Game of the Century

I discovered Eve Online and I am hooked. Of all the games I’ve played, its games where you build, develop and create things, or places, or worlds that drew me in. Sure, a first person shooter can be a blast. But its the mind that needs feeding. Eve Online is the ultimate feeding ground.

As of now (2012 Nov 4) I’ve only been on it for 8 days so my description will be a little incomplete. On day 3, the credit card took a hammering (its really really hard for me to bring out the cc, so this says a lot).

Eve Online is not something you can describe in a sentence or two. The scope is immense. The learning curve is steep. The detail and capability goes on and on.

At its heart, it is a complex and realistic economic simulation set in a galaxy far away in which possibly hundreds of thousands of people participate.

What’s in this galaxy besides star systems with planets, moons, asteroid belts and stargates? Raw resources, refined products, manufacturing facilities, sales, a commodities market, bases . Players in ships operating independently and in groups. Much much more. You can participate in any aspect.

Go out mining in your space ship. There are dozens of models, each of which you can kit out according to your needs. Each is a trade-off. You are free to go out and attack miners (or any one else) to steal their cargo. There are risks. There are weapons. There are gangs and pirates. Its a space-based free-for-all. With laws – and enforcement in some parts.

Join, or start, a corporation and build an economic empire. Perhaps augmented with a fleet of warships. Recruit others.

Yes, you have space battles. But these are not anything like a first person shooter. Its tactical. You set targets, give orders, stuff like that. The ships do their thing according to their abilities and the opponents they face. Augmented by your learned skills.

There is a learning aspect that is conceptually like the ‘technology trees’ in games like freeciv/civilization and master of orion. These trees are skills and capabilities that you can build up. But so many, some claim that it would take you 15+ years to get them all. This is a powerful equalizer, one that makes you focus on what you want to be. Trader, corporate leader, warrior, pirate, manufacturer, explorer, scientist, market day trader, whatever you want – focus on those skills. But not to the exclusion of all others. And likely you will become a bit of a cartographer, taking notes on what is where. A bit of math mojo helps.

There are things done for playability. Space ships have a “speed limit”. In real physics, so long as you have thrust you can keep accelerating. Eve Online ships have two settings: stop and max (but take time to accelerate and decelerate).  You can also fly through things, which makes sense in warp drive, but not so much otherwise. These do not get in the way of The Game though.

There is a strong social component – if you want it. Or you can be the lone wolf, or any mix you want when you want.

There are also live chat channels of various types, and you can make your own. Live chat help is a big deal starting out.

I’d type more, but there are ISK to be made…

More to come, and possibly useful info for rookies.


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