Saturday, October 24, 2009


Been a LOOONG time eh?

A lot has happened in my life, the totality of it could be described as a complete annihilation... a sundering of the basic structure of my existence. I've been rebuilding it little by little, and now I've come to the blogs.

I'm moving away from blogger and going to wordpress. I'm taking the advice I got all those months ago and creating specific blogs for each topic. will be my EVE blog. nothing up there at the moment but I hope to be posting a few times a week. I'll be going over my old fiction to fix it up, as well as continuing where I left off. will be my general geek blog. All that stuff that had and would have cluttered this blog will be there. will be a spiritualism blog, specifically my current journey into neo-paganism. Think of it as an online grimoire. will be my food blog. This one actually has a small staff of friends. Restaurant reviews, as well as recipes of our own. is my sex/relationships blog. Do I really need to explain this one?

Big plans for the future. Hope to see you around!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

CK's EVE Blog Banter #7: So Vast...

Welcome to the seventh installment of the EVE Blog Banter , the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux . The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed here . Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

This month's topic comes to us from yours truly, and I ask: "What 3 things haven't you done in EVE and why? Would you be willing to try one day? Why so? Why not?"


I've been playing EVE for about a year now, and looking back at my time so far, I find it hard to believe I've done so little. For instance... I'm still a PvP virgin, even though I'm in an an alliance with a long and strong tradition of it. Mostly, I've been mission-running and skill-training. That said, it'll be easier to mention three things that I PLAN on doing in the relatively near future. These are not the only things, but they are the first to come to mind.

1) Scanning: I have not once used the scanner, probes or anything connected to them. Hunting players, exploration... nada. I have guides that I have yet to read. I'm not sure what will be the pivotal moment I actually get around to this, but it will certainly be interesting. Will I finally check out wormholes? Will I try being a pirate for a day? Time will tell.

2) Mining to Production: Considering I have no skills trained for such endeavors, this may seem a little odd at first. Will I be training an alt? No. Will I start a second account? No. The fact is my wonderful life-partner is on this path and I'm just going to tag along for the ride. Watch over her, learn with her and probably play for her when she's not home. Everything from mining Veld to production of every tech level. Why have an alt when you have a wife! ;)

3) PvP: I want to learn it all. All scales, all types, all tactics. I don't care if my killboard looks like a monkey was in my pod, I want to experience it all, and perhaps, SOMEDAY... be good at it. I hope to be in a position next year to assist my brothers and sisters in the Ushra'Khan in the next alliance tournament, so I'm going to have to at least get the basics down FAST.

So... yeah... a lot to cover. Sad that some of these things conprise the experiences of the average player's first week or month. Oh well. The journey continues.




Monday, April 27, 2009

The Simple Truth Over Beer

((My version of my latest get-together with Roc. His version is HERE.))

I'd been keeping my eye on Roc Wieler for some time now, which hasn't been all that difficult. The Ushra'Khan have eyes and ears in many places. I felt responsible for him, in a way. I'd set him along a path of hardship. I knew he was more than capable of seeing his destiny through, but no man should bare the burden that awaits him alone.

Pride. It was a failing in him. A man of his accomplishments and talent could hardly be faulted for having pride, but pride turns to hubris so quickly that one often doesn't notice until it's too late. One needs people close to keep them grounded. So I made myself visible. He knew I was always available to him, but perhaps an offering of company would help. Turns out, it did.

We met in a shambling station in some backwater system that I can't recall the name of. I don't think either of us had ever been there before and I was dubious as to why he chose some out of the way location. Was he working nearby? In any case a quick check of a station map and a magtrain ride got us to The Gate. I've been in some sketchy joints before, but this one gave me pause. Still, Roc seemed intrigued.

We entered and took a booth. The waitress wasn't the most attractive, but being around the poor and ill so often, she was still a sight for sore eyes. I was surprised how kind Roc was to her. Usually people with his lifestyle (capsuleers mostly) don't take courtesy into account. The more I learned about Roc, the more I understood why he was on the path he was.

The last time Roc and I met, it was... well tense doesn't do it justice really. My life could have ended a few times over. This was different. I didn't have to check the other patrons and wonder who was with him because I doubt he would have acted like this in front of them. It was oddly genuine. Does that mean I put him at ease, or perhaps the opposite. In any case I knew that there was a lot on his mind and I'd give him time to open up on his own terms.

"It is good to see you again, Roc Wieler." I said. It was truly good to see him. I have to say that I admired him in many ways. His accomplishments and his prestige. I doubted I'd ever warrant such attention in my own life, but that's didn't bother me.

"Good to see you too." he responded. The tone told me a lot. There was a duality in it, an unease. I guess I did put him a little off his game. He probably considered me a unique factor. Something he could barely conventionally define, much less control. That in its own way was healthy. It forced growth.

"What troubles you my friend?" I asked. I use the word friend with total conviction. The line between associate and friend is very clear to me. Friendship is a bond. I could tell Roc was trying to lower his inner walls when the waitress came by with beer and asked us if we were ready to order. With Roc's shenanigans, I'd barely looked at the menu. Roc asked for some more time while I poured our beers. I enjoy pouring beer for some reason. Visually it's almost hypnotic.

Roc wasn't ready. Those walls were being stubborn, so I changed the subject and told him about what I've been up to. I shared tips for kandjal training, what life in the Ushra'Khan was like, seeking out and helping those who had fallen so far that society chooses to forget them. He seemed enthralled.

The waitress came by again asking about our orders. Again I'd neglected to look at the menu, but instead of sending her away again, I ordered the first thing my eyes found. The Gate Delight. After looking again, I was unable to find a description, and the waitress was already gone. I got the sensation I'd just made a huge mistake, but continued to weave tales for Roc's enjoyment. I could tell he was much more relaxed by the time our orders arrived.

The food was... well... the food was bad. Not as bad as the music though. Oddly enough, Roc seemed to be enjoying both. The beer was good though, and sometimes you need to appreciate the little things. Roc seemed to be really enjoying the tunes and even went so far as to hoot and holler and clap. I was so surprised that I just had to sit back and observe. Would anyone believe me if I told them this story? Probably not.

Eventually he spoke his true mind. "Why me?" he asked. That question pleased me. I'd asked myself that question many times in my life. It invites healthy introspection. I quickly answered my simply turning it around on him in the form of a reversed question. It's a dirty trick but it works. It was obvious he wanted me to give him an out, or at least a reason why he must feel this burden. People tend to focus on burdens they don't want or didn't choose to take on, thereby making the burden seem bigger and giving them an excuse for not thinking about the actual tasks at hand. This, I expected.

He asked if there were others who could do this instead of him. Ah, pride. Of course there were others. Shakor could install some puppet Sanmatar to take over for him, or I could do it all from behind the scenes. Neither would be perfect but both would be doable. The truth was that Roc was indeed perfect for the role, but should he fail we'd have to enact some sort of back-up.

I'd hurt him. Anyone in his position would be hurt. He suggested he could just do nothing. He said he could just walk away and leave me to my own devices.

There it was again. That same sense of primal threat that I picked-up on our first encounter. He was a master of body language. I was taller and bigger, but I was still younger and he'd seen a lot more combat that I have. I had to seemingly ignore it though. If I backed down I'd lose any chance of earning his trust. He's have to trust me if he was going to be the one we all needed him to be. I took another bite of my delight and chose my words carefully.

"It has never been about my needs, my friend. The question before you is this, Can you 'just do nothing' and be satisfied with that?" I said. I had to suppress an inward laugh. There was a time where I despised people who talked like me. People who compelled us to look within to find answers. To be true to ourselves and bare witness to the universe as it really was. Still, I may have let a small grin escape.

Suddenly, Roc excused himself from the table. Had I annoyed him so much that he felt the need to leave? I watched him as he left the table. In fact he moved away from the door and towards the waitress by the bar. I don't think he found her attractive or anything, but he needed an intermission in our heavy discussion in order to decompress. From what I could read from lips and body, he asked her to dance. They actually did before she disengaged and returned to her work. Roc returned to the table with an odd look of defeat on his face. Had he been turned down?

"No, I couldn't live with myself." he said in an exhale.

