Today is April 5th so no April Fools’ posts. My prank post did, however, get me thinking about where I’m at and what I want to be doing. It’s a bit like peeling an onion; I started with the outer layers and eventually found the core. Instead of a smelly center that causes flatulence and halitosis, I was left with a pearl of clarity that summed me up in a single statement:
I’m a “professional” PvP’er.
When I log into EVE all the competitive traits that I have in real-life like my desire to succeed in my career, my goal of running a marathon this fall, helping my oldest son to become a good pitcher – all of these coalesce into a motivation to be really, really good at PvP. I scour the killboards for fits, I read the alliance forums on fitting discussions, I devour the posts on tactics – all in an effort to improve my knowledge of how to make space pixels go ‘pop’.
I exhibited the same behavior ‘back in the day’ when I played FPS’es at a competitive level. I wasn’t satisfied with being ‘decent’ and would spend hours practicing, studying and watching demos before a scrim or match. I was never ‘elite’ but did make a bit of a name for myself in two titles I played.
Looking back on my EVE career I see this same pattern. I left my first starting corp because they were carebears, joining the Rule of Five to get an introduction to 0.0. I left that corp once they became more enamored with building stations than roaming. I returned after a hiatus and joined Senex Legio, the PvP arm of LAWN alliance but grew frustrated with the blob. Joining Lucifer’s Hammer got me into Rote Kapelle where I found kindred spirits who don’t tolerate fail fits or FC’s who derp their fleets. Some see that attitude as ‘holier-than-thou’, ‘elitist’ or just trolling; I see it as not suffering fools gladly.
I guess, in the end, I take my internetspaceships game seriously. Some will argue that I take it too seriously and perhaps I do. Some people will say ‘it’s just a game’ and they’re right. Others will point out that stats and killboards and records and Battleclinic are irrelevant and they’re just as right. My retort to all of these positions would be that everyone should play the game the way they want, the way they get enjoyment from it. The marvelous thing about a true sandbox game is there’s no “right” definition for playing it or even being “good” at it. There are professional traders who have the capital and experience to dominate a market. There are professional industrialists who manage production chains down to the nth degree, wringing the maximum profit from each module or ship. There are professional miners, explorers, mission-runners, etc. They are all working to become very good at their “profession”.
My “profession” has been PvP for the past two years. It’s time I stepped up and became professional about it.