Archive for the ‘EVE Online’ category

Confessions of an EVE Noob

June 30, 2010

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I haven’t put too much time into EVE yet. According to Raptr it’s only been 5 hours, so I’m not going to comment on my overall view of the game obviously. I am however going to mention a few things that I like, and a few things that I dislike.

First off the game is as beautiful as ever, though I’m not sure whether I like the graphics of EVE or Star Trek Online better. Obviously I love the SIZE of the EVE space compared to STO and it’s instanced bits, though I’m sure I’ll be singing a different tune when I have a four hour flight sometime down the line.

I like that they have a tutorial now (the last time I played, shortly after it came out, it didn’t). I’d prefer it if the tutorial were scripted and instanced, just so I they could make sure everything happened as it should, and the tutorial could react to unexpected things, like losing your ship on the third military career mission. I was left sitting there wondering what to do. Do I fly back to the base? Can I come back for my stuff? I figured it out, but it would have been nice for the game to tell me.

The reason I died, and a major problem with my own way of thinking, was that I was too close to my enemies. I knew guns in EVE had optimal ranges, so I checked them out. ~15km for my guns. I figured that meant that 15km was good, and anything closer was better, like a handgun. That is not the case though. Apparently when they say 15km for optimal range, you better be at 15km or as close to that as you can get! Once I found this out and bought a ship upgrade I was nearly unstoppable for the rest of the military career tutorial.

The music is another thing I wanted to mention. I don’t normally notice music in games, and I don’t normally like anything techno-ish. That said, I LOVE the EVE Online combat music. As soon as I warped into an area I needed to clear of pirates the music kicked on and I was blasted with music that got my heart pumping, even if the actual action wasn’t all that fast paced or exciting.

I’ve applied to EVE University, but apparently the interview que is 7-10 days, so it’s going to be a while before I can comment on that. In the meantime I plan to finish the tutorials, figure out EVEMon, and figure out what I need to do to eventually fly something that shoots out drones or fighter jets or something like that. I want to look like an ant hill just exploded when I attack something.

For race I picked the Amarr, simply because they seemed the coolest. Their crazy strict society and willingness to make everyone their slaves appealed to me, even if in game I’ll probably just be avoiding fights and running for a long time.

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EVE Online: Tyrannis. Damn You Steam!

June 28, 2010

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Steam is having a crazy sale today only. Sure they’ve been having a nice summer sale, but this goes far and beyound what I’ve seen anywhere else. For instance I just purchased EVE Online: Tyrannis edition for $1.99. That includes the full game, expansion and a full month of game time.

I’ve been thinking about picking up EVE and really trying to push into it for a while. To do so I’ll need to join a Corporation (most likely the newb one, University (I think it’s called)), and put in some social networking time in order to really get into what makes EVE Online so enjoyable.

I just wanted to let everyone know about this amazing sale. They have other games for sale like this, but if you’ve ever wanted to play EVE Online now is the time to try it. I’ll be sure to post my opinions on it as they come in. I’m a little busy this weekend, but I plan to at least make my character and get him started on some training…once I figure out what I want to do with him.

A Quick Response to the Hardcore

May 4, 2010

Syncaine over at Hardcore Casual had this to say on people who try Sandbox games. I’ve been known on this blog to defend so called “Theme Park” players and I’m about to do it again, in a very short post.

The gist of the post is that he believes: No one who doesn’t immediately understand a Sandbox games, no matter if they have played one or not, should ever play a Sandbox game. They give nothing to the community, and there is no way in which they could learn to do so. Sure, he’s bashing Tobold the entire time, but he’s also speaking in general terms.

His argument falls apart when he starts calling anything that isn’t his definition of hardcore a kids game. I understand what he’s trying to say, that games like WoW can be played by small children just as easily as by grown men. On the opposite side of that children would probably be bored and frustrated by a game like EVE, much like if they were asked to balance a checkbook.

Lastly I’d just like to say that, if I wanted to get into the game, I would hope there were people out there who were more friendly. I wouldn’t think anything (until this) about going out to 0.0 space on the way to some secure trading station somewhere because it was quicker. I’d like to think that when I was destroyed and I asked the guy why, instead of a “LAWL L2P NOOBSAUCE!” I might get a “You see, this is my Corporations sector of space and we can’t let anyone in, because you might be a spy for the competition. If you would like access please whisper _____.” That would make me nod, give me valuable information, and I would continue playing.

If every time I went anywhere I got ganked and all I heard from anyone was the first quote…well I’d quit. There’s no reason to actively try and keep people from subbing to the game. At least not that I can see.

Sandbox means Boring

April 15, 2010

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That looks boring as hell

If you have been following my blog for any length of time you know that I don’t dislike games because they are sandbox games, take Fallen Earth and Ultima Online as examples. In general I dislike sandbox games due to other factors such as boring combat (Darkfall, EVE) or horrid grinding being required (Darkfall, EVE). I think however that I have discovered another reason I don’t like most sandbox games, and it’s not the elitism that leaks out of those that play them like a festering wound (not today anyway), it’s the fact that most companies, and indeed most players, seem to think that sandbox means boring.

