Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Guess who's come back?

My, what a busy time it's been with OUCH. The interest in membership has outpaced my ability to accommodate the members that want to join. So I suspended membership for 9 days to allow my skills to catch up...

Except that I'm getting about 5 new members a day joining OUCH, and the applications sitting there on hold were starting to pile up.

I had to do something, as I didn't want to break the momentum. I considered my options, and made a decision.

Black Claw is back.

Yep, that's right. Black Claw, who some of you may remember, and others of you have probably never heard of. He was my first character from early 2006 before I started Alexia Morgan early 2008.

He also has all the needed corp management skills that would allow for him to continue accepting membership applications to carry on the recruitment momentum. And he was a reasonable combat pilot too. (Could do with a bit more training today though... Good thing he's in a training corp!)

So I reactivated him yesterday, waited 24 hours for his roles in his previous corp to disappear, and then recruited him into OUCH today. I immediately made him CEO of OUCH.

Black Claw is back. Woohoo!

Black Claw is going to be the most active, due to his new commitments with leading OUCH. So Alexia is going to take a bit of a back step and be a 'secondary character' for a while. Maybe forever. Or at least until her own brand of skills are no longer needed.

It's been fun. But I think it's going to be even more fun back in Black Claw's saddle....

If you want to join OUCH, or you're interested in becoming a trainer, please hop into the OUCH-UNI channel, or send Black Claw an evemail.

Thank you everyone, it's been great. You can follow Black Claw's blog again now. :)

Eve Online on Reddit

A short while ago I created a 'subreddit' on Reddit called 'Evebloggers'. As of today there's about 35 readers of that subreddit. It was pointed out to me today by someone whom I'm unable to remember right now (please congratulate yourself in the Comments below!) that there is an Eve subreddit that has 650 readers.

35 readers compared to 650.... Hmmm....

So I've updated the share button at the bottom of my posts to point to the main Eve subreddit. If anyone else is sharing Eve blogs or websites on Reddit, please do the same.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Desperately Seeking Experienced PVP Specialists To Provide Nullsec Training

As the title says, I'm looking for people who are highly experienced in nullsec PVP, who can help provide specialised training to OUCH students.

I need people who can provide training in any of the following areas:

Nullsec survival

  • Ratting / salvaging, scouting, evasion, map tools, etc

Small ship PVP

  • Fitting, overheating, tactics, etc

Large ship PVP

Support / Logistics Training

Obviously, if you're skilled in something to do with surviving in nullsec, then you're the kind of person I'm looking for.

Some of your experience needs to be in being a fleet commander, so that you can comfortably and confidently lead a group of people in doing what they need to do.

I know there are lot of bloggers reading this who are skilled in teaching PVP skills. I know there are a lot more players reading this who are also skilled in these areas.

Some of you are looking for something interesting to do, that's rewarding and challenging. Some of you have even contacted me and told me how you think OUCH is a great idea, and you think it'll do well.

Well, I need you to help it do well. I need people to help train others in nullsec survival.

If that sounds like you, please contact me to discuss your interest.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Updates to

Firstly, I've made a big change to

I used to have outputs from both the Eve Blog Pack and Eve Player Blogs. The only thing is, the Eve Blog Pack are still 'Eve Player Blogs'.

So I've decided to get rid of the Eve Blog Pack output, especially considering that they're doubled up in the Eve Player Blogs anyway...

Now there are just Eve Player Blogs. And really, when you think about it, we're all part of the same community. It's not like there's a bunch of 'elitists' or anything that think they're better than others, so there won't be any issues with bringing everyone together into one group. Right?

Understand that this does not invalidate the Eve Blog Pack that Crazy Kinux started. Thanks to him, the Eve Online Blogging Community had a rally point, somewhere to focus their efforts on, and to expand upon. But I think everything evolves, and instead of having a small group of players calling themselves the 'blog pack' and holding themselves separate to everyone else, now we have a much larger community of Eve bloggers. I think we should recognise that we're all part of the same community, and we all support each other and enjoy each other's blogs and this awesome game that we're all part of.

Secondly, I've caused a big problem to I don't know how, seeing as how all I did was change around some of the RSS outputs in the widgets, but all the Posts and Pages can no longer be accessed.

I've sent a support email to the host provider to get the site restored from backup, and I'm hoping that will fix it. If there are any Wordpress experts out there who know why the posts and pages have disappeared (but links to them are still there in the site's footer), please let me know.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Flying the Dramiel

A few days ago I was reading Andrea Skye's post about the Dramiel, and I was so inspired by their results with the ship, I went out and bought one of my own. However, I couldn't afford faction or officer fittings, so I went with the best I could. I figured that I'd do pretty well against other frigates and cruisers, so that's what I went looking for.

Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way. I eventually found a Thorax to play with, and engaged him outside a station. He was happy to play. I had small T2 artillery, allowing me to keep range at 22km and spit out some decent damage while still being within warp disruptor range.

However, I quickly discovered that the speed of the Dramiel meant that my 22km orbit quickly ellipsed out to 30+km, which meant I not only lost my target lock, but couldn't keep the target warp disrupted. So I went to try pulsing the MWD, but when I came back in to re-engage, the Thorax's own MWD allowed him to quickly close the distance between us. He had a scrambler, and I didn't, so his MWD was active while mine was shut down. Along with his web, blasters, and drones, it was quickly all over. I couldn't escape his 1,200m range, and I lost the Dramiel.

Quite annoying, really, considering that everyone else that seems to fly it has so much success with it, but that's what happens when you get into a fight - you don't always win.

So, if anyone with extensive experience with the Dramiel has any tips for me on how I can do things better, please add them to the Comments. :)

Nullsec Survival Training for PVP and riches

The below is from OUCH's new recruitment thread that I thought I'd reprint here to increase exposure. Please read, and contact me in-game if you're interested in joining:

DOMINION has arrived and you want to venture into 0.0 space (nullspace) to join in on the excitement, but you don't have any training... You know you'll die.

Most of the other nullsec corps and alliances will offer you training only if you join their 'cause', whether that's PVP or industry, but you usually have to fund your own way. That can be daunting for someone that doesn't want to be part of some 'cause', and who expects to lose a lot of ships before they start getting somewhere.

We understand your dilemma.

What's the answer?

OUCH is the answer. It's the Open University of Celestial Hardship. We're brand new, but we have very experienced trainers to teach you how to survive and prosper in nullspace. We have no 'cause' other than to teach you Nullsec Survival Training.

We have a T1 ship program that provides ships and fittings to all members - FREE. These include frigates, cruisers, battlecruisers and battleships. All ships can be used for training or individual use while in OUCH, and their fittings will also be included.

What does that mean for me?

If you lose a corp-provided ship, we will give you another one - free of charge. While you learn how to cope with the hardships of nullspace, losing ships will not be something you'll need to worry about.

And you will lose ships. You'll get podded quite a few times along the way too. We don't guarantee your survival in nullsec, but we guarantee to teach you how to minimise your losses along the way.

It's brutal out there, but when you're a member of OUCH, you're with a group of friendly, relaxed people who understand your fears. We're here to help you take advantage of DOMINION and get involved in nullspace. We will teach you everything you need to know.

What kind of training will I get?

Initially, as we start our operations, training will focus on frigates and cruisers as well as the following:
  • Nullsec survival - includes ratting / salvaging, scouting, evasion, and map tools
  • Small ship PVP - includes fitting ships, overheating, and combat tactics in fleets or solo
As we get more members (and more advanced skillsets amongst them) we'll move to battlecruisers and battleships, along with more advanced PVP training. Again, all ships will be provided by OUCH. (We also intend offering T2 ship training, including interceptors, covert ops, and support ships, but the ships will need to be provided by the students themselves.)

We're also part of an alliance that is dedicated to providing support for members of OUCH, including security, intelligence-gathering, and manufacturing ships and items. If you want to stay on and help support OUCH after you've finished with your training, there would definitely be a place for you.

We want to help you learn how to survive in nullspace, whether that's in PVP, ratting, or complex's. We will help you be the best that you can be, and teach you how to earn as much as you can along the way.

That's right, we'll also be teaching you how to make money in nullspace. There's no point giving you combat training if we don't include teaching you how to replace lost ships, right? We don't expect you to be with OUCH forever, so we understand you need to learn how to sustain yourself.

Ok, I'm interested - what do I do now?

If you're interested in learning more about how OUCH can help you, then join the OUCH-UNI channel in-game and talk to Alexia Morgan, or send her an evemail to discuss your interest and ask any questions.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Thank you to OUCH's sponsors

This page is my big thank you page to all those who have helped OUCH. Whether it's through donations of ships, items or money, or providing loads of helpful advice or even some amazing emotional support, they're all going to be listed here (with their permission, that is... some might want to remain anonymous).

