When I first started playing Eve, I was lucky enough to have friends who were already playing. They gave me some cash, hooked me up with some modules and ammo and pointed me in a direction for skills that would allow me to make money so I could afford my losses in PvP. Don't get me wrong, I got plenty of excitement doing level 4's with my 1 month old Drake pilot, but the guys in Teamspeak doing the PvP stuff, they seemed to be having a lot of fun.
I didn't start playing Eve for the PvE.
During my first month in Eve, my best friend, one of the directors in our corporation, encouraged me to come out and PvP with the corp. I didn't have a lot of skills, I couldn't fit a real PvP fit, I couldn't fly anything good, but he told me I could come out in just about anything, have some fun and get on some killmails.
He designed a ship for me. A Condor, pre-2012 buff of course. Rocket launchers in the highs, MWD / Target Painter in the meds, Micro Aux Power Core in the low. My job: fly around at a safe range from the fight, paint the primary, get some mails and learn how the fleet worked.
The night came when the alliance was going to go out and do a roam, maybe camp a chokepoint gate. My friend asked if it was okay if Bren came along, he'll just be in a frigate, just getting some mails and a little fleet experience.
No. He's too little. We'll end up spending too much of our time making sure he doesn't get killed. Besides, he can't fly anything that can really help the fleet. He can come out when he can fly a cruiser.
Hurt my feelings. I endured because my friends encouraged me. They told me to train cruisers. I trained cruisers.
My first PvP loss was a Caracal. I went on a roam in a 20 man gang. I'm flying a cruiser. I threw a fit together, thinking I was set up to be be anti-frigate. T1 equipment all over the place. A web but no point or scram. Don't let it fool you, this is a PvP ship. No one checked my fit, no one told me to do anything except fly with the fleet and shoot the primary.
15 jumps into null sec, we got spotted by a larger gang. The FC decided to run, so next thing I know, I'm warping gate to gate and jumping on contact, but the bigger gang was keeping up.
Okay lads, we're going to stand and fight. Burn off the gate to your optimals. Get ready!
Atlas Alliance jumped in. 30+ guys. Fight went a little like this:
Orbiting the gate. Overview fills up with hostiles. FC calls a primary. Search overview. Locked by someone. Shield warning. I'm in armor. I'm in structure. My ship explodes.
Bren is down, I say in TS. Get your pod out, someone says. I don't exactly know what that means, but I see another pod warp away so I click on the sun and warp.
My first PvP fight lasted 15 seconds. Maybe. I had no idea what happened, but it was great? Maybe? I don't know. I certainly didn't learn anything from that fight, except that Cerberus are bad assed ships. My fleet took a lot of losses in that fight.
Made me sad. I endured because my friends encouraged me. They told me to train stealth bombers. I trained stealth bombers.
Looking back now, I wonder, in that first fleet that I wasn't allowed to join, what would have been the harm in letting me fly with them? What was the worst thing that could have happened? I jump into a system by accident and cause the fleet to miss a kill? Was there some secret way that I could have caused the fleet to be wiped out?
Any FC's out there that ever lost a fleet to save a newb in a frigate?
Didn't think so.
But they brought me out when I could fly a cruiser. What did they gain from putting me in that cruiser that I didn't know how to fit or fly? I really don't know. I didn't get on a killmail. Never applied damage to anything. Never applied any tackle or EWAR. I just lost my ship and learned that I didn't have a chance against a Cerberus.
My experiences eventually led me to Open University of Celestial Hardship. OUCH takes a pilots with no PvP experience, and teaches them the basics. We give them the tools that can make the difference between killing or dying. These are the things that drive me, and the pilots like me, to do what we do. I think it's pretty simple.
Come on out, dude. Do what we do. Try not to die.
It'll be fun.