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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Why EVE Online is Special

A friend of mine started a petition to turn EVE Online into a singleplayer game.

Here's my response:

You know what makes EVE special?

The fact that it's player driven. All of the T2 and T3 (the good stuff) is player made. ALL of it. For the first few weeks, blueprints are spawned at random out in the universe. Players use those to make the newly released stuff. After those few weeks, the players have to copy and make new blueprints themselves.

How does that make it great? The fact that players start wars over blueprints for a spaceship. Trade routes are blockaded, people hold Dreadnaughts for ransom to get a new blueprint.

EVE Online is a game the players make great. You don't buy ships and weapons from shops. You get it from another player on the market or blow the shit out of some poor bastard in an escorted hauler and steal his stuff.

This is a game where player politics in Corporations (clans) and Alliances (really, really fuckin' big clans) go to hell and back. Read this:

This game is serious business. Pussies who're too afraid of 'politics' and 'thinking' and 'complexity' don't play this game. You want action. You know how EVE Online battles go? They go like this:

In EVE Combat works out as; You right click on target. You click 'lock target'. You wait while it locks on. Then you click on your weapons, once to fire them. Then you wait for the target to die. There's no fancy flying. If you get out of formation to do stupid things, the commander yells at you.

How do real battles work? The captain orders an attack. Some minimal wage bastard pushes a few buttons. They wait while target lock happens as the ship tries to fight past Electronic Warfare. Then some guy pushes buttons and guns go boom. That's how battles in real navies go. That's how battles in EVE navies go. If you fell out of formation in real life, the commander yells at you. It's accurate down to the fact that in both cases, the commanders says, "STAY IN THE FUCKING FORMATION, COCKSHIT!"

Go through these articles:

Those are all written by a former player in one of the largest alliances ingame. Just click on the ones you like most, there's lots. Also, click on a few that sound like politics. Politics are serious business. EVE Online is a game where in order to blow up some guy's internet spaceship, there were plans to cut power to the guy's house so he'd log out and the ship couldn't defend itself.

The game is influenced so much by players that there was a corruption scandal earlier on. A company employee spawned some T2 blueprints (people start wars over these) for his corp. We found out. You know what happened? Each year, certain players are picked to go to the EVE headquarters in Iceland to represent players. These guys are basically like those town council kids at school (but these guys work with space battleships carrying 1400mm cannons, so they're infinitely more awesome). This committee pitches ideas because the company itself now has corruption issues. No player trusts the company. We trust the committee.

In contrast, what you want is Freelancer with better graphics. You wanna throw on your joystick and whip around, swamping battleships and beating on the trigger to squeeze a few more shots out. You go to a station to buy nicer stuff to stick on your ship. You don't go to the station to play the market and become a multi-billionnaire. You don't go there to dispatch messages to your corpmates so people across the galaxy hop into their battleships and blow the shit out of some poor hauler.

EVE Online is deep. You couldn't stand X3 because it was too complicated (neither could I. I uninstalled it a week ago because I still didn't work out how to sell stuff). You won't handle EVE because it's too slow. The battles are always boring You vs Some Other Guy or so fuckin' laggy that you're watching a movie on the side as the battle happens. Big battles in EVE aren't laggy. They're not slow. They're not slideshows. They're laggy, slow slideshows. That's what the framerate is like. You saw the screenshots. You take those pretty spaceships and stuff a thousand in once place and throw in voice chat from a thousand teenagers into it and see if your computer still works.

EVE is so player-driven that the company is surprised. Surprised to the point that one of their latest trailers is based on the players themselves. This one:

That's how battles work, but less actiony. Carrier begs for repairs and reinforcements so he can keep his own hide intact. Covert ops ship shows up and lights up a beacon. ENTIRE FLEET OF ANGRY NERDS JUMPS THROUGH THE BEACON. War starts. One side's busy forming up and holding at a gate. The other is getting shot to little bits.

