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E-ON Magazine issue 20 hits the shelves


The magazine industry is a behemoth, catering to practically every hobby there is. No matter how obscure the hobby, you're sure to find a magazine on the shelf all about it. While there are plenty of magazines dedicated to gaming, only a few MMOs have their own dedicated magazines. Despite the rise in popularity of web-based publications, there's something special about having a physical magazine you can flip through. Since I am a massive nerdy fan of EVE Online, each issue of the quarterly E-ON magazine feels like a proper treat. The production values are very high, and it's pure EVE from cover to cover. The publishers even go so far as to include advertisements for EVE corporations and services rather than paid ads for other games or gaming services.

Issue 20 of the magazine was released last month, but the postal fairy decided I had been naughty and didn't deliver it until this week. I've spent the majority of today reading this magazine all about internet spaceships, and I've loved every nerdy moment of it. This quarter's issue has a strong focus on the impact of EVE's recent Tyrannis expansion and its planetary interaction feature. In addition to a guide on setting up planetary harvesting infrastructure, the magazine's editors ask whether Tyrannis was everything we hoped or a missed opportunity to breathe new life into the planets of New Eden. Other topics discussed in this issue include EVE's controversial Council of Stellar Management, the history of the alliance tournament, and a look at the new rebalanced supercarriers.

Skip past the cut for a breakdown of what you can expect in E-ON issue 20 and my impressions from reading it.

Planetary interaction -- an opportunity missed?

In the lead-up to the Tyrannis expansion, we heard a great deal about what planetary interaction would contain. From fanfests, interviews and dev-blogs, everyone built up his own picture of what the expansion would be like, and it had a lot of people excited. When it was finally released, however, planetary interaction wasn't quite what players had expected. In this edition of E-ON, writer and editor Richie "Zapatero" Shoemaker digs deeply into this issue, tracking the expansion's development from those first morsels of information at the 2008 fanfest to its release earlier this year.

Although he admits that planetary interaction was a necessary step toward integration with CCP's future MMOFPS Dust 514, Zapatero makes a strong case for the original vision CCP had for the planets. He talks of borders and provinces, hiring workers to produce goods and police to keep them in line. Sounding almost disappointed in places, the article manages to turn my own disappointment into a sort of hope for the future. With promises of more development on planetary interaction and the necessity of a way to tie it into Dust 514, might there be a place for population control in planetary interaction?

Insider's guides

Every issue, editor Zapatero works alongside multiple EVE players to produce informative guides to various aspects of the game. I used to write and edit for this section of the magazine, so I know how in-depth some of these guides can really be. I often find myself looking up insider's guides I remember reading rather than googling for information. This issue has useful guides to planetary interaction, corporate recruitment and the ancient art of slinging missiles at bad guys.

The planetary interaction guide reads like a basic manual for new players, but it goes on to give some useful tips that all players can make use of. Details of the skills required, planet types, and structures are all there as a quick reference guide, making it a handy article to have for newer players getting into planetary interaction. The guide to corporate recruitment is written jointly by Flashfresh, the current CEO of The Bastards, and by CSM chairwoman Mynxee, the former CEO of the Hellcats. It's an in-depth guide from two people who have learned a lot of hard lessons about recruitment over the years. EVE player "Horse Pop" finishes the guide section off with a no-nonsense guide to missiles, torpedoes, bombs, and rockets.

The Council of Stellar Management

EVE's Council of Stellar Management has been the cause of a great deal of controversy this year. CSM chairwoman Mynxee and council member Ankhesentapemkah both expressed concerns over the council's treatment at the latest CSM summit in Iceland. In meetings with CCP developers, members of the council put forward a list of player issues that they felt were important. Unfortunately, they were consistently met with resistance and were finally told that no resources could be committed to any of the issues they had raised. With Ankhesentapemkah's removal from the council and the following player outrage around CCP's future development plans, it's certainly been an interesting few months for the CSM.

In a special article on the council and its purpose in this issue of E-ON, EVE blogger Blankstare explained much of the controversy that has followed the group since its inception. Highlighting a key problem, Blankstare looks at the communication breakdown between CCP and the EVE playerbase regarding the council's achievements. This has led many players to become disillusioned with the CSM process itself. Other topics tackled in the article include the tendency of large alliances to vote for their own candidate in droves and the perception that the council is dominated by nullsec players. Taking a fairly positive outlook, Blankstare goes on to discuss the CSM's future and the importance of getting people voting.

Other highlights

This quarter's magazine has some real high points that I found made it a great read. Long-time pirate and alliance tournament commentator Verone wrote an interesting piece on the evolution of the alliance tournament. From its humble beginnings as the Caldari championship in 2005 to this year's show and its live studio finals, the alliance tournament has been a huge success. In his article, Verone looks at the history of the tournament, how the rules have evolved, and some of the special moments that defined each year's contest.

My personal favourite piece in the entire magazine is a new chronicle by Tom Czerniawski called "The fuel of your creation." Written as a sequel to one of my favourite pieces of EVE fiction of all time, The Eighth Plague in E-ON issue 2, this follow-up didn't disappoint. Tom is better known as legendary corporate infiltrator Istvaan Shogaatsu, and his skills as a creative writer certainly match his skills at theft.

As usual, the magazine has interviews with a few people who work at CCP and several well-known EVE players. The CCP employees profiled in this issue are Art Director Asgeir Jon Asgeirsson (AKA CCP Huskarl) and Video Producer Oliver Nicholson (AKA CCP Charlie). Players in the spotlight this time around are IT Alliance director Dianabolic, freedom fighter Zoolkhan and financial guru Shar Tegral.

Also in E-ON issue 20

  • The 0.0 report, detailing all the major nullsec battles since issue 19.
  • Postcards from the edge, showcasing some awesome screenshots.
  • Alliance profiles of Black Start Alliance and Daisho Syndicate.
  • A supercarrier test-flight special.
  • EVE player Syncaine gives his 0.02 ISK on the topic of RMT.
  • A summary of all the recent EVE news.
  • A large poster of all the Gallente cruisers, only for subscribers.
If you're a big fan of EVE Online, Issue 20 of E-ON magazine is definitely worth a read. E-ON costs $14.99 US per issue and the latest version is now available in the official EVE Online store.

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