30 January 2011

Freedom of the Press

The recent drama in 0.0 has given rise to much in-game conflict.  Seemingly more ferocious, however, is the fight regarding the reporting of the conflict.

For new, hi-sec players like myself, null-sec politics is a rather mysterious affair.  All of the regions meld together, the different alliances (for the most part) don't seem that different, and the systems all have indistinguishable names.  There are only a few ways to find out what goes down in 0.0:
  • Have a friend who lives there and can give you the inside scoop.  This method can be biased and is hobbled by Operation Security.
  • Read the blog of a pilot who flies out there.  Again, maybe biased and censored.
  • Read the CAOD forum.  Oftentimes makes no sense; full of trolls.
  • Read an EVE News website that summarizes and simplifies the complex events of null-sec.
To me, the second and fourth options seem the best.  Being a blogger myself, I'm inclined to favor blogs for my news.  Nevertheless, I often find insular reports of what goes on; it is extremely difficult to tie together the different accounts of different bloggers, living on different fronts, fighting for different sides.  Thus, it seems like a comprehensive news source is the best way for scaredy-cats like me to get the down-low on 0.0.

There are three main sites that I know of: evenews.co.uk, Eve News 24, and Eve Tribune.  Each of these sites has their strengths and weaknesses.

Eve News UK: Does little independent reporting.  The majority of their stuff is just linked from CCP's own site.  Moreover, the Eve news is distorted by the "Tech News" section, which is cool but doesn't make me think of an ultimate Eve news source.

Eve Tribune: My favorite site.  The Tribune provides well-written, in-depth reporting.  The only problem is that news is slowwww...  They've made strides towards instant gratification with a new RSS feed, but they still aren't a nimble news source.

Eve News 24: Most up-to-date news.  This news, however, is usually very biased and shoddily written.  This site could be the ultimate in Eve reporting, if only they learned about fairness and the duty of a journalist to record all sides of a story.

Okay, so we've profiled these sites, now why are there issues?  Mainly, the problems arise from Eve News 24.  My complaint is that the journalism is shoddy and sensational.  Articles routinely contain both factual and (irritatingly) spelling errors.  For example, read this interview that they conducted.  The writer obviously had no editor, asked stupid questions, and did not present a flowing and informative interview.  That doesn't have the community up in arms, however.  What angers people is their undeniably pro-Pandemic Legion spin.  One angry commenter went so far to refer to them as the "FOX news of Eve."  Ouch.

This raises questions about the site's mission, as well as that of all Eve critics and bloggers.  In a perfect world, we would all bring unbiased, complete, and objective news to our readers.  Sadly, everything we write is colored by our views and our experiences.  Manasi sums it up quite well:
One slight note with EN24, your only ever getting someone else’s view of the conflict, the true version is somewhere between two completely opposing sides.
True, but since that objective medium is impossible to find, should we just say nothing?  I don't think so.  I think we should report our side of the story, getting whatever we find out to the community.  It is their call to make judgments on the truthfulness and usefulness of information.  Eve News 24 provides a service to the community by giving us an inkling of what goes on in 0.0 space.  Is it totally correct?  Does Pandemic Legion always inflict massive losses on the enemy and only retreat when server lag dictates?  Of course not, but because of EN24, I know that PL is fighting out there, I know that Goonswarm is seeking revenge on IT, and I know that there is something going on in 6VDT-H.  While I regret the spinning of the story, I'm just happy that there is a story.

I encourage you all to chill out about journalistic bias: you've been there yourself.  The best way to reform our news sources is by providing them with good news.  If PL wasn't the only alliance sending regular reports to EN24, then the site would offer a much more complete and uncolored picture.  So everyone go do a service to the Eve community and get your news out there, drivel or not.



28 January 2011

I R Pee-Vee-Peed! Almost...

For those of you who are worried about my education, I did go to school today.  But I came home, because our school is under construction, the dust from which caused me to feel sick all over again.  Luckily, that meant that I got to play EVE!

I logged on and ran some missions for the Republic Fleet.  My agent is Level One and -8 quality, but the missions are really easy, so I don't mind.  On our Ivy League Navy chat channel, I heard rumblings of an upcoming roam.  Elated for my first PvP opportunity, I flew back to my home base and hopped into my Taranis.  To it, I added a rig for agility and one for armor; I then waited for the fleet to form up.

