Once again, tis voting time

“Been waiting for you to show up.” Scotty said, sliding the bottle and shot glass across.

Mike filled his glass, tossed it back and smiled. “Another full roster, lots of people to choose from and there have been others who have already had a lot to say about who should be elected.”

“Any of them right?”

Mike grinned. “All of them and none of them. See, the thing is that voting IS a personal choice. Asking someone else to tell you who to vote for is like asking someone else to choose your menu or drinks. They MIGHT get it right but then again they might not. Letting them choose is just being damn lazy.”

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OOC

Same goes here, for me, I am going to tell you who I plan on voting for and maybe a bit of why but honestly folks? You do need to decide for yourself.

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“But here you are about to give your opinion, eh?”

“Too true, too true. First off is the common theme that I am seeing from some of the pundits. That is to ignore all ‘bloc votes’. If they are a member of an alliance then let their own people get them into office.”

“Admit it,” Scotty said, “You have been known to say similar things.”

“I have, but usually with caveats. Being in an alliance should NOT automatically remove you from consideration but, at the same time, I do not want to see a full bloc CSM. So for a candidate to make it past that filter? Yeah, they need to give me a reason to vote for them. This time around it is two of the incumbents, Brisc and Kenneth. I Have them on my ballot in spite of them being Bloc candidates because I have seen them work and work hard on the CSM. So I like them because of ‘insider knowledge'”

Scotty nodded, slowly. “But the rest of us would just have to take your word for it?”

“Exactly. And while I mention incumbents? Arsia Elkin has shown to be a good advocate as well and I would love to see her get a chance to serve a full term. Steve Ronuken is also an old hand at the CSM and will always have my vote when he runs.”

“So that is four of the ten slots on your ballot.

“Yup, now we get down to the nitty gritty and a bit of the thought process behind it.”

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OOC

No I am not going to break NDA but CCP has announced that a lot of the upcoming year will be delivered through the lens of Faction Warfare. If you want to be logical about your vote then it would make sense to bring at least a few of the low and FW people to the table.

Torvald and Phantomite experienced in CSM and MAN did they advocate for what is now on the horizon.

If you want hisec represented? Dutch Gunner and/or Kshal Aideron

Wormholes? Mark Ressurectus

Tournament play? Ithica Hawk

NPSI? Keacte

Balance issues? Stich Kaneland

Each of these folks could bring some very good things to the table and I would be happy if some or all of them got in. This is NOT to say that the other candidates are bad just that these are the ones I know or know of and would trust to do the job.

Links to a few articles about other folks choices

https://eveoganda.blogspot.com/2022/05/csm17-recommended-ballot.html

Ashey in space Ballot

Others have written good things and if you have not checked out Ashterothis interviews, please do. They are always a great resource.

Please vote

m

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OOC RL

Look, I get it. Games are games and where we go to escape. But sometimes the real world impinges on the gaming community and what we do says a lot about us and how we relate to said world(s).

Yeah, I am talking about Russia and the Ukraine.

In the forums threads are being shut down as fast as they are opened because (specifically) the forums have a ‘no rl politics’ rule. Fair enough. I am pretty sure eve online reddit is doing the same thing. Odd thing is? I would like to hear from folks about this, from the people I play with. Situations like this can be a litmus test for people you know only on line. I don’t mind talking about the ‘hard subjects’ even with people who might think differently than I do.

I have gone on record as asking that CCP hold a Plex for good event supporting the victims of this war and I will be right there donating if they do. I do NOT agree with punishing your average gamer because he or she happens to live in Russia, right now. Nor do I ask them to speak up and publish their names in opposition to the state. Even in North America that can have long lasting consequences and I shudder to think about the results of speaking out in a place like Russia.

We play a game but we all live in the real world. Simple as that. We are people, humans, gamers and thinkers (if you successfully play eve that is) but when the computer is off, when we are afk? The real world is there, waiting for us. I like playing games, I like playing with those of you who play eve or ESO or any of the other games I dabble in. I never ask your creed, colour, nationality, or even gender preferences. We play together and that is enough. Sure it is a little kid attitude but I have always thought that they had the right of it before we get them to learn to hate, distrust, take sides.

