Tank in EVE Online is a balance between buffer, resistance, and reps on one side, and damage and neuts on the other. Enemy ships rage at you, your native resists apply, and they slowly chew through buffer. Reps build buffer back up and make the process take longer. But the reps are usually at a disadvantage because they are few in number... and the attackers are many. And if there's a fundamental truth in EVE Online it's that if enough people want your ship dead, it will die, and all the reps in the world won't help.
No tank lasts forever. And today, I am shutting down Jester's Trek.
Now before you ask, I'm neither quitting nor rage-quitting EVE Online. But over the last few months, I've come to realize that something like 85% to 90% of the stuff I'm doing in and around EVE simply isn't any fun. So I'm going to cut out everything that I'm not finding fun and focus my time on the remaining 10%.
This little blog was started as an experiment to support my run for CSM6 almost four years ago. And it has a nice symmetry to shut it down after the completion of my successful CSM8 term. Over that almost four years, the tenor of the game has changed remarkably... and not for the better. Four years ago, EVE players were very much "Us against the world! Woo!" Now we've learned the rest of the world doesn't care and it's become "Us against each other." In my writings trying to change that even a tiny bit, I've become something of a symbol. That wouldn't necessarily be bad, except quite ironically I've also become a symbol for any number of things I do not believe in.
For the rest, the people trying to kill the message have been trying to kill the messenger. And on reflection, I find I am quite content to let them. Metaphorically, at least. ;-) And over the month or so since I made this decision, I've been shown a dozen or more signs that the decision is the right one.(1)
So, let's end this little experiment with some thank yous and some shout-outs.
First up, Mynxee, who planted this idea in my head in the first place. All of this is her fault. ;-) <3 Mynxee. I'm so glad to see you back in the game!
Second, CSM legend Trebor Daehdoow, to whom I've gone to for advice at five key places along this road, including at the top of this final milestone. I've always found his thinking sound and his advice exactly what I needed to hear at each point.
Thank you so much to my current alliance-mates in Rote Kapelle and all my past alliance mates, particularly in Sturmgrenadier. All of you have approached my little blog with high good humor, good grace, and understanding... even when some of you occasionally hated what I wrote. ;-)
Everyone who voted for me for CSM8. I still wouldn't trade that experience for the world. Thank you from the very bottom of my heart! I did my absolute best for you while I was there.
Everyone who wrote me an encouraging word, message, EVE mail, or e-mail. You'd probably be pretty surprised how rare and cherished these were. I have an incredibly thick, resistant skin, and yet these were the reps that kept me going. A special thank you to the women of EVE. About once a year or so, one of you would catch me on Teamspeak, Skype, or Mumble after a town hall or a public fleet or the like and tell me how widely read and appreciated I was among EVE's ladies. That meant a lot to me.
riverini of EVE News 24. I know a lot of you guys don't like him. But it's been inspiring to me to watch him continue to push that rock uphill... and continue to succeed at it! He was the very first person to really believe in what I was trying to do here.
Everyone who donated ISK or stuff during my annual pledge drives, or once a year or so, out of the clear blue sky. It never was much. Now that it's over, I can say with some chagrin that James 315 makes more in a good month than I ever made in a good year of writing this blog, with all of my income sources from writing pooled together. But it was enough to keep my accounts subscribed and for me to buy myself an occasional Loki. The money did help but the fact that it was hard-earned doing honest work meant a lot.
EVE's other bloggers and pod-casters, and the members of CSM9. Keep up the good work, ladies and gentlemen!
To the game developers, community members, and just flat folk at CCP, thank you! We didn't always agree and I know some of you don't like me, but everything I said was said out of love and respect for your game and your work. I hope to still be playing EVE a long time from now. Particularly fond shout-outs to CCP Falcon and CCP Guard. Keep fighting the good fight, guys!
And finally to you, Dear Reader, a heartfelt thank you. The good ones among you read my stuff, argued it with me, sometimes learned something, ofttimes taught me something. We've also been fighting the good fight against the darkness. Keep fighting it without me and know that I'm still on your side.
You might see me around EVE, though I suspect it's more likely that I'll let Ripard's account lapse for a while and concentrate my activities on a couple of my other mains. And who knows, if something earth-shattering goes down, I might be inspired to write a guest piece somewhere.(2) Please continue to support EVE's other bloggers! And if you want to say hello, please feel free to do so. I'll likely still have strong opinions about this niche little spaceship game.
It's just that from now on, I'll keep 'em to myself. Good hunting!
(1) One example: a friend lecturing me on how it's bad that EVE players avoid competition... a few days after he himself joined Goonswarm. Another: the constant reminders that ISK is piling up in the wallets of EVE's most hateful people.
(2) But don't expect it for just anything. I really do mean earth-shattering: the break-up of the CFC, say, or a 20% CCP layoff. I'm not going down the Poetic Stanziel route.