"I don't know how anyone could?" I answered, ignoring the most recent events for his sake. "How can you know there is a need, and that you could potentially fill that need, and still remain inactive?How can someone just sit back and do nothing but gripe about the state of affairs, but not put forward or act on solutions to the very things they detest? Bitching and moaning about it does nothing but drag other down to suffer in your self-inflicted wallowing of despair. Do something. Stand up. Be heard. Make a difference."

Damn, I thought to myself. I can be sorta inspiring when I talk like Vakor did to me.

It did the trick. The walls were down and he was being honest with himself. I started to see how lost he felt. This path was not just foreign to him, part of him was actively resisting it. I'd seen this so many times in my travels. So many Minmatar painted spirituality with the same brush as the Amarr. Hate one, hate the other.

"I don't know how to get to where I want to be." He said with a slight amount of defeat in his voice. This was good. Not that earth was fertile and could be tilled. I didn't need to say anything really. I gave him a look that told him the answers were within himself if he just looked mindfully. He was, and I think he found them.

After letting his inner eye search a bit I set my utensils down and gave the impression I was about to speak. "So help me, if you say the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, I'll punch you." he said. He really needed to lighten the mood and I had to call upon all my faculties in order to not laugh. I needed to keep control of the conversation in order to earn his respect.

In honesty, I didn't know what he should do. I barely knew what I should do. His path was just as treacherous and mysterious as my own. He felt alone, but sometimes I felt just as lost as he did. However unsure I was though, I couldn't let him see it. If I was going to help him, I needed to exude an aura of trust and confidence. He needed to believe that I knew what I was doing.

"Roc Wieler, your path is your own. It is not mine to dictate. You must make your own decisions, and live with the consequences of those choices. I do not know what is in store for you, and when my second sight gives me directions, it's always vague, often confusing, and open to interpretation. I simply try to offer what advice I may, but I will not live anyone's life for them. That is not my role. Excuse me, miss; I would like to pay for our fine meals please."

We parted ways soon after that on good terms. I think I managed to help, at least I hope I did. That night I meditated on his life and his future. It's a long road ahead.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Left 4 Dead is actually quite lively!

Yeah I know, lack of posting. I got a lot of bad shit going on right now. I'll still try and get more up here.

Anywho. A few months back I promised a good friend of mine that if he got a Xbox Live Gold subscription, I'd pick up Left 4 Dead within 24 hours of me being notified. He was enjoying Left 4 Dead offline quite a bit. A little less than 2 weeks ago he told me he had gotten a subscription, and was calling me to task. I'm not sure if I made the time limit, but nobody seemed to care.

I'm getting picky about my games these days. They really have to interest me or excel at something to make me spend my precious money and time on them. I followed Left 4 Dead's development, merely because it was in the news so often. That said, I didn't see what the fuss was about. I thought it was just another FPS. Now, I'm here to tell you that I was right, but that's not necessarily a bad thing in this case.

To make my first point, I'll reference the online play of other FPS games like Halo 3 and Gears of War 2. I love team combat, and I love a team that REALLY works together. I believe I've made that clear on many occasions in past posts. It adds an undefinable and precious quality that can't really be simulated. A bond. In Left 4 Dead, the primary mode of gameplay is team-based, and teamwork isn't just an advantage, it's mandatory. You either work as a team, or epic fail is in your future. The computer is pretty smart as well, which helps if you don't have people to play with.

The second point is an intuitive program called "The Director". Basically it's an A.I. program that monitors your stress levels, field of view and a few other factors to randomly generate events. Sounds simple, but the end result is a wild and unpredictable experience that really separates this game from its ilk.

The different kinds of rabid zombies with their specific audio queues, their massive numbers and the random nature of play that FORCES you to work and work well with your team. Achievements are also tuned to promote teamwork.

The story is more an homage to the zombie movie than anything else. You have four characters (a war vet, a black I.T. guy, a tattooed biker and a hottie college student who looks a lot like my fiance) going through four different familiar scenarios (an abandoned subway, an airport, a farm and the streets). They push the homage theme to the limit by running ending credits which display level stats at the end of each campaign.

If you haven't given it a shot, give the free demo a try. If you're looking for a good FPS to play with friends, this is certainly a great choice.


Saturday, April 4, 2009

CK's Blog Banter #6

Sadly for various reasons I was not able to participate in this blog banter, but I see no reason not to celebrate those that did.


Speed Fairy, The Hand of BoB
CrazyKinux's Musing, No where to go...
A Mule in EVE, Rolling to the Warzone
The Ralpha Dogs, Two Tales of Glory and Honor
One Man and his Spaceship, Times they are changing
OZ's House of the Evil Dead, Every betrayal contains a perfect moment, a coin stamped heads or tails with salvation on the other side
The Wandering Druid of Tranquility, Who the Hell are They?....
I am Keith Nielson, He Gave Up the Stars
Life in Low Sec, Six Degrees of Seperation
A Merry life and a Short One, Die Bard
Roc's Ramblings, Mythology
Dense Veldspar, EVE Blog Banter #6
Letrange's EVE Blog, A toast to the disolution of BoB
Fumbling in Space, Scarnan Vs The Fleeing Bankrupt Hordes


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dollhouse... thus far.

Last night I finally managed to find a working torrent for the latest ep of Joss Whedon's Dollhouse.

For those of you who have been watching the show and quit because you didn't see the plot and premise going anywhere, this is the episode where your patience will be rewarded.

If you've been asking yourself what the show is trying to say, it's pretty much outlined here in a straightforward way. Given that such technology exists, many people will not be able to resist abusing the power to manipulate other people so completely and exactly. One "expert" in the ep even goes so far as to say that if the Dollhouse does exist, we as a species will cease to matter.

That's the premise, but how well is it executed? VERY well! I have to give major credit to Eliza Dushku (Echo/Caroline) for her ability to not only play a mindless doll in a entirely non-mindless way, but to play one or two new characters every episode and make the viewer feel that you've been playing that character for a whole season.

Tahmoh Penikett needs special mention in this ep. I loved him in BSG and I was really excited to see how he did in this outing. It wasn't really until now that I felt his character (FBI Agent Paul Ballard) had anything to offer. Now we know Paul has his own personal issues, isn't alone in his chase and doesn't have the backing of his peers.

Olivia Williams plays Adelle DeWitt, who runs the Dollhouse. I honestly can't tell if I like Adelle or not, but it's an extremely intriguing character and Olivia plays it very well. On the one hand she seems cold and calculating, but on the other she seems to have a heart which she's constantly trying to keep under lock and key for fear of it getting her killed. I'm anxious to see where she goes.

The whole show is about using people, and even the people doing the using are being used themselves. Perhaps in a broader sense, the show is about illusions of reality. People aren't just using and being used, but their purposefully placing illusions on themselves, mostly in order to survive the world they find themselves in.

All-in-all a great show. Slow start, but very much worth the build-up. It's the only show I'm keeping track of now that BSG is done. Since the show is still more-or-less in its infancy, there's little to speak of. The plot is freshly set and thee characters are established and moving. From here it gets interesting.


PS: The BSG full-impressions won't be along until I get the full-series blu-ray set.

Friday, March 20, 2009

BattleStar Galactica and the United Nations

A truly epic event. I felt I should post about it, especially considering in about 6 hours the final episode will be aired.




Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Impressions - Star Ocean: The Last Hope

Sorry about the lack of posts. RL and my other blog have consumed most of my time. I'll try to post here more.

I love JRPGs (Japanese Role-Playing Games). Been dying to get into another one since I finished .hack//G.U. I purchased the latest Star Ocean game for the Xbox360. I've just recently gotten to the second DVD, so I think I've covered enough to get the general idea of where the game is going. I'll cover this in a good vs. bad format.


- Real-time combat. Some of my favorite RPGs are departures from the turn-based format most commonly known from the Final Fantasy series. I have an appreciation for turn-based, but RT just has more kick to it.

- Length. I knew it would be a lengthy affair as the case contained 3 DVDs. This filled me with hope, since I hate short RPGs. I need to be consumed by the epic, and that can't be done properly in short amount of time. That's not a rule, but a pervasive observation.


