Back around July I returned to EVE to find that the Tribal Liberation Force (Minmatar FW) had won the warzone.
It was one of those things that, to me, seemed so far away that I had not stopped to think what I’d actually do after we did it. Furthermore, the victory was achieved without me actually being active at the time, and apparently was also due to factors such as a few of the major Amarrian fighting forces leaving the warzone to find content in World War Bee.
But I suppose it was mainly due to my not being around that I felt that much more detached from the fact that we all now had the Stripes of Fury awarded to us. When I initially returned, I went straight back into plexing and missioning, grinding out LP and PvPing like nothing had happened. There was a strange quality in the air and as I conversed with old comrades, though. Everyone seemed to be holding their breath and wondering what to do now. Everyone wanted to know what was next.
Okay so I was excited by the most recent dev blog. Excited enough to revive my blog after many months, hell, excited enough to not bother even thinking of a cool blog post title, which is the real thing that scares me. What is my blog without its slightly strange post titles that don’t really mean anything but mean something to me?
So. Clone states. What CCP intends to do with EVE is essentially make trial periods permanent. Not quite totally free-to-play, but definitely a step up from the very limited time a player used to get if they wanted to try EVE out on a trial account, which really wasn’t enough to even get a small taste of what the game really had to offer. I’ve been playing for 2 and a half years now, and I still haven’t fully grasped the entirety of the complex machine that is EVE.
Right. So ‘trial’ accounts are now capsuleers with Alpha clones. Subscribers get Omega clones, with full access to all skills in the game and a better training rate from what I understand. This new model is undoubtedly going to lead to an influx of new players. There will be conjecture and debate about how the system is going to affect x or y mechanics, or lead to dozens of possibly game-breaking exploits. But as many current players are happy to note; more players couldn’t hurt and could only be a good thing.
They’re right in that new players coming into EVE can only be a good thing, whether they’re paying or not. But it’s likely that, given the nature of the average EVE player, there is a much more sinister meaning behind “yay there are going to be so many more newbros around”.
Hooray for blog post titles that are weird and unrelated!
Of all the things to break the monotony of FW in my EVE life, I would’ve never expected a random mail from a random null-sec corporation who were recruiting people in NPC corps to suddenly give me something to talk about. I’ve spent the last weeks staring at blog post drafts which all just seemed to come out the same way: FW, FW, FW. And I mean, that’s no surprise given that I engage in FW activities for 99% of my EVE time, but really, there’s only so much you can say about war.
Anyway, my alt today got a mail from a self-proclaimed PvP-centric corporation that lives in sov null. Interesting, definitely. If I didn’t have things for my alt to do down here I would’ve probably gone to check them out. But that’s how it is, I have to ignore what would undoubtedly have been a wonderful opportunity.
I did a bit of snooping around the corporation’s major alliance, Nerfed Alliance Go Away (NAGA). And by snooping, I mean just looking at their alliance description. Nothing really strikes the eye until I reach the bottom and find this gem:
You have enemies?
Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.
As ‘that guy’ who tries to get along with everyone, my admiration for some of the things Churchill said overrode my Mr. Nice Guy outlook and drew an evil grin to my face.
I’ve been trying my best to keep up with the news, and every day I spent reading and not playing made the itch to log in ever stronger… until tonight, I managed to get back after another week or two without managing to find the energy to play.
EVE always buzzes with life for me. All the cries of stagnation and depleting log in numbers never really made me fear. When you’re in the moment, playing the game, and enjoying it, it’s hard to take a long view and feel like you’re going nowhere.
I was thinking about warfare links and off-grid boosting whilst reading Suitonia’s post on them and simultaneously furiously theorycrafting ways to defeat T3 destroyers with a T1 destroyer fleet. I didn’t get very far with the “beat T3 with T1” idea, but I was throwing links around and you know, it really made a difference for each side of my little war that I mentally mapped out whilst staring at dozens of different fitting windows across my screen.
Links are powerful, that is true. They are also very difficult to counter, especially with the command ships that can still fit a decent tank on their ships and cram their ship into an un-bumpable nook on a station.
