Monday, October 27, 2008

A Fleet Op Of A Different Flavour


That was my first thought, as I took off with Kalazar and Azadeh, heading to meet up with Mynxee for a roam.


I warped to the gate Kalazar had announced, and all the habits of a solo pilot relatively fresh from high sec shone brightly as I jumped on contact. Without thought. Without immediate backup.

Bloody lemming.

I’m lucky. The areas we were flying through were mostly empty. I wasn’t jumping into a camp, thank the heavens. That let me accustom myself to Kalazar’s style of fleet op, as I bungled the next couple of gate jumps as well – once not waiting for Kalazar to announce, once being too distracted to jump with Azadeh and having to be asked if I was coming.

Kitten-ish bungling, though. Inexperience. Not lemming. I felt like a kitten, my paws too large for my body, making missteps that the adults smiled at, nodded, and politely corrected me on.

I love this group, they make it so easy for a pvp newb to learn from experience, without making them feel stupid in the process.

I will admit to having to shove my heart back into my chest where it belongs, though. Kalazar asked me if I wanted to be scout (probably because of my first lemming-like jump. Sorry Kal!), and my heart promptly clawed its way into my throat. It’s one thing to try something new, it’s another thing when someone you respect asks if you’d like to do a job you’ve never done before, nor seen someone else do before. Bless you, Kal, for letting me bow (relatively) gracefully out of the offer. I learned a lot from watching and listening to you scout, and after another roam or two with you, I’ll probably feel comfortable trying it out myself. In the meantime, I’m going to practice operating my scanner and making safes.

It amuses me that Kal asking me that caused me to have to force my heart out of my throat, but the fight we found, and my experience with a Huginn warping in on my later that night only made my adrenaline run high and confirmed that, boring as roams might be on occasion, the flashes of excitement and sheer adrenaline are so worth it. 

And, of course, the humor of sitting on a gate and ribbing Mynx about the NPCs loving her, as Serpentis gate-campers decided that, of the three of us waiting, Mynx and I looked the tastiest. Silly NPCs, you scratched my shields! You can die now. 

I am slightly saddened that there weren’t any Serpentis waiting that could web and scram Mynx, though, because then I could really have started ribbing her about it. (No Mynx, I doubt you’ll ever live that down. It still makes me giggle inside when I think about it, even though I did lose a ship that night.)

I showed several other moments of kitten-ish inexperience, the first nearly making me blush at my blunder, the second more of a “eep! I meant to change that so long ago!” moment. The first being having to ask Kal which gate to head to, hearing him reply, then having Mynx gently remind me that I should set destination to the system Kal had fleet broadcasted at the beginning. The second being when Mynx set a destination after Kal and Azadeh had left us for the evening, and my autopilot went “yay! High sec jumps!” and I went, “Wtf? Mynx? High sec?” To which she reminded me to beat my autopilot into submission by telling it to only go the low sec route. Oopsies.

There are so many things to keep track of in EVE! Every time I think I have a handle on what’s going on, I learn that there’s one more layer of complexity to master. Kalazar’s way of running fleets is completely opposite Mynx’s “balls first” method, and I can see the fun in both of them, really. It’s nice to at least know how to operate with the 0.0 style of fleet op with scout and all, in case I ever go there in a fleet. It’s all about versatility, and knowing how to adapt to different situations – low sec is different from nullsec, so of course the strategies would be different.

I’m looking forward to more roams with these gals and guys, and learning more about pirating. And, of course, being told to wipe the sarcasm off my chin by Mynx. 

o/ Mynx! I promise to be a good lil kitten from now on! 


Monday, September 29, 2008

Pirate Kitten

I felt like the little kitten permitted to come along with her parents on a hunt for the first time: a bit giddy, a bit anxious, raring to go and ready to show some teeth. I remember saying “I get the feeling this vexor of mine isn’t coming back in one piece”, or sentiment to that effect. It didn’t really bother me – young, eager, and looking for a scrap, that sort of fate is bound to happen more than once.

The night started off simply enough, getting things fit and beginning our roam. Just three of us, but hey, whatever. We head out, couple of empty systems, or systems full of only scary ships that could piff me (and probably the rest) with a look, not much in the way of promising so far.

Then we hit Tama and the fun began. Sixteen people in system, including the three of us. Sure to be some targets. When we warped to the safe Mynx had, we sat for a moment, then instantly did a Bad Thing.

I’m a tabletop gamer. I should know better – you NEVER split the party. But that’s what we did, partially through my own carelessness. Havok stayed in the safe, Mynx warped to the Caldari bunker, then instantly off to the belts to run through them. I sat at the bunker. Aligned to something, true, but I sat there all the same. As the most inexperienced of us, I shouldn’t have done that, or at least should have kept moving like Mynx was.

