I am very proud of accomplishments in Eve. Truly proud of what I have done. That pride makes the failures all that much harder. And with any failure it'd be nice to shove it into a dark pit, roll a bolder over top of it and walk away. The problem is that I still know that it is there, in its bolder covered pit. Ignoring it, hiding it, pretending it did not happen will not make it go away. I am the type of person that has to work out their problems, cry out their hurts, and attack the obstacles in their path.
That's why sitting for the past three or so weeks, sad and hurt, has not been productive for me. In many ways writing my blog has been my way to work through the good and the bad times of playing. I've gotten used to chronicling my days and adventures and chewing over my thoughts.
So, let's face the failure. I closed TCS in Bosena and moved to Sujarento.
I have completely moved out of the region. It is an incredibly painful thing to look at. It is a painful thing to admit to. I am deeply, deeply disappointed in the failure of my project.
- I failed at my urban renewal program in Molden Heath.
- I failed to bring enough value as a neutral.
- I failed to get anyone else as vested in that project
It went better than I expected. My improper view of the game allowed me to not worry about bottom lines and immediate success. Success was measured in people buying items from me. I rejected everything I was told and most of the advice that I was given and forged ahead at my dream of low sec being a viable place with markets and normal everyday activity.
That was almost two years ago. In a different time for Eve and a different time and place for me. It was one of my early ventures into changing low sec and other peoples perception of low sec. I was tired of hearing, "lol low sec" and other such dismissive snarky comments. I loved where I lived and what I did and I felt that I was just as valuable a player as anyone else. Sure, running a market wasn't a glamorous thing but it was infrastructure and infrastructure matters when a large group of people need to be fueled.
And such was my doe-eyed dreams and hesitant excitement as instead of failure I met with success. It involved a lot of fighting. I fought people who told me that my concept was wrong. I fought against the very people I wanted to help because I could not allow some to gouge the market and not others. I trained accounts, I saved ISK, I begged for help, I borrowed jump freighters. I made mistakes. I prospered. I wrote about it and found out that people were interested in my trials, tribulations, and excitement.
My POCOpire was a random venture. It started with just seeing the POCO as a way to put TCS's label on Bosena. Then, when I was gifted POCO by another player tired of dealing with reinforcement timers, it turned into an urban renewal project. Could I improve the region by providing goods and low taxes? Molden Heath is out of the major roadways and not inhabited by Faction Warfare but maybe I could invigorate it if I tried.
When I left 7-2 and moved out of Molden Heath I left TCS running. I had purposefully created TCS as a separate entity from Sugar Kyle. I wanted my market to be neutral. I wanted it to not be defined by my other activities and endeavors. That is why I refused when people asked me not to sell modules like warp core stabilizers and EC-300 drones. Once I started the concept grew and I wanted it to be more than my corporate market. I saw that it could be more than my corporate market.
And then, when I decided to leave, I decided to leave TCS up and running and my POCOpire there and available. I felt that I had made a difference. I felt that I was making a difference. And I started to dream that maybe it would grow a bit beyond me and it would no longer be the venture of one player.
Hopes and dreams. Dreams and hopes. Ignited by nothing but my experiences, hopes, and dreams.
But nothing lasts forever. Not even good intentions. The market was stressful to run. I had started another in Sujarento and running between the two kept me more occupied than I often liked. I still felt indebted to Molden Heath. I felt that I had to provide them their market. I enjoyed feeling needed. I enjoyed being successful at something that felt productive and useful and helpful and valuable.
There was also the fact that I had moved out of Molden Heath. Neutrality is a concept that I am fascinated with in Eve. It is one that I'd love to see accepted more. I know why it often is not but I'd like to see it happen. But, I also have to set my limits.
On November 22nd, I received an eve-mail from an ex-corpmate who wanted one of my POCO. Not the use of said POCO, for I gladly provide 0% taxes to any I consider friend, but the POCO itself. The mail was a friendly request to hand the POCO over before it was shot because taxes were not an option. I said no. I was not interested in letting go of the POCO and offered 0% taxes which was accepted.