- The Characters. As bland and cookie-cutter as they get. Not just that, but the script is horrible.

- Way too many cutscenes. I love cutscenes, but they have to be good. MGS4 was good, so it didn't bother me. .hack//G.U. had quite a few and they were awesome. These are long and quite boring.

- Graphical detail. This is a Square Enix game. I've seen what they're capable of and this would have been disappointing 5 years ago. bland designs, no detail and spotty movement. Total lack of commitment to quality. This is probably the most glaring and disappointing part of the game, and since there are so many long cutscenes, the player is subjected to sub-par work constantly.

- Verbose combat system. I like they RT aspect, but there's just too much here. Blindsides and bonus boards and chains and on and on. Less would have been more here.

All in all it seems like a game they put out just to have something on the market. Quantity well over quality, but the market seems to like it. It's not a horrible game and if you like JRPGs then you'll probably enjoy this to some extent.

At least it's something to keep my busy until Final Fantasy XIII comes out.


Monday, March 9, 2009

I Watched the Watchmen.

I bought 9 tickets for the Watchmen movie. Family, friends, etc... I don't expect to be paid back for any of them.

I'd just finished reading the book a week ago and was very skeptical as to if it would translate well to the screen. After all, almost everyone who has touched this film in the past has called it unfilmable before quitting. Early impressions by other geeks and cult experts put my mind at ease to some degree, but I still went in with a critical mind.


You can stop reading now if you want. I'll go on, but I seriously have nothing to say that has not already been said by thousands.

Seriously, on a scale from 1-10, Watchmen scores about an 86.

Other than director Zack Snyder (of 300 fame), there's really nobody in the credits that you'd easily recognize. That said, EVERYBODY puled their weight, right down to the cameos. I love that David Hayter (Solid Snake *squee*) helped wrote the screenplay.

One thing that struck me was the awesome soundtrack. I was not sure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised. My friend Kurtis and I were singing along to many of the tracks at an almost inaudible level. If they put out a CD I'll buy.

The movie was not perfect however. The ending was changed slightly by switching the alien threat hoax with Dr. Manhattan. I guess it was a smart move to keep things moving and simplify the situation. Still, I was hoping to see all the dead bodies in NYC. My mother was already cringing from all the blood and sex. She's not oblivious to such things, but the blood did turn her off a little.

I thought it was hilarious how many people took REALLY young children to see this. I was shocked by the number of pre-teens. That made the two sex-scenes extra funny. I'm sure one or two kids got the birds and the bees talk that night (side-note! I did a quick tally of how many of my friends ever got that talk, and NONE of them did! I didn't. Does anyone anymore?). People, check the ratings on movies before you give your kids cash to see them. I saw people complaining at customer services because of the level off sex and violence that they were "tricked" into exposing their kids to. Give me a break. I'll rant on this another day.

I see a lot of people asking why Rorschach had to die. The easiest way of answering that is asking yourself if he could have lived. The world changed, and someone like him would have had no place in it. In that regard Dr. Manhattan did him a favour, and I believe Rorschach knew it. I don't think any of them expected Rorschach to be a real threat to the hoax.

Favorite character = Nite Owl. Anyone who know me knows I'd connect with his character instantly. Always the dreamer and the idealist.


Friday, March 6, 2009

Weekend writing... hopefully.

You know I'm dead-on-arrival when I'm writing about mediocre weekend plans. Sorry.

Hope to get a good amount of writing done. I've been handed an opportunity for some good RPing by Roc and I have a little planning to do on that front. Also continuing work on some submissions I plan for ENN.

I need to work on another blog I'm running. Yes I've got another blog. It's a sex blog.

I need to set up Skype on my PC.

I may jump on Live for some mindless fragging if I feel the urge.

I want to see if any of my corpmates are in empire this weekend. Group mission-running is a great way to field-test ship setups.

My lady has taken a pause from learning skills to quickly get herself into a mining barge. AFK mining in Hulm isn't all that AFK if you have to dock every two minutes. Ever seen a barge with two basic miners? You will...

Next week is Apocrypha week! Finally get to find out if my comp will be able to run the premium lite client at all. Here's hoping. At minimum I'll be happy if I can just change my skills until I build my new comp in the fall. I don't want to be paying for a game I can't play. If I can't even do that I may have to take... extreme measures.

I may go see Watchmen this weekend.

Should probably hit the gym Saturday. May end up at Carl's place again playing MGS4.

I'm being forced to take some sort of vacation from my job. They say I need time to decompress after a year. I've decided to take a 4-day weekend at the end of the month. That's the weekend I'm taking my parents to the Toronto Wine and Cheese Show.

Weekend starts tonight with the next episode of Dollhouse and BattleStar Galactica (only 3 eps left!).

I'm expecting a call between now and Wednesday from a Master Corporal Willis regarding recruitment into the 32 Brigade Armoured Recon unit.

Those are the plans. We'll see how it goes.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Mind-Bomb! Issue #3

Since I've discovered Twitter, I've been doing this sort of thing there every morning as I go through my feeds. Check me out @PsycheDiver :)

It's the PS2's 9th birthday today. While some people think the Dreamcast is the best vintage system, I still think the PS2 is superior. The sheer scope of titles to choose from really trumps any system before it. If you want a gaming system on the cheap, this is a great idea.

Microsoft has dropped the subscription price for their Xbox Live Gold service for a limited time to $39.99 for 1 year. It's pure speculation, but I think MS is trying out a lower price point in an effort to find a new permanent price point. I doubt free is an option, but dropping the price is a great idea. There's a huge difference in upkeep costs between Live and PSN.

I love twitch gaming, and Unreal Tournament 3 is a must-buy for me when I get a PS3. The reason I'd rather having it for my PS3 over my 360 is because you can use a mouse/keyboard setup with a PS3 (which is vital in twitch gaming) and my comp can't run UT3 for graphical reasons. This Titan Pack may be delayed, but it still looks awesome.

I've been jumping on and off Fallout 3 lately. I'm in no real rush to finish it. I didn't even know there was a lighting issue, but now that they're fixing it, I'll have to give it a look.

So on March 16 in San Diego, it'll be Sony Online Entertainment Day. Yeah, I'm not sure why this is important either. What I'm wondering is if other cities will run with this idea. There are a lot of profitable studios in Montreal... could a Bioware Day be in our future?

The British Royal Air Force wants gamers to fly their UAVs. If I were a British citizen, I would be jumping on this QUICK. I wonder if the Canadian AF would be open to this idea...


Amazon is entering the used game business.
IMHO, Gamestop might have cause to worry. Amazon does one thing really really well... bulk. The have worldwide coverage and a shipping system that works very well. It's a name a lot of people trust and will use. You can get used games off Gamestop's website, but it's not pushed. There is an instant-gratification element with actually going into a store and grabbing a game right there, but I think a lot of people will be willing to wait if it means better selection at a similar price.

I don't like Leo DiCaprio. I think he's a great actor (I love The Aviator) but for some reason he pisses me off. There are a few actors that do that to me and I'm starting to really ask myself why. Maybe this movie will be the turning point for Leo and I.

One step closer to the Cyberbrain, and possibly a cure for chronic depression in the near future.

Is real life law copying an X-Men story, or is it the other way around? California's Proposition 8 concerning anti-gay-marriage and Proposition X are mirror-images of each other.

Has NASA become a failure? Without knowing the specifics of future plans and funding issues, I can't say for sure. What I will say is that even though NASA may go through some radical transformations in the future, their mandate to explore and experiment must always remain a priority to the government that funds it.

What would the holodeck be like if it was reimagined today? In a word, AWESOME.

Curing blindness with a bionic eye? Yeah, did that.

A lot of people are familiar with the Bacon Explosion. Some off us are even planning on making it this summer. Maybe not-so-amazingly, the guys who came up with the heart-attack-inducting log now have a book deal. Who knows if it'll sell.

Jon Stewart can do epic rants very well, but the great ranters of our society choose those rare topics that really light a fire in the belly of the nation. This is epic.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Worst 911 Usage Ever?

I was going to continue this little group project, but I'd like some more time to brainstorm and to allow for more people to contribute. Maybe I'll make it a Monday thing. Come one people, you can do this!

