Archive for the ‘Blog Banter’ Category

Welcome to the sixteenth 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 third Blog Banter of 2010 comes to us from ChainTrap of the Into the unknown with gun and camera EVE Blog. He asks us: “Eve University turns six years old on March 15th; six years spent helping the new pilots of New Eden gain experience and understanding in a supportive environment. Eve is clearly a complicated game, with a ton to learn, so much that you never stop learning. So, the question is; What do you wish that someone had taken the time to tell you when you were first starting out? Or what have you learned in the interim that you’d like to share with the wider Eve community?”

Yup – this one’s mine. And so I must participate. And so I shall…

This is going to come across like an advert. Mainly because it is.

I first played Eve in 2003, in the beta. I enjoyed myself mining, and, ummmm, mining. I mined some minerals, and then mined some more minerals. I then got bored, and wandered off to kill some more stuff in Anarchy Online.

The second time I played Eve was about a year later. I mined a bit more, got bored, confused and quit. The same with the third and fourth times (2006/2007). The problem was never the game itself, more it was getting to grips with the mechanics, and working out what to do. The much vaunted “learning curve”.

The last time I started to play, was little over a year ago. A vastly improved new player experience helped, but still, it was hard going, especially when I lost the new player help channel. Until I found Eve University.

Supportive. Enthusiastic. Generous.

Here was a corp that offered the answers to my n00b questions without the need to put up with the name calling in the NPC corp channels (really, guys, there are only so many ascii penises that you can see in a day before they become somewhat tedious). Every player in the university was there to learn. Every question answered (not always correctly at first, but then we are all learning). All this and free ships!

Not all things are perfect within the Uni. It was daunting at first to be in a channel with so many others, all keen to help, and seemingly much more knowledgeable than I – but I was soon allocated a mentor, who helped with some one on one tuition. The rules can seem harsh – and indeed they are harsh (no missioning, mining, flying about during war seems to be the one most struggle with) – but once you understand the reasons behind them they make sense. Many of the mechanisms in the Uni are less than perfect – but take a step back and admire the achievement… a nuturing home for learning, in a cut-throat winner takes all game, that’s existed purely voluntarily for 6 years; hell, most guilds in other games barely last 6 months, and they aren’t trying to swim against the tide of the game itself.

The uni is what it is. But without it, there’d be one less player of Eve. One less blogger. And I bet I’m not alone.

So, my one piece of advice to the new player in Eve?

Join Eve University. Stay for a short time, or stay for a while; but give yourself a chance to get to grips with Eve in a corp that genuinely wants to help. It costs you nothing, and the rewards are near limitless.

Thank you for reading.

Disclaimer:

As Eve University Events Manager, I am biased. I am writing from an entirely slanted point of view; am part of the management; and so if there is a problem, I’m part of it. But… you should still join.

Post script:

I almost forgot… to join, go to http://www.eve-ivy.com/ and click “Apply to Eve University” and follow the instructions. You’ll not regret it.

