Thursday, September 15, 2016

A Matter Of SKINs

Last night I didn't have much time to play EVE, so after setting up production of some mining crystals, I hopped in an Arbitrator and decided to run some of the event sites. I know, the Arbitrator is  Amarr tech 1 electronics warfare cruiser. But the ship is a nice drone boat and I use it to practice armor tanking. I had two sites sitting outside my station, so I didn't have very far to go.

The sites themselves are pretty simple and designed for newer players to participate. I think tech 1 cruiser piloted by a low skill point pilot should find the sites challenging but doable. The waves are mostly just frigates and cruisers, and the frigates don't try to tackle you. I wound up keeping my ship at range and letting my drones do most of the work. The prize for running the event site is a ship SKIN that drops from the battlecruiser that appears in the final wave. The Arbitrator has two utility highs and my fit has a small tractor beam in one of the slots. The tractor beam comes in handy to get to the wreck faster.

Since the rest of the post repeatedly refers to SKINs, I thought I'd embed a video from CCP's support site that explains just what a SKIN is and how it works.

The event takes its name after a group known as "Purity of the Throne", who don't believe the new Empress is pure enough to take the throne. But they drop SKINs for almost all of the Amarrian ships, so they're good for something besides target practice. I wound up getting the SKINs for a Inquisitor logistics frigate, a Vengenance assault frigate, and a Damnation command ship. I actually received the Damnation SKIN from the first site. I don't fly Amarr ships, but I do want to pick up a Damnation in the near future.

While flying a white Damnation in formation with a Nestor battleship sounds good in theory, the idea has one flaw. Both of my main pilots are Vherokior, which helps explain why I don't mind the low standings that comes with shooting Amarr Navy ships. The only reason I worry about my Amarr standings at all is that I do need to do business, however distasteful, in the Empire.

Sorry, but the idea of flying around with markings identifying myself as a member of a radical offshoot of the Amarr is, to put it bluntly, distasteful. Worse, some sick individuals, probably on the Theology Council, figured killing the dissidents and wearing their SKINs to support the ascension of Catiz I to the Amarrian throne is a good idea. I definitely do not want to support the new empress. About the only good thing I can see coming out of the idea is that Purity of the Throne ships will have the perfect cover to sneak in and assassinate the new empress. Of course, that assumes a level of competence I don't think we'll find among the rebels.

I don't want anyone to think I don't just dislike SKINs for Amarr ships. I don't want to fly with any SKINs whose lore conflicts with my characters' beliefs. For example, take the Valklear SKINs. A perfectly fine-looking paint job that will give ships a similar look to the base ORE paint scheme. But the Valklear isn't just the name of a painter.

The Valklear is a group within the Minmatar military formed during the rebellion against the Amarr made up of murderers, rapists, thugs, etc. Think The Dirty Dozen, except more brutal. The chronicle describes the Valklear thus:
"Valklear commanders rely wholly on specialized recruiters to fill their ranks. They tour the courtrooms and judgement halls of the tribes, and with a trained eye they pick out the prime cuts of criminality from the great swathe of vicious, vile, and corrupt. Once the recruiter has selected a candidate, he works on bringing the convict into the system. Each recruiter has his own persuasive technique, but for many hard convicts, presented with the option of a lifetime behind bars or a shorter term in the military, the choice is a rather obvious one.

"The recruiter’s selection is not as clear-cut as one may think, though. They recruit from a broad range of the criminal fraternity. One day, a violent psychopath may be paid a visit, the next a serial killer, and then perhaps a corrupt lawyer, a notorious embezzler – even people who may have never held a weapon in their lives. The path the criminal has taken matters less than their skills, instincts and the inherent potential the recruiter perceives."
Sorry, but I want no part of the Valklear. I'm a relatively peaceful capsuleer. Having a connection to that group is bad for business. The group is so notorious that the members receive a cover identity if they survive their term of service. No thanks, I'm not picking up any Valklear SKINs.

Immersion, in some circles, is a dirty word. Before I buy a SKIN, I do my research into the lore to see if my characters wouldn't object for some reason. So I won't buy a lot of the SKINs on the market. To tell the truth, I haven't bought any SKINs up until now. And even though don't have to spend real life money to acquire a Purity of the Throne SKIN and own them, I'm not going to inject them. I might wind up selling them, but flying with them displayed on my ship? I have standards.

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