Monday, March 31, 2014

How We'll Get into Jove Space?

.... as I see it anyway.

From the moment CCP announced we will be getting new space at Fanfest 2013 I have maintained that they will be opening Jove space. Here is how I think they'll do it.

CCP already probably have started moving the Dev's and GM's who inhabit Jove space out. I would think they have simply created a new "wormhole space" area with no wormholes for them to live in and run the alliance tournament in etc. It works same as Jove space being able to 'teleport' players in there when they need to but it doesn't show up on our maps. Better eh!

Now for us getting into Jove space! You know when you find a wormhole that leads into Jove space? Of course you don't, there aren't any. Wierd eh? Random wormholes appear in EVERY system in New Eden EXCEPT those in this small patch here!

Really? Why? Well I think CCP will go down the 'jammer' route for the lore explanation. The Jove are (were) closely related to the Sleepers. Sleepers can manipulate wormholes. Therefore surely the Jove can control them too? I would expect the reason we don't see wormholes in Jove space is because of jamming structures implemented by the Jove to stop the pesky humans getting in and trying to steal their stuffz (yes, Jove are technically human, you know what I mean Mr Picky!).

Anyway as long as these structures are fuelled and maintained we'll never get in. Oh yeah, the Jove are all dead! Read Templar One, check the Eve Client (all Jove ships got removed recently). The Jove are all dead as that parrot.

So when the expansion goes live (may be not this summer) wormholes will start appearing in Jove space as the jammer network goes down. The first intrepid explorers will reach Jove space via wormholes (if a GM has teleported you to Jove space in the past you are not an explorer, you are a tournament monkey). Those clever ones will bring a cyno.

Once people have got a cyno ship into Jove space then jump freighters and carriers can be brought in to start building your presence. Jove space is crawling with Sansha now so plenty of ratting available. Its also got unique exploration and archaeological sites. Old Jove sites that have been forgotten about for centuries. Whilst the technology is they contain is seen as massively outdated to the Jove (or was before they all died out) it is still advanced technology to us. Think Sleeper sites. This lays the foundation for T3 modules! Ooooo as an after thought what if you could find those old wormhole jammer structures, scan them with a data analyser thingy (I don't known what its called, I'm no carebear) and build your own? Null-sec entities could build wormhole jammers!

Problem is that it is a PITA getting in and out of this space. You either take the wormholes or you jump a capital. What we need is some stargates!

We know player built stargates are coming. Its one of the few things we do know. Since the fallout from Fanfest 2012 and the module POS idea, CCP have been very tight lipped....

Fanfest 2012 Speaker - Listen to all these great ideas we have. Wouldn't it we be great if we implemented... *insert great idea here, here and here*.
Geeks - Oooooooo! Ahhhhhhhhh! AWESOMESAUCE! DO IT! DO IT! DO IT!

CCP in Circa. December 2012 - Yeah that modular POS idea. Its too difficult and nobody will use it so NOPE!
CCP in Circa. December 2012 - Oh shit! Nerd-rage and threadnought! Stop telling these asshats things before we are sure they are workable!

Fanfest 2013 DUST514 Speaker - Look at this cool and amazing stuffz and ideas for the future we have got for you. Check out these amazing plans lots and lots of details!
The guy who plays DUST514 (he was there) - YEAH!!!!!!!!!!
Fanfest 2013 Eve Speaker - Yeah, erm, imagine.... well.... stuff. We have a 5-year roadmap but cannot talk about it. Erm... well.... here is a picture of some Badgers building a stargate! Just use your imagination (whispers to colleague - This new 'expectation management' makes for really boring presentations right?)
Eve Geeks - Wut? Eh? Seriously?

So Stargates will be built by players? But first you'll need to scan down an appropriate point in the two systems to be connected. Place some sort of structure to start the process (gravity well generator?) and then get a metric shit-ton of materials to location to build it. Its likely to take time so you'll need a wide selection of players to undertake the risky task of building your own personal stargate. Scanners/probers, industrialists, freighter pilots, haulers, PvP pilots (to escort all the materials needed to be brought in and to protect the 'baby gate' and the industrials building it).

On the topic of industrials I think we'll get a new module for constructing massive structures in space that can only be used on 'industrials'. Unlike building a outpost that requires carriers and logistics to 'rep' the thing up, I think we'll get a new use for the industrials in game in this regard. Because lets face it, they are not 'industrials' they are haulers currently. Repping carriers and logistics will be less use in building stargates and it'll need haulers with high industrial skilled pilots to get the thing built.

How Jove space will work sov wise I have no idea. I would imagine CCP might try to laying the foundations to test new sov mechanics in this area before rolling out to null-sec. May be it will be a balance between Faction War type system capture (small ships capturing complexes in enemy space) and current Sov mechanics (lots of structure bashing). Who knows.

Anyway, that's how I see our 'new space' being given to us. Am I right? Check back here the first weekend of May as I report semi-live from Fanfest providing I'm not too pisht.*

*That is also providing CCP actually tell us something this year!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

SCASSSS - Bringing the Game into Disrepute

In this weeks short I want to talk about where 'the line' is between teasing and bullying outside the Eve Online Client. This subject has been a hot topic following Ripard's 'expose' last week.

E1's bonus room is now well known where as two weeks ago very few people had heard about it. Whether this was a set up or troll is neither here-or-there as this topic has been rumbling on for years. How do you draw the line when it comes to player harassment/bullying outside the Eve-O Client?

Is 'the bonus room' (if it is genuine) on TeamSpeak harassment?
Is Sindel Pellion's "Makula Cries" on SoundCloud harassment?

How do you judge between the two? I think its obvious the first one (if genuine) is a bit OTT, the second one is a bit of light leg-pulling and I would hope nobody ever thinks about taking action.

However, now try and put that distinction into words. Try to write a water-tight rule that clearly states one is harassment and the other is just a bit of fun. You can't can you? Here is the problem. There is no way to define in words how far is too far. The rule that bans the bonus room could also apply equally to the parody song. Here is CCP's current "official" stance:-

CCP strongly disapproves of clear and extraordinary levels of real life harassment against our players in the outside world.

What is a "clear and extraordinary level"? This is still way too subjective and open to various interpretations.

In UK football (soccer to you Yanks) there is a rule/law which is "Bringing the game into disrepute". Now unlike many laws that say you can specifically do this but you cannot specifically do that, this one is not clear cut. May be that is an answer in the EULA question? If we are going down the "trial by threadnought" route surely this is the best way to word it? If it takes 400 people to cry "this is unacceptable" is that bringing Eve Online into disrepute?

I'd hate to be the one at CCP who has to "draw the line" in written form here.

Friday, March 28, 2014


Fiction Friday. Escape pod here.


"So what is it?"

"I don't know!"

"Is it a ship? A drone? A structure?"

"I. Don't. Know!"

Now agitated, First Officer Bique lent back over the scanner table whilst the Captain looked on. The small red dot blinked in the centre with six larger blue circles surrounding it showing the range of the scanner probes. The salvaging frigate had come to Amarr as they had recently salvaged a lot of starship capacitor parts. Given the Amarrians love of laser weaponry, capacitor salvage always sold at the highest price in this system. It was simple supply and demand. During the downtime Bique had sent a flight of probes to the edge of the solar system. A remote spot he picked at random hoping to get lucky as he was bored. To his surprise the probes had identified a very weak signature. He spent the next few hours narrowing the scan down. Finally he had got a fix on the location but the scanners were reporting the object as 'unknown'. He'd never had this before. It always told him if it was a ship, a wreck, a lost drone, a cargo container. This was simply unknown, and that worried him.

"Can we just warp there and look?" asked Kolmeter. The ships salvaging expert was usually the first to suggest a more direct approach. Kolmeter had spent most of his life in space. He was Matari and if it floated in space, he'd salvaged it at one time or another over the years. Some thought he was crazy and the stunts he pulled regularly scared the crap out of people. The man had no fear, especially when in a spacesuit bounding around an unstable wrecked ship in deep space.

"The probes compare what they are scanning to a database. Whatever that is, its not in the database. It could be some strange probe, or it could be a custom built heavy assault cruiser piloted by a rich sociopath who likes to sit on the edge of the solar system and get people to scan him down and warp to him so he can blow their ship away!"

