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Role Playing (Games)

The Evolution of MMOGs - Eve Online 84

Posted by Zonk
from the moving-the-genre-forward dept.
Gamasutra is running an article about the Massively Multiplayer Game Eve Online. Information from senior producer Nathan Richardsson gives a look into the development of the largest concurrent MMO on the market. From the article: "Power to the players. Nothing compares to a player that is enabled to affect the universe. We create tools for players to create content. For example, a massive alliance of corporations - our versions of guilds - with real, legendary players, leading them, controlling large areas of space and building up infrastructure is truly awesome content. We can never create that, but we can create the environment and tools enabling to happen. We're also very iterative in our work and keep continuous feedback cycles on the features we do, then regularly improve them based on that feedback. The community is an incredible source for how to improve the game and what they do within the game gives us constant inspiration for what we should implement next. Being so open-ended means the players do what they want and we try to keep up and add support and tools to take emerging behavior further. Embrace and evolve are the keywords here."
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The Evolution of MMOGs - Eve Online

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  • by It doesn't come easy (695416) * on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @03:24PM (#13660722) Journal
    I have been playing EVE Online for 6 months and it's not all it's cracked up to be. There are some players that absolutely love it. However, the ability to create content and the great graphics in the game does not make up for some fundamental flaws in game play. The problem is that the game boils down to spending hours just traveling or just mining, both tedious activities in the game. Combat can also be tedious in most cases, since it usually becomes showing up at some location and slugging it out. I could deal with those aspects if your skill was in some way tied to your activities, but they are not. Skills are trained simply by turning the training on. Even the skill training system is flawed. There are approximately 200 or so different skills. To be come an expert in combat related skills, for example, it takes about 100 separate skills, training one at a time. I calculated how long it would take me to be fully trained on captaining a battleship, with all the necessary skills for both weapons use, piloting, and maneuvering. With the current system, it would take more than 3 years in real time to finish the training. I'll be surprised if the game lasts another three years. Experienced players (i.e. players who have been playing EVE for a long while) basically can attack inexperienced players with impunity. I have been killed four times so far just for the fun of it by an experienced player in what is supposed to be safe space. Yes, the experienced player is immediately killed by the NPC cops but that's the only penalty. They can make up the loss in an hour, it takes me a week to regain the equipment I lose. Sad to say, I am disappointed in EVE enough to stop playing. I hope some EVE admins read Slashdot, because the way the game works, I would bet you are losing more new players than you would imagine.
    • Shortly into the first portion of the article is the revelation that many of the developers were old-school UO PvPers, and that there was an emphasis on PvP for that reason.

      That's enough to ensure I'll never even look at the game, or finish the FA for that matter.

      I don't play games to be someone else's victim. I'm not interested in being part of their sociological experement. I want to be entertained, not greifed.
      • Funny you should mention griefing, since the only thing I really know about Eve is that it provided the backdrop for the greatest scam ever [circa1984.com] in a MMOG. ALso, I think something you implied but should be spelled out is that the game doesn't just emphasise PvP, but unbalanced PvP. The reason the game is unfun isn't that there's a lot of PvP, it's that the outcome of most PvP battles are predetermined based on the skills of the character and the ship they own. It may be realistic, but it's not fun.
    • I've never played the game or even heard much about it, but it sounds like the kind of game I would hate. I really hate having to "work" for 2 years before you can get into the end game content one bit. But, then again that is just a personal preference. The point I'm making is that some people do enjoy this type of game, it's a different game and not one I would enjoy personally (based on your comments on the game), but that doesn't mean other people wouldn't like. You said it yourself that there are some
      • You are right, of course. It is about personal preference. I decided to try EVE based on number of positive web reviews but obviously I have been disappointed. However, I am still looking for an excellent 3D, first person perspective, space related game. If you know of any, I'd appreciate hearing about it. Parsec [parsec.org], the one game that looked ideal now appears to be dead [sourceforge.net].
        • I used to play Jumpgate, a fun little MMO Space Sim. There are no "skills" per se, your skills piloting your ship are your actual skills piloting the ship. I recommend a good joystick for this one =]

          There is a bit of a grind, as you need to level up your experience level and your reputation (with 3 different factions) to buy most equipment.

