Sunday, February 5, 2012

The path least travelled

I should be in bed. I just got in from work and the server has gone down for an emergency reboot. I meant to write about API keys but I'll do that later.

Instead I'm going to chatter for a moment about prejudice in Eve and my horrific habit of taking the path less traveled when I do anything.

When I played City of Heroes for instance, I made an ice/ice blaster hero. It seems that they are somewhat uncommon. I loved it but it was a bit harder until she hit the high levels. Then she was amazing.

When I first started Eve, I was sure that I wanted to be a carebear, building industrialist. I wanted isk and lots of ore and I would build cool stuff and feel awesome.

I do have the isk. The rest has toppled down hill. I blame my pirate for it. The other night, before someone learned of my more 'pirate' bent they went on about how awful pirates in the game were. My comment was that I had been treated better and given more information and help by pirates then by any noncombatant carebear I had yet met, but one. The one that I continue to hang out with gets along with me but we are on such different game pages and he wants me to mine with him a lot. I barely mine anymore, its not profitable for me anymore.

People ask me how I make my money when I say that I don't mission. I do mission, kinda. I don't work to eat the level 3's and crunch the level 4's. I'm much more pleased to watch my pirate be a badass all over level 5 missions and occasionally come and run 4's when hes board and has no 5's to run and wants to make some more isk and lp's. My standing is almost high enough that I'll soon be able to pull level 5 missions which gives us even more missions for him to be a bad ass all over and for me to salvage.

However, being a salvager is a bad word. Eve, of course, gives a negative to every positives. Ninja Salvagers creep into people's missions and salvage their wrecks. They sometimes steal the items as well if people won't shoot them for it. The loot (dropped items) in your wreck is yours and only you or a fleetmate/corp member can take it without stealing. The actual wreck of the ship can be salvaged, without penalty by anyone.

When a wreck is salvaged it gives broken pieces of ship. Melted consoles, armor plates, bars of metal, etc. These items are used by builder types to create rigs. Rigs are basically permanent mods for your ship. If you want a rig gone you can take it out but it is destroyed. Rigs are the next level in improving a ship and something I am only just introducing myself to because they are expensive. Your 500k isk ship can easily turn into a 5 million isk ship with a few rigs.

Anyway, when I say I salvage people automatically assume that I ninja salvage and begin to treat me like shit. I correct them and I correct them easily but it does piss me off. As I have said before, there is nothing glamorous about salvage. I clean up the battlefield. I don't fly a bright shiny ship bedecked in the coolest bits of glorious shiny mods. My ship cost me a respectable 50mil isk (at the time it was over half of my wealth) and it has zero combat abilities. I clean up the battlefield. It actually takes a while to do and a bit of training to do it quickly and then split out the loot with whoever is running the mission.

My pirate lets me keep all of the loot. Occasionally he asks for the tags. The difference is I do this in low sec with him. Its dangerous and when people pick me up on scan they want to eat my ship. I spend a lot of time cloaked. I run away from people. I go into missions early and try to stay alive while salvaging as quickly as possible because time is life and death is coming in low sec.



Very few high sec people believe I do this. I've taken to shrugging and just letting them assume that I'm working on level 4 missions.

Similarly, in high sec the ship is fragile enough that its worth a suicide gank for lulz or possibly trying to trap and ransom me. I have been cautious but I was having a slow few days and I suicidal to accept a public request for a salvager.

I felt a bit weird with the guy at first. Strangers are a pro and a con on Eve. Its good to meet people but you know that people want to hurt you and figuring out which is which is an ugly case of trial and error.
I'm not sure how my case would have gone. Occasionally, when in a fleet you still steal from someone who killed something. I was flying with a dude and I wound up stealing out of habit since I do it with my pirate. This means he can now shoot me, as can his corp mates. I told him I was going to bail to the station for a bit and let the aggression timer wear down. He laughed at me and told me not to be silly if he wanted to kill me he would have.

I still let the counter wear down. Next mission he invites a corp member to the fleet. Both are flying faction ships. Well, I get the steal message again and I ask them to grab the few items that would have me steal. I then warp off to wait for the next mission and the corp member hunts me down and targets me. I warp back to station, dump my cargo, contract it all to him, and wish them a good day.

Were they playing? Were they serious? Was I paranoid? I don't know and I don't care. It wasn't worth the few mil I would have made nor was it worth the salvage. Plus, he did not split the mission rewards like he said he would. It was not going to be profitable for me and I got that gut feeling that I was being set up for something. Now, because of my corp some people might want to fuck with me while I am in a helpless ship. I have to think about these things.

So, I am the scum here it seems? I correct people and they retract it, but wow they are nasty about it. Again, these are often the anti PvP types that snark on pirates as well.

My corp is not a bunch of kind people. I'll be the first to admit that. However, they are out to PvP not grief people in high sec because they are bullies. If people from high sec want to come to low sec they are submitting to the laws of the jungle one can say. Its hunter v hunter in there and if you are prey that's your own silly fault.

Yet the pirates are the ones who took me in and started teaching me the game mechanics. My very first interaction with one I was given advice on how to make my ship faster and harder to grab by pirates. My first CEO just pulls people in to mine and mine and mine and maybe mission. I don't understand how to fit my ships, I don't really know what to fly and I'm training everything all over the map because I have no direction. I left the corp for many reasons and one was about workload and isk share. I worked hard to get productive quickly and it all vanished into the corp wallet yet all of the members, including myself, were poor as hell. I only had isk because I mined for hours and hours and hours on my own and sold it on my own.

My first few weeks on my own were tough. I bumped into an indy guy early on and we have a very good relationship. I hope that I can develop a relationship with him where I am useful to him for the little bit of stuff (salvaged components) that I produce. He is a building and mining powerhouse and he helped me out a lot and I learned about orca links and better mining habits. However, in the end, hes been the only indy type totally helpful and I don't feel like he has some agenda. Most of the time I get scolded and told how to play.
Cept by the 'evil' people of eve. They tell me how to play, but that's cuz I asked them. Now, I live with them and they are taking care of me in my game infancy and teaching and directing and helping me to mold myself into an efficient, effective, and self sufficient player. That is not something that I have received from any high sec corp. They have all wanted me, but they all wanted me for their own ends. Normally to mine for them. They promise me that in a few months I might be able to learn to fly some flashy ship and with all the isk I earn with them even, maybe buy it. They explain how I have to be X, Y, and Z to do anything so not to waste my time and just mine mine mine for a few more months.

It's not that I think I'm super cool or super capable. It's that the people that have helped me the most are the people who get the most negativity thrown at them. Its negativity that I am now feeling personally. "Can I trust you?" they ask. "Only you can decide that," I respond.

And I'm cool with that. I will walk the path less traveled if I get to hang with people who are generous in every way, even as they shed the blood of other predators. But they do that generously as well.

As for everyone who screams about how pirates eat newbies.... when you enter low sec a warning appears. It tells you that you will not be protected and that the area is dangerous. I guess people close and ignore it. Kinda like how they ignore the pop up that says they are stealing and can be shot, or ignore the training missions when they start or ignore rookie chat even thou it covers so many game questions.

Not all pirates are great. However, PvP does not equate to Pirate. Such at this scene outside of Rens. It is some massive battle and its a weird mix of people fighting, war decs, and ganks on haulers.



So yeah, I'll stick with my pirates. I'll walk my path. I'll continue to salvage and accept that some people will automatically assume I'm a scum sucking ninja salvager.
It's my game of Eve and I'm enjoying it.


























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