List of Participants

  1. CrazyKinux: The Three Pillars of Wisdom
  2. The Elitist: Helping the new guy/gal
  3. Hands Off, My Loots: Nothing Needed
  4. Rantuket: Blog Banter 16
  5. EVE Opportunist: Nooby Cluey
  6. Into the Unknown With Gun and Camera: EVE University
  7. Zero Kelvin: We’re the young ones!
  8. I am Keith Neilson: Set Your Destination
  9. Prano’s Journey: Just Like the Very First Time
  10. A Merry Life and a Short One: No Seriously
  11. Yarrbear Tales: Nublet 101
  12. A Mule In EVE: If I only knew
  13. The Planet Risk Show: Dared to be Bold
  14. Diary of a Space Jockey: WTH did I get myself into?!
  15. EVOGANDA: Why?
  16. A Memoir From Space: 16th Blog Banter
  17. Death’s Sweetest Kiss: Who What When Where Why How??
  18. Freebooted: Beyond the Shortcuts
  19. Learning to Fly: Noobing
  20. Caldari Outcast: My First Blog Banter Post!
  21. Roc’s Ramblings: Financial Survival
  22. Diary of a Pod Pilot: Free Knowledge Inside
  23. Nullsec Carebear: I could’ve been less of an idiot
  24. Facepalm’s Ramblings: Something Smells Fishy
  25. Kirith Darkblade: Do you wish to know more?
  26. Autopilot Disabled: I’m still starting…
  27. Finders & Keepers: Relax
  28. Confounded Capsuleer: What have you got to loose?
  29. Clan Oriana: Sixteen
  30. Flashfresh: EVE Blog Banter #16
  31. Rettic’s The Chronofile: You Make EVE
  32. Diary of a Bored Spaceman: Past Imperfect
  33. Chocolate Heaven: Known Unknowns
  34. Victoria Aut Mors: Blog Banter #16
  35. Where the frack is my ship: If I knew then what I know now…
Advertisements

Well, the results are in, and I’m very proud to announce that I came third. Hooray!

The full list of winners is here... special congratulations to Lea at Wench with a Wrench, and Petter Martensson at Don’t fear the Mutant, for their first and second places.

For CrazyKinux’s benefit, my e-mail is chaintrap@gmail.com

Written as an entry for Crazykinux’s Blog Banter Special Edition: Why we love Eve Online contest. I hope that this illustrates amply why I love Eve. Without further ado, the entry:

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

“…This is The Scope, and you’re listening to New Eden Today, with Jaqueline DeVries. Our top story this hour… as President Jacus Roden sets out his agenda to combat the “lurking corruption within the Gallente Federation”, a former Exotic Dancer claims that President Roden has had shady dealings with the notorious pleasure hub and casino owner, Kruul. Lindy Lovelips, now an “actress”, claims that Roden confessed his interest in the fellow to her, during a chance encounter…”

All the same, I thought, as I tuned out the latest report on yet another scumbag looking to lead. These politicians are a grimy bunch, for sure. Word is that this one’s a capsuleer. Not that that means anything, these days. It’s not like morality and long life sit well together. Immorality, and immortality. Better bedfellows by far. Still, some of us try to stay clean, to stay true to our word. Lies aren’t good for business, in the main. Not good at all.

I cast my eyes across the screen array, adjusting a buy order and a pair of sell orders. 0.01 isk. Again. The human mind struggles to comprehend more than a thousand of anything, they say. My augmented capsule-brain struggles to comprehend as little as 0.01 isk. Still, of such fractions are my profits made. Of such fractions is my empire made. I started with naught but a stipend from the university. A few small jobs later, I had the makings of my first mill. A couple of investments and a bit of margin trading, and my first bill approached. Now, who knows. Austin Enterprises has plenty, plenty enough for me. The markets of Dodixie, Rens, Hek and Jita have been kind.

The chirrup of an incoming convo focussed my mind. Arthur Miller. Bound to be a pseudonym. I answered nonetheless.

“Mr Austin, sorry to bother you. I was told that you could help. I need a ship and some modules quickly, and the markets have failed me.”

Straight to the point. It’s a good trait in business, bad in politics. I already liked this Miller.

“And what exactly are you looking for, Mr Miller?”

“A Pilgrim. I’ll link the fit I want.”

I scanned the info on the screen. Pricey, but easily sourced. Miller was in a hurry, and people in a hurry mean profit. Big profit.

“250 million isk, Mr Miller. And I’ll have it contracted to you at the hub of your choice within the hour.”

The Pilgrim Force Recon

“Thank you, Mr Austin. Hek, if you would.”

“My pleasure, Mr Miller. Austin Enterprises pride ourselves on our promptness. Have a nice day.”

