Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Big Announcement! 30 Minute Downtime


The newest DevBlog has announced the official daily downtime will only be 30 minutes. Up to this point, it's been an hour, but in all fairness to CCP, it's usually less than that. CCP is working to eliminate downtime entirely, and according to the DevBlog, it will be reduced to 5 minutes in the near future.

This is great news! Especially for those outside of the US.

Also, the Tyrannis 1.2 patch will be deployed this Tuesday, November 2nd. You can read the patch notes here.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Check Out Our New Banner!

EVE A to Z has a new banner & a new logo! Like the previous banner & logo, these were designed by Andrea. She does amazing work (as you can see)! You can see more about her at www.andreand.com.

Keep an eye on the banner, as it will change periodically. The old banner has found a home at the bottom of the page.

If you like the banner and/or logo, please let me know, and let Andrea know on her site.

Fly smart.

Lex

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Understanding Your API Key

There's a great new post on the dev blog regarding your API key. Many new players don't understand what the Limited and Full API keys are. Please read the post. I am including a list of what each key allows access to below. Please read the entire post here.

  • Limited
    • Character sheet
    • Skill queue
    • Factional Warfare Statistics
    • Standings
  • Full
    • Everything that the limited key can access
    • A full list of everything you own
    • The status of your account(Disabled, paid for, when it's paid until)
    • Your wallet journal and transaction list
    • All your mails and the content of them
    • Your contact list
    • Corporation data which you have access to through your roles
Fly smart.

Safe Spots and Bookmarks

One of the keys to survival in EVE is understanding and using safe spots. Ideally, you should have the following safe spots set up in every system you fly in.

System Safe Spots

This is your basic safe spot. A safe spot is a place in space that can’t be automatically warped to. When you’re in this spot, someone has to scan you down to warp to you. This takes time. It doesn’t take a whole lot of time for someone good at scanning, but it will buy you the few seconds you need to get your bearings and decide what to do.

Ideally a safe spot should be at least 15 AU from any warpable objects (stargates, planets, moons, stations, etc.). In some systems this is very difficult or not possible because the system is relatively small. Just do your best.

The easiest way to set up a safe spot is to warp from one warpable object to another and drop a bookmark in the middle of the warp (remember, bookmarks are created when you click the final “ok” button, not when you first open the create bookmark window). You can create a bookmark by clicking on the People & Places button of the Neocom and selecting the Places tab. There will be a button at the bottom of the window that says Create Bookmark.

The above method will give you a safe spot, but it could be improved upon because your safe spot will likely be along a well-used lane of travel (especially if one of your warpable objects was a stargate and the other was another stargate or a station).

A better way to do it is to create a bookmark using the above method. Then, warp to that bookmark from a third warpable object and drop a bookmark in the middle of that warp. This second bookmark is your safe spot.

Undock Safe Spots

An undock safe spot is a very important thing to have, especially in busy trade systems (like Jita or Amarr) and during war declarations (if you’re in a high sec corp). Suicide gankers will often hang out outside busy stations and scan ships that leave. If you’re flying a valuable ship and/or have valuable cargo, you might just get ganked. Some of them will gank any ship they think they can take on just for shits and giggles.

A note here for the true noob: You are not safe in high sec! Depending on the security status of the system you’re in (1.0 to 0.5), it takes Concord a number of seconds to respond to an attack on you. The lower the sec rating, the longer it takes them. In a 0.5 system a suicide ganker will be able to get off as many as 5 or more volleys before concord takes him out. They specifically build their ships to be able to kill you in that many shots. The perceived security of high sec is a lie. Safe spots are needed here as well as in the “more dangerous” parts of New Eden.

