Too Much Game, Too Little Time

I’ve been gone from EVE Online long enough that I haven’t the least idea what I was working on back then; to the best of my recollection I left just before the Captain’s Quarters launched. When I logged back in yesterday I found myself in my old haunt of Rens, though, which is familiar territory.

I’m probably in the minority on this, but it’s my opinion that the whole “Walking in Stations” business is essential for the continued growth of EVE; that CCP has kept adding new dimensions to the game is one reason it’s continued to thrive, and this is an inevitable step. The feature as it exists today is, alas, just a novelty. Further work on it appears to be taking a back seat for now, though.

This is good in the sense that CCP is re-focusing on the space game, but bad in the sense of opening up this important avenue of play; the additional gameplay that Dust 514 will bring to the table could be another if it weren’t for the seemingly ill-considered decision to make the title a PS3 exclusive. Availablity on the PC platform might have brought players of the shooters that thrive on that platform into the EVE community and possibly, in time, into EVE itself by crossing over the two titles. Confining Dust to the console shooter ghetto puts a roadblock in the way of that.

In any event, though, I picked up in the general neighborhood of where I left off with jetcan mining in a crusier, in a nice out of the way 0.6 system. I’d worked my way up to Mining Barges at one point, but that was with another character on a different account that I’m not about to reactivate. So if I want to go that route I’ll need to work up to it again.

But that’s an if. As much as I love EVE for not forgetting what an MMORPG is supposed to be, it’s had a lot of trouble retaining me. I blame my own lack of patience for this; it’s not as though I’ve ever lacked for in-game goals, and my character has the skills and the ship needed to tackle level 3 missions if I so desire, and those can bring in quite a lot of ISK. I’d think more than I would doing jetcan mining, which for me pulls down about 1-2 million ISK an hour.

EVE’s going to have to work hard to convince me to stay given my current schedule, lack of free cash and the large number of free to play titles that may be individually less interesting in the long term… but there’s so very many of them. I do plan to come back to stay eventually, but now’s not the best time to do it. Plus we have Star Trek Online going f2p any week now, Guild Wars 2 probably some time next year and the non-massive Mass Effect 3 and Skyrim, the latter only a few weeks off.

Still, I plan to enjoy myself while I’m visiting New Eden.

7 responses to “Too Much Game, Too Little Time

  1. You really will burn out of EVE if you grind mining lasers for 2mil/hr. Can’t suggest strongly enough that you join a corp. Even a mining corp will give you access to real gang bonuses, haulers and people to talk to. Mission corps will help you across that bump to level 4 missions and into 20mil/hr mode.

    Also, don’t forget less treadmill-y aspects. Radar sites in low sec are common, pay 20-50m, take about 20min to run (add extra time to find them) and can be done in a t1 cruiser. You might die here and there, but it’ll pay for itself and add a little excitement.

    2/10 DED Deadspace sites drop faction mods like 80% of the time, worth usually 10-20m but sometimes 80m+. They take about 5min to run and can be done in a t1 frig (they’re frig/t2 frig/dessy only gates). IIRC, they take an hour to respawn but the low-sec ones aren’t well trafficked. It’s not very dangerous since frigs are very hard to catch in low-sec, and it’s a bit more exciting than cycling your lasers.

    Also, pvp/piracy. Perfectly viable in a t1 frig, particularly if you have friends or join a corp. You’ll die a lot as you learn, but t1 frigs are practically free and when you do manage a kill it’ll pay for itself a dozen times over. Bonus because you’ll be underestimated as a new player. Killing most inties in an mwd-fit t1 frig is laughably easy and quite profitable.

  2. I feel your pain, because i have returned to EvE recently as well and despite the all exciting things you read about it, the game is still as boring and tedious as before. I tried to stay away from missioning this time and did some exploration in hi-sec, wasted a lot of time scanning with nothing to show for it. Despite what the previous poster said about going to low-sec or null for more excitement, it is not worth it unless you join a corp. And joining a corp can be harder than it worth, due to very limited amount of time i can play. EvE is not a casual friendly game, which is a shame. Everything takes too much time and any progress can be lost too easily.

  3. I used to feel the same way, Luk. I find it very friendly towards casual play, much more so than most mmo’s. It took me three tries at the game and a lot of frustration, but I finally found my groove. I haven’t been able to log in much the last couple weeks due to real life commitments, but I like that I am still progressing towards my goals. I just set myself to train a higher level skill, and by the time I do have time to play again I will have knocked out a big skill.

    Shoot me an email Ardwulf and let me know this character’s name…we can tear up some asteroids sometime. Also, on saturday mornings my corp generally has a big mining op going.

  4. @Luk

    Actually, I’m an extremely casual player. I’m in a corp for the social aspect but I fly almost exclusively solo and tend to pop into game for an hour at a time, do something, then log out. I made those suggestions because they are easy, have a high isk/hr ratio and require no more than 30min-1hr at a session. In other words: they are casual.

