After Hours with Jim Halescott



After Hours with Rixx Javix Season 2 Episode 2 with Jim Halescott is now available!

Jim is the recently former CEO of the Thieves Guild and we talk about his activities before and how he got started in the life of stealing other player's hard-earned assets, and why he recently decided to step away from playing Eve.  Join us for another interesting conversation.

You can also listen and subscribe to After Hours on iTunes now. That's right, ALL New episodes are available to stream on iTunes Podcasts, just search for "After Hours with Rixx Javix" and boom! I'll be adding last season's Episodes as well.

I hope you enjoy and will join me next time.



So, What's Next?


To say I had a rough year last year would be a gross understatement. This post isn't about that horrid year, but it does bear mention since it has impacted this year significantly. I'd be a fool if I tried to pretend otherwise. And I'm not a fool. (Which may come as a surprise to some of you.) This year as been much, much better. And busier. And full of taking care of things that had pilled up behind us over the past few years. And not just financially, but also in every other way you can imagine.

This magazine has suffered as a result. And no I'm not going to be announcing that Eveoganda is closing, or that I'm quitting Eve, or anything else as silly as that. Quite the opposite. In fact I plan on continuing to write here in these pages. I plan on continuing my plan to be the last person playing Eve when it eventually does shut down some day in the far flung future, and I plan on continuing to be a major pain the ass. Why stop now?

My focus has shifted however and I'll be the first to admit that. When I started writing Eveoganda back in January 2010 I didn't have my own Alliance and my own Corporation. I didn't have my own Podcast (which is now available on iTunes btw!!), or a Twitter account, or a hundred community projects to get done, or commissions, or a RedBubble Store, or... well you get the idea. So yeah, these pages have suffered a bit as a result.

So it has taken me some time to wrap my head around it and try and figure out where in the grand scheme of things writing about Eve falls. I've made some decisions, again this is only in my own head, so you may not care one way or the other - but I'm going to tell you anyway. I've decided to return to my roots in these pages. And return to the "journal" focus that Eveoganda started with. Telling stories about my adventures inside of Eve primarily, about my fights, my fits, and those people I fly with in Stay Frosty and A Band Apart.

The treatment I've received this year from certain people at the company that makes this game I love has soured me on all things related to the bigger meta - and those things are best left to the podcast anyway. When they come up. My long-term meta aspirations continue in secret, but those are essentially in-game machinations. As for the out of game strategy, those continue but without CCP being a part of them. If they want to treat me like a leper then so be it. A leper I shall be. Sadly for them I'm in a much better position to play that part now, than I was only a year ago.

So Eveoganda will be returning to its roots. And I'll start writing more about my in-game adventures again. This great community of ours continues to evolve and I have to evolve with it. The environment is much different than when I started blogging. Back then, blogs like this one were the kings of the community. Now that role has spread out to a wide variety of options. Streamers, podcasters, stream/podcasters (which is really what most of them are), and social media stars on YouTube and other places.

I'm happy in my multi-dollar media empire over here in the corner. Seldom mentioned, largely ignored by the current faves of the Icelandic prom queens, but content in my role within the community. I had to laugh over the Eve Vegas weekend watching the Twitch stream at just how much of my work finds its way into Eve. There wasn't a moment of the stream that something I did wasn't on air. Pretty funny.

So, once again, here we go into the future. I hope you will join me. It has been a blast these last nine years and I think the next nine should be even better.

Keep the courage.



PS: Here in the next few weeks Eveoganda will be getting a new face-lift into a more modern and responsive design. Just as soon as I find time to design one. Hang in there.


After Hours Season 2 Episode 1 with Feiryred



We're back baby and better than ever! After Hours is now being hosted on AudioBoom and you can visit our custom page if you want to bookmark it right here!

I'm excited about getting the new season underway and I'll be loading the last of the previous season up on YouTube in the coming weeks. In the meantime you can still catch all of last seasons episodes over on Crossing Zebras.

Enjoy the new episode and let me know what you think.



It Lives!


The Toothpaste Fish Citadel lives! Shortly after it went up this morning I fitted it up with missiles and bomb launchers and tried to get it into warp... but so far it refuses to move. I need to watch some tutorials I guess. I suspect it won't fit into anything smaller than a Large Plex, but still, it should be very effective at chasing larger targets.

I also couldn't find any prop mods on the market in Jita. Puzzling.



The Pit Chronicle

Click to embiggen!
That is The Pit Chronicle which was only ever seen by a handful of corp mates back in December 2008 in the Phoenix Industrial Corporation, my very first corporation. I had only been playing Eve for three months when I made that. It was never finished because we started playing around with a website idea, or a blog, who knew what we were doing? I thought it would be fun to bring it to light finally and let you see it. We've come a long way in nine years.

And so has Eve. And so has the world really.

Enjoy this peek into history.



The Long Break is Over


The Long Break is Over. I often title my posts before I write them, I suppose it is a form of personal challenge. Here, write that! More often than not I end up changing the title once or twice as the words pour out of me. But in this case I don't suspect that will happen. However, should you be reading this post under a different title, just know that I started writing it under the "The Long Break is Over" title.

You may not be aware of the fact, given how busy I have been on Twitter, or in my Podcast, or in my continuing support of Community events and projects, or in running an Alliance, three attempts at the Alliance Tournament, and producing artworks, logos, wallpapers, and running the most successful Non-Eve Store this side of the actual and real Eve Store - that I've actually been on a break during the last two years. But I have been.

This comes to mind today because I'm preparing to celebrate my 10th year anniversary of playing Eve on Thursday. Even though I realized today that it is actually 9 years of playing Eve and not 10 at all. September 21, 2008 is 9 years ago. So whatever, I'm celebrating anyway. Nine years is also awesome. Apparently nine years of Eve has taken its toll on my brain and rendered me incapable of basic math functions. Let's pretend the 10 thing never happened and go with 9.

Despite my math struggles I've been thinking back a bit lately in light of the upcoming anniversary date. And I've realized that I have been on a break for a long time. Not a traditional break in the sense that you never log in, or you step away, or anything. But a mind break. A break of the soul if you will. The origins of this break are obvious in hindsight. A little over two years now my post-divorce, post-business world was running pretty smoothly. My consulting work was going great and my new business venture was keeping me busy. And then everything sorta fell apart all at once. Back then, and this is really almost three years ago now, I didn't talk about my private life so much. But my legal problems hit new highs just as my business partner was diagnosed with cancer. And, like a proverbial house of cards, everything that had been building over the years previously - came crashing down.

It became difficult to justify playing a video game when my real life needed my direct attention. Play, or try to make money. And I still managed to play here and there when I could, but overall the decision became more and more difficult to justify. Artwork could be done because it served the greater purpose of padding my portfolio, exposing my work to new audiences, and often paying those bills. A ray of hope even emerged around that time, CCP wanted to work with me to sell my work.

It is difficult to convey just how stressful those times were on myself, my wife and our family. Now, in the light of history, I can start to look back and take stock. For so long I've only allowed myself to look forward, because backwards was just too painful. If you've suffered any sort of trauma in your own life, a death, a disease, a devastating loss, then you understand. And while I didn't suffer much in those traditional areas - mine was just stretched out over a very long period of time.

