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Obligatory Anniversary Post

Hey all,


It’s that time again. Total skills just shy of 170million.

This time last year, they were:

Armor 4368000
Corp Management 270000 Skills 0 5
Drones 8920000 1 11
Electronic Systems 3738000 2 12
Engineering 5296000 3 18
Gunnery 14270000 4 52
Leadership 88180 5 165
Missiles 11139000
Navigation 4542000 148 Million
Neural Enhancement 1024000
Planet Management 4352000
Production 7549000
Resource Processing 3963000
Rigging 1900000
Scanning 7168000
Science 31819000
Shields 2534000
Social 1551000
Spaceship Command 27115000
Subsystems 2560000
Targetting 1560000
Trade 8250

Current is:

Armor 4368000
Corp Management 140609 Skills 0 4
Drones 11247012 1 11
Electronic Systems 3738600 2 13
Engineering 6064265 3 16
Gunnery 14270304 4 44
Leadership 88180 5 188
Missiles 12800834
Navigation 11008000 169 Million
Neural Enhancement 1024000
Planet Management 4352000
Production 9346789
Resource Processing 3963000
Rigging 3434040
Scanning 7168000
Science 32565336
Shields 5632000
Social 2183798
Spaceship Command 29644739
Subsystems 2560000
Targetting 1560000
Trade 8250

Structure management which was split out sits at 2560000.

H 2016

Essentially it has been a year of consolidation, with a focus on getting some of those navigation skills up to take advantage of armor based speed/sig tank set ups. Special mention also goes to getting those jump drive skills to max. I will take Black Ops to V one of these days… CCP Fozzie mentioned the potential for a re balance in the future in the fireside chat with Rixx Javix btw.

The focus for the next while is finishing up the science skills, where I’m sadly lacking in T3 invention capabilities. That will block out the next 7-8 months or so.

This year also marked a decision regarding EvE online. I stopped two subscriptions and moved the significant alts to the remaining. Will make mention of one in particular who is currently training Titan V. Doomsday V is next up, though I’m not looking forward to the 61 day time till complete.

He is also a fully skilled dreadnought pilot. The carrier changes however mean a revisit on his particular queue and what is in it. It will push it out significantly as Force Auxiliary and the various fighter skills will now also need a lot of work

All in all, it came it went. Had a lot of fun with the Frostline event, but missed the blood harvest completely. Looking forward to more of those. Scanning down anoms, running combat sites and the occasional mission are keeping me out of mischief (mostly).

Was also reminded just how effective tuned damage poured into a resist hole was. In a good way 😉 Must try different hullsout more often.

Onwards and sideways!






Hi All,

Two things struck me this week in browsing around the place. The first was from Fintarue on the latest High Drag Podcast

It’s an extremely good podcast and absolutely worth a listen if you have some time. In any case, there are gems of wisdom all over the show. Those who are familiar with Fin know he runs a PvP based twitch stream and is the CEO of Rifterlings.

Which is why his comment in relation to PvE was all the more surprising. He says (paraphrased) that no one talks about the infamous EvE learning curve, and once you’re past the bulldozer and shit, that it flattens right out.

Why yes. Yes, it does…


The second is from Abavus Durden from Pukin’ Dogs. Again absolutely well worth your time.


Go read.


There are not a few people out there sharing some malaise. We go through fits and starts, more time in game (or not), but I cannot help thinking back to my early to mid phase in EvE.

I wanted an Ishtar so bad. The ability to set 5 bonussed heavy drones on my foes, small sig and t2 resists was drool-worthy. I once tackled an Armageddon in a Vexor. It had a plate on it, and stayed up for a looooong time (until we drifted out of rep range). Just imagine how good one of these would be…!!!

It was an age of innocence and awe in some respects. Battleships seemed HUGE. And as for Marauders? Oh.My. God.

