Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Quitters and Survivors – reflecting on my first death in EvE

TL;DR: When I was a noob I got kilt by a corp. mole and learned to meta game EvE. My friend rage quit and I got his Stuff. It's sorta a MEME for this eveoganda post

So I was reading this post at eveoganda where Rixx was relating a RL experience to the harshness of EvE. It has some colorful comments that are also a good read, and well Rixx danced around a delicate subject in the real world to prove his point in EvE. I've read eveoganda for as long as there has been an eveoganda so I knew what Rixx was getting at. It got me thinking about my first death(s) in EvE and well I felt it warranted a post.

I am sure I have talked about it at some point in a past blog post. I certainly know I have told this story in game as a CEO many times. It was one of those incidents that makes or breaks you in a game. One of those moments where you dig in and fight or you cry and quit. To truly set the stage one must go back to fall of 2009 when a mate I had played WoW with told me of this magical game called EvE online.

I remember logging into EvE and instantly having NO clue what I was doing whilst being totally enthralled with the images on my screen. Shit I was in a station and there was this ship in front of me. About my screen there was all this stuff. Stuff I had no idea what it all meant. Then some popup appears with an android chick telling me what I should do. 12 hours of tutorials later (yeah I did them all) I was hooked. I did what most do at first and flounder around for 2-3 weeks on my own.

Week later at work my mate and I are talking about EvE. He starts telling me how awesome his corp. is and that the CEO and members are nice fellows who all were old hands at EvE (CEO was 6 months old, and the oldest corp. player was 14 months). So I moved what at the time was an eternity. 21 jumps over to Caldari space from Gallente.  I joined this corp. and started to help them mine towards corp. “goals” (making the CEO’s ISK increase). I started mining in a frigate, then a Cruiser, and after a month or two getting my “cut” and training I got this amazing mining barge thingy called a retriever. I also added my second account and trained my “PvP’ pilot to fly a badger II so he could haul my ore (FAIL). Right about this time the corp. had a recruitment drive and some “new” (oh old enough to fly a destroyer) members joined the corp.

So I was out in a belt with my retriever and badger II sitting inside 2500m of an anchored GSC. I was mining on my time and making my ISK today. It was the 2nd time I had undocked the retriever since dropping my entire wallet on it and the fit. 3 cycles into it and the “new” corp. guy comes online and says “Hello. What’s up?” to which I reply “mining in belt 2”. No further comments in chat but few moments later a thrasher lands in belt. It’s the “new” guy 20KM away heading over to me. I figured he was gonna kill rats and hang out. Chat about this or that perhaps. However that’s not what happened at all.

I remember sitting there in my chair as he locked my retriever wondering how it was I was being locked when there were no rats in the belt. Then I was taking damage and had no clue who was shooting me. I remember the light bulb going off before I was in my pod and asking the “new” guy to stop as it was not funny. I remember being in my pod next. I remember the anger as he locked my badger II and the whole process repeated. I remember being confused and angry. I felt deflated and betrayed. I just lost everything to a friendly who next typed some message about a jihad and gods of the asteroid belts being angry before looting my wrecks and warping off. That day was the day I learned about EvE reality and dark cold center under the eye candy outer layer. 

The next 24 hours was interesting as an EvE noob. Once the rest of the corp. including the CEO came online there was a period of panic. Little did I know the same dude ganked my friend earlier that day. Who emailed the CEO rage quit and was now nowhere to be found in game. The CEO wanted blood but had no ISK to help me out replacing my ships. The other members wanted blood and also had no ISK to help me replace my ships. Everyone was freaking out that the corp. infiltrator could kill them too or steal the stuff from their personal hangers. I was freaking out too because everyone was freaking out. Then the CEO called for us all to get in our best PvP ship and form up, the plan being to hunt this guy down and murder him. The witch hunt lasted about an hour. The New guy had logged off long ago and we were all too dumb to know you cannot kill someone not logged in. The CEO finally figured out how to boot the dude from the corp. and told us that he was shoot on site for the next 24 hours until his roles dropped.

