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Anchors aweigh

I’ve been reminded and overhead numerous times that there’s nothing fair in EVE. Others players that warp in and blow you away when you’re away from your keyboard aren’t fair. You mispricing a very valuable item or commodity and accidentally selling it on the market for a small fraction of its market value isn’t fair. And somehow accidentally unanchoring a giant secure container that you’d carefully placed out in an asteroid belt that you frequently mine isn’t fair.

Well, the latter is exactly what I foolishly, and unexplicably did, just recently. I realized that making frequent runs back and forth from the station in an ORE ship with only 2900 m^3 of storage capacity isn’t really a good use of time, so I began to invest in giant storage containers at a hefty 270K ISK a pop. One by one I hauled them out to my favorite belt, thrusted out to the appropriate location suitable to my mining habits, launched the container, anchored it, renamed it, and set the password to something nobody would guess.

This was going to be great!, I thought, now I can do a lot less runs than before. I’ll just mine directly into the containers, run back to the station with a full hold when I’m done, then come back with my industrial, clean out the containers, head back to the station, empty it out, then come back with my ORE ship. And it did work really well.

That is until I logged back in the next day and found one of my containers missing. What the fuck! Where did container 2 go? Alas, I must have mistakenly unanchored it one my last run instead of unlocking it. Sigh. Thanks CCP for putting two dramatically different functions so damned close to one another in the context menu. Sheez.

Yeah, there’s nothing fair about EVE, and learning the lessons usually involves replacing something very expensive after you’ve kicked yourself for being such a maroon. Well, at least now I know to double and triple check what I’m doing with my containers when I open them up. Unlock good, unanchor bad.

First Blood

There’s something inevitably gratifying about drawing your first blood. The sensation of excitement, the thrill of risk, the surge of adrenaline that pumps through your veins when you begin to doubt if launching your first volley was the right course of action. Then you commit your drones, and you realize that it’s too late to turn back. It’s now or never, and if you fail, you die. All that you had hoped to gain could quickly vanish, and all the time and expense that you’d invested to reach this point in time, this place in space, this foe opposing you, may end up being for naught.

This was not to be that day. Today I drew my first blood, and the victory was sweet, if only shallow and humble at best.

While out mining in the belts, about ready to wrap up the morning runs, suddenly my radar picked up and identified a player-hostile. Oh, shit, I thought, not good, not when we’re within a single jump of losec… who the fuck is this guy? Some quick research showed it was a player Rifter, owned by one ronbrandsteder of the Pator Tech School. Never heard of him, I thought.

But that didn’t matter. I’m an unarmed Retriever, and even with my combat drones out and ready to do their part, the last thing I wanted to do was get into it with a Rifter hotshot with an itchy trigger finger. Even if CONCORD was going to eventually haul its ass out here to help, I wasn’t going to take the risk. Hell no, I thought, this bitch is going down.

I recalled my drones and hoofed it back to the station, where one shiny new Minmatar Hurricane was sitting in my hangar, courtesy of one Wessidious Smoke (thanks, Wes!), itching to get some ratter ass. Switch made, undock, warp back to the belt… anxiety began to set it. Was I making the right move? It is only a Rifter after all, and I am two classes bigger than him… but what if he knows something I don’t? What if he has some weapons that will tear through me before I knew what hit me?

When I emerged from warp, tensions high, ready to launch into action, I was greeted with… nothing! He’d gone. Fuck! What now? I thought for a moment. No way this clown is getting out of my system alive if I can help it. I want blood. It’s time to send this little bitch a message that nobody rats in my belts, not in my hometown. My intent was to warp through every single belt in the system – and then all the stations and gates if I had to – to find this little prick. I set course for the very next belt and initiated warp. Engaged…

Moments later, my Hurricane emerged from warp, and lo and behold… there he is! Drones deployed! Approach rat, target Rifter. The targeting computer tried and tried and tried to lock, but not yet. The Hurricane turned and I engaged the afterburners. Come on, dammit, move your ass! Lock this bitch now! No sign of activity from the Rifter, he seemed idle. Was he AFK, was he freaked out and didn’t know what to do at the sight of a ship twice his class superior bearing down on him with obviously foul intentions? I had no clue. Lock! Lock! Lock! The targeting computer finally found its victim and gave me the happiest of pings that any anxious combat pilot could hope the hear. Drones engage! They rushed off to meet their victim and began to eat through his shields.

