Thursday, July 31, 2014

Rambles in July

Phew! Serious posting is exhausting stuff. Time for a skip post.

I Want My...

I want my killboard to tell a story
of the things that I can and have done.
A story of adventure,
A journey past a thousand suns.

I want my story to tell people,
of the places I have gone.
The planets I have stared down upon,
The dreams that I have known.

I want the places where I have been,
to map my story out.
I want them to scream and shout,
about all the things I've been going on about.

I want my places to create a history,
I can write about.
One where all the learning,
Is worth what it took to gain.

I want my twisted, winding path to
let everyone know what I once did.
I want to laugh instead of sigh,
I want the story to be mine.

I want my killboard to be a journal of
the things I've done.
I want a record that I can hold close,
to hold why I went and took that fight.

I want all of this to be a part of my daily game,
One that I can blame,
all the good days on.
Flying from dusk till dawn.

What my killboard is to me is memories of each day,
Days where I have played,
The people who made my day.
The reasons that I played.

(Inspired by Bren Genzan)

Splinted Questions

On mornings, much like this one, I will curl up at my desk and sip tea as my mind crawls towards clarity. During those muzzy times when morning strangles my thoughts, I often give myself simple tasks. A lot of TCS work gets done during these times. The maintenance takes time and energy but it is not particularly complex.

I pull of Eve Mentat, I roll through what has fulfilled, I buy it and ship it to Rens. Once my items hit Rens I pick them up in my own hauler. I then lug them to Teon. From there, I transfer them into my jump freighter, make sure I am fueled, and wait.

I log on my account that will handle the cynos. She has a stock of rookie ships, cynos, and a stack of liquid ozone beside her. She has learned Cyno to IV so she does not need cargohold expanders. If local is calm, she makes a fleet with the jump freighter pilot, warps to a tactical, warps to the cyno spot and pops the cyno.

The jump freighter jumps in, docks, and unloads. If I am moving a large volume of items, the jump freighter jumps back to high sec and picks up a second load. Due to the size of Teonusude, it takes a bit to warp across it. This gives me time to recover from the slow slide out of warp onto the gate that I expect to fail every time it happens, abandoning me to die. I then pick up my items and hop back out to the cyno. Before the warp speed nerf I could make three trips on one cyno. Now I can make two.

If I have other things to do I will have to make multiple stops. I have a personality quirk that makes me feel wasteful to self destruct cynos. So, I sit through the ten minute cycles. A singular run can easily consume about thirty minutes of time with just the jumping around.

Now, I lay out all of this because it is my very regular morning logistics run on my days off of work. It is not a complex task but it takes number of steps and a certain amount of preplanning. If I don't do these things nothing happens. It is neither hard nor easy. It simply is done or nothing happens.

Do I have an entitled right to stock Bosena in the method that I detailed above? The steps detailed above work with my available time and available assets. If any step were removed, I'd have to replace it with something else. But, how many steps would have to be removed before Bosena crumbled?

Yesterday, I was reading over something at the request of someone, that asked about the ease of logistics with jump freighters. I asked them, "Do you do a lot of logistics?" And I asked that question because my concept of logistics has changed greatly over the last two years. It has changed so much that I do not know if I can clearly see the problem or if I am blinded by the methods I use to keep what I do up and running.

Do I have a right to run a low sec market like Bosena? If my jump freighter were taken from me today and I had to go back to freighter jumping or building to get assets in, would I? If the calls to nerf jump freighters because they are 'easy mode' and '100% safe' happened, would I still stock Bosena? And then, does my ability to stock Bosena matter enough to be part of the argument?

I am often told, "Risk, Sugar. I can't easily kill your jump freighter unless you make gross errors. That means your logistics are to easy and should be much harder. With greater chances to kill you and take all of your stuff plus destroy the ship that you make your lively hood off of everything will be more balanced and more better."

An argument I often make is, "If you take it away will people continue to do it?" I was told that the microwarp drive + cloak trip makes moving ships through low sec to easy. "It must be nerfed. It is too easy. They pass through gate camps with zero risk. They have to make mistakes to be caught and therefore it is too easy."

Like the logistics of a jump freighter, if you remove it, will it continue to happen? If you took away my ability to jump things would I still spend a large amount of my game time building a market for the low sec region to use? Would it be worth my time? Am I such an incredible, caring person that I would sink billions into losing ships constantly or alarm clock myself to move a freighter in the deadest part of the regions timezone to move things to the station for the convenience of other people? I am sure that I could find other ways to make ISK myself if it was about the ISK.

Or would I do something else? Or would I continue to fight for what I believe in? And if I fight for what I believe in does that not mean I am attempting to demonstrate its importance and value? If I did something else, would that mean things were out of whack in the first place? Would it mean that low sec should not have markets and it is the broken logistics of jump freighters that makes it happen. Would it mean that the game would be better without large markets supported by jump freighters and they would live off of what I moved by the Viator or Occator full instead?

What do we lose? What do we gain? The problem is so opaque to me right now. I worry that I am too deep in my world view of what logistics takes me as an individual to accomplish. I know what I need to do to make what I do work. I have a enormous amount of belief in the good of what I accomplish with the tools that I have. Yet, those views are what mold my perceptions and reactions. But then, things are not just about me, are they?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Opportunity Taken

Rykki was slipping around in low sec looking for exploration sites and being nosy when she said, "An offline POS with a SMA, Corp Hangar, and labs."

"Oh really? I have some Oracles for you." Because, never not Oracle.

The spot was only a handful of systems away from Molden Heath. I started to deploy accounts and tell Rykki who to invite to fleet. Alt army activated.

Off went a scout, then Sugar and Pixie for Oracles and Chella to haul things. Having an alt army is useful and a well trained alt army is even better. With full saturation I can fly most of the ships in the game. Chella can even nab Nyxs and Aeon's if such a chance ever were to happen.

One can only dream.

I had a bit of adrenaline as I moved all of my accounts. I am scared of high sec. I have no kill rights. Yet, I've died so many times running through as an outlaw that moving Sugar around high sec feels weird and wrong. But the target system was snuggled up against high sec.

My scout hit the system first. Rykki was scouting the rest of the towers. I slipped her in and sent her to the tower to provide a warp in for my Oracles. People were moving through the system but it was mostly dead. Rykki was heading off to grab a Tornado. I had no idea how much damage we'd have to put on these things for them to die.

My hands were shaking. I got everyone docked, waited for local to clear, and sent my Oracles in. I dropped safe spots on the way in. There was no station in the system and I'd have suspect timers and dock timers. I landed on grid and started targeting things. Just as Sugar started to shoot someone from a corporation I recognized came in. I spooked, took the Oracles off grid and waited.

I find that these are the moments when it feels as if everyone knows what you are doing. Of course they knew I was multiboxing a POS bash. They knew I was in a complete position to be tackled and my little fleet wiped out. Of course they were scanning me down and coming for me. I knew this. It was what was happening.

Then they left system.

I was still shaking and chuckling at myself. With them gone I headed back and started to take down the modules. To my disappointment the POS was mostly clean. The Corporation Hangar was empty. The labs were empty. The container that said ore was empty. However, the ship maintenance bay had a surprise.

A Procurer. Gleeful, I dumped Chella's Viator in the high sec station, jumped her in, and scooped it up. I learned about launching ships from containers as well. With the Procurer in space, Chella slipped into it and took it back to high sec. I let her scout for me and jumped my suspect flagged Oracle's back in as well.


Poor Rykki was on her way back with a Tornado. However, I killed everything before she made it back. There was a Griffin just floating there, unmanned. I killed that to because its a Griffin. I felt a little bad as I docked everyone up. A little bit greedy. But, you have to take opportunity when it is right there. She forgave me.I let my flags tick down and myself calm down. Rykki now has a shiny new Procurer.

Then someone recognized my name in local and said hi. I said hi back. I was sure they knew I had just gone and stolen things. I knew everyone knew. Or, not really. Well, a few more know now.

I was proud of us. I was proud of me. I think I'm getting a bit better at the getting up and randomly doing things, thing.  Of course, now I need to finish the logistics that I dropped everything to do.

But I had fun.

Sorry, Rykki...

I'm Bad at Station Trading

There are things that In have never been able to get s hang of in Eve. One of them is station trading. That may sound odd to some. I run a market. I actively engage I. Market PvP at times. Why can't I station trade?

Well, I have two problems. One is patience.

I was liquidating things in Jita. Stuff accumulation starts to make you fear you are a hoarder. Liquidation is good for the wallet. I had stacks of things almost smothering me so it was time to send it to the wild to smother someone else. I believe in sharing.

I listed my stuff a bit under the lowest sell and walked away for a week. After a week I came back to look at my orders. They were snuggled in a deep cacoon of non-movement about 100k ISK deep.

I cut all my prices down to buy orders. Dumped my items and walked away. And I was happy. I don't care that I lose a few million ISK. The .1 ISK wars make me want to run the other way. So they win. Good game, etc, etc. I don't have the patience.

My second problem is taking risks and chasing the margins. For those who are good at it itnisnrisk free and sensable. For me, it is like selling lemonaid under a bridge on a deserted highway. I just can't seem to make the good decision.

