Tuesday, May 4, 2010

EVE and constructive criticism

How do you evaluate a sandbox game with a non-linear game structure and no fixed goals? Well, given enough time, the only method I can think of is to play different gameplay elements one at a time, and blog about them one at a time. That is what I have been doing.

Of course it was unavoidable that when I wrote about PvP in EVE, I came out strongly against it. Check my blog, I have strong opinions against PvP, 7 years worth of archives. That reflects my personal attitude towards PvP in general, and is not specific to EVE, although of course EVE has a particularly asymmetric form of PvP due to the absence of fixed objectives.

Now EVE players are even more defensive of their game than most other MMORPG players, so I'm not particularly surprised that my opinion was strongly criticized. But there is a certain irony in EVE players telling me that I am playing EVE wrong. It shouldn't be possible to play a true sandbox game wrong. Everything is supposedly allowed and possible, and that must be true for me as well. If there is a right way and a wrong way to play EVE, then it isn't a sandbox.

Nevertheless of course there are probably aspects of EVE gameplay that I haven't written about yet, and which would be more fun for somebody who is new to the game and not interested in PvP anyway. So I'm inviting you to suggest me something that I should try and write about. What in EVE is fun for new players without having to wait weeks for skill training or running a strong risk to get podded? I liked scanning, but I don't think entering wormholes would be something you should suggest to new players. I already wrote about mining and running missions. What else is there to suggest for new players in EVE?

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