Saturday, February 7, 2009

Played Lately: EVE Online

  • There is a chance that I've gone completely crazy. I downloaded the free trial for EVE Online.

  • For years I've been reading about the various shenanigans going on in EVE Online. There was the Great Scam in 2007. And just recently, there was the betrayal of the Band of Brothers. These massive intrigues are fascinating to me. But at the same time, the harshness exhibited by the game can be very off-putting.

  • What pushed me over the edge, though, was this tweet from Van Hemlock. I had casually referenced CCP's game in this post about Warhammer Online. While I'm not vain enough to think he was talking specifically about me, it did make me realize that I don't really know anything about EVE. Thus, this confluence of events has led me to download the demo from Steam and give it a try.

  • My first impression was that it is overwhelming from the start. I'd read that there are ways to hobble your character right in the creation screen, but I haven't done enough research on how to avoid it. I've only got twenty-one days of free time, so I just chose what sounded best and went for it.

  • My second impression was that the game is very attractive. Space games, lately, have taken on a dense universe look as shown by the Hubble telescope. Since all of that can be imaged in background paintings, you get awesome vistas that you're never in jeopardy of approaching. The starter ship and various space stations are attractive as well, even on my lame graphics card.

  • My third impression is that the game plays a lot like a Microsoft application. The funny thing is that it feels completely accurate. In a time when space flight is widely available, a point-and-click interface feels more likely than the joystick-and-throttle model used by space sims patterned on WWII dogfights. However while it feels accurate, it's about as fun as playing with Word or Excel. But like any software application, it's only a tool. The fun in the game will only come in proportion to how much effort you put in.

  • So far in the game, I've run a couple of starter mission. That means mining and killing pirates. I've also been running my out of game skill training. I can't say I'm enamored with EVE Online yet, but it has been fascinating.

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