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Thoughts on character lifespan in EvE

Enkindu2Enkindu2 Hyperion, VAPosts: 26Member

This is essentially going to be a love letter to my old flame, so if you don't want to hear it bail out now. 

 

I remember one of the biggest complaints people had about starting EvE (aside from the learning curve) was the worry about never being able to "catch up" with veterans because of the real time skill system.  This is somewhat true, but many others on this board have done a good job explaining how a properly specialized character can compete with any veteran in one particular aspect of the game.  I have recently realized that there is another "ray of hope" for people wanting to try EvE now, even after it has been growing for a decade.

EvE is the greatest game I have ever played.  I made lifelong friends from 3 continents during my years as a capsuleer.  I started a corp, built a small empire, took part in wars, got completely crushed and lost everything but the Velator on my back, rebuilt my small empire... and it was all emotionally and intellectually inspiring in ways that I NEVER imagined a game could be.  I still say I learned more about economics and human nature from EvE than I ever did in undergrad classes in economics and psychology.  The massive complexity of New Eden is responsible in large part for great gaming experience that it provides, and I believe it will carry the game for another 10 years at least.  This complexity is also, I believe, responsible for a natural cycle of life and death that is unique to EvE.

As I became more involved with the game, I got to the point where I enjoyed it most when I was completely saturated with the experience- simultaneously running three accounts, managing huge industrial interests, fighting our way through nullsec and w-space, testing my skills as a diplomat and a spy, learning to make money trading on the market... it was WONDERFUL.  It was also unsustainable.  I realized about a year ago that I would never again have the free time (thanks to work, family, and an annoying need to actually sleep occasionally) to play this game the way I loved- with my whole heart and my whole head.  Casual play is certainly possible, but for me that felt like going to Hawaii on vacation and watching movies in my room instead of taking advantage of the wonders around me.  I decided that it was time for me to end my nearly decade-long affair with EvE online.

I biomassed all of my characters.  Some from 2004, some from 2005 and later.  I gave away unimaginable billions worth of assets, capital ships, faction towers, officer mods, etc.  It still breaks my heart sometimes but it was absolutely the right thing to.  It was largely a gift to my wife. I know for a fact that I would have returned to EvE many times over the last year if my characters had been waiting there in "cold storage" for me.

So my point?  I think in many cases there is a natural lifespan for eve players.  It is SUCH an amazing virtual world that really taking advantage of it requires a lot of time, and as most people grow with family and career this becomes prohibitive.  There are, of course, massive and glaring exceptions to this rule.  Honestly, if I ever win powerball I may sit in my villa on my private island and play EvE for hours and days on end.

So those of you feeling like it is too late to give the game a try, I say GO FOR IT.  If you are tough enough to handle being crushed and humiliated and smart enough to find the way to greatness afterward, I promise it will be a great gaming experience for you.  Possibly, as it was for me, the best you will ever have.

Comments

  • AhnogAhnog Keller, TXPosts: 231Member Uncommon
    Don't blame EVE for the lack of balance in your life.

    Ahnog

    Hokey religions are no replacement for a good blaster at your side.

  • Enkindu2Enkindu2 Hyperion, VAPosts: 26Member
    Originally posted by Ahnog
    Don't blame EVE for the lack of balance in your life.

    Sorry bud, apparently I touched a nerve there.  It isn't about balance- it's about priorities and available hours in a day.  Lots of folks who play EvE in my experience are smart, motivated, and well educated, and eventually this leads to a lifestyle that doesn't support spending even an hour a day gaming.  Good examples: I have 2 old associates in the game who are currently working on PhDs in physics and chemistry, one just finished med school and started residency, and one just opened his 4th restaurant.  When you add a wife and the need to spend some time staying in shape, the game is going to go.  I'm assuming you're still in your teens or 20's- and more power to you if you are.  After 30 you NEED to hit the gym to keep your BMI under 30.

     

    I'm not sure if you actually read what I wrote but I didn't blame EvE for anything.  Some things in life just have a natural ending- I also used to play in a bar band, climb mountains, and dive in caves.  These were also incredibly rewarding things that I don't do anymore for good reasons.

     

    Back to my point:  the new blood coming in to EvE probably DOES have a chance to make it to the highest levels of the game because most veterans naturally retire.  It's really unique in the history of gaming- a game that outlives the natural life cycle of the characters that play.  Fascinating stuff.  Once again I am blown away by the awesomeness of EvE :) 

  • Bastian_StarBastian_Star KANSAS CITY, MOPosts: 36Member
    Originally posted by Enkindu2

    This is essentially going to be a love letter to my old flame, so if you don't want to hear it bail out now...

