Blaugust EVE Online MMO

Failure to undock: another abortive attempt at EVE Online

August 7, 2019

I received the above email a few days ago. I subbed, I’m yet to undock, and now my sub is about to expire. At the end of this experience, I am not looking to re-subscribe. Rather than spending most of my time looking at things like this:

I spent most of the very little time I had EVE booted up looking at things like this:

Full disclosure: that is the training queue for my planetary interaction alt, a second character that I can train up to generate passive income on my account. I am not actually a brand new player to EVE – this will be my second attempt at getting into the game and, so far, it’s been even less successful than the first. But let’s talk about the first time.

Exploring the galaxy

My first real shot at EVE Online was as an explorer. Explorers zip about in small ships, scanning star systems and finding lost data and relic caches, then selling the loot. They are the Indiana Jones’ of EVE – sneak in, get the loot quickly, and rush out before the place collapses around you.

But they often lead a stealthy and lonely existence. I trained my skills up and got out and about, and enjoyed it. I was fasncinated by the truly amazing amount of player-made content in EVE – delivery companies, signal corps, a whole slew of player-built experiences.

I joined Signal Cartel and set out to explore w-space, but my interest faded as I found it hard to find good loot caches that weren’t stripped bare. Now what I’ve read seems to indicate thatr I was doing it all wrong, and it wasn’t wormholes I should have been exploring, but nullsec.

In any case, I let my Omega subscription expire, and my EVE alter-ego Alan Malone sat for two years gathering dust.

Back in the drivers’ seat – kind of

Just last month I got the EVE bug again. Possibly by reading a post on The Ancient Gaming Noob, or somewhere else. I was allured by the stories of EVE, and I sought them out for myself.

I fell into a rabbit hole of EVE posts around the internet and put my money where my mouth was. I bought a million skill points with the starter kit, and then bought some PLEX alongside an Omega subscription.

I set myself up with a skill training plan that would take my explorer to the next level – more sneaky and stealthy and better scanning tech. I looked at the time to complete on my skill plan and was oddly comforted – I would be ready in over a week. I had over a week before I wouyld need to actually do something. As the seconds, minutes and hours ticked down I realised I was running out of my comfort zone. Soon I would have to undock, risk my money and ships, and actually do that something.

It was too much. In desperation, I set up a Planetary Interaction alt – a way of collecting passive income via mining planets. I did the training, finished the training, and still did not undock with him. The weeks passed. EVE remained forlornly on my desktop, untouched.

So with less than a week to go I’ve mostly “played” EVE offline. I don’t imagine this will change before my subscription ends.

In love with the thought of EVE

The thought of EVE is alluring to me. It reminds me Ultima Online (UO) right around the time it was released in 1998. The players created stories, events, shops, towns, feuds and so much more. The devs provided a mostly unstructured sandbox and it’s up to players to fill in the gaps. From reading posts on EVE now, I am getting the sense that EVE devs are doing a lot of gap-filling themselves now. But the EVE stories from the glory days speak to a wild west with order imposed only by its sheriffs and its cowboys.

But for some reason, EVE hasn’t spoken to me like UO did (and still does to some extent – but that’s for another post). I think it has partly to do with the theme. I like sci-fi, but I find the EVE setting a little too sterile and stock for my liking. UO is a good example of how the devs were able to give us an unstructured world with a strong theme. I’m not sure EVE really gets there on that score.

I think at the heart of it is the problem that I don’t really enjoy the game genre (if you strip away the MMO aspects). I only ever played X-Wing/TIE Fighter in terms of starship games, and they were a lot more ‘first person’ in their styling than EVE is. The gameplay of EVE doesn’t connect with me and thus I find it hard to be motivated.

I’ve realised that the majority of my motivation comes from reading about all the interesting things that go on in the world. But when I log in, I just fail to undock.

I guess I was never meant to fly.

Do you have a game that you like the thought of playing more than actually playing the game itself?

Only registered users can comment.

  1. I bounced off EVE pretty hard several times trying to get into it, before the one time I finally did — as a guild with a good number of friends.

    In that sort of context, and later on joining a corp it was a blast. But it isn’t something I’d ever want to go back to solo. But then on the corp side I don’t really have the time to dedicate to it any more. So it kind of rules itself out of the picture. xD

    More than anything though, I get what you mean on liking the idea of something better than the reality. It’s pretty surreal when it seems like all the components of ‘a thing you would enjoy’ are there, but they still somehow don’t quite come together.

    1. Definitely. I think being in Signal Cartel helped a lot, but when I came back I’d been kicked (for inactivity I guess). DIdn’t find th energy to reapply.

      There are other games that fit the same bill of “would love to love” but can just never get past the front door.

  2. EVE is definitely a game where you have to set your own goals and be ready to enjoy the journey. The game gives you few concrete goals, and often when you achieve your own goals you find the air goes out of your desire to play. Before you undock you need a plan.

    1. I don’t think I ever had a good plan, and though I set myself up to fly CovOps frigates, and then used PLEX to buy some ISK, I was too scared to fit one out! Lost opportunity I suppose.

      And now I find myself drawn back to LOTRO so that will likely occupy my time.

Leave a Reply