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...

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Best of 2013: 25 - 16

As I stated earlier today, I'm combining a "Best of 2013" retrospective with a good old-fashioned pledge drive.

If anything you've read on this blog this year has made you smile, made you laugh, saved your ship, gotten you a ship fitting you like, made you some ISK, or otherwise gotten you through a boring work day, gate camp, structure bash, or fleet op, I'm here asking that you throw a little ISK my way. It doesn't have to be a lot; just whatever you can afford. Alternately, if you have assets or experienced characters scattered around that you have been too lazy to get rid of or don't want any more, those are just as valuable to me. Contract them over or contact me about a character transfer and I'll find new owners for them or I'll put them to work myself.

Either way, send your contributions or your contracts to Ripard Teg in game. And let me know in an EVE mail if you want the fact that you contributed to be public or not.

I'll be shaking the tin cup over the next four days in the "Best of" posts, concluding with what I thought was my best post of 2013 on Saturday.

#25: OK, this is pretty damn awesome
As a blogger, you can always tell when you've been listed on EVE's Facebook wall. This was one of those throw-away kind of "picture of the week" posts I like to do when a little graphic tells a story better than any of my words ever could. Some careful playing with the PI interface allowed me to show EVE players that weren't aware of it the permanent impact of Caldari titan Shiigeru on Luminaire. I cropped the pictures to make the progression cool, posted 'em, went on with my life. And then tens of thousands of people used the link as a reference, aheh. This one was an important post because I saw a spike in daily readers after it.

#24: Fit of the week: Blockade runners
I posted 50+ fits of the week this year, most of them heavily PvP-favored, and ironically and by far this was the most popular. Talk about being used as a reference! I think pretty much every industrial alliance in EVE must have pointed their members at this post, or found it themselves with a Google search. I don't think it's my imagination that I saw a marked drop in poor BR fits after this was posted while looking for kills of the week. Still, I think this is a really good reference to the subject if you have one.

#23: PvP 101 Fundamentals
I didn't write nearly as many player guides this year as I wanted to this year -- my New Year's resolution for 2014 is to get back on that horse because I have a whole set of them I want to write. This is the one area where CSM duties definitely did interfere: all of my big, complex writing assignment time went either into minutes or CCP "homework" of one type or another. Still, this is one guide I did this year that I'm really proud of. I stand by it as a great introduction to the topic of EVE PvP.

#22: Go tell it on the mountain
My little "Snapcount" app continued to run this year, pulling logged-in player counts from the API from which I continued my annual tradition of analysis of the relative success of various EVE expansions released in 2013. This particular one focused on the Retribution expansion, by far the most successful expansion "of 2013." It was actually released in December of last year but managed to carry a tidal wave of new logged in players well into the spring thanks to some well-implemented point releases and a lot of promise.

#21: QOTW: Stop being poor
I didn't do nearly as many quotes of the week this year as in past years, for reasons which I'll cover in a second. And the Fountain campaign of mid-summer between Goons and TEST is already slipping into EVE legend. Which is a shame because the defining moment of that campaign -- an internal awox costing TEST some 130 billion and making them a figure of fun across sov null-sec -- was just so very EVE. Unfortunately, it was a pretty straight road from there to TEST becoming irrelevant as a null-sec power, which has made the remainder of sov null-sec quite a bit more boring. One last note: at the end of this post, I asked "were Slocat Chimeras ever a thing?" Thanks to them doing half again the DPS of their Archon counter-parts and instantaneously landing shield reps, they're about to be.

#20: Twice as expensive, 25% better
My first year writing this blog, this kind of post was my favorite: take a really esoteric bit of background EVE development information and dig into the meat of "what it all means." It's not a post I've been able to do as often the last couple of years because the devs are so much more open about their motivations. Make no mistake: this is a good thing! I realllly appreciate devs sharing their background thinking with players on the forums, in interviews, and such. But this piece looking into the background behind the long-term balancing of T2 ships versus their T1 counter-parts was a lovely example of this type of post.

#19: Feature-relevant election
This post was a little bit similar (and five months earlier): a close-up view of the CSM STV voting system, the CSM primary system, and various other associated announcements about how CSM8 would operate. Looking back on it, I'm really pleased with this post. Most of my predictions about how things would shake out from these changes turned out to be accurate (particularly my prediction that successful CSM8 candidates would have to "fleet up" with other like-minded ones). This is one of the last posts about the CSM that I could write from an outsider's perspective.

#18: Shake your money-maker
Once I was on the CSM, I was often accused of being a CCP shill. And that was despite pieces like this where I'd absolutely and brutally take apart some beloved CCP developer idea. I just couldn't win sometimes. ;-) In this particular post, I listed everything I think is wrong with Rubicon's marauders and I assure you it is (and continues to be) a long list. I'll be one of the first to advocate making this class one of the first "second balance pass" targets.

#17: Hobbit birthday -> SOMER of rage
The first of three paired posts on the list, this was pretty much an example of me saying something, players coming out of the wood work to explain in balanced, reasoned commentary why I was wrong, and me thinking about it and then changing my stand based on these arguments. I'm still kind of pleased with the original post -- it shook a lot of people up and got a lot of opinions out in the open. I'm accused of being a troll all the time and every great once in a while it's true: I'll write something just to get a rise out of people and get their honest reactions. What I wasn't expecting was to be swayed by solid, well-reasoned arguments. How CCP treats and motivates community sites will be a major topic of discussion at the Winter Summit.

#16: I can't love people in slices
Finally, there weren't as many QOTWs this year quite frankly because there weren't as many people talking about EVE. This was a really bad year for losing player voices with EVE personalities from TeaDaze to Azual Skoll to He Who Shall Not Be Named going silent. In this post, I invoked my occasional need to do a "Here's the news, here's why it's important, here's what I think" piece about one of those silent voices, that of Arydanika. Dani was controversial, so it was a fairly contentious post...

Tomorrow:  #15 through #11.

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