EVE Online Diary Part One: Spaceships And Supermarkets

Rich Stanton has been playing EVE Online. In the first of a three-part diary series, he explains the tools and apps he uses to make sure he never wastes a minute of valuable space time.

It is often said, and not without justification, that EVE Online is more of a spreadsheet simulator than a space game. At the very core of this magnificent creation are the spaceships, and shooting from them are not lasers and missiles but tables and text; endless columns of statistics that nestle in your monitor’s corners and burst forth with inelegant bravado. For everything in EVE Online, and this game is as dense as a concrete fruitcake, there is an explanation that leads in multiple other directions. This bewitching and bamboozling universe swallows unwary players whole.

Steam tells me that, as I sit down to write this article, I’ve logged around 110 hours in EVE Online. I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing and – I really want to emphasise this point – that is not false modesty. This is a game of such awesome scope that of those hours I’d estimate at least half have been spent in stations; browsing the local markets, reading up on my latest discoveries, or simply trying to work out why I can’t fit a particular gadget onto my ship.

This is what they never tell you about EVE: 80% of it is reading. Working out what a ship module does takes ten minutes. Reading up on suggested fits for your chosen frigate can take hours. Joining a decent-sized Corporation presents you with days’ worth of notes to leaf through. And perhaps the most important thing for any new player to bear in mind is that you’ll get a tonne of conflicting advice.

No wonder when the game launched it met with mediocre reviews – without the wealth of supporting material that now exists in and outside of EVE, forming any kind of opinion about this thing would be impossible without years of play. I usually take screens with the UI turned off. But to give you an idea here’s one with it on, and this is a fairly common sight for me:

Best game ever.

One of EVE’s most interesting qualities in this regard is that, the further you get into the game, the more stuff you acquire to track EVE while not playing the game. So over the last few months I’ve installed a standalone desktop application (EVEMon), acquired an RSS feed dedicated to EVE, and walk around with an app called Neocom on my iPhone – having tried out about four or five other options.

Probably the funniest feature in EVE, though of course it is VERY SERIOUS, is that the game has a fully-functional web browser built-in. So you never really have to leave – even though I mainly use it for reading up on EVE stuff, you could use it to check your gmail or order stuff from Amazon. But to get back to all of the supporting applications and material, what is it all for?

Although the spreadsheets gag is by far the most common, the more accurate charge is to describe EVE as Skillqueue Online. Your skillqueue in EVE is a thing of quite uncommon beauty and complexity, but based entirely on a 24 hour timer system that is designed to pull players back into the client as often as possible. This might sound like EVE’s equivalent to levelling, but it’s much more involved than that business – of course it is.

Here’s how it works: you can train skills after you’ve ‘injected’ them from a skillbook, which you can only do in most cases when prerequisites are met – so you can’t train ‘Light Missile Specialisation’, for example, without having first maxed out ‘Light Missiles.’ The killer detail is that everything trains in realtime, and does so even when you’re not in-game.

Each skill has five levels, and the first will take minutes and the last will take weeks if not months. So I’m currently training Cloaking and rounding-up I can see that Level I takes an hour, II is 4 hours, III is 22 hours, IV is 5 days 4 hours – and I can’t even see what V is. A good one for the holidays, I suspect.

The twist of the knife in this setup is that your queue can only be ordered for the next 24 hours, and although these API-based tools like EVEMon and Neocom can read your character info they can’t write back to the client. So you can set up a 4 day skill no problem, and check the progress, but you can’t set one to follow it without logging in with less than 24 hours ‘training’ left. At first this forces you to log in almost every day, because you’re training low-level skills that don’t take long, though over months it becomes a less frequent chore.

But that notion of time becomes crucial to how you ‘play’ EVE – any real world minute when your character isn’t training is a wasted real world minute. I’m deadly serious. I’ve been at the supermarket when I’ve checked Neocom and seen I need to be home in an hour to put a new skill on. So fuck the puy lentils.

There is a saying popular among fans of the game, and it’s impossible to gauge how much self-knowledge it contains: ‘EVE is real.’ Because in the sense that it’s part of your day whether you play it or not, EVE is real. Here lies part of the true purpose behind the multitude of non-game applications. Whether you’re talking about the leaders of mega-corporations, miners in high-sec, wormhole pirates, or noobs like me, we all share the same passion for efficiency. Not one wasted second.

It’s easy to forget, I suppose, that this is a game about flying spaceships. Because while it’s true that an EVE veteran with a few days’ training could destroy a fully skilled-up player who had no idea what they’re doing, it is also true that your investment in the game is shared across both hours spent and months subscribed.

More than anything else it’s a change in mental conditioning. What astounds me about EVE – and continues to blow my mind nearly every time I log into the game – is just how far the vision behind this universe goes. I find that in-game web browser such a telling little kink; an acknowledgement that, because every aspect of the game is such a rabbit-hole, you’ll often spend hours simply reading.

EVE, if not quite real, does feel permanent. With certain games like Team Fortress 2 and Counter-Strike GO, I look at my inventory with a degree of satisfaction because – rightly or wrongly – I feel that those things will always have value for me. I’ll always want to play those games.

