the 57th Overlanders Brigade Site

I decided to go ahead and create a site for the 57th so that people will have a place to go to read what we are about, some trouble we get ourselves into and another Blog to read – cause who doesn’t want another EVE related Blog to read, right?

Click here to see what I have so far.

It’s not much and I know that, but the Manifesto is there and that was the crucial part for me right now.  With the long holiday weekend coming up for us here in the US where we celebrate the fact that we didn’t know how to farm when we first came to the Americas I am hopeful that I will be able to get some content up.  At the very least a post or two letting people know what the 57th has been up too over the past two weeks and how they can join and participate.  It’s getting to be a very exciting time for our little crew and I couldn’t be more pleased with how things are going.

-Taz / Mal

 

Also – put your eyeballs on this!

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A Leaf On The Wind: TAZ Creates “the 57th Overlanders Brigade” & Starts A New Chapter

Those of you who have been reading my site since the beginning have always known that eventually the day would come when I would form my own Corporation.  Though I never explicitly said those words, everyone I spoke with knew that my goal was to eventually run my own corporation and see where that journey would lead. I have a certain set of what I will call “ideals” that I want to fly by.  There are things I want to be known for and things I do not want to be known for and in order to avoid the “guilt by association” stigma I knew I would eventually have to fly “under my own flag”.  With the changes now in place that directly impact NULL Sec Space and the future changes coming in 2015, the timing couldn’t be better to start moving in that direction and focusing on what I hope to accomplish – which is create content that everyone can participate in regardless of skill or experience.

A Clean Slate For A New Beginning

I decided to create a brand new character in order to have a clean slate for this new adventure.  I asked myself the question – “If I was a new player looking to PVP with a focus on moving to NULL Sec Space, who would I want to follow and lead me there?”.  The answer to that question was immediately clear – Malcolm Reynolds.  It’s no secret that I’m a Firefly fan, and so with that I made the leap of faith and “Capt Malcolm Reynoldz” was born and also the 57th Overlanders Brigade.  I created an advertisement, started a thread on the forums, created a Twitter account and began recruiting members.  Though we are still in our infancy I couldn’t be more pleased with the way in which my Crew are coming together.  I know it will take time to get where I envision us being, but the first and most difficult step has been taken.  We are here, and the 57th is not going anywhere anytime soon.  Feel free to stop by our Public chat channel “War Stories: Browncoats Local Chat” and say hello!

 

To Rixx Javix & The Entire Stay Frosty Corporation

I never would have had the confidence to take on this enormous undertaking if it had not been for the support of Rixx Javix and all the things that the members of Stay Frosty taught me.  The way in which Rixx runs the corporation and the way in which the members treat each other is truly a unique experience and I am very proud to have been a part of their ranks – even for just a short while.  I owe you all a debt of gratitude and though I’m still learning and growing as a PVP pilot, you gave me the foundation that I am using to build the 57th.  To all of you, and especially Rixx for the words of encouragement – I thank you!  I know this is not the end of our friendship.  It’s just the beginning.

 

The Future & What That Means

I will be using Capt Malcolm Reynoldz as my “main” moving forward, as should be expected.  TAZ is and will be active as well for those times that Mal’s lower skill points just won’t do the trick, though likely she will not be flying as regularly as she has in the past.  I know people have said to me that acknowledging publicly that these two characters are mine is unwise.  That may or may not prove to be true and only time will answer that question.  For me it was more of a question of transparency and not hiding my intentions.

TAZ has a reputation, a following, friends and goals that you all know – and some even share.  I did not want it to appear as though she moved to some random corp away from Stay Frosty and have rumors buzz as to what that reason may or may not be.  There are no reasons other than what I have written about here in the past and what I hope to do in the future – which is create content.

I have yet to decide if I will create a site specifically dedicated for the 57th, so for now I will continue to use this site to update you as to my adventures.  I hope you continue to come along for the ride because it’s about to get very interesting.  And for those of you who want to do more than just read about it – come joining us!

