Eve is my second most serious game ever. My first was a MUD that I started when I was sixteen. I can still log into it and chat with people who still log in and play. On that MUD I made my way up the ranks and became an Immortal and when I left I had built about 30% of the game world. We had a yearly gathering and many of us are still in contact with each other. The founder was eventually went onto working in the gaming industry and although we have filtered off into adulthood, we still keep in contact with each other.
It is not that I did not game. I did game a lot. My best friend and I played co-op games. I was a big fan of Diablo and she and I played Diablo II for hours. We played Hellgate:London and moved into City of Heroes with a group of guys who had also played our MUD. We'd chat on voice coms and play video games in the evenings with each other.
Eve is the first game that I played without her. She decided not to try it because she has the type of personality that addicts her to MMOs. That was fair enough and I kept my Eve play time separate. It was hard when I first started because I was utterly obsessed with Eve. However, it became easier later.
When Diablo III came out we attacked it with the same joy that many Diablo fans did. We played, and played, and I started to develop sore hands from all of the clicking. We played, loosely, with some Eve people. We really do like co-op games after all. One of those people from Eve got upset with me when he learned that I was playing Diablo for fun. I was very critical of the story line for instance. That was when he told me that you played Diablo to get the best gear sets.
Now, I had been playing Diablo for two things. Fun with my friend and the story line. I had a mismatched set of gear that I absolutely loved. It looked great and I wasn't really dying so I was doing fine. We would do every inch of every board, read every book, and obsess over the story.
We were doing it wrong. That was when I was told that I was barely a casual gamer and not the hardcore gamer that I had tried to sell myself to be.
It was an odd insult. But, I carried that feedback forward. Once I got over the insult of it, I could agree with him. I played as I wanted. I cared not for the best gear. I put together skills and equipment that did what I liked. I'd never checked with an external site that told me how to best build my character. In fact, I was often doing everything absolutely wrong.
I play Eve the same way. At the same time, I take Eve very seriously. But serious and casual are not the same things.
I've tried out a lot of things in Eve for no reason but my own curiosity. Some I have been successful at and some have been failures. I have chased after goals for other people and it is often those goals that have left me the most unhappy and struggling to find reason and meaning to what I do.
At some point I decided to just accept my barely casualness. I was never going to awe people as a pilot. I would never be the best. I'm not a savant. And as I stopped trying to be what I was not, I got a bit happier. Even now, I don't use Evemon to manage a future skill queue. I think I remapped sometime back in January for something or another. I still enjoy flying Jaguars.
I'm okay that way. I much to much enjoy diving into things that may be fun with little consideration for their correctness. I know that for others, optimization is where they receive their pleasure and my haphazard whirlwind approach to playing would not appeal to them.
There is a big future for me in Eve. I have my industry alt learning T2 manufacturing skills finally. Sugar is kind of learning missiles. There are so many things to do. They may not be big as in shiny and news worthy. That is okay. I don't do them for that, anyway. One day I may understand the love of the Tengu. That alone, will be an amazing thing.