Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Snapshot of Dev Finder - 24 February 2009

One of the things that has been lacking is an RSS feed of the Eve developer's activity in the forums. It's available on the Eve website, but it's just not accessible via RSS or any blogs, so I've been thinking about it. I've decided to include their Dev Finder updates as a snapshot in this blog as well.

When they update it, I'll update this blog. That will allow the dev updates to at least be available to everyone else via RSS, via this site.

14:06 Fallout introduces a New Blog from Mindstar: Hardware Upgrades!
14:05 Fendahl replies to a huge amount of player queries regarding the new fitting screen for Apocrypha.
14:03 Greyscale answers a large amount of player questions regarding wormholes and scanning.
14:02 Abraxas presents a new End of the World Chronicle: "The Great Harvest".
14:01 Gangleri answers multiple player queries regarding the new character creation and bloodlines.
14:00 Chronotis gives an overview of starbase system security level anchoring restrictions, comments on the supply/demand of resources and a guide to prices of Strategic Cruisers.
13:58 Fallout introduces a New Blog by Chronotis How do I build a strategic cruiser?
13:56 Abathur answers player queries regarding wormholes.
13:44 Prism X explains the mechanics behind how players will be able to exist wormhole space if they have no probes.
13:32 Oneiromancer provides a listing of Apocrypha testing known issues and workarounds for build 79298.
13:26 Chronotis provides some general comments on the use of starbases and low security space for different aspects of Tech 3 production.
13:18 Chronotis answers several player queries in the Tech 3 production thread.
12:59 Fallout introduces a New Dev Blog by Nozh: Strategic Cruisers.
12:56 Fear explains changes to the skill learning system with the release of Apocrypha.
12:54 Chronotis confirms that the component assembly array material multiplier has been reduced to 1.0 witn apocrypha.

Snapshot of Eve - 24 February 2009

Welcome to the latest snapshot of the major topics that people are discussing within the Eve Online forums. To see other snapshots, click on the 'snapshot' tag in the Tag Cloud. The rules of the snapshot are here.





Friday, February 20, 2009

33 odd facts about me

PsycheDiver posted some questions for other bloggers to answer. I thought I’d give it a go, but since it was non-Eve related, I’m posting it over on my personal blog instead of here.

I hope you enjoy.

9 tips on writing better blog posts

If you're serious about writing an Eve Online blog, and you want to attract more people to contribute with comments and be regular visitors, then you're going to want to know how to write better, and how to inspire people to write comments. Read this article if you want to learn more tips on how to write better blog posts.

1. The bait

The bait is your title. It needs to be attractive, to inspire the reader to find out more. Make sure it's informative about the content, but also very short.

The title is what people are going to see in search engine listings, so make sure it includes those key words that are relevent to the content.

2. The hook

Once you've got the reader to take the bait, you need to have a good hook. Your hook is going to be the first paragraph of your post. Remember that many people will find your site via a search engine, so they're going to quickly see if it has the content they're looking for. If it doesn't, they're going to go look somewhere else. If you can grab them right there with the hook, you'll keep them reading.

Of course, the hook needs to be provocative and controversial. It has to grab the reader's attention and make a point, all in one go. If they don't read anything more of your post, that first paragraph is the only chance you've got to tell them what your thoughts and opinions are.

3. The reward

If the reader has been hooked by your first paragraph then they're going to want to know why you've written what you have. Giving them the 'why' is your way of rewarding them for staying.

Use a couple of paragraphs to to tell them why you made the statements in the hook. Keep it short and informative, no more than two paragraphs. Include humour if you can. People love to laugh, and if you can help them do that, they'll be encouraged to stay and keep reading. Since you've managed to keep them past the first paragraph, you don't want to lose them now!

4. The inspiration

For people to be inspired to leave their own comments, there often needs to be something controversial for them to comment on. Sure, you can write the posts that don't offend anyone, or that inspire people to be or feel better, but if you really want to get people discussing your posts, you need to make them more controversial.

Some of the controversial things you can write about include: game politics, ship fitting suggestions, game or forum controversies, etc etc. Anything that can inspire or inflame people's emotions are good topics to write about.

5. Make your point

If you can keep your post about a single point rather than several points, then you're going to make it more attractive for people to stay and read. The less for them to read, the better.

If you really want to make a number of points, then write a different post for each point you want to make, and schedule those posts out over a few days or weeks.

6. The KISS principle - 'Keep it simple, stupid!'

The more detail you put into expressing your thoughts, the more people are going to swtich off. They just want it to be short and easy to read. They want to know your thoughts using as few words as possible. Keep the complexities of your thoughts to yourself.

Before you press that publish button, read your post as if you're a random reader who's completely clueless about whatever it is you're talking about. Be honest and ask yourself if the reader is likely to hang around and keep reading. If not, then keep editing it.

If a sentence can afford to have words removed and still keep the same meaning, then do so. When the meaning is lost, put back the word you last removed and leave it at that.

7. Let the reader form the conclusions

Don't just insult someone or something. Provide all the reasons why you don't like them, and let the reader insult them for you!

If the reader is given information with which to form their own opinion, that will mean more to them than just reading what your opinion is.

8. Be passionate

If you're not passionate about something, then don't write it. If you don't have the belief in your own opinion, then why should the reader listen to you?

