Eve Online: First Impression

For some time now, I’ve been itching to check out Eve Online. I love space sims, and the no-grind leveling in the game sounds like a good choice for someone who doesn’t plan on spending that much time playing. Essentially, I just wanted to check it out, get a feel for it, and get it out of my system – kinda like I did with Guild Wars. It was fun a week or two, and then I got bored. I figured that a 14 day Eve trial will give me enough time to get bored with this game, or simply decide I don’t like it.

So I signed up for a trial account, downloaded the client, installed it, and then spent 20 minutes trying to connect to the server. Unlike other MMO’s like WoW or even Guild Wars, Eve has a single server dubbed Tranquility. There are no shards, zones or anything like that. Everyone is sitting on the same box. This is nice because all your buddies, enemies and allies will be flying around in the same universe as you. Unless of course the server is down, in which case no one is flying anywhere anytime soon.

Ok, I lied – Eve has more than one server. But the other servers are test servers which require you to download special experimental patches which then prevent you from playing on Tranquility. So if you are really hard core, you can install a new copy of eve, patch it and play on those servers. I just wanted to see the game in action so I was not about to cripple my install with a super-experimental, bleeding edge, use at your own risk patch.

After about 20 minutes of cursing, fiddling with the firewall and checking my router settings I decided to hit the forums and see if this is a common issue. It turns out I was not able to connect because (Duh!) the server was down. Apparently it happens a lot.

In fact it seems to happen so often that there is a website that tracks the downtimes called eve-offline.com.

Either way, this is not a very good first impression. It’s true that I probably picked a lousy day to sign up, but still. I never had a problem connecting to Guild Wars because they seem to have great load balancing thing going on. I’m counting this downtime as a reason not to let myself be sucked into this game. :P

Anyway, are there any current or former Eve players around here? Any hints on how to make the best of my 14 day trial?

[tags]eve online, eve offline, tranquility, mmo, mmorpg, gaming, games[/tags]

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11 Responses to Eve Online: First Impression

  1. marty AUSTRALIA Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Hiya :D

    EVE is quite different to other MMOs, in that you can be skilling up even when you aren’t on. If you are going to be offline for any time, go into the character screen and pick a skill up that will take a few hours and set that to run. It’s like the first rule for EVE Online — ALWAYS be training something.

    I play off and on, not as much as I like. I find the game interesting, but I’ve done mining and some simple missions while the game is in the background: I’ve been playing WoW on my main monitor, and mining in EVE on the second one :D

    EVE is down daily for an hour (not including other outages), which is unfortunately right in the middle of the time I can best play it. Damn northern hemispherists!!

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  2. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    I’ve heard that mining is possibly the most boring thing you can do in Eve. It sounds like actual “work”. :p

    Wait, so you play Eve and Wow on the same box at the same time? Doesn’t that just kill the performance? I would expect both games to run very sluggish.

    Also, how does that even work? Do you play them both in windowed mode or what?

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  3. vacri AUSTRALIA Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Daily downtime, which is bad, but claiming that because there’s only one server downtimes are especially hard doesn’t make that much sense. Until an MMO has squillions of servers, they usually bring all servers down at once for patching, so as not to overload the remaining servers.

    EVE is fun for a bit. Pretty. Takes a while to make your first buck. Unless you get guilding or socialise in it, it gets boring quick. The missions are very samey (go here, deliver this; go here, kill these guys). It’s a lot of fun learning about a very different style of MMO, but for me I lasted about a month before I packed it in. Definitely worth a go, just for the novelty factor, and it may just hook you.

    And yes, mining tiddly little bits of crap is the fastest way to get a reasonable initial fighting ship. You’ll then make more money doing combat missions if you’re playing solo, at least until you learn a lot more about the game.

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  4. I played eve for one day and got bored… maybe its because I am a native FPS person (and RT RPGs..erm..fable) myself…personally I wanted to become a pirate, and join in with a fun group of people, or people in general… follow them around have them show me the ropes… after a while them give me free stuff, and join in in some clan.

    This is NOT how this game works.. training is a bitch, and you have to learn all the shit because if you don’t you will be lost…… WILL BE…
    people are scarce… and controlling your ship is a pain… i want to fly it places… and be able to take live controll of it during battle… or feel like i have SOME controll of it during battle… when you have 3 bot ships surrounding you shooting at you you have basic guns that don’t do shit, you don’t even get the effect that anyones shooting other then a few lazers.

    Personally, I am waiting for Pirates of the Burning Sea.

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  5. marty AUSTRALIA Internet Explorer Windows says:

    How do I play WoW and EVE on the same PC?

    WoW is played in Windowed mode, but set to “full screen” — that allows me to move the mouse out of the WoW window (full screen on the laptop’s lcd) over to the CRT. On the CRT, I have EVE running, also in a windowed mode. Because the CRT’s resolution is crappier than the lcd, the EVE window is set to 800×600.

