Wednesday, August 29, 2012

There and Back Again; An Ex-Capsuleers’ Tale (Guest Post)

There are a few people I can blame for being where I am today in an Eve sense. First off is Gaz, Craig didn't help and then Pete and Kaz really cemented my fate. However, one of those four is 100% to blame for the existence of this blog, Kaz. As well as being a party to my transition from carebear to PvP'r she got me started on Blogging. Her old Eve blog and member of the Eve Blog Pack at that time, Where the Frack is My Ship?, inspired me to start my own and she gave me oodles of advice and some nice long emails giving me the do's and don'ts of Blogging. It was a sad day last year when she went on an extended Eve break. But now..... she's baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack! Not wanting to restart WTFiMS, just yet (dooooo iiiiiiiit Kazzy), she asked if she could do a guest post here. Not a problem for the lady with the sexiest voice in Eve (Sorry Sindel) :o)
There and back again; An ex-capsuleers’ tale.
Hello. My name is Eelis Kiy and I’m an Eve Online quitter.
It was not always so. I’d been flying about in Eve since 2006 with the bulk of my activity (FacWar/PvP/Corp Directory stuff) taking place between 2009 – 2011. But by early 2011 a mix of game mechanic complaints, in-game politics and real life drama finally led me to hang up my space boots and unsubscribe.
The break has been liberating. My house has never been so tidy, my liver so alcohol free and my brain so stimulated by the huge pile of books I’ve finally gotten round to reading. In addition I’ve been able to go off and try other games without feeling like I was letting down my Eve corp-mates.
Warhammer Online was fabulous fun. I met some great people here (and a big shout out to my fav gaming couple Lordic and Lordicca!). But there was something in the player attitude that constantly irked me. The alliance I was part of had a good  PvP reputation but, unless 1 or 2 key warband leaders were online, people refused to use voice comms or even follow simple PvP common sense. In addition the game was going through a huge lull in development and with the release of a few new gaming titles the player base plummeted.

So next I tried SWTOR. The PvE really was fantastic and full of impressive, unique features. However both the game itself and much of the player base sucked utterly in attitude towards PvP. Players didn’t want to think out of the box or around a challenge. If something was too hard then it was clearly “broken”. There was an abundance of moaning and very little interest in putting skills and tactics together with team work to overcome difficult scenarios. And if anyone suggested such things on the forum they were buried under a mountain of “how dare you suggest that PvP should not be 100% equal and completely balanced at all times…!”  To make things worse the devs seemed to actually pander to such defeatist attitudes.
I found myself constantly at odds with the other players around me, including most of my own guild mates. “…well in Eve Online we would HTFU and find a way around it…” became a common phrase for me and although my guild mates (many of them old gaming friends) were too polite to go ahead and say it I’ve no doubt they were thinking “well why don’t you sod off back to Eve then?”.

I began to realise that I was now an Eve player who no longer played Eve. I had the attitude and the expectations, but no game to go with it. Never again would punky pixel hair, cute Dwarves or a pet tauntaun be enough to satisfy my gaming needs. Was there no other MMO out there with Eve’s gutsy attitude? Well perhaps there is but I stopped looking. This is mostly because the Steam sale started and I developed an addiction to Plants Vs Zombies.

By this point back in Eve Online many things had changed, especially in Factional Warfare which was an area of great interest to me.  So I decided, albeit somewhat reluctantly, to give Eve another go.  I went back for about 2 weeks, then I left again. I can’t believe I am going to admit this to the world but… it was just too hard. There. I said it.
Taking time out to puke the Rahkgoul Plague onto passers-by and play with pea shooting plants had turned my gaming brain into mush and that first day logged back into New Eden was very painful.
The interface was all “messed up” and  I couldn’t find the tabs I wanted. I couldn’t remember how to sort out my overview or turn off brackets. My fits and ships were out of date. My drunken lol-pvp! corp was now in a self-created hard-core PvP alliance with fleet doctrines and high expectations. On top of that the majority of my gear was in a system the corp had long ago moved out of. I’d forgotten all the trade tricks I previously used to generate income. Old corp enemies were now current corp allies. AND worst of all, every time I minimised a window it bloody disappeared WHERE ARE ALL MY SODDING MINIMISED WINDOWS FOR &%@! SAKE?... I think you get the idea.

