I can see it now.....
"What? I thought you said EVE sucked Beau!"
"What's wrong Beau, had to start lissenin' to Nu Metal???"
Har har, yeh yeh. First of all, my return to EVE has shown me what it has always shown me since I first started my account in July of '05: That the game will hook ya, easily. And anyway, I have never said the game sucked, I have only called it a "sausage party" (which it is, with a 4 or 5 percent female population. If you went to a get-together and there were 100 people and only 5 of them were girls..you would call it a.....) and that the general population of the game likes Nu Metal bands like Godsmack and Tool.
By the way, that's called good-natured-ribbing, something that I assure you the sausage party of CCP knows a lot of. It's worse than a 7th grade locker room I can assure you. (I am going to email them and ask if there will be male strippers at this years Fan Fest.)
Anyway, I took the game up on the 5 day return to hang out with the MMO Voices crew. Well, I actually started a new 14 day trial before I HAD to check on my main account. So I have been spending some evenings hanging out with 'Voicers, mainly with my friend Lea that has like, 67 accounts. (I will bet that a third of all the population of EVE is made up of multiple accounts. Still, they get good numbers.)
Last time I was involved I had trained covert ops but snagged a Hawk for fun. My favorite battle-worn Raven sat in a station, waiting for missions. Last time I quit was out of boredom from being attacked by a corp made up of 16 year olds (literally) so this time around I would be sure to avoid anyone with a name that didn't start with capitalization.
So why does EVE work when it does? For me, it doesn't have anything to do with numbers or combat or anything really that is within the game at all. It has to do with the images in my head, the daydreams of sneaky covert ops missions and something like what someone asked about on the forums the other day: "If I want to be like a Han Solo type guy, can I?"
That sentence sums up EVE brilliantly.
The I get home from work to find Jay Jay the Wonder Biscuit telling me that the new Darkfall patch is up and patchin'. Beautiful! Of course, my friend Lea had to show off by purchasing the 6 month package thingy, but it'll be nice to have someone I know that can play when I do. (Jay Jay is British and a snobby PvP'er.) The funniest thing is that she asked me on Twitter: "Can't I just make any race and run her to where you are?"
I literally laughed out loud. I lol'ed.
But then I thought for a moment and told her "Screw it, let's do it!" Again, such a simple thing that sums up why games like Darkfall getcha' good. It's because even finding each other is an adventure, and can be an entire evening of play. Even just finding out what you want to do can be an evening of planning, and completing those tasks, those simple tasks, can be fun.
Granted, you might have to deal with some real buttheads. (Yes, buttheads. Think about it. A butthead would be a pretty bad person.) But they quickly become just another form of mob, and Darkfall does an amazing job of allowing you to literally hide away from those you want to be hidden from.
The other night I had my first "What the Hell is that coming?" moment when I heard a few mounted footfalls coming my way. Needless to say, I hid quicker than a guinea pig. As I sat there up lobbed up two enemies on two weird looking mounts. It was really dark, so I just sat there as they paused and continued on their way. It was thrilling. Darkfall is filled with moments like that because while your death is just a pause and a possible run back to your body, the anticipation is what gets you.
In an real-life example, we used to play hide and seek when we were kids. Now look, we were like 12 or so so we had to man it up a bit. We would run and hide in the pitch black and in the woods and if you were found you became a zombie essentially and had to find someone else to "get". I ran and hid under some leaves, and I mean covered myself in some leaves (bugs and all) and stayed there for probably 20 minutes while, slowly, my friends were picked off one by one. The guy that was "it" walked by several times, I could hear him breathing heavy in the night and the leaves crunching under his feet. My heart was jumping out of my chest!
That's kinda' how Darkfall and EVE can make you feel.