Mike stepped down, toweling the podgoo out of his hair and smiled.  He laid a hand on the side of the ship and the smile became a grin.  The docking foreman approached and looked from the pilot to the ship with a sneer.  “A Gallente Dilettante in a Caldari missile boat.  Here, with all of Amarrs finest you are like a  man showing up in bathing suit to a wedding.”

“Did that once, as well.  Man, the brides knew how to fill bikinis.” Mike grinned.  “No groom and the ceremony was in the water as the surf came in.  Symbolic of something but mainly a blast to see them try to time the vows in between waves.”  He laughed at the face of the docking manager at the mention of plural brides.  “Oh calm down, just the two ladies in love with each other, not some polygamous arrangement though going to those gets expensive with the size of gifts and extended family attending.”

The sneer widened and then shifted as Mike answered his comm chiming.    “What, oh no worries, Glad I could attend.  Nah, not a scratch on me, yeah I hit a few, stepped back then charged in, yeah I had saved bookmarks all over the place.  Why?  Because I am cautious until I am foolish.  Yeah, thanks for the to do.  You too, Commodore.”

“Y y you were fighting out there?  Against the Drifters?”

“Guesting rules.  I know you think me a heathen but I have my own rules and I follow them.,  If I am your guest and you are attacked I will defend the doorway right along side of you.  To do otherwise would make me a burden, not a guest.  Drifters crashed the party so . . . ”  Mike pointed up to the missile bays.  “Rapid heavy missile launchers.  They do the job nicely.”

“They are slow.”  Objected the foreman with an obvious laser bias.

“There is time to target but they have a much wider engagement envelope than, say, lasers.  Against Battleships, like what I was shooting they did a fine job of laying down the pain.”

“Missiles are bulky.”

“Well, compared to a stack of crystals damn near any ammo is bulky but I was not there for loot and the ship did not run out while I was firing.  So it held enough.”  Mike grinned and leaned back.  “Not to mention the fact that I can choose my damage to focus on the weakness of the enemy.  Lasers do damage in one flavour, I can switch from inferno to scourge to mjolnir to whatever is suitable for the target at hand.  Now I figured the drifters to be omnitanked so that did not come up this time.”

“Missiles are broken.”

“Now there, I have to agree with you, in part,  Defenders are stupid, autotargetting are hit and miss, mainly miss.  I’d love to see the powers that be go back over them and make them something more special or at least more operational.”

The foreman asked. “More special?”

“Yeah, like if defenders started working enemy drones as opposed to fratricide.  If autotargets hit the ecm ships first.  Just a shade more AI would go a long way.  Look, I grew up with drones and missiles.  Loved flying the Drake, back in the day and I still do.  Each person has their favourite ships and weapons systems and those are mine.  I don’t want them to be the best but I would like them to have a bit more flexibilty.  But that is just me.”

“No, I think it might be a few more than just one person.”

“Well, changes are coming in oh so many ways.  Drifters attacking en masse, me flying in support of Amarr, you carrying ona conversation with a Gallente pilot beyond grunts and insults.  Changin times indeed.  Makes sense that the missiles will change, too.”



Blog pack has been around for a looooong time and every now and again we take a bite of a subject as a group.  The word for this month was missiles.

Torpedo! Torpedo! With the Aegis release we will see missile boats get their own version of the tracking enhancer and the tracking computer. On the forums there have been calls for new ‘missile defence eWar’ to counter these new modules. Is this needed? Are smartbomb ‘firewalls’ enough? Do defender missiles need an overhaul to make them actually worth using? Do we need the missile version of the remote tracking disruptor? Or do we go all Star Trek and have Point-Defence Phaser Banks? Banter on!Torpedo! 

I will toss in a list of other bloggers in a day or two when they start to pop up.

The Live Event was a blast and nothing scarier than the hum of multiple doomsdays going off around you.

Fly it like you won it





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“Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

He came closer still and called out “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”

The young man paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean.”

“I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” asked the somewhat startled wise man.

To this, the young man replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”

Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, “But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!”

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said,
“It made a difference for that one.”
Loren Eiseley

Brave started out as a hope for a bunch of new players that they could make a big splash in the game and have fun doing it.  Personally, I think they succeeded, for a time.  But the splash fell back into the pool and it turned out that the pool was a turbulent ocean.  Things changed, they changed, and the drama happened.