Missiles away! Engage the 720s! The first of the Bloodclaws raced through space and made contact, tearing away the rest of the Rifter’s shields and introduced themselves to his armor. As I admired their handiwork, the 720s boomed, and after a delay they made contact. Boom, motherfucker! You are going down! The Rifter still wasn’t moving. I caught him with his pants down… just to be safe I engaged the Web. You are not getting away from me. I knew that in less than 10 more seconds he would be toast. As I got closer, I engaged the close fire support weaponry. I can only imagine that in real life he’s sitting on the can reading, making plans to take out some local miners, thinking he’s safe here in the hisec belts… I laughed. The drones continued to tear into their target, the missiles roared, and the 720s kept up their relentless pounding.

And within seconds more, the Rifter ruptured and exploded into a great fireball – I erupted with joy. Goooooooodbyyyyyyeeeee mother-fucker! I think I cheered as well – the neighbors surely heard that. It was first blood, sweet victory, oh so sweet. Now, I thought, I understand why the salty tears of agony taste so deliciously sweet.

There was no capsule to be found. Perhaps I’d missed it in all the excitement, but another capsule nearby made me wonder if the Rifter had a friend, or perhaps the pilot was dual-boxing and was trying to switch ships in some not-so-sneaky fashion. Whatever the reason, he was dead.

I pulled alongside the twisted wreckage, tore into his hull, and stripped it of all its uncharred goodies. Not much in value, really, but my real payment was one of satisfaction and self-contentment. I’d joined the club of PvP combat pilots, and I couldn’t have been more proud of myself. It’s a perfect beginning to a new day, I thought with a broad grin on my face.

And just to rub it in, I came back with a different ship and salvaged the remains. Take that bitch. Now stay out of my town.

Ah, the smug self-satisfaction. I’m sure it’ll last until somebody comes along and wipes up the floor with my terrified ass, in a ship twice the class superior to mine. Such is life. Such is EVE.

Cipi, I’m coming for you.

Combat log follows…

2009.08.27 16:52:00

Victim: ronbrandsteder
Corp: Pator Tech School
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Rifter
Security: 0.6
Damage Taken: 1344

Involved parties:

Name: Maximilian Black (laid the final blow)
Security: 0.2
Corp: Techno-Wizard Industrial Technologies
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Ship: Hurricane
Weapon: Terror Assault Missile
Damage Done: 776

Name: Angel Nomad / Archangels
Damage Done: 568

Destroyed items:

Tripped Power Circuit, Qty: 3 (Cargo)
Civilian Shield Booster I (Cargo)
Expanded Cargohold I
150mm Light Prototype I Automatic Cannon
Titanium Sabot S, Qty: 100 (Cargo)
Small Armor Repairer I
Civilian Shield Booster I
Salvager I
Burned Logic Circuit, Qty: 2 (Cargo)
Carbonized Lead S, Qty: 100 (Cargo)
Armor Plates (Cargo)

Dropped items:

Explosion Dampening Field I (Cargo)
Expanded Cargohold I
150mm Light AutoCannon I
Small Armor Repairer I (Cargo)
Smashed Trigger Unit (Cargo)
Monopropellant I Hydrazine Boosters
Titanium Sabot S, Qty: 47
Fried Interface Circuit, Qty: 4 (Cargo)
Fusion S, Qty: 48
Salvager I
Monopropellant I Hydrazine Boosters (Cargo)

Salvaging tips

Right, so, you’re a new EVE player and you just came across your very first salvager, and you’re excited about all the endless possibilities that you’re going to have rushing out into space and finding the derelict escape capsule from the Nostromo drifting right through the core systems and turning it in for some cold cash… er, that was Aliens, sorry… wrong plot-line, but you get my drift.

