Monday, July 18, 2016

Blog Banter 77 - It is a sad thing, but one day the universe too will end

In this month's blog banter the question is basically, "Do all of these signs point to Eve dying?"

The simple answer is, "Yes."

But simple answers rarely do anything but make for quick reading.

Over the last four or so years, I've been very invested in Eve. I've pondered it personally and socially. I've flipped through the public's responses to it. There have been ups and downs but I was always positive that Eve would continue on forever.

That was the fan girl speaking. The rational is that it will not last forever. I don't think it will be some dramatic ending as someone bashed the server racks with a bat and CCP places the company logo on a boat and shoots and flaming arrow at it while it floats into the sunset. I think that it will be a gradual thing and as long as it continues to bring in money it will stay alive. CCP may stop developing it but there are many games that continue on with productive lives years after their development stops.

Eve's population is aging. We are proud of it but with aging comes problems. As I pondered this topic today, I realized that I know a lot of people in Eve that are like me. They don't have children. They don't have huge family connections. And I wonder, how many of us are there? Sure, we're a reasonable population but at the end of the day people have lives.

I once had a long discussion, in which I was looked at as if I am crazy, where I said that I believe one of the greatest reasons Eve does not have a large female population is because women are still most often the family caretakers. I was looked at funny for that does not go along with the narrative that Eve is full of woman hating evil and every female is chased away and there is no other reason but this.

Yet, time is so valuable. In January I got Intuition. He is eight months old this week.


I have so little time. I work 12 hour shifts. I've worked them for a decade now. In October, I got a lateral transfer with better hours. I work 1000-2200. I get home, tend the puppy, make dinner, play with the puppy, change and shower, walk the puppy, play with him some more, stop him from chasing the cats, harassing the other dogs, stealing tomatoes from the counter, and find I have no more time. 

Eve's greatest weakens is also one of its coolest features. Eve takes up a lot of time. I cannot sit down and dedicate four hours to the game. I have to get up. Make dinner. Prep dinner. Tend the puppy. Water the plants. Put clothing in the wash. Do dishes. Make more meals (I'm baffled by how much time keeping food on the table takes when you make all of it), tend the dogs, tend the cats, try to sleep 6 hours a night.

The list goes on and time in finite. I just don't have it to give except now and then. Only, Eve isn't a now and then game. It isn't a game you drop in and hop out of. It is a game that leads you down the rabbit hole and unearths you six hours later. I think that is wonderful and I also think that many people cannot commit to it.

There is not enough individual stuff to do in the game. PvE has been pushed aside for so long that I wonder if it can recover. The developers that have been handed the task are talented people. But, a decade of neglect must be overcome and as I watch plans shatter, and shatter, and shatter again I wonder if it can be done. People may kick and scream that Eve is a social game and it must be played with others but the simple reality is that people need to be able to dangle their feet in the water and enjoy a cool drink and the warm sun instead of committing to a triathlon every gaming session.

That is what makes it unappealing. That is when you decide if you want ti log in for the thirty minutes you have to spare just to get moved to a position to hopefully start an activity the next session. At some point, adulthood comes knocking and it demands its pound of flesh in sleep. Contrary to popular belief, many internet gamers have relationships and those people, tolerant they may be, want some time too.

And then there is the fact that the players are fanatics. Dedicated, obsessed, in love, Eve players defend their game. They obsess over CCP. There is a commitment that is loud and clear inside of the games community. It is a very loud sound, but new people are not being retained and older players drop off. Time, exhaustion, other commitments... they all take their toll. And toll fees do not spawn from thin air.


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Silence

It is quite unfortunate that I came out of the CSM a bit of a mess. That was never the goal. I had planned, way back, to brush my shoulders off and step back into my game life. The entire missing game life thing didn't really factor in. I still find that I'm at a loss with things having changes so much.

It is all rather dull. Life goes on. The world continues to spin about. Wars and ISK and words fly about in all directions. I'm stuck on the invisible edge of a collidable structure. Bouncing around, trying to free myself and go about with my day.

There are habits to unlearn. I have to stop answering questions on twitter. I get dragged into arguments and fights I don't want to fight anymore. It always starts with such innocence. "Oh, I know that answer. Let me be helpful." Then twenty tweets later I'm sighing as arguments rage around me.

It is quite tiring. I do not thrive off of argument. I realize I don't care about being right and having the loudest opinion. It is all exhausting stuff.

Still! Fallout 4 is quite good. I've been chewing away at it here and there. The puppy is exhausting. The last few weeks have been a trial. We're transitioning from baby puppy to young asshole dog. It is not always a smooth transition. I do miss sleeping in. Sadly, he has decided that he needs to eat things that will kill him and promptly attempted to get blocked with a large portion of his bed. This delightful new habit has delayed the chances of him doing things like sleeping on my bed. My bed is full of lovely fabrics that can be eaten in large, intestine blocking chunks. I do admit, this phase will be nice when its past.

