I know, I know an expansion of that other game is due for Q4 and rumors abound whether that other other game will be released in the middle of next month. But for the time being, after WoWing for nearly four years and experiencing nearly every other significant MMO released since then (and I’m counting EQ2 in that), Eve is simply kicking my ass right now in a good way.
I’ve tried before and been stymied, but I’ll say again that I think I’ve gotten over the hump. Certainly not for the faint of heart, but if you grok Eve, you grok Eve. Lately, I’ve been groking Eve big time.
What is there to do? What isn’t there to do? Yes, you have to set your own goals and make your own sauce. That’s a challenge in itself. What is really kicking my ass with this foray into Eve-dom is the skill system. There is no way to nerf, pimp, negotiate, arbitrage or gold seller around it. Time takes time and is the great limited and great equalizer. There’s no amount of obsessive raiding that will get me into a Hulk sooner than it simply takes to get there.
Maybe its the old RTS player in me that appreciates the planning aspect of the game. I like the measured approach to a goal and its ubiquity. Uber exists in Eve only to the extent that you’ve already mastered that. There are no barriers, however, to obtaining that mastery. Only time and inclination. And once obtained, skill becomes a factor.
I’m enjoying Eve because it makes me think. As I’ve said before, its paradoxically brutally unforgiving and quite forgiving. Buy an item that you can’t use, chances are you can sell it for maybe more than you paid. Lose a ship to noobness and insurance can take most of the monetary sting out of the loss. Other things are less forgiving.
There is no way to leverage or recapture time in Eve. Ask any player about the worst part of losing a ship and they’ll say its the time needed to refit a replacement.
There are some of those irretrievable market noobnesses that are unforgiving too. Typos in market transactions can be a minefield. Its not uncommon to find buy orders for 10x less than the market price of a commodity (i.e., 3,000 instead of 30,000 or 3,000,000). Click too quick and you’re chumped big time.
But by and large, the hardest thing is gathering enough information to formulate your own path. And that’s one that no one can really generate for you. Needless to say, that’s the strength and weakness of the game. The illusion that once I get to X, things will be different or, alternatively, I can’t do X until I spend months skill training to Y.
I, for one, find the real time moderation to be exactly that– moderating. Choices require commitment and consequences– even if only in the opportunity cost of what else you might want to do. Ask any Eve player and they’ll tell you that they wish they could train multiple skills simultaneously.
Its not for everyone, but right now, having to break out my slide rule is kicking my ass.
I’m a few days off from getting to a Retriever mining barge, so I’ve been infilling my skills a bit. Which of course pushes out the acquisition of the Retriever. Still, little things make a big difference like dropping a bunch of Expanded Cargohold IIs on my Mammoth and then stuffing it full of Giant Secure Containers.
The result was that my cargo capacity went from around 9,000 m3 to more than 22k m3. That’ll take a few hauling trips out of the routine.
As my miner segues into a new role as hauler and my hauler becomes the primary miner in the Retriever-to-be, all of these assets can be redeployed optimally. That is one thing the just kicks my arse about Eve.
All in all a good weekend– got to participate in a few random missions with Wilhelm and hopefully generated about 30 million isk by way of ore and stuff.