Did A Stoopid

In my humble opinion, if you are going to talk about how awesome you are, how cool your gang is, how important fits and tactics are, how much you hate WCS, and go around giving advice on how to play Eve - you should own up to the flip side of all that awesome - how stoopid you can be.

Eve is a game that only continues to get more and more complex. (Which is another issue I'd like to talk about soon.) And as such it often requires insane levels of concentration, knowledge and ability. As with anything that demands such talents, the opportunity is rife for failure. Derps of magnitude.

In my seven years of playing Eve I've been killed in space by getting stuck on Asteroids, by my Cat jumping on my keyboard, by my Mouse battery dying at the worst possible time, by children fighting, by a UPS delivery, and a dozen more distractions of life. These, along with game failures (lag, modules not activating, and other technical issues) are beyond our control. These are the acts of nature itself, there is nothing we can do about them. Take them in stride and move along to the next adventure.

There is another class however. A class beyond natural acts of real life distractions, or technical issues involving mice running in server rooms - a class without class. The totally stoopid. A failure of the mind, body and spirit. A moment when you have no one to blame but yourself. And while I've often been accused of blaming my derps on other things, the truth is I've always taken responsibility for exactly what happened. This blog is full of examples. You have to take responsibility for the bad if you are going to take responsibility for the good.

Yesterday there was an Ishtar in a large plex. We had three Cruisers available, I was in a RL Caracal. We also had a Ruppie and a Stabber around. Local was rather full and unknown, due to the local Incursion, traffic had been inconsistent and difficult to predict for days. So the idea was to not-overly commit. Poke around at it and see if anything came to help. Easy enough. The Caracal is the perfect ship for that job. It was clear from the beginning of the engagement that the Ishtar had links running. His speed gave him away. I must stop here and mention that I am in no danger from the Ishtar, despite his Geckos, I have the distance and speed advantage.

Eventually it becomes obvious that we should pull away. I check my distance, align out to the Sun and initiate warp. And here is when stoopid comes and calls me away. I completely and totally STOP THINKING about it, my mind goes right into one of several on-going convos and totally forgets about the things happening in space. (I typically have multiple convos and blinking channels going on at all times, that is no excuse, just the way things are.) In the meantime, the Ishtar (smartly) has burned straight at me and gotten web/scram on me. By the time I am jolted back to space (a span of only a few seconds) it is already too late. My fate is sealed.

As often happens at times like these the thought of quitting skips across my mind. I mean seriously. All that thought, planning, experience, knowledge, and ability for what? I'm joking here by the way. Yes the thought does cross my mind, but it is not a serious thought. It is only a normal human reaction to being caught with your pants down. What do you know? I'm only human after all.

As are we all. Stoopid happens. We can try to the best of our ability to make it happen less often, but eventually it will get you.

So what stoopid things have you done lately? Feel free to share.

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While you are thinking about it, enjoy the latest video from Joffy Aulx-Gao.






BB64: Fire All Da Missiles

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters, the first hosted here at SCAS as Kirith has handed over the baton, and our 64th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are visit the Blog Banter page.


Torpedo! Torpedo! Torpedo!
With the Aegis release we will see missile boats get their own version of the tracking enhancer and the tracking computer. On the forums there have been calls for new 'missile defence eWar' to counter these new modules. Is this needed? Are smartbomb 'firewalls' enough? Do defender missiles need an overhaul to make them actually worth using? Do we need the missile version of the remote tracking disruptor? Or do we go all Star Trek and have Point-Defence Phaser Banks? Banter on!

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I've been playing Eve so long now that I've watched the world turn not once but multiple times around the meta, the useless, the OP, the accepted doctrines, and all the things we should be doing, shouldn't be doing, and wish we could do. I suspect that many vets, like myself, often find it difficult to remember where we are at the moment. Especially now, when the world shifts beneath our feet every few weeks.

One constant throughout my Eve career has been the general suckage of missiles. It was so bad when I started playing that you could be openly mocked for picking Caldari as your starter race. (Back in those days the race you started with actually meant something.) As it was obvious that the other three races started the game with a significant leg up. You had to actually apply damage to get on killmails back then, and missiles are sloooow. I probably left hundreds of potential kms in space because of that. It was so bad it became an eternal "Can I bring my Drake" meme that will never go away.

