Does one outgrow people in the game? Is outgrow the right word or is it just drifting apart due to time and change?
I was watching two people doing a multi layered PvP activity. One is the PvPr and the other is a member of a noob corp. The member of the noob corp was feeding info to the PvPr who was using that to poke at the corp members and try to get them to can flip for agression. They staged several battles between each other in an attempt to lure the noob corp into fighting.
"They say they want to get into PvP."
"Obviously they don't."
"You don't know the whole story."
One of those people I have known since very early in my game time. I looked up to them as a solo PvPer for a long time. They always seemed to be looking for fights or getting into fights and killing people.
I was impressed.
Later, I learned that it was a lot of can flipping frigate fights in high sec. I had assumed that it was low sec roaming due to my early introduction to it. Still, it was PvP and PvP that I did not do or know how to do. I was impressed. Everyone was better than I was. I was staggering along behind my boys tripping as I ran to keep up. They'd pick me up and dust me off but I was far from being a functional member of the corp. At the time I wanted so badly to prove myself as having some type of potential at something to everyone.
"Come corp with me," I was asked, "Let me teach you PvP."
I looked at my corp chat and shook my head. I had been with the boys only a few weeks at that point. I spent time worried that they'd tire of me puttering around after them, flapping my flightless wings as I tried to keep up. I wanted desperately to learn what they knew and fly like they did. I did not want to leave what I had just found and I said, "No" as gently as I could.
I'd already been in one situation that had not worked out, leaving a group of solid people for an apprenticeship with a single person didn't seem to be the best idea.
My decision was a good one. He vanished for a few months and then reappeared. I still respected him. I had advanced and grown. I was so proud to show that I was out doing stuff and learning this pewpew thing. I still had a lot of respect for him. After all, he did Solo PvP something that seemed the smallest dream.
He wanted to fly with us. I arranged some fleet meet ups and had him fly with us. He seemed to like it but he always went back to high sec and the guarantied PvP there. I started to understand that PvP was not PvP but it was as diverse as anything else in the game. We all might look for fights and explosions but where and how we went after it varied.
And then he vanished again and reappeared. But each time I'd changed a little more and it seems as if our playing habits have parted at a fork in the road. Suddenly, the distance between us was not as great and I struggled with the changes in our positions. Suddenly, Solo PvP and honorable 1v1's were the flavor. The fleet fights, the sulking about low, the hit and runs, the hot drops... those where cheap. He would stay in high sec and find real fights. I felt as if my accomplishments had just been kicked over. I had expected to be petted and told that I was good and that he was proud of me. But, I had changed enough that I no longer automatically lowered my head and agreed. In fact, I disagreed a lot.
There the paths started to veer apart and it became harder and harder to hear what was said. Then, one day, I realized that I had done all of the changing. My perceptions had altered and my view was different. My tastes and interest had begun to develop with a focus. I was still lost and flightless but no longer casting around as much. I wasn't lost I was just inexperienced.
None of that precludes friendship. But rifts in interest can cause odd friction. Arguing with those that I used to be in awe of just makes things uncomfortable. I avoid the arguments but I can't avoid the disagreement. Today, I seriously wondered what the point the day's activity was.
"Why go harass them?"
"It is not harassment. It is to teach them a lesson. They do not listen. They argue."
"Then why stay with them? They don't know you are teaching them a lesson. They just know you come and kill them."
Maybe I no longer understand the mechanics of high sec corporations. The chances are high that I never did. And when every corp member is under 2 months old... the entire situation made little sense to me.
I disagree because I am growing? Changing? It is a new thing for me to be willing to argue about the game, but of late it has been happening. "I do not agree" or asking some people to explain to me "Why" something makes sense instead of assuming that they are right. Sometimes I even have an opinion...
It was pointed out to me that I struggle to stay humble. There is irony in that considering the corporation name, but beyond that to, I do. I have to prove things to myself before I can claim them. I've not proven very much to myself as of yet or at least not to the standards that I would like to reach. Yes, it is a game, but the interaction with people is still interaction with people. My opinion of myself is still my opinion of myself.
Maybe I need more testosterone. :) Or, at least, fewer pensive thoughts about social interactions in the serious world of internet spaceships late into the night.