I Came Here to be Podkilled: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Battle Edition

While trying to fly with one of the many fleets involved in taking over the station (and sov) in AF0-V5, I got separated from my fleet, and stumbled into the EVE equivalent of a dark alley. Well, no.

Since I was killed warping in to AF0-V5 itself, it was more like I charged the enemy guns with no backup.

In the tradition of documenting my foolishness in the most exquisite detail, it ent like this: We bridged into somewhere close, I think it was ZBP-TP. We jumped to the next system, DY-P7Q on command but once our fleet and two more were in system we had very serious time dilation maybe down to 26 percent.

The FC said “jump to the next system”. But I didn’t know what the next system was. As you can see from the map, there are systems that you can jump to. So I had to watch other people and see where they were going. How did they know? I got to the pos for the fleet about a minute before it bridged, so maybe there had been instructions, I don’t know. But watching other people in the fleet, they were warping to XVV. So I followed. Someone had linked the target system in fleet chat, so I set my destination.

The FC kept saying “jump to the next system” and we were strung out, so I kept going, thinking “Oh crap, I’m behind”. About the time I was in B-S347, the FC started saying “don’t jump “. I’m not really sure what system name he said, I think he said NS2L-4, one system behind me. I’m quite sure though, that he didn’t say AF0-V5, though. So I jumped. As soon as it finished, I realized that there was a problem. There were bubbles everywhere, and lots of reds on the overview.

So after a delicious few seconds holding my cloak, I started burning for the gate. My pod was starting the jump animation when it blew up.

I guess I should have taken that left at Albuquerque.

And Then There Were Bears

I count myself as one of the “online family” JaquelynHeat describes here. I’m quite gratified by the turnaround she engineered online.

I don’t have to wait long for the opening I want, however. Less than a minute later, the same guy calls BigCountry a “homo”. I’ve got a shot. I’m taking it.

(The following is paraphrased from memory)

EVE RADIO IN-GAME TEXT CHAT:

Jexit > Why are we accusing BC of being a homo like it’s a bad thing? BC would be an awesome homo if he were one.
PlayerX > BEAR!
PlayerY > Good point!
PlayerZ > He’d totally be a bear!

ON THE AIR:

“Listener Jexit in the in-game chat makes a good point here. She says, ‘Why are we accusing BC of being a homo like it’s a bad thing? BC would be an awesome homo..’”
“If I were one!”
“‘…if he were one.’”
“I totally would be!”
“BC would be a great homo!”
“Listeners are saying you’d be a bear, BC.”
“I’d be such a bear!”
“Total bear!”
“I couldn’t deep throat, though. I have a terrible gag reflex.”

I’m hearing a lot fewer, though not none, uses of “faggot” in corp chat and voice than I did during my previous stint serving on the Gulag, as Meclin calls it. Many of the EVE players have been playing for a long time, and are now perhaps older and wiser. That’s good news.

They Came Here to be Podkilled, too

Most of the players that stick with EVE are attracted by one aspect of it that’s quite unusual in the MMO world – it’s possible to lose something into which you have invested a substantial amount of effort.

Usually, after the loss you realize that you were being kind of reckless. Sometimes, like Kidabeybe Ahmed in his vid series about his first 30 days in EVE Online, you have the excuse that you are just a noob. CCP’s Community Spotlight post about him and his series says this:

Though he describes that as a “somewhat upsetting experience” and a “blunder”, it made him realize one of the great things EVE offers; the constant fear of loss. Other games don’t really penalize you for deaths or failures, at least not to the extent EVE does. It is a game where you can really lose a lot of your hard earned money, assets, time, and pride simply because you chose a bad strategy, made a mistake, were incompetent, or (like Kudabeybe) became complacent.
But it is also one of the biggest draws EVE has, and Kudabeybe finds it no different. There are so many little adventures, lessons, and headaches that he’s gone through that he cannot just summarize it simply.

Ayup. (I’m from the down-east region of Norrath, did you know that? They are known for their fabulous crimson locks there. Really.)

