Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Alternative Recruitment Methods

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Another day of roaming.  Violent acts were committed against innocent players just wanting to be left alone.  Nothing new there really.  It's how the kill came to be, and the reaction that I got from the pilot after it was over that I thought were interesting.  Hope you agree.

One of the lessons I've learned in EVE that I try to demonstrate more than any other is that skillpoints matter less than you'd think.  I hear a lot of rhetoric thrown around about how the real time training in the game means the new player will never catch up to the people that have been playing longer than you have, so why even bother?  Well, the reason you bother is that you can catch up in a narrower sense.

You'll be able to fly a Frigate to a level that rivals any other pilot in a Frigate within just a couple of months of playing EVE Online, and once you can do that you have caught up.  Once you can do that, what you're really missing are all the things in EVE that have absolutely nothing to do with the SP total of the character.  Anyone that ever tried to tell me that all EVE PvP amounts to is "Lock Target, Press F1" immediately shows me that they have no idea what they're talking about.  Or they only fly in large fleets where their only responsibility was DPS.  Most of the kills I get come not from the SP I have, but from other tools that I've picked up along the way.  This was one of those kills.

Roaming around in a loose gang with three other pilots I'd brought out my Myrmidon for the first time.  I suppose I was technically "in charge", but we were all just doing our own thing while on comms with one another, ready to respond if anyone else needed help.  One of our new pilots in a Rupture reported that he had a Retriever class Mining Barge on scan one jump out from me so I warped to the gate and held for a moment while trying to walk him through what to do over comms.

While this was going on, another of new pilots in a Rifter (We have a lot of those) jumped into the system with the Retriever.  This clearly spooked the Mining Barge pilot, as they were the only three in local, and he quickly docked up.  I immediately jumped into the system myself, ordered everyone to warp to another gate in system and jump on contact.

This may seem like an odd thing for me to have done, but I'll explain to you just as I then explained to them.  We had clearly been noticed by the Retriever pilot, what we now needed was for him to think we were just a passing gang and our presence in the system with him was nothing more than a coincidence.  We would accomplish this by letting him think the first pilot he saw was our scout, and he was now seeing the other members arrive in system, and then all three of us leave.

Once we were all in the other system under jump cloak, I waited 30 seconds and then told everyone to head back to the gate and for the Rifter pilot to jump through, and warp immediately to the belt where we had last spotted the Retriever.  A moment later, and he was announcing that he had pointed the Retriever.  The Rupture and I both jumped into system to whore onto the killmail, and so that I could open up an attempt for ransom.

So what?  We caught a Mining Barge, big whoop, right?  Well, notice that none of the things that were required for this successful act of Piracy required more than a day's worth of skill training.  I'm not saying that I'd have been able to do it when I had played for only a day, but all the SP I've gained since then wasn't what helped.  It was other knowledge of the game that I've gained since then which allowed it to happen and the speed you gain that knowledge is all up to the individual player.

Whether or not you're impressed, the other pilots I was flying with certainly were.  And so was the Retriever pilot.  He didn't want to pay the ransom we offered, but instead countered with an offer of his own.  He asked if he could join us in his Harbinger, because what we were doing looked like fun.  I explained to him our recruitment process and encouraged him to apply if it sounded like something he was interested in.  It was certainly not the reaction I was expecting from a pilot in a Mining Barge, but I guess everyone gets drawn in Piracy in their own special way.




  1. Pretty win. A fairly neat strategy if I do say so myself, though it probably won't work on more regular denizens of lowsec. Still, a good way to explain how SP's don't matter