My own market was a lot of trial and error. I simply took both the trial and error in small teaspoons. Those teaspoons are great for trial and error but not useful when trying to push a cruise ship aka make profit by station trading.

I am still bad at the station thing.

Monday, July 28, 2014

A Handful of Sand

Oh, Sov Null. How the thought of thee lingers on the lips that speak into the wind. How the thought of thee sweeps like a fire across a droughted field. It is a ravenous thought that consumes with the greatest hunger. And from the depths doth this coalesce and rip the very life from all other thought. -Sugar Kyle, the Weight of Sov, Chapter III.
On twitter, a conversation appeared. A bold player asked a question. Taz, of Stay Frosty started a twitter conversation that caught fire across #tweetfleet. Twitter is an interesting chatroom for Eve online. It is a twisted read that ranges across a myriad of thoughts, opinions, reactions, and belief. To break down to a very simple form, Taz asked why doesn't the rest of Eve rise up and overthrow the 'problem' groups of Eve.

Taz made a simple point. The complete whole of the game is greater in numbers, assets, and ISK than the sum total of the largest groups. If people banded together they could storm the power holders and break the grip that they hold. It is a very clear point.

The problem is that no one cares. Or, to not over exaggerate and create absolute statements at the same time, the sum total of people needed to take on this task are not interested. I know that I am not interested in overthrowing Goonswarm or PL or even the New Order. If you laid that before me and told me that now, my game play would have to be to take out these groups and all of my thoughts, energy, and focus would need to go towards this new goal, a goal that I'd have to complete with strangers I know nothing about, I might go and find another game to play will its over. I suspect many other people will.

It's not my problem. NIMBY applies here. While the issue of the null sec stagnation is one that affects the entire game, it is not my problem. Not on the level of lifting up my Jaguar's and rampaging into null with a disorganized herd of tens of thousands of players to evict a group I am not interested in. And it sounds terrible to say it that way. I could coat it and rub a little vanilla and cinnamon on it and serve it over ice cream but it would still be the same issue.

Even if Sov were to be fixed tomorrow, the dominant groups are of no interest to me and to unseat them from the thrones they have built for themselves is not the game that I wish to play.

You see, I consider myself somewhat up to date on Eve. I read my dev blogs. I read patch notes. I stay connected with the community. I believe that I am an active and involved player. Yet, when you say to me rise up as part of the Eve community and overthrow this other part of the community I find myself blinking and going, "No thank you."

Taz's topic also addresses only one of the issues on the table. That issue is the one of the entrenched power blocs. The second issue is unaddressed. That is the mechanics that led to the stagnation. Even if we cleaned the slate and cast PL and Goonswarm from Heaven the same situation would only happen again. We'd be delaying the future some but the same future would reemerge with different names and faces.

But it is both an issue and a valid question. It is just that, well, teamwork requires a lot more than a somewhat large, goal on the horizon. One would have to go all the way back and address the lack of global awareness possessed by large chunks of the player base. And that awareness comes with its own cascading questions of, "Is it wrong for them not to be aware?" and then, "Should they care about evicting goonswarm and PL?"

I can't say that they should care. I can't even push awareness other than wishing people at least kept up with the changes going on. It could be said that PL and Goonswarm (at least Goonswarm with their High Sec Arm) affect even those solo pilots, but... well... okay?

True activism is very personal. I've discussed wanting to save the world. To do so, I will need to create a plan and attempt to implement it. But, I don't expect everyone to get on board with me. I expect some people to actively contest me. As much as I think helping new players is an incredibly important thing I cannot bring myself to attempt to expect the responsibility to be taken up anyone who is disinterested in it.

I think that there should be engaging gameplay that would cause groups with the interest to evict Goonswarm or PL to take on the task. I cannot, however, support a global crusade. To many people don't care. There are players who do not know who these two groups are. It is easy sometimes to drown in the meta game and forget that Eve is full of pilots who undock in their ships, enjoy the game, and log off without a word ever being said or an article ever being read. And they to are playing Eve.

A Look at the History of Expansions - Part Thirteen

A Look at the History of Expansions the Series

Previous Entry: Revelations II

The Summer of 2007 was a quiet one. Summer is vacation time in Iceland and the CCP offices filtered out various, media focused information for E-ON and  Eve TV. It was not until the second week of August before things picked up.

Revelations II was part two of a three part expansion arc. The third part, Revelations III, would become known as Eve Online: Trinity. CCP is about to undertake a project of huge, internal magnitude. They are updating Eve's graphics to the Trinity Engine.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

CSM9 - Day 84

Crius is released.
The new Thukker POS module is out in the wild, waiting to be found.

Yes there is now a NPC Tax to use your POS. Several mails came in last weekend and even Monday as people read the patch notes and found out that there was going to be a POS tax. I personally saw it as an ISK sink. Then, CCP Fozzie wrote a detailed answer as to the meanings behind the NPC tax on POS manufacturing. Like or hate it, it is here to stay. I am not fond of having a tax in my POS.

There are some new taxation options on the corporation POS as well.

“I need access to a corporate wallet to build from my POS!” This came up immediately and I was embarrassed to have missed that particular problem. Like many people, I use an alt corporation to do my industry. My alt corporation is just me or it is me and someone else and we all have access to everything. This is a very common thing so when Crius went live, people who used their mains to also do their industry but had no corporation wallet access, suddenly needed it.

The use of a corporate wallet to pay for a POS fee makes sense on a structural level. The problem is that Eve players do not use their corporations in that way. Corporations are often social groups and the corporation functions are used to help support various things we are doing. But, because this is Eve and everyone can steal everything stuff is locked down and we do not share well due to the current state of corporation roles. This means that our industry tends not to be a corporation project and access to something like a wallet for the average member isn’t going to happen.

The solution, of using alt corporations is one I’d like to discourage as the automatic default. I believe that our habit of fragmenting into alt corporations for everything is a symptom of the current corporation mechanics not being able to keep up with what we, as players want and need to do. I don’t want people to feel as if they cannot do things to sustain themselves inside of their personal corporation and feel that they have to go off to alt corporations and maybe come back together under an alliance. If they want to, that is great, but I’d love if it was not the default to just feel functional and secure. Please, do not confuse that with my not wanting people to have the option. Go for it. Have eleventy thousand alt corps for everything that you do. I simply want those who actually want to work together to have a better time of it.

On Tuesday, when Crius launched, I was asked if I prefer it to be my day off or not. I said that I prefer it to be my day off because people come to me with stuff. There was a lot of information to filter and sort. For those who want to keep up to date but are uncomfortable with the forums, remember that you can just read Dev Posts. They have a nice little block of text as well so you can pick and choose what you read. You can also click on the blue DEV stripe on their portrait to move to the next Dev post.

The other thing is that there are people who like Crius. I’ve received as much positive feedback as I have negative feedback.

CCP Seagull is the new Executive Producer of Eve Online. The Executive Producer job has gone unfilled for a long time. While she has been filling in the position that is not the same as it being 100% hers. Now it is. She also did an AMA (ask me anything) on Reddit. Susan Black gives a summary of some of the points made. There were a lot of 0.0 questions. They were not all answered. There were some nuggets here and there. She let loose the fact that there will be a sharable overview coming soon. That is one less thing to bite my tongue about.

“Sugar, industry didn’t interest me! What is next?” Stuff. Stuff is next. Per CCP Explorer people will be heading back into the office in August. He also listed the release dates and name list for the rest of the year and links to the Fanfest 2014 Keynote which also holds the 2015 release schedule.
3 Jun – Kronos
22 Jul – Crius
26 Aug – Hyperion
30 Sep – Oceanus
4 Nov – Phoebe
9 Dec – Rhea
Remember, every release is not going to be Kronos and Crius size. They will often be smaller. If a group takes six months to do a project they take six months. If they take three months or six weeks it will launch at that next release window. The old method was everything piling in for a six month window and onto the next thing.

And that has been the bulk of my week.

I was asked if I really spend four hours a day doing CSM stuff. The answer is, some days. If I include everything, the CSM eats a good portion of my time. From Skype to internal forums to external forums to chats, e-mails, eve-mails, and conversations. Even doing things like writing this weekly summary eats into time. Some days things are quiet but frankly, the CSM eats a lot of my free time and I’m fine with that. That is why I am here.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Stepping Past Memory

I just sold the first Loki that I ever purchased.

Memories are an odd thing in Eve. I'm not attached to this particular ship. However, it does have memories. When I made it, I made it to go ratting in null sec. I felt grown up and ready to have a cloaky, interdicted ship to slink around and work on my security status. I took it out twice and both times wound up being chased down in null sec. The same null sec that everyone told me was empty and no one ever went there.

I docked it up and never took it out again. I let my security status go instead. I plunged into flashy red and eventually leveled out between -7 to -9. Then Tags4Sec were introduced . Now, I don't no longer need to rat if I want to work my status back up. No more long days out in null sec grinding away for doing PvP. No more need for that ship. Yet, I've dragged it around with me even though I have not touched it for a year and a half.

What it did do is make me flip through some of my earlier blog posts looking for my few outings with it. I did not find any. I may not have written it then. I wrote more battle reports back then. I wrote what I thought I was supposed to write about. Every fleet I wrote about. It was my way and holding onto the fact that I lived in low sec and really did PvP. I do wonder if those posts are more 'about low sec' than my current musings on whatever. I do not think that it matters one way or another.

