I was podkilled in EVE for the first time about a week ago. Since my ship was destroyed about 2 hours ago, and the station I fled to camped, I figured I'd write about it.
I was doing something stupid. I was flying my big, slow, clumsy industrial Iteron through lowsec. It was very late, I was on autopilot.
Everyone who plays EVE knows just how dumb that was. But for those readers who don't, let me explain.
One travels through systems by alternately jumping through a jump gate and then warping across a solarsystem to the next jump gate in your path. If you are actively piloting a ship, you can jump to right on top of the jump gate, and very likely be able to jump through the gate before any bad guys camping the gate can lock on to you, even in a slow ship. Unless they put up a Warp Interdiction Bubble, in which case you are screwed, since it drops you out of warp early, about 10k away from the gate, which gives them plenty of time to disassemble you into valuable and easily accessible minerals and parts.
On autopilot though, you don't warp directly to a jump gate, you warp to 10k away and use normal propulsion to close the distance. That give bad guys plenty of time to deal their dirt.
I remember thinking, "what's that flashing? Is that a laser?" I only barely had time to wonder whether I could crawl to the gate in time when pop. When your ship goes boom, you eject in your capsule, which is also warp capable, though has no weapons or armor. However, in less time than it takes for me to write this, that too was destroyed, and I woke up in a medlab far away, or rather, my clone did. Podkilled.
In a strange way, I was happy about it. EVE had seemed safer than it ought to be, I hadn't really seen any bad guys or bad stuff happening. This reassured me, they were there all right. And what I had lost wasn't all that valuable.
Tonight was a little different. I docked in a lowsec system. She was waiting for me when I came out in a Dominix, a Gallente battleship. My Vexor, a cruiser, was no match for it. Locked, webbed (slows my speed), and scrambled (to prevent warp) and crushed. But then something odd happened. My pod was not locked. It was not popped. I went back in the station eventually, watching the station shoot at the criminals. Ineffectually.
So there I was back in the station. With local showing all manner of red-tags outside. Why did I dock here? Why did I ever think it was something I could get away with? And how am I ever going to serve up some payback? I couldn't play any more, because it was clearly unsafe to go outside and try to go back to my base, get a new ship and keep going. I could afford the loss, and the ship was insured, so I can get on with earning more money. But I can't play the game right now, since sitting in a foreign station is boring.
I find myself wondering how a company can survive when its paying customers have experiences like this. I'm not going to quit over this, it's true. But is that true of many people?
In fact, I burn for revenge. The thing is, I have no idea how to manage it. It seems as though players with a five year lead on you have an unconquerable lead, both in money and in skills. But I'm keeping a list.
I still have my goals, and I'm still going to work for them. I want to . I don't want to do stupid, rash things, like docking/undocking with anyone unknown in local. But I don't want to let those fears grow too large either. This mishap has cost me perhaps a million ISK, and some time. I can still work on my goals, I just have to make sure that what I earn from doing dangerous things is enough to cover the costs on those times when it all goes elliptical.
Maybe that's how it works for CCP. People like me who will get back in the game, which makes their commitment to playing even stronger, since they have suffered for it.
I know mine is.
After all, I came here to be podkilled.