But I think, in light of the knee-jerk response to the AegisSov and Phoebe changes, as players we should take care to not… overstate the reality of the situation. Many may disagree but I’m pretty sure CCP reads what we write, and it’s not easy to dismiss an idea that seems to be reverberating across many of the more vocal players in your game.
Right now, I feel that it could be possible to use this off-grid booster (OGB) situation to set a foundation or standard for future changes to gameplay. CCP are already heading down the path of incremental changes, as seen from their decision to stretch out the deployment of the new sovereignty system across several patches, with the new citadel structures yet to come, but the entosis link system already deployed. Also, I quite liked how they ever so gently bumped Ishtar Online into the pages of history, with a few seemingly small nerfs and a slight drop in DDA efficacy.
EDIT: Didn’t notice but I saved this draft initially a week ago, but when I posted it today (7th September) it kept the date when I first started writing the post. So I technically posted to the past.
Perhaps it’s due to my close proximity with lots of people who fly ships designed by Minmatar starship engineers, but I’ve recently been growing more and more attached to their reddish, rusted exteriors, their masses of fins and bits and pieces sticking out in every direction.
I haven’t started flying them properly yet, but I wanted to dig deeper to understand why, just like my infatuation for frigates has suddenly toppled over for cruisers, I’ve suddenly become obsessed with how to use projectile weapons instead of hybrids and drones.
I started off EVE in Vexors. Lots of them. I died in that trusty hull a lot, and it’s elegant curves kept me company in the coldest of stations. It was love at first sight that first fateful day that I opened the Interbus Ship Identification System.
But as time went on, I realised I had misplaced my early love. Frigate warfare was a new, more flirtatious mistress. A lovely, petite thing that happened in the blink of an eye. Her enchantment hit me unguarded, and I was swooning and wanting to know all about the many hulls and ways to fly those nimble little things.
Alas, I realise I am a fickle man; the call of the cruisers is burning inside me once more.
So it’s been a while away from EVE. The question I want to ask myself is, was it burnout?
This is important to answer because if it was burnout, then I need to find out what I was doing that was getting me burnt out in the first place, so I can minimise those aggravating factors.
If you could measure burnout, I’d say it was around 2/10 burnout. I still felt like playing EVE, but new responsibilities like my education poked me and said I had to start thinking about things other than spaceships. And yes, other games were involved. Jeez, I’m so disloyal sometimes.
But it wasn’t to the extent that, like the beginning of this year, I couldn’t bring myself to log into EVE at all. That was bad. However, it looks pretty bad if I try to put it off as nothing when the blog posts directly before this are laced with weariness.
The longer I play EVE, the more projects I undertake. Big ones like being a great solo PvPer, or winning the warzone for the Minmatar militia, or starting this blog.
Then you have all the little ones. These ones are the killers. Train this newbie up in the ways of faction warfare. Run a lot of fleets. Haul in ships and create a system for hauling in ships. Trade on the market to make profit on the side. Get to -10 security status.
In the end, I’m stuck with dozens of goals, and I’m trying to fulfill them all at once, and the end result is I get none of them completed.
I stare out of the station we had wrested from the Amarr, trying to gaze through my gaunt reflection and find in the glistening stars beyond the reason I stood here in the first place.
It was eerily quiet after the cacophony of screams and trampling boots as our soldiers poured into the station and established control over the civilian population. They had had peace for only a meagre seven months, barely enough to repair the lives that had been overturn by the Amarr who took Huola from our hands in the neverending cycle of a war between immortals.
A slave girl, Matari and bone skinny, sobbed for us to save her Master. I wonder, sometimes, whether we are giving freedom, or forcing freedom, upon the people we fight for. I wonder, sometimes, whether we live on freedom, or we too, force-feed it into ourselves, as blindly and religiously as our sworn enemies consume their Scriptures.
What am I fighting for? My mere voice commands dozens of pilots, my hands guide weapons of mass destruction. My life is infinite (how long have I been alive already…?). Was power granted to me to simply be a monster that enjoys cruising through the wrecks that litter the aftermath of fleet battles? Surely not. Surely there’s something more, something beyond myself that I am contributing to.
And yet here I am, searching for answers amongst the stars and questioning the answers I’ve given myself previously.