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The Autobiography of Russell
Life from a different perspective
Why I Quit EVE Online

Cooperation VS Conquest

When I play a game I like to have fun. One thing I don't consider fun is mercilessly slaughtering other players who don't stand a chance. On the other hand some people do find that fun, and those players tend to play very aggressively. This means that you're much more likely to run into them, and more often, than you are fellow cooperative players. These players also tend to specialize and train exclusively for dominating so unless you do the same then chances are you will get slaughtered. Repeatedly. In turn this can easily sour a playing experience.

The game has very limited mechanics in place to prevent this sort of behavior. Due to the nature of the game they actually encourage fighting because when you lose a ship you have to go out and get the resources to get another one, which in turn requires spending more time in the game to get back what you lost. Beyond that though, the mechanics in place and the locations of advanced resources severely limit the options of anyone not willing to adventure into areas they will almost assuredly get slaughtered at; if not at the location specifically then at terminals around or between them.

There is no distinction between a player that wants to fight other players, and one who wants to only fight AIs while still having decent equipment and resources. Beyond a certain point it's fully expected of players to play in groups; solitary play is not sufficient. If you want to stand a chance against the aggressive players then you'd better find a guild of at least 5-500 other players to constantly hang around. If you happen to be like me, abhorring guilds and instead preferring to go rogue or flirt between temporary and/or multiple alliances, then you're left in the cold with little recourse to enjoying the game beyond the newb systems.

Skills and seniority

Skills in EVE are based entirely on seniority: The longer a player has an active account the better they will become regardless of actual skill or play time. It doesn't matter what you do, how dedicated you are to the game, or how good you are, it will take several months to get equipment that has a chance to even begin to survive someone else who has peaked a particular fighting style.


Get killed and you can lose everything, with a hefty price tag to boot. There's built-in insurance you can buy to cover a percentage of ship cost but any ship destruction will put you out a notable investment, in both in-game money and time to rebuild what was lost. If your escape pod is destroyed, which is a high likelihood, then it can cost you even more on lost character enhancements. Life insurance covers time spent earning points for skills, but the cost and manual upgrade is like a tax on simply playing the game. It's a steep curve to the top and everyone already there makes it even harder to get there.

Insurance / Contract Fraud

The final straw that broke the camel's back to my interest in playing EVE Online was learning about a method of making money that essentially involved trying to rip people off. Now given it's trying to rip off the people that rip people off, but it's still a shady business at best.

The way it works is like this: If you want to move something from one place to another you can contract fellow players to make the move for you. By doing so you insure your contract such that the player who moves it has to pay you a certain amount of money if they open the package that is being shipped. If there's a very desirable ship worth 40 million ISK then you might insure it for 4 million (I'm making numbers up off the top of my head, but this is the gist), but instead of sending the expensive object you would instead send something worth almost nothing with similar weight parameters. Then when the courier attempts to rip you off by opening the container, they get a worthless ship and you get their 4 million ISK contract insurance fee.

If this, as I have been lead to believe and based on previous play experience, is the way to get reasonable amounts of money then the alternative is to grind for months on end before you can afford enough of anything to be in the same league as most players.


I hate grinding or too much repetition. Don't make me wait to get to the good stuff.
I prefer playing against the computer, with or without other players.
Non-social players are at an extreme disadvantage.
The person who has been active the longest is highly favored.
Scamming is a favored way of getting money.

Tags: ,
Current Mood: uncomfortable uncomfortable

2 comments or Leave a comment
mai_neh From: mai_neh Date: November 2nd, 2012 11:52 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't know much about this game, but your initial criticism reminds me of why it is no fun to play Civilization Revolution online with random strangers. Although the Civ games are famous for giving you a variety of ways to win, when you play online you always have to contend with rabidly aggressive opponents who want a quick military victory, so you are forced to take the military route yourself. And if you do manage to gain an early military superiority, your opponents will generally quit because they don't want to waste their time actually losing.

So the only time I've enjoyed playing Civ Rev against other humans is when they are people I already know, not the hardened online survivalists.
zimzat From: zimzat Date: November 2nd, 2012 09:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's a good point I hadn't considered before. As with any regular Civ game there's always one or two computers that go straight for military, but there's usually a few others to band together to resist them or they intentionally spread themselves thin. There's also the option of disabling military as a win condition (although in the latest it's just about being able to retain your original capitol city, not so much taking over every single city and destroying all units).

Some games try to prevent the bloodthirsty players from knocking over everyone elses sand castles by doing matchmaking (which can sometimes be gamed, but better than nothing) based on player skill levels and play preferences. Games that don't have any matchmaking are quite often very miss instead of hit. *nods*

I like the idea of playing with friends, but I don't have enough gaming friends to do that. For a long time I've had one really good gaming friend who I'd play several times a week with. Then I lost him to Guild Wars 2 and now I've gone weeks and weeks with very little multi-player gaming. I'm trying to widen my net with games that do matchmaking, but even then it's ... *shrug*
2 comments or Leave a comment