Thursday, June 17, 2010

Blog Banter #18: Learning to swim.

Welcome to the eighteenth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by none other than me, CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

"On May 6th 2010, EVE Online celebrated its 7th Anniversary. Quite a milestone in MMO history, especially considering that it is one of the few virtual worlds out there to see its population continually grow year after year. For some of you who've been here since the very beginning, EVE has evolved quite a lot since its creation. With the expansion rolling out roughly twice a year, New Eden gets renewed and improved regularly. But, how about you the player? How has you gaming style evolved through the years or months since you've started playing? Have you always been a carebear, or roleplayer? Have you only focused on PvP or have you given other aspects of the game a chance - say manufacturing. Let's hear your story!"

When you stop to wade through some of the deep pools of back story and character evolution that are part of this blog banter. My story is but a wading pool in comparison. I've only been in New Eden for 9 months making me in the grand scheme of it all just a child splashing about at the edge of an ocean.

This is not to say that I have not grown past day one in the least and I do have a story to tell of my evolution as an EVE player. You see the road to my current beginning in itself is a life time of wandering around the water's edge. The path we all must walk to discover there is no future for us if we don't get wet.

I've been a gamer for a very long time now. Starting over 24 years ago with my humble Commodore 64. Without boring you with the details let's just say I am a lifer when it comes to video games. I first turned my focus to EVE after 4 years of WoW. I had suspended my blizzard accounts for many months and was in game limbo. Filling the void with final fantasy 10 on the PS2 for the second time around. An old friend suggested I try EVE as he at the time was amazed at the depth. So I strapped in with a lone wolf mentality with a trial account looking to not repeat the political suffocation that ultimately lead to me leaving WoW. The grumpy space hermit know as SonOfBraben was born, named after the co-creator of Elite. The last space game I had played near 20 years before.

I remember being hooked after getting a free ship from running a mission. This was way before I even knew there was water surrounding me. I was locked in the awe and wonder of internet space ships and the endless things one could do with one. Hindsight now tells me that I was experiencing the small wisp of steam rising from an iceberg. At the time however I had a Navitas, Tristan, and catalyst all fitted with armor plates AND shield boosters. I had 100,000 isk and mining lasers hungry for veldspar. I was training for a Vexor, an eternity away, some painstaking 26 hours in the future. The universe was mine as long as I stayed away from those orange systems and scary yellow pilots.

It was funny to note that I had played for a month or more before I even joined a fleet with the friend who had suggested the game to me. I had rolled into their space like some badass with a retriever and a Vexor full of drones. I bitched and moaned about the 21 jump trip to move my stuff and how I had to go through a 0.5 system. I had T1 strip miners and Ogre I drones. I was hell on wheels and death to asteroids and belt rats. This corp. that my friend was inviting me to join would go far with a seasoned player like myself. I had 3 million SP for Christ sake and could fly a cruiser AND a mining barge. Looking back I was such a fool. Even worse I WAS a seasoned player inside the corp. The CEO had a toon that was older than EVE (beta grade), shame he had only played it for 5 months of those 6 years. It was not all bad though with my first corp. A lot of light bulbs went off in the month or so I was with them. I got to fly in a fleet and run missions as a team. I learned about salvage and how to take the rocks I mined and build ships. I learned of scanning and those scary wormholes. I learned of highsec corp. wars and the darker side of corp. Moles. The hours spent in a belt mining away struck some conversations with hulk pilots who helped me with my fits and my plans as a ship builder. So it was not so bad at all looking back.

I ultimately left that corp. having grown tired of 1 mans individual goals being the direction of an entire corp. My friend had emo rage quit over Ninjas in his missions as well. So really I was surrounded by mindless strangers who spent so much time complaining about having nothing to do. So I decided to step out on my own. Healthcare for Space Hermits was founded by my new sparkling "combat" pilot ZombiNutz. I had two EVE accounts now and still believed that a drake and a Myrmidon were unstoppable. I could fly a hulk now and had a hauler. The asteroids melted and I made 10-20M ISK a day. I was enjoying doing my own thing and went about setting the corner stone's of a ship building/missioning highsec corp. I ran LVL 4's with Caldari navy and built merlins and Kestrels for "BIG" profits. Yet something was missing in my EVE life. Everything was so easy and measured. Everything I did was calculated down to the missions I ran. The "combat" was scripted and I found myself completely fed up with mining and missions. Christ my "combat" pilot could now fly an ORCA! Things were ALL WRONG! I could smell the salty sea air as it drifted onto the ranch.