– TAZ / Mal

CCP’s “Force Projection” Worked To The Dismay of Sovereign 0.0 Leadership

This past Thursday CCP aired their first of what I hope are many of their aptly dubbed “Global Internet Television Show” hosted by CCP Guard.  o7: The EVE Online Show shared news and interviews ranging from the new release schedule, EVE Vegas, EVE Down Under and of course the ever present discussion around Sovereign Null Space.  Though the show was a success in many ways, the most interesting success the show had was seen today – a mere three days after airing – in which CCP was able to do some “Force Projection” of their own.

Today, in what is lauded as a unified statement from the Alliance Leaders of conquerable Sovereign Space, The Mittani dot com posted a brief list of points that we are lead to believe have been agreed upon that are the pivotal points that CCP should focus on in order to prevent what they are calling a “Dominion-style expansion making the existing mechanics of sovereignty even worse than they are today.

Though I don’t necessarily disagree with what they have suggested (though I believe they may want to do a bit more clarification/explanation in regards to what they mean by “increased player density” – is that a fat joke?), I do think it was more of a knee-jerk reaction to their overwhelming fear that we, the citizens of New Eden, have the ear of CCP and that they are in fact listening to us.  That must be what I can only imagine would be a terrifying realization for the Trinity Bloc to come too and thus they now must try to mitigate the potential damage that could be coming to them and the thrones the currently sit upon.  I would have loved to have been in the room with The Mittani and the rest of the Alliance Leaders to hear what was probably the only unified thing that was said, which was “oh, shit!  They know.” once CCP Greyscale said

. . . .the major coalitions have basically solved the game, they figured out how to win.

I’m confident discussions immediately followed the broadcast between the Alliances and that they did in fact agree upon what they feel would be the most beneficial, and by that I mean path with the least amount of impact to their current operations, approach that CCP should take in regards to Sovereign Null Space.  The manner in which the statement was written almost dares CCP to not deviate from the unified Alliance proposal despite what they may have already decided to put into place before the end of the year.  Now, should CCP not incorporate some or all of the suggestions from the proposal into their solution, they risk appearing as though they are in fact unwilling to listen to the player community.  Say what you will about the Mittani but make no mistake about his ability to wage war without firing a single shot and to instead use their words against them in an attempt to force CCP’s hand.  I do tip my hat to you all for that piece of brilliance.

The future of Sovereign Null Space is now more unknown than ever and we all must wait until more information is released to us from CCP in mid-October to see what that future may look like.  It will be interesting to see, read and hear the reactions from across all of New Eden as we move closer and closer to whatever the future may hold.

I stand firm in my assessment that the War for Sovereign Null Space is eminent and I believe CCP has chosen to stand with those who would see a diverse and flourishing Sovereign Null Space as opposed to the stagnant and dying black that exists today.  I stand firm in my devotion to serve and play my part in making New Eden an exciting and diverse place for all who live here.

Still waters run deep as does my resolve.  I now ask of you all who are reading this to ask yourselves the same question I have.

Where will you stand when the line has been drawn?

-Taz

Response: Kaeda Maxwell (@KaedaMaxwell) – What Do I Get Out Of That Arrangement?

KM_twitter_FINALIn my last post I addressed the role that players in HighSec could play and the potential benefits they would see come out of The War.  There was one person in particular who responded back with some very poignant and reasonable talking points that I felt deserved more than just a few 140 character responses.  I’ve pasted a screen capture of the Twitter conversation on the right side of this post for your reference.  I decided to write up a response here to address her concerns as best I can, how I envision SOV Null’s future state and what we would be able to offer in the post-war reconstruction phase to those in HighSec space who contribute to The War in non-combatant ways.

Kaeda and I never delved into what, exactly, she does in SOV Null or what resources she is currently extracting from there or what she is doing with them so I will attempt to cover the general items.  Things that are either collected and sold unrefined on the market; things that are refined and then sold or used to manufacture ships, modules, etc to sell or use for their own endeavors.  In addition I will point out what The War will bring before SOV Null is broken that will benefit all citizens of New Eden should they choose to participate.  Lastly I will attempt to address Kaeda’s concern over the increased level of competition in her market and how I believe that would be mitigated.

