That 45man PvP roam I posted the video of yesterday was a great time. I went into it not knowing what to expect, who would show up, or whether we would see any action, and ended up having a blast, despite being one of the first ships to die in the second engagement and having to listen to most of it play out.
About the roam itself: it was well organized, started on time, and the organizers had done their homework in terms of where to go to find action, who and how we should engage, and most importantly, how to keep the whole thing fun while still effective. I think this comes through on the coms somewhat, but it’s worth driving the point home that the whole experience was very enjoyable and fairly ‘noob friendly’ in terms of just showing up and following orders. Would do again.
At a higher level, the roam highlights not only what makes EVE such a great game, but why MMOs are in many ways the superior way to game.
I learned about the roam outside of the game (I want to say off a blog… can’t remember), was able to get myself ready easily (cheap cruiser), let my Corp know about the event and let them know it was open to everyone, and finally had little trouble joining up and pew pew’ing.
The above may sound simple or obvious in the context of EVE, but apply to a more ‘standard’ themepark.
First, you can’t join up if the event is not happening on your server; this is of course a non-issue in EVE.
Second, you can’t join up if you are not in the correct level range; non-issue in EVE.
Third, if you do select a level range, the amount of content you can work with is level-limited. You can’t do an open raid tour if you are not level capped. You can’t do an intro-area quest tour with character outside of that range. You can’t do a ‘frig-cruiser’-style PvP arena bash if the game does not allow lvl 10s to queue up. And if it does, 45 lvl 10s can’t queue up to face 5 lvl 85s no matter how much they would want.
Fourth, even if all of the above lines up for you, what are the odds it also lines up for all of your friends? If you are in a raiding guild, only max-level options work for you. If you are in a leveling guild, max-level content is out. And forget doing anything with friends on different servers, that’s going to cost you $25 or so per trip.
Fifth, let’s assume all of the above does line up; now what? In most ‘MMOs’ you take your group and go bash NPCs (often in an instance), and those NPCs won’t end up telling stories about it or being equally entertained by your event. They just die and respawn. Which is fine, it’s certainly not a negative, but it’s not a positive either. Your event has limited impact, triggers limited waves beyond whoever was directly involved.
Sixth is all the EVE-specific stuff that adds to the fun. We had a spy in our initial fleet, who comically screwed up his spying and put his status update in our chat channel instead of the one used by whoever was trying to set us up. We also encountered n RvB fleet, which is a known in-game mega-Corp/faction that is playing its own little game (literally Red vs Blue PvP in high-sec). EVE-voice was a huge help and worked great. The international aspect of EVE was a factor. I could go on.
Point being, this is a small but significant example of why a real MMO, one that is focused not on providing players content, but on providing players the ability to CREATE content, is superior. And it’s superior not for that one event, or that one bite of content, but because long-term, for months/years, the game (by way of its players) continues to provide this kind of dynamic, impactful content. The kind of stuff you never really ‘burn out’ on.