Thank you so much for helping OUCH get off the ground. Without your generosity, it would be that much harder.
  • Noir Avlaa
  • Iroxorsju
  • Kalisis
  • Seondar Moleck
  • Jarob Talloway
  • Shadows Lord new!
  • Alex Carmel new!
As more people offer their support in whatever way works for them, I will add their name to this list.

Edit: updated 26/12

Monday, December 14, 2009

OUCH is open for recruitment

What is OUCH?

OUCH is the Open University of Celestial Hardship. Its purpose is to provide nullsec survival training for all those who are interested in learning how to survive and prosper in 0.0 space.

Where is OUCH?

We're based in Curse, an area of 0.0 space that still has a whole bunch of NPC stations for members to hang out in. And there will be plenty of targets that will offer plenty of training opportunities!

OUCH is looking for:

Trainers who can train newbies and veterans alike in any of the following:

Nullsec survival

  • Ratting / salvaging / 'plexing
  • Scouting
  • Evasion
  • Map tools

Small ship PVP

  • Fitting
  • Tactics
  • Support
Trainers must have at least 3 years worth of experience, with most of it in 0.0 space, and be willing to offer their services to help others learn.

I'm also looking for trainees interested in joining OUCH to learn all of the above, and more. We have room for anyone and everyone. There is no minimum requirement for trainees, other than a desire to jump into nullspace and learn. Therefore, all trainees must be willing to go on training operations whenever they can.

Ship Program

OUCH will have a T1 ship program, so all ships (from frigates to battleships) will be provided to its members by the corp. In the early stages, however, it will just be 'small ships' including frigates and cruisers. As we get more members, and more resources, we will expand to battlecruisers and battleships.

We will soon offer T2 training, but members will need to provide their own T2 ships for such training.

Are you interested in supporting OUCH?

We require ships, items and money. If you would like to support us with donations of any sort, we would be most grateful for your assistance, and your name will be put on a special web page that will publicly thank you for your assistance.

If you support the concept of helping people survive in nullsec so they can play a more prominent role in helping others or fighting others, then we need your support in material or monetary donations.

Are you interested in joining OUCH?

I have a few people already either joined or preparing to join. Are you interested? Then contact me (or send an evemail ingame to Alexia Morgan) to discuss your options.

Thank you.

OUCH begins

Over the weekend I created an alt and then sent him into 0.0 space to seek out a good location to start an office. It only died twice before reaching its destination. Not bad for a 1-day old character. :)

The office was created next to a system with clone facilities. I don't think the area will be too busy, so it will make for a good location to start training.

One thing I discovered, however, is that it's just going to be too difficult to run a nullsec survival corp with a character that's brand new. So I've decided to use Alexia as the CEO of OUCH. Over the next week I'll be moving my ships from where I am, to where I want to go. (Can't give locations just yet, as that could inspire someone to try and stop me.)

Thank you

OUCH is a proud new member of the New Bastion alliance, and I would like to thank Cal for coming forward and offering some very valuable and much-needed support. His input into the development of OUCH, and his support to help it move forward, has been nothing short of amazing. Thank you!

While I'm thanking people, I need to include Noir Avlaa. She is another example of someone committed to the ideals of OUCH. Over the weekend she donated some resources to OUCH. This included dozens of frigates, hundreds of items, and tens of thousands of units of ammunition. More than could be fit in a single contract (so there were 2 contracts!). For this I am extremely grateful.

More coming soon.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Nullsec Survival Training is coming!

Most of you have seen me discussing OUCH (Open University of Celestial Hardship). I just wanted to give a small update on it:
  • I've had some interested people approach me to become both trainers and trainees
  • I've been successful in negotiating blue status with a major nullsec empire
  • I've been offered membership in a nullsec alliance for the purpose of moving forward in a 'nullsec training alliance'
  • discussions are underway with interested 'stakeholders' on location, corp funding, and training modules
I will be creating a new character over the next couple of days, and this character will become the CEO of OUCH, the 'nullsec survival training' corp. Once I do, I will create a blog for the character and the corp.

If you're interested in being a part of OUCH, please contact me to discuss how you can be involved. Ideally, I'm seeking sponsors, trainers, and trainees. You can also join the public discussion on Google Wave if you have a Wave account: Open University of Celestial Hardship (OUCH).

If you would also like to join OUCH simply to help provide security for the training missions (in some kind of Security Division), I'd love to hear from you as well!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Open University of Celestial Hardships

I created a Google Wave for discussing this, and the Wave link is here:

The Open University of Celestial Hardship

I thought it would be a good idea to have it here as well, to allow non-Wavers the opportunity to discuss this too.

I'm seeking expressions of interest in starting up a 0.0 corp that caters to education and training of nullspace activity, including PVP, ratting and industry. A bit like Eve University, but in nullspace instead of Empire space.

I'm imagining the corp needs to be part of a 0.0 alliance, so if any alliance directors would be interested in providing support, please make yourselves known as well.

I look forward to comments and discussion, so please don't be shy. If you want to help, or you want to be involved, become a participant in this Wave.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I've been seeing some chatter lately about various tales of woe with Eve University, and how it can be difficult for new players to get to learn the game because of the attitudes of those already entrenched in University operations.

If there's one thing I dislike more than Crying Carebears, it's Elitist Scumbags. You know the ones... They think they're better than you because of their position, status or skills, and they'll go out of their way to remind you of it.

It's not just limited to the University though. They're all around us. They're just... everywhere! Those people who think they're the Gods' gift to the races.

If you fly with a Scumbag, you're supporting them. You're encouraging them. If you give them positions of responsibility, you're doing the same thing. But you're also lowering morale amongst the non-Scumbag members of your corp or alliance.

No one wants to fly with a Scumbag (unless they're a Scumbag too... we all know those Scumbags need to stick together), but if you force or encourage people to fly with Scumbags, you're slowly driving your pilots away.

And if you're one of those who just doesn't like the Scumbag you have to fly with, then just stop flying with them. If the corp or alliance or University has too many Scumbags, then go somewhere else.

Here's a tip for the new players:

The best University is in 0.0 space. Suck it up, gather your belongings, and head out to the Open University of Celestial Hardship (O.U.C.H.)* and you'll learn more there than you could ever possibly imagine.

I've already helped a few people out to 0.0 and they've joined O.U.C.H. and haven't looked back. You could too.

Contact me if you're interested.

* Just in case you're wondering, O.U.C.H. is not a real university. It's more like the 'School of Hard Knocks', but O.U.C.H. sounds better than S.H.K....

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sorry I haven't posted in ages!

I'm so sorry that it's been such a long time since I last posted. I think it's been maybe 3 or 4 hours. I hope you guys can forgive me.

I promise to post more frequently in the future.

Eve Player Profiles - Ga'len

Please tell us about the person behind the character, we'd really love to know a bit more about you - What do you do outside of Eve?

In the meantime, here's Ga'len!

Your character name:

Your real name:
J. Riley Dagastine

The country you're living in:

How old are you:

What kind of work do you do:
IT Support Specialist. I work tech support for a surgical instruments manufacturing facility. I maintain the production systems for the CAD/CAM systems as well as support other manufacturing facilities across the East Coast.

What other hobbies or interests do you have:
I like to cooking, watch movies with the missus and read engaging books. That whole pinacolada's drinking and the rain stuff, well, hangovers and being soaking wet are just not my thing anymore.

Do you have a personal blog or non-Eve website you want to share:
I have another domain on the net, however, it's not very active as I am focusing my efforts here, however you can visit it at

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Who you gonna vote for?

I wasn't going to vote in this year's CSM elections, as I didn't care enough about having a representative. I'm quite happy with the game, and satisfied that any changes in the game will work themselves out.

"The world will be what it wants to be."
- Tao

I had the same view about the game - it will be what it wants to be. And what it wants to be will be a result of player-driven hysteria (along with some valid game-testing and suggestions) and the vision of the game developers. Who am I to think that a lone voice crying out in the wilderness can influence that juggernaut called evolution?

But a lone voice can, by calling out to other lone voices in the wilderness, and together they can perform miracles.

Or they can use the CSM Vote Matching Tool.

I did, out of interest in how it would work, and I was pleasantly surprised. It helps you match your interests in the game with a CSM who is in alignment with what you want. And it links to where you can place a vote for the candidate of your choice.

So I did it, and I found there were two candidates who most closely matched my needs - 67%. The candidates were Mrs Trzzbk and Song Li. I was a little disappointed that no one got any closer than 67% of what I thought was appropriate for the game, but so be it...

