So What Do I DO?

In Eve Online this is my 5th term as a CSM and I thought I would take a moment to tell you what that entails. The short answer is ‘get yelled at by players and talk to devs’

Typically Thursday is my most busy CSM day as that is the regularly scheduled hour where we video chat with one or more devs about changes that have happened or changes to come. Not all devs have the same level of trust/connectivity and so out hands on varies, from team to team. This morning was about an hour and a quarter of really good talk with one of the devs followed up by text convos and brainstorming.

Personally I spoke about the impact of the topic at hand on newer pilots as well as participated in the brainstorming of changes WAY down the road. I felt listened to in spite of the fact that I am kind of the ‘odd man out’ on the CSM in regards to my hisec/new player focus. No I cannot get more specific on topics because that is what an NDA precludes me from doing.

On other days of the week there will be convos in various channels, additions to wiki pages that we can comment on, and private chats with specific devs on a variety of subjects. I have kind of a route I take through r/eve, eve forums, and discord (look, discord is the worst way to get in touch with me, that is a very noisy comm system) I read, listen, go in game and do a Bus run while reading eve mail . . . .

and I write. Notes to myself, thank yous to players, comments to devs.

Is that what you expected?

m

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Games (part one)

Character sitting above a lake in ESO

So let us talk about games for a bit. Now as I previously said, I am older and do not have the reflexes or patience for the high speed games anymore. I got third in Fortnite before it became a thing and that was because I played sneaky, not fast or accurate. So things like Overwatch, LoL, Apex and all the other variants? Not for this old dog.

I like to admire the view, talk to people, be told a story or make my own.

Heroes gathered in Champions Online

So I tend towards MMOs and other games that allow freedom of choice and less of riding the rails. I talk to people in some games, enjoy the creativity of them in others. Champions Online (above) for example is fun to just see all the names and designs of the characters that players make. Large group events gather us for the common goals and we all pile onto the monster of the hour.

Yeah, I have quite a few characters in that game and each one is a little different. None of them are what you would call ‘maxed out’. But then that is not why I play.

Story, view, people. A long time ago the world realized that Facebook had turned US into a commodity. The app was free because You and your info was all the payment they wanted. Some of the Games that I play? I am fairly sure that I am still part and parcel of the payment scheme. My actions in a game help make the game different, social, alive.

Heck, even this blog is, in a way, feeding the game companies. But I am ok with that.

fly it like you won it

m

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OOC: Who?

A lot of blogging tends to be about the Blogger themselves. I do that now and again but mainly only as a commentary on the games I play. Now, given the title of the Blog it is obvious (to me) that I mainly blog about Eve Online. But I also do play other games, Champions, Elder Scrolls Online and Skyrim, Minecraft, board games . . . you know, a gamer.

I am a retired teacher and my health status varies wildly. But that is not the focus of the blog so I do not bore you with gory details and ‘humorous hospital’ episodes (I have had a few)

I Eve I mainly play as Mike Azariah. I have been on the Council of Stellar Management (Elected player groups that has direct lines to the devs of the game) for several terms (8, 9, 10, 15, and now 16 c. . .is that several or many?) I do have alts but I hardly ever play them.

Other games? The exact opposite. I am an altaholic and actually bought a second account for ESO so I could have more characters. I like to try all the things and variations. Same goes for Champions, I have a large roster of alts to suit my mood and or goals of the day.

I play by my own rules within the larger boundaries of the rules of the game. In Eve this means I am an honest guy in a game famous for scams and betrayal. In ESO I try variant character concepts to see what the edges of possible play is.

But the bottom line is always the same, I play to pass the time and have fun. I set my own goals and play and enjoy the games, the scenery, the ambiance. This blog is because I enjoy writing, and talking about the games and my wife is tired of hearing some things (though she is playing ESO with me, now) so I write. Sometimes I write in character because I like to have a greek chorus to play off of and the fictional conversations let me develop an idea or two without seeming to bombastic. Of course for some folks this is off-putting. Ah well.

My wife and kids will tell you that I can and will talk to almost anyone, strangers in stores, nurses or janitorial staff on duty. Sometimes to tell them a story, other times to ask questions and learn more. Then I pass some of that along to you.

