Archives for March 2013

In My Hands

bioshock-infinite

EVE Online: A Rookie’s Perspective

The essentials of this affair lay deep under the surface, beyond my reach and beyond my power of meddling.
                        – ‘Heart of Darkness’, Joseph Conrad
 

Now four months in, I find myself at a compelling point in my experience with EVE online. I am above complete ignorance but also still enough of a whelp that I must remember my place – my rank- in this indifferent universe bristling with pilots of mixed motivations and alignments. Nonetheless, I am finding myself a little more situated within New Eden, making my way around with a little more grace, and am beginning to perceive the workings within and without, though my untrained eyes may still misunderstand or overlook things.

When pondering the immensity in which I now find myself, I feel like someone listening in to Marlow, the primary yarn-spinner of ‘Heart of Darkness’, whom at the onset it is said: …and to him the meaning of an episode was not inside like a kernel but outside, enveloping the tale which brought it out only as a glow brings out a haze. The linguistic design of Joseph Conrad and the programing design of EVE Online developer CCP Games share a likeness in that both created a place that is somewhat enigmatic but still definite – we may not immediately understand the essentials of this place, nor the higher workings, but so long as we are here let us do with it what we can and increase herein.

To an extent this is how my rookie mind perceives the fundamental mechanics of EVE online. To label the game as endless is a bit of a misnomer; it would carry the context of something that has a solid beginning and a centralized, climactic ending that is forever out of reach. Let us then label the universe of EVE – if label we must – as a singular levitating entity that could care less if you’re in it or not. The purpose – the meaning – therefore exists in all those glowing nebulous hazes dotted with planets and streaked with asteroid belts, and other celestial bodies rich in resources. Yes. EVE is a naturalistic experience. Indeed, as Marlow begins his descent into the African jungle he muses: I wondered whether the stillness on the face of the immensity looking at us two were meant as an appeal or as a menace. The affairs of an EVE pilot are self-made, even when they unfold under the self-made affairs of tens-of-thousands of other pilots; the universe does nothing more than provide the space, time and resources. No favors.

Increased knowledge and ability is the motivating – nay, the compulsory – force that prompts me to log in daily. New tactics to apply, new keyboard shortcuts use, a new attempt to work around a particular problem or a new fitting to balance a ship’s weakness. There is a reoccurring realization that something can be accomplished, but done so without the need to grind or level up. Indeed, the universe is abundant enough. If you find yourself grinding I posit that 1) You’re moving too fast, 2) you’re not being creative enough, and 3) you need to practice six sigma – EVE Online is just as much game as it is MetaGame.

CCP Games just reported a record-breaking 500,000 Eve subscribers. When I log in, the game has reported anywhere between 22,000 to 62,000 players currently online at that time. These are the people who fulfill my buy orders for Upgraded 1mn MicroWarp Drives. These are the people who undersell my batch of Combat Scanner Probes. These are players who fight with other players for wormhole space, stage sieges, gank, coordinate fleet attacks, reprocess, refine, buy, sell, and operate in corporate hierarchies far beyond my meddling rookie mind. Marlow confesses: Nowhere did we stop long enough to get a particularized impression, but the general sense of vague and oppressive wonder grew upon me. I am just one pilot in a universe of 500,000. I am my own. I am responsible. So, grow a pair, make a plan, and get out there.

March Releases

This is going to be a BUSY month. This is a trip down memory lane with Sim City launching this month. I’m going to have a tough time resisting that one. But I have to focus my energies on the real gem of March: Bioshock Infinite.

Also: Snipers.

Week of March 5th
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3
Tomb Raider: The Final Hours Edition

Week of March 12th
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2

Week of March 19th
Gears of War: Judgment – Gears of War, enjoy your week in the spotlight. If it lasts even that long.
The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct – This will definitely go on my “play one of these days” list.

Week of March 26th
Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 14
Army of TWO The Devil’s Cartel – The all-caps “TWO” let’s you know they mean business.
BioShock Infinite – And there it is, the crown jewel of this early year of video games. Possibly the swan song that takes us to the next generation?
Sniper Elite V2: Silver Star Edition – Clearly March is the Month of the Sniper.
Final Fantasy XI: Seekers of Adoulin
Dark – I know absolutely nothing about this game.
Fuse

Week of March 5th
The Amazing Spider-Man

Week of March 12th
Lego City: Undercover – As Kevin McAllister said in Home Alone: “It’s for the kids.”

Week of March 19th
Need for Speed Most Wanted
The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

Week of March 26th
Pandora’s Tower – And with that, I think it’s time to put the Wii section to bed. Good night, sweet prince.

Week of March 5th
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Mirror Fate

Week of March 19th
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

Week of March 5th
SimCity – It doesn’t need a number after it! It’s SimCity. I am SERIOUSLY considering picking this up. but it will put a serious damper in my EVE time, which is going to be taking a hit a few weeks later when Bioshock Infinite hits.
Total War: Shogun 2 Gold

Week of March 12th
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm
Sniper Elite V2
Heavy Fire: Shattered Spear

Week of March 26th
BioShock Infinite
Final Fantasy XI: Seekers of Adoulin [Download]

Week of March 5th
Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk
Tomb Raider Survival/Collector’s Edition
MLB 13 The Show
MLB 2K13

Week of March 12th
God of War: Ascension
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2

Week of March 19th
The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct

Week of March 26th
Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 14: Masters Historic Edition
Sniper Elite V2: Silver Star Edition
BioShock Infinite
Army of TWO The Devil’s Cartel

Week of March 5th
MLB 13 The Show

Week of March 19th
Dead or Alive 5 Plus

What are you picking up?

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Weekend Gaming

Another weekend is here, ripe for the gaming. While I have some items on my “honey-do” list to work on this weekend, I should also have a little time to get in some quality gaming. Of course, there will be EVE played. I’ve got a new skill coming to my business skill tree, which means I can place more orders which means more ISK is there to be made. I’m looking forward to that.

I also need to get back to Lee and Clementine. The stuff is about to hit the fan again, I just know it. For now I have to make some decisions about who to tell my back story. I have been thinking about this for days and still don’t know to whom I’m going to spill my beans to. But I’m sure it’s going to be a load of my chest.

If there’s any more time left over, I need to show my Xbox that I haven’t forgotten about it.

What will you be playing?