This week I joined Tactically Challenged, part of the Tactical Supremacy [TIKLE] alliance, a mostly AUTZ null-sec alliance. Through a real life friend in TIKLE I ended up smoothly transitioning from FW onwards to the “Wild West” of EVE. It was hard to make the decision to sever so entirely from my home in FW so entirely and vanish into thin space after spending most of my time in that space, leaving only a formal goodbye to the corporation I was in. But make the decision I did, and into my travel-ceptor (although I did try travel into null with a sub-optimal ceptor and… woops) I went, setting my sights on dark expanse of 0.0 space.
Curiosity about null-sec as well as a few other factors sealed the deal for me. Firstly, the TIKLE is AUTZ-based. I had spent a while wanting for an decent-sized AUTZ FW corporation that was objective rather than content driven, and the only option there was initially was The Church of Awesome, which was Caldari-based, whom I did not want to affiliate myself with at the time as I was adamant on achieving warzone victory for the Minmatar. They have now moved on from FW as well, so having not heard of any other FW corp and feeling reluctant to try create my own, I went searching for a group elsewhere in New Eden. My options at this point were wormholes or null-sec.
My choice of null was then decided based on my next objective in EVE: to learn about capitals. In null-sec, I feel like capitals are going to be used in situations that I’ll most likely want to know how to use them in. Yes, even bashing towers. You might say to me “dreads are just DPS”, and whilst that is true, it doesn’t capture the level of understanding I want. I want to know how to FC a fleet consisting of subcapitals AND capitals. I don’t believe I’ve mastered subcaps just yet, but knowledge of capitals goes hand in hand with subcap mastery these days, what with high-angle weaponry and networked sensor arrays. Furthermore, when and if I end up in a position where I am in command of assets worth billions each, I want to be able to command with confidence. Even if it’s just listening to how dreads are directed to shoot a POS with no opposition, giving the simple command to ‘siege green’ is a decision based on many, many more factors than me committing a fleet of T2 autocannon thrashers into a fight in a small FW complex.
So here I am, in null, actually assisting in shooting a boring tower as I write and listening to the alliance banter away on comms, and having fun. I’m not even ashamed to admit that Minmatar FW alliances don’t hold a candle to the organisation and effort put into those of even a relatively small and new null-sec alliance. It’s enlightening to see actual cogs in a machine turning smoothly, over rusted bolts and spluttering engines. Okay, I’m being a little harsh of my previous home. But the comparison isn’t totally unfair.
Anyway, not much else to say right now, just that I’m looking forward to my fight clash involving capitals as that is really where I think things will get interesting. For now, I’m absorbing as much as I can about null culture, lifestyle and mechanics as I can. My only worry is that fights that come, like many fights I see battle reports for, will be heavily one-sided. I find the fights I learn the most from are the ones that are down to the wire, as those situations where a fight could swing either way push an FCs skills to the limits and those are the moments in EVE, that I love, even if the decisions our side makes are the wrong ones.
I used to say something along the lines of “every fight in ships bigger than frigates is simply a slow-motion version of a fight with the corresponding frigates”. But now, envisaging the amount of decision-making and more importantly, the speed at which those decisions have to be made on a field where you have billions of capital and sub-capital assets on the field pitted against an opposing force that have every intention of also winning, I’m not so sure of my words anymore.