I've come to realize something during my short time within the Eve Universe; Everything you do matters. What you do comes attached with a huge chain of choices. Each of those little choices you make will have some type of impact on what you are doing in the game. Those decisions can bring success, failure, frustration, celebration and even a good laugh or two.
The process of careful decision making starts the very moment you enter the game in the form of your avatar. This is what will forever represent you within the universe. Well, until you decide you're ready for a new scar or tattoo or if you're ready change of hair do. To change that all you have to do is dock into the nearest station to re-customize. Really, that's as easy as the decision making gets. From there is a downward spiral of choice after choice.
Do you do the tutorials or strike out on your own? (For the love of all that is sane and logical PLEASE do the tutorials.) Do you go the route of wealth and power or go for blood and tears; maybe both? Do you go for frigates, battleships, capitals or specialty ships? What skills do you train? What corporation or alliance will you join? Which resources will you use? What will spend your game time doing?
After a year a playing this game I still have trouble making those choices. About two weeks or so ago, I left SpaceMonkey's Alliance to spread my wings in New Eden and try something new. I spent most of my time trying to answer the age old question; 'What do you want to be when you grow up?' The only answer I've been able to come up with so far is 'a killer.' It's an unsettling though oddly liberating realization. At least I had made the first choice. Now it's on the second.
Where was I going to go and with whom would I kill things? EVE Online after all is a very social game. I can't think of any other game where I socialized to this degree during game play outside of game nights with my family when I was younger or role-play sessions with friends. I found out rather quickly after four or five days of doing missions in high sec, belt ratting in low and null sec, rifter roaming in low sec and wormhole surfing.... EVE is kind of boring alone. At least it is for me. I've heard the joys watching movies while mining, but... that's not really my thing.
I considered high sec. Running with AD0PT seemed like a good option especially when I knew Croakraoch, an awesome FC, as well as some of their more colorful pilots from M0F0's days of running with SMA. I spent some time talking to The Pitboss and they seemed to have a really good operation out there. They did have all the elements I was looking for when it came to my search.
I considered pirating in low sec. I spent some time looking over different websites and kill boards seeing what different corps had to offer. I even went out to different systems in low sec and checked out corps by who was moving though the area. I even got to watch a little Gallante/ Caldari faction warfare clash while cloaked up in my helios. It was pretty cool, but nothing I found really grabbed me.
I talked to different people about what they had done in the game and if they had any suggestions for me. I actually spent a lot of time in the Women Gamers of Eve Channel talking to them about their experiences. Organizations like Rote Kappelle and Noir. came up in conversation. It was really great to hear some of the stories and personal descriptions of corporation and alliance practices. Still nothing grabbed me the way I wanted it to.
Then all of a sudden it just happened. I was hanging out in Essence belt rating while I watched the low sec pilots go to and fro. In the interesting of helping out a low wallet I did some light belt ratting. It was mind-boggling boring. So boring in fact; my attention had been diverted to a video link exchange that erupted in an in-game channel. It was then that a little pop-up box of salvation came.
Kenndo from Wrecking Shots of Wildly Inappropriate. was contacting me. It seemed that an Incursion had hit the Fade area and they were trying to get a group together to go a-carebearing and then maybe hit some systems for a roam a little later on. However, there was a hitch in the plan. I wasn't blue for I had left SMA. Kenndo, you ingenious fiend.
He dangled the carrot. Now if you're thinking that the incursion was the carrot, you've missed something. It's the social. I was bored and why? I had grown accustomed to playing Eve as a social game. They had found me in my greatest moment of weakness and offered me what I was missing from my game. The social aspect of EVE Online is one of the reasons I enjoy this game as much as I do. It was one of the reasons I was a successful corporation and pilots recruiter for SMA and it's part of the reason I'm now a podcaster and attempted blogger for the game as well.
So that was my choice. I choose to be social and focus on that aspect of the game. I choose to enjoy EVE Online with people that I enjoy as well. I look forward to flying with the miscreants of WSHOT. I also look forward to some of the other projects I'm starting in the game. While I may not know exactly where my choices will lead my journey though this Ultimate Sci-Fi Experience... I know it's going to be one wild ride.
Oh... and damn you Hallan Turrek.