One Hundred Light Years of Solitude
I hope this note finds you well. I have some exciting news I wish to share with you in person, please contact me directly to arrange a time and place to meet.
Dave, the Alt
Dear Maximus Foyle esq.,
Thank you for taking the time to respond to my last message. As I stated I have news I really feel you would like to hear in person. I have tried calling the number you left me but it disconnects saying “the ship you are trying to contact is no longer operational”, I pray nothing has happened to your beloved Retriever? Please contact me as soon as you get this message I have news of the utmost importance and urgency. Please Maximus, call me.
Dave, the Alt
1. My name is Maxi.
2. I told you not to contact me until you have a earned a billion ISK.
3. GO AWAY
Once again I must thank you for taking time from your busy schedule to respond to my message. I had hoped to share this news with you in person but you have rather beaten me to it: We HAVE earned a billion ISK. You are a billionaire:
Estimated worth (Balance+stock+escrow) = 1,057,129,022 ISK
Dave, the Alt
Send champagne, then make it 2 billion.
A long standing theme to this blog, and probably most EVE player’s thoughts, is what we want to achieve. Achieve today, achieve next week, achieve this year. Is there an ultimate goal? Do you need one? Certainly, Maxi’s goal is to survive in null-sec and I know he’s a long way from doing that yet but I don’t yet know how to judge when he’s made it. I’m hoping I’ll just know. How we turn Maxi into an all conquering null-sec survivor is equally unclear at times, yes there are many skills to learn both from ingame skill books and actual old fashioned learning the ins and outs of EVE Online. But what do we do in the meantime? Other players seem to have very set roles, people fall into Industrial endeavours judging success by profit and loss, others live for PvP and draw satisfaction from their killsheets. What do I do? I still don’t know, I’m basically roleplaying Maxi Foyle, and Maxi Foyle is a bumbling idiot with the attention span of a space goldfish. Over our few months of game time we have become a jack of mining, planetary interaction, trading, exploring, missioning, PvPing. We are master of absolutely none.
One overriding concern for all players, as in real life, is how to keep the ISK flowing. Without ISK no lifestyle can be pursued but through Dave the Alt’s trading Maxi now has an ever growing pile of ISK to draw from that far outweighs anything he can earn through more proactive ventures. In fact, Dave’s total would be a few hundred million above 1billion ISK if he wasn’t forever sending Maxi pocket money for new ships and their inevitable replacements. And the total is growing exponentially, the more Dave has to invest the quicker he earns more ISK. It will peak at some point, there are only so many players to buy from and sell to, but so far the total is only heading in one direction and it’s getting quicker all the time.
This all sounds marvellous, I know, but it’s actually hit Maxi in a funny way. One of his primary drives, earning ISK, has been taken away. Like a pauper winning the lottery he has been a bit lost. Initially he threw money at ships to blow up and random donations to anyone who sounded remotely like they needed it. All before a restless ennui set in where none of the more industrial pursuits he enjoyed seemed worthwhile.
Luckily Maxi’s amazing new Corporation has come to the rescue. Tucked away in the remote Solitude campus of EVE University, Maxi has stumbled across a real frontier-town-like community on the edge of hi-sec/low-sec space. The only real constant here is the industrial goals of a few current and ex-Unistas who’ve set up their own Corporations or manufacturing enterprises within the Uni, life is then loosely focused on supporting them through mining, processing and manufacturing with and for them plus dealing with the issues having such a community on the edge of low-sec space cut-off from Empire (the largest region of his-sec space) brings. For instance, last time I logged on to update Maxi’s skill queue we were urgently rushed to the Standing Fleet and informed a corpmates POS was under attack and a quick reaction force was being assembled to shoo the attackers away. Throwing together a tackle frigate Maxi rushed to catch up with the fleet orbiting the stargate to the low-sec system where the POS was located. He kept an eye on the gate ready to tackle anything that came through whilst the fleet commander made use of local for gathering intelligence from a local corporation and recruiting their help in defending the POS, despite the fact we have (and continue) to fight each other in normal circumstances. It turns out in low-sec your enemy’s enemy can be your friend at times. We jumped to the system when a small enemy force was reported to have jumped in via another gate and we managed to blow up a Tornado in the battle for territory and successfully scared the rest of them away. For that evening at least.
Equally, life isn’t all industry, even manufacturers have to let their hair down, and there’s a few lost souls like Maxi who have just drifted to this part of EVE space all of whom enjoy blowing up ships as much as the next man. One of the great things the Solitude campus has is a Free For All (FFA) bookmark in their home system for players to meet up and brawl. There are all kinds of rules in the Uni about who and where you can fight other corporations, but blowing up fellow Unistas in consenting duels is very much allowed and an awful lot of fun. In the 4 tussles we’ve had so far Maxi has gained 2 killsheets and learned a lot. In fact after writing this we’re going to log on and see if anyone can be talked into another duel or 2 to keep practising our PvP skills.
Another key element of life here is keeping contact with the wider universe by scanning down wormholes that provide direct, safe links back to hi-sec space and the valuable trade hubs we rely on to buy reasonably priced ships and the manufacturers need to make a fair profit from their creations. To that end Maxi’s skill queue has once again changed direction, learning how to fly T2 frigates like his shiny new Helios covert ops frigate, plus a basic understanding of the scanning and probing required to find wormholes and war targets should we get to scout for any future fleet operations.
Any left over time has been spent grinding missions for the Federal Intelligence Office corporation as they have conveniently local lvl 3 and 4 mission agents, but with no lvl 2 agents around we’re having to endlessly repeat lvl1 missions to get there. The skill queue is now back on drones as well, finally learning how to deploy sentry guns happened last night, T2 drones will follow in the next couple of days, all of which is in preparation for flying a Dominix into those level 4s when we finally grind enough standing. Because of course it doesn’t matter how much money Dave the Alt makes, there are always bigger ships to buy and fly, and if that ain’t a good enough goal to keep us going for the meantime, I don’t know what is.
This is now the longest single EVE session I’ve enjoyed and I was thinking about it the other day, I’ve really GOT IT this time, I’ve really settled in to the groove. I think previously I’ve either gone too full on into EVE, feeling the pressure of a small corporation needing me logged on every night, or not delved deep enough, staying corporation and low-sec free and generally running out of interest. This time I’ve found a corporation/community that’s big enough to not notice the few nights a week I can’t log on, but small enough that I am getting to know everyone and feel a genuinely useful extra head to bring to fleets and projects and general life on the frontier of hi-sec space. The Solitude community is transitory, the old hands have mostly only been here a matter of months rather than years and a number of them are openly trying to earn the ‘Graduate’ title from the Uni before going on to bigger things. There are new capsuleers arriving every week as well and I can see Maxi is going to have to take a more active role in training and supporting new players to move on to the ‘Sophomore’ and ‘Graduate’ Uni titles himself. The aim was to move on to the null-sec campus but the longer we spend in Solitude, the more Maxi wants to stay. At least until we’ve made a difference here. Hmm, something to think about before the next update.
It’s taken me 2 days to write this post and Dave’s estimated worth, according to the excellent N.E.A.T. app has grown to 1,185,082,722ISK. Ironically after so many hundreds of hours of playtime and months of skill queuing it’s Maxi’s alt Dave who has mastered a skill, not Maxi himself. If anyone was interested in learning how Dave make’s hundreds of millions of ISK a week without leaving a station do get in touch here or in game, happy to talk people through it or maybe dedicate a blog post if there’s enough interest.
In the meantime, fly safe o7