CZ Minutes: Stones Left Unturned

Diverse as we may be, the CZ staff have one thing in common: we’ve all been around a while. Our “youngest” staff members’ time in New Eden is measured in years, not months, and many members of our team are creeping up on a decade spent playing this game, if they’re not there already. Time spent in EVE naturally leads a player to experience a broad array of the experiences, activities, and career paths available to players, but there’s always at least one thing we haven’t done yet. What stones do you still have unturned? Why? Is there anything you’ve never done, that has some appeal to you? What’s standing in your way? What about activities you have no interest in? What’s keeping you away, and what would have to change for you to get sucked in? Neville Smit: Even after playing EVE Online for six years, I am still a nullsec sov virgin, even though I had joined a small corp in 0.0 on an alt for a while. But that corp was not focused on gaining and holding sovereign space, so I never got the chance to participate in any significant battles for conquering territory. This is on my “must do someday” list. I’ve had offers from a couple well-known sov-holding corps to join them, but I have not yet made that leap. The only reason for my hesitancy is because of the commitment required. Being part of a sov-holding alliance means being ready and willing to participate in fights, sometimes at a moment’s notice, and my current Real Life demands make that impossible. Someday, though, when I have unlimited time for EVE, I will be an active part of the 0.0 ebb and flow for domination and defense of territory.  Someday…. I’ve also not mastered Factional Warfare yet. A couple years ago, I’d joined FW for a while, spun around in space with no clue about what to do, got disillusioned, and ultimately dropped out of it. Still, FW looks like a great way to get into some fun PvP engagements, and I have recently started studying it more seriously. I think I’ll have my FW alt join GalMil soon and give it a real try once again. As for aspects of EVE Online that hold no interest to me, I honestly can’t think of any. I’ve tried a lot of different aspects of the game and have enjoyed them all – wormholes, mission running, industry, trading, hauling, fleet ops, corporate management, incursions, exploration, mining – I’ve done it all, and it’s all been fun in different ways. I guess that’s why I keep playing this silly game – it keeps surprising me, and there’s always something untried to sample. Lillik Eoner: Industry, and invention. I, nor any of my alts have yet to create anything in earnest. I’ve always thought that industry was dull, even more boring than mining (or watching paint dry). The flip side to this argument, is industry can be (and is) a good passive ISK maker. The same goes for PI. Faction Warfare. Waaaaaay too much pew-pew for this girl. Incursions. Flying totally blinged out BSs doesn’t get my blood going. Not in a good way, anyway. Dunk Dinkle: I’ve done a lot of different things, but there are a few major areas I’m never done seriously.  Solo & small gang PvP has never had a lot of appeal to me.  A lot of micromanagement and some elaborate e-bushido stuff I don’t really understand or want to do.  If given a chance, I’ll fly a warp core stabbed Blackbird just to see the ALL CAPS in local chat. Incursions are supposed to be a good source of ISK, but again, I hear stories of elaborate codes of conduct, fitting inspections, and prima donnas running fleets.  Sounds unappealing. I’ve never seriously lived in a wormhole but find the idea intriguing at some level. The intense paranoia does not come easily to me, but the idea seems fun.  Sometime I’ll probably work with one of Brave’s wormhole corps to see what life is like for a while.  I do think the wormhole corps are some sort of cover for secret sex parties of some sort, so investigation is in order. eve-wtd Tarek: After a good seven years of playing EVE I very much know what I don’t want (anymore). I sure don’t want to return to sov nullsec because after several years out there I realised I can’t deal with the environment and attitude that larger organisations have created in that area. In fact the disillusionment I felt about it made me leave the game for almost a year. Maybe fozziesov changes the player dynamics so much that I might become tempted to give it a try again, but I am not holding my breath. I also do not want to run any corp or alliance of significant size because I simply hate administration. I’m the kind of person who moans and gripes about sitting down to do the paperwork I have to deal with at my job, I sure don’t want that to be a thing in my spare time. Of course there are many things I have not done. I have never been an  industrialist. I inherited an industry alt from a friend, but I mostly use that one for buying and transporting stuff and making ammo and some T1 ships for personal use. The intricacies of market play and complex invention are still beyond me and I am not sure I can get into it because of the administration part. I have also never lived in WH space. To me that area of the game is like a haunted mansion at the edge of town. As a kid you may take part in a dare to climb inside, but at the first weird sound you hear, you run as quickly as possible. I think one day I might overcome this fear and go to actually stay the night in that ghostly place. The thing I really dreamt of doing ever since I re-joined EVE and went to live in lowsec is to become a good solo and small-gang PVPer. I think I am reasonably OK with small gang by now. I usually don’t do anything too stupid and I manage to keep an overview of what’s going