An excellent comment by Letrange was made on the ‘Gauntlet‘ post, and I feel it deserves it’s very own entry. I basically agree with him/her 100%, and the comment really brings up some key points about EVE.
I think his/her first point, about character limitation, is spot on. Part of the reason why people get so attached to an MMO is they develop a bond with their character, and what better way to further nurture that bond than allowing your character to morph his style of play with you. Instead of re-rolling a priest because you are sick of being a tank, EVE allows you to change up your skill training and go from being a Pirate to a Miner, while still playing the same character, in the same Corp. If you ever decide to go back to being a Pirate, you can easily do so. In other games, you would be forced to catch up in levels and gear before you can once again play that tank with the rest of your guild. I think that really is a huge plus in EVE, and one that you don’t realize until have experienced the alternative in other games.
Like I said, the comment was excellent, enjoy!
Well I’ve been playing EvE for 8-9 months now. And I’ve discovered something about it and MMOs in general after playing various MMOs before (and while) playing EvE.
Coming from someone who’s played the following (at various points in time):
FFXI, WoW, Everquest II, CoH/CoV, Tabula Raza, Vanguard, EvE-Online, Guild Wars.
1) Character Limitation.
Here the clear winners are FFXI and EVE. I hate having to create new characters to experience other jobs in MMOs Both these games have solutions to this problem. It’s just too bad other MMOs don’t clue into this aspect. All the others would be a much more interesting game if you could learn all the jobs on the same character. For those that can’t identify with the char flying the spaceship you see in front of you, some time in 2008 we’ll have characters that walk around in stations so you can plan things out and have an avatar you can move around (yep eve’s not perfect but they are working on it).
Here EvE does have some problems (see it didn’t solve everything). Most of the other MMO’s do this slightly better. There is PvE in eve but until you click into the reasons to do it you wont’ recognize it’s value. Sure there’s the standard “make some coin get some items” reasons to do it. But there’s always the “get my standing up so I can get a jump clone when ever I want”, and the “get the corp standing’s up so we can put up a starbase in hi-sec” and other reasons to PvE. The value of PvE to anyone in the game is strictly objective based. The great thing is you can do it in waves you’re not forced to constantly PvE to progress. PvE in EvE is definitely going to be a grind but you simply set yourself some objectives and deal. There is the other aspect that the more difficult PvE stuff IS in the PvP heavy areas (again a problem). Of course you have to realize that most PvP players PvE to fund their PvPness since there is quite a cross over in skills between the two (ship fits are the main difference – not inherent character skills).
3) Single shard
Oh boy is this a big one. The biggest problems with sharded worlds only surfaces once you get out of the game. If you actually meet someone outside WoW who plays WoW, the odds of meeting them in game are microscopic. So you’re essentially loosing out on a big potential social part of these games. If I meet someone in the real world who happens to be playing EvE, there’s always the possibility that we could do business in game as well. It’s damn well guaranteed we could run into each other in game. One of my corp pilots happens to live in the same city as I do. About once a month we get together at a downtown pub to discuss strategy and where we want the corp to go. I can’t do this in any other MMO out there (possibly except guild wars).
I haven’t been to fan fests of other MMO’s or even EvE’s fan fest, but those who have have remarked that the biggest difference is in the socializing at the event. In most MMO’s people tend to group by the server they are on and there is very little cross server interaction. In EvE they were grouping up by corporation/alliance and the group dynamics were completely different. Since everyone you were meeting was in the same game you were in you could actually discuss situations you all had in common. Make deals with other corps, discuss plans with allies, meet some foes.
4) The market.
This is an effect of the fact that EvE is a single shard system. It makes for a much more robust player economy than the micro economies of other MMOs. So much so that it’s been used in Economic studies and CPP even hired an economist. This will seem much too hardcore for a lot of people. But for anyone who’s more of a crafter in other MMOs you wont’ believe the difference it makes. Again not for everyone to get into deeply (most PvP players don’t’ delve into the market too deeply so it’s not a necessity anyways, just like most households don’t play the stock market full time either). But for those of us who like that aspect oh boy does it reward.
Initially I had a big problem with this. Course the truth was I was playing stupid. I was trying to make the game fit what I wanted it to do instead of learning how to live in it’s shared reality (2 week old newbies really shouldn’t go to low sec till they have to sign a release form at the last gate before low sec). Then I got smart, got into a corp and learned the ropes. And a few mantras: “Don’t fly what you can’t afford to loose”. “Don’t fly stupid”. “Good intel is your friend”. “Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance”. Being Canadian I didn’t have to learn that quintessential one “Dont’ smack talk in local unless you’re prepared for the consequences”. And having seen the following one from the point of view of the alliance: “When in a merc corp, If we wardec an industrial corp that’s in the process of joining an alliance and that alliance politely asks us to re-consider the war, I will think twice before trying to extort 400mil isk from them”. The PvP players in that alliance hadn’t had a good war in months. Not a pretty sight. Then again neither is jumping into the tiger cage and going up to a tiger and trying to kick it in the balls.
6) “I can’t catch the older players”
As someone mentioned: there are micro cap’s all over the place, and you forget that these players haven’t capped out either. They just have more options. That’s all. If a 2mil SP player in a rifter happens to catch a 30mil sp player doing something stupid in a tech 1 hauler, there’s not much the 30mil player can do about it. And don’t think 30mil SP players don’t do stupid things. They do (over confidence is a killer). I will note that they also don’t give the keys to formula one cars to people entering in driving school either. I am amazed at how certain players that have much more SP than I do constantly have a poor-er wallet than I do.
The reality is that if you have a hard time playing with the cards your dealt or insist that other people must play the way you want them to all the time, you’ll have a hard time in EvE. This is a social game in the sense that you must be capable of being social to the extent of at lest working with others. If you can you’ll love this game. If not you’ll hate it. The real game starts once you join your first player corp, preferably in an alliance. Not just once your 2 week trial stops.
Again this game makes you pay if you play stupid. On the flip side it does not have the equivalent of barrens chat and the economy has some serious meat to sink your virtual teeth into. (probably why it attracts an older fan base than most other MMOs).