One year ago…

…I started this blog.

Hmmm. The year flew. Hahah, that’s funny.

I guess now’s a good time to answer the question I posed to myself at the start of all this.

That is, did I take wing?

Did the goals I set for myself, are they well on the way to being achieved? Have I already achieved any? Well, lets see. There are two goals I’ve set that spring to mind.

1) Become good at solo PvP

This one is well-underway, I will daresay. From a year ago, I know a hell of a lot more about every single ship in EVE, and I have a year and a half worth of SP in my clone’s head. I’ve gone from looking at exact fits linked in-game, to checking out battleclinic for missioning fits, to browsing killboards for fits, to perusing theorycrafters’ fits on failheap, to messing around on EFT, to actually being able to put together a fit for a ship I’ve never used, based on what I now know about modules, weapons, ship bonuses, fitting space and everything in between.

Solo PvP involves a lot of skill, but I’ve also come to learn that you can triumph with confidence. This can only be developed through countless PvP encounters, from utter defeats to complete victories. You have to believe you can win, you have to try your hardest to win, and more often than not, you’ll find the fights you previously thought were on the fence to tip ever so slightly in your favour.

“But Revi,” I hear some of you think. “How does believing in yourself make you win the fight, the numbers don’t lie!”

It’s a matter of perspective, I suppose. If I based every potential fight on the paper possibilities that I calculate beforehand, I would’ve never taken a quarter of the fights I have. I also wouldn’t have a quarter of the experience I can say I have now.

If I think I can win, I won’t stop shooting the enemy. I won’t turn off my modules. I won’t just roll over and fade into obsolescence. I will keep my head high and keep firing rounds at their hull, until they lose their head, and try to turn around and run. Because I know, when we both hit structure at roughly the same time, even if I end up losing, in the narrow seconds before, I can probably guess their heart is pounding as hard as mind… unless the devious bastard is bait-tanking. 😛

It’s about squeezing every last drop from the ship I use, and this in turn means I am not so disappointed when I lose my ship. People tell me they are less disappointed when they lose ships to gate camps because they couldn’t really do anything about it; I personally am the most disappointed when a gate camp steals my new ship from me, because I couldn’t do anything about it. What solo PvP has given me is the willingness, no, eagerness, to take my ship against difficult but not impossible odds, and try my hand at defeating the opponent. This, I feel, is invaluable.

2) Become a good FC

This one I’m still tentative about, and my return to FW is nurturing my FC skills. I want to say I’m good, but I dare not yet. There are things I can definitely improve, such as useless muttering to myself just to fill awkward silences, which only serve to exacerbate the awkwardness.

FC-ing, though, had another effect on me. Just like all those community-driven events last year made me realise that EVE’s community had a heart underneath the cold, barren surface, FC-ing made me understand just how important player interaction was in this game. It drives whole damn universe, and don’t let the hamsters at CCP tell you otherwise!

There is so much to learn from one another in this game, that it’s so, so foolish to play alone. This is not a game where the best gear or the most ISK or the highest SP wins you the game. There is no victory. The longer you go, the more bitter you get, hell, it’s a pretty good reflection of real life (heh).

People mention it a lot, but most fail to recognise the difference this game has to ANY other MMORPG. The others don’t have an ending because developers keep adding more end-game content. EVE, I think, hasn’t had anything beyond Titans in terms of ship progression, for many years. And yet, it lives on. Why? Because we write the chapters.

When I lead a fleet to bash an infrastructure hub in Amarrian FW space, I have engrained our actions in the history of Amarr-Minmatar FW; the universe has been directly impacted by my actions.  In another game, I could lead a dungeon instance. The same one would respawn tomorrow, perhaps. I could do the same thing a thousand times, and nothing would change, the universe is uninterested, my actions serve only to buffer my wallet and perhaps let me acquire shinier gear.

Sure, in EVE, there are things that respawn. Asteroids, exploration/DED sites. Mission agents have an unending supply of things to do. But there is the other avenue, one that all players should at least be able to see. The one where your actions mean something. I feel most strongly about this when I command fleets. Since every fleet you take out is unique, it matters. Like in solo PvP, there is no set formula, no “most efficient way”, no true method to minmax the fleet. Coming to the realisation that perfection is near impossible, even if you have all the intel you can gather, even if all your pilots are experts, even if you have all your batphones floating around in your pod goo ready to be rung, is liberating. It encourages initiative and ingenuity, rather than repetition.

~

I used to write monthly progress reports. I stopped because I realised they aren’t accurate representations of my progress in EVE. Progress isn’t measured so simply in a game so complex. The size and health of my wallet, my killboard efficiency, these are not factors that I want to take into account anymore when someone asks me “how is EVE going?”

What kind of measures determines how well I’m doing in EVE? Fun/hr, ISK/hr, kills/hr? No. Perhaps… interactions/hr. Lines typed/hr. Mails sent/hr. Mails read/hr. Still, no.

None of these? A combination of? Or maybe all together. Whatever the case, I think the only thing I can safely say, is that after a year of blogging about EVE, it’s gotten harder to figure out how to measure my progress. And so I trudge on.

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I'm just a poor boy, but I'd like some commentary~

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