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The Evolution of MMOGs - Eve Online

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the moving-the-genre-forward dept.

Role Playing (Games) 84

Gamasutra is running an article about the Massively Multiplayer Game Eve Online. Information from senior producer Nathan Richardsson gives a look into the development of the largest concurrent MMO on the market. From the article: "Power to the players. Nothing compares to a player that is enabled to affect the universe. We create tools for players to create content. For example, a massive alliance of corporations - our versions of guilds - with real, legendary players, leading them, controlling large areas of space and building up infrastructure is truly awesome content. We can never create that, but we can create the environment and tools enabling to happen. We're also very iterative in our work and keep continuous feedback cycles on the features we do, then regularly improve them based on that feedback. The community is an incredible source for how to improve the game and what they do within the game gives us constant inspiration for what we should implement next. Being so open-ended means the players do what they want and we try to keep up and add support and tools to take emerging behavior further. Embrace and evolve are the keywords here."

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84 comments

Not as good as they would have you believe (4, Insightful)

It doesn't come easy (695416) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660722)

I have been playing EVE Online for 6 months and it's not all it's cracked up to be. There are some players that absolutely love it. However, the ability to create content and the great graphics in the game does not make up for some fundamental flaws in game play. The problem is that the game boils down to spending hours just traveling or just mining, both tedious activities in the game. Combat can also be tedious in most cases, since it usually becomes showing up at some location and slugging it out. I could deal with those aspects if your skill was in some way tied to your activities, but they are not. Skills are trained simply by turning the training on. Even the skill training system is flawed. There are approximately 200 or so different skills. To be come an expert in combat related skills, for example, it takes about 100 separate skills, training one at a time. I calculated how long it would take me to be fully trained on captaining a battleship, with all the necessary skills for both weapons use, piloting, and maneuvering. With the current system, it would take more than 3 years in real time to finish the training. I'll be surprised if the game lasts another three years. Experienced players (i.e. players who have been playing EVE for a long while) basically can attack inexperienced players with impunity. I have been killed four times so far just for the fun of it by an experienced player in what is supposed to be safe space. Yes, the experienced player is immediately killed by the NPC cops but that's the only penalty. They can make up the loss in an hour, it takes me a week to regain the equipment I lose. Sad to say, I am disappointed in EVE enough to stop playing. I hope some EVE admins read Slashdot, because the way the game works, I would bet you are losing more new players than you would imagine.

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (2, Insightful)

Gojira Shipi-Taro (465802) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660764)

Shortly into the first portion of the article is the revelation that many of the developers were old-school UO PvPers, and that there was an emphasis on PvP for that reason.

That's enough to ensure I'll never even look at the game, or finish the FA for that matter.

I don't play games to be someone else's victim. I'm not interested in being part of their sociological experement. I want to be entertained, not greifed.

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (3, Insightful)

Shadarr (11622) | more than 8 years ago | (#13662107)

Funny you should mention griefing, since the only thing I really know about Eve is that it provided the backdrop for the greatest scam ever [circa1984.com] in a MMOG. ALso, I think something you implied but should be spelled out is that the game doesn't just emphasise PvP, but unbalanced PvP. The reason the game is unfun isn't that there's a lot of PvP, it's that the outcome of most PvP battles are predetermined based on the skills of the character and the ship they own. It may be realistic, but it's not fun.

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (1)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 8 years ago | (#13662231)

The reason the game is unfun isn't that there's a lot of PvP, it's that the outcome of most PvP battles are predetermined based on the skills of the character and the ship they own.
I call shenanigans. An extra 5% to gun damage because of a skill level doesn't determine a fight. Your tactical skill and your ship setup determine a fight. A 20 million SP player can be defeated by a 4 million SP player if the younger player knows what they're doing.

I can't find the link right now, but there is a forum post from a new player detailing how he was successfully pirating and ransoming other players BEFORE HIS TRIAL WAS UP.

Yes, within 14 days he was PVPing successfully, and enjoying the game.

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (1)

Shinobi (19308) | more than 8 years ago | (#13662339)

Heh, most pirates don't engage in straight-up fights though, they prey on miners and traders. Many pirates safespot/log/dock if it looks like there's the risk of an even fight.

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13663953)

That's complete bullshit. Learn tactics/strategy and group up with other people.

The last few days, I've been flying around 0.0 space with a couple large groups of newbies (20-50 people) in T1 frigates who have been playing for about 2-4 days tops. We have tons of kills against very experienced, very rich, long time players.

This newbie fleet plus plenty of replacement frigates (200 or so, to date) and all the skills and modules the newbies needed was completely funded (skills & all) on about 150 million isk, and has taken out at least one billion+ isk battleship when we deliberately jumped into a 20 ship gatecamp which eventually slaughtered us all... Never mind the cheaper battleships killed, or the HACs, or the other random high-value kills like the completely faction-fitted covert ops that died to a small part of the fleet that got separated from the rest the other day.

It's a multiplayer online game. Whining that you can't do everything solo is ludicrous.

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (1)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 8 years ago | (#13666518)

Noobie invasions! Now that is awesome.

If you do it again, I might just join up.

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13665625)

This is SO not true.

The players skills and preparation is worth a LOT in this game.

In this game the WoW equivalents of lvl 5s can take out a lvl 50 char given the right use of ship and modules.

This game has a harsh learning curve. But people can play and function together irrellevant of "level" differences. You can very quickly fulfill a valuable role aside people that have played years longer than you.

Yes, there are timeconsuming aspects to the game. But tell me the difference between autopiloting through ten systems, and grinding crabs on a beach in WoW

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (1)

pureseth (917220) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660783)

I've never played the game or even heard much about it, but it sounds like the kind of game I would hate. I really hate having to "work" for 2 years before you can get into the end game content one bit. But, then again that is just a personal preference. The point I'm making is that some people do enjoy this type of game, it's a different game and not one I would enjoy personally (based on your comments on the game), but that doesn't mean other people wouldn't like. You said it yourself that there are some nice things about the game and some people would think that these positive sides of the game outweigh the downsides.

It's all about personal preference.. :)

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (2, Interesting)

It doesn't come easy (695416) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660922)

You are right, of course. It is about personal preference. I decided to try EVE based on number of positive web reviews but obviously I have been disappointed. However, I am still looking for an excellent 3D, first person perspective, space related game. If you know of any, I'd appreciate hearing about it. Parsec [parsec.org] , the one game that looked ideal now appears to be dead [sourceforge.net] .

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (2, Informative)

j0nb0y (107699) | more than 8 years ago | (#13661555)

I used to play Jumpgate, a fun little MMO Space Sim. There are no "skills" per se, your skills piloting your ship are your actual skills piloting the ship. I recommend a good joystick for this one =]

There is a bit of a grind, as you need to level up your experience level and your reputation (with 3 different factions) to buy most equipment.

The physics are somewhat realistic. To stop your ship, you have to turn your ship around and reverse thrust. Docking is a little tricky, and new players sometimes mess up and wreck their ships in the process. I have done this more than once =]

At higher speeds, the physics become unrealistic, as your ship will reach a maximum speed based on how powerful your engine is. When I first started playing, it was frustrating to slowly chug through a sector and have higher level players with faster ships just zoom right by.

