I, Newbie: III

2016-03-19

The following offering is the third in a series of articles intended to showcase the powerful potential of having an open mind while exploring EVE online as a brand new player. During the course of this project I will be assuming the guise of a new Caldari player. I am without skill injectors, plex, and the massive mound of SP which I am generally used to.

So far we have covered the basic premise of the project and character creation as well as what happens in the first few hours of life in New Eden. We’ve also taken a look at the initial dilemma of how to approach other players, and the initial draw of a PVP career in Factional Warfare. When last we left off, our intrepid newbro was facing a tough decision: Play it safe and search out PVE, or risk losing everything for a shot at glory.

The Gambit

I’m down to my last ship. I’m tired and I haven’t managed to make a single ISK from my newfound career in the Caldari Militia. Years and years of being told that singular mantra, ‘Don’t Fly What you Cannot Afford to Lose’, drums in the back of my mind. This Merlin represents the sum total of my current assets. I have roughly 4000 ISK in the wallet, and if I die I’m likely going to have to run level 1 missions in a noob ship for a bit. Someone in Rookie Chat mentions Spectre Fleet, and within moments I volunteer the ship which I literally can’t afford to lose to be tackle in a nullsec fleet. This will be my introduction to null PVP. I cannot help but think what a terrible idea this is for the project.

Let’s take a small step backwards into the reality of being a player who is used to having a decade old character in the pod, suddenly concerned about the harsh lessons of ISK management and fitting skills. It’s positively frustrating to know I could simply log into my main character and deposit any amount I need in the wallet. It’s maddening to not be able to fit this god awful merlin for more than 90 DPS. WHY OH GOD WHY DO I NEED A SMALL ANCILLARY POWER GRID RIG AND A  MICRO AUXILLARY POWER CORE TO FIT THESE GUNS AND A SHIELD TANK?! It’s a different world, but certainly something I’d encourage the bitterest of bitter vets to try with a trial account.

Crushing Defeat

The Fleet is forming up in Amarr. I set my destination and begin warping, taking a moment to set up my Comms. I ask the pertinent newbro question of if my fit is alright, and a few of the other pilots are quite helpful. They explain what to do once we get in fleet, what warp disruption bubbles are and how to set up broadcasts for reps, and how to watchlist the FC. I do this while deciding to take the shortcut through lowsec. After all, it’s only two jumps. If you can’t tell from the title of this section, this was not a good idea.

A pair of instalocking Svipuls and a Thrasher with a remote repping Scimitar break my heart. I am destitute. I link my loss to my fleet mates and tell them I won’t be joining. What happens next is a true testiment to how great our players are.

Seeing their adopted newbro in distress, almost every member in the fleet gives a few million ISK to me. My wallet kept flashing faster than I could refresh it. Ten million quickly becomes thirty, thirty becomes fifty.  I suddenly have 160 million ISK. In the headspace of a new pilot, merely days into the game, I am floored. Spectre Fleet as an organization has always been one of my favorite NPSI public groups, but their willingness to accept and promote new players was something I’d always promoted but never realized how effective it had been until now.

They cajole me to return to Amarr, offering to hold the departure for their newbro mascot. I blubber my thanks, which surprisingly enough are quite genuine. I say this because I didn’t expect the loss of the frigate to really be so disheartening, knowing that I was a login screen away from a better life. The truth is that this is the gravitas of EVE online. These are the stories that you tell your friends who don’t understand why you play this strange game.

The fact that when you risk it all and win is just as compelling as when you risk it all and lose… that is amazing for any game. If you’re a new player reading this, I can’t urge you enough to allow yourself to become invested in whatever you do… and if you have one of those good or bad moments; consider for a second if any other game has made you feel like this.

Revenge of the Noob

Vowing to make the donations of my fleet members worth every last ISK, I join in a roam through Providence. Cutting a swathe into the ill-prepared, we begin our revenge with a nearly 460 million ISK Phantasm.

The fleet carries on, getting kill after kill after kill, leaving thirteen wrecks worth almost 1.4 billion ISK in our wake. The fleet more than covers the cost of gifting the Newbro hope and a bit of ISK. I’m lauded on comms for being willing to PVP at only a few days old, and several pilots offer me the chance to join their corporation. I regretfully inform them that I have an application for one of the larger Caldari Faction Warfare corps, but that I’d keep them in mind if I changed my mind about it.

I dock back up in Amarr laden with a small amount of loot, including a Sister’s Core Probe Launcher to sell. Impressed with how well that went despite the hiccup and wondering what to do next, I decide to head back to Caldari Space and try plexing again with something a bit tougher than a Merlin. I set my destination for Jita and undock.

And I am quickly reminded of the roller coaster that is EVE Online as I am instantly. I awaken in a fresh clone in Kisogo, only a few jumps away from Jita. I suppose I could thank him for the prompt transport.

My wallet now flush with ISK, and my spirits not quite dampened after flying with an amazing fleet, I feel as though I can completely understand what hooked me into playing this game for as long as I have. , The sense of victory and failure is so real, so captivating that I can’t put it down. Perhaps remembering what it’s like to live on the edge like this has been just what I needed to fall back in love with the game.

However, if I had to be completely truthful I don’t think I’ve ever fallen out of love with it. It may be spreadsheets in space to many people, but to me this hobby we engage in is a source of fond memories and fun stories. It’s a social playground where I’ve made lifelong friends. I hope that many more people come after me and discover that this is true for them as well.

This article originally appeared on TheMittani.com, written by Roland Cassidy.

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