This is a collection of short in-character fiction pieces about Awakened Industries, a group of capsuleers and their crews living in the enigmatic and dangerous regions of Wormhole Space in EVE Online. None of the protagonists are actual characters or corporations in-game. All similarities with persons fictional or real are possibly coincidental and only sometimes intentional. - Emergent Patroller

For an introduction to this blog refer to this link. You may also want to check out the guide for new readers

: The stories on this blog contain mature themes involving sexuality and violence and are not suitable for minors or sensitive people.

11 Nov 2012

OOC Entry 57 - Ethical Killers

As I have hinted at in my IC Entry, my main character has joined a mercenary outfit. To be specific, I enrolled her at Noir Academy with the goal to acquire more PVP skills and experience.

Of course there would be other options for that. RvB has an open door for constant casual PvP and if one wants to learn fighting in a more structured environment there are the Agony Unleashed classes.

There were a specific reasons, though, why I went with the Noir Academy option. RvB is good fun, but basically you don't learn much except how to follow an FCs orders and shoot at people together with lots of others. The fights they have are everything but strategically and tactically planned affairs. Also EWAR ships are generally forbidden, and that means missing a very valuable tactical element of small gang fights.

Agony Unleashed classes are very newbie friendly, and if you can afford their fees while still a young PVPer, I can definitely recommend them. For me they are not so valuable though. I don't feel the need to learn in detail how to fit a frigate and fly it through simple engagements. You need to pass the basic course, though, to be allowed participation in the more advanced seminars which would be more valuable for someone like me.

Noir Academy offers something that is as close as things get to the way you have to conduct PVP in wormhole space, and that is what I want to learn. Noir fight with comparatively small gangs of more advanced ships and make heavy use of force multipliers. The ships and tactics used also come reasonably close to what one would employ in wormhole fighting.

Noir Academy tags along with Noir proper when they are on contract. So in addition to classes and lectures (yes they have those) you get to participate in actual strategical and tactical operations. That's a far cry from the usual PVP roam where you basically fit a ship and see how many fights you can get before you die. 

Also, Noir operates on a principle of ISK efficiency. While that is less important for WH PVP, it teaches you to choose your engagements carefully and make sure you don't lose your ship in stupid ways. In wormhole space that is also pretty important. After all you have only a limited amount of ships available, and if you get podded out to k-space it could be 30 jumps home or even completely impossible to get there because there simply isn't a route back in.

Apart from those pragmatic aspects, I was also very much attracted by the attitude of Noir Mercenary Group which I find pretty remarkable for a corp in EVE, particularly one engaged in PVP.

It is an organisation that is founded on professionalism.

That does not only mean you get the job done, it also means you act like a professional. No smack talk in local is allowed (actually talking in local is generally discouraged). One does not talk in public about contracts or employers. The people who hired you are treated with professional courtesy even if you personally consider them the worst idiots you ever met.

Most importantly, you never ever betray an employer.

In a game like EVE where scamming, betrayal and backstabbing are practically a way of life that is pretty special.

Of course a lot of people will sneer at that and make smug comments about e-bushido and how people who act according to such principles "do not get EVE".

Considering what Noir does, it makes perfect sense, though.

Despite the generally bad reputation mercenaries have IRL, in EVE you can only make a serious living as mercenary if you are reliable and trustworthy. You can never allow yourself to take sides except with the people who pay you. If you betray an employer, all the potential other contractors out there will think twice about hiring your services. If things go wrong, it is better to terminate the contract and disengage rather than turning on those who hired you.

In addition, just like contract killers in the real world, you will often be working for the EVE equivalent of dangerous criminal cartels or powerful nations. If you cross them, they have a number of their own hitmen who will come after you for payback - figuratively speaking. You might find yourself permacamped in some station and forced to fight costly engagements that get you no ISK while you could be on the next contract already. That's another good reason to keep things professional and stick to your contract terms.

Of course your situation can potentially change, like when BoB basically hired Mercenary Coalition for an indefinite period, or when PL became so large and powerful that they did not need to rely on contracts for survival, but in general it stands as a rule: If you want to run your mercenary outfit in a sustainable way your professional reputation is the basis for your continued existence.

I myself am not the type for all that scamming and public trolling etc. so I have absolutely no problem sticking to the rules. Actually I very much enjoy that aspect because it means I don't get to feel embarassed about the people I fly with because they act like idiots at every opportunity.

So at the time I am writing this, I have only been with Noir Academy for a week, and I have not been part of anything big or learned something profound I didn't know. Well, I did learn a few really interesting things which I am not at liberty to discuss here.

I went through quite some of the lesson materials they provide, however, and I heard what people said about the class I had to miss, and everything looks and sounds very sensible and promising.

If you are someone who looks for a place where you can learn how to fight in ways that are meaningful and useful in-game, Noir Academy is certainly a good option to consider.

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