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...

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Angels and demons

Two years ago, in the midst of another CSM run, I wrote a pair of posts on this blog.  The subject was the future of EVE Online.  At the time, I referred to them as my "devil" and "angel" posts, respectively.  In the "devil post", called "The die is cast", I looked at the future of EVE solely from the perspective of CCP and more specifically from their pure business side keeping in mind that CCP was a business and a business first and foremost has to protect its investment, cash flow, and personnel.  In the "angel post", called "Learn how to fly", I looked at EVE solely from the perspective of theoretical future CCP customers.

Now the posts aren't all that relevant any more -- the topic under discussion was Incarna for the most part -- but it's interesting that in the midst of this CSM run, I'm again being asked to examine an issue about the future of EVE Online from the greater and baser parts of my nature.  You see, on my EVE Online CSM candidate thread, someone threw down an interesting challenge.  Before I reveal the challenge, I should explain a little bit of background.

The issue at hand is the future of high-sec in EVE.  There are lots of candidates running for CSM this year, but far and away the most polarizing candidate is named James 315.  If you haven't heard of him, you will.  Last August, James started a new blog called minerbumping.com with the simple premise of declaring himself the "Supreme Protector" of a cluster of ice-mining systems around high-sec generally centered on the Halaima system in The Citadel.  He declared that any ice miner in the area he's protecting that didn't pay him a 10 million ISK protection fee would be bumped or ganked and generally subject to low-level harassment.  He has a particular rage about AFK ice mining, the practice of setting up a Retriever or Mackinaw with its high cargo capacity next to an ice boulder, setting the ice miners to work, and then minimizing the screen to go do other things.

And since last August, James has been gathering followers.  Some of them are in a corp called New Order Logistics.  Their ticker is CODE.  The "code" is detailed on the blog but basically involves extorting ice miners, bumping or ganking those that don't pay extortion (and for all I know, those who do), and demanding that miners thank followers of the code for the privilege of being ganked.  Gankers that enforce the code are called Knights of the New Order and are rewarded with ship reimbursements for Catalyst destroyers that they use to gank ice miners.  Where the money for this comes from is anyone's guess, but I do note with interest that
The New Order of Highsec continues to recognize The Mittani as the legitimate Chairman of the CSM. This determination remains the rule in all New Order territories.
Dear Heaven, do I love this game.

Anyway, James 315 is running for CSM8 under the banner of Protector of High Sec.  He hasn't declared himself openly on the Jita Park section of the EVE-O forums yet, but he's conducted a number of interviews so it's fair to say he's going to be a candidate.  And because of some of the posts on this blog that they object to that they believe indicate that I want to nerf their play style, I am enemy number two of the New Order.(1)  Enough background.  Let's get to the challenge.

Marc Callan -- who as far as I can tell isn't even associated with the Order -- posed this challenge:
I'd be interested in hearing Ripard's opinion on the merits of the New Order's proposals for adjusting the risk-to-reward balance in high-security space.

I'd also really like to hear Garth's opinion on the merits of the New Order's proposals for adjusting the risk-to-reward balance in high-security space.
And this was such a charming mental exercise that I find that I cannot resist it.  ;-)  Once again, in the midst of a CSM battle, I'm writing about the future of EVE Online.

The first tricky part: what, exactly, are the New Order's proposals for adjusting the risk-to-reward balance in high-security space?  After asking, I was pointed to what appears to be James's CSM platform.  After reading it, I'm going to be looking at the section titled "NERF HIGHSEC PVE INTO OBLIVION".  The other sections are more focused on low-sec and null-sec and the challenge directly relates to risk versus reward in high-sec.  Specifically, this part of the platform is seven items long, but I'm also going to include one small addition from the low-sec section as well since it seems relevant.

