Me; the perpetual student
Welcome to the eighteenth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by none other than CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!
On May 6th 2010, EVE Online celebrated its 7th Anniversary. Quite a milestone in MMO history, especially considering that it is one of the few virtual worlds out there to see its population continually grow year after year. For some of you who’ve been here since the very beginning, EVE has evolved quite a lot since its creation. With the expansion rolling out roughly twice a year, New Eden gets renewed and improved regularly. But, how about you the player? How has your gaming style evolved through the years or months since you’ve started playing? Have you always been a carebear, or roleplayer? Have you only focused on PvP or have you given other aspects of the game a chance – say manufacturing. Let’s hear your story!
My history is not as long as many of my fellow bloggers; I’ve been playing about two years, having started just after my son’s first birthday. Some might say that’s an inopportune time to start, having the commitment of caring for a child so young — but I say the patience I learned dealing with an infant was what carried me through the roughest parts of the initial learning phase and I may not have stuck with it had I tried earlier.
I’m new to the EVE blog scene, and one of my early posts details my character’s relatively short history; I see no reason to write that history again, so instead I’ll detail a sequence of stories about my player experience in EVE. In the early days I had a lot to learn and I thought I could learn it all. As time progressed it became clear to me that I will always have a lot to learn in EVE. What is constantly being renewed and improved for me is my understanding of the game; but I remain the perpetual student.
The academy graduate dropout
I’ve been tasked with a mission to eliminate a pirate nuisance; the agent provided me with the coordinates for a beacon where the threat will be found. I’ve eliminated all pirates at the location and returned only to be informed I had not yet completed the mission. There must be some enemy craft hiding in the shadows.
I return to the beacon and fly until I can no longer see the beacon. I’m sure I’ve gone too far so I examine my heads-up display. I find an icon curiously labeled directional scanner; clearly this will lead me to my prey. I open it and through blind luck stumble upon a result. It’s not close, I must warp there.
On arrival, I’m greeted by a handful of Frigates; if this is a training mission, I’m sure my Ibis will be able to handle whatever is thrown at me. My escape pod meets open space for the first time. I am shamed.
Lesson: I needed to pick up some loot from a can; I had killed everything there was to kill. Don’t press buttons when you don’t know what they do. And when something seems to work, you’ve done it wrong (this is EVE after all).
The hero meets his equal superior
An agent has directed me to eliminate a drone menace in a nearby system. At the jump gate I was warned I would be entering low-security space and that it was not safe. Is any space safe? I jumped.
I clear the first deadspace pocket of rogue drones and slowly make my way toward the acceleration gate when two ships appear — they are capsuleers like myself. The ships’ icons in my heads up display turn red and began to pulsate. Something is wrong, I need to escape. They apply warp disruption modules to my hardy ship and began to fire. I am not afraid, surely activating the acceleration gate will not require my warp drive to be functional.
I was wrong.
Lesson: Warnings? Yeah, they are there for a reason. What makes sense in your head doesn’t make sense in EVE. Learn the EVE way so that you may live.
Inexperienced pilots can provide [only faulty] intelligence
I bemoan my ship loss in the local intelligence channel. This is not my finest moment. A friendly pod pilot signals me through a secure communications channel and I thankfully take his advice to shut up. He suggests that he has friends nearby and is looking to go after the pilots who had relieved me of my ship; he asks what the criminals are flying.
“One of them was flying the tech 2 version of a Raven,” I explain.
Lesson: Later I will look at the killmail and realize he was flying a Falcon; a Blackbird and a Raven are only the same thing in America. Learn ship names and become fluent in their capabilities.
Electronic warfare ensures success overconfidence; fight smart
I’m hunting pirates now. I’ve learned from my previous failures and the pilots who dealt them to me. I trained to fly the pinnacle of Caldari electronic warfare: the Blackbird. Any who face us during this foray into enemy space will be swiftly dealt with.
We’ve spotted a small gang and are waiting for them near a jump gate. The gate activates. It activates once more. There is a short pause and then there are more activations than I can count. One ship decloaks and begins firing; we all lock it and what will surely become a slaughter begins. The ship is jammed; I have done this powerful thing.
A strange glowing bubble pops into existence. It must have a 30-kilometer radius. What is it? A Falcon decloaks. Many more ships I don’t recognize begin to materialize next to the Falcon. I’m jammed. I can’t warp! Why can’t I warp?
Lesson: Whatever ship you are flying, somebody else is flying a better one. Warp interdiction bubbles are terrible things if you are trying to escape. Oh, and the guy who jammed me first was another inexperienced pilot flying in my gang; practice before you try the real thing.
Heroes get all the chicks die a lot
A friendly Cerberus pilot wasn’t listening to intelligence chatter and got caught on a gate by a Curse. The heroic thing to do is rescue him. Clearly others will be en route to facilitate the destruction of this interloper.