Now, I'd never heard of Mrs Trzzbk, but I have heard of Song Li. And he's a fellow blogger. So guess who I voted for? That's right, Song Li.

I hope he wins!

And you can have a say too. Go to the site, answer the poll to provide your thoughts on the game and its future, and see who matches your own beliefs. Check out their websites, see what they're saying, and make an informed vote.

You're a lone voice in the wilderness, but together with other voices, you can make a difference.

Do it today. You don't have much time left!

PS. Who thinks I should run for next year's CSM? It's a thought I've had lately....

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Share Eve blogs on Reddit

Just to make it a bit easier for you, I've added a button to the bottom of every post. If you think it's worth sharing, please click on the button and it will allow you to submit the post to Eve Bloggers on Reddit.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

5 Tips to Make Your Blog More Successful

If you write a blog, you're probably doing it for a number of reasons. You're doing it because you want to share your adventures with others, you want to learn how to write better, you want to be noticed, you want to share what you learn, you want to help others to play the game better, you want to be a part of the community, or you want to help build or promote the community. And I'm sure there's many more reasons you're blogging that I haven't mentioned.

Being a blogger, you're putting yourself out there, and you're likely to guage your success or even failure by how many people visit your blog, how many people leave comments, and how many people try to promote your blog.

If you get more people visiting your blog and leaving comments, it makes you feel good. It encourages you to write more and to participate more. What some people have a challenge with is truly understanding how to get more of all of the above, or how to make their blog successful.

Now, I know that some bloggers truly don't care about 'success'. They're blogging for themselves, and they really don't care about getting more visitors to their blog. If that's you, maybe you won't care about this post. But if you want to make your blog to get more visitors and comments than what it currently is, then you might find something useful in the following tips.

1. Post regularly

If you try to keep up a schedule of posting either every day, every few days, or every week, people will see you're active. They'll be more interested in engaging with your blog if it's active. If you haven't posted in a few months, they're going to wonder why they should bother leaving a comment or even promoting your blog. If you're not posting, they're going to assume you're not around and they'll leave. So post regularly and keep them coming back for more.

2. Have conversations

When people leave a comment on your blog, they're connecting with you. If you ignore them and don't reply, they're going to wonder why they bothered. If you reply to their comments, you make their effort worthwhile, and you encourage them to do more of it. People like to connect with others and have conversations. They like to be heard. Listen to your readers, and communicate with them.

3. Be yourself

Write as if you're talking. It makes it easier for people to read as it becomes a 'conversational style', but it also makes it easier to write. You can imagine talking about a topic in your head… write that down, word for word. You should find it easier to just write what you think.

Of course, if you're writing 'in character', then you need to put yourself into the mind of your character, and do the same thing. Write as if they're the ones thinking, rather than you. Translate it to text, and voila! You have a blog post.

4. Communicate with others

One of the best ways of getting visitors to your site and spreading the word about your blog is to visit other people's blogs of a similar nature and leave comments in their posts. As you communicate your thoughts with them about what they've written, they - and their readers - will click on the link to your blog (make sure you leave a link to your blog in the website field available when you post a comment) to see what else you have to say. This engages a community by bringing together like-minded blogs and bloggers as they leave comments on each other's blogs, increasing their exposure.

5. Help them, entertain them, or anger them

If you just drone on about nothing interesting, people might get pretty bored. No one wants to be bored, so you're likely to see very few visitors or communication on your blog. Even though you're doing the blog for yourself, if you're interested in 'being successful' you have to make sure you give the readers what they want to read. Present your content in such a way that it either helps them, entertains them, or angers them. Any of those 3 methodologies will get more people coming to your blog and leaving comments.

If you follow all the above tips, you're going to see an increase in visitors to your blog. You're going to have people commenting on your blog. And you're going to find your blog will be just that bit more successful than it used to be.

Where am I?

I'm deep behind enemy lines, screwing with the locals' heads.

That's all for now on this topic.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Eve Player Profiles - Kirith Darkblade

Please tell us about the person behind the character, we'd really love to know a bit more about you - What do you do outside of Eve?

In the meantime, here's Kirith Darkblade!

Your character name:
Kirirth Darkblade, blog:

Your real name:
Sean (would be grateful to keep surname private)

The country you're living in:
UK, Cornwall

How old are you:

What kind of work do you do:
I'm an Accountant. I work in a Leisure Centre that is run as a Charitable Trust. Being a Charitable Trust we solely rely on the income coming through the door and from our members, unlike local authority run centres we do not receive any funding or subsidy. This makes times challenging especially in times of recession like we are currently in. Were it not for a small and strong management team and capable staff with them the centre would have closed long ago. Whilst I am an accountant I find that I am drawn into many different areas of the business where you would not imagine that skillset is appropriate, but it keeps my life varied and interesting.

What other hobbies or interests do you have:
I have several hobbies & interests outside of EvE, though I do tend to get very absorbed into MMO's (though my wife is very tolerant of this). Here's a selection of my other time-sinks:
  • Radio Control Cars
  • Kite flying
  • Driving (See attached Pic)
  • Cooking
  • Films
Do you have a personal blog or non-Eve website you want to share:

Monday, November 16, 2009

My first time as fleet commander

Ok, I've been involved in a few alliance fleet operations now, and I've come to appreciate some parts of them, and dislike other parts. Everyone who commands a fleet deserves the utmost respect, in my opinion, but we all know that some are better than others, and that's fine.

But instead of whinging about what others do that I don't like, I decided to just do it myself. Then, when it goes wrong, not only do I have no one to blame but myself, but I can learn very, very quickly about what not to do...

So on the weekend I organised a fleet operation, with me commanding.

Now, I've led small fleet operations before, but it was always in low-sec. It seemed a little safer there... Out here in null-sec, it feels quite different.

I didn't want the op to be too extreme, nor did I want it to be too official, so I asked a real-life friend and a friend of hers if they wanted to be in my fleet to help me learn. It just so happened they're both in Ushra'Khan, so that made it all the better. And then a corp mate (Autumnn) logged in and wanted to be involved too, so there were 4 of us.

I advised everyone that this was my first fleet op, so they should all expect to die, and to bring only ships that they were ok with losing. My friend (Zyeth) bought a Rifter, while her friend (Nukelear Storm) bought a Vagabond. Autumnn ended up choosing a Rupture, and I was scout in my Rapier (this was because no one else had a cloaked ship or interceptor...).

And so we set off on our roam. My objective was simply to fly along a circular route through a large loop of systems in the northern are of Catch, and see if we could find any targets to kill. While everyone knew we might (and probably would) die, I wanted to do my best to keep everyone alive.

So I was somewhat cautious. I wasn't using the Rifter as a scout as Zyeth was new to all this pvp/scouting business, and I believe this was her first real operational experience. I couldn't use the Rupture or the Vagabond as scouts either, so it was up to me in the cloaked Rapier. I also decided, for the same reasons, that I couldn't use any of them as rear scouts either, but now I think Autumnn in the Rupture might have been a suitable choice for that.

So we roamed and rambled our way around Catch. I managed to keep us safe from about 3 or 4 different red fleets, comprising over 10 ships each. Keeping an eye on the intel channels and scouting worked well, with my little fleet being able to keep one system ahead of the larger fleets before they broke off on a different path, or successfully hiding out in safe spots.

We did this for about an hour, but we were unable to find a solo target to pin down and attack. We had a go at a Destroyer once, but it was able to evade us and slip away.

Eventually it was time to return home and call it quits. Nukelear wanted to continue on into Providence by himself, so we parted ways. Just as he left the system, the gate the rest of us had just entered (and were sitting around) began firing and local began spiking with a number of reds. I know now that a rear scout would have been helpful here....

"Get away from the gate - now!" I said over comms, and immediately began the warp process to the next gate. However, an interdictor appeared on the overview and a bubble went up, and the warp drive disengaged before it could complete activation. Already having my cloak activated was helpful, and I turned the Rapier around to head back to the gate to jump through it. I did this because a number of other ships began appearing, releasing drones. I figured it would be safer to get back to the gate than to slowboat through the bubble.

I heard Zyeth over the comms, "Oh wow, a bubble... I think I'm dead." I tried to tell her to quickly make her way back to the gate, but then she said, "Ummm... everything's frozen on me..." Lag. I didn't bother telling her anything, as it wasn't going to matter.

As I jumped through the gate I heard her say, "Great, I'm in a new clone..."

I was in the next system, and I quickly checked local to see that Autumnn had made it through as well. I told him to get away from the gate and make some safe spots in this system.

