Vov invited me to a 5/10 Angel's Red Light District just as I got home from work the other day. I tiredly gave in and went to do it. I logged in Chella and told him, "Fleet us."
"Fleet us." Beyond the vague questions of multiple personalities there is the fact that many of my PvE choices are tasks for multiple people. It just happens that I am the extra people as well. It was a matter of necessity.
There was a time when I was very lonely. THC2 was a very small corporation and I was off time zone for most of the day. While I had a corporation of supporting, affectionate people I was still lonely. I was also very new and I learned that I needed to help myself if I wanted anything to be done. The relationship I have with Vov didn't exist then. I often had to beg and wheedle and entice people out of my corporation to do content with me. The cost was half of whatever dropped which was fine for they helped. But, I couldn't do things alone. I hated that and it has molded a lot about the way that I play.
Eve is not created around being a solo game. I've often pointed out that the very simple term 'fleet' is speaking of more than one person. But, many of us play solo. Even as we play socially, we often do our PvE content alone. I compensated for that by becoming a fleet of my own. I started triple boxing at around five month's old. I flew a scanner, a DPS, and a logistics ship. That was what Ender did and Ender was amazing at making ISK so I used him for a role model. I always had my corpmates. I had text chats sometimes and originally, because I worked midnights I was able to stay up and get in my fleet and social time.
I understand that not everyone is going to have my path to take in the game. Not everyone is going to want to or have the time to or eventually develop the wildly varied but wonderful group that I consider my friends in the game. And that is okay. The more I play and the more people I meet the more I learn that corporation's are not for everyone. One thing my path taught me is that the social engagement of Eve can and does exist outside of the corporation. Such has been the rise of my chat room and my continual adoption of players. It is not something I can do in corp so I do it outside of it.
It is why I sent someone over to The Nosy Gamer the other day. he was looking for advice on surviving as a miner in low sec. I couldn't answer him as I felt he needed to be answered. My game path is PvP. My sec status hovers under -9 (I doubt I will ever hit -10 because I PvE regularly). Sometimes I get eve-mails. Some from readers and some who my boys send to me. I've learned that while I may enjoy a lovely, fairy tale story of an amazing social group, not everyone get's that roll of the dice.
How do I advise people? It is both a flattering and intimidating place to be in. For whatever reason they have decided to trust in me and ask for my thoughts. It is as if little pieces of the player retention puzzle is given to me and eventually they will snap into place. For now, I often just sit and talk to them. Sometimes it is just advice on where they can go that is safe. I have a handful of corporations that I recommend to new players and each time I recommend them based off of what that person is trying to do and I tell them that. Sometimes it is just contact and a need to have someone, anyone to bounce things off of. There are other things in game that we learn best from other people.
Those who have decided to stay in my chat know that I will drag them into these situations. There is so much I do not know. Therefore, I impose on others willing to be imposed on. It is a fine line giving new players access to veterans. In the perfect world vets to the game would advise the new and they'd swiftly pick up the basics to climb the learning cliff.
I was dealing with something the other day, at work. It was a situation where I wound up telling around a hundred people the same thing, one by one. More figured out what needed to be done without my help, but for those that didn't or couldn't, I told them. Over and over until I started to forget what I was supposed to say. A co-worker came to me and said, "I don't know how you deal with it. I'd make them go figure it out themselves." A bit pissed, I looked at him and said, "I don't like to not know things. I don't like to be talked down to when I don't know something or haven't had a chance to learn it. I don't like to be lost. I don't like to be ignorant. I don't like to be confused. I treat them how I want people to treat me in a similar situation. That's how I deal with it."
People call me patient and kind and such nice things. I don't agree. I don't care for my own memories of ignorance and the discomfort that I had asking for help and the responses that often came with a 'stupid' question. Perhaps I should start making temp accounts for rookie chat and just log in with my laptop and answer questions on slow evenings. I also think I will develop an easy help link archive of sites, blog posts, and YouTube videos that answer a lot of the basic questions and problems that I hear. I've met very few people who wanted to be held by the hand.