Community Spotlight: Mad Ani
There are hundreds of battles that take place across New Eden every day. Some are as small as one on one confrontations, others involve hundreds of ships on each side blowing each other to smithereens. Precious few get to see these battles unfold; they must instead read after action reports or gawk at killboards and imagine the fights in their heads. Over the past few years, however, a new way of engaging with New Eden and all the viciousness therein has emerged: Streaming. Among those streamers of internet spaceships, none has reached the popularity of Mad Ani.
Mad Ani started playing EVE Online way back in January of 2006. As with many players, he meandered through all EVE had to offer for a while, trying high sec mining and only venturing rarely into nullsec, where he invariable took a hybrid to the pod. After a while, however, he managed to establish himself in nullsec, first by running a POS, then PVPing. This progressed until he was acting as a Fleet Commander, which is what he did for quite a long time.
In January 2013, Mad Ani decided to start streaming. Inspired by watching replays of an old Alliance Tournament, Ani got the idea to stream intel to his alliance against SOLAR. From there, he started to stream fights and his viewers started to grow. As his viewer numbers grew, it bumped the stream to the front page of Twitch.tv, which brought in a number of curious people unfamiliar with EVE.
Thus his stream transformed more into an explanation of EVE Online to all these baseliners, which encouraged many of them to become capsuleers themselves. The response from the community has been great, with both rookies and veterans complimenting what he has created.
Mad Ani runs his streams 24/7, always with something showing, his signature headphone wearing cat in the corner, with music playing. But when action strikes, Ani is there to make sure it is broadcast to the world.
He is fed intel from viewers on all sides with information such as reinforcement timers, planned invasions, and the like. The rest is down to reading the EVE map, watching for blobs appearing, especially in areas they are normally quiet. He finds that watching undocks is the earliest sign of activity, pointing him to check what is happening.
At times, he has alarm clocked for late night ops and he says he's been there for 99% of the fights. It has been such an experience that it's become a blur to him. One recently notable event he feels sticks out was the small mass frigate fleets that have visited B-BDY. They last for over an hour, with lovely bombs all over the place.
When he started, he ran two EVE clients. The biggest challenge he has gone through was the transition from providing intel to his old alliance to streaming to the entire universe. Luckily, ISK donations from viewers have funded a third account, allowing Ani to stream two undocks for intel while having his main roam around to where the fights are taking place.
Mad Ani utilizes a 3-year old rig with an i7 920 processor at 2.67 Ghz, 12 GB DDR3 RAM, an nVidia GTX 570 graphics card, a 60GB SSD and two 500GB internal drives, plus a 3 TB external drive. He worries the computer may be on its last legs, but he's confident that even if it does he'll persist and continue streaming!
He utilizes a streaming program called Open Broadcaster Software and splits his sound with Virtual Audio Cable. He's has a 100MB fiber connection to the internet, allowing him to deliver a smooth and stable stream to his viewers.
Mad Ani's plans for the future are very straightforward. He is the first EVE-only streamer to become a Twitch.tv partner, a huge milestone for both EVE Online and Mad Ani. And since everything has worked very smoothly thus far, he has no plans to change things up too heavily. He has recently massively overhauled the design of his stream, adding information panels below it.
Currently, he is focused on streaming the massive war between the CFC and TEST in Fountain. Once that finishes, he'll start looking at his options, focusing on which alliances are fighting on the other side of New Eden. During quiet times, he plans to host events such as rookie frigate races, thunderdomes, raffles, and a roaming op with viewers. And he's always looking for feedback from his viewers on what he can improve!
Ani says it's hard work running 3 clients, updating all media sites, streaming, providing new content, and chasing after fights. But he absolutely loves doing the streams. He considers it the most friendly, relaxed, and fun community in the game, with even hostiles getting along. It's grown into a group that loves to chat about all sorts. He wants to continue doing it, making sure that nullsec warfare remains accessible to people who can't directly take part.
If you're ever sitting around, bored at work somewhere you have no responsibilities, and think “I want to see what's going on in EVE”, then stop by Mad Ani's Twitch.tv channel.