Life in the Space Lane


Licence Expiration

Okay, I’m going to come clean with you guys and gals.  My Pilot License expires on the 15th of November, and due to certain financial restrictions I am unable to renew.  If I even get any time in-universe in the next ten days, I will be unable to mine enough minerals or build and sell enough gear to buy a PLEX on the open market.  So, for the first time in the better part of a year, my account will lapse into inactivity.

I won’t lie, I’m sweating bullets.  I’m having kittens.  I am actually rather worried, not so much about letting it lapse, but more about how I’ll go about reactivating once I have the real-world capital to buy a GTC or two.  I’m sure the process itself is straightforward enough, but it’s still got my knickers in a bit of a knot.

I’m also kind of glad, paradoxically, because letting the account deactivate should stop the nagging feeling that I’m wasting money on something that I don’t get a chance to use much at the moment.

Anyway, if I can stop fretting aloud long enough to get to the point, I won’t be very active in-universe for a little while.  Obviously, I’ll continue to run this blog and my Twitter account, and I’ll check EVE Gate regularly for any mail.  If you want to send messages longer than 140 characters, of course, you can always post on the Hatchet Express page on Facebook.  If you’re really sneaky, you can even send a message to my Facebook account or add me as a friend.  No pressure, of course, but if I think I know you I’m not about to turn you away.  I love staying in contact with people, including you.  Yes, you.  So, get your silly little self down to the HX page, so that I can at least justify creating the stupid thing :D

I look forward to flying with you again soon, my comrades.

— Hatchet xo

P.S. Please don’t—I say again, do not—feel obliged to donate cash or ISK or PLEX.  Like I said, I kind of need this little break from the actual game itself, even though I’ll stay active in this crazy sort of meta-universe we’ve built; the blog pack and the Tweetfleet.  — H


Ladies and Gentlemen, the Village Idiot has Returned.

I’m back.  Didn’t mean to have to take a surprise week off from the Express, but that happens.  Doesn’t matter, I’m back again, so we can quickly pick up where we left off.  If I may quote myself briefly:

I have a feeling that this will come back to bite me right in the tush, but I’ve decided to do a serialized story with a new section posted each week, despite previous experience telling me that that’s such a freaking dumb move.

… a-yup.  So, I dun’ goofed.  I knew starting that story would cause trouble.  I honestly haven’t been able to work on it at all, so Part II is about 3/4 finished and not even polished.  I haven’t even fully plotted out a large chunk of the middle of the story, though beginning and end are already known.

I have no idea how long this story is gonna run, but seeing as I have plenty other projects [sic] on the boil (like I said, this is a really stupid move on my part), I doubt it will run much more than ten or fifteen mini-chapters long.

That part still holds true.  I have no idea exactly how long it will run.  I have still got plenty of other projects in my ‘WIP’ folder.  This is still a really stupid move on my part; starting yet another serialized online story when I haven’t even halfway finished the one that’s already 60,000 words long and a novel in its own right.

Anyway, all facepalming aside, as the title says I’m back on the netterwebs and I’m going to get down to posting anecdotes and fiction and my “Idiot’s Guide to Eve News” version of current events.  Cominatcha.

— Hatchet xoxo

By The Pricking Of My Thumbs…

Dear me, it’s been a hell of a week for the community, huh?

I’m not going to rehash the story, you all know it by now.  If you don’t, there are plenty of articles about it on far better blogs than this one.  Go forth and be enlightened, capsuleer.

Hearing about the unfortunate termination of beloved figures like CCP Fallout and others from the community management team and many other departments strikes a painful blow, but at least they are staying active within the community.  Yes, they have lost their official status, but we have not lost them.

I think the lovely Jester (a.k.a. Ripard Teg), from Jester’s Trek, put it best when he said:

A closer examination of the financials in that June statement confirmed it: CCP had a burn rate of between 7 and 8.5 million USD per year.  They needed to be at 6: [their loan was for] 12 million USD over two years.  Therefore, they were burning cash higher than the rate supportable by the loan.  Therefore, what they were doing was not sustainable unless that investment started returning a profit before the two years were over.

