Comments

[spoiler show=”Editor’s Note”]He is one of the most active bloggers in EVE and got some good insights which goes beyond the typical EN24 scope. We are proud to present selected stories from this magnificent internet spaceship blogger. If you would like to read more we invite you to visit his blog here.

[/spoiler]

Riverini’s Note: Dive into self-complacency and read a review about the game you love the most, to be honest this is one of the most insightful posts not just from Jester’s Trek but from the whole Eve Online blogging community. For new-comers it is really hard to get “recent” reviews about Eve Online, we hope this amazing Jester’s Trek enable EVE virgins to be guided into the “light” and be dropped into the void by the beautiful monsters (us) that inhabit it.

Lame Sound Cue: PEGI 18!!!

Jester’s Trek: Objective(?) review of EVE Online

Periodically, Seismic Stan over at Freebooted does what he calls a “blog banter”, which is a single topic which he encourages all of the EVE bloggers to weigh in on.  It’s something that I’ve only participated in a couple of times.  That isn’t because I’m uninterested in the topics or the concept.  It’s actually mostly because I have so many topics that I want to blog about that adding to my writing load by responding to banters in addition would be unacceptable.  😉

Still, in his most recent blog banter, he challenged the EVE bloggers out there to “review EVE“.

And that struck me as an interesting challenge.  You see, before I started this blog, you might be surprised to learn that I wrote other things.  And a lot of the “other things” that I used to write were video game reviews.  I wrote and submitted a ton of them on gamefaqs.com, for instance, as well as game guides for both major video game releases and for the occasional Flash game I liked.(1)

As a writer, I was rather amused at the attempt to review EVE that Dualshockers published a few months ago.  Looked at objectively, after all, that article wasn’t a formal “review” so much as it was an overview of EVE’s good and bad points.  The article made little or no attempt to quantify particular aspects of the game, for instance.  Much of the review focused on explaining in-game elements.  As a result, it was a bit like reading a review of a car that made few comparative assessments of the car’s acceleration, braking, or handling, but instead talked about the road feel of the car and then went into great detail on how to drive.  😉

So… review EVE?   It would be interesting.  Could I remain unbiased enough about the game to review it objectively?  Would the years I’ve spent in it cause me to be overly generous?  Would my occasional bitter-vet syndrome cause me to be overly negative?

Let’s find out.  When I would review games on GameFAQs, I’d review six aspects of them: interface, game-play, graphics, sound, story, and multi-player.  And just for fun, I’ll write this review assuming the reader has no familiarity at all with EVE Online… just as I would have done on GameFAQs.  Fair warning: the results are horrifically long.  😉

Introduction

Who hasn’t dreamed of flying in space?  Who hasn’t dreamed of commanding their own starship?

This is the focus of EVE Online, an MMORPG set in a truly massive universe of thousands of solar systems, and tens of thousands of planets, moons, space stations, and anomalies.  Launched in 2003, CCP — EVE’s developer — has deftly managed to avoid irrelevance despite the game now being older than the cars that most of its players drive, and certainly far older than their computers!  CCP has managed this through continuous updating of the game’s client software and back-end databases and servers.  EVE also requires that all players use the most-updated client software, which is available for Windows and Macintosh computers.  As a result of these frequent updates, unlike virtually every other MMO of a similar age (WoW comes to mind), EVE manages to look surprisingly fresh and modern, though the game’s interface suffers from its age.

Players take command of an entire fleet of star ships, though only one ship may be flown at a time.  And virtually all of the action takes place on a single server… all of the approximately 400,000 EVE subscribers eventually log into this single server.  Though EVE has many single-player “theme park” elements — a result mostly of the game’s age — the focus of the game is strongly multi-player and those that attempt to play EVE as a theme park MMO will be severely disappointed.  However, the game’s multi-player elements stretch into every aspect of the game.  Buy a ship, and you can be assured that you’re buying it from another player, who built it with materials he or she either mined themselves, or bought from yet another player, who mined those materials from one of the game’s hundreds of thousands of asteroid belts.  Very few items in the game are bought or sold by NPCs, most are created by players, and the vast majority of the items have an in-game use that can confer advantage to the player using it.

Still, one essentially plays EVE in one of three ways: as a combatant, as a trader, or as an “industrialist”.  Combatants use their fleet of ships to engage in combat, either with other players or against the environment.  Traders concentrate on buying and selling goods and services on EVE’s vast marketplace.  “Industrialists” are concerned with both the crafting of items, and the gathering of raw materials needed to do so.  And in all three cases, the player is in competition with other players on the same career path.

EVE is updated approximately every six months, with major updates (something like 20 of them now) being free to all players.  A subscription-based revenue system is CCP’s main source of income, with a much more minor micro-transaction market providing additional revenue through the sale of both vanity items for the player’s little-seen avatars and game time certificates that can be bought and sold within the game for ISK, the major in-game currency.

