Nothing like getting dragged into Court multiple times, selling a house, moving into a new house, finding out your business partner has inoperable cancer, practicing and planning an AT run, dealing with weird kids and moving your entire Pirate base of operations under constant war decs to keep you effectively out of Eve since May. Before yesterday my last in-game fight was on May 24th when I lost a Slicer that I shouldn't have lost. I can still remember that day. Already the strain of real life was showing in how I was playing. After eight years I needed a break.
And while I remained as active as ever, or even more so, in the community at large - I also pulled back from Eveoganda. My posting rate dropped significantly. But y'know, I needed a break here as well. Needless to say I am back to a more "normal" schedule. What that means exactly will have to remain TBD until after next week. But my intention is to return to a more regular schedule both here in these pages and in-game.
So yesterday I finally had the chance to undock and go hunting. And man did I feel rusty. For me the rust shows itself in all the little things that I forget about, or that lack of practice has dulled. Things that constant AT practice doesn't really account for. Not to mention an overall lack of situational awareness that comes from living in a new neighborhood and flying in it every single day naturally brings with it.
So I fit up a Comet and went roaming around town. At first it was intended as a sight-seeing tour with no real plans to engage anything. Just to get my feet wet. But, you know me, that attitude didn't last long. Especially when I spotted the Dramiel. I had engaged a Tristan earlier without being able to kill him before he ran off. And this is where the rust comes back in. Like an idiot I had forgot to set my armor repper reload to off. As soon as the Dramiel explodes the Tristan shows up and points me. My AB is already toast and my repper is busy loading nanite paste. Grumble. I go boom. Shame on me. But lesson learned.
So I fit up a Slicer and go back out. Get back on the horse. And then I spot a couple of Tuskers in local flying around in Slashers. There is also a very young Stay Frostian in local that is learning the ropes. At first I try to get a fight going that I can call her in on at the last minute to help out without too much danger. But two Slashers are a bit much. But I just can't resist. So for what seems like ten minutes we dance, they warp in and out, pull me off the gate, and we all try to position ourselves properly. Eventually all this dancing around gets serious and the first Slasher explodes just as the second one lands close enough for it to explode as well.
During the AT I pretty much exclusively flew large ships. I flew a Svipul a few times in practice, but it was mostly BS and BCs for me. To be honest my small ship skills were really rusty. But the only way to fix that is by getting out there and fighting again. A slicer is not a big ship and it isn't flown like one. As well as I had manually performed in that 2v1 with Nuke, I did the complete opposite in my next fight with another Slicer. I wish I had better news, but I totally derped the fight and exploded.
The worst part was the very slight delay in getting my pod out. During the AT practices and matches your pod is not a target, so apparently my GTFO reflex is also rusty and I managed to get podded as well.
I deserved it. This is what rust looks like. I am still the Pirate Lord of Low Sec and capable of good fights, but I'm also a tad rusty and capable of totally screwing up. Now that I think about it however, this is not all that different from how I normally fly.
It felt incredibly good being back flying around looking for fights again. And it feels good writing about it.