Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Well, recently I finished playing the singleplayer portion of Freelancer, a really old MS game, and I watched a few Sci-Fi movies, cause I've missed out on lots of movies in the theatres. The movies were Serenity (awesome), Star Wars: Episode III (god awful) and War of the Worlds (cool effects but a so-so story). After all this I've been stuck in Sci-Fi overdrive. I keep thinking about cool Sci-Fi ideas, and I found myself reading some Sci-Fi stories on the Net.

Namely, the short stories and chronicles on the EVE Online website.

Now, to the uninformed, this wouldn't seem anything to be embarrassed about. But I've had a somewhat Love/Hate relationship with EVE in the past. Even so much as to write up a rant about it on my webspace. I said some pretty harsh things there, and after going back and reading it, I can easily see that I wrote it in a fit of frustration.

Another thing became clear to me as well. I'd been looking at EVE through "traditional MMO" tinted glasses.

Let me explain. I've played a fair number of MMORPGs in the past, and most of them have the same style, and/or are the same genre (fantasy, as almost all of the MMOs out there are). They all are centred on your humanoid character, and their journey through the gameworld. They all have classes, a "levelling treadmill", and items (not all, but most). EVE is so far from this "traditional style" that I couldn't quite get into it, and ended up being frustrated.

My biggest complaints were things that, when I look back at them, really make no difference in the game mechanics at all. They were all purely aesthetic. Immersion, avatars, customization of avatars, and roleplay functions of the chat interface.

The great advantages of EVE were lost on me because I was blinded by what the MMOs before had presented me with. Now, not everything under the Sun in EVE is golden. There are things that irk me, like before. But they're not that exceedingly important. And the features in development only look to enhance EVE's already great gameplay.

Another big factor in my newfound appeal to EVE is that some of my RL friends are playing it again. They're not the prime reason I went back to EVE, it was more because I started playing again, they came back as well. I can chat with my one friend over Teamspeak, and it's actually kinda neat. I'd really like to see what a big corp would be like, all chatting over TS. Maybe discussing strategies before fighting some player enemies.

But in the end, I'm not too certain that my one friend will keep up with EVE. He prefers to only play with his RL circle of friends (as they work so very well together in other games) rather than join a corporation of strangers. But I doubt, even if we can corral all of them into playing, that we can actually accomplish anything substantial, as we'll have some serious problems vs. enemies with 100+ pilots, etc. Barring that, even the simple monetary costs of controlling the large player structures would be too much for the 5 or so of us.

If he does quit, I'll simply join up with a larger corp of like minded individuals. Luckily for me, my screwy playtimes coincide with the majority of European players, so finding people to work with should be easy. There are some RP corps in EVE as well, and after reading the chronicles, I'd like to take a swing at EVE RP. The potential for interesting stories is astounding.

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