So, this week I'm going to write a series of three posts.  In the first post, I'll tell you what I think of these seven-and-a-half proposals.  The second post will involve letting Garth out of his cage to give you his opinion.  That one actually makes me nervous.  I've joked before about Garth "clubbing me in the back of the head" when he wants to write something but honestly, it isn't much of a joke.  I am not schizophrenic in the slightest but when Garth wants to say something, his posts almost literally spring forth fully formed and flow straight from the keyboard to the blog.  I've never tried to deliberately invoke Garth before, so that will be an interesting mental exercise.  And in the third post, I'll wrap up with some of my thoughts on the current safety of high-sec since this is likely to be an issue for all the candidates this year.  I've also offered to speak to a representative of New Order Logistics and write about their perspective, so there might end up being a fourth post in this series at some point.

Hang on, folks.  This ride might be a little bumpy.


(1) Trebor Daehdoow is enemy number one.

54 comments:

  1. I'm glad they finally elevated Trebor to Enemy #1. It annoyed the hell out of me that they saw you as the bigger threat.

    That said: James 315 for CSM8!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's so hard to tell when you're kidding. ;-) Are you hoping for James to win for the same reason people were hoping Dan Quayle would be President someday?

      Delete
    2. Not at all. I think his voice is one that should be part of the conversation with CCP. Especially since CSM7 turned into a group that was more worried about CCP's profit margins than anything to do with building a great game.

      I think he frames things in big blustery ways, to grab attention to his issues ... but I don't think for a minute that he's an idiot, that he's not willing to discuss issues of risk/reward with CCP rationally.

      Delete
    3. Especially since CSM7 turned into a group that was more worried about CCP's profit margins than anything to do with building a great game.

      Whilst I don't think that this is at all true, it stands to reason that CCP's profit margins have everything to do with building a great game. If the company cannot afford to employ the developers and creative staff then you cannot have a great game.

      Mind you, "great game" has many meanings. An ultra competative dog eat dog world may sound great to a few people but there has to be some mass market appeal which invariably means doing some things which will be unpopular with the 'hardcore' element.

      Delete
  2. Schizophrenia is a condition where you maintain your own sense of self while conjuring other fictional characters that interact with the self.

    Multiple personality disorder is a completely different personality assuming the role of the self.

    You're not schizophrenic. You're MPD. Sorry, I just get tired with people making this mistake.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel much better now, thanks. :-P

      Delete
    2. Its not called MPD any more Walter its DID (Dissociated Identity Disorder) for at least the past 10 years. Sorry, I just get tired with people making this mistake.

      Delete
    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    4. Depends where you find the definition and how it's referred.

      ICD-10 version 2010, a document maintained by the World Health Organization, groups Multiple Personality Disorder (F44.81) under dissociative disorders.

      Despite its lack of use in your area of the world, it is still recognized as a valid term by the WHO.

      Delete
  3. Well James 315's latest post on tmdc should show what kind of candidate he is. For sure no good one.

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    1. Here's a typical James315 post that shouldshow you what kind of candidate he is:
      "James 315 wrote:
      . If a miner needs to go to the bathroom, for instance, I ask that they dock up first, or at the very least ask the Supreme Protector for permission to go."


      Delete
    2. So right clicking on empty space, selcting a station, and choosing "dock" from the menu is just too hard?

      The rest of EvE Online does not agree.

      Imagine what would happen to a Goon who lost a Moros because he had to go pee, and was apparently in too much of an emergency to choose "dock"?

      We will save highsec, Darth.

      Highsec Belongs to Me!

      Delete
    3. From 'The Code'

      "- Respect for elected officials. As Saviour of Highsec, I acted as proxy when electing myself Supreme Protector. Miners should respect the will exercised by the people when they made this choice."

      I lol'd so hard when I read this I about fell out of my chair. It's like reading the EVE version of a third world dictators Communist Manifesto.

      Delete
    4. That would be step nine in our program for gently correcting players who engage in self-destructive behavior, like mining.

      http://minerbumping.41656.n6.nabble.com/Introduction-and-an-olive-branch-td663.html

      Delete
  4. I'm glad you linked to James 315's CSM page. While he may resonate with pirates and gankers, quotes like "creating more balance," and ideas like "[probe scanning] adds nothing to the game" make the page pure comedy gold.

    ReplyDelete
  5. All hail James315!


