

BB 54 - One Man’s Hero is Another Man’s Villain…

”I aim to misbehave…”
            Capt. Malcolm Reynolds

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 54th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are visit the Blog Banters Page.

* * * * *

Today's topic comes from Diaries of a Space Noob blog and other sources:

Quick post. I was listening to a song and a question occurred to me. Where are the EVE heroes? Against a dark background surely all we have are anti-heroes? A lot of mockery is aimed at any who attempt to be white knights. EVE is a dark place and yet pretty much all other MMO's try to place the player in the role of some form of hero, boosting the ego and taking the player out of the humdrum 1 in 7 billion that is RL. Why have I fitted into EVE? Did I never want to be that? So I guess my question is:

Do classic heroes exist in EVE? Is such heroism even possible in EVE? How would you go about being one without opening yourself wide open to scams? Is the nature of the game so dark that heroes can't exist? How do you deal with that irony? What effect does this have on us and the psyche of new players coming in from other MMOs? Is it something special that we don't have classic heroes, or should we? Are our non classic heroes more genuine?

And I would add to this, who have we elevated to the level of larger than life heroes ourselves in the game, and do they actually deserve it?


First a few definitions may be in order…

What really is a Hero? Hero’s are usually characters who, in the face of danger and adversity or from a position of weakness, display courage and the will for self sacrifice—that is, heroism—for some greater good of all humanity.

There are basically three Hero variants, or sub-types…

The Classic Hero is usually a Larger than life character who goes on a quest to achieve some good end that benefits other people in some way. Such as rescuing maidens in distress or preventing a dastardly villain from ruling the world. While we look up to the Classic Hero, we may not fully believe in their seeming perfection. Nevertheless they are a clear ideal to which we can aspire.

The Tragic Hero reflects more of the real world in that the slings and arrows (and projectiles, missiles and lazors) that are thrown at them do not always miss. The Classic Tragic Hero is often doomed from the outset, yet they continue in their quest, perhaps achieving it just before they (tragically) die. The Tragic Hero may also fail in their quest, perhaps having bitten off more than they can chew. For the audience, the tragic hero may represent their fears for themselves, that despite their best efforts that they will fail.

The Anti-Hero (my personal fav) is often a lonely alienated figure, seen as inferior to the reader in dynamism, social purpose or morality… even in intelligence, as compared to the classical hero who is larger than life. Antihero's are often rootless, indecisive… or decisive yet selfish characters, unable to communicate while seeming to just drift through their own lives but they find themselves forced by circumstances, and reluctantly, they give in to an inner morality and do the ‘right thing’ anyway.

OK…that said, I can’t help but wonder if the Classic Hero in Noob’s query is more about a name we would all recognize. Gamefamous figures like Chribba, Mittani or Metafamous like the bloggers Sindel Pellion or Sugar Kyle.... or, are we talking about what I call the Real Hero’s of EvE?

The one’s who seek no limelight, the ones who simply Do The Right Thing because it’s just the right thing to do? And then we have to ask, how do we define The Right Thing?

For Goons, The Right Thing is whatever secures and safeguards the Via Goonian, the Way of the Goon. From that viewpoint there are well over 10,000 EvE players who probably see the Mittani as some form of very real Hero.

All those who aspire to the Goon version of NullSec Greatness™ look up to and respect the Mittani, whether they 'like' him or not… and the fact that a very large portion of the rest of the playerbase dislike or even actively disparage Goons and the Mittani actually increases this Hero worship.

Heck, during the Summer of Rage one helluva lot of us who were/are dead set against the GSF/CFC were glad Mittens was the CSM Chair at the time. We felt he was actually working not just for Goons or even just for Nullsec, but for the game as a whole in his advocacy.

However, on the flip side of that coin is BoB… all the players and corps who were a part of the Band of Brothers Alliance. An Alliance that has been reviled, whether rightly or wrongly this respondent knoweth not but, I can assure you that they and all the corps and Alliances that have been destroyed by the GSF and the CFC and a very, very large number of players, especially the Industrialists and Miners who have been on the receiving end of the Hulkageddons, Ice Interdictions, Burn Jitas and all the players hurt or butthurt over the ubiquitous Goons Gankers and Scammers, many of them will never see Das Mittens and his minions as anything but the vilest of Villains.
Is this an EvE Hero?

How about Sugar Kyle? She is an Industrialist, blogger of note, CSM9 candidate and an unrepentant Lowsec Pirate. Her EvE Kill stats shows over her 2 years and 2 months ingame she has racked up 1542 kills for only 78 losses… with that record is she a Hero? I am sure that while Ms Kyle is not partial to ganking miners or Industrials, preferring killing them as can at least fight back, I wonder if there are any who see her as Villain?

