The State of Commissions


TL;DR: It is with regret and sincere apologies that I have to step away from doing normal commission work for the Eve Community moving forward. I will continue to do "special projects" as always, such as the recent posters for Care4Kids, Best of Us Wallpapers and videos. But regular logo, banner, and other types of commissions for ISK are going to have to cease. I have no other choice. 

I am hopelessly behind. And there is simply not enough hours to get caught back up again. As prolific and dedicated as I am, even I have to admit defeat in the face of overwhelming odds. It has gotten to the point lately that I dread even looking at the backlog. It is depressing and my personal responsibility to each person just makes it worse.

I apologize to each of you waiting on work. But I really have no other choice than to start saying no and walk away from the project list. My focus out here in the real world has changed significantly lately, from looking for full-time employment to building a broad base of contract/freelance work, and that effort is requiring more and more of my available time, energy and creativity.

In addition I want to be able to focus my efforts on helping special projects succeed. And spend more time creating and practicing my art. The new Podcast. And other video based projects I have in the works. I will of course continue to support the Eve community in any way I can. And I have a lot of ideas for even more work in that regard. But the Alliance logo, Corporation logo, commission based requests are just too much for me to keep up with. Which is a disservice to those waiting in the bottom of the list.

My apologies.



The Eve Store Story


How amazing would wall size Eve Spaceship stickers be?

This is my story. It is not an indictment, or anger, or anything other than simple frustration.

Frankly I've come to the conclusion over the past few years that I may care about Eve more than any other living human being on the planet. This would not be unusual for me. Whatever I do, I have to throw myself into it 150%. I care about things. I think about them constantly. I trained myself, in many ways, to do this for the sake of my clients. In my career I have often found myself caring more about a client's business than they do. I've become better at managing that over the past decade, having to weather the loss of your dreams can do that to a person, but I still believe that caring is important. In many ways, it is essential. Otherwise, why bother?

Back before I became the Rixx Javix you know and love today, I was just an Eve Blogger. I ran a fansite and played Eve because I loved it. I ran a large advertising agency, was going thru a divorce and building a new life with the woman I loved. Back then, and this is almost six years ago, I had a thought. I could create and sell some unique t-shirts with Eve art on them. I didn't know anyone at CCP back then, so I asked around. It should be possible, I mean just Google it and you'll see that there are plenty of people doing it already. So I sent some emails and waited. And waited some more. And waited for almost 18 months without a reply. Eventually I decided that no one cared, so I built a store anwyay. Designed a few shirts. And started promoting it here in these pages. Some of you may still remember this.

The ban hammer came quickly. The store was not only brought down, but I was effectively banned from the site for over a year. (I've since gotten my account re-instated) I took this with a grain of salt. Obviously I knew that I couldn't sell Eve IP merchandise without an official license. Duh. But how to get an official license? So I decided to just build my audience and create awesome artwork and keep trying to get some attention. Not just for myself, but for all of us would-be Eve artists out here.

To be fair, lots of changes were happening inside of CCP during those years. People came and went, some merchandising deals were made that should not have been made, and generally things went along that way for a long time. So apparel was obviously a challenge. What else could I do that would be easier than t-shirts? That's when I had the idea that led to 142 Spaceship Posters. Even so it took a lot of posts like this, a ton of support from the community, and hundreds of tweets, before CCP started to pay attention. Even then, believe it or not, the first idea was t-shirts.


Original designs never seen publicly before

Those designs were done, along with others, way back in the early fall of 2014. Today I'm wearing a "test-run" version of that Hurricane shirt. Eventually the t-shirt idea was set aside for the posters and we created some for Fanfest, they sold more than anything else, and then they went up for sale thru QMx Online. And believe me, I considered this a huge accomplishment. I had no idea that QMx shipping would end up being an issue, trust me all I heard was that a solution was around the corner. I have nothing to do with that just to be clear. I'm as frustrated as anyone. More so.

I'm just this guy, y'know? I love Eve and I love creating things. I can't help it. I can't stop doing it. When I wear my Hurricane t-shirt people ask me what it is and it starts conversations about Eve. I've had more than a few good conversations about Eve because of one t-shirt. That is what merchandise is supposed to do. That is what it does. It is us expressing ourselves in public. It is an extension of what we find interesting. It expands the brand. It tells a story. Or allows a story a chance to be told.


Imagine opening that laptop in Starbucks?

So to all of you contacting me about more posters, or about purchasing hi-res versions that you can print yourself, or where is the Eve Store... I don't have any answers for you. I'm as in the dark as you are. Right now, over on Amazon, someone is selling versions of my Eve Posters for less than retail. This is why I can't send anyone hi-res printable PDFs, because they might end up for sale on Amazon. I'm sorry about that, but as honest as you might be, once a print quality PDF leaves my control - it leaves my control. I respect the EVE IP and the rights that CCP owns. And while I often try to bend and push and challenge things, I will never knowingly cross that line.