The attacker's commander is busy calling primary target for the entire fleet to focus fire on. Ever get shot at by 150 battleships? That's what EVE is like. Let's see your Freelancer pull that off. Some idiot disobeys orders and jumps. Get killed. Fleet commander doesn't care. Reinforcements show up (too late) and start shooting. Attacker's reinforcements aren't seen. Russians kick everyone's ass. Yes. We even have codenames.

What? You've managed to read this far? Nice.

This trailer is one of the few trailers to stay true to the game itself. Only a few things are wrong.

1. There's no lag. That's bullshit. EVE Online lags.

2. The fleets are too competent and awesome sounding. Real fleets are run by angry American college guys alternating between, "Fleet, shut the fuck up! I'm talking!" and "Kill that fuckin' dreadnaught! Now!"

Seriously. Half of the stuff the commander says in real battles is telling us to shut up. The other half is screaming primary target into comms like a little girl.

3. It's too actiony. Real EVE is like every other MMO. You click on things and wait. The battles are a laggy mess.

You want EVE Online offline because you can't handle the players themselves. It's far too serious. You wanna take on your little AI's, replace your expensive battleship (you lost it because you suck, by the way) with a console command and jump back in. You want it offline because if you marched into EVE, you'd be on the bottom. You like being in control. Unstoppable ships, swearing into comms over the little guy you just beat up. In EVE, you're target practice for everyone else in a spaceship.

Or maybe you're gonna break out the "I like the universe and story." excuse.

Then great! I have DUST 514 for you.

It's an upcoming console FPS in the EVE universe. Here's how it works, in EVE, players can build colonies on planets (what? You think those planets were decoration?) When DUST 514 is released, corporations will be allowed to fight over these colonies. How do we fight?

We use you fanboys with your XBox's and PS3's.

The idea is that when a battle starts on a colony in the EVE universe, a server opens up on your XBox. You're a mercenary. You go with your mercenary clan buddies to fight the other mercs on this colony. If you win, the colony becomes the attacker's in EVE Online. If you lose, you lose standings, reputation and the colony.

You hear that? Us EVE Online MMO nerds will be pushing you FPS Console fanboys around to do our bidding. If we want you do to something, you do it because the servers are our colonies. Without our colonies, you'd be out of a game.

So here's your choice: work up the balls to take on real people face to face in the MMO rather than a mindless AI or roast in DUST 514 with the other 11 year olds in headsets whilst getting pushed around by us guys in the spaceships. DUST 514 is just Modern Warfare 2 in space. Sit around in lobbies and swear at 12 year olds who can swear better than you. Get noobtubed halfway across the map like all the other losers.

Or play a smart game. Play the game where a message in Windows Live can bring an alliance of thousands to it's knees. Play the game where you get to be part of a fleet where you cost some idiot $12000 because he sucked and his Titan blew up. Be part of the game where the frigate is just as much of a target as the largest cruiser*

*That's an exaggeration. Frigates get shot before cruisers. They're more of a threat.

If you're done whining about taking on other people as equals instead of a sever admin, and you're interested in EVE Online, the Massively MULTIPLAYER Online Roleplaying Game, call me up. I can get you a 21 day trial instead of the standard 14 day trial.

If you're still stubborn and want dogfighting in space with WASD and mouse, look up Jumpgate Evolution. It's like EVE Online for pussies.

Regards, IVIilitarus

1 comment:

  1. Oh. My. Goodness.
    EVE could literally be compared as another cyber universe. Not figuratively (mainly due t'the fact that 'tis simpler t'literally compare something), but literally. 'Tpossesses an abundance of freedom (just as in reality), real-people-based politics, drama (such as in-game drama and IRL drama with people tracing people's addresses), a triangle hierarchy (I think that this could apply t'this regarding people's IRL wealth, IRL intelligence, IRL etc. whereas there are people who are like the overminds with their wealth and intelligence, commanders, and other increasingly minor but more abundant classes).

    Ne'er before was I aware of a game this near-other-worldly. I was aware of the existence of EVE, but I really did not *really* know EVE. Perhaps if I am not occupied, I'll accept that trial you offered, just so that I could understand the game more.

    Also, do you intend t'keep playing EVE once your trial expires?