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]