Earlier last week I received an email from a World of Warcraft player, let's call him Bob, who had bumped into my blog after looking to start playing something different, something new. Bob had a bunch of questions and, as a WoW player, was a bit at a loss at what EVE was. We exchanged a few emails, and I offered to answer his questions via a post, as I thought it would benefit a lot of potential players coming to EVE from other MMOs.
Let's see if this old carebear can shed some light on this dark and cut-throat MMO we call EVE.
So, on to Bob's questions.
I currently play World of Warcraft (since release in '04) and am looking for something different. How would you describe the "health" of the game? Is it going strong?
EVE Online is doing very well. It's one of only a few MMOs out there that has seen its player base continually increase since launch. There are currently between 250k and 300k players in the game, all of which play on ONE server, in one universe. At any given time you can have between 20k and 40k players playing the game at the same time. Which means that there is only one player driven economy, one universe to share between the 250k so players. This is one of the reasons why the EVE community is so active and loud - especially on the EVE Forums.Would a new player be able to dive in at this point and have a rewarding experience?
EVE's expansions are, and have always been, free. There will never be an EVE 2.0. Indeed, CCP has clearly stated that EVE will continue to evolve and improve over time, and could do so for the next 50 years. They don't see an end.
Five years after launch there have been 8 expansions released. Some recent expansions saw the upgrade to the Trinity graphic engine (Trinity) and the creation of a new new-player-friendly PvP game play (Empyrean Age). The next two should be Ambulation (walking avatars) and Midas (market improvements).
So, EVE is not only in good health, it's kicking ass!
This is a question that I often get asked, and which you often see answered by CCP Devs at various gaming trade show. The short answer is hell yeah!
But let me elaborate a little bit on that. If you allow me to use an analogy I would say that asking that question is like asking if it's worth it to learn a trade in RL, since all the good jobs are taken. It's not because you've been playing the game for 4 years and have 45 million skill points (like yours truly) that you will be able to squash every new player that you cross paths with. I've been podded by months-old players many times. Many corporations (the equivalent of a WoW Guild) will take new players under their wings and help them grow and learn the game. A new player can definitely play an important role in a corporation.
EVE is a bit of a different beast when it comes to classes and levels: it doesn't have any actually. In this game you play what you want, and if you get bored you train new skills and do something else (combat, mining, manufacturing, trading, PvE, PvP, etc.). Skills are purchased and trained in real time and take between 20 minutes to 30-some days depending on their level & rank, which only go up to level 5. There are literally hundreds of skills and usually there's only a 5% efficiency between one level and another. Learned skills allow you to use certain items, which allow you to fly certain ship or to engage in certain activities.
Now, having more skills, and more skill points doesn't make you a better player. Only by playing the game and learning how to actually play the game, can you become an experienced player. And bigger ships don't necessarily make for better players, or better game play. I've seen veterans in cruisers, kick the living shit out of newbies flying battleships, because they didn't know how to use them or equip them.
It's not what you've got that counts, it's how you use it!
You're still with me? If it sounds a bit complicated, don't worry. The 14-day trial and the tutorial will give you plenty of time to grasp the essence of what I've just went over. And there are plenty of players out there who, like me, are more than willing to give new players a hand. So feel free to ask around.OK, next question.
What websites would you point me towards for getting started.
Over the last 3 years playing the game and building up this blog, I've put together a bunch of list of links and resources to help out new players. Here's where I would start if I were you:Here are some things to remember when comparing WoW to EVE Online:
- Listen and subscribe to The Drone Bay. With Crovan and Alsedrech I've co-hosted a podcast that caters very well to new players and which we've been told, has helped quite a number of new players ease into the game.
- 10 Posts for the EVE Online Newbie - This is a recent post I've put together that will be very useful to new players!
- Go over the official F.A.Q.
- EVE New Citizens Q&A - The EVE Forum section dedicated to new players.
- Ultimate New Player Guide Collection - Also on the Forum, this is the mother of all list.
- Make sure to join a corporation as soon as you can!
- Read "Moving From World of Warcraft to Eve Online" over at FastLevelingGuides.com [Many thanks to sjm for pointing out this article to me - Added10/07/2009]
- EVE runs on ONE server, and one server only.
- Your ship is your avatar - until Ambulation comes out that is.
- There are no classes in EVE.
- Any race can use any other race's ships and equipment.
- There are no levels, only skill points.
- Skills are learned in real time (RL).
- PvP happens everywhere in EVE, even in "safe" space, just a little less.
Oh, and before I go, Bob was asking me if there was a way to turned down a mission you've accepted but are unable to finish for various reason. Rest assured Bob, there is. Just go back to the agent who gave you the mission and tell him it's not for you. Your reputation will take a hit, but you can always do the mission later and regain your honor.
So there you have it. Hopefully I've helped Bob in his quest to conquer New Eden. If you've got questions yourself, then please ask in the comments. I'm sure someone out there has the answer and is more than happy to share it with the rest of us.
I'd like everyone to remember this infamous quote I picked up somewhere on the EVE forums...
Keep this in mind at all times when playing EVE.
"EVE is like a sandbox with land mines. Deal with it"