YC113 certainly flew by. Really, what the hell happened? It seems like only yesterday I was talking about my resolutions for 113, and here we are, already over with.

Note: For those wondering about my Jingling Some Bells competition, the results will be out sometime towards the end of this week I expect. My co-judge has curiously disappeared from the interwebs, and I need to don my best detective hat and pipe in order to track her down before I can appropriately grade all of the entries.

So how did I do with my ludicrous goals for the year?

  1. Reach 200b liquid isk – I actually did this one. Yay! Though I think I also failed it because a week ago I was under the figure by a hilarious couple of billion, and since I just did my corp’s purchases without doing any sales at all in December, we’re right now looking a little deflated.
    I realised that around 200 is actually my saturation points, and beyond that I genuinely stop caring. So while I actually reached 200 sometime in early August, I then spent a load of it on faction ships I can’t even fly, and buying expensive gifts for close friends.
  2. Continue my collection of exotic dancers – I wanted a million, but I didn’t make it. I got to 810,212 which I consider to be a pretty successful year! I’ll continue to plough on for that plump 1mil though, even if it kills me in the process.
  3. Open a club when they finally release Walking in Stations/Ambulation/Incarna/Whatever it Ends up Being Called. – lol. Yeah, I guess we all knew this would be the least likely to happen, eh?

Not that brilliant then. On the plus side, we all managed to survive two raptures, which I think at least counts for something…

But what of this year? What ludicrous things do I have planned before we all die in this year’s end-of-the-world shenanigans?

  • Create some tools to make my life easier. I seem to spend the same amount of time each month/build cycle doing the same things in slightly different orders in an attempt to optimise the process a little. I think this has about reached its full potential, and I now find the entire process being limited by an increasingly dated spreadsheet. Not only is the spreadsheet dated, but there’s nothing built into how I do things that allows me to record historical data – things like quickly accessible price trends for the products I buy and sell and order histories for both contracts and open market orders.
    So, with this in mind, I am thinking of halting production for the first six months of the year, using the current batch of products (that are rolling off the production line as I type this) to service any incoming private (contract) orders, and focusing on building something database driven that I can evolve as I see fit. I think this whole effort probably warrants its own entry or two, so I don’t send non-techies to sleep with my crazy ideas.
  • Focus more on some passive income streams. Not that I feel I’m going to run out of ISK while working on these new thingamajigs, but I need to do something in game or I might as well shut down all those production mule accounts. This will probably revolve around R&D agents and possibly extensive research and resale of various blueprints. Not least because I have a stack of POS labs that are under-utilised right now.
  • Continue my collection of exotic dancers. This year I want to break my collection record from last year. So my aim is 1.5mil Exotic Dancers by the end of the year. I think this will be the hardest one, not least because I failed it last year, but also because the orders have been filling slower and slower as time passes by; people who had them stockpiled have already sold them to me, and people that are just grabbing them from missions aren’t selling them just yet. Eaither way, I’m probably going to have to up the amount of ISK I offer for each unit in order to stay in the game. This is no mean feat when I estimate that I’ve probably spent in excess of 15b on them already. Ouch.
  • Hit 300b liquid. Another tough challenge, especially with the Festive Competition coming to an end, and the lack of serious income for the first six months of the year. I’m reasonably determined to hit it though; and I might be more inclined to stay on track with the aforementioned lack of income.

Quite a busy one, one way or another.

And so, I ask again of anyone reading this entry: What are your plans and goals in-game for 2012/YC114?

Time flies when… something something. I forget.

Its competition time!

Who’s the competition for?

Anyone who likes flying about in internet spaceships and celebrates some form of festive holiday. I myself am not in the least bit religious, but I do love the holidays because its a great time to get together with family and friends and just enjoy each other’s company.

Yes, this means that the rules are going to be similar to last year’s. Except this time, its enforced. Dun dun duuuun. That’s right; all entries must have something to do with Eve and something to do with the festive season.

But that sounds like effort!

Well yes, but given that I’m awarding points for Perceived Effort and Style/Quality, it makes sense.

That’s right, effort and quality are the core scoring factors this year.

