Monday, 15 March 2010

EVE Blog Banter #16: Beyond the Shortcuts

Welcome to the sixteenth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to crazykinux@gmail.com. Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

The third Blog Banter of 2010 comes to us from ChainTrap of the Into the unknown with gun and camera EVE Blog. He asks us: "Eve University turns six years old on March 15th; six years spent helping the new pilots of New Eden gain experience and understanding in a supportive environment. Eve is clearly a complicated game, with a ton to learn, so much that you never stop learning. So, the question is; What do you wish that someone had taken the time to tell you when you were first starting out? Or what have you learned in the interim that you'd like to share with the wider Eve community?"

I believe that the state of mind with which you approach EVE is the critical thing to develop. It is easy for the new player to begin playing the game with inaccurate expectations and misconceptions that will just lead to disappointment. EVE is a strange creature in the general gaming landscape and does not quite fit any conventional template. If you've ever tried to explain the concept of EVE to someone who has never played it, you'll understand how challenging it is.

The well-used mantra "don't fly what you can't afford to lose" is the essence of the mindset required, but there is much more to it than that. New Eden can seem like a harsh and unforgiving place to those unprepared for it. However, with the right approach and armed with the appropriate knowledge, new players will find New Eden is indeed unforgiving and harsh. They just won't mind as much.

The brutally honest but intimidating statement made on the forums by an EVE player by the name of Sin Meng sums EVE up thusly;

"EVE is like a sandbox with landmines, deal with it."

With all this in mind, what follows are several basic tenets that I believe any new player would do well to consider.



Tabula Rasa [The philosophical concept, not the failed MMO.]
"You must unlearn what you have learned." - Yoda

Leave your preconceptions at the door. At a fundamental level EVE operates differently to other games. Your game experience will be so much better if you allow yourself to learn the nature and behaviour of the EVE universe rather than becoming frustrated when it behaves in a way you did not expect. Many conventional games are shallow and ordinary by comparison, EVE offers a unique experience. You need to be prepared for that.


Patience
"He that can have patience can have what he will." - Benjamin Franklin

In New Eden, although some things appear to happen with lightning speed, you can be sure that there was much slow-paced planning and thought that led up to that lightning strike. EVE is not a game of instant gratification, but the rewards are much greater for that very reason. Even the most bloodthirsty PVPers have to exercise patience at the gate-camp or on the roam for victims.

On a broader level, just because there's something you can't do in-game at the moment, doesn't mean it's not coming. EVE has the ability to evolve and continues to grow from strength to strength. In the first year of release, I became frustrated with the amount of work involved in maintaining a multi-corporation organisation and eventually buckled under the workload, ultimately cancelling my account. Less than a year later, the Alliance mechanic was introduced. If only I'd been a little more patient...


Diligence
"The Law of the Seven Ps: Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss-Poor Performance." - British Military saying.

The developers, CCP, have poured a lot of resources into the New Player Experience and I'm sure the in-game tutorials available will give an invaluable grounding in the basic mechanics of the game. However, the sheer volume of content in EVE and the way it has developed over the last seven years means that official documentation is often hard to find, cryptic, out-of-date or just non-existent. I think it is intended that way, it's part of EVE's charm.

EVE's 'learning cliff' is well-documented, however it can be circumvented by taking your time and not being afraid of a bit of reading. There's no shame in feeling a bit bewildered - that's pretty much the status quo for most players. No-one playing this game knows everything about it even after years of playing. I wonder if now there is even a CCP developer who can make that claim. EVE has an award-winning community who are prolific producers of guides, discussions, blogs, web/phone applications and just about any other resource you could hope for. If you need to know how to do something in EVE, the information is out there somewhere.

Welcome to the meta-game.


Fortitude
"The man who never made a mistake never made anything." - David Gemmell

The oft-quoted EVE saying "don't fly what you can't afford to lose" also applies here, but don't let that be a deterrent for getting stuck in. EVE is a game, games are fun. If you're not having fun you're not playing it right. Once you've got enough cash to replace your losses, an adequate clone and some insurance, there's no reason not to afford yourself a bit of recklessness. Go and try something that will probably get you killed. See if you were right. If you were then see if you can think your way around the problem (most likely by not doing it again). Maybe you'll come up with something that others don't know about.

In EVE suicide is painless, providing you're prepared for it.


Restraint
"Don't play with time you can't afford to waste."

EVE is a time-hungry beast. Anything you can achieve in two hours you can achieve at least twice as much of in four, right? Whilst mathematically a sound concept, bear in mind the possibility of a creeping invasion into your real life. Keep things in perspective because, given the opportunity, EVE will consume more time than you can give whilst convincing you that there really is nothing more important to do. Exercise some discipline, both with the amount of time and how you use it. Your game experience will benefit.


---oo0O0oo---


In conclusion, I think it's all about understanding the nature of the beast. In entertainment terms, EVE is like playing a game of chess against a stock market analyst whilst reading a good book and trying to watching The Top 100 Space Battles playing on television in the background. It's all there to do but you probably shouldn't do it all at once. Pace yourself, learn to enjoy EVE a little bit at a time. There's no rush, The future is endless.

Happy 6th birthday to EVE University.


Here's what others have said on the subject of Blog Banter #16:

List of Participants
  1. CrazyKinux: The Three Pillars of Wisdom
  2. The Elitist: Helping the new guy/gal
  3. Hands Off, My Loots: Nothing Needed
  4. Rantuket: Blog Banter 16
  5. EVE Opportunist: Nooby Cluey
  6. Into the Unknown With Gun and Camera: EVE University
  7. Zero Kelvin: We’re the young ones!
  8. I am Keith Neilson: Set Your Destination
  9. Prano's Journey: Just Like the Very First Time
  10. A Merry Life and a Short One: No Seriously
  11. Yarrbear Tales: Nublet 101
  12. A Mule In EVE: If I only knew
  13. The Planet Risk Show: Dared to be Bold
  14. Diary of a Space Jockey: WTH did I get myself into?!
  15. EVOGANDA: Why?
  16. A Memoir From Space: 16th Blog Banter
  17. Death’s Sweetest Kiss: Who What When Where Why How??
  18. Freebooted: Beyond the Shortcuts
  19. Learning to Fly: Noobing
  20. Caldari Outcast: My First Blog Banter Post!
  21. Roc's Ramblings: Financial Survival
  22. Diary of a Pod Pilot: Free Knowledge Inside
  23. Nullsec Carebear: I could've been less of an idiot
  24. Facepalm's Ramblings: Something Smells Fishy
  25. Kirith Darkblade: Do you wish to know more?
  26. Autopilot Disabled: I'm still starting...
  27. Finders & Keepers: Relax
  28. Confounded Capsuleer: What have you got to loose?
  29. Clan Oriana: Sixteen
  30. Flashfresh: EVE Blog Banter #16
  31. Rettic's Log: The Chronofile: You Make EVE
  32. More to come soon...

2 comments:

  1. An excellent post. Great read and top advice.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete

Lay it on me.