I’ve had the opportunity to play a lot more Eve Online since my last article and I have to be honest and say I’m really enjoying the game. So much so, in fact, that I wish I had found it sooner. It truly is a departure from most MMOs out there and it has that “hard” feel to it like EverQuest did. The running joke is that the learning curve in Eve is extremely steep and I agree. The truth is though, I love it!
The first thing that strikes me as interesting about the MMO is that it is almost entirely player driven. The economy is pushed by players, your ability to advance is dependent on other players and your ability to do the more interesting activities in the game is totally wrapped up in, you guessed it, other players. It isn’t a solo game. You will never achieve the top end objectives alone. I also like that the developers have a laissez-faire attitude. Players are in the driver seat and the developers are the guide rails on the side of the road. There is no set of blinders that keep you on a narrow path. You pretty much are given license to do whatever you like providing you’re willing to suffer the consequences.
Another aspect that I’m really enjoying and will write about later is the skill system. I am quite impressed with how the game handles advancement. You have a 24 hour queue to set skills into. They require real time to train. Whether you’re playing or not they will continue to progress. As long as you log in every day and set up the queue you’ll advance. The great part about this is that if you can’t play one day it doesn’t feel as devastating as it might in another game. After all, you are getting something done. More importantly, however, you can completely change what you want to be. If you don’t like the direction you’re going you can reverse gears and go another way. It will take time but it is possible.
I am equally amazed by the sheer size of the game. Obviously, since it has a single server, it has to be big but I have yet to feel crowded. It is also really awesome that everything happens on “my” server. I never have to hear about things happening on another place that I’ll never see. This helps to drive the economy and raise the awareness of how important reputation is. Eve isn’t a game where you just throw a toon away and start over.
The game is not without a few down sides though. As previously stated if you’re not used to MMOs and willing to really learn a game Eve has a huge barrier to entry. It is for the old school elite MMO crowd, not the new casual one. Another thing that can be as annoying as it is fun is the skill system. No matter what, other than training learning skills and raising my statistics some, I can never get ahead. If a skill takes 40 hours to train then it will take 40 hours to train. I am patient though but sometimes I just wish that bar would hurry along! Finally, the game has open PvP. There are a lot of areas that are pretty safe but there is always the threat that someone will destroy you. I love the fact that you can go to specific places to PvP but I do wish there were some areas where you were completely safe. That, however, isn’t the point of Eve.
Ultimately, if you’ve never played this game, I think it is worth the free trial or a buddy pass. I was stunned at how amazing and different it was from all the other MMOs I’ve played. I plan on being there for a while so perhaps I’ll see you there?
Originally posted on Epic Slant.