Sunday, 7 July 2013

The Birth of the Idea

"Life in a Wormhole" is a collection of blog posts documenting my adventures in EVE Online. Together with a small group of real life friends we will attempt to survive in the harshest of space EVE has to offer.

It all started with an all-too-familiar itch...

"I want to get back into an MMO."

The words haunt me. It's not an unusual circumstance I find myself in. Withdrawals from the online world; needing my fix of pixelated glory. Sure, I game - but I don't really game. I have a plethora of mid-level heroes in equally mid-quality MMOs. I have tonnes of mid-table finishes on multitudes of first person shooters.

But I don't play anything that holds my attention like the old days. Nothing that I can draw on my years of experience and excel at. Nothing I'm really into.

I nudge my partner in crime. He too has moved on with life - "grown up" - now dabbles in games, managing self-improvement but never really winning. If I can get him on board, I'm half way there.

But we've been here before. You see, we've been long time real life friends: we met at University; managed to run a very successful guild on Warcraft; and we've been chasing that elusive MMO high ever since.

"My EVE account has a 5 day free trial."

His response is expected:
"Have fun with that. Log in, set a queue training, then spend the next 4 days working out a plan in EveMon."

It's true. One of the best things about EVE is that you could spend hours and hours not playing the game. It's got a highly addictive, behind the scenes, "number crunching" side - where you find yourself spending more time using third party applications than actually piloting your ship.

But... I like that about EVE. I like that even as I sit here typing this post, my characters are getting stronger. Once you take away the need to play a game for progression, all that's left is to play the game for enjoyment. The EVE idea is becoming stronger in my head, but I don't like Solo. I try again.

"Oh. All my accounts have free 5 day trials on them. I think I'm going to test the water, you know, start running some level 4 missions with a salvager alt, just to see if I enjoy it as much as I used to."

I receive a better response. It includes the phrase "I do miss EVE".

Surprisingly, we manage to avoid the usual conversation about the "good old days", dodging the ridiculously depressing "I just don't have the time anymore", and of course the inevitable "I have too many responsibilities now". We leave it at an upbeat "Let me know how it goes". And I do...

I tell him it was fun, but grinding out level 4's isn't enough for me. They're easy, they're repetitive, they're boring. I need something more. I decide the only way I'd get back into EVE is if we started clearing out wormholes like we used to - but that's so much hassle to get setup, I don't think I'll ever bother.

This is true. You see, I spent a lot of my previous EVE time in null sec: the adrenalin of being constantly on guard, your opponents tears when you beat them, the crushing penalties when you get beat yourself. Mission grinding in high sec was never going to be enough for me.

A pity. Yet days after the trial had finished, Friday night came around.

"I have the urge to play EVE. Properly."

"Me too."

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