Friday, September 12, 2008

EVE Online questions for WoW Players

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.

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!
Would a new player be able to dive in at this point and have a rewarding experience?
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:
  1. 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.
  2. 10 Posts for the EVE Online Newbie - This is a recent post I've put together that will be very useful to new players!
  3. Go over the official F.A.Q.
  4. EVE New Citizens Q&A - The EVE Forum section dedicated to new players.
  5. Ultimate New Player Guide Collection - Also on the Forum, this is the mother of all list.
  6. Make sure to join a corporation as soon as you can!
  7. Read "Moving From World of Warcraft to Eve Online" over at [Many thanks to sjm for pointing out this article to me - Added10/07/2009]
Here are some things to remember when comparing WoW to EVE Online:
  • 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.
That should do it for now.

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...
"EVE is like a sandbox with land mines. Deal with it"
Keep this in mind at all times when playing EVE.

Fly safe!


Anonymous said...

Love how you described it to him!
I'm sure he will try EVE, and I hope we can convert a WoW player into and EVE player!

Winged Nazgul said...


You make that sound like that's never happened before. LOL. I don't think they make WoW players more hardcore than me and I got converted. :p

Just because I want to get some more mileage from this pic before WoTLK comes out, here's my WoW starting screen:

Michael Tice said...

i tend to vacillate between WoW and EVE. i have been playing WoW for over two years, but just started in on EVE about 3 months ago. they both offer pluses and minuses, but in a lot of ways i have been thinking about dropping WoW in favor of EVE. with WotLK looming, though, i just have to see the new WoW content. we will just see what the future holds.

Anonymous said...

"There are no classes in EVE"

I'd say you were 90% correct in that statement. Certainly nothing limits you from learning any skill in any area... nothing but time, ISK, and any prerequisites anyway. It is all wide open.

But the faction, race, bloodline, and education you pick makes a difference in what starting skills you get and your attributes. Your attributes in turn affect your skill training times in given areas. So starting with a combat heavy character load out is going to make things more difficult should you change your mind and decide that you're all about industry.

Not technically classes, but it has a flavor of classes to it.

CrazyKinux said...

@Tony - Let's hope so!

@Winged Nazgul - WoW and EVE aren't two sides of one coin, they're sides on a multi-sided dice!

@Grimlock - EVE will still be there when you crawl your way back to New Eden after WoTLK has lost its luster... wink wink =)

@Wilhelm2451 - Can't disagree with you on that one mate. Though you're looking at it in details and I was just giving it the 20k feet overview. Having said that, you're still absolutely right on the fine print!

Anonymous said...

Hey, nice post...lots of good stuff there, thanks.

Here's a quick update: I joined a corp today "Eve University". I figured out that there's too much for me to learn on my own. It's nice having some corp mates to hang with too. I've also determined that fighting is much more fun than mining, just not always as profitable.

Oh, and why is it that whenever I figure something out, it brings up about a dozen new questions? Well...back to ratting!


Anonymous said...

omg I totally wanna still be playing EVE in 50 years! I just hope they don't nerf all the "cut-throat" out of it before that happens :(

I'm a former WoW player, myself, and I LEFT WoW for the 'cold, harsh' world of New Eden... it's a shame to see it getting kinder and gentler.

CrazyKinux said...

Thanks Havohej - You just reminded me to add the link to that "50 year" quote. Link now added!

Anonymous said...

CK Great post as normal!
excellent sum up of a very "deep" game from a very easy to understand point of view.

Vandell said...

What kills the game for me is the length of time it takes to train skills. You could be waiting upwards of days and, I hear, sometimes months of just waiting for that crucial skill-up. I also don't like most corporations willing to hire me, because they expect me to dedicate X amount of my time doing something that's not fun, like mining or sitting around protecting miners. Yeah, I know, I'm an instant-gratification type of guy, and EVE just doesn't do it for me. I don't like mining, ever, and having to siphon away time to do some MAJOR farming for my Corp is just a no-go.

tarakan said...

The whole article is just awesome but I can't agree with final advice:

When you can't finish a noob mission you just have to call for help in corp- or local channel - the nice guy on HAC will instantly appear to help you out... or to teach not to trust to strangers. Anyway, it will be a flashing experience )

CrazyKinux said...

@Vandell - You should definitely read this article on how to train your skills and still have fun.

Anonymous said...

I'm a new EVE player (less than two weeks), and a played WoW as well (stopped playing last spring). So far I love the game, it's the "Elite" I've been waiting for.

Here's my newbie tip (for ex-WoW or any player): Create your first character with career "Military"! Why? Because this way you have access to some better ships from the start (after mining for short time for ISK) - and don't get blown to pieces when trying the "easy" missions.

I started my first character as "industrialist" and trained all the ship skills for a while before actually managing any kill missions. Now I started a new character, and I'm flying the same ships and train for the next level ships right from the start and - good times!