    Awesome read! Thanks for taking the time to post this. I just recently returned to EVE to give it another go (my third attempt lol) and this time it seems to have taken, something clicked for me this time. Not sure what it was exactly but I do know that, after uninstalling the game and telling myself not to waste my time then promptly reinstalling it the very next morning, I realized that I needed to let myself "not know", to "not have a frigging clue" and to let that be ok. You would have laughed if you'd been a fly on the wall at my first attempt to revive the years dormant math part of my brain (I think I nearly killed the poor hamster). EVE is a very big and complex place and is one of those things that definitely falls into the "journey, not the destination" category. image

  • Enkindu2Enkindu2 Hyperion, VAPosts: 26Member
    Bastian, you have probably hit upon the thing that you need the most to succeed in the game.  Resilience is what allows you to survive the learning curve.  A bit like real life in that way.  Your post made me think of a term I hadn't thought of for years- "shoshin" or "beginner's mind."  I wish you the best in the game- I think every player fondly remembers that moment when you understand the near limitless possibilities that it offers.
  • HazelleHazelle Brampton, ONPosts: 760Member

    tl;dr You biomassed your characters as a romantic grand gesture and you are going to great lengths trying to rationalize it to yourself.

    I'm pretty sure this is how religions start.

  • Enkindu2Enkindu2 Hyperion, VAPosts: 26Member
    Originally posted by Hazelle

    tl;dr You biomassed your characters as a romantic grand gesture and you are going to great lengths trying to rationalize it to yourself.

    I'm pretty sure this is how religions start.

     

    Pretty sure you make pointless, snarky comments on the internet to make yourself feel more powerful :)

     

    The people that the post was intended for will understand what I'm talking about. 

  • HazelleHazelle Brampton, ONPosts: 760Member
    Originally posted by Enkindu2
    Originally posted by Hazelle

    tl;dr You biomassed your characters as a romantic grand gesture and you are going to great lengths trying to rationalize it to yourself.

    I'm pretty sure this is how religions start.

     

    Pretty sure you make pointless, snarky comments on the internet to make yourself feel more powerful :)

     

    The people that the post was intended for will understand what I'm talking about. 

    Sometimes I do but if you reread what you typed you'd see the grand romantic gesture and a page full of regret about it.

    Most people can just choose to play a game or not play a game depending on their priorities.  For me?  Eve is somewhere after lawn maintenance on my list of things to do; there's no need for me to biomass my characters everytime my son wants to play cars or when I have to make dinner.  Playing cars with my son is more important than eve online and making dinner for my family is more important than eve online.  I can put the game down and pick it up later when the more important things aren't counting on me.

    There's time to play eve online, but that time might not be right now; it might not be for a few months or years but ultimately there will be time to play and my character will be there waiting for me.

    Who was your post intended for?  Teenage video game addicts?

    What's your message?  If you can't clean your bedroom biomass your character so that eve online wont tempt you to return?  How about they decide that a clean room is more important than eve online and just do the right thing first and then return to their video game after.

    Biomassing your characters isn't making the other priorities more important it's just removing your top priority.

  • Enkindu2Enkindu2 Hyperion, VAPosts: 26Member

    Hazelle, I think my point was pretty clear but I will state it simply for you again:

    I think most veterans naturally come to a point where they retire or become inactive.  The post was intended for people thinking about trying EvE but concerned that they could never "catch up" with others or be able to reach positions of real power in the game.  (I will further clarify: if veterans retire, positions of power open up for new players).

    Permanently deleting my characters was a grand gesture- I had a lot of life wrapped up in them.  It gave me a sense of closure and it feels right to me.  It doesn't mean that I don't still get the urge to interact with the community occasionally.  I posted what I did for the love of the game in the hope that others will be able to appreciate EvE the way I did.

  • davchadavcha BPosts: 106Member

    So basically, the life of a capsuler is :

    1 - struggle as a newbie

    2 - slowly learn to play and what to do

    3 - ultimately become competitive in some aspects of the game

    4 - become a vet' and drop the game because whatever reason

     

    Does not sound like a "game" for me.