When missiles finally get some much needed love it is difficult to see things clearly. There can be no doubt that the entire weapon system, across the board, needs some serious help. Especially the middle ranks, the Heavies mostly have been meta'd into almost irrelevance during the past two years. Unless they are "Rapid" and then they might be cool. But the problem with missiles goes much, much deeper than that. Defenders? I bet a lot of players don't even know they exist.

The new modules alone are not going to solve the issues that missiles (in general) have been fighting. The entire weapon system is starting so far behind now that these new modules are simply a way to hurdle over years of neglect. The entire line-up of available missiles needs tiered and re-done. Each ship class needs bonuses that make sense and that properly scale by ship class. And the excess that has plagued the entire enterprise needs to be dealt with properly. Two new modules are a big step in the right direction and I hope they are only the beginning.

So all of that brings us to today. Will we need counters to missile spam? My initial reaction is HAHAHAHAHA! You gotta be kidding, right? Between ECM, transversal, instant gun damage, linked target speed, and everything else already stacked against missiles - the last thing we need are even more reasons to stop using them. We're already starting from so far behind, why push it even further? Granted, we may need something down the road but that remains to be seen. Why jump the gun?

From what I've been able to see fitting these new modules is going to seriously affect other areas on missile boats, pushing the envelope even further on tanks, and other options. Those modules take slots, slots that won't be doing something they were doing before. Which is a classic example of a Buff/Nerf combo. Good news, bad news.

As usual I care less about the technical side and more about the impact changes have on the actual game. Which are often two completely different things. I suspect that these changes will have a small effect on the current state of affairs, slightly buffing the general missile platforms and bringing them back from the darkness. But I don't see them having a major impact as currently proposed. Again, in general.

So count me firmly in the "wait and see" camp. Let's see what happens. Goodness knows, in a few weeks it could all change again.





From the Archives: On Staying Frosty

This post originally appeared in May 2013 during the first month that Stay Frosty was born. At the time of this writing we had less than 20 members, we were under a War Dec, camped in our station, and under constant harassment. We survived and we have flourished, and not a single word in this post would change today. Not a single one.

Stay Frosty. [ST-FR] is a new pirate corporation and we are currently accepting applications from all corners during our 30 day OPEN recruitment. You can join the EVEOGANDA in-game channel to talk to us.

But why would you?

You shouldn't.

Pirating is hard, lonely and extremely dangerous. Everyone hates you and wants to see you fail. The only people you can count on are also scum-sucking pirates. You can't go into "decent" space, not with that criminal label on your passport. So you have to rely on others to bring you the things you need, or work your ass off to bring your Security Status up enough to do so yourself. You probably have a Bounty on your head. You probably have very little money in the bank because you spend it all on ships that are only going to explode eventually. And your dog died.

Being a pirate sucks. It ain't worth it really. Best to hide in a large fleet and add your .05% dps to the primary. Again and again. Who wants to rely on themselves and a small group of dedicated killers, thieves and malcontents?

You'd have to be crazy.

I must be. Especially to do this all over again. Angor and I started Lucifer's Hammer alone down in Syndicate almost three years ago. In less than six months we had 30+ members and three other Corporations in our Alliance. And now, here we go again. Heck, back then it wasn't even going to be a "pirate" corporation! I had positive sec status back then! But we kept having roams into Low-Sec and enjoying ourselves. The bug bit and bit hard. And while I'd always flirted around with the pirating life from time to time, I finally gave in and haven't turned back since.

If you are still reading this then maybe that spark exists down in your soul as well. Or maybe it has been burning there all along, for years. Or its been trampled by one bad experience or another. Let me spell it out for you.

