A Collection of Thoughts from an Amarrian in New Eden

Welcome to the Amarrian Pilot blog, written by Ranis Garr. This blog serves as a place for me to put into text my thoughts, opinions, concerns, creations, and rantings about the world of New Eden. From Alliance Politics, to fiction, player quarrels to ship fittings, I plan on including it all. Although some of the posts may be frequent, and some may be few and far between, they will all be part of something I view to be relevant to the universe of New Eden.

Follow me on this blog and voice your opinions on my posts. I love to hear every side of every story, either good or bad, or if you agree with me or not. I want to hear your side.

Enjoy - and remember: Amarr Victor.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Blog Banter 29 - Hooked

"EVE Online is renowned for it's depth. Its backstory, gameplay and social aspects are all qualities that draw players in. What does immersion in EVE Online mean to you?"

When I saw this question posed, the first thing that came to mind is "When playing Eve Online, when are you not considered 'immersed?

The charismatic leaders of large power bloc alliances are no more and no less than that. You look at another pilot in game and pose that they aren't who they say they are. Interactions with others is often a result of who we are and what we do in Eve. Here are my two examples:

1. The construction worker in Real Life who happens to play Eve doesn't receive social status or power in the game because of what he does for work. His status in the game depends on who he is in Eve Online. Though that job may not be on par with what the average man does in real life, his role in Eve may be far different (Corporate CEO, for example). This encompassing of one's self in a virtual world has the power to unlock qualities and traits in ourselves that we never knew we had in the Real World.

The super celeb's in Eve, those that run the lotteries, the exchanges, the third-party platforms (the veritable 'Oil Barons' of New Eden) may collect massive amounts of isk and command respect across many regions. Though most of these people are self-proclaimed unemployed children living in their parents basement, such information about their outside lives carries no weight in the in-game world. Unemployed and child-like all they want, it doesn't change the fact they've achieved their status and power in the game, and any affairs that must go through them (lotteries, high-dollar item-exchange) are unaffected by RL

To put the two pieces together and draw the conclusion, immersion denotes that one immerses one's life in a virtual world. In that case, I feel that immersion is not the right word at all. The light-hearted term I would pick would be "happy distraction."

When I log in to Eve, though often riddled with the challenges that a Corp and Alliance CEO faces daily, I am not dealing with my team at work, my family, school, drama on facebook and all. I log in an I'm Ranis, though not a roleplayer, I respond to that name. I behave as I would if I were a pilot in New Eden, either consciously or not. When I log in, I'm someone else - which makes Eve a happy distraction from all the bull.

The way I see it, at least I'm not playing World of Warcraft. =)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Blog Banter 28 - The Creators and the Created

In recent months, the relationship between CCP and it's customers has been the subject of some controversy. The player-elected Council of Stellar Management has played a key role in these events, but not for the first time they are finding CCP difficult to deal with. What effect will CCP's recent strategies have on the future of EVE Online and it's player-base? What part can and should the CSM play in shaping that future? How best can EVE Online's continued health and growth be assured?

I think the question is not so much about how the creators of a video game are going to best interact with their consumer-base, I find that this question has bigger implications. The EVE player-base is critical to CCP's success. Without those who play the game, the company fails. From a player-standpoint, when a company stops providing the best product for its consumers, its time to find a new producer. Thus, it makes sense that CCP created the CSM.

When the CSM has difficulty dealing with those it is present to deal with, it creates a strange situation for CCP. Lets remember that the CSM is groundbreaking, an idea that (to my knowledge) has never been done before. No other video-game producing company has gone to such lengths to hear-out their players. The idea alone used to be enough to keep some people going with CCP. "They care about my opinions, which is why they have the CSM."

CCP needs to be clear - the CSM is, for better or for worse, the embodiment of the entire Eve Online Player Base. If CCP smites an idea of the CSM, or worse, a concern that the CSM brings up, then they are in turn smiting the entire Player Base.

I think that the CSM should be as key a portion of the CCP team as the Design team, artwork and story teams, etc. For something to break ground with CCP in a release, the CSM should have a hand in it. But as such, CCP need to broaden the CSM horizons further. If E-Online's continued health and growth are to be assured, then CCP must ensure that the CSM consists of people from ALL walks of Eve Life, not just Goons, Test, BDeal, and the ebil Russians. There needs to be input from smaller alliances, corps, and new players - what will cause Eve to grow is these smaller groups being able to grow with ease, rather than having tools in place to sustain the big-guys. Ideally, it should be harder to maintain super-alliances... but that is a different topic altogether.

