EVE Online is probably one of the few games in the world that truly gets better the longer that you play it, but starts off rather rough around the edges. Over the years there really hasn’t been a whole world of change in the early experience of playing EVE, but this special edition is aiming to make a change.
From the core mechanics, EVE is a true open world space Sim. What makes this different from other MMO’s is two things: the fact that there is only one server and that players can own persistent property in this world. This means that every single person playing, in some minor way or another, can affect the world of anyone else even if it is just by lowering the price of one item used to make a weapon. The problems stem from the dozens and dozens of ways that people can make their way in EVE, which has now been expanded to the point of a out of game poker league that chips are traded for in game money; there are hundreds of ways that any one of them can be done. This makes starting rather difficult.
What has changed recently with the addition of this boxed copy is that new players now get a bonus in the way of skill training, basically EVE’s level system. The boost itself only lasts for 30 days, or the time for one billing cycle, but it manages to cut many of the intro skill training times down from days to a matter of hours. This may not sound like much, but for such an open ended world that any character can be almost anything at any time, it helps soften the blow of the first scatter shot impressions.
The real problem that remains is the aimless goals after the tutorials have run their course. There are some passing attempts to make players familiar with the mechanics but that is really just the beginning. The problem remains that there is still a chunk of the experience that feels like you have been dumped into the middle of an alien world, a basic sense of directionless-ness.
This isn’t to say that EVE isn’t a constantly growing and evolving beast, as just recently a new expansion came out that introduced a handful of new things. Although the way that EVE does expansions is rather odd as well as they push rather massive updates ?almost game changing as most other expansions– out when they are ready and not name them anything special. The best example of this is right after the new expansion went live and soon after an entire branch of skills was simply removed from the game, although the bonus of having those skills were given to everyone. Because everyone plays the same EVE at all times it almost feels odd that the game constantly is changing its subtitle, because we are all still just playing EVE.
EVE is 15 dollars a month, which is pretty much par for the course for any MMO at this point. What is really unique is that if it is played for long enough a subscription can be purchased with in-game currency. Add on a system that feels like it is more about the player experience than anything, as they are apt to push out new updates that seemingly almost never screw any one person over, and the it ends up being entirely more enjoyable the longer it is played.
The Commissioned Officers Edition is a great way to update the rather painful experience of entering EVE for the first time, even if there is still a couple of pacing problems that pop up at some point in its life. But for a game that has inspired such a fan following that it has a rather successful, and well written, quarterly magazine as this it goes without saying that there is some real meat behind it. For anyone who is looking for something with vastly more substance than any other MMO out there, look no further than EVE.
Not As Good As: Owning a spaceship
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