But… she is also intensely loyal to her corpmates, and spends a large part of her game working to build a market in her space in Lowsec… and not ‘working’ it in the 'Market PvP' sense, but to a very large degree her interest is ‘almost’ altruistic in a way. She wants to provide a viable, sustainable and affordable local market for ships and mods for her boys, for her customers… and, for her victims too… so is Sugar Kyle a Villain Pirate? or a Hero Carebear?

Is this an EvE Hero?

The one’s I personally call Heros are not E-Famous VIPs though… and they are not Heros in the Classical sense, they are heros in our shared virtual lives, strangely, in a very real sense, which is far, far better than any Character out of Mythology.

Some of my Heros in EvE are…

One of the very first guys who ever killed me…
I was a complete noob… I had bought a book at a really great price… in some other system… uh huh. Well, after I popped through the last gate to the system where the book was, I was just sittin there… lookin around, getting my bearings, trying to puzzle out what the orangey colored Security Status of the system info meant… while my jump cloak faded… and my ship exploded…  uh huh.

The guy what killed me convoed me right shortly after and apologized. He said he would have held off, and held off his corpies too, if he had seen just how new I was first. He not only apologized but gave me all my L&S back AND replaced my Rifter to boot.

We ended up on TS3, talked for a while… really great guys. I swear if I had not had my sons already playing the game, if I had joined EvE solo, I would have accepted thier offer to join them right then and there, and they would have accepted me. Turns out he was a corp diplo and his preferred methodology was Gunboat Recruitment. Seems you learn a lot about a man when you kill him… LOL.

The first guy to War Dec our fledgling corp, the guy who publicly thrashed us on the Soshin station undock…
We were War Decced for the very first time and we went nutz… we finally figured out it was not personal, just a Hi-sec War Deccing corp that targeted noob corps... oh well. We checked our pitiful bank accounts, girded our thin loins, loaded up our T1 ammo in our “best named” guns and told him to go eff hisself when he asked for the ransom.

He landed on our porch, we undocked, he (yea just one guy) was in an Ishtar (T2 Cruiser)… we undocked in a Rokh (T1 BS), an Exequror (T1 Cruiser) and a Thrasher (T1 Dessie)… and he pwed us. I reshipped to a Rifter, and he killed for a second time and podded me too…

That same day he just quite simply became one of our best and most trustworthy friends in the game, period.

And lastly those who step up and just effin Do The Right Thing cause it’s the Right Thing to Do.

I’ll refer you to Mabs old blog for this last one… Bring Him Home! Mab had been making some Hisec supply runs and had run afoul of a gate camp. He was able to get docked up but wanted to come home. A close friend of ours, an old Alliance mate, an experienced and trusted FC stepped up and put together a quick kitchen sink scout/escort fleet and brought Mab back in safe and sound… as Mab put it,

Soon I was sitting cloaked at a safe in Nourvukaike aligned on the Tama gate and waiting for my fleet to make the route to our K162 safe. When all three gates were confirmed clear (the camp had cleared out,) Sov ordered me to proceed through the Tama gate and immediately warp to a safe Tur had set up. There was a big red Megathron on the high-sec side of Tama but I was through before I got a name or he a lock. On the next gate a Tempest showed some interest in one of our fleet ships, but I was already past and we simply warped on.

This is how it went all the way back to Serenity Station, the HBHI POS. I landed inside the shields, off loaded my cargo and realized I was home. But it isn't the station. It isn't the wormhole. It isn't simply the sky or the life of a capsuleer.

Home is belonging. It is camaraderie. It is being with a group of people willing to lay down their implants to aid my safe return. It is sharing danger and sharing profit. It is sharing knowledge: Sov's knowledge of PvP; HBHI's knowledge of WH life; my knowledge of Industry. Sometimes, it's simply floating inside the POS and shooting the shit. It's the final exchange of the evening (paraphrased for brevity,)

    Corp mate: "Break, break: we have talk in local."
    Typed in local by a tourist: "Nice wormhole we'll take it."
    Corp mate: "Faction scum."
    Mabrick: "Want to reship and take care of him?"
    Corp mate: "Nah. He can't do anything here. We should just ignore him."

And we did. It did not matter where it was. It only mattered that we were there together. We were home.

Classic Heros in EvE? Not so much mebbe… but regular-everyday-run-of-the-mill-heros? Oh hell yes… thousands of em out there plying the black everyday doing The Right Thing for Allies, corpmates, friends and strangers… Every Damn Day.

