Friday, February 29, 2008


Well I'm having some issues in New Zealand... It seems that while the Game Cube may have once been rumored to exist on these isles, over hunting and deforestization have left it extinct in all but private collections. Gabe (my son) is pining away for a console game system.

Adding more difficulty to the mix is the different power requirements of NZ. Our adapter will not work here and we'll need to find a new one. So I continue to search for new cables and/or replacements.

Console games are still very popular here, but ye Gods! they are expensive. $1200 for the Playstation 3 which I found hilariously expensive in the US at $800. The X-Box 360 is still $500 and still plagued with bugs. The Wii is still wildly unavailable. The only older game system that seems to be available is the Playstation 2 at still roughly $100.

There are no new Gameboy Advance games--only a handful of Gameboy DS games. The market is pretty slim. So far my plan has only been to try to watch trademe (ebay site) for good deals. But buying off trademe has proved surprisingly difficult.

To all you US folks... Hug your console today. We must envy you from NZ.

Game On!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

EVE log 20082802

I've hit upon a rapid succession of quality skills. I completed Remote Repair Systems V yesterday. This allows me to move on to Capital Remote Repair Systems. In Capital ship combat (a true clash of titans) the ability to "spider rep" with capital-class system is tide turning in battle. Spider repping is setting up multiple ships to remote repair each other. Generally more capacitor efficient and hard to break than self repair. There is none better this tactic than the Carrier. Possessing this skill moves me from being a simple carrier pilot to being a dangerous carrier pilot. Still, I need more work on capacitor management, but in only a couple of days I should be able to use the tech 2 versions of the capacitor boosting gear. Of course, it takes two to tango with remote repair. I still have a week or more to train Capital Repair Systems. However, I still do not have near the resources to purchase a carrier so the point is moot. If I did have one, I would be slightly more at risk to destruction if caught solo. But really friends... if I'm caught alone in a carrier with no ability to jump out... then I probably deserve to lose it.

No carrier pilot is complete without massive drone skills. While I have trained Fighters up to 3 a long while ago, I had skipped all other other racial specialist skills. I have now aquired all 4 of them. Gallente spec is trained to 4 (for tech 2 Ogre drones), Minmatar and Caldari to 2 (good enuf for T2 medium drones) and I need to train up Amarr. But that will most likely wait. The alliance formally recognizes pilots that have all racial specs to 4 with the medal "Lord of Puppets". However, that level would take about 3-4 more weeks of training. While prestigous, I would have little use for T2 heavy drones of other races at the moment. Ogre II's deal the most and best damage for our current region. Still I like knowing I could train to this goal if (and when) I desire.

ISK continues to prove elusive. The Serpentis scum inhabiting the Fountain belts are pertpetually hunted to near extinction. Bounties are thin and painfully slow. Unfortunately, other means of production are equally elusive. My assistant, Porter, could provide good mining revenue, but even that requires time. Plus, my odd sleep cycle now puts me at odd hours with my corporate friends. Any activity in 0.0 requires full support. Generally speaking one needs 3-4 pilots to functionally operate. This has not been the reality for me in some weeks. But I can still scrape together what bounties I can solo until more opporunities arrise.

~Masada Akiva, Gallente Captial Pilot, PHDV, Bruce Alliance

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

EVE Politics

Ahhh EVE... it's a dirtly little universe. Here is a picture of the current political scheme...

Each of these colored blogs represents an alliance of pilots all frantically (some desparately) attempting to hold a corner of space. Each of those dots represents a system of planets, moons, stations, derelicts, and mineral belts. All of these boil down to ISK. Who controls it, who can make it, who can spent it and where it will be spent... all weave together in to these colored blobs.

Hundreds of thousands of pilots are represented here. The uncolored regions are faction owned and not conqerable by free pilots. The inner most systems are safely guarded by CONCORD with the border systems nearly completely lawness. But virtually every other scrap of non-faction space is home to someone and the only law is their own.

This is perhaps the dream of all EVE pilots. To belong somewhere in the vast hostile universe. However, it is mob mentality in all its extremes. Loyalties are often cheap and last only as long as your numbers exceed those of your enemies. All too often might makes right. Still it is astounding to me that my alliance has well over 1000 pilots. The scale is vast considering that virtually all of them are just giving their spare time.

EVE has lasted about 5 years. I'm not sure where else it will go. They have some grand plans, but I suppose only time will tell. There really are no other space-travel future options.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Blood & Space

Lately I've been cruising my old d20 RPG haunts. One of my favorite is RPGObjects ( These guys have written some great tabletop gaming material. One of my favorites is the Blood & Space line. Chuck Rice authors most of the game material and does a great job, IMO. Recently RPGO has branched out in True 20 conversions as well as creating their own d20 mechanics variant called "Modern20".

Just so you know... d20 rules are based on the Wizards of the Coast's d20 opensource gaming license. The notion here is that a multitude of 3rd party publishers could reference or even quote the WotC rules as part of the publisher's products. One game system to unite them all and in the darkness bind them! D20 is generally pretty flexible and well known. Unfortunately, WotC has a tendency to need to publish new editions which invalidate much of the older rules. A pain to keep up with. Then there are the d20 flaws which are inherit in the system and what I would call "legacy" to the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons rules. But from this generic d20 system have emerged a number of very good deviations.

