Sunday, August 23, 2015

Han Solo or is that, Han Social?

~or “A Social Player Playing Asocially…”

I have logged into EVE something like 3 or 4 times in the last 2+ months. I have however logged into Elite Dangerous nightly in that same time. At first I thought it was just that first flush of excitement when tackling something new… you know, the unveiling, the first time you hold a new joystick, the first time you log into a game and ‘see’ a new world… those first heady days of learning and exploring and joyful confusion… But then time wore on, and I found myself thinking about loggin into EVE less and less… and that worried me. A lot. A helluvalot.

But last night I realized it is not a lack of interest in the game, it is that I, in EVE, am a social player and there has been very little social activity in EVE for me to take part in.

You see basically after the stress of the move out-n-in from the old hole to the new and then the (seeming) loss of the 2 Directors to RL work/life needs etc. … well, the majority of the membership of our little band sorta backed off playing EVE.

We had night after night of people loggin in and asking if Sov or Tsra was on… and if no, poof! they’d just logoff and go play League or something else. Got really frustrating for a while and there was some talk talk about it, some “…well, how about staying logged on in case someone DOES show up!?” and some “…so instead of waiting on Sov or Tsra how about WE fleet up and run sites or go look for pew pew huh?!?!” … needless to say we tried this and we tried that and… well, there are people in the ‘verse who are just simply good at FCing and then there’s the rest of us.

So there we were, kind headless in a way with both Directors AFG due to RL shit, with the new bros not really wanting to play without our FC on, and the vets as left were seriously affected by all the above. In a joint corp/personal note… my son, AINeumann decided to take a break, one of those long ones with no scheduled return date… so he consolidated his assets in an NPC station in Empire, sold off a really huge amount of his stuff, and gifted out a not small number of billions of ISK (and yes I got some, and no you can’t has any…) and he left the game. AI is my son and he was the reason I came to EVE… to say this has been hard for me is putting it very mildly… so all in all things had kinda ground to a halt for our intrepid little Anoikis band.

As of this coming Nov I will have been playing EVE for 5 years and I have played solo and in small, middle sized and large groups and I thought I was competent and comfortable in all those playstyles… and here I was as guilty of popping into TS, seeing no one on and loggin right off again same as the new bros we were getting upset at for doing the same thing. Seems at some point the social aspects of EVE have begun to heavily outweigh the other gameplay options for me.

So, here I was with not much to do in EVE and basically no one to do it with and I, like all of us, knew all about the two biggest potential rivals to EVE… Elite Dangerous having gone live in Dec of 2014 and of course, Star Citizen, release date TBD (though according to the game's website, crowd source funding surpassed US$87 million in August 2015). So I gave each a try. Star Citizen just confirmed my belief that I am not a betahead. I want to PLAY the GAME… not ‘test’ the hangar.

And as of right now, Start Citizen reminds me far too much of Incarna… where you have these fantastic ships (avatars) and clothing and monocles (ships and stuff you can buy for really ridiculous amounts of RL money) and NO WHERE to fly them (just like the CQ)… granted they do have a Thunderdome you can ‘pretend’ to play the game in, but that holds no interest for me… Yeah all in all a bit too much like our avatars in EVE if you think on it a minute. I’ll wait for them to ‘open the door’ so to speak on Star Citizen before I invest too much time in it.

But Elite Dangerous… well, that’s all together very different as you have read here or mebbe even on a few other blogs. As I said at the top of this post, I had found myself thinking about loggin into EVE less and less, and that worried me… but I figured it out.

EVE is a social game, E:D is, for me, a solo game. I have enough ISK in EVE that I don’t have to grind site or even PI to afford ships to lose, and ATM I also have quite enough of them as twere so my desire in EVE is not ISK motivated now, it is ‘where are the guys’ motivated and the guys are, for the most part, busy elsewhere.

