I remember, back even before I went into J33557 for an extended stay, I had grinded enough ISK, enough standing, and enough Loyalty points to buy my first faction ship, the Republic Fleet Firetail.
I can't tell you how many hours I wasted away staring at the hull, staring at the stats and fits on battleclinic, madly going over my own skills on EVEHQ to determine how my stats would match up. To paraphrase the Joker, I was like a dog chasing a car, and I certainly had no idea what to do with it once I got it.
I still have it. The sad truth? I've flown it only a few times, and only to move it from one place to another, not to do actual combat in, and it frustrates the hell out of me. It's durable enough for even level 3 missions, flown correctly, but I didn't buy it to re run the same missions over and over to increase an electronic number that ultimately does nothing but wait until I need or want something.
What also frustrates me is that I don't have it in 0.0, and that in 0.0, right now there aren't the fights to be had with it. It's pretty standard to see SHAC or AHAC gangs roaming about. Occasionally, yes, you'll find yourself a lone wolf, but it's pretty rare, and even if I did, the odds are pretty high it'd get blown to hell by a *HAC gang even before odds as small as 3-1 set in.
Hm...I didn't mean to reach into this topic, but what the hell. I don't feel low-sec is broken...entirely broken. Empire is pretty populated, and rightly so. 0.0 is pretty populated, and also rightly so. I think low-sec offers pretty a good place to have a fight, where in the others there's either very little real fighting, or all out war. Low-sec to me is the abandoned warehouse where street-fights take place. The world outside is the Law-Enforced community, and the world below is the Crime-Ridden world that we all know about. In the middle, people are free to duke it out, so long as they don't discredit their peers.
Anyways, moving along. It's been almost a year and half since I bought it. It's hard to believe that I've pretty much never used it. It's not that I was afraid of losing it, it's that I was afraid of giving such a large trophy to an opponent in the case of my loss, and I think, in the end, it's coming down to a fear over imagined status where none exists.
Am I less of a pilot for flying faction ships? I am a better one? Am I better PvPer with or without one?
I try not to think about these things, but I was offered a Tempest Fleet Issue today for a little under the lowest market price, and I drew up 2 fits I liked, and knew I wanted it. It is only in the course of wanting it, and thinking when and how I would use it that I remembered that perhaps I am not yet deserving of it because I would only waste it.
I say this to people all the time: "What's the fun of buying a fancy internet spaceship only to do nothing worthwhile with it?" And stupidly enough, I hadn't taken my own advice. No, it won't look great on alliance killboards when I lose the Firetail, but I think about all the people that lose t3's, and my Firetail really doesn't even deserve compared to those in terms of losses.
The next realistic chance I get to have some dedicated low-sec time, I'm taking my Firetail out for a spin. And I'm going to keep doing it until I lose it, and then maybe I'll buy another. If I can't fly this ship for fear of losing it, I've no business being a pod pilot. If I can't fly this ship fearlessly in the face of certain defeat, I don't deserve the Fleet Issue Tempest that I REALLY want to give a spin.
I've drawn up 2 fits for the Fleet Issue Tempest. The first, an armor-buffer heavy-tackle autocannon-bruiser. 125k EHP omni damage, 900m/s unoverheated, 775 dps unoverheated at 25km. The second, a shield-buffer gank-brawler: 885 dps unoverheated at 40km, 1150m/s unoverheated, and 112k ehp (albeit with probably an average tank of 30dps, unlike the 7 of the armor version).
I think, given the shield version being a slightly weaker slightly slower Machariel, I'm going to opt for the armor version. With 2 webs, a disruptor, 2 heavy neuts, and a tracking disruptor, I'll bet dollars to donuts it'll beat just about any battleship in disruptor range if I can land even one web on it, nevermind two. I'll also bet dollars to donuts it'll give small battlecruiser gangs a hard time, if not crush them outright (thanks tracking disruptor!).
It sounds like a proposition, and in about 2 months (tech 2 large guns, battleship 4 or 5), when my skills are deserving of it, he'll be seeing you on a battlefield with a rack full of very angry autocannons.
Yes those figures were with all level 5 skills. My skills are not far off from that where Minmatar is concerned. I'm certainly not maxing everything out, much less a third of it all, but I want to do it justice.