          The physics are somewhat realistic. To stop your ship, you have to turn your ship around and reverse thrust. Docking is a little tricky, and new players sometimes mes
          • I played around with the Jumpgate beta and at the time it had what I considered the "worst of all worlds" when it came to piloting their ships. Ships would slow down very quickly at high speeds but then never fully stop when you reached slow speeds. This meant that dogfighting wouldn't really let you strafe your target since your ship would naturally move in whatever direction you were facing - unless you cut your engines which lost you valuable speed. And yet your ships inertia was all too apparent whe

          • That was a great game. Except for one big problem.. Of course if you are higher level, you should have better gear, but what you basicly ran into was a case where, the higher level the ship, the higher the stats. HEAVY fighters were outrunning Light fighters and scout ships. Sure, its a higher level ship, but in Standard games with space battles, the Heavier the ship(armor, armanent, etc) , the Slower it went. So with the unbalancing level ladder, you had many problems with griefing.
    • I calculated how long it would take me to be fully trained on captaining a battleship, with all the necessary skills for both weapons use, piloting, and maneuvering. With the current system, it would take more than 3 years in real time to finish the training.

      Your math must be pretty whacked out. The games has barely been out two years, and there are plenty of battleship pilots. It's more like 6 months to be a competent battleship pilot. (Not maxed, but more than competitive)

      Besides, frigates are MU

      • Your math must be pretty whacked out. The games has barely been out two years, and there are plenty of battleship pilots. It's more like 6 months to be a competent battleship pilot. (Not maxed, but more than competitive)

        Umm.. you say his math is whacked out, and then go on to say that you're not talking about the same thing (i.e. being maxed out). So how exactly is his math whacked out?

        Besides, frigates are MUCH more fun to fly anyway, and you can train for them in much less time.

        Let me know just as soo

        • Yes but the GP poster was implying that it was necessary to max out ALL of the skills to be able to fly a BS effectively, which is false.
          • Yes but the GP poster was implying that it was necessary to max out ALL of the skills to be able to fly a BS effectively, which is false.

            I don't think he was implying that at all. He was just saying that it would take 3 years to max out all the weapon-related, piloting, and maneuvering skills for a BS. He didn't say it was absolutely necessary to be effective with a BS. He was just giving an idea of the kind of time it takes to max out your skill level in a particular area.

            • Well then to clarify on that further. All those maneuvering and weapon skills that you are training up to use that BS are usefull for ALL ship types. If you are a combat pilot you are going to want to train them anyways, the BS is just the final goal of the training.

              And also, 3 years to max them out is way off base, I have all navigation skills to 5 and all hybrid base turret skills to 5, plus I have s/m/l railgun specialization to level 4 each. Plus I have all important engineering/mechanic/electronics sk
        • I have maxed out one race's Battleships, and related skills. My character is less than 2 years old, and has trained a LOT of unrelated stuff. (Maxed mining, refining, science, and production, as well as the ability to fly most ships of the other 3 races competently)

          3 years to pilot a BS well is VERY wrong.

          A well piloted AF can challenge a BS. It happens fairly often. And most frigates can survive BS attacks easily unless the BS is specifically fitted to kill frigs. (Not very common)
          • 3 years to pilot a BS well is VERY wrong.

            Again, I don't know what skills you are including in your estimate. Beginner level skills train very quickly, so the broadness of your skillbase doesn't have as much effect on the time as the depth of your skills. He said this:

            I calculated how long it would take me to be fully trained on captaining a battleship, with all the necessary skills for both weapons use, piloting, and maneuvering.

