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The Building Blocks of an Empire

If you were going to build an empire, how would you do it?

I've been thinking on this lately. I want to choose the imperial path first, last, and always. Every decision I make ought to be to the end of building. We can get into the "why" of it and philosophy another time, but I think pretty much the meaning of life is to expand, the mid-term goal of humanity ought to be to spread outside of Planet Earth and diversity our habitats a little bit, and I'd like to participate in doing that.

That's a really long discussion though, so we'll save that for another time. Yesterday I was in a really nice cafe and I was thinking, "You know, I want to always be choosing the empire-building way. When choosing between options, when prioritizing, when picking activities, when picking projects - I want to choose expansion and empire."

I thought about that and I don't have any really good heuristics for what's conducive to expansion and what isn't. So today I went to a cool little Vietnamese restaurant where the owner is friendly, got some coffee and tea and bread, and started brainstorming a little bit.

MMO Search 2014: EVE Final Impressions

On Danger Blog

Now that I have gone a good bit in to how EVE functions, I believe that the time has come to actually tell you how I feel about the game. This is all my opinion on the game of EVE of course, and I’m sure some people will strongly disagree with me on several points. I should first note that I played the game over the course of a month-long free trial. One of the biggest complaints I have seen about the game (and ones I share on some levels) are that the game requires you to commit a lot of time to it in order to get something out of it. For some people this could be a huge draw, and for other people this could be a severe deterrent. EVE is not a game where you often get instant gratification. EVE is not a game where you can just jump in and expect to be successful with little effort. This is a game where I would recommend finding a veteran player or a Corporation to show you the ropes (and even then you still might be scratching your head quite a bit). Now, you can certainly make many aspects of the game easier by looking up guides and tools to help you with tasks such as choosing skills, fitting your ship, or figuring out what to do next. I would highly recommend that any new players at least download external programs that allow for designing ship fits and skill acquisition plans. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that these sort of programs are almost required to be successful in the universe of EVE.

I have seen some people suggest that your first week of playing EVE Online should be devoted to reading about the game rather than playing (though I personally feel like this is going a bit overboard). I think you can jump in and not feel overwhelmed in EVE if you keep your focus narrow and take things one step at a time. Also, you could just do your thing and not even worry about more complex parts of the game, but ultimately your experience might be more successful and more rewarding if you understand most of the game concepts though. I’m not sure that I would call the learning curve in EVE too steep. I think it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the information and all the things you can do in the game. I personally had my friend to help me, who is an EVE veteran, and I still found myself getting frustrated with some things in the game.

To CCP’s credit, they seem to offer many resources to help new players. The launcher prominently displays a link for helpful resources for new players, there is an in-game tutorial that provides advice on what do, there is a rookie channel where people answer new player questions, and I even got an e-mail from a CCP employee to ask if I had any questions. Some Corporations will also take in new players and show them how the game works. So there are certainly resources for new players to look up and learn the game for the first time.

This leads to one of my first criticisms of the game. I enjoy games with some complexity such as strategy or RTS games, but the planning and problem solving takes place entirely within the confines of the game. In EVE I often felt like I was being taken out of the game in order to figure things out such as ship builds, character builds, or what the best equipment to buy was. For example, I need to fit my ship with some weapons. So, I determine what size of weapons fit on my ship, the type of damage I want to inflict, and my desired weapon range. Then I go on the market to purchase that type of weapon and find out that it comes in several different options. Each option offers different amounts of damage, power requirements (the power required to turn the weapon on), and price point. I’m sure that some people can run all the numbers required through their head to figure out the best option, but I think it’s not that difficult to see how an external fitting program can be very helpful in this situation, if not required.

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