Eve had moved on but I was stuck in 2011. The game may well have been much better than the one I had originally quit but I just couldn’t be bothered to get to grips with it all over again. So yeah, I had a hissy fit and un-subbed, again. I was happy to leave Eve behind for good now. In fact I was starting to move away from online gaming altogether.
Yes, maybe I missed it a little bit. I’d always loved being a gamer and it had been a part of my life for the past 8 years. I love chatting to interesting people from all over the world, of all ages and from different walks of life.  I love murdering people in the face or dying in a terrible ball of fire whilst trying. I love those funny drunken nights on voice comms and all the in-jokes and forum banter. I love chilling solo whilst exploring interesting virtual worlds. But most of all, I adore staring in the face of absolute defeat, against a superior rival who knows they have you and then, against all odds and alongside a corp of talent and teamwork, pulling off that incredible victory which is still talked about years later. Sure, I loved gaming, and I loved Eve. But it was time to say goodbye.
Sadly for me there was one factor I hadn’t counted on, and that was my other-half getting back into the game.
For those that don’t know, my partner also plays MMO's. We don’t always play together but it is a hobby we’ve both shared an interest in since we first got together many moons ago. During my Eve hiatus, Rashmika Clavain (his Eve name) joined (or re-joined if you want to be technical about it) my old corp, Shadows of the Federation, and started having a ball. This was not good.
Whilst I tried to chill out at home, watching TV, playing The Sims (don’t judge me), reading my mountain of books and attempting an online Mandarin course, I now had to put up with the constant background distraction of my beloved bashing the crap out of his keyboard, chattering loudly on fleet-comms (to my former corp-mates!) as well as constant tales of Eve Online victories and epic fails that he felt the need to impress on me. Feel free to PM him in-game and ask what happened to his Kronos, he loves to share that story…
It was pretty irritating. I starting nagging, moaning, and giving him all those womanly “annoyed” looks that chaps don’t actually notice.
It slowly dawned on me that my worst nightmare was coming true. I just couldn’t believe that I, Eelis Kiy - MMO addict for the past 8 years, Eve bitter vet and former game blogger, beloved corp, guild and kinship member of 7 past MMORPGs and all round drunken voice coms entertainer - was becoming a gaming widow.
The final straw came after a particularly annoying evening of Rashmika loudly Eve-PvPing the night away whilst I was tried to chillax with my new book. I gave up and went to bed only to be woken up an hour later by my phone bleeping at me with a “new email” alert. When I checked to see which asshat had emailed me at midnight I saw that CCP had trolled my inbox with a “come back to eve for £20!!” offer.


So yes. I took up the offer. And this time, hopefully, I will stay a little bit longer than 2 weeks.
The difference now is that I’m coming back with a better attitude. I am coming back because I miss the game and my corp mates and not because I cannot find an Eve replacement. I’ve had the break I needed, the game has improved and I’m now far enough away from the past corp dramas to be involved in such issues again. In addition, this time around I have my other half on hand to (verbally) slap me when I have a hissy fit as well as help me get up to speed with all the game changes (so yeah, minimised windows totally go to the left now!). I have a lot of work to do, particularly with my out of date hanger. But I’m getting there.

Starting Eve Online for the very first time is hard work. But to come back after a long break, when you’ve forgotten so much and have no ignorance about how terrible you now are, is a very high hurdle to jump. But this time I know I’m on the way over it. And this time around I can’t help feeling like I am back where I belong.


  1. Really great read and really great to have you back in game Kaz. Yes SoTF got all serious, so no more tackling gate guns you hear :P

    See you in space o/

    P.S. Everyone should be telling Kaz to restart

  2. Great to hear you're back Eelis and your tale of wandering the wilderness beyond New Eden was insightful. Would you mind if I added this post to this month's Blog Banter about the concept of "home"? I think it's very relevant from a meta perspective.

    I'd love to read more about how your repatriation is getting on and I will be regularly checking WtFiMS for the inevitable return of your writing itch. Your fresh outsider's perspective coupled with your previous EVE experience would make a unique voice in the blogosphere. You know it makes sense.

  3. Great to see you back online and a great guest post!


  4. Great to see you back online and a great guest post!


  5. Thank you, it was fun to write again but no plans to start blogging at the moment. I'm just taking my time with the game for now. Feel free to share the post Mat if you think its of interest. o/

  6. Enjoyed your post, Eelis!
    Always liked your writing.
    Whether you stay in EVE or not, was good to hear from you.

  7. I've just started a two year minimum break of my own. I am dreading the day I go back to eve (cos it will happen eventually) and realize how appalling at I am /o\

    Welcome back :)