While cloaked, I warped to a planet and made a safe spot to hide at, as local started spiking again with the reds coming back through the gate. A few seconds later I heard Autumnn on the comms say something like, "They got me." I asked him what happened, and he said that he warped to a planet but there was a red already there within range, and he was scrambled. Then another 5 or so reds arrived, and it was all over for Autumnn's rupture. So Autumnn took the fast ride back to a new clone too...

With a sigh, I sat there in my cloaked Rapier. I knew we had all expected to die anyway, but it was still disappointing that some of us did.

Over the next hour I made my way slowly back home, successfully dodging a number of other red fleets before finally docking. I spent that time thinking about my first fleet commander experience, trying to work out how I could have improved it, and getting some feedback from Zyeth and Nukelear.

With what I learned from the experience, and tips I've gotten from feedback and other sources out there on the internet, my next op will be quite different...

Eve Player Profiles - Psia

Please tell us about the person behind the character, we'd really love to know a bit more about you - What do you do outside of Eve?

In the meantime, here's Psia!

Your character name:

Psia (though in blogging circles I'm often known as ChainTrap - when I'm known)

Your real name:

The country you're living in:
England (in lovely rural Warwickshire)

How old are you:
36 - though often I feel much older

What kind of work do you do:
I write policy and advice for the UK government on the use of IT in schools. It is both rewarding and interesting.

My background is in networks and IT support, although I have in my time written for traditional tabletop RPG systems (and been paid for it); been employed to make gaming miniatures and been a sound engineer (during which time I worked on tracks by David Bowie and Take That amongst others).

What other hobbies or interests do you have:
It's natural with my professional background that I'd be into music, and that's still the case. Although I hung up my drumsticks a while ago, I keep meaning to get myself back into drumming - though it seems that my circumstances keep getting in the way. In the meantime, I continue to seek out new bands, and accumulate albums and attend gigs.

Cars and motor sport are also an interest. As well as spectating, both from an armchair and in person at the events, the wife and I also marshal. Rallying (WRC, IRC, clubman); F1; Touring Cars (BTCC, WTCC); Hill climbs: we're into anything as long as it has wheels and an engine. We also compete at a very basic local club level in road rallies, 12 cars, and the like. My (current) pride and joy is a 1988 Porsche 944. Not the fastest car on the planet, but point to point across the countryside it is a close match for anything out there. And besides, I can always borrow my wife's Subaru Impreza for those "knock your nuts off" acceleration moments.

It's not just motor sport though. I'm a fan of the mighty Nottingham Forest FC (twice European football champions); both the New York Giants and Oakland Raiders american football teams (I have attended the NFL international Series games for the past couple of years) and follow international rugby union (supporting England, of course).

The majority of my time at the moment is spent with my family. My wife and I were blessed with a delightful baby girl in July. Spending time with her is a complete joy - which is just as well cos she does require a lot of attention.

Do you have a personal blog or non-Eve website you want to share:
Not really - but I would like throw out a plug for Eve University ( - my current home, and an admirable endeavour. Props to Morning Maniac and the directors of the Uni.

Bekka's Punishment

Over here, Bekka discusses how piracy needs to be made harder.
In my opinion, low-sec piracy should carry significantly more risk for pirates than it actually does.
By 'significantly more risk', she wants CCP to implement CONCORD appearing in lowsec at random intervals to punish pirates for their actions if detected at that time.

She also says:
CCP needs to address this problem, and they need to do it now, before it gets worse than it already is.
Since when was it a problem for pirates to engage in low-sec piracy? But wait, she also adds:
Unless CCP is comfortable with the idea of low-sec and 0.0 becoming the virtually exclusive domain of the most wealthy and powerful corps and pirates, it's high time they do what they have to in order to open up these areas to the rest of the player base. No doubt much bitching and moaning will ensue, but it's really the only way to ensure that EvE will be able to not only gain but also hold on to new players over the long term. Regardless of whether you're a pirate, a noob victim, or anything in-between, encouraging more new and middle-range players to participate in and stay with EvE should be a goal every player can get behind. It's good for the game, it's good for CCP, and it's good for the players.
This is a perfect example of not just a Carebear that plays the game, but a Carebear that whinges about how the game disadvantages them. They spend all their time in Empire space but then, when a mission sends them into the more dangerous areas of low-sec where they can get killed by pirates, they have a cry and whinge about how CCP needs to fix this problem.

They did fix the problem - it's called Empire space. If you don't like low-sec, don't bloody go there!

Don't ask for the game to be changed because you don't like how pirates can 'kill people so easily'. Just stay away from low-sec and you won't be killed.

I had to add a comment on their post. I said:
It's real simple. Piracy is 'easy' only because most people are not organised enough to create fleets to push the pirates away. Piracy is easy because so many people ignore what they COULD be doing to prevent it.

It's not the fault of the game or of the pirates. They're doing what the game allows them to do. The game also allows people to form fleets and fight the pirates.
The real simple solution to low-sec piracy is to form fleets of your own and take ownership of police actions. People already do this - they're called 'anti-pirates'. They form fleets, corporations, alliances. They sign up to take the fight to the pirates, to kick them out of systems, to force them out of the region.

They do their part to fight piracy. You can join them if you so choose. Or you can do nothing but whinge and cry about how CCP should do something to 'fix this problem'.

Your choice. The anti-pirates out there are doing what they can to 'fix the problem', which is part of the game experience!

This game is open. You can do whatever you want in it. CCP have created protected space for Carebears like yourself, semi-protected space (eg. CONCORD-like gate and station guns to punish hostile actions) for pirates to have fun in, and unprotected space (0.0 space) for the serious players. You can go wherever you want, to do anything you want.

But don't bloody cry and want the game changed because you don't like dying.

This game has something for everyone. But you want it changed so it has less for everyone, and more for you.

How selfish! You've now been Punished.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

What do you enjoy about

I'd like you to give me some feedback.
  • Do you visit for the screenshots and videos as well as the blogs?
  • Or do you visit only for the blogs?
The reason I'm asking is because I'm wondering if I should just get rid of the screenshots and videos so as to improve the loading time of the page.

What are your thoughts?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Share Eve blogs via Reddit

I'd just like to remind everyone (or notify those who didn't know) that you can share Eve Online blogs via Reddit. Instructions on how to easily do it are here:
Please join in the community effort to get those Eve blogs and related sites shared out to the world, and to each other.

Join up and be part of it! :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Fleet Battles

Since I joined the Ushra'Khan I've been spending most of my time initially 'getting my feet'. This has involved mostly ratting in U'K space to get some money to fund my upcoming PVP adventures. At the same time, I spent a lot of time observing the alliance and intel channels and seeing how things are done around here, and what people talk about.

I've gone on a few 'roams' into Providence space, and discovered the major difference between CVA-friendly pilots and U'K pilots is that those in CVA space hide, and no defences occur to repel U'K incursions. Even if there's just 1 or 3 of us. However, when a large CVA fleet tries to make its way into U'K territory, dozens of pilots form up and kick them out immediately, and then go on retaliation strikes into CVA territory, where the locals all hide.

Anyway, in the first 2 weeks, I think I went on about 3 small roams into CVA space. It all changed on the weekend just gone. I spent a few hours on Saturday at first flying my Rifter, but then when it was declared primary by the enemy - or it seemed like it, since it was destroyed by a Nighthawk, Flycatcher, Cormorant and Harbinger... I think I was the only Rifter in a fleet of cruisers, interceptors, battlecruisers and battleships... And the enemy took out my frigate...

I suspect they knew they were screwed, so they attacked the easiest target, which just happened to be me. Damn 'kill' mail whores...

So I decided to take my brand new Rapier for a test flight, it's maiden voyage. Excitingly enough, I was involved in the kill of an Abaddon.

I got up early on Sunday to join in on a corp op. Except the CEO didn't turn up. :p (Yes, that's me poking my tongue at you!) So I joined in on an alliance fleet op. And another one. And another one. And another one. And then I had something to eat around 7pm. Then I joined another one...

Overall, I was involved in 3 kills throughout the day in my Rapier: a Myrmidon and its pod, and a Guardian.

All in all, a good weekend.

However, what I REALLY want to do is take my Rapier out and get some solo kills with it, rather than as a 'hanger on' in fleet battles.

I bought and fitted a Typhoon this morning, and then tested it ratting. It just wasn't as good as the Raven, so I think I'll turn it into a PVP battleship instead. It'll give me a bit more variety in fleet battles, rather than just with a Rifter or Rapier.

Exciting times!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The lessons we learn

I roamed and rambled into Providence tonight, with my corpmate Kellnir. We found lots of reds but they hid from us. Except for this one red I found on a gate.