Thank you for being out there, oh unknown readers. I do appreciate it.

m

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So, who won?

Mike leaned back and scanned the news, sipping his coffee. He followed the war but from a distance and with an academic outlook.

Tanta leaned over to hand him a fresh baked cookie and glanced at the screens. “Dat war ova, yet?”

“It has been for some time, just they kept hoping it would produce more.” Mike said. “Some wars are like that. They Burnt the fields and chased the ‘monster’ into its lair but nobody could go in there after it. So both sides will claim victory, both will lick their wounds and return to their respective corners and life will go on. No, nobody won or yes they all won and we can hand out the participation ribbons.”

Tanta snorted and stirred her tea. “Dese folks, dey no know what war be, then. Iffen it were our folks they would corner the beast then bloody its nose every damn time it sticks its nose outa its cave. If you cannto go inta the cave juss make sure it no be comnin out anytime soon.”

“Yes Tanta.” Mike said, almost as a reflex. “Ting is, dat would take effort, commitment. Dey ain’t up fer someting like that so off they will wander and the beast will come out and grow again. It is they way it always seems ta go.”

“So they won?”

“By their reckoning and self congratulations? Yeah. They will conveniently forget all the losses and the fact that they were driven into a cave and just remember that they got back out. History is sometimes the lies we tell ourselfs, eh?”

“I taught you well, boy. Have another cookie afore they cools.”

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

Lessons

Tell me, how will you remember this war or is it even worth remembering?

To a certain extent I liken it to the war against the Taliban. The US may be pulling out and here the Taliban come again, already fighting and retaking territory.

Ah the lazy days of summer are upon us and I and still writing for the blog, day 2 . . .check.

fly it like you won it

m

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Blaugust

Once a year the bloggin community, (some of us) try to do something a little different and make a dedicated push to Blog more, in a closed amount of time. It is hard, writing every day is not for the faint of heart. But I am going to give it a try and see how it goes.

https://aggronaut.com/2021/07/15/blaugust-2021-on-the-horizon/ if you want to know a bit more about it.

Now in this day and age why would anyone blog? For me it is a simple thing, It allows me an outlet for my daydreams and writing and gives me a chance to talk about games to someone other than my long suffering family. So I tell my stories and give my opinions and let people read (or not) as the case may be.

It also is a record so I can look back and mutter to myself about how long I have written about Eve Online and wonder if any of my earlier game blogs live in some forgotten corner of the internet. My biggest hurdle and caution is to pay attention to the NDAs that I have signed, over the years. Being on the CSM for Eve online has meant that I have been slightly on the ‘inside’ and still have secrets to keep. Then again? I tend to tell stories and not blab about big things to come. I am too old to believe that all, once promised, will be here soon(tm).

If you have questions? Have ever thought of making your own blog? putting yourself out there? Feel free to ask me questions, below. I do NOT claim to be good at it, just long lived.

fly it like you won it

m

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OOC: You would Complain if they Hung you With a New Rope

CCP decided to do a different sort of login encouragement. So if you log in over this past week? You got in game currency.

This is not anything new, We all have seen such things in other games. But the CSM warned CCP against this action for a few reasons.

Note: NDA keeps me from direct quotes and very much from saying what CCP says until they say or do it publicly. But the isk is out there so this is, I think, fair game. A lot of our objections was in the optics. It makes CCP look a bit desperate and given the mood of the players these days after the long period of scarcity? It feels like a sop or too little too late.

Then you have the armchair economists weighing in with predictions of how this will effect the in game economy. You all do know that Universities use Eve as a example and lesson IN economics, right? It is an interesting exercise and I do plan on following up to see IF this had any effect on any measurable in the game and if so, what.

The title, above, is something my parents used to say. Basically it was means you complain to much, enjoy the little victories, the gains . . . not the losses. We have the AT to look forward to, a visual overhaul, some extra jingle in the pockets and maybe . . . just maybe . . . a large battle this weekend.

fly it like you won it

m

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Running again

Scotty grinned as the ship docked and Mike exited it. “Thought that you would be dropping by soon.”

Mike smiled back. “Getting predictable am I?”

“Election time around the corner? Yeah, you do tend to show up and touch base. Here to go through the candidates?”

