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.


About the Author

Victor "Stillwater" Barreiro Jr. is a Twitter-loving, game-playing, stuff-thinking writer who enjoys conversing with people online without inciting rioting or summoning trolls. Also, he loves his mom dearly. :) You can also find him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/iamstillwater

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