I come from a broken home. No, really. This month’s blog banter (an institution I have sadly neglected for some time due to :life:) asks the following:
“Some say a man’s home is his castle. For others it is wherever they lay their hat. The concept is just as nebulous in the New Eden sandbox.
In EVE Online, what does the concept of “home” mean to you?”
The responses have been varied. Some have taken the literal interpretation, showing screenshots of each and every station they have ever based out of in their Eve career. Others have chosen the warm, fuzzy “My corp is my home” approach. For me, neither of these things apply – and yet, in a way, they both do.
One glance at my employment history will show that I’ve not been particularly shy about shifting corporate allegiance. A couple stints in RVB, a tour of duty in the front lines of Suddenly Ninjas, jaunts through high sec griefing and low sec piracy. Monsters (the ‘TGA’ version), Monsters again (the non-TGA version), taking on CEO duty of a pirate corp called Sinners., a short ‘retirement’ in the company of The Tuskers, and now a longer one with the terrible members of Am0k. in Goons. Clearly, a corporation is not what I would call a home.
And yet, there is a certain group of people who share corp histories very similar to mine that create a ‘homecoming’ atmosphere on the (now rare) occasions that we all manage to be subbed and active in Eve Online. Names you’ve probably never heard of (unless you are one of them), names like Myd’Raal, Professor Terror, equincu ocha, Crocodile Tear, and even (in a dysfunctional uncle sort of way) Neville Longbottom. For a glorious period of time – the best time I’ve ever had in any game – we shared corp tags, drunken jokes and life’s tragedies with each other as we blasted anything that moved too slowly to escape in lowsec. For a time, that was pretty much home for me in Eve Online – hanging out with a bunch of random guys, drinking beer and shooting shit in lowsec.
Today, that home is broken. As so often happens in Eve, people are forced to go their separate ways. Neville was the first to go, real life preventing him from appearing with regularity online. Myd got sucked into the maelstrom that is Goonswarm with some of his alts. Terror’s RL hit in a big way and he, too, was forced away from the game. Slowly, we spread apart (though it is ironic that out of those named, three of us are in Am0k. now), picking up different corp tags, logging on to different comms, growing distant.
In the same way, I cannot really identify with those who say a particular station is home. If referred to in a geographic sense, home for me would just be lowsec – all of it. Despite the fact that there are still some areas I’ve yet to visit, I have since my arrival in the space that vikings forgot found it to be very comfortable. If I had to narrow it down to one area, I would have to say the Aurohunen/Dantumi/Mara area of Lonetrek’s lowsec space would be where I am most comfortable. I found my pirating feet in Dantumi, under the guiding hand of Neville. I found good friends in Mara, people I still chat with from time to time. In Aurohunen, I took my first steps into corporate leadership with Sinners. However, this would also neglect the impact that areas like Lisbaetanne and Hevrice have had on my Eve career, where I picked up numerous more friends like Rixx Javix, Jaxley, Abellona and others. So no, I can’t say any particular system is home.
Lowsec as a whole has always been the real draw for me when it comes to Eve Online. I’ve spent significant time in High Sec, and recently I’ve been trying to find my way in Null sec with Goons. However, the last time I logged in (about a week ago), where did I find myself? Amamake. Not VFK, not UMI, not Jita nor anywhere else outside of lowsec that I would have a reason to be. I was in lowsec.
Lowsec, too, is broken. Not unplayable by any stretch of the imagination, just as that core group of Eve friends are still my Eve friends. There is just something missing. We have grown distant, lowsec and I, and I’m not sure things will ever be the same as they once were.
At any rate, if pressed on the issue I would say I don’t truly have a home right now. That isn’t a dig at Am0k. or Goons in general. I just feel listless, ill-at-ease, and altogether disaffected with in-game activities in Eve right now. Nonetheless, I press on, because for all its flaws Eve Online is still the game for me.