Kolmeter shrugged and remained quiet. Bique scratched his head. Even though he was right about the rich socio-path possibility, Kolmeter was also right. Unless they warped to the object they'd never know. He re-adjusted the probe settings and ordered another scan. Same result, 'unknown'.

"OK you cannot tell me what it is, best guess then?"

The First Officer sighed. He hated guesses that would put himself and the rest of the crew in danger.

"Whatever it is, it has power and there are some weird short-range radio signals coming from it. Nothing I've ever seen before although they look to be Amarrian. Worst case, its your rich socio-path in a sniper HAC. Bad case it is some long lost probe that's not worth the fuel to warp out there. Best case scenario its an abandoned Jove ship and we'll all be mega-rich. That OK for you Captain?"

The crew stared at him open mouthed.

"Seriously? Jovian?" the Captain asked referring the the reclusive advanced race.

CONCORD had recently removed all Jovian tech from the databases. No Jove had been spotted for years and many believed that they were extinct. As they wanted to clear out the database of all excess signatures, the Jove ships had been removed. If it was a Jove ship then they'd get an 'unknown' reading like they had right now. Bique didn't think for a moment it was really a Jove ship. However unlikely as it was, if it was an abandoned Jovian ship they would be richer than their wildest dreams. Any of the four Empires would give billions for an intact Jove ship. However, none of them were forgetting about the other possibilities that could lay at the edge of the solar system.

"OK, no guts, no glory. Warp us to 100k off it and be ready to warp back if its hostile." the Captain orders.

Bique just groaned. 100km would be the optimal range for any railguns belonging to a socio-path in a sniper HAC.


The tension on the bridge was high. The warp-tunnel was starting to fade and in seconds they would know what it was.

A small dot appeared in the centre of the screen. The First Officer quickly adjusted the zoom and a groan resounded from the assembled crew. The viewscreen was filled by an old style satellite.

Several members of the crew just walked out of the bridge shaking their heads whilst Bique started more detailed scans of the abandoned satellite.

"Well I guess we won't be retiring just yet!" the Captain complained. "Enough of this. Lets get moving to earn some real cash. Helm plot us a course to the Sarum Prime stargate and engage."

"Wait Captain!" Bique called excitedly.

The Captain went over to the scanner table.

"Look, it has solar panels. It must be 400 years old at least! Lets just..." the Captain looked at the datapad Bique handed him and stopped talking.

"Thats impossible!" he finally said.

The short range detailed scan showed that the satellite had over 100kg of enriched uranium inside it. It was far too small to have a nuclear reactor of that size in it. It also didn't look some sort of orbital storage unit.

"Helm take us to within 5k and ready the tractor beam and salvager."


It took nearly 10 minutes for the Kestrel class frigate to reach the satellite. The bridge crew was already working out what to spend their cut on. If the scan was right that old satellite could be worth 1.2 million ISK. Converted to local credits each would be taking home a massive amount.

"Slow to 50 metres per second." ordered the Captain as the ship approached the satellite.

"6000 metres Captain" the Helm announced.

Suddenly there was a bright flash emanating from the satellite. The Kestrel's systems went down like a brick. Confusion broke out on the bridge as the frigate suffered a total power loss. The Captain just stared out of the viewport at the approaching satellite.

"Some sort of EMP defence. All power is down. Nothing is responding." Bique cried out.

"So we cannot even sound the 'brace for impact alarm?" the Captain asked calmly.

Bique turned to him in confusion and saw the viewport. The momentum of the ship meant they were heading for the satellite.

There was a screech of metal on metal as the Kestrel frigate smashed into the the satellite. With the inertial stabilisers offline as well as the artificial gravity the crew were tossed around like rag dolls. Finally the noise died down after a few minutes and the crew struggled to right themselves. A couple of minutes later the emergency power sprung on. The Captain made his way over to the communicator.

"Onodora, report."

Onodora was the ships engineer. He had spent 20 years with the Caldari Navy before going freelance.

"Its not good Captain. I've got the emergency power back up but every single isolator on the ship has tripped. I have no idea what damage is done until I can manually reset them. Going to be a good few hours before I know how bad things are."

The Captain looked out of the viewscreen. It was blocked by the satellite that looked like it must be embedded in the front prongs of the ship. He looked over at their Salvage expert who was trying to get a better look out of a different viewport.

"Kolmeter, suit up. You are going for a walk!"

Kolmeter just groaned. He loved to hate EVA.


"So hows it looking?" the Captain asked.

"It's Amarr space, its a shitty yellow!" Kolmeter replied sarcastically.

The salvage expert was used to being suited up and on the exterior of vessels in space. However it was rare he would be walking along his own vessel. Ahead he could see the satellite embedded into the front prongs of the Kestrel frigate. It looked to be a mess. It took him 20 minutes to reach the front of the ship. The damage to the Kestrel appeared light, but the satellite was jammed in and would take a major operation to free it. He looked at the bottom end of the structure.

"Captain. We have an issue. This is no reactor and certainly no storage pod."

With partial power restored to the bridge the Captain and First Officer were looking at a small screen which was being fed images from Kolmeter's helmet mounted camera. It clearly showed the 10 tubes that surrounded the satellite were in fact missile launch tubes and the covers had been ejected to expose the warheads.

"Kolmeter can you mount the comm link on that port at your 9 o'clock?" Bique asked.

"Seriously, you want me to touch THAT!"

"Just do it."

Carefully Kolmeter made his way over to the access port Bique had indicated. He took out a small box from his pouch and placed it over the port. It secured itself magnetically and started to interface with the satellite. He looked down at his feet were he could see one of the warheads exposed, the collision had ripped the top of the launch tube clean off. It had also pealed a section of the missile cone away exposing two warheads. Kolmeter pushed himself down to go for a closer look at the two exposed weapons.

Inside the ship Bique watched on his datapad as the comm unit communicated with the satellite. As expected the satellites data systems were encrypted and firewalled. However, it took only two minutes for the Kestrels computer to gain access. Whilst the satellites security had been state of the art when it was commissioned, the Kesrels computer have several centuries of computing advancement on its side. It broke through the archaic encryption easily. Bique slumped in his chair as he read the screen. They were in trouble.


The senior crew were gathered around the table as Bique started his briefing. Most systems were still down including long-range communications and all propulsion systems, but life support had been restored.

"OK, quick history lesson. Apparently this thing was in orbit of a planet some 350 years ago. We suspect it got hit by something and over the last few hundred years it has been slowly spinning its way out here. It had a short-range radio handshake which it eventually lost. Given the gradual decrease of the signal strength over the years the satellite assumed it was a technical failure and has been trying to re-establish contact ever since."

"So?" the Captain asked.

"Well when we got close to it activated its automated self-defence systems and EMP'd us. That made us crash into it which made it reset its systems. To the satellite, someone attacked it and it cannot get a handshake from its ground-base. So therefore it thinks its ground-base has been destroyed."

"Sooo?" the Captain asked again more cautiously.

"It thinks its at war and the enemy it was designed to target have destroyed its ground-base. Therefore its gone to action. If the ground-base doesn't respond within six hours it launches its missiles. Ten missiles with six warheads each. Three of the missiles are likely to get stuck on launch as the tubes are blocked by our ships structure. The warheads are on a 60 second timer being air-burst first strike weapons. So seven of the missiles will launch and then release their warheads. I estimate that they'll detonate some 300km away meaning we should be OK if we can get shields up in time. Three of the missiles aren't going anywhere and will breakup against our armour plating so we'll have 18 warheads floating around the ship for sixty seconds before they detonate."

The crew muttered to themselves.

"Any good news?" the Captain groaned.

"Well as one of those warheads is enough to vaporise us, the other 17 aren't really an issue."


"Its not going to go any faster no matter how many of you stare at me"

The Engineer was on his back under one of the plasma turbines. Whilst his head was under the 4m long piece of machinery he knew they were still there. There only chance was to reverse the engines and hope to separate the ship from the satellite and get to a safe distance before the missiles launched. Many of the crew, with nothing better to do, had gone to engineering to help. However given their lack of technical knowledge Onodora was finding them to be more of a hindrance. The only one he could count on was his assistant Eszur. She was a young Matari woman and very shy. However, she was a great engineer and had made his life easier over the last six months. He was attracted to her but had never made any advance to her given he was her boss and had a decade on her.

