Old Brutor, new tricks

This entry has been written from an ‘out of character’ perspective to expand on the topic of my last entry, why I have decided to start up a new corp.

Something that frequently surprises me as I look around the EVE blogging community is that most of my peers have not been playing EVE for anywhere near as long as I have.  Don’t get me wrong, most of what I read strikes me as informed and knowledgeable, I just find it surprising that many of the people whose writing I read each week have been playing for 2-4 years.

I started playing EVE in June 2004, and have been continuously subscribed since.  My first corp, the Friggin’ Masters was a little start-up of which I was the third member to join.  We were a small corp flying around Heimatar for less than 6 months (if memory serves, CONCORD records don’t go back that far so the exact date is lost to history) before joining up with Ushra’Khan.

I have been a member of Ushra’Khan ever since, so maybe eight years now.  I have gone through various corp mergers over the years, been a director for most of it and was a CEO for a time.  I dropped Ugleb out of the alliance proper for a few months (to do FW years back in U’K’s former FW corp), but spent most of that time logged in with the alt still in U’K doing alliance stuff.  There was also that couple of months where Ushra’Khan got hijacked and we  created the Damu’Khonde banner to fly under until eventually reverting to Ushra’Khan, if you want to complicate the point.  For eight years, I was flying with the same group.

In EVE, who you fly with is a big deal.  Players who join a player corp are much more likely to keep playing than players who are in NPC corps.  Achieving something as a group often feels like a much bigger deal than a solo objective.  Social ties keep people logging in from day to day even if they aren’t all that enthused with the idea of another nights ratting or whatever.  So, after eight years with the same group, why leave?

In truth, it is those social ties that kept me with Ushra’Khan for so long, as I have considered moving on a number of times over the past couple of years but kept talking myself out of it.  In fact, I was all set to finally do it last summer just before Ushra’Khan underwent a sudden and dramatic change of leadership and direction that saw the alliance leaving null sec and heading into Factional Warfare just in time for Inferno.

Which is what I was intending to do myself, so that worked out ok.  I left the corp I had once been CEO of, Sarz’na Khumatari, and switched over to one the two corps that would be taking Ushra’Khan into FW, Masuat’aa Matari.  I had been CEO of SARZ for 2 years, I stood down a few months earlier once I realised that I just wasn’t invested in what the alliance was doing at the time in null sec.  Despite that, leaving those guys wasn’t easy, those social links tug at the old hearts strings….

Being in FW is something I have felt much more positively about, but there was always that lingering question with some in U’K over how long it would last.  After six months it seems things have been coming to a head with a divide opening up.  Most of the newly recruited corps wanted to stick with FW while others saw it as a temporary thing before getting back into null.  There was a recent discussion among leadership about it that showed those wanting null sec wanted it soon, the rest weren’t keen.  Things happened quickly and now Ushra’Khan is returning to null, minus the people committed to an FW lifestyle.

And minus me.

Null sec wasn’t doing it for me last summer and the thought of going back still isn’t doing it for me.  I have spent most of my time in EVE around null sec, doing the bloc politics thing and doing the whatever else thing and I’m feeling pretty done with it.

It feels kind of scary to be doing this, but I think it is time to try stepping out from under Ushra’Khan’s long shadow and what has sometimes felt like the great weight of all that history accumulated over eight years.

As with leaving SARZ, I still feel conflicted.  There are people in -MM- I’m Ushra’Khan that I’m going to miss being around so much.  But, I need to try something new and challenge myself to grow (maybe re-grow?) as a player a little.  There are times I wear Ushra’Khan and the people around me like a comfort blanket, or maybe a safety net.  Maybe I’m a little too settled these days.  So, here are my three personal challenges:

1)  I have been a director, I have been a CEO, but I feel like I have never really set out to build a corp from nothing.  Most of what I have done was designed to fit into the greater alliance needs and culture, so this time it will be up to me to begin define what the corp is.  In time (I hope!) I will find others to help build its culture.

2) I have always sucked at recruitment.  Time to learn how to do it right.  Tips welcome! 😉

3) I think I will need to re-learn some PVP skills, particularly some basic FC skills as it is most likely going to be up to me to lead by example.

It is time for this old Brutor to learn some new tricks.

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