Tip: when you encounter an Ishtar in your frigate, don't mistakenly think it's an Ishkur and you might be able to hold it until the rest of the fleet arrive. You won't.

Oh look, a nice new clone for me...

Friday, November 6, 2009

Eve Player Profiles

Thank you to those who have sent me your personal profiles. I will publish them on a daily basis rather than all at once. Please send in yours if you haven't done so already, we'd love to know more about the people behind the characters.

Your character name:
Zalorria (in training)

Your real name:

The country you're living in:
Wellington, New Zealand

How old are you:

What kind of work do you do:
Was an IT Manager, have now changed industry and purchased a fast food shop. I am also the landlord for a couple of properties.

What other hobbies or interests do you have:
Did play World of Warcraft for a long time, currently don't have alot of time for hobbies. I do like to listen to music, read and ski. Recently have been doing a couple of half marathons (walking)

Do you have a personal blog or non-Eve website you want to share:

Character Name:
Siddh Siitem

Real Name:
David Michael Spencer



Payroll/Benefits for Government employees.

Philosophy, psychology, political science (have a degree in that last one) and RPGs (pen and paper, computer, console, whatever). Also reading, and video games in general.

Personal blog:
I sort of have a LiveJournal I don't use anymore. Mostly I'm on twitter as davethebrave371, and tumblr as davethebrave (or davthbrv, if you will).

A couple of people have done their profiles on their own blogs. You can find them here:

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Some thoughts about clones

Vol has a discussion about PVP and suicide ganking:
"Put on the cheapest high-damage, suicide fit that you can and find your hub of choice, or your 0.5-system-with-good-traffic of choice. I hypothesize that one could nearly strike at random and at least break even. I hypothesize that if one were to sack a good sample rate of suicide ships in this manner, one would find that they aren't losing nearly as much money as one would fear, if in deed they were to lose money at all.

To me, that is what is broken. One should have to think about it. One should have to lay in wait and strike targets carefully, with some thought, and with some great risk."
You know what? Even though he's crying, I actually agree with him.

The reason why we have 'rampant ganking' going on throughout the galaxy is because of clones. There's no actual risk involved, apart from financial. Everyone updates their clones and ensures their continued lifestyle choice.

I know that clones were a game mechanic implemented by CCP to guarantee people were able to continue playing their character even after dying. However, death is non-existent, and all pod pilots are immortal. Immortality creates recklessness.

Maybe it's time to change the game mechanics.

Now, please understand I'm not discussing this to support the crying carebears. Nor am I discussing this because I've been hard-done by. Instead, I have an idea on how gameplay can be made more interesting...

If character death had stronger repercussions, entire methods of gameplay would change. There would be less suicides occurring, because the repercussions would be more severe. Combat would be more strategic and tactical, rather than 'blob combat'. Pilots would care more about survival than the financial cost of losing a ship. (Finances would still have a major influence, but survival would outweigh it.)

I know that implants go some way towards providing repercussions to losing a clone. But that is avoided by using jump clones, or just not using implants. The problem is still there.

What if we didn't have clones any more?

How do you think gameplay would change if cloning facilities were no longer able to be used, or there were some major issues with using them?

People don't want to permanently die and lose all their hard-earned skill points. I agree with that.

So I have another idea that I thought I'd present for discussion. I'll present it according to in-game reasons, but with the mechanics of how it would work being very obvious.
  • Current technology allows us to access up to 3 different people, available as clones, but we can only have one of them training at a time. New technological advances would allow all characters to train simultaneously. However, we decide which character is our main character, and skill training for this is at 100%. The clones not being consciously controlled are in 'storage' until activated, but they're still able to receive training at 25% of normal.
  • When an inactive character's skill has completed, the system advises your active character with an evemail, allowing you to change characters and set more training.
  • When you change characters to one of the 2 alts, their training speed increases to 50%, while the main drops to 50%. This encourages continued use of the main instead of the alts, which are mainly 'backup characters'.
  • When you die in any of your characters, you cannot activate another clone of that particular character for 24 hours. You have to either sit there and watch a blank screen while still having the chat windows available, or you can log out and activate a new character.
  • You can only control 1 character at a time, so you can't login with multiple clients.
  • If you have up to 3 characters and they all end up dead within the 24 hours of the first character dying, you'll have to wait until you can access a new clone of that character before you can inhabit a new clone again. During this time, however, you can look at your blank screen while still being able to access the chat windows. You can not engage in any active manipulation of the market, fittings, etc, as all your clones are still waiting to be reactivated.
  • The reason it takes so long to reactivate a new clone of a dead character is because the multiple clone training takes up system resources all across the galaxy. You can't have all clones training throughout the galaxy without some disadvantages...
How would your style of gameplay change under such conditions?

Do you think you'd love the increased options for character advancement and multiple career paths? You could have a main for combat, and an alt for trade, etc.

If you had to wait 24 hours before your character is restored, how would that change what you currently do?

Please discuss your thoughts.

What do you do outside of Eve?

I got an idea for a new series of blog posts that I thought I'd experiment with (thanks to an email discussion with Ga'len). The last time I did something like this I asked a series of questions about what you did in the game, and how long you've been playing it, etc. This time I thought I'd try something different.

If you'd like to submit answers to the following questions, I'd be very grateful. Your answers will be submitted as new blog posts, with the intent to help everyone out there understand a bit more about the person behind the character.

Please note that this is for anyone - players and bloggers alike. If you want to let us know about the person behind the character, send me your answers:

Your character name:

Your real name:

The country you're living in:

How old are you:

What kind of work do you do:

What other hobbies or interests do you have:

Do you have a personal blog or non-Eve website you want to share:

I'll start the ball rolling with a few details about me.

Your character name: Alexia Morgan

Your real name: Alan Howard

The country you're living in: Australia (city: Canberra)

How old are you: I'm 43 this month.

What kind of work do you do:

I'm a Business Analyst (BA). What that means is that I do the following:
  • understand the practices and processes of the business or government department that contracts my services
  • understand what their objectives are (eg. what do they want me to achieve)
  • analyse where they are now, in relation to where they want to be, and present a 'gap analysis'. This shows them where they are, and where they want to be, and what they need to do to implement changes that will result in them getting to where they want to be
  • and finally, help them implement those changes
What I love about it is that I am directly responsible for change. I love change. I embrace it. And it excites me to be responsible for changing some business or government department so that the way they do things is improved.

I've spent about 13 years in the IT industry, most of it in tech support. The experience I gained helped me move forward as a BA, with a forte in IT Operations and Support. I'm excellent at helping service desks, for example, improve their practices and processes around Service Delivery and Management.

What other hobbies or interests do you have:

When I finish work, I'm usually braindead from some element of mental exhaustion, so I jump onto Eve and wind down ingame. Being in Australia, I have about 3-4 hours of gametime after work and before Downtime, so I try to make the most of it. Occasionally I go out with a friend for a mid-evening coffee.

On weekends I usually catch up with some friends for brunch/lunch, or go out for dinner somewhere. If the weather is nice and/or I'm inspired, I love going out taking photos. Photography is a passion of mine, but one which I pursue only as a hobby. I recently bought a Nikon D90 DSLR, which is my very first semi-professional camera, and I'm loving the quality of shots it takes. I'm hoping that one day I'll become good enough to take it up as a semi/professional photographer.

Driving is another passion. I have a Ford XR6 Turbo which keeps me very happy. It's an Aussie performance vehicle, and you can't get it outside of Australia or New Zealand (maybe you could import it, I dunno). I've had it a couple years, and I love playing with it. A friend of mine has a turbo-charged Nissan Pulsar, and we're often going out on Friday nights to find others to 'play with', if you get my drift. :) So far, I haven't found anything that is faster than mine off the lights. Lots of fun.

Travel. That's something else I love doing. I've seen probably half of Australia in my lifetime so far, and intend seeing so much more. In 2000 I went to New Zealand for a holiday and ended up staying there. Beautiful country. I saw most of it in my time there, and came back to Australia in 2007. There's a lot more traveling I want to do, like China and Japan and Europe. Shame I can't take my car with me, but at least the camera will come...

Do you have a personal blog or non-Eve website you want to share:

I've been blogging since 1998, back when it was called 'online journaling'. I've changed domains and formats over the years, but all the content has been maintained. It's now at It's a reflection of my life and adventures.

Right, your turn. Send me your information, and I'll throw it up as a new format of Blogger Profiles.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My first taste of combat in Ushra'Khan

Yesterday was a good day... a public holiday here in Australia for the Melbourne Cup, so I spent the morning on Eve. I joined a fleet op into CVA territory, and there were 25 of us. Since I've been focused on battleships for ratting, and I'm yet to fully complete my Recon training, I jumped into a Rifter for the fleet op.

