Thursday, 25 September 2008

The Seven Month Itch

When I finally got into playing EVE beyond just the trial period (yes, I had a couple of early false starts!), I started a voracious consumption of EVE related podcasts and community blogs. In those august organs, I remember much being made of the concept of a “Severn Month Itch”, which many players seemed to experience. This seventh month was a point where some players felt they had fallen into rut, or were just feeling vaguely dissatisfied with the game. Strategies were talked about to get through this, and it was generally agreed that those who managed to push through that barrier continued to enjoy a long and satisfying EVE career.

I guess that was all about, well, seven months ago.

I do feel I’ve hit a bit of a wall, for a number of factors. Firstly, EVE doesn’t seem to suit my available playing time. To some extent, I’m the victim of my own success: I am just at the point where I can solo Level IV missions, but many of them are not exactly suited to dropping in and playing for an hour or so and then logging off. Especially as flying solo, I need to warp in and out a few times still to get through the mission.

Secondly, and again, perhaps an issue of my own making, I’ve not had the incentive of new skills being completed and new things to play with for a while. I set Vestik going on Battleships V, because I really want a Marauder class ship. That’s meant that haven’t had anything particularly exciting to look forward to on a more regular basis; no new modules to fit or fittings to play with.

I took an economically driven decision and consolidated Li Ran and Brother Venkat into a single account, which means I’m only training one of them at a time. I felt this was the right thing to do as Li Ran can happily mine in a Hulk, and now has a Cov Ops cloaked Buzzard for me to use to scout in. Though I’m sure I’ll want to dabble in Exploration and Production at some point (Li Ran’s main purpose in life), neither sufficiently piqued my interest recently to drive me to play with him. However, Brother Venkat is getting ready to fly Logistics for me, thus really increasing my Lvl IV soloing capabilities. But again, I’ve had some long skills to train to get up there, with Long Range Targetting V, Signal Analysis V, and Amarr Cruiser IV taking their toll.

Not having the mini-dings of new skills regularly ticking over, has meant I’ve been able to put EVE on a mental back burner and not think about it much over the last month. Prior to that, when I was working in Hong Kong, even though I wasn’t able to actually log on and play much, I kept myself interested by logging more time on EVE Mon and the EVE Fitting Tool than I did in-game, creating skill plans and just logging for changing skills. Even that I found fulfilling and compelling, which I guess is one of the appeals to a certain type of us who play the game!

So I am definitely not totally EVE focussed at the moment. I know what is going to bring me back in, though, and that is when Brother Venkat can fly his shiny new Guardian out of Jita and down to my normal mission running neck of the woods. I’ve got the ship and the full complement of fittings sitting in my hangar and ready to go. Thats still a good couple of few weeks away by my reckoning though.

In the mean time, I’m dipping my toe in other pools....

Coming very late to the Guild Wars party, I’ve been running around for a day or two having achieved the mighty stature of Level 4 over the weekend. I’ve got a friend who’s played consistently for years who I'm looking forward to playing with, and I’m really keen on the idea of joining Van Hemlock’s Tuesday Noob Club. I want to play solo for a while, though, to get familiar enough with the game to not totally embarrass myself with utter noobiness when I tap him up online.

And I’m going down to Games Workshop on Sunday with a friend to buy the Warhammer 40k Assault on Black Reach box. Yes, tabletop, here I come! My friend used to play when he was a kid, and has been really enthusiastic since I confessed to always wanting to give tabletop a try. He’s under very strict instructions from his wife, though, and is only allowed to play provided certain rules are met. This is the rule set he sent me:

1) it doesn't take over my life.
2) I don't fill the house with even more crap as a consequence of "yet another one of my stupid whims" (this was said after I also suggested I might buy a BMX...)
3) I don't spend all of my money on small bits of plastic

Well, I think we’ll pretty much ignore all of that then!!

Anyway, I’ll keep you updated on my EVE state of mind, and as soon as I’m logistics-capable, expect great tales of Epic fails as I learn to juggle Level IVs with two accounts!