Tag: Eve Online

Eve and the pre noob state

Some of you will remember that I spent some time on Eve a couple of months ago, I enjoyed it but then got into an exisential crisis about why my character seemed to be achieving more in her Eve life than I was in real life (I mean she was learning Engineeering & stuff like that!). Cue me cancelling Eve account, deciding to enrol on an Accountancy course, studying Accountancy, having another existential crisis on why I waste money on boring things like Accountancy, moving Accountancy course stuff to the attic and aimlessly logging back into WoW to start to level yet another alt while quietly weeping inside. Oh dear.

I’ve tried & tried to fall in love  with WoW again but it’s not working. I’m bored. My subscription expired last week & I’m reluctant to renew it since the truth is I don’t want to play it anymore (apart from logging on to say hi to the guild) . This means I have an MMO sized gap in my life, and this gap is staring to feel Eve sized.  So yesterday I took the plunge & renewed my Eve subscription.

After downloading various patches I was finally in. I’d pretty much forgotten everything about the game – including who I was, who I was trying to build standing with and why. But after about 15 mins some of it (not all …far from all as you’ll see) came flooding back. I was doing  Distribution missions but with a long term goal of R&D. I was training skills to open up the  R&D missions, and doing Level 1 Distribution missions to increase my standing with the corp I wanted eventually to do R&D for. See I had a plan.

So I picked up a Level 1 Distribution mission from a Duvolle Lab agent. It all looked straight forward, but the mission details did say I would be passing through a low sec area if I used the automatic route. Ok I thought, never seen that before, but surely they wouldn’t really put me in danger for a Level 1 mission, would they? Surely it’s just an overly dramatic piece of text to give the mission some edge. Of course. That’s what it is.

So I accepted the mission, set destination, undocked & went on Automatic pilot, and picked up my book to read while I traveled through LOW SEC space.

Yes there are names for people like me. Don’t put them in the comments. You’ll hurt my feelings.

What happened next is a blur. First I glanced at the screen at one point and noticed it said in my overview that there was a corpse  nearby. Ooh interesting, I thought, never come across that before. The next thing I see is red text telling me I’ve done something foolish (umm, yes), there are some explosions, more red lines indicate my ship is in a rather dire condition, then I  jump somewhere and  it all seems to be over. I’m still in space, still flying.

Whew that was close, I thought. But not that bad. But then I notice I don’t have the usual shield & gun icons at bottom centre of my screen. Odd I think. Where have they gone? Then I look more closely at my ship…. there is no ship.  I am in my pod. How can a pilot lose their ship without realising it? Well I think you have to be a  special little pilot, a twp pilot (perfect Welsh word), a pilot like me. It would be a huge achievement for me to reach noob levels – I am in pre noob state – an Eve amoeba.

It dawned on me (finally) that no ship meant no cargo for my distribution mission. So that was over too. I’d braved low sec space for nothing. I arrived at my destination and  pondered what to do next. And this was where full blown craziness descended on me. I thought there was still a way I could do this. I had been given a new ship (a Reaper –  basic but functional). I looked at the map & wondered whether I could cobble together some sort of safe route back to collect the cargo again. But I was in Low Sec space. There was no safe route. The minute I undocked I was a sitting duck. So I … undocked. Of course I did. For some reason I thought the laws of the Eve universe meant I wouldn’t be attacked again & that I could get home safely. Yes this is the sort of naivety that means I should never be allowed to leave the house. So I undocked, clicked on the big A  (please Eve experts, stop rolling your eyes with such vigour- you really will hurt yourself) & yes – you guessed it, within seconds I was back in my pod waving goodbye to the shortlived Reaper. And within a few seconds more I was back in some hangar in a totally different part of space  being told I was dead but thank god I had a clone (yes thank god – I had randomly created clones when I last played Eve without any real idea of when I’d need to use them). So I’d failed the mission, lost two ships, been killed and was now a clone  – all within the first hour of returning to Eve.