At first, the FC didn't want frigates. Then someone suggested to the FC that we'd need tacklers. So he said ok, but he didn't want Rifters. So I said "the Rifter is a frigate...", so then he agreed to having Rifters.

I wasn't completely inspired, but so be it... off we flew!

Earthwynd, a corpmate who came across to Phaze-9 with me, was also in a Rifter. We were the only 2 frigates in a 25-man fleet.

Then the FC made someone a scout. But they didn't have any tackling mods. That didn't matter, apparently... until the scout engaged someone and the fleet made their way to the scene of combat. Except that the target warped away before we got there. So someone else was made scout.

What the hell, I thought. Being part of a fleet is good experience. That's what I was telling myself, anyway.

And I was right. At the end of a roam through CVA territory, including their base system where they were all huddled in a station, hiding (watching us all waving as we went through the system, unhindered), we ended up with a few kills. I managed to get in on the death of a Rupture and then I was one of 2 who podkilled the pilot (although I didn't do any damage... I think I was involved 'cause I was web/scramming him).

But after a couple of hours, it was lunchtime. I had to go out to lunch with some friends, so I left the fleet while in the very centre of CVA space. I logged off, looking forward to the lone flight back home when I logged back on later in the day.

So when I logged back in with 8 reds in the system, I immediately set off back home, confident that I would be able to get home without any issues.

Based on my experiences so far of being in CVA space as a neutral member of Providence and watching the Ushra'Khan roaming around relatively unhindered and having to hide from them, and then being in the Ushra'Khan and wandering around unhindered, laughing at all the locals in Providence hiding from me, I've learnt something quite interesting.

When CVA form a fleet to go attack U'K space, entire defence fleets of U'K warriors form and repel them before they get very far. But when the U'K go roaming around CVA space, everyone there hides. The defence fleet is... well, I don't know where it is, 'cause it's rarely where the U'K are.

Of course, this is just my experience. I'm sure others might have different experiences, and you're welcome to tell me about them in the Comments below. :)

So, back to my solo trek back home...

It didn't happen.

Instead, I joined up with an in-game friend (Nukelear Storm) of a real life friend, both of whom are also in U'K. He was nearby and planning a solo venture into Providence. I joined him.

So together we went back into Providence, the 2 of us. We roamed and rambled our way around. Him in a Stabber, me in my Rifter. Wherever we went, the reds hid in their stations or safe spots, or cloaked up, waiting for us to leave.

Another U'K member, sw33t lips, joined us in his Rapier. So then there were 3. And still the locals hid.

I was scout, and at one point, as I was scouting around a particular system, I flew to a planet at 100km. I was surprised to find the system's station right near me, at 102km. There were 2 reds just leaving the station - a Drake and a Kestrel.

I sat there, watching them, reporting this to the small fleet I was a part of. I told them that the Kestrel was starting to make his way to me, while the Drake had warped away. I suspected that the Drake would warp to his Kestrel buddy once an engagement occurred, but I decided to stick around.

My fleet started to make their way to me, but they were 2 jumps away. The Kestrel got to about 30k away when she started firing her rockets, and I jumped into action. Initiating an orbit of 750m, I approached her at about 800m/s. Her rockets impacted against my shields, and they quickly dropped to about 30%. I activated the armour repairer, followed by my weapons at about 8km.

I was constantly aware that the Drake pilot could warp in on us at any second, and I was hoping to kill the Kestrel before I died myself. I saw 2 MORE Drake pilots exit the station 100km away, with 1 of them warping away while the other stayed there and watched the combat from 100km.

My shields were repairing themselves, and I was taking no more damage from the Kestrel's rockets, being so close and all. I switched off the armor repairer. Suddenly there was an explosion, and there was the Kestrel's pilot sitting there in a pod. I chuckled to myself when my web and scrambler engaged, preventing them from warping away. However, I was very surprised when it was taking so long for my weapons to do any real damage to the pod...

Range? Check. All weapons firing? Check. Weird. So I started to align for warp, expecting someone to arrive any second. As range was increasing on the pod, I decided I didn't want to wait any further and I activated warp - just as the pod exploded behind me.


And none of her CVA buddies turned up to help. There was no coordinated defence, no assistance...

Lex Lacey, if you're reading this, I applaud you for seeking a fight with the Ushra'Khan. I applaud you for trying to do what you can for the territory you're residing in. However, you might want to consider abandoning those who abandoned you.

Back to me... my fleet was disappointed I got a kill without them, but hey, it was a Kestrel.

We continued our roam, but wherever we went, the locals hid. Eventually we got bored, and went back home. I returned to doing some ratting.

It was a good day indeed.

Friday, October 30, 2009

10 tips on how to be an idiot

In a previous post I ended it with: "Watch out idiots, Punishment is coming for you."

I decided to let the sensitive part of me write a post to help people be less of an idiot and avoid the less sensitive part of me having to come after them. So here's a few tips on how to be an idiot. Avoid these if you can.
  1. If you believe that people are cheating if they kill you, scam you, or do anything to you that you don't like, you're an idiot. If they're doing it, it's likely they're able to use a game function to do so.
  2. If you bleat about it in local, on the forums, or on a blog, you're an idiot.
  3. If you petition CCP to get the action reversed, you're an idiot.
  4. If you make it public that you tried getting the action reversed, you'll be laughed at, 'cause you're an idiot.
  5. If you want to get the game rules changed because you don't like how often you die from them, you're an idiot.
  6. If you blog, comment or write on the forums about how the rules should be changed so that you die less often, you're an idiot.
  7. If you come up with all kinds of elaborately detailed suggestions on how these changes can be made, you're an idiot.
  8. If other people try to teach you how to play the game according to the rules, but you ignore them because you decide that doing any of the above is a much better idea, then you're an idiot.
  9. If you teach other people that anything you say in relation to the above is correct and they agree with you, then you're all idiots.
  10. If you think any of these statements apply to you and you get upset - you're an idiot. (Go on, show us you're an idiot by complaining in the Comments section.)
Bonus tip:
  • If you think I'm an idiot for coming up with these tips, then you're an idiot. Don't prove it (see #10 above).
Hopefully you'll understand how to NOT be an idiot by taking note of all the tips above. Don't do any of the above, and you'll be fine. If you do any of the above and I see it, I'm going to laugh at you.

And probably do a blog post to point out your idiocy to everyone else.

You've been warned.

There's gonna be some changes around here

You know, I'm sick to death of all these social niceties that control us. We don't say what we really feel, believe or think because we're afraid of offending people.

Well, you know what? I'm over it.

If you get offended at what I say about things in general, and you take the opinions I have as personal comments against you, then you're far too sensitive and insecure for me to waste my time and energy on trying to keep you happy.

I'm not naming names, but if you think I'm referring to you, then you're right.

Things are going to change around here. I'm not going to tiptoe around any more, trying to make sure I don't offend anyone. Not that I ever really went out of my way to avoid offending people in the first place, as some of you might have noticed, but it's always been in the back of my mind.

What's brought about this change is the fact I've been seeing more and more idiots around lately. People that don't have a clue. As a result, I've said things that I've normally not said, and you know what?

It felt gooooood...

I'm a believer that if something feels good, and there's no withdrawal symptoms when you're not doing it, then you should do more of it.

So I will.

Watch out idiots, Punishment is coming for you.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

If you play as intended, you're cheating...

I saw a discussion of the CVA hacking/disbanding on Massively and I'd like to paraphrase what one of the commenters said:
"Another reason I'm letting my Eve sub run out this month" is because "all manner of espionage and underhanded tactics are permitted… Winning like that is the diametrical opposite of FUN…" and "since CCP is confused… and thinks that kind of thing is a 'win', I see more and more… fighters like me quitting… eventually resulting in the entire game being composed of failgamers and their alts…"
Now, it's bullshit like that which shows so many players of Eve Online just don't get it. They really don't.

CCP create this game to be a particular way. They have features and game-play elements purposefully created to be a part of the game, and to lead to all kinds of different actions.

And then you get these people who honestly believe that using the very functions of the game - as they're designed to be used - is tantamount to cheating. And they consider the game developers themselves to be 'confused' when people play the game the way CCP have designed the game to be played.

I'm trying to keep a civil tongue. I'm trying to avoid swearing at these idiots that think 'playing the game' is cheating, and that once all the 'decent players' quit, all that'll be left are those who cheat.

And seriously… they think CCP are confused about their own game, and that people are cheating and playing in ways not intended?

Grow a friggin' brain.

