Convince me to play Eve Online

I was reading this thread and I, out of boredom, Wikipedia’d it. Now, seeing as I’m unemployed and bored, I’ve been looking into MMOs to play for a while (I’m waiting for The Old Republic to come out). Reading the Wikipedia article, I was impressed by a few things:

This… sounds… awesome!

So uh, how many of you guys play Eve Online? What more can you tell me about it?

The wikipedia depiction of the Goons/BoB drama is pretty accurate.

If you’re a visual person, check out the trailers - they usually release one or two preceding each (free) expansion:

Game Time Cards can be purchased (legally) for in-game money, which means if you properly apply yourself, it’s possible to play the game for free.

You never truly “die” in Eve, due to the availability of cloning. However, the ship you’re flying at any given time costs money; when it’s destroyed, most of your fitted equipment (guns/mods/etc) and cargo is also destroyed - and whatever’s left will likely get picked up by whoever it was that destroyed you. In my (admittedly limited) gaming experience, this represents the biggest difference from other MMORPGs - losing a battle in PvP can be very costly.

The above directly drives the in-game market, which aside from some standard seeding, is entirely governed by the players. Many people make their ISK purely by playing the market - either by simple buy/sell, production, or even manipulation.

The game has a few built in and very obvious ways to make ISK, like missions, grinding NPCs, and hunting player bounties. But the game mechanics have allowed for professions to pop up that the developers never imagined; Ninja Salvaging, for example, is a very lucrative and controversial profession - it’s particularly lovely if you enjoy the sweet taste of Carebear tears.

I don’t have a cite, but I’d expect based on my own experience, that the average player age is much higher in Eve than most other MMORPGs. The few young players I’ve flown with seem to have an above average intelligence.

The game has mostly European players, but the number of US/AUS players has been growing steadily as far as I can tell.

Technically you’re open to PvP any time that you’re undocked; however, there is an NPC police force that will come to your rescue if someone attacks you without just cause (per game mechanics) in certain areas. The further “out” you go from these areas, the less they will help until you are left to fend off the pirates and pretty much anyone who isn’t “blue”.

I’m kinda rambling, and I’m not sure if I’m helping at all - feel free to ask specific questions!

What type of play interests you?

PVE can be hi security systems, and you can mine, or learn to make stuff and sell it and play the market, you can run missions and loot the dead ships and work from there and also earn isk and loyalty points for the missions. That is relatively safe.

You can also PVE in low sec in the right corp and alliance which is how I play it. I prefer not to fight other players, though I have been known to do so. I mine, and also research new releases on the test server [there is a new expansion coming out very soon and I have spent the last couple of days working with the new release making a tutorial for our industrials for the other indys to learn from] Normally I provide materials to build replacement ships for our alliance.

Or you can PVP - strap into your ship and go out in low sec and kill other players that are not in your corp or alliance. We are involved in a territory struggle right now - theoretically ex goon are friendly to Mostly Harmless but they were refusing to change our status to friendly so a few of us got ganked but that got sorted out.

How much does it cost to play and how easy is it to support the game’s cost with in game money? As in, do only the maxed-out characters with the 1337 shit earn enough to pay for playtime?

My favorite MUD ever is Armageddon. In that game, you have only one life and when you’re dead, game’s up. I love the survivalist atmosphere that this can create. This is all a plus in my book.

Most of the people around here know by now that I’m a heartless bastard, so again, this is all a plus.

Another plus.

So I should expect some cheese-eating surrender monkeys? I can live with it. :rolleyes: Despite the game’s demographics being primarily pulled from Europe are there a lot of players on 24/7?

More pluses.

Oh, don’t worry about it. A few questions:

Is lag an issue in Eve? My computer is decent (certainly meets the reqs) but it’s by no means a game monster and so I’m worried about this.

What’s the learning curve like? I read about corporations; I’m assuming those are the equivalents of guilds? Are there good corps that noobs can get into easily?

Are there any negatives that you can think of?

Politics, playing the market and piracy.

The type of thing described in the Wikipedia article I quoted- does that happen often? If so: Fucking awesome.
Playing the market seems obvious. I’d have to learn more about it to get started, but I’m willing to learn.
As for piracy, I’m not sure I’d want to fly solo doing this. Are there groups of pirates/raiders?

Doesn’t every MMO community claim that?

How effectively could I play Spike from Cowboy Bebop?

If you wind up playing you absolutely have to be my partner in crime.

OK but you have to be Faye.

Most likely I wont though… too many other things I want to play first, and I’m saving up my MMO energy for FF14 and the FF11 level 99 cap update.

It’s $15/month (free software/expansions). The cost of GTCs varies based on supply/demand, but last I checked a 60-day GTC was worth about 500 million ISK; I know that sounds like a lot, but it’s really not - I usually get all of my ISK by grinding NPCs (“ratting”), which is not the most lucrative method, and it would only take me about a 25 hours to make that. I’m told that, with a properly skilled character, you can make that mining in quite a bit less time. Either way, 25 hours is only a week even if you play casually - one week’s work for an additional 5 weeks of play (note: this doesn’t account for the ISK you’ll spend in-game). You won’t be able to do this immediately; I didn’t even know about it until I’d been playing for several months, so I’m not sure how quickly you could do it if you had put your mind to it from day 1 - but you’ll need to pick a profession and skill your character towards it and it make take some time until you’re able to support yourself. I know miners who support as many as 4 accounts this way.

