Wednesday, December 17, 2008

7 facts about me

There's a meme going around, almost like a cold or flu... everyone's getting it faster than you can say "geezwhatwilltheythinkofnext..."

You can find my facts over here: 14 facts about me.

Enjoy.  :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Into the future

It's taken me a long time to come to the decision I'm about to tell you, but I've ended up agreeing with myself that it will be the best thing I can do.

For quite a long time I was lost on a planet inhabited by dwarves, night elves, gnomes and all kinds of other odd creatures. It was a nightmare, and one which I'm yet to recover. For a year and a half I was there, trapped, unable to continue training the high-tech skills that my 2 and a half year old clone desperately needed.

Finally, when I escaped and managed to return to high-tech civilisation, I realised that my 2 and a half year old clone only had the skill points of a 1 year old. I thought to myself, what the heck! I'll make a go of it anyway.

However, over the past few months, I've come to realise that this has handicapped me in ways that I thought might happen, and which have turned out to be true.

The age of my clone, coupled with my career path, makes small children cry, grown adults run screaming inside their houses, and anti-pirates forming entire fleets to hunt me down.

The problem with this has been that I haven't been able to compete with the competition at my level of skills, and the competition has expected me to be much harder than I actually am. 

You should never bring a knife to a gun fight, and I'm often left feeling that all I have is a knife, while my enemies have heavy machine guns.

So I've decided to go undercover and start afresh. A new clone has been activated. Unlike me, this clone will be purely dedicated to combat, and will be working on all the skills needed to focus on being the best that they can be in ship-to-ship combat.  The mistakes that Black Claw has made during his life will help my new clone avoid them.

It wasn't an easy decision to make. It's like starting a new life, with all the trials and tribulations that will bring.

It was a bit of a shock sitting in the starter corp's chat channel, watching over a thousand people trying to get a word in.

I'll have to start my own corp, so I can silence their incredible noise.

You won't keep Black Claw silent though. He will continue writing articles, as that is what he enjoys. My new clone will also start their own blog shortly as well, continuing with an entirely new theme.  

A toast, if you will - to the future, and all its twists and turns.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The starbase exploit

Everyone's talking about the starbase exploit that's resulted in 4 years' worth of free minerals for a number of players, resulting in the banning of 70 or so accounts this week.

I see bloggers screaming for blood.

I don't need to mention names, because we're all friends.  But screaming about this is not going to change what happened; neither will screaming for the banning of all accounts and all corps and all alliances that are associated with those initial banned accounts.

With all due respect to all those screaming for something to be done, it's wasting your time and energy going on such verbal rampages.

So a number of people exploited the system and got banned for it...  This is a game, after all, and the game has rules. And everyone knows 'rules are meant to be broken'.  People will break the rules for as long as they can, if they think they can get away with it.

So you've been hard done by because you purchased items that were cheap(ish) as a result of this exploit being used, and now that the bug has been found, suddenly the market has to readjust and prices start increasing due to supply not meeting demand.

Big. Frackin'. Deal.

It's a game

You've enjoyed playing it, even if you were ignorant of various exploits occurring without your knowledge.

Damn, people... move on already!  Get some tissues, dry your eyes, build a bridge, and get the frack over it!

You have no choice but to adapt to circumstances.  Crying about it and screaming for hundreds, if not thousands, of accounts to be banned will not change the circumstances you're now in.

If you don't like the circumstances you're now in, quit.  But stop the damn crying, you're making me resent reading your blog posts and cluttering up my feed reader with them.

Seriously, it's all well and good to talk about this exploit in a matter of fact way, but calm the frack down!  You'll burst some blood vessels.

UPDATE: damn, I burst a blood vessel writing this...

Blogger Profiles #8 - Hallan Turrek

One of the things I enjoy about Hallan's blog is that he's a pirate - and a Star Trek fan. Just like me!  (Picard is the best captain, but DS9 is the best show!)  And I love reading the blogs of other pirates, 'cause you can learn from them as to how they engage in piracy. Whether you're a pirate too, or you want to avoid pirates, there's always something to learn.  Please enjoy.

PS. Don't forget to send me YOUR profile if you haven't already. The questions to answer are here. I look forward to hearing from you!

What is your character's name or handle?

I play by the name Hallan Turrek.

What is your blog's URL?

How long have you been blogging?

Almost two and a half months ago. Never really been into blogging before that. I started blogging when I started pirating.

What region of EVE do you mostly operate in?

I range from Metropolis to Heimatar. If I want to play solo, I'll hang out in Eifer/Gusandall. If I want to do group piracy, I'll hang out closer to Evati.

