Friday, 14 May 2010

Eve Online - Missions Mayhem and a Murderous Creative Block

So, thats me (above) in Eve Online.

I started a 14 day trial account 13 days ago and today purchased an annual subscription which should reflect the absolute and instant addiction to this game.

When your on a mission in Eve, it's not like if you die your avatar is spawned at some virtual grave yard were you just run back to your corpse and all is well again. (Like World of Warcraft)

In Eve, if your ship gets blown up, you not only loose your ship but any cargo it holds, all of your ships modules and add ons that you purchased from the in game market or were rewarded by completing various agent missions.

And if your actual "self" or avatar gets killed you stand to loose all the skills you have spent 12 hours a day for days/weeks/months developing.

Lets put it this way, being "podded" in Eve is that much of a likelihood and fear for a player you can (and should) buy insurance for your ship.
I took out insurance when I was prompted by the rookie tutorial but could only afford 60% so it's with much trepidation I undock out of each space station.

The immediate attraction to Eve concerns me because it's been years since I was so drawn to an escapism like this and I don't know if the game has become a much needed distraction in my life or it's just a very compelling game which distracts me from my normal day to day working routine. (and that's the issue here for me)

I am a "doer" I want things done yesterday, a typical Type A personality and I have come to realise I cannot control sales they swing up and down with a will of their own it seems and I cannot find the "key" to why people from all over the world all decide to start and stop spending money.

I find it ironic that for 2 years I have been driven like a woman possessed to make new textures in a bid to keep our heads above water to now find during a period of personal low productivity,  sales have increased by 15 - 20 percent, the first long term sales increase in over two years.

I had always attributed good sales to new content, so if there is no direct connection between my work load and the amount of sales... wheres my incentive to keep creating?

Also,  having recently moved from a Windows PC to an iMac and Photoshop CS3 to CS4  (which makes me feel like I am wearing someone else's skin) and this has prompted a creative block.

I can't seem to get my act together. I literally open Photoshop and stare at the monitor.

There was a time when I was so worried with the continued loss in sales during this historic recession,  I would be pushing myself and working from 8am to 3 am, pushing plans and changes and spending money to improve search and navigation at the store or making new textures each and every day.

Friends have called me a texture machine due to the rate I would create texture sets, with a new collection created almost every day.

So, to find I have created very little recently and sales have increased makes me wonder if I even need to be there. What difference do I make?

Sure, we have over 90,000 textures now and some might say the 5 years of hard work has now afforded me time to relax a little. But if you snooze you loose as the saying goes and I never sit back and take sales for granted. You have to improve your skill and quality of stock to stay ahead of the game. Long gone the days when there was only a hand full of good texture stores and we were one of only a hand full, it seems everyone and their dog is making and selling textures in SL these days.

These days SL is that big with many stores and new members that when I stand in my own store  customers sometimes approach me asking "do you work here?"
They have no idea I own it.

So, in light of all of the above, sitting around my home with no sense of control or direction leaves me feeling bored and depressed which of course leads to a creative block and worrying about a creative block becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

My routine has all gone to crap and I have no creative ambition anymore. So thats playing on my mind as it's my drive to succeed that got me where I am today, but anyway, lol enough of my anxious rambling and back to Eve...

Eve requires a Hell of a lot of initial learning and researching and your often left stuck with a mission way above your skills and your ships capabilities.

I have lost 9 hours of my life I'll never get back today alone. But the things that hold you back in Eve are the same things your driven to overcome.

Eve can be annoying as Hell leaving me feeling blind and alone to the point I want to log out vowing never to return.
But then like a woman possessed,  "The Lord Jesus Christ compels me!" and I am logging back in for another 6 hour shift.

I have unfinished missions (which if left unfinished will really mess my progress up) because I don't have the correct ship equipment or high enough skills and all of that is fine IF I knew which skills I needed and what ship add ons I should obtain.

The learning curve of Eve makes look like a walk in the park and World Of Warcraft a joke in all honesty and the fact new none paying members do not have access to the official forum has got to be the strangest decision ever.

Eve is definitely a "grown up" game were practise, patience and above all tons of research is an absolute must to succeed.

Like most games I play, I suspect Eve is just a novelty for me right now and the shelf life will pass in time and my creative drive and ambition returns to my previous level because nothing compares to the pleasurable pastime of creating digital art when your hearts in it.


  1. I read your blog regularly and feel compelled to comment on your newly found EVE addiction. EVE is EVIL!. I was building content full time in 2008 and was introduced to EVE by a friend. Long story short, I didn't build a single item for SL for 6 months! I basically just took 6 months off of work (SL) without planning it. Every morning I would log into SL and into EVE and start off with good intentions, cover my customer service, flipping between the 2 programs. Then EVE would suck me in and in the few instances I did try to create in SL I just couldn't get into it as I knew EVE was a click away. Like you, I thought the novelty would ware off. I had played loads of MMO's before and they all had a shelf life of a couple of months before I got bored and I only ever played them a few hours per day. But not EVE. The Longer you play the more immersed you become to the point that you have to set your alarm clock in the middle of the night to get up and start training a new skill, or spend half of your family holiday sat on your laptop. It got to the point where I was more interested in earning ISK rather than L$. After 6 months of this I just had to Stop, Literally force myself to uninstall it. My 2 real life friends still spend 16 hours per day playing it years later. They rule multiple solar systems and run one of the most powerful corps in the game. However they are also both unemployed, living in shit accommodation, overweight and single.

    My name is Porky Gorky and I am an EVE addict.

    I have been clean for nearly 2 years.

  2. Hi Porky.. I know your name :)

    Oh shit. That is scary.
    I have deleted from my computer after reading your post.
    when your self employed self motivation is paramount and having the freedom to "have a day off" can be dangerous but it was never an issue to me, I was always drawn to "work" and photoshop.
    I have been low on creative motivation since I changed from windows to mac and CS3 to CS4 its really messed up my "flow" and I know that sounds really pretentious but anyone who designs anything knows what I mean when I say you sometimes get into a zone and things just work well and your creativeness isn't a challenge its just "there" but I have had this pain in the ass "cant be assed" block for months now... so yes, when I tried EVE it was a challenge but one I felt compelled to overcome and I can totally relate to how the more you invest time and attention to it the more it sucks you in because its like developing a business... in a way. The objectives are very visible and achieving them gives you a great buzz better than WOW ( which I can take or leave and thats how a game should be)
    EVE is OK if you "have" to goto work 9 - 5 but for someone self employed working from home its potentially a very dangerous pass time.

    Regards your overweight unemployed single mates living in shit holes, any of them from the UK? think one of them might be my ex.. jus kiddin lol

  3. It's not ok if you have a 9 to 5 lifestyle! For a long time my Eve career was going better than my real one.
    Great game. Had to leave or wreck RL.