Thursday, January 24, 2013

Flight Feathers


This is the last of my little series of Year One achievements.  A year in Eve.  A year blogging.  And finally, a year in corp.


This is a history post.  Backgrounds, summaries  information, some thoughts, some events, a dash of mild drama all wrapped up in a review.

About THC2


One question that pops up now and then is, "Is there a THC1?"  The answer is yes, there is.    ThC1 was founded by humbleThC.  They were a high sec corp and as I understand it specialized in POS.  They were around in Null during BOB's fall.  They spent a lot of time managing POS for Sov holding groups.  They were not really pirates but more null oriented.  


Ender fell in with them in 2008 and learned a lot from them.  He was with them until 2009 when he formed ThC2.  ThC1 was going to sleep at that point and many of the members left.  Ender, dragging along Dher and Lue formed a corporation that was eventually going to focus on Low Sec and carry on the traditions of its founders.  ThC1 went to sleep although the members log in from time to time and several have resubbed recently.  We also share coms with them so the personal connection between the groups has never been lost which makes the friendship and loyalty that much more intense.  Also, Ender, Dher and Lue are IRL friends who used to play Magic Tournaments together   Lue still does and has moved up into some of the higher level things where you go to stuff all over the place and its why he has mostly been MIA for the last year.


ThC does stand for Marijuana.  The original group were a bunch of pot heads and so were the secondary group.  The corporation has grown and changed and introduced members who are not pot heads but that is part of the founding of the name.  Marajuana not being one of my pass times I did not make the connection until several people had commented about it over time.  ThC grew into a low sec corporation but never fully pirate as many would view pirate groups and we still are not.  However, we associate as pirates and it is a label that fits well.  The members have grown up and past their mentors.  We just celebrated Ender passing 100mil SP.


ThC2 has never been a large corp.  That was never the goal.  It is a group of friends that hang around together, bullshit and kill things.  Of late, as it has passed three years of age it has started to grow.  A lot of that is actually my fault.  This is our corporation description.


Now recruiting mature small gang low sec pvp pilots who can take a joke and aren't easily insulted.
Pilots should be self-sufficient,
Pilots must be capable of listening and learning.
Join channel -THC2- if your interested or convo/evemail Diziet Thomas or Sugar Kyle for recruitment.
In Honor of humbleThC and the rest of The humble Crew family... ThC4life

How I met ThC2


My story is a romantic fairy tale fall from grace into piracy.  It is so romantic and perfect that it sounds false and I've been called out for lying.  The entire thing is chronicled in the depths of the blog but I've learned that people often do not read back but simply read forward.


In my second or third week of Eve I joined a carebear industry/mining corporation.  The CEO was six months old but he had played Eve before years ago.  He was vastly experienced to me and flew hulks and Orca.  He had made friends a few days prior with 'Deno, a 2003 character that had reactivated recently and they stumbled across each other.  Hence, I stumbled across Deno and made friends.


Deno introduced me to Lue and Diz.  I then made friends with Lue and Diz.  That is why I created Sugar.  Chella was always going to be my high sec carebear. I made Sugar, and picked the name because a pirate named Sugar amused me, to learn to PvP, eventually.  I liked Lue was intimidated of Diz and later, when I met him, terrified of Ender.  When I had my falling out with my first corp I went solo for a bit and then Deno got roles for ThC1 and invited me to it.


My two weeks in ThC1 are why everyone knows me as Sugar and not Chella.  Deno banned me from talking to people in local with Chella because he didn't want someone to war dec us.  I was a chatty, friendly person and enjoyed meeting people and roaming chatrooms.  I switched to Sugar, who was skill training and hauling ore for Chella to do my chatting.  Deno reentered, what I was later to learn was one of his normal phases of subscribing for a month or two and letting his sub lapse.  Lonely in a corp by myself I started insinuating myself into ThC2s heart.  They were my only friends and while I was still terrified of Ender I wanted to learn from them so I did my best to not be an irritating newbie.


I was salvaging level 5 missions with Lue.  That was when I had a complete falling out with Deno over him feeling I didn't want to learn to PvP.  That seems to be a theme with me.  People always want me to PvP in a particular way and call me out when I refuse.  Anyway, Ender is the one that suggested I apply to Eve uni to learn the basics of Eve due to my youth in the game.  He is why anyone who has tired of me in Eve Uni Help Chat has me chatting away in there.  I almost applied to Eve Uni but I balked at the rules.  I found them to constricting for my free spirited nature so I was determined to find my way on my own and hang around with ThC2 as long as they would have me.


