Gordo’s Gaming Blog

My adventures in the many worlds of gaming.

Archive for the ‘EVE Online’ Category

EVE Online – My experience so far.

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So, my EVE trial has been running for three days now. And in all honesty, I’m still totally in the dark in this game.  It’s immensely confusing compared to most games I’ve played before. So many skills to level, so much to buy, so much to do. I feel as though whatever I’m doing isn’t an effective use of my time, and I’m finding upgrading my ship very difficult. Maybe you’re not intended to upgrade your ship until you’ve been playing for a long time, but at the moment, I’m in the dark as to what I need to do. Should I do mining? Should I do missions? Should I buy and do engineering? It’s all very confusing.

So far, I’ve been sticking to mining. Filling up my (tiny) cargo hold, returing to the station, processing, then selling. It works, but I’m getting money very, very slowly. I tried to do a mission but it seems the next one in the chain leading on from the tutorial requires more cargo space than I have! So that route’s been put on ice for the time being.

I’d forgotten what it feels like to be a total ‘noob’ to a gamestyle. It was the same when I first played the traditional MMORPG. It took some getting used to, but that was designed as an inherently easier model to understand. This model is designed to occupy players of all levels (I’m using the term in a figurative sense – there are no ‘levels’ in EVE), and as such, it’s extremely confusing and daunting to a newcomer. It’s as though none of my skills from any other game are much use in EVE, and as such, each time I play I’m trying to learn more than is possible. I guess it’s because I, as a player, had gotten to the stage where I thought myself fairly capable, and savvy enough to pick up new games at the drop of a hat. Oh, how wrong I was.

The sad thing is, I’m finding the game so confusing and difficult to advance, that I’m not enjoying the game. I hear reports from people about all these different events going on throughout the galaxy, and how exciting it is, and I just think – I wish I could be excited by that, I really do. But I can’t, unfourtunately. Not yet. I’ve still got over 10 days left of my trial, and I hope something can spark the magic that’ll cause me to enjoy this game, but as it stands, sadly, I won’t be starting a subscription.

It’s weird, as not every game I’ve played has caught me and dragged me in from the outset. Morrowind comes to mind. You may have read my review of it, and seen how much I enjoyed it. As I mentioned, it wasn’t a game that caught me instantly, but after a couple of hours of playing, I was hooked. I expected maybe to experience the same thing in EVE, but I didn’t. I just remain confused and overwhelmed. Everything seems slow. I see people talking about billions of ISK, yet at the same time I’m only pulling in 50,000 or so from a couple of mining trips. And when looking through the market, all items that I could use to upgrade my ship are waaay out of my price range.Flow

It’s interesting. Recently, at Keen & Graev’s blog, I was reading an article about the ‘Flow theory’ and it’s implementation in games. It got me thinking about my experiences in EVE. I consider myself a fairly average gamer, I enjoy most mainstream games, I have a fairly average playstyle. So why can’t I become immersed in EVE? Why can’t I truly enjoy it like so many other plays do? Am I expecting too much, too fast? The way I see it, is on the flow graph, the challenge is too high, and abilities gained too low. Therefore I’m anxious. Not having fun, sadly.

I hear people say it truly takes months to really ‘get into the flow’. But the thing is, I’m paying for this game, and I can’t see the point in paying for several months when I’m not enjoying it. That’s just my logic I guess. By that very same logic, it’s impossible for me to enjoy this game. I won’t pay for it if I’m not having fun, and I won’t have fun if I’m not paying for it. I guess I may just need to accept this isn’t the game for me. That’s not to say I’ve totally abandoned hope – I still have some days left on my trial, so I’ll continue, and see what happens. The problem is, I think ‘I’ll start EVE up and give it a go’ then I think of another game I could play, an instant hit, and I get that game out instead. Maybe in a world of so many instant hits, there isn’t room for the games that require dedication any more.

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Written by Gordo

June 26, 2008 at 4:40 pm

Posted in EVE Online, MMO

Tagged with , , ,

First steps into the Universe of EVE

with 6 comments

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve quit AoC, and am looking for a new MMO to play. My shortlist is WoW, EVE and EQ2. WoW I really see as a last resort, I resent how it is designed as a giant timesink, so I decided to try out the next game on my list. EVE online allows a 14 day trial, which I started earlier today, and I decided to post is my inital thoughts on it.

Where do I start? Graphics seem like a good a place as any. EVE is beautiful. It’s extremely simplistic, yet absolutely amazing. The view of a distant star, a close planet, or the universe hurtling by as you warp simply is breathtaking.EVE Online

Sound. Sound is something I probably undervalue in games. Again, EVE plays it simple, with low-level, gentle ‘space’ music playing the background. The voice of your onboard AI is simple and yet useful, as, when on long journeys with little cargo I use autopilot, and I often alt-tab to read something on the net (or I use the ingame browser), during which time, she continues her commentary of my route, so I hear when I need to return to the game. Fighting sounds are reasonable, but I dislike the kind of squelching sound I hear when using a stargate.

Gameplay. This is where it gets complicated. In all honesty, my couple of hours in the game are probably insufficient to judge this games’ gameplay. As a noob, I’m charged with simple tasks involving mining for ores, to sell, which will allow me to upgrade my ship. I can, of course, do missions, but I prefer a little bit of variety, so I’m currently doing both. One feature I love is the passive skill generation. You simply say what skill you want to advance, and it advances in the background, whether you’re playing or not. This allows you to advance without grinding! Love it!

Premise. EVE has a beautiful premise, it’s designed as a ‘playground’ instead of a ‘playpark’ according to the official website. It allows complete freedom, no enforced rules about PvP, levelling or progression. You do what you like. If you hate combat, you can make your money from mining or manufacturing, and simply hiring muscle to protect you. But they could turn on you, and take your valuables. Then they get a bounty. It really is beautiful the way the events of the game lead to flow. This game has politics, worldwide shifts in attitude or opinion, corporations ingame thats actions resonate throughout the entire universe. I’ve yet to join a corporation, but I do look forward to engaging in that area of gameplay.

Time will tell whether I’ll fall in love with EVE, but so far, things are fairly positive. If any of you have anything to share with me about the game, I’d love to hear it, but in the mean time, I’ll carry on levelling my skills, gathering some cash, and learning how this game works. People say it has a steep learning curve, but only the highest peaks are worth traversing.

Written by Gordo

June 22, 2008 at 7:54 pm

Posted in EVE Online, MMO

Tagged with , ,