Writing (Or Something Like It)

I guess it’s that time of year again – where I write about some vaguely defined nothing for a couple of months before slowly giving in to frustration.

I should probably think things through and try to find a way to make this a more satisfying experience for all parties involved.

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Walk Without Rhythm, And We Won’t Attract The Worm (Part 2)

This is the second half of my EVE Online wormhole adventure. I spent a little time cutting down the number of screenshots to try and tell a complete story without belaboring things too much. I had thought about leaving things open ended and just not posting this, but on their own the graphics are pretty impressive and I think it consists of a relatively complete narrative , even if it’s not 100% clear what’s going on.


So yeah, that was the conclusion to my initial trip into W-space. Lots of encounters with the strange and lethal sleepers. I tried to take pictures where I could before they inevitably locked on to me. There was one strangely undefended data site stocked full of millions of exotic and valuable loot, perhaps cleared out by folks farming the wormhole, with the loot respawning before the enemy. Ultimately an ounce of curiosity sent me to a gas site where missile launchers devastated my Imicus, along with a nearly successful sneaky attempt at recovering the wreckage. Oh well.

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After paying a 217 million ISK stupid tax, I spent the 15 minute ice bath of capsule conflict time to think about if I was getting what I wanted from EVE. With 6 minutes left I decided that even with my remaining week or so of game time – it was time to go. I’m sure sour grapes comes to mind, but aside from a lack of focus I’d say I’m above average. Making ISK was mostly a competition against boredom as lucrative enterprise frequently mean doing some of the more tedious industrial, exploration, and trade based tasks. Couple that with my ability to make/use tools and money was coming in at a pretty good clip. Accounting for all my silly learning losses, and expansions into various goods I’d estimated I had at least 3 PLEX worth of money come and go during my tenure (2.25-2.4 billion ISK).

They just haven’t solved the problem ingrained in MMOs. Folks get together to try to build something that will make them feel a sense of accomplishment, a little less lonely, or to feel like something’s progressing – I know I came to EVE looking for all that. Most days it felt pretty good, hauling the latest industrial load to Jita, exploring some new corner of space, or taking advantage of some subtle aspect of the game to get ahead. The majority of the game content is player driven, this is especially cool. with the responsiveness of CCP allowing meta-game creations such as companies solely offering jump clone and research services, the (in)famous battles, and the multi-year griefing of “big game hunting”. For every collaboration that produces something incredible, you’ve got smaller, more frequent acts of injustice. The suicide ganks, cloaked torp boats waiting near a HiSec cargo bait can, gate camps, ambushes, blah blah. These are all zero sum. There’s no good story for the loser, just their nose being ground into their mistake or miscalculation. One person taking something from another isn’t a good experience, and it doesn’t come across as a design decision, but more as rewarding long term play and tacitly condoning schoolyard bullying.

I really enjoy the complexity of the game and the openness of the data, through all the cache mining, websites, and APIs available. I might still put some work in on my various spreadsheets, which I found enjoyable, and they taught me a lot about how to access and manipulate data available on the internet. But in the end, I guess it just wasn’t enough.


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Obvious Grog