So E:D fills my needs at this time perfectly. I do have a few friends here, 2 of the guys I work with IRL who joined us in EVE have also decided to give E:D a try and, well, they are as taken with the FPI (First Person Immersion) as much I am. And they too were affected by the whole EVE corp’s slowdown in activities etc.

But even knowing they are out there, I simply don’t have the same desire to mix it up socially as I do in EVE. The mechanics for group gameplay in E:D, well… they suck in comparison to EVE TBH. There is a ‘wing’ mechanic and they guys are playing with it to see what it gives you, but it is nothing like Fleet in EVE (or what used to be Fleet in EVE… have they killed that off yet?) and there is nothing AT ALL like corps or Alliances in E:D… nothing period.

No contracts, no personal trades, no station hangars, no buying and storing modules… you can own more than one ship and what is fitted on it, but that’s all… and I have found no way other than on-at-a-timing it on your own to move ships around from station to station. And this is a far far more painful process than in EVE.

Yes, there are some real downsides to E:D… it is not EVE and I know now it cannot replace it. At least not for me, not as long as I would really rather fly with my bros in the deadly skies of New Eden… and I do miss my corpmates. I have heard rumors of rumors that they may have more free time in the not too distant future… and if that comes to pass then I will… once moar…

Fly reckless and see you in the Sky =/|)=


  1. I feel your pain. My corporation looks to have gone on hiatus. There's talk about it being "a summer thing", but I have my suspicions that it's more than that. Not ready to clarify it yet, but I'm questioning what unique value it can provide members right now. Hopefully it'll change, but in the interim, I've been logging Talvorian in to solo roam only, and playing socially with my faction warfare character, where I've been having an absolute blast.

    If Eve doesn't seem to offer anything, the fault isn't with you or the game, but a drift between your corp's activity/style and what you want. Change corps and you may find yourself re-energized and excited again. Eve is a game where stability is the enemy. Corps change, and sometimes, you need to move when you find they're changing in ways that don't match you.

  2. Hermit said it best... to paraphrase; "The sandbox doesn’t entertain you, you entertain yourself in the sandbox."

    I believe this is the main, crucial differance between sandbox and themepark gameplay. EVE is a true sandbox... CCP just makes sand and shovels... we make and break the castles there. Elite, while a very real MMO is much moar a Themepark than EVE (though it is not a stand alone traditional Themepark). NPC interaction and story is very high and can be the 'whole of the game' if a player wants that.

    As for changing corps... well, in my case simply aint gonna happen. One of my son's is still in game and the guys I fly with are moar important to me than just playing the game is. I have known Sov n Tsra for years and like my sons. I just really don't wanna fly with anyone else... and the new guys, well, they have grown on me a bit.

    This is not the first break we have taken, and I doubt it will be the last... but as always, we end up pinging each other and getting back together and I have a feeling we always will... well, for some years to come at least. And I'd rather fly solo in E:D and wait for my friends to fleet up than fly with anyone else. I really can't do the alt thing, tried it... creeps me out not being Tur (and wen I log onto a fem toon, well... the guys have asked me not to... things get, well, weird.)

    Tsra said it a few years ago when HBHI was moving out of the C2 we had shared with HELPeR for so long... I was saying how I was gonna miss them, and Tsra said, "We'll fly together again, you'll see..." And he said it so matter-of-fact that I felt it in my bones.

    And we did... and we have... and I really think we always will. =]

    1. That's the thing keeping me where I am. I really enjoy interacting with the players in my corp. Only, if everyone's stopped logging in... meh.

    2. Yup... for me it seems EVE is all about the guys I fly with not the game itself. But in E:D it is the game and not so much other players, friends or otherwise. But yeah... if no one's home, then... well... no one's home.

      I feel it's part and parcel of the whole EVE thing... the There is No End Game in EVE. It is like RL in that everyday is just another day, whether you want it or not. And, of course, unlike RL EVE is a choice... you can just not log on, whereas IRL the sun comes up, the bills arrive in the mailbox day after bloody day... =\


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