The whole of EVE feels like that. A sense that it’s worth having these skills, it’s worth stashing frigates in out-of-the-way stations, it’s worth not pissing too many people off. It’s worth taking care of your investment. Because I know that today, tomorrow, and the day after, EVE will always be real.

In part two, this Friday, Rich goes out to shoot some stuff.


  1. SAeN says:

    Oh balls I’m going to end up reinstalling this aren’t I?

    • bedel says:

      I have the same fear, now tell me there isn’t a RPS corp?

      • BananaMan3000 says:

        Come and PvP in Red vs Blue – it’s the most fun I’ve ever had in playing Eve on and off since 2003 and has kept me coming back unlike anything else I’ve ever done in the game.

        If you’re a total total noob with a brand new / trial character it’s good to wait a couple of weeks until you’ve worked out the basics of how to fly and figured out how to make some income in the game – however it is very noob friendly and lots of very new players join up.

        If you don’t know what RvB is – it’s two corps (Red and Blue) that are permanently in a mutual war with each other in Empire space – each has a home system/HQ that is 2 jumps from the other (and only a few jumps from Jita) so finding combat/someone to shoot is easier than any other place in Eve. Here’s a link about RvB on the Eve wiki, obviously you can find more info elsewhere.

        link to wiki.eveonline.com

      • medwards says:

        There is an RPS corp, but you need to be very self-starting for awhile. I operated as sole CEO and member for a few months, produced a little bit of fun for myself ( link to gist.github.com ) but there was a credit card hiccup at the same time that ~life happened~ so I haven’t logged in since…

        If there is interest I’ve been looking for a good excuse to re-sub.

      • Atrocious says:

        There is an RPS affiliated corp. RPS Holdings. I don’t know these guys. I think they do low sec PVP. Maybe check out their in-game channel “RPS Community”.
        link to evemaps.dotlan.net

    • Vin_Howard says:

      Ah much as I think Eve Online is an exceptional game, I’ve already vowed never to even think of touching this game again. It is, unfortunately, just not for me.

      • SomeDuder says:

        I’m in a somewhat similar situation, but for different reasons. I’m pretty much burned out on Eve Online.

        I’ve played from 2005-2009 and seen it all, pretty much like that “Butterfly effect” trailer. Started dicking around in tutorial, tried some missions, joined a corporation after a month. We did small trading runs to unsecure systems, mined rocks, even set up a starbase on a valuable moon in 0.0. From there, we were offered to co-start the alliance Interstellar Starbase Syndicate (ISS), which was the first alliance with a hugely marketed IPO (Idea was that we would build and operate outposts for whichever alliance wanted us to do so (Outposts being released just then). Joined the ISS Navy (ISSN), which was the law enforcement branch for our outpost systems, where I became familiar with PvP in 0.0. Started moving around on my own (I remember a time when I felt immensely immersed in my role in the game when a broadcast came through about a trading ship (Industrial) coming under attack from a lone attacker, just 1 gate from our outpost. I was alone, flying around our system, and flew to the trader’s rescue. Didn’t destroy the attacker, but gave the trader enough time to reach the gate and have him warp to our outpost. Massively satisfying and fun).

        All went well, outposts going up like grass, but then the Eve universe started to change, for the worse. What we saw was the forming of massive alliances, more like blocks of power. Russians in the east (Hah, how traditional), northern alliances banded together, western/southern throwing in their lot together. This wasn’t all that new of course, it happened before in Eve’s history, but it always disappeared. Now though, the massive coalitions kept alive. Combat became an endless game of waiting at stargates and formations of thousands of players (Mind you, this was before the massive changes to large engagements, like time-dilation or node reinforcement, so it became a slideshow of queued commands never getting executed). Our small alliance couldn’t cope, moved around a bit, finally crumbled. Joined a few other alliances afterwards, even the illustrious Pandemic Legion, but it never became as close or fun as the ISS days.

        From what I read about the game, it’s still a massive clusterfuck, and with the time-dilation stuff, there’s no need to even bother with fighting in a small group. Ultimately though, even this was a choice by the players, so there’s no blaming the developers.

        Actually, all the power to CCP for managing to keep a paid-subscription MMO alive and strong in this day and age, shame that most MMOs give in to the F2P model :(

        EDIT: Holy wordtypings Batman, that’s a lot of text. Apologies! tl;dr – Eve is great, enjoy it while you can

      • DThor says:

        After three false starts (I. E. Got really frustrated / bored), I got a good sub deal last Christmas and vowed to really try this time. With all the admirable tech specs behind this game, I’m *supposed* to love it, but sadly now I’m just logging in long enough to pump the skill queue as full as I can (yay 24 day training!) and hoping it “takes” before the sub runs out. I’m not hopeful. I suspect this is an MMO that more or less sucks for solo play after a few months, and positively defies casual play. There’s no room in my life for a second job, and it absolutely feels like that. Arguably a *good* job, but you don’t get paid.