Players advance in level not through using skills, but by training those skills, which happens over time, both while the player is active and while the player is logged out.  There are an outrageous number of skills, each of which can be trained to five levels.  Each confers the ability to either use the game’s ships, devices that can be fixed to those ships, or support skills used within the game’s trading, corporation (guild), or planetary management interfaces.  Low levels of skills take only minutes to train, with each level taking progressively longer.  Lower-level skills then unlock higher level skills.  For instance, one must be at least competent with a frigate to unlock the ability to fly a cruiser, then one trains that for a while to unlock battleships, and then capital ships, and then “super-capital” ships.  An in-game “certificate” system guides newer players through the early stages of this progression.

Interface: 4/10

Starcraft was released in early 1998.  While it was and remains a fantastic game, Starcraft had several weaknesses that are influencing game designers to this day, almost 15 years later.  Two of those are the game’s isometric projection display and its treatment of all models in the game as spherical and existing on what is essentially a two-dimensional plane.  However, many of Starcraft’s strengths have been copied by game designers over the years as well, and one of those are the large friendly push-buttons to get those models to perform actions, each of those actions also associated with a hot-key.  Certainly, other games prior to Starcraft had some of these elements as well, but Starcraft combined them all into a single game.

And that game has been influencing interface designers across virtually every genre since that time.

Starcraft wasn’t entirely two-dimensional, of course: there were ramps and stairways and cliffs that could be used to advantage.  But it was often difficult to determine ranges or angles thanks to its isometric display.  Only with experience did you develop a feel for the firing range of a Marine or a Hydralisk.  And no matter what angle your Marine or Hydralisk was fired at from, they always took the same amount of damage.  Homeworld, released late the same year, improved the Starcraft model with true 3D combat and models that took varying amounts of damage depending on what angle they took that damage from.  But it retained Starcraft’s essential isometric projection and click-to-go-here movement model.

Both Starcraft and Homeworld had other similarities as well: both were played from a somewhat distant perspective with a minimal focus on actual game-play graphics and sound and a stronger focus on “big picture” elements of what was occurring in-game.  It gave the player a more distant, displaced — almost dispassionate — feel for what was going on.

Though EVE Online was released almost five years after Starcraft and Homeworld, it retains most of the strengths and weaknesses of the interfaces of those two games.  The only added element is a spreadsheet-like display of ranges to all available targets to make it easier to determine if the player’s actions will have an impact on their target.  While there is a much more intuitive and useful spherical display available showing the ranges of the player’s possible actions, this display is only rarely used.

This combination of isometric zoomed-out play-style, spreadsheet-like range display, and hotkey-or-buttons controls gives EVE’s interface an extremely dated feel.  Even Homeworld’s relatively simplistic way-point movement system is unavailable to the EVE player, whose movement choices are limited to manual flight, flying toward an object, maintaining range from an object, or orbiting an object.  Specialized combat options are handled either through clicking the tiniest possible buttons or right-clicking boosters kept in the ship’s cargo hold, then selecting the option on a menu to consume them, potion-like.

Once one leaves space and docks, the spreadsheet and right-click-menu elements dominate.  Everything in this part of the game is handled with eye-strainingly small text (only recently improved with the ability to enlarge it) and right-click context menus to perform virtually any action.  Only a few elements of the game are truly drag-and-drop.  Items that the player wishes to sell in market, for instance, can (must) be dragged from the cargo hold of the player’s ship into the “hangar” of that station.  Once there, the player right clicks those items and selects “Sell” rather than what would be a more simple expedient of dragging them directly into a market window.  Items are purchased from the market in the same way.  The ability to multitask is also not provided, so if the player wishes to sell 30 items, each of those 30 items must be sold individually, one by one.

More complicated actions quickly become a click-fest, an insane mix of left- and right-clicking.  Take, for example, the case of a player that has ten items for sale on the market, and wishes to confirm that they are offering the lowest price for each item.  In this case, the player is provided a list of those ten items.  For each one, they must first view the market for that item and check to see if they have the lowest price, by right-clicking and selecting “View Market Details”.  If they do not, they must then return to the list (left click), then right click the same item again, select another option to adjust the price (right click), and then manually change the price with their keyboard to the desired new price.  Even with as few as ten items for sale, this is a recipe for frustration.  If the player has 60 or 70 items for sale, it can escalate into a case of repetitive strain injury.

CCP has been quite resistant to player attempts to improve the interface, providing few or no APIs to make the game’s deficiencies in this area easier to manage.  As it stands, the interface is one of EVE’s major weaknesses: a dated, eye-straining, spreadsheet-dominated, inconsistent mess.

Game-play: 7/10

This is far and away the hardest element of EVE Online to score objectively.

