Nine

My main EVE character turns 9 today. The anniversary has been on my mind of late, and that has been reflected in a number of my recent posts. Just how have I managed to play this one computer game about spaceships for 9 years straight? It seems quite a feat, in a geeky sort of way.

I think the game looks great. I like collecting “stuff”. I like setting goals, planning, adapting, working things out, and testing different ideas and approaches. I have however done most of what a solo risk-averse carebear can do in game, and admit I can go periods of time where I am basically waiting for CCP to give me something new to try, or a new ship to fly, or a rule change to adjust too. So it is not really the mechanics of the game which have kept me here for so long.

Almost everyone I’ve befriended in game over the years has now departed. The channels I’ve used to keep in touch are now empty and silent. Real life limits my ability to contribute to a corporation, so I fly solo. If I ignore this blog, it is not really the social draw card which keeps me here.

I do love the sandpit aspect of the game. I like that despite all the opinions and advice, I can work out ways to play the game as I want to. But amusing myself in my anti-establishment ways still doesn’t account for the longevity.

One of the underlying reasons I am still here is that I love the complexity in even simple tasks. I mentioned I recently sold off 3B ISK worth of stuff in game. That involved identifying gear you don’t really need to be stockpiling. Working out what market you take it to. What do you haul it in, how many trips do you make; how much value do you move in each trip? When do you sell to buy orders, when do you place a sell order and what price do you set? I appreciate the immersive distraction it provides from real life.

It was however something DireNecessity said in a recent comment which really hit the nail on the head in explaining why I have continued to play for so long. EVE is not a natural fit to my personality – it takes me out of my comfort zone and challenges me. I like the fact the game makes me question my instinctive reactions, and dares me to improve on them. It exposes me to a wide range of personalities, from the obnoxious to the most decent. It gives practice in dealing with conflict. It obliges me to be more resilient.

This hasn’t changed me into some sort of bloodthirsty PVP seeker, but I like undocking and testing my mettle against the environment and other players. I like how it could go pear-shaped at any moment. I like avoiding the loss EVE always threatens. I guess I like the challenge of making my game of EVE as relatively boring as possible.

And on that bombshell… here’s to reaching 10 years.

5 thoughts on “Nine

  1. It’s the challenge, and the fact that you can walk away from the game and still be thinking about it hours later. How can I fit this ship? What will happen if I do it this way instead? Oooo, how about something counterintuitive and shield fit a hull with armor rep bonuses… 🙂

    We shan’t mention hours pouring over EFT when you’re unable to play the game directly, the wonderful blogs (yours included), the awesome podcasts listened to while driving from place to place (CZ, High Drag).

    Add to this a deep and detailed back story, wonderful lore and the chance to add your name to its history. EvE. It’s just a game… Suuuuure….. 😉

  2. A few years back, when I attended Fanfest, I was confident my flight from Boston to Reykjavík would suffer no shortage of Eve players. Not wanting to twiddle in isolation I intentionally payed attention as fellow passengers collected at the gate until undoubtedly locating a fellow player whereupon I took a seat next to him, announced, “I bet you play Eve. I’m DireNecessity, what do you do in New Eden?”

    I, of course, was not mistaken (we Eve players know our own) meaning I got to pass the time waiting for our plane pleasantly basking in the alluring glow of another player enthusiastically delivering their narrative. As you might guess, yet another lonely ragamuffin, overhearing our conversation, joined in. Though a little more judgmental than us, she too had delightful story to relate. Once arriving in Reykjavik, we went our separate ways but the Harpa isn’t that large a place giving us multiple opportunities to run across each other and catch up. It was all . . . very human.

    In Eve, over the long run, we earn our successes and deserve our failures. What’s more, CCP steadfastly refuses to define ‘success’ and ‘failure’ for us. No, we’re on our own. In Eve, over the long run, we’re masters of a destiny we choose to define (Que Apocrypha Intro: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNyfI4dv1dg).

    Human agency, all the way down, tickles something deep in my soul.

  3. Even despite not having logged in to the game itself for several months, I still can’t tear myself away from the blogs, news sites, and various pod casts. While the gameplay at times got to me, I think what truly makes Eve worthwhile is just the nature of its community.

    I’m coming up on 7 years, and boy has it been a trip.

    – Lego

  4. Pingback: Call Me CCP Ishmael… | The Ancient Gaming Noob

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