Laying down the sword…

Today was a good day…


 

Awesome Friday night down in Australia. Managed to get a free night to listen to the awesome crew doing the weekly EVE Down Under, something of a ritual for many Aussie players I think. Definitely fun to listen to the hosts’ takes on recent patches, upcoming patches and null-sec politics (which I have no clue about but I listen intently anyway because it sounds intriguing). I especially enjoyed the argument around the end-game, and what content exists in the end-game after Titans. But I won’t go any further, and will highly recommend you download the podcast and have a listen for this week! Also, perhaps just this once, listeners got to witness  nGR rDNx struggling to pronounce my character name! At least until some smart cookies in the EDU chat channel discovered out what is hidden behind a seeming jumble of random letters. 😛 The collective, revelatory ‘ooooohh’ was supremely satisfying.

The reason for my name even making its way into the show is, awesomely enough, because I somehow won a freighter answering this question at the end of the show: “Who wrote Templar One?”, combined with the keyword riptide delivered at the beginning of the show.

And to top it off, CCP Mimic made a special guest appearance for today’s show! Not only did she give awesome insights into some of the topics discussed and how CCP was adapting to the new 5-weekly patch cycle, but she was the one that judged that I was the 5th correct answer (based on the conditions of that prize giveaway, the 3rd and 5th answers got freighters) and officially got me the freighter! Woo-hoo!

It’s officially 41 days until the Eve Down Under event itself in Sydney, and (spoilers!) this may be part of my speech for the event. I’m certainly aiming for this sort of vibe, but I’ll try not to let too much on; according to my blog stats I do have some Australian readers, and some may be attending EDU, so I’m not going to spoil it for them.


…But the future holds more for this young space-faring adventurer.


 

Oh yes, yes it does. As glorious as a Friday night it has been, it cannot shake me from making a crucial decision.

You see, the new alliance is almost prepared to launch ourselves fully out there and try to establish our own empire. New friends are being made, potential content is being drawn up, ISK is flowing, things are blowing up, all is well. And as I’m watching the guys and gals, I think, just maybe, I want to be a part of this. I want to see what I can do for others, where my limits lay in terms of being responsible for their experience of the game.

Solo PvP is incredibly exciting, and I have yet to experience anything else in EVE, or any other game I’ve played except maybe certain moments in some FPS games, that brings the same rush. And yet, by its nature, it is not a group activity. And if I’m on whilst someone else in our alliance is on, why am I doing things without them? I’ve mentioned in several older posts about me doing some FC work. I really liked it; I still do. It is an art that is more challenging than solo PvP, but at the same time, you learn more about yourself than ever. It’s an enlightening experience -leading people, that is- and having a game that enables this sort of connection between commander and soldier is… incredible. It really is.

I joined the game wanting to start solo PvP, mainly from videos of it, mainly because it sounded like my kind of thing, and it is, and it will never cease to be… But I also watched many fleet PvP videos, especially the ones with comms recorded, before I even subscribed. I read many articles on Fleet Command in EVE Online, from squads to multiple, full fleets.

And now, here I stand, at a crossroads. One path continues the way I currently walk, seeking solely to achieve the objective of becoming one of the best solo PvPers out there, where ever that may lead. It will be a path where I do occasional FC work for the alliance when I feel like it (and make excuses when I’m not), provide advice to the leaders, and be provider of fun events here and there and generally just another person to talk to.

Or the alternative. Step up and shoulder the responsibility of getting entertainment to the alliance as a whole. Become a prominent alliance FC. Dedicate time to learning how to FC properly. Polish management, diplomatic, economic skills, and become more than just a voice. Become a name that is synonymous with my alliance, someone whose name is inseparable from its growth to fame and glory.

There’s the key word, nice and green and bold. (I like green)

And I’m looking at that word, and I spell it out in my head, and I’m asking myself, “why?

Why should I spend time on strangers? Can their entertainment be mine? Can their fun translate to good times for me? Is EVE even a game anymore? These questions, as selfish as they are, I do not really know the answer to yet.

But what I do know is that if I wanted to play a game purely for fun, I wouldn’t have chosen EVE Online.

There is another source of inspiration for this whole train of thought, one that lit up my brain as I lost my first ever Enyo Assault Frigate only ten minutes after I had fitted it out. It was with a friend who I got into a fleet with, and I led us into a fight blindly, ending up biting something that punched our teeth out. You see, he was more than happy to re-ship and come out with me again. I was not happy that he had lost a ship due to my blunder, and had I more monetary resources in-game, I would have made the best attempt to refund his lost. I particularly dislike it when I get others hurt by my mistakes, even if it is a game.

But what if fleets got bigger? What if I simply cannot refund everyone when I make mistakes? How do I keep them coming back to my fleets if we get in too many losses in a row? So in my stubborn way that makes me seem way cooler online that I actually am in real life, I’ve edited these unconquerable questions into a statement:

“I will be the vanguard in the attack, and the rearguard in the defense.”

I will to be the FC that makes calls unwaveringly and sticks by it, but retains enough sense to admit he has made mistakes. The FC that is courageous enough to take a fight that might end in disaster, but wise enough to learn from failure. The FC that has the foresight to call primaries even after he has been wiped from the field, and the hindsight to realize that it was probably better to assign a second-in-command.

The FC that is can lose hundreds of ships but never his fleet, for they know that I only move with their wellbeing in mind, and will accept the responsibility for any result.

Today, I lay down the sword and take up the banner.

I leave you with a role model:

 

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