A Day In the Life Of A Militia Pilot


When I close my eyes, after downing a dram of Laphroig and forcing myself to suspend the cynicism of a nascent bittervet, this is the result: a vision of what life in EVE’s factional warfare could be if CCP made a number of small changes to life in lowsec that together would have a major impact on day to day gameplay for many thousands of players. What follows is what a day in that universe might be like.

Finally. The kids are in bed, the wife is out with some friends. It’s “me” time at last. So I fire up the EVE Launcher and log in Lynx, my subcap main. Let’s see what’s up tonight!

Right. I logged out in Akidagi last night, firmly under CalMil control. Home sweet home, eh?

While I am logging in, I quickly check Slack and Discord. No pings or planned fleets at the moment. Perhaps that is for the best, because I only have a little over an hour before my wife gets home, and I probably wouldn’t be able to do anything useful in a Strat Op-type fleet within that short timeframe.

Ah, there is my Coercer in all its grimy glory. Thanks for teaching me to love the Scorch, Kelon. Fire up the Star Map, let’s see what’s cooking around me. The front line of the war zone runs across Black Rise and Placid like a wall of fire, systems all along it showing increased activity and of course, constant explosions. Little wonder, if you consider that LP payouts in systems along the front line are significantly higher than in backwater systems. Much better at driving content than the old Tiers…

I scan the systems nearby that are on the front line. Oh boy, Vlil is on fire! 24 ship kills in the last hour and a half dozen pods, that sounds promising indeed. We’ve been slowly building up to a proper siege of the system for a few days. Wait for the System Stats popup on the map – there it is: 67% contested, up 2% this hour.

No wonder things are getting real – a “home” system the likes of Vlillirier is painful to lose: pilots enlisted in faction warfare can still dock in the Citadels in a system owned by the opposing faction, but they can no longer use Fitting services, Clone bays or any other services. That seems to have been enough of a threat to draw our ancient nemesis back from their houses of pleasure in GalMilistan!

Time to undock. I quickly o7 a couple of corpmates in Corp chat, and rouse them from their ship-spinning stupor. It’s frog shooting o’clock, boys! We fleet up and head out in a dual web Hookbill, my pulse Coercer and a brick tanked rocket Corax. We spam the fleet in Militia chat and pick up a newbro in a tackle Condor who was just passing through the area. Here we go…

We jump into Nennamaila and then into Aldranette, with nothing more than some miners and their escort fleet on scan. Now, under normal circumstances we would go check them out – miners and their escorts have been a nice source of PvP now that lowsec moons are almost as valuable as the nullsec ones and anomalies temporarily stop spawning when the local pirates have been decimated by over-farming. Sometimes you get lucky and you catch an escort that is not on top of their game. Sometimes you get dropped on by a Snuffperium capital fleet. Such is life in lowsec.

Come on, focus, Lynx! By now we’re on the Vlil gate in Aldranette and we decide to camp it for a couple moments while I get intel from CMC allies on what we can expect inside Vlil.

Gate flash!

A neutral EVE Uni Thorax jumps through. Let’s get him! I call the target and our rookie in the Conder gets point. We burn him down quite quickly – and although he primaries me, I escape with 15% hull. Scorch FTW!

We GF in local after he gets his pod, and after some friendly banter the Thorax pilot says he’s considering joining factional warfare just to get rid of those pesky gate guns – and he is right, if gate guns still shot members of the militia that controls a system, we probably wouldn’t have been able to take him down before gate guns got us.

We just lost a little bit of sec status, that’s true, but because everyone who enters a faction warfare plex now goes flashy, that’s not such a big deal any more for the inhabitants of lowsec. Keeping your sec status under control so you don’t lose high sec access (for those that care about such things, of course) is much less of a hassle now. It’s also reduced the barrier of entry for new capsuleers – leaving the safety of highsec no longer feels as irreversible to new players, and we’ve seen a nice influx of new alpha and omega clones who took the opportunity to try out life in lowsec.

Intel says the system has no war targets right now – after heavy fighting half an hour ago, our guys had to go reship and the seven GalMil pilots in local seem to have docked up as well. We decide to jump in and see what we can do.

There’s only a Novice and a Medium plex open at the moment. We figure we can probably just run that with our little fleet – warping to the gate at 10, how many times have we done that before? Slide in, call to hold invuln and then primary the Federation Navy Cruiser in the site – we will deal with the Frigates after we take out the DPS of this cruiser rat first. Our new friend in the Condor asks if it’s really true that you used to be able to run plexes AFK. My corpie explains that it was a curse on all of lowsec – because rats were weaker and timers counted down even if you were flying an unfitted or warp core stabbed ship, and LP payouts were coupled to the Tier mechanism rather than to front line proximity, faction warfare was a system waiting to be exploited.

Defensive plexing in particular was broken I explained: hundreds of farming alts – some semi-AFK, some botting – made it easy for the side with the highest Tier to defend systems. These days all plexes spawned rats for both sides, and militia pilots had to know what they were doing to clear the plexes of the beefed up, smarter enemy NPCs.

Break break, interrupted a fleetmate. Dramiel on scan. Make that a Dramiel and a Caracal Navy Issue. The neutrals in local, perhaps? Or have our Gallente friends finally undocked?

The enemy rats have been dispatched by now, so we set up at our optimals, fingers at the F1 buttons. Here in the warzone, there’s always pirates around, so we are used to that. Have at us, boys! We decide to try to take out the Dramiel as quickly as possible, then bail if we can. We’ll be ISK positive for sure if we can kill it.

Sadly, the faction cruiser and pirate frigate disappear from scan again, with two permaflashy neutrals also leaving local, but they are quickly replaced by a handful of Atrons and a Comet, closing in… at 1 AU. Game on, guys! Overheat everything and hope for the best!

As the adrenaline rush hits me, I see a text message from my wife: “Going out for another drink or two in that new bar”. I smile and spam the lock button as the first Atron slides into our plex.

What better place in New Eden could be better suited to satiate my thirst for on-demand small gang PvP than this?

I would like to thank the many capsuleers who helped gestate one or more of the ideas above, either through convos, Reddit posts, articles, or blogs – including Saint Michael’s Soul, Baltrom, Nikolai-Agnon, Gorski Car, Deen Wispa, and many more.


Did you enjoy this video? Consider supporting Crossing Zebras, thanks!

Tags: lowsec, Lynx Artrald, militia

About the author

Lynx Artrald

Lynx has been in EVE since 2014 and has his roots in EVE University. Nowadays he is active in Factional Warfare and leads small bands of Caldari Militia or does solo work.