Whilst most of the circuit breakers had now been reset, Onodora was finding that in some places they hadn't done their job. The electrical surge had broken through and damaged many subsystems in random locations. The first issue was tracking down the damage and the second was getting to it. The tight timescale meant that the many pairs of eyes fixed on his boots was not helping. He slid out from beneath the turbine and stood. After flicking a few switches and seeing nothing he kicked the turbine with his steel toe-capped boots. The machinery hummed into life and a small cheer went up from the assembled crew.

"Sub-light engines are back online Captain, but only 30% power." he said into his communicator with a slight smile.

Back on the bridge the captain acknowledged and thanked his Engineer.

"OK lets see if this works. Reverse the polarity on the tractor beam and engage the engines, full astern."

Whilst Onodora was working on the engines, the Captain had Kolmeter we configuring the tractor-beam. Most salvage vessels had a tractor beam that used graviton physics to pull items towards the ship. In wreckage fields that could be spread over 10's of kilometres it was easier to pull interesting bits of wreckage to you rather than constantly move around. They needed to disengage themselves from the satellite but in deep space with no gravity or air resistance if they moved backwards the satellite would just moved with them.

The noise of the engines increased and Kolmeter confirmed the tractor beam was locked on the satellite. The same horrible screeching of metal on metal resumed as slowly the two ships parted. As soon as they were clear another small cheer went up.

"Swing us around and give it all you've got helm. Try and put as much range between us and that thing as you can. We've got five minutes! Keep using the tractor beam to push it away, at 20km deactivate."

Down in Engineering Onodora was scratching his head. The warpcore should be online. Everything appeared to be green but the warp diagnostic terminal which could tell him in seconds what was wrong had been utterly fried by the EMP. He kicked the nearest console and swore.

"280km Captain. We 'should' be OK if the warheads detonate. They'll be launching in thirty..... oh shit!" Bique exclaimed.

"What?" asked the Captain urgently.

"Get the satellite on screen!" Bique said quickly.

"We can't. Its too far away. We need to be within 100km to magnify. Whats the problem?"

The Captain shut up as the small dot on the screen flared. The missiles were launching. He suddenly realised what Bique was worried about. What direction were those missiles firing in?"

"I've got the missiles on overview sir. Eight of them launched. 6000 metres per second. Heading......"

"Whats the heading!" screamed the Captain.

"They are coming towards us."

Onodora was listening down in Engineering. He ran the numbers in his head. Six K a second. Ten second burn time, 60km. Then the warheads would tumble for 60 seconds. Whilst they didn't have propulsion, the momentum they had in space would keep them moving at the same speed. 420km from the satellite is when they'd detonate. He quickly looked at the ships overview. They had been burning on the same trajectory and were now 350km from the satellite. No matter which way they turned, they couldn't get to a safe distance.

"Onodora, warp drive would be REALLY useful about now" the Captains concerned voice came over the communicator.

Onodora looked at the dead warpcore. He just didn't know what to do. He looked at his assistant with a resigned look on his face as if to say "I'm so sorry I couldn't save us". She gave a half smile back.

"Oh well, I suppose if this is the end!" she said. Onodora looked at her questioningly as she stepped forward, grabbed his head and kissed him deeply.

Onodora suddenly pulled back pushing her away. She looked horrified that even in the moment of death he would reject a kiss from her!"

"No!" he said looking at her excitedly "Not you. Well yes I mean you! You've got it! The injector tongue!!!"

Onodora rushed over to the warpcore and pulled a handle up that re-engaged the what was known as the injector tongue. A hardened piece of titanium that controlled the injection of plasma into the warpcore. Almost instantly the lights around the core turned green.

"Warp drive active!" Onodora shouted and grabbed his assistant and resumed the kiss.

On the bridge the viewscreen showed the warheads spinning past the ship at speed.

"Warp us to station. NOW!" shouted the Captain.

The frigate aligned slightly to one side to line up with the station. Everyone held their breath as the warp drive spun up. The charge level was increasing but nobody had ever experienced a slower two seconds. Then there was a blinding flash.

"Well thats the first time I've ever flown at warp speed through a thermonuclear explosion." the Captain said slumping in his chair as the ship cleared the blast radius.

"Too bad we didn't get rich though." Bique replied "By the time we've paid for repairs we'll be substantially down thanks to that satellite!"

"Oh I wouldn't say that. I'd say we've all done all right out of this." Kolmeter replied "Remember, I'll salvage anything I can get my hands on!"

The Captain and Bique looked at Kolmeter questioningly. He just smiled and tapped a few buttons on his console. The viewscreen swapped to a view of the external airlock. On the floor in the middle lay two of the warheads with various parts removed.

"However, I want a slightly bigger cut as I strained my back getting them inside the ship." he laughed.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Logs Show Something - Have Your Ship Back

Ah the good old 'The logs show nothing'. The standard response many of us have got from GM's when we have petitioned a ship loss over the years. I've done this a few times. The old 'Black Screen of Death' when you used to undock was my least favourite method of death! You'd hit undock, get the confirmation, the screen would go black as usual and then.. nothing. It was just black. 10 seconds, 20 seconds, 30 seconds. All you could see was your mouse moving across the screen when you wiggled it. Restarting was the only option but if you were a -10 pirate the chances were that you may have been killed as your ship simply drifted off the station and was set upon by randoms. The logs never showed anything. I lost several ships that way, even once hearing it happen over comms as I stare at a blank screen. Never got a single ship back from that annoying bug!

That was similar to the old stargate 'jump and you see nothing' when the grid failed to load the other side. Again the logs ever showed anything.

I have had ships reimbursed twice that I can remember. Once when we were 'speed tanking' the NPC police in Amarr and having a Gallente Militia Party on the station undocks. Was always funny to have Amarr Militia undock in their 'capital' system only to find a Gallente Militia Fleet sat there. Anyway after firing on a war targets drones I got CONCORDED as his pod left system and the drone I was firing at stopped being a war target as it was then 'abandoned'. I got that Moa back and I think it is still in the Amarr system! Potentially stuck there for all of eternity!

There was another I got back but cannot remember what the circumstances were.

However, most ship losses I have petitioned due to what I saw as game bugs were not sucessful. The logs, I was always informed, showed nothing. I found it rather annoying that out of my 1000+ losses I've petitioned a tiny handful and they were never any of my big loses.

Over the last few days I've been noticing more and more people saying they got their ships back lately. A small ancillary armour repairer not activating was one recent reason for a full reimbursement.

That in itself wouldn't have made me look twice, but the forum thread then came alive with people saying they too have had ships reimbursed very recently.

Is this simply coincidence? Or have CCP released revised guidelines for the GM's not to be so strict with reimbursements. I'm keen to hear if anyone else has had recent experience of ship reimbursement or if its just a few of my alliance mates getting lucky at the same time?

On Tuesday I finished this draft, the next day I saw on Twitter someone else saying that they had their ship reimbursed after a loss. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm interesting!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Blurred Lines and Number 66

"I know you want it, I know you want it, You're a good girl"

Recognise those lyrics? Unless you were living under a rock for the last six months you will probably recognise "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke featuring Pharell Williams. What do those lyrics say to you? To me personally, it was about the differing view of society between men and women and that "good girls don't sleep with a man on a first date".

Even though I am an overweight geek with occasional neck-beard, I have lured ladies back to my house before from the club. Honest!*. On many occasions it was made VERY clear to me it was only for coffee and a chat and then they would get a cab home. After a tour of my "Man Garden"**, coffee, chat and a bit of making out there would usually be the "Do you want me to stay tonight?". The lyrics of Blurred Lines always makes me smile and think back to those days!

However, not everyone took those lyrics the same as me. At the height of the songs popularity there were news stories about individuals and groups who were saying those particular lyrics were about and/or encouraging rape!

Same song, same lyrics, two vastly different interpretations.

What has this got to do with Eve Online? Well Rixx Javix recently posted a comic:-

Now I didn't find this offensive, apparently several people did. To me, I actually took it as a battered husband who couldn't 'jump' out of the relationship as his wife kept beating him up. Some Eve-O players have taken real offence at this comic even starting a Redit thread claiming it makes light of/encourages domestic violence. There was plenty on Twitter too.

