EVE Online: The Second Genesis
With the announcement of EVE Online: The Second Genesis going gold, the NDA that had all the beta-testers tight-lipped has been lifted. So now I can give you my impressions of this very promising looking MMOG.
EVE aims to be a combat-heavy game, with PvP struggles thoroughly encouraged by the total lack of safety zones. An attacker may run the risk of police interest depending on the sector, but apart from that the developers want to make this a game where the players really decide what the laws are. While I didn’t play enough to get into any PvP scrapes this decision should ensure that players have to keep their eyes open all the time.
Another interesting aspect of EVE is the prevalence of player-owned corporations. These can be founded and joined with ease, with corps being able to set up their own space stations, take over solar systems and even become the strong arm in the sector. There will only be one game-world, which means that every single person paying to play EVE will be able to track down any other player. A further innovation, and one that perhaps may have the greatest effect on the way the game is played, is that a player’s skill takes time to advance and that time continues to tick even when they aren’t logged in and playing. This means that those who choose to dabble in the occasional snort of real-life will not be totally pathetic and outgunned when compared to the true addicts. There are a number of other ways that the player can customize their character, from illegal boosters to implants, and when these are coupled with the best looking character generation system I’ve seen should lead to universe populated by individuals.
I was playing the beta of this for a while. When I first tried it out it was laggy as hell, totally unplayable. But that was at the begining of the stress test and all those problems seemed to have been ironed out. There are still some slight lag issues, but they are not in the same league as problems that can leave a player tearing their hair out in frustration as their character blithely wanders into a pit of doom, oblivious of any attempt by their master to persuade them that that ain't such a hot idea.