Musings on the EVE Online Trial
EVE Online’s meta-game has always fascinated me, though I have always had the sneaky feeling that EVE is just going to be one of those games that is more fun to read about than to actually play, to me at least. So, out of curiosity (and boredom) I registered for the 14 day trial earlier this week. Just as a preface: I have not in all honestly, had much of a chance to play the EVE Online trial for all that long. I am sure that it is an absolute blast once you get past the steep learning curve as well as the awful interface, and that I should really give it more of a chance before passing my final judgement, but it just feels so unrewarding at the moment.
Perhaps it is because I have played WoW, as well as a smattering of other similar MMOs for nearly a decade; Or perhaps it is because ultimately, EVE isn’t what I want from a multi-player game at the time. Either way, my initial impression is not all that positive. Then again, I am unsure that I am willing or really have the time to invest myself in another “long term gaming project.” I appreciate EVE for what it is: A truly different MMORPG, but it seems to be different in a manner that does not interest me. The heart of the issue for is that EVE is a cost vs reward problem: If I spend enough playing this game, I’m sure I will find something enjoyable about it, but why would I want to? Why would I ever want to spend that much time playing a game before getting any sort of reward about it. Perhaps this is a petty issue but, I expect some instant gratification in all of the games that I play. If a game isn’t fun then it is a waste of my time.
I will say one thing though: Holy Jesus taco, EVE Online has an absolutely abhorrent user interface. What a horrible clusterfuck of windows with the most unintuitive work flow ever. It’s like Windows 3.1 in spaaaaace. Also, what’s with the font size? Is there a way to increase EVE’s text size without reducing my screen resolution within the game? I know that you can modify the font within the game options but it isn’t good enough. I seriously cannot read most of the text without leaning into the computer screen. It would be awesome of there was a font size slider or a way to unlock the UI scale from screen resolution (kind of like the WoW option).
EVE is a fantastic looking game graphically, but past that I don’t think it gives new players a good first impression. The tutorial feels largely incomplete as well as poorly laid out. For example: One of the first items that you learn is how to outfit your ship with a repair module. The problem is that, installing the module requires 1 skill in Hull Repair, which was also a part of the tutorial a bit earlier. Unless you took an extraordinarily long amount of time on the previous tutorial step, odds are that you are going to have to sit and do nothing at the space dock for about 5 to 10 minutes while that skill finishes training. Also the tutorial missions: Spend a couple of minutes flying to a location, spend 30 seconds clicking on something, spend a couple of more minutes flying back. Awkward pacing. Please don’t tell me that the entire game is like this?
There is little to no guidance in terms of which skills would be favorable to train and why. I mean, it’s easy enough to just Google but still, some guidance would be appreciated. The tutorial missions do an okay job at introducing the bare basics of the game, but I don’t feel like it even attempted to capture my interest or tease me of the awesome things to come. Space is apparently a large and beautiful place with a long and boring commute. Poop covered cake is still covered with poop.
PS: EVE has one of the best character creation systems that I have seen in any game.