Fly Wreckless and see you in the Sky  =/|)=

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Friday, February 28, 2014

That Doesn’t Sound Like “Pew Pew”…

~or I Has Been Industrious IRL…

While I have kidded a few times about segueing into bittervetedness… in truth I still love this game we play, I’m just not loggin on much is all, and here is why...

Granted I/we have had some serious RL>EVE crap… in my personal life I was having some ‘issues’, which I hope to have got past mostly… ingame when SYJ left Anoikis > HBHI left SYJ >  then HBHI left Anoikis too… for those who dunt know, we have had some serious incorp stuff goin on too…

AI shipping off to Korea and Mab (dealing with far heavier RL>EVE shit than I) leaving HBHI to go back to the lone wolf life… due to our overall inactivity a few (ok ALL) of the (very few) ingame members we had in corp have left for moar active pastures… and for the very first time in the last 3 and a half YEARS… I found myself downloading and playing, and enjoying (ZOMG) a different game than EvE…

A Different Game…
An oldie, a space MMO much much simpler than EvE but one that is still a bit of a sandbox and is a persistent world… though not anywhere near as complex or as stunning visually. It does however, have a more ‘fighter’ style interface... "Vendetta Online". I am sure many of you know of it and no, it is by no means anywhere near the same class of MMO or even ‘game’ as EvE… but, then again, that’s sorta the charm for me… it is NOT ANYWHERE as complex, pervasive, invasive, time-consuming and monkey-on-yer-back addictive as EvE…

I can logon, mindlessly shoots the crap out a butt-tonne of droans, and log off and not have that gods damned constant nagging voice in the back of me brain saying “What are you MISSING!?” “What’s going on in there while you’re out here!?” I get everytime I logoff of EvE. I could care less what’s going on in VO while I’m logged off… I have made NO friends in there, I have talked to NO ONE and I interact with NO ONE… hence it is ‘just a game’ to me… and an easy one too.

Also in VO I can fly and fight in First Person (several view and control options actually) and with the ability to switch to a physics flight model that is vastly closer to reality if I want to too… (After 3 years “swooping” like a submarine around in EvE I find it fascinating to accelerate in a given direction, cut thrust and actually COAST… then turn and do only that… yaw and pitch around while still travelling along the original line of thrust, not curve around a submarine…). It is a VERY different ‘feel’ to space combat than we have in EvE and one I will admit that I have very greatly missed.

One of my all-time favorite games back in the day was "Descent"… a game that, with your settings right, had physics that felt quite real (you know, for a game). I had a state of the art (at the time) Thrustmaster F-16 FLCS and WCS Mark II Throttle and Stick set… and OMG was that pure nothing but fun to fly.

I really hate so many of the physics breaker in EvE… the little irritations that just add up and up… In space there is no friction or wind resistance… if you cut off your engines YOU KEEP FUKKING GOING… you do NOT coast to a stop... gods what crap. And while we have no ‘real world’ experience with this yet, I feel it is safe to assume that once we have ‘warp drive’ technology (or whatever) we won’t actually warp THROUGH planets and moons or ANYTHING…

Oh hell wanna talk about a little taste of REAL in the Virtual… in VO to dock up you have to fly INTO (one of several) ingress docking ports and you fly out of (one of several) DIFFERENT egress ports!!! OH MY GODS!! Really? You mean you don’t just suddenly and for no gods damned reason go !POOF! automagically teleporting inside the station once you hit a certain distance?? And then. again for no gods damned good reason, you have to ‘fly’ out of the ONLY fukking ‘door’ on the station as absolutely EVERYONE else no matter how many people are trying to get out all at once!?

I swear it’s a slice of heaven in VO for me to fly inbound to a station… pick my entry point and use lateral and vertical thrusters to align to the dock while reducing forward acceleration (be nice if we had to actually ‘reverse’ thrust even…) and then to glide serenely INSIDE the dock until the walls surround you and then (and ONLY then) do you do a session change to ‘docked’… Gods I miss the little immersions. Why Oh Why can’t our stations in EvE have multiple ingress and egress docks? Why can’t we just accept a moar ‘reality’ in our virtuality and actually FLY our ships in and out of stations?

At the very least would open some real possibilities for changes and tweaks to dock games… Mebbe if aligned and flying in towards the dock and inside a set range then Scotty (The Drunken Docking Manager) would actually tractor your ship inside? Ghostly green beams and everything? And once locked up by the station tractor beams and ‘under tow’ what if you were considered to be under the protection of the station… and its guns?

