Friday, August 31, 2012

Vengeance - Part 1

It's fan fiction Friday! Not your thing? Try reading this great idea from Rixx Javix.


"No, I don't have that sort of ISK. Please not my family! Let them go! I'll get the money somehow!"
"Capsule shields down! Armour plating failing. Structural damage detected......"
"NO! NO! NO!"
Two women, screaming in terror together. Then silence.
"Capsule breached detected, activating neural scanner....."

As the gravaton smartbomb went off blinding his vision, the capsuleer woke in a cold-sweat. Terror was etched across his face as he sat up quickly taking in his surroundings. He was in bed, safely in his quarters on the station, it was that nightmare, again.

The soft-skinned Minmatar woman stirred slightly next to him in her sleep. He eased carefully out of the bunk trying not to wake her and went to the sink.

He activated the tap with a wave of his hand and held his shaking hands under the water. He splashed the cold water on his face and walked over to the table. He sat down on the sofa and picked up his datapad keying in a sequence of codes. The hologram of the Harpy class Assault Frigate that was being projected melted away and was replaced with a floating human head.

"Hello sir. How are you?"

"I had another nightmare."

"About that day?" the AI construct asked.


"It has been eighteen months. One would have expected some reduction in the frequency of occurrences. However, whilst our medical technology is advanced, there are still areas of the human brain we cannot fully explain. Have you reconsidered the procedure?"

"What? Pause my consciousness mid-clone jump and simply remove that day from my memories? No!"

"Sir. Your behaviour since that day is showing classic signs of post-traumatic stress disorder and an unhealthy fascination with the perpetrators. I can detect elevated aggression in your voice each time you have one of the nightmares and my scanners also detect a female in your bed. Her biometric readings indicate she is a different woman from the one from last night?"

"Oh fantastic! I have a holographic AI therapist-construct preaching morality to me? Did the Amarr write you? Will you quote some scripture for me next? Thou shall not pick up exotic dancers on-board space stations? Is that in the book?"

"Sir, it is another sign that you are performing actions out of character following the incident. Some signs are more obvious than others, may I point out the switch from mining barge training to combat vessel and weaponry training. Also having a different woman in your bed every night indicates that....."

"They help me forget.... for a while." he said sadly.

"Sir, I can strongly recommend that......"

The capsuleer deactivated the counselling program with the push of a button. The head melted away and was replaced by the holographic projection of the Harpy. The capsuleer stood up and surveyed his quarters. The woman was still in his bed sleeping. He decided to leave Trinny there, or was it Chantel? He couldn't even remember her name.

He turned to the ship gantry and grabbed his waiting bag and walked out onto the gantry naked. He placed the bag in the small hold of the capsule, keyed in the activation codes and stood with his back to the open capsule. He heard the mechanics start up and sensed their approach. Long snake-like arms reached out, slowly approaching him. Connections were made to the sockets up his spinal column, finally the deep connection at the base of his neck was made and his world went black just as he felt his feet lift from the deck.

Suddenly there was light. He was seeing via his camera drones as the pod moved over to the Assault Frigate and docked deep in its belly. In the blink of an eye the capsuleer became at one with the ship. He sensed every part of her, it was as if the ship was an extension of his own body. Undocking requests were processed and within a minute the small combat vessel was in space.

He aligned the ship to the stargate and activated the warp drive. The station disappeared behind him as the vessel was propelled at the speed of light towards the distant target stargate.

Less than a minute later a different stargate, light years away in a distant solar system suddenly came alive. A brilliant flash of light illuminated the immense metallic construction and the Harpy appeared through an artificial wormhole. The capsuleer checked the local channel. It was empty of other capsuleers. He aligned the ship to one of the asteroid belts and activated the warp drive.


"Anyways, then I flipped her over. She says she doesn't do that so I says..... look babes, I'm a Guristas captain and....."

"Sir, we have an AF on close-range scan."

The captain of the Cormorant class destroyer stopped his story.


The bridge crew, who had been listening to the Captain's story intently, quickly turned back to their consoles. The lighting on the bridge dimmed and turned red as the crew prepared for combat. The Guristas pirate faction was one of the more militaristic pirate factions and they expected their bridge officers to behave as such.

The Harpy dropped out of warp 30km from the destroyer. Warnings went off immediately as threat indicators showed the assault frigate was obtaining a target lock on the destroyer.

"Get us aligned. Call command for back up. That's a fracking egger!" the captain ordered.

The bridge went silent. An assault ship was usually no match for a destroyer whose sole purpose was to eliminate ships with frigate sized hulls like the Harpy. The seven light rail-guns could easily track and destroy a small vessel such as a frigate. But an assault ship piloted by a capsuleer was different. They didn't stand a chance.

"Any backup close?" asked the captain.

"No sir, we're on our own!"

"OK. I don't feel like dying today. Get us out of....."

A shrill alarm went off.

"Sir, he's got a scram on us"

"Shit that was fast! Fire! All guns fire! Try and make some range."

The battle was short. The neutron blasters of the Harpy tore the destroyer to pieces in three volleys. The captain ordered the ship abandoned after the first volley wiped out their shields and severely damaged the armour plating. Thanks to the early evacuation 80% of the crew had made it to the escape pods when the third and final volley struck. Anti-matter charges penetrated deep into the structure of the destroyer, annihilating the reactor and destroying the vessel from the inside out.

The assault frigate slowly manoeuvred into the wreckage field left by the exploding destroyer as one of the doomed destroyer's officers watched from an escape pod.

"What's he doing?" asked a female technician who was sat down with her back against the wall of the escape pod.

"I don't know. He's not looting and he's not salvaging. He's got some sort of strange turret emitting a beam going through the wreckage. It's like nothing I've ever seen. It looks like he's scanning for something. The beam is heading...."

The five people in the small escape pod were knocked of their feet as the escape pod lurked.

"He's pulling us in?" stated another officer. They couldn't believe it. Nobody had ever heard of a capsuleer looking to take survivors from a battle. In fact all capsuleer craft had their sensors set not to show non-capsuleer escape pods. After a battle the eggers just left any normal escape pods for the Sisters of Eve or the factions search and rescue teams to recover at some point. They never involved themselves.


Back on the station the capsuleer had showered and now was taking a hover platform over to the Harpy. He checked his side arm and watched the ship grow larger as he approached. He rarely set foot inside his ship unless it was inside his pod. However, he needed to do this in person, not as some holographic projection.

It took him 10 minutes to reach the cargo hold. When he got there the five survivors were kneeling on the deck with their hands tied behind their backs. Three armed guards stood watching.

The capsuleer eyed them carefully as he approached. Three men, two women of which one of each were officers. As per his instructions they had placed the captives in order of rank. The highest ranking officer was a tall skinny man with sharp features.