And my husband has almost finished the build on my new machine.

As for figuring out Eve?

I am going to Eve Vegas. I got my ticket when they went on sale.

I expect the blog to not have much to say for a while.  I decided to do what works best and write it out. All the things I never said. The things that happened. The good and the bad. It helps quite a bit. Sometimes, to often in truth, it is very hard. I hope, with it, I can purge it from my mind and start to heal. The side effect will be a detailed recollection of the term.

Maybe people will want to read it. Maybe not. It is nice to get it out. Holding it in, being mature, not saying things for the fact that the release was not worth the damage became a surprising burden. There were many surprising things along the way. People, even when they are doing their best to harm you for having the gall to try to help them, are fascinating.

I hope to have something interesting to say again. I'm giving myself a break from trying for now. If I write I write. If I do not, that is okay as well. I'm still here but I think I am going to continue to indulge in still quiet for a time.

One thing the CSM did do is make me very interested in studies about introversion. Can trying to force yourself into things just make it worse? I never became comfortable with the public eye. I did not grow to enjoy it. I feel now like I feel when I've had to many social obligations in to short a time.

Tired.

We shall see! With time this empty, withered husk that once contained my energy and passion should heal.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Five second rule

When did my skill queue turn yellow and get filled with yellow stuff? I'm pretty sure I looked at my alts skill queue a week ago. I'd have noticed this yellowness... wouldn't I?


The yellowness is confusing. Maybe it is my unallocated skill points? 

Update: It is. I am so fancy. 

I only noticed because my skill queue ran out.


I went almost thirty seconds with an empty queue! Oh well! And there I am finishing off T3 skills. I hate T3s and they are on my list of things I won't ever fly again.

89,921,079 skill points so far. Almost at ninety. A bit closer to 100,000. Why? I dunno. But it seems to be a thing.






Monday, May 2, 2016

Red and Yellow

"Sugar! Sugar! What are you going to do?"

"I don't know!"

That is my standard answer to things these days. I don't know. I don't have any goals. I'm floating along for now and seeing what happens.

I am enjoying not keeping up with things. It is lovely.

I am still fighting the good fight for all my haulers out there to get contracts increased to the max load for a Charon. No more wasted space!

And I undocked an alt and wandered off to get money. I just don't feel like doing anything with Sugar. She should be doing something productive and the thought of accessing and moving my stuff is just such a weight right now. The more mature approach is to just blow it all off and do something else.

And that is how I wound up doing the tutorial missions for money. The sucky thing is that skills have changed. My alt is old. She wasn't getting the starter skill books anymore which is why I wandered off to do the tutorial. It sucks because her skills are super dumb and useless.

But, do not fear. She now has two million ISK. That's right. Suck it! Enough to buy her some starter skill books and learn how to shoot a autocannon or two.

I'm hot shit. Hull upgrades here I come.

And I got a Venture! The world is amazingly simple when you have some veldspare in your hangar.

I may not know what I am or who I am anymore, but I do remember some of the basics. From here, we will see where things go. No rush. No worries. No responsibilities.

But maybe again... the adventure.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

To Cherish the Past

With my future in game swirling around in circles, I've let most of my accounts lapse until I know what I want to do again. I have plenty of skill points and skills. I can do the things that interest me as well as the stuff that does not but I have been told to learn.

I've been pretty comfortable that way. My stuff is safe in its stations. I'm saving cash every month. Things are good.

And then, six hours before down time and the Citadel launch I clicked on a link for carrier pilots.

It may have been because I was logged in. Whatever it was, I realized that Chella is a carrier pilot. I have a carrier. I have two carriers. Or maybe three? But at least two.

And one has a triage module.

I have given zero thought to the fact that my carrier would become a force auxiliary.

In six hours.

Did I want that? I didn't know.

Did I care? Why yes, yes I did.

With caring came my answer. Snowflake was purchased when I was six months old. I was ambitious. I would learn to do level 5 missions and be a useful member of the corporation. I never learned to do level five missions. I never became a useful carrier pilot for any group I joined. Perfect skills do not mean a thing when you don't have experience and when I might have reached that point, Thanatos were not the carrier of choice. He isn't even fit for anything but a move long ago. I could have remotely repackaged him but those sweet, sweet, large rigs to remind me of the past...

Snowflake, my flat ship with its weird little knobby head had been with me for years. Sure, he was stuck in low sec and would probably never move again. That didn't matter. He was mine. I'd miss his flat weirdness. I never found him to be an attractive ship but that never mattered. He was mine. A symbol of many things that never happened but I wish had.

I activated some game time, logged in Chella and set my course for Snowflake's place of rest.

Then I remembered gatecamps. Smart bombing ones. The things that make little shuttles go poof? Where they still a thing? Had culture shifted to some great extent of late? Could it be that... nope, gatecamps. I scanned zkillboard and saw that my most obvious path was barred.