I remember hearing Mynx over vent - she’d been scrammed and webbed by some stupid belt rats, which amused the hell out of me at the time. Ah, fate, how I wish to thumb my nose at you.

Not long after Mynx’s lovely discovery that as soon as she popped one, another got her, a rapier warped in near me. All lovely flashy red and with a beautiful red flag with a minus next to him.

Hello enemy. Goodbye enemy.

I gtfo’d. Me, in my little vexor, taking on a rapier? No thanks.

Unfortunately, the planet I’d chosen to warp to was the base of his friend. Hello red-flashy vexor with pretty red flag tag. I panicked, tried to find a place to warp to, but my overview settings were set badly (curse you, mission-runner mentality! I must correct this way of thinking before next roam. Likely, I’ll have to experiment several times to see what works for me, but at least I know where to start with fixing it.) and I was (foolishly) viewing my ship from the front for some reason. The same thing that let me react instantly to the rapier warping in behind me was now a curse because I couldn’t orient my view fast enough. I should have re-oriented mid-warp, thinking back on it.

The rapier showed up soon after and the two pounced on lil me.

One of them got me webbed and scrammed. I announced this fact over vent, started to try and react, but ended up being rather ineffectual at my attempts. I targeted the vexor, set off my guns, forgot to launch drones, got distracted by the “ohgodsthedrones!” that suddenly swarmed me. Silly me, I’m fighting a vexor! A vexor’s main weapons are its massive collection of drones. Silly kitten. I watched my shields melt, watched my armor melt as my repairer tried in vain to keep me alive. I finally remembered to launch my own drones, sicced them on the other vexor… and promptly watched my final armor melt away like so much snow before the fire. Followed by my hull.

Now, Havok had shown up a little before this point. I don’t particularly know when, since I was more concerned with myself, and I think I remember Mynx showing up briefly before my poor, poor vexor piffed into so much space trash. Not that it really mattered. We might have been able to get the other vexor if we’d all been together from the start, but that’s speculation for another day.

I got my pod out and ran to the only station in the system. Big mistake. There was a station camp forming right as I slipped in, and Mynx confirmed that there was a bunch of them gathering outside of it as I sat inside.

I debated for a moment – technically, I could just log there and try to sneak myself out later, when that camp was over with, or I could try to make a break for it.

Pride and a reckless abandon made me choose the second option. After all, my clone was upgraded and located at home base. All I stood to lose were some implants that I have the money to buy again. I hauled my pod into the courtesy velator I was given and undocked, figuring the extra health bar would get me out of there safely. And it would have, too, if I’d had my overview settings set better. If I’d been spamming the warp-to button when they popped the velator, I’d have warped safely off in my pod before they could do anything else. But nope. I tried to be fancy and warp to Mynx, like a kitten running to her mother.

Scrap my first body. I hung onto that one for over two months. I get the feeling I’ll be losing a lot more in the coming months.

I get this horribly morbid desire to mark each death and keep a running tally of how many times I’ve died. 

Who says death is bad? I thought that little adventure fun, and a very good learning experience. The skills of a mission-runner are not the skills of a pirate. I hope to take lessons learned while I’m still young and apply them with relish when I’m big and grown up and a proper pirate cat whose rawr is feared all through EVE.

And maybe I’ll lose fewer bodies then.


An Introduction: Let's Begin at the Beginning

Greetings. The name’s Karjan Amahel, currently the newest member of the Hellcats Corporation in EVE.

Following the urgings of my CEO, Mynxee, I’ve decided to begin recording my thoughts and reactions to the goings-on in EVE and posting them here for others to read. Mainly, this will be a way for me to examine things I’ve done, a record, per-se, to look back upon what I’ve done and where I’ve been in my life in EVE. If you pull lessons, amusement, or even just a general timewaster out of this blog, so much the better in my opinion.

Introductions are the hardest thing in the universe. My mind starts and stalls repeatedly, skipping from one concept to the other.

Do I speak of how I started EVE? It’s a simple tale: my fiancĂ© and a roommate of mine (I have three, not including my fiancĂ©) both play EVE. I started playing in the vain attempt to understand the jargon and stories they were telling.

Do I speak of how I found it? Another simple tale, I’m afraid. I found it dark, and glorious, and such a wonderful, wonderful morbid playfield for my mind.

Do I speak of how I found the Hellcats? An accident, to be honest. I was bored in class and started scrolling through the topics in the Recruitment forum. I found the post, eve-mailed Mynx, and the rest can be seen on my Employment History.

I will strive, as much as possible, to put my honest, unvarnished opinion herein, for others to examine and ignore, critique, or praise as they see fit.

Be warned, though, for my mind often takes a rather morbid or philosophical path, and lacking something interesting in Local chats, or some latest mishap or adventure in pirating, that is likely the path any posts will take.

Read at your own risk.