This entry includes both an ‘in character’ and ‘out of character’ perspective on my decision to reunite with some old friends.
A few minutes after warping into the complex, I see the tell-tale flicker on my sensors of another ship dropping out of warp behind me. It is of course my old brother is arms Starcasher joining me in his Thrasher. I had in turn responded to his call for back up a few minutes earlier as our small fleet spread itself across the warzone hotspots. In Egmar we skirmish against pirates and later on we re-group in Dal to fight the pilots of the 24th Imperial Crusade.
As I drift a few kilometers off the acceleration gate in Dal, a hostile Maller warps in 50km or so away. I bring the nose of my destroyer around and gun the engines. As my speed begins to pick up I kick the microwarpdrive into life and close the distance rapidly, locking on and immobilising the cruiser’s warp core with my disruptor as I unleash the first of my howitzers and settle into a wide orbit. I put out the call to my fleet for support, relaying the position of the target. I soon start to take hits despite my speed and am forced to warp off and hope that my wing mates can land in time to take over.
The fight around the acceleration gate is escalating. As the Maller’s tank finally begins to give out under our bombardment, more hostiles begin landing on the gate itself, luckily for us the fight is nearly 60km off-gate, buying our frigates and destroyers time to finish off the Maller as more hostile cruisers spill into the fight. Explosions ripple across the hull of my dying target as I detect target locks being acquired against me. Time to bail out, I activate my warp drive and get clear.
Discussion bounces back and forth as the fleet shifts positions and moves to attack or secure yet more facilities in and around Dal. The Amarr have had us on the backfoot for awhile now, but here and there we press at their defences. I listen to the familiar voices around me, and I allow myself to hope that this is the humble beginnings of how we begin to turn it around again.
And the OOC bit…
Back at the start of the year I parted ways with the Ushra’Khan as I decided not to join them in heading back out to null sec. That was a hard call for me to make as for the vast majority of my (almost 9 year long) EVE career I had been a die-hard member of that same alliance. I just really did not want to go back to null sec and needed to go do my own thing for awhile.
So I started up my Brutor themed corp, Jotunn Risi. Starting up a new corp isn’t easy and tends to work best if you are starting out with a small core of pilots that you bring with you from someplace else. Some corps basically get lucky, such as Brave Newbies, and get just the right exposure at the right time and see recruits pouring in out of nowhere. Most don’t stick around long term of course, but unless the CEO completely blows it they have picked up enough people with which to build a solid core. Most corps don’t experience this and have to rely on other means to draw in bodies. In the case of JORIS, growth has been very slow which I put down to three things.
Firstly, the Brutor-only policy excludes most potential recruits straight off, I always knew this was a case of hamstringing myself but it is the point of the whole exercise. I could have just joined my friends in TRIAD otherwise, which I very nearly did do instead. It would have fit all of my other criteria in sticking with FW and people who ‘get’ Minmatar RP stuff as well as being PVP nuts.
The second issue is tied to the third. I have been lazy about pushing recruitment, which is at least partly because I have actually been enjoying the quiet life after years of alliance theatrics. Doing my own thing on my own timetable has been a guilty pleasure, but I do sometimes feel a bit guilty about not having progressed the corp more by now.
An MMO however, is not intended to be a solitary experience. I am a firm believer that playing EVE solo is missing the point. While I have been keeping in contact with people socially, my actual play hasn’t been. I have spent very little time in gangs over the last few months, and in truth I probably haven’t been as engaged with EVE at times. I think EVE Hermit hit the nail on the head with this piece, if you are not playing the game with a decent group of people then you drift away from it a bit. I still very much enjoy EVE, but I do need to continue adapting how I approach it. Right now that means get back to flying with friends and making new ones.
Ushra’Khan returning to FW is something I have approached with caution. Leaving was a difficult decision but one that had valid reasons backing it up. I simply hadn’t been happy with how things were going for a long time in null sec before U’K joined FW in time for the Inferno expansion. Then I was really not comfortable with the decision to abruptly go back! What I don’t want to do is go through rejoining only for the alliance to switch direction a few months later and end up quitting again. It would just be frustrating.
But I have assurances that isn’t going to happen this time around. Ushra’Khan is committing to stability and sticking with FW for the next year at least. To be fair, that is about as much as I could ask for and a year is a long time in EVE, except for when it really isn’t. What will be going on a year from now is really anyone’s guess, but for now I’m going to enjoy flying with old friends again.
And maybe I’ll even get to grips with this recruitment thing.