I had also in this time started to blog about my travels in EVE. Inspired by CrazyKinux's blog pack and realizing that blogging was as much a part of EVE as can flipping. I began to post my thoughts and adventures. I started to rant about thing in the game that drove me crazy. I started to post where I was in the game on the first of every month. I also started to post about being a drift without direction. I was at the cross roads and looking for change. Through the blog came guidance and direction from others. Manasi of A Mule in EVE dropped in suggestions and words of encouragement. Logan "Big Bad Wolf" Fyreite of Eve Opportunist in his own way shed some light on things. Another young player and blogger Astral Domnix of Astral's EVE trial by fire suggested I join his current corp. only to leave when I did. Watching him go from carebear to pirate with stops off In NULL has been a trip. He was also my first kill as a result of a T1 frigate duel. Through blogging I made my way to the shore line in EVE and started to look at the vast ocean of possibilities that exist. In joining Top Gear ventures and devoting ZombiNutz to a 100% PvP role. I got my toes wet and found what was missing. The blog today still provides me so much in return for the time I invest into it. Regulars like Rixx Javix and paritybit and their respective blogs EVEOGANDA and EVE's parity bit are daily reads for me now.

It is now 9 months into my experiences with in New Eden. I am but a child still standing knee deep in the foaming waters in front of me. I am no longer afraid of dark water far out on the horizon. I've swam to their edge across the orange reefs with the red flashy fish and left a marker to get back too. I've stopped trying to be awesome and reflected back on my flaws as a swimmer. I've been shown the many things I had missed and formed a new path for myself out into the waters. I go with other brave children in the company of kind strangers who have earned my trust. Even if they may be yesterdays sharks, today they are my dolphins guiding the bow of my tiny frigate. They propel me forward and guide the fleet with fluid motions through the dark waters. Some days we hunt and others we are hunted, but we hold onto our markers and with each day we look to make new ones further into the deeps. Slowly now the child looks to grown into a man, no longer in a rush to be the "hero".

SonOfBraben is an old man on the land still. He lives alone on his ranch not too far from the waters. He is a peaceful yet grumpy one as he checks his work and cultivates new opportunities. He has made billions in his time but remains broke funneling his profits into the ranch. His misses his former companion who appears lost in a second childhood at sea. Through this he sends the fruits of his work out to the waters to aid this "child" on his way. Another now bridges the gap making runs to the water from the ranch. She is a bitter old nun but very good at her tasks.

I've come a long way in 9 months only to arrive at the beginning again. This is the true nature of EVE. Every time we seem to reach an end it evolves into a new start. The evolutions we must take making these first steps again and again are what truly shapes us as players and forms this strong community. May there be many more beginnings for us all.




1. CrazyKinux's Musing: The Heroes with a Thousand Faces
2. StarFleet Comms: Life. Evolved.
3. A Carebear's Journeu: This Carebear Thinks He Is Developing Teeth
4. The Elitist: Our ventures in EVE
5. A Mule in EVE: From a guppy predator
6. Travels of the Ronin: Evolution and Adaptation
7. The Ralpha Dogs: The Past Through Tomorrow
8. Where the frack is my ship: A journey, not a destination
9. I am Keith Neilson: 7 Year Itch?
10. Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah: Evolution Me
11. EVE Opportunist: A long history of a short time
12. Roc's Ramblings: Things Change
13. Guns Ablaze: Onwards and Upwards
14. EVE On Real Life: Haven't you grown up yet?
15. More as they get published...

1 comment:

  1. Heck of a journey my friend. It is surprising to me how much we all seem to have in common, and yet how different the turns and twists have taken us all. As I read these accounts from the different blogs I'm struck by that aspect, and how deep and profound this crazy game can truly be.

    Here's to the next step on the journey.