EVE Online still popular... I wish someone would make a game that was more fun.

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You know theres nothing I love more than a good space game. Wing Commander, Tachyon, Freelancer... Theres just something about controlling your own starship, zooming around the galaxy blowing stuff up with lasers, that brings a feeling of freedom that seems so absent with today's ultra realistic shooters.

EVE Online... Everytime I see an EVE online AD I get angry... The game seems so perfect. You get a ship, you can easily earn money, and buy bigger ships. You can customize stuff to the point where a tricked out fighter can almost go toe to toe with a crappy battleship. Plus theres a sense of galactic scale that you don't get to see very often in todays games. Theres only one problem... The SKILL SYSTEM!

Every thing in the game requires training in the skill to use it or do it. If you want that new mining laser- need the skill. If you want to start a corporation - skill. Bigger ship? -skill... That wouldn't be a problem either, skills are easily acquired and usually cheap... Unfortunately you also have to train in them!

Theres the problem... at least at the time when I played. You would have to train in a skill and training wouldn't be something logical -like doing something related to the skill so you could get better and then get the skill- No you would click 'train skill' and you would just wait. Between 15 minutes and.... months. Some skills would actually take over a month to train, and even with implants and learning skills (which also take massive amounts of time) the time doesn't decrease all that much. You can't set a que either (or at least you couldn't when I played) you would have to physically go into the game and set the next skill you wanted trained. It got to the point when I would set an alarm to wake me up when I wanted to train my next skill.

Finally I said "screw it!" If the only way of improving my experience is by waiting for a month to get a skill- screw it! The developers should have made the game a little more fun (anyone remember fun) and made getting skill points related to activities in the game rather than how much time I spend paying for the game. If you are going to make an RPG (yes, this is an RPG) then do something like oblivion and when I shoot something, give me a point in the 'shooting things' skill.

Until then I'll be annoyed by EVE ads calling it "MIND - BLOWING" (maybe by that they mean you want to blow your brains out?) and wait for a better space game... Spore anyone?

if youre willing to endure mind numbingly retarded devs go to Star Wars Galaxies and play space in there, to be fair though the devs are smart enough not to interfere with space. they seem more interested in nerfing everyone except jedi >.<

sorry i started to rant a bit there didnt i?

anyway yes, space SWG give it a look

Yeah, because having everyone be able to powergame up to capital ships within a few weeks would be FAR better. The skill system regulates what players can do, so you always have variation within fleets. Plus it means you can focus on the IMPORTANT stuff, like blowing the brains out of poor players just trying to mine in low sec, rather than having to dick about leveling.

Meh just play Freelancer AGAIN with the mod on it :D

Just like Guild Wars, EVE innovates - and of course, receives flak from people who disapprove of innovation. [*]

'Getting better at a skill by using it' is a flawed concept, because it encourages, worse, requires grinding and (in case of combat skills) fighting the same enemies over and over with the skill you want to train because diversifying would mean slower skill gains.

I thought the point was to increase variety within a game, not force the player to keep doing the same thing to level up his skills.

[*] There is superficial innovation (the gravity gun) and meaningful innovation. Changing the skill system would certainly qualify as meaningful innovation.

EVE is wicked fun, i dont have an account myself but my friend does and it's hilarious getting high then going and ganking people. The responses you'll get from some people are just so funny.

Which is better:

DOING something to raise your competence
NOT DOING anything to raise your competence

I had the same EVE experience, it seemed amazing so I decided to give it a shot and the fact that I could wait months without being decent at anything was just so daunting I decided not to get into it at all.

It is a fallacy that skilling up necessarily involves grinding, unless people have gotten to the point where they'll describe ANYTHING as grinding. "Man, FPSes are full of gun grinding, you have to grind the trigger key to kill all the guys." Unless you are that crazy at this point, there are alternatives to grind. Complete a quest to raise your skill. Have pre-requisite trees. I understand that the point of the skill system is to keep everyone from fiending out and having awesome stuff in no time, but in the end it discourages you from playing because what really improves your character is not something you have any influence over.

Imagine a traditional RPG with this kind of system. "Man, this boss is hard. I'm going to not play for a week, then I'll be strong enough to beat it." Or in a PnP setting, "Hey DM, I'm not too keen on being a lvl 5 Wizard, uhm, can you call me in a couple months when I'm a lvl 16 Wizard/ 4 Archmage?"

