Monthly Archives: February 2012

The EVE Writer takes off!

Without meaning to, I found out that a term I made up happened to be a word that some people actually use for the exact purpose I made it out to be.

The term I coined in my head was “metamarket,” and it refers to the creation of a market related to an existing product that adds value to the already existing product by virtue of that additional market being established.

I’ve told a handful of people that I wanted to establish some kind of metamarket to make ISK in EVE Online. As far as I understand it, even when you’re not playing the game, the mechanics of the game allow for blogs and websites to get some kind of ISK funding if they have advertisements, such as Eve News 24 or the EVE Battleclinic.

For me, that means that EVE has a sense of forward progression whether you’re in-game or out of it. As your skills train, you progress forward and gain new skills to help you become a better pilot. At the same time, with an existing metamarket, you also get the benefit of in-game monetary gain if you play your cards right in the physical world.

That made me want to think outside the box and see what else could be tapped as a business venture for my personal enjoyment, allowing me to further appreciate this intriguing out-of-game mechanic that ties in well to the universe of New Eden and increase my in-game assets as well.

To that end, I looked at my strengths and realized that since I enjoy writing, I might as well tie it into the EVE infrastructure somehow. After some consideration and a few hours of free blog building on WordPress, I came up with The EVE Writer, a place where players who want to have  announcements and advertisements tailor-made for their needs can invest some ISK into getting quality write-ups.

Whether they want advertisements for their corp on the forums, an announcement of a new feature for their EVE-related tool, or an editor for their EVE RP piece, I aim to provide that service. Folks who prefer to focus on doing what they do best, whether it be industry, PVE, PVP, or app creation, can let me handle how to tell everyone about what they’re doing in a positive, well-written manner that makes everyone happy.

That said, I hope advertising this here and through various means can reel in some curious folk who’d like to try out the service. In the meantime, I shall focus on real-life stuff and not get overly excited about this metamarket idea, as it can always blow up in my face.

Cheers!


Category: EVE Online, MMOs

When I play video games, I have this horrible tendency to min-max my actions . It’s just how I got used to playing console games; worse still, it translated into a desire to do things expediently in MMOs.

Now EVE is a big place, with many different things to do and a lot of skills needed to properly accomplish those tasks. The one thing I knew I wanted to do in the long term was to eventually build ships, but I also knew that I had to make money to get the materials and blueprints and skillbooks needed to both build the spacecraft I would be using and fly it properly without losing it in a firefight.

To respond to that scenario, I asked myself, “What do I want to do?”

I wanted to do Planetary Interaction. Then someone told me in the forums that I might not get a lot of money or be able to properly invest in Planetary Interaction as a newcomer to the game. I reconsidered my plans to follow this route.

I followed up that thought with the possibility of doing missions and farming the standings and research points needed for datacores to make the ships I wanted to build. The information was at my fingertips, when someone told me that I wouldn’t be able to make good use of the information I had because I wasn’t training the right skills to level 5. I reconsidered my plans to try this out in the interim.

At a loss, I asked the members on the EVE forums about the best way to skill my character so I could do Planetary Interaction, Missioning, and Industry at the same time, effectively. To that end, Mara Rinn and RavenPaine gave me the best advice I could ever really ask for.

Mara Rinn told me to “Fly spaceships for fun, not profit.”

RavenPaine said, “ISK is very important, but FUN is more important. Make sure that your chosen path (paths) is fun and interesting for YOU.”

Of course, they were right. In the past, nearly every console and PC game I had spent hours obsessing over with min-maxing and “getting everything right,” I ultimately never finished. In MMOs, I got burned out from wondering if I was strong enough, or made enough DPS, or if I was looking at the right database entry for a questline I needed to finish to get better loot that was only incrementally more powerful and not even visually shown on my character.

While in EVE, information and knowledge (and website tabs with guide entries) is definitely important, worrying about maximizing ISK all the time makes it a job: one where, unless you trade in the black market, you don’t even get paid in food-buying money for. It’s an approach that can drive me away from playing EVE, if not from burnout, then from fear of being ganked and losing a virtual ship because I couldn’t fly it right.

I’ve chosen, in that regard, to not worry about maximizing ISK. Instead, I want to do the three things I feel like doing (PI, Missions/Datacore gathering, and building stuff) as best as I can WITHOUT worrying about the min-maxing of stats and the optimization of my skill queue.

Sure, I’ll still be a nervous wreck at times wondering if I’m doing the right thing. That’s to be expected as a new capsuleer. All of it, however, is part of the capsuleer’s experience in space. With a future that reaches up to distant stars, who says we have to stay focused on a single shining beacon of light? New Eden is mine to explore, and I hope to get many good memories out of flying here.


Late last week, I went back into EVE Online after a long hiatus. I was really afraid to go back and play the game because I’d forgotten how to fly the ship and do everything, but it seems I’m slowly getting the hang of it again.

I’m currently running the Blood Stained Stars Mission Chain for money, while I try to figure out how to skill my capsuleer and earn money. My long term goal has always been to make my own ships, but earning the money, material, and skillbooks necessary to make them well and fly them properly is going to give me some issues.

