This is about EVE Online


CTA and 100% tax

Yesterday (Saturday) I logged on to add some skill training to the queue and check mails.  In alliance there was a message that today (Sunday) there were going to be 3 ops.  I made a mental note to check whether on Sunday there was going to be 100% tax on Corp.


And on Sunday, as expected, there was a corp mail by the leader saying that since these ops were important, 100% tax was going to be set ALL DAY to encourage participation in these ops.  Now some things really piss me off about this policy:

Firstly, the moment I see it, I just log off and go to another game.

Secondly, 100% tax affects only those who rat (like me).  I think I’ll be turning miner in view of all these 100%-tax occassions.

Thirdly, any op seems to be a CTA these days.


I just wonder, from a management point of view, how effective is 100% tax to encourage participation.


A few words that summarise my thoughts on null sec

The following is an entire conversation I had with a friend of mine today, 4th October 2011 at 17:39 EVE time.

[17:39:05]  my friend> ever take part in ctas, han? 🙂

[17:46:42]  Handown> not much

[17:47:18]  Handown? I don’t care about them, had a burn out earlier on, and I don’t give a shit any longer

[17:51:58]  my friend>  null sec alliances are pretty insane regarding ctas

[17:52:08]  my friend>  they think ppl have nothing else to do

[17:52:42]  my friend> and ultimitely all those alliance things are just for few alliance leaders, so you fight in reality for them

[17:57:11]  Handown>  indeed

[17:57:19]  Handown>  that is exactly what I think


To say that I have been thinking about writing a post on this topic for four months!  A couple of words and it delivers it very well.


Maybe I’ll elaborate someday.


My vision is to start an anarchist movement, a New Eden wide rebellion against the alliances, against the frame of mind that numbers are important and that you need to be part of something for anything!  A movement that will return THE Capsuleer in its rightful place, in the centre of EVE, rather than the Alliance, as it is today.


I refuse.  I resist!


Back for a while

I resubscribed after a very good summer period of real life enjoyment.  The sea this summer was exceptionally great with no jellyfish sightings throughout the season.  I could finally enjoy the sea and all its sports without the constant checking for those mean pests!  +1 to God.


I also had time to do hand crafts, some DIY around the house and also sports.  I also tried a couple of new games, most notably Pirates of the Burning Seas.  After Elite, which led me to EVE, Pirates of the Burning Seas has strong resemblance with Sid Meiers’ Pirates, a game which I loved when I was a kid, and I still have installed to this very day.


Pirates of the Burning Seas also thought me a very important lesson.  These are GAMES (lots of stress on this word).  Games are meant to be tried and played thoroughly; losing is also part of the game.  I came across a mission in Pirates of the Burning Seas which I could not muster, and for a while I was starting to get angry about.  Then it dawned on me.  After 2 years playing EVE, I became accustomed to HATE losing; to do everything in my powers to avoid losing.  But these are games, and after all, after loosing many times, I got through and onto the next levels.


EVE and its community of players do not tolerate loss, and this is a very dangerous state of mind.  I cannot say what’s linked with it in scientific or academic terms, but it does not feel right that a game teaches you not to lose.


Let’s see how long EVE will last this time.

Moving on …

Last week saw my main character’s account’s subscription end.

The alt’s account’s subscription ended a month before that but I did not bother to resubscribe.

I also removed all the EVE-related blogs from my rss syndicator.


And I don’t feel any emotion.  I still have images of spaceships in my mind, and images of would-be battles and tactics, and chat lines, but I guess these are the last to die.  The EVE in your mind is the last to die.


I’ve been through this before; I returned after a month.  This time, I don’t think I’ll return.  I’ve changed too much to be able to return, at least in my present state of mind (very positive and healthy) I don’t think I will return.


But why also remove the blogs?

Blogs are the opinions of other players!  Reading them has changed my experience into an unpleasant one, because my perceptions and expectations of the game experience have been changed.  I used to like EVE when I started out; I was a noob but I did not know it.  I did stupid things but I did not care.  Because I could, because EVE allows you to.  Regrettably other players are all too eager to point out all those issues which displeases them, and having so many players, and so many bloggers, you end up reading about displeasure and disappointment about all the features of EVE.


I also do not like MMOs any longer.  When I play a game, I like to immerse myself into my role.  I don’t usually go all out attrition by using the most damage-dealing unit only.  I usually use all the features as they are meant to be used.

EVE is in a state of all-out attrition where players use only those features which give the maximum advantages.  This is quite understandable, yet for an immersion-seeking guy like me, this is not fun after a while.


So, goodbye EVE Online.  You’ll be remembered dearly and you will be truly missed.  I won’t miss the EVE that you have become, but the EVE you were meant to be.

My favourite reads

I have a collection of over 100 blogs related to EVE Online.  I view them in Google Reader and they increase at the average rate of 10 ~ 15 new posts a day.  Some are very active, others haven’t posted in many months.  I keep every one of them, even though they are inactive and I am keen on adding new ones whenever I get the opportunity.


Some have only pictures, others only walls of text, some are long, some are short.  I read them all, or at least browse through them.  Yet the following are those that have stuck in my mind over the past months.


