Tuesday 29 March 2011



Just a quicky post to explain my current state of play (and blogging activity).

This month is a very busy one for me with work and other RL commitments. In addition my other-half's recent departure from SoTF and decision to take a bit of an Eve break is adding to my list of reasons to not be at the keyboard.

And there is one further issue hanging over my head at the moment. When I started my blog it was about Faction War and low-sec. This was something I knew about, enjoyed and an environment I was comfortable in.

But nullsec, its politics, it's history, mechanics and Alliances... well it might as well be a different game to me. It's not something I feel comfortable in writing about and that in turn makes me question whether or not I should continue with my blog.

So whilst I take a little downtime in Eve I'm going to take a break from blogging for a few weeks and see how things pan out.


Sunday 27 March 2011

CSM Results are here!

Just a quicky - As so many bloggers are at Fan Fest I thought I would do a quick plug for the CSM Election results - Clicky Here

Thursday 24 March 2011

The chrysalis

A couple of nights ago my other-half found a moth chrysalis in the garden whilst having an argument with a Holly bush. We put it in a jar, in the kitchen, so that our 4 year old daughter could see the moth when it emerges. I sat with her yesterday, showing her the jar and trying to explain the process.

The caterpillar eats and eats until he is all grown up and ready to change. I explained.

Then he builds a cocoon around his body and he sits inside and turns into a butterfly (well, a moth in this case).

Now whilst she is very familiar with The Hungry Caterpillar story she couldn’t quite get her head around the idea that the change was not an instant process. We had an on-going debate for the rest of the afternoon with my daughter regularly insisting that it was time to go and “poke the cocoon to wake the butterfly up". I had quite a hard time explaining that it takes time to go through such a big change.

I cannot help but see the similarity between this and the current state of SoTF.

It seems to me that we are very much in a “chrysalis stage” right now. We are undergoing a huge state of change ; everything from where we live, to our allies, the pvp we take part in, our rules and ROE.

It takes time, debate, patience and hard work to move from where we came from to what we are becoming and some folks are certainly finding it harder than others. I really don't envy our leadership right now.

I consider myself to be a pretty sensible person in general but even in my own attitude I find resistance to these changes.

In my mind, I am a Shadows of The Federation pilot. These are the guys I've died and fought alongside, got drunk and giggled with, argued against and confided in for the past 2 years. They are my comrades and the respect I have for them is well earned. I'd do pretty much anything in game for them.

But now I find myself in an Alliance; a big pool of corporations, many of whom I'd never even heard of previously. Add to that the whole of the Northern Coalition which we now work alongside; that is quite a list of corps and pilots that we are suddenly expected to have some sort of allegiance to and play nice with. It is a hard pill to swallow sometimes.

And of course this works both ways and I know SoTF's FCs and leaders have done a lot of shouting of late, to make our views heard over a din of pre-conceived opinion.

Slowly, we are adjusting to our new way of life. But it is not easy.

We will shortly pass the one month marker since our move to Vale and I don’t think I’ve seen a more difficult 4 weeks in all my time with SoTF. We've had many ups and downs and for some members it has been too much and they have moved on to pastures new.

But we’ve also achieved a great many things in this month of change. Our 0.0 station is up, we've moved over 1400 ship from low-sec to null, our members are getting settled and we're slowly making the impression we want to within our new circle of allies. At the time of typing we are also in the top 10 corp killers for this month in RAGE.

We always knew this was a massive undertaking and that has not been an understatement. But with a little more hard work, a little more patience and a little bit of luck, that drunken butterfly will be on its way out very soon.

Friday 18 March 2011

I missed the Titans... more wine please

So some clever idiot jumps back to Empire to do some hanger tidying and misses out on the best (and most laggy) CTA ever. Arse.

I do take some comfort in this lovely Thorax v Red Wine picture PSY CHO made for me though (and as a bonus it also looks a bit rude, get in).

