[EVE Online] I’m still quite suprised at how well EVE is working for me as a casual player. You start the game with a few skills, but you’ll need new skills soon enough. Normally you would get new skills by grinding on mobs or questing for XP until you levelled. But in EVE, you don’t get new skills by killing mobs or doing quests. You get new skills by purchasing them and then training them. I don’t even see how you could gimp yourself. Don’t like a skill? Don’t buy it. If you already have it, it’s not hurting you in any way.
Skills have various levels, 1 through #. To train each level takes time and the time varies based on different aspects like your attributes and other skills. Lets just say a typical skill takes 30 minutes to train to level 1, 4 hours for level 2, 1 day for level 3, etc. Each level means that you are better at the skill. A combat skill level may mean more accuracy, damage, rate of fire, things like that. Some ships may require you to have level 3 in a navigation skill (for example) so you must train that skill to 3 before you can use the ship. Refining skill levels means you get a better return on your ore refining. I could go on and on but there are way too many skills. Important to note, you can only train one skill at a time.
So why does this work well for a casual player? Simple; the skills train in real time no matter where you are or what you are doing. Log in, start training a skill, and then log off. It will keep training.
This allows me to feel like I am progressing whether I am playing or not. Sometimes I just log in to start training a new skill because I don’t have time to play. In fact, since it saves your training progress, sometimes I stop training a longer skill when I am playing in order to train a shorter one that will finish while I’m still online. Then before I log off I restart training the longer skill and it begins right where it left off.
Granted, to buy skills you need money – sometimes a lot of it depending on the skill. Getting money requires you do something in game. Mine, kill pirates, run missions. All generates income. Therefore, you cannot just play the game by training skills and logging off (unless someone gives you a lot of money). Also, getting the skill to fly a battleship does not mean you really know how to fly a battleship properly. To do that you need to play the game and use the ship.
I really like it because when friends of mine play a lot more than I do, they do not really get any further ahead of me as far as skills are concerned. They may make more money and know more about the game, but heck they can just share that with me hehe.
This game is not for everyone. I’m sure many will get bored with it and that is fine. It is not a fast paced game. It is more of a thinking game. It is what you make of it. When I log in, I decide what I feel like doing. Get in my destroyer and go mine while defending myself from the occasional pirate? Get in my frigate and go pirate hunting to collect bounties and loot? Get in my industrial ship and do some trade routes? The options are only as limited as you make them.
Last night I took my frigate out and scoured asteroid fields for pirates. If I found any, I would launch a few missles at them to take out their shields and as they got closer I would open up with my railguns. After taking them out, I could loot their cargo holds for equipment. In fact, I have a cargo hold scanner so I can see what they are carrying before I even attack.
I haven’t even got into all the other options. There are all sorts of electronic warfare available, things that shut down your ship, or keep you from targeting the enemy. You could train up cloaking devices and stealth your way across the galaxy. You could join up with a corporation and manaufacture ships or equipment. You could claim a spot in 0.0 space and defend it from all others. You could even hunt down other players with bounties on their head.
Only time will tell if this game really is what I’ve been seeking or if it is just another new shiny, blinding me from seeing the truth. But I know this; I talk to many people in game and a lot of them have been playing it like I do and still are playing (and enjoying) it after 2 years.