As those who are avid readers of the James 315 Space blog are likely already aware, the illustrious Aiko Danuja has decided to retire from Eve Online, at least temporarily. Although she does not say so explicitly, the subtext is clear; she has “won”. Although the departure of such a prominent figure in the CODE-Enforcement community is itself news of the highest order, I am more interested in how she describes the way in which she won. You see, her goodbye letter highlights one of the cornerstones of what makes Eve unique among MMOs. There are no win conditions built into Eve.
To be clear, I am not saying that there is no progression in either skill or gear. There’s both. However, what I am saying is that there is no such thing as levels or gated content (Alphas notwithstanding) nor is there any an end-game boss. There is nothing in this game to let you know that you’ve finally made it. It is up to you, as the player, to decide what winning looks like. That is why most players joke that the only way to win eve is to quit. That’s when you’ve finally beaten it.
For Aiko, winning meant being the best at what she did. Now, you may not like what she did but you have to respect the aptitude with which she did it. For me, winning means running a successful mining cartel and helping new pilots figure out what they want to get out of this game. And, blowing shit up. That’s fun, too. Perhaps, winning for you means getting yourself into a Capital ship and becoming embroiled in the Null-Sec drama. Or, maybe you want to be a master of Solo PvP. Do you want to become the richest player in the game? The options are limited only by your desire and ambition.
So, get out there and win.