If Eve is to continue to be a cutting-edge game that we all know, love, and hate... then CCP needs to ensure that the game is taking some directional advice from the most important people around in the universe - the players.

CCP, always be ignorant of your players wishes... unless you're literate. Never be literate. #sarcasm

Friday, July 1, 2011


You know its been crazy, both in real life and in 'Eve Life' when your alliance gets sovereignty and upgrades it to strategic level 3 before you can even post about it on your blog that has been tucked away somewhere on the internet.

For all the shit I've given CEO's in the past who have held sov, let me apologize now. It's a lot harder than it looks.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Keys to Being a Successful CEO

Over the past few years, I've learned a lot about being a CEO. You need to have eyes in the back of your head, be diplomatic, this, that and the other.

I think what caught me off guard as being a CEO is the large amount of time you need to be focusing on recruiting. Even after you reach your desired member count, your recruiting does not stop there. It goes on for retention, morale, and rewards.

Basically, for any new CEO's out there, ensure that you have someone in your corporation that is assigned the recruiter roles, and that you are communicating with that person about your personnel requirements and expectations. "One out, One in" is a common rule to maintain personnel levels, another one for expansion is for every 1 player who leaves (for whatever reason: inactivity, RL, they want to pirate, ect) you bring on two new players to replace him. This way, turnover turns into growth. The problem is if these people are leaving due to morale, you will be recruiting 10 times harder than you need to.

The Three Keys to Retention:

Active Recruiting

Recruiting can be done in dozens of different ways, and doesn't have to be tedious. Pitching in as a team and doing recruitment drives really helps to balance the work load, and if you're focusing on quality over quantity, you will have a solid member base in no time.

Active Member Base

A member base that is online frequently and that does ops together, communicates using voice, and learns how the rest of the team works is more likely to be successful in helping to retain an individual than almost any thing else.

Efficient Problem Resolution

If problems arise in your team, and they will, the key is to resolving them swiftly. Most CEO's I know get blindsided by problems they didn't even know existed. By mandating that each member of your Leadership Team have an open door policy about issues, as well as providing an anonymous email address or feedback form, players will be able and comfortable coming to you with their concerns and will thus feel like they aren't a wallflower within your corporation.


Take this advise as a guideline. There are too many things to keep in mind when being a CEO. Best thing is that if you are diplomatic and you always approach new situations with an open mind, then you should do fine. When you hit speed bumps, they hurt. You just gotta get back up and keep on truckin'. And when the going get tough, the tough grab Corona's and head to Providence.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Overview

Who else remembers the blog-post by Kirith Kodachi about the new Overview?

Basically, its about how different ships should get different icons in the overview. I know it made it to the Test Server. How long is it going to take CCP to release this to the live server?

In addition to this, I remember them talking about a Beta Tested NeoCom. I run a mac, and their is no option to activate a new neocom.

CCP - Please spend more time bringing the Mac Client up to par with the PC client. The software and hardware are superior on a Mac, why cant the client be superior? Or screw superior. How bout 'on par!'


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Amarrian Proverb #158

If you, upon meeting another man, speak with force in your words, you will knock him off his feet. Losing balance, he will want to push back with force in his tone and verbiage as well.

If you, upon meeting a man, stand side by side with him, you will see his point of view, and he will yours. You both will be able to walk together to a destination, than stand in one spot pushing each other back and forth.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Human Resource

It's easy to get drawn in as an industry player by an array of different resources for production; minerals, ores, ice, gas. All serving a purpose to drive us in New Eden to the inevitable pewpew while in constant pursuit of the almighty isk.

Its equally easy to get distracted as a PvP'er by the never ending hunger to lock down the perfect target with you and your buddies, say the word and extract tears as someones hard-earned ship vaporizes into a cloud of gas, fumes, and essential fluids.

I've made the observation that Corporation's in New Eden tend to underestimate EVE's most valuable resource: The Human Resource.