What a funny, wandering path time takes us on.

Weighting Want

Complexity for the sake of complexity is fun to theorycraft and talk about but not as much fun to live. I live a lot of theorycrafting these days and often times fascinating solutions are created that are so complex that I discard them. It is that entire 'playing a video game' part of Eve that I like to think about.

Today, I said that I'd love to have a personal savings wallet. I'd absolutely love one. I assumed that someone would say that having a personal savings wallet would make Eve to easy. It would make avoiding scams to easy. Anything that makes it easier for people to avoid harm is bad.

My defense to that was that we already have personal savings wallets. We call them alts or alt corporations. I know very few people who keep the bulk of their income, if they have stacks of liquid ISK, in their primary wallet. I do know people who have and one misclick in Jita corrected that for them.

It made me think of needless complexity. It is a current buzzword in the game. One example was the recent POS standings change. Someone said, "What about the grind?" I said that there are standings corporations and with a bit of research you can walk around the grind. Someone else said, "What about the standings corporations?" My response to that was that the standings corporations were a workaround for a mechanic that was not functioning as intended. If everyone ground up their standings and 'earned' their right to anchor that might be one thing. Instead, we pay people to run missions and share standings, or we pay someone to anchor, or we buy corporations with the standings present.

While a beautiful example of Eve player ingenuity it all circles around the fact that the system complex in a way that is not doing anything but creating intricate workarounds. I can understand being proud of those same work arounds but I don't think that means something should not change. I also think that our work arounds can often point to a problem that they are shielding.

I don't think the pitfalls in Eve should be the obscure mechanics. The PLEX scam is a lovely example. That scam you buy two PLEX, get the PLEX, and then have the PLEX taken away all in the same instance because of how the contract code works. The old Criminal Counters and Aggression mechanics where the same way. That means when I look at something such as, "I want a personal savings wallet." I ask myself if that will damage gameplay or remove a complex mechanic that is just there to be there.

To look at the skill queue discussion from the other day (fantastic comments and lots of thought and discussion), I had a few people tell me that a longer skill queue would make it easier for people to make character farms. My answer was that those people will already make character farms with the current hurdles. Are we actually doing anything to those people? Do we inconvenience the entire average population to stop people who will hurdle complexity?

It is similar to my arguments with Vov. Do we build mechanics to combat the most capable of min/maxer to neutralize them, or do we look at the greater audience and accept that there will always be people on both ends of the spectrum?

I ask these questions but my view is also stated. It is just that everything must be looked at from a dozen different ways.

I'd still like a secondary, personal wallet.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Piece of a Conversation

(A partial thought)

I was in a discussion where the question, "What did CCP plan for low sec when they made it?" cropped up. I chimed in and said, "I think that low sec just happened and we, the players, ran with it."

Eve is split into four basic areas. High sec, low sec, null sec, and wormholes. However, only two of those areas were part of Eve's original layout. That would be Empire Space and Null Security space.

Doing the history blogs has been fascinating. The original Eve had no COncord. That is well known. JUst as the fact that Concord was originally tankable. Before Concord there was faction police. Gate and station guns were put in later. The security status gradient was just that. A gradient. It seemed to affect resources and agents. Later exploration came along. It was somewhere around the development of things like Concord, criminal flags, and such during the end of the first year and into the second that low sec came into existence.

I may be absolutely wrong but I think low sec as its own, unique area, was unintentional. It was supposed to be more dangerous Empire. I've written before that there are 'themepark rails' under some of Eve's structure which is simply due to its age and growth. But, similar to the way that wormholes were supposed to be for day trips and not for living. Low Sec appeared as CCP started to mold New Eden.

I feel that it matches some of the irregularities. There are no barriers other than the popup when you jump into .4 sec. I'd love to find when that popup was added. Perhaps, I will. Consider that sov did not exist at first and null sec was just null sec. The dronelands were added at a later point. Faction Warfare was not an original addition as well. In a way, I think it was the start of defining Low Sec by CCP. Which also makes sense if one looks at the war mechanics and rules.

The entire purpose of rehashing that was that I got asked about my opinions on low sec by someone who wanted to quote me. Quotes feel weird. It is not that I am ashamed about anything that I say. It is that quotes feel weird.

I had been asked "What is low sec" and "Why do I think low sec is broken." My response was some of the above. I think that low sec grew into what it was instead of being created as what it was. Because of that it suffers. It seems broken because it is incomplete. They feel the same but to be broken is to have a mechanic that is not working properly vs not having any mechanic.

And mechanical was an important word to me. I said that sov null is a mechanical part of Eve. The groups there have learned those mechanics and used their talents and abilities to master them. The mechanical parts of low sec are more limited outside of faction warfare and I think that is a great thing.

I think that the unexpected organic growth is what gives the place so much individuality. If every area was created neatly by mechanics I believe we'd have a lot of overlap. People tend to use current mechanics they like to fix problems. That means you hear suggestions to fix Null using complexes similar to FW and to fix FW by using Sov type mechanics. Wormholers have to keep their sticks at hand to beat off people trying to remove the annoying feature that make wormholes what they are.

To me, homogenization is a curse word in Eve. I love that things are different. I want to preserve the differences because with it comes the ocean of opportunity that is gameplay.Null needs to be fixed. Low is starting to develop some definition. Wormholes need some petting. High Sec needs some new curtains. It is a constant game of work but whatever happens the areas of space need to maintain their individuality.

Phew! All Back

For anyone following my saga, my husband got me back up and running tonight. He walked me through troubleshooting the rack. From there we did the servers and eventually reset the router and reconnected the house from that, bypassing the servers. I was told that I did a good job. Smartphones are amazing. We use gtalk. I took pictures through various steps and rearrangements allowing him to verify what he needed to.

Fantastic stuff.

Some of the goodies I am used to off of the home network are not available. I'll live and we'll work on it more this weekend when he gets some time off.

He is bringing me chocolate. Dark chocolate. Lots of it.

Back to business!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Partial Hiatus

I came home from work today to half of my house not functioning. I had stopped at the grocery store and their power was out. I was not surprised when my own house power was wonky and my internet connection was down I live down the street from the grocery store.

I had to reset the breaker for my washer and dryer. After a bit, the internet started to somewhat come back up. My computer, older and not as happy as it used to be does not always handle rapid change. I rebooted it and when it came back it couldn't see the internet.

At the same time my phone could not switch over to the house WiFi. Irritated, I sent my husband a message to inform him that the house was down. He is in Sweden, building a data center site which is part of his job. He travels a lot.

Onto trouble shooting the problems. I went and checked the server rack. I have one in my garage. It has three servers in it, a switch, a wireless router, and some more magical things.


My husband is a DNS admin and the setup in my house is not simple. However, from the outside I can trouble shoot basic problems. After I did everything I knew and nothing would resolve he told me that he believes it is a software issue and he will have to fix it from his computer.

His computer is six feet away from me. It might as well be in Sweden with him. It would, in fact, be better off in Sweden with him because he could fix whatever broke because the power went out in his program.

Instead, I am in the internet Junkie's second worst nightmare. I have my phone still so it is not the worst nightmare and my computer still works meaning I can read, write, and play my offline games.

Where does that leave me?

I'll still write. I have my phone after all. I have plenty of things to write about. I can watch my Eve projects grind to a halt.

I can still do my CSM stuff. I can answer eve-mails. I can just not sit and chat in the evenings with everyone as I love to do.  I have such good discussions in the evenings. If the CSM has given me anything it is more awesome people to hang out with.

Sigh.

I'm comfortable with my internet addiction. Some people will say to me that this is the perfect time to go an do other things. I will roll my eyes. I am happy with what I do. I have a rather planned, life and I spend my time doing the things that I want to do.

I travel. I go out occasionally, but I am a happy homebody. I am not an extrovert and I often think of curling up in my huge reading chair and vegging out for the day. My main outside thing is swimming (my main form of exercise) and riding my motorcycle. The weather has been to hot, humid and awful for me to even enjoy going out on my bike so far this summer.

And as for being mad at my husband? Well, irritated? Yes. Mad? No. And it turned out that was a good thing because by his computer he meant his laptop and when he got back to his hotel we started working through everything. It involves a lot of pictures. These are the times I love technology. He tells me what to do, I do it and send him a picture. He confirms what I did and I do the step. I learn quickly and normally can repeat whatever he wanted once he shows me the first time. That means each time we have a problem it goes faster.

I have an hour before I need to go to bed to get up. It is three in the morning in Sweden and he to has to get some sleep. We will work on it tomorrow and he said that he has a backup plan if we cannot bring it back on line without him here. He told me he was a bit annoyed that I thought he didn't have a backup plan. Well, he has never discussed it with me!

Now you know my marital woes. Is this over sharing?

Such was my evening. I'll push through replying to comments and such. Expect an even greater level of typos and mistakes as I type my posts on my phone. Hopefully we fix this tomorrow.

