Friday, 24 January 2014

Blogging, gaming and EVE Online

So, blogging. Looks like fun. Thought I'd try it and here I am! I've wanted to start some sort of blog for a while, mainly about gaming since it's what I spend a frankly scary amount of time doing. I've been interested in gaming for a long time. I like quite a wide range of games, from shooters to RPGs to RTS. However it's only over the past few years have I spent any serious amount of time on MMOs, primarily playing Rift. However, my current fix isn't exactly new. I've finally discovered EVE Online. I've only been playing for around 4 months now and think it has finally sucked me in. I've dipped my toes in the water in the past, once around 2006 and more recently in 2010 but never really took the plunge into subscribing past the free trial. Across the various games I've played I've met people playing EVE and I've always been aware of the events happening in it's single shard universe either through word of mouth, the gaming press or even global media. It's always interested me but due to various circumstances I've never been able to invest the time to break through the initial barrier to entry that EVE is notorious for. I finally did it and now stare triumphantly up the learning cliff, determined to make a good go of it.

EVE has been described by many as having a "learning cliff" as opposed to the typical curve experienced in other MMOs.

EVE is a fascinating game. It is incredibly complex and had a notoriously steep learning curve (often called a cliff, see above). It is fairly unique in the MMO genre due to it's single shard universe, reaching upwards of 50,000 concurrent player characters spread across the universe at peak times. It is can also be extremely harsh and unforgiving. It's quite possible to spend months of savings on a single ship only to loose it 30 minutes (even seconds). The sandbox nature of the game and existence of huge player run corporations, alliances and coalitions also allow for a rich political landscape and meta game unlike anything in other MMOs that I know of currently on the market. Espionage, scamming and back room deals are commonplace. Acts which would elicit a ban in many other games are perfectly valid forms of play in the EVE universe. Manage to infiltrate a wealthy corporation, work your way to the top and make off with entire corporation savings? Many, though maybe not the target of your theft, will applaud you on a successful heist. Of course, many of these ideas are rather grand and don't encompass all possible activities within the game by any means. Some people just want to mine asteroids for hours on end or fiddle with small scale industry operations. I think there is truly something there for everyone in EVE, they just need to break through the entry barrier and find it.

So I am quite taken with EVE. I'll give you a whistle stop tour of my first 4 months and expand a bit in later posts. Like many I started off mining. Many people will tell you mining is boring. I found it strangely relaxing, though I knew there was much more to the universe, so off I wandered to try out different things. It was also great because I could mine on my second monitor while I weaned myself off my other MMO of choice at the time. I played a little with exploration and ended up getting stuck in a wormhole (oops). I did a bit of missioning which was fun but a bit too basic for my liking. Eventually I settled into station trading and other market based shenanigans which has ended up being one of my main activities and fits my current schedule quite well. I'm also a massive spreadsheet nerd and EVE has started eating into my google drive space quite nicely. However, to get a taste for different activities I started up a second character to train into PvP focused skills (EVE has a time based skill training system which I won't spend much time explaining right now). This character is Bizar Raizen and can really be considered my main character. He now lives in lowsec in the beautiful system of Barleguet. I joined him up with a newbie friendly corporation called Brave Newbies where I've had a great time so far. My first character is his sugar daddy, providing the ISK to fund many a space explosion. Explosions are fun and I hope to make many, many more of them.

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