I've not written for a while because... reasons. OK let's be more precise. Real life is part of the picture. Then Eve naturally. Two Hugs fleets, a rescue mission (failed), getting to grips with Tripwire, exploring a shattered wormhole for the first time, the hilarious consequences of meeting BRAVE newbies in a wormhole. That all took time. Then there is a little research project on the history of HMS Aurora after it was sold to the Kuomintang in 1947. The Wikipedia entry is depressingly inadequate because typically it is written from a very narrow western perspective. It misses an amazing story. Murder, intrigue, corruption, principle, families split by civil war, international crisis... it has it all and is important to my family. I've been helping a music project as well which isn't unrelated. Oh and I left Signal Cartel..
Now if you are expecting a drama bomb then there is nothing to see here. It's a cliche but it wasn't them, it was me. My expectations were flawed. Eve Scout/Signal Cartel are a great and growing corp. I have deep respect for them. JOIN THEM. I do not regret my time and it has allowed me to reflect further on why I participate in Eve and what I want from New Eden.
So what have I learnt? Well in a sense the experience was reaffirming. My belief has always been been that there is an alternate way to play Eve. There is an orthodoxy in the way the game is currently played that is self reinforcing. New players get told to join a corp and that the pinnacle of the game is the Null-sec where you can be a pawn in someone else's game of capture the flag. The only measures for success are the Killboard, Sovereignty, ISK and tears. Result!
On an individual level I have always looked for ways to challenge the tradition. For example, when CODE were doing their thing in my area, as a trader I imagined there must be better way of achieving the same outcome without all the grief. And there was. You just needed to take a different perspective. I decided to defend the New Eden environment and save the asteroids. Venture production had saturated the market because of CODE's activities and I could pick them up really cheaply. Cheaper than they cost to produce. So I bought them, recycled them and put the Tritanium on the market causing the prices to fall locally. This kept the miners away (Ventures now too expensive and Trit prices too low), saved the asteroids, denied CODE possible targets and my trader made a profit. I also destroyed more Ventures than CODE did so it was a win all round with no grief.
So the orthodoxy can be challenged at an individual level. And if we all did that then New Eden would change. It just needs a consensus and some lateral thinking. But how do you extend paradigm so that like minded people can work together? How do you codify an alternative way of playing the game? This where I thought Signal Cartel might come in, They have the Credo and the organisation. But there is a difficulty. Using a Corp structure is inherently orthodox and hierarchical. And that is part of the problem not part of the solution. You can't be a peer in a game mechanic enforced parent/child relationship. The Credo is also tightly coupled to the objectives of the Corp which are narrow in scope (Exploration). Unintentionally perhaps, that leaves you with a priesthood who curate the Credo. So it is hard to extend it to other activities in Eve without creating awkward contradictions. This doesn't make Signal Cartel bad. Quite the contrary. They are definitely a step in the right direction. But there is a bigger vision to be had and a corp just isn't an appropriate mechanism. I probably already knew that so it was my fault for expecting it to be different. At least I know for certain now.
Anyways, what I now know is that exploring New Eden isn't just about looking at the pixels. There is a whole other dynamic to be explored and experimented with. And who knows maybe one day there could be an alternative New Eden. That's what the crew of the ship formally known as HMS Aurora discovered if you look at it from a different perspective.