If you can't wait to talk to me in game on gtalk I am ChellaRanier@gmail.com and for Skype I am sugar_kyle.  Thankfully this did not happen last week!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

To Stand in Line

MoxNix wrote about how irritating he finds his 24 hour queue to be and how much he'd like a longer one. This is a common complaint. Why is it so short? Why can't I just set my skills?

In the comments, someone mentions the time before there was a skill queue.

This dev blog by CCP Eris was written on February 4th, 2009. He opens with the simple line, "We're developing a skill queue." The dev blog continues:
While it´s cool that you can advance your character when you are offline, we did worry that if we introduced a skill queue some players might just set a queue for a year and become less active in EVE. That´s not what a massively multiplayer ONLINE game is about. EVE is a social game and we want you exposed to other players so you can start making legends out of you or corporation and strive for domination. A long abstinence from EVE would ruin this for us.
 This caused CCP to introduce the 24 hour skill queue six years into Eve's existence. Now, another five years forward we ask, "Is it time for a longer queue?"

The first request that I often see is an ability to change skills out of game. I will stand up now and say that I will not support skills outside of the game. I know that many people play Eve outside of Eve but I'm old fashioned. I believe that game play should happen inside of the game. That means changing skills and changing market orders. I will not support them outside of the game.

That said, I found myself wondering if a longer skill queue would be bad. It means people could plug in skills and forget. I can also see people spending their time building in their EveMon plans into the game and letting that ride. Right now they are built out of game or people just add what they think they should add whenever they do.

Unless they are like me. I've recently come to love long skills. It is one less thing to worry about as I do other things. It made me wonder if maybe a set up and forget about it queue wouldn't be a bad idea. I've also plugged in a lot of skills that I needed to learn that were not fun to learn. Without the expectation of that twenty four hour cycle I wonder if longer skills would become easier for people to learn.

It becomes a question of skill queue on line. The twenty four hour timer does not stop them. They log in, switch skills and log back out. And, to a certain extent I am not worried about the veterans. What I am worried about is the new players who already play skill queue online. I am not sure if they can be enticed into playing actively before their skills trained by forcing them to change them daily.

And, there is the baby sitting topic. If someone could set their queue for the foreseeable future, such as the summer or next six months, many baby sitting account needs would vanish. That is good. But, would the longer queue promote bitterness and lack of playing? That would be bad.

I have no answer as to what I want yet. Only some thoughts and a touch of history to finish off the topic. Eve is changing in many ways. We have multiple character training which we did not have a year ago. Time is one of those things that we do not get back, in Eve.

TCS: The Price of Neglect

When I started running my market I spent a lot of time attempting to figure out how to predict the market. What I learned is that I cannot. The flavor of the month is the flavor of the week. To rely on one thing to heavily is to overstock and have items sit and delist after three months. Then, as soon as said item expires, buyers appear out of the woodwork for that item.

It is a cycle only made worse by the moments I neglect the market. This last week, I have neglected things. I made a choice with my free time to spend it working on the last minute Crius input and with my newbie war dec. Bosena, which has a huge inventory, would have to suffer through the random shortages.

With Crius deploying and my war dec over, I am trying to catch up to Bosena. That proves harder than expected. I have been invited to random fleets. I have been shipping items to Rens and moving them to Teon in an attempt to save money. Time seems to vanish faster and faster and I'm falling further and further behind with stocking.

This has happened before. Vacations, deployments, bouts of overtime at work, all of them affect the market. Every time I catch back up. Sometimes it can take a few days to sift through everything and get it all relisted if it has expired and listed if it has not. There is a small amount of missed orders in Eve Mentat. Not enough to be irritating but just enough to notice. I'll work on catching those holes as well.

With it being patch day it will be a good day to sit in the station and work on market orders. I also need to make a final decision on my office. I've been moving things to Rens and I've been saving money but everything has developed a delay and it seems messy. I am giving myself more work than I want to in my effort to try to save ISK.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Ramblings: Inner Reflection

[TL:DR: Leading people is a big responsibility and I am serious person when it comes to responsibility, even with games. No YOLOs here.]

Defiance Fleet - Rykki's Reflections

I asked Rykki to write a guest blog to summarize this last week. This is her post. -Sug

Hi. I'm Rykki, and if you follow Sugar's blog you've been reading about my gang of kittens learning to defend ourselves. It's been quite a journey and I am nothing but pleased with the outcome so far. You see, I'm a self proclaimed carebear. It's not that I'm scared of PvP, it just doesn't get me excited. More than being a carebear, though, I'm an enabler. I started a corporation very early in my EVE career with the stated goal of “helping others achieve what they want to do.” Part of that involves finding players to help guide my newbies in things I'm not familiar with. Enter Sugar with all her lowsec and pvp know-how.

Fitting Ships

Ship fitting for newer players can be somewhat challenging. We all remember thinking at some point “If I put shield and armor modules I'll be even harder to kill.” It has taken us some work to get decent mission ships fit. Few of us had even considered that to kill other players we'd have to fit our ships differently. We learned that without a warp disruptor our prey will just warp off. We learned that to catch a ship something is needed to make us go faster. It's common sense to us now that a mission ship is not a PvP ship.

Losing Ships

For new, and especially PvE, players losing ships is scary. We spent time combing the market for modules to fit and have become attached to our ships. We see losing them as a failure. To lessen this blow I've been handing out PvP fit T1 Frigates free to anyone who joins the defense fleet. I'm pleased to say that every loss of the war so far has been calculated. We decided to engage knowing our ships could be blown up. If we weren't prepared, we avoided conflict. We have become skilled at getting our pods out safely. Every ship loss on the war report so far has been a pvp fit ship that knew it was going into battle. I'm quite proud of that fact. My corpmates are as well.

Low Security Space

If you've played EVE for very long chances are you see low sec as a place to do small ship PvP. If you're new to EVE chances are you see low sec as instant death and a place to be taunted for being terrible. A week ago the general consensus between my newbies was that they would never venture to low sec. That has changed. We know how to move around without being killed, we understand directional scan and creating safe spots. EVE has become bigger than just high security space for some of us.

(Killboard link: https://zkillboard.com/corporation/98224451/)

This Is Our Game

From experience most highsec wardecs usually end up with defenders hiding from the aggressors. Ship spinning is the order of the day for many a wardec'd corp much to the frustration of members who just want to play their game they've paid for. While we certainly aren't doing our regular activities we most definitely are playing our game. This war is on our terms. You could say that we've lost several ships and killed none of the aggressors ships so we are losing. You could say that. I say we're logging in every day and undocking ships ready to fight. I say we're enjoying this war tremendously. I say we're winning EVE because it's fun.

Meeting People

High security space is a strange land. There can be hundreds of people in a system and none of them talk to each other. Many times situations come down to who you know. Before we asked for help in this wardec our circle was pretty small. Sugar put it well when she said “One of the best outcomes of this will just be making a few connections for them. Eve should be much bigger when they are done.” She was right. We've already made connections. One of our members is considering joining public PvP roams. We might not be a huge force in this game, but we aren't alone anymore. It feels good to meet new people.

I've told my members in the past that war decs can be a good thing for us. This time a wardec has brought us closer together, taught us how to survive, and introduced us to new friends. It shouldn't be overlooked, also, that our gang of newbies haven't been the only ones to benefit from this war. Sugar Kyle, who I knew before as a blogger who took time to respond to fan mail has become our friend. She has also grown as an FC and as a player. I would gladly follow her into combat. She underestimates herself probably because she is surrounded by competent people. Little does she know that she is one of those who are quite competent.

Am I ready for this war to be over so mission night and mining fleets can be a thing again? Yes. Am I glad this war happened? Definitely.

-Rykki Atruin
Independent Praetorian Corp

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Defiance Fleet - Blob on the Loose

As was reported by the Gallente Militia, we ended the war dec in a blob. The defiance fleet was named 'Kitten Squad' and we had a few new faces who were also new to everything. We did have a ten day old character in fleet. He is looking to join Rykki's corporation and we put him into a frigate and dragged him along. He did a good job and I do admit that he was tossed in the deep end.

I logged in to a notification that the war would be ending in the morning

Most adorable quote of the night:
[23:27:39] Devin Tasker > We need to talk to the new guys about orbiting outgoing gates prejump and holding gate cloak after jump
There were a few newer, newbies in the fleet. People who will be joining tomorrow after the war dec ends and one person who was using an alt. I think that there are few things as healthy for an Eve veteran as a dose of happy, intelligent newbies. They share their joy of Eve in great, spoonfuls of innocent excitement. I'm a selfish creature and I find that I enjoy being reminded of the wonder that the game can bring in its early days. If I could bottle it up and sell it as a motivational drug, I would.

One more fleet. It has been a week and it has been a very long week for me between work, CSM, and attempting to learn how to FC. I had to admit, I was worried about taking them out on my own again. They had such a fantastic Thursday night and I wanted to give that to them again. Fortunately, Snuff Box was enthralled with them and Wex volunteered to take them out for Sunday as well. I can see how a newbie fleet was something new and interesting.

Let me give all of the thanks. So, when I got home from work Sunday evening I got Rykki moving them towards where I was. I was sitting in the system one jump out of low sec fitting up for the roam. I'd not moved since Thursday because work.

