02 November 2010

Racing Blob

November 109, ISGC Season 4
Race 3: Sinq Laison

This race was nuts. I mean, I can barely recall all the way back to Season 4* but whoever was there for race 2 will remember that one, such a complete and utter mess that it was. Complete. Utter. Mess.

The race region was Sinq Laison, home of Uni of Caille (rah!). Back then we were mostly a UC student team, we flew as Scuderia Caille and were the shiny underdog to Kay's all-star DragonStar and Takashi's challenging Venture Racing Team. But Sinq is our region and we were flying as locals. We had something to prove.

Speaking of locals, by the way, Sinq is also home to Rancer and a whole lot of fun people who like to hang out with blasters and gatecamps. They do not take lightly on trespassers because, you know, it is their region.

You do not have to live in 0.0 to see the problem there.

That was, at least, what we expected.

We started out in Auberulle for the pre-race. Gyra had warned us that she would be a bit late, she had been having other commitments during the week and had had to outsource the track to someone else, but finally made it to host the race. She gave us the undock signal and, like lovely little lemmings that we are, we hit the first few waypoints: Olettiers, Rancer, Miroitem. Not finding the dreaded space pirates was a big relief but also a bit meh, we had been wondering how to evade them. Maybe it was pirate day.

We did not stick around for long anyway and went on to the next waypoints deeper into lowsec, Lamadent, Otou and Rorsins.

I know you must be thinking but Quin, what about the race itself? Like, who was in front and who was falling behind?

The answer: what difference does it make? It all went wrong starting waypoint seven. But now that you ask and just for the record, I would like to point out that I got there first.

Waypoint seven, Thelan.

[ 21:01:09 ] Quintrala > can 7 empty?
[ 21:01:26 ] Kayleigh Jamieson > Can 7 empty
[ 21:01:28 ] Takashi Kurosawa > Yes I think so too
[ 21:01:33 ] Saithe > is it just me or is there notging in wp7

There, see? I just wasted twentyfour perfectly good seconds, waiting.

A racer ages about a year in that time.

Gyra directed us to WP eight, Crielere which meant going back through Rancer again, ugh :/

[ 21:05:50 ] Quintrala > wp8 empty too?
[ 21:05:59 ] Kayleigh Jamieson > Um, WP8 appears empty as well.
[ 21:06:22 ] Kazuo Ishiguro > Ok, where's wp 9?

How is it that they say? "Once is an accident, twice is coincidence..."

We were directed to WP nine, Ambeke

[ 2007.11.11 21:08:37 ] Takashi Kurosawa > I cannot open can at WP9
[ 2007.11.11 21:08:44 ] Quintrala > bad password at Ambe
[ 2007.11.11 21:08:49 ] Kayleigh Jamieson > This is so not my day :(

From there onwards, almost every single waypoint was messed up in some way or another. WP10 had the wrong password, as did WP12 to WP14. While we waited, we even appreciated the irony of WP11 being okay. Gyra only knew the right password so she could not help beyond following the rules, that is, waiting for the second racer to report an error and then direct the pack to the next waypoint. Every time this happened, the few in front of the pack got delayed and the ones in the back had time to catch up.

The result? We were pretty much a racing blob.

WP15 Olettiers VII - Asteroid Belt 4

[ 2007.11.11 21:25:01 ] Quintrala > bad Wp 15
[ 2007.11.11 21:25:11 ] Kazuo Ishiguro > Finish line?
[ 2007.11.11 21:25:12 ] Takashi Kurosawa > confirmed
[ 2007.11.11 21:25:13 ] Kayleigh Jamieson > Coonf

See, right there? That was me, 10 seconds in the lead. Which, by the time ISGC confirmed, looked up and typed the finish line, would have evaporated. That's like a hour of flying, with 10 seconds to show for it, already gone by in the time it took you to read this but now that everyone was around I could be first as easily as last.

