We’re going to be hit hard with Xbox One news in the coming weeks so today I wanted to offer a momentary respite from that with something that fascinates us all: EVE Online.
EVE Online is the most interesting, intimidating, exciting and possibly most mundane game that most of us have never played. Many of us will never play it, but the awe-inspiring stories that are generated from the MMO are the stuff of legends. The tales of epic battles, years-long subterfuge and stunning betrayals have left us all stunned at one time or another. It’s kind of amazing that such amazing things are happening practically under our noses. The density of the game prevents many from playing it, but those who do find themselves part of a unique community. And the hallmark event of that community is Fanfest.
Patrick Klepek and Drew Stanton of Giant Bomb traveled to Reykjavik, Iceland for Fanfest. Iceland has a population 319,000. To give that some meaning, my hometown of Tampa, FL has 349,000 people, so an entire country with less people than that honestly boggles my mind. But it is from this tiny nation that CCP, the creators of EVE, hail. EVE has about 500,000 active users and 1,400 of those users made the trip to Fanfest as well. Kind of staggering to think of more people play the game than live in the country that gave birth to it.
A couple of years back, we built the perfect shooter. The results were a lot of fun — in the comments, we put together all of our favorite features to describe the ideal shooting scenario, taking cues from things like Counter-Strike, Goldeneye and more. This time around, I thought we’d tackle a new genre.
I’ve long been intrigued by the MMO genre, but no game can ever put together enough of the right pieces to get me to take that leap into another realm. I’m not a big fan of grinding, paid subscriptions or disconnected point-and-click combat. I’d also love a story that morphs over time, in a way that makes me feel like my actions matter beyond just a stat or a new level number next to my name. I want big worlds, big universes, high stakes and easy accessibility. But maybe I’m just being nitpicky.
So for this feature, we’re going to dig into a variety of options, and discuss what we would love to see in the perfect MMO. Below are the categories and options I came up with. If you don’t like the options, feel free to add your own!
Another month, another crazy thing to report from the insane realm that is EVE Online. We’ve talked about this startlingly player-directed space MMO on a couple of other occasions, and each time I hear these things I get a renewed interest in the game. Sure, the actual playing of it sounds boring, but it feels like it would almost be worth it to experience these epic scenarios.
If you’re unaware, the thing that makes EVE Online so unique is that developer CCP basically lets anything go down, as long as it doesn’t break the game’s terms of service. This means that some huge fluid narratives have taken place, from the take down of major in-game corporations to the loss of actual, real dollars in the form of ISK, which can be renewed for subscriptions or even other products.
The latest insane in-game caper? A player-organized movement to crash the whole game’s economy, which works just like an actual economy. This movement was called Burn Jita, with Jita being the major trading system, full of companies and frigates carrying anything from equipment to other ships or billions’ worth of ISK. The goal was to organize thousands of players in a huge ransack mission that would destroy/burn all these assets in order to upend the entire economy.
We’ve talked about EVE Online here at GamerSushi a couple of times, and both occasions have been about how some unfortunate soul was ruined by the actions of other players. This sort of stuff is the norm for EVE, just on a smaller scale than $1,200 USD in damages or an entire guild being brought down overnight. Understandably, these kinds of stories creates a barrier for people interested in trying EVE for fear that their tender avatar will be ravaged horribly as soon as they click the “create” button.
Fear not, timid noobies, as EVE developer CCP has plans to make things a little easier for newcomers. The Commissioned Officer Edition of EVE Online gives players the Cerebral Accelerator, an in-game item that allows users to gain a significant advantage in skill gain for the first 30 days of playtime. The package also comes with a month of play time and a nifty poster covered with helpful hints (I wonder where “trust no one” falls on it). The box will only be available in brick and mortar stores, and I assume that there will be some sort of fail safe built into the Accelerator to prevent any unscrupulous activity.
There you have it, a nice little package designed to give you a running start in the dog-eat-dog universe of EVE Online. Apparently this is a good a time as any to get into the game as CCP has a couple new expansions coming out in the next half a year.
Anyone going to finally take the plunge with EVE Online now that it’s extending a helping hand?
With all the sharing we’ve done here over the years, I’m starting to feel like I understand a bit of everyone’s gaming preferences. Truth be told, I wouldn’t mind playing a game designed by a few of you guys. In a perfect world, all of us at GamerSushi, community included, would be CEOs of our very own gaming giants, with millions of dollars to throw at all kinds of awesome projects. Sadly, none of us have this option, but a boy can dream, yes?
What I wanted to ask is this: do you guys have a dream game that you would make if you could? What kinds of features would it have, and what other games would it emulate or build upon? For me, I’d want to make the kind of game I still feel like I haven’t played: a sandbox story. We’re getting used to incredible sandbox games in the last few years, but the closest thing I’ve seen to an organic sandbox story would have to be some of the craziness that goes on in EVE.
So, how about it? What kind of game would you make, if you had the chance?
Every time I read about a bad-ass heist job in EVE Online, a space-bound MMO focused on corporate back-stabbing, I find myself gripped with the insatiable urge to try the game. I’ve heard that for the most part it’s pretty dull and is kind of like having a second job, but these stories just scratch some odd gaming itch I never knew that I had.
Take this most recent tale, for example. To combat the online sale of ISK (EVE’s currency) by gold farmers, publisher CCP decided to create in-game time cards which can be sold for ISK, thus cutting gold farmers out of the loop by allowing players to trade time extension cards for cash. These cards, called PLEX, or Pilot License Extensions, recently became actual items inside of EVE’s servers so they could be carried around by cargo ships. While this sounds like a recipe for disaster, I don’t think anyone was prepared for what happened next.
A cargo ship owned by Method of Destruction, a player run guild, was carrying 74 PLEX cards while making its way through a sector of space that’s apparently rife with pirate activity when it was beset upon by a couple of enterprising raiders. Unfortunately for the pair, they were a little over-zealous and destroyed the cargo ship along with all 74 cards. You may be asking yourself what this amount of cards is worth, and the answer is a staggering $1,295.00 in actual US funds. In game, that would be 22 billion ISK, or six years and two months of play time. Since the licenses were blown up they can never be claimed, so CCP just made themselves a cool profit thanks to two trigger-happy bandits.
What do you guys think of this news? Pretty awesome that there’s a game out there that allows, nay encourages, this type of tomfoolery. What do you think CCP should do with the $1,295.00? People are calling for them to donate it to charity, so do you agree? Tell us in the comments. To read about the previous EVE Online raid, click here.
EVE Online, the space MMO that is home to brigands, rogues and generally awesome dudes, always seems to come along and tantalize me. Particularly after a fan trailer like this latest machinima work from EVE player Dire Lauthris. The video is produced mostly with in-game footage (though he adds some sizzle here and there), and is also incredible. Apparently, he’s been working on it since back in 2007.
If you want to hear more about the dude’s methods, check out the EVE forums.