Its corrosive powers can be devastating to an unengaged mind. It can lay low the most focused of intellects, groups and even entire economies.
So is the case in Dust at the moment. Players are starved of content, playing with the same friends, day in, day out, can lead to repetitive strain of the mind.
Without a constantly evolving and expanding gaming experience, MMO's can die a premature end. That is not to say that Dust is dying. Far from it. There is content coming, some really good content in fact. But Dust players are currently playing the role of a dog, looking up the street from the window, waiting for its master to come home and chuck it a stick.
And that ain't no way to play a game.
Like that waiting dog, we jump at the slightest glimpse of movement at the corner of the street, returning to our barely restrained desire to play and ready to pounce when we do finally see that stick.
So what do we do in the meantime?
We do what is expected in New Eden, we play the meta game. Or rather, we attempt to. A lot of the Dust players, freshly arrived in New Eden are not used to this level of intrigue. And most are failing miserably at it. But this is through no fault of their own. Expectations of the meta game in Dust are high. But these expectations are fuelled to a unreasonable level because of the history of the meta game in Eve.
Why unreasonable you ask?
Eve has a decade of content, history and participation. The opportunities for the meta are vast, practiced and unrestrained in imagination because the content is there to support it. Content that Dust simply does not have in place yet. The most exciting thing to happen in the meta game is the current PC war. Player generated, involving hundreds of Merc's but gossamer thin in depth and barely papering over the cracks in a game mechanic that after 3 months of iteration still can't fire the imagination of the majority of the games population.
Oh we have a couple of Districts to be sure. But ours is not a occupation based on the thrill of conquest, rather a way for us to create a form of meta game from the only spade available in the sandbox. A way to pursue our educational goals.
But rest assured, when that first bucket finally drops into the sandbox, we're going to be very practised with that spade.