Sucked in to space

18th June 2008 – 6.17 am

I got a bit caught up in EVE Online last night. Unfortunately, it wasn't because I was making such good progress. I got caught up because my ship kept on getting blown up.

I made contact with a couple of new agents after I had completed the Cash for Capsuleers missions and took a mission from one of them. It sounded straightforward enough and even offered a way of completing the mission without having to engage all the enemies in the area. This is good in a way, because the enemies that are in the area are fully capable of destroying my ship, as I found out three times to my cost.

My new Merlin was first to go, then a replacement Kestrel, and then a faster Condor. I bought the Condor after trying to find some help on how to complete the mission. The help suggested to get a fast ship and an afterburner and get out of the second jump zone as quickly as possible. I just about managed this but couldn't recover from the hits I took quickly enough in the final zone before getting blown up again. I think, remembering reading various blogs many months ago, that after I had jumped in to the deadspace once I had effectively changed the initial conditions for my subsequent attempts, as the pirates had moved closer to where I would jump in. They certainly seemed to engage me more quickly the second and third times.

I don't think it helped that there was considerable lag in the sector. I had flown from Perimeter, where I appear to based at the moment, to Jita. I still have no idea of the relevance of any system or how appropriate they are for anything, except that they are either 1.0 or 0.9 security space, which makes them quite safe. I'll learn as I go along, as long as I am paying attention. Perimeter seemed to be fine when I was in the system, but Jita was horribly lagged. It would take a minute or two to jump in to the system or to dock, and there was also some lag in deadspace between wanting to warp out of danger and the warp drives kicking in, which may have contributed to a destroyed ship or two. I may have to watch out for this.

After the third defeat, with the fast and boosted Condor, I decided to abandon the mission. The agent wasn't particularly happy with this but also didn't kick me in the nuts, and there was always the second agent in the same station to give me work. However, the multiple destroyed ships had taken their toll on my time, as well as my bank account, as I had to warp back to a station, find a new ship on the market, pick it up, and equip it, all before flying back out to try again. I got insurance for each ship, the platinum package as the Ancient Gaming Noob suggests, which defrayed the cost of getting new ships a bit but I still saw my account balance drop considerably over the course of the night. It was late and all I had achieved was gaining a better understanding of the market as well as the relative velocities of some Caldari frigates.

Being the stubborn type I decided that I wasn't docking for the evening until I had completed a mission, at least to bolster my confidence that I wasn't out of my depth in the galaxy, and hopefully to gain a some replacement ISK as a reward. The second agent I had as a contact wanted me to destroy a research station where the furry creatures inside had wreaked havoc and killed all the researchers. I was warned that there were probably some animal rights activists who wouldn't want the facility destroyed. Blowing up a friendly base and killing activists, am I playing Galaxy of Villains? Sign me up!

With the previous deaths teaching me at least that I should choose the right ship for the job, I got myself a new Kestrel, to go with my new Condor, and fully populated it with standard missile launchers. No guns this time, the Kestrel only supporting missile platforms. Missiles do more damage but reload slowly, and I wanted to warp in, destroy what I needed to, and warp out again. I put a full complement of missiles in each launcher, added a civilian shield booster, which was probably rubbish but as I had looted it it was free, and headed off to perform my mission.

There were quite a few activist ships in the end, but some couldn't even withstand a single missile strike. I had my hands full a couple of times, but my shields never went below half-charge. I was able to keep at least one target locked at all times and got practice in controlling my missile fire. Once the activists were out of the way the base was soon destroyed. Being victorious let me hang around to loot the activists' ships and what had been ejected from the base, which got me some nice ship systems as well as a bit of salvage. On top of that I got the mission reward money, as well as the early completion bonus money, which wasn't a huge amount but it was a step in the right direction again.

By this time it was really quite late, so I headed back to Perimeter to dock and log out for the night, making sure I had a skill training away for the next day. It's interesting, because even though I had spent most of the evening getting blown up and depleting my probably already-sparse bank account I still ended up feeling like I was getting somewhere and wanting to play more. This may not be a good sign for my spare time.

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