Which reminds me: Skill Training.

Each account can have up to three characters, but only one may be skill-training at a time. Skills are trained in real-time, even while you’re not playing. In order to use equipment or fly ships you need to have trained the requisite skills first - and in a lot of cases, you really want to train beyond the minimum level of the requisite skills (being able to fly a ship doesn’t mean you’re any good at it).

Eve is a much smaller community than say, WoW - but it is a single persistent universe. None of this “which server are you going to play on, I’ll play on that one too” bullshit. Average is about 30 to 40 thousand players at any given time. Detailed statistics here: EVE-Offline :: EVE-Online Status monitor

Lag can be an issue if you’re joining very large feet engagements. The most recent expansion added some features and changed the way that fleets (gangs) are handled by the servers - unfortunately, these changes led to a drastic increase in large fleet (“blob”) lag. CCP has been pretty active in their efforts to overcome the lag issue, but it’s still not 100%. Even with a “Crysis-ready” machine, you will run into lag if, for example, your fleet of 2-300 attempts to enter the same system where the enemy fleet of 2-300 is waiting for you.

It can take quite a while to get a clear grip on the Eve universe and the mechanics. I’ve been playing for a couple years off and on, and there are still aspects of the game I don’t fully understand - I’ve just never been interested in learning about industrial production, for example. When you first join, you’ll be put into an NPC corp full of other new characters (which may be new players, or alts of existing players). In my experience, these corps don’t generally behave like normal corps. There are in-game help channels and tutorials - I suggest going through all the tutorials and running several of the missions that the tutorials will eventually lead you to. Even if you’re not going to be a mission-runner as a profession, it’s good practice to get used to the space mechanics if nothing else. There are corps that specifically accept new players and help train them. There are even professional PvP training schools/universities - if you can afford the ISK, these can be a great experience (yet another in-game profession that the programmers never thought of).

The learning curve turns most people off. The free trial is only 14 days - even if you played fulltime, that’s not enough time (IMO) to gain enough understanding of the game. You’ll only see about 1/100th of the game in that time.

Let’s put it this way - if you’re in an alliance big enough to hold sovereign space in 0.0, I can guarantee there is a spy in your ranks - probably several. And yes, there are corps specializing in almost anything - including Piracy (very popular). Very few people truly play the game solo - you can certainly run around getting some solo PvP from time to time, but you’ll probably want the support of a corp in a day to day basis.

I haven’t read this thoroughly, but a brief skim looks like it should be accurate:

You’re probably right.

I desperately, deeply, passionately want to love Eve.

But I can’t.

To me, it’s a mindless slog of endless (albeit, amazingly beautiful) tedium in which 90% of the game consists of watching it play itself. Eve, to be, kind of feels like an excel spreadsheet, barrens chat, the financial section from your newspaper and one of those rainbow scintillating screen savers crammed into a single program.

Coupled to the fact that you will literally NEVER catch up with somebody that started a month ahead of you, let alone the multiple-year accounts that abound and that it takes weeks-to-months to even enjoy the PvP combat (in which you can lose hundreds of millions of in-game currency, and the countless hours spent acquiring it).

I feel like the average Doper would probably love this game, but I honestly can’t recommend it.

As I have described it before, it is not a game so much as applied logistics and tactics with a chat function and pretty pictures.

I agree, it is not to everybody’s taste but for those with the right beancounter mindset it can be a blast.

Although I feel that it is best tried with someone there to hold your hand and give advice and support at first. I sort of read a lot about it, looked at it about a year before people here talked me into trying it. I didn’t exactly follow their instructions - there were guys in the corp who basically told me I was an idiot for wanting to fly a titan, but the training I snuck in between my industrial stuff actually got me to flying a rorqual faster than if I hadnt started sneaking in the skills. And I did strap projectile weapons on an amarr laser optimized ship BUT that also kept me alive and able to rat when I would have otherwise died because I was young enough to not have good energy management and kept running out of cap and being unable to shoot lasers.

I say to you this: I make more money from PvP looting than I do from PvP losses in most months.

I further say to you this: I can put a new pilot on a training regimen that will have him useful enough that I will out-of-pocket cover his ship losses in PvP… in less than a day.

Hi, I’m Zeriel Meholick in-game. I am the diplomat and XO of a (very) small piracy group that bases out of Caldari space. Typically we partake in solo or small group raiding, whether it be of miners, of people doing PvE missions (and if you’re fast and good, the 30m-100m some PvEers will pay to get the mission objective back after you’ve stolen it from under their noses will keep you in ships for a long time), or of corporations we have decided are easy prey (we’re in a pair of wars right now against a rival pirate group as well as their friends who declared on us after the original war went live). EVE is in fact much more of a tactics and logistics game than anything else–it LOOKS like Wing Commander, but plays like Homeworld (the RTS) with Elite (the text-based version) tagged on top of it.