When you write what you're passionate about, that's going to be obvious to your readers, and they're going to feel it. Writing with passion will inspire your readers to feel almost as passionate about it as you!

9. Have a moral to the story

If the reader has gotten to the end, they want there to be a point to it, so they can justify the time spent reading it. Give them a moral, a one-line statement that they can take away with them which will summarise the post and stick in their memory.

For example, the moral to this post could be: Get serious with your writing, and you'll get a serious increase in the readers who respond to what you write!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dipping into the Twitter stream

Poor LurbyJo (also known as Eve Chick) jumped onto Twitter today and soon posted a message to all her followers:
So sick! I thought I'd come play something but reading all 149 tweets I'd missed tired me out. Back to bed. o7
I replied with:
@LurbyJo you jumped into the Twitter stream & tried to take it all in & it made you sick! Just enjoy the stream at the point you jumped in
She replied:
@Alexia_Morgan I can't. I feel so guilty if I don't read everything. WHAT IF SOMEONE SAYS SOMETHING TO ME AND IGNORE THEM!?
It made me think about a problem that's common to many Twitter users - too much information!

The messages, updates and communication coming to us via Twitter can be likened to a 'stream of information', or a Twitter stream. Imagine it as a stream of flowing information. It's always flowing, always moving on.

When you're following just a few people, it's very easy to keep up with their messages, because there's so few of them. You might be able to check once a day, or even once a week, and still be up to date with the conversations or updates occurring since you last checked.

But what about when you're following dozens, hundreds or even thousands of active people all sending their updates via Twitter? You simply can't keep up, and to even try will just drive you crazy!

How to make it easier

The first thing to do is to check whatever tool you're using (Twitter itself, or Twhirl, Tweetdeck, etc) to see if anyone has @replied or direct messaged you since you last checked. You can browse them, even reply to them if you want to. They've made the effort to personally address you or reply to you, so it's always a good idea to do them the courtesy of engaging in communication with them.

The second thing to do is to browse back through people's updates, but not very far. You don't need to browse back through the hundreds or even thousands of updates people have made since you last checked! You really don't.

Take a dip into the Twitter stream

When you jump into a stream, you don't try to swim all of it. You don't need to! It would be silly, if not downright stupid, to try and swim upstream as far as you could go in order to enjoy what the stream offers you.

Wherever you dip into the stream is where you need to be to enjoy it. That's all.

You can relax and enjoy it flowing past you, you can splash around a bit, and engage in communicating with people at that moment. Then you can pull yourself out when you've had enough, and you can go off and do other things.

When you next check Twitter, you can see the replies people have made to the messages you made when you last jumped into the stream, and you can engage them in return. Then you can jump into the stream again to see what people are saying in the moment, and for however long you want to participate, before you jump back out again.

This helps you avoid information overload. It helps you enjoy the experience more.

When people send an update to their Twitter, they're not personally addressing you - they're just throwing out 'stuff' about what they're doing or thinking. You don't need to see all of it! You only 'need' to see what they're throwing at YOU, and that's with the @replies they send to you. Everything else is just flotsam and jetsam, floating in the stream.

That's the interesting nature of Twitter and the Twitter stream. You don't have to be part of it at all times; you can just jump into it every now and again and participate with whatever is happening while you're there, before you jump out again.

That's how I do it. There's just too much going on to take it all in, so don't even try.

Secrets of the 80/20 blogger

There's a lot of Eve Online players out there who are trying their hand at blogging, and a lot of them are very, very good. But there's a few who are struggling. So in line with my interest in helping the bloggers and anyone interested in blogging, I'm going to start writing more posts about how to blog. I hope some of you find them either interesting or valuable.

There's a secret to business that some of you might be aware of. It's the 80/20 rule. The way it works is that 80% of business comes from 20% of the clients, while 20% of business comes from 80% of the clients. The 80/20 rule is a centrepiece of improving business results, by helping to understand that if 80% of the clients are generating only 20% of the business, then there should be a greater focus on the 20% of clients who are generating 80% of the business.

We can apply this rule to anything, and this article is about applying it to blogging.
  • 80% of your posts are meaningless
80% of what you post is going to be completely meaningless. Absolute rubbish. But they're still important, because without them your regular readers are going to go somewhere else. The regular readers you have are there for the 20% of your posts that are meaningful to them. And of your regular readers, 20% of those will link back to 80% of your meaningful posts.

If you're writing 1 post per week for your blog, then over the course of a year you would have about 52 posts. Of that, 42 of them (80%) are rubbish, while 10 (20%) are fantastic! If you want more fantastic posts, you need to increase the effort you put into it.

Let's say you decide to write 3 posts per week, which is about 156 posts over a year. This means you will have 31 posts that are fantastic. You'll also have about 125 posts which are rubbish, but because you've increased your effort, you're also going to increase your exposure. More posts generates more interest. (I would even hazard a guess that if you increase your effort by 20%, then your results will be increased by 80%...)

Also, if 2 in 10 posts are fantastic, then if you are writing once per week, you'll do a fantastic post once every 5 weeks, on average. But if you're posting 3 times a week, then you'll do a fantastic post once every 1.5 weeks. That's going to get a much better response from your readers, and you'll have a lot more of them wanting to hang around and read your posts.
  • Your website is a resource
If you can work out why 20% of your posts are good enough for your fans to link back to, you can actually increase the ratio. Start writing more of what they find interesting and meaningful. And if you can't do this, then you're just not interested in writing for your readers, and that's ok too. But then, if that's the case, you really should stop reading articles like this that help you with your blogging.