All in all, I had a lot of fun when I used to play. Here's the URL:

http://www.jossh.com/ [jossh.com]

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (1)

bartle (447377) | more than 8 years ago | (#13661909)

I played around with the Jumpgate beta and at the time it had what I considered the "worst of all worlds" when it came to piloting their ships. Ships would slow down very quickly at high speeds but then never fully stop when you reached slow speeds. This meant that dogfighting wouldn't really let you strafe your target since your ship would naturally move in whatever direction you were facing - unless you cut your engines which lost you valuable speed. And yet your ships inertia was all too apparent when it came time to dock at a station.

The whole docking minigame was the last straw for me. It was beyond irritating to make an incredibly long run, dodge terribly powered NPCs, and then crash your ship into your destination. And if you screwed up and ran out your fuel then you didn't have braking rockets and crashing became very likely. Forcing the player to manually dock their ships was completely unnecessary; it added nothing to the game play but provided a massive irritation for new players and anyone who let their attention wander.

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (1)

nanowired (881497) | more than 8 years ago | (#13663805)

That was a great game. Except for one big problem.. Of course if you are higher level, you should have better gear, but what you basicly ran into was a case where, the higher level the ship, the higher the stats. HEAVY fighters were outrunning Light fighters and scout ships. Sure, its a higher level ship, but in Standard games with space battles, the Heavier the ship(armor, armanent, etc) , the Slower it went. So with the unbalancing level ladder, you had many problems with griefing.

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (1)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 8 years ago | (#13661238)

I calculated how long it would take me to be fully trained on captaining a battleship, with all the necessary skills for both weapons use, piloting, and maneuvering. With the current system, it would take more than 3 years in real time to finish the training.
Your math must be pretty whacked out. The games has barely been out two years, and there are plenty of battleship pilots. It's more like 6 months to be a competent battleship pilot. (Not maxed, but more than competitive)

Besides, frigates are MUCH more fun to fly anyway, and you can train for them in much less time.

(FYI - I'll be able to fly a dreadnaught by the end of the week, and my character is less than 2 years old, let alone 3)

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (1)

Danse (1026) | more than 8 years ago | (#13661785)

Your math must be pretty whacked out. The games has barely been out two years, and there are plenty of battleship pilots. It's more like 6 months to be a competent battleship pilot. (Not maxed, but more than competitive)

Umm.. you say his math is whacked out, and then go on to say that you're not talking about the same thing (i.e. being maxed out). So how exactly is his math whacked out?

Besides, frigates are MUCH more fun to fly anyway, and you can train for them in much less time.

Let me know just as soon as you're able to take out a battleship with your frigate, or even survive an attack by a hostile battleship. Frigates are cogs. More like support systems for battleships when it comes to combat. They serve useful functions, but they aren't the ones that do the killing.

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (1)

phxbadash (883828) | more than 8 years ago | (#13661965)

Yes but the GP poster was implying that it was necessary to max out ALL of the skills to be able to fly a BS effectively, which is false.

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (1)

Danse (1026) | more than 8 years ago | (#13663269)

Yes but the GP poster was implying that it was necessary to max out ALL of the skills to be able to fly a BS effectively, which is false.

I don't think he was implying that at all. He was just saying that it would take 3 years to max out all the weapon-related, piloting, and maneuvering skills for a BS. He didn't say it was absolutely necessary to be effective with a BS. He was just giving an idea of the kind of time it takes to max out your skill level in a particular area.

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (1)

phxbadash (883828) | more than 8 years ago | (#13666794)

Well then to clarify on that further. All those maneuvering and weapon skills that you are training up to use that BS are usefull for ALL ship types. If you are a combat pilot you are going to want to train them anyways, the BS is just the final goal of the training.

And also, 3 years to max them out is way off base, I have all navigation skills to 5 and all hybrid base turret skills to 5, plus I have s/m/l railgun specialization to level 4 each. Plus I have all important engineering/mechanic/electronics skills to at least level 4. If I had to start a new character from scratch I could get to that point in 6-8 months, not 3 years, unless I wanted to be able to pilot every single BS in the game at max level.

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (1)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 8 years ago | (#13661977)

I have maxed out one race's Battleships, and related skills. My character is less than 2 years old, and has trained a LOT of unrelated stuff. (Maxed mining, refining, science, and production, as well as the ability to fly most ships of the other 3 races competently)

3 years to pilot a BS well is VERY wrong.

A well piloted AF can challenge a BS. It happens fairly often. And most frigates can survive BS attacks easily unless the BS is specifically fitted to kill frigs. (Not very common)

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (1)

Danse (1026) | more than 8 years ago | (#13663251)

3 years to pilot a BS well is VERY wrong.

Again, I don't know what skills you are including in your estimate. Beginner level skills train very quickly, so the broadness of your skillbase doesn't have as much effect on the time as the depth of your skills. He said this:

I calculated how long it would take me to be fully trained on captaining a battleship, with all the necessary skills for both weapons use, piloting, and maneuvering.

I take that to mean more than just piloting, but many other skills as well. So, unless you can both come up with a specific list, I'll accept for now that it would take about 3 years to max out all the skills "for weapons use, piloting, and maneuvering." As for the matchups, when I was playing, many, if not most, BSes were equipped to kill frigs since that's what most other people were piloting. If you were in a frig and couldn't escape because of countermeasures that the BS was mounting, then you were dead. That simple.

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (1)

Shinobi (19308) | more than 8 years ago | (#13663349)

Needed for good battleship fittings and to supplement a good pilot:

Common to all:
Spaceship command lvl 4(5 if you feel like it)
Frigate lvl 4
Cruiser lvl 4
Battleship lvl 1

Necessary Supporting Skills:
Engineering lvl 4-5
Cap Management skill(Under engineering skilltree), 4-5
Energy Grid Upgrades 3-4
Electronics 4-5
Electronics Upgrades 4-5
Navigation 4
Afterburner 4
Warp Drive Operation 3-4
Weapon skills of your desired class to 4 and the supporting skills.

Specific Skillsets:
For shield tankers, all the cap management skills.
For armour tankers, the mechanic skilltree

Bonus skills for specialist fittings:
High-speed maneuvering
ECM skills
Drone skills

All in all, you can have all that within 5 months if you think about what you're doing, ask around etc.

As for BS vs Frig, not all BS's are fitted for frig-killing. That's quite far from the truth. But if they _have_ fitted for that, a frig pilot doesn't stand a chance if he stays around, and that is as it should be. A gang of frigates, however, fitted with sensor dampeners... *Grins*

As for character skills, I have all the above skills at those levels or higher, I can fly Gallente assault frigates, heavy assaults, covert ops, interceptors in addition to the T1 ships such as frigates, cruisers and battleships. I also have some science skills, EW skills, the necessary corp management skills etc.

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (1)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 8 years ago | (#13666144)

I take that to mean more than just piloting, but many other skills as well. So, unless you can both come up with a specific list, I'll accept for now that it would take about 3 years to max out all the skills "for weapons use, piloting, and maneuvering."
Perhaps to get all related skills for all race ships to level 5, yeah. But to say that is overkill is an understatement. NOONE has been playing the game for three years. MANY are battleship pilots. 3 years to fly one is just stupid.
As for the matchups, when I was playing, many, if not most, BSes were equipped to kill frigs since that's what most other people were piloting. If you were in a frig and couldn't escape because of countermeasures that the BS was mounting, then you were dead. That simple.
They finally nerfed missiles against smaller ships. Ravens don't gank everyone anymore. ;)

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (1)

Shinobi (19308) | more than 8 years ago | (#13662370)

You can take out badly setup battleships with a frigate, especially an interceptor or an assault frigate, just like you can survive an attack unless they are fitted for frigate killing. If the ship has even a rudimentary tank, you're not gonna get through it if the player has even half a braincell.

