EVE Online 14 Day Demo Review & Odyssey Patch Impressions

I get to work with family and although for most people, that seems like a mixed bag of employment “experience.” But for me…I actually enjoy it. At my office I get to work with one of my brothers and a few employees that make life typically a lot more tolerable on tough days. I tell you that to tell you this: Bullying in the workplace is JUST PLAIN WRONG.

One day I came into work to lively EVE gaming banter from the night before. There was much revelry and excitement. It was then that I was confronted and pushed into a corner with pointed fingers and bits of wood waved in my face. “You’ll play EVE with us or feel the wrath of the Corporation!” I was befuddled…I was still somewhat enjoying Neverwinter. I tried to state my case, but the hooligans were prepped to rough me up! I caved. I lowered my head and said “ok” in a pouty voice. I moped to my office while the roughians gloated audibly.

All jokes aside. My brother and one of our employees (one of the most friendly, and daily joyful people you’ll ever meet) are avid players and wanted me to join in the fun. No, it wasn’t corporate gaming like you witnessed in NBC’s “The Office.” Just friendly after hours game play that all us MMO’ers know and love.  I was actually really excited to try this game out…even if it had been out for quite some time. I know that there are plenty of great games out there I haven’t played and have learned to not let my ego get in the way of enjoying something new…to me.

I downloaded the client and began my 14 day free trial of EVE Online. Now mind you, this was pre-Odyssey and I had “fiddled” around with EVE before, because space and spaceships just make me all giddy. Unfortunately for me, the very first time I tried this game I had no direction and was turned off with the large learning curve…and (I’ll be honest) I was still heavily into WoW. There, I said it. The first stage of healing from an addiction is admitting to it right? So 2, maybe 3 days tops of logging in, and then out.

It was now time to give this game a go. I too played this game with the new gaming pc’s fullest. I cranked the graphics. Since I have dual 24″ monitors, I setup the display to 3840×1200 to experience this game like I was flying through space. I wanted the full effect. In the options menu, you can slide the ship from center, over to center of whichever monitor of your choosing. It does make for more pleasant gaming when a game allows for multiple monitors. EVE also allows for multiple monitor fixed-windowed mode. This allowed me to also alt-tab the second monitor back and forth from the game to a browser and back without lag. CCP…good on you.

Character select screen & news about the game.

Character select screen & news about the game.

When I first booted this game up, I admit that the whole game seemed a bit overwhelming. It truly “does” have a large learning curve. Any seasoned player will easily admit to it and smile a bit while stating so. Like anything, it just takes time…it’s just that I have this little thing called “attention deficit disorder.” I was advised to dive into the military training through the NPC based University and continue until done. Didn’t seem too scary, and the tutorial system is quite helpful. In fact, it’s one of the better tutorials I’ve used.

Ok, so...you're giving me a mission, to head out "yonder" and expect I return? Uhmm...

Ok, so…you’re giving me a mission, to head out “yonder” and expect I return? Uhmm…

I guess spaceships are a dime a dozen, because they give you a free one (no big deal). I proceeded to “undock” out into space for a quests and I was immediately stricken with anxiety. Space…is…huge. With all the talk of how entirely humungous space was in this game, I got worried. Was I going to get lost in the delta-quadrant like Capt Janeway in Voyager. With time you realize that you have many ways of getting back to the star- base, or anywhere your quest needs you to explore. You’re not alone, and there is a helpful chat tab in the chat window for rookies, to ask questions and get help.

The NEOCON on the far left of the screen has all of your atypical MMO icons (e.g. profile, inventory, mail, etc). The game allows you to move and/or resize all of the windows, icons, maps, & controls so you can get comfortable playing however you like. A function that is becoming more popular across the board of MMO’s.

This ship is one of my favs. He's affectionately termed the "fat man."

This ship is one of my favs. He’s affectionately termed the “fat man.”

Here’s where I must admit to cheating. Well…not “cheat” cheating, but I gained a crap-ton of financial help. My brother was helping me get my training up a bit faster and gain an edge that would quicken the whole training process. You see, they want me to be a part of the “Corp” and pvp with them. I too want this. I am constantly hearing of large pvp battles and amazing fights, and that’s what I want out of this game.

Stargate to help warp you along a bit in this vast galaxy.

Stargate to help warp you along a bit in this vast galaxy.

The training actually takes place in real time. You can even queue up training while you’re offline. You get to stack training up to for a set time span (I believe 24 hrs). A little trick my brother showed me is to stack up to around 22-23 hours of training, then add one more skill to train that may push you “over” that span…but is allowed. You can add no others after, but is a very efficient way to stack your skill training.  The skills span across many things that will benefit you, your ship, your drones (when you get them), guns and other weapons, to the different spaceships you can navigate.

Through the Wormhole...without Morgan Freeman.

Through the Wormhole…without Morgan Freeman.

The large part of learning this game is not going to be about reading or being told…but about doing. I got through the first round of Military training through the NPC University, attaining ships, guns, and other such items to better help me with further questing. The second round of Military training was less focused on using your ship, but now what you’ll encounter in the real space happenings and real world pvp. The quests helped you with items you’ll need for pvp, tactics to save your butt, and learning to get the heck outta Dodge when you don’t have a chance. It even forces you to lose 2 ships (which they give you, so make sure they’re insured because that’s free money). Yes…that’s right, ships can be insured. Fret not on losing one…because you lose a lot (from what I hear).