I’ve arrived in system, the Cerberus pilot is continuing his pleas for help. I initiate warp; I’ve landed on the gate and note a friendly Cerberus and a hostile Curse. I engage the Curse. The gate activates — reinforcements are here! The Cerberus disappears in a jump flash. The Curse pilot, frustrated from losing a Cerberus, turns his drones and energy neutralizers on me. I don’t have enough time to regret trying to be a hero before I’m in my pod — a Harpy is not a good match for a Curse.
Lesson: If you don’t know the pilot who is in trouble, don’t attempt a rescue. Pay attention to what’s going on around you and don’t assume.
Large corporations are powerful have more room for morons
I’m a defender of freedom. My alliance sits at the edge of Curitores Veritatis Alliance space; we protect the less fortunate souls from the criminal element. Today one such criminal has been spotted in our home system flying a Hurricane. He seems intent on destroying one of our asteroid belt patrols — a single Scorpion. Clearly he is outmatched. A Scorpion fits electronic countermeasures and an array of siege missile launchers bolstered by its powerful shields.
I transfer my pod into a waiting Arazu to ensure that when the Hurricane begins to lose it cannot flee. Within moments I am cloaked, shadowing the Scorpion through each belt until finally the Hurricane strikes. I drop my cloak and engage. Victory for the peace-loving residents of Providence. Where did the Scorpion go and what was that explosion? That explosion was the Scorpion? How was this criminal even able to manage maintaining a target lock?
This situation can still be salvaged. I continue engaging the Hurricane which has dipped past his shield tank and into armor. I can’t hold him, this Arazu is not made for direct combat. I attempt to flee. My pod once again tastes open space. But a friendly Hurricane pilot ensures the aggressor pays for his transgressions and soon there are two pods in space.
Lesson: If you don’t know the fit your friends are flying, don’t assume you know based on the ship type. If your ship depends on your friend’s ship, his ship won’t be fit properly. I don’t advocate that there is but a single appropriate fit for a ship, but I do advocate using your ship for what it does best.
Back in the saddle
I’ve been out of the fight for too long. Since the fall of Providence I’ve been wandering, looking for a place to belong. I’ve been growing soft running missions for agents in low-security space against pirate ships rather than engaging hostile capsuleers with their enhanced capabilities. I’m jumpy. I’m anxious.
Tonight I’ve jumped into an interceptor for the first time. We’re going to clear local space of anyone hostile to us — that is, anyone who is not one of us. The fleet commander gives orders and we follow. One contact after another is dispatched or driven off.
Finally we meet an equal sized gang. We position ourselves near a star gate and wait for them to make a move. The warp in. We begin to engage and they jump into the next system. We circle around through an adjacent system and meet them at their new location. The jump again. They posture some more and finally one of our scouts catches a Dominix on a gate!
The Dominix pilot makes some bad choices and loses his ship. The hostile gang continues to elude contact so we head home. This isn’t the most exciting skirmish I’ve had, but it reminds me that this is what I do; this is who I am. Even if I don’t fly combat missions for a while, I will come back.
What does it all mean at the end of the day?
At first I was afraid. I was petrified. I mean, I didn’t know what any of the icons on the HUD meant and I certainly didn’t know how to use them once I accidentally stumbled upon them. My first loss was to PvE because I accidentally found an anomoly; I mean, you can’t even find those when you want to these days. But I learned.
With each new lesson, I gained new understanding of EVE, it’s mechanics and it’s pilots. I realized quickly that I liked PvP but it hasn’t stopped me from participating in the PvE and the story of EVE. I’ve also become more jaded.
For me, one of the main points of the game is that nobody knows it all. If you think you do, you’re wrong. And this makes for an interesting evolution; while the game is constantly renewed and improved, so are the players. As some pilots drop out of the game, new ones join.
Keep learning. Play the part that is fun for you. Ignore people who know it all, because they don’t.
You can find other participants at these links:
- CrazyKinux’s Musing: The Heroes with a Thousand Faces
- StarFleet Comms: Life. Evolved.
- A Carebear’s Journeu: This Carebear Thinks He Is Developing Teeth
- The Elitist: Our ventures in EVE
- A Mule in EVE: From a guppy predator
- Travels of the Ronin: Evolution and Adaptation
- The Ralpha Dogs: The Past Through Tomorrow
- Where the frack is my ship: A journey, not a destination
- I am Keith Neilson: 7 Year Itch?
- Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah: Evolution Me
- EVE Opportunist: A long history of a short time
- Roc’s Ramblings: Things Change
- Guns Ablaze: Onwards and Upwards
- EVE On Real Life: Haven’t you grown up yet?
- The Fang: The path of the ninja
- EVEOGANDA: Whoops Apocalypse!
- EVE SOB: Learning to swim
- The Life of a Dead Jester: My Time with EVE
- Personal Files, Ciarente Roth: Personal Diary 18.6.112
- Learning to Fly: Change is Good
- Depths Unknown: Falling With Style
- Morphisat’s Blog: Jack of all trades
- Sarnelbinora’s Blog: Thoughts of EVE
- Confessions of a Closet Carebear: It’s the yellow box, stupid…
- Adventures in Mission Running: My path amongst the stars
- When 11 Ninjas isn’t enough: First days in the North (continued)