Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
You can follow along, if you want...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A challenger appears

It hasn't been the best year ever for EVE news websites.

EVE Report?  Gone.  White Rose?  Gone.  EVE Swarm?  Hasn't been updated in months.  EVE Tribune recently shambled out of its grave for the fourth or fifth time since I started following it.  But the content and presentation is still charmingly bad most of the time, so it's safely ignored except for the occasional well-done guest piece or interesting interview.

This leaves EVE News 24 as the undisputed and reigning champion of EVE news websites.  Like Jimmy Wah's in Good Morning, Vietnam, riverini and Baghei have been serving the best beer in Vietnam for years... because it's the only beer in Vietnam.

You like my EVE news website, yes?

I kid, I kid.  ;-)  Overall, EN24 is a good source of information, covers the major news of New Eden adequately or better, and occasionally produces some really insightful or interesting stuff.  It's not for nothing that even people who despise riverini still visit the site faithfully.  It's probably the single most-read fan website in the EVE pantheon.  That's not to say that there aren't flaws.  There are: lots of them.  There are only two staff writers for EN24, so if one or both of them get busy, days can go by without new content.  Sometimes, the content that is there is rather hysterically wrong, and other times the content is fine but it's the presentation that's not quite ready for prime time.  Spelling errors, grammatical errors, or just plain bad English run rampant across EN24's articles sometimes.

And you know, that's part of the charm.  New Eden isn't perfect or pretty, and EN24 isn't either.  riverini says he's working on a new design for it and maybe someday soon that design will see the light of day.  Proof-reading is sometimes done, but often with EVE players it's good enough just to be timely.  In the meantime, EN24's been out there for years plugging along doing what it's supposed to be doing.  It's also reasonably free of bias most days; since riverini will syndicate articles from all comers (including your humble narrator, of course), all points of view are generally respected.

The one potential exception is the CFC in general and The Mittani in particular.  There's definitely no love lost between the CFC and EN24, nor between riverini and Mittens, in either direction.  EN24 tries to cover what's going on with them in an unbiased way, but sometimes... yeah.  You get the idea.

So it's with a great deal of interest that I note that there's a new EVE news site this week.  And it goes by a name I'd call deliberately provocative: themittani.com .  As the site itself puts it in their intro speech:
"The Mittani" has become a brand: one of the most recognisable and googled phrases or labels in Eve, it simply has recognition value that we would have struggled to create with anything else.  I wanted us to profit from the better part of a decade of work and history that many new websites would give their right arm to possess.
Oh brother.  The ego being displayed here could provide sufficient power to propel a second Curiosity rover into orbit and on its way to Mars.  ;-)  Again, I kid.  At the end of the day, a website name is a website name and this one is certainly easy to remember.

Is this an EVE news website run by the CFC?  Oh yeah, you betcha.  Fully 20 of them.  That's right: they're claiming 20 staff writers.  As a result, the site is currently generating two to three news pieces and one to two feature pieces per day.  The Columns section also has Mittens's Ten Ton Hammer pieces going all the way back to the beginning of them, which is handy.  All of this certainly augurs well for the amount of content the site can generate.

The quality is quite high, too.  In my communications training, we sometimes talked a little disparagingly about "slicks" or "glossies", which is a magazine format that promotes style over substance.  Those old undergrad debates snapped right into my head when I looked at the site for the first time.  It didn't help that off to the right side of the site that first visit was a giant picture of Charles Maurice de Talleyrand, which I suspect that perhaps one EVE player in 250 could identify by sight.(1)  The piece talked about that particular figure from the French Revolution and how we could apply principles he developed to EVE.

And people tell me I write obscure historical pieces sometimes.

That said, the glossy format really kind of works.  EVE is a beautiful game and the highlight graphics being chosen so far for the articles really work it.  There's a fair bit of coverage of other MMOs too, such as the obsession that EVE players have with World of Tanks.  There's some well-written pieces here, done by people that -- Goons or not -- I respect.(2)

So... yeah.  This is officially a recommendation!  Add the site to your daily reading list (I've already added it to Must Read Websites off to the right) and let's see how they do.

