Straight Off A Cliff

I’m moving the blog! Weeee! The blog will be moving to (not active yet) sometime in the next two weeks. It will be self hosted, so please bear with me over the next month while I find my bearings and play around with different settings!

Eve Blog-a-Day #011 – Playing, Yet Not Playing Eve

What is EVE Blog-a-Day?Similar to the EVE Blog Banter, which occurs once per month, EVE Blog-a-Day will pose a short simple question for EVE’s bloggers. It’s meant to give bloggers a jump-start into posting. You want to post something, but you’re stuck for a subject? EVE Blog-a-Day can help. Feel free to use it every time a new question is posed, or only when a new question piques your interest.

Question #011

On the days that you do play EVE Online, how many hours (on average) are you in the EVE client, playing the game? On the days that you do play EVE Online, how many hours (on average) are you not in the EVE Client, yet still thinking about EVE? And, on the days that you aren’t playing EVE Online, how many hours (on average) are you thinking about EVE?

My answer is an interesting one, and I’m going to answer the various parts out-of-order. Firstly, I’m usually thinking about Eve, if I’m not playing, then I’m hanging out in the #tweetfleet, or on Jabber so I can chat with my Corp and Alliance mates. I also have the Eve Forums open in a separate tab. And EveHQ is usually open so I can play around with different fitting ideas when I get bored.Its not really possible to quantify how much time I spend thinking about Eve as it is usually in the back of my mind. How many hours do I play each day that I play? It used to be over 10, but is now around 5, as I was getting burnt out far too quickly, so I have put a limit on how much time I spend playing any one game.

I Can’t Think of Anything Funny to Put Here

Stupid title aside, this is just a quick post so I can say I posted something today.
While checking my feeds today, I came across thispost from the winner of my contest, Kael Dorin. It seems he loved winning it so much that he named his shiny new Talos in my honour. Thanks for that, and may it bring you lots of kills.

Things have been pretty quiet for me of late, there hasn’t been much happening in-game, though I did spend most of today logged, running missions to repair my woeful balance, which took a big hit from the contest. I also flew to Jita and picked up a T2 Tractor Beam, the extra 4000m is really handy when you are using a Drake to kill things and salvaging as you go. Also Loot All button is pure win, it has greatly improved my efficiency, as I no longer need to spend 5 seconds per wreck dragging the loot to my cargo hold.

With crucible deployed I am noticing there have been more people online in corp chat than previously, and my Corporation has begun recruiting, so if you are looking for a high sec home for PvP or Industry, convo me in-game and we’ll see what happens. That’s it for today, time to get some sleep I think, then its back to running missions in the morning.

The Darth Project

Following is a transcript from a video file I received earlier this week after being informed that some of my files in the CONCORD database had been De-Classified.

The stars surrounded him; a sense of serenity filled his being as he floated amongst the stars. As he looked around he became aware that he could see everywhere at once. His surprise at this revelation was cut short by a shrill voice, “Teacher, Jaron’s sleeping again!”
The young man bolted upright and gave a yelp as the shock probe in his seat activated. While the shock wasn’t enough to harm him it was more than enough to get his attention. Jaron looked over at the professor to see her staring at him with a slightly amused expression upon her face as she held a remote in her hand. “Since you have had some time to sleep on it, why don’t you come here and show the rest of us how to solve this differential equation.”
The rest of the class laughed at Jaron’s embarrassment as he stood up and walked to holoboard. As Jaron stood in front of everyone he ignored the class as he immersed himself with the formula. After a brief moment Jaron went to the end of the equation and entered the solution. The screen flashed green to showing that his solution was valid, the laughter ceased. He looked upon his teacher once again to see her face screwed up with an expression of utter shock at how quickly he managed to complete the equation. She quickly regained her composer, “You didn’t show your work. How are we to know that you understand this equation?”
“The fact that it’s correct should show that.” Jaron calmly replied
“How are the other students supposed to follow your work on the equation?” the teacher once again getting angry.
“Doesn’t the state pay you to teach us, why should I do your job?” Jaron inquired with a sly grin.