I turns out I am crueler to others than myself. Instead of leading the Kitten Fleet (tm by Rykki) I asked Rykki to bring them to where I was fitting out my ship. She is good at what she is doing, so it made sense to me. Yet, I realized, as I sipped my butternut squash soup, that I'd be having a spastic fit if the same thing had been asked of me a few months ago. I'm a jerk.

Perhaps the most unexplained thing that they learned was how rarely fleets start on time. With a new person on board they had to get teamspeak set up and fly the eight systems to catch up. That took a while. However, once caught up we dropped into low sec, consolidated our fleets and went to work.

It turned out to be a busy night. While trying to explain what was going on and not talk over the FC we headed off and started to catch and kill things. We blobbed targets. We got in fights. We held kills for the new players and got them on grid and into the action.

It is an odd thing, running the training fleet. I remember being there and not being able to lock anything in time. i remember always being behind and always being a bit confused as to what was going on. Wex has a very calm FC style and he does not tend to repeat himself. I have taken up the habit of repeating myself. However, riding herd on the newbies I found myself hanging back on the gates and making sure that they were caught up with what was going on.

None of this was about my killboard.

They did very, very well. With the large number of Snuff pilots the fleet tended to lean towards them doing their normal thing. This push meant we warped here and there and people kept getting distracted by everything they saw on dscan in an attempt to kill it. It meant that the newbies were getting confused by the constant warps and rewarps across systems as the destination changed over and over again.

It is easy to forget what you know and hard to remember to explain everything you remember. It took three kills for me to get the youngest pilot on a killmail. But, we got it done and he steadily improved as we went along. He also only got lost once and we were able to fix that quickly.

Speaking of getting lost, Devin wound up lemminging into a system with a flashy red Gnosis camping the gate. He said he was about to lose gate cloak and we realized he was not there. The Gnosis started to shoot him. He tanked it like a boss, the rest of us jumped in and it was a dead Gnosis after that. Pointed, and not really knowing he was pointed, Devin decided to just burn away from the Gnosis until he could warp off. Fantastic job all around.

I ran into Kelon from Eve Uni. He decided to charge the fleet and try to take something down with himself. The kittens are blue with Eve Uni and were told not to shoot them.

I also didn't want them podding people. I did not want them to come out of this with kill rights available to anyone. That involved me snapping at people who thought it would be funny to troll them into pod mails. I really, really try to be polite and inclusive and understand that different people have different levels of fun.

I, however, have been called humorless and when it comes to trolling and giving new players bad advice because 'lol it is funny' that shit is not funny nor is it even vaguely acceptable.  I feel like a bitch for snapping at a joke but well, maybe I need to be more of a bitch sometimes.

But, that is why you speak up and that situation was quickly resolved and I explained to them why I was so adamant about it. Right now I am making a lot of choices for them. i have to make the best choices that I can. Choices that will set them up to learn and not accidental ruin their game.

We also lost one to gate guns. They ran AFK for a bio-break right after the fight and they had taken gate guns. Welp. Lessons learned.

Off the fleet rampaged. We bumped into Kirith in a complex. That one was interesting. While deciding if we wanted to take four logistics ships repping a stack of Tristans one of our pilots just goes, "Weee!" and take the gate without paying attention. Talk over.

It was a very productive night. A big fleet, a herd of newbies in the center of it, and a lot of movement and action. I was ready to crawl into a dark corner and pass out after two hours. Two hours really is my fleet maximum. Top it off with working all weekend and I was very, very tired.

We wound up with a stack of loot that was donated to the newbies. With a hundred million in loot I split it between the five members that came to the fleet. They also went home with whatever they had stuffed into their cargo holds from looting the field.

The end results: https://zkillboard.com/corporation/98224451/

The last night was incredibly productive. I hope that they have had fun and will find satisfaction in this last weeks activities. I know that it has been an experience unlike any other I have had in game. I am deeply appreciative that they allowed me to join in and I hope that they've seen a bit more of Eve's potential.

I've convinced Rykki to write a summary and I have my own summary about learning to FC that will be posted shortly.

 But for now, I have written this post on my phone due to the house connection flaking out on me and its time to go to sleep at the end of this long, long week.

CSM9 - Day 77

Crius is due on the 22nd. This marks the second release for CSM9 and the first of the new, six week cycles. The only difference is that Crius contains the other half of Kronos. That would be the industry changes.

If you don’t have your reprocessing skills trained up for the new standards I suggest you spend some time reprocessing things you plan to reprocess before Tuesday.

This week has been about Crius. It is crunch time and all of the last minute details are popping up and getting hammered in. There is one, gigantic angry topic and that is the change to the Material Efficiency skill. CCP Greyscale has been active in this thread and soliciting player feedback for it. This skill change is going to come in after Crius in one of the patches the following week or so. It is not going back to what it was. No one is getting skill point reimbursements. Participate in the thread. Make your opinion on the topic and the future of this skill known.

Why the last minute changes? This is a big complaint. Why are they waiting until now to change some things such as the multiple modules in the POS and this particular skill? Because, going over and over and over it again, some of the usages were going to create problems. And it was pulled because pulling it is better than putting it in broken.

Last weekend, during my Eve Uni talk, Crius was a big topic. There is a lot of confusion and concern about what is going on. This is not a small change. This is also not a change any of us can neatly predict because everything is changing. And yes, a lot of people are mad about that. Industry is still going to change. Take some time to read the Crius release page and its condensed dev blogs.

CCP has been working on Crius. The CSM has been chasing around information we create and information brought to us. The threads, the mails, the messages, the usage cases, the fringe ideas. Yes, they all are being gone through. Kronos was like this as well so I am curious if the next release will be too or if this is because of the size of Kronos and Crius.

Faction Warfare NPCs are getting their damage reduced. I’ve been sitting on this one for weeks so it is nice to release that bit of information in the wild. It is tucked in the patch notes for Crius.

Some people have pushed thoughts of Crius aside and asked what is coming next. Stuff. Stuff is coming next. Some teams have been on vacation in June and July and they are heading back in. That means things are going to pick back up.

Outreach:

As part of my PvE things I’ve been talking to people about NPC null sec. While NPC nullsec PvE is a much larger thing, I’d like to get a few good discussions in with NPC null corporations before the summit.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Quiet Friday Night

It was a pang of guilt that hit me as I decided not to run a fleet on Friday. I had things to do, chores, and some little odds and ends that will occupy most of my short evening leaving me unable to sit still at my computer for an extended period of time to run a fleet. It turned out almost everyone was a bit worn out from the pace we have kept up and were ready for a laid back evening.

There are plans for tomorrow and I will scrape together something for Sunday. It all depends on how everything falls together. Spending the last, almost week in high sec has been a bit odd. I really, really do not know how to high sec. I'm constantly almost attacking things. I'm startled all of the time by the ships around me. Every time I see battleships land on gates I'm trying to figure out what is about to go down.

I find it just a bit strange. Sugar has spent little time in high sec as well. I find myself in a combat ship and I just cannot quite realize that I am not where I think I am. I've not spent very much time in this place outside my logistic runs. I understand some of the basics of it. I still find myself somewhat uncomfortable and not in love with it.

One of the upsides is that you meet people.


This tweet amused me because I was herding my fleet through high sec to meet up with the other half of the fleet in low sec. I do love the intertwined nature of Eve. From twitter to blogs and meets and chats we can all interact with each other in game. I've gotten volunteers that have come and joined in which makes the fleets a bit larger and gives a few more perspectives on the game as well as just having people meet new people.

One of the best outcomes of this will just be making a few connections for them. Eve should be much bigger when they are done.

As for me, I'm going to rest my voice and rest my thoughts. I have a lot to think about. Normally, at this point, I'd be looking for source material, guides, walkthroughs, and etc. "How to Run a Roam, FC 101". What to do... what to do...?

I'll figure something out.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Defiance Fleet - Kittens Making Kills

Tonight was guest FC night and the goal was kiting frigates and Wex volunteered to Fleet Command. 

We're halfway through the war dec and things are going well in my opinion. Well enough that I accepted Wex's offer to give me a night off and run the roam. He spent enough time in the militia that he is well acquainted to newbies. I decided to trust in them and trust that I've given them the foundation that they need to not be utterly confused and learn new things.

I also had some assistance. I had one volunteer who asked to come along on the roams and provide neutral logistics if we got into a high sec fight. I then had other members of Snuff overcome by curiosity on what was happening on coms dragged into the circle of helping newbies.

You see, Wex didn't want to use Eve voice. It created an opportunity to use and discuss Teamspeak and Mumble and its uses for Eve corporations. Most of them have already become used to chatting to each other so now comes are exciting. Setup took a bit but we got everyone into microwarpdrive frigates with long range guns. Our little fleet was meeting Wex's little fleet in low sec. We took a pitstop in Dodixie when Rykki managed to escape from work and catch up to us. We then lost a member to a real life interruption but picked him back up and got him scouted in.

Things are a bit different. We're moving a bit faster and our rate of losing people is increasing but our abilities are also increasing. Everything is going pretty well and a few systems in our scout managed to grab a Comet. We then blobbed the Comet. I felt a bit bad but being able to get my newbies a killmail was important. It is similar to mother cat's crippling their prey for their kittens I guess. 

