Blog Style: Feedback Update

Many of you have expressed the desire for me to continue writing the way I did initially (and not so much with the RP style) which is just fine. 🙂

Thank you all for the feedback!

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The Wormhole (Part 1), and a Question for my Readers

Lei Harper. June 10, YC115.

Today I am flying “Matriarch”, my Tristan class exploration vessel. New equipment on my ship pleases me immensely, and my eyes have been opened to so much more than just ablating layers of slag from ancient hunks of rock. I will earn my riches in another manner; I just need to find one that suits me. Today I am toying with probes, skirting the fringes of Council Space where traffic is lighter and I have less chance of being disturbed. Over the last few days I’ve learned the rudiments of Astrometrics as well as some other useful tricks, but I still have far less command of these tools than I do my Drones or my Mining Equipment. No matter. My scanning is crude but effective, and with a little patience and a light touch on deploying the probes I’ve been able to make a tidy bundle of ISK so far.

The signature I’m tracking down today seems different, and troublesome to triangulate. After 25 minutes and through sheer luck, I somehow drop a probe practically on top of it and the signal intensity spikes, holding at a vibrant green. I read the anaylsis, condensed to a singular word…Wormhole. I purse my lips and consider the possibilities, the risks, the potential. A gate to another region of space. Who knows where? It is worth a look at least, so I command Matriarch to warp to the location of the signal, giving myself a good 100 kilometer buffer in case there are any undesirables nearby.

Matriarch drops out of warp with a brief lurch that I find extremely disconcerting. The region of space ahead of me is twisted and distorted; light being pulled into a bizarre spiral like water being sucked down a drain. I instinctive recalibrate Matriarch’s station keeping thrusters to account for the gravitational fluctuations, and my sensors begin to lose scan resolution. Damn Gallente Gravimetric sensor array doesn’t appear to play nicely with anomalies like this. I compensate, which is when I notice the Gnosis moving nearby.

This system still has a CONCORD presence so I am not overly concerned about my safety. More, I feel a little annoyance that this other capsuleer has found something I worked so damn hard to scan down. I watch the Gnosis as it approaches the Wormhole. It holds station for a short time in front of the event horizon, then abruptly the pilot appears to reconsider his course of action – the Gnosis swings about, aligns to the nearby stargate and drops into warp. I watch it vanish into the void.

Fine, More loot for me.

Half of my Corporation live in a wormhole, so they tell me. If you ask me, that seems a little anti-social but they do spend a lot of time poring over Blueprints and other such things best done in solitude, so whatever works for them is fine I suppose. I’ve never had the pleasure of visiting but I’m certain they will have advice for me.

“Guys, I just scanned down a Wormhole. Do you think I should go through?”

A brief crackle of dead air, then a crisp reply.

“Lei, if you do that I’d say there is a 50% chance that you’re going to die. Though given the luck we’ve had recently I’d say that’s more like 99% at this point.”

I smile and command my Frigate to approach the Wormhole.

“I like those odds. Don’t fly what you can’t afford to lose, right?”

They laugh. I realize that today, I am not afraid.

“You’re learning, Lei. You’re learning.”

————————————————————————————————————————–

A brief interlude before I continue. I am writing this entry after a lull of a few days, and I have other things to write afterwards so the chronology will be wrong – but I have to write about last night because of the clusterfuck of hilarious proportions that ensued.

First I have a question for you, dear reader. That which I write above (in italics) is told not from the perspective of me, the player, but from the perspective of Lei Harper, the character. It is of course, filled with more lore-appropriate detail within but does not include my comments on the metagame as the player.

Which would you prefer to read? My experiences as the player (the style of my original blog posts), or my character’s experiences through the filter of my writing? Or a mixture of the two? I enjoy writing these accounts in both styles but I am curious as to what those who follow this blog would prefer to see so I respectfully request your feedback on this. I will continue my story of the Wormhole on the edge of Gallente space in a new post.

Laziness

“The cheapest one is in Hek, though.” I said.

“Yes,” he replied, “But Hek is a shitty trading hub. Don’t go to Hek. You’re only 10 jumps away from Jita. If you’ve never been before, you want to go. Trust me.”

I altered course in the map and punched the autopilot, and watched as Rising Star rolled to starboard and spooled up her warp drive.

Autopilot again. I was getting lazy. Doesn’t matter if Rising Star gets destroyed. Just buy another.

There was that voice in my head again, the same voice that was tainted by all the ISK I had now. I caught myself buying something that was a million ISK more expensive in one place, just so I didn’t have to make an extra jump to go somewhere. My laziness had pissed away more money than I had made toiling in the Veldspar fields for all those hours. It was sickening.

