Arrival at New Eden (or-how a Ranger made his way to EVE)

In addition to all the other things going on for me last weekend, I decided to give another MMO a try.  EVE Online’s giving a 14 day free trial, so I decided now was as good a time as any to see what was what.

There were a couple things I knew going in.  First:  it’s heavily PvP.  That fact alone is one that made me hesitate.  But second:  it was also a graphically beautiful game.  And third:  it had a learning curve like a sheer cliff.

Never let a little thing like that stop me, though.

And so:  Coreth Walker was born (Landwalker just didn’t seem to fit a game where the character is effectively their ships).  Yeah, that’s right-your player avatar is going to be your ship; it’s not one where you get out and explore.  Really, aren’t hundreds of space systems enough?  EVE is BIG!

So what are my impressions, one might ask?

Graphically, it’s right on the money.  There were two different versions of EVE available, the “Classic” and “Premium”.  For once, it doesn’t have anything to do with cost, and everything to do with your computer.  Concerned that my PC wasn’t computer enough to handle the Premium version’s graphics, I went with the Classic.

If this is Classic, I’m dying to see the Premium.  It looks great!

I’ve spent my time learning the tutorial, doing some missions for some Agents (the contacts of this game), and a bit of mining for cash.  Since I’ve stayed in sectors with high security ratings (1.0-0.7), I’ve managed to stay away from the PvP scene.  But as one might guess, all the really GOOD stuff is in low-security sectors-and that’s where the PvP is lurking.

Sometimes, travel is very slow.  There are shortcuts-for distant locations, you can utilize warp drive or jump gates-but sometimes, they don’t help you perfectly.  I’ve warped to an asteroid field waypoint, and found the nearest asteroid to mine was over 100km away.  Ouch!

Some of that fabled learning curve came into play as well; for a short time, I couldn’t figure how to outfit my ship.  At one point, I didn’t realize that a turret I’d bought required charges.  Man, not a good feeling when I realized I’d been moving through space completely unarmed at one point.  And I’m still learning things; next on my list is how to use drones, since I’d looted one after a fight.

Yes, while I haven’t dealt with PvP, there are still NPC bad guys out there (bad as defined as “They’re Shooting At Me”).  I haven’t gone completely pacifist; bounty hunting NPC pirates is something else on my list to try out.

Community is a harder thing to gauge.  I’ve been solo flying so far, and am not horribly impressed with their chat interface.  That said, they have a great guild system (Corporations), where the guilds have advertisements IN-GAME; many of which even include LINKS to their web sites!  (These ads, by the way, are not spam ads:  they appear on a Corporation listing, which makes sense-if you’re looking at a list of Corporations, of COURSE they’re gonna try to attract recruits!)  Corporations can, as I understand it, eventually create structures like their own space stations or moon-based facilities.

Did I mention that players can also build or invent things in the game?  I haven’t even touched this stuff, but all the possible ships out there can apparently be built from blueprints.  I’m very fuzzy on this stuff, but it does help form the basis of the economy:  player created equipment.  Hm, what does that remind me of…?

In two days, I’ve accumulated a total of two ships (three if you count the starter ship that I trashed), one of which is equipped as a mining vessel, the other as my courier/hunter vessel.  Both are frigates.  Skill training is ongoing-I’m told upgrading to cruisers is the way to go, but I’ve a ways to go before I can learn how.  Skill training is completely based on time and attributes:  practice doesn’t mean a bloody thing, from what I can tell.  Expect long-established characters to beat the tar out of you based on skill points alone.

All in all, I’m enjoying my sojourn in EVE Online.  Not really certain I’ll go beyond the 14 days, but the positives outweigh the negatives at this point.  I’ll see how far I can get with this.

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