Slightly panicked and aware that my ship contained nothing but juicy ore and mining lasers I quickly warped out of the area and back to the station. For a moment I marvelled at my quick wit and thinking, how much of a professional was I to avoid a possible catastrophe? After a while of hiding like a paranoid, snivelling runt I slowly started to become self-aware. I was in high-security space in a ship that cost nothing but a handful of credits, mining the simplest form of mineral, why would anyone want to steal this from me and run the risk of being treated as a pirate? I was like an overweight stripper blazingly waggling my bits in a sea of super-models. Nobody wanted to kill me, I was small-fry.
With a huff of sadness I undocked my worthless self back into space and headed back to my jettisoned can; there sure enough on my return was my floating metal container, untouched, virgin-like, a measly 3.4M of ore. I was a wastrel, and an unwanted one at that.
Gathering my miserable self and with a hint of depression I collected my Veldespar and headed back to the station. Before I was told never to refine my ore but I set about the operation with reckless abandon, I was unstoppable, refining this, refining that, I was a refining master. Collecting my resources I headed to the market place and sold to an awaiting buy order. Smooth profit made and feeling pleased with myself I decided to go back for another round of focused orbit and laser shooting.
There is something satisfying about the path of a miner in Eve, oh sure in high-security space it has a reputation for being boring but for anyone looking for that virtual escapism there is nothing like it. Here you are extracting raw materials that other people will use, the newbies of the world keeping the population with an infinite amount of veldspar, pitching in with the cosmic ballet. It made me feel proud. I was making a difference.
At some point during my mining/refinement frenzy I had hit the 500,000 ISK mark and thought myself an online tycoon. Looking about the market place my hands twitched with excitement, what ship should I purchase? How many guns and missiles would I attach to my soon to be flying metal instrument of death? Looking about the many options I felt a little overwhelmed so many choices, so many ways to blow my cash. Instead of buying anything I returned to my journal - before I parted with cash I would sample a few professions, so where the MMO takes me and then commit.
Looking at the 3/10 business tutorial I learned that I would need to gather more veldspar; another round of mining? Oh sure I had enjoyed it an hour or two before but more? I have had my quota for today. I neglected business and did the teenage boy thing – I opted for the military agent and set about my task. Deep within my conscious is obviously a prepubescent boy pulling the strings crying out for me to either enact Van Damme films or indeed Star Wars: who was I to resist it?
I undocked from the space station I occupied and set about warping to my destination. The gentle music soothed as I slipped into the immersion of the game marvelling at the solar systems and galaxies. A dozen or so jumps later I arrived ready for my combat training. I was told to enter a section of space, destroy a wandering pirate and then report back; it sounded simple enough.
Right clicking the newly emerging space around me as I left station I warped to my encounter. As I arrived I saw the tell-tale signs of a red cross floating about. This bastard pirate thinks he’s it, well I have news for him, he isn’t; wiping my brow like a space-faring Bruce Lee and right clicking “approach” I waited. 25K, 24K, 15K, 14K. Oh just you wait, I’m going take you down. !0K, 9K, 8K. The tension was becoming too much, I targeted prematurely, and excitedly scrolled my mouse down towards my turrets, I left clicked.
I had closed my eyes, waiting for the rainbow of destruction, but it never came. My left-click had fallen on my terrifying, death-dealing – mining laser? Abort! Abort! I had flown into combat foolhardy and cocksure I would make a monkey out of this pirate, and now he had made a monkey out of me. Quickly I tapped frantically and backed out of my rush towards the enemy and warped back towards the station.
I was a space-faring vagabond, a warrior, a dandy highway man, and yet I couldn’t even check my own equipment. To assume makes an ass out of you and me, why had I simply assumed I was combat ready? Oh this wasn’t the actions of a space bastard – the type of person I aspired to be in the coming months.
I docked into the station and fitted my ship with appropriate gear – even spending a little time in the market to buy secondary cannon just to flex my muscles a bit. I made my last preparations and finally set about my task of murdering the space pirate that had eluded me previously. This time I was ready and I was going to bring the space pain alright.
And so concludes my first foray into the wilds of Eve Online. In retrospect I am amazed at how easy and yet how enjoyable I found my time flying space again. The controls which once seemed so strange were second nature, and the possibilities of career which shocked me into confusion now seem quite simple. Whether or not I will finally connect with the game remains to be seen – so join me again next week as I continue my space odyssey.