I’ve been meaning to start a new thing here at buttonmashing.com where I expound on my initial impressions. I’ve posted a lot of “first impressions” but I don’t follow up as often as I want to. Often, those initial impressions are the “honeymoon” stage and you look past flaws. Now that I’ve been well past that stage with EVE, I thought I’d share a little more on my experiences.
You can read my initial impressions here. Looking back, most of my initial impressions still ring true. The game is huge. I still haven’t traveled more than a couple dozen jumps from my starting system. There are thousands of systems and I’ve seen maybe thirty of them. I’ve still got a lot to see.
I’m still trying to figure out what EVE is, exactly. Sure, it’s an MMOG. But honestly, I think it’s a subversive educational game as well. In the short period of three months, I’ve been exposed to Economics 101, Logistics 101, Physics 101, Mechanical Engineering 623 (whatever “Missile Design I” would be) and Political Science 101. It’s as if the Icelandic Education Department tasked CCP with creating a game that would educate its players with it entertains them. Don’t believe me? Here are a few examples.
Take a look at the Tracking Guide and Missile Guide in the EVE Online Player’s Guide. It’s crazy the amount of thinking that goes into the game. “If you’re traveling at 205 m/s and your target’s transverse velocity is 296 m/s and your turret’s tracking speed is 0.1 rad/sec, what time is it in Sevilla?” Seriously, I’m back in math class all over again. I don’t think Newton ever thought his equations would be used like this. At least this time I don’t break out in a cold sweat because of a pop quiz.
Another example would be how I’m currently playing the game. I’m employing basic economic principles – buy low and sell high. Almost all the loot you score from the bad guys can be “reprocessed,” broken down to the minerals it was built from. Unless the item you have is “named,” (i.e. has better stats) the value of the loot is pretty low. You want to sell it at whatever price and get back to hunting. Problem is, the refined minerals are worth more than the most selling prices. That’s where I come in. I’ve got about twenty different market orders in for items that I know I can make a hefty profit by purchasing them and reprocessing them myself. Most people don’t want to be hassled with it. I do. So I’m buying items low and reprocessing them, selling them high. Simple economics, right? Well, market forces keep me on my toes. There’s another guy in a neighboring system that is also in the market for the items I’m after. We have been bidding each other’s prices up on a lot of the items. We’re both still making a nice chunk of change and the hunters who can’t be bothered also benefit, as they see they prices they’re getting for their items go up. It’s capitalism at its finest.
Playing like this, I haven’t left my station in over a week. I lost a cruiser to some poor lag management last week and I haven’t ventured out with my new machine yet. I’ve been watching the market, working it the best I can for fun and profit. I’ve got my handy spread sheet with all the current mineral prices and the break down of the items I’m watching, so at any moment I can know what they’re worth and what a good price is. Spreadsheets! I’m doing market research for something that is a collection of 1’s and 0’s on some server in England. And I’m digging it. This game appeals to my base nerd-sensibilities.
That’s not to say the action isn’t fun. It is, and I enjoy running combat missions for my agents. It just happens that right now, I’m liking the market aspects of the game. That’s one of the things that makes EVE such a great game – there are so many ways to play it.
That being said, I’d also say that EVE is two different games. There’s the “PvE” game played in the high security zones and the “PvP” game that is played in the lawless areas and is populated by the majority of the player-run corporations. I haven’t even touched that portion of the game. I’m pretty content shooting Space Pirates and buying space junk off the universal market. I’ll venture off and join a corporation one of these days, but for now I’m my own boss.
So ninety days later and I’m still enjoying EVE a lot. It lost a little luster when I lost an EVE buddy to Oblivion, but he was Amarrian scum anyway, so no big loss. It’s hard to attach a rating to a game like EVE (or any MMOG) so I will resist from doing so. I will say that if you give it a try, you’ll either run in horror, screaming that you were done with word problems in the tenth grade, or it will touch your nerd-core in such a way that you’ll feel like you’re home again.
You never really left in the first place.