    • Inglourious Badger says:

      Aye, another binge is coming, methinks. Spent a worrying amount of time browsing my old character’s assets on Aura (great Android EVE app) the other day and reminiscing about shiny spaceships. EVE is the only game I really felt the in game money was worth something. Hate to see my 1 billion ISK sat there unused. Argh. It’s calling!

    • Lemming says:

      Ironically, it’s pretty much cemented by decision to never play it and only read articles about it that make the gaming press.

      • rittenhaus says:

        EVE Online, like space itself, is a beautiful abyss.

        But I’m not tempted to return. It’s not even skill creep that is the real problem; I haven’t any skills by now that take less than one month to train up. It is, as stated above, the incredible wealth disparity. My character was an ISK billionaire many times over, which sounds grand until you realize that is just chump change in EVE. And, if you take away the meta… there isn’t really much game there despite the apparent complexity.

        We used to half-jokingly call it Randian Hero Simulator.

        • Shadow says:

          Yeah, you’ve put it pretty well. EVE is a social game above all, but there’s not much gameyness to it. Without delving into corporations when I last played (because I wasn’t planning on playing more than a couple of months), I got up to battlecruiser level mainly grinding the same generic missions. And then basically I got bored. The universe is generic, combat is boring, you’re a tiny spec in the universe, etc. Under all that vaunted complexity and numbers, there isn’t much in the way of interesting gameplay unless you’re willing to play the metagame.

          This is the crux of it: EVE demands a lot from the player, and unless you’re willing to massively commit, join a corp and become very active, and essentially make the game your entire gaming life for months or years on end, it’s just not worth it.

          • FireStorm1010 says:

            Agree that without corp Eve is rather hard to play and enjoy, its designed with corps in mind, with cooperation between players.I also agree that while with exploration and incusrions the PVE content has much improved,, for group of players, for solo PVE EVE isnt the greatest game in the world.MY whole joy is pvp in Eve.

            Where i disagree completely is that its a “massive commitement” to join a corp .Im in a corp in 0.0 alliance and i dont play more then 10 hours a week these days, past week havent logged once, and nobody got a problem with it. Truth is when i play i mostly go on pvp ops with my alliance, so i contribute..

        • FireStorm1010 says:

          What i dont understnad is why woudl you worry that someone is richer then you ?
          I mean why does it even matter. I played 10 years of Eve and i got around 5-6 biliobns in assets + around 300 milions atm , so im pretty poor. Its just i t doesnt matter, my whole joy in Eve is pvp , and im pretty sure i can kill most of those hundred of bilions pilots , cause im just good at what i do, and in most ships, extra wealth only helps so much.

    • StevieW says:

      I’ve been toying with resubbing for weeks now but it ain’t cheap when you have multiple accounts…. think I’m gonna do it tho – damn you all.

      • Slazia says:

        Can’t justify the money. I’m the type of gamer who likes playing a bit of everything. There’s no way I can justify $15 a month for 0-12 hours of gaming time. I wish there was an option to pay by the hour.

    • Contrafibularity says:

      Don’t do it! It’s a TRAP!

      As anyone who’s played for more than 10000 hours will say, it’s not worth it. It’s like you’re always building towards something and never attaining it, except in this case the old adage “it’s about the journey” basically amounts to waiting for training skills to level-up while reading tool-tips and comparing one attribute with the other (the further you get in the game the longer it takes to train a single skill, first a few minutes, then an hour, then a day, then three, then three weeks, three months, and so on. There are a gazillion different “skills”). Of course, once you’re past a certain point you’re simply trapped. Years will pass and you will miss out on every other videogame. And you will have, maybe, a dozen memorable experiences to show for it. “It” being five years of your life’s leisure time. And possibly thousands or tens of thousands of your moneys.

      The only way to win at EVE Online is by not playing. Or you could lose gracefully, in which case there will come a point where you’ll have to choose between EVE Online all other videogames. It’s an easy choice to make, assuming you’re not under EVE’s influence when you make it.

    • Luciferous says:

      I’m waiting for CCP to send me a deal for resubbing… I want to get back on for a while, but i can’t quite bring myself to give them money knowing they’ll be sending deals out again soon.

  2. Bradamantium says:

    It’s telling that a diary of EVE playing calls to mind the homework I’ve done this week more than the dozen hours of games I’ve played. Which isn’t a bad thing, really. It’s not for me, but gosh if it doesn’t sound like the most magnificent space life simulator for a Certain Kind of Person.

    I’m almost sad that I’m not that Kind.

    • Gap Gen says:

      Yes, it’s the kind of thing where if you had infinite time in your life it’d be fascinating to delve into and live a separate life. Certainly as a kid I had that time to spend, but it seems like as I get older meatspace stuff starts edging out the more time-consuming aspects of gaming and I edge towards learning systems and skills that are relevant to work or other real-world things.

  3. Inglourious Badger says:

    This is all very good Rich, but when are you going to review Dark Souls 2 for someone??? Yours is the opinion I’m most curious to hear, after all your EG Dark Souls articles. Is it a worthy successor?

