Eve’s Thermopylae

With the news from the latest dev blog that EVE Gate will be entering into an open Alpha next week I have to admit my interest in this new portal for the world of EVE has returned.

EVE Gate offers a really fascinating concept – interaction with a ‘game’ from the outside. The initial features look promising, calendar, eve mail and so forth with the promise of greater interaction to come.  But I have some reservations.

Firstly is the worry that EVE Gate will allow for an expanding empire of AFK players and general meta gaming which isn’t always a healthy thing.  Could we end up with macros running on machines linked to EVE Gate manipulating the market, with no real consequences within the Eve Universe for the player?

The calendar idea is on the surface a good one, helping players (especially those in the large alliances) co-ordinate fleet operations, and other group tasks.  But the flip side of that is the shadow of Eve becoming a second career.  Personally I like to log onto to Eve and (beholden to no one) enjoy the universe as a means of escapism.  Will I now be juggling my work and personal calenders to mesh neatly with my avatars pixel’d life??  Equally while forward planning is great, very often my favourite moments in Eve have been unplanned, unscripted if you will – and that’s very much a draw for me.

Keeping in touch with fellow corpies, alliance comrades and general ‘buddies’ in Eve also sounds pretty cool.  But ultimately if I’m not ‘in game’ does it really matter?  An Eve mail that announces a fleet op departing at 11am is more or less useless to me if I’m sat chained to my proverbial desk at work.  If anything it could be more of a frustration.

I guess my greatest concern with Eve Gate is the temptation it provides to NOT disengage from Eve.  Now that might sound a bit odd, but the times when I have lost my enthusiasm for Eve Online have actually come at those points where I have played to excess.  I stopped enjoying the other great things life has to offer (family, BBQs, meeting friends, TV, films, etc etc etc) whilst immersed in what fast became less of a diversion and more of a addictive habit.

Maybe some of you have felt the same way from time to time. Logged on, spinning your ship in a station, but with no real idea of why you were logged on with just the lurking suspicion that far from being entertained you were in fact really very bored indeed.

So I think Eve Gate, for me at least, will be something I shall watch and perhaps even use with some interest.  What I will be guarding against is getting sucked into that gate to the exclusion of all else, desperately trying to eek out a bit more of a Eve Online ‘hit’ when in reality there’s no better solution than actually logging in and getting out there and into space.

Or, for that matter, logging off and appreciating the real universe that’s right here.

C.

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