Try to aim for 80% of your posts to be fantastic, instead of only 20%. Understand what your regular readers like and link back to on their own blogs, and try to write more of it.

When you can write some fantastic content that a lot of people link to, then your blog becomes a resource for others to share. The reason they want to link back to your posts is because they think you're good enough to share with their own readers. You eventually become the resource for the content you want to present.

Look at Crazy Kinux's blog for an understanding of how he's made this work extremely well for him.
  • Delete your archives
Review all your posts. Clear out the ones that either aren't popular because no one commented on them, or simply are not a good reflection of how you want your blog to be. If you have less content, but more of it is linked or has discussions on it, then guess what? You become an overnight sensation.

Another interesting side effect is that the more content you have that is linked to from other sites, the more likely your content is going to be displayed first by Google. It will recognise that your site is a popular resource, and will show your site more often in people's relevant Google search results.
  • Drop all the advertising, simplicity is better
If you have advertising that's not making you money, get rid of it. 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 (because there's less advertising cluttering it), and will make you more money in the process.

Remember, 20% of your advertising is creating 80% of your income. Get rid of the 80% that is generating only 20% income or less. You don't need that much clutter on your site.
  • Quit feeding at the trough
Spend more time on your blog and less time reading websites or RSS feeds - 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 to inspire you. People love original content, and that's why you're going to get a lot of your regular readers coming back for more.

Why would they come to you for content that's already been posted somewhere else? Stop riding the coat tails of other people's posts and success, and start working on your own original blog posts.

If you can write about the source of something, rather than on what someone else has written about it, you'll get a much better response from your readers.
  • Don't TRY to be a blogger, just BE one!
To be one of the 20% of Eve Bloggers that 80% of people are going to come back to (I think the Eve Blog Pack represents this rule quite well), you have to be one of those 20% that 80% of bloggers wish they were.

Do more writing. Care less about the crap, and care more about the quality. I have a saying sticky-taped to the top of my screen: "combine quality with consistency". Consistently create fantastic content, and you will achieve the success that you desire. (And if you don't desire it, why did you read this post all the way through?)

I hope this has been helpful. There will be more coming soon. Please leave your feedback and even your own suggestions in the Comments.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Best blog post of the month

Over at evebloggers.com is the Best Blogger Of The Month competition. It's a monthly thing, and the winner will receive free advertising on a prominent position of the front page.

It exists to help promote the fantastic writing efforts of the Eve Bloggers out there, but in order to succeed each month, it needs the input of the forementioned Eve Bloggers.

Please go and nominate or vote for a post that you think is deserving of the award 'Best Blogger Of The Month'.

Snapshot of Eve - 17 February 2009

Welcome to the latest snapshot of the major topics that people are discussing within the Eve Online forums. To see other snapshots, click on the 'snapshot' tag in the Tag Cloud. The rules of the snapshot are here.

Since there was absolutely no feedback whatsoever on my addition of Corporation, Alliance and Organisation Discussions, I've decided to remove it.

My next request for feedback is: are these snapshots of use to you? Am I wasting my time doing them? Are you already keeping up with the forums and have no need for these snapshots?

Please let me know your thoughts in the Comments, thank you.





Friday, February 13, 2009

I robbed a Goon

And I liked it...

Well, ok, it wasn't actually me that robbed the Goon, so I can't really say I liked it. But this very talented Eve player sang about it, and I liked the song so much I thought I'd put it here for everyone to share. Please click on the link to share the musical goodness.


Thanks to Serious Sally for sharing it with me first!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Apocrypha on the test server

A lot of people are getting all excited by the new Tech 3 ships available on Sisi, the test server, along with new graphics for various other areas of the game. Everyone's talking about it, and everyone's posting about it.

I'm not.

Oh wait, I think I am now...

Ok, fine. I'm posting about it.

But I'm not getting into the hype myself. I'm just going to wait until March, when it's released live. I'm not reading posts about it (much), and I'm definitely not looking at any of the images being displayed of the new ships.

I want Eve Online to be about my own personal experience. I read posts written by others that relate to what I want to experience for myself. I read some fiction, but not a lot. I read articles and guides that help me play better.

Eve Online is all about me, and my experience of it. And what I write is based upon what I experience, and how I might be able to use that to educate or entertain others in some way.

I have no time or interest to log onto the test server, so whatever is there is outside of my personal experience. I'm perfectly happy to enjoy the experience when it comes to Tranquility, but until then, I'll enjoy whatever the experience is at the moment.

So this is a heads up that I won't be writing about Tech 3 or Apocrypha. Apart from this post... Oh, whatever.

I return you to your normally scheduled programming. Whatever that might be.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Snapshot of Eve - 8 February 2009

Welcome to the latest snapshot of the major topics that people are discussing within the Eve Online forums. To see other snapshots, click on the 'snapshot' tag in the Tag Cloud. The rules of the snapshot are here

Due to the controversy this week related to Band of Brothers, I decided to add the category CORPORATION, ALLIANCE AND ORGANISATION DISCUSSIONS. I'd like to know if you all think that this category should be a regular addition, so please tell me in the comments below.







Friday, February 6, 2009

This is one of the nicest things...

