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Friday, April 30, 2010

Maeve: As Art

sorry about the lack of crispness, took these shots with my camera

So I've been wanting to do an illustration of Maeve for a long time. A series of them perhaps... maybe even enough to go along with a short story.

But for now, I have started just an illustration of her, as herself, being the "Wench with a Wrench" we all know and love, hard at work on one of her Trinity Drones. ;)

This is just pencil sketch beginnings, details & background will be worked in, then inked.

Finally I will scan the image in and probably paint it in photoshop.

Just wanted to share this start. :)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Planetary Interaction Tutorial

Click to enbiggen

After several hours of scouring the net for a half-comprehensive and up to date tutorial on Planetary Interaction, and failing miserably to find anything, I decided to just jump in and figure it out on my own.

Granted, I've only spent a handful of hours so far messing with it, I've barely begun to scratch the surface of this new feature in the game. I decided to make a recording of the most basic element of setting up a command center, extractors and a processor. Enough to get you started.

I apologize if I've missed anything, but like I said, I am just starting to learn like everyone else. :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Where Are All The Wenches?

CK at asks us in Blog Banter #17:

"What could CCP Games do to attract and maintain a higher percentage of women to the game. Will Incarna do the trick? Can anything else be done in the mean time? Can we the players do our part to share the game we love with our counterparts, with our sisters or daughters, with the Ladies in our lives? What could be added to the game to make it more attractive to them? Should anything be changed? Is the game at fault, or its player base to blame?"

First lets get down to the nitty gritty of the matter;
Why are there so few female players in EVE?

Is it because we don't like sci-fi?
Doubtful, if the amount of female Browncoats I saw at last years Dragon*Con is any reliable indicator.

Is it because we don't like space?
Um, no. I come from a NASA family. My grandfather worked launch control during the Apollo missions, and was one of the designers of the Space Shuttle. My mother worked for NASA as well. I could easily say love for space and space travel is in my blood, and I never even made a career of it. And I am only one of thousands, possibly and probably more.

Naoko Yamazaki, Stephanie Wilson and Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger

Consider the fact that there are currently four women floating around up there on the space station, in a crew of 13. Sure there are still more men, but that its a lot more than 3.6%. All three of those women in the above photo flew together on Shuttle Discovery's last flight, along with four men. That is damn near even.

Is it because EVE is too complicated for women?
Please see the above question. You go become an astronaut, earn a spot on the Space Station, and tell me we can't do complicated. ;)

I think this question might come down to a matter of gaming experience. I am willing to bet most of the ladies in EVE have been gamers all their lives. I am also willing to bet most of the ladies playing say, WoW, it is their first experience in gaming. Purely from a gaming experience stand-point... yes, EVE is complicated, but I think it would be just as complicated for those men who's first experience in gaming is also a game like WoW.

So why... WHY?
Personally, I think it is because of the initial lack of feeling a connection to ones character. In every other MMO I can think of, you physically see your avatar, you can customize them, they become an extension of yourself. I believe women by nature need to feel connected, whether it be to an avatar in a video game, or to a lover. Men can differ in this matter. It all boils down to some primeval instinct.

I confess, it took me two tries to become enamored with EVE. My first try was simply because I am game to give any MMO a shot, and I heard it was like Homeworld, which I loved. But I will tell you my heart sank when I realized the closest I would get to my character was a cold still image. My first foray into EVE lasted only a few days. No, I wasn't confused or overwhelmed. No, I wasn't afraid of the pew pew. I just felt no connection to my own character.

My second attempt is what changed everything. The hosts of several of the podcasts I was listening to at the time were getting into the game. They would talk about living legends, individuals who were doing things that effected and touched almost everyone in New Eden. That is when it hit me, that community is everything in EVE. Admittedly it did take a bit to get over the fact that I could never see Maeve, and adjust my mindset. In time I accepted that she was in that ship, and that she wasn't the ship itself. I began developing a character for her in my mind, maybe to compensate for the fact that I couldn't physically see her, and that only deepened my connection with Maeve. As for community and social opportunities, EVE has the strongest of any MMO I have ever played. And that is what filled my need for a connection.

The player base is definitely not to blame for a lack of female players. If it weren't for you lot, I wouldn't have given the game a second try.

But enough rambling about my personal experience, I should probably get to the point of CK's question,

"What could CCP do to attract and maintain a higher percentage of women to the game."

I believe once Incarna launches, there will be a massive influx of female players. Simply because of the factor that drove me away in my first attempt with EVE.

But as the game stands now, game-play specifically, I don't think anything should be changed, especially to lure in a new audience. That would only be doing the existing player-base a disservice.

I do think EveGate is a step in the right direction. Easily accessible socialization, the ability to share ones character and statistics might help us feel more connected to them. We are a social bunch, us ladies. ;)

My suggestions that might encourage more women to play:

The advertising for EVE is VERY masculine. Besides the narrations from the AI Aura, we hardly hear any female voices representing pilots.

