Damn That Snake!

I have a confession to make.

Months after making that post, I was led by the nose back into the accursed game which I love so much that I never play it.

Yes, I subscribed to EVE Online for a month. I regret doing so, as all people who have visited a seedy brothel do. But, like them, I hope to have left a wiser man. I’m wise enough to know that I’ll be visiting it’s turgid depths again though. Even if it did give me syphilis.

You have no idea how much I wanted to make a “your mum” joke in that last paragraph.

So, I went back to my old Caldari character for a month, hoping to do some missions and get some money and reputation. In non-EVE speak, I have a character specialising in missiles who does quests.

My hope was, as always, to get stuck into EVE and start enjoying it as much as my clan mates do. I did missions for about two days, and continued training my character for about three weeks. Yeah, I failed as epically as I usually do, and now I’m broke, which’ll hopefully stop me from charging wallet-first into it next time.

Again, I’d been brought into the EVE universe by talk from my friends and visions of doing these fun things for myself. Unfortunately, the fun part of EVE is totally overshadowed by the part of it which is no fun at all, and yet is totally vital; making money.

Ways of making Interstellar Kredits (ISK) involve one of the following:

  • Mining – this involves targeting an asteroid, turning on your mining lasers, and then al-tabbing out of game until your hold is full of minerals. Then you sell the minerals.
  • Ratting – grinding in MMO terms. You kill NPC mobs over and over again for the loot. Majorly boring, basically.
  • Mission running – this is the EVE version of quests; you pick up the mission from an NPC agent, and you complete the objectives given to you. This actually sounds like fun, until you realise that almost every single type of mission is the same. It’s either “go here and kill stuff”, or “go here and get stuff”. That’s it. That might sound incredibly similar to the World of Warcraft quests, and pretty much any MMO, but at least they give you stuff to look at. Once you’ve seen one starfield, you’ve pretty much seen them all.
  • Complex running – pretty much the same as instancing in WoW, only you’re not certified to be alone. If they can find you, anyone can jump into the complex to get you. So yeah, that can be jumpy. This is rather higher end than the other stuff though, so don’t expect to jump straight into doing this one.

I’m sure there are more, but I don’t really know what they are. Apparently planetary stuff has really taken off (lolirony) and can make you money, but I don’t know much about that.

From my personal experience of talking to many EVE players, the process of making money is a precursor to the fun part of the game, and a necessary evil. Because it is an evil. A boring, soul-destroying evil.

But I think that’s what a lot of players enjoy. It’s a totally immersive and hardcore game. The learning curve is the first test of that. It weeds out the players it doesn’t want or need in order to progress. EVE doesn’t want the carebear fest that WoW can be. It isn;t going to hold your hand, and it certainly won’t cuddle you after pirates have brutally taken you from behind. A trained monkey could reach level 80. It couldn’t play EVE. The totally immersive, real universe feel of EVE is something that brings in a lot of players.

And sadly, it’s not something that I go in for. I don’t have the patience, or indeed, the concentration to play it properly. I’m not ready for a second life. I struggle with having one most of the time. I like having games I can dip in and out of at my personal whims and desires. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t like that, and I could play games like EVE Online, Achaea: Dreams of Divine Lands and Wurm Online properly, and to the extent that they deserve. But that’s not me, and EVE isn’t my game.

The sooner I realise that, i can stop tempting myself back into it every few months. Damn shiny thing syndrome.

In the meantime, here’s a video that shows EVEs charms in a way that I couldn’t describe. Skip to about 50 seconds in, to trim the excessive intro.

Until next time!