First Blood

Savvy Kneel 2018-05-22

Header art by Empanada

The call came in just as I was returning home from a ratting run a few systems over. The timing was perfect, so I parked my Algos, hopped into my tackle Atron (thank you, GSF Free Frigates Program!) and joined the fleet.

The op was a strategic one focused on entosis – not typically the most exciting excursion. But I’m still new, and still trying to learn everything I can. I’d joined a fleet the night before under the same FC, but screwed up on one of the jumps, got badly separated from the fleet deep in enemy territory, and ended up dropping fleet and skulking home alone. I wanted the opportunity to prove – even if only to myself – that I could manage to follow instructions, stick with the fleet, and play my part properly.

Beyond making sure my ship was pointed in the right direction at the right time, what I expected was a fairly routine milk run. What I got was a window into Goonswarm’s philosophy that “every ship counts.”

As the fleet waited for the entosis ships to do their thing, the FC got word of an enemy ship trying to interfere, and dispatched a group of tackle frigates who weren’t currently scouting (which included me) a few systems over to intercept. I’d been tackled a few times while out ratting (and died quickly each time), but had never intentionally engaged in combat with another capsuleer up until this point. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I navigated as quickly as I could to the coordinates provided.

The Entosis-fitted Prophecy that had been trying to interrupt our mission was still at almost full health, but wasn’t going anywhere – having been tackled by no less than nine of the fleet’s small frigates (including myself) as well as one Confessor. Her drones were gone, and she had no guns, so it was just a matter of time. I added my web, warp disruptor, and nos to the mix, and together we orbited at close range and wore her down.

It was a slow process for a gaggle of frigates without much in the way of DPS. The Confessor, of course, got in most of the damage at 39%. With my weak railguns I managed a respectable 6.9% myself, and it was my KarmaFleet corpmate, Versace Mooch, who delivered the final coup de grace from his Condor with a scourge rocket, while Confessor pilot Tablot Manzari dispatched the pod.

Of the ten of us involved, half were in KarmaFleet, and all but Manzari were in the T1 tackle and e-war frigates on offer from the GSF Free Frigates Program. Together, we relieved the Northern Coalition of a 98 million ISK battlecruiser and had the most exciting action of what was otherwise a routine (albeit strategically necessary) operation, all without losing a single ship.

One of the things I’m discovering about Eve is that – unlike some other MMOs – you don’t have to be the most experienced or best-equipped pilot to have a good time. On this particular outing, the veterans mostly sat by and kept watch for trouble, and it was the newbees in their frigates who had most of the fun – both those who were out scouting with the interceptors, and those who were with me taking out the Northern Coalition Prophecy.
It wasn’t Eve’s most exciting mission. It wasn’t the biggest battle or the most expensive ship ever lost. But it was *my* biggest battle up to that point, and the most expensive ship that I have yet to help burn down.
I’ve been blooded now, and I’m looking forward to more.

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Comments

  • Dingleberry Jones

    Now THIS is Pod Racing!

    May 22, 2018 at 2:57 PM
  • Pew Pew

    I’m glad that you’re having a good time, EVE is unlike any other game.

    However I’m sad that years of poor decision making at CCP have basically screwed you out of the next part of the experience.

    What would be great is if over the next while you could get into more and more fights. You realise that every engagement is a brawl and single extra ships make a difference. You find a galaxy filled with life that you can interact with in a dynamic and ever changing way. You learn the enemies that like to fly in your area, you even come to respect them as you repeatedly brawl with them, sometimes winning and sometimes losing but always getting a good fight.

    Except unfortunately reps stack unlimitedly, so you can be in a fleet of 100 ships that literally can’t kill a single enemy because their reps are too great. So most fleets will be stood down before undocking as there’s no point in going just to whelp.

    And jump freighters mean that there’s no convoys to attack which means there’s no convoy hunters to attack, all goods teleport around meaning no content for anyone.

    And there’s often no point in setting out looking for PVP as you can roam through 20-30 empty systems and find no one. People only want fights they will win, so you’re either running away or chasing after someone. If reps didn’t exist it would be worth sometimes fighting a superior force to get some kills but with reps that doesn’t make sense.

    And the density of farming means that space is largely a wasteland anyway.

    And entosis is a badly broken system CCP promised to do another pass on years ago and never did.

    Apologies if I sound kind of bitter.

    May 22, 2018 at 4:07 PM
  • George Ewing

    I loved your story and thank you for writing it.

    May 22, 2018 at 4:25 PM
  • Montesinos Quixote

    Congrats on your first fight! Join sigs and squads and you’ll be heading out on fleets with fights hourly, and find yourself in a forward operating base where you can undock solo for heart racing solo pvp between fleet pings. Even better you can scout out enemies and be the content creator! Well done and keep it up.

    May 22, 2018 at 4:48 PM
  • Wigitgetit

    Nice work bro. Keep it up!! Maybe you will be the one who turns around the quote that “Goons can’t Tackle”.

    May 22, 2018 at 5:33 PM
  • Samantha Dax

    It’s refreshing to read of newBEE adventures. The Imperium is a lot of fun because there’s so much to do. KarmaFleet is a great place to start. Congrats and keep on learning.

    May 22, 2018 at 6:42 PM
  • On the contrary, it’s often the most fun flying junkyard ships. When your ship is worth less than the enemy’s ammunition, you’re free to engage in all kinds of shenanigans. When that Arazu comes through a gate and you’re flying your T1 frigate, you don’t care if it’s bait or not: you’re decloaking that dude. You’re bumping that dude off the gate to prevent the re-approach. Sometimes I bring only bargain-basement ships and fits on squad deployments just because it’s hilarious that you can still be incredibly useful while spending 10% or less of what other guys are spending on their faction cruisers and T3s. I once took a Slasher on a deployment on an alt and tackled + killed over three hundred enemy ships with it before it finally got popped. There aren’t many things in EVE that are more fun than flying a “bad” ship well.

    May 23, 2018 at 6:52 AM