Tuesday, March 6, 2007

I'm kind of at a crossroads in EVE again. It seems to happen every time I play the game for any length of time. I get to this point where I wonder,

"What exactly am I trying to accomplish?"

You see, EVE is a sandbox, so it doesn't have any kind of progression for you to follow. At all. It simply plops you down in the EVE galaxy, starts you on a long and arduous tutorial, which teaches you the basic mechanics of the game, and that's it. Once the tutorial is done, you're "free" to do whatever you want.

So, the player is forced to make themselves some goals of their own. thusly, I have to ask myself the question above a lot. Except now, I've got to the point where I can't easily answer it anymore. Sometimes, I have no idea what the answer is. And usually at that point I go play something else to get my mind off of it.

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So ...

Now that you know the reasoning behind the question, I can delve into the meat of the problem. You see, when I started EVE, there were sooooo many possibilities, it was overwhelming. I had countless opportunities, and only needed to pick one of them at a time. Life was good.

Flash forward to the present, where I've put 8 months at least into the game, broken up into mostly 1-2 month "chunks". My character's skill points have reached near 10 million. I've got 60 million credits in my wallet. I have a bunch of ships to my name, and some other goodies.

Now, I've been trying to figure out what the next step is. Not exactly what the next step is, but /why/ I should go that route. The problem is most distressing.

I could try mining for a while. But that's mindlessly boring. Click, activate mining laser, wait till hold is full. Go sell minerals, repeat. You could watch TV or read a book while doing it, but what's the point? All it gets you is some minerals to either sell, or make stuff with.

If you want to make stuff, you take the blueprint (BP), the minerals and put them into a manufacturing slot at the station. Come back later after the specified time is over, and collect your BP and finished product. Not too much interaction there at all. And all that gives you is stuff to use, or sell.

Most of the PvE stuff in the game is mindlessly easy, once you know how to set up your ship. I barely have to think about it, other than picking a target to kill first. Looting the wreckages afterwards is actually more complicated than the combat itself. And the rewards is mostly credits again.

The PvP is fun, for the little I've done, but I don't have the time or the patience for most of it. Alliance warfare sounds cool, but it requires commitment and time. Both of which I don't have. RL > MMO.

*insert other stuff I'm too lazy to type*

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Basically, the entire game boils down to grinding some activity to generate money. And then the game's main focus is for you to use that money to fund your PvP activities. But, if you're like me, and don't have the time for PvP, you're stuck doing the grinding part.

Grinding money wouldn't be so bad, /if/ you could get something with it. Compare it to RL. People get money to buy /luxury/. They get fancy cars, houses, food, clothing, etc. Things that don't really exist in EVE. All you can buy in EVE is more ships, modules for the ships, or materials to make the modules and ships. It seems like a very limited, looping style of play.

Credits -> ships -> PvP -> ship loss -> earn back credits lost -> ships -> repeat

I really don't put much worth on money in RL, so I have almost no care about virtual money. If someone tells me that they have 100 billion in some MMO, well good for them. It doesn't really mean much, other than they can buy whatever they want.

I dunno. I think I'm rambling, missing the point of it all. Basically, I can't see what the point is of "grinding" to get virtual money, regardless of the context. Grinding to level up? I understand. You get a concrete thing out of it. Your character is better. In EVE you can be a brand new character with 100 trillion credits and it won't do you a thing. It still takes real time to advance your character, so you'll be sitting around waiting to find something to do with all that money.

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Whatever. I know I'm ranting here, but I just can't seem to get past this one facet of EVE. It's so unlike other MMOs. It /completely/ takes away the Achievement part of an MMO from me, the player. Exploration isn't really functional, nor Fun apparently, so that is gone from the 4 groups as well. I've never been much of a Social MMO player, so that's not a big priority. All that leaves is Killing. Even though it's my 2nd highest playstyle, the lack of the other 3 groups makes it not as attractive as something like Battlefield 2142. At least with BF2142, the Achievement part is firmly under my control. The better I play, the faster I can unlock stuff. Achievement at it's finest. EVE is simply a forced time sink to get anywhere.

I think the biggest kick in the pants though is that fact that I just reactivated my EVE account the other day, after choosing to cancel because of the case of Dev cheating just last month. Had I stuck to my guns, I could have kept my 15 bucks. It's not the money, just the principle of the thing.

I guess I can use the month to play as much (or as little) as I want, and maybe train some skills. Perhaps I can go get Jade Empire or something.

Heck ... I've pondered reactivating my old CoX account, simply because I enjoyed the casual nature of it all, and Heroes and Smallville have got me hankering for some comic bookiness.

We'll see about CoX though. I'm forcing myself to wait and give it a couple days first. If the feeling is still there, I'll go back. I don't want to make snap judgements. It /always/ gets me in trouble.

Till the next time, my pretties. *cackle*
The Rev.

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