Blog Banter 14: Year in Review

Welcome to the fourteenth 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 to crazykinux@gmail.com. Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

The first banter of 2010 comes to us from the EVE Blog Father, CrazyKinux himself, who asks the following: As we begin another year in New Eden, ask yourselves “What Now?” What will I attempt next? What haven’t I done so far in EVE? Was it out fear, funds, or knowledge? Have I always wanted to start my own corporation, but have never dared doing so? Is there a fledging mercenary waiting to come out of its shell? Or maybe an Industrialist? What steps and objectives will I set myself to accomplish in order to reach my ultimate goal for this year? EVE is what you make of it. So, what is it going to be for you?

Before I explore my future in Eve Online, let me start by reviewing the past year. (Warning: Very long read!)

I first began playing Eve Online eleven months ago on February 3, 2009. Because I created my Eve Online account on a whim after reading about the Band of Brothers vaporization, I had no idea of what Eve really was and never intended to play beyond the trial. So after creating my character in less than five minutes, I logged in for the first time and was quite surprised when I did not find any mages casting spells (the inspiration behind my character’s name and portrait). Of course I quickly recovered from my initial shock and was proudly flying around a mighty Omen within two weeks (according to screenshots I took back then, it was fit with a shield booster, hull repairer, armor plates, small and medium lasers, and mining equipment). Then I ran into a player who helped me fit my ship better and quickly recruited me into his corporation, Amarrian Empire.

I was beginning to like Eve. So after long deliberation, I subscribed for a month. Soon I was flying a big bad Harbinger and running level 3 missions. At this point, I realized (painfully) that my total Eve possessions no longer fit into my cargo hold, so I set up base in Ekid (in Amarr space). My corp was highly active, and we had corp ops nearly every day (usually missioning). The majority of the other corp members were as new as I was, so in a way we grew up in Eve together. After a month, I was in an Apocalypse running level 4 Amarr Navy missions out of Mani. Completely enthralled by Eve, I decided to subscribe for longer.

Not too long after I had started running level 4 missions, my corp joined StarFleet Federation, a CVA-allied alliance. After my CEO, Zealot Hill, gave me my first tour of nullsec (Providence), I was happily ratting instead of missioning. It was at this time that my lust for PvP slowly began to emerge. Eager for a taste of “real PvP”, I quickly learned to use intel and jump bridges and shortly thereafter was x-ing up for every Proviblock fleet I could, whether it involved defending a POS or repelling invading red fleets.

But after two months in Amarrian Empire, many of the corp members and I were becoming dissatisfied. Not only was the alliance quite demanding, but our CEO was also implementing some policies we did not agree with. As a result, a large portion of us quit Amarrian Empire and joined Transdimensional Trading Company, essentially the same corporation under a different CEO.

Although Transdim was comprised mostly of people from Amarrian Empire, it had a completely different atmosphere. It was much more relaxed than Amarrian Empire, with very few corp activities. This lack of activity and focus was harmful for us newer players. Like the isolated cells in Conway’s Game of Life, most of the people I had started out with eventually quit playing (currently only one person still plays; all he does is switch skills). The rest of us, spread out over three empires, went about our own activities. Some missioned, some popped Sleepers, some mined, some traded, some manufactured. I killed.

My first real PvP was a Punisher vs. Punisher + Merlin fight on April 9, 2009 (I killed the Punisher; the Merlin ran away). I began hunting solo in Amarr and Minmatar lowsec, slowly building up PvP support skills (which I had never trained earlier due to not needing them for PvE or large nullsec blobs) as well as PvP confidence. I fought a small pirate corp (Matari Insurrection), and soon was flying with them. But I did not become a pirate. I needed highsec access for making ISK, so I adopted the “yarrbear” lifestyle. At the end of May 2009, I also started this blog, Yarrbear Tales, with an announcement that I hoped to someday be an “Evebrity”.

Today, nine months after leaving Amarrian Empire, I am still in Transdim. I mission (and sometimes PvP while doing so) and rat in nullsec to gain ISK and security status. Then I solo PvP and fly alongside pirate corps to lose that ISK and security status. Sometimes I do have identity crises and considering joining a pirate corp, but I have never actually taken the plunge. I have accomplished a lot in nearly a year of playing Eve:

Broad skill training. I have 15.1 million skill points now. I can fly every T1 ships in Eve, use all weapon types, and fly T2 Amarr frigates and T2 Amarr and Minmatar recons. Although this wide diversity of skills training means that I am not very good at flying any particular race, I do have personal experience with flying various ships and races now (EFT is good, but it cannot replace experience).

PvP status. I am ranked at 15,400 on BattleClinic. This is not as high as I wanted, but overall is not too shabby for someone who has to spend over 70% of his time ratting up sec status.

Lots of ISKies. After nearly hitting rock bottom a month ago, I have 40 ships (3 battleships, 5 battlecruisers, 2 recons, 10 cruisers, 4 destroyers, 5 frigates, 1 assault frigate, 1 interceptor, 4 stealth bombers, 1 covert ops, and 4 industrials) and 3.22 billion ISK in total assets (try missioning nonstop for a month until you have to take a two week Eve break to detoxify, and you will have that much ISK).

Complete EFT collection. I have finally finished creating at least one EFT fit for every ship in the game (except for a few industrials and mining ships). Eve crashes if I try to import them all at once.

“Evebrity” status. Yarrbear Tales has had 56 posts, 427 comments, and 369 spam comments (huzzah, real people are winning over bots!). Despite being quite new (7 months), it averages 500 hits per day and many more syndicated views (views from RSS feeds, etc). The two most read blog posts have been Piloting Savviness (which was featured on Massively) and the Punisher Guide. Yarrbear Tales is also a member of the Eve Blog Pack and appears in the Capsuleer iPhone app.

