In space no one can hear you yawn
Jun 24, 2009 15:39:03

It's the lure of easy money, with a very strong appeal
Perhaps you'd understand it better
Mining in my shoes
It's the ultimate enticement,
It's the asteroid miner’s blues

See it in the help channel, you hear it every day
Pilots say they're gonna stop it but it doesn't go away
They move it through Jita, some mine it while away
No matter how boring it is, Asteroid mining’s here to stay

From Smuggler’s Blues (sort of), by Glenn Frey

It’s a curious place to find a Buddhist nun, but as the old saying goes, “wherever you go, there you are.” Her ample form relaxes; her hands in a traditional position used by so many who have gone before her (on the keyboard). She stares into the three columns of light as they play back and forth on the screen in front of her - dancing against the vast darkness of space. The undulating hum of the mining lasers fills her ears but as her mind drifts so too, does the sound of the lasers…

Such is the part of Eve Online that I have come to think of as “Zen and the Art of Asteroid Mining”.

In a game where victory is often counted by skill points, rather than skill, it is surprisingly easy to reach perfection in mining. In less than 6 million skill points it is possible to be flying the best ship in space that pulls ore out of asteroids faster than anything else; and be very good at doing it. At that point it becomes surprisingly easy to make a quick buck…er…isk. And thereby, as the immortal bard himself once wrote, “hangs a tale”.

In a market where mmos have to constantly push the envelope in the form adding 10 more levels to any given level cap, merely to keep players interested Eve Online is different: there is no level cap. But this can prove to be a double edged sword, especially when coupled with a learning curve steeper than the upper slopes of Mount Everest. While it may be possible to be a great miner in 6 million skill points, a veteran combat pilot will have twice that figure and more.

There is little doubt, of course, that there will always be a niche market for Eve Online. When it comes to a player driven virtual economy the game is second to none. When it comes to death penalties in pvp, Eve Online is the top of the heap - nothing else even comes close. It is a game where you can go from richer than King Midas to poorer than a church mouse in the blink of an eye.

But that is the pvp side of Eve - where the game shines its brightest.

The pve side of eve online is a far cry different. Where pvp is driven by sheer white knuckled terror, the pve side is often driven my mind numbing boredom (see above mining experience). But you certainly can’t fault CCP for not trying to make entry into the PvP side of the game a bit easier; that they did. Unfortunately, as I found with our Factions Warfare show, it never seemed to amount to more than a passing fad.

Now I have often said it, and will continue to do so: “Hell hath no fury like a gamer whose game has been scorned.” I might also add to that the tendency for dyed in the wool players to scream “often imitated, but never duplicated” at the top of their lungs. I will certainly be the first to admit that one of the qualities that Eve Online has that would be difficult to duplicate would be a single server world - doing so would be no mean feat.

Yet, one of the features I see planned for Jumpgate Evolution is what appears to be “twitch based” combat - by far a large improvement over Eve Online where combat is nearly automatic in pve, and more a matter of who has more skill points in pvp. This is tempered, of course by situations where one “side” vastly outnumbers another. As anyone who has ever engaged in any PvP in Eve Online will be able to tell you, one on one combat is the exception rather than the rule. But even when that is not the case, the playing field in Eve Online is not even close to even. In games like Warhammer Online there is at least a certainty that all the players encountered will be your same general range - This is something that is missing in Eve Online.

There will be those detractors, of course, who read this and claim that the investment in time necessary to gain higher level skills serves as an incentive to keep veteran players in the game. This may indeed be the case, and if so it will certainly ensure that Eve Online remains firmly entrenched in its niche in the mmo market - but it will never be a factor that keeps Eve Online open while other mmos fail.

As exciting as a steep death penalty can make pvp, Eve Online is a game where victory is determined by who can bring a gun to a knife fight, who has the most “soldiers” or who has the most time invested in training - none of which is fun over a long time when you are constantly on the receiving end. No one likes to have their character die all the time. This is where the other edge of that double edged sword comes in to play. The channels in Eve Online are already filled with players touting how much Jumpgate Evolution will “suck”. Certainly all those players who have invested many months accumulating wealth and skill points will stay put. But I have a sneaking suspicion that the new blood will be headed toward games like Jumpgate Evolution.

See you online,
Julie Whitefeather

Submitted by Brent on Jun 24, 2009 15:39:03 CST (comments: 1)


Comments:


'Jumpgate and EVE' by Yoh
Submitted on 2009-07-11 04:17:17 CST
As far as I'm concerned, I think there is room for both.
I quite like the idea of more twitch based, hands on combat, but then that all depends on the stability of the game engine. If it lags out when a dozen or so ships are on screen, then you have a problem.

But if it can like EVE, you get into the hundreads, now we're talking. And this isn't to say that EVE will always be boring combat wise, as due to their unique, evolving expansion system, they could if fact solve it in the future, possibly from learning fron Jumpgate or Black Prophasy.

I think they will be a good expertment, and will add to the industry as a whole. Weather or not they last in the long run like EVE has, and probally will, remains to be seen.


And yeah, EVE is just plain boring, great, but boring. But unlike you, I reckon it is the fault of the developers, because if I had my way with it, it wouldn't be boring. Of coarse they are also in the best positition to fix their mistakes. Mistakes happen, and I don't blame them for that. Doing nothing about the mistakes made however, is just plain stupid.

Although, given that I am working toward getting employed by CCP, it'll only be a matter of time that I do have my way with it. (somewhat)
I just have to get off my lazy ass.

~Yoh




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