    But really, the man has a point. Highsec is turning into a theme park mmo, whilst low and null are turning into ghost towns. The man has seen the danger and wants to fix it. He'll get my vote for sure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure if you understand the meaning of "theme park" game design. In a "theme park" the game will direct you to the next activity. Each activity is perfectly linear: there is a beginning with a big sign saying "activity starts here", the activity takes place, then there is a defined end point with a big sign "collect reward here" (in WoW for example, the activity starts at an NPC labelled with a "!" and ends at an NPC labelled "?").

      You are possibly thinking of "creche", where there are ever-present guardians to ensure that the babies are not going to come to harm, all corners are rounded, and floors are soft-covered (e.g.: cork or vinyl) to ensure minimal falling injuries.

      Delete
  6. Anyone who would like to know where the money for ship reimbursements for the New Order comes from should visit www.minerbumping.com for themselves.

    Nothing is hidden or secret - it's all right out there in the open.

    I bet you'll work it out in under a minute.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Dinsdale PirannhaMarch 3, 2013 at 3:53 AM

    The sociopath goon pet James is a lock for the CSM, as long as he makes the HBC/CFC list of 14, and I expect he will be on it. Listen to his interview on Zebra Crossing's, and shake your head. But he will be there for comedic relief.

    Of course, he is not the real problem. The real problem is the null sec mover and shakers from within CCP providing the null sec alliances the perfect "voting system" to put as many of their candidates on the CSM as possible. It is almost like the 3 CCP employees responsible for the new system got on Skype with the goon and test leadership and hashed out together this new system.

    12 months from now high sec will indeed be hammered, hard, by CCP with direction of the CSM. There is little the future null sec CSM can do to get code altered by June, but the December 2013 release will see any income potential in high sec destroyed. Not that May/ June release won't be devastating in and of itself. Greycsale and the "ex-goon" soundwave, the "former" goon spy director, have both quoted in the forums they want to remove T2 mfg from high sec. soundwave has already attacked high sec incursions and missions, and I am sure he is not finished there.

    I, among many, are grinding as much ISK as possible now, because very soon, high sec will be a wasteland.

    Superveld and superscordite will wreck high sec mining.
    Removal of T2 mfg from high sec, well outside of skyrocketing prices, will funnel more cash into the hands of the null sec overlords.
    The changes to the drone AI and the increase in NPC TD'ing have already trashed missions.
    That leaves Incursions, which as mentioned, I am sure soundwave has his eyes on. But I did see a high profile goon propagandist (think it was Snow Axe) state in a reply to me on the forums that he does not want Incursions in high sec wiped out, which leads me too believe that the goons will tell soundwave to leave them alone, unless he makes null sec ones safer.

    Oh, and one last thing, the PL plant Fozzie is also quoted on the forums as saying he does not care one whit for players that don't vote. Given than the silent majority does not vote, it demonstrates his disdain for high sec.

    Yes, James is the least of the worries of high sec. Most of the things he wants done to high sec are already in motion, or will be soon enough, regardless of if he is on the CSM or not.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Your tears are delicious, veldspar-dependent mining hobo.

      I'll use these great buckets of them to polish my gank Catalysts.

      Delete
    2. If " (CCP) Fozzie is also quoted on the forums as saying he does not care one whit for players that don't vote"

      Then that is a best reason for having compulsory sufferage in the CSM elections.

      Seems silly to me that CCP Dolan is copying an Austraialian voting system without including a major component of it ( to whit all are required to vote ). CCP Dolan has already mentioned that the traditional spector of 'Donkey voting' has been vastly reduced with bollot name position randomization.

      I asked CCP Dolan why we don't have compulsory surrerage & was answered that rightnow its not doable( seems silly when requiring agreement to a EULA is already implemented )

      Delete
    3. I would prefer to see our lower house preferential system used - the candidates are eliminated from the BOTTOM. The canditate receiving the least votes is eliminated and his voting slips are allocated to the candidate listed second on each slip.And so on until a winner is found. It is the least or second-least gameable voting system.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_system_of_Australia
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instant-runoff_voting

      Delete
  8. Well James seems alittle crazy but honestly I haven't seen anything that is particularly drastic between the 2 of you. Its like saying republicans and librarians are different, they all seem to have drank the same kool aid just maybe some more than others. It seems that you both are active and interested in making the game thive. And for now unless James throws out alittle too much crazy I would like to see both of you on the csm. And will probably split my votes accordingly. Do I smell the makings of the first csm8 political party??? I can only hope!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can I register for the Librarian Party?

