Saturday, February 28, 2015

He was, and always will be… our friend.

~or “Words cannot express…”

As all of you know by now, Leonard Nimoy has died. The facts are, he was 83, he died at his home in Los Angeles of end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

I was hard hit by this news. You see, I am 54 and have recently, as those of us over 50 do, begun realizing I may have more years behind me than ahead… and I have begun to lose people who I never realized I would lose.

My youngest brother was taken from us by a drunk driver at 24, all of my grandparents are long gone, both my parents have passed… so many who were prominent in the news and in my youth are gone… but learning of the passing of Leonard Nimoy was different for me, as it is for so many of my generation… You see I watched Star Trek when it first aired… I watched Neil Armstrong, live, the night he first set foot on the moon and I watched every episode of Star Trek and every second of all the moon landings.

I grew up in a world where we WERE going to the moon and we WERE going to go to Mars and build space stations and have colonies on the moon and Mars and Titan and Europa and… and… and then I watched the politicians and the greedy and the shortsighted take it all away and leave me and my whole generation with bills and debts and the Cold War and the Vietnam War and many of those politicians going to jail leaving a trail of broken promises and shattered, stolen dreams.

Leonard Nimoy, through the character of Lt. Cmdr. Spock stood for everything GOOD in the hopes and dreams I and my generation grew up believing in… and lost. And now we have lost him. And I have cried deep inside every minute as I made my way through work today… as I drove home and met with my wife and daughter and we went shopping for her upcoming 12th birthday party this Saturday… Oh I smiled and joked and did the father and husband thing… but inside, deep inside, the 8 year old me, the boy lying on that rug in that living room raptly watching Neil Armstrong step off that lander on a black and white TV… the boy sitting cross legged leaning against the sofa raptly watching Capt Kirk and Mr. Spock win out against impossible odds in deep space…

That little boy cries still for the loss of a mentor and a friend he never really knew… but loved as though he did.

May we all… Live as long and Prosper as well.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

NOVA EVE Meet...

~or “Internet Spaceships is Serious Fun…”

I finally made one of the EVE Meets that are taking place world-wide. This one was CSM Sugar Kyle’s meetup in Northern Virginia (NOVA) at the Dogfish Head pub in Falls Church. I have been looking forward to finally getting to one of these for some time, but RL>EVE has always gotten in the way… until last Saturday, Feb 7th. I made the 2 hour trip north from my home deep in the woods outside of Ashland Va. And once inside the beltway I was immediately reminded of why, even though I am southern by the grace of god and I love my home state dearly… I was reminded of why I hate NOVA so very much.

Seething Masses of People... Once you cross some undefined border as you wend your way northwards you reach the land of hives. In northern Va., in the suburbs of DC, they pack themselves in like termites. There is no where you can even cross a street with ANY modicum of safety… the traffic lights, head and tail light of the cars are an endless glowing stream on every road, major and minor… gives me the creeps it does.

You see I’m a country boy by birth and at heart… and while I live on what is considered a main roadway back home traffic levels are such that you could, relative to NOVA, safely lie down and take a nap in the middle of the road. Heck my dirt road driveway is almost a half mile long and you can’t even hear what cars and trucks and tractors as do pass by from my house…

This is just one more affirmation of my life in Anoikis… Wormhole space is the back country of New Eden… the wide open spaces with no damn people and no damn Po-po… just the way we like it…   =]

Anyhoo, I finally arrive at the Dogfish Head pub and on entering, there is Sugar Kyle doing the CSM and Host thing, hence she is up to her ears busy with everyone wanting attention and goody bags and CCP/EVE swag. I get my goody bag and she tells me to look for a number in the bag… I empty it and… no number… sadface, no swag for old Tur.

So I get a beer and I’m standing there watching people, tryin to pick out the players from the dinner guests and guys cruising for gurls… I say Hi to a random someone and he immediately asks, “Who are you with?” at first I thought, ‘Uh I’m here alone’ but then I realized he was asking what corp/Alliance am I in… ohhhh… Uh… I think for a sec and say, “HELPeR, but you wouldn’t have heard if us… I live inna wormhole.” The look I got in return was precious… and a second affirmation of my life in Anoikis… tell ‘em you live inna hole and they ALL look at you funny. LOL

Needless to say the night was a blast. I met many players, discussed matters of grave import and pure nonsense, many beers were drank and toasts were made. I finally met... 

