WoW vs. EVE

Since I have been thinking about it anyway, I want to do the flip side of this post.

EVE on the other hand starts out kind of rough and ugly. Confusing at times and seeming as if there is nothing to do.

I will cite the problem in the opposite direction: there is everything to do. Once you exit the tutorial, you can run missions, mine, hunt baby rats, start training for trade runs, jump into corp politics, explore the galaxy, learn the market… Many people, when faced with unlimited choice, lock up and cannot handle it. If no direction is inherently more meaningful than any other, they may not even see a reason to move.

In economic terms, people feel opportunity costs. The more choices you have, the more things you need to give up to do anything else right now. If you are playing a Warrior, you have given up the other seven WoW choices (for now). If you are training Learning 1, there are over 300 other skills that you are not training, there are people several years ahead of you, and it will never be possible to cap every skill. From the instant you log on, you can check the market and see the multi-million ISK items out there, with the tier II items directly next to the ones you can use. If you see a level 10 in the WoW newbie zone, he’s slumming. WoW even has an eventual “win” condition. It has rules, and borders, and an end zone.

Freedom, opportunity, and choices scare a lot of people. There are enough places in real life where they are faced with radical existentialism, and they do not want to deal with it in a game. My mother yet to come to grips with Mario, who can move sideways and jump, or do both at the same time!

: Zubon

8 thoughts on “WoW vs. EVE”

  1. You are right about the choices, but I don’t think they scare people. For most people chaos is chaos and not something they are looking for. For others that same chaos is a breath of fresh air in a genre that has become quickly stale.

    WoW is all based an achiever gameplay. In order for that to work they need goals that are achievable every time a player logs in. It’s a safe bet that players will always like this type of gameplay.

    EVE is open ended with little hand holding to get you where you want to go. CCP realizes this is one of the main things holding the game back for new players. I would guess that people come to EVE and quit within a week. Then they take a few weeks reading up on how to play EVE, how to make a better character, what skills to train, and probably get themselves a corp. After that they come back and can enjoy the game, but it takes a lot of initial research to get going… all of which is outside the game and confusing at times.

    EVE isn’t a bad game, but it just has rough edges that CCP needs to smooth down. Kali should hopefully be a big part of it :)

  2. I think you are right with the choices…AO and it’s very customizable options didn’t scare me so much as make me wonder which I was missing out on. With double or triple that amount, I’d lock up, I’m fairly sure.

  3. > Freedom, opportunity, and choices scare a lot of people.

    That’s unfortunately very true. For my part, the quintessence of your and Ethics essay is that both games (or game paradigms, read “sandbox” vs. “guided content”) appeals to (mostly) different kinds of people.

    Anyway, me fires up the EVE client :D

  4. I’m an example of Heartless Gamer’s EVE model. I started up, played for a week, got into a cruiser, had a little bit of fun, and cursed at how slowly I was progressing, partially because I had no specific goal. I read up, did the math, and started a new Achura (first char had way too much charisma). I traded old WoW gold with a friend for a chunk of isk with which to purchase the advanced learning skills and a few attribute boosting implants, and let it ferment for two months as I got the advanced learning skills up. Granted, the economics of that aren’t impressive. In terms of financial cost, I justify it by thinking of it as buying a box copy and waiting 6-8 weeks for the mail order.

    I got into the game again, this time with learning plans already worked out. I looked at the time it would take to get me into various ships, and opted for mining, first. I knew I could be inside a retriever in a week and a half. A covetor (the best mining barge) would take a whole month, but that would make me (to use a WoW comparison) a 60 Miner. Everything after that’s just raid gear and epic mounts.

    On the other hand, I think the choices can be a little daunting. It’s too tempting to train a little of everything, and then you’ll never get anywhere. Part of what compounds this is the ability to train skills on only one character at a time, per account. If you’ve built the character well, your main will train such things just as quickly (or much faster if they’ve already got the learning skills), and a secondary will spend so much time retraining the core skills that everyone needs that you won’t see too much of a difference. The steady pace of advance is the most constraining aspect of the game.

  5. I guess a quick and dirty way to sum the differences between the two games would be to compare two other games… PlanetSide, and Asheron’s Call.

    PS, you logged in, picked a side, hit a terminal for your gear and were immediately inthe thick of it. You get tired, you log out, and forget it. Fast, quick, fun.

    AC, you logged in… spend some time just on picking out what you look like, what proffession you wanna be, race, name, etc. Once in, your grind begins immediately, and you’re faced with a multitude of skills you can train on, some (like specializing in Jump) will hurt you later as it draws needed points away from more useful skills. You get tired, you find a place to log out, and spend the next 4 hrs researching what X quest is, or Y skill, or Z weapon… Slower, but fun once you understand how things work.

    One aspect however that I noticed (speaking for me only) is that games that keep me longer, are games that tend to have me learning new things.

  6. I got here by googling EVE Online and Titans because I’m interested in the Doomsday weapon firing. It’s a pretty cool event, and almost makes me want to get into EVE Online.

    But the prospect of investing MONTHS of playtime before I can start to have “Fun” basically kills that urge. The thing is, yeah, even if I happened to know just the right model to choose and how to build a character to last me a lifetime, it would be weeks or months before I would even know if it’s the kind of game that I want to play. There’s no ‘zero level’ that will allow you to learn the basics while having fun too.

    WoW is a superior game because, no matter what class you pick, you’ll be enjoying the quests in the noob area within 10 minutes of logging on for the first time. You’ll be facing interesting challenges and overcoming them immediately, even if they’re tiny and weak compared to an endgame player’s everyday play schedule. And, as you grow in power, you discover a broad world of lore and character that adds depth to the world that you adventure through.

    I would LOVE to play EVE Online, judging from the recent conflict. But I invested six hours into it on a trial basis… and during that entire time, I never once had fun. The game is badly designed for “Fun”. It’s too bad, really. I hope something like it will come along someday that knows how to deliver it. I would love to play.

  7. EVE is not for everyone. And comparing WoW to EVE is pretty far off. This page is dead, date wise, but I decided to post just because I found it fairly fast in google. EVE lets you do everything and anything off the bat.

    EVE is not for everyone, but if you take the time to get into the depth, you will see it has so much more to offer than WoW. If you want instant gratification, and small goals with no real meaning accomplished every time you log in, then go with WoW, no one is stopping you. If you want a universe to thrive and grow in, and a game world where you literally, (no gimmick), literally impact and change, then go with EVE. The goals are longer, yet somehow the time invested is shorter, due to the real time skill training that still allows for a life outside of the game that WoW does not. I played WoW for about a year. In that time I got to 70, got “end gear”, and got pretty good at PvP. Then lich king came out, the models were *literally* reskins of everthing for the last 5 years, the gameplay the same stale grind (not that I expected different) and the PvP became spam happy and based off of who could burst all their cooldowns first…so I quit. I moved to eve, reactivated my trial account, and dove in. Never looked back.

  8. I think what sold me on EVE was the huge scandal and backstabbing of a major corporation which cost 12,500 USD if converted from ISK to real money. You cannot pull something off like this in WoW.
    Being able to change a game and not stay on a straight path is too interesting not to try.

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