Waiting for the burst of energy

11th October 2009 – 3.42 pm

I occasionally opine that little in New Eden happens quickly. I have recently completed skill training in battlecruisers V, the duration of around twenty five days being part of a grander skill plan to pilot a Damnation command ship, which will take around seventy days of skill training in total. Researching material efficiency of BPOs takes at least a week to get to a reasonable value, the BPO for the Badger industrial ship taking months to reduce the wasted minerals for profitable production.

A friend of mine mentions that he reads how I play Guitar Hero in my pod whilst I travel around the galaxy, discouraging him from trying EVE Online as his first MMORPG. In fact, I could more than halve the travel time if I pilot manually, instead I take advantage of the auto-pilot function of EVE Online and the quick nature of Guitar Hero to get a regular drumming fix. Even so, travel time can still be significant, even if it can be improved or mitigated, which is another example of the slow pace in New Eden.

I work as an environmental engineer, creating hostile environments under laboratory conditions to test avionic electronics. The laws of physics are pretty tricky to break, and obeying such archaic notions of thermodynamics means waiting for changes to take effect. Having recently started a particularly involved test I reflect on the similarities between my career and my hobby. This test combines temperature cycling and vibration testing, cycling through an envelope considered typical for the equipment's in-service life, with periods required for the equipment to soak at high and low temperature.

In total, without set-up times, the equipment will be under test for thirty six days, continuously, day and night. Throughout the long period of testing I will need to monitor various temperatures and other environmental factors to ensure that all the parameters are within tolerance. With a few relatively short exceptions during the day, the changes to the equipment take effect over the course of hours. Admittedly, this is not a typical test, but most tests take hours to run, many take days, and it is only the occasional job that can be completed in half-a-day or less.

When everything is running smoothly I can relax and enjoy the scenery, but if something goes wrong I have to explode in to a burst of activity to remedy the situation and get everything simpatico once more, whether I'm at work or a capsuleer. I monitor expected changes and react to unexpected events with standard fixes, or the occasional novel response. Perhaps it is no surprise that I am not discouraged by the slow pace of EVE Online when it matches the way I generally work.

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