Take the video advertisement for Dominion, one female voice for each fleet. Both very submissive (tho it was cool they were thoughtful enough to put one of the ladies in a Dreadnought). They could pump that up by having a few more ladies, or maybe even one as *GASP* a Fleet Commander??

More female voices in an advertisement like this one might be unrealistic for the game in its current state, but putting women in a more powerful and prominent role might encourage more of us to give it a try.

It is female instinct to create. You know its true when I say every girl you know probably adores crafting in the MMO of their choice, and will spend hours happily clickety clicking their wares into creation.
But in most MMOs, their creations bare their mark, even if it is simply (and it usually is) just their name listed on its details. It makes us feel like we've made our mark, and that our creations are out there proudly carrying our name. Hell, I for one would be ecstatic if I could label my drones "Trinity Drones". But as it stands now, you manufacture something, put it on the market, and it becomes another anonymous product. Maybe I want there to be a demand for my drones? How would people ever know they have a bay full of Trinity drones unless they specifically put a contract for me to sell them some. But even then, they hold no unique signature of my time and effort put into them.

Other than that, for now I think we should just hold our breath for Incarna, an expansion I think more than just women are looking forward to.

Some banter replies I found interesting:
Talk Nerdy To Me
La vie d'une capsuliere
A Little Bit of Blue
And, so far the funniest response to the question:
Chicks N' Ships from Eveoganda

As well as one whom insists it is not part of the banter, but is definitely worth reading regardless:
Sweet Little Bad Girl : EVE vs Women

Also outside of the banter, and from the past:
A post on this subject last December on The Real Sisters of EVE on Facebook

And this is a good watch relating to marketing to and stereotyping female gamers.... THIS IS NOT ME.. this is Cindy at Dream Bytes. If you want the point - 7:30

What gamer women don't want.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Sister Returns

Maeve Trinity
Octanneve V
Sisters of EVE Bureau


Maeve sat in the far corner of one of the many exclusive airy capsuleer bars of The Sisters of EVE Bureau. Although it seemed a strange place to have a multitude of bars and lounges, to Maeve the Sisters were an odd, if not contradictory lot.

The bar had high ceilings with deep blue swashes of fabric covering what was most likely garish bare concrete. Pale aqua lights shone up from the floor, creating translucent columns through a mist of smoke and dust. It was an entrancing effect.

She absentmindedly stirred her drink, scanning the room for the face she was anticipating. Her sister, Aurynn. A couple of months back she disappeared leaving only a note, scribbled in a rush, stating simply that "Solitude is such a snooze-fest.." and, "I'm going to become a pirate."

Pretty bold words coming from her little sister who loved the most expensive and garishly lavish adornments on herself, and in her environment. Amarr make mostly. From trinkets and wardrobe, to shining golden ships. Maeve knew her pirate phase wouldn't last. She was hardly surprised when she received a transmission from Aurynn asking her to meet her in this very establishment, back in the same station where her old quarters were.

Time ticked by slowly, and Maeve began to lose her patience, orders she needed to check on, ore she could be refining, drones that needed detailing. But just as soon as she pushed her drink away and began to rise, she saw the familiar silhouette of her sister stepping through on of the columns of light, gracefully striding towards her.

Aurynn sat slowly and casually waved her hand for service, pointing at Maeve's drink to indicate she would have the same. She leaned back, obviously avoiding making contact with Maeve's eyes, though still keeping her head high.

"So I hear you guys are establishing yourselves in null sec." Aurynn said, getting straight to the point.

"You heard right Aurynn." Maeve said.... taking a bit more than just a sip of her cocktail. "And we need cyno pilots...."

At this point Maeve decided that whatever happened out there to Aurynn, it more than likely bruised her ego. Things always went perfectly for her. No need to pick a fresh wound. The best medicine for Aurynn right now would be to feel needed. And it was true, her skills would be very useful to Black Thorne at this point in time..... and to herself, as selfish as that might seem.

"Cyno pilots Maeve?" Aurynn leaned back, she liked feeling control back in her hands, and it showed outwardly quite obviously. "So what, you'd get a kick out of me losing every ship I fly as a sitting duck wouldn't you?"

Maeve rolled her eyes, and took another bit-more-than-a-sip of her drink. "Well that or you can go back to tipping cans in Empire."

This was the truth of the matter and Maeve knew it. Aurynn wanted to be a pirate, but couldn't make the connections, lacked the training and skills for proper combat, and was reduced to scavenging. Maeve imagined it probably took a full week to afford one of her precious gold plated Amarr hair-clips. And it hit home.

