Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Other Roads a Calling

I may have to reassess my understanding of things. I doubt that I will but the thought is great enough to consider. I wonder how small my soapbox is at times. Perhaps it is only as wide as my feet and it is my perception that makes it feel bigger.

Every time I enter into a conversation that moves into the direction of min/maxing I become exhausting. I do the things that I find interesting in the game. I do not do the things that I do not find interesting in the game. In this simple formula, I have found a reasonable measure of successful endeavors and forward momentum.

I'm not the best Eve player. I often take on situations with very little broad thought about what I am doing. It just seems to be a good idea. It may be fun. It is why I am a poor business person. I'll throw away my profits. I don't consider the value of the time I spent doing things. I, in fact, play most of the game just for the fun of playing it.

ISK per hour is one of my most hated terms in the game. Min/maxing is now a close second. And it may be that I am playing Eve wrong. It may be that I sit here and argue a thing that only I believe in and concepts that only make sense to me. I may have created an entire conceptual idea of playing not for exact games and strict numbers but for amusement, socialization, and the simple joy of liking something.

In my understanding, it seems a strange thing ton have to explain why someone would do something that they like. Why they would do something that was not the exact and balanced exact gain. I've never blitzed a mission or site. In fact, I find the ghost sites that explode frustrating because it is all race in, maybe get something, and then it explodes around you. To me that tastes of failure. To others, it seems to be exciting.

But feelings are much harder to pin down and support then hard mechanics. I only play because I enjoy it. I don't do things that I do not enjoy no matter how technically good they are. I don't think that I am alone in this. Yet, when knee deep and feeling alone, I have to accept that maybe it is not as common a thing as I feel that it is.

I've never been much of a gamer for as much as I play and enjoy games. I don't worry about finishing, I just like playing. I don't care about ranks. Rewards have no appeal. Achievements interrupt my immersion on my play. It's why I tell my story of the first time I started Skyrim and that it was many levels and months later before I found out why I couldn't use dragon powers. I had simply never done the second part of one of the first missions because I ran off into the woods and never came back.

It is the guy who yelled at me and told me that Diablo is not about the story. It is about grinding for the best gear. Diablo was about the story for me. I may be one of a handful of Diablo players that waited for years to see where the story was going to go and delighted in the adventure to find it. The auction house, its closure, the rebalancing, the discussions of nightmare mode... all of those things were vague buzzing far away.

Under all of this is the idea that how we play games has a lot to do with our perception. What games someone plays can clearly display this. I've recently gotten deep into games that do not have endings. Survival games appeal to me but strategey games also do. I have no interest in first person shooters unless they are also a survival game. I play 7 Days To Die for instance which has a first person view but like Minecraft and Skyrim I don't see it as a first person shooter.

It seems that I cannot help but bring this taint with me into Eve. I want to play Eve to play it. If I make 5 million instead of 7 million, I don't much care. If I have to break to far out of the game environment to do things I lose interest in them. I'll never be a metagamer. I'll never be a min/maxer. My dream of being a trillionare will also probably never happen but I'll keep plucking away at it. Just because I enjoy playing. Goals create paths and I guess I like the walk more than the arrival.

17 comments:

  1. JUSTK is recruiting... :)

    - Veskrashen

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  2. Thank you, I also play eve, badly, but I enjoy it even when I derp. Thanks for writing this o7

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  3. Bah, wrote a lengthy comment via tablet and it vanished. Its late & I've had beer.

    Short version :- do what *you* enjoy, its your game, your time, your fun. Do it your way. I'm doing it mine...did my first L3 mission yesterday in an Algos with T1 drones, its the best thing I can fly. Others said I should use a Vexor or a myrmidon, but I can't fly those yet. Apparently an Algos is neither quick nor efficient. I had to warp out for repairs numerous times, but I completed it. And it was fun doing it. That's what counts :)

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    1. One of those vanishing days. Sometimes I lost posts :P

      Oh I do my thing. It is more about conflict. I don't think my thing is flashy or really the type of thing people stand up and go, "Ah hah! I shot red crosses for three hours and liked it!"

      It is a lot like looking at blogs. Somethings transfer into stories better then others. Some things sound better. Some things that are true and not bad sound horrible when you try to voice them.

      Such things... such things...

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    2. You know... I wonder if that... the L33T, min/max, "yer playin the game wrong!" crowd are part of the reason so many don't get involved in the social aspects of EVE...

      CCP has been pushing the Social and Interactive aspects of EVE for some time now.... but you know, not ALL the social aspects of EVE are worth getting involved in. And some are downright toxic.

