And yes, signs of life from the Cozmik one :))
I've been slowly re-adjusting my gaming pace lately and so far the gaming has been good, both in and out of EVE, and I'm finding more time to do some real-life stuff that's not necessarily boring and tedious like house chores, but more like seeing people, playing music and whatnot. I've also taken to playing completely different games when times are slow in New Eden, mostly Quake Live because it's easy to get in and out but even then I don't play it a lot. The two games that have a tendency to draw me in to the point of losing sense of time, apart from EVE, are the rFactor racing simulator and the now-defunct-and-now-offline-only Hellgate London. Driving at Ludicrous Speed will always make my blood boil and the mix of FPS and RPG and blowing hordes of demons to smithereens is great fun.
Back to EVE, I've been slowly getting accustomed to the new content that came with the Apocrypha expansion with some old and new buddies in AMC. I am of course part of the combat wing but the slower pace of the W-space ops and the less frequent PvP is a welcome change, though I do miss the actual fighting once in a while. Pure PvP 100% of the time was a great way to learn to play this game quickly but there were times when I didn't feel like going through 3-4 regions to get some kills, or camping a system cloaked to annoy the Red Victim of the Month. Those ops were just the death of me. I was always more comfortable in either Jihad ops, or as a scout/tackler for some bigger gangs, and towards the end in some BC gangs. I was always amazed at the way the Bozo brass was able to use a fleet like a fine-tuned instrument, but what impresses me more is the relentlessness these guys have. Man for man this alliance is one of the toughest in EVE. But I digress.
W-space is special to say the least. I mean, systems that give you awesome shield and capacitor bonuses?! The first time I got into one of those I though my tiny interceptor had just taken a hit, until I saw the amount of shields I was supposed to have. It was like God had become my fleet booster! And the Sleepers... yes, CCP really hit the nail on the head with those. They rep up, switch targets, change positions, attempt to flee, and on top of that they are extremely tough unless you have a lot of firepower, but once they notice a particular is doing a lot of damage, like say a gank-fit Hurricane, take a guess what happens: you suddenly become Primary and these awakened buggers hit HARD! The loot and salvage these things give is nothing to sneeze at though. Instead of the modules like regular rats the Sleepers wrecks have what is called Blue Loot, which are redeemable at Creodron stations all over New Eden and replace the usual bounty, and quite a bounty it is! Add to that the fact that the salvage goes into the recipes for Tech 3 production and it's easy to see that a W-space is a very profitable affair. The main thing about W-space though, and the one I hope to explore the most: W-space is 0.0 space but it gives a feeling of false security. Some members of AMC have found out the hard way by getting ganked while mining gas clouds or attempting to solo ancient sites. For others it was the other way around when a gang of would-be attackers landed at a site only to find a Broadsword's bubble up and a decloaking Falcon jamming everybody; 2 Thoraxes and a Stabber got out of W-space the fast way :)
So now Cozmik is training up for his own Broadsword (I was on this before the aforementionned incident), and after that I'll be buffing up my exploration skills so I don't get caught with my pants down out there, and also to contribute to finding doors into W-space. I can't wait to have the Broadsword though; it will easily tank the Sleepers and it will be a very nasty surprise to some attackers, although there are good chances that it will get the Primary tag and not only from the rats :))
PS: on the Blog Banter this month I have only this to say: BoB is dead, Goons are evil, BoB is now KenZoku.... they're all targets anyway !!! :)))