Monday, December 14, 2015

Perspectives

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!

8 comments:

  1. Could you explain how care bear can have "in-depth knowledge of game mechanics"?

    "Average" mechanic knowledge is somewhere near understanding why any svipul or confessor has 2s warp off time.

    "In depth" mechanic knowledge is the level when you either understand what happens on AT battlefield or can explain why you ship mjd'd away while being previously scrammed for 4 of 5 seconds of mjs spool time.

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    1. Do you know the complex calculations behind standing? And how corp standing propagate?
      How a grid expand or not?
      What is the number of jump and exhumers you need before using an orca to haul instead of a DST ?

      Mechanics exist outside of PvP

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    2. Your comment is silly. Nitpicking one word selection is a pretty weird way to contribute here. Even if you were right, is it a fight worth having?

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    3. You and I may define game mechanics differently.

      I look at it as the way the game works. I've freely discussed in the past that I play on intuition more than anything else. Understanding the mathematical formula that run the bulk of Eve is a skill that fascinates and impresses me.

      Your 'average' knowledge is simply formula. Some people are better at it then others. Some simply knows it works.

      The AT is something that I would call specialist knowledge.

      The MJD question is mechanical knowledge that one can figure out if one asks or is asked the question.

      I am sad that you got caught on the 'care bear' label and see it as a point of complete and object ignorance.

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    4. Never seen anyone need Excel for PVP... however... =P

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  2. Have to agree Sugar that his sessions always get me thinking too. Gotta love the boss. He's a one of a kind. Hehe

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  3. "Seeing how he sees the game enriches it for me."

    Far too few players seem able to swim in this kind of delight. Burning desire for one and only one best way to appreciate befuddles so many. Despite Alice Cooper's rousing rendition, "We're all clones, all are one and one are all" never deeply appealed to me.

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  4. You can get ahead in the market by going for high volume, low price - or high price, low volume.

    Mining, building your own production chain (mix industry with market activity) lowers costs, increases profits.

    All methods involve constant effort and tweaking to achieve what a player could call success, and it's to the game's credit that so many paths to "success" exist :)

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