Anger?

Have you been on Facebook or Reddit in the last few days? Sheesh, talk about anger. There are some truly hostile, angry, mean, and often personal things being said about certain people at CCP. It doesn't even matter why, or what, or any of the reasons for it. That isn't the point of my post today. Just keep that in mind as we move forward. Hundreds of people, anger, vile words, and Memes, and whatnots.

Now that we have the proper mental picture, let us reflect on your friendly neighborhood blogger over here on Eveoganda. Generally regarded by most as a decent enough fella. Given to troublemaking tendencies sure, but always with the greater good in mind. He gets mad sometimes, but its always about making Eve better. Gooder even. Putting Frills back on Vagabonds. Hats on avatars. Opening doors. And often advocating for a better Eve Store experience.

Oh and I make arts. And videos. And I have this podcast. Etc.

Back when I started this blog I was just a faceless player starting his adventures in New Eden. Over the years that has transformed a bit, mostly just due to pure hard headedness on my part. Stick around long enough and stuff is bound to happen. Along the way I made fun of CCP sometimes, they banned my store, I made Frills on Tweetfleet avatars, they did their thing and I did mine. It wasn't until they called me one day to suggest we do some work together that things changed. For awhile there I seemed like a golden boy, shit was tight. Suddenly my support tickets got answered right away. Finally, after years of rejection, the logs finally showed things. My art hung on the o7 Show walls for over two years. I was in like Flynn. And then things went the other way rather quickly.

No need to re-hash old news. So lets skip ahead a bit and reflect on the following photo. Please keep in mind the Facebook/Reddit anger thing I mentioned earlier.

Hilmar

So that's me (on the left) with Hilmar (on the right) at Nora's in Reykjavik the night before Fanfest. He walked in and after a few minutes I went up and we started talking for about fifteen minutes or so. We even had a nice laugh about the time he shot me down at the Charity dinner in 2015. I felt comfortable enough to invite him to join me on After Hours to talk about the legacy of Eve and the early days. Anniversaries are coming up and he seemed genuinely interested in doing it. Send me an email he said, and my people will work out my schedule.

You see even with all the crap that was going on at the time, I'm still just a big old goof. I figured all this stuff was behind us and we'd all just move on down the road like adults.

Uh no. What you don't know is that I did send that email and I got an immediate reply. You see Rixx has been a bad boy, he wrote bad things about CCP and the store and the Art Posters. All of which was true, but never mind that we are putting him on super secret probation. Although we are not going to call it that. So non-super secret probation. Either way the results are the same.

So no to having Hilmar on the podcast. My art came down off the walls of the o7Show in case you didn't notice. My segment "Hauling Thoughts" nowhere to be seen. (And no word from anyone on that either btw, it just didn't air.)

So yeah. Lately I've been struggling a bit with what this means going forward. What role do I have now, what should I write here in these pages? I criticized a company that makes a game I love for doing nothing for a year, keeping my mouth shut about it for a YEAR, until I finally had enough. Dealt with it. Like an adult. And then sat thru a horrible roundtable with twenty other players all of whom felt exactly like I did. And wrote a well-reasoned and logical article about it.

Remember those angry Facebook and Reddit posters from earlier? That's like a Hydrogen Bomb next to my little hand grenade.

So essentially I've come to this conclusion my friends. I'm moving on without CCP. I don't need them to play Eve and run my Corporation or Alliance. I don't need them to make more art or write or podcast or make videos or anything else really. I won't need them to make an Eve based Card Game or an Eve based Coloring Book either. Once I started thinking about it, I quickly realized I don't need them for much of anything.

I'd rather do this stuff with them, sure. But they don't need to be there. And given the childish and often immature ways in which they seem to handle things, maybe I'm better off without them.

HTFU indeed.



The Grand Naglfar Marathon Roam

Naglfar Art Print Poster
Vertical Supremecy
My good friend and fellow Stay Frostian Watson Crick runs in real life. Runs, as in running. I don't understand this, but he does it (often with his beautiful wife) and has gotten relatively good at it. Recently he ran a long distance in what he called a "Marathon". Oddly, this does not refer to the town in Greece as you might expect. But rather to a race that takes place over long distances. On foot.

Whatever the truth of that happens to be, it did give him the excuse he has been looking for to finally lose the rather large Capital Ship he has been hiding in his hangar. So last evening he organized what he called the Naglfar Marathon Roam and a bunch of us crusty Pirates and fellow ABAians decided to join him. I decided, if Watson was going to risk his Nag, I should probably escort him properly with one of my Bhaalgorns. Draped in its impressive ATXIV skin. One must dress up for these formal roams. We actually had two of those in our fleet. Quite impressive.

