Self-control and wisdom are good things, right? Sure, they are. You just have to remember to use them, that’s all. And if you don’t, well then, greed and stupidity are right there to serve quite admirably and illustrate why self-control and wisdom are so valuable. Which brings us to yours truly and EVE Online, naturally.
In looking around for ways to make a living, I found courier contracts rather interesting. You take some stuff somewhere for someone, and they pay you for your time and effort. Fair enough. The interesting part for me is where I’m taking it and how dangerous it is to get there and back.
It’s not hard to see where this is going, and I must admit there was a certain comedy to it. And let’s just say that a sense of humor is a good thing for me while gaming. A very good thing, especially when greed and stupidity are involved.
Over the course of a few days, I spent a few hours running courier contracts. The money was not too bad, but I was pretty sure I wasn’t earning money at the rate that a good salvaging run yielded. That was OK, though; it was easy work, flying around from place to place, picking up this, dropping off that and watching the fees roll in.
But that little thing in the back of my head kept saying: “I could be doing better than this. Salvaging makes more per hour. And besides, I’m bored with salvaging right now. I want adventure.”
The rich man was asked, “How much is enough?” He answered, “A little bit more.” Ah, that demon greed. There it was now, collar working loose, just about off the leash, whispering in my ear: “More money. More adventure.”
I got a couple of runs that entailed flying a dozen gates out and back, through a section of LowSec space for a few jumps. No problem; I was quick and prompt and stayed safe. I had just dropped off the last load of the night, though, when greed whispered a little louder. It said, “If you’re quick enough, you could salvage a couple of those wrecks back at that gate on the way home. Surely that wouldn’t be too dangerous. You just flew through there.”
I headed home and paused at the gate in question. I looked around. Nobody there. I flew over to the first wreck, salvaged it and got nothing worth talking about. My good friend “stupidity” added its insistent-but-silent voice to the chorus. I flew a good 30 seconds from the gate toward a second wreck, locked on and started the salvager. Two seconds later, I actually had the audacity to be aggravated when the missiles started to hit — and boy, was I too far from that gate! Essentially unarmed and crippled in seconds, I attempted to limp to the gate and get out of there. Instead, I got to watch those wonderful graphics of my ship blowing apart, followed by my pod blowing apart, which meant that I had just blown apart.
The epilogue of death in EVE Online is waking up in your clone, possibly a long way from where you were just seconds earlier. It always feels surreal, that instant cessation of violence combined with, of all things, an email from the insurance company — an odd juxtaposition, to say the least.
So there I was, waking up from my latest lesson in EVE Online. The lesson learned: Don’t be greedy and stupid, especially at the same time, and especially in LowSec. And that sense of humor I was talking about? Oh yeah, I’m laughing now: Ha ha!
— Will Collum
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