Sunday, 28 September 2008

'You chose poverty when you chose piracy.'

My sec has been dropping like a rock snce I decided to spend some time chilling out in Decon. The guys are fun to hang out with, so even the slow times are fun. And my Combat Log isn't depressing me anymore. I took a look at it an hour ago and before the latest cluster of kills - including three podmails in a row, somehow - there is a long gap of inactivity spanning 127 days.

A hundred and twenty-seven days.

That's roughly four months. The most recent kill other than the Doom Armada series is from just before I left Atrocitas. Granted, three of the weeks I was in Righteous Indignation with Tygris Alliance, I was out of the country and lacking proper access to Eve (installed on my WoW-addict kid brother's computer so I could pop in to say 'hi' while my bro was at work). That still leaves over three months of relative inactivity.

I can correlate those four months to a few specifics ingame and in Life:
- The steady decrease in my wallet, as Tygris paid no recompense for losses, nor shared loot from kills equally (there being so many people on each kill that it wouldn't have made much of an impression, anyway).
- Loss of self-confidence in Real Life (depression and general head-fuckedness; it happens and it's over now, thank god)
- Not being with a group that made me feel confident about doing things ingame.

Whenever I would complain of not actually being able to afford to lose ships, the CEO of UnSec was fond of telling me that I'd chosen ingame poverty when I'd selected piracy as a profession. But I can look at the chart of my Eve lifetime and see that it's the reverse which is more accurate.

I'd had my share of losses, and I did pay for my first bs with a complex piece of artwork, but my time in Atrocitas was very good to me up until the end when the dynamic began to change and I was already well into my Real Life slump. You'll all get a chuckle out of this: I was in enough of a state, mentally, that I did agonise a bit over the moral implications of pirating - the reactions I started getting to my increasingly low sec status made me wonder why it was such a big deal to everyone else.

When I joined a nullsec alliance, I was under the impression that it would boost me up again, but instead everything slowly ground to a halt; I suffered some losses which were enormously expensive to me, with no compensation from corp or alliance, and eked by on selling rigs in highsec and the charity of some close friends. I was able to support myself a bit on Syndicate rats, but then Tygris policies changed, relegating the entire alliance to three systems for NPC-hunting, and that cut off both the meagre ISK flow and the slow sec-climb I'd been keen on at the time. The impression I got from my few forays into alliance ops was that we were nothing more than DPS sponges, to kill or be killed, and if we died then it was just too bad and we needed to have another combat-worthy ship ready to go immediately. There was no sense of group cohesion or caring for your wingman, no patience with the questions I asked as I attempted to settle in, and the result was that I had no confidence in the CEOs, the FCs, or the alliance and allies as a whole.

UnSec was, at the start, a refreshing change - back to lowsec and freedom to profit from others' losses, with the intention to guerrilla-warfare a bunch of nearby-nullsec blobbers in our spare time... but nobody was ever on in the right places, at the right times. We can blame Summer Slump for this, in part. But it never improved, the CEO went a bit batshit when the Dev Blog regarding speed nerfs went out, and over time everything just slowly dribbled halfheartedly through the rotors in a semi-liquid slurry.

And now? Now, I can think about buying a certain tech-2 cruiser I've been eyeing up, and the skillbooks to go with her. I can fly my battleship without worrying if I can afford to replace her, and the idea of taking on larger ships with a gang of cruisers doesn't leave me asking what our chances are. I haven't lost a single ship since I joined Hellcats and returned to what I know best, where I started.

Perhaps my former CEO wasn't so successful with piracy; perhaps he was just expressing his feelings in that black-or-white way of his, where everything is in extremes and absolutes. If it wasn't so easy to live off of piracy in Eve, it wouldn't be an ingame career choice to begin with, nor so common an occurrence.