December 30, 2013

Noir. Academy - A Year In

I took over as the official CEO of Noir. Academy in February of 2013 after a few weeks of unofficial leadership. To be honest, I only became CEO because I was willing to help and there wasn't anyone else able to put the effort in at the time, but I'm really glad I volunteered. I've learned a lot over the last year, and it's taken a lot of effort to ensure that the resulting training curriculum was of a high enough standard, but it was a very rewarding experience in the end.

I've not been able to be as hands on this last year as I wish. When I first started, I worked from home part time and played EVE a lot. I was always there, and it was a very fresh, new experience for me. I had a very high level of interaction with the students at the time. In June, about five months after I became the CEO, I got a new job that has me away from home about six weeks at a time with a two week break (as I've mentioned before in this blog). I work seven days a week while I'm gone, too, which doesn't leave me much time to play EVE. And if it weren't bad enough having to play EVE on a laptop when I'm on the road, my first two assignments (from July to the end of September basically), I had no internet.

During this time, I had to remain effective as the CEO while not being able to login very much. Instead, I focused my time on the high level organization and structure of the Academy. This was sort of a blessing in disguise because it allowed me to revamp many integral issues with the Academy that weren't as present when I was always online and was putting a lot more man hours into the students. Viewing the curriculum from a more hands-off approach, I was able to better see what could be pared down and made more efficient. The downside of this was that I had no person relationship with my students and had to rely on my instructors completely, making them bear the burdens.

I think that we're now at a very good point in the Academy, where there is a lot of structure while still being free form and independent, where students have to show initiative but can fall back on more veteran players when they need. The last big hurdle that I'm trying to overcome is that Noir. Academy isn't Noir. I feel that by flying with Noir. so often over the last year they've lost sight of the fact that they're not mercenaries. They're students. They're not experts yet, they're amateurs. That feeling isn't there when you get to go on contract with everyone else. There also wasn't any real push to get students to complete their objectives on their own. That's changing January 1st where there is now a time limit, although it's quite ample.

My goals for Noir. Academy in the coming year are to get it to a place where it can be self sufficient. Where it's not a part of the NMG. Alliance any more, officially, and operates independent of Noir. That's going to take a lot more work, but if we can get to that point, I think we'll be the best PvP training corporation in all of EVE Online.

Happy New Year, everyone.
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December 27, 2013

And We've Come Full Circle

Just after Rubicon, Noir. was hired for quite a few POCO operations. One of those POCO operations had us fight a corporation called Failed Diplomacy. We won the first fight handily, while they won the second and third fight. Fuckin' Bhaalgorns.

Anyway, when Failed wasn't able to bring their whole fleet of Bhaalgorns and faction battleships, we camped them into stations quite often. During this time, we had fairly reasonable conversations. They started out trash talking pretty badly, at least it seemed bad to me since we have a no trash talk rule; it was probably pretty mild on most scales. But, I guess when we either wouldn't respond in kind or just noticed that what we were typing was actually fairly conversational, it turned out to be fairly friendly. This happened on multiple occasions during the entire contract and we ended up not really disliking Failed, to be honest.

Well, Airric of Failed Diplomacy reaches out to one of our directors and wants to have a talk with us. Surprise, surprise! Turns out that because of our respectful tone towards them, even when we weren't on the winning side, and since they were impressed with us as opponents, they decided to reach out to us and hire us for an operation of their own.

Mercenaries are fickle in that we never hate someone longer than a contract is active unless you do something rather impressive, in a bad way. Failed fought well. We really enjoyed that contract, when they actually undocked, despite losing a bit more ISK overall than they did.

We were hired to provide logistics for a fight against Obsidian Front who was trying to take some of Failed's POCOs away. We showed up with about 15 or so logistics ships and a few people in heavy armor ships with neuts and points in case Obsidian Front went suspect, which they did end up doing.

I really like this turn of events, too. It's very EVE-ish.

In the end, FAILED broke about even because one pilot, RavenG, didn't have his broadcasts set up correctly so our logistics didn't see his call for reps, resulting in a 2B ISK Bhaalgorn and then a 770M ISK Megathron Navy Issue loss. Without those two losses, it would have been a landslide victory for FAILEd.

On the C&P forums, Ynot Eyob posted this Youtube video from their point of view. It turns out they had set us blue from when EMP deployed to Providence for the 9UY campaign and forgot to reset us.

P.S. I got my new Razer Blade Pro the other day and it's amazing! I can't wait to try it in EVE with a big battle.
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