An easy way to avoid getting ganked when docking or undocking at a station is to create an undock safe spot. This is very easy to do.
  1. Undock from the station in a fast ship—a shuttle, fast frigate, or interceptor with a microwarpdrive or afterburner.
  2. When you undock, your ship will be flying at maximum speed. Turn on your MWD or AB, but do nothing else. Let your ship continue flying on the heading it was on when you undocked. This part is very important! If you accidently redirected your ship, dock up and start over.
  3. Wait until you’ve flown at least 150km from the station. You can know your distance by clicking on the station. You will see your distance in the selected target window. Make sure the “Warp To” button on the selected target window lights up. I usually make my undock safes at 200km just to be safe.
  4. Drop a bookmark. Label it appropriately. Here is a good source to how to label bookmarks so you can keep track of them.
Now, in the future, when you undock from that station, you can warp to your bookmark. Just right click in space (be careful not to right click on the station or you’ll get the wrong contextual menu), and select your undock safe from under “My Places” in the contextual menu. Because you leave a station at max speed, and because your undock is set along the trajectory you leave the station at, you will enter warp almost immediately. Remember, to enter warp you must be aligned and at at least ¾ speed. This will allow you to warp to your undock safe before someone can lock you and warp scramble you.

When you go to dock up at the station, you should warp to your undock safe first, especially if your corp is in a state of war. From here you can see the station and see the ships around it in your overview. If you see war targets, go somewhere else, or cloak and wait for them to leave. If it’s safe, you can warp to the station from your undock safe and dock.

Stargate Observation Safes

These safe spots allow you to see if a stargate is safe before warping to it. This will allow you to avoid gate camps. To make this safe, follow these steps:
  1. Fly at least 170km away from the stargate. I usually make my safes 200km away. Ideally, fly up or down off the plane of the system. Alternatively, you can warp to the gate at 100km, and then fly away from the gate from there to save some time. Use your MWD or AB. Again it’s best to make these safes in a fast ship with an MWD.
  2. Once you’re at the desired distance, drop a bookmark and label it appropriately. Make sure the “Warp To” button is available before you make the bookmark.
  3. Now, when you warp to the gate, you can warp to your stargate safe first and check to see who’s on the gate. If it’s safe, you can warp directly to the gate from there. Keep in mind, when you warp to the stargate, you always want to warp to 0, so you can jump through the gate immediately.
A note for the total noob: Never, ever, ever fly on autopilot! When autopilot warps you to a stargate, it doesn’t warp you to 0, so you have to slow boat to the gate. This is time when another player can lock you up and blow up your pretty ship. You can use autopilot to plan your route. Once you set your route with autopilot, the next stargate on your route will have a yellow icon in the overview instead of a white one. This is very nice, but you should still manually warp to 0 on each gate.

A little trick I leaned is this: If you need to step away for literally just a few seconds, you can hit the warp to 0 button to warp to the star gate, then immediately turn on autopilot. Now you can go do your thing, just make sure you’re back at your seat and turn off by the time autopilot jumps you through the gate. As long as you turn off autopilot before it warps you to the next gate, you can then warp to 0. I do this a lot to have a few seconds to refill my drink, etc.

There are a lot of great guides to safe spots and bookmarks out there, but I prefer this one by EVE University. It’s part of a larger document on scouting. It also includes an easy way to label your different bookmarks so you can keep track of them easily.

I hope this guide is helpful to you. Please please make safe spots and use them. They’ll save your ship and your pod.

Fly smart.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

EVE Blog Banter #22 - Corp Loyalty

Welcome to the twenty-second installment of the EVE Blog Banter
, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux
. The EVE Blog Banter
involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week or so to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter
should be directed to crazykinux@gmail.com. Check for other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

This month topic is brought to us by L'Dene Bean of Nitpickin's
who asks: Why, and how did you pick your corporation? Is your loyalty solid or just until a better placed organization "recruits" you. The shorter version: Who holds your Unshakable Fealty and why?


This is a great time for this question to come up, because I have recently changed corporations. I’ve been playing EVE going on three months now. When I first started playing EVE, I joined a corporation of friends I have from other games.

