July 30, 2016

Eve hotdropped my vacation

Like many Eve players, I was away for quite a bit this month on vacation.  Unexpectedly though, Eve caught up with me.  I guess you really can't escape the spaceships!

About three years ago I was on vacation with extended family and watching AT videos on my iPad.  My nephew was very interested and had lots of questions, but after my sister asked me a bit about what Eve was like she said "No."  He had enough distractions going on to add Eve, which was almost certainly a good call at the time.

Fast forward to this July out on the Outer Banks and my nephew unfolds his laptop and says "Guess what, I've been playing Eve the past few months."  He had moved pretty quickly into Signal Cartel and was running wormhole sites in a Tengu.  When not in the wormhole, he had been running incursions.  In short, he had immediately moved to two areas of the game that I hadn't actually experienced yet.  It's a testament to how much Eve offers that this little coincidence is probably not all that rare amongst two randomly chosen players.

So we ended up chatting a good bit about Eve during the vacation.  The WiFi where we were staying was a bit shaky the first couple days, which convinced him he didn't actually want to undock and go wormhole diving while there.  Instead he spent downtime playing around with EFT and asking questions as we rotated through the ship browser.  He's a bright kid, so I'm not really surprised that he's taken in so much over a relatively short time.

Now that I'm back home that's increased my interest in wormhole diving for PVE.  I've used wormholes to get to null to try ratting there for the bounties and the sec status, or to cut to other areas of low where a solo Gallente pilot might find a different kind of fight than in the warzone.  Looking around the other day I found a hole to a C13, so remembering Longinus Spear's backpacking blogs I fitted up a Confessor and gave it a try for an hour or so.  That blog was apparently before the nerf pass on the Confessor, but the idea held up well even without bling.  I was pretty surprised at the value pulled in drops and salvage - yeah salvaging, that's something I haven't done in a long time.

Wormhole living isn't suddenly going to pull me away from my home in Gallente FW, but it is a nice sideline.  Profit isn't bad either, and I continue to need more income streams if I'm going to actually be flying capitals down the road.  All the more things that can open up in Eve - sometimes even when you're on vacation.

July 4, 2016

Summer Blahs and New Temptations

A couple bloggers have mentioned Eve things slowing down for them.  I expect that a lot of us are in that boat.  Schedules change as the kids get out of school and are staying up later, vacations kick in (I'll be out for a week in a bit), and other obligations come along (I have in-laws visiting the past week).  This blog was written over three days and four sittings, when normally I kick out a blog in one or two.  all those things can easily cut into Eve time.   It's understandable for us to ask if there is something more.

I read a lot of opinions on people not being thrilled with the Shadow of the Serpent event.  I have barely even logged in since it started, and I haven't tried any of the challenges, so I don't have any first hand opinion.  I wrote a piece for Crossing Zebras about the structure of the rewards before it started, though I'm glad to see now that it's out that it is a bit of a hybrid between the approaches I mentioned.  Getting the right structure is important for motivating players, and I think what they did was actually a good mix.  Unfortunately, the rewards behind the structure are underwhelming for people, particularly when compared to the Thrill of the Hunt SP-fest that was just terminated.  But I can't say that the event's apparent failure to engage the Eve community is part of me not getting undocked more.

It's certainly not the content generated by my corp.  Rapid Withdrawal has been racking up the kills, including getting in on some big fights through blues to local pirates.  One of our FCs and content generators, Nate Atol, is on the Top 10 killer list on zkillboard right now.  Our new alliance, Pen Is Out, is almost certainly going to start showing on the Alliance lists as soon as it has existed long enough for the kills to mount up.  On the other hand, I won't be surprised if starting practice for an Alliance Tournament team means we'll see a sudden drop of kill stats for our top pilots.  So there's plenty of content for me there if could just get free from guests and such when the quite frequent pings go out.

The more immediate threat to my Eve time is Path of Exile, which I played and then put away.  When my son was looking for something to do with his extra free time, I figured maybe he was ready for some modern murder hobo hero action.  Showing him how it worked got me playing again of course - I never had finished the story and now we're both racing through it on my Steam account.  Maybe someday I'll try introducing him to Eve, but I know it may be a one-shot thing - if he gets turned off by the complexity then it may not be something I can try again next year.

My Eve time is probably lucky that No Man's Sky got delayed from June to August.  I expected that would be the big game-time pull.  Well, it still will be I hope, it's just that now it will overlap more with the end of summer vacation and thus another set of schedule changes.  I expect my son and I will dive into it, and since both of us will be playing that will make it all the more appealing for me to spend time on rather than Eve.

Click for link to Tiger Ears wonderful WH resources - wish she still played and blogged

So when I get time again I think I'm going to try throwing myself into something different.  Maybe a concentrated effort on solo pvp, but the downside of the massive content-fest that is our FW zone is that you're up against some tough odds solo.  Another option that I'm finding appealing is fitting up a Stratios and start wandering through wormholes without limiting myself in having to find my way back every play session.  It's not too hard to have a PVP fit that can do some PVE (granted, not the big anoms) or that you can mobile-depot refit to.  The Stratios is better than my cloaky Proteus for not needing ammo (technically) between lasers, neuts and drones.  I'll have to hit up pyfa and try out some options.

Beautiful image by zombietychus via Reddit - click for original

In the end, this is the beauty and the longevity of Eve.  Other games may come and go.  Right now I hear plenty of comments of people playing Overwatch or Stellaris.  Then they're back to Eve again, either in the same kind of game as before or maybe something new.