Imp Semi-Reviews - Eve Online
Aug 17 '12 6:09am
Imp Semi-Reviews - Eve Online
Well, MMOgrinder hasn't touched this game yet (and if he has, then I can't really watch it anyway), so I might as well write a little blurb about it.
Better known as 'getting started', and much like learning about all the nitty gritty rules of a pen and paper game, but it's my belief that in a perfect world, getting started in every game should be as simple as installation. Hence the title of this category.
First off, type eve-online.com into your URL. You should find a 'try eve' button at the top right.
If you click free to play, they'll have this uncessary step by step walk through that is no doubt irritating.
- Download the friggin' game.
Okay done! No wait, there's like, three more steps.
- Check out this word from our sponsors.
- Read the EULA again and check out the
pilot orientation video
which tells you, in a horrible impersonation of an erotic computer lady voice, nothing about what the game actually involves (I saw it), and most of it is just advice players from your starting corp will shove in your face, hot off the in-game notepad copy/paste.
- Check out some more shit over in the forums and waste your time in online garbage instead of actually playing the game.
- Your choices are unlimited! Well actually there's just an area to manage your account. We... we don't know why we just said your choices are unlimited, because that's really silly. Whatever, no backsies!
What's especially painful is that you feel like you have to read all of the contents on the page, just so you didn't accidentally miss anything 'vital' - when all it is, is garbage. It's so much easier just to give players a free registration link, where to download the game, and then maybe have a 'for more info' tab or section with a facebook wall-style collage of garbage info.
Oh, but you can also buy eve online now, because that's what that link says. So clicking on that, the registration is much simpler - it looks just like a bill. And it clearly says 'create account'.
When you go next, it'll probably take you to billing. And then your done.
But of course, the password has unecessary security requirements. Instead of a strength assessment system, it specifically requests how your password should look. At least one uppercase letter and one lowercase letter, between 6 to 64 characters and at least one number. Despite all this you'll probably just change your password to something that's possible to remember in the account management section once you're done. Annoyed? No? Well so be it, we'll find other ways to test your patience then.
The game probably assumes that everyone starts with the free trial, so no download link is provided.
If you try to log in to your newly created account, you will be forced to type in your character's name anyway (once you've created a character) - therefore, the password security measures really are pointless.
If you want to download the game, you can get it through creating a free trial. You could probably also find a download link through some snooping on the site.
Starting the game opens up a 'play' screen - something that every online game in the globe (except diablo 3) uses to patch and update the game.
And when I click play, the button refreshes itself (is unclickable and then can be clicked again). Because of this I sometimes click play two or three times. This actually opens up the log in screen and the game window itself two to three times. The play screen isn't closed in the process of clicking play, even though it should be. If people want to access the play pop-up screen again, they should just be able to get to it through a button in the log in menu.
But, as I've learned about CCP (Crowd Control Productions), they don't provide that for you. The convenience is only imagined. You have to close the game window, and then click the short cut to open up the play screen again.
And the play screen really only contains an ad of some kind. And the log in screen features the occassional eve-related ad as well.
Seeing as the play screen doesn't close itself, clicking play and waiting for the log in window to load means that you can X out before it loads, cancelling the entire operation. So you have to wait for the log in window to appear and then X out of the play screen. Not exactly professional. I'm sure the only thing they've done to correct this is prevent it from performing an illegal operation or calling an 'error report; send/don't send' every time it happens.
As you'd expect, one of the worst things abuot this game is the GUI. The GUI is pretty much WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get), which is a user-access method that belongs in the 90s. I'm not kidding. Every button is laid in vertical order, like a sloppy website on the left side of the game screen. Your ship contains a few details on the bottom and I think you can access the map on the right (which no one ever does). Apart from that is the overview.
Only recently, they added some roll-over tabs, providing all contents from an eve menu at the very top left as well - which you have to locate amidst the WYSIWYG. But most of that almost makes it feel clumsier, even though it is supposed to be a bit more compact... and redundant.
Really, it doesn't seem like the dev team tested this part of the game much, or if they did, they didn't take into consideration every possible complaint a tester might have. No creative ideas were put to use improving or polishing this aspect. Or they ran the testers through the content that the devs only wanted tested. This is a major problem. I'm sure if the testers were allowed to write their own opinions in their own order, they probably would have mentioned the GUI non-stop.
