Qui cum canibus concumbunt cum pulicibus surgent

“I spect,” Tanta told Free as she carefully poured the tea, “that you should be hearing from your old bosses soon enough, eh?”

Free shook her head. “Why would they being doin that? They know where I am and who I am with.”

“They sees me as weak, failin. Maybe they would like someone close to me on their side. Maybe that person be you.” Tanta smiled and shoved the plate of cookies close to Free. “Eat child. since that boy aint here cookies almost have a chance to go stale.”

“I made my decision.”

“I know that and so do you, ting is, does they? And how hard will they try to convince you? Be prepared for it because they still figure that you owes them somethin.” Tanta nodded. “But do YOU believes dat?”

Free took a bite of a cookie and chewed thoughtfully. “They took a little orphan girl, trained her, molded her, made her into a weapon that they could apply against enemies. I am good at that. Do I owe them for what they made me?”

“Dat be up to you to decide, child. They gave you a job, a purpose. What have We given you?”

Free smiled. “That is easy, Tanta. You gave me a home, a family. You, Mike, Ruis, the girls and mothers. I have never felt like an outsider, here. I actually wondered, at one point . . . is Mike a recruiter for you?”

“Not that he knows of. The boy has a good heart and folks he sends to me are usually worth meeting. I trusts his instincts, to a point. But he does occasionally let his dark side show.” Tanta held up a hand. “Nothing truly bad but he does sometimes roam and hunt with the pirates of Low, I hear he is even ‘Blue’ to some of the more dangerous ones. As a result not all of his friends are brought here for me to meet.”

“And he is a politician.”

“Even worse. He associates with Organizations that will eat their own at the drop of a hat. All the morals of a cage full of starving rats. I worry every time he is with that sort, ya lies down with dogs . . .”

Free nodded. “And yet he always manages to come home flealess.”

Tanta laughed. “If he did come home wit dem he would have each of them named and be teachin them ta do tricks. You knows it is true.”

Free laughed and the conversation turned to other topics. If Frees former employers called Tanta would have no worries about the outcome.

*******************Lessons********************************************

At the best of times I barely follow all the ins and outs of Null Sec alliances but from what I can tell the rats are turning on themselves.

The most recent ones are the folks who try to moderate and keep a level of decency are stepping down, here and there. That and some nonsense about a player station being popped and loot scooped from allies, not enemies. For all that the perps of that one say they did no wrong . . . they did it on off hours and only 4 or five of them took part. They knew what they were doing and wanted to keep things for themselves.

Yeah, title in latin, live with it

fly it like you won it

m

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Should I play this game?

If you spend anytime in any sort of game forums, whether it be reddit or the forums of a specific game you come across this question of a fairly regular basis. Thing is? It is probably the WORST place to ask, for a couple of reasons. Let me elucidate (word of the day used in a sentence, check)

  1. The people in forums are seldom representative of the player base as a whole. They are on the forums instead of inside the game! Some are there to ask for new stuff, complain about the new stuff. Or once in a while to show off their new stuff. The game was WAY better in the old days before the devs ruined it . . .
  2. People in the forums are there because they do play the game and may or may not be happy with that fact. You have what is called a self selecting sample, in statistics (education applied, check) and that is not the best way to collect data
  3. How in the heck should we know what YOU like? What you enjoy? I have no idea if you will enjoy the same thing as I do anymore than I know what beer you will like, what food is good, in your opinion. Best music, good book? Why are you offloading the choice for your leisure onto complete strangers?
  4. Stockholm syndrome. (cheap psychoanalysis term used, check) Come on in, the water is fine, here, have some kool-aid.

Try the game, maybe watch a video of someone playing it or read some reviews from reviewers you trust. I always think that empirical evidence is the best so YES, try the game, for free, if you can.

