At the behest of a friend, I tried Eve Online.
Eve is dense and slow. It feels like playing a spreadsheet from the get-go, as character creation is far more complex than someone who just started playing the game five minutes ago can possibly understand. What did my final stats mean? No idea! What were my final skills? No idea! What can they be used for? No idea!
It took about two and a half hours to get through the tutorial – and you must go through the tutorial. No, the game doesn’t make you, but if you don’t you won’t have any idea what the hell is going on.
Those two and a half hours were probably the least fun I have ever had playing something that presented itself as a “game”.
For one thing, you have no direct control over your ship. No joystick control here, no. No fancy flyin’, just right-click a point in space on the convenient list and choose “Approach” and you’ll fly there. That’s it.
Combat? As far as I can tell, it’s fully automated – and it’s standard MMO combat dressed up in sci-fi trappings. To fight you fly towards an enemy, lock on target and turn on your gun. If your ship and equipment is superior to his, you win. If not, you lose. That’s it.
Travel in the Eve universe is even worse. Imagine having to endure a gryphon ride in World of Warcraft every time you change zones. That’s how Eve is. I began to groan every time I was given a mission that required me to fly to a new solar system because I knew I’d be sitting there doing nothing for ten minutes while the autopilot flew the ship.
I gave this game two and a half hours to present me with something exciting or compelling and it completely failed. I’ve got thirteen days left on my trial, and I would rather work on Planitia than play this game again.
Dear God in heaven, first we lose Privateer Online for Earth & Beyond and now this? Can nobody make a real massively-multiplayer outer space combat/trading game? Is it just not possible?! That’s the MMO I really want and nobody will freakin’ make it! Why?
EDIT: Okay, what did I like about Eve?
I liked the fact that it wasn’t Yet Another Fantasy MMO.
I liked the fact that the entire game takes place on one server. When you meet another Eve player in real life you can actually find him in the game guaranteed because there’s only one server.
I liked the fact that the client is only about 700 megs in size and there’s no significant patching after installation before you can play.
The game is quite pretty.
Nathan pointed out to me that the density and pace of the game keeps out the 1337 kiddies, and this was borne out in my play experience last night. I didn’t see any chat in any of the channels that wasn’t mature and on-topic.
If everything took about half as long to do as it does in Eve then I would probably love it.
I was drawn to it by the gorgeous artwork and capital ship combat that was prevalent in the trailers.
I didn’t even last as long as you. I gave it 30 minutes and deleted it from my hard drive. 🙂
It’s an acquired taste. Give it a chance and you will have trouble putting it down. Heck, you haven’t even had a chance to gain any skills…
testing, testing, 123..
I’ve had some friends who are hooked to it, and they just keep it running, windowed, while they work.. sometimes tweaking something. Kind of like irc.
Game-wise, apparently the bigger battles are where the meat is, but even in that case the gameplay sounds pretty much like high-stakes poker game where one round takes two weeks.
People invest tons of time on it, only to lose the investment in a single battle because they, for example, forgot to turn some cannons on or something..
But it’s pretty!
Nathan, maybe you’re right. Giving up before even seeing/acquiring a single spell might be a bit too early to wholesale drop the game. I guess it’d be like dropping WoW before hitting level 10.
And the fact that it’s not a 28 gig download is attractive enough, that I can reinstall it without eating up too much of my time.
Once I uninstall Vista and go back to XP SP2, I’ll pull down EVE again and give it another shot.
I know quite a few people who were really hooked on Eve. D tried it out, even going the route of starting and just training for a month to get skills up before “playing” but it never became “fun”. Then the scandal hit and they all let their accounts run out because they felt they couldn’t count on the devs to not cheat.
Personally I took one look at it and decided I’d rather hit myself in the head with a hammer…. repeatedly… than play it. It’s such a guy game. And I don’t say that lightly – my neighbor probably knew 50 people who played – ONE of whom was female.
[…] torn over this. If you’ll recall, my first couple of hours with EVE Online practically induced narcolepsy, but I’ve got so many smart friends who love […]
I used to play it with my friends. Good times!