    • monkehhh says:

      Payment in isk, OK?

    • amateurviking says:

      This! I’ve gleaned some information from Rich’s twitter feed but I am still hungry for more info. Also interested in Adam’s opinion too. Having to balance that with an unusually strong desire to go into this completely spoiler free.

      It’s a holiday on Friday here for some reason I have yet to determine (thanks Italians, Thitalians) so I have allocated the whole day to DS2, assuming it works ok on the laptop. Oh goodness I hope it works ok on the laptop.

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      It’s been out on consoles for a while, and from what I hear if you’re the kind of (crazy masochistic) person that enjoyed the first one, then you will enjoy the second one.

  4. geldonyetich says:

    Being a fellow whose long-sightedness tends to ruin games for himself prematurely, there’s two big reasons I don’t want to play EVE Online:

    * In other MMORPGs, you grind your arse off so you can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the established players but, in EVE Online, you grind your arse off so you can make the established players even richer than you than they already are.

    You’ll never catch up, it has to do with the way the skills and economy work, the most you can hope for is some player gets bored and hands you the reins to their corporate legacy. (If they do that by accident, and you take them for everything they’re worth, that’s considered EVE Online at its best.)

    Occasionally, the developers bump up the starting stats just to lessen the ridiculous gap: you start on skill wellfare and it will just get worse over time.

    * There’s really no end game, and there never has been.

    If you are successful, your corporation gets to turtle up in your own section of established space and make attacking you costly enough that nobody does. Consequently, eventually everybody gets bored and stops logging in anymore.

    Then, one day, somebody has had enough, and takes some gigantic expensive ship out for a spin, where it’s immediately destroyed by some bored players who regard it as nothing more than a pinata out to brighten their monotonous existence. Then we all revel in the drama of seeing billions of ISK go up in flames, somebody compares that to a real money trade value in the tens of thousands, and, for a little while, EVE Online may have conveyed the illusion that it accomplished something remarkable with virtual spaces.

    Is EVE Online a scam?

    No, it’s a framework of a potentially interesting idea that has been getting slowly fleshed out but in directions that mostly reinforce it’s just a framework because nobody seems to know how to really make virtual worlds anymore, if we ever did.

    • BananaMan3000 says:

      No offence but those quotes are from people that are terrible and don’t really understand the game at all.

      Comments like this come from people who are trying to understand Eve in terms of how other games work. Anyone that even talks about an “end game” has missed the point entirely. Eve is so different from anything else that it requires a different mindset and way of thinking – most people that try it are quickly turned off because it’s so different from other games and MMOs.

      Like reading a great work of literature or learning an instrument or skill – Eve is a game where you get back as much as you put in. It unapologetically demands a lot from it’s players. The reality is most people (even the ones that think they’re “Hardcore”, whatever that means) simply want to be fed a few bites of meaningless easy fun without much risk or investment required when they play games. That’s perfectly fine, but Eve isn’t designed for those people.

      Other online games are static theme parks that take players on predefined rides for a little while and deposit them back exactly where they started. Eve’s universe is made by it’s players and not by the developers – CPP just provides the framework within which the actual game takes place.

      Eve is a mirror of real life, all the good and bad included. It is a dynamic world full of possibilities, loyalty and betrayal, power and politics, money and economics and hubris, where all the facets of the human condition are borne out in a rich, complex, bittersweet narrative that you can actually be part of. Every other game world is completely dead by comparison.

      • kyrieee says:

        The ‘you can never catch up’ criticism is probably the most common and misguided one. Skillpoints don’t really matter, knowledge is by far the most important thing (you will not learn everything there is to know about the game by reading a wiki) and next to that the people you know. If you have the first two you can always get ISK and if you have ISK you can get SP.

      • geldonyetich says:

        Eve is a mirror of real life, all the good and bad included. […] Every other game world is completely dead by comparison.

        You know, when you’re saying things like this about a game, you might want to sit back a moment and wonder just how far up on a pedestal you have put it.

        Reading the rest of your post, I can charitably say yours is an alternate interpretation of EVE Online.

        Nothing you’ve said establishes my understanding is not so very terrible and wrong. Everything you’ve said establishes that you happen to have a very deep stake in this game, and consequently are interpreting it as something I do not.

        As a personal truth, your interpretation will seem truer than my own to you. However, as to whether or not your interpretation is closer to a universal truth…

        …honestly, I doubt it. Both your reply and that of Kyrieee boil down to silly platitudes to try and gloss over what I and many others find wrong with EVE Online.

        For the record, I’m no fan of theme park MMOs. I think they ruined the potential of virtual worlds just like everybody else who isn’t still riding a WoW kick (or some derivative thereof). But EVE Online has too much wrong with it for me to throw in with it, even if it might seem like the only game in town.

        • Bradamantium says:

          Hot damn, fella never said he was speaking a universal truth. It’s pretty clear that EVE’s just Not For You, and that’s okay! But there’s no need to hang around acting like it’s an irredeemable slog with no attraction, just an endless pit of never catching up.

          • geldonyetich says:

            Hot damn, fella never said he was speaking a universal truth.

