Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Scent of ISK

Sometimes when a fleet is formed the scent of burned ISK is strong in the air. In Eve ISK makes the universe spin. Rich or poor to continue in the game most (not all) need a steady supply of ISK. How much ISK one needs is dependent on the tasks and goals that the individual has. But avoiding the need for ISK is nearly impossible. Even if a personal need does not exist due to supplementation from another direction ISK is still important.

If someone wishes to roam Eve and explore the galaxy to see what is there they have almost no need of ISK. Maybe some skill books and a clone upgrade now and then while roaming about in a rookie ship.

There was a roam planned. The boys were asked to bring dictors to the battlefield. They complied and began to ship into it. This was when I started getting together some interceptors. Tackle is always useful and a good fallback role. I was already in Rens at the time. We do not fly dictors as a daily ship so people needed various specialized bits and pieces to fill their fits.

Everyone spent ISK. I purchased and fit an interceptor. The boys needed a few more dictors. The bubble generators were grabbed (aka interdiction spheres). Plus, a normal T2 fit costs a little bit of change. Add in ammunition and rigs and it’s easy to spend 200-300 ISK for a fleet where we expected to die.

It was not a fail fleet. It was the side effect of what the roles we would fill would mean. The ships were not sturdy and no one wants bubblers and interceptors around. The ships would be destroyed and the ISK would be spent for a moment of battle.

This is a difference in the games played. It almost goes against the grain. The careful planning, the careful fitting of the ships, the proper allocation of skills and resources all to enter a situation where personal loss has a high outcome.

PvP is expensive because loss is a thing. Its an assume thing. When I missioned I knew that I might lose a ship but I doubt few enter a mission knowing that they are going to go down and burn and that is their place in the fleet. That in their ships destruction is one of the keys to the fleets hopeful success. That is not how most game play works. The goal of winning tends to bring along its friend the assumption of not losing anything.

It is a hurdle that some may need to jump over. Success and failure are measured by goals. The goals may be personal or they may be group goals. It is not a black and white win or lose situation. Without the automatic respawn of possessions when a player character dies the loss is more then a simple static equation. As much energy was put into the ships lost as much as they are put into the ships that won.

It is amusing that finical responsibility is such a thing on Eve. ISK can make or break the game. Not just because of access to new and shiny things but because of access to the tools needed to go forth and do what needs to be done. An empty wallet can push someone back further then an exploded ship can. The "don't fly what you can't afford to lose" mantra is a Rule of Eve. Yet, it can be tempered down with, "Have some type of sensible backup plan." You may not be able to fully faction fit another Machariel but it would be good for a fall back ship to be fit and docked in a hanger somewhere to help with recovery.

It is a constant cycle of funding ones habits. It is where many become frustrated. The gain and loss cycle. In many games once you reach a certain point you start to have more currency then you need. Some may have that in Eve but not most and not by far.

The cost of PvP is perhaps the biggest entry barrier. A group can hold someone's hand, teach them things and walk them through the processes. I guess one could shower one with ISK as well but at a certain point self sufficiency has to kick in. Value is assigned. The loss and gain cycle is entered. But instead of rejecting it the cycle needs to be embraced. It is not so much that I support the grind or a grind but that I say that it gives value to the loss. That is why it is so frustrating.

But, it is also why it is so rewarding.

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