Low Sec Apprenticeship Group

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In mid 2007, a pvp-oriented player named Bootmanj was back in the Uni with the intention of teaching more "real eve" pvp. He started organizing more fight clubs and events, but at some point he realized that wasn't enough to keep him entertained. So he asked Sabre A (a director at the time) about creating a more or less permanent class in low sec that taught players how to survive there. Rumor says that Sabre said "yeah go for it" without thinking about it twice or consulting with other directors. From there, Bootmanj made a short statement on the forums about an apprenticeship program requiring a minimum amount of SP and equipment and asking people to sign up. Soon, he had about 10 people interested (myself included) and lining up for interview.

The Aridia days

Bootmanj had scouted a place (and this is not just an expression) in the back of the universe that was 16 jumps deep into low sec and about 40 jumps from the Uni's HQ in Korsiki. Anohel, in the Aridia region, was the system chosen as the first LSA base. Bootmanj already had established links with some locals, and he expected us to start moving in asap. At that point I was already handling the "administrative crap" as Bootmanj called it, because he was heavily annoyed by it (he was as good handling people as an elephant typing on a keyboard). We started the journey, each on their own and what a journey it was that first time... let's just say that the group of pirates that first invented the "smartbombing bs in low sec" concept lived in the Zinkon > Nema pipe that we used.

Now, Bootmanj's idea of apprenticeship was a "hands on" one but there would be nobody to hold yours. The idea was to LIVE in the place, not having just a weekend in there or come and go. The idea was to mine, rat, run missions and eventually pvp there. Learn the ropes by doing, usually alone or in groups of 2 or 3 and, like I said, it was kind of a shock for those of us that had never been in lowsec/0.0 for very long. Basically, we learned fast because we had to.

At the height of the Anohel operation 2 or 3 months after the start of the program, we already had an interesting group of people more or less committed to it. Old names like m0rd0, Storiim, Mildibus, Deturk, maltari, Bion Beefhammer, Faydelm, Shalroth, Ezekiel Sulastin and many others were already there scouting, exploring, fighting Le Skunk (the smartbombing guy) or Ezekiel Sulastin and losing Ishtars to frigate rats. Faydelm and I almost got kicked from the Uni because we were 'pirating'. In fact we were killing neutral macro haulers with Bootmanj's permission (who, in turn, got Sabres' permission himself), and that caused the directorship to take a closer look on the program... a program they didn't plan for or organize themselves, so they weren't so sure about how to handle it. After that incident, Dee joined us as the resident director and unrepentant miner. >.<

Bootmanj left the Uni around this time due to "creative differences" with the RoE. He left Faydelm in charge of the program. Faydelm was also on his way out, he was going back to 0.0, so only a week after Bootmanj had left, the LSA was assigned to me by the directorship and so began my reign of terr... ehmm... leadership. With that, the first "age" of the LSA ended.

At some point more and more directorship involvement occurred. Around this time, the "Enlightenment Project" was opened for a few select people, which coincided with the opening of the Providence region by the CVA holders for Uni people. The idea was to let some "advanced" LSAers into this more experimental program but this was handled very cautiously because of past 0.0 experiences and the neutrality requirements. The Uni was so cautious about it that we weren't even allowed to get into the neighbouring Fountain region for fear of angering the BoB's pet holder at the time (Exuro Mortis I think it was). Enlightenment was also closed because diverting even more human resources in 2 special projects was too much to handle.

The Molden Heath nights

The directors were getting more and more involved and so they decided that the LSA needed to be closer to the Uni. So they choose to move us from one side of the universe... to Molden Heat, the OTHER end of the universe. There, Silentbrick and Acacia joined us and it became an even more "official" program. MH had its own set of problems and rewards. The pirate activity was much higher there, with Beyond Divinity and Veritas Inmortalis being a strong force in the region. There was also a strong anti-pirate presence in the form of Foundation alliance and the RP group Electus Matari, so there was plenty of pvp. The system chosen was Sakulda and it was only 4 jumps deep into low sec, and like 30 from HQ unless you took the forbidden 0.0 short bus.

Now, some of the benefits of living in MH was that we had access to the NPC 0.0 region Great Wildlands that Foundation "held" at the time, and being blue to them we were able to go roam into that region that interconnected with MH and drone regions. Some of the bad things were that Angel space royally sucks pve-wise, and MH/GW in particular were exceptionally bad, even more than Aridia (tbh lowsec in general sucks except for the pvp, but that's another story). A weekly roam here and there as a group, but mostly it was each one on his own like it always was.

In retrospect, a lot of things could have been done differently. The organization was inherited from the Bootmanj days and so it was pretty random but as more and more people came it was clear that the program needed to adapt. I had already been running the thing for almost a year, and frankly I was kinda tired. I started preparations for leaving the Uni and go pew pew with my ex-uni friends after mid 2008 and about 3 weeks later, Dlardrageth was recommended and promoted from within the ranks to take over the LSA.

From there on, I can't comment much as I wasn't in charge but I do remember the drama, wars, expulsions and how the old LSA went into reformation that eventually led to the current(?) D6 project. That, in itself, is another story too. ;)

IB4 Cool story bro, and sorry for the wall of text. It's good to remember these things from time to time.

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