If you ever had to question if McPuke's food rotted you brain with the same brutal efficiency that it did your bowels, this shit should put that question to bed.

Latreasa Goodman, 27 from Florida called 911 (AN EMERGENCY SERVICE IN CASE YOU DON'T KNOW) three fraking times because her local McDonald's did not have Chicken McNuggets, and could not get her money back. She was offered something else from the menu, but she was steadfast in her steely resolve to die a slow chicken-byproduct-fueled death.

I'd like to focus on one specific point. She called 911 THREE (3) times. Even REAL emergencies don't abuse the system to that extent.




This "women" REALLY wants those nuggets eh?

Now, I'm a happy-go-lucky sorta guy. I let a lot slide in my day as such a skill is critical to the integrity of my sanity, but for the life of me I can't decide whether to laugh or cry or rage concerning this. I want to ask if people are REALLY this flatscan, but I know the answer, and it fills me with a despair that could swallow civilizations.

This is why I'm happy The Darwin Awards exists.

BAH! I need to laugh!


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Moving to the music of EVE (Brainstorm)

After listening to Roc's Bio I started to think how music can lend a lot of flavour to our EVE relationships. Personally I tend to make music videos in my head all the time by linking a song to a person or group or relationship. I thought I'd put some of those ideas out and see if I can get some community brainstorming going.

For instance...

Mynxee = Nancy Sinatra - These Boots Were Made For Walking.

I'm going to come up with a bunch tonight and post them tomorrow. Please contribute any ideas, half-ideas or even requests (like "Do something for the Goons" or "use this song").



Monday, March 2, 2009

Killzone 2 and dmy problem with FPS.

After a good workout and a burger with my friend Carl he told me he managed to rent a copy of Killzone 2, and that I should go over and check it out. It was an offer I could not refuse.

I play a lot of first-person shooter titles. I'm very familiar with the genre and I know what to expect and what to demand. Killzone 2 was not new territory.

Perhaps that is the problem.

Now, it's a great-looking game. The cinematic and production qualities were very high and I genuinely enjoyed the experience until I ran into a glitch. A door-opening NPC character went though a door and it closed before I could follow. I felt I'd gotten the gist of the game and went on to another title.

The fact that I was pleased with the title, yet turned down the opportunity to play longer was a red flag for me. The quality of this game SHOULD have had me playing longer, but I declined. During the long ride home, I think I came up with a reason why.

I play A LOT of FPS games. Perhaps I've reached a saturation point. Killzone 2 was a great game, but there was nothing truly original about it. Perhaps I've come to a point where I need a dash of innovation to go with one of my favorite game genres.

It shouldn't be this way. I should be able to fully appreciate a game like Killzone 2.

Perhaps this is something akin to MMO burnout. If you're inundated with a certain game you could start to crave something else. It's conceivable that such an effect could extend to a whole genre.

Perhaps that's why I like Mass Effect and Gears of War so much. These titles are FPS-like but with key differences that change up the tried-and-true rhythms. Games like Halo, Killzone and Call of Duty are great, but rely on methods that have been used, reused and perhaps overused.

I'm having a similar problem with anime and manga. I can't seem to watch a show that plays on horribly over-used formulas. BUT I still appreciate cheesy mecha shows, shounens like Bleach, etc...

I think I should give Killzone 2 more of my time when I get the opportunity. Not for any sense of dedication to the genre or series. I need to find out if I'm getting picky, bored or jaded. The first one can be a good thing, the second one can be fixed easily, but the third one has me worried since it could keep me from enjoying quality titles.


Saturday, February 28, 2009

BS Angel's Blog Banter: My Lady and Gaming.

Welcome, welcome to Blog Banter, the monthly blogging extravaganza headed by bs angel! Blog Banter involves our cozy community of enthusiastic gaming bloggers, a common topic, and a week to post articles pertaining to said topic. The results are quite entertaining and can range from deeply insightful to ROFLMAO. Any questions about Blog Banter should be directed here. Check out other Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

And the topic is : Gaming with your significant other!

I game. I game a lot. When I first met my lady many years ago she led me to believe she was just as hardcore a gamer as I was, but since she was shy I didn't press the issue, instead taking her word for it.

Later, when we began living together, I realized the extent of her noobness. Her prowess extended to JRPGs, the Harvest Moon series and little else. This didn't bother me per-se, but I do believe it came to bother her. She saw how much enjoyment I took out of more varied and challenging games, as well as my inclusion into gaming culture and wanted more and more to be a part of it. I took the role of encourager, companion, trainer and opponent.

A few years now into her journey, she's made some progress. We play Castle Crashers on and off, she owns a PSP and is slowly growing her collection of games for it, and peeking over my shoulder to perhaps gleam some interesting in other titles.

She's tried FPS games but they don't seem to pull her interest enough for her to continue training. Every few months I get her to try again and see if the genre can put some hooks into her. She has started playing EVE-Online, which is arguably the most hardcore video games ever made. She watched me play for a little under a year before she allowed me to pull her in as well. She's just starting and I'm documenting her progress here on this blog.

We wanted to start playing D&D, but it's been impossible to find a group to play with. That search continues. We tried getting into CCGs with YuGiOh. I've been a Magic: The Gathering player since 4th Edition and was stoked to start playing something again, but games like that are so much better when you have more than one opponent to choose from. It got old and we didn't continue.

She still plays JRPGs, but so do I. Really looking forward to Final Fantasy XIII. Also need to get a copy of Star Ocean 4.

We talk about games often, watch each other play and play together when the opportunity presents itself.

Gaming, like life and love, is a journey. We continue together upon it.


Other participants!
Gaming with my wife, You could be doubling alone, Next Gen Killed Our Gaming Relationship, Forced Perspective, Playing With My Toys, From Gaming Geek to Heroes Freak, My Lady and Gaming, Gaming with your significant other, Gaming Together, Maybe?, Girl Gamers = Hawt, Gaming with my significant other, Move Over Hott Boy, I Want to Play, Valentine's Day is for Gamers, Frag the Girlfriend!!, 'Til Mongoose Do Us Part

Friday, February 27, 2009

Certificates: Elite = 1337?

After Energy Management V finished I took a second to update my certificates. Last time I did it I had mostly standard and basic with a handful of improved. Now I have Core Capacitor at Elite.

It's my first elite cert, but I'm not sure if I feel any sense of accomplishment from it. I'm not really using them to plan my skills per se. I know what I need to do. It's cool to have them, but I'm not sure they had the effect CCP thought they would have. I wonder why that is...

QR has come and gone and Apocrypha is just around the corner, so I want to know what the long-term effects of certificates has been, especially from the players who are more than a year in (since we all know it's been helpful to the noobs).

Is it completely superfluous or can it be tweaked to be better? How would you tweak it?


Thursday, February 26, 2009

CK's Blog Banter #5: Everybody Needs Sombody.

Welcome to the fifth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed here. Check out other EVE Blog Banters.

This month's topic comes to us from Mynxee of Life in Low Sec. She asks "Alts and Metagaming: Is playing two accounts who are logged in at the same
time and work together (hauler/miner, explorer/combat associate, trade alts in trade hubs) a form of metagaming that is "ruining the game"?"

articles at the bottom of this post!

I'll start this one with a little music. The song seems appropriate to the issue.

Metagaming to me is not a good or bad issue. It's a fact of life in MMOs. There are constructive uses for metagaming and others that tend to ruin the game for others, but in EVE metagaming is condoned more readily than in other games in the interests of realism.

A hauler alt for your miner. Explorer alt for your combatant. Trade alts for your indy. RP alts for your RP primary. These are all pretty harmless and do nothing but help a player create the most basic of personal support structures. Having a corp and alliance to go to for backup is nice, but when everyone is busy or AFK, you still got stuff that needs doing and it's in your best interests to figure a way to do it yourself efficiently.

It's really espionage that pisses a lot of people off. However, if you look at subterfuge and counter-intelligence IRL and extend it into the EVE fiction, then it's a fair assumption that one could change their appearance and identity quite easily in New Eden. Having a clone to download into that looks completely different from your original body but has the same brain isn't that difficult a concept to grasp in the world of flying internet spaceships.