I rerouted and made a deal. If I died, force auxiliary would I be. If I lived, Snowflake would remain in his birth state. The toss of a gate would decide.

One person... on to the next system.

Three people here... but I'm just passing through.

Twenty-five in system but no camp on the gate I used or the station.


Hello, Sujarento. It's been a while. I doubt I will ever see you again. Thank you for taking care of my carrier.
Love,
-Sug

Intuition at Six Months

Inty is hitting that six month point soon. My husband and I have had disagreements. I say things like 'he is six months by weeks' and my husband tells me it doesn't work that way. I tried, "six months worth of weeks" and he still said no.

Intuition's birthday was November 13th, 2015. That makes him almost five and a half months old. But, if you count the weeks he has six months worth. It makes sense to me but my husband has assured me that I am wrong and making up calculations.

Whatever! He is growing up and I wanted to share.


Three Months

Six Months

He has finally gotten lean and lanky. He will fill back out around 12-18 months.

My yard is nice and patchy from heavy dog usage.I mowed and reseeded after this shot. We've finally convinced him that he can potty on walks. For those without dogs, dogs do not automatically go potty outside. They do not automatically go potty on walks. Dogs are institutional learners and not generalists. A few breeds are generalists such as German Shepherds, but most dogs are very situational. Inty learned to potty in the back yard. It was many, many trips downstairs. Once that was well and truly learned, we had to pretty much walk him when he was about to pop and praise him for going on the walk. Because he is smart he picked it up fast but we had many walks that ended in the back yard for him to go potty.

He is a smart, affectionate dog. He is also quite the bold, sure asshole. He harasses the cats just to get them to chase him. We have created the great wall of separation to save Sage and Autumn from him.


We gate him off from them because he has no off button. Sage is 11. Autumn 6. They get tired of playing. He does not. We are working on it and he is improving but he still dissolves into assholeness quickly.

Next week he starts puppy kindergarten.  His training schedule will be six months of puppy kindergarten. Then he will take six weeks off while we reinforce that learning. Then basic obedience for six weeks. After that, the holiday season will kick in and my work load will increase. In January I hope to move up to advanced obedience and by next summer get ready to try some trials to get his obedience titles. He is a dream dog to work with once he grows up a bit more and learns to focus and contain himself. The asshole pushy nothing bother's me personality is exactly what I wanted.

10 weeks on the way home for the first time.

Sixish months old and needing a nail trim.

He is a big boy and getting bigger. He isn't oversized but within the breed standard. Still, sometime a week or two ago he managed to morph from puppy to dog in his size. A few times in the last week, when I have changed his posts on his ears and left them down, he has been a shadow of Nyx. Right now he is the same size that she was. He will be a good bit larger and I'm thankful for that.


While he looks like he doesn't want to be up there, that is a lie. He is the one that climbs up us at every opportunity. My mother is 5'4 for reference. It used to be that I could lean back in my chair and escape him. Not anymore. He just climbs up and slaps me in the face. He also loves to sit in laps so I tip my chair all the way back and scoop him up. He will chill, sprawled across me from knee to head and go to sleep. It is terribly uncomfortable and I try to do it every day.


We celebrate the loss of our last puppy tooth with a blotch of blood on our new chew toy. The blood washed right off. I'm happy all teeth are out. Sometimes they need to be pulled.

In general, things are going great. I'm hoping that one day soon he can come take a nap on the bed with me. But hes still so puppy. It may be a while yet.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

That was a weird little ripple

It may be an interesting week. I've cheerfully run about scrubbing the CSM stuff off of most links. I'll leave it on my forum signature. I may respond to something one day and then someone will ask me who am I to comment. I kind of hope that I'll have someone sneer at me and tell me that I should try to run for the CSM if I am so opinionated or think I can do a better job. That is my secret dream.

It seems my ending will be weighing in on this weird name change thing that happened to Goonswarm. Love them, hate them, be indifferent to them, I don't think they should lose their corporation history and a CEO from ten years ago get control of the corp name.

Player names, corp names, alliance names those are all things of power in Eve. A book was just written about Eve's empires. A book that could only have been written if our history is allowed to be history. I'm one that is rather interested in Eve's history and preserving it going forward. I've felt a lot of loss has happened recently. CCP may be updating image and shedding costly resources but there is so much tangible history that we are losing and I wonder if it represents a cultural shift.

Beyond that, I reminded CCP Logibro to hand over the CSM in game channel to the new CSM. Sure, very few members of CSMX used it. No one in CSMXI may have any interest in public outreach or just hanging in a spot where people can reach them. That doesn't mean I think the channel is a bad idea. Someone may use it. A good thing may come from it.

The noncompetitive stat of my personality is to blame, I fear, for my lack of understanding in some things. The CSM has placed me in numerous situations where someone did not wish to put effort into something or make a risk because it was not guarantied. Do things have to be guarantied before they are even approached? Sometimes we have to walk to make the path even happen. Not everyone and everything can already be well used, well known, or the best option.