Crossing Zebras Episode 32


Back once again with another episode of the ever-increasingly popular podcast named Crossing Zebras are your favourite hosts Xander Phoena and Jeg Elsker! Joining us this week once again is special guest and Goonfeet director, HVACRepairman! It’s a bumper episode this week sprawling over almost two and a half hours with plenty to get through. Firstly, with Rubicon very nearly live on Tranquility, we discuss the latest news about Eve Online’s latest expansion. Next up is the ongoing Stainwagon/Rus vs N3 bloc was which escalates to ever-increasing proportions followed by some discussion on CCP’s recent attempts at running new and ambitious Live Events. CSM8 are now more than halfway through their tenure so we give them a half-term score card and then finish things off with some discussion on the future of Eve Online as an eSport. Settle down and buckle in for the ride!

Crossing Zebras Episode 32.mp3




Rubicon – On both their own and raptr’s twitch streams over the past few days, CCP have taken the opportunity to clarify a few of the final details for the upcoming expansion, Rubicon. We discuss all of that as well as the new trailer which has now been released.


Stainwagon/Rus vs N3 War – War continues to spread apace between the Russians and N3. We discuss how this could spread to encapsulate most of null-sec. When we recorded this, we weren’t sure if CFC would officially take part. Turns out we received clarification literally as we were recording… See you all in Kalevala!

Live Events – CCP have a rather chequered history when it comes to Live Events and the recent Operation Spectre wasn’t about to buck the tread. A number of players were unhappy with how the event went and CCP felt it necessary to issue an official response. We discuss where Live Events could go in the future and if there is a place for them in the player-led world of Eve Online.


CSM8 Half-Term Scorecard – CSM8 are now over halfway through their tenure. We discuss how well they have done so far as well as the mysterious case of the missing Summer Summit minutes.

Esports and Eve – Can Eve ever crack it in the eSports scene? Is the fundamental nature of the game such that it will never really find a large external audience or can CCP make it work?


Competition time! – Send us your best MS Paint rendition of the CCP Certificate for Number One Eve Online podcast that they have in the post on it’s way to us at the moment. Post it online and pop a link in the comments below. We’ll pick a winner and post it on the site and the winning artist will get themselves a PLEX! – At last you can get your own Crossing Zebras merchandise! The guys over at have done some amazing custom artwork t-shirts for us so I highly recommend going and checking them out and get yourself kitted out in the coolest clobber in all of Eve Online!

Keep on RTing us on twitter (@midi2304 and @jeg_elsker), telling your corpies and friends about us and posting reviews on iTunes! We hugely appreciate you spreading the word. You can subscribe to the podcast and post reviews here:

This episode’s playlist is as follows (please note – HVAC picked the music this week. I’m taking zero responsibility):

Backstreet Boys – Everybody

Raffi – Frere Jacques

Fire Inc – Tonight Is What It Means To Be Young

Tags: aaa, csm8, esports, hvacrepairman, live events, null sec, rubicon

About the author

Xander Phoena

The good looking, funny, intelligent member of the team, Xander set up Crossing Zebras with Jeg in April 2012 mainly because he was talking too much about Eve on his other podcast. Playing the game for almost five years, Xander still has absolutely zero clue about how to actually play Eve but somehow still manages to talk a good game.

  • Poetic Stanziel

    2.5 hours? Somebody should take you out behind the sheep shed and shear you.

    • Abbath

      shouldn’t you be trolling some other game blogs?

    • Jeg_Elsker

      <3 U Poe, now go get your ms paint skills working.

  • Ilania Ongrard

    I dont have issue with the lenght of thepodcast, but ffs stick to the narrative and ditch the tangents.

    • Jeg_Elsker

      We do try and avoid going off on tangents, but our format makes it difficult to avoid at times, it is however something we are weary of and I would like to think generally is not a huge issue!

    • xanderphoena

      I really don’t think we tangented that much this episode. We just had a lot of different topics to power through. Five main topics equals only 30 minutes each and that’s before we take into account music, shoutouts, competition, etc.

      Do appreciate the feedback though!

    • Chief

      Nothing wrong with going off on a tangent, makes the podcast more enjoyable.

    • HVAC Repairman

      I haven’t sat down to listen to it yet but I don’t remember us really getting that off topic too bad

  • Abbath

    2,5 hours of xander yeay!!

