Afford to Lose

Plus one.

Sugar Kyle has been nice enough to spend a little time with us in the OUCH public channel, hanging out, shooting the breeze, chatting.  I’ve made it no secret in OUCH that admire her a bit:  She’s confident to play her Eve her way, even if strangers tell her she’s doing it wrong.

I would say you like her ’cause she’s a girl.

Of course you would.

I would say I like her ’cause she enjoys the myriad things she does playing her game, she loves her friends, “her boys” that she plays with everyday, and she writes well enough that the stories of these simple things prove to be very entertaining.

We have a few of these things in common.  I enjoy the game.  I play my Eve despite being told that I’m doing it wrong, usually by the pilots of the ships we blow up, and I love the players that I spend my time with, my boys, and girls now, come to think of it.  In fact, I certainly would not have kept playing Eve without the friendships that I have built over the years within my small fraternity in the Open University of Celestial Hardship.

So last night, we had a prospective student asking questions in OUCH-UNI and we got into the conversation about “flying what you can afford to lose”.  We agreed that the First Rule of Eve is more properly “Don’t fly what you can’t afford to replace.”

Loss is part of Eve.  Bitter PvP veterans chastise new players and carebears every day on their aversion to loss.  But the bitter vet has figured out that the secret to overcoming the loss is to be filthy rich, (able to afford the replacement) or simply choose not to replace it.

I didn’t want that ship anyway.

But when a new player, carebearing away, sets their sights on that first bit of blingy Faction battleship and invests all that they have earned into it, and it gets ganked in high sec, it becomes a major turning point in their Eve career.

Now I have to start all over!  This game sucks!

For his part, our rookie in the OUCH-UNI channel showed that he has great insight into the universe he is playing in.  When asked what he would do if he lost a relatively expensive L4 mission battleship, he said he would do L3 missions in a BC until he could replace it.

You go, Boy!

And that’s the point.  We can talk all day about risk versus reward, and flying what you can afford, but the fact remains, people invest a lot of time in a game earning ISK and the ship becomes an achievement.  It’s a trophy for all to see.  It’s the spaceship of their dreams that they worked so hard for.

Blood, sweat and tears. 

Losing it can be a game changer.  Do you stay and do it all again or do you throw up your hands in rage and just quit?

If your spaceship is the culmination of what you’ve invested your time in, then maybe you throw in the towel.  For me, I’ve got time invested in relationships with real people, my friends and fellow instructors in various time zones around the world.

People to play with.  I think that’s really what makes it easier to afford a ship loss here and there.

Minus one.

Was That A Good Fight?

Plus one.

We had a student, one who recently lost their ship, ask on the forum when is it appropriate to say “good fight” in Local?  Do you say “good fight” when you’ve been ganked by a dozen red flashies on a gate?  Is it just a common courtesy thing?

Wow.  Really good questions.

The problem I have with giving a “good fight” in local is half the time, people don’t mean it. If they gank you, their “gf” is the same as saying “loser”. If you’re blobbed or ganked, your “gf” is a petulant “thanks for nothing”.  So personally, I don’t say good fight unless it’s really is a great fight.

Which you still haven’t defined.

Sigh.

A cruiser jumps in system and is engaged by 6 destroyers on the gate.  The cruiser tries to run, but is webbed and scrammed.  The cruiser fights back, kills 2 destroyers but he doesn’t make it.

Rewind.

A cruiser jumps in system and engages 6 destroyers camping on the gate.  He hunts down  2 destroyers and almost get a third before the destroyers can put him down.

Same outcome but only the second one is a good fight.

I know, it’s very subjective, but I think that it boils down to this:

A good fight is consensual, one where both sides want the fight, agree to its terms, and ultimately, accept the outcome.  

If a fight meets the above criteria, it’s a good fight.  If one side somehow thinks that they got the short end of the stick, it’s not a good fight.

This is my Eve:  It is a harsh universe and good fights, my friends, are all too rare.

When a Cynabal pilot comes across a bubble camp of two Merlins and a Harpy, and he swoops in on them, and they take the fight, and he kills them all, it’s a good fight.

Lopsided maybe, but a good fight.

Rewind.

When a Cynabal pilot comes across a bubble camp of two Merlins and a Harpy, and he swoops in on them and they take the fight, and 40 seconds later, he’s scram-web-paint-track-damp-jammed and in his pod, there is no way you are going to convince that Cynabal pilot that that was a good fight.

Not at all.  That’s not the fight he signed up for.

So when you tell him “gf” in Local, as a courtesy for his bravery in trying to kill your frigates and failing to notice all the cloakies in local, he’s going to reply, “No, not really.”