More designs

I wrote this post today because of all the questions, concerns, and messages I've gotten lately. I felt like I owed it to my fans/readers/etc to provide some answers. Or at least set the stage and give some history. I am not angry at CCP or anyone at CCP. In fact I respect everyone there tremendously. I've had nothing but the best from my dealings with them. And I hope that continues into the future.

All I know is that I won't give up hope. But I may start drawing dragons or robots or something.






VOTE JOFFY!

Joffy Aulx-Gao for CSM
Do eet!!
You can listen to the CSM Watch interview with Joffy Aulx-Gao here!

My name is Rixx Javix and I endorse this message. Why should you vote for Joffy? Let me share a small story about this young man. For the past several months we've been hard at work trying to find a way for Joffy to attend Fanfest in April. And when I say "we" I mean myself, my wife, Joffy, and just about everyone else we can get involved. You see, something as simple as flying to Iceland is not so simple for Joffy. It involves a HUGE commitment, an entourage of support, the removal of airline seats, special transportation, coordination, and the support of large multi-national corporations. I kid you not. It has been a challenging, time-consuming, and often frustrating process. And thru it all, every single day, this hard-headed, obstinate, courageous young man has never once given up hope. In my darkest days, and I've had more than a few lately, he remains my own inspiration. It isn't often in this community that we get to discover the true nature of those we play with, but I have discovered this about Joffy - he will fight and he will never give up. And that is enough for me.

To learn more about his campaign you can read this post. Or head over to the forums to show your support.

When it comes time to cast your vote for the next CSM, be sure to choose the one candidate that will never give up and will fight for you.

I will.



Help Gaming Veterans!

Best of Us Warfighter Wallpaper
Click to download various sizes
Best of Us and Warfighter Engaged are running a donation campaign right now to help Veterans gain access to gaming, check out the details HERE.  

This is a great idea and I encourage everyone to support this extremely worthy effort. Essentially any old gaming controller can be modified by Warfighter into adaptive controllers. I know we have a bunch of old controllers laying around and I'm going to get those into a box this weekend to donate.

And for those that donate you'll have a chance to win a authentic Rixx Javix piece of artwork!! How cool is that?

So get those old controllers together, throw them in a box, and help Veterans! 



Major News

Back in October of 2014 Major JSilva was leaving Eve and selling his main.  In what became a rather crazy and bizarre day, I made an offer on the forums to not only take the character, but to hold it in reserve in case he ever returned to Eve.

Thanks to the generosity of the community I was able to acquire the character and for the last year plus he has been holding down the fort as ABA Alliance Executor. And sometimes scout. And my Null expansion pilot. And whatnot.

But today this story comes full circle and Major has been returned to his rightful owner. The transfer is in-progress and should be finished here in 10 or so hours. I know the rightful owner since we've been in contact pretty much since before this happened. So no worries on this being a scam.

I will not be able to re-pay the donations that made this happen in the first place, my apologies for not keeping better records. But now I'm back to being without alts again, just Rixx and Anastasia the way it was always meant to be.

I'm glad this story worked out and Major is back in the right place again. I had several offers over the past year to purchase him, most significantly higher than the original purchase price. But that was never going to happen. Even if this had taken many more years. I gave my word. And that has always been worth more to me than money.

Good luck Major. I hope you are wiser now and enjoyed your brief stay with us in A Band Apart.



Eve NT Video



Enjoy!



1,000 Days of Stay Frosty

Stay Frosty Patron Saint Cpl. Dwayne Hicks
Stay Frosty is 1,000 days old.

Instead of talking about everything that Stay Frosty has achieved in the last 2 years, 8 months and 27 days, I thought I'd take a moment to talk about something else. I had been planning Stay Frosty for months before I started the Corporation and had extensive plans, notes and outlines for how things would happen. You don't just start the world's greatest pirate corporation on the spur-of-the-moment, or at least I don't. One thing that stood out from the beginning was player recognition. Its one area that I believe a lot of Corporations don't do a good job at. Not only did I want to build a culture of support, comradeship and risk-taking, but I also wanted the Corporation to acknowledge its players.

The most obvious way we do this is our monthly Hick's Award competition. Since day one our patron Saint Cpl. Dwayne Hicks has presented the player with the most total kills and the most solo kills with his monthly award. And I thought I'd publish those results for the first time publicly here today to honor those pilots who have excelled over the past 1,000 days.