It’s easy to judge EVE based on its game-play content.  And in that, EVE shines.  The game has been around since 2003, after all, and in all of that time there’s been a huge amount of content added.  From missions to mining to trading to spying to exploration and diplomacy to contract scams and crafting, there are a hundred ways to lose yourself in EVE’s content.  Without intending to be a theme park MMO, EVE is a theme park MMO.  And large swaths of this content can be played solo.  There are quite literally websites devoted to nothing else but showing off everything that one can do with a few spare hours to play EVE Online.  And one doesn’t even need a spaceship to do a lot of it.  One can have a very complex, challenging, engaging EVE Online career while almost never un-docking, as long as the station is the right one.

Once you add the multi-player content, the diversity jumps even more.  In the last two years, CCP has almost completely revamped its multi-player PvE content, adding 2500 new “wormhole” solar systems to explore beyond its standard stargate system and adding RIFT-like “incursions” that spew baddies that must be destroyed into otherwise relatively safe space.  Both of these options are — for the most part — multi-player PvE options only where being sociable will be rewarding.  Similarly, CCP has also been revamping its PvP content, attempting to streamline the often esoteric and overly-difficult mechanics for how PvP takes place in-game.

The net result is that there is quite literally years and years of game-play available for both the solo and social EVE player.

EVE Online has been famous for years because of its murderously difficult learning curve.  Little or no documentation exists for the game, resulting in virtually everything known about the game’s mechanics being developed and written by the players themselves.  CCP delights in throwing new features into the mix with virtually no warning to players about what they can expect those new features to involve.  And since there are so many of them, you end up with highly specialized websites explaining what you’re likely to encounter in an incursion or an “epic arc” mission or “pirate arc” missions.

That learning curve extends to the construction and “fitting” of the ships themselves.  There are quite literally hundreds of potential spaceships to fly, and an almost infinite number of ways to prepare those ships for space.  Each ship has a varying number of weapon, defensive, and utility slots available that can be filled with the modules built by players.  This results in widely varying ideas of what the “best” way to fit this or that type of ship might be and more websites whose only purpose is to help with this part of the game.  Since ship fitting is critically important to success in any EVE endeavor, often the work done before the ship even enters space is just as important or more important than the in-space game-play itself.

That alone would be bad enough.  But when a player’s ship is killed — something that can happen quite frequently — the death of that ship is permanent, and that ship and everything associated with it is lost.  While a limited insurance mechanic can help defray a few of the costs of such a loss, there’s no question that losing a ship is an expensive proposition that can set the player back days, weeks, or even months of play time, depending on the investment made in that ship.  The penalty for dying is high… and so is the likelihood.  PvP in EVE is non-consensual, and though there are limited “high security” areas where newer players are supposedly “protected”, the “protection” is mostly in the form of in-game NPCs destroying potential suicide bombers… maybe before they can kill you… but maybe not.

Overall, this results in a game that is almost ridiculously, laughably hard to learn and to play, which can be off-putting — to say the least — to the new player.

Still, if one persists, the player will find a tremendously deep play experience.  The wide range of options, both in PvE and in PvP, means that no matter how you enjoy playing a game, the option to play EVE in just that way probably exists.  Even better, a community of EVE players that is already playing the game in that way and can guide newer players through their early growing pains also exists.  EVE players are rewarded for being sociable.

Story: 8/10

EVE Online’s back-story, and written history of the galaxy wherein the game takes place — New Eden — are impressively rich.  Literally hundreds of pages of such back-story exists, all of it well-detailed and nearly all of it internally consistent despite a large number of writers tasked to its production over the course of several years.

New Eden contains five major off-shoots of the human race in varying degrees of competition and cooperation with each other.  Linked to the five major races are several sub-races of pirates, terrorists, exiles, and gypsies.  The game apparently lacks any non-human alien race, but one portion of the galaxy is supposedly infested by “rogue drones”, a non-sentient form of artificial life.  Many of these rogue drones were, in turn, created by two additional off-shots of humanity — now extinct — that have left archaeological relics behind that can be salvaged and put to use.  The in-game story differences between the various off-shoots of humanity are distinct, and it is easy to recognize and understand the motivations of each.

EVE contains a small but extremely loyal role-playing community devoted to exploring some of these differences.  CCP encourages this by staging occasional “live events” aimed at the role-playing community, and sponsoring the authorship of books, short stories, and player-produced fan fiction.  Two elements of major game-play content are aimed firmly at enhancing EVE’s in-game story and many others are peripherally involved.  Occasional CCP-produced trailers also emphasize in-game story elements, including one that was used for external television advertising.

The net result is a gaming atmosphere where even the most anti-role-playing EVE player cannot help but be affected by the story elements.  Even these players take a certain fierce pride in their “rusting”, “broken down” Minmatar ships “held together by duct tape”, for instance.  The ships in question are of course no more fragile or problem-prone than any other ship in the game…  These anti-role-playing players are simply reflecting the common knowledge among EVE players of the Minmatar race’s back story.

