All right, EVE Online. I’m starting to get you.
I cut through the rest of the opening military career missions with little to no issue, even remembering the story beats that were trying to be told over the course of the series. Someone in last week’s comments remarked that PvE in this game is dull and I absolutely agree, especially in what I remember being some of the earliest PvE attempts that CCP Games has made. These devs do not make compelling PvE content. One could argue the studio doesn’t make compelling content as much as make compelling systems that allow the players to make their own content.
That perception, however, only slightly changed when I moved to the Advanced Military NPCs offerings.
Here, more than any other missions I’ve taken up to this point, is where I felt like I was shown the most. I was given a missile launcher to appreciate where long-range assault can be important. I learned about tackling and how to use a webifier. I learned how to provide support with a little shield booster turret that I fired at a disabled ship. There’s even a mission whose sole purpose is to have you face impossible odds, get blown up, and pick yourself up again — a lesson I had already learned myself through far rougher means.
In the end I managed to pick up a couple of intriguing ships, was introduced to some more unique tools beyond simple turrets, and was opened up to the idea that there are more tactics to combat than fitting whatever is better than a civilian gun and orbiting an enemy. A couple of times I even had to pay attention to combat, alternating between moving closer to an enemy and keeping an orbit distance as the enemy ship maneuvered into my weapon falloff range.
Finally, things started to feel just the barest whiff of engaging for me. At last, I was beginning to feel confident and eager to learn. And just as I was near that point, the missions wrapped up and I got a ship that I can’t pilot yet. Given a few days, though, I will have the skills to do so.
This only reaffirmed a couple of things for me: The career path NPCs absolutely need to be a part of the regular tutorial, and this game is probably not for me. This is frustrating because I always operate under the assumption that that’s my fault and not the game’s. It’s not the boring UI’s fault, or the lack of feeling directly in control. It’s not the piecemeal entry into the game. It’s not the general tedium of doing nearly everything. It’s my fault that I’m not wired right to like this, apparently.
Still, at least this time around, I was legitimately able to glean some enjoyment. I have finally gotten the barest whiffs of something that would hook me in and make me want to learn more. Basic combat is basic, but using different tools to mangle enemies or even perhaps offer up support for others? Now that is intriguing stuff. I would love to see and do more of that and be introduced to doing more of that, please.
I’ve been accused of not having anything to like in EVE Online, and up to this point you’d be right. In fact, you’re still right insofar as the negatives still outweigh the positives for me. But now? Now I have some positives I can point to and I can genuinely agree wholeheartedly with the recommendation that new arrivals to New Eden do the career path NPC missions. Especially both of the Military ones. Perhaps it will hook people far harder than it hooked me.
I’ll condense my feelings for next week’s write-up, and I promise I do have nice things to say about EVE Online as I sit and think about my time here, but I want some time to both get over this game and process my feelings. This means, of course, it’s time to move on to our next chosen adventure.
This time around I’m going to basically stay away from the sci-fi sandboxes for now and keep to something that will be more engaging and interesting (hopefully). Here’s the options I’m considering next:
- Guild Wars 2: Yep, this again. Color me curious, really. And hey, maybe I can convince MOP’s Colin or Tina or Bree to help me out once or twice, or at least provide some guidance along the way.
- Dungeons and Dragons Online: I have never played this one at all, and since my only D&D MMO experience has been Neverwinter-related, it might be interesting to see where this one stands or falls.
- The Lord of the Rings Online: This one I have played before, at launch and at least one other time when it went free-to-play, but it’s been so long that I barely recall much. And since it’s been on my mind a lot, may as well add it to the potentials.
So, where do we go from here?
What game should we try next? Choose My Adventure!
- Guild Wars 2. Go ahead and see if you can find something good here. (19%, 33 Votes)
- Lord of the Rings Online. Hobbity adventures! (36%, 64 Votes)
- Dungeons and Dragons Online. Try out the new-to-you. (45%, 80 Votes)
Total Voters: 177
1:00 p.m. EDT, Friday, June 26th. You know the drill by now. And as grumpy as this series of playthroughs have been, I do genuinely want to thank people for their input and guidance. It wasn’t all bad for me now that I sit and think on it. Just… mostly bad for me. I’ll explain later and I hope you won’t kabob me too hard for the way I feel.