In which I demonstrate I am obviously unclear on the concept
I had a couple of hours the other night so I thought I would finally dive into the whole factional warfare thing that the Empyrean Age has brought us in EVE Online.
I suppose I could have just jumped into some contested area, joined up with a blob of my fellow militia, and started blazing away at those “Gallante Nanofags” as somebody on the channel was calling them.
However at least one friend of mine reported that those willing to field tech II ships were eating the cheapskates in tech I ships alive, with interceptors chewing up frigates like there was no tomorrow.
Not wanting to merely feed my Kestrel into the garbage disposal, I thought I might go the mission route. I used the traditional in-game method of finding and agent, as detailed in my post on the subject, then popped out of the station and, one by one, set the available agents as a destination to see how close they were.
The nearest level 1 agent was 8 jumps away. I figured I would go with level 1, being in a wee frigate and all.
I cloned jumped to protect my implants, saddled up the Kestrel, all strictly tech I, and headed off.
Once there, I asked him for a mission. He told me to head off to Arderonne to destroy the reactor at some Gallente base.
Fair enough! So I left the station and set that system as my destination.
23 jumps away.
Hrmm… well, in the name of the state and all that, I headed out.
The last 12 jumps or so were in Gallente space, so every time I landed in a system I got a message from the local authorities declaring their intention to blow me up if I did not move along within a few second. This message:
Fine, I wasn’t planning to hang around anyway.
More jumps, with the last few being in low security space. No threatening messages at least.
Finally I arrived at the system. Time to warp into the mission!
At this point I have to stop and share my expectations.
This being a PvP, factional warfare mission, I have it in my mind at that point that somebody real is going to have to show up and stop me. The notes about the Empyrean Age talk about alarm bells going off when you show up, allowing the defenders to respond. I expect that what I am going to have to be on the watch for is somebody warping in to get me.
With that in mind, imagine my disappointment at warping in to find myself facing six frigates, two cruisers, and four sentry guns, all NPCs.
Twelve jumps from friendly territory, no place to turn to, expecting other players to show up and blast me, and now I have to face NPCs with the odds stacked against me.
This seemed like a bit more than a level 1 mission encounter, and this from somebody who had to run “Worlds Collide” in an Ibis. (That was the first mission I received when I started playing EVE.) But at least then I had a base close by for support, and another Ibis handed to me when I lost one. Out in hostile territory I was alone.
Still, I had come all that way, there was nothing for it but to go on.
With my usual deft touch, I managed to aggro the lot of them with my first missile. A few minutes later the Kestrel disintegrated around me, leaving me in sitting in space, in my pod, alone in low security in the middle of Gallente territory.
Of course, NPCs do not pod you, so I was safe. I sat there a minute wishing they would though, it would have saved me the trip back.
But, since no fatal blow was imminent, I set my destination for home and started heading back. I felt like those bears in the middle of the city in that one Far Side cartoon. I was the bear saying, “Great, were lost and it is only a matter of time before somebody shoots us.”
Nobody shot me. Nobody noticed me. After quite some time I ended up back where I started.
Unfortunately, this round trip used up all the time I had to play. I figured I might take another stab at it the next day, if I could find the time.
But the next morning, I got the message that I had failed the mission. It seems that factional warfare missions expire in hours rather than days.
And so went my first brush with factional warfare.
My standing now with the State Protectorate, the Caldari Militia, is now -0.03.
Considering that my standings with the Blood Raiders is 0.00 and with the Guristas is -0.04, both NPC pirate factions that I have spent a lot of time blowing up, that is not so good.