And then they lose it in act of violent destruction, and their life, for a brief moment, seems like it's come to an end.
They get angry, they grieve for their loss. Their beloved ship... gone! They don't know how to cope, or how to continue with their somewhat miserable life now that their beloved ship is destroyed.
They eventually get a new ship, and go through the same elaborate processes as before. They invest not only their ISK into the ship, but also their energy, their love. And so the cycle continues.
It disturbs me that these people have such an attachment to great lumps of metal. I know it's not really the ship that they love, it's what that ship allows them to do. The freedom, the prestige, the excitement... A ship gives them good feelings, and they love it for that.
The loss of a ship is equated to a loss of those good feelings, and so they grieve.
HARDEN THE FUCK UP!
Excuse the language, but... it's pathetic. It really is.
Do you mourn the loss of a broken screwdriver? Or a bolt? No, of course you don't. You get a new one when you need to, knowing it's just a tool. It doesn't even emotionally register with you.
A ship is a tool. That's all it is. This galaxy is harsh. Violence is a way of being, and with violence comes destruction. Particularly the destruction of ships.
If you have mourned the loss of a ship, and found yourself in misery, ask yourself - am I emotionally stable? Is this ship any more significant than that round of projectile ammo?
You'll be forced to conclude that no, you're not emotionally stable, and no, the ship is no more significant than ammo.
Your ship IS ammo, being used to kill your enemy before they kill you.
In the great struggle for survival, for the achievement of our goals, a starship is simply a tool for us to use to achieve those goals.
The next time I see someone cry and mourn the loss of their ship, that they took through many elaborate, emotionally-binding ceremonies, I'll wonder what kind of sick love affair they had with that lump of metal, and maybe their other tools too.
Are you in love with your ship? Will you mourn the loss of it?
If you find these thoughts as disturbing as I do, there's only one thing you should do.
Take a frigate into lowsec and look for a fight. Don't care about winning, because you're only caring about the fight. You actually WANT to lose your ship.
Do this 50 times. No, I kid you not. FIFTY TIMES. Lose your ship 50 times and you will realise it deserves as much emotional investment as your screwdriver.
I don't care if you're an industrial miner that's been sitting in Empire space for the past 4 years, and you've only lost your ship once to rats. I don't care if you've ventured into low sec and lost your ship from pirates and then woken crying in your new clone back in Empire space, vowing to never go back into the darkness. I really don't care.
You owe it to yourself to take lots of frigates into lowsec and look for fights. Sure, you don't have to initiate the fights if you don't want to be a pirate, but if you hang around, pirates will find you, and they'll help you understand how much of a tool your ship is as they destroy it for you.
50 fights. No less.
When you've had 50 fights, and you've lost your ship maybe 50 times (sometimes you might even win, depending on how you've fit your ship), then you'll be able to look back at your past and realise how much of a crybaby you were. And you'll never cry over a ship again.
Save the tears for when you lose your real loved ones. Don't waste them on tools.