Updated Tue, Sep 06, 2011 by The Mittani
After going on small 5-man roams with one of his corpmates, he tried his hand at leading a combat group. Over four months, three to four times a week, Shadoo would lead a tiny gang out on roams, using his covops experience to find ratters for his cadre to kill. When his corp joined the nascent Pandemic Legion, he found himself in a crucible during the RISE campaign of the Great War where he was the only FC available at his time zone. For two months - before the Eye of Terror opened and RISE collapsed - he was playing for 4-6 hours a day in nonstop skirmishes; jabber had just revolutionized 0.0 communications, and he could log on and engage in combat without needing to roam and hunt fruitlessly for targets, making his leadership experience even more focused.
When the Second Great War broke out and the invasion of Delve commenced, Shadoo was the primary euro time zone FC for the anti-BoB forces, leading 1000-man combined fleets in 2000-person clashes in systems like J-L. These meatgrinders would last for eight hours or more, with multiple time zones of pilots throwing every ship in their hangars at each other relentlessly. From February 2009 until April, Shadoo was on the front every single day. The war was won, and Shadoo was now known throughout the game as possibly the most deadly FC in EVE. His renown is well-earned, yet too often players gloss over those humble beginnings as a simple covops learning how to probe, or the months of work as a gang leader with a handful of disposable Caracals under his command.
What Shadoo, Ribeye and Dagaon all have in common is work and focus. They have picked a single discipline and consistently put hours of work into it, with plenty of embarrassing failures and losses as they learned the nuances of their trade. They didn’t become heralded for their expertise until that work had been done, and they didn’t simply pick up EVE and own everything because of who they were.
Of course, circumstances and luck still play a role in success in EVE. Ribeye works from home, so he’s able to integrate flying his Sabre with his profession - and since his Sabre always has a cloak, he’s chosen a specialty that allows him to still get things done. Shadoo’s formative development took place during a period where his girlfriend was working in the evening, so he would come home from work and have little to do besides play EVE and learn the ropes of FCing.
And what of me? Does any of this apply to my spying days?
I began working on EVE espionage in March of 2006, two months after the CEO of Goonfleet made me a director merely because I had been in his corp before Goonfleet was founded. Luck and raw circumstance. At the time I was working as a staff attorney, a job which rewarded the ability to handle mind-numbing tedium and work incredibly long hours. To keep my brains from leaking out my ears, I essentially no-lifed the metagame. I couldn’t play EVE from the office, but I could use Instant Messenger to ‘handle’ agents. While spending twelve hours a day trapped in the bowels of a firm doing deposition prep, I kept my wits sharp by running the GIA and learning how to manage an alliance at war.