            I take that to mean more than just piloting, but many other skills as well

            • Needed for good battleship fittings and to supplement a good pilot:

              Common to all:
              Spaceship command lvl 4(5 if you feel like it)
              Frigate lvl 4
              Cruiser lvl 4
              Battleship lvl 1

              Necessary Supporting Skills:
              Engineering lvl 4-5
              Cap Management skill(Under engineering skilltree), 4-5
              Energy Grid Upgrades 3-4
              Electronics 4-5
              Electronics Upgrades 4-5
              Navigation 4
              Afterburner 4
              Warp Drive Operation 3-4
              Weapon skills of your desired class to 4 and the supporting skills.

              Specific Skillsets:
              For shield tankers, all the cap management s
            • I take that to mean more than just piloting, but many other skills as well. So, unless you can both come up with a specific list, I'll accept for now that it would take about 3 years to max out all the skills "for weapons use, piloting, and maneuvering."

              Perhaps to get all related skills for all race ships to level 5, yeah. But to say that is overkill is an understatement. NOONE has been playing the game for three years. MANY are battleship pilots. 3 years to fly one is just stupid.

              As for the match

        • You can take out badly setup battleships with a frigate, especially an interceptor or an assault frigate, just like you can survive an attack unless they are fitted for frigate killing. If the ship has even a rudimentary tank, you're not gonna get through it if the player has even half a braincell.

          I've taken out a fair number of cruisers with T1 frigs though(Incursus and Tristan), and even a number of interceptors(cocky ceptor-jocks whine so funnily when they lose to T1 frigs)
        • Let me know just as soon as you're able to take out a battleship with your frigate, or even survive an attack by a hostile battleship. Frigates are cogs. More like support systems for battleships when it comes to combat. They serve useful functions, but they aren't the ones that do the killing.

          Not one, but if you join a corperation and get into a cordinated group of frigates it's very possible to take out a BATTLECRUISER for much less than the cost of the possible firgates lost.

    • As a 1 year old player, while I agree with some points (about how long it takes to train up to the battleship (BS) for example), the point of the game is that you don't HAVE to participate in that. I play a combat character, and don't fly BS's, but instead have focused on smaller ships and in doing so could take out most battleships. Pretty much nobody is perfect in any given aread, which if you could be a perfect player, it would completely ruin the game. In the flip side, because the skills are not tie
      • I want to expand on a point here: Traders: One of the most difficult roles playerwise(Monitoring multiple locations, hauling the stuff quickly etc etc). But a single good trader with the right connections(Yes, you have to be SOCIAL. Who would have guessed that in a MULTI-PLAYER game huh?!?) can do more economic damage to an alliance in just an afternoon than even the best PvP corps can with all their kills.
        • Can you explain how, exactly?
          • By trading minerals and various components. Dumping mineral prices is a major killer sometimes.....

            If Alliance A has a buy order out for Tritanium for 1.75 ISK/unit, and a couple of hundred million units wanted, a trader will set one for the same amount of units, but maybe 1.8 ISK/unit. The trader can still sell it for 2+ in a major trade area, but the alliance could very well miss out on a lot of Trit they need for manufactures

            Same thing with sell orders: Dump the market slightly so that your sell order lo
    • I agree. I played for two weeks and the game isn't that fun. Honestly, you're best off not doing anything for the first year while you train your skills, as opposed to mining for hours and then losing it all by getting killed because you have none.

      I just seemed that the new players had a lot of crawling to do before they were even remotely powerful or exciting.

      And the combat, I mean, what kind of game has space combat without the classic top gun approach. It's just pick a target and let the computer atta
    • Uhhh...I've been playing since launch and only flying a BS for 6 months. The longest skill to train up to max is BS 5 (at about 2 months training time) but that is in no way required to be effective. It is unecessary to train your skills to level 5 to be effective in combat. Training a skill to level 5 gives you a bonus of 5% AT MOST over someone with level 4 in the skill. It will not make a significant difference if your equipment is identical otherwise. Also having to train 100 skills to be effective in a
      • 2 months to train BS lvl 5? You haven't trained up your learning skills, I take it? For me it'd take 34 days. In the meantime, I'll just fly my Heavy Assaults, with Heavy Assault Lvl 5 already.