The War:  Content for New Players & Vet’s

The War for SOV Null will require many resources in order to conduct it successfully.  The most important of those resources is you – the Capsuleer.  The way in which The War will be conducted will provide opportunities for new and long standing players alike to contribute in meaningful ways.  It will provide epic battles consisting of overwhelming defeats and incredible victories.  The War will draw new players to New Eden much in the same way that the Bloodbath of B-R5RB was the drawing force to finally break my hesitation and join New Eden.  In addition as with any battle there will be heavy losses, millions of rounds of ammunition fired and modules to replace.  This will drive an increased demand for these items thus potentially increasing your market share.  That is, of course, if you are able to keep up with the demand!  If you are not, then it opens up space for more citizens to dabble in Industry as well giving them another area of content they may not have considered before.  With Industry being much more user friendly now since the release of Crius I believe that increase in the number of potential competitors from the release alone will far outnumber any new competitors you see as a result of The War.

 Post-War SOV Null:  New Major Trade Hubs

If we are successful in our efforts during The War and we are able to achieve a new and diverse SOV Null I believe that would drive the need to create new Major Trade Hubs within SOV Null for the influx of citizens who would finally be able to live there.  The benefits to this are obvious in that they no longer would need to travel great distances to obtain they need or sell items they manufacture.  In addition it would provide completely new markets that would be specialized to the needs of that particular area and what the people there are focusing on.  This would give the opportunity for any enterprising marketeer to establish their own piece of that new market and possibly even gain a monopoly in their area of specialty.  I could easily see establishing five to six new Major Trade Hubs thereby doubling the current Major Hubs we have today in Jita, Amarr, Rens, Dodixie and Hek.  Keeping these new markets stocked will be an enormous task, but the potential benefits and profit are limitless.

New Players Equal New Customers

As I said earlier in this post, The War will bring new players into New Eden and if we give them a purpose and exciting content it will keep them coming back for more.  New players equal new customers.  Of course this also means that there will ultimately be more competition should those new players decide to delve into your particular field of entrepreneurial work – but that is where competition can drive content as well.  The War for a diversified SOV Null will be bloody and costly, but it would pale in comparison to the cut-throat and devious wars on the newly established Major Markets there that we have seen in the past in our Trade Hubs today.  The War will create the need for new markets, but the way in which they are ran and the wars waged within them will likely be beyond anything I could imagine.  Make no mistake about it – Market PVP is just as brutal as flying a Cruiser at a Battleship saying “Let’s dance, you and I” in local.

Final Thoughts

There is a phrase/sentiment that I tell my daughters when they are faced with a change or new situation they have to deal with that I believe applies here should we win The War for SOV Null.  It is a saying that I can’t remember where I first heard it but has proven itself time and again to be true no matter the situation.

It will be as good or as bad as you want it to be.  The choice is up to you.

To Kaeda:  I hope that as you consider my response to your questions and the intent behind them that this brings you the same clarity it has often brought to me.

To All Those Who Are Reading This And Have Had Similar Concerns/Questions:  I hope this is not the end of the conversation, but only the beginning.  My vision does not in any way have to be your vision for the future of New Eden.  You have the right to choose your own destiny,where you wish to go and how exactly you get there.  My eyes turn to SOV Null when I am looking for potential content and exiting adventures.  Where do yours turn?

TAZ

Choosing Sides: The Enduring Call of Lazarus

American poet Emma Lazarus is best known for her sonnet that adorns the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty called “The New Colossus“.  It forever changed the meaning behind what Lady Liberty would stand for and solidified her role as the one who would welcome all immigrants who came to The United States in search of a better life for themselves.  Though they are currently over 130 years old and are over 21,140 according to the date in New Eden, those words written so long ago hold meaning for what is happening in SOV Null and the impending war that will strive to change the landscape of New Eden forever.  They serve as a call to arms for those longing for a better future.  One in which they are free to embark on their true destiny as opposed to the one that has been chosen for them.

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me . . .”

