Monday, December 9, 2013

Should You Teach Your Wife to Play Eve?

Eve is a game we all spend large amounts of time playing.  Quite often, our significant others (henceforth shortened to “wives” for ease) simply don’t understand how important internet pixels really are.  We strive, often in vain, to help explain that yes, we really did need to stay up until 3 a.m. to participate in that fleet fight, and that no, we aren’t wearing the headset just to ignore them.

At some point, we all ask ourselves, “What if I taught my wife to play Eve?”  Visions of our lives becoming easier through domestic simpatico pass through our minds.  This was exactly the question I asked myself about a year ago.

Let me tell you, there are definitely advantages, but it’s not all roses.  So allow my experience to serve as an exemplum for you.

My alt, Valeria Bovinus, is actually my wife’s character. 

Why is it my wife’s character?  At the time, I was still paying for my account with my credit card, and one of the terms of me getting a second account was that the family would pay for it, but she wanted a character all to herself.  The name comes from the fact that she saw that you could buy livestock on the market; hence, Bovinus.

I built the character, her training queue, and got her into a basic Tengu setup.  Five months later (did I mention your wife has to be very patient?), we went out on our first training run, out to a null-sec site to shoot some battleship rats.  She liked it, and wanted to join a PvP fleet.

So, I started her out on a small roam, we travelled around a bit, shot some people, and she got mad at me for podding someone.  She thought it was really mean.

Now, keep in mind, this is a woman descended from Cossacks who left Tzar Nicholas high and dry during the revolution.  Podding is mean.  Next time you think PvPers aren’t twisted, just mull over the fact that even an unforgiving Russian finds them mean.

But she liked it, all was well, and she played a bit.  Two things stopped her playing regularly.  The first was when she became pregnant with our second child and started going to bed earlier.

The second was her first fleet fight.  It took an hour to form up, then we sat on a Titan for an hour.  Then, when we bridged in, we didn’t engage because of superior numbers, so we had to slow-boat home before standing down the fleet.  Suffice to say, this wasn’t what she expected it to be.

The good news is, I now had an alt I could use for all sorts of unspeakable evils (cynos, probing… *gasp* ratting).  In the end, it was a great excuse to get a second account, which I now use to pay for both my accounts.  The bad news is I’m flying around with a character essentially named “Valeria Cow”.  Kinda funny, but it hardly strikes terror into the hearts of enemies.  Sure, I’ve trained her up to be an excellent PvP character, but… moo?

She’s getting back into it now, and we’re actually going to roam (if our second computer holds up) Friday night.  So I’ve definitely gained a friend to roam with.

But, there are darker sides to teaching your wife to play Eve.  She now knows that a fleet op isn’t a short affair, and won’t let me do it while she’s still up.  More than once, we’ve had this conversation:

Wife: The baby’s up again.  Can you go soothe her?
Me: I’d love to, but I’m hunting someone right now.
Wife: I can see your covops cloak.  Just warp to a safe and cloak up.
Me: … (soothing the baby)

And this one:

Wife: Can you make popcorn?
Me: I’m in hostile space, I can’t leave right now.
Wife: You’re aligned, I’ll warp you to a safe if anything enters local.
Me: … (making popcorn)

She now knows how valuable my ship is, she knows about logoff timers, and she knows exactly how to use the market window.

Now, I’m not saying ALL women love to shop.  I don’t much care about what other women do.  I’m just saying my wife likes to buy livestock.  Cows.  A lot of them.  She fancies herself a cattle baron (ever since that Firefly episode where they transport the cattle…).  And you can buy a lot of cows with several dozen billion isk.  Both normal and genetically engineered.  If only they could breed, she’d be delighted.

I’m waiting for the moment she realizes she can buy monocles, glasses, and special dresses in the Noble Exchange.  “Sorry honey, your balance is zero because I needed PLEX for aurum.”

(Side note: I shouldn’t write for this blog while she’s next to me.  She now knows.  *sigh*)

But despite all that, all my wildest hopes about getting her into Eve came true.  The morning after a late night roam, she asks, “Get any kills?”, and she’s actually interested in what happened.  She knows what an Erebus is and how difficult it is to kill one.  She listens to my stories about fights and asks intelligent questions about the tactics.

She asks the obvious questions I never think of, pointing out stupid things about the game and ways we play.  Some of the posts on this site come from innocent questions she asks (like many of her questions, they only seem innocent, but she knows the can of worms she’s opening).

Perhaps most interestingly, I’m debating the possibility of going to Fanfest one of these years (depending on some RL concerns).  I broached the subject with her and – to my extreme surprise – she actually jumped on the idea.  “Iceland has horseback riding and some of he best jewelers in Europe.”  So, yeah, that could happen, and all because she plays Eve now.

Then again, I suppose some folks wouldn’t want their wives to go to Fanfest… but I honestly wouldn’t want to go without her.

The trick, of course, is finding an angle to Eve that draws your wife’s interest.  For me, it was livestock, a relatively worthless Eve commodity with little real impact on capsuleer day-to-day experiences.

But I’m glad some developer put livestock into the game.  It’s made all the difference.

My wife would, however, like to ask the developers why they put exotic dancers in the game.  Of course, it wouldn’t be an issue if I didn’t have one in my cargo hold…

This article was written with permission from my wife.


  1. Thanks for sharing, that was a hilariously good read.
    Love women and their unexplained fascination with the most mundane things.

  2. That totally rocked :-). Your wife can't come to Fanfest as a 'Sisters of EVE' participant since she's a pilot herself. We'll be expecting her for the main event. Doesn't stop her from riding the horses, obviously.

    I've always thought we need more women there because of their perspective. CCP has a roundtable specifically for women pilots, to ask them about their experience. The women were asked whether they would prefer an easier sort of game and they were quite vocal about that: NO WAY! The women of EVE are not squeamish.

    I've talked to a few women there. One of them I looked up. She has a bounty on her head. A big one. Someone wants her pod -bad- :-).

    Fanfest is awesome, Iceland is fabulous, the Icelanders are crazy.

    If you can make it, you won't regret it.

  3. As a wife who's husband talked her into playing EVE by showing me nifty, shiny ships AND the market to play with... I fully endorse this blog post.

  4. I did it the other way around.

    I took my GF to Fanfest, which made her want to be part of the game... until she realized she would have to pay a subscription at the end of the 51 days. Then she left. :(

    1. Left the game, not me, in case that wasn't obvious.

  5. My girlfriend loved it and I think has actually encouraged her to play!

  6. Dex.. Just buy her a couple dozen MALE exotic dancers and the problem's solved.


    1. Especially when she finds out that they are livestock too ;)

  7. Awesome post ... :-)

  8. You are a GREAT writer! Love reading your posts!