Mike shook his head. “Not yet, the aren’t even all at the starting gate, yet. Got another few weeks before that happens. Then there is the vetting process.”

“To weed out all the shady types?”

Mike grinned. “Only the extreme ones. Normal levels of shady are expected, us being politicians and all . . . but it does check to see if the candidates can follow simple instructions like how to fill out an application. In the past more than a few have failed that step.”

“Ha, ha . . . wait, you are serious?” Scotty asked as he fell in beside Mike walking across the hanger floor.

“Very. Sometimes people cannot follow basic instructions . . .

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

CSM16 ELECTIONS TIMELINE

26 April – 12 May – Submission Period

26 April – 14 May – Application Processing

20 May – Live Candidates Announcement

20 May – 4 June – Campaign Period

8-15 June – Voting Period (from 11:00 UTC to 11:00 UTC)

21 June – Live CSM 16 Reveal

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

Important disclaimer: incorrectly filed or incomplete submissions will be rejected. The rules are very clear, but we are happy to answer any questions if you are unsure about anything regarding the process. You can send us an email at communityteam@ccpgames.com.

To be eligible for the CSM, applicants must meet the following requirements:

• Your account must be older than 60 days at the time candidacy applications close.

• Characters on both Alpha and Omega accounts are eligible to run.

• You must have a history of honoring the EULA and the Terms of Service. We will screen every applicant thoroughly, and EULA/TOS violations on your record can result in a rejected application.

• You must create a campaign thread in the CSM section on EVE Online forums covering the following questions:

o Your EVE Online story.

o Your areas of expertise. In which areas of the game do you feel you are the most knowledgeable? What qualities set you apart from other candidates?

o Why are you applying for the CSM?

o What can players expect from you?

o You are free to add more information and manage your campaign thread as you see fit, but the above four questions are the bare minimum required from everyone.

• Your account must have updated and correct information at the time of your application. This includes your real-life name, correct date of birth, and the same email you use to submit your application. To view and edit this information go to the account management website.

• Candidates must have reached 18 years of age. If the legal adult age in your home country (the age at which you have the legal capacity to enter into a contract) is higher than 18, that number applies instead.

• As an applicant, you must consent to provide your personal details to CCP, including your real name and a copy of your passport. CCP needs to affirm your real-life identity for NDA contract purposes, and the ability to travel to a summit in Iceland is a key function of the CSM.

• If you do not currently have a valid passport, we will accept a picture/scan of a valid and approved passport application accompanied by a picture of your driver’s license.

• You must consent to share your country of origin with the EVE community and display it on the EVE Online website. You will not be required to share any other personal information with the EVE community.

• If you are running as an “alt” and control a character that has a reputation in the EVE universe, CCP may require you to run under that identity at its full discretion.

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

“You know, simple things like prove that you are you . . . that sort of thing. But some folks just cannot get past such details without falling flat on their asses.”

Scotty nodded. “Immortal capsuleers but they still suck at the paperwork.”

“Yup, so I came here to file mine, I would look damn stupid if I got it wrong considering the number of times that I have run. Cross all the I’s and dot all the T’s every jot and tittle as Tanta used to say. Ya gets it right or just plain be wrong.” Mike nodded and they turned into the bar together. “Nice to be back in the office, if even just to do a little paperwork.”

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

Lessons

Yeah the election is coming up. Yeah I am running again.

I was debating it a lot over the past month but some things that are still in the works? I want to see through.

That means that I would appreciate it if you could put me on your ballot come the day, preferably on the top. There are a lot of good folks running though and even if I am not your top choice I would appreciate making it on.

I will talk about the other candidates in a wee bit, as said above.

Oh, one other thing. I have been streaming a bit more lately, on twitch. https://www.twitch.tv/mikeazariah if you are curious. Gimme a follow or watch one of the old ones.

fly it like you won it

m

Lessons.

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Scaffolding

Tanta and Free watched as Ruis carefully taped the windows and doors and washed down the walls. He worked quietly and efficiently before taking a scrub brush and washing the walls before even getting the paints out.

“Nice to see good work before the ‘work’ gets done” Tanta said to Free. “Best Jobs done be like that. The better you prepare the smoother they go and folks think you hardly done no work at all.”