I chose my first corp mainly because it was made up of people I knew. I’d never played EVE before, but I knew from my previous MMO experiences that these games are a lot easier to learn if you have some experienced players to help you. My first corp was a newly-formed corp. It had only been around for a month or two when I joined. But we had some long-time players in the corp, and even those who had only been playing a couple months knew a lot more than I did!

EVE is a BIG game, and it would be easy to become lost in it. I am very grateful to my old corp. I don’t think I would’ve liked this game nearly as much if I wouldn’t’ve had a good group of fun people to play with. Playing EVE alone would be dreadfully boring, I think, and if you’re playing EVE solo, I strongly recommend you find a good corp of like-minded people to play with. You will get a lot more out of this game if you do.

As I began to learn more and more about the game, I came to realize I needed to find a new corp. There’s nothing wrong with the corp I was in; they’re a great group of people. But, like corporations in the real world, corporations in EVE are focused business entities. Each corp has its own goals and its own culture and way of doing things. I realized pretty quickly in the game that exploration and PvP were what interested me most. The more I learned, the more I thought I really wanted to get myself out to wormhole space. Each arena of EVE has its own appeal—high sec, low sec, null sec, and wormhole space. But to me, wormhole space is the most appealing. Not only can you make a ridiculous amount of ISK there, but the heavy reliance on scanning and teamwork within the corp really appeals to me. I also really like the sound of the sleepers and their enhanced AI. As long-time readers of my blog know, I’ve had a lot of experience with gaming. I’ve played games all the way from Pac Man to Minesweeper to World of Warcraft to EVE. In all of those games I’ve never found an AI that impressed me. Playing against the computer (as we used to say in the day….do people still say that?) is just no challenge.

PvE in WoW was very easy. I frequently found myself doing quests that were “too high level” for me to be a challenge. In EVE, it’s not much better. Don’t get me wrong, the first time I started doing level 2 missions, I found them very challenging, and the same thing when I started doing level 3’s. But it seems to me each subsequent mission level in EVE simply represent a new plateau of understanding of ship fitting theory. Once you know how to fit your ship and how to tailor your damage and resistances for each mission, they’re not much of a challenge. The AI is much like WoW and other games—overly simplistic and unable to adapt to each individual player’s strategies.

From what I’ve heard, the sleepers in wormhole space are, if not “smarter,” at least more difficult. If there’s no challenge, there’s no point, in my opinion. I also like how with the more difficult wormholes, it takes real teamwork to defeat the sleepers.

So, I decided to find a wormhole corp. But when you’re looking for a corp, there’s more to consider than how they make their ISK and spend their time in the game. You want to consider the culture of the corp and the personalities of the people you’re playing with. We’re not all the same, and all kinds of people play EVE. If you find a corp of people with the same interests as you (out of game as well as in game), you’ll be a lot happier.

I’ve answered the first question—How did I choose my corp. Now to discuss corporation loyalty.

I view corporation loyalty in EVE exactly like I view corporation loyalty in the real world. In EVE a corp is very much a player group you work for. You have a mutual agreement of employment. Just as in the real world, this agreement can be terminated at any time by either party, for any reason. This is as it should be.

Don’t fall into the mental trap of thinking you have to be in a corp with someone to be their friend. In fact, I would argue that the successful players in EVE have contacts far beyond people in the corp and/or alliance. That’s why we have watch lists. There are quite a few people from my original corp on my watch list, and I try to keep in contact with them.

Any successful corp in EVE has a focused interest in the game—a purpose or business model. Some corps are industrial corps, some corps are PvP corps. You’ve got missioning corps, nullsec corps, faction warfare corps, wormhole corps, pirate corps, and many others. Each of these corps represent not only a different way to make ISK in the game, but also different play styles. PvE, PvP, oulaws, etc. Within these types of corps you will have many different corps made up of many different people.

