Baineann sé le bheith cúig bliana, rud a dhéanamh anois?

Baineann sé le bheith cúig bliana, rud a dhéanamh anois?
(It’s been five years, what to do now?)

My apologies to everyone for not writing a lot over these past few weeks. Save for the Fail Mail Friday posts, I know things have been a bit sparse here. I’ve been out of town for a project at work and things are now getting back to normal, so, time is once again available for other endeavors.

Ga'len's First Portrait

While I was away, I had started to write something as a mile stone for my EVE Gaming career was approaching. Today marks the fifth year since I created Ga’len.

Wow, has it been that long?

Five years is a long time to play the same computer game. Heck, nowadays, staying at the same job for five years is an accomplishment. It’s been a lot of fun these past five years and I have enjoyed making all the friends I have made.

With all the changes that have occurred in the MMORPG scene and with the many changes we have seen take place in EVE Online, one does begin to wonder why you would continue to play this game? Heck, I am often asked why I continue to play a pirate in game.

I spent time living in null sec space and exploring all the possibilities of combat there from simple interceptor tackle gangs to full on capital ship fly engagements. It was a lot of fun but it lacked some of the adventure that low sec has always held for me.

Faction warfare seemed like and interesting tangent, but ultimately I decided to not pursue that option, mainly for some of the reasons that I left null sec space. Contrary to common conception, at least for me, being part of the blob is not that enjoyable. There is no fun for me when all you are doing is showing up and spending your time flying around between short spans of hitting F1 through F8. I don’t really obtain a sense of accomplishment from that.

So, for me, that leaves my one true love in game, piracy. As of late, that means joining one of the oldest and in my humble opinion, one of the most fun piracy organizations in game, the infamous Veto.

I am flying with a group of people who are a lot of fun. I am continually challenged to improve my hunting skills and finally the simply fun of playing a pirate engages me, even to this day.

So, as my character begins his sixth year as a capsuleer, what do I have to look forward to? What are my plans?

Ga'len's Updated Incarna Portrait

Well, I will say that I am one of those people who is looking forward to Incarna. I am one of those people who likes to role-play and finally having a full body avatar in game will allow me to do that more than emotes in a chat window.

Now I know that a lot of people are not happy with CCP spending all this time and money to develop something that seems to have nothing to do with Internet Spaceships and this may be true, but as with all things EVE Online, I take it with a grain of salt.

CCP Games is first and foremost a business. They are continuing to evolve both EVE Online as well as themselves. With an evolving business and game, there is always the question, “How can we get more people to enjoy the game and in turn, make more money.”.

The answer is not what many people want to hear. The answer is you look at market demographics and you begin to offer features that will pull people in.

It’s the pursuit of the casual gamer in the MMORPG that many gamer developers desire. That’s the market segment that buy all those apps on smart phones. That’s where the money is being made today.

Let me reveal a little secret to everyone here. I was a casual gamer until I found EVE Online.

I wasn’t the guy who was always building the next top of the line gaming rig. I wasn’t the guy who had to have every gaming console on the planet. Heck, I am the guy who does play Godfinger and WeRule on my iPad. Osmos HD is actually one of my favorites. Yes, I am one of those people who still plays solitaire….with the real cards, not on the computer. Of course nowadays, it’s a deck of EVE cards, but you get the picture.

So, what was it that brought me, the casual gamer, over to EVE Online? What was it that converted me into the EVE Player/Blogger/…yes, Fanboi?

EVE Online was different. It was complex. It was not something that you could shoehorn into a 6 button gaming console controller or something that the immersive component was limited to a keyboard and mouse.

EVE Online is more than a collection of servers and software. It was a community that is bold, daring, rich with culture and history and this was what I saw back in 2006. It’s grown in leaps and bounds since then.I fell in love with this game from the moment my wife suggested I try it out. My only disappointment is that my wife doesn’t play. She likes World of Warcraft.

Yes, running on the same network in my house are Internet bound bits for both EVE Online and WoW. If you need to, please feel free to pause a moment to allow then nausea to pass. I myself do twitch a bit at the notion of such blasphemy.

Ahem, okay, so what is is that my wife doesn’t like about EVE Online?

No full body avatar and the requirement of having to be in a spaceship. That simply has no appeal to her and honestly many people feel the same way. If you don’t think so, they ask yourself this question. Why is it that EVE Online has less subscribers than WoW?

Sure, one can argue the complex game play argument, but many people are more fickle than that.

My wife was so very annoyed when she made a character, spent all that time making her avatar to come to find out that she was stuck in a ship. My wife is part of the demographic that CCP Games is after, the casual gamer who wants to walk around in a world and never have to get in a ship and go pew-pew.

Now I have heard many arguments that Incarna only bring more subscribers from the casual gaming world to EVE Online or that the work will be used for the World of Darkness MMORPG. This may very well be true and as a business, it’s something that CCP should pursue. After all, they are in business to make money, it’s the name of the real world game. The fact that they do it while making something we all have come to love is really something special.

But what if something else can happen. What if those people who are brought into the EVE Universe decide that they want more? What if they decide that doing missions in a stations get boring.

What happens when that casual gamer gets into ship and hit a the UNDOCK button?
Do you think that the potential form someone to discover the joys of being a Capsuleer is limited to what we have now?

I’m not saying that everyone who joins our community in a post Incarna world will fly Internet Spaceships, but it does open new doors for our game. It does create the possibility and that one reason, at least to me, makes Incarna worthwhile. It’s the willingness of CCP Games to not only think about adding something completely off track to the game but to actually do it.

So, this coming year, I will continue to be a pirate. I will continue to hunt and seek out PvP but I will also be looking forward to Incarna and in turn, possibly just possibly, sharing my time in New Eden with my wife.

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~ by J. Riley Castine on March 5, 2011.

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