There comes a time in every pilot’s life when you come to a crossroads and have to make a tough choice. For whatever reason, you need to take a break from EVE Online. It can be a pretty hard decision to make, especially if the decision is being forced on you through circumstances out of your control. That’s okay though, today on The Final Frontier, we’re going to be covering all of your bases for those times when you just have to step back. We’ll be talking about how to preserve your assets for the trip, what your priorities should be for your characters, as well as covering some ideas for those especially long trips.
Gotta Know When to Fold ‘Em
Understanding when to take a break in EVE isn’t always the easiest to determine, especially because it relies entirely on you as a person. At the end of the day, EVE is just a game, but part of what I love so much about it is how it inspires such devotion and passion from its audience. However, there comes a time when we all need to realize that no matter how deeply invested we are, EVE isn’t the be-all, end-all. I know it might sound strange that I’m dedicating a whole article to this concept, but the fact is we all need a wake-up call sometimes so that we can reassess what we value in life.
The first break I ever took in EVE Online happened because of just that reason: I woke up one morning and realized that I didn’t like how much it had come to dominate my life. You might laugh at the idea of a grown man having to make such a discovery, but the truth is we deal with these things all the time. It doesn’t matter if it’s a game, a job, a relationship, or a hobby, sometimes we realize that we’re far too invested and we need to rebalance things.
For me, when I first discovered EVE, it was literally like discovering a whole new world. I had heard of the game off and on for years; one time I even subscribed for a month before promptly losing my Catalyst in a war-dec and unsubscribing since it was everything I owned. Yeah, yeah, I was an idiot. But even when I unsubscribed, the seed had already been planted. I spent the next month or two absently working through that loss and slowly building a desire to return.
I find that sometimes games like EVE take me two or three cracks before I finally break ice with it and understand what can make them so wonderful. My second attempt in the game was just that. I was absorbed by it and the seemingly endless choices and paths to travel. I wanted to know everything about everything. It wasn’t long until EVE Online was the only game I played, and it was a shorter time still before the game became the only hobby I really had. Sure, I seemed like a pretty well rounded person on the outside, but, on the inside, all I was thinking about was EVE. It had enchanted me.
In all honestly, it was the depth of the game that had hooked be so deeply. The first time I discovered how turrets worked and began to comprehend concepts like transversal velocity, tracking distance, and fall off, my mind was blown. EVE became a game that interested me so deeply that, when I wasn’t playing, I was thinking about how to play the game better. I spent hours reading, tuning my character skill plan in EVEMon, and building concept ships in the EVE Fitting Tool.
But finally, it became too much. My wife was constantly feeling neglected because I couldn’t watch a movie without popping my laptop open to make some adjustments for a new idea I had for skill training, or because I realized that if I equipped certain modules I could finally get my Myrmidon to tank sleepers just a little bit better. It was bad, and when I think about it now, honestly, I’m embarrassed. One morning, I finally just decided on a whim that enough was enough and unsubscribed both of my accounts entirely. Now, that was the right decision, without a doubt. But I also wish I would have had the forethought to take some precautions to help make my return several years later a bit easier to adjust to.
Making the Tough Call and What to Prioritize
So maybe you’ve decided it’s time for a break. Maybe you just want to take a month to swim out to sea and see what other games are out there, or maybe you’re making this a prolonged absence because of work, family, money, or any number of legitimate reasons. Either way, the nature of EVE Online makes it a game that isn’t as easy to leave as cancelling your subscription and pouring yourself a cold one.
Unlike other MMOs, EVE features a complicated and dynamic world, and taking the proper precautions before leaving will help ensure that your potential return is all the better. No one likes logging in a year or more later and having to deal with all the garbage you left behind while trying to wrestle back memories of how to play the actual game.
Priority One: Skill Training
The most valuable resource in EVE Online is always going to be time. ISK can be earned by experienced pilots without much effort, but the time you don’t invest in the game will never be earned back. Since skill training happens in real time, when you finally cancel that subscription your character will no longer train skills after three days. This can be a real problem, as you are essentially losing out on the most valuable resource in EVE.
First of all, you need to understand why you are leaving and for how long. If you’re planning on ducking out of EVE for longer than just a few months, there isn’t much you can do to help avoid the painful loss of skill points. Unless you’re sitting on billions of ISK to purchase PLEX and keep your account going while you’re away, but if that’s the case you’re likely already paying your subscription fee with PLEX to begin with, and probably beyond saving at this point anyway. Sorry.
For some, this won’t be much of a bother. But if you are planning on taking a break for a little while, consider keeping your subscription active through PLEX purchased with ISK so you can continue to train skills during your absence. This can actually end up being a massive welcome back gift for your return. Logging into the game after a long time away and realizing you’re now able to fly all of the ships you were too impatient to train months ago can be a great way to kick things off with a bang.
Priority Two: Settling Your Accounts
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in EVE is just up and quitting without much thought to what responsibilities you might have. This can range from people, to market orders, contracts, and more. Taking some time to ensure that you’re leaving your character and all of their assets in an organized manner will really go a long way when you return and don’t have to sort through all the confusion.
If you have market orders currently unfilled, consider the effort it might take to fill those and whether or it would be worth it to delay your plans a few days in order to make that happen. Try offloading as much unnecessary equipment as possible, though do so in a way that ensures you are getting a decent value on those items—don’t just offload them into buy orders for the sake of it.
Consider investing in PLEX if you have the money. The great thing about PLEX is—barring major disasters—the item almost always acts as a solid investment. Depending on how long you are away for, you might find that the PLEX your purchased for 850 million ISK now sells for a solid 900 million ISK! Profits!
Take some time and chat to anyone you are responsible to within the game. There is no use in burning bridges, even if the reason you are quitting is a dramatic one. Inform leadership of your absence, and make sure any friends in the game know why you’re leaving. This is another form of investment, because when you eventually do return to New Eden, having a group of pals willing to reacquaint you with the game can go a long way.
Priority Three: Getting out of Null-sec
If you’re the adventurous type and many of your assets are located in null-sec or wormhole space, take the time to move as many of them back to high-sec as possible. The last thing you want to have happen is logging in and finding that half of your stuff is now safely stowed in a station deep behind enemy lines or that POS you forgot to take down was popped and everything you own is now gone.
Furthermore, make sure that the last place you log off is also in space that will be relatively safe to return to. Of course, you could log off in null-sec and not really run into major issues, but it’s nice to return to the game in a region that isn’t actively trying to kill you. Depending on how long you are absent for, you might find you’re quite rusty, and the last thing you need is a Cynabal grabbing you at the gate because you forgot to look before you leap.
See You When I See You
Taking a break from anything is healthy. It allows you an opportunity to reassess what is important in your life. It also affords you a chance to explore some new experiences and see what else there is in store for you. EVE Online is no different; you might love it to death, but knowing when to step back can be just as important. If you find you’re reaching that moment, hopefully this article will give you some ideas of what to expect and what measures to take to make the transition as smooth as possible.Related: Column, EVE Online, The Final Frontier