Luckily, those days are for the most part behind us. Thanks in large part to you my readers and fans, the greater Eve community, and to CCP as well. Not to mention the understanding and friendships of those in my own Alliance and in Stay Frosty. The in-game systems and people running them are so amazing that they continue running despite my personal issues. I cannot say enough about the pilots that I am fortunate enough to fly with. Such great people.

If you've made it this far, and I wouldn't blame you if you had given up several paragraphs before - I just wanted to say Thank You again. My life is being re-built one brick at a time and things are finally starting to make sense again. That optimism and hope is due in large part to the friendships that have been forged over the last nine years. And they each served as a light in the darkness that I often found myself in. A darkness which often threatened to overwhelm me.

But I keep going. Mostly due to the hardheaded determination my family is rather famous for, but also because I couldn't let you down.

I feel like I've emerged from a long tunnel back into the light of day. It is easy to forget how bright daylight can be.

Now, when I struggle to find the time to log into Eve, it is because I have a great full-time job and a full family life that demands my attention. Which is how it should be. How it was before. And hopefully, how it will be going into the future.

It may not be ten years yet, but in many ways, it feels like a lifetime.



JUDGEment Day

Get it printed on the back side!
The JUDGEment Day shirt is now available on my RedBubble store!

So for the last week I've been essentially out of Cellular range and limited to a sporadic WiFi connection and rules about engaging in "social media" while in the deep woods of a work-related retreat. Which sounds much worse than it was, it was actually a really good week. But, being away as I was, I missed a few things.

Having expended my usual effort in support of certain candidates for CSM who align counter to certain other parties, as I always do, this week's news was rather disappointing. The worst part was reading the smug posts coming from the so-called diplomats on the Goon side of things. We can all sit here all day and debate the details of this entire sad chapter in Eve's history, but betrayal has and always will be a part of the game. I personally find it reprehensible, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen. In other words, I wouldn't do it, but I fully expect others to do it.

That isn't the disappointing part. The sad part to me is how easily The Judge got used. I mean if the reports from the sources are correct and at least marginally factual, this guy turned like an Apple Dumpling. A few "Poor Babies" and "I'm listening" sessions and he was ready to betray his comrades to the very forces that they had been fighting against for years. The backbone of a jellyfish.

Today I told him that he should have called me or texted me the day after the CSM dinner when he was walking around Reykjavik searching for his courage. He should have and he should have told me everything, because my advice would have been freaking EPIC.

So you are pissed off at Gigx and you want to engineer the greatest heist slash backtab in Eve history? Ok, not my thing, but I can see the point of it. Why not make it truly grand and double-cross those cheeky bastards that think you are a pushover? In no time at all I could have put a deal together with another player group (unnamed) and we could have stuck it to Co2 AND Goons at the same damn time. Imagine how much more epic that would have been?

What a missed opportunity for legendary status.

Oh well, this is what happens when you are so damn good at the Meta game that no one knows you are so damn good at the Meta game. That CCP employee that wants to know more about how it is done is talking to the wrong people.

And sorry Judge. History is not going to be kind.

Next time call me first.


After Hours Season Two


After Hours will be returning here shortly after a Summer break. I took a break for two reasons, 1) Because it was Summer and we had the Alliance Tournament, and 2) Because I needed a new microphone. The microphone I had was a pain in the ass to be honest. Especially when I finally discovered that it was the reason my audio would often garble out and get funky bad. So today I installed a new audio rig based around a Spaceship Gray (of course!) Blue Yeti with shockmount, screen, etc. I just ran it thru some VO practice and it sounds amazing.

I want to say a special thank you to Niden and the folks over at Crossing Zebras for hosting the first season of the podcast. Originally, After Hours was going to be one of the first podcasts associated with another service provider, but delays and other issues caused me to have to search for a home quickly. CZ was awesome in picking me up quickly and giving me a home for the first twenty episodes. So thanks for that.

But now that I have twenty episodes under my belt and a nice fat Summer break behind me, it is time to bring the podcast back home. So season two will be self-hosted on a server my good friend and fellow Alliance pilot Ramdar is setting up for me. And new episodes will be heard right here on Eveoganda. Where they should be.

In the meantime I'm working hard on getting season one episodes up on my YouTube channel, so look for those to start hitting over the next week. I have quite a backlog to get posted there.

It is extremely important to me that this blog, my work, the podcast, and my playing choices inside of Eve remain independent. Anyone who knows me or has read this blog at all should know how important that is to me. Independence doesn't mean neutral, despite what some of you might think. I have my own opinions and my own goals. But A Band Apart, Stay Frosty, and myself remain staunchly independent. It is very often a hard choice and an even harder way to live in Eve. It certainly is never the easy choice. But I don't make choices because they are easy, I make them because I believe in them. And I always will. No matter what.

So it is with some measure of sadness that I have to cut my official ties to Crossing Zebras. Certain affiliations have recently changed, and while those decisions are theirs to make - I cannot be associated with them. As much as I like the people involved, I simply cannot take the risk that things may change even further in the coming weeks and months. Because they often do. Better to make this break now and see how things develop from the sidelines.

Which all happened while I was considering moving the podcast anyway. So no big deal.

I've essentially decided to cut ties with all Eve media establishments, not just CZ, and remain fiercely independent as always. This way I don't have to keep up with who is sleeping with who anymore. It is easier and frankly, the way I prefer it. Who can keep track?

Onward and upward.



UPDATE: The Rixx Store


Launched in December 2016, the Rixx Javix Store was intended as an experiment and an example. An experiment to see firsthand what the demand might be for a store offering items "almost" Eve related. I call them Almost Eve Related because I obviously can't use any Eve IP on them. So I'm stuck hovering around the edges, picking up common community sayings, plastering Alliance logos on things, and generally trying to be as creative as possible without tipping over into being sued land. It was also intended as an example to certain people at CCP of how well a player-run store front could be run. Y'know, if the guy running it knew what he was doing and also happened to be extremely creative. And didn't use slave labor. Unless they have slaves in Canada, which is where the items are made.

The other intention, which I mentioned above, was to give Alliance's in Eve a place to sell gear to their members. A few years back CCP finally gave Alliance's the right to make products with their logos on them. So this seemed like a service that a bunch of Alliances would be interested in having. Not everyone wants to go to the trouble of not only running a store, but also creating all the material for one. After nine months I'd say this part of the experiment is still open to debate. A Band Apart, Mercenary Coalition, FCON, BOSS, and Bastion have taken advantage of the idea. And I've sold a lot of gear to players in those groups. Bastion being the most active of the bunch. We also sell Crossing Zebras gear, which has sold exactly ONE item in nine months. (The Eve-NT version of this idea was taken down by CCP.)

Right now some of you are thinking this is yet another example of Rixx trying to make money from the Eve community. As always, you are wrong. What you don't know is that the commission is set at the lowest possible percentage on all items being sold, and zero on most of the Alliance gear being offered. (With a few exceptions due to the artwork on those items, with those also set at the lowest possible percentage that isn't zero.) I knew from the beginning that I wouldn't be selling a lot of items and I certainly wasn't expecting to make bank on this idea. I'm not an idiot. It does make a nice bit of pocket change each month, I'm not going to lie. But more in the area of a nice dinner out with the family, rather than the monthly payment on a car.

