I didn’t get very far in the first part of my EVE Online thoughts, largely due to being sick and thus tired this week. So, here’s part the second.
Eve is wide open in allowing you to do almost anything you can imagine. You can mine ore and sell it for money. You can research and build devices and sell them to other players. You can do missions for corporations. You can hunt pirates and collect their bounties. You can hunt other players. You can explore space. You can build a vast empire on the strength of your skills, putting together a corporation of mercenaries-for-hire, running a courier service, or building ships for pilots. It’s an incredibly open-ended game. I never know what to say when new players ask, “what’s the end game like?” on the rookie help channel, other than the by-now-traditional reply, “there is no end game.” Which is ideal for me; I’ve never liked any end-game that I’ve seen before, since I’m not a raider.
I’d always heard about the pvp aspect as though that was all there was to Eve and I’m just really not much for pvp, so I thought I wouldn’t like the game. Little did I know that there was so much other stuff for me to do.
The first character I created was a miner. However, I ended up switching her out for a soldier for two reasons. First, I discovered that my favorite thing to do right now is run missions, and that’s easier with soldier skills. Second, as it turns out, a lot of the good mining areas are in low-sec (low-security) areas where pvp happens much more often (and where well-established miners with lots of equipment often come along and mine asteroid belts dry within an hour or two of server restart every morning), so I decided to avoid that for now.
The skill system, however, is the greatest part of what makes Eve so amazing to me. There are dozens of skills you can potentially train up, and all it takes is time: you can even train them while you aren’t logged in. Because of the vast array of skills, different characters in the same profession end up quite different for much of their careers. You don’t have the situation where every warrior has the same range of abilities and maybe a slight variation in some sort of talent or virtue spread. You have (potential) access to every skill in game no matter what you play, as well, so if you’re a soldier and you decide you want to do some mining on the side, that works too. My only regret is that you can only have one character per account training up a skill at a time, so you can’t develop multiple characters in parallel.
Naturally I’m (mostly) doing the smart thing of training up my learning skills first, which increases my attributes, which means I’ll learn my other skills faster. However, I can’t resist the pull of a few side-trips along the way there. I had to stop and work my way up to salvaging, because dear lord you make money salvaging! I had to toss in a few low-level abilities that allowed me to use a few specific upgrades, and I’m about to get cybernetics so I can use implants to increase my attributes and thus, again, increase the rate at which I learn skills. Also, since it doesn’t tend to take long to learn the first level of most new skills, I’m tossing in the first level of a bunch of handy skills here and there to take the edge off of some tight restrictions like ship CPU power and capacitor charge. I know, I know; not as effective as getting those learning skills first. But I have no attention span to speak of.
On Books: Today’s book review is of the Pocket Idiot’s Guide to the iPhone, and now I’m reading an ARC of David Gibbins’s Crusader Gold. Starting tonight we have a friend coming to visit for about a week and a half, so I might be a bit slow in posting and reading this coming week!
I’ve often thought EVE sounded damn cool, but have always been hesitant for the reasons you say (PVP, etc). But the other issue I have had is the RP issue… is there any? I have seen chat logs on MMORPG.COM to demonstrate one point or another, and it sure doesn’t seem like these people are RPing.
Are there RP-oriented corporations in the game or is it mostly just “metagame” players?
Hey, Heather – I have a question for you about advertising on your site… will you email me? jenny at blogher dot org