My Corporation now is Deep Space Logistics [DPSLG]. These are the fine folks I was mining with the other day. Our CEO is Kurt Gaterau; he is a good man.

Image

This is Kurt. He, like many other Capsuleers, apparently has an aversion to light. Lei does not suffer from this, mostly because of the absolutely terrible selection of glasses in the character customization system. No, I don’t want to spend AUR on those damn goggles everyone seems to love.

Anyway, I decide that I am going to divest myself of assets, and leave myself a modest amount from my donations because otherwise, EVE is going to be spoiled for me. I decide to keep some of the ships that were donated to me (more than 50 of them are Gallente Tristan frigates, amusingly) but I give a couple of others away to people who have become friends since my arrival in New Eden. I give Kurt a Dominix, which pains me a little because I really like Drone Boats now, and the Dominix was one of my goals as something to fly in the future.

Earn it yourself. Spend your ISK on PLEX and get some subscription time. Then play EVE the way its supposed to be played. Don’t let the metagame spoil the actual game.

I sigh. I like that voice better. I give Kurt the Dominix (which he refers to as “Space Potato”) and he names it “Windfall”, in honor of how it was initially procured by me. It is a fitting name, and I hope he uses it to crush his enemies, see them driven before him, and hears the lamentation of their women.

Oops, Tranquility just came back online. More later.

Wednesday, June 5th in New Eden

So, I am apparently “Wanted”.

When I first log in to EVE I have to fight my way through multiple chat invites and a torrent of EVEmails. It has been about two hours since my Reddit thread was posted on CCP’s Facebook page. The traffic is becoming insane. I also notice a message from CONCORD that someone has placed a bounty on my head. That one really catches my attention, so I open it.

100 Million ISK.

I forcefully eject a nontrivial quantity of Mountain Dew from my nose, and laugh at the absurdity of it. I now have a bounty on my head worth probably 50 times what I have earned in my time on EVE to date. I click on my portrait in Local and laugh again at the gigantic WANTED notice across my character’s face. I have no idea how the Bounty system works. If I fly outside of my station will I get immediately jumped by people wanting to make a quick buck?

My wallet is blinking. Some people had messaged me to say they were sending me some ISK as a donation. I click.

There are so many numbers that at first, I can’t tell if I’m looking at millions or billions. I count.

1.8 Billion ISK

I swallow and read it again in utter disbelief. 1.9 Billion ISK. Someone else has donated me 100 million in the time it took for me to read the figure. Little do I know at this time, the figure would increase by another Billion before the night was over. My wallet journal is full of donation notices and kind notes from people. I feel immense gratitude but also immense guilt since I know how hard people work for their ISK in this game.

Someone asks me what I’m going to spend my ISK on. A couple of days prior I had been in Dodixie to pick up some module I bought and I visited the Noble Exchange, and its insane prices for vanity fashion items (which is why i know about AUR now). I joke and say that I’m going to buy PLEX with all my ISK, convert them to AUR and buy some glasses and a sweet Gallente military jacket for my character so she looks good on her Wanted poster. I can’t tell if they think my joke is funny, or if they secretly would like to punch me instead.

Right now, I buy nothing. Its not like I can just purchase a Battlecruiser, I have neither the skills to fly or fit one. So, I undock in Rising Star II and take a brief four jump tour around Gallente space.

Nobody shoots at me, which I can only assume is a good thing with regards to my bounty.

I dock at home again, to more messages. Many conflicting messages, many friendly messages. Many invitations.

Are you interested in joining our corporation? Let me tell you about us. Do you need help? Ask me anything and I’ll be happy to help you! So how much ISK have you gotten? The curiousity is killing me! I politely decline invitations and thank people for their generosity. One conversation I’m having takes a slightly different tack after some chat and helpful answers to my questions.

“We’re putting together a mining fleet right now. Do you want to come?”

I’ve never been in a fleet before. I’ve never done *anything* with another playet in EVE before, until now it was me against a cold, unforgiving void filled with scammers and gankers. I’m hesitant. I think of some excuses as to why I don’t want to do this right now. They aren’t good excuses and honestly, I don’t know why I’m making them.

“Do you have Teamspeak?” he asks. I do, after about 3 minutes of downloading it and installing it. I can’t use my microphone yet as I’ll disturb others in the room, but now I can hear my conversation partner at least. Others join the chat. The fleet is forming.

I agree to go. My first fleet. Where are they? I am given a system name. I put it into the search box on the starmap and take a sharp breath.

23 Jumps.

I’ve never gone more than 5 from the University of Caille station I call home. I follow the line; it takes me away from my home in Gallente space, up through Caldari space and then loops sharply back with a huge jump to Amarr space, wherein lies my destination. Its so far!