I then spent the next two hours or so  jumping what felt like a zillion times trying to get a ship big enough to complete  just one “transport some soil” mission – first I tried a Reaper (another one) plus two expanded cargoholds (for which I had to jump  7 times to get to a market that sold them), then when that didn’t give me enough room (and yes I know I could have stayed where I was and tried a simple approach known as Maths to work out if Reaper plus Expanded Cargoholds would have been enough …but you’ll have gathered by now that logic isn’t my strongest point…and also thank goodness I gave up Accountancy!), I then found a way to search my assets scattered all over the Eve solar system & jumped twenty or so times to pick up my old Wreathe (which for some reason in the past I’d named Foxy????), and then jumped twenty or so times back to pick up my dirt, but then remembered I’d left half of it  back in the  ship I’d left in the hangar 20 or so jumps back and so… well you get the point.

Welcome back to Eve Michelle…

And yet…yet…it’s Sunday morning & I’m back on it again. Eve – the game for  illogical masochists perhaps  – in other words me. Have I found my new MMO home?

Laser Therapy

What I’ve really enjoyed about Eve this week is the way that what looked like a perfectly innocuous Level 1 mission ended up costing me over 400,000 isk (can’t say I really enjoyed that), a ridiculous amount of time trawling the web for answers that could not be found (flat out hated that), but then finally resulted in me (yes me), reading up in depth on projectile turrets, launcher hard points and all sorts of weapon systems and ammo to finally finally understand what I needed to do in the mission. The sense of achievement when I did all this was amazing – and yes I definitely enjoyed that.

Anyone who knows Eve will probably laugh when they hear what quest (umm  I mean mission) this was (it’s reputed to be the harshest game out there so perhaps change laugh to cackle). The mission was a Level 1 Distribution called A Healthy Venture- New Competition (3 of 5). I just had to destroy a supply ship. A ship that didn’t even hit back.  Easy peasy yes? I thought so. I found the ship and started shooting at it without even thinking twice – in fact I was barely paying attention (I had one eye on EastEnders and was internally speculating on who Kat’s lover is). After a bit of time I looked back at my screen. There was just the tiniest bit of red showing on the supply ship icon. I’d hardly made a dent in its shield. And as I watched so that red disappeared –  some sort of health regeneration. Thinking in Wow terms (clearly I still can’t help myself) he was healing himself faster than I could burn him down. If this was a WoW group some sarky tank would be posting Recount in group chat to make all us DPSers hang our heads in shame. As it was I was on my own so a severe self rebuke (you’ve let yourself down Bravetank) had to suffice.

I stuck at it for awhile- wasting bullets in the naive belief that his shield regen would only do so much & that if I kept persistently peppering him with EMP he would eventually capitulate. But it was not to be. Bemused, confused & other things ending with “used” I looked the mission up on the internet. Could only really find one forum thread discussing it & that didn’t offer any solutions apart from “Boy it sucks when you don’t bring enough dps to a mission.” Yes sir it truly does suck.  By the end of the thread the answer had been found but the person posting chose to be enigmatic & offered some sort of 321 clue only (for those of you not aware of 321 & its fiendish clues see here – fantastic 70s show).

So I took a look at my dps. First time I ‘d actually had to do this. Being a distributor pilot  I’ve only needed to worry about cargo space &  amnesty international interest in the  “tourists” I have stored  in my hangar. My dps was 16. I’m embarrassed typing it. I was basically dong nothing more than giving the supply ship a nice bit of therapeutic shiatsu massage – a tad painful but boy does it work the joints.