        As for the devs communicating, it's not as much as you imply. It's mostly a little clique of sycophantic players who get heard on IRC. Be aware that there is heavy favoritism involved both from the GM's and the Devs(Most obvious examples should be BoB and 5, both heavily laden with GM's and Devs characters)
    • by Shinobi (19308) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @06:04PM (#13662322)
      3 years is bullshit. A focused character can pilot battleships decently in PvP in less than 3 months(Besides, you need that time just to figure out the finer details of the game mechanics. You'd be surprised at how many idiots there are that just want an "I Win" button, and who don't want to think for themselves)

      And, your player skills do count. But, they are more mental skills than the CounterStrike/Quake Twitch. Which fights can you expect to win? Which fights can you expect to survive? Do you utilize transversal properly? Are you fitted so you can deal with the enemy tackler? How good are you at keeping yourself aware of your surroundings so you see if the enemy gets backup? Do you know where you are in relation to stellar bodies, do you know how long it will take you to align and warp out? Will your cap hold an extended engagement after a long warp-in? Are you able to communicate with teammates, or do you expect to be able to lone-wolf it(Usually a bad idea for anyone lacking even one of the factors I mentioned)

      Yes, EVE has flaws, but the parts you mentioned are not flaws. It creates a more tactical game. If you want twitch-type, you could always play Freelancer
      • 3 years is bullshit. A focused character can pilot battleships decently in PvP in less than 3 months(Besides, you need that time just to figure out the finer details of the game mechanics.

        It's not bullshit if you read his post instead of posting some stupid straw-man response. He said this:

        I calculated how long it would take me to be fully trained on captaining a battleship, with all the necessary skills for both weapons use, piloting, and maneuvering.

        Notice how he says 3 years to max out all the necess

        • Absolutely maxing out those skills take less than 7 months. Besides, if you knew anything about the game mechanics, you'd know that the difference between level 4 and 5 is only really noticeable on a few specialist ships, such as Dominix(Drone control Bonus), ergo, there's no real "maxing out", unless you go for Tech 2, but then you move on to another level. Hence, it's not a straw-man argument.
          • Besides, if you knew anything about the game mechanics, you'd know that the difference between level 4 and 5 is only really noticeable on a few specialist ships, such as Dominix(Drone control Bonus), ergo, there's no real "maxing out", unless you go for Tech 2, but then you move on to another level. Hence, it's not a straw-man argument.

            I did play the beta for a a couple months, and then for several months after it was released before I got tired of it. I'm not an expert, but I do know how the system work

            • Mechanics have changed a bit since beta, and even since release.

              OK, to begin at the end: Not factoring in learning skills or implants would be a major mistake, hence it's not a straw-man argument. In fact, the reality is that anyone going for that _will_ train learning skills, and many will use implants. The conclusion of that is that not factoring them in makes for a purely theoretical scenario which is refuted by actual gameplay.

              Also, diminishing returns do factor in since we're talking actual application
              • Not factoring in learning skills or implants would be a major mistake, hence it's not a straw-man argument.

                A straw-man argument in this case would be any argument other than the one that the original poster made. Since he didn't post specifics criteria for his math, it's not possible to refute. I understand that he didn't make a realistic argument, but I never claimed that it was realistic either. Just that everyone else was making a different argument than he was, therefore they weren't really refutin

                • That logic doesn't hold up. In fact, the original posters argument is the straw-man, seeing as it has little resemblance to the actual situation.
                • You're right, I don't think the OP was being realistic either. But it is misleading to someone who doesn't know the game. It takes time to max out stuff in Eve. That is by design, and to me is actually a positive. There is a LOT of room for growth on the character level. It's just that unlike other MMO's, you don't have to be maxed to be competitive, and maxing out has a relatively small return compared to the time invested.