However, after my falling out with Deno I kinda moved in, somehow manage to convince them that a noob, under two months old with less than 2 million skill points was a good idea and got them to enroll me.  The amusing thing was that people assumed it was Lue that enrolled me due to him spending so much time with me.  He had nothing to do with it.  It was Ender, Diz and LR that enrolled me that night.


I then spent the next month terrified they would come to their senses and kick me back out.  I'd check my corp status on Eve gate and sigh in relief when I logged in and saw the ticker was still there.


Life in Low Sec


My transition to low sec was rough.  Sugar moved some rifters down and Chella mostly stuck to high sec.  Sugar's sec status then was around a -.01 and she still spent a lot of time in high sec.  Slowly, as I got into more PvP I stayed in low sec more.  It was when I finished training my scanning alt that I made the move 100% and stopped going to high sec to do more then sell things.  Living in low sec for PvE was terribly hard at first.  As I said, I had under 2 million SP on Chella and a million SP on Sugar.  I knew nothing, I  couldn't kill anything because Chella was a miner and in general everything was a dazed confused mess for several months.  I made most of my ISK off of salvaging.  When I didn't have that I did stuff in high sec.  I still mined a lot, I still did some missions.  Lue gave me a shield fit Myrm that finally let me conquer my nemesis of the time, level 3 missions.


I also was very shy.  I didn't want to embarrass anyone in my corp for having me around. I was intimidated of everyone.  I felt like an impostor and it took a while for me to settle down.  The return of TEXN to Molden Heath helped because I had more people to hang around with and they knew me was a four months old character vs a month old newbie. The entire process was gradual.  It was not until the Eve Uni War that I started to have a bit of comfort in things and started spending a bit more time with people outside of my corporation/alliance.


It took me a long time to warm up to people. I simply assumed that everyone had dismissed me as the newbie that I was.  Later, I learned that was not the case, but we can't take back the past only use what we've learned to improve the future.  And slowly I learned in general. I started to climb up the knowledge cliff.  My blogging picked up because I needed somewhere to talk about and write about the things I was dealing with.  One reason I blog is because I hate chatting peoples ears off about the random things that come to mind.  Instead, they often find their way here, full of pondering thoughts and dreamy imagery.


I stayed alive. I prospered. My wallet ticked up.  Ender granted me a Viator when I learned to fly blockade runners.  The boys gave me guidance and I grabbed hold of it with both hands.  I didn't want to be abandoned again. I had learned that it was lonely in Eve without people.  I liked these people.  I liked how they played.  I liked what they knew. I wanted to grow into the image before me.

And I followed that.  I followed my skill plans, I tempered my desires with patience.  Eventually things started to come to me.  I learned exploration, I trained into PvP ships, I developed useful skills and abilities and I started to feel like I belonged.


A Girl in a Boys World


It was a strange transaction for me, coming to Eve and being called a guy all the time.  I'd correct people because I wasn't male.  That would lead to disbelief and mockery.  It took me a while to understand the issues of gender in MMOs.  I'd never experienced it before because all of my previous MMO time was done with my best friend: also a female.  We'd been gaming together since we were 16 so the thought of 'girl' was not strange to me.


Later, I got over it.  It's a stupid battle to fight. None of it makes me any less female and I realized I didn't care if they believed and they didn't want to believe me.  I had no need to lie about it.  Dropping the topic was easier then caring about it anymore.


However, there are other little things that happened here and there.  ThC2 has never cared for my gender. I feel that I've missed out on having the breast card.  No one showers me with ships and ISK and attention for being female.  The boys are amused at it more than anything else.  I'm treated like a normal person.  Woe is me.  Where is my free stuff?  Where are my white knights?  Where is the hoard of followers?  Poor me.


There have been times when it's strange.  It's amusing when people go, "Sugar don't click!" for a link.  Instead of getting into a buff and using my breast powers to defy them for doubting me, I just chuckle.  The protectiveness isn't over the top and its more adorable than anything else.  Also, those links are never worth clicking.  I've had one problem which involved me dropping out of a fleet and having a very heated discussion over someone for telling someone else to clean it up because I was in fleet.