      I'm not what you would call a 'joiner' or a content creator... at absolute best I can sometimes assist as an 'enabler'... but for the most part I play the game my way and to H with everyone else.

      I really do fly by a "live and let die" rule of thumb... that thumb... the thumb resting lightly on the Fire Buhtan... =]

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  4. Bah, wrote a lengthy comment via tablet and it vanished. Its late & I've had beer.

    Short version :- do what *you* enjoy, its your game, your time, your fun. Do it your way. I'm doing it mine...did my first L3 mission yesterday in an Algos with T1 drones, its the best thing I can fly. Others said I should use a Vexor or a myrmidon, but I can't fly those yet. Apparently an Algos is neither quick nor efficient. I had to warp out for repairs numerous times, but I completed it. And it was fun doing it. That's what counts :)

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  5. As best I can tell, the only way to play Eve wrong (or any game for that matter) is to continue logging in when you dread doing so. Sometimes things can feel a little onerous but if it starts to feel onerous all the time that's probably pretty good clue it's time to extract yourself from the situation. Extraction might mean leaving a troublesome group of people or, perhaps shifting your space career, or, if things are really dire, moving on to other things entirely.

    "I may not understand what flips your gaming lever, but I will fight to the death for your right to pursue it." - Space Voltaire, YC 92

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    1. Some players just never quit completely. They may stop giving money to CCP, but they still play EVE Online - The metagame.

      Often with the same degree of suckcess as when they played EVE Online...

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    2. If I may ask Onions, *why* do you find yourself unable to walk away?

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    3. Because only a nail removes another nail, and I still haven't find a better nail than EVE.

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    4. Onions,

      Fiendish of CCP to elicit an itch only to warp the apparently unique backscratching tool able to reach it - Eve. If I may pursue a little further, can you elaborate on the qualities of the itch itself?

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  6. Exactly!!! It's a sandbox! There is no right way to play eve, there is no wrong way to play eve- there is only my way! And yes you are welcome to try and gank me while I build my sand castle - if you can. Thank you. I totally agree.

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  7. I think I get what you're saying. Ships and ship losses mean little to me. Neither do kills. The well executed maneuver is much more interesting.

    Ultimately, what I really care about is having a goal. I can supply my own metrics for goal progression if need be. If the FC calls for a roam for "content," I know I've got about 30-60 minutes of "boredom stamina" to keep up before retiring. While my fleet mate's drones are streaking towards a hapless random, I am ponder T2 role progression for something like a dragoon. I try to keep my antenna up for good synchronicity between fits in the gang comp of the day. That's the main reason I prefer kitchen sink fleets, so long as people fit for a gang role instead of just solo +1 fits. More interesting things emerge than with doctrines.

    But if we could somehow struggle for economic supremacy in even a tiny sector of the market, that would keep me riveted. Figuring out how to undermine the opposition is what makes the creative neurons spark. So long as conflict is just an accident though, mentally I am just treading water. Like my short daily attention span, I can rarely stay subbed for more than 1-3 months at a time. Too much investment for too little traction.

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  8. If min/maxing were frowned upon, there would be no meta. Meta is the definition of min/maxing. Fuck anyone who uses the term in EVE (in other games it can still apply)

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  9. I have only been playing for a little over a year. At first I was trying to isk per hour my way to fortune. Had (terrible) spreadsheets on mining and manufacturing trying to squeeze out each little isk. After a while I just could not bear to even open them. It became too much like my rl job. Even PI is a chore! So I stopped mining and only do a little bit of industry. I use programs like isk per hour occasionally just to see if something is worth building because I like making stuff and want to at least be profitable. The actual isk/hour is just not that important. I spend most of my time now exploring high sec doing combat sites and I find I like that much better. I make plenty of isk and just hate it when someone tells me there is a better way to play the game. I have not opened excel for Eve in months.

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  10. "If min/maxing were frowned upon, there would be no meta."

    No, if it were frowned upon, the meta would be a lot more interesting.

    If you press the ISK/hr advocates on the official boards, they will tell you that unless you do the absolute utmost to squeeze everything out of the game, you will cede an advantage to someone who is willing to do that, and you'll lose.

    Well, my little old WH corp didn't do that. Our static opened to a much higher WH class, so the day when you had a force at your door that could destroy everything you built and everything you worked for was known as "today." Our metagame was communication: we were chill, we were willing to commit to fights, and so despite the fact that scouring us out of WH space would have been a day's work, nobody did it. Politics FTW.

    The people who are most fervent about avoiding loss are generally the ones who are powerful enough to be able to even consider the possibility of preventing it. For us, loss was as ever-present as the moon our POS was anchored on, and in a way that was freeing.

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