Believe it or not the satisfaction for me is seeing all the shirts and stickers and other items that players send me pictures of. During the AT a lot of our pilots in ABA would put on their shirts to play our matches, or to support our team. That is the kind of payment I was looking for when I started the store. It's a lot of fun and I enjoy it. It also helps knowing that it probably irks certain people to no end. lol.

I think you will be surprised at how well the store is doing, I know I am. We've been told over and over again that the community won't support Eve merchandise. That the numbers are not there. And, admittedly I'm not selling Eve IP, but even so the Rixx Store has sold 1,245 items in nine months. That average out to about 138 a month, or almost 5 a day. On average of course. For example, three shirts were sold today. That also includes items like stickers, which are a big seller. And other items like phone cases, etc.

I wonder how many items the actual Eve Store has sold in the past nine months?

Oh, and as a side note, in nine months we've had zero returns.


Steel City Eve


The 2nd Annual Steel City Eve player meet was held this past Saturday at our house! Once again we had a great crowd of about 15-20 players from even further away than last year! Technically we even had a Goon from England, although he lives nearby now. But one player drove in from Austin, Texas. Others drove in from New Jersey, Chicago, New York, Virginia and all around the Pittsburgh area. It doesn't really matter where they came from, it's just astonishing to me that anyone would want to come hang out at my house for the day. And help me celebrate my birthday! Honestly I can't think of a better way to celebrate than with your friends and family. And so many of my Eve friends do feel like family. Although I did have actual family there, my Son and his wife also came and spent the day with us.

Swag Bags!
It rained for about an hour in the afternoon, but everyone took it in stride and we sat inside watching Alliance Tournament replays and talking about Eve. After the rain left it was smooth sailing the rest of the way and we went strong until around 11:30 Saturday night. 

My wife and I decided this year that we wouldn't ask CCP for any swag, since we haven't exactly been seeing eye to eye on things lately, so we made all of the swag ourselves. Everyone got a nice printed poster of my SOE illustration, some hand-etched shot glasses, an Eve Koozie, a Spaceship sticker, and a Spaceship vinyl decal, plus a few other random items that varied from bag to bag.

Our event is about hanging out and having a good time together. We drank, told funny stories, ate some food I cooked on the grill, and had fun. I posted a bunch of photos over on my Facebook page, so I'm not going to post them here.

We are going to do this again next year and if you are reading this I hope you'll consider coming out and joining us. I know it will never get to be as large as some of the other player meets and I don't really want it to frankly. I prefer the smaller more intimate event that we have going. But there is always room for you.

I'd like to thank each of our guests for attending. You are all awesome and you didn't lose any of our cats. Which was a plus. Seriously though, thanks for being there and I hope you enjoyed yourselves.

We did.



2nd Annual Steel City Eve Tomorrow!


Goodie bags are made and getting ready to be filled tonight. Tomorrow is the 2nd Annual Steel City Eve player meet right here at my house! We're expecting somewhere around 20 players to show up tomorrow for a great day of drinking, eating, and talking about our favorite spaceship game. Players are coming in from as far away as Texas, Chicago, Virginia, New Jersey, New York and all around the PA area to attend.

This year we decided to just have the darn thing at our house and make it more personal. In that spirit Liz and I are making all the swag ourselves, which is pretty awesome. (I hope) And we'll be cooking food for everyone and opening our home to all our friends. Which, in my humble opinion, is anyone that plays Eve. Even if we happen to fight in-game, out here in the real world we are all friends.

If you are coming we can't wait to see you tomorrow. If you are not coming... well maybe next year. It is around the same time every year, cause it is also my birthday(!), so put August 19th on your calendar now so you'll remember.

Time to get back to work.

Pictures soon.



The Aftermath

Our amazing run in Alliance Tournament XV has come to an end. Congratulations are due to both LAZERHAWKS and BRAVE for excellent fights, well played. In both cases we gave as good as we got and both matches could have easily gone either way. But well deserved by both teams. I'm not taking anything away from either one. In the AT the matches often hinge on the smallest decisions, a mounting pile of critical errors, or razor thin margins. That is, after all, what we call a good fight. And both were good fights.

But I want to take a moment and talk about our team. I want to personally thank each of our pilots who came out for practice after practice for months leading up to this AT. I can't begin to tell you how proud I am of each of you and how thankful I am for your dedication and commitment to A Band Apart. These pilots right here deserve all the credit for our incredible run this year.


A very special thank you to our team Captain Jose Zampano. Jose agreed to take on the mantle of Team Captain for last year's AT Team and this year's. It is a lot of responsibility and all of us in ABA are lucky to have him as our Captain. I hope he will lead us to yet another run at glory next year.

I could seriously point at any pilot in that picture and tell you something truly amazing about them. Most importantly I will tell you that I'm proud to fly with them and would gladly sacrifice my ship for any of them. I'm also more than happy to keep pouring a hundred billion isk at them until we win this damn thing!! lol.

One thing I want our team to know. Top 16 last year and Top 12 this year sound very similar. They are not. Our competition this year was much, much better. Slyce, Hard Knocks and Volta are solid teams. But the truly important thing that one extra win does is break you into the final 8 undefeated teams, which on its own terms is a big deal. (We were one of the final 8 undefeated teams!) For us however, it is even more important because both of the teams we lost to - are still in the Tournament and going on to the final weekend. And while it sucks huge hairy balls to lose, at least we have that knowledge to get us thru until next year. We are a much better team than you probably realize right now. But we still have much ahead of us.

To everyone in A Band Apart that supported us this year, thank you as well. Your donations of isk or equipment or time or support mean a tremendous amount to our success. It might sound trite, but it does take everyone in the Alliance to make a winning team. So thank you as well.

And to anyone else reading this post, maybe now is a good time to consider joining A Band Apart. We are a rather unique Alliance with member Corporations that cater to just about any playstyle you might enjoy, all built around the largest pirate group in all of Eve - Stay Frosty. And that doesn't even begin to tell the whole story, from our amazing Wormhole Corporations, Industry, Rookie training, and much, much more. If you are looking for a home in Eve, I can think of no better people to shack up with than ours.

And who knows, you may very well be a part of the team that wins this damn tournament next year!

I can promise you this, we are going to give it all we have.

Onward and upward.




3rd Weekend


The astute reader will notice that this is my own betting bracket from the Alliance Tournament. As I've said before I made my bets the day before the AT started and I haven't changed a single thing since then. (Tbh I did change two matches that no longer had either of my original teams in them, but that was in the losers bracket)  There are eight teams left undefeated and we happen to be one of them.

Tomorrow we face Lazerhawks. I don't know much about them, although I do know they often bump into our own WH operations from time to time. We've also practiced against them once or twice. Once for sure. This isn't a grudge match as far as I know, just two teams trying to prove themselves that happen to bump up against each other along the way. I'm sure it will be a good fight and well played. And we are not taking them lightly or anything stupid like that. I'm sure they are not taking us lightly either. I wish them the best of luck. But, of course, I hope we win.

For our Alliance a win tomorrow means we will go further into the AT than we ever have before. A loss tomorrow also means the same thing. Either way we go further. That is a HUGE accomplishment and the fulfillment of everything I had hoped for this year. The only thing I really wanted from our team was to make a better showing than our Top 16 finish (#14 overall) from last year. And no matter what happens tomorrow, we've already accomplished that.