            The Hell he didn’t. “Eve is a mirror of real life, all the good and bad included” is the literal interpretation of those words.

            But there’s no need to hang around acting like it’s an irredeemable slog with no attraction, just an endless pit of never catching up.<

            Well, buddy, if we’re not talking universal truths (and what right have any of us to do that) then we’re talking personal truths.

            As far as personal truths go, EVE Online really is, “an irredeemable slog with no attraction, just an endless pit of never catching up,” to many people, myself included.

            But I would like EVE Online to be something more than that. Sorry if that rains on your parade. Sorry if people who the game “is not for” are being so rude as to interject on your hobby by expressing an opinion contrary to those of whom the game currently is.

        • BananaMan3000 says:

          I was misled by the *’s you used and thought the criticisms you posted quoted from other people rather than your own, I was trying to get you to reconsidering the points based on their faulty logic.

          I don’t put Eve on a pedestal at all – I’ve played it off and on for 10 years along with a lot of other games.

          My point was very simple. Anyone that thinks skillpoints matter a lot and you can *never catch up* , or that there’s no *end game* is showing that they just don’t understand game on a fundamental level. Trying to interpret and relate it to other traditional games simply doesn’t work with Eve, expecting a lot of things that aren’t going to be there is going to lead to a lot of disappointment and confusion.

          The fact the majority of people are never likely to enjoy Eve doesn’t invalidate how rich it is for the few that get it. There are plenty of things in life I don’t like that other people I know have dedicated their lives to – but I know this is likely because I just don’t have the time or inclination to develop an interest in those things. I don’t know anything about or like opera music at all, but would never tell my friend who is an opera singer that it’s bad or worthless, because I’m fully aware I don’t know anything about it. “It doesn’t appeal to me” would be about all I could reasonably muster.

          Everyone is entitled to their own experience and opinion, but if you wish to engage in public criticism and debate you should understand at least what other people value in the thing you’re criticising. In this case I’m not really sure you do. Over and out.

          • Cinek says:

            I don’t put Eve on a pedestal at all – I’ve played it off and on for 10 years along with a lot of other games.” – if you played one game for 10 years then yes: by all means you have put it on pedestal.

            Anyone that thinks skillpoints matter a lot and you can *never catch up* ” – read his post again. It’s skills and economy combined, not just skills alone.

            or that there’s no *end game* is showing that they just don’t understand game on a fundamental level” – Read his post again, he says that it’s due to the way corporations (and by that “rich people”) work , which by all accounts is right.

            doesn’t invalidate how rich it is for the few that get it.” – that’s precisely a problem with EVE: Few rich (in-game) and influential people find it the best game ever, everyone else are just ants.

            Everyone is entitled to their own experience and opinion, but if you wish to engage in public criticism and debate you should understand at least what other people value in the thing you’re criticising. In this case I’m not really sure you do.” – That applies to you by far more than it does to him. You look at the game from a perspective of a player who invested 10 years in a game (with breaks, but still) – so you have an extremely unique perspective that very very few people can share or relate to. Objectively though your point of view is totally unimportant to 99.999% of people reading this comment, cause they’ll never look at the game from the perspective you do. What is objectively important is perception of the game from the average joe perspective playing it, and that’s where all of the flaws come out to the daylight.

            Honestly I perhaps would be interested to see you listing flaws of EVE from your own, extremely rare perspective, but for me, a gamer who did not put years in one title, your attempts to defend EVE just show the naked truth about it: right now the only point of it’s existence is satisfying egos of those few who happen to have years of experience and contacts in it, something noone will be able to get right now unless one of these rare circumstances happen pointed out by geldonyetich – randomly inheriting large, rich corp.

    • Mctittles says:

      One of the main things to get into your head if you are going to play Eve is learn to ignore the skill points. They only help to a point and because they are virtually endless you cannot start chasing them. Instead of looking to what you can do next when you level whatever skill always focus on what you can do now with the skills you have. It’s easy to get caught up in leveling, but if you want to have any fun I beg of you to ignore it.

      Forget about the future and live in the now!

      • geldonyetich says:

        Forget about the future and live in the now!

        As I said, though, I’m “a fellow whose long-sightedness tends to ruin games for himself prematurely.” That’s not going to change.

        Let me put it this way: I acknowledge the value is in the journey, not the destination but, nevertheless, when I can see the destination leads straight off a cliff, it’s hard to be comfortable with being on this ride.

        What cliff? Just that I would like EVE Online to have a good point. The glass ceiling robs it of such a point. On top of that, forcing the players to invent their own drama reeks overpoweringly of death of the author.

        Why? Well, have you seen what MMORPG players do when left to their own devices? They break the game for their own amusement and contrary to the amusement of all the other players.

        It’s a miracle EVE Online has been able to deflect that this is happening, quite regularly, by taking the stance that they embrace grief play within limits… but I want no part of it.

        Perhaps this game simply isn’t for me.

        • Itkovian says:

          I feel like I shouldn’t join the pile-on but hell, I’m going to anyway.

