Hobbies

I don’t comment on CCP and it’s handling of matters very much any more and that’s not without good reason. There are more than enough bloggers out there doing exactly that, my contributions to this would be but a drop in a very broad ocean and of no great value to anyone.

I also tend not to tell great stories, because there are many that do this and feel quite passionate about it too, see here and here if you doubt my veracity on this point. Two excellent story writers with very different approaches and disparate loyalties to separate parts of Eve.

What I do write about is my enjoyment of my time playing Eve as a game. The laughs and good times of a bunch of comical people, spending their hard won couple of hours of game time every day together as a bunch of mates.

I don’t have many readers and that’s fine with me. I am ignored by the wider blogging community and that’s no problem either. I write what I want, when I want and if someone wants to read it and enjoys the time it took to do so I am happy for them and thank them for their time.

Our corp doesn’t have many members and that too is fine with me. Because they play Eve the way I play Eve and not too many people do. Most people not of our corp who know us envy our camaraderie but would not want to be a part of us. They see us as weird and not altogether sane and they’re possibly right. However WE like us, just as we gain great amusement from the bemusement of others. We are a club of misfits and weirdos and we love it. Occasionally a new misfit comes along and we accept them with open arms, but only after making sure they are weird enough to stay and enjoy themselves. Others have actually begged to join, but our CEO has knocked them back, because he knows they would end up leaving in rage and frustration at our total lack of commitment to, well, anything really.

All of the above is why I believe Eve is more of a hobby than a game.

With hobbies, you have different levels of commitment; populated by a wide variety of characters who all believe they have it right while the others have it wrong. We need an example … let’s take something I know a little about; music.

Now with music as a hobby, you have a spectrum ranging from children at school learning to drive their parents mad with a recorder (an instrument which should have a classification as a concealable weapon) to professional musicians earning a living off their art. Let’s think about that for a minute.

How much time does professional playing take? The answer is – most of your time on a daily basis, believe me. How much time does casual playing take? A few minutes a day to almost never. Now we come to the cruncher; who gets the most enjoyment from their time playing music?

If you say the professional muso – wrong answer. Because I said, who gets the most enjoyment FROM THEIR TIME PLAYING music?

The correct answer is, of course, BOTH of them. While they are engaged in the actual playing of their instrument, both the spotty five year old with the plastic recorder and the fifty year old pro muso are having fun, lots of it. There may well be a great disparity in the enjoyment of their playing by any audience they may have, but I am talking about the individual who is paticipating in the act, not the onlookers (onlisteners is not a word, I looked it up).

Let’s not forget the different genres of music either; for your own safety, don’t suggest blues is music to a jazz muso. Meanwhile a blues muso will tell you the best way to create a jazz quartet is to kick a four piece blues band down the stairs.

So it is with Eve players. I hate to break it to the rabidly fanatical PVP’ers out there, but I know some 2003 players who have tried PVP several times and pronounced it a complete pain in the arse. CCP has been garnering subs out of these guys non stop for the last eight years on several accounts and NONE of them PVP. Oh sure, when they’re in null sec they x up in fleet and go along when they have to, but it isn’t what floats their boat, I can assure you.

Some will meta game and have RL meetings in international hotels to make important decisions about their null sec alliance, some will join a small gang in low sec and roam for a couple of hours to garner a good fight or two. Some will wait an hour to form up a two hundred man fleet to go on a six hour op without a problem; others will jump into a high sec mission for half an hour before their favourite show comes on telly.

ALL of them are having fun, ALL of them have it right –  for them.

Here’s where it gets interesting for CCP though. They have, probably unwittingly, created an electronic hobby rather than a computer game. The trouble is, they now have this veritable pantheon of different types of players to please.

They’ve tried the standard “Marketing Is Everything” approach and managed to grab back the steering wheel from the accountants/salespeople just before they had a physics lesson from a very large financial tree.

They are now frantically trying to do everything in their power to please everyone – tricky thing that, being as how it’s impossible to do so completely.

So they balance on the edge of the precipice and the release of the Crucible expansion will dictate their future. The basic details have all been given an airing to test the waters and the tweaking and fiddling has begun in earnest. The blogging community (the one that writes about such things) is undoubtedly being scrutinised very carefully for guidance as to where adjustments are required.

I have to say, they seem to be doing a bang up job so far. Mainly because no one seems to be completely happy, but mostly happy. This is the best way forward to pleasing everyone, because if you please one group completely, you have to pee in someone elses Corn Flakes. So the Gankers are smiling at the thought of the tier three battlecruisers whilst groaning about the auto pilot changes and the remote rep change, etc. etc. The list goes on and on.

Only time will tell, of course. I wish CCP all the very best and I hope this turns out to be the best expansion ever, it needs to be.

Oh, I never actually gave my own opinion as to which is the best way to play Eve, did I?

That’s because, like everyone elses opinion – it doesn’t bloody matter.

It’s all in the mind, you know.

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