BB 51 – The Shakes

the shakes

Blog Banter 51

“EVE Online can be a game of heart-pounding, palm-sweating, adrenaline-fuelled ecstasy or agony. Sometimes over the years those reactions dim and what was once a panic inducing situation becomes commonplace routine. For some, the shakes never go away.

From Druur Monakh (Twitter: @DruurMonakh) we get the topic of this banter: what was your most nail-biting experience in EVE Online so far? It could be PvP in a 1v1 or 1000v1000, your first fight or your latest one, a scam so close to being uncovered too soon, a trap almost sprung on an unsuspecting victim or the roles reversed and you desperately try to escape.”

This is a fun topic.  I think Eve is more visceral than a lot of games that I have played.  I definitely get the shakes, the increased heart-rate, and the pounding of adrenaline from certain situations in Eve.  It is one of the reasons that I play.  I also got it playing chess and those few moments before and after grabbing the flag in Warsong Gulch.  However, in Eve it is more frequent and I think it is because of 2 reasons: 1) Loss is real in Eve and 2) Losses are documented, reviewed, mocked, and analyzed.  Every loss is a potential Kill of the Week.

Oddly, I don’t really get it when I am attacked.  Even when I have a billion isk ship on the line, once I am attacked I just react the best I can and accept the consequences.  The only exception is a bit of an adrenaline spike if I happen to jump into a gate camp with 30+ ships around and drones all over the place.

I get the most adrenaline when I am the aggressor.  I don’t do this all that often, but when the opportunity presents itself, I get a major thrill sneaking up on other players.  A few weeks ago I saw 2 carriers on D-scan.  At first I assumed they were at a local tower, but after narrowing down the scan I saw that they weren’t.  I narrowed down their position using d-scan to about 2AU.  I then warped out of ranged and launched combat probes.  I was able to get warp-in with a single probing.  I recalled my probes and warped to the position at 70km (still cloaked).  I saw 2 carriers, a ton of wrecks on the field and no acceleration gate.  Doing an anomaly maybe?  If that was the case, I didn’t even need my probes.  In any case, both carriers warped away shortly after I arrived.  I was afraid they had seen my probes.  I was still deciding what to do next when a Noctis showed up.  I bookmarked an object near the Noctis and flew to another station outside of scan range to refit.  I thought maybe the other carrier was going to switch over to a guard ship, but he stayed on d-scan.  My heart was pounding as I warped in and stealthily approached the Noctis.  He was drawing in wrecks 3 at a time.  He had the field about 1/3 cleared when I got within 9km.

At this point I was seriously shaking.  I am in a Tengu and the other carrier is still on d-scan.  My risks are pretty low and I really should have waited for the Noctis to finish clearing the field, but I was so excited and pounding with adrenaline that I had to spring the trap.  I de-cloaked and activated dual warp disruptors and my sensor booster.  I waited out the 6-second delay and locked on.  I got him.  I fired my missiles and continued to approach.  He was dead within seconds and I let the pod go.  The way my heart was pounding it wasn’t even worth trying.  I scooped up my 60M isk of loot, shot the wreck and warped away.  At that point I had to cloak up and calm down.

I expect if I did this more often that the thrill would diminish somewhat.  Part of it is the unknown and part of it is the anticipation.  I have had it backfire on me when I activated modules at the wrong time are accidentally targeted a cargo container instead of the ship.  Probably I would do poorly at 1v1 PVP and I not committed enough to join a corps that does this all the time.  When I am ready to take a break from exploration I would like to give RvB a try to see if I still feel the thrill in cheap ships or large fleets.