Yes, you can definitely make money being a salvager, but there are also some simple yet very helpful things that can make your experience easier and safer.

  1. Determine your ship fitting. Are you going to fight and salvage with the same ship, or are you going to have one ship for fighting and then come back and salvage the wreckage with a different ship fitting exclusively for salvaging? There are different schools of thought on this. In the very beginning, you’ll probably do the former – you’ll use a high slot for a tractor beam at the expense of offensive capabilities. And this can make some sense if you’re on a limited budget and can’t afford a separate salvage ship. But when you can afford another ship, I suggest going with the latter method: use one ship for fighting, and a different one for salvaging. Why? This will maximize your firepower and survivability of your fighting ship, and will let you maximize the capabilities of your salvager. All the remaining points below assume you’re using this latter approach.
  2. Make your salvage ship fast. Salvagers are limited to a range of 5,500 meters, so you’re going to need to go from one wreck to another. This will get very freakin’ boring very fast, so get back some of your life by investing in afterburners and other technologies to make your ship as fast as possible.
  3. Invest in a tractor beam. Or two. Or four. Tractor beams changed my entire attitude about salvaging. Yes, they are damned expensive for a new player, typically a million ISK or more unless you get lucky and find a good deal somewhere, but they are so worth it! Tractor beams have a range of 20 kilometers, and allow you to target and pull to you any wreck which you destroyed. Note that last part, it’s really important – you can not use a tractor on a wreck that you don’t own. So if you try to tractor a yellow wreck or container, you’re SOL and the tractor won’t work on it. I presently have a Minmatar Thrasher frigate as my salvage ship with three tractor beams and three salvagers. Why this is so will become evident next…
  4. Then get more salvagers. Ideally it’s best to have one salvager for each tractor beam, assuming your ship has sufficient high slots for it. This way you can thrust to within 20km of four wrecks and/or containers you own, target all of them, and use a tractor on each target to pull them in simultaneously. When they get within 2,500 meters, disable the tractors and enable one salvager on each target. This way you can production-line even big salvaging ops and get on with more important things more quickly.
  5. To cargo scan or not to cargo scan? That is the question. Personally, I’m at a point where I don’t bother using a cargo scanner. I still need the money enough so that I loot pretty much everything I come across that I won’t get pounded for. But, if you’re more selective and don’t want to go though the effort of opening up every single cargohold, then by all means mount a cargo scanner and check out your targets before making any effort on them.
  6. Be very careful about taking cargo from yellow wrecks or containers in hisec! Hopefully by now you know this little rule of thumb: “White is right, yellow is a good way to get your ass kicked.” Yes, you can salvage yellow wrecks at absolutely no risk whatsoever – even though you don’t own it, you can salvage the wreck itself and not violate CONCORD or initiate an aggression timer. If there’s a wreck, regardless of ownership, it’s fair game and you are 100% safe in hisec space. Yellow containers, however, are completely different. The moment you take cargo from a yellow container or wreck, then you are immediately flagged as a hostile to the owner of the cargo (the person that killed the NPC) for 15 minutes, and they have every legal right under the sun to blow your stealing ass into the next dimension without any recourse from CONCORD. Zero. Zip. Nada. Thou shalt be toast, and you will taste good. At least for the next 15 minutes. After that, you’re scott free, and if they come complaining and attack you, then CONCORD will take them out.

    Now, I’ve found a bit of an “exception”, to this. It’s risky, but if you’re tactful and selective, you can get away with it. If you like to salvage in belts where miners often let their drones protect them, there’s almost always yellow wrecks floating around that nobody is touching. You can get away with getting both the wreck and the cargo if you play it smart. First, just salvage the wreck – nobody can do anything about that, just do it – it’s a fact of EVE life and everybody gets used to it. Second, if you want to grab the cargo, first do a “Show Info” on it and find out if the killer is still nearby… if they are, and the killer is a miner, I strongly suggest that you initiate a conversation with the miner and ask permission to grab the cargo; from my experience, every single one of them will say yes, and most will appreciate you asking. It’s better to make friends with miners in big ships, because typically they will also have big warships that can toast you into itty bitty bits. So, make friends. After these miners get used to seeing you around for a few days, it’ll pretty much go without saying that you can loot their kills and they’ll leave you alone.