A nice day? With a Pilgrim fit like that, I was certain that he would. Someone else, however, was going to have a rotten old day.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

“…and reports continue to flood in of unwarranted and lethal attacks on miners across New Eden, in what is being termed Hulkageddon. It seems that this “event” is being driven by several bands of notorious pirates, who seem to have stopped fighting one another, long enough to turn their malevolent eyes on the industrialists. For more analysis, we go to our piracy correspondent, Leo Theoronis… Leo, what do you have for us?..”

I flicked off the transmissions, as I approached the end of the warp. A fatty procurer and a slowbie retriever were already credited to me for Hulkageddon, but I was after bigger fish. Tommy the Cat is my name, and cats like fish. Yeah, fish! Mineral stuffed fish. Or something. Hey, don’t look at my metaphor funny! But big fish were my aim, so I’d set my sights on a Mackinaw. A big, lumbering exhumer, specialised for Ice ops, a Mack would look good on my killboard. Hence trawling the ice fields. These soft-as-butter mining pansies wouldn’t know what hit ’em!

I’d picked a Mack up on directional as soon as I’d jumped into the system. Pilot name ClaudiusV. Local told me that there were a few other in system with us, but I was banking on them being too chicken-livered to get in my way. The T-Cat’s got a rep, ya know. I figure a bounty of 20mil tells ’em all they need to know about the Cat. Cat’s on the prowl, and you keep outta his way, ya know!

As the warp shadows faded, I saw my fish. Hanging there, chewing ice like some space-stalled bottom feeder. Lovely Mack, the Cat’s got a present for you. I gunned the engines, turning my ‘rax towards him, and closed with a burn of the microwarpdrive. And ordered the ship’s ‘puter to get a lock. My hybrids heated up, ready to fry my fishie.

And then it all went dark. It took me a moment to see it. Hidden there between me and the ice. Silent, deadly. Pilgrim. I didn’t need to look to see what had happened. Neuts. Lots of them. And a ‘grim sat on my behind. Me? The Cat. Dead. In. The. Water.

Fish had a friend, you see. T-Cat had no friend. And soon, T-Cat had no ‘rax no more, neither. Torn to itty bitty space bits by the ‘grim’s Warriors. Damn drones. Damn cloaked ship. Damn.

But hey, ya know, plenty more fish in the sea.

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

“…as State Executor Heth of the Caldari State responded to the attacks. “This continued violence against Caldari State interests will not be tolerated. Already we have dispatched forces to calm the unrest, and prevent it from spreading. Early information points to the action of Federation agitators stirring trouble, yet again. Lest we forget the actions of the Gallente at Malkalen…”

I stifled the urge to vomit, as Tibus Heth spewed his venom across the ether. A distasteful man, with hateful bigoted blood coursing through every one of his veins. As God is my witness, so I would open those veins and let his foul putrescence spill. But for now, his State is an ally to us; and the glory of the Empire was built upon the swallowing of the bile induced by such as he. Amarr Victor, may God send us victory. And may the lady be by his side. I know that one day there will be a reckoning, a weighing of the lady, Jamyl Sarum, and the faith. But for now, she is Empress, and God walks with her.

I roused myself from my interstellar theological musings, and pulled my focus back to the present. I had a job to do, and it was imperative that I have my wits fully about me. Miller needed to know what I had discovered, and delay would render the information valueless. I checked that the subspace transmissions were appropriately circuitously routed, and engaged the secure channel to him.

“Acturus, report”, Miller’s familiar style. To the point.

“Well, Mr Miller, it seems that the time is right. Our corporation will leave the alliance at exactly 18:00 tomorrow evening. At that time the TCU will go offline. That will leave the system open for you to move in.”

“Excellent, Acturus, excellent. How long will it take the alliance to move to secure the area?”

“I expect them to have their advance party in system within an hour or so, and then a main force to follow a couple of hours later. If you appear opportunistic and weak then they will commit a large proportion of their Caps to the field, in the hope that overwhelming force can be applied. They won’t want to let you take a foothold.”

