I find myself in another chat with the leader of the alliance that houses the cloaky pilots who've camped our systems a couple times.
About what? Well... nothing, it seems he just wants to chat.
As I've mentioned before, one of the most important elements for enjoying any MMO is having people to play with; this requirement is (in my opinion) an absolutely unavoidable requirement for long-term MMO enjoyment because, compared to other types of games, MMOs are not... good; they don't hold up in terms of repeated, engaging play the way something like Mass Effect 2 does -- the missing ingredient that keeps a player coming back to the same MMO for years is, in short, the other people -- if you don't have that, or can't find that, you'll eventually leave.
EvE is no exception.
What’s different about EvE is that one of the ways players choose to play with others is by blowing them up, which (again, my opinion) makes EvE a lot more like ‘normal’ games (Chess, Monopoly, Clue, Cribbage, et cetera) than a typical MMO, because a lot of the fun you’re having comes from pitting yourselves directly against other people. Someone playing EvE can enjoy many hours of engaging "solo" play by roaming around through null-sec space, finding people to shoot and then working their way into a fight they have a small chance of winning. They'll have a great time, but the reason they're having a great time is because they aren't playing solo, not really; without those other players around -- the ones that 'solo' player is shooting at -- he's going to have a bad time, and it won't take too many nights like that before he starts looking for something else to do or stops logging in entirely.
In fact, if you can find other people to pit yourself against, that’s really all you need; there’s no ‘raid gear’ requirement or level-cap in EvE, so aside from being vastly outnumbered or outgunned, if you can find an opponent, the rest boils down to — in the words of Fezzik — “skill against skill alone.”
And I can't tell you how many times I've read or heard about someone in EvE who found a group of people to play with... by first shooting or being shot at by them.
It seems like that's what's happened here, in that this corp CEO seems equal parts amused and intrigued by our little band of misfits who, for all our relative noobishness, gave his squad of space ninjas a pretty good challenge... largely without actually shooting at them.
I understand the chats, is what I'm saying.
Doesn't make it feel any less weird, though.
Let's play some more catch-up.
Having moved Ko into the system, we're now interviewing his RL buddy, who seems pretty cool and quite interested in wormhole life. Call this a second win for 'recruit from the blog comments'.
Slab of Tritanium + Afterburners
Tweed and Em spotted a battlecruiser killing sleepers in our system, but before we could jump him, he was caught and blown up by a couple roaming pilots from Narwhals Ate My Duck, one of the bigger/more notorious fish in the wormhole pond. One of the ships, a Proteus strategic cruiser, leaves the wreck of the battlecruiser and warps to the random outbound connection we currently have to highsec, then jumps through.
We hatch a plan that involves waiting on our side of the wormhole, hoping he jumps through early, gets trapped against the wormhole by our ships and the polarization effect, and then dies in a fiery explosion. That's almost exactly what happens.
He jumps back, we jump him and proceed to shoot him and he... is not blowing up.
He continues to not blow up.
This goes on for a bit.
Eventually, his polarization effect ends and he jumps back out into high-sec. We are nonplussed.
Turns out that this particular pilot likes to fly cloaky Proteus fits that, if my math is right, would boast something like three hundred thousand effective hit points. Amazing (if expensive) fit, really: the best ship to uncloak first for a surprise attack, as you can tank any counterattack amazingly well. It doesn't do any damage to speak of, but it doesn't really *need* to -- if it's mugging a hauler, that hauler will die, and if it's attacking a tougher ship, this is just the guy to hold him while your buddies hit him.
I take some notes on the fit, because maybe I've found something useful to do with my own Proteus. Maybe I can rename Derpy Hooves something like Big Macintosh.
Where did the rest of March go?
Oh yeah: Mass Effect 3 came out. There's a week or two here where I'm pretty scarce, but this comes to a happy conclusion when our pilots decide to have some fun with a bomber roam through null-sec. Just the thing to get us back in the groove.
... until we're interrupted. Again.