The Opposition

“Sometimes it feels like the universe be conspiring against you.”  Mike slumped into the seat, exhausted.  “I spend the entire morning working on the cargo handling systems because they have been jamming a bit, lately.  Turns out they are fine and it was the change to standardised cargo sizes, or the addition of a new size . . .either way.  I was fixing the wrong damn thing.”

Scotty looked up, fighting to keep his face from showing concern.  “Not everything is an attack but never rule it out.”

“Oh I know, but some folks I talk to take every damn thing as a personal assault or some such foolishness.  I tend to assign malevolence to an uncaring and cold Universe, instead.”  Mike leaned back and stretched out.  “I don’t get mad about it, mind you, just adjust, fix, and move on.”  He smiled and nodded thanks as the coffee was delivered.

“I don’t know, sometimes people ARE out to get you and it is not just an ineffable universe.  Thing is, how do you tell the difference?”  Scotty was honestly wondering how Mike would answer this one.

“Ineffable?  Somebody been hitting the word a day calendar again?  I don’t try looking for enemies, I am sure I might have made a few, over the years but I refuse to carry them around with me.  They did not pay to ride in my head.  I try to be prepared, seldom fly what they calls a PvE ship anymore.  If someone were to open fire on little old me I would not assume them an enemy as much as opportunistic.  If they think they can get an easy kill?  They is not an enemy, just a target.”  He stretched back and grinned.  “They get handled the same, either way.”

Scotty shook his head.

————=———————————————————————-

Lessons

This is inspired by a post by Rixx which in turn was inspired by a post from INN.  The question partially was . . . is CCP out to get us?  are we the enemy?

Or is CCP giving us both in game and meta struggles to continue to fight?

I wish I still had a D&D group to play with, shows like critical role make me long for the good old days.  But what was the DM?  Storyteller?  Opponent? Enabler?

How about all of the above?  I seriously doubt ccp is out to get me or you (assuming that you play eve) but I do thing they are, at times, adversarial.  Balance issues and ‘playstyle ending’ aside.  Each of those could and may be a blog post in themselves, someday.  Until then?  They are not the enemy.

fly it like you won it

m

 

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The Path

OOC

Eve is not my first MMO.  And absolutely not my first video game.  I am old so I have been gaming for a very very long time.  I played Everquest to death back when it first came out.  Before that?  Well my first true computer game was one of the Wing Commander series (III I think).  Unless you count playing pong in bars . . . yes, that old.

As you can probably guess?  I love storytelling and lore.  I also like playing around the edges of a game, doing the odd things others find useless or silly.  Like running a charity in a dark harsh space game. I am a game tourist and a bit of an altaholic.  Always trying for the right build to accomplish the travel or explorations.

So I was not shocked but a bit saddened by the article in PCGamer that opined that the genre of mmos as a whole may be coming to an end.  One quote from the article made me answer out loud (scaring the cat)

But nowadays, do you really want to play for three months straight?

Hell yes.  and I do.  I have been a steady player of Eve Online for over a decade (If I could have gotten to speak at Eve Vegas this year I had a magic trick involving a sword)  I log into ESO almost every day for an hour or two lately.  I find new goals or they add new things and I am off to the races.  I LOVE a game that can hold me, grow with me and be part of my life.

Look at the alternative.  Things like ‘AFK Arena’ and other mobile games of the ilk.  Or those that autorun you from quest to quest and even do the combat for you.  I have tried a few and found them to be less engaging than a bad manga.  I want to play the game, not watch it being played.  I like feeling like a hero but not at the expense of any challenge to the try, succeed or fail.

Some of the article blames the games for simplification or safer play.  Less risk.  Others might blame todays players for even wanting that sort of thing.  I think what we might be seeing is evolution and yet, we have things like WoW classic.  Trying for nostalgia and harking back to simpler times.

