EVE Online: Lightyears Ahead of The Pack
By Remko Molenaar (Proxzor), OnRPG Journalist
EVE Online isn’t just a game. EVE Online is its own universe in which its residents take space combat and investing very seriously. EVE Online has been quite a popular game for a long time now and it is still as populated as the first day it got released. This game doesn’t function like standard MMOs in which you kill baddies and level up your character and armor. In EVE you are free to seek out whatever goals you wish, be it power, money, or exploration. For the newcomers considering trying EVE, I have found a video that gives you some backstory into just what type of game you are about to hop into.
EVE Online is a MMORPG that takes place approximately 20.000 years after our time in a galaxy on the far end of the universe. EVE is a single “shard” virtual game. What that means is that everyone who joins EVE becomes a part of the same world and the same community. The industry standard for MMORPGs is to run the game on multiple smaller servers, so called shards, so that each player only has the opportunity of interaction with a few thousand other players even if the number of subscribers can be in the millions. In EVE you have the opportunity to affect more than 250.000 other players in one way or another as all our players are a part of the same persistent universe, hosted on the world‘s most powerful gaming server yet.
EVE Online isn’t a game where you can just rush head first into battle and succeed. You have to think about what you want to do in the future. Successful players consider both what they are aiming for and what they are currently capable of. You have to invest money (ISK) and time to advance to higher ships and skills. You will have to upgrade various skills and upgrade your implants to get better in the game. Skills are the most important thing EVE Online has made up. These skills aren’t just learned instantaneously at a skill trainer. Skills are acquired ingame and then sold to market. Learning these skills also requires waiting x amount of real time. Acquiring better skills also opens opportunities for upgrading your ship and its defenses. These skills might unlock better guns or better armor for your hull, or they might affect the speed of your ship and other modules that is used by your ship and character.
Rig selection is about as close as you will get to choosing a class in Eve Online. Your Rig determines the overarching strategy of your ship from movement speed, to range of fire, to rate of fire. Also the amount of damage you inflict is impacted by what Rig you are piloting (in combination with your ammunition type). There are also rigs that help you slow down the target or to make your ship go faster or that makes your shields stronger.
You can also change your playstyle by utilizing drones. Every ship is different and some of them have a bigger drone bay. These drones are little flying space robots that support you in battle. These robots are the most helpful little robot you can find in outer space because they can really make a different in your game. They are a valuable addition to your fleet so be sure to always bring them back into your docking bay after battle or you will lose then when entering warp speed. You’ll be glad you didn’t leave them behind when space pirates come knocking as your door.
In EVE Online it is also possible to craft items and even ships. To start the process you need to acquire a blueprint. Once you have blueprints the long process of collecting materials begins. These items can be find through mining and salvaging ship wrecks. There are also different skills that are required to produce the item you want to make. Some skills you acquire can boost the speed of crafting time as well. This might seem pointless in most MMOs but crafting an entire ship can be a lengthy process in EVE.
If you are not a combat oriented player, a career in mining is likely for you; this is done by upgrading skills that are required when mining steroids and planets. But beware! Mining is done by big ships that are not that good at defending themselves and you are a big target for space pirates. The “Lower Sectors” seem to be particularly dangerous for new players learning the ropes of mining. Now you might be thinking ‘huh, booted to your capsule? What are you talking about?’ Well if a person is attacked and his ship gets destroyed you are ejected to your space pod. You are placed in a little capsule which can go into warp speed immediately when it is not engaged. If you are however targeted and your pod gets destroyed you might lose all your upgrades your character possesses. You are able to clone yourself to take insurance against this happening. Clones are the equivalent of creating a save state in an MMO. So if your capsule gets destroyed you will jump into that clone and you can live on happily ever after. Ship insurance also exists if you fear space pirates destroying your prized possession. There are different of options to insure yourself from horrible situations and there are different insurances you can take. Ship insurance is useful for miners but even more important for actual space pirates as you can expect to be blown apart quite regularly in that line of work.
In EVE Online all the regions have a different security level, this security level determines how safe you are in the current sector. The CONCORD controls a lot of regions to keep you safe from pirate scum that try to engage your ship. However if you are in the lower levels of space that the CONCORD doesn’t control it is basically a free for all for everyone who is flying around. Now you might be wondering, why go to these sectors when there is a possibility of getting attacked and losing your ship. Well basically it is possible to acquire better objects in the lower sectors of space. Therefore many pirate corporations are located in the lower sections and use it as their special home.
If you are a mining character and want to mine in the lower sections it is advised to bring yourself a group of defenders to help you mine the goods. Corporations in EVE Online usually have a schedule of when they are going to the lower sections to mine which will help out the miners a lot. However you are never safe in space so don’t expect to just chill around watching a movie while you are mining your goods. Space pirates are the least of your worries when two corporations’ mining schedules overlap.
The Man Who Had it All
Lately in real life you might hear a lot more about banks failing from the bad economy and pyramid schemes swindling people out of their life savings. A while ago something familiar like this also happened in EVE Online. Now you might be thinking, how is this possible? Well EVE Online is a very open game and allows the player to attempt just about anything he is gutsy enough to try. If you want to sell your character for real money or game money, you are free to do so. If you have plenty of money in real life and feel like getting richer in the game? Feel free to sell game cards since its sanctioned by CCP Games.
Now back to the story, there was once a man that decided to play the game and act like a real life bank. He had a little capital that helped him get started so he decided to loan out money to different people. Business went so well he decided he could also act as a bank that collects interest on loans, or pay interest on savings accounts. It was a success and big corporations started investing money and he earned a lot of cash by giving out loans and receiving money from corporations that would help him give out more loans just like a real economic system. Everything went smooth and solid for a steady 2 years until he decided to pull out the plug. But instead of giving the money back to its owners he decided he would just keep it all. Now this created some big chaos in the world of EVE Online; people wanted him banned and were starting to freak out. But since EVE Online has such an open game like this he couldn’t get banned since he did something the game actually supports!
EVE Online is a really stunning beautiful game. To play this phenomenal space simulator you will need a decent computer rig. The game requires to have at least a 1.5 Ghz Pentium 4 processor and 1.5GB of ram. You will also need 20Gb of Free hard disk space along with a video card that has 128MB of video ram. If you are not familiar with your computer specs I’d say you will have no problem running this game with a computer rig that has been built in the last 6-7 years. The recommended system requirements are MUCH higher though than the minimum and require you to have at least a dual core processor along with a video card that has been made in the last 2 years. Hitting these specs is well worth the payoff on this game!
EVE Online has been the leader in space MMORPG’s for quite some time now and CCP can be really proud of this wonderful game. I have played this game for quite a while and wish I had more freedom to wander the endless realms of space. Personally I felt that in today’s instant gratification world, some of the wait times in EVE are a bit over the top. This is just a personal grievance though and the community interested in a game like this doesn’t seem to mind the immersion factor it adds to the game. EVE Online makes everything you can think of possible with a political-economic system well ahead of its time. Every space freak out there should at least give EVE Online a chance because it is truly an amazing game.