I like mmos because I like the social aspect. My wife and I play Elder Scrolls together. She never showed an interest in Eve Online and that is OK. I play other games as fun ways to pass my time, to de-stress (Hellgate London was great for that) and sometimes just to enjoy all the effort that devs have put into the story, the art, the sound and the music.

Should you play the game? I don’t know. Should you play A game? Hell yes. If you wind up in one I play? stop by and say hello.

fly it like you won it

m

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Caldari

Mike came out of the ship with a big grin on his face. “Damn that was fun.”

Scotty looked back at the Retribution Mike had just exited. “Been in Caldari space with that? Most folks been running the destroyers.”

“I know, I know. Ran into a few of them, here and there. A Kiki or two and some Sunnys. But this suited me just fine, for now. It sometimes comes down to a matter of math, for me. While I hold a lot of assets for the Bus I am not that rich anymore. So I am savin up and may try a Kiki laters if I make enough to do so.”

“Pays that well, them Caldari jobs?”

“Two and a bit runs covered the cost of that beast.” Mike jerked his thumb at the retribution. “Now I am keepin track to see if I can afford the Kiki. Want that one ‘prepaid’ and not a debt load.”

Scotty whistled. “So whatcha figure? How many runs you gonna have to do?”

“Well the thing is? There be some competition for the prize. I am batting about 60% of the time it pays off and the rest someone else gets the last trigger before I do. So I am waiting for the fuss to die down and the playing field to level out a bit. It don’t help none that the action I want is lose to the crowded part of space.”

“Space is too big to get ‘crowded'” Scotty objected.

“Depends on how ya look at it, I suppose. “Seems you find the most hisec capsuleers in Caldari space and these runs are Caldari so the math is against me. But even us immortal Gods have to sleep now and again so I am watchin the charts and making hay while the rest sleep. I Figures a few days and a bit of luck and I will have what I need.”

Scotty chuckled. “You know? It is nice to see you flying for your own purposes again, between the Bus and politics i was beginning to think you had forgotten yourself.”

“A fair worry but I tend to be around myself enough to remind me that I am still here, still at it. Come on, I’m buyin.”

*****************************************************************

Lessons

My thanks to Erstschlag who made a good lesson Vid and fit that I could use, right out of the box. Thing works well for me.

I do hope that I can manage a Kiki by the end of the event, love that ship to pieces.

But as to the last part of the post . . . Burnout is a thing, both with games and especially for players who have served on the CSM. But I am still playing, still active in rookie help chat.

oh and speaking of rookie help chat there is this jerk for the last few weeks who REALLY seems to have a bee in his or her bonnet and a stick up their ass. The make new toons just to log on, swear and curse until banned, and then they make another toon. Weird. I am not sure what CCP can do against such a dedicated asshole but I think that they should do something.

The rest of the channel is friendly and welcoming and a lot of the regulars help as best they can. The ISD show FAR more patience than you might expect.

anyhow

fly it like you won it

m

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Why s Man

” . . . so then we had to put them all back the way that they had been stacked in the first place.

I am fairly sure people smarter than me know a fancy way o’ putting this but it seems that sometimes making a change just because you think it is better than standing still is not the best course of action. A buddy of mine is in a fleet and they decided to bring an old composition out of mothballs. As they fitted up someone asked why they had stopped using this fleet design.

When they all were wiped out he had his answer. The change had been made for a reason and just because they had forgotten the reason did not invalidate the change. The question becomes not how to change something but why is it that way in the first place. Fleets, kicking someone out of the corp, where we keep the important stuff. All of these were decisions made sometime in the past and if you do not know WHY then you do not have enough information, yet.

My love to the family, isk transfer sent”

Jiorj

**********OOC and Lessons**********************************************

I have seen a lot of folks suggesting what changes to Eve lead to the current decline and many have suggestions of how to ‘fix it’

Thing is? Not everyone is working from the same data, from the same assumptions. Because I signed an NDA I cannot tell players what I know behind some decisions so they can make a balanced evaluation on their own.

