Yesterday, on January 20th 2010, Cozmik celebrated his two years since his graduation from the Republic Military School. Yep, 2 years already. Damn time flies! It seems only like yesterday that I was playing on a Classic Graphics client, that I had to find a stargate around my screen in order to manually align to it, that interceptors were going 7000+ meters per second without a single implant or faction module, and that Nano-anything ships were "I win" buttons that were extremely difficult to catch unless you had 10 webs on the guy. Oh, and warp scramblers didn't do dick all to MWDs and assault ships in general were barely flown because it was awkward to fit them successfully. And the price of rigs and salvage... one of the things that allowed me to start the PvP lifestyle at such a young age was the ISK made from ratting and salvaging Angels and Sanshas; Alloyed Tritanium Bars were priced around 450000 ISK apiece, and Melted Capacitors around 300000. Rigging my own ships was unthinkable though. One time I did rig my ratting Thrasher with "affordable" shield and projectile rigs (4-5 million each) and of course, me being me, I got cocky enough to go ratting in Low-sec and the inevitable happened. I felt stupid for taking such a chance but in the end there were worse things and I moved on.
At the time I had my sights set on flying a Vagabond but I had no clue as to how I would pay the exhorbitive price for the ship and all its modules and rigs. Today, a scant few million ISK buys you multiple Medium Polycarbon Engine Housing rigs. Around the time of Empyrean Age, there were no different sizes and 60 million ISK was the price of a single Polycarb rig. When Quantum Rise arrived their prices dropped a bit, but they were still more expensive than the average interceptor. That was when assault ships came of age though, and the sized rigs in mid-Apocrypha turned them from good to great.
So here I am, 2 years after diving into EVE for the long haul, and here I am again asking myself the ever present question: what now?
I've done the full-time PvP thing and I found it great fun when done loosely, but too seriously and I lose interest; I'm not a military type guy and if someone barks at me I'm gonna bark right back, 10 times louder, which would make the whole thing suck for everyone.
I've done the wormhole thing which is very up and down in terms of action; combat sites in W-space are more interesting than anything the NPCs can deliver in K-space, intruders have to be hunted down down be they scanning frigs all the way up to a full-on POS bash, but on the flip side when all the combat sites are done and there's only mining to do... that's when EVE gets turned off and I either go fly fast in FS9, beat the shit out of my drums, etc.
I've done the exploration thing once in a while, but I admit I've not been very lucky with the things I scan down, and the amount of travel involved can sometimes play tricks on my short patience fuse. But still I do get lucky once in a blue moon and find something worthwhile.
It would also be worth looking at the things I absolutely refuse to do in EVE before I decide where to aim my ship:
I refuse to mine. Last time I did was because a mission required it to initiate the spawn and I felt dirty doing it.
I refuse to do the industrial production thing. When a game becomes a job people burn out. And I've seen it happen too many times lately. Yes, industry needs to happen in order for me to buy stuff to blow up and get blown up. And yes I have built stuff from time to time, especially in my starting months when I had access to tons of minerals from just casual ratting and I could built Rifters to get blown up in without consequence. But building stuff while following a spreadsheet, and dealing with production costs, profit margins, and so on... Yow! I have enough problems with real-life finances as it is that I don't need a whole new set of finances to melt my brain.
I refuse to play a game with an alarm clock. This is the full-on PvP experience brought to the extreme, and in my book it's over the limit of sanity. I play EVE because I want to, not because I have to.
And finally I refuse blobfests. When I read about people bitching about lag, and how Dominion broke fleet fights, I just shake my head and wonder why the fuck people keep doing it. "Because it's epic" they'd say. Yeah, epic but people bitch about it and not just since Dominion. People have been bitching about lag in fleet fights since the first day I've been in the game (probably more since Day One) and yet people still cram as many people in some far-away system in Querious as they do in Jita, only the bunch in Querious as got drones out, fighters out, missiles and ammo flying, remote-reps going, cap-transfering and more, all in one single spot in space. At least the 1000+ in Jita are docked up and only busy with price mark-ups and scams; I'd love to see what would happen if everyone undocked from Jita 4-4 at the same instant. To read people saying "WAAAAA LAAAG!" is really ironic because the ones bitching about lag are the ones creating it. Good job! This is what blobfests are to me and I will not participate.
So where does this leave me in EVE? Am I about to give away my stuff? Nah, not yet anyway! EVE is really harsh when things go wrong or start sucking a chunk out of real life, but when the stars are aligned and things go right there's simply just no game like it. And no matter how others will try to be like it they will continue to fail for a long time to come I think. And hey, I still need to train a lot stuff, and I better train because I didn't just get a full set of +4 implants for nothing! Yes, it took just short of forever but I finally understood the mechanics of jump clones. Don't ask, I'm just extremely dense :) So I still want to do some solo or smallish-gang PvP, but I also need the flexibility to do my own thing when I want; it doesn't mean that because I'm online I'm automatically available for PvP or a big complex or something. Anyway, we'll see what the future brings. Being in my own little 2-man corp is fun but I'm starting to miss some action once in a while. I've already asked my corpmate how he felt about moving to 0.0 because it's looking very much like this will happen sooner or later, but I don't want to do the move at any price. I've been in here for 2 years and I hope I stay in here for a lot longer.
Fly with your heart