That the game’s story elements permeate the player base to this extreme reflects the strength of those elements.  Occasional inconsistencies or missteps only mar this mix very slightly and are made mandatory by the game’s structure as an MMO.(2)

Graphics: 9/10

This is where the money goes.

EVE’s frequent updates means that in-game graphics are being almost continuously upgraded.  As I write this, a major upgrade is currently happening to the look of the ships belonging to two of the game’s four major races.  Upgrades to the other two are planned for later in 2012.  Late in 2011, the feel of space itself was given a major upgrade through the redesign of the game’s strongly-prevalent nebulae.  Prior graphical upgrades updated the look of planets, moons, star fields, and asteroid belts.  When weapons are fired, they are shown to be fired from moving turrets, attached to the ships in logical places, which swivel to face their targets and fire in the color and style of the ammunition selected by the player.  A moving ship leaves an engine trail behind it, engines which flare when the pilot activates in-game propulsion-enhancing afterburner or “micro warp drive” modules.  Badly-damaged ships trail smoke and fire.

This gives EVE’s spaceships a surprisingly dynamic feel when they are examined closely, and the space they fly in is breath-taking to behold… almost too colorful for those that will be expecting the deep black of open space.  Still, the visuals are gorgeous, far ahead of almost all competing products.  They certainly belie the game’s 2003 origins; logging in, you would think the game was only recently developed.

A grand sense of scale is provided by the varying sizes of ships.  The smallest ships are frigates; the largest are “super capital” ships.  Fly a frigate-class Interceptor alongside a “super capital” class Titan and this scale is conveyed quite well.  It will take the Interceptor a few minutes to fly along the Titan’s hull, and not only do the Titan’s guns dwarf the tiny frigate, you get the impression that the mere ammunition those guns fire does too.  In a large, mixed fleet, the varying sizes of ships provides a sense of wonder… and when that fleet enters warp together, that sense of wonder is multiplied manifold.  It’s hard not to feel like you’re a member of the Rebel fleet jumping to light-speed in Return of the Jedi.

Other graphical effects are similarly impressive.  Planets, asteroid fields, and moons are surprisingly life-like, and the aforementioned nebulae are Hubble Telescope quality.  In-game effects are displayed quite well, with missiles generating explosions, most forms of electronic warfare or support shown as on-screen effects and turret-based weapon fire hitting or missing their targets rather spectacularly, and being shown doing so.  Each race’s ships, both player and NPC, are logically and consistently designed, and it’s quick and easy to determine just from looking at a ship what race it belongs to and from there what its probable strengths and weaknesses will be.

In 2011, CCP delved into much more detailed in-game avatars.  Though at this writing, this dalliance appears to have been a failed experiment, the resulting character models are some of the best in gaming, with a fantastic, intuitive character creator and lots of interesting options for shaping multiple facial and body styles to suit the player’s interest.  Clothing, hair, and other decorative options are somewhat limited, but it was clearly the intention to expand these within the game, both with free items and more stylish items sold via the micro-transaction model.  However, as of this time, the avatars are shown in single-player “Captain’s Quarters” that are of extremely limited use or utility.  Time will tell if CCP chooses to expand the game further in this direction.  Players that choose to eschew the Captain’s Quarters are instead presented with either a static or dynamic hangar view displaying the player’s current active ship.

The graphics have one major weakness, and that is EVE’s isometric interface.  You’ll spend much of your time playing EVE Online zoomed quite far out, which will render virtually all of the game’s graphics invisible to you.  While zooming in closer is indeed possible, few EVE players play the game in this way since doing so is not advantageous.  As noted above, the game definitely rewards maintaining a “big picture” view of the proceedings with the result that you’ll spend much of your time looking at a small box surrounded by other small boxes… how the game chooses to depict the ships in this zoomed-out state.  In addition, the graphics surrounding the rest of the user interface are simply adequate.  Once you learn what all the push-buttons do and mean, you won’t have any problems with them.  Still, the game quickly comes off looking graphically cluttered thanks to the interface, though thankfully not to the extent that Perpetuum Online does, for instance.

Sound: 6/10

EVE’s sounds are for the most part merely adequate.

The game’s music is probably its strongest audio point.  Musical pieces available are diverse and atmospheric, though suffering from the occasional lapse into European-style electronica.  Still, if you choose to listen to them, you’ll find them an excellent match for the game’s in-game mix of high-tech and low-tech elements.  Unfortunately, a lot of EVE players choose to turn off the game’s music, considering it a distraction, which is a shame.

Other in-game sound effects are suitable to their uses, with sounds for warp drive, weapons, electronic warfare, and the like.  In each case, the sound is acceptable, but not particularly spectacular.  Projectile guns rattle, lasers make appropriate sounds, and if you pay attention, it isn’t difficult to determine what is happening around your ship from the sounds that the game provides you.  Overall, the game’s sound effects are probably too subtle and since they usually convey little to no in-game advantage, again many EVE players choose to turn them off.

