Just like riding a bicycle, the best way to recover from a ship loss is to get right back out there and try again. In my case, after losing the Fortuna, I woke up in Venal and immediately jumped into a Heretic.
I always fly with a 603 CPU implant to squeeze a little extra out of my fittings. I maxed my fitting skills a long time ago, but that little bit can mean the difference between an ideal fit and having to make compromises in a surprising number of cases. But having been caught by the hictor, my implant was gone. I had to offline the web on my Heretic to undock.
Making my way back to empire space to buy a new implant, I quickly headed down the Tribute pipe leading to Taisy. All systems were clear except for E-OGL4, which had five reds. I decided to – wisely as it turned out – warp to a perch on the M-OEE8 gate and saw a Sabre, Svipul, and Oracle running a gate camp. The Svipul and Sabre were right on the gate with a bubble up, and the Oracle was about a hundred kilometers away.
As I landed, the Oracle locked me up and fired, but I was already aligning out and his guns weren’t able to track me. But I had made a note of his position and had an idea…
An asteroid belt was perfectly in line with him and my bookmark. Being a hundred km away and trapped in a bubble, that Sabre and Svipul would effectively be out of the fight for a good half-minute to minute if I could land on the Oracle. I’ve been on both sides of a small ship tightly orbiting a sniper T3 BC, and knew getting in close was the hardest part.
So I warped to the belt and then to my bookmark at 100. I landed within 30 km of the Oracle. Keeping transversal, I maneuvered into a tight orbit and began to eat away at him. The move caught him by surprise, and he landed only one hit on my shields before I slipped under his guns.
The Oracle was no longer a threat, but I was watching that Sabre and Svipul carefully. For the longest time, their range stayed at around 100, buying me precious time to launch more and more missiles at my target. With a little judicious overheating, I took him down and began to align out.
But I wasn’t fast enough, and the Svipul – having switched to prop mode during the burn – got within range. I couldn’t tell you whether he landed a point or a scram, but he lost a Svipul on the 9th that had a point, and the range seemed about right for that.
I started to fire back, but my guns were heavily overheated already from killing the Oracle, and burned out mid-fight. It wouldn’t have mattered, though… the Sabre and Svipul were more than enough to take down my Heretic.
But I bagged my kill – an Oracle left vulnerable by its fleet being too far away. Despite losing my beloved Stratios, I was still able to identify the opportunity for isolating and killing a ship among a larger gang, and the trade ended up being a good one isk-wise.
When you PvP, you’ll inevitably come across “unfair fights” - gate camps, larger gangs, and hot drops. It happens, and you can’t do anything about it. Complaining about it won’t change anything. Even with the best instincts, eventually you’ll want that kill more than you want to avoid dying, and you’ll lose the gamble.
But you can’t be so afraid to take chances that you let yourself be paralyzed by inaction. Yeah, I loved my Stratios, but I loved it because of the content it brought me. Avoiding risk wouldn’t give me any enjoyment, and I’d likely make the same call in the future. Likewise, I’m okay losing a Heretic to kill an Oracle right under the nose of a gang.
Eve is very much a game about making your own narrative, and the very best stories are about succeeding despite overwhelming odds. To get that payoff, you have to risk it all.
The alternative is to make the mistake of believing space assets are actually worth anything beyond the enjoyment you gain from them. Victory and defeat, profit and loss, are really all about building stories of our achievements. Remember that, and you’ll grow to love this game.