Monday, December 14, 2020

On the Loss of Contention

or~ "I'm Not So Much Leaving EVE, as I Just Don't Know if I'll Ever be Back..."

You see, this happened...

CCP... you should have opened the door.

All you EVE players, here's a clue, look at the color of the station door touchpad above...

I'ma digress here and fill in a little background, if for some reason you actually follow my strange little blog, please bear with me, I hope to make this worth your while.

First off this is the sixth, and last, installment of what I call my "Contention" series. One post about what happened, “Incarna, MT and the Jita Riots” and why. Three posts about how we, the playerbase of EVE Online, forced CCP to stop working on First Person gameplay in EVE Online, and the consequences that followed. One post in story form about what I think we all have missed out on. And finally this last post, about my, and Tur's, personal journey.

Incarna, MT, Riots… and The Director’s Retreat

The "Contention" Series:
On the EVE of Contention
On the Bone of Contention
On Getting Back in Contention

A Story of What Might Have Been...
Worlds and Stations
What is to Come for Old Tur
On the Loss of Contention (this post)
I am an EVE Online player. I have been for just over 10 years now, Nov. 2010 to today. In my approach to and enjoyment of gaming I have a few steadfast rules, or better yet, quirks...
(1) I generally devote the vast majority of my gametime to only one game... and
(2) as only one character, my virtual alter-ego Turamath Elrandir, 'Tur' to my friends.

Turamarth Elrandir and his Associate Lieutenants, ALt's for short.

This is simply my preference, my playstyle... I am Tur, I speak for him here and ingame because his thoughts and feelings, hopes and desires, pride and shame, laughter and sorrows are obviously mine... this is not roleplay or pretense, he is my presence in these virtual worlds.
My interest in PC/online gaming started with "DOOM" followed by many of those early First Person Shooter (FPS) copycats, and also in my favorite FPS Fighter Pilot game, "Descent". In those two First Person virtual gaming playstyles, I found that my Path to True Virtual Enlightenment was The Big Dream...

A Dream to play a game with these four five things...

(1) Primary FPS gameplay (First & Third Person)
(2) Set in a SciFi/Future (or Alternative Timeline)  Persistent, Fully Open Sandbox Universe.
(3) Where PVE is really just a "job" to make “money" but it is NOT "the point" of the game.
(4) Where PVP is mostly unavoidable, but it is also NOT "the point" of the game, but it IS part of the core nature of the game.
(5) Where The Point of The Game, is the players.

The "content" is the result of event and randomness plus the emergent player created story, or rather as we in EVE know very well, the players create our own History. We are The Point.
My dream was to have "living emergent experiences" in an Immersive SciFi based First Person (and Third Person) mixed PVE & PVP gameplay in an open virtual sandbox universe with an endless number of TOOLS & TOYS to "DO" STUFF with/in/about/to/etc.
There would be no "perfect safety" as there is no perfect safety in the Real World. There would be rules providing levels of safer and less safe gameplay, where the choices, decisions, actions and reactions of the players is the true "content".
From mid November of 2010 until mid November of the Year That Shall Not be Named... EVE Online was as close as it got for me. In EVE I had “most” of The Dream. I got to live and explore a massive SciFi Universe... in EVE's case over 7,800 star systems with hundreds of thousands of planets, moons, asteroids, stations, gates, cosmic anomalies and "stuff" to explore, resources to collect, harvest and sell and of course, NPC's and players to fight.

In EVE we have a True Sandbox where PVE is mostly just a grindy job and PVP is the Horribad Weather you can't completely avoid. PVE/PVP gameplay in a truly open virtual sandbox universe.
But in EVE we do not have any First Person gameplay. In fact we don't even really have true Third Person as you actually never see yourself. IE your "body", just the exterior view of the ship you are in at the moment.

Now please understand for the last 10 years, "three out of four" hasn't been bad AT ALL. I have loved EVE and the friends and frienemies, the good times and the bad, the beauty and the horror, and most of all, the shared life experiences.

EVE is a beautiful, extremely complex, strategic and tactical game.