...anyone has ever said about me!
In my time as an Eve blogger I have had the great pleasure to meet some truly nice individuals. Most of them, but not all, are linked over on the right of this blog. One of those stands out a little from the rest with his (I think she is a him in RL!?) constant friendly promotion of others work whilst never attempting to draw the attention back to there own work. I speak of Alexia Morgan and the blog Punishment.
Thanks Biomassed, you're awesome. :D

The Eve Bloggers portal

I had an idea to develop an 'entry point' (a portal) into the Eve Blogger's community. The idea started less than a week ago, and gnawed at me... I engaged in discussion with someone who I discovered had already come up with the idea themselves, but didn't have the time to build it. Feedback was good however, so I was encouraged to continue. I bought the domain and hinted at my plans in Twitter. I talked to some others who loved what I planned. I researched and discovered and developed and talked and developed some more and implemented and then...

The site went live this morning!


I'm really excited with what I've done, and how it looks. It's exactly as I imagined it to be, and that makes me happy. :)

Please note that this is day 1. As the days, weeks, months and hopefully years go by, it's going to change and evolve.

I hope it gets a lot of attention, and I hope everyone can give me some feedback on what they think should be on there. Please send all your suggestions and thoughts to evebloggers@gmail.com so that I can consider them, and use them to help develop this site.

This is a site for the community of Eve Bloggers and Eve players, to help spread information amongst everyone that's playing Eve Online. It requires your support to help it grow, so please provide feedback (you can do so in the comments to this post if you want, or by email), and please, please, please promote it on your own blogs.

Thank you!

PS. Thank you to those who I spoke to about this over the past week. Your feedback and support was invaluable: Smakalicious, LurbyJo, and Ulfskein Gangr. Thanks guys!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

R.I.P. Band of Brothers

Band of Brothers (BoB), one of the most significant alliances within New Eden, has fallen to the nefarious machinations of their enemy, Goonswarm.

Details are sketchy at this stage, but it looks like a member of Goonswarm infiltrated BoB and was able to become a trusted and valued member of BoB's senior command. Today, they caused the disbanding of the BoB alliance and took 500 million ISK for themselves from the wallet.

Everyone's talking about this, but no one REALLY knows what occurred. More details will be provided here when I find out.

UPDATE: I've been too busy to follow this event and update this post accordingly, so instead I'll just link you to an excellent outline of it for you to read (if you haven't already!):

Further developments in EVE's 'Grand Theft Alliance' drama

Blogger Profiles #19 - L’einad Imperia

Welcome to yet another profile of an Eve Blogger! Please check out the list of Eve Bloggers so you can enjoy getting to know a few of the others as well.

New Eden Diaries is a brand new blog with only 2 posts so far, but I'm expecting big things out of them! The look of their site is very cool, and since they've put so much effort into it, that's why I'm expecting a lot of effort in their posts. This is a blog to keep an eye on. :)
What is your character's name or handle?

My main character is L’einad Imperia, but I also currently have 3 other ‘semi-mains’ all on different accounts. They are Amenia K’halli, Jaidar Ysari, and Garzi Junan’nk.

Though most people I associate with in game call my Cyber...since that was the prefix for most of my characters before I had my latest revelation of starting all over from scratch.

What is your blog's URL?


How long have you been blogging?

The blog mentioned in the question about is my newest blog and was started 21 January 2009. I have been in the [non-Eve] blogging community off and on for about 4 years now, but The New Eden Diaries is currently my only active blog.

What region of EVE do you mostly operate in?

It’s changed a few times since I’ve been playing, but for now (and the foreseeable future) I am located in Heimatar/Metropolis.

When did you start playing EVE?

November 2007, though I have taken a few little breaks since then.

What do you enjoy about EVE?

The depth of the game overall. EVE is huge…and I like big stuff. Being able to do whatever you want, whenever you want is an awesome feature to have in an MMO…and EVE provides that. I also enjoy the fact that the economy of EVE is so realistic…finance and building/crafts are some of my favorite things to do out of game, so it makes sense that in game I find joy in the same type of things.

What is your playstyle?

I’m really all over the place. I started the game wanting to fight, then I started mining, then producing, and eventually missioning. Right now I’ve got 4 characters that I’m training to do a multitude of things. But overall I would say I’m more of a carebear with an urge to start killing people one of these days…

Do you play any other games?

From time to time I do. I have a Wii and a 360, which I get on to play sometimes when I just feel like doing some loner stuff…or possibly to get online with my brother and kick it with some Fable 2 or Two Worlds. I also play Lord of the Rings Online sometimes…it’s a family game for me, as I got my wife, 2 brothers, mother, father, and one cousin all hooked to it so I could game for hours on end without feeling guilty anymore…and surprisingly it worked!

I also play board games from time to time (a wife and 2 young daughters…), it’s always fun to sit down from time to time and just have a family fun night.

What do you blog about, and why?

At the moment I blog about my experiences in EVE…because I realized lately that I really love to write…and I figured I’d do it about something I’ve been doing a lot of latey…EVE. In the past I’ve blogged about everything from finances or live experiences, to just completely random things that popped into my headed.

What are your other interests?

I love to read…though I don’t get nearly enough time these days to do as much as I’d like. I am also a graphics designer in my spare time, as well as dabbling a bit in website creation.

What advice do you have for EVE players who are struggling to stay motivated?