When did you start playing EVE?

July of his year.

What do you enjoy about EVE?

The pure expansive universe. The ability to do anything you want. PVP is alot of fun, but I like the fact that should I choose, I can just go shoot rocks all day. Just flying is inspirational to me.

What is your playstyle?

You might have to ask my corpmates about that. I've been told I'm a bit crazy or reckless. "Hard on my ships." I have 120 fits and 80 something rifters, most of which are in one station that I base out of. I like to use my ships like ammo. Alot of people will never realize this, but there is actual utility in a fleet situation to losing your ship. Almost none of what you accomplish couldn't be done better by keeping the ship, mind you, but then again you might not risk it in something tougher but more expensive. 

I like to distract people, I like to get people out of formation and looting my wrecks. Sic those ECM drones on me cause I was first in, forget the Hurricane. As I've said in my blog before, it's something of a motto for me: "It ain't suicide if you live." Oh, and more importantly, I kill things. I like the image for the gunslinger in the eve personality test, but a little secret: It pegged me as a carebear.

Do you play any other games?

Not much. I used to play Nationstates as Douria. I'm pretty sure my nation's gone now, but the resolutions I passed are still in effect. 

What do you blog about, and why?

I blog about my piracy and some short stories. I recently did a new feature called Karaoke Corner, where I rewrite lyrics to songs in a comedic eve related way. Why do I do any of it? It's fun, I get to flex my writing muscles and more importantly I get to refine my writing style.

What are your other interests?

Politics. Economics. As much as they can be interests for me. I'm a rather educated un-educated fellah, at least I like to thinks so. I really enjoy astrophysics, quantum physics and science in general. 

I'm a huge fan of sci-fi, Star Trek and Star Wars more than others. I'm not a trekkie or whatever you'd call a star wars fanatic, but I don't forget much about anything so you could probably peg me as one if I went off on a tangent as to how whinyness seems to run in the Skywalker family or why Sisko was the best captain. Actually lets not.

What advice do you have for EVE players who are struggling to stay motivated?

Do something crazy. Stop caring about whatever it is you hold dear and just go. Get a cheap ship and try some different things. Don't plan it, don't scheme, just do whatever you want. That's the beauty of the game, you can do whatever you want. Don't let artificial restraints hold you down, there's enough of that in the real world. Or you could join The Bastards. We're always having fun.

Anything else to offer?

For December I'm doing a marathon of 31 posts in 31 days, I hope to bring in traffic with that, but who knows. I'm trying to get installed into the eve blog pack as well, and I'd like your votes for that. One more thing: Happy Holidays.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

New blog on the scene

Jinarre's New Eden.

From Jinarre's blog:
So, welcome to New Eden as I see it, a new player. Eden is HUGE, and can be very hard to grasp in the first few days. So I will start with what I've learned in Eve so far.
All the best with your new adventure, and there certainly is plenty of resources to draw upon out here, as you've already found out.  Welcome to the Eve Blogosphere!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

What do you find frustrating?

One of our fellow bloggers has asked what we find frustrating: What is frustrating about Eve?. I thought about answering it with a comment on his post, but decided to instead make a post of my own about it.

Apart from the usual frustrations with lag, and blobbing (even though it's simply an element of the game, it's still frustrating!), I have something that frustrates me greatly right now.

When CCP released the 1.02 patch for Quantum Rising, they really screwed it up for Mac users. I don't know if it affects all Mac users or just some of them, but here's the problem we have.
  • Typing causes lag.
  • Not only does it cause lag, but letters keep getting dropped. Often. Do you know how frustrating it is to spend 2 mins on a 10-second sentence, simply because you have to keep backspacing to put in the letters that get dropped? FRAKKIN' FRUSTRATING!
  • If you enable Eve Voice the keyboard stops working. Completely. It simply will not work. If you tab out of the game, it works fine, but tab back into the game again, nothing. When you disable Eve Voice, the keyboard will work again - but drops more letters than usual.
  • Eve Voice does not work. At all. It just doesn't work any more since the patch.
Now, CCP have advised in the Mac forum they're aware of this bug. But do you think they're actually working to fix it? I don't think so.

This new patch coming out this week does not seem to address the issues for us Mac users, at least they don't actually specify that these Mac issues are being fixed. If the fix is there, I'll be happy. But if it's not, then I'll be even angrier than what I am.

All the talk CCP has about how wonderful the game is? Try being a Mac user, and you'll have a completely different perspective. And we don't even have Premium graphics, and there's apparently no plans at this stage to give us the Premium graphics either.

So if you have something that frustrates you, think of the Mac users. You've got nothing, baby. Don't even start with me.