I was a bit surprised at the anger levelled at Rixx regarding this comic. Is it really that bad? I can see how someone could take it as a man who used to beat his ex-wife and complain about not getting sex, but is it worse than what we see on the internet almost daily? Is this really offensive to some? Is there the 'Internet White Knight Effect' in play here? Are we seeing 'Group Outrage Mechanics'. Or are some of us, like me, just not getting it?

In the words of the British comedian Jimmy Carr, offence cannot be given, it can only be taken. I don't see that comic as offensive. However, I do like Jimmy Carr and he says his shows are not for the 'easy to offend. In fact they are not for the difficult to offend. They are more for people lacking a moral compass.". So may be I am the wrong person to comment on this!

* I'm talking well over 10 years ago when I was young, free and single!
** My old "Man Garden" back in the UK.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

SCASSSS - The Moa of Doomed

Last night I was able to pop on and undocked a 10mn Thrasher to go for a quick roam. I found one of those brave Caldari Militia members in system and I scanned down a Moa in a medium plex. Mmmmm, with a 10mn Thrasher I might be able to overheat the AB initially and get range and kite him? It was a big gamble but I thought I'd try it and see what happened. I warped in, immediately burnt away with the overheated AB, locked him, pointed him, shot him and he...... wait for it..... he warped off. Stabbed!

So I docked up, got in a Thorax and remained in station whilst I logged on the Amarr militia alt. The alt landed on the plex gate the same time as the Moa did. I followed him in whilst undocking Drackarn. As my alt landed inside the plex next to Mr Stabbed Moa it was dual scram and web o'clock. He didn't even lock me back. Drackarn landed and vaporised the Moa with the Squid not even bothering to yellow box me or my alt.

Yeah.... he didn't need that empty mid slot.... or those rig slots..... or any afterburner bigger than 1mn..... wait.... or a ASB above small size... same for the cap battery..... what's that in the low beside the three warp core stabs? An armour plate? A 50mm? I now feel bad, like I kicked a puppy. Damn you Caldari Militia!

Friday, March 21, 2014

To Save a Damsel

Friday Fiction! Blog Banter 54 is currently doing the rounds of blogsphere on the topics of heros in Eve Online. My response is that we don't have knights in shining armour in Eve. Capsuleers cannot meet the criteria. Some people have said their character is one such White Knight. They run level 4 missions against filthy pirates and therefore are lawful-good heros.

Oh really?

To Save a Damsel

The music was thumping. It was 2am outpost time and the nightclub was packed. Caldari techno was mixed in seamlessly to Matari hard dance tracks. Frequencies were subtly tuned to have direct impact on the revellers brains using specially engineered speakers. Feelings of euphoria and passion were evoked by the music to increase the patrons pleasure.

Towards the back of the club two young women were stood near a roped off area.

"You sure about this?" one asked the other.

"Oh sure Libby. Apparently the owners will soon be walking through here to their VIP area. Apparently they invite the best looking girls back there to party properly, and for free. We just need to hang out here a bit longer."

Libby looked at her best friend Francoise and smiled expectantly. She had never experienced anything like this. At 17 she wasn't even allowed to be in a nightclub on a proper station. Francoise had got her a fake ID and dressed her up so she looked a lot older. She tugged the hem of the micro dress down as she teetered in her high heels. She was very self conscious and had never worn anything like this. She thought what her fathers reaction would be if he saw her dressed like this. Libby had told her dad she was going with Francoise to a beach resort, not to an illegal pleasure garden on the far side of the solar system. Pleasure gardens like this one cropped up all over the cluster. They were large outposts the size of a city positioned in remote parts of a system. There was always demand for entertainment and the high-tech scanners on board most space stations meant that pharmaceutical enjoyment was restricted. At these outposts anything went. She glanced back at the heaving dance floor. It was packed. Caldari, Gallente, Matari, even Amarrians danced the night away. She had never seen anything like this place before.

"Where is Kayla?" Libby asked looking around.

"Here she comes!" Francoise pointed to the crowd.

Kayla was the third member of tonight's group and Libby was not as close to her as she was to Francoise. Kayla was the bad girl of the group and the reason they were there. She had used her fathers charter shuttle with pilot to bring them to this outpost rather than the planet-side resort they were booked into. Kayla had vanished into the cockpit for half an hour en-route. "To pay the nice pilot for his services" is the reason she gave with a wicket smile. As she passed through the crowd Libby saw various men's heads turn. She felt a small pang of jealousy over the attention Kayla was getting.

"Hey girls! Did I miss anything?"

"No sign of them yet. Been enjoying yourself?" Francoise asked with a smirk!

"Just visited a private cubical with a rather nice Gallente Navy pilot. My lord, that man had a tongue like a Erme III Great Eel!" referring to the infamous aquatic life-form that was well known to sports fishermen all over the cluster as very difficult catch to land.

"Hey watch your mouth around Libby. She's still sweet and innocent!" Francoise laughed hugging Libby from the side. Kayla laughed too whilst Libby comically sneered at them both.

"Don't worry baby, just let me know when you are ready to loose the 'V' plates. I have an expert lined up for you! He'll make your first time your best time." Kayla joked and Libby slapped her on the arm.

"Hey I'm waiting for Mr Right, unlike you who is happy with Mr Right Now!"

"Shhhhhhh! Here they come" whispered Francoise "Look sexy!".

Libby looked over and saw the men working their way towards them. Three guys surrounded with what must be bodyguards. She swallowed nervously and tried to look confident as they neared. She noted several other groups of girls had appeared. Probably trying to get the same thing as they were. She glanced at Kayla and Francoise  who were also checking the other groups of girls with a look of distaste. Libby saw the three men scanning the groups of girls hanging around the roped off area as they neared, whispering to each other. Obviously making their choice.

"OK Francoise, lets nuke these skags!" Kaylee whispered. Libby was going to ask what they meant when her two friends started to kiss passionately. Libby just stood there opened mouthed in shock as her two friends made out in front of her. She was so shocked she was barely aware of the bodyguards guiding the three friends into the rope off area that the men had entered seconds before.


"So you are a student at the University of Caille and having a good time on daddies money" the man called Kruul smiled.

Libby smiled and nodded as she sipped her vivid pink drink through the straw. It was making her head buzz. She glanced over at Francoise who was draped over Kruul's friend. Kayla had disappeared behind a curtained area with the other man.

"Its a great place you have here!" Libby commented "But aren't you worried about the cops shutting you down?"

Kruul laughed.

"Babes, this place is not going anywhere. The police know we are here, hell some of their top guys come here to relax. Our mercs outside mean the cops won't touch this place. They would lose too many ships and for what? To shut down one single pleasure garden thats not doing any real harm. They are not going to take this place by force. We have six schools and two kindergartens here for the workers children. Can you imagine the headlines if something goes wrong? A stray missiles impacts one of the schools? We even pay taxes, well sort of. A nice contribution to the local administration keeps the bureaucrats in line. We are safe as houses."

Libby listened with interest. She wondered if her father, a senior director for the local mega-corp who controlled this system, ever saw any of that dirty money.

"We provide a service and we are very popular. As well as the cops we have politicians, doctors and even university professors visiting our establishments. People who want to let loose and have some fun. Hey I was even talking to a rather hot mom last weekend. She and her husband left the babies with the grandparents and came here for a weekend blow out. Nah sweets, this place might not be the most legal around, but it is not going anywhere. Here, try this!" with that Kruul passed her a small pink test tube. She popped it open and looked at the contents inside suspiciously. The tube contained small crystals with a pink tinge to them. Kruul laughed at her hesitation and produced a blue tube which he flicked open and poured onto his outstretched tongue. Libby glanced across at Francoise. She was sat in the other mans lap grinding away in time to the music kissing him passionately. Several blue and pink test tubes lay empty on the sofa around the two entwined bodies. Libby shrugged and poured the crystals onto her tongue. The feeling of ecstasy washed over her like a wave and she slid back into the sofa. Kruuls laugh sounded distant and disjointed. She recovered slightly after the first hit peaked and smiled at him. She climbed onto his lap mimicking her friend. He stayed still and didn't move, letting her take the lead. Libby's hips swayed in time to the pulsing beat of the Matari dance track. She took Kruul's head in her hands and kissed him deeply. As their tongues met the remnants of the two different crystals reacted as designed. Waves of pleasure and passion engulfed them both taking their breath away. 'Kiss Crystal' was the new designer drug in the system.