As I've seen things I'm a girl in a boys world.  I don't hang around with guys that go out of their way to insult me or make me feel like crap.  However, they are guys and like to do their guy things. I do not want to be the thing that changes that dynamic. I don't want it to be "oh Sugar is in fleet so we must X/Y/Z".  I want them to be as comfortable with me there as they are without me there.  I don't want my gender to be an issue. If someone has issue with me have issue with me, not my reproductive system.  So far, I think that is going smoothly.  Of course, someone might be harboring something somewhere.  If so it isn't brought to my attention for me to handle.  Perhaps everyone believes that I do function off of pure pink glitter, hearts and hot chocolate.  As long as there is some type of agreement.


The Alliance Tournament

I will admit that I tend to speak neutrally about topics. I like to state my opinion but I am often mild about it. In general I'm a pretty neutral person on most things. I am more interested in understanding why each side feels the way they do then pressing my own opinion.  Unless it means a lot.  Then I have words for days.  One reason is that I don't enjoy arguing for arguing sake. I get more of that at work then I can even explain.  I don't want it in my game.  Two, I'm a rather even tempered person and more interested in communication then fits of temper.


However, I hate the Alliance Tournament. I hate it with a passion.  I was unable to participate in Blog Banter 40 because of how much I hate sports.  My loathing is so intense that I wrote ten pages spewing my hatred and distaste for sports.  I deleted it and decided not to participate.  My corporation does the AT and I love my corporation and hate sports.  It proved a quandary. 


The AT was very hard for me.  I participated, I cheered people on, I helped with practice, I moved emergency needs around and I did everything that I could to help out.  I hate it.  It felt like my corporation was ripped away from me for 2 months with familiar strangers obsessed over a sporting event.  That is when I stopped talking on coms.  Then people decided that we needed special secret locked coms rooms with passwords.  I just about lost my mind.  I've actually not recovered and I've developed an intense loathing for coms since then.  I'm normally only on when told to or when there is a fleet.  I used to just hang out but I've lost that habit.


This year will be the same. I've said that I won't fly. I mean that 98%.  Because, sadly, if it came down to me being the only person left to fill a need I would go and I would fly with everything I had to fly with and do my best to win.  That is because I care about my corporation and the things that we, as a corporation, undertake.  Not because I care about the fucking tournament.  Ahh... let me move on from this topic.


The Down Times


There are ups and downs.  Video game or not, a corporation is a social entity and we don't always get along or agree.  I've had problems in the past with teasing and trolling.  I'm a pretty transparent person.  If you say something to me, I believe that is your opinion and take it at face value.  If I have respect for you and you tell me something I will take it at face value and probably apply it as an actual fact.  This means that teasing me in chat sometimes winds up with me in a corner and upset and the boys not sure how we got there.


I've had two times when I debated leaving.  The first was when Razor was resubbed, I was still terribly new in my T1 Rupture and LR was back with a vengeance   I went on a roam with them that ended in us suiciding into another fleet.  I couldn't understand why we had done what we did.  LR and Razor were happy with the effort.  I was devastated at the situation.  I kept asking why and their reasons made fuck all sense to me.  I couldn't understand anything and if that was the 'fun' part of PvP I didn't want a part of it.  Now I understand what happened and why and the pros and cons of the decision.  I still wouldn't enjoy it but I'd be more on board with it. It still is not my idea of fun.  Suicide fleets rarely are.  But I was upset for a solid week about that because I didn't understand why we had done what we did.  Diz said if I wasn't happy I shouldn't stay and I really started looking for other options and deciding if I wanted to go out solo or stick around for a bit longer to see if things got better.


Obviously, I wound up staying. I was very leery of their fleets for a long time after that.  I just didn't have enough understanding to be in the situation mixed with my cautious personality.  For someone who has a more 'wee lets go, whatever!' temperament that would be fine.  For me, who wants to know the who's and what's and whys, it was too early for the situation.