Worse it feels like sometimes CCP also make decisions and changes without knowing the history of ‘how the hell we got here’ It scared me when I found out how many CCP devs were new in the past few years. They do not see the fence . . .

Oh, I got ahead of myself.

A core component of making great decisions is understanding the rationale behind previous decisions. If we don’t understand how we got “here,” we run the risk of making things much worse.

From an article I was reading . . . here

Cool ideas and it felt like it went to the basis of what Eve is struggling with. A lot of games do not hit this issue because they do not last long enough to have a history they can forget.

But some of us remember

fly it like you won it,

m

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Touch Grass

I looked this up, the meme, that is . . .

Touch Grass, or Touch Some Grass, is a popular online insult and alternative way of telling someone to “go outside,” implying they’re spending too much time online and it’s affecting their wellbeing. The exact origin of the phrase is unknown, but it started spreading significantly in 2019, becoming increasingly popular on Twitter throughout 2021. https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/touch-grass

See, the thing is? I don’t see that as an insult. It is a suggestion of concern and a direction for self care. Hell we all need that reminder, now and again to just exist in the real world, get a bit of nature. I love getting out and ‘touching grass’. Yesterday was no exception and I took a fewshots to try to bring some into your timeline

willow from below
red and white flowers
my wife knows what these are called, I am bad with plant names

So, understand that if I ever suggest that you touch grass it is NOT an insult in any way shape or meaning. It is my wish that you get a chance to go where things grow, where your soul and your heart can be replenished.

fly it like you won it

m

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Walker

It has become a bit of a running joke that I like to play games ‘wrong’ or in other words, by my own rules and conditions. In Elder Scrolls Online I have a number of alts and some do have specific tasks or rules but one in particular I want to tell you about, this time. Meet Walker Fiveclaw.

Image of ESO Character

Now Walker is well named because he is running under a few conditions that put the game back to something approaching the original dificulty and then a bit more the main condition being that he never uses wayshrines to move about. This first rule has lead to a lot more appreciation of the culture and landscapes of ESO as I don’t ‘skip the travel time’ and try to walk down every road before moving onto the next territory. He also does not get ‘assistance’ from other alts that I have, no sending ‘good armor’ or spending cash. What he has done? He has done himself.

If an npc asks/begs him to help he will but no dungeons and manages to skip most delves except for those you get accosted for them. Minions are optional IF he manages to acquire one but for the most part he travels alone and just slowly tries to cover all the ground in a zone before moving on to the next. Resurrections HAVE to be done with soulstones no wayshrine restarts.

Is this ‘the right way’ to play eso? In my opinion . . . yes. I am having fun therefore it is A right way. There is no THE right way to play.

While in Northern Elsewer I actually saw folks arguing about this in zone chat and one person seemed quite angry that others were not playing/doing it right. That leads me to my next post, already partially written

fly it like you won it

m

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Maps

Mike listened as the author explained his new science fiction idea of the future possible.

“So if the triglavians decide that what they took is not enough then what if they come back for the rest? Oh I know some of you might object that the empires would stop them and I would answer . . . like they did last time? So that is the basis of my new series. The possibilities of all of space being taken and remapped and how the old established order would try to rise again from their own ashes.

I mean if the systems can be taken would it not be possible for them to return?

Look at the present day economics. Talk to the haulers who no longer have a safe passage from Amarr to Jita and how Dodixie and Rens are slowly becoming backwater stops as opposed to thriving trade hubs. Now imagine the pressures that would arise if Null bloc powers faced the same issue. Or if a huge swath of lowsec was stolen making passage from null to high much much longer and problematic. How many system would have to be stolen to isolate the chain down in Paragon Soul. Cutting them off from the rest of New Eden except via wormholes and filaments?”

The author continued but Mike had leaned back and started considering how that would effect the average capsuleer. If the whole of space was stolen and stations slowly lost then it would be almost a restart of the immortal life. Many would try to quit, retire if they found that what they once had was being taken away but how many would step up to the challenge and relish it?

