Once more unto the Breacher, dear friends, once more.

In pursuit of variety and material for my Guild Launch odyssey around New Eden, I’ve found my recent organisation-hopping exploits to be most enjoyable. After years of steadfastly languishing in one corporation with a lacklustre CEO (me), I finally plucked up the courage to put Greenbeard’s Freebooters behind me.

I have to say, in terms of facilitating my enjoyment of EVE, it’s been the best decision I’ve made in a long time. Gone are the burdens of trying to manage a fake spaceship business for largely absent players and instead I’m enjoying thriving communities and eventful gameplay.

Ever the Dropout

I was hugely impressed with the degree of organisation behind the player-run EVE University corporation. The wealth of information and support that they offer the clueless is just the tip of the iceberg, there’s far more going on there too. Of course, I completely failed to take advantage of any of it in my short visit, having spent 50% of my scheduled month wading through the administrative side of things and then the remainder of my time trying to convince myself I already knew it all. After all, I’ve been playing for years…

The administrative issue isn’t a complaint levelled at EVE University – as an organisation it is just the product of its environment. In order to create a relatively sociopath-free environment that is conducive to the newer or gentler player, they have to double-lock their doors so to speak. My stay was a great, if brief, experience and you can read more about it in my report Exploring EVE Online: The Rookie’s Path & EVE University.


My plans to follow the path of least resistance and move on to experience the Red Versus Blue phenomenon met with a potential deal-breaker when the combined forces of the Red Federation and the Blue Republic went “Purple” and declared war on EVE University. Despite this, my previous conversations with RvB important dudes at Fanfest and the UK Pub Meet held me in good enough stead for my application to be accepted without fuss anyway. It turns out that RvB are to administration and security exactly what E-UNI isn’t. There is a worryingly relaxed approach to organisation in RvB, but somehow it works and I’ve already enjoyed participating in a couple of entertaining events.

I say unto thee, jump, jump and thrice jump.

As well as an impromptu frigate roam, I had the good (mis-)fortune of attending RvB Ganked, a regular, themed roam that is the spiritual offspring of Failheap Challenge’s Gank Night tradition. Azual Skoll of The Altruist blog was the guest host and ran the fleet with cool aplomb as befits his  Agony Unleashed heritage. The Shakespearian theme required the entire 100+ fleet to fly Breachers (Once More Unto the Breacher, Dear Pilot) and smacktalk potential targets in local with a deluge of Olde Worlde insults. It was strangely liberating replying to abuse with “Verily, thy stench is akin to that of rancid horse quim.”

A jolly good time was had by all and I even managed to take part on some comical Breacher-swarm kills before getting destroyed and returning in a Manticore stealth bomber I had stored nearby. I was a little sad when the event was bought to a climax by Azual suiciding the entire fleet into a smartbombing battleship at a cyno’d POS. I suspect he wanted to retire. I probably shouldn’t have been in my clone with the expensive +4 implants but I had been warned.

Is this a ‘Baddon which I see before me, its smartbombs toward my face?

[I’ve just noticed that jargon heavy sentence I just wrote; “suiciding the entire fleet into a smartbombing battleship at a cyno’d POS”. Oh dear, there’s no going back now, but for the less spacegeeky reader (hi Mum) here’s a translation: A bad man set up a trap by luring us with the promise of a potentially vulnerable target which turned out to be a very well protected and lethal battleship.]

Wow, Look at… Oh Never Mind

When shall we 120 meet again, in Thrasher and Lachesis over in Stain?

Throughout the roam, one thing that struck me again – and will spawn a post of its own – is how visually arresting EVE is, but how frustratingly hard it is to look at things. Still shots just do not do justice to the hypnotic sight of a hundred glowing frigate contrails circling a single spot, it has to be seen in motion for the full effect. Combats too would be a spectacle, if we had any kind of intelligent camera tools. I don’t understand why CCP makes EVE as beautiful as it is and then provides no way to really appreciate it. The current viewing experience is like trying to read a really good book over someone’s shoulder.

Anyway, rants aside, I’m looking forward to the somewhat more complex RvB event taking place tonight, but I’ll keep my powder dry on that until my next Guild Launch article.