I've taken out a fair number of cruisers with T1 frigs though(Incursus and Tristan), and even a number of interceptors(cocky ceptor-jocks whine so funnily when they lose to T1 frigs)

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (1)

AlexMax2742 (602517) | more than 8 years ago | (#13664129)

Let me know just as soon as you're able to take out a battleship with your frigate, or even survive an attack by a hostile battleship. Frigates are cogs. More like support systems for battleships when it comes to combat. They serve useful functions, but they aren't the ones that do the killing.

Not one, but if you join a corperation and get into a cordinated group of frigates it's very possible to take out a BATTLECRUISER for much less than the cost of the possible firgates lost.

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (2, Informative)

ebrandsberg (75344) | more than 8 years ago | (#13661241)

As a 1 year old player, while I agree with some points (about how long it takes to train up to the battleship (BS) for example), the point of the game is that you don't HAVE to participate in that. I play a combat character, and don't fly BS's, but instead have focused on smaller ships and in doing so could take out most battleships. Pretty much nobody is perfect in any given aread, which if you could be a perfect player, it would completely ruin the game. In the flip side, because the skills are not tied to "kill, get exp, kill more, get exp, level, continue", the game can be enjoyable for even the casual player, as they can keep up with the die-hard players that play for hours every day. This is also one of the few games where you can play the game and not even focus on combat at all, but instead focus on trade, research, mining, etc. And to be clear, I haven't mined for ages, and haven't had to, so your characterization of having to mine is somewhat misleading, because it is what YOU have chosen to do to make ISK (the monetary unit in the game). Yes, this game does have some flaws, but so do every game, but the game iself makes for a very good game. Why else has it been out for several YEARS, yet continue to have more and more players joining it, as opposed to most games that are loosing players after this much time.

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (2, Informative)

Shinobi (19308) | more than 8 years ago | (#13662417)

I want to expand on a point here: Traders: One of the most difficult roles playerwise(Monitoring multiple locations, hauling the stuff quickly etc etc). But a single good trader with the right connections(Yes, you have to be SOCIAL. Who would have guessed that in a MULTI-PLAYER game huh?!?) can do more economic damage to an alliance in just an afternoon than even the best PvP corps can with all their kills.

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 8 years ago | (#13668427)

Can you explain how, exactly?

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (1)

Shinobi (19308) | more than 8 years ago | (#13668932)

By trading minerals and various components. Dumping mineral prices is a major killer sometimes.....

If Alliance A has a buy order out for Tritanium for 1.75 ISK/unit, and a couple of hundred million units wanted, a trader will set one for the same amount of units, but maybe 1.8 ISK/unit. The trader can still sell it for 2+ in a major trade area, but the alliance could very well miss out on a lot of Trit they need for manufactures

Same thing with sell orders: Dump the market slightly so that your sell order looks preferable

The sums involved are up in the billions.

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (1)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 8 years ago | (#13661703)

I agree. I played for two weeks and the game isn't that fun. Honestly, you're best off not doing anything for the first year while you train your skills, as opposed to mining for hours and then losing it all by getting killed because you have none.

I just seemed that the new players had a lot of crawling to do before they were even remotely powerful or exciting.

And the combat, I mean, what kind of game has space combat without the classic top gun approach. It's just pick a target and let the computer attack. A space game without a joystick will never do it for me.

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (1)

Shinobi (19308) | more than 8 years ago | (#13662443)

One that is more tactical than twitch-games such as Freelancer?

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (1)

phxbadash (883828) | more than 8 years ago | (#13661800)

Uhhh...I've been playing since launch and only flying a BS for 6 months. The longest skill to train up to max is BS 5 (at about 2 months training time) but that is in no way required to be effective. It is unecessary to train your skills to level 5 to be effective in combat. Training a skill to level 5 gives you a bonus of 5% AT MOST over someone with level 4 in the skill. It will not make a significant difference if your equipment is identical otherwise. Also having to train 100 skills to be effective in a BS is in itself BS. my character has about 140 skills total, 1/2 of which are non-combat related and I can max out my Battleship fitting in almost every imaginable way.

As for you getting ganked 4 times in high sec space...you do have the ability to pay attention to local don't you? The game is harsh, loss really hurts, but the adrenaline rush when some pie-rat locks onto you and you either have hope you can take him or run for the hills is something I've never experienced in any other MMORPG to date and that is why I continue to play. Well that and the great back-story, great graphics, devs who actually communicate with the community on a regular basis, the most extensive player-driven market EVAH, and the single-world aspect and the resulting community that it creates.

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (1)

Shinobi (19308) | more than 8 years ago | (#13662267)

2 months to train BS lvl 5? You haven't trained up your learning skills, I take it? For me it'd take 34 days. In the meantime, I'll just fly my Heavy Assaults, with Heavy Assault Lvl 5 already.

As for the devs communicating, it's not as much as you imply. It's mostly a little clique of sycophantic players who get heard on IRC. Be aware that there is heavy favoritism involved both from the GM's and the Devs(Most obvious examples should be BoB and 5, both heavily laden with GM's and Devs characters)

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (1)

phxbadash (883828) | more than 8 years ago | (#13666869)

Actually I have all advanced learning skills to 4, but I made my stats balanced and didn't have any per/will implants to up my stats any further. And it wasn't 2 months it was actually a bit less...something like 48 days or something.

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (1)

Shinobi (19308) | more than 8 years ago | (#13667285)

I have fairly balanced stats too, but I use implants too.

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (3, Insightful)

Shinobi (19308) | more than 8 years ago | (#13662322)

3 years is bullshit. A focused character can pilot battleships decently in PvP in less than 3 months(Besides, you need that time just to figure out the finer details of the game mechanics. You'd be surprised at how many idiots there are that just want an "I Win" button, and who don't want to think for themselves)

And, your player skills do count. But, they are more mental skills than the CounterStrike/Quake Twitch. Which fights can you expect to win? Which fights can you expect to survive? Do you utilize transversal properly? Are you fitted so you can deal with the enemy tackler? How good are you at keeping yourself aware of your surroundings so you see if the enemy gets backup? Do you know where you are in relation to stellar bodies, do you know how long it will take you to align and warp out? Will your cap hold an extended engagement after a long warp-in? Are you able to communicate with teammates, or do you expect to be able to lone-wolf it(Usually a bad idea for anyone lacking even one of the factors I mentioned)

Yes, EVE has flaws, but the parts you mentioned are not flaws. It creates a more tactical game. If you want twitch-type, you could always play Freelancer

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (1)

Danse (1026) | more than 8 years ago | (#13663297)

3 years is bullshit. A focused character can pilot battleships decently in PvP in less than 3 months(Besides, you need that time just to figure out the finer details of the game mechanics.

It's not bullshit if you read his post instead of posting some stupid straw-man response. He said this:

I calculated how long it would take me to be fully trained on captaining a battleship, with all the necessary skills for both weapons use, piloting, and maneuvering.

Notice how he says 3 years to max out all the necessary skills for weapons use, piloting, and maneuvering. See the difference between that and "can pilot battleships decently"?? Please tell me you see the difference.

