Eve Online is an ever changing, morphing blob of an MMO, and it’s on a very rare occasion that I’ll glance over my shoulder in the direction of media content that “no longer applies”. Ship fittings change, mechanics change, priorities change, and as the lifecycle of Eve Online plods onward, the media of New Eden either stays abreast of the change, or sinks into the depths of outdated irrelevance. Podcasts are extremely susceptible to this phenomena. On High Drag for instance, I don’t think we’ll see anyone listening to episode 3 for a pre crucible ship fitting or going back to an ancient Fly Reckless episode to track down the “then” upcoming changes to walking in stations. Most Podcasts tip their hats to a certain topic then move on, like strangers passing in an alley, and in the same aspect, Podcast listeners do the same.
Like the English language, there are of course, exceptions to the rule. Bringing Solo back is that exception.
I originally stumbled upon Kil2’s foray into Podcasting after he announced it on one of his youtube videos. During that time, the notion of PvP entertained me through countless hours of not knowing any better… and mining asteroids. For those of you who are unaware, Kil2 is now known as CCP Rise and coupled with CCP Fozzie, make up a voltron like team of spaceship saviors. All gushing aside, Kil2s Podcast: Bringing Solo Back is absolutely timeless, and worthy of entry into the Eve Online Hall of Fame. (Well now, that is an interesting idea isn’t it. We have monuments in game and out, so, hows about an in game New Eden Hall of Fame?) The Moniker of timeless sticks to Bringing Back Solo particularly well because the cast focuses on decisions that are made during stressful times…
And making decisions under stress, is what EvE PVP is all about. Fittings change, but the ability to make a decision while hands are shaking, and a solo ship is hopelessly outnumbered in space, remains constant.
While digging into the Bringing Solo Back archives, I noticed that the majority of fights that Kil2 talked about centered around the Battle Cruiser class of ships. Up until recently, battle cruisers were a bit of a specter to me. They have a horrendous align time, the DPS can be outdone by T1 cruisers, and they would surely not last long in W-space, Nullsec, or Lowsec. Everything about this bloated, slow class, screamed to me “move along, nothing to see here.” But listening to Kil2 talk about some decisions in a solo Drake fight sparked something in my imagination. Maybe it was time to change.
I had been in a bit of a rut. I managed to kill Zao Amadues’ Wolf with a mere T1 Incursus, and while riding high, managed to lose quite a bit of assets to some careless pod piloting. Lowsec was becoming tedious and I had begun bouncing between Aideron Robotics and Fintarues’ own Rifterlings. (Both are fantastic organizations). Good fights were few and far between, attitudes were grating my nerves, and my decisions in frigate combat were reduced to “do I take that fight, or not”. On the verge of moving on (again) from Eve Online, I sold everything I owned, and bought a series of myrmidons.
After fitting the ships, balancing tank, bolstering capacitor, and undocking, I set course for Syndicate. (Syndicate is a null region in space prowled by Serpentis, home to Brave Newbies, and is now one of the most crowded areas of Nullsec). If I was going to find a fight, it would be there.
Holding my breath, I came to PF-346, and jumped. I knew what was coming, but even so, Battle Cruiser combat is fundamentally different than frigate / cruiser combat. Without fail, I jumped right into a gate camp.
Next up. Part Two.