I will continue to play the MMOs my way.  On my terms until they close and lock me out.  I am pretty sure Eve will outlive me.  I honestly hope it will.

I have no problem with games surviving, adding new chapters, upgrading and trying hard not to pull a dunderheaded move like Star Wars Galaxies did.  I wonder how much fear that example has put into the industry.

Now, I have a Bus to drive in Gallente space and some harvesting to do in Wrothgar.  I have a couple of clan mobile games to check in on and some rock path to lay in the real world.  Because we are on a path in games . . . just because some of the stones look like headstones does not mean the path is finished, just we have to put more down or make another path.

fly it like you won it

m

 

 

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Signal/Noise

Mike sat in Jita and watched the comms scroll.  Garbage contracts, answer my quiz and win big!. Trap courier runs.  He made a few adjustments and it became a normal conversation.  There were some regulars in Jita who knew him and would pass the time of day which probably irritated the ‘business spammers’ no end.

Noise to signal ratio was an old term in comms and he used it to measure how much chatter to actual talk happened.  He wondered if the scammers and spammers considered his talk the noise for their signal.

****

Tanta closed the line and sat for a moment, considering before opening a channel of her own.  ‘We needs ta talk’.  She did not wait long until a channel was opened.

^Calling in the favor?^

“I iz.  Somebody iz making a move on my boy.  I want to know who, how and why.  I want to know yestaday.”

^The man is a capsuleer and a politician and Gallente.  There is always someone making a move on him.^

“I have lived a long time and I knows how to separate wheat from chaff.  Now you gonna honour your debt?”

^Who, how, and why.  We will be in touch Madam.^

“Yestaday, and I want her to go visit him.  I trusts her instincts.”

^Yes, Madam.  Shall we have her call you first?^

“Always nice ta hear from family.  Please do.”  Tanta closed the comm and sat, sipping a cup of tea.  Waiting, the very model of patience.  Ruis came in, later, took one look at her face and left without saying a word.

He was later asked why, when found prepping weapons and checking house security protocols for the third time.  “Sometimes a message is best sent if there is no noise at all to confuse the issue.  Tanta knows how to say a lot without sayin anyting.”

———-=————————————————————————–

Lessons

Block is a useful feature in Eve that I don’t seem to use much in other games.  I do not know if this is a good thing or a bad thing.  Then I realise that I talk all the time in Eve and very seldom in any other game I play (Except minecraft, I play that with my wife but we just talk over our shoulder to each other)

How much chatter do you engage in in whatever games you play?

fly it like you won it

m

 

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Gallente

OOC

The Gallenteans. Self-righteous, meddling, pompous and tiresome, or virile liberalists and defenders of the free world. Love them or hate them, you simply can’t ignore them.  1

What race you decide to run in Eve used to make a difference.  Now the only difference is the appearance possibilities of your avatar.

In the world of EVE, the Gallentean are the kings of entertainment, mass-producing everything from cheap porn-flicks to elaborate stage-shows for an ever-hungry public. They boast the most elaborate luxury space yachts, and the most glittering hotel reservoirs. Anything your mind or body could ever crave, the Gallenteans have plenty of it. (same source as above)

Now you may figure that I already have plans to do a series on the races of Eve.  Not a bad idea but also not my current plan.  I look a lot of places for inspirations for my blogs and today came from twitter that lead me to instagram and I thought . . . this, this man is Gallente.  Who?

This guy

And yet, in the current day and age he is controversial. Sexist and a dinosaur of a time best left in the dust or erased some might say.  Not me, but then I may be about his age though no where near his tax bracket.

Gallente is about living life free, no shame, giving everyone the opportunity to succeed . . . or fail miserably.  Again from the same source?

Many of the wealthiest people in the world are Gallenteans, creating a constant demand for luxury goods. At the same time, the ranks of the poor number millions, because while the liberal market-driven economy and individual freedom may allow everybody the chance to advance to the top, they make it just as easy to plummet to the very bottom of the social ladder.