          I’ve been playing Eve for 3 and a half years and for right now (and for the last 2 and a half years) I’ve found my ‘endgame’. I am in a small PVP focused corp that you’ll never hear about in the gaming media. I spend my time doing ‘small gang PVP’ – that’s 3-20 player fights, generally in smaller ships (although sometimes not). We don’t scam or smacktalk in local, we just have fun finding fights – sometimes winning, sometimes not.

          By far the single ship type I fly most commonly is an Interceptor. You can be a strong (and I do mean strong) interceptor pilot skillpoints-wise in about 3-4 months. You can be ‘perfect’ in about 12 I’m guessing. However, flying well takes a lot of practice and I like to think after more than 3 years, I’m not bad. I am completely capable of flying the big high SP ships that take years of training and sometimes I do, but I have just as much fun in my Inties and some of my most memorable moments have been in those ships.

          The point is – Eve isn’t really a ‘game’ in the way that many other games or even MMOs are. It is more like a hobby. A (probably terrible) analogy I just made up is to think of Eve as a sports centre – you turn up and you don’t know what sport to play and you aren’t very fit – but fitness comes with time as does your knowledge of each sport.

          Eventually, you’ll find a sport you like (say tennis) and you’ll play it, maybe for a long time. You’ll get good, maybe club-level, even if those guys seemed untouchable when you arrived. You may not play golf or run the half marathon even though other people are doing those things. The chances are, you won’t be heading to Wimbledon but there isn’t anything actually stopping you except dedication and time. You play, because you enjoy Tennis, not because you want to be Novak Djokovic.

          • geldonyetich says:

            The point is – Eve isn’t really a ‘game’ in the way that many other games or even MMOs are. It is more like a hobby. A (probably terrible) analogy I just made up is to think of Eve as a sports centre – you turn up and you don’t know what sport to play and you aren’t very fit – but fitness comes with time as does your knowledge of each sport. […] You play, because you enjoy Tennis, not because you want to be Novak Djokovic.

            Honestly, this is probably the best justification I’ve heard to play EVE Online: not as you would a game, where doing well matters, but as an ongoing hobby, where participation is the goal.

          • ramirezfm says:

            I had to log in just to say this is probably the best EVE analogy ever.

          • Premium User Badge

            kfix says:

            Damn, you almost made me want to play this crazy game for a moment there.

            Fortunately I recovered and I’m going back to Dark Souls, but still, great comment…

    • Montavious says:

      Well, Eve isnt a game for everyone. Ive played in since 2004. I will say that there is no need to catch up in anything. Thats not the point of the game, this isnt your usual MMO where that matters. I have around 250 million skillpoints, guess what, that doesnt really matter. Like some person said above, its about knowledge mainly. Most of my skills are combat related, but guess what, ive been killed by people that have been playing this game less than a month. Skillpoints really dont matter in this game. If we go by skillpoints, then I should be the most efficient killer in the whole Eve universe, but im not. Mainly because I play on and off, and people that keep up with the game instantly have an advantage over me knowledge wise. Like what damage types to use, what kind of fittings to use, better ship setups, there are so many factors. Money wise, people are hyping that up to much. Unless you are a die hard PvP person, the odds of you needing to have money all the time is very rare. I can tell you have near 700 billion isk from all my years of playing and that will only grow. I used to work the market, but that requires a lot of time and effort, well, the game does in general. Ive seen people just start that have a knack on how to work the market and make a killing. What to buy, where to sell, what to build, then where to sell those goods, buy from this system, then sell that stuff to another system a couple jumps away. My whole point is that the moment you enter the game you can make an impact, I cant say that for any other game out there. Almost any MMO out you have to play catch up with your friends if you want to join them if you just started. Its not like that in this game.

      • FireStorm1010 says:

        Agreed.Except im a die hard pvp person and i never had more then 4-5 bilions of totall assets , with maybe 0,5 -1 bilion of cash in wallet.You simply dont need it, tough ofc being rich can help.

    • FireStorm1010 says:

      Tottaly disagree.

      Eve Online is the only game with true ever lasting end game. ITs the 0.0 alliance pvp warfare.No other mmorpg even comes close.What you say about alliances turtlign up and doing nothing, it sounds just like wrong alliances.My own (Nulli Secunda) recently have reconquered a tons of its lost space, and we had tons of fights, redeplying. logistics etc.

      If you get into the wrong corp /allaince yea it can be boring.But the ever changing map of 0.0 alliances tells the picture you paint is very false in majority.

      “Catching up” in terms of Eve is such a weird notion. What does it even mean?

      Being as rich as some players? I have played with breaks for 10 years Eve and im pretty poor, so most even 1 year players who are serious about making money are richer then me.
      Futhermore most expensive ships like titans. motherships, are only used in very very specific situations for 95 % of other pvp fights you dont need aythign that expensive.So it isnt really important.

      Thats also why im relateviley poor : i love pvp combat and have been most of my time fighting ,making money only when i needed it for my pvp ships.