Many corporation's get a solid group of players and think "That's it. We've recruited. Lets go blow shit up/mine/rat/mission." Down the line, however, these people will tend to run into a very real problem. By fault of inactivity, Real Life, family agro, burn out, or conflict, your people may very well fall off the map for you.

Many CEO's, myself included, have neglected the idea that major businesses in the world have long considered a principal rule-of-thumb: one-out, one-in. This meaning that once you lose an employee (or in our case, a player), you immediately begin the process of replacing him.

Now everyone here knows that recruitment and HR management (Yes, I used that term) in EVE is not so simple as to be governed by one rule. But this is a good starting point for CEO's who may have let recruiting and personnel management become a back-burner issue. I highly recommend that CEO's make this a top priority. Allow me to explain.

Last month, Genesis Invictus was hit hard with a war that came from within. We were wardec'd by a member of one of our member corps. The individual was frustrated at some of our policies and our handling of certain situations. While most of leadership, myself included, felt his concerns with overly critical and unwarranted, he felt that it was a very real problem. We, as an alliance, failed to provide adequate means for this individual to have his concerns seriously considered. As such, he hired a merc to wardec us without us knowing.

The Merc was very good, and long story short, he was able to cripple our industry wing and our navy that we had put together. Due to poor HRM infrastructure in our alliance, a grievance turned into something that put our alliance on life-support.

Currently we are getting things back on track, but due to poor investments in recruitment and HRM, we are now finding ourselves back to square one, recruiting new players, posting our recruitment ad in the eve-o forums, ect.

The moral of this story: its critical to consider the most valuable and potentially lethal resource that we have available to us in this game. Other Human Beings.

For those out there that feel that corporations in Eve are just pixilated internet spaceship groups of strangers... for the most part you're right. But there is a new, very real aspect that many of us are exploring as CEO's. The idea that in order to be a successful internet spaceship support group for wayward gamers (corporation for short), you need to have a functioning and effective Human Resource Element to the organization.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Interview with Candidate Ms Pacman for CSM6

Earlier today, I had the chance to interview Ms Pacman, current candidate for CSM6. She appears to share some core values, but on her platform, there were vague points that I wanted to address. In the following interview, she does well addressing my questions.

Although there are some topics that I think are too ambitious at this current time, the premise that she is ready, willing, and able to see past disagreements and come to stronger conclusions is why she will most likely have my vote come voting time.

Here it is:

Thank you for your willingness to answer a few interview questions. As you know, CSM is growing more and more important for players in EVE and the issues are piling up. The following questions are to make my readers understand what exactly will be done to fix the broken aspects of this game.

1. You say you want to increase the value of null sec by increasing Neo/Tech moons. How you do think this will impact the player base? How will this make null sec more attractive for Empire Organizations?

Technetium and Neodymium, two moon minerals in two very geographically specific regions, own them and you own the game. You make so much money from them that your pvp players effectively fly for free. An outsider in empire can't compete with that. They never have to take a break because the money flows so easily. By seeding more of these moons all over null sec the value of these moon products will go down. As an example: I personally own the Hulk BPO since 2005. In the beginning I could sell Hulks on market for 550M isk.

Later in game Invention got introduced and the Hulk price went down 120M isk (back then) as a result. In addition: Currently it is even not profitable to produce hulks or other T2 ships when you have to buy your materials from the empire market. When there will be more neo/tech moons going to be seeded through all of null sec the same will happen as that happened with my hulk sales value. So what it does is that the current null sec power alliances their isk printing neo/tech moons will become less valuable and so their dominating power (caused by this form of income) will drain out.

Also as a result that market prices will drop in empire everyone will get the opportunity to make better profit on selling T2 ships or to buy a T2 ship in empire from people that got a T2 bpc from their agent. How null sec will become more attractive for empire corporations has to be seen in a bigger picture. There is more than one measure needed to make this work. To get a better insight people should read my page at evelopedia: http://wiki.eveonline.com/en/wiki/Ms_PacMan_(Character) In order to make the whole idea work in my manifest there will have to be implemented a kind of transition period serving both nullsec and empire.

2. You state in your manifest that you want to make it harder to maintain coalitions of alliances. How do you plan to attack this issue? What changes will you be proposing? 