The Stay Frosty Hicks Award Honor Roll

May 2013: Rixx Javix with 63 Kills and 33 Solo Kills
June 2013: Joffy Aulx-Gao 218 Kills and 110 Solo Kills
July 2013: Nakamura Shuji (168) & Bloody James (166 - And 114 Solo Kills)
August 2013: Bloody James 265 Total Kills and 178 Solo Kills
September 2013: Joffy Aulx-Gao total kills (196) and Solo Kills (112)
October 2013: Joffy Aulx-Gao total kills (142) and solo kills (80)
November 2013: Cervantes Marovinjun with 240 total kills and 168 Solo Kills
December 2013: Stan Ace with 305 total kills and Cervantes with 192 solo kills.
January 2014: Syl Kougai with 431 total kills, and Nuke Cave with 202 Solo Kills!!
February 2014: Ciba Lexlulu with 321 Kills and 172 Solo Kills!
March 2014: Deltron Zi with 275 total kills and Cerv with 148 Solo Kills!
April 2014: Skir Skor for total kills with 235 and Cervantes with 115 solo kills.
May 2014: Cervantes Marovinjun and Skir Skor with 214 kills and Cervantes Marovinjun with 131 solo kills.
June 2014: Bloody James with 233 Kills and 127 Solo Kills
July 2014: Laguna Fox with 283 Kills and Cervantes Marovinjun with 128 Solo Kills
August 2014: Laguna Fox with 229 Kills and Reed Tannid with 124 Solo Kills
September 2014: Laguna Fox with 137 Kills and Skir Skor with 59 Solo Kills
October 2014: Skir Skor with 154 Kills and Prda Prda with 81 Solo Kills
November 2014: Ciba Luxlulu with 210 Kills and Reed Tannid with 81 Solo Kills
December 2014: Ciba Luxlulu with 163 Kills and 94 Solo Kills
January 2015: Tia Aves with 397 Kills and Reed Tannid with 138 Solo Kills
February 2015: Reed Tannid with 163 Kills and 106 Solo Kills
March 2015: Ciba Luxlulu with 224 Kills and Prda Prda with 136 Solo Kills
April 2015: Joffy Aulx-Gao with 268 Total Kills and Reed Tannid with 145 Solo Kills.
May 2015: Demeison 00 for Total Kills (236) and Prda Prda for Solo Kills (149)
June 2015: Ciba Luxlulu for Total Kills (174) and Reed Tannid for Solo Kills (119)
July 2015: Ciba Luxlulu for Total Kills (246) and Solo Kills (126)
August 2015: Ciba Lexlulu for Total Kills (263) and Solo Kills (161)
September 2015: Cervantes Marovinjun with 227 kills 161 solo kills.
October 2015: Cervantes Marovinjun with 208 kills and 149 solo kills
November 2015: Rylan Yutani with 325 kills and 274 solo kills
December 2015: Rylan Yutani with 282 kills and 206 solo kills
January 2016: Cervantes Marovinjun with 317 kills and Raylan Yutani/Cervantes Marovinjun with 202/201 solo kills.

And yes, I personally find it extremely gratifying that my name only appears once in that list. While I've ended every single month in the Top Ten, it means more to me that other players excel in our Corporation. I take a great deal of pride each month watching and participating in this good natured contest.

Back when we first started many people told me it would never work. We wouldn't last. You can't build a pirate corporation on an Open Door policy. You can't just let people play however they want. You can't ignore the killboard. You can't do this and you can't do that. And yet, here we are. Stronger than ever. Still undocking every single day to Yarr, laugh in the face of danger, fly wherever we want, fly in whatever we feel like, and take insane chances in the face of overwhelming odds. 1,000 days of no fucks given.

To all those naysayers and expert pundits I'd like to say, neaner neaner.

Here's to the next 1,000 days of Stay Frosty and not playing by the rules.





#MakeAMovieEve

Yesterday on ABA Slack, and I don't remember how it started, but the conversation turned to films and I made a joke. One thing led to another and shortly I typed, "12 Years A Slave Implant" as a film that had been made more "Eve". It struck me that this would be a perfect lazy Saturday hashtag and so I started tweeting ideas. Before long it gained momentum and even CCP Paradox got in on the action.

Twitter is so transient and these things are gone in a moment, but in order to preserve at least 'some' of the ideas I've decided to post them here for prosperity. Thanks to Omran DiMarco from ABA for putting this list together and pasting it into our Slack channel.

#MakeAMovieEve

** From (Rixx's?) Twitter:
12 years a slave implant
Bridge of SPAIS
You've got an Eve mail
The Blob in the Belt 9
Tristan & Isolde: 1v1
The Short Erebus
Star Wars: Attack of the Jump Clones
There Will be Blood Raiders
Reign Omir Me
Raiders of the Lost Ark JF
Night of the Comet
Enemy at the Gate at Zero
Lawrence of Aridia
Deep in the Heart of Dodixie
Star Wars: The Force Recon Awakens
High Slot Noon
Running on Empty Lows
The Neutralizer (TV show)
The Tengu Commandments
Burn After Jumping
The Falcon Who Wasn't There
Remember Those Titans
Goonfellas
Barbarians in the Frigate
AWOX in the Park
Basic X-instinct
The Ventures of Huckleberry Finn
Bill & Ted's Excellent Ventures
Rock Around the Undock
Lars and the Real Gila
The Gila with the Dragoon Too
Escape from New Caldari
Kill Rixx: Vol I
A Fistfull of ISK
Storknado: Off the Station
Dr.Strangelove or: How I learned to stop worrying and love to bomb Gates
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Jumps
Things to Do in Jita When You're Dead
The SPAI Who Knew Too Much
The Assassination of Jamyl Sarum by the Coward Vigilant Tyrannos
101 Damnations
Grid-fu Panda
Schindler's Blue List
The Seventh Sion
Reddit Dawn
Far from the Maddening Crow
Delve Monkeys
Sleepless in Suarjento
Dead Pods Society