      Skills wise? Sure i got tons of skills , but truth is most ships can be capped pretty fast with skills. I got not that greater chances fighting against a 1 year player in many ships , because they can also max out their skills for hat ship class.

      The thing that imho gives me an edge over many players is just my knowledge of ships, tactics, how to fight . And that anyone can gain if he keeps fighting,

      The thing about broedom and taking one supoer expensiuve ship fro spin./ Another weird thing. I got daily at least 2 pvp raids in alliance on aslow day.With concrete setups and plans,

      To me it seems like you jioined poeple who didnt know what they were doing, and , no offense, you didnt either.

  5. Dave Tosser says:

    This’ll be great fun to compare to Quinns’ old diary.

    Oh, shit. Quinns. Quinns? Oh, how could you leave us like that? My only comfort when the light dies is that you’ll one day live to regret your decision, and perhaps you’ll think of us and weep. Oh, Quinns.

    EDIT: Jim! It’s Jim I’m thinking of. I was thinking Jim in my head but I somehow confused him with Quinns. Sorry, Jim. Sorry, Quinns.

  6. monkehhh says:

    When you take a big break from EVE then come back from curiosity, the feeling of how real it is totally hits home. Alliances rise and fall, corporations swell and hibernate. I know that if I login now after not playing properly for two or three years that the area of null-sec space I was in will be totally unrecognisable (and it will be a mission to get my stuff out of there). I know I’ll go back – there’s a couple of billion isk in my wallet that means I can’t just give up – and I look forward to future adventures with amazing folks. And when I do go back, that will be my all-consuming gaming life for those months. EVE is the best.

  7. Didden says:

    This pretty much describes my EVE career: link to youtube.com

  8. DeVadder says:

    I think what best summaries my relationship with Eve is the fact that i still consider myself an Eve player despite not having logged in for more than 10 hours total throughout the last year. Possibly thoughout the last two years, in fact. And as a mater of fact, i still am subscribed. And i do not see me ever unsub. I mean after all i play Eve and all. Except that i just do not have the time and motivation to really dedicate several hours at once in one game after work or on the week-ends.
    All other games i ever obsessed about faded away and at some point i kind of admitted that i longer play that game. But Eve is the only game fading away in reality without me ever admitting anything like that. ^^
    And up to this day, every time i play another MMO, it takes not more than a few days until i leave them with a “Meh, crafting, trading and risk suck in this game, it is not Eve!”

    Well one other game holds a slightly similar spot in my heart: ToriBash

  9. Anhaga says:

    EVE Online: The Thinking Man’s MMO

  10. Cruzer says:

    EVE is real. It was too real for me. I still have PTSD from fighting Curse Alliance when I was in Stain.

  11. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    I’ve recently resubbed after bouncing off the difficulty cliff hard a few years ago and I thin k I’m starting to get it. Maybe.
    I’m planning to go off and join RvB and see if pvp is my thing, industry (aka crafting) definitely wasn’t, and now I have a real job I can just buy plex to fund losing spaceships.

    • Distec says:

      Brave Newbies is also a good option, I think. They’re pretty much all about good times and PVP, but in a more organic fashion than the way RvB is propped up. I’ve rolled an alt in their corporation and they’ve been consistently fun and helpful. Almost every day there’s a fleet going up with a description basically saying “FORM UP AND LET’S GO DIE IN A BLAZE OF GLORY”. Honestly, I think that helps take the string out of death in PVP for those who might be more risk averse. They also have free skillbooks, a ship replacement program, and plenty of activity. As a burgeoning entity that some of the larger groups are keeping an eye on, now would be an excellent opportunity to jump in and ride the wave.

      Mind you, there’s grumblings in the community that their alliance is getting too big for it’s own good, or that it’s getting too “serious” by claiming land from other entities. Those people can chew on scrap! Whether we take over New Eden or get blasted into ashes, it’s going to be great.

  12. nimzy says:

    The only game I’ve ever seen where you pay to not play.

    • Press X to Gary Busey says:

      And every MMO where there is a gold seller and power level market. And pretty much every f2p, mobile and facebook game.
      EVE is probably the only MMO that, if you’re successful enough you can play it without even renewing your sub and just play the social metagame. :P

    • Cinek says:

      nimzy, that’s very common. All of the F2P MMOs can be qualified into the category of games where you pay not to play.

  13. Mctittles says:

    I kind of get tired of comparing ONLY Eve to a “spreadsheet simulator”. I played hundreds of hours and killed many a person without ever researching spreadsheets. The thing is nearly every game can be a spreadsheet simulator if you want to learn every nuance of it. Dungeon crawlers, MMO’s, even shooters have spreadsheets with stats out there that people trying to learn every trick will studay day and night. But like all other games Eve can be played without exact calculations and just have fun.

    • FireStorm1010 says:

      Yea. Exactly, in core every game is about numbers, specially strategy ones
      And really does it look like spreadsheet

      • Cinek says:

        If you think that strategy games are about the numbers then I guess you never been good in any of them.

        Best strategy games are about using your brain to outsmart opponent. Like Chess or Go – you think. Numbers help, but they are not what this whole thing is about.

