Saturday, July 25, 2015

EVE Online

Somebody at work calls EVE Online "that mining game."  She also says that if I ever start playing they'll never see me again  That neatly sums up the prevailing opinion - it's incredibly tedious, it's incredibly addictive.

So I've given it a week now and have yet to find the addictive part.  It has the steepest learning curve of any game I've ever encountered and the most annoying thing is that this is deliberate.  One of the tutorials usually can't be completed at night because other players have destroyed the needed material during the day but there's no indication of that.  For a tutorial!  I learned from a website comment discovered when trying to find out what I was doing wrong (nothing as it turned out).

Other tutorials are even worse.  For example, the one that's supposed to teach you how to do a mission basically just says do a mission.  There's nothing helpful about how to acquire one (which is not at all obvious) or how to get where you need to go (also not obvious).  And one I tried was listed as beginner but some Internet posts later informed me it's basically impossible for beginners.  Two of the "easy" ones I never could figure out which can't be good in general since I'm a very experienced gamer (going back literally to Pong).  If I have trouble what about curious people who might just want to give this a try?

None of that opacity is unusual for EVE but what I've played doesn't even seem appealing enough to try to push through.  Everything happens in space and all space looks pretty much the same (I'm sure later other sectors look different but they can't be that different - imagine if WoW had been played entirely in The Barrens, which some pre-Cataclysm Horde will tell you it felt like).  Combat is even more mere button pushing than any other game and I usually play ranged dps so I generally love some button pushing.  But there are limits.

And mining, oh goodness the mining.  You know grinding in other MMOs?  Well imagine grinding that is both automated and has to be stopped frequently to deposit material.  It's the worst of all possible worlds. And for rewards that honestly don't seem much like rewards - it's not like you're getting glowing ships with gryphons painted on the sides, or cute little space pets, or flaming blasters.

This article claims that the real attraction is groups and interacting with other players so maybe that's my problem.  I'm mostly a solo player even when I'm in a decent guild and consider LFG and LFR queues a blessing from the Turing Machine heavens.  A game that pretty much has no point if you're not constantly in groups isn't really for me, particularly if it's just making for more efficient mining.  I have two free months of this thing and may give it another go or two but it will likely be uninstalled before the month's out.