But then, somewhere along the line, it stopped being awesome and dropped to noteworthy. And from noteworthy, to commonplace. And I wouldn’t be surprised at all if that coincided with cresting the learning curve.

Despite a myriad of improvements over time, I agree with Abavus’ sentiment that yesterday’s EvE appeals more to my soul better. I’d love it if I got that thrill again as I used to when hearing the Quantum Rise theme music (Apocrypha was damn good too) at log in.

I know that it was a particular time and place that just resonated with me. A set of circumstances that included having spare time and being new and fresh to the game. And I also know it would be impossible to recreate it.

But surely, surely there must be something in between a solo(ish) player hitting the plateau and forcing them to group up with others to tackle the bigger stuff…?




P.S 25 more bandwith for the Proteus drone subsystem!!!!!!




Hi All,

There was a time where I used to run a POS. It wasn’t just any old POS for any old reason, though I will admit there was a fair amount of vanity attached to it.  It was a Dread Guristas Large for a research alliance.

The mechanics back in the day meant that all a corporation in the alliance needed to do was hire an office in system where we had one and provided they had a character with the scientific network skill to 1, they could research to their hearts content from their own corp hangars.

The POS owner could manage the set up and hourly costs of a job, thereby offsetting or even making money off one though the lines pretty much had to be all in use to do so. I’d ice mine using a fully skilled Orca alt to assist with this as well as do invention jobs for others.

Over time CCP nerfed the various mechanics, but the main one was the removal of the remote install. The BPOs had to be in the relevant lab in the POS, and few if any owners were going to risk their jobs being cancelled and the disappearance of their shiny blue isk printers.

It essentially killed the alliance overnight. The business reason that held it together was gone. If I’m being totally honest about it, the cost and management of fuel was becoming prohibitive in both time and isk. It was a bittersweet moment pulling it down and selling off the kit.

I fought against that decision, off-lining it for extended periods, though that attracted the odd wardec (these went away when people found it fully repped up and all defenses on-lined).

Between the 4×4 racial dread gurista jammers, the warp scrams, web, neuts, missiles and guns (not to mention the shield hardeners) and the ridiculously high amount of shield HP, it would have been a gigantic pain to try and take down when active. No one tried.

So, between alts with the starbase management skills, the raft of research skills and the ability between PI and ice mining to assist with fueling, I could run a top of the line POS. By myself. And defend it if needs be.

It was anchored at a moon that was almost an insta-undock, 7000km off a station with a L4 mission agent and refining/manufacturing slots, and in a system with an ice belt. In all honesty, it was about as good as you could ask for.

So, citadels. Yes, you can now anchor them anywhere. But without a serious number of people to be able to support them during deployment and then afterwards, you’re putting an awful lot of isk into (so far) what appears to be a giant space pinata.

Looking forward to seeing what the additional functionalities (arrays and platforms) are, but from the rumblings out in the blogosphere are anything to go by, its just not worth doing for the solo or small corporation.

I would still like to own a small slice of space, but can’t see that happening any time soon.






The man walked into the car yard and was immediately set upon by the salesman. “What are you interested in”? Well, said the man, I like Fords.

Excellent! the salesman replied. We have the Terrain Crusher Extreme XT. It has a combined satnav/GPS. Just whack the big orange button in the middle of the dash and it tells all your friends exactly where you are. They can come and help destroy anyone around the area that you think doesn’t belong there!

And you need at least four of them, all identical, in your garage. You know, just in case the other guy manages to hit his satnav/GPS before you do. And if you don’t have each of them kitted out exactly the same way (electrified bullbars front and back, antipersonnel mines and 105mm howitzers), you’re stupid and you’re doing it wrong!

Ah, thank you said the man, sidling cautiously off the lot.

The following day the man went to a different car yard. Same question. Same response. I like Fords.

Excellent! the salesman replied. We have the Bushidomatic 3000. Available in automatic or manual, though manual is best. Obviously. Two models, the 3000Y and the 3000Z. The Y is set up for speed and has a range detector that sets off a turbo boost to keep chasing vehicles at a safe distance, while the Z swaps out the detector and turbo for a harpoon and winch.

