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I was a Goonswarm director for something like a year and a half. I also chilled out with our diplomatic staff. In both places I chatted more or less daily with Vile Rat, Goonswarm's head diplomat. He was one of the nicest men I've known; liberal, drama-free (a rare commodity in Goonswarm directors), intelligent, educated, all around a generally nice guy. I don't think I ever met him physically, but as a Goonswarm director you get close to people; there's only about 20 of you at a time, after all. In real life he acted as a system administrator for the US State Department.

Yesterday he was shot to death in Benghazi by a violent mob. My friend's name is being read out on television by the US president, for the most tragic of reasons, murdered because of a video he would have despised.

It's a bit hard to take in.

Rest in peace, Sean. You're missed.
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I took Friday off. About midday I got on the train and headed to Chicago.
It was Two. Hours. Late. Mostly this is because of some stupid slapfight Norfolk Southern and Amtrak/the State of Michigan are having; the State is supposed to be buying the rail track to upgrade it but isn't doing so fast enough for NS. NS are imposing freight-train-style speed restrictions of like 20mph on Amtrak til they get what they want.

So, I missed my connection to Madison. Fortunately, there was another bus an hour later, and my internet-spaceship friend Shortspecialbus picked me up without further incident. We had a beer then I pretty much crashed having been travelling for 11 hours at that point.

Next day was Rhythm and Booms.

Here's the music stage. It was populated by a rather hilariously bad cover band doing 90s greatest hits. Still, was pretty good fun making fun of them.

A Blackhawk taking off. The festival was Army-sponsored, unsurprisingly I suppose. Was cool to see though.

After the music and helicopter, we went to chill out with some of SSB's friends including Mittani's wife, who is a really cool person who's writing some kind of thesis on 1930s German legal theory. I actually knew a bit of what she was talking about. I also ate ludicrously expensive cheese curds. At about 9 we wandered over to the fireworks show.

Army parachute dude. The Army have a stunt team called the Golden Knights, apparently, who do parachute stunts with little trails of flame behind them. The pic's not good but it was cool to watch.

Then, everyone stood for the National Anthem, followed by a rendition of I'm Proud to be an American. I don't begrudge y'all, it is your national holiday, but I have to say I felt a bit out of place.

Then, fireworks! Some more!

I have to say it's the best fireworks show I've ever seen. After the show we hung out at a bar for a while, played some You Don't Know Jack on the XBox 360, and bedtime snore zzz.

Bonus pic of ssb's girlfriend's dog, who is adorable

The next day we went to the range and did some shootin', with a couple of .22's, an M9 pistol, and the star of the piece, an M1 Garand. The furniture is probably Korean vintage, the receiver is stamped 1943, meaning it very likely saw action in World War 2.

I got to fire a clip through it

Some more

Close up

I have to say it was fun. The M1 definitely has...authority when firing it, and is loud as hell, but actually had less recoil than I expected.

Then, back to SSB's place for drinks and chat. His idea of a suitable straw

Monday was pretty uneventful, he drove me back to Chicago since he had family obligations there anyway, I got on the train home (only an hour late this time), the end. I had a good time, though. Looking forward to the August goonmeet.
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My Evedude Shas Montyr is on that in his Archon. *smug* Death to PL.
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'IT alliance will be disband as of 04.00 hours to morrow
From: Maximum Dam'age
Sent: 2011.02.04 19:20
To: IT Alliance.

hello to all members i regret to inform you all that as of 04.00 hours tomorrow IT alliance will be disbanded we have been in this war now for the past few month and we have lost 3 big corp x13 and finfleet and now Black Nova Corp is leaveing us we can not fight this war anymore we have lost this war once and for all i would like to say thanks to the NC for a good fight and we wish you the best in Delve

i wish you all the best

this is for real this is not a joke


Maximum alliance head

That guy, Maximum Dam'age is ceo of Viborg Odyssey which is the 3 man Exec corp for IT. '

This was an alliance mail to IT Alliance - the successor alliance to Band of Brothers, who Goonswarm have been at war with since something like 2006. These are the guys who nearly wiped us out of the game in 2006 when we were a bunch of hapless newbees, who we then fought all the way back to their home region in 2007/8 until we stopped from exhaustion, who we then kicked out of Delve a year later in the Great Disband. Back then they stayed together, reformed, came back like the bad guy in a horror movie (especially given their clown-based schtick) and after a few months kicked us out of Delve a year or so ago. This time they seem to have finally broken; the member corps are going their separate ways. Their leader SirMolle's dreams are as ashes on the wind.