Everything after that is gravy. But what tempting gravy it is. Getting this far, especially without a loss yet, is intoxicating. You can't help but look at the brackets and start thinking about what if scenarios. What if we win both matches this weekend? Can you imagine? Can your brain even comprehend an ABA vs Tuskers final? Mine can't. The human brain is a mysterious thing, I keep telling it to stop thinking past tomorrow's match. But it doesn't listen.

Seriously though, one match at a time. We have a determined foe to face tomorrow and, if we manage to win that one, another determined foe on Sunday. If we manage to escape those fights with another weekend ahead of us, then that will be... something to deal with later.

Who knows what will happen next? No one. That's why we fight the damn things.

Onward and upward to glory.




Whoa ABA!


So today this happened.

In case you live under a rock and missed it, today we won our third match in a row and defeated We Form Volta (last year's third place winner) and move on to the next weekend undefeated. We are now one of the eight remaining undefeated teams left in the Alliance Tournament. Whoa.

Before the match I think about 31% of voters picked us to win. Which has been about our average during all three of our matches so far this year.

I could not possibly be more proud of our pilots and our FC than I am. I am not surprised however. We've all been practicing hard and for a long time, so I fully expected us to fly well today. We've known all along that if we were going to do well in the AT we needed to do it by out executing the other teams. And so far we've managed to do just that in each of our matches. So, while I am extremely proud of our pilots, I'm also not at all surprised. Just ask Apothne, I told him a few weeks ago we'd be making a solid run at the final four this year. And I still believe that.

I have to admit that I was more than a little disappointed that I didn't fly today. Don't get me wrong when I say that, we have a deep bench and everyone deserves a chance to fly in the tournament. However, from a personal perspective, I also want to fly in every match. I've spent a good part of three years training skills specific to the AT and a large chunk of personal time training for it. Like anyone else, I just want to be out there in the mix with my teammates. But while I am the Alliance Executor and the CEO of Stay Frosty, I am also not the boss of our AT Team. That honor belongs to Jose Zampano, who has been kicking ass as our Fleet Commander this year. Jose makes the rosters out for each match. And I'm fine with that. In fact, I set it up that way before last year's AT. And Jose has taken the ball and done an exceedingly excellent job of running with it. It has been a real treat for me watching that happen.

How far will we go? I honestly have no idea. The AT is often such a rock, paper, scissors tournament and luck certainly plays a role. As we continue to move forward it doesn't get any easier and the pressure only continues to mount. This is the furthest we've gone in three tries, so this is all new territory for our team. That is both exciting and terrifying at the exact same time. However, if I know our pilots as well as I think I do - we should continue to excel.

I filled out this Alliance Tournament bracket before the first weekend and I haven't touched it since then. I decided I'd make my predictions before the AT and let them ride to see how well I'd do. I also predicted we would end up in the finals against Tuskers. And, believe it or not, that Tuskers would end up winning. If you are curious I'm 59-37 so far, which is respectable. I'd do better if I changed some predictions obviously. But that ain't bad.

One match at a time. We have Lazerhawks to contend with next. Everything after that is not worth thinking about.

For now, I'm just going to enjoy the sweet taste of victory. For as long as it might last.





September 21



On September 21st I will have been playing Eve relatively non-stop for ten years. I popped out of a station in Todaki and haven't stopped since. There isn't a region of Eve that I haven't been in, and there really isn't anything that I haven't tried. I haven't technically been in Faction Warfare, but I consider myself an active participant in it. Some may argue that point. But whatever. The only real goal remaining, that I have yet to achieve, is a Top 4 finish in the Alliance Tournament. That has always been my goal and I hope to achieve it either this year or next.

My other personal goal all along was to train Rixx to the maximum sub-cap PvP skills you can have in the game. I recently finished training all of the Leadership skills to go along with all of the Shield, Armor, Drone, Missile, Electronic, Engineering and other support skills he already has trained. The only thing remaining in Ship skills is the Loki and Black Ops V. After those two are finished I won't have any more sub-cap ships (PvP) to train. I finished Marauder V earlier this year. I'm somewhere around 165m skill points and my current train is 195 days. It ends with Black Ops V.

It has helped that along the way CCP has added some additional ships to train, so that may or may not happen again. If it does, like Command Destroyers, I'll pop those into the train. If not... well I'm not sure. My thinking right now is that I will stop training Rixx and leave him with max sub-cap skills, and move on to another character to train. Only coming back to his training when a new ship class or something else warrants it. That is my thinking right now at least. I have half a year to figure that one out. There isn't much call for Caps in my version of low sec. And even if there is I have a couple of other characters that can be trained into them.

So what do I have to look forward to going forward? For the past two years my real life situation has dictated a very strange relationship with playing Eve. Despite what many people seem to think, I really haven't been playing that much. I've been running the Corporation and Alliance from Slack for the most part. Which says a tremendous amount about the people playing, our Directors and leaders, and their commitment to our ideals. Right now I'm focused on the Alliance Tournament, but afterwards I'm really looking forward to a much more relaxed playing experience again. Thanks to recent turn-arounds in my personal life, the pressure to "make money" with my personal time is finally abated. I can stop chasing extra work and relationships hoping that they will turn into something. That includes dealing with CCP, or not dealing with CCP, whichever way we are looking at that today.

I remain excited about Eve and ABA and Stay Frosty and primarily the relationships and friendships that I have both in-game and out. I don't plan on going anywhere anytime soon. I've often said that I will probably be the last person to turn out the lights when the servers shut down and I see no reason that might change.

I plan on being around annoying people for another decade or two. Where the road leads is all part of the grand adventure we are all a part of.

Let's find out.




Boom Headshot



Behold our NEW Alliance Tournament Ad for this week! This was a gift on Sunday so we kinda had to use it. I think Jose and I had the idea at the same moment on our Slack channel, so he pulled the video clips and I added the edit magic, and boom!

Ithica's a good sport and I know he got a good laugh out of it over on EVE_NT Slack today. But I'll make it up to him with some free beer at Fanfest next April.

Enjoy!




Roll Tide


The first weekend of Alliance Tournament XV is finally over and A Band Apart comes out with two wins against two quality teams. First I want to thank both Solyaris Chtonium and Hard Knocks Citizens for two excellent, competitive, and well-fought fights. You both pushed us to the edge in both matches and came close to swinging the fight in your direction. Good fights. Good luck to both of you in your upcoming rounds.

It is difficult to communicate what flying in the AT is like. Our team is made up of pilots I've known for a long time, many of them have been in ABA or Stay Frosty for over four years now. Many others I've been fortunate enough to meet in real life, some several times now. This is our third run at the AT and we still have five pilots on the team that have flown in all three. Our team is 28 pilots deep this year and we've all been practicing and planning together for months now. For hours on end. Our entire Alliance has been building, moving, and supporting the effort. This is the part, beyond the actual fighting, that gets hard to communicate. There is a profound sense of all that friendship when you are flying. Of not wanting to be the one that lets them down, that makes the mistake that costs the match. I know I feel it and I'm sure everyone else does as well.