“You’re sure they won’t suspect anything?”

“Absolutely. I already have the argument set up, our leaving will be seen as a fit of pique, not as a political powerplay. I will make sure that there are no jammers left in system. Have faith, Mr Miller; God will see us victorious.”

“Your God, Arcturus. Not mine. Still, I trust that all will be well. I shall see you when all this is over.”

“Just be sure that you honour our agreement, Miller. It would not do to cross us.”

“Have faith, Arcturus. Goodbye.”

I shook my head slightly as the communication was cut. A deal with the Devil in the name of God. May we be preserved…

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

“…and in other news, Rassus Ratchet was crowned winner of the latest ISRC series, after a clean sweep of the last 4 races. The Minmatar pilots was “overjoyed and ecstatic to have shown all New Eden my racing prowess” and stated his intent to defend his title in the next series. In entertainment news…”

I shut the thing up. I have a soft spot for racing, but could care less which talentless synth-breasted harpy had won “Molden Heath’s got talent”. The Scope broadcasts kept me entertained during these times, but it was inevitable that they’d play some of the winner’s performance, and I feared for the cleanliness of my pod fluid.

Almost time. I was waiting for their fleet to assemble. They’d realised that we’d made a move on the system pretty quickly, and as Arcturus has said, their advance party had arrived pretty quickly. They’d cleared the system of our pilots; some of my friends were back at their med clones, where conveniently they had proper ships waiting for them. Their SBUs were online and they were gathering forces to reclaim the system. I understood that Arcturus’ argument had gone exactly to plan. They’d not suspected a thing.

So here I was, sat at a deep safe spot, all cloaked and waiting. the word would come, and then we’d rain hell down on them. And about time too, this lot had been a thorn in our side for eighteen months. We’d been losing. Pretty badly. Well, this’d show them.

And there was the word. Barking through my comms, goading me to action. I engaged my warp drive, heading for the spot just above the station that I had been assigned. The fleet interface crackled to life, as my fellows joined me. The station was clear as we arrived, and I kicked the cyno generator into action. I saw a number of my comrades de-cloak and begin their field generation too.

The next five minutes felt as an eternity, as I sat helplessly watching events unfold around me. The enemy arrived, alerted by the lighting of so many beacons, but we were already too many for them. Our bombers and the fighters from the newly arrived carriers ripped into their hulls. We lost a couple of the recons, but we had a fortnight’s supply of them from the trade hubs. The blue ice that Claudius had mined fuelled the Erebus that now jumped through my cynosaural field. I cheered every one of our ships that arrived; I cheered every one of theirs that was destroyed; and I cheered for our plan was working. I was as a child, the Miller-cool act dropped in the excitement of the moment.

After 5 minutes, my field collapsed, and control of the Pilgrim was returned to me. I drifted it away from the fleet, and re-engaged the cloak. I was going to watch the endgame.

Sure enough, the plan worked. They were outgunned, out-flown, and most of all out-thought. They lost 5 cap ships that evening. We lost none. They lost the system, and we gained it. Total victory.

As I turned for home, I let my mind wander. It dreamed of the next plan, and of the next victory.

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

“Cromeaux Inc. – Who would you like to be today? Cromeaux are New Eden’s foremost suppliers of high quality clones. When it’s your mind in the balance, settle for nothing less! Our cloning facilities have been designed from the ground up with quality in mind, and we offer premium cloning services. Wouldn’t you like the opportunity to be whomever you’d like. A trader? A pilot for a major alliance? A racing pilot? Even a pirate or a spy? You owe it to yourself to take care of your mind, and offer it the opportunities it deserves. Gain immortality and the chance to realise your dreams with a Cromeaux clone. Who would you like to be today?”

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Please take a few moments out to read the other entries, all listed at:

http://www.crazykinux.com/2010/02/why-we-love-eve-online-contest-list-of.html

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?

