30 Days Experience: Already Hooked

So as some of you may have noticed I have failed to update my EVE Online 30 Days Experience post for sometime now. The main reason for this is that I have come to the conclusion that I will stay, and play EVE Online as long as I can. Since my last post so many things have changed that it really hard to get them all down into a simple blog post but here it goes.

 

Since my last post I was invited into a small upstart Corporation named Dead Men Chest lead by a cool group of dudes. Since then I have become fully immersed in EVE and have come to realize why so many people love the game. This small rag tag outfit has since grown to become a fully active Mining and PVP Corp with constant members online and operations underway. This is quite a change from the rather boring and dull start of EVE where most mission you are flying solo with no support or help.   Like other MMO’s such as World of Warcraft, everything becomes so much better when you get together with a group of people who are all trying to work towards the same goal.

 

This change has lead me to come to quite and interesting realization about online gaming as a whole, that simply it is one of the pinnacles in the future of gaming. While I am not discounting story or single player at all, it seems that multiplayer and massively multiplayer gaming do the one thing that no single player game can do, give you infinite possibility. With EVE and games like it the ability to both explore and discover taps into something that many of us gamer always cherish the most, discovery, learning new things, and most of all interaction.

 

Think back to you greatest memory of gaming that you have ever had, something that profoundly resonates with you to this day. Some will say that the death of Aris is FF VII they will always remember; some would say that the phrase “Would you kindly” would always have a different meaning. All of these moments that we as gamers remember are all link back to a single idea, drastic change or discovery of someone or something.

 

I recently had one of those moments with EVE Online about a day and a half into joining the small start up Corporation. I discovered that not all online gamers have the stereotype of being ridiculous airheads who just want to shoot shit and destroy things, that some of us (a small number in most online games) what to discover some new way of doing things. Now I want to be clear that I believe that this idea can be achieved with any multiplayer game, even in Black Ops or Battlefield Two.

I can remember the first time I discovered in Call of Duty how to easy it was to level up and move on up through the ranks, it engrossed me. However I am not that good at first person shooters so eventually that feeling died away.

 

With EVE I have regained this feeling but have also come to realize that it can only occur for a rather short period of time. Like any great “high” eventually these great feelings go away or become so common that they are no longer enjoyable to the end user. What EVE satisfies for me the best however is the diversity of this feeling that I get. Whether it is the conquering of an ore market with my corp mates or the further understanding of a complex system within the game, the greatest thing about EVE is this variety that exist.

 

To close, the only reason I started this 30 Days idea was to see the reasoning that drives so many to spend countless hours in online games. What I have come to realize is that there is not simply one reason someone will play at a stretch of 35 hours at a time, or devote a whole section of their life to a game. Instead people chose to play these games for their own personal (and sometimes unexplainable reasons) and that they simply must be allowed to enjoy what they experience. Now if you will excuse me, there are some pirates in low sec that need hunting.

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30 Days Experince: Eve Online Day 4

 
Editor Note: Shorter one today, hopefully tomorrow will be epic.

Wow, all I can really say is wow. For the first time in a long time I felt completely immersed in a games universe that I lost track of time. It was almost like a large breakthrough that, almost relief that I finally understand what I am working towards in EVE as an experience, and its crazy.

Like yesterday I continued my quest line where I chased after a pirate by the name of Wolf. One thing that I really enjoy about EVE Online is the immersion within the world that theses quest lines seem to have. For instance one of the missions within the quest was to chase down a narcotics factory that was nearby. By destroying the factory the mission giver informed you that the overall access to narcotics within the area would decrease.

So I took the mission, warped to the first location and fought my way through the first wave of enemies.   After finishing them off I noticed a sudden tutorial come up to inform me about narcotics and noticed something rather interesting. The explanation they gave was rather explicit in what it usage and carrying penalty was however it did note the market value of the items. I realized for the first time that the game was giving me a choice that was not clear in its intent.

