Note: The first part of this story is here.
With my only Eve friend gone, his assets irretrievable and his account in deficit, I was on my own. I continued to dip my finger in the mission pie, but I really had no idea what I was doing. I would run a Level One mission, and run to the station everytime somebody with a yellow tag came into local. My activity dwindled until I was just logging in to update my skill queue.
In the world of real life, I had recently stumbled onto the site Reddit, and whilst perusing the various subreddits, stumbled across one dedicated to Eve. Further reading showed me that Reddit had it's own Eve clan! I read up and applied.
The HR guys there were so shocked that I'd been playing alone for 3 months, I think they only accepted me out of pity as I'm pretty sure my post count and voting history wouldn't have met the requirements.
My passion for the game rekindled almost immediately. These guys had a voice comms server, and IM service and they were giving me free ships!
Within hours of being accepted, I had podded myself to Fountain.
Over the next few months, all I did was absorb information and knowledge. The wiki page gleaned a huge amount of written information, and there was a huge established structure for teaching new people (newbros) how to play and providing answers to as many dumb questions we could think of.
I was quickly set up with a few people who I could follow around, salvaging their wrecks until I'd saved enough for my own Drake.
Drakes were good, I could fly them and shoot red crosses next door to our staging system, and then when the baddies came, I could fly it there too, all I had to do was swap a few modules around.
I was a bit of a carebear. I ran anomalies a lot, and still ran away when any baddies came into the system. But I went on as many strat ops as I could, and enjoyed them too. Like a lot of others, I remember my first titan bridge, and my first structure shoot. I also vaguely remember everyone being super duper excited because they were killing a super carrier or a titan, but I can't remember any details other than I went in a Rifter and I died without getting on the killmail.
Eventually, I'd skilled up enough to get into a Maelstrom, the next step in Test doctrine ships. A big shiny ship with massive sails that fired huge cannons and made things explode. That was pretty cool.
I'd also found a fit on the wiki that said I could rat in it too (thanks Fras Siabi), so off I went and bought one.
I warped it to the first anomaly, at range like the wiki told me to, and started shooting things. I was suddenly hit by a real urge to poo, something which happens when I get excited about something and neglect my bodily functions for a few hours (the time it took to buy, fit, name and move my new battleship.
Whilst I was liberating my waste, I heard a sound no one should hear. That horrible low shield sound. I had mine set at about 75% shield and I quickly scuttled back to my desk. (After the necessary sanitation had been quickly completed). Oh dear. There is a purifier orbiting me. He's killing me. I can't shoot him. He's killed my drones.
I suffered the long 5-10 minutes watching my shield, armor and finally hull dwindle until I exploded. Awesome.
I decided that going back to ratting with a Drake would be awful and so I applied to every internal group I could.
For those that have never been in a large alliance:
Most large Alliance are split up into various groups, each with their own responsibilities. Broadly speaking, these groups are FCs, Recon and Logistics.
- FCs are the ones who provide the content, they lead the fleets and shoot the towers.
- Recon are the ones that have the eyes, they find the enemy fleets, light the cynos and scout the towers.
- Logistics are the ones that provide the framework, they maintain the sov, empty the silos and place the towers.
I applied to all 3. And was accepted.
I enjoyed FCing, despite not having a clue what I was doing. I FC'd quite a lot of frigate gangs, roaming around Fountain and the various deployments (Tenal and Venal were a blur and I slipped into "just log on to change skills" mode for a small time) catching things on gates and generally having a good time. I mostly did it for the social side. Being able to interact with all the people in my fleet, without feeling like I was interrupting someone was brilliant and was what i've always enjoyed most about leading fleets. Most fleets ended with us all dying, but a large majority of them came out with a green killboard.
I remember my first battlecruiser roam. We went out from 6VDT with Drakes and Hurricanes, and down into Delve. We got about 10 jumps and killed a ratting ship in a belt when a superior force was sighted and we ran like mother fuckers all the way home, with some amazing tactical manoeuvres where we tricked the enemy into thinking we'd take the short route home instead of the really long one...
I also enjoyed logistics. There's something soothing about knowing you are part of the machine that keeps a huge infrastructure greased, oiled and running smoothly. I fuelled POS and Jump Bridges with T1 industrials, and also set up dick stars for three hours (I have a long long post planned for that topic). I envied those with a Rorqual, and set it as a goal for my first capital ship.
The recon side was a bit less interesting, I didn't have the patience to sit in a given system for hours at a day, but I did my fair share of cynos in odd locations.
I have always considered myself a barely average FC. I'm not good at small gang, or even medium gang, but I can control 256 autists fairly well, and mostly achieve strategic objectives. I struggle when it comes to situations that I've never come across before, and I'm far too cautious, and unwilling to take chances. This has worked against me several times. I also get caught up with some things and forget the basics, like keep moving and be ready to warp if you get bombed. This also worked against me several times.
I quickly realised that less people got mad at me when I concentrated on Alliance Logistics so that's where I put my time and effort.