Suddenly Libby felt a vibration run through her body. At first she thought it was the drugs but then there was another and the whole room shook. Kruul pushed her off and lept to his feet. His friends were already standing and the bodyguards had appeared. Libby looked at Kruul confused, he was ignoring her as he pulled his communicator out of his pocket.

"A Raven?"
"No escort or back up?"
"You are fracking kidding me. An Egger? What the frack does he want?"
"No, don't. I'm on my way!"

Kruul quickly placed his communicator away.

"Ship up guys, we got a problem outside!"

With that the men jogged away leaving the girls alone and confused.


The girls ran down the corridor. In the three minutes since Kruul left things had gone from bad to worse. The vibrations had got stronger and soon panic had engulfed the nightclub. Being at the back they knew they couldn't get through the stampede that was occurring in front of them. They had seen several people who had fallen and been trampled to death as the crowd surged for the exits. They had found another door in the VIP section and had followed the corridor down meeting a half dressed Kayle en-route. Once outside the soundproofed club the sounds of explosions could clearly be heard. Smoke was drifting out of the ventilation ducts and the lights flickered with every rumble.

"We are under attack aren't we" Libby said trying to sound calm.

Francoise squeezed her hand tight.

"Don't worry, there must be escape pods here somewhere!" her friend replied.

They turned a corner and saw a man at a door with a woman.

"Hey!" Francoise shouted. He glanced up and returned to the panel he was furiously tapping into. The girls ran towards him.

"Stay away!" he barked and they stopped dead in their tracks unsure of what to do. "This is mine. Come any closer and I'll kill you."

The girls edged forward slowly. The man spun around, he was trembling.

"Stop! I'm sorry." he sobbed "But we have to get back to our little girl"

He pressed a button and the door hissed as it slid open. Suddenly there was a roar and burst of flame erupted from behind the door. The three girls stepped back in horror as the man and woman were engulfed by flame. The shrieks of agony and smell of burning hair and flesh assaulted their senses. Francoise grabbed Libby and ran down a different corridor with Kaylee following close behind.

The explosions sounded louder as they ran. Libby and Francoise were hand-in-hand with Kaylee now in front. A series of bangs behind them made them stop and turn around. A conduit had blown out 50m down the corridor sending metal shards and gasses spewing into the walls they had just passed. A big explosion outside set off another series of smaller explosions around them as other conduits blew one-by-one down the corridor. A few seconds later the explosions stopped. Libby opened her eyes and saw that they had actually been stood directly in the middle of a gap between two conduits.

"That was close!" Francoise stated turning around. Kaylee was stood there, her face was white and her lips slightly parted. She tried to speak but made no sound.

"What is it?" Libby asked before she glanced down and saw the three shining metal fragments sticking through Kaylee's chest. Libby and Francoise screamed as Kaylee's eyes rolled into the back of her head and she fell to the floor. The conduit behind them had blown and sent out shards of broken metal pipe which had hit Kaylee in the back. They rolled her over screaming at her. She was gasping like a fish out of water. Blood poured from the three wounds where the broken metal had penetrated her. The girls panicked not knowing what to do. A long drawn out gasp left Kaylee's mouth and she died a few seconds later. Another explosion rocked the corridor. The sobbing Libby and Francoise struggled back to their feet and went back to running down the corridor leaving the body of their friend laying in an increasing pool of blood.

After a few minutes of running down the featureless corridor they turned a corner and saw a direction sign stating 'escape pods'. The sign pointed up a long corridor and informed them that the distance was 200 metres. The girls smiled at each other and ran down the corridor. The outpost was in a bad state now and the emergency lighting lit the smoke filled corridor dimly. Libby was slightly in front when a massive explosion rocked the station knocking them both off their feet. As she fell, Libby heard a bang behind her and looked back. A tritanium blast door had slammed closed only inches from her feet. Francoise wasn't there. Quickly Libby sprang to her feet and looked through the small reinforced window in the door. She saw Francoise on the other side staring back at her in panic. Both girls quickly searched for a way to open the door but there appeared to be no controls. It was a blastdoor designed to seal off sections in an emergency. Libby was trying to communicate through the small window by exaggerating her speech hoping Francoise could read her lips. As she did this she noticed the light above her head turn from green to orange. She screamed "NO" and burst into tears. Anyone who lived in space knew the significance of the lights above blast doors. Green was OK. Orange meant there was a pressure differential on the other side and the door was sealed. Francoise had seen Libby scream and mouthed 'what' through the glass. The pressure differential was obviously too slight for her to notice but that wouldn't last long. If that section was leaking atmosphere it would soon be apparent. Libby was sobbing and Francoise just looked confused why her friend was suddenly so upset. Suddenly Francoise winced in pain and rubbed her ear, the realisation slowly dawned on her face. The ear was always the first part of the human body to sense any pressure variations. She banged the door with her fists in panic screaming at the top of her lungs but Libby could hear nothing. Francoise placed her palms over her ears and screamed for help. Libby could only watch as her best friend begged her to save her. Blood began to seep through Francoise's fingers as her eardrums ruptured. Her bloodshot eyes bulged and blood flowed from her mouth as the pressure dropped, rupturing her soft tissues. Libby looked on helplessly as Francoise dropped to her knees before keeling over onto the floor and convulsing. The light above the door started flashing orange. A few seconds later the light turn red indicating a total vacuum on the other side and Francoise lay still. Libby sobbed a goodbye to her best friend and turned from the door and ran. The smoke stung her eyes and the failing artificial gravity and rocking of the badly damaged outpost made movement difficult.

The corridor soon gave way to a clear tunnel. On any other day it would have offered a spectacular view of deep space and the outpost. However wreckage and fire dominated the view now. A thud against the plexi-trit made Libby look up. She screamed as a corpse bounced off the top of the tunnel. There were several more, a section of the structure above had ruptured and was spitting atmosphere, debris and bodies into space. She cried as she saw the bodies of two young children slowly drift past the glass wall. She dropped her eyes to the floor and ran faster not daring to look up.

Finally she reached the door to the escape pod. She hit the large button on the wall and the door instantly hissed open. In seconds she had strapped herself into the single chair and slammed the emergency eject button with the flat of her palm. The doors slammed closed and she felt the acceleration as the small pod was jettisoned from the burning structure. She watched through the small viewport as the pod accelerated away. Finally she could see the Raven class battleship firing volley after volley of missiles at the pleasure garden. All around, wrecks of other spaceships burnt. She wondered what had happened to Kruul. The man she was kissing only ten minutes before. Was one of those wrecks his ship? Had he escaped or was he now a frozen corpse. Doomed to spend eternity spinning through space. As the pleasure garden exploded a voice message came through the escaped pods system.

"I am Executive Officer Adamta of the capsuleer vessel White Knight. Please don't panic ma'am. We are here to rescue you. You are safe now."

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Eve Online and the News

Some of the gaming websites covered the start of the Eve-O comic recently. I was reading some of the comments that gamers left on these news stories, and there were many people saying they'd like to play Eve Online but they are not "chaotic evil" so wouldn't try it.

Why would they think that? You need to be evil to play Eve Online? Why do they have that perception when they have never played?

Image if an alien ship landed on earth, found a tabloid newspaper blowing in the breeze and then left immediately to report their findings? What would they make of the planet Earth? Not a lot right. In fact they'd have a pretty warped picture of life on earth and the behaviour of humans.

Tabloid newspapers are obviously the worse. Lets look at the headlines of one from yesterday. The good old British Daily Star! The aliens would see...

Sportsman dad accused of head-butting person due to his skin colour
Comedian starts acting in soap opera
Woman kills herself
Soap actor gets parking ticket
Reality TV show winner talks about money
Gas prices fixed
Air transport with over 200 people vanishes.
Man accuses singers songs of turn you homosexual
People celebrate a saints day by dressing in green and getting intoxicated
Famous PR guru has allegedly 2.5 inches of 'equipment'

Serously. If that is what those aliens saw we'd be in trouble! They'd be taking action to ensure we don't 'infect' the galaxy if those are the most important news stories of the day?