"Ah I assume you are the capsuleer who destroyed our vessel" said the senior officer looking up as the capsuleer approached.

"My name is......"

The capsuleer punched him square in the face. There was a sickening crunch as his nose broke and blood sprayed onto the grey deck plates. One of the women screamed, the capsuleer didn't know which one, he was concentrating on the senior officer. The force of the punch had knocked the officer onto his back. The capsuleer pulled him back to his knees and searched him. He pulled out a small datapad from the stunned officers jacket and cut the binders holding the man’s hands.

"OK, log onto your system. Tell me where I can find these people." he held out his own datapad which listed seven names, along with aliases.

"Are you insane?" The officer asked holding his nose as blood dripped from his face.

The capsuleer simply walked down the line and stood in front of the lowest ranked pirate. He drew his side arm and shot him in one fluid motion. His body slumped to the deck as the two women screamed together. He walked back the officer and held out the list of names again.

"OK, four more times left to ask you the same question. Don't think I won't. As far as I'm concerned all you damn pirates can burn in hell. Tell me where I can find these people."

"I don't have access to personnel files. I cannot just look up where they are stationed!" the officer protested.

The capsuleer walked down the line to the man kneeling next to his dead comrade. The women started to beg for him to stop. He drew his pistol for a second time and shot the man at point-blank range. He returned to the officer.

"I know you cannot access personnel files. But you can access the intel and confirmed kills sections of the Guristas servers. You can tell me roughly the area they are in currently."

"No….. I cannot...... I…….." the capsuleer turned and started walking back down the line "No. Stop" he paused "I don't have access to that area. Honest. Look I want to help....." the capsuleer continued down the line and stopped at the next crew member. The female technician who was sobbing uncontrollably. With no emotion he took his gun and shot her. He returned back to the head of the line.

"Two chances left. I hope you are not going to make me do this all over again. This ship doesn’t fire free ammo you know! It costs to kill your kind!" The male officer fumbled with his datapad. The female officer next to him had stopped screaming when he'd shot the other woman next to her. She was now just staring straight ahead in shock muttering "No!" repeatedly.

"Black Rise region! They are all somewhere in the Black Rise region."

The capsuleer took the datapad and confirmed the information. Several of the people he was interested in had been noted on recent kills.

"Thank you." he turned to the guards.

"Revive those three and ship them all out to the facility." the capsuleer said as he turned and left the cargo bay.

The senior Guristas officer took a moment to realise that his crew members were not dead, he'd had the blaster set on stun!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

There and Back Again; An Ex-Capsuleers’ Tale (Guest Post)

There are a few people I can blame for being where I am today in an Eve sense. First off is Gaz, Craig didn't help and then Pete and Kaz really cemented my fate. However, one of those four is 100% to blame for the existence of this blog, Kaz. As well as being a party to my transition from carebear to PvP'r she got me started on Blogging. Her old Eve blog and member of the Eve Blog Pack at that time, Where the Frack is My Ship?, inspired me to start my own and she gave me oodles of advice and some nice long emails giving me the do's and don'ts of Blogging. It was a sad day last year when she went on an extended Eve break. But now..... she's baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack! Not wanting to restart WTFiMS, just yet (dooooo iiiiiiiit Kazzy), she asked if she could do a guest post here. Not a problem for the lady with the sexiest voice in Eve (Sorry Sindel) :o)
There and back again; An ex-capsuleers’ tale.
Hello. My name is Eelis Kiy and I’m an Eve Online quitter.
It was not always so. I’d been flying about in Eve since 2006 with the bulk of my activity (FacWar/PvP/Corp Directory stuff) taking place between 2009 – 2011. But by early 2011 a mix of game mechanic complaints, in-game politics and real life drama finally led me to hang up my space boots and unsubscribe.
The break has been liberating. My house has never been so tidy, my liver so alcohol free and my brain so stimulated by the huge pile of books I’ve finally gotten round to reading. In addition I’ve been able to go off and try other games without feeling like I was letting down my Eve corp-mates.
Warhammer Online was fabulous fun. I met some great people here (and a big shout out to my fav gaming couple Lordic and Lordicca!). But there was something in the player attitude that constantly irked me. The alliance I was part of had a good  PvP reputation but, unless 1 or 2 key warband leaders were online, people refused to use voice comms or even follow simple PvP common sense. In addition the game was going through a huge lull in development and with the release of a few new gaming titles the player base plummeted.

So next I tried SWTOR. The PvE really was fantastic and full of impressive, unique features. However both the game itself and much of the player base sucked utterly in attitude towards PvP. Players didn’t want to think out of the box or around a challenge. If something was too hard then it was clearly “broken”. There was an abundance of moaning and very little interest in putting skills and tactics together with team work to overcome difficult scenarios. And if anyone suggested such things on the forum they were buried under a mountain of “how dare you suggest that PvP should not be 100% equal and completely balanced at all times…!”  To make things worse the devs seemed to actually pander to such defeatist attitudes.
I found myself constantly at odds with the other players around me, including most of my own guild mates. “…well in Eve Online we would HTFU and find a way around it…” became a common phrase for me and although my guild mates (many of them old gaming friends) were too polite to go ahead and say it I’ve no doubt they were thinking “well why don’t you sod off back to Eve then?”.

I began to realise that I was now an Eve player who no longer played Eve. I had the attitude and the expectations, but no game to go with it. Never again would punky pixel hair, cute Dwarves or a pet tauntaun be enough to satisfy my gaming needs. Was there no other MMO out there with Eve’s gutsy attitude? Well perhaps there is but I stopped looking. This is mostly because the Steam sale started and I developed an addiction to Plants Vs Zombies.

By this point back in Eve Online many things had changed, especially in Factional Warfare which was an area of great interest to me.  So I decided, albeit somewhat reluctantly, to give Eve another go.  I went back for about 2 weeks, then I left again. I can’t believe I am going to admit this to the world but… it was just too hard. There. I said it.
Taking time out to puke the Rahkgoul Plague onto passers-by and play with pea shooting plants had turned my gaming brain into mush and that first day logged back into New Eden was very painful.
The interface was all “messed up” and  I couldn’t find the tabs I wanted. I couldn’t remember how to sort out my overview or turn off brackets. My fits and ships were out of date. My drunken lol-pvp! corp was now in a self-created hard-core PvP alliance with fleet doctrines and high expectations. On top of that the majority of my gear was in a system the corp had long ago moved out of. I’d forgotten all the trade tricks I previously used to generate income. Old corp enemies were now current corp allies. AND worst of all, every time I minimised a window it bloody disappeared WHERE ARE ALL MY SODDING MINIMISED WINDOWS FOR &%@! SAKE?... I think you get the idea.