The combination of these two factors causes many EVE players to joke that “EVE has sound?” but this is a little bit unfair.

Still, the subtlety of the game’s sounds is a drawback.  The game’s internal mechanic for sound causes the game to emphasize sounds from effects that are happening closer to your ship and de-emphasize ones that are farther away.  While this makes logical sense, how the game handles this is quirky at best, badly buggy at worst.  Often, you cannot hear your own ship’s modules at all, or they will be downplayed by the sounds of modules of nearby ships.  Sound effects that should be loud, enveloping, and immersive, such as getting into warp drive or using a long-range “cynosural field” to jump across many light-years, are instead de-emphasized and overly damped down.

Voice acting is nearly non-existent within game, with only one in-game voice being heard, that of “Aura”, the AI that provides help and guidance to every player.  Still, Aura’s voice is only rarely heard, and then mostly during the tutorial phase of the game.  Far and away, the most frequent phrase you will hear from Aura is “warp drive active” as you get your ship propelled into long-range space flight.

Multi-player: 10/10

The multi-player aspects of EVE Online are — far and away — the game’s strongest element.

Though literally years of game-play content exists within the game’s structure thanks to its long life and diversity of choices, CCP has shown true genius in the openness of its game world to player-generated content.  It is this player-generated content that is the true strength of the game.  It’s likely no exaggeration to believe that a solid majority of EVE players were originally drawn into the game thanks to some story of woe inflicted on one EVE player by another.  And EVE’s structure makes inflicting such woe, in a variety of ways, quite easy.

In this way, EVE Online reflects a true Fibonacci sequence.  The death penalty inflicted by the loss of a single ship is mirrored in larger and larger context as one moves up the ladder of experience and responsibility within the game’s structure.  At one level up, bad decisions made by an in-game player fleet commander can result in the loss of entire fleets: hundreds of dollars in equivalent real-life assets can be lost in only a few minutes time if dozens of players lose their ships in quick succession.  Taken another step up, poor decision-making by player corporation CEOs (guild leaders) can result in hundreds or thousands of ships being either lost on the battlefield, or trapped behind enemy lines in stations to which those players lose access.  Taken a step still farther, alliance scammers or thieves can cause the loss of literally tens of thousands of dollars in equivalent real-life assets through theft or financial malfeasance.

Each of these stories is then reflected both in EVE Online’s vibrant blogging and forum community, and many of these stories then leak out to the gaming press at large.  Each such story results in a wave of new players, eager to inflict such losses on other people themselves.

Needless to say, EVE Online attracts a certain type of player.

Whether competing for mineral resources, planetary resources, wormhole sites, incursions, the best markets, or on the direct pilot against pilot battlefield of PvP, nearly every single EVE player ultimately finds themselves playing a true multi-player MMO.

Nowhere does this multi-player content become more prevalent then the “null-sec” space which comprises about one-third of the solar systems in the game.  In much of this space, the solar systems and structures within those systems themselves can be captured, profited from, and fought over.  “Claiming sovereignty”, as it is known, is often regarded by EVE players to be the “end-game” of EVE Online, the province of those most skilled and most experienced in the game.  Still, even at this level, new players can be welcomed and can excel in lesser roles as they learn the ropes.

EVE Online is therefore a true sandbox: a game that can be played in any way in which the player desires.  However, since the game takes place on a single, massive server, all players and all of their actions in some way influence that sandbox.  Every play-style in EVE ultimately reflects that, with even the most risk averse “carebear” knowing that his wares, at some time and some point, will ultimately be used in the “global war” that makes up New Eden.  No other major MMO today can match that level of multi-player integration.

Overall: 8/10

Overall, EVE Online is a high-quality entry in the MMO marketplace.  Its sandbox, multi-player aspects are its strongest points.  As a “theme park”, content-focused MMO, it is both much weaker and somewhat repetitive.  At its heart, most of its theme park gameplay ultimately boils down to slowly wearing down the shields, armor, and eventually structure of enemy ships.  The permanent loss of ships in combat means that the player cannot become too emotionally invested in any of his creations.  EVE therefore rewards a more RTS-focused player able to look at and appreciate the bigger picture and accept tactical losses.  It is also quite similar to RTSs in its relatively weak interface and the requirement of patience to build up the skills and bankroll needed to use the more advanced in-game options.

As a result, it is not a game that will appeal to everyone, and it is a game that is likely to remain a niche player in the MMO market.

Still, those that can accept EVE’s limitations will find one of the best, if not the best, true multi-player MMOs out there, and its deep gameplay and rich environment will keep them immersed for months or years at a time.

(1) I was quite active on Kongregate for a while.
(2) One wonders how many hundreds of thousands of times the “Damsel in Distress” has been rescued, for instance.

