Monday, January 16, 2006


Just Played: EVE-Online

A little while ago I tracked down a 14-day free trail of EVE-Online, and on Saturday I finally got around to activating it.

EVE is another MMORPG - like World of Warcraft, it's a game where you sign up to play a character in a persistent universe with anyone else on the Internet who feels like playing. The biggest difference between EVE and World of Warcraft is that EVE is set in space. You play a pilot. Armed with your ship, you can fly around the hundreds of thousands of planets, moons and stations. You can make money from mining, building, trading or piracy. Visually, EVE is stunning. Warcraft looks nice, but is reasonably "cartoony". EVE just looks stunning. When I first saw the demo movies, I was surprised to learn that they weren't cutscenes, but rather actually in-game recordings.

The game-play is quite different from WoW. For starters, the interface is a lot more complex. WoW pretty much just drops you into the world, where as EVE takes you through a detailed tutorial which took me most of the weekend (mostly because I would play for a little bit, and then have to do something else for a while). The other main difference is that EVE seems to be much slower to play. Traveling from one location to another is a matter of setting your route, turning the autopilot on, and doing something else. This meant that I could be busy doing chores or having a shower or reading my book or something while my ship was heading to somewhere far away. Progressing skills is also something of a time-sink - rather than just spending money or experience points, each skill takes a certain amount of time to progress (hours or days). Fortunately, these progress even when you're not playing. It took me a little while to realize that the best approach when I was about to log out was to start learning something that I would still be learning when I next logged in (if you finish learning a skill, you don't learn anything until you pick the next one to learn).

It remains to be seen if this "slowness" is just the tutorial and me still learning what to do, or if the game is actually like that. While it was certainly fun, I don't think I'd really want to pay $20 a month to read a book while my ship flies through space. A friend who was also trying the free trial ended up deleting his account halfway through because it was just too slow for him.

So far I'm certainly enjoying the game. I've finished the tutorial, I've bought myself a better ship, so now all I have to do is start making some money.

Hope you will enjoy the game. The tutorial gives you eight delivery missions which are quite boring, but it will land you some money and you can start doing agent missions, that are a lot more fun.

Good luck :).
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