Those Darn Random Bears

We've all heard the saying, "Sometimes you get the bear and sometimes the bear gets you."  If you've never heard that before you have now.  If anything sums up Eve in one sentence it has to be that saying.  If I've learned anything about Eve in the last two years, it is simply this... sometimes the bear gets you.

It doesn't matter how skilled you might be, how awesome your ship and fitting is, how careful you might be, how often you check your d-scan, how many friends you have in local, sooner or later that goddamn Eve bear is gonna bushwhack you and bring you down.  And there ain't nothing you can do about it.

I've finally gotten fully moved into my new home and have been mostly getting my ships fitted, organizing my hanger, scouting the systems and setting up my bookmarks, finding jump-bridges, getting communication access, everything that goes into settling into a new (well, sorta new) region of space.  And with my vacation looming, more on that tomorrow, I've just generally been trying to take it easy this week.  But that doesn't stop the bear.  The bear doesn't know or care about my plans.  The bear just waits and watches.  Waiting and watching, that sums up the bear's concerns.

My friend Angor discovered the bear this week.  The bear jumped up and caught him in his Vaga.  What should have been an easy burn to gate and escape turned into death at the hands of two reds.  Why?  Well burning back to the gate doesn't help much when the gate won't let you jump because of "traffic".  Even though you are the only people in local, sometimes, for no real reason, the gates just need some time.  It's a sad way to go, killed by a game mechanic gone slow, but it is yet another bear attack.  The bear was waiting and watching.

It happened to me yesterday morning.  I had some time and some of my Corp mates were in a gang several jumps away.  They needed some ecm support so I thought I'd take my Falcon down to help them out.  One jump on the journey and the out-gate was being camped by four reds.  Two Scimis and two Sabres, nasty little group.  I was stuck and it was suggested that I go back and take the Jump Bridge instead.  Good idea.  Of course, at this point, I didn't have a BM for the JB yet.  I did have some gate spots above the gate and I first warped cloaked to one of those above the gate.  Nothing on gate, so I warped to zero.  What's that you say?  I should have d-scanned the gate first?  You guys are so smart.  But I didn't.  The reds were on the gate of course, my safe spot turned out to be off-grid.  Still, I wasn't that worried.  I was in a cloaky Falcon after all.  The bear was not happy about my attitude.

I jumped.  I started warping to the jump bridge, and since I didn't have a BM it took longer than it should have by a few seconds.  Sometimes you need those few seconds.  The reds had followed me and they double bubbled the gate.  Double bubble?  Bah, still not worried, I have escaped worse so many times.  I was cloaked and headed in a random direction... what's this?  One of the reds boated right up to me and de-cloaked me?  These guys are good, much better than the average reds I encounter.  At this point I know I'm dead.  A single Falcon against a swarm of Warrior IIs, 2 Scimis and 2 Sabres?  Not a chance.  I locked 'em anyway, engaged my damage control, did everything by the book and died in a huge fireball.  The bear got me.  There was not a single thing I could have done to change that outcome, once I jumped into system.  Oh sure, I made mistakes before jumping, but even those were not life threatening mistakes.

The thing is, it happens.  The bear isn't laughing, or taunting, or enjoying what happened.  The bear is dispassionate.  The bear is random and he gets everyone.  Newb and veteran alike.  Young or old, rich or poor, blue or red, the bear waits for us all.

The thing is, I've come to appreciate the bear.  I like the fact that the bear is out there in our universe and that he is waiting for us.  The bear levels the playing field, keeps us on our toes and helps to make Eve the insanely cruel universe that it is.  The bear is not for everyone, I know that.  The bear can break you, humble you and bring you low.  The bear makes people quit.  The bear can make you a coward.  But for me, the bear is simply a force of nature.  You can't hate the bear, all you can do is learn to live in its forest, keep a campfire burning at night and hope he stays in his cave long enough for you to get to El Paso.

Ok, the El Paso thing is a clear sign that I've stretched this analogy as far as it'll go.  But you get what I'm saying?  Life is random and so is Eve.  I like that.  And sometimes it works in your favor (when the gate doesn't work for that red you've been chasing) and sometimes it doesn't (when the gate doesn't work for you when you're being chased by reds).