Monday, 16 July 2012

Day 31 : The Last Day, The Somewhat Epic Summary

The last day of my first month in EVE, but not the end of my EVE experience I think. It's been more than good, it's been an education and a revelation. My oft spouted pub dream of an alternate world is right here. People are making it and doing their own thing.

 Sure, it's in space, it's easy, or easier, to provide the surroundings. No one is going to let John Carmack near a super computer and he wouldn't be using it for what I suggested if they did. I'd suggest taking the most high resolution scans of the Earth available, wiping out signs of civilisation from them ( or not if, like me, your tastes run to post apocalyptica ), building a basic engine to allow people to learn, build, fight, and what have you, and then dropping the players in at the start. You could spice it up by adding magic rules. Each server could have it's own flavour - some with magic, some without, some with infrastructure left in, some with nothing. I'd like to see the members of the Warcraft Barrens chat brigade dropped in there first. They'd still be in caves wearing skins when I arrived. Where would these caves come from though? Are there any scans of the earth that reveal caves? I bet there are. Not on satellites we are supposed to know about though. Anyway, there is my fantasy.

Until then there is the sandbox of EVE. To those who might read this and not grasp the concept I'd say this:

"I've played a month and haven't done a mission provided by an NPC since day three"

I've been too busy constructing my own narrative in the world provided to me. I even know that I haven't even scratched the surface. I'm just building a base from which to go out and find out about the rest of it. Sure, I can easily realise that the particular flavour of this isn't to every ones taste. It is to mine. Do the trial. If you don't like it then leave and say "not for me". For gods sake don't leave and do the MMO forum whinger classic of saying it's crap just because you don't like it. Frankly it's amazing, even though I doubt my ability to continue indefinitely. I think it might be too much of a brain drain for me. I could easily lose myself in here for years.

 What would I be doing in two or three years time? Political machinations down in null sec, making war like an idiot as a mercenary for hire, a blockade running trader with a reputation, a trade trillionaire, or maybe just still a lone wolf with a private fund, watching over other noobs and protecting them as they venture out and run into what Mord Fiddle eloquently calls the "small gang PvP elite who ply the lowsec roads to nullsec" ( ). I like the story described by the latter but it'd be a hard road in EVE. Whatever I choose, I might even still be blogging it all.

 So what beckons in month two, and what have I achieved? Well my plans involve  the following stuff.

  • Upping Refining skills and making money from mining rather than grinding it.
  • Investigating Hauling as a career.
  • Investigating manufacture of ships as a career, or at least making a start on it.
  • Investigation of trade as a career.
  • Improving my PVP skills. 
  • Pushing through low sec and going for a nose around null sec.
  • Beginning to help other noobs as and when I see them for more noobish than I. I might leave this till month six.
  • Enjoying life in the home system I've chosen until such time as I need to move on.
  • Wealth. Yes it's a shame but it is still a score of sorts.
  • Flying different ships. I want to be able to fly everything. This is going to take years but all the above will probably turn out to be a way to fund both this and the visceral thrill of combat
  • Create a corporation of my own. Preferably after joining a pre-existing corp' out there. It would be great to connect to with a bunch of like minded, experienced players but I do like the element of learning by myself with all the trial, error and massive setbacks that it entails.
  • Investigate the web API and the assorted available resources to build my own tools. Yes there are equivalents out there to the things I might build but the enjoyment comes from building my own. When I first found out they had such resources I muttered to myself "it has a web API" in much the same tone as Sean Bean delivered the line "they have a cave troll".
  • Exploration.

What have I achieved?

  • A full months worth of sheer entertainment for a tenner and being forced to employ my intellect to do so. 
  • Finally writing a blog, at least it is some form of writing visible to others. Shame about the spelling, grammar and construction. Some externalisation of thought that doesn't involve me spouting random witticisms down the pub.
  • 50 million in the bank ( not counting the 50 million I was sent and refuse to employ)
  • A horde of different ships and various resources scattered from high to low sec systems.
  • Adventure.
  • Excitement.
  • I guess I'm not a Jedi after all.

What now for the last day of the month? The 31st day? Well, it's a Monday. I might take a well earned break and watch some telly, sure in the knowledge that my planned skills are ticking over in Internet land. I can do that. In EVE you make your own story. Maybe I'll just log in and chat to the ever more familiar faces in the home system. Just for a bit. Maybe.

A few quick shout outs to those who helped along the way.

Alec - ever since he did the trial years ago it's been on my mind and then the video of Burn Jita broke said mind.

G. - For discussing it and trying it even though you hated it and generally being my MMO foil and pal. To the podcast cave Batman!

Robbo, Krill and the Captain - for being around and reminding me that EVE is not all adversarial, and there are others like me out there. Maybe less noobish, but fine chaps nonetheless.

Beth - for giving me the encouragement to write it down, and for reading it when I did, even though half of it must be incomprehensible.

Mabrick  and Mord Fiddle  for telling it like it is and introducing me, with the unknowing or unwilling help of The Mittani , to an epic, player made, story arc. Not an artificial story, not a product of imagination, but a chain of real events that created an enjoyable narrative. I salute all three.

My cousin Andrew who sent me all that cash I didn't need. It's the thought that counts and I might have needed it. Might still need it.

Finally, anyone else who I raved on at about this game during the last month, anyone who dragged me away for the computer for some real time. Thanks for the patience. I'll shut up now. DISCLAIMER: I will probably not shut up now.

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