One of the major events that influenced how I play Eve Online occurred in May 2010. I had been flying spaceships for about six months. I left my last corp a month earlier, joined OUCH and due to a lack of active Fleet Commanders on my time zone, found myself stepping into the role of FC. Over time and in the retelling of this story, I have always believed I was flying a Caracal on this fateful day. Records show I was flying a Kestrel.
The memory is the first thing to go.
In any case, I remember that I got a small gang together in Sendaya, got out my Omber 2D maps and pencils and planned a route deep into NPC null. Set destination XX9-WV.
That’s like a dozen jumps, Bren.
I know, but in those days, that was a big deal. I was used to SOV in Geminate where I flew a handful of systems into null and then used a jump bridge network to get 40 jumps out where it was safe to do carebear things.
Anyway, I planned a roam to XX9-WV. We made it to Jorund.
Sendaya. Doril. Jorund? Hmmm.
I don’t remember seeing a cyno. I just remember suddenly there were people on grid with us. I ordered my fleet to warp out. They made it. But Bren is Primary and I was tackled by fast locking bombers. Then everyone locked me up, and everyone got their EWAR on me.
The kill mail shows 5 Recon Ships: 3 of them are Falcons.
Ah, the irony of it all.
How many ships does it take to kill one Kestrel, I asked?
“All of them,” is the famous reply.
I laughed then and I still can laugh now, but I realize today how much Dirt Nap Squad heavily influenced me, my style of play and my corporate culture. DNS gave me my introduction to the BOPS drop. In fact, they were my first hotdrop of any kind. They showed me that one guy in local is a threat. They showed me that you don’t have to race to see who gets the kill mail and exclude your mates. They showed me that there’s more to Eve than flying around in fleets roaming looking for a fight.
Sometimes you roam. Sometimes you camp. Sometimes you drop.
They showed me that like Life, Eve Online is not fair. Big fish eat little fish and big fleets eat little fleets. If you don’t understand that there is no rule book and you fail to pay attention to your surroundings, you are going to spend a lot of time in your pod.
They also showed me that, over the years, a “one-trick-pony” can last forever. It just has to be a damn good trick. AWA has it’s own tricks of the trade, heavily influenced from dealing with the likes of Appetite 4 Destruction, Agony Unleashed and, of course, Dirt Nap Squad.
I’m telling you this so that you understand that my respect for DNSBlack is founded in an adversarial relationship. I’m telling you this to remind you that the best of Eve is born in conflict.
This battle that Black has engaged CCP in, over allegations of SOMER being able to Real Money Trade, it is conflict, writ large. It makes people choose sides. It brings out passions that make Eve more real than ever.
I sincerely think he is right. I sincerely hope he wins.
I admire his resolve.