On skills: Yes, you will never ever catch up skill points to a player who’s been active longer than you. Realistically, however, the utility of skill points diminishes over time–first, because after a certain point (about 6-9 months in), skill points only add versatility (that is, right now I’m adding the ability to fly a different race’s ships, but my Minmatar ship piloting abilities have been 95th percentile or better for literally a year) and not ability (as even the hardest non-capital-ship skills take at most two months to go from 0 to maximum, and realistically the jump from skill IV to V takes a ridiculous amount of time to add perhaps 5% to whatever ship benefit it gives), and secondly, because I have whipped the tails of people who have 2x-6x as many skill points as I do because they didn’t have the tactical skill to go with their character sheet.

Admittedly it’s the kind of game it’s easy to forget about for a month or two if you don’t have much going on in-game (my entire corp took such a hiatus to essentially play borderlands en masse while we were maxing out our respective battleship piloting skills) but that’s true of any MMO, and at least in EVE you’re getting skill points whenever you’re paying the fees.

The downside: You never have to grind XP but you always have to have a way to make the money to buy the skillbooks and ships/equipment they enable.

Let me sum up.

Last week, I looked over my skills. I purchased a new heavy assault cruiser, pondered its capacity in terms of hardpoints, power, and available CPU power, then spent an hour or two modifying my last configuration to take advantage of some changes in the game mechanics and some new skills and know-how I’d picked up. I then launched, and processed to talk about vulgar horrible things with three fleetmates on voice chat while milling around a system stargate with two of the fleetmates, while the third cruised in the system on the other side, deploying sensor probes from his cloaked ship trying to find the three targets of ours who were in that system. After an hour stakeout, they got nervous and jumped through the gate en masse in significantly heavier ships than we had–but piecemeal, not all at once. We immediately managed to lock down the first ship and exchanged volleys (in the very RTS sense, as in “click to target, click to turn on guns and warp drive disruptor, click to set orbit distance and speed”). By the time the second enemy appeared through the gate, we’d chewed his battlecruiser’s shields and armor to pieces and were destroying his ship structure, while my shields were holding at 66%. Unfortunately for me, the second ship through was another battlecruiser with a much better configuration, and it ripped my shields off before we killed the first, and then managed to punch through my armor seconds before my fleetmate finished him off. Fortunately, their third pilot wasn’t through yet in his frigate, and I was able to warp off in my escape pod to a safe distance. Unfortunately for them, my other fleetmate was also in a hunter-killer frigate and got the final enemy frigate, then he killed the escape pod too (costing them whatever the combined value of his cybernetics was, on top of the ship losses).
Not knowing the value of the cyberware, it was a pretty even fight–their battlecruisers were tough but cheap, and my assault cruiser was light, fast, and very freakin’ expensive. So we engaged in a bit of friendly smack-talk on the local system chat channel, and then called it a night. As we recovered 100% of the salvage from the fight, the loss essentially ended up costing me about half of the list value of the ship (85m or so), which is the worst hit I’ve had in months, and I was up several hundred million from a few good kills of mission-runners with rare salvage in any case.

The next two nights, we sat on a stakeout and chatted on vent for a few hours, occasionally moving position in response to reports from bribed NPC agents as to the locations of enemy pilots we hadn’t personally spotted, and didn’t get any action whatsoever. (well, I didn’t–two of my fleetmates scored almost 14 kills while I was mowing my lawn, so the fight was out of them by the time I logged in).

If that sounds like your bag, EVE PvP might just be right for you.

Your best bet for playing is to find a group of players who have a reason to hand-hold you for your trial period. I’m not exactly able to offer that at this point, but I’ll find out from my CEO at some point how we’re recruiting (we have a policy generally against recruiting during an active war, to avoid spy issues).

Eve University will handhold pretty much anybody, and I will help out anybody wanting to go industrial - though I am personally busy isking up in preparation of the new planetary mining deal that is upcoming, as well as keeping up with mineral production for our ship building program. I think I have provided sets of book to about 14 or 15 people now, only 2 of which are actually in my corp =)

Heh, I think my personal “EVE Children” (first set of skillbooks and +3 implants) is in the two dozen range now. Yet I’d happily gank any one of them if they joined a corp that was one of my war targets or made the mistake of, say, jetcan-mining or firing at me when I salvaged/canflipped their mission. =P

Great write-up, Zeriel.

In addition to EveU I would also recommend Agony Unleashed.

Or, if you have a more freeform learning style, there’s always RvB (Red vs. Blue). Two high sec corps constantly at war.

Heh, one of my former corps used to try to declare war on them due to the target rich environment–the CEO learned quickly that RvB will immediately form “Purple” fleets in response to that and go absolutely berserk.

I didn’t undock for about a month of game time due to that mess. :smiley:

Ironically, that’s the very same corp I’m now at war with.

Created a Trial Account. I’ll likely make a thread like my infamous “Ok Cupid: A Journey” thread.

If you want any help or advice, feel free to send me (as “Zeriel Meholick”) a message in game or a PM here.