I am, by nature, an observer. I am fascinated by watching people play Eve and the different approaches they take to doing so.

The way skills are applied to a character over time in this game makes this hobby of observation even more compelling for me. It’s very different, isn’t it? No amount of grinding will make any difference to the ability of your character to be competent in the operation of a particular ship.

It doesn’t finish there, however. CCP has allowed for a certain amount of circumvention of this handicap.

Firstly, there is the provision of higher meta modules; allowing for higher performance of an existing ship with the expenditure of ISK, right up to silly amounts of ISK for faction, dead-space and officer modules.

Next, there is the availability of faction ships, navy and pirate, to further enhance your characters’ abilities. Being Eve, of course, the end result is usually highly entertaining loss-mails due to the predatory nature of nasty ebil piwates and the suchlike.

The third option is the one that fascinates me the most, though. That is, the purchase of already skilled characters through the character bazaar. These generate even more entertaining loss-mails, usually an amusing number of loss-mails.

I have purchased a character, just the once. I obtained a mining character for myself, something I did to enable me to participate in corp mining ops and also to enable me to do a modest amount of manufacturing. It proved to be a handy purchase that I have never regretted at all.

Having said that, my purpose was simply to buy a character I would never have wanted to sacrifice the training time to have and, most importantly, it is not a combat pilot.

We recently had a new member join us, with one character that had about six million skill points. He subsequently  discovered the character bazaar. He opened the wallet, flicked out the credit card and purchased a second character; a focused Tengu pilot for ratting. Then he got a carrier pilot. Then he got a Vindicator pilot to replace the Tengu pilot which he sold off. The credit card is probably starting to look a little faded, I would think.

Filled with a wonderful sense of empowerment that often comes with a sudden surge in ability, his next stated target was (naturally) a super-cap.

Meanwhile, another force was coming to bear upon our pilot buying super warrior, much to the relief of his credit card, I’m sure..

He lost interest in the game and has disappeared from our ranks. He has posted an AFK notice in the corp forums as per requirements; I have my doubts as per his return, however. The reason is pretty simple. One of the compelling things about Eve is the challenge of gradually growing your pilots skills alongside your own.  The constant frustration of not being able to quite do what you want to do generates a need to turn that next corner, no matter the wait.

This way it takes years before you finally get into a super-cap, discover how little you’re allowed to use it and go and play WoT or MWO.

Or you just buy characters to avoid the wait. And then … “now what?” What is there left to accomplish? a few weeks or months of “yeah, I’ll log on to give you a bridge.” Then the inevitable fade away. Our wallet warrior didn’t even get that far before burnout overtook him.

I’m glad I purchased my mining character. I’m now busy training his manufacturing and PI skills, shouldn’t be more than a year or two …

I’m also deeply grateful I spent over two years training up Blast to fly half decent sub-caps.

Now, I just need to get my blaster skills to 5 …

It’s all in the mind, you know.


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