If you are reading this as an EvE player (or a Minecraft one), you will no doubt understand what I mean when I talk about self-set goals. It’s a core part of what keeps most of us playing EvE. It’s the shiny ship we want to own, the weapon system we want to use and the capital ship we want to hot drop with. Succinctly; It’s that short or long term challenge we set ourselves to prove to ourselves or those around us that we are progressing in the game.
The first time I planned to fly into NullSec, I literally had no idea what tools or skills I would need to survive, nor what ships. I was an ex-mission runner turned rouge, with the skills to pilot Caldari up to battleships (not very well), so I turned to one of my old friends (I had just re-subbed to the game after an extended period of absence) Arian1. He had been in NullSec with our corporation for quite some time and offered a lot of great advice on what to do. He informed me that frigate tackle was always welcome in fleets, and it was a cheap easy ship to find my 0.0 feet in. For the next month or so, that’s exactly what I did. Learning about 0.0, its tactics, its skills, and trying to work out what I wanted to fly in the future.
As a child I frequently read Star Wars novels and I one of my favourite ships from the cannon was the Imperial Interdiction Cruiser, projecting a gravity well capable of preventing ships from entering Hyperspace within its sphere of influence2. The very idea of such a dominating ship has always enamoured me, and so you can perhaps see why my mind was drawn to the Heavy Interdictor. The similarities between the two fiction ships are quite amazing, enough that I think I could believe that the Designer drew the idea directly from the Books3. With this romantic vision in mind, I decided that the best thing to train for, and to bring into 0.0 would be a HIC.
Unfortunately this didn’t match the advice I was given. It was a general opinion that you should first skill and train for a Light Interdictor. It was cheaper and more often used in fleets so I would see more action and likely stay fiscally buoyant. Seeing the logic of this argument I capitulated and decided to adjust my goal towards the Flycatcher as the first step on the way to the Onyx, rather than bypassing it as I had first intended. Unfortunately although I reached that first step 30 days later, I had already lost interest in the Light Interdictor. Although my friends had been right about its advantages over the HIC, they had failed to mention that Dictors died frequently and fast. I was only a few months into NullSec life, and instincts hung over from mission running were still making me loss adverse, so when the training completed, I never even spun a dictor in station. Instead I trained for Interceptors (only a few days to level IV) and found the joy of going really fast; before training on towards the Onyx.
About this time our Alliance, Ethereal Dawn, fell. I forgot about the Onyx as an immediate Goal and instead improved other skills (webifiers, stealth bombers, core competency skills), always with the mind to completing the Onyx training one day. By the time that day came we had once again moved out to 0.0 space, this time as our own alliance. My goal had been reached (or so I thought), the flame rekindled, and I bought an Onyx. I think I took it out twice before yet again I was hit by another realisation.
I had already learned about the vulnerability of bubbling, the fact that once turned on, you were unable to escape for 30 seconds, and up until one gate camp I was ok with that. Then a gate camp FC ordered me to bubble up for a stealth bomber, who turned out to be a forward scout for a roaming gang. The fleet warped, I could not. The bubble went down as the enemy fleet jumped in, and I warped out as the first ship began to lock me. Chased home with the enemy nipping at my heels, I realised something; I could not afford to lose this ship. I had broken EvE’s carnal rule; “Don’t fly what you can’t afford to lose”. The Onyx was shelved, and anecdotally, was effectively lost when the station was taken by an enemy alliance (it’s still there).
Fast-forward to now and I still haven’t used a Heavy Interdictor since that gate camp (I bought a Devoter when the model changed, but never got the opportunity to use it). I have decided that my initial goal was never to simply train to use the Heavy Interdictor, but to actually USE it, and I never really did that. I now want to revisit that goal, to specialise as an interdictor pilot, both Heavy and Light. In the past I was inhibited by lack of Knowledge (of fleet mechanics), a risk adverse attitude (towards the light Interdictor) and lack of ISK (to afford to lose T2 ships). None of these things should be an issue anymore.
The first step down this path will be building a batch of Light Interdictors (all races as I want to experience what each is like). Then in a few months (when my carrier alt is out of the oven) I will bring in a job lot of Heavy and Light (I expect to have a preference by this point) dictors. So, expect to see a few extra black box posts soon.
This isn’t just a self-searching post about my current goal though. There is also a lesson to be learned from the history of my goal. It’s not unique, many have had goals that have fallen by the wayside over time, but it is a perfect example of a core lesson of EvE. Everyone has heard the maxim “Don’t fly what you can’t afford to lose” (I know you have because I wrote it earlier in the post). But that’s not all we need to remember when we buy a ship or aim for a new one. I lost sight of this goal three times:
· Once because I didn’t understand what was wanted in our fleet
· Once because I was afraid to lose it
· Once because I couldn’t afford to fly it
“Don’t fly what you can’t afford to lose. Don’t be afraid to lose what you can afford to fly. Always fly what will help your group the most”.
For the first time I will pose a few questions to you the reader: Do you remember your first PvP goal? Did you achieve it? In exchange I will keep you posted on the progress of this self-set goal.
Thanks for reading
1 the very same listed on this blog who might write another post…. one day…
2 If the imperials had of used just one of these during the original trilogy (say at Tattoine, or Hoth) the story would have been a LOT shorter, but I digress…
3 extra points would have only be allocated if the Minmatar had used the Hurricane Model with spheres through the hull…