      I like reading!

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    2. If that's how you feel you should go to bumping miners blog linked in this article, at the top of this page is the link to the so called "Code". You really should give this a quick read as it will only take a couple minutes of your time and is quite entertaining. And then you can post your opinion on where you feel James stands as a political party representative actually knowing what he stands for.

      Delete
    3. Since I am a Knight in the New Order, and participate in James315's enforcement actions, I have already read his posts.

      But telling others to read his posts IS good advice, so thank you!

      Oh, and we got an orca last night:
      http://neworder.mindflood.org/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=16649725

      Delete
  9. James 315 and the New Order are the sanest people you will meet in HighSec. A rot has set into HighSec and it needs to be cleansed. If CCP and the current CSM won't do it then the brave Agents and Knights of the New Order are left to perform this monumental task.

    If CCP is truly interested in creating a full PvP sandbox universe then the HighSec cancer needs to be cutout. HighSec as it stands is the biggest danger EVE faces.

    Remember a vote for James 315 is a vote for the future of EVE!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL It's sooooooooooo easy to see what 'they' want...

      "If CCP is truly interested in creating a full PvP sandbox universe..." Note is says it right there... "PVP Sandbox"... not "Sandbox". J315 and his drooling minions do not want sandbox MMOG, they want a PURE(ile) 'PVP' ONLY Game, and once CCP limits 'any' form of gameplay, the definition of 'sandbox' disappears in a could of smoke & debris with a ragequitting white triangle in the middle...

      And if that ever was to happen, EvE will be relegated to the same place in MMO history as Felucca... and J315, Poetic, Mynna and their mindless sycophants will have won EvE. And they will have their rightful place in history... as the players who killed the greatest game so far imagined by the mind of man...

      And welcome to the bitter taste of it be they all...

      Jester, I realize you cannot 'diatribe' as such anymore, having to walk the tightrope of player opinion, but you have all 3 of my votes.

      Delete
    2. The sane are insane in an insane world, huh? ;)

      Delete
    3. I love rp, but you guys are worthless to try to debate with, cause you just reply in your brainwashed praises and rhetoric.
      -Bantara

      Delete
  10. IMHO the level of work/effort to risk to reward IS imbalanced between the different areas of the game. However, while James takes the stance that it is in fact high sec that must be nerfed I would propose that it is instead Null sec that must be buffed.

    The current level of reward for living in null sec is roughly equivalent to that of living in high sec. I've seen a lot of :Numbers: being thrown around lately particularly on TMC in terms of the "insanely high" isk/hr that one can make from high sec verse null. Having lived in C5's, null sec, high sec and low sec I can tell those of you who haven't that the comparisons made in a lot of those posts are utter garbage. In all honestly, once you factor in the set-up and clean-up logistics involved, number of accounts used and logistics required to actually sell your goods (tags, faction loot, standard loot, minerals,....) the isk per hour figures posted have long gone out the window. In short I was finding that at the end of the week that no matter where I earned my isk, I ended up with about the same rough income for my efforts assuming I went for the highest yield activities (DED 10/10, C5 capital escalations, incursions to name a few). And this is with a 100M+ SP toon flying maxed capitals or faction BS's in bling incursion fleets to min/max the isk gained.

    In summary it became clear to me that not only was the reward gained for all the extra effort put forth to live in null sec too low, it's a significant let down and part of the reason, I believe, that there is not more people moving out of high sec to null. This will need to be addressed if there is to be a 'bottom up' income and sov model as you have suggested. After all, why will your alliance members want to live in their null sec systems if it takes more work and yields less reward? And I didn't even mention that for a lot of players out in null, these sites aren't even an option. Players with only 20M SP or less can't even really dream of running a 10/10 in most cases or the escalations from their regular anoms for that matter. Didn't even mention that most of these guys have to buddy up with a couple of their other friends just to run some of the harder anoms like Sanctums. Once you start to factor this is, no wonder level 4's start to look appealing. It's not the fault of high sec being too good, it's that null sec sucks for the average null sec inhabitant.