** Others from ABA slack/twitter:
Prince of Placid:Sabre of Time
O Broadsword, Where Art Thou?
Gone with the ISK
The Good The Bad and the Caldari
Fly over a Cruor's Nest
A Jump Bridge Too Far
Podfather
Fast Times at Reitsato High
Black Ops Down
The Wolf Of Jita Local
How to train your Dragoon
Planetary Interaction: A Love Story
Two and a Half Hictors
Lord of the Links
The Hunt for Red AFCloaky
National Goons: Lowsec Vacation
Crazy Little Frig Called Hound
Hot Drop Time Machine
Some Like It Hotdropped
City of Bob (by CCP Paradox?)
Die Hard in a Vengeance
The Gate Crashers
The Hounds of B-R5RB
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantasm Menace
Sleepless in Syndicate
Inglorious Bustards

** Other titles from ABA slack:
Warp Stabbed through the Heart
Frostier Than Thou
When Farmers Attack

There is even a Reddit thread on the subject if you are interested.

And you can discover even more at the hashtag, thanks to everyone that participated yesterday. There are so many more great ideas in the thread.


Hot Pursuit Wallpaper

Hot Pursuit 5k Wallpaper
Click to download various sizes up to 5k


Had this idea in my head this morning and here it is. I hope you enjoy it. This is more "digital composition" than "digital illustration", although there are illustrative elements within the composition. I leave the labeling to those that care about such things, because I don't. I create what I see in my head and use the tools at hand to achieve the result I want. And that looks a lot like what I saw in my brain cinema this morning.


BB71: A Cornucopia of Spaceships

Thanks to @CPPC_Tamber
Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 71st edition! For more details about what the blog banters are please visit the Blog Banter page.

We all like important internet spaceships right? The more spaceships the better right? Or are we getting too many to be easily to remember them all. A Mastodon on scan? That the hell is that and what does it do? Oh! Never mind!

Are we getting too many ships. Is it too complicated to remember them all and what their traits are? Do FC's these days need an encyclopedic knowledge of ship types unless they want their fleet to DIAF. With more and more ships being released each year will we ever reach "too many" or do you think there can never be too many important internet spaceship types?

------------------

It finally happened. After eight years of playing Eve a ship appeared on d-scan that I did not know. Let's be clear, I knew it was a transport of some kind. But which one? No idea. I actually used the "Show Info" function on a ship. Ahh, that one. I found it at a Command Office along with a Lachesis. A slightly different spin on the Recon Trap. Well played.

You may not be aware of my interest in spaceships, I know I keep it very subtle and low-key around here. So let me come out of the closet right now and tell you my secret, I LOVE SPACESHIPS! Ok, that might be the worst secret ever. Anyone that even has the slightest passing knowledge about me would probably say, "Isn't he the guy that draws those spaceships?" Yes, yes, that is me alright. (And you can buy those for yourself right here! Shameless plug.)

The number of spaceships available to fly has approximately tripled since I started playing back in 2008. We now have entire ship classes that didn't even exist way back in those Dark Ages. Like T3 Cruisers. And more Frigates, and more Pirate Faction ships, and more SOE Ships! And that pancake flipper ship! And those white ones... oh man those are very nice. And those Tornadoes!! And the Amarr one. And that Gallente one that looks like a 1950's Chevy. The Talos. Man, when was the last time I flew a Talos? Sheesh. And Ventures, and those blue Ventures. And that other Venture. And the Assault Frigates that need to be seriously helped. And that doesn't even mention Ship Skins! And those awesome new V3 Effects, and the rust and dust! Oh man.

We do have a lot of ships in Eve. But we will never have enough. And we are getting even more here shortly with the new Capitals being introduced. Which look amazing by the way. So what is the point of this post? We have a lot of ships, we need more?

Thing is, back in the day, there were a lot of useless ships sitting in hangars never being used. The refrain echoed throughout New Eden, "You don't want to fly that!", "If you want to start PvPing train Minmatar!" or whatever the flavor of the month was at the time. Since then Fozzie and Rise and the Five-O Team have accomplished nothing short of miraculous results with their balancing efforts. Not only do we have more ships, but we have more ships that actually DO SOMETHING. There are few remaining useless, or rarely flown, ships in our hangars. We are not done, not by a long shot. Assault Frigates need some serious love, as do Command Ships. Even so, we've made significant progress.

In many, many ways, it is far easier today. While we may have more ships available, those ships are easily classified into Classes. And those classes have clearly defined roles on the battlefield. So it is far easier to group knowledge about them than it used to be. To make assumptions, to anticipate roles, to address large groups than ever before. While our options have expanded and continue to do so, our ability to understand where each ship falls in that pecking order has also increased.

