My Favorite EVE Media (Version 2.0)

Almost two years ago, I posted a few thoughts about what I think makes a good weblog or podcast for EVE Online. Being a bit of a "news junkie" in Real Life, my habit of scanning multiple sites for the latest information seeped into my Internet spaceships hobby, and I now review routinely a regular regimen of reliable resources for reflections on New Eden.

My repertoire of EVE Online media has expanded a bit over the last couple of years. I've updated my list of EVE media links on this humble blog to show the sources that I check frequently for updates. These sites have proven to be consistently informative, entertaining, or both, and I can recommend them without reservation.

Thank you, Total Eve!

I've seen a resurgence of EVE media sites over the last year, and my list of recommended sources has expanded. I'm now discovering a new EVE-related blog or podcast every week, and it's becoming more difficult to keep up with them all.

Thus,  it was inevitable that an ultra-handy idea like Total Eve! would appear. This has become my initial starting point for my daily review of EVE media sources. It's a simple concept - Total Eve! provides, in one convenient page:

Total EVE! is the creation of  Wiggles and Dirk Macgirk, two well-known members of the EVE podcasting community, who decided it was time for a "Drudge Report"-like compendium for EVE Online media sources.

Total Eve! a great time-saver, if you are a frequent surveyor of EVE media sites, like me. Be sure to add it to your list of favorite bookmarks on your browser.

I heart #tweetfleet

If you are an avid EVE Online player, and you are not monitoring #tweetfleet posts on Twitter, you are missing out on perhaps the best media source for capsuleers. I set up a new Twitter account for my in-game character, Neville Smit, and use this to monitor the ebb and flow of the community's thoughts about our favorite game.

Though the official tag for indicating an EVE-related Tweet is #EVEOnline, you actually get more player attention if you use #tweetfleet. This isn't just a mechanism for designating Tweets of interest to EVE Online fans - it is also a community, and an endlessly interesting organism to observe.

While some #tweetfleet tagged posts are trivial banter, similar to what you might see in Local chat in game, most are useful bits of news and links to helpful sites. CCP devs and GMs are amazingly accessible via #tweetfleet, especially those in the community development team. If EVE Online is having a technical issue, #tweetfleet is the first place I go - and there is always a timely post from a dev explaining the current status, updated in real time.

My #Tweetfleet hat that I received as a gift at Fanfest this year, courtesy of General Stargazer.

The #tweetfleet conversation never ends - nor does it lack in diversity of content. EVE media authors post links to their updated blogs and podcasts. CSM members exchange views and opinions with players. Devs share little slices of life from their daily endeavors. The lore experts speculate on what in-game developments mean. Players poke fun at each other - or rally to their support in times of need.

The #tweetfleet party has become one of the most popular events during the Fanfest annual player convention. It has become a community within a community a representative collection of many of the most passionate players in the game.

If you want to understand what being a part of the EVE Online community really feels like, the first thing to so is to start a Twitter account for your in-game character, and start monitoring #tweetfleet posts. And if you have something interesting to say about EVE Online, don't be afraid to join the conversation.

My favorite EVE blogs

As I've previously lamented, we've seen some sad departures of some excellent EVE Online bloggers over the last year or so. In particular, I miss The Altruist and Jester's Trek badly. Both were very useful and interesting reads, but they each went on indefinite hiatus. This is the nature of EVE Online - players come and go, or they decide to recede back into the shadows and out of the spotlight for a while.

I've been encouraged that Azual Skoll has added a couple of tentative posts to his dormant blog recently, so perhaps he might return to regular updates. I also remain hopeful that Ripard Teg may decide he can't resist the siren song of robo-blogging any longer and similarly reappear. I would be delighted, as his posts were consistently intriguing and thought-provoking.

One of my favorite EVE Online blogs, The Nosy Gamer, expertly produced by NoizyGamer.

One of my favorite EVE Online blogs, The Nosy Gamer, expertly produced by NoizyGamer.

So, my list of routinely monitored EVE blogs has changed over the last few months. Here, in no particular order, are the sites I view most frequently:

  • The Mittani dot com - TMDC has built a solid staff for useful EVE Online news and commentary. TMDC is required reading for anyone playing EVE regularly.
  • EVE News24 - Some people disparage EVE News24 for their inconsistent quality, which is not an invalid criticism. Nevertheless, it is a valuable source for different perspectives on the latest happenings in the game and the community.
  • Crossing Zebras - the most well-balanced of the three biggest EVE news sites, with writing staff who represent many different playstyles, CZ has grown into a "must read" site for the player community. (Full disclosure: I am now on the CZ writing staff, and make occasional contributions there.)
  • The Nosy Gamer - I love to hang out with NoizyGamer at Fanfest, as he is the smartest EVE commentary blogger I know. Not only does his love of the game come through in every post, but he also expertly covers critically important aspects of the community that no one else is monitoring. For example, his analyses on Real Money Trading (RMT), botting, multiboxing and EVE security always make these complex topics accessible. Check out his presentation at Fanfest. I check in on Noizy's blog every day.
  • Lowsec Lifestyle - Sugar Kyle is not just a hard-working permanent seat member of the Council of Stellar Management, she's also a prolific blogger as well. Her posts vary widely in tone and timbre, depending on her mood, and they cover a wide range of topics about EVE Online and the community. Definitely worth monitoring, at least for her weekly CSM reports, though you'll very likely find other content of interest.
  • Interstellar Privateer - Rhavas' speculations on the meaning of EVE lore are always enlightening and engaging. He is truly an expert, and does a fantastic job explaining the relevance of the ever-emerging backstory to every pilot in New Eden. Worth a weekly review for new posts, at least.
  • EVE Travel - Mark726 is the author of the fascinating EVE Lore Survival Guide, and this blog provides a fascinating travelogue of the various sites in the New Eden cluster, and what they mean. This is also on my weekly review list.

