For those of you who haven’t read the first part of this article, you can find it here.
So, I’d been playing EVE for about a month before most of my corp folded, leaving just me and the CEO. I’d been playing for four months before the CEO—a veteran industrialist in his own right—decided to let his pilot’s license lapse so he could pursue his hobbies of weed and DJing. In those four months, I’d received little help or guidance, so I had had to learn everything for myself. In true Hatchet fashion, I had read every wiki and guide I could find, without going out and actually learning through experience. To put it in EVE terms, my theoretical knowledge was millions of skillpoints above my apparent newb status. Even if you had put me in a Drake, I’d probably have been rolled by a couple of Guristas frigates. I couldn’t fight my way out of a wet paper Brutix.
On one of many solo high-sec mining trips, after my corp had dissolved, I was out in my dear old Badger Mk.II with a Miner II on the one turret hardpoint. I figured low yield and high cargo space would allow me to just “AFK mine” for a half hour or so while I tried to divine my path. At least there would still be some ISK coming in while I trawled databases and guides.
Where do I go from here? Should I put my hardly used alt into a PvP training corp and start working my way up toward fleet and factional warfare? Should I start wormholing? What kind of ships and fittings would I need for that? Should I manufacture stuff from the few BPCs I had lying around and flog it at Jita? Should I this, should I that?
As the Croissant II dropped out of warp into an asteroid belt—the poor old original Croissant had been lost to pirates about a week prior—I saw a Retriever pilot about fifty clicks off my starboard beam. As always, while the targeting systems did their twenty-second-long crawl of a locking sequence, I checked through the pilot’s records and those of his corp. On standings, they were both completely neutral. Now, I don’t normally trust people when I can’t see their faces, so I figured I’d best keep an eye on him. As I mined away, I kept one eye on my overview, eyeing the distance reading on the Retriever, glad to see that he was moving further away as he worked along the belt.
Half an hour later and I had done some research on Planetary Interaction and potentially lucrative moon-mining operations. The Croissant’s arched belly was full and the mining laser switched itself off, so I warped home to dump the goods and buy some planetary control towers for later. Once I’d done that, I headed back out and picked a different belt to work. As soon as I dropped out of warp, I saw three things: an Orca, that same Retriever, and the wrecks of a couple of Guristas frigates. Seeing that they’d at least gone to some effort to secure the belt for themselves, I hailed them in local to ask permission to mine in the area. I forget exactly what I said, but it was something like:
Croissant II to mining operators in Uchomida Belt VII, come in please.
Trust me to get all prim and proper about it. I’m surprised I didn’t go and use proper maritime RATEL procedures on them, and if I’d been on voice comms with them, I probably would have; I used to work with boats a lot in real life, still got the operator license. I cut my thrusters and hung dead in space, a couple of hundred klicks out from the belt, and waited for a reply.
Hi, can we help you?
This was first contact: the first time I’d established some sort of conversation with another player that wasn’t sitting in the same room as me. These pilots could have been at terminals halfway around the world or halfway down the street. My palms were slick on my mouse and keyboard, not for fear of a blobbing or anything, but because if I remember correctly I had just recently seen that “Causality” trailer, and shit felt like it was going down kinda similar. All I could think about was “I am sooooo not ready for factional warfare”. If anyone had mentioned “Drekar Alliance”, I probably would have bolted. Does the Drekar Alliance even exist? Or was this whole thing a thinly-veiled RSF/BoB reference:
To keep local clear, I quickly struck up a private conversation with the Orca driver, who, it turned out, was his corp’s Director of Industry. Figuring (correctly) that I was a bit of a noob, he offered me the Orca’s gang bonuses and the protection of his his huge swarm of drones while we worked. I learned more in those couple of hours talking to him than I had in the five months that I’d been playing. Granted, I only log in maybe once or twice a week, but when I do I spend hours and hours up to my metaphorical balls in the weird and wonderful ways of New Eden.
Just like in the video, I soon joined the ranks of this mining corp, and have been there since. If you’re desperate, you can usually find us cutting and grinding somewhere in the Aokinen and Kurala constellations. Drop by and come mine with us sometime, we’re friendly enough if you keep your hands above the table ; )
— Hatchet xoxo
P.S. Here’s how it’s really done, for those of you who are curious:
“Hello All Stations in Uchomida Belt Seven, All Stations Uchomida Belt Seven, this is UNTF Croissant II, UNTF Croissant II, to All Stations in Uchomida Belt Seven, over.”
The correct response would have been:
“UNTF Croissant II, UNTF Croissant II, this is [insert vessel ident and name], [repeat vessel ident and name], go ahead, over.”
And you though your FC knew what he was doing. Hah! :D and finally, an RL example of a short-range call I once almost used on a ferry that almost wiped out the open-hulled speedboat I was piloting (only reason I didn’t say it was ‘cos the radio was damaged):
“MV Kurilpa, MV Kurilpa, this is Charlie-Echo-Fower-Fife-Eight-Quebec Jolly Roger, kindly keep your propwash to a minimum when passing within three metres of a craft one-tenth of your size. I’m not in the mood for swimming, over.”
Yeah, actually, that reminds me why I left that job… Heh. — H.