  14. Dunbine says:

    If the story doesn’t include oh-so-serious guilds with names I’d be embarrassed to associate with, wiping out the equivalent of the GDP of a small central European state in the course of an evening, because of some opaque personal beef turned business deal… I’m not interested.

    • Cinek says:

      The way people calculate losses in EVE is total bullshit.

      Ever heard of a game called Crime Cities? It’s a simple F2P iPad game. If I’d calculate how much is my account is worth in the ways EVE people do it would be worth way over half a million dollars. After 2 months I spent playing it.

      • Premium User Badge

        phuzz says:

        It’s only sort of bullshit. You can buy a so-called PLEX (Pilot’s License EXtension) for about £15.
        In game you can either cash it in for 30 days of subscription OR you can sell it on the in game market for ISK. Currently they’re going for about 650-700 million ISK.
        So, it’s possible to take real life cash, and turn it into ISK to buy ships etc with (although you won’t be able to fly them without training up the skills first), which gives an exchange rate to compare in game losses or gains, to real life cash.

        If there was a way of cashing your ISK to £ or $ (legally), then it would be a true exchange rate, as it is, it’s only one way.
        Hence, only partly a bullshit concept.

  15. racccoon says:

    OMG another promoter Ganking about Eve is..
    Eve is just a browser game with tons and tons of small maps set with lots and lots of training skills for years and years of training to be told to train more years, this really puts you off the game and why the sub for a browser game! The reality is the game was good ten years ago but the devs remained in such a deep sleep for over a decade just counting pennies, waiting for the one or two people to crawl into there open hands in cold Iceland, The maps are same old same old, just each 4th or 6th map has a different sky box all have exactly the same setup. it just repetitive rubbish. not 2014.

    • Slazia says:

      Can you point me in the direction of more ‘browser’ games like this? I’ve never been interested in browser games before, but if they’re up there with Eve I must be missing out.

      • tormos says:

        Seriously this is like the weirdest and most misguided criticism of EVE i’ve ever seen. Which is not to say that there aren’t many valid criticisms, making the fact that s/he chose this one even stranger

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      Er, when people talk about ‘browser games’ they mean games that run in a web browser, not games that have their own in game web browser.
      Anyway, Eve is plenty good looking, just compare it to other games in it’s class, like Excel and LibreOffice ;)

  16. Sardonic says:

    “No wonder when the game launched it met with mediocre reviews ”
    Gonna be honest, EVE Online was deeply flawed at launch, and it’s something of a miracle it survived to become what it is today. The EVE of today bears so little resemblance to launch EVE it could be an entirely different game. I started in 2004, which wasn’t even the earliest possible time to start.
    Let me recall some of my experiences with the eve of this time.
    -Lag in what would be considered tiny fights today.
    -A 4 minute tutorial consisting of how to target something, how to shoot something, how to mine something, and how to buy something.
    -frequent spelling errors in agent mission descriptions
    -an amusing bug where the models of ships approaching a stargate would all look like they katamari together
    – no goonswarm :(
    – Learning skills, which essentially prevented you from training skills to have fun with first because it wasn’t “optimal”.
    These days, the game itself actually has systems to teach you it. Not so much back then, and the game itself had a lot of pointless ships, confusing modules, no easy way to compare modules of the same type, and so on.

    Can’t say starting back then wasn’t worth it though, still have the T2 BPOs I won back then,and 150M+ SP allows you to do almost anything you want in the game, barring super and titan stuff.

  17. Wytefang says:

    I think that if you’re a game company, you’re going to have to work a little harder to earn my purchase. This was underwhelming to me a while back and unfortunately I can’t imagine it’s changed much since then. The combat felt tinny and unimpressive though I did think the graphics were appropriately high-tech and fairly nice.

    As neat as it may be that the community is a large part of the ongoing narrative, that can also be fairly lame if they’re doing stuff you personally find boring or inane – or griefing, which seems to be par for the course with EO (even if it’s labeled as PvP activity, it’s still annoying). And it also hints of a dev that has gotten a bit lazy about adding content (though that’s probably not entirely the case with CCP).

    Still, it’s just way too chunky for way too little enjoyment or reward, in my opinion. And I’d feel that way no matter how many player created stories I’ve heard.

  18. Zafman says:

    Absolutely no idea what you’re doing after 110 hours? Yeah, sounds about right.
    Or it’s just time to re-invent yourself again, after getting stuck in a routine, turning it all into more of a chore than a game (Planetary interaction anyone?).
    Trying to play it casually? Good luck! It takes periods of deep concentration and reflection, where the slightest interruption from “real life” will turn you into a nervous wreck, because you just lost track of something in the market that could cost you millions.
    The scammers in Jita are hilarious. Asking for 80mil for a Gnosis battlecruiser and giving you one unit of Gneiss ore in return is priceless! XD
    According to steam I spent a little more than 1000 hours in EVE, so I can confidently say: I think I may have scratched the surface a little bit.
    It’s been seven months now since I stopped playing and I still miss the place. There’s just no substitute for it. It’s one of a kind. It’s… real!