Ripard Teg

[spoiler show=”Did we mess up?”]
We want to give you guys the best possible intel, to post as fast as we can confirm it, but Eve being :Eve: is quite confusing. If we messed up with our intel, please contact us directly [email protected], provide the proof of it and we’ll correct it immediately noting the change and bringing the correction on top of the article list.[/spoiler]

If you would like to send intel or contribute, feel free to use the form below:

[spoiler show=”Submit Intel Here”]

[/spoiler]

42 Comments

  1. welp

    you listed missions and mining as gameplay was that a mistake

    December 30, 2011 at 2:01 am Reply
  2. Carebears Anonymous

    Mining, trading, research, industry zzzzz

    December 30, 2011 at 2:49 am Reply
    1. I can accept mining is boring and some sort of mechanic should be done to spice it up (puzzles which increment yields when solved maybe? Angry-Roids?), but market pvp as i call it is definitely a killer app at least to me. I love to see some nullsec nooblet buying my whole lot of goods, posting them at a higher price only to find I refilled the market and undercutted his ass the next day. Setting buy orders in jita, shipping it to null-sec and selling at "jita sell cost" is definitely another way to make money fast and get a lot of cheers from ur mates.

      😛

      it's a play style thing i guess

      R

      December 30, 2011 at 2:56 am Reply
      1. Shattershark

        "Setting buy orders in jita, shipping it to null-sec and selling at "jita sell cost" "

        "hauling I do myself is free" = "ore I mine myself is free" = "datacores I farm myself are free"
        Don't you think that you could've sold the same stuff at Jita price in… well, Jita itself?
        When bragging about undercutting nullsec nooblets make sure that you're doing it right.

        December 30, 2011 at 4:04 am Reply
        1. When you set a buy order you usually set a price below the lowest selling order in jita, when someone fulfils the BUY order and u post a sell order at jita price, you are already earning money over it.

          Ishtar sell in jita at 130mil
          u put a sell order in jita for 115mil, someone fulfils it
          over the jita price u aready got a 15mil profit
          u bring it down to nullsec where the price will make it rotate on the market in less than a day.

          Without including cost, u make over a 15mil profit by selling at "close to jita price."

          This is opposed to buy the ishtar in jita for 130mil and selling it in nullsec for 140mil.

          Finally u encounter far less competition in nullsec than in jita, were bots are a problem.

          by selling at jita prices u discourage competition on that particular item, that's when u increase the prices a bit and widen the profits.

          😛

          December 30, 2011 at 5:27 am Reply
          1. Shattershark

            "u bring it down to nullsec where the price will make it rotate on the market in less than a day. "
            Selling t2 cruisers in Jita doesn't take a lot of time either, especially when you spread your bets around and don't rely on single ship type.

            "Finally u encounter far less competition in nullsec than in jita, were bots are a problem"
            Competition from bots in Jita? Dude, quit drinking that kool-aid already. If those "trade bots" were real and effective arbitrage wouldn't be as profitable as it is.

            Anyway, reduced competition in nullsec means that you have an opportunity for some price gouging and anyone who doesn't like that can go try french opera.

            By selling at Jita prices in nullsec you're simply undercutting yourself.

            December 30, 2011 at 5:50 pm
          2. Trapped

            And by price gouging your hurting your friends.

            Take a freighter full of doctrine ship(look at kill boards and see what is dying in fleet battles) and sell them at jita price in null. You help your friends get stronger, make a decent profit, and the product moves faster than it would in jita, especially if you have inside info about where battles are going to take place. Not hard to sell 200 maelstroms in an hour when AlphaFleet is fighting.

            January 4, 2012 at 8:19 pm
          3. Shattershark

            "First rule of economics – everything is scarce. First rule of politics – ignore the first rule of economics"
            Friends should be first to know that your time and effort are ought to be paid for, everyone should know that price gouging is an invitation for competition. Anyone not willing to compete or pay the price for convenience should shut up and htfu.

            January 5, 2012 at 5:11 pm
        2. Blazde

          Time I spend 0.01isking in Jita is free, right?

          December 30, 2011 at 7:21 pm Reply
      2. Former NC

        People can already Facebook while they mine.

        It's called PI.

        December 30, 2011 at 5:47 am Reply
      3. Brofist

        So hardcore! You're such an adrenaline junkie m8. But take care, cause too much excitement can be hazardous for one's health.

        December 30, 2011 at 6:54 am Reply
    2. Former NC

      Without such shitty avenues of gameplay there would be no Vagabonds, no Guardians, horribly expensive everything, no supers and no Jita.

      …Actually, no Jita sounds pretty good. Means Orphans would have to maybe go elsewhere for a fight. Just sayin'…

      December 30, 2011 at 4:20 am Reply
  3. BillyBob

    Thorough but a bit dry. I would expand on player interaction and the sense of community that you develop in EVE more so than other games. Also delve more into the darker sides of the game with scamming, corp theft, suicide ganking etc. That's what got me into the game, and many others as well. Finally, we all know that EVE is a very difficult game to get started in, but I personally look at the required learning curve, lack of instruction and general difficulty as EVE's greatest attribute. I like the fact that the game naturally sorts out the wheat of the dedicated players from the chaff of the casual players who should just stick with angry birds. I wish more reviews cast these facts with a positive connotation.