Stay Frosty is not a response to anything that has happened before. It is what is happening now. Casual solo and small-gang pirating without pressure, dictatorial rules and regulations, without blues and without stoopid childish lectures, CTAs, and demands to "be on comms!!". You want to be on comms? Great. You want to fly around in silence? Great. You want to type? Great. ( Seriously, I think comms are the best way of course, but really? BC in Belt 5.1 Go. Is really 90% of what we have to say. That and gtfo! )

The Corporate hanger is stocked with Frigates. We honor 1v1s and Ransoms. (And we believe our Corp mates FIRST, no matter what.) The proof is in space, the rest is bullshit. We undock, we play, we fight and we laugh at our enemies as their ships explode. And we laugh when ours explode. We laugh a lot.

Because this is a internet spaceship game.

Why would you join? Because you've been smiling to yourself while reading this.

Stay Frosty.




Enyo Face!!


I've been counting this week again. Just out of pure curiosity. This week was a light week as far as Eve play-time, but in total I had 338 potential PvP opportunities this week. 265 of them turned out to be stabbed, or farming. All of which resulted in only 25 actual engagements, of which I won 21. (This doesn't count draws, in which both parties escape engagement with their ships intact. I had 4 of those this past week.)

Let's figure this out using maths. 78% of my encounters this past week were stabbed farmers. (Which is an increase of 12% over the mean average by the way.) Only 7% of encounters result in actual PvP. (Of which I won 84% thank you very much!)

I've been keeping count since the beginning of the year. So if you are curious, the year-to-date data is as follows. 66% of encounters are stabbed farmers. 12.5% of all encounters result in combat, and of that combat I win 79%. If you are even more curious, yes the data is on a rising curve over the past six months. The number of stabbed farmers is increasing each month.

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Last night this happened.

Yes, that is an Enyo with FOUR WCS. Cervantes tried to tackle him with 2 scrams fitted, but he got away. So he went back and fitted 3 scrams and finally caught him with help from Stinkfist.

I really do not enjoy beating the same drum over and over again. I really don't.

So instead of raging against the module, I will simply leave this data right here on the page and let you work it out for yourself.

I will however leave you with a question. As the Summer doldrums kick in and subscription numbers continue to suffer, is Eve better with a safety net? Or better as a vibrant, dangerous, engaged world that requires intelligence to survive?

I know which Eve I prefer.




Life and Eve

This week on Eveoganda I've been discussing some important life lessons that can be learned from playing Eve. That might not have been apparent, because I don't tend to announce these themes and rather let them happen naturally. It started with the "Power of Rejection" post and continued in yesterday's post about the realities of Eve, "How Dare You, Sir". And today I will wrap it all up in a nice bow for you.

You may or may not like what I have to say.

How you respond is more about you than it is about me. Why? Because what I am about to tell you is the truth, born out of a lifetime of lessons, experience and practical knowledge. It holds true no matter what you are doing, living your life, or playing a video game. You are only going to get out of those experiences what you are willing to put into them. In fact, the more you put in, the more you will get back. Until it becomes an exponential curve of increasing returns. Family, friends, children, college, work, sports, music, and video games. Everything works on this basic, fundamental premise.

It might surprise you to learn that I am not the most talented artist. I am certainly not the most talented writer. Or blogger. Or pilot in Eve. I have however, achieved a measure of success at each of those (and other) areas in my life. Not because I am the most talented, but because I've worked hard at them. I study them. I learn them. I practice them. And I work harder than most at them. And yes talent helps. I'm not working hard at becoming the next great ballet dancer, because I certainly have less than no talent at ballet. In fact, I probably have a great deal of negative talent at ballet.

Most people do not do this.

Shocking right? And you may be thinking to yourself right now that I am wrong. If you are then you haven't lived long enough to know better. Most people are willing to cruise along on the bare minimum, to wing it on the talents they may or may not have, to ride the wind and see where life takes them. This is how most people live. This is how most people play video games. And I make no judgements about other people. They are free to live their lives the way they choose. Good for them.

Because, in the final analysis, self-reliance and self-determination are yours and yours alone. They do not belong to anyone. Not your rotten Family. Not the neighborhood you grew up in, or the breaks life gave or took away. Not the economy. Or anyone, other than you. This is how life works and only you can choose to be overcome by obstacles, or to overcome those obstacles.

How does this relate to Eve?