Everything got off on the right foot as we entered Vey and discovered a Cyno lit on one of the stations. We are not usually in the business of popping Red Frog cyno ships, but the pilot was a good sport about it as we held him down and let the Nag kill him.  Many LOLS were shared in local that day my friends.

Next our scouts started telling us about an E-UNI gang headed our way, a bunch of Osprey and Caracal types. So we waited on the other side of a gate for them to jump into us. As you can see from the Battle Report we came out pretty good in that fight. We lost two ships and we cremated their entire Logistics wing and took down a few others before they warped off and disengaged. It was a fun brawl and I wasn't even primary for once. Although my Bhaal did dip into low armor, it more than made up for it by draining all three Ospreys.

Of course you can't just warp a Nag around Low Sec and expect to live forever. Although living wasn't the goal of this roam, our only intention was to have some fun and some good fights. We heard about another gang of Cynabals roaming around and figured they'd make for another good fight. Eventually we did clash and things were going ok until the Cyno was lit.

Let's see, a Rev, 3 Archons, 2 Moros, 2 Thannies, Scimi, 5 Cynabals, and other assorted ships. We stood our ground and had a fight, but it honestly didn't take long for the Nag to explode after that. You can see the Battle Report for yourself. And yes, 13% efficiency is pretty terrible. But y'know, like most things in Eve, the numbers don't tell the full story. We had a blast together and it was a fun night that we all knew would end in a Hot Drop somewhere along the line.

And yes, my Bhaalgorn lived. Mostly just by chance. It is after all a long range ship, so I had pulled range from the gate to better hit targets with mah lazors and neuts. Once the battle was clearly lost I realized that no one had pointed me, so off to the station I warped. Which was kind of a bummer, since I had actually purchased insurance before we left home.

Stay Frosty my friends.


PS: Watson wants me to inform you that he runs Half Marathons. Something to do with training time and still having time to play Eve or something.



A Brutix Moment


So yesterday I'm out roaming around with about 3-5 fellow Stay Frostians and we're doing the usual stuff. Trying hard to find content in empty corners of Low Sec and engaging pretty much everything we can to drum up some business. Mostly just having fun and chasing people around. This is pretty much what we do on a regular basis. Trouble makers. Instigators. Insane Engagement Doctors. We are rather famous for it. To be a successful Pirate you have to cultivate the concept that you will fight anything, anytime, anywhere. And no one, in my humble opinion, is more well-known for that than we are.

Such a public persona comes at a price however. There are times when people will try to use it against you. There were a couple of these ideas being bandied about in the neighborhood yesterday. In one system we had someone sitting in a Medium in a Talwar, with his cloaked Stratios buddy inside waiting. And there were others, I don't want to give away any more free ideas. Figure these things out for yourself! This is why I try to get everyone who happens to be on-line at the time into a fleet. Even if you plan on flying solo, you should be in the Stay Frosty fleet together. This way we can share intel, potential targets, and opportunities. And yes, that sentence was aimed internally.

And so it was that this Brutix showed up on scan, alone in our home system. Look, most likely the guy is not an idiot. I don't know him, but I'm going to just assume he isn't. We could have engaged him in our Frigates and killed him, maybe lose a few ships, take forever, and give his backup plenty of time to arrive. Or, I could dock up, jump into a Brutix of my own and see if he wanted to play.

Sometimes its better not to be the hunter and appear to be the prey. So I warped to a Large and waited. Sure enough, he landed and we danced. Just FYI, my Brutix fit is much better than his. But I have hungry mouths to feed so my Corp mates also came along. One of them brought a Ferox! How's that for Pirate humor? (I love it, earlier he was in a Drake!) I told everyone to overheat and kill the Brutix fast, align out to the station... because help was coming.

Sure enough that's when the Bhallgorn and friends showed up on d-scan. Luckily Battleships take forever to warp, so we had time to finish the Brutix off and warp away just as the Bhallgorn landed.

All of which isn't even the point of this post.

In my earlier days I would have docked up and gotten into something bigger and engaged that Bhallgorn. And then had three Carriers drop on my ass and go boom. The advantage of your own home system is that no one knows what you have on hand. And sometimes it is better that they don't. I have a crazy hangar. But these days I'm really trying to be smarter about how I use it.

In addition, and this is the real point here. I'm trying to be a better CEO. Because it isn't just me YOLO'ing into a potential hotdrop, but it is also my Corp mates. And while I encourage everyone in Stay Frosty to go for fights, often against impossible odds. I also like them to use their brains. There is a fine line between daring and stoopid. And I'd like them to err on the side of the former.

This isn't a new thing of course. But it continues to be something I'm trying to work on every time I undock. I'm not only the Pirate Lord of Low Sec but I'm also the CEO of Stay Frosty. And I'm trying to work on being better at both those things.

Every day is an adventure.