Each entry will be marked out of ten. If there’s a bazillion entries I might have to break down into decimal places, but otherwise I’ll be awarding whole numbers.

So what sort of things are accepted?

I’m glad you asked!

I’m having categories of ‘stuff’. It works as follows:

  • Audio – A favourite festive ditty with an Eve theme?
  • Stills – non-moving images; screenshots and the like.
  • Video – There was an awesome one of ‘Silent Night’ last year, it’d be fun to see something along those lines again.
  • Written – The ghosts of Eve’s past, present and future, perhaps? Could be anything from a poem to a short story. A blog post to a news article.
  • Crazy Stuff – Lego, baked goods; anything that doesn’t really fit in the other categories.

Bah, humbug! That sounds like a lot of work.

Well, there is that… But its not like there aren’t prizes…

The winner from each category will get 2bil ISK, along with the following:

  • 1x Muninn
  • 1x Huginn
  • 1x Rapier
  • 1x Claymore
  • 1x Scimitar
  • 1x Mastodon
  • 2x Prowler
  • 3x Wolf
  • 3x Stiletto
  • 3x Hound
  • 3x Claw
  • 3x Cheetah

Feeling tickled yet?

That 2bil also goes up with each legal entry. I’m not saying how much it increases by, but call it a little incentive for spreading the word and getting more people involved. Who knows, maybe you can break my poor piggybank!

Much like last year, I’m not interested in leaving anyone in the lurch, so everyone that enters will get a prize just for engaging in this bit of fun. So what have you got to lose?

But that’s not all…

One overall winner will receive this rather nifty Eve Survival Pack. I’ll ship this bastard wherever the winner wants it, so I’m really hoping nobody from Australia or New Zealand enters. I’m also fed up with competitions that are restricted to specific countries/regions, so lets do this thing!

Now for the boring bit.

Now you know what to do and what you could win, you need to know the important stuff on submitting your creations.

  • The contest is open the moment this post is published
  • The contest ends 1st January 2012 at midnight GMT
  • Judges’ decision is final regarding points and prizes
  • Entries should be in some online-viewable format and viewable at the time of judging. If I can’t see the entry, I can’t award any points; sorry 🙁
  • Entries should have the words “Minmatarts ftw!” scrawled on there somewhere
    • A clear watermark in a screenshot
    • Scribbled on a piece of paper within the frame of a photo of your creation
    • In the description if its uploaded somewhere that allows such things
  • There’s a limit of one entry per character. I’d do per person, but there’s no way I can enforce it, so I’ll take it on faith that you’re only entering once. 😉
  • Links to entries should be evemailed to Adrielle Firewalker. Only mails sent to this character will be accepted.

So, as I understand it, there’s a little event going on at the moment to reward Freighter and Orca ganks in Caldari/Gallente space or something. I don’t pay a great deal of attention to forums, let alone Crime and Punishment, and nobody really tells me anything because I don’t often ask.

Suffice to say, that losing a fully laden Fenrir stings a bit. Not because of the value of the cargo – though 10bil is not a small loss by anyone’s standards – but rather the timing of the damned thing.

As some know, I build stuff. Lots of stuff. Part of building lots of stuff means I need a lot of minerals and moon goo in order to get the production lines rolling. This means a rather large convoy from Jita all the way home. This works out as something like 50 jumps for a round trip. Warping to zero the whole way you’re pressed to do it in 2.5 hours, and it usually takes me closer to 3.

And that’s what annoyed me more than anything. Losing those three hours, on a Sunday, when I want to be chilling out, not doing another freight run.

Not that I begrudge them their fun. Its something I have been half-expecting for a while. Indeed, every time I do this I am amazed that nobody tried to whack me by the time I reach home. In fact, this post isn’t to moan/whine/rage or anything of the sort. Its more of a wake up call to myself to work harder at protecting the assets of the corporation.

So what’s been learned?

First and foremost; poor Ary, she is so slow :(. Miss Slowpoke will be learning Advanced Spaceship Command 5 at long last. Despite my insistence that keeping her marginally slower made for better timings when switching between client windows (it really does, honest!), her ultimate survival – and that of her cargo – is much more important than losing a few seconds on each gate due to ‘alt-tabbing’.