The place you choose to play, the Corporation you choose to play with, the activities you choose to participate in - these things are not going to make your experience better. Only you can do that. You can be miserable anywhere. Any Corporation or Alliance can suck. Any group of people can be boring. It isn't them (usually), more likely it is you. You want to make friends, then be a friend. You want fleets, then make fleets happen. You want to be active, then be active. You want anything in Eve, then make it happen. And if you try, if you put the work in, the effort, and it doesn't? Then find a place, or better yet, make a place - where it will.

I did. I created the perfect place for me in Eve. It is exactly what I wanted out of my own Eve experience. And I've been fortunate in that it also seems to be something that other people were also looking for. I worked hard at it. I put a lot into it. And now it gives back much, much more than what I put in. It has to, because eventually, at some point, I will be unable to put as much in. Because self-reliance and self-determination are at the core of what it is all about.

If you want something, in Eve or in life, you have to make it happen. No one is going to do it for you. Others will help. And some will not. Even fewer may try to keep you from doing it. Or actively try to prevent it. The only way you will achieve anything, is by working harder than them. There are no shortcuts to overnight success.

Eve, more than any other game I've ever played, reflects back real life. Your experience in Eve will only get better if you put in the work to make it better. No matter where you are, or what you enjoy doing.

Go on. You better get busy.



How Dare You, Sir


Two incidents last night while I was flying around in space that seem different, but essentially have the same core problems at their heart. As usual I won't be mentioning any names, the who is not the story here. When I rarely mention names it is either because the person deserves some recognition, or because the person deserves some recognition. The who, in this case, is irrelevant. Mostly because these two attitudes are displayed rather often in Eve space.

Case One: On scan I notice an Atron and an Incursus inside a plex. No calls have been made in fleet chat. As always I warp in to engage both targets. Upon entering the plex I realize that the Incursus is a Stay Frosty pilot. I lock and shoot the Atron, which promptly explodes. I have effectively "whored" on the killmail. An action so prevalent that we have a term for it. (A term I abhor by the way)

Case Two: In another System, a Kestrel is on scan inside a plex. As always, I warp in to engage. I manage to get the Kestrel into low armor before he remembers that he has fitted WCS to his ship and promptly warps away. In local he says something to the effect of, "Picking on Newbros Rixx?"

The Atron pilot was upset with me and convo'd me to let me know. As always, I took the convo and engaged in conversation. I was accused of ganking, of doing something someone shouldn't expect from Stay Frosty. They were very disappointed in me. Much like the Kestrel pilot, they had developed some framework around expectations that have no basis in actual reality. Either real or imagined.

I've been rather clear I think. My only play-style inside of Eve involves undocking and engaging everything in space that isn't blue to me. I take this very seriously because it is fun. I purposefully do not gather intel on potential targets before I engage. I do not want to know how old a character is, or isn't before attacking them. I do not care about their Corp history, what Corporation or Alliance they might be in, or anything else about them. There are blues in space (A Band Apart) and then everyone else.

(There are more complicated engagement scenarios in which intel is needed, such as the Thanatos incident the other night. Please don't get me wrong here, intel has its place. But generally speaking, I don't really care. I can't. If I allow determination to act as a part of any potential engagement, then I've allowed morality to seep into the equation. And then I hesitate to make moral judgements. And I can't afford moral judgements, I'm a Pirate. As a moral person, those judgements come after a fight. In many cases resulting in Newbro compensation, advice, return of loot, etc. But not before a fight.)

I do not know you are a Newbro when I engage you. When I see two ships on scan and decide to take a 2v1, I have no way of knowing that one of them is a Stay Frosty pilot, unless some mention of the fight has been reported in fleet chat. Ask any Stay Frosty pilot how often we hunt down and warp in on each other. It happens ALOT.

Having said all of that, there are pilots in space that I know that are not blue. We live in a neighborhood and the regulars get to know each other. That is only natural. That is, in its own way, an evolving system of natural intel that works rather well. Many of these people, if they need assistance, will ask for it. And it will be given. Often, as we regularly do with the Bastards, we may even form up together to engage something worthwhile. There is a Pirate community and it has its own flexible codes by which we all try to adhere to varying degrees. We all have to live in the same neighborhoods.

