Reach For the Stars. Sometimes Literally.

In real life, things aren’t going to well. I work long hours, I try to keep my children together, I try to keep a house from falling apart, and I try to keep from letting the bills fall further behind. It is not an easy or a fulfilling life, to be sure. Maybe that’s why, in the bits of spare time I can salvage, I try to get lost in other endeavors. It’s probably this mentality that makes the “another world” genre of fantasy so popular right now – when one can’t make their world a better place, it makes sense to escape to one that already is.

It’s rather strange, then, that I’d have such a love-hate relationship with the internationally acclaimed game EVE Online. Taking place in the far-off galaxies of New Eden, the world has a surprising amount of world lore for what is best known this side of the world as a spreadsheet simulator and a great chance for players to screw over other players. I’ve personally played the game more off than on since 2007, each time not caring for it while playing but then wanting to to back after taking a break. It is the most sandbox-y game I’ve ever played, and whether or not a player gets any enjoyment of it is really going to depend on the people they play with. The fact that the game favors learning skills based on real life time over active playing meant it was the perfect game to jump into for an hour or two over a week and still not fall behind. There was also a change a few years ago that made it free-to-play, which was a welcome addition to those without cash or who wanted to try it out before committing.

Most players are smart enough to have a couple of characters, so that they can skill them towards whatever it is a player might want to do. In this way, they can have a character who does industry and trade, and a character that goes out and runs missions, and in that way be specialized at those tasks. I never did this. I made one character who did all the things I could do (not even all the things I wanted to.) As a result, I have a character with a significant amount of skills that can easily be outclassed by any character with a fifth of them. Such is life.

I can say I enjoy the game mostly when it’s me and other players against the world itself; I’ve tried small-fleet combat verses other players and it just doesn’t have the same sense of satisfaction. As a result, I’m the type of player easily targeted by those who do enjoy attacking others. Despite this, I haven’t found this being as much of an issue at this point in the game. One or two pilots are unlikely to do too much to me, and I’m usually smart enough to warp out and away when a fleet comes into local. Of course, I don’t spend any time in null sec (systems of less than .0 standing) – most of my time is in yellow, with cleverly timed jumps through or into red.

New Eden really is a world where stories are told based on how players interact with the world, and how they interact with each other. In that, there’s a certain level of enjoyment of being with a group of misfits from different walks of life, in game and out, working together for some common goals. I currently find myself with a corp strangely named Chicken Manufacturing, which as its name suggests makes chickens. They haven’t shared the secret to this with me yet. So until then, I simply research my original blueprint orders and, as I can, kill Sansha pirates and feel out the region I find myself in. Sometimes I even team up with corp mates and we shoot stuff together. Once, we even shot at each other.

I may have more videos in the future, depending. The nature of the game makes it hard to get interesting video, and usually when I’m on I just want to be on and not doing anything for a viewer’s sake. These sessions don’t really lend themselves to sharing. Still, having the camera rolling is a good excuse to practice and experiment with video editing, which is something I am sorely out of practice with. I doubt anything I do will be so grand as to make the news, as some incidents with other players have, but it may prove to have some stories worth telling.

If EVE Online is a thing you think you might be interested in and you’ve never played before, consider signing up for free with this referral link. Players who use that link start with One Million bonus skill points. Those who choose to stay and who sign up for premium services may become eligible for additional rewards, and in this my account also receives small bonuses. Mostly I share it because if a player were interested, a million skill points can go a long way to help jump start things. If you do sign up, send me a message and I’ll see what I can do to help you out.

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