With the release of Ascension, I decided to create a new account and try out life as an Alpha clone. I know the arguments about how it’s not the same since I have years of experience behind me and I know what I’m doing, but we’ll just have to get over that. When I first created the character I had no idea what I was going to do with him. After talking with some people though, it was agreed that Alpha clones were virtually designed for Faction Warfare. This worked for me as I had never done anything in Faction Warfare before and it would be as close to a new experience as I could get. Thus, I undocked from the newbie station (After docking up from the new intro in space) to begin my adventure.
I started out the way I figured most new Alpha clones would by following the new Opportunities as they popped up which led me to the storyline career agents. I found this to be streamlined fairly well, from starting off in space with things to shoot, to opportunities that made sense while progressing further into the game, all the way to the career agents who provide massive aid to anyone willing to spend the time to run them.
While I was running these first missions, I began talking in the ever flashing “Corp” and “Rookie Help” channels. Since I already knew what I wanted to do with this new Eve experience, I was straight to the point of asking about how to join a Faction Warfare corp that would be friendly to Alpha clones. Let me add really quickly that I also tried to use the corporation recruitment tab to find a suitable match and failed miserably. Even as an experienced player I had trouble using the filters to find the kind of corporation I wanted. Fortunately, the community of experienced Eve players who hang out in NPC corps were able to point me in the right direction. They linked me to a dedicated Faction Warfare alliance after which I began looking at the member corps and scoping them out for one that looked friendly towards Alpha clones. I quickly found one and began chatting away in their public channel with the other folk hanging out there.
I finished up the rest of the career missions while talking and submitted applications to two of the corps in the alliance. One particularly helpful individual donated some isk and some frigate hulls to start me off. When I was ready, I packed up all of the items I had collected so far and was escorted through the low-sec systems to the system the alliance operated in.
So at this point, I had a small isk fund, almost dozen frigate hulls, and an application underway to take my first steps into the life of an Alpha clone Faction Warfare pilot.
Into the Fray
Once I joined the corp, I had to figure out how Faction Warfare mechanics actually worked. I had a vague idea of capturing sites called ‘plexes’ and making insane amounts of Loyalty Points (LP) that I could trade for shiny mods that would rake in massive amounts of isk. However, I discovered that I knew a lot less than I thought I did. For instance, running sites in a system your faction controls can earn you little to no LP at all, something I spent almost an hour finding out first hand. Running a site isn’t enough, you need to check how contested the system is to find out how much you will make.
I ended up in impromptu kitchen sink fleet, something which I have a feeling is extremely common. Our main goal was to run sites since many of us were very new and space poor, but we had a few fights as well. It started out as a couple frigates looking to run some sites in the safety of numbers, but grew into a small gang that could put up a real fight. Even though we were all in frigates and a couple destroyers, we were able to fight strategically and hold our own against superior ships.
We started things off with a few frigates when a Magus tried to pick us off at range with his drones, but we huddled together and swatted his drones till he ran out and had to leave to resupply. This gave our group a nice boost of confidence that helped bind us together, and gave us something to talk about to attract more people. As we grew in numbers, we had some people scout out potential targets, and found a solo player running a site. Fast as wolves we pounced on him and got our first kill of the fleet, even if it was just a frigate. It took a little while before our next encounter, but that was fine as it gave us time to collect some LP that was sorely needed for the newer pilots.
Eventually we felt that we had grown in numbers enough to warrant splitting the group so we could run two sites at once, just warping in at the end to share the loot. This however turned out to be a bit premature since we didn’t have a proper Fleet Commander (FC) to direct us and coordinate properly. While the majority of the fleet was in one site, three of us were in another running down the clock when two neutral pilots entered the system. They immediately warped to our plex, and knowing that the rest of our fleet was warping over to support us, we engaged. I called primary and our target immediately started taking heavy damage, tearing deep into his armor before he could start his local reps. Within seconds, the first ship popped and we were able to move our focus onto the next ship. The second target had more time to prepare though and while it was clear that they wouldn’t escape, they were determined to put up a good fight and try to bring at least one of us down. It seemed that I was the lucky winner of the enemy’s retaliation, and since we were both brawling ships, we circled each other at point blank range firing away. I realized that this second ship was tanking things much better than the first, and I was not likely to survive. Unfortunately, this dawned on me as I reached half armor of my shield buffer ship giving me no time to pull range and warp off. I resigned myself to a fiery death when his ship finally exploded, leaving me just barely alive with 3% structure. The battle was over, and we had won.
Like the efficient scavenger I am, I looted the field of the many mods that had a new gold border, the sign that I had survived an encounter with deadly Omega clones. The complex we had been running had finished while we fought, giving us a nice boost in LP that would ensure our ability to fly another day. I docked up to repair and run inventory. I had scooped up about 10-15 mil isk in loot, which was easily four times what my own ship had cost, and after the sites we had run together I had accrued around 50k LP. Most importantly, I had made some new friends to fly with and had a great adrenaline filled fight that makes Eve so exciting. All in all, I was pretty happy with the way my life as an Alpha clone was shaping up to be.