Do I have aa opinion the current conflict? Yeah. I think Russia is in the wrong. I also think that Taiwan is a country and that China is watching this as a test bed for their future plans. If you disagree with me? Well that is for you and this is for me. You do you, boo.

Oh, I hate having to say this next bit but any opinions expressed here are Mine, not wordpress, not Eve Online or Elder Scrolls Online or freaking tic-tac-toe. You have a problem with it? come to me.

m

ps, no I am not gonna meme-post a flag or anything like that although I am looking hard at Bowhead skins (again)

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Knock knock.

So Eve Online is doing a crossover with Doctor Who (heaven forbid you say Dr. Who, just not done doncha know) and of course the usual suspects all proclaimed this to be lots of things, most of them bad.

Me? I am enjoying it. But then I have always been contrary.

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

“You are spending a lot of time in that ship and the records say a lot of jumps, too.” Scotty looked up t the Astero.

“Best thing I have for the two jobs I am doing right now.” Mike smiled. “I am doing the Bus ‘Silk Road’ style and I am watching for certain anomalies along the way.

“What sort? Old Sansha drop points?”

“No, these things are a bit more unusual. They seem to be some sort of temporal knots and some of the things inside there are not your normal data. I Even managed to cobble together a filament or two and they took me to even stranger places.”

“How strange?”

“Well it is the first time I bounced a ship off of the walls of a warp tunnel. First time a local anomaly hit me like some demented abyssal weather but only lasted a short while . . . .and . . . look I never know whether the input I get into the capsule is the same thing I would see through a window. You know what I am saying? But the colours, they seem to reach right out and grab your eyes and scream LOOK AT MEEEEEeee. I don’t stay too long . . . .word is they are very time limited occupancy before the whole thing collapses, with you in it.”

“You’re going again, aren’t you?” Scotty could see the enthusiasm in Mikes eyes.

“Damn right. But this time I may open one with some enemies, so we gotta get a cruiser ready to go. I was thinking one of the Bus cruisers, a caracal for the first time.”

“Why that?”

“Missiles don’t miss, let’s me look about more and trust my weapons to do what they need to do. Wheh I am in tourist mode I like to be able to take time to smell the roses.”

Scotty muttered something about drones and Mike laughed.

“Yes but sometimes the wee ships need a lot more attention than you might think. Nah, totally lazy, me.”

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

Lessons

You know this event hit a very nice balance. It does not impinge too much on the game as a whole but is there if you want it. It has an interesting new tiered mechanic that you have to work your way up and through.

Starts easy and you pick, slowly, how far into the rabbit hole you want to fall.

Sure a few people will be sporting odd clothing from the event, nicer skins for their ship. But I see it in the same light as the monocles of days gone by. They are a fashion choice that makes NO sense in a space game but we are eccentric capsuleers and immortal. We wear what we want. If it happens to be a wildly coloured scarf or a spiffy suit with a bow tie?

Pity Doctor Who never wore cat ears.

Explore, play, blow things up

fly it like you won it

m

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PvP

Yeah, I know. I am not known for player vs player stuff. It has been a long long time since I did any. But New Year, new me. I am going to try to make an effort to get out and about every now and again

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

“Look,” Mike said calmly “I know you want some combat experience but this is a bad idea.”

“I know, I know. But accept the dual and let’s go.” The rookie was champing at the bit.

Mike sighed, hand hovering over the button that would let CONCORD know that this was an agreed to battle. “Fine, but this is a lesson. Expect me to be teaching.” He pushed the button and the two frigates started moving.

“First thing? In Eve there is seldom such a thing as a fair fight. If you are in a fair fight it means that both sides screwed up.” He added a bit of speed to the Hawk and started to orbit the Executioner. He fired a single salvo then waited for the return fire to get started. Laser flashed by and one or two shots connected but his shield ship barely noticed them.

