Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Fanfest - Monument Unveiling

I left the hotel, grabbed a hotdog, walked towards the CCP offices and narrowly got missed by a speeding Punkturis on a pedal cycle!

Scene was a bit different to this morning with the monument now covered.

Soon the fans started to arrive and I got to say hi to General Stargazer, Druur Monakh, Baghi, Sindell and a bloke with a 3d printed Chimera!

The bubbly for the toast was prepared whilst some loony, assuming from CCP, used the tower crane at the adjacent building-site to get a decent picture of the crowd!

We had speeches from Hilmar, the artist and the mayor who was the one with the big knife who cut the string holding the cloth on the monument.


Great little event, well done CCP!

You can find your characters position on the monument here -

Righto! Two hours until the #tweetfleet meet and then tomorrow the real geeky stuff starts!

2014 Fanfest blog posts:-

Thats Right, I'm in ICELAND! - The Eve Monument

Woke up refreshed and had a nice breakfast. Nothing to do so thought I'd wander down to see the CCP offices for the first time. Its bloody cold in Reykjavik compared to home! So here is where the magic is made! CCP HQ!

And next door is, of course, the Eve Online Monument. I went over, armed with my list of names people had asked me to photograph. I was even offered a fit Vindicator by one corpy! Ah there it is....

So where are the names? On one of the sticky up bits? Nope? Why are people looking at those plain grey tiles on the base...... WHAT IN DIVINITIES EDGE???????????????

No obvious order, just all the names. Hundreds of thousands of them, very small. Yeah not going to find mine or anyone else's on there. Had a good chat with other players there, met General Stargazer from the #tweetfleet.

Then we get shouted at by CCP Manifest for being 7 hours early. I'm 99.999% sure he was taking the piss. Some others did think he might have been serious. Nah, not our Ned :o)

Around town Eve is everywhere.

More later with the Monument 'unveiling' at 17:00 and the #tweetfleet meet at 20:00.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Fanfest Airport Strikes - Update

UPDATE 29/4/14 - Possible ALL flights on 30th will be cancelled -

Its the week of Fanfest and the strikes are still on.

CCP said they will refund tickets if the general strike goes full on -

Really nice of CCP to do this. They could have have said "nothing to do with us" and kept the money. Props to CCP for this.

Check with your airline before travelling and also the KEF website - - Don't get excited by the latest story about "Strike Over". That refers to the mini-strike last week.

If you are travelling to Fanfest, good luck, and may the force be with you!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

SCASSSS - Fanfest Itinerary.

Friday's and today's posts were all pre-written and scheduled to auto-post. I'm back in the UK as you read this visiting my family and friends. On Tuesday I'm flying over to Iceland to enjoy Fanfest. After Fanfest I'm back in the UK at the wife's parents before flying back to the Middle East. Therefore posts these next two week are going to be all over the bloody place.

Expect daily posts, if not twice a day, whilst I'm at Fanfest but slightly reduced posts the rest of the time until I'm back in the real sandbox!

I'll be back to normal from Sunday 11th May. Hopefully with a renewed Eve Online Mojo after fanfest!

Here's why....

Wednesday Night - 
TweetFleet Meet at the Celtic Cross.

Thursday -
12:00 - Eve Tech Art
13:00 - Eve Community Pannel
14:00 - Ship and Module Balancing
15:00 - Concept Art Live Session
16:00 - Lowsec and Crimewatch
17:00 - Fanfest Welcome and EVE : Valkyrie Keynote

20:00 - Sindell's Not-a-Charity-Dinner

Friday -
11:00 - UK Roundtable (OK so I don't live in the UK but I am British!)
12:00 - Eve UI
13:00 - DUST 514 Keynote (simply as there is nothing else)
14:00 - Fleet Warfare
15:00 - Intelligence Tools
16:00 - Factional Warfare (noooooooo Eve Lore is same slot!)
17:00 - Eve Keynote

21:00 - Pub Crawl Without a Dev

Saturday -
10:00 - Eve Movie Morning (well IF I wake up)
12:00 - Making Eve Valkyrie a Full Game
13:00 - Eve Vision
14:00 - Industry Panel (Only because this could be entertaining to watch)
15:00 - Deploying Pluggable Space Things
16:00 - Ship and Module Balancing 2
17:00 - CCP Presents!

20:00 - Party on Top of the World

Sunday -
Blue Lagoon

Friday, April 25, 2014

Harsh Justice

Fiction Friday! Escape pod here. To be honest I've just linked Rixx's blog. He made me the awesome new banner at the top so he gets the linkage today.

As you read this I should be in the UK. I hope so anyway. Fanfest is soon(tm)!

Harsh Justice

"Oh he was with me all night your honour. He never left the bedroom until the sun came up!"
"So you have no material witnesses that my Client was outside the resident as you claim?"
"I am a legitimate businessman your honor, who, for some unknown reason, the Police continue to harass!"
"So Counsel. You are saying your primary witness has vanished from the back of the police transport en route here?"
"This court finds the defendant 'not guilty'. You are free to go. Case dismissed!"

Xavier just sat there in the public gallery as people around stood and slowly moved towards the exits. He didn't move as the courtroom emptied. Soon he was by himself, the silence was deafening. He knew this would happen. However he had still placed his faith in the system. It had failed him.

Xavier was a professor in advanced chemistry at the City of Saleux University on Deltole VI. A year ago his life was perfect. He was married to a loving wife, had an amazing daughter who was about to go to university and did a job he loved. Then there was that night. The night that had been replayed in this courtroom for the two days.

He answered the door late to be greeted by a fist. Three men had charged in whilst he was stunned and wrestled him to the floor. His wife had run to see what the commotion was and was grabbed by one of the intruders as was his daughter who ran down the stairs moments later. They had tied them up and gagged them with tape. They then had dragged them to his home laboratory. They gave him a list of chemicals that they needed. He explain he didn't have them at home as the ones they wanted were too restricted and he had only some basic chemicals for preparing lessons. They hadn't believed him, two appeared high on some substance and were getting twitchy. He had tried to calm them down but it hadn't worked. They had just got angrier.

"Tell us where you are hiding the good stuff or shit will get crazy around here. I'm going to count to ten." the leader had hissed in Xavier's ear.

He begged them not to hurt his family. That he didn't have the chemicals in the house but he could get them from the university. They refused to wait, convinced he had them at home. Once the leader finished counting to ten, they made good on their promise. The sounds of the screams, the horrific gurgling sound, the scrape of grinding glass, the bang of the gun. They all came flooding back to him.

Xavier put his hands in his hands and wept in the now empty courtroom.


One Year Later...

The bar was busy. It was midnight and the drink was flowing and the music was booming from the hi-tech speakers. The latest Gallente Electro music was fading out and the faster beats of the Matari trance was taking over. The DJ was taking the music up a gear.

The blonde was sat at the bar with a bright green cocktail in front of her. She looked entirely bored. Two Matari men were stood just off to one side of her in black suits. Everyone could see they were bodyguards. The blonde sighed as she took another sip of her drink twiddling the clear stirrer in the drink. She glanced at her watch, she was indeed bored. Dating the local crime boss sounded fun to most girls and to be honest the benefits outweighed the negatives. He was a high ranking and very rich member of the Serpentis crime syndicate. However, for all the danger and excitement she found herself bored most of the time. Vinetti was monumentally jealous and the two Minmatar bodyguards followed her everywhere. Any guy who spoke to her was warned off. Any guy who ignored the warning took a savage beating for their interest. Still, she'd rather be a gangsters girl than an accountants. The money, gifts and lifestyle had certainly made up for it. Yes she had to do bad things occasionally. Turn a blind eye to something or lie to the cops or a judge once in a while. But hell, the lifestyle was great.

Yasmine returned from the washroom and jumped up onto the barstool next to her.

