As of 6th May 2018 Eve Online is 15 years old. Not many games last anywhere near that long and are still going strong but Eve has managed to stay alive despite plenty of Eve Online is dying posts over the internet each year.
If you search ‘Eve Online is’ then you can see as below that the top 2 results on the auto complete is Eve Online is dying and Eve Online is dead.
So how can a game which every year is proclaimed as dying just celebrated its 15th anniversary?
In my opinion, the game is unique enough that it can retain its player base so that unless a better Eve like game comes along, it will always keep those players and even if a new game came out it is unlikely that players who have invested up to 15 years of their lives would easily abandon it.
Another reason is that CCP have regularly produced free updates, balance patches, fixes and new content to keep things fresh for current players, entice players to return or tempt new players to give it a try. The alpha clone patch last year made it very easy for new players to try the game and get hooked.
Eve however is not without its flaws and I myself have only played the game on and off. There’s always been reasons for me leaving but something always draws me back in.
I first tried Eve Online in 2009 after my brother persuaded me to try it but I didn’t last long.
I came from playing World of Warcraft doing PvE and thought Eve PvE would be similar. That was my first mistake, coming from a simple game like WoW with its starter area and quests which holds your hand to a game which was the total opposite was a big difference.
The biggest mistake though was thinking of my ships in the same way as my WoW gear. In WoW your gear stays with you when you die, in Eve your ship blows up and is gone.
This lead to me giving up on the game. I had started doing missions and slowly earned isk to keep improving my ship or upgrading to a bigger ship. At this time all my progression was about getting a bigger ship with better guns to complete harder missions, a bit like WoW progression.
Then during one mission, my ship got stuck in some space junk/debris and I lost my first ship. I hadn’t prepared for this and had spent all my isk on it which meant I was left with a noob ship and no isk. Thinking that was bullshit and that I had just wasted days getting into that ship and fit, I rage quit and went back to WoW.
I imagine that experience is common for new players, especially back then when the new player experience wasn’t as good as it is now.
In 2010 I decided to try Eve again as a real life friend (who stopped playing after a month) has started playing and convinced me to come back. This time I understood that ships are lost and I should fly what I could afford to lose.
Not knowing better, I decided to start from scratch on a new character and created Sparko Marco who is still my main character. Little did I know that the name I picked 8 years ago would stay with me through all games I’ve played since and be the name behind my blog name.
Also another noob mistake I done was to biomass my previous character including all its stuff. I didn’t have much but I did have a limited edition shuttle I got from buying a hard copy of the game. I thought it was like WoW where I could get it again but I soon realised it was gone. I wasn’t bothered about a shuttle at the time but now it is probably worth a fortune in isk to a collector of limited edition ships.
After creating Sparko Marco I’ve had 8 years of on and off playing. In that time I’ve been involved in big null sec alliances, wormhole corps, low sec pirate corps and I was one of the early members of Brave Newbies when they were still in high sec losing ships in Hek.
I’ve mainly done PvP as I’ve found the PvE side of Eve fairly boring. PvE wise I’ve dabbled in missions, incursions, killing the hardest sleepers in C6s but no matter how much I tried PvE I got bored quickly whereas in PvP I always get a rush of adrenaline and a feeling of excitement. I think that feeling is often what makes me want to come back when I’ve quit for a while.
Reading that it might seem strange that I often quit and take breaks from Eve but I think that’s often a mix of burning out playing too much, real life issues or changes in corp direction.
My favourite time in Eve was during the start of Brave Newbies, especially once we moved into low sec. The corp was all about having fun, no one cared about losses or screw ups, you could fly what you wanted and there were always random fleets where it didn’t matter if everyone died or not.
For me, being able to log on at any time, jump in any ship, get in a fleet and then either get kills or die trying was great.
I even took a day sick from work to be part of the first pos kill in a nearby system where we lost our first capital ship. I’ve never had such fun pos bashing as that fight.
That lasted a few months until the corp leaders took Brave into a new direction.
It started with doctrine fleets and less kitchen sink fleets. Then fights got more serious and it mattered more if we lost. Then came a move into a far away system on deployment and it all changed for me.
I moved my stuff up but it was no longer about general messing about in random fleets, the corp was there to join in a null sec war. There were scheduled ops and call to arms. More doctrine ships and fleets and it started to become like all other corps before finally moving into null sec and it turned into another big null sec alliance and to me it was far away from what it started out as and the initial noob fun was replaced with null sec wars and fights over systems. I’d already done that in previous corps and it wasn’t fun so I left the corp and took a break.
I never really settled after that, I tried a pirate corp for a while but it was mainly US time zone players. I might get back into low sec piracy as I have enjoyed my time blowing up ships in low sec.
My first PvP loss was also in low sec, I’d ventured in as a noob and found a rat with a 1m bounty which was more than I’d seen before. I engaged the rat but in my rubbish fit ship I couldnt break its tank, nor could it hit me as I was too fast. I called in my friend and we started destroying the rat when 2 pirates warped in and killed us before we knew what was happening. After that I wanted to be the one doing the killing and I’ve mainly done PvP since.
My last corp was mainly EU players and started off fun. We were in a C4 wormhole, the corp had fun fights and were casual enough for my real life commitments. No call to arms, no isk contributions, no scheduled ops or doctrines. I could log on, fight in what I wanted solo or in small gangs and it was going good.
Over the next few months though as the corp expanded, it started bringing in corp doctrines and scheduled ops before my play time. It then moved to another wormhole and tried to become more serious. It needed monthly isk contributions but I didn’t want to make isk to pay it, I wanted to PvP not PvE and even if I did want to PvE for a bit of extra isk all their ops were early EU evenings a couple of hours before I could get on.
When they decided to move wormholes again I just didn’t bother moving all my ships in then lost interest in logging in as by the time I got logged on, either no one was online or they didn’t want to do much as it was too late for them.
I decided to leave the corp and take a break from Eve again.
As of a few days ago though, I’m subscribed again. I got an email offering 3 months at half price so for only £14 I could get 3 months subscription which is worth getting and seeing if I can settle into it again. Also by subscribing before the 6th I get the free anniversary ships.
Now I just need to decide what I want to do and try to find a suitable corp.
– Sparko Marco