Sunday, January 1, 2012

The More Things Change

"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."
--Douglas Adams

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.




  1. I whole heartedly agree with the general thrust of your post. I love Jester's blog, but he lives in a completely different New Eden from the one I fly through.

    The Jita riots FELT epic, although they had zero actual impact on me personally. But most of the other stuff on his list? Made me say, "Oh, yeah. That did happen."

  2. Your post begs the interesting question that's left unanswered, though: if those nine weren't the most important occurrences in EVE/New Eden of 2011... in your view, what were?

  3. @Taurean I can't help but draw parallels to many of the top ten lists of the real world as well. While they are certainly newsworthy events, I feel a bit blasé over talk of events that had 0% impact on my life.

    @Jester Don't take it wrong, those certainly were the 10 biggest happenings of New Eden this year. The only substitution I might have had would be mention of AT9, or specifically the "scandalous" results of the final match which, for certain groups of players, might have mattered more than Ice Miners dying or IT collapsing. The interesting thing about this, to me at least, is that while certainly big events, none of it really resonates with me as a player. The 10 most memorable events for me personally wouldn't make for very good reading as it would likely be things such as, "When we took down a carrier with just the five of us" or "Going on that two man roam that lasted for hours" or "Popping that guy and having all his faction mods drop." None of it would really matter to anyone who wasn't there for it. They are, in essence, personal stories. What fascinates me most about all this is the reflection on what exactly that means; does Lowsec not "matter" because the stories being told here are personal stories and does that make them closer to fiction or perhaps human interest pieces in the news? Or maybe Lowsec is just the reality t.v. of EVE...::shudder::

  4. ::nods:: Most of the events on the list had little impact on me, either, but they weren't listed for that reason. ;-)

    As an example, the Jita riots had no impact on me because I was unsubscribed already by that time! I have no doubt my unsub was included among the statistics shown in some CCP meeting somewhere, but I didn't unsub for those reasons.

    So, with a couple of exceptions, my *personal* list would have looked a lot like yours. But that wasn't what I was writing about.

  5. I agree with Jesters list… those were, as far as I can tell (like what do I know?), the top 10 things that affected the WHOLE of EVE.

    I agree with FNG… “my” top 10 would be of a vastly moar personal nature.

    And in this is my point.

    In EVE, we have a true, possibly the first really true, virtual reality, with the focus more on the “reality” (IE the large and small scale interpersonal interactions) aspects rather than on the ‘virtual’ (technical, software, hacking, cheat code, digital graphic, etc. et al.) aspects.

    We have the “objective” political (Right wing? Left wing? X-wing?) column penned by Jester, and in the “Local” section, we have a “subjective” local boy goes bad story penned by FNG. We have it all… big picture politics, Saber rattling and CAP Fleet engagements to small personal Dramiels and joys. I love this game.

    I am a 51 y.o. player. Cut my teeth on Cmdr Keen (Doom, Quake, et al) and was a diehard FPS player for many years. I tried my hand at MANY of the MMO’s and dint make it moar than 2 weeks on even ONE. None of em felt right… until EVE. Then I realized what it was I had been looking for in an MMO…. REALITY... and EVE has it, for me, in spades. When I logon I experience almost the exact same “suspension of disbelief” required for getting fully, emotionally, involved in a good movie.

    You “know” you are sitting in a theatre… You “know” they are actors reading a script…. You “know” it is not at all “REAL”… and yet, we allow ourselves the freedom to disconnect from our current reality for a while and let the fiction we “see” and “hear” to become our subjective ‘reality’, for a little while…

    Reality… This is exactly what I feel when I log on, or as I prefer to think of it… When I wake up in “Serenity Station”, the Planetary Orbital Station in the C2 Wormhole we call home.

    Reality… Is what we have in our small corp. The three Directors are… My son, an active duty Marine, is our CEO, I am a Computer Technician and the Corp VP and Salvage Op Director and our Fleet Commander is an inactive duty Marine, college student and Firefighter and a RL friend of us both… top THAT! =]

    Fly Safe and see you in the Sky =/|)=