I'm going to talk about being poor.
Not newbie poor when you don't have a choice. No, the poor I'm talking about is when you had a lot and lost nearly everything.
* * * * *
It was a dark and stormy night... no wait, that was a different story.
It was in my first year of playing Eve. I had built up some ISK by running missions and set my eyes on buying a Caldari Rokh battleship. I scrimped and saved and run level three missions whenever I could. It was before I had kids so there was more free time, and I wasn't PvPing very much so the income was not diverted.
My training completed and I bought it, a gleaming new Rokh. I had barely any tech II skills so I outfitted it with meta four modules including eight 425mm Protoype Gauss railguns that cost around 14 million ISK each. I was so proud of that thing, which in hindsight was a perfect example of getting into a ship too soon without the training or experience to fly it. I mean, tech 1 Vespa medium drones, what could go wrong, right?
I started running level 4 missions in that ship and it was tough, but I was persistent and too inexperienced to know better. I developed strategies for dealing with the rats in missions and had to warp out a lot. But I ran them and started to rebuild the nest egg.
Shortly thereafter in June 2007 Revelations II came out and with it a a few new level four missions, including one called Attack of the Drones. If you follow that link to Eve-Survival.org and read the mission you will see one line that is very important to this story:
But I was filled with overconfidence from successfully if inefficiently running level four missions for a month or so already and I gamely warped into the mission without checking any guides whatsoever.
To manage aggro, do not kill the trigger ships all at once. Eliminate an incoming reinforcement group first, before you trigger the next group.
Let's summarize where we are here, OK? Inexperienced pilot in poorly fit battleship running new level four mission blindly.
"You cannot warp because you are warp scrambled."
Turns out that some of the fast drone rats in this mission warp scramble. I sent my Vespa I drones after them to no avail. I was going down. I panic logged in a last ditch to attempt to save my ship, but I knew deep down I was already screwed.
Sure enough, I logged back in to find myself in my pod, my first gleaming Rokh and my first batteship gone.
* * * * *
But the story does not end there. My ship was fully ensured and the payout was substantial enough that I was still OK financially speaking. Right about this time my corp got into a new null sec alliance and we were moving out to Venal. I missed the convoy so was moving my own stuff. I scouted the entrance null sec system and even though there was neutrals in local and wrecks on the gate, the jump in from low sec was clear. So I docked, grabbed my new Raven battleship with all my stuff in it, and warped to the null sec gate and jumped through.
And there was a pirate gate camp. Burn Eden if I recall correctly. I died horribly and got podded with my +4 implants. My uninsured Raven that is. Please don't look at that fit, I beg you.
I was devastated, and more importantly, I was broke. I had virtually no assets and not enough ISK to afford a Ferox battelcruiser to attempt to rat my wallet back to health out in Venal. I had to borrow some ISK from a corpmate. And then I got yelled at by an alliance leader for the loss, and then another leader for ratting instead of joining a CTA. I was in over my head and paying the price and not having fun.
I almost quit.
No money, no good source of income, no support network to lean upon as my friends were not that rich either. There was no Angel Project or Project Halibut to help me out so I was faced with basically almost starting over. So I was very tempted to give up.
In the end I didn't because when Eve worked for me it was awesome and I wanted to enjoy it again. I sold everything I had in null and told my friends I was off to rebuild in high sec. I started my own little corp and got myself a Moa and started running level 2 missions; worked up to a Drake for level three missions, and eventually back to a Rokh but this time with proper Tech II gear and drones, and 350mm rails for better tracking. Plus I read up on every mission twice before accepting. I got better at running level four missions and salvaging them and my wallet built up faster than ever.
I eventually got back together with my friends and ventured back into null sec with better preparation and experience and had better times with more success. I invested into an alt doing invention and made a fortune producing Tech II cloaking devices, started writing for Eve Tribute and EON Magazine and never found myself in dire straits for ISK ever since. Now I consider myself space rich.
But for years, long after I had carriers and hosts of ships to call upon, I kept that second Rokh in a hanger in high sec with my level four agent of choice, my fallback ready in case I lost everything again and needed to build myself back up from scratch.
Because I'll always remember that is sucks to be poor.