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (1)

Shinobi (19308) | more than 8 years ago | (#13663366)

Absolutely maxing out those skills take less than 7 months. Besides, if you knew anything about the game mechanics, you'd know that the difference between level 4 and 5 is only really noticeable on a few specialist ships, such as Dominix(Drone control Bonus), ergo, there's no real "maxing out", unless you go for Tech 2, but then you move on to another level. Hence, it's not a straw-man argument.

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (1)

Danse (1026) | more than 8 years ago | (#13663427)

Besides, if you knew anything about the game mechanics, you'd know that the difference between level 4 and 5 is only really noticeable on a few specialist ships, such as Dominix(Drone control Bonus), ergo, there's no real "maxing out", unless you go for Tech 2, but then you move on to another level. Hence, it's not a straw-man argument.

I did play the beta for a a couple months, and then for several months after it was released before I got tired of it. I'm not an expert, but I do know how the system works. Neither I, nor the original poster were making any claims about what skills are necessary or more valuable or anything of that sort. He seemed to have done a quick napkin-math calculation of how long it would take to max out all the skills related to weapons, combat, piloting and such for a BS. That's it. No claims about where to stop training or where you reach diminishing returns. Maxing out everything was the easiest way to make the calculation. So all these replies about how you don't have to max out or that it would be better to focus on certain skills, etc., are just straw-man arguments. They don't refute or even address what was actually said. Unless the original poster comes back and posts specifically which skills he was talking about, and whether or not he factored in learning skill upgrades or not, we'll have no way of refuting it. I see it as just him considering the kind of time it would take to reach the highest level of skill in an area. Nothing more. The only reason I replied in the first place is because everyone started with the straw-man replies, so let's just drop it, k?

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (1)

Shinobi (19308) | more than 8 years ago | (#13663468)

Mechanics have changed a bit since beta, and even since release.

OK, to begin at the end: Not factoring in learning skills or implants would be a major mistake, hence it's not a straw-man argument. In fact, the reality is that anyone going for that _will_ train learning skills, and many will use implants. The conclusion of that is that not factoring them in makes for a purely theoretical scenario which is refuted by actual gameplay.

Also, diminishing returns do factor in since we're talking actual application, not a purely theoretical situation.

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (1)

Danse (1026) | more than 8 years ago | (#13663568)

Not factoring in learning skills or implants would be a major mistake, hence it's not a straw-man argument.

A straw-man argument in this case would be any argument other than the one that the original poster made. Since he didn't post specifics criteria for his math, it's not possible to refute. I understand that he didn't make a realistic argument, but I never claimed that it was realistic either. Just that everyone else was making a different argument than he was, therefore they weren't really refuting his. I don't think he really meant for his to be realistic anyway.

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (1)

Shinobi (19308) | more than 8 years ago | (#13665485)

That logic doesn't hold up. In fact, the original posters argument is the straw-man, seeing as it has little resemblance to the actual situation.

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (2, Informative)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 8 years ago | (#13667694)

You're right, I don't think the OP was being realistic either. But it is misleading to someone who doesn't know the game. It takes time to max out stuff in Eve. That is by design, and to me is actually a positive. There is a LOT of room for growth on the character level. It's just that unlike other MMO's, you don't have to be maxed to be competitive, and maxing out has a relatively small return compared to the time invested.

It can take a week to get a skill from level 1 to 4, giving say a total bonus of 20% to a stat. Level 5 alone can take a month for an additional 5% bonus. A new player can take 4 different skills from 1 to 4 in the time it takes me to get a single skill from 4 to 5. Thats a 20% bonus to 4 stats vs. a 5% bonus to a single stat.

The built in diminishing returns on skill training greatly favors newer players in that they get a much higher return on their time investment.

The OP's statement is like saying that before you can consider PvP'ing in WoW, you need to get all your tier 2 epic class gear. It just has no relation to the reality of the game.

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (1)

robinthecandystore (65190) | more than 8 years ago | (#13667649)

It's simply not true. I've been playing for 13 months now and I have 2 characters that are totally maxed out in their respected races ships. It would however take you 3 years to do all of the races ships I'd say :)

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (1)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 8 years ago | (#13667726)

Nah. A vast majority of the skills are shared. You'd just have to add the specific ship skills for each race. While time consuming, it's nowhere near the scope of years.

Now if there were race specific engineering, electronics, mechanic, and navigation trees, you'd be right. :)

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (2, Insightful)

nerdup (523587) | more than 8 years ago | (#13663311)

I think what you are describing is maxing a character out, which is VERY hard to do in Eve. I have been playing for about 3 months and I'm flying a battleship. I'm flying level 3 missions solo (the current generation supports missions up to level 4), and with one other corp mate I've been flying level 4 missions. There is a lot to do in Eve, as TFA says, and not all of it is missions.

If you won't be satisfied unless your character is 100% proficient in _everything_, then Eve probably isn't the game for you. But the breadth of the skill system is a big part of what makes Eve really interesting. Do you want a character who is a high-end expert in cloaking and covert ops? Well, it takes time to get there but it's do-able. Same for anything else. My character isn't competitive with someone who has been playing for 2 years, but that's only fair.

Not true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13663569)

There are a few things you are either forgetting, or, I will assume, simply not experienced enough to have considered in your post. First of all, you are assuming that in order to be competitive, you have to fly a battleship. To be honest, I've been far more successfull in smaller ships, and have little problem taking on battleships in a loaded up inty. BS's are nice, ya, but they require a tactical advantage to win due to their big size and, most notably, the new improvements to the missile system. You can load up a BS with cruise missiles and the best equiptment money can buy, and never land a shot on a smaller, faster ship. In EVE, as in real combat, you can't operate under the false assumption that bigger is better. In WW2, flying fortresses were at first considered indestructable. After a few missions of taking enormous losses to smaller, faster German fighters, however, the allies quickly realized this concept. From then on, they flew with fighter escorts, a tactical decision that enabled them to be much more effective.

Second, you are assuming that in order to be competitive, you have to have EVERY combat skill maxed out. This simply isn't true. For instance, I specialize in missiles. I was able to get my missile skills up to very competitive levels in only about a month, give or take a week or two. I didn't bother researching gunnery skills because I don't use guns, and honestly don't need em, although I have recently started learning them as I have the time to do so. Pick an area to specialize in, and specialize in it. It won't take you 3 years to do this.

Third, you probably haven't fully examined the skills available. EVE has a group of skills called learning skills. Getting all of your important learning skills (Int, Mem, Per and Will are probably the most important) to high levels does not take an extreme amount of time, maybe a month or so. After that, your other skills will be dramatically reduced in their learning times.

Finally, you haven't discussed the issue of corporations. Sick of being stuck with no money or good equiptment? Join a good corp! I joined a mining corp and was issued a free miner setup, and upgrades as I needed them: FOR FREE. Teamwork enables players to do those things that they could not do as easily on their own. Corporations also introduce a greater tactical element into the game. Sure, a 1 on 1 dogfight in the early stages of the game with inexperienced pilots is pretty much a slugfest, but a large corp battle is a ballet, and a fun one at that. One thing you will rarely see in a large corp battle is two groups composed entirely of BSs going at it. The reason is simple: by employing tactics, which include using smaller ships equiped with warp scramblers and the like you can be much more effective than just ramming juggernaut ships together.

