Back to Blogging :: Updates and Future Plans

Posted in Non-Eve Gaming, The Maverick Navy on January 28, 2013 by Easley Thames

To all the readers of this blog, I just want to thank those of you who have contacted me over the last year asking about future updates, offering me opportunities, or suggesting that I weigh in on various discussions.

I have had significant real-life commitments to attend to, but that’s not real reason I have not been blogging much since early last year. The truth is that I can always make time to write when I really want to.

The real reason is that I have not been particularly active or interested in Eve Online during that time. However, the good news is that I plan to resume writing about my experiences and ideas again.

Hopefully 2013 will hold lots of events that inspire me. I feel the game is past-due for some truly epic content, and I’m optimistic that we will see some spectacular events.


Some have asked me if I have been ignoring Eve because of the AAA v.s. HBC war. Honestly, I think to a small degree that played a role, since it distracted my corp from doing the kinds of things I enjoy the most.

Although the perpetual underdog routine in AAA was a gigantic fun-killer at times, the reasons for me not blogging relate more to me simply being interested in other games.

Among other activities, I have been getting into watching “e-sports” events on Twitch TV, playing Starcraft 2, and beta-testing Path of Exile – a free to play ARPG that makes the sixty bucks I spent on Diablo 3 feel like a total waste of money.

I often just get bored of Eve for a period of time, and this has happened plenty of times before. It isn’t tied to whether MVN’s chosen alliance at the time is doing particularly well or not, it’s a purely personal thing.

As of now, I’m motivated again. I am still playing other games, but I feel the urge to log in and kill people in Eve. I scored a few solo kills in Curse recently, and I will be stepping up my efforts again to really go on long roams by myself or with 2-3 friends in the near future.

Easley's Dramiel

I’m also really loving Black Legion fleets thus far. They expect people to meet a pretty high standard, but the alliance still has a sense of humor.

Our ops in the last week have ranged from frigate roams to balls-deep capital deployments, all of which were handled well.

For example, we setup an arranged T1 cruiser fight with Agony Empire in Curse, and when we won the fight we left the wrecks for them to loot out of respect, and in hopes of future brawls.

A couple days later, we caught some dreads in a wormhole, killed them, and proceeded to collapse the entrance on our way back out.

wh dreads

Half of the fleet had to use another exit that put them across the galaxy, but we all had a good laugh. I heard some bros nearby actually jumped their ships home for them, but I can’t verify that since I was one of the lucky ones who got back out through the wormhole.

The next day, we were moving some dreads from up north, and we ended up playing a significant role in the Asakai massacre, which I will probably be discussing in a forthcoming blog post.

BL tackles disconnected Rzr titan

By the way, since -MVN- has changed alliances, I actually took some time and updated the -MVN- Corp History page up to the present time. I still want to edit that section a bit, but the general gist of what I wanted to cover is there.

See you all in space, and thanks for the kind words from everyone who contacted me by Eve-Mail to ask about the blog.

Northern Migration :: AAA Lands in X-7

Posted in Against All Authorities, Eve History on March 31, 2012 by Easley Thames

After a mere two-week “break” from major 0.0 warfare, -A- has started a new campaign in the north.

While the master-plan has not yet been revealed, most public speculation has focused on AAA seeking revenge on the CFC for supporting Legion of xXDeathXx in recent months.

To an extent, I can confirm this interpretation is accurate. We will definitely be making life painful for the CFC.

However, the purpose of our trip up north is not to tip the scales against them in the long-term, or to re-balance their war in-favor their permanent opponents.

Instead, we will play the role of a third party. After all, we have equal reason to kill NCdot and Raiden as we do TEST & Goonswarm. More than anything else, we are in this war – as always – because we are lead by angry Russians who never forget a grudge.

This time, we kicked things off by jumping 280 carriers and a classified number of super-capitals clear across the galaxy, starting in GE-8 and landing in X-7.

Using a system in Providence as our first mid-point lead to a hilarious reaction within CVA.

We had been hot-dropping carriers in Provi over the last week, and some of us joked that we were going to “conquer Providence” in the coming days.

