Wednesday, September 14, 2016

What I'm Missing Most...

Over the past few days, the fam has been on vacation, and my access to anything Eve-related has been limited to the occasional read of Reddit and the odd update of Evanova. Beyond disappointment that my market orders have obviously been bettered (based on a wallet that hasn't been steadily increasing), I really haven't missed Eve that much.

I mean, sure, it's therapeutic to play at the end of the day, and that's not going to change. But, I've been by the beach, getting lots of good sleep, and not worrying about work in the slightest for the past three days. I don't really need pew therapy, do I? It's not really much of a surprise that I'm not missing playing.

But, amid the absence, it occurred to me that I really am missing parts of the game. I feel like I'm missing the story. Between Catiz's coronation coming, the Purity of the Throne events, and the new Scope video, I'm itching to get back and participate in some of the new lore developments.

When I had that thought, I stopped cold. It was immediately followed by another. The things that draw me to Eve are a lot more complex than I (and many people I've talked to) may first believe.

In game, I rat and trade to earn isk. That occupies a lot of my time. But the truly enjoyable activities, for me, at least, are PvP-focused: fleets, solo roams, and corp small-gang fun roams on Friday nights. Yet, that's not what I'm missing. I can do without the "bricks", if you will.  What really gets me antsy to return is all the "mortar" that fills in the spaces between those bricks.

I can't think of another game I've played in which the GMs provide an in-universe explanation to every mechanic change and development that comes out of their programmers. CONCORD ordering the reclassification of the Hurricane and Drake into Navy Issue versions, for instance, shows a dedication to the lore that allows role-players to find a home alongside metagamers and point-and-shoot players. It creates immersion even for players who don't role-play. It creates narrative that runs parallel to the narratives players create.

I hadn't really considered the consequences of that part of the game weaving through the rest. Story really matters to me, and CCP has done a good job of remaining dedicated to story even as they handle basic mechanic changes, in addition to providing some in-universe explanation to special events like the Crimson Harvest and Purity of the Throne.

While I admit the Purity skins look awesome, if they're available for cheap on the market, I'll likely never run a site and simply buy them instead. But I'm feeling as if I'm missing something by sitting on the sidelines. Whether I kill rats or not, my experience is improved by the inclusion of these events and the lore-explanations of them within the game.

The simple existence of a thing in Eve provides me with satisfaction, regardless of whether I even interact with it. That's an intriguing thought, and extends beyond something like my new appreciation for PvE development. I don't think Purity of the Throne events are involved in that PvP lifecycle at all, but they add color to the universe that adds additional importance to everything we do in game.

But, I'm feeling that tug to participate, not as much for the experience of accomplishing the tasks, but for the enjoyment of being a part of the narrative.

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