Win, lose, I chose Gallente for my race because of the contrast, the chance to be the one who won (or the one who lost)  It is things like this in the real world that help connect me to my game world.  I know that that sounds a bit odd but it is true.  I LIKE having an anchor for my characters, when I lose said anchor I have been known to trash them and try again.  I have lost track of how many false starts I have done in Elder scrolls online.

I connect to my character which is why I do this blog, to a certain extent.  I enjoy writing and making the bridges between the game world and our modern real world.  You may not agree with my position . . .that is ok.  Heck you may not like the vid above . . . but I do and the one below as well

 

he flies it like he won it, may you be able to do the same.

m

 

 

 

 

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On Hold

Mike sighed.  “You still haven’t told me why this is needed.”

“An issue with the cloning facility has necessitated that we try to verify clone signatures as soon as possible.  You were in the region so we contacted you.”

“I get that but if it is a clone issue then it should be a simple sample and scan, if it is a mind issue then a recording takes a second or less.  Damn thing works that fast when i am being blown up.  So why am I still here, waiting?”

“We have a procedure and series of steps that I have to go through.”  The tech seemed to be slightly nervous but then dealing with people who regularly went out and killed entire ships worth of enemies would not be the most calming job slot.  “It should not be too much longer . . . ”

Bland music played in the background, not bad enough to make you angry but nice enough to want to listen to.  Mike tried to achieve his Miners mind, attentive but not caring about the passage of time.  It was a skill he had not used in a long time and he was out of practice.

“Well,” she said after an indeterminate time later “I think we can let you go, for now but I am not sure the update was completely successful so you may want to check in in a week or two.  We will be in touch.”

Mike sighed and left, catching up with Scotty at the cafe.  “Man I hate waiting even when it is something that needs to be done.”

“What were you waiting for?”

“Oh that clone update thing, took a while to get everything updated.”

Scotty paused and then nodded.  Later, after Mike had left he opened a channel.  “Someone is running an op on him.  Don’t know who, what, or why, yet.”  He listened and nodded and closed the channel.

——–=—————————————————————————–

Lessons

Yeah I wrote this while on hold with my local tv/phone provider,  end result was what I expected but it took a loooong time to get there, they will drop by and replace things on Sunday.  If you don’t hear from me after that?  Blame Telus

Miners mind?  There are a few games where I seem to get into the zen mode, fishing in minecraft or ESO, camping that damn earring in everquest, way back in the day, you develop a patient attentiveness with very little going on.

probably you have done something similar or do you avoid games that move slowly?

fly it like you won it.

m

 

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What trailer got you started?

This is not an in character post.  Just something that struck me in the past few days.  How did you start playing whatever games you do?

Trailers?  Some game have phenomenal ones that suck you into the story but do not actually connect to the game play.  I still want ESO

and WoW

to make animated movies to expand on trailers that they have made in the past.

But Eve, well they did something different about 5 years back.  They made a trailer that was US playing.  It was not a cinematic reimagining.  It was in game recordings of players from all the different ways eve is played.

Now to be honest I was already 5 years into Eve at that point.  It did not draw me in (being addicted already) but damn the influx at that time was phenomenal.  Rookie chat exploded and that was when I got into helping players get into the game.

I think Game Trailers need more of that.  Not that I dislike the cinematics of the blockbusters but let me see the damn game, let me hear the players.  I think twitch and other streaming services like it do more for games than the trailers do, for that exact reason.

So what Trailers captured you?

——-=—————————————————————————–

Lessons

I think Eve needs to modify how it presents itself to the world as well as the new player experience.  First impressions count for a lot in the gaming industry and I question whether Eve makes the best one.

But I am still playing Eve and ESO, everyday.  WoW? never really bought into that one.

fly it like you won it

m

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But Soft what Light

” . . . through yon windows breaks?  It is a laser mining the rocks.”