    December 30, 2011 at 4:17 am Reply
  4. Imigo

    " And no matter what angle your Marine or Hydralisk was fired at from, they always took the same amount of damage." – Not entirely true.

    If your marine is on high ground being shot at from low ground, they take reduced damage. I think you're meaning whether they get shot from the front or back, but thought I'd clarify.

    Otherwise, nice write-up.

    December 30, 2011 at 4:58 am Reply
    1. Ralina_F

      Actually, in SC1 they had a chance of missing units on highground. Thought I'd clarify.

      Otherwise nice comment. 😉

      December 30, 2011 at 7:10 am Reply
      1. Imigo

        Yeah, no damage is reduced damage. Thought I'd clarify.

        Otherwise nice reply ;^)

        December 30, 2011 at 11:30 am Reply
  5. Rhistel

    I'm no industrialist, but I salute you guys every single day.

    December 30, 2011 at 5:18 am Reply
  6. Paul

    I like the part where the author said this game has major updates every 6 months. He must have been sleeping. Because for the past two years CCP hasnt released anything major. CCP underlined this by saying they havent been working on this game for years now while focusing on other games. It is the whole theme behind the lastest minor (expansion) update Crucible. I stopped reading after that part. Seeing the ratings, 9/10 for graphics. In 2004 maybe. Graphics in this game compared to other games (even games from 5 years ago) is not very good. Yes the new background is nice, but that is all there is. Stations for example (and the inside) look horrible. Story gets a rating of 8/10? there isnt even a story in this game. Yes the background information featured in the introduction video when you first boot up EVE. All great, but no where in the game is that being used as a major gameplay element. Even rating gameplay 7/10 is just too much. There is not much to do in this game. ratting, mining, missions (the boring stuff) its all a drag. The good stuff pvp and for industrials building stuff is mediocre at best. PVP is almost non existent in this game. Unless you count in the structure shoot and the blops that come with it. Great fun, yeah we all love that. With the 1 to 3 hour fleet form up that come with it. No wonder people play or do other stuff while EVE is running on their computer. Unless you count that experience as the EVE gameplay experience, than maybe such a rating is understandable. But if your doing all that while having this game in full-screen mode and doing nothing else, your better off staring at a wall. Its more exciting. Most alliance leaders even barely log in. And that includes our beloved CSM member. So wake up out of your dream world. CCP needs to start working on this game. What happend to AF, FW, Time Diliation in this patch. All major key points. Again CCP failed to deliver it. They said Time Diliation would get activated a week after the update, because they wanted to test it (All talk offcourse), and later they continued to say they canceled it for this patch. Meanwhile you have everyone thinking that all those nice features are in the patch and people like you acting like nothing has changed, which is just not true.

    December 30, 2011 at 5:22 am Reply
    1. Gay game needs work

      this is more accurate on how we as a community think about this game.

      December 30, 2011 at 10:07 am Reply
      1. Narsus

        "We"… hahaha you funny.

        December 30, 2011 at 2:49 pm Reply
      2. buggrit

        There's no WE in EVE. Its all about number one.

        December 30, 2011 at 8:27 pm Reply
    2. sour

      get out of jita moon4 station and u may find some interesting things about eve twat

      December 30, 2011 at 10:18 am Reply
    3. Ken

      Expansions to just about any other MMO always ship with the same problems and bugs that Eve's does, but you don't pay for the Eve expansions. That is close to a decade of free content CCP has added to this game that you have no been required to pay for. In the world of MMO reviews, that alone is worth about 3 points on a 10 point scale.

      December 30, 2011 at 12:43 pm Reply
  7. derp

    TLDR can someone summary?

    December 30, 2011 at 6:41 am Reply
    1. TLDR

      Good game needs some hard work. 8/10

      December 30, 2011 at 10:03 am Reply
    2. TestGruntBestGrunt

      "Nice game, we take it".

      December 30, 2011 at 11:03 am Reply
  8. sour

    eve is a unique game with all the pluses and minuses it has

    December 30, 2011 at 10:24 am Reply
  9. TestGruntBestGrunt

    I'd love to debate about sound, but I know I'll be trolled anyway, so I welcome my own exercise in futility.

    6/10 is both too high and too low for me.

    Trying to explain:

    If you consider the actual fleet warfare gameplay (where the meat of the game is), EVE audio simply doesn't matter. One of my corpmates' girlfriend once commented that EVE is "the game with voices". EVE audio is actually another name for TeamSpeak, Jabber, Mumble, Ventrilo, Skype, or any other out-of-game, low latency, room-based, possibly externally authenticated voice chat gaming system.