Jaron sat in a chair so familiar to him it might as well been his assigned seat. He could hear the continuous bellowing tirade from the door in front of him, which bore the title Commandant. As the door slammed open Jaron saw an underclassmen scurry out with a pale terrified expression. Jaron’s attention was jerked back to the open door upon the commandant’s bellow, “Jaron get your undisciplined Archura ass in here now and close the damn door!”
Jaron jumped to attention and rushed into the commandant’s office closing the door behind him. The commandant was a severe Deteis, his hair was closed cropped in military style and a scar creased his right cheek bone. It had been 10 years since the commandant’s military days, but his physical condition gave the impression that he was discharged just yesterday. The commandant’s stern face displayed outright disgust at what he saw before him as he began his interrogation, “Educator Kaius informed me that you are being troublesome and disrespectful of her in her class….AGAIN. What is it with you boy, it seems every other week you have to make my day turn to shit!”
“It’s not intentional, sir.” Jaron stated meekly.
“How can someone screw up so much by accident? Aren’t the Achura supposed to be patient and thoughtful?” the commandant continued.
“Well one can’t go by stereotypes; if I did I would think that all Deteis are mindless blowhards that are slaves to the state.” Jaron at once realized the depth of his mistake and he clapped his hand over his mouth and looked upon the commandant with terror filled eyes. He knew he just went way too far.

The commandant’s rage filled him, his eyes blazed with a deep-seated anger as he began his torrent upon the unfortunate student, “If I could work my will I would see you disenfranchised, stripped of all assets and dumped in the street to live out your days as a vagrant living off the charity of others! Do you think that your father’s work with the Navy grant’s you some kind of immunity!”
Jaron had snapped to attention and answered, “No Sir!”
“That’s good because it doesn’t” the commandant continued as if he was dressing down an unsightly corporal. “Perhaps being a vagrant is too good for you, perhaps I should volunteer you for military conscription? Yes that might do nicely a stint with the State Marine Corp would beat that smart mouth out of you. I would just love that!”
Jaron’s life began to flash before him at the thought of conscription; his fear seemed to feed the commandant’s predatory nature. A smile crossed the commandant’s face as he brought out a message tube bearing the signet of the Caldari State, “Yes I would just love to see that, but being a mindless slave to the state I follow my orders.”
The commandant tossed the tube to Jaron who nearly dropped it in surprise and confusion at this latest turn of events. The Deteis’s arms crossed as he regained his composure, “Despite you discipline issues you still remain the most gifted student in this school, your test scores place you in the top tiers of the entire state educational system. For these reasons you have been selected to join the State War Academy for a special project here in Kisogo. You will report to them tomorrow, DISMISSED!”
“Yes Sir!” Jaron exclaimed.
Excited at this new twist of fate he turned towards the door when he heard the commandant say his name. Jaron turned to see a concerned expression upon the commandant’s face as he said, “Good luck and fly safe.”

The farewell from his family had been a hurried affair. His mother and sister to fight to keep back the tears, his younger brother on the other hand was excited at this and kept on about how he was going to be a capsuleer too. Strangest of all was his father, Jaron had always know his father as the epitome of discipline and control, but this time he thought his Dad seem concerned and distant. Jaron put these concerns out of his mind as he stroked his freshly shaven head, feeling where the new implants had been surgically placed. He was to begin his training today; there was no room for concerns about the past.
Jaron was selected to participate in a new training program designed to half the time needed for the State to produce a capsule pilot. From what Jaron was told it centered on immersive simulations while having his training directly fed into his memory via his implants. He stood in front of his simulator seat waiting for the doctors to start his training program, as the door opened a slight man in lab coat entered the room. The doctor instructed him to sit in the chair, Jaron sat down and was taken by surprise as the chair reclined back and the room went dark.
“Don’t worry yourself and keep you mind clear, the chair will begin to connect the simulator feeds to your implant connections. There may be a slight discomfort when that happens.” the doctor explained with a bored tone.
Jaron felt a sharp spark run up his spine as the connections clicked into place, he felt his surroundings melt away to the simulation. A familiar floating sensation came over him as the stars enveloped his perceptions, as he looked around he noticed a small ship as the center of his new reality.
A voice pierced through his new reality, “Alright lets start off with some basic flight and beginner combat training. You will find that operating you ship will be almost intuitive. I will check back on you later.”

Time became illusive, days blending into months. The candidate once known as Jaron had no perception of time, all there was to him was the simulation. He didn’t sleep, he never tired, all he needed was the blessed dark beauty of space. Then an unknown voice came and interrupted his beloved reverie, “This is another success of the Darth Project, we have designated him Skorpius. He has shown excellent progress in the last two months, why in another three he could be ready for implementation.”
A second deeper voice now invaded his reality, “Most impressive doctor. You are certain that they will perfectly obedient and loyal to the state?”
“Oh indeed. Their implanted training is laced with subliminal controls and the Mindflood they are injected with sharpens their reflexes while making the mind more pliant.” the first voice explained.
“Good, this project may put an end to this embarrassing capsuleer issue. To think of the billions we have spent on these pilots only to see them go rogue or even side with the damned Federation.” the deep voice continue on, but the darkness blocked it out and Skorpius returned to his reality.
Time passed, but how long? Skorpius didn’t know, time was an uninteresting perception compared to everything else. His simulation continued and he honed his skills on simulated enemies of his beloved state. Once again his reality slipped away from him and he was jarred out of his simulation. Questions shot through his mind, the confusion was so unbearable it almost hurt, “What happed to space, what is this light, why is my perception so strange, what is pain.”

