Maxi Foyle, Space Relapser
Something was missing.
It was almost a year ago to the day that Maxi Foyle, Space Pioneer of Aerodynamics, quit EVE Online. Maxi entered EVE Online’s sandbox universe at the beginning of last year with a mission, a dream of galactic conquest, adventure and money making. In the space of 2 short months he found his feet, found a Corporation, mined and hauled his way into money, bagged his first kill, lost his Corporation only to witness the birth of a new, tighter, friendlier one, grew a small following of EVE veterans on this very blog and then…. and then…. he bottled it. For every goal achieved 3 more sprung up in its place. With each discovery came the glimpse of yet another, ever further out of reach. Maxi Foyle looked into the infinite abyss of EVE Online and was terrified by what he saw. The time it would require to do everything he wanted to do, the emotional toil of working with and against other human players, the cost and the regular periods of bum-numbing boredom were too much. I couldn’t afford the time or the money to get any more embroiled in my undeniable love of EVE Online. Maxi quit. I quit.
I went on to pastures new. Played lots of the other unique and wonderful PC games that came out in 2011 and before. I got lost in Skyrim‘s mountains, caught up in Human Revolution‘s conspiracies, rebuilt Bastion‘s bastion and rekindled a love for point and click adventures with Gemini Rue and the Blackwell games. I wrote about them too. I wrote so much on my blog that some of my writing spilt over onto popular gaming website Beefjack.com. My gaming life was good.
But something was missing.
At first I thought I just missed MMOs. The human interaction, the character building and the complex systems to wrap your head around make them so much deeper than your average singleplayer game. I tried Lord of the Rings Online, but it was too twee, grinding and old fashioned. I tried Star Wars: The Old Republic, the new MMO in town. It was a pleasant, enjoyable RPG to play through but the human side was lacking. Groups and guilds were hard to come by. Beyond the well written storylines there was no exploring to be done, no accidental discoveries or true adventure to be had.
I thought it may be a good dose of Sci-Fi that I was missing so delved into Alistair Reynold’s excellent novels but their talk of starships, technology and galactic politics only made things worse.
Something was definitely missing.
News stories popped up from time to time of goings on in EVE Online. I read with curiosity about game updates (both popular and unpopular), player riots, an exodus of subscribers and the foolish words and subsequent banning of an influential Corporation leader. They felt like news stories from a country I used to live in, gossip from a job I used to do, not a game I used to play. I found myself looking up fellow EVE bloggers at quiet times to catch up with their ongoing travails in EVE. E-mails would notify me someone had commented on this very blog from time to time, dragging me back to approve the comment and have a little reread of my time. “Sad that you quit”, one said “But I understand it oh so well, I quit too.”. Yeah, it was the right thing to do, I’d think, the game was a bit boring, I’m happier playing Battlefield 3 I’m sure.
But something was still missing.
Then 3 things happened:
One quiet day, without knowing how I got there, I found myself checking the subscription price for EVE Online and read with intrigue that the price for UK residents like myself was coming down. I chose not to subscribe….yet, but downloaded the game client anyway! Some part of my brain just took over. What’s the harm, it said, just download it you don’t have to play it. And so EVE Online was once again on my hard drive, hidden in the start menu folder marked ‘Games’. Watching and waiting.
Then a good friend asked me what the best game ever was. A ridiculous question but one I couldn’t help trying to answer. “Deus Ex because of the freedom to complete each task and the way it reacts to your actions, no wait, Skyrim because it’s such a well made open-world, oh but Grim Fandango made me cry and….”. I reeled off a list of 5 or 10 games I couldn’t choose between but to my surprise in amongst this rambling list was EVE Online. “No other game mimics real life so well. The player led economy, the politics of working for and dealing with real people. The cunning, treachery and nastiness that AI just can’t recreate. This is a game where a real person, with huge influence within the game, can be voted into a position of power in the design of the actual game in real life through votes made by in game characters played by real life forumites. He can then lose that real life power by hounding a suicidal player in a real life meeting of game players that has impacted on his in game persona being banned from the game with fallout across the game and the real world through this and his reaction.” I think my friend’s reaction was “Huh!?”, but the point remained. EVE had found quite a profound place in my gaming life. I held it on a pedestal even though I kept telling myself I didn’t want to play it.
Then the third and final thing happened: Another comment on this blog. I couldn’t believe people were still reading it and rushed to see what vile criticism/pleasant feedback they’d left.
It was neither.
It was the same mysterious reader who’d previously commented to say they had quit EVE too. Only this time they had a different message: “BTW, I have resubbed to EVE again and have joined RPS Holdings. Join us if you ever get interested again.”
This was too much. I knew what had been missing, but had been afraid to admit it. I had to go back. I had to return to EVE Online.
So, here I am. Standing before the vast cryostasis tank that holds Maxi Foyle, SpaceCapsuleer, drone expert, bumbling PvPer, nervous hauler, violent thug with a science degree and genetic roots in a ginger minority, in a deep cryogenic sleep. It’s been a year of earth time since I stepped foot in EVE Online. Veritable millennia for Maxi in game time. Rise and shine, Mr. Foyle. Rise and Shine. Time to wake up and smell the space coffee.
Computer! Defrost Maxi Foyle.
BEEP! Error! Out of credits! Please purchase PLEX time to reanimate your corpse.
Oh bollocks, forgot about that! Ok, ok, I’ll be right back… see you next post