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Not So Leet

I'm an MMO gamer but I have a life. I write from the perspective of someone who's an MMO enthusiast, but fits it into her semi-normal everyday life. I'm not a kid and I don't game like one. That's where I start from. For where I go from there, read on.

Author: Radiogirl

Choosing My MMO - The Element Of Risk

Posted by Radiogirl Friday November 6 2009 at 9:35PM
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Yeah, I know it's been a while. I plead the intrusion of RL as the reason why I haven't posted in the last few weeks.

Last time I posted, I talked about how I was probably going to eventually have to decide between Fallen Earth and EvE as my MMO of choice. I've enjoyed both games, but the reality I've had to confront is that there's just not enough available gaming time in my life to play both games well. Rather than try to cram both games into my life and probably end up not being able to devote enough attention to either, I made a decision: I've dropped out of Fallen Earth and gone back to EvE full time.

A lot of factors went into my decision, and it was not an easy one to make. I really like Fallen Earth. I think it's a great game with a terrific player base, and I had a great time with it. Yet, when I sat down and really thought it out, I realized some things:

1. I like both sci-fi and post-apoc themed games, but I'm a genuine sucker for high-tech space-based sci-fi.

2. EvE's gameplay style just fits me better. Not that I don't like FE's gameplay, but I'm just more comfortable and competent with EvE's.

3. I know EvE pretty well and EvE knows me. What I mean by that is that while I certainly don't know and understand every nuance of the game (is there really anyone who does except for CCP?), I've got enough play time under my belt that as I play more I'm quickly becoming more proficient in combat as I remember the techniques and strategies I learned my first time around. Also, I've restarted my EvE blog Just a Girl and Her Thorax and that's already getting some attention.

I'm refitting myself back into the EvE player base with surprising quickness. I may not have played in a couple of years, but it's all coming back quickly.

3. Since I reactivated my old toon with almost a year's skill training, I'm more comfortable with where I am in EvE relatively speaking than I am with where I was in FE. It's not really the game's fault, but the reality is that in EvE there's a lot more interesting stuff within easier access for me than there is in FE. I know that probably wouldn't be true over time, but there would be a significant time investment on my part before my position in FE would be even close to comparable to where I am in EvE.

On top of all that, there's the reality that I just don't want to pay twice for games I'd only be able to play halfheartedly. By choosing one and sticking with it, I not only have to pay for just the one game, but I can devote enough time to it to really get my money's worth.

There's more to it, though. In EvE, there's a level of risk that far outweighs that found in Fallen Earth.

In FE, the cost of death is dirt cheap. You die and you instantly appear at a nearby Lifenet pod, ready to get right back into the action. The worst thing you'll generally suffer as the result of dying in FE is a few minutes of less-than-optimal XP gain and perhaps a long run back to where you left your vehicle or the nearest gas station. The combat is engaging to be sure, but you always know in the back of your mind that even if you do die it won't be all that big a deal.

In EvE, dying can cost you a hell of a lot, in ships and equipment, as well as in skill points if you haven't sufficiently upgraded your clone. The loss of a ship in combat can cost a player millions of ISK and set them back significantly. This adds an element of actual risk to combat in EvE that just isn't there in FE, and personally I find that one of the most attractive aspects of the game as a player.

In FE, all a player needs to do to in order protect themselves from being attacked and possibly killed is to simply avoid the designated PvP areas and the places where NPCs will attack.

In EvE, when you enter combat or even just leave a station you know that you may be attacked at any time. You know that even when you're just going into a low-sec system on a quick messenger run you can and very well may find yourself in PvP combat at a moment's notice. You have to consider what ship you're going to fly, what you're going to fit it with, whether you plan to run or fight if attacked, if you need backup from friends and corpmates, and on and on.

Playing Fallen Earth involves none of these considerations because you'll usually only enter combat when you choose to do so. You can arm yourself as you like (and have the skills for), but the reality is that in most cases the only time you're going to be really risking anything significant in FE is when you're PvP'ing and even then the price of death is pretty low and PvP can only be entered into by intentionally going to designated PvP areas.

When I enter low-sec in EvE (haven't yet made it to 0.0 since I've been back but I expect to soon) and I detect a potential attacker, I spring into action and play as if it matters because it does. If I get podded, I will suddenly pop back into existence at a station, but when I do I'll be missing a lot of stuff. If I want to replace my lost ship and I don't have happen to have what I need on hand, I'll have to dig deep and rebuild it from scratch. On the other hand, if I win my battle I'll probably go back to high-sec with a lot more valuable stuff than I came with.

In EvE, the risks are greater but so are the rewards. For me, this means that when I play EvE I get that same "wired" pit-of-your-stomach ready-for-anything-but-still-nervous feeling I used to get as a kid when I knew I was doing something dangerous like climbing half-built houses in a nearby development, or looking down at the water in a pool while getting ready to jump off the ten meter board.

For me, risk makes a game much more interesting. There's more to win and more to lose. A video game it is, but to me EvE at times can feel just as real as it did at the age of twelve looking over the edge of that diving board. I've never had that feeling with FE, or really with any other MMO I've ever played, and I find it's something I like and want very much in my MMO gaming.

And so, there it is. A tough decision to be sure, but one I had to make and one I'm happy with. While I'm not sure I actually miss Fallen Earth, mainly because I'm having such a good time with EvE, I will remember the experience fondly and would heartily recommend FE to anyone with an interest.

For me, risk is fun, even when I come up on the short end. Winning means all that much more when the stakes are high. Given the choice, it's an element of MMO gaming that I'd rather not do without.