Tuesday, 27 April 2010


I have quite a backlog of screenshots I've snapped when I remember how to turn off the overview display. Eve keeps getting prettier with every graphics update, though I do bemoan the loss of things like the old cloaking effects, the old cyno fields and engine trails -- stuff that maybe didn't make sense, but did a lot to give the game that feeling of Epic. I can't wait to see how it'll look once the ship models and station models are upgraded!

...You, uh, ARE planning to upgrade the stations, right guys? Because having a battleship emerging from an undock ramp a frigate will barely fit down is just a tad silly...

Left-click the images for the full-size screenie.

Size comparison: Ishkur vs Hyperion

A Nightmare in warp:

Thanatos in Vitrauze:

Freighter traffic around the Perimeter gate in Jita:

A newly-built Legion on her maiden launch:

A Veto Logistics/BC fleet, tanking on a gate...And aligned for warp

A planetary station with a trail of undocking ships:

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Eve vs Women

I'm going to start by saying that this isn't part of CK's blog banter, and it's not intended to be. It's a response to all the responses in general, rather than spamming up your comments.

Let me tell you what question women gamers get asked the most by their male associates. No, it isn't 'Are you really a girl?' or even 'Send boobie pictures?' (I will say, when people ask that, I generally give a link to this picture, but I'm perverse like that).

No, the question we get asked the most is, 'How do I get my girlfriend to play Eve?'

Guys are making, lessee, one, two... three major errors right there with that one question.

Firstly, they assume that one woman gamer can relate to any other random woman in the world. I'll tell you right now, beyond having a common gender and the issues it brings with it, and perhaps sharing a cultural background, most women have utterly nothing in common. In truth: I don't understand women. In general. I just do not get them, and a lot of the typical behaviours make me shake my head and wonder if most women simply choose to let their brains atrophy, or if we have popular culture to blame for making them act that way.

Secondly, they're approaching a woman who is, for all intents and purposes, a total stranger to their girlfriend. I know nothing about your girl, save what you tell me, and so my impression of her will be tinted by what you say. I have no idea what would make the most convincing argument for your girlfriend to try playing the game. I don't know her. All I can do is point out your third -- and biggest -- error.

And that is: 'You cannot make a gamer of someone who has neither the interest nor the inclination.'

Shae, what the hell is that supposed to mean? Exactly what it says. In order for a person to enjoy playing games, they have to WANT to play them in the first place. Maybe Eve-players' girlfriends are simply being stubborn, maybe they're refusing to 'get' the game out of some perverse need to make the guy jump through hoops. But I'm willing to bet the vast majority of these Eve Widows are simply not interested.

I'm a huge sci-fi nerd: I always wanted my own X-wing fighter, I grew up watching Star Trek and more crappy B-movies than I can count, and getting into Eve was a very easy and natural step for me. I find WoW wholly uninteresting for its cartoony nature, reputation for internet greebos with no social skills, and lack of cutomer-provider relations. Eve is a world for people who want to have a role in an interactive sci-fi universe -- people like me, and I suspect the majority of you -- and CCP does deliver to the best of their ability.

You only get to that stage of nerdiness if that's where you always wanted to be. If your girlfriend or wife would rather sit down to watch The English Patient when the only other option is Serenity, then making her watch Serenity isn't going to endear the genre to her any more than cajoling her -- as an uninterested non-geek -- to try to enjoy flying virtual ships in a competitive game where human interaction is relatively minimal.

I do know your pain. The guy I was dating when I started playing Eve began to suggest that I should grow up and stop playing games. I never thought he had much of an argument, because all he did was come home from work and get drunk and stoned out his gourd in front of crappy tv serials.

It's all about priorities.

Most people don't think playing computer games is socially rewarding -- that it's the venue of the dreaded Cheetos-munching, 'Dew-swilling Basement Troll -- and that may be the biggest obstacle a guy has to surmount when introducing his girl to the other half of his life. It's a terrible stigma to have to refute when you don't see yourself in it; non-gamers in general will instantly make the connection even if you don't fit the stereotype.

People automatically assume everyone else has a similar set of priorities in their lives. It's incredibly difficult to bend one's brain around another person's way of thinking when it differs radically. Most people see social interaction -- in a bar, a club, at work -- as being high-priority. Gaming, in general, is viewed as something for the socially inept, a place for the freaks and geeks to conceal their shortcomings behind a scantily-clad digital Barbie-doll named Chesty McTitties.