PS: If you'd like to live the life of adventure and become a notorious pirate Stay Frosty is always open. No prior experience needed. Just join the in-game EVEOGANDA channel or just go ahead and apply. We take everyone.



Alliance Tournament XV


Things are heating up for this Summer's Alliance Tournament. Yesterday we got a look at some stats from this year's prize ships and they are, as always, very impressive. This will be A Band Apart's third Alliance Tournament believe it or not. And after last year's Top 16 finish, this time around we are automatic bid worthy! (Forms and Plex already delivered.)

I could not be prouder of our team. We've already been hard at work with our practice schedule for well over a month now and the rules are not even out yet. I don't expect many changes this year, but there are always the subtle things that you have to look out for. Maybe some point changes when it comes to certain ship types? Who knows. But we will all find out around this time next week.

Funny, even after almost nine years of playing this crazy game, I'm still racing to get a few skills trained up before the Tournament starts. All of Rixx's skills are sub-cap skills and even with 160m+ already trained, there are still a few more that could use topping off. Right now that is Marauder V - which is an extremely loooong skill. 20 days to go on that one. And then a few weird skills I never thought I'd need.

If we make it to the final weekend of the Tournament this year, it will happen on my Birthday. Which I consider a good omen. That Saturday is also the day we are planning on our next player meet - Steel City Eve II: This Time It Is Personal. Which I just realized... one of these things may have to change.

I really enjoy the AT, the practices, the teamwork, and everything that goes into getting ready and then playing. I'm expecting good things from our team again this year and hoping that we can make a solid run at an even higher finish than last year. Top 16 was amazing for our second year, but we can do better. So much depends on seeding and placement and other random things that are completely out of your control. Which is all part of the fun.

Onward and upward.



In Extremis?

in ex·tre·mis
ˌin ikˈstrāmis,ˌin ikˈstrēmis/
adverb

1. in an extremely difficult situation."they suddenly find themselves in extremis 20 miles out to sea"

at the point of death.








Given the recent lack of activity here in these vaunted pages, it would only be natural to start assuming that I've decided to stop writing in the blog. Perhaps I am burned out. Toasted. Turning bitter old vet, or else have succumbed to distraction. After all, I do have a lot of irons in the fire these days. The truth is buried somewhere in there, but the fact is that I was simply taking a nice break from writing here in these pages. I have no intention of stopping any time soon. If ever. There is just too much sweat equity in these words and images.

Having said that, I did purposefully take a short break. Primarily because my usual morning window for writing has collapsed due to my new job. Put that up against the energy expended in the lead up to Fanfest and then the horrible explosion of reality that certain... well let's just say that everything didn't go that well. And it has only gotten worse since. I'm not going to go into details, but suffice to say that recent events have led me to some new conclusions.

From now on I'm re-focusing my energies into some more narrow directions. First and foremost I will be playing Eve more regularly again. Last year took a lot of energy and while I never stopped playing Eve, I didn't play as much as I should have. My Corporation suffered and my Alliance as well. Medals went un-rewarded, plans fell to the side, things got a little ignored. That is going to stop. My first and most enjoyable passion is playing Eve. That has to remain my top priority. And it will be.

I owe it to my friends and family in Eve, most of whom fly under the A Band Apart and Stay Frosty banners, to give it my full attention.

Secondly I will continue to build the RedBubble store and annoy the crap out of certain people at CCP. New items will continue to be added each week. I'm incredibly excited by how well the store is doing, but I know it can be even better. RedBubble continues to exceed my expectations and keeps adding new products all the time. I'd also like to see more Alliances taking advantage of the swag opportunities for their pilots. Again, just contact me to get started. I've sold almost 750 items from the store since it was launched in December. All without a single return. 

After Hours will continue as well. I'm enjoying Podcasting more than I thought I would. And I really think the format I've worked to develop is unique and provides a great chance to really communicate with people. 21 episodes in now and I have no reason to believe I won't just keep doing them.

The past few months have been challenging for different reasons. The new job has been going extremely well. But it is taking time for me to get used to less time. Some things have suffered from both a lack of time and a distinct lack of enthusiasm. I sincerely apologize for that. Anyone who I owe work or forgot to get back to, please forgive me. I will be trying to do better.

I have some exciting NEW projects in the works that I want to give my full attention. More on those later. I will tell you that they involve a New Card Game and a Coloring Book. (Hater Alert - No I will not be crowd-sourcing anything, everything I have planned will be paid for by me.)

And now for the negative. Or the positive, depending on how you look at it. From this point forward I am done with talking about, or dealing with, or anything else to do with the Eve Store or merchandise. I'm finished beating my head against that wall. I'm also done with expecting anything to happen on that front. From now on I'm just going to mind my own business and focus on my own projects. 

I had my say. Time to move on.