Now that the year is coming to an end in a more peaceful fashion than had be predicted, it may be time to reflect my 2012 in New Eden.
2012 was my first year of consistently blogging about EVE, about games in general and the times we live in. This blog was designed to poke around a little in this greyzone between real and online life and while there is no clean distinction for anymore, society has not fully computer games as a legitimate way to spend time. Watching football is. Go Figure.
Anyway. The year started with quite a few musings about New Eden’s politics, my discussion of criminality generated a little bit of a conversation and even had Ender Black responding. What happened to him? Does he still play the game? This was also a time where I explored a little bit the ethics of the game and decided to set my own standards. In-game, my corp had moved into a C4 and I stayed behind to help the new residents find their footings. I played too much and started to think about addiction a little – still one of my top-searched post. Generally, the google search terms that land on this page are pretty specific : “Addicted to EVE Online”. I do not know whether they origin from a self-reflecting player or a spouse but I do hope that they find something in the post worth reading and thinking about.
I March I wrote only 2 posts, both on the Mittani debacle, a shame in hindsight, that episode generated too much rubbernecking press. It is so easy to pick a topic that everyone else writes about and give it your own spin. Not wrong, but easy. And yes, an Echo chamber quickly develops where bloggers repeat each other and huddle together like penguins in a storm. I did try to write about what happened to turn a normal guy into an apparent sociopath but my post was drowned out by the chorus of highly polarized polemics with little substance. Try writing something rational about gun control now and you find yourself equally ignored. People want extremes and Mittani delivers.
In game, I spent some time in RvB and while fun was had, its just not my EVE. Its more like Left for Dead, you team up with total strangers who spew nonsense in fleet chat, then sit around and then get told to shot at some guys and then you blow up. Death doesnt matter, strategies are exclusive for the FC and since they warp you to where you need to be, all you have to do is to press F1. Maybe I didn’t give it enough time but I left pretty quickly (after 20+ kills…). At this time, I think I found my footing and developed my love for the stealthbomber. That post still is getting google searches, some lost soul tries to find a Nemesis fit that doesn’t suck. Sorry. I fly the Nemesis for purely aesthetic reasons and don’t care much for the finer science of fitting management. And it works for me, that’s all I care about.
We also opened our academy in May and that was likely the most complicated and absorbing thing I did in game. It was a time full of bravado, doubt but also very satisfying. What I did realize though, that if you take on a project like this, you pretty much have to play EVE full time, or at least 4-5 hours / day. However, it is time well spent. My time there and in our Alliance has generated more social interaction and RL friendships than I could have possibly wished for.
The summer in New Eden was pretty stressful for me, I took on a new job with a very long commute and tried to keep up my game time. That didn’t fly very well and I started to get a tad stressed. It didn’t help that our Alliance Leader Jadecougar” decided to go nullsec for fame and glory without actually checking in what his core team wanted to do. Despotism doesn’t really work when people can leave you with a few clicks. And thats what we did and never looked back. Whatever happened to Jade? I have no idea. I tried to listen to his podcasts again but turned it off after a few minutes of rambling over some nullsec stuff that I am simply not interested in. But in that post, I took also a stance against nullsec myself, which brought me more new friends than enemies and basically cemented my confidence. Rather than a piece on a chessboard, we had decided to stay out of nullsec and do our own thing. It felt good.
August saw probably my best fiction writing. Chapter 6 was hard to do but I think it is the darkest, the most brutal, the most engaging chapter I have written so far. The story has not ended yet and if work allows me a few days over Christmas, I write more chapters. I am enjoying fiction writing but it is something that can’t be forced – it really has to come to you. I did not know this and that experience alone made the experiment worthwhile. Thank you, Mme Thalys for the encouragement! I followed up with a few more chapters, having found the spark but it petered out pretty quickly. My EVE time was more spent in the academy going out on crazy excursions with my friends Gerandor and Skip and much fun was had. My time in the academy came to an end and these two among several others took the leadership into their hands. I stayed around for a bit as backup but watched with great pride as our little project succeeded.
The last noteworthy post of the year was likely the followup from the DC-regional meeting. I had never met EVE players in real bodies before and did not know what to expect. To be honest, I was and still am quite uncomfortable about this real meeting thing. Sure, they are really nice guys, Aleks from Noir is certainly someone I’d go out with for beers and Chaoticc also seemed to be a good lad. But I still felt quite uncomfortable about the entire thing. EVE is a game I play in my head, my imagination, my thoughts. My real body hasn’t so far figured in that world. So, that probably is the my main hesitation for me to book my flights to Iceland for the fanfest. Oh and money / time.
Whats next in 2013? I guess that would be a new post.
For now, I wish everyone in New Eden and on this rock a very happy Christmas and a successful 2013 full of joy, wrecks and friendships.