Or, please - quit now, before your sub runs out. You're obviously clueless about this game, and we really don't need you to pollute the spaceways with your idiocy.

If you get offended by this, then YOU are one of those who should quit. Do it. Do it now!

Monday, October 26, 2009

And now for something completely different

I've joined the Ushra'Khan!

Well, more to the point, I've joined Phaze-9, a corp which is a member of the Ushra'Khan (U'K). I did this because its CEO, Maestro Ulv, has been harping on at me for weeks now to join his corp. Eventually I caved in and joined up, with my application being accepted today.

Now, there's a few reasons I accepted the invitation.
  1. It was an honour to be invited, and I'm privileged to be part of Maestro's corp and the U'K.
  2. It got me away from Providence, which is where the carebears hang out. Maestro didn't want to see me hanging out with the carebears... And I can't say I blame him. I could feel the carebear-ness coming over me, and I think it was good that I got out of there when I did!
  3. I plan on being in a Force Recon very soon (a Rapier, followed soon after by an Arazu). I thought it would be a great idea to get some training from experienced pilots in covert ops / recon combat, and that just happens to be something of a specialty of Maestro's corp. I was promised extensive training and experience in such combat.
  4. Experience in 'professional' fleet operations can only be a good thing for me. I've had my share of fleet operations over the years, but they've all been small, and I wouldn't say they've been professional. That's about to change.
So, I joined the corp today, and once I found myself part of the alliance, I decided to go on a roam around the region to see if I could find any 'intruders' to shoot at. I made certain I understood the local rules - neutrals were targets in the region and in Providence, but not anywhere else. Reds were always a target.

So I set off on my small journey. I quickly discovered some kind of plex with about 8 battleship rats and 6 frigates. What a shame I was flying around in my Rifter... I decided to leave it behind, but marked it on my map as somewhere to come back to when I was flying a battleship.

So I went through 19 systems in a circular route to come back to where I started. All I saw were alliance members.

This was good because it meant I could probably do some good ratting around here without worrying too much about the bad guys (don't worry, I know not to be overconfident; that's bitten me on the bum in the past, I can assure you).

It also meant that most of my combat would either be in defence of this region when attacked, and I answer the alliance's call to arms, or it would be on adventures into other regions.

I do look forward to either of them.

When I got back from my roam around the region, one of my new corp mates took me on a tour of jump bridges. Now this was exciting! I've never been part of an alliance before that had their own jump bridges.

So as I was taken on the tour, and bookmarking their locations in system, I was also marking the routes on my region printout, so that I could easily see where the jump bridges were in relation to the rest of the systems.

Very cool, and very exciting!

I can see some interesting adventures ahead....

Thursday, October 22, 2009

8 Secrets of the 80/20 Blogger

There's this thing called 'the 80/20 rule' (or Pareto Principle). It states that in many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. It also applies to business, where 20% of the clients will bring in 80% of the sales. I decided to apply the same rule to blogging, and this post is all about the 8 secrets of the 80/20 blogger. I hope that it brings you value.

1. 80% of your posts are meaningless.
80% of what you post is going to be absolute rubbish. But those posts are still important, 'cause without them, your regular readers will go somewhere else. If they're regular, of course. Who'd be regular though if you don't have any posts? Those regular fans you have, they're there for the 20% of your posts that are meaningful to them. And of those fans, 20% of them will link to 80% of those meaningful posts on their own blogs.

2. Your blog is a valuable resource.
If you can work out why only some of your posts are linked back by your fans, you can begin to increase the ratio. Start writing more of what they find interesting and meaningful. And if you can't do this, then you're probably just not bound for success, so you might want to start knitting instead. Maybe you could blog about that? Try to aim for 80% of your posts being talked about by 20% of all your visitors.

3. Be Unique. Don’t be like everyone else. That is so Web 1.0.
You should be tired of looking at your stats and seeing that 20% of your traffic is return visitors. You want 80% returns! If you want more people coming back, you have to be unique. You have to find topics that no one else is talking about, and you have to talk about them yourself. People need to hear things in a new way, and you're going to have to be new if you want them coming back.

4. Become a Google Wunderkind. Delete your archives.
Review all your posts. Clear out the ones that either aren't popular, or are not a good reflection of how you want your blog to be. If you have less content but more of it's linked from other blogs, guess what? You become an overnight Google wunderkind. Google doesn't want you knowing this, but it works.

5. Drop all the advertising bullcrap. Simplicity is betta.
If you have advertising that's not making you money, get rid of it. Now. If you remove 80% of the advertising that's not making you money and optimise the 20% that is, your readers are going to visit your site more, and make your more money in the process. What better reason to do it, right?

7. Quit feeding at the trough.
Spend more time on your blog and less time reading websites or RSS feeds, and any other feeds you might be accessing. It's wasting your time! Quit feeding at the trough and do some creative writing of your own, instead of using other people's content. That's what people feast on, and that's where the success is.

8. Don't TRY to be one, just BE one!
To be one of the 20% of blogs that 80% of people are going to come back to, you have to be one of those 20% of bloggers that 80% of bloggers wish they were. Do more writing. Care less about the crap, and more about the quality. I have a saying sticky-taped to the top of my screen: "combine quality with consistency." Don't try to be what you THINK you should be, just do it and BE it.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Eve Wave Pack

You may or may not have heard of Google Wave. If you haven't, I'd say you don't read much on the internet, but that's ok....

Google Wave is Google's attempt to revolutionise email by bringing together Instant Messaging, file hosting and document collaboration. For example, you can create a wave with a description or questions, add members from your contact list, and add a file of some kind (eg. a Word document).

Then you can have this single document available to all members, allowing you to discuss it and work out how you want the document to evolve. Discussion is 'real time', which means as you're typing something, other members can watch what you're typing - mistakes, backspaces and all.

Even if you're not working with a document, you can simply have discussions with the other members of your 'wave'. You can discuss and plan social occasions, etc.

You can also use it for 'collaborative writing', where you work together to write a story or something. You can edit each other's comments, or you can each edit a chapter of a story that you're all working on.

Some of the things I'm expecting to be integrated into Google Wave over time are:
  • Twitter: update your Twitter feeds from your wave. You and your friends can converse about your updates in the wave itself, and have it replicated back to Twitter if you configure it that way
  • Blogging: update your blog via Google Wave. Comments on your blog post are replicated in your wave, so you can reply and converse there, and have comments in your wave replicated back to your blog.
  • Facebook: same thing here. Keep up to date with communication from friends that are in Google Wave and Facebook from one place, with communication being integrated between multiple platforms.
  • Evebloggers: as people comment and communicate amongst the various integrated platforms, will present the ongoing 'stream' of conversations out there.
There are gadgets being created for various functionalities, and I'm sure most of them will be absolutely useless, but there's going to be gems in amongst the crap. There always is.

There's already a few of us Eve Bloggers in Google Wave. The Eve Online Wave Pack has begun. If you are on Google Wave as well, or when you get onto it, sign up for the Eve Wave Pack.

See you there!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Strive to be happy

There's this perception amongst some sensitive souls out there that I'm against Carebears. I realise I've not made it absolutely clear in the past, and it's ended up being a little confusing and misleading, for which I apologise. This post is my attempt to help clear up the confusion.

I'm actually not against them. I've even been a Carebear myself, on quite a few occasions. But let me clarify what those occasions were...

My occasional Carebear status has been the result of non-PVP activities in Empire, lowsec and even 0.0 space. That's about the extent of it.

So no, I'm not against Carebears. What I'm really against are those who whinge and complain and cry about how everyone's out to get them or how unfair the game is because they can't get their way.

Even PVP professionals often fall into this category, and they come up with all kinds of grandiose ideas about how they want the game to change to suit them. In their head it all makes sense - if the game changed in the ways they think it should, then they'd die less often!

So whether you're a Carebear or a PVPer, I don't really care what you do or how you do it. What I DO care about is how much you whinge when something doesn't go your way, and you begin campaigning to change the game to suit your sensitivities. Or you just whinge a lot about how it needs to change, but you don't actually do anything constructive to help make it happen...

It's really simple - if you want the game to change to suit you, how about you go find another game to play, as this one is obviously not for you. Stop whinging to us about how much hardship you're in because someone has used the game mechanics or features to screw you over.

They haven't. They've just played the game according to how it's meant to be played. If you don't like it - stop playing.

Yes, I know - I'm having a whinge. I feel like I'm 'campaigning' to stop whinging. It's probably a useless exercise...

However, me whinging doesn't make me a Carebear - it just means I'm really annoyed about those people that want to change the game to suit themselves.

