Day 652: Grasping the future

It’s that time in my gaming life again, the time where I try to grasp what the future will hold. With all the games I have played, I have noticed a cycle that tends to repeat itself. Like putting heart and soul into playing Civilization at the time, Wing Commander Privateer, Morrowind… the list goes on. Each of these I played exclusively for a while, then abruptly put them aside to switch to something else. Most of these I go back to after a longer pause to relive part of the fun and immerse myself back into the same state of mind – with more or less success.

I have been feeling the end of a cycle on the horizon for a little while now, but I am treading on new ground with EVE, so I am curious as to how this will turn out. Only one other game still beats EVE in terms of longevity: the Civilization series, which I always come back to. EVE is a new kind of beast, one (like other MMOGs) that offers a world beyond the mere game. It is that world that holds me back, that withstands the cycle for the first time. But even if I know now that I do not want to end this adventure yet, there are many issues that make the game side of EVE pretty dull.

26 Million skill points is not much by EVE standards, but it is enough to get a large glimpse of what the game has to offer. To visualize this a bit better, the following is a breakdown of all the things he can currently do in-game:

– Fly frigates, interceptors, industrials, covert ops, force recons, heavy assaults, cruisers, battlecruisers, battleships.
– Run level 1 through 4 missions
– Run complexes and COSMOS missions
– Use his hacking skills to run hacking complexes
– Use his archaeology skills run archaeology complexes
– Use his probing skills to scan down ships, POSs, complexes and co
– Use cloaking devices, even in warp
– Fly a Hulk well and mine anything highsec has to offer
– Manufacture from researched blueprints
– Use research agents
– Unleash hordes of drones (ok, only 5 heh)
– Smite his enemies with laser fire
– Salvage anything of value in his Salvacane
– Wreak havoc in the market (I wish)
– Hoard pretty stuff (Exotic dancers, anyone?)
– Remote repair armor, shields and cap support
– Manage a corporation
– Some stuff that I probably forgot about

Sadly, I have come to realize that with my way of playing the game I have reached a state where further progression does not make much sense. Before you go up in flames, let me explain.

Within six days, I can fly a Command Ship like the Absolution. At first I was thrilled, but asking around and reading up on the ship specs I realized getting one of those would not make much sense considering the investment. The Absolution has a better tank than the Harbinger, but DPS-wise the Harbinger is still superior. And an Absolution is a massive investment (about 260 Mil for the skill, the ship and its fittings). For what would I use a ship like that? Fly a few level 3 missions with it?

An idea was to go for a black ops, until I found out it would even be quicker to train for a mothership. Besides, a black ops is a great ship but why should I invest all that bloody time training for jump drive skills I don’t need otherwise? Same goes for capital ships – that and the fact that a solo playstyle does not fit these ships. They need support, and even if it would be an asset for the corp we would not have much use for one anyway. Need I even mention the steep price?

So I realized that as a mostly solo player who does not like PvP, I am more or less stuck with what I can do now. Even that is a bit depressing, with 20 to 30 day training times that reek of artificial lifespan. It is not my style to go ranting and raving about things I do not like – I very much prefer working around them and stay happy. I cannot help feeling that training times this long are not really necessary though, and make for a cap that once reached pretty much removes the steady joy of completing skills. Somehow that does not seem like something I would want my customers to experience.

As a keynote I would say it may very well be that I expect something of EVE that it was never intended to be, namely a solo multiplayer game. Nonetheless I spent 1.6 years happily soloing it, which makes me think that CCP has created a solid framework that just needs adjusting for long-term players. Anyway I will keep the spirit alive and try to find new ways to play the game 🙂

On a sidenote, I would like to thank all the great players from RMS and of course everyone who joined Syrkos Technologies so far, without them I would probably have stopped playing altogether with the end of this cycle.

Aeon's Status:
Skillpoints: 26.800.000
Level V skills: 40
Level IV skills: 45
Known skills: 132
ISK Balance: 42.000.000
Training: Heavy Assault Ships V

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