Finally the light subsided and he could see two faces before him, one he had never seen and the other was slightly familiar. It was the familiar one who spoke first, “Jaron Hearn?”
Skorpius didn’t understand his face showed only confusion, why had they brought him here?
“Jaron Hearn?” the man asked again in a louder voice.
“This is ridiculous, the programmed identity is far too established. You’re wasting your time and risking both our careers for foolish sentimentality.” the other one impatiently stated.
The familiar face sighed and said, “Darth Skorpius, I am here to tell you that your parents have died in an accident.”
Skorpius still only felt confusion, and withdraw from the simulation, but still asked, “Who?”
“Your Mother and Father died in a hover car accident.” the first one explained slowly
“Forget it, any memories he once had are long gone.” the second man stated dismissively
Pain shot through Skorpious’s temples as strangely familiar faces began flash from his memory. As the pain faded he asked, “Brother and sister?”
The unfamiliar man’s jaw dropped in shock at this question and the first man’s face smiled with hope, “They are both fine, they have been placed into the state foster parent program. I heard that a friend of your family will care for them. They should be fine.”
“Okay, can I go back now?” Skorpius asked.
“Sure” the familiar man said, but concern streaked his face.

The simulations continued for a time, then Skorpius was placed into his own hydrostatic capsule. The training continued now with his new Ibis, the basic frigate was now Skorpius’s home. Here he trained against target drones and other candidates until his graduation day.
For his final training mission Skorpius was to lead a wing of fellow cadets in a formation flyby of their training station. They flew toward the station with the precision of an elite military unit and as they grew closer an odd feeling came over Skorpius. Once again faces he barely remembered started bubbling to the forefront of his mind and words and voices flooded his ears, “They will perfectly obedient and loyal to the state? Your Mother and Father died in a hover car accident. The programmed identity is far too established. Jaron Hearn? Jaron Hearn? Jaron Hearn?”
The final name echoed in his mind over and over again. Finally a rage welled up within Skorpius and he commanded his Ibis to charge head long toward the station. Skorpius activated his targeting systems to aim the ships small railgun toward the station’s command platform. He focused clearly on it’s large window and prepared to fire.
While this was happening the Darth project’s leader ship stood upon in the command platform trying to piece together what was happening. Many voices spat out situation reports that only created more confusion,
“Darth Skorpius is not responding on any channel. He is on an attack vector for us and has locked weapons.”
“That Ibis has no hope of breaching our shields.” as second person sneered.
“Sir we have reports that the shields have been sabotaged, we are wide open!”
“Order all other Darth’s to attack Skorpius!”

A small man sat at the bar, ignoring the drink before him as a shadowy figure sat beside him he asked, “Is it done?”
“Yes the entire project staff died in the explosive decompression, a grateful Federation thanks you doctor.” the figure replied
“What about Darth Skorpius?” the doctor inquired
“Well the others nearly killed him before he warped out. He was probably injured, but I bet he’ll survive” ,the figure answered
“What will become of him?”
“Well that really up to him now, he’s free to do as he pleases. You told me that he showed signs of remembering, maybe he will fully recover. Time will tell, doctor. Time will tell”

Written by Kael Dorin and reposted with his permission.

Deploy All The Things!

Crucible has been deployed! I got to miss all the fun as while it was being deployed I was sleeping. I woke up this morning and was able to patch my client without any problems. I would have like to have been able to hang out on the forums for a bit before heading into town for my usual Wednesday shopping trip (groceries and bills!) but there wouldn’t have been much besides whining threads if they were up so it’s no big loss really. My client was fully patched and ready to go by the time I had to leave, though not by much, so I didn’t have time to log in before heading out. By the time I got back even the forums were working, though I had an interesting bug with my internet where I could play eve perfectly fine but couldn’t do any other internet related tasks, a problem which I have now fixed!

Once I got home and had taken care of all the tasks that needed to be dealt with, including lunch (Subway ftw) I sat down and logged into Eve. At which point I cursed CCP and their UI changes as I quite liked how I had all my windows set up. But that’s life and I have gotten over it now, and have put most windows I use regularly back to how I like them, and will fix the rest as I need to use them. I doubt I’ll get them perfectly back to the way I had them but sometimes a little change is a good thing. After sorting out my UI I decided to fly to Eram and check out Site One. I was presently surprised to see that it had been named in honour of the person who helped co-ordinate the acquisition of the required materials, congratulations to The Antiquarian, your efforts helped make site one a possibility. I was also surprised to find out that flying to within 5000m the various project abstract structures, and a couple of others that I didn’t notice, spawned a book on that project in your ship’s cargo hold, and there didn’t appear to be a limit on the number of copies of each book you could acquire – in fact every 10 seconds you could get another copy from each structure. I ended up with 3 copies of several of the books due to having to fly past them to reach all of the structures.

