Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Possibility space

I think EVE provides an ideal balance of possibility space vs. safety in its design. While you can hide behind CONCORD with reasonable safety in high sec, it is much more fun and rewarding to venture into areas with more risk. The mechanics allow for miners, traders, pirates and sovereign alliance wars. WOW!

The social dynamic is the secret sauce for EVE, and the game mechanics ensure that even Corps and Alliances are potentially full of intrigue given the ability for players to scheme, steal, and con their way to riches.  This leads to a paranoid feel when you are first getting to know Corp mates or applying for a Corp.  Trust is likely the most valuable commodity in EVE, there are even players like Chribba who make their living based on their trustworthiness.  

By allowing such varied interaction, EVE deepens the potential relationships and adds meaning to player interactions.  What other virtual world has inspired player run banks, investment schemes, mass territorial Alliance warfare, and a complex player managed market?  This depth and complexity of possibility distinguishes EVE from the alternatives and makes New Eden a virtual world like no other!

Sunday, January 11, 2009


This post will be a resource for any brave souls who wish to venture into the world of New Eden. Having spent many hours reading up on EVE, I want to create a repository of helpful information to smooth out the steep learning curve that an MMO of EVE's complexity presents.

The first stop in EVE education is the official EVE Online Player Guide. This is a good introduction to game concepts in EVE, but it does not go into specific enough depth to be more than a starter orientation guide.

The next step is to download BattleClinic's EVE New Player Guide.

BattleClinic is a great resource for players with discussions on ship loadouts, and a level 1 mission guide.

While at Battleclinic, be sure and download EVE Mon, an essential tool for planning and managing skill training.  (If only CCP would allow a skill queue...)

Tanking 101

Check out EVE-Wiki.net for great overviews of ships and modules plus helpful guides.

My goal is to keep updating this post as I find new information.  Please comment on any other essentials I have missed.

Monday, January 5, 2009

EVE novel review

I didn't get a chance to log into EVE yesterday, but I was fully immersed in New Eden. I was enjoying Tony Gonzales' novel- Eve: The Empyrean Age.

I greatly enjoyed the read and would recommend the book to any Sci-Fi fan, regardless of whether they play EVE or not. As an EVE capsuleer, I feel like the book helped enrich the backstory and brought to life many areas that I have found myself roaming through. Overall, the plot and characters are engaging. There are perhaps too many concurrent plot lines, and while the complex plot provides excitement, the downside is that character development is severely constrained by the lack of focus.

The book succeeds in providing the story that leads to the current situation with the Factional Warfare system in game. I also enjoyed that the characters have turned up in later EVE chronicles to further develop the story. Perhaps it is a consequence of being part of a living, breathing universe, but the hardest part about the novel is that it leaves you hanging at the end. I am still not sure what happens on Caldari Prime, and I have been playing the game for months since the novel came out. We have also been given very little additional insight into the craziness within the Amarr Empress, or what becomes of the racist and bloodthirsty leader of the Caldari. While the recent freeing of slaves may have been forshadowed by the experiences of the Empress' right hand man in the book, we are left on our own to figure out how the story ends.

I am personally counting on Mr. Gonzales to publish a sequel soon to explore these hanging threads. I hope he can slow down enough to really develop his characters while retaining the gripping quality he created in The Empyrean Age.

Overall, a good read for any Sci-Fi fan; a great read for those interested in jumping into the EVE world, and a must read for current players!

Grab a copy today and let me know what YOU think.