Monday 7 April 2014

The shakes and my first solo PvP kill(s)

Last night I experienced the shakes for the first time whilst playing EVE. I've been in plenty of fleets. I've undocked plenty of times but I've never really experienced the shakes that a lot of players have described before. Sure, I've been shocked, surprised or excited and left annoyed or happy at times (like my first Viator loss) but never had that "buzzing" feeling people describe that they get after a significant fight in EVE. I think I finally found it.

It is a sensation that I haven't felt in a long time whilst gaming. In essence it is an adrenaline rush. It is strange to equate adrenaline rush and video games. Imagine the feeling you get from a thrilling rollercoaster ride and the buzz that endures afterwards. Now imagine that whilst sitting playing a video game. Hard to imagine. It is quite a pure sensation given the lack of physical activity that would usually stimulate it. EVE has given me that feeling back whilst gaming.

The last time I remember such a sensation is in my early days playing competitive Counter Strike. I played at a reasonably high level in some great teams and participated in a number of tournaments, both online and offline. Often, when I first started playing, I would get the shakes. When everything was on the line, when every single shot fired could change the game, the pressure would be immense. There are plays I made over 5 years ago that I remember in great detail to this very day. I can play them out in slow motion in my head because they had such an emotional impact. I remember the adrenaline rush that they gave me and the shakes that persisted afterwards. Unfortunately the feeling did start to fade over time as I became a more experienced player. Arguably it made me a better player as my decision making would come to the front rather than playing from instinct. Hopefully it doesn't fade too quickly with EVE.

So what elicited this magnificent feeling? A simple solo bombing run. The third bomb I've ever launched to be precise.  However, it wasn't a particularly standard bombing run. A standard bombing run would usually involve setting up near a group of relatively stationary targets clumped within a bombs explosion radius. This was a little different. HERO is currently taking more sovereignty and we are shooting structures in siege bombers. Often small fleets will show up to harass us such as Crows which will circle the fleet and pick off bombers around the edges, seriously hindering operations. This time we were harassed by a small kestrel gang. Initially there were ~10 in the gang. One of our veteran bombers noticed they were constantly running their MWDs, causing their sig radius bloom making them a juicy bomb target. He managed to set up off the fleet and let a bomb rip directly towards them as they approached the fleet destroying 8/9 of them solo! Naturally I was inspired.

About 30 minutes later 5 members of the previous gang returned, again in Kestrels. This time they were a bit hesitant to close range on us. Holding a wide orbit they stalked the perimeter for stragglers. Carefully I watched and realised that they were anchored to a Kestrel which would take the lead. This allowed me to predict their movements. I also noticed that their wide orbit would eventually come close to one of my perches off the structure. This was my opportunity. I warped to the perch cloaked putting me ~100km off the gang. Tracking their movement I realised they would swing past me at ~60km so I set off to try and intercept that position. This is quite tricky, they were doing ~2km/s which meant that I would have to lead the bomb ~20km in front of them. As I got to ~70km they started to make a sharp turn directly towards me. Panicking I quickly aligned to the lead kestrel, decloaked and launched my bomb. I hesitated for a split second checking that the bomb launched and then start my warp out as fast as possible. This gave the kestrels time to lock. "Manticore no, no, no" came over mumble followed by the FC realising I launched a bomb: "Oh... Oh... Ooo... OOOOO ... BOOOOM". I warp out to my safe in 7% armor leaving 3 wrecks and a damaged kestrel in my wake. Cheers erupted over mumble as members of the support fleet warp to my last position, finishing off the last 2 kestrels. Buzzing with excitement I sat back in my chair contemplating what I had just done. Yesterday was a good day.

PS: I actually caught the whole thing on Fraps and put it on YouTube in a hurry. However, a concerned commenter noticed some OpSec in the video so I took it down. At some point I will edit it when I get clear guidelines on what needs to be removed.

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