Monday, May 31, 2010

Oranges and Cherries

After a busy weekend I cannot but wonder how someone can even compare WoW and EVE: it's like comparing oranges and cherries. There are more differences in the overall philosophy of the environments and mechanics than there are similarities.

As I was wondering this it occurred to me that I can't compare my experiences in the games either. In WoW I have been most of the time in a guild in which the group activities are scarce and limited to small groups or I have been soloing alone in the world. In EVE I have been lucky enough to begin the game in a rookie corporation which is active in all aspects of the game and encourages the rookies to take active part in the group activities.

Totally different pots of porridge.

The more I play EVE, the more I wonder why there are no more similarities with fantasy MMO's. Granted, I don't know many as well as WoW, and the ones I've tried (except for Dawntide) have been very similar to that.

In EVE you can start being a valuable part of a corporation from the first day you join the game. The tutorial missions in the beginning build a very nice basic set of skills, with which you can fly and work in the high-sec areas. In the corporation I'm in, we have few days old rookies running in the level 4 missions with the veterans: of course they are not being the tanks nor the damage dealers, but being salvagers and staying out of  the harms way.

In WoW and other DIKU MUD based MMO's this is impossible. You cannot take your lv1 toon to the higher up instances, as they would die of sheer shock at the door. On the first boss latest, as that one is bound to have an AoE that swats the insects off the walls. PvP: don't even think about it, as the lv1 toon wouldn't even pinch the higher level toon, and would be gone before he was noticed even. Flying into null-sec in a killer cruiser could be compared to having a level 10 toon in lv80 Wintergrasp: about a snowball's chance in hell.

Like I stated earlier, my experiences in the games have different backgrounds. I'm extremely grateful for the rookie corporation I was invited when I began my initial trial in EVE because of the activity and possibilities it opened. On the other hand, I'm amazed how Blizzard among other fantasy based MMO publishers have so neglected the social engineering in their games, making them so much soloable and not so rewarding to group as they are.

And of course, EVE has come a long way from the brickwall steep learning curve by introducting the missions which teach the basics of the things you can do and give you a route to make a decent income in New Eden without belonging in any corporation. But a sandbox game is more about making the connections and working with people: it's something you learn soon enough, one way or another.

Now where have I put that draft about that Basic Roleplaying type skill system post...