Thursday, August 13, 2009

EVE Online

I've been remiss in my blogging duties mainly due to another game addiction. I frequently encounter these rabid addictions and I don't really fully understand how it happens.

EVE Online is not exciting. It's kind of pretty and it's science fiction. It's categorized as an MMORPG (Massively Multi-player Online Role Playing Game)because you are paying the part of a space ship pilot in an interstellar setting with thousands of other players.

I can't really put a finger on why I'm hooked and that in itself may be part of the beauty of it. EVE Online is an older game. I believe it was released in 2003 or 2004. The closest thing I can compare it to is the old BBS (Bulletin Board Service for you youngsters) games back before the Internet was mainstream. Where you'd login once a day and perform a series of actions to carry out until the next time you logged in.

Since it's on the Internet and you have a permanent connection along with 30k other players or so, it's a bit more real time, but it's got a similar feel. There seems to be a lot more strategy than your standard MMO's.

Without looking up the "standard" description on the Internet, I'll just spew forth some of the things I did when I started playing in a salesman type fashion.

I started out looking up the descriptions of the various inhabitants of the solar system and found one that I'd like to "be". I chose the Minmatar.

I went into a character generation screen where I could change my portrait. I picked a guy with sparse and spiked blond hair with 3 or 4 little metal spike implants poking out vertically from his forehead. Then I gave him a name "Zulutaz" and entered the game.

I started out in a nice little tutorial. I was a little disappointed that I had to read a lot. I just stopped playing Age of Conan where they talk to you.

The tutorial got me started on skill training, outfitting my ship and doing missions. In Eve Online, each ship has slots for powered equipment (low, medium and high). Weapons and mining equipment require special bays. Some ships have more bays than others. The rookie ship for the tutorial is just enough to get you started.

Now, I've been playing for about a week and I've gone though maybe 40 missions. I can mine minerals from asteroids and read blueprints. I can give blueprints to a factory at a base along with various minerals I've mined and refined and they'll build equipment for me to use or sell. I've been in fights in the vacuum of space with my 125mm Guns, my Missile Launchers, my Rocket Launchers, my Carbines, my Shield Boosters, etc.

I've warped to stargates and gated to other solar systems where I saw the best market deal for a new ship. I've purchased new ships, I've sold old ships, and I've even had the manufacturing facilities manufacture a ship for me with my blueprints and materials.

If I had to compare it to the most popular MMO in the world right now, I'd have to say it's interface is nice and I didn't see any issues with it. It takes more intelligence to play than WOW (World of Warcraft), but it has the same attention to detail and things are fairly intuitive. The violence is not there. EVE is obviously sci-fi instead of fantasy. There are no level "dings". There are no cute little battlegrounds. It's much more of a strategy game.


  1. Dunno how much time you've got for reading these days, but I've got a rec. for you--I read this while I was in India and really enjoyed it.
    A Fire Upon The Deep by Vernor Vinge. It's the kind of book that any geek will find completely irresistable. The EVE online post made me think you'd dig it:

  2. I heard Eve is the best sci-fi MMO on the market now, but I also heard you need to put in a lot of time to be any good at the game and there is no story; it’s just flying around to get better gears and ships for yourself. Any truth in that?

  3. Thanks for the book recommendation Ed. You've always recommended excellent books. I've got a very large stack of unread books at the moment so I'll somehow have to come up with a way to catalog this recommendation without actually purchasing it. A conundrum ensues.

    Ghost, EVE Online is akin to playing Dungeons & Dragons (the table top game, not the computer game). You have a world and you have rules, but you are free to do whatever you want within the confines of the rules. It differs in that the NPC's are computer controlled rather than Dungeon Master controlled and there are thousands of people playing rather than 5 or 6 friends.

  4. So do you have any friends that you regularly hook up with in EVE? Seems like that's one thing that's particularly compelling about this as a sandbox game, particularly as compared with D&D--the chance to do stuff with your friends as well fly around on your own.

    As for that stack of books: as long as you've got the space you can't have too many unread books :). You can find the Vinge book very cheap used on Amazon or whatnot--it was published in '92 or something (which actually makes some of his observations even more mind-blowing--he has this whole thread in the book dealing with what amounts to a galactic usenet, and this was written in '90-'91!). You should read it the next time you have to fly overseas. In the last few intercontinental flights I've taken, a novel with a solid plot has been much better than cycling through mediocre edited movies (I read 400 pages of a book the last time I flew to India).

  5. Unfortunately my only friend bought an XBox 360 a few years ago and has completely stopped playing games with me. I've considered buying an XBox 360 to rekindle that alluring gaming partnership, but as of yet, have not been able to convince myself to do so.

    Not entirely true. I have one other friend and he also plays EVE although we have yet to try any grouping.

    Yeah, my last trip to Germany I read the first book in the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind "Wizards First Rule" (about 600 pages). But, it's still nice to thumb through the available movie options to make sure there's not something there that you would like to see.

  6. Awwwww.

    Unfortunately, my gaming is probably going to get MUCH less frequent than the already low frequency it is now. PJ & I are contemplating a big move. I'll tell you more later....