It sure is a great time to be playing Eve.

For more on this subject, please check out the Blog Banter page here.





Rixx In Local


Yesterday I was teamed up with a new Stay Frosty pilot named Sam Record. Sam had just joined us and had never really PvP'd before, so I was showing him the ropes and we were having a blast. There was a Retribution in Asakai that kept showing up on d-scan and eventually landed in a plex. I had Sam align as I warped in to tackle. Sam was in a T1 fitted Executioner and I was in my Comet. I caught the Retri and began working on it and then called Sam to come in and assist. The Retribution would have exploded with or without his help, but again, I was trying to show him the ropes and encourage his first day of PvP in Eve. Retribution exploded and we let the pod go. Immediately local exploded in anger and nasty words. Based on the vitriol, I must have had a Falcon.

And then I got this sweet tear filled email:

"From: MaryJane Andersen
To: Rixx Javix

Rixx shitting himself on comms: " help help i need help i cant do solo pvp" hahahahahhahahaahah XD

Kill: Numitor Eto (Dramiel) 

whats ure best solo kill today? an atron? hahahaha scrub"

And shocker, I'm blocked from replying. Now this person obviously has no idea who I am or that I have over 4k more kills than they do. Or that I could have brought a bunch of other people to that fight and blobbed her properly. Or that I don't use links. Or anything else about me. Which is fine. This is why we encourage our pilots to give "gf" in local win or lose. Nothing is more pathetic than a sore loser.

And believe me, I explode in a lot of ships. I know. I am not an elite PvPer by any stretch of the imagination. I do not aim to be one. What I am is a workhorse, the content provider for my Corporation and those that fly with me, and an unstoppable force that PvPs every day. I don't care about losing ships. I have no fear. That is who I am. And I have become extremely good at that specific game-style. (Just the other day someone pulled a Recon trap on me solo in my Comet. I killed the bait ship and then started killing the Rook. He was in deep structure when I exploded. That is how I play Eve in a nutshell.)

So what kind of people do I encounter on a daily basis? Let's make a list. And yes, I have names for them all.

Trophy Hunters
These people want to fight me so they can have my name on their killboard. Which is fine, I enjoy these fights. The only issue, and something I have to always be aware of, is just how much they want it. They might have links in system, they may be using Slaves, or have back-up, or ECM. Any potential loss is a future link in local, so I have to be careful of Trophy Hunters. But most of the time I take the fight anyway.

Gophers
When I enter a system with people in local and then suddenly they are all in a safe spot or docked up, these are what I call Gophers. They pop their heads up to see if local is clear and then go back into their holes when it isn't. You can't blame them, and I don't. I can always come back later when things have calmed down, or warp somewhere and wait. I'm very patient like that.

Perchers
So there is usually a T1 Frigate in a plex they shouldn't normally be in, like a Kestrel in a Medium. This can be a Recon trap, but it can also be a Percher trap. You an easily tell when there are about 5-6 other people in local all holed up in a safe spot. I attack the bait and then they all warp in to blob me. This one is easily avoided. Or sprung. Sometimes its fun just to let traps happen.

Pirates Helper
This also happened to me yesterday. An Ishkur was approaching me from about 80k away. I was in my Comet and waiting patiently. I figured he would attack, people in Ishkurs are usually very confident people. At about the 40k mark however he stopped, aligned out and warped to a safe. No spike in local. Nothing changed. This is a perfect example of a moment when someone looks up your killboard, or uses Pirates Helper. And then suddenly decides that they better not engage.

Apologist
They warp off but then they feel bad about it and want to explain that normally they would stay and fight, but y'know, not right now. The excuses can be rather hilarious, from my wife is coming home, the tea is ready, the dog needs a walk, my low slots are empty, I need reps, I already killed you a gazillion times and another one would be silly - those are all real ones by the way. I get it dude. You don't have to fight me, it isn't called non-consensual for no reason. I'll catch you later.

Hang On A Sec
These are the "gimme a minutes", the people who want to fight me... eventually. Y'know, once I give them time to get links up in local and call for back-up. Believe it or not, if I'm otherwise bored, I often do wait and take the fight anyway. Beggars can't be choosers. It is always a bad idea though to give the enemy time and nine times out of ten I lose these fights. But again, you take what you can get. And I don't care about losing.

Provers
We currently have a lot of these around the neighborhood. These are different than Trophy Hunters, these are people trying to prove their own self-worth. The difference is obvious because Provers never travel alone, always have links up and running, and always bring more to a fight than they need. I bring a T1 Frigate, they bring an AF, etc. These are among the most annoying people in all of Eve. All you can do is keep exploding their ships and hope they change their ways. Or failscade, which is usually what happens.

The Angry Avoider
The other day in Ishomilken one of these showed up. They are rare, but it still happens from time-to-time. The Angry Avoider talks forever in local about how awesome they are, they will link kills that might even have your name on them, and they won't shut up. But they will never actually fight you. And nor will I fight them. It is always a bad idea. What I will do is wait for them in another system and then catch them and explode their ship later on. Funny, they don't talk much in local after that.

