I’ve been playing Eve since 2012. Not the oldest, but nearly 10 years speaks for itself. I’ve been on and off for a few years now. Graduated College, have a full time job, the works.
I decided to give Eve some time today, and I’d like to maybe give some feedback on why I’m still not feeing like getting back into the game, as well as seek feedback on those who feel the same.
So there I was, in my alpha clone in Amarr. I was browsing the new sleek character sheet and browsing events on the UI. As I did this I sigh. It’s the same. It’s the same game as in 2019, when I left. Sure there are some new skills under Spaceship Command, and the enemies got a paint job, but it’s the same same. I left this community because nothing changed with the underlying game. To come back and see that nothing still has changed, makes me sad.
In my opinion, the last great update to Eve Online was the Citadel update (and ensuing minor patches). The update which was game changing for all those in all Eve. There was no place where things were not changed. From Wormhole to Hisec. That’s not the majority of why this update was great. What made this update great is that it promoted player progression. No matter how good of a pilot you were, you can’t solo a (reasonable) citadel (multiboxing aside). If you wanted to interact with a citadel in many aspects, it is no simple task. There is a certain mastery one can achieve towards citadels which takes time and practice, even if some of it may be on a spreadsheet. Recent expansions do not have this.
For example, take the Edencom vs Triglavian expansions. It may look new, it may feel new, but the update is less new than you may think. Let’s go over a list as an example.
- Vorton projectors: good change. introduces new mechanics. Even if mildly niche, the content is welcome and affects the whole game.
- Triglavian ships: mild - bad change. The only novel thing which these ships add is a bonus to smart bombs and, their weapons. The smartbomb bonus isn’t something we’ve seen before, and will change the game in certain aspects. Everything else is somewhat drag n’ drop. These ships fill no new roles in fleets; the roles which these ships fill are 100% pre-existing ones.
- Edencom ships: Bad change. It’s a shield Triglavian, with arguably less skill. Nothing new was gained from these.
- Drifter Incursions: Easier incursions. No value added.
- Triglavian invasion: IIRC this was factional warfare with Sec status at stake. The change in system sec status was fun, but the mechanism was an absolute grind.
- Abyssal space: It’s new, but it’s literally stapled onto the game like an addon. It feels no more a part of the game than the crowd-sourced science minigame.
The list is just a long form way of saying: “STOP RECYCLING”. Event sites are not new. These ‘new’ ships are not new. These UI changes are not new. The majority of this content is not new. What’s worse is the little new stuff that exists, the nuggets that may make the game worth playing, aren’t even shown up front and center. It’s hidden where anyone who may benefit from the gameplay must search and trudge, and maybe even stumble on it by accident.
The real killer with the new stuff however is that the content that I mentioned is easy. Eve Online is a game which is hinged on the difficulty of being a good player. Citadels are difficult, each one comes with it’s own challenges and puzzles which must be solved. There is no ‘rule of thumb’ for citadels, and those who think there is often pay dearly. This is not easy content. The phrase “get good scrub” is repeated for a very good reason, and it’s because the folks that play Eve find a pleasure in doing challenging tasks and solving new puzzles. Do you know how dull it is when the same gila fit from 3 years ago is still solving the most difficult problems today? I’m sure you do! We are on the Eve forums, after all. It’s plainly boring and uninteresting. I have a sneaking suspicion that those who have left eve would agree with that core concept.
If we’re being frank, I’m not coming back to Eve because there’s little that is new, and the stuff that is new has no effect on 90%+ game time, probably 80% if I’m really embracing the new stuff. I really really want to like my spaceship game again. I do.
What do you think? I’m interested in what the community thinks on this. Is the gameplay stale and uninteresting, or am I just a whiny crybaby with no reasonability?