EvE is "Real"

Scott Tortorice

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2003
Messages
7,663
Reaction score
99
Location
The shadows
Country
llUnited States
I do agree with this sentiment. CCP has made a game that ditches the game-y mechanics found in just about every other game and instead decided to make a title that resembles "real life" - with all the difficulties and complexities that implies - in more ways than one. That takes a lot of courage...yet is has clearly paid off handsomely for them.

If only Hollywood would get the memo vis-a-vis science fiction.

CCP Developers State 'EVE is Real' at Fanfest


At the top of the world, you might think there’s something a little strange in the water. Or the whale meat. Or the "cured" shark. Because one of the first things that the developers at CCP pronounced to a room full of wide-eyed, Iceland-shocked press members was just a little left of center.

"EVE is real."

I heard this statement multiple times while sitting in the first two press-only sessions that kicked off EVE Fanfest. Initially, that statement will strike anyone as odd. EVE Online’s just a game, right? It’s just a bunch of talking spaceships floating through a virtual space. Why would the developers want to come forward and say something so… daring?

...

Now the concept of “meaning” in EVE is obviously different for each person that plays the game. While one individual may be helping to progress his alliance’s bottom line by doing industrial-based activities in the high security portion of space, another might find his own meaningful actions in running covert operations through an enemy’s territory in nulsec (PvP) systems.

Compare that sort of gameplay with what can be found in a more traditional MMO. Rather than going out to slay the red dragon in the dungeon of darkness for the thousandth time, players fly out into space each day not knowing exactly what awaits them, whether that’s a notice that more materials are needed from a corp CEO to a full-on declaration of war with another alliance.
 

pward

Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
4,055
Reaction score
69
Location
Springfield, IL
Country
llUnited States
Corps are about as real as most of the organized guilds in other MMO's. While in other games, it may be organized to accomplish raids/quests/<whatever it is you do in that game>, that's not far removed from whatever it is the corporation/player in EvE has decided to do. Equate the red dragon and his dungeon with the corp/alliance that owns the space next door. (I'm a Titan Slayer!) Or for the highsec player, the missions/asteroids/trade-routes/etc. that they choose to make their goals.

If you want to get the memo regarding science fiction, check out Atomic Rockets. Railguns in particular firing "instantaneously" over 200km would still pack a significant quantity of kinetic energy. Not to mention the whole conservation of energy law, meaning you have to put at least as many joules of energy into shooting the projectile, as it has going at whatever speed it impacts the target. (Actually it's very likely to be significantly more energy to shoot it, since you're going to lose energy along the way to other things, and have a pile of heat to deal with.)

I'm not complaining, I think it's implementation of player economies is far better than the other MMO's I've played, and I appreciate the sandbox nature of gameplay. But it's Sci-Fi with out the science. In other words, there is as much fantasy in EvE as there is in any other MMO.
 

Scott Tortorice

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2003
Messages
7,663
Reaction score
99
Location
The shadows
Country
llUnited States
Corps are about as real as most of the organized guilds in other MMO's. While in other games, it may be organized to accomplish raids/quests/<whatever it is you do in that game>, that's not far removed from whatever it is the corporation/player in EvE has decided to do. Equate the red dragon and his dungeon with the corp/alliance that owns the space next door. (I'm a Titan Slayer!) Or for the highsec player, the missions/asteroids/trade-routes/etc. that they choose to make their goals.
That's a really good point. I guess there is something of a comparison between the Guilds and Corps.

When you get right down to it, the single truly distinguishing aspect of EvE Online is the single shard gameplay. Given how successful this has been for CCP, I am really surprised that there has yet to be a fantasy MMORPG that has copied this distinction. I wonder why that is? Is it significantly more expensive to run a single shard game? Is it more difficult? Probably yes to both those questions, but CCP has managed to survive doing so, so why not another company? Especially one with deep pockets like Blizzard?

Or could it be something else?

Perhaps making a land-based fantasy game on a single shard is just too difficult? In space, you have infinite room to add new star systems (wormholes, etc) to accommodate new players on a single shard. With a land-based game, I imagine that is far more difficult. Land has terrain that needs to be make sense - such as hills leading to mountains; you can't just plop a mountain range anywhere. Streams need to flow downhill to the sea, and not vice versa. So any single shard, land based game would probably have real trouble expanding in a sensible way to accommodate an increasing player pop. Or am I overstating the difficulties?

If you want to get the memo regarding science fiction, check out Atomic Rockets. Railguns in particular firing "instantaneously" over 200km would still pack a significant quantity of kinetic energy. Not to mention the whole conservation of energy law, meaning you have to put at least as many joules of energy into shooting the projectile, as it has going at whatever speed it impacts the target. (Actually it's very likely to be significantly more energy to shoot it, since you're going to lose energy along the way to other things, and have a pile of heat to deal with.)I'm not complaining, I think it's implementation of player economies is far better than the other MMO's I've played, and I appreciate the sandbox nature of gameplay. But it's Sci-Fi with out the science. In other words, there is as much fantasy in EvE as there is in any other MMO.
That was a really good website. :D Thanks for the link.

