BB42: The Road More Traveled
“A gaming universe as vast and unique as EVE Online is constantly evolving and the experience is different for every participant. Conventional games review techniques cannot possibly hope to provide an accurate measure of every aspect of EVE’s gameplay. However, with a community initiative like the Blog Banters, we have the resources to deliver the most thorough and up-to-date review ever.
By combining the experiences of contributors from across the EVE metasphere, we get a wealth of opinions from veterans and rookies alike. We’ll be able to combine input from faction warfare specialists, wormhole residents, null-sec warriors, missioners, pirates, industrialists, roleplayers, politicians and more to paint a complete picture of the health and progress of EVE Online in its current Retribution incarnation.
Who better to review EVE Online than those who know it best?”
As of writing this, I’ve been playing Eve Online for a little over 4 years; yikes. Whats actually most impressive to me about that number is that Eve is the first and only MMO I’ve ever gotten into, and though I’d label myself someone who enjoys gaming, I’m a far cry from the atypical “gamer” ethos. Though I occasionally find myself being lured into trying other games from time to time, they typically run through my attention span fairly quickly. And though I’d never in a million years believe I’d one day say this, there is apparently a limit to how entertained I can be by nude boobies and dragon-slaying; sorry Skyrim. So, with four years and 1 month under my belt, there’s apparently something that keeps me hooked around here.
Eve, like anything, is not without its faults. I’ve talked before about my thoughts that Eve is easier now, slicker, more forgiving, and a lot more manageable to navigate than it was before. I hold to that still, though I don’t entirely mean that to be a taken as a negative. I fell in love with the dark of Eve; that cold, brutal, backstabbing, immeasurably complex and viciously unforgiving game that back in 2008 told new players to quite literally “harden the fuck up” or get out. That mindset has regrettably, and yet not so unexpectedly, taken its final bows in favor of expanding the reach of the game as a whole to a larger audience, and that’s honestly not something anyone could actually fault CPP on. Still, there’s a certain difficult complexity to Eve that I miss (yes, even the fact that Eve used to make you learn skills to learn skills, now thats some mean medicine).
I could talk about the change in mechanics, lament about the addition of an “idiot blocker” in the form of the new safety mechanism, and how I consider it to be a ridiculous and dumbed-down safety net. However, I’m making peace with that though (it’s part of the “avoiding Bitter Vet Syndrome” routine my therapist has me on), so I won’t dwell. Instead, I could point out that PvP in Eve has never been more thriving or widespread, and as I mentioned in passing on a podcast a few months ago, a lot of these changes have blown the doors wide open for conflict escalation.
I could also complain about the new names of things; how years ago, every single item in Eve had some incredibly complex and esoteric name that in no tangible way eluded to what it actually was or did (Ex: Hardwiring – Zainou ‘Gnome’ KXA2000 – ‘a neural interface upgrade that reduces the capacitor need for shield emission system modules’ …fucking wat?). However, as apprehensive as I was about that (being one of the schmucks who actually took the time to learn them), I think we can overwhelmingly agree that names, as long as they keep that “space opera/scifi” aesthetic, work WAY better if you can actually see a glimmer of correlation between their names and uses.
I’m not happy with the inflation of the economy in New Eden. That a Rupture hull costs nearly double what it did a year ago is absurd, and I can’t help but see the hard-pushing sale of PLEX at every other log-in screen and every other ISD announcement as more than a little linked.
And then there’s you lot: like some truly amazing bands out there, Eve has a tendency to attract some fans that are, in a word, shitty. I hate to lump you in with Foo Fighters, Decembersists, and Leonard Cohen fans, but seriously, some of you people are awful. Yes we know this song is amazing, that’s why we came to see the band sing it, not you (and seriously, who doesn’t know the words to “Hallelujah” at this point?). Stop being an absolute menace to yourself and everyone around you and just try to have a good time, ok?
And yet, regardless of all of that, for the first time in a while, I’m totally re-interested in Eve. I find myself concocting new schemes and rethinking old ones, I’m trying new new paths, theory crafting new fits that were never possible, and quite honestly having a blast doing it.
Make no mistake, Eve IS easier that it was so long ago in 2008; the learning curve now comes with a railing, your experience now comes with a warning label, and that cold dark vastness is a bit more mapped, a little more well lit. But just the same, as hard as it might be for some to admit (yep, me included sometimes) we’re all having a whole lot of fun, and as I’m oh-so-fond of saying: Eve is a game, and if you aren’t having fun, you’re doing it wrong. CCP, you’re doing it right; so so right. Thanks for that.
For an extended list of other participants in this Blog Banter, check here.