Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Explorer

Sometimes you need a break, and it is that time for me. While many of my corpies and EVE friends tend to 'run off' in EVE doing some sort of PVE that strikes their fancy, I have no interest in EVE PVE, so I frequently turn to other games. Face it, wandering through they very cool looking caves inside the Mines of Moria is a whole lot more interesting to me then shooting red X's for hours, or driving myself crazy dragging little bubbles around a screen to triangulate some unknown thing.

Exploration is something I always figured I'd love in EVE, and for a little while I dabbled in finding various plexes and wormholes. Unfortunately, the wormholes all started to look the same to me...and the plexes were few and far between and often not worth the pain I felt from the actual probing process. In my opinion, probing is the worst kind of grind in EVE, and what you find at the other end is a poor motivation for it.

So, I PVE...I 'explore' in other games. Most times, it means just wandering around with my avatar, sneaking through areas that are too high level for me, or revisiting places I skimmed over long ago. There are no expectations. No corporation, or alliance. I don't get mail, I don't need to worry about a subscription or isk or market orders. If I log on for 15 minutes, I get 15 minutes of exploration done--with no waiting, no timers, no looking for a fleet or something to kill. There's no CSM, no voting, no politics. There's no argued about game mechanics, or decisions to make about what to fly or how to fly it or what to fit on it. There's no ammunition, no plexes that are threatened, no poses coming out fo reinforced...face it, EVE is often like a real life job.

But, right now, the biggest decision I have to make is what color horse to ride at the moment, and how many Orcs I feel like killing. I have to see if a friend is on and whether he'll kill Orcs with me, and we might pause a moment as we reach high points of the landscape to just look at the breathtaking view of the ruins and the monuments and the superbly real looking water falls --a world that lives and breaths a past, present, and future, a history.

But the day will alway come that I get tired of exploring. That, even the monuments and the ruins start to look the same and the waterfalls become just water--the day I get that familiar yearning for home again. And I'll brush the orc blood of my axe, and turn my face to the sky -- returning yet again to the cold, unforgiving halls of the universe.


  1. Interesting exploration comparison. So are you saying that you find visual discovery rewarding? If EVE's exporation were to allow you to uncover more visually stimulating and engaging sites, would that entice you to run the "crazy bubble dragging" gauntlet?

    And on a similar vein, would shooting red Xs become more interesting if the camera view was more cinematic or if you could actually see the targeted ship in a viewing pane?

    In short, how can EVE's PvE compete with your favourite PvE games?

  2. I too, enjoy exploration and discovery of new things. I do agree that Eve's PvE content becomes stale and repetitive quite quickly. Which is why I've never understood how some people can stay interested in the game for years while only running level 4 missions. To me, Eve is about the people. It's a microcosm of society where you can experiment with people in ways you couldn't in real life.

    Most game development companies will spend thousands of hours on level design, storyline development, and art assets that allow the player to interact in unique ways with the game. CCP devotes most of its resources to game mechanic development that allows players to interact in unique ways with each other. I think that's the key to their success. And if that doesn't interest you, I can see how Eve would lose its appeal.

    While I do enjoy discovering scripted content and watching a story unfold in front of me, it's much more deeply satisfying for me to discover the different facets of people and communities.

  3. I can't standing scanning. It makes my neck hurt to just think about it. I find it odd that in this age of spaceships we need to position the probes manually. Cant the computers do this for us?

    Stan asks a good question. But I don't think there is a good answer. Eve pvp is challenging because the mechanics are somewhat complicated and require some strategy. This doesn't work well with a first person set up.

    Also I have learned from playing chess (another game that is somewhat complicated and requires soem strategy) that no matter how well the computer is programmed playing against a computer will never be as fun as playing against other people. Even when you don't even see the other person because you are playing on the internet.

  4. I feel obligated (given my blog, heh) to note that even if the pure PvE aspects of Eve quickly get old (I couldn't agree more, in fact), there are plenty of ways to just explore. There are many sites out there in high, low, and null sec that have stories to them and wonders to see. They may not be as densely packed together as you might find in other games, but if you're looking to sate some wanderlust in Eve, it's not all that difficult to do when you know where to look.

  5. Susan, I recommend Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning if you want that same feeling of "something else" with a good story, plenty of content (a total completion clocking in at something around 200 hours), great action-RPG gameplay, and cool/fun visuals.

    I've been having a lot of fun with it. (:

  6. I'm the same way. For me, part of the reluctance to PVE is the fact that its boring and tends to feel like a grind after a while, but I think the biggest factor is just that it goes against the entire reason I log in.

    I log in with the goal of blowing stuff up, its what makes the game fun for me and is what I find stimulating, and playing the game any way else, I find boring. When you're sitting bored in your room, most people don't decide to clean it up...they leave it completely to find other things to do and EVE is very similar in this regard.