Before I get to the particulars of last evening, I’d like to go over a bit of my Eve history. I’ve been playing Eve on and off since about 2005. I don’t remember too much about my earliest time in New Eden, other than I was ridiculously horrible at internet spaceships; my first loss just happened to be an industrial in Rancer, ‘nough said. But, I just couldn’t seem to find a place I fit and I let my subscription run out.
A few years later I came back and thought I’d give it another go. I restarted my account, logged in, and not too long after I found myself in a highsec industrial corp. They were an OK group of pilots, but very focused on their business ventures, and light on socializing. I built up a secondary indy toon , shot rocks, and built frigates that I hauled off to market. That was actually fun, for a time, because I felt like I was finally achieving something in Eve. I enjoyed watching my sell orders tick down to zero, and having money to buy shiny ships to run missions with on my other character.
The fun disappeared when my little industrial corp decided they were going to pick up and move to null in search of larger paydays. This was during the time when the BoB blob was smeared all over the map and Goonswarm’s little bees were stinging them wherever they could. We moved to Providence, which was relatively safe, but I didn’t know that at the time. All I knew was that people in null were quite skilled at killing other capsuleers, and I didn’t have a clue about defending myself. So, I did what carebears do in highsec when there are bad guys around; I stopped hitting the undock button. Needless to say, that got boring really fast and I let my subscription run out again.
Fast forward a few more years. I had been playing other online games, and regularly visiting gaming sites. Of course, I continually came across stories from New Eden. They were full of colorful characters, epic betrayals, and massive heists. The allure was just too strong, and I wanted to experience more of what Eve had to offer. I started a fresh character, came up with a training plan and ended up joining Eve University. My time in the Uni was educational and pretty fun as well, but a big promotion at work came along and gaming had to take a back seat. Sporadically logging in turned into not logging in at all so, once again, I let my subscription lapse.
I settled into my new job, started finding I had free time again, and reactivated my subscription a few weeks ago. I logged into my Eve twitter account and started trying to interact more with the community. That’s a difficult thing for me, as I am a rather shy and introverted person, but I really made the effort. That’s when I came across Rixx Javix talking about Stay Frosty. I had never done anything remotely close to lowsec pirating before, but it sounded fun and exciting so I applied to the corp after Rixx bribed me with cookies and pies shaped like frigates.
This brings us to last night. I had yet to engage a target as I was too busy training EFT Warrior V so that I could be an elite lowsec pirate. Akirra Menelaos was on and decided to pull my little Buzzard and I into a fleet. We scanned some people down, had some near misses and then I thought, “Hey, what the hell am I going to do when we actually catch something?” Determined to be more than just a spectator, I scurried off to get a Manticore I’d set up to catch explorers and Ventures. I hopped into my Manti and zipped back to Hevrice, then began bouncing between belts.
Not too long after I came across a wee little Venture pewing rocks in one of our belts. Cloaked, I crept up on him slowly, careful not to get too close to any asteroids that would decloak me. 10km, 9km, 8km, he was in range and my heart was pounding. I dropped my cloak, jammed my double scram hotkeys and clicked his name in the overview. I listened as the locking sound beeped, my heart racing. HE WAS LOCKED! Then nothing happened. My UI made some strange noise, and as I tried to figure out what went wrong he flew off. Then I saw it. I had forgotten to disable my safety. Dejected, and slightly embarrassed, I docked up for a few to wash the egg off my face.
Not ready to give up, I undocked and started jumping through systems, checking their belts as I went. It took a while, but I eventually found another little Venture just mining away. I landed about 12km from him, and checked my safety. Again, I approached slowly and carefully, while checking my safety. His little ship slid right into the range bubble of my overlay, and I checked my safety. With my heart pounding loud enough that I felt it in my ears, I checked my safety again, then dropped cloak, stabbed my hotkeys and clicked his name in the overview. Got him! Rockets started flying and the white bars started filling with red rapidly. Nervously, I kept my eyes on dscan and my overview. A ship was coming, oh shit! It landed on grid and I noticed it was just another Venture. The newcomer saw me, shit purple twinkies, then bolted off while I turned his buddy to space dust. Somehow, I remembered to go for the pod after his ship popped. Lock, scram, fire, pop and the capsuleer was on his way to a fresh clone.
Now, you’re probably thinking that it wasn’t much of a fight, but for me it was exciting. I had never voluntarily engaged someone in Eve before. It was the first time I had ever experienced the feeling of being a predator in New Eden, instead of just being prey. Stoked, I started system hopping again to find another target. I found one a few systems over; it was a Procurer sitting in an ice belt. I didn’t jump him right away because I remembered that those things have drones, and a stealth bomber would probably die way too fast to his drones for me to get the kill. I relayed what I found in corp chat and both Edge Of Oblivion and Akirra said they were on their way.
I found myself sitting there, cloaked, just a few KM from a target while waiting for the Calvary to arrive. My hands started to get twitchy, and my palms were starting to sweat. It felt so weird to be so close to someone and they were totally oblivious to my presence. My corpmates started updating me. Five jumps out, four jumps out, and then at three jumps the target warped off. We all agreed that he was probably just going to empty his cargo and that he would return, so I held my position. Sure enough, he returned when they were about one jump out, so I got myself back in range.
I saw purple names show up in local and Edge said, “Grab him!” I dropped my cloak, locked, scrammed and then let the rockets rip. Then something unexpected happened; icons started appearing on the bottom of my screen. I was scrammed, webbed and there was even a tracking disrupter icon. It was a trap. A Tristan landed on grid and started in on me, and I was swarmed by Hobgoblins. My corpmates had hit the grid by this time and started to work, but the Hobgoblins from both ships were tearing through my shields faster than my medium ASB could repair the damage. I ran out of charges and went pop. I got my pod out and started bouncing around between celestials before finally docking up.
To many people, losing a ship with fittings worth about 38 million isk and only killing a Procurer and Tristan in return may seem like an embarrassing loss, but not to me. What made it worth it to me were the excitement, and the fun. I had a great time last night, probably more so than all the other time I’ve spent in Eve combined. I got a few kills, learned a few things, and best of all, I got to spend some time getting to know some of the great people in Stay Frosty. There is absolutely no amount of isk worth more than that.