Syncaine, I’m in total agreement. Eve’s skill point system is far from a handicap for new players. In fact, it’s the newbie-friendliest advancement system in any current MMO.
I posted almost a year ago that Eve Online is a casual mmorpg, and I still believe that. It offers the most accessible, most laid-back mmorpg experience possible, if you choose to play that way. The strength of Eve is that you can play it any way you want. Clearly, it’s not just a casual game. You can be an absolute min/max spreadsheet-creazy hardcore PvP lunatic in Eve as well, which is one of CCP’s great achievements.
However, Syncaine’s exactly right. You can fly alongside friends who have been playing for years almost instantly, definitely by the time your 14 day free trial is ending. There’s no other mmorpg on the market that offers that kind of flexibility. You can fulfill a variety of useful roles, depending on the needs of your friends, with a minium amount of training time.
You want to be immediately equal in strength to people who have already been playing for months, or for years? Go play Team Fortress 2, or any other FPS multiplayer game. You don’t want to play an mmorpg. People who think the skill point system in Eve is a handicap haven’t carefully considered what you’d have to do to catch up in any other level-based MMO.
Why is it ok for level-based mmorpg’s to make you advance to the end cap to play alongside your friends who have already been there for years, but Eve somehow gets attacked for what turns out to be a better, more flexible, system? If I wanted to start playing WoW now, and play with my friends from the Well, it’d be months and months before I’d be high enough level and geared properly to actually make a contribution.
I’d like to see Eve’s model used more widely in MMO design. I’m hoping whatever they do with the White Wolf IP has a similar skill system.
I’m not going to repeat all the things you can do in Eve at a very low skill point level, because Syncaine already covered it in the post I linked to up above. I did want to say I’m in complete agreement, though. Well said.