Friday, November 28, 2008


I am most thankful for a wonderful wife and a charming and delightful 7 month old son! Next comes family, friends, work that I enjoy, and good times.

In the virtual sphere, I am thankful for amazing choices and beautifully crafted games. Complexity and depth in EVE and story and ambiance in LOTRO are providing good gaming entertainment these days. I wish the best to the employees at CCP and Turbine, and am very thankful for the communities that have formed around the virtual worlds I frequent. A special shout out goes to CrazyKinux and Massively for turning me on to EVE and the EVE blogging community this year.

Last, but not least, I am thankful for a President that I can be hopeful about! It is the first time in my life of 33 years that I can say I am proud of my leader. I hope he doesn't disappoint too much!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fleet Blobbing Technorati!

CrazyKinux's fanfest memorabilia contest inspired me to join Technorati. While I was there, I noticed something that could really help the EVE blogging community step things up a notch in our Technorati networking:

You can use an OPML file to add favorites on Technorati. And Ga'len from The Wandering Druid of Tranquility has kindly put together an OPML file of all the EVE bloggers HERE.

Once you have downloaded the OPML file from Ga'len, you will want to create an account on Technorati. It is fast, easy, and free.

After you create your account, log in and then click on Favorites in the top toolbar.

The next step is to find the Ins and Outs section and click on Import Your Favorites. (I have provided a photo below to show where to click)

The next step is to click Browse and then browse to where you saved Ga'len's OPML file on your system and select your OPML file. (Follow picture below)

After you click upload file and Technorati does the digital magic, you will now have a list of EVE blogs as your Technorati favorites!

I used cut and paste to quickly add tags to the entries. This is easiest if you click on Favorites and then Favorite Blogs under your profile.

Hopefully, this guide will make it easy for EVE Blog writers and EVE blog readers to support the EVE Blogging community through linking on Technorati!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Overview love

For any EVE newbs out there that missed it, Manasi at A Mule in EVE has posted the best guide to the EVE overview that I have seen!

For non-EVE players, the Overview is the targeting and filtering system used to select actions in EVE. As there can be hundreds of objects, ship wrecks, and asteroids in a system, it is critical to be able to filter out extraneous info and focus on mission critical data!

Thanks to Manasi for making a great guide to a complicated and somewhat clunky game system.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Vive EVE Blogroll!

One of the most captivating things about EVE is that it is a sandbox. What this means for people accustomed to playing narrative driven games is that EVE is about player created stories and player created drama. CCP provides the tools and environment, while players provide the economic dynamics and political machinations that define the New Eden experience.

The window that drew me into the drama in EVE was the EVE Blog Pack, managed by CrazyKinux. This is a stalwart group of 30 dedicated and talented writers who have been chronicling the human dynamics within New Eden. There are writers who focus on teaching, writers who stay in character as their pilot in EVE, and writers who provide an experiential subjective description of their exploits in EVE.

The blogging community in EVE is welcoming and rapidly expanding. This interest in writing about the alternate reality experience manifested by so many EVE players piqued my interest in EVE. It takes a living, vital phenomenon to inspire so much creativity amongst its players. My time in EVE has verified this truth, and it has been fun to dip into writing about this virtual universe that is constantly evolving and deepening.

I am delighted to now be listed on CrazyKinux's EVE Blogroll, which is currently sporting 121 members. I have no doubt that this number will continue to grow along with EVE over the next few years. The creativity and excitement that these bloggers bring to their virtual experience inspires me. I feel honored to be able to explore this terrain with such interesting and passionate individuals!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Free range plans

I have been playing with EVEMon and have worked out my skill learning plan for the next 131 days!

First, I will train all the learning skills to 5. Next, I will train drones so I can get tech 2 Hobgoblins. This should make missions significantly easier, even though I am not having problems with most Lvl 1 missions at this point. I might even try some Lvl 2 missions with my now speedier Imicus and tech 2 drones!

The next phase of training involves getting into a Helios and learning to use a Covert Ops cloaker module. My thoughts on going for the Helios are that I can use it as a scout to help Sedona move goods, and hopefully be helpful for a corporation as a scout. Sedona and myself are planning to try to join a corp after we have trained the basics. We hope to find a 0.0 corp with significant Industrial and POS activity who are open to taking on newbs with brains. We have already identified several prospects that we are watching! Getting faction to allow for some jump clones is also on the agenda, as implants are too expensive to lose casually!

Getting the learning skills is very slow, and the game design in EVE definitely favors those who think long term! Luckily, Sedona and myself are planning to check out LOTRO Mines of Moria for the next month or two. We will keep the skills cooking in EVE, and return to more regular piloting sometime in early 2009. I will still probably do some occasional missions to be developing faction in the interim.

It is funny that my original plan was to mainly train skills in EVE for the first several months, but I enjoyed the game so much that I couldn't stop playing EVE! Sedona agrees that EVE will likely be our primary Virtual world for the next several years! A casual player would probably be better off not initially training all the Learning skills to 5, but rather focusing on getting broadly trained in Navigation, Gunnery, Drones, Electronics, and Mechanics. As we are planning on checking out LOTRO in the near future, the strategy of getting all the Learning skills out of the way makes sense. I can already tell that I will be playing EVE for years, so the investment in early Learning skills makes sense!

As an aside, taking the Special Forces option in character creation has really been nice! My drone skills were good enough from the beginning to easily solo Lvl 1 missions. Even though I will have to play catch up to get the Industrial basics, I think it has been more fun as a newb to have the ability to run Lvl 1 missions from the start. For any newbs reading this, a basic strategy is to get an afterburner on an Imicus and orbit at 25km from the nearest enemy. You just get the enemy's attention, and then release your drones and let them wreak havoc! If they get too close, use the afterburner to keep out of damaging range. I carry a remote armor repairer to fix the drones if they ever pull aggression. I'm sure there are faster ways to run missions, but this method works well for me.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Officially committed!

