Sunday, April 1, 2012

Contemplations on a Podcast

First, as a disclaimer, this might not be the best day for this post, as it is totes not a joke.

As many of you know, I was once one of the hosts of The Drone Bay Podcast. I've tried to restart the show a couple of times, but it never took, mostly because my interest in the game waned again. That first burnout hit me hard, and trying to recapture my "glory days" with various corps just never panned out, as I know I've stated before.

Now, though, it's been a month since I've returned to the game (again), and I've started reconsidering my status as a community contributor. I've never been much of a blogger, except when the mood strikes, but I really do enjoy podcasting. The rub is that I just landed a job that gets pretty hectic in the summer time, and I live in Alaska TZ (1 hour west of PDT). That makes it hard to coordinate with peeps, and the busy nature of my summer will make it hard to edit. Still, neither of these is insurmountable.

That said, I am really feeling the itch again. It's been suggested that I talk to existing hosts and see about tagging along on an episode or two, but while I enjoy those shows, the format just isn't...the same if that makes sense. TDB was patterned a good deal after The Instance, and I really liked that style. Still, unless I find that niche again (I can't exactly teach the finer points of doctrines and such that I am still learning/relearning), it'll be tough.

So, I'm going to open it up to all eight of my readers. Is there room for a show like what TDB used to be? If I do make a new show, am I better off trying to resurrect the old name, or go with something new after a couple of false starts hanging over the old show? What about format? I don't know that I could do a solo show (too boring for me and you, frankly), so how many hosts are appropriate? I liked a lot about the three chair format, but it had its drawbacks, for sure. Basically if you have any thoughts concerning a new/rezzed podcast hosted by yours truly, please leave them here. This is an open call for help :P.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Cast the first stone...

Gaming news and the current media environment make strange bedfellows. There was a time when CCP was a sort of media darling, at least from my vantage point. Here was a plucky little Icelandic software company that bucked the trend of railroaded MMOs and gave its players a massive sandbox to play in. The T20 scandal quickly became the groundwork for the CSM, which got a bit of an eyebrow raise from the New York Times. Later that year, another article set a quite bemused tone about the sandbox with all the crazed inhabitants blasting away at one another's space pixels. In a market that was hiccuping, there was really only Blizzard's juggernaut, aging relics, a series of false-starts, and the plucky little sandbox.

Inside that sandbox in 2007, the T20 scandal was more than a news story, it helped kill one of EVE's own juggernauts. Even Hilmar saw what a scandal could do to an alliance once it reached the media. In the second NYT article he stated (emphasis mine), “What happened first and foremost was that the controversy created demoralization within BOB and a downward spiral because they started to doubt themselves and the legitimacy of their achievements. GoonSwarm’s P.R. campaign was effective in creating this impression, and a lot of people left BOB, I think, because of this idea. And kudos to GoonSwarm for having good P.R.”

Since that time, CCP has had its own share of rough days in the press. T20 began it, but Monoclegate (for which I was admittedly not subbed to the game), general vocal dissatisfaction, falling numbers and their coverage in the press, and the eventual restructuring and downsizing of the company all doubtless took their toll and frayed some psyches over Reykjavik way. Now, after what most consider a step in the right direction with Crucible, Fanfest no doubt caused a few head to desk collisions.

Anyone reading this almost certainly knows what was said by The Mittani, and can generally agree that the statement was somewhere between absolutely reprehensible and in rather poor taste. That being settled, the story has burned through Massively, Kotaku, Ten Ton Hammer, as well as other sites. I haven't seen the crossover into IRL media yet, but with the writers (rather shamelessly) using buzzwords like "cyber-bullying," it may only be a matter of time. Many of these stories, as is typical of the world of the 24 hour news cycle where he who scoops first scoops the most hits, the details get fuzzy and often distorted. The result is that a guy with whom I have had very little personal interaction is getting raked over the coals by the gaming media, and if my fears prove true, perhaps soon the mainstream media.

The thing that always strikes me in situations like this is the frank hypocrisy on the part of most humans. Yes, I think what Mittens said was wrong, but as I put it to my CEO as I watched the video, I was waiting for the really shocking stuff. What I saw was a dude in a wizard had surrounded by alcohol bottles make a comment in poor taste that he'd likely regret on his own accord. My somewhat jaded reaction is no doubt fueled by the time I've spent in the rough and unforgiving lands of both EVE and the internet in general. Truth be told, 99% of us have griefed someone in some way in this game and probably thought it was hillarious (the remaining 1% haven't figured out a good method). If the person we griefed were then to convo us and maybe rage a bit, or maybe tell a sob story (true or not), a lot of us would either laugh or simply shrug it off. It's what the now-famous anonymity barrier of cyberspace does to us.

