Life is about adventure. To some, adventure is blazing new trails in nullsec, to others it is trying to buy things in Jita without dying. Adventure to me is being a part of something bigger that lets me be myself and experience new things to enjoy. I will share some of my EVE story with you.

It all began around thirteen years ago when I first convinced my parents to let me purchase an upgrade to my Nintendo 64. That upgrade was a top of the line gaming PC. Top of the line by the standards of the day of course. My parents were hesitant and with good reason; I am an addict. Once I start playing a game, I will play it much more intently than I should until I achieve the win condition. On my N64, that of course was the end of a game which wasn’t so bad. On the computer you get into options with multiplayer immersion that can have much greater depth. I would find a multiplayer game and then try to be the best or find some condition that I considered a win condition. All of you EVE players know what it is like to design your own win condition, as the game developers seemed to have forgotten to code one in.

My addiction is important to my story as I knew of two games I would love to play but actually refused to get involved with, as I knew the likely outcome. These games were World of Warcraft and EVE Online. Many of my friends online had tried to get me to play either; people who, like myself, have gamed since they found the internet. I will not elaborate further on that story, as every nerd on the internet has been playing since they found the internet.

For twelve years I stood strong, like a redcoat facing the French in the Napoleonic wars. Then one fateful day, Smelly Joe (names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent) came to me. Smelly Joe is my closest online friend. While we do live in different countries, we had played every game together that either of us put our hand to. We took over entire systems in Shadow Ops, sowed havoc to entire nations in Modern War Generals, became Facebook friends, and recently even discussed doing real life business between borders. It has always been a plan to visit each other but it has never come to fruition, partly due to logistics, partly because I think Smelly Joe has a crush on me and I am married. If life had gone differently, then perhaps. That is a story for another day. Wait, I seem to have meandered away from the topic; where was I?

Ah! When Smelly Joe asked me to play EVE, I could not say no. Knowing this was likely the end of, or at the very least the complication of, my marriage, I signed up. I paid my 3 months subscription, all the while knowing that this would not end well. Regardless, in I dove to a world I had dreamed of many times. Prior to this, I had always had the willpower to “just say no to drugs”…I mean EVE. But now…

Smelly Joe was usually on my level or above it when we played games. Imagine my dismay when I realized he was a scrubby dub nub when it came to EVE Online. Not only was he not amazing, he was playing casually. The friend who had so viciously yanked me into this world had made my decision for me. I had to move to more aggressive pastures. No one wants to be considered rude or a bully, and if you are considering me a harsh person for abandoning Smelly Joe I have only one thing to help you understand. He told me to mine in High Security space in a Venture. Who is the barbarian now?

Led by a strong desire to learn and grow as well as to be the best, I was led to Pandemic Horde. We must acknowledge that this choice was largely dictated by my stories timeline and not my political affiliations. Pandemic Horde was taking everyone in at the time and was offering what I longed for. The story takes a strong turn into EVE at this point. I spent 3 months committing and encouraging insurance fraud. I ran a fairly large buyback program in the Querious days. It is an important note that it was not ‘the’ Corporation buyback but my own for profit. That drive for profit was not out of greed, but out of a sense of philanthropy. I not only invested time in the buyback, but I used that money to SRP my own fleets. I spent fifteen to twenty hours a week on fleets alone, from the logistics of getting the ships together myself to running fleets in the field. The most time intensive part of being an FC was the preparation and planning. I have not been a fleet commander of expensive doctrines, but could sure rock a T2 Sniper Cormorant roam. I also pursued being a market leader in our home system as well as dabbling in industry, though these had less to do about profit and more to do with the volume of buyback materials I had to deal with. I hate exporting things from our space, but I will cover that further in one of my future musings.

All of this really ate into the rest of my time. My wife noticed, which I seem to remember mentioning earlier. If you are married, you know how the story goes, and if you are not, you should be able to figure it out. Ask your Dad if you need to. I do not blame my wife. She voiced her concerns, and one day I was just able to just walk away from the keyboard and log out for the last time. There was a celebration in my home; happy wife, happy life, right?

