First, as someone that plays a lot of MMOs, I want to say the early NPE is fantastic. Especially with the limited resources that smaller games have, it’s very rare to find one so well done. A very good job to the team that worked on that.
However, things do get a little less smooth when moving to career agents. As an example, I was told to use a “Sensor Overlay” by an agent. Hmm. Well where do I find that? I look at the buttons on my screen… ah there’s a tactical overlay, perhaps it’s near that? Hm, no. Well here’s a button that talks about scanners and probes, maybe there? Still no…
I eventually asked people and found I had to click a tiny hamburger menu to enable it. And this is one example but at the career agent stage there’s a bunch of things like this - it could really use some polishing up and explaining of where things are (and, perhaps, a little UI reorganization to make how things are placed or grouped a bit more intuitive). It’s not terrible but there’s definitely some easy wins to be had on improving it too.
Now this next bit is a little more macro, and I’ve seen other players’ discussions around how Eve’s universe is too big - so what I’m about to say probably won’t be well liked, but I hope it will at least be considered.
When I first heard of wormholes, I was utterly enchanted by the idea of them. But, as I’ve learned more and talked about them with other players, that notion’s been chipped away at more and more. They’ve “solved”, people will say, and it seems that they are indeed thoroughly figured out and minmaxed. They’re not untamable frontiers lived in by hardy, independent residents… they’re well connected and well supplied, allies are never far, and so forth.
And then there’s nullsec. Also not exactly the frontier I at first thought/hoped. All the edges of the map filled in. Now, please do helped me out if my observations are incorrect, but let’s say a friend group starts playing eve. We’ll call it a pretty big one, say 20 to 30 people? There’s nowhere they could really go to establish themselves - maaaybe somewhere very resource poor, but probably not even that. In part because everywhere’s also claimed… but also because they’d just get their faces kicked in. Probably even after they’d all been playing for a year, from what I can tell.
So, how cool would it be if a medium-sized group of year old players could find a corner of the universe, plant their flag and build a little empire?
How cool would it be if even day 1 players could do that?
Eve is great in concept, but I think the dream loses a lot of its luster when you find out it’s all locked down by long time established players, and at best you can hope to join them.
A larger universe also doesn’t have to be a trade off with pvp. So long as there are objectives to play around, pvp would happen even if eve took a leaf from some other online space games and went for a size on the order of millions or billions of systems to visit and, perhaps, inhabit.
And that also ties in with exploration. I think the minigames involved are super cool. I’ve never played anything quite like it. But also I can do a day of exploration, and be lucky to find so much as a half-finished data site. I suspect this ties in with the above - The Eve 'verse is too small. It gets picked clean. There’s only a few systems on the starmap that haven’t been visited within the last hour.
Both for content and for that frontier feeling… how great would it be if you could find systems that hadn’t been visited in a week? Or even… ever? The latter’s not impossible as it may seem with a static starmap - another online pvp spaceship game does it and only about 0.018% of its star systems have ever been visited.
But supposing Eve’s technical side isn’t up to supporting that or it’s not done for other reasons… it still would be neat if there were truly remote areas to explore, places that don’t get visited every day or even every week. Just as it would be neat if there were places a group could establish themselves without simply joining up with someone else.
All in all Eve seems like a decent game. But for me currently, it doesn’t look like it will be more than a side fling for when things are slow in my main (unless I learn things that drastically change my understanding of the game). But the concept… I think Eve could be truly magical. It’s got the right setting for a vast frontier, and banding together to establish oneself in it… if it can only realize it.