“Second thing is age . . . now it is not as sure and indicator. folks can rush learning and others ignore it but it is good odds that given my age and yours? I have the advantage. So you want to be at optimum for your weapons.”

” So thats aroun 5k i thing with the lazors” The rookie answered and the executioner edged closer.

“I am using missiles so I do not have an optimum range, Just in range or not in range.”

“Up close it is.”

Mike smiled and watched his shield levels as he continued talking, not turning on the Booster just yet. “May fav part of combat is when your heart starts beating a bit faster.” That was true . . . combat always gave Mike a shot of adrenalin, a bit of the shakes. The incoming fire took him down to a noticeable level, 75% shields when Mike decided that the rest of the lesson would be empirical. He hit the booster and let the missiles fly. It was over very quickly.

“Bookmark this spot so you can come back and loot your wreck, then dock, if you please.” He turned the Hawk for the station and soon was back in the station giving the rookie a new ship (Sunesis due to the pilots enthusiasm).

In Mikes mind that had not been a battle, just an object lesson. But the seed had been planted.

Not a day or two later Mike got a message inviting him along on a roam and he did not wait long to get in touch and agree.

Bombers Bar. Long history and Mike had flown with them long long ago and it was nice to have a chance to get out there again. Good experienced and patient FCs make all the difference in the world. Mike got on early to make sure he had all the comms set and that he could make sure to be properly fit and ready to go (sure enough he did lack one thing but the fleet provided and soon they were filamenting into the unknown

https://zkillboard.com/kill/97958410/

https://zkillboard.com/kill/97959399/

https://zkillboard.com/kill/97959396/

It was not the biggest hunt ever, not even close but it was great to be in a fleet again, banter with the pilots and get out of hisec.

Not shown? The cloaked Blops waiting patiently.

He was back in hisec and heading to base and a big smile on his face. New year, new me. Oh he would still Fly the Bus, help in Rookie chat. But he would also start doing other things, learning again, growing.

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Lessons

One of the best things about Eve is that you are not locked into a pattern, a role. You are what you fly, what you do

My thanks to Katya and the rest of the gang for let this old dog tag along.

I am going to shoot for one roam a month. Do new things, hunt as well as help.

fly it like you won it

m

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Live

“There is” Mike said. “something to be said for live vs recorded. The intimacy and immediacy makes for a better performance, a better experience.” He gestured at the screen above the bar. “Knowin that that is happening live, right now, in some distant place means that I can watch, wager and feel apart of it. Of course I would rather bet there.”

“I was there?” Scotty jibed.

“One can dream. They say that there will be a gathering of pilots soon enough. I have hopes that I will be able to make it to that one.”

“You are a pilot, what can stop you from being anywhere you want to be?”

“No, I don’t like to bet against all the roadblocks the Universe can come up with. I can hope, make gentle plans and maybe things will align in such a way . . . “

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

Lesson

Yeah this is a short post because I am slowly trying to get back into the writing and recording thing.

The two links above? They are key. The AT tournament is the result of CCP Aurora and other devs she manages to get to help make someting I once feared was gone and bring it back again.

Fanfest. Coming back and yes I would rather it was in Harpa but that is because even I can can find Harpa in a strange city. I have been to one Fanfest in the past and I really hope that I can make this one but, given all that I have been through, I am considered immuno-compromised so flights etc are a bit of a health concern for me. I want to go, My wife wants to go, heck, both my girls want to tag along. They, of course want to see Iceland while I do the eve thing.

I hope it all comes together.

fly it like you won it

m

ps for the record? I love the AT prizes

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Escape

The world is a scary place, always has been but lately it feels like they went and turned it up to 11. And here I am writing about games, MMOs. These two things are connected, more than you know. So I am going to dip into some serious stuff for one post, not far but if you are easily bothered and offended? Go read something else.

