Knocking Rust

The last quarter of 2013, both my personal and corp-level activity in Eve dropped off a little.

Maybe more than a little.
There's not really any problem there - these sorts of things tend to go in cycles, and with the exception of Geade, we were all on a pretty serious down-cycle, with good reasons (job, work, other work, kids, et cetera), mostly using Eve to play Skill Trainer Online.

I really got the itch to return to the game in January. There's truly no good reason for this - if anything, I've got more stuff going on now than I did before - but it's not as though my MMO habits have ever made a ton of sense.

Since I was feeling more than a little kludgy and slow, I decided to ramp things back up by tagging along on some of the public roams run by RvB and (as mentioned previously) Redemption Road. The basic idea was to remind myself where all the buttons were, while in situations that, unlike frigate brawls in FW, don't have a margin of error so slim you can't see it without scientific equipment.

That's pretty much how I worked my way through January, and wrapped up the month by joining in on Stay Frosty's Frigate Free For All. Tremendous fun, though after about the third hour of carnage, even I was feeling a little worn out.

I decided to wrap up the day of the FFA by doing something very low-key and easy - consolidating my stuff a bit with some logistics. The funny thing is that this led to one of my only solo fights and wins of the month, the Claw I already wrote about.

January looked like it would close out fairly quietly, but things never quite work out that way. A fairly large Minmatar Faction Warfare alliance decided to leave the system our corp was staging from (which we'd moved to only a few months ago in the middle of our downswing when our last home system collapsed) - news of the large group's departure spread quickly, and it didn't take long for the Amarr to swarm the now-under-defended system.

The last time we were forced to move, I seriously contemplated relocating to a section of space just outside the contested sections of the warzone, to avoid this sort of tomfoolery. Living in a wormhole for a couple years taught me serious levels of hatred for those 'special' moments in Eve when something happening in the game basically forces you to log in (despite previous plans) to keep from losing your stuff, and I wasn't enjoying the experience any more in known space than I did in Anoikis.

The FW system control mechanics sound cool and challenging on paper,
but are a less fun for small corps in practice.

In the end, we'd settled on staying inside the war zone, and were now paying the price with another last-minute shift of assets via carrier. I was done with that sort of surprise relocation, so moved the corp assets to a quiet system near the war zone and several markets - a situtation I liked so much I even moved my alts into the general area.

There were a few unexpected benefits of the move, most notably the fact that it brought us closer to a couple areas through which I've always enjoyed roaming, and the new locale brought me some interesting fights - some challenging and some less so - notably the hookbill pilot I mentioned last week, who reshipped into the exact same terrible fit the next day.

Part of the reason the nearby systems have been so fruitful is because of the current ridiculous civil war raging within the ranks of the Minmatar militia. I don't want to get into the reasons given by either side - the basic situation is that one large, fairly new-to-the-war group got shirty, and seventeen other groups declared war on them so they could all shoot each other without tanking their standings with the militia itself.

During the chaos, wily little Amarr pilots are sneaking into the 'civil war' area and conducting their complex-capturing activities right under the noses of enemies too busy shooting at each other to notice.

I, ignoring the civil war drama entirely, have enjoyed quite a few fun fights by focusing on the people who thought they were getting away with something. Probably the most enjoyable kill that came out of that was a triple warp-core-stabilized tristan that I managed to sneak up on and double-scram tackle with my cloaky Astero frigate.

Got the pod, too.
Most recently, I've sort of fallen into running fleets a couple of times on small faction warfare roams, both of which were surprisingly successful (not counting the idiot who brought a Typhoon on a destroyer/frigate roam).

I've also inexplicably gotten invites from no less than three pirate groups who want my to bring my corp into their groups, and thus double our number of viable targets.

I won't lie: it's tempting (partly because there are more than a few members of my own militia I'd like to shoot), but when it comes down to it, I'm still a Faction War guy at heart - it may be completely meaningless effort, but I enjoy picking a side and fighting for it, come hell or high water, and I'll keep doing it til it stops being fun

It's nice to be back in the swing of things.
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