That cruelty gene is inside most if not all of us. I know it's in virtually everyone I have ever played this or any other game game with or against. When someone gets called on a slip-up that exposes his own cruel gene, even in a manner pretty clearly meant to be humorous, we pounce. We want that person dragged into the street and ridden out on a rail because it's cathartic to us. Afterwards, we get to tell ourselves we're better people because we stood up to the cyber-bully. Truth is that Alex "The Mittani" Gianturco may have a wider mean streak than most of us. After all, his exploits scamming, spying, and generally wrecking other alliances is legendary. Underneath, though, he's just a guy. Personally, I believe the contrition in his apologies, and think that he has gotten a fairly good taste of how the other side lives. My only hope is that it doesn't change him. Despite what we might stand on the internet mountaintop and shout, there's a little of The Mittani in all of us.

Enjoy your break, Mittens. We'll be waiting for you on the flip side.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Appropriate Blog Title is Appropriate

Now that I am getting my feet firmly planted back in the game (3 accounts active, running anoms and PI like a crazed person, etc.), I have taken some time to consider my place in the universe of EVE. I've done this every time I came back from a hiatus, and every time I come up with different answers, but the most common thought I have is how much I enjoy the success of those that I have helped in some way.

Let me give an example. Back in the dark ages, I help found ETNY and recruited some people who are now in high places in a big group of people. Now, those guys did pretty much all the work on their own, but it still feels nice to know that I helped on at least one step of the ladder.

Even better, though, are the people who I have instructed in some way who perhaps didn't go on to places of enormous internet pixel power, but instead garnered additional enjoyment from the game because of something I taught them either directly, through flying with me, the podcast, etc.

I think being back in PRAX will afford me that kind of opportunity again. I've been in elite PvP corps and alliances, and somehow I always miss telling a noob how to fit his first tackler more than most fleet fights.

I'd like to podcast again, but I don't know that I can summon the time to record and edit one, these days. C'est la vie.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Back...But For How Long?

So, as some of you know very well, I have an on again, off again relationship with EVE. After the "glory days" of the MC, I've never managed to recapture the enjoyment of the game that kept me wanting to pour hours and hours of my life into it.

After floating through WoW, SWTOR, LoL, and various other time-wasters, I'm back at my original favorite time-waster, EVE. I've rejoined The Praxis Initiative, and this time there is not plan to run off to 0utbreak, BDCI, or Veto. Those corps were all awesome, and I have many good friends in them, but if my grand experiment of returning to EVE is ever going to succeed, I think I need to begin at the beginning, with the corp I joined on day 3 of Crovan's life. Watch this space as my adventure unfooooolds!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Drone Bay 25 is up!

For the show notes, head to the show's website.

Also, please help us stay on the front page of the EVE-O forums!

The show also has a Facebook page. Become a fan're a fan. Also, hang out to chat with other listeners and the hosts!

Monday, March 29, 2010

End of March Update

First off, I haven't forgotten about the Daredevil, but PRAX's current axtivities mean I haven't had as much time to fly it of late.

Now, on to what I have been working on. The infrastructure for the return of The Drone Bay is quickly being put into place. I have a domain, and have taken over the pre-existing libsyn account.

Al has put down the healbot and picked up the missile and (mining) laser again. He has joined me in The Praxis Initiative, so lols are guaranteed to ensue. If you are interested in finding ois what PRAX is all about and whether we may be a fit for you, check out the in-game channel 'PRAX'. We are newer player friendly, but also have our share of veterans and one bitter old noob.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Right Click, Return to The Drone Bay

The time approaches. My EVE-related synapses have been warmed once more.

As mentioned, I've talked to CK about bringing TDB back from beyond the grave, and Al has put down his (admittedly l33t) tree-healing buttons long enough to resub to EVE.

My reason in writing this is not to officially announce the show's return, as we're not nearly there, yet. What I am after is feedback from you, the once and (hopefully) future listeners. So, please tell me, via comment, eve mail, email, twitter, or candygram, what you think we should consider changing as we look to the podcast's future. I assume regularity and consistency is number one, but I am speaking more in terms of content.

Oh, and while I am more than happy to take convos, as many of you know, understand that if I don't accept or don't respond, it's likely that boat violence is to blame.