While you say you played for 6 months, it doesn't appear as if you really got into it (to be honest, I doubt you played for 6 months after reading your post, 6 weeks seems like an overstatement), so I don't imaging you overlooked this on purpose. However, as in ALL mmo's, EVE takes a significant time investment to reap long-term rewards. PvP in WoW isn't fun at lvl 1, and neither is dogfighting in EVE a week after you start playing. Play a little longer (and I'll agree, EVE takes longer than some other games, but not as much time as some, and the benefits are that you don't actually have to be PLAYING to get better), and you will see that EVE has some very unique and awesome capabilities that can lead to a very enjoyable experience.

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (4, Informative)

Oveur (918243) | more than 8 years ago | (#13665509)

As you point out there are some players that absolutely love it. We now have 71.000 customers, experiencing continuous growth since launch, surpassing big titles such as Sims Online, Asherons Call (1&2) and Planetside (See http://www.mmogchart.com/Chart3.html [mmogchart.com] ). I can only assume from that fact that your statement is indeed correct and there are some players that absolutely love it ;)

We will however never be a mainstream game and we have never intended to be so. We have a brutal and harsh universe and embrace PVP, and consciously live with the drawbacks of that decision as a cost of doing business. Your experience of being a miner attacked by a pirate a stellar example of such cost. Nevertheless, would EVE be so unique and growing if it didn't have such an extensive PVP system? I seriously doubt it :)

However, I can't agree with your estimation of the skill training system, time required to train to be proficient and the gap between experienced players. I'll go in to some basic details first so everyone reading is on the same page;

In EVE, a skill is trained off-line, each skill involving 5 levels, each level giving an additional cumulated benefit. Since we are talking about combat proficiency, lets take the Small Projectile Turret skill. It allows the Operation of small projectile turrets and gives a 5% Bonus to small projectile turret damage for each level trained, resulting in 25% bonus to damage at level 5.

The key here is to look at levels 1-4 and compare them to training from 4-5. Training from level 1-4 to get an accumulated bonus of 20% takes a day. Training from level 4-5 to get an accumulated bonus of 25% takes a bit more than 6 days. If I have a decent amount of learning skills trained and implants, these numbers would change to 3/4 of a day and 4 days respectively. I can shave more off with better learning skills, better implants and a character in a combat bloodline. I should also mention that advanced learning skills and implants were released considerably after launch, so older players are at a disadvantage, having spent more time achieving the level they are at today compared to the possible speed of a new player.

Therefore, the skill system inherently has a built in favoritism towards new players even though off-line skill training would seem to contradict that simply because you spend relatively more time achieving those extra percentages. Surely, a 2 year player will be better off in general than a 6 month player, but if you train wisely, fit for the occasion and position yourself well, you can have him running too.

Remember, you only need to train for about 5 months to get everything to level 4 which a 2 year character all has to level 5. If you want to advance to higher tech levels however, you start getting training prerequisites of level 5 in certain skills, which again requires you to start selecting what you want to specialize in.

I assume you the 3 years you mention are to train all those skills to level 5 and you are right, if you want to max out the skills, you will need something in that ballpark. But that also means you can use almost any ship and any module from any race in the game and be pretty damn good at it. Currently, nobody has that ability, EVE is only 30 months old.

I'd also like to point out a new feature coming up, which is called "Eye for an Eye" which I believe might help your situation. If someone kills you illegitemately, like you describe, you get an "Eye for an Eye" contract on him which allows you to shoot him down whenever you see him - once. I don't know if that is the kind of retribution you are looking for, but it might be.

Thanks for voicing your concerns, although I don't agree with some of them - but I hope I addressed them to some extent.

Nathan "Oveur" Richardsson
Senior Producer - EVE Online

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (1)

It doesn't come easy (695416) | more than 8 years ago | (#13665962)

I appreciate your write up here. Yes, there are players that absolutely love EVE and there are players who don't. One can find plenty of examples of both on the web. And it is probably that way for every major game. So my rant is from the perspective of one player who doesn't like EVE. In my original posting, I did not go into many other aspects of the game which I feel also lack good game play, mainly because it would take too long (yes I know, not really fair to bash the game and then give no details).

However, I must respond to your comment about the skill system as well as comments by others. My statement was that it would take more than 3 years to be fully trained on all of the skills needed to be an expert in battleship piloting. I did not say it would take three years to gain the skill to fly a battleship nor to be proficient at it. The calculation is simple and there's no mistake in my math. Take all the skills you need to be an expert, add the skill points necessary to be fully trained at level 5, and divide by the skill training rate for category of skill. The time required to fully train every related skill is more than three years, even if your learning skills are maxed out (the three years includes the time to train the learning skills, but this is fair because the time to train the others skills without the learning skills is longer than the combined time of training learning skills and the other skills -- while this aside might sound confusing, EVE players will know what I mean by this). The only variable I did not include in my calculation is the effect of higher level implants. The higher level implants were left out mainly because of their impossibly high price it's highly unlikely I would even be able to afford one (much less more than one).

Another skill area being glossed over here by various posters is the need for peripheral skills. I have the skills necessary to fly a battleship and I trained the basic skills within 4 months. However, you need far more than the basic command skills and weapon skills to be effective. For example, after training the basic heavy laser skill, to be effective you also have to train the skills that extend your power, distance, tracking speed, cpu usage, energy usage, firing rate, etc. So just being able to mount the laser is not enough, you also have to train a myriad list of other skills to be effective. And each subsequent skill is in a "higher" class, meaning that training time is double, triple, quadruple, etc., longer than the basic skill. The same lengthy string of necessary peripheral skills applies to every area, including piloting, electronic warfare, trading, manufacturing, mining, on and on and on. All in all the time it takes to train the basics is nothing compared to the rest of the related skills you need to be "fully trained". And the way the game is set up, significant development of the peripheral skills is essential to besting experienced players in combat (because you can bet the experienced player has also been training all of the peripheral skills as well, so his weapons shoot further with more power and faster reload time, etc., that that of a newbie).

The fundamental problem with this approach is that it is absolutely impossible for someone starting the game now to ever catch up with a player that started the game a year or more ago. New players have no hope of ever being on par with older players, except that most of them don't figure that out for 6 months or so (like me). That's why I predict that you will not see a significant increase in players that stick with the game for a year or more. You may see a lot of new players that play for a while and then quit. And you may even see an increase in the total number of players (but possibly only because these are simply more people playing online games these days). I will be surprised, however, if you see a corresponding increase in long term players.

Such is my opinion.

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (2, Informative)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 8 years ago | (#13667954)

The fundamental problem with this approach is that it is absolutely impossible for someone starting the game now to ever catch up with a player that started the game a year or more ago.
This is not true. You are basically making the assumption that more Skill Points means they're better at everything. Many older players did not have the advanced skills we do now. I remember a time when training ANYTHING to level 5 was considered a waste of time. So most vets are a "jack of all trades" simply because they ran out of stuff to train for their first choice of profession.

I'll use my own character as an example. I started out as a production character, so I started with mining and manufacture, and the ships best associated with mining. (Gallente at the time)When tech II research began, I switched to sciences. Now I have a couple million SP dedicated to R+D. When those were at an acceptable level, I started looking at dedicated combat. Now, keep in mind that I had passable skills (lvl 3-4) in most combat related stuff, but I didn't start specializing until this point, which was about a year after I started. I changed what races ships I wanted to fly, which meant starting from the bottom again, and I've only just recently finished cruiser and battleship 5 for that race, as well as advanced energy weapon skills.

