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Entering Pod

A casual gamer's attempt to sort out my views on playing EVE Online and other MMO experiences.

Author: Interl0per

Paradigm Shift

Posted by Interl0per Saturday December 22 2007 at 10:47AM
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With school returning to the two-night-a-week format for Routers and Switches II, I've been hard pressed to find time for my MMO fix lately.  Eve is on hold while a month-long skill training completes, so for my 10 minute to 1 hour sessions I've been playing a couple of 20ish level alts on WoW.  This new experience of playing for extremely short periods or not getting to play at all has given me a new perspective on how I think about these games.

I used to think of MMO time as an investment that would pay off "someday".  Since I've returned to college and become more concerned with how I spend my energy in RL, however, the old ideas of "success" and "accomplishment" as they relate to gaming have started to seem a little silly.  Instead, I've begun thinking more and more in terms of immediate turnaround on my entertainment dollars.

Obviously, most of us see MMOs and gaming in general as having value.  The main change in my thinking has been where I look for that value to manifest itself.  I used to think it was in the endgame.  Since I have comparatively little time, or patience with the tedious endgame content of most games for that matter, my expectations were often frustrated.  This led to constant sub/unsub/resub cycles that drove my family and guildmates insane.

Now that I have come to expect immediate entertainment value from my games, well, I'm finding it.  For example, I had an extra ten minutes between my shower and commute this week while nobody else was screaming for attention in my house.  I spent that time levelling my fishing on my Druid in Ashenvale and drinking coffee.  It was the most relaxing and entertaining thing I had done in weeks.  That proved to me that I needn't wait for the payoff in fun from my games.  If I'm not already having fun doing what I'm doing, what's the point?  That may seem like such an obvious statement, but I think most of us need to remind ourselves of its truth every now and then.

How EVE helped me quit grinding and start playing

Posted by Interl0per Friday November 16 2007 at 12:02PM
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I came to MMOs via Star Wars Galaxies in late 2003.  I created two characters, a Rebel Scout that later added at various stages:  Master Ranger, Pistoleer, Master Smuggler, Entertainer; and an Imperial crafter for downtimes that I abandoned in favor of maxing out my rebel.  I played this single character off and on, taking over a year to max out his template and not caring, just having fun running around planets and finding cool things until one day the bug hit me that I needed to max out my pistol skills.  A set of doc buffs and RIS armor and I was off to Dantooine to grind missions.  Even before the NGE, after that day, the game never really seemed the same for me.

Just before the beginning of the end of SWG, WoW was released and I started playing it.  I have had an on-again off-again relationship with the game, class-based has it's good and bad points but my friends did get my wife to start playing and she shows no signs of stopping, so I'm almost literally married to WoW.  Tell me Blizzard doesn't understand their market, heh.

About 18 months ago, stinging from the loss of SWG and bored with WoW, I googled 'MMORPG' and wound up on this site.  After browsing reviews, forums, and game sites, I wound up downloading EVE Online - not the trial, I bought the game sight unseen based on it's appearances.

It's taken me this long to really begin to grasp the power of EVE's unique advancement system and how it frees players like me to truly play my character and experience the world.  It's not perfect, but it's just about the best I could hope for, plus it let's me live my actual childhood dream of being a roguish captain of an interstellar vessel plying a trade and vaporizing pirates.  In that sense, I guess you could call me an 'immersioner' to steal CCP's phrase.  The fact that my character can advance while I wash dishes and go to my kids' basketball games (not to mention earning a living!) is the core of it's genius, not that I'm saying anything new here.  

I don't care a bit for texting in accent or dialect, or working out a complicated bio that paints me as the ultimate universal warrior when I can't fit medium turrets, then spouting my anti-insurgent propoganda in local at every opportunity.  I do want to embrace my aggressive, uncouth side that would rather slap your port bow with a missile than discuss politics.  What's wonderful is that EVE accomodates both types of players, I just didn't see it for so long worrying about starting behind other players and trying to properly metagame my character.  Ironically, if I had, I'd have a lot more SP right now.

If any of my fellow EVE players want to look me up, I'm flying as a Caldari merc named Tac Green, working for Caldari Navy agents on various combat missions in my Merlin, David II.  I'd love to join any SWAers or other combat buddies for a cold drink in the local station facilities and some losec fun!