If anyone has credibility when it comes to conquering Providence, it’s us. AAA is the only alliance to have ever gone through with the enormous station grind that Provi requires.

So with that in mind, when we jumped nearly 300 capital ships into R3-K7K, the locals started having heart attacks in their intel channels. Luckily for CVA, this time it was just an early April fool’s joke.

Then again, who wouldn’t be afraid of our new super-weapon. Formed from the hulls of mere carriers, together we form Voltron: Defender of The Universe!

After making our first few jumps, we stopped to re-fuel in low-sec space.

We gave some local pirates quite a scare as we jumped in, pushing the systems we visited into heavy time-dilation.

If we had used a less obvious cyno ship, we probably could have gotten a few kills out of the trip, but that wasn’t our priority.

Our goal was swiftly moving into our destination, with as much stealth as is possible for an alliance of our size.

We made relatively good time across the Galaxy, considering the numbers involved, and I actually think that our only losses were a couple cyno ships.

That may sound unremarkable, but when you have capitals disconnecting in low-sec systems, you can never be too careful.

The new cyno effect is awesome. I must admit I took few screenshots of us jumping out to Pure Blind.

After we docked our carrier armada, we decided to reinforce a TEST-owned Tech moon in the system with some of the toys we brought along.

While we aren’t really planning to stay long enough to profit much from the moon, attacking valuable asset in our staging system is a great way to get fights.

Besides, if the idea is to cause TEST and GSF some pain for helping PL’s bandwagon fight us in the past, denying them some of their Tech income is a good way to accomplish that.

The dick-star moon (all hardeners) melted under the guns of a couple hundred mega-pulse platforms, but TEST had enough time to form up some bombers on short-notice.

Unfortunately for them, they were all caught and killed on their second run, before they earned any kills.

Here is the battle-report of the very short “fight” on the tower —

I took a screenshot just after bubbling them in my Sabre, but most of their bombers had already been popped or podded before I could hit the “print screen” button.

This conflict should be a great source of entertainment for us.

It’s an “away game,” so the stakes for -A- are somewhat less than they have been in our recent wars, but so far the participation has been impressive.

Our Russian/Euro timezone move-op involved over 350 people, with more U.S. players showing up late to the party every hour. Keep in mind these people are all from AAA and our sister-alliance, En Garde. This is not a coalition deployment.

Choosing an NPC 0.0 staging point provides us with a degree of freedom in terms of committing to fights, since we only really need to un-dock when it suits us. That is an ideal position, as far as morale goes.

Finally, it’s worth noting that X-7 is a nostalgic location for many of us.

Max 2.0 launched from the very same system, as have many other campaigns, and the place has a sense of “epic scale” to it in more ways than one. The 200 AU diameter of the solar system is a fitting symbol of this place’s importance in Eve history.

The King of Scapegoats

Posted in Alliance Leadership, CCP, Eve History on March 29, 2012 by Easley Thames

The Mittani has long been called the “King of Space.” Though he is reviled by many in this game for a myriad spectrum reasons ranging from “arrogance” to “he killed my alliance,” the Goon-king recently earned a certain level of grudging respect from many players – myself included – as a result of his efforts on CSM 6.

Pushing for vital changes at the height of the Jita riots, when CCP stood on the very edge of the abyss, The Mittani has been nearly-universally praised by his former CSM colleagues for his extraordinary efforts as chairman.

The Mittani helped organize the CSM into a effective organization for the first time, using Skype and other forms of communication to hold informal meetings, so that they would be effective when they faced CCP.

Though many view him as self-interested, the renewed emphasis by CCP on (FiS) “Flying in Space” is attributable in no small part to his advocacy, and this shift has been very popular with the broader community.

CCP’s top executive even mentioned him by name during the keynote presentation at fan-fest this year, where his contributions during the crisis were mentioned. In particular, Hilmar specifically discussed the somewhat tense “emergency summit.”

Many have already discussed the overly-harsh, knee-jerk reaction by CCP to Mittani’s gaff. I am among those who think he should have been allowed to stay on the CSM as a delegate, if not as the chairman; especially after his heartfelt apology, resignation as chairman, and generous compensation paid to the “victim” in this case.