There are those whom are currently existing – not living – in the stagnated SOV Null created by “The Trinity Bloc” that are doing so under the banner of an ideology of which they do not agree with.  They are forced to do so else they be cast aside and forced out of the very place they wish to be.  And though they toil underneath that banner they are not treated as equals.  They are truly seen as the wretched refuse that are merely tolerated as a means to an end in the Trinity Bloc’s never ending struggle to maintain their arms race keeping SOV Null stagnant and steadily under their control.  It is to those individuals that I am calling out to and saying you now have a choice and are free to make it if you should find it right and just to do so.  You are more than just proverbial cattle and should be respected and allowed to reap that which you sow without fear of your livelihood ever being taken away simply because you are no longer vital to the Trinity Bloc’s endeavors.   And be not mistaken – you are currently vital to them and their proposed future state of an “Occupy SOV” solution.  They are desperate to keep that knowledge from you lest you realize just how much power you truly hold.

But the message I am sending out to all of New Eden is not intended for those currently living under the boot heel of The Trinity Bloc alone.  It is intended for those whom have been given the derogatory label of “Carebear” and are looked upon as the worthless dregs of society whose thoughts and desires are considered to be nothing more than meaningless diatribe in the story that is New Eden.  You are the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free” to whom I am calling as well.  For it will be your might and masterful skill in building the tools of war that will be required that will be our most valued and protected asset.  You will be the lifeblood that renews our resolve and will ultimately lead to your freedom to acquire your own piece of SOV Null in a way which never before has been available to you.   Imagine what you could do when the fear of being killed simply for mining raw materials is removed once you have your own protected space in which to work free from the disciples of the New Order of HighSec.  Imagine what you can achieve when you are freely allowed access to some of the rarest minerals and ore in New Eden.  For that will be your reward once this war is won and your protection will be the solemn oath we will uphold to repay the debt we incur for your actions today.

As it has been pointed out to me numerous times and acknowledged by me as well – the war for SOV Null is not a war that everyone in New Eden wants to fight.  To those of you who feel this way I only ask of you one thing and that is to consider the benefits that you will be allowed to freely and without prejudice partake in due to the efforts of those who choose to fight in your stead.

There are many ways in which you can contribute to the war effort.  Donating ships, weapons, ammunition, your time and skills as a scout – it all adds up to building a strong and united front from which we can wage this war.  Everyone has the ability to contribute to this effort on some level.  EVERYONE!  Even if you are a new player who simply donates one of your ships you receive from the tutorials you completed just hours ago puts a hull around a pilot who is ready and has the skills to take the fight to The Trinity Bloc while you train to eventually be able to fight along side them.  Even those who simply choose to quietly donate what little ISK they can spare to the cause will be contributing in equal fashion to those on the front lines.  There are no small contributions when you look at the scope of what we are striving to achieve.

This war is for the benefit of all New Eden – and yes, that even includes those in the Trinity Bloc as well.  Weather you choose to fight in the war or watch it unfold from the sidelines, in the end whatever the outcome may be you will be free to either reap the benefits or will be forced to live under the current stagnation until it is broken.  A thriving and diversified SOV Null brings with it more content and purpose than what exists today.  Those on both sides of the war agree to this point.  The only thing that remains is to take action and embark on that first step – however small it may be.

TAZ

Choosing Sides: Losing Doesn’t Make You Wrong

If you look at my Employment History in New Eden you will find that I spent a few months in Null Sec with a Corp that I had hoped to learn the art of PVP.  Though my time in Null Sec was short, the lessons I learned and perspective I gained around living in Null Sec and what that means was beyond expectation.  What ultimately happened was that I was given my first glimpse into who the CFC were, what they stood for and the paralyzing influence they have on others.  It was because of the events that transpired below that I chose to leave the Corp and Null Sec so that I could properly learn PVP so that I could ultimately return to Null Sec and do what I could to change what I saw – in so much as any one person can.

And for the record – yes.  I do believe one person can affect great change.