It's senseless. The goal is admirable, the means of attaining it sap one of the most important parts of a game for me. The sense that what I do makes my character better in a substantial way and that the only thing between me and being awesome is my own personal effort, not time.

I think the key to EVE is the community. If you have a good corp to drive you, then you forget about the pointless, time-consuming and money wasting flaws in the skill system altogether.

I think a good group of friends could have fun kicking a rock around in the dirt. That does not make "Rock In Dirt 5" an awesome game.

It's a common misconception that a character is fucked until he's spent 3 years pissing about in high sec sec. Players a few weeks old make valuable additions to a fleet, and I have got to the point of solo PvPin by the end of the 14-day trial. Play time is only a hinderance if you're determined to be, and while in most games the two main power sources of a player (level and money) can both be very quickly raised to a very high standard via powergaming and buying money, at least in EvE the prior is regulated and forces a reasonably standard progression. Plus, its a game of danger, you can lose a lot very quickly if you're not careful, and the sense that there's always someone better than you helps the atmosphere.

Eudaemonian:
I think a good group of friends could have fun kicking a rock around in the dirt. That does not make "Rock In Dirt 5" an awesome game.

Don't make fun...this game has the largest subscription base worldwide.

@ Romag

You should try Flysis.It's the new version of (RIP) Space Cowboy Online - action-oriented MMO with heavy PvP. Space/Flying Fans should check it out

PS: The game is only in closed beta right now and it should be available in February.

EVE's secret to its longevity is also the reason why it will never really become as popular as other MMO games in its genre. It's a game geared towards a niche audience - the type that likes both consequences and realism with their PvP and also like to make informed decisions in a persistent world with regards to their skills, economy, and overall character/ship development. In a time where some MMO's fall flat on their face due to a variety of factors, EVE is one of those games that will probably be around for a long time to come.

I played EVE and it wasn't my cup of tea, but I can see why it's still around today. It's fun - for a certain type of game player.

As for "space" MMO's, we probably won't see anything for quite some time, but Star Trek and Stargate-based MMO's will hopefully be out in the future, so that'll widen the choices somewhat.

Jeez Xanrae, what a post. Simply because the OP doesn't like Eve's skill system doesn't necesarily mean he's "against innovation".

I've never played Eve, but from the post I can understand his complaint. If you disagree, thats your call, but don't hide behind pretention in an attempt to make your own subjective view seem objective in some way.

Bleh. Xanrae, innovation is good. Innovation is very good. But when said innovation calls for you to go and entertain yourself for a month to become better, innovative game is kinda... bad, don't you think?

It does regulate powerlevelling (and so is probably good in some respects) but it certainly could have been handled better. Maybe actively involve you a little more in the process? "You want to have the necessary skills to use this laser? Here, read this manual. At the end, answer a series of five questions! 4/5 gives you increased skill, and a perfect score gives you bonus points!"

Best of both worlds.

And that's why I don't play MMORPGs.

I'm on my 2nd month of EvE since the Trinity Expansion, game is lots of fun if you don't want to play something that requires 100% attention at all times. I like to mine, its quiet , calming and an easy way to earn the big bucks!

I have been playing EVE online for almost 2 years, and yes, the skill system is a bit annoying at times, but tbh, I prefer it and It's the only mmo I play nowadays. Once you have found a good corp and can start to have fun pvping, it really is awesome, bonds start to form and you really do feel like you can make a difference in a fight. For me, it's all about having fun pvping with friends, you risk it all and either win or lose, I still get an adrenaline rush when I get a good fight and that's my favourite part about the game. I know it's not everyones cup of tea, and I respect that.

I like EVE's concept, but I'm too dumb to play it.

Prons:
I like EVE's concept, but I'm too dumb to play it.

As much as I'd like to make philosophical arguments against its skill system, this actually happens to be one of my major reasons for not playing it. I'm sure, in time, I could know what I'm doing... but I spend enough time studying the law without having the study my mmo. "Mind-blowing" as the ad says, is pretty accurate. It has interface, customization, and options out the ass.... overwhelming.

That and I'm a coward who doesn't like losing hard earned stuff... hah

Yeah, Eud makes a fair point. The learning curve would be well summed up by a picture of a very tall wall followed by a steep hill. Once you've grasped the basics, and got over the wall so to speak, however, the game does become a lot clearer. Its just a shame you kinda have to learn a lot of stuff at once as opposed to being eased into it.

Eve is a screensaver. Seriously.

Monkey Island had more interaction for its combat segments. Click on enemy, wait until one side dies. WEEEEEE!

What pisses me of is that Eve has top notch graphics, decent sound, and a universe laid out in such vastness that I would never stop playing it, IF there was actually a game. Freelancer FTW.

I tried out EVE seeing how awesome it looked. When I eventually downloaded it, it looked really good with the graphics and choices and "yadayadayada". But then I got into the game itself, and...zzzzzzzz *snort* huh? What? I'm supposed to be mining now? zzzzzz...

Then I got frustrated that most of the screen is taken up by all the Menu bars and such. Then I got even more frustrated when I finally got to the base and ended up having to put my newly got minerals into the bank, and was trying to find it. Eventually I did, but at that point I thought, "Nuts to this, back to playing Sam & Max: Moai Better Blues, or Sherlock Holmes vs Lupine."

The game is an excellent looking game with so much to do, but, as said earlier, raising skills takes too much time, (Even more than WoW, and that takes a long time to get to the end.) the fighting mechanics are "meh", mining is tedious, and infact I'm going to steal TWO quotes from Yahtzee:
1. (Super Paper Mario) "THAT'S RIGHT! You have to amuse yourself while playing a game, a game being extensively designed to amuse, and if a player is doing this then something has clearly gone wrong."
2. (Fable: The Lost Chapters) "But the games biggest selling point is also it's biggest flaw, in trying to give us choice, it does too much and ultimately collapses under its own weight."

The game might be fun for some, but believe me, I wanted a space flight sim (Can you say Sim? Its all fiction, how do we know this is what space ships will be?) and Freelancer hit all the marks. I'm going back to that and playing that. (Or WoW, whatever)

I played EVE for a few months. Quite fun. The skill system is annoying and doesn't reward people directly for playing it. Which leads to people taking "vacations" from the game when they got a really time-consuming skill to train. I believe they shouldn't give skill proficiency by using the skill, but... Give a bonus to training when the player chooses to train that skill next. So you've been piloting around a Cruiser for quite some time and want to go up the next level in it. Depending on how much when been piloting the thing, you can gain something like a a 10% boost for an 6 hours or so. Storyline wise, it'd make sense for this to happen, because your neurons are more accepting of the programing they've already been implementing to a degree.
Another annoyance is the War Declaration system. It's being heavily exploited... especially by those EVE plays favorites with... (another annoying thing) People will argue this, but it really doesn't make sense when you draw it out.
1. War, historically, has been a mutual conflict between two or more groups. Else it's just one-sided acts of aggression. A genocide stays a genocide until the targets start fighting back effectively. It's not a war until your enemy starts gunning for you, too.
2. In a one-sided WarDec, it doesn't matter HOW HIGH your standings are with the law entity, CONCORD, or any other NPC faction, beuause no one will help you. Which is just silly, since I'll defend my friend who is getting assaulted. Also it just make sense that stations don't want any fighting going on around their station.
3. The ones that use it the most are abusing the most. Unfortunately, it's also with CCP's blessing. Most corps tend to settle their issues in 0.0 and not need the system.

CCP plays favorites. Despite many other large organizations that have better stories to tell, more honorable, fun, etc... CCP loves BoB for low-sec and Privateers for hi-sec. This is despite BoB unfair advantages and Privateers being an over-glorified WarDec abusing gank squad.

Also... There's hardly any mid-game. There's fun new things to do when you are first starting out or when you get to the point of having Carriers and running large Player owned structures... but not so much in between.

If those four things could get fixed, tonight. CCP would have my money for many months to come.

I dunno, most of the negative talking points here are what I like the most about it. Skill training doesn't reward people with more time than I have, so it's a level playing field, even if it means there's always going to be people with more skills than I have. But the way the skill system is set up, anything beyond your first month of skills is specialized gravy. I was PvP-ready on my first day and flying in fleets inside my first week. Yeah, I wasn't flying a super duper death ship, but I was still contributing and showed up on kill mails.