Coalitions of Alliances is the axis of all evil in game and is the main reason why empire corporations and small alliances cannot settle themselves independently in null sec. The only way to get access to null sec is to join an existing null sec alliance but your corp will be used as cannon fodder. Coalition of alliances causing blob wars and are the reason there are lag issues, making it much harder to maintain coalitions will solve a lot what lag and ‘blob’concerns. How to fix: First of all to make changes to the overview. If you are in null sec everyone not in your alliance will appear red but this won’t be enough as the power alliances have enhanced methods outside of eve but a good side effect of being red to your coalition partners outside empire en low sec will be that they no longer will be able to use eachothers jumpbridge networks, make use of eachothers pos’s.

3. Renter-space is a problem that most of us agree on. How would you end it, seeing how it is acceptable through current game-mechanics? 

Ending renter-space will need a transition period, serving all parties involved. Perhaps with my solution it will even stay possible to rent space but with a total different setup and on a way smaller scale. At least during the transition period the renting of space will have to go through ‘rent slots’. A rent slot will affect a system that is under sovereignty of an alliance. The alliance will have a limited number of rent slots that they can offer to corporations that are not member of the alliance (3rd party corporations). Rent fee’s will have a limit this way and extravagant fees like 5 billion a month will be history. 3rd party corporations will appear , say, yellow to the landlord alliance and vice versa at the overview. (in my manifest there is a larger setup plan about this matter) I agree that this does not completely answer your question about seeing how it is possible through current game mechanics but again it will be the pack of solutions provided that will aid in this. When power alliances no longer have exorbitant income from neo/tech moons rent space as it is today can no longer be guaranteed by them, concerning regional stability.

4. You want to eliminate power blocks and vacuums. What is your definition of "Power Block?" How would you end them? 

My definition of a power block is that it is currently impossible for small alliances to fight their way into null sec and claim some space after victory. My pack of solutions and the transition period will cause that Very Large Alliances will dry out. Smaller but more alliances will settle in null sec that will bring back ‘fun pvp’ instead of the annoying daily mandatory cta’s.

5. What methods would you bring up in Iceland that would help give empire corporations and alliances a fair chance at settling in null sec? 

Most of CCP´s resources are currently not invested in Eve. CCP perfectly knows what the problems are in game they won´t need me or that to tell them. I do think however that they are unable to think out of the box and that’s what we will have to do with CSM-6 working on an enhanced edition of my pack of plans, presenting them the total solution, worked out based on few programming time.

6. Finally more of a question for entertainment. Who do you want to win the next Alliance Tournament? 

The alliance tournament has become a toy for the oil barons and sheiks of Eve. I hope in better times that your alliance will become 2nd in the finale against my alliance.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Last day with this face...

So with the new year brings new faces. I felt compelled to post in Ranis' final hours as being the hooded, mysterious amarrian that has seen so much in New Eden.

From the rise and fall of ITO, the creation and rebellion in GalSpan, and learning all the lessons from TIC and NBS, and boiling it all down into my most successful organization on any game or platform. Ranis' face has been the face that coincided with much good and plenty of bad.

I dont know how I feel about making his face viewable via the new character creator that is being deployed right now as I write this.

I guess there are perks to it, but still. Ranis' cartoony looking face has been iconic in the rise and fall, and eventual rise of many corporations. I feel that with this change, a part of the past is disappearing.

Talking wont change it. Just felt the need to have my reservations put on the record.

Sleep. Homework. Food. Eve. Sleep. Work.

Six words to sum up the next 48 hours.

Friday, January 14, 2011

First Post!!!

First post of the new year. I know its late. But I've been busy in game. Not necessarily a bad thing. =)

I promise to keep posting more and more. I've sorta fell off the boat as of late, but now I'm back on board, and ready to get things rolling.

What to expect here soon...

First, a post relating Human Resources and Personal Development to the Eve Online Community.

Later, (or sooner) look out for CK's Blog Banter Post. I have it, but it isnt finished. It will be and I'll be throwing it out there here soon.

But now, I will give you something to work with. Its this years very first Track of the Week. I've gotten such good feedback thus far from the TOTW bit, so we're gunna stick with it.

The track: Summertime Rolls
The artist: Losers
The mix: Hybrid Soundsystem Remix

And finally, this blog hits a milestone. 1,000 visits! Thanks for the support and motivation to keep doing this.

Fly safe, and expect posts as soon as tomorrow!