1 Dec 2008

EVE Blog Banter #2: The Allure of New Eden

I love the idea that once a month, most of New Eden's bloggers get a single subject to blog about. Thanks to CrazyKinux - we have the blog banter; a great concept and through it; you get a chance to read about one topic per month written under dozens of different writers. Each adding their own touch and flavour to it.

Direct questions about the EVE Blog Banter to CrazyKinux.

So, this month's EVE Blog Banter Topic comes to us from Brinelan over at The Shard. He asks: What drew us into EVE, what keeps us playing the game and what brought us back if we've ever left?

What drew me into EVE?

EVE-Online was and still is, a beautiful game. The sweeping vistas of space, attention to detail and the sultry voice of Aurora caressing me when I am plugged in provides a rich and in-depth world that not many MMORPGs can match. I came over from Star Wars Galaxies and was immensely saddened when it died and morphed into something else. I wanted to be TIE pilot so much! I let my subscription expire and wandered around, both in real life and virtually. Was a MechWarrior 2/3/4 and MechCommander player too but wanted something a bit more long-term; something that I could invest in.

A friend of mine (ex-FRICK, ex-MoO) dropped a few hints to me about this other game and that I would love it. CCP? Who? Icelandic Game Company? Wha-?

So with some skepticism, I downloaded the EVE client, activated my buddy account......and I was hooked after I had undocked and snapped my mining lasers on and the first bit of scordite appeared in my cargo hold.

It drew me into the game and as I searched for more, it threw up more questions for me. I could, literally, be doing anything I wanted. New Eden was HUGE. Initially, this was very intimidating and daunting. There was no defined career path for me and the choices therefore was of a dizzying amount of options within options. I could be a miner, an industrialist, a mission runner, a trader or anything. Anything at all.

I could also be a pirate but this path, (my true calling) was not realized for a couple of years and I wandered around and enjoyed the solo life and saw the sights and sounds around New Eden. I still get a thrill when I see the 'undocking' dialogue, even now. Each new update brings changes and EVE forces me to throw away some old tried and tested techniques and experiment with new ones. It certainly is a demanding mistress but a smart one too; with enough change to keep me interested and challenged.

What keeps me playing the game?

After two years, friends came and went but it was the community (both good and bad) that kept me firmly glued to New Eden. The game continued to improve with innovations and updates as well as the occasional drama bomb on the forum.

My first encounter of PvP was a gate camp in EC-P8R where I was unceremoniously podded. This was after six months. I never knew that this could happen. I was stung yet thrilled at the same time. I had indeed lost something, my clone was not updated and precious time was lost on training. My God, a game that had real-world tangible losses!

I then decided that the only way to survive was to fight back, so in a rifter I went into low-sec and took on all comers. My rather indiscriminate killings proved to be quite thrilling and I was hooked on this newer, and much darker path. I could live off the loot and ransoms quite well, providing I kept my overheads as low as possible. High sec empire became a distant memory as I roamed the low-sec corridors, picking off miners and ratters in belts. Once a system was exhausted, I moved on. I had this hunger, almost physical in it's extreme to continue to feed the monster.

Piracy was now my only calling and I began to tackle bigger and better targets and my isk count started to nudge up. I grew more experienced and wily and the rifter became an extension of my will. I love that ship class still. The thrill of the hunt and chase and the sinking of my teeth into them. Wonderful. I decided that I wanted to write my experiences and my first post called 'Alive' captured, in that instant, my mindset. I wrote that after a particularly hectic day where I was dogging a bunch of ratters and picked them off one-by-one; like a predator. I loved it. I find reading it now, many years later, still instantly takes me back to that day when I looked ahead on the road I would be travelling and tripping over myself as I ran towards my destiny!

However, it is not just piracy that keeps me in the game; there are other reasons.
  • Friends. I have made friends here in New Eden; those that share the same darker view of universe as well as those who prefer to walk the path of light. Some of these friends have become real-life ones - moving out of the virtual pirate characters to living and breathing individuals who I have met and had a drink with. These friends make even logging into the game and using it like a rather impressive chat client possible and on some days, desirable. So I count guys like Kane Rizell, RoninData, Votrian, SanRintu, Lucius Cain, Jubes - all the ex Black-Flag corp mates, my current corp, The Bastards and the Hellcats as real life friends. I know that without EVE, at least one good friend of mine would be out of touch now.
  • Community. As much as I try to avoid the forums; there is no doubt that the EVE community is an active and passionate one and while I may disagree with much being said at one point or another in the various forums; I can not deny that much of the traffic is driven by individuals love of the game. It comes through, the passion and commitment and this is another binding agent.
  • CCP. They're not EA for one thing and seeing them at Fanfest 2006 as well as their (rather sadly increasingly diminishing,) presence on the forums and other contact points with their fans has shown me that the guys who make this game, who try to improve it, love it as much as me and care for it. That's a great thing.
  • The Blogging community. Yes indeed, there's a bunch out there that are fine writers adding to the massive tapestry of New Eden lore and legend. I love the bloggers and their tales. I have to keep playing just to get more materials for my own blogs!
  • Stubborness. Ok, well I have been a resident of New Eden for over four years now. Longer than some marriages and out of stubborness, I will not be the first to walk away! Never!
  • The Game. It is still the most beautiful game in the world. It's a single-sharded, beautiful world and I am a part of it. There's much to fiddle with, even if you're not piloting a ship out of space dock. I can spend time messing with my character's skill plan, experiment with the latest ship fittings (EFT RUINS YOUR SOUL) and check up the latest market movements for Tech 2 afterburners. With CCP and their plans, I can see EVE becoming bigger and bigger. I want to be part of it.
In the interest of space and that I am late with this topic, I will stop it here! Links to other EVE Blog Banter Topics is under CrazyKinux's link which is here....

1 comment:

Carole Pivarnik said...

Great post--I've added a link to it on my own Blog Banter post. You got me giggling when you said, "My God, a game that had real-world tangible losses!" Just goes to show how "real" the game feels when you allow yourself to become immersed in it, and how invested we become in our characters and their efforts to make their way in New Eden. It sure the hell feels real when I lose something expensive or that I've grown rather attached to; my first loss ever--a Thorax--and the loss of my first Cynabal come to mind; both gut-wrenching experiences. Yeah, intellectually I know that it was just pixels, but in my game persona, there was real meaning associated with those ships. By way of comparison, I once lost about 200M worth of mods and faction stuff when the carrier transporting it got ganked. That pissed me off (he got ganked because he was stupid), but didn't have nearly the meaning as losing the two ships mentioned. I probably fall a little bit too much in love with some of my ships :) Thankfully, I've managed to avoid this when it comes to my Rifters--great fun to fly, easy to let go, cheap to replace. The perfect ship, really.

New Eden is filled with smart, interesting people...many of whom I consider friends, particularly the ones I've gotten to know through long association in the game. It'd be quite fun to meet you, the other Bastards, Kane, Shae and the other Hellcats, the EVE bloggers, and some of the crazy-in-a-fun-way people who hang out in my public channel in real life. First round of drinks is on me, if/when that ever happens. It's always amusing--when I do meet EVE friends in RL--to contrast their real selves with the picture I have in my mind based on their character, behavior in-game, voice on Vent, blogs, etc. I don't know why, but I'm surprised when they don't turn out to be hunky tattooed Brutors with sunglasses, demure Achura ladies who always look like they are keeping secrets, or serious Intaki dudes with long flowing hair and those weird gray eyes.