So off I went to the market place to buy something better than my light artillery cannon. God its confusing in Eve market. When buying weapons you basically have a choice of projectiles, missiles, lasers and within all that light, medium, large, dieting and toned and various skill requisites for everything. I didn’t know what to go for. I tried the compare tool but there are so many stats its hard to know what to compare. Eventually through some combination of logic, research and “oh god that’ll do” despair  I bought some missiles (can’t go wrong with a good old missile). But when I tried to fit them to my ship the limits of my research quickly became apparent –  it turned out I couldn’t. I needed two launcher hardpoints & my Probe had zero. There was a suggestion I could upgrade the ship to fit then but a  brief search on the internet suggested this was no straightforward matter (admittedly I was tired so it might have been me making this complex but to my tired brain it was wall of text incomprehensible detail wherever I looked). So I decided to take the easy option – to find  a ship with launcher hardpoints. Online everyone was talking about kestrels but I couldn’t find one for sale anywhere (turns out my filter settings were wrong – but that’s another story). But I then had a brainwave. I looked in my assets at all the various crap I have strewn around space & found my Rifter 50 million jumps away – it had a launch slot. Bingo. So off I went. It felt like hours but eventually I got there, swapped ships (bye bye little Probe with the Dr Who Tardis like cargo space), fitted my missiles, jumped back to the supply ship, attacked said supply ship and….well the red appeared a little faster but with shields still up & and functioning half an hour later & a galaxy strewn with my tears I realised this was not going to work. Defeated I went to bed, considering a career in exploration or mining instead.

The next day though – before I’d even had my breakfast – I was online. “I think I’ve sussed it,” I said to my husband. “That weird leaking in the fridge?” he asked. “No no,” I waved my hand dismissively, “My Eve problem”. “Oh right” he said, rolling his eyes and returning to the kitchen to dry out the sodden tomatoes. But  I was unaware – nose deep in EveWiki looking up the fastest weapons around (that were also cheap & usable at my skill level). Then I found them -Lasers! Good rate of fire-  so the shields would not have time to regen, and no reloading – that too was slowing things down. That night I logged onto Eve  with a renewed sense of purpose and hope. Off I went to buy two lasers. I fitted both plus 1 missile launcher  and 1 cannon. I was ready to face my nemesis

He did not have a chance. The missiles hit him first, then the projectiles & them oh my god the lasers – they were relentless (and very pretty for those of you who like your fighting stylish). Within seconds (it seemed) his shields were down & we were onto his armor. When the final beam hit him and he exploded across my screen I shouted for joy. My husband was equally delighted and then handed me a tea towel, pointed to the fridge and said, “Your turn now.”

What I really liked (in hindsight!) about the whole thing was that it  made me learn about the weaponry in Eve and think about what I needed to use to destroy this particular ship. If each mission can do something like that- incorporate some of the vast learning required for Eve into the mission itself – basic “learning by doing” – then that will be amazing. Although since that mission I’ve done nothing more than move cargo from A to B – but that’s ok for the moment. I’ve had enough excitement for one week.

False Starts

I’m already going to take part in a Freebooted Eve Blog Banter. The topic seems so apt given what I’m currently experiencing in Eve.

First a Blog Banter intro:- Welcome to the 39th Blog Banter – the community discussion that stretches across the many communities of EVE Online through the use of arcane bloggery. The conversation is open to all and readers are encouraged to visit all of the entries that will be listed below as the discussion progresses. Be sure to leave your thoughts there when you do.

For enquiring minds who would like to know more about the Blog Banters, check out this short explanation or read this overview of the subjects covered in the last year.

After a some heavy topics in the last few editions, this time we’ll be taking a more relaxed trip through the thoughts of the blogosphere. The origins of this month’s concept come from a suggestion from EON Magazine editor Richie “Zapatero” Shoemaker.

“Some say a man’s home is his castle. For others it is wherever they lay their hat. The concept is just as nebulous in the New Eden sandbox. 

In EVE Online, what does the concept of “home” mean to you?”

Without further ado, banter on……..

