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Subject: Anyone played/playing Eve-Online? rss

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Jim Cote
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http://eve-online.com/

It sounds pretty cool, and looks great. But I wonder if development is really interesting, and if combat is any more than a Warcraft-style "select target and watch" system.
 
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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I play. Like any game, especially MMOs, it's certainly got its pros and its cons. I'm not sure what you mean by 'development' being interesting.

I can answer your combat question, though. Combat isn't much different than warcraft-style select target and watch system. Imagine yourself in a space ship, and you can lock on to between 1 and 8 targets (depending on your skills, which I'll talk about in a second). once you've locked on, you can split your fire (and other combat oriented modules) between any combination of locked targets. If you have 8 missile launchers fitted on your ship, you could fire one at each target or all 8 at a single target, for instance. It seems pretty boring, but it actually feels right, given the setting of the game. Not unlike naval battles, you lock on your weapons, then commence firing until one of you dies, occasionally switching it up with jamming, tactical maneuvering (limited), and other countermeasures or electronic warfare.

The key to combat is having your ship fitted correctly for the situation and having better skills and tactics than the other guy. He sends out drones to get you? Great, no problem, I happen to have some emp-style smart bombs that will knock them out of the sky. Oops, I just hit my own drones... lesson learned. Should I lock onto his remaining drones and kill them first, or focus on the battleship... how many drones does he have in reserve... do I fell lucky...huh... do I punk? That sort of thing. It could be similar conversations regarding missile damage types, range of weapons, how well they can track vs. your traversal velocity, etc. The possibilities are really wide when it comes to the tactics of any given combat situation.

So... to sum up... it is lock and and fire and wait... but think if it as naval combat, it's totally appropriate given the setting and it sounds way less exciting than it really is.

Oh, I forgot I said I would talk about skills. This is one of the HUGE pros of this game. Unlike any other MMO I've played, you do not have to grind for skill points. You train skills Matrix style where you just plug the skill book in and x minutes later you've learned the skill. This includes time when you are not logged on to the game. As you can imagine, this makes the game highly appealing to casual gamers, who cannot afford to spend 6 hours a day keeping up with the Joneses.... the down side is that there is always a bigger fish out there. You will never catch up to the guy that has been playing for 3 years... the upside again is that you don't have to, you can still have fun and even pwn the guy if you have a better understanding of tactics (or if you have some friends along to help out).
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Jim Cote
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Thanks, Eric!

I have an nVidia GEForce4 Ti 4600 128MB. Is this even enough to play? I don't know how it compares to the minimum or recommended hardware.
 
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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Before the 'Trinity' patch, I would say definitely yes. Now, I think you still have the option of using the pre-trinity models (lower poly count) and lower texture skins. I'd give it a go with the updated graphics and see how it runs, then fall back to the pre-trinity stuff as a backup plan. They offer 14 day trial accounts on a permanent basis, so there is no risk in trying it out.
 
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Marco Grubert
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I started playing it, hoping for something as good as Earth & Beyond. Turned out to be a really boring economy simulation instead. Back to Elite now..
 
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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It's come a LONG way since Earth and Beyond went belly up.
 
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James Moss
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I tried a 14 day trial, and while I agree that the things Eric points out are really clever, the "meat" of the "game" leaves a lot to be desired. For example: I get a mission to take envoy A to space station B. Cool. I pick the space station from the map and hit auto-pilot. Then I stand up, wander away from the computer, and come back 10 minutes later when my ship arrives. Then repeat as I head back to the origional place to pick up my reward. I decide to do some mining, hoping to get jumped by pirates or something. I head out to a belt (again auto-pilot). Then pick an asteroid, click mine or whatever and stare at the screen. Maybe I was missing something crucial, and I was just on a trial, but it seemed like almost all aspects of the system involves "target and watch". Was I missing something?
 
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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It's a slower game that WoW. No argument there. BUT, the reason you didn't get jumped by pirates or other players is because you were deep into patrolled empire space. If someone attacked you in empire patrolled space, the equivalent of galactic police warp in and blow them to bits. If you go out into the fringes and try that maneuver, you'd be sitting in an escape pod inside of 10 minutes.... IF you even live long enough to get TO the asteroid belts. You'd probably jump right into the middle of a 'prat' (Player 'rat' [short for pirate]) gate blockade on the way there.

The comments about the economy are also mostly fair, but I find that as a plus. I've never played a game with a more open ended economy on such a vast scale. Players control all of it from the mining of the raw materials, to refining them, to researching the blueprints, to manufacturing, to buying and selling. There is very little in the game that they do not have the ability to produce from capital ships that take a month to complete right on down to the sub-component widgets that take 5 minutes.

I can't handle mining, personally, because it's about as exciting as watching paint dry, but I enjoy trying to make money off the market, fighting rats in 0.0 space, exploring to find hidden pirate complexes, and such. PvP is not really my thing, but the entire game is built around it and many people do nothing but, anywhere from one on one to giant fleet battles (which can get laggy if you get more than 500 players in the same system).

Eve isn't for everyone, but I would recommend trying it for the 14 day trial if nothing else.
 
