I thought I would share the story my dad (a new Eve player as of this past weekend) and myself because Eve Online is unlike any other game I’ve played. It’s difficult to understand at times and can be a bit overwhelming, but sometimes… it brings about some truly magical and memorable moments. In this instance, some fun between my dad and I.
So I got my dad into Eve over the weekend (taking advantage of the Recruit a Friend SP boost) and I’ve never seen him be more interested, intrigued and motivated about a video game. Although combat isn’t his cup of tea, I’m assuming because of the the micromanagement of things in a relatively quick timeframe, he seems to have really bonded well with mining.
A little background on myself: I’ve played Eve before, once in 2008 (with a college room mate) and once in 2016 (with my older brother). Neither of these play sessions lasted very long and I capped out around ~5M SP. I’ve also never dabbled into NullSec, just wormhole space with Exploration (back in 2016). I decide to start a new account, to play with my dad… but this time, knowing what to expect, I decided to fast track myself with some skill injectors to 5M SP, as I’m much better off now than I was in college (cup of ramen, anyone?). Mostly to help carry my dad along.
Queue our first play session. My dad finished the tutorial and is now about to embark on his first combat mission. I want to set him up with a Tristan before he starts, because I know how drone play can be a lot more forgiving to new players. I’m trying to walk him through what to do via Discord (with me watching him stream his game). After some basic instructions on how to control drones (and check his hotkeys), I decide to let him bee free… I release him to his own devices while I continue grinding away on my combat missions, trying to get to level 3 before the end of my first weekend. Then it happens… that first magical moment of every new capsuleers life in Eve Online.
About 10 minutes in… his Tristan gets killed by a NPC, his first death in the game. The noise of sheer panic and emotion in Discord is something I’ve never witnessed with him in a game.
“Come to me! I need help! I’m about to die!”
“I can’t make it, I’m five systems away from you right now…” Insert Troubleshoot Syntax Here, are your enemies identified (give him the hotkey), are your drones deployed (give the hotkey), is your target locked, attack with your drones (give him the hotkey).
“I’m dead” he says frustratingly, and warps back to port…
He tries again, but with the same result… combat just seems a bit too fast paced for him to grasp, at least this early (don’t judge, we’ve all been there). He decides to put a pause on combat missions. I tell him to try mining, as this may be more his pace (oh god, what have I done… I’m a monster). Hes mining away in his Venture, happy as can be and has no issues of any kind. After I think three hauls, I decide to take a break from combat missions. We fleet up, I check ore prices and take him to LOW SEC 0.2 with me escorting him in my Venture (not min/maxed by any extent at this point).
I mop up the rats at both the gate and the asteroid belt with ease and give him the “OK” to warp in. Now I check local and see there is only one capsuleer besides us in the system (I also checked the history on the game’s map). I inspect the other capsuleer. “Good hes got a 5.0 security rating, he must be friendly.” Wrong! WRONG!!! Now in hindsight, I should have checked the KillBoards (something I had forgotten about) before even leaving the gate.
My dad is mining some Hemorphite for ~3 minutes, when suddenly I notice Mr. 5.0 security rating warping to grid in a fookin’ Curse.
“DAD, warp out NOW!” He makes it out… just before the warp scramble hits me. This guy proceeds to open a can of unholy whop a$$ all over my Vexor (which I’m sure is illegal throughout most of the civilized world). I get a few hits in yeah, but only enough to take him down 3/4 of his shield (insert sneaking suspicion that hes toying with me here O,o). He proceeded to take me down to my hull… and pissed off I put a 5 MIL bounty on him (I’ll have the last laugh here, thinking I’m totally dead), but he then gives me 10 MIL and leaves me. #Profit.
Now my dad, utterly confused about what just transpired, was already 5 jumps into his travel back to HIGH Sec and under the umbrella of the beloved CONCORD; now seemingly knowing the dangers of LOW Sec (risk=reward). While I decide I needed to change my drawers, after the encounter with the Curse, my dad went back to mining in his Venture. I go back to running combat missions (insert Eye of the Tiger music here).
