As I stated in my earlier post, I'm combining a "Best of 2011" retrospective with a good old-fashioned pledge drive.
I want to say how overwhelmed I've been by the show of support, both in terms of contributions, an in terms of the many kind words a lot of you have sent me, either as comments attached to those contributions, in EVE mail, or both. Blogging can be a time-consuming and lonely business, and it's your comments, EVE mail, support, and downright arguing with me sometimes that makes the process worth-while. Still, I ain't too proud to beg for any spare ISK you have lying around, or maybe spare ships or mods. Blogging, as I said, is time-consuming. Every minute blogging is one less minute incursioning. ;-)
Send your contributions to Ripard Teg. And let me know in an EVE mail if you want the fact that you contributed to be public or not.
Thank you to Rorona Risalo, Ometheos Oribili, Micaela DeLameter, Thelandira, Mako Al, and Kirith Kodachi who sent generous donations, along with encouragement about the blog. Thank you also to Wendi Wu, who not only sent in a very generous donation, but has been sharing some insights with me about faction warfare. I need to start thinking about that topic again. Thanks you so much, guys! Your support means a lot to me. Thanks also to the generous contributors who wished to remain anonymous.
Today's the last day of the pledge drive, so there will be no further shaking of the tin cup after today. Again, thanks very much to those of you that have contributed. To those and the rest, thanks for reading, and I hope you'll continue to do so!
Here's #5 through #2 in my Best of 2011:
#5: I was there
At mid-year, CCP was in the midst of a major marketing effort to get new subscribers with eveisreal.net and other similar efforts. One of these was the "I Was There" trailer. It was a good, well-done trailer. The only problem with it was that it came in the midst of the Summer of Rage and it described an image of EVE that didn't seem to exist: a super-cap free, blob-fre small-gang PvP-a-palooza complete with sniping battleship gangs and Gallente ships that didn't suck. It's quickly become the most-parodied trailer CCP has ever done. Still, I'd been in a battle like the one shown and bemoaned the fact there hadn't been more.
#4: Bargain basement
#3: Canary in the coal mine
On 15 March, in a little-regarded devblog from Team BFF, CCP Greyscale quietly announced that EVE Online's Dominion expansion had been a total failure. Oh, he didn't say it outright, of course. He just said that "equal value makes space boring" and then removed the Sanctums and Havens from something like 65% of null-sec space. The ability for small, non-moon-holding alliances to upgrade their space to attract people into null had been the key hallmark of Dominion. When this died, so did large swaths of null; whole regions of New Eden are now devoid of life. The loser was small-gang null-sec PvP. It's a change that's still ringing through the game, nine months later. I predicted the effects in March, then revisited them to see how and who was being affected in July.
#2: Sons of a bitch
From a writing stand-point, this is the post that I'm most proud of in 2011. It went through four grueling editing passes before I was happy with it, but I'm thrilled with the results and it's garnered more positive press than any other post I wrote this year. It became the single most important tent-pole post I've written about the incursion experience. It was picked up across dozens of EVE forums, and I'm convinced it got hundreds of people to try out incursions. I also don't think it's any coincidence that logi pilots were tough to find in incursion fleets before I wrote this, and quite easy to find after. ;-) And I credit incursions generally with rebooting my enthusiasm for EVE. They're the only PvE in EVE that's done right.
Later today: #1.