Friday, May 20, 2016

EVE That Was

EVE has been occupying my idle moments lately.  That's good, and bad.  Well before the 85% post, I was pondering things, and dark thoughts flitted in and out of my head.  Upon close inspection, these thoughts would evaporate; I could not force them to congeal into a concise position.  But yet the feeling of unease lingered, and the comfort that I sought was elusive.  I've felt like I've been fighting a blanket that's too small on a cold winter night.  The cold keeps creeping back in.

And that's why, when Neville's 85% post hit, I jumped on it with both feet.

And yet, with time, that single post doesn't quite keep me warm at night either.

Oddly enough, it was mowing the lawn that I think has finally caused a breakthrough.  Mowing, me, and EVE go way back.  At the old house, in the summers of 2003 and 2004, I'd have to afk for an hour every Saturday so that I could go push the mower around our postage stamp in the subdivision.  During that hour, I'd hatch plans and create a mental map of all that I needed to do and all the folks I needed to contact when I returned to my comfortable chair.

Today, as regular readers know, we own 10 acres and I mow between 2 and 4 acres of it depending on the week.  Yesterday I was plotzing around on the Deere, and I happened to think of EVE in the early days, and those Saturdays long ago at the old address and how energizing that time was.  EVE was a central focus, mowing was a chore but a mental break (chainsaw therapy) that I needed to step back and look at the game strategically.

So, yesterday, I began thinking about the game in its infancy - May and June of 2003.  The feelings I had then for the game and the feelings I have today are so distinct that it feels like two very different game titles.  That's not to say one is better than the other - they're just different.  Imagine meeting your dad when he was in his 30s and interacting with him as a peer and contrast that to the father you know today in his 50s or 60s. These two individuals are the same man, but are probably very different people in terms of experience, intensity, interests, and perhaps even temperament/demeanor. Your own role as son/daughter vs. peer plays a role in how your interactions shape up - and that's similar in a way to how you approach EVE today as a returning bittervet or a noob undocking for the first time.  Your expectations and approach are different.

I think it's safe to say that the EVE of yesterday appeals to my soul better.  There's no way I can go back and relive those early days, so this is a moot thing to type about, but while the EVE of today is better in almost every way, I miss the crusty and simple aspects of the game of 2003.  I've known this for awhile, but on the mower I again realized that trying to recapture that feeling of the early days is what makes me continue to sub up.

Lately I've not been productive isk-wise or progress wise.  I've just been touring the highsec systems and regions and have been doing things more randomly; docking at different stations, visiting old systems, and just looking at the skeleton of the game that I know is still there.  I found my favored space-taxi (Amarr Navy Slicer) and popped through random gates without the shackles of using autopilot to plot my jump route.  I went to regions that I used to frequent as part of my trade routes and space trucker empire but no longer have a viable business need to visit.  I checked out some highsec citadels, visited some moons and asteroid belts, and looked at a sky that was Caldari blue.  I'd missed it.

The next 2 weeks are going to be a blur with work and Big Dumb Ride prep, but I'm hopeful that after the dust settles and summer takes hold, I'll be able to devote more time to investigate the EVE-that-was that's still within the EVE-that-is.

I say things like "more time for EVE soon" quite a bit... but one of these days, I'm going to be right. :)


  1. Strange, I too have concocted big Eve plans while mowing.

    That said, I consciously keep nostalgia at respectful distance. I not only can’t return to a time that no longer exists, I fear that current me, if I somehow actually found a way back, would not experience things at all like old me did thereby corrupting the fond memories that lead me to undertake the trip in the first place. There be dragons back their Abavus. Reminisce cautiously.

    1. >> Reminisce cautiously.

      Certainly. There's nothing about this that's driven by regret or a desire to change things or pining for a "better" time. If I could go back, I also wouldn't: the EVE of 2003 was a buggy place with an even clunkier interface with tedious navigation and interaction, a lack of the player utilities we enjoy today (dotlan, etc.) and I'm certain I wouldn't tolerate it very well at all. It's been more of a mental exercise to sift through the memories for nuggets of ambition, tangents left undiscovered, or forgotten motives that drove me.

      I've been asking myself "what was the thing that hooked you in 2003?" After investing so much time in the game, it's easy to forget what it was I was after to begin with. I've begun to answer that question, but I probably need another good mowing session to put it into words. :)

      I think that Aba03 and Aba16 would largely get along pretty well if somehow they could meet in corp chat. He is, effectively, the same character with the same sort of moral bearing and interests. Aba16 might roll his eyes at some of the Aba03 thoughts and ideals, but all in all, they'd coexist nicely.

      We think of EVE as a sandbox, but I really think it's more of a beach/shoreline. Through time, the tides come and go and erase recent history, and the occasional storm can reshape the entire thing. We squabble over sandcastles, but most come and go with the whims of the waves and other forces of nature beyond our control. I think of the character Abavus as a piece of driftwood, sometimes floating, and sometimes firmly buried in the middle of it, but mostly unchanging in shape as time marches on. Eve has changed much since 2003, weathered many storms and the shape of the shoreline has changed accordingly. In contrast, I'd like to think that while Abavus has more miles on his odometer, he's still mostly the same.


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