So… what now? What next?

Well, the big things are not in doubt, nor in need of a change. I continue to have lots of fun with Eve University, I’ve found the right blend of responsibility and relaxation to fit with my play time and commitment levels. My duties with the Ivy League Navy, and as a Diplomat, continue to give me the organisational role that I seem to need to truly enjoy social games; but are light enough time commitments to enable a decent game/life balance. I’m making new friends all the time, and solidifying older friendships into something worthwhile. Honestly, to move on from the uni this year would mean that my attitude or circumstance has changed considerably from where I am now.

There is an area where I have a goal, however. An area where I have been a slacker, not taken my opportunities and have resolved to do something about it.

Money.

Yup, iskies. moolah. dosh.

Thus far i have taken a relaxed approach to the matter of making money. I’ve breezed through my Eve career, bought a couple of plex to fund myself and not worried too much about making vast quantities of isk. But, I’m paying for 2 accounts, and I’m not sure that this is sustainable, or desirable. So, my goal for this year is to fund at least one account through the use of isk to buy plex. My alt can now fly a decently fitted Raven, and has access to L4 missions. I have a second alt who is training trade skills, hauler skills and transport skills, who will sell on the loot. The intent is to get Psia into something to support my raven alt in missions, and make them go a lot faster. Whether that should be more DD, or RR in a logistics boat, I’m not sure.

By the middle of this year, say the beginning of July, I’d like to be making more than I’m spending, consistently week on week. By the third quarter, say the beginning of October, I want to be funding my alt account with plex.

So that’s it. My aim for the year. Make money. Easy, huh? Well, we’ll see… but certainly it’s a new aspect of Eve for me to experiment with, and I’m quite looking forward to it.

If you enjoyed this post, or even if you didn’t, be sure to check out the other participants in Blog Banter XIV!

Blog Banter 12: Glue

Posted: October 2, 2009 in Blog Banter, MMO Concepts

Welcome to the twelfth 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 here. Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

This month’s banter comes to us from CrazyKinux himself, who asks the following: First there was the MMO on the PC, and now with the recent announcement of DUST 514, EVE will soon be moving onto consoles. But what about mobile? Allow your imagination to run wild for a second and describe how you would see EVE being ported to mobile devices, whether the iPhone/iPod touch, Blackberrys or Android-based devices. Dream the impossible for us!

I’m late, i’m late, for a very important date… as a certain rabbit may once have said. Still – better late than never, as my mother certainly said – so here goes.

Dream the impossible, eh? Well, there goes the straightforward ideas – Eve Trader, Eve Fitter and the like. OK, so let’s think about what might work…

Mobiles aren’t very good at gaming. There, I said it. I have watched the evolution of mobile phones from my first one in the early nineties, through to my current one, and there’s something inherently disappointing about mobile games. Small screen, perhaps? Limited interface? Who knows, but I’m always left underwhelmed by mobile games.

So what does work, on a mobile?

Well, communication, for a start. these devices are (mostly) designed from the ground up to be a good comms device, and honestly, they’ve got it pretty much nailed. So why not use that to enhance Eve? Let players opt into, and configure, a communications network that includes both Eve and their mobile phone. The game could associate a phone number with a character, and allow character to character communications via the myriad different ways that mobiles can now communicate. So, you could text other characters, which – if they are in the game, arrives as an evemail, and if they are out of the game arrives as a text. Voice calls could be routed either to a phone or to Eve voice, depending on player preference. Whilst we’re at it, we’ll add voice modulation so that you can choose how you sound when making those calls. Video calls? Sure, why not, lets have video calls between animated avatars. So when Psia calls Crazykinux, he sees her and not me.

This is a tool for the Eve universe, so let’s include our Dust brothers. Want to engage a team of mercenaries? Call ’em. Text ’em. And then watch their battle report arrive on your mobile.

