Explaining Eve

I’ve been playing (and talking about) mmorpgs for a long time. I’ve played PvE games, PvP games, fantasy and sci-fi games. I’ve been a crafter, a fighter, a pilot and a member of gaming communities.  EQ, DAOC, SWG, and WoW have all captured long hours of my life, and I’ve tried lots of other massive games.

I’m back in Eve Online, after spending a couple months playing at the end of 2006 and beginning of this year. I’ve spent a lot of time talking about Eve to my friends in the Games conference on The Well, where we’ve discussed all the games I’ve mentioned and more. Eve takes a lot of explaining because it’s so different from the other mmorpgs I’ve played, and Eve’s appeal to me is somewhat difficult to pin down.

I was lucky enough to find the Crazykinux Eve blog from alaph’s One Tired Eve Pilot blog, and Crazykinux has a great blog entry to an article about Eve by Jim Rossignol. I love the internet. Link to a link from a link…

Rossignol has experienced what I’ve only sensed or inferred about Eve. I’m not out in 0.0 yet, but his stories match other stories I’ve read about adventures in 0.0. There’s nothing else like Eve in the mmorpg genre right now. I suspect if you took a lot of the Eve Online design decisions to other mmorpg developers, they’d tell you how insane you were.

Everyone playing on the same shard, up to 30,000+ players? Insane. A huge percentage of the game world exists as lawless PvP enabled space? Insane. There are no NPC’s to buy things from? Insane (unless you’re SWG, and they’re insane for other reasons). No traditional quests? No avatar that exists in the game world? No linear progression? People mine for fun? Insane.

Yet, there’s something compelling about Eve that doesn’t exist for me any more in more traditional PvE mmorpgs. Parts of what Eve is doing right existed in other games for me, like the crafting and player-controlled cities and economy of SWG, or DAOC’s RvR model. The sheer scope of Eve dwarfs those accomplishments, though, or at least pushes a game model further in one direction than any other mmorpg has dared.

Don’t get me wrong, the other mmorpgs I’ve mentioned were good games, and fun games. At the end of my time playing them, though, none of them had the sense of possibility that Eve presents, and that’s what has me excited about logging in each night. I’m hopeful that Warhammer will be similarly compelling next year, but for now I’ll be pushing for 0.0 and making my own stories. Thanks to Jim Rossignol for a great article and Crazykinux for finding it.


3 Responses

  1. There is something about EVE Online that I just cannot express… it just has so much going for it. For me the main issue is that to really appreciate it, learn it, and be a part of it seems to require more time than I have.

    Still, I think about resubscribing often. I was having fun just doing goofy, slow, noob stuff in it.

  2. Glad you appreciated my post and links!

  3. heya rick, I posted this over on Common Sense gamer as well:

    “Well I started eve online tonight, my characters name is LAGOSE, and he is a merc for the Caldari (http://www.eve-online.com/races/caldari.asp)

    Have no idea what is going on, but its kinda cool so far into the tutorial. Course all you are talking greek to me!”

    Anyway if you have any tips let me know via my Blog just email me from there and I talk about eve in my post tonight as well.

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