Unless... it occurred to me that it was not the destination but the journey what mattered: I would just pick a gate and warp. What was the worst that could happen? Did anyone know where to go next? Tell you what, certainly not at the can.

So how many gates did we have in that system? Four. Eenie, Minnie, Manny, Moe... Dondenvale!

I warped off, fingers crossed. If I was wrong, I would just have to do the exact same thing everyone else would: warp to the correct gate. Nothing lost with trying, that is, if Gyra so kindly waited to announce until I had already landed at the Dodenvale gate. Now if the announcement caught me mid-warp...

Of course, the announcement came in when I was nine seconds into my warp: FINISH: Unel IX - Chemal Tech Factory

I frantically punched the new navi data as my destination and, as a result, one gate in my overview lighted up in yellow. It was Dodenvale.

Just in time, I jumped on contact while they were all in mid-warp behind me :)

As it turns out it was a short, mad dash to the finish line. The entire blob was docked within two minutes of the winner. Kay was fourth, Tak was second and I... I had beaten him by those exact same nine seconds I had gambled back at Olettiers, yay!

After all that practice, after trying so hard... my first interceptor win!

Race results: annulled

ISGC Gyra: ... for those that attended will attest to the complete chaos that ensued during this evening's race.


This event will be considered an exhibition, or practice exercise, and will not be counted towards the League scores. We will return to Sinq Laison at the end of the season as a make up event. For those interested in the details, I have provided track information and a raw data of the performances from the participants that attended this evening.


At least we met no pirates on the way. **


* ((I can not remember so I cheat. Having a crap laptop helps, it is full of logs that go back forever.))

** ((Stay tuned if you want to know what happens when you get this false sense of security around dodgy places..))

15 October 2010

Perpetual Motion: People

At some point in your life you realize that it is not places but people that make you feel home.

So it is only natural that, as you leave places behind, you will want to bring your people along. A gift, a memento, a promise to write or to call, maybe visit. A social network link because, you know, you will also be chatting, talking, conferencing each other face to face across the chasm. Like being home.

Is it not great? Keeping in touch with people is so much easier than keeping in touch with places.

And maybe, if you are lucky, you will meet them again somewhere.


Age ten: Pator

Sitting on the rocks next to the beach, I was holding my knees to my chest while Taro basked in the sun, lying on his back with one leg dipping lazily in the water. The murmur of the ocean blanketed everything and was a lovely background to idle chat.

"Dunno. Journalist. An artist like Maman," I said, "something with people, definitely."

Taro chuckled "Like your mom? I hope not. She's fierce."

He had been one of my first friends back in Eram and one those who had left ahead of us. As it turns out when it had been time for my family to move out, dad's next assignment had been Pator. Down in Matar, actually.

Have you seen it? Of course everybody knows about Matar, the cradle of the Republic and everything, but have you seen it? From above it is this beautiful blue ocean world, with green dots here and there for people to live on. And on the ground, from the snowy mountain ranges to the plains and deserts to the jungle islands... oh, my favourite part used to be the islands. We lived on an island.

This is was where Taro's family had returned to. this was their 'home.' By some amazing coincidence we had ended up living on the very same island where they hailed from and it was cool because some of mom's old friends from Eram also were there.

Someday I would learn to do that, to arrange coincidence the way mom did. ;)

Anyway, funny how knowing someone from my previous life had helped so very much when I arrived... how long had it been, five years now? How time flies. Closing my eyes, I took a deep breath of salty ocean air. It felt great.

I felt home.

I swear there must be this law of the universe that says whenever I start feeling at home, it is time to move to some other planet. I did not want to tell Taro. And besides that, there was much more to say but... I did not really feel like it. Somehow it just felt as if it would make things more difficult. So I just looked at the horizon and kept the small talk going.

"And what about you?"

"I want to be a soldier with the Marines."

"Oh, I see. How typical, you want to kill people," I teased, "you suck, y'know."