A retrospective from my LJ -

My first involvement in the conflict as a newbee

Some more

The tail end of the first Delve campaign

Haargoth's Great Disband, precursor to BoB's first eviction

'Mission Accomplished'

Oops, no, this was the actual end

The Empire Strikes Back!

Oh dear, we lost all our shit

The low point

Fittingly, this whole saga looks to be wrapping up just in time for our annual alliance meetup in Chicago.
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Yesterday's fight for the CSAA was awesome. Cursed Alliance (TCF splinter group) and our Euros took control of the system in Euro prime and shot up the hostiles' jumpbridges and jammer, allowing us to bring in a staging tower. Then we came in, blew up a couple of hostile fleets, and controlled the system until the tower came out, at which point -

One enemy supercapital - maybe a Titan, about 50 billion isk of ship, though of course the other side will claim it's a supercarrier, more like 20 billion - blown up a day before it was due to complete. One less Titan or supercarrier shooting our dudes in the future.

We had so many people we had to form two fleets, something that hasn't been true since January before we lost Delve. 300-odd people, at least 200 of which were Goonswarm and the rest our buddies from Bort and co. No lag to speak of, even with 400 in system, so maybe CCP have partially fixed that. We also had PL hanging out with us, Red Alliance helping us out by camping the hostiles' route to the system and the NC brought a 100-man HAC gang which buzzsawed through the Atlas/aAa fleet next door while we killed the tower (in the end Atlas themselves hid in a POS and left their renters to die).

A couple of weeks ago the rest of Eve wrote us off for dead, and they weren't far off. We had the odd roaming gang but nothing that was actually going to inconvenience another alliance. Now we've beaten the entirety of the Atlas/CoW/GC bloc in their prime and our own, plus some aAa for good measure. I didn't think that was possible for us until last night.

Oh yeah, and the CSAA was found in the first place by GSRecon, i.e. my dudes. :)
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I've been playing Eve quite a bit more lately. Having a new CEO who's engaged, not assholish, and around to get things done helps a lot - it took about two hours from 'I'd like GSRecon to get covops reimbursed if lost on official business again' to 'ooh look, my alt is in Goonwaffe with director roles and access to the reimbursement wallet'. He's also been doing good things for diplomacy, getting people back in to GSOL to sort that mess out, figuring out a decent method for alliance income generation that doesn't require rare moons, and so on. The only thing that's really dragging is our IT infrastructure, and there's not much he can directly do about that.

Eve life in general is looking up after the last few fairly dismal months. We're switching to a new alliance name, 'Goonswarm Federation', so we're back to being Goonswarm rather than the gimmicky Solodrakbansolodrak thing. We are no longer in the goon-Vietnam of Cloud Ring and instead have safe space to make money up north on our friends TCF's couch. The evil clown invasion of said friends' space has apparently failed because the opposition mostly couldn't be bothered to turn up and got slaughtered when they did. Most of the really bitter-vet, this-game-sucks founts of negativity on our forums have gone fuckgoons with ElitistOps or Here Be Dragons, but hey, at least we don't have to listen to them any more.

We're mostly in a casual run-(reimburseable)-small-gangs, do-whatever mode at the moment and it's actually been a lot of fun - I ran a gang of about 40 people around Scalding Pass on Friday and got everyone killed inside of 45 minutes (including myself and said CEO), but we also killed lots of hostiles and people had a good time. We seem to have several new FCs capable of doing small-gang stuff, so ops aren't all-Dabigredboat, all-the-time (for those of you unfamiliar with him, this is a blessing), plus a rather famous and controversial one has returned and is actually leading the odd op. The game is actually enjoyable to play at the moment, which has been an iffy proposition for quite a while. CCP still really needs to fix the lag on large fleet battles, but we're not engaging in those right now so it's all good.