That left me surprised, when two weeks later, I logged in my Jita buy character to a notification that my POCO was being shot. I opened my notifications to see that it was being shot by the same person who two weeks before had agreed to 0% taxes.
I had a lot of emotions hit me. Shock. Hurt. Disappointment. I had hoped in my heart of hearts that things would be fine forever. That I'd continue bringing value in. That I could be neutral enough that my structures were left alone.
I looked into it some. No one knew what was going on. I got some possible reasons. But, oh well.
And then I got angry. Very angry. I had a lot of options. I also found myself at a loss for what to do. Ask for them to stop? Ignore it? Wait for the next one? Diplomacy? Beg? But most of that was washed away by the anger. I had promised myself that if I was attacked I'd withdraw. That I was already at the edge of my abilities to balance everything that I was doing and that I could not deal with an assault on the project. I, perhaps, thought too much of myself and too much of the value of what I did. But, for me it was important and meaningful and when the damage notifications scrolled in I just stared at them stupidly.
How angry I was. My temper, once raised, consumed me. I thought up half a dozen spiteful, vindictive things that I could do. I thought of them and I let them tempt me before I wrote Robinton a semi-incoherent message. What a fascinating friendship that had grown between the two of us from his days as an anti-pirate and mine as a newbie creeping around the outer edges of the Molden Heath circle. I'd been disappointed at the distance that had grown as I left and I clung to the few people with whom I had not lost touch. Near blinded with anger and hurt, I’m glad that I do not need to look at the keyboard to type. I asked him if he would take my POCO and keep giving the tax rate to the region. He agreed and I then handed over every single POCO that I owned in Molden Heath.
And then I pulled TCS. Five hundred orders. A dozen jump freighter trips. My hands shaking. My lips clenched. I was angry. I was hurt. They are probably things that I should not talk about. You're not supposed to actually care. It is only a game. You're not supposed to admit weakness to people. There are so many rules and I didn't care about any of them. Order after order. Jump after jump. I delisted TCS. I sent it all to high sec. I wrote a dozen contracts to Red Frog, and I sent my alts to Sujarento.
And in less time than I'd like to admit, what I had spent almost two years building, I had dismantled and walked away from.
It was a terrible thing. Should I have? Should I have just taken it? Should I have been diplomatic? Should I have swallowed my anger and hurt? Should I have destroyed what I built? Was I spiteful? Was I selfish? Had I over reacted? Did I have the right to do what I just did? What would people think of me? Did it make me a bad person?
But I had made my decision. I packed it all up, I sent it to where I lived, and I rebuilt my market. In a new place. Because I still believe in everything that I wanted to do. I still believe that markets improve a region. But, keeping it with me will probably be for the best. I can explore my concepts of neutrality in other ways. I just have to be creative and build something new.
I watched my reinforced POCO burn. I stared at the loss mail for a while. It was something of a realized nightmare. There was a lot of disappointment, sadness, and frustration attached. I know that I could have handled things a different way. I could have done something else. But, instead I walked away. It happened that my line had been crossed.
In almost two years, I learned a lot. I never thought that I’d get into markets. I learned incredible amounts about players, ships, and fits just by seeing what sold. I learned about a part of Eve that is easy to miss. I found talents and abilities I didn’t know that I possessed. And while I did not realized my grand goals or accomplish my hopes and dreams, I walked away a different, more experienced person.
And like a Phoenix from the ashes, TCS has risen. Sujarento’s market sits at eight hundred orders. Consolidation has allowed me to focus and use my energy productively.
It is not the same. It will never be the same. But, I’ve learned and gained. It is amazing how one stubborn person can accomplish. But, that is not sustainable. I’ll reformulate my plan and come up with something better. Something stronger. Eve is a very large game with an awful lot to do. A lot to acomplish.