Monday, 9 July 2012

Day 22 and Day 23: AFK

Once more Away From Keyboard. I was off this weekend to the north on a boozy trip to visit some old friends. The training queue in EVE was set up to be fine until I got back on the Monday. Reflecting my obsession, the game is still ticking over, helping me progress while I'm away. Worse than that I planned the queue so the final skill I needed for running a mining barge would finish around my expected return time. This is the Retriever class mining barge and I'm anxious to see what it can do.

Anyway. The weekend. Both my friends that I'm going to see are aficionados of MMO's. I dragged them into it years ago. I felt guilty for years as the subsequently went deeper into them than I did and spent tons of cash on updating hardware to run them. The guild in WoW they eventually built has to count as part of my best times in that game, and the reason I'll probably drift back. It remains to see whether I'll be mining on EVE running on the laptop as I run raids with them back in WoW.

Neither of my friends are fans of EVE. One wouldn't be into the whole "space" thing that much and the other, my old guild leader, I already talked about back on day 8. During the afternoon before the inevitable evening out there is much chat about EVE and MMO's in general. They are both currently playing SWTOR, mainly for the PVP. The conversation gets nerdy to the point where really we should be recording it as a podcast. We are going to have to look into that. This is the summer holiday from WoW and a lot of new games are getting tried.

At one point my friend erupts with the declaration that EVE is just a "spreadsheet game". It's somewhat ironic from his point of view since he creates the most complex spreadsheets I've ever seen to track his crafting and selling in the two MMOs he has ever spent a lot of time in. I can see where he is coming from though. There is a type of EVE play where basically you could boil it all down to manipulating numbers with some pretty spaceship graphics over the top. I don't see it like that even though I could write the game myself apart from the graphics and the network management protocols. The graphics drag me in more than they do him. I've been waiting for something like this my whole life. To him it is boring. To me it's more real. I instictively know I shouldn't be controlling huge star ships with 4 keys. I know the game is going to involve skills, memory, intelligence, menus and statistical charts. I like that. It feels to me how it should. It appears to him as a numbers game. For him, the mining is a waste of time - do something else. For me it is a tense situation for both the yeild to time calculations, the need for more refining skill and the ever present threat of other people coming in to disrupt it because that's what they've chosen to do. I spoil my argument by saying I read a lot when mining.

 There is a circular nature to the relationship between miner and pirate in this sandbox of a game that I need to get into more in future. Each player is providing the other players content. This starts to get pretty mind boggling if you think about it for any amount of time and it's something I'll discuss once I get through the noob months. If I ever manage that.

The second day away we all wake up considerably wrecked. I seem to have survived quite well, made it to the shop, purchased my chosen hangover cure and booted up EVE on my friends PC. I am so hungover I can't think. I do not need to think in order to orbit a rock in a safe belt. That's why when I'm joined by my friend, I've already got half a hauler full of ore. I bet that in future I'll hate myself for ever having AFK mined but at the moment I'm laughing. Not doing anything and not even being at home doesn't stop me netting a couple of million in ore.

Whatever ailments were bugging me all last week seem to have buggered off under the combined assault of copious amounts of lager and 3 days decent sleep. Why I always sleep well up there is another matter I'll have to have a think about. It  does mean I'll be ready to do some blog writing, mining and a little space adventuring once I get home.

So there you go. Not much EVE content for an EVE blog. It was never going to be all EVE. It's about a man playing EVE, who just so happens to be useless at EVE. I'll take it as far as I can.

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