I actually have some confidence now we'll be able to build back up to being of reasonable significance in the Eve world. :)
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I'm reading the recently-published Eve novel - yes, I'm geeky as hell, I know. In the very first chapter, it's described how a spacecraft (probably a Typhoon from the way it's described, given it has missiles and projectiles) blows up a Blood Raiders deepspace mining colony killing everyone onboard (Scrub; everyone knows Minmatar suck for ratting Amarr pirates because they have high explosive resists).

The thing is, I've done this sort of thing in-game many times - I've been the evil dude in the huge ship who is the last thing the protagonist ever sees, and during some missions I've blown up pirate mining colonies. In fact Delve, where my alliance lived until a few months ago, was Blood Raiders space. As someone who's been playing for about 2 1/2 years now I've literally committed gigadeaths of casualties according to game lore; every NPC ship I've blown up has thousands of people onboard as crew, and you make in-game money by blowing them up, so I've blown up thousands of them, not to mention thousands more have died every time some dude's blown up my ships. It's sort of unsettling in a way, even though it's only a game.

On the plus side, the Blood Raiders are basically crazy evil religious pirates who kidnap people to drink their blood, so there is that. They're not what you might call nice people, even though the book has a kindly old grandma who bakes delicious pies for her family in her kitchen with a 'Babies need blood' ornament on the wall. Also, the missions in the game don't generally actually require you to blow up non-military structures, and in game terms the effort involved isn't usually worth it - the dude in the book is going beyond his mission's orders in blowing up the colony.

This post brought to you by the movie Gamer - entertainment to slit your wrists by.
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We (Goonswarm/LODRA) are as of today starting a full-scale invasion of Cloud Ring with our buddies the Northern Coalition in order to take our own space again. It's about time, NPC space sucks. I missed the main event today since that was in Euro and very early US time but I'm helping shoot moon miners in my battleship. We're going to need to shoot enemy structures for about 5 days in succession to take sov anyway.

Feels good to be attacking again; I didn't think it'd ever be this fun to shoot POS :)

Aww, bless

Feb. 23rd, 2010 09:45 pm
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Goonswarm (well, our successor alliance) has acquired a cute little brother, the Dreddit corporation formed by readers. They're a lot like we were in 2006, a bunch of brand-new players in Rifters from an internet forum. We've blued them, we're doing joint ops with them, and generally introducing them to the big bad world of 0.0 warfare.

I ran a small roaming gang for a little bit today and had a couple of them in gang. I gave one of them a free Stabber. There's a good feeling about having a small space manufacturing business, building and fitting ships, and then handing one out personally to a cute little newbie in fleet and getting to see them use it to help kill bad dudes half an hour later; it's pretty rewarding. So much so that I've decided to post on and offer my Stabbers for sale to them too. :)

Haha, wow

Feb. 3rd, 2010 11:37 am
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So the CEO who was mostly responsible for our losing all our space a week ago, came back to the game for just long enough to disband our alliance and take our alliance assets. This is all happening very close to one year to the day from when we disbanded BoB.

I don't think any alliance in Eve, ever, has been kicked quite this hard in the nuts. It's crazy, but also funny in an ironic kind of way, and very Goony. I wonder if we'll survive as any kind of significant force in the game.

On the plus side, our enemies can't claim they beat us in the past, and now they never will be able to in the future. We self-destructed ourselves. Where by 'we' I mean a couple of jackasses in the directorate; the member base was doing just fine before all of this.
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Most of my Eve assets are now evacuated to highsec after a long evening spent shuttling back and forth, with the notable exception of my carrier, which is trapped in an enemy-held, bubble-camped station. Worst case, I can wait a few weeks and try and ninja it out. A fellow goon contracted me some of his smaller, more expensive ships to try and get out for him too. Apart from that, I'm down a fleet battleship (also in an enemy-held station that I can't get to), a couple of battlecruisers, and a few mixed cruisers, frigates and whatever, which isn't that big a deal.

The analogy can be overdone, but this all feels a bit Battlestar Galactica - the sudden, overwhelming strike out of nowhere, the initial decision to fight back, the realisation that we're totally boned, and the long dangerous trek to safety definitely has the feel of the miniseries to it. I should really watch that again sometime.

