Back in the (C)CCP

Pinky once famously said nobody can resist a free t-shirt, and for gamers the corollary is nobody can resist free gametime for a subscription-based game. So when CCP sent me a “come back! we love you!” email a few days back, I let it sit in my mailbox for a while. I didn’t think I had any intention of taking them up on the offer — but if that were true, I’d have deleted or archived the mail, wouldn’t I.

In this case the canny buggers aren’t offering just free game-time, they’re also offering the EVE version of a free t-shirt: a free ship.

The spousal unit and I played EVE some years ago (3 1/2 years as it turns out, back in December 2006), and my big problem with it was that space made me literally nauseous. I have a thing with heights, and apparently I have a thing with space — SWG did the same to me, albeit to a somewhat lesser extent. On the other hand EVE is an absolutely gorgeous game if you like starscapes (which I do) and if you don’t mind never seeing your character actually walking around (which I sort of mind, but it is what it is).

So, since we’d acquired spanking huge 28″ monitors since the last time we played, when I mentioned EVE to Mort he immediately perked up. He probably enjoyed it more than I did, and he didn’t have the pesky puke-on-your-navigation-board issues I did.

Long story short, I reactivated. I’m not sure if CCP only lets you log in to your EVE account if it’s active — I had to jump through some well-meant but irritating security hoops, including typing in the name of one of the characters on the account. Which is all very well if you last played 2 months ago, but not so easy when it’s been 3+ years and you have no freaking clue what genre-appropriate last name you gave any of your chars. (I got clever and looked up the one and only forum post I ever made. But still. I understand the need for security, but I’m not sure this is the best way to do it.) So blah blah blah, eventually I used the REACTIVATE NOW!!! link instead of just trying to log into my account normally, entered the recovered char name, and was on my way. Since the email address Mort used last time we played is lost somewhere in the mists of time, I just sent him a buddy invite instead*.

On the bright side, the EVE client download is incredibly quick** — it’s only 3 or 4 gig — and the install doesn’t take more than a few minutes either. Ironically, it took longer to get my account reactivated than to get the client ready to run.

This was supposed to be just a short post, so I’ll get to the meat of it.

Argh! Fear the steepness of the EVE (re)learning curve!

Find me there as Ysharros Eilat or Altair Eilat. I haven’t hurled yet.

No, I’m not abandoning Fallen Earth. But what can I say — I really am a fickle (and high maintenance!) byatch.

Oh, and one last thing that impressed me. Last time we played, I think ~15k concurrent players was a record. This weekend — which, granted, was a holiday weekend here in the US — I saw 52,000 people online in the same world at the same time. That’s pretty neat.

~ ~ ~

* Nice system there, CCP. Buddy gets to play free for 21 days and doesn’t have to input any credit card info, which makes a nice change. There’s also no charge for the client as far as I can tell. If they subscribe, you get a free month. They might too, but don’t quote me, I don’t remember the details exactly. There’s even an affiliate program for the heavy-hitting player-grabbers.

**I’ve never been a fan of cable interweb but I have to admit, download speeds kick DSL’s slowbie ass.