Having fun is actually something that needs to be accomplished in this game. Sure, the initial progress and trying out new spaceships (which really only includes, frigate, cruiser, destroyer or industrial - the biggest being industrial, AKA 'hauler'), is all stuff that can be accomplished in the free trial. Hours need to be put into this game to get anywhere in the beginning.
If you aren't devoting your time, GTFO. This is the game's philosophy. Later on though, you won't need to devote as much time once you get around a few hundred million ISK (inter-stellar kredits) in your wallet. Getting to this point is difficult. You need to find a way to live in relative safety (which is... well, high sec - that's where every newbie stays) and make a stable income. The best source of income is not scanning because that gets stressful.
Alternatively, you can salvage DED complexes (basically dungeons that you can find in your overview), or you can mine for hours and hours and hours. Mining is only worth while once you get a barge, which is only worthwhile once you get into manufacturing, which is only worthwhile once you find the right items to sell (usually something cheap that happens to go decently on a sell order, for some reason - only after months have I finally discovered the value of scourge missiles).
If you persist in this game, you get a lot of skills, because skills train over time, offline and with no effort on your part except to selectively inhale the prerequisites into your character's brain and purchase the books from the market for isk (most skill books are relatively affordable).
Yes, skills are acquired from skill books. If you want a skill, type the name into the market search menu.
Speaking of market, the market is a lot leaner now - which tells wonders for the devotion of the fanbase if they had to wait 9 years for this most recent of updates. Seriously, all that needed to be done was merge two of the three tabs so that there's a more compact search function with a catalogue of regional items that appears when you enter an empty search. Of course, this all makes sense if you actually have played the game.
If you want to learn about this game and you're a newbie, the tutorial trials are essential.
But even they are probably not up to date with the recent changes to the game that are constantly in place (only recently has the GUI been modified at all, after about 8+ years).
Not to mention, it doesn't teach you about PvP or the situational essentials of how to survive with your ship and what mods do what with what ship. The 'show info' of each item and thing only gives you an inkling.
The stats of ships and how they get modified is confusing. Sometimes, the wording is off or entire sections of information seem missing. How skills modify certain traits, such as your ability to trade or manufacture, are off as well.
Ie. Take one skill called 'visibility'.
Skill at acquiring products remotely. Each level of skill increases the range your remote buy orders are effective to from their origin station. Level 1 allows for the placing of remote buy orders with a range limited to the same solar system, Level 2 extends that range to systems within 5 jumps, and each subsequent level then doubles it. Level 5 allows for a full regional range.
Note: Only remotely placed buy orders (using Procurement) require this skill to alter the range. Any range can be set on a local buy order with no skill.
And then check out 'procurement'.
Proficiency at placing remote buy orders on the market. Level 1 allows for the placement of orders within the same solar system, Level 2 extends that range to systems within 5 jumps, and each subsequent level then doubles it. Level 5 allows for placement of remote buy orders anywhere within current region.
Note: placing buy orders and directly buying an item are not the same thing. Direct remote purchase requires no skill.
Namely, they look like they mean the same friggin' thing. The only detail missed here is the context. So if you've been learning the ins and outs of the market for a while, only then will you understand what visibility actually means. You'll say, 'hey, wait a minute. Why are people able to immediately purchase something I sell, all the way from Amarr system, while I'm sitting in Ebtesham system?'. With the visibility skill. Procurement lets you place a buy order at a station in amarr from ebtesham, on the other hand.
Confusing, even in context? Yes. Very much so.
Combat, although simple at first, is even more confusing when regarding optimizing something you really don't want to lose because it took forever to scrounge up the isk to buy it.
It's all based on vector physics and inertia, which even include a bit of relativism. There's no reason to look at the stats except the bonuses which each ship offers, and maybe ship mass and hp of regions of the ship you want to protect (whether it be hull, armor or shield - so, armor or shield; and for the record 'real men hull tank' is a joke among many, just in case you didn't catch that). Protecting against ECM (electronic counter measures) only means knowing what type of sensor the ship uses (which is accorded to race).
In fact, most every other stat is so confusing that I spent weeks gaping at numbers when I could figured out a very simple winning formula just by figuring out what the mods I could put on did, rather than actually tweaking the specific stats of the ship and whatever the hell each of them meant or did.
