Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Eve Virtual Estate - Sold to the Highest Bidder

It seems to be the story pretty much everywhere, now: 'My old home got overrun by militia.' It's the reason why UnSec moved, it's the reason other corps and alliances are moving. I just heard that precise line this afternoon from a guy who was sitting cloaked and bored on the highsec gate in Antem.

Moving is a pain in the arse. I had to move at least twice a month when Atrox was doing the merc thing; then Arzi became home, and you know how stuff piles up when you reside someplace more than a month or so. When I joined Tygris, it involved a carrier jump and several gscs hauled down by a friend via highsec and then jumped into our 0.0, but a few got left behind when we moved from being OSS buddies to being Huzzah buddies (I still can't get ahold of my precious morgue can... some of those corpses meant something, dammit!). Amd when I left Tygris, I ended up selling off a lot of stuff, still ended up with too much shite and when UnSec moved to our new system, I left the majority of my stockpile in care of my hauler friend. Slightly less hassle in moving... slightly less complaining from my ceo about how much stuff I've got :p

But finding a *place* to move to is even worse. When I first started out, I got a taste of this when I would spend half an hour finding really quiet systems to rat in (hey, it paid off with highsec faction loot). With Atrocitas, we went where the contract took us, then Arzi was just a natural option, since that was where UWoF had started out as a pirate corp years ago. It was also full of people who weren't as capable of enforcing their claim as we were in enforcing our right to pirate, with hundreds of lovely hauling isk-farmers to pop over and over again. Tygris had us bouncing around lower Syndicate so much that my stuff got scattered and consolidating it for a move took ages. When I joined UnSec, they were half in lowsec, half in null, but the lowsec was full of militia, including a carrier they liked to leave camping the undock point of the station we used. The nullsec was full of blobbers the corp liked to guerilla-attack, but then theytook it over again and - hurrah for summer holidays - we didn't have enough people to push them back out again.

Now we're in Antem. Our CEO spent a week trying to find a good lowsec that wasn't full of FW bollocks, was quiet enough itself, and was attached to a comfortabele expanse of lowsec to go roaming in. And for the girst week or so, while we were on the move, it was quiet. Too quiet. Turns out the local pirate alliance had been off elsewhere in Eve and started to return about two weeks after we'd moved in. Chains of Chaos. I fought these buggers near Alal with Atrocitas when they were Antesignani. They died easy back then, but Atrox had about even numbers with them. Things have changed since October, and their main system isn't such a great place to be based in as our CEO seems to think. As he's barely been online the last couple weeks since the system started getting busy, I suppose his lack of perspective is understandable, but with everyone suggesting it wasn't te greatest selection, he's being horribly stubborn.

It's hard to find places that tick all your boxes. The prereqs change depending on your corp/alliance's staus, and the map of the Eve community changes rapidly - a fortnight is more than enough time for an area to change hands twice and shift from dead and quiet to active and hostile. And it's impossible to tell what the next change will be. Who could have predicted that Tygris would pancake their standings with OSS and make a grab for their dyspro moon? Or that Arzi would suddenly be full of BoB pets looking to secure the area in front of the entry to Delve?

Life in Eve is an existance of perpetual vagrancy. We are all homeless, and fighting over who gets which cardboard box to shelter within. There will eventually come a time when another hobo will be able to kick you out and take your place; thanks to the perpetual power-shifts, there will always be a bigger bully. It's like that American game show Wheel of Fortune, done Battle Royale style - if the wheel lands on the wrong section, somebody loses their head. It's not enough to simply pick a spot and settle; you have to be able to either secure your claim by kicking the contenders till they whimper or wrangle enough blue standings to keep your position secure from any opposition. And eventually someone will decide they want your spot and have the manpower to take it, or you'll get bored and start looking for greener pastures... hoping they'll still be as green two weeks down the line.