    Progress is extremely difficult to lose if you a) keep your clone up to date and b) understand the meaning of risk/reward ratio (hence my suggestion of a cruiser/frig in lowsec for exploration/DED sites). That is, of course, assuming by progress you mean ‘gaining isk and skillpoints’; EVE is a sandbox and progress is what you make of it. The most valuable progress you can make is learning the game and getting experience. Sure, learning a new tactic might not give you the slot machine rush with lights and buzzers and a ‘ding!’, but it’s satisfying once you recognize it for what it is.

    Yes, high-sec missions are boring and highsec exploration sites are rare – but if you’re not willing to take risks in EVE you’re playing the wrong game. It’s crazy, I know, but try doing something different.

    Also note: I never suggested null-sec. It’s a perfectly viable place for a casual, solo player – but not without a good bit of knowledge and some investment. Low-sec requires none of that.

    So what, exactly, is it about low-sec which makes it not worth it without a corp? That’s an awfully bold statement to make without any argument. I live in low-sec, and while I have a corp I certainly don’t feel like I *need* one to make it worthwhile.

  5. @Raelyf
    When I say about losing progress, I mean wasting time. As a casual player I am short on time, so this time is precious to me. Spending time for little or no reward is a waste. Training skills and doing boring activities like missions, mining, PI, seems to offer much more ISK (reward) than taking risks in lowsec or doing explorations. So when I spend all day scanning and jumping all over the universe and get nothing for it (unlike doing some lvl4 missions which are boring as hell) something wrong with this model. Maybe this is not what EvE is about, but I am not playing this game just for thrills, I want to make some progress and see my toon grow within the game. So far the only thing that is growing is my training queue and trash assets/materials/loot pile.

    Regarding going to low-sec solo, I mean, really? Doing any PvE activity in low-sec is not worth the risk, because if you fit for PvE you will get ganked, if you fit for PvP you will not be effective to do PvE. The risk/reward ration is not in your favor already. So the only winners in this scenario are pirates who are probably bored to death waiting for you there. Doing PvP solo is usually fail as well because in this game ganking is considered the norm and nobody will engage you unless they have backup on the way. So if you want to do any PvP, particularly in low-sec, you better bring some back up (which is usually not enough anyway).

    There are exceptions, and some solo PvP does happen, but it is very very rare and hard to find. I do not have time to look for fights like that. My only last hope to keep interested(and rewarding) in this game is trying to ninja rat/plex in wormholes, so I am training for this right now. This will not be easy, but definitely different from my current high/low sec options.

  6. @Luk

    When you’ve defined progress in a MMO strictly as ‘increasing my number of x’, and discounted ‘made a friend’, ‘learned something’, ‘explored’, ‘tried something new’ or even ‘made an enemy’, I would argue you’ve totally missed the point. You’re letting that addictive side of your brain that wants to play Progress Quest take over the human side of your brain that wants to have fun and build sandcastles.

    You need to get off the WoW treadmill. Stop looking for progress and start looking for fun. If it helps, you’re progressing in terms of skillpoints regardless of what you do in game. Skillpoints define your character after-all, and are just about the only permanent advancement it’s possible to make. ISK only exists to be exchanged for fun.

    Even if you disagree, it’s a bit moot because exploration, incursions, wormholes, market trading, and other “non-static” content all pay much, Much better than missions, mining and PI. The caveat there is you need to know something to make it worthwhile, which means joining a corp and being taught or trying and failing on your own until you ‘get it’. Sometimes both. You apparently refuse to do either.

    “Regarding low-sec solo”
    I’ve already defined two PvE activities in low-sec which, if you’re playing casually, pay more in isk/hr than lvl 4 missions and far more than high-sec mining in a hulk. They also only require a frig or cruiser (5-10mil) instead of 150+mil investment, no standings and a fraction of the skill points. Yes, there is a risk of dying but it’s incredibly small in a cruiser and almost non-existent in a frig if you know what you’re doing – and you will learn after a couple losses if your willing to. Plus, the loss is tiny. The risk/reward is very clearly in your favour.

    And, as you learn, it scales. I know a guy who does solo exploration in 0.0. Sure, he losses some ships sometimes, but he makes billions without much time or effort. Neither low-sec nor null-sec is really all that scary or dangerous once you open up and start trying and learning.

    Note: You are right about the pve fitting vs pvp fitting. The trick is not to get caught, and it’s really not that hard to do.

    Also, Solo PvP is not dead. As I’ve said, I do it almost exclusively and very successfully. It takes a lot of knowledge and gameplay experience – but there’s really only one way to get that. Nor is it rare and hard to find. Lots of people are happy to engage a solo player, especially if they’ve got friends with them! The trick to EVE’s PvP is learning how to handle all of that. Believe me, the first time you are attacked by a 10 man gang solo, punch holes in both their tacklers, scoop their loot and warp off to safety you will be forever hooked.

    EVE is not WoW. You do not need to bow to ‘experts’. When people tell you ‘this can’t be done’, you should answer with ‘we’ll see about that’. You may be wrong most of the time, but you will learn. And sooner or later you will be right.

    • @Raelyf
      I guess we should just agree to disagree on this. You live in low-sec and probably part of a pirate corp. I live in high-sec and still in NPC corp. Telling me to go out there and meet people is not what I am looking for in the game, particularly as paranoid as EvE Online. I can tell you one thing, there are more people in high sec than in low-sec for reason, and you cannot argue with that.