Nobody on the receiving end of clandestine intelligence tactics is ever pleased, but that doesn't make it any less realistic.

So to answer the direct question, no. I don't think metagaming is ruining EVE because it embraced by the fiction.

Further into the issue, when it comes to programs and tools outside of EVE and you're asking yourself if this is "hurtful" metagaming, ask yourself if such a tool would not be available to an actual capsuleer. EVEMon, EFT, forums and killboards, etc... It's easy to see how such services would be at the ready for the capsuleer community just as it's at our disposal as gamers.




Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My life in EVE - Part 23.

Truth be told, I haven't had much time to log on for anything but changing skills. I hope to change that soon, but I'll have to see.

Energy Management V finishes today after a fair amount juggling. It's a minor milestone for me. Next I have to do some serious work on my shield skills.

I dropped in on my corpmates last night as a friendly check-in. They were happy to see me and I them. We did some catching up on RL and IG issues. I didn't have much time but I'm getting the feeling COGN is being retasked internally for something more than just the same old combat duties. More on this later.

My lady is still in Hulm mining Veld and Scor in her Burst. Other than a small amount of juggling she's remained focused on her learning skills. She's got one more rank 1 skill to get from IV to V and then she can start on the higher ranked learning skills.

She has yet to get over her fear of venturing into less-secure space. That'll pass in time.

She's looking forward to joining EVE-Uni.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mass Effect 2: Teh Teasing Begins.

Go HERE. Come back to my blog when you're done drooling.

I'll go over what we can gleam from this flash site point-by-point.

1) At some point, we see Sheperd "die".
2) We can expect a few returning characters. I'm also guessing we'll see a point in the game where the player takes direct control of characters other than Sheperd. They did this in KOTOR2.
3) The Geth are evolving. This could be due to adapting Reaver tech to themselves.
4) We may see a slightly improved graphics engine.
5) Cerberus will be a major antagonist.

Did I miss anything?

Other than the short teaser, we get to see two pieces of setting concept art, which looks great.

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you'll know that Mass Effect is probably my favorite non-EVE game of all time. I've been waiting some something to sink my teeth into for some time now, and now I can't wait for more!

If you have a 360 and have not played it, it's a pretty easy game to find and you get a great amount of replayability, especially for an RPG. It's unique in its execution and gorgeous in its presentation. What's more, you'll be able to transfer character data from the first game to the second, so anyone looking at getting into the series is best served grabbing the first game before 2010. Lastly, it's a planned trilogy, so investing in the story now gets you in on a well-constructed epic.

I was hoping for more DLC for the first game, but there are big indicators that there will be much more DLC for the sequel.

PC players have Mass Effect as well, and I'm betting on a simultaneous release for the 360 and PC this time around. Also, don't rule out a PS3 version at some point.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Death Tank: Like Worms but faster.

I downloaded the trial for Death Tank, merely on the fact that I've seen some people talking about it. I didn't actually learn anything about the game, but the fact that the community was talking about it got my interested.

I've played Worms before on several platforms and through several iterations, the latest one being on the Nintendo DS. I liked it as a simple, time-based source of fun. There's something to be said about the causal fun of a time-based game.

This is like Worms... sorta.

Death Tank is not casual, in fact is seems to make every effort to make your playtime as frantic as possible. That's not a gripe, but an observation. It's real-time, and with up to 8 players in tanks on the field it gets pretty insane. What's more, after about 1 minute a random bombardment from above begins, blowing away those unlucky enough to have lasted that long until there's one left.

There's a money system which allows you to rack up cash for kills to buy upgrades and weapons over the course of 20 matches. There's not a huge amount of available items, but I guess there could be more on the way at some future date.

It's fun, but I think the price of the full game (1200 points) is a little steep. Give it a shot with the demo and tell me what you think.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Watchmen Movie Predictions.

I'm almost done the graphic novel, and after watching every trailer and checking every ad and pic, I'm still not entirely sure the story will fully translate to the big screen.

Now let me be fair, it looks AWESOME and as far as I can tell the acting is spot-on. The mood I get from the book and movie samples are very similar to each other. My problem is two-fold.

1) Time. The graphic novel is long, and even if you cut away the pirate stuff and some other small side-stories, it's an epic to be told. I'm not sure if a running time has been announced, but if it's shy of 2.5 hours, I don't think it can be done well. If you have a confirmed running time or just want to argue this point, go ahead.

2) Super saturation. Anyone who's read the book knows there's nothing super or heroic about these characters. It's a vigilante story with costumes. The problem is that it doesn't come off like that in the trailers. It comes off as another superhero flick, and we may be reaching a mainstream media saturation point with that genre. Marvel and DC are pumping out movies as quickly as possible, and Heroes is still going strong on the small screen. Will people just write The Watchmen off before seeing it? It all depends on initial reviews. If the point is made that this is NOT a superhero movie, than it may just attract movie-goers.

Let me know what you think.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Getting to know you...

Looks like I've hit a new high on the number of people following my blog. I'd like to send a huge thanks to those who read my trash.

The series of tubes we call the internet can be a cold place sometimes. Impersonal. Today I hope to change my little corner of it a little.

23 questions. To be perfectly honest, it's a meme I got from a blogging friend of mine. I figured it would be an interesting thing to try.

If you want to answer but don't want to stamp your name to it, feel free to comment anonymously.

1. Can you cook?
2. What was your dream growing up?
3. What talent do you wish you had?
4. Favorite place?
5. Favorite vegetable?
6. What was the last book you read?
7. What zodiac sign are you ?
8. Any Tattoos and/or Piercings?
9. Worst Habit?
10. Do we know each other outside of blogging?
11. What is your favorite sport?
12. Negative or Optimistic attitude?
13. What would you do if you were stuck in an elevator with me?
14. Worst thing to ever happen to you?
15. Tell me one weird fact about you:
16. Do you have any pets?
17. Do you know how to do the macarena?
18. What time is it where you are now?
19. Do you think clowns are cute or scary?
20. If you could change one thing about how you look, what would it be?
21. Would you be my crime partner or my conscience?
22. What color eyes do you have?
23. Ever been arrested?
24. Favorite fictional character of all time?
25. If you won $10,000 dollars today, what would you do with it?
26. If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
27. What’s your favorite hangout?
28. Do you believe in ghosts?
29. Favorite thing to do in your spare time?
30. Do you swear a lot?
31. Biggest pet peeve?
32. In one word, how would you describe yourself?
33. Will you repost this so I can fill it out and do the same for you?

Looking forward to your answers!


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Prano's Journey #6: Candlelight.

Gods, I need a shower...

Not surprising really. I just spent the last 5 hours crawling around the old construction and maintenance tunnels of this station. Why would I do that? No, I'm not trying to pick up some extra cash as an engineer. I was looking for someone. A family of someones in fact.

You see, I ended up stuck here in Frarn for a few days while my Maelstrom receives an overhaul of its dorsal shield emitters. The problem with flying a new ship design is that they're often pretty rough around the edges. The downside of that is you spend a lot of time in dock receiving multiple overhauls or "patches" as the crews call them. The upside is that the cost for any repairs that need to be done at the same time are covered by the companies involved with the patching. If you run the ship especially hard and gather a lot of useful flight data, they may actually pay you for it. I think they call that "beta testing". I wonder where they come up with these terms...

Anyways, I was in my quarters, meditating as I often do. I turned off all the lights and lit a raw wax candle I'd made. Yeah, I make candles. It's a hobby. So I'm meditating, and suddenly I feel this slight pull on my shoulders. My vision blurs for a second and I find that I'm not in my quarters anymore. I'm in a dark, tight space. It's very cold and I'm very hungry and tired. It's hard for me to perceive what's around me, but by the light of the candle I can see a Minmatar woman sleeping in the corner, and a young girl no more than 6 or 7 years old huddled close to her for warmth. As I sharpened my focus, I could tell I was looking through the eyes of a man close to death. So hungry...

Somewhere on this station there was a family of Minmatar who were at the end of their rope. I had to find them fast.

