Three Huzzahs for the Underdog

If I stuck with my cunning plan, I should write about No Man’s Sky today – alternating with EVE online.  If I did this, I would have to rely on other player’s accounts since I have not opened the game once for the last 2 weeks.  Well, that’s not entirely correct, I tried the other day but my PC blue-screen-of-deathed, likely fault of dodgy RAM or something but I choose to blame the game.  Also the interwebs may have infected me but I could not really bring up a good reason for logging in,  I had lost the storyline without being able to get back, you can not re-start the game at all (!) and basically, my experience would be flying from planet to planet, cursing the puny inventory and find an upgrade that marginally better than the last upgrade.

Looks like I am also not alone in this:


Courtesy of Steamspy

Courtesy of Steamspy

The game was hotter than Plutonium (pun intended) for the first oh, 3 days and then literally faded out until now only the absolute die-hards log in.  And you have to discount those, there are people out there who play competitive Pong for gods sake.

So, No Man’s Sky is dead. The internet is rejoicing the failure with much fanfare and “told you so”.  Some even claimed their money back which must be the ultimate insult to the game studio.  I personally do not want my money back.  I fully knew the risks when I bought the game that a group of over-caffeinated nerds with minimal adult supervision can not realistically produce a AAA title.  But I wanted to believe, I wanted them to succeed like I want all underdogs who fight tooth and nail for their passion to succeed.  Its my professional upbringing in small companies where a single purpose holds a team together against the allure of a steady paycheck with a boring mass-producer.  My $60 are a sacrifice to the God of Startups and I gladly paid them (is this tax-deductible?)

Which brings us to CCP and EVE.  See, I liked EVE for the longest time since CCP are not EA or Blizzard etc.  They are mean, arrogant vikings that drink hard, fight their VCs from the frozen rock in the Atlantic and insult their paying customers at will.   Incarna nearly broke their back, not financially but spiritually and I truly hope this doesn’t happen to the No Man’s Sky crew.  Yes, companies sometimes get socked in the mouth.  I have been there, I have counted the days to “crater day” (liabilities > assets) myself and I don’t wish this on any team that truly believes what they are doing.  And CCP has reinvented themselves, formed up the ranks and fixed the fundamentals of their game pretty much on schedule.  I still think that CCP has “it” and I truly hope that I don’t see the day where they formally move to London to prepare for an IPO or acquisition (yes, I read Hilmar’s interview and I am worried).  I have done too many of those myself and I know how this can crush the soul of a dedicated team.

And hence I shall propose a toast: I raise my glass to the small, the insignificant, the underdogs, fighters-against-odds, renegades, the losers with just cause.  May you never be ruled by powerpoint-wielding marketing suits.

(image shamelessly stolen from our Fearless Alliance Leader – btw, some strip club is missing their tiger skin)


Obligatory Z3R0 Return Mining is recruiting.  Join our channel “Z3R0 Public”.  Yeah it has those stupid numbers in the name blame Jadecougar.


EVE Online – What are beta clones?

So, the EVE Universe exploded this week with the announcement that EVE will become “free to play” with the introduction of “Alpha Clones” that offer new players the option to enjoy a single racial tree of ships up to a certain skill level.  Even the real world press picked up on it.

I won’t comment too much on this, better people than I have already done in depth analyses.  And universally, this change has been greeted with quite some enthusiasm: Continue reading

No Man’s Sky: The first 2 weeks

No Man’s Sky was released for the PC on August 9th and I have been playing it quite a bit since then.  I meant to write a long review but I’d rather point to the most accurate and hilarious summary that I could find.


The author explains No Man’s Sky as a mindless, never ending grind to explore planets to get gear upgrade to explore planets to get gear upgrades.

And he isn’t wrong. Continue reading

Cruising Along

Its been a slow couple of weeks in New Eden for me in part caused by the general summer hole but also by my current attitude toward the game, simply speaking, I log in, quickly update my PI, scoute some routes out of our C4 wormhole and if a corpmate is online and willing, we go out stalk something for an hour or so.  The thrill of the hunt is still there of course but our prey is adjusted in size what I can actually kill.  For example, I found a solo Rattlesnake in our adjacent C3 the other day and realized that I can’t bring him down by myself (2 characters). Continue reading


EVE more than any other online hobby has a fantastically strong community borne from the game’s inherent complexity and the constant need to evaluate risk v. reward.  Inevitably with communities, group-think develops and members love to associate with each other by repeating each other, thus creating a) cohesion internally and b) separation externally. Case in point was this month’s random EVE-is-dying meme which – thankfully died as quickly as it flared up.  Consensus is, EVE is not dying.  It can be improved – it needs to improve, it needs to attract new players but it ain’t dead by a long shot.

While we are there, lets bust a few other myths.


Continue reading

BB 77. Stop the whining

Having Fun


How do you know its summer?  When a prominent blogger can’t find content, asserts that EVE is dying, publishes a post to that effect that ignites the blogosphere.  To be fair, there are several bloggers out there who have a more nuanced view and I enjoy reading the posts from Mike Azariah, Jason Quixos (new to me, great writer) and Talvorian Dex (who focuses mostly on blogs and dissemination of information).  May their voices prevail but I fear, not.  Inflammatory panic stories always get more attention and hence the greater community is always exposed to stories how CCP is killing their top game by sheer incompetence.

Edit:  I forgot to link Tur’s post.  Read this. The man speaks the truth.  Shame unto me and my progeny 7 generations down for forgetting you Tur.  And beers are on me (again?) next meetup.

And when I read these posts, I get annoyed.  People who don’t like the game should simply fade away like good old soldiers should do and not ruin the fun for the rest of us who log in (at least occasionally), find our friends, chat, shoot things, get shot by things and try to have a good time. Continue reading