Wednesday, January 15, 2014

So, I'm In A Weird Place Right Now...

...and I don't mean just in-game.

I've spent the last two weeks re-familiarizing myself with Eve, and it's amazing how quickly so much of it has come back and how easily I've fallen back into the rhythm of this game. I've been running security and distribution missions all over high-sec and doing well enough that I'm now flying a well-fit Thorax that can (currently) put four medium scout drones in space. It holds its own pretty well on level two missions, but I'm still regularly running into situations where I know there's no way my little cruiser is going to be able to win and end up having to bail the mission, at least until I can come back with something stronger and more durable.

I'm ok with where I am in-game right now, but I've spent so much time and focus on getting there, and frankly, just enjoying being back in New Eden for the first time in a very long time, that I haven't spent any time thinking about what I was going to do when the free trial time was up. Today's the last day. Decision time.

It occurs to me that  Eve is an odd game. For an MMO, that is. There's plenty of mission-based content to teach you the basics but beyond that what you do in Eve is pretty much up to you. Most of these games, no matter how "sandboxy" they appear, tend to force or at least strongly urge the player along some sort of pre-determined path, whether it's from mission to mission, or more commonly, region to region. In just the couple of weeks since I've returned to Eve I've been to and run missions in all four empires and the Ammatar Mandate. I go where the agents are, crisscrossing high-sec as I need to.

It's really a completely different game structure than what most people, including me, are used to. Don't get me wrong, I love a good overarching story as much as anyone, but do I really need one to validate my gaming?

That's kind of where my head is at right now.Recently, I've spent a lot of time with Star Trek Online, which is what I left Eve for originally. In between now and then, I played STO for about a year, left that to play several other games, then came back to STO just after the recent Romulan exansion was released. I still enjoy STO, but I've reached the point where I've played all the new content and so I'm starting to get bored with it again.

This would probably be a good time to mention that I'm seriously ADD. For-real-no-fucking-around-misnaming-a-short-attention-span-but-actually-diagnosed-by-a-real-doctor ADD. It's not something that's curable, you just learn to live with it and make it work for you. What this means for me in the context of gaming is that a game not only has to win my interest initially, it has to work to keep me interested.

Here's the thing, though: When you're talking about story-based games, new content requires often long waiting periods for new chapters in the story to be released. Eve's updates usually have very little to do with actually new content in terms of story, it's more about adding to and improving on what's already there. When I feel the need for new content in Eve I can simply start doing something different because there's so many options. I don't have sit and wait to wait for new content to be fed to me, I have to go out there and find it for myself. I like that...I like it a lot.

What's really making me uncertain about re-subscribing to Eve doesn't have anything to do with Eve itself, it has to do with me. I know myself well enough to know that sooner or later I'll probably become bored with Eve and start playing other things. Could be a month from now, could be a year, or it could be three years, like it was the last time I played. The truth is that I have no idea. What I do know is that the last time I decided to move on from Eve, I'd bought a years' sub and basically wasted six month's worth of access I never used. I'd don't like wasting money on stuff I don't use and so I'm skittish about pulling the trigger on buying gaming time I may or may not use.

I'm still not sure what I'm going to do, but I am thinking about it. By tomorrow, I hope I'll have an answer.

No comments: