Why Play Eve Online: Part Three


Welcome to Part Three of a series in which I will attempt to explain why everyone who enjoys gaming, should play Eve Online. And by "play" Eve Online I mean join up, log on, and have fun playing the most amazing virtual/real universe ever conceived by man. With spaceships in it!

Part One: The Common Thread

Part Two: Actual Real Humans

Part Three: The Big Lie!


There are a lot of myths perpetrated by well-meaning people. The Loch Ness Monster. Bigfoot. UFOs. Gaming is no different. We create self-perpetuating mythology as individuals and as a community, that eventually become 'truth' and well accepted fact. One of the most annoying, for me personally, is the commonly held belief that Eve Online is an extremely hard game.

This could not be further from the truth.

Let me be perfectly Nixonian (perfectly clear) here, Eve Online is super easy! Do not let anyone tell you differently. You create a character all your own, an avatar you will hardly ever use for anything, jump into a spaceship and undock into the vastness of space with it. For the new player CCP has created an entire suite of helpful tutorials that will guide you step-by-step into the universe, if you choose to use them. So many people choose not to use the tutorials, that is just how easy Eve is! I didn't, and I'm still playing almost six years later.

In the spirit of truth I will tell you that Eve is a rather complicated and deep game. It is so expansive in fact, that someone can actually blog about it for over five years and not run out of things to talk about... yet! There are over 5,000 star systems and wormholes and high-security, low-security and zero-security space out there. Hundreds of spaceships (spaceships!!) and thousands of variations that spring off a very simple and easy premise. Log in, undock, and let the universe present itself.

Eve is hard in exactly the same way real life is hard. I suppose that is one way of looking at it. I prefer to look at life as challenging instead. And Eve is very much a challenging experience. You don't play Eve as much as you experience Eve, let it unfold around you, and choose your own adventure. Eve is not into hand-holding, and it can be powerfully beautiful and insanely harsh. It is unforgiving. It is dark. Scary. And full of weird people doing weird things. Just like your neighborhood.

Eve is not Candy Crush. Eve is not Angry Birds. Eve is not even Diablo or Halo. Eve is not an achievement based "game" in which players are rewarded BY the game. Eve doesn't work like that. Eve rewards you only when you let it. You are the driver of your own experience. No one else is, not the game, not CCP, not the other players. It is all up to you. And I suspect, that is the aspect that horrifies and challenges so many people. But that shouldn't be translated wrongly into making anyone think Eve is hard to play. Because it isn't.

While I'm about the business of debunking myths about Eve, let me address another one. It is bantered about commonly (and even in the ad I used for the banner to this post!) that Eve has a very steep learning curve. This also annoys me to no end. Eve does not have a steep learning curve. Eve has a CONSTANT learning curve! If there is some fool out there that seriously believes that, at some point along your journey, that you STOP learning in Eve - then I have some swamp land to sell him. I have never once stopped and thought, you know, I'm kinda done here. I think I know everything. That is never going to happen.

Why? Primarily because I don't want to know everything. But also because CCP keeps changing, evolving, and adding new things all the time. Just recently everything I knew about an entire class of ships changed under my feet. That was very exciting. New stuff to learn!

When I started playing I bought into the myth of the learning curve. It is most commonly seen as a cliff with a plateau at the top. It is not like that at all. The curve just keeps going and going. There is no plateau. Believing in such a thing only sets new players up to be horribly disappointed. The curve presents the idea that you have a manual's worth of knowledge to learn right off the bat. That Eve is so hard and complicated that you can't possibly know it all. Which you can't, but you also don't even need to know most of it! You really don't even need to know much of the game, at all.

Especially at first. This isn't a Phd after all. My first day in Eve I learned to undock, dock, warp to belts, and navigate a bit. I also shot a laser at an asteroid. How hard was that? I did that my first day! I was so friggin' happy. I was flying a spaceship in space.

Did I mention that you get to fly spaceships?

That is tomorrow's post.

Eve is super easy! You should come play with us.




9 comments:

  1. "I also shot a laser at an asteroid"
    i remember doing that aswell during my first days hehe i bet every one did the same :D

    nice series of articles, very well written.

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  2. My first day, I started shooting asteroids. After three days, I saw nice looking cans filled with ore and I told myself, "-Why waste 15 minutes shooting asteroids when this dude right next to me has a filled one ready to be stolen." That's exactly what I did.

    Yeah, Eve just takes patience you can't wait to learn at least the essential knowledge in your first days playing it. Especially when it comes to PVP, it takes several months until you started understanding it. But afterward, it something as you said that it never stops. You're constantly learning.

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  3. Meh if it was easy everyone would do it Rixx. Just look at WoW ;p

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    1. Aren't WoW numbers declining?

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    2. I said it was easy, not stupid. lol

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  4. First day and only asteroids? You should have played those tutorials (if they were at least quarter that good than now). :-P
    When I started (about 3-4 years ago), the tutorial was already in a good shape. Finished 4 of the 5 career chains on the first day and was ready to do anything a 1 week old player could do character skill-wise except exploration (that was the 5th career tutorial). Surprisingly, that one was also very easy, if you took the time to read all the popups.
    Yes, EvE is not as hard as some like to say, but I would still suggest everyone to do the tutorial career chains at least once. (It also pays real good and provides some basic skillbooks and ships to start your journey)

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  5. When I started, the tutorials took about two hours and I basically learned to undock, warp, lock and shoot. And everybody's answer to the what do I do next was "this is Eve, you can do whatever you want". But when you don't know what tools you have, all you can do on a sandbox is to draw lines with your fingers and maybe dig a hole or two. Fortunately there were many sites that explained how things worked and I did quite a bit of reading.

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  6. "So many people choose not to use the tutorials, that is just how easy Eve is! I didn't, and I'm still playing almost six years later."
    probably because you still haven't found the Quit button.

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    1. Not at all, and I've come very close to quitting several times. I went almost four months without playing, and have had other times when I couldn't play much at all. Part of that was the way I was playing, so instead of fixing Eve, I decided to fix the way I was playing.

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