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Eve Online

Screen shot 2011 01 13 at 19.22.56 300x168 Eve Online

Drake Battlecruiser in warp

Eve Online is a space-based MMORPG with a few things which set it apart from others. I once explained to someone that Eve was a bit like WoW, but with spaceships instead of dwarves, a market economy, and players who can spell their own names and tie their shoelaces.

A bit harsh maybe, but there’s no doubt that Eve players often see themselves as a bit above the rabble.

In Eve, there’s only one server. (At an abstract level, anyway – it’s a large cluster. But there is only one Eve Universe rather than the idea of multiple ‘shards’ like others). This means that of the 40 – 50k players logged on at any one time, there’s no getting away from the same characters.

They also have a novel approach to garbage collection, insofar as the game is shut down and restarted for 30 mins each day at 1100UT.

Another unique approach is the idea of gaining skills (levelling up). This happens over time, passively, without the player having to do anything. All you need to do is select which skill to train, and off it goes and trains. Speed can be modified to an extent by items (implants) and attributes, but essentially it’s fixed. Some ships or items can take many months to train up. The beauty of this is that it’s impossible for rich newbies or alts to suddenly appear with the +50 Light Sabre of Doom and decimate more experienced players.

Eve has a steep (and much parodied) learning curve. The game is very complex, and the developers (CCP) are constantly adding new features to make it even more so. Expansions are not along the lines of opening up new areas or missions (quests), although this does happen; it’s more about new ideas, new mechanics, and new ways to go out and earn a living. Or die horribly.

Screen shot 2011 01 13 at 19.32.21 300x168 Eve Online

Undocking from a Gallente Station

Eve is a PVP game but you can (generally) keep out of it if you’re not that way inclined. The Eve universe is split into 3 classes of space:

  • High security: You can attack other players, but with few exceptions you will be terminated as a result by law enforcement (CONCORD)
  • Low Security: Other than at stargates and stations, you can attack without intervention. However, your reputation will suffer if you do this a lot and your access to high sec will be restricted
  • Null or 0.0: No restrictions, wide open PVP with no restriction or reputation penalty. A very good place for newbs to die fast

Naturally, it goes without saying that the best rewards are located in the most dangerous areas icon smile Eve Online

Screen shot 2011 01 13 at 19.25.49 300x168 Eve Online

Making for Augnais

Oh, and the graphics are stunning. Watching your ship fly through a warp tunnel in 2560 x 1440 antialiased on a 27″ iMac… just beautiful. The sound is ethereal and entrancing.

If I’ve intrigued you, or you fancy matching skills against me, visit the Eve website. 14 day trial accounts are available free of charge. Click on the Eve tag to see my blog posts on tips or exploration results. Please by all means contact me if any of the info is wrong or you have a different approach icon smile Eve Online

Marc

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