Into the sandbox

Work is kicking my ass. I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve worked this hard in years, if not more than a decade. I also haven’t enjoyed a job in at least as long, so take from that what you will. I think I need to be a workaholic with a ton of deadlines and different projects to be happy. Who knew.

Because work’s been such a killer, I decided to take Monday and Tuesday off this week. That’s right – a four-day weekend. Tomorrow I’m taking my car in for service and Tuesday the cleaners are coming to clean my house within an inch of its life, so it’s not like I’ll be laying on a chaise lounge somewhere eating peeled grapes. But I wanted to get things in order, not least because I’m so fricken tired on the weekends that I don’t really feel like doing very much.

This weekend I decided to give EVE Online a try. I tried it once before, about a month ago, and gave up after about an hour. The interface is NOT intuitive (translation: it’s not like the UI for WoW and 99.99% of the MMOs out there). The text is teeny tiny and basically unreadable without my glasses. I couldn’t figure out what to click, let alone what I was supposed to do or where I was supposed to go. I let my 14-day trial expire with a giant ‘meh’.

But after unsubscribing from RIFT and re-subscribing to WoW (I know, I know… but I switched servers and am only PvPing on my priest and levelling a hunter — I SWEAR!), I still felt like something was missing. I’m still playing LOTRO and still think it’s got some of the most enjoyable questing and storylines. But I wanted something more than questing.

EVE is a Sandbox MMO. Basically with a Sandbox MMO you make your own story. You make your own fun. While there might be quests and you level skills, you aren’t led by the nose from beginning to end. It’s very much what you make of it. Now, sitting here on day 3 I can tell you I have no idea what I’m going to make of it or if I’ll even keep playing much beyond my 14-day free trial. But sitting there last night with a glass of wine, looking at pretty space images and listening to the groovy background music, not having any idea where I was going seemed pretty enjoyable.

I think I’m basically just killing time til Star Wars: The Old Republic comes out. That’s the next MMO I’m most excited about. And if they’ll let my avatar look just like Princess Leia, I’ll be in heaven.

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