Monday, March 24, 2008

Eve-Online: An incredible parody of the real world

If I were coerced, under threat of podding, to state the one best thing that CCP has done for the game, then I would tell my warp-scrambling captors about Eve being a MMORPG like no other: not Second Life, not WoW, not Ultima Online. Eve is full of market rivalry, corp thefts and assassinations, scammers, the rise and fall of power blocs starting massive wars on whims and fighting each other for resources (George Bush and his ‘WMD’ excuse to control oil output from the Middle East, anyone?). Simply put, CCP has been a pioneer in the gaming industry to build such a realistic virtual reality world, despite the frequent lagfest, nerfs, and bugs that everyone bitches about. The complexity of Eve is what gives rise to the steep learning curve that every newbie has to go through when he/she first starts playing.

In this entry I shall attempt to give a scientific (read: nerdy) explanation of why I think what happens in Eve is eerily similar to what happens in the real world. Take internal discord in certain alliances for instance. A paragraph taken verbatim from an interview with Frederick of BRUCE (who has a very good grasp on social psychology I might add) on Eve Tribune states:

“Any time a group is put into a position of stress, one of two things occurs.
A) The group attacks itself, fragments, and as you said, bleeds out members.
B) The membership bands together, becomes super-supportive, and covers each other's backs twice as hard.”

Ain’t that true. We’ve seen enough of A and B in our own alliance lately. A massive hemorrhage happened last week due to someone fanning a fire. However, most who left were already not involved in alliance affairs, or couldn’t care less and wanted to leave to do their own things anyway. I viewed it as a good time and excuse to get rid of all the rotten apples in our corp. Amazingly, for every 10 who left, 20 stayed behind and offered immense amount of support. Dalic, our new CEO, is highly motivated and has already started turning some wheels for us to inject new blood into the alliance, as well as getting some potential juicy targets for us to shoot at. He sure has a lot on his plate, and I admire him for taking up the job with gusto when there are some bad feelings for him. It is a fine line to tread between being completely drained of blood and just getting rid of the bad blood, but he will most likely succeed in completely revamping this corp and alliance when teamwork is enforced and encouraged.

Also, for anyone who is interested, here is an excellent blog entry by Terra Nova that describes the tension between pvpers (cowgals - me!) and the carebears in an alliance. It's an in-depth analysis of social psychology again, so don't bother reading if your eyes bleed easily. Specifically, the entry mulls over the difference between the casual pvper, the hardcore FC positions, alliance leadership, and industrialists. It makes good dinner-time/pretending-to-work-time reading, and I will writing up my own musings as an FC in a future post.

Eve is indeed a unique game. I have experienced far more leadership, conspiracies, camaraderie, manipulations, courage, and risk-taking in the 9 months that I’ve been playing, than any opportunities I’ve come across in college. Everyone says it’s a game. But it sure as hell is a deep game that mirrors the real world.

In other news: I have decided to train for a recon probe launcher on my rapier. Much more tasty blood could’ve been got if we had a prober in our fleet. *bears little vampire fangs* Also, I seem to have hit a motherload (of places with things to kill)! More to come on that.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

It's a Crazy Universe

While not going too much into sensitive details, I must say that I am unhappy with the amount of drama that has been happening within the alliance and my corp. One of our main pvp corps has left recently for IRON, leaving our stations looking somewhat empty and forlorn. While they have not really been one of the main anchors of the alliance, preferring to run their own ops instead of alliance ops, I do respect many of their FCs. They were also fairly enthusiastic on defense ops – it’s too bad that we live in the New Zealand of Eve, so gun-toting tourists want to come visit but are a bit put off by the distance.

The whole point of EVE-Online is PVP, so I can understand why they bailed. (Carebears may disagree, but without pvp you would not have industry.) Personally I am none too impressed with the current performance of Rule. Being an alliance FC, I call ops weekly but am usually met by groans and moans, or players pretending to be afk while I scour our home systems prior to departure. Yes guys, I do check on you. Last night we went out to enemy space in nano ships and I saw quite a few alliance members, who I know own and can fly nano ships, hiding in their little ratting pocket/home stations. If we had about 20 in fleet I would’ve taken us to Insurgency space, and we’d probably have died, but at least it will be tons of fun.

That said, I wonder why I remain in Ro3 when I can be learning so much more about PVP in say, Insurgency. The lack of a disciplined and organized leadership has led to soap operas one after the other. So why am I staying and rallying what’s left of us?

Camaraderie. Loyalty. Stubbornness. That, and we have the potential to become the next IRON.

Potential, I hear you ask? Where is the potential when we are falling apart? Why don’t I jump off with the others before the ship sinks like a Titanic?