How many would fight to stop it and how many would try to hurry the process along?

****************************************************************************

Lessons. This post was spurred by an announcement out of China

Man, can you imagine reworking the eve online map? Slowly via plot or wholesale via a new server?

I think it will take another post to discuss all the other changes China and NetEase are looking to do because some of them are formidable.

fly it like you won it

m

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Boros piece

OOC  *************************

This is the continuum of a post I started in 2020.  I honestly though that I had posted it and then found it this week in my drafts file.  I felt obligated to finish it.  I enjoy writing and this bit  felt like it had to be done right.

IC****************************

They gathered to experience the art Boro had completed and sent.  It was an immersive installation.  It happened all around you demanding you make the right choices, look in the right direction.  Or you played it again, trying to see something new the second, third, fourth time.

As did all things, it started with silence, darkness.  The slowly the music started, filling the space and pushing hard to grow beyond it.  A shaft of light lit a young girl, maybe 9 years old, dancing hesitantly at first but slowly growing faster, stronger, more confident.  Medals were handed to her, she dropped them in place and danced around them, ignoring them.

I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself.

Tantas voice came from everywhere, soft in tone but hard in purpose.  The girl spun as the music reached a  crescendo and the light flickered, the spin continued but now the girl was about 15.  Men partnered with her but only for a moment and then they would fade and be replaced by another and another . . .

Dancing with the feet is one thing. Dancing with the heart is another.

Again the voice filled the space and the girl kept dancing, refusing the distractions.  The moves became more confident, stronger, natural.

It never gets easier. It just gets better.

Another spin, in and out of the light, the teen was now a young woman.  Partners still came and went but one kept returning and she danced closer, each time, to him. He was not the best dancer, the best lead, but you could see him fall towards her each time, like a man dying of thirst might fall towards an oasis.  At last they embraced and he spun her, rather than her dancing alone, round and round and her clothing shifted, Dance outfit, party clothes, wedding dress and they spun in and out of the light and the focus shifted.

Réme was the man for me and I was the woman for him between us there was love and what in the world can stop that?

The music stopped then the rattle of drums, high strings became weapon fire, the light was chaotic and the man and woman, older, now carried weapons and moved swiftly through halls, opening doors and clearing rooms.  Behind them slaves could be seen to running, freed. Then she went through a door and was teaching dance again, spun across the floor the students  trying to emulate the grace.  Through another door and back to the battlefield.

It was a harsh time, living with a foot in both worlds but in life as in dance: Grace glides on blistered feet.

More bodies, shadows behind her some rising up, some falling to lay still.  Weeping she moved through the doorways but each time both worlds were a little more crowded.  Then, while dancing, a shadow rose up and touched her with something like a caress.  For the first time, she stumbled.  Older now the door changes were now a window through which she watched the world progress as she stayed in the dance studio.  People would come to the window and she would speak softly to them, hand them gifts and they would move on, fighting.

Knowing when to let others pick up the lead, have their time in the light.  That kind of knowledge does not come easy nor is it without a payment of pain.

Less movement, now she walked slower but the people around her moved at her pace, watching all about as though for danger.  Many bore a family resemblance but many more were from all across New Eden.  Not all were dancers but the moved in time with her, followed her lead.  She steps forward, once more to meet the shadow, almost as one would greet an old friend.  Stepping into the shadow with a last spin echoing the first dance steps of the piece she vanishes.

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

The last word echoes in the silence for a moment and then the music starts up again.  Slowly the group that walked with her begin to dance, others pick up weapons and head out through doors or stand by the window, waiting.

fade to black

***************************************************

sorry this took so long

fly it like you won it

m

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Other Games OOC

While I do have my fav games and play them a LOT I am willing to try other things and have played a lot of games (some until they died).