                  It can take a week to get a skill from level 1 to 4, giving say a total bonu
        • It's simply not true. I've been playing for 13 months now and I have 2 characters that are totally maxed out in their respected races ships. It would however take you 3 years to do all of the races ships I'd say :)
          • Nah. A vast majority of the skills are shared. You'd just have to add the specific ship skills for each race. While time consuming, it's nowhere near the scope of years.

            Now if there were race specific engineering, electronics, mechanic, and navigation trees, you'd be right. :)
    • I think what you are describing is maxing a character out, which is VERY hard to do in Eve. I have been playing for about 3 months and I'm flying a battleship. I'm flying level 3 missions solo (the current generation supports missions up to level 4), and with one other corp mate I've been flying level 4 missions. There is a lot to do in Eve, as TFA says, and not all of it is missions.

      If you won't be satisfied unless your character is 100% proficient in _everything_, then Eve probably isn't the game for
    • by Oveur (918243) on Wednesday September 28, 2005 @06:40AM (#13665509)
      As you point out there are some players that absolutely love it. We now have 71.000 customers, experiencing continuous growth since launch, surpassing big titles such as Sims Online, Asherons Call (1&2) and Planetside (See http://www.mmogchart.com/Chart3.html [mmogchart.com]). I can only assume from that fact that your statement is indeed correct and there are some players that absolutely love it ;)

      We will however never be a mainstream game and we have never intended to be so. We have a brutal and harsh universe and embrace PVP, and consciously live with the drawbacks of that decision as a cost of doing business. Your experience of being a miner attacked by a pirate a stellar example of such cost. Nevertheless, would EVE be so unique and growing if it didn't have such an extensive PVP system? I seriously doubt it :)

      However, I can't agree with your estimation of the skill training system, time required to train to be proficient and the gap between experienced players. I'll go in to some basic details first so everyone reading is on the same page;

      In EVE, a skill is trained off-line, each skill involving 5 levels, each level giving an additional cumulated benefit. Since we are talking about combat proficiency, lets take the Small Projectile Turret skill. It allows the Operation of small projectile turrets and gives a 5% Bonus to small projectile turret damage for each level trained, resulting in 25% bonus to damage at level 5.

      The key here is to look at levels 1-4 and compare them to training from 4-5. Training from level 1-4 to get an accumulated bonus of 20% takes a day. Training from level 4-5 to get an accumulated bonus of 25% takes a bit more than 6 days. If I have a decent amount of learning skills trained and implants, these numbers would change to 3/4 of a day and 4 days respectively. I can shave more off with better learning skills, better implants and a character in a combat bloodline. I should also mention that advanced learning skills and implants were released considerably after launch, so older players are at a disadvantage, having spent more time achieving the level they are at today compared to the possible speed of a new player.

      Therefore, the skill system inherently has a built in favoritism towards new players even though off-line skill training would seem to contradict that simply because you spend relatively more time achieving those extra percentages. Surely, a 2 year player will be better off in general than a 6 month player, but if you train wisely, fit for the occasion and position yourself well, you can have him running too.

      Remember, you only need to train for about 5 months to get everything to level 4 which a 2 year character all has to level 5. If you want to advance to higher tech levels however, you start getting training prerequisites of level 5 in certain skills, which again requires you to start selecting what you want to specialize in.

      I assume you the 3 years you mention are to train all those skills to level 5 and you are right, if you want to max out the skills, you will need something in that ballpark. But that also means you can use almost any ship and any module from any race in the game and be pretty damn good at it. Currently, nobody has that ability, EVE is only 30 months old.