But what about a reputable news agency? Take the BBC.

Transport with over 200 people vanishes.
Potential war brewing.
Woman kills herself.
Many women and children killed as person blows himself up in a market.
Air transport stops flying to a location because of trouble there.
Bombs found in cars
Armed forces seize transport
Land transport banned in city due to pollution they cause
Casino to open in country with strict anti-gambling laws
Singer sentenced for punching man

So that's what is happening on planet earth right now. Those aliens must think we are savages!

Is it the same for Eve Online?

What stories make the headlines in Eve. It is the big thefts, the betrayals and the huge loses. The stories that are reported about Eve Online give us the socio-path simulator label. If the headlines are only ever about who has cheated who and what betrayal led to an alliances downfall and the loss of their stuffz then we are going to be seen as these chaotic evil socio-paths that only play the game to ruin someone else's game.

Do we hear about the good in Eve Online? No, as with newspapers, these stories do not sell and people are not interested in them. We want death, destruction and dodgy dealings. We want to hear about how people were betrayed by their 'best friends' and have lost everything.

Eve is so close to real life in some respects, it is scary.

But what can we do about it? The fact is that the news that is interesting also tends to be the news that paints Eve Online players as the chaotic evil socio-paths. Which in turn will attract chaotic evil socio-paths to the game.

Can we break this cycle? Can we show the greater gaming public that Eve is not full of these people and there are plenty of friendly and nice players who will help you and not kill you for a laugh and steal all your stuff?

We are not that bad as the press paints us....

... are we?

Monday, March 17, 2014

BB54 - Eve Ain't No Place for No Hero

Blog Banter #54 - Heroes

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 54th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are visit the Blog Banter page.

Today's topic comes Diaries of a Space Noob blog and other sources:

"Quick post. I was listening to a song and a question occurred to me. Where are the EVE heroes? Against a dark background surely all we have are anti-heroes? A lot of mockery is aimed at any who attempt to be white knights. EVE is a dark place and yet pretty much all other MMO's try to place the player in the role of some form of hero, boosting the ego and taking the player out of the humdrum 1 in 7 billion that is RL. Why have I fitted into EVE? Did I never want to be that? So I guess my question is:

"Do classic heroes exist in EVE? Is such heroism even possible in EVE? How would you go about being one without opening yourself wide open to scams? Is the nature of the game so dark that heroes can't exist? How do you deal with that irony? What effect does this have on us and the psyche of new players coming in from other MMOs? Is it something special that we don't have classic heroes, or should we? Are our non classic heroes more genuine?"

And I would add to this, who have we elevated to the level of larger than life heroes ourselves in the game, and do they actually deserve it?
Get Writing!

Right! Currently me and the wife are watching season 3 of Strike Back and I've always thought the theme song to that show would be a great background track for an Eve Online video. However as I have all the artistic talents of a cluster of colour-blind hedgehogs in a bag I've never done a video. However the song it fits into this topic perfectly. I'll link the Youtube video at the end. You want a TL;DR? Just scroll down and listen to that song.

White knights/knights in shining armour, in Eve Online? No... I don't think so. You'd think the dark, gritty world of New Eden would allow these goodly heros to shine. However, we don't get White Knights, we get dark, gritty characters. Anti-heros we have a lot of in-game, but we are not talking about them here. We are talking classic heroes here.

Even in the official Eve lore there are few true heroes. Korvin Leers? Admiral Yakia Tovil-Toba? Otro Gariushi? Nope, not even CCP have given us any real "knights in shining armour" type heroes. All these men are heroes to some, but villains to others. Those three are examples of how close we get in Eve, but they not really meeting the requirements of the kind of hero this banter is talking about. So what about the players? Well, what do you need to be/do to be a proper Disney style White Knight?

First up, surely the first thing that a 'knight in shining armour" needs to do to qualify for the title is put themselves in mortal peril. Can you be one of these types of hero when you cannot die? Think of any hero from popular culture and they all have the potential to die. Superman/Kyptonite is perhaps the best example. Immortal capsuleers cannot die per say.

The immortal part of the game really scuppers the White Knight thing. Where is the risk? Where is the sacrifice? Oh, and financial sacrifice does not count! You do not feel empathy for Batman when he loses some kit do you? If you are never in any risk then how can you be a hero?

Next a true White Knight needs to be of a lawful-good alignment. We don't have those in game.

Oh, your character is lawful-good? Really? Yes? Are you sure? Yes? Well sorry, he isn't! And not by a long chalk.

We capsuleers kill with impunity. You may think you are one of these white knight hero types in Eve but you are not. I don't care how you play, you cannot be one in Eve.

Have you rescued the damsel in distress? What about all those people you killed? All those ships? All those innocents on that pleasure garden you blew up? OK they may have been visiting an illegal pleasure garden but you decided that the punishment for that is death by explosive decompression? The nightclub revellers you killed, what were they doing wrong? Did you take out the seperate casino structure too? The punishment you decreed for visiting that casio was to be roasted alive in zero-G fire? What about the staff? People just trying to make a living and you wiped out thousands of them all for a couple of million ISK, some loyalty points and 2000m3 of loot. Yeah, you're a real Knight in Shining Armour!

Also do you sell loot from your missioning? So you are an arms trader then! Who has ever heard of a White Knight type hero selling weapons to anyone who will buy them on the open market!

No, you are no 'white knight hero' as we don't have them in Eve, we cannot have them in Eve.

When I started Drackarn I wanted a 'Space Hero' type goodie-two-shoes character. In previous MMO's I have tended to play the good guy. Getting into Eve and learning about New Eden I soon found I couldn't be. Now I'm -10 and no way anyone would ever describe my main as a hero. The Gallente people might at a stretch, but the Caldari will define me as a pirate, a traitor and a mass murderer. But if he's not good does that mean that he is bad? What is good in Eve? What is bad?

If you look carefully there are is no good and bad in Eve Online, just personal perspectives. The Matari see the Amarr as 'evil' but the Caldari don't. Probably the closest thing we get to "evil" is Sansha's Nation. However, when you look deep into the lore its not all that black and white. Eve Online is grey. We are more Firefly than Star Wars. More Mal than Luke.

I think what I'm trying to say is that in Eve Online there is no place for white knight type heroes. One nations hero is another nations murderous butcher. CCP's lore does not really have any of these heros. With regard to us, the players, we are capsuleers and capsuleers are not heroes. You might think you are a classic hero/white knight with your +6.0 security status, but you have killed more innocents than you can ever count! You have sold weapons that may have lead to thousands of deaths. You have chosen money over the safety of others.

This is Eve Online, and this ain't no place for no hero to call "home". 'The Heavy' sing it a lot better than I can say it:-

This ain't no place for no hero
This ain't no place for no better man
This ain't no place for no hero
To call "home"
- Short Change Hero. The Heavy.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

SCASSSS - Dur Dum!

My hectic week is drawing to a close and things will return to normal tomorrow. For this Sunday's short I spotted this in a comment someone made on Rixx's latest blog post. It made me smile:-

Friday, March 14, 2014

Clear Skies

Slightly different fiction Friday as I'm under a lot of real life pressure this week. Back to normal next week!

Apparently there are still Eve Online players who haven't seen Clear Skies. Perhaps the greatest work of player fiction in the Eve-O universe. Three movies created by a group of players using Eve Online and the Halflife engine and it is really, really, really good!

The Original Clear Skies, Part 1 here:-

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Eve Online - Gorgeous

Manic week! Speaking at an international conference, heavy workload and social life hits Eve and blogging time for wrecking! No idea what I'm going to do for Fiction Friday. For today, how often do you just turn off the UI, remove the interface, and just marvel how good Eve looks?

Yeah.... I'm under pressure atm in real life. Sue me ;)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Ship Crews - Officers?

Before we start lets just make this clear. The vast majority of ships we fly in Eve do have crews, they can number in the thousands and in the lore they can influence how a ship performs. Read here for an example where a pissed off crew member sabotages a capsuleers battleship as he's ratting (presumably he hates carebears and was sick and tired of the level 4 mission grinding and just wanted to end it all!).

