The day after Christmas, the family headed down to
for a quick one-day vacation with some relatives. It was a nice get-away. The temperature was a nice 70°, which was a
little too cold for surfing (though the waves were awesome), but perfect for
just enjoying the environment. In a 24-hour period, we went miniature golfing
three times and ate out three times, in addition to having some quiet time away
from the kids. Epic day. Ocean City
But with that singular exception, I had a lot of time on my hands to sit down and just play Eve. Not write about it, not focus on the drama or opening salvos of the CSM campaign season, but just play.
I try to make a little time each month to go off on my own and have a little solo fun. It’s easy to take Eve in two different directions. On the one hand, you can quickly find yourself inundated by fleets to participate in, and because a great many alliances don’t explain what the mission is for each fleet, you can tend to waste a lot of time on meaningless structure grinding, counter-entosis fleets, or strategic ratting.
But then there are those solo roams and small gang opportunities that are just delightful. The kinds of sessions where you just go back and forth avoiding gangs and killing targets you can find. The pure delight of just playing is reinvigorating, and I strongly recommend that you try it.
And it was glorious fun.
I managed to make exactly one fleet, in which TISHU contested an SMA a hangar clear-out fleet. We brought fleet canes, they brought whatever they had, and despite a 2:1 disadvantage, we cleared the field with no losses. But SMA deserves respect, both for this welp fleet (it was their intention to lose that fleet) and for some recent news coming out of their alliance. If any Imperium alliance could flex its muscle and stand on its own feet, I’d have to say it’s SMA and The Initiative. They both demonstrate the spirit essential for viability, and I respect them for it.
But, other than that single fleet, I spent a lot of time just making tracks, both in Venal and in Syndicate. I’ve been having a lot of fun roaming through Venal, Vale, and Pure Blind recently, snagging a few kills, including a juicy hulk.
The second stint met with a bit more resistance, but that’s to be expected from the Syndicate boys. First, I traded a heretic for a comparably price Enyo, but I also got his pod, which was worth another 150 million. That’s why you fly interdictors, folks.
Then, I took my new Bifrost out for a spin and ran smack-dab into its limitations. While it’s able to tank incredibly well, the damage is, in fact, poor, and I was in armor when I finally killed a simple Algos. Too close of a fight for what I’d expect, to be honest…
In all cases, though, I came across pilots who were willing to engage, fighting honorably, and demonstrating exemplary skill. That’s hardly the “everyone blobs” or “no one’s willing to fight” narrative you might be hearing from the people you talk to. Eve is – despite reports to the contrary, actually quite alive and well, filled with plenty of pilots willing to engage on equal terms and just have fun.
This morning, I awoke to a reddit post that mirrored this very same sentiment. It included the efforts of a new player to earn enough isk to plex his account during his trial period. It’s a monumental undertaking for a newbie, and he managed to do it with two days left.
It’s a great achievement, not just for the accomplishment, but for the eagerness, energy, and pure enjoyment he demonstrates for this wacky game. There’s so much joy in this game, and so much to be delighted by, if we’re only willing to stop worrying about the clutter and simply appreciate it. The Master Blaster gets it.
And that’s a refreshing narrative to read. I’m inspired by his simple delight at this game. We’re doing something right if new players are experiencing this kind of excitement. To quote Lex Arson, TISHU’s fearless leader, FC, madman, and CSM candidate: “What a time to be alive.”