I managed to avoid MMOs for a long time. Then I met EVE.
In my life, I’ve played a little of everything except massively multiplayer games.
But I finally succumbed to the lure when I saw a friend play EVE Online. I did my research, carefully considered what I was doing and then decided to give it a shot. To play such a game, I knew I would have to have fast internet and so I searched for a fiber internet solution, like that EATEL can provide, meaning I could play online without any obstacles to the ongoing action.
I played for four years. I had 12 characters. I amassed more than 2,000 kills.
Then I quit.
For those who don’t know EVE Online, it’s is a space-based MMO where you fly spaceships and fight other players. You can form Corporations (the game’s version of guilds) with fellow Capsuleers (pilots) and those Corporations can join Alliances with other Corps.
It’s very popular. At any point in time there easily 25,000 to 40,000 people are online playing the game.
It’s also a single-universe game. Unlike World of Warcraft and other MMOs, there is only a single server. Everyone playing the game is in the same galaxy, which currently features about 7,500 systems and wormholes.
Most of the game is PvP, and that means anyone you come across may potentially be trying to kill you. It’s fun, but I describe it as hours of boredom followed by moments of pure terror.
Combat in EVE is a lot like baseball: it’s not thrilling to watch but its amazing to do.
It’s like a drug though, and you’ll play for hours to get your next combat high.
Explaining EVE‘s allure is so hard. One big thing: It takes a ton of time to be able to play the game well.
In my opinion, to be any good at PvP and to be of any use in a fleet takes at least a year of skill training for that character. And skill training in EVE runs in real time.
My best character, Ignatius Hood, had nearly 5 years of training and he still hadn’t mastered every ship in the game.
So why is EVE so thrilling? Because of the consequences of combat.
EVE is unique as an MMO because the entire economy is completely player driven. Every ship you buy, every module you equip, every bullet or missile or laser you fire was manufactured in-game by another player, in that respect, it’s like many MMO’s, even multiplayer servers such as these Minecraft servers “item ecosystem” and the world is based on what the players build and destroy.
Some ships in EVE, were you to convert the in-game cost to US dollars, would cost thousands. If your ship is destroyed in combat, you don’t get it back. When it explodes, it’s gone.
The last character to die by my hand was Alice Liu, and I killed her Taranis in the D87E-A system at 2:24 a.m. on July 21. That loss, were Alice to replace it, would cost her 39.64 million ISK.
That’s a real risk. That’s a real consequence.
Space in the game is classified as High Security (you can attack other players but you will then be attacked by security forces), Low Security (you can kill other players but then stationary weapons will attack you), Null Security (no limitations on PvP) and Wormholes (no limitations on PvP and no active Local Chat.)
EVE is a very hard game. The learning curve is steep, the game is complex and players are utterly merciless.
When I started playing, I was in High Sec, running NPC missions and mining asteroids. I joined a Corporation and started playing in Wormhole space about 3 months into my joining the game. Wormhole space is very dangerous and very profitable. I died a lot at the hands of other players but I became space rich. I also fell into the first trap of EVE: the need for multiple accounts.
By the time I decided to stop playing I had 4 accounts and each account had three characters. Each account cost roughly $40 US for three months of game time. So, I spent nearly $500 annually for all of them.
I spent three years in the Wormhole and I began to use in-game currency (ISK) to buy game time to offset my real-life expenditures. But I was also beginning to be bored of the grind.
I was basically playing the game to earn ISK so I could play the game.
With boredom setting in I decided to move my most powerful character, Ignatius Hood, out of the Wormhole. I joined a neutral group of pilots called the Bombers Bar. They were a group that ran with one rule: NPSI, which stands for “Not Purple Shoot It.” Players in your fleet are purple, so this essentially meant we killed anyone we came across who wasn’t in our fleet.
Sometimes we’d even kill each other. NPSI ruled over everything else.
After Bombers Bar, I moved out to Null Sec full-time, eventually landing in a PvP Corporation (EVE‘s version of a guild) operating out of the Curse Region.
I loved PvP. In my EVE career I amassed 2,040 kills and only 132 losses.
So the question is: Why did I stop playing EVE Online?
It was for a lot of reasons, but a big one was in the logistics.
The most kills I ever made in a single month happened in December 2014 when 166 pilots met there end with my help. In that month, almost without exception, I played every weeknight from 7:30 to 8 p.m. and from midnight to 1 a.m. plus more time on weekends.
I averaged nearly 20 hours a week to get 166 kills, which is about two kills per hour.
With work and with children, I didn’t have the flexibility to commit to more than what I was doing and what I was doing was damaging to my real life.
A $500 cost to play the game every year? Hours and hours spent playing the game? Stress of losing ships and resources I worked so hard for? Real damage was happening to my relationships because of a space ship game.
So, I ended it.
I have nothing but love for the game and I made some great friends all over the world as a result of my experiences in New Eden. I regret nothing. But as the saying goes, “All good things must come to an end.”