I may help someone one day and then attack them the next. And I would expect the same from them, because this is what they will do. I should never assume they won't. Assumptions only get you killed in Eve.

The only security blanket in Eve is your Corp/Alliance. Everyone else is potentially friendly or potentially an enemy. And often, they are both things at the same time. For me, they are all the same. There is nothing personal in how I play Eve. It is only pixels after all. I treat everyone the same, I take all convos (unless I happen to be fighting when you try), I share loot, I often compensate young player losses, I give advice, and most importantly I assume we are all friends. Unless proven otherwise.

But if you are undocked and I am in local, I am hunting you. In one way or another you are a target. Why? Because I am also. Everyone is also hunting me.

Kill. Or be killed.

It doesn't get any easier to understand.




The Power of Rejection


I've been a story-teller my entire life. Either making up stories to amuse my classmates, or building them conceptually, or rarely taking the time to write them down. I got this gift primarily from my Mother, who would spin yarns to me and my friends when we were little. That spark led to an entire lifetime of story-telling. Even though it didn't lead me ultimately into a direction you might expect this story to go - young man pursues his dreams and despite many obstacles finds success as a writer - it did sorta go that way.

Not all stories end the way you think they will. And often our path is formed in ways we don't expect. When I was around twelve years old, a voracious reader of all things interesting to me, I decided I would be a great writer someday. And so, like any intelligent young man, I set my sights on the big-time. Why muck around in the dirt when I could just skip right over all that and get published in a major magazine? I was certain they paid people for those stories. Why not me?

So I sat down and wrote a short story called, "The Techno-Color God" which has (thankfully) been lost to the dust bin of time. Trust me when I say that I hold no illusions as to the quality of that story, the writing, or its merits in any shape or form. It sucked. To my twelve year old self, writing in my room on an actual Typewriter, it was gold. Surely it would knock the socks off the Editor and be picked up for publication. I remember the basic premise of the story revolved around the fact that the world used to actually be in shades of gray, almost like the movie Pleasantville years later. But much worse.

At least the Asimov Magazine's rejection letter was nice about it. In fact it helped me. As did all the other rejection letters that came afterwards. I have a folder with hundreds of rejection letters in it. Not only those for writing, but including those for comic book submissions and eventually creative positions during the early years of my career. You can choose to take rejection many ways, and often it can seem depressing. But I've always chosen to see it more as a challenge. A personal challenge to do better, to find another way, to move on past rejection and find the path that is right for me.

No, I didn't turn out to be the next great writer. Not yet. But story-telling and spinning yarns has been in my blood my entire life. It is present underneath everything I do. In the thousands of television commercials that I've written and produced. In the screenplays. In the short films. In this blog. In the branding development, the advertising, the presentations, the thousands upon thousands of pieces that I've created. And in every single piece of work. There is a story at the heart of them all. It is the connective tissue that binds everything I do.

I mention all of this as encouragement. If you are out there right now along your own path, finding yourself blocked or rejected, I want to encourage you to take the long view. To find your own challenge. To gain strength from rejection. It isn't the universe's way of punishing you, it is the universe's way of pointing you in the right direction. A direction that only you, and you alone, can find for yourself.

Today I am perfectly comfortable knowing that I am a professional writer. And so much more than that. I've been paid a lot of money over the years for things I have written and created. I hope someday to be paid even more for things I have yet to do. And while the dream of becoming the next Harlan Ellison, or Ray Bradbury may have eluded me so far - that doesn't mean I have to give it up. Dreams are what keep us going. The dreams of that twelve year old boy, writing crappy stories on a crappy typewriter, are still alive today. They will not die.

Don't let your dreams die. Hold on to them. Work hard to achieve them. And always know that the path to realizing them is not always straight. It can often be rather strange. And wonderful.



A Thanatos Jumps Thru a Gate


So I'm flying back to Ish last night to dock up for the evening when I spot two Confessors on scan a few systems out. I don't pay much attention to them, they are not on any celestials and Loki links are up in system. I'm alone, so not much can be done anyway. Been a long day and best to call it a night. As usual it takes some time to get to the point where I can log, the small details, organizing the office, take some time to manage. Normal stuff.