on. I even manage to work reasonably well as logi in such fleets. Solo I still suck. I managed a few solo kills but mostly I lose. I still have difficulty with controlling fights the way I have seen people do it. I hope one day I can manage that. Maybe that’s the time I will feel confident enough to go live in WH-Space. Gorski Car: Implying I haven’t done everything in Eve (yes I have mined in highsec). Niden: Wow Dunk, that’s pure evil, why would you do that, think of the children. Also, Gorski is a filthy industrialist, I have screenshots to prove it 😉 As for me, I’m actually bad at most things in EVE. After over a decade of play on and off (being gone for over two years at one point) I have at least tried a few things and realised I am bad at them or that they hold no value to me as a player. I mined once in a frigate, never again. I tried my hand at import and trading for months at a time, but I just don’t have the OCD for it and, like Tarek, I hate paperwork and spreadsheets (and I already get enough of that crap as an alliance diplomat). Although, I must admit I rather liked the actual trading. The reason I quit EVE so many times is mostly because running missions killed my interest every time. I had been a really bad lowsec pirate before, but I didn’t find my place in EVE until January 2013, and I’m clinging on to it for dear life, because this is the first time in those ten years that I’ve been subbed for so long. I must admit that it has made me somewhat narrow-minded. I had finally found my Holy Grail in lowsec I guess, and it keeps me so happy that I don’t see any reason to try anything else for the foreseeable future. Sure, I like to fantasize that I’ll have the time and patience to try other things like exploration or nullsec someday, but man, my love for lowsec PvP is just too strong. It also suits my RL of family and full time job well because I can get into a fight pretty much whenever I want and have access to both solo and small gang, all the way up to reasonably large fleet fights (for lowsec). However, I absolutely love the idea that my options are open. If I want, I could turn into a full time explorer or nullsec F1 monkey tomorrow. I could pursue a career in trade or industry if I so fancied. This is the greatest strength of EVE: I could do something that has literally nothing to do with what I do today, and still have a whole world to explore. Oh Takashawa: So I got the idea for this minutes topic because, in the past week, I’ve crossed one of those “things I’ve never done” off my to-do list. I’ve taken up probing/exploration, for a variety of reasons largely unrelated to monetary gain. What struck me, as I plowed through system after system, sig after sig, was that this – what I was doing here, staring at the hacking minigame and the solar system map – represented the entirety of some folks’ EVE experience. This was everything they did, and for me it was an afterthought. Yeah, I run around with a relic analyzer on my probing ship, but I’m not rocking virtues or anything else. I’ve got a cyno, rather than…whatever it is explorers put in high slots. And yet, this content – wormholes, exploration sites, all of it – is all of EVE for some people. What kept me away? Fuck if I know, to be honest. The minigame is fun (the first twenty or so times, at least), and CCP has clearly sunk a lot of time into building out the various exploration sites and all the mechanics surrounding wormholes. Why didn’t it grab me? I honestly don’t know. I can say that exploration didn’t grab me simply because when I was looking for ways to make money earlier on in my EVE career, exploration sucked as a career path. Probing sucked, exploration sucked, it all sucked. This was back in the days of static plexes farmed by russians – for newer players, it just wasn’t a viable path. It’s great that it is, now. Later in my career, I had stable income sources and I wanted to find activities which drove conflict and content for me. As enjoyable and challenging as this probing stuff can be, it’s lonely work, and EVE was never about spending as much time alone as I could. Sure, higher-end sites and higher-end wormholes take more teamwork, but it’s variations on a theme – PVE content in this game doesn’t truly scale unless you’re doing it with low-grade ships and are making up for that deficiency with numbers. I sense I’ve started to ramble a bit, so let me get back on track. This shit is fun, and fascinating, and I highly recommend it to newer players. I’ll probably keep running relic sites as I come across them, but I won’t bother with data sites, and I can’t be bothered with the combat sites. It’s fascinating to me to find something new to learn, though, and a rarity. As I do this, though, I’m a bit melancholy. In terms of actual ingame content, about the only things left that I haven’t done, at this point, are supercap construction, nullsec incursions, and full-time residence in high-end wormholes. That’s not much, and this exploration and wormhole content I’m playing with isn’t exactly new. It’s iterated on, sure, and CCP adds bits and pieces to further the Drifter storyline, but it’s not exactly new mechanics. I’m glad we’re gonna finally see some new sov here in another month or so, because if that wasn’t on the horizon, crossing this probing stuff off my to-do list would leave me woefully short of things to keep my interest as I creep up on my eighth year in New Eden. Hopefully new sov stays fresh long enough for CCP to add some things to this veteran’s to-do list.
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Oh Takashawa

Oh Takashawa enjoys smugness, spaceships, and burning unnecessary amounts of helium isotopes.