Shared Living Experiences... memories of the things YOU did and the stuff that happened to YOU where you start with, "I remember the time that..." and "I was there when...", this very blog was created to be a journal of my living experiences in EVE Online... but that may be over now, or at least it may not be about my & Tur's virtual life in "EVE Online" anymore.
While I do tend to actively play only one game, I have sorta kept up on what's going on in the greater world of gaming, especially in MMO Space games. So back in May of 2015 I spent $39 on a Star Citizen Base Level Game Package, including 1,000UEC ("United Earth Credits", IE Star Citizen ISK) and one of the noob ships, the small yet surprisingly decent and quite fun ship to learn the game's mechanics with, the Aurora MR.

The Aurora MR in warp, that's actually ME in the pilot seat.

The Aurora is basically a Light Armed Shuttle. Single seat with no "cargo hold" as such. The cockpit is forward with a single small sleeping bunk aft, joined by a small companionway with axial port and starboard access hatches and that's it.

The rear two thirds of the ship is all engines, tankage, electronics bays, weapons, defenses, etc. The companionway area can be used to carry standard “box” packages, but no real cargo, or a passenger or two.

Noob Ship, least “useful” in game

I logged on a few times over the next year, then less and less often. I'd update the client and poke around a bit. Year after year I saw nothing I could call "playable content" but, there were definitely incremental and very interesting improvements and the project is very ambitious and truly grandiose in scope... so I'd log off and wait.
And I held on to hope, as so many did, and as so very many others complain and whine and rage about... WOULD this game ever really be Something? Maybe even Something REALLY Good? one day..? some day..? eventually? So we all just hoped and prayed to the neon god we'd made (lookin' at you Roberts) that Star Citizen would go live with a reasonable amount of enjoyable gametime left before the heat death of the universe...  <grumble, grumble>

As time wore on all I can really tell you is... I stopped loggin' in even yearly for reasons I remember not, apathy most likely... so much so that I when I recently decided to check on Star Citizen's progress, I found I had also un-installed it at some point... huh.

I assume it was because my system is a very old and hoopty as shit laptop. It's an HP Pavilion "Sleekbook" 15 FFS. Yet it surprisingly still passed the CPU and min video standards to run SC... just not enough RAM. SC needs 16GB and they mean it... will not even boot with less.

It was at this point that three things came together that may change my gaming forever... (A) this past Sept I turned (mumble 60 mumble) and when I decided to see what our Mr. Roberts has been up to but couldn't due to hoopty laptop, I (B) started watching a few Star Citizen Youtubers and DAMN, I mean just DAMN! I seriously needed to login and check this out.
So (C) we decided my B-Day prezzie to me would be a new computer system... I promptly ordered a Dell G7 17-7700 Gaming Laptop.

Specs as purchased for them as are interested:

PROC:   10th Generation Intel(R)Core(TM) i7-10750H
            12MB Cache, up to 5.0 GHz, 6 cores
RAM:    16GB DDR4-2933MHz - 2x8GB SODIMMs
            up-gradeable to 32GB
STO:     512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive
VID:      NVIDIA(R) GeForce RTX(TM)2070 8GB DDR6
MON:    17.3 inch FHD (1920 x 1080) 300 nits
            144Hz 9ms 72% color gamut with Eyesafe
OS:       Windows 10 Pro (64bit)
My new system took two weeks to arrive and now three weeks later... I got it setup, installed Star Citizen (and ED and yes, EVE) and logged in. I spent the next week figuring out the keybindings to use keyboard, mouse & joystick.

SC has built in default bindings for the Logitech Extreme 3D Pro, among others, I died more than a few times before I swapped the Y (roll) & Z (yaw) joystick axes and BOOM, now I am very comfortable with takeoff, flight, warping and landing.

In many ways the flight mechanics and "feel" are very similar to Elite Dangerous which is the ONLY other game I play to any real degree, and which I play solely because of the flight mechanics. The flight mechanics in SC are similar, but they can give you this...

Landed neatly atop one of the tallest buildings in ArcCorp.

