I didn't plan it this way, really I didn't. I just thought it would be a great idea for something to write about here if I revisited EvE almost two years to the day after I left the game. That was the plan. It hasn't quite worked out that way.
Last night, I signed up for the EvE two week free trial. I do have two old toons that have the benefit of a year's skill training which I probably could have reactivated, but I decided that the best way to reassess the game would be to go in as a new player and see where that takes me. Things got very complicated for me in the last part of my first go-around with this game, and what I want to judge here is really the pure fun element: Forget about all the statistical intricacies and such, is the game as much genuine fun to play for a noob in a frigate as for a veteran in a Titan?
I think I answered my own question.
I did the tutorial, of course. There are just too many things it offers a new toon in terms of help getting started that it's simply foolish not to take it and give up all that free stuff. After the main tutorial was over I started doing missions and got completely lost in the game for hours, in a way that I haven't been consumed by a game in a very long time, at least, um, two years.
This actually presents quite a conundrum for me. I didn't leave EvE the first time because I was unhappy with the game, I left because when the responsibilities at my job increased I found myself with little time for EvE and for MMO's in general. Until I bought Fallen Earth a few weeks ago, I'd hadn't been a paying MMO player since I stopped playing EvE in October of 2007. However, now I don't have that job anymore and I could find plenty of time for EvE, at least at the moment.
Here's the thing: When I decided to do the trial for the sake of writing about it, I thought to myself that there was no way I'd let myself get involved with EvE again, just because it complicates my life too much. No freaking way I'm gonna end up running a corporation again and spending sometimes almost as much time with manufacturing speadsheets as I do in-game. No, uh-uh, no thank you. This is gonna be just a quick visit, just checking out the scenery (I knew the graphics had had a major upgrade since my time as a player and I hadn't checked them out with my new, much more capable PC as yet) , write my piece, and head back home to Fallen Earth.
It was like slipping back into a favorite pair of jeans. Sure, the tutorial helped refresh my memory on a few things, but it all came back relatively quickly. I'd kept up on major developments in EvE and I knew about the ability to overheat systems for better performance, so the new little buttons were not a surprise, though I also know that they're essentially useless to me right now, less than 24 hours into this new toon.
What was intended to be a couple of hours of messing around in EvE just to get a feel for it as it is now turned into a marathon session as I was reminded of why I fell in love with the game in the first place. It's the same as it was when I played, only even better.
I really don't know what I'm going to do. I enjoy playing both games equally but there's something about EvE that can draw me into the game more completely than anything else I've ever played. Maybe it's the fact that out of all the MMO's out there it's the one with the goals and consequences most similar to those in real life. Maybe it's just the stunning beauty of the EvE universe. Maybe it's the feeling that even when you're at the very lowest "level" in the game you still have important things to do.
I also find that I'm very much enjoying the fact that I'm a noob toon again and am starting from scratch as far as training and equipment goes. I've done one EvE career path, and I'm thinking maybe now it's time to try another.
The point is that I'm feeling a very strong urge to get back into EvE again, but at the same time, I'm also very involved with Fallen Earth. In fact, I've just become the moderator over at Fallen Earth Bloggers. I love that game too, but I don't know if I'd have the time to play both. And if it comes to a point where I must make a decision, one or the other, I'm still not sure which game I'll pick to stick with.
Right after I finish this post, I'm going to run EvE and do a few missions. Later tonight, after dinner, I'll probably run Fallen Earth and finish a tough mission I've been working on in there. Still later after that, I have some thinking to do. I've still got most of my two week trial to go before I'll need to decide if I'm going to get involved with EvE again, but I already know it's something I'm going to have to seriously consider. Bottom line, I'm just having too much fun in EvE not to consider it.