Eve had moved on but I was stuck in 2011. The game may well have been much better than the one I had originally quit but I just couldn’t be bothered to get to grips with it all over again. So yeah, I had a hissy fit and un-subbed, again. I was happy to leave Eve behind for good now. In fact I was starting to move away from online gaming altogether.
Yes, maybe I missed it a little bit. I’d always loved being a gamer and it had been a part of my life for the past 8 years. I love chatting to interesting people from all over the world, of all ages and from different walks of life.  I love murdering people in the face or dying in a terrible ball of fire whilst trying. I love those funny drunken nights on voice comms and all the in-jokes and forum banter. I love chilling solo whilst exploring interesting virtual worlds. But most of all, I adore staring in the face of absolute defeat, against a superior rival who knows they have you and then, against all odds and alongside a corp of talent and teamwork, pulling off that incredible victory which is still talked about years later. Sure, I loved gaming, and I loved Eve. But it was time to say goodbye.
Sadly for me there was one factor I hadn’t counted on, and that was my other-half getting back into the game.
For those that don’t know, my partner also plays MMO's. We don’t always play together but it is a hobby we’ve both shared an interest in since we first got together many moons ago. During my Eve hiatus, Rashmika Clavain (his Eve name) joined (or re-joined if you want to be technical about it) my old corp, Shadows of the Federation, and started having a ball. This was not good.
Whilst I tried to chill out at home, watching TV, playing The Sims (don’t judge me), reading my mountain of books and attempting an online Mandarin course, I now had to put up with the constant background distraction of my beloved bashing the crap out of his keyboard, chattering loudly on fleet-comms (to my former corp-mates!) as well as constant tales of Eve Online victories and epic fails that he felt the need to impress on me. Feel free to PM him in-game and ask what happened to his Kronos, he loves to share that story…
It was pretty irritating. I starting nagging, moaning, and giving him all those womanly “annoyed” looks that chaps don’t actually notice.
It slowly dawned on me that my worst nightmare was coming true. I just couldn’t believe that I, Eelis Kiy - MMO addict for the past 8 years, Eve bitter vet and former game blogger, beloved corp, guild and kinship member of 7 past MMORPGs and all round drunken voice coms entertainer - was becoming a gaming widow.
The final straw came after a particularly annoying evening of Rashmika loudly Eve-PvPing the night away whilst I was tried to chillax with my new book. I gave up and went to bed only to be woken up an hour later by my phone bleeping at me with a “new email” alert. When I checked to see which asshat had emailed me at midnight I saw that CCP had trolled my inbox with a “come back to eve for £20!!” offer.


So yes. I took up the offer. And this time, hopefully, I will stay a little bit longer than 2 weeks.
The difference now is that I’m coming back with a better attitude. I am coming back because I miss the game and my corp mates and not because I cannot find an Eve replacement. I’ve had the break I needed, the game has improved and I’m now far enough away from the past corp dramas to be involved in such issues again. In addition, this time around I have my other half on hand to (verbally) slap me when I have a hissy fit as well as help me get up to speed with all the game changes (so yeah, minimised windows totally go to the left now!). I have a lot of work to do, particularly with my out of date hanger. But I’m getting there.

Starting Eve Online for the very first time is hard work. But to come back after a long break, when you’ve forgotten so much and have no ignorance about how terrible you now are, is a very high hurdle to jump. But this time I know I’m on the way over it. And this time around I can’t help feeling like I am back where I belong.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Space Elevator Music and "DUST514? Meh!"

Hilmar Tweeted yesterday about a space elevator. You can also find the picture on the Facebook pages of Eve-O and DUST514 now.... or here.....

My initial, and fairly random, thought was - what sort of elevator music do you get in a space elevator? Then I got thinking about the Family Guy parody of A New Hope where they have an elevator version of the Imperial March playing in the lift in the Death Star as Han, Luke and Chewie are heading to the detention level.

No? You're right, probably isn't appropriate for Eve. So I suggested on Twitter that the space elevator should be playing Beneath the Asteroids covered in an elevator music style. @Heimdall_EVEO picked up on this tweet in A BIG WAY. So ladies and gentlemen, follow this link for the elevator version of the classic Eve background music!

Obviously this all links into DUST514 which is getting more and more attention. But not from me....

I'm not really gripped by DUST514. I've not played the beta, and I'm not really bothered about playing the beta. I gave my Fanfest code away. It was even available to play at Fanfest, but I didn't bother. It's a FPS and whilst I do play FPS's, I do it very casually. Boot up the XBox, play a couple of games of domination on Call of Duty, switch off the XBox.

Now don't get me wrong, I want DUST to succeed. Success for DUST is success for CCP which in turn is success for Eve. I just really struggle to see where the player base is going to come from. How will DUST compete with Battle Field, Call of Duty and the many others that litter this over-populated genre? Yes it's going to be free to download, but is that a good thing, or a bad thing? The phrase "Triple A" was mentioned so many times at Fanfest in reference to DUST I think The Mittani was playing the "Triple A" drinking game where he took a shot every time someone mentioned that phrase. It would explain the alliance panel session! But let me ask you, what in life is AAA grade AND free? We all know what CCP are doing, but will the "It is free therefore it cannot be that good" mentality affect player numbers?

Is DUST just going to be full of Eve players bringing a whole new meaning to the phrase "dual boxing"? Will your average FPS player on the Playstation network be put off by the depth and customisation in DUST when they are used to equipping a big gun, a small gun or launcher, an explodey thing, a flash or smoke grenade and an equipment thingy and that is it. The anticipated new players that Eve will get crossing over from DUST on the PS3, will they stick around or will the majority of them be "insta-gratification" types who will be put off by the long-haul of Eve character development. That is a lot of questions with very few answers until the game is released.

Personally, I'm awaiting the full game's release and feedback from the player-base before I try it. If the feedback is positive then may be I'll get a PS3 ("Honey, I've bought you a Blu-Ray player so you can watch your chick-flicks in high definition.") based on the reviews. We will see.

But how could CCP get me more interested?

Orbital Bombardment
Yes this feature is still being developed. Current thinking is that you'll park a BS or destroyer in orbit with a "orbital bombardment computer thingy" module, activate that and fire. But will that be it? Bit boring TBH for us in space isn't it? I want to see the fruits of my labours! I want to see mahoosive fire-balls with DUST-Bunnies flying through the air, flailing their arms and screaming for their mummy! I want EXPLOSIONS! Can this be done? Could be have some form of graphical representation of the carnage we are causing below? Or are we just going to be left with a view of our projectiles streaking towards the planet and the thought that even mining allows you to see your shot actually hit something? Ooooooo killmails please?