      I'd also like to point out a new feature coming up, which is called "Eye for an Eye" which I believe might help your situation. If someone kills you illegitemately, like you describe, you get an "Eye for an Eye" contract on him which allows you to shoot him down whenever you see him - once. I don't know if that is the kind of retribution you are looking for, but it might be.

      Thanks for voicing your concerns, although I don't agree with some of them - but I hope I addressed them to some extent.

      Nathan "Oveur" Richardsson
      Senior Producer - EVE Online
      • I appreciate your write up here. Yes, there are players that absolutely love EVE and there are players who don't. One can find plenty of examples of both on the web. And it is probably that way for every major game. So my rant is from the perspective of one player who doesn't like EVE. In my original posting, I did not go into many other aspects of the game which I feel also lack good game play, mainly because it would take too long (yes I know, not really fair to bash the game and then give no details
        • The fundamental problem with this approach is that it is absolutely impossible for someone starting the game now to ever catch up with a player that started the game a year or more ago.

          This is not true. You are basically making the assumption that more Skill Points means they're better at everything. Many older players did not have the advanced skills we do now. I remember a time when training ANYTHING to level 5 was considered a waste of time. So most vets are a "jack of all trades" simply because t

      • It should be noted that 71000 paid accounts is more than the actual number of players. I wouldn't be surprised if as many as 50% of the accounts are secondary, tertiary or even quarternary accounts though judging by in-game population 35-40% seems more likely.

        Also, you guys need to use a bit more logic when it comes to game mechanic changes(Tuxfords proposed Mk II changes for example, or the plate mass suggestions), get some more RP content instead of the 0.0 soap opera assisted by Dev and GM chars and Out-
      • the game...

        Let players be able to put skills to train into a que so they don't have to log in exactly when the skill is done training to set the next one training.

    • That is the path you chose to go down, being a miner in high sec space. Here is someone who decided to be a pirate when he started you can read about it here: ,url:http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp? a =topic&threadID=228135>. Not everyone is a pirate, I live in lawless space in an alliance and we actively hunt down and kill pirates, even going to war with oirate corporations. The game is what you make it and to be honest it is the only game that has grown the more I've played it, have been p
    • I'm flying level 4 missions with friends and doing my part after 1 month of unfocused playing (I've mostly trained learning skills to get other skills faster later on) - with 1-2 days per week of playing I've reached a level where my frig can deal the damage it needs to do good, but mostly be able to help control the battle. after just days you can do good in pvp with a focused learning of skills. even is not a game where you need to sit around and grind for 3 years just to be competative.
  • Isn't the old Microsoft rule for killing things they don't want "Embrace, evolve, extinguish?" Or was it "Embrace, EXTEND, extinguish?" Meh. Doesn't matter. Just saying.
  • by AlexMax2742 (602517) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @04:04PM (#13661095)
    If you're a fan of Trade Wars style games or Elite style games, or if you miss the days of old Ultima Online where you could PvP to your hearts content without being screamed at by the playerbase, this is the game you have been waiting for.

    That said, it's not for everyone, and it has a steep learning curve. However, that hasn't detered away their playerbase, and while it doesn't grow at exponential rates, it's stable and growning enough for them to afford the resouces to provide a new free expansion every six months. EVE is CCP's only game. They have no other priorities than EVE, and it's their job to make sure it's a great game...not necissarily one that appeals to the masses, but a great game nontheless.
    • If you're a fan of Trade Wars style games or Elite style games,

      I loved Tradewars and Elite, and I was ecstatic when I heard about EVE. However, I started playing when it came out and it was a complete letdown. Talk about a grind. It was the most yawn-inducing game I've played in a long time. Takes forever get anywhere, combat is automatic, skills are earned realtime, which is nice as a levelling idea, but reduces the game to one of social skills and free time being the dominant factors. Social skill

      • There's plenty of griefing going on in EVE, that's for sure. Between the random PKing just for kicks, and the scams that people pull, it's not much fun for n00bs. I think that's gonna have a real bad effect on EVE's future population level. I never got off on griefing, so this isn't a selling point for me either.

