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Loss In MMOs: I'm Too Afraid To Fly My New EVE Online Ship

Joseph Bradford Posted:
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I recently purchased probably the most expensive ship I’ve ever owned in EVE Online: the Vargur. I’ve been in love with this ship ever since I saw its design in the ship tree browser in-game, so it’s been a goal of mine to eventually own one. The Bastion update previously finally tipped the scales, getting me to devote the training queue time towards learning how to successfully pilot the hulking warship.

Now that I can, I’m afraid to fly the thing, though.

It’s a weird thing that occurs in full-loot PvP games, the idea of real risk and real reward. EVE Online epitomizes this, though other titles throughout MMORPG history have also leveraged that to great effect.

I remember crafting my first set of Rune armor in RuneScape back in the day. I was so proud of it when it finally happened. My friend Brad and I had gone through the grind to get to that point and, once we had accomplished this, we thought we were invincible.

Or maybe just I did.

Taking my haughty self to the Wilderness, I was almost immediately PKed, losing the armor I had worked so hard for. It was a lasting moment of hubris and loss that stuck with me to this day, almost two decades later.

I’ve avoided full-loot PvP games as a general rule for the most part since. That feeling of loss was profound, and it was something I wanted to avoid at all costs. EVE Online has been the one glaring exception. I adore the world of New Eden, and for most of my piloting career, I’ve stayed in relative safety near some of high-security space.

That’s not to say it’s safe – nowhere in New Eden is safe, and that’s part of my problem.

I’ve written about dealing with loss in EVE before, specifically when I lost my Orca or my Machariel thanks to my own hubris. This feels different. Maybe it’s the sheer amount of ISK my new Vargur costs – even when I bought my Orca back a few years ago it wasn’t nearly as expensive as it is now. Over a billion ISK just for the hull, though, is quite a lot, and that doesn’t even incorporate the cost of fitting.

I could easily have spent over 3 billion ISK on this ship. Not to mention the almost year it took to train into flying the thing. Saving up my ISK, training and just the waiting game is nerve-wracking, and knowing New Eden, a shiny, expensive vessel like the Vargur is a compelling target, even in Hisec space.

So for now my Vargur remains docked at my home station, waiting for me to finally get the nerve to fly the hull. The old adage in EVE Online is ringing true for me here: never fly what you can’t afford to lose. Right now, I can’t afford the loss of the Vargur. I can my Caracal, Gila, Stratios, Astero – even my PvP-fitted Machariel. But the Vargur feels like too much right now.

Maybe someday, though.

Is this something you feel in full loot PvP titles you play? Does the idea of losing your stuff sometimes petrify you from actually playing the game, much like it is here with me? Let me know in the comments below.

Featured image via Ashy In Space


Joseph Bradford

Joseph has been writing or podcasting about games in some form since about 2012. Having written for multiple major outlets such as IGN, Playboy, and more, Joseph started writing for MMORPG in 2015. When he's not writing or talking about games, you can typically find him hanging out with his 10-year old or playing Magic: The Gathering with his family. Also, don't get him started on why Balrogs *don't* have wings. You can find him on Twitter @LotrLore