Atmospheric Fighters
Now this is probably far too much of a technical challenge, but what if Eve Online pilots could enter the battlefield? A carrier would need to be parked at the planet where the fight is kicking off. It could enter a sort of "siege" type cycle allowing the following to happen and making that carrier vulnerable at the same time. A capsuleer approaches the carrier, stores his current ship and swaps it for a Atmospheric Fighter. Swapping ships in this way leads to like an undocking session change, one minute you are in space, next you are flying just above the battleground. Obviously you can shoot at the DUST-Bunnies down below, but the issue is that the Dust-Bunnies can shoot back at you. Think surface-to-air launchers in COD. The big problem for capsuleers being that pods cannot fly in the atmosphere so if they hit you, you are going to plummet to earth and end up like Humpty Dumpty! Insta-podding! I'm also thinking proper piloted ships, not the "click and go" we have in Eve. Think the Wing Commander series, especially WCIII - The Heart of the Tiger which had atmospheric flying missions. Like I said, the technical challenge to have a PC player flying a fighter above a battle zone on the PS3 is probably insurmountable. But if it was possible, how cool would that be?

A lot of Eve players are here for the Sci-Fi. The lore, the background the technobabble. Spaceships, warp drivers, lasers! We love that shit! We used to get regular chronicles expanding the Eve universe and delving into the lore, background and history. Now they are only occasional and only when there is something to promote like a fresh expansion. If CCP were firing out more chronicles, pulling me deeper in, it might get me more interested. These days CCP appear to rely on the players to do this, but it's not the same. Anyone can write some crappy fan-fiction. What we want is excellent CCP canon. We want reference material, interesting tales involving the Eve universe, stories which are not just which null-sec alliance has kicked another null-sec alliance in the balls. We want geeky stuffz! Yes I read Templar One thanks to the lovely Sindel Pellion, but I want more! MOAR I SAY! MOAR! CCP give me DUST514 material that expands on the Eve-O universe and I will get sucked into DUST514 more, I promise!

Now in the above I use terms such as "I" and "me". Obviously I'm using this term loosely to describe a much wider base of Eve obsessed Sci-Fi geeks who are "meh" about DUST. Surely I cannot be the only one!

I wish I was more interested in DUST519, but as it stands at the minute, I'm just meh. May be nearly the launch date they'll be something to prick my interest.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Blog Banter 39 - I'm Like the Gypsy Band!

"Some say a man's home is his castle. For others it is wherever they lay their hat. The concept is just as nebulous in the New Eden sandbox. 

In EVE Online, what does the concept of "home" mean to you?"

Home in Eve for me has been many, many different places for me. It all started a long time ago, in a solar system far, far, away.......

Poinen V, Internal Security Assembly Plant.
This was my first home. I was a noob, I was a carebear, I didn't have a clue. Whilst the Caldari State pretty much hates me, Internal Security still likes me due to the hundreds of missions I grinded as a solo player. FEAR MY CARACAL O'DOOM!

Gicodel, Sisters of Eve Bureau
This was my first true home when an old mate said he played Eve too and invited me over to join the corp he was in. It was very much "carebear as usual" but now with the Sisters of Eve. I was lucky as running storyline missions for the Caldari meant my Gallente standings were -4.8. Thankfully this was when you were either shoot on sight in the Empire (-5 standing or worse) or were not (-4.99999 standing or better). I was soon loved by the Frogs.

Villore, Federal Defence Union Logistics Support.

Now this corp I joined was a carebear corp, but they had one weekend a month in Faction War for PvP'ing. I tried it, I died. Horribly. After a few goes I'd just go AFK on FW weekends and did something else. However, after about 6 months of hiding under a rock when anyone said PvP, I thought I'd give it another go. This time it clicked and I loved it. In spring of 2009 when there was a choice to merge with the well known FW corp Shadows of the Federation, and I was one of the big supporters. We merged and moved to Villore which was the hi-sec staging area for the Gallente Militia.

Nennamalia, Wiyrkkomi Peace Corps Assembly Plant
As the tide turned against the Caladri who at that time owned the entire war zone, it became more and more difficult to find targets. The front line had been pushed back from the Gallente's doorstep further into low-sec, so we moved. My first low-sec home! The screenshot is a bit sick due to the current incursion

Nisuwa, State Protectorate Logistics Support
Now if I had to pick one system to call home of all these, it would be Nisuwa. A big pirate alliance decided to move into Nennamalia and we needed to move out. At that time we couldn't compete with them. So we moved further into the war zone and only three jumps from the enemies high-sec staging system at the time!

Road Trips
We had a number of road trips to various low-sec and null-sec locations. However I don't count them home any more than a hotel when I go on holiday.

2DWM-2, Z'ha'dum
We got an invitation to join R.A.G.E. as part of the NC. We moved to null-sec, and we even spunked 17bn to build our own outpost! If you get the connection with the station name, then you are a real Sci-Fi geek! However null-sec blob warfare wasn't for us so we moved back to Nisuwa and sold the outpost at a loss a few months later. However, we didn't mind..... as a few weeks after we left a LOT of angry Russians came stomping through and took the system.


Kamela V, 24th Imperial Crusade Logistics Support
Was it Kamela or was it Sosala? These Amarr stations all look the same to me! This was a short home when we tried the doomed alliance with Wolfsbrigade. We dropped faction war and headed to their area and went pirate for a while. That didn't work out due to WBR being serious and having short, medium and long term goals and business plans and we having..... drink!

Nisuwa, State Protectorate Logistics Support
So it was back to Nisuwa and back to our roots in Faction War. There were road trips, but Nisuwa was always our main base.

Nennamalia, Wiyrkkomi Peace Corps Assembly Plant
In July I left SoTF as they were getting serious and having short, medium and long term goals and business plans (mmmmm deja vu) and joined QCATS. So basically I have gone full circle. After three years living outside of hi-sec in various places, I'm back to where I started.

The Future Home

There is talk of a possible move, and I cannot believe the location suggested......

So the blog banter asked what does the concept of 'home' in Eve mean to me. As you can see from the above it doesn't much. Home is where I am "permanently" based from. However, as you can see there is very little permanent about my homes. May be that is the way of low-sec PvP. You move around looking for the fights. I guess I'm nothing more than a Gypsy! May be if QCATS doesn't work out I should join this lot purely due to their AT X advert....

P.S. On the subject of recruitment my old corp, Shadows of the Federation, are recruiting and asked if I'd give them a shout-out. Whilst they have got a bit too serious these days for my play-style, if you are looking for some awesome fleets of awesomeness, amazing FC's, cap fights including supers and general top-of-the-line PvP then they might be the guys for you. Think one of the top PvP corps in game with extra alcohol -

Others on this Blog Banter:-

Friday, August 24, 2012

Vengeance – Prologue

I’ve been giving the fan fiction a bit of a rest over the last few weeks with only a single post since the Ripper. The Jita Ripper series was a fair amount of work and I wanted a bit of a creative rest (not saying if that’s for me or the readers!). Anyway, I’ve been writing a new series, this time with a capsuleer as the main character. Hope you enjoy.

