As our small fleet warped to Heydieles, I was feeling much better about my ability to perform. I wasn’t going to be a rock star but I should be able to keep up. Earlier in the evening, I’d taken the Atron out to do a few missions. The agents available to me weren’t great and it’s not really what the corporation advises – doing missions flagged as a Faction Warfare target. However, I needed combat practice that wasn’t sitting back as a drone boat, which is what I’m used to as a PVE Gallente pilot.
Cat Meet Mouse
Faction Warfare thus far has been a cat-and-mouse affair. We scurry around the system looking for targets and I assume the enemy is doing the same. We encounter a single ship here and there, as they’re warping through. A warning blip on the screen for a nanosecond. We land near a pilot mid task. He detects us and warps off like a comet. We send Inceptors forth on recon. They relay intell of any possible encounters. Often times, by the time we arrive the opportunity is gone. As a result, I haven't seen many multiple ship encounters.
I was fine as we roamed low sec. I felt on top of things and aware. I was occasionally sent off to check gates and returned without incident. As luck would have it, we had just missed a scuffle in Tama. When we arrived the participants were still talking shit to each other in local chat. Damn! We’d been roaming for a while and had come up empty handed. Oh well, we continued looking for a fight. I was sent to check for targets at another outpost and zipped off.
Sitting = Duck
In hindsight, I should have arrived at the outpost EXPECTING trouble. The second I saw a war target at the acceleration gate I should have communicated “Target at Medium [Outpost]”. Instead I tried to lock and scramble the ship so it wouldn’t be another lost opportunity. What followed unfolded like a slow motion FX scene in a movie.
My lock target flashed once…twice. Suddenly multiple targets appeared out of thin air – de-cloaked. OH SHIT, lamb to slaughter. I clicked the name of the first gate I saw in my overview. The shock of how quickly my ship was evaporating out from under me caused me to hesitate for a second. That second cost me my pod. As I pressed warp, I saw a blinding white light and heard an explosion. My screen seemed to freeze momentarily.
I knew my ship was gone but it wasn’t until I saw my corpse floating in space that I knew my pod had also been destroyed. It happened so quickly, there was no display update between ship destroyed, pod in space, pod gone. The next thing I knew I was resurrecting in Duripant. I communicated that there were war targets as my ship went boom. By then, I think they’d found quarry closer to them and were trying to engage in time.
Know what’s in your Head
I haven’t played EVE seriously in a couple of years at least. I haven’t done too much that would put me in harm’s way in an even longer time. Running missions in a Vexor is cruise control. Drones kill stuff while I salvage, loot and read local chat.
I knew my ships were at risk in FW. In theory, I knew people got podded in EVE but I'd never been popped before. Not even during the fiasco of a corp and war dec drama had I been podded. And I don't remember it being a "thing" back then but it certainly seems to be the flavor now.
While recovering my composure in Duripant, I opened up and read the combat loss log and gasped. Fuck the ships! I’d just coughed up implant blood worth 300M ISK Ugh. OMG, I don’t recall buying implants that expensive and slapping them in my noggin. I have no idea what would have possessed me to even do so. I don’t play EVE at “that” level. I’ve never played EVE at “that” level. WTF was I thinking??
The irony was thick. During our roam there was a senior corp member talking about being cautious that night and being teased because he didn't want to get capped with the implants he had. I thought he meant he was carrying them in his ship's cargo and wondered why hadn't left them behind. DOH, he must have meant in his head.
Another head slap moment. I suspect I'm going to have quite a few of these before I come out the other end of things. Well damn, nothing to be done about it now. I have to chalk the whole thing up to more lessons learned for an inexperienced PVP pilot.
- ALWAYS EXPECT TROUBLE
- D-fucking SCAN - not sure cloaked ships would have shown but should have anyway as common practice!!!!
- Communicate BEFORE you engage – help can be on the way
- Warp first be shocked later – plenty of time to sit with your mouth hanging open while your pod is safely in the station
- No expensive implants – if you don’t have them avoid until you PVP like a pro
- Ensure your clone meets or exceeds your current skill requirements – I knew I had that covered
- Move your damn clone – You can relocate your clone closer to the region your fighting in, possibly right in your home station if it provides clone services
It’s the little things in EVE that can bring you to your knees. Grrr – I don’t feel discouraged. No, I feel more determined to get better! If anything, I have a growing desire to be capable of inflicting similar pain. #wickedgrin
Off to see what implants I can afford to replace. I certainly won't be buying expensive ones.