    If, however, you decide to be brave, you can always swipe the cargo whether the killer is present or not. If they’re not present, grab the cargo, but just fly safe until the aggression timer runs out in 15 minutes. Now this bit is important: if the killer is a miner, you have less to worry about (see also above about playing nice with miners). However, if the killer is not somebody you recognize as a miner, leave the cargo alone unless you have the cahones to get into a fight. Some clever players will intentionally leave a valuable-looking cargo containers laying about and cloak nearby, waiting for some clueless or greedy player to take it, at which time the aggressor has every right to blast you into oblivion. You don’t want to be that guy. So like my dad told me long ago, if in doubt, don’t!

That’s pretty much it for now. Salvaging can be profitable if you’ve got the patience, the right fitted ship, and motivation. Just use your common sense when approaching stuff you don’t have rights to,  trust your instincts, and you should have a long and fruitful salvaging career ahead of you.

Working in a coal mine: some helpful mining tips

Long time EVE players will undoubtedly look down their noses at new players who post about topics that veterans mastered years ago. This is inevitable, and probably even understandable. But such is the way of life – with each new generation comes the same learning curve that the preceding generation faced. But knowledge can only be transferred from one generation to the next through sharing, and so I will continue to do just that…

The new EVE pilot will more than likely figure out that mining is one potential route to profits, and if you’ve managed to hook up with a corporation that can build more advanced ships for you, you’ll realize that unless your corp mates give you a ship or all the ore you’ll need to build it, you’re going to end up out in the belts of your local system mining away. And mining. And mining. And mining until you feel like you want to blow your brains out.

So from my limited learnings to date, let me share some advice with the new pilot looking to cut their teeth in the belts.

