Under my skin

Posted: June 26, 2009 in MMO Concepts, Psia

When I first started playing Eve (this time), I thought long and hard about my hopes for the game. I like to go into things having an idea of the type of play I’d like to get from my gaming.

Coming off the back of serious involvement in WoW, I felt that I’d like to take this game a bit easy. A nice gentle game, playing internet spaceships, blowing stuff up and not worrying about anything. I made a concious decision not to attempt to get any of my WoW guildies to come and join me – they are all RL friends, as well as online gaming friends – I felt that doing it “on my own” would be a far more interesting proposition. When I’d started playing other games, WAR being one of them, I’d always got together with the same people, we’d always formed a guild together, and played together. And then left the game together. Furthermore, obligations go hand in hand with playing alongside RL friends. It’s much harder to refuse a request when it comes from a RL mate, than from a guildy with whom you have less of a bond. And lastly, with the number of friends, our guilds had always been small, and small guilds breed more pressure to over-commit. And for obvious reasons, I wanted to avoid over-commitment.

A couple of weeks in, I broke this slightly, by firing off a buddy key to a couple of friends who I thought would love the game. They have both joined, and seem to be having great fun – but we have fleeted up once, and beyond that simply chat in game.

I spent the first month flying around in my frigates, doing the epic arc and finding my feet. Lots of fun, and I tried to pitch in with what I had learned to the rookie chat channel, helping out where I could. After a month in game, that channel went away, and I was left with my NPC corp chat. occasionally there were nuggets of brilliance, but really there are only so many ascii penises that you can ignore, before you resort to turning off the channel. So I was left, flying around space, doing missions and mumbling to myself, like some sort of lonely space hobo. I was still having fun, but it wasn’t grabbing me the way that it had before. I looked around for something to help, and found Eve University.

Since applying to the university, I have learned a ton of new things. Game mechanics that once baffled me, now are clear. My hangar of a few ships, now is looking pretty healthy, with tacklers and heavy tacklers, EW and small gang ships; as well as a few missioners. I understand the mechanics of hisec war very well! But most of all, I am starting to feel a sneaky bond develop to the Uni and its people. The generosity of spirit of some of these people is astounding. Several years into their Eve careers and they still have time and ability to answer the dumbest of questions in good humour. Their willingness to go several extra miles to help new lost players is remarkable in a game that is renowned for its brutality (As one of the members says in their sig: “This game is about groups of bastards competing to be the biggest bastard in a battle for money and power. And here we are running a charity.”) And you know, it’s developed an affection for the Uni and its principles that will last a very long time.

The uni aims to equip people for their life after the uni. It wants to create good, competant New Eden citizens; wherever their path might take them. And that doesn’t just mean carebears. But the more I get to know the uni, the more I think that I’m likely to stick around for a while. Rather  than get my education and move straight on, I have a bond that means I want to stick around, to help the uni do its work, and to protect its ideals.

This corp has got under my skin, and really, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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