Back in the Game – Small Gang PvP

English: Screen of Mumble Français : Capture d...

English: Screen of Mumble Français : Capture d’écran de Mumble (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A couple weeks ago, I announced on Twitter that this would no longer be an in-character blog. I just don’t feel motivated to keep coming up with imaginary stories about what happens to Shay Solette in the EVE universe. I would much rather write about the real people I fly with, and the outrageous amounts of fun we have in the game. Last night, for example, I went on my first small gang PvP roam, a mere two days after returning to EVE, and I had the most fun I have ever had in the game. I also accomplished something I have wanted to do for a while. I got to play as bait in a Venture, and get on a killmail with that ship.

It all started when I was hanging around the Public Lounge on EVE University’s Mumble server, just BSing with some guys, I had just started a brand new trial account, my main account is inactive for the foreseeable future, and I had a two day old character. The players I was chatting with were equally new, and had far less overall EVE experience than me.  We got to talking about PvP, and decided, fuck it, lets go out to lowsec with our n00b toons in cheap frigates, and see if we can’t get ourselves blown to hell.

We ended up roaming all night, and having an absolute blast We got a couple kills, and lost a few ships ourselves, but It served as a reminder to me, of everything I love about EVE. Its all about the people you fly with, the excitement of being both the hunters and the prey, the adrenaline rush the laughs we have, all of it. Small gang PvP lends itself much more to strategy and careful consideration of our targets than the big blob fleets I had grown accustomed to flying with. There is also a lot more room for individuality and creativity within a small gang. In a large fleet, you can kind of get lost in the shuffle. We ended up playing until, and I really hope to fly with these guys again real soon.


Back to Basics

English: Skills logo

English: Skills logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From the first time I ever joined a combat fleet, I fell in love with the danger and excitement of hunting and being hunted in low security space.  It is how we capsuleers measure our skill and cunning against one another.  It is also an expensive pastime.  One must find a way to pay for ships lost in battle, and to keep our cargo holds stocked with the best ammo, and our drone bays stocked with drones.  We must keep our medical clones up to date, our ships insured, and pay for an increasingly expensive supply of skillbooks, drugs, and implants, all to give us that slight edge that can mean the difference between life and death in battle. This all requires the almighty ISK, a necessary evil.

I am not particularly adept at earning the amounts of isk necessary to afford to keep my hangers well stocked with the best equipment. I lack the skills to join my corpmates who earn money fighting incursions. I lack the skills and standings to take on the most lucrative mission contracts.  I often find myself outclassed against the pirates with the most lucrative bounties. I need to find a way to earn a living, hopefully without sacrificing to much time I could be spending participating in combat fleets. It is for this reason that I must go back to basics.

I need to go back to flying less expensive ships.  I have just as much fun, and have just as many opportunities to join fleets flying inexpensive fast tackle ships. I can stock a hanger full of these ships with less than an hour a day of patrolling for bounties.  I would love to jump in to more advanced ship classes, capable of taking on the toughest missions, and chasing down the most lucrative bounties, but I have already proven to myself time and again, that with my current skills, this only leads to expensive ship losses, that I cannot afford to replace.

Are there things I could be doing to earn ISK more efficiently with my current skills? I am sure there are, and I will keep searching for new ways to do so, but I feel that right now I mostly need to focus on keep my costs down.  My corp provides me with free frigates, so for right now, those are what I should be flying.  I can still participate in fleets, and get on killmails in these ships.  I can still earn ISK patrolling my home system for pirates.  I guess what it comes down to is that I just need to have patience while I build up skills.  Having to have patience sucks.

Why Do I Fight?

I have spent some time away from the fleet battles lately. I have mostly been docked up, living as close to a civilian life as a capsuleer can get for a while.  I had been experiencing some burnout.  A few poor decisions I had made had resulted in some needlessly expensive ship losses.  I had broken the cardinal rule of New Eden,

EVE Online - Gallente Frigate

EVE Online – Gallente Destroyer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

which states, don’t fly what you can’t afford to lose.

I needed some time away from fleet ops, and away from the university to reflect on myself and why it is that I fly and fight.  When I joined the Gallente Federal Naval Academy, it was never out of pure patriotism.  Sure, I took some pride in the fact that the Gallente Federation represents the only true democracy in New Eden, but, never having experienced anything else in my relatively sheltered youth, I really took this all for granted. So why was I really there?

The fact is, I had always looked up to and admired Federation Navy pilots.  Ever since I saw my uncle in his uniform for the first time, I knew that I too wanted to wear that uniform some day.  I wanted to be that hotshot with the big killboard who got all the girls. I was really there for selfish reasons.

Like I said in my first post, I was really in for a rude awakening.  Far from being a hotshot, I have yet to earn my first solo kill, and I have been pod killed more times than I can count.  I have even lost numerous ships to n0n-capsuleer opponents.  So what drives me to keep going?  What is my motivation to get back in my pod, and venture forth once more, to meet my inevitable doom?

I think maybe it’s just because I am losing my grasp on humanity.  Maybe I have just accepted the fact that this is my life now.  Kill and be killed.  Every day.  What I am really looking for is something to fight for.  Something to mean something.  Something to remind me that I was once human, and what I do still matters, or else I just become little more than a sentient piloting computer, plugged into a space craft.

While I was gone, I realized that it was the simple things that I missed the most about being a pilot.  I missed hearing the voices of my fleetmates over comms.  I missed sharing in there laughter, and having a sympathetic ear to talk to when I would loose a ship to some stupid mistake I just made, because they had all been there.  I missed the shock and awe we would inspire, when our blob fleets would suddenly spike a system.  I even missed the camaraderie and respect of our opponents.  I love it how my victim today could be my fleetmate tomorrow.  So I guess this is why I fight.  I do it for the fleet.