As you play EVE, you interests in the game will change and evolve, and they should. As your interests change, you will naturally want to change your corp to coincide with them. For instance, you may start out mining and missioning in high sec and join a corp that’s all about that. Once you’re sick of running missions that are all the same and staring at rocks all day, you might want to try something else. Maybe you’ll go into low sec for some PvP; maybe you’ll decide to go into wormhole space; maybe you’ll join an alliance in nullsec. This is all natural and expected. When the day comes, you shouldn’t feel bad that it’s time to move on. Just as in life, no one expects you to have the same job (or work for the same company) forever. If someone does expect that, then they’re not being realistic, or they just don’t understand EVE yet.

But, as in the real world, when leaving one company for another, there’s a right and a wrong way to do things. I think you can draw a lot of enlightening conclusions about human nature from how people play EVE. In my mind, EVE shows us what people will do when you start to remove consequence. It shows what we really are, the nature so many of us try to hide, and so many of us fool ourselves into thinking doesn’t exist. Humans are, underneath it all, merely animals, and if you doubt this, or you want to see some examples of human animal behavior, play EVE for a while, and you’ll see plenty.

EVE removes consequence because it’s a GAME. Sure, there are consequences for your character, but who cares? It doesn’t affect you. And if you do totally ruin your character’s reputation by stealing from corporations, you can always make a new character and no one will ever know it’s you (especially if you make a new account). So you can infiltrate and steal from a corp with no fear of consequence.

Now, there are definitely those of us who rise above our animal nature and hold ourselves to a code of conduct whether or not we think anyone is watching. Those are the people you want to be friends with in EVE. I have a belief about people in the real world and it applies to EVE—keep your eyes open, and everyone shows their true colors eventually. A lot of people are full of shit and aren’t the people they want you to think they are. A lot of people aren’t nearly as nice as they’d like you to believe. But if you pay attention, everyone betrays themselves eventually. I follow the advice of the Tao te Ching in that I tend to trust people until they give me a reason not to. But once that trust is betrayed, it’s next to impossible to get it back.

So, who is my fealty to in EVE? Well, I don’t believe in fealty to anyone, but if I do have fealty to anyone in EVE it’s myself. That said, I am loyal to my corp, whomever that may be. That means I don’t lie to my corpmates, I don’t cheat them, and I don’t steal from them. When I leave the corp, I leave on amicable terms. I don’t clean out the hangars on my way out. Who knows, I may want to work there again someday, or I may want to use them for a reference.

Besides the obvious pragmatic reasons for operating this way, it’s just the decent thing to do. If you want to behave like an animal in EVE, feel free to do so. The game allows that. Just understand that myself and many others like me will treat you like an animal when we come across you. And unless you fancy constantly making new characters, your reputation does precede you in this game. Not even pirate corps will hire someone they can’t trust.

Well, I think this dead horse is bloodied to a pulp now. Stay tuned for new blog blanters. I will be posting a new episode in a day or two on safe spots.

Until then,
Fly smart.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Quickie: A Better Way to Mine

For some reason a lot of noobs take up mining. I'll teach you a little trick to make mining more productive. It takes an initial time investment, but it pays off in the long run. You're going to make bookmarks for each of the asteroid belts. In this way you will be able to warp directly to the asteroids instead of having to burn there in your mining ship (which is usually pretty slow).

It is best to do this in a fast ship, preferably a frigate with a microwarp drive.
  • Warp to 0 at the first asteroid belt in the system.
  • Fly straight up until you are at least 150km from the closest asteroid.
  • Create a bookmark
  • Now, warp to the next asteroid belt and do the above steps for each belt.
You will now have a bookmark 150km above each belt in the system. When you are ready to mine, get your mining ship and warp to the bookmark instead of warping to the belt. From your bookmark you can see all the asteroids, pick the one you want, and warp directly to it. When the asteroid is depleted, instead of having to burn to another asteroid, you can warp back to the bookmark, then warp to another asteroid. In this way you can also pick an asteroid that no one else is mining. You're also able to see if there are currently any rats in the belt (or hostile players) without them being able to target you.