    TL;DR
    Don't nerf high sec, instead lets make null sec something that's actually worth living and fighting for!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Getting sleeper loots to market is a pain compare to ratting in belt, anoms, plex or mission. But you can't compare w-space pve (and the required logistic) to NS pve. Exploration, the most time consuming activity, is why you move to w-space. Depending of what you find, you will gank or fight people, invade some system, harvest some gas, run escalation or do some logistic. It's not like you specifically have to spend hours finding a good pipe to Jita.

      Also, doing your pve at home in remote places can be a logistic pain, but choosing to do your PvE in HS means you might miss some of your corp PvP activities.

      Delete
    2. They made FW ridiculously lucrative and it only broke the game. The problem is the safety of highsec. No amount of treasure is worth it if you can keep your ship almost 100% of the time and make a decent income.

      Delete
  11. James315 is ganking miner in high sec. Now he wants to gank Eve. There is a particular personality that eve empowers that allow their ego to think that driving 90% of the player base away would make eve better -- despite their immediate desire to jump in and say that of course CCP has grown the game wonderfully in the last 10 years if there is any hint of an improvement to high sec.

    ReplyDelete
  12. The miner bumper dude is still around? And now he thinks he can legislate away high-sec?

    Vote for him, if only to hear him have to articulate his vision in official minutes!

    ReplyDelete
  13. If they allowed players to cast negative votes against candidates they don't want elected, James wouldn't have a chance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course, that would require that the majority of whinging carebears are AWARE that there is an election in the first place. We see how that keen awareness worked out when Jita was burning and they undocked their respective loot pinatas.

      Delete
  14. I carefully listened J315's interview with Xander and posted critical review of claims he made, and changes he advocated. I don’t want to repost entire thing here so here is the link:

    https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=2649788#post2649788

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just listened to that interview for the first time. The tinny voice sounded artificially modulated but still recognizable. His candence, pronunciation and word usage makes me think if he isn't the person I now think he is then he has copied his "idol's" form and fuction for this interview with extreme acuity. It'll be interesting when he has to state his name & where he's from when runing.

      Delete
    2. I'm an alt of Mittens too, so I can tell you with 100% certainty that the voice distortion is a crappy microphone, not voice mod software.

      Delete
  15. FWIW "I am not schizophrenic in the slightest, but..." is a contender for the single funniest thing you've said on this blog.

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  16. All James wants to do is "something" to show everyone that he had an impact on the game. Follow ANY of his suggestions or others that are looking to Nerf High Sec into oblivion and we can say goodbye to Eve as the paying base leaves.

    Him fellating Mittens is just his way of being the small yappy dog going "notice me!". Do you want to fix the game kids?...the answers aren't in High Sec. All this brouhaha about getting more people into Null/0.0 to promote fights is idle bladder-splatter. The attitude constantly reminds me of the old joke "the beatings will continue until morale improves".

    Jester, don't waste your time at all responding to this douche. It lowers you to his level. Yer better than that. All you are doing is taking the bait from a wannabee leader that isn't out of High School yet.

    You risk a firestorm of misconstrued commentary for what? The first rule of any leader is to know who's serious and who's a loon. Even acknowledging this assholes thoughts lowers my opinion of ya dude. Eve needs alot, and quite frankly I feel it could still fail cascade easily enough if pushed incorrectly. What you won't see are "Jita Riots"...you'll just lose paying subscribers. James is simply too retarded to realize this from his moms basement.

    But more than likely enough sheeple will vote this idiot in, just like the Tea Partiers...and that's turned out oh-so-well no? EVE needs Adults Jester. You start playing this game with the rank-and-file stupid and you WILL lose. If you have to deal with him, do it on the CSM.....After all this.