I recently had this problem (in fact, my new blog, and in fact this bio; is a result of it. I had been playing EVE for a while just to play the game and earn isk…instead of playing it to have fun. My advice would be that if you aren’t having fun…change what you are doing. Don’t be scared to trying something new, or of losing your isk…it’s a game, and it’s easy to make it back. Make yourself a list of goals (not just skill goals…) and work to achieve them…not by the quickest route…but by the most enjoyable one.

Sometimes it’s fun to jump in a quick frigate (with no implants in your head…jump clone anyone?) and head out into 0.0 just to see how far you can get one day…

Anything else to offer?

Not much really, just to mention that I love to chat, so if anyone ever has anything to say about my blog, or articles in it…feel free to comment, or contact me in-game. I also love to help out where I can. Plus, of course I’ll need to give a shout-out to the folks over at Syrkos Technologies…my corporation that I’ve been with for quite some time now…built for the loner that’s looking for friends.

Sex in Eve Online

Is there any?

I know there is in other games, where people can identify themselves with their avatars, and can remove clothes, dance, and engage in suggestive poses which have occasionally led to in-game 'sexual activities'.

I'm expecting similar things when CCP brings out 'ambulation', and we can all roam the corridors of stations in our underwear, or hang out in rooms and dance naked for the sweaty masses...

Hey, some people get a kick out that kind of thing...

But I'm interested in finding out if anyone's had 'cybersex' in Eve Online, where you might have engaged in hot and steamy chat with anyone else in the game.

Please leave your stories or thoughts or comments - and yes, you can select 'anonymous' if you prefer. :)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Punishers' new corp HQ

I realised tonight that I didn't have a corp office or HQ. How embarrassing! So I went to all the stations in Gelfiven (Molden Heath) that had medical facilities. Not a single one of them had any office space available!

So I went to Teonosude, and tried to do the same thing. There was one available, but the landlord wanted 10 MILLION ISK per month.

'Screw you, buddy!' I told him, walking away in disgust. He only shrugged, and went back to his sloppy meat pie. Unfortunately, there would be someone coming along soon, stupid enough to pay that kind of money. Not me though.

So I went back to Gelfiven and went to some of the stations that didn't have a medical facility. I found some office space, and for a good price of only 10,000 ISK per month. Much more reasonable.

So I now have a new office, and established a HQ there. I'll set up the corp hangars later tomorrow, it's not like I need them just now.

But if anyone wants to join The Punishers, at least now they have somewhere to join and to operate from. They'll just have to use one of the other stations in the system as a place to store their clones...

The Punishers HQ: Gelfiven V - Joint Harvesting Food Packaging

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Eve Chick's Eve Blogger Profiles

Eve Chick has been hard at work with some changes to her blog, and it's very exciting to see what she's been doing! She's excited about promoting the Eve Blogger Profiles I've been publishing so she's done something really special to help supplement it.

Like my blog, she's got a list of all the Blogger Profiles that are published here, but unlike my blog, she's also included thumbnail screenshots of each of the blogs that are linked from the profiles.

Now how cool is that? Well, in case you're not sure, it's VERY COOL!

Go check it out - Eve Blogger Profiles.

And just 'cause I like using thumbnails too, here's a thumbnail of her page of thumbnails. :)

Thanks Eve Chick for helping promote the profiles!

Blogger Profiles #18 - Alexia Morgan

Welcome to yet another profile of an Eve Blogger! Please check out the list of Eve Bloggers so you can enjoy getting to know a few of the others as well.

I figured it was time to do my own blogger profile, so without further ado...
What is your character's name or handle?

Alexia Morgan.

What is your blog's URL?

Umm... you're here already. :)

How long have you been blogging?

Personally, I've been blogging before blogs existed. I started back in 1998, back when it was called 'online journaling'. Funny story is, when blogs came out I thought they were a passing phase, that the name was stupid, and that I wouldn't be seen dead writing a 'blog'. I was proud of my online journal. But then I turned my online journal into a blog back in 2004, I think it was. Or maybe 2005... and I've been blogging ever since. I don't mind eating my words. :)

My first real character in Eve was Black Claw, and I started blogging as him back in 2006.

What region of EVE do you mostly operate in?

Molden Heath. For some reason, it seems to be the best region in the galaxy, and it keeps drawing me back.

When did you start playing EVE?

I started playing in 2006 as Black Claw, and was immediately interested in the covert ops aspect of it. A great deal of my training and activities were based around getting into a cloak. It took a long time... In that time I went through a couple of corps before I started my own anti-pirate corp. I enjoyed recruiting, and got the corp to about 50 members before we were wardec'd by a pirate corp.

The experience was... enlightening. I practiced Sun Tsu's Art of War, which I'm a proponent of, and fought the war without combat. They were so much stronger than us, so we chose our battles and refused to fight when they had superiority. They got so angry, it was hilarious. That was when I started seeing the strange attitude of so many pirates (and even antipirates) that believe fighting even when losing is guaranteed is the only choice. We chose not to fight them where they were strong, and only fought where they were weak. As a result, they decided we were 'cheating', and hated us so much. We just laughed and laughed.

And then the NMTZ alliance (they don't exist any more) approached me and offered support, so we joined them and they immediately destroyed a number of the pirate corps' POSs before the wardec could be retracted. More hilarity ensued as they cried so much on the Eve forums.