This list doesn't include Blobbers, Gate Campers, Recon Trappers, or that huge Goonswarm gang that caught me fighting a Slicer on the gate the other day. Those are just the kind of normal things you find in low sec these days.

Thing is, all of these people are awesome and they make Eve a fascinating, weird, funny and constantly challenging place to play. I wouldn't change a thing. Keep doing what you are doing, even when it makes no sense at all. Please don't stop.

What would I write about if you did?



On-Grid Links: How They Work


Yesterday I talked about the updates that Fozzie revealed on my podcast sneak peek for After Hours with Rixx Javix, which you can listen to here, about the future of on-grid links. It is a fascinating and extremely interesting solution to a long-term problem that solves a lot of issues that link boosting has had since day one. And while I certainly appreciated the conversation, not a lot of details are currently available on how this new system will work inside the game. Naturally. This is all very early.

But that doesn't stop us!! Nor does it stop my readers, one of whom sat down and wrote this speculation yesterday. He was going to post it as a comment, but I thought it was deserving of a follow-up to yesterday's post. So here is Rank Badjin's thoughts about how on-grid links might work:

"We have launchers for scan probes and we have launchers for warp probes, CCP needs to add launchers for booster probes. The use of this launcher and the probes it launches would be enabled by a new skill called "Booster Probes" or something similar.

Level I of this skill would allow the fitting of a T1 Booster Probe Launcher and some of the equivalent metas. Level III would enable high function metas and Level IV or maybe V would enable T2 launchers. The probes would also scale accordingly with the same skill. (I think I would make it V for T2 with a crazy training time to be honest.) There is an alternative to divorce the probes from the launcher as far as skill training, more on this later.

Each level of this skill would also enable more probes to be launched at one time using a scale similar to scan probes. The probes themselves would be fixed in space like warp interdiction probes and can be retrieved and reused only if physically scooped to the cargo bay. The probes would time out after a fixed interval. In the interests of keeping this on-grid, I think that interval should remain fixed without being affected by skills for each probe type but perhaps vary slightly between probes with significant extensions for dead-space and officer metas.

This next part may be a bit over the top, but I can see some definite incentive to do it, and some definite reasons not to do it.

Standardize launchers.

A “Probe Launcher” would be able to launch any probe small enough to fit in its tube. An “Expanded Probe Launcher” would be able to launch ANY probe. And I mean ANY. Two launchers period for every core, combat, survey, warp, and booster probe. A bit complicated to juggle skills so no one loses skill points in the change, but...now you can fit an Exploration Frigate, a Covert Operations Frigate, a Reconnaissance Cruiser, (a T2 Destroyer?), a Command Destroyer, a Strategic Cruiser, and a Command Battle-Cruiser, (and the Nestor?) to launch any probe that you have the skills to deploy. Perhaps Frigates would only be able to fit the “Probe Launcher” and the “Expanded Probe Launcher” would be limited to Cruisers and above by power-grid as usual.

Pros are obvious, fitting out ships for WH space just got a lot broader. Cons are also obvious, fitting out ships for multi-role functionality in PvP may be WAY too easy. This would shift the importance of Frigates and Destroyers up the scale immensely. There would need to be some benefit I haven't yet envisioned for Command Battle-Cruisers to fill. Perhaps Battle-Cruisers could function like HICs and have the option of a fixed on the ship location area of effect large enough to encompass the entire grid or a sizable portion of it."

Personally I think this is a rather interesting way to approach integrating a "link launcher" into the game as things stand now. The last time I personally launched a probe was almost five years ago down in Scalding Pass. I spent an entire day trying to learn how to use probes and eventually realized two things. One, I suck at probing. And two, I can't attack anyone in my probing ship. So I'm not the most experienced person when it comes to using probes. Cramming all the functionality of any "probe" into a single class of launcher does condense a lot of things and streamline the entire process.

I do like the idea of "link probes" more than I like the idea of "link bubbles" frankly. I find the idea of a gate covered in Warp Bubbles and Link Bubbles disgusting, not only to my sensibilities, but also to common sense. So if links are going to become AOE based deployable, "fire-and-forget" based, then attaching them to a launched probe makes sense to me.

What are your thoughts? Do you like the idea or do you have another thought?



On-Grid Links

Bubbled Gate

During my interview with Fozzie on the After Hours Podcast we got around to talking about the upcoming changes to off-grid links and boosters in Eve. As many of you already know, CCP has confirmed that links will be moving on-grid here in the near future. This move has been the fountain of much speculation since off-grid links were first introduced ages and ages ago. CCP has long maintained that the issues involved ran much deeper into code and technology than might be assumed and these hinderances were stalling any significant changes.

Those "walls" seem to have been removed with recent server upgrades, the introduction of "brain-in-a-box" and other changes. And we appear well on our way towards an entirely new way of thinking about links and boosters inside of New Eden. I recommend listening to the entire Podcast, but I'm going to go ahead and discuss the changes specific to on-grid links.