Automatic? Really? Hmmmm. Perhaps some driving lessons might be better for sir then.

And again the man walked off the lot.

The next day the man walked into the last salesyard in town, close to the central business district. This one appeared friendlier than others, no matte black or neon in sight. The sales person asked if he could help. And the man replied that he liked Fords.

Well, sir the salesman replied, what do you like to do? If you want to head out to the badlands, the Terrain Crusher is a very good choice, it’s what all the big car clubs drive these days.

Cruising the means streets, it’s hard to go past a Bushidomatic. Good car, reliable, with a great steering set up and numerous optional extras.

If you want to stay urban, there are a number of options right from two door hatches though to big people movers. Just depends on what you need sir.

The man paused for a second looking around and asked the salesman why there were so many people on the lot. Well, he replied, we do try and be friendly. And we certainly don’t like to judge. But it doesn’t hurt that most of the town lives around here.

About 85% of it.






I am the 85%

Hi All,


It’s been a while. If you want to know why, go read this:


Neville’s credentials are without question, and putting it mildly, is far better at the blogging stuff than I am. Succinct and accurate analysis, with clear and rational thought behind it. This post touches on some of the reasons behind my current malaise.

In the intervening time since my last post, I’ve unsubbed two accounts and shifted to a quiet part of space. I didn’t vote in the latest CSM for that matter either. This is coming from someone who has always voted since becoming aware of it, and been a vocal proponent for CCP.

I’ve also come to terms with the fact that I’m a casual player. As a both a parent and shiftworker, my emphasis in life can’t be gaming.

While it should be acknowledged that I’m somewhat risk adverse, it essentially means I have neither the time or the energy to commit to low/null. There are times where I need to drop everything and run… and EvE isn’t that kind of a game.

My gaming has mostly diminished to soloing L4s, salvaging loots for refining purposes, producing ammo and scanning down sigs. And there is nothing wrong with that. I’m skilled enough that it’s a bit of a no-brainer (sleeper caches are still a PITA), but I’ve been skilled enough for long enough for it not to be a challenge.

Now, I still think CCP is running a game which, since it’s inception, has no equivalent. But I also think that, being part of a reasonably silent majority, we’ve not been looked after terribly well. Release upon release. Expansion after expansion.

What I suspect is that CCP has looked at the statistics for player retention and gone just a tad too far with it. The social aspect will keep people in game for sure, but not all of us (especially we introverts) require or want it. There has certainly been a push towards co-operative play for some elements putting those parts of the game out of reach.

I am hopeful for the future of the game, and have a great deal of faith in Seagull and the crew, but I am also not eternally patient. With the exception of the (very good) Guristas events, I’m feeling somewhat ignored.

I am a casual player. And I am the 85%




Glory Lasts Forever

Hi All,

We lost David Bowie. And I never even knew he was ill. Just arrived at work for a nightshift and had the news broken to me. And I went from being happy to down in a heartbeat.

I saw the Glass Spider tour many years ago, and if I’m being totally honest about it, it didn’t do that much for me.

I missed his older music. I didn’t know quite how much. At least not until today. So much of it formed a soundscape to my younger days, and I grieve for that loss.

Heroes is probably my favorite track of his and it featured in the movie The Replacements. I heard an anecdote about the song some time ago, particularly how they managed to create such a unusual sound.  Go read.

While the movie version didn’t have Bowie singing, it did have some lovely sentiments in the voiceover from Gene Hackman (skip to 3:30).

We all of us deserve  a second chance, and we all have moments where there is just a locker to be cleared out at the end of the day. But we also live for those moments of greatness, no matter how brief.

For Mr David Bowie. Who never seemed to be scared to be different in a time when you were expected to conform. Who, by having the unmitigated gall to just be himself, helped change the world into something new and wondrous, and full of possibility.

