In the beginning, we enter Eve as wide eyed neophytes with nary a clue or inkling of the vast universe of possibilities and evil machinations. After a while you become more aware of what's going on and enter the
After a certain point, about 6-8 months in, a player in Eve moves to the convert stage (or they leave in frustration). The convert believes in the game and understands the major workings he is familiar with, but there is still a lot of mystery and wonder.
After the second year or so the convert has seen a lot more of Eve and moves into the professional phase, a player that has mastered his main area of interest and has passing knowledge of other areas or knows people who do.
But then, after that third year birthday passes, they become a veteran. They've been around for at least five expansions, two major CCP screwups, at least one controversy, and a handful of metagame drama... all that changes a mind, not always for the better. Veterans come in many shapes in sizes and this post will list the various archetypes the veteran form can take.
The most well known type of veteran is of course the Bitter Vet. The glorious beauty of space vistas and gleaming spaceships in a universe of complexity and options has been marred by the frustrations and occasional broken cogs. They can't quite quit, but they don't really play either. They stay subscribed, update skill queues, log in for some big events or CTAs, but really spend most of their time kvetching on forums about how much the game sucks and everything CCP does wrong.
The addict has become so enamoured with Eve and all its possibilities and combinations that they log in every chance they get. They often have multiple accounts, like many veterans, but they have more than normal. They multibox at all times and are often the drivers behind major components of alliances and corporations.
There are two sub-types of the Addict veteran, let's look at them separately.
==> Functional Addict
This type has allowed Eve to dominate their hobbies, but they still manage to go to work, raise a family, keep a partner happy, and generally are considered well adjusted. But every free moment of time they are logged into Eve. Every free thinking minute is spent pondering what to do in Eve next. This puts strain on the other aspects of their life but they manage to make it work. Mostly.
==> Dysfunctional Addict
But when the interest turns to obsession, things start to fall apart. Their coworkers notice a drop in productivity, all other hobbies and sports are left behind, and family members interrupt the player at risk of verbal and emotional abuse. This situation cannot last and as real life destructs around them, the addict either runs out of money or finally breaks free. Or both.
The metagamer veteran is kind of like a benign bitter vet: they don't log in and play so much but they enjoy the players they chat to in channels in game, twitter, blogs, forums, and in extreme cases podcasts. The social aspect has come to dominate their Eve experience and due to the relationships they have developed they cannot quit. They tend to become very bad pilots as time goes on, reference Siesmic Stan of the Freebooted blog.
The veterans who consider themselves casual are just as long term players as the rest but tend to operate at a slower pace. They log in infrequently in comparison and/or play shorter sessions. Due to the casual nature, they tend to be in solo or small corps with little in the way of in game responsibility, no usually no null sec for them.
There are two subtypes:
==> Casual Casual
The casual casual player logs in for fun, does some mining or missions, maybe a bit of PvP, but does not follow the metagame much and is not usually an expert in any areas.
==> Hardcore Casual
In contrast, the hardcore casual has enthusiasm for the game similar to the Addict veteran but simply plays less due to real life obligations or amazing self control.
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Did I miss any? More importantly, where do you fit in?