My decision made, I continued to read EN24 and a competing content creator for the months in between. Mostly, I absorbed EVE news at work on my lunch break as an opportunity to reinvigorate me for the day. I really enjoyed it, and like so many before me, I felt the pull again. EVE is full of smart people, and I think you are all quite smart enough to guess that this “permanent quitting” was not adhered to. My decision boiled down to one simple reason that hit me from reading an article on a competing website to EN24. 

Alpha Clones.

It was all over.

I was going to play EVE, casually, for free. It was the best twelve seconds of my life. I knew I would not return to my previous home. It was not harsh feelings that kept me away, I was merely looking for something different. My search led me to Brave Newbies. I had FCed against them a few times and they were a good group of individuals. So I set off and soon arrived in Brave space.

This is where the 12 seconds comes in.

I tried to undock in my signature (well, by my, I mean Pandemic Horde’s), T2 Sniper Cormorant. When I discovered that I could not use this as an Alpha, my money instantly and magically vanished. I am still waiting on the credit card company to get back to me on how it happened; I suspect foul play.

Brave was a good home to me. They are lovely people, and have a brilliant defense system that virtually ensures a pleasurable login every time. What I failed to read in their mission statement is that they have no long term goals that line up with what I wanted; full nullsec domination! They only want to help newbros become amazing. I have no time for such things! Not that I don’t take care of them when needed, but the care and feeding of newbros is not what I was looking for. It was time to move on.

I had gleaned a good amount of knowledge from the two biggest new player organizations in the game. While no one can know everything, I do feel I arrived at the end of the benefit curve where more time would have gained me less and less knowledge from any individual group. In EVE, you are always learning. All that changes is how much and how fast. 

When you search for something hard enough, you will find it. I knew exactly what I wanted, and compiled a list of “only” thirty or so characteristics I was looking for in a new group to call home. Top among them were: nullsec only, fairly new with plans to grow, searching for someone of above average intelligence with debonair good looks. The list goes on, but in the end most were shelved as there wasn’t enough public information available on corporations to determine these facts. I am not a gambler, so I messaged the leader of the corporation that looked to best fit my needs. I grilled him. The answers I received were satisfactory and I made my way over. With only a few minor encounters I began to settle in.

This go around at EVE, the goal was to reduce time spent online and maximize my enjoyment per minute. Industry seemed like a good fit. Being a relatively new organization, there were some niche opportunities a young, suave, savvy (and humble…very very humble) capsuleer could take advantage of. I am not making oodles of ISK, but I am doing well enough to purchase anything I truly need. I provide locally sourced, all organic, non-GMO, doctrine ships. I went with an earth friendly advertising campaign.

My dream has changed to include space journalism as a way to supplement my enjoyment per minute. Just consider, for a moment, that that is even an option. This is EVE. I have written extensively before and been paid for it. Now, while I might call myself an addict of video games, I am also not one to lose touch with reality. I realize that being paid to write as a teenager and being a good writer are not mutually linked. I will do my best to create meaningful content for the community that they will read on their lunch break, even when no longer playing EVE.

Should I become a writer for EN24, which, if you are reading this is at least a possibility, I will be sharing my tales of personal growth, wealth and industrial improvements (as well as tasty homegrown doctrine ship recipes). Things I learn as I go about how we interact with each other in this amazing world we call EVE, and how EVE interacts with us. I plan on staying in my current home for a long time to come and, just as a Texan has an accent, I will have that Nullsec drawl. I will never claim to be an impartial judge, but I always like to try to understand both sides. My viewpoint seems to be correct to me more often than not, and unless that changes I can never claim to tell a story that is not painted with my own bravado. 

It is my hope that we can build a relationship to be proud of and that will last for at least a week or two before you get tired of my drivel.