What I want to focus on is something else, CCP’s complicity and hypocrisy in this whole affair. CCP saw the slides in advance. Think about that for a moment. They KNEW that Mittani’s presentation was going to focus on the time spent griefing a player that later claimed to be suicidal as a result of serious real-life issues.

Did CCP prevent this from going forward? Of course not, Eve is all about this kind of behavior. The only real competitive advantage Eve has is its cold, heartless galaxy full of players looking to take full advantage of the sandbox.

Now, and this part is critical, what exactly did CCP approve in his presentation? Based on the facts given in the CCP-approved slide-show, anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of a publicly-available kill-board could already find this pilot’s name with minimal effort.

It doesn’t even end with their knowledge of the slides. Consider what these panels are like – generally speaking. If fan-fest is a “party at the top of the world,” then the alliance panel is like a meeting of all the crime-bosses responsible for supplying the drugs and every other manner of vice.

CCP green-lit presentations from people who represent all of the most violent, lawless play-styles in Eve – from suicide ganking, to black-ops ganks, to worm-hole ransoms, to 0.0 blobbing and conquest.

We got to listen to singing ransoms, scamming stories, and plenty of examples of high-sec “griefing.”

They gathered these brutal braggarts, and then fed them tons of booze, all before shoving them in front of microphones set to broadcast LIVE across the internet. What could possibly have gone wrong with this plan?

The lack of foresight here is astounding. That is, of course, if you believe they really care about the kind of behavior The Mittani displayed in the slightest.

I certainly don’t think they ever thought for a single moment about this “Wis” individual. He was just another great story in the dark history of Eve.  That’s certainly how I felt watching the panel.

If they felt the subject matter was even slightly objectionable, CCP could have done a broadcast delay (even as little as 30 seconds) on the live stream.

Had they done this, they would have been able to censor the name of the supposedly-suicidal pilot’s character, as well as some of the profanity in each presentation.

Or, alternatively, they could have censored the presentation material ahead of time by suggesting revisions to the presentations. But why should they have to?

These are the kinds of stories Eve players lust for, and I believe CCP enjoys them every bit as much as we do.

We’re all in this game for the kind of – at times brutal – freedom that we have to interact with (and indeed harm) one another.

The real problem is that CCP is still operating on the basis of a tacit acceptance that “anything goes,” but as soon as they get negative media attention about their players, they shove the offending individuals into the forefront and circle their wagons – feigning outrage and surprise.

They tell the community to HTFU – that’s “harden the FUCK up” one moment – then when people pick on each other in a way that raises flags outside the Eve community, they then turn around an put 100% of the blame on the shoulders of those gamers.

Why did they allow this story in the slides to begin with if they don’t find the idea of someone potentially killing-themselves over a couple-dozen internet spaceships to be amusing in the first place? Is that not strongly implied by their conduct? Is that not the greatest proof that “Eve is real” for the players?

It’s time for CCP to get called-out on this. They have been shameless in their attempts to court the press by convincing them that this was unforeseeable and shocking.

As someone who watched the panel, I didn’t even flinch when he named the name. It was neither surprising, nor shocking, when he joked that we could all go and try to make this guy kill himself.

In conclusion, CCP should have admitted they played a major role in this whole affair.

Either they should rethink they way they approve presentation materials before fan-fest, or they should stop contorting the Terms of Service and EULA to punish someone for an out-of-context real-life communication.

I feel strongly that, at a bare minimum, this means they should have shared in the responsibility. Instead, they came down hard on the man that – in many player’s eyes – had a major role in saving their company’s very soul last year.

The sad thing is, the gaming press will drop this story in a day or two, and even having him step-down as chairman would have been enough of a signal to non-Eve players that “the mean guy got punished,” but instead they removed one of the best voices we have on the CSM entirely.

For all the reasons stated above, as well as man others I have posted in the comments of various news-sites and forum posts, I can’t see CCP’s response as anything but cowardly.

They are just fortunate that The Mittani was so uncharacteristically willing to fall on his sword for them this time. Not everyone would do the same in this situation.