Mike sat through the play, wishing he was damn near anywhere else.  But at least it was live and the kids were cute.  They knew nothing about space though as everyone was happy and helped each other and there was not a weapon to be seen.

It is a common misconception, in Rookie chat, that pilots are safe ANYWHERE and some demand that there be a safe space for them where nobody will shoot.  Mike and the other vets calmly explain that THAT is called being docked in an Empire station.

“There is no safe.”  Mike muttered and wondered idly whilst Rome and Jules pretended to be missing.  “Never has been, never will be.”

And yet even non-Rookies occasionally asked, in the various media, for space to be safe and shooting each other to be blocked as opposed to just avenged.   They were usually mocked but the idea just would not die.  “Ideas be damn hard ta kill.” (Unlike those usually crying for the safety, THEY are easy to kill iffen you have a mind to)  Mike shook his head and spent the next hour congratulating parents of the children in the play and making light talk.  Because that is what you did.  You did not go to a school play expecting mind blowing theatre and you did not go into space expecting safety.

——=——————————————————————————

Lessons

Seriously, it is a re-occurring theme in the forums and in Rookie chat.  Safe/safety

The old meme used to be ‘Hello Kitty is that way’

This is the bookend of yesterdays post about hardcore eve and there are folks who want to see either end of this spectrum.  The sweet spot is, of course, somewhere in the middle.  Trick is? That is a very vague statement and CCP is always shifting up and down trying to find said spot.

Not sure they ever have or ever will find it.  (insert joke about G spot about here)

Ir may not be perfect but this is what we have and I still enjoy it

fly it like you won it

m

 

 

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Hardcore Game

 

 

“Sure”, the Gurista screamed on the comms “Sure it is easy for you all lord and immortal.  Sit in your own goo and pilot the damn thing by thinking about it.  I am gonna . . . ”  An expanding fireball ended the message along with the Gurista was gonna do.

Mike swung the ship around and headed further down the path he had set, watchful for other enemies or combat sigs to show up.  As he flew he thought about what the pirate was talking about.  Yes immortality via clones DID allow him to take chances, do things no sane mortal would ever try.  Well, that presumed that the Gurista was insane because he had been out in a ship as well, knowing that capsuleers would give combat.

Mike spent a lot of time worrying about the people he knew who were mortal.  Most of all?  Tanta.  She probably knew he had folks keeping an eye on her and reporting back to him.  No, he knew she knew, being Tanta and all but he hoped one would stay loyal to him if she tried to hush something up.

Would he fly if it was one and done and immortality was refused him?

Mike though about it carefully.  Probably yes but a hell of a lot more cautiously was his conclusion.  He looked out at the space and sighed.  After all, how could he leave this view?

—–=———————————————————————————-

Lessons

A lot of games have a hardcore version.  One death and you are done and have to start over.  Path of Exile and Diablo leap to mind.  But even simpler games like Minecraft have the option and you can make it a personal rule for yourself and play that way if you like.

Real life?  Well that is always hardcore.

My question for YOU is.  Would you want to see a hardcore verion of Eve?  What if they sweetened the deal with faster training and some ships and isk?  But dead is dead, no cloning, no return to fight another day?  There would have to be some abuse mechanics in place to keep y’all from making the character just to transfer isk out . . . maybe make them able to receive but not give.

Would you do it?

Would you pay for it?

I might, but I readily admit I am not a normal eve player

you?  fly it like you won it

m

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What is Rich?

Mike idly pulled up his assets list and sighed.  Being a capsuleer meant that you kept spread sheets for everything, or so the joke said.  But for him it was just numbers.  Total worth was a questionable calculation and he had no idea how they arrived at the total.  His isk balance was for the Bus, not him so it also meant little in the day to day.  If he wanted a new ship or needed to replace one?  He sold some assets or ran a few combat sites until he hit a rich load.  usually did not take long to cover his minor expenses from day to day.

But was he rich?