  1. Skill up as soon as possible so that you can acquire an ORE ship. Why? Because mining out in the belts with an industrial or other ship using a regular Miner I is slooooow. But if you get an ORE ship like a Procurer or Retriever, then you’ll be able to mount multiple strip miners in the high slots and your mining time will be cut way down. (The downside, of course, is that if you can afford an ORE ship, then your tastes for other warships has probably gotten more expensive as well, which will force you to spend more time in the belts with your strip miners… ah, the irony.)
  2. Get combat drones. When you get an ORE ship, you’ll want to maximize the number of strip miners you carry, which will effectively eliminate any free slots for offensive weaponry. Therefore your defense will be limited to shields, armor and structure, and even in hisec systems you can still be subject to attacks by Angels or other NPCs who will chew through your defenses in a fairly short period of time. Miners were made for mining, not fighting. And since running away and paying for repairs not only reduces your time spent in the belts but also crimps your profit margin, you need a better solution. Drones are the answer, and all ORE ships have room for two or more. As soon as you warp to a belt, deploy your drones in orbit around your ship and mine away. If hostile NPCs pop up on radar, target them as soon as they get into range and then tell your drones to engage. If you’re lucky your drones will take out one, maybe two, before they lay down the first points of damage on your shields. If you have a shield repairer on board (which I recommend), then you should have no problem fending off the attackers without ever having to interrupt your mining run.
  3. Don’t forget your drones! Man, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve warped back to a station after filling my hold with ore and forgotten my damned drones. Not only is it annoying, but forgetting your drones is a good way to let some random player scoop them up and claim them for themselves. I dunno about you, but I’m not in the business of buying drones and giving them away. So discipline yourself into developing a mental checklist whenever you’re mining. When your strip miners shut down and your cargo is full, recall your drones and then warp away. It never hurts to double-check before you warp. If you do end up forgetting your drops, warp back immediately to where you were and scoop them into your drone bay before some other lucky soul swings by and grabs them.
  4. Go for the concentrated, dense and higher value ores. Don’t waste your time on regular ores like veldspar, scordite and omber. Instead, go for the variations of those ores that offer higher yields like Massive Scordite, Condensed Veldspar and Golden Omber. You can mine them with the same amount of effort as their peer ores, but you can get more units from the same amount of work. Time is money, after all!
  5. Don’t bother salvaging NPCs you kill. If you’re a new player, you probably figured out the best way to make money in the beginning is to run around and salvage wrecks, and maybe grab the loot from the cargo containers left behind. While that’s fine and dandy if you’ve got a fast ship and plenty of high slots, when you get into an ORE ship you’ll find those high slots in short supply. So when you’re mining, forget about fitting a Salvager. Just fit your ship with strip miners and leave it at that. If your drones happen to take out some NPCs while you’re mining, and if the wreck is within a few thousand meters, then thrust on over a bit until you’re within 2,500 meters and grab the cargo, but leave the wreckage for somebody else (or come back later with a different salvage ship within 1-2 hours). Typically the amount of money you’ll make salvaging in an ORE ship isn’t worth what you gave up a strip miner high slot for to fit a salvager. When you mine, just mine.
  6. Use bookmarks! You’ve probably noticed if you zoom out in a belt that it’s in a crescent shape that’s a 180 degree arc. Well, warping to zero in a belt puts you equidistant away from every part of that arc, which means you and your slow-ass ORE need to thrust closer to the belt at the speed of molasses. Even with afterburners on you can easily have a bio break before you get in strip miner range. So save yourself the trouble by creating 2-3 bookmarks in each belt that you frequent. Pick points that are closer to the arc, and space them apart so that your strip miners can reach every part of the belt. This way you just need to warp to one of your bookmarks, turn on your scanner, target the rocks you want, and fire up the strip miners – no need to putt around. I set up 3 bookmarks in a “Mining” bookmark folder which I label “I-1A” at the top of the arc at zero degrees or slightly greater (where I is the moon number, 1 is the belt number, and “A” is the first bookmark”), “I-1B” in the apex of the arc at about 90 degrees, and “I-1C” at the bottom of the arc at 180 degrees or slightly less. All points are within the range of my strip miners, so if I mine out all the rocks within range of point A, I just warp in to point B the next time and pick up there, and then to C. Easy as pie.
  7. Get a survey scanner. Sure, you can use the asteroids shown in the overview, but that doesn’t tell you how much ore remains in each rock. The survey scanner will tell you, which can save you the heartache of having a strip miner waste a full cycle on a rock that only has 10 units of ore left in it. As soon as you warp in to your bookmark, fire up the scanner and then target the rocks you want to work on.
  8. Orient towards your escape destination immediately upon getting in position. This is purely a defensive move, since your ORE ship maneuvers like an old, blind pig loaded with bricks, and if you’re getting your ass handed to you by attackers, the last thing you want to do is find yourself screaming at your monitor while trying to warp out, yet your ship is taking its dear sweet time to get into position. Your strip miners work in any orientation, so this reorientation precaution has zero impact on your mining ability or results. If you do get attacked and things are starting to look scary, then you’re already oriented towards your escape point – just select it and warp off to safety. Simple.
  9. Don’t mine in losec without well armed friends. At the moment I’m not a fan of wandering into losec unless I’ve first checked the local intel channel (in Molden Heath it’s called “Molden Intel” and Metropolis has “Metropolis Intel”), switched to a big ship with lots of defenses and offensive firepower, and have a friend or two to come along. But hey, we all know that not all the ores we need are found in hisec, so at some point you’ll need to wade into those riskier losec waters and face the wrath of heartless pricks that take sheer joy in laying waste to your fabulous ORE ship. So if you do need to go into losec to mine, be damned sure you’re going along with some friends that can sit High Guard over you – and be sure they can take on a battlecruiser or two. But whatever you do, never ever, ever, ever, ever go AFK while in losec. That was the first major stupid mistake I made in EVE and it cost me millions. (My next major stupid mistake will be all new, I assure you.)
  10. Maximize your cargo space. The fewer runs you need to do to the local station to unload your ore, the more time you can spend in the belts getting ore. If you use the suggestions above to bookmark mining spots and use drones for defense, then you can dump everything in your low slots and install Expanded Cargo units in them. This can easily boost your storage by a good 20% or so percent, and Tech II cargo units provide even more space.