I am sorry to blob you brave, solo pilot but it is for the better good of targets tomorrow.

I remember how fast the killing was when I first started and how often I missed the mails. Little things like targeting speed mean a lot. Our second pounce and kill died faster. However, Rykki joined me on the second mail. We lost Goodeius at some point. The commands were coming a bit faster and Wex does not do the repetition like I have. I found myself fretting a little bit but we managed to get focused and together to land our third kill of the night.

We learned that Sean has trained Advanced Looting to V, managing to scoop almost all of the wrecks. 

Our commands are adding up. We've gone to aligning, and cycling prop mods. Commands are run together, jump in, warp to fleetmate, activate gate, go to battle and they are getting done. There is still so much for me to learn too. But, each day gets better for all ofus.

In general, I expected to be a bit more embarrassed as the members of Snuff listened to me herd them through high sec. But I wasn't. Even when I was teased at my butchering and rearranging of the system names. I really do. Its awful. I'm normally proud of my dictation but that all jumps right out the window with system names in Eve. And, I don't care. Focusing on getting people where they belong is to important.

The end result was a good fleet where we blobbed people and our members learned something new and got some killmails. Some people may not approve of it but, again, I don't care. We're out here learning. They were able to feel what it is like when you don't die to everything you engage and I think that's important. I know that I worry they will become demoralized if all we do is die as we fight back.

It is daunting to try to carry other peoples gaming on your shoulder. I in no way feel casual about this particular responsibility. I'm happy that I was able to show them something more than what I have been able to. And what happens further down this learning road.

I may have some more help for the weekend since I will be at work. I'll see how things flesh out and we'll cruise through the weekend and finish out this war dec.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Defiance Fleet - Feisty Ventures

I realized, after I died earlier in the day that I am not used to the number of people in local that comes with being in high sec. My local window needs to be larger which means I have to restructure my screen real estate. There are normally twenty or more people in this system. I have a hard time dealing with all of the ship traffic and I thank CCP for the safety button for it has saved me more than once.

Today, we were actually being watched. One of the younger members normally mines to make his ISK. I asked him to down ship to a Venture and use the opportunity to pay attending to his surroundings. About a load of ore in he was landed on by a war target and warped himself out as soon as he saw him land on him. Plus one for clear, easy to read overviews. Of course, I promptly died to the same person about ten minutes later.

I decided to try out a Venture fleet as soon as we had a few people. They are fast, have inbuilt stabs, and they are quite agile. My idea is that they will increase a chance for someone to warp out. I'm mostly focusing on basic ship skills and awareness. I've received a lot of advice for ewar and adding logistics. I'd like to do those things but we are still on some very early steps.

Rykki is teaching me a lot about cat herding. I expect a new player low sec corporation is in my post-CSM future so I'm drinking in her experience. They flit in and out and buzz around ready to go but only half dressed. We have a lot of skills people are learning. And, I've decided to roll with it. We had someone learning two of their modules along the way. He learned to online his stuff in space. Some may not approve of it but I am more interested in getting them in space and doing things. The skill points are. for the most part. low.

I've received a lot of good advice. The hard part here is that we are starting at the very beginning. Today, we worked some on warping to fleet mates in space. Getting everyone oriented with their various windows is important. One person has picked up dscan like a natural. We had to buy skillbooks on the way and I used that as an opportunity to explain to them about orders on your route being yellow.

We dove into low sec again. I'm more comfortable and so are they. We haven't bumped into gatecamps and tonight, things were dead with many systems empty. Our Venture fleet was greeted in one system. We hung around at a small complex in case someone wanted to take a fleet after us. We met another group of Merlin, Thrasher, Punisher, Tempest on another gate. I kept the fleet away from the Tempest and orbiting to avoid the Thrasher. I explained to them about gateguns and why we were not taking fights on gates (everyone was neutral, where were the pirates?).

I'm using everything as practice. Selection a station to dock at, warping to gates, warping off of our autopilot while making sure they understand about the yellow marked gates of the autopilot. I'm stumbling over system names and trying to find a rhythm with myself with what to say and how I do things. Everyone is relaxing and low sec isn't that scary, instant death that it once seemed.

Rykki is great, she reminds them to turn on damage control units and helps me watch for people not making it to gates. There is a lot of attention for me. Where we are going. What is in system. Announcing, broadcasting, talking, and keeping track. Thinking of tactics almost feels easy. Almost. I'm just working off of instinct right now and trying to explain to them how I want to approach each situation and why.

But our low sec loop was very, very dead. We resurfaced and headed back home. On the last gate our war target was there in a Dramiel. Here was our fight!

When we landed he jumped. I set the fleet to orbiting the gate and told them our game plan. I told them not to chase him, he is going to be too fast. But if we could pounce on him and get him scrammed we would try to mow him down. As I got everyone ready he jumped back in and started locking them up. I told them to lock and attack.

At that point he started to burn away. I chased him down, got him scrammed and we swarmed him. Then we started to die. As I started to go down I called for a scatter. We managed to get one off. One member, who didn't fly with us the previous two days, got podded. He had an empty pod. "Scatter, scatter, scatter. Don't got to a station. Don't go to a gate. You have an aggression timer. I don't want anyone hung up on a station or gate." They did the right thing and got themselves safe and back to the station.

And our war targets response in local to the feisty Venture fleet's "gf" was, "you have to do better than that."

We were all reshipped but the war target logged off. Everyone kinda went afk a bit. Then one undocked his Abaddon to show it off. My advice was to dock it. A bump and he's off in space dying. But, they are tired of frigates and want to touch their bigger toys. At the end of the day it is his choice. Rykki saved the day and suggested they do some duels with each other to practice maneuvers. Good call on her part and that kept people happily occupied and working on their PvP skills.

"Are we going to fly something bigger?" I've been asked that a few times. Each time the answer is, "Not while I am FCing." I know that frigates are fragile and the fights are fast. We still have a lot of basic Eve values to learn before I am willing to up the dial a bit. I'm also not going to feed a war target cruisers. I'm happy to feed him frigates and use him as our training dummy. I will say that they have moved past the initial fear stages of the war dec and dying. I think that even if they lose something nicer it won't be that shocked confusion that causes people to leave. The possibility to lose people to rage quits and 'but I can't play anymore' situations has past.

I think my attempts to get some guest FCs in will flesh out. I appreciate the offers to take on this PvP newbie blob. This will help keep things rolling through the weekend. I have to work and I've been fretting a bit about keeping things rolling. The war is over on Monday and I may take a very, very long nap. The hour and a half of fleet tonight wore me out. I really, really wish I could keep more going but I think we're doing okay so far.

The Price of Poor Attention

I managed to start my day by dying in a half fit ship simply because I had forgotten that I was in a half fit ship. Such is life. Yesterday, I had been in one ship, thought I was in another, and hit fit. It removed half of the mods, I realized what happened and switched. I never fixed my first ship. My inattention cost me.

Therefore, when I got the sudden inspiration to make a random bookmark off a gate, I was in a perfect position to be pointed and killed. What I had expected to do and what did happen are quite different things. In the end, I made a mistake.

Some would consider it unacceptable. A partially fit ship. Death to a war target. I have opened myself up to ridicule and mockery. In fact, Eve is quite filled with such ridicule and mockery. People read killboards simply to find people in bad situations and call them out on it. Odd kills, improper fits, mistakes, and errors are gathered up and chrishished.

What is hard in Eve about making a mistake is that it is near impossible to own the mistake. I'd be told that I was making excuses, covering it up, or playing the 'didn't want that anyway' card. So, as I am insulted and ridiculed I find myself wondering, is there a way to clearly own a mistake? I have this urge, very often, to sit down and ask people if they believe the things that they say? I would be accused of tears. Perhaps, this entire post would be considered tears.

It used to be that I was very careful not to make mistakes. They were, if anything the worst thing that I could do. Not because I thought that I could be perfect but because I dreaded the out burst that often followed someone commenting upon your mistake. From warping to the wrong gate to losing a ship in a poor situation it was that flash of bright, irritated reaction that I avoided. It was not that I was embarassed to make mistakes it was that I wanted to avoid the reaction some people had when they discovered it.

Some react in shock. Some tease and mock. It was always unpleasant and I'd wrap myself up in caution to avoid it. I avoided the notice of some people because their reaction was always negative. Disappointment. Irritation. Ahh, how I didn't want to be the cause of those things. But I learned that you can overdue the caution and that is what I did for a long, long time.

While I may not throw caution to the wind I expect to make a lot more mistakes in the future. Perhaps, later today. I'm sure tomorrow. I'm sure it will continue into the future. Because, I am playing a game. I'm playing a game where mistakes mean that you fall and successes are hard won. And today I made a mistake that I will learn from.


If This Blog Wasn't Here

Eve Hermit wrote about Winning Eve. Not the normal bitter post where people stop playing and 'win' at Eve because they have decided to compare themselves and the game to the movie War Games. I broke down his question to mean that when one no longer plays Eve will you look back at what you did and feel good about the time that you spent?

As someone who has fond members and a firm foundation on the internet from their first online game, one that I played obsessively for a good six years of my life, my answer was yes. I have enjoyed my time in Eve. I plan to continue to enjoy my time in Eve.

