Words have consequences

Just a quick post with a paste of an EVE mail I just sent to my corp.  (I fixed some typos)

 

Dear All

as you may have heard, my blog has been cited as reason for our invasion. Specifically, two posts are being talked about, one dealing with Hard Knock’s eviction and the other with our relationship with Blue-Fire. (links below)

I won’t go through a justification, backpaddling or somehow saying “I didn’t mean it”. That is not my style. At the time when I wrote it, these posts reflected my thinking. My only regret now is that I didn’t distance the blog from our corp and made clear that the opinion was mine and mine alone. That was a mistake.

So, I don’t apologize for my blog, I have been writing for nearly 10 years and always said what I thought. The blog is as much “EVE” for me as stalking wormholes. Without the blog I wouldn’t play and without the game, I wouldn’t blog. And I won’t change my style. I don’t want to play a game in “fear” of some bully who doesn’t like what I say.

But, words have consequences and whether the invasion was caused or even fueled by my posts is not important to me, I’ll lose pretty much all the assets I have left, but that is the risk I took when I moved to WH space. Assets in WH space are always considered lost.

What is important to me is that you know how much I respect N0MEX, every damn one of you. And if you decide that it is time for me to quit, so be it.

See you in Sto’Vo’Kor.

Epigene

Blog links below
https://splatus.wordpress.com/2019/09/19/and-so-it-begins/

https://splatus.wordpress.com/2018/12/14/the-eviction-of-hard-knocks-and-why-it-could-be-good-for-wormhole-space/

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And so it begins

My remaining two readers may recall that I fly with Anomalous Existence (N0MEX), a storied WH corporation with home in a C2/HS/C4.  I joined N0MEX because they focus on small gang PvP, acknowledge that real life is more important than PvP and – yes – because the corp has core ethics that appeal to me.  No shittalk, no screwing anyone over, honor your word, come to the defense of others etc etc. Yeah, my kind of people, no regrets at all.  Solid dudes, all of them.

I told before the story of Mindful Visteen, our corp member who passed away during a fleet-operation.  Our team put a memorial up reminding passing capsuleers that we are not immortal, that the time we can spend with our friends is limited and that we need to make the best of it.  Being with friends engaged in a common cause still remains the best use of our time and Mindful Visteen, you and I agree with this or we wouldn’t play this game or read these blogs.

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Our makeshift memorial was destroyed by “Blue-fire”, a group that does apparently not share our values, laughed about our efforts to remember our friend, memed about it, named their own Fortizar “memorial” in mockery and started coming after us in our home hole (with some hilarious incompetence but that’s a different story…).

Mindful Visteen BlueFire

Mindful

This disrespect for our friend of course has caused the expected emotion in our corporation, raw anger and lust for revenge are the main ones, personally, I am less angry than sad.  I am still quite proud of my naivety, I seek and find good things in people and when they pull stunts like that I just don’t understand how people can be so willfully cruel.  This story by the way made its rounds and Blue-Fire is a pariah in our community and apparently also in Nullsec where some of their pilots recently tried to join a larger outfit and were rejected because of their reputation.

Well, it looks like that Blue-Fire has reached a new low level by crawling to the infamous Wormhole eviction corporation “Inner Hell” and supplied them with the Intel to invade us.  Inner Hell has a reputation for zero bushido or any form of restraint, they routinely lie, intimidate, extort and of course infiltrate and DDoS communication systems.  These tactics have earned them the reputation of the most reviled Wormhole corporation in New Eden, something they apparently revel in. For Blue-Fire to work with them is indeed distasteful and I am confident to say that this will have consequences.

But before we take on Blue-Fire, we have the small matter of Inner Hell trying to burn down our C2.  They came in-style yesterday with 50+ pilots, set up their own structures and reinforced all of ours.  We flash-formed rescue fleets in k-space but Inner Hell is good at this game and we only got a couple of dozen of our friends in when Inner Hell wasn’t paying attention.  We are all now waiting for our “timers” and while there is a decent chance that we will lose the hole, none of us is really stressed about it.  EVE is a game where skill, dedication and superior numbers win the game and we are confident that we can match Inner Hell on an equal field.  No, the mood in N0MEX is quite good actually, this is content, this is the fight we waited for.  Our issue is also not really with Inner Hell, they are just doing what they are designed to do, our issue really is with Blue-Fire.  They really ticked us off now.

If we lose our hole, we know exactly where we are moving in next and if we don’t, we’ll go there just the same…

Mindful

Yeah, I’m thinking I’m back!