I wasn’t there, I didn’t have an oar on that boat but I watched and chatted with folks who left and who stayed.  Some remembered the thrill of the jump into the water, the wanting to make the splash.  They never planned to swim with the sharks . . . it was that moment of anticipation and the plunge and encouraging others to do the same.  I have stood in a lake and said ‘come on in, the water is fine’ and meant it even though I knew it was cold and harsh and rocky on the bottom.

So here I am, on the shore, handing out inflatable duckies in rookie help chat and pointing towards the deep waters.  Throwing starfish.  And now I have another pool to throw them towards.  Oh it is still gonna be pvp, it is still going to be a cold shock to their system and some will sink to the bottom . . . but here, kid, have a ducky and head that way.

Enthusiasm that was, for a time, diminished in the drama of Brave has flared up again and I like it.  I hope they last and flourish and I will send newbies their way when I can because I know these folks.  I do mention Brave and Pandemic Horde and Goons, and Eve Uni and others when asked although I never recruit in Rookie Chat as that is forbidden.

Will they make it?  Well that takes me back to the starfish story I quoted at the top.  Does it matter?  If they get one or five or a hundred folks into the game and loving pvp then they won because they changed things for that one/five/hundred starfish.  They don’t have to make waves that reach from the north to the south of New Eden.  They make their changes one starfish at a time.  Maybe one of them will grow to be a famous FC or leader of another Alliance.  Maybe not, but they will have got their start because there were folks there to help, to lend a hand, to throw a starfish into the stars.

fly it like you won it




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Moonshine on a wing

Mike leaned back and sipped the clear liquid and sighed.  He was glad there were no open flames nearby as the liquid could be considered extremely flammable.

“You’ve been busy, eh, mon?”  Ev poured some of the liquid from a square jar for himself and settled into the chair next to Mike on the wing of a ship not yet ready to hit space.  “All runnin ’bout and doin tings?”

Mike grinned.  “‘Pends on who y’all ask.  There be some who tink I no be workin at all and others who tink I does just nuff ta git bye.  Ting is that it be hard ta measure anyting without an agreed upon guideline.”

“I knows whatcha mean.  I never be drunk iffen I be comparin meself ta me brother Darril.  The scale is like a banana, it be appealin but not really good for most measurements.”  Ev nodded sagely while Mike tried to figure that one out.

“Banana, riiiight.  Well I am doing things but I am more like a swan than a banana.  All serene and calm on top and paddling like mad, beneath the surface, ta keep tings movin or at least not going backwards.  I keep doin what I is doin and the people on da outside are welcome to replace me, come the next election.”

Ev squinted at him “Still set on not runnin, eh?  You gitten tired o the hidden bosses or they gittin tired o you?”

“Well, they’ve invited me back for another visit, so there’s that.  I am gonna start askin folks what they wants me ta talk to the powers that be about right soon.  Topics CAN be requested as well as meetin various teams and suchlike.  I am sure the usual stuff will get an hour or two but it is the special request meetins I always look forward to.”

“Who else, aside from you, got the invite?”

“Not for me to say.  Not that it is NDA, though I could argue that it is, more that it is their job to say iffen they is goin or not.  And keepin in mind that not goin does not absolutely mean they wasn’t invited but maybe that other circumstances kept them from being able to attend. ”

“You looking forward to it?”

Mike drained the glass.  “That is why I am in training, now.  Cantcha see?”



Yup, I will be heading to the first summit, when it happens.

Let me make a short list for you, Slack (tons of channels)  Skype (a few channels) Forums (about 10 groups, variable list of subscribed threadnaughts) Teleconferences, Reddit, Twitter, Evemail and e-mail, Confluence.  This is what I follow and for those who have larger organizations, they probably WISH they had it so easy.  In additon I suppose some of us might want to (gasp) play the game we are working on so much or even have real lives.  A few of us blog, one of us does youtube videos.  Nobody is able to see all that happens so I find it difficult to see how any of the general populace can judge us or demand a recall.

I try to stay in touch with players, mainly new ones.I have been lax in staying in touch with the Incursion folks, this term and I plan to chat with them before the summit as well as doing the rounds with other touchstones.  There is NO carebear community centre, no fleet or alliance to speak to them.  For the most part they don’t want to be organized and herded.  It is their playstyle and they are happy to be left alone, but it is them I keep in the back of my mind, then I try to represent.

So judge us by our deeds or lack of therein.  Judge us by the good ideas and the bad processes that got through on ‘our watch’.  But it is doubtful that the judgement will be accurate.  As a few in the reddit thread pointed out . . . minutes are your best measure but even they are incomplete.

Wingspans idea . . .

