Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Li3 leaves the HBC: Drama and Trolling incarnate.

On or around February 14th 2013 our alliance leader Jadecougar received an offer, a most unusual offer. He was being contacted by the CFC, by Goonswarms Corps Diplo, and being offered territory in Vale of the Silent. Apparently while we weren't looking, the primarily AU timezone alliance Convicted [AIF] had some leadership problems and was made to leave the CFC. With a new sector of space opened, they asked Li3 to join and take Convicted's old space in Vale.

Jade, who originally came on the podcasting scene with Lost in Eve was at that time the CEO of  a wormhole corp Z3R0 Return Mining. He later went on to form Li3 Federation as a cross security type of alliance, attempting to integrate corps from all walks of life into a single community. While that was largely unsuccessful he did place an alt into Multiplex Gaming. After a time he decided to make Li3 into a nullsec sov-holding alliance. He formed a new corporation Li3's Electric Cucumber and they started as a small corporation inside SMA. He got to know the ins and outs of nullsec politics and already knew many of the important Goons from interviews on Lost in Eve. He campaigned to have his alliance join the CFC as a member but was turned down, as there was no available space and the alliance was inexperienced in the vagaries of nullsec life. The Goons suggested joining the then starting HBC as they were prosecuting a bloc war in the south against the nullsec alliance Against All Authorites and their smaller neighbors, and would surely have space to give an up and coming alliance. Upon hearing this the Cucumbers left SMA and rejoined L3F, joining the HBC's forces in Delve. After a time Li3 was given sov in Querious and contuned to perform in HBC's subsequent campaigns.

All the while I think some part of him longed to return to the CFC. The Goons are many things, one of them is well organized. It was clear to me at the start that the HBC was decidedly lacking in this area, they didn't have the experience or organizational skills to transition from running one alliance of 9000 characters to suddenly running a coalition spread across several regions, 15 alliances and 30,000 characters. Jade had some communication issues with HBC leadership, and was by and large given the cold shoulder. When the offer came Jade met with his directorate and it was decided that Li3 would accept the offer to join the CFC. Corp CEO's were notified at a meeting shortly thereafter, as well as Montolio himself.

Jade endeavored to keep things above board and make a clean break with the HBC. While that was largely successful as far as the sov mechanics and leadership went, the line members of Test and the rest of the HBC went into some kind of rabid shitposting frenzy the likes of which I've never experienced. The mongoloids were crawling out of every corner it seemed, the worst aspects of Reddit and Kugutsumen combined into a Voltron of venom and shit spewing, and that was just the external factors. Several corps had no intention of following Jade back to the CFC. One corp, had been on the CFC blacklist and thus didn't want to consider it. Some of the corps were just old fashioned Goon haters, others were alts of characters in TEST and Pandemic Legion and others simply didn't want to follow Jade, despite saying prior they were up for the journey, wherever it took them. Those corps were the majority, but as Jade was the executor, and thus the autocrat it was his decision where his alliance went.

Of course there was a cost to this, a 1300 man alliance saw over 700 of it's members leave. While disheartening I was not surprised, it's times of adversity that determine who one's friends truly are. MPX stayed committed to Jade and we made preparations to move across the map, again.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Li3: New beginnings with old friends

After joining Li3 and moving to Querious MPX set out to rebuild. Some members decided to stay in SMA with other corps, others left nullsec entirely, and others were simply burned out after the previous 3 months of unremitting sov warfare in Tribute. After this the corp was purged of inactives by Frfrmpukin and we set about rebuilding. We started out with the constellation K-JO26 in Querious, basing out of the recently deployed outpost in OGY-6D.

Over time the alliance grew and acquired most of the H-6HGD constellation just above our current pocket on the map, a reward from our side campaign in Esoteria. While the majority of the HBC attacked from Stain, we inserted from Paragon Soul in the south. We used fleets of bombers and battlecruisers to attack targets of opportunity and take sovereignty in the FY6-NK constellation. We renamed the only station in the pocket in honor of the one pilot from Coven who was there to respond to our ops. It was clear he was only there to whore on structure mails, but he kept turning up at every op.

At our peak we had 1300 members in 38 corporations. MPX was getting back into the swing of things and getting used to life in the south. Then something happened that none of us were prepared for.

SMA and MPX: Deception, Betrayal. and Exile

On the night of October 11th 2012 Ex River the executor of the Space Monkey's Alliance issued a decree during an alliance meeting. He leveled over thirty allegations against one of it's member corporations, Multiplex Gaming. These accusations, accompanied by no hard evidence, were used as an excuse to kick the corporation from the alliance and enable Sion Kumitomo, the new head of Goonswarm's Corps Diplomatique to send the following Jabber broadcast.  From our friends in SMA:
"Multiplex Gaming has been kicked from SMA. Monkeys do not tolerate treason."

