The years almost ending; websites are releasing their "Top 10 best of 2014" game lists. On virtually every list on MMORPG's one may notice Eve Online; just like every previous year.
What is this game? You may have heard it in some context similar to "an interactive spreadsheet", or some other such troll-y comment.
But Eve's not achieving it's high rankings from being a space spreadsheet. In reality, Eve is probably one of the most extensive and amazing games ever to be created by game developers. Some may argue that Eve mechanics are boring or repetitive; but they are simply not acquainted with Eve's totally unique play-style and mechanics. Unlike other games, Eve does everything but hold your hand. There are some tutorials at the beginning to familiarize the player with basic game mechanics; however in the end you are thrown into a gigantic space universe, probably the biggest map in a game to date, with no clear goals. This is what creates the infamous Eve learning curve. Among the Eve community is a funny meme which exemplifies this:
Yet, despite it's ridiculous learning curve, it embodies everything a game should be: fun, mysterious, adventurous , addictive, social. Learning, unlike many other MMORPG's is an essential part of the space laser pew-pewing of Eve Online. It's part of the fun: discovering different aspects of the game, learning the best way to annihilate your foes, teaching yourself the art of making billions of ISK. I could list things to learn in Eve all day; and I wouldn't be sure if I even covered them all. That is part of the beauty of Eve, and it is what sets apart a new player from an old one.
In other games; more powerful players are easily recognized. Big guy, glowing, with a sword 5 times his size, eternally dripping with blood? Yeah, he's probably both higher-leveled than you and more powerful. In Eve, however, such a comparison is not so easily made. Part of what distinguishes new players from old is experience and knowledge; old players have more of both. That does not mean, however, that new players are at a disadvantage. New players pose just as large a threat to the Eve Universe as old players do--and there are many examples of this. Sure, an old player can have some crazy ships at their disposable, but new players have ships of their own. Their are many instances of new players grouping up in teams of frigates (the smallest and easiest ship to start flying) taking down players who have been flying for years more than they. This premise, then, brings us to one of the main aspects of eve:
Risk. It's what makes the Eve world go round. It's what's been making it go round since 2003 when it was released, and it's what powers the machine today. No other game exists today that plays off of risk like Eve does. A players ability to gauge risk will set him apart from others. Risk is associated with many parts of Eve, but i'll list them here in summary for you:
Much of the risk in Eve is associated with Eve's in-game currency, ISK. Players use ISK to buy ships, and equip their character with all the laser pew-pewing it needs. ISK is anything but earned easily, and so it holds a special place in the heart of Eve Players. There are many ways to earn ISK, but i'll only list a few of the main ones:
- Mining. A player can go out to asteroid belts or other such places, "mine" for raw materials and then either sell them on the Eve Market or use them to build something
- Industry: Building things from raw materials (goes hand-in-hand with mining)
- Planetary Interaction: Think of this like a game within a game. It's like farmville in Eve, except with minerals, factories, and space shuttles instead of pigs, brocolli and sheep
- Being a Pirate: holding other players at ransom for their ISK (this is something that you can't do in other games!). There are whole corporations (the
guild/clans of eve) dedicated to this
- Hauling: Taking items from one location to another, and selling them (Only possible because of how huge Eve is)
- PvE Combat: The normal that you find in other MMO's. Mission running and/or destroying opposing factions of AI controlled ships and such
- Last but not least, and my favorite: Station Trading. Eve's market is not like a normal game. It is its own economy. Their is a whole team of people at CCP (the creators of Eve) dedicated to keeping it in check. They even had a economist with a PhD to advise them on this. Unlike other games, Eve's market is totally run by the players, through buying/selling. You can't find NPC's selling items. In addition, the extensiveness of Eve means different prices in different places, adding to the complexity of Eve's market system economy.
I've only listed a few ways of making money in Eve; there are a whole lot more. Much of a players time will be spent earning ISK to fund their pew-pewing.
Eve has a system where Corporations (a player-run organization. these can be made up of 2-hundreds of people) take territory and defend it. They establish their own structures, bases, etc. It is a corporations job to defend their territory from other corporations. The more territory a Corporation holds, the more influence they hold as a result. Here's a map of the influence current Corporations hold on the star-systems and territory of Eve Online.
The infamous Goonsworm Federation is in power over alot of territory, and are regarded as one of the strongest Corporations (also one of the most..disruptive. They like their antics and messing with people. They are basically a corporation of Pirates).
Shoutout to Brave Collective, my current corporation <3.
General risk is little things to watch out for--making sure you can afford your ships, are flying through safe space, not taking any routes through the Goonswarm Federation if your not apart of them (it ends badly, believe me), etc.
So what does all this risk mean? Well, if you haven't heard of Eve's space battles, then you will now. Obviously these warring territories cause conflicts; and battles break out all the time. To date, the largest Eve space battle has cost players $300,000. And no, that's not in ISK. That's the conversion from ISK to Real US Currency. Honestly, it's hard to wrap my head around that number sometimes. That space battle lasted 22 straight hours, 20 million soldiers killed and 600 Warships destroyed. Some of the best warships disappeared during this battle; which means ships kilometers long being annihilated by enemy factions. Here's some footage from the battle:
Most of the ships you see in the video are "Titans". Gigantic, slow moving, but extremely powerful spaceships. What you can't see so well are the smaller ships flying around--but believe me, they are there.
That is Eve, and that's not even all of it. There is so much I haven't covered. Once could write a book on Eve and all of it's nuances. If you'd like to try out Eve Online, you can get a 21-Day Free Trial Here. And if you do decide to try it out, i'll be the first to welcome you to the crazy, complex, and amazing Universe of Eve Online. Happy Flying ;)
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