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.

12 Jan 2010

EVE Blog Banter 14: What now for Flash?

Welcome to the fourteenth installment 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 crazykinux@gmail.com. Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

The first banter of 2010 comes to us from the EVE Blog Father, CrazyKinux himself, who asks the following: As we begin another year in New Eden, ask yourselves "What Now?" What will I attempt next? What haven't I done so far in EVE? Was it out fear, funds, or knowledge? Have I always wanted to start my own corporation, but have never dared doing so? Is there a fledging mercenary waiting to come out of its shell? Or maybe an Industrialist? What steps and objectives will I set myself to accomplish in order to reach my ultimate goal for this year? EVE is what you make of it. So, what is it going to be for you?

New Eden is my alter-ego's life; so there isn't an end game for me. However, I do have goals for 2010 and Eve is what I make it.

My goal this year is to lead The Bastards to greater success and notoriety for 2010. I have my eye on successfully signing up The Bastards for the Alliance Tournament, I still remember our first go two years ago. Last year, we were on the back-up list and with two hours to go, we were asked to step in! Of course, by this time - most of the active pilots had stepped down and we had to turn down the offer. Much to our collective chagrin.

So Alliance Tournament participant as a short immediate term.

On a more personal level, I hope to get into a panther class ship: a black ops minmater battle ship. I have the skill sets but can't yet afford the ship. I love the idea of sneaky covert-ops as it fits into the way The Bastards like to fly and yes, I am going to check up on some null-sec alliance space and see what we can do. The lack of funds and appropriate skill sets had held me back in 2009 but I intend to get this one checked off my list. Not going to bother with capital class ships at the moment, as I don't see them having any utility apart from specific, once in a blue moon occasion. However, in terms of goals, these are still very doable.

So in addition to the above, I am going to fly my rifter more regularly and attempt to get at 75 kills in the rifter in 2010 and ransom as much as I can, once again, in the rifter. Flying t1 hulls, properly fitted, is a joy - screaming through a belt and a target looming.

I also have desire to complete a collection of short stories that I have been working on since, well a long time. What has stopped me from completing the deed? Too much time to tweak and edit! Need to stop this and get it down into a final form.

So there you have it, I have done a lot in EVE and still, each day brings something new and fresh. I love it.

List of Participants:
  1. CrazyKinux's Musing - A beginning is a very delicate time...
  2. The Wandering Druid of Tranquility - Words, words, words…
  3. My God It's Full of Stars - What Now?
  4. The Elitist - Plans for 112yc
  5. Into the unknown with gun and camera - Show me the money
  6. Ecliptic Rift - Enabling the future
  7. Inanity and Doom - New Year's Resolutions, New Eden Style
  8. Break Vol - Blog Banter #14
  9. Guns Ablaze - What Now?
  10. Adventures in Mission Running - The Way Forward
  11. Diary of a Pod Pilot - Things I want to do
  12. Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah - The Year That Will Be
  13. Roc's Ramblings - WordPress ate my blog
  14. Vive Virtual - Frontier Living
  15. A Mule in EVE - Next on the chopping block
  16. Prano's Journey - I Peer Into My Crystal Pod...
  17. Life in Low Sec - Expanding the Franchise
  18. The Light of Stars - Testing the claims of CCP
  19. A Memoir From Space - A New Direction
  20. The Chronofile - Blog Banter 2010
  21. FlashFresh - What now for Flash?
  22. EVE Opportunist - Fyreite in 112
  23. Mike Azariah - Jiorj
  24. Yarrbear Tales - Year in Review
  25. The Independant Analyst - The Year Ahead
  26. The Travels of Black Claw - Where ma I going?
  27. Warp Scrammed - What to do this year
  28. Sered's Lives - Searching for directions in 2010
  29. Finders & Keepers - New Tears, Same Great Taste
  30. The Captain's Log - To Dream of the Future
  31. The Lathspell of Mithrandir - Resolutions
  32. The Midnight Sun - EVE Blog Banter #14
  33. More to come...

11 Jan 2010

Happy New Year and an update

Happy New Year and welcome to 2010.

I haven't posted anything of merit during the new year as my internet connection is simply not working - frequent disconnects from the ISP has meant that I get at most, a two minute connection window before it drops again. It continues with alarming and disheartening regularity.

Now, there's a disagreement between the ISP and BT Wholesale on who now owns the problem.

After three BT engineer visits over three weeks, they have found nothing wrong at my end but can't seem to agree on what is wrong only that there is indeed, an issue. Being passed from pillar to post and it is getting tiring and yes, I am getting irritable.

Anyway, The Bastards are ploughing along, busy with Hulkageddon II - full details are here. TheHermit is doing a super job for us, first organising and then leading our bunch of fine Bastards into the fray. There's a rather funny (nay, disturbing evemail) from a miner who is accusing us of having caused a real life death of someone. I find this hard to believe as a blown up hulk will cause gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair but a real life death?

Turning the clock back a bit more, The Bastards concluded our secret (santanic) santa gift giveaway. Organised by Persephone Astrid - each member had a choice of four gifts, differing in terms of value and a final choice of an 'odd' gift. A great way to off-load that troublesome bit of Krull's DNA that was cluttering up one's hangar for example.

I received a stabber fleet issue and plenty of ammo while I gave away an Amarr Navy Slicer and some faction goodies. Great fun!

Anyway, I am off to bash some ISP support call handler's head in! Wish me luck!