Solo

I remark regularly that I play the game solo.

Some quarters speak of such a trait with spite and derision. They do not feel such players bring value to the game and they don’t want CCP to waste resources catering for them. Sometimes it seems CCP listens.

I don’t believe there is anything wrong with solo players in EVE Online, and I’ve not understood the disdain. I am guessing that they mistakenly assume we approach EVE like a single player game.

That would rightfully attract scorn.

If you have followed my blog at all, you will know I am constantly taking into consideration the fact there are tens of thousands of people playing the game at the exact same moment I am. What I do, where I do it, what and how I fly, are all impacted by my very strong awareness of this being an MMO. I am interacting with other players continually, through trading, competing for exploration and mining resources, avoiding scams and ganks, from previously run POS, my trips through wormhole space, the blog I maintain here and so on.

The only difference to my game is I don’t often have anyone else around to support what I am doing, and there are aspects of the game that I am excluded from by their design and the fact I don’t have 1,000 acquaintances with me.

Some like the lone shark approach, some dislike having to interact socially, and others like me play that way through necessity. We are content creators – just on a very small scale, and with the necessity of having to fly under the radar. Does Doctrine Ship Flyer number #635, who rats in Null with no enemies within 20 jumps, and once or twice a month joins a fleet and presses F1 when asked, generate more in game content? Would the game be better off if I became pilot #636?

I think we just add an extra and worthwhile element to the game, and CCP should occasionally throw a bone our way in recognition of the play style. At a minimum, at least you don’t need to be worried about being blobbed by us.

10 thoughts on “Solo

  1. I have not been playing nearly as long as you but also enjoy playing eve singly. I mine, build T1 modules and sell them, run my PI in hisec (for now), and I will never become pilot 636. I might become pilot 3 or 4 but not 636. I just ran across your blog in the last week or so. I have been enjoying reading your wormhole adventures and have started reading the earlier posts.

  2. I am in a corp, but I am last player standing. Once a blue moon I join Incursions. More often than not – my efforts are solo. I like my freedom at any time to run a mission, mine some ore, set industry jobs and mess with PI. All of which I do for the pleasure of these activities. My interactions are simple – selling ore/minerals to another player, buy new stuff from someone else. To paraphrase Mr. Miyagi: log on – log off. (but a lot happens in between). And I have no interest in being lemming # 637 awake at 2am for a ship I did not choose, against a foe I did not pick; to in a destination I have never heard of.

  3. I’m a solo player too. I do what I want to do, my way, in my own time and on my schedule. That doesn’t mean I don’t interact with others in game, it just means I don’t depend on anyone else and they can’t tell me what to do, when to do it or how to do it.

    Similar to what Easy said, I have no interest in being lemming #638 following someone else’s plan, doing what they want me to do for them (their way and on their schedule of course) just to further their goals all while complying with whatever silly rules they’ve implemented to increase their control over me.

    • I’ve tried being in a corp, and while they were all very nice people my overall impression was still that I like the freedom of being solo. Plus, EVE’s playerbase is notorious for (and justifiably so) being full of complete asshats so really I don’t see the attraction of being a part of that community.

      I’m not sure if you’re a predominantly introverted person in real life too, but I am. And I just see this as a typical response by the extroverted social butterflies. By their nature extroverts are the vocal majority and they tend to stand out in communities, leading society to think that they are “the norm”. They think that there is something wrong with introverted “solo players” without being able to comprehend that we just enjoy the game differently. Ironically they are the ones who fail to understand that the definition of sandbox cuts both ways.

  4. I feel ya, bro. I can say I’ve done it both ways. When I was a lone wolf industrialist, I felt like my contributions meant more. I didn’t get to fly in fleets or fight giant space battles, but I was far more content in what I did because I knew everyone buying a ship from me or a Wetware Mainframe was going to use it to further the game. By and large I enjoy flying in fleets, but there is not nearly the satisfaction there for me. For one, I’m just an F1 monkey as you say. The FC is in charge and that’s the only person who really matters – with the possible exception of the logistics commander. When I fly alone, I matter. Being part of the group dilutes the individual accomplishment, making monkeys of us all. And I, like Easy Esky, currently have no corp mates online when I play. And a few in the alliance we belong to are frankly asshats, as pockie points out. I’d like to say the nice players outweigh them in my consideration but I don’t want to lie. There is very little room to mess up in a fleet. And oft times the ill treatment you get for doing so is more than one of their buds will get even if what they do is so rat ass stupid as to be utterly unbelievable. You know, like bombing your own fleet stupid. Anyway, thanks for writing this. I’m gonna send it out on twitter now! 8p

  5. Amen, brother – agree 100%. I belong to a large corp – heck, I’m a Director there – and I like the options of doing things in a group in EVE Online. But most of the time, I’m really a solo player. I mine, explore, run missions, conduct invention and manufacturing, haul and trade – usually alone. And like you, I feel I am creating more meaningful content that way, rather than be yet another follower in a large fleet op. I do like being in a nice blob every once in a while, but I find I get more satisfaction playing EVE on my own most of the time.

  6. Great post and topic. I started my EVE career in a player corp that was called correctly “Ambivalence” – everyone was doing their solo play. We got wardec-ed out of business and I realized that safety in EVE lies with numbers. Subsequently, I was part of a team building up two WH corps and only recently took a big step back, just serving as a line member. Its a huge relief to fly “solo” for a bit, run missions if I feel like it or stalk a WH for some gankage. But I do enjoy the banter on TeamSpeak and the near constant jabber conversations, it keeps me in the community without having to log in.

    But man, yes, sometimes, I just want to fly around space and admire the view 🙂

  7. I have been thinking about this for a long time. I am also a solo player (with no alts!) and I love the freedom to do whatever I want wherever I want to do it. I do have to agree that the Big Alliances are the major drivers behind the Big Stories that drive Eve and its recognition. On the other hand, it is the day to day interaction with players that makes the game interesting and makes me want to log in to it. The highlight of my week was combat probing 2 missioning carriers in low-sec. I didn’t have the dps (or the contacts) to even try to take them down – but I did get the Noctis :). Even if I play the game solo, it is that interaction that makes it Eve.

    • It is very silly for a solo player to ignore what is going on around them. I had a POS in low sec for a while that I lived out of, and I ended up with a small network of neighbours who I would interact with (a couple blues, a few pirates who would kill me if they had the opportunity, but generally left me alone as they knew I was cautious and hard to catch.) That makes the game far more enjoyable. Nice job on the Noctis.

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