Martin Cooper of ArrayComm Inc makes the world's first mobile phone call

Martin Cooper of ArrayComm Inc makes the world's first mobile phone call

Of course, we don’t want to be anti-social about any of this – so the range of player tools to control when and how the app is active needs to be good. You’ll need to be able to set times when you are offline by default – I’m not sure my wife would be too chuffed with me taking diplomatic calls in the middle of the night. But you should also be able to activate the app with a single click or tap, when you wish to be available to your fellow capsuleers.

Mobile phones are hopeless gaming devices and brilliant communications devices, so let’s put them to use at what they are good at. And let them become the glue that binds the disparate sections of New Eden together.

List of Participants:

  • CrazyKinux’s Musing – Tying the dots and locking me in!
  • A Merry Life and a Short One – I Don’t Own a Working Phone
  • Yarrbear Tales – EVE on Mobile Devices? Eh.
  • Hands Off, My Loots! – EVE Mobile…Possibility?
  • Achernar – Trapped on Planet Horror
  • Rettic’s Log – The Cronofile – Blog Banter: EVE Mobile
  • A Mule in EVE – EVE Mobility
  • Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah – EVE Mobile
  • My Life in EVE – 12th Blog Banter
  • My God, it’s Full of Stars! – 12th EVE Blog Banter
  • The Wandering Druid of Tranquility – WOW, look at that ‘micro-Dust’
  • Adventures in Mission Running – 12th EVE Blog Banter
  • Ecliptic Rift – EVE Everywhere
  • Roc’s Ramblings – EVE Mobile
  • EVE Monkey – EVE on a Mobile Device?
  • Nashh Kadavr’s EVE Blog – I-pod Capsuleer
  • Escoce – EVE Trade – Dynamic System Security
  • Break Vol – EVE Blog Banter 12
  • Mikeazariah – EVE Mobility
  • Pods and Pills – The 12th EVE Blog Banter: EVE on the MOVE!
  • Lords of Space – EVE on my Iphone?
  • Cle Demaari – Is that EVE in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?
  • Life in Low Sec – Wormholes On the Go
  • The Elitist – EVE On Mobile Devices
  • More to come…
  • So, it’s been quiet around here, hasn’t it? Well, that’s because real life continues to be busy, our little daughter takes up not only a lot of time, but also a lot of my headspace – leaving less time for reflecting on all things Eve. Still, she’s well worth it, and my life is so much better than it was before her arrival.

    The very lovely Curse (From Evelopedia)

    The very lovely Curse (From Evelopedia)

    Time constraints meant that I missed the opportunity to participate in the most recent blog banter; a shame as I had a few thoughts on the possibilities opened by the idea of extending the T3 range to more than just cruisers. In brief, I wanted to avoid the concept of “strategic BS” or “strategic frigs” and instead was looking at a set of ships to offer strategic options to those who would rather mine than fight, or industrialise over fight. Ships with R&D options, kinda solo mobile mini POS… but anyway – I missed the window of opportunity.

    Enough with things that I have not done… how about what I have done? Well, Psia has spent her past few concentrating on becoming a leader.  I know, I know… leaders aren’t made, they are born. But, Eve offers the opportunity to train for leadership, and soon P will be able to x up with L5 3/3/3/3. This has the added bonus of allowing her to proudly display the “SC” title on her character sheet. And speaking of titles, she’s graduated! As a graduate of Eve University she gets a neato medal to show everyone what a clever girl she is, and can make her way in New Eden with the acknowledgement that she’s no longer a n00b.

    She’s not going anywhere for the time being though. The university provides the ideal place to further develop her skills and my understanding. Frequent wars are giving her fleet, small gang and pvp experience; and the university’s support network is set up to offer all the expert opinion and knowledge base that she could wish for. There’s also an amount of recompense owed to the Uni for their help and generosity in offering her a home, and so she’ll stick around and try to give something back. At 6.5 mil SP, she’s starting to get to be a competant pilot – but some more experience is always welcome, and to be able to continue to learn whilst offering something back to the corp is win/win.