All this happened on a Friday night. I remember spending hours that weekend researching all manner of EvE things. Vexor PvP fits, corporation management options, aggression game mechanics, and corp. moles. Each topic uncovered a new topic and as I fell into the rabbit hole of meta game information. The hook set deeper into my jaw. I now wanted to get a point on that thrasher with my Vexor and have my hobgoblins I and ION blasters rip it apart. I knew how to set up my overview. I knew how to add the bad guy as a contact and set standings. I knew I could lock and fire upon any corp. member with out concord getting in the way. I also knew that there was a good chance that bad guy no longer existed as a character because it was most likely an alt built for corp. infiltration.

When Monday came around my friend had no logged in over the weekend. I sat next cube over from him at work. I was full of all this wonderful EvE knowledge and enthusiasm. So I stuck my head over the cubicle walls and said good morning. We exchanged pleasantries for a bit before I started to ask about how he got ganked. I expected an eager conversation about EvE to spark up. Instead I got “I don’t want to talk about that shitty game man!” Apparently my friend had already un-subbed from EvE and rejoined WoW. He rage quit for good as a result of that one negative event and only once logged back in to give me his stuff before his time ran out. I use the 50M to replace my ships and left the corp. to found my own. The rest they say is history

Since that day I've lived in NullSec, LowSec, highSec and Wormholes. I've founded and ran 3 different corporations. Killed things in fleets, killed things alone, and built pretty much everything from a frigate to a jump freighter. I have a modest net worth somewhere in the 40 Billion ISK range and enjoy my EvE time as life allows. I've had many fun experiences and made a few good friends along the way. Why? Because I chose to be a Survivor not a quitter that fall day in 2009.



Thursday, April 4, 2013

Days drift by – I make ISK – EvE has become another hobby!

Last post I talked about rightsizing my EvE footprint. Well I did that and since then have been plodding away building Orcas for the most part. Sure I have some PI going in highsec, I have my R&D agents stacking up datacores for me, and a little trade here and there. I’ve got BPOs in ME/PE or copy slots in my little POS in highsec too. Yet the biggest thing I am doing to make ISK is building Orcas from buying minerals cheap, building Orcas, and flogging said Orcas for x% more than the rocks cost. OH I ran a single level 4 mission in there somewhere too and smartly was reminded how much that game content needs a refresh.

So really EvE for me has become a hobby with a social side. Kind of like Friday night poker games with a group of dudes from work. You show up and play a limited bank game of Poker, talk some BS with the dudes, and consume beer and wings. See at first that sounds like a great thing and you typically find out some interesting stuff about the dudes from work and form some kind of friendship. Yet over time often the whole thing becomes mundane. In one way or another “Dave” is clearly the best poker player and by default goes home with the loot, “Bob’s” stories start to repeat themselves, and well “Sam’s” beer selection and wings tend to lose the flair and spice they once had. My fear is that like the Friday night poker game, EvE will become a hobby I feel obliged to do. 

Yet over the years and reading through my blog if you cut out my constant bitching about real life getting in the way of my EvE time. The whole damn thing reads like a diary of a social poker player. I clearly go through phases of excitement at a new area of EvE I am exploring (I win the poker night), and then fall into a funk when I return to highsec (I loose for weeks on end). It’s a funk yes but a comfortable kind of funk where I can make ISK and chat with mates with out distraction (I double my money and chat with mates). So I’ve come to a realization that perhaps EvE IS the ULTIMATE hobby. It’s there when I have time for it. It changes enough that I find new things to try periodically. Yet if I walk away from it for a week or a month the biggest loss for me is losing touch with the mates. Heaven forbid I might build one less Orca, but that’s about it.

In the end of it all I do continue to log in and tinker. I do keep in touch with mates. I do occasionally try some new facet of the game. So be it a Hobby or a MMO EvE still draws me in and brings me joy