I gave my ultimate seal of approval to CCP today and joined the ranks of EVE-Online subscribers. After months of obsession with the piracy, politics, and player driven complexity of EVE, I finally jumped in 2 weeks ago.

I am very surprised to say that the actual game FAR exceeded my expectations. (Given that I was obsessed with EVE for months before downloading the trial and had huge expectations, it is almost mindblowing!)

The 2 week trial has only given the faintest taste of what EVE has to offer. There is little instant gratification in EVE. It can take months just to master piloting one race's frigates. Getting into industrial or trade game play can take just as long. In EVE you can only learn one skill at a time, so "hardcore" players gain little beyond ISK and experience from playing many hours when compared to a more casual player.

Two weeks gives a minimal glimpse into the possibilities and complexities awaiting a mind willing to face the learning curve and dive into New Eden. The game is seriously beautiful, and the combat mechanics are captivating. There are multiple roles and strategies for fulfilling these roles. Unlike most MMO's, a player is never pigeonholed into a specific class. The skill system means that with a corresponding investment of time, any role may be pursued by an EVE player. The game is so huge and the possible roles are so vast that many serious EVE players keep multiple accounts to allow for specialization. It would take decades to learn all the skills on one account, and that is not counting any future skills which will be added to the game with the bi-yearly updates!

The alliance/corporation and low-sec/0.0 sec interactions seem to be the heart and soul of EVE. Sedona and I hope to find a friendly home amongst "Industrialists with Teeth" in the next few months. We look forward to lucrative and dangerous adventures that involve controlling territory and resources while adapting to the sweeping political tides that roll through space and periodically redefine the boundaries and interactions in this very amazing virtual world.

!Vive EVE!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Buy low, sell dangerously!

Sedona almost got ganked in 0.3 space by a pair of Ravens. Luckily, he remembered to warp to 0 and jump back to higher sec immediately. The Ravens were jamming or blocking his warp initially, but he finally managed to successfully warp his ship to the gate back to higher sec. The Raven flock arrived at the gate just as he managed to pull off the jump. No shots were fired, but it got Sedona's blood pumping! If he had been on autopilot or not warped to 0 on the gate, he would have been toast as it would have taken too long to pull off the jump... The multiple wrecks in the area were another indication that he might have been in danger!

Sedona had earlier lost a ship (ouch, an expensive Tristan!) on a mission in the same 0.3 area, and had noticed that there were no shuttles for sale in the system. The nearest shuttles were 4 jumps away, costing about 5 times what you would pay in highsec Gallente space!

We now have a potential ISK generating opportunity identified. Our plan is for me to get into a cloaker Helios to spy for safety while Sedona pilots an Iteron (IV probably) to the low sec base. We also may ask a friend to help us by webbing the Iteron so it will warp even faster. We will be paying attention to times that seem to be less busy to maximize our odds of sneaking into a low-sec base full of overpriced (or dangerously priced) cargo!

With a little luck, and provided there is a demand for the goods we bring in, we can make a bit of ISK trading dangerously!

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Barack Obama's beautiful win in the US Presidential election will go down in history as monumental. The second election for EVE Online's CSM (Council of Stellar Management) may be slightly less impactful. However, it is a great gesture by CCP to formalize and democratize player feedback. In addition, I am certain that interacting with CSM members is less annoying for the Devs than reading through whine and groan posts on the forums to "take the player's pulse."

Even though I am too new to the New Eden universe to vote in this election, I still wanted to contribute by offering a newb's perspective to this election. Following are my endorsements for the next CSM term:




Eva impressed me with her balanced focus on evolving game-play. I like her ideas regarding fleshing out the Factional Warfare system, as well as her support for industrial players. Eva demonstrated a willingness to listen to other's ideas during the first CSM, and I feel she is a great choice overall.


LaVista Vista

Conservative Shenanigans Party(CSPTY)

Charlie is also a CSM veteran, and he demonstrated a great willingness to collaborate and seek out player input on the issues. He brings a balanced focus between Industry and PVP to the table, and was one of the best liked personalities on the original CSM.

United States




My endorsement of Brian is based on his involvement with the 0.0 metagame. He will bring an interesting perspective to the CSM, and I feel his ideas on UI improvements and better NPC interactions are very good!

Here's to wishing that EVE will continue to benefit from CCP's choice to involve players in the planning stages of game design through the CSM!

Saturday, November 1, 2008


I love my Imicus! I love EVE in general, and have been playing far too much in the past few days. A childhood friend who is an established miner and industrialist hooked me up with some seed funds, so I have been able to go shopping for training materials. The L1 missions and ratting in 0.7 belts have made a fair bit of ISK too, and even better provided me with some cool modules for free!

Thanks to timely advice from Geaux Tiger, I checked out the Imicus and got a set of drones. I'm currently rocking 2 Hobgoblins and 1 Warrior, and the combo seems very effective against the pirate factions I have tangled with in the missions.

The main problem I have with EVE is that it is so awesome I am not sticking religiously to my plan to train the Learning skills up first. I have now got my basic Drone skills to a decent level, and trained skills so I can rep drone armour as well as my own. I'm not sure I need this micro armor tank, as I have never lost my shield. With my new drone skills, I can hang way back and it seems that most weapons cannot hit me very well when the afterburner is on and I set up an orbit around the nearest enemy.