When life gets crazy, time compresses. Its sort of like TiDi, just reverse. What normally takes 1 hour needs to be done in 30 minutes. I am sure most people have these phases in their lives occasionally, it just happens.
The problem with EVE is that it doesn’t compress very well. A month ago, I could log in for a couple of hours twice a week and got my PI done, scan a little, scout a bit for my team and even gank the odd Drake. But with 30 minute sessions once every 3 days, there is a hard stop just when things get borderline exciting. 30 minutes are about enough time to do PI but when my entire EVE experience consists of Farmville, I’d rather not log in. But I miss “my guys”, sure we hang out together on jabber all day but while the conversations are a good counterpoint to the bullcrap of every-day worklife, its less intense of an experience than flying spaceships. No, jabber augments but does not substitute a game.
I have been in this situation before and chose to drop out of my alliance for a while and park myself in RvB – log in, blow up a few frigates, then die, log off with a smile and move on. Problem is, EVE is actually a lousy game for instant gratification. That organizations like RvB need to put up rule books as thick NYC Yellow Pages is a sign that EVE simply was never designed for casual action. In addition, the RvB-style PvP bores me. I am sure there are great fights these guys do, but again, they would need preparation, better ship fits and waiting on gates for hours. Its not their fault – EVE wasn’t designed for the job. Don’t try to plough a field with a Lamborghini.
So, what to do?
First of all, dialing down expectations a bit and not promise stuff I cant deliver on – hard for me to do. But when there is an alliance roam that sounds awesome – I know I won’t be able to log in and be scout. Shooter? Sure, I grab a Vexor or Caracal or something and blap at stuff until dead. Secondly, I looked around a little bit for other games to play. For example, I re-started Skyrim – which I really wanted to like a year ago but gave up on at level 13. I gave up because I treated it like WoW without annoying teenagers but Skyrim is a different beast altogether, the quests actually need a bit of thinking and skills matter. I am having fun in that game, listen to a podcast on my way to work and log in for a few minutes at night, discover something and save the game. It is the right level of engagement at the moment.
The real issue is that I am not sure whether my current pause will be permanent or temporary. I played EVE now longer than most other games and while it has – famously – no end game, I am starting to think I have done most things I am interested in. My recent bucket list allowed me to review what I really wanted to do and its not that much. Maybe EVE simply lost its drive for me. I reserve judgement on this until the Christmas break where things will slow down in my job. Maybe the slow time will get my mind back into the normal world where 60 minutes are actually an hour.