This entry has been written from an ‘out of character’ perspective.
It is a well known phenomena in EVE that the game goes quiet during summer time. The reasons why are various and speculative, but year after year activity levels across the game typically drop off for a few months and someone invariably decrees that ‘EVE is dying’ or something.
This summer seems a bit different though, as there are some very lively conflicts going on at the moment. The latest great null sec war has been raging for Fountain and delivering some long awaited carnage, but factional warfare appears to continue showing signs of good health despite being now past that initial honeymoon period of active development attention by a good six months plus. There is also Alliance Tournament XI which kicked off last weekend to hold our collective attention.
Funnily enough though, that summer thing has hit me hard this month and I have barely logged in at all for the past couple of weeks. I think there may be a few factors at play here. Firstly, I might have been feeling like taking a little EVE-break to do other things which happens occasionally. Secondly, and this might be a big one, it has been damned hot here in the UK for a couple of weeks now so my attention span for the more complex gaming has probably suffered. Plus with good weather, something we Brits haven’t seen in awhile, comes the urge/social pressure to go outside and do stuff.
Then there has also been the Steam summer sale and the introduction of these Steam trading card things. I have actually felt compelled to reinstall old games that I haven’t touched in years simply to farm the card drops. I have no idea why, but its a compulsion. A sad and nerdy one, I know, but I’ve found myself doing it anyway. Maybe its the heat. :S
So I haven’t really been playing EVE much at all lately. But I have tried to keep abreast of things going on and watched a fair chunk of the tournament live stream over the weekend. I didn’t even try to watch the whole thing as it was a huge number of matches without the studio coverage bits to break things up. I’m back in the Ushra’Khan now but we don’t have a team this year so I’m lacking the personal investment in the outcome that might have motivated me to commit more of my attention to the first round. It was good coverage though and I’m looking forwards to this weekend with the full studio coverage and tactical ship bans coming into play. Hopefully we’ll see the Dominix setups become a little less prevalent.
The last thing I wanted to mention is the EVE First Decade Collectors Edition that CCP were plugging extensively in the live stream last weekend. This was announced back at Fanfest and will be my (geeky) Christmas present this year from the wife. She has however already given me the pre-order bonus item codes to redeem. In the past week CCP decided to add an additional pre-order item to the list. Sleeve tattoos.
I was wondering when these would finally appear in the game. CCP has been sitting on a pile of completed and ready to ship vanity items that were meant to go out with the Incarna roll out. When the Incarna project (and NeX store) faceplanted CCP shelved the lot until they could figure out a better strategy and direction. The sleeve tattoos were one such casualty, although I noticed that they had made it into the TQ build in recent patch notes. Now I know why.
What does make me a little curious is that these items are a ‘timed exclusive’ and that CCP still intend to release them for general sale at a later date. I can’t help but wonder if this means that CCP are starting to think about expanding the NeX store again to make use of this already finished content. I wonder how that will play with the community? Would it be another round of pitchforks or have we all happily moved on now from the summer of 2011?