"Fuck you Maeve!" Aurynn said as she splashed her drink into Maeve's smirking face. Aurynn sat rigid, hands gripping the chairs arms, ready to lash out or run. But she stared at her for a moment, Maeve couldn't tell if Aurynn was considering her proposition, or just being frustrated with Maeve's lack of temper, or perhaps it was both. And slowly, Aurynn slouched back down.

Rubbing the bridge of her nose between her eyes, Aurynn said, "It's too early to talk about anything permanent, I just got back out to this dead end region." She stood, and glanced quickly at Maeve,

"Just let me know if any jobs come in... you know.... cyno shit or whatever." She adjusted her shining black cropped hair, "I'll be back in my old quarters."

Maeve sat and took the final sip of her drink, thinking to herself how funny it was that she, the calm collect wrench wench, could rile up her sister, full of ambition to shoot everything down, without hardly saying a word.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Whats in My Hangar?

Maeve Trinity
Octanneve V – Moon 1
Federation Customs Assembly Plant


Lots of people in the twittersphere are jumping on the topic started by Rixx over at Eveoganda -a must visit for some excellent EVE inspired propaganda art.
Because of my lack of organization, not all of my ships are seen here, they are spread all over. Some in Empire, some in Wicked Creek, but most, in Solitude.

The topic? "Whats in your hangar?" More specifically, the naming of ships.

The inspiration for most of my ships either comes from ancient mythology, or the series Farscape. Yes, I am THAT big of a nerd. And then sometimes, I will name a ship something completely lame. The latter, are ships I usually never fly, and should probably sell!

When it comes to differentiating two same model ships with different functioning fittings, I will name them accordingly. For instance, I love domis... my standard fitting I will name Moia. But my RR domis are named Airmid, after the Celtic goddess of healing.

So here are some of my ships, and the names I've given them.

Big Momma - My Obelisk. I thought it was fitting.

Farscape I & II - Comet. My Farscape fandom shining through.

OMG RUN - Viator. Because this is how I feel when flying it through all the gate camps to Solitude.

The Navigator - Helios. Very subtle reference to childhood nerd-dom, Flight of the Navigator. She finds me all the interesting stuff in space. Compliance.

Goblin King - Brutix. More childhood nerd-dom. I do think Brutix look like goblins.

Luna I, II & III - Zephyr. They look like moths to me. I have 3 and I never fly them.

Bustopher Jones - Nemesis. A reference from the musical Cats, the ship looks like a little happy fat cat to me.

10 Hygiea - Hulk. Named after an actual asteroid. Also, coincidentally, I finished training Hulk during Hulkageddon, the goddess Hygieia is the Greek goddess of health. I was hoping for some good juju.

Friday, April 9, 2010


Maeve Trinity
Location Classified
On Board Nemesis "Bustopher Jones"

Wicked Creek

All your marines are belong to me.

So last night I made my way out to our corps new POS in 0.0 space to set up a clone and take a look at our little home way far away from comfy familiar Solitude.

I'm pretty excited to have the opportunity to get back into some 0.0 fun... but it didn't take me long to peruse the hangar array and spot some lonely Marines. I couldn't resist.... I stole them. They are mine. MINE. Acquiring them was of utmost importance. Hopefully this does not give cause to me being kicked out of Black Thorne. XD

That is all. Marine capture was a success. Very important business.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Back from the Dead, Almost Literally

As you can tell from the time-stamp of my last post, I have been completely MIA.

Long story short, I came down with a fantastic flu, and spent most of that time as a slug. My gaming restricted to a radius around my new center of operations -the couch- which meant lots and lots of console gaming. But now that I no longer feel like my head will explode while sitting in a vertical position, I am back to EVE again and can resume my blogginess.

Not long ago a few people in the blogosphere made some posts about where they had been in the New Eden according to their in-game map. I thought this was a pretty awesome idea, as for one, I didnt even realize this option even existed in the EVE map. Oh EVE map... mystery of mysteries.
My life in EVE has been quite backwards... most people have their beginnings in high sec.. and possibly eventually make their way to low sec or null. I on the other hand, found myself in 0.0 within a few short weeks of starting the game. This was mainly because I had a few old online friends who were already deeply entrenched in EVE, so I found myself just following along, quite literally flying by the seat of my pants. I took a long break eventually, and returned to find the old corp dissolved, most of my old friends no longer playing. My beginnings in EVE have become all but a mystery to me, I couldn't even remember where exactly I had been.

Thanks to the handy dandy map, I can see most of my start in EVE was spent in Providence, with a few toe tips into Catch. I look and find my wandering has brought me way out to Etherium Reach, and Detorid. What was I doing out there??

In other news, on my ongoing quest to figure out what exactly I want to do in EVE (after 2 years you would think I would have figured this out by now), I've purchased and fit my second T2 frigate, a shiny new Ishkur. So far I haven't had the opportunity to really break her in, but with my corporations recent foothold in 0.0, I don't think that adventure is too far off now.