The solo beat

Sugar Kyle has been reflecting on some of the differences between her recent solo and previous group play in EVE. I’ve found it particularly interesting.

To selectively quote one bit from a recent post:

“I did not expect my loneliness. I have spent so much time in the game doing things on my own. But on my own was not the same as alone. I always had the warm presence of a corporation at my back. I enjoy the co-op work tremendously.”

As I’ve moved cloaked around the new Null Sec pocket making bookmarks, I’ve felt a pang of envy at the various pilots I observe who are mostly flying under the banner of populated corporations and alliances. They probably have access to logistic services, stocked hangers, intel channels, standing fleets and advice. They have a (admittedly varied) level of safety which I do not.

I enjoyed the type of game that EVE can become when you are working with a group of players. It can generate stories and memories that you don’t tend to have access to when playing solo.

But then I remember how tiring I found it.

It is at this point I generally remark on the cost of having to meet the expectations of your corporation, ensuring you pull your weight, and possibly not being able to play the game like you want to.

As usual however Sugar’s post made me stop and reflect a little more deeply. If I was to be entirely honest, what tires me the most is the interaction with other players.

There are not many social situations I am entirely comfortable in. While I can be adept at interacting with a wide variety of people, I don’t look forward it, I generally look to finish it sooner rather than later, and I don’t tend to feel good about it afterwards. It is exhausting.

Having worked from home for more than 7 years now I know my capacity to cope with social situations has diminished. I expect whatever new job I find for myself next year won’t be so conducive to a hermit lifestyle. It will be interesting if being forced to socialise more in real life results in me socialising more in game.

10 thoughts on “The solo beat

  1. Or you may be lucky enough to find yourself in a corp that expects nothing from you, no CTAs, nothing; so that you can be in a corp but still work alone, that is what I am doing now, whilst it does feel kind of empty, it is not as empty as logging in and seeing corp chat empty accept your logged in toon.

    • It is possible to find well run Corps that place little demand on your time – the last player Corp I was in was like that. However – they tend to be constrained in where they operate.

  2. Voice comms imho is the glue which keeps a corp together. Be it blowing hot air, chewing the fat, telling outrageous stories, drunken singing, whatever. If people are engaged and having a laugh, it almost doesn’t matter what they’re doing in game. In fact, being in a corp isn’t actually mandatory, as the NPSI and Incursion folks regularly show us.

    It’s getting in with the right crew that is the trick of it. And one I haven’t mastered tbh. Introverts don’t need to throw a ton of chaff out, but we do like to know that the warmth and humanity is there, and that our peeps are doing OK.

  3. I’ve been playing Eve for about 7 years. I started out solo but migrated to corporate play style. I’ve been in FW, nullsec, and wormhole corps. I’m now back to solo. Corporation play can drain me. I tend to throw myself at it wholeheartedly and then wear myself out. Do I prefer sole? No I don’t but it’s the only way I can remain in Eve and still have a real life…

  4. If I may point out, you may be a bit of a hermit but you’re not entirely asocial. This blog and its comments section counts as social interaction. Presumably the very type of social interaction you are comfortable with and thus enjoy.

    • I dropped your duplicated post – they were both in the moderation queue. I’m not sure why as you have had posts approved before. I presume WordPress thought something about your credentials had changed.

      I’m certainly not asocial. I’m just overly self-conscious in social situations, which makes it difficult to enjoy them. I am more comfortable interacting via email, forums and the blog / comments. It allows me to consider the interaction before responding, instead of overanalysing the interaction after it has gone out.

      It is better for me to face my discomfort in a measured way instead of just avoiding it, so I persevere. I know EVE can be a toxic environment, but I’m reminded by the examples of people like Sugar Kyle and the interactions I’ve had over the years in this and on other blogs, that there are a wide variety of people playing EVE, and you can find your niche within it.

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