Monday, June 02, 2014

End of an Era

This past weekend an Era ended for the EVE Online blogging community as Ripard Teg ended his blogging at Jester's Trek in a post called No tank lasts forever:
Tank in EVE Online is a balance between buffer, resistance, and reps on one side, and damage and neuts on the other. Enemy ships rage at you, your native resists apply, and they slowly chew through buffer. Reps build buffer back up and make the process take longer. But the reps are usually at a disadvantage because they are few in number... and the attackers are many. And if there's a fundamental truth in EVE Online it's that if enough people want your ship dead, it will die, and all the reps in the world won't help.
No tank lasts forever. And today, I am shutting down Jester's Trek.
These has already been much digital ink from other bloggers spilled over the assertion in his goodbye post that "[o]ver that almost four years, the tenor of the game has changed remarkably... and not for the better" so I'm not going to wade into that pool1 but instead I'm going to provide some perspective since that seems to be my main function these days whilst surrounded by all these youngsters.

* * * * *

EVE blogs had been around for a long time but I count the official beginning of the EVE blogging community when Crazy Kinux started to pull the bloggers together into a single list at the beginning of 2007. From that point over the next couple of years blogging exploded into hundreds of individual blogs and things like Blog Packs and Blog Banters and websites like formed to tie the community together and help each other expand our readership.

And then, in January of 2011, Jester's Trek dropped into that community like a huge boulder dropped into a small pond. His blog would produce posts on mechanics, null sec politics, guides, philosophical questions, and more at a rate and depth that far exceeded anyone else.2 That's not to say that those topics and types of posts didn't happen before his arrival; quite the opposite in fact. And there were blogs that covered all the same types of posts as well, but Ripard did it at a rate and consistent quality that blew past all other contenders. He earned the nickname "Roboblogger" as a result.

The quality and quantity did not go unnoticed. Not only did the EVE blogosphere marvel as he developed his brand, players outside the community who never paid attention to blogs before bookmarked and subscribed to his feed. His influence grew and his shadow changed the environment around it. Look at the comments on his goodbye post and you will see person after person claim that his was the first and only blog they read as they started EVE. Despite only being a single blog of a style different from so many, for a generation of pilots he represented the EVE blogger archetype.

A lot of things have contributed over the years to the changing blogosphere; the rise of EVE News conglomerates, Podcasts, Twitch Streaming to name the big ones. But Jesters Trek was one of the first to shatter the tranquil surface of our little pond.

Of course, being such a standout over the years has painted a target on his chest. Since every topic in EVE has more opinions than players in the game, it is no surprise that when Ripard placed his opinions and analysis up for public consumption that he suffered an usually high number of slings and arrows from the hostile parts of his audience. Even if a silent majority agreed with his points and positions on issues, the comments could be overrun with angry disgreement and ad hominen attacks. As Jester's Trek became syndicated on the hostile audience would only grow more vocal. Sad as it is, people don't understand the concept of arguing a point even if you don't necessarily agree with it.

Now, to be honest I didn't always agree with everything that Ripard posted. But I appreciated that he rarely posted from the hip but rather put thought and research into everything with his name on it. He forced you to think on your opinions and positions when confronted with his posts. He was not afraid on controversy or being in the middle of a heated discussion. And I think he was an excellent CSM 8 member.

However, I can understand how being in the firing line of so many for so long can wear a person down. I'm glad he's still playing but the EVE blogging community has a big hole to fill in its ranks. Hopefully he can find some peace and quiet to enjoy this game away from the hustle and bustle of constant blogging.

Fly safe Roboblogger.

1 - Partially because I am not sure if I agree or disagree. :/

2 - Its worth noting that Jester's Trek did not cover all types of blog posts. For example, he almost never posted After Action Reports from his own PvP experiences.


  1. I have posted my feelings of sadness and loss elsewhere.

    The one thing I have not posted is the question of how he will stay away from blogging completely? How does one simply stop cold turkey pumping out so much quality AND quantity ?

  2. Yeah, he definitely had a target on his chest, if for no other reason than being popular and much-quoted. Sadly, that alone is enough to make some people hate you. I think the Jester-hate was simmering long before the E1 incident.

    What would you say to a weekly topic, perhaps on more technical subjects? We can't all be Jester, nor should we try, but I think with a topic to post about, more people in the blogging community would chip in on some content.

  3. Definitely a huge loss to the EVE community - as you say, his blog was remarkable in both quantity and quality.

    It's also a loss because we loss a voice for moderation... and in EVE, to call for moderation you need a certain amount of clout. His leaving won't help things :/

  4. Funny that i started to read EVE blogs at the time he started blogging, but i was an EVE player since 2005 or 2006. But his blog made me want to read EVE blogs in the first place. It's sad we lost him.:(