I’ve been playing EVE on and off for about 12 years now. I always loved the idea of having a true sandbox where players could do what they wanted and shape the universe. EVE does this in spades (usually) and it has great potential.
However, after many years of trying to learn the intricacies of the game, I can’t help but feel like the game will always and forever be locked behind the massive wall of “knowledge” that is required to actually enjoy it. And sadly, CCP has yet to implement a way to actually make this game accessible and fun.
For starters, there is WAY too much research that goes into fighting. Last night, I fit a Gila with a decent fit for Sansha ratting and headed off to high sec for some relaxed fun. Did fine for hours. Then, after heading to what I believed to be a DED 3 or 4 site (how would you even know without googling it?!), I was instantly webbed and destroyed by several named mobs in cruisers. Why was I killed so fast? Why was my ship with an extremely good shield tank so easily destroyed? Let’s examine this, shall we?
(To clarify I have 84m SPs and most are at level V for the ships I fly.)
So, first off, WHY am I having to ask these questions? If you want to make players lose ships, at the very least, make it CLEAR to them why the one they flew didn’t work. Mobs have zero indication that they have weaknesses to things. They have no clear indication that they will web you, scram you , or whatever else. You’re just supposed to know. But how DO you know?
The game won’t tell you. You have to search forums for other players to tell you. The thing is, not all of us have the time (or desire) to repeatedly lose ships worth millions (or billions) to learn. One or two? Fine. But either way you’re locked behind the paywall of “I need this multi-billion isk ship to do these other missions and I’ll probably lose it anyway learning what to do”.
After losing my gila (which I could afford to lose), I was angry. Not at the fact that I lost my ship per se. I was angry at the fact that I spent an hour to get there, seemed to do fine, and was all of a sudden destroyed by the same faction to which I had built resistances so easily. It made no sense and after it was all said and done, I was left wondering what happened.
Mind you, I had just come back after quitting last time after losing a hauler in high sec to a suicide ganker and that cost me about 500m isk. Again, I had NO IDEA why I was able to be attacked in high sec. Right next to a jump gate with Concord all over it. Does the game even bother to explain ANY of this to you? Never.
The bottom line is, even with 84m SPs, the game still drives me crazy. It has so much potential, but after nearly 20 years, I think it’s safe to say that it may never reach it. It’s simply not fun to play. It relies on the fact that it MAY be fun, but you need to join a corp to get the most out of it.
Oh wait, how do you join a corp? Ok, let me go find a forum post to tell me (sigh). Ok, I fumbled through the multiple pages of dead corps to find one that may be active and joined one. Great! How do I get to the main corp HQ?
“Oh, well, you need to fly out of high sec, leave all your ships behind (or risk us stealing them), and then proceed to be ganked in high sec on your way here by anyone with a war dec. But you have to join NOW or our members will kill you too on your way here.” Awesome.
Now let’s look at literally any other MMO (which, by definition, is multiplayer and encourages guilds). Do they make it this difficult to find a social guild? No. It’d be silly to do so. For whatever reason, EVE is still flailing, trying to convince us why we should jump through a million flaming hoops to “enjoy the game”.
In the end, I’m saddened. I WANT to play this game. I WANT to enjoy it. It seems so vast and free. But I simply can’t keep playing a game that frustrates me this much. It is, after all, a game. CCP, do us all a favor and just make an EVE 2 with al the things you’ve learned from this social experiement. Make space combat MUCH better (we like to see our ships, not a tactical overlay for example). Make it easier for people to understand what the heck the need to do to be successful. And lastly, for the love of god, stop relying on your player base to educate new players. That’s YOUR job. If it’s so complicated that it needs a thesis to explain, maybe your design needs work.
I’m a veteran hardcore MMO player. I’ve been playing MMOs since UO (which I beta tested in the early 90s). I’d like to think that I have what it takes to play any game effectively to some degree. But when it becomes this much of a chore to simply PVE or PVP, why even bother?
Sorry folks, but this is my last chance with EVE. As much as I want to keep trying to play it and figure it out, there is simply too much convoluted info out there and unclear direction for even veteran players.
o7 everyone. Sad to go, but it’s time to try something that’s a bit more accessible and fun.