Social Media for Eve Online (Part 2)

As part of my investigation into social media integration, I've added a few things to the site, including changing a bit of the site's design.
  • increased the width of the site's content
  • changed the header image to suit the new width
  • added Eve Blogger Twits, a RSS-generated output of Eve bloggers using Twitter. This updates the same way as the Eve Bloggers post updates
  • added subscription options by RSS and Email, to allow everyone to stay up to date with new posts whether they use RSS or email
  • turned the Tags into a Tag Cloud, making it look prettier and tidier
That's it for now, but there's still more coming!  

Monday, December 08, 2008

Social Media for Eve Online (Part 1)

Social media is all the craze these days, and if you're not involved, then you're behind the times. This is the same with the Eve blogging community. We're all blogging, and we're communicating on each other's blogs, and some of us are even using Twitter to keep in touch with each other and share comments and blog posts.

I'm in the process of setting up a few things to help make this more accessible to those who don't use it, so that they can follow those that do. You'll see what I mean soon enough.

I've added my own Twitter updates to my blog, just above the posts (so if you're reading this via RSS, go visit my blog so you can see it). It's only the 3 most recent updates, as I think that's enough.

The blue box in the sidebar ('Eve Blog Updates') shows recent blog updates using the RSS output of the Eve blogs from Google Reader. If you click on 'Read more' at the bottom of it, it will take you to my public share of all the blog updates. As I update the OPML file in Google Reader when new blogs come onboard, it will automatically update on my site as well.

There's more social media technology and implementations coming, so stay tuned!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

A Snapshot of Eve Online

I thought it would be a nice idea to do a weekly 'snapshot' of Eve Online. But not in screenshots. No, it will be a snapshot of the concerns that are being discussed on the Eve Online forums.

The rules of these snapshots are pretty simple:
  1. Only in the following categories: General Discussion, Warfare & Tactics, Crime and Punishment, and Features and Ideas. These categories, I believe, will be where the majority of interest and discussions about the game reside.
  2. Only those topics that are on the FIRST page of each category, and which are at least 3 or 4 pages long, will be included. This should reflect the lengthy discussions that are happening at the time. (I won't include stupid topics.)
  3. I will not include those discussions which have been made 'sticky'.
  4. I won't be exploring the discussions, but will instead list them and link to them. As I said, it's a 'snapshot', not an exploration. If you wish to see the discussions yourself, you can click on the links and see what is exciting people enough to discuss it.
If you have any suggestions as to what else you think should be included, please let me know in the Comments.

Let's begin with this week's snapshot.

General Discussion
Warfare & Tactics
Crime and Punishment
Features and Ideas
And there you have it. A snapshot of the main issues that people are discussing about Eve Online today. See you here next week!

Friday, December 05, 2008


Last night, I scanned down a Hulk sitting in a belt. The pilot was about 10 months old, and there were no other pilots in the system. I'd just come from another system, and that was dead too, so it was unlikely this guy was bait.

At first, I couldn't believe it.  It was as if someone had left me a treasure chest and it was unlocked. Surely there's a catch, right?

In local, the pilot said hello, and asked me who I was hunting. I stayed silent.

I warped into his belt at 0km, only to find the Hulk mining, 54km away.  Damn!  So I started moving my Ishkur towards him, but he was already aligning for warp. I target locked him, but before I could get within disruptor range, he warped out.

In my bio last week, I placed the following:
If you think I'm hunting you, you're probably right.

Pay me ISK, and I will leave you alone.
Pay me enough ISK, and I might even help you out.
Pay me nothing... well, you'll pay, one way or another.
So I said to the guy in local, "5 million ISK and I'll leave you alone."

A few seconds later, my wallet flashed. Surprised, I checked it. I mean, he got away - why would he be paying me after the fact?

He'd paid me 4.7 million, saying that was all he had.  Sure... But I accepted it.  What's 300k between hunter and prey?  Nothing.

So here I am, sitting back in my pod - at a safe spot - laughing to myself.  I'd just ransomed someone who had gotten away.

Sure, I had every intention of continuing to hunt them down, and I know they were paying me so I wouldn't - but I never expected it to work!

I engaged the pilot in conversation, and he was happy I was so friendly. (Ummm... I'd just ransomed you...)  I gave him some tips about mining in lowsec, and how to avoid this kind of thing happening again.

When my criminal timer faded away, I farewelled him and left the system.

I'll be using this more often. :)

If you're reading this and you see me in local, it's in your interests to pay me to move on. You'll be able to continue doing what you're doing without me harrassing you.  Sure, you'll have others to watch out for, but you won't have to worry about me for 24 hours.

