If Eve is a journey and not a destination (and it is), then that road is a long one. Been traveling down that road for almost three years now one step at a time. It can be a weary, tiresome journey at times, but it is always the road ahead that entices us.
Along the way we can often pause, take a deep breath, look back and see how far we've travelled. What mistakes we've made, what challenges we've overcome and just how far along the road we've survived. Really, when it comes down to it, the only way to 'win' Eve is to never give up.
So I hit a couple of milestones recently and am looking to hit a few more in the coming days and weeks. Yesterday I managed to get to 1,200 kills on the killboard (to 315 losses). To many people that isn't an impressive number, but for me it is more about what it means in recent history, rather than what it means for the two years prior. For someone that was averaging a pod death every 14.8 days, the fact that I've now gone over 75 without one - well, it says something. Personal gratification, nothing more really. The same could be said for ship losses as well. The numbers are way down.
I've always taken the fighting portion of the game seriously, as seriously as someone who doesn't take Eve seriously can take it. But over the last six months I've really tried to fight smarter and it seems to be paying off. Smarter doesn't mean I still don't dive right in, because I do, but it does mean I might not. And the might nots have saved me some deaths that in the old days I would've suffered. In the early days I didn't often have a "might not" button.
Another part of that journey is another milestone coming up shortly. I am now training the skill (Recon V) that will take me over 50 million skill points. In conjunction to trying to take things a tad more seriously, the increase in skills is really starting to show. Obviously. I can remember being so excited when those numbers finally rolled over to 10m and then finally to 20m, somewhere in that range where the magical Eve Fairy decides you are no longer a Newb. And then 30, 40 and now 50. Still a week or so away yet.
Another milestone happened yesterday that isn't as monumental as some but for me meant a lot personally. After almost two years of being able to fly a Tengu, I purposefully undocked in mine yesterday alone with the express purpose of killing someone in it. This might sound odd, so bear with me. I've flown the Tengu (2 generations now) and have never lost one, but only in short, easy gang flights that had a high level of probable success. Sucker cost me a lot of iskies and I don't like flying things I ain't fully skilled for. (Those were the old days.) So a lot of other skills had to come first, always something more important on the plan.
But the last few weeks I finally got around to topping off three of the T3 Support skills to V and the rest are at IV. So I undocked to hunt and kill something, alone. It took awhile but my patience finally paid off. The kill itself wasn't much to write home about, but it was what it represented that meant something. I was patient, cold and methodical as I warped in at 40k and slowly burned towards my prey, cloaked and silent, only to spring on them and destroy them before they knew what hit 'em. Which is exactly what this machine and I aim to do more of in the coming weeks and months.
Eve is a journey. No matter where you are on that path, hang tough, stick with it and never, ever give up. That's how they beat you.