CZ Minutes: Good Fight, Good Night

Not all nights in EVE are great. Everyone has those times when you log on but wish you hadn’t bothered several useless hours later. Perhaps you just end up doing mind-numbing, soul-crushing space work, or maybe half your fleet died due to a stupid mistake rather than as the result of a good fight, or perhaps you just sat on a titan for 3 hours and the baddies didn’t show up. However, the reason you get through those poor outings and come back for more is the good nights. The sessions that leave you with a smile on your face, a green killboard, a bump to your wallet, good times with your mates, or whatever else floats your boat. What is your perfect EVE night like? What is your own, personal “This is EVE” trailer like and why does it keep you coming back? Tarek: TBH I didn’t have any bad nights since I came back to the game and left sov-null behind. Whether it was flying with lowsec outlaws or in FW, every time I logged in stuff went on and it was great. In fact, I sometimes have to actively avoid joining fleets to do boring stuff like finding clone soldier tags to get my sec status to a level where I am not KOS for everyone out there, getting ships and modules from market or acquire materials for a building job. My last night was a perfect example of what a great time playing EVE is like for me. First I joined a fleet run by a guy who wants to train being an FC. I didn’t expect anything great from him and I didn’t interrupt him even when I thought or knew he made the wrong decision. In the end we got welped because of a positioning mistake but we had a good talk about it and everyone went home having learned valuable lessons. Always learning something new is one of the things that make this game so enduring. The second fleet I was in became a totally crazy, adrenaline filled, guerilla warfare action where we constantly engaged equal or larger forces who mostly flew stronger ships but because of the great tactical maneuvers of our FC we won every engagement. That is what I personally enjoy the most, apart from maybe winning a fight solo, especially since I don’t manage to achieve that often. Niden: It’s not often that I don’t have anything to do in EVE, quite on the contrary. The problem is rather doing that important space job that you should do rather than hopping on the next fleet that’s about to undock. Lowsec has no shortage of content. But there are of course those nights when I want my two or three hours back. The worst being when I end up in the wrong fleet, at the wrong place and wrong time, finding nothing to fight, either because people keep running away or because we have to run away from a far superior fleet in either numbers, hardware or both. Forming for timers where the baddies don’t show, defensive plexing systems when the squids decide it’s better to farm them back when we’re not around, that kind of thing. Oh and let’s not forget when I log on and just get buried in diplomatic and alliance management work, ugh. The ingredients to the kind of night that leave me with a stupid grin and a bounce to my step vary, but some things are always great. Apart from a close-cut solo kill, which is a very distinct kind of thrill, quite different from flying in a fleet, my perfect night starts with a small or medium fleet. Big enough to generate some fun banter on comms, small enough for not having to enforce strict comms rules. Fleets of 50+ people tend to be rather silent affairs. A good sized fleet might be somewhere between 6 to 30 people of decent pilots who A) have a sense of humor, B) know what they’re doing, and C) want to get into trouble. I know the guys in my fleet and we have room to chat and joke around, but the fleet is still small enough to put emphasis on individual skill.
On a good night, said fleet would undock, send out scouts and find several fleets moving around our area. Tracking enemy movements and quickly positioning ourselves to be in the right place at the right time while making FC jokes is half the fun, especially if CheesusCrust is online with our DANK soundboard. The fights are tight and we win by the skin of our teeth, thanks to skill and smart maneuvering and target calling, rather than superior numbers. We quickly transition from one fight to the next, adapting our doctrine and tactics on the fly. The perfect night ends with us docking up our ships (that are hopefully on fire) and chatting about the engagements we just had, mulling over the close calls, looking at particularly silly fits amongst the killmails, making fun of our enemies and each other. The next day, that massive piece from Apoth doesn’t seem too bad to edit, and sure, I can blue your alts and get the calendar in order with this week’s scheduled fleets.   Mayrin:  There’s a sort of running joke that a “good fight” is the one you win, but if there’s one thing that can make a night, it’s a good challenge. Now, there’s nothing wrong with an easy gank. From personal experience, it seems that most of the fights in EVE are of the one-side-getting-dumpstered flavor. An easy killmail is fun in the same way that a quick round of Bejeweled is fun; it’s a light snack. There’s some fights where you must make the decision to risk everything in order to win. And, win or lose, it’s the immense challenge of these kinds of fights that make them so satisfying. Any PVPer who has played long enough can think back to some time where, even if they didn’t succeed, had an enormous amount of fun in a tough battle.  It’s the hope of finding one of those challenging fights that keeps me logged in and searching for something to tackle. Tarek: I totally agree with Mayrin’s statement. I can have an absolute blast losing a fight in a way that’s exciting, and winning too easily can sometimes be rather less interesting. Gin: It’s hard to point to one favorite EVEning (heh), but the ones I’ve enjoyed the most have involved getting to do everything PvP-related. Usually, they start when I get online before the rest of my corp is active, and I roam in a frig or dessie trying to net a few solo kills. There’s nothing quite like the rush of a good solo fight. They leave you breathless, shot with adrenaline, and yes, shaking. On my perfect day, I find something that I shouldn’t beat, or at least a fight with even odds, and prevail. By the time the rest of our corp logs on, it’s time for small gang in a nearby backwater that roaming fleets always miss, keeping the content limited to the locals who have the capability to bring good fights (and blingy ships) but lack the numbers for a blob. These are some of my favorite engagements as I get to play a much larger role than I would in a bigger fleet, get some of the rush of a solo fight and get to celebrate with friends afterwards. As we near late EUTZ, prime USTZ (around 2000-2100), the War Zone heats up. Ideally, reports and dscan links begin to flow into our intel channel about roaming gangs anywhere from 40-100 strong, and we have the numbers to reciprocate. On one of these days, I was fast-burning to what I thought was an Assault Frigate fleet several jumps south of my home. About the time I realized they were flying a bizarre (and therefore distinctly Galmil) concoction of faction cruisers, AHACS and a few neut geddons, I came upon a gang of pirate cruisers flying Legions with Guardian support.

“Can anyone get me eyes on anything!?!” our FC called over comms.

Apparently, they had formed to fight a fleet that had since vanished and were having no luck finding anything else. Like the angel on our corp logo, I was about to answer a bloody prayer. Once I made sure our scouts had gotten eyes on the targets, I hurried home to grab a VNI and returned just in time for the fight. It was one of those beautiful fleet battles that teetered on a knife’s edge for most of the engagement. After we disposed of a few Guardians and most of the enemy’s T3 DPS, they dropped a Naglfar on field, which we proceeded to put into half-armor before triage support arrived in the form of Archons. We left the field with surprisingly few losses and a few billion ISK in shiny ships on our killboards. So basically, I’m saying I enjoy it all. Whether I’m flying solo, small-gang or in a large fleet, I’m happy watching/making ships explode, and the best days are those in which I get a taste of everything.
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12 year EVE veteran, Snuffed Out scumbag, writer, graphic artist, producer, Editor-in-Chief of Crossing Zebras and the second most influential player in EVE, according to EVE Onion.