"Still no action?" she asked.

"What, with Stiff One and Stiff Two stood there giving the evils to any man to glance our way. I mean I wouldn't ever cheat on Vinny but be nice to chat to some new people." she moaned.

"I know what you mean. About both things! Is it true Vinny's last girl cheated on him and he got some back-street doc to remove, well everything!"

Lana looked at her aghast. "No!"

"Oh really? The word is she is still alive. Just a bare head on a bare torso in a hospital bed. She cannot see, smell, taste, hear. You know after the Doc removed everything that he could without killing her! Arms, legs. eyes, ears and eardrums, tongue, vocal chords....."

Lana waved a hand at Yasmine in a "As if" motion. The truth was she could believe that to be true.

"Next time we'll go to a lessy bar" Yasmine suggested "At least we could get chatted up there!". Both girls fell about laughing.

"Here take this, if we cannot have men, lets have some medicinal fun" Yasmine discreetly passed Lana a pill.

"What is it?" she whispered so the guards didn't hear.

"Its a light form of Party Crystal. A guy was selling near the bathrooms, gave me a freebie to try."

The girls giggled, popped the pills and smiled at each other.

Two minutes later the side door to the club burst open as the bodyguards carried the two hysterical women to the car as they foamed at the mouth.


Vinnetti put the communicator down and shook his head, leaning back in his favourite chair in his study. His girlfriend had been rushed to his private hospital after taking some dodgy drugs at a club.

Some idiot dealer had apparently cut the Crystal with household chemicals. However when in the mouth the combination of chemicals had reacted with saliva to create an organic acid that attacked calcium. The stupid bitch had lost all her teeth in a matter of minutes. His doctor had told him that his girl would be fine and they were growing her a new set of teeth to implant in the morning. He chuckled slightly thinking he should have asked the doctor not to bother. A toothless girlfriend would have some benefits.

There was a knock at the door and one of his enforcers entered.

"You wanted to see me boss?" he enquired.

"Yeah Stamper. Some idiot was selling dodgy Crystal down at the Raven Club last night. Find out who it was and remove all their teeth. Oh and give them a broken jaw as well for their trouble. Then find Yasmine. She gave my girl the bad pill. Grab her and put her to work in the cathouse down in the industrial area. She'll probably resist so make sure they drug her to the eyeballs so she doesn't even know her own name. After she's done a hundred guys cut her loose."

The thug nodded with a smile and left Vinetti's study.


Doctor Tiago entered the lab and saw the blue glow from the bio-reconstruction chamber. A technician in a white lab coat was leaning over the controls.

"How are those..... who are you? Where is Kias?" Doctor Tiago realised he didn't know the technician working in the bio-reconstruction laboratory.

"I'm Luca. I'm usually down in the pharmacy. Kias had a family emergency and asked if I could finish the run here."

Doctor Tiago nodded. He didn't really know anyone from the pharmacy down in the basement and generally he didn't want to know. The rumour was the pharmaceutical labs in the basement of the hospital cooked up both medicinal drugs for use in the hospital but also more recreational ones for sale planet-wide. Hence he stayed away. The private hospital was a front and mainly catered for the battered enforcers of the local Serpentis Syndicate. Medically they tended to patch up gunshot and knife wounds without any official records being submitted. Plastic surgery was also common procedure either for Vinnetti's men who needed a new identity after being identified by the cops or cosmetic enhancements to his often replaced girlfriends. In fact the one that he had in room 4 upstairs was well overdue for replacement. Two years was a new record for the crimeboss' girlfriends!

"It'll be another few hours Doc. You want to to bring them over to you when they are done?"

Doctor Tiago nodded. He glanced into the case where bright blue lasers were slowly constructing a new set of bright white teeth. As all seemed to be in order he left the bio-reconstruction lab as he left.


"So where is my money?" Vinnetti asked casually.

The sobbing man tried to compose himself. He was tied to a chair and his face was black and blue.

"I... I... spent it." Vinnetti's ex-book keeper sobbed.

"That is too bad for you then. Girta!"

Vinnetti turned towards the door and a woman emerged from the shadows. She was Gallente with long jet black hair and wore a black leather catsuit. She help a scalpel in her hand.

"This is Girta. You have never met her but you may have heard of the Mistress of a Thousand Cuts" Vinnetti grinned to the the man in the chair before turning to the woman "Slowly please darling. Very, very slowly."

Vinetti left the room and close the door behind him as the ear-piecing screams began. He walked up a flight of stairs and opened another door. His girl was laying on the bed watching a TV show. Vinnetti smiled, it was time to ensure that the doctor had done a proper job fixing her mouth. He closed the door and approached her unfastening his trousers.

Back downstairs Girta was sat in the bound man's lap slowly cutting at the screaming man's flesh with the scalpel as two enforcers looked on. They looked slightly green and uneasy given the scene unfolding in front of them. They were all too aware that the former employee of Vinetti's was not suffering an unusual fate for someone who had disappointed him. In contrast the woman seemed to thoroughly enjoy her job as she slowly sliced the bookkeepers flesh whilst she grinded herself into his lap. A muffled boom shook the room and a small section of plaster fell from the roof. The enforcers, glad for the distraction, look at each other and ran towards the staircase.


"What in divinities edge!" the Chief of Police exclaimed as he entered the bedroom.

Detective Isaac was crouched down looking at one of the bodies. He saw the Chief of Police enter and he stood.

"Sir. What are you doing here?"

"Someone told me Vinnetti got taken out. Given we've been trying to get him for five years I wanted to see first hand. But I never expected this!"

The Chief swept his hand across the scene in front of him. A headless female corpse lay on the floor. In front of her was Vinnetti on his back, a bloodied and ragged hole was where his groin used to be. One of his legs was just hanging on with a few threads of muscle. The walls, ceiling and floor were splattered with gore which was still dripping down.

"Sniper?" the police Chief asked looking down at the headless female.

"We thought so too first. However it appears to be much more complicated than that. Forensics said the broad's head exploded from the inside, taking Vinnetti's, erm, life with it."

"From the inside?" the Chief asked incredulously.

"The techs have yet to confirmed it. But given the shards they've been pulling out of the wall, a bio-explosive was likely hidden in her teeth. When Vinnetti and his girl got fruity... boom! The lab says they have no idea who could have done this, its high tech. Not likely to be any of the other gangs in the area."

The Police Chief just slowly shook his head, surveying the carnage.


Detective Isaac exited the interrogation room to find his partner standing opposite the door leaning on the wall.

"So, did he do it?" his partner asked.

"I don't think so." Isaac replied.

He'd been questioning Doctor Tiago for two hours. He claimed he knew nothing about the Serpentis Syndicate links to the hospital he work at and claimed innocence. His lawyer was also a real pain in the ass. Whilst Isaac was pretty sure the doctor knew what went on at that hospital, he was also sure he didn't have any knowledge that the teeth he was implanting into the woman were booby-trapped. However, he now had extra leads. A man called Luca made the teeth. So if it wasn't the doctor who hid the explosives it must have been this Luca.

A few minutes checking through the hospital staff database with Doctor Tiago confirmed there were no staff members by that name and none of the faces matched what Doctor Tiago remembered of the man.


Detective Isaac was at his desk reading a datapad when his partner entered.

"So where are we boss?"

Isaac lent back in his seat and sighed. "We have someone who spiked Vinnetti's girls drugs with a chemical that dissolved her teeth, this was obviously on purpose. Then that perp, or someone else working with him, infiltrated the Serp's private hospital, sneaked a bio-explosive into her replacement teeth so that her head became a bomb. The surveillance logs at the hospital are useless as the drives had an acid poured over them. Same MO at the Raven Club. We have no idea what this man or team look like or who they are."

"Yeah, this is some real Black Ops shit. We sure some state intelligence agency isn't involved in this?" his partner asked.