"It is not about killing, Kü, it is about fighting for my people." He replied matter-of-factly.

See, most in his tribe, the Brutor, feel different about fighting than the rest of us. For them it is usually about people and freedom, not about conquest, profit or sport. Fighting is Freedom. Fighting is Life. I knew that.

Maybe I could poke him with that.

"That's just an excuse, you know, so all of you can go and beat the crap out of each other like in the holos."

He just grumbled and pretended to ignore me.

Hey, maybe that is what I really needed, a good fight. A good break-up fight so epic that we would look back, remember this day and think good riddance! That way we would not have to miss each other terribly, every single day. We'd hate each other's guts, good. I could live with that. Half a universe away, that's what I would do.

In case you have not noticed, I am really good at fooling myself, sometimes.

So there, Newly Discovered Fact: Fighting is killing, fighting is crap. I hate you because you want to be a killer. 'Cause I said so. Just like that.

I pushed it. "No, really, must everything be solved by fighting?" now seriously enough for him to take notice. "Stupidest thing in the world."

"Sometimes you can't avoid a fight."

"I think there is always a way, if you really want to. And if you are smart enough."

He grumbled again and, in the corner of my eye, I could see him tensing up. I kept my sight on the horizon, thinking of how to tease him next. There is something not quite smart enough about trying to pick up a fight with an islander, boy or girl.

Oh, whatever. Keep poking.

"So, are you?"

"Am what?"

"Smart enough?"

Without actually looking in his direction yet keeping all my attention on that corner of my eye, I think I saw his head move. He was there allright, maybe he was wondering why I was suddenly hostile. Or maybe his tribal instinct was sizing me up for a well-deserved beating.



"I'm leaving. Dad got transferred..."

A movement, then stopped. I finally turned my head and found him propped up on one muscled arm, the other resting on his knee, curiously looking at me.

"Kü." He still called me that.

"It's Amarr."

"Kütral, listen," he slid closer and drew me in. I felt his arm gently pushing me closer, firmly across my shoulders, and I nested my head against his chest. I did not hug back.

"It's Amarr, Taro, it's fucking Amarr. I am going to live in the Empire now."

You know what some people say, right? Only two kinds of people live in Amarr: slavers and slaves. Even in this day and age.

Yah, yah, I know, and already knew back then it's not like that... but how about everyone else? Did my friends know? What would they think, what would they say? I was moving to the Empire. What would he say, what would he think of me?

And I did not want to go but, what can you do? Sometimes there is just no alternative but going wherever it is comes next.

"So what? We will always be friends," he whispered to my ear, "You are one of my people."

WTF? Hello? I was trying to break up and he was coming up with this? And why was that, genius, to make things more difficult? Put me through the grinder and make me hate even more already what I was about to go through? I mean, was it that hard to figure out that we were over anyway, whether we wanted or not. Take a hint, you obtuse, uncaring and simple-minded idiot. I am going anyway, so let me.

Why bother? He has never been good at hints, even today. I pushed him away slowly, deliberately.

"Goodbye Taro." So much left unsaid.

I stood up.

"N'de rendape ajuta," he said to my back as I turned around.

Yah, right, I thought, I would love to see that. Ten-year-old crosses the universe to be with friend, news at ten.

I did not run, I walked... and I did not look behind, I just stared ahead all the way home. No running, no looking back, no crying. Hey, two out of three, not bad.

Only halfway my sore feet reminded me that I had left my sandals behind.

I did not care. Wish it had been only sandals.


Now by the second time you move, you have already learned it doesn't quite work the way you expected. There is always something in between: distance, timezone, time apart, the fact that no matter how many times you call each other, the nuisance of a call will never feel the same as sitting in front of each other for drinks. Or a hug. Or a kiss. And then you start drifting apart.

So it does not work, and it turns out that you do leave friends behind, as much as you may want not to. But you expected this already, right? I mean, you learned that the very first time you moved.