A couple of weeks ago I mused about the NeX store and what else it could offer (just before CCP told us ship skins were on the way!). At that time I was thinking fireworks, whilst Mat Westthorpe aka Siesmic Stan suggested another idea - Officers.

Many bloggers have suggested having customisable crews for your ships over the years. Basically they could work like rig slots and enhance performance of the ship and its systems. They could also bring a new element to the ecconomic side of the game. Hiring and firing crew could be srs bizniz. Saving stranded crew from wrecks could give a purpose to those new Star Wars shi... I mean Sisters of Eve ships we've got access to now. Loot the wreck, salvage the wreck scoop up the escape pods and rescue crew members! It all should be optional, they should work like implants, boosters or rigs. You don't have to have them if you don't want to.

So taking Mat's idea forward, what could we have?

Well all ships should come with a standard crew (as they do now). However, at the NeX store you can buy (hire) officers. These can be placed into the slots on a ship like modules and moved around between ships. They can also be sold on the open market. No real difference in P-T-W than buying Plex, selling on the market and then buying boosters or implant sets. Perhaps they have a timer? Last 12 weeks like insurance and then they bugger off?

Officers could come in three flavours - Fresh of the Academy, Experienced and Veteran. Each being progressively more expensive but giving better bonuses. A few ideas for the slots:-

Weapons Officer - "Fire all the things!"

Caldari - Orders his 'special sauce' to be loaded into the missile fuel tanks - 3%/5%/8% increased flight speed for missiles.
Gallente - Has a very expensive monocle, even more expensive than Japanese designer jeans, for increased targetting - 3%/5%/8% improved falloff for hybrid weapons.
Amarr - Has a barbed whip for encouraging the slaves turning the wheel to do it faster - 1%/2%/3% increased tracking for energy turrets.
Minmatar - Passes a few bottles of beer to the gunnary crew, its like pool, you always shoot better after a couple of cold ones - 3%/5%/8% improved optimal range for projectile weapons.

Chief Engineer - "I canny do eet Captain. I dooont have the poo-er!"

Caldari - 'Set an intercept course!' (or for Caldari Militia ships "RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!") = 1%/3%/5% bonus to warp speed
Gallente - 'Fly me closer, I want to hit them with my blasters!' = 1%/3%/5% bonus to MWD speed
Amarr - 'At least leave us some juice to fire the damn guns!' = -5%/-10%/-15% capacitor need for AB
Minmatar - 'Talwars! Diiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive!' = -3%/-5%/-10% to MWD sig radius debuff

Chief Mechanic - "Shiny!"

Caldari - Can use a lump hammer to make a bit more space in your missile tubes = 1/2/3 additional missiles per reload.
Gallente - Has a bit of spare plating laying around which he can weld to your drones = 5%/10%/15% extra drone HP.
Minmatar - Uses ice-packs from the beer cooler in engineering to cool hot modules = 3%/5%/10% reduction to heat damage from overloading.
Amarr - Diverts power from life support, you don't really need those crew on deck 4 really, they are mostly slaves = 1%/3%/5% increase in capacitor capacity.

Tactical Officer - "Shields are down Captain!"

Caldari - Divert power to shields! = 1%/3%/5% increase in shield HP
Gallente - Weld faster! Weld Faster!!! = 1%/3%/5% increase in armour repair amount
Minmatar - Has a massive roll of duct tape for plugging holes in your ship = 3%/6%/10% increase in structure HP (real men hull tank btw!)
Amarr - Increases the ships armour through the power of prayer = 1%/3%/5% increase in armour HP 

Executive Officer - "I'll grow a beard, that will make me look more like a Commander."

The XO is the most expensive officer and does nothing on his own. But he increases the boost of any same-race officers below him. So you need to think about your officers. Mix and matching different races means you can pick which boosts you want. But if you take five the same, you're XO will mean they are a lot more effective.

Now what if some pirate ships dropped rare 'Hero' officers. Very rare and gave an even better boost? May be even split bonuses between the races as they do with the ships? For example a Blood Raider hero officer could give the same bonus as the Amarrian and the Matari officers but 50% of each. So a Blood Raider Tactical Officer could give 5% structure and 2.5% armour HP bonuses.

A lot of ways this could be done. However, is this an extra string to Eve's bow, or is it heading down the dreaded P-T-W path?

Sunday, March 9, 2014

SCASSSS - Mmmmmmm Bacon.........

I am really out of Eve-O at the minute. I try to grab a minute here and there but over the last four weeks my Eve time has been suffering. Regular readers will have seen on this blog that I have got a fellow Eve player a job over here and I've been helping him adjust to life in the desert. You'd think having an Eve-O mate living with you would equate to more Eve time, nope it equates to more time down the pub!

This morning I was waiting for a meeting and flicking through Twitter on my phone when I saw that FunkyBacon is running for CSM 9. Completely missed that nugget! That helps me a bit!

CSM 7 was easy, Hans Jagerblitzen was the obvious choice.
CSM 8 I originally went for Marc Scarus and when he he dropped out I swapped to Ripard Teg.

Why would I go for FunkyBacon for CSM 9?

Because he's a low-sec'r?
Because he's a faction war'r?

Simply this line from his Speakers Corner:-

"I think that warp core stabilizers are in need of a long hard look at what sort of "game play" they are enabling."

That almost does it for me.

FUNKYBACON FOR CSM9!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11!!!!1! DEATH TO STABBED FARMERS!!!!!!!!!

So do I back the Bacon? But there are two others I am considering...

Xander Phoena - May be a bit too null-secy for me but could a Ripard Teg replacement?

Sugar Kyle - Non-FW but focusing specifically on low-sec.

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.... need to decide soon!

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Price of Vice

Fiction Friday! Escape pod... errrr.... there are a lot of good posts currently! You could see Rixx's art or read about the new ship skins here.

The Price of Vice

"Gold!" thought Gage as the charter shuttle was approached the vast Amarrian space-station in preparation to dock. "Why are they so obsessed with that gaudy colour".

After docking and clearing customs it was a five minute trip before Gage entered the hotel's lobby. It was like walking into a jewellery box. More gold lined the walls and reflected in the bright white marble of the floor turning that too a gold hue. The ceiling was a deep red. Banners hung down, probably representing some great houses of the Amarr Empire, but he didn't care, he just wanted to check-in and sleep after his long journey.

Gage owned his own maintenance drone business. Semi autonomous robots that could do general maintenance duties in hazardous conditions. He had embarked on a two-week tour of Amarr space to try and sell some products. He had salesmen who worked for him but the Amarrians preferred to discuss business with the company head, not some lowly salesman. He was nearing the end of the trip and this would be his last stop. Just two nights at the Hazarna Hotel on the Amarr VIII spacestation. He would be glad to get back to the Federation, he hated Amarr space.

He got checked-in and was soon in his suite. Gage's business was good and after visiting more remote, and less hospitable, stations he had paid for a good suite in a five-star hotel. He had signed some big orders during this trip and the profits would easily stretch to a few nights of luxury. He turned the holoprojector on and flicked through the menus. He ran through the channel listings and turned it back off. Every hotel outside of the Amarrian Empire offered movies for businessmen away from their wives, but not here. Not in the Amarrian Empire. No skin-flicks at all. Gage expected such but he still hoped he might be lucky and be on a more relaxed station. He was married with two young children, but he enjoyed the company of women. His constant business trips meant he was able to sample them regularly. However, in the past 12-days there had been zero opportunity. He knew there must be services available, where there was demand, there was always supply. Its just he didn't know where to go. He unpacked his suitcase and collapsed on the bed. He'd need an excuse to go on another trip soon to make up for this one. Somewhere in Gallente space, they catered for travelling business men with an 'appetite' so much better.