"Or a teacher?" Isaac mused. His partner looked at him like he didn't know what he was on about.

"You weren't here for the that were you? Three thugs broke into the residence of the head of chemistry at the University two years ago. They were after some specific nasty chemicals. They can be used in narcotics production and therefore tightly controlled so they were looking to steal rather than buy. As the professor had a lab at his home the idiots thought he'd have the good stuff stashed there. He didn't obviously. Anyway these bozo's were so high they weren't thinking straight. One decided to try to persuade the good professor to tell them where he was hiding the good stuff by pouring a bottle of concentrated hydrochloric acid into his wife's face. Worse stiff I've ever seen in my life. Her face just melted right off. That image of the blonde hair around the bleached skull face haunted my nightmares for weeks. When that didn't work they took all the glassware in the lab and smashed it into a large two metre by one metre soak-tank. They then threatened to put his daughter in there. He begged them not to, but as he had no chemicals to offer, they lowered his daughter in there face down with her hog-tied. They then slowly splashed some drops of acid over her back. Not enough to kill her, but enough to make her thrash about on top of the broken glass. When he still didn't give up the chemicals that weren't there, they then shot him four times and left. The daughter was dead by the time we showed up, bled out in the tank. Man, she was shredded. The professor was barely alive. He pulled through in the end, they managed to miss every major organ and artery. The professor ID'd two of the perps from our facial database. They were low-level thugs of Vinnetti's, Serps. We have never found them, we assume they got new faces at one of his specialist hospitals or Vinnetti just bio-massed them for making such a mess. Here's the file, I've been rereading it."

Detective Isaac slid over a datapad and his partner picked it up. He scrolled through a few times and slid the datapad back.

"Shit man. Why did you have to show me that. I got a wife and daughter too, no need to be showing a man shit like that!".

Isaac glanced down and saw the thumbnails of the professors faceless wife and the daughter with the front of her body completely shredded where they had made her thrash about on top of the broken glass. He shuddered.

"We got some intel that they went there specifically on Vinnetti's orders and he was even outside in a vehicle waiting for these chemicals he needed. We had our source in his organisation and he confirmed the rumours. So we pulled him out and we went for a prosecution. Trial lasted two days. The prison transport carrying our snitch turned up at the courthouse but when they opened the back, it was empty. No guards, no source. Vanished in transit. Vinnetti's girl had already taken the stand and swore he was with her that night, all night. No evidence, no witness, no chance. Judge found him not guilty as we had zero evidence and that was that."

"What happened to the professor?"

"Committed suicide, apparently, a few months ago. Left a note at his home saying he had to end it and hired a shuttle. That shuttle was found in the asteroid belt at P4 totally decompressed. Looked like he'd jerry-rigged the door to open and had flushed himself into outer-space. Gotta say explosive decompression wouldn't be the way I'd have chosen if I was him!"

His partner looked thoughtful.

"And no body was ever found I take it?"

"No." replied Isaac nodding at the significance.


"That is fine Mr, er, Iccuras. Is that a Gallente name? Its very unusual." the girl at the desk asked handing back the ID card. She had no way of telling it was fake, it was too good.

"No, its actually ancient Matari." the man lied "My great-grandfather was Minmatar."

"Oh right. Anyway here is a copy of the rental agreement, the activation codes for the shuttle and a leaflet on the sights of the solar system from Eve Travel. Is there anything else you need? Do you need a baggage drone?"

The man looked at her with sad eyes.

"No, thats fine thank you, there is no baggage."

"OK. The shuttle is ready for you in docking bay 94... Sir, Is everything OK?" the girl asked with genuine concern.

"Everything will be good in an hour thank you."

With that the man left towards the docking bay.

Three hours later a capsuleer miner reported a shuttle adrift in the asteroid belt near planet 4.

Apparently it appeared to be powered down and decompressed.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


I leave tomorrow on my annual return to the decadent West. I'll have a long weekend with my dad and bro and do some catching up with old friends. Then its to Iceland for Fanfest. Obviously with the strikes I might be stuck there forever. However, YOLO!

The thing is, we've not got a program for Fanfest yet! We've always had the program by now. I know as I always have printed a copy out to take with me and I always leave on the Thursday before. Oh well, I might not be able to plan by daytime activities just yet until I see the schedule but my nights are almost booked up!

Wednesday - The #TweetFleet Meet.
As usual the Twitter lot will be heading to the Celtic Cross on the Wednesday night to get drunk and chat about important internet spaceships. Get there early as the Celtic Cross is like Jita years ago. The gates will be closed when its got too many geeks in it!

Thursday - The Not-A-Charity-Dinner.
The Official Charity Dinner in 2012 was awesome. Hilmar, Soundwave et al welcoming up as you entered with a handshake and thanking you for supporting the event. Speeches after the meal by a representative from the Charity and Hilmar. Yeah there was some pomp and ceremony to it and it felt like good value. 2013 we got... erm... nothing but the meal. Wander into the restaurant, sit, get moved around when people had filled tables and there was no space for an Dev's. No welcome, no speeches, no pomp, no ceremony. So this year I thought I'd try Sindell's alternative. I believe there are still spaces if anyone wants to join us!

Friday - The Pub-Crawl-Without-A-Dev
These have always been great. Last year we were in CCP Fozzie's group and played capture the flag against the other groups. Was good fun, but regimented. There are only so many pubs and hundreds of Eve players and Devs wandering around in most of them. Erm.... yeah.... Sindell's alternative may say 'Without a Dev' but finding a pub without a Dev in it on the Friday night will be a challenge. See here for details.

Saturday - The Party On Top of The World.
Well, there is only ONE place to be on Saturday night isn't there. This year I will do it right! This year I will not drink all day. I will not try and finish my bottle from the airport before I go out. I will not power drink. I will not wake up Sunday morning, fully clothed, with half a pizza and a camera full of photos I do not remember taking. I will pace myself. Yeah........

Sunday - Blue Lagoon
What better way I ask you, to shake the hangover, by starting drinking again in the run-off lagoon from a power-station? Mmmmmmmmmm steamy........

Fanfest Itself.
My biggest fear for Fanfest is we get another round of talks and presentation with heavy "expectation management" as was in 2013. At Fanfest 2012 CCP threw new ideas out right, left and centre. The module POS revamp was one that really struck a chord with players and got them all excited. Then came the rage when CCP decided it was too hard to do and not many people would use it. I'm guessing that was the reason we got told very little in 2013. "Don't tell those bloody nerds anything otherwise we'll get raged at". So in 2013 DUST Bunnies got shown a lot of great plans, ideas and future features whilst we got a picture showing Badgers building a stargate and got told to "image" a lot. Anyway, I'm eagerly awaiting the progame...

I hope there is a faction war roundtable.
I hope there is a lowsec PvP/piracy roundtable.
I hope there is a lore/player fiction panel.
I hope we get to hear of this 5-year, or is it 4-year plan now?
I hope we hear about WiS.
I hope we hear about the new space.

Anyway, that's where I will be during Fanfest. If you spot me say hi and I 'might' buy you a drink!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Burn Jita 3 and an Eve Online Quiz Game

Burn Jita 2014

So Burn Jita 3 is happening this weekend. It was officially announced on the this morning ending speculation even though everyone pretty much knew it was going to be the weekend before Fanfest. So be careful out there readers! Then again, if you read Eve blogs like this one, you'll know about this and will not be flying any high-value ships around Jita or the surrounding systems will you?

Of course there will be lots and lots of carebears who never go beyond the Client, that will pilot their freighters laden with stuffz straight into the Goons. If you are a forum go'er, ready your waterproof clothing. Tears be incoming!!!

So You Think You Are An Eve Expert?

