[Warning: Metaphorical condensation of frustrated reactions]
I’ve consumed one to many glasses of bitter over the last few days. No matter how much cream and sweetener I pour in, that bitter taste rises back to the surface. It has left me with an upset stomach and a lack of appetite. They say that one should smother the bitter and tickle the newbie, or something like that, in these situations. My cup is not very large. It only holds twenty two months.
I never started Eve with any intention to PvP. That may have set the basis of my future perceptions. It was not that I had a problem with PvP. I had no interest in it because I had never been in a game where it was anything but another random thing to do. I learned that is not how Eve works. I’ve come to enjoy my PvP and slowly develop more aggressive leanings. Yet, I doubt I am much of a PvPer in the big game. I am still happy shooting red crosses and building my own spaceships. I sometimes fly around the stations just to fly through objects and I am logged on, even when I don’t have time in space, to use Eve as a big chatroom for all the amazing and interesting people I have met.
I started right after Curcible. I believe the week after it was released. The Talos, Tornado, Oracle, and Naga have always existed in my world. The Jaguar has been as it is. Yet, in my short time I have seen the fall of the Hurricane and the rise of the T1 cruiser. I have seen the death of Drake Fleets and heard the tortured screams of incursion runners. All of these things are change and I have often thought that the changes did not really affect me. But I realize that I am wrong.
As long as I yearn for the Hurricane of old I will be affected by the change. For as long as I crouch over my pride of Jaguars and fear for their future I will be affected by change. Every time I tag someone on a gate to come back for a hard tackle and scoop up a Sec Tag in a belt, I am affected by that change.
I do not think that anyone yearns for a static game. If so, expansions would never happen across the board of video games. Developers would use their time and resources to create newer things for their consumers if that was all their consumers wished for. Instead they add onto, tweak and adjust. Even when the old is not edited the new introduces change through its very existence. For some games it is having purges done of every item that they once held or watching the devaluation of all they have accomplished in moments.
When I think of the changes in Eve on this level they are easier to accept. It would be worse if we lost everything that we had, in my opinion. To log into an empty hangar and an empty wallet while announcements of the newest expansion danced across the captain’s quarter’s monitor. That would suck.
In twenty two months things have changed. I have changed. The game has changed. There was a time when we would never add logistics to our fleets. There was a time when anything under a cruiser meant death on a gate ninety percent of the time and a cruiser was an iffy option as well. There was a time before mining frigates zipping around with gleeful new players scared out of their wits as they shot through a flashy gate camp. And during that time things were different. The ignorant were easier to bait for instance. The game rewarded in-depth knowledge of its quirks and features.
With each change things were lost. The ninja salvagers and the can flippers found their knowledge and abilities no longer useful due to the safety button and the entire crime watch mechanic changes. Yet, at the same time, roaming gangs found themselves no longer locked in stations for 15 minutes at a time and the rate of spaceship explosions soared in other places. Has the price of T2 rigs plummeted because of the scanning changes of Odyssey? Did the removal of the static DED complexes remove farming or just chase the occupants to other tasks, such as Faction Warfare? It is no longer battlecruiser online but cruiser online but suddenly there is a plethora of support ships on the field that were not, quite as needed before.
With each good comes some bad and with the bad comes some good. The problem is that good is not always given to the same person that received the bad. With the nerf of my hurricane I was given the current situational uses that I now have with my Jaguar. I have lost. I have gained. Others have lost and they have gained. But their losses outreach their gains. It may be the clarity of the past to the murkiness of the future. But the cups of bitter are very, very full.
In my twenty two months, I have seen some broken features introduced and those same features tweaked, fixed, or left broken. I can understand the frustration of these things. Little things left unfixed, such as the months that sec gain was broken, start to creep in and chew at you. There is a level 5 mission that has been broken for years, for instance. Why has it never been fixed?
“I don’t know why she swallowed that fly…”
One thing about being a consumer and at the receiving end of a product is that you do not know why things happen as they do. Businesses have to run. Things have to be created. What is the vision of one may not be the vision of another. Often I have seen someone announce that they have the answer to all only to have it shattered minutes later by another.
I also have my twenty two months of playing. I’ve not enjoyed every minute. I’ve had some bad hours and a few days that I would like to forget. Maybe I am more forgiving then some. Maybe I am less bitter than most. I don’t think the game is perfect. I don’t think that it can be perfect. Beyond the fact that it is created by people it is the fact that the game is something different for each of those people.
As I was staring at this brimming cup of bitter and watching others sip from its full brim, I realized that the very moldability of Eve is part of its greatest problem when it comes to content for its players. People can seek what they want. They can reach for what they want to have. There are often moments when the exact thing materializes and they are stunned at the inexplicable and satisfying results of its manifestation. But, they are not guaranteed that it will happen again. It may make the loss of what was such a pleasure even harder to take and the replacements or new options feel shallow and empty.
Having something and losing it, through time or change, feeds some of this bitterness. I have tasted from that cup myself. It is easy enough to pick it up and drink it down to the dregs. But it will just fill up again. I suspect consuming it isn’t the best way to deal with it. Some will walk away, exhausted with it. Others will dilute it and some cups will never overflow. I think that every cup will contain some bitterness. There are to many flaws in the diamond not to see them. To pretend that they never would is naive.