Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Just a Quick Little Note...

My arm's been twisted enough to convince me to hit up the Eve Barbecue in Copenhagen for at least the weekend (I have other stuff to deal with in the UK, or I'd try for the full week).

The weekend after that, I'll be in Reykjavik for a couple days' layover.

Really looking forward to this summer, should be awesome fun ^_^

Wednesday, 12 May 2010


It took me a while to come to this decision. Stars know I didn't make it lightly.

I ran my fingers over the new patch which I'd just finished attaching to the sleeve of my battered old leather jacket, the one with the Hellcats' feline skull and crossed, flaming swords logo stitched to the back. A grinning skull with rabbit ears, comical and sinister, now rested below the faded Federal shield on the left sleeve; the black and red triple-scythe of my first corporation, Under the Wings of Fury, had taken the space on the right sleeve nearly three years earlier, back when I was young and stupid and thought I was rebelling.

What was I rebelling against, anyway?

Creaky old ideals and stubbern warhorses too long out to pasture to see that the problem was no longer external. The Federation was crumbling apart, hedonistically eating itself alive. Not that the other Empires were any better; I simply saw no reson to fly in defense and support of people who didn't give a shit about your work for their benefit.

Perhaps I was being harsh. I could have joined the FDU when the shit really hit the fan, when people were begging for help. But they only seem to appreciate you when they see the need. My brother, who'd graduated six months after I had, said he'd felt more like part of a pretty display on a pedestal for politicians to roll out of storage when they wanted to look impressive.

One entire wall, running the length of my new apartment, was solid glass overlooking my personal hangar; a small lift in the corner allowed me private access to the ships on display. Veto had money, and the corporation had used it to house their members in style. The process of applying, joining and settling in had been far more personable and rapid than with any other corporation I'd joined in the past -- and this time my cold-storage can full of combat trophies hadn't been disposed of as unnecessary.

I still bore a grudge against the long-dead Tygris Alliance for that particular insult.

The difference between pirates and the larger alliances is that pirates have to trust one another. They need to trust one another; if you treat your flight buddies as simply numbers on a tally-board, eventually you'll 'accidentally' end up on the opposite side of that equation.

What the hell took me so long?

Part of it was a willful denial of the obvious choice. It would be far too predictable of me to join a corporation I'd already worked with and begun to associate with on a regular basis.

'Ha!' Sitting there at the table, I doubled over, cracking up laughing at myself. Yeah, that was so fucking stupid of me, wasn't it?

It wasn't til I'd returned that it was made clear to me what I ought to have been doing all along. When both your partner and one of your closest friends say almost the exact same thing, six hours apart from each other, you might as well get the Clue-Bat out and start waving it around threateningly.

I owe Caellach and Raxip for that.

Cael, I know, was rather hoping I'd follow him into Electus Matari. Reawakened Technologies certainly did their best to get my attention. They liked that I would of course know pirates' MOs and how they operate; I can hardly begrudge them wanting that little edge. But it's that whole trust issue, again. I've worked in Molden Heath. I know pirates who still operate out there, and working against them would have simply felt wrong. It's not loyalty so much as it is respect.

Plus, I'd have had to bring my security status up. Aligning with Empire factions... no. Not really going to happen, is it. A pirate's life for me.

Which was why, when the subject of joining Veto was finally levered over my head like a cartoon safe on a fraying rope, I gave it some serious thought.

Pirates? Check.

Political affiliation neutral? Check.

People I respected? Apart from shooting one of them a year earlier near Evati, I had no bad impressions of them. The reputation for blobbing that most people attributed to the corp seemed entirely unfounded; and in the current combat climate of lowsec, outgunning one's opponents was the only way anyone dared to fight. From the time I'd spent socialising with them, they were a solid unit of men and women who supported each other and cared for their own.

Sounded good to me.

It was difficult to believe it had already been over a month. I shrugged the jacket on, settling the heavy, worn leather on my shoulders, and headed out into the hall toward the meeting-room. It was time to make my place here.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

They're Back!

I don't often comment on the dev blogs -- maybe I ought to do, really -- but today's is significant for me.

All These Worlds: The Return of Live Events

I always felt I'd missed out on the best years of Eve, not only because of the early actions of m0o precipitating nerfs, the insanity of cavalry Ravens and fun times bouncing macro-miners out of belts -- I would love to have been in on all that action -- but because the AURORA events were phased out not long before I started playing.

When my then-flatmate Suze'Rain was putting the hard sell on me to give Eve a try, the AURORA events were one of the things that really got my attention. They represented a chance for the players to get involved in the game-world in a tangible way, and they showed that the developers were willing -- even happy -- to get their hands dirty and play the game they'd helped to create. I found that impressive, and evidence of a game the developers were really passionate about.

I can understand why they stopped -- player population growing, outcries of favouritism, disappointment from people who were never in the right places -- so the fact that they're starting again makes me both hopeful and wary.

We'll be able to see things ingame unfolding around us in realtime, rather than being told about it after the fact -- that's awesome! And it'll be scattered events across the map with no advance warning given, which should cut down on the accusations of favouritism. They have a picture of a wormhole above a planet, which is making me wonder if they did, after all, have some plan to expand the Sleepers background. Another NPC to kill is all fine, but to see them with an ingame purpose? About time!

Hopefully, the forums won't flood with whining from people who simply have bad timing and miss the events -- if drama gets sparked from this, they may decide to not bother again in the future. Remember, kids: play nice and you get more sweeties in the future.

Cue the Jaws theme!

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Lucky Seven

What's the average lifespan of an MMO? If you look it up online, there are lots of blogs about individual games and a few rants about how developers should pay more attention to the players in order to extend a game's lifespan. Nobody's published a comparative of all the MMOs, their running time, and their player-count during that time; I wish there WAS one so I could pull a Kirith and put up a shiny graph.

I remember seeing the first ads for Eve back in 2002/2003 and going, 'Ooooooh!'. Then the 'online' part hit me and I didn't look further into it, because I wasn't keen on online gaming at the time: I was a tabletop player, a LAN-party CounterStrike camping bitch. Watching friends disintegrate in front of EverCrack made a bad impression, I guess. In August, I'll be celebrating my third Eve-birthday, and that... makes me feel like I've been playing for a long time. Three out of seven years. Good lord. And sometimes it feels like I missed the best part of those seven years, too.

Seven years for an MMO... that seems like a long time. Longer than many MMOs that were widely anticipated and fell flat against all expectations. And if there ever will be an endgame, it's not yet started to lurk in the corners like one last closet-monster waiting to frighten you on your way for a mid-night glass of water.

Here's to seven years, and here's to seven more, if we're lucky.