On Sundays, I try to attend Seamus Donohue's weekly game mechanics class on Eve Uni's public mumble. I started attending a bit before CSM9 started. It was a good way to connect with newer players and see what questions they brought forward. Over the last two years, it has also been a place to look at Eve in different ways. Seamus is a self described carebear but his knowledge of mechanics and game design is in depth.
I've had people express surprise that I attend this. I learn a lot in these discussions. There are so many areas of the game I have not played. It also moves me outside of my familiar circles. People are not ashamed of running missions and mining here and the questions are broad and the topics interesting.
This afternoon, before I had to scoot to pick the husband up from the airport, they were discussing grid sizes. In this discussion, Seamus casually discusses grid size and pulls out a calculator for a few square root multiplication processes to discuss potential maximum ranges. I understood what he was saying but what struck me was how that is not a process I'd do in day to day life. It is something I find enviable but also fascinating in how we break down and process information. I do not think I have ever had a day to day moment where I needed the square root of a number. I'd probably ask google if it did happen after I finished being excited.
A bit later, while sitting at the airport and reading Tweetfleet Slack, someone asked about changing market skills that allow access to distance to a cost based formula. The further people can see it, the more it costs. This discussion broadened a bit into what is a market and a hub and what motivates people to go and buy something.
The market discussion flared out into "this won't start a market" and "that will" and "I run markets." I found myself thinking, well so do I and I wouldn't do it that way. The opportunity was there to make it into an argument but instead there was more pleasure in seeing others opinions on the topic. The differences fascinate me. When I look at how others play Eve, I very much play Eve in a different way that shouldn't be successful.
However, I am successful. I may not be as successful as others. But, I don't need to give my success special qualifiers such as, "I made my markets that matter," and etc. When I lay out what I have done and gained, it qualifies neatly as successful. Sure it could be more so but at that point we are nit picking.
The chances are quite high that I will never see the game in the technical breakdown that Seamus does with such smooth, casual ease. I'm okay with that. Seeing how he sees the game enriches it for me. Somewhere, in the back of my creative mind, I break down what he says into something that makes sense for me. Eve gets a bit deeper and richer.
In that same area, I take the discussions about markets and use it to learn more. Instead of arguing with people that my market did fine being different, I look at the people. Where are they? What space? What play type? It is a moment where I can argue or I can learn. Learning is less stressful.
Of course, this may all be a glorified excuse for being bad at Eve as well. Who knows!