Hellgate:London. I loved that game and it was a great stress reliever at the end of a long day of teaching. I actually bought a lifetime membership to it . . . . then it died. Remember correlation is not causation. But that one hurt as it was the first game that I blogged about. I loved the trailer and the setting and the feel of the guns and blades.

Fortnite. Believe it or not I played that ‘before it was cool’ Did okay but then the hordes arrived and I just kind of drifted away. I had the same issue with it that I do with WoW . . . it just feels a bit too cartoony for my aesthetic. I am not saying either is bad, just they do not capture me.

Division and Destiny. Guns lots of guns and targets that seem to think that they are bullet sponges. I mean how the hell can a Garbage man take 5 shots from a sniper rifle to put down?

City of Heroes. Another one that I bought a lifetime sub for. (sigh) Face it half of that game and other superhero ones is the making of your own style and hero. I have made some doozies over the years.

No Mans Sky. I often have binges of that and then drift off and forget everything that I learned. Gorgeous game but no hook that snags and captures me.

Secret World. This one was my replacement for Hellgate and it has gone through a few incarnations and ‘updates’ so I am not competent, anymore. Love the stories and puzzles and atmosphere of some of the set pieces.

All of these are games played with ‘other people’ although NMS was fairly low people per world. If you want to know the solo player games . . .

Skyrim Still kind of the gold standard of open world games and Portal is the one for set piece games (especially tutorials) In CSM 8 this was brought to the devs as the definitive example of how good a new player experience COULD be By myself and Ripard Teg.

portal in skyrim image

Hey, a guy can dream right?

So many games have come and gone. This past week CCP finally stepped away from VR games like Valkyrie and Sparc. I have played Warzone both in 2d and with a VR headset, Sparc I never had a chance to try.

I am fairly sure that nobody has played all the games out there and I am happy with what I have tried and failed at or played until it ended. Our family has a saying that ‘trying new recipes is good but accept that you will not like all of them’. Nor do you have to.

fly it like you won it

m

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Biomes

One of the things I love about games is the ability to take me places. That is one of the very few things I miss in Eve is that all space feels the same. I mean vacuum is not conducive to weather, flora and fauna, etc.

My wife and I will go on minecraft binges where we hunt for just the right place to build out houses and set up shop. But not only is the locale important but also what are the neighbouring biomes. Is there snow, water, river, lakes grassland . . . we like the variety and challenge. And sometimes I like to just sit back and watch the sunset over the blocky terrain. It seems my mind smooths out the edges and it is a perfectly acceptable landscape, worthy of taking a snapshot and hanging on a wall. (No I don’t do that but in the moment it is very relaxing)

I have started streaming tours of Elder Scrolls Online where I just walk about and do not go gung ho into delves and dungeons, just admiring the scenery and lore inherent in the ruins and landscapes. It is relaxing, for me to enjoy the art and work that the devs have put into a game, especially when you start looking for the little details and easter eggs that the good ones hide, here and there.

WAAAYY back in the dawn of time when I wen tot University there was a classic Japanese garden maintained on the campus and my Uni level Geography course spent some time discussing it and the subtleties that it contained. It seems that the designers would put an ‘odd rock’ on the ground that did not match the rest of the pathway. Dark grey amongst white stones, for example. It was the designers way of saying that there was something they wanted to show you, right there. One was a carefully trimmed sequences of plants that would allow a view of a distant shrine ONLY if you stood on that rock. Another was a view of the highest variety of plants . . . but one had me stumped for days. I looked all about but could not figure out what I was supposed to see.

Then it hit me. It was not visual. They had even tuned the bamboos stream markers and the way water and across stones and right there, on that stone, you could clearly hear more than any other spot in the garden.

Now I know devs are (probably) not Japanese zen garden aficionados but I bring the same appreciation to games that I did to that garden and I spent a lot of time in that garden while at that university. It was my calming place when life threatened to overwhelm. I have similar spots in games.

If any devs of games that I play read this? Thank you one and all.

fly it like you won it

m

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