So, to recap, here’s a handy mining procedure recap:

  1. Set bookmarks in any new belt you visit that you plan to frequent in the future. Always warp into them, never warp to 0 in a belt after your first visit.
  2. Upon arrival at your bookmark, reorient your ship towards your escape point. When in position, kill your engines or you’ll thrust out of range of your rocks. If things look sketchy, warp out immediately.
  3. Deploy your drones. If enemies are in range and you think you can take them out before they take you out, target them and order your drones to engage.
  4. Fire up your survey scanner. Once you know where the rocks are with the most ore you’re after, target them.
  5. Engage your strip miners. Use multiple miners on big rocks you want to concentrate on, or you can focus each miner on a different rock. Your technique may vary.
  6. Recall your drones when the strip miners cut off or your cargo hold is full.
  7. Warp out.

I hope this helps somebody. Enjoy, and fly safe!

Introducing Techno-Wizard Industrial Technologies

TWITZ-corp-logoI’d like to introduce you to a fairly young corp called Techno-Wizards Industrial Technologies, aka TWITZ.

Based out of the Teonusude system in Molden Health, the company’s motto is “We make the things that make things go BOOM!” As one can guess, that means that TWITZ specializes in making stuff that’s useful in blowing up those other players whom you’d like to see leave the star system in a multitude of pieces. 🙂

The CEO of TWITZ is Sandhill, an EVE veteran, and he’s recruiting players of all tenures to join the corp and help it grow. While based in Minmatar space, the corp is open to all races and all skill levels. If you’d like to learn more about the corp and see if you’re a match, please join the “TWITZ Help” channel in-game and express your interest in learning more.

As a new member myself, the veteran members of the corp have been a pleasure to fly and interact with, and have been extraordinarily helpful and willing to share knowledge and items to help you on your path. If you’re looking for a new home, give it a look.

You can visit the TWITZ website here.

MXB:EVE Is Born

Welcome to MXB:EVE!

What is MXB:EVE? It’s an EVE Online blog by Maximilian Black (aka MXB or MaxBlack), one of tens of thousands of pilots in New Eden. While I’d love to be able to tell you that I have some great claim to fame such as the CEO of a massive corporation or leader of a vast alliance, the reality is anything but glamorous. I am, as many of you are, but a newborn pilot that’s finding his way through this vast expanse of space.

My intent with this blog is to have it grow with me, to share my observations, vent my frustrations, propose new ideas, and anything else that springs to mind. And let there be no doubt that I’m loaded with opinions!

While my pilot is new to EVE, I’m hardly new to online gaming or gaming in general. I can safely safe that my love of gaming, both online and pen-and-paper based, dates back to 1977, when I first encountered a game in the Frankfurt am Main airport (in then-West Germany) called Missile Command. As I approached it, I didn’t know what it was or what it did, but I knew I liked it. It didn’t take me long to understand that quarters equated to happiness – and from that moment on, the seeds of my love for games began to grow into the obsession it is today.

It wasn’t long after when the kid in the apartment upstairs from me introduced me to a game called Dungeons & Dragons (before it got the Advanced prefix) and this little purple module called Keep On The Borderlands. Something about my personality perfectly suited assuming the role of some fictitious and fantastic alter-ego, and that remains true to this day.

In 1981, at a middle school computer summer “camp”, I discovered the personal computer for the very first time, in the form of the Commodore PET, a monochromatic behemoth that gave me the ability to do things I’d never dreamed of. To this day, I vividly remember that experience when I wrote my first simplistic program, and my imagination was captured forever. It went a little something like this:

10 PRINT “HELLO”
20 PRINT
30 “MY NAME IS GREGG”
40 PRINT
50 GOTO 10

And that was it. That’s all it took. The fact that I could instruct a computer to do something – and it would actually do it – fascinated me… I don’t think I can ever adequately explain the feeling that shot through me, but it’s fair to say it was perhaps the most pivotal moment of my life that’s still having a massive impact on it nearly 30 years later. It was a revelation.