If attacked while under tow (or within a close enough range of the station or dock undock ports that Scotty would decide [insert alcoholically randomized algorithms here] that your attackers pose a threat to station operations…) you would then be under station protection, not CONCORD… but you wouldn’t be able to insta-dock unless you were under tow either…

What if we had a ‘set’ of ingress and egress docking ports facing more or less (IE not insta-warpable… but close) towards each and every gate in the system?… When docked you would choose which dock you wanted to exit by BUT, if that sodden cad Scotty determined [more alcoholic coding here] there was ‘too much traffic’ on your chosen undock you would be routed out some other dock… (Hmmmmm?)

Hell anything would be better than the inane situation we have had to deal with docking and undocking as long as I have flown in EvE…

but I digress…

Industriously Manufacturing Ammunition…
In EvE there is one helluva lot of ammunition produced and expended… I myself have processed many a batch in our Ammunition Assembly Array. Being a Matarii, I prefer guns firing projectile ammo… but, there is another reason that is my preference… you see, I also produce a helluva lot of ammunition, in multiple calibers, In Real Life…

I have been an avid hunter and target shooter all my life. Dad started teaching me woodcraft at 8 and I have been a hunting and target shooting ever since. I participated in Military Open Sight Matches back in my 20s (ranges from 100 to 600 yards).

I once caused a bit of a stir as the only competitor on the line at MCB Quantico with a match-tuned 7.62x39 Norinco (Chinese) SKS rifle. I have worked in firearms retail as a salesman and store manager and I have been a gunsmith all my life… I had honed the trigger action of my SKS, replaced the Chinese milspec sights for elevation & windage adjustable sights and, nothing to do with accuracy but, I had also hand worked the stock to a beautiful polish.

Anyway, back when I was a wee lad of but 6 I would always sit with my dad in our basement while he reloaded the 12 and 20ga shotshells we used each hunting season. He taught me and by 8 I was sitting on his lap reloading under his watchful eye. In my 20’s I got into pistol and rifle reloading and build the loading bench I still use today.

I have multiple presses, from single stage to automatic and reload a variety of calibers… 9mm, 38spl./.357 Mag & 45ACP in pistol and .30MI Carbine, .223 Rem (5.56mm US military), 7.62x39 (Russian military), .308 Win (7.62x51 US military) and the .30-06 (7.62x62 US military)… plus, of course, 12 and 20ga shotshells having inherited my father’s old shotshell press.

Anyway, the bench and all my presses have been put away for the last 8 or so years… other things, children, house, sailboat, etc., etc. … and, well, in the last 3 years, EvE… had preempted the time I used to spend on this most eminently satisfying (and highly cost effective) of hobbies…

But, the one and only constant in any ‘verse is change. You see we have a second house, a mother-in-law cottage or guest-house, on the same plot as my main house… just 50 ft catty-cornered off my front porch. We have rented it out for past 13 years but this year we have decided not to rent it anymore… and I could not be happier. While I dint mind the extra income, no not at all, I was never really happy with having ‘other’ people sharing my space… I’m a country boy at heart, grew up on a 300+ acre farm where our closest neighbor was a mile away (and kin)… Where we live now the closest house is almost a half mile straight through the woods and approx. 3/4 mile by car… so having other people sharing my yard and driveway… well, it has always irked me a bit extra income or no.

So, with the decision to un-rent the guest house you might imagine I’m just a wee bit of a vurra happy guy. We get to use that space the way I have always wanted to… Loft and bedrooms upstairs for guests and MY workshop downstairs! I have dusted off and re-setup my loading bench… and dived quite fully back into the Industrious Production of Ammunition once more… and this stuff goes !BANG!  Not pew pew… LOL

Fly wreckless and see you on the Range  =/|)=

PS BTW the pic is, strangely enough, not my loading bench… It is a setup I have used for loading at the range or on a varmint hunt… I’m still setting up my new loading/smithing/workbench area over at my newly renamed ‘Shop’, but once I got bit by the bug to reload I broke out all the equipment, cleaned and oiled it all up and setup on my bar in the house (causing wife aggro levels to go to MAGENTA and rising)… but you get the idea…  =]

For them as might be interested, in the above pic I have just started loading a 50 round batch of .38 Special. 50 primed cases are in the tray, the powder measure is directly over the tray, and loading 158 grain lead round nose bullets… There are three bullets on the bench ready to seat on primed and charged cases… a completed round is in the tray and one just finished is in the press. Here I’m using my RCBS ‘Partner’ Single Stage press…
Later Ima go out back and bang bang some tin cans…  =]