Sunday, December 28, 2008

Last one for 2008

Yep, 2008 is leaving us behind, and good riddance! Some good things did happen during the year like my discovery of EVE and its denizens, the awesome shows I got to witness, and the massive generosity of the previously mentioned denizens. But on the personal side 2008 has been an extremely tough one, with the adjustments made to Life Itself as I now am a separated father of two awesome boys soon to be 2 and 3. That part's been a complete bitch. And it is as my boys are sleeping that I type this, being towards the end of an elongated parental weekend. On the 31st I get my shore-leave and go celebrate the coming of 2009 at my sister's place, and I fully expect this party to be rockin', and the hang-over to be just as bad!

So yes, I've been away from EVE for a little bit, and still have a bit to go as I'm unable to play. I did start my leave earlier though; the last few days prior to the holidays were absolutely horrible for an EVE PvPer, doing all sorts of stupid mistakes with gates, docking rings, my ship, ops that got nowhere, ops that took hours to get started; I mean, when you have 20 people in local and you have 4 Xs for a fleet, and a CEO has to blow a fuse to get that number up to 10, you know things are getting slow and minds think more about Santa. So after losing a Stiletto in a particularly stupid way I decided to take a much-needed breather and get my stuff ready for Xmas. As a change of pace I got into some Hellgate London, which I got last summer but barely played because I was doing The PvP (tm), only to find out that on January 31st the online servers will die. Neat. I don't play much online RPGs but this one was gonna be a good change of pace, not that I'd actually subscribe though; I'm poor enough as it is !!!

I don't know if it's realizing that I'm playing on free time and knowing it will end at some point in April, but I'm slowly starting to look at other games, some old and some new, that turn my crank just about as much as EVE does and that do things EVE just can't do for me (read free flight with stick, ludicrous speed and unabated bloodshed). To touch a bit of the subject I'll be talking about soon in my "1 year in EVE" post, one of the things that get me down on EVE is the "EVE skills vs RL skills". In EVE both are needed, but way too much emphasis is put on the former. I've stopped counting the times when people have a perfectly fit advanced ship and just do something that gets me to scratch my head for over a week! More on that later as I said.

So there it is. May 2008 end and 2009 begin with an absolute BANG! Mine will happen in Marieville Qc, and I'm not going by car, and I'm bringing my sleeping bag. If someone shares it with me then all the better !!! :))

Fly dangerous all


Monday, December 22, 2008

Blog Banter: Tribute to an EVE player - Letrange

Banter time! And last one for 2008. This month’s EVE Blog Banter idea comes to us by Roc Wieler of Roc’s Ramblings:

Write a story about a fellow EVE Blogger, or an EVE player whom has inspired you or affected you in some tangible way. After your story, describe why you chose them, and any Holiday wish you have specifically for them.

My great buddy Letrange wrote about one of my possible choices, especially as Queb has been my CEO from Day One in a player Alliance (I joined BOZO when I was 3 weeks old... extremely young to get into 0.0 PvP) and he has been helping me with some part of the game ever since, and giving me well-deserved spankings whenever I f... messed up, giving me pats on the back when I did good (like when I got on 23 killmails on a single op), and supporting me when things got rough, like last week.

But finding The One player who's inspired and helped me the most is pretty easy: it is Letrange himself.

When I first met Robert, then known as "Mage", at the Montreal Virtual World center, he was already one of the most hardcore gamers I had ever met, and getting to hang out with him brought my own hardcoreness to a new level. Granted, he never did go as deep into Red Planet piloting as I did, but he still managed to stay way above an average level. When he invited me to his place to check out the venerable TIE Fighter on his just-as-venerable Pentium 90, our friendship was sealed and we never looked back.

