Well its been a while since I played, and with the recent windfall I thought I’d sign up for another go at the internet spaceships game EVE Online– which has a reputation as being
an MMO so unforgiving and all consuming that this chart was doing the rounds last year with tongue only slightly in cheek.
I’ve been playing it, on and off, for more years than I care to recall – certainly at least five years – with different degrees of immersion, from a rookie pilot to being involved to a rising mid-low security zone based corporation through to being an active combat munchkin in alliance-wide wars in the lawless 0.0 zones. And then, with real life needing attention, dropping out of actively playing, becoming a solo player drifting along as a distraction from the competing concerns of work, illness and divorce. Over the last couple of years I’ve barely played at all – and let my subscription lapse while being a full-time carer for t’other half while she had three prolapsed discs in her spine and the contracts dried up.
EVE recently had some major overhauls though – and as a departed player they were keen to try and lure me back to the fold. A big part of what they’re working on, feted as their vision for the future, aside from reducing the effects of network latency and eliminating exploits – has been the introduction of the Carbon engine for the creation of user Avatars. My first attempt to use their system is shown on the right here – and to begin tying together the PC/Mac/Linux platformed game with their upcoming PS3-based FPS game Dust514.
As part of the renewed push to gee-up subscribers, they recentlyalso started to push out extended free trials. They’d done fourteen and twenty one day trials, but for the Christmas period they’ve introduced a sixty day trial. My daughter had been taking an interest, and over the years had certainly peered over my shoulder at the pretty things on the screen, so this time we thought “why not?”
So now we have another way to keep in touch while apart – we’re both playing in a persistent single-shard MMO where we can chat and play our respective games – and where we can help each other out. She’s on the really steep part of the learning curve at the moment, so most of our conversations currently go along the lines of: “I’ve taken a mission to do X – and gone to this place, but how do I make the drone do this?” or “Ah, before being able to do that, we need to get some training in place – these are useful essential skillbooks to buy that will make things easier…”
Its an interesting evolution of our online life and communications I’d not anticipated, and its got the additional effect of rekindling my interest in this very complex game – in between the writing, housework and preparations for christmas and, oh yes, this small matter of the wedding next year…