A number of the blogs I follow are in a period of discontent with EVE, including

I can struggle at this time of year with EVE. The game is usually stagnant, real life is extra busy, I’m tired and run down, and I’m predisposed to reflection and review!

Reading the situation others are finding themselves in right now (without judgment or direct reflection), I noted down in my blog idea list “Why and how am I still playing EVE after 7+ years?”

The “Why” is relatively straightforward. I find the game interesting, and it is one of the mechanisms I use to get downtime. It is a distraction for 30 minutes here, two hours there, where I don’t need to be worrying or thinking about “real” issues.

The “How” is different. There are four areas I focus on which have given the game a longevity for me:

. Maintain and regularly update a list of Goals and work towards them

. Ensure I undock and do things without mind to the ISK/hour calculation

. Involve myself in the Social aspects of the game

. Appreciate the game for what it provides

I think they are all obvious – although my approach to them might be different due to my focus on solo play.

It is easy to be aimless and lost in EVE. To play long term you need focus, which means you need to have goals. These can be as minor as checking out some line in a patch note, or as grandiose as being infamous across New Eden. They can take 5 minutes or 5 years. While you are responsible for hunting down the options and working out what your goals will be, CCP needs to help out with a reasonable flow of new and changed tools and content.

Next is undocking. It may seem logical, but it is possible to log into EVE and never undock and engage directly with it. You might be organising your trading empire, or updating manufacturing queues, or contracts, or updating fits. When I catch myself in such a situation I make a point of undocking. I might mine for 10 minutes in a Venture, or run the lowest of low Anomaly, scan down a signature or go through the belts. It is of no consequence that the ISK I might generate is insignificant. I am amazed at how much content you generate by just being in space – being more aware of the pilots around you, and being available to interact with them.

You might have heard me remark once or twice that I play this game Solo. I don’t fly with other people, no one relies on me and I rely on no one else, I have no official blues, and I sit in an Alliance of just me and my alts. I do not however play this game removed from everyone else. I interact with other pilots in my game play, I follow other bloggers, I read various forums and EVE news sites – I have an idea of the EVE environment and my little place within it. This makes the game so much richer.

Last of all I appreciate the game and what it provides. I make a point of enjoying it, and reveling in all the cool things that can happen around it.

Actually, upon reflection, I basically make an effort to maintain the relationship I have with EVE.

I started dating my wife 22 year ago. Our relationship has lasted as long as it has because we have worked at it. We have joint goals that we focus on; we ensure we make time to spend with each other, we make a point of involving ourselves in and working on our relationship, and we appreciate what it provides.

Now sorry – I know that might be a little cheesy. I also request that you please don’t tell my wife that I related our relationship with my internet space ship game time. I do think however that there might be something to the concept. When there is a malaise settling in between Player and CCP, the solution might not be found in pouring over statistics and charts on how people interact with the game, but instead by speaking to a relationship counselor.

9 thoughts on “Malaise

  1. It is easy to soak up the negativity. I go on little blog reading hiatuses. I normally read a few books during that time on my phone instead of blogs, reviews, news, forums, and twitter about Eve. The darkness soaks in and I find myself almost guilty for enjoying the game still. I find that I have to work at not overwhelming myself and causing burnout more than not having things to do.

    But then, I also try to read behind what causes the burn out and I often see interesting patterns that may be no more than a matter of opinion and perception. A lot of it seems to do with the nature of Eve. Sometimes, you are just adrift. You can throw yourself, forever, at a task, without really seeing results. It is one reason I am glad to have a very close community/corporation. For me, that closeness works wonders on the down days.

    And there are always Jaguars against a gorgeous nebula.

    • “I find myself almost guilty for enjoying the game still” – I know what you mean. When there is one of those negative waves going through the EVE Blog-sphere, I try to make a point of stepping back so that it doesn’t break over me.

  2. Huh. I actually find that pretty funny. I don’t regularly read those blogs you mentioned, so it’s not like I was influenced by them. I’ve also pretty much been a solo player for the past few months, so I’m not burned out by politics or sov warfare or anything like that.

    Maybe there really is such a thing as winter blues in EVE (well winter for me, not for you Aussies). However I feel kinda energized again with the goal of dipping into wormholes, and I just took the plunge and reapplied to my old corp.

  3. Pingback: Blog posts you might have missed | Pilgrim in Exile
  4. After three monthes of daily PI factory-fueling of 30 minutes per day, I am kind of burned out and can relate.