As my last remaining reader(s?) may recall, I recently took a break from EVE and played No Man’s Sky exclusively.  There was really no drama involved, “my” EVE (=low class Wormholes)  have not experienced any changes in years and the “blackout” or PvE content has not had any impact on my play style at all.  And the NOMEX team I fly with is awesome, nothing wrong there either.  I just felt like exploring something brand new, learn new skills, really discover something that I had never seen before and No Man’s Sky delivered every time I logged in.  New planets, new alien worlds, new stuff to see after every warp – its an incredible game when played solo and – so I heard – with others.  Last week, a massive update dropped, full with base-building, quality of life and multiplayer features that sounded incredible (one can tame and ride the weirdest critters now – and yes – milk them).  But for some reason, the same update patch turned my interest off entirely.  Its sort of like WoW for me in 2009 (or any game other than EVE since…), once I “get” it, I lose interest.  NMS has phenomenal breadth but very little depth, i.e. I can warp to a huge variety of planets but once landed, do pretty much the same thing.  Most players seem to go down the base-building path and painstakingly assemble gigantic, floating castles or go the team route which – thankfully in NMS – is quite controlled and allows small groups of RL friends to do quests together, sort of what Elderscrolls Online should have been instead of a WoW clone 10 years too late.  I am not into multiplayer (outside EVE) and never really got the “building” bug – not in EVE or Space Engineer (never tried Minecraft).  So, I logged into NMS the other day and realized that I’d really like to play EVE for a bit.

So, I logged into EVE after 2 (3?) months of absence. I felt just “at home” in my Legion and went scouting for things to look at, it was just like riding a bike.  There is something meditative about scanning and scouting, punctuated by little bursts of anxiety / anticipation when decloaking and jumping into a new hole, never quite know if there is the great “nothing” or 10 guys in T3Ds on the other side.  I scanned down a few valuable gas sites for my fleet mates who descended on them with a cloud of Prospects but unfortunately, got myself rolled out by a Hard Knocks Archon, and had to take a rather messy, long route via Low Sec back home.  It ended up with no kills, no loss, no ISK, no scary moments, no tall tales of near defeat or amazing victory.

I loved it.

 

 

The Comeback Kid

As both of my remaining, loyal and handsome readers know, I play and write about EVE Online, a spaceship multiplayer game where real people matter.  I created my first character sometime in 2009 and have been subscribed pretty much continuously since then. EVE is – needless to say-  an awesome game, in fact, the best MMO(RP)G still on the market.

However, sometimes, when Real Life goes busy, my patience for EVE- or any MMO –  is just not there.  Especially in Wormhole Space where the connections vary and hunting – while amazing fun, is never done in 1 hour, it takes time to scout, assess the situation, set up the ambush, call in the team, spring the trap etc.  And while there are many other facets to EVE, I have never been able to “get into it”, not the massive Nullsec fleets, RvB, industry, mission running etc.  No, “EVE” for me is “WH” space and its just a time sink at the moment I can’t really afford.

Well then!  Other games have always had their place in my life, a quick pickup in Planet Side 2, a side quest in Fallout 4, Skyrim, a skirmish in Destiny or cleaning out an outpost in Far Cry – all of these games I have played, enjoyed and eventually put down, they served a temporary, quick fix for 30min and then I can move onto other things.  The exception to that rule had always been No Man’s Sky, one of the two games I purchased pre-release when it was – officially – terrible.  I recently came back since Hello Games had pushed quite a few serious updates and screenshots / reports from the game looked pretty good.  So, I thought, whatever, I already own it, may as well reinstall and try it out.  Nothing to lose.

And what a game it is.  Unreal.

So, let me back up – when I bought the game in 2016, I really wanted a solo-SciFi, space exploration game.  Basically like EVE but without irritating hostile players, without industry grind or repetitive missions and just exploration of “stuff”.  Just me, my small ship and the universe to explore.  That was what I really wanted from NMS and while it didn’t deliver at launch it really has done it now.

By now, I am 50 hours into the game and have most of the basics figured out.  I follow the story arc fairly closely with a few side quests here and there.  I am not a dedicated “base builder” (yet), the story is interesting, has good rewards and I have not seen a planet to really call “home” yet.  I am sure this will come but I do also like the nomadic nature of zooming around star systems, landing on an unknown planet, hop out of the spaceship only to be nearly roasted to death by the environment and chased around like Benny Hill by overly ambitious drones.  I had to build a couple of bases for the story arc but they are unloved collections of modules thrown on the ground without care, they are not permanent by any means.  Nah, there is too much to discover.

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Just me and my tiny shuttle landing on an unknown planet, taking a look around.