    Those that would vote for him wouldn't vote for you...you're on a fools errand.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Last time I checked, the Tea Party controls nothing in DC. Who is sitting in the White House again? Oh yeah, this is way off-topic, like your attempt to correlate EVE with "RL".

      Delete
    2. ...meaning I agree with Anonymous@12:13

      Delete
  17. "Where the money for this comes from is anyone's guess,"

    In the Market Discussions subform James315 has "IPO's " where he sells "stock" in it.
    https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&t=141127&find=unread

    So thru donations basically... a few notable benefactors:
    Mynnna has given him 4.4 billion
    Gevlon Goblin 2 billion

    ReplyDelete
  18. Until his hat in the ring, dignifying a response to James451 is a wasted effort.

    ReplyDelete
  19. "I've never tried to deliberately invoke Garth before, so that will be an interesting mental exercise."

    C.S. Lewis didn't write any sequels to "The Screwtape Letters" and "Screwtape Proposes a Toast". Putting himself in the frame of mind of a devil was too spiritually exhausting. Given the sandbox's lack of saints, this should not be your problem, eh?

    ReplyDelete
  20. "what, exactly, are the New Order's proposals for adjusting the risk-to-reward balance in high-security space?"

    Um, what? The New Order isn't proposing anything. James 315 is running for CSM, not all the Knights and Agents collectively. That'd be like saying what is Rote Kapelle proposing. Or is that how you see the CSM, as a megaphone for your individual corp/alliance? I don't think I can endorse a candidate who views the CSM as a powergrab to further their groups agenda in game as opposed to improve the game as a whole. -2 votes from you sir.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What are you talking about?

      The CSM has always represented corps and alliances....never the broader EVE player base. Why do you think nullsec blocs vote in their candidates? So they can have a "nullsec" representative (which really turns out to be a goonswarm rep). Same thing this year for wormholes, and now apparently some moron (or alt of some null clown) claiming to be the savior of hi-sec.

      Jester's blog does not usually represent Rote Kapelle views (outside of that silly Syndicate purging thing). His blog is for all of EVE players no matter their game play style. Which makes him as close to an unbiased candidate that you're going to get in this CSM election cycle.

      Go back to ganking miners.

      Delete
  21. I do not like James ideas and I think bluntly that they are moronical. I don't beleve all the players in highsec are carebears i for example have several highsec alts for various chors there. Am I a carebear? I know countless of players who have a few highsec alts for just the same reason. no James I brand you and your joke to platform a failure.

    I don't understand how someone will pay up to extortion. I would never give a cent to anyone I rather pack up for the night and move on. You need to treat Those pests like any disease deny them any ground to stand on. Think of it from a nullsec perspective, would you pay up to a neutral in your ratting system to continue ratting or would you dockup and don't rat that night? .

    James in my opion looks like a Travian (browser game) player who is eating on the comunity so he him self can grow strong. in Travian the server Shredd over 2/3 of its player base to big strong players who just farm the weaker ones to death. this is how i view up on James. (with dispise)


    And from a new player perspective Mining sounds safe and income like. A new player needs the isk to live in eden. I still remember my first 200Miljon and my first 1 Biljon was a rush.
    Now the biggest thing that can get players in to nullsec /lowsec is a# give them a stable income somehow and b# decrese the risk off going in to low/nullsec.

    the risk thing is pretty easy Just remove learning implants from the game. Yes remove them. and increase all stat with say +4.

    from a new players perspective a full set of +3 cost 50m and he might be willing to lose a frigate to test out lowsec. he is now risking 50m pod and a 5m ship (probably less).

    and the stable income should come from something else then mining. Level1 & Level2 missions should have increased reward for completion. thus giving the new player a way to generate ISK.

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    Replies
    1. Pro tip: Guide a new player to a corp that offers temporary membership to establish jump clones. Then, there is no excuse to go "test out lowsec" with a lot of ISK in your head, is there?

      Delete
    2. If you are losing pods in low sec then your doing it wrong

      Delete
  22. Sweet! Can't wait to read your series.

    John E Normus

    ReplyDelete

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