The one-on-one combat is more strategic than tactical, but tactics kick in as soon as there's more than two people in a fight, especially if you're leading the group. And once the fleet battles start, who wins is usually determined by how well the commander knows the game and the opponent. Very few games can give me an adrenaline rush, and EVE is one of them.

But the game's pretty much made for people like me. You've gotta like old school naval combat, being in danger of losing your stuff if you're not careful, depth at the sake of breadth, and worlds (over games). What seals it for me is the lack of logged-in grind.

And I'm not sure you can call it niche anymore, at least not in the MMOG sense. At 280,000 subs, it's in the top five in the Western market. It's not WoW, but throwing that out as a statistical outlier, it hangs with (and beats) pretty much everyone else.

Joe... I wish to lick your shoes.

Yes. Sorry, not sure what happened there.

I do like Bubba's reward what you often do approach though, would aid in the whole specialisation stuff. The war dec point is fair, but any statement like that is one that will get you nailed to a wall for carebearism in EvE. EvE Players take delight in the harshness, unfairness and brutality of the universe, as simply surviving is a challenge unto itself. No-one is safe. Ever. And that is motivation, to improve yourself in the name of survival, and the protection of your friends (or the pain and despair of the poor saps you pick a fight with), far better than tryin to get to the next level so you can get a few skills.

Singing Gremlin, thats true but its also the reason I couldnt really get into the game very far. I played for a couple months then decided its not the game for me. The "PvP" in EVE is fun until you realize 95% of the time you're either guaranteed to win or guaranteed to lose, all based on numbers/ship loadout/sills/ etc. Its almost always either jumping someone unprepared, or getting jumped and having no chance. Theres not alot of middle ground where actual player behind the keyboard skill has any actual effect on gameplay, at least until you get in a few fleet battles where focus fire and target selection are the real "skill" involved.

For my first few weeks I tried the trader type game, hauling goods from one place to another, both NPC goods and player made contracts for hauling stuff, along with making buy and sell orders to make cash, and I did reasonably well for someone brand new to the game making money. the last 6 weeks or so I spent mostly in low sec with an alliance doing random stuff, pvp/mining/ratting depending on my mood. After about 2 months I realized I was going to have to spend 3-4 months on combat skills to get on a more even playing field, which meant I had to find a way to amuse myself for that long before I could really be as competitive as the people in our area.

Every pvp encounter I had was decided before it started. Either someone in a ship(s) I cant hit/damage/keep up with would warp in on me and blow me out of the sky, or a group of us would do the same to someone else. There was never a sense I could hold my own without a signifigant investment in the game, and thats where it failed for me. I can understand always having a sense of danger in the game, which does make it kinda fun, but it was never really pvp. Its just some people overpowering someone who is unable to defend themselves or even run away effectively. The only danger the atackers are EVER in is if they get caught in a trap or if they decide to try and take on something out of their league and realize too late they wont win. I could kill people I jumped on if I found them alone and unprepared, but otherwise soloing was out of the question most of the time.

I went back to high sec and shortly after decided not to renew my subscription. Call me a carebear or whatever you like, but I truly want to enjoy a game with full pvp and full looting, unfortunately the way EVE is setup, it just wasnt enjoyable for me.

renahzor - I can't say you're wrong on that. It's a large complaint of EvE players atm that PvP is now a fight of who has the biggest blob. Personally, I avoid the problem by just fitting out a decent, cheap T1 frig and seeing who I can pick fights with in that. No epic battles, but its good to feel competent solo, as you can take out a cruiser in a frig if you know what you're doing (or the cruiser pilot doesnt :P) and run away from most everything else. But yeah, a very valid point.

I mined and built shit in EVE. My skills was completely based on making money and it worked. I was a valuable addition to any corp and didnt have to think about combat. Mostley. Trained cruiser skilles to max in the end though, so I could follow my friends into PVE combat with precious money and loot.

The Headline caught my attention. I actually made an account here just to comment on this thread :)
Good points have already been made about EVE's steep learning curve and apparent lack of time invested vs reward for most players. I have returned to EVE myself after leaving the game due to frustration with the skill system. I left EVE after only 2 months.

