Why I quit Eve Online

Full disclosure: I changed the title of this post. I didn’t really hate Eve Online, but decided I didn’t want to play it, so I quit it.

I really wanted to like Eve Online. I really did! I was about done with my free trial sometime back and was thinking about starting the paid subscription. I had joined a corporation with a couple of nice guys from Ireland and was progressing through the ranks and through missions nicely. I had just earned enough rank to buy a cruiser, if I remember. Then I decided it wasn’t for me, gave all my stuff to my corporation buddies, and left the game and never looked back. Here’s why:

Eve Online is a massive multiplayer space game, which immediately sounds awesome. But it is also an RPG.That means hits are calculated based on dice rolls rather than your dogfighting skills. In fact, there is no dogfighting at all. But that was OK – I like RPGs. Essentially, you can choose targets, and select an orbit distance so the computer approaches to that distance and then stays that far away. And you reload when your guns are empty. The computer takes care of all the aiming and fighting. But that’s okay, it’s an RPG. I could live with that.

Your ship has a shield, which protects the hull, then when the shield is gone, it has armor, which also protects the hull, then when that’s gone, hits eat into your hull. If your hull goes to zero, your ship explodes and your escape capsule flies off. Your capsule can be shot down, in which case, you’d better have a recent clone in storage or else you lose a lot of abilities. Insurance can help replace your ship, but not what was in the hold or mounted to the hardpoints. You can go reclaim your wreck to recover some gear if you can defeat whatever killed you in the first place.

Eve Online looks pretty. The graphics are on par with most other space games (perhaps X3 is prettier, perhaps not). To get between areas within a system, you warp, which is very fast travel, and it is disconcerting when the game would warp you right through the space station you just left, for example. You don’t land on planets, but on stations near planets and moons. The stations have shops, repair bays, corporations, and assigners of missions. To travel between systems, you use jump gates that connect neighboring systems. And the whole universe is one live universe, though parts of it are “instanced,” so many of the other ships flying around and perhaps shooting at you are people, not NPCs.

For the missions, you generally have to go somewhere, fight a wave of baddies, take an accelerator gate to a nearby area, fight more baddies, repeat a few times, then go report in to get your reward. If you are part of a team, you and your buddies go through this together, which is fun. If your ship is damaged, you can escape (sometimes – the enemy may prevent you from warping away!), but then you have to start the whole chain of gates over, though the baddies don’t respawn for a while.

The reason I dropped Eve Online and never looked back was the travel time. The time it takes to navigate to the next acceleration gate in a mission just got tedious. It turns out that as you get bigger and better ships, they get slower, so the problem gets worse. My destroyer was slower than my smaller frigate, while my cruiser was slower than my destroyer. I realized that it would only get worse and never better as I progressed to bigger, “better” ships. So I quit cold turkey. If they ever change that hierarchy, I would be happy to try again, because I did have fun, for a while, but until then, I don’t like having my time wasted for me.

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