POS_imageI had been in Null Sec for approximately one month and had been reading up on the history of New Eden and the incredible stories that had taken place prior to my arrival.  EVE:  True Stories had already been released and admittedly I was fascinated with the Mittani and his ability to bring about such sweeping change and his influence to date over New Eden.  I admired him, but I didn’t fear him nor the CFC and was looking forward to the day when I might actually encounter the CFC or even the Mittani himself.  It was around that time that I started receiving Corporate notifications that one of our POSs in the system we called “home” had been attacked and the shields had dropped slightly.  Over the course of the next few days the shields dropped closer and closer to 0%.  I asked the person who had recruited me what they were planning to do about this?  He was second in command as far as I could tell and was, for lack of a better term, the “Diplomat” for the corporation and the Alliance.  I knew he would know what plans were in the works.  The response I received shocked and still upsets me even to this day.

“Nothing.”

It was quickly explained to me that the people attacking our POS were part of the CFC and that they were here to take over our moon for mining and that for all intents and purposes – we were going to let them take it.  There would be no POS defense fleets or gate camps to prevent them from entering our pocket of space we had come to call home.  There would be no engagements whatsoever.  I expressed my disapproval and asked him to reconsider.  It was then that he said, and I’m paraphrasing here, that “The CFC can have a carrier fleet here within the hour if they wanted too.  We can’t defend against a CFC carrier fleet and we don’t want that kind of attention from the CFC.  They came for the moon, they can have the moon and if we leave them alone they will leave us alone.“.  It was then alluded to that should I or anyone else should choose to try and take matters into their own hands that they would risk being kicked out of the Corporation all together.  It was at that point I realized I had a very big issue with the way in which the corporation would handle hostile intentions and also that I had a very small say in the matter.

I believe that if you work hard to achieve something – whatever that may be – that you never just simply let someone take the fruits of your labor without a fight.  Just because the CFC was bigger than the Corporation does not mean that they have an inherent right to take whatever they wished from it.  But the CFC was not the only players at fault here – the Corporation and it’s leadership was to blame as well.  They chose not to fight or defend what was theirs.  They chose not to anger the giant and look the other way while they lost not only the POS but any future revenue from that moon ever again.  And what’s more, in doing so they let the CFC know that they will continue to do this.  That they will show no opposition and will simply bow down in the hopes that they don’t take more the next time or the time after that until they are ultimately ran out of their home.

I would rather defend my home and all that includes with my last ship firing my last round facing a fleet of 10,000 Goons than to simply sit in station and look the other way while they took what I worked to earn.  Would I lose the fight?  Yes.  Would I lose all I am trying to protect and defend regardless of my efforts?  Yes.  But at least I would not lose my self respect and would not cower down to any fleet – Apex or not – regardless of the outcome.  If you want something I have, then you can come and try to take it.  But I won’t let you do so without a fight.

I know I have singled out the CFC in this story, but that is because this is my personal experience.  And as someone so keenly pointed out recently – we should only talk about known knowns we know and not unknown knowns we don’t know . . . or something eloquent like that.  In response to that argument I would offer up the following two points.  First, I think everyone knows what it is like to have been bullied or picked on just because someone else was bigger or they were outnumbered.  Second, I didn’t have to participate in slavery to know that was wrong.  So making the assumption that just because someone has not experienced or “lived” something doesn’t mean their opinion is wrong or that they cannot see when something is not right.

There is no denying the fact that SOV Null is stagnant.  I believe we all can agree on that point regardless of which side of the line in the sand you stand on.  There are no indications that there is anything in development currently that will change the game mechanics to aid in relieving the stagnation and I stand by my original statement that CCP did not create a stagnant SOV Null so it is not 100% up to them to fix it.  Nobody is calling for changes to Worm Hole Space so that people cannot live there anymore, yet Worm Holes were never intended to be used that way.  The citizens of New Eden used the mechanics that were given and created new content for those daring enough to embark upon the journey.

We have that same ability to affect change ourselves once again in Null Sec should we choose to do so.  There are a lot of systems out there.  More than what CFC, N3/PL or HERO need.  If they truly needed them, then they wouldn’t be renting them out – they would be using them.  A war to break the stagnation in SOV Null may not be what everyone in New Eden wants and as I have said before – I respect their opinions and would never force my ideals on them.  But the simple fact remains a war to break SOV Null would benefit thousands and is the right thing to do in order to breathe new life into New Eden for everyone.

