EVE is a simulator, a space simulator, with free market rules and aspects of liberalism.
The idea of immortality is necessary for a video game, but in EVE the amount of freedom leads to the dilema “If God does not exist, then everything is permitted”. That is the strong and weak point of EVE, depending of how you look at it.
Some consider EVE a game, I don’t, I believe games need a level of fairness, and that cannot happen without removing the degree of freedom, maybe considering the new initiatives like abyssal and arena tournaments, well in that light yes.
Summing to this we have the sci-fi aspect, were while something look like ultra tech we still have same old ammunition. Warp drive mechanics and convenient “jump gates”, normalized fighting mechanics, abnormal cheating npcs.
It’s a harsh environment, one may think the next gas or ore is at the reach of his extractor just to discover an unpleasant surprise and lose everything. It’s not easy to deal with since you either grind a lot or inject real money into it. At this light EVE is a gamble, you put money in the hopes you’re going to make your way into it. Some people did, some don’t.
Before talking about paths, we need to start with the mining option, because it’s really not an option, it’s a necessity, for whatever reason some people think it’s an option and jump into it, unprepared, ignorant and the worst hopeful. Well the results are comic for the observers, enjoyable for the aggressors and very unpleasant for the naive.
But to mine is to keep the free market rolling, it’s a duty, and one should prepare before jumping into it, of course CCP for their own pleasure offer the unaware novice a incapable and ineffective ship called venture (the irony!) and stimulate the fresh to go mine. Even when succeeding our intrepid miner will see his efforts not paying too well, which leads to an attempt to maximize the process and not following the due process, leading to lost of the ship.
For the people that understood mining is a duty not a mean to play the game, but are too coward to risk everything, CCP offers missions. Missions are pointless, they lead to nowhere, unfortunately, it’s CCPs way to have a good laugh at the ones that do not dare to engage and claim their right to freedom. To be a citizen is to be ready to die for your convictions and rights. I’m included in this category.
We got another almost pointless mechanic called FW, but this one is for the ones not so coward, it also leads to nowhere, but one must combat or evade the opponents without the oppressive vigilance of CONCORD.
Moving on, some incursions, abyssals and all the other crap CCP invented to keep the wheel turning, CCP loves to see their hamster, cough cough, pardon their players to run over and over their simulated scripted scenarios indefinitely leading to nowhere, only to amass more food, opsie, I mean ISK.
After all that, I believe lies the true nature of EVE, the Null Sec and WH, where freedom is maintained with force, without the oppressing chains of state, I mean empire, sorry. In these lands, capsuleers fly free, shooting whatever and whoever they want, there’s no law, no rules, only madness.
To keep things in order, corporations are created and people organize themselves to conquer and protect based on their moral values. Sometimes these people come to hate each other and wars fight for months.
All of these is maintained by a supply chain of mining, manufacturing and invention leading to farms and farms of characters that only live to be a small fraction of the master EGO.