First Days

I didn't know a damn thing about Eve when I started playing back in September 2008. Nothing except that I wanted to play this new spaceship game I'd seen. I downloaded it, chose my race on a total whim, jumped into a shiny new Ibis and sat there in the station. I could spin the 3d model.

It took several minutes to realize the whole right-click thing. As most people know by now, I am a rather dedicated Mac user, so right-clicking on things wasn't yet a habit. Luckily I always used a multi-function mouse, so it wasn't as big a deal for me as I suppose it would be for other single button Mac users.

I am now going to admit several things I've never admitted before.

1. I never used any of the tutorials.
I tried. So I guess that statement is technically wrong, but I never finished one, or I found them horrible and quickly turned them off. Whichever thing is closest to the truth is the one I did, this was almost five years ago now. I may have run a few of them, but either way I found the entire process horrible. They didn't help.

2. I felt an overwhelming sense of overwhelming sense.
Eve is big and complicated and noisy, even with the sound turned off! Local is nuts, the chat channels that open on you are non-stop and full of random banter, the "help"channel isn't a help at all. Things spin, turn and blink a lot. It is sensory overload on a massive scale.

3. I was scared to death
Remember this is in Todaki. ( Which makes me laugh now of course. ) But space is big and empty and full of things!! I only knew one person in Eve at this point and he was going thru the same things as I was, although two weeks ahead of me, so the sheer amount of false information was staggering.

4. It took me three days before I made my first jump thru a Gate.
I don't think I will ever again feel the way I did when I realized you didn't have to burn to a gate, but could do something called "Warp" and that Gate loomed above my ship and I first hit that Jump button. I can't describe the sense of... well, whatever the heck that was.

I started hearing about Alliances, corporations and war decs and ganks and mining and industry. For a few days I was convinced that in Eve you had to build your own ships! ( I still have Frigate Construction as a skill! ) I didn't want anything to do with those things. I just wanted to be left alone to learn and figure things out on my own.

It was hard. But believe it or not, the difficulty is what made me want to do it. I'd never experienced anything like it before in a "video game". I died a lot in those days. I had no idea what I was doing and Eve continued to be frustrating, unfair and downright horrible. I came close to quitting on many, many days. I was scared to death of "reds" and didn't really understand the different between "rats" and "pirates".

I loved every minute of it. I eventually found a corporation and was convinced to join by my friend. We spent our time between Providence and Caldari space. Yes, two weeks into the game and I flew the pipe thru Null Sec into Providence. I ratted in null and in high/low. I was killed by roving gangs of -A- and by hi-sec gankers and war decs. Can flippers too.

The rest is history.

The post yesterday and this one are part of a series. My own reflection on what it means in the grand scheme of things. Violence, young players and the safety some suppose we should have more of. As usual, I am pondering the bigger questions before formulating some thoughts on possible solutions.

The point of this post? I still remember what those first days are like. I grew up being a victim, a helpless noob in the grips of talented and experienced gate campers, blobbers, bubbles and more. I know what that feels like. I haven't forgotten.

I always wondered, back then, what it would be like to have 80m skillpoints and have played Eve for five years. Now I know. It has been a long and amazing journey, but it is a journey and not a finish. And we still have a long way to go.

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