Most MMOs are set in well established franchises, a fantasy setting, or both; EVE is none of these. The only thing that EVE has in common with most other MMOs is that there is a monthly fee. EVE is mainly a space exploration game, set in a vast universe where the player is constantly reminded that anything goes. This could range from starting a massive player run bank to carrying out bounty missions to try to bring down massive in-game corporations.
The one thing that EVE does very well is make the player character feel more powerful over the course of play. Strangely enough, this is done with small increases to equipment and player stats, something that is normally negligible in other MMOs. Something as small as a five percent bonus in cargo space ends up making small trips so much more profitable, and just a fraction more damage on a turret seems to make enemy ships drop faster than they did before. Every small change does a great job of making the player feel so much more empowered during player.
That isn’t to say that EVE is without its share of massive, noticeable problems either. The worst of which is the glaring lack of a good tutorial. There are several available at the start of the game, but most of them refuse to speak to the player like they are an idiot who just started, meaning many of them seem to be entirely incomprehensible for those that need them. The tutorials are always available, so later in the game when doing things, like having drones mine for you, starts to make sense. Still this doesn’t help the person just starting out.
Besides the lack of a good tutorial system, the progression in the game is difficult. With no clear indication what to do or where to go it is not uncommon waste time wandering for no reason. This makes chunks of the game longer than needed.
New players are probably also going to be discouraged by how much of a gap there is between starting EVE and doing things that feel like they are making a difference in the game. Not only is it relatively confusing at first to figure out what to do and how to do it when starting, the sheer scale of time between upgrades can be a little daunting and discouraging. When the only upside is looking at how many more trips of ore must be sold before the next ship upgrade can be bought, the game can feel impossibly long.
Time is something that EVE uses in an interesting way that most MMO’s don’t, mainly because the entire world is persistent. When a character is training a skill to advance, basically the game’s way of levelling, a time amount is assigned. This time is the amount until that one skill is finished, regardless if the player is monitored. A queue is available to set up skills to be learned for the next 24 hours, but most of the time advanced skills take days to learn instead of minutes or hours, so this spends most of the later game filled with a single several day long skill.
Although most skill advancement frees the player to use the better equipment, it must still be purchased. This basically makes money a kind of second experience bar, as nothing in the game is free. Additionally, when a player is killed, they can lose the ship that they are currently piloting and all of the gear they have it outfitted with. This means if they spent their last dime on upgrades, they will need to start from a significant deficit. While not as bad as starting the game over again, some NPCs will still offer big reward quests.
Probably the best part of the game is that it is cheap. The game itself is 15 dollars a month, although paying for chunks of time all at once does reduce that amount. The game only costs for the monthly access, as the game itself, as well as expansions, are free. All of that content is included in the monthly fee to access EVE.
While EVE is probably not the most user friendly experience in the world, the constantly evolving EVE WIKI it is a rather engaging time. EVE manages to find a way to be entertaining on levels that most other MMO’s can’t, and that is probably because of the game’s dynamic world. While the only real problem is that the learning curve of the game is pretty steep, but once you figure out the structure of the game, EVE finds a way to itch the MMO urge in ways that no other game can.