The only real story you'll get is in the form of 'Chronicles', which, in the broader scope of the universe, are literally just anecdotal blurbs of made-up-on-the-spot characters, and established by amateur writers that CCP pre-approved.
If I had the time, I could write one of these, but namely, I'm too lazy.
The setting itself seems gritty, but in the end, it just doesn't make sense. Why does CONCORD exist? How come the only villains are pirates and more pirates (and if not, the tired cliche rogue corp/entrepreneur or evil AI 'drone')? You only fight other pod pilots (players) to hopefully steal their cash, or if you have the social wiles to get into a corporation and make friends. The only stories worth telling are the seemingly grandiose and epic ones. Yet, ironically, space just seems so boring and bleak.
In fact, the only real reason I've stuck with it is due to my own patience and boredom. I wonder if that applies to every other squib playing this game.
The community can be dry at times, but they're probably the best you can hope for. They're really the only thing keeping me going with this game.
Forging friendships can be done in maybe not record time, as in some other MMOs, but they can be established at a deeper level - however their needs to be in-adubily (or should I say, 'in-textually') established trust barriers (so I guess the game teaches social skills to), due to the abundance of legal scamming (probably the one thing that put eve in the news).
A 5/10 lab experiment that has survived all this time on accidental funding.
I'd love to partake in some intelligent marketing and design discussion about how this game even got started (probably won't happen). But it feels like the designers sort of started up this game as a sort of lab experiment. Using technology from 2003, they wanted to see what they could do with a truly player driven universe, even though the universe isn't entirely player driven.
Now, given current game design notions, player driven universes are retardedly stupid. Eve is proof of that - how boring it is, and how much of a second job it ends up becoming. And how unpolished and how impossible it actually is to polish a player driven universe this early in the genre (if the genre can even persevere, or if it's too ahead of its time, or if it's just stupid altogether) - therefor, eve is inevitably un-polished. Doing anything in the game is only relative to how well other players are doing, and playing the game to progress anywhere ends up feeling like a job because it is redundant and slow. CCP could really put simple effort into making the grind seem even slightly refreshing and fun (ie. instead of shooting dumb pirates or using missions as a way of figuring out what ship you need to fly to beat it or module fit for isk; they could throw in a random minigame in there somewhere). The point of capitalism in real life is that it's possible to find literally any way to make money - you just have to be creative (hence america's thriving entertainment business, after all). Of course, that is impossible with a video game, since it will always remain imperfect (until technology grants power to the individual to design their own entire virtual universes at their own whim, without any staff backing).
For eve, it would've been better to start with at least having some minigame missions and get rid of the courier and mining make-work missions completely.
If I truly looked over the game, I could spot a lot of other stupid little mistakes, and details that were overlooked, skimmed or ignored completely - and, when not ignored, would make the game a whole lot better and professional. In the past, CCP modified the game by adding high-level content for players that already have a lot of isk (the introduction of titans, which only big corporations established in 0-sec space can acquire with billions of isk, and which are somewhat imbalanced in the scope of fleet warfare), and then there's ship reskinning. And efforts made to combat lag. And other examples of failed polishing.
POS's (player owned stations) are useless. There's also a lot of bugs that continually pop up. Bugs which always demand a screen capture of the bug itself in order to properly report in a petition. It's just lazy, and horribly reeks of disorganization.
I'm only still playing this game because I'm addicted and because I want to see what it's like when I have enough cash to blow up my 100 million isk drake battlecruisers on a weekly basis. I'm only addicted because I've been playing for a very long time, and keep telling myself that I can sell my character for more isk and then use it to start a character farm, selling more characters for isk and then... well, then I'll have a lot of isk. So yeah, pointless.
I didn't give it a lower rating, because the scope of the project is a big one. However, CCP as a company seems very bloated at 600 staff. All of their effort literally goes into their 'single shard' super-server.
The worse thing about this game is the lack of polish. That's probably worth at least a docking of 3. -1 applies to it not being fun at all for newbs. -1 applies to the company in general.
Even though this game is only a 5/10 borefest - it's still average. So it's worth trying for the free trial, if you prefer a game that claims 'sand box' but is feels empty in all aspects except expensive PvP. Even then, check it out, if only to learn about the ideas purported by the game's market - which is perhaps the coolest feature.
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