Anyway, a number of my corp members left during that war, and I discovered I was betrayed by a trusted director who provided intel to the enemy because he didn't agree with my 'art of war' tactics, and preferred fights to the death. So instead of choosing to win, he chose to try and help us lose. I kicked him out as soon as I found out. Luckily he didn't take any corp assets before I could act, but I was shattered by having lost an ingame friend. Our relationship just wasn't the same after that, and we eventually stopped talking to each other.

Learning from the war, I decided to create a second corp that would focus on the antipirate activity, while the first corp would become the industrial arm. This would separate the 'carebears' from the warriors, and help focus combat where it could be handled appropriately. It worked well for a while, but then I left the game, having to deal with a number of real life issues (being retrenched from my job, moving countries, starting a new life and career as a consultant, relationship issues, father dying, relationship breakup, and so on...). It would be about 18 months before I decided to get back into the game.

I chose to send Black Claw to the 'dark side'. Where previously he had been a struggling antipirate, I decided he would find out what it was like to be a pirate. He had an interesting career, but after about 3-4 months of it, I decided that his ability as a combat character was majorly disadvantaged by his considerable lack of skillpoints. The 3 year old character only had 1.5 years worth of skillpoints. I decided to start afresh.

After a false start with another character, Alexia Morgan came into existence. As a new character, she had all the experience and knowledge of Black Claw, which brought a whole new aspect of character development into the game for me.

What do you enjoy about EVE?

Like anything else in my life, I enjoy the variety of things I can do in Eve. The careers I chose included hauler, trader, anti-pirate, pirate, bodyguard, scout, assassin, thug... The list goes on. I'm currently training up to be an explorer, and I'm considering the option of being an 'explorer for hire'. There are going to be people out there who want wormholes found, but don't have the skills or interest in finding them themselves. So I'll be doing it for them instead. This also includes being available to scan down mission runners, and various other anomalies throughout the systems.

Who knows what I'll be doing later this year, or next year. That's what I love about Eve, how you can always find something to do if you only take the time to look.

What is your playstyle?

I'm not really sure what my 'playstyle' is. I guess I've always preferred solo play, and that's led me into solo piracy in the recent past. I like to know what I'm doing, and if I don't, I'll research and train and practice until I do.

I hate grinding in a game, and will avoid it like the plague. I rarely rat, and I never mine. I'll do combat missions to increase my standings or get certain rewards, but I've found other sources of income ingame that allow me to avoid grinding. This is good.

I'm strongwilled and independent, which is why my only choice is to have my own corp. I can never answer to anyone else. I am my own authority, I answer only to me.

Do you play any other games?

None. I used to play World of Warcraft for a while... but I had to stop when I realised that it was making my brain shrink. The grind, the grind! It made my brain leak out my ears! So I came back to Eve.

What do you blog about, and why?

I enjoy blogging about my adventures in the game, and I enjoy writing articles that help others get something more out of the game for themselves. I try to encourage more people to play, and by writing guides and helping them improve their gameplay, I'm hoping that I'll encourage current players to hang around longer. I enjoy being of assistance to others.

Since CrazyKinux started working on the Eve blogging community, I've thrown myself into that as well. I love writing, and I love being part of a writing community about a game that I love. So my blog has become something of an Eve 'blogging community' site. I promote other bloggers and their blogs with 'blogger profiles' and Twitter. I enjoy finding out about other bloggers and players, and I love helping everyone get to know all the members of the community.

What are your other interests?

I have quite a few... my personal blog has a lot of articles on personal development and self-analysis, and understanding relationships better, so they're certainly interests of mine. I also delve into photography quite a bit, and I love driving and travel. I love getting to know new people and understanding what makes them tick. Which is a little odd, 'cause I'm quite an introvert... I don't believe in religion, but I'm quite a spiritual person and I follow my own understanding of spirituality. I also write about all of that on my personal blog.

I'm also a huge fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Battlestar Galactica, and movies related to sci-fi and cyberpunk. I'm a roleplayer, having been playing D&D (on and off) for over 20 years, but also doing Star Trek email roleplaying, and various other tabletop systems like GURPS (love Vampire the Masquerade!).

What advice do you have for EVE players who are struggling to stay motivated?

I think the reason you're struggling to stay motivated might be because you don't know what options you have available to you in the game, and it confuses you as to what you could be doing, or how. There's so many options available, what do you choose!? Too many options can overwhelm people, and make them decide that choosing nothing is the easiest.

I'd recommend you talk to people, read some of the better blogs out there, find out what people enjoy for themselves, and see if anything really inspires you. When something inspires you, talk to those people who are already doing it. Get to know them, ask if they'll help you. I'm sure they'd be only too pleased to do so!

When you start interacting with people who are doing the same thing you are, and you're all enjoying it together, that's when you can find the real joy in this game.

Of course, the other option is that this game just isn't for you. I have a friend who wants to play a game just to 'smash' things. He doesn't want to have to think about it, he just wants to smash. Eve is too much of a thinking person's game, so it weeds out the ones that don't want to think.

And that's ok! There are games for all kinds of reasons. You need to find a game for your reasons. If you think Eve fits into your reasons, find people to help you do what you want to do.

Immersion is the key too, I think. If you can't immerse yourself into the game, you're not going to get a lot out of it. Eve is a game you can really dig your teeth into and get a lot out of. If you just play around the edges of it, and don't immerse yourself into it, then you'll wonder why you're playing. It's not the game that's at fault though, it's just that you're not getting into it.

