Sunday, March 9, 2014

A Pirate’s Life For Me

When I started playing Eve, I was a high-sec mission runner.  I remember watching with glee as my sec status ever so slowly began to tick upwards.  Somehow, it felt good to be +5.0 security status.    I felt like I was doing the “right” thing and getting rewarded for it.  Surely, the entire Eve community would appreciate and recognize my excellent work.

Then I joined a null-sec alliance which – surprisingly to me – went roaming through low-sec.  I attacked the primary and found my sec status actually drop!  This was impossible… I was “the good guy”.

Keep in mind, this was back when attacking someone in low-sec would drop your sec status by 0.8 or so.  So a single low-sec engagement would quite a bit of ratting to boost your status again.  Of course, this was also the age of the system-specific sec timer, so boosting it again wasn’t as much of a problem.

But… something also felt very good about watching that sec status drop.  It was my first experience with the pirate lifestyle, but it was a satisfying one.

When I joined Razor, we would roam everywhere from our little base in O-BY0Y.  My sec status was never 5.0 again, but I tried to keep it above 0.  Throughout the past two years, the mix of ratting and low-sec PvP always kept me between 1.0 and 4.0.

One of my favorite fleets during my time in Razor was the weekly “A Pirate’s Life For Me” one.  Unlike many of the Razor fleets, this one was kitchen-sink.  It demanded you to think for yourself, and expected pilots to use their own discretion.  Individual pilot skill was critical.  We didn’t use alliance or coalition intel channels.  We didn’t use dedicated scouts.  The thrill of the unknown was exhilarating.

Now, anyone who regularly flies pirate fleets or null-sec off-doctrine fleets knows how fun they are.  But if you haven’t, let me put it this way.  Every night, your fleet comp is different, meaning the enemy fleets you can actually kill vary.  Fleet members would regularly detach to hunt down targets, then converge as they find them.  That means you need to be able to survive for a while on your own until the cavalry comes in.  You need to pay attention to where you are, where your fleet is, and how you should fly your ship against any given enemy.

It’s absolute chaos, and it was absolute fun.  The people who regularly participated became better pilots.  They learned what ships you should fly in a sink fleet.  They learned how to extend engagements, how to overheat, and how to fight a range of ships.

Eventually, the FC who ran them left for a while.  It was a sad day for me.  Just as I joined RP, the fleets were no more.

That is, until today.  Today, the jolly Roger Flies again.  Today, pirate’s life fleets come back to RP.  Our FC has returned, and I can’t wait.  Our Friday night fleets terrorize FW lowsec, and now our the black flag will give us some content in normal low-sec.


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