It was a question asked in Rookie chat and when he was making a Bus stop.  “Wow, you muct be rich.”  and relative to the people saying it?  He was.

Dee used to tell him that an isk balance was a tool not being used.  Buy/sell, make the money work, not sit gathering dust.  It had been a while since he had done buy and sell or investments.  Even longer since he had run a manufacturing POS and made and marketed for himself.  The opportunities were still there . . . just he was letting them slide by.

Mike smiled.  As his final answer to rookies was the hardest truth he had.  ISK did not matter, he was rich in that he was having fun, talking to folks.  He was rich in friends and experiences and the ISK total be damned.

—-=———————————————————————————-

Lessons

there are folks who monitor their balance in game far closer than I.  They measure how well they are doing an damn if it is not really impressive to watch them work.  One of them linked to my blog yesterday and I went over to their blog to see what they were up to

Jaw drop

Bloggers do read each others work.  Or should.  Ideas cross-polinate and the very tag I use in the series ‘Blog Banter’ hearkens back to when eve writers did a LOT of that.  Now I feel we have lost touch with each other, the few stubborn survivors clinging to rock faces like windswept trees.

fly it like you won it because I ain’t leavin yet

m

 

 

 

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Video killed the Bloggers?

Tanta stopped the music and paused taking a deep breath. “Child, there are many ways to learn and many ways to teach so I iz not mad atchoo. We just has to find the right path for you to learn this. So far we iz way out in the woods.”

The young lady sighed and returned to the starting position. “I try, Tanta but my body does not want to do . . . ”

“Some folks, they needs to be shown, but I haz showed you and you are not picking it up. Others they needs to hear it but I haz told you and you ain’t picking it up. Some needs to learns it for themselves but if you don’t know how in the first place the you ain’t picking it up. So we is down to the old old school. Come with me, child.”

Tanta lead her out of the studio and the girl started to cry. No, Tanta, I no wants to be giving up, let me try again. Don’t be sending me home, please, don’t”

Tanta looked back and smiled, “Oo said anyting about sending you home? We just trying another ways ta learn,” It was a smaller room with a small stage and a large desk. “Now sit and you writes down what I says and does. The comments be recording as well so you can watch later and make da notes better but I wants you writing as we go.”

“Can I draw my notes? Describing it in words is hard . . ”

Tanta smiled widely. “Oh Child, if that is what works for you then of course you may.” Tanta stepped up on the stage and assumed the starting position that the student had done earlier only with the weight on the other foot.

The student gasped as her stylus flew across the screen “oh!”

Tanta smiled and shifted to the next step smoothly, slowly.

—=——————————————————————————

Lessons

Teaching is both a skill and an art. One cannot always be the sage on the stage and get away with it because some students do not learn that way. You vary the method to suit the situation if you can. This is why teachers fight overcrowding of classes so vehemently. We cannot vary and try to shift to suit 30 or 40 whatever. Small classes meant I had a chance to learn what the path for each student was best (or at least better)

I make the occasional Eve lesson video on youtube. Some things like scanning are better suited to a visual lesson than they are to text. Most feedback I get is compliments on the details, the fact that I make no assumptions about the watcher’s knowledge base.

Today in Rookie chat a person told others youtube is great for learning Eve but avoid Mike’s vids. He then told me that they were garbage and that I should delete them all.

I let him know that I was not forcing him to watch and he was welcome to his opinion. He agreed and said he would continue to tell other people how bad my vids are.

Ah well, cannot please everyone I guess.

No, I am not linking the vids here because my point is about learning and teaching styles, education, not the good/bad of lessons.

In a complex game like Eve you do need to account for the variances so I will continue to be in rookie chat, helping via text, hotdropoping the occasional podcast for those who learn by listening (both of them), on youtube helping via video, here, pics and text, now and again.

Why? Ah that is a harder question. Ask me another time.

Fly it like you won it

m

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