Thursday, 2 September 2010

Persistence Prevails!

Blog # 3

My life has taken a bizarre turn of events over the last week.

My girlfriend hates EvE. I mean, she really hates it. A lot of the reason why I don't play as often is because of her hatred for the game I have come to love. She says it steals away the little time we have together. Apparently, shelves fall off the wall and doors hang loose from their hinges as I let the house decay because I'm fixed onto the computer screen. It means the pet house-rabbit gets lonely when she's working shifts because I'm pew-pewing instead of giving the 'I'll-crap-next-to-the-litter-tray-instead-of-in-it' bunny the attention the little critter apparently needs.

In actual fact, we have loads of time together, the shelves and doors are fine, and the rabbit loves it when I play because he will sit on the sofa next to me for hours and not demand any attention.

Here is the little guy watching me play EvE back when he was a wee-pup. See, he's fine.


The amount of arguments that we have had because of EvE are countless. It's easily in the top five things that we argue about. So, one day I ask her; 'why not give the game a go yourself?' Next, I was ducking and diving from any projectile she could find to throw at me - including the rabbit, who had casually hopped into the lounge to see what the noise was about.

She didn't really throw the rabbit.

This went on for a long time. Whenever I suggested that she should try the game I ended up having to do a super-man out the window to escape any projectiles. I wasn't allowed to talk about EvE, let alone play the game. But, I persisted. Quite often she would laugh at me when I said EVE had a real-life likeness to a few things, such as the market. I tried to explain that people even practice business in the game to get the basics weighed off for reality. But apparently, I was talking rubbish when a hairbrush clonked me in the side of the head.

But then a funny thing happened. I logged in to check my mails and she happened to be with me. One of the e-mails read that our stand-in CEO was leaving the Corp. Now, this guy made the game for me in many ways. He was the strongest link chaining me to my Corp. I was gutted. At first my lass laughed at me when she saw how down about this guy leaving. Normally, I'd blank her, but for the first time I returned fire. I was ready to rip off my right-arm just so that I would have something to throw at her. Of course, I'm not forgetting that this is internet spaceships, but when you have done so much with a Corp-mate it's like losing a good pal. Sure, people come and go in Corp's, but this was a little out of the blue. So I think shock was the biggest part in my reaction. Anyway, she left the room for a long time after that.

Later, she creeped back and offered to have a go at EvE. I didn't take her seriously at first, but sure enough she made a character on my account and went through a few tutorials. I let her train a few skills to get her through the basic stuff, but then she really started to get into it. I would't let her take any more time out of my main characters training, so she went ahead and opened her own account.

And now?

I get into trouble for not playing EvE. She loves it. In fact, I'm forever getting phone calls and texts when I'm at work asking for advice. Last night she was playing until well after midnight, keeping me up until gone 11pm until she 'didn't need me any more' and I could finally get to sleep. I'm really pleased she's giving it a go. Plus, it means that we have another true female pilot among the EvE community. She's been playing a couple of weeks now and she shows no sign of backing down. I keep reminding her that she's only scratching the surface of the game, and she gets excited at that. She still goes all shy when someone opens a convo up and tries to recruit her, and she's a long way off from team-speak, but already she wants to join a Corp. I tell her to get use to the basics and make sure she sticks with the game first, but the signs are very promising. I've taken her onto some Level-4 missions, and she goes crazy over the loot in her little Bantam. It's all very quaint.

Below is a picture of her doing a Worlds Collide mission while we were driving to my cousins. She has the scarf-thing over her head because of sun-glare on the screen. I don't even make that much of an effort to log on.


So, to the lads (and lasses) who have partners that detest EVE - be persistent to get them to try it. I remember a Blog-Banter from CrazyKinux not so long a go that put forward the question of why many women don't play EVE, and now I think it's just because many of them simply haven't given it a go. Probably due to first impressions in that EVE looks quite 'boy-ish'. But what do I know? To me, the woman's mind is as much of a mystery as the phantom sock-snatcher every time I do a clothes wash.


Sound Advice...

Blog # 2

The way I look at it there are two different ways to develop a Character in EvE: by 'progressing fast' or by 'progressing well'. To begin with, I chose the fast route.

What I mean by 'progressing fast' is training the minimum skills required to use ships and bigger components, without learning other skills to help use them effectively. In other words, pilots may applaud themselves by flying battlecruisers after only a short time of play, but it doesn't mean that they can fly them well.

When I started out in my first Corporation I wanted to fly the big ships, not little frigates. So I trained only the skills that would advance my Character onto larger vessels. I remember celebrating as I picked up a Caracal for the first time. I felt unstoppable. So much so, that I decided to go and explore Low-Sec. I was somehow under the delusion that a T1-fitted Caracal would be able to handle itself. Needless to say, my ship popped. Two Drakes were gate-camped the other side, demolishing anything that jumped through. I could do nothing as my new ship got stripped of it's shields, armour and structure in seconds. The moment I was a pod, I warped off to an asteroid field.

However, my pod wasn't alone. A Crow had followed me. Straight away, I was scrambled and webbed. But what happened next was completely unexpected. A chat box sprung up and the Crow pilot asked what I was doing in a Caracal for the age of my character. I had no real answer, other than I thought it looked awesome. But the advice I was given has stuck with me ever since, and I'm still following it to this day.

It is as follows:

"Frigates are very good ships, and there is no need to advance from them until late in the 'beginning part' of the game. They can run Level 1 and 2 missions, and are ideal ships for training PvP combat. During this 'work-up' time of learning the basics of EvE in frigates, base supporting skills should be trained."

And that is the main emphasis of this post - train up supporting skills.

I am sure that most experienced pilots out there would agree with me on this. And it doesn't matter if your character is jack-of-all-trades or role-typed. Relevant key supporting skills trained up to level 4 and 5 are of significant benefit. What was the point in me flying a Caracal when I barely had the other skills to operate it's weapons and shields effectively? It was like trying to drive a lorry on a moped licence. After the encounter I returned to Kino and re-planned my approach to EvE. I went back to a Merlin and bought skills that made the weapons fire faster, gave projectiles more damage, allowed ships to manoeuvre quicker, make the shields and capacitor recharge faster, freed up more CPU and power-grid, etc, etc. Once my supporting skills were at a satisfactory level, I concentrated on turning my T1 components to T2. In the end, I didn't even bother with Destroyers or Cruisers and went from a Merlin to a Drake.

After eight months, I've just finished. Now when I flick through my index, everything is at level 4 or 5, save a handful where a level-up wouldn't really benefit me. Even if they offer only a 2% boost at each level, I can honestly say I see the benefits. The rewards of this are worth the long time of seemingly non-progression. This is what I mean by 'progressing well'.

I will share an example that only happened the other day. One of our new Corp members convo'd me after becoming extremely fed up of not being able to tank Level-2 missions. I asked if any supporting skills had been trained, and they hadn't. I reeled off a list of key shield-improvement skills, which the pilot then bought and trained to at least level-three. And now Level-2 missions are no longer a problem.

My advice to rookie pilots is simple - make sure that you are fully walking before you can run. I'm not saying that one should spend three-quarters of a year training all these up in one go, but at least get the basics done. This is just my experience.

So, to the Crow pilot wherever he/she may be - thank you!