My month of insane levels non-EvE activity continues. In my notes, I have multiple five-day-long stretches marked 'didn't play', but that's not an option right now, because the tower needs some fuel that can only be had out in the madness that comprises the market systems of New Eden, so into Known Space I must go!
It's coming up on the weekend, though, so I plan to squeeze what fun I can out of my limited play time by planning some Activities while out and about. Obviously, that doesn't mean mission-running (not a very efficient use of my time, and probably frustrating given that my old mission-running boats are underfit for my current skill set, not to mention covered in dust), but what's this? An 'anyone's invited' roam through nullsec space, organized by the pilots of Red versus Blue, scheduled to take place the same weekend I need to be out in known space anyway. Perfect.
A Bit of Background
I've said this before, but one of the most important elements for enjoying any MMO is having people to play with; said requirement is printed right on the tin, as they say, and despite the fact that EvE is the Mos Eisley of MMOs, this need for real-live-person interaction remains. (Maybe more so, since the purely solo-activity offerings in the game are a bit... dry.)
What's different about EvE is that one of the ways players choose to play with others is blow them up. In a way, this makes EvE a lot more like 'normal' games (like Chess, Monopoly, Clue, Cribbage, whatever) than a typical MMO, because a lot of the fun you're having comes from pitting yourselves directly against other people, while a typical MMO (City of Heroes, Lord of the Rings, WoW, whatever) puts a lot more development effort into cooperative play.
Anyway, in EvE, we have a situation where conflict with (or the potential for conflict with) other players is where a lot of your 'playing with others' action comes from, even if the only 'other people' you're playing with are trying to blow you up.
Which brings me back to Red versus Blue. From the EvE wiki:
Red versus Blue (or RvB) is a straight-forward institution. There are two high-sec corporations, the Red Federation and the Blue Republic, with a permanent war declaration between them. Any player may join either side as they wish and indulge in target-rich PvP, the focus of which is on inexpensive frigate and cruiser combat. It really is that simple: Apply to one of the corps, the application will be accepted, jump in a ship, start PvPing.
It's a genius idea, a great way to learn more about EvE PvP as a new player, as well as a fun way to relearn how to enjoy the game as a veteran pilot with a few too many Tower Bashes in your past. Everyone from Goonwaffe pilots to the cariest of carebear miners respects what RvB does.
That said, I'm obviously not going to give up my wormhole home just to shoot a some frigates, which is where the RvB "open roam" nights come in. For these events, RvB opens up participation to anyone: RvB members, ex-members, compatriots, complete strangers, whatever. Just get on the right channel, open up the right comms, get to the mustering point at the right time and in the right general type of ship, and off you go.
So that's what I decided to do with my weekend, since I don't have a lot of a lot of free time at the moment and the home system is pretty quiet (read: decimated by Skyrim).
The open roam theme: Lasers. Bring something (anything) with lasers. Even it if was stupid.
Friday: Exit the hole and make my way to a market system. Park my current ship, clone-jump to a cheaper body, and pick up an appropriate ship. I opt for the Amarrian Arbitrator-class cruiser, designed mostly for drone carnage and (thanks to a number of tracking disruptors for electronic warfare) causing chaos in the ranks of the enemy.
Saturday: Log in a few minutes before the mustering time (Saturday afternoon), get to the system, fleet up, get into voice comms, and spend the next couple hours being thoroughly amused while listening to several increasingly-drunken citizens of Great Britain lead a fleet of seventy-five idiotically-fit laser boats around nullsec, looking for a fight.
Here's the result:
Inexplicably, I did not die.
... which actually worked out okay, since that means I can keep the ship around, stored in a market system with my inexpensive "I'm going to die and don't want to lose my implants" clone, and use it on the next roam. (Oh yeah, I'll be doing this again.)
Sunday: I jump back to my current, proper clone, pick up the next month's worth of fuel, and haul it back to the wormhole and the waiting arms of our hungry tower.
Total time played: About 5 hours for the entire week.
Enjoyment/time ratio: Damned good.
Which was, really, the point.