Then his Venture then gets attacked by rats (in HIGH Sec). Again, he asks for help… and again, I’m just not close enough to interdict. I attempt to run the troubleshoot syntax with him again, but he dies. We discovered he forgot to put his drone in his drone bay (smooth move, Ex-Lax). Little did I know this was a critical turning point for my dad in Eve Online…
See, every once in a while most men are faced with great challenges and they either succumb to defeat or they rise above it. My dad, on the other hand… does this kinda lateral move. Frustrated, he decides he wants to use his 1M Free SP to upgrade to a mining barge… his rationale… (Bigger ship) = (More Ore and Better Survival). I try telling him what skills to focus first (i.e. basic core skills that apply to every capsuleer, then specialize with whats left over). Then he drops the bombshell “I’ve already spent the 1M SP.” ¯_(ツ)_/¯
===This is actually clever of the CCP marketing team. I see this as providing a taste of the instant gratification that skill injectors can give you. You can almost hear the PLEX vault filling up right now. In the drug world, this is like giving a potential user (new Eve player, not an alt) a taste of 100% pure unadulterated cocaine (that 1M SP bumpy bump). Then you tell them, if you want more its gonna cost you (lots of isk or… PLEX for that instant gratification). I can hear the new players PLEX vaults filling now.===
I reluctantly gift him a 200 MIL ISK (from my old 2016 account was sitting on ~700 MIL, i wasn’t playing to play that account again anyway). If it were not linked to steam, I would have forgotten about it long ago. I know the saying, dont fly what you cant afford to lose… but this was for my dad (and I can afford to sink money into PLEX if I need to for more isk). We both get Retrievers (its what he wanted, so I copied and gave him a fit for the ship) and we do a test run in HIGH Sec. We encounter a few rats, but I make short work of them with my drones. After one full ore hold, I decide to take a break and watch TV with my wife; but I had discord running on my phone so I can watch his stream to run the Troubleshoot Syntax if needed with him.
My dad not happy with just mining veldspar decides to try something a bit more risky. “I found this great 0.7 system” (i think it was Vex, Vax or Vox… something along those lines), he says its got a lot of asteroid fields. Now… for those playing over the weekend might have noticed that this was a system that had not one… but two pirate strongholds in it. I wasn’t able to check anything because I was downstairs. What happened next, I hope to remember for the rest of my life.
He warps into his first asteroid field, he freaks out… I look at his stream on discord, red everywhere… He gets pointed then hit with a warp scrambler and web (if I recall correctly) almost instantly after he came out of his warp. “ugh, Ben theres enemy everwhere!” he says completely shocked. Warp out, I tell him… knowing hes not going to make it… it what appeared to be 3 hits on his discord stream… his retriever was turned into space dust… just as Icarus flew too close to the sun, melting his wings… my dad, a new player, attempted to take a ship he was not comfortable with into an unknown area (not proficient in combat) only to be lost…
Then… it happened. A grunt, followed by “I really hate it when players do that.” I explain that it was just a NPC, not a real player. Another grunt, then about 20 seconds of dead silence… “well I’m getting off now” and he ends the stream… HAHA my dad, for the first time in his life just rage quit for the first time in a video game. My wife (who was sitting next to me, listening to my dad) and I just died laughing on our couch. I had never witnessed my dad do anything like that before in my life.
But the next evening, he came back. Back in his small Venture, grinding away to make ends meat in the asteroid belts. I unfortunately didn’t team up with him that night, but saw clearly that this was a seed that need to be cared for and watered to grow. So yesterday I decided fork over to cash to CCP for PLEX (because its also supports the COVID-19 relief cause, so why not) to buy isk and several skill injectors. My goal, to have a maxed out Orca for me to play with him. I went down to 40 MIL isk, but I had the Orca’s mining drone II’s yields maxed. I called him up ~4:00 PM and asked if he were getting on this evening, because I had a big ship that would help him out a lot. He logs on and joins me in a 0.9 system I chose because of the number of asteroid belts, he then sees my ship for the first time in the belt. Him in his Venture, and me in my Orca.
insert moment of pure happiness here
We were both so thrilled last night. He was able to enjoy mining in a calm environment, because I was there if any rats came to pick on him; I was also boosting his cycle speed, mining laser range and shield. Needless to say we had a blast turning asteroids into nothing in space. Yeah, its an absolute boring snoozefest to most, but for my dad it was a blast; and for me, in that moment, it was priceless. I even managed to take a screen shot (attached).
Thank you CCP for making such a memorable game, that somehow makes me keep coming back to it, and lets me enjoy time with my dad; despite us being so far away from each other. For everyone else, I’ll see you on Tranquility.
Benji the Blind (me)
Grabas Chent-Shi (dad)
If anyone has a cooperation thats new player friendly in Null-Sec or Wormhole Space, please let me know via in game mail. I would love to play there and bring my dad along. Also, if its not too much to ask, send my dad an in game mail letter of encouragement to keep on keeping on.