Ideally, some kind of neutral journalistic party would run such a site. They could create a post about, say, SKIN pricing, then contact each CSM member and get a statement about their position and/or work on that topic, and then publish a big post “here’s what every CSM has said/done about SKINs.” You could take the “no comment” or “no response” fields however you wished to take it.

has some merit as at least you could see where we were as we went along.  It still would not be basis for recall but you could get a feel for how the CSM were thinking/reacting.  NDA covers what CCP says to us and exact topics of dicsyssion.  You can always ask how we personally feel about a subject (for/against/suggested improvements or modifications)

Your assignment?  What do you want me to take to Iceland to discuss?  What session would you really like to see happen?

fly it like you won it




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“The thing is,”  he said, leaning back and staring up at the window and out along the arm of the station.  “Thing is that pilots always have both a disconnect from their ships and an unusual attachment to them.  It is this dichotomy that makes for the cognitive dissonance many of them seem to suffer.”

Free checked her tech to see that he was recording then asked the next leading question.  “Dissonance has been a theme in some of your pieces in the past.  Is the disconnect of reality and perception a common theme for your personal life?”

“No.  For me experience is all reality.  What difference does a memory have if it is of a thing that truly happened or was imagined event?  The memory exists, just the same.  If a death of a loved one causes tears and a beautiful piece of art does the same are either tears, either emotion, the lesser for the source?  Reality needs to be acknowledged but it is just one aspect of our lives.  Not the only thing.  Art reminds us that there is more and science tries to taker us to that new place that art first conceived.”  He looked to her.  “The disconnect of my art is to show the border and encourage people to approach it, explore it, cross it freely.”

“So you see yourself as a guide to the border of reality and imagination?”

He scoffed.  “Guide sounds so official and programmed.  On your left you have the opportunity to see a new way of thinking, Look now to get the ‘complete the task’.  No, I sit out beyond the border and invite others to join me.  My art is a bridge, not a tour.”

“Do you ever get so frustrated that you want to drag people out to see what you have for them?  The people who refuse to ‘look to the left?”

“No, there is an old joke about using horticulture in a sentence.  Explaining a joke or pointing out why art moves you lessens the effect and purpose to the point of making it useless.  Either you get it, it gets you, or it missed and failed.”  He examined her for a moment and asked.  “When you dance, who do you dance for?”

She paused, considering and remembering.  “It depends on the situation, usually for the audience, I suppose.”

He nodded.  “THAT is why Madam sent you on.  If it is about them, or you, or anything other than the dance itself you have put the art behind a gauze veil.  Lessened the effect and diluted the potency.  You had the disconnect and Madam can always spot that.  Oh, I would love to work with her, she would not let me get away with a moment of dishonesty and it would be marvelous.”

Free nodded and shifted the topic to safer territories before his questions broke her own story.



Disconnect is a common thing in Eve.  Some want a frist person view so they become evn more of their ship and the ship becomes them.  Others treat their ships as disposable ammunition.  A new player has difficulty with that because he only has one or two ships so they are anything BUT disposable.

We forget that and it changes both their view of the game and our view of their actions.

They still see the beauty of the nebula and discuss how nice the ships look.  We scroll waaaayy out and worry about icon changes.

who is failing to drink?

fly it like you won it





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Odd socks

Every now and again I find that a whole bunch of unmatched socks have gathered to critical mass in my laundry.  So I set them all out and try to match things or at leats move them out of the sock drawer to where they can be dealt with.

Eve tasks get like that as well.  So I lay out my to-do list and see what can be matched up or handled or disposed.

1)  6 month anniversary for Operation Magic School Bus.  Write a mailing list post, hand out some draw prizes, lots of draw prizes..  Make some plans for new additions to the project

2)  I finally made an alt, mainly to CEO Operation Magic School Bus.  Make sure training is up to date and a long range plan is made.

3) Meetings with CCP, one later today, more to come.  Do a sweep through the confluence to make sure I am up to date on things

4) I really have to do a Free post and get back into writing.

5) Run an incursion or three AND try to get in on at least one roam to lose a ship or two.  Play a bit for myself.

6)  I also should do another CSM post.  Catch up on what is being said and ask a few questions of you guys.

odd socks

If you are going to be in on the draws?  Join the Operation Magic School Bus mailing list soon

If you have a concern that I have addressed repeatedly in the forums all ready?  write me a note.

lol, notes.  Got a DEMAND from a player that I do a whole munch of things to make hisec safer.  Included in his suggestions were ganker pays victim 80% value of the ship and upgrade shield and armor of hulks by 600%.  I replied with a one word answer composed of two letters.  No.  I think that made him angry.  His next note was slightly more angry and called me names.