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Anye Freer
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I could write a book on Eve probably.

It has a much higher learning curve than any of the other MMOs because it is so rich in options. I was a very casual player the first few months I played, and then it "clicked".

Combat... well, yeah, there is some element of point and watch, but you have much more control over your offensive and defensive options. You pick skills that lead to different types of specialization. In terms of weapons, there are a few different kinds: lasers, hybrid turrets, and projectile turrets, missiles, smartbombs. Each has advantages and disadvantages.

For example, lasers don't have "ammo" per se, they use crystals which last
much longer than a round of any kind of missiles or ammo. Projectile turrets let you vary the damage type you do by choosing different ammo (there are four main kinds of damage in the game, different ships and equipment are more susceptible to different types), whereas hybrid turrets all deal the same 2 types of damage but let you vary the range by changing the ammo. Missiles have the advantage of always hitting and letting you pick damage types... eventually, but they take a lot longer and in PvP, if you die, any missiles you shot won't reach their target.

As a result, you can change the equipment on your ship (and also switch to different types of ship) depending on what you're trying to accomplish. Some ships are designed for recon and can use cloaks. Some are designed to be super fast, but aren't very hardy. Some are specialized to drop warp disruption modules to prevent your opponent from getting away. And remember, everything in this game takes skills, so you have to build towards a goal all the time.

If you are into PvP, there are tons of options. The major alliances are always fighting over uncontrolled space, and there are mercenary corporations that like to lend a hand wherever the money is coming from. Also there are pirate corporations that attack whoever they want to and support themselves with the booty.

If you aren't into PvP, there is PvE combat, which isn't particularly exciting but can be profitable and challenging. The missions are divided into levels - and what you are offered depends on your standing with that corporation, NOT your ability level. You can tell looking at an "agent" what level missions they will offer. To get to the high level missions (that require either groups or really tough ships or both) you have to start with lower level ones, get that corporation to trust you, and then you will get access to higher level agents that offer better and tougher missions.

You can also kill "belt rats" which are NPC pirates that lurk in asteroid belts. The lower "security" the space (1.0 is highest, 0.0 is lowest) the tougher the rats. You don't need missions to do this, you just show up in the asteroid belt, aim, and fire.

If you don't like combat at all, there are still a lot of options in Eve. There is mining, producing items from blueprints, trading, research, salvaging... all sorts of stuff.

One thing that is pretty major in Eve is the player corps, which are analogous to guilds in WoW. In WoW you can technically do most things without being in a guild, but in Eve there are some things that you can't do without being in a player corp. Building player-owned-stations is the main one, that allows you to run your own factories, labs, refineries, moon mining units. There are NPC owned factories, labs and refineries in empire controlled space, but the factories and esp. the labs are often overloaded and you may have to wait weeks for a slot. So having a POS is really useful. In uncontrolled (0.0) space, there are few NPC stations, all the outposts are owned by alliances, and then the POSes become more important as well as being the main mechanism for determining who controls a region.

I was a hard-core Eve addict for a couple years. I had 4 accounts and I used to play pretty much all the time. I eventually made the decision NOT to play all the time, and then it seemed silly to have 4 accounts. But, most of the things I wanted to do at my level required multiple accounts. So I stopped playing. I don't really miss it because I feel like I did most of what I want to, and I ran a corp which is like a 2nd job.

That said, Eve has probably the most realistic economy of any game out there, and the most complex political system. And, it is all on the same server. No shards. It is a really good game.

If you do decide to play, find a corp that is focused on what you want to focus on (combat, industry etc.) and that likes to take in newbies and that will share its goals with you. It likely will take awhile to have concrete goals of your own.

I have good friends still in the game I can hook you up with if you decide to try it. Let me know and I'll send you their usernames offline.
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Jim Cote
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dietevil wrote:
I have good friends still in the game I can hook you up with if you decide to try it. Let me know and I'll send you their usernames offline.

Thanks for the excellent overview, and the offer. I will probably give the trial a run-through and see how it goes.
 
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Anye Freer
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I should also mention I met the love of my life playing Eve

For that it will always have a warm spot in my heart!
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Jim Cote
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Ok, after 2 days of playing off and on, I am digging this game. It is overwhelming. There's so much to understand. The multi-hour tutorial barely scratches the surface. I am now in my 3rd ship. It's still pretyy wimpy, but I bet I could fight 10 new players and not take any damage. My ship is insured. I have an alpha clone.

Space is not treated as a vast empty 3d coordinate system. It is given topology by virtue of the technology required to cross it. There are 3 types of traveling: normal engines, warp, and stargates. Normal engines move you in the 100's of meters per second speeds. Warp engines move you in the AU's (astronomical units, Sun to Earth) per second speeds. The nearest star to our Sun is over 200,000 AU's away. The only way to get between star systems in less than a day of real time is to use stargates. These move you many light years instantly, but each pair of stargates only takes you between 2 specific points. Thus there may be regions of the galaxy where only a few stargates will get you there. This provides some nice choke points for ambushes, for example.