There's two interesting consequences of this new website.  First, will this site be here for the long haul?  Historically, it's arguable that the CFC could be characterized collectively as a great starter but a poor finisher.  They sometimes lack staying power.  Boredom, ennui, and the lack of a defining goal take hold, and a major CFC goal can grind to a halt.  What's the goal with this site?  To be better than EN24?  If so, the strength of EN24 is in its staying power, longevity, and stick-to-it-iveness.  Only time will tell if themittani.com can match that.

Second, how will EN24 respond?  I've already teased riverini that he's gonna have to take his game up a notch.  You all know my mantra for this: you compete by being better.  Will EN24 step up to this new challenger?  That also remains to be seen.  Heaven knows they're going to have to get a lot more serious about recruiting additional writers.

The good news here though is that no matter how this little competition goes, EVE players win.  I'm obviously all for that.  ;-)  Let's see how this goes!

(1) I'm not one of them.  And the picture was advertising an article in the site's book review section.  I swear to God.
(2) I still say I'm one of the few people in New Eden that respects the work of riverini, The Mittani, and Trebor Daehdoow.  Not that Trebor's a Goon, of course, but you get what I mean.


  1. Bagehi has left EN24 to work for TheMittani.com as of yesterday; Riverini treated him poorly and was unreliable with payment.

    We do have ~25 staff; four are coders/sysadmins, and the rest are on the editorial/writing team. We have rapidly reached out to non-CFC voices, such as Malcanis of Initiative and Hilmar Keller of Black Legion to ensure balanced coverage; I am hoping that Kaeda Maxwell will agree to provide a lowsec perspective shortly.

    1. 2 vs 20. That's like the one or two liberals on Fox News.

      You may need to expand your no CFC staff, or at least allow for open submissions to really open it up.

      I found a lot of what was there interesting, although some of it was rather agenda pushing by individual writers (The Exhumer changes article was wrotten totally from the perspective of a ganker screaming that the sky is falling)

      Good luck to you however. Anything that is well written is always welcome. (And I am a rabid consumer of the Eve blog and news space)

    2. CFC Certified News!

      If Jester says its worth a look I'll give it a look. I'm not getting my hopes up. Jester asks what the goal is, I would have thought that's obvious; control media influence and you control popular opinion.

    3. re: Bagehi. LOL Clever! How much did that cost?

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I am horribly addicted to Endie-posts. Pleasant reading is key.

    That being said, it's probably a goon plot to harvest IP addresses. ~tinfoilhat~

  4. So the real question will be if The Mittani will offer a topless version of MintChip?

    1. Page three girl is a go! (Google it if you don't know what I'm talking about.)

    2. MintChip? Aren't we setting the bar a little low?

    3. After my first look at the front page, I was expecting page 3 girls on the right hand side column =)
      For those who are at work, you might want to wait before googling page 3 girl :p

  5. What about you being treated poorly by riverini, or unreliable payments? (Or is CCP the only ones doing that to you?) You gonna be boxing in the goons corner soon? Perhaps a perspective to the poor side of EVE.

    1. In Mittens's view, I believe my status alternates between "idiot" and "useful idiot" depending on his mood and what I've written lately. So I suspect that's unlikely. ;-)

      Jester's Trek is not endorsed nor supported by CCP in any way. I know there are several EVE bloggers out there that are supported as "media sites" which gives them one free EVE account, but mine is not one of them.

    2. For now, it at least seem like (according to kugu and themittani.com comments) they are really looking for SoCo-Posters on there, so i think if you wanna publish there you can.