I went home each night and wrote program and game ideas down on paper, excited about all the possibilities. I even found the local computer store/ typewriter repair shop called CompuType, rode across town on my brother’s too-big-for-me 10-speed, befriended the owners and became a regular fixture there. I started learning more about the computers they sold than the owners knew, including the newest on the market, the Apple II. I was hooked.

The one traditional RPG that influenced me more than any other single game was without question Traveller, by the Game Designers’ Workshop. This in itself is a very long story, and one I won’t bore you with all the details here, but for a number of years I’d immersed myself in the game and ultimately began publishing my own magazine for it called The Security Leak Magazine with the blessings of Marc Miller himself. (You can find scanned and converted issues online at SecurityLeak.comsecurityleak.com.) While SLM went for only 5 issues, it was starting to get subscribers from Europe to Japan. I was even lucky enough to be credited by GDW in the MegaTraveller Rebellion Sourcebook, which to me still stands as a great badge of honor. I really did love that game – unfortunately, it has been eclipsed by computer games and relegated to near-obsurity along with so many other pen-and-paper RPGs.

Over the years, I’ve played more pen-and-paper, arcade, online, MMORPGs, PC, console and board games than I can possibly remember. I can say with dead certainty that the list easily exceeds 1,000 titles, and that amazingly is not an exaggeration. The list of computers and consoles is absurd – PET, Vic 20, Commodore 64, Commodore 128, Atari 400, Atari 800, SuperBrain, Apple II, Apple IIe, Apple IIc, Tandy CoCo, TI-99/4A, Amiga, IBM PC, the original Compaq “luggable” desktop, an original Altair computer, VAX, Prime Minicomputer, original Macs, the original Apple Portable, Apple Quadra, Atari 2600, Atari 5200, ColecoVision, IntelliVision, Sega Genesis, Neo-Geo, Sega-CD, original PlayStation, PS2, PS3, XBox 360, Red Hat Linux 2.0, early SCO Unix… I could go on and on. But you get the idea. I’m a game geek.

So much of a game geek, that in 1991 I got my very first job in the video game industry making Amiga games, and spun that into an 8.5 year career, working for companies such as Electronic Arts Canada (EA Sports), Acclaim Entertainment (I know the guys that made Mortal Kombat a household name), Sierra Online (Dynamix) and The 3DO Company. It wasn’t just a profession, it was a passion. But at some point, working 100-120 hours per week, sleeping under my desk, eating pizza for every dinner, and dealing with narcissistic and bad management was not my idea of how I wanted to spend the rest of my life, so I bailed from the game industry and jumped into the Web industry.

Today I work in the digital marketing world and manage the development of custom enterprise software used by Fortune 500 and multi-national companies engaged in B2C, but that game geek still lives inside of me and is just as passionate about games as ever.

Over the years I’ve gone through the whole online gaming spectrum, starting with ASCII-based MUDs on ARPA Net before the Internet was commercialized in the mid-1990’s, and then went through a list of MMORPGs: Ultima Online, the original EverQuest, EQII, Vanguard, Tabula Rasa, and some others I’m forgetting. But ultimately I’ve come to a point where I’m now focusing my attentions on EVE.

EVE, at first glance to me, offered the in-depth, complex and expansive type of universe that appeals to me. I’m analytical and egotistical… I want to be able to carefully and methodically build up a vast war and trade machine, ultimately wield vast power across multiple star systems, beat my chest and scream to the world “Top of the world, ma!”, moments before it all goes to hell. And then I’d start all over again from the bottom. That’s me in a nutshell.

And so, my dear reader, this blog will be my outlet for all those thoughts that ramble around in my head, from the kooky to the insightful. So I hope you’ll forgive my momentary self-indulgence, braggadocio and reminiscing in this initial post, but I thought a bit of context would help you better understand me and where I’m coming from.

EVE to me is new and filled with possibilities and things to learn. There are thousands of pilots to meet, for me to be killed by, or for them to possibly kill me. This will be my chronicle of that new life.

This is MXB:EVE. And so it begins. Welcome.