I finally gave in to the offer waiting in my email for the past month: "Return to EVE for 5 days!" I knew it didn't sound like much, but almost every time I had returned I was pleasantly surprised at how nicely the game was coming along. This time was no different.
I logged into my 5 year old account. The first thing I wanted to do was to check a look at the new planet animations/textures. I sat and watched clouds form into swirling masses, and watched twinkling light on a few surfaces. It was very, very impressive. I had to take inventory of all the stuff I had from before and where it all was, and soon realized that not only had I spent/given away most of my 100's of millions last time, but some of the items I had spent the money on either no longer interested me or were somewhere wayyy off into 0.0 space.
Last time I was active in the game, I became the member of a very nice new-ish corp. We went ratting together and made plans to all learn covert ops together. Soon, though, we were declared on by some corp that had spies (yes, spies) in our little guild. To be honest, it was rather fun with all the drama, the rooting-out of the spies and all that. We pointed fingers, questioned motives. For some reason they didn't even suspect me. Although I had done nothing, I felt a little hurt? Why couldn't I be a suspect too?
Soon enough the war took it's annoying toll on me. Everywhere I went some kid in a frigate followed me, calling me names in local. It wasn't role-play, and it wasn't funny. It was just annoying, typical young man insults...questioning my sexuality, questioning my abilities as a pilot. I would have tolerated so much more if they had at least played the role better, insulting my school of study or my ships paint job.
So, I quit. I gave away a bunch of cash and bought a bunch of useless items. Thousands of ammo piles and every type of add-on filled my screen. I knew the first priority would be to insure the ships I wanted to use, and to start figuring out what I wanted to do. I knew that the new exploration abilities sounded nice, and that I needed to buy the Covert Ops ship that I trained for over the last few returns.
If you now hit F-12 you are brought to a tutorial screen, and soon I would be learning the basics of probing/scanning/exploring. I gotta' say, the new tutorials and the new player experience is so, so, so much better than when I first played those years ago. I have never thought that hiding information from a player, or making a player learn the very basics of your game somehow makes your game better or more complex. In fact, if a player logs into your game and gets stuck, they more than likely will not try to "figure it out for themselves." They will minimize, go to their browser and look it up.You might as well tell them what they need to know, in game.
EVE gives you the basics, but in a way that does not just hand it to you. The new player experience makes you work through the lessons with an agent, and it feels informative without being boring, and quick without feeling rushed. I would love to be a new player now, I can see the game really grabbing you thanks in part to this much improved new player experience.
So, after learning exploration (the basics) and realizing that I had a lot of money spread out in a lot of useless stuff (how many damn cruise missles do I need exactly?) I am going to have to make a decision. I have a day.
Will I re-sub?
I don't know, but it has nothing to do with EVE. It has to do mostly with time and a little with finances. While it is easy enough to maintain a couple subscriptions to a couple of games, when you get into 4 or 6 games it not only becomes hairy but a waste of time because you simply cannot play them all enough within that month to make it worth your while.
I have Darkfall right now, the Mortal Online BETA, Vanguard, WURM Online and now Star Wars Galaxies.
I'll give it one more day before I make my decision. Still, I can always return. And I will bet you that when I do that the game will have become even better. EVE seems to do that every time.