So find a reason, immerse yourself into it, or find another game. Those are your choices. :)

Anything else to offer?

Start your own blog! Write about your adventures. Share the love! Get your experiences of Eve out there, so that others can stumble upon your writings, get excited themselves, and join in. Help build the player base, and the community. Participate.

See you out there in space!

Monday, February 2, 2009

An interview with the Duckeye

I get to meet a few people here and there in my travels, and sometimes I enjoy interviewing them. It's amazing the things you learn about the people you meet when you ask them some deeply personal questions. The latest interview is with a fellow called Duckeye. He wanted to marry me. So of course I had to interview him to distract him!

Thanks for agreeing to the interview, Duckeye. But first, I'm curious - what do you want to achieve with being part of this?

Doesn't hurt to be as known as possible... the more known you are, the deeper you get rooted into the world of EVE.

Why do you want people to know of you?

One small step for duck, one huge detraction for mankind... no point in doing something unless you can be the champion in what you strive, best way to do that is to create your own criteria

Speaking of steps, why don't you tell us a bit about yourself and what steps you've been taking over the years.

Well hmm, lets seeeee... I joined Eve, thought it was fresh and new, played by myself in a nonsexual manner for about half a year just learning the game and getting up the ship ladder. I just killed things and treated it like an item and money collecting MMO like pretty much damn near everything else out there...

My first corp was just empty, second corp had an asshat for a ceo, third corp had potential and there was an elitist core that I enjoyed, although their CEO was an asshat as well (notice a trend?). The core kinda left and created their own corp which I was a part of for a good while, but they don't mingle in the racial channels like I do. But this is boring crap...

Oh, before the core left, one of their alliance mates let me use a freighter since I started fiddlin' with the trade system. I kinda accidentally stole it though... That freighter pretty much started what I have built up now, although I don't even really need it anymore... you'd be surprised at how easy it is to have your stuff moved when you post 74 x 120,000 m3 courier contracts at one time for a 1.5M isk reward for each contract, especially when what you paid them ends up only being 2% of the total profit you gain from selling the crap they move...

How do you 'accidentally steal' something?

I kinda put it somewhere, forgot I had it... then I told him that I gave it back. Things got confusing and everyone was getting violent and loud and I didn't have my puffer, so I decided to sit on the sidelines for awhile until the core of the corp I was in left, and I went with them...

Quit staring at me like that, I really forgot I had an 800M isk ship, I swear... hehe... By the way, you'll notice that I like dots...

Let's get back to something you said... Your puffer? But you're in a pod...

I don't roleplay very well... Last time I roleplayed I kinda blew up a friends 'geddon because it was yellow. I decided at that point it was wise to quit while I was ahead.

Ok, but that doesn't have anything to do with a puffer... umm.... Oh, forget it. So anyway, what would you say are some of your greatest achievements in the past?

A 21 billion isk wallet (not counting billions in material investment and asset owningeness) that I gained through safesec trade... Kinda nice gaining money in a legit way while sleeping or going to the movies... 7 billion isk a month profit is about average but I'm very lazy...

Not like I need the money anyway, I'm a rich guy sitting all alone in a docked officer fit 'phoon, spending all his time either hanging in public chats or killing people in creative ways because he doesn't play well with others... Well thats on duck anyway, I have about 10 alts that I use to have fun with... Things like creating a noob corp, recruiting 178 new players in a couple of weeks, then telling the entire corp that you're moving the corp to another region and would like to move everyones ships and items for them in one or two movements using your "shiny new freighter", and then stealing everything they all own before constantly killing them over and over until they quit or leave the corp... you know... fun stuff. It's not like I needed their stuff

And... how is that fun?

I dunno, first thing that popped into my head was:

Ok.... Well, thanks for that... So what goals do you have for your future?

I used to have a goal, trying to remember it... Think it was something along the line of creating one giant huge Empire corp under the protection of my own alliance tag that did not have any rules in any way and were free to kill whoever they wanted, even each other... I'd have to go through my notepad... it was something like that though.

Well, either that or becoming an adult diaperwear model... which is a bit more personal and I'd appreciate it if you'd stop touching my leg until after the interview.

Oh, you're no fun... anyway, they have adult diaperwear models??

In Japan they do. They also have vending machines that sell used Japanese schoolgirl panties... I kinda have a collection... anyway it's very possible for me to pull something like that off.

It's not hard for me to accumulate hundreds of new players in only a couple of weeks like I've said before, especially once CCP releases the game back in box form on physical shelves... a giant wave of wreckless anarchy would be fun in the world of Eve, especially when I can ride at the top of the wave.

...or maybe I should go back to wardeccing people. It's fun using alts to land on top of targets or pulling the old "sneak an alt into the enemy corp a couple weeks before the wardec so you can create drama and kill the corp from the inside as well as the outside" kind of griefing. It's pretty fun fraping a video of me self-destructing a CEO's personal carrier and then sending it to him from duck after the war is over because he thought that one of his "used to be corpmates until leaving on recent violent terms due to a misunderstanding that I had created" friends stole it instead...

Do you have any strong opinions on any of the changes that CCP has done or plans on doing?

It's the fear that makes people not want to go into lowsec or 0.0, the fear of whats on the other side of a gate. The concept of being required to travel through a public common meeting point in lawless space is a fundamental flaw.