I constantly see blogs about how people just don’t understand this sandbox game or that one. About how, if you want to have fun, you need to find something and use your imagination in order to get any enjoyment out of it. They then berate people for saying that they got bored when that person obviously just wasn’t working at it.

At some point developers and player sat around and decided that in order for a game to be sandbox it needed to have mobs, pvp, a skill system and absolutely nothing to do unless you make it happen. If this is the case why not just open up MS Paint and make something happen. If you try hard enough you WILL have fun, you just have to put in time and effort.

I think something that needs to happen to really help the sandbox genre, at least in my opinion, is for the genre and it’s players to get over itself. Would it ruin Darkfall to have more quests? Surely players would cry foul and say that their favorite sandbox was ruined because they had to go from one place to another, even though NOTHING was changed except the addition of 1000’s more quests. Would it ruin Ultima Online to have a Dungeons and Dragons Online type of immersive, interactive dungeon? How about 30 of them sprinkled throughout the game?

I’m not saying you need to FORCE people to do certain quests or go to certain dungeons, but give me some story and some developer created things to do and perhaps I wouldn’t be sitting around looking for stuff to do 90% of the time I am playing. If there were as many quests in Darkfall as there are in World of Warcraft it wouldn’t take anything away from that game, other than giving people a little direction if they CHOOSE to take it.

Instead sandbox players and developers sit back and grin, thinking about how much better they are than your average MMO player because they have to make their own fun. Sounds more like a failure on the part of the developer to me with the fanbase continuing to support the product just because they are fans.

It’s a wonder that I like some sandbox games. What usually does it is getting lucky and finding that sweet spot, that perfect moment where you experience all the game can be and then spend the rest of your game time pining for it. Kinda like heroin I hear.

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EVE Online: Let’s Be Civil

April 14, 2010

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Very, very pretty.

I was reading Hardcore Casual and We Fly Spitfires and they were both talking about Tobold’s adventures in EVE Online. They also both happened to be doing the same thing while talking about Tobold’s posts, they managed to be snide and elitist without offering anything that might resemble a helpful suggestion.

Don’t get me wrong, I love reading Hardcore Casual and We Fly Spitfires has some real gems. On Hardcore Casual Syncaine took his usual approach and defended sandbox MMO’s, namely EVE. He makes a good point about Tobold seemingly going into the game with the expectation of disliking it, but he loses me when he starts talking about the EVE Offline problem. I played EVE for a very short time and I didn’t like the way you skilled up. I understand it, and I know some people love it, but if I am playing I want to be able to choose to get a certain skill up and not have the game tell me I can’t. Sure you can choose what to skill up on in what order, but this amazing sandbox actually limits what you can do by making you unable to work hard and see faster progress.

Many people have a problem with EVE because the skill system encourages you to not play in the early levels, or so they say. Syncaine makes the point that if you want to play like that, you might as well buy a preskilled character and it’s a good point. However with the inability to focus on skilling up while playing, it leaves the player with only one goal in the early game (assuming they are new, they know almost no one and they are not in a coorporation, which is nearly all new people). That one thing is to get money, and in the starter ship with the starter gear, the best way to make money without the very real risk of losing everything you have is to mine. Mining in EVE is notoriously boring, a fact Syncaine tries to refute by equating it to playing the WoW auction house. I disagree as I can play the WoW Auction House for an hour a day and make a little money and then go about questing in order to improve myself, or make money. In EVE I can mine for three hours, then decide to go skill up OH WAIT I CAN’T! I can just mine some more.

Gordon over at We Fly Spitfires tries to defend it by saying the biggest problem with the EVE skill system is that we are paying money, and feel we are being forced to wait just so CCP can make more money. He feels that if we take the money out of the equation, we would see that the skill system was great. I disagree. If I picked up a single player game and it told me that I couldn’t “beat it” for six months, and that I could play the multiplayer version but I would probably NEVER be as good as the people that picked it up a year ago, I’d probably just stop playing. I could see continuing if there were other things to do in the game, dungeons to run, an alternate advancement system that I could actually work on other than money (which equals ships and gear).

Saying the freedom of EVE Online is it’s greatest asset I feel is a little misleading. EVE is free in the sense that, if you are in the right corporation you can do certain things, but you are in no way free to do whatever you want. In fact, if I want to skill up, I can’t choose to go do that. If I want to PVP and not get destroyed immediately I need to be in a PVP Corporation. If I want to enjoy the political intrigue that is EVE’s Corporation system I need to be in the right Corporation. So how does a newbie get into those Corporations? Well many require a certain amount of skill points to even put in an application, so it seems like you’ll just have to keep paying CCP until you get to the point where you can do what you want to do, as long as your Corporation approves.

Seems like they just traded level restrictions for skill/social networking restrictions. Better start friending  people if you want to really enjoy this Facebook game.

(Keep in mind I didn’t mind EVE, and just didn’t like the skill system. Since that seemed to be what both blogs defended the most, that’s what I tackled. I’d offer some helpful advice but I haven’t played enough to get the requisite skills to join a decent Corp, so I don’t have any advice to give.)

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