Monday, July 14, 2014

"A Tale of Internet Spaceships" debuts!

A little over a year in the making, the crowd-funded EVE documentary, "A Tale of Internet Spaceships" has hit the internets.  As I understand it, this is a first time project from the team and I think they did a fantastic job.  The audio could have been better in a few places, but I imagine that must have been difficult to manage amongst the noise of Fanfest.  At any rate, I'm very proud to have helped fund the project.

It's just under an hour long, and gives lots of first-hand insight into what EVE is, how it's managed (and mis-managed) and the effects it has on player's lives.  People are incredibly passionate about this silly spaceship game, and it shows.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

"Don't get into mining" is misguided advice

Mining is the backbone of EVE's industry and economy.  It's also one of the most accessible activities in the game.  New players can immediately jump into mining and provide a valuable service without having to learn some of EVE's more complex intricacies.  And mining is, by my estimation, the only activity that new players in EVE are actively, dare I say vehemently steered away from by the community.  EVE is a universe that is vast on a scale that no other MMO can match.  It's a universe that is open to so many possible styles of play, all of which remain relevant at every metaphorical mile marker in your space career.  Yet new players are constantly told that this one particular play style should most certainly be avoided.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Shards Online

I want to tell you about Shards Online.

"Hello sir.  Do you have a moment to talk about video games?"
The age of sandbox MMOs is upon us.  It's becoming increasingly evident as the years roll on that the model of massively budgeted games with linear, vertical progression and developer-crafted content is ultimately unsustainable.  The solution to this is to essentially crowdsource the content.  EVE has put itself in a very powerful position in this regard, by making the actions and interactions of the players the primary content of the game.  CCP doesn't need to spend months or years designing a new raid or new class or epic set of gear.  They just throw some new tools into the sandbox and see what we do with them.  And for the last eleven years it has worked out mostly well for them.

Shards Online is taking a unique approach in literally allowing players to design the content of their own personal gameworld.  Through modding and scripting, players can build upon the foundations that Citadel Studios is laying down.  Or they can scrap the foundation entirely and build an entirely new world from scratch, complete with custom rulesets, abilities, mobs, etc.  Imagine building your ideal MMO in a post-apocalyptic setting, or the old west, or futuristic Tokyo.  During some livestreamed alpha testing, the devs at Citadel Studios cooked up some pretty weird things such as rocket-launching rabbits, fire-breathing bears, and bolts of lightning that would strike players who stood still for too long. It all made for some very memorable moments.

I encourage you to take a few minutes to read through their Kickstarter page and get a better understanding of what they're trying to accomplish.

So why am I excited about this?  Because it represents a step in what I feel is a smart direction for MMOs to take.  By scaling back development costs and focusing on player agency, the genre can hopefully climb out of the pit that it has dug for itself.  Shards won't be the mythical "WoW killer".  It isn't trying to be, and it doesn't need to be.  Let WoW and all the other themeparks bask in their trite sameness.  The formula has served them well, and anyone looking for that formula can rest assured that they won't have to go very far to find it.  So with that out of the way, how about we make room for some variety?

I have tons of ideas for how I want to run my own cluster of shards, and you'll likely see me talking more about it here as time goes on.  I know that it won't replace EVE for me, but it's shaping up to be the first game in a long time that convinces me to split my time between it and the epic space sandbox.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Ballad of SerenitEVE

This has been making its rounds among the community and has received quite the positive response.  Not sure why I didn't think to promote it here.  I don't normally fly Caldari, but as soon as I saw the new Moa design I knew I had to make this video.  Enjoy!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

o7 Jester's Trek

Writing this from my phone while on vacation, so I'm keeping it short and unformatted. Ripard Teg of Jester's Trek has just announced the sunset of his blog. 

I just want to say that Ripard and his blog were a major inspiration for Pod Goo & Tonic. Whether I agreed or disagreed with him on any point, I've always respected Ripard for being so incredibly down to earth and honest in his writings. That's what I've strived for here. 

It's never been my goal to find myself among the EVE blogging elite, but I'd be lying if I said the thought never crossed my mind. That being said, I know that I'd have to seriously step up my game here in order to even partially fill the void that Ripard has left in the EVE blogging scene. And maybe I should. To paraphrase one of my favorite shows, The West Wing, I've spent enough time dangling my feet inthe water. It's time to jump in. 

I love playing EVE, and I love talking about EVE. I've been slacking on both fronts lately due to real life commitments, but I aim to change that very soon. 

Thank you Ripard, for your many years of serving the EVE community through the blog and your time on the CSM. Good luck in your future projects, and fly safe. o7

Monday, May 5, 2014

Fanfest: Post-Coitus

God damn.  I am excited for the future.  I'm excited for Valkyrie, and for Legion.  I'm excited for the future of the EVE universe.  Though I unfortunately did not attend, I'm still reeling from all the news from Fanfest.  For the last few days I've done little else but watch Twitch and refresh my Twitter feed.  Even as I slept I dreamed of EVE.  And I still crave more.

Friday, April 25, 2014

CCP's "Hands Off" Approach

Today marks the beginning of the 3rd annual "Burn Jita" event.  To mark the occasion, someone on the EVE subreddit posted a video from 2012, depicting an interview with CCP devs and their thoughts on the event:

When asked what they think about Burn Jita, Jon Lander (formerly CCP Unifex) replies immediately with a noticeable sparkle in his eyes:

"Brilliant.  Brilliant, absolutely fantastic."

Now... let's be clear... Burn Jita is a weekend-long, player-generated event marked by the deliberate and targeted destruction of other players.  It is not orchestrated or sanctioned by CCP in any way.  It's not taking place in a designated PvP battleground or warzone.  This mass-destruction is happening in the most populated area of the game, where thousands of players conduct their business every day.