This took an incredibly long time, however, mainly because we just switched from TeamSpeak 2 to Mumble, which I like a lot better.  Once we fleeted up, everyone warped to our POS.  The fleet commander kept telling me that I was in the wrong squad, but I had no clue what squad I was in.  I eventually found that my fleet list was in alphabetical order, not under a hierarchy.  I fixed that and added myself to the Squad 2 Mumble Channel.  Even after that, the fleet took a long time to form up.  Our FC was foreign (German, I think), but he was only hard to understand when pronouncing complex system names.  In fact, his voice was very calming; had he said, "This is your captain speaking," I would have reached for my seatbelt.

Anyway, an hour after talk of the fleet had started, we were ready to warp out of our staging system.  The FC asked if everyone knew what some terms were: Jump, Jump on Contact, Defensive Gate Camp, and Offensive Gate Camp.  I surmised what the first too meant (and they were even easier to decipher in context), but I was confused about the last two.  It ended up that, for me, they were the same thing: orbit the gate at 1,000m.  Easy enough.

We all aligned for warp and started on our roam.  It took us about three high-sec systems before we got into low-sec.  You wanna know something embarrassing?  On the jump into our first 0.4 system, I left after everyone, because I had to click through the dialogue box that said: "LowSec is dangerous.  Will you pussy out?"  I was sure to check "Don't Show This Again."  Anyway, I jumped in and caught up with the fleet.  We proceeded to go through about three systems, chasing a "flashy."  Half an hour into the roam, our scout reported a fleet of flashies!  My squad was chosen to be bait squad.  I added the scout to my watchlist and prepared to jump through.

"Actually, Squad 3, you be the bait squad."  Damnit.  I waited, though, eager to go point some flashy freaks.  We jumped, but the flashies were nowhere to be found.  We followed them through yet another gate but never made any contact.  By this time, it was 5:00 (word of the roam spread at 3:00), and I had to log off and pick up my brother from swim practice.  Lame, right?  Not actually, because we went to Buy One Get One Free Chipotle burrito night after that.  That was the end of my roam, though, so I wished the fleet good luck and docked somewhere in LowSec.  I've been assured that, in an interceptor, my journey home will be painless.

So, cool roam, right?  I'm looking forward to my next one, and I will be sure to dedicate at least three hours for it.  Also, I'd like to give a shoutout to my one, new follower.  Tell all your friends!

Fly safe!


26 January 2011

Wrapping Up the Day

I have been posting an awful lot, I know.  It's because I have pneumonia.  Yuch...

Anyway, I just wanna wrap up some stuff that's been on mind.  First things first: everybody should check out the patch notes for tomorrow's patch.  Boring stuff, mostly, but I'm most excited for "Dock" to be somewhere visible, as in not the bottom of the click menu.  There's some good stuff for PvP'ers, too.  As some of you know, there have been a variety of Overview bugs (like the one detailed on EVEOGANDA); these will be fixed.

Also, I did a little mining today.  Sadly, it's super boring, and I need a 100x bigger cargohold.  I've started training for an Iteron so I can make myself useful for something other than tackling.  Wait.  I'm useful at tackling?  Actually, yes, because I bought myself a brand new Taranis.  From what I've read, I created an anti-Tackler Tackler.

High slots:
  • Three Neutron Blasters
Mid slots:
  • MWD II
  • Webifier II
  • Warp Disruptor II
Low slots:
  • Damage Control II
  • I-A Polarized Armor Repair
  • Micro Auxiliary Power Core
Pretty cool, huh?

To end the day, I'd like to direct you all to EVENews24 and EVE Tribune.  Reading these two sites makes me feel like a part of a much larger game.  EN24 provides fast, sensational news reporting, but everyone complains about bias.  ET has had a poor history of posting regularly, but Kirith assures us that they're back.  The latter site has much better writing and analysis, but it isn't updated as nearly as often.

Anyway, that's all for today.  I'll be back with more stuff tomorrow.  Until then.

Fly safe!