The second time was much more recent. I wound up in an argument with someone that shattered a lot of my beliefs about my value to the corporation.  When I wrote the blog post My Valuation it was not because I was actually looking at my worth.  It was because I was actively to figure out if anyone would accept me into a corporation if I left mine.  I was wondering if I was as worthless as I had been made to feel.  I came up with the thought that I was rather worthless as a character   My skills are odd and all over the place and no one had ever shown interest in me.  Mixed with all of my lack of solo abilities and general weirdness and I realized that I would be alone if I left.  I didn't want to leave but after that particular argument I honestly thought that my days were going to be numbered and that I didn't understand what or who my corporation was.  I will also admit that I escalated this. I could have been a big girl and backed down. 


However, sometimes a topic is such that I go from reasonable and mild mannered to ready to burn the universe down.  This happened to be one of those moments.


I got over that.  It left some scars that have only just begun to heal.  But that is life living with others.  It's not always easy and it's not always fun.  I lost a lot of confidence and was shaken in my comfort levels for a bit.  I've regained a lot of that ground recently and closed some of the rifts that opened.  I don't get over things as quickly as the guys seem to, but I try to move past negative events.  We're people in a way living together and depending on each other.  Sometimes it's not smooth.


The Boys


The boys are what really make being in corp worth it.  I am genuinely happy when they log in.  They took a newbies hand and taught me to swim (if still terribly bad).  And sometimes that teaching can be a struggle on both sides.  My understanding them and them remembering how new I was.  


When I passed 5 million SP I was ecstatic.  A few days into the game I remember seeing an anchored can that said "5 million SP to apply" to some corp.  I was floored.  So many?  I had like 300k?  I remember bouncing into chat and announcing it with glee.  Ender promptly found his lowest group of skill points, Corporation Management, and he still bested me by several million.


Still, I was uncrushed.  After all there is nothing that I can do about the skill point gap other then learn and close it with abilities as well as training.  I was already walking some random path and somewhere at its end I was going to become something they were proud of.


They have taken care of me and guided me and supported me.  They petted me through my sad days and didn't laugh (too much) at my bad days.  They took a brand new newbie and taught me the game.  I'm grateful for that.  

One of the side effects however is that I picked up some of the clerical duties. I like to talk to people and am sometimes, somewhat, mildly friendly.  It amuses me that I am a recruiter.  As people try to impress me I tell them solemnly, "They don't give me any button power . I just get to do the talking."  And its true.  From interviews to diplomatic thingies I chatter. It also means that while fun and great people they may not always be as easily approachable as I am.


The Pirate's Life for Me


I am not one that wishes to change from corporation to corporation. I grow fond of people and exhausted by internal conflicts.  I'm fortunate that I found a stable place to stay so soon.

I'm quite happy in corp.  It has mostly been up times.  I look forward to logging in most of the time.  I've filled the blog with my and their antics across the game.  I don't have any interest in going anywhere else.  I like this place in my life and I enjoy being here.  I've reached the point where I can give back to them as they gave to me.  I do feel like a valuable member of the group most of the times but there are still plenty of moments where I slam into the skill point ceiling.


I have my days when I want to pull my hair out in frustration.  Its hard living with a pack of aggressive, competitive males when you are none of those things.  But it's worth the effort.  Even for the frustrating days when I can rant and rant and rant.  Even if I often do not feel that I am what they are I've been working on learning to define who and what I am on my own terms and no one else's.  

Yet those terms are based upon the foundation that they laid. Developing individuality has become the next step. At some point I fledged and started to fly.  Its a clumsy thing and I may not be overly good at it but I seem rather set to head in the direction I'm going.

4 comments:

  1. Sugar pie! Your transformation from nooblet to pirate queen is moving forward I see. I miss u guys but i just dont have the time to play eve all nights (stupid timezones! can i come live on your couch?)
    I'm proud to have been part of this transformation even tho im not thc2 I did my best to help out whenever i could :)

    Many hugs and snuggles! And give everyone my best!

    /Hurome

    ReplyDelete
  2. I haven't had the luck you had with finding a corp, and I'm not female. But my life in eve has been kinda similar. Wandering from job to job. It's what u love about eve. If your bored your doing it wrong go do something else. Anyway just dropping a line as a kindred spirit. Guyx (rlings)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sorry that's supposed to say what I love about eve.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The funny thing is? I have been reading your blog for a few months now, and it never came to my mind u are a female. Impressive. I am generally very skeptical about gamer girls' blogs but this one is very interesting to read. I guess this post is also the best recruitment ad for ur corporation as well.

    ReplyDelete