Monday, March 29, 2010

And here comes 30!

Yes, some time in the middle of this week Cozmik will hit another benchmark in the number of skill points: 30 million. In the past I've written about the fact that it seems like yesterday I was drinking in all sorts of guides about EVE Online, mainly about the PvP aspects of the game, all while losing Rifter after Rifter after Rifter. But this time I hit the benchmark with a slightly different feeling. As I have done with my one and only corpmate, these days I feel more like being in a teacher/trainer mode. While CHAOT has plenty of advanced characters capable of flying capitals and the most advanced T2 ships, there are also many noobs spread out amoung the various corps in the alliance. Another phenomenon I've noticed here and there, sometimes I come across a character that is older than mine, but find out that the amount of skill points and game experience is below mine, sometimes by a large margin, mainly due to the player taking breaks off the game, from a few months here and there to entire years. Apart from the fact that I should have a lot more ISK to my name than I currently do, I'm happy with the sort of experience the game has given me, and even more happy than in the 2 and a quarter years of Cozmik's existence, skill training has never stopped except maybe a few times in cases of bad timing in the days before the skill queue, and exactly twice after. All in all I think there's only a training hole of 2-3 days, no more. Sure I've had learning implants only recently but at least I was able to train mostly non-stop.

But the experiences I've had. Be they good or bad, they all help understanding this beast of a game. You can tell people to fly only what they can afford to lose till you're blue in the face, but people will never understand until they lose something expensive. And I don't care how much a noob says to me "it won't happen"; fuck you noob, it will. You can tell people the theory behind tackling a ship, but the only way to learn tackling is by doing it, and doing it, and doing it. There will be easy ones where you come in at a perfect angle to get under the guns and never get shot, to complete fail ones where you're swatted of the sky before you get in scram range. But there will be more experience coming out of the failures than from the easy successes. But those can be fun too! Not a lot of people can say they've killed a carrier with nothing more than T1 jihad cruisers. God that was funny! Or a hauler so full of POS modules and fuel that none of our ships could loot the wreck. Those taught the lesson that going afk or flying unscouted in 0.0 is asking for it. Which brings me to my next subject, scouting.

How many times have I heard that when flying something big and/or expensive, "get a scout" ? I myself have lost ships to not being scouted properly, sometimes by my own fault, sometimes the scout's. But scouting itself, expecially in enemy territory... apart from actually fighting I don't think there's a more exciting activity to do in the game. Before I even think about doing any kind of activity in hostile regions, I get into something fast and cheap (I consider interceptors cheap now, but a speed fit Rifter would do) and proceed to fly straight into potential danger as if I'm about to own the place, but knowing I don't own it yet; paperwork at the notary still needs to be done! I then proceed to make a few safespots in the middle of nowhere, which are never fully safe but can be made on the fly, and tactical spots off grid of stations and stargates. Go to the next system in the constellation, rinse, repeat. Inevitably something will happen: hostiles will want to frag you. And as with other activities in EVE, there is only one way to learn evasive maneuvers, and it usually involves jumping into a potential bubble camp. I can tell you from experience, slipping away from an enemy gang is almost as satisfying as getting a good kill. Case in point: I was tooling around the entrance constellation to Providence near my alliance's current HQ, bookmarking the hell out of the place and dodging a bunch of Amarr god worshippers. Quite fun that! While a lot of more sensible pilots would have backed off and gone back home, I had decided to sacrifice my ship and possibly my pod in getting as many bookmarks as possible, even under the eyes of the enemy at times. It took them just short of an hour and a bit of luck to finally squeeze me on a gate, but I don't know how CVA does things because they failed to get my pod not just after killing my ship, but in TWO systems and THREE bubbles! The Eris pilot must've been distracted or something because he should have had plenty of time to pod me, And the other ships? I don't know, maybe they were scared of warping to a bubble or something. But even with luck and enemy failure, I can thank my scouting experience for getting at least my pod out of that particular fire. I think I'll write my next post on the scouting and evasive maneuvering subjects as I will be doing this quite a bit in the near future. I've done it in Curse. I've done it to a certain extent in Catch, Scalding Pass, Wicked Creek, Providence, Great Wildlands, Syndicate, and even low-sec and W-space. Believe me, it's worth taking the time to do!

So where to now after the command ship and 30 million SP? Well, I have the other command ships to train, and before that logistics ships, even though I don't think that fits my style of flying very well. I've recently been asked the question about capital ships, and I still stand by my view of them: they are big fat slow targets waiting to be DD'ed by the next Titan. I know some people love the big fleet fights, but I would find multi-hour poundfests where I have to shut off my brain and do the FC's bidding extremely boring and annoying. I much prefer small gang skirmish warfare because I'm just too much of a twitch player. So I'm pretty sure I'll be training capital ships only after I've trained every races' ship classes up to level V, and then some. Caps bore me that much. But participating at blowing 'em up? Ah, now that's a different story! Next life report at 40 million :)

Fly for your adrenalin levels and dopamin rewards