TweetFleet. A couple months ago, there were very few Eve Tweeters; today the TweetFleet is a thriving community.

So that has been my first year in Eve. Frankly, I do not know what the future holds for me, as I have tried various Eve occupations and yarrbearing seems to be the best for me. Here are some possible roles in Eve and my “completion status”:

Blogger. Obviously, I am a blogger. However, I do not post consistently, so I will have to work on that.

CEO. I have never been a CEO and am not interested in taking all that responsibility. Maybe a director, but not a CEO.

Courier. Jumping around space your entire life is one of the most boring things you can do. Even ship spinning entertains me more.

Industrialist. Once upon a time I made a Tormenter for a new player training mission. The Tormenter (and blueprint) is still sitting in its manufacturing station undelivered. Someday™ I will go pick it up and get into manufacturing/R&D.

Logistics. I do want a carrier/jump freighter some day, but without a second account I cannot spare the training time for skilling an alt to fly one.

Mercenary. The idea of fighting for pay is fascinating, but station games and neutral remote repping disgust me.

Miner. As mentioned earlier, I have used mining lasers at one point in my career (I even made a mining battleship). But I would sooner stop playing Eve than mine.

Missioner. I already do more of this than I would like. Hopefully I can gain ISK via other methods so I do not have to do this too much.

Ninja Salvager. I am good at probing (battleship in under 30 seconds) and have tried ninja salvaging for a week. But it seems like a horrible waste of time. If I am going to probe missioners, I might as well do it in lowsec so I can actually kill them (I already do this). And if I just wanted the ISK, I could mission.

Nullsec dweller. Huge blobs and horrible lag are not my idea of fun. Until CCP fixes Dominion lag, I will never try this.

Pirate. Being blinky (security status below -5) brings too many detriments. Not only can you not access highsec, but you also have an inherent PvP disadvantage on gates and stations.

Podcaster. It seems like too much work, especially since I am already blogging. However, I suppose I could be a guest on a podcast someday.

PvPer. Already am one. Currently I am starting to specialize my skill training on Minmatar ships.

Ratter. Already am one.

Role Player. A little bit is great, but too much gets annoying.

Trader. I know that people become disgustingly rich by doing this, but it is just so boring – “Market PvP” is nothing like the real thing. However, I will attempt to devote some time to this over the next year so I can stop missioning as much.

Wormhole Explorer. I spent nearly all my time in wormholes when Apocrypha first came out and even lived in a wormhole POS for a bit. The lack of reliable contact with known space frustrates me.

So overall I have no set goals for the future, aside from trading more, dipping into industry, and flying more specialized, skill-intensive ships (Vagabond!). 2009 has been a good year; may 2010 be even better!

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  1. Very nice recap! Sounds like you HAVE had a good year. Here’s hoping this one is as good! :)

  2. I vote that you blog more in 2010. You’re a good writer with an easy to read “voice” plus you’re funny. :) Good luck sorting out a focus for 2010 if that’s what you’re after. Sounds to me like you’re just enjoying the game as is and there is nothing wrong with that.

    But secretly, we all know you have the heart of a pirate!

    • OkamiKurai
    • January 13th, 2010

    Man, you haven’t even been playin a year??!! And here I was reading your guides like they were from some 4-year guru or something :-)

    I have been lurking for some time, but I always check in to read the blogs of you and Wensley. Honestly, both of your blogs keep me playing this game through the frustrations of being a noob (hoping that I will be able to fly like you guys soon…..hell I am even adapting a lifestyle similar to yours right now because as much as I want to PvP, I can’t keep flippin PLEX to support different endeavors). And let’s be real, we have ALL been there for at least a little bit.

    I think you have accomplished a lot in that time and are definitely working up that EVE celeb status.

    Whatever you do, keep up the great posts on your blog. I will still be needing the motivation and education this year…..

  3. It seems like you make goals and you actually accomplish them. Not bad.

    And gratz on your blog Evebrity status. You are popular because – you’re good. You’re good – because you are popular! hee hee.

    Good luck with 2010!

    • OkamiKurai
    • January 14th, 2010

    Oh yeah…..and just like Mynxee said we all know you’re a pirate – YOU just don’t know it yet.

    I would say that will be the one thing that changes in 2010 for you – that you finally give up the bear (for the most part) for the yarr.

    Mark my words ^_^

  4. I think you should pirate more. The -5, blinky status is an issue but many of us (pirates at The Bastards) use it to our advantage: you’re almost always guaranteed a fight.

    Sure, you don’t get help from the gate guns and such but bah, you should have enough firepower / tank to take ’em all on!

  5. Hey Sage, dunno if you remember me. We met in Gyerzen once or twice, you helped me with a mission.

    I was saving up LP for one of those new Slicers I eventually got it. If I want to pvp with it, what’s a good fit?

    • Of course I remember you. :P

      I haven’t used a Slicer very much; you should talk to Arrhidaeus instead. He flies Slicers quite frequently.

  6. Congrats on the success of Yarrbear Tales! Mynxee’s right, you’ve got a great writing voice and its always a pleasure to read your newest posts. As for your forays into ninja salvaging (I know…I know, but I feel *compelled* to make a comment concerning it): give it another shot! I understand that the way of the ninja does not come readily to all (Snake Eyes, Chris Farley, and Sean Connery in “You Only Live Twice” being the clear and obvious exceptions), but I guarantee, once you’ve tasted the sweet sweet mana that we like to call “Bear Tears”, you’ll never go back.

    Keep up the great work.

    -Aiden

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