PSY CHO's art seems to be getting a lot of attention at the moment, I've seen it popping up all over facebook and different blogs - But if you've not seen his website yet it is well worth a look.

Tuesday 15 March 2011

Heroes v Villains

As previously explained, when I started out in Eve I was a total clueless carebear who ran missions in highsec for many years and avoided any form of pvp like it was the plague.

When my corporation eventually suffered the trauma of a high-sec war-dec, in which we were soundly thrashed, it never once occurred to me to think of the aggressors as griefers or bad people. I knew, and accepted, that this activity was a part of the game and I went on to learn many lessons about game-mechanics (albeit the hard way) thanks to that war. I may not have enjoyed the experience, but there was nothing wrong, bad or evil about it, no matter how much I hated having my pve ships exploded.

Sadly, amongst the wider carebear community, high-sec war-deccers are regularly accused of being griefers or people who simply don’t have any respect for the way others wish to play Eve. Of course you can add many other people to that list of so called villians; such as suicide gankers, ninja salvagers, corp thieves, scammers and so on.

Loren Gallen is one of the most decent gents you could possibly wish to meet in Eve Online. He is also very well known for blowing up mission running faction war-targets in their own high-sec. I remember Loren once sharing an eve-mail he had received from one such high-sec victim. It consisted of a pretty vile wall of offensive words and accusations. All that from an apparently peace loving individual who took great offence at having his carebearing activity so rudely interrupted.

But if this person had simply done a bit of homework on Factional Warfare before undocking his shiny in complete ignorance, then the whole situation would have been avoided. Exploitation and EULA breaking aside - the same thing could probably be said for most of the people who accuse others of so called griefer activity.

For example CCP have made it very clear, time and again and all over the forums, that salvage has no owner. Yet if you spend some time in any mission hub, you are soon guaranteed to see an argument in local over ninja-salvage activity. This is usually accompanied by accusations and abusive language flying in from the so called victims.

CCP doesn’t want you to log into Eve and feel safe. CCP doesn’t want you to be surrounded by serenity and peace. However so many people fail to understand this and simply expect mechanics to be bent around their own personal desire to keep themselves unhindered by other players.

The saddest part of this is that people who refuse to open their eyes to the full potential of Eve fail to see so many amazing things that are possible within the sandbox.

A few weeks ago my other half was docking up his alt in Dodixie when he drew my attention to something happening on his screen. I scooted over to watch the show on his computer. Here we had a freighter, from an NPC corp, tackled and being attacked by 2 light ships from a player corporation. We assumed they must have had kill rights on the neutral guy and giggled to ourselves as he desperately spammed local for remote reps whilst trying to burn back within docking range of the station.

A couple of people soon started bumping the freighter towards the station, whilst others bumped him away. Then 2 Dominix pilots answered the plea for aid and started remote repping him. The aggressors turned their attention to the Domis and blew them both up pretty quickly before returning their attention to the freighter. So now things start to look even more interesting than a simple case of “idiot about to lose a freighter”.

The freighter goes over half armour but a logistic ship, from a well-known tear-loving-corporation, now undocks, reps him back up and then docks again without being shot at. Then there was the mysterious Macherial pilot from the same corp as the aggressors who would bump the freighter, point it, then dock back up without bothering to shoot him. When questioned in local said he had mysteriously lost aggression rights. Hmm!

Speculation in local comes round to the idea that this is actually an elaborate scam to get people to remote rep the freighter so that they could be blown up. And as time goes on it certainly looks like this is indeed the case and several people fall for the whole thing whilst trying to save the fake freighter victim.

Stuff like this is the gold-dust of New Eden. Hilarious, deceptive and full of mischief. And more importantly – it is good! This is exactly what Eve is all about and the people who don’t get this need to educate themselves and embrace the art of getting even, not the art of whining about their failures.

So, who are the real bad guys in New Eden?

Well even amongst the pvp minded in Eve there are many levels of acceptance on what others deem appropriate or “right” in terms of game play, for example honouring 1v1s.