  • Enkindu2Enkindu2 Hyperion, VAPosts: 26Member
    Originally posted by davcha

    So basically, the life of a capsuler is :

    1 - struggle as a newbie

    2 - slowly learn to play and what to do

    3 - ultimately become competitive in some aspects of the game

    4 - become a vet' and drop the game because whatever reason

     

    Does not sound like a "game" for me.

     

    It is true that EvE is not to everyone's taste.  I find your post interesting because it leaves me asking what the "game for you" would be?

    1 - begin the game with very little struggle or challenge

    2 - quickly discover everything the game has to offer

    3 - master every aspect of the game (presumably placing you on similar footing with everyone else playing the game)

    4 - do the same things over and over again (your post suggests that a good game should go on indefinitely)

     

    That being said, your description of the EvE experience is not incorrect on any particular point.  The value of the experience IS the experience however... which I would think applies to most things- life included.

     

    Is there another game that has been around for 10 years that is still growing?  As I said before, I think this phenomenon is unique to EvE simply because it is so complex and so long-lived.  I've also stated several times that there are many exceptions to my idea of the retiring vet.  I just looked around, however, and couldn't find a single old associate (out of 25-30 people) that is still active.  I'm talking about folks that started 2003-2005.

  • HazelleHazelle Brampton, ONPosts: 760Member
    Originally posted by Enkindu2

    Hazelle, I think my point was pretty clear but I will state it simply for you again:

    I think most veterans naturally come to a point where they retire or become inactive.  The post was intended for people thinking about trying EvE but concerned that they could never "catch up" with others or be able to reach positions of real power in the game.  (I will further clarify: if veterans retire, positions of power open up for new players).

    Permanently deleting my characters was a grand gesture- I had a lot of life wrapped up in them.  It gave me a sense of closure and it feels right to me.  It doesn't mean that I don't still get the urge to interact with the community occasionally.  I posted what I did for the love of the game in the hope that others will be able to appreciate EvE the way I did.

    So basically, you biomassed your characters as a romantic grand gesture and you are going to great lengths trying to rationalize it to yourself.  I got that the first time around but what's puzzling to me is how come when you say it you don't think it's pointless or snarky?

    I guessing your wife didn't think that much of your grand gesture so you came here looking for people that value the game and would appreciate it more.  I think your wife was right.

  • haplo602haplo602 Posts: 213Member Uncommon

    This is one of the most intelligent messages I read on these forums for some years now.

     

    Basicaly I know what you are speaking about, I went through the same (well except the empire and industry building, I never got involved much into anything). I played on and off since about 2005, all my characters still do exist. I am keeping an account to get back to once free time stabilizes, but that won't happen for at least another year :-)

     

    The lifespan of EVE characters is actualy a double sided thing. On one side we have the ingame character on the other side we have the human player behind the character. As is the nature of EVE, the ingame characters change owners, so there are many situation where you encounter a total newd with tens of millions of SP and on the other hand you can encounter a new ingame character played by a veteran player. Amount of SP was never an effective measure anyway.

     

     

  • Enkindu2Enkindu2 Hyperion, VAPosts: 26Member

    Hazelle, I respect your right to interpret my post in your own way.  Over the years I've come to realize that two people can look at the very same things and come up with passionate ideas that are completely different.  You seem to be determined to turn something positive into something that is... indulgent, perhaps?  Maybe there is and element of truth to what you say- I do miss the game, and I am enjoying even this limited interaction with EvE folks.

     

    As for the facts though, my wife once played a text scifi game called Federation (I think?) that she loved just as much as I loved EvE.  From what I can tell she spent as much time with that game as I did with EvE.  She still talks about it.  She gave up that game for reasons very similar to mine (actually wrote and published a textbook!)- so she understands both the sacrifice and the necessity of it.  She probably thanks me once a week for giving up EvE, saying usually "I know how much that meant to you."

     

    Over the years I had tried to play EvE casually, but that was really unsatisfying for me.  I see you are having a hard time understanding where I'm coming from, so you are interpreting my motives in a way that makes sense to you.  I guess I'm just curious why you are so determined to inject negativity into something that is decidedly not so?  All I'm saying is that I love the game, that part of my life is done, and I encourage other people to try it.

     

    hap, I'm glad you are enjoying the exchange of ideas.  I'm sure a properly motivated professor could create an entire semester long class about the evolution of online characters and how that relates to the real people behind them.

  • KomandorKomandor Denver, COPosts: 272Member
    Good stuff guys!

