Sunday, March 4, 2007

What's So Great About Eve Anyway?

Recently, I was on a radio show (actually I was hosting it) talking about MMOG's and one of the things I said on the air was that I believe that the Eve playerbase is generally more mature, and therefore probably less prone to certain negative aspects of player socialization. In addition, though, I also think there's more to it than just a chronological age difference.

Eve, as everyone who plays it seriously knows, is not an especially easy or a particularly accessible game, not if you really want to get to what most players consider "the good stuff". Getting to that point takes a lot of time and hard work, and that's something that a lot of younger MMOG players, more seeking a thrill of the moment rather than a hard-won victory, just aren't going to be willing to do. In a way, this is a bad thing for CCP and Eve, for no other reason than simple economics: the less people who find Eve accessible and compelling, the less subscription income for CCP, and thus, the less money is available to be invested back into the game itself as opposed to into the company to keep it running. At the same time, however, it's a great thing for both the game and the playerbase. Those who do stick around are serious, hardcore, and loyal, including many like myself, who've just fallen in love with the game and are far less wrapped up in actually being able to rule the New Eden star cluster than they are in just having a great time trying.

My own experience with this game and its players clearly bears this theory out. I've met some pretty terrific people in this game in just the couple of months I've been playing it. The friendliness, generosity, and kindness of the vast majority of the people I've encountered in Eve thus far is overwhelming, and quite a bit more positive than in other games and other social circles. Even when there's been disagreement the tone has remained civil and reasoned.

It all seems to fit with the generally higher-than-average positive tone of player interaction that
just seems to be a part of the overall personality of the community of Eve players. World of Warcraft has about a bazillion times more players than Eve does, but one thing I doubt it'll ever have is the high quality of its playerbase and player interactions.

Now of course, I've never played World of Warcraft, but I have heard plenty about it and I have played Everquest. Having done my bit with medieval sword-slashing and magic-casting in that game, I've really felt no need since to repeat the experience. And now, why would I? I've found my game.

Funny how things work out, isn't it? The first time I played Eve, I played for a few days and then I moved on...it took a year until I decided to take another look and was hooked the second time. I've always wondered how many players came or came back to Eve after trying and becoming bored with another MMOG first...

What's so great about Eve? Two things:

1. The game.

2. The people who play it.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey, thought I'd step in and check on ya. I agree wholeheartedly that the general maturity of EVE players is higher than your average MMO player. However, now that we are moving and operating in low sec more and more, I have already had a couple runins with the Dark side of EVE, the Player Pirates. I was on the other night, and one of our Corpmates yelled for help in chat that a guy was locking him down but wasnt doing anything. I undocked in my Vexor and told him I was on my way, I was in mid warp when he announced that two other friends had shown up and were commencing to tear him apart. I had no way to stop and decided to face my grim fate head on and in combat. I arrived, and sure enough, there were three Force Recon Cruisers and they had already destroyed Kors ship and were trying to get his pod. I locked one player and was abruptly jammed. I was dead in space. It was at that moment I realized I had about 200 million in cybernetics still implanted and was about to lose more than a Vexor. I saw that Kor had gotten away in his pod with the distraction I had given him, and I decided to eject from my Vexor before she was destroyed and escape. I got away with my pod but my pride and ego were a bit battered. The one thing that really made me upset was the incessant smacktalking from the Pirates in Local. Yeah you all had been playing for 2 years and had just killed a Hauler and a Tech 1 Cruiser, your such badasses. I of course didnt say this but its times like those that I realize that not ALL Eve players are very nice lol. But I know that one day we will be strong enough that these big bad pirates will be nothing more than an annoyance to our Cap Ship Fleet! Later : ) - Davin Intaki

Bekka Jae said...

Davin,

I know you're totally right about people in Eve, but I guess I haven't yet gotten far enough into the game to have encountered that much as yet.

And I hope you won't be a stranger! I love your comments! :)

Bekka