Epigene, he who Journey’s Through The Mind… (he’s like really TALL and German…. who knew?)

I met Grimmash (Narwhals!!), he of the Games… seen here assisting the musician who was trying out the Oculus Gear VR Innovator Edition portable VR headset a Goon brought along… which was extremely cool!

Here we see Grimmash partaking of a tasty beverage while one of the Dogfish staff watches narwhals swim past…

I met a young lady Brave, here seen losing her mind over the Gear VR…

She was also slapping Brave tattoos on anyone and everyone!

And of course, the right honorable CSM, Sugar Kyle… seen here as she was all night, listening to her constituents and others and discussing our great game…

As I understand it approximately 50 EVE players made it to the event. I had a really great time and was among the last to leave at 11ish. When the last of us were getting our coats and such together, Sugar came over to me and handed me a rolled up poster… she told me the person who got the #3 Swag ticket never came forward to claim his prize, and so she handed it to me… I opened it and it was a Valkyrie poster! Schweet!

I discovered something on my way home though… I was going through the goody bag and looking at the buttons one Matarii and one Quafe and the trading card pack I got, when I saw, tucked inside the back of the Quafe button was a folded piece of paper… guess what was on it?  LOL

Yup… silly me

 The Swag!!

Fly reckless and see you at the Meetup! =/|)=

Friday, February 6, 2015

BB62: Boots on the Ground…

~or "Why We Actually Lost Walking in Stations …"
"…and Why We Should Have it."

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 62nd edition and first of 2015! For more details about what the blog banters are visit the Blog Banter page.

Niden (@niden_GMVA) tweeted this:  “It's not cool to want walking in stations, right?”

That tweet got a few positive agreements, but on the other side of the coin we have Xander Phoena of Crossing Zebras and current CSM member being mentioned in the winter summit minutes: 

Xander said that he would officially like to be documented as protesting any art time going to avatars instead of spaceships.

What is and/or should be the future for walking in stations?


The old grey haired Matarii steps out of the crowd. Looking around he watches the crowds passing by… hundreds, thousands of people going busily about their jobs and lives. The sound of a thousand voices and sound of thousands of boots and shoes and even bare feet on the steel floor was a palpable background in this, the main central square in the middle of the cavernous station concourse…

He stands, head bowed in quiet contemplation for a minute, then he sighs… sets the soap box down, and climbs up… "People... my fellow Empyreans of New Eden... hear me, hear me now…"  Rixx Javix has said, that new players “…curiosity (about WiS) is, and should be, a little uncomfortable for us older players. Frankly, we have some explaining to do.”  Yes, we are why it was shelved…. Not CCP, explain that to the new players… WE, the vets, are why they can’t get out of their ships and explore New Eden on foot also.

“We were never given a clear vision for what part WiS would play in the daily lives of our Capsuleers, or what (if any) point there would be for walking in a station.” Wrong… it would have added new CONTENT, new places/spaces to fight and explore and more importantly, new WAYS to do that… in both PvE and PvP…

According to Rixx, “It happened for good reason, CCP had failed to share their vision with us.” I disagree… in the strongest terms. No, this video shows us what their vision was…Please really watch this… and let your imagination run with the possibilities… the potential... and what was lost, what WE threw away... For it was WE who broke faith with CCP and the mob followed the loudmouthed knuckle dragging FiStards who can’t see beyond the end of their wittle spasships…

“They (CCP) were stung by the reaction to Incarna… This was clearly the lesson they learned from that Summer of Anger. It is, after all, what we wanted them to learn.”  What CCP learned was to fear their own customers… their own playerbase… because that playerbase is fickle and many, tooo damn many, are self-righteous entitled children who, instead of backing the company that CREATED EVE… threw a temper tantrum the likes of which has never been seen before in the gaming world… Was this what we wanted them to learn? To fear us?  

I quote CCP Seagull from her address in the 2014 CSM Summer Minutes, ‘Veteran Player Retention’ section, pg 120…
”I, as the executive producer, am in a risk taking mode. … We need to be bolder. We should be able to get over our trauma of Incarna. We need to own our game and be courageous with it. I think our players want that of us.”

“It's time to get over Incarna and start taking risks again, educated and calculated risks of course, but we need to make sure that we deliver solid content to veteran players.

We have trained players to be afraid of us doing big things. It meant we put something big out that was half done and it never got touched again. Us doing something big, such as industry, means CCP is going to mess it up again and we will have to pick up the mess.