To give others an idea of the complexity of the system: I was looking for stuff to put in my new ship. I found a module I was interested in--some weapon. I could pay 20,000 ISK at the station I was in, or make 7 jumps and get it for 6,000 ISK. 7 jumps (warp to stargate, jump, warp to stargate, jump, etc) would take about 10 minutes of real time. After a while, as in real life, you start to weigh convenience over cost (but if there's a big difference in demand, someone will notice and start shipping tons of goods for profit). Now, say I bought this weapon. I still may need ammo for it. Is that available anywhere nearby? And for how much? I fit the new weapon module into my ship. Do I have the skill to use this module? Is there a spot for it? Does my ship have the CPU and power for this additional module? Does my cargo hold have the space for the extra ammo?

This is not your typical fight/die/spawn/fight/die/spawn game. Fitting a ship takes time and money. Losing your ship is a huge pain. It feels right. But you can play Eve and never fight at all.

The client is incredibly sophisticated. I am in awe of the integration. Anywhere that an entity (agent, system, region, ship, etc) is displayed (textually or by icon) you can click on it and talk/warp/dock as appropriate. There's an in-game mp3 player for ambient music and a browser which is used to view many Eve-related stuff, but actually browses to anywhere. You can form chat channels with friends and even use voice.

You do not "fly" your ship as in a fighter simulation. You manage your ship. You tell it where to go, activate/deactivate systems. etc. with mouse clicks. You can conduct battles with multiple enemy ships while eating. You set targets, tell your ship to approach/orbit/stop, tell your weapons to fire/reload, tell your shield boosters to activate, etc.

I'm not even sure the 14-day trial will be enough to get comfortable with the basics.
 
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Tim Thorp
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"Come on! Come on! Come and get it, baby! Come on! I don't got all day! Come on! Come on! Come on you bastard! Come on, you too! Oh, you want some of this? "
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I so want to play this game, but I don't have the time.

Quote:
I should also mention I met the love of my life playing Eve

Alright Anye, it's an MMORPG, how did you meet your love?
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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On a side note, and in response to people who found it boring before, I just lost my Dominix. It was jury rigged and had tech II fittings across the board along with a full drone bay full of t2 heavy drones and t2 scout drones. I was out hopping from asteroid belt to asteroid belt killing NPC rogue drones (basically NPC pirates). Everything was going smashingly until I got to a system that had not a single rogue drone in it. I figured I might as well scan the immediate area for cosmic anomalies since there was nothing else to do at this particular belt. I did and I found one. I warped to it.... Elite Drone Parasite all by his lonesome... sweet. He should have some above average loot. I lock on and start toward him. 10 rogue drone battleships and a dozen rogue drone frigates warp in right on top of me. I'm thinking to myself "oops, that was dumb" as I frantically warp out... "You can't warp because you are being warp scrambled"... watch as my shields evaporate. They get into my armor but my armor 'tank' holds pretty well. I release a flight of scout drones to pop the frigates, as they are likely the ones warp scrambling me... I popped about 8-9 of them before my armor gave way to internal structure. Never made it out. Game over.

I've never had a racing heart beat like that after a session of WoW. Also, the penalty of death is much more severe. I didn't lose any skills, but I lost the equivalent of a full set of blues. It will take weeks to get all of that back for a casual player like me. It was totally my fault though. I should have suspected something was up when I found an anomaly and only a single battleship was in there. Lesson learned.
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Anye Freer
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We were in the same corp, he was my mining squad leader. We played together for months, then he quit the game, we kept in touch as friends.
It wasn't until long after he quit the game that we started seeing each other "in real life". It wasn't an in-game romance, but that just happened to be where I met him
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Iain Triffitt
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I've just signed up for this and it seems to fit my style much better than WoW or Guild Wars or City of Heroes (all of which I've tried.)

Are any BGGers still playing it out there?
 
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Anye Freer
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trif wrote:
I've just signed up for this and it seems to fit my style much better than WoW or Guild Wars or City of Heroes (all of which I've tried.)

Are any BGGers still playing it out there?


Well, Jason and I went back to the game about a month ago but we're probably going to drop out again. Having trouble getting motivated to do anything in game, because so much can end up being like a second job. Ah well, maybe after we get our house fixed from the Hurricane
 
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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dietevil wrote:
trif wrote:
I've just signed up for this and it seems to fit my style much better than WoW or Guild Wars or City of Heroes (all of which I've tried.)

Are any BGGers still playing it out there?


Well, Jason and I went back to the game about a month ago but we're probably going to drop out again. Having trouble getting motivated to do anything in game, because so much can end up being like a second job. Ah well, maybe after we get our house fixed from the Hurricane


I'm kind of just working on training some skills up right now. 10 days till I can fly marauders. Then we'll see .
 
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Dan Owsen
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I used to play a lot, but don't play as much any more. My character is still in the game and training skills. I log on every once in a while and look for stuff to do. It's fun, but as was mentioned you need to be in a good corp to get the most out of the game. Basically look for people who are knowledgeable and who log in at the same time you do.

I may pick it up again and try to find a new corp, not that the one I am in is terrible, it's just kind of small and not all that active in my time zone.
 
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