I gave my ultimate seal of approval to CCP today and joined the ranks of EVE-Online subscribers. After months of obsession with the piracy, politics, and player driven complexity of EVE, I finally jumped in 2 weeks ago.
I am very surprised to say that the actual game FAR exceeded my expectations. (Given that I was obsessed with EVE for months before downloading the trial and had huge expectations, it is almost mindblowing!)
The 2 week trial has only given the faintest taste of what EVE has to offer. There is little instant gratification in EVE. It can take months just to master piloting one race's frigates. Getting into industrial or trade game play can take just as long. In EVE you can only learn one skill at a time, so "hardcore" players gain little beyond ISK and experience from playing many hours when compared to a more casual player.
Two weeks gives a minimal glimpse into the possibilities and complexities awaiting a mind willing to face the learning curve and dive into New Eden. The game is seriously beautiful, and the combat mechanics are captivating. There are multiple roles and strategies for fulfilling these roles. Unlike most MMO's, a player is never pigeonholed into a specific class. The skill system means that with a corresponding investment of time, any role may be pursued by an EVE player. The game is so huge and the possible roles are so vast that many serious EVE players keep multiple accounts to allow for specialization. It would take decades to learn all the skills on one account, and that is not counting any future skills which will be added to the game with the bi-yearly updates!
The alliance/corporation and low-sec/0.0 sec interactions seem to be the heart and soul of EVE. Sedona and I hope to find a friendly home amongst "Industrialists with Teeth" in the next few months. We look forward to lucrative and dangerous adventures that involve controlling territory and resources while adapting to the sweeping political tides that roll through space and periodically redefine the boundaries and interactions in this very amazing virtual world.