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So I've been waiting for these to kick off for some time ever since I heard about them and yesterday it finally all started, so I set out on my lonesome looking for adventure last night and felt the need to write about it. But first, why have I been looking forward to this so much?
See, unlike most MMO's there is never really any such thing as a 'pick up group' in Eve, interactions with other players in eve are either hostile, or bound to corporation/alliance mates. You cant just grab a ship and fly off in a random direction "LFG to do anything" this, in part is one of the reasons why I was looking forward to this aspect of Eve's latest expansion, the other part is, well, bordom really! there needs to be something else to do other than running missions / mining in highsec, or pvping and ratting in low/0.0
There ARE indeed other things to do, dont get me wrong, but I've been around eve for a while now and I've dabbled around in almost everything (not saying Im good at those things but ive done them) so I was just hoping for something different to do.
Ok, so I opened my journal and looked at the available incursions in progress and went to the nearest one, 4 jumps away. I arrived there and the system was buzzing with activity!.. great! The sites in this system available were 'scout' level (easyest) so I began warping to each one, very disapointed to find that they were all completed and camped by tens upon tens of other people
"well this is rubbish" I thought feeling disapointed. I looked again at my journal and saw another incursion happening 10 or so system away and started making my way there.
An odd thing happened which really, only demonstrates my ignorance. I encounterd a system that had an active incursion going "wtf, why isnt this system on the "global incursion report".. turns out that an incursion event effects and entire Constellation!! Not just a system. The system on the report was just a 'staging area' "DOH!" I said to myself when I finally realised.
A nice little feature CCP have put in with this is when you enter a constellation with an incursion event going off, it puts you into a local incursion chat channel. I was delighted to see hundreds of people constantly looking for fleets, 'X's were flying all over the place, in local too. Now this is more like what I expect an MMO to be like!
I'll admit, I found it rather difficult to actually find a fleet that would accept me, I guess the sheer quantity of people about was the main reason. But there must be some rag-tag PUG group that would take me, as is the time honored MMO tradition.
Eventually I got in one and for the next 3-4 hours were spent trying to do these incursions in what can only be described as a 'Baptism of fire' - Coordination we lacked! Ignorance we bathed in but determination we had in abundance along with a truly inspiring willingness to learn. Our fleet grew to the size of a 50 man fleet, with a huge mix of vessels, one or two players stepped up not afraid to bark orders to our motley crew and knock us into some kind of semi-organised fleet.
There was one thing which was a rather big disapointment however, almost like a body blow really; Since our fleet was so large we each were rewarded with depressing ZERO reward. No ISK no LP =( , This may seem to be the point at which people decide that the whole thing was pointless and go home. Not so!
Despite the fact that that there was no rewards and people were indeed losing ships to these NPC's we all still battled on, eager to just to learn the ropes, determined to push back the incursion. For some, it was the first time ever being in such a large fleet and others just wanted to shoot shit!
As the night drew to a close our fleet started to shrink, but we became more efficient, as collectivly, we learned what to do. I even dusted off my old 'FC' hat and helped coordinate when was needed. As we completed another last site together we decided it was our last for the night, time to turn-in and reflect on todays events. There were the low points of realising no reward and some losing ships, but there were the high's of completing a site and seeing our progress in the incursion moving 3/4%.. ok, it was a small percentage, but there was much rejoicing.
The fleet was in overwhelming agreement, we had fun and our fleet, as "rag-tag" as it was was the best that many had experienced that night. When compared to other peoples experiences our performance was admirable. We saluted each other and made our seperate ways, possibly never to encounter each other ever again...