We, internally, have become scared in a sense of making bolder changes to the game so that we know we can control the outcome. Because we do not want to be perceived as messing up again. We can predict what is going on. That predictability is boring everyone to death now. … We need to turn up the volume.”

“… get over our trauma of Incarna”
“We need to own our game and be courageous with it.”
“…It's time to get over Incarna and start taking risks again.”
“We have trained players to be afraid of us doing big things.”
“We, internally, have become scared in a sense…”

Scared of who? Us that's who. Their customers, their playerbase… We did that… we are responsible for not supporting CCP, for screaming at them like children, armed, nasty, self-indulgent children. Us and no one else… we broke faith with CCP and forced them to back away from the potential that was, IS, inherent in FPS gameplay inside of EVE.

“There is still no compelling reason for walking in stations.” and “There is nothing inside the station that I can do that I can't do without WiS.” … says Capt. Javix… Yes, as of now there isn’t… and what’s more, he doesn’t want it… but if WiS was implemented with content, which was CCPs major fail the first time, there are a great many players who would love this type of gameplay… and you don’t have to do a thing Capt. Javix… you don’t ever need to crawl out of your slimey pod, and avert your atrophied eyes from the light of day… but gods dammit man, don’t get in the way of those of us who DO!! 

And I’ll give you just 2 compelling reasons…

(1) once more, everything that the idea's in THIS simple demo video could have brought to us all…

(2) and a whole damned new playerbase for EVE…
Increased PCU, increased income for CCP, increased monies CCP can spend on ALL the playstyles EVE can support… oh, and one last thing… increased immersion in the grandest virtual verse ever invented by man…

YOU may not like or want it Capt. Javix, but I damn well do… and many, very many of us out here in the black, we want it too.

Before I close I must tell you I can’t help but wonder… if we did have WiS, and Rixx reined in his quaking fear of crowds of goons running around in stations acting the fool… if he tried his hand at exploring, on foot, inna Sleeper Station… just how would ol Rixx react when he ran into another player, quickly drew and at point blank range, fired his T2 “Spidey” Personal Webifier MkII…

And then watched in horror as the other player shrugged off the effects of the plasma web and ran away laughing with his Sleeper Riches… all because of the T1 “Freedom” Web Core Slicers module he had fitted onto his “Indiana” class Exploration ExoArmor DropSuit…? Oh the tears!”

Turamarth sighs… watching the parade of players walk by with but a very few listening or paying any heed at all… but he holds hope… that one day, one damn day… CCP will give us what they promised and stop listening to the naysayers and the shortsighted… and fulfill the dream that could be EVE.

The old grey haired Matarii steps down, picks up his worn, battered soap box… and walks quietly away into the crowd…

the What…

CCP Seagull, Fly reckless lady... AND OPEN THIS GODS DAMNED DOOR!  =/|)=

Friday, January 23, 2015

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way Home from the Ganking…

~or “Look Before You Jump...”

We had a really good holiday weekend… we ran a ton of sites, made a pile of ISK, got a nice set of kills and had one hilarious ‘incident’…

We live inna C3 wormhole and like most wormholers we used to live off our home sites and the sites we raided from the normal random connecting holes… well, we don’t do that anymore. Nowadays we prefer to scan down all-the-things and actively seek out C5s with decent pipes to/from home, preferably uninhabited or with inactive occupants and… loaded with C5 Sleeper sites.

One reason is our corp has grown quite a bit in the past few months, there are a couple of RL friends of Sov and Tsra that have joined who are basically newbies. One of our newbros is a veteran player I met through my blog, he was on a ‘break’ from EVE and decided to come back and also joined us in the hole… and added to that is the completely unexpected and unplanned EVE takeover of my IT Dept IRL…

So far one of my coworkers has joined us in the hole, one is mining and doing the std. noob in Hisec thing, one has just joined and is testing the waters so-to-speak and one has purchased EVE via Steam and is going to give it a go sometime soon… plus one guy, in another section of the IT Dept, is going to rejoin… he used to play back some years ago and his son is one of the guys in my dept who has joined us so he’s considering trying it again… sheesh.

