Often times, those of us who play Eve try to explain the concept of the game to others. We build this off of our experiences, interests, tastes, and activities. But, with such a vast game it is easy to forget that what we share are many pieces of a larger picture and no single one of us knows every single piece.
I've often struggled with the feeling of not fitting in. I like to socially PvP and find no pleasure in solo. Yet, I admire solo PvPers like one admires an artist or dancer of great skill and technique. But, I do not want to paint or dance as they do because I have no natural aptitude for it. Instead, I chortle over market orders gleeful and happy. And I feel a bit guilty that they thrill me so much. Have you seen the price of Medium Ancillary Current Routers? Exactly!
Talvorian Dex wrote a very pretty piece to newbies that Eve Hermit responded to. I happen to enjoy when bloggers bounce off of each other. It does not have to be every day but I am no stranger to writing responses. Talvorian Dex responded back to Eve Hermit and he included a line that I commented on:
"...diving into Eve with an intention of playing solo from the start is not an optimal way to approach the game for the first time."Talvorian writes lovely blog posts and on this topic he explains his ideas out using reasonable, sensible, and understandable things. I understand where he is coming from and I absolutely disagree with him. Not because he is wrong in his conclusions but because I disagree with the scope of them.
I don't like the word optimal. It ignites every knee jerk, "You're not my real dad!" response in me.
I am not an optimal person. I fly Jaguars. I picked a Revelation for my dreadnought. I build complex projects for my own amusement. I tend to sell things at cost. I refuse any 'best' path that I think may bore me. I delight in all of the things I delight in without enjoying one thing more then the other. I don't like any of the best ships. Some days I'm more interested in market stocking then PvP.
It may simply be a matter of perception.
My concept of playing in low sec developed around the idea of social loners. Players who socialized with each other out of desire and enjoyment rather then need. They might spend hours in comparable silence. They made their ISK alone. They fought many battles alone. They did their own logistics, built their own ships, and are highly self sufficient. I build up my play style in Eve around those ideas of self sufficiency. I've learned to care for myself, fund my own projects, cover my own losses, and handle my own needs. I do not need my corporation. I like them. I want to be with them. But I can occupy myself quite well on my own. I interact with people because I want to interact with them.
I see Talvorian as this successful null sec PvP person with organization and planning and lots of corporation and alliance mates all done up in his nice jacket. I forget to comb my hair and may not know where I left my spaceship in the morning.
I see Eve Hermit as this successful, Zen like guy. The type you go looking for in lush forests full of mist and wolves. The one that in one word answers your question and vanishes. But he may leave you some berries since you ran out of supplies looking for him.
But we all log in because we choose to play Eve.
Eve has a very large, very quiet population that few of us who are vocal or public or engaged in the exterior community know. They play Eve. Many play Eve in technically poor ways. They over fit their ships. They grind level four missions. They are in one man corporations. They mine their own materials to build their ships and depress the market by their understanding of free minerals. They play Eve wrong in so far as one defines or sees playing a video game with any planning. And these players log in and do their Eve thing every single day. Should we assume that they are going, "Gosh this is so awful," as they log in do their thing and then go, "Thank god I can escape this optional activity I force upon myself in my aloneness every day. Wow."
If I were to go to them and tell them that they need to have fun and come to low sec so that they could get something out of their game by flying in PvP fleets with me what would they say? I don't know. Some might come. Some might not. But should I think that they are playing Eve wrong when they are retained and stay and enjoy the game?
It is one of those CSM topics when we discuss things like changing PvE or what can we do to make mining more interesting? At the same time as we look to improve Eve we have to remember that there are people who log in and play the 'boring' bits. They log in every day and play and log out. Day after day. Week after week. For years. There are a lot of people out there living in their little personal world of Eve and they are vested players.
When you cast a net you get whatever is in the area. I've cast a net here and gotten myself, Talvorian, and Eve Hermit. We share a few basic things but I do not think that anyone would ever consider us the same type of player.
One of the beauties of Eve is that you can defy the norm. You can scream into the darkness and with your civilian laser carve a future for yourself just because you want it that way. I happen to love that. It excites me as no other game does. I will build my kingdom out of shuttles and encourage those who wish to do nothing but look at the Nebula to do so.
So no... they isn't an optimal game Eve. Not that I can see. There is only each individuals game of Eve. Helped or not, only the individual can find it.