Oh, and I wonder, has anyone else tried to write dialogue for a pirate faction in Eve and ended up with them all sounding like Mr Gibbs from Pirates of the Caribbean? No? Just me then? Glad I rewrote those parts with the “G’aaaarrrrrrr” turned down from 11 then!

If fan fiction isn't your thing, I'd recommend this rather good article on the problems with faction war at 

Vengeance – Prologue

Danmat trudged down the street in the rain. It was dark and the sulphur in the atmosphere, which the rain brought down to street level, made the place smell like bad eggs. However, even though the volcanic activity on this planet made the air and water smell, it was still better to him than the recycled and filtered air on a space station.

He’d spent the day trying to fix a Condor class frigate with a dodgy plasma injector. It hadn’t been going well and he’d worked late into the night to finish the job. Still being in his first month on the job, he needed to impress, especially in this economy. He was slowly moving up from junior technician to starship engineer. This new position had required him to move from his home town to the big city. The small starport back home just didn’t have the jobs at this level.

His new apartment was relatively cheap. Mostly because it was away from any public transport terminals. He’d got off the metro 15 minutes ago and it was still a good 30 minutes walk. Tonight he was trying a different way home. The city of Messian on Amo III was hardly the centre of the cluster, but it was his new home. Most of the shops and businesses along the street were shut at this time. The area was rougher than he would have liked so quickened his pace. One bar a bit further down looked open and he thought a quick drink might do him good.

As he approached the bar he saw the name. “Mortal”.

Inside the bar was quiet, very quiet. However, it was tastefully decorated and appeared to be much higher-class than he’d have expect for this area. He went up to the bar and perched on a bar stool. The barman wandered over.

“Welcome. What can I get you?”

“Double vodka and Quaffe please. Bit quiet tonight?”

The barman started preparing the drink.

“Yeah, usually is in the week. However, I kinda like it like that. Picks up at the weekend but never gets too busy.”

A stunningly gorgeous Gallente woman appeared from a door leading up to the side of the bar. Danmat did a double take. Everything about her, the make-up, dress, shoes and hair all screamed something to him. The nicest way he could put it is that she looked like she belonged in the area. If he had to label her, ‘Dancer’ would have been the nicest way he could think of describing her look, and he wasn’t think ballet! Still despite that appearance he couldn’t deny she was very attractive in a ‘filthy-gorgeous’ kind of way.

“Sweetie. We’re running low on Brutor Brain Basher” referring to the infamous Marati ale “Can you make sure you order some in time for the next shipment from Hek.”

The barman smiled and nodded and she disappeared.

“Wife?” asked Danmat.

“Yes. Ten years and still going strong.” replied the barman who was placing the bottle of vodka back on the top shelf. As he stretched, Danmat noticed scaring on the back of his neck. Putting two and two together he thought he’d see what the reaction would be.

“So, you used to be a capsuleer?” Danmat asked nonchalantly.

The barmans eye’s narrowed and he turned around. Danmat was completely unaware that he was discreetly reaching under the counter for a concealed plasma rifle.

“What makes you say that?”

Danmat sipped his drink.

“That is a good drink! Well this bar is hardly in the central business district, but the furnishings and materials are top notch. You spent a lot of money renovating this place, and you’ll never make that back given the location and the customers you’ll likely get around here. You appear to have money to throw around. Usually that means ISK and not local credits. The name of the bar is ‘Mortal’, you have a trophy wife and the scaring on your neck indicates you had the interface implants removed. How am I doing?” Danmat grinned. He always liked playing at detective.

The capsuleer released his grip on the rifle still concealed under the bar. He was pretty sure he was not one of them. Even if he was, he rifle was still close and the internal security system in this bar was on a par with any Governmental secure location.

“Very observant. You a cop?”

“Me? No!” Danmat laughed “ I work down at the maintenance bay at the Eastern starport. Just got an apartment over in the Doolar district. Only problem is it’s a 45 minute walk from the nearest metro station to the block.”

The barman already knew this. A concealed DNA scanner in the door was linked to the planetary governors secure database. A connection that cost him a small fortune in bribes and payments to hackers. Whilst Danmat had been speaking, the barman had been looking at the screen on the till. As well as the price of the vodka and Quaffe, it listed everything he needed to know about Danmat. He was born and raised on this planet, rarely travelling and had only been into space a handful of times and never out of the solar system. He wasn’t the threat he feared. Or was it the threat he used to fear? It had been so long the barman didn’t even know himself anymore.

“Well kid, I’d appreciate it if you didn’t tell anyone.”

“Sure, to be honest I’m not sure who I could tell. I’m pretty new to the area.”

Danmat scanned the bar a bit more. He noticed a holo-picture behind the bar showing two woman. He guessed one was in her 40’s and the other late-teens or early 20’s.

“Family?” he nodded at the picture. The barman turned to look, when he faced Danmat again he looked sad.

“My first wife and daughter. They…. They are not with us anymore.”

Danmat looked at the ex-capsuleer and now barman. There was something in his eyes. A mix of great pain and greater anger.

“Are they the reason you are here?”

“Yes. They are the reason I chose the path of a lowly bar owner now and not an immortal. Their ghosts and the Guristas pirates are why I am here today.”

“Want to talk about it?” Danmat asked.

The barman paused.

“You know what kid. It has been fifteen years since their deaths set off that chain of events.” The barman grabbed a whisky glass and poured himself a good measure. “In all those years I’ve never spoken about what happened. Always a bit worried those damn pirates might not have appreciated what I did and come looking for me. So I’ve kept quiet and told nobody.”

“Not even to the wife?”

“Especially not the wife. What the hell, if you are a pirate they are recruiting them young these days. It all began over in Black Rise, however at the time of the……. ‘incident’ there was nothing I could do. I was a miner, nothing more, nothing less. It took me 18 months to train what I needed to train. It was then that things got, shall we say interesting…….”

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Dear Mr Kuvakei, **** OFF!

