I used some of my Christmas time off on EVE Online, a game I’ve been very much intrigued about for several years now.
In a nutshell, it’s a space trading online roleplaying game. You get a spaceship, you learn space skills, and off you go. You can basically do anything as long as it’s about trading and flying around in space. The obvious career choices are pirate, freelancer, trader, suit (corporate guy), engineer and miner.
The big draw is that the economy runs for real. As far as I can tell, stuff is mined, refined, designed and constructed mostly by the players themselves. Prices are set according to supply and demand. The universe is so vast (what, 1500 star systems or so) that there’s always a chance to make money by supplying something that’s in short order in some corner of the galaxy.
It was a good time to sample Eve, because frankly, I wouldn’t have bothered if they hadn’t made the changes to character creation they did in November 2006. The major change was that the amount of beginning characters’ skill points was increased from roughly 20K to 800K, effectively losing one month of dull character growth phase.
I didn’t get too much out of the game. It looks very good, it sounds very good and the setting is evocative. It feels very inhuman, because all you ever see is spaceships and portraits. I would want to be able to walk around in the space stations, at least, like in the classic Space Rogue.
While I appreciate the game’s focus on open-endedness, it does lack direction. There should be things you could pick up from the get-go to get drawn into the game’s world. Just upgrading my ship and making more money appeals to me a bit, but with limited free time at my disposal, I don’t see myself using it on this game. It’s an intellectual challenge, really, to figure out how you could beat the odds and make money fast, but one I’m not keen on tackling alone. It would probably be a whole different story if I had joined up with friends.