Here’s the video of the loss.

If you’ve played EVE at all, you’re going to start cringing at some point while watching that. You know, the “You’re doing WHAT?” reaction.

My noob loss of this nature came about 2-3 weeks in, when I did a haul through lowsec in an Iteron 2, I think. I put it on AP. It was late at night, I was half-asleep at the keyboard. I’d done similar hauls before and had seen no pirates. I told my corpmates that EVE just didn’t seem dangerous enough. I didn’t really need to be taught that lesson twice.

For the longest time, I had some anger toward the guy that ganked me. I didn’t understand why anyone would do that. At this point I realize that it’s for the loot. And the killmail. EVE is about asymmetric combat. You can be a herbivore, and work on ways to not be lunch. Or you can be a carnivore, and try to figure out more ways to have lunch. You can even be a sort of omnivore, spicing up your stable diet of industrialism with bits of tasty pvp now and again. Highsec industrial players are often called carebears, but that’s ignoring the fact that bears are actually kind of scary.

But it isn’t just noobs that do dumb things and lose stuff they didn’t want to lose. This morning The Mittani announced that the Goons had lost a jump freighter with a station egg inside. They lit a cyno with a neut in system. Back when I was a rookie cyno lighter, my elders (well, in EVE experience, anyway) told me never, never, NEVER do this.

Things are different if you own half of Nullsec, I guess. To his credit, Mittens (The Mittani) said no. They did it anyway. The mind boggles.

A station egg is a thingy that you can haul around which eventually assembles itself into a new station. I can’t give you a solid valuation for one, but my wild-assed guess is that it runs about 10 billion ISK. The JF was 4 billion. Maybe it was 20 billion ISK. But the ISK isn’t the only problem, it’s also the opportunity cost. There isn’t exactly a large, accessible market in station eggs. This could set back strategic plans by several weeks, opportunities may be lost entirely because, well, let’s just say that operational security is dead.

Early MMOs had a fairly serious death penalty. I can remember epic corpse runs in Everquest. I remember losing a couple more trying to get the first one back. All that stuff made it that much sweeter when I managed to sneak into the deepest parts of Neriak on some quest. But MMOs have been trending away from this, with death penalties getting smaller and smaller. Anyone wishing to appeal to the mass market probably has to do that, because who volunteers, no, strike that, who pays money to feel like an idiot some of the time. Somehow, though it’s different when it’s other players doing it.

I Came Here To Be Podkilled, and All I Got Was This Lousy Suicide Gank

My highsec mining alt got suicide ganked the other day. I wasn’t even AFK, but I was a bit zoned out. I heard the lock alarm and thought it was another rat until I looked at the overview and saw a blinking skull and crossbones.

“Oh crap” I thought, “It’s a suicide ganker”. I was a bit frozen, but there was no chance to get away. I blew up in about 8 seconds. In my pod, I looked about, wondering where Concord was. The ganker’s ship blew up in about 4 more seconds. And now, I wondered, how does he scoop my loot, and my half-load of ore?

But there was an orca with a tractor beam already reeling it in. The ganker had a -10 security rating. His accomplice must bring ships in the orca, which he takes out just when he spies a target.

The insurance payout on my Retriever was pitiful, covering maybe 10 percent of the replacement cost. The highest level of insurance available on a Retriever (what I was flying) isn’t much better.

In contrast, the Catalyst the ganker was flying was probably completely covered by insurance. This is pretty clearly a deliberate choice made by CCP to make the game interesting. At one level, it’s unfair. And at another level, EVE wouldn’t work as a game if it were fair. EVE Online is a PVP game, even in highsec.

As a case in point, I had an interesting time (after all the swearing) figuring out how to improve my chances. I’ve thought of a few things, but I have to say, Retrievers have no tank, and will never have any tank. In that way, they suck.

Speaking of insurance, these guys, a hedge fund/bank/evil wizard/suicide CDS ganker would be completely at home in EVE.

Would “suicide bankers” be a good name for folks like Blackstone?