Then the call comes in from next door in Nikki, a fleet member is tangling with those two Confessors and needs help. I make a snap decision and pull my anti-Caracal Thorax from the hangar. I dunno, maybe it will work against Confessors. Or maybe at least scare them off. In mid-warp it becomes apparent that two Confessors have turned into three Confessors and an Ishkur with Loki links. Oh and they appear to be remote rep fit. This is not going to go well. As expected the Thorax explodes, it wasn't built for this kind of fight. But that is not the story here, the story is what happened just as it was starting to go down. Y'know, when a Thanatos jumped thru the gate on to us.

Fortunately we have enough in fleet to get point and keep it cycling while we re-ship and try to figure out what to do. After the Thorax exploded Serj Reaper from the Bastards convo'd me, so we decided to merge gangs and jump on comms to organize a quick gank. The key was going to be keeping the Thanny pointed long enough to bring in bigger ships. To help with that I decided to sacrifice my cheapish Vexor Navy to hold the Carrier down as long as possible. By this time, not only had our fleet grown, but so had theirs. It wasn't clear at the beginning who was with who. And if this was bait to a much larger escalation. All unknown at the time.

Of the hundreds of ships in my hangar it figures I don't have a HIC fitted, so I decide to grab a Hyperion. We have another Carrier coming and Serj happens to have a Nag in system. We figure it is best to make this as short as possible and try to keep the chances of being Hot Dropped to a minimum. Our brave Stay Frosty gang members are holding points in cycles, while the original gang is still shooting at them and the Carrier. It is a confusing mess and there are several moments when it looks like we've lost point - only to have someone else step in and announce they have it. I can't say enough about their efforts, well done.

Finally, after what seems an eternity (but is only a few minutes), we have our gang on the Carrier. We even have our own armor reps, links, and support up and running. The original gang pulls away and I manage to get point and double-webs on the Carrier. Then the Nag lands and and really brings the deeps. The Thanatos goes boom. 2.5b baby. Some decent loot and some Geckos, Fighters, and a very pretty wreck.

We loot what we can and then decide to bring a salvage freighter in to scoop the rest. We re-ship into web ships, me in a Rapier, so we can get the Freighter in and out faster. The Charon gets in without any problems, but shortly after we land a small TEST gang appears to harass the Freighter. We pop webs on it and head back to station. Luckily we manage to pull some decent loot and grab the remaining Geckos and most of the wandering Fighters. Freighter safely back in station, I dock up the Rapier and we start dividing the spoils.

And then the call comes from the gate, the original Confessor/Ishkur/Loki gang is back and engaged. I pop a Myrmidon into space and warp off to help. We finally have enough dps to break their chain and the first Confessor pops pretty quickly. Then the second. Then we all turn our guns on the link Loki at once and it goes down pretty much instantly. The remaining ships wisely de-aggro and jump out.

All of which took about twenty minutes or so from start to finish. In the end I think we made off with close to 5b in total loot and ships destroyed to only a couple Cruisers, and a couple of Frigates lost. I haven't done the math, but I bet our total losses are less than 500m.

A special call out of thanks to Serj for organizing the merge and for being willing to bring the Dread Hammer out of station. What I may not have mentioned above was the constantly incoming Intel situation and the threat of escalation, which shouldn't be overlooked. It was ongoing. Being able to bring the Thanny down quickly was important to making it out safely. And a special nod of thanks to the brave Stay Frosty pilots who kept their cool and kept points on the Carrier while we organized. Well done.

You never know when a Carrier will unexpectedly jump thru a gate into your lap.

I mean, it does happen. See above.



Lost Expedition Animated

Click to larger version

As promised, here is an animated gif showing the process of putting together the latest "Lost Expedition" Wallpaper. You can see the final in the post below, or by clicking on this link.

Enjoy!



The Lost Expedition

CRASHED The Lost Expedition
The FINAL Version!

Art is never finished, only abandoned. This morning I awoke unsatisfied with where I left this image last night. So I spent a bit more time with it and got it closer to where I wanted it. It is never perfect, but this is close enough.

I'm going to make an animated gif out of it and will post that here shortly.



