I was dying and it was a bit unexpected.
My shields shattered in a flare of exhausted energy. My jaw was still clenched and my ears rung from the screams of the waning sirens as my first line of defense evaporated. Great chunks of armor were sheered away by the hot beam of laser fire. My Tempest rocked with the explosions of launched death of a dozen cruise missile batteries.
“You’re fine,” came the calm voice of Morita. “I’m in warp.”
“75% armor. Disrupted of course. I can’t hit anything.”
“11 AU. No worries.”
“50% armor. I’m going to warp out."
“Nevermind. I’m pointed. Overheating my hardeners.”
“25% armor. Pointed. Webbed. Disrupted. I’m also neuted out and my Hardeners are going to die shortly.”
“This may be bad.”
The Archon’s reps landed at 75% structure. Blissful beams of energy swept over me and started to push back the bright bars of red. The frigates dropped point and I warped my Tempest out. With the Tempest gone the missile battieries focused on the carrier instead and I was able to come back, get some armor repairs and assist with finishing the mission.
I had grabbed the Tempest because the previous day, attempting to assist in the level 5 mission in my Sleipnir had me primaried every time I arrived on field. There was an Archon, a Navy Megatron and my Sleipnir. Every time my Sleipnir landed it was primaried by everything on field. Of course, as a shield ship the Archon reps only helped stop me from dying once or twice when I was webbed, capped out, and pointed by NPC frigate spawns.
After the fiasco with the Tempest, my ship for another op that I had grabbed because it was my only armor battleship in the area, I decided that I needed to build a proper mission boat or two if I was going to continue to do this. Level 5 missions have a love for neuts. With projectiles that it not a big issue when it comes to DPS and the neut batteries loved my Tempest which allowed the Archon to keep me repped.
There are fantastic gaps in my knowledge and education about Eve. I am terrifically ignorant in some areas and self-aware in others without a true, technical grasp. Of late, I’ve begun to lament my ignorance outside of my sphere of comfort. If I am going to grow in Eve, I am going to have to change some things.
I am becoming stagnant. I realized it the other day but the knowledge has existed for some months. In some areas I am growing but in others, areas related to spaceships themselves, my abilities are not progressing as well as they should. I do not feel as if I am where I should be when it comes to my relevant knowledge of technical aspects of the game. I am very comfortable in my little niche but I want to crawl out of it now, something I knew I should do but did not want before.
Focused learning vs osmoses learning is a lot harder. A lot of my knowledge has filtered into me over time and listening and learning. Yet, I find myself reading more technically focused things and I feel that I may grasp what they are saying but implementation would not go as well as it should. I do not seek godhood. I seek competence.
At this moment, I have no idea how to fit a mission ship. It is a Low Sec mission ship but a mission ship nonetheless. My Sleipnir is a toned down PvP fit. Buffer instead of Ancillary Shield Booster. No shiny modules. A Scimitar always at its side.
I’d like to do more. Battleships for missions are something most players stumble upon early in the game. Battleships for PvP are something they may focus on later. Yet, even here I am somewhat reversed. I have taken battleships into PvP. Yet, a mission? Oh my, oh my, oh my.
It is ignorance. One that some may scorn and roll their eyes at. Asking for help in these things is always hard. “You don’t know that?” It may be one of my most loathed statements. Alone, it is the reason why I often avoid admitting my own ignorance. Not pride. Just frustration. Of course I do not know. That is why I ask. I’d like to correct that lack of knowledge. I was not born into Eve knowing everything. There are many things I have not experienced for various reasons. My path is unique to myself just as every players path is. I may come into some knowledge at different place points but the only shame in that would be to never seek it or reject it off hand.
When someone first comes to low sec, under the order of, “attack anything you find and die to learn.” One of the first things they learn about are gate and station guns. They have heard of those things. They have seen them on kill mails. But as their frigate/destroyer/t1 cruiser is shredded by the two guns that surround the gate or station they did not realize that this was what a gate gun is. Such is it for me when it comes to missions. They are something that I have never done and I will make mistakes in experiencing them at this level vs my experience of running DED sites in my Sleipnir/Scimitar combo.
It may not sound particular badass to say “I am learning to mission”. It may bring sneers from some. Missions are boring or stupid or whatever. Sure. They are also stable ISK. My hangars are filling with ships that are specialized for various fleets. I don’t mind but it costs ISK. I’ve also not been interested in exploring since Odyssey hit. I’m burnt out on it for now. I’m not looking for optimal I’m looking for something I can do productively in bits of time. When I want to go out and play Eve as in fly spaceships and do things with them because I find that fun.
The other thing about it is that it helps me fly better. I can look at all the theory in the world, understand the numbers, and be handed a ship but until I fly it and get a feel for it I will not know if I like it. Not being motivated by stats I have to feel the ship and see if I like it. The Prophecy works for me and the armor Hurricane does not. It may be a quirk of my personality but I have to like and enjoy what I am flying. That is part of Eve for me.
Gaining comfort in a ship, for me, comes from spending time in that hull. My Jaguar was one of my first daily drivers. I ratted in it back when I cared about my security status enough to go out every day and gnaw away at belt rats. I spent countless hours in my Jaguar and later in my (old) Hurricane. I’ve also spent many an hour in my Rupture. Yet, I dislike it and love my Jaguar and (old now Navy) Hurricane. Even if I do not like my Rupture I am comfortable with what it can do and what it can take. While fighting players is nothing like fighting NPCs learning the feel of the ship helps in both situations. Ranges of weapons. The responsiveness of tracking. It works for me. As stupid and wrong and I should just go and lose frigates to learn all of that as it is, it is a functional method that helps me out. I accept if it makes me a lesser person in the eyes of some.
After that most recent Tempest adventure, I need to carve myself a little better battleship. Something buffer. It can use hybrids (rails or blasters) or Projectiles (auto or arty). It will never be a 100% dedicated mission boat while it is in low sec. It will still need to kill people or get out of a situation, depending on what may try to hunt me down.
I do not expect to become a fitting guru. I am a non-technical person working off of feel and understanding instead of hard stats and rich calculations. I will not have a fit of the week/month/year situation. Fitting spaceships is like religion and politics, something I avoid discussion due to the inherent volatile arguments that tend to come from it. Also, I dislike the vicious negativity but that is another post for another time.