    But PI they way I developed it is the best ISK/hour I can come up with in a limited time-frame of 1 hour per day, besides from going the “marketforISK-way” by spending your entire playtime on planning and updating buy/sell orders. For me, too, undocking and running high sec anoms is for re-connecting to EVE and for watching the great scenery. Also, my ISK/hour finally allowed me to do lvl4 missions in a Hyperion class battleship, for the feeling of flying a gorgeous ship, exploring blasters and MJD and other inefficient things, coming in like a bulldog on your enemies. Doing the same in my sniper-drone Dominix class battleship is for feeling efficient and that utter combat superiority without owning and fearing for any blinged ship fit. Mining each other hour is for optimizing ISK/hour even more by roughly +20 m ISK while doing the 0,1 market pvp game in parallel. Wormholes and null-sec is still a mystery out there.

    Funny that you come to a comparison with a relationship. I can relate to the fact that wifes tend to take offence when comparing the wife/hour ratio with that of computer games. Maybe instead, I can point out a different point of view: Exploring your own creativity, which is denied in real-life but is needed and fuels and keeps you running in real life:

    If EVE does not provide for this re-fueling experience, take a short detour. For example, I still haven’t touched the newest Civilisation, haven’t replayed Deus Ex 3, or participated in the Elder Scrolls Online Beta, or finished my first Anno-xxxx game.

    But you will come back, for sure. That’s how EVE worked for me for 7 years now.

    P.S. Still hoping for that Pilgrim fit.

    • I think PI is a good ISK earner for new players – depending on the taxes set by your local Custom Office Owners.

      I enjoyed that link. I think you are right about EVE giving you an opportunity to explore your own creativity outside the constraints of Real Life.

      I am very sorry regards the Pilgrim fit. I’ll see what I can do – but I’ve held off posting as I haven’t play tested it enough. (Mainly because while it works – it is rather slow to warp, and I don’t always feel confident flying it through camps.)

      • Funny, I talked here about a detour and promptly do it myself. I had planned to stop sub for over Christmas and readied a PLEX for return in January. Turns out that – while wife and kids are still out – EVE is not a prime interest for January and I went deep down the VR rabbithole, full time on the weekends. Jay, just like old times!

        Kind of helps scanning the PC game market, seeing what is out there in the meanwhile, where EVE is in comparison:
        – I made it through Deus Ex 3 again with the new director’s cut and quit half way through. Great mood, but because of this, knowing the crappy ending in Pangea and spotting more inconsistencies, as usual on a second playthrough, it killed my motivation at some point.
        – TESO beta comfirmed for me that it is just another WoW, no new concepts, and most of the shiny details from Skyrims are not in (questing for skills, dressing up and scabbards, etc). And of course, nothing that can beat EVE even close in terms of complexity.
        – I chose Anno2070 to finally experience what those games are about. Sucked me in 50 hours in a row and then spit me out. The hauntingly beautiful game music still haunts me.
        – The Secret World is finally an MMORPG which offers a distinctive and different atmosphere. Very pleased about it right now and still wandering in Egyptian sands, katana, shotgun and fireballs ready at hand.

        Conclusion: EVE is still very special. TSW comes close, without sandbox but nicely complex questing and combat system, so nicely complementing an area where EVE just plain sucks. I am still stuck “full-time” in TSW, but I did not buy this PLEX in vain, that is for sure.

        So, still time with that Pilgrim fit. I don’t care if it is viable, will judge this myself based on what I want: A spaceship Enterprise which is able to boldly go where no one (uhm, none of me alts) has gone before, thus, an explorer with limited ratting/mission capacity for null, lowsec and WH. Preferrably cheap, because I do not expect to survive for the duration of more than one movie’s length… 😉

  5. I know half those blogs, but haven’t read much in a while. That’s probably a good thing.

    EVE is in a weird place for me right now, I happens ever so often. Just every time it feels worse. Yet I’m still subbed to the game though I barely can average 15 mins played over the course of an entire week. It’s just the motions of life….

    If I can’t be positive about the game I play it’s obvious I just don’t blog about it. That’s about sums it up. Being negative for me is like circling a Black Hole… It slowly drains all your energy till it’s gone.

    So I just choose not to log in. Maybe play some SimCity, till I get tired of it. Watch Youtubers play “Lets Play X Game” till I get tired of that too and do other things. In the meanwhile I take away from both EVE and blogging as I don’t need to loose energy if just not that interested in playing at the moment. So just drifting along till I collide into something. Maybe I’ll have a reaction when that happens.

    But at the moment I have neither a Goal or a Focus in EVE, I’m more a less just adrift in the universe. No point to log in much till I get my bearings.

    On the bright side it always help when I stop here to read, what little I read while adrift.

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