You didn’t meet his expectations.  He didn’t agree to your terms, and he doesn’t accept the outcome.   I’ve met enough of those guys that I only say “good fight” when I actually think that they other guy will agree that, “Yes, that was good fight.  Thank you for sharing your Eve experience with me.”

Happens all the time. 

Which is why OUCH pilots usually put up “gg” in local.

“Good Game.”

Just like when we were kids, after the game, when the coaches lined us up to shake hands with our opponents, win or lose.  You remember what that was like don’t you?

Yeah.  I hate your guts, but my mom is watching and she expects me to be a good sport.

Minus one.

Those Who Serve

Break Break.

Open University has a lot of pilots with real life  military experience.  You would think that because of our background, we would run OUCH ike a strict military organization.

OUCH has standards, like any military organization, I suppose.  Regulations and rules which allow us to operate smoothly.  But OUCH has no true military hierarchy.

Directors.  Instructors.  Students.  That’s about it.

The movies give people without military service a vision of what it’s like to serve as a Sailor on that ship, or the Marine storming the beach, or the Soldier assaulting that hill or the Airman dropping that bomb.  For those of us who serve, we look at these things and nod our heads and smile.  Sometimes, we bow our heads and weep.

A lot of corps make the mistake of envisioning what they are building in Eve as something like that. They pass out ranks and seniority and put people in authority over other people and build their hierarchies of Star Marshals and Supreme Commanders.  Some are very successful at this.  I guess.

Others fail.  They forget that leaders are grown, not born, that accountability goes hand and hand with authority, and that ultimately, you can’t make people log in if they don’t want to.

When you are in the military, you sacrifice your freedom and your will, your ability to do what you want to do when you want to do it.  You serve your nation by doing what she requires of you to protect it.  Sometimes it calls for you to risk your life, to protect the lives of yourself and your comrades, as a function of failed of diplomacy and political decision making.

Fortunately, most of the time, that sacrifice means that while others are out doing what they want to do, you have to guard that gate, watch that dial, paint that fence, walk that mile.  It’s tedious.  It’s boring.  You’d much rather be doing something else.  But like firefighters, you do this, because you are paid to do something while you wait for the next fire to fight.

And when someone tells you to do something you’d rather not do, you bite your tongue, nod your head and say, Yes sir.  You do it, because it must be done, and is your obligation to do so.  In this small way, you are part of the bigger machine that stands in line to protect your country.

It is the sacrifice of will that cannot be translated into a video game.  The soldier in the largest alliances in Eve can always just decide to just not play, and the directors and fleet commanders ordering ships into harms way in Eve don’t have to write letters home to the mothers of the young men and women whose ships they have just sacrificed.

Nothing will be lost except some pixels.

But it is this core of military service brings core values and traditions which has helped build OUCH into an organization with great pride and teamwork.  It has helped forge a group of great people together who provide a service to our community and instills the fellowship that men and women build while serving a greater purpose.

It is my honor to serve with them, both in the world, and in the game.

It’s Veteran’s Day in the United States of America.  For those of you who serve, or have served in the uniform services around the world, thank you for your sacrifice and service.

Eve Community Spotlights

Break Break.

So my good friend TuxedoMask always is looking out for me:  He loves the concept of Open University.  He thinks what we do, teaching newbies that null sec isn’t scary, is pretty freaking awesome.

So he sees the Eve Community Spotlights and he’s been poking me:  OUCH needs a community spotlight, he says, you should try to get one.

And I’m like:  Dude, OUCH is so small time, we aren’t even on the map in the Eve Community.  Besides, I don’t even think Eve Uni has gotten a Community Spot, although they did give Eve Bet, Markee Dragon and SomerBlink community spots.

Does that hurt your feelings, Bren?

No… I’m just trying not to be a bitter vet and cry about how someone else gets treated better than me.  I totally understand that Eve, like life, is not fair..

Keep thinking:  New Player Experience.

Okay… So they gave the Angel Project some press.  They spotlighted Chribba.  Brave Newbies, haven’t been around too long, but they do cater to newbies.

And finally, last month, they spotlighted Eve University and Agony Unleashed.  Nothing but respect for what they do, since what Open Uni does is a hybrid of those two training programs.  Where Eve Uni’s training and Agony’s PvP University are talked about, OUCH usually ends up in the conversation as a viable alternative to either program.   All you need is the time to complete it.

Praise The Mittani!

You’re such a smart ass sometimes.

Well, I’ve had a lot of practice.

Yeah… I can tell.