CRASHED Animated Gif



I made a Gif of the recent CRASHED Wallpaper so you could see how it was put together. I'm going to try to do these more often.

Enjoy.



The Thrasher Re-Design


There are parts of Eve Online that are starting to really show their age. Let's face it, the first ten years are firmly in the rear-view mirror at this point. Eve is moving quickly into its second full decade of existence. That is amazing and also extremely challenging. And, as much as some of you want it to, the game can't be allowed to stand still. It has to keep moving, changing, updating, adapting and evolving. Or it will die.

I love the Thrasher. I've spent a lot of hours in that ship, or its cousin the Sabre. It is a classic design. But it is also over ten years old. Did the proposed re-design need to go so far? Maybe, maybe not. But it is after all, only a proposed design. Frankly I love the new design, that is an impressive ship. But is it a Thrasher? Now that part I'm not so sure of.

The great thing about recent design upgrades has been that recognizable factor, the Caracal still looks like a Caracal, the Domi still looks like a Domi, the Rook is a Rook (despite its radical changes), and the proposed Stiletto and Probe changes maintain that connection. The reason the proposed Thrasher upgrade is getting so much heat is simple - it doesn't look at all like a Thrasher. (I put one on the picture just to prove my point.)

Like I said, I love that design. It is rather Boss. And I support the idea that the Republic is finally getting better at building ships, that is also a rather cool way to explain recent upgrades. But does the Thrasher need to change that much? (At least they kept the Frills!)

There needs to be connective tissue. A nod to the legacy. Feel free to upgrade, change, modify and make it look like it belongs in the modern era - please. But don't forget the things we love about the model. Keep those things. While that new design is amazing, it isn't a Thrasher.

We'd like to keep our Thrasher please. Back to the drawing board.




CRASHED Wallpaper

CRASHED Wallpaper

REVISED AND UPDATED


My good friend t'amber started a thread over on Reddit challenging everyone to produce an image based on elements her provided, essentially the ship you see above. And yes I am aware that the scale is all wonky, but sacrifices have to be made in the pursuit of art. This is my submission to that thread. I wasn't going to do anything, but I did anyway.

Enjoy!



1v1 EVE COMIC #78

Click to embiggen!

Busy day yesterday, but I finally had time to log on to Eve and in plenty of time to catch a fleet that was prepping to go out on a roam. Got my ship and had just undocked when my phone rang. I quickly docked up and answered it. It was a Headhunter calling me just ten minutes after I had sent in my resume for a newly posted position. Which is rather unusual. About twenty minutes later and I finally returned, but the fleet was already seven jumps away. I should mention that this is the third week in a row that I've been late, for one reason or another, for this particular weekly roam. So off I went, racing to catch up.

I made it five jumps before popping into this gate camp.

I should also mention that is also the third time that has happened. New rule, if I happen to be running late next week I'm just gonna stay around the house and play.

Enjoy your weekend, more later.

PS: And the phone interview went extremely well.




AT Newbie


The official Alliance Tournament seeds are out and someone has already taken the time to make an unofficial bracket. I'm sure there are other ones out there as well, but essentially you take the top seed and pair it with the lowest seed, and then continue. A Band Apart is the 51st seed so if these early brackets hold true we'll be facing G0dfathers in the first round. Luckily we are in the same section of the bracket as PL, Shadow, and about 63 other teams that probably have more Tournament experience than we do.

This is my first AT. I've come close to being in the Alliance Tournament before, but something always happened to change those plans. Things like Alliances collapsing, or wars, or evacuations. I'm glad that it worked out that way in the past. I'm incredibly excited to be entering the AT at the head of my very own Alliance. I mean seriously? How freaking cool is that?! It honestly doesn't get much better. ABA isn't just another Alliance. It is my Eve family. Something I created from thin air and which has grown and thrived over the past year. I don't think it gets much better than that.

Let's be honest here, this is our first ever Tournament. As such it would be entirely understandable for every single person looking at a bracket to say, "Who dey?" And write us off as just another newb Alliance. Because we are just another newb Alliance. No sense in denying it. We don't have years of experience and frankly our team is not going to be filled with 200m skill point pilots. As far as expectations go, place us firmly in the "going-for-it" camp. We have no expectations other than doing extremely well, fighting hard, and making our best effort on the field of battle.

