John Rourke: So this going back to signing up for a corporation then, is it? Some faceless bunch of idiots who spend their whole time bickering before screwing you over for every isk you’ve got? And when they say jump, you have to jump, because they own your ass!
Charlie Fodder: At the moment, John, when you say jump, we have to jump or it *is* our ass! In a corp you get a paycheck, some security and stability, and a whole corporate fleet behind you if the going gets tough. Big difference. And for all the freedom you talk about in this crew, it’s gotten us chained to dangerous operations that we can’t refuse because we never have any damn money.
- Clear Skies, Act 2, Scene 1
I've quoted the above dialog from the award-winning machinima series Clear Skies before but I can't help it. The scene between Captain Rourke and his gunnery chief illustrate a conflict I have within myself on whether to stay in my own small corporation or have Rosewalker leave and find bigger and hopefully better things. Even though I enjoyed flying in fleets when I was in Eve University I'm still leery of joining another corp. Here are my top reasons for remaining in my small independent corporation.
5. Buying PLEX: So far I have avoided buying any PLEX in Eve Online. I'd like to keep it that way. I've heard a lot of stories about players buying PLEX in order to fund their PvP habit. If I have to pay real money to purchase ships, then I'm playing the game wrong. At least the way I want to play. I don't want to be pressured by corp leadership into doing that.
4. My corp: Yes, I know my corp is just me, myself and I. But I've developed some stories surrounding my corp that I've written about on the blog. My corp just feels like home now. And with the coming of DUST 514, I know a couple of people who might play. They might want to step into Eve and make some extra money for their characters. If I have both my main characters in the corp I can really help them out.
3. The skill queue: The one thing I really want to do is be able to fly every Minmatar sub-capital ship and fly it well. I don't want to join a corporation and then be told I have to abandon my training plan. Sure, I can fly a Drake, and fly it well, with less than 3 days of training. The fact is that I want to be able to fly a Panther and learn all the leadership skills to fly command ships and don't want to be sidetracked.
2. Botting: I've heard stories about corporations and alliances, especially renters, telling their members they have to bot. Anyone who has read the blog knows how I feel about bots. What happens if I join a corp, move to null sec, and then am asked to bot? That would get ugly and probably result in me losing most of my possessions. Do I want to take the chance? No way!
1. Limited playtime: Eve Online is the first MMO I have spent any significant time in where I have played solo. In World of Warcraft I was in a guild from level 17 to level 60, which was the level cap in Vanilla WoW. In EverQuest 2 I think I only spent 2 months of my 3 1/2 years playing the game not in a guild. I started off that way in Eve, joining Eve University and staying there for 5 months before eventually going solo.
So why go solo after being in a guild or corp for so long? The limited playtime I now have. A lot of times during the week I'm lucky to have enough time to tend to my planetary interaction colonies and tend to housekeeping tasks in-game. In addition over the past couple of years I've taken business trips to Europe and I anticipate at least one more this year. Does a corp really want someone that might disappear for a couple of weeks because of real life? More importantly, I'm not sure how I'd feel about just dropping in for a few minutes a day most days. That wasn't how I was in WoW or EQ2 and depending on what was happening to the corp I might feel guilty about not being there when things get rough.
Now, I'm not stating I will never join another corporation in Eve. If the right one caught my eye I'd probably jump at the chance. And perhaps once fall arrives and I've completed my current skill queue I'll actually start looking around. But for now I'm having fun playing just the way I am.