As Fozzie himself said, it is easier to consider the future of on-grid links if we think about the way Dictors are currently used. A Dictor can deploy a warp bubble and then fly away from it and leave the bubble where it was deployed. This seems to essentially be the idea behind on-grid links in the future. I'm sure the details will change in the coming months, but this idea is rather ground-breaking from a strategic and tactical perspective. If link effects become essentially Area-of-Effect boosts, a deployable effect, that the link ship can move away from - well that fundamentally changes the entire way we think about them inside of the game. To add further fuel to the fire, it appears that they also intend to move links out of Wing Command and Fleet Command positions within a fleet, essentially meaning that anyone inside a fleet can apply links. This change means you could have entire squadrons of Command Dessies or T3 Cruisers as link ships in your fleets.

Obviously this is very early news on the development front and many questions remain unanswered. How large is the AOE? Do skills determine the range? How long does the effect linger? Do only ships in your own fleet gain bonuses? (You'd think yes, but again, this wasn't addressed.) And is the effect visible to others? This last one is rather critical, as a visible effect would mean enemy ships could also try to avoid the link bubbles.

I'm also guessing that any ships exploded under the effect of the link bubble would show the link ship on their killmails. This is obviously something that I've wanted to happen for a very long time. But right now that is only a guess. It makes sense however.

As I said in the interview I am very encouraged by this direction. It means risk is re-introduced into Eve for link ships. And yes I know, they can be hunted down and removed with a lot of effort. The fact remains that off-grid links are relatively safe and impact fights significantly. The risk/reward bonus is highly in favor of those deploying them and against those that are not. This has created a significant problem for years. Removing that safety net and forcing links onto the field of battle, where they rightfully belong, is a huge step in the right direction.

We'll have to wait and see as more details become available in the coming months, but generally speaking I am a huge fan of this direction. It is a very Eve direction. Something that the previous system was not. No matter what side of the fence you come down on, you can't argue with that. Allowing an entire ship class to essentially avoid commitment and still be engaged in battle was and should never have been - Eve.

Now the players get to decide if they want to risk their ships and the other guys get to decide which ships to shoot. Just as it should be.

Links are about to become just another fleet comp decision. And I'm a big fan.

What are your thoughts?



After Hours Podcast Episode 1: Sneak Peek


I was talking to Adarics over at Evil at Work earlier today about the news, podcast and media site they are building. Its going to be pretty awesome and will feature podcasts from around the gaming community, not just Eve Online. I had been editing my recent conversation with CCP Fozzie from Thursday and realized that a lot of what we had discussed was extremely topical and timely. It was then that we thought, we should probably get this up and running ahead of the site launch! Sort of a "sneak peek" if you will. Thanks to Adarics for making it happen today.

So here is After Hours with Rixx Javix Episode One for your listening pleasure. I hope Jonny Pew will forgive me for putting Fozzie ahead of him on the schedule, I have a feeling he won't mind given the subject matter. Fozzie and I talk about a lot of things, but I believe you'll all find the discussion interesting. The future of on-grid links is especially enlightening.

I hope you enjoy the Podcast and I can't wait to bring you more of them here in a few short weeks. Enjoy!



Maulus In Orbit

Maulus In Orbit Illustration
Click to embiggen


This one has been in the works, in various forms, for over a month. I finally had the time this morning to finish the final details and get it published. I continue to push myself in new directions and new challenges to become even better at getting what I see in my head to appear thru my hands. This is not easy, because the things in my head are so incredibly hard to do. I swear I can only get 30 or maybe 40% of the way there. But I will keep trying.

I hope you enjoy it.



Eve NT Fight Club



Finished this promotional video for EVE NT Fight Club yesterday. For more information please visit their website.

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Thanks again to everyone that DM'd, emailed, called, texted, commented or otherwise showed your support after yesterday's post. Each of you are sincerely appreciated and your support, prayers and well wishes help us stay strong each and every day. Thank you.

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I'm interviewing CrazyKinux and CCP Fozzie today for more episodes of After Hours, which will be going live in a few short weeks. I'm just waiting on Evil At Work to get their NEW Podcasting site up and running. So hang in there, it won't be long now.

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VOTE JOFFY for CSM!!

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Subscribe to my YouTube channel to be sure to get all the videos I release!




13 Years A Slave

This is a very personal post and has nothing to do with Eve. I'm writing this for those that care about such things, if you don't (and that is very understandable) please feel free to skip reading it. Thanks.


"I won't rest until you are in jail." Yesterday as I left the hearing room these words were spoken to me by my ex-wife's attorney. This was not the first time she has made remarks like this directly to me. The last decade has seen plenty of opportunities for her to express her disdain for me personally, both in and out of official court proceedings. This personal animosity is baseless of course. And I am filing a formal complaint with the proper authorities today. But how did we get here and what the heck is going on? How can someone who has paid out nearly one million dollars in assets, savings, alimony, child support, legal fees, lost a business, gone into bankruptcy, and generally been rendered unemployable by the court - how could someone like that be facing a six month stay in County Jail?

