As the first wisps of information on Kronos reached the public months ago, a mounting but familiar apathy was spreading in lowsec. Many believed that it would get the ‘not broke, don’t fix’ treatment again, a rhetoric that had been coming out of CCP – and indeed some players – ever since exploitation had forced a rebalancing of the Faction Warfare LP system.
As Fanfest drew closer hope was rekindled, reaching a fevered crescendo as CCP Fozzie spat “Exclusive to lowsec!” into the mic, with the Mordu’s eagle at his back and a cheering crowd in front. The faithful had been worked into a frenzy and Fozzie was the space messiah.
From roundtables to presentations the Fanfest experience for lowsec buffs was the exact opposite of the now infamous ‘Rogue Wedding’ of Dust 514 (read HVAC Repairman’s article on that here). Both Fozzie and Rise spoke of the qualities of lowsec and small-gang PvP, with heartstring fiddles for music.
Blast from the past
“Thunderdome’s simple. Get to the weapons, use them any way you can. I know you won’t break the rules, because there aren’t any.”
– Dr. Dealgood, Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome
As the extended deployment downtime came to a close eager players filled lowsec, now seemingly crackling with new potential and possibilities. Space was teeming with life and roving bands patrolled everywhere, prowling for Mordu’s pirate ships, wormholes to new places, and each other.
In an instant belt fighting was back in style and all the cool kids were shooting it up amongst the rocks. Sentimental bittervets returned to their old stomping grounds, remembering the old school. Waxing poetic about “back in the day” as they brushed off those d-scanner skills that had been drilled down years ago.
I was among those able to log on that day. A scant few hours after the doors to Tranquility had been opened I undocked a Wolf and went on the hunt. As I made my way to one of our small fleets I checked the a handful of belts on my way.
On the fifth belt I found Barghest battleship.
I haven’t been that excited to see a red cross since the first time I saw one. Shit just got real, as they say. Spamming my d-scanner I pulled into close orbit and let the 200 mm’s rip, voice comms suddenly got very intense. We hauled that baby home like it was the holy grail, putting the most stringent combat comms to shame.
I spent the rest of the day fighting in belts. Hunting for targets as we attempted to outmaneuver each other between them, an extended dogfight of controlled chaos. Not a moment of boredom. This is my EVE.
EVE is real
The dust has settled and New Eden is waking up to what Kronos really means for lowsec. As so often before not even CCP know how things will pan out in the sandbox (some would say especially not CCP); the features are put in and the maniacs let loose – the proverbial Hunger Games of internet spaceships – come what may.
As the reality of spawn rates sets in the dream of a Garmur in every driveway is quickly snuffed out. Small fleets spread out daily, relentlessly scouring entire regions, and coming up empty-handed. CCP Fozzie ensures the players that they are indeed out there and ‘working as intended’, but at these rates the amount of man hours it takes to actually find a Mordu’s ship make only the Barghest worth the hassle, if you’re lucky. Considering the time required to find one on average, the Garmur is probably one of the worst ISK/hour gigs to be found in lowsec.
So what does this make the Mordu’s ships?
For lowsec as a whole it makes them little more than trade commodities and sports car posters. Items reserved for the wealthy and the reckless beyond reason. If EVE was driving, lowsec is the destruction derby equivalent. Racing a Ferrari is going to make you very poor, very fast, in that scenario. At best they are sold in favor of other ships, at worst they begin collecting dust with the familiar words “some day, I’ll undock this”.
The dream was that these ships would be the hallmark of lowsec – built for PvP and representing that culture. Exclusive, yes, but not unreasonably so. Flown by those that live and hunt there, filling key roles in small gang warfare, with their acquisition driving conflict amongst the belts.
As things stand today, that dream is fading.
Tags: barghest, kronos, lowlife, lowsec, niden, pve