This month's topic was proposed by @KatiaSae of the much praised "To Boldly Go" blog. Katia asks: "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. As an astrophotographer, I've found it in the stars and planets of New Eden. Where have you found it? Perhaps you've found beauty in the ships we fly? Maybe it's the sight of profits being added to your bottom line? Or maybe it's the pilot portraits you see in the comm channels? Where ever you've found it, write about it and post an image." Don't be afraid go beyond the simple visual aspects of EVE as well. Is the EVE Community in itself a thing of beauty? What makes EVE the game, the world, the Community, so appealing to you?
It is 1993.
I am standing outside the Design & Technology block on a cold and overcast September morning. I am one of about 130 other first year students who have been grouped into 5 lines. We are all awaiting the call to enter our respective classes. I am bored and fiddling with a buckle on my school bag.
As I day-dream my eyes float towards a thin shaft of sunlight breaking through the clouds. I follow it with my eyes from the sky down to where it lands - directly on top of the head of a boy who is standing in a separate line a few paces ahead of me. I am instantly struck with awe.
He is the most beautiful human being I have ever seen in all my 13 years of life.
He was of average height and well-built though still carrying some puppy fat. His smile was wide, sincere and mischievous. As he chatted and larked about with the people around him the sound of his voice, with its hint of “townie” Devonshire, came to me over the din of everyone else and swam like music in my ears. He turned further towards my direction and I became mesmerised by the deep pools of dark chocolate which were his eyes, both framed by the most glorious natural lashes I have ever seen on any man, woman or camel. The shaft of sunlight played with his rich brown basin-cut hair and brought to life brief shimmers of vivid red and gold highlights.
I still remember how my heart leapt and my insides churned and how I spent most of the rest of the day feeling quite sick. I later discovered his name. Andrew.
I was completely and utterly besotted with him and I remained that way for pretty much all of the rest of my school days.
I am sure I would not be alone in saying Eve was actually a difficult game for me to find beauty in.
Star Wars Galaxies , Everquest 2 and Age of Conan had some amazing scenery. Lord of The Rings Online in particular was an utterly stunning game. Say what you will about World of Warcraft but here again I found an interesting and unique beauty, albeit within the game's own style. In all of these mmos you could see glorious beaches, sun kissed seas, desolate deserts, lush dense forests and there were always plenty of outcrops or cliff edges where a passing explorer could accidently discover far reaching views of the rich and abundant world around them. They were environments to fall in love with.
New Eden gives us starry backgrounds, pretty planets (more so now anyway), cool sun collusion effects, interesting nebula and fabulously satisfying explosions. I am happy to admit that I have some gorgeous screenshots and fraps footage from my time in this game.
But Eve, by its very nature, is stark, cold and as tough to look at as it is to play. On top of this much of one system is pretty much the same as the next and this is the same no matter where you go in New Eden. So whilst I do enjoy and appreciate the look of Eve (especially since my graphics card was upgraded) there was never really anything that I looked at and fell in love with… with one exception.
One afternoon early in my capsuleer career, when running missions was the entire conclusion of my Eve subscription, I undocked from my home station in Dodixie with the intention of heading to Puchurie for a level 3. But I became distracted by a ship sitting just off the undock point, the like of which I had never seen before.
For a start it was bloody huge, certainly the largest ship I had so far encountered in Eve. It dwarfed my Brutix and even made a passing Dominix (the ship I aspired to one day fly) look utterly insignificant. I was both intimidated and utterly awestruck.
It had a worn and silvery steel texture which gave it a slight industrial edge, but one that made the ship look understated and subtle unlike the blocky and practical greys and silvers of Caldari designs.
It was long, smooth and sleek, perhaps even sexy. Certainly it carried a semblance of femininity in its curious, curvaceous body. Yet it was also dark, cold and threatening, but not in the in-your-face-golden-Amarr-phallical HERE I AM! way. Oh no. This ship gave you a disinterested sideways glare that turned your blood cold. You were almost afraid to look and yet you just couldn't help but stare anyway.
As I gawped on the sunlight played with the stationary ship’s curves and crevasses. I must have spent about 20 minutes tinkering with my graphics settings, looking at it from different angles and taking screenshots whilst one word continually played through my mind "wow". I was captivated and I had a serious Eve-crush on this ship.
I studied the ship's info screen. Machariel it said. Machariel.
Over the years I have continued to admire and find beauty in this ship and have even been able to watch it in pvp action quite a few times, sometimes on the receiving end. I was a tad gutted when CCP gave the Mach a "make-over" (with various other graphics changes) which, in my opinion, left it looking a little less magical than the original format. But I cannot shake off the curse of first love and my affection still remains.
Since that day in Dodixie all those years ago I've seen pretty much every other flyable ship in Eve, all the way up to the Titans, and plenty of other weird and interesting stuff. But nothing else in New Eden has yet stolen my heart away. To me this is the most beautiful thing in Eve.
Now as for actually flying a Mach... well that’s a whole paragraph that doesn’t really fit this banter topic. So let’s just say that boys as popular and good looking as Andrew didn’t ever notice girls as plain and boring as me!
List of Participants:
- CrazyKinux's Musing: Beyond nebulas and shiny ships
- Freedom: the beauty in EvE » A Mule In EvE
- Achernar: The bike and the barbecue
- where the frack is my ship?: Blog Banter 26: Love at first sight
- BlogBanter 26: EVE … beautiful … « One capsuleer against all
- Blog Banter 26 « Mad Haberdashers
- » Blog Banter 26: Beauty of EVE – To Boldly Go To Boldly Go
- Down By Law: Blog Banter #26: "The Beauty of EVE" (OOC)
- Blog Banter #26 – Beauty « Roc's Ramblings
- Banter #26: Beauty is in the eye of the markets | Diary of a Garbageman
- Progression's Horizon: Blog Banter 26- Carry It With Us, Or We Find It Not
- Blog Banter 26: The Beauty of Eve « A Scientist's Life in Eve
- Freebooted: BB26: The Beauty Between the Lines
- Eve Opportunist: EBB #26 : Beauty is destruction.
- Blog banter #26: EVE shines, and not just visually « Diary of a Pod Pilot
- Blog Banter 26: Everybody is Pretty - Learning to Fly
- BB26: Beauty, in certain conditions | A Missioneer in Eve
- Dying in Lowsec (One Hauler at a time)
- EVE Blog Banter #26 – Beauty « Evehermit's Blog
- EVE A to Z: The Beauty of EVE
- Blog Banter 26: Beauty In A Bottle « A Lush In Space
- EVEOGANDA: Blog Banter 26: The Ballet of Battle
- BB26: Sometimes the sum of the parts … | Morphisat's Blog