Jan 3, 2016

A Look Back, A Look Ahead

At the start of a new year, it's nice to take stock in the past year's accomplishments and think about what's next. You may notice that this blog has a new name, a new URL, and a new look. Given how comfortably I've settled into my role as a peaceful explorer and CEO of Signal Cartel, it seemed fitting.

A Look Back 

The most notable event of the past year for me was the launch of Signal Cartel. A lot of the reasons why are touched upon in the end-of-year State of the Signal recording from the Signal Cartel leadership team. The summary of topics addressed is here and the audio (about 50 minutes) is here.

Fostering a peaceful exploration-based service corporation with an upbeat, friendly, and nice corp culture may be a counter-culture idea for New Eden but it has succeeded beyond all expectations. It is a delightful home for not only myself but many, many other like-minded folks including LOTS of new players. The first several months were intense in terms of the leadership effort required but Signal Cartel now runs like a fairly well-oiled machine so the burden is minimal these days. We are blessed with so many awesome members who step up to welcome and help new players, run fleets, fill Staff Positions, assist leadership with various tasks, and initiate their own ideas as programs that benefit the corp. It's been amazing to see what our members come up with and pour energy into to help their fellow Signaleers and the wider EVE community.

With Signal Cartel ticking along nicely, it means I get to do more of what I love best: wandering and exploring in New Eden's more dangerous places. Late in the year, I bought and fit up my first cloaky Loki, "Okie Dokie". I am not sure why I never flew a strategic cruiser before; I've had the skills trained for literally years. This is fast becoming my favorite exploration ship. While I still love the beauty and nimbleness of the Astero, the Loki offers more versatility plus bubble immunity so it's become my ship of choice in Venal where I have a null sec exploration base.

Over the last year, I began to use reddit since our leadership team collectively decided that a private corp subreddit was an easier start-up option than installing and administering traditional forum software. The experience has not endeared me to reddit. I generally dislike how it is structured and how posts are automatically archived. Reddit was an okay option when Signal Cartel was just starting but its inherent limitations are unacceptably constraining now. I'll be glad when we launch Signal Cartel's official forums and wiki, which is in the works.

Otto Bismarck Portrait
To earn some ISK, I offered a character portrait service and ended up painting 18 character portraits over the year. I'm pretty proud of this body of work. It earned me a nice pile of ISK but commissions are closed for now while I catch up on RL work. Unless I find myself in need of ISK, I suppose...but one of the nice things about being a peaceful explorer is that my ISK needs are low--I pay for my account subscription with real money and only rarely have to replace a ship.

(Edited to Add) In October, I attended EVE Vegas. It was my extreme pleasure to meet and hang out with Johnny Splunk, several other Signaleers, and many other EVE players. The details are in this post so I won't repeat myself here but it was definitely a fantastic time and one of my year's most memorable events (EVE-related or otherwise).

Without reservation, I can say that 2015 has been the most rewarding and satisfying time I have spent as an EVE Online player.

A Look Ahead

My head is full of ideas and projects for Signal; it would be easy to dive in and lose myself in them. However, the amount of time I choose to invest in EVE Online activities has to be balanced realistically against the demands and enjoyments of real life. I try (and usually fail) to do EVE stuff no more than a couple of hours a day. So in prioritizing the possibilities, I must limit myself to the things I feel will most benefit the corp and still permit me to enjoy time in my spaceships.

With that in mind, I expect to focus my EVE time this year on:

  • In-space activities (solo exploration, Signal Cartel Birthday Treasure Hunt, Hugs Fleets, Dark Hugs Ops, and tag-along mentoring)
  • Development of a corp LP program for mentoring activities
  • Supporting the launch of our corp forums and wiki, including repurposing a lot of content from the corp subreddit to the new venue
  • Forming a Training Content Team tasked with producing a series of infographics on topics that are most asked about by our new players 
  • Ongoing corp admin stuff
  • Maybe a limited number of EVE character portraits
I can't wait to see what interesting challenges Signal Cartel faces this year and the creative ways we discover to address them!


  1. Love the new look and thanks for all you do!

  2. Great look and I love the name! Proud to be a Signaleer and keep flying clever!

  3. I've loved hearing of your Hugs fleets but what about someone serious? for whatever reason.
    If they have any fixed presence, could you scout them to death?