I've been going through a bit of a dry spell this past week or so. Not that I've been shut out completely--I still manage to get in on a nice kill here or there. It's just that space has seemed strangely empty whenever I undock and go a'roaming.
Recently factors including intellectual copyright issues and some megacorporate corruption scandals have resulted in major differences in the ways standard spaceship hulls operate in space. Many cruiser-sized ships have grossly reduced maximum speeds, and warp scramblers can now be set to impact the microwarpdrive spectrum as well as the more usual warp drive frequencies. The manufacturers of stasis webifiers, on the other hand, have been forced to make changes in their products that result in less effective webbers.
In studying reports of what this all means, I picked up on widespread optimism that assault frigates would now be viable combat ships. I'd sort of by-passed assault frigate command in my studies, but it only took a few days of focused attention before I was certified to operate Gallente assault ships, and I took delivery of a couple of Ishkur-class beauties, commonly accepted as top-of-the-line when it comes to assault ships. I pimped them out, hit the air lock, and...well, not much, to tell the truth. It's that dry spell. I've found the odd fight, winning some and losing some, but haven't had much of a chance to really put one of my Ishkurs to a proper test. Time will tell.
I'll tell you what I have had plenty of--paperwork. Being at the helm of a pirate corporation has brought on all kinds of duties and responsibilities I didn't sufficiently consider before embarking on that course. It seems, believe it or not, that your typical scurvy pirate likes nothing better than for someone to hold his hand and tell him what to do. What subspace frequency should I have open? Where shall I wait? What ship shall I fly? Do you like my picture of a pirate? Can I shoot that ship? Managing all the "official" communications between twenty-odd motly corsairs just takes time. And while I take that time, they get to go roaming and shooting and yarring, racking up kill records I can only glare at in envy.
Oh, don't get me wrong--the Tuskers are turning out to be a fine pack of killers, and I'm proud to be counted among them. In fact, our reputation is now drawing pirates from across 20 regions to our headquarters, applying for membership. I am firm in the vision I hold for this corporation, and so I find myself, sitting at my desk, reading answers to essay questions, poring over old CONCORD kill reports, running background checks, trying to make sense out of ledgers, and scouring the infowebs for morsels of rumor that will inform my decision to admit or reject. What I'm looking for are long-term mates; I don't want us to draw close to one another, as soldiers do when they fight side by side, only to lose mates to the law, to bankruptcy, or to competing interests.
While a new recruit pops an assault frigate, I write to the administrator of our corporate killboard. While another member hunts down a battlecruiser, I answer EVE-mail from a young pirate wanting advice. While a Tusker runs to the aid of a mate being chased by an interceptor and a cruiser, I explain to an applicant why I need access to all his most personal financial details. While another Tusker hauls down another cruiser from the markets, I explain the rules for communicating ship fitouts for fellow Tuskers to peruse. It gets a bloke to thinking about delegation, and whom to tap. Hmm...