    Strangely, the performance is pretty good, but I wouldn’t do that for any battles or intensive stuff in EVE. It is enough for mining and moving back and forth.

    And yes, the mining is boring. The process is fly to the asteroid belt, scan for good rocks (some minerals process better than others), if necessary fly closer to the rock, set the mining on (go back over to WoW and do some stuff), when the cargo bay is full go into People and Places, select the nearby station I’m using as a base and choose “Dock”, which automatically flys me over and docks. Once docked, unload. Fly back. Repeat for a while. Once I have a lot of minerals, process them. Sell the minerals (later on in Eve you can turn the minerals into other things, but for now I’m just mining for cash).
    Use the money to buy ship upgrades or skills. Rinse. Repeat.

    The last time I played EVE, I went through a bunch of the training missions, then quite a few low level missions, then I flew against some AI enemy who killed me so I lost my ship and all the upgrades on it. Hint: BUY INSURANCE. I didn’t, and it hurt quite a bit. This time, I decided on mining, warped to a lower law level zone on a mission, went mining and got raped by AI bots… and again forgot to get insurance. :(

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  6. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Well, I guess Eve is not that resource intensive when you are just mining asteroids. But I bet the fun begins if you get ganked in both games at the same time. :P

    I went through the tutorial today, and yeah – not the most exciting game. I kinda prefer twitch based combat, and free flight steering in this types of games. Seriously, I just want to do a barrel roll or something. ;P

    At least in the fantasy games you’re actually doing something – walking around, running away and etc. It seems that you can pretty much spend most of your time in Eve on autopilot. Which is not bad – just not very exciting.

    Also, I wish your ship would actually have to fly through the “jump gate” instead of just kinda vaporizing. Meh…

    I’ll play for few more days and see if it gets any more fun.

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  8. MotorYogurt UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Been playing eve for almost a year now. Have to accounts, one I use as a Cloaking Scout/Miner (for income), the other is pure PvP which is where this game shines. Mining is pretty boring unless youre bs’ing in TeamSpeak which we always are, and the low level missions are slow and too easy. However once you get over the fear of PvP (and the potential cost of losing your pretty little ship) the fun begins. My alliance just completed a long war with another alliance near our home systems. We pushed in with large attack force of a matter of weeks, taking out the enemy starbases as we moved our forces closer and closer.
    Eve also has more depth (much much more) then any other MMO out there. After all the time playing im still learning new things. Be it invention, exploration, playing the market, or tactics in large scale fleet warfare.

    If youre are just looking for another mindless brain sink, stick to WOW and its clones, if youre not afraid of a challange and eve’s steep learning curve youll be in for a treat. This game gets better and better the longer you play it.

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  9. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    Agreed – the community aspects of the game are great. It really lets you build your own experience based on the interactions between companies. The world is open ended enough to allow all kinds of crazy and cool stuff to happen.

    I touched a little bit on that in my final thoughts on Eve. Still, I’m a casual player – I usually play 3-4 hours a week (on the weekends). This is really not enough time to build relationships with people in the game or really get into the thick of things.

    A perfect MMO for me would be one that I could solo for most of the time and still have fun. Guild Wars was a bit like that at the begging, but the farther you get, the more difficult it is to really solo mission. Eve looked like solo friendly – but there is just not all that much fun to be had in this game when you want to be anti-social. :P

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  10. ridley UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    you havent even played eve if u have only been playing a couple of months. eve is not a sand box game there is no end no set paths you make it what it is. you need to gear a frigate out for pvp and get some friends. but watch out eve is an evil place where the clever rule so keep your wits about you. If you consider your self a bit thick or you dont learn fast then dont even think about installing it, you will be dog food. And yeah when u first start it is a bit grindy as you need money to get started but like i said if your clever u can use money to make money as eve has massive fully player driven econemy driven by the players, makes wows auction house look like a tuc shop.

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  11. Zender UNITED STATES Internet Explorer Windows says:

    @ ridley:

    Huh? Eve is not a sandbox game? Did you mean it IS a sandbox game, no end, no set leveling system? Unless, you don’t understand the meaning of sandbox game. This term implies that you get a box of sand and do what you want rather than a Monopoly board and a rules set.

    Anyway, I’ve played WoW off and on, mostly on, since launch. I’ve tried about 4 or 5 other MMOs during this time, and nothing is as readily accessible as WoW. I tried Eve too, but like the bloggere here, I’m not interested in staring at spreadsheets or PvP against people that have been playing since 2006 and wipe the floor with me. It would be cool if you could land on planets and explore or do ground missions in addition to moving around in space. For the most part, space is quiet and empty, interrupted very rarely by a bit of stuff here and there. Eve is the same way. Meanwhile WoW is crawling with stuff from one end of the screen to the next.

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