Friday, March 14, 2014

Why I Play EVE

I give a self evaluation and I'm OK with the results.

TLDR: I ramble on about why I love EVE and give a selfish introspective glimpse on my own character flaws. 

** Warning hardly EVE related.. and really more me having diarrhea of the mouth, but it felt good posting it **

I frequent reddit /r/eve often. I came across this post that I wanted to answer in a blog post because I feel it’s a question asked by every single EVE player eventually.

“I flew in highsec, faction warfare, c2-c5, and ended up an incursion runner before finally getting burned out. I want to come back, but every time I log in I stare at my machariel, stare at my machariel, and my one man corp, and log off.”

I have been playing EVE on and off since Oct 2003. Each time I leave I come back because of this odd itch I get to ‘find something  new’ or ‘do something new’. It will be a little article or write up, where someone documents what made them happy or mad or had some sort of human emotion involving the game. I then seek to replicate it for myself and enjoy the challenge.  I think “I can do that!” and then I’m set on the mission of making it happen.

Eventually I make it happen, or I find out that it isn’t what I thought it was and stop doing it. If I don’t instantly find something new to do or discover I simply won’t play. This is where I feel this Reddit poster is right now.

He has simply done everything he could think to do or has the perception that it shouldn’t be done any other way. He is simply put. Un inspired. The draw that made him create that macharial, fly it and interact with the game has been sated. He also sees the value in that ship and perceives that ship to be the hight of EVE game interaction. Everything else is a waste of time, or simply a stepping stone to what he has already achieved. No challenge, why try?

There isn’t an exact way to dig yourself out of what you yourself have created, for yourself, without accepting that what you have done isn’t perfect. As a vet, this is HARD. You have trained yourself to understand the rules of the game that have made you successful, doing them different gives the perception that you are doing it wrong. I’m not much into psychology but I will say, this is some human emotion shit right here.

When I evaluate what I do in EVE I’m forced to look outside of EVE on games that I have really enjoyed in the past.

Having a self-evaluation system to why you play games, not just EVE should be performed whenever you have moments of question similar to this Reddit post.

I’ll go over mine, cause fuck it why not.

I’m going way back but there is a consistent theme to my game style.

MUDS. – I started playing these on the early BBS systems prior to what we all know as the world wide web. I have always enjoyed the interaction of other people in text format. I got especially excited when I interacted with people in a negative way. I never really cared so much about my level or gold content, the things I remember most about these games were the personalities I played with. The sudden approach of a higher level character entering a text based room and murdering me was always a danger level I respected about the game.  Single player mode just seemed dull.

Ultima Online – This had the same multiplayer feel, but you could hunt and kill one another. Living as ‘bandit’ or PK (Player Killer) had HUGE challenges. You had a persona of a bad person. The game got dull when it seemed that game creators kept putting huge obstacles in the way of this game style. They simply gave in to the majority of ‘law abiding” citizens by making their life far easier than the life of a PK, for no other reason than “fuck you, that’s why”. Many left. I was one of them.  CAL ORT POR!

EQ – Player vs player content wasn’t very good in that game, but you had ways of tormenting your fellow player if you needed to. There was something new that came with EQ. Notoriety of doing something first, or at least doing it before 99% of the other players did. The discovery of new content and the phat loots! You could do something that no one had done before you , then stand in a market place with your super cool one of a kind item and let people stop, double take and go “Where did you get that”?? “O.. you know.. that totally unkillable dragon you have never seen before, in a fight you most likely will never know how to do”. Bragging and notoriety became a huge draw for me. Something that needed to be accomplished when 50+ 100+ of your closest friends went and did something without making too many mistakes.

WoW --- I played wow for the same reasons I played EQ. Notoriety of accomplishing things that were hard. They needed teamwork and an understanding of the game that was beyond the average player. In Blizzards wisdom lowering the bar of that accomplishment value became very important. People who never interacted with anyone on a level beyond just random groups could obtain the same gear (equal to) to something you trained for hours/days and stayed up night after night to prefect. Fuck that, I’m better than them, but why try because honestly I can get the same shit as everyone else and avoid all the long nights. Pvp did have a good element, but there wasn’t really any way to show you were better than everyone else. Worse, it wasn’t balanced, there were just some characters that could obtain that very high tier of play without pushing more than 4 buttons (hi pallies). It got dull.

EVE –  I kid you not, you could totally decimate the population of EVE if you removed one thing. “Kill reports”. They are a measurable (to an extent) form of how well you interact or don’t interact with your fellow players. What I truly find amazing is, they aren’t really a big deal in the game. If EVE kill.. or any of the other external player supported sites went down, it would be damn hard to figure out how good someone was, or how bad. Why isn’t this simply another clickable icon on the left of your screen. Enter a name, and bam, all the kills/losses, right there.

Please don’t mistake me when I mention kill boards, it’s not the reason I play EVE, but it’s a big reason. My activities in the game have one measurable output other than ISK. A kill.

Not a big isk value…  Any fucking scrub can fleet up with 2000 of his closest friends and take down a titan. Even if you fuck up, you have 1999 other guys to pick up the slack. As a fighting unit, you could say there is skill, but only if everyone in the group makes mistakes. With 2000 pilots in a fleet, there is a huge bumber for screw ups. Perhaps one person could cyno to the wrong spot… or someone could spook the target, but you can’t honestly tell me that 1999 competent people in a fleet either made this happen or not happen.

So, you might ask the question how do I self-determine the difference between being on a big kill that means little and being on solo small kills that mean everything?

Self-created content generation and the recognition of others.

The one thing that unites my play styles from game to game is a desire to be influential and significant through my own actions. Now I’m not the best pvper, hell I hardly really try hard at it. But I do honestly try hard to incorporate my own actions with the actions of others. I try and obtain a response. To some level recognition for my actions. Perhaps it’s some sort of approval desire my father never gave me.. invent whatever you need to explain my actions. The point is, getting recognition for my actions in a sandbox game is clearly important to me.

So when someone like the OP of this Reddit post asks, what keeps me coming back and fighting boredom. My only response can be… I need attention and I’m willing to destroy your ships to get it.

This is why I play EVE.  

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