It was around here that the Odyssey patch hit and my 14 days was reset. Can’t complain about that. I logged into a brand new patched EVE and…there didn’t seem to be any changes. I was still in the beginning levels of the game so I can’t readily say that I would noticed them right off. I was told that there were visual changes to the ships among many others, but it’s like any MMO I suppose. If you’re not up to date with leveling, content, and equipment, you probably won’t see them immediately.  There are a number of sites, including EVE’s homepage where you can read of all the changes that took effect June 4th of this year. I’ll discuss a few that affected me with my limited game play.

Something about warming around form area to area with a nebula in the background to give met me the tingles.

Something about warping around from area to area with a nebula in the background to give me the tingles.

Logging in after the patch I undocked and went out on a mission. I clicked to drag the screen around to look about the cosmos and noticed the new Radial Navigation Tool. Many of your most common controls now pop up in a circle tool interface when you click and hold on your ship. At first I found it quite annoying, but with further play, found many of the options more convenient.

Annoying at first, but you grow attached to it soon enough.

The Radial Navigation Tool is annoying at first, but you grow attached to it soon enough.

In my home office, I have a 5.1 system set up in 3.1 because I got lazy and didn’t want to run wires when I set up my office. The sounds of the game have improved a few notches, are more rich and when put in the middle of fights there’s a more pleasing aesthetic. Actually gives me a little motivation to hook up the other two speakers.

Another “option” that was given to me after the patch loaded was the option to train a second character at the same time. Being a rookie capsuleer as I am, I didn’t have need to start up a second character, nor the want. Before Odyssey, there was no second character passive skill training.

And…that’s about it. I am not sad or bitter. I realize that I need to progress further to see the actual changes.

Look at that sexy beast of a capsuleer!

Look at that sexy beast of a capsuleer!

There was supposed to be a place where capsuleer avatars could walk around and mingle with others, accessable through your captains quarters when docked at a station. A lobby if you will. It wasn’t part of the patch, and it seems that CCP is still working the bugs out. Apparently the, “station atmosphere not yet decontaminated for capsuleer consumption.” You currently are able to walk around with your character in the captains quarters. There is a big screen in the room showing advertisements for bounties and other quests, a mirror so you can see how swanky you are, and a hologram interface that takes the place of NEOCON buttons for your ship.

Yesterday night I logged in to find out that my 14 days was up. I went ahead and paid for 3 months. I didn’t think I would ever pay to play a game ever again. I’m going to give this game a chance though. I love space; you play in space. I love spaceships; you fly spaceships. I love pvp; I hope to soon be destroying enemies and laughing along with the Corp.

Overall: The fact that CCP games is still making patches and additional content and charging $0 for it means quite a bit to gamers...especially when they're paying a monthly fee. Space, ships, guns, and corporations make for a surreal futuristic archetype that is hard to pass up on exploring. Although the learning curve of this game is vast, and it seems that you'll never really stop training your skills, it has that "real life" feel that seems to appeal to a multitude of players. Science and math are part of the key to building ships (again incorporating that which we use in the real world) and becoming successful with gunnery, propulsion, shielding, and a number of other attributes. With more time spent, this review could easily go from Gewd to Tasty.

Overall: The fact that CCP games is still making patches and additional content and charging $0 for it means quite a bit to gamers…especially when they’re paying a monthly fee. Space, ships, guns, and corporations make for a surreal futuristic archetype that is hard to pass up on exploring. Although the learning curve of this game is vast, and it seems that you’ll never really stop training your skills, it has that “real life” feel that seems to appeal to a multitude of players. Science and math are part of the key to building ships (again incorporating that which we use in the real world) and becoming successful with gunnery, propulsion, shielding, and a number of other attributes. With more time spent, this review could easily go from Gewd to Tasty.

Note: Sorry for no action/fighting pictures. I screen grabbed them on my dual monitor setup and then realized they may not post well.

James Gordon Author b2


4 Comments

  1. Ailingforale June 28, 2013 8:38 am  Reply

    If only I had started playing this with friends earlier on. I have no doubt that I would still be flying around in space. I started solo in this game and it wasn’t as fun. Having a bud in a corp already seems like an insta-win in my book!

  2. MacGordon June 28, 2013 9:11 am  Reply

    I completely agree. I’m almost sure that it’s that way for me for practically any mmo. I’m barely into the second wave of agent quests, concerning military and similar quests, and they’re ready to throw me into the big pvp arena out in Hi-sec. I’m a little…scare, to say the least. 🙂

  3. Rossicle July 3, 2013 12:54 pm  Reply

    Man, I’m feeling very inspired! The game looks beautiful (it wouldn’t look as beautiful on my lappy top, I’m sure!). I’ve wanted to play this game in the past, in fact, Dane even offered to in-game finance my way through training. But, I’m very intimidated by the game, much like you were/are! And I totally agree; I could never play this game alone… It seems far too vast to not have any assistance. But, maybe I’ll give the 14 day trial a try.

    • Ailingforale July 3, 2013 1:34 pm  Reply

      Don’t do it! It’ll suck you in! Fo-realz though this game is cool. I loved what I experienced in my 14 day free trial except for the no friends bit. The people in the general chat were pretty awesome and helpful to boot. I didn’t really get the trolling/jerk people when I played Eve a while back and that was a very nice change of pace back when I was playing WoW.

Love it or hate it, let me know!