So it is a huge relief when all of that actually works. When I was flying with my teammates today it felt like being part of a well-oiled machine. All of those hours of practice, all those different trials, testing, figuring out things, all came together. It wasn't so much as thought as it was pure instinct. And confidence in those around you. That is a truly great feeling. And it doesn't really have anything to do with actually winning. But winning sure does make it even better. I ain't no idiot.

I'm also not going to take more credit than I am due. I'm mostly just the Head Cheerleader for our team, link pilot, and big ship boom guy. Often primary. Our FC Jose Zampano deserves the most credit. He stood up last year and led us into a Top 16 finish and this year he is doing another fantastic job of leading our team. And he has a lot of help from Andy, and Methea, and Bluey, and Stickel, and others on our team.... Heck, here they all are.

An awesome team shot from Bluey Snuttsoff! (<3 td="">
That's the ABA ATXV Team right there. (Thanks Bluey!)

I have no idea what will happen next Sunday against We Form Volta. According to Ithica Hawk we are in a lot of trouble. Which is a strange thing to say seeing as how they are 8-10 in the AT and we are 6-10 in the AT, doesn't seem like that much of a gap to me. But what do I know? I'm just a low-sec player. What did Mittens say, "a bunch of idiots of no consequence"? I'll take that and own it.

Whatever happens no one can take these two wins away and for now that is good enough for me. Next Sunday's match will take care of itself soon enough. Until then I'm going to enjoy this feeling as long as I can.

Keep the courage and Stay Frosty.




ABA ATXV Poster

A Band Apart ATXV Poster
Click to embiggen


I didn't create much in the way of propaganda for our Alliance Tournament run this year, so I thought I should do at least one piece. I did this for me and I like it. I thought the Cars 3 teaser poster (I haven't seen the movie) was a powerful image and it came to mind today when thinking about the Daredevil. DD's are only 2 points this year, so I expect we will be seeing a lot of them in the AT.

First match is Saturday!!

Go ABA!!




ATXV Our Third Trip



The 15th Alliance Tournament starts this Saturday. This will be A Band Apart's third trip to the tournament. Our first year of eligibility was a rush that was quickly assembled while we were still putting the Alliance together and experiencing growing pains - but no excuses - we got our asses handed to us and lost both matches. Last year we did much better and made it into the Top 16 before our practice partners knocked us out of the running. Which was a good run for us and it meant we didn't have to worry about getting in this year.

Honestly I'm much more comfortable with being underdogs, and although we did finish in the final 16 last year, I still feel like we are underdogs again this year. As Apothne and Jin'Taan are more than willing to point out to me, one year doesn't count in the Alliance Tournament. So, no pressure or anything.

I prefer it that way. And I believe it is the way that all our pilots in ABA are approaching it again this year. We really are underdogs and not just because we only did well in one AT. We also have a lot of pilots in our team this year that didn't fly last year. We're also a relatively small Alliance in a field of much, much bigger fish. We don't live in zero space or have big cousins, or any moon goo to throw around, or whatever it is these days that null sec people do. We are a scrappy bunch of low sec pirates, wormhole denizens, mission runners and industry experts who take sov by accident and refuse to participate in the worst that Eve has to offer. Which is our entire reason for being. We refuse to participate in your version of Eve.

So that makes us underdogs. Not just in the AT but in Eve. A position we thrive in and expect. So nothing different.

I can't begin to tell you how we will do this year. I have no idea. I'm a Pirate Lord not a mystic. I can tell you that I am proud of our pilots, our team is well practiced and prepared, our FC is German, and our ships are well and purposefully fitted. I can tell you that I am thankful and appreciative of our practice partners again this year, all of them. Thanks for grinding with us and best of luck to you all in the AT. I can tell you that no matter what happens this weekend or in the following weekends, that I am proud of our team and all of our pilots. Good people and great Eve players every one.

I can also tell you that I am sooooo glad that I finally finished training ALL of the link skills!

So that is something to celebrate.




The Long Road


(PLEASE NOTE: The following post contains references to real events in the author's actual life. I know that for some of you this can be traumatic and often indecipherable, so I want to give you time to return to your previous programming. I'm also planning on being brutally honest and I know how you can get when I do this.)

I had to start this over. I just learned that another good friend on mine has terminal cancer. That's two that are fighting for their lives as I write this. This kind of news hits you hard and makes you think. About your own life, about the transient nature of life in general and our own moment in the sun. Certainly any news like this gives us all pause. I know it does me. I've known this gentleman since 1987, we worked together at my first professional job. In side by side cubicles. Both of these friends played significant roles in my life and in my career. One of them I had a chance to re-connect with over the past few years, the other one... well, we shall see.

That reconnection is necessary because of what I started writing this post about in the first place. But now the energy is gone, like a vapor in the wind. So I'm going to pocket the rant about time and re-birth and instead just get down to the point of it all. I'll spare you the long philosophical build-up. I'm sure you are grateful for the respite.

The point being that almost everything in my life burned down five years ago. I didn't know it at the time, (how could I?) but those five years would be enlightening, revelatory, and life-changing. A lot has happened in those five years and I'm not the person I was back then. My life is both infinitely better and also significantly different now. If you think about your own life five years ago, I'm sure you feel much the same way.

So let's move this post to be more about Eve, our community and my professional life. I want to first thank you all once again for your tireless support of me over the years. My readers, my fans, and all of you that I have crossed paths with at one point or another. I can assure you this is not a post about quitting, or stopping, or anything like that. In fact, despite the dark opening paragraphs this is a celebratory post. On August 1st I will be starting a brand new chapter in my life. Just as I was beginning to consider looking for a new job, a couple of gentlemen appeared and offered me one.

A good one. We still have a long road ahead of us before I can say, "we've made it", but this is a huge step in the right direction for us. This community of ours, or whatever you want to call it, has been an important part of our lives these past five years. A lifeline. A place to play, to cast aside the worries of the day, to try new things, to explore, to have fun, to share, to talk, and to make connections that truly mean something. I know my wife and I consider many of you reading this post as our friends. And I can only hope you feel the same way. Even if we've never met. Although at this point, we've certainly met a lot of you. And we hope to have the chance to meet more in the future.

There were two moments when you saved us. Some people out there want to make those moments out to be more than they were. We needed help and hundreds of people reached out to help. If we hadn't gotten that help our lives would be much different right now. That's as simple as it gets. And because of that help we are in the position we are today. Along with a lot more help from friends and family you don't even know about.

We will never, ever forget that. Or all of those that have supported me on Patreon, or have bought things from me on RedBubble or thru commissions. All of which has helped along the way. Thank you. I can't say it enough.

So I will be taking the Patreon down in the next few days. I want to reach out to everyone first and write each one a special thank you note. The RedBubble store will also be coming down in the next few weeks. It served its purpose, to show certain people how easy it was to do, but without access to IP it is pointless. And once I finish those items on my Project List, I will no longer be accepting further community projects for isk. I may continue to consider special projects for the community, charity, or other special needs along the way. I want to wait and see what my time looks like before I decide on closing the door on those.

Essentially I just want to get back to playing Eve again without feeling like my time would be better spent working. Which is how it has felt these past few years. And writing in these pages, and doing my podcast, and finally taking the time to work on art that is for me.

Onward and upward my friends. Thank you.