As you may know I have had Cancer in the past. Beat it. Thing is, winning that sort of battle is seldom a one and done. So it did come back, last year. Got into one of my kidneys. I lost it but hey, I have a spare so no biggy. Then they started to chemo treatments. In the middle of a pandemic I became one of the very immuno-compromised people. That was a bit disconcerting but I made it through. Then my left arm started hurting and they ran a very short test that ended with ‘you sit still there while we make a surgery appt for you this week’ Angiogram and three stents later and I am back on the road. Sometimes I feel like I am an old beater of a car in a Nascar race and the only thing keeping me going is a really good pit crew.

There are a lot of stories connected with all of this that I will not do right now. Hopefully I will get to meet some of you, some day, and we can sit down and I will make you laugh and feel bad about it because you are laughing at all the things that seem to hit me. I am ok with that. And I hope that we get that chance, I really do.

The thing that keeps me going, well a distant second to a very loving wife and kids? Games. The chance to escape, to make my own stories and be the hero. To talk to people almost every day when I am home and quite shut in. To be able to travel if only in my minds eye or on a little screen. Even writing this is an escape valve. I wrote Thank you a long time back but it still applies. I do appreciate the people who make the games, the people I play with and even those of you who put up with my ramblings and stories, year in and year out. You are my Escape.

That is one of the reasons I do not talk about my health that often, really. Because I think that my game stuff might be your escape and I see no reason to drag you down with my load. We all play these long involved games and look at the new generation with their games and shake our heads. Fast, in and out, memed but not immersive. Dead by Daylight is one my eldest loves and I watch a bit but I soon wander off to do my own thing. It is an awesome game, do not get me wrong, but it is not for me, there is no building, not enough progression and choices.

I do not begrudge her what she enjoys and she and the rest of my family return the favour. We play board games together on a regular basis and laugh and enjoy things each in our own way.

I know I said it before but it still holds true. Thank you one and all. Those who make the games, who play them with me, who have followed this odd trip? You are appreciated.

fly it like you won it.

m

oh, ps. One of the fun visits to Iceland? Locked into an Escape Room with another CSM (Cagali Cagali) and two devs of Eve Online. We did make it out and beat the clock.

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Bet you think this blog is about you

“If only we studied the stars as much as we study our own reflections.”
― Kamand Kojouri

Now in games there are sometimes chances to ‘get fancy’ Where you can wear a hat, paint your ship, change your outfit or an emote. It may not make any difference, tactically, but for some people it is everything.

As a CSM I occasionally get people asking me to ask the Eve Devs for ‘cat ears’. Another common ask is the ability to have Corporation or Alliance Logos on a ship. These things, as I said, would not add anything except aesthetics to the game and something for the owner of said ship to take pride in. And I get it, I really do.

Elder Scrolls Online” Tons of Vanity items. Outfits, pets, housing, effects, all of it available . . . at a price. See, that is the other side of the coin, this stuff has value to players and so it also can be monetized. It is an opportunity to add some pixels, give no new advantage, but the player is happy and shows off the bling bling.

Minecraft? Skins and just the whole creation effect is one huge vanity. There is very little winning of that game and a lot more of ‘look at THIS!’. I do not play WoW but I am fairly sure that some of the stuff is to look good more than it is to be good (darling). I think MMOs do feed on our need to pretty up or ugly down. To modify and design and appreciate the art we have made within their art.

and I am sure, irl and in game

you loook Mah vell ous

fly it like you won it

m

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Just a Few Modifications

Okay a bit of classics to set the stage

The particular “ship of Theseus” version of the thought puzzle was first introduced in Greek legend as reported by the historian, biographer, and essayist Plutarch:

The ship wherein Theseus and the youth of Athens returned from Crete had thirty oars, and was preserved by the Athenians down even to the time of Demetrius Phalereus, for they took away the old planks as they decayed, putting in new and stronger timber in their places, insomuch that this ship became a standing example among the philosophers, for the logical question of things that grow; one side holding that the ship remained the same, and the other contending that it was not the same.— Plutarch, Theseus[2]

Now games face similar issues and the two games I have focused on here, these past few weeks have a distinct difference of opinions. Elder Scrolls allows all sorts of Modifications and third party add-ons, Head over to twitch and find that NONE of the streamers views look like yours do when you start the game. They have things for hunting down items in game, inventory, maps, damage and spell trackers, anything goes.