As Faction War/pirate player you might be able to guess, I don't really go for PvE. I used to, when I first started Eve Online I was a proper missioning-bear. But over time I have embraced the dark side and now am a full-time PvP'r. I'm even to the stage where I'd rather buy PLEX and sell on the market to get ISK to make cash for ships and ammo. I want to fight other players, not some computer controlled rat!
Last week we had an Incursion in our home constellation. Now these are a REAL PITA in low-sec. You have rats on the gate that scram, jam and hit hard. You have cyno jammers that stop you moving your caps about. They also put a stupid green filter on everything which makes space look ill. It causes issues with solo roaming in anything bigger than a destroyer and small gang fights on gates can go horribly wrong when these guys show up. And you know what, they are annoying for a whole week as nobody will run them in our area.............. as NOBODY CARES (including me)!
At the weekend, finally, the Sansha buggered off and all was well again.... until about 3 days later (yesterday) when the feckers came back! Two Incursions in the same location within days of each other. WTF?
Look CCP, can you keep Mr Kuvakei and his mutant zombies out of the Faction War areas as we really couldn't give a rats ass about them. Whilst zombies are very popular in modern day culture, so are gay sparkly vampires. Modern day culture can get it very wrong!
They are a major annoyance for us PvP types. If we were into PvE we'd all be null-bears farming sanctums in 0.0. Go have a look what's happening to the Incursion around the Nennamalia area right now, go on, have a look. Nothing! Absolutely nothing! Nobody cares! We're in this area for the PvP, this is fight club! No rat is going to give you GF in local. No rat will cry tears when you blow up their ship. Low-sec is home of solo and very small gang (3 or 4), neither of which can be used for incursion sites.
Yes, technically we could get some fleets organised and run the Incursion to get rid of it faster but that would require a shed ton of PvE and I'd rather go play something else.

So far I've not seen the Incursion Profile move from 100%. Meaning nobody is running sites in either this incursion or the last.
This story-line has run its course. Can we have Mr Kuvakei turn up somewhere in a Sansha Titan, preferably on the Jita undock and preferably with a Sansha AOE doomsday that does work in hi-sec and close this incursions story-line down.
Or even better, lets have a stable wormhole open to the Sansha HQ system. Let those who want to PvE do so somewhere else, and let us Faction War yarrrrr-bears get back to doing what we want to do, blowing other PEOPLE'S stuffz up!

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Fall of the Amarr?

Whilst a few weeks ago things were looking up for the Amarr, in the last week that has changed. Nulli and Hun have left and with the continued push against Kamela, Wolfsbrigade (Lost Obsession alliance) have also left.

As I write this the Amarr have 21 systems vulnerable, have lost seven systems so far today and of their 6 remaining systems that are not vulnerable or lost, five are 25% or more contested. Even with Agony joining the Amarr, I don't see any other outcome than the Amarr being reduced to one or two systems within a few days.

Obviously the tears are flowing on the forums. Its Hans' fault, its CCP's fault, its someone else's fault. Come on guys, HTFU. With Nulli and Hun you pushed the Minmatar way back. If you'd busted all those bunkers rather than just kept them vulnerable so you could farm LP's you'd have been winning.

Also look at the killboards. Minmatar have 70% efficiency to your 58%.

Some Minmatar are now calling for a push to take all systems from the Amarr. I think it was in 2009 when the Caldari Militia took control of all the warzone systems and CCP gave all the members of the Caldari Militia a medal. There is talk about forcing CCP's hand to do the same for the Minmatar.

But will the Matari be able to take every single system?

Whilst I do not share the general Amarrian view that FW is broken beyond repair, I do think CCP need to look at the mechanics carefully. You can debate whether the station lock out hampers system capture, but look at it this way. If this was true then how did the Amarr make 25 of the Matari held systems vulnerable a week ago? How did they get the warzone control to Tier 4? How did the Amarr fight back from having only 5 or 6 systems to being T4?

However, the most important thing is that they need to reward PvP better and stop things like this.

Come on CCP, stick a few web towers in these plex or make it so that the beacon doesn't count down for aggressors unless all the NPC ships have been destroyed. Then plexing in a ship with no guns will be pointless and we'll get some more fights! FW currently is about farming, I want to see it about PvP!

P.S. Just noticed SC&S has passed 100,000 page views! Thanks all!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Fan Fiction - Rocked

Four of the ships crew sat around the table in the galley. The emergency lighting gave a dim glow to the room. It had been two hours since something had struck the ship and the primary power had gone down. It had over an hour since the captain and the the chief engineer had gone outside suited up to assess the damage. They were just returning. Life-support on the frigate was running on minimal power so they had all gathered in the galley and left other areas of the ship to cool.

"So, is it bad news?" Helena asked.
The captain placed his helmet on the table.
"A small chunk of a roid has penetrated through the outer plating and smashed the primary cooling array. That's why the reactor shut down. Anything more than 5% output will fry us all. To make matters worse, the comms array was also destroyed in the impact. We cannot call for help."
"Will 5% allow us to get home?" Brab was the mining technician. He sounded downbeat.
"No. We'd need 80% output just to initialise the warp drive. That would vaporise us, the ship and anything close."
"So we just sit here?" Helena sounded worried.
"Unless you can build and fit us a new cooling rig or comms array out of raw veldspar, then there is not much we can do but sit here. There are three ways I can see this playing out. Firstly we're in a marked asteroid belt and the next system is high-sec. There is a good chance someone will find us. Yes there is the chance nobody does. In which case, well, it ain't going to be pleasant staving to death whilst drinking our own piss."
"Gee thanks for that motivational speech capt. You've really put my mind at rest!" Gregor was the grunt on the ship. He didn't have an official job title, he was just the muscle. Handy when things got out of hand on low-sec station bars, not much use in an emergency like this.
"Well you've going to love the final possibility then. We're in Blood Raider space."
The room went deathly quiet as the realisation hit them. It had never been a problem before, the small frigate was fast and maneuverable. All of the pirate factions were treated the same, a minor annoyance. At the first sign of trouble the Solar Drift simple warped off. They were a mining frigate, not a combat frigate.
"Oh man!" exclaimed Gregor "So if someone doesn't find us, we're either going to starve to death or have the Blood Raiders drain us dry?"
"That's pretty much the outlook I'm afraid. Now if you'll all excuse me, I need a drink"

The crew all had their faces pressed against the viewports in the galley. Brab had spotted something in the asteroid belt but the slow spin of the ship was making it hard to find it again.
"We're nearly fully rotated, we should be able to...."
"There it is! It's a ship and it's coming towards us!"
Everything went quiet as each person saw the vessel. It was too far away to make out any details, but the glow of the engines and the silhouette of the hull meant it was coming directly towards them.
It had been four days since the accident. Cheif Engineer Trak had died on day two. He had been trying to rig the reactor heat exchanger to the small coolers fitted to each of the three mining laser. Not only did it not work, it had fried him alive in the process. The captain had hardly been seen. His quarters were well stocked with drink and he had been busy drowning his sorrows. Maria the cook had been found yesterday with both of her wrists slashed. She had taken what she thought was the easy way out.
Now with four of them left, someone was finally coming. The tension was high. Was it help or was it something else?
"Can anyone see it?"
"No, not this side."
"There.... it's a...... cruiser of some sort. What the hell is that?"
"It's an Ashimmu." said Gregor as he moved away from the viewport and slid down the wall landing on his backside, "It's a Blood Raider cruiser."

