I'm very careful about not playing a lot of Star Citizen. I'm heavily invested in that being a future home and don't want to burn out on it before it even releases. I play the new content for a few days when it's released to get a feel for it and then I stop. In between I'm writing about it, working on my vidcast or Alysianah's World of Star Citizen. This strategy leaves me open to play other games when I have time.
Having recently released the last update to Aly's World for 2016, I'm in the mood to wander around in a MMO. I decided to return to EVE Online expecting to see a bump in activity from the new free-to-play model CCP has just released. And I wasn't disappointed. Chatter is jumping. Lots of Twitch streamers. Even a couple of Star Citizen content creators I work with are going to take a spin in EVE Online.
There’s no way to return from a long hiatus without re-evaluating your immediate plans and taking stock of your inventory. This often necessitates a session or two of inventory management and logistics work.
The last time I played, I’d exited a Faction Warfare corporation operating out of Heydieles. I’d already moved a majority of my assets to a new home base in Arnon IX, having decided to also retreat from Hek IV being my personal base of operations. Not sure what I wanted to do next, I’d opted for a higher security location. Unfortunately, I still had a Helios, two Vexors and couple stashes of supplies to move out of harm’s way. I spent my first evening in the game gathering those assets and transporting them home.
Before re-subscribing, I reviewed what people were using now as ship fits for Vexor PVE, Vexor PVP and a Viator for courier runs. I hold no illusions that PVE content has become more interesting or significantly more robust since my last departure. For me however, I find running missions and salvaging the wrecks a low effort relaxing activity. The bump in EVE Twitch streams gives me something related to watch while I’m playing. It's also been great for picking up tips as new players flock to these channels with questions.
Not nearly as worried about losing my Viator, I’m going to dig into courier missions to get the hang of things again before taking contracts. I’m well aware of the dangers of scams and gate camps. I’ve been watching a Twitch streamer who illustrates suicide-ganking couriers in high sec. I’m using it as counter intelligence, picking up some defensive tips by watching how they go about it.
By letting my subscription lapse last time via training skills, I can adequately fit my Helios. I’m going to look into doing exploration in it. Depending on the difficulty and cost, I might bump this activity ahead of doing courier work. I’ve never done any exploration, so I’m starting at ground zero. I’m not convinced I’d enjoy what I see people doing to hack sites if that’s part of exploration. We shall see.
New Good Stuff
There have been nice changes while I was away. I can see the enhancements to the New Player Experience although I haven’t particularly availed myself of it. If I can easily find exploration in the tutorial I’ll start there.
Other things I liked immediately were:
- Infinite skill queue is a huge quality of life improvement
- Ship Fit Simulation is great and a long overdue in-game feature
- New map is more user-friendly
- New animations for many of the module activities like webbing, repping, etc.
- Citadels! Very cool idea of having a new type of player created structure that provide services while being outside
- First Person option is cool, as the shifting of the ship size and perspective always bothered me
- It’s still EVE – gritty, dangerous, moody and beautiful where the difference between friend or foe, safety or ruin is whisper thin
Now that I’ve become accustomed to reducing keystrokes while playing Star Citizen via Voice Attack and am savvy at creating my own profiles, I’m going to create a simple one for EVE Online. Mostly I have in mind using it to control my drones and simple navigation commands. If you’re unfamiliar with Voice Attack here’s an article I wrote about it.