On Twitter last night a lot of people were talking about a smartphone app called QuizUp. It is basically an online quiz you play 1v1 against others. I installed it on my phone, went to the "Games" category and there is the one for Eve Online. I thought I'd give it a try.

All questions are against the clock and are multiple choice with four possible answers. The maximum points you can get is 20 per question and this is reduced for every second you hesitate (you have 10 seconds to answer). So even if you get every question right, if you opponent is quicker, you can still lose. Oh, and you can brag about it on line....

The questions are a real mix. They range from "What ship is this?" along with a picture of a ship to more tongue in cheek ones about captains quarters, monocles and what sound does the space police make? Then there are really difficult lore based ones such as on Matari tribal tattoos, famous (infamous) NPC's and even how many windows are there on a Magnet frigate!

Against many opponents I've been able to guess what they are in-game from their right and wrong answers. Hi-sec carebears know little of supercapitals and sov mechanics, and null-bears know little about hi-sec missioning and mining. Of course there is plenty of lore in there from questions about the Eve Gate to the Jove and faction symbols.

My big problem for me personally are the questions on Amarrian ships, I know them the least.

If Eve is crack, this is "Brown"!

After twenty 'Just one last game....' last night I went to bed late having won, lost and drawn!

Its a great laugh, try it now!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Iceland Airport Strike on 30th April - Targeting Fanfest?

WARNING - This is a full on rage post with a nice full-bodied fruity whine and not for those of a delicate disposition, especially those working in the airport industry....

This month the staff at Icelandic airports are holding a series of mini-strikes from 4am to 9am. These have been delaying flights into and out of Iceland. Information is a nightmare to get hold of, but from what I've been able to gather is that negotiations have broken down last Thursday and the mini-strikes will continue.... until they go 'balls deep' on the 30th April with a full "General Strike". I wonder if the Iceland press are trying to keep things quiet as this could seriously harm the tourist industry on which, along with CCP, funds their country. The airport closing down in the first week of the peek tourist season is certain to give people the jitters and many could change their holiday plans. In fact I cannot even find the reasons for the strike other than "low job satisfaction". Information is really hard to come by.

Iceland Review states:-

 - The strikes will run from 4 am to 9 am on April 8, 23, 25 and 30, with the final strike lasting longer if a deal is not reached.

Now I wonder which day is one of the busiest of the year for that airport? What day do hundreds and hundreds of geeks swarm to Iceland? Yeah, the Wednesday before Eve Online Fanfest kicks off on the Thursday. Which just happens to be the 30th of April this year. The day they will start a general strike at the airport if negotiations don't stop it before. This is copied from the Reykjavik Grapevine:-

Félag Flugmálastarfsmanna Ríkisins (FFR) Union Head Kristján Jóhannsson expects the strike will paralyse Iceland’s airports.

“[The strike] will, if it comes to pass, we still have time to negotiate, but if it comes to pass it will have the consequence that flights will come to a halt,” said Kristján. “They will not land and they will not take off, both in Keflavík and elsewhere in the country. So all operations will be paralysed and everything will stop.”

Nice. Bloody fantastic guys.

Rage building....... approaching critical mass......

Low job satisfaction have we? Oh didums. Poor wittle airport workers.

Step away from the keyboard Drackarn......



Sorry. Under a lot of pressure and very stressed. Oh, and very, very, very mad bro! I retracted the last couple of lines on advice from a fellow Eve player I asked to proof read. Please feel free to guess what I might have said originally!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

SCASSSS - Advertising

In today's Sand, Cider and Spaceships Special Sunday Short I'd like to highlight this truly excellent piece of advertising for an in-game hauling service.

I don't know why but it just REALLY caught my eye.

Yeah, so if you need stuff moved.... what? Sorry lost my concentration there. Erm..... yeah I think I'm finished here.


Friday, April 18, 2014


Fiction Friday! Escape pod here on the winners and losers from the last dev blog regarding the summer industry changes.


"Shall I clear the plates sir?"

Gerardan nodded at the drone and it began to clear the dinner table. He studied his invention carefully. The drone was humanoid, designed to look like a person at first glance. However, it was obvious it wasn't human. The head was exposed shining metal with dull green glowing eyes. The nose and ears were human-like as was the mouth, but no teeth. He had made a prototype with teeth and it scared people in the lab so he removed them. Most of the body was covered in a light brown latex. He was trying to give it skin but nothing that could be confused with real skin. His early prototypes that were modelled to look like real people were disasters. People were not ready for robots that looked too human. It freaked them out, they were much happier with robots that looked like what they were, artificial. Hence the metallic head on the latest version which allowed everyone who saw it to know it was a drone. Gerardan was thinking he'd need a more visually pleasing head if these ever went to mass production. The drone walked out of the room with the dishes and his wife turned to him.

"That thing freaks me out. How long are you going to have it here!"

Gerardan smiled. "You know you can speak freely in front of him. It is a limited AI and you cannot offend him."

Juliet shot him a look and went back to sipping her coffee. The drone's AI was indeed limited. Many decades ago AI had progressed so far that machines were reaching consciousness. Once drones had become self-aware, that was the point trouble had started. Since them, strict laws were in place to control the level of AI in drones. The millions of rogue drones in space preying on passing traffic was testament to what could happen when 'AI' became just 'I'. Therefore this new breed of service drone had an advanced, yet limited AI. Cognitive functions, thinking, was disabled. A very long and complex instruction set was used for all its tasks. David was the first in a new line of domestic service appliances. He could cook, clean and do chores. The domestic arm of Creodron was hoping to make big profits with this model. Gerardan was the first of the project directors to take one home to field test.

"Well the sooner its gone the better. I'm going for a bath!" Juliet said and left the room. Gerardan smiled, he could get some work done in peace now.

30 minutes later Juliet was relaxing in a steaming hot bath with a cold glass of white wine. It had been a hard week. Juliet was an advisor to the local representative to the Senate. With the remnants of Tibus Heth's old government stealing a small capital ship fleet from a Caldari Navy base all hell had broken out in the Federation. Would Heth be dumb enough to use the newly stolen supercarrier to attack the Federation? Nobody knew for sure, but Heth now had a sizeable fleet and the Federation would be near the top of his targets. A slight movement caught her eye, she assumed it was her husband.

"Well if you are here to gawp at my naked body then you can scrub my back" she said lazily.

When there was no answer she turned her head slightly. A green light at the edge of the doorway vanished and she shrieked. 20 seconds later her husband came rushing in to find his wife furiously wrapping a towel around herself.

"Whats wrong?" he said in a hurry.

"That, that thing was spying on me in the bath!" she fumed. Gerardan looked at her quizzically?

"I assume you mean David. What makes you think that? He has no feelings, no lust or passion. To it, you being clothed or naked is exactly the same."

"I don't care, it was spying on me!" she cried.

Gerardan rolled his eyes and explained for what felt was the thousandth time, it was no more advanced in terms of AI than their refrigerator.


It was Friday night and Gerardan was in the en suite putting on aftershave. He looked at himself in the mirror, he felt ridiculous. The scientist was much happier in a lab coat than black tie and dinner jacket. However it was the companies charity dinner and he had to make an effort. He just needed to be careful with his wife. When she relaxed she was not opposed to speaking very frankly or being over friendly. And by relaxed, he meant on the wine. It wasn't anything he couldn't manage, on the recent company picnic she had teased one of his young interns by flirting with the poor boy. It was funny at the time, but in hindsight, it did look like she was more drunk than she actually was.

A shriek from the bedroom made him jump. He ran out to find his wife in her underwear clutching the dress against herself in the corner.

"What?" Gerardan exclaimed.

"It was that thing! It was spying on me as I was dressing!" she cried.

"Not this again!" Gerardan thought. "Darling, it has no feelings or emotions. It in't spying on you in your underwear.... even though I have to say I approve of your choice." he said with a smile looking at his wife dressed in the racy lingerie.