If a guy wants his girl to at least understand the game -- if not give a shot at playing it -- he has to try to compare it with the things that are important to her. Like... soap operas = Eve forums drama. Sports = Eve pvp. Board- and card-games = Eve pve and 0.0 territory battles.

If enough effort is put forward, it's possible to at least get a non-gamer to understand your fascination with games and Eve in particular. But if you want to turn a non-gaming girl into an active Eve-player, you're going to have to be prepared to tear holes in the walls of social structures the girl has built up over the course of her lifetime. Some people don't like their comfort zone being wrecked like that; some people will be alright with it, if all they have to do is add a little to their understanding. One person in a thousand might rub their eyes, stare around and exclaim, 'My god, I never KNEW!' and plunge happily forth into the unknown.

At the end of the day, all you can do is explain things, and if that fails, compromise, and ask if she'll sit with you through Serenity after The English Patient is over.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Bar Counsel

The bar was quiet, only a few scattered die-hards enjoying their hair of the dog or a morning hangover remedy. I marvelled a bit at this -- I'd never been in here at this hour before, and the difference from the businesslike hum of daytime and the pounding rush of the nightlife was striking. Covering a yawn, I picked my way around staff wiping down tables and mopping spilt alcohol from the floor, heading for a seat at the bar.

The big Civire bartender cracked a grin. 'Didn't I just see you in here, Shae?'

I shook my head. 'Aah, couldn't sleep. Can I have a cup of spiced tea, please, Karlos?'

'No coffee?' He tsked and disappeared into the back, emerging a minute later with a full tea service on a tray. I laughed and accused him of overkill; he shook his head. 'You drink this stuff like water.'

The bastard leaned on the bar and waited til I'd prepared a cup of sweetened tea and was taking the first sip before asking, 'So what's keeping the Gallente Outlaw Supervixen awake?'

Scowling, I wiped a drop of tea from the tip of my nose. 'Not you, too. I'mma kill Cael for that one.'

'The reported nosebleeds did skyrocket after your application went up on the Veto forums. How're you settling in?' He cupped his chin in one hand as his green eyes examined me from beneath lowered lids. I smiled.

'Good, actually. Much better than I thought, given recent experiences.'

'Uh huh? So what's keeping you up when you have a boyfriend to go curl up with?'

I arched an eyebrow at him teasingly. 'Not jealous are you?' He gave a mysterious smile in response and I shook my head. 'A lot of things on my mind, I guess.'


He wasn't going to let it lie. Bartenders.... I shot him a narrow look, then sighed and cupped my tea between my hands. 'I guess maybe I just doubt myself too much, these days. Been in a bad place mentally, and I've rarely got out. Now I guess I'm worried I'll have forgot how to do it.'

The massive Caldari snorted, like a volcano giving a warning rumble. Pulling a face I grumbled, 'You keep your dirty thoughts to yourself. I look at the ships I have in my hangar and I wonder if I'll be able to use them as well as I did before, or if it'll be academy days and massive losses all over again. I'm wary of flying anything more expensive than a cruiser because I just KNOW it won't be returning at the end of the night.'

'If you don't undock expecting to lose those hulls, girl, you're doing it wrong.'

I nodded reluctantly. 'I know, I know. If it's not on fire, I'm not flying it right.'

He reached over and tapped my forehead lightly with the tip of one finger. 'You know how to use them. Just go do it. The scariest thing you have to fear out there is yourself... not the other guy. The other guy's a pussy little thing in comparison.'

Blinking, I stared up at him. He frowned a little. 'What?'

I shook my head. 'You know... I knew that. But thanks for reminding me. Did Sonja manage to get your shirt off last night?'

Karlos laughed heartily. 'No, but they got Ethan topless. I'm surprised you missed that part.'

Giggling, I sipped my tea. 'Cael and I were talking over at the table,' I explained, jerking my head towards the massive host's table. 'I hope someone got a video. That's more than enough hot Gallente to go around.'

He shrugged and reached behind the bar to obtain a drink for a bedraggled-looking patron who appeared a couple seats down from me. 'Topless Verone is a common sight, I'm surprised you've not seen him pull that more often.'

'But Topless Karlos is an endangered species, huh?'

He smirked at me. 'so are you going to go back to bed once you're done with that?'

'Hm?' I blinked at him over the rim of the glass teacup. 'Nah, still too much on my mind. Gonna hit up the simulator and see about finishing the refit on my Lachesis.'

The bartender shook his head at me. 'Suit yourself, honey. Just don't start making mistakes because you're too tired to focus.'

I waved him off to take care of the other guests. It was nice to know others cared, and he'd given me some more to think about.