    Keep on rockin'!image

  • Quazal.AQuazal.A PrestonPosts: 498Member Uncommon

    My Experience with eve is a cyclindical event

     

    I started playing about '06/07 and during them days could afford to spend 8-9hours in game, when i was an undergrad i could spend as much as 20 hours a day in game depending on my essay timetable (many essays written in last 48hours of deadline)

    However, What i find is that i go through cycles, i overdose myself on eve, spending as many hours as is possible in game, then all of a sudden find myself struggling to carry on, I will then sell all my toons (excl quaz) and just goto a part time player, sometimes even spending 8-10 weeks not logging in.

    Doing this not logging in i tend to go back (or try new games) to games like AoC for a few weeks, but whilst playing this i realise what a behemoth that EvE actually is and then start to get the urge to go back, Thus with my wallet fattened from selling everything 2months or so before I buiy a new toon and start the process again, Get the groove back on playing many hours, until 10 or so months later the urge dies and so it carries on

     

    I would like to make it clear that i am not some 20yr old kid i am in fact in my 40s, with wife, full time (often away from home ) job and 2 kids, However, my wife happily lets me sit in my 'gaming' room playing eve (after all she get the tv) 

    So for me I can play EvE full time but also have enough time to do what i need to in my private life.

    But yes like the OP the game does have a lifespan, however for me just taking the 8 or so weeks a year away from it, is enough for me to be reborn, to compare it to another MMO every other one where i took a break I have NEVER felt urge to go back, the pull of the universe is too much for me, 

    My name is Quazal and im a EvE addict... :)

    This post is all my opinion, but I welcome debate on anything i have put, however, personal slander / name calling belongs in game :) were of course your welcome to call me names im often found lounging about in EvE online.
    Use this code for 21days trial in eve online https://secure.eveonline.com/trial/?invc=d385aff2-794a-44a4-96f1-3967ccf6d720&action=buddy

  • Enkindu2Enkindu2 Hyperion, VAPosts: 26Member

    Quaz, totally respect that and I can relate.  Obviously I still love the game... here I am posting in the forum a year after I quit just because I miss it. 

     

    I did the same thing, taking time off and playing more casually.   I think I constantly had the feeling that things were "just getting good" when I had to log out.  Was hard for me to go from grand plans to more occasional play, and I think that's just because of my style of play.  Sort of reminds me of why I quit diving.  When I was a teenager diving in quarries and lakes was exciting, then diving on wrecks off of VA and NC was exciting.  Then I spent a summer doing research at a field station in San Salvador in the Bahamas where I got to dive every day on a 2000 foot wall with almost unlimited visibility and INSANE marine life like schooling hammerheads.  After that summer I was sort of done.  I could still easily make local trips but the prospect doesn't excite me at all.  And now that I'm married and my wife doesn't dive, I'm developing interests that we both share.  I'm not going to take her to the tropics so she can spend her vacation sitting on the dock waiting for me.

     

    To carry the analogy even further, I still encourage other people to try diving.  I helped the kid across the street get certified, and I still like to talk about it even though I am most definitely retired. 

     

    I like just knowing that EvE is there, and I want other people to try it.  I actually think it is a good experience for young people growing up in this "everyone gets a trophy" world.  Life isn't like that- just like EvE, it kicks you in the teeth... and if you want to succeed  you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and think your way through.  The world would be a better place if everyone's definition of "fun" wasn't having everything handed to you whenever you want it.  Things that are hard earned are SO much sweeter, and I think that is why EvE will always offer a different kind of experience.

  • HazelleHazelle Brampton, ONPosts: 760Member

    You claim that there's a natural lifespan of characters in eve online and back it up with a reason that doesn't have anything to do with the game itself.  Your reason for leaving applies to anything a person might take an interest in but no time to do.  Why did you stop playing WOW?  I didn't have the time to raid.  See?  Nothing of what you assert is intrinsic to eve online.

    The reason why you quit playing eve was because you couldn't balance the game with your life obligations.

    Every person that plays eve online has to set their own goals and for that reason their measure of success is their own to define and under this concept there is no catching up to vets to be made.  With all of your wealth, power, and skillpoints I didn't even know you quit playing the game or even played the game for that matter because you and I were never in the same race.

    Your post confirms the myth that "catching up" with vets is important in eve online.

    Your reasons for making this thread in the eve forum are flimsy and false to eve online so why did you make it again?

  • RobokappRobokapp Dublin, OHPosts: 5,206Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Enkindu2
    Originally posted by Hazelle

    tl;dr You biomassed your characters as a romantic grand gesture and you are going to great lengths trying to rationalize it to yourself.