I've mentioned True 20 before. I'll follow-up by simply saying True 20 is an easier to learn/use version of WotC's d20 system.

The other major variant I know of is Spycraft by Crafty Games. Spycraft's system is like d20-zilla. It is a hugely expanded and much more complex version of d20. The advantage here is that Spycraft pretty much has a rule for everything. This can be really useful for certain things, but obviously there is a fine line with playability.

I have not researched Modern20 from RPGO enough to really qualify it, but I suspect is will be more rule heavy than d20, but probably not as heavy as Spycraft. Still, I've come to expect pretty good things from Chuck Rice as a games designer. I happen to be a fan of things a little more complex.

Which brings me back to Blood & Space. If I had to pick one RPGO product as my favorite, BnS is it. They do a number of other lines very, very well. But I'm limiting myself to one per blog entery (hehe). I ran a short campaign with BnS that I was particular fond of. I like the classes, the general mechanical improvements, and the general flavor. I never really got in to ship combat so that wasn't too much of a factor. But the d20 vehicle mechanics were actually pretty lousy--no fault to RPGO. Those mechanics were drafted by WotC. If you every have cause to use vehicle combat (or just about anything to do with vehicles) on a regular basis, pick up Spycraft and just steal that part. I may get inspired to write a long essay on vehicle mechanics... but not today.

Game On!

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Weak... as in, "I am weak." So I re-activated one of our WoW accounts. It doesn't mean I'm an addict. Really. I'm pretty sure.

Regardless, I just felt like running through the blue green forests again. In a lot of ways WoW is like visiting someplace on vacation you liked. Every once in a while you think, "gosh, it would be nice to visit again..." and of course you can very easily with Warcraft.

I re-activated my wife's account so that she can play. I think she may like it more than I at this point. I'm just goofing around, but she may get more play out of it. I created a new female Draenai mage named, Bicklefitch on the Muradin server. It is PvE and simple brain-candy to play. Playing again was exactly what I thought it would be. A nice visual and some easy travel. I played Horde extensively before and the Draenai side is all new to me. I skipped playing for 2 months. One month of one account can't hurt, right? Hehe...

Game On!

Friday, February 22, 2008

True 20

I've been looking at this tabletop RPG system for awhile. I actually have the PDF for it. It is a really nice looking system. It is basically d20 based only extremely stream-lined. I think it would be a good starter system for younger players or new players. It has feats, stats and all the other bits, but everything is only a d20 roll. The only thing they track are the + / - modifiers alone. So for Strength you would only write "Str +3" instead of "Str 16 +3" like you would do for regular d20.

The genre is purposely kept generic. It would be exceptionally easy to run Any Campaign(TM). But there are a number of products using it. Green Ronin is one of the best 3rd party publishers around too. I don't get to play tabletop as often as I would like, but I hope other folks still do.

I'll be looking for some folks to try this one out with here in Wellington. Or maybe I'll run something simple with the family unit.

Game On!

EVE Log 20080222

Long hours of study stretching to days and years have completed to allow me to finally sit in the command pod of the ship I have most desired. A few weeks ago I finally finished Thanatos training and now I am expanding the other skills necessary to insure the safety of such a grand vessel.

I have long possessed the skills necessary to control the massive fighter drones used by carriers. I trained them early as the primary weapons to be used as I advanced. I must admit that my skills are somewhat scattered--perhaps too much hubris in my youth. It took me a while to develop the focus needed for carrier training.

A few standard days ago I lost a Thorax. I had configured it to be a speed salvage wagon and in a moment of distraction some high speed Serpentis scouts rushed me with warp scramblers. My the time I noticed the attack my armour nanos were nearly overwhelmed. In retrospect I may have been able to hit the afterburners to escape. But in the confusion I took too long to align and lost the ship. But I did manage to return with my battleship to mop up the bastards. Damn rats.

I have my loyal “assistant” working on her refining skills. She’ll be running the station reprocessers at peak efficiency in no time. I think between her mining skills and pirate bounties I’ll probably have enough ISK for a carrier in a month or so. Hard to say… but I’m hoping.

~Masada Akiva, Gallente Capital Pilot, Phoenix Division, BRUCE Alliance

The Games we Play

Since Yahoo 360 has no export and Blogspot has no Import, I have decided that Blogspot is entirely useless as a replacement for my personal 360 blog. So, since I still like the look of Blogspot, I think I shall dedicated this space to game-only content. I generally have to censor game content from my personal blog cuz my family doesn't care about games and I can't really cut loose with WTF! PWN!

I am playing EVE-Online and Hellsgate at the moment. But I have a long history with World of Warcraft, Lord of the Rings Online, Dungeons & Dragons Online, Tabula Rasa, Star Wars Galaxies, and probably a dozen others I've forgotten...

I also like a wide range of tabletop games like the Catan series, Broadsides, Dark Tower, Rune Quest, and more too geeky to admit to.

I'll be chatting about reviews, game play, what I like, who the heck killed me, short stories, fun stuff and utter crap.

Game On!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Just Starting to Move

Apparently is shutting down. Rather than wait to see what they come up with, I figured I'd just move to blogspot as it seems to have all the features I'd want anyway. Plus more than a few blog-mates use it as well... Be writing again real soon.