“He could have just started painting.”

“Sure he could but he wouldn’t not with me watching and all. No not with me watchin.” Tanta nodded. “A lot of things be like dat. Even what you used to do had a lot of scaffolding to it. Ting is, most of the scaffolding was done by the boy.”

It took a moment for free to realize that Tanta meant her tech and then she began to think about it. ID, escape route, dossiers, weapons, and safe houses. All were there when she needed them. “I . . . I don’t often think about it like that. He was just doing his job.”

“His job was to make your job smooth. Did yous ever thank him?”

Free hung her head. “I didn’t kill him”

“If you tink dat counts as thanks I has a lot of teachin left to do, a lot of teachin. He be a good boy and takes pride in his work. We almost lost him once, alreadies.”

“WHAT?!” Free was shocked that she had not heard of this earlier, then suddenly shocked at the feeling of possessiveness that suddenly swelled up. Corey had every right to be his own person, they were no longer obligated to serve another.

“Boro offered him the position that you arranged to be open. Manager of his tour. The boy brought the message to me, in case I had not seen it, being private and all.” Tantas chuckle faded into a cough. “Offered a lot of money, too. I knew Boro had seen something in the boy. But he told me that he had already decided to stay. Yer lucky, girl. No, WE is lucky. He makes good scaffolding and makes the rest of the job look easy and right. Even if you don’t do the prep yerself you should appreciate that it is done and done right.”

“But what about Mike. He never plans ahead far enough for your scaffolding.” Free protested.

“You tink dat, do you? He does like to look like it is all off da cuff and accidental but THINK, LOOK. Is it?”

Free frowned and realized that Mike was always talking to people, always listening. THAT was his scaffolding.

“no. I should have known. Seeing as he is one of yours.”

“Bah, he is his own. But Réme and I, we tried to teach him a few tings, here and dere. His scaffolding is different than yours but it is made, juss the same. He takes his pride in the workings of it, more dan you know. Just because you do not always see it being made just means that it is happening out of your sight or attention. But if a job is to be well done there is always scaffolding.

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

Lessons

I am painting a stairwell and once again it hammers home to me that often the prep for the jog (scaffolding) takes longer than the actual task itself.

In the past I have seen CCP face the same issue. Work from where you are or spend a LOT of time diving into the legacy code. Problem is? We Players are an impatient bunch. We do not see the scaffolding, only demand the painting be done. “A simple code change . . . what is the problem and why won’t they do it?”

/me shakes his head

At times I am the same. I have been waiting for CCP to finish scaffolding so we can put down some paint and I may be forced to run for CSM 16 if I want to be a part of that. I am not complaining about timelines, just this has been a rough year for us all and I would like to be a part of the changes to come (for better or worse)

My dad worked with an electrician who was an electrical genius, in his own way. Trouble was? He sucked at prep. So if he was on a jobsite I was tasked with being one step ahead of him doing proper prep, pulling wire, drilling holes, and such. I have seen what happened if someone did not do the prep and it was worked into my own personality, over time, part of my upbringing

But yeah, I do get impatient, now and then

fly it like you won it

m

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Projects

“Everybody has a project.” Mike explained to Scotty as they sat down with beers before them. “Some folks may not admit it outright but without something to do? We tend to rattle like a loose bearing until something breaks.”

Scotty nodded and sipped his drink, letting Mike talk.

“I met a few folks and they all had some thing they were working on. This one guy is doing a paper on trust among capsuleers.”

Sputtering through his beer, laughing, Scotty asked. “He was studying mythology?”

“Oh don’t give me that. There is a lot more trust in this Universe than the cynics like to claim. It just is a more cautious version of the same. Hell, the Bus project is based on trust. Those who donate trust me to distribute the donations.”

“And if you chose to walk away, how much would you make?” Scotty asked, feigning a casual air.

“Doesn’t matter, won’t happen.” Mike downed his own beer and waved for another. “Then I met a guy who is doing janitor work, capsuleer style. He decided that he has had enough of the Mobile Depots in career systems so he is shooting them down . . . slowly.”

“Shooting them slowly? Career systems are not THAT crowded.”

“No but you cannot just destroy them. They go into a timer and you have to wait two days to finish them off.”

