What Makes EvE Matter

So I had a little discussion with a couple of friends who have quit EvE for one reason or another.  Some feel that they aren’t that great (You’re wrong buddy.  Yes you.)  Some just don’t have the time/money, but one of the comments really cut to the core of what makes EvE matter to me.  The comment had to do with two things that broke EvE.  Travel time and devastating losses.  Travel Time does matter in EvE.  Sometimes it is REALLY painful as well, but it makes strategy and tactics at the operational and strategic level possible.  If you can instantly move then operational tactics and strategic operations are kind of useless.  I don’t like moving freighters any more than the next guy but that’s what it is.

Devastating losses make EvE’s metagame “Real” without the prospect of a tough loss, achievements pale.  A huge success is only possible where a real setback can occur.  Without the possibility of some sort of setback, what have you really achieved?  To give you an example, let’s look at a raid in a more “traditional” MMO.  There’s considerable cachet to getting a “World First” kill, that is nailing his head to the wall before anyone else on your server.  It’s a binary set, either you got him first or you didn’t.  Ok cool, there’s something at stake, you can lose that run and lose out the e-honor.  Now lets look 3 months down the road when people are pugging things.  If you wipe on a raid you have to restart the fight.  You incur a repair bill.  If your party is bad enough you go home with whatever you managed to get on the previous bosses.  Unless you have a REALLY terrible group you killed a couple of bosses, and quite possibly got some loot.  That’s the size of your “Defeat”

EvE puts a price tag on defeat.  If you live in empire you can lose what you fly.  You can go out there, get hammered, blow up your ship, pod, everything in space.  It can be rough.  The first T3 I lost also cost me a headset.  I’ve lost faction BS, nearly lost a Cap ship.  Literally lost one in my assets window once for a couple months… these losses are part of EvE.  For my money you cannot play the game to its fullest without standing in harms way electronically.  This is because standing in harms way is where you put your enemy in harms way.  You can only win big by putting ships at risk, and those victories are priceless.  My old laptop still has a picture from my first PvP kill against poor Bezelebub.  I still get a huge rush from pvp and it forms a real emotional watershed.  Imagine the feeling of a world-first kill, only you can get it several nights a week, even on your own.

Other games let you risk assets, but not to the extent that EvE does.  If you want to conquer empires you have to put one at risk.  Take your stuff to null, get chased out and lose it all sometime, feel the impending terror of a full evac, feel the grinding defeat of a Goons offensive, and feel the triumph of pulling off a great trap, or even just soloing a player that should be much better than you.  It’s not the same when you can respawn with all your gear, pay a tiny fee and get back to the killing.  Battlegrounds where you can kill and die a dozen times just aren’t the same.  Browser games where you can be chased out of an area, but not lose anything permanent, other than time just aren’t the same.  I said it before, I’ll say it again, to win an empire, you have to risk an empire.  To kill a ship you have to risk a ship.  If you are smart you can minimize the risk, but you still have to put it out there.

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I’m using it every time I can

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About Corelin

An Eve playing Fool who occasionally writes about the shenanigans he and his minions get up to.

Posted on June 16, 2013, in Meta, PvP, Things I think I think. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Travel time hurt eve for me.
    I don’t disagree that to take sov or push certain objectives logistics and time should be a big deal. EvE is a planning game.
    Problem is that applies to any pvp or 0.0 objectives, it is hard to find consistent pvp that does not require long roams. This does not work with limited play periods.
    What fun thing can you do in eve in a 30min play session that works towards your longer term goals? Bonus points for fun pvp that works towards your corps objectives.

  2. Red Vs. Blues is great for instant PvP action. Have you tried them?

  3. EVE only has one weakness:

    Nearly everyone wants to be a mercenary. Nearly no-one is.

  4. Absolutely on the mark Corelin. Absolutely.

  5. Love the blog. Got a new follower.

  6. LOL! This, this and THIS! Corelin, you and I may not agree all the time, but we agree on this.

    CCP’s marketing ‘slogan’ “EVE is Real” is, to me, based on the fact that “Loss in EvE IS Real”… I live in Anoikis, inna C6 system, and EVERYTHING in here…the POCOs, the POSes (there are MANY), our Capitols, our ships, and everything inside the POSes them can be lost. Due to SYJ’s size and high activity as a Merc Alliance, this is not probable, but it is ‘possible’ and that fact makes EvE very very real to us. It is one of if not the main reason my corp and the guys in SYJ Alliance live in Anoikis… nowhere else in EvE are you absolutely at risk and own your own as fully as Jamestown colony was way back when… And like them, what we hav here, IS OURS.

    And EvE is also a very niche MOO for this very fact. IMHO the majority of MMO gamers out there are not looking for as ‘real’ a virtuality or as ‘gut punch’ real an experience as EvE is. Gaming is, for many, an escape from the pressures of the IRL Rat Race for Risk and Reward… But, for we, The few & The weird, EvE is a better Rat Race… and we love the Risk because without it, we see no Reward… just meh.

    Good Post and one of the reasons I keep reading your infuriating blog… ’cause at the end of the roam, win or lose, we both love this game.

  7. So your saying the age old tradition of Risk Vs Reward is what makes Eve fun? Same goes for any game that you can lose stuff to another player in. UO, Eve, Salem, Darkfall, and even old old Everquest 1 had these features in common.

    Long travel times – meaning you cant instant warp somewhere. This creates player held areas that are hard to take from guilds/alliance/corps. Its hated, but needed. Developers have forgotten this fact.

    Risk Versus Reward- In old EQ you died, you had to go get your corpse back…with nothing on. You were naked. If you died deep in a dungeon…good luck. That was the cost. That was the risk. When you can lose everything, but gain something awesome its worth it, even if you lose. Its what makes the game rewarding. In EQ when you camped a boss NPC for 3 weeks and finally get him you were stoked. In WoW/Diablo 3/generic MMO_0001 you can basically get any item with enough time, deaths and repair bills that are basically a slap on the wrist. No experience loss, no death penalty.

    Death penalty- This is what makes MMO’s count. You can say games like WoW are great, but we all know why you think that. You are scared to die and lose. You can gloat about arena ranking or how good at running around a pillar you are, but real pvp’ers/pker’s know better. We simply smile and let you continue to run around pillars because we know what real loss is. You lost 20 arena points to a loss? You poor thing. I really feel bad about that…

    Meanwhile in real pvp games you can lose everything you had on you(Darkfall/Eve). Talk to a guy who just lost a 3 billion isk ship (about a few hundred Real life dollars) about how you lost an arena match and see if he cares.

    The good news is there are games like DayZ that are bringing the WoW casual carebear back to the light. DayZ has shown a lot of people what risk vs reward is like and how to cope with losing all of your stuff. Hopefully this trend continues because MMOs these days almost always lack the above.

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