    • Jeg_Elsker

      2.5 hours of Xander for you, several decades for me. Novelty it seems makes it more bearable. More seriously, we enjoyed the record, it was nice to move on from the drama we have covered in recent episodes!

  • Tubrug1

    We all know you’ve knocked one out over wrecking ball Xander.

    • HVAC Repairman

      the video is magical

  • Primus Fortune

    i have your CCP CERTIFIED certificate here

    great show BTW 🙂

  • Devore

    EVE and esports…. I am a big fan of esports. Twitch is my TV. I literally cannot remember last time I turned on my TV to watch TV. I don’t agree at all with the sentiment that why watch a video game, when you can play it. Ok, why watch football, when you can play it yourself? There is something about watching professionals, highly skilled, highly competitive, duking it out at a high level of gameplay. I don’t play hockey, but I like to watch it. I don’t play Starcraft, but I like to watch it. It’s really no different. The attitude that it’s just a game is the reason Koreans own esports, and everyone else is playing in a lower gear. It’s not just a game, not at a competitive, professional level, any more than football is just a game because you can kick a ball around in the park with your friends.

    Is it important for EVE to be in the esports mindshare? Not very. I don’t think it’s an esports kind of a game.

    Couple of problems with EVE esports.

    Equality and level playing field. Obviously not an attribute of EVE. Different pilots have different skillpoint levels, and teams have different levels of in-game wealth to support their teams.

    Difficulty of observing. The EVE client just can’t, full stop. The popular esports games, Starcraft, LoL, DOTA, have dedicated observer interfaces, and are highly customizable. This needs to be developed and publicly available, so players can host tournaments of various kinds, and a casting/observer/analyst community can grow up and mature and refine.

    Difficulty of hosting. This needs to be doable in such a way that cannot be compromised by outside influences.

    Difficulty of understanding. Can a casual spectator make sense of an EVE battle? Can they understand the abilities the various units have, and their effects? Is there someplace they can go to to understand the mechanics? follow the evolving gameplay? I think there is a high barrier to entry for spectators.

    We have the alliance tournament, but that’s a short, once a year happening. There might or might not be another tournament. That’s just not enough content to make EVE even a minor player in esports. Blizzard has been trying to make WoW arenas into an esport, for years, and, IMO, failed. Sure, there’s a ladder system, and an event, but if such a behemoth with huge name recognition can’t make the cut, maybe MMOs are not very strong esports candidates in general.

    • Jeg_Elsker

      I am probably one of the worst people to pass comment on e-sport, I don’t really watch any sport full stop, with exception of the odd high profile football games and the odd occasion when the mood takes me. I definitely agree that there is a market out there though. Xander may have more insight on the topic than I do.

      I agree with your comments though, the barrier for entry to play the game is tough, to be able to understand what is happening when you are watching it must be near impossible for the casual observer. I hope it is something that CCP can work on with the relevant people though. While I would not be hugely interested personally, I would expect that there would be a huge market for it if they can do it right!

  • tladb

    I might have misheard but here is my certificate:

  • tladb
  • Poetic Stanziel

    My entry.

    • Poetic Stanziel

      And this too:

  • Troy Wexler

    CCP put out a call for capsuleers to attend their live event here:

    The article says that the empire navies and Concord were teaming up, and were asking players to provide backup. However, the reality of the situation was that there was no empire faction or Concord involvement, and that player forces were the only forces fielded. We went from “capsuleers to provide backup” to capsuleers are the only force.

    This is a prime example of CCP giving players certain expectations and then not delivering. The player expectations were not unreasonable, because they were taken directly from CCP’s call for participation.

    Not only did CCP not deliver on their promises, they bungled the event at every stage. They obviously didn’t plan ahead, because their route took them through Doril. They obviously didn’t use their technical resources, because they didn’t reinforce their nodes and tidi was in full effect along the entire route. They obviously didn’t have enough CCP participation, because they had 2 employees per staging area leading several thousand players each. They obviously weren’t organized, because they had to resort to using Twitter to lead the fleets. It’s almost as if they decided to just show up and wing it.

  • Rek

    Nice show this month guys but why was someone rubbing two pieces of polystyrene together throughout the entire podcast?

    • Jeg_Elsker

      that may be my mic, it sometimes rubs on my face. I will try and dig out my decent mic for the next record

  • GrouchyOldGamer

    As massive fan of the CSM model I’m not drawing any conclusions how little CCP actually care about the CSM based on the urgency they are(n’t) reviewing the minutes; maybe they could review them at the Winter Summit?