I’d been here two weeks but the holiday period was over. I knew that. I recognised the signs (new names in Rookie chat –  the Eve equivalent of finding a busload of people arriving at the hotel and dominating the reception desk and then, seeking refuge by the pool, finding your favourite spot has been invaded by a new family of six from Grimsby that are all wearing  Union Jack T shirts and drinking pints – even the two year old). So I checked out of the Pator Tech hotel  (with a few toiletries in my pocket of course – they want  you to take them) and started looking for a place  to call home (or at the very least a place to dump said toiletries – civilian analyzing/salvaging stuff that I had no intention of using).

My first thought was that my  new home had to be  somewhere I could do Distribution missions (yes I appear to have a deep rooted yearning to be a courier  – my mother would be amazed- I always grumped every time she asked me to take something anywhere). But I also want to be a Researcher. And maybe a Trader. And a … Yes I have no clue. But carting stuff around high sec seems easy – I don’t get attacked  & I earn some ISK – for now that’s good enough for me. (My sights are so low even the ants look down on them.)

But here is where we get into the false starts. Oh the false starts. So many. Now one false start is acceptable. It’s kind of like premature ejaculation really – sometimes happens and in a way rather flattering (you like me that much). Two- well starts getting annoying. Get a grip man. Three – well – it’s not happening is it.

And yes I’m on my third false start of finding a home in Eve. Oh dear. If I were a man I’d be kicked out of bed. Will I ever get anywhere in this game?

The dictionary.com definition (which  would be on Shakespeare’s desktop if he were writing today) of a false start is “a failure to begin an undertaking successfully” and this seems to capture perfectly  my failed attempts so far to start a career in Eve as a Distributor with a view to later focusing on Research

False Start 1

I start running Distribution missions for Republic University. I unpack my stuff in one of their stations. I’m doing Level 1 stuff obviously. Lots of hidden dolls. All rather bizarre and I get the feeling I’m working for psychopaths (off topic – reading Jon Ronson’s The Psychopath Test- what a fascinating book. I sat there this morning running through everyone I work with wondering how many of the requirements on the Psychopath checklist they meet. The answer is too many for me to be absolutely comfortable going away on official business with them ever again.) Anyway while running the Distribution missions I start training Science up to Level 5 knowing (see I do carry out some research myself) that this is a prerequisite for the other skills you need to learn to work with a Research Agent. So far so good. (Of course my other key skills to help me manage energy & shields etc. are languishing at Levels 2 or 3 while I become some sort of protege Science expert- but  I see this as the Mozart effect – he couldn’t tie his shoe laces but could bash out a good tune. You can’t be great at everything).

So I think I’m progresing well  – getting rather cocky in fact as I snub a storyline mission from some cheeky Security Agent who writes to me.  With a dedication that would make my mother proud (even as I firmly refused to take her parcel up to the post office) I carry on with my Level 1 missions. But then  I read this excellent post where it’s pointed out that to work with a Research Agent you need

Level 1 : -3 Corporation AND either -1 Faction or corporation standing

The Research Agent I had spotted in some previous wild trip around space and liked the look of was not a Republic University Research Agent. So I was not building up any standing with him. (Not sure I even understand the standing requirements now that I relook at them again – oh god another false start  coming up …but anyway)

So I look up the Distribution Agents for the corporation I want to Research with & head over to their neck of the woods instead. I stop working with the  Republic University instantly. I don’t look back. I show no empathy or concern. Starting to think I’m one of Joh Ronson’s psychopaths.

False Start 2

So false start number 2. Here I am – suitcases in hand at Thukker Mix. I meet a Level 1 distribution Agent. We agree we might be able to work together. She’s a little more abusive to me than I’m used to with my Republic University cohorts but I can take it. I give her my best winning smile & take off – more Level 1 missions. I am adept now at moving items from my item hangar to my ship, setting destinations, warping & returning. I easily get 3 ticks on my Read Mission screen. Who said Eve was hard?

Then I read further down the post mentioned above from Foo.

When choosing a field, choose a profitable but convenient one.  There is little point grinding standing or purchasing a 10M skillbook to get 1K per datacore.

