Home > Other MMOs > EVE, or Oh Good, Blogging 1 Training Complete.

EVE, or Oh Good, Blogging 1 Training Complete.

November 25, 2011

Since my open beta slot falls on Saturday, not Friday, and certain Americans who shall remain nameless succumbed to their tryptophan dose, I’m plinking at EVE. Nothing exciting, just flitting about, waxing NPC spawns, trading and mining.

I have something of a love-hate relationship with this MMO. Back in my misspent youth, I used to love the text-based TradeWars BBS game (yes, that old) and this is basically a super-polished, super-sophisticated version of it. Planets, check. Commodity trading, check. Pirates, check. Corps, check. Various ship designs with specialised roles and fits, check. Safe space patrolled by NPC police and the lawless frontier? Check.

I just wish EVE dispensed with some of the drudgery and entry barriers. I know it’s supposed to be part of the hardcore vibe (Chuck Norris doesn’t inject skill books, skill books brave nullsec markets just to surround themselves with Chuck Norris!) but it really is 95% relative monotony punctuated by 5% worth of exhilarating moments. The real-time skill training is a blessing and a curse – while I appreciate the rewards of long-term planning, it really kills enthusiasm to dream up something to do, then realise you can’t really do it effectively until a couple of days later. There is some merit to the old ‘Excel in Space’ jab; a lot of the most important action is very cerebral and visually unimpressive, more related to playing the auction house in other games than playing those games. Flying around can feel wickedly slow when you feel in a hurry to get something done. Set an ambitious enough goal and the grind can feel downright Korean. And sometimes, just sometimes, there’s simply nothing you can do. You will die and lose ISK.

On the other hand, the community is excellent and, I think, widely misunderstood. The place really isn’t filled with griefers and douchebags, as many people believe. Most folks are mature and disciplined; you have to be the latter, and have a very healthy ability to defer gratification, to spend any amount of time in this game. Sure, they’ll destroy you without a second thought if you’re reckless enough to autopilot through lowsec with valuable cargo, but that’s not personal, that’s business. The feeling of actually flying through space, realistically and immersively, is great. It’s not a glamorous affair, full of checklists, switches and ever present concern for survival, but it feels more real than any inertialess Space Invaders rubbish. And finally, the freedom (marred only by the aforementioned planning, waiting and drudgery) is incomparable. Unlike theme park MMOs, where not raiding at level cap is considered a sign of low ability or eccentricity, no way to spend your time in EVE is wrong, per se. There isn’t a single measurable yardstick, except perhaps the amount of ISK your stuff gets you. You can certainly be doing it wrong, but you’re never wrong to do it.

Categories: Other MMOs