Applications! (Not For College)

I just want you all to know that I have applied to be a member of Agony.  Not a class, but an actual corp member.  My application seemed a little weak, because it asked about PvP stuff, which I could only answer with a, "No PvP... yet?"  I hope that the admissions counselor, er, recruiter will look fondly on my application, though.  Good luck to me!

Fly safe!


Update: Rejected.  And rather quickly at that.  I'm "a bit too inexperienced."  Aren't there corporations that I just join  and then learn as I go?  I don't wanna take courses...

25 January 2011

Blog Banter 24

Welcome to the twenty-fourth 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 or so 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 for other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

This month's Banter topic comes to us from the ever helpful Eelis Kiy, capsuleer behind the "Where the frack is my ship" blog. She asks: How does your real life personality compare to who you are as a character in EVE? Does a good leader of people in the real world make a good leader of pilots in game? Or vice-versa? Do your real-life skills help you with the roles you fulfill in your corporation or alliance? Or do you behave completely differently? Does the anonymity of the Internet allow you to thrive on the tears of others in New Eden whilst you work as a good Samaritan away from your keyboard? Or are you as mean outside of your pod as you are inside it? Have experiences in EVE Online affected your behavior, skills or attitudes outside of the game?

This is a deep question, and not really one that I have the experience to answer.  Nonetheless, I'll give it a shot.

Does my real life personality compare to my EVE character?  Short answer, yes.  Long answer, yes.  I've never been good at producing a facade for people.  Hell, I even find it difficult to be nerdy with one group of friends and cool with the other.  It usually blends into a not-totally-socially-hopeless geek image.  I feel confident in saying that my in-game personality matches my real life personality.

Does a leader in the real world make a good in-game leader?  Of course.  The only time this would not hold true is if the in-game leader has not lived up to his potential in the real world.  Leaders are made by their drive, organization, and "people skills."  All of these translate seamlessly between EVE and planet earth.

Needless to say, the answers to the rest of this multi-part question are the same: one's EVE personality will reflect one's real life personality.  The last question is a little different, though.  Has an EVE experience affected my real world behavior?  Not at all, but I'm sure that is only because I have not played the game enough yet.  Trust me, it'll get there.

Fly safe!


List of participants:
  1. Blog Banter: Personalities in game and out of game
  2. Fiddler's Edge: Game Face - Eve Blog Banter #24
  3. Progression's Horizon: Blog Banter 24- Synonymous or Anonymous?
  4. More to come....

I'm Back... No, Really

Dear Two Followers and EVE Online,

I am happy to make my triumphant return to EVE.  College stuff is done, and now it's just the long waiting until April 1st, when I will have all of my decisions.  For your information, I have applied to the following colleges and universities:
  • MIT (they deferred me in Early Action; first choice)
  • Harvard
  • Columbia
  • Stanford
  • Carnegie Mellon
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • University of Virginia
  • Centre College
A pretty prestigious list, I know.  How do I plan to pay for it?  Centre, WashU, and UVA offer scholarships; at the rest, I would do ROTC.  But now that I've finished the life update, I'll talk about EVE.

Today was the first day in a long time that I've been able to do anything more than update my skills.  I ran a mission, made some ISK, and consolidated some of my stuff.  Pretty basic, but it's the first step to getting back into the game.

What about Incursion?  Well, I haven't been to any of the post-expansion events (though I went to one a few months ago), but I have thoroughly enjoyed the character creator.  Character customization is my favorite part of any and every video game, so needless to say, I was delighted by this.  I tried to make my character looks as much like me as possible, but I was turned off by a few things.  For one, there were too few hairstyles.  The one that most emulated me was the one that was the least "out there," so I feel that it will be little overused.  Also, why are we forced to wear makeup?  I know you can turn the opacity all the way down, but it's just kinda odd.  Along the lines of color, though, I feel that clothes should be completely customizable in regards to color.  The drab olive, camo, and black swatches were too run-of-the-mill.  Finally, although my character's chin was rather narrow, in portrait mode it got all big and fat.  So I look like a chub in my picture.

Anyway, that's all that I have to blog about now, but be ready for more posts and a Blog Banter.  For the latter, I'm not sure if I'll do the most recent one or just wait for next month's.  Dilemma...

Fly safe!