7)  take self esteem classes to restore my fragile ego.

8) stop laughing and sign off and post this damn thi

fly it like you won it




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OOC: The Politics of Dancing

Putting your name out there, running for an election, is not something for the shy and retiring types.  It requires and Ego and preferably one well fed by a support group to confirm that you are the right person for the job.

Fine.  Now take 14 of that sort of person, all with their own ideas of how things should be done and what is most important and put them together to try to agree on things.  Some will, if they share goals or meet on other channels and decide how best to proceed.  But what of the outliers?  The ones who don’t fit into the agenda or have their own that they wish to advance?

Well then it gets interesting.  There are a few options.  You can recruit them to your cause.  You could convince them that the know nothing and should hush while the adults talk.  You can try to close them out of the meetings or steamroller anything that they put forward.  You could let them work along side on their own agenda and let the chips fall where they may.

Each term brings new challenges and there is a slightly liberating feeling of knowing that I am not running next season.  Mainly I stick to the standard ‘I do what I do’ and nobody else has the right to try to stop me.  I will be wrong, at times, and I will be right (hopefully more often than when I am wrong), at times.  Gill once asked me what I consider to be the best question to ask of a CSM . . . are you optimistic for the future of Eve?

I am

But it would be a good question to ask the others, as well.  There is no NDA on how we feel, how we react, just what we are reacting to.

fly it like you won it



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“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”  Mike leaned back and looked up at the Bowhead dominating the ship hanger.  “That, there, be the exactly what I need.  Givin isk is a fools errand.  Givin a ship may help them learn to fly, learn to fit, learn to survive.”

“So you get them ready for the missions the agents give?”  Ev asked.

Mike grimaced.  “Some, I will admit, are good for missions.  But others are good for other things.  Who am I to go tellin a pilot what sort of fish to eat or catch?  I hands them the pole and let them cast their own lines.”

“But some lines ain’t exactly your style.”

Mike nodded with a wry grin.  “I know but that don’t make them wrong for someone else, just for me.  And so sometimes IO gotta load a different sorta ship for the classrooms.”

Ev looked at the manifest on his comms. “magnate.  Lows filled with expanded t2s (fast to skill) …… rigs with cargohold rigs  …… mediums: passive targeter.  maybe t2 is can be trained fast, cargo scanner. ship scanner . . . um, hey mon you do know what you is building?”

Mike grinned,  “Yup.”  Her leaned back.  “A different kind of fishin pole.”

Ev eyed Mike and then the last ship on the list.  “I know this fit and who flies it and you are gonna trust . . . ”

“Yup, I get burned or I don’t.  It is worth trying and worth doing because IF all goes well some folks are gonna learn a nice lesson.  Even if they never use the skills again they will have something in their repertoire and for all the Gods in the pantheons I hope it teaches them why I hate autopilot.”

Ev shook his head.  “I tink it be a mistake but you are the one to make it, if anybody.”



Eve is a lot of things.  I am not.  I am ok with that but the Magic School bus is not about creating a bunch of me’s.  It is about keeping players in and showing them all that can be and could be.

I am serious about the fish.  I am glad CCP don’t read my blog because this might tick them off

fly it like you won it


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OOC Northern Troll – Honesty

Sometimes I suffer from migraines and my head gives me odd thoughts to chew on.  Round and round they go till I either start telling folks about them or write them down.  It seems the only way to quiet the damn things.

Thank you for helping me with my headache.

Honesty Patrol

Once in a while CCP GMs would enforce what people promised.  Isk doublers WOULD double isk to the woes of their own balance spilling over to alt accounts if need be.  Margin scams would pay out in the same way.  If people were trading everything for just one trit then that is what would happen.

It wouldn’t happen every day, just now and again.  Say on days like March 32.  Thing is, it would be a two edged sword.  Knowing that there was a chance of honesty patrol being nearby would make some idiots go for the scams more often.

Best part is that there would be no warning, no messages, no explanation.  Imagine the petition . . . ‘I promised to double his isk and then I did, fix this please. ‘

Yeah, I have been visiting Jita too much lately.


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Fitting in (Part 4 Faster you fool)

“Speed comes in a lot of varieties and being able to dictate the range of an engagement or even whether you want to ba a part of it is a key thing.  Not to mention some faster ships are harder to hit and other faster ships are easier to hit.  As with everything else, situations are not as cut and dried as they might seem and you have some choices to make.”