So I started googling EVERYTHING... filled my Star Citizen browser folder with bookmarks, I read and read and read posts and forums and blogs and watched hours of streamers and Youtube guides and How-To's to get comfortable moving and interacting in this New (to me) Amazing and yes, buggy crash prone and Still In Fukkin Alpha, First Person explorable and interactable universe.

Is this then, The Dream?

Pretty much. Now when I login I experience every "waking" moment in the game in First Person, as myself, as Tur... I actually "wake up" in my bed in my "Hab" (apartment).

Wakee, wakee, eggs and bakie...

I check what I'm wearing, change to whatever will be appropriate for the days planned rigors...

My preferred suit... a mix based on the Lynx Core and other armor.

or, the Novikov Extreme Weather Armor

Then I "walk" over to the door and push the "GREEN" button... and the DOOR OPENS! I walk out into one of many possible rough hallways or luxury corridors depending on where I am (System/planet/moon/station/etc) in the 'verse.

The Door is GREEN
The Door is OPEN

Now I Walk In Stations and Walk In Ships and Walk On Worlds and Walk On Moons and I Mine Stuff BY HAND and I Fly Spaceships and Run Up and Shoot People in Da Face!! and I do ALL OF IT in the game as Myself! First Person (& Third) POV and gameplay all rolled into One Seamless Real Time Persistent Virtual Experience.


So... I now have all four parts of The Dream.

Such a crying goddamn shame that when CCP made a serious effort to invest in Walking In Stations, IE First Person gameplay in EVE, they dropped they trousers and cowered in fear of their own playerbase and backed away from WIS faster than a cat inna rockin' chair convention... But now, from this past week of my personal experience of Star Citizen gameplay... I have seen and experienced EXACTLY what we gave up and missed out on in EVE.

CCP talked about this...

Walking in Stations

and this...

Walking in Stations IN New Eden with the Capsuleers
and this...

Fighting in Stations and on the Ground and Inside and Outside of Ships
And what did we actually get? 17 YEARS of...
The Floating Burnt-Up and Flash-Frozen Dead...
And that's it... That's all we've ever had. 17 years of Corpses.

Is there a Downside to Star Citizen?
You better believe it... Oh Yes, yes, yes...  after 10 years Star Citizen is still very very much in “Alpha” and is still very much "Under Construction" and oh hell yes the bugs and crashes and general weirdness during the extended growing pains of the code can get down right irritating... so??

It is not a finished game yet and NO ONE is lying to ANYONE about that so <shrug>. Anyone who decides to play Star Citizen at the current time either accepts that it is a "work in progress" with all that entails, or you don't.
If you are not interested in any of the above, if what you want is a finished, polished and  published game, if you are not interested in backing and/or being a part of a work of this nature while it's “in progress”, then just don't ok?

But, if you do... then you get to be there to watch it unfold and fly, or unfold and die... and as far as I am concerned after only a few weeks of learning to fly my ships and... gods be praised, fly like Superman... my money, and what time I have for gaming, is on Star Citizen's future based on the simple fact that I can PLAY in that world RIGHT NOW...
EVA is more fun than I though it would be... and I had HIGH expectations.
And Yes, as far as I am concerned, it has fully playable content right now. Playable, from waking up in your bunk and heading down to the space port, selecting a ship, entering it, settling down in the pilots seat then choosing content such as...