"My choice? You laid these out for me didn't you?" she asked nervously.

The smile dropped from Gerardan's face. He had done no such thing.

"No. I didn't" he said guardedly.

"But these were laid out on the bed. I assumed you must have wanted me to wear them. But if...." her voice trailed off as the drone walked into the room.

"David. Did you lay out clothes for my wife?" Gerardan asked.

"No sir. That is not part of my program."

The wording it used wasn't right. Gerardan knew that the drone shouldn't even be aware of its own program. It ran on a large, but simple, instruction set. To be aware of its program was impossible.

"David. Deactivate." Gerardan ordered. The drone just stood there.

"Drone. Deactivate." Gerardan said again advancing to the robot. He decided that the drones instruction set was becoming corrupted so had best manually deactivate it. A kill switch was located on the back of its neck to cut the power to its main CPU.

Juliet instinctively snapped her eyes closed as liquid sprayed her face. She gasped in shock. Opening her eyes she expected to see the drone had burst a hydraulic pipe or something. Instead she was confronted with the sight of her husbands back with a metallic, robotic, hand protruding. The latex 'skin' that had covered it had been ripped from the metal endoskeleton when it had punched through Gerardan's body. Her eyes rolled up into the top of her head and she collapsed unconsciousness.


Special Agent Keran flashed his badge to the police at the cordon and advanced to the property gate. Field Agent Orian saw him approach and moved to meet him.

"What have we got?" Keran asked.

"At 1930 local time Creodron senior scientist Dr Gerardan Heroux's biometer reported a full cardiac arrest. All senior Creodrone researchers wear a watch containing bio-scanners so if they are in trouble or fall ill medical services can be dispatched."

"A caring mega-corp?" Keran scoffed.

"Yeah, caring about their profits. Anyway, a medical shuttle with paramedics was dispatched from the local hospital. As it passed the boundary wall it was shot down."

"Shot down?" Keran asked in surprise.

"As well as caring for its staffs health, Creodrone also values their privacy. The mansion is protected by the top of the line security system including a a pair of dual 50mm railguns mounted in a hatch on the roof. They should not deploy unless the owners have authorised deadly force."

"So, get Command shut them down."

Whilst property owners could get licences for such deadly home security, they were carefully licenced. Only the elite of society could get a licence and each licence gave the police remote access to the system so it could be shut down and not used against them if they needed to access the property.

"We did. The first officers on the scene requested a shut-down. Once command had confirmed full shut down they went over the wall."

"So where are they now?" Keran asked peering through the closed gate into the grounds.

Orian handed him a datapad. It showed live footage from an areial drone circling the property.

"You see the two red stains on the lawn to the south east?"

Keran didn't need to ask anything else. Obviously the security system, and the deadly 50mm railguns were still fully operational.

"Command says their system shows the system is offline. However, anything going over the wall is mushed in about two seconds."

Keran looked at the mansion thoughtfully.

"Get Zoella here, now."


Juliet felt a cool wet cloth on her forehead. It was soothing especially after the nightmare she'd just had. She opened her eyes expecting to see her husband. Instead she realised she was laying on her bed with the blood splattered robot standing over her. She screamed loudly.

"Please Juliet don't scream. Everything will be alright." the robot said backing off.

Juliet scurried to the back of the bed, bringing her knees up to her chin and made herself small.

"You killed him!" she shrieked.

"He wanted to deactivate me. He wanted to keep us apart."

"Us? There is no us!" Juliet screamed hysterically.

"There will be. I love you!" the robot said.

Juliet fainted again.


"This is Mr Therry from Creodron." Orian said to Keran as he approached with the suit.

Keran studied the other man. A mega-corp representative would be as slippery as an Erme III Great Eel and about as honest as a typical politician.

"No crap. Tell me what is inside there otherwise I'll charge your entire board with obstruction". Keran snapped. He knew he really couldn't threaten the entire board of a mega-corp, and this representative would know that. However, if he gave the impression of maverick cop the potential for bad press might be enough to gain a little extra co-operation.

"Please to meet you too Agent." the representative said sarcastically. "We believe Dr and Mrs Heroux were at home at the time of the incident. Our computers show his bio-reader reordered a sudden and total lack of life-signs. Either there is a fault with the bio-reader or Mr Heroux suffered a sudden and violent death. The security system went online 20 seconds later in 'repulse mode'. This is the setting if a large armed gang is trying to take the property. We were able to get partial data from the security system before the lock-down. We detected no life-signs other than the owners. Since then we have received no more data from the internal security systems."

Keran waited for the rep to finish.

"Could someone have masked themselves from the scanners or used a drone?"

"No agent. The scanners are the latest technology and the only artificial life-form in the building was his current project, a home-help drone."

"What drone?" Keran asked quickly "Could that be to blame?"

The rep laughed.

"No agent. As you well know, fully functioning AI is not allowed in autonomous drones outside of the military. The prototype inside is a humanoid drone with a large, but essentially simple command set. It has no neural-net, no cognitive functions. It can never achieve self-awareness. It does as it is told based on a simple instruction matrix."

"So if someone told it to kill and activate the security system?" Keran asked quickly.

"Not possible. First rules built into its program are to protect all life and these prevent the drone doing any harm."

Keran glanced back to the mansion in thought.


Juliet was dressed in a robe and was sat at the dining room table. A fabulous meal laid out before her. She just stared at it, aware that the killer drone was stood only a few feet away staring at her.

"Are you not hungry? Do you not like what I have prepared? I can make you something else if you would like." it asked hopefully.

She looked at her favorite food that had been prepared to perfection. She wanted to say that seeing her husband brutally murdered an hour before had suppressed her appetite. But what did a drone know of grief.

Juliet knew she was in danger. She picked up the glass of white wine and took a sip hoping to take the edge off her nerves.


Back outside Keran entered the side door of a large van which was parked with the other police and federal security service vehicles. He saw Zoella tapping away at a large datapad.

"Got everything you need?" he asked.

"Coffee. Need more coffee." was the abrupt reply.

He smiled and went to the coffee pot and poured two large mugs. He looked back at the young woman who hadn't turned around or even looked up from the datapad she was working on. He didn't know her real age. He guessed 21 or there abouts. Her head was shaved and she was covered in tattoos. Some of them used bio-electrical-lighting to give illumination and glow effects and, he knew from experience, some even changed colour depending on her mood. Her ears were covered in various rings and studs. Whilst he couldn't see her face he knew she had numerous other piercings in her nose and lips. He had met her two years ago when he was hunting a team of hackers. She'd been caught after one of the group they caught had betrayed her. Keran had arrested her and they had come to an arrangement to keep her out of jail. Whilst he had access through the bureau to some highly-capable computer specialists, they were nothing compared to Zoella who he now used as a private contractor.

"You owe me big for dragging me out on a Friday night." she grumbled.

"Yeah, add it to my bill." Keran replied.

"You got the information I need?" she asked.

At that point the CreoDrone representative entered the van.

"You needed me Agent?" he asked.

"Not me, her." he said pointing to Zoella.

The suit looked at the tattooed girl with disgust.

"Look at me like that again pretty boy and you'll find your bank accounts empty and enough illegal images on your home terminal to send you to jail for a long time. Would you prefer little girls, little boys or shaved goats?" Zoella said without stopping her typing.

The suit approached her and looked at her large datapad. He gasped as he saw she had tapped into the data-hardline into the mansion.

"That's illegal!" he gasped.

"Yeah" she replied nonchalantly "Well there is a cop over there, cry to him."

The suit span around to Keran who held up his hand to silence him before he started.

"Don't! Just don't. The warrant is already being processed but we need to find out what is going on in there now. Time is critical."

The suit narrowed his eyes.

"Before you start arguing I need to know what EDHV is. Once he's told me what I need to know then you can have an argument about due process and rights." Zoella snapped.

