A few weeks back I had conjured images in my mind of myself as a latter-day Captain Jack Sparrow, a fabulously successful — albeit unconventional — pirate. Add an eye patch and the vision was complete. It sounded like fun, and I was bored with what I was doing. In fact, I became fixated on the idea and wanted to get started right away. As they say, “location, location, location,” and with piracy comes LowSec. But I just knew I could make this work.
I made an initial foray into that much-romanticized realm and quickly found out that I seriously needed to hone my PVP skills. Either that, or make peace with the idea that, just as in real life, my ship was nothing more than a hole in space in which to pour money.
Actually, that’s not quite right. My ship was scrap metal at that point, leaving space in general as the hole into which I would pour money. Promising, eh?
An EVE Online forum post suggested the following approach to learning PVP: Buy a dozen frigates of your choice, outfit them, have at it, and be prepared to lose them all. It seemed I would have to give up my loving attachment to my cute little pixelated ships and let them be what they really were: data on a server somewhere out in cyberspace.
Doesn’t that take just a touch of the romance out of piracy? I mean, Jack Sparrow wouldn’t just click off and get a new Black Pearl, would he?
He just might in EVE. And besides, I had the money.
I didn’t quite go the dozen, but I did get five brand new Rifters — a cool frigate with a great reputation for PVP — and outfitted one for a fight. Hah! LowSec, here I come. Just 30 minutes later I was waking up in my clone again, one Rifter now forming a small nebula of dust near some moon. Beautiful at sunset when the light hits it just right.
So I went and got a free rookie ship, another Reaper. I put a couple of guns on it and zipped out to LowSec. All I was looking for was some practice, so I put a message in local chat to the effect that I was looking for some low-level PVP and was in a Reaper. Someone quickly opined that it was a trap, so I suggested they come see for themselves. A ship showed up in the area, I flew over, locked target and started firing.
It was over more quickly than I had hoped. I soon found myself back in my clone again having added yet another decorative wreck to the star system where the epic battle had occurred. Rookie ships clearly wouldn’t work for this. I outfitted the next Rifter and paused.
“Wait a minute,” I thought. “If I don’t change something, I’ll run through all these ships and more just like them, then be back to salvaging again in no time. Just slow down, there’s no hurry.”
There’s no hurry.
But, I can’t just…
There … is … no … hurry.
But what if…
And then the realization hit: Just as the real world “is what it is,” so EVE Online’s universe is what it is. There’s just a certain way about it, and to insist it be anything other than that just leads to frustration. I’m a part-time player. My skills build slowly. Trying to force something to happen prematurely will only waste my time and energy and sabotage the fun the game can provide.
I need to learn more and fight less right now. My time with PVP will come. Not today or tomorrow, but when it’s supposed to. Who would have thought? From 2,500 years ago sitting under a tree to an electronic virtual universe: Zen and EVE Online.
— Will Collum
Read Previous EVE Online Diaries:
January 23, 2008; January 30, 2008; February 6, 2008; February 13, 2008; February 20, 2008; February 27, 2008; March 5, 2008; March 12, 2008; March 19, 2008; March 26, 2008; April 2, 2008; April 9, 2008; April 16, 2008