I have decided to try to post at least once a day, but that will depend on if I can find enough to talk about each day, those who have known me for a while will know that I have nothing but spare time, though I hope to change that next year, so I can’t use lack of time as an excuse. Hopefully over time the quality of my posts will also increase. I haven’t imposed a minimum word count for my posts, but I’m going to try to aim for about 500 words per post, so they aren’t too short, and hopefully not too long either.

Death of a Shadow

I awoke in a pretty good mood yesterday morning. I had gotten a decent nights sleep the night before, my fiction contest was comign to a close and things were generally looking pretty good. Then i fired up Tweetdeck and started reading through tweets from while i was sleeping. Only to find out that now former Dust514 Community Manager CCP Shadow had decided to leave the company. I was deeply saddened by this news as i had enjoyed talking to him about dust and having my questions answered with “NDA, sorry”.
I hope to get to know his replacement over the coming weeks and look forward to pestering him with questiosn about Dust514 that cant be answered because they are covered by NDA.

Good luck where ever you end up James, and dont forget to stay in touch with the #tweetfleet

[IC] Jaron’s Return

Earlier today I received a message from CONCORD. It would seem that some of my files have been De-Classified. My “real” name, from before I became a Capsuleer, is one of the pieces of information contained in the files I have been sent. Jaron Hearn. A name I have not heard for a very long time, and one that I had forgotten. I still have no idea why this information was classified in the first place but my investigations are continuing, and armed with new information, I have been able to make a lot of progress in the past week. I have also received a video file from someone who claims to have been present during my Capsuleer training, I am currently attempting to verify its authenticity, then I shall publish a transcript of it.

I am also following a couple of promising leads into what caused my memory loss and hope to publish something on that in the near future. Hopefully I’ll also be able to find out how I got this damn scar and why it wont go away. I can’t say much else about these leads as the sources do not wish to be identified in any way and are using proxies to communicate with me, which also has the unfortunate side-effect of causing delays. But I’ll just have to live with it. Additionally, I am have started an investigation into possible ways of reversing the memory loss, or otherwise recovering my memories.

Now that I have my real name again, I’m going to attempt to track down my family. I know next to nothing about them except that my parents died in YC 107 while I was attending the State War Academy in Kisogo and undertaking the training required to become a Capsuleer. I’ll probably start there and try to find my brother and sister, I already have a couple of leads on their whereabouts, so things are moving pretty quickly on that front.

[Off-Topic] Start Your Engines!

Okay, so todays post is going to be completely off-topic. Those of you who follow me on Twitter will probably have seen some rather odd tweets from me lately. Well, odd if you aren’t a New Zealander. I’m not talking about the rugby, though to some people those might have been odd as well. I’m talking about Stockcar Racing. So I’m going to do a post or two on Stockcar Racing, complete with pictures and video links. Right, on with the show!

This is a Tank

The vehicle on the left is a Stockcar, more specifically, it is the “Tank” variant. They are so named because the original was so heavily armoured compared to other stockcars of its time that it was almost unstoppable. These days, they are still formidable as block-cars, and some, when put in the right hands, can even make great runner cars, racing away to try to win the race, a task made easier for a tank because they are harder to stop than normal stockcars. They are usually a bit heavier than other cars due to all the extra steel, although that difference is becoming smaller and smaller and lighter and stronger material become available to the car builders.What’s up with all that steel you ask? Well, it isn’t just there to look good, these things are designed to intentionally crash into each other.

The Above video is from the New Zealand Superstock Teams Champs in February 2011, one of, if not the, must see events on the New Zealand Speedway Calender. Every year 18,000+ people descend on my home town of Palmerston North for a weekend of some of the best racing you will ever see. Teams Racing is the most exciting form of motor sport ever invented. Two teams of 4 go head to head over 12 laps with points awarded for finishing in the top 5 positions. Over the weekend 12 Teams will compete to be top qualifier for their group and gain a place in the Semi-finals. Once the qualifying has been completed, things move to a first past the post, knock-out format with the first car to cross the line in each semi-final securing a place in the final for their team, and the overall winner being determined by the same system as the semi finals.

Images used are ©2011 Square Photography
Video thanks to PetrolFumes