But in the comments, Behnid Arcani asks:
"Would you still play Eve if you couldn’t write a blog post about it afterwards?"
The answer is "Yes."

As someone who writes about my day to day and my thoughts in Eve I could see how one could consider my blogging to be deeply connected to my gameplay. It is not.

I've been writing a blog or journal for the last fourteen years. I've wandered across subject matter and thought. It started as a project related to my mud where we all had personal journals that we could read and keep up with each other's day. As we left college this continued. I wrote a lot about my life as a waitress and my financial struggles and goals. Most of my blogging was daily life until I switched to something a bit more hobby focused in the early 2000s. I also used to spend an insane amount of time on forums related to my life consuming hobby at the time.

This is my first blog directly related to a game. Writing for me is a drive and a passion. I'd write about something else if I did not write about Eve. I enjoy writing about Eve and having an audience has improved me as a writer. I am not a trained writer. I have never taken a class beyond my basic english classes on writing. To top it off I struggle with dyslexia. I often go to google to get help deciphering words I cannot put together and I wish I had had it available to me when I was failing school. Lacking sense, I never let it stop me from trying to write despite all of the testing saying I should be illiterate as they kept placing me in special education classes to help me with my problems.

Writing for me is an itch that I scratch every day. I started my Eve blog because I read a few Eve blogs when I started but I could not find one that documented being new. There was plenty of advice but I wanted to read about people who spent two hours learning that you could double click in space to fly. I wanted the simple joys of finishing the newbie missions because they were hard and frustrating for me and I wanted to see if it was just me or if everyone had the same thing happen to them.

This blog started as a way for me to document the frustrating things about being new in Eve. It evolved to me documenting my day to day in Eve. It spread from there to my thoughts about Eve. I wanted to talk about my interpretation of the game world. That is not exactly an exciting topic. Around me there were blogs that constantly had great battles and technical fittings and guides and great game shaking events while I'd just want to talk about the perception of players to people with negative security status and the odd double world effect it gave me.

I've added silly things, fiction, songs, poetry, drawing, images, and whatever I wanted to. I've never, ever attempted to be a journalist or a news site. I'll write about my bad days as well as my good. I've written about having my feelings hurt and feeling as if people important to me have kicked me in the gut. I've violated every rule I've read about blogging and I violate them daily. I write and post, I rarely write drafts, I babble, I wander, I have no proper writing style or technique, I often have no goal but to comment on something that caught my attention, I don't try to control my audience's perception, I share mistakes and failures, I get emotional, I give people all sorts of information that I'm supposed to hide because this is Eve, and in general I rampage about enjoying myself here as much as I do in the game.

I'd play Eve without the blog. But, I enjoy the blog.  It tickles me into the prismatic spectrum that other people enjoy the blog along with me. But I don't write about Eve to be read for writing about Eve. I write about Eve because I enjoy it. If no one read my blog I'd still write it. But for those who do read and those who have come to know me and take what I share about my game, I appreciate it. The blog has evolved with time and so have I as a person, a writer, and a player and that is in thanks to my readership.

While I would play without it I am glad that I started this blog. Without it, I do not think I'd have come this far. Without my readers, I know that I would not. Thank you for the time that you visit this place. You all have help me become a better person.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Defiance Fleet - First Roam

I managed to lead a group of people to their deaths while talking a mile of a minute and they thanked me for it. This fleet command thing is very, very odd.

I got home and logged in to see if we had developed a sudden wave of war targets yet. So far, a known scout hangs around system but that is it. With the evening open to me but my energy level not very low I said that we'd go on a roam. I wanted to check on TCS and respond to some eve-mails before we went. 

Rykki, their CEO has been amazing. She (yes she don't be like me and say he because you have terrible habits) has kept them organized doing PvE and practicing their fleet maneuvers. Yesterday sank in and stayed. Everyone is smoother and more organized and happy to get out in space.

I decided on a very short roam, about 15 systems in both directions. We're still going through our paces and it will be very, very easy to move to quickly and leave people confused. I personally hated being confused when I was just starting PvP. I'd miss orders and ether be told to ask in corp chat or just be to embarrassed to say I didn't know what was going on. I've been working to not have that happen here. While I feel we are going slow I know that it feels a bit faster on their side.

And planning a roam? Me? Urp! Okay! I dipped us into Minmatar space because we were near the edge. I also knew we wouldn't be moving overly fast. However, we'd get into low sec. We would get into plexes. We'd look for a fight.

The War Targets logged on as we were getting ready to head out. They were after a group that was looking for a fight. The smack talk in the low sec pocket started. We rolled our eyes and headed to faction warfare space.

The dip into low sec was fine. There was an AFK Imicis on the gate that I almost ordered us to attack. I remembered that we were in T1 frigates with t1 fits and no logi. I bit it back and passed the Imicis. I was not going to have the fleet die to gateguns two seconds into low sec. I explained the entire situation to them as we went along.

Rykki was my eyes which was nice. We were moving unscouted and I was trying to keep track of my ducklings. We learned about warping to plex gates at 10k. We chased a few solo ships out of their plexes. We didn't move fast enough to catch them. But we tried. We hung out in some novices and decided to pass up on an Algos, Algos, Talwar in a small complex.

Our path twisted through Auga and into Amamake. As we jumped one gate a fleet landed on it. Everyone held gatecloak until I announced a warp once we saw the fleet was not moving. Good job for everyone. No one derped and was caught. 

Back over in the war target system they are still smack talking the other fleet and nether party is engaging the other.

We took a quick break in a high sec system. With no fights presenting I said I was happy to take the next available fight such as that destroyer fleet. I felt that we had a chance of taking at least one ship out if we made a focused effort and we could warp out if we couldn't make a difference. The fleet agreed and we headed back.

I'm starting to drop some of the length of the orders as they are getting used to doing the right thing. My concept is on structure. I am not teaching them to align and then warp because I do not want that to become a habit. We will align at different times to practice it. However, I want them comfortable with getting these ships off gate and moving through space.

We made it back to the destroyers only it had become an Algos and a Griffin. Okay. Ugh. Well, maybe with six of us we can make it work. 

This is where things messed up a bit. The medium we were warping to was very close to another and one member got separated. I'm not fleet warping them. They need to learn to fly their own ships and develop their individual forms of spacial awareness. When I realized what happened I tried to get the fleet to warp to the lost member. We hadn't practiced that and it didn't work out well. Our single member wound up dying by himself. We got him safe and rallied on the gate of the plex he died in.

My Maulus had orders to come in a breath behind so that he was not the instant primary. We went in and the Griffin jammed everyone. There was also a hookbill there. I tried to nab the hookbill but he took range while we were jammed and confused. Two ships down and perma jammed I started tanking as they shot me. I ordered the fleet to scatter. Rykki got caught just as she hit warp. The Maulus and I got out. We got everyone safe and out of low sec and then discussed things.

I explained what happened and the confusion. I apologized for things getting a bit messy with the gates. We learned about jams and how much they suck. The one Griffin immobilized the entire fleet. I knew it might happen but it was worth the try.

And that was tonight. I dismissed the fleet. I'm worn out again. I'm going to spend most of this week hoping that I am doing the right thing. But for now, sleep.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Defiance Fleet - First Encounter

It is a work night unfortunately. However, the start of the industrial defense is going well.

I had some worries that the members would not want to fight. I got CC'd on the corpmail sent to them however and if I could blush I would and being mentioned so boldly. Such responsibility but I was excited too.

Last night I moved my Orca to Dodixie to buy ships for myself. I sent Sugar to the new staging system in an interceptor. While I was at work today, I grinned to myself. When I got home I started my link alt to the new system as well. I figure, I've not needed her before but we might as well have all the tricks up our sleeve. Altaen agreed to enter 7-2 into the war as an ally.

For tonight we started working on getting everyone into a position to achieve. We got out in space and started going through basics. Overviews. With overview packs and instructions on hand we got everyone basically sorted to a nice, clean overview. No fleet mates, no blues, no corp mates and excess junk cleaned out. We opened up dscan and went into how it works. We opened up the overview settings and made sure everyone could see probes. There are dozens of small things that you take for granted once you learn it that you have to bring back out and share. Things from selecting celestials to dropping safes mid warp.

One member of the corp was two systems away. We mounted a rescue operation. The war targets have been moving in and out once the war went live. What I decided to do is send my Orca with an Atron to replace his Throax. We then moved our little fleet across the two systems. Every gate was a learning experience. Warping to zero, holding gatecloak, orbiting the gates when sitting on them. Jumping on command.

It's a learning experience for me. I'm clumsy with the broadcasting tools. I need to get comfortable with my verbal commands. There are a lot of questions as we go. We practiced warping to things at range and discussed the right click menu and what 'top station' or 'top belt' means. We rescued our member and went into insta undocks.

The whole goal was for people to make some of those early mistakes. We discussed safe spots and what they meant and why we make them. After a quick break for dinner people were brought up to overview speed when the war targets were seen ganking something in the low sec system next door. Everyone wanted to go after them. I said, "Okay, let's go."