Around the same time, and also with the help of Virtual World, he introduced me to the Battletech universe, and that's when I experienced the awesome generosity of this guy: I inherited his Battletech manual collection because he wasn't using them anymore! He also introduced me to other universes: Heavy Gear, Starfire, Japanese Anime, Honorverse, etc. But somewhere in 1996 he gave me a serious dose of a seriously potent narcotic: Quake. Followed not too long after by another heavy drug: Diablo. That's when I started working towards getting my own gaming rig, an awesome K6-233 with 64mb of RAM and a Voodoo card (and eventually a Voodoo II and a TNT). I've been a Quaker ever since, with the occasional break into sims, RPGs, and sometimes strategy games; Mage got me to know the Space Empires games of course :)

Fast forward to 2007 when Mage became Letrange. I won't go into how I got into EVE because I did this last month! I spent the last part of the year reading up every EVE guide I could find and finally, on January 20th 2008, I phoned Letrange up to tell him the client was installed and Cozmik freshly out of RMS. I had done a part of the tutorial on a noob Caldari character at his place (that character got trashed) and again did only a small part on my own. We got off the phone and into a private eve-voice convo and he told me to proceed to his base: not bad, 5 jumps. There I get treated to more Letrangesque generosity: a Slasher, ACs, ammo, AB, ODs, Gyros, Point, Web... oh shit I can't fit those last three! That's how I learned the "Show Info" feature. "Now you know what to train" says Let, "Now go ratting for a bit, make ISK, buy books, etc". He laughed his head off when I told him the next day that I just learned there was loot in those wrecks!

Anyway, the only time he helped financially with actual ISK was when he told me about salvaging. He linked me an alloyed tritanium bar and told me "View market details"... when I saw 475000 ISK my jaw dropped and he tells me I need the salvaging skill. Quick check of the price: 900k ISK. Big OUCH for a week-old player. He then gave me the ISK to buy the book but boy did that skill pay for itself!

Letrange has written before about the way he helped me with BPCs and the stuff I can manufacture for myself with melted loot out of the 0.0 rats to make sure I'm never out of a ship or modules or ammo, but this in itself did more than that: it gave me a new understanding of the industrial side of EVE that I would never have gotten without experiencing my myself. So all in all Letrange sent me to the School of Hard Knocks, but in EVE that is the best school of all because you learn to fend for yourself.

So I give a big parade ground salute to you Rob. I probably never would have gotten into EVE without you. I wish you all the success in the universe in the jump-starting of AMC, and I did put your name on Santa's list for a new POS tower :))


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I'm it ?! Oh noes !!!

Ga'len went and did it. I'm a rock star at heart so gimme that spotlight! And where the hell is my limo ?!?!?! :))

The Rules:

  • Link to the original tagger(s), and list these rules on your blog.
  • Share 7 facts about myself in the post - some random, some weird.
  • Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
  • Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs and/or Twitter.

So, the 7 facts about me.

  1. I am a... frikkin' loud drummer :)
  2. I'm pure Montrealer so I speak fluent french and english, most of the time in the same sentence
  3. I absolutely love F1 even if it's in financial ruin and Bernie Ecclestone is a complete douchebag
  4. I don't like chocolate... I need it to survive !!!
  5. Back in the VWE Red Planet days I've held 3 World Records, including one on the toughest course. How many people can say that ?!?!
  6. You do not want to meet me on a Quake map. Unless you're [NMP]Bosephus :))
  7. I've done a gig where I was the singer and I had to learn the lyrics of a song (Love Walks In by Van Halen. God I hate the thing now...) on the way to the venue, so in about 30 minutes.

And now, consider yourselves tagged, and if you've been tagged before, consider yourself lucky and give more info :)))

  1. Letrange (now!)
  2. Winterblink (I've got podcast cold turkey btw)
  3. PsycheDiver
  4. Manasi
  5. Kirith Kodachi
  6. xiphos83
  7. Myrhial Arkenath
OK, I may have broken a few rules... that's what makes me a Bozo <:*)

Fly safe... dangerous... just fly dammit !!!


Miracle in New Eden

Extra! Extra! Read all about it !!!

"His Jolliness Santa Claus has been spotted in EVE yesterday as he was flying his un-nerfed Nano Sled. Some reports say the sled is of Amarr design, while others swear it is Gallente. The only thing that is absolutely sure is that a soon-to-be-stricken Curse resident has been given a new lease on life in order to be able to terrorize the 0.0 space lanes in the search of macro ratters and unbelievably stupid ship fittings !!!"

