March 23, 2011 13 Comments
I’ve never partaken. Perhaps if the term “hydraboxing” had stuck, I’d be more apt to have partaken of such an awesomely named feat. In reality, I’ve just never felt a particular compulsion to do so in any game. I’d always rather have grouped up with other players and gone out to do our thing. In some games, like WAR, I always felt like it would take away from what the bulk of the fun involved was. That’s not to say that I have anything against player who do it, and even in WAR I was a defender of guy who was well-known for doing this. I just always found it not to be something of entertainment value for me, so the temptation was always non-existent.
The reality of EVE, and it’s skills, is that the game is SO big, and SO insanely large, that there is almost no way for any one person to ever train everything. What, in other games, would be considered “beating the game” by getting max level, is an impossibility (more or less). I believe the last figure I heard, a couple of years ago, was 7 years to train every skill to its max level. That’s real-time – and you can only have one character per account training at a time (no alts can learn while you’re main does). So, unless you started playing at launch, you’re nowhere near to having that thought even enter your head. There’s a little bit of me that thinks the EVE universe will implode and be recreated when someone stops having a skill to train.
Because of that dynamic to the game, there are pros and cons to playing EVE. The pro, is that there is no real “end game”. You play the game how you want to play, and can enjoy it for what it is. The con, comes from wanting to do multiple things. Now that I’ve reached a very strong level of ability in my missile skills, I’ve been picking up a lot of other, “ancillary” skills and am constantly swapping in the early levels of a new one to gain the use of something I find will be helpful. The real-time limitation is still a hard limitation, but it can be circumvented by having a second account, and let you learn twice the number of skills in the same amount of time.
In EVE, this is a VERY common practice, especially for those who pirate, or live in null-sec space. Because a persons security status can effectively keep them out of a lot of the heavily populated regions of space, it’s often useful to have a second account to be your “face” to the civilized world of empire space. That other account can also be a miner, who you run simultaneously, and does his boring, dull job, while you spend your time doing more active stuff. So, the temptation for me to have multiple active accounts of the same game for self-reinforcement is a new draw on me.
There are two things keeping me from making the plunge. The first, as usual, is the money. Do I want to spend another $15 a month on the same game? I usually try to only run one game at a time as it is. When I’m feeling a bit MMO floundering, I may have two or three going just to bounce back and forth for a bit until something grabs me. The vast majority of my MMO time is spent with only one game account active at a time. The other reason may seem a bit silly, but a big part of me hates that this is the solution that arose in the virtual world.
In my perfect place of a virtual world, the role that players are seeking to fulfill with a second character (faceman, dealer, fence, personal miner/crafter, etc..), would all be things fulfilled by other players. It would be amazing to see a game restrict PLAYERS to one account. It’s not something that is any way feasible, so don’t get your panties in a twist telling me it would never work, still I’d love to see it. If each person was limited to one character, one account, the decisions they made on what they did would incredibly interesting. I also think it would lead to all sorts of emergent play and behavior. In Eve, couriers would find constant work, and could start a player-owned business that specializes in transport and delivery. Other players could start brokers and commissioned sellers/buyers, who train skills that focus on market use and their ability to find the best deals/prices for players who aren’t able willing to do so. The possibilities would be endless, and I think, incredibly enticing.