Red Versus Blue is not just a popular web video series. In New Eden, Red vs. Blue refers to a perpetual state of warfare between two alliances – Red Federation and Blue Republic. Capsuleers wanting their first taste of PVP in Eve Online, without the sec status hits of piracy, the ‘gank’ nature of canflipping or mission busting, or the tremendous leap into null security space, can simply join up with one of the two sides in the war and pewpew to their little heart’s content.
RVB recently has seen a rise in profile in New Eden, as more players than ever are joining for the nearly consequence free PVP (it still takes time or real bucks to procure ships, after all). From the newbie to the bittervet to the King Beyond the Ban, people from all walks of New Eden life have been merrily shooting at each other in record numbers. I decided to rejoin the mayhem (with an alt) and see if things had changed from my last stint in RVB.
That last stint didn’t leave me with the greatest impression, if I’m honest. As a young PVPer with a thirst for solo combat, I was disappointed. Most combat took place fleet versus fleet (in what I then, in my newbishness, thought of as ‘large’ numbers, around 10-20 in each fleet), and soloing in RVB seemed to be the exclusive reserve of those with very expensive ships and impressive amounts of skillpoints. To say I was skeptical of the result of rejoining would be to put it lightly. However, I took the plunge over the weekend.
Since Marc is still -10 (and likely to stay that way, what with Hulkageddon around the corner), I had to use an alt. Of my alts, two are combat capable in some fashion. My better skilled combat alt, however, has in recent months been converted to my money maker in the form of station trading. As those familiar with that profession will know, you can’t be very good at station trading without being in station. RVB would no doubt require my pilot to undock and actually shoot things at people, so I went with the much less experienced option.
Those of you who have read this blog may remember a little alt I rolled up awhile back named Liam Malukker. His mission in life was to try to prove that even a new player can jump into lowsec piracy with a minimum of training time, financial backing, and support from friends. This project, however, ground to a halt during my last RL interruption of gameplay. He sat, logged out in Amarr lowsec, for many months. However, Liam has been reborn as a brave new capsuleer in service of my alma mater, Red Fed.
With less than 1 million skillpoints to his name, I have no illusions of solo success with Liam (the way I did with Marc when Marc was in RVB). Thus, perhaps, I am entering into the fray with a more open mindset. I don’t really know what my conclusion will be, but in the meantime it’s a lot of fun running around in a T1 fit Rifter and shooting at things.
I dropped my app sometime Saturday morning and was nearly instantly accepted into Red Federation. Within an hour, I was in a fleet. Apparently this past weekend had some particular rules applied to the perpetual aggressors: no fleet could field a ship larger than a cruiser, no tech 2 ships allowed, and most importantly – anything not in fleet was a target (including corp members!). I didn’t really know what to make of these restrictions at the time, but looking back on it – it was damn good fun.
First, our fleet (led by an Irishman by the name of Magenta Blue) grabbed hold of a lonely Rifter, foolishly out on his own during what was certainly a bloodbath of a weekend. It died, with the combat record showing that some of his Blue Republic friends had taken full advantage of the Free For All rules of engagement. The fit is a bit strange to me – MWD rifter with Shield Tank, Damage Control, and 150mm Autocannons – and obviously did not serve him well. However, I rejoiced – first blood for Liam! I surreptiously scooped loot and continued on with the fleet.
We then stumbled across another lonely soul, this time in a Thrasher. He, too, perished beneath the might of Red Federation. Another victory for Liam, all 900k SP of him, but still nothing too trying as the first two kills had basically been ganks. Then, we puttered about for a bit, as Magenta Blue attempted to get a Blue FC to come fight our motley crew of cruisers and frigates. This reminded me too well of past experiences, but this time I didn’t really mind. There was nothing else available for the fleet to shoot at, so might as well stir up a rival FC to come give us some fun.
An unfortunate series of events then unfolded. First, we moved from the agreed upon planet 2 rendezvous due to our FC’s nervousness. It was taking the blue FC an exceedingly long time to get his troops in line, which made us think that perhaps we were in for a nasty surprise. Then, restless at our new planetary orbit, the FC warped himself over to Planet 2 to check on things. As he landed, my directional scanner revealed he had a lot of company.
“Shit,” came Magenta’s voice over comms. Yup. That was about all she wrote for Magenta’s valiant Thorax. Heedless of the superiority that Blue Republic held at Planet 2, the rest of our fleet was soon in warp to avenge Magenta. When we landed, nobody really called primaries, so I just took turns shooting at the nearest thing. Most of the Blue Crew were burning away, but we did eventually manage to down their FC’s Rupture. Before I could see that glorious blue flash, however, I noticed some not-so-glorious yellow blinky boxes appearing on the overview.
Discretion being the better part of valor, I warped out – to the sun. As I did, several of the Blue Repugs did the same. We all landed together at the sun and commenced to carrying on the fight. I quickly established a tight orbit on a Coercer and called for help. It came – but too late. My Rifter went down. However, it was quickly avenged as the Coercer had been held down long enough to die at the hands of my comrades.
Afterwards, we repaired to our home in Otela and played around with another fleet – taking down a Moa and Vexor before ourselves being slaughtered nearly to a man. The day’s fun was wrapped up for me by shooting (and killing, surprisingly) a pair of Red Fed cruisers on the home station (Maller and Omen). All in all, a really good lot of fun (and for really cheap too!).
This got me to thinking about another project. A bi-weekly video blog of my escapades in Red Vs. Blue. It seems to me that some of the negative things in RVB have not changed – but I also think they are less negative than my first impression gave. Sure, some fights are prearranged. And no, I won’t be getting a whole lot of solo combat in (mainly due to my deficiencies with said alt). But, if you want some nearly on demand PVP, without the (major) worry of being podded or losing too much – you can’t do better than RVB.