2015 – Looking back

It is customary to take the Christmas break (yes, I am that old, I don’t call it the Winter Holidays) and reflect on the past year, draw the lessons and promise to improve oneself and by that the world in general.  Its a fine tradition in the EVE blogosphere and I shall continue my own mini trend.

On a personal level, this year was incredibly exhausting with a ton of work-related travel and many burned weekends and evenings.  It came at the neglect of friendships & spaceships, a course that I vowed many times to steer against but was unable to do so.  Another personal event were the death of a good friend, she held out as long as anyone could but in the end that “Emperor of All Maladies” won the day.  But only this day.  I happen to know many dedicated and amazingly hard working cancer researchers and together we will defeat this disease.  Never in my life have I been more certain about this than now.

I am far less certain about the root causes of the tragic of death Robert Adams, known in our community as “Photon Torpedo“.  Death by disease – I can deal with.  I can knuckle down, hope for progress, work hard and commit myself to fighting it.  But death from religious fanaticism?  I have no handle on it.

But there was also a lot of fun this year, I traveled across beautiful landscapes, took lots of photos, futzed around with Arduinos and managed to keep my house in decent repair.  It may have been a rough year but overall a good one.

Onward to EVE.  Well, the year started with me killing an Erebus with an assault frigate – yes, I had a little help but the event was a riot.  Thanks Nashh Kadavr for setting this up, may your CSM XI campaign be successful.

In February, I wrote about CSM X elections and unfortunately, two of my primary candidates didn’t make the cut.  Overall, the year was bad for the CSM, I stayed out of the childish discussions about the CSM’s value, I admire their dedication and assume that they want the best for the game and our community.  This is all I ask from them, no more, no less.

In March a little commentary on Boosters and the crummy state the industry is in.  I am getting the feeling CCP is addressing it and I am really looking forward to it.  Maybe I will become an industrialist drug kingpin after all.

In May, I wrote my first piece about Citadels and I recall vividly how I had to stop myself squealing like like a little girl (is that politically incorrect?  I don’t know anymore) in anticipation of building massive space fortresses with my comrades and storming hostile ones.

In July, I left my spiritual home “Z3R0 return Mining“, the corp I helped survive and grow into the nucleus of a mini alliance. Z3R0 represents everything that is good about EVE, a small trusting team of slightly whacked out space nuts who spend more time on Jabber / Slack than in game and share everything from work aggro, health trouble and spaceships.  A true band of brothers that I still count as friends.

I joined Noir. Academy in August and I still haven’t graduated – its entirely my fault.  The mercs of Noir are a phenomenally nice and competent bunch and I enjoy every fleet and training class with them.  If they kicked me out for not keeping up, it would be entirely justified but so far they have shown nothing but tolerance for my bursts of enthusiasm followed by weeks of radio silence (work laptop and phone don’t even allow Slack).  If you – cherished and handsome reader – feel like a round in an incredibly skilled, supportive and enthusiastic environment, give Noir. Academy a try.

October of course saw EVE Vegas and I loved every minute of it.  Will I go back next year?  Sure, probably.  Vegas is fun without EVE – in fact, I am back there for a conference in March (? I refuse to look at my travel calendar for next year).

In November, I also wrote my most popular post – weirdly enough the only all year that had nothing to do with EVE.  I must do that again. And just in case anyone is asking, the results of my endeavor are awesome.  Maybe I deviated from the recipe a little more by doubling the Bourbon.  I can’t confirm or deny this.  Hic.  I also endorsed the Fountain War book after speaking with Jeff Edwards at EVE Vegas.  The book was doomed by incompetent management which is a crying shame and – personally speaking – an insult to Jeff Edwards and fellow professional artists.  He deserved better than that.  By the way, I read one of his books and thoroughly hated it but I fully appreciate that I don’t have to like the EVE books he was going to write, millions of others need to like it.  Thus works the world of marketing.

December then finally saw me flying with the Noir crew and actually having a lot of fun.  I flew scout (quite well, if I may say so myself) and Logistics and had a blast. EVE played with a small team of good guys (and gals) is a phenomenal experience that I wish every gamer could have one day.

That brings us to today – what are my plans for 2016?

Well, goal number 1 – stop giving a crap about people.  Its an odd New Year’s resolution but the majority of my life is spent cleaning up others’ incompetence and lazy mistakes and I am getting too old for this.  A dose of arrogance is what I need right now.

In EVE, unless they kick me out, I will graduate from Noir. Academy and become a full-fledged mercenary.  I will not excel in any one role but be the gap filler for everything. I will scout, I will hunt, I will light covert cynos, I will heal and I will damn well learn to FC sort of, kinda.  I will not seek any form of leadership position, directorship or any responsibility beyond the pixels right in front of me.  This I pledge solemnly.

Unless, of course I change my mind.

I will continue writing this blog with long-winded narration of my wanderings. I will not succumb to the Bitter Vet Disease and rant about some arcane nerf, change or person.  EVE is and stays an amazing game, social experiment and community and I will do everything I can to amplify the good, constructively approach the bad and ignore the ugly.

And to you, Z. A. (you know who you are) thank you for writing me in game:

I just found out about your blog and I’m loving every post. I like your view on EVE and how you (as I do) find little things enjoyable.

Yes.  EVE fills me with wonder, the small things, my little adventures, the glee of winning a fight, the satisfaction of sending ISK to a newbro whose ship I just blew up.  And the respect I have for the dedication, skill and warmth of my fellow man, enemy and comrade alike.

Many small things together can make something truly great.