Returning to EVE has reminded me of some of the basic design differences between the game and most others in its genre. I think these points are taken for granted by EVE players, and are somewhat unknown aspects to non-EVE players.
My combat pilot was created in 2007 and has just under 25m skill points. He was last heavily played in 2008-9, and his former Corporation has since gone inactive. My mining/industry alt (2nd account) has somewhere around 22m SP, and has not been in a player-run Corp since 2008. Both pilots are in Amarr space, based out of Taru. My combat pilot joined up with a newly formed Corp (DiS), led by some 0.0 veterans who want to teach new players about PvE and PvP.
Last night I was able to jump into my Rohk battleship, the same one I used in 2008, and run some level four missions with some DiS pilots out of Taru. Name an MMO where you can return after almost four years and not only pick right back up, but still have that very same content ‘viable’ in terms of rewards and player interest? Hell, name an MMO where you can use ANYTHING, let alone an entire ship with fits (character level + full gear set would be the themepark equivalent) from four years ago and have it do a perfectly fine job of tanking/dps’ing high-level content?
One of the DiS pilots had a Noctis, a new-ish ship that is specialized in pulling in wrecks and salvaging them. The ship is designed to fit the role my Destroyer filled back in 2008; a ship you bring out once the mission is cleared to loot/salvage.
The Noctis was better at the role, with longer tractor beam range, larger cargo hold, and faster salvaging. My Destroyer was still perfectly viable. It’s also much cheaper, and much easier to fly. Again, name an MMO where the ‘newbie’ version of something is still viable when someone can bring the ‘vet’ version?
A better-known example of this also happened last night. I was in a battleship, but one of the newer players in DiS was in a cruiser, as he did not have the skill points to fly anything bigger. A cruiser, especially at his proficiency, has no chance in a level four mission solo. Yet as part of our fleet, he not only was able to come along, he contributed in a meaningful way, knocking out smaller ships that I would normally have trouble with. The bounty and mission reward ISK were huge for him, and he was very happy to get the chance to come along. From my perspective, he made running the missions much smoother, and also safer (frigates web/scramble, which prevents escape should things get ugly, so knocking them out is critical).
Finally, the fact that Taru is still a viable mission hub, after all these years, should not be understated. Again, if I log into almost any other MMO after four years, what are the odds that the content around me is still viable? That I can just pick right up and continue doing what I was doing all those years ago?
Which is not to say new content is not available to me. Incursions, worm holes, and who knows what else are all out there, and DiS plans to experience them, but those additions don’t obsolete older content. It’s a crime that in the MMO genre this is the exception rather than the norm.