PS: I'm already having second thoughts about the RedBubble store. So that may be staying up after all. Sorry, sometimes I get carried away.


Summer Doldrums


I haven't been posting much lately and After Hours is on hiatus until after the Alliance Tournament. I haven't been logging into Eve as much as I'd like lately either. All of these things are a combination of the dreaded Summer doldrums. Kids are home from school. Weekends are precious. Activities are escalated. It is awesome outside (usually). And any free time is used up by AT practice!

Typical summer. I'm sure a lot of you reading this are experiencing something similar.

This September will mark ten years that I've been playing Eve. Straight. Continuously. I didn't quit and come back, except for a few brief moments here and there, it has been a uninterrupted ten years of playing Eve. That is the kind of revelation that can give a person some pause for reflection. There aren't many things I've done longer than ten years in my life. I was in a toxic marriage for longer than ten years. I've been a Father for longer than ten years. I ran my own business for longer than ten years. Been a creative person obviously. But not counting knowing my wife, or friends, or family, there just isn't a long list of things. But Eve is one of them now. Or will be in a few months.

Does it mean anything? I dunno. I'm still training skills. I'm still wishing I had more time to play. I still enjoy the banter in our Slack channels. I still love AT practice. I still get a kick out of undocking. And I still believe there is no better feeling than hunting down another pilot and winning a close fight.

So I guess I'll stick around and see where the next few years take us.

More later.



Vargur on a Beach

Vargur Beach Commission
Vargur on a Beach
I had a blast working on this commission. Essentially my direction was that they wanted a certain skinned Vargur and a certain skinned pilot in the image, the rest was up to me.  They also indicated that they liked the way the images in the Eve Travel Series looked. So I decided to go in that direction.

The Tempest model always makes me think of sailing ships, so the ocean theme was a great place to start. Plus I really like how the ocean plays into themes of space, exploration, adventure, and many others. You probably didn't think I put so much thought into these things, did you?  The base image of the beach is made up of four (iirc) images, most of which I took myself while in Iceland. The framework image is borrowed, but little of it survives intact. The clouds and sky are also a couple of images worked together. I wanted to combine several things that are unusual, both the Sun and the Stars, into one sky. So that wasn't easy to make work. The Stars themselves are both hand-painted and based on a Hubble image. Same with the planet.

Photographic style images are challenging. The other challenge is trying to get humans into images alongside Eve spaceships! Our ships are so large it makes it nearly impossible. But I imagine this pilot is on SHORE LEAVE! (lolz)

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this preview. The original is 24"x18" at 300dpi and I can't wait to see it framed and on the wall.

Stay Frosty my friends.



SOE Poster

Sisters of Eve Poster
Click to view in Flickr


There are so many things to say right now that I don't even know where to start. So, instead, I'm just going to let this one hang here on the site without much comment. At least for now. The creation process is an exhausting one.

I hope you enjoy the new piece. The original is 27x40 Movie Poster size btw. The image on Flickr is a low res version.

Enjoy!



ATXV

A Band Apart: Roll Tide
ATXIV Propaganda
It has been a relatively quiet run-up to the Alliance Tournament this year for my Alliance. Having finished in the Top 16 last year certainly helps take some of the edge off this year. We didn't have to worry about getting in, since we had an automatic bid, and we didn't have to fight in that weird feeder round crazy. Whew.

So we've just been quietly going about our business since almost January or so, to be honest it all starts to blur together after a while. Real practices started being serious after Fanfest and we've been doing solid three-a-weeks since then. This is a tough slog for everyone. We all have real lives out here and it can be difficult keeping everyone enthusiastic, especially when it comes to Time Zone weirdness, work schedules, and the dull ache of non-internet spaceship crap we all have to deal with.

But that is all part of the game, isn't it?  My job as Alliance leader person is to put the pieces in place and then help them as best I can to succeed. We are truly lucky to have the people we have, from our FC, support FCs, theory-crafters, pilots, and all those supporters behind the scenes cheering us on or building things for us. Which is all very exciting. Mostly I just write the checks. And pay the bills. And interject what I hope is some wisdom into the mix from time to time.

How will we do this year? I have no idea and neither does anyone else. I know that we will be ready and that everyone will give it everything they have. Of that I have no doubt. The rest comes down to the luck of the draw, the comps aligned on field, and the millions of split-second decisions made under extreme pressure. 

I'd like to see us do better than last year. I think we left a lot on the field last year and those losses still sting. I've probably watched our matches from last year about twenty times in the past few weeks. That isn't healthy. But who cares? I'll probably watch them some more before July 29th.

Lots to do before then. We are almost a month away.




Steel City Eve 2


Last year we had a blast hosting our first ever Eve Meet! So we decided to do the dumb thing and have another one, this time at our house!

More information is available over on Eve Meet at this LINK!!

Everyone is invited, doesn't matter who you are in-game, or what you do, come hang out with us and spend the day talking about Eve, eating, drinking, and having a lot of fun.

So we hope to see you there.



Could Eve Survive the Cinema?

EVE: Blood of the Empires Promotional Poster
Tom Hardy is the Pirate
Over the years I've had some fun imagining Eve as a television series (like above) or as a film. I've made fake movie posters, teased Ridley Scott pictures on Twitter, and created funny one-offs from time to time. I do this because, like I suspect most of you do, I think the idea sounds amazing. Who wouldn't want to see Eve on the big screen in the theater or the big screen at home? And we know the idea has merit because we continue to hear that such an idea is "in development". I heard it myself at Fanfest again this year from Torfi himself. And he would know.

Last I heard Ridley Scott's Scott Free Productions had the rights and that Icelandic Director (who most recently directed 2015's Everest) Baltasar Korm├íkur was involved somehow. The word from Fanfest hasn't changed much in the intervening years. "These things take time", "Rome wasn't built in a day", etc. Which is all true. Some properties can take decades and decades to be produced. I was just reading a story about Cowboy Bebop's decades long development. There are hundreds of examples like that.

So what is the problem? What is taking so long? I have zero inside information. Other than a life-long interest in film production, thousands of television commercials, three failed television pilots, one almost (so close) greenlit film script, and a brief movie review career - I know nothing. But I can make a few educated guesses. A thought experiment. Why not? 

The biggest hurdle in my mind right now is that Eve is a video game. And video game based films and television productions have a nasty history of failure. Every time one comes along you'll hear the same things being said, "This is the one!" Most recently that happened in the run-up to the release of Assassins Creed last year. And despite Michael Fassbender's obvious passion, that film didn't exactly light the world on fire. I haven't even seen it myself yet, and that should tell you everything you need to know. (I will eventually!) I have my own theories on why video game films tend to do poorly, but let's just go with the accepted reality that they have pretty much failed to live up to expectations in the past.

Ok so combine that with the other obvious issue - cost. Science fiction is expensive. Even for television. So even a modestly budgeted Eve film would land in the $120-175 million dollar range, a TV show maybe in the Game of Thrones range of 7-10 million per episode. An Eve based production could be made for less, or made for much more, the point is that it is going to cost something. Plus marketing and publicity. It is after all, an investment.