“Doesn’t that kind of action draw some response from the locals?”

Mike grimaced. It makes you a Suspect which means other capsuleers can shoot, if they choose to do so. This guy? He decided he did not care and a few watched him but did not shoot.”

Shrugging scotty grumbled “Seems like a waste of time. The people will just put up more.”

“That.” Mike said, jabbing a finger at Scotty, “that is the exact wrong attitude. I talked to a guy who visited a run down part of town. Tags everywhere, damage to the buildings, storefront defaced and broken. Except this one small area. He asked around and everyone pointed him to an old man. This old guy? He would get up every morning and fix things, wash the tags off, clean the pedestrian walkways.”

“So he was a municipal worker?”

“Nope, I asked him that, said he had been a heavy loader, long time ago, retired now. He just did not like the mess of what his old neighbourhood had become so he started cleaning it.”

“Didn’t it get tagged again?”

“Yup, and again and again and again. But Thing is, the people there started to notice and to like how things looked, cleaned up. So the storefronts got repaired . . . people started to take pride in where they lived. Slowly litter stopped being dropped, the tagging stopped and it became a nice place to be. I think that this capsuleer might have met someone similar and decided that he could be the old man, this time. I will be checking back on him, from time to time to see how it goes, maybe toss him a ship if he needs it.”

Scotty smiled and waited a beat before asking. “And what new project have you got on the go?”

Mike held a hand to his breast. “Moi? I am a lazy pilot just driving the Bus.”

“No, you are a help-a-holic who buys and fits ships, delivers them to systems and hands them out all the while on comms chatting with new capsuleers across New Eden. I know you brought home the full set of skins from the Gala but I am willing to bet that you snuck the runs in between Bus stops, right?”

Mike shook his head and laughed, “You know me too well.”

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

Lessons

Yes it HAS been a while but I feel like writing, again.

If you see someone shooting mobile depots that are pure space spam? Probably that guy, cleaning up.

Yes I have some projects on the Horizon and I do need to do my own summary, over the next little while.

Yes, I missed you, too.

fly it like you won it

m

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Holiday

He sat in his ship, the last echoes of the explosions still ringing in his ears and looked out across the expanse. Wreckage as but tiny dots in the distance and the Sansha station loomed but there was a calmness, a peace.

“Home. I needs ta be home, now.”

He sighed and the ship pivoted like a hound searching for a scent, until it pointed in a new directions. Engines lit, critical speed attained, off he shot. Not long later but many lightyears away the ship docked at a station. He slowly shut down channels, comms and took another moment of peace before exiting the ship. A short stop to drop off presents for a few of the people in the station but he was not home, not yet.

He headed for the shuttle down to the planet but was stopped by a familiar voice. “No, your ride is arranged.”

He smiled, turned and surprised Free with a hug that lifted her off her feet. “Arranged?”

She lead him to a side hanger where a sleek private planetary interceptor waited. “I do not want you taking commercial shuttles, anymore. So here we have your ride to the surface today.”

“That,” Mike said “Is a NAS with a full loadout. Are we droppng into a hot zone?”

Free looked at him and smiled. “It is the holidays at Tantas. Of course it is a hot zone. But I also did some investigations and I do not want you making yourself an easy target. So you ride down in an assault ship and you will not complain.”

Mike smiled. “Ma’am” and let her lead him aboard the ship. An hour later he was home. More exactly? He walking into the chaos of cooking, cleaning, voices and laughter, music in the background that made a lot of the people step to the timing and spin out of each others way like a well choreographed dance.

It was several hours before he managed to get Free alone out on the porch and followed up. “So, who wants me dead, now?”

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

OOC

It has been a while since I sat down to write and I feel it building up pressure. I also have two books to hand make for my daughters over the next few days for Christmas. When they were almost 2 decades younger I told them stories that I would make up as I went along. They loved them and always wanted me to write some down.

So a story or two, a recipe or instructions for ‘how dad does things’ And a reminder that some people still write in cursive. Take that!

This has been a year, hasn’t it? I think the next post will be a end of the year summary but if you have made it this far? Suffered through my intermittent posts? Thank you. I hope that you have the merriest of Christmases or whatever mid-winter celebration you choose.

fly it like you won it

m

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