Well, that was one hell of a week. It's always a pain in the ass when Real Life decides to not only throw you curves balls, but this time it does so like those baseball-chucking machines with names like Pedro Martinez for major league batting practice. So with the end of a parental weekend, Halloween, catching a cold while trick-or-treating with my boys, a childhood friend getting a visit from the Grim Reaper, all the brou-ha-ha that followed this event, and my cold taking advantage of my sleep-deprived body, I basically didn't get anything done in EVE. Oh and let's not forget that in the middle of all this stuff I managed to lose my main money-making boat. Yeah I know, I royally suck at PvE. I had bought a Maelstrom as a replacement but flying a ship that tanks less, has half the top speed, has less DPS, and that takes 2 to 3 times longer to finish L4 missions... no, I don't want to go through that again. It was the reason I trained up the Sleipnir in the first place.
So with hating all forms of money-making chores (I'd rather be poor and happy than a slave to money; I'm like that in real life too) my choices are very few: chain L3 missions and be careful to avoid all the ones against the faction navies, or exploration. The latter being a tad more interesting to me than the former, I fit out a Hurricane and started roaming in the search of stuff in space. Yesterday wasn't too great though as I was only finding wormholes leading to well-defended systems. I'll be trying another corner of our little universe tonight and hopefully my luck will turn. Some people would say I could get some ISK by buying GTC's, especially now that PLEX prices are reaching new heights but I haven't gotten my pre-paid credit card yet. I have to do so before December 17th when my subscription ends and there's a good chance that I will get a GTC at the same time as my next 3 months of play time. But as I said earlier I'm not rich in Real Life either and I have far more interesting hobbies to put my money on so I won't be making a habit of buying GTC's.
And the future in EVE? A lot of it will depend on the winter expansion. Some people may disagree but I still believe that this particular expansion will be a make or break. I mean, just look at the US TZ numbers: last year well over 45000 players were logged in on any given night, with peaks around 55000 on weekends, and this year it's barely 40000 on weekends when both the EU and US time zones overlap, and well below 30000 as the EU's are going to bed. I don't care what the subscriber numbers say, a lot of people are simply refusing to log in. If the winter expansion fails even ever so slightly, these numbers will keep going down. So far it looks like the bleeding has stopped, but the wound is still there and the bandage needs tending. So far the new stuff looks good; I may have gotten rid of the Maelstrom I got but I did keep the guns because of course I will get a Tornado, and Cozmik is currently training Large Hybrid Turrets V, and after the specializations are done I'll do the same for Lazorz. And even though I'm not into the whole sovereignty thing, I sincerely hope that the announced changes to caps, time dilation and other 0.0 goodies will entice people to log in again and breathe new life into New Eden. It needs it badly.
But there are a few things on the horizon that may cause me to take a very lengthy hiatus. On the gaming front there are a few games out there that I will be getting into as soon as my computer has been upgraded. I could say "soon™" but my money has to go on my electronic drums first, and also on the cyclo-touring gear I need for next summer's vacation. Games that would cause me to stop playing EVE, maybe even quit: Rage, Diablo III, ES5 Skyrim, rFactor2, Microsoft Flight, and the big one that's just been announced... MechWarrior Online. Yes, this would cause me to say the proverbial "so long and thanx for all the fish" to New Eden. A Battletech MMO is something that pretty much all BT fans have been asking for since time immemorial, and with so many people that know the BT universe and how it works, the game producer better get this one right, or else. But another thing may put a serious crimp on all this: the possibility of landing a spot on the Wishmaster drumline. I've been practicing my sticking and my reading like a madman lately just in case. I haven't heard anything official yet but there is talk of the band getting back together in 2012. I want to be ready for some eventual auditions if they happen, and not half-way at that; I want to make the snare line BADLY! If I do, kiss goodbye to all gaming time because I will be doing something A LOT more awesome than playing Internet Spaceships or battlemech piloting. The blog would probably survive but it would take a major off-ramp.
In the meantime though, I will still be playing EVE as it is still something unique in the gaming world, and I pray that all the fixes come to fruitition and help heal the game after the deep wounds it received when Incarna was unleashed. So far it appears that CCP has heard my prayer of Coffee Smelling and things seem to be looking up, but we're still some time away from the release of the expansion; we don't have a date, and it still doesn't even have a name. And winter is arriving soon...
Fly the way you want to, not the way you are told to