EVE is real


August 2005, My first screenshot from EVE
August 2005, My first screenshot from EVE

Inspiration comes in various forms. The video above is a new trailer for EVE Online, a sci-fi MMO game by CCP Games. After watching this trailer for the first time, I felt an immediate urge to share some of my experiences with EVE. I think every player has at least few similar ones.

How it all started

I have started playing roughly six years ago. Long time isn’t it? And I’m pretty much just a regular guy: I work, I sleep, eat. I do however have a hobby that persisted for the past six years. Wait, did I just say “a hobby”? Now you know what I mean. So I started playing and it was just another video game. Click here to learn a skill, click there to undock, press this button to start mining veldspar. Pretty much a regular game.

And then it happened for the first time.

I was flying in a Caracal, along with some other guys just as green as myself, only the fleet commander had some prior experience.  And then we met another group of players. I wanted to say “Hi” to them, but before I managed to do that, I found myself sitting back in my home station. “Why the hell am I in a station?!” I said aloud.

Dude, where is my ship?!

There was no ship anymore. A week of grinding, and I’m back to square one. I wasn’t furious, but it did feel somehow weird. I worked so hard and someone just came over and destroyed it in a blink of an eye. But I’m not the type who gives up that easily.

And then the next.

Some time has passed and I was moving goods between our nullsec home and high sec empire, where I could sell it. A ship came out of nowhere, and I felt somehow odd. My hands started to shake, my heart was racing. What previously happened so fast, was now slow and clear… A Taranis class interceptor locked me, then scrambled my warp engines and started firing its guns. I was in a helpless hauler, and before I called for help, I was again sitting in a station.

It felt different this time. It felt real. It felt just as I was really there, moving something really valuable. And someone destroyed it AGAIN.

No way you blow me up this time

Calm before the storm
Calm before the storm
I win!
I win!

Slowly the hunted learn to become hunters, and so did I. I have joined another corporation which was doing serious PVP action. One of our allies had their tower under siege, coming out from the reinforced mode. We were asked to help fend off the attackers. So we have rallied aroud a Titan class ship. This thing is really big! My 400 meters long battleship was but a tiny speck next to it. Suddenly the space around the behemoth has distorted. Bridge was up and the FC was shouting “Jump jump jump”. The now familiar feeling of adrenaline pumping, hands shaking, and heart on the race again. If this is just a game, then why it feels SO real? The attackers had two fleets present, and we landed just on top of one of them, we had the element of surprise on our side. The main enemy fleet was eventually chased away, sustaining heavy losses. Our only concern was now the support HAC gang, which was using fast, long range ships. FC had expected this though: our cloaky Falcon had prepared bookmarks of several spots around the sieged tower, and one of them happened to be just 20-30 km away from the enemy group. Lucky! I would love to see the look of their faces when we warped to that spot and started to take them out. Man! They were running away like chickens!

Neo: I thought it wasn’t real
Morpheus: Your mind makes it real
Neo: If you’re killed in the matrix, you die here?
Morpheus: The body cannot live without the mind

Pure luck can also save your internet spaceship.

We have killed a freighter in Tama at some point, and to loot it’s huge wreck we had to bring another freighter. Unfortunately other group jumped through the gate just after I warped my Obelisk to the wreck. A group of friends was viciously trying to defend me, but focused fire of our enemies was already digging into my structure. One of my friends warped in a Falcon and saved me at 11% hull. Not only we had killmails of the freigther, the gang who jumped upon us, but also looted few hundred million isk worth of fuel.

Every time you pvp, there is a risk. Losses are real, and they feel this way. So every time you take that risk, you feel it. You feel the adrenaline in your blood, you feel your heart racing. Your mind makes it real. It’s very hard to explain to someone who never played EVE, but I never felt this way with any other game. Shooters? They don’t even come close to this level of adrenaline!

No chill out then?

Wanna chill out? EVE is not just about blowing stuff up. You can build, create, trade. Economy in EVE is just as real as the one outside your window. Every ship in the game was crafted by another player. The majority of gear also comes from crafting, with the only exception being the high end drops from deadspace complexes and NPC officers. If at any time you feel bored with what you do in EVE, try something else! There is plenty of other things you can do. Crafting, Mining, Trading, Invention, Reverse Engineering, Planetary Interaction, Hacking, Archaeology to name just a few. Of course you can always go sightseeing, because space is really beautiful.

Sometimes not even a single shot is fired, but a situation in the game makes you jump into air from your chair – let’s say you snatched some really cool loot before someone else did, instantly doubling the amount of money on your wallet, or bought something for 1/10 of its market price.

There is always sunset in space
There is always sunset in space

And there is absolutely no limits

In other MMO games your character is limited straight from the beginning: you have to choose a class, profession, etc. In EVE you can do anything you want. All your character needs to do is learning the right skills. Since there is no sky in space, space is the only limit.

And the best of all, you don’t have to believe me. Try it yourself. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.

PS. Just don’t get this too seriously, or you end up like this 😉 It is just a game after all.

Lukas Rox

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