Tiger Ears


PJ is my current favourite.  He does not rant; he does not complain; he does not shed any tears; he does not have any comments in favour or against CCP or the game mechanics; he just writes about his game experiences.  The story evolves fluently and I am left without questions as to what or why.  I avidly look for his new posts every time I load up my RSS syndicator.

PJ has a certain style which is consistent throughout his writing.  He uses adjectives in a way I find interesting.  At first it looked babyish, but now I realise it is much deeper than that.  What I am referring to is his way of writing “I got into my Buzzard covert operations boat”, or “Golem marauder class battleship”, or “glorious leader Fin”.  We all know what a Buzzard or a Golem are, and those who don’t know won’t know what a marauder class battleship or covert operations boat is.  Yet these adjectives, when used consistently, add up to something I still don’t have a word for, but which I like extensively.  I wonder what is the adjective he uses for himself.

Another consistent aspect of PJ’s blog is his way of cropping images.  He always puts them into a rectangle showing the ships’ positions in space and their brackets.  Somehow he always manages to portray the tactical scenario at the time.


PJ makes me want to be in wormholes but I know that when I’ll be living that life it won’t be as fun for me as how I perceive it fun for PJ.  Yet, he’s inspiring, I’d like to write like he does.


Rixx Javix


Eveoganda used to be one of my top favourites.  Recently Rixx seems to have lost the flair he had and is not so appealing to me any longer.  He seems to have stopped aspiring to some higher value and is now shallow, playing for the day.  The fun in Rixx’s writing today is to check what new “cool” thing he will or is currently trying and for how long will he manage to keep at it.


A mule in Eve


The man with a plan!  To me Manasi represents null sec.  I was in Systematic Chaos for a time so I was very interested in reading what he had to say which was related to sys-k.  Unfortunately they closed the alliance, failing to realise that sov-holding alliances should not promote elitism within themselves and they should not focus exclusively on pvp, as all are needed in EVE.  I don’t think he has learnt that lesson yet, but left, so I guess I’ll remain with that question unanswered for a long time.


Zedrik Cayne


Zedrick’s blog climbed to the top with the Joe Show.  Man I sometimes laughed my heart out at what was written!  Now there are the Socratic Files.

I don’t agree with how Zedrik decides to play his game at the expense of other players’ gameplay, I wouldn’t like a leech like him pestering me persistently for weeks on end; yet the reading is hilarious.

BlogBanter 26: EVE … beautiful …

Welcome to the twenty-sixth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux.  The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week or so to post articles pertaining to the said topic.  The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read!  Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to  Check for other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

This month’s topic was proposed by @KatiaSae of the much praised “To Boldly Go” blog.  Katia asks: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  As an astrophotographer, I’ve found it in the stars and planets of New Eden.  Where have you found it?  Perhaps you’ve found beauty in the ships we fly?  Maybe it’s the sight of profits being added to your bottom line?  Or maybe it’s the pilot portraits you see in the comm channels?  Where ever you’ve found it, write about it and post an image.”  Don’t be afraid go beyond the simple visual aspects of EVE as well.  Is the EVE Community in itself a thing of beauty?  What makes EVE the game, the world, the Community, so appealing to you?

Handown’s answer:

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”  I will tell you about what I found beautiful in EVE Online during my existence as a pod pilot (note the past tense).  I start through this argument.  We are all human beings looking for entertainment through a computer game.  As such, there is the underlying humanity of us beings, and as an older blog banter tried to ask, I do not think that a person can actually behave any different than his/her real self in an online game.  If this is the case, it’s a mental case.  Anyways, there are some underlying realities common between all of us pod pilots, and these realities are true both in real life and online.

Let us take relationships.  In particular, me being a male and all, I’ll use as an example the relationship between and man and a woman from the perspective of a man.  How does a relationship with a girl start?  “She hits your eye” would be a word-for-word translation from my native language (Maltese) to English.  There’s beauty written all over her and you want to get to know her, you want to spend time with her, think about her when you are doing other things, etc, etc … You all know the feeling I suppose.  Well after some time, maybe years, things change (no reference to better or worse is made here).  Your eye is not hit as much, although it is still pleased, but the woman starts to mean something else beyond the physical properties.  As time goes on, well, all this evolves into something, which is beyond the scope of this blog today.

My relationship with EVE Online is very similar to the above example.  I had a couple of games prior to EVE, and they were of the online-multiplayer type.  Note I am not saying MMO here as for me this is different.  Take a game like World in Conflict, you log on to a server, choose a room, participate in the fight, and that’s it.  The next game is with different people, maybe different map, but whether you win or you lose, you are not better or worse off, except for standings and rankings, which in effect do not mean anything, and maybe mood.  I am currently playing World of Tanks.  It is very similar to the above concept: you log in, shoot a couple of red tanks, and log off.  If you win the battle you earn experience points and credits which you need to research better tanks and modules; if you lose a battle you earn a few experience points and enough credits to repair your tanks, replenish the ammo, and have a couple of hundreds left.  Anyway it goes, you do not lose anything.

EVE Online is different.  It is a persistent environment and depending on the case, you stand to lose.

