Winning at EVE

Consider the idea of EVE suddenly being switched off and never being accessible again. Your ISK balance, your skill points, the ships in your hanger, how much space you owned – all gone forever.

What tangible value then did you get from all those hours you spent on the game? How do you define if you came out winning EVE or not?

You can’t use in game measurements – they no longer exist. I think at its most basic level, and common to almost every player, EVE is a game that is meant to entertain. You can define the value of the hours spent in game, and your success at it, on if it provided you amusement and enjoyment.

I had that thought some time ago, and ever since I have defined people who were being entertained by their time in EVE as winning it. It doesn’t matter where they lived in game, what they were doing, how well or not they were doing it, or even if no one else would find it entertaining. It wasn’t tied to ISK, or skill points, or ships owned, lost, or killed. It is instead shown in enthusiasm, curiosity, pleasure, satisfaction, and even contentment.

Maybe if you want to win at EVE, you should worry less about what others are doing or saying, and focus more on what pleases you.

11 thoughts on “Winning at EVE

  1. I played City of Heroes for a while – they shut it down. I had a few “end game” heroes. I had quite a lot of the “achievements/medals” in the game. But a year or so on, I occasionally miss the fun of being a superhero… As you suggest, the rest really doesn’t matter much.

  2. I completely agree with you.

    In his article last year on TMC, Aldap quoted Zach Donnell as saying, “I don’t win anything by having the most ISK when the server eventually goes down. I win by having fun.” That word “eventually” led me to a similar thought experiment: if CCP announced that Tranquillity was permanently going dark three months from now, would I still log in? Would I play any differently?

    EVE seduces many people into thinking that “success” is achieved by cautious, patient, methodical accumulation. That often leads them to keep doing things that they actually despise, until they get frustrated and eventually quit. The greatest breakthrough is the moment when you realize that the only durable metric of success is your enjoyment of the game. I intend to keep playing EVE only for as long as I still enjoy it, and not a minute longer.

  3. I play because I have fun. I do what I do because I enjoy it. I find the intensity of Eve makes it very easy to slip out of fun mode. You have to be careful about it. Is there fun in the success and achievements? For some yes and for others no.

    My fun is also tainted by the competitive atmospheres, the insults, and smack talk that people tell me are fun and healthy for the game decrease my pleasure even as it increases someone else’s. I sometimes walk away from that and go.cleanse both mind and attitude in something I enjoat the end of the day whenever I leave Eve I want all these stories I’ve made, the smiles and the friends, to be what walks away with me.

  4. Good post, very thought provoking. I have to say that I play Eve for the people that I play with. The best times I’ve had in game have been when the Corp I was in was at its peak. The laughter, the foibles of those around me and the sense of being part of something more than the sum of its parts.

  5. Achievement display is a little different for everybody. Some like to screen shot their in-game wallets, and some love to link their kill-boards. ‘Owning’ the experience you’ve had is a pretty universal human trait.

    Some even prefer to write down their experiences, and share them with people. Perhaps a better question for you, myself, and even Sugar Kyle is this:

    Would you still play Eve if you couldn’t write a blog post about it afterwards?

  6. i was there, EVE is REAL and I would have no regreats. My only problem would be moving on to another game….I was very decorated in BF 2142….but eventually you move on. :’-(

  7. Well considering the first two paragraphs I guess I can now very well answer this considering it’s now well known I no longer play EVE. And as a matter of fact… I’m not playing any game at all whatsoever.

    I can’t look back and say I’ve ever played to Win at EVE, nor would I consider I’ve Won or Lost at EVE. The way EVE has always existed in my mind and how I played EVE day in day out for over 4 years when I played was that “My character simply existed in New Eden’s Universe” as if he existed anywhere else as an inhabitant or Citizen of that Universe. And as such from that point it’s how I personally played EVE. My day to day tanglings with New Eden and whatever my character did was just him going about living life and furthering his career ambitions whatever they were.

    I can say I had fun with my character and characters playing EVE and furthering my characters ambitions. But nothing about it was ever about winning. Yet I could change that same view and say I won at EVE in my own way based on how I played EVE and my pursuits, but that was not have ever been my humble view. I enjoyed EVE for what it was to me, the players and all their doings as well the community outside of the game.

    So would I miss EVE if CCP suddenly switched off the server? Initially maybe, nut I’d very soon get over it moving on to something else live I have already (Food). My general answer is therefore No.

    I switched off my daily access to playing EVE. And since that last day that launcher on my PC hadn’t been touched as well forgotten it’s even there. I haven’t missed logging in to New Eden, nor have I thought about playing. So CCP wouldn’t have had to shutdown the server since in my case I did it the other way around cutting my access as well interest in it entirely. This again my answer is No.

    I’ve never played any game for any sense of Achievement nor have I ever chased them. So again Winning was never something I sought nor found enjoyment to verify self worth in game. I just simply enjoyed the game if I played for what it is or was.

    So while I no longer play EVE I had fun and I don’t regret my time having played it. When it was time to move on I simply choose to do so for my own reasons. I don’t miss it. You get over it focusing your attention onto other things of interest and immediate focus.

    It was fun while it lasted. But winning was never a goal. But I won in my own way in game playing as well on my own being able to at a point in time simply walking away from it all on my own terms with absolutely no regrets. I guess in a way i can look at it in my mind, maybe I won by simply being able to give away my characters life work and pursuits all away and then walk away from EVE in reflection.

    • Maybe winning isn’t the right term – should I replace it with success? You were success in playing EVE if you found entertainment in the game and don’t regret the time you spent there?

      You also bring up an interesting point – how people leave the game. It sounds like you played EVE on your terms and left on your terms. That’s doing it right. Others however leave with bitter bet syndrome, almost needing to burn bridges to force themselves away from the game.

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