You what – 10 M skill book? Science was cheap. I might have already had it in my head in fact. Just took 3 days or so to get to Level 5. I look up the skill books for the Thukker R&D Agent skills. I look at my wallet. Oh dear.  That’s not going to be happening any time soon is it. But ok. I’m not in any rush. I quite like the idea of playing Eve in my 90s (make mental note to demand a residential home with good broadband). I’ll keep going & try not to waste any more money in the market place (& that Probe I bought wasn’t a waste was it? – it’s supposed to be a ship that’s actually good for hauling as well as probing & amazingly was in my price range if it’s ok to be left with just dirt and fluff in my wallet). Happy days,

False start 3

So I carry on with the Thukker missions. But..and have you spotted it already…I didn’t really pay full attention to every word in the Foo quote above. It said

When choosing a field, choose a profitable but convenient one.  There is little point grinding standing or purchasing a 10M skillbook to get 1K per datacore.

I’m looking to work with the Thukker R&D agent who does Mechanical Engineering and Nuclear Physics. What s the actual value of those Datacores?

I look them up. I discover they are the rarest items in the whole of Eve & I am going to be the richest person in Eve in less than a week. It’s truly amazing. They will write books about me. Or not. I’ve misunderstood the decimal point. Not the first time in my life that’s happened. 90000 or thereabouts for one of those data cores. Pittance. I quietly weep and consider resubscribing to WoW. But  I pull myself together – I’m made of stronger stuff than that- I live in Swansea for god’s sake – and start looking at the different prices of data cores on the market. One jumps out. Plasma Physics. Of course. Good old plasma physics. How could I have overlooked that obvious money spinner.  So I do an internet  search for Plasma Physics R&D agents. I find one in Duvolle Laboratories. Something like 28 jumps away but by now I’m  insane with desperation to build my standing with someone I can eventually research with and make some money. I mean how hard can this be? So I then look up  Distribution Agents in Duvolle (I am determined to stick with Distribution even though I have now developed a phobia of raggy dolls) and head over. By the time I get there  Celebrity Big Brother is on so I log off and go lie on the sofa to watch (I have no shame – I even found myself clucking affectionately over Brian Dowling)  & recover.

So have I finally found my home? Duvolle Laboratories. Not the sort of name you tend to see on little wooden plaques outside  quaint cottages but I don’t suppose there’s many of these in Eve anyway. So I”ve unpacked there, put some food in the fridge and checked out the cupboards. It seems like it could work. Of course later today I’ll probably find out that Plasma Physics datacores cannot be sold by Minimatar distributionists who have black hair until some standing with some other corp 50 million jumps away is achieved by running…yes…more Level 1 missions. But until False Start number 4 I’ll enjoy the results of  False Start number 3 and my new startlingly white laboratory home.

Am I floating in a tin can

I’m continuing my love affair with Eve Online although I suspect I’m doing it all wrong (although I also know there’s no right or wrong way to do it). The problem is that everything I read without exception says that I should join a Corporation, but I don’t want to. I’m really enjoying the peace and quiet of my alone time in space. I’ve completed three lots of career agent missions (decided to put Advanced Military & Exploration on hold for the moment). I’m keeping Erike Austrene (I love the name) constantly busy training. She is a space age renaissance child – adept at quick changes of subject matter- 20 minutes on social skills, little bit of time on biology, then for shield management and industry, and then some energy management, hull upgrades and mass production. And on & on it goes. (And oh my god just claimed my first certificate …I am a Basic Production Manager – whoohoo.) When the skill queue is full I enjoy quietly getting on with the level 1 distribution missions (I am ridiculously happy picking things up and dropping them off – I should have been a bus driver). I’m doing it all for the Republic University – increasing my standing with them. On the side I’m dabbling a little in the market (not successfully so far – think I created a rather silly EMP buy order in the most unvisited region of space – luckily it will expire after a day & spare my blushes).