One thing though. Maybe, if you are lucky, you will have good friends; they will keep you in their hearts, the same as you keep them in yours. And the day you see each other again, it will be like you were never apart.

For good friends, those are forever.

Perpetual Motion
Previously: Places

12 October 2010

[OOC] Do-over

Lights check, ears check, eyebrows check, do-that-is-not-from-Lazytown...


With an aprés-pod look too.

There :)

08 October 2010

[OOC] Face Time

I have been rather busy lately.

See, I saw Myrhial's post and then I had to look for myself. That pic over there is a first go at what I would look like in Sisi.

I liked the sculpting tool, although I felt that it is sort of limited in range. I mean, you can move the cheekbone a bit but not too much, the jaw a bit but not too much, there is no control over the shape of your head -which limits the kind of hair you should be legally allowed to sport- but you can control the shape of your temples tho, and the corner of your eyes (WTF? "wow, did you see the temples on that guy?"). Yay. I guess that this has been done this way to get a more realistic look and, anyway, they do achieve that in spades.

It would seem that cartoonish pics are no longer that easy to create, whereas the classic pic maker made it more challenging to create verosimile ones. Way to go!

Sorry, you gallies all look the same to me.

I wonder what will be the implication though, maybe we will transition from people that look all cartoonishly the same, to people that all look realistically the same? Then again, I have not played enough with this to build radically different faces within the same bloodline.

Maybe it is possible. We shall see.

Then again, maybe that's ethnicity at work, people looking alike. I remember that ethnicity did limit some of the choices you could make before, like no red-headed Amarrians, Brutor being generally more tanned and the Lonetrek facelift -that weird tight hairdo- only being only available to Civire and Sebiestor.

No such limits this time but again, test phase and we shall see. It would be cool if choices were ethnical (hair, eyes, tan) and some location-based (hairdo choice wherever you re-cast a character)

Fashion emergency

Regarding clothing you get the basics from what I guess are each race's designs of one piece of each top, pants, jacket and shoes. You can mix and match, and I happen to think Matari boots work surprisingly well with an Amarrian tunic :)

Designs are indeed gorgeous and very detailed; from a heavy-looking ornate tunic to a running tank-top. I can only imagine what the CCP wardrobe design department will be coming up with.. and I can't definitely not imagine all the many different ways that people will use them.

One thing though: no accessories yet, but these are promised for the future. I want backlaces!

Full freckles ahead!

You have many different face options, from hair to eyebrows to makeup and eye colour, no tattoos allowed. Sculpt sensitivity is weird, it takes some time to figure out what happens when you pull features in different directions with up/down/wide/narrow being an easy guess and smile/smooch/frown/sneeze being not so intuitive.

Eyebrows do not really work well on Gallentean faces yet and with my freakishly huge in-character ears, I guess I will be sticking with the bob for the time being.

Oh by the way? The round sliders are not that difficult to work, if you hate sliding it is possible to just click on any position and voilà, it slides by itself.

Express yourself!

After sculpting, I was surprised to find that you can make faces. I mean, you can smile or frown or squint, which is not the same as -and trickier than- pulling your mouth up or changing the size of your eyes from the previous phase. Range is again a bit conservative (see if you can tell wide-eyed smile from squinting smooch above and... yes, wide toothy smile was possible but I rather not). The pre-set poses look natural and are a much better starting point than the old ones.

What is cool is that the pic is alive as it is posing! Slight movements, eyes that wander here and there, light changes in expression... you get the idea. Which also means this is only the tip of the iceberg: come Incarna, I think you will find your avatar fidgeting, frowning or making faces you may not have intended and well beyond the control of the posing environment.

Which, I think, is a good thing.

And this is where the game is -'cause character creation is a game, did you not know?- in making a character that looks lifelike, real. Someone you could be talking to on the holo, or an ID card snapshot, or a realistic expression of happiness, anger, sadness, vengeance or whatever background history your character has. And it is still as challenging as it was before because, even if you get all these aids like the pre-sets and limits, the entire process from head to toe has now so much more complexity, that it still leaves you lots of room to come up with something unique, genuine and yours.