If you're keen on exploding the recently blue, GSF has has been cordially invited by a largely typo free handwritten letter (that smells only faintly of bananas and feces) to lend our considerable expertise to SMA's first ever :commissar:  

So feel free to destroy MPX guys trying to get their stuff out of their station in J7YR! Or JTAU! Or really wherever you see them, if you see them. Whichever.

*** This was a broadcast from sion_kumitomo to all-all at 2012-10-12 0

At the time I was a junior director of a sort in BSC Legion, a member of TNT. I had worked closely with the leadership of MPX on the podside podcast and knew from my own conversations with them that there was no intent to take over, or otherwise harm SMA. I sat on their mumble server consoling their line pilots as Frfrmpukin and Cyph3r, their CEO and XO, were both at work when this happened. After some arrangements were made the line pilots were allowed to join a different membercorp in SMA for the purposes of standings while evaccing assets. Only Pukin and Chyph3r were not allowed to do so.

Once the corp and it's assets were secure from Branch, I left BSC Legion as I could not stomach the fact that my friends had been so cleanly betrayed without so much as a whisper from Corps Diplo, and indeed it was them feeding the bloodlust by involving the coalition in prosecuting an accusation that was flimsy at best.

After approximately two weeks in empire consolidating assets and reimbursing line pilots for jump fuel MPX left Empire and joined Li3 Federation, the alliance of Jadecougar from the Lost in Eve podcast. Li3 lived in Querious, a member of the fledgling Honey Badger Coalition. It was seen as a way to start over, to get in on the ground floor of a growing alliance, as they had when they joined with EXPCS to help form SMA. I initially decided to join them in Querious with my alt corp, taking my various research and mining characters as one corporation. After some time however I decided to join MPX as a line pilot.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Another dry spell coming to an end.

I've decided once again to expand more on the blog and my nascent youtube channel. Expect more tutorial videos and chronicle entries detailing my exploits over the past 8 months.

If you have any requests for tutorials feel free to comment or mail me ingame.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Reviewing Eve, again.

Man, oh man has it been a while since I bothered to post.  For those who don't know I've been working with the Podside podcast now for almost 6 months. It's fun, but leaves me little time for much else. Now that that's out of the way. Here's the updated review.

New Players

The new player experience has received a great many facelifts in the last year including buffed rookie ships, a more interactive tutorial as well as an improved mission interface. The new safety system and improved crimewatch mechanics have helped get rid of some of the low ballers in the griefer world.


The recent tiericide and rebalance for frigates and cruisers have led to a new way of life for some players, who felt they needed to always use Tech II ships. The buffed support ships especially give new players a chance to try out new roles before investing the large amounts of SP needed to fly the best Tech II ships and fits. The sleeper AI for npc's and new changes to incursions and Faction Warfare keep the professions interesting without being game breaking in the profit department.


Eve's internal and external communities are both still flourishing, Tweetfleet, Bloggers, and the podcasters are very much alive and well, despite some hiccups along the way. We have also seen the rise of a new Eve news website ran by the much maligned, deserved or not, leader of Goonswarm Federation.

However, even their enemies are cordial in the event of a tragedy, as was evidenced when Sean Smith, known in Eve as Vile Rat, the leader of Goonswarm's diplomatic arm, Corps Diplomatique, was killed in Benghazi. The response from the community was incredible, A massive number of nullsec stations had their names changed to messages for Vile Rat. Video and Photo tributes circulated though eve's community, including a photo from Rixx Javix that is still my computer wallpaper to this day. So large was this response that it was even mentioned by the mainstream media and the Secretary of State at Sean's repatriation ceremony.


The game has advanced considerably under the hood in the past year. Along with the aforementioned Crimewatch changes, most ships have been re-skinned with new V3 designs and the UI has been greatly improved with a customizable neocom, a Unified Inventory (which did need a little more work that was initially deployed, sorry CCP Arrow) and new targeting reticules and readouts. Most people scoff when they hear eve is almost 10 years old now, but then you tell them about the 18 free expansions since launch and show them videos. Eve looks great for it's age, something that other games should take notice of.


Challenge: 10/10    This is Eve and it is real, hard.
Graphics: 9.5/10     You know any other games this old that look this good? Me either.
Community 12/10   Shoot Blues, Tell Vile Rat
Complexity 8/10     Eve is hard, but it's becoming less needlessly complex.

