The Day the Lights Go Out

I imagine it sometimes. This dark and stormy night. Down the road apiece. Perhaps twenty years or so from now. New Eden has dwindled, gotten old and tired. So many new things have come along, shiny worlds, new challenges. The server numbers have dwindled down to the hundreds. It isn't unusual to go days without bumping into another human in space.

One by one the Star Gates closed, locking off region after region. Pushing the hard-core into smaller and smaller spaces in an effort to maintain the illusion. The server chugs along. Three or four days a month the server goes down. No one complains. The forums are quiet. Reddit remains silent.

I imagine I'm sitting in a safe spot in my Machariel. I had long since run out of things to train. Max skills passed years earlier. I sit and wait for another old-timer to jump into local in his Machariel. We shall do what we do each week and fight each other to the death. It has become our ritual. And then, suddenly, all fifteen of the people on-line are transported around me. Several warp displacements and we are surrounded by several CCP Dev ships. There are only four dedicated Eve Devs at this point. CCP moved along to other things years and years ago.

We all know each other. We talk. We spin tales of yesterdays. We laugh. But deep down, we know what is coming. We've talked about it before. Our hearts are heavy.

In fitting tribute we decide that the only way is the soldiers way. Guns blazing, missiles flying, we have it out one last time. And one by one the pods appear, and as agreed upon, log off one final time. One final glory. One last hurrah. In the end it comes down to me and the last Dev. Our guns go silent.

We remember all those that came before us. We stay in touch with many of them. The grand tales we both remember so well, as if they just happened. We both say a final word to the fallen, our friends who left us far to early. The trolls, the haters, the cowards and the talented few. The explorers, the fighters, the builders, and the ones who passed us on the river. Time marches. Neither of us is the same as we once were.

I imagine this day. When the Dev blinks out and I am left, alone, on the single shard. I'll probably laugh just then. Not a happy laugh, but a laugh filled with irony, and touched by sadness. I have, as we used to say in the old days, won Eve. I am the last one. I will be turning out the lights.

As I set the self-destruct I think back to all those moments. The battles fought, the good and the bad. The characters, the people, from around the world that I came to know. Both virtual and real. The struggles, the triumphs, the hate, and the shared cause. And I think, in this future self, of how it all comes down in the end. It was good after all. It was good after all.

To each of them I say, thank you. I do this for all of you.

And the lights go out.

This is how I imagine it sometimes.




23 comments:

  1. All good things come to an end eh?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Eventually. I like to think CCP has moved on to other even better things by then, and that this isn't as sad as it sounds because we are all off playing something even better.

      Delete
  2. 20 years from now?
    Let's see what the PCU stands at around October, and then again in January. Then let's compare it to 2012, 2013, 2014.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As Fire Bush says directly below... there were plenty of years that this game survived with far less numbers than now. Hell, I quit back in 2004/2005 and thought the game only had another year to live... what year is it now?

      Delete
  3. Dins u know player count isn't the only way they make money now. Plenty of whales.out there just buying isk like real money means nothing. Tbh I doubt its really dropped that much. Just noobs from b-r leaving. I'd agree with u if eve was wow and needed millions of subs, but in reality the game went on for a good what 6 years with less then 300k subs? We got aways to go to get back to those numbers. Im not so sure a slight dip in player count during the summer of eso and wildstar is much to worry about. Most ppl are figuring out eso is a buggy themepark. nah eves got until at least eq next (pry 5 years) or shrouds of the avatar (who knows). Before the devs get a real sandbox challenger to kill off eve. once ppl actually have a choice in sandbox games again eve might struggle. Until then its the only game in town.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm sitting at my desk, weeping into my lunch. Thanks a lot.

    btw, Bonnie and Rixx, great photo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A couple of weeks ago I said on Twitter that the only way to win Eve was to be the one that turns out the lights. That stuck with me I guess, cause I woke up this morning with that image in my head. And while I hope Eve does last forever, few things do. In my mind it isn't a downer, since things can end much worse, but a hopeful vision.

      Delete
  5. I'll stand by your side my Brother!

    ReplyDelete
  6. ... and just moments after Rixx's pod self-destructs, another player, unsubbed for 10 years, activates PLEX for Hours and logs in one last time to steal the moment. Because this is Eve.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Too sad for me and Chris H and so

    And then a spark. Like a universe reborn, a big bang, a purchase of server code running on Chribbas phone (this is twenty years hence). A lone traveller dips his toe. One man and his Veldspar and one man and his ancient Serpentis enemy. But, lo what light through yonder window breaks. It is a pirate and I am the target. Not lonely now I feel the piercing cry of the belt ratter down the ages "Christ, why didn't I fit warp stabs!". I swerve to orbit. A glorious sensation of doom surrounds me, the shield screaming a susurrus of death. Damage falls and overview rises, a crowd of combatants! Glorious glee, we fall one by one, rushing home, hearts pumping as they did in ancient adrenaline times. Each of the fallen signing off as they did in the past.

    "GF"

    No longer an end. A beginning. We ride out again.



    ReplyDelete
  8. And right after that, the "SEKRIT" to pvp mastery will have sunk in.

    I rush to log in; my family looking askance as I shout "I get it! I get it now!!"

    ....and the universe is black.

    Thanks for that cheery vision, Rixx. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'll fulfill the ships need to the end of times.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow, that is a masterpiece. Haven't read something so powerful about eve in a long time.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I must admit, this post touched me and put a lump in my throat. Well done, sir.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Happened to JumpGate™ with a whimper. I think Earth & Beyond went with a bang (all of a sudden)...with jumpgate i was with them till late 2003 on a regular basis.

    It's not as nostalgiac as you hope. it's more like you have ALOT of history with a great many veterans who are diehards...it's not so cozy and things can get a little heated.

    I'm sure we'll bump into the occasional old friend, in the next variation of Sci-Fi space simulator, but not as many as you think.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let us be clear, I hold no illusions about the reality of closure. Certainly this post is pure fantasy, a wax poetic, an imaginary hope, a dream- if you prefer.

      Delete
  13. I felt i had to reply to this. That was a fantastic piece you wrote. Im at work and im sitting here clearly visualizing the whole thing in my mind. My eyes were moist and my skin was crawling with goosepimples the whole time i was reading that. I just dont understand why i still care about EVE . I left the game a year back....DAMMITTT ALL TO HELL ..!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Come back to us. Join Stay Frosty, play with others that share and care, that only play to have fun and don't care about all the things that make Eve difficult. Play when you want to, how you want. It really, truly, is just like that.

      Delete
  14. Best thing you have written Mr Javix. Hit.me right in the feels.

    ReplyDelete