Nestled somewhere in the drug constellation OK-FEM, two VNI’s and six shots later, I find myself sitting here in this perch without much krabbing to be had. Sure, I could go to staging and sell off a mass of small vessels, buy another VNI and get back to the grind but at some point, enough is enough. Except for whiskey. There is never enough whiskey. I haven’t much thought about the past since I returned to New Eden. And sure, some of the ships look mildly different. Some of the major players and corporations and alliances all find themselves shuffled like a deck of cards, but these changes, these changes are not the ones I find myself thinking about. There is a more lurking change, the most foul, malevolent beast of a change: the mindset of players.
I remember when seeing a titan, a carrier, or a dreadnought was something special. Something you talked to your corp mates about in exaggerated tones, smiling ear to ear. The stories almost larger than life. These innocent days seem to have long since passed us all up. Now we have rules and guidelines for dealing with capital ships in corporations. We have OP Sec to protect them. Corporations have groups full of capitals filled with so many they have to be organized into subgroups to keep them in the same loops. You are likely wondering where I’m going with this, and at this point, maybe I am as well.
The point of this thought is the vast sea of Capital ships available to the null alliances. It used to just be the major alliances that could field them, now we have tech one fit titans out and about—you know who you are—and people taking skill injectors like tic-tacs.
Should these people be ashamed? No. Never. I remember the first dread I bought; it wasn’t even for me. It was a Christmas or ‘Holiday’ gift for one of my battle buddies. A Phoenix, and it felt like some great achievement that one of us could even fly one of these monstrosities. Fly may be too strong of a word. Perhaps “sit in” is more appropriate of that time. I still remember doing the deal with a pubbie. They delivered the dread to a lowsec system we had a form of minor presence in. As my battle buddy and I lost contact over the years, I’ll never know what happened to that Phoenix, but I like to think he welped it in a blaze of glory.
By now you’re likely thinking, “lots of caps, big whoop”. But this article isn’t about the number of caps; it’s about the change to how they are deployed. There was a time when these behemoths were considered flag ships, something you coveted, kept hidden, never left. They were stories to keep young corporations in check. “Stay off our grass or we’ll drop a titan on you!” was mostly an idle threat in the years past, but as the amount of these grew vast, so did the way the pilots chose to deploy them.
I was flying through BoB space a few weeks back, it wasn’t a combat mission, nor a roam, just the back way into FCON’s space. As I said, it wasn’t for combat purposes, I was merely heading out to a system I used to live in once upon a time. I was in a Crow, my usual ship for a mission like this. Fast, nimble, immune to bubbles, what could ever go wrong? I went through mostly empty TEST space and into Band of Backstabber’s sov space. I was maybe ten or so jumps out from my destination when pilots started getting thicker in local.
Five jumps out from FCON space is when it happened. I came through a gate and did the stupidest thing I could in enemy space. Warped to the outgate at zero, without celestial jumping first. When I arrived on the gate, there it was. A titan, Amarrian. And waiting for me. Quickly, he engulfed me with the prettiest of light shows, but my poor Crow somehow managed to survive it. I had three percent hull remaining. Excellent, real men tank by the skin of their nuts anyway. At this point, I started celestial bouncing before jumping to gates hoping I would be away from their doomsday, and bombs. Each gate I passed through had a few capital sized vessels waiting for me on the gate. Couple titans here, few carriers there, anything stupid they could drop was waiting for me.
Like any good booster running pilot worth his weight in gas I managed to make my way into FCON space and firesale the junk I had made the trip for. OP Success, but the trip stuck with me since, and now I sit here wondering. Why do we feel the need to drop capitals on every little piece of trash that blows through a system? There is a word that is sort of a taboo word for goons, but I’ll use it now to relate to you all not flying with us: content. This new way, this new-drop-on-everything-that-comes-through mindset hurts what a lot of people complain about, ‘Content.’ Trust me, I get it, we’re bored, we have too much ISK, it’s funny. All of your points are true, but so is mine.
Those alliances—looking at you Brave—who don’t drop capitals on everything get much more content. Everyone wants to go there and fight them. You can still get good fights. Until our mindset changes, I’m afraid fast moving groups, welp fleets, and fleets too afraid to truly commit to the fight are all we will really see. This is in no way is the opinion of Imperium News, nor of GSF. It very well may be the opinion of Jack Daniels. I worried what would come when I wrote my first controversial article like this, one I knew the powers that be wouldn’t agree with. Unfortunately, keeping my mouth shut is not something I ever put in the skill queue. Even in the Army, I was the guy who’d say what he wants, consequences be damned.
I’m Johnny Crowe saying watch your six, and keep on the lookout for cyno’s.