Battleships cruise through an abandoned starfield, preparing for the upcoming mission. "My heart's racing," someone mutters. A squad mate tells him to relax. The commander counts down: five, four, three, two. Engines rev, and all hell breaks loose.
The fighters fall out of warp and turn off their cloaking devices. Torpedoes fly. The Dominix - an aging battleship - bursts into flames. It never had a chance. And then it's on to the next battle. And the next. And the next.
This might sound like a scene from a Hollywood blockbuster, but it's actually just another day in EVE Online, CCP Games' incredibly resilient MMO space-simulator. With its sprawling, persistent universe and player-driven economy and governments, EVE Online isn't quite like anything else on the market. Unlike most massively multiplayer games, EVE Online doesn't provide quests or goals for the players. There's no prescribed plotline. CCP provides the tools, but it's up to players to create the story.
To promote EVE Online's free 14-day trial, CCP Games has released a trailer called "This is EVE" that shows off the game at its most compelling. The video uses recordings from actual gameplay sessions to show just how exciting EVE can get. Nothing's staged; at its best, this is what EVE Online is actually like.
EVE Online's freedom has resulted in a number of great stories. There's the legend of "Bad Bobby," a player who spent years building a publically-traded corporation, only to take it over and abscond with the funds. There's Eddie Lampert and Mordor Exuel, who crafted a Ponzi scheme that netted over 1.033 Trillion ISK (EVE's fictional currency, which can also be used to pay off the game's real-life subscription fees). And of course, there's the 12-hour Battle of Asakai, which cost players the equivalent of $20,000 in real-world cash.
The video perfectly captures the drama and tension you'd expect after hearing stories like those, but it doesn't give the whole picture. After viewing the trailer, many would think that EVE Online is all dogfights and action. It's not. The video only hints at the game's spreadsheet-based gameplay, which focuses on statistics and mathematic equations to predict the outcome of battles and maximize profits. EVE certainly can be exciting, but getting there takes years of planning and a major time investment.
That's not to say the trailer is bad. In fact, it's great. It's just not an accurate portrayal of normal EVE Online gameplay. EVE certainly has its audience; it's one of the few MMOs to enjoy steady growth, and it boasts one of the most dedicated communities in all of gaming. Players who are more interested in dogfights than economics, however, are probably best served somewhere else.
Source: CCP Games