How did I come to meet her?

I was past my first session of examinations after many years of professional work life.  It was a Masters Degree course at the University by evening classes.  After this first session of stress (I had 6 such sessions in total) I saw a banner on some website saying “EVE Online, the universe is yours”.  I said to myself “What is EVE?”, “Is it the name of a game?”, “Who calls his game EVE, like a woman’s name?”

Anyways, I clicked, I downloaded the client, I registered and ran it the first time.

Wow, this is just like Elite!  The spaceships game I had on the Amiga way back in the early nineties.  I loved that game.  You could do anything in that game.  I liked that, and EVE was just like that, so I liked it too – you can say love at first sight.  I won’t bore you with my stupidities as a noob (btw, noob was a word I learned on EVE, as is btw, and all the other keyboard shortcuts to express emotions)  Man I still can’t understand how you can express yourself through lol, rofl, lmao, :), :P, ;P etc.  You kids are really weird sometimes.  (Just as a side note, I hear you kids drop your girls through SMS these days … in my days we had to face her either in person or on the phone to tell her that its over)

Anyways, EVE was beautiful (again, please note the past tense).  I liked the concept of player-driven market.  I liked the concept of a persistent universe with more than 60000 systems.  I liked the concept that you can own space for yourself.  I liked the concept of skill training, jump clones, implants, CONCORD, the 4 empires, Jove, the whole standings mechanism, the whole physics engine behind the game (although it lacks in immersion – for example I would add line-of-fire to the turrets in such a way that if a friendly or drone lies between your turret and your target at time of firing, it gets the damage – bye bye blobs … if only CCP would listen).  I liked it all.

Then one fine day I received an ingame mail.  I contacted the character who sent it and started a chat.  Believe it or not, I asked him/her whether he/she was a bot 🙂  This was at a time when I was still trying to fit a large autocannon on my velator and did not know how to place ammo in a gun – such was my level of noobness.  Anyways, this character was a recruiter and I joined this corp.  13 jumps or so away from Algogille at a time when autopilot was a completely alien concept to me.  Oh my first corporation!  I loved EVE even more for it.  I was a good corp member at the time, happy about the tax I paid, about my free contributions “for the corp”, etc  EVE was just addictive at this point.  I just could not stay away from my PC, both in body and mind.  Work started to feel my lack of attention and wife started to wonder who this EVE was and where I had met her (lol).  I was even entrusted the reigns of the corp as a CEO.

Then came null sec.  How can a game turn so sour?  All of a sudden this game became a chore, it is not a way to spend time idling anymore, it’s almost become a job.  Null sec leadership expect things of you – are we serious?!  This is a game, it does not have to mean anything to anyone other than a pass time.  These guys do things which are uncomprehensible to me in a game environment.

Then came the pvper/carebear distinction.  Hell this is outright ridiculous!  Why do I have to justify my gamestyle to anyone, let alone be reprimanded for behaving in a certain way.

At this point the relationship with EVE is past the hit-the-eye stage and it’s into the getting to know the real woman behind the makeup. A certain feeling started emerging in me, a feeling of “wtf?!”  By this time I was past the 20 million skillpoints mark, and had started to level up to 5 many high-ranking skills.

The final insult to injury came at this point.  It was not that I did not know about it, but I had to try it for myself to verify.  This is the realisation that solo you do not stand a chance, not even in the best fitted and most expensive ship hull.  Not that in itself it is an issue, as is the fact that “you do not stand a chance”.  A chance for what you ask?  A chance for winning, whatever winning is to you.  Think about it, have you ever felt that you won something in this game?  I’m not saying winning at skirmish or battle level, it’s more at the high level strategic level.  You are never any better, whatever your choice of game style.  It is always the same, you’re always running in circles. In fact, after some years people just quit, and that’s saying lots.

Nowadays I’m not subscribed to EVE anymore.  I still read many blogs about it daily, but I’m having a well deserved break.

Is EVE beautiful to you?  Not anymore, sorry.  I used to call it “A beautiful game”, now it’s just “a nice game”.

Player classifications

Have you ever had a look at the recruitment channel, or at the recruitment threads on the forums?

“Looking for pvp pilots” …

“Miners/Industrialists/Mission runners wanted” …

“… check them out, they have a pretty good killboard …”

Take me.  I do some mining every now and then, build some things every now and then, run a couple of missions, do some exploration, move stuff from A to B when needed, and when bored, go for a solo roam to the nearest red dots on the map (the fact that my battleclinic kb does not have recent kills/losses, doesn’t mean I don’t go out – it only means I loose ships less frequently).  What does this make me?  How do I answer to such adverts?

Take it one step to the generic.  Why classify players?  Is it not possible in EVE to do whatever you please as long as you have the skills for it?  It’s not like you choose a race and skills and can not change them, or do other things apart from the initial set.  Why the classification?

Is it related to mindset?  Because then I’m really sorry for whoever thinks this way.  EVE is a G A M E, nothing else.  Do you want a job?  Look for it in real life, not here, where it absolutely means nothing!  What are you going to earn by doing what you are told in this game?  ISK?  And what is the real life impact of that?  Wasted time?