        I don't like griefing either, but people have been wailing that the non-consentual PVP would destroy Eve since it was released. However, the population keeps growing, so I guess people are okay

        • There is a ton of player skill in combat. It's just tactical skills instead of twitch skills.

          Well, there are tactics involved when choosing when and where to fight, ship types and loadouts, and how many ships to bring, but that's only for planned combat. Unplanned combat is when you get ambushed or have to fight at a time and place not of your choosing and for which you aren't prepared. The outcomes of such combat are usually foregone conclusions.

          • And you usually end up in such situations due to not thinking ahead and not using the tools at your disposal(Map, local channel, scanner, asking friends etc etc)
            • And you usually end up in such situations due to not thinking ahead and not using the tools at your disposal(Map, local channel, scanner, asking friends etc etc)

              That goes back to another comment I made about social skills and free time being the main resources that will benefit a player in EVE. So, I agree with you on that.

              • Free time isn't _that_ much in need for it. Checking the map takes all of a minute or two. Checking Local is what you do while you're there, same thing with scanner. Asking in corp/alliance/public chat if an area is hot and what can be expected takes less than 5 minutes. But yes, it's really a multi-player game, where good teamwork/cooperation and the ability to think fast rather than just twitch are the most important attributes.
                • A person with good social skills can form relationships with others in the game. A person with a lot of free time and good social skills can form a lot more relationships, and since they'll be in-game a lot more often, they'll be in on more opportunities and advance much faster in a corp than someone with less free time. Sure, the mechanics are easy, but it takes time and experience to learn how to interpret what others are telling you and what you're seeing in the game. Ultimately both social skills and

                  • That person will also have more direct competitors, and even enemies. He'll also have more "responsibilities", since he'll most likely have joined a more "prestigious" corp.
                    • That person will also have more direct competitors, and even enemies. He'll also have more "responsibilities", since he'll most likely have joined a more "prestigious" corp.

                      Right. He'll be more "in the game" than the other player. I don't see competitors being any worse than someone who only plays a few hours a week though. If anything he'll have more experience and time to deal with them. All in all, he'll be moving at a much faster pace.

                    • More time spent playing can also mean bigger losses. And yes, you will have more enemies, just by virtue of more activity.
                    • More time spent playing can also mean bigger losses.

                      If you're losing more the more you play, then you should probably play a different game :)

  • by popo (107611) on Tuesday September 27, 2005 @04:36PM (#13661471) Homepage
    EVE suffers from the *wrong* kind of expansion: It expands at the bleeding edge, at the point where its most experienced players will benefit from the expansions. But the problem is that EVE is in desperate need of expansion at its earliest levels.

    Simply put: EVE is boring. Its a slog. It requires an enormous amount of time to mine resources and travel between points. There is nothing approaching the immediacy of an instanced dungeon. (Yes, they try. No, it doesn't work.)

    Some of the problems are fundamental. Like: "Space is boring". Ultimately space is just a big vacuum. To the developer's credit, they've made it look stunningly beautiful, but after drooling on your keyboard for the first couple hours you'll realize you're in a matter-poor environment. There aren't trees or rocks to hide behind, mountains to get a better view from, stairs to escape up, etc. The occasional floating asteroid doesn't offer much respite from the monotony of, well... nothingness.

    EVE's other problems are more game oriented: The game is mind-numbingly impersonal at first. Despite a few training missions, which teach the player about the interface more than the gameplay there is little in the way of indoctrinating new players into the EVE universe. You feel like a punk. You are a punk. Don't like it? Play for another year. Don't know what to do? Consult another player. (They'll tell you to spend more time ... as in weeks... on something).