I threw on a thick work jumper and gathered some light gear I thought would be useful for a search and rescue. Rope, flashlight, first-aid kit, water, nutrition bars and an Omnivice that I could use for medical scanning and light mechanical work. I also brought my candle, in case I needed to attempt a reconnect and get my bearings. I could still sense what general direction they were in, but it was very vague and a space station has a lot of nooks and crannies to hide in.

I crawled around between structural layers for hours, whacking my head and limbs more times than I can remember. Stepping in and rubbing against sludge and residues that I'd rather not describe. This space was never meant to be livable or navigable, and it was quite a task actually finding my way in at all. The cold of the void and the thin air made exerting myself difficult to say the least.

Not surprisingly, I eventually found myself lost. I was stuck between two metal walls only a foot apart no light except for my flashlight. My connection to the man had almost disappeared, so I took out my candle, lit it and stood there holding it and focusing on the flame. It was far more difficult to find them a second time than I thought, and I figured that was due to the man being close to death. All I could detect was a faint echo, pleading for rescue. They would not last much longer, and I had to hurry.

Another hour in the dark before I laid my hand on a bulkhead. Every other surface was ice cold, but this one was slightly warmer. Either there was an active shield energy conduit behind here and I'd die in seconds from radiation, or there was a family about to die from starvation. My Omnivice was useless at this point on account of the refractory metals used in armour plating. It took every bit of strength I had left, but I managed to rip off the metal plate.

The candle in the middle of the 5x5x5 space was down to a nub. My violent arrival had awoken the woman and child, scaring them into hysterics. I managed to calm them down by offering food and water in Matarese. Oddly, the man had not moved since my arrival. He was sitting up against the wall but slightly slumped over. I shook him slightly, saying that it was time to go. He didn't respond. That's when I noticed how cold he was to the touch, just like the bulkheads in the tunnels. I checked for a pulse, but couldn't find one.

His last effort in life was call for help the only way he could. He prayed by the candlelight. It was a miracle that I was here to answer his plea. I just wish I had gotten to them sooner.

So, woman and child are getting expert medical attention for now. They can stay in my quarters and regain their strength until I can find a home and source of income for them. I had the body of the man retrieved and brought to my ship. I'll give him a proper burial in space when I can.

It's been a long day. Time for that shower.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Star Trek or EVE: As long as I get my green women.

Hahaha...Orion Slave Girls!

This topic is inspired by a post over at Dense Veldspar. I'm not trying to steal his thunder, but I want to expand on my thoughts fully.

So here we have two distinct views of the future. Star Trek is a utopia where most of humanity's ills have been solved and we collectively strive to better ourselves. EVE is a dystopia where many of humanity's vices are still intact.

I believe that our future lies somewhere in the middle.

Now, I'll say that I'm a firm believer in Roddenberry's dream. I say dream because it's an ultimate goal to aspire to. It does glaze over a few things, but so does EVE.

How does ST glaze over things? Eugenics and transhumanism for one. A growing movement today, it'll be a key component to any space-faring civilization, but ST dismisses eugenics as a path to war (obviously a remnant of the shows WWII roots) and transhumanism as an easy way to lose ones humanity.

How does EVE glaze over things? It's called the Drake Equation. Part of this equation is a sort of half-life for a civilization. Either it reaches the stars or destroys itself when it reaches a critical point (also called a singularity) where its technological advancement has made it possible to do one or the other. There is a small chance colonization can be achieved without certain key resolutions, but the chances decrease geometrically as the race matures. The only reason the races of EVE exist is because they are actually 4 civilizations, each of which is (mostly) unified.

Where do I think we'll go? I think we'll manage to shake most (not all) of our cultural vices, but a sense of unified achievement, identity and purpose will be the key to survival. A unified humanity would in essence relieve us of ills compounded by a lack of international cooperation. War, famine, disease, etc...

The idea that concepts commonly known as the deadly sins will be somehow erased from humanity is ridiculous. There will always be war, especially on smaller scales. There will always be greed. There will always be gluttony and pride and wrath. It's part of our nature. The trial is to overcome these vices as best we can for the common good of our civilization.

The key thing to remember is that it's not about reaching an impossible utopia. The dreamers of our race must always push the whole of humanity to strive for as close to that utopia as possible. We will stumble and make horrible mistakes, but we must continue to evolve and improve until the last of us are gone from this universe. We must never give up, because if we do, we are doomed.

Hope some of that makes sense. I could go on and on but I'm having a hard time writing today.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Review: Roc's Bio

We all know Colonel Roc Wieler. We know him from his ramblings and his Capsuleer project.

BUT! Did you know he's also a talented musical artist? Yeah, I'm kinda shocked as well. Shocked because the quality of his album, entitled "Bio" is a success in artistry that so often proves elusive to people to do this for a lucrative living.

Bio, as the name suggests, acts as a musical autobiography of Roc's RP life up to the present. His days as a young slave, participating in the Minmatar rebellion, becoming a capsuleer, joining the militia and seeking answers. Each track usually is only a minute or two long and is accompanied with a small blurb in the insert booklet explaining the track's RP inspiration.

I've written quite a few CD reviews in my past, but I've never felt the need to examine it on a track-by-track basis, until now. I wrote my thoughts and impressions as I listened to it.



Heavy guitar. Almost punk rock. I get the sense of Roc being literally forged in flames from mercury-like steel.

Path To Freedom.
Remember that CG cartoon Shadow Warriors? This reminds me of that shows opening. Inspiring a sense of nobility being called to arms in the face of unknown challenges ahead. Cool drum work. The second half of the track picks up a bit and adds choir vocals, reminding me of Halo.

Child of New Eden.

A voyage begun within the depths of space. More electronic work here then the first two. Different vocals here than Path To Freedom. These remind me of The Fifth Element's blue Diva lady. Very cool in a futuristic discovery sort of way.

The title track. Judging by the title, it's supposed to be about Roc's inner-self. The piano, brass and violin work among light electronic work and a slow tempo seem to depict a man of great pain and conviction. It almost has a Gaelic quality to it, which doesn't become apparent until the second half and actually it a little surprising, standing out sharply at first then coming together with the rest of the tune.


Liquid. I'm not sure if that makes any sense in an audio context, but I get the sense that I'm suspended within a tube of liquid, connected to machines. A large amount of the sound here has an electonica aspect to it.

Virgin Clone.
I get the sensation of preparing for battle. High-pitch brass work and deep drums. Varied choir work in the background, and a piano opening and closing the track. To be quite honest, I think this track and Capsuleer should trade titles.

Oh yeah, trippy. Odd sounds I can't begin to describe. Distortions on top of distortions. It's not a sense of incapacitation, rather a sense of hyper-reality, or hyper-stimulated senses. Slow, but exaggerating certain noise qualities that perhaps a normal human either can't sense or instinctually ignores. The longest track by more than a full minute, and I'm guessing that was on purpose.

Tribal drums. Dark. You get the sense you're in the middle of a desert near a campfire with warriors on a sacred hunt. The slight electronic element is interesting but to me doesn't quite fit as well as it should initially. The drums pick up the tempo two-thirds through. Warriors dancing?

Methodical anger and determination are what I get there. Electonica mixed half and half with tight, almost raspy drums. There's a sound of a hammer hitting an anvil, but I'm not sure where that fits in to the image here. Perhaps a ship being built?

Black Hole.

This is very different from the other tracks. Jazzy and slow. A sense of a cool club and bar set in blues and purples, filled with people dancing provocatively but in slow motion. Almost old-school jazz. Worthy of the Seatbelts.

Drums mixed at a medium-high tempo with a few violins and some vocals half way through. I get a sense of the world changing on the horizon.

War Declaration.
Majestic fleets slowly flying though space. Unimaginable destructive power and purpose. The strings are met with a deep throbbing drum and choir vocals with light electronic work to even out the edges.

Matar Colonel.

An army marching across a battlefield, led by a hero at the head of the formation. The troops gather their strength and pin their hopes on this man. Marching drums and high-pitch strings. Half-way through brass picks up but seems to come off melancholy for some reason. This track might be at home in a Jerry Bruckheimer movie.