Right now, the story had me land on a planet with fairly hostile drones who kind of make my life miserable on land but don’t follow me under water.  The quest-line made me discover a (space) ship wreck under water and asked me build a small, globular submarine that I am to pilot beneath the surface.  The graphics and sound effects are incredibly well done and the experience of slowly gliding through an alien reef is incredible – in fact far more interesting than flying through space.  I had sort of known that underwater construction was a thing but I had no expectation just how well thought through it was, how immersive (sorry, couldn’t resist) the underwater environment was and how punishing some of the mechanics could be.  For example, the quest asked me to pilot that little submarine to a new location but by attempting to take a shorter route, I got thoroughly lost in a network of underground caves.  I tried to blast my way out, creating a tunnel, was chased by hostile drones, stung by jellyfish, poisoned by exploding plants, pinched by a fat clam and scalded by a hot vent.  All of that while running out of air and resources.  I had to give up and restart from my last “Save” which is in No Man’s Sky not that straight forward. Basically I lost 45 min worth of progress, something that has not happened to me in any game in a long time…

So, No Man’s Sky is back on my list of games and to judge from the interwebs, it has fully redeemed itself.

Here is to the comeback kids – the guys who were pronounced dead but miraculously pulled themselves up, surprising everyone.

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By the way, big shoutout to Twitch Streamer “TheManAnimal“.  What a legend  – chilled, easy going, knowledgeable, funny.  You, Sir are the Man.

 

 

Mindful Visteen – Chapter 1

EVE Online is the last remaining computer game where the interaction between players actually matters.  Within EVE, the smaller and the more ambitious a group is, the more the actions of one man or woman impacts the success of the whole team.  Wormholes with their resource and mass limits attract smaller groups who relish the complexity of transient routes, danger running even the most mundane activities and the uncertainties that this lifestyle brings.  Wormholers are tight group, even by EVE standards for those reasons and many of us can not imagine anymore flying in the anonymity of a large k-space alliance.  And when corpmates become friends, the transition from “game” to “Real Life” is complete.

On December 30th 2018, our corpmate Mindful Visteen died while logged into EVE.  He was scanning an unknown signature when he suddenly disconnected and dropped off voice comms.  Nobody knew what happened, people attributed his sudden disappearance to a computer or network crash and only later we found out from a friend what happened.  It hit us like a sledgehammer.  Some of the information can be found here, some other details stay with us. Continue reading

I shot the Myrm, but I did not kill the Dominix

As my last remaining reader may recall, I live in WH space, staging with NOMEX out of a C2.  And while fleet fights are awesome fun with our solid FCs, occasionally I get “wanderlust”, drift away with my two characters and deliberately go down chains with EOL holes.  When the last known connection expired, when the bookmarks become stale and old, I really get the old feeling of being totally isolated and alone.  Whether I engage hostiles or not, whether I live or die, win or lose is now all up to me, no excuses, no regrets.

And so I drifted from Wormhole to Wormhole over the weekend with my Legion and my Stratios, sniffing around dozens of holes, checking out citadels for activity, keeping a mental log of how many anomalies or gas sites should be there but are not (indicating recent PVE), checking if the POCOs are allied with the citadel owners, checking the citadel owner’s killboard and so on.  Much has changed (for the worse) in WH intel since POSes are gone but I just try to get a feel for each hole I travel to and get a mental image of the people who live there.

I bumble into a C1 with a static Low Sec connection.  Its a very large system (which is good, so I can make excellent safe spots to log off in) and I tend to like C1s.  In general, they are inhabited by PvE guys who seek riches from PI, hacking, mining (the anomalies are nearly worthless) and of course as manufacturing base.  I look around and see an Astrahus and 2 (!) Athanors pulling in rocks.  All owned by a 7 man corp (i.e. 1 guy with 3 accounts and 2 Jita trade toons).  A single POCO is being reinforced, comes out in 24 hours or so.  I shall sleep here tonight.

Continue reading

A Series of Fortunate Events

As my remaining two readers know, I spend my EVE life in Wormhole space, flying with Anomalous Existence (NOMEX) based out of a C2 hole.  However fun this is, between real life job(s), family and other stuff I barely can make 2 hour / week piloting work and consequently lost much of the “edge” that I used to have may have had .  Basically, I screw up a lot these days and while this is humorous occasionally and solo, in fleet operations it can put the whole fleet at risk.  And here follows the tale of the screw-ups that nearly ended badly:

Big picture. NOMEX lives in a C2 but had reasons to make an Astrahus in a C5 go away.  I have no idea why, don’t ask, don’t want to know but I like explosions, so of course I volunteer. As usual, the fleet combo is something like DPS+Scout+Logi and my always preferred roles for “Scout” were already taken.  The DPS fleet ships into “Leshaks”, these newfangled ships for which I have so far been too arrogant to train for and that leaves me with flying Logistics.  Actually, that works, I am reasonably confident that I know what I am doing and I certainly could use the practice.  But wait!  Why use a standard corp-approved Guardian if I could make things far more complicated and fly a T3 Cruiser?  Logi-Proteus is a “thing” these days, I already have a hull. Its expensive, risky and unnecessary, just what my corp didn’t ask for but the FC grudgingly approves. Someone smarter than me gives me a fit and I head to Jita with a song on my lips.  This is what I buy: Continue reading