or~ “The Future’s so Bright, I Gotta Wear… a Ray-Banicle…”
"With the Inferno expansion upon us, new seeds have been planted in the ongoing evolution of EVE Online. With every expansion comes new trials and challenges, game-changing mechanics and fresh ideas. After nine years and seventeen expansions, EVE has grown far more than most other MMOGs can hope for. Which expansions have brought the highs and lows, which have been the best and the worst for EVE Online?"
I joined EVE on November 23 of 2010, just 7 days before the 1st Incursion Release. I have been ingame 1 year 6 months as of this writing, so I have experienced Incursion, Incarna, Crucible and now Inferno. I began my EVE blog, (shameless plug -> “A CARBON Based Life”) after 6 months ingame in April of 2011. This was prompted by my home corp's discovery of wormholes and a strong shared interest in the W-space lifestyle. Up until then we had been sorta bouncing around, as so many do in the early days and months in New Eden, trying to find our ‘game’… in W-space we had found not only our game, but our homespace in EVE.
My main take on the EVE expansions I have lived through has been overall fantastic. My rankings are based on a personal and subjective 10 out of 10 rating, not on features but an overall feeling of how they affected me ingame.
Incursion: RANKING 10/10 - Incursion was a wonderful intro to EVE for me as very shortly after I finished noob-skool, got my wings, bought and badly fitted a Destroyer, the Minmawin Thrasher (still a fav of mine) and ventured out on-my-own as ‘twere… I was on a buyin spree and inadvertently ran across one of the earliest (as best I understand it now, possibly the very first) Sansha Incursion. A better introduction to a SciFi Spaceship MMO for me could not have been scripted.
I was enthralled. I warped to the moon nearest to the Incursion… it was visible from there. I warped to the battle and just sat and watched… mesmerized. (I posted the story here… skip down to, “I have seen…”) I was totally hooked.
Incarna: RANKING 4/10 – Then came Incarna and I never looked so good. Yea, the Char Creator was graphics heavy and it took forever to do my makeover… but the end product was worth it as far as I am concerned, the comparison between old and new is cartoon and near-photo IMHO. The CQ was (and is) a waste of code until we can OPEN THE FRAKKIN DOOR. Arum is wasted on me as I will never be using ANY MT system. I dunt even buy PLEX as tis. The rest of it was background to us in our hole. I really did enjoy the riots though… (hence the '4' out of 10) =]
Crucible: RANKING 10/10 - Crucible was next and I was well pleased. T3 BCs, Newbula, Corp BMs, etc., etc. all to the good.
Inferno: RANKING 10/10 - Last but nae least we have Inferno… MISSILES!!!!!!!!!!! YAE!! (and the new Hound still gives me inappropriate reactions…) New graphics almost always a win.... new UI, no so happy with, but no desire to forumwhine ‘bout it either… WarDec / FacWar changes and Mercs 0% impact seen on W-space so meh… so, so-far-so-good.
My fav so far, Inferno by a mile and that is JUST for the new missile effects… though, I did notice one thing I am not happy with… what happened to Probe Launchers? Aren’t probes just a weird missile with a sciencehead instead of a warhead? Come on… no love for probes??
So what’s all this mean?
For me, EVE is a Virtual Reality moar than anything else. To me, therefore, as time has gone by each time there is a question or an argument or a discussion (with or without Missile and Lazors) I ask myself, “Self?” I say, “Yes?” Self answers, “In this particular case, in this specific postulated circumstance, what happened/happens/might happen In Real Life?” “Hmmmm…” responds Self… The answers I get are complex and hairy… like RL. They should be the same in EVE.
We have, I believe we all can agree, two basic differing philosophies in EVE. The Carebear and the Griefer. Oh there are a million shades of grey betwixt these two and I personally believe many moar Carebears have Griefer alts, and many moar Griefers have Carebear alts than fess up to it. But everyone seems to take a stand with their main char siding with whichever playstyle they prefer best. Carebear or Griefer. PvE’er or PvP’er.
Jester writ in a way I will use sorta sideways in his recent post, “QOTW: Taking EVE too seriously” as regards the Carebear Oddball’s gank loss to the Griefer Kaeda Maxwell.
Oddball goes to some length to make his case to… “…suggest a system of natural Consequences which may be of use in curbing such competitions like 'hulkageddon' - or at least limit them to the low- and null-sec systems where they belong.” The age old cry for a (Non-Consensual PvP) NCPvP Free EVE, or at the least an NCPvP free Hisec in EVE.
This is set against Kaeda Maxwell’s lengthy response justifying the gank… “You don't however see me going onto the forums and writing some wall of text quoting the EULA to try and get CCP to remove mining from the sandbox because I don't consider it fun or entertaining…”
My point? CCP has set themselves a hard, hard task. That of creating and maintaining a Sandbox Based MMO(RP)G that creates and maintains a delicate balance of strong adversarial emotional and cerebral forces on its players.
So, for each expansion CCP has to plan how to alter, tweak and adjust the forces of Carebear vs Griefer or, dare we say it?… Good vs Evil? Yes… Good vs Evil… the age old drama mama that in prehistory kept ‘em enthralled at the feet of the Travelling Storyteller, brought em in in droves to see Shakespeare’s plays and keeps em lined up outside theaters today to see “Star Wars” and “Battleship”… and drama is what keeps us logging on and undocking our well fitted ships carrying much needed fuels for our POS in a place where we can virtually LOSE that ship and mods and cargo. We dunt wanna lose OUR ships, but we do love the stories of them as do.
Those of us who undock and die and undock and kill and rage quit and gloat and log back on day after day are PASSIONATE about EVE. Why? Because it is COMPLEX, because it is HARD, because it is DANGEROUS… because all of that makes it cerebrally satisfying and emotionally fulfilling. This is not to say that all those who prefer the carebear life are enamored of NCPvP and the danger, see Oddball… but if he really hated it THAT much, why does he log back on? Why forumwhine? Why waste his time and effort on such a blatantly unfair pastime? Perhaps because, whether he recognizes it or not, EVE is WORTH playing not just because of its complexity and depth, but also due to its inherent danger… I personally believe that without NCPvP, the complexity and depth would not be enough for most of us.
So, CCP has to listen to us… but not to do what we WANT… but to do what we NEED. And what we need is to be entertained and interested and challenged and enthralled. They have to create and recreate and balance and rebalance on a razor edge, the forces of Good Vs Evil, Carebear vs Griefer… they can never ever make the mistake of making one side happier than the other… they need to keep us ALL INTERESTED in “What will they do next?”
So far, with only one really bad fail (stand up Incarna and take a bow), out of 9 years and 17 expansions… I’d say they are doing better at a very, very difficult task than any other MMO out there… and I include WoW as it does not have the grit of reality, the complexity and harshness that casts such a bright light on the simple pleasures and the very real satisfaction found in the acts of friendship and community that far, far out numbers the amount of drama in EVE… but can be so very boring to read about. =]
Fly Safe and see you in the Sky =/|)=
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