Thursday, June 30, 2011

"The Backstory Of TurAmarth"
or "How TurAmarth Came to EVE", Part the Second

OK, so where was I? OH yea, how I got here...

When we left our insipid hero he was making things better w/ the (1st) wife...

I had become a PC Gamer via the evil that is/was Wolfenstien 3D & Doom in all its various iterations, and then Quake and all of its various iterations, them on to Duke Nukem, Star Wars: Dark Forces. I also had a bad addiction to all of the Descent series which is an amazing blend of 1st person shooter and sci-fi one man fighter in a micro-G environment. The only 3rd person gaming I have ever been interested in were the Halo and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell series all of which used a combination of 1st and 3rd person perspectives based on the actions required at the moment.

I did, strangely enough, really enjoy the Diablo series of 3rd person Fantasy games, a genre I have very little interest in as I am a hard SF guy at heart. And, while i have a deep abiding love for the Lord of the Rings books... I have never been interested in any of the games, I don't want t play at LOTR, I want to keep that story where JRR Tolkien created it, in my mind. I have never.... ever... been interested in ANY of the SIM, or Fantasy MMORPGs available... and I have trail accounted many... I get bored or am unable to suspend my belief and get immersed in those games.

I also have never been much really big on console gaming... the PC is for me vastly more comfortable to play on. This no doubt comes from my Wolfenstien 3D, Doom & Quake days which were all PC games, though I did have a Sega Genesis and several games I played quite a bit on that. One of which I found available for download at Abandonia and playable on the PC by running "DOS Box"... so I still play Star Control, a 2D SIM/fighting game w/ a wraparound screen.

By the time I was in my late 30s I had reached a point where I had really sorta dropped out of gaming pretty much all together. In the fall of 2010, my son AI, not just my son, but a good and trusted friend too, come up to have Thanksgiving dinner w/ us and as he and I were sitting at the bar in my pub (I married a Brit, so I have a pub, not a bar... ) and he opens his Mac and says... "You gotta see this."... (isn't the evil always spread by a good and trusted friend??)

He logged into EVE... and 15 minutes later I was screwed for life.

And so I have ventured out into the Deadly Sky’s of EVE and deep into my second great gaming addiction. I have soared to new heights I could never have imagined before… I have watched and done things both highly honorable and deeply malicious… I have met some of the most strangely decent people I have ever known, I have met people who exhibit a level of indecency I am hard pressed to believe, and I have seen…

I have seen…

I watched, and took a very VERY small part in one of the very earliest Sansha Incursions. Back when I was very new ingame, there was an incursion in a system I was noobin around in, so I warped to the moon the incursion was at, not to the incursion itself… and, as I flew my speed tanked Thrasher out from the moon I watched in sheer awe as the spectacle of this immense battle rose like a sunrise over the moon’s horizon. I was stunned… I have no idea how many ships, both NPC and pilots, were involved, but at a glance it had to be in the hundreds.

It was simply stunning… You have to understand, I have been avidly reading hard SF ALL my life. My first exposure to SF was E.E. ”Doc” Smith’s “The Grey Lensman” series. I was lucky enough to be introduced at the age of but six to some of the most imaginative and wonderful stories a kid could read. I was hooked as deeply then as I was that day I flew out of the shadow of that moon and watched a For God Space Battle of Epic Proportions… Beams of raw energy slashed the night sky, ships exploded in mute evidence of the Terrible Powers being wielded by Implacable Enemies.

Hundreds of ships orbited and flew in the patterns of chaos that are the earmark of all battles… wrecks appeared and disappeared as they were looted and salvaged while the battle raged around those fearless enough, and greedy enough, to turn their attention away from the onslaught of artillery, missile, railgun, and laser fire sleeting around them. I watched as two of those looters were suddenly the focus of the fire from multiple ships, both Sansha and capsuleer… they quickly joined the wrecks they were working on as wrecks themselves, their pods flashing away as their pilots sought safe escape.

I watched for a while and actually shook myself out of my reverie… I then decided I had to do ‘something’, anything, to be in any way possible involved in this spectacle. In my tactical view I found the closest Sansah ship, I have no idea what it was except that it was huge and it was under heavy fire from a dense ball of drones and ships... I flew in to my max targeting range, locked it up, aligned my ship to quickly warp away, took a deep breath… and fired all seven of my 280mm Howitzers... I was in the fight!

After just two volleys I was targeted by the Sansha ship… I went to full speed and got off one more volley before the world went !!WHITE!! as I was hit by some massive laser fire… as my screen cleared I saw that my shields had dropped instantly to under 50%. I immediately started spamming the warp to button… I was entering warp, and heard my guns fire one last time, when I was hit again… this time when my screen cleared I was in warp, my shields were gone and I had only 30% armor left… My heart was POUNDING in my chest as though what I had just experienced was REAL…

All my life I have dreamed of space. Of life on other worlds, of travel between the stars, of the dangers and wonders we might find if we ever get off of this one lone rock. I watched the politicians and the bleeding hearts with no VISION tear apart my dreams and nerf NASA and the space program until was nothing more than a joke.

Now I am an old man and this is the closest I will ever come to my dreams of spaceflight and exploring the universe. Make no mistake for those of you who know me, 50 is so far beyond the cut off for ANY possibility of taking part in spaceflight today that I am permanently out of the running… not that I ever was IN the running after the visionless politicians got their way. Oh, and if I sound a bit bitter… it’s because I am.

So, I fly in EVE… I take part in this, one of the most visually stunning and thought provoking pastimes man has yet to devise. And so I fulfill, virtually, my dreams of freedom in the eternal sky…

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

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