Box Delivery Contracts (I call em “FedUPS”).
You decide to make some quick & easy CR and look over the available Box Delivery Contracts... Let's see, OH! here's one, “Finish a Covalex Delivery”, it seems that the Covalex Shipping Hub “Gundo” went out of communication and this family is willing to pay handsomely to get their package delivered. Cool.
Gundo Hub, dead and cold, maybe there will be clues to what happened
You take off, align and warp out to the station and yup... it's dark and dead... big ol hole where a large window used to be... crap floating all over. OK, you check weapons and ammo, go EVA and head over to the station, I wonder what, or who, we'll find...
Searching this dead station was SOOOOOOOOOO COOL...
Again, as all things in SC are right now, a Work In Progress so not all fleshed out but man... the first time I went back to my ship after buying 16SCU (Std. Cargo Unit, 1m3)... I dropped the tail ramp and almost cried.
Satisfyingly Full Cargo Hold
In EVE mining is sitting and fighting to stay awake as the mining lasers drone on and on and on... In SC mining is flying out to a potentially good belt, planet or moon, explore by scanning for deposits, then mine and collect the spoils.
You can either have a mining ship, such as the Prospector, the Mole or the Orion or a Greycat ROC mining rover or... you can land your ship and go EVA, on foot, equipped with a man portable mining laser and backpack.
Engaging active gameplay, risky solo but lucrative and fun
You scan for, find, then heat and break up rocks with high value/small volume resources... the best ores and strikes are often deep in unmapped cave systems... where other players may also be seeking their pot-o-gemstones... they just might want to let you do all the hard work first is all.
Hadanite gemstone
So an unequivacal YES, there is some boring to fair to actually quite good and interesting PVE available. AND, so far every time I get back in my ship with the Gundo Job package, as I'm getting ready to fly back to Port Olisar (and once before I even got back into my ship) I get attacked by NPCs...   =]
You can choose to fight or try to run. Running is viable as aligning at "Runaway! speed" (AB/boosting) to any warpable, toggling warp, spooling up and warping out can be done fairly quickly, if you keep your cool. So far I have not seen anything akin to webs or points in SC. And of course, you will grind up aUEC (credits). The Gundo Job pays 8000CR, not amazing, but not shabby either and it's a quick and fun contract.
I have found the package in 3 different rooms and once floating outside the station wayyy on the other side from the entry point... that makes this one repeatable yet still interesting.
The main idea here, and what they are actually delivering on... is Immersion. You can, if you want, login and just run right out the door ignoring all of that or... you can 'wake up', 'get out of bed' and go about your 'virtual day' in whatever degree of "immersion" you like.

But in the end it is YOU. The avatar is of "your" physical being, not some ship "you" are cocooned deep inside of, packed away in a pressurized can of podgoo... the "Immortal Godlike Capsuleer" is an Immortal Godlike Sardine...   yuch. I hate it, always have... hate the term, “Capsuleer” too and always have, it sounds so made up to me.

No... now I spend my time walking the 'verse as a human being should, as a Starship Captain should. I pick out my civies or my suit and armor, I choose my weapons, ammo and med gear and pack carefully, then I pick my ship. I have to "walk through the station" to get to it. I cycle through the airlock and walk out into the cold hard black... and there my ship awaits on the landing pad. I walk over, climb aboard, take the pilots seat and then "I" fly my ship.
Ahhhhh...  now THAT's more like it.

And my friends can join me, or I can join them, and we all take our places at the helm, co-pilot, weapon and tactical stations... all of us in the sky together... as it should be.

I was influenced the most by 2 games back in the day... Doom and Descent. One was The Groundbreaking First Person Shooter and the other was a First Person Zero-G Flying Shooter. I have long wished for this day... the day when I could play in a virtual world as me, in First Person the whole time, and interact with the entire gameworld as me everywhere, and in every way...

Star Citizen is that virtual universe.

Oh, and one last thing, a personal note...
Hey Rixx, it looks like I was right.

You gotta Walk the Walk...


  1. I currently live in a system that gets plenty of new player visitors in EVE. It is amusing to watch them. There is a lot to the game if you are just starting out. Years of play. For the veterans however CCP are focused - literally - on making players lose ships and become poorer. What - err - fun.

    I have been playing a bit of Cyberpunk. Not a game I would normally buy. The visuals, the story, give you immersion in the game. CCP missed that boat - or more accurately, they stepped onto the boat, them ran and leaped wildly off it. I wonder what the game could have become.

  2. I agree, I remember with great fondness my first year in EVE, especially those first heady months leading up to us moving into our first wormhole. I was but 6 months ingame when I first jumped the crazy marble, still all OOOOH and AHHHH over everydamnthing! So yea... I do remember.

    But alas and alackaday it was so long ago... and TBH for me the combination of my sons and core friends all moving on IRL and CCP's constant faceplanting, especially the loss of any hope of FPS in EVE just killed my passion.