Mike touched his comm and the screen filled with modules and rigs.  “1mn afterburners, microwarp drives (mwd) inertia stabilizers.  Things to push you faster, make you lighter, make you more agile, all are part of the mix.  I will start with the small stuff first.  Agility is how fast you turn but mainly it will affect how fast you can align and get into warp.  This is important if you see something big coming and want to not be there when it arrives.  It is also handy for crashing through simple ambushes.  Getting out of dodge and on to the next stop is something I like to be able to do.”

“There are rigs for that as well?”  One in the front row asked.

Mike nodded.  “There are but it has been pointed out to me that often a new pilot cannot afford rigs for a little while and if they are losing a lot of ships this might be too much of a cost.  So if you have the isk I would recommend that you research it a bit or ask me after class.  Let us talk about the main two go fast modules.  I will only work with the basic t1 versions because it is good to narrow the focus.  Meta variations are just that.  Some worth far more and do better but they all fall in the same general categories.

Basically they are both going to make you go faster, the mwd far more so at a minimum of a 500% speed boost as opposed to the 112.5% for the afterburner.  The afterburner has lower fitting requirements (but not proportionately so)  and fewer skill demands.”

“Why would anybody choose afterburners, then?”  Asked a Minmater pilot on the left.

Mike grinned.  “There are two key disadvantages to the mwd.  The first is that a scrambler can shut it down.  All of the sudden you are just doing normal speeds.  Afterburners are immune to that.  The second is that while you are going faster your signature also blooms by 500%.  That means they will lock you faster and missiles (and bombs) will hit you harder.  Again, something that does not happen with afterburners.  But your ships, Minmatar, have the reputation for having some of the fastest base speeds in space.  So, with the Slasher,  which would be best?”

The pilot looked around, suddenly finding himself on the spot.  “Speed is life, mwd.” He said with a nod.

“Close.”  Mike grinned.

“How can it be close?  You gave me an either or question . . . ”

“I play dirty, sometimes.  For a slasher I like the dual prop fit.  You use the mwd to get in fast then the ab to orbit without the bloom.  IF it fits.  See a lot of the fits we discuss will be dependent on your skills.  You have a lot to learn and a lot of choices to make.  As you gain experience and skills fits will become easier.  But if I HAD to choose one?  I agree with you.  Speed is life.”

He looked around.  “So take a few minutes and look at the tristan and decide what you would fit and why.  We are almost done, folks.  The big things of Hull, Tank, Boom and Go are covered.  Next we will discuss the ‘other tings’ which is a broad topic that I will barely cover at all.”



Yeah I like going fast.  Being able to dictate range has been the result of dying when not able to.

So many little bits and pieces to fit, so many choices to make.  Damn I love theory crafting.  So what of it my friends?  What is best for the Tristan?

fly it like you won it.


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Log and Stork

“Long ago,”  Mike leaned back and took a pull of his beer.  “There was a pond full of frogs who were free and happy . . . until they heard about kings and ruling and politics and such.  They felt left out so they called to the Gods and asked that they be given a king.  One of the gods listened but was busy so he dropped a log into the pond and left it at that.”

Scotty laughed.  “So it made a big splash and then just floated there, doing nothing?”

“Exactement.  After the intial fright they rode the waves and then the waves died out and nothing happened.  They had a king in name but they went back to doing whatever they felt like and having fun.  But then they heard about other ponds with kings who DID things.  So the started nagging the Gods, again.”

“This won’t end well, will it?  Ev said taking a pull on his hookah.

Mike shook his head and grinned.  “So the log floated away and the God in charge of such things sent them a Stork.  It was active and a lot of frogs died, Others ran away to other ponds and the one who had been nagging the Gods realized . . . ”  He looked at the label half pulled off his beer and continued picking at it, his voice trailing off.

Scotty peered at Mike and asked.  “You aren’t talking about fropgs and ponds, are you?”

“Nah, I am thinking I need another beer.”  Mike grinned and got up to fetch more for all of them.

Ev nodded to Scotty.  “He likes the old stories because dey gives him a framework to handle new tings.  Cause nothin really be new anymore.  Just the labels change and the stories remain the same.”



Yeah, I poach from Aesop more often than I should.

Yeah I do think this might be relevant if you are looking at the same things I am.

It is time to give away a battleship, I think.  Comments over the next few days, say till the end of the weekend.  I will include ones that came in earlier today.

fly it like you won it



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