"Since we decided a few weeks ago to adopt the leaf as legal tender, we have, of course, all become immensely rich. But we have also," continued the Management Consultant, "run into a small inflation problem on account of the high level of leaf availability, which means that, I gather, the current going rate has something like three deciduous forests buying one ship's peanut. So in order to obviate this problem," he continued, "and effectively revaluate the leaf, we are about to embark on a massive defoliation campaign, and ... er, burn down all the forests. I think you'll all agree that's a sensible move under the circumstances."
Today's post is admittedly a bit ranty and meta, but it provides a nice contrast to my crunchier post earlier this week. More crunchy is planned for some posts soon, so consider this a nice distraction for the time being. With everyone else jumping on the retrospective year-in-review bandwagon, I just couldn't help myself.
What really got me thinking about this topic was the excellent post by Ripard Teg concerning the Ten Defining Moments for EVE Online in 2011. If you haven't read it, take a look as it's really solid stuff. The single thought it left me with after reading it was that none of it really affected me as a player. Arguably, only his top pick of the Jita Riots was something I cared that much about, and even then not for the reasons one might expect. I remember the Jita Riots mostly for how oppressively negative it made everyone in the EVE community during that time. I didn't care so much about the riots, or the things they were rioting over (To qualify that statement, I did feel there were legitimate concerns expressed by some members of the community. However, many in the community, perhaps the majority, came across as just wanting to watch it burn rather than truly understanding the motivations behind any of it. Although that may be true of many riots in the real world as well.) so much as I was just feeling exhausted by everyone talking about nothing except it for so long.
But the rest of the list? Meh.
2. Incursions, while I was originally hopeful they might bring more targets to Lowsec, generally remain untouched here if it's not a major nullsec power bloc coming in to get the damn things to go away so they can have their Lowsec staging systems back.
3. CCP's apologies, while I'm sure were a necessary step following the events that transpired, again didn't mean much as I wasn't really "mad" at them in the first place.
4. The fall of the NC had almost no affect on my playstyle whatsoever, barring some displaced former Nullsec residents, but I have a feeling the majority of them wound up in Highsec.
5. The CSM being "taken over" by Nullsec is actually something I take some small interest in, but for the exact opposite of why someone might expect. I used my votes for two separate players, both of whom are in major Nullsec Alliances, and both of whom got elected. They were also players who I felt were some of the most knowledgeable about EVE, its systems, how it all fit together. I think it may also be true that long-time players have often gravitated to 0.0, seeing it as a sort of endgame, and that's just where the knowledgeable players, at least the ones with any political aspirations, now lie. I'll also add that I don't regret my choice of candidates for a second as I've emailed them since CSM6 took office about my concerns, as any constituent should, anytime something that would affect Lowsec was being discussed. I always got responses back, and I never felt my voice was going unheard on a CSM "dominated" by Nullsec members.
6. I could not have possibly cared less about people in Nullsec ganking people in Highsec. I guess when the majority of your income is coming not from an ISK faucet, but directly from the loot of other player's ships, you're somewhat inflation proof.
7. See 4.
8. Again, almost no affect on my play at all. It's possible some former Sanctum runners died at my hands while attempting level 5 missions in Lowsec, but I'll probably never know for sure.
9. I've always had the impression that botting took place elsewhere. Bots rat in Nullsec, Bots mine in Highsec, but no one is dumb enough to run a bot in Lowsec. It's effect on ISK or Mineral prices is really something that I care very little about beyond a gut reaction that botting is bad because people shouldn't be getting something without putting the time into it.
10. I couldn't help but chuckle a bit at reading this. Most ships I fly are of my own design, or simply so good that I couldn't help but steal them (Triple Rep Myrm anyone?). No one reimburses me for losses that are of a certain standard and, beyond some good natured ribbing I might take over a particularly "creative" fit, no one cares what I'm flying. For many, it's probably exactly this freedom that makes the Pirate's life in New Eden so appealing.
I didn't set out to write this purely as a response to Ripard's post, but I think it's important that one fully understands my mindset after reading his post. It left me with a sense that was I perhaps disconnected from what constituted the major events of EVE? Ripard Teg is probably one of, if not the, most prolific bloggers in the game right now. Surely if he says these are the biggest events of the year, it must be true. Yet, I don't feel any of them resonate with me after the year I've had in EVE. For the most part, Lowsec feels exactly the same as it did over a year ago when I first set foot in it. I've changed, certainly, but the game, both mechanically and the sandbox, have remained relatively constant. I don't necessarily find that a bad thing.
I've not played EVE long enough to contract even a touch of Bitter Vet Syndrome, and probably shouldn't be allowed to author a blog titled EVE FNG if I had. For me, there are still new ships to fly, new tactics to explore, and they've all been there since the day I started playing. Lowsec was "dead" the day I created my character, and nothing about it has changed. I still find good fights, I still find week old players to gank, I still find Ice Miners in belts and ships in Missions. The single biggest thing that's changed for me would probably be the recent switch to Player Owned Customs Offices. Weird right? I used to have an account that all it did was Lowsec PI in a CovOps Hauler coupled with Highsec Research Agents. After the recent changes cutting it off from the more valuable planetary commodities, without steep taxes as I'm on no ones blue list, it can no longer pay for itself in PLEX and is now unsubscribed. It's doubtful that was CCP's intended consequence to the change, but it was a boring account to play on anyway, so I'm not terribly heartbroken over the loss.
The things that had the potential to effect me the most were features announced with Crucible that CCP didn't deliver on. "But FNG," I hear you say, "you just said you weren't a bitter vet." I'm not, I assure you, I feel more like the kid who got promised a bicycle for Christmas but instead got the talk about how his dad's Christmas Bonus wasn't as big as the family expected, so some cutbacks had to be made. I'm talking, of course, about the Faction Warfare and Assault Ship changes that are still on CCP's Soon™ list. Maybe they'll make my top 10 list of 2012 slightly more interesting to read.
To end on a lighter note, if you'd like a laugh you can go back and read my goals for where I'd like to be by this time that I wrote last year. I made it to about August as Recon Ships V finishes in a few days, but did manage quite a few other ships not on that list. I don't think I'll be doing another post like that this year, since clearly I can't stick to it. If you have any existential reflection on how disconnected Lowsec is from the rest of the EVE community, I'd love to hear about it in the comments. If you have any comments on Ripard's list, head on over to Jester's Trek and give the man credit where it's due.