Thursday, June 13, 2013

THIS Is What We DO!!!

~or, What Pee-vee-Pee in Eee-vee-Eee Feels Like…

I have finally, after 2 and half years, learned how to control my reactions to PvP in EvE… sorta.

EvE players know all too well the intensity of Player v Player combat in EVE Online… and those who don’t… can’t… not ever. No other game, MMO or otherwise has ever caused as deeply instinctual a reaction in me to virtual combat as flying and dying in the beautiful yet disassociated, third-person, not-even-a-gods-damned-avatar spaceships in EvE.

A noob by the name of Lei Harper wrote a Reddit post on his fourth day on his trial account in EvE about his experiences thus far. If you haven’t read it yet, stop and do so now. It is truly worth the time.

He triggered an avalanche… First off, Lei writes very well. His style is easy and draws you in. His descriptions of action, setting and scenery are clear, concise and touching. He reached deep into the group psyche of EvE players, bitter vets and new players alike and pulled us along with him, especially the older players, to relive again some of the thrill, awe and wonder that we each felt when but a nubbins inna Noobship, flying out into the black, knowing not what was to come, fearful of, and terribly excited by, what little we had heard and learned, and yet fearless in our naiveté.

Do you remember the first time…
You jumped a gate? You landed at a plasma planet? You saw your first mining fleet operation? You saw the Moons of Nibia, the Antares Maelstrom and Perdition's flames… (wait, wrong ‘verse, sorry there…) Do you remember the first time you were targeted? The first time you target locked another ship? was fired on? and fired back? The first time you lost a ship… your first kill? Well, Lei touched that in many of us and the whole thing sorta went viral. The responses to his post were stunning to him to say the least.

He received over 3 billon ISK in player donations (that’s all he’s written about definitely, we can only assume it is a bit more than that when all was said and done) and only he knows how many ships etc. were ‘tracted to him as gifts. He was so moved by the hundreds of comments (469 to date) that he started a blog of his own… Rising Star where Lei has continued to share with us his exploits and adventures in EvE with the same captivating yet easy to read style.

This took me, as it has so many of us, back to my nubbin days... That word, ‘nubbins’ has a special connotation for me… You see the second time I got killed by a player was at a gate camp, but the guy who killed me then convoed me, gave me ISK, a new Rifter and apologized. He said he would not have attacked me if he had only seen how new I was. He didn’t believe in griefing noobs. I was invited to their chat and they were all chill bros, with only a little trolling… but what I remember most was him telling them “Back off guys, he’s only but a nubbins… we all were once.”

"We all were once…" Do you remember how PvP felt back then? How INTENSE it was… how you actually got the shakes so bad you had to let go of the mouse? How you felt overloaded by the sheer amount of information one had to track and the number of things you HAD to do, and in the proper order…

Identify your attacker; is there moar than one? What ship class is it? what is his speed/bearing/transversal & range? based on ship class is he moar likely to be setting up to kite you or is he going to close, tackle and brawl?
Do you have wingman(men); do you have corpmates/fleetmates/Allies on grid/insystem/a few hops out? Do you have your defensive mods ‘on’/offensive mods ready/droans launched/weapons loaded and don’t forget all the sage advice, ‘transversal speed can save you but it can also protect him’; ‘Scram FIRST Web SECOND’; what are the racial resistance holes for his ship class? Dammit what was the name of the ammo for those resists?…

Now, QUICK! based on ALL the above what is your best course of action? What are the strengths and weaknesses of your ship? What’s your best counter against his? Should you kite or tackle and brawl? Should you fly manually or set an orbit distance and concentrate on your defense/offence mods?
…and while you are trying to work your way through all of that… you explode.

At least, that’s how it was for me for like the first year or moar… Then you look back at the game logs… Huh. The logs show you trying to target the sun, the moon, then successfully targeting one of your own drones… you then scrammed one of your own droans... your ships speed was 0.0… and he killed you with 150mm Meta-1 guns… oh dear gods <facepalm>…

I wrote a number of posts on this in my first year… Wish I was James T. and Fighting BACK are two of my favorites. I struggled in vain against the shakes and the data overload. Well… in the time since I have discovered why Fleet fights can be much better for learning PvP than solo. Especially small gang fleets… When you are a member of a fleet, better, a small gang fleet, you are not ALONE. Yes, you can still get primaried and yes, you can still lose your ship but.. you are not going to get primaried EVERYTIME. And helping your bros with, for me, Hero tackle such as paper hull tanked fast dubble bubble Sabres with dual Faction webbers or Heavy ‘dictors like my armor Devoter with da big bubble and an infinity point… and a little extra DPS… is nothing but pure awesumsauce.

My experience in fleets and small gangs has helped me immeasurably in team and solo PvP, not that I have gotten into much of that at all but I have been far easier about the times that I have traversed losec solo on my way to or from an Op. I know if something happens, I am far better prepared and… I find myself hoping someone will be [RED] or [ORANGE] or simply… a Target of Opportunity… I find a small tremor in my hands still marks the possibility of a little player interaction, only now it’s… “An-ti-ci-paa,aa-shun, is making me shake!”

This brings me to the genesis of this post. As is true of most EvE players I am a SciFi buff. I first picked up the reading habit back in ’68 with paperbacks I swiped from my older brother’s bookshelf. I first lost myself in the worlds of the Grey Lensman series by E.E. ‘Doc” Smith and I was hooked. I became an avid reader of everything by Asimov, Clark, Van Vogt, Bradbury, Blish and, of course, R. A. Heinlein among many others. I watched every episode of the original Star Trek on the days they were first aired (and as such when I say I am a trekkie and some snot nosed thirtysomething tries to correct me and tell me, “It’s TrekkER.” I nod and give them all the attention they deserve...)...

I have followed everything SciFi, looking for good writing, characters, scenery, effects and stories. I loved the original Battlestar Galactica, so when BSG was reimagined in ’03 I was thrilled and have loved all the variants that followed, Razor, The Plan, Caprica and I was floored by the webseries Blood & Chrome.

Blood & Chrome follows William “Husker” Adama (that's Admiral Adama to you) as a FOB noob pilot on his first mission. This is an AMAZING piece of work. 10 episodes were released by Syfy on Machinima Prime in March of 2012. This is a failed pilot that went on to be a damn good webseries. The acting and writing is superb and the effects are on par with the whole BSG series.

Now, in it, there is a scene where Adama’s Raptor is jumped by three Cylon fighters. They kill two with weapons then the gun jams, they are out of missiles and Adama pulls off a bold and extremely dangerous piece of flying that saves their asses…

In the aftermath Adama yells out something that has resonated in my bones ever since. It deeply evokes the same intensity of feeling, the rush of battle and the thrill of victory we Empyreans feel when we  win through a good close fight in EvE…

Watch now and see if it reminds you of how PvP in EvE makes you feel..

Fly Safe and see you in the Sky  =/|)=

No comments:

Post a Comment

I have opened my blog to Anonymous Users... I hope I will not come to regret this. Please identify yourself when posting and read my Blog Disclaimer and Comment Policy.

All posts on my blog are moderated by me. I will post em as soon as I see um...