Leaving EVE


Eve, like the real world, has seasons and those seasons usually map onto the real world where Eve’s human players reside. With 88% of that population living in the Northern Hemisphere, we Eve players – all of us – currently find ourselves in the dog days of summer. College students are summer breaking, parents are officiating family vacation, construction workers are overtiming and CCP itself – nearly top to bottom – is on hiatus. Being a long term casual player since 2009, I’m aware this is temporary lull but still, it can be disheartening. Awash in morose mood, my mind turns to the puzzling ways so many leave Eve. While far from exhaustive list, here’s dabble in the bizarre I’ve observed.

Stoking Grudge

Eve, like all games, is a discretionary time sink funded with discretionary income. You need no excuse to stop playing. If you discover at some point that “This ain’t working for me,” stop. You’re not morally obligated to play this game. Accordingly, you don’t have to be morally wronged to extract yourself from its enticing embrace. Nurturing minor quarrels into major accusations is unseemly time waste.

Nostalgia Traps

Though the modern meaning of nostalgia (a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past) seems harmless endeavor, the word’s Greek origin reveals darker meaning: nostos ‘return home’ + algos ‘pain’ – i.e. debilitating homesickness. Accordingly, I partake cautiously because, like all mental disorders, you’re usually not thinking clearly while participating.

Though a stark memory, you’re only a virgin once. There’s no going back.

Even now, seven years on, I can close my eyes and recall my first moments in Eve bobbing serenely in my Reaper outside Embod IV – Moon 10 – Pator Tech School as the universe’s business proceeded around me. Though a stark memory, you’re only a virgin once. There’s no going back. In fact, ‘no going back’ is a central tenant of this game. All of us reside on a single history, single server where actions have consequences. Having no reset, not being able to return to a halcyon past is necessary ingredient to loss having meaning. To incessantly chase those early day sensations is to profoundly misunderstand Eve.

In similar vein, I recall my earliest group interactions: Highsec mission bear bait and murder shenanigans with newfound space friends. We called ourselves Ninja and it was great fun until CCP – for a variety of good reasons – nerfed that style of play into the dirt. Many of my associates left the game but I stayed around moving on to other things. Though I prize those space murder memories, I also remind myself that even if that avenue of gameplay was still available, several years on where I now stand, I almost certainly wouldn’t be traveling that road anymore. There’s little point in fervently bemoaning the loss of a trail one wouldn’t be hiking anyway.

Sunk Cost Fallacies

That a company or organization is more likely to continue with a project if they have already invested a lot of money, time or effort in it, even when continuing is not the best thing to do is called the Sunk Cost Fallacy. People so infuse this fallacy into their thinking they run with it in mind-bogglingly crazy directions.

Wrangling the present into distorting the value of a pleasant past is most unwise.

While past value not only fails to automatically generate current value, current value also fails to automatically overrule past value. Still, many players grump that because you can’t do something now like you used to then, the value of being able to do it then is diminished. You partook then, you enjoyed then, you were satisfied then. That’s good enough. Wrangling the present into distorting the value of a pleasant past is most unwise.

Even crazier are those players who run this fallacy in the other direction, connecting current value to some distant possible future value. Eve is a game, not a financial investment meaning fun futures is a market you don’t want to dabble in. Games, being games, are about enjoying now, not waiting to cash in on big time real fun at some distant later date. ***Terribly important clarification – I’m not saying don’t plan for the space future nor am I saying don’t speculate on what space profits that future may bring. If long term planning and speculation are something you enjoy, please partake. I do. Just be sure to grasp the bulk of your pleasure now (including the pleasure derived from intricate planning) since enjoying the here and now are what games are all about.

Blaming CCP for Your Fractured Social Life

Being a Massive Multi-Player Online Game, Eve has robust social component. That said, CCP is running a game, not a counseling service. They don’t exist to maintain and strengthen your online friendships. If one (or many) of your space friends wander off to other things because Eve ain’t working for them anymore, you don’t get to blame CCP for messing up your good gig. Rather, you have strong indicator of how close those friendships really were. Though a difficult observation to face, basing your friendships on actual ground truth is generally the best way to proceed. At least that’s what I try to do.

A Little Self-Mockery

“Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.” – Mary Schmich


Tags: DireNecessity

About the author


A soloish long-term casual player since 2009, sporting a troubling history of preying on the good people of highsec, these days DireNecessity enjoys the gentle pleasures like manufacturing, grandbabies and formal dining.