This weekend came along and I felt zero motivation to log in and flip my orders or mining colonies; zero motivation to pay per month for a game to play itself. While it’s been cooking my skill queue and my markets, I’ve been playing games like League of Legends and Old Republic.
You get out of a game what you put into it; this is true of LoL, in that the more I play, the better I get; in Old Republic, I gain skill and power for my characters, as well as experience the story; the story is the entire reason I am playing Mass Effect 3.
My experience in EVE is limited (I barely made two months) but here is my impression: to get a little you need to give it a LOT. Log in and sit there, chatting with people you don’t know (in the hopes of making friends) while you either go out and lose a ship (and money and thus time) practicing PVP (the game’s hallmark) or sit there and monitor your market orders or your mining colonies. That was my experience. Missions suck. Flat out stupidly boring, the most rudimentary and old quest model still in practice: got some interns to write a blurb, position some mobs, and – oh – you’ll want to have the wiki open so you know how to optimize yourself to beat the mission (which is naturally a solved problem). Incursions I didn’t try; they sound like (take this) Rift-like dynamic PVE events, minus the whole dynamic assembly of the party and presentation of trash, mini-bosses, and raid boss. Maybe it’s the best thing ever and I just don’t know…but I joined EVE for the PVP.
A PVP experience in EVE is this: log in, suit up, fly out…maybe find nothing. Maybe tangle with someone for hours…maybe get blown up in seconds.
Here’s another PVP experience: log in, get some friends together, jump into a 40-60 minute tense match; rinse repeat. That’s League of Legends. You know what it costs me when I lose a LoL match? Nothing. I learned some stuff and had a great time, win or lose.
You know what it costs me in EVE? Give me a moment with a spreadsheet and I can tell you to the ISK/minute what I lost in playing time.
Don’t get me wrong; EVE’s an interesting game; a good one. It’s one of the only two fully-functional sandbox games I’ve seen in action; a unique outlier in the social experiment of trying to design good MMOs. I love the ship customization (it screams Mechwarrior to me, how I miss that game) but I hate the waiting. And the game is that: waiting.
Waiting for skills to train. Waiting for money to come in. Waiting to get places. Waiting for people to assemble and move around. Waiting for something to happen. Waiting for something to happen. Waiting for – OH hey, my friends are online, I’ll go play League of Legends. Or TOR. You know, games where I get to play the game as I want to, not as the vagaries of fate want me to.
SW:TOR has another benefit over EVE, for me, in that I found a cool group of peeps to play it with. My real life friends play it but – more often than not – if they’re on we play LoL; but community is super important for a game, and I found one that meshes with me very well in TOR. It’s also a space I understand; a genre I’m skilled in. The pace is as I ask it to be at a given time and there’s nobody on the other side of the table calling me all sorts of colorful, fundamentally uncreative slurs in some laughable attempt at psychological warfare. I want peace and the familiar when I play a game. EVE has neither of these things. Here’s TOR’s biggest advantage: if the Mittani plays it, he is no more influential than I am.
That last statement is fundamental. If you think it’s cool that a single player can have so much impact on the entire playing experience of a game, even when he’s not actively subscribed to or playing the game, than EVE is for you. If you could give two craps, well, we’re on the same boat then.
I only have so much time in a week to burn on extracurricular activities. If I put ten to fourteen hours of my week into planning out a Dungeons & Dragons session, I get a tremendous amount of satisfaction out of the result. If I put ten to fourteen hours of my week into EVE online, I get just enough ISK to buy a book that – if I wait nine days – I can now issue eight more market orders.
It’s not for me.
I would’ve cancelled sooner, but it took me two weeks to train the Cancel Account Subscription skill to Rank 2 so I could do so.