I’ve learned something in EVE about PvP that I never knew before. When the chips are down and the lasers start blasting, sometimes its not the best pilot who wins. Sometimes its just about whichever pilot panics less.
I’ve seen that in our limited engagements, skirmishes and our one war. I read it in other blogs. Something happens unexpected, someone tries to run, you aim for the wrong target, you make poor decisions, and then like that ::snap:: …its over.
Well the one PvP game I play where I have yet to get a kill isn’t actually EVE, its The Reincarnation (TR). Granted, action is more strategic in TR, and it can take days of protracted seiges and dueling to take someone down. And in theory, the killing blow is no more valuable than the strikes that brought them to their knees. But this time I got to finish off the opponent, and had the satisfaction of knowing I put him there.
This war has drug on all set for us. I voted to end it a few weeks ago, but was on the losing side of that battle. And truth be told, once the end of the set hits, and all the safety nets are lifted in the last 24 hours of play, they are going to beat us black and blue, despite the fact that we have probably a dozen or more kills this set. They got crafty and all reincarnated at once rather than one at a time, and we couldn’t handle the volume of targets. Enough got by without us culling them and managed to rank up higher than us in power, so we’ve been on the defensive the last two weeks or so.
Two nights ago, one of those who came back for more, Makubex, decided to lay me out. He’s kinda been my nemesis on the other side. We’re both playing black (Nether) mages and have similar styles in terms of how we stack our armies and handle opponents. I logged in one last time before bed, having been up later than normal, just to see if I needed to make any adjustments before they started hitting us (the bulk of their guild takes their turns in the early morning). I saw that he had seiged me and failed, so I did something, came back to the main screen and saw the note of his seige still hanging their, but this time with a loss of land for me. I checked the clock on it and realized that he was hitting me at that moment!
The standard tactic when you catch someone online is to “snipe” them with an enchantment – a damage dealing spell that ticks with each turn they take. Enchantments tear up the buildings, income and population of a mage, softening them up, though they can kill them if run for long enough without being dispelled. I had plenty of turns to burn and this was a rare opportunity, so I cast it several times in a row without waiting. The risk was that he might be doing the same thing, but since I hadn’t moved while he was hitting me, he probably didn’t know I was online, and he was focused on attacking. It worked. I got one of the castings through his barriers (magic defense rating basically) and he ran it for four turns (two more attacks on me). I can’t imagine the devastation. Running it one turn can, depending on the spell level of the mage, wreck 5-7% of your infrastructure.
The smart move at that point would be to just stop. He can wait and come back later when I’m not online, dispel, and rebuild. But he panicked instead. Maybe he was worried that someone else would come along and fill out more enchantments, thus “locking” him down until a friendly green (Verdant) mage could give him a Serenity spell (the only “dispel other” option in the game). Their guild doesn’t coordinate those very well usually though, so he took matters into his own hands. He obviously thought he had damaged me enough with his attacks that he had the upper hand. He dispelled and set up a series of attacks, much the way I had my spell going.
But I was one step ahead of him. I saw the warning that he had dispelled and I immediately did the same thing I did before – a enchantment on repeat several times till it got through. He launched a series of five attacks. Ten turns. Ten turns he ran my enchantment, on top of the four earlier ones. Do the math with the numbers above. His barriers were cut in half, his forts were cut by a third, and he probably didn’t have the income generating to handle his army, which put it into a spiral of disbanding/deserting.
He panicked again, and dispelled again. And I hit him again. This time though, he had the good sense to stay put. He had taken about a third of my land, so I was hurting too. In TR, if you lose a certain percentage of your net power in a day, you go into Damaged mode, much like the Reinforce mode of a space station in EVE Online. The only way around that is with the enchantments, the one direct damage spell (only available to Red mages, and then with high mana cost), or if you have Machine Counters. Everytime someone hits you/spellls you succesfully, the game basically gives you a token, good for 24 hours, that allows you to attack the opponent, even if they are outside your combat range (ie, of much lower power/level than you) or are damaged. At this point Makubex was both.
I called for my guild to help. Overnight, they locked him down for me. The next morning, with the few turns I had left, I began the process of mopping up, using the 7 counters he had handed me on a golden platter the night before. His army was in dissarray, he didn’t have his defensive bonuses from a strong percentage of forts, and his mana was shot from dispelling so he wasn’t set to cast any defensive spells in the battles. It was over shortly thereafter: