Confession of a Spaceship Captain

I’m going to admit something to myself (and you by consequence): Historically, I have been incredibly bad at the game of EVE. That is to say, that I’ve always been almost completely broke, never having any amount of savings, and not having a good kill record. Point of fact, right now, I believe I have about 10 million isk in my bank account. There are reasons for all of this of course, and I like to call them lessons. In EVE, being bad is only a temporary set-back if you learn from it, and I’ve had a lot of lessons in being “bad”, and I think it all boils down to a problem of ambition.

When I first started playing EVE, it was with a mix of many different dreams. There was so much to do, that it all sounded like amazing fun, and I wanted to do all of it. I wanted to do everything. Be the lone-wolf space pirate scourging any care-bear I find. The massive carrier pilot flying with impunity, ready to destroy anyone foolish enough to challenge me. A deep space explorer, finding wormholes and ancient technology. I wanted to build a base and own a corner of the universe with friends to start an empire. Or to fly a fighter ship and enjoy thrilling dogfights in massive air battles for my nation. So much to do!

So of course, I immediately headed for low-sec space. I attacked some people, died a lot. All while watching my sec status quickly plummet to under -5. By the time I started to actually learn what the game was about, and how foolish my first decision had been, shit had gone south. As I joined corporations, I became vividly aware of the realities of sec-status in Empire space. The number of ships I lost to Concord gate-ships easily numbers in the dozens (mostly Caracals). I keenly recall being in Blue Federation, joining a fleet and expressing concern that my sec-status will get me wrecked as I traveled to the 0.9 security system they had designated. I was assured of my safety.

That did not end well.

Consequently, a lot of my time in EVE has been practice in frustration, albeit, good frustration. The time has contained the feeling that persists when trying to solve a problem you KNOW there is a solution to, if you could just work at it a bit longer. A knot or logic problem that you could solve if you just had a little more time… But I get distracted, and go off to pursue another avenue of fun, and the next time, I landed in Null-sec, with a group of players that are good people, but probably not the right fit for my play-schedule. It was a corporation in the Romanian Legion, and I actually learned a lot in my time there. Of jump bridges, jump clones, and star maps.

To stop this from winding further into an abbreviated history of my time in EVE, I’ll summarize the sentiment with this: I never approached EVE with a concrete plan. I bounced around like a suger-high three-year old in shiny object factory. This last month of play for me has been very directed and intentional (for lack of a better word). I’m still a bit broke, but it’s from purchasing investments as opposed to loses. My plans going forward are to place myself on what is a more traditional evolutionary play-track for the game, perhaps 29 million skill-points later than usual. Once I feel I have a solid handle and a happy cushion in my wallet, I’ll see about moving onto other endeavors.

This is one of the great things about EVE, no matter where you may be, you can still achieve in the game, because all your goals and markers are of your own making. Success is defined by the player.

(Some) non-topical topics

I had a decent weekend. Wife’s birthday saw  us with friends at a new-to-us sushi place, where we were loud. People were throwing evil-eyes at us. Screw them, I enjoyed my hot sake, edamame, and spicy tuna. My mother-in-law was kind enough to let our daughter spend the night at her place so we could entertain and enjoy ourselves. After dinner, said friends came over, and had a few drinks while playing some really amusing games. One game, called Pass the Popcorn, had my wife at grabbing my shoulder and shaking my arm like a rag-doll while screaming, “Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuckity-fuck fuck! FUCK!”. I heard my shirt tear.

Last night, like every other red-blooded American, I was watching the super-bowl (mostly). All I wanted was for the Packer’s to lose, good commercials, and maybe a decent half-time show. I failed to receive any of that. The Steelers lost despite a commendable second-half recovery, the best commercial was a Pepsi Max commercial of some blonde getting hit in the head with a pop-can, and the half-time show was god-awful bad  as it was plagued by technical issues (why in the world didn’t a couple of the 100s of white-jump suit wearing extras sneak extra mic’s on stage, or maybe the crew standing under the platform?), all covered with a terrible impersonation of Axel Rose by a shim wearing a sparkly approximation of football pads. But the food was good.

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Get what you pay for

The irony is not lost on me.

The free version of Champions Online epitomizes that phrase. A game that was (as I see it) all about crafting your own unique superhero, freedom to be who you want and what you want, reduced to premade builds, and not even a strong assortment of builds. There was an ice guy and a fire guy. A “specialist” (read: Deadpool) and a sword guy. A telepath, but not a telekinetic. An archer and a soldier. A few more, but really, a “meh” selection overall. I tried to play it for a couple of minutes last night, but couldn’t get past the first few quests in the intro. When I saw the selection of possible choices had nothing to interest me, it completely deflated my ambition to continue. I may go back and give it another whirl, or possibly see about converting my existing character on my other account, so I don’t have to go through the low level stuff again, but I won’t hold my breath on that.

So I went and played some Black Ops on my PS3 (AndrewSquared on the PSN), and got raped a little more gently than usual. At least I knew what I was getting going into it.