Travelling without a scout when you are carrying valuable cargo is stupid. Usually, I’m the only one in my corp online. In fact, almost all of what I do relies on a single person; myself. Its not so much a trust issue as it is a “x needs to be done by y date, and nobody else is about, so I should get on with it” issue. I’ve now had some offers of scouting from some long-time allies of myself, my corporation and the services I provide them; its always nice to have favours to call in.

Web stuff. I have no idea if this is as effective now as it was a couple of years ago, but historically at least, webbing something would get the ship aligned super-fast compared the normal uphill battle you face with giant floating space piñatas. I’m going to give this some tests during the week and if it works, get a corpie to train up for some uber-webiness. It makes perfect sense since I produce Minmatar recons as a matter of course.

Keeping an ear to the ground. I should have asked around about this. Since I have told my in-game friends about the ganking, two of them have told me about the Freighter-ganking event that’s going on right now, which means there was fairly useful intel I just didn’t bother to find out. I don’t have the time to go trawling through forums to find out if something like this is on, but if somebody else already has, its utterly redonkulous to at least ask around.

So there we have it. Lesson learned and all that. Now to go replace the stuff I lost.

Some people might remember that last year I ran a little competition for some festive fun.

I’m going to be running another competition this year, but with even more and bigger prizes. I’m talking not only in-game delights such as ships and currency, but also RL Eve swag.

I’m still working on the prize list, as well as the rules, but I’m thinking of adding incentives to help promote a larger pool of entrants compared with last time around. Not going to go into too much detail about that either, since I think spoilers are bad!

In the mean time, put your thinking caps on, because the theme will be festive and eve-ish just like last year.

And to get you in the mood, here’s the winning entry from last year:

Xmas Rifter!

If you're wondering, the required 'slogan' is displayed on the Photobucket album where this image originally resided. 🙂

I’ve seen the question pop up a few times over the last couple of years about how to format dates on blogs to show the ‘YC’ year, rather than the standard 2011 etc. Most recently, I saw Seismic Stan ask this question on Twitter, and I figure that rather than telling only him, it might be worth highlighting it here so others can see how to do it.

This post pertains specifically to WordPress installs that are self-hosted. I know how limited things are if you’re hosted at wordpress.com, but if you can edit the file I mention below, we’re golden. Other blogging platforms probably have something similar, so do a bit of research on where it outputs the date, because the syntax will be quite close as long as it uses PHP.

To illustrate what the goal is. We want to change this:

default WordPress date format

Into this:

Eve Online formated datestamp

The first thing you need to do is connect to your site by FTP, and navigate to wp-content/themes/YOURTHEMENAME/ and download the file loop-single.php If you only have loop.php use that. Some newer themes (like the pre-installed ‘Twenty Eleven’) have content-single.php instead. Just use that if you have no ‘loop’ files.

Anyway, once you have downloaded the file, fire up your favourite text editor. Something with syntax highlighting is preferable; Notepad++ is quite a good free one. I generally use Netbeans, but its a bit OTT for a simple change like this unless you already use it for projects. Open the file in the editor. You’re looking for the following text:


Now all you need to do is to change that text to this:

$yc = 'YC '.(date('Y') - 1898);
echo 'Posted on '.date('l jS F ').$yc;

But what does this do? Lets break it down!

  • All you’re doing here is saying that $yc contains the string for the date format, preceded by ‘YC’ (naturally). The YC year is always our current real-world year minus 1898 (2011 – 1898 = 113) so where we say date(‘Y’) – 1898, all we’re really doing is some basic mathematics on the current year output.
  • On the second line, we’re outputting some text and a full date – without the year – then appending our custom year to the end. The ‘l jS F’ part just tells PHP how to format the date. You can find a list of what you can use over at php.net so its quite easy to play around and find one that you’re happy with.

I’d recommend trying out a few variations and see what you can come up with. WordPress keeps archives by month and year, so you could quickly create those portions of the date as handy links to the relevant archive pages if you wanted. Give it a go, and let me know if this helps at all! 😀