And I'd also suggest creating balanced character (no attributes lower than 6/7 at start and good perception and intelligence) at start as you don't know what you'll head into and like said, there are no classes, so you can train anything, attributes dictate the time - my first char had perception of 3 and it took ages to train all the ship skills = not fun.

CrazyKinux said...

@Zemalf - Thanks for the great tips!

Angus said...

Just a small update. You can now change your stat point allotment once a year. There are rumors that this is going to once every 6 months..

CrazyKinux said...

@Angus - Thanks for the update!

Unknown said...

Found this guide also useful as a basic introduction when convincing guildes to try out EvE.

Moving from WoW to EvE Online

CrazyKinux said...

@sjm - Thanks for the article! Just added it to the list of articles to read.

tladb said...

A bit long:

Being a recent WOW player and now an EVE player I think the article did answer the questions well but missed the major game play differences in moving from WOW to EVE.

The biggest difference between the two games is the role of the players. In essence WOW is a solo game with the ability to join up with other players. EVE absolutely depends on the players to make the game.

In an extreme case if you were the only player on a WOW server you could arguably still have an interesting time just doing the quests solo and exploring the world. (Sometimes it feels like this in less populated areas in Azeroth now.) In EVE this sitation would be pointless.

WOW is much more directed than sandboxed EVE. Basically all your activities in WOW are scripted by Blizzard. In EVE it is the players that direct the activities to a much greater extent. This means that after a new EVE player has finished the introductory quests it is up to them to find a role in the game In WOW the NPC's will often direct you to the next area for quests. This may be the hardest thing to come to deal with. In EVE are you going to be a pirate or a pirate hunter or a miner or an explorer or a coporation director or....... These are all possible but the player has to decide and then work out how to apply those skills. Especcialy since many of the occupations depend on other people.

This emphasis on player interaction is the major theme within EVE. The economy depends on other players not only in buying and selling basic materials and quest trash but also in making available important weapons systems. In WOW to get the best gear you need to get it from the NPCs either from instance drops (going into dungeons and killing the same NPC again nd again and ..) or PVP grinds.

In EVE the items are player built. So if there is a popular item in EVE not only will that be available at a price but in the supply chain to provide that many EVE players could benefit. Even at a relatively early level you could be part of that chain. There is also the point that making and trading items in EVE is much more involved and and potentially more interesting in comparison to WOW.

In WOW player guilds are much more casual with the more limited focus of providing a pool of players for raiding instances. There are no player stations in WOW, no pirate guilds or guilds in WOW with a bigger concept than just loot runs. A WOW equivalent of a training corp like Eve Uni for example would be completly baffling. I think it could be argued that the large majority of your enjoyment of Eve is determined by the guild you join.

tladb said...

part 2

One big shock in EVE to WOW players is that getting killed in EVE is more than the two minute inconveniance as it iis WOW. Your ship which you spent hours, days or weeks is lost. There is the possiblility that you may have lost weeks in training time if you have not kept an up to date clone. Death matters. This is a positive aspect for EVE players otherwise they would not be playing but fr a WOW player it is a major change.

WOW has more of a phyiscal presence than EVE. The places you visit are more visual so that just wandering around in WOW is interesting. Wandering into Ironforge, the strangness of Sillithus, the workshow in deadmines, entering Outlands, just riding through Nagrand, the Deathgate sequence to name a few.
Visually space in EVE is a bit bland, there are better NASA pictures, howeverIn EVE the sights need to be created by the players themselves such as the large fleets battles (Going on my imagination here)

Physically in EVE you are a ship and this ship can change depending on what you need to do so there is really no "you" in EVE. While in WOW you and other players have a visually existence. Neither is better but it is a difference perspective.

WOW has a better mythology and characters. Thrall and Arthas are two characters which I think should be in the literature canon. To interact with those characters really adds to the game and it is something that EVE does not have. If you have played Warcraft and then WOW it feels a big deal meeting with Thrall for the first time or following the Arthas story in Lich King expansion.

WOW is a more convenient game to play. A couple of examples.

in WOW you can send anything by mail. Horses, pets, money, food, complete suit of armors, anything. In EVE you can send money but everything else needs to be physically transported. You can by an item on the market from a distant station but you need to fly to that station to pick it up and warping is star to star not instant warp to trade hubs which you can get in WOW. This is by design and provides a more dymanic environemnt fir players but still more inconvenient from a WOW perspective.

In EVE there is no user iterface API which allows player addons. This is arguably a weakness of EVE. External pplications like EVEmon, to help training, or Eve Fitting Tool, ship fittings, would be in ingame in WOW. Entierly different users interfaces are possible in WOW and not in EVE. It would be interesting and benificial to see what a mod community should do.

EVE and WOW are two very different games with differect objective and quite different ways to play so it is not a question of better but what can you enjoy doing.