    In this regard, "EVE has sound?" is not a joke. One of the first settings that is flipped off upon installation of the client is the audio.

    So, probably, 0/10 is a closer vote, once you finish your tutorials or you join a player corp.

    OTOH, I always found Jon Hallur's background music (noise?) highly fascinating, with his mix of electronica and trance/ambient sounds. Not something you'd write home for, but still very appropriate for the immersion in a futuristic, dark, gloomy environment.

    The effects are good ones (I miss the chattering in the Gallente pleasure hubs), Aura is just ok, and EVE voice chat (Vivox based), with its tight integration with type-type chat channels and fleet structures is indeed a nice feature, if you have any good reason not to use external tools.

    If the audio option wasn't set to off since long, long, long time, I'd award at least 8/10 for the sound department.

    GA with trolls, my friends…

    December 30, 2011 at 11:21 am Reply
  10. Thodoros

    Good writing author. I was RP my first 2/3 years with my Minmatar character and i love it. But after the Quantum Rise i havent see anymore stories been releash. Ask anyone in FW and they will tell that they lack story content or an update to the war. The only thing that bugs me alot lately is the Trafic Control messages that i get everytime i jump a gate with more than 20 ppl and Ewarps. Also no nerf on the Titans guns, they still traking me even with MWD on. :(
    Not to mention the Overview bug where you see the other blue fleet as Neutral and you get shot by other Blues?

    December 30, 2011 at 12:22 pm Reply
    1. 2012 Eve Drama

      Have to agree. Very well written. Worth money even. Better than some of the stuff seen in high budget magazines.

      December 30, 2011 at 12:43 pm Reply
    2. Trapped

      uh, despite the speed increase MWD will increase your odds of being hit due to the signature bloom.

      l2mechanic

      January 4, 2012 at 8:11 pm Reply
      1. Thodoros

        All this i know.
        The problem for me was to get out of the buble ASAP and be able to warpout.
        But i had 12 Titans hiting me 1 enemy abbadon and 1 frriendly Maelstrom.
        I died near the edges of the buble.

        January 5, 2012 at 7:03 am Reply
  11. Ex NC, -A-, PL

    Paul is right. Shame on you for downvoting him. Eve online got stale, its the hard truth. Once you train all your skills that u want there isnt much more to look forward to anymore. 'Fleetup NAO' this, 'Home defence' that, ppl calling you a fag, raging on comms, porn or goon spam in local, it just never ends. So now i take arrows to the knee everyday.
    Enjoy your 8/10 game idiots, lololol

    December 30, 2011 at 5:01 pm Reply
    1. Qwerty4812

      well so what ur saying is "once you train all the skills you want" so essentially that means

      "once you've been playing for 5-7 years"

      THEN?!?!? it gets boring?….??

      December 30, 2011 at 5:49 pm Reply
    2. Imigo

      "So now i take arrows to the knee everyday"

      Cool story bro. Have fun with your single player experience, I'm sure it'll still be engaging your interest next year.

      December 30, 2011 at 10:27 pm Reply
  12. dsf

    graphics 9/10 really? maybe 5 years ago, but not anymore, more ike 6/10.. its still pretty dated in alot of areas.. even games like galaxy on fire 2 for a bloody smartphone looks more immersive and better than eve

    December 30, 2011 at 5:39 pm Reply
  13. EVEO

    EVE cannot be scaled any rating system know to man nor be compared to any other MMO out there it is in a league of its own.

    December 30, 2011 at 5:52 pm Reply
  14. DsrthNefarius

    Good review I guess. One small Caveat: the smallest ship is the drones & smallest flyable is a POD which I would not consider a Frigate.

    December 30, 2011 at 8:12 pm Reply
  15. bhiramafi

    The OP mentions a number of players around 400.000 but this is more a number of accounts than a number of players. Any player that wishes to dive into EVE needs at least two, possibly three or more distinct accounts due to the specific nature of the gameplay, or has to fully rely on alliances and corps numbers (the infamous blobs EVE is known for, where strength in numbers, and in-game personal network matters more than specific skills development or ships used).
    I believe the real number of EVE players may be closer to 150.000, because of this very common multi-accounts for existing players.

    This is an important aspect to highlight to new players.

    December 31, 2011 at 4:31 am Reply
  16. goonfucker

    i found it very entertaining to read.

    my only feedback is a bit more emphasis on the in-game PLEXing and the genius of how it maintains robustness by older gamers being able to pay for their subs

    December 31, 2011 at 5:12 am Reply
  17. EVE has sound? News to me… I figured they just got rid of all audio when Trinity came out. I haven't heard anything out of my client since Rev. II

    December 31, 2011 at 2:55 pm Reply
  18. just-a-FA-grunt

    Very nice and thorough write up. Agreed – EVE without MMO interaction would be seriously repetetive and I doubt many would stick around for years as now is the case.

    January 1, 2012 at 6:04 am Reply

Leave a Reply