Essentally, I've near maxed several professions. Mining, production, research, trade, and just recently, combat.

Now, how can you catch up? Simple. Don't try and be everything at once. Pick a field, and you'll be as good as anyone in it in a few months. I have 27 million skillpoints on my character, But a large portion of that has NOTHING to do with combat. Mining skills, science skills, social and trade, corp management, industrial ship skills, etc. I have all these, and they do NOTHING in a fight. All the SP I dedicated to hybrid weapons and Gallente ships are useless when I'm in my Apocalypse using energy weapons.

Pick a role and specialize in it, and you'll catch up VERY quickly in that role. You just can't do everything.

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (1)

Shinobi (19308) | more than 8 years ago | (#13666126)

It should be noted that 71000 paid accounts is more than the actual number of players. I wouldn't be surprised if as many as 50% of the accounts are secondary, tertiary or even quarternary accounts though judging by in-game population 35-40% seems more likely.

Also, you guys need to use a bit more logic when it comes to game mechanic changes(Tuxfords proposed Mk II changes for example, or the plate mass suggestions), get some more RP content instead of the 0.0 soap opera assisted by Dev and GM chars and Out-Of-Character Help(Snooping around on IRC is quite "fun"). 0.0 soap-opera, or "content" as you prefer to label it, mostly consists of "You did!" "Did Not!" "Did Too!" "Did Not!", the brave forum warriors spamming the channels(And, doing a bit of statistical analysis, you can see a bias towards BoB and 5 from the forum moderators too, far fewer locks and edits against them even on pure flames) and alt account lameness.

Also, the banning of Jade Constantine... While people such as Molle, Viceroy etc can still post... Jade added more real content than any of them did.

However, the RP communities have tried to create real, actual content, but been blocked at many times(I mean, for fucks sake, why weren't the RP people such as UK, CVA, Jericho Fraction etc told about the email adress to submit chronicles to? They had to get that info from generally unimaginitive 0.0 people from BoB(Again!)). They have tried to create small and large events that both fit the background _and_ make sense from a purely logical perspective. They also want the ability to interact with the empires they work with and against. You really should talk to people such as Gaven Lok'ri, Khaldorn Murino, Lomong etc. They all have some quite fascinating ideas for various gameplay improvements for those who wish to do something that ties into the storyline. And not crap events such as the Titan one, that was just ridiculous

And then there's your technical crews... *Smirks* Misconfigurations through sheer incompetence, implementing changes to the primary infrastructure without also doing them to the secondary infrastructure, divide by zero errors in the client, memory leaks, server-side lag spikes, where the client can have 30-40ms ping to server, 40-50 FPS, yet the _server_ refuses to respond, and all you do is blame the clients(Sure, 20 people in the same system _all_ have the same problem at the same time.... Not!)

Yes, the only major reason I still play EVE is because it's the only space-based MMO that isn't 100% crap. I'm not involved in the RP community myself, but some of my friends are, and I admire them for wanting to do more than just kill-kill-kill.

Simple improvement that would dramatically improve (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 8 years ago | (#13668543)

the game...

Let players be able to put skills to train into a que so they don't have to log in exactly when the skill is done training to set the next one training.

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (1)

Ice Tiger (10883) | more than 8 years ago | (#13665649)

That is the path you chose to go down, being a miner in high sec space. Here is someone who decided to be a pirate when he started you can read about it here: ,url:http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a =topic&threadID=228135>. Not everyone is a pirate, I live in lawless space in an alliance and we actively hunt down and kill pirates, even going to war with oirate corporations. The game is what you make it and to be honest it is the only game that has grown the more I've played it, have been playing now for over a year.

Ship combat is very tactical rather than trying to aim your weopons, you're the captain and you tell your ship what to do, bit like real life to be honest. The fitout and player skill plays a huge part and not the in game skills you have unless there is a huge descrepancy, sure you get an edge if you invest the time to train the high levels (level being obtainable in a week, a maximum of 5 in a skill) however that won;t make up for having an unsuitable fit compared to your opponent.

The game is player verses player in that you might compete in industry as well as combat, the social interaction is vast and the loss penalty is what makes the game what it is as no game has given me the shakes as when I first went into PVP combat in this game. It's not a game if you're a carebear who likes to be safe all the time but if you wnat a game that grows with you and doesn't have an 'I Win' button then this is the game for you.

Re:Not as good as they would have you believe (1)

DS-1107 (680578) | more than 8 years ago | (#13667348)

I'm flying level 4 missions with friends and doing my part after 1 month of unfocused playing (I've mostly trained learning skills to get other skills faster later on) - with 1-2 days per week of playing I've reached a level where my frig can deal the damage it needs to do good, but mostly be able to help control the battle. after just days you can do good in pvp with a focused learning of skills. even is not a game where you need to sit around and grind for 3 years just to be competative.

Sounds familiar... (1)

NekoIncardine (838965) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660939)

Isn't the old Microsoft rule for killing things they don't want "Embrace, evolve, extinguish?" Or was it "Embrace, EXTEND, extinguish?" Meh. Doesn't matter. Just saying.

EVE is quite an interesting game (2, Interesting)

AlexMax2742 (602517) | more than 8 years ago | (#13661095)

If you're a fan of Trade Wars style games or Elite style games, or if you miss the days of old Ultima Online where you could PvP to your hearts content without being screamed at by the playerbase, this is the game you have been waiting for.

That said, it's not for everyone, and it has a steep learning curve. However, that hasn't detered away their playerbase, and while it doesn't grow at exponential rates, it's stable and growning enough for them to afford the resouces to provide a new free expansion every six months. EVE is CCP's only game. They have no other priorities than EVE, and it's their job to make sure it's a great game...not necissarily one that appeals to the masses, but a great game nontheless.

Re:EVE is quite an interesting game (1)

Danse (1026) | more than 8 years ago | (#13662056)

If you're a fan of Trade Wars style games or Elite style games,

I loved Tradewars and Elite, and I was ecstatic when I heard about EVE. However, I started playing when it came out and it was a complete letdown. Talk about a grind. It was the most yawn-inducing game I've played in a long time. Takes forever get anywhere, combat is automatic, skills are earned realtime, which is nice as a levelling idea, but reduces the game to one of social skills and free time being the dominant factors. Social skills are very important when forming, joining, or running a corp. You gotta be able to get people working together. In this case free time isn't needed to level up, it's needed to make trade runs, guard your fellow corp-mates while they're making runs or mining or whatever they happen to be doing, or just ferreting out ways to make money. They even managed to make combat pretty boring by making it automatic and taking individual skill completely out of it. You generally know pretty quick when you're in over your head. And a few seconds later it gets confirmed as you watch your ship turn into a fireball. All in all, this game is entirely too similar to real work for me. I feel like they should be paying me to play it.

or if you miss the days of old Ultima Online where you could PvP to your hearts content without being screamed at by the playerbase,

There's plenty of griefing going on in EVE, that's for sure. Between the random PKing just for kicks, and the scams that people pull, it's not much fun for n00bs. I think that's gonna have a real bad effect on EVE's future population level. I never got off on griefing, so this isn't a selling point for me either.

