Burn Out!

No today’s post is not about getting your ship out of a bubbled gate camp – well not directly.  I was recently struck by some comments made by Zapatero in his editors piece in E-ON Magazine.  Zap wrote about how EVE Online was more often than not running away in the background whilst he wasn’t actually actively playing EVE.

I think the point Zap was trying to make was that EVE Online had become a extension of his online activity in a broader sense allowing him to socialise with friends, contact people through EVE Mail and browse the interwebs without actually logging off.  The reason why this post rather struck a cord with me was that initially I thought he was talking about losing enthusiasm for EVE and “burning out” and how similar the two states (using EVE as a powerful online interface and burning out) actually are to each other.

Everyone I think has, or will at some stage, suffered from a degree of ‘burn out’ with EVE.  It’s that point where you log on only to be struck with an almost crushing sense of boredom and complete lack of direction or focus.  For some this results in a fairly turgid period of logging on very infrequently or just un-subbing completely leaving corporations across New Eden with a pool of dead accounts and inflated membership numbers.

To an extent of course part of EVE’s very nature can strike a mortal blow to a players interest in the game.  Having to wait 35+ days for a particular skill to train up so you can ‘progress’ is a radically different concept to most other MMOs where at least by grinding like a lunatic you can achieve a specific goal.  Equally EVE’s draw is very often based upon watching / participating in the great wheels of political intrigue and drama that turn across the cosmos – but those wheels can turn so very slowly.  Goonswarms and BOBs don’t disband every day after all.

So how do you combat against burn out?

Im sure most players will suggest you try something different – after all there are a huge range of player activities you could try if you haven’t dipped into them before – manufacture, invention, missions, pvp, exploration, running corps, podcasting – the list goes on.  Finding a ‘new play style’ or even just moving to a new region of space can help to break that ‘been there, done that’ spell.

However  my recommendation to you is you don’t! Let me put it this way, if you met someone who explained they played scrabble, or monopoly every night and had done so for the past 2 or 3 years you’d probably understand pretty fast why they were getting a bit bored of that game?  It’s equally important to remember that EVE is a GAME.  Admittedly it is a very complex and deep universe but our imaginations can depth of involvement can only go so far.

One of the great strengths of EVE Online is that you can set a long skill training and just go off and do something else – without having to fear that you will somehow fall behind your fellow players.  Ok, so you might miss the odd short term opportunity and you wont be accruing to much ISK in the process but in terms of your basic progression you’ll be fine.

Taking a short break from EVE has a number of obvious benefits – you’ll almost certainly come back to the game with a renewed sense of vigour and quite probably some new ideas about where to head next.  Whenever I have taken a breather I have come back to experience that sense of awe at the scale of EVE and marvelled at how great it looks time and again.  Of course your relationships outside of EVE are equally likely to benefit as a result which can only be a good thing.

One word of warning is that you should try and avoid the obvious temptation to inspect the forums at every opportunity.  In many ways forums act as a magnate for the malcontent for any MMO and EVE is no different.  Reading thread after thread on why ship X is overpowered / underpowered or how the game lags as soon as someone sneezes is unlikely to endear you to a return.

So if you are burning out and running low on cap how should you go about surfacing for air?

Well if you are in a corp just let them know.  A short mail explaining your absence can go a long way to ensuring you don’t find yourself in an NPC corp when you get back.  Also try and organize your equipment as conveniently as possible as this will reduce at least some of the pain of wondering where all your kit is when you do log on. For Null Sec players logging off with your carrier in station “Super Secure” is not a great idea – because you can be sure that ‘sods law’ will immediately apply and you will return to find it renamed “Conquered by your arch Enemies”.

How long you should take as an extended down time is up to you of course, 1 to 2 weeks is normally sufficient in my experience but then I often have enforced absences from EVE due to work so suffer slightly less from this malady.  It’s also a period that is nicely covered by both longer skill training times.

As for the uncontrollable shakes, cold sweats and overwhelming feelings of terror that sweep over you on patch days … sorry, cant be of much help there 😉


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