All things considered, I am quite impressed. It shows that there has been a lot of care and hard work done on Incarna, so I would like to send many thanks and kudos to CCP.

Also, thank you for allowing us to see this!


PS: I tried the Deteis and they look stunning already, just by pressing "continue" all the way. They sorely need to look uglier. Really. Lots. Nerf please!

PPS: I can see a meme calling. So, what do you look like in Sisi?

20 September 2010

Planetary Interruption

Dear employees:

Operations in Hek II will be down for maintenance on 23 September 112. Regular downtime will be extended from 0900 to 1100 HST.

During this period the Company will upgrade the planetary Command Center to an Improved Lava Command Center, which will result improvements to overall productivity and employee experience. The soda vending machine at the SS-HIP launchpad office will be fixed as well.

Unfortunately it will be necessary to tear down all corporate structures on the planet and rebuild these from scratch; this shall happen, of course, on budget and on schedule.

We apologise for the inconvenience.

Employees are advised to take all personal items with them as they leave the office for the day.

With kind regards,


(this item contains a hint: Bring a large supply of oxygen with you.)


OOC: Oh my. Was there not an easier way to do this? Why do I have to scrap everything just to upgrade? Tsk, tsk...

15 September 2010

[OOC] The Return of the Quin

Wee, that was some downtime! Take that, CCP :P

Anyway, I think it has been like about a year since I stopped flying regularly, with a couple of fun exceptions. What have I been up to? I have been playing Real Life, baby, like an addict and let me tell you: I HAVE HAD IT.

So I sit down and look at that capsule... and there is so much stuff to do.

I want to fly again.

I want to do new stuff in space.

I would like to, for once, get that next racing season going. There were many interesting ideas, and so little time.

No, I do not think I will be racing again but that's OK.

I want to roleplay.

I think I am definitely going to keep blogging. Stories, fiction, race reports.

You have no idea how long I have been staring at this one post and would really have liked to have much more to say than "I'm back..." but, as they say, just do it and inspiration will come.

It's good to be back!



29 January 2010

Perpetual Motion: Places

Age five: Eram

I was six the first time we moved. I guess I should have seen it coming.

Funny. As far as I can remember, there has been a steady trickle of people disappearing from my life. You can't imagine how tough it is to realize, as a kid, that friends are only temporary.

At first it was my friends from the crèche moving out. Thierry, Cathy Q, Taro. But new kids would move right in so there were always people around. They would stay just long enough to cease being strangers... and then would go.

Vanish, rinse, repeat.

Angèle was one of my best friends. Not only had we known each other since forever, we had also witnessed together the curious acts of disappearance by friends and schoolmates. We used to talk about that sometimes and afterwards I would pepper mom with questions about them, where had they gone, why had they gone and when were they coming back.

Apparently there is some mysterious time when grownups "must go" somewhere. And when it comes, they drag their family along. Stupidest thing in the world.

Then it had been Angèle's turn.

How predictable, you must be thinking. Right. I'd love to see you explain 'predictable' to a five year old.

Mom always did, she would explain with infinite patience and something like "She went back home, Quin, where her family is. When people have their home somewhere else, sometimes they want to return."

Okay, I was beginning to understand going back 'home.' Gallente kids went back home to the Federation. Caldari kids went back somewhere else called the State. Some had returned home to Pator. Blah blah. Apparently they would not come back on Monday nor the rest of the week and, unlike going back home for vacation, once they returned home... they were gone. For ever.

"Oh, no, not forever. All of these places are faraway stars in the night sky and, see, each one is actually an entire world full of people. They are so far, far away that it is difficult to attend the same school or to even visit, but maybe one day..."

So, 'home' was this place you had never seen in your life, huh? Full of strangers and empty of familiar faces or places. Any place else could be home.