Rise of The Republic.
The sense of a people rising up to wage war upon their oppressors. There's a sense of understood death here, as if the people will gladly throw themselves upon the swords of their enemies so that others may win the day. Fast tempo with sweeping brass and vocals. The drums here seem much more modern than the war drums in many of the other tracks. Again some electronic work to glue it together. Ends on a sorrowful note with a single violin and vocals.

Roc's Renegades.
A skilled team, tight-knit and defined in purpose. An electronic guitar is front-and-centre here. This really has a Bad Boys Jerry Bruckhiemer sounds to it.

What does the future hold of the Minmatar man forged in fire? That's what we ask ourselves here. Pretty much building on the first track with more layers. What's unique and quite surprising about this track is there are actual lyrics! Marcus, is that you? Dude, you can sing! Listening to this one can easily picture a music video featuring Roc and all the people intertwined in his story. This is easily my favorite track on the entire album.


The fusion of classical instruments and electronic effects creates a sense of new and old coming together together, symbolizing the basis of Minnmatar roleplaying. There are many layers here, but unlike most amateur works each layer is easy to focus on and is stark in its contribution to the piece. There are several uses of choir-like vocal melodies, but the last track is the only one with actual lyrics.

As word slowly spreads about this album, I hope it gets more play on the three main EVE radio stations. This is exactly the kind of musical quality that the EVE jukebox calls for. I'd recommend the buy, and if you like what you hear, email the EVE radio stations and tell them you want this to get more attention. If this is the genesis to an EVE original music movement, than it's one hell of a good start, and it should be supported.

This album is dedicated to Taniqua (Roc's beloved dog IRL) who was born January 13, 1998 and was taken from us far too early on April 24, 2008.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Prano's Journey #5: Naked.

The air was moist and the breeze hot on the beach. The sun beat down on Gigaer's naked body with an oppressive force. Exhaustion was beginning to set in and he felt his consciousness begin to give way.

All according to plan.

A planet on the outer edges of known space. Gigaer was probably the only sapient creature on the rock. The perfect place to isolate himself from everything he could in order to perform this specific and risky ritual.

He danced a deadly dance upon the blazing sand. Deadly because it involved the expert use of his kandjal. Deadly because this ritual lasted for days and required the participant to push himself beyond the breaking point, inducing a near-death experience.

For days now Gigaer felt something on the outer edges of his ethereal perceptions. Beyond the mist that blocked his view of eternity and protected his sanity, there was something looking back at him. This something was malicious to be sure, but he could not discern anything else. Such a sensation would not have normally prompted such a dangerous measure as the one he undertook now, but things were not so simple.

A message. One sent on an open channel and unencrypted. This was not truly out of the ordinary, until you take into account the sender. Eyes. Eyes was a man who didn't just live in the shadows of secrecy and subterfuge, no, Eyes WAS a shadow. As close to a non-entity as any human could be. The circumstances of the message put Gigaer on alert to be sure, but the content sent him into as close to a panic as he had been in years. It was only one word:


Eyes was surely dead, and that death was surely Gigaer's fault. Someone, or something, was hunting Gigaer, and somehow managed to get to Eyes.

Gigaer was not in the middle of nowhere to run. Running had never been an option. Eyes must have known that. The message was meant to warn Gigaer that he was being hunted and that evasion was key. Gigaer chose instead to hunt the hunter, and to that end needed information on his prey. Anyone who could outmaneuver Eyes would not exist to the rest of society, so searching any normal channels of data would be fruitless. Gigaer had to use extraordinary means.

Gigaer had grown much since the day he learned of his true heritage. At a height of 6 feet and 3 inches and a weight of 250 pounds, he was on par with the largest of Brutor. His constant training endowed him with dense muscles and low body fat that pulled his jet black skin taut, showing off every ripple and bulge. Due to his clan's history of inter-tribe relationships, his facial features took on the more expressive features of the Starkmanir. His eyes were a solid green that seemed to exude willpower, and his hair was ashen white (a rare Minmatar trait that he guessed hearkened back to a Krusual relative) which he wore in a large mane of dreads that extended down to the small of his back and were held together with thick crimson rope. Gigaer had undergone the Voluval when he was with the Elders, yet his tattoos covered his entire body, unlike most Minmatar whose markings were found only on the face and shoulder. A Prano's tattoos served a unique purpose, in which they would enhance the connection to the vital universal energies that the clan tapped in to.

Gigaer's body ceased to sweat some time ago and Gigaer had to fight to remain awake and upright. Before he began this ritual, he ingested a Matari plant known for its minor hallucinogenic effects. This would aid him on his quest for answers and help him pierce the veil between him and the universe for an infinitesimal moment. It was dangerous, but Gigaer saw it as the only way to proceed.

Gigaer has lost count of how many times he had gone through the specific series of kandjal forms, which was half dance and half fighting style. The repetition of these specific forms was meant to focus the mind on the task of seeking answers in the void.

Slowly Gigaer's perception pulled inward until the universe was only the whistle of his kandjal blade and the war drum-like thumping of his heart.









The sounds danced with each other inside his head until they coalesced into a single point of life. Gigaer existed as this speck of will and dashed along the border between nowhere and everywhere. There, for the first time, as he stared into eternity's swirling vortex of past and future, something was looking back at him... something human.

Gigaer opened his eyes. It was night and the stars above him were out. He guessed he had been unconscious for a few hours. Local scavengers had begun to approach, but scurried off and flew away once Gigaer managed to move again. his naked body lay sprawled out facing up. His kandjal was stuck in the sand a few feet away, where it must have flown the moment he lost consciousness and his grip on the weapon.

A few metres away lay a vast ocean. Before Gigaer would trek back to his Claw interceptor, he would take a dip in the cool waters and plan his next step.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My life in EVE - Part 22.

Energy Management V is a long skill to train...

Funny noobness from the little lady. I'm reading and she's mining, and she calls me over in a slight panic with, "Honey, something's trying to eat my ship!" which makes a big "?" appear over my head. I run over and find that a mining drone graphic is somehow fused to her Burst and was blinking rapidly in and out of existence. Now, anyone who's taken a look at a mining drone will agree that they look slightly organic and more than slightly menacing. Obviously once I figured out what was going on I laughed, told her what was going on and said it would disappear at some point. I think docking did the trick. In any case, it was cute. These little doe eyes looking at me worried she's gonna lose her poor little ship. I tell you I could just eat her up sometimes.

Right now she's working up the cash to buy those higher-level learning skills, which cost about 4.5mill a piece. She's well on her way though. She's getting comfortable with the UI and once her learning skills are in line she'll be joining EVE-Uni.

Quick question: anyone know a really easy way to calculate ore sales vs. refined material yield sales for someone who wants to evade the math? I'd set up a spreadsheet for her but I'm shit with Excel. Help plz!

Not finding a lot of time to log on, which is fine since I'm trying to get some writing done. Now that the tourney is done, I should be able to get really rolling.

Will be giving Roc's Bio my full attention this weekend. It will be a track-by-track impressions/streams-o-thought post on Monday. Usually I wouldn't do that for a CD review (which I used to write very often in my semi-pro writing days), but there's something special about this one. Don't expect me to be all fanboy about it though. I'm hard on Roc because I know he demands excellence from himself, so I'd be doing him a diservice if I just gushed.

Weeknight gaming time has been cut back since I've started going to a gym. Oh, right, that was the big announcement. I got a gym membership and I'll be going 4-5 times a week. The plan is to get in good enough shape to get through Reserves bootcamp this summer, which will put me on the right physical path to becoming a cop. I get an assessment every 8 weeks, and I'll be posting my accomplishments here. Had my first one last night, but I won't tell you how I did because I think my crapness was just a case of not working out in a decade. Things are looking very good so far though.

Gonna try for a fiction piece tomorrow. I want to outline what Gigaer actually looks like. Trying to think of an interesting way of doing it. Will probably write it tonight so I can get a woman's POV (the wife) since I want Gigaer to come off as more than a little attractive.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My Thoughts on Apocrypha.

First, it's interesting to not the source of the word Apocrypha. CCP obviously is trying to play of the mysterious nature of the wormholes and Sleepers.

My thoughts, item by item. And no, I have not gotten on to Sisi to try some of this stuff out. I barely have time to play on TQ.

