Thursday, February 6, 2014

Eve Online: The Last Game You Will Ever Need

Do you have a lot of time and want a game to sink down into, never to resurface to reality?

Look no further, Eve Online is the game for you.

My good friend and fellow gamer, Colin, over at his blog wreckreation.org, has slowly planted the seed into my mind that I should try out Eve Online. For the few of you like me who are not in-the-know, Eve is a massive multiplayer online role-playing game, or MMORPG for short. The word massive does not even come close to expressing the near infinite vastness of this game. I spent the better half of my morning today first checking out the website and then downloading the demo with a 3 week demo. You cannot buy this game and use it, like others, as you wish. You need to pay a monthly online subscription. The choices are 1, 3, 6, and 12 month options. The 12 month option will set you back $99.99. I definitely recommend going the demo route first.

Once I decided to download the game and join up for the 3 week demo I needed to create an account. Username. Password. The whole 9 yards. Then I downloaded the game for my Mac. It took a very long time. 1/2 an hour easy. It was a 7+gb download and installed at over 14+gb. Make sure you have the room and the time, as this is not some casual plugin. With a 14+gb game on my Mac, now I'm not sure the online part should be so prominently advertised. Obviously it is the online aspect that links all the players together. You are paying for that service, which I'm assuming needs to be pretty advanced to coordinate all the virtual locations within this MMORPG so that the virtual world functions flawlessly when you might meet up with the countless other online players.

So once the game was downloaded, it needed to unpack itself and install. That took more time. That's fine. I know my laptop is showing its age and a new mac-pro could likely have done this all way faster. Hmmmm...gears in head turning...

Once up and running a character needs to be created. This is very much like the creation of a D&D character except you start with jack shit. You get to make your character M/F, chose a race from 4 different descriptions. I went with the Gallente who from the brief description seemed very much like the Libertarian party. The other three were a theocratic society, an economic society, and a colonizing society. It's all spelled out in text as you go. There is a lot to read. My eyes are not what they used to be and I have not yet found the old-man ENLARGE TEXT option. I need to find that, if it exists. With all the options available I'd be kinda bummed if it did not have this.

Remember that this is a massive multiplayer online role-playing game. After the hour it took to explore and download, install, sign up, log in, and create a character, I still needed to go through the tutorial to just be able to play. The bottom line is that this game is complex. Once up and running for a few weeks, I might have some rudimentary handle on this game. Now I'm lost in space. The tutorial is good and slowly takes you through every aspect of what your character will be doing. Missions, ship controls, battles, docking, space navigation, etc. The controls and all the various screens that can be opened or closed are complex. Below is a full screen shot of my newbie character Kxern Angstrom (the x is silent) with many of the different function screens open. These can all be closed at any time. It is a lot to learn, especially since much of these screens are opened via icons and they are not always obvious ones like the camera on your cell.
Kxern Angstrom

I did not even get through the full tutorial. I had a very hard time using the controls because I have a Mac mouse that only has one button and even though I was using the Mac version it still was telling me to right-click or left-click. Also there is a radial control menu that is supposed to open with a mouse click. The best I was able to get was a drop down menu with a control. The tutorial not explaining exactly what my Mac experience was added to the complexity and my ignorance. I was almost destroyed because I could not figure out how to lock onto a moving ship. I'll get the hang of it. This was day one for me and I did quite a lot.

The bottom line is that the game is incredibly immersive. The music is amazing but might lull you to sleep if you are not fully rested. And overall the sublime beauty of this virtual outer space reality is a wonder to experience. Will I find the time to sit and give Eve the effort it deserves? Not sure. Do I want to? Yes! At the very least I'll be back soon to finish the tutorial.

More complicated than your new job at NASA.
Here are a few more screen captures to check out. Please head over to my friend's blog to see his beautiful captures and posts on Eve too.

Every location is gorgeous.
Like me but much cooler. 
Can I oder these clothes?