Thursday, October 31, 2013

Eve is a...

I've never been to an Eve event if one discounts the random live event that happened in Oddelulf one day that I just happened to bump into. I've never been to a player event. They tend to be free for alls and that has never been an environment I have wanted to indulge in. I'm also to shy to randomly join a fleet of strangers. However, tonight, I joined the fleet that was going to the Nightmare in New Eden event. I had debated avoiding it but I decided that it had been too long since I had flown so I would give it a try.
Altaen called for a pure, Aurgoror rep fleet to go and participate in the event. I died four jumps out of a Shadow Cartel Hac fleet. I managed to decloak early. One click. Two... whoops. Aurgoror down. I made my way back to our Solitude base and docked up. After all, it was a work night. The boys went off to kill things with some people Altaen picked up in local as we moved through.
In other games, with holidays or events they tend to be run by the games management  CCP has their own live events that they do but they are not what moves the game. One is more prone to see a PLEX sale in Eve instead of a 3x skill training weekend or whatever would be on another game to promote special occasions. Instead players put together, advertise, find support, and cooperate to create content inside of the game that goes beyond the normal daily interactions of a MMO.
It is a game of huge concepts.
That is how I explained Eve to a co-worker. He was trying to get me to play World of Tanks and I was telling him that I was too busy playing Eve. He knows of Eve but he has never had the time to play it. I explained that the game itself is not, for the most part, fast.  But what we do is build huge things out of our own effort and creativity and then release them into the wild to see what happens.
It is easy for the greater game of Eve to be swallowed up in the flashy, visual meta games of Eve. It is not all about the Sov Wars and the major battles  It is not the massive scams and the people who list each in game loss with a real world dollar amount. All of them are a piece of the game world and the game world is composed of every event that happens.
Those events include the new players who jump into low sec for the first time and feel fear as they see their first flashy red player who is not a friend. I remember clearly the first time that Ueberlisk hunted my fleet down in a mission. I was terrified. (I also had a cloak on my Brutix which makes me giggle now but back then cloaks seemed magical and sensible.)
It is a game of stories.
An event can not seem exciting while you live it. It is because one experiences all of the individual pieces at different times and over a period of time. It is later, when the story is retold that all of the energy, complexity, and excitment rushes in.
It is a game of consequences.
When I speak about anything I say, we, us, our, and my corporation. My story is not just what I do. It is what I do with everyone else. When we speak of consequences in Eve we often speak of the true loss that happens. Our ship is destroyed and that is that. It doesn't bounce up after a two minute stun phase and come assist us in battle again. But the ship is a consumable, virtual item. The real consequences in Eve ripple through the interactions of player vs player. From the ganker to the AWOXer Eve is defined by the consequences of human to human interaction.
It is not a fast game.
"Is Eve a game for me?" so many ask. Can they catch up? Can they get into it ten years in. Can they play it in their free time. Yes to all of it. Not having that speed can frustrate people but things happen. I can spend a day burning through tasks and duties. It took twenty jumps and an hour after form up for the boys to make it to their Event with half the fleet dead along the way. Yet, the pay off was the fun that they had. For some, having to work towards that pay off be it travelling, planning is what they hate most about the game.

Whenever I talk to people about Eve I get excited. I have to tone down my level of creepy excited gamer. But I gush about it and I tell stories about it. When people ask about the big events I will tell them about them. but I will also tell them about he small events as well. I'll talk about players creating content to do what they want to do. I wind up in discussions about the market as often as I do about null sec.

I'm not embarrassed to talk about games. The other day, a co-worker discovered I was a gamer, and was shocked. I've never understood why it surprises people. I'm not shy about it but I am also not chatty in general. Another co-worker made a comment about being to busy because she has a life. I smiled as she walked away and said to my other co-worker, "I'm amused at how travelling around America, wandering to Iceland, meeting people from dozens of countries to discuss a hobby is not a life."

Eve is a hobby, a pastime, an obsession, an interest. It is more to some and less to others. Its hard to define, but after two long conversations with non-players of late, I've given up defining and started just explaining.

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