In which the author (in this case, the dynamite) learns yet again, that there can be no short cuts in Eve…
To bring the reader up to speed: Longtime carebear industrialist, mission runner joins friends in null sec corp in the Goonswarm Federation for lulz and massive fleet battles. MMO malaise coupled with Gaff’s persuasion and Wilhelm’s Fountain war reports finally convinced me to sign up, get to the front to see what all the fuss was about.
[Redacted: painful tale of moving to null sec, installing and signing up for a hundred different app for comms, intel and such, staring blankly at the overview and generally being paralyzed at the thought of undocking].
I actually arrived in null sec on the day of the infamous Battle of 6VDT-H without a ship suitable to fight in and no idea even how to get to the battle. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the battle on voice comms a bit like the ground crew sitting around a fighter squadron’s squawk box listening to grabastic towel snapping and tom foolery mixed in with the time dilation and occasionally punctuated by fleeting moments of terror and destruction. I distinctly remember some TEST version of Pickett’s charge near the end to which the Goons on comms let out the equivalent of the Union troops gasp as they bravely(?) marched into oblivion.
Of course, things immediately quieted down which was just as well as I was doing remedial training to just be useful out there. Then came the call to Deploy to Delve. Convoys to ferry ships to the new staging station were called, all at the usually inconvenient time for Pacific time folks like myself so that left it to my noob self to solo convoy my ships through hostile territory.
Having been generally a Caldari Missile Man, I was woefully short on gunnery skills when I arrived which most fleet doctrines required. After a bit I finally had enough relevant skills to claw my way into a somewhat weaker version of the fleet Megathron battleship. I found one in 4-EP, swapped a few modules to accommodate a few skill deficits and eagerly awaited my chance to go play with the big boys and girls (who are all boys anyway).
I missed another convoy by about 1.5 hrs but decided to chance it from 4-EP to 1DH, something like 15 jumps through largely vacant but hostile space. From intel channels, there appeared to be a few folks a jump or two ahead of me doing the same and noting the status of the systems on the way to 1DH which was very helpful.
I had one close call where I hit a bubble, but no one was about. Tense going, but a thankfully a boring tension.
Then I got to the last jump into 1DH system which I knew from intel was hot.
I did not know whether the gate was hot. I asked. No reply. I could have jumped to visual to recon, but I didn’t.
There were reds in the system. I didn’t know where they were.
There was a station I could have docked at but I didn’t. I thought, heck, I’ll find an odd angle of approach from a celestial body and even if its bubbled, I’ll make it around them like I’ve done before, hit the gate and sayonara suckers.
Just one more jump… It was late. I was tired. I was almost there…
I could have just parked one jump away from my destination and waited until the heat dissipated…
But I didn’t.
And now I need to buy a new Megathron. Boom went my dynamite. Tackled, scrammed, webbed, damped, jeered, killed and podded.
As a complete null sec noob, I did learn a few things and/or reinforced some things I already knew:
- Insurance is good. The loss of a battleship is a sting, but not a stunning blow. I fully subscribe to the “Don’t fly what you can’t afford to lose” ethic. So this rule was adhered to and I benefited. Insurance helped somewhat to assuage my isk pain but it does nothing to salve my embarrassing noobness.
- Jump clones are not “flight points”. They’re clones. I kind of screwed up the whole jump clone thing. I could have sworn I had one at 4-EP. I probably did. I probably jumped into it and left (thereby leaving no clone there anymore since I promptly left). As a result, I was back at our home base in Deklein, something like 15 more jumps away from my destination of 1DH. Lesson learned. Jump to clone. Replace clone. Leave and go about your business. If the kill didn’t end my night, the prospect of 15 jumps just to get back to where I started the night certainly did.
- I got the med clone right. After my last convoy, I set my med clone to 1DH so when I got podded (and oh, how I got stucco), I ended up there which, in other circumstances would have been exactly where I would have wanted to be.
- When convoying self, it might be good to refit a bit just in case. Case in point: There were a few points along the way where there was a drag bubble and a solo camper. A couple bomber pilots were floating around and shepherding pilots through. Had I a point fitted, I could have tackled and they could have taken the annoyance out since they had visual on him. I was just fleet fit, so no point.
- Damps are a B. When the gang caught me just 25km out from the gate, although I lasted quite a while, I wasn’t able to lock a single bastard. Don’t know what to do about that really except don’t be that guy.
So another lesson reinforcing the three Ps of Eve: Patience, Preparation and Prudence. Roll file footage of “old/bold” homily. Being in a hurry cost me dearly. Not preparing for the worst prevented me from helping others help myself. Finally, the sure way not to lose a fight is not to have one…
Oh well. Dejected, I decided to let those lessons sink in a bit before another try. I retreated to my new favorite thing, War Thunder, and had a few of the better matches I’ve ever had surprisingly in British biplanes. Had a bit of success against Jerry, cabbage crates coming over the briney and all that.