Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Chapter Eight Gamma

Et Cetera, Among Other Things

Being the finicky type I am, something about my last post irks me. It was lengthy and had solidity, yes, but it was all about me. I flew here, I flew there, I turned invisible, I got caught, I got out, I I I. This blog-forum post hybrid thing is about my wanderings - and even then it's more about the people I meet and the sticky situations that come with solo 0.0 travel than about me as a pilot and a player - but moreso than jabbering on about the concrete details of my travels I like to write about the thoughts that strike me from some unexpected direction. I like to talk about the history and the future of things, what skewed memories I can recall and how my biases affect my speculations about EVE's progress.

For the record, EVE has always been in a state of progress. Despite the cries of the displeased, EVE has never taken a step backwards - mostly because of player ingenuity that prevents the game from becoming stagnant no matter what changes the developers affect. To the fleet blobbers and the fleet commanders that struggle to refine them into a military machine, I say good job. To the neverending stream of IPOs and the stock brokers and those who trust both of them, I say good job. To the twenty three hour-a-day no-security pipe campers, I say good job. To the low-security smartbombing mothership pilots, to the AFK cloakers, to the alliance infilitrating alt spies, to the scammers, to the node crashers and lag bombers, to the market monopolizers, to the forum warriors and propaganda artists, I say good job.

And to all of those who put up with and adapt to and work around them, and to those who fight them steadfastly in the game to change their ways, you've done the best job of all. For even though I favor a brutal EVE just as any other player - regardless of profession - might favor a softer EVE, whatever incarnation of the game we all currently log into is EVE - there is no other version for those who disagree with this or that intricacy or even the entire nature of the game. Since there is only one EVE, those who make that choice to play it - as devotees or casual gamers - are the ones that make the game what it is, an idea applicable to any multiplayer game but most visible and most admirable in this game here that we all play.

This all is one of Those Things that I've been thinking about while I travel. The other thing is far less weighty and far less overarching - in fact, it does not arch at all. It is those negligible, mildly amusing ideosyncracies that each ship has. Often, it's something like the Stabber's 5m^3 drone bay: enough for a single light drone, and nothing more. It's a detail that becomes increasingly wonderous as the weariness of a long journey and intimacy with the quirks of your ship combine - who decided that this ship gets a single light drone? Did they look at the ship plans and think "Hm, you know what this ship could really use? A light drone!" Did they believe it would give the ship that extra edge, that it would turn the tables once out of every thousand skirmishes? Were they afraid there would be long-winded forum posts sagging under the weight of mathematics showing why this ship needed a single light drone? Or did they have a sense of humor, hoping to inspire this very process of amused speculation?

Either way, I always put a Hobgoblin I in that cozy little drone bay. I've never used "Billy," as I call him - based on the hypothesis that all drones are in fact named Billy - but maybe, just maybe, some day I will.

Maybe that light drone will tip a battle in my favor one day. Maybe Billy will kill a titan.

We can only hope.

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