Except, of course, the one where I had been born. Where I had been brought up, where I learned to talk, walk, made my friends, knew everyone in the neighbourhood, climbed every tree... where I lived. The one place that was mine yet, somehow, was not my home. 'cause home is elsewhere.

I got to stay while all of my friends had to go. Maybe I was just lucky.

All of my friends. All. of. them.

Lucky? Maybe I am looking for a different word here.

But... certainly not Angèle? She had been there all my life and my party, she was supposed to come to my sixth birthday party in a couple of months. Unfair!

"Why did she have to leave?"

Mom had heard so many of these questions before. "Why?" "Because people miss their home, sometimes very much so." "Why her?" "Because everyone has a home."

"Why do all of my friends have to leave? All of them? That's unfair. Must everyone go?"


"Why me?"

Yes, mom, why does this happen to me? Why?

She just looked at me and -you know how it is, to look at someone's face right that very moment they can't hold it back any more?- her eyes began to water. Looking away, she brought the back of her hand up to cover her mouth.

My, oh my, oh my, oh my, did I do something wrong, am I in trouble? Did I just hurt her? What did I do? I must have said something terrible, I did not mean to!

She began to weep quietly. Suddenly I saw it was not just me... it also happened to her. She was also losing friends, places, roots. It was not my fault. So I hugged her, we cried together and, for a couple of minutes, my mother and I were the same.

We were friends.

I really should have seen it coming. We moved a couple of days after my sixth birthday.

Perpetual Motion
Next: People

13 January 2010

[OOC] EVE Blog Banter #14: Now what?

Welcome to the fourteenth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter should be directed to crazykinux@gmail.com. Check out other CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

The first banter of 2010 comes to us from the EVE Blog Father, CrazyKinux himself, who asks the following: As we begin another year in New Eden, ask yourselves "What Now?" What will I attempt next? What haven't I done so far in EVE? Was it out fear, funds, or knowledge? Have I always wanted to start my own corporation, but have never dared doing so? Is there a fledging mercenary waiting to come out of its shell? Or maybe an Industrialist? What steps and objectives will I set myself to accomplish in order to reach my ultimate goal for this year? EVE is what you make of it. So, what is it going to be for you?


Such an interesting question, in so few words. What, now?

I guess that my plans for the year 112 are simple: I have just retired from racing in 111 so now I am able to care for the ISRC a bit more as an organiser. Hopefully we will make ISD headlines like we used to in the past but, to do this, I think I will need to find help with the stuff I cannot do by ourelves so we are a bit stuck there. Graphics, movies, etc.

Also, now that I am mostly finished with the social skills I have been dabbling with antisocial skills. You know, Advanced Weapons Upgrades, T2 guns, etc. Who knows? Maybe they will become useful sometime.

Speaking of that, there are some loose ends. I shot someone in space last year, another capsuleer. Maybe I have yet to find the right way to deal with it, other than thinking it was a mistake. Maybe it wasn't. I think I know someone who can help there.

Finally, I need to get my blog up to date with all the stuff and stories that have crossed my mind, especially the memoirs for past racing seasons. Every season is unique, for different reasons...


I cannot begin to explain how complicated things are right now in Real Life. Things keep falling into place, sometimes the key word being 'falling' and sometimes being 'into place'. Lately, there has been much more good than bad so it's worth it.

Anyway, I will go away for a month or so. Yah, those holes in my blog have been planned to get you guys used to my absence ;) When I come back you will probably not notice, but I will be four, five or six timezones away from here and maybe permanently. And over there, I do not really know things are going to be, how soon or how much time will I have to fly, play or write.

But again, what to make of all of this is my choice.

And I choose to go with the flow. My weird resolution for Real-Life 2010 will be to draw inspiration for in-character 112. That way, no matter how awful things are, I should always have something interesting to blog about.

Anyway, it looks like this is going to be a year for writing and roleplaying.

Now if only I had the time...