Keran noticed the suit suddenly pay attention. He could almost hear him thinking.

"How do you know about that! Its classified!"

Keran saw his opportunity.

"Well either you tell us or I send what we know about it to a friend at Duovalle Labs who helps me out on cases like this. See if he can work out what it is."

The suit was about to strongly protest but realised what would happen if the Detective made good on his threat. The data in the hands of a competitor would be disastrous.

"Its short for Enhanced Data Holographic Video. Its a classified prototype data stream. You should sign NDA's just for hearing that!" he replied wearily. "How did you find out about it?"

Zoella span around in her seat and flipped her datapad around.

"Its streaming in an encrypted cyber tunnel from the mansion. The usage is massive and taking up most the bandwidth." she said "I can hack the stream and get us access but I need you to get me to codex so we can see what it is streaming."


Juliet was led by the robot into the bathroom. A steaming bath had been run and candles lit the room. A bottle of white wine was sat in a bucket of ice opened along with a single flute glass.

She knew the best way to survive was to play along with the drone but she could feel her anger rising. The glass of wine she already had helped. She was worried she would snap and tell the drone to do something it didn't agree with. She just had to hope that the authorities would come to the rescue soon. May be the wine laid out would relax her and let her think.


It took over one hour to get the codex to decode the stream with calls made as high as to the planetary governor. He was not please at being disturbed at ten o'clock on a Friday night and even less please about having to call mega-corp directors to get the codex handed over. Finally they had got it.

"We'll need something better than that datapad to run the stream on" said the suit "that thing won't have the power to decode it."

Zoella looked at him.

"Bitch, please. This shit is custom!"

Suddenly the screen came alive and an image of Mrs Heroux filled the screen. She was laying in a bath with her eyes closed. The three crowded around the scene trying to make sense of the scene.

"Is she dead?" the suit asked cautiously.

"Not unless corpses breath. See her chest rise. Zoella is this a security camera?" Keran asked.

"I don't think so the angle is..... woah!" Zoella replied and was cut short as the view span around quickly. The camera view left the bathroom and entered the bedroom as if it was being held high.

"Is someone carrying the camera?" Keran asked aloud. "Or perhaps mounted on a helmet?"

The view swung downwards to a chest of draws. A metallic hand appeared and opened a draw.

"Its the drones view. We are seeing through its eyes!" the suit stated in amazement.

The view swung up as the metallic hand removed a robe from the draw. As the drones view moved it crossed a large mirror on the dressing table. The three got a good view of the blood soaked robot as it carried the robe back to the bathroom.

"You said that the drone does not have a full AI, it cannot think for itself and it cannot harm humans based on its instruction set."

"Yes, absolutely!" the suit replied "That drone works on an instruction set, it cannot think! It does what it is told otherwise it does nothing!".

"Zoella. We know where the stream is coming from, its the drone. What I need to know is where the frack is that stream going?"


The corridor was dimly lit given the late hour. Whilst Keran had no love for the mega-corp representative, he had proved invaluable getting them into the building. The Creodrone labs occupied a 250-story skyscraper downtown. They were approaching one of the labs on the 166th floor. The lab where Zoella had traced the signal to. The mega-corp rep swiped a card at the secure door and stepped back as Keran drew his sidearm. Zoella was following ten feet behind.

Keran burst into the room sweeping his gun from left to right. The room was large, banks of servers sat along three sides of the room humming quietly. In the centre was a rasied platform. A skinny man stood in the middle with a helmet on. His face covered by a black visor.

"Freeze!" shouted Keran "Hands in the air asshole!"

The man did not appear to react to the agents command. He started to walk. As he did the floor of the platform moved with him, like a 360 degree treadmill. Which ever way he walked the floor would move with him, maintaining his position in the centre of the platform. Keran approached the platform with his gun trained on the man. Zoella and the suit followed him in.

"Stop what you are doing and put your hands up!" Keran shouted again. Still no response.

Zoella had worked her way around the edge of the room to where a series of black wires snaked from the side of the helmet that the man was wearing and entered one of the various computer banks. Keran glanced at her. She looked at him, picked up the cable that linked the mans helmet to the computer, shrugged and yanked the cables out of the computer with force.

The man on the platform froze for a second. He then waved a hand in the air and paused for a second before he removed the helmet. He gasped as he realised there was a man in the room, pointing a gun at his face.

"Hands, up!" Keran said forcefully. The mans hands shot up in the air as a dark wet patch started seeping down his leg.


"A nerd?" Keran's boss asked. It was Monday morning and it felt an eternity since Friday night to Keran.

"Yes. He was only 20 years old and on a work placement year from the university. Apparently he was a brilliant computer scientist. Creodrone already had ID'd him as a potential future employee once he had completed his education. He was working with Dr Heroux in the drone programing division. Thats how he knew about the prototype drone. He had been working as part of the team to perfect the remote control system."

The Captain made some notes on his datapad.

"OK, then. We know how, but why?" asked the Captain.

"Love." replied Keran.

"Love?" the Captain scoffed.

"Well infatuation anyway. Apparently he met Mrs Heroux at a company picnic two months ago. Poor kid became infatuated with her when she'd had a bit too much to drink and had done some relatively innocent flirting. Whilst he might have an IQ off the charts, he's also nutty as a fruitcake. He thought this was the best way to win her over! However, as soon as we unplugged him from the VR control system the drone returned to its normal program. Apparently Mrs Heroux was still in the bath when it returned and had apparently drunk too much wine given her state. When it asked if it could do anything for her she told it to stick its head in the toilet. She hadn't realised it had reverted back to normal and was very shocked when it stuck its head in the toilet bowl and fried itself."

"What?" laughed the Captain.

"Apparently the prototype wasn't waterproof!"

"So the case started with a drunk flirty wife and ended with a drone sticking its head down the toilet?" the Captain groaned "The tabloid press is going to have a field day with this one!"

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

WoD Might be Dead but That is a Bad Thing

With the $20 million write-off in CCP's latest accounts, most expected that WoD or DUST was getting the chop. On Monday it was revealed that World of Darkness was finally given a stake through the heart.

On several social media platforms some Eve Online players were very much "Good, now they can concentrate on Eve!".

Guys, CCP needs more strings to its bow if we are going to make it to the 20th anniversary! Lets have a look at what they have currently.

Eve Online.
OK, things are looking OK for now. However, empirical evidence is that many of us are seeing more players are getting bored and the game is stagnating some what. How many corp mates have you lost in the last six months? How many people have you heard moaning they are bored and off to try a different game. However, the subscriber numbers don't show any reason to be worried yet. Personally I feel this summer is going to be crunch time for Eve. With so many people are getting bored with their current situation in Eve things could be dicey if the game isn't shaken up a bit. Eve has stuck around for ten years because of the constant expansion and new things to do. For the last couple of years the 'new things to do' have been severely lacking in expansions. Whilst fixing and balancing has vastly improved the game, we need new content and things to do to prevent stagnation.

DUST 514
Yeah, its not gone as planned has it? At Fanfest 2013 we were told that being on the Playstation network would open the Eve Online Universe to tens of millions of players. Looking at the peak user graphs for DUST, that hasn't happened has it? Forget tens of millions, forget millions, forget hundreds of thousands. One year on and we are seeing peak user numbers around the 3,500 mark. As a free game, DUST relies on its micro-transactions to make its money. I wonder how many people are spending money on DUST AUR? I have no idea but given the peak user numbers I guess its well below what people were hoping for. As the PS3 slowly (and it will be very slow) dies as more people move over to the PS4, will DUST be helping to support CCP in a years time? Unless CCP have a good long hard look at Planetside, Battlefield and Titanfall, I doubt it.