I am not ashamed to say in that game I have a few of the ‘standard add-ons” (as they call them) such as a mini-map and a skyshard tracker. But others I try and lay aside because I find the game becoming less and less like the game and more like the graphics on top. So If is stream (really got to do some of that soon, make a note) then Mine will be a bit modified but still closer to the original . . . that is how I like it.

Eve online, on the other hand, discourages ‘add-ons’. I only say discourages because I know the clever players of the game (some of whom are programmers in their own rights) tend to find ways around silly little things like ‘rules’. Some of the more imaginative ones I miss but they are not allowed now and I would be a fine one to be banned from a game I have spent so much time in for using some dubious add-on.

But for you . . . does a game NEED to be played the way the devs made it? Can we do better as the player base and if we do . . . is it the same ship, the same game.

fly it like you won it

m

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Listening

The sounds of a game can make or break it. Some games we have grown up with and would not have them any other way. The dog laughing at us in Duck Hunt. Mario themes and sounds. All the way back tot he distinctive plonk of a ball hitting the paddle in Pong. Games have sounds to connect you to them to make them more in depth. A Buddy of mine went into the code for Asteroids and replaced the sounds with himself imitating the sounds. So the guns actually went pew pew in his voice.

wierd

But modern games . . . MMOs which is what I have been talking about for this month. They have specialists who work to make the auditory experience something special. Composers who write scores for full symphonies . . .

which for me was

I like music, I like sounds. I appreciate the change in tone when I run from boardwalk to sand. The sounds of lasers pulsing out from my ship, the music that rises as combat begins or relaxes as I take a moment to appreciate the beauty of the game.

I like ambient sounds like rain pattering or thunder in the distance (even in Minecraft) Eve has station ambient voices in the distance that always make you strain to hear what the hell they are saying. (Vets of Eve at this point tend to make the joke ‘Eve has sound?’)

Then there are comms and hearing other players talk and laugh and joke. Talking to devs and hearing them work hard to do something that I think is more than just a job. Listening to Podcasts and twitch streams and the passion of the players for the various games that we play.

Sound means something, hell it means a lot. My hearing is fading, slowly, with my age and I have to turn things up more, say what? to family and I miss the acuity that I once had. If your hearing is fine? Use it, enjoy and revel in it. I am envious

fly it like you won it

m

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Watching

Funny thing about vid games these days is the idea of watching others play rather than doing it yourself. I Guess it makes sense as people will watch basketball, football, etc but the difference (to me) is that I have not the knees or endurance to play a field sport anymore but I can still play video games, so why would I watch others?

Twitch, youtube . . . . I have streamed on both and been shocked when folks actually watched what I do. My Youtube channel is mainly lessons on what and how to play Eve and specific missions that tend to trip people up It is not to garner views and I do not consider myself a streamer as much as someone trying to help others get into a game. See, that is the thing, a lot of the streamers get right into the action of it but they do not “teach” so as an outsider to the game you quite often can be totally lost. BTW this gives me a great idea for making a couple of more videos, new lessons (/me makes a note)

So you browse through games on twitch, for example. If they are running endgame content or higher end stuff then you mainly see a riot of colur and flash (in the case of Elder scrolls online) or complex boxes and a scrolling set of targets (In Eve) and very little to connect you to what is going on. In the case of some games there may even be mods or overlays active that make it even more confusing. Then on top of that you have graphics and cheers and ‘so and so subscribed’ and all the other extras that are part and parcel of being big name streamer . . . but do they connect you to the game?

Thing I did not know . . . some streamers even have agencies to represent them. You know, like talent agencies for actors. And here I am, writing a blog. I feel like a previous generation watching the future whoosh past me, a man in a horse and buggy, looking at cars race by.

No I did not link my stream or youtube channel because that is not what this little article is about.

fly it like you won it

m

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