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The EVE Challenge

Mike Schramm

Hardcore Casual has thrown down the gauntlet, and challenged all comers to prove something interesting: that EVE Online hasn't yet solved our MMO problems. That's a strange thing to prove, but we here at Massively love nothing more than a challenge, so here goes.

HC's point is that in EVE, you can pretty much do anything the way you want to, anywhere at any time. EVE is limitless in terms of both progression and size-- skills can be leveled for months and years, and even if all the skills are maxed out (they won't be, because CCP keeps adding new ones), there's always more ISK to be made. And because the game is so big and mostly empty space, everyone can play on one world, and there's no need for the sharding that other games must do to keep their servers up.

However, as much as I love EVE, it is not a perfect MMO.

At its core, EVE Online is still a game of grinding, as Aaron points out in the comments. You carry out repetitive actions to push your character forward and accomplish your goals. And as a few other commenters point out, EVE online isn't nearly as nice to newbie and casual players as it could be. That's something that obviously World of Warcraft does better, and the subscriber numbers make that clear.

For my own part, I would say that as much as EVE Online lends itself to great group play, the PvE is a little lacking in terms of what games like Everquest and WoW have done. There's something intrinsically fun about going out with a group of friends and taking down a big scary monster, and while conquering a Titan has got to be a good time, in World of Warcraft, you can go kill a huge boss like that as a group every three days. Part of this is probably that I haven't reached the endgame in EVE yet-- for all I know, there are huge NPC ships wandering out there in lowsec space that you can go conquer as a group anytime you want. But that thrill of group conqueest, while still super fun in EVE, is much more common in other MMO games.

I love EVE. I call it "the MMO of the future," because HC is exactly right-- EVE is solving a lot of problems that MMOs have had for a while, and breaking a lot of the rules that online games have had in place since they started. But while "EVE does it better" on plenty of fronts, that's not true all the way around.

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