That made what happened yesterday at CCP inevitable.  Hilmar had to show his investors that he was serious about making his business sustainable.  In the longer term, CCP could repay that loan.  But the ability to repay the loan isn’t what this was about.  This was about demonstrating that CCP had a sustainable business model that could fit within their burn rate and maintain liquidity.  DUST still isn’t out [meaning that EVE is CCP’s the only thing making them any money], which means that Hilmar needed to have that liquidity loan renewed by his investors.  And that meant that he had to show his investors that he was serious about fitting his business within the burn rate for the next two years.

— by Jester, article “Burn Rate”, 20 Oct 2011. [article]

Yes, they are gone.  Yes, it bloody sucks.  Sorry, that’s business: you lose some, you lose some more.  It’s not easy getting fired, but I don’t envy a man who has to choose from among a team that he’s spent years building and pick one out of every five to get the chop (no, not that kind of ‘chop’).

They were not released because somebody had a whinge to CEO Hilmar Pétursson about them, or filed a suit against them, or simply because Pétursson himself didn’t like them.  They were downsized: CCP couldn’t afford to keep them.  Yes, I’m rehashing, even though I said I wouldn’t.

I don’t care if you didn’t like Jester’s article on the subject; he said some things that the close-minded among us may consider inflammatory, but I appreciate his simple honesty.  Read it anyway, and look past your emotions to see the simple truth in his words.

Let me relate a brief story, for those of you who may whinge about CCP’s actions, or worse, those who discredit or belittle Mr Pétursson’s open letter to the community:

As I was finishing the last jumps of a recent cargo haul from Domain to Black Rise, I was reading along in corp chat as one of my colleages conferred with our Director of Industry on quantities and prices of materials needed to build a Brutix battlecruiser.  She did the sums, and found that she was a few million ISK short.  Without hesitation, I sent 5 million to her.  After her initial shock, she gladly agreed to pay it back when she was able.  I didn’t expect to see the money back for a few weeks, and that was fine by me.  I also flew 26 systems to Minmatar space to help transport the materials and guide her home, then flew them all the way back, even having to duck through a couple of firefights near the Gallente-Caldari Border Zone.  When we returned to our Forward Operating Base in Ichoriya, she managed to repay me on the spot with double the amount I’d originally given her, citing “bonuses” with a big ol’ smiley face on the end.  Needless to say, making 5 mil off an hour or so of cargo hauling kept me grinning well into the night (like this pic of Hatchet’s RL face!).

If you’re wondering what that story has to do with the whingers or the grouches, let me put it in the most simple terms I can:

Someone I know had a problem.  They could have worked it out, given time, but I supported them, without being asked and expecting no reward.  Thanks to my support, that someone was able to not only solve their problem but also repay my solidarity faster and to a greater degree than I had expected.

CCP has some problems, and they know it.  They have voiced these problems, and many people have given them grief for it.  I’m not saying people aren’t supporting them, but among the hundreds of thousands of us capsuleers there are definitely some people who are very vocal in their lack of support.

I’m not saying that CCP will pay us 5 million ISK if we silently support them, and if that’s what you thought I meant by that, you may be the kind of person who will try to find the secrets of the universe encoded in this.

What I’m getting at is that CCP knows they dun’ goofed.  In my psuedo-professional opinion, they are quite within their rights to ignore the pestering masses, in order to focus on correcting the errors they’ve already acknowledged they made.  Pestering is not helping.  Slander is not a solution.

I’m Hatchet.  You’re on notice.

(nah, I love you guys, really.)

P.S. This video sounds pretty much like how I feel about the downsizing. Listen to it without feeling a little sad, I dare you.  — H xo


P.P.S. Yeah, I know that’s not my real face. — H