Re:EVE is quite an interesting game (1)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 8 years ago | (#13662165)

There's plenty of griefing going on in EVE, that's for sure. Between the random PKing just for kicks, and the scams that people pull, it's not much fun for n00bs. I think that's gonna have a real bad effect on EVE's future population level. I never got off on griefing, so this isn't a selling point for me either.
I don't like griefing either, but people have been wailing that the non-consentual PVP would destroy Eve since it was released. However, the population keeps growing, so I guess people are okay with it.
They even managed to make combat pretty boring by making it automatic and taking individual skill completely out of it.
There is a ton of player skill in combat. It's just tactical skills instead of twitch skills.

Re:EVE is quite an interesting game (1)

Danse (1026) | more than 8 years ago | (#13663332)

There is a ton of player skill in combat. It's just tactical skills instead of twitch skills.

Well, there are tactics involved when choosing when and where to fight, ship types and loadouts, and how many ships to bring, but that's only for planned combat. Unplanned combat is when you get ambushed or have to fight at a time and place not of your choosing and for which you aren't prepared. The outcomes of such combat are usually foregone conclusions.

Re:EVE is quite an interesting game (1)

Shinobi (19308) | more than 8 years ago | (#13663379)

And you usually end up in such situations due to not thinking ahead and not using the tools at your disposal(Map, local channel, scanner, asking friends etc etc)

Re:EVE is quite an interesting game (1)

Danse (1026) | more than 8 years ago | (#13663437)

And you usually end up in such situations due to not thinking ahead and not using the tools at your disposal(Map, local channel, scanner, asking friends etc etc)

That goes back to another comment I made about social skills and free time being the main resources that will benefit a player in EVE. So, I agree with you on that.

Re:EVE is quite an interesting game (1)

Shinobi (19308) | more than 8 years ago | (#13663478)

Free time isn't _that_ much in need for it. Checking the map takes all of a minute or two. Checking Local is what you do while you're there, same thing with scanner. Asking in corp/alliance/public chat if an area is hot and what can be expected takes less than 5 minutes. But yes, it's really a multi-player game, where good teamwork/cooperation and the ability to think fast rather than just twitch are the most important attributes.

Re:EVE is quite an interesting game (1)

Danse (1026) | more than 8 years ago | (#13663585)

A person with good social skills can form relationships with others in the game. A person with a lot of free time and good social skills can form a lot more relationships, and since they'll be in-game a lot more often, they'll be in on more opportunities and advance much faster in a corp than someone with less free time. Sure, the mechanics are easy, but it takes time and experience to learn how to interpret what others are telling you and what you're seeing in the game. Ultimately both social skills and free time are important, but two people with roughly equivalent social skills, the one with more free time should advance proportionately faster.

Re:EVE is quite an interesting game (1)

Shinobi (19308) | more than 8 years ago | (#13665495)

That person will also have more direct competitors, and even enemies. He'll also have more "responsibilities", since he'll most likely have joined a more "prestigious" corp.

Re:EVE is quite an interesting game (1)

Danse (1026) | more than 8 years ago | (#13666534)

That person will also have more direct competitors, and even enemies. He'll also have more "responsibilities", since he'll most likely have joined a more "prestigious" corp.

Right. He'll be more "in the game" than the other player. I don't see competitors being any worse than someone who only plays a few hours a week though. If anything he'll have more experience and time to deal with them. All in all, he'll be moving at a much faster pace.

Re:EVE is quite an interesting game (1)

Shinobi (19308) | more than 8 years ago | (#13667440)

More time spent playing can also mean bigger losses. And yes, you will have more enemies, just by virtue of more activity.

Re:EVE is quite an interesting game (1)

Danse (1026) | more than 8 years ago | (#13671507)

More time spent playing can also mean bigger losses.

If you're losing more the more you play, then you should probably play a different game :)

eve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13661209)

The level of developers not caring and GM corruption in this game is unbelievable.

Stunningly Beautiful -- Incredibly Boring (2, Interesting)

popo (107611) | more than 8 years ago | (#13661471)

EVE suffers from the *wrong* kind of expansion: It expands at the bleeding edge, at the point where its most experienced players will benefit from the expansions. But the problem is that EVE is in desperate need of expansion at its earliest levels.

Simply put: EVE is boring. Its a slog. It requires an enormous amount of time to mine resources and travel between points. There is nothing approaching the immediacy of an instanced dungeon. (Yes, they try. No, it doesn't work.)

Some of the problems are fundamental. Like: "Space is boring". Ultimately space is just a big vacuum. To the developer's credit, they've made it look stunningly beautiful, but after drooling on your keyboard for the first couple hours you'll realize you're in a matter-poor environment. There aren't trees or rocks to hide behind, mountains to get a better view from, stairs to escape up, etc. The occasional floating asteroid doesn't offer much respite from the monotony of, well... nothingness.

EVE's other problems are more game oriented: The game is mind-numbingly impersonal at first. Despite a few training missions, which teach the player about the interface more than the gameplay there is little in the way of indoctrinating new players into the EVE universe. You feel like a punk. You are a punk. Don't like it? Play for another year. Don't know what to do? Consult another player. (They'll tell you to spend more time ... as in weeks... on something).

The game cries out for a starter-universe. But more than that, the game cries out for more interaction. In a nutshell, "telling" your ship to dock, is not nearly as much fun as "docking" manually. "Telling" your ship to fire on another ship, isn't nearly as much fun as "Trying to hit" another ship. Granted, the game is not a videogame requiring hand-eye coordination. But in the absence of physical matter and with only scant human beings sighted here and there, an element of competitive gameplay or two might be nice for early players.

EVE has focused far too much on player retention and not enough on player acquisition.

If anything, EVE has paved the way for someone to write the next great space-based MMORPG. Its what Everquest or Dark Age of Camelot are to World of Warcraft: the predecessor that vividly paints examples of "what not to do".

And primarily "what not to do" is annoy early players.

Re:Stunningly Beautiful -- Incredibly Boring (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 8 years ago | (#13661657)

Maybe if they could install a PC on the ship for those ~15 jump trading missions, I wouldn't mind waiting so long. I could install a MMORPG on the PC and play it while I pilot my ship.

Smething else - you can't really 'pilot' your ship. No joystick.

Re:Stunningly Beautiful -- Incredibly Boring (1)

phxbadash (883828) | more than 8 years ago | (#13662077)

You are thinking of the ships in the wrong context, these are not small, nimble fighters that you are flying, they are capital ships. Picture flying the Enterprise (god I hate referencing that P.O.S. show). It is not 1 guy flying it with a flightstick but a whole crew controlling different systems. In Eve you are in a pod with the computer controllng the other systems. Even frigates are not small ships, they are still considerably larger than a fighter would be.

If that aspect bothers you that much then I believe Eve is not the game for you and that is fine. As for WoW learning from EQ and DaOC's mistakes, hardly, they pretty much ignored all that those two games have learned and made the same damn mistakes again.

Re:Stunningly Beautiful -- Incredibly Boring (1)

Asgard (60200) | more than 8 years ago | (#13662507)

You evidently don't recall Riker manually piloting the Enterprise in Star Trek: Insurrection via a rather fragile looking flightstick.

When I was playing Eve I had a hard time understanding the scale of the ships. Many of the newbie ships had surface features that seemed fighter-like in scale. It didn't feel like a capital ship.

a shame really (1)

McCarrum (446375) | more than 8 years ago | (#13661906)

I see the game as having so much potential, but it just falls short. Repeative missions, a system that cripples newbies into gankfood, repeative actions, flying through a star is NOT GOOD (and I dont care if you're in some version of warp space - gravity wells are bad, mmmkay), repeative space flight, and the list goes on.

