“No-one ever actually quits EVE.”
This quote is probably 90% true. In my short-lived experience with New Eden, I’ve found that in most cases of me knowing people who have said they’d quit EVE (barely a handful), most don’t completely quit.
To truly quit EVE, my requirements would be to unsubscribe from the game and not follow any news about it out of the game. Whether that be making a habit of watching EVE videos, or forum lurking, in my books that’s still participating and not fully ‘quitting’ EVE. I argue this line because the game is the community, and the community is the game. Interacting with one gets you indirectly involved with the other whether you like it or not.
So, whilst there is the rare case of someone entirely removing EVE Online from their lives, most of the time, it’s more likely people will simply stop playing and just let their account train as they go about their lives. Which brings me to the next quote:
“Everyone will ‘ragequit’ EVE at least once.”
Okay, ‘take a break’ would be the better way to say it. But yes, I find that all players are going to have to tone down their level of involvement with the game somewhere in their careers in New Eden; it’s inevitable even if you’re constantly having fun with the game.
I’ve found myself slowly drifting into a stage in my EVE career, even though I’m fast approaching my first EVE birthday (just less than a month away!), where I feel like 1) not playing as much and 2) a change of scenery in the game.
The more fun you’re having…
Let’s see what I have been doing. I am now a ‘senior’ FC of our pirate alliance, senior being relative to the age of the alliance, not the game, so I’m still pretty fresh on the grand scale. I have been honored with this position for starting up and developing the PvP skills of the first batch (I guess we can call them generations) of players in the alliance. Now, this first generation have begun to approach me with mails and ideas. Some are asking to be trained as FCs, others are suggesting new ways we can go about roaming. From casual players, people are now having educated discussions about fittings, seeing strengths and weaknesses in our roams, leading roams themselves.
It’s extremely heartening to see to fruits of your labour, and any leader in EVE with even the slightest modicum of success would agree. You see your actions gain traction, you see people acknowledge you, thank you for your work. The natural progression from that is to put in more effort, more time into your group of players, produce more fun for them, because suddenly it all feels as if the moment you quit, your hard work begins to fall apart. So you spend more and more time on the game, which includes EFT-warrioring fittings, developing newbie skill plans, sending mails, replying to mails, checking chat channels, placating people, answering questions. And the more you do all this, the more people will get involved because they see you doing it, and the vicious cycle grows and eats into more of your time.
The more likely you’ll need to break away.
Which brings me to what I like to call an irrefutable Law of EVE. That is:
As fun in EVE increases, so does the chance a player will need to take a break from EVE.
When I think about it, this probably applies to all games. The more fun you’re having, the more you’ll want to play, and the more you play, the less time you spend on other tasks and responsibilities. These responsibilities build up, and eventually they’ll tear you away from solely concentrating on EVE.
I live in Australia, and most of my alliance is from the U.S. Luckily for me, as a student with weird working hours, I’ve found myself able to be on EVE during the day when my alliance is on. Recently though, I’ve been spending whole consecutive days playing EVE, and when night rolls around, I stop playing when it’s the perfect time for me to be playing a game.
This time zone difference amplifies the fact that I am spending more and more time on EVE, because the time I’m spending is the time best spent doing things outside of EVE: when the sun is up.
It sucks because I’ve never had so much fun in the game before. I’m one of those guys who can lose themselves in a good book or video game, immersed so deeply I am oblivious to anything else. This manifests for EVE in the form of my obsessive theory-crafting, thirst for the back story and lore, occasional forum-browsing, news-reading, video-watching, music-recording and of course, the hours I put into the game. And when I’m FCing a frigate roam with a bunch of good friends I’ve met online, people who I can talk to more freely than some of my real life friends because we share a common passion for EVE, the slap in the face when reality comes calling can be unexpected and harsh.
And yet, when I’m not playing, the nagging in the back of my mind doesn’t cease. Nagging that reminds me I need to consider real life once in a while.
As much as I hate to submit to the dreary system humanity has entrenched itself into, I owe this to those who want me to succeed. And so I’ve found that I’ve been spending less time in EVE, more time elsewhere (‘elsewhere’, funnily enough, includes on DUST 514). Burnout isn’t the right word, I guess. I’ll still log in, still say hi to everyone, still make sure things are okay, maybe make some ISK and stuff, but I won’t be playing for hours on end every single day. Taking a holiday from being so involved in the game, and degrading back to a filthy casual.
Everyone in EVE will eventually take a holiday. Who knew mine would coincide exactly with the holiday season.