Looking at this Hawk kill, it might seem fairly boring. A strange fitting, suggesting that the pilot is a newer player, and a look at the player's employment history says he played for a bit over 7 years ago and then recently started up again. Initially, I blew up his friend in a thrasher. The Hawk ran, but came back to see about salvaging his friend's wreck. After fighting the Hawk, I talked with the pilot for some time...
It turns out that this player once played 7 years ago and has recently started back up with his friend. This player is so old that he has 1.5m SP unallocated from learning skills, those god-awful skills-for-training-skills. What's more, this Hawk was 7 years old. I talk to this player for over an hour, learning about his initial aimlessness starting out in EVE, followed by a long departure, then recently playing again after hearing about all of the changes to the game.
Skye Vinnen > Well. Believe it or not, you did me a great service. I haven't been killed and podded in nearly a decade. Felt good. Adrenaline!
Skye Vinnen > True. but that ship was LITERALLY 7 years old. Feels weird.
It's a great story, I think. A 7 year old ship—a relic of the Revelations-Trinity era—comes out of retirement. Docked for 7 years, it finally feels the rush of wrapping, shooting light missile and victoriously destroying a Serpentis pirate—the first kill it has seen in almost a decade, only to be ambushed and destroyed on its first night out in space... It does capture what EVE is all about. Ships aren't meant to be docked for years, they are meant to be in space, flying and dying, and sometimes they're at their high-point is in the dying. Even better, though, is the attitude of the pilot behind the ship. The adrenaline of flying in dangerous space, the prospects of winning fights outmatched and outnumbered, the endless possibilities that EVE has to offer, these are the things that lure players back into games to wipe 7 years of dust off their old ships and fly again.
I've made it a point to talk to any newer players I happen to explode in game, as well as many I just happen across in low sec, in addition to replacing their ship or sending a few dozen million isk their way in any case. When they are days old, in a belt mining in a venture, I tend to warn them of the dangers of low sec instead of blowing them up (well, sometimes using them as bait at the same time). Talking with many days old players that wander into LS in their ventures, it seems that many are out looking for minerals to complete their career agent missions, preferring the dangerous option to buying the minerals on the market. That seems like just the attitude fit for EVE.
Lately I've been hanging around Oueletta, a virtual low sec hub for new players given its proximity to the Gallente rookie systems (ironically, my first ever low sec loss was in this system). On some nights in the past few weeks, I am at a safe talking with 1-3 new players who have wandered into the system. Talking with new players--telling them about dscan and PVP and making isk and low sec and EVE Fit and joining a good corporation and in general communicating excitement about the game—has become one of my favorite activities in EVE, and I've made quite a few friends doing this (including some years ago now who still play). Sometimes I introduce them to PVP, flying in a frigate duo in low sec, such as with Lily Plaude, one of my new-bro friends since summer of 2014 who has started up again. 2 kills to 62 losses in 2014; alliance tournament pilot in 2015—calling it now.
Talking to Skye Vinnen about all of the changes that have come even in the past few weeks (weeks) and about the possibilities for PVP even as a new player, he eventually said:
Skye Vinnen > This is the EVE I want to play.
I agree mate. This is the EVE (or, has become the EVE) I want to play, too.