commentary PvP

A Band Apart’s Frigate FFA 2021

Promotional Graphic by Rixx Javix

What an event!

I was pretty hyped when Rixx Javix of A Band Apart announced the 7th Annual Frigate Free For All to take place in Ouelletta, just two jumps away from the EVE University High-Sec Campus. As more details were published in the week leading up to the FFA, I got more and more pumped. I prepared a stash of ships in the freeported Astrahus as I had loads gathering dust anyway.

When the day came I knew I would only be able to jump in for a little bit at the start and maybe some more towards the end. So the plan was to quickly get all my little frigates killed first and maybe undock a few meme ships later. My first choice was the Atron.

The undock of the Toothpaste Fish Astrahus early in the event

I undocked and marveled at the astonishing amount of ships all over the Astrahus and observed the TiDi kicking in – which never was too bad throughout my time at the event.
Then I scanned around for flashy or criminal targets as I wanted to avoid tanking my sec status too much. I shot at a bunch of other frigates but nobody shot back. For a solid five minutes I was able to basically sit at the undock and kill with impunity. Didn’t get much in the way of last hits, but got on a few killmails. Only after going on to ten minutes was I finally killed.
Shame, I was really hoping to burn through my ships faster 😉

Punisher Vs Revelation

After dinner and family time I came back and undocked the Punisher. A Revelation was getting tickled to death on the Astrahus and I joined in. As it seemed to hold for now I decided to try my luck at a couple plexes. Surprisingly there wasn’t much going on. I had really expected there to be more fighting throughout the whole system but it seemed heavily concentrated on the Astrahus and 5-5 station.

But in the end I managed to die. As I reshipped I decided to go directly for my cruisers to get back to tickling the Revelation. A Moros had joined in as well and I was able to see both Dreads break apart. Lost my first Rupture just as the Moros spiralled out of control.

Rev exploding with Moros in the background

Looking around the huge mess I decided it was time to help with the cleanup, so I undocked my shiny salvaging Magnate and looked around for valuable wrecks to vacuum up. I was mostly ignored – again to my surprise – and seemed to also be amazingly safe within the tether even when salvaging. The only thing worthwhile I was able to get was an elite battleship wreck, otherwise a few elite frigates. All in all I managed to salvage about 10M… sadly no one blew me up in the process.

After tidying up the place for a little bit I undocked a Griffin which I used to annoy a Hecate gang and a few others. Again to my surprise I was ignored for quite a while until some random frigate finally put me out of my misery of flying a despicable ECM ship.

Smartbombing Thanatos

My second Rupture was used on two Thanatos’s, one of Rixx – who cowardly docked back up, running away from the might of the rust – and one of WER4, our good ol’ wardeccers. After I was able to do the obligatory “cool kids don’t look at explosions” shot I was really expecting to be immediately focused on, as I had the slowest and biggest ship on grid at the time. But I had to beg a Flycatcher to take notice of me and show my dusty arty Rupture how to clean up.

Rupture giving the Thanatos the cold shoulder

To round out the evening I took out a Rifter, a Tristan and ultimately a Thrasher. I was again looking for fights around the system.
My Rifter found a few people engaged around a Plex and there was a lot of flinging of ammunition in all directions.
I generally find the Tristan to be overpowered, but in my hands – as someone helpless with droneboats – I found another pilot who showed me how to dispatch this mighty little ship.
My Thrasher was heavily outclassed by kitey ships, so that I couldn’t actually fight back.

At this point the local and general activity had died down significantly and looking at local chat there weren’t any more ships available to give out. So I was expecting most pilots to not be able to continue fighting.

It was a shame I didn’t get my neuting Maller into action or my arty Claw…now I have to find some other way to blow them up gloriously.

It was a great change of pace and a wonderful event, I deeply enjoyed taking out so many ships one after another and experiencing so many different engagements. Though I really expected to die a lot quicker than I did. Maybe I overestimated the bloodlust of my fellow capsuleers 😉

Huge thanks to Rixx and the wonderful ABA crew for organising and preparing this FFA! Looking forward to next year! o7


Winds of Change

If you are just coming back to EVE, and want to know what might have prompted me to write this comment, Greybill did a fantastic job creating a list of all important changes of the past six years.

The winds of change have always been blowing. The question is: do you oppose them, or do you welcome them with open arms, to see and experience what the new times are bringing?