A while ago I saw the adds for EVE's latest content patch and decided to give it a try once again. I'm enjoying the game more then I imagined I would mainly due to my mindset this time around while playing it. I was in a rush the first time and expected quick rewards. My biggest misconception the first time playing was that bigger = better. That's absolutely not true. EVE requires a small adjustment in your perception of what is and is not a "strong" player.

Put simply the planning you have as a thinking player and the equipment/ships you can use(based on skills) each make up 50% of your value as an EVE player. Someone with a concept of how the combat and the universe works in EVE is just as deadly in a small Cruiser as someone who doesn't have any clue what they are doing and decides to fly around in a poorly outfitted battleship solely because they have the skill points to fly one.

Don't let EVE's skill system and enormous universe daunt you. I honestly admit it was a little too big to grasp at first. I came from high end content in games like EQ, DAoC and WoW. EVE does not follow these MMOs in play style. The high end content in EVE is mainly against other players.

EVE's biggest turnoff is usually for solo players that want to fly uberwtfpwnmobiles in a month or two. Part of that problem is the typical new player thinks tiny frigate < Cruiser < Battleship and the truth is it depends on how intelligent and patient a player you are.

My suggestion to the people thinking to try EVE for the first time or to players considering coming back is this: Find someone who understands the game and let them help you by answering all the basic questions a new player needs. A difficult learning curve can be eliminated by having another player that understands your aggravation(cause I was definitely there myself) and helps prevent you from beating your head against the wall too often.

I play EVE fairly regularly and would be more then happy to assist new players and continuing players that have any questions. Contact me in-game as Winterburn via in-game mail or start a conversation(EVE's version of tells). The game company CCP offers a 14-day trial that to my knowledge requires no credit card to sign up. If you'd like to give EVE a try let some of us help you to understand the basics. Cause EVE is ENORMOUS and COMPLEX...you've been warned :)

Joe:

And I'm not sure you can call it niche anymore, at least not in the MMOG sense. At 280,000 subs, it's in the top five in the Western market. It's not WoW, but throwing that out as a statistical outlier, it hangs with (and beats) pretty much everyone else.

Well, I stand corrected then. In that case, it's a clear viable alternative and probably a decent choice as it pertains to MMO's, especially ones in the sci-fi genre.

I do think it does take a specific type of player to enjoy it. I suppose a better way than calling it niche is that it sort of has a specific audience. This lessens its widespread appeal but increases the value of the community in the game.

I read a few years ago this loooong story about how one guy managed to scam a group of 15 or so players outa a rediculous amount of credits. The story was called "The Big Scam" and seeing as how the original link is now dead. I encourage any of you willing to sit through an extreamly long, albiet good, read to find it.
Even if you don't want to read it, please find it :) I'd like to read it again.

P.S. I am not talking about the GHSC infiltration incident.

EDIT: Found it, actually called the "great" scam. Whatever. Also apparently this story isn't entirely true. Still a fun read.

http://web.archive.org/web/20060411124518/http://static.circa1984.com/the-big-scam.html

Niccolo:
Bleh. Xanrae, innovation is good. Innovation is very good. But when said innovation calls for you to go and entertain yourself for a month to become better, innovative game is kinda... bad, don't you think?

If you're so desperate for an endless, sisyphusean grind that you can't find a way to entertain yourself in EVE while your skills level up naturally, then you may want to invest in a hamster wheel instead of a video game.

The skill system is the best thing about EVE.

Consider what other games have instead instead of a skill system: an XP system.

In an XP system instead of being forced to wait, you're forced to grind enemies. And then after killing enemy number 689 your character suddenly, magically 'learns' something that it didn't know when it had only killed enemy 688. Or alternatively you 'learn' something after completing a quest. This is pretty illogical for the most part. Why? Because there's very rarely any plausible direct link between the learning itself and the actions that generate the learning. Killing six hundred goblins will possibly make you a better fighter, but why would killing six hundred golbins suddenly allow you to wear and use a magical ring on your finger that you couldn't wear before? This is illogical.

