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There are many ways to play Eve Online. And I'm not here to disparage any of them. I've always supported a wide variety of play styles within Eve Online and will continue to do so forever. But no matter how you choose to play this crazy game of ours, the truth of the matter is... it can break you. Chew you up and spit you out. Over the past ten years I've watched this happen countless times, over and over again. Good players, great players, captains of industry, miners, builders, alliance leaders, meta-gamers, bloggers... you name it and I've watched them all break. Disappear. Vanish into the ether. (All while some players who should leave annoyingly stay)
"But Rixx," you say "how have you managed to stay so fabulous for so long?" Well I'm glad you asked. Let's take a look at some wisdom I've learned from the past decade that I hope will help you stick with Eve for the long-term. Because unlike what you might have heard, the only way to win at Eve is to never quit. Quitting isn't winning, it's quitting. Unless you come back at some point. Which you are always welcome to do. Then you can just start right back up again with the winning.
Rome wasn't built in a day and neither will your Eve career. Take your time, the Universe isn't going anywhere. I've seen way too many hotheads burn themselves out by trying to become the greatest player in Eve all at once. It is great to be enthusiastic and passionate, but all you are going to do is get tired pretty quickly. Eve can be exhausting. Especially if you take on any responsibilities. Be awesome, have fun, and remember that in Eve slow and steady really does win the race.
It's best if you think of CCP as simply a gaming company that happens to make Eve Online. And leave it at that. Yeah it's cool that some of the Devs will talk to you on Twitter, or engage with you on the Forums, or smack your face over on Reddit. I'm not suggesting that you ignore that, far from it. What I am suggesting is avoiding the all to common pitfall of thinking CCP is going to do anything about your specific complaint. Because they most likely are not. And you will get very, very frustrated by this and start to really hate them for it. Trust me. Don't do this. They are people who work very hard at trying to make Eve the best game they can. Really. That is all there is to that. Don't read anything else into it. Down that path lies nothing but frustration.
Make friends everywhere. In-game, out of game, in school, at work, at player meets, make lots of friends. We all need them. And so will you if you plan on playing Eve for any length of time. Nothing is more frustrating than being ganked and having no one to talk to about it. So do the right thing and join a Corporation of people that enjoy doing that thing you enjoy doing. Hang out with them. Talk to them. Learn stuff. It really, really does work.
Eve can sometimes really suck you in and before you know it you've just spent three months straight single-handedly moving an entire Alliance's assets from one dark, damp place to another. It happens. I've discovered over the past ten years that taking small breaks from Eve is the best thing. What that means is totally dependent on your life, commitments, and whatnots. Everyone is different. And my schedule might not work for you. And yours might not work for me. Find out what works for you. Eve runs 24/7 (minus DT) but you can't. Walk away every so often and enjoy life. It helps.
It is great to have goals inside of Eve because often Eve can be a weirdly goal-free game. For example, my goal is to be the last player left. I'm kidding. (Sorta) In reality my goals would be very boring to most people, they are small things I need to accomplish in the near-future. Like moving a Moros from High-Sec to our base in Low. Or defending our Citadel. Stuff like that. But I am always goal-oriented in Eve. I think it helps to keep you focused. And thinking about the future.
Whatever you are doing in-game, no matter how serious it might be, find a way to let go and have some fun. Try something new. Fly something different. Go somewhere new. Whatever it is, do it and enjoy it. I am constantly trying new things or flying new ships and fits, often to hilarious results. Or derping myself into stupid fights I can't hope to win. Last week I tackled a Drake in an Atron. I almost had him! If you aren't enjoying Eve eventually you'll grow tired of it. And maybe you should. It might not be for you. It certainly isn't for everyone.
Don't Be a Dick
Despite its reputation Eve is very unforgiving of a-holes. You might not think this, because at any one time it seems that Eve is full of them - but in the long-run they don't last. It's true. I can go back and re-read old blog posts about people and then look them up in-game today and guess what? 9 times out of 10 they no longer play. Some take longer than others, but eventually almost every single jerk ends up leaving the game. All while the most awesome people tend to last a really long time. In the final analysis the good guys do indeed finish last. It's math, you can't argue about it.
Everyone leaves eventually, nothing lasts forever. So I'm not suggesting that people that stop playing Eve are in the wrong. Not in any way. We all have to do what we have to do. But, if you do want to try and play Eve for a long time, these are some solid pieces of advice to follow. They work for me and I suspect they will work for you as well.
What are some of the things that you do to keep yourself interested in playing?