SOMER Blink :: It Feels Good to be Lucky

Posted in Making Isk on March 22, 2012 by Easley Thames

I have heard stories about SOMER Blink for quite some time, as have most people I imagine. They advertise all over the place; from banners on Eve News 24, to pod-casts, and even in PvP videos.

Being that I am usually rather cash-poor in Eve, Blink’s micro-lotteries always seemed like the last resort of bored empire bears. I was sure that, like most forms of gambling, the house was going to win at the end of the day. While that might still be the case with Blink, I have an exceptional story to tell.

I decided to put 100 million ISK into the SOMER Blink system to get started. For those who are unfamiliar with their process, you literally have to send the isk to a corporation in-game, an act that initially set off my “OMG SCAM” alarms.

However, owing to their enormous reputation, I pressed the button anyway. After all, even to me, 100 mil is not really very much isk. Beyond that, what was the biggest thing that could happen from a 100 million isk bet?

As soon as their API updated the website with my in-game donation, I unlocked an “achievement” for buying 100 mil worth of credits. That provided me with an additional ten million isk in virtual currency.

I started off by bidding on a few T1 ships, including a Naga and Jaguar. I lost the Naga, but won the Jaguar. Since I didn’t need the ship, I clicked the button to “sell back” the ship for its Jita cost +5% (Blink encourages you to keep gambling by providing a marked-up value).

Next I lost on two more low-cost ships, and I was down to about 80 million. I decided to go “all-in” on a Low-Grade Slave Set. To my shock, I won! I could either take 360 mil in-game, or get 380+ mil to keep gambling with.

After pondering my options, I decided to keep on gambling. When I lost 4 auctions in a row, I immediately thought I had made a huge error by not running off with my winnings when I had the chance.

Then, suddenly, I started winning… winning everything.

I won a Legion, Caldari Navy Ballistic Control, Hound, and a Navy Issue Armageddon. Selling those back for 105% – I was now in a position to bid on big items.

My big-score finally came: a bhallgorn! Keep in mind – this started with only 100 million isk!

I finally cashed out in-game, profiting about 2.1 billion ISK on my 100 million isk investment. It could have been even higher had I not spent so much bidding on a couple other items that I lost, but this was still a huge gain in a short amount of time.

The real question now is, how much can I make next time if I put a billion isk into the system?

I fully expect that, if I get bold, I will lose my shirt. The problem is, I think I’m addicted now!

If you want to get started, you can do so at Don’t forget to answer the riddles (aka “Butan Trivia”) listed in their in-game channel for free credits. You can also cash-in on extra credits when you buy GTC through their affiliate program with Shattered Crystal.

xXDEATHXx Evacuation Gone Wrong

Posted in Against All Authorities, Killboard Stats on March 20, 2012 by Easley Thames

Legion of xXDEATHXx, the alliance with a name reminiscent of a 13 year-old’s console gaming ID, has been evacuating assets to NPC stations for at least two weeks.

With RA supposedly cutting a deal to transfer all of their sovereignty to their enemies, the downfall of XIX is likely to come even sooner than anticipated.

Recently, AAA has been camping XxDEATHXx evacuation systems, including critical jump beacons across multiple regions.

The results have been considerable thus far:

Some evacuation kills are better than others, like this exceptionally juicy Charon:

Until today the majority of the kills have been carriers or jump freighters. No one complains about such kills, but they don’t match the bliss of seeing a super-cap explode.

However, today was an especially good day for the AAA members who have been actively hunting xXDEATHXx evacuees.

-1 Nyx and Rorqual in Malpais on an XxdeathXx tower!

Members of the -A- corporation “hirr” had cloaked tacklers ready when a Rorqual and two super-carriers jumped to a cyno beacon in 6-WMKE.

A Hel was allowed to escape, possibly out of sheer pity for the owner, but a Rorqual and Nyx were destroyed by a AAA super-cap fleet consisting of one titan and 22 super-carriers.

The future of this once powerful alliance is currently uncertain. Many speculate they may attempt to negotiate with Solar to re-establish their pre-civil-war boundaries, but whether that will be acceptable to Solar is unknown at this time.