Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Developing My Character Backgrounds In Eve

I recently reached a decision point in my characters’ development in Eve Online. For my main, Rosewalker, my plan worked pretty well for the first nine months of play. First I poked around to make sure I really did like the game. That period lasted about two months. Then I entered Eve University and learned a lot about the game mechanics, social aspects and useful tips for researching matters outside the game. I didn’t intend to say longer than 6 months and that didn’t pose a problem since I felt the itch to move on after about 5 ½ months. Next on my agenda was a stint in faction warfare as a member of Thukk U, a player corporation in the Minmatar militia. I planned to use a fight against the Amarr as a springboard into role-play.

Things didn’t quite turn out the way I imagined. I did get a lot of practice setting up bookmarks in my Cheetah in the lowsec systems around Amamake. Of course, I proceeded to lose my ship and spent a week missioning to repair the hole in my wallet replacing the ship made. Then real life inserted itself into my leisure queue and I wasn’t able to log in to do much more than update my skills queue for two weeks. And with a two-week business trip to Bulgaria coming up, I really felt bad about staying in Thukk U since I really haven’t contributed anything fighting the good fight and wouldn’t for some time to come.

While Rosewalker ran around New Eden having fun, my industrial alt Wandering Rose slowing built up her skills. Well, Wandering Rose did have fun, although hauling cargo between NPCs, mining and manufacturing goods doesn’t really excite a lot of pilots. I think part of the problem was that I never intended to have a second account so I didn’t create a plan for Wandering Rose. I just thought her as an appendage of Rosewalker instead of as a pod pilot in her own right.

Not anymore. I have now entered the role play phase. Just a little sooner than expected. And not as a noble hero and famed warrior. And with two characters instead of one.

So how did I go about figuring out a background for my pilots? First, I looked at the faction description and found some nuggets to build on. Slavery naturally played a part in defining my characters’ background. Neither one likes Amarr. So while the Matari are scattered throughout New Eden, I will not live in Amarr space. Unless, of course, I decide that my characters are among those who “make their living on the darker side of the law, acting as pirates, smugglers and peddlers in all kinds of illegal goods.” I don’t know about the pirate thing, but the smuggler thing sounds intriguing.

The next step in building a background involved researching my tribe. I had the foresight to make both of my characters members of the Vherokior tribe. The Minmatar are a tribal society and while I chose my characters for their stats (and to say I play a Mystic in a space game), I think the Vherokior are a very good choice for role-players. The short description of the tribe is that the Veherokior are versatile people know for their access to all aspects of Minmatar society. The Vherokior tribe page gives a fuller description.

“Originally nomads in Matar's vast and inhospitable desert regions, the Vherokior are among the most diverse individuals of the Republic They can be found in professions ranging from doctors to mystics, scholars to merchants. Their quiet work ethic and widespread family clans allow them unlimited social mobility in the Republic with access to both the best and worst that society has to offer. While politically underrepresented in the Republic, the Vherokior are more than capable of influencing policy, and have no qualms with using that influence to benefit a relative or associate. The practice is common in the private sector as well, where Vherokior clan-run businesses thrive by avoiding the bureaucratic red tape of official channels.”
Basically anything a role-player wants to do is not outside the realm of possibility. And the part about “avoiding the bureaucratic red tap of official channels” is a euphemism for smuggling. After all, the Vherokior have access to both the “best and the worst” society has to offer, which I interpret to mean lawful and criminal.

Next came looking at the racial traits and ancestries. Rosewalker is a male Mystic, which is a pretty unusual ancestry…

“Vherokiors have always seemed strange to the other Minmatar tribes, doubly so when it comes to those with mystical inclinations. Vherokior mystics are both revered and feared by the Minmatar. The ancient Voluval ritual, where the soul and karma of the person is revealed through the unexplained emergence of a body tattoo on the recipient, was created by Vherokior mystics, and its secrets are closely guarded.”
Luckily male Vherokiors are socially gifted individuals who “seem to have an innate ability to blend into their surroundings and make people feel at ease no matter what the circumstances.” Sounds like if Incarna does introduce avatars walking in stations a mystic should have the ability to emerge from the shadows of a dimly lit corridor like a rogue or assassin in other MMOs.

My industrial alt is a female Retailer. This seems, from a role-play perspective, a good combination. The description of female Vherokior is most relevant…

“Vherokior females are famous for their shrewd business acumen. They tend to possess precisely the right mixture of intelligence and intuition to excel in both commerce and industry. Many are chosen to operate businesses run by the family clan, though under the watchful eye of the clan matriarch.”

The next step involved figuring out how to get my feet wet role-playing. I felt uncomfortable in faction warfare and wanted to role-play without the pew-pew. I also have always wanted to get into the economic side of the game, which is a different kind of PvP. Did I mention that in the description for the NPC corporation “Vherokior tribe” that most Vherokiors are described as “shop-keepers or small scale businessmen, seldom venturing into the big boy’s league”?

So over the weekend Wandering Rose created a corporation and Rosewalker dropped roles from Thukk U and joined her. How does creating a corporation advance my game-play? First, developing the corporation will help in finally getting me to focus on the economic side of Eve. As a first step I am researching ways to create revenue streams that require little effort to maintain. While some may deride some game mechanics as “Eve Offline”, I will need that isk to do everything I want to do, even if the membership in the corp never exceeds two. Second, the direction I want to take the corporation will determine what faction I run missions for. One immediate example is which corporation’s R&D agents do I wish to work with? Do I work with Boundless Creation, which is smaller than its competitors but pretty much located within the borders of the Minmatar Republic? Or do I work with Core Complexion, which is a far-flung corporation that could satisfy the traditional Vherokior wanderlust? Finally, creating my own corporation introduces me to an area of game play I have never tried before: guild management. Notice I didn’t use the term leadership? I am curious about the tools provided by CCP to corporate CEOs in New Eden.

Before I venture forth onto the forums I’ll fly around missioning and mining establishing the background I wish to present to the pilots of New Eden who click on the details of my characters and discover who likes and hates me. I’ll also build up the corporate infrastructure in case I get people who want to join. After all, some real life friends might decide to join the serious world of internet spaceships. Or, perhaps, other pilots will want to join the story I am crafting.

1 comment:

  1. I'm still under a month in-game, but my main is a female Vherokior. I'd be interested in testing the waters in a role play corp. I'm with my brother's corp right now as he's been trying to get me into EVE for three years. Problem is, he's in nosec about 30 jumps through Amarr space.

    Give me a message (Jimmina) if you are recruiting. I will be able to get into a mining barge this week and strip mine by the weekend. I also have three haulers in various locations.

    Looking to hear from you and your plans for your corp!