Saturday, 8 January 2011

Carebear Tears and Pirate Blubbing

I use to fear pirates in EvE. I didn't like the idea of getting my hard-earned ship blown up for no reason. Before I revamped my Blog I had a post where I whined about this. But over the last year I have put the game in a different perspective as well as accepting a few truths.

Firstly, I have rememberd that it's a game. It's nothing but a load of electrons whizzing through logic-gates and circuitry to end up as organised light on the very monitor I am looking at. Secondly, EvE is a sandbox game. Pirates, Carebears, Mercenaries - everyone will lose ships and/or their pods throughout their time in New Eden. It is a fact, and there is nothing you can do about it (unless you're a market trader in Jita who stays docked up in a station, of course). I have lost a few ships to gate camps now, but when it happens I certainly don't produce tears. I simply shuffle off quietly in my Pod.

Because EvE is a sandbox game, we all have to accept that there will be a very broad range of players. We play EvE because we like what we do in the game, and people want to do different things. Some want to roam and destroy. Some like the idea of building and selling. Some people like the satisfaction of market trading. So they will all do these things. But I often see person A slating person B for their game-play style in EvE. Well, person B is paying for their account so they have a right to play the game in whatever way that satisfies them. Who is person A to judge person B on how they should play?

Many a time we have all seen pilots sobbing about getting ganked. I won't deny that I have done it. It's funny to the other party. A lot of Empire PvPer's thrive on the tears of the victim. But I saw one particular EvE-Forum post where a pirate was blubbing about finding it hard to gank Carebears. I found this a little amusing. He was annoyed that Carebears often got away and the game mechanics made it too easy. I read this post with interest to see the mixed responses that followed. But what a lot of these people seem to forget is that not everyone wants to fight. This guy seemed to be surprised at that. But then the impression I got from him is that his method of PvP was through gate-camps.

Pilots will have means of getting away from a fight, whether through a good ship set-up and/or shear pilot skill. If they are going to haul through Low-Sec, then of course they are going to take measures to avoid PvP and protect their cargo. Yesterday my CEO managed to escape a gate-camp in his Badger armed with nothing but a cloak and myself as scout. After some time passed with them unsuccessfully trying to de-cloak us I managed to lure them back through to the other side of the gate, leaving my CEO to happily warp off with his cargo-hold crammed full of Wormhole goodies. In fact, my CEO managed to get past them a few times and even started smack-talking them about their constant failure.

If the guy in the Forum really wanted PvP, then perhaps he should go roaming Low or Null-Sec instead of sitting on a gate trying to catch haulers. If someone is that desperate to PvP then look for someone else who is also wanting to PvP. To me, roaming sounds more fun than trying to pick on people who are actively avoiding a fight. Plus, there will be more of a challenge involved if the other party has a vessel built for fighting. Unless the gate campers have a very good set-up at an active gate then, personally, I don't see the appeal of the gate-camping evolution. But I cannot comment too much because, even though I am now delving into PvP, I am by no means experienced. All I can really do is imagine the methods I might prefer.

In a Wormhole, PvP is a constant threat - especially as there is no active local. But it's not as frequent as I first thought. And when opportunity does arise for a 'fair-fight', I have found it hard to engage in PvP. I now know how frustrating it can be when the other side won't play. I was salvaging a Sleeper site in my Noctis when Combat-Scanners appeared on the D-Scan along with a Nemesis. I warped out leaving a few wrecks behind. Some time later I went back again in my more expendable Catalyst. I was expecting the Nemesis to be cloaked around the field somewhere. I warped in and aligned to the star while targeting the wrecks. As I dragged them in the Nemesis de-cloaked. He began locking me as I warped out.

I returned as quickly as I could in my Manticore and dropped two bombs on the two groups of wrecks, hoping to pop the Nemesis. That failed, but I at least denied him all the wrecks. I de-cloaked and hoped the Nemesis would engage. I knew he was still there because he wasn't back at his Control Tower. I waited a while, but he would not bite. I warped off to a planet, and then warped under cloak to his Control Tower just in time to see him warp back in. I felt deflated that he had not risen to the challenge once I presented challenge.

The irony is that I could have popped his Hulk earlier on. While I was scouting the 'Hole out, I had his Tower surrounded with Combat Probes and I was cloaked and watching him, yet he still warped off to a Grav-Site. Had I known he was going to chicken out later on I wouldn't have shown sympathy on his Hulk.