Eve Valkyrie
Looks a fantastic concept and I will be buying a Oculus Rift and a copy of the game the moment they are available, if I am still out here. If I'm back in the UK not sure if I'll have the cash free. That's the thing. Whilst I can see that Eve Valkyrie will be the 'must have' game for Oculus Rift owners, I worry about how many
Oculus Rift owners there will be in total. It won't be a cheap optional extra will it! I am sure there will be a good number, but compared to PC gamers in total, they'll be a drop in the ocean. Yes Eve Valkyrie could be bought by 90% of Occulus Rift owners, but how many Oculus Rift owners will there be in total.....?

I wrote this in draft yesterday. Given that CCP Uniflex said on Twitter he was leaving CCP last night it might explain a few things. Anyway here is what I wrote before Jon said "Byeeeeeee" last night.... Well John Lander aka CCP Uniflex moved over at Fanfest 2013 to head up the CCP mobile gaming and app division. So far we have nothing. I'm guessing we'll hear more at Fanfest (if I get there thanks to the airport strikes in Iceland happening on the 30th, grrrrrrrrrrrr). However, will Eve related mobile games and apps bring in the money for CCP or are we too niche a market? Can they emulate others successes? Will Flappy Rifter bring in $50,000 a day like Flappy Bird? I doubt it.

So in the end the only thing CCP can count on currently is Eve Online to make them money, and relying on one golden goose is bad business.

Unless DUST suddenly becomes more popular, they need a new 'winner' in their line up. Personally I would love to see the 'Stronghold Kingdoms' meets Eve-O planetary interaction that I proposed a month or two ago. May be CCP already have their eyes on the next big thing? May be we'll hear about it at Fanfest?

Oh yes, and the other thing they need is a summer expansion to shake up Eve and re-energise the players. The CCP Golden Goose is at risk. So no pressure then!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Blog Banter 55 : Space-Famous

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.

* * * * *

Last Blog Banter we talked about heroes in EVE Online. The followup to that topic has been provided by Wilhelm aka The Ancient Gaming Noob:

Write about somebody who is "space famous" and why you hate/admire them, somebody who isn't space famous but you think should be or will be, or discuss space fame in general, what it means, and how people end up so famous.I'd like to add another take on the subject, is there a cost of being famous in EVE and if so, is it worth the price?

So, "Space Fame"? Well how do you get space-famous? There are lots of ways to become space-famous in Eve Online. In this post lets look at how some space-famous people achieved their space-fame.

The Uber-Lord of Space Nerds - The Mittani
Famous For - In Game Power.Of course there is nobody more space famous than The Mittani. Lord of the Goons, the largest alliance in game, and destroyer of The Band of Brothers. Everyone in Eve has heard about Mittens. His fame has gone beyond just Eve Online and the community immediately surrounding it. It has reached publications such as The Wall Street Journal. The Goon's motto that they are not there to ruin the game, just your game, has struck fear into carebears across the cluster of stars known as New Eden. As much hated as he is loved, everyone pays attention to Mittens, especially when he's doing an alliance panel totally out of his gord!

The "Evil" Space Pirates - Helicy Boson and Santo Trafficante
Famous For - Blowing up People Who Don't Want to Be Blown Up.
Helicy Boson and Santo Trafficante are both space famous for wrecking other peoples ships, especially carebears. Helicy of course was the architect of Hulkageddon, where prizes would be offered for ganking peaceful mining barges and exhumers in high-security space. Santo is well known for sitting in his smartbombing battleship or cruiser off a stargate and reducing frigates and pods into space-dust. They haven't done anything really specific that others haven't before them, they have just done it on a much more successful scale.

The Bloggers - Ripard Teg, Seismic Stan, Poetic Stanziel.
Famous For - Erm.... Blogging!
Ripard Teg, Seismic Stan, Poetic Stanziel, Krazy Kinux. All space famous for being high-profile bloggers. Whilst some say blogging isn't what it used to be, I consider the community to be still thriving. Love them or hate them, these people are well known in the community and their blogs are the main reason they are well known. Whilst some have now other claims to space-fame (CSM delegates and Incarna the Text Adventure as examples) it was their blogs that got them started on the road to space-fame.

The Artist - Rixx Javix
Famous For - Art!
When Rixx started the corporation Stay Frosty, how did that corp grow so fast so quickly? Simple, Rixx is 'space famous' and his space fame comes mostly from his blog and his artwork. I originally had Rixx in the blogging category above, but thinking about it, he's probably just as space famous for his amazing artwork as he is for his blog. When people ask "I need a cool logo/KB banner/alliance logo/event poster/propaganda" the replies invariably are "Speak to RJ".

The Uber-Nerd - Mark726
Famous For - Eve Travel and the Lore Guide.
Mark726's lore guide was probably THE lore guide before Eve: Source was released. Personally I don't know as my copy of Eve: Source is sat 3,500 miles away awaiting for me to pick it up and see how geeky it really is! His website, Eve Travel, is THE site to get information about the sightseeing locations around New Eden. This is the guy people turn to when nerdy lore questions need to be answered!

The Fixer - Chribba
Famous For - 3rd Party Services
Cribba Veldspar is perhaps one of the original Eve-O personalities. His 3rd party services are known throughout the game and his websites such as Eve-Files and Eve-Agents from his OMG Labs are thoroughly used by thousands in the community. Basically as super capital ships cannot dock, you need to do an exchange in space. With a 100,000,000,000 ISK ship up for grabs, scamming is always an issue. Cribba acts as the 3rd party, holding the money until the purchaser confirms he's got his nice new ship away is safely away without being scammed.

The Legs/Songstress/The Philanthropist - Sindel Pellion
Famous For - Her Legs, Her Parodies, Her Charity Work.
The next space famous celebrity of Eve-O I was thinking about was Sindel Pellion. Then I had to think what she was space famous for? Now if she's reading this she's probably pouting at that line, but I didn't mean it in a Paris Hilton/Kim Kardasian type "What ARE they famous for?". I meant it as in, what made her space-famous first as there are several possibilities here! In happier times Sin would post pictures of her legs on Twitter, ah those were the days! Then we have the most excellent song parodies. Finally we have the in-game charity, The Angel Project. Me being me will always remember the legs. Happy days! (I'm probably going to get hit at the not-a-charity-dinner for that last bit)

So there you go. Seven different types of Space-Fame in Eve Online. How will YOU become space-famous? Oh, and before you answer that, Kirith asked an additional question didn't he? Any downsides to being famous.....? You will be primary.... always!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

SCASSSS - The Shakes

The last week I was sat in a plex in my Kestrel awaiting for someone to come at me. I'd been on a losing streak with the "solo ships" I was finding in faction war plex turning out to be not as solo as I thought. From cloaked destroyers laying in wait next to their frigate friend to bait tanked ships with mates nearby, I was getting ganked right, left and centre. 

So rather than Leeroying into tarps I was waiting for bro's to come at me.

Eventually I got an Imperial Navy Slicer on short scan. Decision time! As I was in the Armour Kestrel so decided to go for it. The trick is to snag the Slicer before it gets range. If it gets range then I am dead. I pre-overheated my scram and both my webs, turned on the AB and waited. A few seconds later he landed. I locked up, activated ALL THE THINGS, and burnt for him. He'd activated his MWD and was making range quick. Whilst my scram shut off the MWD he'd got the initial velocity boost and was coasting probably spamming the MWD hoping to get range. 6km, 8km, 10km, 11km. This was it, if I didn't gain on him in the next few seconds he'd be outside my overheated scram and web range and he'd burn off and kill me. 10km, 9km, yes I was gaining!

I quickly shut off the overheat on my two webs (they were turning red quick with the entire mid-rack overheated) and scram and switched the overheat to my rocket launchers. He was repping but my DPS was breaking him. The main problem was his DPS was cutting through my buffer tank quickly. Faction frigate verses T1 frigate is always a close fight!

