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Laser Therapy

What I’ve really enjoyed about Eve this week is the way that what looked like a perfectly innocuous Level 1 mission ended up costing me over 400,000 isk (can’t say I really enjoyed that), a ridiculous amount of time trawling the web for answers that could not be found (flat out hated that), but then finally resulted in me (yes me), reading up in depth on projectile turrets, launcher hard points and all sorts of weapon systems and ammo to finally finally understand what I needed to do in the mission. The sense of achievement when I did all this was amazing – and yes I definitely enjoyed that.

Anyone who knows Eve will probably laugh when they hear what quest (umm  I mean mission) this was (it’s reputed to be the harshest game out there so perhaps change laugh to cackle). The mission was a Level 1 Distribution called A Healthy Venture- New Competition (3 of 5). I just had to destroy a supply ship. A ship that didn’t even hit back.  Easy peasy yes? I thought so. I found the ship and started shooting at it without even thinking twice – in fact I was barely paying attention (I had one eye on EastEnders and was internally speculating on who Kat’s lover is). After a bit of time I looked back at my screen. There was just the tiniest bit of red showing on the supply ship icon. I’d hardly made a dent in its shield. And as I watched so that red disappeared –  some sort of health regeneration. Thinking in Wow terms (clearly I still can’t help myself) he was healing himself faster than I could burn him down. If this was a WoW group some sarky tank would be posting Recount in group chat to make all us DPSers hang our heads in shame. As it was I was on my own so a severe self rebuke (you’ve let yourself down Bravetank) had to suffice.

I stuck at it for awhile- wasting bullets in the naive belief that his shield regen would only do so much & that if I kept persistently peppering him with EMP he would eventually capitulate. But it was not to be. Bemused, confused & other things ending with “used” I looked the mission up on the internet. Could only really find one forum thread discussing it & that didn’t offer any solutions apart from “Boy it sucks when you don’t bring enough dps to a mission.” Yes sir it truly does suck.  By the end of the thread the answer had been found but the person posting chose to be enigmatic & offered some sort of 321 clue only (for those of you not aware of 321 & its fiendish clues see here – fantastic 70s show).

So I took a look at my dps. First time I ‘d actually had to do this. Being a distributor pilot  I’ve only needed to worry about cargo space &  amnesty international interest in the  “tourists” I have stored  in my hangar. My dps was 16. I’m embarrassed typing it. I was basically dong nothing more than giving the supply ship a nice bit of therapeutic shiatsu massage – a tad painful but boy does it work the joints.

So off I went to the market place to buy something better than my light artillery cannon. God its confusing in Eve market. When buying weapons you basically have a choice of projectiles, missiles, lasers and within all that light, medium, large, dieting and toned and various skill requisites for everything. I didn’t know what to go for. I tried the compare tool but there are so many stats its hard to know what to compare. Eventually through some combination of logic, research and “oh god that’ll do” despair  I bought some missiles (can’t go wrong with a good old missile). But when I tried to fit them to my ship the limits of my research quickly became apparent –  it turned out I couldn’t. I needed two launcher hardpoints & my Probe had zero. There was a suggestion I could upgrade the ship to fit then but a  brief search on the internet suggested this was no straightforward matter (admittedly I was tired so it might have been me making this complex but to my tired brain it was wall of text incomprehensible detail wherever I looked). So I decided to take the easy option – to find  a ship with launcher hardpoints. Online everyone was talking about kestrels but I couldn’t find one for sale anywhere (turns out my filter settings were wrong – but that’s another story). But I then had a brainwave. I looked in my assets at all the various crap I have strewn around space & found my Rifter 50 million jumps away – it had a launch slot. Bingo. So off I went. It felt like hours but eventually I got there, swapped ships (bye bye little Probe with the Dr Who Tardis like cargo space), fitted my missiles, jumped back to the supply ship, attacked said supply ship and….well the red appeared a little faster but with shields still up & and functioning half an hour later & a galaxy strewn with my tears I realised this was not going to work. Defeated I went to bed, considering a career in exploration or mining instead.

The next day though – before I’d even had my breakfast – I was online. “I think I’ve sussed it,” I said to my husband. “That weird leaking in the fridge?” he asked. “No no,” I waved my hand dismissively, “My Eve problem”. “Oh right” he said, rolling his eyes and returning to the kitchen to dry out the sodden tomatoes. But  I was unaware – nose deep in EveWiki looking up the fastest weapons around (that were also cheap & usable at my skill level). Then I found them -Lasers! Good rate of fire-  so the shields would not have time to regen, and no reloading – that too was slowing things down. That night I logged onto Eve  with a renewed sense of purpose and hope. Off I went to buy two lasers. I fitted both plus 1 missile launcher  and 1 cannon. I was ready to face my nemesis

He did not have a chance. The missiles hit him first, then the projectiles & them oh my god the lasers – they were relentless (and very pretty for those of you who like your fighting stylish). Within seconds (it seemed) his shields were down & we were onto his armor. When the final beam hit him and he exploded across my screen I shouted for joy. My husband was equally delighted and then handed me a tea towel, pointed to the fridge and said, “Your turn now.”

What I really liked (in hindsight!) about the whole thing was that it  made me learn about the weaponry in Eve and think about what I needed to use to destroy this particular ship. If each mission can do something like that- incorporate some of the vast learning required for Eve into the mission itself – basic “learning by doing” – then that will be amazing. Although since that mission I’ve done nothing more than move cargo from A to B – but that’s ok for the moment. I’ve had enough excitement for one week.