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!