Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Fights Where Time Stands Still

I get the shakes still when I fight. Normally now, it is anticipation. We are about to do something and the adrenaline hits right as things are about to kick off. This rush is different from the rush of shocked reaction that happens when you first start to PvP or even when you are well versed in it but wind up in a surprising interaction.

I read reading Always a Noob which is a new blogger to our blog community. He comments in his entry for Blog Banter #49 about being a noob and not knowing anything. It made me remember the confusion of things and the first time that I was killed by a player. 

"It happened so fast!" I still remember the other player orbiting me at dizzying speeds and destroying my Catalyst. Just poof I was dead and poof my pod was gone! Seconds! How? My god! I couldn't react! Yet now, I wonder how people don't get their pods away from a Talos. When I have those musings I have to remind myself that there was a time when everything was so fast and so startling that the influx of information overload caused time to spin out of control. (the pod linked above should have gotten out, by the way)

At some point time and experience starts to step it. It is not that the fight is not exciting. It is that the adrenaline rush becomes more than a reflex, knee jerk action. Instead of everything going faster than an eyeblink and you shaking in a station while trying to hit "accept" for a new clone the fight slows down. Natural mental TiDi kicks in as our "fight or flight" reactions kicks in at full speed.
Function of physiological changes
The physiological changes that occur during the fight or flight response are activated in order to give the body increased strength and speed in anticipation of fighting or running. Some of the specific physiological changes and their functions include:
  • Increased blood flow to the muscles activated by diverting blood flow from other parts of the body.
  • Increased blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugars, and fats in order to supply the body with extra energy.
  • The blood clotting function of the body speeds up in order to prevent excessive blood loss in the event of an injury sustained during the response.
  • Increased muscle tension in order to provide the body with extra speed and strength.
  • The pupils dilate to help see with increased clarity.
  • Increased perspiration to prevent over-heating due to the increased metabolic rate.
This is what some people hate about PvP. Others love it. And it happens. The shakes. Sweaty palms. My hands are normally bone dry. Except when I PvP. Then they are not. But that is my last worry.

There I stand, all drugged out on nature and Eve as glorious battle explodes across the screen. Everything narrows, for tunnel vision is a very common side effect, and the fight stretches out on and on and on. Actions. Reactions. Counter maneuvers. The rat-tat-tat of the FC. The things that we will later tease each other out as stress enters peoples voices. The rush and sudden drop as the fight ends. An hour? How long was it?

Six minutes.

Oh.  Well then. It felt longer. Maybe an hour? Well no it wasn't an hour... half an hour? No... six minutes? Really?

It is like coming up for air. The world slips back into action. The background snaps into focus. And alive or dead (hopefully alive and holding the field) nerves are strung out and silence swells into sound as everyone resurfaces and the after action chatter starts.

I'm often puzzled by people who say that Eve's PvP is not engaging, boring, and involves no ability. I have to remember at that times that PvP is a blanket term. It is Player vs Player and that covers everything from baiting new players to the Titans dropping doomsdays and all the ganking in between. I have to remember that not everyone will experience taking odds and making gambles. Even as I write this I listened to the FC of a fleet go, "We have to go!" as the fleet bounced playing kiting and range games against a much larger fleet. They are not running to dock up. They are repositioning themselves and slowly working the other fleet into a bad position as they pick each other off.

But all of that is later. Not the first fight. Not the second or third. It eventually happens if one engages in PvP. It does not make things less exciting. It makes them more understandable. I've gone from being a participant that is trying not to fall overboard to holding an ore and trying to manage the boat. Trying...

2 comments:

  1. I was talking to DP a while ago and said that I doubt I have touched more than 5% of Eve, but you know when it'll be time for me to quit this game?

    Not when I've seen the missing 95%. It'll be when PvP no longer does for me what it's doing for you. By the way, you've got both oars in the water.

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  2. I was thinking after a recent loss that I've gotten too used to my blast ships - close to tight orbit and apply dps. I get the impression there is a lot more finesse to the kiting game, and I'll be looking to get to that as I skill up ze lazers.

    I could also see if there is more time and complexity as you move from solo to small gang. That's something I haven't been successful in finding the right environment quite yet, but I'm working on it.

    And yes, I'm late in replying to your blogs - back from a recent vacation. :)

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