The eerie red light flooded the corridor from the viewports. The emergency lighing flickered as the energy destabalisor beam from the Blood Raider vessel kept their capacitor from operating fully. The four sat behind the makeshift barrier of crates facing the airlock.
"How do we know they won't just blow the lock and let us be sucked out into space?" Gregor asked.
The captain was checking the safety on his pistol.
"First off, we'd be blown into space, not sucked. And secondly, they want us alive. They want to drain the blood from out bodies and that is rather difficult from frozen corpses!"
Helena threw up. The fear was clear on her face.
"You OK in handling that?" The captain changed the subject nodding at the weapon she carried. Helena looked down at the huge portable mining laser she was holding unsteadily in both hands. An old relic from back when mining frigates needed people in suits to cut chunks from asteroids.
"Yeah. I think so. Just point at the Raiders and squeeze right?"
"Just don't hit a viewport. That thing is a relic and shouldn't punch through the plexi-trit, but lets not test it eh?"
A beeping sound came from the captains datapad. The outer hatch was being accessed.
"They're coming"
"Right!" said Gregor, heaving his salvaging laser over his shoulder. "Lets do this!"

The captain looked at Gregor and the huge tool he was carrying. It was designed for slicing off bits of spaceships, again an old piece of equipment that had been made obsolete by ship mounted salvage turrets that could scan, cut and tractor beam all in one. No longer did people need to suit up and exit the ship to salvage a wreck. Had he made the right decision giving Gregor a device that was designed for cutting open ships? A man who's solution to everything started and finish with violence.
"The hatch!" Brab was kneeling behind some crates. He too had one of the old two-handed mining lasers. He leveled it at the inner airlock hatch that was slowly opening. The Captain tried to do the maths. The airlock was only three metres by three metres. The inner door could never be opened whilst the outer door was. So they would have to come in groups. Nine or ten at a time. Could 4 miners armed with makeshift weapons hold out against armed pirates coming in groups of 10? The hatch opened opened and the Raiders spilled out into the corridor.
The first three where cut clean in two by Gregor's salvaging laser. The captain winced as the beam scarred the outer wall near the airlock.
"Careful! You breach that wall and we're all dead!"
Gregor wasn't paying attention, he was stood on the barricade now, rapidly pulling the trigger sending short bursts of fire at the airlock. Another two Raiders fell as they leaned out from the cover of the airlock to fire.
"YEAH! COME GET SOME!" Gregor screamed over the sound of his salvaging laser.
Helena and Brab aimed their mining lasers but were waiting for a good shot. Another Raider lent from the airlock and sprayed fire at the barricade. Gregor screamed in pain as a series of laser bolts stuck his legs. He fell forward. The Raiders poured out of the airlock as soon as the fire from the salvaging beam ceased. Helena and Gregor opened fire. The first salvo took down two of the Raiders. The Captain's pistol, the only real fire arm on the ship took down another two.
"Nine." the captain was counting in his head. Another one or two in there. He thought for a moment how lucky he was to have such an old rust-bucket. Modern ships had multiple points of access and wide, open corridors. This position was defensible.
Two more leaned from the airlock and fired at the barricade. Gregor was still screaming in pain but the Raiders were careful not to hit him as the laser fire streaked over his head. The crew returned fire but the captain noticed the only shots were from his pistol and the mining laser to his right. He spun to his left.
"Brab, what's the pro....."
Brab was slumped against the wall, a blackened scorch mark was present where his right eye used to be. His mouth was open as if in a silent scream, the captain could see he was dead. He span around and fired more shots at the airlock, catching one of the Raiders in the shoulder. As he fell out of the airlock he placed another half a dozen shots into him. The Raiders would offer them no mercy, so he'd offer them none too.
Gregor had composed himself and whilst his legs were useless he had grabbed his fallen weapon and was now firing on the airlock. He took out another before a stray shot fired from the airlock struck him in the top of the head.
"Can only be one left, surely?" the Captain thought. He raised his pistol just as the airlock started to close.

"Captain?" Helena looked to be in shock. The Captain didn't know what to say. They had fought off the first wave. But could the two of them hold off the next ten? Would the Raiders bring in heavier soldiers now, it was probable that they underestimated them in the first place. His datapad bleeped again. He looked in disbelief, the crusier was undocking from them. He rushed to the nearest viewport just in time to see the cruiser align and warp off. Helena had seen it too, the relief was visible on her face. As the frigate slowly spun the asteroid field passed their view. Suddenly the viewport was blocked with a huge wall of metal. Another ship. This one was massive, but he couldn't make out what is was. The captian accessed the ships sensors remotely from his datapad. A Bhaalgorn class battleship. The cruiser must have simply called for reinforcements. A battleship would have a much bigger and heavily armoured boarding party. They had no chance.
"Captain what is it?"
The captain looked at Helena. He imagined her strung up by the Raiders, her blood being slowly pumped from her body as she begged for he life.
"It's a capsuleer! We're saved!" he lied.
"Really? We're going to live?"
"Look here." he smiled and guided her to the viewport.
"See up there" he pointed and she craned her neck to see what he was pointing at as he slowly unholstered his pistol and brought it up behind her back.
"There..." he placed the gun behind her neck pointing up slightly, turned his head away and pulled the trigger. He heard the discharge and the thud as her lifeless body hit the ground.
"Better than the alternative." he thought.
He started running. Within a minute he was in the engine room and at the master control panel. For some reason the pirate battleship was not neutralising their energy systems. They must have realised by now that the frigate was disabled. The captain disabled the safety protocols on the reactor and warp drive and plotted a route. He knew the ship would never get into warp. The only two other things that he did know is that they'd never get any of his blood and that he'd take some of them with him. His datapad showed the airlock was being opened. He hit the engage command and the warp drive started to spool up. The reactors containment field instantly overheated and failed without the cooling systems online. The small frigate erupted in a ball of superheat plasma and anti-matter.
"So is it bad news?"
"I'm afraid so. The active armour hardeners and damage control were offline at the time of the explosion. Decks 14 through 31 took the worst of the blast. Engineering was badly hit and the warp drive is offline."
"What the hell happened?"
"We think they overloaded their reactor on purpose. May be in hindsight, rescuing someone from the Raiders, whilst in a ship commonly used by the Raiders themselves, may have not been a good idea. We were broadcasting to them constantly that we were sending a rescue party. They could have thought it was a deception I suppose. May be their comms were down. I guess we'll never know."
"So what now?"
"Our capsuleer has ejected in his capsule and is returning to high-sec. He's going to bring back help."
"So we just sit here and wait for him to return"
"Yes, but the problem is.......... we're in Blood Raider space."