Now those who don’t live in Anoikis need to understand that any given wormhole system can support only so many players… C1’s can support soloists and very small groups, say 2 to 3 guys max… as you go up the class chain, C2, C3, C4… each hole produces more ISK then the last and therefor can support more players… C5’s and 6s can support quite large groups. When we were in SYJ an appreciable portion of the ISK the Alliance and its membership made was from shares of the ISK we got from Merc Ops in addition to the very lucrative C6 Sleeper site Capitol escalations we ran. But there is a upper limit even then…

Now keep in mind I’m talking about PI and the sites in your home hole… Combat, Gas & Ore and Data & Relic sites… of course most if not all Anoikis corps and groups do not limit themselves to just their home sites, they readily and normally raid adjoining holes for ISK, be it running combat sites or ninja gas mining… keep in mind also there are no taxes levied in Anoikis (other than at POCOs and many don’t charge their membership, we don’t at least) so for many corps ‘taxes’ are paid to the corp in PI for POS fuel. I personally make Robotics and Supercomputers in equal amounts with my PI… and I ‘donate’ all my Robos to the corp and sell the Supercomps for myself.

But, as I said, we have grown quite a lot and we now have more people than a C3 can properly support if we limited ourselves to our home sites and normal raids… The second reason we actively seek C5s is that the vets in our group are capable of fielding ships that can effectively run C5s. We now primarily run an Ishtar/Basi/whatever comp for C5 Sleeper sites but we just don’t trigger the Capitol escalations. C5’s make us all enough ISK to support a larger membership than our home hole normally would. This means we are doing even more scanning than before ‘cause we have to scan down not just everything in home but also in our adjoining holes and in the local lowsec group our static has connected to.

OK, so over the weekend we had an opportunity… Sov was out deep scouting the lowsec and connected systems and he found a group of 4 Procurors, a Retriever and a Miasmos hauler on a mining op inna wormhole four hops over from our stat low… sweet. To get there we have go out to our static lowsec (1) then through a wormhole (2) into another hole system that leads to a hole (3) to another lowsec… the mining op is taking place inside another wormhole (4) inside that lowsec system… We ship up… Ishtar, Lachesis, Moa, Prophecy, Prophecy, Vexor and I’m inna Onyx HICtor because, bubble.

We warp to the hole and run the pipe and the fleet lands on the hole they are mining in… Sov has Endy in the Lach’ go in first… dscan immunity FTW… and make initial point, as Endy is in warp Sov calls the rest of us to jump the hole and warp to Endy when he lands… Endy calls landed and initial point, we go to warp… as I enter grid I see one of the target ships warp out, on landing I pop my bubble trapping the remaining 3 Covetors, the Retriever and the Miasmos… I set my inifini-point on one of the Covetors, call point and start the missiles... we all set to work and…

Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop and Pop… as the ships are assploding we get all pods locked and then…  pop, pop, pop, pop and pop… And, being the civic minded souls that we are, we loot what's worth looting, pop the wrecks and even clean up the MTU... pop.

So, we head back home… now we are all clapping each other on the back and in a great mood as you can well expect, we jump the hole out to lowsec, warp to the hole we have to transit back to our static low and on jumping in… we land right in the middle of a bright RED fleet sitting on the other side of the hole.

Oh fuck...

Now I say bright RED I don’t mean Russians… I mean every ship in that fleet, at a guess easily 10 or more ships, I say guess ‘cause I was a wee bit freaked out (you should have heard comms LOL!!)… they were all flashy red… -10 sec status… and our gang of seven is easily outgunned… Sov calls out “Hold cloak!”… thinks for a second, then orders us all to try for the hole and jump out if we can… we all turn and burn hard for the hole praying we don’t lose too many ships… I did get lit up, saw some red creep up in my shields as I burned to the hole… but I hit 5000m and spammed jump so hard I was worried I would break the mouse. I jumped through and Sov was calling for everyone to dock up if possible, then he asked who died… no answer… he asked again… no answer. We had all made it out!!  LOL

The chatter on comms… well, I wish to the gods I had been recording… you had to be there, I’m glad I was, it was hilarious. Initially we assumed they had a scout and had either seen us doing the op and were waiting for us… or saw us land and jump in so they were at least somewhat ready for us… but their reaction was so disorganized that in the end we felt mebbe we were as much as surprise to them as they were to us…

If so, that means quite possibly their comms may have been something like this…  =]

Fly reckless and see you in the Sky... =/|)=

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Hey Newb!!

~or “OMG This!”

Over on The Daily Welp, the Hero Coalition’s new site,there is this simple yet moving music parody…

I think it speaks for itself, so…

Personally, I feel this should be linked so it plays right after the "This is EVE" trailer... everytime!

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