  6. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-8t9a_WrpjHA/T1AYabzyP5I/AAAAAAAABLI/jMaQ3YkDox4/s1600/MitvsRiv.png

  7. With a name like "themittani.com" & the goons reputation or scams & lies no one will believe the rag to be anything else then the old communist propaganda papper <> & WILL BE CENSORED just as heavily for proGOONIE content.
    In other words sories will be faked, subscriptions sold for millions of ISK in EVE by scammers, etc... to believe anythingelse is to believe anything told by a GOON

  8. Speaking of EVE news what is up with the lack of NEWStuff comming out o the DEV blogs I know its summer but wow they have been very unforthcomming especially about anything to do with Eve's eonomy! Dr E still have a job?
    Of special concern to me is that CCP Diagoras was not provided a stat Tweet for like 3 months now?!?!?!?! No QEN, no tweets, 1 lousey blog on mineral only inflation over the entire summer.
    Been hearing there's some inancial problems a CCP & thats why they have been so MUM about anything that could be viewed in a bad light.

    I was also bummed when the Eve Morning Report died due to apparent eunei & apathy over the summer doldrums. Those weekend pod casts were great.

  9. Been reading it a lot lately and like it so far. Lots of content and the website/comments section runs very smoothly. Was not a fan of the tile layout design but it's grown on me. That and as tile layouts favor tablets, I better get use to it as that design style will only grow.

    I do hope that writers from other political aspects of Eve decide to write as well as writers that are not just from null bloc alliances, really need different game style perspectives here to be a go to news site.

  10. Who creates a blog in 2012 without an RSS feed?

    And why?

    1. That was my first complaint. They had one active within a day and promised to put it somewhere on the front page.

      Until then, here:


    2. It's on the front page, right at the top right, above the search bar.

      Has been, since the second day.

    3. Needs an alternate link tag in the head of the page so it can be picked out automatically by feed readers, especially those built into browsers. Something like

      <link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="The Mittani.com" href="http://themittani.com/feeds/all/rss.xml" />

      Apologies for butting in.

  11. Gonna stick to EN24 for a bit, at least until Mittens' site gets optimized. That thing is too heavy on any browser ;-)

  12. *LOL* Thanks for making me look like a copycat. I swear I wrote my Themittani.com piece on Wednesday. Anyway, thanks again for the nice read. BTW, I think the TheMittani reaction you speak of is applied to all non-Goons. It's not personal. *wink*

    1. Eh, I think several of us wrote posts on this topic. It was practically an unofficial banter.

  13. Took a look at themittani.com. Slick looking site, perhaps a bit too much so. I think that old Eve Tribune format is superior and faster, albeit dated. I prefer news to be delivered as text, sans images.

    As far as relevant content goes, Jester, you are still the best. I would not be surprised if you soon get an offer to write for themittani.com, if you haven't already. But, don't forget that the Goons are uber rich, so hold out for a good price - say, maybe a super cap or two per article... lol.

  14. The articles about Rydis and world of tank were interesting and well written. Whereas the ones written by Endie are pure propaganda pieces, well written and devious but a bit too obvious.
    The book section is just plain weird. it looks like it was put there just to give an intellectual touch to the site. And when I saw Talleyrand in there, my worst fear were confirmed: the Mittani sees himself as a rebel thinker going against the products of the Enlightenment.

  15. Guess I am late to party with my comments but I wish TheMittany well. I am curious what this will do to us lower-tier bloggers though. Anyway, good luck, I will be reading it much as I watch Fox News - with a welding mask on to protect my sensitive eyes.

  16. Meh.

    As others stated above, the site is slick and the content is well written, but the article subject matter was either irrelevant (WoT), not of interest to me (Rydis), or obviously biased (Endie). Everything else - book section et al - was just useless clutter.

    Reminds me of going to an expensive reception at a 5-star restaurant and being served a puny cornish game hen, surrounded by funky vegetables. WTF? Give me some real meat, dammit!

    I'll stick with EN24 for now, and hope that Eve Tribune gets its mojo back.

  17. There was an article about the changes to mining barges, and how the pirate community was complaining that miners were too stupid to fit there ships properly to keep from getting ganked so CCP had to fix the barges for them (typical greefer tears). I made a comment about how mining barges couldn't be tanked to withstand a gank prior to Incarna 1.2 and that a group of risk adverse "PVPers" were crying about losing easy kills. Well I made that post using my Google ID, and now I can no longer post on themittani.com -lol!


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