I’ve got a longer term goal of being a researcher (I think – although I’m loving production and trade so I’ll probably try to tie the three things up in some way) but for now I’m really enjoying the distribution missions and slowly building up my skills. I don’t want to fight (I disliked the military career agent missions if I’m honest) and I don’t want to be part of some fleet.

So basically I have no interest in joining a corporation. But is that ok? Are there players who just quietly get on with it and enjoy discovering the game themselves at their own pace, however slow? I’m in no rush to get anywhere – in fact I’ve not even set myself a destination (unless it’s to drop off yet more packets of earth).

I feel as I did when I first started playing WoW. I never grouped (there was no LFD then). I just loved soloing. But I used to read comments on various forums that asked why would someone play an MMORPG if they were just going to solo? But while I wanted to solo I also liked the fact there were other people around- it was strangely comforting. I just didn’t want to talk to them!

And of course eventually this did change in WoW. Eventually I had the courage/interest/greed to go in LFD and discover dungeons. I never went back to WoW solo play. The kindness and support shown to me in those groups totally won me over ….(yes yes this blog does irony with a fair dollop of bitterness). But it was the early soloing period that established my love for the game and got me immersed in the world. My horrendous group experiences certainly gave me plenty of things to vent about on here but my WoW nostalgia and warm memories are of things I did on my own at the start of the game – like running to Eastvale Logging camp in the rain, finally killing Mor Laidim in atmospheric Duskwood and enjoying a peaceful Saturday morning questing in beautiful Menthil Harbour. I am at that stage in my Eve journey – although the New Eden world itself is a lot bleaker, darker and – well – rather spacey.

And of course I am making mistakes in Eve. I used the wrong ship initially do to the distribution missions and nearly put my fist through my monitor every time the game told me I didn’t have enough room on board to carry some boxes of seed. But that mistake led me to look properly at the stats for each ship and actually compare hold capacity to see which one I should be using. So it was valuable experience albeit nearly costly in terms of my computer. I’ve also bought the odd skill I’ve already trained (but luckily sold it again quickly) & left the station with the items needed back in my hangar. In fact just now I returned to the pick up location only to be told I had to complete the mission at the drop off location. Aaargh!! I’m also not one hundred percent sure what I’m doing with acceleration gates & deadspace and just spent a great deal of time looking for cargo holds containing raggy dolls only to realise I had deselected some container option in my overview settings so it wasn’t showing up in my overview. Grrrr. All my fault of course- but again making the mistake is getting me used to the overview settings & what I want/don’t want on display.

So I’m loving it all even though I’m doing lots wrong!! But I want to be alone. I really do. I’m the Greta Garbo of Eve Online and very happy to be so.

Oh dear what have I gone and done?

Sacrilege sacrilege. I think I’ve found the game that could tear me away from WoW. Diablo 3 couldn’t do it. The Sims 3 made a valiant attempt but failed. And Fable II – well that was just a joke. No the game that’s done it for me is none other than Eve Online. Day 2 of my trial (ok ok I know I might be a tad over-the-top exuberant after just 2 days) and I’ve not thought about WoW once. This is bizarre. In fact it’s more than bizarre. It’s unheard of. Particularly on a Bank Holiday. Particularly when I’ve just started a new alt (a cute fury warrior called Mussels) & particularly immediately  before a new patch for which everyone else is all excited. I’m always out of step with everyone.

Trying Eve out  was a spur of the moment thing yesterday. Not even sure how I ended up on the site. Fate? Eve Online Universe divine guidance? Who knows. But once there I started the download, went out for a few hours (to a lovely Welsh food festival in  town – ate a gorgeous ice cream with popping black cherry candy- sadly didn’t exactly pop in my mouth (disappointing when that fails to happen isn’t it?) but it was delicious). And when I got back home  it was all ready to go.

