Thursday, 12 January 2012

2011: The High Points

This was a post inspired by Jester and FNG, and I hope you will all forgive me the self indulgent reminising.

Jester made a list of the most significant events in EVE for 2011. FNG noted that the events on Jester's list, while significant, did not affect him on a personal level. His own list would be full of events that made little difference to anyone but those involved; special kills, and the like.

I whole heartedly agree with FNG, and this got me thinking about my own list of memorable events. After some (brief) thought, this is what I came up with.

5) Punisher 6.3: This was my first low sec kill, and a classic Punisher v Rifter. While I had made some other kills previously, they were in high sec, and the pilots were other noobs. This, on the other hand, was a genuine, scary, low sec roam hitting a genuine, scary, low sec Rifter. The details of the fight have faded from memory, but the ship itself is the only early combat kill that really sticks in my mind.

4) Punisher 19.8: While I had read about the Tuskers, and even managed to join the corp, this was one of my first chances to see them in action. Flying with Kishin was an eye opening experience; as I think I say in my post, I was struck by the fact that, rather than congratulate himself for surviving a 1v2, he chastised himself for letting one get away. My entire perspective on EVE pvp shifted that day.

3) Vengeance & Dramiel v Caldari Navy Caracal & Tengu: Another crazy Kishin experience, and my first T3 kill. I remember this kill especially because of how it contrasted with Punisher 19.8. I entered the fight because Kishin called for backup rather than simply because I was there. I survived the fight rather than being casually swatted aside. I contributed rather than effectively being a spectator. It was a really good feeling. I think that's when I first started feeling like I was doing more than just freeloading off my corp-mates.

2) Vengeance et alia v Dramiel et alia: It's actually only the Pilgrim at the end of the fight that sticks in my mind, but it's not something I'm likely to forget any time soon. First and foremost, I remember because my corp mates did not abandon me when I was pointed, despite the seeming certainty that they would be destroyed. I was completely new to the Tuskers, and there were no bonds of loyalty between us beyond a corp ticker. But they stayed anyway.

Secondly, I remember the intense micro it took to keep the Pilgrim pointed, myself alive, and the drones under fire; I was taken by surprise, but I rose to the occassion.

Finally, it's the first time I met/flew with our commander in chief, Ka Jolo.

If you've never flown with him, I'll tell you that no matter what's going on, Jolo always seems calm. He can be in he middle of losing a ship, and his voice stays low and even. So here's me, freaking out over all this micro, unable to believe that I'm still alive (and wondering when my luck will run out) and Jolo calmly strolls up (Jolo does not warp anywhere, he strolls. Seriously. Even his Interceptors.) in a Hurricane to resucue us and extract an outlandish (in my noobish eyes) ransom from the Pilgrim.

All together, it was very much a "welcome to the Tuskers" moment.

1) Punisher 18.5: I've never put as much effort into a single kill as I did into this one, and I have never, before or since, soloed another Battleccruiser in a T1 Frigate. It was also the second above class kill I needed to apply to the Tuskers, and so this kill is indelibly linked my mind to joining my corp. The two events, taken together, have probably been the most rewarding experience I have had in EVE to date.


I did not reread any of these fights before (or after) posting about them, so there may well be some inconsistencies. However, that's not the point. Instead, the focus of this post is about the lasting impression these experience left on me.

I've tried to be pretty honest about how I felt, right up to the wide-eyed noobishness that I can see clearly on the page. Truth is, those moments of noobish wonder, that feeling of crossing a threshold, are the most powerful experiences EVE offers. Part of the magic of this game is that it offers so many thresholds for us to cross.

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