But when I talk about "realism" I am not referring to science fact. Truth be told, for me, a game (or movie/book/etc.) slavishly devoted to scientific realism can be just as much of a bore as a game that operates on a cartoonish level. No, when I refer to "realism", I am referring to the so-called "human element".

EvE is the only MMO that has ever earned any money from me. While I have tried a bunch of other MMOs, I never subscribed because they all felt...perhaps "superficial" is the best term here. In other words, I never was immersed in the gameplay because the gameplay always felt divorced from reality. I never cared for any of my characters because I just could not relate to needing to kill an orc, or retrieve 10 direwolf pelts, or what-have-you.

EvE is fundamentally different because - in the best tradition of science fiction - it mimics the real world with its gameplay. So, instead of needing to slay a dragon, my characters are usually more concerned with making enough money to pay for my insurance, or studying navigation so I can earn a core competency certificate and apply for a job with a corp. And, of course, the single shard adds even more realism via the resultant emergent gameplay, such as a market based on corp performance, sov wars, and being able to interact at multiple levels (political, legal, etc.) with every other player in the game without worrying about what server they are on. Even the fact that there is no true "endgame" to EvE adds to the realism. In EvE, like life, it is not about beating an unber-bad guy, but about taking it one day at a time, hopefully becoming a bit richer and wiser.

When you take these elements and multiply them by the 400K player-base, you get a vibrant, living game world unmatched by any other MMO out there. Only in EvE can you have true, unscripted corporate espionage, wars of conquest, ponzi schemes, and general nefarious doings that make the world seem so real and limitless. :)
 

Dr Zaius

Chief Defender of the Faith
Joined
May 1, 2001
Messages
8,903
Reaction score
407
Location
The Forbidden Zone
First name
Don
Country
llUnited States
That's a really good point. I guess there is something of a comparison between the Guilds and Corps.

When you get right down to it, the single truly distinguishing aspect of EvE Online is the single shard gameplay. Given how successful this has been for CCP, I am really surprised that there has yet to be a fantasy MMORPG that has copied this distinction. I wonder why that is? Is it significantly more expensive to run a single shard game? Is it more difficult? Probably yes to both those questions, but CCP has managed to survive doing so, so why not another company? Especially one with deep pockets like Blizzard?
Because it's a nightmare from a technological standpoint. It's awesome that there are no artificial limits imposed in EVE and battles can easily escalate into 1000 vs. 1000 ship slug-fests, at least in theory. The truth is that most battles involving more than 400 pilots rapidly spiral downhill as the lag monster arrives and slowly strangles the fun. And it's no fun to lose an expensive ship while staring at a black screen because the entire node is lagged to death. Such "blob warfare" is a significant problem in EVE Online and forces the company to spend vast sums on cutting edge hardware and programming specialists to keep it all running. It's far, far easier to keep a sharded universe going. That huge single database is a tech nightmare, even for an MMO like EVE that has a fairly modest community.

The only reason the single shard works for EVE is that it is difficult and prohibitive to travel long distances, which helps keep fleet sizes somewhat reasonable. If it was any easier to move around the EVE universe every battle would become a lagfest as the whole of New Eden rushed to the site of any reported fleet engagement like moths to a flame. This could conceivably be done in a fantasy setting, but there would have to have some mechanism to keep the players spread out evenly and to keep them from clumping together every time something interesting happened.

Single shard is indeed far more interesting, for a whole host of reasons. But most MMOs would have to be radically re-designed or it simply wouldn't work. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that it would be technologically impossible to single-shard World of Warcraft. That's simply way beyond the limits of current hardware, database, and Internet limitations. But it would be great to have 30,000 vs. 30,000 battles...
 

pward

Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
4,055
Reaction score
69
Location
Springfield, IL
Country
llUnited States
The single persistent server is pretty cool. I'm also pretty happy with the character advancement, unlimited paths to whatever "profession" you choose. With the respec options available now, it's even easier than when I started years back.

I would expect EVE's technical issues/model could be applied to a land based game, but only if it was some sort of completely instanced game once you left the keeps/towns/cities (i.e. "stations"). If each instance (corresponding to a grid in EVE) was reachable by the players, if they bothered to go to the right province (system) and work their way to the scene somehow. With spaceships it works nicely to say "warp to X", with horses or foot traffic, it almost has to be contiguous terrain to satisfy most players. I suppose the terrain might be "isolated pocket dimensions reached by magical portal" or some other storyline where each "battlefield" is a separate instance could work. Some sort of restriction in this scenario, if provided from game start, could be made to limit the number of players in that "pocket dimension". "I'm sorry milord, but bringing in another platoon of infantry will seriously unsettle the magics keeping this dimension together..."

But like Don said, if rapid travel direct to the battlefield du jour is possible in this land based game, all bets are off on avoiding lagtastic performance... I recall many an evening when playing WoW, an announcement would come over the faction wide channel telling of a pending raid or an ongoing raid from the other side.
 
Top