There are many other good EVE Online blogs out there, of course, and new ones are appearing every week. Check out my complete list of recommended blogs on this page. And if you have discovered a blog that you think others should know about, don't hesitate to tell us about it in the comments to this post.

I'm always looking for the next big EVE Online blogger. Perhaps it is you?

My favorite EVE podcasts

I travel a lot, so I often have long stretches of time that need to be filled with something interesting, and EVE Online podcasts do this very nicely. There has been a number of new EVE podcasts starting recently. Some of these are quite good, while others are... well, let's just say they are less interesting.

EVE podcasts tend to fall into two general formats:

  • Structured content-focused podcasts, with clearly defined EVE-related segments in each show
  • Unstructured discussion podcasts, with few parameters other than a passion for EVE

Of the two types, I prefer structured EVE podcasts. These tend to be better produced, well moderated, and focused on providing specific types of content. They are usually shorter in duration, and their generally consistent format makes them easier to follow.

My favorite structured content EVE podcasts include:

  • Crossing Zebras - Xander Pheona is my favorite EVE podcast moderator. He keeps every episode rolling along with interesting conversation, and he's not afraid to ask difficult and provocative questions. His only weakness is his strange affection for boy band music, but other than that, he keeps every episode of CZ at a consistently high quality level. 
  • Hydrostatic Podcast - I love this podcast. Each episode contains useful analysis of EVE news, events, and the emerging lore of the game. In fact, I think that the regular lore segment is always the most interesting, and HP is the only podcast that seems to cover it at length - even in long-form dedicated panel discussions. Highly recommended.
  • Cap Stable - Though it's not as consistently or as frequently produced as I'd like, the Cap Stable crew do an excellent job covering the current events in EVE Online, albeit from the perspective of the HERO Coalition, of which all the moderators are a part. Their intrepid coverage of the entire spectrum of CSM X candidates, as well as their analysis of each, was invaluable. 
  • Declarations of War - under the expert moderation of Alekseyev Karrde, with help from co-host NinjaTurtle and others, DoW explores the latest news in EVE Online from the perspective of a mercenary corporation. It's fun, engaging and always worth a listen, even if you are a harmless high-sec carebear like me.
  • The Learning Cliff - I wrote about this podcast in an earlier post. It's not for everyone, but I find it fascinating. It is focused on the experience of a new player trying to learn EVE Online, under the tutelage of an expert veteran. It's fascinating to hear the opinions of a novice, and I find myself re-learning aspects of the game I'd forgotten. Recommended.

The unstructured EVE discussion podcasts are quite popular, too, though I find them focused more on the personalities of the guests, rather than on what they have to say. They tend to be of lower production quality, loosely moderated (if at all), and often devolve into long, rambling conversations.

I put Podside into this category, which has been running for a long time (over 300 episodes to date) and has many loyal listeners. I've tried listening to Podside many times, but always find my mind wandering while the various guests expound excitedly and colorfully at length about their particular points of view. It's all in good fun, and there are tidbits of interesting content to be found in each episode, but my attention span is just not sufficient enough to sustain my interest for the typical 2-3 hour episode duration. This is no fault of Podside - it is what it is, and many people like it - but it's just not my preferred program style.

The Neocom also tends to fall into this long-format, open discussion-oriented type of podcast as well, but with fewer guests. The enthusiastic co-hosts, Proto and Kira both have strong and affable personalities, and their excitement for EVE Online is palpable - which is a good thing, because they could otherwise not sustain a program that averages more than two hours per episode. (I only manage to get through each show by using the handy 2X feature on my iPhone, which doubles the playback speed, thereby reducing the show length to a comfortable hour.)

I also put many of the EVE Radio talk shows into the unstructured category as well. The DJ/moderators there tend to be of uniformly good quality, and they keep the discussions pithy and engaging. If you're not yet listening to EVE Radio, you are missing out on some really good content - check it out.

There are many other good EVE Online podcasts, and I've listed others in my recommended list - see the link on this page. I'm always looking for new ones to give a listen. If you feel I've missed a good one, please mention it in a comment to this post.

Enjoying EVE media? Spread the word.

It's easy to be overwhelmed by the vast quantity of fansites and the content they produce. EVE Online engenders and encourages conversations and speculation - it's one of the things that makes the game unique and special. EVE-related media provide us all with one more way to "play the game" even though we may not be actually logged on.

If you're not tuned in to this content, you are really missing out. But of course you are reading this blog, which tells me you've already discovered the value of EVE-related media, at least to some extent. Share your discoveries with other players. Mention a good blog post or podcast site in Local or Corp chat sometime. Help others discover what you've already found, and get more enjoyment of EVE Online.

Fly safe! o7