Here are some mining resources to help you:




Fly smart.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Recommended Skills and Certificates for Successful Missioning

EVE isn’t a game that hands anything to you. For a beginning player, even the most basic things in the game can be confusing. In the last episode I went over how to find better missions and agents. In this episode I will recommend some more skills and certificates to help you be more successful with missions.

I am focusing on combat missions here. Courier, mining and industry missions will require different skills. I think the combat is a little harder to figure out because there are so many skills to choose from. If you’re having problems with your other types of missions, let me know, and I’ll write up an episode on them as well.

Keep in mind that skills in EVE work together and have cumulative effects. Some of the skills may not seem worthwhile at first glance—a 3% bonus here, a 5% bonus there—but when they’re all combined together it makes a big difference to your performance.

You can browse the certificates in-game by opening your character sheet and clicking the “Certificates” button on the left-hand side. Now click the button that says “Open Certificate Planner.” You can now browse the certificates.

In order to claim any certificates you’ve earned, click the button that says “Claim All Certificates” in the Certificate Planner window. Once you’ve claimed certificates, you will see them listed by category in the first Certificate window.

It is nice to browse certificates in-game and see which ones you have, but in order to plan the skills for the certificates, you can use EveMon. Open your training plan in EveMon and click the “Certificates” tab. You can now browse the certificates. To plan a certificate, right click on it and select “Plan…to” and select the level—Basic, Standard or Elite. EveMon will now add all the skills and their prerequisites to your training plan. Please see my Big 3 episode for tips on using EveMon.

At this point I’m assuming you’ve followed the previous guide and already know about the Connections, Diplomacy, Negotiation and Social skills.


Level 1 Missions:

In level one missions you will be flying frigates, and eventually destroyers. You will want to work on the following two skills and their prerequisites:
  • (Race) Frigate
  • Destroyers
In the beginning focus on frigates, and when you feel you’re ready, move up to destroyers.

I also recommend working on the following certificates:
  • Core Competency Basic. This is actually a collection of certificates (many certificates are). These are basic fitting skills, etc. and will be useful to you no matter what you end up doing in the game.
  • High Velocity Helmsman Basic. These are your navigational skills and will allow you to use afterburners and microwarp drives.
You will choose among the following three certificates depending on what kind of tanking you do with your ships. These are your basic tanking (defensive) skills. They’re good to have if anyone is ever going to shoot at you (it happens to us all!).
  • Armor Tanking Basic
  • Passive Shield Tanking Basic
  • Active Shield Tanking Basic
You will also want to train some of the following offensive certificates. Which ones you choose will depend on what type of weapons the ships you fly use. Figure out if you use turrets, missiles, and/or drones. If you use turrets, find out if you use hybrid, projective, and/or energy turrets. Train the certificates relevant to your ships.
  • Frigate Hybrid Turrets Basic
  • Frigate Projectile Turrets Basic
  • Frigate Energy Turrets Basic
  • Missile Control Basic
  • Frigate Launcher Control Basic
  • Drone Control Basic
  • Combat Drone Control Basic
Please note: I really recommend you read the skill descriptions. These certificates are recommendations. Decide what is best for you; don’t just train certificates blindly. You may find skills in the certificates you really don’t need. For instance, Core Competency Basic requires Targeting IV. I still haven’t trained Targeting IV because I have no need to be able to target more than 5 targets. Eventually I will train it, probably because it will be a prerequisite for another skill I want, but for now I have decided not to train it because I don’t need it.

Also note: When you start flying destroyers, they use the same turrets and missiles that frigates use—which are small turrets and launchers. Cruisers and battlecruisers generally use medium turrets and launchers, and battleships generally use large turrets and launchers.