There was a bit of confusion caused by me as we landed. I forgot their war was live and not mine. That was sorted out and I gave basic instructions that we would target when I said so and shoot what I said. With that we jumped in and the war targets were located on the other gate. We warped to the gate and I started them orbiting. It was a Navy Vexor and a Proteus to our six little T1 frigates.  I decided we would take out the Navy Vexor, or at least try as the better of the two ships.

We targeted and we attacked. And we died. We got the Vexor into armor before they realized we were really attacking them. As they died they announced it and I told them to warp off their pods. There was more 'noise' then there should have been but everyone was amped up and I didn't want them losing their pods. I felt that I needed to keep up that constant, calm flow of information. "Keep shooting the Vexor," "Get your pod out," "Keep shooting the Vexor." "I know you are webbed, but ignore the Proteus. Keep shooting the Vexor." I think we got one or two ships out. I died as well which was fine, I was to busy trying to FC to worry about staying alive at the time. Frankly, I didn't even shoot them. I just repped their damage and got everyone else out as I went down.

The end result was zero pod loss. We had one bit of confusion as someone couldn't jump but we got everyone out and I was happy. We got called faggots in local and I asked everyone to drop 'gf'' and show them what class was. They did. Not a drop of smack back. Absolutely beautiful.

We jumped out, docked, and had a nice little AAR. End result is everyone was pleased with themselves. They went and attacked the attacker and they are proud of that. I'm proud too. They focused fire when asked. They got their pods out when asked. They attacked when asked. They showed up to the war dec.

Tomorrow, we shall do more. I don't work Wednesday so we will be able to have a longer fleet and if we don't get a war target we will go on a roam. Everyone is in a good mood. I'm glad that we went and did that little attack at the end. Defiance. All of it.

I told them that I want them to have fun. I want them to experiment and try things. This isn't about us killing the war deccers. This is about us taking the opportunity to learn and improve ourselves. They are learning to PvP and defend themselves. I am learning to FC and helping in the ways that I love best. I'm not going to fret about doctrines and rigidity. That can come later. For now  there are a hungry little skills and habits that need to be developed first. A solid foundation now. Fancy things later.

I reminded everyone that everything takes time. Our success is that we are out there doing. And we will be out there doing some, every evening for this dec. I'm rather exhausted from today. I learned a lot but phew, it is a ton of energy. I'm pleased with trying things my way. No yelling. No cursing. No going off on rants. If someone trips, pick them up brush the dust off, and we kept going. I hope they are happy with me. I hope that I can keep their enthusiasm high and their interest strong.

It was a good evening. Now sleep and tomorrow we will see what it brings.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

And Suddenly, A Random Decision Stampedes In

I made the wildest, most random decision today. Someone came into my channel and asked for advice. They have been war deced, again, by a group that does not like them coming into their low sec area. They are going to fight back and asked for advice on how to fight back. Getting people out and about and focused was a problem. Vov said they needed a FC and that he was a bad one. I said I had no expierence as one. I was told they'd love me to FC for them even if I have no actual FC experience.

Huh.

I decided, why not? I spend a lot of time worrying about being good enough and capable enough and knowledgeable enough. I spend a lot of time not wanting to FC because I'm to embarrassed by everything I don't know. I, however, am familiar with basics and I am familiar with coaching new people into learning the basic fleet movements and developing spatial awareness.

So, why not. Why not at all? Today, I am sick and tired of my own worries and insecurities. I dropped everything. I then hopped over to the Concord station next door, upped my sec, and started getting a war plan together in my mind. I keep saying that I want to help people learn Eve. I say that I want to share my game of Eve with them, my views of low sec, of fighting, of living, of dying. It seems as good a time as any to start down that path. If I can help a group of players develop a bit of confidence I will have done the right thing.

It has been a long time since Lain and I did his practice PvP with his newbie corp. I offered 500mil up front to help cover their ships. I gave the same offer this time. They had already looked up basic PvP fits from Agony and Eve Uni. I added battle Ventures to their list.

No cruisers, I said. It is to easy to set ourselves up for failure due to inexperience. It is to easy to just be meat for the meat grinder. We will start with the basics of a frigate swarm. We will learn to use our DCU and our points. We will learn about ancillary boosters.

My idea is to get into frigates with T1 fits and get out into space fighting. The win here is to fight and not cower in the station and wait for the war dec to end. Along the way, we hope to learn basic maneuvers, fleet commands, and how to handle our ships. I don't care if every ship in the fleet dies, every ship in the fleet will die knowing why they died and trying to do the correct, productive thing. Everyone will die in fits meant to fight.

I want to come out the other side as better Eve players for everyone. If they do not bring the fight we will try to take it to them. If that doesn't work we'll go out on a roam. One way or another we will spend the next week productively learning how to not be walked over, how not to be food, and that dying doesn't have to be scary.

I hope the entire corp comes along. I have a few on board. Just one would be enough. Every one extra is a bonus. It isn't the best week for me to do it, in concerns to my work hours. But we can put an hour or so into space each evening learning together. I think that it will be worth it.

I'm normally not spontaneous like this. But, right now, I need this. I pulled out my Orca and headed to supply. I jumped Sugar into high sec with a clean sec status and headed to this corporations home system. There is some herding cats involved, but we'll get it done. And tomorrow, the learning starts.

I left my chatroom teaching the latest new player who has strolled in the difference between falloff and optimal. I think I will look forward to this week.

CSM9 - Day 70

This has been an interesting week.

My Open Q&A on Eve Uni Mumble is today. I have a session at 15:00 GMT and another at 22:00 GMT. These are simply open talks where we can sit down and engage each other. You don’t have to talk, you can type your questions. I try to drag other CSM members along. This is number two of my monthly chats. Download Mumble and log in following the directions on the links. You don’t have to register. I will tentatively schedule the next for August 11th. As always if another day is prefered I am happy to abuse the kindness of Eve Uni to your hearts’ content and use their comms freely for CSM outreach stuff.

It looks like SiSi is down until Monday. Eventually the practice server will be up and CCP Fozzie has addressed that he will get that together as soon as he gets it together.

Skype has been full of very interesting discussions. I learned not to type out deep thoughts while eating lunch at a restaurant with my mother. I wind up not finishing said thoughts and missing my point completely. However, there has been a lot of very productive things going on.

CCP Greyscale posted about the decision to remove the stacking bonuses from POS. This has made many people upset. This has made some people happy. It has in general made people go, “OMG everything is broken will this even work?” Things will still work. Eve will move forward. The global balance will be lopsided for a few days. The sheer amount of scenarios and edge cases that are being discussed and planned for are overwhelming. This is an everyday project.


The things project. Last week Heretic Caldari said that we were mimicking CSM8 with ‘little things’ projects and he’d like us to stop. He said calling these projects ‘little things’ would artificially restrict the players and that CCP should make the call if they are little or not. I thought about it for a bit and I’ve decided to try to explain.

The ‘things’ projects we are doing are projects owned by the CSM members. These are not CCP’s tasks. They are ours. All of that campaigning we do when we state platforms and interests and such? Well these projects are a manifestation of those. Some are areas of personal interests, such as mynnna working on null sec anomalies. We’ve gone to CCP and asked what can we do to improve these areas. We’ve received feedback and direction and we go from there. If we have questions, we ask them such as, “Is this a little thing or big thing?” These projects are not the only thing we do but they are self-made tasks that some members have taken on. It means that we direct it as we can, we gather what we can, we condense and distill it, and we hand back something that we hope can be added in sooner rather than later. Dumping a big stack of things without any prior work is not going to produce the productivity we are looking for.

I feel incredibly productive doing this. I hunt people down, I ask questions, I listen, I read, and in general I am doing what I can to take advantage of the opportunity. Because I am nosy, I butted into Mike’s Incursion Things and sat down with some low sec incursion runners to get feedback. I’m hunting down more, so if you do incursions in low sec hit me (or Mike) up.

Also, PvE things. People have been very happy to send me more than ‘little’ things. This is good and I discover what is and is not doable. The full revamp of PvE is not a little thing but there are good ideas in there that I can hold onto and use if and when I get the chance.

The Summit. Known as the ‘summer’ summit it happens in September. It qualifies as summer considering the first day of Autumn is September 22nd and the summit will be September 17th-19th. It seems that Iceland, being Iceland, has all sorts of weird traditions that I learned about when trying to find the first day of fall. The general gist is that September is still kinda summer there too so there we go.

The attendees shall be Sion, Ali, Mike, Steve, corbexx, mynnna, and me. For those who don’t keep up with the CSM rules, Sion and Ali will get to go to both summits and fanfest automatically due to their vote count.

Going to the Summit means I can activate my Summit project that I’ve been holding so close to my heart. I thought of it in the early weeks of my campaign. I started working on it then with dreams of being elected and being selected for a summit.  It is a document of all the ideas and problems brought to me that I’m printing out and having bound with note space so that I can make sure not to miss a thing. I’ve been serious about my desire to represent the people who voted for me so I’m bringing everyone along as best as I can. Right now I’m organizing the information, making sure my mails are sorted. From there I’ll organize it into the summit topics and have it all printed out.

Outreach:
The next VA/MD/DC meet I would like to do August 23rd. If I get no significant backlash that is what I will set it for and see about the venue again. DC was popular it seems. Hopefully it is enough time for people to schedule