Oh, proceedings were further enlivened when, while getting ready to escape, my computer made a loud BANG! noise and stopped functioning. I hope it's a broken power supply and that the motherboard still works, but we'll see. I had to rapidly scramble to get Teamspeak and Pidgin on my laptop and update my Eve client there, which I so didn't need on top of everything else.
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Apparently, most of Goonswarm's sovereignty dropped overnight. Either one of our directors forgot to put enough money in the right division of the alliance wallet to pay for it, or the recent patch was buggy and reset which division that was. I'm not sure.

Now, a year or so ago we did the same thing to BoB via a spy, so some might call it poetic justice. All that did, though, given the sovereignty system at the time, was take away BoB's defensive advantage - we still had to put down more towers than they had in each system we took and hold it that way for a week. With the new sovereignty system, turns out the bad guys can take non-sov'd systems within 8 hours, and they are then practically impossible to take back given the new system massively favours the defender (as the bad guys found out over the last few weeks attacking one of our systems). To take a system back we'd basically have to win fights at a time of our opponents' choosing (i.e. European evening/US afternoon) 4 times in succession, which just isn't going to happen.

I literally went to bed with everything being fine and woke up to find out half my stuff is now in stations controlled by the enemy, inaccessible to me without a chance for me to do anything about it. If this isn't reversed as a bug (and odds are low) I'm quitting the game, because this is just ridiculous. The BoB disband was kind of cheesy, but they could have held us off if they'd fought back in their own prime time and they had a minimum of a week to get to their stuff.


Nov. 29th, 2009 07:38 pm
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I'm playing Eve, getting ready for my first real fleet fight in months, and the server goes down because of 'database issues'. Been down for about 40 minutes so far and counting.
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A new expansion is coming out for Eve in a couple of weeks that is likely to be followed by an enemy invasion of our space (especially by the people who used to be in Band of Brothers; they've now reformed as IT Alliance with a scary-clown theme). My corporation's current home system could well be the first one they hit; it's on the edge of our space and for technical reasons will be easy to conquer under the new expansion's sovereignty rules.

Therefore, I just ferried most of my ships and assets to somewhere marginally safer a few jumps away, just leaving a couple of combat ships at the corp home. This is pretty tedious since I've accumulated quite a few (stockpiling for when the war starts), and I have to fly each one over there individually and then fly back in my pod to pick up the next one. It's also slightly risky, especially the trip in my (slow, vulnerable) hauler loaded up with all my minerals and spare modules, but fortunately it seems to have gone without incident.

Technically I could use MY SHINY NEW CARRIER to do it more quickly, but my carrier pilot is stuck in another system (which also means I can't move his stuff yet - two fleet battleships, an industrial, a Vagabond and a Harbinger). I also just imported all the official Capswarm fittings for it so I should be able to actually put the carrier to PVP use soon.
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I just bought myself this in Eve - a carrier, specifically an Archon. It's a capital ship, worth about a billion isk fully fitted (in other words maybe 5 times what the battleships I usually fly cost) - even in 0.0 alliances like Goonswarm most players never get to fly one because of the months it takes to train for them and the amount they cost. Alliances can lose battleships in fleet fights til the cows come home, but a few battles where they lose lots of capital ships can lose a war. They're pretty much the lowest-level markers of strategic success or failure.

Carriers in particular are used for repairing spacecastles and other capital ships, and can also use fighters that are lethal against enemy battleships. They can also transport other ships around in their holds, which will be useful for me personally when war starts up again with the sovereignty patch next month and I'm producing Stabbers for our newbies and moving them to the front.

In a few days I'll have finished training the carrier skill to level 4 and will be able to apply to join Capswarm, Goonswarm's capital-ships subgroup, where all the super-sekrit information on how to fit, move around and use these things is kept. I've come a long way since I was a newbie in a Merlin.


Jun. 13th, 2009 08:30 am
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Off to Chicago in a few for the Goonmeet. Unfortunately my email has been down since yesterday afternoon, so if anyone's mailed me and not got a reply, well, that's why :/


Jun. 5th, 2009 09:42 pm
jojomojo: (Default)
For the first time in Eve, I am a billionaire. My long-term plans to put one of my characters in an Archon proceed apace.
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