    After she’s done with leadership skills, it’ll be time to move on to those elusive T2 medium guns, and from there cruiser V (ye gods that feels like a long haul) and thereafter Recons. Curse and Pilgrim, here she comes!

    My alt taught me a valuable lesson the other evening. After a long night of trying to get my daughter to sleep, I figured that I’d log onto my alt and do a couple of quick missions. His L2 agent offered Recon to him, and I duly set out in my Moa. Being tired, and not having read the mission text, or paid any attention to the Eve-survival text, I proceeded to attack one of the three pirates – who spawned a ton of bad guys, who blew me to pieces. Boom went my Moa. Then boom went the speedy frig that I tried the mission with. And the shuttle. And the n00b frig. In the end, I quit. Abandoned the mission, and was several million isk out of pocket. Which is completely sucky, having wiped out a ton of profit. On the upside, this might be the impetus needed to buy and fit a Drake for missioning. He’s a few hours off the T2 shield skills, and so can probably offer decent dps and a good tank. It should enable him to blitz the L2s and get onto L3s as fast as possible.

    Outside Eve, I have been toying with some other games. I played a bit of the Champions Online open beta, and whilst I enjoyed it, it didn’t get me excited enough to actually spend actual real money. I have downloaded and installed the Gatheryn beta test client, but have thus far been unable to make it further than a very buggy character creation screen, so I’m waiting for another patch or two before going back to it (having submitted my bug report). As evidenced by the previous post, I am pretty excited by the potential of The Secret World, an MMO by my favourite developers, Funcom (Anarchy online was my first MMO love, for all its faults). It looks, from the little I’ve seen of it, like a cross between Call of Cthulhu, Anton Wilson-ism, and White Wolf’s Hunter. Incidentally, Hunter is a game for which I have a deep and abiding love, driven by my days playtesting it for my good friend Leafshine, who was one of it’s key authors. That WW are now owned by CCP is a neat synchronicity. I know that Funcom do not have the best reputation for quality product at release, but I shall be following this like a frothing fanboi. Do not expect unbiased coverage.

    I see that CCP have announced their next expansion, Dominion, whioch will focus on the sovereignty mechanics.  doubt that I’ll be hanging in 0.0 by then, but I look forward to seeing the changes nonetheless. I’m not so sure about their own social networking platform. Being Facebooked, Livejournaled, Tweeted and LinkedIn – I’m not sure that I can stomach yet another niche social network – but we’ll see.

    That’s all for now – I hope to have something a bit more substantive to talk about soon.

    Welcome to the tenth 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 here. Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

    This month’s banter leans a little, OK a lot, on the academic side. It comes to us from xiphos83 of A Misguided Adventurer, who asks the following: ” Victor Davis Hanson argues that western culture, comprising of ideals such as freedom, debate, capitalism, and consensual government, are what make western society so successful at waging war. These ideologies create a warrior who’s direct participation in government, ability to think freely, and desire to remain free, fights harder and is willing to suffer more than his conscripted foe. Though a military must remain a structured oligarchy to fight a war effectively, why in a world where military conflict is as familiar as breathing are there so few alliances that embrace these ideologies when governing their members?”

    Well, well. What an intriguing notion we have here, and props to Xiphos83 for putting it forward. Let’s have a look.

    First off, the conceit that we are asked to accept, namely that “western” ideals make for better and more sucessful warriors. I find this idea to be complete and utter bunkum. Now, I’ve not read Professor Hanson’s books, but to write off the Mongols, Ottoman Empire, Salah ah-Din’s Sultanate, the Umayyad occupation of Spain, and many other sucessful military powers who confronted and defeated the “western” nations seems short sighted in the least. And that’s without considering the far Eastern powers. Furthermore, it is the nature of military training that ensures that the ideals that prof Hanson maintains play such a large part in the West’s dominance of war, are actually subjugated beneath the need to follow orders, and to forgo freedom in exchange for military efficiency. I would postulate that the success of the West in war owes more to the financial capabilities of those states, than to any desire to fight for freedom.