    I'm pretty sure this is how religions start.

     

    Pretty sure you make pointless, snarky comments on the internet to make yourself feel more powerful :)

     

    The people that the post was intended for will understand what I'm talking about. 

    why must you be so defensive when you get a reply you don't agree with ?

     

    you won't get the whole forum to agree with you no matter what.

     

    it sucks your life no longer allows room for "living". it really does. it's a flaw of modern society and a shift from living to existing. It doesn't mean all of us have to accept it.

    image

  • asrlohzasrlohz UddevallaPosts: 645Member
    Originally posted by Enkindu2
    Originally posted by Hazelle

    tl;dr You biomassed your characters as a romantic grand gesture and you are going to great lengths trying to rationalize it to yourself.

    I'm pretty sure this is how religions start.

     

    Pretty sure you make pointless, snarky comments on the internet to make yourself feel more powerful :)

     

    The people that the post was intended for will understand what I'm talking about. 

    Chances are that if he is ashamed of his defense mechanisms, he will just disregard your comment on them. Most of us have gaming experiences that we treasure but alas cannot be replicated. His are no different, aside from the fact that you chose to put yours out for likeminded people to read. And people with superiority complexes alike.

     

    Just leave him to it. If you continue to argue with him he will just play the "I have made more comments on these forums than you, hence my opinion is worth"- card.

    image
  • KyleranKyleran Tampa, FLPosts: 20,008Member Uncommon
    Enkindu2, your reasons for leaving EVE are similar to my own. I played it on and off for almost 5 years of sub time, with as many as 4 accounts and no MMO is or was more fun for me.

    But like you said, there came a time when I no longer seemed to have the time to do what interested me in the game. I found myself having to log before the big battle, or worse, in the middle of it, and I was l missing all the fun.

    I tried to find activities that were carefully controlled and scheduled, like running wormhole or excursions but even those were too irregular to keep up and I couldn't participate in the inevitable PVP that ensued from defending the wormhole or wardeck.

    So like you I pretty much retired, not from a lack of interest, but a lack of time to pursue the activities I love. As you said, one day I might find time to play more (heck I'm only 9 years from retirement) so unlike you I still have my characters waiting in New Eden for me in case the day comes that I should return.

    In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.
    "I don't have one life, I have many lives" - Grunty
    Still currently "subscribed" to EVE, and only EVE!!!
    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  • Enkindu2Enkindu2 Hyperion, VAPosts: 26Member

    Kyleran, I've enjoyed your posts over the years.  Glad you understand where I'm coming from.  To the others of you that seem to think I've "lost balance" in my life because I retired from an MMO... thanks for the belly laugh I guess?

     

  • GrayKodiakGrayKodiak Nada, FLPosts: 576Member
    Originally posted by Enkindu2

    Kyleran, I've enjoyed your posts over the years.  Glad you understand where I'm coming from.  To the others of you that seem to think I've "lost balance" in my life because I retired from an MMO... thanks for the belly laugh I guess?

     

    Pretty sure you made the right choice for you and that is all that matters, running a corp...or a guild in other MMO's these are not just "fun" activities they are hard work...especially for the good ones, I don't think it is a balance issue I think it is a time reality issue...many Eve corporations have more logistics than a start up small business, and more employees to keep track of as well!

    When I was in high school I was part of a guild in UO that had 100's of people and we did GM coordinated events, large guild events with other guilds...story line stuff..personal story line stuff..

    I just don't have time for that now, I am not knocking the mechanics that make such things possible either, anymore than you are knocking the mechanics of Eve...they just are what they are. 

  • MalcanisMalcanis LondonPosts: 3,191Member
    Originally posted by Hazelle

    tl;dr You biomassed your characters as a romantic grand gesture and you are going to great lengths trying to rationalize it to yourself.

    I'm pretty sure this is how religions start.

     

    Um... you're coming across as a bit uptight there Haz me old mate.

    Give me liberty or give me lasers

  • Enkindu2Enkindu2 Hyperion, VAPosts: 26Member

    Komandor, just realized I missed your post back there.  Thanks!

     

    Also, thanks to everyone for posting.  I needed a little fix of EvE nostalgia. 

     

    Fly safe all!  Go forth and conquer the universe :)

  • ignore_meignore_me Apple Valley, CAPosts: 1,987Member
    Enjoyed reading the OP. It's about the journey, I agree.

    Survivor of the great MMORPG Famine of 2011

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