Adrenaline Is a Hell of a Drug
It was May 2015 during the HERO campaign against Black Legion in Fountain when I first used my dreadnaught to shoot another player.
Subcapital fights over money moons in the region had been going poorly. HERO could not field enough DPS to break hostile triage reps, nor could they field triage capable of withstanding the Legion’s Tengu fleet. With moons being reinforced almost nightly on both sides, and Black Legion’s superior fleets resulting in both more wins and less painful operations to reinforce and repair towers, HERO military command needed a way to cleanly win fights as the war of attrition was sorely against them.
When a BL tower in MN5N was reinforced, I received word that my badgering for a chance to use a capital in combat had earned me a spot in HERO’s 10-dread drop team for the exit timer. Our objective was to remove Black Legion Chimeras from grid, leaving their otherwise logistics-less Tengu fleet to either sustain heavy losses in the face of a HERO subcap fleet screaming for blood or relinquish the objective.
Fast forward, I’ve left work early to drop, triple checked isotopes, insurance, ammo, repair paste, and perhaps most importantly, refits for my Naglfar.
At this point my understanding of being shot at in a dreadnaught was purely theoretical. The occasional POS had fired on me, but we only dropped on towers with either inconsequential or incapacitated guns. Very safe plays, nothing that really counted. Our capital coordinator put it very bluntly;
“If you get primaried in siege, you are dead. Your job, in that case, is to make it take as long as humanly possible to kill you.”
You see, flying a Dreadnaught meant a break from the tedium of subcapital fights. Yes, I still had to follow the primary, and yes, I didn’t even have to worry about making sure I had the anchor on follow, hell, I didn’t even need to remember to broadcast for reps in siege, I could not receive remote reps. But in exchange for this, I was given autonomy. I became an island unto myself, spitting hot death and I was the only person who could effect how long I lived if I was shot. This meant refitting.
So we drop fit for locktime, siege, lock the primary, refit application and go to work. Just as I cycle my guns I notice my overview has gone very, very red, and every single Tengu is now trying to kill me, which means I have a new job. To ensure they can’t kill anyone else.
I catch it halfway through shields, refit resists, overheat, preheat my armor repper, start loading in armor resist modules, have them all preheated and cycle my armor repper just as my shield depletes. My adrenal gland is giving me all it has and everything feels like it’s moving too fast and too slow at once. I chug exile hoping to get more milage out of my armor repper, and ready my structure refit. The first triage dead, I somehow find the spare brainpower to lock and fire on the next one. Half armor. Quarter armor. The other dies as I hit structure and finish throwing in bulkheads.
My knuckles are white, pulse slamming in my ears. Whatever electronic music I chose for this drop is blasting a beat that feels like slow dance compared to my heart rate. I am going to die.
While I’m having a small panic attack running over if there’s anything left I can do (Oh! I’ll cycle the siege module. Now I just need to survive… 3 minutes!), the HERO fleet has been going to work on the Black Legion Tengu fleet. Without reps, they’re dying fast.
Black Legion’s FC had a cooler head than I did. At the rate they were losing ships, it would’ve cost them more in Tengu to kill me than my ship was worth, and they realized this.
So Black Legion warps off grid as I’m in half structure.
I think at some point my FC told me to shoot the tower, I know I did it, I have killmails for the tower, but I remember literally nothing about the ten minutes following those two other than going to the kitchen to grab a drink and suddenly laughing uncontrollably. To be fair, we’d just bloodied Black Legion’s nose and somehow walked out without losing a single capital. And we didn’t lose a single capital because the one they shot somehow remembered to do their job despite never having done it before. The moon was lost the next week, but this was the single most rewarding fight I have ever been a part of in EVE.
So this is the part where this becomes very blatantly about CCP’s capital rebalance through the least graceful transition imagined.
There are a bunch of things people want to talk about here, understandably so. Capital combat is a huge draw for a lot of players. It’s inherently high risk, and involves swinging a lot of power around. It’s fun, we want it to stay fun.
I have one request.
Let ships incapable of receiving remote assistance refit even with a weapons timer. This means ships in triage, siege, and bastion. It gives us a job to do, it lets us have an influence on a fight beyond following broadcasts and managing heat. If it’s overpowered, then nerf base HP and DPS assuming we will refit every time. I’m not advocating high survivability, I’m advocating active gameplay. But please allow it, it’s some of the most rewarding gameplay I’ve experienced in EVE.