You've probably noticed that things have been a bit quiet around here. Admittedly, not because I haven't started about a half dozen blog posts each week, only to throw them out in frustration. I definitely have things to say, but have been having a terrible time putting those things into words.
Over the last few months I've been wrestling with the decision of whether or not to quit EVE permanently. I'm not telling you this because I'm about to declare some sort of ultimatum to CCP. I'm not going rage quit, or stand on some sort of soap box and declare that some game mechanic is broken and this is why I'm wanting to leave and that CCP better 'fix it or else.'
I'm telling you so that you can better understand my current state of mind. Bitter Vet lvl V has been officially attained, so to speak.
Lately, a lot of EVE feels like discussion about game mechanics. I have a hard time finding the stories that used to make me love the game. Not role playing stories, mind you, but the stories of things happening in-game --grand corp thefts, massive wars with differing sides chucking propaganda at each other --politics, and etc. Instead, everywhere I turn there is analysis about 'the mechanics' and rage over mechanics or the lack of mechanics and etc. And, I have found that this has often crept into my own writing.
When was the last time I told you a story about an awesome fight or campaign or interesting thing that happened in militia? It has been a while.
This is problematic for me, mostly because of 'real life.' In the real world, I am a software engineer/analyst. In particular, I fix issues and develop what could be called our version of 'little things.' My day job comprises of analyzing the code and design of various things and making our customers' lives a whole lot better.
Some of the blog posts I've started over the last few months (and promptly ditched when I realized what I was doing) had titles like EVE's Top Five Worst GUI's that CCP needs to Fix, 30 Little Things I Wish CCP would Improve, and 15 Ways they Could make the Contract System Better, along with an analysis or two of the pros and cons of CCP's release cycle/agile development being used in a game development context among other things. Truth be told, I've occasionally caught myself logging in for the express purpose of analyzing a game mechanic and how it could be made better.
For me, EVE has started to feel almost like the extension of my day job. I spend all day trying to improve business software, then come home to 'play a game' wherein I spend time trying to helpfully come up with constructive analysis on how to fix that too. Mainly, because I have nothing else to write about it seems.
So, I'm not entirely sure what to do with this revelation at this point in time. Quitting EVE is on the table, as is completely shutting down this blog entirely.
I've already explained that not a lot is going on in EVE. I've considered 'doing something else,' finding a new corporation, or etc. And, this might happen eventually. However, looking at recruitment posts, and forum posts, and killboards, I get this sneaking suspicion that this apathetic feeling I get from militia and my alliance is actually much more widespread. I get the feeling that 'going somewhere else' would just be trading one semi-AFK group for another.
And then the little 'sandbox voice' pipes up. This is a sandbox. We're meant to create our own content. CCP should not be responsible for giving you content that you're just going to get bored with again as time goes on.
I'm beginning to really hate that little voice.
So, I think "I should not just be the whiny moany person that constantly complains that there is nothing to do. Waaa, I'm bored." So I roll up my sleeves, ready to do...something. Perhaps help wake up my alliance, get some fleets going, and be a good EVE citizen.
And then I draw a blank. Campaign...for what? Fleet....for what?
Maybe we could kill someone's POS. But why? Let's shoot this random structure for no reason or benefit...
Maybe we could take the entire warzone!...for...the....112th....time....
Maybe we could all go to nullsec and....no....not going to happen.
The reality is that this is a game and I expect it to be entertaining. I know what the 'sandbox voice' says. I know that this might go against what people think about tools and yadda yadda yadda. But I seriously believe that CCP has a responsibility to some extent of providing entertainment. Making EVE fun NEEDS to enter into their equation somewhere along the line, doesn't it? It's not just about providing tools. They have a product, that they sell for money. It seems naive of them to think that their customers are going to be the only factor that makes their product 'work.'
And the fact that people are having a hard time finding things to fight over in a primarily pvp game seems problematic to me.
Now is when the 'EVE is dead' police should start to chime in about how people always complain about this 'I am bored' stuff and that "the statistics prove me wrong about everything I'm saying" and etc.
Honestly, some of what I need to say is not easy to say. I like being 'positive.' As a developer in a close-knit, agile development environment, I have a certain respect for EVE's developers. I like some of the things that I see coming from them as an organization, and etc.
But then, I want to ask questions like "is a new cloaking graphic really one of the main selling points and features for the upcoming release?" Seriously? Are you kidding me?
Then I'm abashed and think that maybe asking such a question would insult CCP's art team. Sometimes, I'm scared of criticizing EVE, or CCP. Mainly because I don't want to come across as one of those people who makes these wild and shocking criticisms for the sole purpose of getting
attention. I despise other EVE bloggers who are like that --those who seem to base their opinions on how many page views they'll get from expressing said opinions.
But I can't shake the bad taste that EVE has been leaving in my mouth lately.
Tonight, I read this article on TM, all about the recent bannings and etc. I rarely read such things, but this time I read the entire 14 page post from start to finish.
I'm not an idiot. I know not to believe everything I read, and especially not to 'take in' the tone of everything I read--especially coming from an EVE player. And I'm not sure I really have an opinion about the bannings, or could really tell you the author's main premise regarding them for that matter.
What stood out was the historical summary of a lot of things that have 'happened' in EVE over the last year or two. And honestly, especially in the last year, it has felt like one drama bomb after another. SOMER Blink. Erotica1. People are getting tarred and feathered, the wormhole community is raging, people getting accused of harassment, or RMT. And then there's some sort of wave of bannings, and etc.
And you know what? I'm sick of it. I'm sick. to. death. of. it. I want to hear about wars and players fighting each other. I want to know about new campaigns and in-game backstabbing and thievery. I don't want to hear anymore about this crap.
I don't want to be wondering about whether I should be 'trusting' CCP or not, questioning my own safety, or pondering whether it's really good for me to even be associated with this game or not. It seems like overkill, for a game.
I don't know about harassment or in-game vs out of game harassment or the fact of some precedent that CCP may or may not be setting by 'governing' Teamspeak. What bothers me is this seems to have become the norm as far as 'main EVE topics' go. This is 'what's going on.'
This evening I logged on to Twitter to see The Mittani posting about some sort of null-sec 'Deal.' I had the passing thought that the game has reached some sort of strange, bleak crescendo of boredom --a place where the only interesting or 'shocking' thing left for some people to do is to band together against CCP. The ultimate meta game. The politics, not of space--but of the game's design itself.
And yes, I fully realize that at this point I'm helplessly rambling. And it's probably time for me to stop. Hopefully, you have a least a little understanding of what's been going through the mind of 'Susan Black' lately. I know I haven't been particularly forthcoming the last few months.
I guess the question, after all of the above, is what's stopping me? After all, it IS just a game. If it's as frustrating as it sounds, why is whether or not to quit playing even a decision worth pondering over?
And when I know the answer to that, I suppose the debate will be over.