Saturday, February 28, 2015

Game Night

Last night I got together with some friends and played some board games, something I am hoping to do more often as the kids get older.

Flash Point : Fire Rescue : A simple Cooperative game where all the players are firefighters trying to save people from a burning building. Simple mechanics but lots of fun trying to keep the fire under control long enough to get people out. We seemed to be doing well until a series of explosions destroyed too many walls and the building collapsed on us. Fun times anyways.

Mansions of Madness : While not as much as a crazy ride as the last time I played, four of us had some fun against the GM. Our first attempt ended in two turns as one of us entered the freezer, fell through a trap door, and died to an ancient snow god, triggering the Gm's win condition. Since that says too short, we reset and tried again, lasting longer in two teams of two until one team got attacked by two witches. They might have been ok except the GM took control of one of the investigators for an attack against the other and with a knife sliced off her hand, killing her. We lost but had fun.

Infiltration : Part of the Android Netrunner universe, this game you play as an operative looking to infiltrate a shadowy corporation and steal secret files. We've played a few times before so it was a close game, Andrew realized he could not escape so set about trying to prevent everyone else from escaping. Dave and I were able to scoot out on the last turn however, and I won due to have more DF tokens. Sweet victory.

Friday, February 27, 2015

At Long Last - Overview Moderization

One of my pet peeves with the EVE UI has been the overview icons. I first brought it up in October of 2010 when I suggested a more refined ship icon classification system:

Then a few short months later in March of 2011 it seemed as if CCP was listening to me and we saw these icons on SISI for a short build:

Imagine my excitement! But alas, it did not remain and soon we were back to the horrible squares.

After three and a half years of waiting I got back on my soapbox and pleaded with CCP to do something with the overview:

I took to twitter to pester some devs and got this reply from CCP Arrow:

So there was hope! And at long last, CCP Arrow delivered in a Dev blog yesterday title UI Modernization - Icon Strategy:
Fellow capsuleers,
EVE developers have been quite busy in the past few weeks working on gameplay features, which is good because that‘s what they are supposed to do! But concurrently, various members of these teams have also been working on a cross-disciplinary project called EVE UI Modernization.
Our latest efforts in this project is to deliver on a promise we identified as one of the principles of the EVE UI: a holistic icon strategy where we make all things in EVE that have a uniquely defined role, function or purpose have their own distinctive icon. This plan needs to be taken in steps because it covers pretty much everything in our client, from item icons to UI icons and will take time to fulfill. The long term goal is that in the foreseeable future we will no longer see the same item icon for two different modules or other things. For now however, we are starting with UI icons only and the first thing we want to tackle is icons displayed in the Overview and in-space environment.
What I was hoping for was a simply a rework of the ship icons to convey more information to a pilot at a glance. What CCP Arrow and his compatriots delivered was a conprehensive overhaul of how things appear in space. For example:

To say I was floored as well as extremely happy would be an understatement. I have some minor concerns about the ship icons and how easy it will be to distinguish them on the overview when all is said and done, but I like the direction and the desired outcome. 

I look forward to seeing it in game. Good work CCP Arrow!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Aideron Open Fleet This Sunday

I'm running an Aideron Open Fleet this Sunday night starting at ~8:15 PM EST (Monday at 0115 EVE Time), leaving from Fliet in Essence region. We can pick you up in Charmerout nearby if you're a High Sec carebear afraid to step into Low Sec. :)

We will be flying armour ship doctrines so feel free to join us in whatever you got! We also have Atrons to hand out to those in need.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Other

On my CSM 10 endorsement post, Gevlon commented:

"Gevlon 2:58 am

Every Goon is a "Goon First". Having an outside-acceptable candidate is just a scheme of the Goons to hijack non-Goon votes. In the council he'll represent Goons and Goons only."

There have been several members of recent CSMs from Goonswarm, including Mynnna, Sion Kumitomo, and The Mittani himself, representing in 3 of the past four councils. Never once have the words "he is only looking out for Goonswarm" been said by any other council member about any of those three. In fact, the exact opposite opinions have been stated by several people for each of them. For whatever their faults, the Goons love EVE and take their responsibilities for the CSM extremely seriously.

So when I look and see a candidate who happens to be endorsed by Goonswarm leadership, I assume that person is probably not a dummy nor a slacker; I don't preclude that possibility but going by previous examples I feel safe in my assumption.

Gevlon, however, assumes the worst of a candidate simply because of the alliance ticker and no amount of evidence can convince him otherwise.

You know, its a common human defense mechanism to turn people we don't agree with into The Other. It dehumanizes them, makes it easier to dismiss, disadvantage, and destroy when the chance arises. No one sane likes to hurt good people, but hurting The Other is OK; they're not like us, they're practically inhuman.

What's that called when someone judges a person based on preconceived notions of the group the person happens to be a part of? Right, prejudice. Stereo-typing is another name. Sure, goons have done a lot of things over the years that many find deplorable but so have many other groups in EVE, big and small. We as a community recognize that the game's structure and design allow for people to enact many of their darkest tendencies because we realize at the end of the day its a game, and as long as it remains on Tranquility then most things are allowed.

The CSM is bigger than the game  world it represents. Alliances don't run for CSM, people do. And I judge those people on their words and ideas out of the game, not by the ticker on the character in the game.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Ninveah CSM X Endorsements

Two years ago I wrote a post explaining what it takes for a CSM candidate to earn my endorsement and I think that post is still as relevant today as it was when I wrote it. Go give it a review, I'll wait.

Back? OK, now on to CSM X endorsements.

CSM 9 was a transitional council, going from twice yearly releases to 10 a year and there were some growing pains related to that in how the CSM works with CCP. CSM 10 is faced with the continued evolution of that paradigm as well as the daunting task of implementing a new sovereignty system that meets criteria that are vast and diverse, not to mention sometimes at odds with each other.

With all that in mind, here are my endorsements for CSM 10 voting.

1. Sugar Kyle

There is no doubt that Sugar has been a tour de force on CSM 9 representing not only all areas of low sec but also being an approachable and tireless council member for anyone in any area of space. She's also maintained constant community presence and reporting from summits through multiple media including her blog. On top of all that, she's intelligent, thoughtful, organized, and not afraid to speak up as required. She should be the number one vote for everyone; my only concern is burnout in a second term but she shows no signs of slowing down yet.

2. Mike Azariah

A lot of people have speculated on Mike's usefulness in CSM 9 but I still feel that the he provides a necessary "devil's advocate" to ideas and concepts from a perspective of high sec casual long time player. Its helpful in teams with people very focused on details and plans to have someone whose job it is to look at the whole thing from 50,000 feet and tell them how it looks like its going to go. An added plus is his two terms of experience of dealing with the CSM and CCP.

3. corbexx

I've put him high on my list based entirely on all the good things people who I respect have had to say about him and his efforts on CSM 9. Since he's a wormhole representative, I think his perspective on null sec changes will be valuable.

4. Endie

As I said in my podcast, Endie is another Goonswarm candidate that does not come across as Goon-first, unlike Sion Kumitomo. His postings under his blog and ideas about null sec sov align strongly with mine, and I like that he's very intelligent and communicates well.

5. Steve Ronuken

I knew of Fuzzy Steve in his 3rd party development efforts in the community and again people I respect have spoken highly of him for his efforts in CSM 9.

6. Ashterothi

I like Ash and I have no doubts he is a capable candidate, my concern is EVE overload and burn out on a single person with two podcasts and a new corp he's getting off the ground.

7. Psianh Auvyander 

Another blogger who writes cogently, I like that he's a mercenary and corp leader and will bring the paid-guns side of EVE back into the CSM.

8. Mandfred Sideous - Another candidate that is highly recommended by people I like, I had him higher in my endorsements list until I heard him on Crossing Zebras podcast where I felt a little disappointed. I understand that some people, like myself, are better at writing their thoughts rather than speaking them but I expected a more impressive showing at this point of the election cycle. That being said, from what I've read he is a null sec candidate with his head on his shoulders.

Don't ignore the vote! Do your part, vote early and often.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

10 Years, 2728 Posts, and No Clue...

So, ten years ago today I started this blog at Still using Blogger, but got my own domain now.

I was running a Warhammer 40K community forum and found myself often searching for things I had posted, thoughts on various topics or old battle reports. I decided to start a blog to consolidate my more substantial postings and eventually when I started playing EVE a year later it became the natural place to record my thoughts about that game. Eventually I stopped doing miniature wargaming and this blog became 99% EVE related. Hence why you're probably here.

A lot has changed in ten years. In 2005 I was childless, working as a database developer, and an avid 40K player (including Battlefleet Gothic and Epic 40K). Now I have three crazy kids, am a scrummaster for a team that develops in C#, Cassandra, Solr, and a host of other techs, and barely enough time to play anything once a week.

But I'm still blogging.

Sugar Kyle posted recently that someone told her that it must take a big ego to be a blogger. I disagree, it simply takes a willingness to write and share with others. I have no illusion that there are much better EVE players, FCs, industrialists than me out there. Hell, there are at least 5 bloggers I can name off the top of my head that are far better than me (I miss you, Roboblogger!) including the aforementioned Low Sec Lifestyle. I like writing, ruminating, sharing, and getting feedback. And this blog has helped me make connections and conversations that I would not have been able to without it.

Another handy thing about a long running blog is it acts like an amateur historian or time capsule. I can go to any month in the last ten years and see what was happening in my gaming life at that time, and for EVE posts remind myself of the way things used to be. Very handy when young turks start blogging or writing for EVE news sites and I can point out the same topics and discussions from before they even heard of the game.

Anyway, I wanted to mark the date. Ten years. Wow. According to Google's stats I've had 1,027,293 since May 2010 when they started keeping track.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Next Step, Stepping Up

My goal of 2014 was to become a Fleet Commander, comfortable in the role and competent enough to be trusted by corporation leadership and the line members to take a fleet out and not whelp it pointlessly (unless whelping was the point).

I feel that the year was a resounding success to the point where if I'm in a fleet and not the FC, I really really want to be. In control of all the ships, directing them to the next position, getting scouts to report from neighbouring systems, its all very addictive... FLY MY PRETTIES, FLY!
Rare image of Kirith FCing.

Surprisingly, I think that becoming an FC has increased my desire to lead and direct at work as well, leading me into a more architectural and design role rather than simply an awesome developer and scrumlord... er... scrummaster.

I'm a scrummaster, I scrummast.

But the question now is what is the next step for my Eve personal development? (Its sad I agonize more over this question than my next step for work development at my job.) I think my next goal is to raise my profile within the militia with the other core Galente corps and try to make a name and good reputation for myself such that I can be counted on to lead larger and more diversified fleets. This will require me stepping out of another comfort zone (that of approaching strangers and relative unknown quantities) but I feel I'm ready for that step.

I don't harbour any illusions I will be mentioned on the same level as some current excellent and well known GalMil FCs, but I want to be considered as an acceptable one outside of Aideron Robotics.

To that end, I'm planning a large open fleet sometime near the end of February or beginning of March. More details coming.

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