    The game cries out for a starter-universe. But more than that, the game cries out for more interaction. In a nutshell, "telling" your ship to dock, is not nearly as much fun as "docking" manually. "Telling" your ship to fire on another ship, isn't nearly as much fun as "Trying to hit" another ship. Granted, the game is not a videogame requiring hand-eye coordination. But in the absence of physical matter and with only scant human beings sighted here and there, an element of competitive gameplay or two might be nice for early players.

    EVE has focused far too much on player retention and not enough on player acquisition.

    If anything, EVE has paved the way for someone to write the next great space-based MMORPG. Its what Everquest or Dark Age of Camelot are to World of Warcraft: the predecessor that vividly paints examples of "what not to do".

    And primarily "what not to do" is annoy early players.

    • Maybe if they could install a PC on the ship for those ~15 jump trading missions, I wouldn't mind waiting so long. I could install a MMORPG on the PC and play it while I pilot my ship.

      Smething else - you can't really 'pilot' your ship. No joystick.

    • You are thinking of the ships in the wrong context, these are not small, nimble fighters that you are flying, they are capital ships. Picture flying the Enterprise (god I hate referencing that P.O.S. show). It is not 1 guy flying it with a flightstick but a whole crew controlling different systems. In Eve you are in a pod with the computer controllng the other systems. Even frigates are not small ships, they are still considerably larger than a fighter would be.

      If that aspect bothers you that much then I be
      • You evidently don't recall Riker manually piloting the Enterprise in Star Trek: Insurrection via a rather fragile looking flightstick.

        When I was playing Eve I had a hard time understanding the scale of the ships. Many of the newbie ships had surface features that seemed fighter-like in scale. It didn't feel like a capital ship.
  • I see the game as having so much potential, but it just falls short. Repeative missions, a system that cripples newbies into gankfood, repeative actions, flying through a star is NOT GOOD (and I dont care if you're in some version of warp space - gravity wells are bad, mmmkay), repeative space flight, and the list goes on.

    There are some seriously cool things about the game, the depth of the story is very impressive, and as an old PnPer (pen and paper role player), I loved soaking it all in.

    But, it's slow a
  • 90% of the time it seems like Zonk could be replaced by a Slashbox.
  • Eve isn't going to be for everyone, but I like it well enough that after less than a week I signed up for a year.

    I have thought for some time that a game with the mechanics of Frontier Elite II or Privateer and the graphics of Freelancer would be the one thing that would get me into MMO gaming, and Eve pretty much fits the bill.

    Levelling is indeed quite slow, though there are things you can do up front to accelerate it - the learning skills speed up the acquisition of other skills. Implants can help too, b
    • by Shinobi (19308)
      A friendly advice: Train Navigation 1 if you haven't got it already, then afterburners 1.

      And, train your learning skills if you continue with the game! They are essential. Best pattern is: First Instant Recall to lvl 4, then Analytical Mind to lvl 4. After that, Learning to lvl 4. When you're done with those, go for lvl 5 Instant Recall, then Eidetic Memory up to lvl 5. After that, Analytical Mind, finishing it all off with Lvl 5 Learning. Meanwhile, during that training period, just save up for the advan
      • Heh. My plan is to stay in my current ship and mission profile until I've got all normal and advanced learning skills to L5. It will make learning everything else so much faster, though it'll probably take a few weeks to get there.
        • Don't bother with the Advanced Learning skills to level 5. That time investment doesn't pay off until years ahead, unlike lvl 4's, which pay off _much_ faster
  • by pbaer (833011)
    Eve is not a pve game and there are no training wheels. Please don't complain about how there aren't any massive dungeons etc. because that's not the focus of the it. If you want to do massive raids go play WoW or EQ(2).

    First of all eve does not require massive time investment to become competitive. You don't need 20+million skill points to have a chance only 2million. Player skill is much more important than character skill. Furthermore 2 1million characters > 1 20 million if the 1mils know what they're
  • "we can create the environment and tools enabling to happen. We're also very iterative in our work and keep continuous feedback cycles on the features we do, then regularly improve them based on that feedback."

    i am interested in your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

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