Level 2 Missions:

Once you’re ready to do level 2 missions, you’ll want to start flying cruisers. Of course you will want to train the Cruiser skill for your race and its prerequisites.

I also recommend the following certificates in addition to the ones above (choose based on the ships you fly):
  • Cruiser Hybrid Turrets Basic
  • Cruiser Projectile Turrets Basic
  • Cruiser Energy Turrets Basic
  • Cruiser Launcher Control Basic
Note: In EVE you can fly any ship you want. However, in the beginning I recommend you stick to your race’s ship. Hopefully you picked a race with ships you like! The reason for this is simple—as a new player you have a lot of skills to learn. Learning to fly multiple races’ frigates will only add to your training time. I really recommend you focus on your own races’ ships until you get to a point in the game that you really need to branch out. Every ship in EVE has a purpose. Don’t listen to people who say “that ship sucks”. You can learn to fly any ship well, it’s all in how you fit it. Consider it a challenge to work within the strengths and weaknesses of your race’s ships, and avoid the temptation of branching out too early. It will make you a better player, and the more tightly focused your character is, the more effective she will be in her chosen role(s).


Where to Go From Here?

Once you’re doing level 2 missions in your cruiser, you should have a pretty good grasp of how the skills and certificates work in EVE. You will be able to plan your future. You’ll want to train into battlecruisers and then battleships as you get into level 3 and level 4 missions, and you’ll want to learn the appropriate skills and certificates. You also will want to keep firming up that foundation you built with those beginning certificates by getting them to the standard, and eventually elite, levels.

I hope this guide helps you and gives you enough to get your missioning career off to a good start. Enjoy all that EVE has to offer.

Fly smart.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Resources for the New Explorer

I really enjoy exploration in EVE, and I've been having a lot of fun with it. I hear a lot of people say they want to try it, but some of them don't because it looks too complicated. Here is some of the basic information along with some links to some great resources for you.

Here are the different skills you will need to do the various activities that are part of exploration in EVE.

Scanning
Required Skills:

Science III
Astrometrics:
I - Use of Core Scanner Probe
II - Ability to launch 4 probes (recommended)
V - Use of Deep Space Probes

Recommended Skills:

Astrometric Pinpointing
Astrometric Rangefinding
Jury Rigging I - Ability to fit Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I
Electronics II
Engineering II
Electronic Upgrades V
Spaceship Command III
Covert Ops
Frigates V

All that's required to be able to scan is Science III and Astrometrics I. Higher levels of Astrometrics allow you to launch more probes and use Combat Probes and Deep Space Probes. Astrometric Pinpointing and Rangefinding increase the range and accuracy of your probes. Jury Rigging allows you to use a scan-enhancing rig. The rest of the skills are prerequisites for Covert Ops which allow you to learn the Covert Ops skill. To actually fly the Covert Ops frigates you need Frigates 5.

Each race has a scanning frigate, which gives a bonus to scanning. These frigates are the Heron, Imicus, Magnate and Probe. The Covert Ops frigates are the Anathema, Buzzard, Cheetah and Helios.

You will find a variety of exploration sites. These include:
  • Combat sites. These will contain various NPC's that you can defeat for loot and salvage.
  • Gravimetric sites. These contain asteroid belts. These belts are nice because you have to scan them down to find them, so they're usually not as crowded as a system's main belts. They also will have higher quality asteroids.
  • Magnetometric sites. These sites will have containers you can use an Analyzer to open (via Archaeology) and/or wrecks you can salvage.
  • Radar sites. These sites will have containers you can use a Codebreaker on (via Hacking).
  • Ladar sites. These sites will have gas clouds for gas mining.
  • Worm Holes. These will either lead to another system in realspace or a system in wormhole space. Wormhole systems have their own anomalies and signatures to scan down. They can be very dangerous, but they pay out can be a lot better too.