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pushing My Luck

Since I joined QCATS I've not really been in many ships bigger than a destroyer. Corp fleets are generally later at night so I'm tending to get some much needed solo practice in. I've always tried at solo, but it takes much more player skill than in a fleet fight. Therefore I generally die more often than not!
Last night I logged on and there were no corpies in the home system. There were a few friendlies in system, as well as a bunch of squids. I undocked a Hawk class assault frigate and warped to a medium plex. As I landed I found a squid Taranis, Enyo and CN Hookbill killing a friendly destroyer. I charged in whilst swapping the EM Rockets for explosive. I crashed into the Enyo at point blank range and decided that wasn't a great idea, so pulled a bit of range back. Not sure what was happening with the other three on field as I was concentrating on battering the Enyo. As he slowly entered structure I noticed the Taranis had come in close. The Enyo popped and I pointed the interceptor. With a scram on him my rockets made short work. My ASB's had kept my shields at around 20-30% even with 2 or 3 of them shooting me. I assessed the situation. The other destroyer had gone, perhaps taken out as I was hammering the Enyo and the Hookbill was keeping out at 25-30km with his light missiles. I activated the acceleration gate and went inside the plex as I couldn't catch the Hookbill.
The Hookbill left scan and I went back to station to repair my damaged modules. Overheat FTW!
Whilst there I decide to swap the Hawk for its hybrid platform sibling, the Harpy. Whilst I'm messing in station I see war targets appear in local. A few seconds after that I undock, warp to the plex and have ships on short range scan. Kestrel, Thrasher and a CN Hookbill. Any of those three could be an issue if fit right. But what the hell, it's a laugh isn't it. So I activate the gate and go in.
They are all near the button. The Kessy is speed tanking by the look of it so I go for him. He'll be AB fit for speed tanking and popping him will get the rats on my side evening out the 3v1. I'm not sure but I think the Kessy turned into me. Even with tracking disruptor's on me, he went down quickly as you would expect in a AF vs frigate fight. The Thrasher has got on top of me and we trade blows. Missiles from the Hookbill are hitting me but my shields are holding. The Thrasher goes down and I get a point on the Hookbill who is for some strange reason in scram range even though he's light missile fit. However, he is AB and scram fit (explains why he was near). My MWD is dead from his scram and my blasters are barely scratching him at 8km range. He's also making range being substantially faster. He gets out of scram range, I cycle my MWD catch him, he scrams my MWD and gets away. This happens two times before he manages to warp off in low armour. Damn!
I head back to station to repair modules which again have taken a thermal hammering.
The war targets return to system again, same corp as the last fight. It's time for round 3! I undock and scan. Multiple assault frigates, destroyers and faction frigates. OK lads, 6v1 and you all came in heavier stuff this time.
It the words of the Black Knight...
"OK, we'll call it a draw!"

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Where is the "Ding" in Eve Online

I'm unfaithful to Eve Online, I'm ashamed to admit. I do play around. I'm a bit of a gaming slut. I justify this by saying it's like your favorite food. I love fillet steak, but if I had it for every meal, every day, I'd soon get bored of it. Therefore I like..... no, I need, some variety! Please note guys, this excuse does work for computer games and food, do NOT try this after the wife catches you! It doesn't work in THAT way.

Anyway, I do play other games. Obviously not as much as Eve which takes up 90% of my "gaming life", but now and again I have a spurt on something else. So far this year it's been Starcraft II, Skyrim, Dwarf Fortress, Civilisation V, Modern Warfare and a few others. But I'm getting a bit bored of them so needed something new to spice up my gaming life alongside Eve Online. Therefore in the week I called in at the (only) local games shop in the city (I live in a desert, computer games shops are not popular here!) to see what was out. Restricted bandwidth means downloading a game is not ideal as I'll have to be very careful with internet usage for the rest of the month.

So I poke through the shelves. Diablo III? Heard its nowhere as good as one and two and the real cash auction house ruins the "ZOMG! I found an amazing bit of loot!" from the originals. SW:TOR? Again, heard it's very "theme parky" and "Not as good as SW:G before SoE right royally ****ed it up" so may be not for me. Ha! Look at that, they have the original World of Warcraft box!

Now I used to play WoW many years ago, and I did so for a long time. It was natural progression. I started with Everquest in the late 1990's and tried most of these types of MMORPG. Everquest and WoW were the only ones I spent any time on. Age of Conan, Warhammer Online etc were a few months distraction before being left on the shelf to gather dust.

Anyway, seeing WoW on the shelf there, I started reminiscing about Everquest and WoW. I cannot compare them to Eve Online. No way. But these games were fun to play and did hit the brains pleasure centre. It has been said that many games rely on the work-reward system. You work hard (bashing 100's of spiders) and then DING (the sound that was made when you leveled up) you are rewarded with new stats, spells, equipment and the like. This hits some particular part of the brain to give you a good feeling, so you do it more. It has been said this is one of the reasons Diablo III hasn't been as successful. With the auction house there is no "high" when you loot an amazing bit of kit.

Now, never one to shy away from a controversial subject, I will ask the question. Is this "hit" missing from Eve Online?

In a few hours Drackarn will "Ding". He'll complete Gallente Cruiser V. I'm now very close to being able to fly every sub-capital combat ship in game. Just missing Amarr Frigate V and Minmatar Battleship V.

Now will this give me the same rush and same feeling of achievement as I got ten years ago hacking and slashing dragons, goblins and the various walking dead until I heard that little "Ding"?


It's no real achievement to get Gall Cruiser V, it wasn't hard work or skill. In fact it was very easy. 4 weeks ago I right clicked the skill in my character sheet and selected "Train after current queue". And that's it. In some respects it gives me the same things in game as leveling up in other games. I will be able to fly (equip) a new selection of ships (gear). I have all non-racial ship classes (and other prerequisite skills) already trained so I will instantly "unlock" the Gallente HIC, the HACs, the Recons, the Strategic Cruisers (with a day of subsystems training) the logistics and all other T2 cruiser hulls in case I missed a class. In fact I could have my own personal fleet of ships given the range I can fly.

But do you get the same feeling as levelling up in a traditional XP based MMOG? Do a trick, get reward? 


I do get that "Ding" feeling in Eve Online though. I get it from PvP, especially solo and small gang PvP. You work, you achieve, you get rewarded when that scum-bag's ship explodes in a fire-death-ball-of-death. However, it can go the other way when they destroy my ship and I don't get the "Ding" feeling, just the ability to use three swear words in rapid succession F***-S***-B*****!!!!!!!!

Is the lack of a general "Ding feeling" one of the things that stops people sticking with the game. Does CCP need to implement some form of mechanic to add in the "Ding feeling" to boost player numbers. Do we need something like an XP bar? Should some professions be boosted by grinding or experience type play?

Or should we stick to telling people who want that sort of gratification in their computer game to "**** off to WoW" and hope we find enough people like us who can play the game without the "Ding"?

What do people think? Should Eve have some for of "levelling" system to pull in more players?

P.S. - Personally I don't, but thought it might make an interesting blog. ;)