Last night, I was floating in our Wormhole, chatting and getting to know some of my Corpmates in INQ-E. Though I feel like I have been with these guys forever, and have even been promoted to Director of Recruitment for the Corp, it has only been a very short time that I have been playing with them. Why then, has Eve grabbed ahold of me so completely where dozens of better funded, newer, and shinier MMOs have left me wanting?
One of my Corpmates, William, warned me that Eve is seductive and will not let go. The same question continues to haunt me… why?
Eve feels real. While the setting is in space, the need for a suspension of reality seems much less than in high-fantasy settings. Everything is ‘possible’ and realistic and it allows me to feel more in touch with my character, than when I was Cyndre the Gnome Warlock. Lord Cyndre the Space Cowboy could be me.
The interconnected nature of the community also serves to create that draw and hold you. Your actions have direct impact on the world around you. Who you meet, what you say, the choices and mistakes you make all have a large impact on your surroundings. Say what you will about Goons, but they have the ability to change the world on a whim. You can’t do that in WoW. The only time a player changed the world was the quest to open AQ, and that was scripted and pre-planned… In Eve, players make noticable and direct impacts every second. Player created content accounts for a huge chunk of the world, and it grows by leaps and bounds every year.
Last night INQ-E claimed our own solar system. We are now working together to build and establish an entire ecosystem, community and business all in the framework of an empty, worthless chunk of space that the developers saw fit to code, hoping someone might decide to try to settle it. You can’t do that in every game. You can’t do that in most games. In just a few weeks, I have been a part of the design and creation of a significant piece of the Eve universe… In twenty years of online gaming, this is the first time I have had that privlage.
Perhaps, a part of it is the concept of Themepark vs. Sandbox… In a Themepark MMO we are visitors in the developer’s world. The artists and quest designers create a ride for us to go on, but without us, the world continues on. In Eve, in the sandbox, we are the world. We join the developers in the world design and the content design. Together, we create and shape a universe that is what we make it, not what their design document said it would be.
I am not saying Eve is ‘better’ than X game, only that it has captivated me beyond my wildest imagination and I can feel the seduction drawing me in.