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.



Mynxee said...

Very cool to hear this from your perspective as a counterpoint to my own. We'll definitely employ better tactics next time around :) I was *really* sweating those damn rats...I was beginning to wonder if they were in cahoots with the local pirates; can't believe I didn't get warped in on, it took me so long (well, a half a minute or so anyway) to get free of them.

Anonymous said...

I've just started tallying my own losses and deaths, myself. After a little bit of beginner's luck, I have a feeling that number is going to climb in a pretty disheartening manner...

Karjan Amahel said...

Mynx: In the long run, half a minute or so can mean life or death. :} And who's to say they weren't in cahoots with the local pirates? Being as you destroyed them, there's no one left to string up and question. =P

Rakkar: I didn't even get the fun break of beginner's luck, just went right on into the death. Which is mildly amusing to me, and is definitely not turning me off of pirating. At this point, it's a challenge, and Mynx is great fun to roam with. I get the feeling it'll be a loooonnngg time before pirating pales.

Bri said...

Welcome to the pvp-side of Eve. :)

I've died a grand total of 41 times. What really matters is to kill far more than die (imo). I have a corp mate who runs around solo in a taranis and kills an insane number of people while dying a lot, too.

Geaux Tiger said...

Nice write ups on the action. Can't wait to read more. :)