There are a couple of recent blog posts that illustrate this point further. First would be Laedy’s description of how she has many good friends in-game, but would not hesitate to shoot them in the face if they presented themselves as a target - and how some people cannot quite stomach the idea of this. The second is a post from Helicity Boson on piracy and honouring ransoms, and how some people simply detest being asked to pay one so much they would rather deny the aggressors a pod mail than save their expensive implants.

Another example comes from my own personal experience. SOTF started out as a very “clean” pvp corp, strictly shooting only war targets and flashy pirates. Anything else would have gone against our “good guy” nature. However as time went on shooting neutrals not only became necessary but also more acceptable. We were a pvp corp after all, why should we not be engaging whomever we wish in our low-sec stomping grounds?

As our corp grew in numbers and experience we also began charging local industrial corporations to keep their POSs up in our home systems and even charged several corps for blue status with us. This is something we would not have dreamed of doing 2 years ago; now it simply made a lot more sense and we enjoyed trying out such ideas.

Our perception of the game, and what was “right” for us changed. But through all of this we held true to a certain code of honour. We would always keep our word and stay true to anything we had agreed on. Others may disagree but for us this was how we now defined ourselves as “good guys” rather than the specific mechanics by which we played the game.

So, are we villains because we popped a few neutrals and threw our weight around? Or are we heroes for embracing the potential of what we could actually achieve in Eve?

Spying and Corp infiltration certainly bring the whole grey area of what is good and what is bad into focus. At first I loathed all spies, having seen how it contributed to the downfall of Faction War. But as I learned more, particularly when hearing stories about players engaged in long-term Corp and Alliance infiltration, I realised that this is actually a fascinating area of game play and one which is quite unique to Eve.

CCP clearly wants Eve to be a “grey area” game, with no straight forward right or wrong – simply the choices a player chooses to make on his journey through New Eden.

Mazzilliu of Pandemic Legion recently took part in an Interview (and thanks again to Laedy for highlighting this) in which she discusses griefing and meta-gaming types of activity. She really hit the nail on the head for me when she talked of how much richer our environment is because of this type of game-play. There is no other MMO where such activity is as much a part of the game as the actual in-game mechanics, and we all have a much more diverse and interesting game environment because of it.

So for me the true heroes of New Even are the boundary pushers, the people who think outside the box and the people who are not afraid to upset the applecart in order to pull off something daring, incredible or hilarious.

And the villains? Well they are the ignorant players who expect mechanics to change to shield them from the rest of the community. They are the carebears who don’t prepare for the inevitable. They are the idiots who expect reward with no risk. The villains are the people who fail to understand the sandbox and all that is really possible in Eve.

Saturday 12 March 2011

Historic moment for SoTF

Today our very own station, Z'ha'dum, hatched from it's egg and for the first time in SoTF history we have sov on the map. Go team fac-war noobs! \o/

This has come about after a hell of a lot of work during the last few weeks. Finally our move is complete. Now on with the pewpew!

Apart from for me that is as I am feeling too rough to even log in and take screenies of my new home. Bleh :(


Wednesday 9 March 2011

Live Dev Blog: Fiction & Content (zomg FacWar)

Casiella over at Ecliptic Rift has written up some notes on the Live Dev Blog: Fiction & Content. There are some interesting tid-bits on Tibus Heth and Faction War.

Might be of interest to some of my followers so I thought it worthy of a quick plug.

>>Clicky Here<<

Monday 7 March 2011

Trawling through the CSM candidates

CSM4 was the first year I voted. I gave my vote to someone spamming local with loads of false promises, then realised what a mistake this was when they got elected. Doh.

When CSM5 came up I took a bit more time to considering where I should put my vote, but it was pretty much a no-brainer that it would go to Mynxee, someone I admire and respect in the Eve community.

But for CSM6 there is no one who automatically stands out for me. So today I have had the mammoth task of considering all FIFTYSEVEN candidates.

I've been through the entire list from the Eve website and looked at all the campaign links that were available as well.

And now I have a headache.