Thank you.


Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory lasts forever.


The capsuleer took stock of his ship. As the head of his Alliance, he was not used to having advice given to him. At least, not quite so bluntly.

There were a few things he had learned during his time as the head of the operation. Not the least of which was that the capsuleer giving the advice was almost always right. And, not the least, just quite how utterly frustrating that was.

While it was true that she had indeed built the hull and had called in favors within the Caldari State to upgrade it to full milspec, this did not reduce the sense of frustration at the impropriety of her behavior. At all.

She was, after all, as much an Achura as he was. And there were ways to do things and ways not to, as she would have very well been aware.

Quiet and restrained? He snorted. About as quiet and restrained as a 7 Gev quad laser.

Shaking his head, he sent the change orders though. The automated systems in the Sukuuvestaa station in conjunction with his own experienced engineering crew oversaw the installation of new equipment, hull modifications and twin missile guidance computers.

Despite his top tier predictive analysis software, it wasn’t until he sent the schematics to a trusted friend that he really sat up and took notice.

Singular comms response was this: “F#*k! That thing does more damage than a Marauder… and it can re purpose in flight to hit small targets too…”.

Assigning a considerable portion of available CPU cycles, the capsuleer prioritized a complete strategic and tactical breakdown of the new configuration, then sat back to consider the wider implications.

Yes, the defenses are a little thin. Yes,  it is not as perhaps tactically as flexible as one might like, but, in non-technical terms, holy sh*t, what it hit tended to disintegrate.

It was about this point when his comm channel pinged. The very Achura he had received the information from was waiting for a response.

He’d have given real ISK to know how she always managed to ping at just the right (or wrong) time, but suspected her specialized implants were giving a slight edge in chaos theory and application, leaving him ever so slightly vulnerable in the social/communication engagement envelope.

That, or she knew him too damn well. Certainly she was dangerous, but her threat levels had remained consistent in all the years he had known her.

A quandary for another time, but one perhaps initiated more to his advantage he thought, and logged a mnemonic date stamp for review/action at an expected low point of biometric functionality of the capsuleer.

Comm channel opened.

“Well”? She enquired.

He paused for a moment regretting that he had not already assigned higher conscious control of his micro expressions.

“The configuration appears to be fit for purpose” he replied.

“Fit for purpose”? And she arched an eyebrow at him.

“Yes. Fit for purpose”.

There was a pause as she stared at him unblinking. Utterly in control, millimeter perfect.

“Oh, enough already” he growled. “It’s fucking brilliant”.

“Good” she replied as the corner of her mouth twitched slightly upwards.

“This ship represents a considerable investment in time and ISK. Please be careful where you point it”.

“Duly noted” he replied, as the twitch at the corner of her mouth threatened to evolve into an actual smile.

“It would also be appreciated if you stopped losing drones with such regularity. Four this week alone? That is… inefficient.

It is humbly suggested that you review your combat algorithms, most specifically flight patterns and threat analysis”.

“Also, parking”.

The head of the alliance was about to splutter out a response when she bowed, said “Băozhòng” and cleared comms.

The capsuleer willed his blood pressure down the 30 point spike the conversation had brought on, sighed and initiated a meta search for the latest in combat programs.

He may the the head of the alliance he thought to himself, but he’d be damned if she’d catch him out with another of her unasked for, terrifyingly accurate, performance reviews.

Reviewing the progress of the build he sent a multicast.

“All crew be advised full recall. Repeat – full recall. Expected shakedown 25:53. Combat readiness by 26:30. On your way people”.

He gritted his teeth as he initiated the capsule entry sequence, and  wondered if the pod goo would actually steam when it hit his skin.

Parking indeed…

People I’d Like to Meet

It’s Christmas EvE here… OK that was unexpected… Christmas Eve here and have just exchanged holiday greetings with Hermit. Kind of putting off wrapping of presents coz there is a truck ton of them to do.