This is a major reason why small unit operations aren't even practical anymore, it's getting to be more and more about chokepoints and the blob... all based on how systems are connected to one another and by how we travel.

And CCP knows this, thats why they have been releasing things like jump bridges, black ops, stealth bomber AOE's, giving transport ships the ability to jump, etc. etc... They are trying to make the world of Wve more fluid and less restricting, but these are just bandaids at best. Once an alliance can field 30 titans into one fight, things are in drastic need of a change.

Right now EVE is pretty much a seriously long string connecting thousands of bubbles to one another, you warp from one side of the bubble to the other and jump through, traveling through the string thats connected to another bubble... but in an ideal Eve world, at least in my mind, the string would be eliminated and all of the bubbles would be combined into one huge bubble... Jumping would be replaced by a new form of warping, and local would be replaced by a new version of the built in scanner we have now... No more static blindpoints, solo and small group tactics become more feasable...

Unfortunately CCP is having problems with how server information is being handled as it is and totally revolutionizing one of the fundamental aspects of EVE is never going to happen... But thats my only complaint. CCP hasn't solved their problem yet, but they are workin' on it and I just hope it comes soon.

So how long have you been playing Eve Online?

Damn near 3 years.

How do you make your money?

I basically look at porn while it rolls in... I also like to keep secrets...

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Alexia, you must come with us as we manhug and cry through the forest... it is our destiny, so that we may get in touch with our true man emotional manselves, we will walk through the forest and look at the treetops and cry as we play the drums... I think I may call you "Cloudchaser"... and Cloudchaser I think of you as a friend, may I touch you? Perhaps a backrub... or maybe I can fix you a Hot Pocket or a pan of brownies...

By the way, for the ladies...I'm a *UNKNOWN* year old duck lover, that dropped out of highschool and has never driven a car or held a job before, seeking a middle aged PVP goddess with an Irish-Ukrainian mixed heritage accompanied by a dominant melanocortin-1 receptor MC1R gene variant and doesn't have a life like myself...don't hesitate to send me something like...nude photos...or something over evemail, I'm a very lonely fella with a big wallet.

Ok... thanks for the interview duck... And to the rest of you, I'm sorry. Really. I hope you can find it in your hearts to one day forgive me.

Snapshot of Eve - 2 February 2009

Welcome to the latest snapshot of the major topics that people are discussing within the Eve Online forums. To see other snapshots, click on the 'snapshot' tag in the Tag Cloud. The rules of the snapshot are here.






Sunday, February 1, 2009

Eve Bloggers on Facebook!

As a result of me realising that this blogging is, to an extent, becoming 'all about the Eve bloggers', I've created a new Eve Bloggers group in Facebook.

So if you're an Eve blogger (or you enjoy reading their work), and you're on Facebook, then please join the group and add your input!

It would be great to see you there.

The Eve Online blogging community

I think this blog has evolved pretty quickly to become not only a repository of my adventures (of which there have been none lately!), but also a repository of the Eve bloggers out there.

Where else can you go to find information about the players behind the blogs? Nowhere else, as far as I know. You can only find them here.

So please, link back to the Eve Bloggers on your own blogs, and maybe place a permanent link on your site back to your profile if you've had it published on this blog. (If you haven't had your profile published yet, please make sure you fill out these questions and send them to me!)

Let's spread the word, and make this blog about getting to know the players who blog about Eve.

Blogger Profiles #17 - LightTraveler

Welcome to yet another profile of an Eve Blogger! Please check out the list of Eve Bloggers so you can enjoy getting to know a few of the others as well.

LightTraveler is new on the scene, and I was honoured that he contacted me to have his profile on here. Awesome! I hope it helps increase his exposure, 'cause his blog is pretty cool! It's about one of my favourite subjects right now - Eve Online Wormholes.
What is your character's name or handle?

LightTraveler and Star Defender

What is your blog's URL?


How long have you been blogging?

Many years, but this is my first EVE blog

What region of EVE do you mostly operate in?

Isinoka and Irmalin (Khanid region)

When did you start playing EVE?

March 14, 2008

What do you enjoy about EVE?

Depth of the game, the quality of the players and the variety of options to pursue new EVE careers over time. It is also more intellectually challenging.

What is your playstyle?

My EVE time is inconsistent and "as time allows", which influences how and what I can focus on in-game. As such, missioning, exploration, and region defense are my primary focus.

Do you play any other games?

I used to enjoy a broad variety of games, all the way back to Zork I (dating myself, eh?), but EVE is, shall we say, time consuming? None others at this time.

What do you blog about, and why?

I just started the EVE Online Wormholes blog to chronicle the upcoming addition of unstable wormholes to the EVE Universe. I have benefited from many other blogs as I have grown my EVE character(s) and was looking for the right topic to return the favor...

What are your other interests?

I own a venture-funded business, so EVE is an outlet for me - other interests are my girls (3 of them), my wife, and coaching select fastpitch girls softball.

What advice do you have for EVE players who are struggling to stay motivated?

Consider new careers, join a (different) corp, move to a new region. It is amazing how you can forget how expansive the game is - even moving your operations to a region less than 12 jumps away can introduce new variables (and new sights).

Anything else to offer?

Was fun to stumble upon your blog. I like your "in-character" posting style.