“Lei, where are you right now? Are you coming?” they ask. I have already undocked and begun to warp. I am on my way.

Happily, my journey is mostly uneventful. Fleet chatter is plentiful and I take time to admire the sights. Having only been in Gallente space I have no idea that almost everything looks different elsewhere, even down to the nebulae and the stargate designs. The steel blues of Caldari space and rich golds of Amarr space are fascinating, and I am thoroughly enjoying my trip until about 3/4th of the way there. I am still in a perfectly good high security system when someone attempts to scramble my warp drive en route to a stargate. I am glad that I was flying a Venture and hadn’t removed my additional point of Warp Stabilization since my last trip to lowsec, because the Scramble fails and CONCORD descends on the perpetrator like the wrath of an angry God. But it shakes me a little, and makes me remember my bounty. It happens once more before I arrive at my destination, but I arrive unscathed. By this point, I am using my mic. Its good to be able to talk.

I’m one Stargate away from the fleet and I see something that startles me. A purple contact on my overview. Green = good, Red = bad. This I understand. Purple is foreign, new and alarming to me. I ask urgently over TS what a purple contact means.

I feel pretty stupid and laugh nervously at the reply. A purple contact is a member of my fleet. I jump to our mining system and warp to the fleet’s location. They are already on station, working.

I drop out of warp, and I am awestruck.

A wide ribbon of asteroids twists into the void, and the fleet fills my view. Hulking shapes silhouetted against the burnished gold vista, they slice at the asteroids with lances of brilliant sapphire light. Combat drones patrol in wide arcs around us, while the enormous, flattened bulk of an Orca passes beneath my ship. My Fleet Commander is talking, explaining what I need to do and how my Mining Lasers will be augmented by the Orca somehow, but I am not listening. I command Rising Star to orbit the Orca, and just marvel at the spectacle.

I apologize and express my admiration. “This is nothing”, they say. “This is a small fleet.” I pass the Mining Barges, take up a station in my ridiculous Venture, and begin to mine. I create a jetcan and fill it. Tractor beams stretch out from who knows where to retrieve my ore. Time passes. Conversation is casual, we talk about the game, and about personal things. The Fleet Commander mentions that everyone is entitled to an equal share if they contribute to mining tonight. I mention my recent windfall, my pitiful mining yield, and how the advice they are constantly giving me is payment enough.

The Fleet Commander is adamant. Everyone gets an equal share, this is how it must be done. I say nothing more.

Abruptly, the mining stops. Why? I realize just before someone speaks on the channel. The belt is…gone. We mined it all. I am impressed. Usually I’m lucky with my Venture to mine a single rock before my ore hold is full.

The Fleet Commander orders the fleet to align to a new target, and I comply after stumbling through exactly where I am supposed to be aligning towards. In unison, the fleet converges and enters warp. I move the camera and absorb the sense of scale. My Venture is now truly just a Rising Star; a twinkling point of light, hanging amidst its immense companions as we slide through warp to a new asteroid belt. I am a mere child amongst wise, powerful elders.

The night continues as something of a blur. I get a message from a kind soul who has informed me that he has donated me some asymmetrical ships. I laugh, because of the sheer number of people who have messaged me regarding their feelings for or against symmetry in ship designs. So now with the help of my new fleet friends, I learn about contracts and how to take ownership of this gift. I receive dire warnings about reading contracts carefully, and all the scams out there. I look in my Contracts window. I have TEN contracts outstanding that I need to accept. All gifts.

Over 80 ships. Mostly frigates, but also Barges, Destroyers, Cruisers, Battleships. A fully fitted Gallente Myrmidon Battlecruiser. My fleetmates seem as stunned as I am. Again I am humbled, grateful, and feel extremely guilty.

I notice someone has gifted me 20 male exotic dancers. I once again laugh and project soda from my nose. I need to work on that.

At this point it is pointed out that I can’t accept any of these contracts with a trial account. This is true, as I fail to be able to accept my Male Exotic Dancers and this vexes me greatly. I reluctantly ask permission to depart the mining operation, and return to civilized space with ISK in hand, ready to buy a PLEX and make my marriage to EVE official.

I call things a night shortly after this point, but if I post again I will talk a little about where I got my PLEX, namely my first ever journey to Jita IV. This will include my joining a Corporation, and some not-so-nice people with whom I interact…

For those who have reached out or donated to me in EVE…

Sincerely, thank you all for your kind words and your donations of ISK and equipment. The response to my post on Reddit has been completely overwhelming and I am so grateful to you all. I’m sorry I couldn’t respond to everyone’s messages, I’ve had literally hundreds on Reddit and EVE and its been incredibly hard to keep up.

Fly dangerously, my friends. o7

~Lei