Analysis of Prey

Some frustrations I’ve encountered today whilst seeking prey, which I probably will see much more of in the coming months.

First off (name removed):

[ 2014.05.20 09:56:56 ] * > sry, i no have skills for 1v1 yet

This first potential victim was in an Arbitrator, another T1 cruiser (I was in a Vexor). Upon warp-in to the FW medium plex, I landed within 2km of him, and he already had drones out. I thought it was a trap and he had something up his sleeve. He did: those drones were Hornet EC-300s. I managed to strip him of his shields before his drones jammed me, and he warped off, and then dared to tell me he had no skills for 1v1.

Checking the character, I discovered it was created April this year. Fine, he was barely a few weeks old. Fine, I had a few million more SP than him. Fine, I warped into the fight knowing I had a good chance of winning because an Arbitrator can’t touch my drones.

But for one, how did he know where my SP was? For all he knew I could’ve been a miner who decided to try his hand at cruiser PvP, and went into drone boats because I had trained them up to defend myself against those pesky high-sec belt rats. Hell, I could’ve been training into warp core stabilisers and my Vexor may have just been there to troll him. For him to have admitted he didn’t have the right skills implies he has a working knowledge of the game and how to train. For him to have waited until I was on top of him, and still be confident he could get away (he even recalled his ECM drones before he warped), he must have had some idea of how fights progressed. I’m going to assume here, and assume he was an alt. Now, given this assumption that could be horribly wrong, how could this guy then think some guy who started at the beginning of this year had skilled into PvP since day one, and as such had more skills than he? This is a bit of venting, but there certainly is a message behind it for the newbies out there. Most of the time, if you’re looking to PvP and encounter characters who are much older than you in battle, you’ve probably already got skills they don’t.

Before I started, I was told that in a few months I could be useful in fleets. Almost every EVE player agrees a week-old newbie can train a tackling frigate to support the big boys. But what if you don’t want to be useful for others? What if you wanted to be able to stand on your own two feet and tell the rest of your corporation members you could fend for yourself in a fight? NEVER assume that just because someone is years older than you, that they have that difference in SP dumped onto the ship they’re currently flying, and every module fitted to it. Once you understand that, suddenly every skill you train in your early months exponentially increases your proficiency. It isn’t a case of your effectiveness increasing per SP any more; certain skills are worth more than the time taken to train them. Those core skills any newbie training plan can show you: Navigation, gunnery/missiles, armour/shields, spaceship command, etc. But it certainly isn’t a matter of having to sit back for months waiting for them to train to be able to fight on  your own. I could have quite as easily found myself picking a fight with a CEO who had 10m SP in leadership, corporation management and the like, and 6m SP in PvP. 16m total; more than double my current SP. But less than the 7m I have in PvP skills. Alas, I find myself at an advantage against someone who’s been playing twice as long as I.

Which is why the excuse of having no skills for 1v1 yet really irks me. It begs the question, what are the skills for 1v1? 5m in your weapon systems? 10m? Maxed skills in all weapon systems? Full supporting skills, and masteries at five for the ship you’re flying? No skills for PvP, I would’ve been a little more understanding about. But to put down 1v1s to mere in-game skill points, when I’m here training skills for stealth bombers which I’ll never use in solo PvP and still seeking fights in a cruiser against reasonable ships with pilots that have been playing for years, it insults the art. I reject his excuse in every way, and whilst I understand that in that scenario it was possibly an extremely unfair fight, if I were to accept that there was truth in what he said, then it would be to accept that I can’t win any fights until I’ve trained my character for a few more months. No. EVE is more than that. I am dedicated to my goal of becoming a great PvPer, but this blog will show why I can make great leaps forward in my progress towards this goal, without having years of SP, a previous trader alt. who has amassed me billions of ISK to spend on ships, or links. (hehe)

And now we have the result of next fight I found myself in today: https://zkillboard.com/kill/38978211/

And the comment sent to me after the fight by the guy who initially engaged and I suppose baited me into the 2v1:

[ 2014.05.20 10:22:57 ] Ilie > gf
[ 2014.05.20 10:23:03 ] Ilie > solo would’ve been a coffin

Not much point removing the name when only one of the two in the killmail I linked could’ve said it. Anyway, I am thankful he admitted it. The Amarrians are, I’ve realised, certainly graceful in victory. Another one of my deaths after killing a Stabber of theirs (killmails and analysis in old blog), and they shower me with general praise:

[ 2014.05.17 03:40:56 ] Damzan > gf
[ 2014.05.17 03:41:01 ] Zen Tao > you are a hero
[ 2014.05.17 03:41:01 ] Earis3 > awesome fight matey
[ 2014.05.17 03:41:04 ] Damzan > o7
[ 2014.05.17 03:41:07 ] Revileushin Eyri > gf
[ 2014.05.17 03:41:13 ] Damzan > respect
[ 2014.05.17 03:41:18 ] Earis3 > bows
[ 2014.05.17 03:41:27 ] Revileushin Eyri > thanks for the fun
[ 2014.05.17 03:41:33 ] Zen Tao > thank you

I certainly appreciate it, knowing that I provided some kind of challenge and entertainment to them, although I do feel a little downcast that it is me warping off in a pod as they help themselves to my loot. This was especially apparent against the two Vexors, where I didn’t get a kill to at least numb the loss against the buzz of a victory. Whilst them admitting that if they hadn’t ganked me I could have killed them makes me feel a little better, I can never quell the begrudging thought of “But you didn’t fight me alone, did you?”. This is something I have no doubt I will be muttering to myself again and again throughout my solo PvP.

Anyway, wallowing in regret will not get me anywhere. An important thing to note from these two fights is that the other side, despite having me outnumbered, conceded to the threat I posed. I admit in the aftermath of the fights I grinned as they wrote it. Perhaps it’s just the kindly Amarrians who engage in such behaviour, but they were in general characters who have been playing much longer than me. Years longer, in fact. And yet in one case I could drag out a fight for 9 minutes because of their weak initial DPS and positioning, and in another case I basically had a character who is a few years older than me in the exact same ship have to call in back-up to win. And I’ve only been around for four months. The skills I required to fit out my cruiser could’ve been trained perhaps in two. Two months! This is heartening evidence that the SP gap will be one of my lesser worries when climbing my way to the top.

 

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