Yep, I am that Curse resident and thanks to two absolutely amazing players, Cozmik will be able to spend the long and cold winter nights finding extremely fun stuff to kill and leading troops to victory (hopefully!). Blackrain McMillan and Ga'len, please rise and take a very well deserved round of applause! You two were the personification of the Christmas spirit yesterday, and I cannot thank you enough for allowing me to stay just a little longer. I have no clue what will happen in April when all that new time runs out, but with weather getting better and online games getting slower as summer approaches it should hurt a lot less if I still have to take a break; yes, finances are this bad. I will be sticking to only Cozmik's account though but that is alright because it will simplify my EVE play time.

The weird thing though is that as happy as I am about being "saved", I was sort of looking forward to flying at Mach 1.2 50 feet off the deck (any faster and the plane wants to rip apart) or showing those Inner Sphere stravags the true might of Clan technology. Well, there's nothing keeping me from doing that once in a while, like after an op that went sour as those can happen, but this entire experience with EVE has given a new insight into it. We're not in this game for the ships or for the ISK, we're in it for the people. Those that are willing to help us go through thick and thin and would hurl themselves into Death's waiting arms for us, as well as those blocking the field expecting us to turn back in fear, but that suddenly become sandwich material - Goonswarm, I salute you and yesterday's hilarious fleet you sent us :))

So now I have some courrier contracts to cancel, some ships to refit, some buy orders to put up and some new stuff to get shipped out to 0.0. Whoever makes Stilettos in the Heimatar region, watch your sell orders closely because I'll be buying quite a few >:)

And to Rebellion Alliance, BoB, Goonswarm, Tenth Legion, White Core, Out Of Order, B.L.A.C.K., and whoever is not either of The Firm or Ushra'Khan, I have only one thing to say:

POINT !!! <:*)

Fly like it's the last time you will


Monday, December 15, 2008

Vast quantities of suck4ge

On my last post in my alliance's forums I mentionned I was writing the post I had been dreading to write for about a week, and now I have to do basically the same post over here and I'm dreading it just as much. As my very first blog post opened, here goes nothing...

Those who know me out of game may know that I am the father of two young boys, Léandre and Timothée, respectively not quite 3 and not quite 2 years old. It is also pretty common knowledge that for just over a year now I've been separated from their mother, and believe me when I tell you it was for the best. But now the financial strain of alimony payments is starting to hit me like a gank-fit battlecruiser fleet on a fail-fit battleship. To those not into PvP, just know that said battleship lives about 3 seconds and you'll have a picture of just how bad things are. So when Real Life stuff like alimony, car payments, various utility bills, and this little thing known as FOOD is becoming harder and harder to pay for, some drastic measures must be taken, and paying 15$ USD a month for an MMO account is not a possibility anymore, let alone two accounts.

An so it is that on Christmas day at 0300 EVEtime (December 24th at 10PM Montreal time... what timing, eh?), Cozmik R5 and Demonia Gardens will have entered the cryogenic freezer for an undetermined period of time. There is just no way around it, unless someone wants to pay for me for an undetermined period of time, which is just not going to happen in this lifetime. I know that some people will say "Well, can't you buy PLEXes and GTCs with ISK?". Just know that I've been in the PvP business basically from the start, and although I have never been in financial trouble in-game thanks to much helpful advice rather than actual ISK donations, I have nowhere near the amount of ISK required to support even a single account in long term. So to but it bluntly in four words: sucks to be me.

So now I have about a week and a half of game time left so I'll do my best to get in on as much action as I can. The worst thing about leaving is that I'm doing so at a time when I'm getting more and more comfortable in the role of FC, and skillwise the ships I can fly are getting faster, better, and deadlier by the minute. I know that it's impossible to train a last skill as the accounts close but worse than that is the feeling of letting people down; as some have said before, Internet Spaceships is SERIOUS BUSINESS !!!

So what will I do during my time away from EVE, you ask? Here's a short list:

  • Flight simulation. I have this awesome Saitek X52 FCS that's begging to be used.

  • Race simulation. I AM SPEED! I need it like I need air to breathe, and crave it like a kid craves chocolate.