Piracy has always been noted as evil within the game and something that is not tolerated by anyone, other then pirates themselves. However these narcotics seemed to have ambiguity to them, they were bad, but they could bring you quite a good profit for smuggling. This idea intrigued me greatly, to the point of making quite an interesting decision.

After jumping through the final section and finishing off the guards I destroyed the factory and look through the wreckage. It was there I noticed that in the wreck were ten hits of Mindflood, one of the many illegal drugs. Again a tutorial came up reminding me of the illegality of trade and the penalty it carries. However I decided to take the narcotics and proceed to transport them back to my station that I working out of.

When I returned I realized how profitable this trade really was, ten of these hits in a high demand area (which I guess I was in) were worth almost 10,000 ISK. If I transported 10,000 of theses items I would make 100,000 ISK, ten times that of any mining operation that was not large scale (which I am no where close to getting). So it got me thinking, maybe I should explore the darker side of EVE Online.

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30 Days Experience: Eve Online Day 3

 

After yesterday’s rather interesting adventure into the lunacy of EVE online I decide that it was time to read up and further understand the game before jumping back in. So I went online to the EVE Wiki (which for anyone new to the game I really suggest going to) and looked up what is the best route for my character to go if I wanted to become a fighter.

The main thing I came to understand out of the read up is the need for skill training within EVE. Skills dominate the conditions of EVE Online and are essentially critical to how you as the player progress. While I knew that they were rather necessary to continue I found myself at a total lose for how to go about training to the ones that I need.

For starter its seems like I need to focus more on both long range and shield Management which are critical in the beginning. With long range it becomes much easier to deal with pirates and swarm groups due to your ability to keep them at an overall ineffective range. With this you are also able to lessen the overall capability of what people refer to as “drone swarming” (please correct me if I am wrong, trying my best to learn), which is one of the early tactics, that NPC’s seems to use. They draw you into or near there group and the begin to send out turret drones. Now while one of these drones is harmless, large groups are rather effective at fucking your day up.

The second addition was that of shield management, which it took me awhile to understand, but I finally nailed it down to this. Simple how effectively you use your shields in battle when they are deployed or used. So when your getting hit my three to four enemies and your shields are rapidly falling you can simply deploy a repair like mechanism to have them hold for just a bit longer. Now this won’t repair them all the way (unless you sit around for awhile and wait) however it will buy you extra time to get off those few extra rounds for damage. With that you may be able to finish of your opponent before they get you.

So with all of my upgrades fully understood and my ship equipped with some of the best guns money could buy (for now) I took up a small scouting mission that seemed easy enough. After the jump I approached my target only to realize that it was yet another jump gate. Now luckily I need only to spot the gate for this mission however I knew in mission to come that I would yet again have to jump through.

So I netted the profit from the mission and took up the next one, and what do you know it’s a search and destroy mission, involving… you guessed it pirates. Now after yesterday I was not really that eager to jump right back into combat and try to wreck some fools however I knew the only way to get better was to at least try to. So I took the mission and went on my merry way.

Now before I get to the mission I did also see some thing rather crazy and interesting today. A raid by a real group of pirates who were wrecking shit on this small convoy passing through the system. I kept my distance but in the interest of writing I stayed to watch the insanity unfold, and damn was it crazy. From what I read on the chat channel it seemed like some corporation was warping through carrying a payroll for some mining group (I think it belonged to them). Anyway as they were moving through they were suddenly ambushed at a gate by two small frigates, however they were just the scouts. As soon as the battle commenced a large number of new targets began to show up on my target list. They were players but instead of the traditional highlight of green, they were paint yellow, the color of the pirates.

After I scrambled to get a safe distance (by safe distance I mean like a good ten klicks) I watched the action unfold, and man was it awesome. The corporation called it for backup but they were getting ravaged by the pirates, who were taking them apart piece by piece. Suddenly more and more targets appeared, it was what I was guessing to be bounty hunters or something cause they engaged the pirate immediately. After about ten more minutes of fighting it all became quiet, it seemed that the corporation had held off the pirate group, but not without sustaining really bad casualties.