Thanks to Jezaja for providing the screenshot!

As humans, we are a weird bunch. 

We live a short, rapidly and constantly changing life. We explore the Universe around us as best we can. We develop technologies, invent and learn at ever greater speed. But for some reason we also seem to be hardwired against embracing change. Not just that: we fear change, and we fear the unknown. Yet we wouldn’t be where we are – for the good and for the bad – without some people loving and furthering change and venturing out into the unknown.

Thanks to Jezaja for providing the screenshot!

All of this rings true for our real world, just like for our virtual worlds. Which is even more baffling to me. Especially in EVE Online: we play in the biggest sandbox any games developer has ever created. From the start it was clear that this game would be all about evolution: A constantly changing, ever developing Universe with endless possibilities and player driven, emergent gameplay. 

If you are diving into such an environment, how can you not expect change? How can you not want change? 

Would you rather have the game stay a particular way? Would you rather have the game in the same state as it was a decade ago?

Thanks to Jezaja for providing the screenshot!

I have played this game for some time now – to be fair: with longer breaks due to RL – and I have seen time and time again how the players cry out at every major update: “blame CCP”, “CCP is destroying the game”, “CCP hates my playstyle/space/playergroup” – the latter interwoven with outcries about CCP supposedly favoring any other specific playstyle, space or playergroup, often coming from diametrically opposed groups at the same time.

Thanks to Jezaja for providing the screenshot!

I have observed the most recent iterations of this pattern during the Triglavian Invasion and after the announcement of the upcoming ressource change.

I even once saw a FC complaining about “that CCP BS” when referring to the newish war mechanics. And that, although the introduction of war HQs is the first time in the history of EVE, that we do actually have a solid war mechanic at all. Where a player organisation, like EVE University, can not be anymore just constantly pestered without any fear of retaliation. A change, by the way, many players have dreamed of from the moment upwell structures became a thing.

Thanks to Yoojin Moon for providing these screenshots!

I get it: of course you all want to be heard. And why wouldn’t you expect to be heard, after all CCP have probably been the first to open Pandora’s Box and invite player feedback into their development cycle. 

I do get it: CCP specifically created the CSM to have quality player feedback, they even share some future plans and ideas with them. Why wouldn’t the CSM members and you – their electorate – be furious when they ignore the Council? Well, because they are just that: a council. They are not part of the development team, they do not share the creative vision of CCP. They are also, I’d imagine, not privy to all overarching, long-term development plans.

Yes the CSM and any other player feedback can be valuable and might be heard and plans and changes implemented or adjusted because of it. But the developers can also ignore – or seem to ignore – it. This is not a community developed game after all. Yes, us players are crucial to the emergent gameplay, but CCP still has a particular vision how the sandbox for that emergence should look like.

Thanks to Jezaja for providing the screenshot!

And sure, you might not like that vision and choose to leave the game. Maybe because your particular playstyle is being negatively affected. But maybe – just maybe – ask yourself: how can I adapt my playstyle to that new environment? How can I make the most of this vast Universe even if it’s landscape changes?

Some say #EVEisreal. So look at yourself: you are an immortal, ultra rich capsuleer that can pilot highly capable vessels. But was it always like that? At some point you had to train hard to get into your dream ship. And scrape together every ISK over a long time to afford it.

Even if you played the game for a decade or more, you can still learn. As a character in game as well as a person: about game mechanics, new metas or things you have never tried before.

Realize that you and the world around you – both virtual and real – are always changing. This is the first step to being able to actively deal with that change.

Thanks to Jezaja for providing the screenshot!

So if you are at a point where you don’t want to or can’t change your ways and adapt, ask yourself: Why? Are you stuck in a rut? Are you missing information or knowledge about other parts of the game, or other playstyles? 

If you ever feel like that – even as a hardened veteran – maybe it is time for you to go back to University – that is, EVE University. 

In EVE Uni you’ll find the perfect place to try out as well as learn about pretty much any aspect of the game. We have central hubs (campuses) in every space – other than sovnull – where you can become proficient in all types of gameplay you’d like. You’ll find the community most welcoming and willing to share knowledge tailored to every level of experience, as well as a wealth of resources both in and out of game to help you make the most of your time with us.

Learn to embrace the winds of change with us, otherwise they might consume you.