    It's taken me what, 4 years of hanging on... paying the sub to keep skills running and JIC "something good happens" that gives me a reason to log on... Problem with that is in EVE nothing really happens in YOUR game unless you MAKE it happen... and I just wasn't.

    Once I had my new rig and SC up and running, I practised flying (and dying at my own inept hands), I finally took off from Everus Harborn, warped to and landed successfully for the first time at a random spot on a moon, shut down the engines (by clicking onna button on the dashboard!!), double-checked that I had my helmet on (it turns out you die inna vacuum, who knew?), went EVA and then Kanga'd all over the place (low grav is an absolute HOOT!).

    Then I tried out and practisaed with a selection of weapons... from a Double Barrelled Sniper Rifle to a Plasma Shotgun(!!!) to a variety of handguns, slug and laser. Blasting away at rocks and alien plants... sooooo satisfying!!

    The last time I logged into EVE was to spend the evening getting into and cleaning and sorting out the cargo for each and every one of the ships in my home station... I knew then I was saying goodbye, maybe not forever, but for now. I will never sell or recycle Tur-in-EVE. I will never give away his stuff and ISK... he was a 10 year part of my life. But it is time to move on because I just do not enjoy EVE anymore.

    I can only assume we will always wonder "what if" about FPS in EVE... Star Citizen started with FPS gameplay at the very Core of Star Citizen and Frontier is launching "Elite Dangerous, Odyssey" this year, so there too we will have FPS gameplay inside & outside of our ships and stations and on planets and moons.

    To me, this has always been the dream of what a great game could be, and HAS to be the future of immersive SciFi Space-based MMO(RP)G online gaming. CCP and all of us in EVE totally missed that boat and it is sailing away way too fast to catch up to now.

    I guess this was my goodbye post. I'm even gonna revamp CBL for Star Citizen at some point I assume. The title will remain the same, little else though I expect.

    1. > .. hanging on... paying the sub to keep skills running JIC
      > "something good happens" that gives me a reason to log on..

      I must admit I have gone some years now of waiting around for CCP to add or change something in game which really suits or interests me. In most measures I should have given up by now. In part it is habit, but every so often I will string together a session in EVE that I enjoy, and that keeps me hoping for a little longer.

    2. Yeah I sorta read that in your posts. And please understand I still love EVE.. it is just so damn beautiful, seriously. The graphics for the ships, stations and most of all Space itself is just amazing. The New Eden cluster is inside and surrounded by vast and colorful nebula which adds so much to the Ship Avatar Only experience, but...

      In SC, in the Stanton System, the main PU (Persistent Universe) open play area of SC, sad to say that we do not have huge stunning nebula to gawk at...

      But that's OK... because we are too busy gazing in wide wonder at the amazing array and choices in clothing, spacesuits and Armor! We spend hours drooling over the selection of personal arms, tools and personal equipment... AND the ever growing array of modules, weapons and upgrades for our ships.

      And of course a large degree of my excitement in SC is that it's all NEW and I am a 10 tear EVE vet... But, I can honestly say that if there had been anything like SC back 10 years ago, I probably wouldn't be a 10 Year EVE Vet today... and it's why I am no longer a "dedicated" EVE player, which may transition to "no longer an" EVE player if SC's development continues in the direction it is going in today.

      I have not given up hope in EVE, but you could say that I found a "younger sexier hottie" to spend my time with! =]

      I got a crime stat again last night... (and again I do NOT know what I did to get it) so instead of trying to land at a station or port and risk being hunted down and assploded I flew to Daymar, a moon of the planet Crusader, and found a nice little box canyon where I tucked my Cutty Red, =]DOC HOLLIDAY[= down and settled Tur in is rack till tomorrow.

      The Cutlass Red is a mid-range, crew capable rescue vehicle. It has 2 MedBays, which are RESPAWN points!! In SC, same as in EVE, I'd simply rather live in my ships... and with the Cutty Red I can do just that and never have to spawn to a station or port! Now THAT is some fun gameplay!


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