What do I love about it? Firstly & absolutely the open-ended nature of the game. Yes admittedly so far I’ve been following a pretty linear path –  the initial tutorial (which did a fantastic job of getting me familiar with my Neocom (look at me – using the lingo & all that), setting destinations, warping, using acceleration gates etc. And I’m just about to complete my third set of career missions. So yes so far I’ve been pretty linear. But this is purely to get me familiar with the basics – an extended tutorial as it were (and also because the only time I went off script I ended up doing a 22 jump journey to a Research Agent who declined to work with me because my skills weren’t “at his level”- arrogant elitist. Tail between legs I turned around & did the 22 jumps back & with a new found humility started a conversation with  another Career Agent instead). But that said I can already see that what I ultimately do in-game will be up to me and I find that extremely liberating.

Now I know there’s lots to do in WoW. There’s so much there I’ve never even done (what is this class you call a Death Knight?). And don’t worry. This is not going to turn into an anti-WoW post. Don’t think I have one in me. I love WoW. But I’ve played it since around BC time (Burning Crusade that is, not Before Christ- although sometimes it feels like the latter) and it can feel that I’ve done all the stuff I love a million times & the stuff I’ve not done I don’t have any interest in doing. So sometimes it can all feel a bit jaded. I’ve written about this previously.  Possibly what I’m  feeling now is just the thrill of something new of course- and this will wear off. But it feels like it’s something more. The range of skills & careers open to me & the fact you don’t pick a class, a spec & then start talenting using some “best build” you found on Icy Veins or something  feels absolutely great to me.

Of course I know there are websites that tell Eve players which skills to train for which careers. And that’s not that different from a recommended talent build. And there will be people who write about the right and wrong ways to play  Eve.  I’ve already come across some of this  – the view that you shouldn’t be  a jack of all trades for example,  that if you do you’ll never be able to compete with the specialists. But the fact you can be a jack of all trades, can do any combination of  skills (as long as you do the prerequisites) with nothing hardwired into a particular class just feels so exciting.

What else, what else … oh yes – you train when you’re offline!!! Oh my god. This is amazing. So when I’m in work  tomorrow so is my character. In fact she’s also working while I sleep. No downtime. Awesome. Yes I know it’s all relative – if there were no offline skill training  then skill training  itself would take less time. But I don’t care. It’s how it makes me feel- that me & the game are still involved with each other even when I’m not actually playing it. Very clever. I love it.

There are so many things that have me captivated. I love getting blueprints, buying (or mining) the materials, submitting my job at the factory & delivering it to my item hangar when it’s done. I actually read all the mission texts (several early harsh lessons were eventually learned –  too many times I’ve undocked & flown to some far away destination only to realise I’ve left some vital item or ship module sitting in the item hangar).  I love the market place & the fact it has buy orders. I love the fact a GM contacted me today to ask how I was getting on, what I’d done so far & if there was anything she could help me with. I love the  character creation screen that has resulted in a raven haired sunglass wearing cool avatar as opposed to all my cute yet oh so cartoony WoW characters (I still love you Seashell & your exact human carbon copies Terema & Bravetank). And I love the beautiful space graphics, the music that soothes me, the unhurried pace (the travel time allows me to read the Eve forums while I play) and the fact I genuinely feel like I’m discovering a new universe.

What will I be? Who knows? I suspect something in manufacturing, science or industry. I’m not interested in fighting – be it PvE or PvP. I want to feel like I’m learning something – even though that something is all pretend. It’s a virtual life & I want to live it being oh so knowledgeable and clever (that research agent will one day come to me on his hands & knees  begging for the research crumbs I might just throw his way – no I’m not bitter at all at that 22 jump trip). The same compulsion that used to make me force my Sims to study for hours feels it could be well served in Eve. It is a research addict paradise.

And so yes I am excited. Yes I’m barely able to stop myself upgrading from trial  to full right now. But what does this mean? Is this a short-term fling with a temporarily unresistable stranger who will turn out to have an off putting tendency to chew with his mouth open or is this something that could genuinely threaten my relationship with WoW. The fact I’m even asking the question has me scared.