I am quite surprised at the apparent lack of effort a lot of people have put into their campaign material and with such a long list to consider I soon found myself quickly disregarding anyone who just didn't feel up to scratch or turned me off for one reason or another.

My own top 10 candidate turn offs were:

- candidates who hate CCP and appear to want to take over the company

- candidates who hate a specific section of the Eve community and use it as a base for their campaign

- candidates who don't know what HTFU means

- candidates with no website/blog

- candidates with only a flamey forum thread as their website link

- candidates who have not discovered the spellchecker or had someone proof read their material before posting it up

- campaign websites with huge walls of texts or underlying images that make it hard to read

- candidates that dedicate long paragraphs talking about themselves but offer little on what they offer you

- candidates who write lots of text about, well, nothing. I need clear info not wishy-washy political spin

- candidates with questionable knowledge of game mechanics and fantastical promises for the future (despite having "done everything in game")

Fortunately they are not all painful on the eyes/intellect, indeed there are a lot of very interesting candidates with well thought out material also.

My own top three potential vote recipients are:

Arden Elenduil
I have a secret love of ninja types and it would be great to see someone from this style of game-play on the CSM. Adren brings up many issues I would love to see addressed but also proposes many changes that I disagree with entirely. Either way I liked his attitude and am tempted to give him my vote to get someone with a "ninja frame of mind" onto the CSM.

Trebor Daehdoow
Well presented info, solid background, proven experience and talks of many issues that I can realistically see him having an input in fixing.

I like his blog, I like what he says, I believe what he says and I think he could do good work. He makes a lot of sense. I will probably vote for Seleen.

In addition, two others that stood out for me but didn't feel quite right for my vote, for one reason or another, were Helen Highwater and Meissa Anunthiel.

On a related note - I understand Vote Match should be up and running again soon for CSM6. Whilst I’d still encourage you to do further research on your preferred candidates it could certainly help you short list a few candidates.


(p.s. - I think I saw 3 mentions of Factional Warfare out of all of the material I've read this morning. You all suck!)

Wednesday 2 March 2011

A new home, Banter #25 and stepping down.

A new home

Earlier this week SoTF joined R.A.G.E alliance and moved into its new home in Vale of the Silent. After 5 years of playing Eve I now find myself in sov-held 0.0 for the very first time.

First impressions are pretty good. I loathe change and have had to really pull my finger out of my backside to get to grips with all the new channels/vents/forums and everything else that comes with being part of such a big alliance and coalition. I’ve also always had a strong aversion to 0.0 and it never really held any appeal for me - so I’m surprised to say I am already starting to feel quite at home.

2 days ago I made my way out to join my corp-mates, using a jump bridge for the first time. Whoa, how neat are those! Since then I’ve been on my first CTA (no combat though) and have done a lot of nosing about whilst taking about a zillion screenshots.

I feel a little like I’ve started Eve all over again; So much to learn, see and do (and read, ugh) but the people I’ve encountered so far seem pleasant enough (more so than I expected) and I am glad to be sharing this experience with my fellow Shadows pilots, who appear to be settling in nicely.

It is early days of course, but it seems that there is much here for us to do, and much we can offer also. Time will tell.

Blog banter 25# - Sovereignty

Oh the Irony. I join the NC and a banter comes along bemoaning power blocs.

I really cannot contribute to this banter, having had no previous experience of sovereignty nor any understanding of how it all works (unless you want me to rant about FW Sov ofc!). But I wanted to plug the banter so here is CK’s submission which includes all of the other banter responses:


Standing down

Simply because I felt I wanted to record it on my blog somewhere - I have stepped down as a Director in SoTF.

This is purely a personal choice and for no in-game reason. I have much respect for the SoTF Dirs, who work bloody hard to keep everything running smoothly, often in ways unseen by everyone else, and am proud to have been a part of that team for the past 18months. I know Gall and the other Directors will be working very hard in the new trials that lay ahead and I wish them all the best. Love you guys! xx