Hacking

Science III
Electronics II
Engineering II
Electronics Upgrades III
Hacking
I to use Codebreaker I
V to use Codebreaker II

Archaeology

Science III
Electronics I
Survey III
Archaeology
I to use Analyzer I
V to use Analyzer II

Salvaging

Mechanic III
Electronics I
Survey III
Salvaging
I to use Salvager I
V to use Salvager II


Exploration Resources:




The probing guide has an accompanying video guide, which I highly recommend. You can follow the link within the guide to the video or watch it here:


Fly Smart.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Check Out Our New Banner!

Thank you to Andrea for designing our new banner image at the top of the blog. Check out her site. She does phenomenal work.

Fly smart.

Don't Be A Whiny Little Bitch - In Defense of CCP

I've been playing EVE for going on two months now, and I love this game. Moreover, I am very impressed with how CCP runs their business.

One thing that really bothers me, though, is the attitudes of some of the players toward CCP. I'm talking about some of the players who post on the official forums and some of the players who have blogs. I see a lot of whining, bitching and moaning about CCP and their "fail" at the game. I have one question for you: If CCP is so "fail," then why are you playing their game and posting on their forums? The person who is "fail," my friend, is you. (Oh, and a personal pet-peeve, brush up on your grammar, please. Fail is a verb, not a noun.)

I have seen a resurgence of this bitching and moaning since the patch this last Thursday. Oh no, there are bugs in the game. I suspect few of these people have any knowledge of game design and coding and how difficult it really is.

Personally, I think CCP is a great company. I think those people who are always bashing CCP should get a life. If you dislike the game, then don't play it. If you're going to play it, and you're going to complain, then at least keep a civil tongue in your head. Don't you realize when you talk like an ass, no one takes you seriously, least of all CCP? You can criticize someone in a constructive manner.

To put this in perspective, I would like to draw upon my own personal experiences and make some comparisons between CCP and another gaming company--Blizzard Entertainment.

CCP has far superior in-game support. Again, this is from my experience, yours may vary. I played WoW for over a year (I know, I know). During that time I submitted numerous in-game tickets for various reasons. I never ONCE got a response from a GM. I never ONCE got a response in the same day. It was always at least THREE DAYS before I got a response, and then it was only a form letter that didn't even address my issue (I doubt anyone ever even read my tickets).

In contrast, in the short time I've played EVE, I've submitted three tickets. All three of them were answered by a GM within half an hour. Two of them got responses within ten minutes. The responses were real responses, written by a real person who gave solutions to my problems. The solutions worked and that was the end of it.

But, you may object, CCP has hundreds of thousands of subscribers while Blizzard has millions. Irrelevant. Blizzard also brings in more revenue and could therefore afford to hire more GM's. They could probably sell a few more sparkle horses or something to pay for it.

My point is that CCP seems to actually care about their players. I've seen it in the way they've dealt with me. All the time I played WoW, I never once saw one personal example that Blizzard cared about me at all. I know numerous new EVE players who have gotten messages from CCP personnel asking how they're doing and if they're enjoying the game. I've never heard of such a thing from Blizzard.

Any game with hundreds of thousands of subscribers will not be able to please everyone. Any computer program has bugs in it. When I consider the complexity of EVE, I'm amazed there aren't more bugs. And they manage this with, on average, slightly less than an hour of down time each day.

So, if you hear yourself starting to sound like a whiny little bitch, take a breath, chill out, and get some perspective. Obviously, you love this game like I do, or you wouldn't be spending your precious time playing it. You wouldn't be spending still more of your precious time reading and posting on the forums. You wouldn't be spending still more of your precious time writing an EVE blog.

So, do us all a favor. Do yourself a favor. Think twice before you start typing in an emo rage next time. Your true colors are showing, and you're making a fool of yourself. Contradicting your actions with your words is never a way to impress people.

Besides, CCP does cool things like this. Your honor, the defense rests.

Fly smart.