Maybe it was seeing this crazy fight that got me the confidence to jump back into combat. Or maybe I was just getting bored? Either way I took the mission, jumped, and manhandled every pirate scumbag who came my way, and man did I feel satisfied turning in that mission.  

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30 Days Experience: Eve Online Day 2

 
So I continue my grand quest of the 30 Days of EVE Online with quite a bang today, my first real death scare. It was more my fault then anything else however I now realize that I cannot run head first into any situations in EVE because when you stop thinking, you get killed.

However I thought I should step back and talk about the process leading up to this rather unforeseen event. I started the day with yet another mining and construction mission to build a set of caps for someone at the base I have been working out of, which was a little frustrating to say the least. What I have come to realize in the early going of EVE is the constant attempts to keep the player engaged and more importantly a feeling of success. Each of these early simple mission are there to help you build skills that you need to survive EVE which makes it so unique from other MMO’s.

It was out of sheer boredom that I began to divert from these repetitive quests and began to search out something that had a little more adventure involved in it. Now however after what happened next I think I will stick to the repetitive stuff for a while. So instead of continuing the quest tree with my current advisor (who specializes in trade and commerce) I moved over to the military advisor for some much need change.

The mission I was given was a rather simple first exercise in combat skills that was not at all complex. Go to a satellite array that was being sabotaged and destroy the intruder. So with out little thought I accepted the mission and quickly warped to the zone to find one measly fighter who was ill equipped to engage me and easily overpowered. After completing this I warped back to the station and turned in the quest, which netted me quite a profit.

With this excess of cash I decide that if I wanted to go further down the military path that I need to invest in both a new ship and new weapons. So after about thirty minutes of scrolling and comparing I decided on a small frigate with a forward gatling gun and a laser weapon which both seemed like the most practical approach.

With EVE online however every decision you compose can make or break you as a pilot, and this one was quite an investment. One of the few interesting idea’s that EVE does that really makes in fascinating is the huge array of ways to assure yourself against a large problem.   One of these ways is through the use of a rather complex and complete insurance system that covers the cost of your rather expensive ship in inevitable accident to come.

Essentially all you have to do is pay for a plan or type of insurance that you want; it’s a tiered system with the more expensive stuff more fully covering you. I chose the most coverage I could get mainly out of a feeling that if I did not I would regret it at some point down the line, and regret is something that you don’t want to do in the punishing world of EVE.

So with the insurance set, guns in place, ship modified, and ammo acquired I took the next mission from my advisor. It started out rather simple, go to a location of a enemy staging area and disrupt their movements. When I first arrive I was only greeted by a handful of small ships that with some patients and planning I was able to dispatch.

However after finishing off the last ship I noticed that I still had to complete the quest, as I looked around nearby I saw why. It’s seemed as though I had only fought off the forward guards of the base and had to proceed into the actual staging zone through a gateway that was position close by. So I jumped through and realized that I had made a really horrible mistake.

On the other side of that fine gateway were eight fully equipped frigates with full weapon load outs from what I could see. I targeted the first and closes ship in hope that maybe I could just conduct hit and runs with some success but no… by the time I was even near him I was being swarmed by more enemies than I could handle. So I did the only sensible thing I could think to do, run the fuck away, as fast as I could. I made it back, luckily, if I would have started my warp any later then I had, it would have been over. I think I will stick to the easy stuff for a while, it maybe my best bet.

Tomorrow: More Crazy Stuff.

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30 Days Experience: Eve Online Day 1

 

EVE Online has always been a game that I admired from afar. It supposed immersive game world combined with stylish space combat always intimidated me into actually attempting to play it. However last summer I got EVE Online (in a awesome Steam sale) and tried it out for about ten to twelve days and really found it to be a lot more accessible then I thought. I never got around to starting up an account due to the time need to be sunk in the game to get good at it or for that mattered involved.

 

However I now have a bit more free time and have decided to look at different MMO games over a thirty-day period and see how it holds up. With EVE some say you can barely scratch the surface in that period of time so if I feel it necessary I will try to continue the coverage. So consider this the beginning of series that I hope to continue for as long as there are new MMO’s to be played.

