Since Rettic cruelly abandoned m3 corp (you bastard! *shakes fist*) and has decided to fly solo for a while, I've been thinking back my days in the aftermath of the twins birth and Strife Mercenaries' implosion and disintegration where I was flying in my trusty Thorax, looking for rights in the low sec space of Placid and Molden Heath.
A part of me yearns for the freedom of solo play. Don't get me wrong, I love my corp and the people in it, and I enjoy the PvP I get to participate in for both coalition fleets and small gang roams, but there is some nostalgia for the randomness of activity that being alone can allow with no one to answer to and no responsibilities to worry about.
Search the belts for a fight? Let's go Thorax.
Mission? Battleship please.
Wormholes? Break out the prober.
Can flipping? Where's the nearest ice belt?
Gate Camping? Its like fishing except the fish sometimes pack Uzis.
Manufacturing? No fleet invites to ignore.
Need to log? See you whenever Eve!
Ah, the carefree life. Its seems idyllic, doesn't it? But the more I thought about it, the more I remembered the downsides.
Belt ganks? Try finding a target in low sec without becoming a target yourself.
Wormholes? Sleepers get tough for one guy fast and w-space inhabitants tend to be paranoid and have POS to run to.
Can Flipping? Killing fools that fight back is fun for a short while, but too easy or boring quickly.
Gate Camping? A lot of targets often have friends that ruin your day pretty fast.
Manufacturing? Solo play works well here, but no heart pounding excitement either.
Need to log? No one cares.
Essentially you quickly realize that the game is hard and harsh when you are alone, or mostly boring in the case of missions. Any PvP you want to do is either hard to find or you are outnumbered, and no one has your back.
The breaking point for me was after I setup a high sec tower for R&D and went away for two nights only to come back and find my corp war decc'd tower reinforced, and no hope of protecting it in the few hours I had before the timer ran out. Being alone in Eve sucks.
My only regret right now is I don't have enough time to do the non-PvP things I want to dabble in as well enjoy the PvP my corp and alliance gets to participate in. Its not a huge deal though, and living my motto in Eve has served me well for over 3 years: Do Things With Others. Its the only way to fly.
Disclaimer: I do not really hold any hard feelings for Rettic whatsoever. I do hope his ship dies in a fire but purely for the fun of it. ;)