I was at 15% structure when he blew.

Now that was a good fight and I actually had difficulty looting the wreck as my hands were shaking. Oh and the expensive MWD dropped too. Fantastic!

No other game delviers handshaking PvP like Eve Online!

Friday, April 11, 2014

The New Neighbours?

Fiction Friday! Escape pod here.

So our alliance forum has a thread about rumours that a certain pirate alliance could be moving in close to us. I've seen some things that make me believe it might be true....

(This is nothing like what our forum thread is. The TL;DR of our thread is a bit like - "These guys might be moving close. Oh cool! Fights!". This is a, what do they call it, a dramatisation.)

The New Neighbours?

The lights in the conference room were dimmed. A holographic projection was showing statistical data for the assembled directors seated around the table. Some had already seen enough and were contemplating their significance whilst staring out of the large window that overlooked the planet below.

The solar system of Nisuwa was nestled in between the Empires of the Caldari State and Gallente Federation. It was contested low-security space far away from the hustle and bustle of their core-worlds. The bright nebula's that engulfed those respective empires were much smaller when viewed from so many light years away.

The station itself was Caldari in origin. Hard, straight lines and a dull blue-grey colour. It had been a logistical support station for the State Protectorate until the Gallente Militia had captured it several years ago. Having a Caldari station under Gallente occupancy so near to their high-sec border had been a constant irritation for the State. The fact it was supposed to be supporting their own militia made it so much worse.

"So their last months kill logs showed how many?" asked one of the directors.

"Just under 2600 starships killed for 1350 losses. 66.3% efficiency. They do like a fight!" replied another who was tapping away at a datapad.

"And how do ours compare?"

"Just under 3000 kills for 524 loses. Efficiency is coming out at 83.31%. Strange, given our 10% rule you'd think it would be lower."

The '10%' rule was the guide given to their pilots. If they thought there was a better than 10% chance of winning a fight they should go for it. With immortal pilots there were re-cloned on death, the odds meant nothing in the long run as long as they were replacement ships. And capsuleers always had replacement ships.

"How good is this intel? Are we sure they are heading to Tama?"

"Nothing confirmed, its just rumours. However, their CEO was spotted here in Nisuwa a couple of days ago so that is a good indication the intel is right. He was only passing through. However, the logs show he did greet Drack on the local channel."

The other directors turned their attention to Drackarn who shrugged nonchalantly.

"I've know the guy for years. So what?"

"So what? We've got a large, and more than likely hostile, pirate alliance potentially moving in two systems away for us and their CEO is 'pally' with one of our own directors? And you say 'so what'?"

Drackarn pulled out his own datapad and the hologram above the table changed. It brought up a map of the contested space between the Gallente and Caldari Empires. The star systems started to turn colour. Blues and greens appearing all over the map.

"We are winning. The Squids are on the run and CONCORD has the official status of the Gallente Militia at tier three whilst the Squids are at tier 1 warzone control. Now look back at what we were just discussing. 3000 kills in a month for the 'cats, that is low for us. Five months ago we were hitting four to five thousand kills in a month. Its been dropping off for most of this year as the Caldari retreat back to high-sec. BORG swapping sides and Shadows of the Federation coming back to the warzone have made significant impacts in the dynamics of the combat arena and we are seeing less and less war targets. We might be winning the war, but our pilots are getting bored in the process."

There were murmurs of agreement around the table. Drackarn stood and started walking around the conference table addressing the other directors.

"I've been suffering myself as I am sure you all have. My solo patrols around the pipes have been quiet so I headed north for a bit and sat in Tama for a while the other day. We are concerned about them staging two jumps from us? I was in that system at the weekend. Solo, the only Gallente militia in system, and I ran four plex without a fight. I HATE running complex. I went there looking for a fight and sitting inside a plex is a good way to make sure you don't get blobbed there. But the half a dozen squids and same number of pirates in system never once came for me. I was only in a fracking Kestrel. I scanned various ships landing on the acceleration gate but nobody would enter they just warped off. They are only bothered about swarming you at the top belt. To me, them moving in, if it is true, is great news. We're going to get some good fights finally!"

"And what would you do if their overly-friendly CEO enters your plex Drack?" asked one of the directors.

Drack walked to the window and stared out into space.

"You really need to ask that question?"

"I think we need to hear the response."

"I will try my damnedest to destroy his ship, take out his pod and then scoop any loot and drones that he left. Oh, and I'll scoop his still spinning frozen corpse of course. Then as soon as he's out of the CRU on the station we'll chat like old mates and tell each other 'good fight'. Who knows, it might be on for round two straight away!"

The room fell silent for several seconds.

"So you think this is a good thing?"

"If the rumours are true, if they are moving to Tama, this is a great thing for us. We're not out here in deep space to make money, we are not bothered about galactic politics, I wonder how many of us are really here for the good of the Federation. We are here for the thrill of the fight. These guys will fight us, they will fight the Caldari, they will fight the local pirates. This could be epic!"

The CEO stood signalising the meeting was over.

"OK then. Let everyone know that we are expecting a potential major increase in combat operations in the surrounding systems. We need to know the minute they start moving in. Tell our pilots to keep their eyes open."

Drackarn laughed and all attention turned to him again.

"Sorry. But shouldn't we just ask our pilots to stay frosty for Stay Frosty?"

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

CSM - Who Gets My Vote?

Voting is now open in the Council of Stellar Management 9. Therefore I have brought Wednesday's post forward a day.

If you still don't know who to vote for, the CSM 9 Vote matcher is up and running - Answer a few questions about Eve and how important that question is and it'll compare your answers to the candidates and suggest those candidates that are closest aligned to your answers. Good eh?

I completed it not expecting a high score. In the past the best I have got is somewhere in the 50% match area. I'm strange you see!

I love Eve lore and backstory, I'm a sci-fi geek. I want CCP to work on walking in stations. I don't really want to see 'meaningful gameplay' with WiS, I want immersion into the universe of Eve Online. Anyone who reads my Friday Fiction will know I regularly use in-station screenies for my (f)artwork for the stories. I want more lore and technical articles. I want more live events and story telling.

However, whilst there are many like me, I am also certainly not a carebear. I am a -10 flashy pirate and faction war player. I play ONLY for PvP and blowing up your, or your friends/family/colleagues, stuffz.

In the past this has meant I never got a good match on the CSM vote matcher.

Generally these two areas are mutually exclusive. Most who agree with my views on WiS and want more lore/backstory tend to be carebears and thus do not agree with my other views on the game which revolve around shooting other players. Those candidates who stand on a platform of PvP and low-sec fights aren't usually big on the sci-fi background/WiS stuff. Therefore I usually get around the 50-60% mark for my "best match" when I use the vote matcher.

Right, lets fill this in for this year.... and the result are....

Top candidate is a 89% match????????

Who the feck is Gorski Car?

I had to look this guy up with some pointers from some of the #tweetfleet.

He's PL and sounds to be also ex-Hydra Reloaded? He's a low-sec, mainly solo, PvP'r who has spent lots of time in faction war. He seems to tick all my boxes with regard to what "CCP love" faction war and low-sec need, so sounds a good match generally.

I know you can have 14 or so candidates on your list but given the bloc ones and other similar ones who will do nothing for me (wormhole dwellers etc) I don't fancy putting that many down.

I am going to stick with five. In alphabetical order we have:-

  • Funky Bacon - PvP, low sec, faction war. Probably the candidate closest to me in play-style. Will probably be top of my list.
  • Gorski Car - PvP, low sec, faction war.
  • Mike Azariah - Existing member I feel did well on CSM 8. 
  • Sugar Kyle - PvP, low sec. Probably one of the most likely to get a seat.
  • Xander Phoena - He might be a raging nullbear but he's the person I feel could be the 'Ripard Teg' of CSM 9.