T3: Hell, I'm still trying to get skills for T2! Seriously though, I'm really happy with everything I've read and seen on this so far. A system providing more customization is always a welcome improvement in any MMO, and EVE has been lacking it on a visual level. Players like to fly bling, but customizable bling is exponentially better the more you can trick it out. It'll be quite some time before I can actually get one of these things for myself. I'm wondering if someone will come up with a program where you can not just build and fit them (like EFT), but also see what they look like. I also expect them to be super-expensive for some time, so that's another barrier for me at the moment. I like the fact that you can lose specific skill points if destroyed and there are penalties for disassembling the ship.

: I'm just beginning to get skills in place for exploration, so I'm glad This came around when it did. I doubt I'll be getting much use out of them unless the U'K or COGNet start scanning these things down as a group. No way I'm doing it solo.

Epic Missions
: I'm looking forward to this most of all. I'm primarily a mission-runner and adding a "choose your own adventure" aspect to vast combinations of missions should keep me talking to agents for the foreseeable future.

NPC A.I.: I might be worried about this one most of all. I know this only applies to the Sleepers for now, but eventually it'll be all NPCs, so the discussion is valid since feedback is critical. Don't get me wrong, I like the fact that they'll be smarter and the difference between PvE and PvP will slowly fade. My issue is the risk/reward balance. If they make any run-of-the-mill NPC too difficult while not boosting bounties and loot values properly, I predict a dramatic drop in mission-running across New Eden. If not done correctly, Missions will no longer be a viable source of solo income and players will have to look at other options. That said, I have faith in CCP and their ability to do this right. Expect to hear more about this from me in the future.

Skill Training: I've mentioned this before. I'll get some good use out of it, but the wife will really love this, since she's just starting. There have been some people complaining about the 24-hour limit, but to me it honestly makes sense. CCP wants people playing, not setting skills to train for a month and then taking off to play something else. True, it wouldn't be widespread, but to CCP it must be a concern. Maybe down the road they'll extend it, but for now anything is good.

Attribute Reallocation: Wow. Am I ever happy that I trained my charisma up for no apparent reason. Once this comes into effect, I'll just allocate it to Willpower or Perception. Making attributes fluid to a small degree will further help people cut down on skill-training time.

Box: I'm really hoping this works out for CCP. Advertising will be important, and we've heard little in that regard. I've always wondered what EVE would be like if it had the kind of subscription numbers were in the millions, instead of the hundreds of thousands.

UI Improvements: The only one I've heard of or seen was a new fitting window. It's OK, I guess. I'll have to try it out first.

EVElopedia: It's growing... slowly. Watching the World Domination presentation from Fanfest '08, they seemed to give the impression that there was a LOT more on the horizon. IMHO, they need to start pushing it more.

Effects: This will complete the Trinity graphical update, and I'm really looking forward to seeing it in it's full glory. The next alliance tourney will be a very different beast visually. Planet maps are nice, but I'm waiting for actual interaction.

Goodbye Classic: This... scares me. I'm relatively sure my comp can run the Premium Lite client, but I won't know for sure until it is released. If I can't, I'll have no way to access EVE until I can build my new comp, which will not be for a few months. I fully understand why CCP is doing this. I just hope I don't get screwed.

I think that's it. Those are my thoughts, for whatever they're worth.


Monday, February 9, 2009

6th Alliance Tournament: Recap and Lessons.

Before I get to the topic at hand, a little history lesson. 26 years ago today, the wonderful couple of Mario and Patrizia Paniccia gave birth to a baby boy. They named him Giancarlo. He was healthy, didn't cry too much, slept a lot and was full of potential. They didn't have a lot of money, but a lot of love, determination and a supportive family with good values. They were the best parents Giancarlo could ever ask for. They both deserve a fraking chest-full of medals for putting up with that brat. So, if you wish to comment, please don't wish me a happy birthday. Instead, praise my parents for their saint-like patience and superhuman resolve. I'll be sure they read it.

Now, on to the Tourney.

Obviously I called the finals wrong, but to be honest it really could have gone either way. Both teams had what it took to win it, but only won could be crowned champ. Pandemic Legion are enemies of the U'K at present, but I'm sure my entire alliance congratulates them on a much-deserved win. As for R.U.R., I'm sure they'll be getting a pretty big boost in recruitment.

I made picks for every round, which you can see in posts I made on the weekend. I think I got about 50/50 between right and wrong calls, which I think is pretty good considering my relative noobness. There were so many great matches, I hope CCP and EON see fit to put out a DVD.

The entire tourney was a huge thrill to watch, and I learned quite a bit. For instance, I learned:

- I can't afford to avoid flying Amarr ships because of my RPing. I'll just have to work it in.
- Fleet Stabbers and Command Ships are better than I thought they were.
- A smart pilot can really make amazing use of sentry drones.
- Drakes are not as good as I thought they were.
- FoF missiles are tricky, but useful.
- The Abaddon looks like a Battlestar. I want.
- Sensor boosting and Marauders are a match made in heaven.
- Stevie is hawt.
- Every ship has a drone bay. Every pilot should make use of it.
- A good FC is worth more than his or her ship's mass in Mercoxit.
- Screaming at the screen will not turn a match in your team's favour.
- A cool head is a pilot's best asset.
- CCP Soundwave says "Um" and "Uh" a lot, but is a great host.
- Hero-tanking needs a guide.
- A ship can be too fast.
- Smartbombs are great for anti-drone warfare, but misuse can kill pilots on your side.
- Tenacity, guile and thinking outside the box go a long way in small-gang warfare.
- The 8th Alliance Tournament is going to be awesome!

Huge kudos go to CCP, EVE TV commentators, all three EVE radio stations, all combatants, viewers/listeners and everyone online at the time EVE hit its new PCU of well over 51000. I'm looking forward to participating in next year's U'K tourney effort.


Sunday, February 8, 2009

6th Alliance Tournament Semi Finals

Grid - Picks.

1st match: Neither team changed their setups from their last matches, and it was interesting to see who would last longer, the Navy Omens or the Nighthawks. The boundary violations in a match like this are crippling. Things were extremely close up until that point. Once that Nighthawk was lost to a violation, it was pretty much over. R.U.R. move on to the finals.

2nd match: That was the most chaotic tourney match I've ever seen, but not nearly as close as everyone thought it would be. I think Evoke's big mistake was to focus on the Claymore first. That initial time could have been better used by going after the Sleipnir which would remove a nice chunk of DPS from Pandemic.

My pick to WIN the 6th Alliance Tournament is ***R.U.R.***

I'll post about the final match tomorrow. Hopefully the Youtube video will be up.


6th Alliance Tournament Quarter Finals.



I got myself and the wife logged in to help with a new PCU.

1st match: This was a great showcase for Ruptures and Navy Omens. The Omens using a nos-based strat really worked well and kept those ships charged and in the fight, while crippling the opposition just enough to get the edge. Not much surprising here as R.U.R. wins convincingly.

2nd match: This match is an interesting study in how to use and support Ishkurs properly. I have no idea why the Aries was there. G00DFELLAS did a great job focusing on and taking out those Sleipnirs quickly. It may be a good idea to mix Command Ships instead of bringing 5 of the same class.

3rd match: I can understand bringing the Domis again, but why keep the Vigils? Making the Navy Omens priority targets was the right thing to do, but the Domis did not have the kind of DPS necessary to take out enough ship quickly enough to turn the fight in their favour. No surprise the Fleet Stabbers survived as well as they could. The Vigil laser-tag while the Fleet Stabbers salvage and loot was kinda funny. In the end we got a self-destruct from a Vigil, earning Agony 150mil isk for noob training. Is it me, or does an Abaddon look like a Battlestar...

4th match: OK, I was wrong about Marauders. They can work in this format. The whole thing happened so fast and so odd. There was the bait Curse with the drone tanking, and the shocking loss of both Sleipnirs while the Vulture buffs everyone's shields even further. Of all the quarter final matches I want to see on YouTube, I want to see this one first. Inspired work by Pandemic Legion.

Picks for the Semi Finals:

- R.U.R. over G00DFELLAS
- Pandemic Legion over Evoke