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Being an Explosion

Dying to a HS gate camp made me realize how little I know about the activity. My Jaguar, while amazing for the most part is not quite fast enough to make it through gatecamps that are gatecamping. They are prepared for frigates after all. And, jumping into a high sec gatecamp wasn't something that I was particularly expecting. They happen sometimes in Molden Heath but normally, darting through high sec goes smoothly. I'm one of those flashy reds that goes streaking through a system with faction police spawning on the gate behind me.

This time, I landed and realized that it wasn't going to go smoothly. Interceptor, Rook, Vigilant. Yeah, well. The ship loss has a surprise factor of zero. And, as I warped my pod off to continue my trip I realized that I didn't expect the gatecamp. I proabbly should have. Faction Warfare areas tend to come with a different fleet type than non-faction warfare areas. They are more prepared for frigates. For, frigates are more common inside of Faction Warfare low sec.

It is probably the same reason that I am always startled by bubble camps and cloaked bombers. Spending more time in null sec means that one comes across many more cloaked camps of bombers. Normally it is the one guy in Great Wildlands with uber (but not Ueberlisk) tanked recons luring the unwary into his bombers. People bite the bait, the bait tanks, his bombers uncloak, he jumps the gate, they bomb the fleet, people die, and it seems to be enjoyable enough because they continue to do it.

Really, what can I say? I undock in ships with the full understanding that I may not redock in them. I often expect to redock, such as my Jaguar ahead. I'm sure the campers want to take their ships home as well. They did a better job not losing their ships than I did.

Thus, upon this day and this .08 high sec gate; I died. I died some more the next time I went out to PvP. Altaen and I went out in a duo. Know that I was glowing as I followed along. He wound up jumping into a camp and dying. I dithered on the gate. Was he going to make it? Should I kite off? Should I wait to assist? Should I just leave? Dither, dither, point, dead.

Welp. Off our pods went home and we made it about halfway before some more bubbles. I almost made it out of that one as well. Damn. I need another Omen.

Such is how it goes. Sometimes one undocks to glory and sometimes one undocks to the glory of being an explosion. I still do miss the brief blue nova that player explosions used to be. It took a bit to get used to it. To die and reship. I've died more on this deployment than ever before it feels. Sometimes it is frustrating. Not the death. Normally it was the fight, or more exactly, the mistakes I made. Such as dithering. Or jumping into a high sec gatecamp. Or jumping into a bubble gate camp. Or being bombed taking bait...

Khori and I disagree. Often. On one particular point is starting new players. Khori believes in the buy 200 frigates and die until you figure things out. I believe in educating people and teaching things, giving a foundation of knowledge and then going out and doing things while that prelearned knowledge comes together. Both are valid but we truly disagree with each other as to our tactics. So, when he convinced my newest newbie to try to go out in a Rifter I rolled my eyes but Khori gave him the ISK for it. My newbie died to a gatecmap a jump or two in. He was frustrated for a bit with the normal levels of, "that was terrible." However, we talked, he came down off of his adrenaline high and found himself torn between trying it again and waiting for a bit. We talked. He and Vov and I (Khori was mad at me by now. This does happen. :P) about seeing ships as disposable objects instead of sacred things to never lose. It is a mindset that Vov and I worked at prying away early that Khori had already loosened by giving him the ISK to adventure with.

Gatecamps. Bombs. Losing spaceships. Dying. Poddings. None of it is the end. It may not be the end one was going for. I certainty go, "urp," when I realize where I am. But, petting my newbie through his first flare of, "This is awful!" until he recovered is eye opening. That loss hits hard. It may not become easier so much as better understood. I'm sure some find it easy but not all will glory in it.

After I lost my Omen and then pod, I was thinking, "Khori is right about losing ships until it doesn't bother you anymore." Sure, the situation may be frustrating. I don't want to lose my ships. I've never subscribed to "didn't want that anyway." If I didn't want it, I'd not have purchased it in the first place. But, now it is a humph and a sigh because I have to buy another one. It is one that I try to share when I speak with new players interested in PvP.

Nothing is wrong with not wanting to lose your ship. But, if you are attached to it don't undock it. I'll run through high sec in a Jaguar again. I'll happily follow Altaen into battle any day. And, my newbie? He has recovered and when I logged in to finish writing this post, he had gone out and lost a few more ships. It was exciting and enthralling but he decided to take a break and work on learning more basics. Also, he just subbed his account.



  1. I've recently had a bit of a losing streak as well, losing ship after ship seemingly having lost whatever I had possessed before which allowed me to win countless engagements.

    This actually reminded me of how CCP rise put it during his talk at fanfest about pvp. He compared it to poker, which much like eve pvp seems to sometimes consist a lot of throwing your hard earned money down the drain. Loss after loss after loss.

    But losses in poker as with eve are to be expected, and the most common yet biggest mistake a person can make is to look at a single mistake, or even a day or week of losses and declare. 'I SUCK; I should stop undocking ships".

    In any game where risk is involved, where every gate, hand or engagement is a gamble, you have to look at a much wider scope. Rise had a nifty diagram here to show this from his poker days. He showed a picture of a downward slope, but when zoomed out further the slope was actually a rather minor dip in an otherwise rising graph.

    Eve is no different, one day, one week or even a month you may feel like you are just throwing ships away at camps, linked bads, and ill chosen engagements. But no matter what, if you look at the bigger picture, if one is learning from their mistakes, friends and enemies, the slope is actually rising and we all get better every day. It's just the nature of things that sometimes we have a dip or a losing streak and the mind is eager to connect the dots when that happens and jumps to conclusions.

    Not to say that people should necessarily track their performance to get this bigger picture; But it's always important to keep in mind that losing streaks happen, they just do no matter who you are. The important thing is to be able to stand back and recognize it for what it is and avoid going full tilt.

  2. I know a few people that understand perfectly well that PVP means losing stuff, but still rage about it when it happens. One even told me once: 'it's not about the ISK... I hate losing ships because of the humiliation". Wtf mate? :)

    I have a very different take: I think I actually feel the strange urge to get my own ship to blow up!

    Though I enjoy small gangs and fleets, I'm mostly a solo PVP-er. Every time I undock solo, I'm out looking for trouble. I really can't resist taking a fight, unless it's 110% certain death - and still, if I see a good chance of killing two ships before I lose mine, or even just one kill but pricier or higher tier than mine, I'll go for it!

    Don't get me wrong, I do try my best to win and fly the best I can and I get mad at myself if I die to an obvious mistake, but I have no issue exploding because of a reasonable gamble or because of some factor I didn't yet know about - and thus have the opportunity to learn. Actually, forever learning new stuff is probably the main thing that keeps me hooked to this crazy game.

    Eventually, most of my solo roams I keep thinking 'just one more fight before I dock' until I dock... in my pod. :)

    On a side note, I'll admit I only fly frigs and dessies (also because of just 10M SP) thus losing about 1B/month while making 3B/month thorugh various activities, so maybe I too am a risk-adverse coward after all!

  3. the 3rd paragraph made me laugh...I've been a member of that bomber fleet.....

    Name withheld to protect the guilty


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