This post is coming out a long while after the release of the This Is Eve trailer. Sure, I posted my initial reaction, but I wanted to see how things develop a bit before moving beyond the, “Fuck, yeah!” moment we all experience when that pipebomb succeeds, and again when the bombing run hits its target perfectly.
I also wanted to see how it resonated with viewers a bit before deciding which direction to take this post. Namely, whether the discussion would extend beyond, “That’s awesome,” into “Where do I sign up?”
But, we’ve been seeing a lot of new account creation. First off, welcome. This blog is about getting new players into PvP by making it a little less nebulous and making them a little more familiar with the concepts. There are a lot of things new players need to learn for themselves (manual piloting, how important that extra 50 m/s of speed really is for the way you fly, the specific way you have to fly to maintain transversal to survive against multiple targets or larger targets), the types of things for which “seeing it done” just isn’t good enough. For that, you need to be in space.
But there are a lot of other things about the game that you can learn right away. A lot of those are about framing your expectations and understanding the reality of a game, not just the marketing hype or ideal parts.
A few bloggers have been writing about how the “This Is Eve” trailer isn’t Eve… it’s just the best parts. Yes, it’s the best parts, but it’s also an absolutely accurate depiction of Eve. The passion, the thrill, the exhilaration, that’s all 100% true. And there is a whole lot of preparation that builds up to those thrilling moments. For every one of those battles, those scenarios, there were hours of buying ship modules, fitting those ships to suit your taste, flying around to find the fight, and setting up the battle itself – not to mention all of the experience and training that teaches all the pilots involved to know what to do.
But it’s this very preparation that makes it all worthwhile. I used to play multiplayer Counterstrike, a game with absolutely zero preparation required. The death matches were, individually, meaningless, since I knew I could just wait until the next match to fight again. I didn’t have to do anything special, just sit there and wait. I wasn’t invested in Counterstrike. It was bubblegum I could chew or spit out at leisure.
Eve is Thanksgiving dinner back in 1621. You have to hunt your own food and cook it (fitting ships, moving them to your alliance’s staging system), you need to message your neighbors to attend (fleet form-up and sorting, travel), you need to carefully orchestrate the dishes in sequence (the tactical maneuvers during operation itself, including scouting), and you need to eat politely so as not to offend the natives (the battle itself). And that’s all after sailing half-way around the world with like-minded people (joining a corp, deploying). It’s complicated.
And that’s what makes it so intensely satisfying. Eve players feel genuine dopamine rushes during battles. My heart still beats fast when I’m in a 1v1… and it’s the same whether I’m in a 6-mil-isk Incursus or an 800-mil-isk battle Tengu. That feeling doesn’t scale; it starts with a rush and doesn’t let up.
But it doesn’t happen with me for other games. The slow-build is a direct cause of that rush, the sense that everything you planned for or waited for is coming to fruition. That’s what causes the Bomber’s Bar to cheer deafeningly on comms when they hit their target, or what causes Rooks and Kings to be so delighted at their pipebomb.
And pipebombing and bombing runs, along with BLOPS gangs, are the LEAST engaging of PvP, in my opinion! It only gets better.
So don’t let anyone discourage you by saying, “That’s not Eve…” It is. It absolutely is. Losing ships HURTS, and it’s exactly this pain that makes your success so much sweeter. You can’t have a game with no lows, and only highs; if you don’t have the risk of painful, frustrating losses, you also deny yourself the delights of abject success.
Eve is a game that enables both. And that is praiseworthy. Don’t quit the game because of a loss. The more it hurts, the more you should recognize how rare it is for a game to instill that sort of investment among its players. Eve players are passionate maniacs. You can’t have passion without something to be passionate ABOUT.
Eve isn’t WoW. Eve MATTERS in a very real sense to its players. We take Internet Spaceships very seriously. We cherish them because they represent time, effort, sometimes money, and always a lot of love. And to care about a game that much is a truly rare thing.
Eve is the passion that the players feel amid their greatest achievements and dismal failures. It inspires people to alarm-clock early morning ops. It inspires people like Rixx Javix to create beautiful art. It inspires bloggers like me to spend our time thinking and writing about Eve in the spare time when we can’t play.
This is Eve.
Come play with us.