I know that there are things that may need changing about the game. Use the relevant forums to present good reasons and discussions on why these things need to change and how the changes might even be integrated, rather than "I got killed and I couldn't do anything about it, therefore it needs to change!"

To help you on your way to becoming less of a whinger, I'd like to present a very old poem I found. I've taken the liberty to edit it in a way that reflects our modern times.

Please enjoy - and stop your whinging!

Go placidly amid the vastness of space,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all pod-pilots.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull, the ignorant, and the Carebears;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons who smacktalk in Local;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser pilots than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the galaxy is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the veterans,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture your skills to shield-tank you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt Eve Online is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with the Gods,
whatever you conceive Them to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the violent confusion of death and new clones,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful galaxy.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
Print it out and hang it in your pod where you can see it at all times.

Be cheerful - strive to be happy.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A night's adventure

After asking on my blog the other day about where I should go next in 0.0, I discovered that you can use the maps at to find out how many belts the systems have throughout a region, as well as NPC kills and ship/pod kills . Using these functions - and more - you can browse through maps of various regions and see how busy they are.

So I did that, and found that one of the least busiest 0.0 regions in the entire galaxy was Cobalt Edge. I couldn't find much on the interwebs about it, so I decided to go visit it and find out why.

60 jumps through 0.0 space.

I decided to use a cloaked frigate, an Inquisitor, to be exact. Why? Because I liked the look of it. I fit 3 x warp core stabilisers on it, and an Improved Cloaking Device. It was my makeshift 'covert ops' ship. Very cheap.

It was quiet most of the way, with very few people in the systems I passed through. However, I jumped through a gate at one point and there was a Rapier on the other side. Waiting for... well, anyone really, but for him it was now my turn.

So I aligned for the next belt and immediately activated the cloak. The Rapier was about 20km away but quickly closed the distance, releasing some drones along the way. As I moved away from the location at an awesome 90 m/s, I was biting my fingernails. Was this my turn to die?

He moved past me at 2,600 metres, trailing drones as he went. I was, as you would expect, crapping my pants, worried that the drones would decloak me, but they stayed in a line behind him as he continued traveling, passing me by at just more than 2,000 metres... He got to about 20km away again and then moved back to an orbit of the gate, giving up. I breathed a sigh of relief.

When he was about 40km from me, I decloaked and took off for the gate. He immediately set off after me!

As I arrived at the gate and jumped through, I saw him arrive at the gate too. As soon as I appeared on the other side, I set off for the next gate, warping away just as he appeared and started realigning to follow me. This continued through 8 systems, always with that half a second of timing between us.

I was on voice comms with someone and told them about what was happening. They mentioned that if I get the Rapier to attack me at a gate and THEN jump through, their aggro will prevent them from being able to jump for a few seconds, allowing me precious time to get away properly.

So I stopped at the next gate and waited, hoping that my little frigate would be able to take a 'first strike' from the Rapier and survive, allowing me to jump through but leave him behind.

He arrived at the gate… and jumped through!

I sat there and blinked. And blinked again. And then started laughing while quickly turning the frigate around and heading for a planet where I cloaked, giving myself a bit of a breather.

After about 10 minutes of remaining alone in the system (the Rapier didn't jump back through), I approached the gate to continue on my journey, expecting him to be on the other side, still waiting for me.

He wasn't there. He was in the system, but not at the gate. I quickly aligned for the next gate and took off. He didn't chase me, and I never saw him again. Phew!

The rest of my journey to Cobalt Edge was without incident, but when I got there all I found was empty space and a lot of 'Rogue Drones'. Battleship-sized drones, but none of them with any bounties on them. At the same time as I discovered this, my friend on voice comms told me the region was good for nothing because the drones only dropped minerals.

Great. 60 jumps, and for what?

Well, I got some excitement, that's what.

So I continued to search via the maps for another region to investigate. The lucky region was Great Wildlands. Right next door to Molden Heath, which was my old hunting grounds.

Another 60 jumps through 0.0, this time around the outer edge of the galaxy. I set off on the great star trek, with plenty of stars to… well, to trek through...

It was mainly uneventful, although I did encounter two warp bubbles along the way…

The first bubble was via a Heavy Interdictor (HIC) camping a gate, and he activated his bubble as I jumped in. Once again I aligned for the next gate and activated my cloak once the gate's cloak dropped. He tried to approach and decloak me but failed, so he went back to the gate and waited for someone else to jump through.

As I continued slowboating to the edge of the warp bubble, the gate fired and someone else appeared. They immediately tried to make their way to the edge of the bubble, but the HIC smashed him in just a few seconds. And then podded him.

Poor fella… but that's 0.0 for you.

I eventually made it past the edge of the bubble, and the HIC was about 50km from me. I decloaked and streaked to the next gate. The HIC pilot wished me well, which I thought was nice of him….

I arrived in Great Wildlands, and encountered another warp bubble with about 20-something ships.


So I sat there for a few seconds and tried to work out which direction to start moving in so that I can cloak and slowboat past them. Then one of them started talking in local, advising me that they were anti-pirates and I was free to go. I checked the info of the pilot - they were all in the Paxton Federation. Nice! I knew of them. They were very efficient at fighting pirates.

So with a wave, I decloaked and warped off, thankful that they were the good guys!

It was at this point, after having jumped about 120 jumps through 0.0 space in about 3 hours, that I started talking to someone who wanted to invite me to join them in 0.0. They told me where they were and I made my way to it. It was an uneventful 20 jumps.

We chatted some more and then I returned to Providence - another 20 jumps without incident.

After docking my trusty little cloaked T1 frigate back in 'home base', I sat back and reviewed my adventure. In just 4 hours I had travelled 160-something jumps through 0.0 space. I had avoided a Rapier chasing me and a Heavy Interdictor's warp bubble, and came back home without a single scratch on the paintwork. It was far more than I was expecting, as I had transferred my clone to various stations along the way (where I could, that is), expecting to die numerous times.

I kissed my frigate, and gave the cloaking device a hug. They had served me well. Exceptionally well.

A good night indeed, I thought, as I transferred my clone back home.

The future is going to be interesting. From the communications with the CEO who invited me to join his corp, and the subsequent discussions with my corp mates, there are going to be changes ahead. I can't say what they are right now, but they're going to be very, very interesting…

And lots of fun.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Do you like sharing Eve blogs?

The other day I created the means by which the Eve Online blogging community can share, discuss and vote on each other's blogs or other Eve-related material:

Share blogs and sites for discussion and voting

If you think it's a great idea to share and discuss what's going on in the Eve Online blogging community, then I encourage you to write about it on your own blog. Share the love!

It'll increase your exposure and bring more people to your site. Go on, you know you want to.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Where to next?

I've been in Providence for over a month now, and I've come to the conclusion it's time to move on. So I thought I'd ask you, the readers, where you think I should go to next.

It has to be in 0.0 space, and it has to be quiet.

What are your suggestions? Where do you recommend I move to, and why? I look forward to reading your thoughts.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Share blogs and sites for discussion and voting

As I mentioned in my previous post, I've set up a site that will allow you to share your favourite blog posts, websites, forum discussions and... well, anything! Not only can you share it to a single site that everyone can access, but you can discuss it, and vote positively or negatively for it, driving it up or down in popularity.

Reddit for Eve Bloggers

  1. Bookmark the site in your browser, so that you can visit it often.

  2. Register to join the site if you want to share links. You need an account to do so.

  3. Create a 'bookmarklet' for your web browser. This sits in your Links or Bookmarks toolbar and allows you to quickly submit new pages.

    In Firefox:
    click and drag this link to your Bookmarks toolbar: Evebloggers Reddit.

    In Internet Explorer:
    right-click onEvebloggers Reddit then choose "Add to Favorites" and add to the "Links" folder.

    In Safari:
    click and dragEvebloggers Redditto your bookmark bar.

  4. You can right-click on your bookmarklet and select Properties to edit the name if you don't like 'Evebloggers Reddit'.

  5. Now every time you find a webpage that you want to share to the other Eve bloggers and interested visitors for discussion and voting, just click on the bookmarklet. You will be taken to a page that already has the important URL and title.

    (Click to enlarge)

  6. In the image above, you can see a red circle around 'text'. Click on this to add a description if you want.

    (Click to enlarge)

  7. Fill out the 'captcha' letters to prove you're human, and then click on Submit.

  8. Once you've submitted it, there will be a new entry in the What's New -> new section.

  9. Enjoy sharing and discussing and voting!

    You vote by clicking on the up or down arrow to show your pleasure or displeasure with whatever you've shared, or what someone else has shared.

If you have any questions, please ask them in the Comments below. I'd be happy to help you.