My Eve subscription began with a free 14 day trial on the 7th April 2006, just after the Bloodlines patch and firmly between the Red Moon Rising and Revelations expansions. It was an exciting time to be a capsuleer.
I was looking for was a space based game that replicated the fun of VGA planets and stumbled across the Eve by mistake. I wasn’t looking for an on-line experience at all. My employer had graciously provided an in-house forum that covered many recreational topics and one of them was gaming. Eve had a huge and passionate following so I began reading posts and becoming interested and excited by the sheer depth of participation and content.
I figured that a free 14 day trial was just what I needed. It would allow me to get a basic idea of gameplay and help me decide if it was worth a paid subscription. Would it satisfy the hole left by my recent departure from the Half-Life mod world and years of mapping and level creation? This time around I didn’t want to create content, I just wanted to be in it.
So what happened?
I was hooked, totally. The small tutorial answered many of the questions and the Rookie channel was a buzz with good information and reliable help. I flew my little Reaper around and shot things, mined and enjoyed the basic functions of the game. There was precious little in the way of a manual for Eve, you just had to figure it out and that appealed to me. I stayed with the Rookie corp (Pator Tech School) for two months and then accepted an invite to a player corporation that a friend of mine had just joined. This was to be a harsh lesson that lasted only a couple of weeks but good times were on the horizon. I was accepted into a group of players that all had one thing in common, we worked for the same company.
This was the real start of my journey and it reminded me of all the things that have changed. Eve seemed a harsher place, less forgiving and sparsely documented. Today things are different. The tutorial is an excellent introduction to the game and you end up finishing with a few ships and some Isk as well. More than enough to get you started. There are Career agent’s that showcase the opportunity’s and help you with the basic mechanics of the game. Eve Help has expanded from being almost non-existent to having videos on each area of the game that needs introduction.
It seems to me that the reputation of Eve as an incredibly difficult game still exists. I spoke to a few non-Eve gamers about their perception and they quoted the game graph:
and yet there have been so many advances to allow new players an even footing. More information about how to get things done and how to do things. More websites describing content and offering time saving spreadsheets and insights. Ship fitting sites that allow you to plan a build rather than buy that expensive module only to find you have run out of grid. POS fitting sites, PI sites, Invention sites… the list goes on.
I am not bitter that the new player is afforded opportunities that I didn’t have, although I do have reservations about the game being dumbed down and some of the recent balancing. A pilot who specializes should be rewarded for that effort and it seems to me that CCP are gradually cutting that advantage out. No hard stats to support that, just a gut feeling.
The game is still great, I still enjoy the diverse and challenging environment. I don’t always agree with the direction CCP take things and I have my ideas on what needs to be fixed but at the end of the day I enjoy my time in Eve and hope that all those that start that 14 day free trial get as much enjoyment from these pixels as I have.
Happy Birthday Eve, may there be many more to come.
As Always, Fly Safe,