Having said that, within our team, we do have experienced pilots. Those that have participated in the AT and other Tournaments before - both with ABA and with other teams. So it would be a mistake to discount us entirely. While I might be rather notorious for not taking anything seriously, I freely admit to taking our participation in the AT extremely seriously. Maybe 89% serious. Which is a huge upgrade from my normal levels. I joke, but why play if you don't try to win? So we are putting our best foot forward.

It is a big deal looking at the seeds and seeing our name there among the other 63 teams. It is, in a larger sense, our coming out party. And while we might very well get smacked into oblivion, we shall strive to make each opponent know they were in a fight. Because if there is anything we are not newbs at, it is fighting. And, if I remember correctly, the AT comes down to a bunch of ships fighting another bunch of ships for ten minutes. And that is something we do every single day.

So we are on our way. And whatever happens, win or lose, I'm extremely proud of our members. Those on the team and those supporting the team behind the scenes. Because I do know one thing, in order to do well we need everyone behind us.

At the very least, it will be interesting.



The Frosty Wolfpack


Hunters hunt, or they starve. And while there are many strategies, tactics and group organizational plans that work well for the hunter in certain situations - the hunter must also adapt to the world around them. The hunter is not responsible for the environment they find themselves living in, but they better be able to recognize it and work it to stay alive. And while the hunters may not create that environment, they do have a certain responsibility to maintain it. Or else they will also starve. It is no surprise then that evolution bestowed the gift of intelligence to the hunters and not the prey.

While we do a bit of everything in Stay Frosty, over the past two years we've evolved our own method of working within the environment we find ourselves. I don't actually label things, but for the sake of this post I'll call it the "Frosty Wolfpack" or the Solo Gang. While we certainly didn't invent the concept we have, by benefit of flying it almost every single day, perfected it.

The concept is rather simple. How do you organize a group of primarily Solo pilots, veterans and young players, into a support group that functions both as a Small Gang and as a Solo expression of individuals? All while hiding that function from potential prey? And allowing the environment to flourish around you, providing plenty of opportunities for action? And the kicker? It has to work no matter how many pilots are playing. From two to two dozen.

The Wolfpack exists within a system bubble about five to six systems wide. It is important to spread out, but not so far that support can't get to you quickish if needed. Solo pilots each function as their own scouts, sharing intel of every system they visit, which starts to build a collective memory of what is happening within that bubble. This gives all members of the pack the intel they couldn't get by flying alone. This is the key to why the Wolfpack works so well and why we encourage all pilots, even those that may not be flying with the pack, to join. Each pilot has the ability to determine opportunities as they present themselves and decide if they are capable of dealing with them on their own, or if they need support. A single pilot can quickly become a small gang of pilots when needed. This is an incredibly empowering part of the experience, each pilot knows that the weight of his mates is behind him.

It also means that opportunities that a solo pilot might normally pass up, suddenly become possible. A solo Tristan might move along if they spot a Vexor in the large for example, but in the pack a simple call can bring enough force for the Tristan to feel comfortable tackling the Vexor. Force projection and expansion in action.

The Wolfpack also presents a false facade to potential targets. Instead of traveling around in a group, the pack is spread out in individual systems. Which makes it difficult to grasp and report effectively. And while the individual pilots have back-up if needed, they don't always use it. Meaning they continue to fly solo or in smaller groups. This makes them flexible to gate camps, blobs and other attempts to destroy the group as a whole. Even when some pilots are lost, the group survives. Usually long enough to exact some measure of revenge.

And unlike more organized activities the Wolfpack doesn't scare away the targets. Gate camps, fleet operations, and linked rovers become known entities that force prey to seek other pastures. And while they each have their place and their uses, none of them work in the same way that the Wolfpack works. Or as well within the environment we find ourselves.

The beauty of this for us is that it gives all our pilots the chance to "play" and learn together in a group, while also experiencing the solo play-style. And it also keeps us working together as a team and not just a vast collection of players off doing their own thing all the time.

It is the social way to play solo and stay frosty.