    It is probably also worth considering that participation in government, freedom of thought and desire to remain free are in no way the exclusive domain of “western” societies. All of these have equally applied to those nations and powers traditionally considered “Eastern”.

    This is an Eve blog, and an Eve blog banter; and so whilst I take issue with the assertions made by Professor Hanson, it is also important for me to address the question posed – so let’s try that.

    Why are there so few alliances that embrace the ideals of direct governmental participation and freedom of thought and action? Well, first off, it’s down to the participants in this society. Eve isn’t life. You aren’t immersed in Eve 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – if you are, then you should probably have a think about your priorities. Most Eve players play for a few hours a week, perhaps a few a day for the hardcore, and therefore do not wish to put energy into thinking about, or participating in, these ideals. Far easier to toe the line, when that line offers all that you require, than to rock the boat in search of notional freedom. Alliance A offers the opportunity to smite my enemies, mine during the day, and research at the POS. I like this, so why challenge the leaders? If a leader does something that I dislike, then far easier to leave Alliance A and join Alliance B than to try to change Alliance A’s governmental system. In common with most MMO organisational structures, when the leaders of an alliance step grossly out of line, they are deposed and replaced with new dictators rather than the whole alliancegovernance structure being overhauled. Thus default structures endure, and the evolution of government never happens.

    The momentum for change is never great, especially when it comes to governmental system. It took the best part of 700 years for England to achieve anything that might represent a consensual government, and that was with millions of people whose everyday lives were lived there. How much longer would it take for a couple of hundred people who are part time inhabitants to naturally generate that sort of momentum? Rapid governmental change in MMO organisations will tend to come from extreme action by the leaders of those organisations leading to extreme re-actions by the participants. In those extreme cases it is seen that populist uprisings can drive governmental change. The aforementioned apathy is pushed to one side, but a kick out against oppressive rulers. I suspect, that due to the more mature nature of the average Corp and Alliance leaders in Eve there are fewer moments of high internal drama.

    Lastly, there is a massive difference between war in Eve (and indeed any MMO) and war in the real world. So gaping is the rift between them that they don’t even qualify as the same thing. Whilst Eve is a game of consequences, war itself is of little consequence. It is, and is intended to be, recreational. It would be more apt to compare war in Eve to a competitive sport, and I see no suggestion that the “western” ideals do anything to improve the sporting prowess of those nations. In Eve one’s freedom is rarely impacted by war, being a game of free choice, thus leaving little room for Hanson’s theory in the game. And perhaps therein lies the greatest reason that Alliances are not as Hanson’s theory would suggest… the freedom and “western” ideals that he talks of, the commercialism and debate – these things are enshrined by the creators into the game. These freedoms, these philisophies, are at the core of New Eden and the player experience – so much so that they remain untouched no matter what might happen within the parameters of the world our characters live (part-time) in. Even consensual government is offered through the CSM.

    Were we to buy into Hanson’s theory, we would find that the reason that alliances resemble (benevolent) dictatorships, is that the freedoms and ideals that make for such accomplished warriors are already there – carved in stone by the universe in which we operate – and therefore our petty substructures may take any form that we choose, and in the absence of choice a default form. For even the western powers must have their oligarchial military structures in order to operate effectively.

    Well, that was a bit rambly, and I hope that it made a little sense. If not, I blame new-father induced sleep deprivation/distraction and hope that you will forgive me. I hope to have a chance to update again sometime soon, though family commitments are legion at the mo. In the meantime, please take a moment to read some of the other banter posts, as listed below:

    http://delicious.com/crazykinux/blogbanter10