Mal-malcolm-reynolds-13901607-200-200There is a line in Firefly that addresses this point very well.  When Malcolm Reynolds is asked by an Alliance officer why he chose to name his ship after a battle he was on the wrong side of.  Malcolm replied “May have been the losing side.  Still not convinced it was the wrong one.

We may lose the war to free SOV Null.  But that does not mean it is not a war worth having.

TAZ

Light Cannot Exist Without Darkness: Good VS Evil

The EVE community has been buzzing lately about the New Player Experience (NPE), a stagnant Sovereign space and a myriad of other things that all lead to most people saying that EVE – for the most part – is decaying under our hulls and it won’t be long until the stars burn out all together.  Lately I too have been calling out things that I feel need to be addressed and at the heart of all my ramblings when you get down to zero entropy it becomes as basic as “Good VS Evil”.  Those who’s only contribution to EVE is the destruction of other and feeding off of their “tears” far outweigh those who try to do any amount of good.  The scales are too heavily tipped to one side.

Mabrick, who’s blog I just discovered today, has brilliantly addressed this today and I could not agree with his sentiment more.  Be the Hero, not the villain.  And no – that does NOT mean go out and join HERO.  It means quite simply that we should abide by Wheaton’s Law and “Don’t Be A Dick” – especially to the new players who are just now coming to EVE.  I know it is very difficult to know when you first engage someone if they are new or not – but after you gloat over your Kill Mail for 10 seconds, try looking to see how old they are.  Ping them in local or in a private chat and ask how new they are, tell them “GF”, tell them ANYTHING other than “noob – look that that stupid ass fit!  LOL You deserved to die.  Go back to playing MineCraft.”

Cause they will do just that – they will go and never look back.

I know the irony abounds with this sentiment coming from a PIRATE’s Blog – and I get that.  But go read my bio page for a minute.  You’ll soon see that the entire reason I too joined EVE and created this character/persona/whatever you call it was to be evil.  I admit it.  In the real world I know I am one of the “good guys” and that I would never dare do the things to anyone I attempt to do in EVE.  But try as I may to be an evil pirate, my good side is still coming out.  I have been known to give ISK back to the guy I just killed to replace his next ship and about 3 more hulls to boot.  I’ll talk to players who want to know “what they did wrong” in a fight, even though I barely know what I’m doing myself.

What angers me the most is not the one-off jerk in local or the small gang who goes into a system to harass players for a bit and then move on.  Those are the players we need and love to hate and who when you stop to talk to them for five minutes will tell you they just want to login, do a little PVP and log for the night.  They aren’t out to ruin your day – they honestly want “Good Fights”.  Win or lose it doesn’t matter to them.  They genuinely want the GF’s.  The problem is the vast number of Corporations or sprawling Alliances that then form Coalitions who’s sole purpose for being is to literally RUIN not only your day but your entire game experience to the point where you either run off to HighSec to get grief from the Minerbumpers or you leave New Eden all together.  For them, that is their margin of victory and their measure of success.

What’s worse is that the number of the “Evil” Corps/Alliances/Coalitions far outnumber the “Good” and their numbers continue to grow.

I’m not saying we need to turn New Eden into a place of sunshine and rainbows where nothing bad will ever happen to you and Unicorns will bring you sparkly treasures.  My intentions behind wanting to break the “TRINITY BLOC” and open NULL Sec to players like myself is to generate MORE conflicts, more large scale battles, more wars between Corporations, etc.  That chaos makes for hours of enjoyment for everyone provided we can get the scales tipping back before it’s too late.

Good cannot exist without Evil just as Light cannot exist without the Darkness.  New Eden has been dark for far too long and it has gotten this pirate at a moral crossroad.  Maybe my time of piracy, however brief it has been, is drawing to a close and that I am being drawn towards a greater good.

The real question is – who among you would join me?

-TAZ