Art by Major Sniper.
With apologies to the Beatles . . .
I’ve joined a corporation, and EVE Online has taken a completely different turn for me. I find it stranger, darker, and much more exciting.
“The Magical Mystery Tour Is Waiting to Take SNOOO Away”
In my first journal entry, published on INN, I mention that one of my early goals while playing EVE involved joining a large, well-organized corporation; I felt that I would have more success and fun by playing in a group. Over the course of my first ten days of playing, I received a number of invitations to join various corps. I was pleased with the invitations and corresponded with several recruiters, but I was holding out for a possible invitation from KarmaFleet (SNOOO). From all the reading I had previously done, SNOOO looked active, well-organized, and deeply involved. Almost every story about EVE for the past five years has had the Goonsquad or SNOOO at its center.
Eventually, I was contacted by a SNOOO recruiter and invited to apply, which I did without much hesitation. After two or three days I was accepted. I appreciated the caution exercised by SNOOO, because I know from my reading that infiltration and spying remains a problem for many corporations and can really disrupt an otherwise fine group. Just look what happened to Pandemic Horde recently. But eventually my recruiter contacted me again and I was given instructions on what to do before I actually clicked the button to accept the invitation. He also told me, “You are about to experience the real EVE.” I had no idea, at that time, what he meant.
“While My Talwar Gently Weeps”
The pre-joining instructions were detailed and somewhat complicated, involving moving all my assets to Jita, from whence I could have them shipped for free (one time only) to the SNOOO homebase in the Delve region. On my trip to Jita, I got a taste of what the future held for me. I was attacked by gate campers and I lost my Talwar. Gone in a mad second. But I learned from it. I remembered post facto that I could select a longer, safer route from my present home base to Jita. If only I had remembered that before I was snuffed, but those must be the words of many a capsuleer.
Once in Jita with what was left of my stuff, I set my clone spawn to the Imperium home base in Delve. I undocked from Jita in my capsule, and before I could set the self-destruct, I was ravaged by what seemed like a host of reds. I watched my sad limp body float around in space as I waited to respawn.
“Picture Yourself in Delve in a Keepstar”
I did respawn, but this time in Delve. Nine days later, I’m still suffering a bit from culture shock. I remember the old adage, “Be careful what you wish for; you just might get it.” I’m not sorry I joined SNOOO; I’ve seen glimpses of the huge advantages of being there, but moving to Delve is going to take some getting used to.
First, I found out very early on that I didn’t have a clue how to earn ISK in nullsec. Back in highsec I had started out mining, with an eye toward industry: I would take out the faithful Venture and mine away, often semi-AFK, and I made about 2.5m per hour. When I grew tired of the drudgery of mining, I did some of the available missions. I enjoyed the security missions especially, which allowed me to go and rat NPCs close to my home base in 1.0 space. When the missions grew harder at level two, I upgraded to a Talwar with long-range missiles and enjoyed the beating I was able to smack down. I felt in control and even a bit powerful.
But in the Delve, these ISK-making options were effectively taken away. I tried mining, but every asteroid belt had Blood Raider NPCs, and they were so much harder to kill than the Angel clan. I thought I might go out in a newly-purchased Talwar, kill these Blood Raiders, then come back in the mighty Venture to mine the now-cleared asteroids. I tried to clear the Raiders with the Talwar, only to find that it took an enormously long time to take out even one or two of the NPCs, and they always spawned in groups of four to six. The second time I tried it, I was set upon by another player, a Pandemic Horde member (they had tried to recruit me only days earlier), and I was webbed, killed, and podded without so much as a “You could have been my brother.” So, again I respawned and learned another lesson: I must never feel safe in null sec, even in an area under Imperium control.
“With a Little Help from My Goons”
For several days I felt blue. I started training to fly a cruiser that should turn the Blood Raiders into mincemeat. But the training would take many days. What to do? One of my buddies I had met on the KF_Public chat channel saw me in Delve, welcomed me there, and suggested I trail him after he ratted and salvage the destroyed ships. I got a free Catalyst, already pre-fitted with salvage stuff, and I spent a glorious 90 minutes simply following in the destructive wake of my friend. He was exceedingly generous and let me keep all of the loot, even the very valuable stuff. In 90 minutes I salvaged 147-million-ISK worth of stuff. I compared that to mining at 2.5 million per hour and thought, So this is what Delve is all about.
“We’re TheMittani’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”
I have also met many other members of the greater Goonswarm federation (CONDI). They have patiently answered many questions and have helped me feel more settled. I know about and use Jabber, Mumble, and TACO. Fellow SNOOO members have given me ISK and have taught me techniques. A few nights ago I was given a Noctis, with a complete fit. The following night two corp mates invited me to salvage behind them as they ratted, and I realized what a huge upgrade the Noctis was over the Catalyst. I also made 20m in 40 minutes. I have gone to a training class and learned more about SIGs. I’m starting to feel like I belong here in Delve.
“The Long and Winding Road”
I haven’t been melted in awhile and I’m feeling much more secure and maybe even more importantly, I’m feeling useful again. I’m starting to like “stranger, darker, and much more exciting.”