The alternative, of course, is that I hunt you down and destroy your ship, which will cost you a lot more than what I cost. Or even if you get away, I will continue to hunt you and disrupt your operations, and cost you money through wasting your time.

So pay up. Everyone's happier as a result.  :)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Blogger Profiles #7 - Selenalore

I'm running short of Blogger Profiles, so I need your help. Please answer the questions here and then send them to me if you're an Eve Blogger, and not in the Eve Blog Pack. Thanks!

Today we have the lovely Selenalore! She's a carebear, but one of the nicest carebears I've met. (Anyone who's not into pvp is a carebear in my book ;) Please enjoy reading her profile.
What is your character's name or handle?

Selenalore (Michigan)

What is your blog's URL? - this is our corporation blog, and I've got one myself but I HARDLY EVER use it. I post mostly on The Ralpha Dog's Blog.

How long have you been blogging?

Since about October, and I'm really new at it. Not been doing it as long as Erbo has.

What region of EVE do you mostly operate in?

I hang mostly in the Metropolis, the only time I even venture out past this point is if I go with Erbo, only to guard his ass if he gets into an encounter. :)

We also got offices scattered all over the galaxy of Eve. More than I can count. Hehe

When did you start playing EVE?

August, so I'm still a baby IN a way :), but yet I was flying battle cruisers within a month :) That makes me sound like I've been playing it a long time, but nope :) hehe :)

What do you enjoy about EVE?

I enjoy everything that is about EVE, and it is a breath of fresh air from all the other things I do game wise :)

As Erbo says, "I LOVE to KILL", and I can be a menace if I wanted to, but I'm not going that far.

Erbo, the man in my life, is the hauler of our corp, I'm the security or guard dog (bitch) of the corp, while Lexx and Petros are like the miners, while with Kit and Zan, they both mine and haul, but kit also likes to do missions and Zan does with him from time to time.
I enjoy the missions that Erbo and I do, and if I really have to while training and waiting for him to come home from work during the week, I'll get on EVE and mine some, but I usually just get on to change training when my one training is done. EVE has a lot of possiblities that will be even more fun as they expand and grow.
What is your playstyle?

You know that's kind of strange, the EVE personality poll also called me an "Industrialist with teeth" also.

Yet I don't know if I'm the industrial type, now Erbo yes, but me, I'm more of the teeth I guess, I bite and don't let go until I'm satisfied. HEHE :)=
I might be in the carebear area, but lets put it this way, you fuck with me and the ralpha dogs and you'll find our bite far worse then our bark and will regret it. We fight when we need to and in missions, but as for actually fighting, it only happens when someone decides to steal or more from us and then it goes down. Our ships might be get destroyed in the process or the perpatrators, but we'll have the pleasure of showing that we are carebear with very sharp claws and teeth.

Do you play any other games?

Yes I do. I meet Erbo through Second Life(SL), and had been there for over a year, and all went well with us as you can tell :). I also play Pirates of the Caribbean Online(POTC) and I'm a sea bitch on a ship and at battles at sea, as well as killing bitch on land, I guess you can say it has helped me transition to being a space bitch that loves to kill :).
I also play the 360 as well as my birthday gift that Erbo got me recently over the weekend last week. That gift was a playstation 2, and I've got a number of games with it from golf to bullriding :). Yes I love playing the bull cause I get to buck off the cowboys and then run them over as well as the clowns or bullfighters before I go back to my pen in the back :).
I also play Shaiya from time to time but not to often, but that is also what got me into being a killer :) and loving to kill :). LMAO and before that, I use to be on Runescape :). So I've played a number of online games that has given me my lust for killing online :).

What do you blog about, and why?

I mostly from time to time blog on the Ralpha's webpage, and it usually deals with what we have been doing on EVE, with the missions and the mining and such. As Erbo says, it's still a new website and still needs to be worked on more, but we will eventually be up there with the other bloggers. :)
What are your other interests?

Well lets see, I love reading romance novels, watching movies, listening to music, play online, which is the one thing I do lots of. I also enjoy reading poems, going out to commune with nature, as in fishing and swimming and such, but that might take a lil while here since I just recently moved to Denver and winter is fast approaching us. I also enjoying playing my PS2 and just cuddle and snuggle with Erbo.
If I had a job and was working, I'd be working with data processing and word processing, since that is what I'm trained in real life, and from time to time, I'll have the need to write some stories or some poetry, but mostly it's to stay home and relax. Oh yeah and one other thing, Erbo doesn't always do the cooking, I do my share as well at times, umm when I feel like it *laughs to herself*.
Anyways there is a lot more I enjoy that would take forever to write about. :)

What advice do you have for EVE players who are struggling to stay motivated?