 

To those who do not know EVE Online is a Massively Multiplayer Online game that put you as the captain of an interstellar ship as you literally do whatever you want. From Industrial mining to Piracy EVE Online is incredible in literally the amount of choice you have in what you want and can do, however you have to get up on your feet before you begin your chosen career. This is the reason that many have turned away or not even attempted to try EVE Online, because of the utter complexity of the game.

 

When you first start out its easy to see why EVE Online is intimidating to so many people, it huge, like gigantic in almost every sense of the word. To start you simply choosing which one of the four major factions you wish to be related to. Each faction is distinct in both its backstory and ship design along with overall tactics in which they approach certain conflicts. On my first attempt at EVE I played as the Ammar a recently liberated race that infancy has been met with some disorder and chaos. The race is tribal by nature and many of their ships share a very earth toned rather typical “space ship” design.

 

However for this play through I decide I should try to diversify myself so started as a Gallente whose origins are more based in democracy (USA, USA, USA). One of interesting additions to EVE since I last played is the introduction of a fully realized character customization system, starting with everything from gender, to origin (or ansentry), to the actual look and appearance of your avatar. It was a deep system (similar to those used in Bioware RPG’s) and consumed a good chunk of time just look through all the options. Finally I finished my custom dude (who looks like Han Solo for no particular reason) and press start and jumped in.

 

When you first start in EVE you are give a basic “Rookie” ship along with a low level mining laser and turret. While at first everything seems quite intimidating EVE has a helpful tutorial series that shows you the basic concepts of the game. This system is rather intuitive and seemly knows when or what you’re stuck on and immediately pop up a walkthrough of how to do something. After getting the handle on the basic controls it was off to a nearby space station to get your first mission of the game.

 

When you arrive at that station your really realize how small you are in the game, cause this little station I went to, IT WAS HUNDREDS OF TIMES BIGGER THEN ME. So much bigger that it gets your mind thinking about what is really out there in this MMO world. So after having that crazy realization of how big the game really is I went on to begin the early tutorial sections within the game.

 

First quest you are given by any faction in the game seems to break down into a ten-part sequence that pretty much teaches you about everything from mining to combat. In the first section I was simply tasked with a going to a location and mining some ore for use in production at the station. A rather simple task that helps you get oriented to the travel within the game, which is simple yet mind boggling to start. For starters the world is completely 3D meaning systems and jump gates can be in a variety of directions around you. However EVE is rather intuitive in putting the exact location of where you are suppose to be in your journal. It helpful and never makes you feel like you are totally lost.

 

Now after gathering some resources and learning about refining I finally got to the thing I could not wait for, skirmishes. Now one of the crazier elements of EVE Online is death and how it is handled in the game, which is to say that it highly unwelcomed, for the simple fact that you can lose everything (and I mean everything) with one mistake. So needless to say this first battle is easy to boast your confidence but it gives you a taste for the fun to come.

 

Tomorrow: Insurance, Skills, More Crazy Shit.

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Starcraft 2 Giantbomb League

For awhile I have really been trying to think of a way to really get involved with Giantbomb but never saw a real opportunity (mainly becuase I am not the greatest writer in the world). However recently I have found myself full engaged in GSL or Global Starcraft League and how utterly cool Starcraft 2 is to watch. So I thought I would try my best in the new year to help make a Giantbomb Starcraft League. Now of course I cannot have giant stages and rocking Korean metal however I am a communications media major and have access to alot of unused a free broadcasting equipment. At first I don't know the scale I will be able to do stuff but hopefully if all goes planned I will be able to broadcast matches and have commentators chat in. This hopefully will be awesome duder's!
 
If anyone is interested in helping please comment with how you could.
If you wanna play head over to this link in the forums if you would like to play, commentate, even officiate. (Trying to get a small Tournament going for the week of Jan 10th-15th for any interested) 
http://www.giantbomb.com/starcraft/61-13062/2011-tournamentgiantbomb-league/35-474883/ 

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