Let's back up a bit. In 2008 my agency, the one I had started by myself in 2001 with only a computer and a phone, was having its best year. We were growing, expanding, and working with clients from all over the world. In 2003 we had managed to survive our largest client, Adelphia Communications, filing for bankruptcy. Which would turn out to be the largest corporate bankruptcy in American history. We lived thru that. And we were better than ever. 2008 also represented the official third year of my Divorce, the maximum time allowed from separation to agreement. I'd already been paying the maximum amount of alimony and support allowed by Law. Our Son had come to live with me a year after separation, so child support was off the table. But negotiations were dragging well past the three year deadline. I wanted the divorce agreement finalized. I had already met and fallen in love with my current wife and we were both ready to start our new lives together. Even with all of the legal costs, alimony, and the costs of building a new life, we were doing ok. I had the business.

It all came down to a section of the agreement that made provision for compensation stemming from the businesses long-term viability. A balloon payment that would compensate my ex for the years of my business going on. Although I never liked the idea, in 2008 it seemed fair enough. If my business continued into the decades to come, a $40,000 balloon payment should not be a problem.

And then the economy went into the toilet. Our two largest clients, tied into the mortgage business, drastically cut back on their spending. There is a lot more to that story but essentially by the end of 2011 it became obvious that I would have to close the business. I think it is important to note here that has I had cash reserves at the time, I could have once again "saved" the business. But sadly my cash reserves were gone to the divorce. My 401k, gone. My savings, gone. Whatever the divorce hadn't taken was spent on a new home for my family. In January 2012 the business closed. The repercussions for me were extremely catastrophic. I was forced into bankruptcy. Nearly everyone that I owed money was in the business world, television and radio stations, production houses, media buyers, design studios - essentially everyone in the advertising community here in Pittsburgh was either directly affected or knew someone who was. The reputation I had spent a lifetime making, was tarnished.

Everything since 2012 has been a struggle. A few consulting jobs, a new business with an old friend, re-defining my career, job searching, unemployment, and a monthly struggle to keep our home. We've sold everything, downsized everything we could. And we managed, confident that after August 2013 the Divorce would finally be over.

Trust me, I am really trying to simplify this story. I'm leaving out my ex moving the case to another county. I'm leaving out the many times I was dragged into court during the times I was unemployed (without compensation by the way) and unable to pay alimony. I'm leaving out a lot of stuff.

So that magical August finally rolls around. Because of those few months of unemployment I have about $4,200 in arrears to deal with and we work out a payment schedule. The court looks at me and my ex and says, "Its over." I breath a sigh of relief and go home. As usual I stop and pick up the mail. Inside is a legal document. My ex and her lawyer are suing me for the balloon payment.

And so, for the last two plus years we've been fighting that. What started out as 40k has expanded into the 60k range. I've continued paying monthly payments based on what I can afford. But it is not enough. Every year they can legally drag me back into court and add more legal fees and more fines to the total. (And yes, we fought the legality of the entire thing. My business is gone, she isn't owed the money. I believe I am right in that argument and I will always believe that. But it turns out that 100k in legal fees doesn't buy you a well worded agreement. In hindsight there is some things missing in the words and it could be seen as a binding payment that turns into alimony. Which is exactly how the court decided to see it.)

Deep breath.

Now the court is deciding what to do next. My ex's attorney is adamant that they want a Contempt charge brought against me and nearly 17k in payment within 30 days or else I will be spending six months in the County Jail. We are arguing that I simply don't have the money (which I don't) and that something more reasonable needs to happen here. Or else I'm just going to continue to be thrown into Jail over and over again. Because you know, poverty.

I once believed that 40k would be no big deal. Now it seems like a mountain that I cannot climb. Trust me, I grew up poor. My Father worked his entire life in the Coal Mines of West Virginia. He is currently fighting a seven year war of his own to get the Black Lung compensation that he is owed and which the government is fighting. So I'm no stranger to struggle. But, like my Father, I believe in always doing the right thing. Of always standing up for what is right. And that eventually, somehow, it all means something. Something important. After everything I've been thru, I will not stop fighting.

I made a big mistake when I was 23 years old. A mistake I am still paying for 27 years later. My ex-wife abused me in every way a woman can abuse a man. She allegedly threatened to kill my parents several times (something I did not know until much later by the way), and much more. I worked 80-90 hour weeks to build a life that would allow me to divorce her and care for our Son. A goal I achieved. I make no apologies for how things have gone. I have a new life now with a great wife (who plays Eve!) and three boys who I've been a Father to for most of their lives.

If you've read this far, thank you. I'm not asking for help. I just wanted to write this down and get it out. As I've said before, this blog, this game, this community, has been a blessing for me during these years. There is, in my mind, no mistake that I started playing Eve in 2008. The same year my divorce agreement was finally signed.

At least now, if I do end up in jail you'll know why.