Eve Online is not a second job.

Controversial I know, yet this is the kind of statement that keeps people away from MMOs. You could say that they get played a lot and that some people play them more than they should but I will retort with “people drink wine more than they should” wine itself is not a bad beverage. Just like anything else, one should find a way to strike a balance. You can abuse anything and it will be bad for you.

Before I started playing Eve Online I was playing World of Warcraft. I stopped at the end of Cataclysm due to a number of reasons ranging from it no longer being something I enjoyed to the realization that I had spent one out of the last three years of my life literally sat in front of my computer playing my paladin. It was my way of socializing, I made at least one good friend, and spent time with my geographically remote family (Yes). I do not regret this, but it was time to move on and explore other things.

Now, if you are remotely familiar with basic arithmetic that translates to on average eight hours a day which is in fact a full time job. I was juggling this time with an actual full time job and sleep. Some days I played more and some I played less while some I didn’t play at all but all told it was a lot.

I continued to play other games though, rather more casually, and I rediscovered that single player games are fun too. Skyrim was good and so is Kerbal Space Program but ever since I heard about it the first time I had always wanted to play Eve Online. No one I knew was interested though so I ended up putting it off for the longest of time. I finally decided to set up a trial account and give it the old college try.

I was hit with an overwhelming amount of information right from the start and it was quite shocking, though understandable – the game had been developing without me for the past eight years so really no surprise there.  I ended up not getting a subscription after my trial ran out as I felt I was nowhere near confident I could play this fascinating game well. I had even started to believe that maybe it was true wowheads bring capsuleers mean IQ down.

I never really lost interest though and I kept on reading the forums, online guides, watched Youtube videos and was loosely aware of the current in game politics of the time – everybody likes some intrigue.

It took about a year to work the courage back up to to start another trial, this time I had a plan – I was going to be an industrialist, I would build ships and I would make lots of ISK and the game would pay for itself due to the PLEX mechanic. I focused my entire trial on as many industry skills as were available for trial accounts and ended up with about 300 million ISK in my wallet at the end. I thought that was not half bad but soon realized 300 million is really not that much.

I played about as much Eve as I had done WoW for a couple of months but I was far less engaged. You can mine and watch a movie or read, or spend time with your significant other you see. On top of that there is no traditional leveling, your character gains skills in real time whether you are online or not so really when you are playing you are there just to have fun. There is no grind if you are smart about your choices.

Some time went by and I decided to join an NPC null sec group and my entire game changed. The difference in types of people you meet around the Eve universe is staggering. These were laid back guys who play casually, all have jobs and some even have multiple children. Ages range from late teens to late fifties and we have a blast at the weekends.

So there you have it, about seven hundred words in, you’ve been introduced to my MMO history. So why doesn’t it feel like a job Kirk?

Well, I still do industry, I do exploration and until recently I had a player owned station which provided constant passive income. I am not what you would call space rich but ISK is a non issue due to the fact that I have a grasp of the game’s core PvE concepts and through some research I know what I have to do to make enough that both (yes both) my accounts are payed for via ISK income only and I can afford the inevitable loss of ships. The key is engaging with people, start relationships, honor promises and play the meta game. My industrial activity has now shifted from hours of having the client running in the background mining to five minutes a day buying minerals to keep my manufacturing queues going and selling off the product. Sometimes I have to haul but its’ far from what you’d call a full time job.

My main income is from exploration. The last intensive DED site spree I did was several months ago in September, and I am still living off of those proceeds – it took about a week of five to six hours a day exploring. Aside from those five minutes a day I am very rarely online now as the game allows you to take long breaks while still progressing your character. I keep in touch with my Alliance out of game and I am aware of what is going on. I log on when numbers are essential if I can. Nothing is compulsory and everyone understands that.

All things considered I feel that Eve is in fact being misrepresented as one of those games people with no social life whatsoever play. If my previous post has not convinced you about the ridiculousness of such a statement regarding any game, I hope that to some extent this one has maybe cleared up a few things about EVE. It will hurt and you are likely to fail the first couple of times. Eve is unkind to the easily offended and those who would not persevere to overcome obstacles, but once you’re across those tough first couple of months, it all becomes very clear… And a great gaming experience. Fly safe!

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