I do hope I can get a better understanding of the big picture soon enough, as I’d like to make some headway into my own ventures eventually.

Till then, some links.

My Post on the EVE forums asking for the skills I ought to look for and level up.

My EVEBoards character profile, listing my skills at present.


Category: EVE Online, MMOs

I am what can be called a new player in EVE Online.I played for 21 days as part of a trial back in 2011 prior to the Crucible expansion, and I enjoyed my time in New Eden.I didn’t sub due to some financial issues that have sorted themselves out, but well… now I’m not sure what to do.

I want to go back to playing the game, however, there is always this hesitation to do so mostly because I have completely forgotten how to do most of the basic stuff in the game. I cannot, for the life of me, remember how to operate my ship, or engage in combat, or loot, or create chat filters to ask people how to do basic things, and I’m afraid that I will be seen as a troll or be treated unkindly if I ask the most basic of questions that are probably answered by doing the tutorial.

While I can reread the tutorials (if I can remember how to get to them), I wouldn’t be able to really do them until I undocked and went into space. Unfortunately, what scares me about that is the possibility that of someone in Highsec, commiting suicide runs at my ship for the hell of it, and I lose a perfectly useful starter ship.

What I’d really like is for aspects of the tutorial to be repeatable without any rewards in order to hone and remember basic skills, because without those basic skills, I’m nothing more than a pod waiting to be sunk.

What would be useful would be official tutorial videos on the basics with the UI magnified to that you can both read the instructions and see the text so you remember what you’re looking for. (very useful for learning something like scanning as well as ship maneuvering). Knowing, for example, when to go approach at X distance versus orbiting at Y distance would be very useful for me as I have very little PVP or even PVE combat experience.

While I could go on and talk about skills training (which I find to be a treat when I find new skills and learn them!), I know I’m not the person to talk about specialization and core competencies. My wish, therefore, is that any new player experience allow for the basics to be taught well and for chances to those skills to be honed further or relearned be given a place of importance for the enjoyment of newbies like myself who take a while to adjust.


Category: EVE Online, MMOs, opinion

Between the two jobs I alternate between when it comes to writing and the games I tend to play and the other developments in my social life, I think I have it pretty good.

Thing is, for the past few years, I think I was in a bad place mentally and emotionally, without really fully understanding what was causing it. In one sense, I knew it was loneliness, because the loneliness crept in so bad sometimes that I played games less for enjoyment and more as some kind of numbing agent. I played games because it was part of my routine, and because it was a routine I controlled, I felt in control of something in my life when other stuff was out of my ability to control.

Gosh, that was a meandering sentence… anyway.

I think I’ve finally come to terms with the realization that where I am now started because of my first job, how it ended, and how I responded to it.

Way back in 2008, I was let go from a video game newswriting job that I really felt comfortable in. It was my first full-time job, and I think that in some respects, I was devastated by it. It was something I was good at, and I couldn’t control my keeping the job even if I was good at it.

After a short stint in a call center, I felt I needed time to figure out what I would do.At the time, silly me thought that it was a good time to go back to the only place I felt comfortable in and had some control over, which was in school. I wanted to learn how to teach.

I did well enough in my classes, but I knew there was something wrong. I kept thinking that I was here, doing this, simply because I was buying time for myself. At the same time, I didn’t feel like I was moving forward and I also didn’t feel like I was actually good at teaching.

So by late 2010, I had basically shut down on a few fronts. When the classes were over and the requirements needed to be passed at the end of the term in March, I procrastinated, I moved inch-by-inch, and eventually, even though I had all the data needed to pass the requirements, I didn’t complete it by March 2011. What did I do? I got a job and played RIFT’s beta, then when simply playing RIFT became too much of an emotional butcher’s knife to my conscience, I changed games.

In 2011, I switched jobs more than I ever had. I had a total of four jobs (five, if I take my two current writing jobs separately). I tried phone support and eventually left from anxiety issues. I wrote product specifications for stuff sold on a website. I traded that job to write stuff for a start-up website, and was let go six weeks later. Then I got a job writing Amazon related news and along with that came a shot at writing a column for MMORPG.com.

Through those two jobs and the friendship of Cassandra, whom I got to know through blogging, I was given a chance to get back on track. For once, I felt like it was okay to lose control, because somehow, if I worked hard enough at it and took an opportunity when it presented itself instead of being scared all the damned time, it would work out and right itself again.

This comes full circle now to today, because I just realized that I’m playing RIFT again, and it’s going to almost be a year since those requirements I needed to send in would force an auto-fail of my classes.

I talked to my advisor in one class, who is now the head of the Education department, and she’s willing to help me out in getting back on track to finish my Masters. I just need to grab the data and do the analyses and write-up for her class, and then find out how to resolve the issue with the other class. Something tells me I might fail that second class, because I have no idea how to get the requirements for that one resolved, but the one where my teacher’s supporting me?

I will get that done on time, and it’ll be good work. No amount of RIFT play or other games will stop me from finishing my Masters, even if I have to take a class again. I just need to work my butt off, and get in gear.

It’s time to take control of my life again, and to not let the failures dictate the majority of my life.


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