This entry has been written from an ‘out of character’ perspective to talk about the feeling of losing ships.
About an hour before starting to write this, I shared a thought in alliance chat; I’m about due to write another blog entry, but I can’t recall any of the several ideas I’d had for topics in the past few days. Hmm. Sure enough, my own stupidity then went ahead and cured that problem for me. Yay!
I haven’t been on EVE much for a couple of weeks following a holiday and my net connection deciding to become suddenly and utterly terribad. Since I was last on for any length of time my alliance, Ushra’Khan, has relocated from a short mini-campaign of raiding Providence out to new digs in Etherium Reach. As I haven’t had time to move my ass/any ships out there and the fact that I’ll be away again in a couple of days anyway, I decided to be a bad alliance member and ignore the fleet form up calls. I know, I’m a horrible person.
Instead, as my wallet only had a hundred million ISK in it (for the record I’m a poor veteran who sucks at ISK making), I decided to stay in Minnie space and re-run the Wildfire epic arc instead for a reasonable pay day. To do this, I dusted off my Vargur which has been sitting idle for months on end. Might as well give the old girl a workout, eh?
I then proceeded to charge into the second mission and make a quick grab for the objective as my mighty tank repels the incoming fire of the puny, if numerous, mercenary NPC’s.
I did say that I suck at making ISK. But hey, the default insurance payout doubled my wallet! Thats good, right? Right? So I lost a Vargur, to NPC’s, worth something like 1.2 billion (T2 fit, never did invest in blingy mods on account of poorness). That’s a rage moment if there ever was one, right? Oddly, I’m very relaxed about it. Which got me thinking about this entry.
When I first started to play EVE, ship losses were frustrating. As I had expended effort to buy and fit the ship from my limited assets, getting blown up in EVE was (and still is) a much bigger deal than getting killed in most other games. In other games you either reload from a save, simply lose a match and move onto the next with only your pride being affected or perhaps suffer only a minor setback to your progress. But in EVE, ISK can be hard earned and the loss can have considerable impact on your plans time-wise if you are now stuck in enemy territory or got podded back to base. Or if you need to go out and buy/fit another mission running ship. Whelp.
There was a time when losing something as expensive as a Vargur would have been a seriously frustrating experience. But instead I just felt a momentary flash of annoyance and immediately set course back to base in the next system where I still had the mission running Maelstrom battleship that I hadn’t touched for even longer than the Vargur. I then went straight back into the mission and ran it properly using range and actual attention to the state of my shields.
So when did I stop getting angry over my ship losses? I really would have expected to be more attached to losing that Vargur. Is it because I lost it to NPC’s rather than in PVP? Maybe. Or is it because I clearly haven’t been relying on keeping it?
There is a well commented mindset ‘threshold’ that all EVE players need to get themselves past at some point, if they ever intend to take a risk in EVE at least. Accepting that sooner or later you will lose your ship. And not rage quitting when it does happen. There is a constant friction in EVE between the players who are willing to take risks and accept the consequences of losing their stuff, and those that are perhaps risk-adverse and intensely dislike that experience. Those that have passed the threshold and those that fear it.
I have heard the Mittani (and therefore the Goons generally) talk of ‘entitlement’. The attitude of players coming to EVE with the view that what they earn or acquire should remain theirs and not be taken from them. Essentially the idea that EVE can be too harsh and that others should not be so able to destroy and take from them. That they should be ‘safe’ if they choose to be, that consequences should be small.
These days I will charge my interdictors into the middle of an enemy fleet, bubble up and usually die gloriously, probably getting myself podded in the process. Hopefully my side will then score some kills thanks to my ‘heroics’. Then I re-ship and try to do it again. Not being a wealthy player, and although I may get some kind of reimbursement on a dictor loss from the alliance, it isn’t without impact on my wallet. But the white-knuckle ride of diving through a pack of hostiles like that ‘I was there‘ dude is fun. Fun enough to turn around and go do it again.
That elusive threshold might well be the key to enjoying EVE at its best, free of the frustration of getting ganked and the rage of losing a ship. Once you can get over losing your ships, you can get on with enjoying the game. All of the game, not just the safer, more controlled parts. Apparently, you can even get over the big, stupid, losses and carry on regardless. Who knew?
Go forth and fly dangerously!
P.S. I later remembered that the last time I ran that epic arc, I lost a loki by underestimating the incoming DPS…maybe I’m a slow learner? 😉