And a truck ton of wrapping necessitates a truck ton of procrastination imho. Especially given the carefully crafted wrapping gets annihilated  within .5 of a second once in the grasp of its recipient…

Ahem. Anyways, and with procrastination dialled up to 11, I was thinking about the various people in game that I’d really like to meet in RL. If I’m very careful, and my employment situation remains stable, I have a chance to make Fanfest in 2018 in my 10th year of playing EvE.

These people in one way or another have been part of the community I’ve engaged with. Sometimes as a silent consumer to be fair. But still, interesting folks in any case imho, and it would be grand if RL conspired to allow it to happen at FF.

In no particular order:

EvE Hermit – at least we live in the same hemisphere 🙂

Mynxee – yes you, Great Lady. Enjoy the fireworks.

Ashterothi and the crew at Hydrostatic Podcast

Random McNally and the crew at High Drag

Apothne (hulll tinkerrrrrrrr!) and the rest of the AT commentary team.

Roc Wieler – The Colonel and I agree about many things, others that might require a considerable amount of discussion just to find out we agree about many things… 🙂

Neville Smit – a man whose brain I would love to pick. No not for the transneural skill packets… honestly…

CCP Seagull – if for no other reason than a chance to say Thank You.

Turamarth – Builder of soapboxes, holder of opinions, and a good man.


Now I know I’ve missed people and that it’s going to bug me. I have a fairly extensive subscription list, and while it would be wonderful to meet all of you, I just CBA typing everyone’s names out right now.

In any case, this is a small thanks from me for your contributions to the community as a whole, and a chance to wish you all a very Merry Christmas.


Travel Safe,






Not today

So… a few days after posting the rattler fit, I was having a drink or two and thinking about logging in. Checked the blog and noticed a spike in hits from Germany.

Not that I have a huge readership by any means, but it was statistically significant enough for it to stick out by the proverbials.

Now I have one of those kind of brains that sucks up information that others don’t necessarily care to notice. It gets filed away somewhere, and when something else happens it gets instantly correlated against the random crapola stored up in there.

To give you an example, I notice pretty much instantly when a co-worker has had a haircut or shave. New glasses, etc. Have had comments in the past from people saying they’ve been walking around for a week and I’ve been the only one who has said anything.

Likewise with friends I haven’t seen in a while. Useful in the job I do, but that’s a story for another time perhaps. I don’t navigate by street names either and can recognize people at a distance by general shape and certainly by the way they walk.

I’m a visual creature I guess. Ironic given I was an short sighted and not diagnosed for many years as a child. Coping mechanism developed whatever this is at a guess.

So there is me going, OK Germany when I logged in. Even slightly on the tipsy side, the old spidey sense started tingling. Local was rather a bit higher than normal, and with a lot fewer regular names about.

So I started scrolling through. NPC corp. NPC corp. NPC corp. NPC corp. Hmmmm, said I. Lets check the bio. James315. James 315. James 315.

And the old brain did a rapid calculation:

Alcohol + expensive fit recently posted + unusual viewership pattern + local spike + NPC corps + James315 (who I have crossed paths with once before) = no sir, I really don’t think so.

Did I undock? Nope. Not today.

To be fair, I have been looking at other corps to throw an alt (or potentially all of them) in to, so spent my time talking in public channels to various peeps.

My time wasn’t wasted, and if the enemy was blueballed as part of that process, then who am I to complain 🙂


Fly smart,



Awesome Viewing

Hi All,


I’d not have thought faction warfare would provide some of the best video out there, but this is extremely well done.

I’ve watched a majority of the Viking Duffo series. Cool music, great production and balls of steel flying. Picked the Rattlesnake because of posting, but they’re all well worth a watch.

Keep your eyes open too, there are some seriously cool fits and ways to use them. Lets just say how effective the Gnosis was surprised the hell out of me 🙂