Welcome to Curse

Plus one.

The other night I put my Stabber up and got in a Caracal instead. Traffic was light on prime time Eastern USTZ. We caught one frigate and one cruiser in what TuxedoMask calls “The Spider’s Web.”

I miss Tux.

After a couple of hours, I bid my good nights and log out. Of course, 15 minutes later, the fleet meets Zarvox Toral, flying through Curse, looking for a fight in his Vexor.

Now Zarvox had a little fight a few jumps earlier, versus a T1 cruiser, T3 cruiser and an interceptor but for some reason the guys he was skirmishing disengaged. In KQ, he finds a system full of reds and wonders aloud if TEST lives here. He soon realizes that he is in NPC space and the reds on his overview are the locals, A4D to be exact, who seem to be docked up. Resigned to wander, he jumps into CL-85V and with just a couple of neutrals in local, heads into 8G-MQV, which for the uninitiated is Open University of Celestial Hardship’s training system.

He finds reds in local, and couple of Assault Frigates, T3D, and a T1 Frigate on grid, camping on a warp disruptor bubble behind the gate. He aligns out. He notes that half of the people in local are not on his overview. He recalls that the last time he was here, he fought some T1 Frigates and they brought out a Falcon. One of the ships is burning down at him. He turns his ship around and decides to go for it anyway. He warps to the bubble.

As he goes to warp, a Griffin lands in the bubble. Zarvox starts cursing mightly: he knew that these bitches were going to have ECM. He turns his drones to aggressive and tries to target the Griffin before it’s too late, but he doesn’t make it. The frigates have him jammed, scrammed, webbed in short order. The missing pilots in local appear to be flying Recon Ships, with more ECM jams, tracking disruptors and capacitor neutralizers than necessary to take one T1 Cruiser. Zarvox remarks that ECM is terrible and it’s users have no balls.

Now, Zarvox gets his pod out, warps to the sun and lands in a warp disruptor bubble. His assailants land moments later and warp dsrupt his capsule. He starts his self destruct sequence as they cover it with EWAR so they can all share in the mail.

“Art of War Alliance?” he laments, “more like Art of Bitch. My Vexor is probably the most expensive thing they have killed in months.” A few momments later, he self destructs and returns to his home station.

Zarvox Toral is is an Australian and has been playing Eve since 2011. He does solo pvp and he was streaming when he found us.

Pics or it never happened, dude.

I’ve watched the videos of excellent solo and small gang combat pilots over the years. Guys like Kil2, Prometheus Exenthal and Sard Caid (smooches Sard!). All dudes who grew up someplace like Molden Heath or Syndicate. They would come to Curse solo in cruisers, HACs, battlecruisers and sometimes even battle ships and as often as not, leave Curse without them, victim of a small gang. Eventually they just don’t come to visit anymore.

I can recall a conversation several years ago between Prom and Kil2 on the Bring Solo Back podcast. Both of them were adament that Curse was a terrible place to solo pvp.

Don’t go to Curse!

I pretty much agreed with them. When I moved to Curse from Geminate in 6 years ago, it was like being a tough kid from Jersey City suddenly dropped into Compton. I tried to go solo. I ran into gangs. I lost more ships in one months than I had in the previous six. I didn’t even speak the same language as these guys who were shooting at me.

‘Sup, homes? What set you from? OUCH? Never heard of them. Dawg, you in Curse now. You either down or you out, and you definitely ain’t down. Nah son, I don’t believe it. Look at you. Your ship’s not even Faction! You can’t be riding around out here in a hooptie all by yourself. Let me help you out that Kestrel and – Damn! That’s T1 fit! You effed up, son! Maybe you should go back to wherever your punk ass came from?

The Curse culture is small gang. There are guys in Curse who do roam solo, typically in kiting ships, Scyth Fleets, Stabber Fleets, Cynabals and now Orthuses. In frigates, we used to see a lot of Dramiels and Daredevils, which transitioned into Imperial Navy Slicers before almost disappearing entirely. You might find a solo fight in systems where locals undock when they notice strangers loitering in their home system.

Mostly though, you’re going to find small gangs, patrolling space, camping gates, cutting off traffic. In Curse, people tend to travel in packs and fight with partners by their side. This is a direct reflection of Curse as a major travel route to between high sec Derelik and Sovereighty space in the south east. Larger corporations and alliances generally roll through in larger groups. The locals can tell the fleets seeking military targets, in their single ship doctrine fleets with logi support, from those traveling between empire and SOV, in the proverbial kitchen sink fleets. Either fleet will engage a solo target of opportunity. The locals have learned to fleet up to take them on.

Or at least, trip and beat up a fat kid.

Everyone loves a good fight, preferably one that they win. How many people do you know who will pass up the low hanging fruit when it’s there to grab.

Zarvox’s video of our one sided battle was very entertaining, but he has us pegged all wrong. Open University of Celestial Hardship flies mostly frigates. We use EWAR to control the fight in order to beat people flying ships with considerably more tank and firepower than what we fly. Since our EWAR pilots are not alts, when you come at us solo you’re going to be the unlucky recipient of all our collective attention.

I’m still trying to figure out why we’re set red to him. I mean, we didn’t do anything.

Zarvox was one guy in a Tech 1 Cruiser, all by himself, looking for a good fight. Unfortunately, he found Art of War Alliance. He assessed the risks, decided to engage, and was welcomed to to the neighborhood in the usual manner.

See, in Curse, like in Compton, if you know that those guys standing on the corner are giving out ass beatings, you don’t cross the street.

You keep walking, hope they don’t follow you and try, ever so carefully, not to trip over your big balls.

Minus one.