A few weeks ago, the alliance that my corporation was a part of was going to restructure and join forces with The Bastion. The corp CEO at the time wasn’t comfortable with that decision and started talking about parting ways altogether and going elsewhere. While there was an uncertain period where I didn’t know what I personally wanted to do, I knew I didn’t want to leave this group of people whom I had come to know over the past year. The strange way in which I had found myself with this merry band of fellows changed how I played this game and was not about to cut ties without knowing what adventure lay ahead.
Every so often comes a moment in my life as a capsuleer that I feel like I may be ready to “win at EVE”, yet it always seems to be coupled with a new reason to keep flying. When I was still learning the in’s and out’s of the game but couldn’t seem to understand all the workings of it, I found blogs and podcasts that helped educated and motivated me to keep trying. While listening to Podside live one morning (I lived in Germany at the time) an open call went out for listeners to join in the show, which brought me from general population to active participant in the “meta” over the coming months. Still just a casual player exploring the wonders that wormholes had to offer with a fellow podcaster and only having just an outsider perspective of the political landscape of New Eden, I decided to go solo and see what I could find by exploration and mission running.
That lifestyle began to dry out on me and again I was looking towards the exit. At that time in EVE, “World War Bee” or the “Casino War” was ending. The Money Badger Coalition had evicted The Imperium from Tenal, opening up a swath of space in the north. I took this as a sign to scout out the area in my little Astero and see if I could find an uninhabited pocket to claim as my own with my own solo corp. Just when I thought I had found a quiet area of space that had no travelers or residents to speak of, I noticed a new POS and some ships on my directional scanner and immediately went to check it out and discovered someone had made a home in the time that I last logged in. I finally made contact with the residents who immediately accused me of being a spy or some kind of cloaky camper. Indeed I had been cloaked and camping that system, but a spy I was not.
Not a Spai
This is where I met my current Corporation, Entropy of Annihilation. The guys who though I must be a spy (even though I was there first) got me on comms and talked me into joining them there. After years of playing EVE, I was finally in a Null Sec Corporation and I was excited once again. Even though I still had that soloist mentality I earned living in wormholes, running PI, and running sites, I was now experiencing it with a regular group of people who were slowly teaching me how participate in fleets and fight things other than NPC’s. Shortly after this I even started talking with some folks on Twitter and eventually started my own Podcast. I was in love with EVE again.
Eventually we made our way down to Immensea as the tides changed in the North, but I was still in a honeymoon phase with my corporation and no intention of leaving. Good fights were being had and I was forging a relationship with the alliance exec who had backed me in my run for the Council of Stellar Management. We had even talked about running together on a campaign for next years ballot by streaming together. I felt at home with these friends that I talked to on TeamSpeak, Discord, by phone, and from real life get-together’s. With all good things however, this too had to come to an end, leading us to the events over the past few weeks where I had to decide where I went with this crazy social experiment called EVE Online. To follow my potential campaign mate and become a part of The Imperium, or to follow my corp into the unknown.
A New Circle of Friends
As it turned out, we didn’t have to travel very far and managed to secure a spot with the friendly faces of Circle of Two. We had been aligned or friendly with CO2 and friends for some time, as well as having lent them assistance in the Keepstar battle of M-OEE8, so the fold into the Alliance was relatively easy. This personally appealed to me as a player because of my friendly relationship with The Judge who had been a guest on The Mind Clash Podcast a few times, and I was already a big fan of Keef Drow/Lucian James as a podcast personality and Fleet Commander. To me this was a good move.
While just a few weeks ago I was on the verge of having a fire sale and moving what I could to somewhere in High Sec to park for a bit, I now find myself renewed and recharged for what the future may bring. Everyday I see ping after ping go out for fleets to conduct important strategic operations, do some mining or defense fleets, and often there are roams just for fun. In the past I was more likely to only jump in a fleet if hostile targets infringed on my ability to mine or rat. Certainly I wouldn’t have ventured too far out of the pocket or even considered logging in on a random weekday just to join a fleet. I now find myself doing more PvP than ever before and flying ships that I had never flown before in combat. In fact, I have been consciously arranging time and making an effort to log in just to go on fleets.
I used to think that the way to win EVE Online was to stop playing. It’s now that I realize that winning is a state of mind in a game like this and enjoyment is one of the key elements for success. You don’t have to be an elite PvP pilot, ruthless pirate, expert market manipulator, or a space politician to enjoy everything that this game has to offer. The only thing you have to do is enjoy what you are doing and enjoy the people that you are doing it with. There may come a time down the space lanes that I find my place in New Eden to be something that I don’t care much for any longer, and again find myself deciding my next path. Thankfully now with Alpha clones, nobody has to try and win by quitting EVE.
There is a place in the universe for all of us here with endless possibilities around every corner. If you need to take a break and recharge your batteries, do it. When the group of people you fly with doesn’t fit with what you want to do any longer, fly with new friends. The most important part of this game is not winning or being the most famous player in the game of internet spaceships, it’s having fun and making friends. If you can’t find either one of those things in this game… you’re doing it wrong.