EMD leadership is working on getting some exciting new blood into the alliance. One of the corps has a gung-ho gal as CEO and main FC. Can you imagine how exciting that is? Two female FCs leading two fleets and pwning our enemies? I can almost hear the catcalls in your heads, which must have fallen into the gutters with a big wet splash by now. At least 30 more active pvpers. I hope this gal is going to be a hard ass on her corp if they don’t show up for ops.

If you gotta go, you gotta go. However, I am sticking around and patching the holes in the bottom of the boat while rotten seaweed gets ditched. It is time for old blood to go and fresh blood to feed us. In 3 weeks’ time, I will be making my final decision of the worthiness of the alliance. Meanwhile, I am staying to help our leaders make some difficult decisions, and to boost the morale of our troops.

Nah, not girl-on-girl action. Get your own happy pill. \o/

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


No, not the hallucinating kind made famous by a number of 80s celebrities. I will be out of town for a few days and returning on Sunday.

A lot of things have been going on lately. I am not at liberty to give out corp or alliance information, but all I can say is that we must band together if we are to live out in 0.0. Right now there are too many selfish parties serving their own interests and many alliance leadership/FCs are understandably frustrated when nobody shows up to defense or roaming ops. For cripes sake this is a 0.0 alliance, not some pirating/carebearing/mission-running alliance. And if everyone just wants to do their own things then well, we all know the saying about chopsticks: A bunch of chopsticks bound together can make a strong fence, but how easy it is to snap one by itself.

I am pleased to say that things have been improving slightly. Should we ever part ways, I will always remember the few who I enjoyed flying with most. Y'all know yourselves.

Til then, fly safe!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Comedy in 0.4

Now what ought I write about today? Better be something that lightens up the mood. I shall… write-up my experience in empire as an empire noob! (No, I didn’t get ganked by the Privateers.)

Some days ago, I sat twiddling my thumbs in a trendy bar in lowsec Empire with a bunch of Brutor dudes (all with sunglasses – you trying to cover a black eye or something sir?), waiting for my neural networks to get to grasp with the fact that I need to jump clone to home space asap. Been taking a hiatus from killing lately – had to ensure my wallet can keep up. I had just returned from picking up and selling some fine loot from the south, but needed another 5 hours before my brain can handle the shock of transferring my soul across the universe again. I was bored to tears sitting in empire with only my trusty crow in the docking bay, and the fact that my corp mates were coming and going back home via cynosural fields didn’t help one bit.

I hit up a friendly Atlas guy who was chilling in his command ship outside the station, who had just scared away a pirate looking for easy kills. After some admiration of his golden Amarr ship he asked if I wanted to test his tank. Men do like to flex their muscles for the ladies, don’t they? Anyway, I agreed, slid into my little Red Vixen and guided the nimble crow out of the hangar. Corpies frequently shoot each other at home anyway, when we are feeling lazy and have no enemies to train our crosshairs on. Good bonding activity, and this guy seemed like a sexy one to bond to. Not one of those shady Matari guys – he was of royal Amarr upbringing.

I steered towards the fearsome command ship. And before the gentleman can jettison a can for me to pick up (so I may flag myself to him), I fired my little ‘Arbalest’ missiles at him.

About half a volley later, I was floating around sadly in my little pod, trying to cover up my parts. Did I mention how distracting it is to be forcibly ejected out of a burning ship into space while being minimally clothed? Apparently, having lived out in 0.0 for the better part of half a year, and renounced my ways of the ebil piratess, I had completely forgotten that sentry gunners do not like to see any pew pew near their stations. Especially those freaky Matari gunners. Or maybe they just liked to have me in a pod, seeing that I turned down their advances in the bar earlier.

I didn’t want anyone looting my crow, so I promptly hopped into the tiny Ibis with a single chunk of tritanium in it, and undocked – hoping to pick up the remains of my pricey ship.

The result is an even sadder Ibis wreck floating along with my Crow wreck, both bearing the mark of EMD. And I had to try to cover up my bits again. I should consider bringing a towel next time.

Back in the station, the friendly command ship pilot gallantly picked up my wreck for me. Thankfully, the only modules that got blown up in my brave excursion were my two ‘Arbalest’ launchers, an overdrive unit, and a named webifier. One of my entrepreneurial corpmates told me to guilt trip the dude into paying for half the ship, which I did with my female charms. The fellow laughed and gave me 10 million isk. Not bad. And then it got late and we decided to bid each other adieu.

Luckily I didn’t have “FC” in my title. What would Atlas think of us…


Special acknowledgement to Sir CollTerminator of Atlas, for his charming company and the giggles!

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