  • First-Person Shooters, namely the Quake collection. Thanks once again to Letrange I've been a Quaker since pretty much Day One, and intend to stay that way.

  • MechWarrior4: Mercenaries, with Mektek and NetBattleTech add-ons. Ph34r my triple Ultra AC20 equipped Dire Wolf of Doom, and my long-range Blood Asp of Light Mech Insta-Popping :)

  • Diablo, Hellgate, Elder Scrolls, and various other RPGs of the single-player kind.

  • Play as much drums as humanly possible.

Now, when will I get back to EVE? Frankly, I do not know. I do know that things should fix themselves financially because last week my ex found a job in her field of work, which is Quebec Sign Language if you want to know, and that means the alimony will get a much appreciated drop. But I still want to have my head raised above the financial waters before I get back to an MMO subscription because this is not something I want to have to do every year. One thing is sure, I am not exactly "quitting EVE". I will keep following what's happening in-game and will still read the various blogs and listen to the podcasts as they come out. My alliance even told me they'll keep a seat warm for me and I sincerely hope I won't keep them waiting too long.

So there you go. It's been a great pleasure writing here about my adventures and misadventures, and I may even post once in a while even if what I'll write about will be on subjects completely different from EVE. And then again maybe I'll post something about EVE! I hope I'll be back soon....

To the carebears: Fly safe, watch local, and dock up when reds show up !!!

To the PvPers: Fly with claws out and teeth bared !!!

To the Bozos: Holy Motherf***ing Sh*t I'm gonna miss you guys... le clown est triste... <:*(

This is Cozmik R5, signing off.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Side trip to Musicland

Yep, this update isn't about EVE or any other video game. It's about my true passion, music. More satisfying than any fleet op, any track record, or any fancy flying move, the feeling I get when I'm drumming is something akin to Emperor Palpatine belching out a shower of Force Lightning. Its forms of expression range from the slightest cymbal flourishes of delight to the heaviest pounding beats of pure anger. And unfortunately since the sale of my house last April it's a form of expression I've had to put on the back burner except for those few visits to the local drum shop, some exhibitions on public electronic kits at the Jazz Festival, and one audition for a serious band last August. But apart from that my sticks, and especially my Green Machine, have remained silent for far too long. This will come to an end.

A few weeks ago I was mentioning to one of my co-workers that I have a problem I have to solve: my drums are collecting dust. Hell I even use my throne as my night table! So just after that I went to my Facebook profile page and changed my status to "Benoit has to do something about his drums collecting dust". Well guess what, for once Facebook was extremely useful for something! A couple days later I get a message from one of my friends (a real one whom I don't see enough) where he said simply "Why don't you give them to me?". Well, of course I wouldn't "give" the kit away; I'd rather give away my own heart instead. But after exchanging a few messages, it turns out he was dead serious: he was offering me the chance to set up my kit and play it pretty much whenever the Hell I wanted. On a platinum platter !!! So this weekend I wipe the dust off my drums, pack 'em in the car, and off they'll go to get set up and receive an immense load of love :) Now naturally I'll have to get an agenda so I can schedule practice time, EVE time, kid time, and oh I have to work once in a while too! But man is it gonna be worth it...

Fly hard, play hard, and practice your paradiddles !!!



The Green Machine in its former setting

Monday, December 1, 2008

Very quick update

First of all I want to self-gratz me for my busiest blogging month. Yay me !!!

Second of all I can't wait to get back in game after a weekend with my Twin Terrors, but this come-back will be especially sweet because last week I ended up fighting bronchitis. I feel better now but I still feel like an alien chestbuster is wanting out every time I cough. In the middle of last week though that chestbuster was a Queen for sure! So I spent my last moments in game doing extremely quiet stuff like buying ships and hauling them around. Nothing fancy.

And last of all in this short update, I don't want to whine about the lack of podcast updates but ever since Fanfest (probably one of the culprits) and even after the release of Quantum Rise, none of the EVE related podcasts have been updated. Blinky, Urban, CK and co, Malhnor, Buddha... I miss you guys !!!

And that's it! More stuff to be added when more stuff happens :)

Fly deadlier than a guy nursing his respiratory conduits