Monday, July 13, 2009

EVE Online

The year was 1993 and Wing Commander: Privateer was released by Origin Systems. Here is a game that you flew a ship (in first person) around in space, becoming a merchant, a merc, a pirate, or a military lackey. Throughout the entire game, you were trying to get money to get the better ship and better weapons to protect yourself and serve your greater purpose.

I have been playing a similar game called EVE Online. EVE is very similar in concept to Privateer, Sorry.. No Kilrathi, where you can become the miner, merchant, transport carrier, and/or a mercenary. Instead of you flying the ship, you are more of the commander, giving orders of where you need to go and do. However, it is more of a 3 dimensional 3rd person view. The graphics are stunning and the game play can keep you on the edge of your seat. Especially, when you are up against 4-6 pirates loaded to the teeth, your only hope is to keep them at range and the ability to out run them. Now, this is an online game, like World of Warcraft or Dark Age of Camelot, just in a space genre.

There is a massive user population, I have personally seen anywhere between 26,000 and 39,000, depending on the time and day. The game consists of 4 main races, Amarr, Caldari, Gallente, and Minmatar. Each has their own abilities and failures, such as, sole reliance on power systems or lack of range. In the game, you have to manage your power consumption, shields, hull strength, weapon systems, and the enemy. There are many aspects of the game that I like is, unlike DAOC where you have to train using both money, equipment, constant attention, EVE skill training is queue based. This means, that you set what you want to train and it does it even if you are logged out. The skills are all bases on real time, meaning, if you have a skill that will take an hour, it takes an hour. The trained skills unlock the ability to equip greater weapons, bonus to range and/or shields, or range.

I am currently playing an Amarr female, Qiulinnzu. She is playing both a miner and a mercenary, depending on what I want to do with her. For example, when I mine an asteroid, It takes me about 2 hours to fill my cargo ship. This gives me about 1 million ISK (money in the EVE world). If I do a mission, I can get anywhere from 20K to 700K. However, when I mine, I am not generally being shot at, with the potential of being destroyed. She comes from a race that mainly uses energy, this is both a gift and a curse. The nice thing is that you don’t have ammunition, but, you have to manage your total energy usage. This means that you don’t have to reload, but if your capacitor is dry, you are dead in space. And in a fight, 15 seconds will be deadly! She also has (what I think) incredible range. My other character is a Minmatar, Miriya Loranna, who is just a TANK! She has great firepower and hull strength, but her range sucks. Minmatars are the ones who have to be close to the target, but they inflict massive damage per volley.

There is also a P2P aspect that I have briefly touched on. In low-security space, there is a chance that you will find other races, characters, that are able and willing to turn you into dust. I have not gone up against any real people, just NPCs. The game is lots of fun, but there are times that it is not all shoot, kill, destroy. When mining, there is a lot of hurry up and wait. I find if the computer is on one screen and a movie on the other, it works out very well.

Please come and join in the excitement and if you email me, I may be willing to get you a buddy invite. (14 day free trial – no credit card required)

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