It's much more sensible to learn things by reading books or training, like in EVE, and you don't even need to be logged on while you wait, you just tell your EVE character what training course to read next, and slowly your character learns that skill, whether you're online or not. When your character finishes reading/training, he or she has learnt the skill and can now do something that she couldn't do before. Why? Because she LEARNED HOW TO DO IT. It's a bloody brilliant idea, and it mirrors how people learn things in real life - by reading up, studying, training. Sure, some skills take a while to learn but that's okay, after all is it logical that it would take a while to learn how to do the more complex tasks in the game (fly the bigger ships, use the most powerful and complicated equipment etc).

Imagine a traditional RPG with this kind of system. "Man, this boss is hard. I'm going to not play for a week, then I'll be strong enough to beat it."

Just because you're not playing doesn't mean your character stops existing in the gameworld. This is a key difference between EVE and other MMORPGs. While I'm out partying down on a Saturday night, my character in EVE isn't in a vaccuum: she is holed up in her starbase reading up on how to fly ships. She's actually doing something useful while I'm gone, not just waiting for me to magically drop back in and take control of her.

All that said, EVE certainly isn't a game for everyone. I definitely wouldn't expect the najority of people reading this to find it appealing. EVE has a complex interface and some things take months to learn. Death actually means something, you can lose almost everything if you're stupid or careless. The NPC content is weak, almost an afterthought. No-one is there to hold your hand. The game has slow and boring moments. But the plus sides are good: you can do anything, as long as you're prepared to wear the consequences. No action, quest, or activity is mandatory or even necessarily a good idea, depending on your character. Real danger exists and combat is heart-pounding. And best of all, it has an awesome skill system, where you level up after a while NO MATTER WHAT, which means you can genuinely, truly, play the game ANY WAY YOU WANT and you will still get somewhere - if you only want to kill NPC's then great. If you want to play a pacifist that only mines rocks, you can do that too, and you'll learn skills at the same rate as the other guy who shoots things all day. You can even play a character that never leaves station and just trades commodities and you will STILL GET SOMEWHERE and be rewarded for it. Or you can specialise in exploration. Or be a pirate and hunt other players. Or be a pirate-hunter and hunt players who hunt players. And none of these choices offer a genuine disadvantage in terms of "xp/skills". No other MMORPG offers this level of freedom to choose your own path without being made to suffer for it at the XP bench. This is what's mindblowing about EVE.

Eve is fun, in its own special way, so if you run into it with your expectations based on other games you may have played, you will run headlong into a brick wall.

if you are the type of person that likes to just hang out and chat, mining is for you.

if you are the type of person that loves to kill the same mob over and over, that sort of thing is still in eve, but instead of gaining exp, you just get reputation depending on what you kill, which might even pay off in access to a special ship.

if you are the type of person that loves to gank, well then eve is your game :D there are loads of people floating aimlessly about, chatting while shooting at rocks and npcs that cant possibly hurt them.

oh yeah, and plenty of things that you can do solo or in small teams without pirate interferance (in instances) but you need to make it there first.

honestly though, the travel system puts me dead to sleep. sure its been improved, but I dont find watching a half minute cutscene of my ship flying across a solar system 8 times over on my way somewhere very entertaining. i fall asleep on my keyboard, i tab out and forget about the game...

I have played eve for about 8 months now and i played the trial a few months before that. when i played the trial i thought this was the game was garbage just click on some thing and wait for it to die. i thought that i might as well be playing wow. then i came back and found some nice people online joined their corp and they showed me the ropes. that said i still did not know much about the game do to its vast nature. but after 8 months i am starting to get the hang of some of the things you can do in the game. i now run 4 accounts and about 6 characters. one of the nice things in this game is that it is mostly ran by the players. every thing that happens in game changed how the game is for you. early on when my friend started playing back when there were only 3 ship types for combat. if there was a war the price of every thing would go up due to supply and demand. for me though the best part is the fact that you can do any thing you can spy on other corps or alliances start wars between your enemy. the people that control the majority of the space in the game are always changing so every time you log on the world could be vary different form the last time you were there. the most important thing though in this game is that its a lot more fun with people you need to find a good corp that will help you out and does the things that you want to do.

as to the wardec system in some ways it sucks due to the fact that a lot of the people that do it are just doing it so they can kill easy people in "safe space" but there is a lot of things people can do when this happens and on top of that its like real life last time i checked a lot of wars in our history have been a little lop sided.

but hey if you ever want to give the game a try and want to get into a good corp convo me under the name Tomin Highborn

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