So I haven’t been writing on the blog for the past week. Been writing in other places, actually. In my uni workbooks, for one, which have been sadly neglected for the first half of the semester, much to the detriment of my grades. Oops.
A DUST 514 collaborative writing project is another thing I’ve been getting involved in. Did mention that I wanted to develop character creation skills in a previous post, and I figured some good ol’ fashioned role playing in-character would help. So far so good, actually.
For those interested in that RP thread you’ll find it here, on the DUST forums.
Along with that, I’ve also been getting back into DUST 514 after totally neglecting it since I started EVE back in January. CCP’s games seem to possess this quality that draws you back in. It was understandable in EVE; I figured people who had spent hundreds of dollars in their subscription aren’t simply going to throw it away and never return. But DUST, a free-to-play game, in which I personally have not spent a cent on, possesses such an allure, more so than any previous first-person shooter I’ve played to date. I have not mentioned DUST much at all in this blog, and I doubt many DUST players will read this, nor will I make DUST a big part of this blog (for now, though if Project Legion launches I won’t be so sure I’ll be able to resist), but the next portion is nevertheless going to be a bit hard to understand unless you’ve played the game.
So I got back into it this week, got involved in an awesome dropship deathmatch organised by corporations Dead Man’s Game and Learning Coalition. Great fun with great people, and to be honest not many people may have shown up but those who did will vouch for the blast we had.
Then it got a bit more serious for me. You see, what with the state of the game and other factors right now, DUST isn’t exactly pulling in or retaining new players. Most agree that the game is probably on what you could tentatively call life support. I would optimistically call it an elongated winter with spring just over the horizon, with the start of the winter being May this year. We had no prophetic Ned Stark to warn us though, so when it hit, well… here we are today.
Anyway. So that was the long way of saying our EVE-DUST corporation is dying. In what was effectively a 5% EVE to 95% DUST in terms of player composition, most of the DUST players are gone, from the corp or from the game.
Cutting to the chase, we were what I daresay was a formidable force. And such forces commanded PC districts; we still had 3. Now, we were a small bunch of peasants in a winter blizzard, surrounded by wolves. One stepped into the light of our wavering torchlight and tried to take a bite.
Okay that wasn’t cutting to the chase. Someone attacked one of our districts. I logged in 6 hours prior to the battle, notifying the appropriate people I would lead it. 30 minutes prior, I logged in (right after downtime) again. We had 2 people online in corporation.
20 minutes to go, we had 1 squad, with 2 people from our corporation.
10 minutes to go, two squads.
Warbarge opens, and everyone disconnects. Upon reconnection and sorting everything out, we have 15 people in the PC match, and still only 2 people from our own corporation.
There are two sides to this story. One is the sad one, of a corporation that can’t field a PC team itself during what is meant to be our prime time for gaming. But the other, the other is a tale of gathering a band of mercenaries, a race against time to organize them from independent brigands to a unified brigade. And we did, and against a full team of attackers all from the same corporation who obviously had planned to be ready for battle, we won.
13 ringers, 2 corporation members (including me), and 1 empty slot. It was a close match, and we had a few ticks of MCC armour left before theirs went down. I could talk about tactics, I could talk about what I did in battle, but it wasn’t. This was New Eden and the connections one had built in it. It warmed my heart when we stole that victory from the hands of fate, I don’t believe another ragtag group could have deserved it more.
Okay so we’re all caught up on events! On to the meat of the post.
Fighting against the odds
I went out of my way in the Bringing Solo Back channel in EVE today, in the midst of the usual debate about links and solo PvP, to say this:
[ 2014.09.16 13:21:36 ] Revileushin Eyri > its the attitude that makes us solo pvpers not links or implants or any of that shit
Then I got all self-conscious and logged off before I could see any replies. But despite a slight embarrassment, I do stand by what I said. It is the attitude. It’s the willingness to pursue the fight, the eagerness to continue fighting, the yearning to WIN, the desire for VICTORY! The “Solo” part is really just applying an independent streak, your own style and personality to the art of PvP. In a way, fleet warfare can entail solo PvP. Sure for the most part you’ll see people simply following the FC’s primaries. But the solo PvPers look beyond the next target called. They see the field, they see the flow of the battle, they can tell what’s happening. Some people express surprise that they lost a huge battle; a solo PvPer is likely not surprised at all.
As a solo PvPer, I don’t want to be the DPS of a fleet. I want to be the EWAR, the logistics, the support. Because I know that there is where the tide of the battle can shift with piloting skill. There is where I can pit myself against similar ewar/logi/support pilots on the other side, grin my evil grin even as my hands shake, and challenge them. DPS is satisfying, but not as much as knowing your damps or reps or positioning has stumped the enemy for long enough for your DPS to work its magic.
As a solo PvPer, I endeavour to deliver a “good fight” to everyone I fight, with respectful intent. I won’t “gf” if I don’t mean it; that may just be my stubbornness.
As a solo PvPer, I prefer to work alone. It’s downright thrilling, that’s all there is to it. Those who find that thrill and experience the rush when fighting alone, that’s the rush.
As a solo PvPer, I cherish the good fights. If that means using links, implants, boosters, scouts, WHATEVER, to find them, then so be it! A group PvPer enjoys the social experience of the fight. Solo PvPers want that neck-to-neck, visceral, personal fight, and finding those are difficult as hell, so when we get them we hold them dear, and link the kill/lossmails frequently.
As a solo PvPer, the odds matter little. Just like that DUST 514 battle, who’s to know the outcome if we don’t try? That, above all, defines the solo PvPer.