So combine an unproven genre with expensive production and you get major roadblocks. All of which brings us to another issue that I think needs to be addressed - the Pod. One of the things that the new Frigates of Eve book settles once and for all is the long-gestating argument amongst Eve nerds regarding the "space captain" idea. One I've written about extensively here in the past. For those not aware, the argument raged between different camps for years. Did your space captain walk around in the ship? Did they have a crew? Are you trapped inside your Pod all the time? Or a million other variations. The lore strongly leaned one way or the other, often contradicting itself depending on when it was written. But I think the FoE book has finally settled it. You are in your Pod the whole time.

And while that is a cool science-fiction based futuristic whatnot for us, looking at the outside of our ships 24/7 - it doesn't make for a very cinematic answer. Tom Hardy is not going to spend 45 minutes of a movie floating naked in green goo doing voice over work while his body twitches every so often. Ain't gonna happen.

And obviously that would have to be changed for any potential story.

None of which means anything really. The fact is that Eve has all the potential in the world to be the basis of tremendous stories set in an exciting and different science-fiction universe. It would be, and could be, incredible. We all know this. But will it ever be given the chance?

I hope so. My fingers have been crossed for so long they are turning black.


PS: If I had my way it'd be a 10 episode limited series on HBO or another premium network.


After Hours #22 with Bei Artjay


After Hours #22 with Bei Artjay is now available.

Enjoy!



Being a Part of A Band Apart

Here's a little thing I wrote about A Band Apart... (ahem)... I'm part of A Band Apart. What part of A Band Apart are you a part of? Is that your part of A Band Apart? I'm glad I'm a part of A Band Apart. A part of it is being part of a band of many different parts, with many parts that you can be part of. So you can do your own part while being part of a greater band of many parts that can combine as one like Voltron or Captain Planet or something when all the parts work together when the need arises. So ask yourself, what part of A Band Apart would you like most to be a part of? The pirate part, the wormhole part, the ganky part, the hisec part, the indy part, even the part that fools around in null? There's sure to be a part that you can feel truly part of, and therefore you too can become a part of A Band Apart, and stay part of A Band Apart. Because we all work together even when we're apart, which is one of the best parts of being a part of A Band Apart.

— Bluey Snuttsoff, A part of A Band Apart



No Contest

Just a few of the hundreds of shirts I've designed for the greater Eve community

So today, in a classic example of bad timing, CCP announced a shirt design contest.

If one was given to conspiracy minded thinking, one might view this as more than it is. Contests are nothing new, CCP runs them all the time. In fact, I've won many of them over the years for Eve and Valkyrie. My shelves are gladly over-running with contest earnings. Next to my monitor as I write this post is an Eve Valkyrie poster hand-signed by the team from England. These are among my most prized Eve possessions.

I've even skipped contests in the past due to lack of interest at the time, or to give others a chance. I realize that sounds kinda arrogant, but I don't intend it to be. Contests are often fun especially if the subject matter or goal is interesting enough to warrant participation. But I'm not a contest professional, I am actually a creative professional. More often than not that means I do not participate in contests, for Eve or for anything else. I like to get paid for spending hours and hours doing what I get paid for. Its called making a living and I've been doing it for 32 years now.

No I don't believe that anything evil was intended by CCP announcing this contest. I am, after all, but a speck on the windshield of their Titan. An annoying speck. But a speck nonetheless. But I won't just be standing out of this particular contest, instead I am actively boycotting it. And encouraging others to do the same.

I am encouraging ALL creatives in the community to NOT enter this contest.

Here are my reasons:

• The rules are terrible for you. Win or lose, CCP owns your work. This means they can use it anytime they want now or in the future and you have no say about it. Every piece you enter becomes their property for eternity. Think about that for a second. That is borderline criminal when you think about it.

• The prizes are not very good. You don't even get a t-shirt!

It is a bad contest that is set-up to essentially troll the community for free ideas. And for that reason I will not be entering anything and I strongly suggest you do not as well.

For me, I can't enter. If I enter and don't win, CCP can claim my shirt designs suck and yet they can keep my art to do whatever they want with it. If I do manage to win one of the prizes, CCP gets the chance to look great in the eyes of the community and I get nothing. I already pre-ordered the Frigate book and I already have t-shirts with my name on them. A couple that CCP printed themselves.

It is a no-win situation. And given the context of the past few months it is (probably) unintentionally insulting. Big benefit of the doubt here. I'd rather spend my time creating new shirt designs for my own RedBubble store and the long list of commissions that need my attention.

And yes, I suspect they will get a ton of submissions and I wish anyone that does enter the very best of luck. But I really do encourage you to have more self-respect for your time, your creative energy and your work than that.

If you don't respect your work, no one else will.

Keep the courage.




Postcard Backs

At Fanfest this year I handed out, among other things, 400 sets of Art Postcards featuring art on the fronts and backs. I held out on posting the backs for awhile, but here they are in all their glory.


Fanfest Postcard Back #1

Fanfest Postcard Back #2

Fanfest Postcard Back #3

Fanfest Postcard Back #4

Enjoy!


Anger?

Have you been on Facebook or Reddit in the last few days? Sheesh, talk about anger. There are some truly hostile, angry, mean, and often personal things being said about certain people at CCP. It doesn't even matter why, or what, or any of the reasons for it. That isn't the point of my post today. Just keep that in mind as we move forward. Hundreds of people, anger, vile words, and Memes, and whatnots.

Now that we have the proper mental picture, let us reflect on your friendly neighborhood blogger over here on Eveoganda. Generally regarded by most as a decent enough fella. Given to troublemaking tendencies sure, but always with the greater good in mind. He gets mad sometimes, but its always about making Eve better. Gooder even. Putting Frills back on Vagabonds. Hats on avatars. Opening doors. And often advocating for a better Eve Store experience.

Oh and I make arts. And videos. And I have this podcast. Etc.

Back when I started this blog I was just a faceless player starting his adventures in New Eden. Over the years that has transformed a bit, mostly just due to pure hard headedness on my part. Stick around long enough and stuff is bound to happen. Along the way I made fun of CCP sometimes, they banned my store, I made Frills on Tweetfleet avatars, they did their thing and I did mine. It wasn't until they called me one day to suggest we do some work together that things changed. For awhile there I seemed like a golden boy, shit was tight. Suddenly my support tickets got answered right away. Finally, after years of rejection, the logs finally showed things. My art hung on the o7 Show walls for over two years. I was in like Flynn. And then things went the other way rather quickly.

No need to re-hash old news. So lets skip ahead a bit and reflect on the following photo. Please keep in mind the Facebook/Reddit anger thing I mentioned earlier.

Hilmar

So that's me (on the left) with Hilmar (on the right) at Nora's in Reykjavik the night before Fanfest. He walked in and after a few minutes I went up and we started talking for about fifteen minutes or so. We even had a nice laugh about the time he shot me down at the Charity dinner in 2015. I felt comfortable enough to invite him to join me on After Hours to talk about the legacy of Eve and the early days. Anniversaries are coming up and he seemed genuinely interested in doing it. Send me an email he said, and my people will work out my schedule.

You see even with all the crap that was going on at the time, I'm still just a big old goof. I figured all this stuff was behind us and we'd all just move on down the road like adults.

Uh no. What you don't know is that I did send that email and I got an immediate reply. You see Rixx has been a bad boy, he wrote bad things about CCP and the store and the Art Posters. All of which was true, but never mind that we are putting him on super secret probation. Although we are not going to call it that. So non-super secret probation. Either way the results are the same.