Overall  9.75/10

Friday, June 15, 2012

Goonswarm and CCP: Destruction and Iteration Wrote Large

In the wake of the release of the Inferno expansion the CSM went to Iceland (some in person, some via a new conferencing system) to discuss a laundry list of topics with CCP. The initial results from Seleene are available here and here.

More recently, changes to the new war system have been posted here. These changes have been decried most vehemently by Jade Constantine. As one of the most pronounced Anti-Goon people in eve Jade's alliance (The Star Fraction) was wardecced by Goonswarm, along with the Alliance of Issler Danes (The Honda Accord) [seriously? wtf? /ramble], a sitting member of CSM7. Both Jade and Issler have opened the floodgates for anyone to join their wars to attack Goons. 38 groups have joined the Honda Accord as allies. 43 have flocked to the side of Jade Constantine. Normally this kind of dog-piling would send highsec carebears into an apoplectic fit. But the vast majority of Goons live in nullsec and are unaffected by highsec wars. Only Zedrik Cayne of Standards and Practices had the guts to even come into nullsec to fight the "ebil goonies." He was being a cloaky camper in VFK until he got sent to the pwn shop by Courthouse, one of the Goon diplomats.

CCP has doubtless been watching from the sidelines since Inferno went live, all the while Alekseyev Karrde, CSM7's war expert has been in communication with CCP as well as the wardec roundtable created by Iam Widdershins, the CEO of Project Nemesis, a corp with ties to Moar Tears and The Orphanage. I am sure things degenerated just as Alek and the rest of the highsec merc/wardec community envisioned.

Just yesterday another Dev Blog came out regarding Frigate and Mining Barge re-balancing that was upcoming. It made me think about the just over 2 Trillion ISK worth of Mining Barges and Exhumers that Goonswarm had destroyed by giving the gankers bounties. I'd love to see Jade Constantine try to spin this one as being CCP in collusion with Goonswarm.

Between pondering Hulkageddon, Burn Jita and these current wars, I found myself thinking about the Goons and the effects they have on the game that benefit everyone. CCP would have never gotten the chance to see the full CONCORD aggression mechanics in TIDI if Goons hadn't attacked Jita. The mining ship re-balance might not have occurred if CCP didn't have 2 Trillion ISK worth of loss mails to show them how weak these ships are. And no one would have seen just how bad dog-piling could be under the current war system until 81 highsec organizations jumped on the bandwagons to shoot Goons in highsec for free.

In closing, as the Goons love to say "We're not out to ruin THE game, we're out to ruin YOUR game." And in doing so they give CCP the data they need to improve the game for everyone.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

EvE Online: A social game in an increasingly anti-social genre.

I was recently invited to the third broadcast of the podside podcast. It was a hilarious experience getting to talk with Jade, Frfrmpukin, Cyph3r and Snowman, whom I've listened to for so long was great. Getting to catch up with Pinky was also a good time. When I went to work the next day I really began to think about the connections we make in the game and even more in the community. I also began to ponder why such connections seem so strange or off-putting to some new players.

I've made it no secret that I was a guild officer and raid leader in that most maligned of MMO's, World of Warcraft. While I wasn't there for release I was able to play some of the legacy content from Vanilla and the game's first expansion The Burning Crusade. The content as one approached level cap was such that it required group coordination and planning, increasing in difficulty as one progressed into large PvE encounters (Raids) or group PvP (primarily in the Arena system). The raids consisted of teams that ranged from 10 players for the initial raids (Blackrock Spire, Kara) to 25 and 40-man content in the highest tiers (Naxx, Black Temple). The groups that ran these dungeons were organized and cohesive units. They knew their role in the group as well as the strengths and weaknesses of their class. They were very social and were often very tight knit because of it.

Near the end of the second expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, a new random group generator was launched. The idea was to help players get into groups if they were not affiliated with a guild or couldn't find a group on their server. Unfortunately the mechanic was soon populated by people who were not interested in the content, just stealing the loot from the boss kill. Since the offender was not on the same server as the rest of his party members the element of anonymity was added to their actions thus invoking the full brunt of the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory illustrated below.

Why do I bring this up? Simple. In his latest installment of Sins of a Solar Spymaster The Mittani mentions a sense of entitlement borne of other MMO's. It is my strong belief that part of that mentality is the result of actions by game developers like the one illustrated above. I have since learned that Blizzard has doubled down on the stupidity by allowing raid groups to also be generated from a random pool. When faced with such abominations spewing forth from other MMO developers, where there is no need to have a community to achieve large goals is it any wonder then that the newbies to our "Dystopian Heaven" of a Sandbox have such foolish preconceived notions about EvE?