Adventures in EVE Online – part 1
The following is a guest post by Guaka.
When I was in primary school the first girl I ever liked was called Eve. I used to stay late just so I could work on a geography project with her. All of this is totally irrelevant but provides a nice human interest introduction to my adventures with EVE Online.
I’ve been hearing all sorts of good stuff about this game. People say that it rewards the casual gamer (which I would count myself as), others say it has depth that no other MMO can touch, still others have called it boring. Who is right? Over the next couple of weeks I will sample the game and see what all the commotion is about for myself.
EVE Online is a space-based MMO – like a mix of Elite, Mass Effect and X-wing. You have no avatar in the traditional sense but you do have a splendid spaceship to begin with.
I downloaded the client and installed. The client comes in two types; original-graphics and new-graphics. I went for the new graphics. The first problem I had was launching the installer, I run vista-64 and found there to be a 5minute delay between double-clicking on the setup button and the program actually launching (by which point I had four different copies running – not so good).
The game loads with an intro movie that has a lot of in-game spaceship models flying around and the occasional still head-shot of a sexy alien or sour-faced fascist mixed in. It’s fine, it introduces the universe very effectively and you get a real sense of back-story.
So, once it loads it’s a very easy set-up and you go straight into character creation. I should say here I didn’t find any way of selecting a server but maybe I’m just being backwards. The character creation is pretty standard, choose race, class, specialisation etc… You do create a face for your character but this is fairly pointless as no-one except you will ever see it, all other players will ever see is your ship (there is talk of an expansion where your avatar would walk around space stations but that’s all just talk for now).
The game launches and we go straight into tutorials. The game is based on the old “get quest from X, fetch Y or destroy Y, then return to X” formula so the tutorials just teach you where everything on the screen is and how to pilot your ship.
There’s no ‘WASD’ here, you chose a destination (or target) and select a speed with a slider or drop-down menu. This separates you from the game a little and loses the sense of immediacy you get when running through Outland dodging mobs.
The screen is fairly cluttered with windows popping up over other windows and obscuring your view. This isn’t so great as the tutorial will ask you to click on something which you only find after clearing away four different windows.
The first quest-giver is an ‘agent’ lurking inside a space-station. I docked with the station and found myself staring at the inside of a hanger while more windows popped up. The conversation is all with a small portrait of the agent and again I started wishing I could just run up to someone hanging out in some kind of ’space-cantina’ and ask them for missions. The way that EVE works is fine but I want to feel more involved and a sense of setting and place REALLY helps with that.
Anyway, thats my initial thoughts. I’ll keep updating as I progress through the game and even go on my first mission. I’d really like to hear other people’s experiences with the game or suggestions for things I’m missing.
guaka’s space-epic suggestions to go along with EVE Online:
Alastair Reynolds ‘Revelation Space’ saga – a fine read.
Battlestar Galactica (but you already knew about that).