A few hours later he woke. It was early evening so he quickly showered and headed down to the restaurant. The food was excellent and he sampled a fantastic bottle of Amarrian wine. However he still had a hunger. After dinner he walked through the lobby and eyed the Concierge. In the Federation he'd have no issues of walking up to him and telling him what he needed. Here, it was a different matter. He could end up in jail in a matter of minutes. In the end he decided against it, it was too much of a risk. The Concierge might be able to supply women but in this space he was just as likely to call the police. Instead he retired to the bar for a drink. As expected the bar was quiet and the stools at the bar itself were empty. In any Federation five-star hotel he could have guaranteed that there would be three or four attractive women sat there, dressed to kill. Working. It was always the same. They would ignore you for the first few minutes to ensure you were alone. Then they would smile at you, then strike up some small talk. Before long they would be asking you what you were planning on doing after you left the bar. If you replied 'going back to my room' then they'd smile and discreetly whisper an amount. 300 credits was low and they could go up to 1,000. You'd then tell them your room number, pay your bill and retire to your room. Five minutes later there would be a knock on your door and you'd be in for a very good night! But not here, not in the damn Amarrian Empire. Didn't these men have needs?

He took a seat at the bar and ordered a whisky. Yes, he'd need a proper blow out in the Federation after this!


"You sure? That will be your fifth and I'm guessing you have business tomorrow?" the barman asked.

Gage looked at him and nodded.

"Why not. Given that booze is the only action a man can get here, fill me up!"

The barman looked around carefully.

"What other action are you after?" he said lowering his voice.

"Well if I was in the Federation instead of here I'd probably be trying to decide on a nice brunette or a firey redhead! Instead I've got the choice of wine or whisky!"

The barman looked around again.

"Everything is obtainable friend."

Gage suddenly perked up.

"How?" he asked expectantly.

The barman slid a datapad across the bar and Gage saw it was waiting for two fingerprint scans. Most transactions in New Eden were done with a thumb print. Scanning both index and middle finger gave the recipient a lot more access to your information. They couldn't do anything, but they could check your personal details, overview of your finances and the like. Contracts could be set for immediate completion up with your unique ID and account details. However they did require further confirmation with another 'two-finger scan' and on your own registered datapad, not a third-parties. So even if this barman set up some bogus contract he could still reject it.

"Seriously? You think I'm going to give a barman that level of access to my personal information!" he said finally.

"Suit yourself. But I'm not talking any more without knowing who you are."

Gage looked at the barman and back to the pad. He was doing a background check on him! Of course, what Gage wanted was a major crime in the Amarrian Empire. This barman wanted to make sure he wasn't a cop. If he did the identify check the barman would know a lot about him, but what could he do with that information? Not a lot really. Gage pressed his fingers on the sensors and the barman took the pad back. He consulted the pad for a few minutes and passed it back. Gage looked and there was a page of thumbnail photos of half a dozen women. He smiled as he scanned through the profiles. He reached the end and there was a black silhouette portrait named 'special' which caught his eye. He clicked that and it brought up a new section but it only contained only one girl. He read the profile and her bio. Gage passed the datapad back to the barman.

"That one!"


Gage paced back and forth in his room. He rubbed his hands together in anticipation. This could be the best ever. The details he had seen on the datapad repeated in his head. He knew the reputation of the Amarr Empire but never expected this would be possible. He had thought about it since and this was probably his only chance to have an experience like this. He wouldn't be able to do this in any of the other three Empires but of course it would be possible here! The Amarr enslaved the Matari race, they viewed them like cattle.

The chime indicated there was someone at the door. He approached it and pressed the button to activate the small screen on the wall that showed who was in the corridor. He saw a hulking man standing next to a petite Matari woman. He opened the door and the beast of a man just nodded at him and pushed the girl forward into his room. She stumbled forward in her ridiculously high-heels, regained her composure and walked into the middle of the room with her head bowed and her eyes averted. The hulk then left without saying a word.

Gage looked at the girl. She had a long coat on and had her eyes firmly fixed to the floor. She didn't move or say a word. Her head was shaved and the make-up was light. He walked up to her, she didn't acknowledge him. He unfastened the belt of her coat and pushed it off her shoulders before taking a step back. He soaked her in with his eyes. No, you wouldn't get this even in the Federation. He approached her.

"Look at me" he said in a stern voice. The girl slowly lifted her head for the first time.

Smack! The crack of the palm of his hand against her cheek resonated around the room. She looked shocked and upset but didn't move. Using his other hand he slapped her other cheek. She offered no defence. He grabbed her by the throat, finally she responded by grabbing his wrist lightly. She didn't try to free herself, just held his wrists as he squeezed. Gage looked at her as her face turned red and she gasped. Finally he threw her to the bed where she landed face down. He removed his belt from his trousers and doubled it up. This was going to be great he thought.


After five minutes he stepped backed panting. Sweat soaked his 200 credit dress shirt and his arm hurt. He didn't care, he was enjoying himself. He looked down at the sobbing girl laying there on his expensive hotel bed. Her back, buttocks and backs of legs were a mass of red welts.

"Turn over!" he said in a commanding tone. There was no reaction.

"TURN OVER!" he shouted.

Slowly the crying girl complied. Gage grinned as he raised his arm, aiming at her chest.

"If you use your arms to cover yourself, you will be very, very sorry." he growled.

A beeping behind him made him pause. He turned around, it appeared it was coming from the girls long coat that lay crumpled on the floor.

"What...." he turned back to the girl but she wasn't sobbing prone on the bed any more, she was stood right in front of him.

"How..." he never finished the sentence as she punched him square in the nose. He heard a sicken crack as his nose broke and felt the coppery taste of blood as he fell. She followed up with a swift kick to the ribs and another between his legs. As he lay gasping for breath she retrieved her coat and took a datapad out.

"The contracts ready for you to sign you fracking animal!" she said menacingly and picked his own datapad off the desk. "Are you going to sign it, or do we need to do it the hard way?" she sneered.

She held the datapad in front of his face. He looked at the contract summary in horror. It was a contract that would clear his businesses bank account in exchange for a few minerals worth a fraction of their true cost. Gage realised it was a version of a scam that he'd seen before that relied on people thinking it was a great deal. "Half a million units for only that much! What a bargain. I need to accept that quick before someone else does!" Only to realise the text of the contract description might have said 500000 but the actual volume in the detailed transfer system was 50000. A massive loss, all for not counting the number of zeros.

"Frack you, you whore!" Gage spat and lashed out.

The woman easily skipped around the flailing arm before stamping on his stomach. The air was blasted out of him and he lay gasping for breath. She smiled and recovered her coat. She retrieved something from one of the pockets and walked back over to Gage who was still struggling on the floor. She flicked her wrist and a bright blue blade appeared from the hilt she held in her hand. An Amarrian laser blade.

"You have no idea how happy I am that you said that you sick asshat!"


The woman walked into the seedy bar on deck 4 and entered the back room. She sat on a chair in front of the desk and put her feet on the table. The man behind the desk looked at her over the top of his glasses. The spiked heels of her stilettos pointing menacingly at him.

"All went OK?" he asked in a measured tone.

"Yeah. We just sold Gage Drones Incorporated a small amount of Mexallon for a large amount of cash. The shell company has already transferred the money on and its been closed down. By the time he's in a state to talk to the cops, they'll never be able to trace the money back to us. We've paid off the barman and he's left station with a new ID. Clean get away."

"You said 'By the time he's in a state to talk'. So what state did you leave him in? He's alive right? The local cops won't aggressively pursue a scam on a foreigner, but a murder...."

"Relax Hoz." she replied "He'll live. He wouldn't sign so I had to confirm the contract for him myself. I used his own datapad and these." With that she reached into her coat pocket and tossed two severed fingers onto the desk. The man behind looked at them with disdain.

"Lovely!" he replied whilst tilted his head to one side. Something else had caught his attention.

"You OK?" he said nodding to her leg. The woman looked down. Her coat was hanging open and revealed a bright red welt on her upper thigh. She quickly covered the exposed flesh.

"Yeah as long as you pay me an extra five grand for what that sicko did to me. I played the helpless submissive as agreed until your guys had the contract ready. They took too long and that perv didn't hang around in getting nasty. Think of it as compensation."

"Look Samana, five grand is a bit much. You are paid well for the services you....."

The woman reached into her other pocket and tossed the contents on the desk.

"Five grand you say? Actually it does look like he was a bit of a sicko and you went above and beyond the call! So lets say seven and and a half? You should get down the med-bay and get those looked at too. I'll arrange the transfer of your bonus right now."

Samana smiled and whipped her feet off the desk before standing and heading for the door.

The man behind the desk just looked in horror at the two severed fingers on his desk, along with a pair of bloodied testicles laying next to them.