After a re-roll over the weekend, and a much better understanding of the basic concepts, I had a very enjoyable time with EVE Online the last few days. In a lot of ways, it reminds me of the early days of Ultima Online. It has basic rules and laws, an open-ended world for the players to work with, and a skill based system to mold a character how you see fit. Crafting and trade are just as viable as combat, and the entire game revolves around Corporation (guild) politics and zone control. It has a limited quest system, but it’s more of an after-though rather than the focus of the game. I think the biggest draw for me is the scope of the game. The fact that one of the early spaceships in the game cost around 50,000 ISK (the in-game currency), and you read about the cost of the biggest ships being in the area of 15 billion+ ISK. It’s an amazing amount of money, even for large Corporations. The crazy part? That 15 billion ISK ship can be destroyed by a rival Corp, especially since it takes a month to construct one in a space port, and that space port can be destroyed as well, capital ship going down with it. Very similar to UO, everything in EVE can be destroyed. A players ship, all weapons and equipment on it, everything in its cargo bay, even the player themselves can be killed, resulting in possible skill loss. It’s very possible to have a very, very bad day in EVE. Or a glorious one, if your enemy is on the receiving end of a well planned attack.
Speaking of massive destruction, it’s not uncommon to read about a battle involving massive amounts of giant ships, with both sides taking heavy losses financially. Fleet combat involving 50, even 100 pilots is something I can’t wait to see.
I think the most surprising thing about EVE is how different it is compared to all other MMOs, and it was released in 2003. In a market filled with EQ clones (WoW included), its nice to see a game break all those rules, set its own goals, and stick to its vision. It may not have 8 million subs, but for the 170k or so that it does have, it provides a very welcome breath of fresh air.
My trial account runs out in two days, and it’s going to be tough not to put down the $15 to keep going, if only to venture out into 0.0 space at some point and see all those stories I hear about first hand.