Friday, January 29, 2010

Why I love EVE

CrazyKinux asked "Why do you love EVE?" and I thought

Do you remember your first video game? Because I do.

No it wasn‘t EVE-online. Far from it. It was a game called GODS, a DOS game created in 1991 by the Bitmap Brothers, where you play as Hercules on his quest for immortality. The game was extremely difficult for a boy my age (6-7) and with no way of saving your game the only thing to do was to finish a level and get the code for that level if you wanted to stop playing, or pause the game and take the chance that the game was still running when you got back to it (we had a old vaccum cleaner that would sometimes short out the whole house much to my joy, so leaving the game on pause was not an option in my mind).
After playing GODS for the first time I was hooked. Video games became my life and through them I developed my interrest in computers, both software and hardware, which guided me to where I am now.

Being an native to Iceland I heard on the news while growing up about a Icelandic company called OZ which was what might best be descriped as a technology think tank. They had specialists from all kind of fields from art to computer hardware and from what I remember hearing they were trying to make a social internet game in 3D, among other things, where people could interact with each other, design houses and objects, talk and play minigames. Remind you of anything? (Second ..Cough..Life). But this was in ´95-´97! Since normal internet access was not something people took for granted then and the social network phenomonon didn‘t exist the game never really took off. But from OZ came three pioneers that in ´97 created a new company titled Crowd Control Productions, or as it is commonly known CCP.
A few years passed and a millenia came and went and rumors started circlating about an Icelandic software developer that was creating a internet spacebattle simulator. In those days you didn‘t have the luxury of today where just one click away you can find information about anything and anyone. So me and my friends shared every little detail we knew and talked about the game, what we thought it would be like, and what we would do when it came out . And each time someone saw or heard something new it was fast to spread to the rest of us. Our imagination ran wild. We pictured large space opera like battles, bounty hunting that would make Boba fett shed a tear and creating an industrial empire that rivaled none.

Then came deployment day May 2003. I remember going straight from school to the local electronics store and buying one copy of EVE-online (yes I own one of the original retail boxes) and then going home to try it out. I must have played it for 10 hours, way into the night, and the only thing I did was do a little mining! The game was vast. That summer me and my friends banded together to help each other to accquire cruisers. We mined each day for a few hours and in 3 weeks or so we all had one Thorax each. We were so sure that we had become the unstoppable force we had pictured ourselfs becoming that we decided to fly around and try to pick a fight. We lost all the cruisers that same night.
But that didn‘t stop us and we are all still playing EVE to this day. And here we get to the core of the matter. Why after all these years do we still play EVE when there are numerous other games that we could have played instead?
I can ofcourse not say what my friend‘s reasons are but mine are quite simple. EVE is flawed!

Now I am not talking flawed as in mearly that some ship is unbalanced, that lag in 0.0 needs fixing or that a certain ship class needs a counter ship class. I‘m talking about the fact that EVE-online is constantly evolving. It will never be perfect and that is a good thing. Once a game becomes perfect in the eyes of the developer then over time it will get stagnant and the players will lose interest. And without players a game dies, especially a game that thrives on interaction with other players.
A good example of this evolution is when a couple of years back I decided to quit EVE and donate my character to the nearest biomatter reprocessing plant. The reson was that I felt the game had become stagnant, I had tried almost anything and amasst enough money to buy nearly anything in the game. Even though PvP-ing was always fun the challenge had disapered.
Two months later I broke, created a new character, a new fresh start, and man did it feel good! I discovered all the new things that had been added for the new players since my summer in 2003 (to numerous to talk about here so I recommend the patch notes on the EVE-online homepage) and got into a new corp to get to know new people. Now I‘ve done mission arcs, gone into W-space and done exploration unlike anything I ever did before and with the Dominion expansion and change to sovereignty I‘m looking forward to trying out the 0.0 mechanincs again. Like GODS EVE is challenging and will remain so, at least on some levels, as long as CCP is devoted to it which I hardly think will change in the forseable future.

So in conclusion EVE, in being unperfect, is the perfect game and thats why I love it.