There are some seriously cool things about the game, the depth of the story is very impressive, and as an old PnPer (pen and paper role player), I loved soaking it all in.

But, it's slow and tedius. I literally was at a LAN party when I first played this, and there were parts of the game where I just told the ship to do what to do, and I went around for 10 minutes making sure everyone was happy. Returned, and it was still going.

B. o. r. i. n. g. ... and repeative.

It was also repeative.

Re:a shame really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13665511)

Repetitive.
Repeat after me.
Repetitive. Repetitive. Repetitive. Repetitive. Repetitive. Repetitive. Repetitive. Repetitive. Repetitive. Repetitive. Repetitive. Repetitive.

Your comment violated the "postercomment" compression filter. Try less whitespace and/or less repetition. Comment aborted.

Gamasutra. (1)

cornface (900179) | more than 8 years ago | (#13661929)

90% of the time it seems like Zonk could be replaced by a Slashbox.

Not for every taste (1)

dbhankins (688931) | more than 8 years ago | (#13662562)

Eve isn't going to be for everyone, but I like it well enough that after less than a week I signed up for a year.

I have thought for some time that a game with the mechanics of Frontier Elite II or Privateer and the graphics of Freelancer would be the one thing that would get me into MMO gaming, and Eve pretty much fits the bill.

Levelling is indeed quite slow, though there are things you can do up front to accelerate it - the learning skills speed up the acquisition of other skills. Implants can help too, but the better ones are rare and very expensive.

Travel times are long. This is mostly the result of the game bringing you out of warp (intrasystem FTL jumps) 15km from an intersystem jumpgate, space station or asteroid field, with your max velocity being under 400m/sec (my current ship is 245). Some people have developed a system of bookmarking points in empty space - called instas - in order to bring you out or warp right on top of your destination, but these only work for routes you've already travelled (and therefore will be using frequently). Transit times in my current ship on autopilot average about 30-40 intersystem jumps per hour.

There are some things I would like to see tweaked in the game - for instance using a skill should speed learning its next level, and warp could bring you out 5km from your target instead of 15km, but I'm having fun now, and I'm *not* mining.

I've been in almost two weeks. I started by doing a little trading, then I got my first new ship a week ago, and now I spend all my time going on NPC pirate hunting missions in high-security space. Some risk but not too terrible, some fun battles, and I'm insured and cloned so if I get pod-killed by an experienced player pirate the worst that'll happen is I'll lose some ISK.

I don't expect to be in a capital ship for quite a while, but unlike players used to the quick newbie levelling of games like Everquest, I'm not in a hurry.

Re:Not for every taste (2, Informative)

Shinobi (19308) | more than 8 years ago | (#13662693)

A friendly advice: Train Navigation 1 if you haven't got it already, then afterburners 1.

And, train your learning skills if you continue with the game! They are essential. Best pattern is: First Instant Recall to lvl 4, then Analytical Mind to lvl 4. After that, Learning to lvl 4. When you're done with those, go for lvl 5 Instant Recall, then Eidetic Memory up to lvl 5. After that, Analytical Mind, finishing it all off with Lvl 5 Learning. Meanwhile, during that training period, just save up for the advanced learning skills. If you've joined a player corp by then, you might even get help to earn that money(If you're allowed to tag along on lvl 4 missions, you can easily make a couple of millions in one night).

When you have trained Eidetic Memory to lvl 4, go to Logic lvl 4. Now you can train the other learning skills such as Spatial Awareness/Focus etc. It's a bit boring, but you'll notice that it pays off even one month later, by cutting training times for later skills down by a lot.

Re:Not for every taste (1)

dbhankins (688931) | more than 8 years ago | (#13662803)

Heh. My plan is to stay in my current ship and mission profile until I've got all normal and advanced learning skills to L5. It will make learning everything else so much faster, though it'll probably take a few weeks to get there.

Re:Not for every taste (1)

Shinobi (19308) | more than 8 years ago | (#13662829)

Don't bother with the Advanced Learning skills to level 5. That time investment doesn't pay off until years ahead, unlike lvl 4's, which pay off _much_ faster

People don't get it (2, Insightful)

pbaer (833011) | more than 8 years ago | (#13663320)

Eve is not a pve game and there are no training wheels. Please don't complain about how there aren't any massive dungeons etc. because that's not the focus of the it. If you want to do massive raids go play WoW or EQ(2).

First of all eve does not require massive time investment to become competitive. You don't need 20+million skill points to have a chance only 2million. Player skill is much more important than character skill. Furthermore 2 1million characters > 1 20 million if the 1mils know what they're doing.

If you want to be truly good at eve you have to think, you can't grind to "max level" and expect to pwn people because skill bonuses are relatively small (2-5% increase in dmg, speed etc. per level) and there's so many nasty things someone can trip you up with if you aren't expecting it or don't know what you're doing. It has a very flexible "class" system which encourages creativity. Because of this a you need to know what you're doing and the limitations of your "class" if you don't want to get rolled.

Re:People don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13666913)

eve is a hard core game for a small hard core group of people and thats all it will ever be. Just like almost every posts here says "its not for everyone" and in there
lies your problem.

Its a niche game for hard core players who like spending months getting anyway and ganking new players *sigh* a lot more people do NOT like that then those that do.

so eve will never have large concurrent numbers, it will never be huge like a WoW game,
it will amount to little more then a footnote in the anals of MMO games.

as for the link in this article that says "largest concurrent MMO" baahaaa
shanda in china has 2.5million concurrent players, there stock is traded on the nasdaq and they have a company valuation in the billions. sorry eve your not even on the radar.

nice try. even wow has more concurrent players then you. unfortunately for you pretty graphics does not make a game good and your the perfect example.

Re:People don't get it (1)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 8 years ago | (#13668071)

Someone mod this guy troll. Making a game for a niche market is not a fault, it's simply a design decision that is just as valid as any other. If every game were the same, and catered to the same players, then the game industry would be pretty damn boring.

WoW has never had 13k+ concurrent users on a shard. Eve has.

pretty graphics does not make a game good
And WoW is an excellent example.

Re:People don't get it (1)

phxbadash (883828) | more than 8 years ago | (#13668693)

Concurrent does not refer to total subscribers, it refers to total players on a single server at the same time, most MMORPG's servers can handle at most 5000 players (poorly) or about 3500 players (with decent performance).

And there is nothing wrong with being a niche game. Actually I'd much rather play a niche game that is done well f.ex Eve than a cookie-cutter one that is done purely for profit f.ex WoW/SOE Games. The next fantasy MMORPG that I'm going to even look at trying will be Dark & Light because they appear to not be following the standard mold for MMORPG's in most respects.

The other thing that I've always liked about EVE is that it is evolving so much over time. To look at the game when it first released and what it is like now, they are 2 completely different games. And it's more than just adding in another raid instance or some new battlegrounds and a few new items. They are drastically changing the dynamics of the game around and keeping things fresh.

Sounds good on paper... (1)

0biter (915407) | more than 8 years ago | (#13664976)

"we can create the environment and tools enabling to happen. We're also very iterative in our work and keep continuous feedback cycles on the features we do, then regularly improve them based on that feedback."

i am interested in your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.
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