30 Jan 2010

EVE Blog Banter Special: Why We Love EVE Online so much...

Introduction to this special EVE Blog Banter
Welcome to this special instalment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to Crazy Kinux.

When you've been roaming New Eden as long as I have, it almost feels like home. That's how familiar it has become over the last 5 years. Not that I have done everything or touched every aspect of this most amazing of virtual world, far from it, but it just feels as though it's always been there. And always will be.

Whether you've logged into the game every day since its launch in 2003, or you've taken one or several sabbaticals from your capsuleer career, you've always come back to New Eden don't you. Why is that?

We know the EVE Online Community is unique in so many ways, and that EVE Online is like no other MMORPG out there. But what makes the game special for you?

What is it that makes this particular virtual world so enticing, so mysterious and so alluring that we keep coming back for more. Why is EVE one of the very few MMOs to see a continuous growth in its subscriber.

To put it simply: Why do you love EVE Online so much?

A black flag flutters in the artificial atmosphere of the vast ship hangar inside the moon-sized station. The flag bears the iconic emblem of a grinning winged skull backed by two swords. The flag of The Bastards, pirates basing themselves out of Metropolis. The skulls are evident on the black uniformed individuals moving along the corridors and sky bridges, all busy with urgent errands. The skull is repeated on the neat formation of combat ships, held in magnetic locks in the hangar itself and of all possible classes. Ships paid for from the spoils of ransoms and piracy of the highest order.

The same skull gleams as a collar stud on the uniform of Flashfresh, the current CEO of The Bastards. Staring out from behind toughened glass from the head quarters, suspended above the hangar, he surveys the current fleet as the final ordnance is loaded and locked in. Ship crews stream inside like a line of ants and automated missile loaders, scuttle around like giant spiders. Flashfresh grins; he always does when a new day dawns. The assembled fleet made Flashfresh grin and was an obvious counter-point at those who said piracy was largely dead. New Eden has so much potential and bursting with an eternity of choices. It always made him never regret the time when he was modified or indeed, each morning when he wakes up in Evati, his current home.

Standing behind him are the core of The Bastards: the capsuleer pirates, viciousness personified, biologically enhanced, feared and hated and immortal. Each with a sizeable bounty on their heads, placed there by other capsuleers, galactic authorities and powerful corporations in response to being subjected to brazen acts of piracy and ransoms. Each pirate doesn't care for this as they are truly free to test their mettle against the universe and to 'play the game'.

"What's it going to be this week boss?" Asked one pirate, known simply as 'TheHermit' his eyes hooded, cold and gray. "We killed miners in high-sec as per orders and thoroughly enjoyed the tears."

There were murmurs of agreement from the assembled pilots and a snort of derision from another.

"Over 1200 exhumers were destroyed and we played a significant part in it. We even got 500million isk reward for our troubles. Hell we even made the news. " Said an elegant female pirate who answered to 'Persephone Astrid'. "So what next?" Her eyes gleaned as she turned to another pilot killer, his face devoid of emotion. Persephone leaned close and whispered to him.

"What do you think Plat, wormhole ops this week?"

Plat shook his head slowly. "We did that a few months back. I think we're going for a mad frigate run through Molden Heath." A voice hissed over.

"That was a couple of weeks ago mate, it was fun but I think we're sticking closer to home - I think we're going to hit Paala and LXQ and get some null-sec action. Just like we did a few months back. Ishalar needs to do more of his ransom chatter eh Ish?"

Ishalar nodded in acknowledgement at Pastor Phelps, who now reminded him of a most fun and profitable evening. After a second of musing, Ishalar volunteered an idea. "Stealing POS towers. We haven't had the chance to do one in ages."

Pastor shook his head after considering the idea.

"Tower stealing? We know what happened last time - we let one slip away!"

Another pirate chipped in with a suggestion. "Nah - stealth bomber roam; loved the last one though it didn't end well." He winked at a thin, serious looking man. "Eh Jirat?"

Jirat just grinned back. "I want kill another strategic cruiser, solo like I did with that proteus." This brought on a chorus of approvals as it was a solo kill of legendary proportions. Jirat could get free drinks with that story for a while.

The noise died down as three individuals strolled into the room and approached Flashfresh, who still was staring out into the hangar, no doubt enjoying the banter behind him. The three newcomers were the senior capsuleers of The Bastards and their names were well known to all: Viginti, Raelyf and z0de.

Viginti leaned in close and whispered something to Flashfresh. There was an almost imperceptible nod and Flashfresh turned around. He had a smile on his face.

"Ladies and Gentlemen. Your attention to please." After some shuffling and jostling for a view, The Bastards all stood up. "Yes, we've had a busy 2009 and hopefully you have enjoyed yourself. New Eden has offered much to me and to you."

A slight trembling could be felt underfoot as Flashfresh continued.

"However, we've always wanted to try something new, refine and improve on existing ideas. Yes, the Alliance tourney beckons once more but there is something else that I want to try in 2010."

The trembling became much more pronounced causing some consternation amongst the pilots. Flashfresh ignored it all and continued.

"Something that I wanted to do with The Bastards. First, let me show you the newest addition to our fleet..." As if on cue, something passed overhead and threw the entire room into shadow as a vessel sailed overhead. Strictly against station regulations, it was obvious Flash had pulled a few strings but passing so close to the office window caused some of the pilots to duck. All one could see was the hull surface of a massive ship, racing by and stretching out.

It took a full two minutes before the ship was passed and another three minutes before the pilots could recognise the vessel.

"It is a nomad class jump freighter, she's been christened 'Santa Anna' and it is for our use. We've listened and now we're improving our logistics after much deliberation." There were cheers and some applause. "No we didn't steal it either." Said Flashfresh. However the rumbling sound had not finished, instead it deepened.

"Of course, there's more. We've tried and succeeded in most things but I want to do our 'thing' a bit further afield this time." Flash let the sentence hang as the room was darkened once more and something large and ominous drifted over head. There were gasps and then cheers. Three black ops clandestine class battle ships wheeled in a tight formation and settled above their docking bays. Dozens of force reconnaissance and stealth bombers screeched among the three giants. Two panther class and one widow class black ops hovered majestically and then slowly descended onto huge magnetic clamps that closed with resounding thumps. They gleamed like all freshly commissioned ships and the Bastards skull motif was still bright and fresh on the flanks of these vessels of destruction.

"Ladies and gentlemen - our ships await us. Let's go, we have work to do."

Flashfresh grinned as with the dedicated pod pilots, shiny ships, new targets, new destinations and new opportunities - they were off. God, he just loves this life of his.