So no to having Hilmar on the podcast. My art came down off the walls of the o7Show in case you didn't notice. My segment "Hauling Thoughts" nowhere to be seen. (And no word from anyone on that either btw, it just didn't air.)

So yeah. Lately I've been struggling a bit with what this means going forward. What role do I have now, what should I write here in these pages? I criticized a company that makes a game I love for doing nothing for a year, keeping my mouth shut about it for a YEAR, until I finally had enough. Dealt with it. Like an adult. And then sat thru a horrible roundtable with twenty other players all of whom felt exactly like I did. And wrote a well-reasoned and logical article about it.

Remember those angry Facebook and Reddit posters from earlier? That's like a Hydrogen Bomb next to my little hand grenade.

So essentially I've come to this conclusion my friends. I'm moving on without CCP. I don't need them to play Eve and run my Corporation or Alliance. I don't need them to make more art or write or podcast or make videos or anything else really. I won't need them to make an Eve based Card Game or an Eve based Coloring Book either. Once I started thinking about it, I quickly realized I don't need them for much of anything.

I'd rather do this stuff with them, sure. But they don't need to be there. And given the childish and often immature ways in which they seem to handle things, maybe I'm better off without them.

HTFU indeed.



The Grand Naglfar Marathon Roam

Naglfar Art Print Poster
Vertical Supremecy
My good friend and fellow Stay Frostian Watson Crick runs in real life. Runs, as in running. I don't understand this, but he does it (often with his beautiful wife) and has gotten relatively good at it. Recently he ran a long distance in what he called a "Marathon". Oddly, this does not refer to the town in Greece as you might expect. But rather to a race that takes place over long distances. On foot.

Whatever the truth of that happens to be, it did give him the excuse he has been looking for to finally lose the rather large Capital Ship he has been hiding in his hangar. So last evening he organized what he called the Naglfar Marathon Roam and a bunch of us crusty Pirates and fellow ABAians decided to join him. I decided, if Watson was going to risk his Nag, I should probably escort him properly with one of my Bhaalgorns. Draped in its impressive ATXIV skin. One must dress up for these formal roams. We actually had two of those in our fleet. Quite impressive.

Everything got off on the right foot as we entered Vey and discovered a Cyno lit on one of the stations. We are not usually in the business of popping Red Frog cyno ships, but the pilot was a good sport about it as we held him down and let the Nag kill him.  Many LOLS were shared in local that day my friends.

Next our scouts started telling us about an E-UNI gang headed our way, a bunch of Osprey and Caracal types. So we waited on the other side of a gate for them to jump into us. As you can see from the Battle Report we came out pretty good in that fight. We lost two ships and we cremated their entire Logistics wing and took down a few others before they warped off and disengaged. It was a fun brawl and I wasn't even primary for once. Although my Bhaal did dip into low armor, it more than made up for it by draining all three Ospreys.

Of course you can't just warp a Nag around Low Sec and expect to live forever. Although living wasn't the goal of this roam, our only intention was to have some fun and some good fights. We heard about another gang of Cynabals roaming around and figured they'd make for another good fight. Eventually we did clash and things were going ok until the Cyno was lit.

Let's see, a Rev, 3 Archons, 2 Moros, 2 Thannies, Scimi, 5 Cynabals, and other assorted ships. We stood our ground and had a fight, but it honestly didn't take long for the Nag to explode after that. You can see the Battle Report for yourself. And yes, 13% efficiency is pretty terrible. But y'know, like most things in Eve, the numbers don't tell the full story. We had a blast together and it was a fun night that we all knew would end in a Hot Drop somewhere along the line.

And yes, my Bhaalgorn lived. Mostly just by chance. It is after all a long range ship, so I had pulled range from the gate to better hit targets with mah lazors and neuts. Once the battle was clearly lost I realized that no one had pointed me, so off to the station I warped. Which was kind of a bummer, since I had actually purchased insurance before we left home.

Stay Frosty my friends.


PS: Watson wants me to inform you that he runs Half Marathons. Something to do with training time and still having time to play Eve or something.



A Brutix Moment


So yesterday I'm out roaming around with about 3-5 fellow Stay Frostians and we're doing the usual stuff. Trying hard to find content in empty corners of Low Sec and engaging pretty much everything we can to drum up some business. Mostly just having fun and chasing people around. This is pretty much what we do on a regular basis. Trouble makers. Instigators. Insane Engagement Doctors. We are rather famous for it. To be a successful Pirate you have to cultivate the concept that you will fight anything, anytime, anywhere. And no one, in my humble opinion, is more well-known for that than we are.

Such a public persona comes at a price however. There are times when people will try to use it against you. There were a couple of these ideas being bandied about in the neighborhood yesterday. In one system we had someone sitting in a Medium in a Talwar, with his cloaked Stratios buddy inside waiting. And there were others, I don't want to give away any more free ideas. Figure these things out for yourself! This is why I try to get everyone who happens to be on-line at the time into a fleet. Even if you plan on flying solo, you should be in the Stay Frosty fleet together. This way we can share intel, potential targets, and opportunities. And yes, that sentence was aimed internally.

And so it was that this Brutix showed up on scan, alone in our home system. Look, most likely the guy is not an idiot. I don't know him, but I'm going to just assume he isn't. We could have engaged him in our Frigates and killed him, maybe lose a few ships, take forever, and give his backup plenty of time to arrive. Or, I could dock up, jump into a Brutix of my own and see if he wanted to play.

Sometimes its better not to be the hunter and appear to be the prey. So I warped to a Large and waited. Sure enough, he landed and we danced. Just FYI, my Brutix fit is much better than his. But I have hungry mouths to feed so my Corp mates also came along. One of them brought a Ferox! How's that for Pirate humor? (I love it, earlier he was in a Drake!) I told everyone to overheat and kill the Brutix fast, align out to the station... because help was coming.

Sure enough that's when the Bhallgorn and friends showed up on d-scan. Luckily Battleships take forever to warp, so we had time to finish the Brutix off and warp away just as the Bhallgorn landed.

All of which isn't even the point of this post.

In my earlier days I would have docked up and gotten into something bigger and engaged that Bhallgorn. And then had three Carriers drop on my ass and go boom. The advantage of your own home system is that no one knows what you have on hand. And sometimes it is better that they don't. I have a crazy hangar. But these days I'm really trying to be smarter about how I use it.

In addition, and this is the real point here. I'm trying to be a better CEO. Because it isn't just me YOLO'ing into a potential hotdrop, but it is also my Corp mates. And while I encourage everyone in Stay Frosty to go for fights, often against impossible odds. I also like them to use their brains. There is a fine line between daring and stoopid. And I'd like them to err on the side of the former.

This isn't a new thing of course. But it continues to be something I'm trying to work on every time I undock. I'm not only the Pirate Lord of Low Sec but I'm also the CEO of Stay Frosty. And I'm trying to work on being better at both those things.

Every day is an adventure.

PS: If you'd like to live the life of adventure and become a notorious pirate Stay Frosty is always open. No prior experience needed. Just join the in-game EVEOGANDA channel or just go ahead and apply. We take everyone.