Umm as for this, all I can say is, don't give up, and keep going forward, hell everyone loses ships and such, but eventually you'll learn how to fly and protect yourself and get out when you know you've been beaten, but don't let that lower your head, just hold that head high, or as I say here pod high, and keep going forward and tell yourself, I'll get things right soon enough and I'll be back and when I come back I'll eventually blow you to space dust like you did me and when I do, I'll have the last laugh.
Also, just be strong and enjoy the game, cause geeze people it's only a game and not RL.

Anything else to offer?

Hmm...anything else aye....well lets see.....Not Really, just be safe and have fun and enjoy Eve and as well as RL. Sending shout outs to our friends and family out there on Eve and out in RL. :) Enjoy your time you are on EVE and let the good times roll and the bad ones will soon be limited to only a few :).

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

An interview with an anti-pirate

I've had an interview with a pirate before, and it's only fair to have an interview with an anti-pirate.

One of the most feared and respected pilots in Molden Heath (among pirates, that is) is a fellow called Debes Sparre, who flies with Electus Matari, an anti-pirate alliance.  

I've personally had the misfortune in meeting him in combat, and won't be doing that again in a hurry!  However, he's been following my blog, and we've had a bit of a chat, and the result? An interview!  

Thanks Debes!  
So Debes, how long have you been playing Eve?
9 days shy of my three year mark.  

Well, actually a few days less than that. I rerolled (and soon almost wished I hadn't!) before my 14 days were up. That character hardly counts, though.

And you've been an antipirate all that time?
No, I went pirate for a little over 3 months starting about a month in. I was sticking to frigates and between my low skills and the way my corp pirated (shoutout to V-H-I, you're all carebears!), it ended up not working out too well.  I actually pirated one or two of my alliancemates-to-be.

What are your future goals?  I mean, what do you want to achieve in your 'career'?
Skillwise, finish off all my remaining skills for minmatar T1 and T2 cruisers and frigates. Best estimate is that this will take me about two and a half years, before we put T3 into the picture.

In-game wise, I run a bar and I want to get that back up after it goiing to waste when I left eve for 6 months recently, as well as kicking pirates out of Molden Heath. Again.

And how do you run a bar? Is that a chat room in the game?
Yes. Sheasbar&grill, located in Istodard IX - M5 - RFAP. I have a full holo suite, so you can visit without being there, but don't expect to get drunk.

One question that's on my mind is, how do you make money? Do you get it from the pirate wrecks you loot, ratting, missions or trading?
I wish I made it from the pirate wrecks. You people are cheapskates. I make the majority of my money from ratting, though I do run the odd mission in Istodard so I can get RF ammo without market markup.

It's our job to make it hard for you, just like it's your job to make it hard for us.  But anyway, what is it that drives you to be an antipirate?
My character, as is for many people, a bit of a larger-than-life extension of me. It's just how it worked out, once I decided where to go with him. And that's just how I am. I have a bit of a history of getting into scraps so that someone else who can't deal with it as well can make it out.  I'm just too nice for my own good, in the end.

Do you prefer solo combat or fleet combat? And why?
I really actually prefer small gang work, though solo is fun too. Small gang work, especially if you can work with the same (good) group of people day in and day out is amazing.

And what is your favourite ship?
Muninn, though it's hard to pick. As I'm poor, I actually end up not flying it too much. Its' little brother the Rupture is easily my most flown ship, but I'm no stranger to the Jag or Wolf (or Rifter!). Never bought a Vaga, though, and my Stiletto and Hyena don't get too much work in low sec.

What would you say is the most rewarding part of your 'career'?
So far, watching Molden Heath pirates leave in droves back when I was in NMTZ, and coming back in EM to find out how few pirates are even there. Really feels like I helped do something, even if a look at the sov map doesn't tell you that.

Is there anything that sticks in your memory as one of the most enjoyable experiences you've had?
Most enjoyable experience... If I say anything I'll remember something later that was even beter. I can't say anything does.  Most memorable is likely arranging the tracking of every PIE wartarget back in the NMTZ days. Getting people to run traces every 15 minutes on the right people..crazy, but fun. We had some great intel considering how few covops pilots we had back then.

So what would you say to those people who want you dead because of your career choice?
Get in line.

Hehehe. So is there anything else you would like to add to those who will be reading this?
Come to Molden Heath!  I need pirates to blow up, and people to help me blow them up! Bait is useful too...

Well, thank you so much for your time Debes.  I appreciate it
No problem. Thanks for the chance to do the interview.